Thank goodness the IMAGE certification for Cobb contractors and vendors has finally come back up! Just in time for the 2020 election, we will be able to see everyone pick a side, especially the commissioners.

Way back in 2012, Commissioner Bob Ott brought the IMAGE idea forward for the county and it was approved unanimously. When the county became “IMAGE certified,” it meant the county’s hiring and employment records had been reviewed to be sure they were in line with the law. It also meant that the stolen ID had not been used by employees to get a job with the county. It meant that our tax dollars were not being paid to illegal labor working for the county.

As Commissioner Ott pointed out then, the next logical step is to have the contractors and the various vendors that get paid with our tax money to use the same system to accomplish the same goals. We certainly don’t want to see our taxes paid to contractors who use illegal labor who used stolen American ID to get hired.

We all remember the terrible scandal when it was found that undocumented workers were caught building the Cobb County Courthouse. As Commissioner Ott put it after Cobb became IMAGE certified, “When the county built the new courthouse, some issues came up … the E-Verify system didn’t catch all the loopholes. So, we had some folks that were not legal who got the jobs. The long-term goal would be requiring everyone the county does business with to be IMAGE certified.”

Ott was right and the MDJ was right to endorse the board’s IMAGE certification. We trust that we will soon see a vote on the ordinance that he and Commissioner JoAnn Birrell sponsored then to require contractors to at least apply for the same IMAGE certification idea. And we still remember scratching our heads when Commissioner Lisa Cupid told us the concept was “racist.”

Jan Barton



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