August 30 Council Meeting

The upcoming City Council Meeting scheduled for August 30th, Monday, at Simi Valley City Hall will be a long, action packed meeting. Among the topics will be a discussion regarding Council Member Steve Sojka’s proposed Cochran Street modifications in response to the Farmers Insurance departure announced a couple of weeks ago. You can read Steve Sojka’s press release on the topic by clicking here.

Also, it’s been rumored that the new Business Advocate will be officially introduced, along with a further explanation of the individual’s role. The Business Advocate has been both well supported and widely disputed as an first step to improving the current processes and communication channels between the city and the business community. Supposedly we’ll get to learn who the Business Advocate is, where they came from and more about what they’ll be doing.

Lastly, E-Verify will be on the agenda. Bob Huber’s team submitted the following press release, urging his supporters to be there to weigh in on the topic:

Huber Urges Simi Valley Residents to Speak Out on E-Verify, at August 30 City Council Meeting

Back on July 17, 2010, Simi Valley Mayoral candidate Bob Huber publicly called for the City of Simi Valley to implement E-verify, the free state-of-the-art, worker verification program, to protect local jobs, administered by the federal government.  On July 30th Mayor Miller publicly refuted the E-Verify program in saying, “Staff has learned that E-Verify is not fail-safe and, in fact, has been highly unreliable.”   He went on to say, “The error rate is no better than a flip of the coin.”  Further, Miller said, “I would be extremely reluctant to direct taxpayer resources or impose a regulation on employers to use such a system.”

Since that time, much debate has ensued with valuable input from the residents of our fine City.  The City has received mountains of emails and phone calls voicing support for this program, in addition to similar letters to the editor and opinions on local blogs. This issue has clearly touched a nerve in Simi Valley and the People are engaged and are sharing their concerns.

On August 6, 2010, Huber said, “The facts do not support City Hall’s assertion on E-Verify!”  and quoted from the official website of The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services,  “Westat estimates that overall E-Verify queries result in an accurate response 96% of the time and an inaccurate response 4.1 % of the time ……..since when is 96% a flip of the coin?”  Huber further said, “This whole dispute is about jobs for our residents and I firmly believe that 96% accuracy is sufficient protection to secure jobs for our deserving people of Simi Valley.”

City Manager, Mike Sedell, has announced that at last, E- Verify is being re-considered by the City Council on August 30 as a part of a new worker verification program. Sedell went on to say the City Council will vote on the proposal on August 30.

Huber responded, “This is a step in the right direction and good news for the hard working people of Simi Valley.   We will continue to closely monitor this issue until it is fully adopted.  Presidents from George Bush, 41st to our current President  Barack Obama  have supported E-Verify.  With over 700,000 private businesses using E-Verify and dozens of California cities using the program as well, it’s obviously a program that the people want.  This is a program that is part of the solution, to help insure citizens and legal residents get the available jobs.  I urge all Simi Valley residents to attend the August 30 City Council Meeting and let your voices be heard.

9 thoughts on “August 30 Council Meeting

  1. Mike,

    The Business Advocate has been both well supported

    This is a very hot topic and I have yet to meet people who support this idea. Is it really “well supported”?

    We are talking about adding a layer to the process down at city hall with the “business advocate”.

    The fact that the city has to create a “Business Advocate”, shows and acknowledges there is a problem with how the city interacts with business owners in this town.

    This is from Merriam Websters:

    Advocate 1: one that pleads the cause of another; specifically : one that pleads the cause of another before a tribunal or judicial court 2: one that defends or maintains a cause or proposal
    3: one that supports or promotes the interests of another

    Why do we need to hire someone to “plead” on behalf of our business owners?

    Good grief, we are trying to run programs and promote business with Shop Simi First, but the businesses need to plead with the city?

    This only acknowledges that there is an adversarial relationship between the business owners and the city.

    From Wikipedia

    The adversarial system (or adversary system) of law is the system of law that relies on the contest between each advocate representing his or her party’s positions and involves an impartial person or group of people, usually a jury or judge, trying to determine the truth of the case

    Are we serious? Just the term “Advocate” shows there is a lack of understanding on how to work with these business owners.

    Sorry Mike, but I just don’t see where a good explanation or a reasonable case for adding a layer of government will help our businesses.

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  2. You don’t have to apologize to me, Ted. The Business Advocate isn’t my program. It’s Steve Sojka’s program. My program proposes significant tax cuts for local bloggers and has yet to be approved.

    Yeah, most of the conversations have been on the negative regarding the Advocate. But I’ve heard a lot of positive from a few Chamber members and Sojka supporters. My remarks above weren’t an attempt to shove the program down your throat and make you like it. I honestly don’t have a position one way or the other.

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  3. The first meeting was really great. I didn’t see you there Ted…how come? You need to stop complaining and do something…

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  4. They moved it up, and still only 10 speakers and 5 cards submitted. There were more people there for the police captain’s 25-year certificate, and for the military banners program. When those items ended, the room cleared out. It most definitely was not a packed house when the E-Verify item came up, and it was not late.

    There’s quite an Astroturf effort going on with E-Verify, you know, a fake grassroots thing. Even with all the robocalls, people stayed home.

    Congratulations to the City Council for ensuring cooler heads prevailed and for becoming the first elected body in Ventura County to introduce, study, discuss, and eventually pass, the use of E-Verify. Perhaps other governmental bodies, such as the Ventura County Community College District, can now follow.

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  5. The funny thing about EVerify and the Council is that for some unknown reason there was the claim that if they use EVerify that then they have to audit everything. The current contracts require that US eligible works be used, but what is the current audit process? If there is none, then why does the use of a tool to confirm that the information is correct require an audit?

    Also, it was claimed that there were few cities using EVerify, but it was mentioned that they really did not know since they could only do a web search and not get any real information, but then this number was used as fact as an excuse as to why Simi Valley should not do it (leader vs. follower).

    The bottom line is that the Council failed to make this a requirement for businesses. What is the point of the test period? If they find that everyone is legal because others are scared off because EVerify is used, are they then going to say that they need not require it anymore?

    The Council was forced to do this and clearly did not want to do it and limited what they did.

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