Simi Valley Response to E-Verify

City Manager Mike Sedell issued a press release today in response to E-Verify and its new place in the campaigns for Mayor of Simi Valley. In the press release, Mayor Paul Miller stated, “Unfortunately, this has become an issue in the current election, with some alleging that the City Council is not supportive of the program. Nothing could be further from the truth, as I know each and every Council Member is supportive of doing all that we can to eliminate the hiring of  those not authorized to work here in order to maximize work opportunities for our residents.”

UPDATE: Initially when this was published, I incorrectly attributed the quote above to Mike Sedell.

The full press release is available for download by clicking here. I would have copied the entire text, but the document was saved as a compressed image PDF file, so copy and paste isn’t supported (geek speak, just trust me).

What are your thoughts on the City’s response to this growing debate? You’ve read the commentary here and elsewhere. What are your immediate reactions to this news?

FULL PRESS RELEASE HERE.

25 thoughts on “Simi Valley Response to E-Verify

  1. Mike, I have to give you KUDOS! The Council and the City Manager are now have to react to major policy issues because of discussion on this blog.

    I am pretty annoyed that the City Manager has now circled the wagons to protect the incumbents and now become an additional piece of the campaign to keep the status quo. I am not sure how appropriate it is to have the City Manager involve in election issues this transparently.

    Nostradomus predicts that the city will get out in front of the Appointment issue next so it will become a non issue for the incumbents.

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  2. I think that Mayor Miller’s comments in The Acron are quite clear on the subject and it is now clear that this has become public that action is required to save face. The fact is that E-Verify is free and catches some illegal workers, so there is no reason to not use the tool, but the City Council did not see it that way in the past. It is good that change is being forced on them, but bad because it is only because of the election that this is happening.

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  3. Sedell is now in panic mode. He sees that he will be collecting his 6 figure retirement very soon, and his power and control over our once great City is coming to an end. All of you should make the request at City Hall and find out how the ACORN missed the truth of his total compensation. He makes as much as RANDY ADAMS is at Bell….or to burn him up a bit, a bit LESS than Adams. He’s now working for Sojka and doing as much damage control as possible in order to keep his power base in tact. New mayor or council member equals less ability to manipulate. Based on what Williamson wrote on Mashburn’s article, they know the end is near with Huber in the race.

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  4. Mike,
    Do the math here. just 7 days ago Mayor Miller writes a letter to the Editor that ” E- Verify is unrealiable and that the Council doesn’t trust it. Now we have 4 letters to the Editor, discussions on this blog and a half page open letter to the people of Simi that all dispute the veracity of his claim. So here we are today and Mike Sedell puts out this release that says E- Verify is suddenly worthy of implementation.

    This is major damage control!! The worst part is that Sedell has become (openly) part of the political process. He has been working feverishly behind the scenes advising Sojka for months. His strategy is simple. Implement E- Verify and the debate goes away. I don’t believe Huber’s Team will be foolish enough to let it go. He boxed them in, pure and simple.

    Everyone at the City knows that Sedell, is in fact in major panic mode. Just wait for the other breaking news to hit in the next few days. They are working feverishly right now to figure out how to handle it. Monty is right. Sedell is watching his power slipping away. Let’s wait and see just how far he will go to protect his puppets.

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  5. Monty,

    I agree that the CM should think about retirement plans. I stated on this blog on June 8 that one of my goals if elected to City Council would be to shake up senior management at City Hall. There are many well qualified people in City Hall who could take on the reins of city management. I’m not going to accuse the CM of being incompetent, but I will say he is just not a people person, and that in itself is a good reason for a change. Case in point: I worked with the CM for 7 1/2 years with my office just down the hall from his. Not once during that time did he ever stick his head in and ask how things were going, did we have what we needed to do our jog, ect. I doubt that I had more than two or three conversations with him during that entire time. Instead, if you walk past him and say hello he grunts back in return as if he’s irritated to have to acknowledge you and if he sees you walking down the hall his first reaction is to turn his back so he doesn’t have to acknowledge or even utter his customary grunt.

    Very strange behavior from a very strange man. Simi Valley can do better.

    Mitch Green
    Candidate, Simi Valley City Council

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  6. Sedell Soldier,

    To clarify, the words in the press release are actually that of Mayor Paul Miller. Mike Sedell was the messenger here. He produced the press release, but he quoted our Mayor. When I initially published this article, I incorrectly stated the quote was from Sedell. I have corrected that (see above).

    And yes, you’re right. I wasn’t expecting this message based on the letter I read in the Acorn. This does come off as a 180 degree turn around.

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  7. Tim, my limited experience with Mike Sedell has also been positive. I found him helpful beyond expectation when I was conducting research on past elections.

    Of course, I have to qualify that by noting that I haven’t worked with Mike Sedell for 7+ years like Mitch, so our perspectives are obviously different.

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  8. I appreciate that this press release refers to residents eligible to work, unlike Huber’s choice of the word citizen. Many legal immigrants are not citizens but are eligible to work.

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  9. Mr. Huber did it! I’m very glad that he pressured our city’s leaders into taking another look at E-Verify. Maybe now we can finally rid our city of all those illegals. Bob listened and now the city is acting. Bravo Bob!

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  10. Wow!!! What a difference a week makes.

    How did we go from Williamson, Becerra and Miller digging their heels in saying E-Verify unreliable and not worth implementing to suddenly now we should embrace it?

    Ooops……I almost forgot. It’s less than 90 days till the election.

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  11. Reality is: now that Miller shot his mouth off again, like his normal habit, if (and when) they imp,ement it, they have to admit they were a bunch of dopes who didn’t do the part time jobs we pay them so heavily to do. They also have to admit that Huber is a leader who understands issues and is not afraid to do what is right to get our residents working and businesses to come here. They also have to admit they listen to Sedell for everything instead of doing their homework, and cause he didn’t want it, they didn’t pursue it. Failure of leadership. Perfect demonstration of Sedells micro managerial style at work.

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  12. Has anyone actually checked to see if City staff already uses E-verify capability when hiring employees? If such a process is in place, whey is it even an issue for the Council race?

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  13. Ted,
    “and to control Sojka’s vacant council seat with an appointment for total control of the council and city”…As I have stated in the past, I will not, under any circumstance support an appointment to Council Member Sojka’s council seat, if he is elected our new Mayor. If put to a vote of the council, mine will be a no vote.

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  14. At one time I did support the appointment process, mainly because of cost, however I now find that reasoning not acceptable by the electorate and will act accordingly.

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  15. Barbra,

    That really puts you in a tough position. Your support for Sojka will force you to have to deal with the appointment issue if Sojka prevails. How can you block the appointment?

    The appointment issues really has a couple different levels. 1. The control of the city factor. 2. We will have a Mayor with no power.

    The united front of the council backing Sojka makes him a Mayor with no power as he will owe all his political capital to those that put him in that seat. How can he evaluate any city issue independent of the other council members who so openly promoted his campaign?

    Right now I am getting more vote for Steve messages from Steve’s supporters than their own campaign message. The vote for Steve message is so drowning from the council that it looks like the only position up for vote is Mayor. When I consider the appointment and the massive push of vote for Steve from the council, the more questions come to mind as to why the council (minus Barbra) covets that appointment so much.

    I have a few key issues that will keep me from voting for Steve. 1. The appointment. 2. I disagree with how he sees the future development of this city. 3. His take on the true condition of our local businesses and what it will take to strengthen our local business.

    I have no personal issue with him at all. I believe he loves this city. As Mayor I just don’t see him there. He has nothing to lose in this election. It’s a very safe election for him as if Huber wins Steve is still on Council and can fight another day.

    I think that the great thing about this Mayor’s race is that we have a race and we get to talk about issues that are important to all the people of Simi Valley. Apparently E-verify is an issue, Appointment is an issue, Council compensation is an issue, Shop Simi First is an issue and more will come to surface as we get closer to the election. The voters get to decide.

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  16. If you look at the history of our council over the last four to eight years, I have pretty much always been in a “tough position” (your words not mine). Personally I think that’s healthy. My record speaks for itself. I am probably the “odd man out” on more issues than most. I don’t expect anything to change because I support a certain candidate. I will continue to march to my own drummer. I can’t be sure, but I believe all the current council members supported Paul when he ran for Mayor, and there have been plenty of times that we have parted ways on issues.
    Another important issue, is the dump….lets not forget the dump. Personally I believe this to be the biggest issue facing the residents of Simi Valley. And if you were to conduct a poll, I would venture to say you will find few, if any, residents who support the expansion.

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  17. Barbra,

    Don’t get me started on the expansion …
    LOL!!!

    It’s an issue and I think a lesson in itself too. I owe you an answer on the last round of that discussion.

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  18. Barbra,

    Remember – I believe we could have shut the door on the expansion if we would have put a deal together with Unocal. What I never responded to was that we should have figured out where we could have increased the densities. If the HPS is municipal code, I don’t see how an action by council can alter it, but what I do wonder is that if 7 units go on 0-10%, did we try to make sure that we were maxing those densities …..etc.?

    I think Laura was missing the point that the land between the Valley Floor line and city limits is limited. The land beyond City limits is covered by SOAR. I don’t see where there is some ability to set a new direction on any of those areas.

    Last, in that other post I mentioned how the city is all over the map on these projects and you asked for an example.

    The Sycamore Shade’s property is a great example. Originally zoned residential, the city council rolled out the red carpet to Smith’s Food King despite major opposition from the residents. Simi Valley was very fortunate that Smith’s Food King pulled out of California and never built after getting the property re-zoned and entitled.

    The property was originally zoned for a higher density residential project other than town homes and when the new developer came to town I watched council tell the developer not to expect any densities higher than town homes.

    This is a great example how the council will turn a deaf ear to citizen opposition when it wants something and then kowtow the minute that the citizens become critical of a residential development.

    We needed condo density on that parcel, it was originally zoned for that. Less bodies = less shoppers combined with over built commercial = Shop Simi First and struggling small business owners.

    Council was trying to ram commercial development on Casden’s project at Madera and LA Ave – what a mistake the thought was to even put that on the table. I am not sure where you were on that, but as I have been saying, we have more commercial square feet than we can deal with in a healthy economy why keep adding?

    So for an election, E-verify is big, you are correct the dump is big, the health of our local businesses are big, and future development is big.

    I know you don’t think it is fair that I lay blame on the council for the dump expansion, but we had a perfect chess piece on the table to block that expansion and we failed to move that piece at the right time. We missed our opportunity. Time to learn from that one and try not to repeat it somewhere else.

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  19. Well you know what they say about hind-sight. It’s easy to sit on the sideline and make judgement calls. The Unocal project was a disaster from the get-go. They promised everything to everybody, hoping to get that development through. They wanted to build on fill dirt, by grading down the hills, filling in the valleys and then put homes on top of the infill. The residents of this city would have burned us at the stake. I know because it was the City Council who got the e-mails, and all the nasty letters telling us not to allow 2600 homes. So again, you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. I am not complaining, and I still think we did the right thing by denying that project.
    As far as Sycamore Shades is concerned, the only residents that were involved were the ones living directly behind it. First they said they wanted homes, then they wanted commercial, then they wanted townhomes…what they really wanted was nothing.

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  20. Barbra,

    The Smiths Food King project was heavily opposed. My point being that the site was originally zoned residential and that the city could not rezone it fast enough to commercial.

    The city completely ignored the citizen opposition on that project and it was not just the people on Woodrow up in arms.

    The residential density was set higher, the council all of a sudden heard the roar of the citizens once they realized that they could not get a commercial developer to take that project on and mandated lower density on the project.

    Burning at the stake was not a threat to the council when Smith’s Food King is wooing the city.

    If the council wants to deny and restrict residential developments over threats then the council ought to get some self control over it’s overbuilt commercial. Quit adding commercial so we can get some balance between the shoppers and the businesses that already exist. We have rezoned enough land to commercial use, time to get off that program and build up the business community we already have.

    Can we get a commitment from the council that we are not going to rezone any more land commercial? Stop with the commercial corner nonsense council was trying with Casden?

    It is evident by actions recent and long ago that the council has a poor understanding that shoppers are not going to magically appear and make everything okay so lets just add another 250k square feet of commercial.

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  21. Ted, once again we are dancing with different partners. Sitting where I sit, I know first hand that residents don’t want residental development..period. They would perfer the landfill over more homes being built. So you can talk all you want about not building anymore commercial, but if a property owners wants to explore commercial in an area where it is zoned, or is looking to re-zone, we have an obligation to at least review his request. If we didn’t they would be accusing us of not listening to the residents or the business man/woman. We can debate this forever, and I do think you bring up some very good points, however, we still have to deal with the NIMBYs. So to that end, I will discountinue this line of conversation because it’s being beat to death.

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