E-Verify may be back on the table in the City of Hoquiam

The decision for the to continue using the E-Verify process may be coming back before the City Council.

On Monday night, Councilwoman Denise Anderson, who was not in attendance on January 25th when the vote of 5-2 was taken to continue the process, made a motion to reconsider.

Following the motion, a vote was taken of those councilmembers in attendance, ending in a 5-5 tie, with Mayor Dickhoff voting to bring the issue onto the following City Council meeting.

Following the meeting in public comment, the question of whether or not the motion was valid was raised.

According to multiple online resources featuring Robert’s Rules of Order, which the follows according to their Municipal Code, the motion to reconsider may not be a legal motion.

“The motion to reconsider cannot be applied to a vote on a motion that may be renewed within a reasonable time; or when practically the same result may be attained by some other parliamentary motion; or when the vote has been partially executed (except in case of the motion to limit debate), or something has been done as the result of the vote that the assembly cannot undo; or to an affirmative vote in the nature of a contract, when the other party to the contract has been notified of the vote; or to a vote on the motion to reconsider. In accordance with these principles, votes on the following motions cannot be reconsidered: Adjourn; Take a Recess; Lay on the Table; Take from the Table; Suspend the Rules or Order of Business; and Reconsider. Affirmative votes on the following cannot be reconsidered: Proceed to the Orders of the Day; Adopt, or after they are adopted, to Amend, or Repeal, or Rescind, the Constitution, By-laws, or Rules of Order or any other rules that require previous notice for their amendment; Elect to membership or office if the member or officer is present and does not decline, or if absent and has learned of his election in the usual way and has not declined; to Reopen Nominations. A negative vote on the motion to Postpone Indefinitely cannot be reconsidered as practically the same question comes up again when the vote is taken on the main question. After a committee has taken up the matter referred to it, it is too late to reconsider the vote committing it, though the committee may be discharged. But after debate has proceeded under an order limiting or extending the limits of debate, the vote making that order may be reconsidered, as the debate may develop facts that make it desirable to return to the regular rules of debate. The minutes, or record of proceedings, may be corrected at any time without reconsidering the vote approving them.”

Roberts’s Rules of Order state that a Motion to Rescind can be taken following action, and could be introduced at the next meeting for a vote at a following time.

“Any vote taken by an assembly, except those mentioned further on, may be rescinded by a majority vote, provided notice of the motion has been given at the previous meeting or in the call for this meeting; or it may be rescinded without notice by a two-thirds vote, or by a vote of a majority of the entire membership. The notice may be given when another question is pending, but cannot interrupt a member while speaking. To rescind is identical with the motion to amend something previously adopted, by striking out the entire by-law, rule, resolution, section, or paragraph, and is subject to all the limitations as to notice and vote that may be placed by the rules on similar amendments. It is a main motion without any privilege, and therefore can be introduced only when there is nothing else before the assembly. It cannot be made if the question can be reached by calling up the motion to reconsider which has been previously made. It may be made by any member; it is debatable, and yields to all privileged and incidental motions; and all of the subsidiary motions may be applied to it.”

Mayor Dickhoff tells KXRO that a scheduled agenda item of appointing a new councilperson at their next meeting will add an unknown vote to the council, with 5 people currently applying for the position.

“We will be choosing the new councilmember at the beginning of the meeting and they will have an opportunity to vote on the issue of E-Verify”

According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 began the process by requiring employers to “examine documentation from each newly hired employee to prove his or her identity and eligibility to work in the United States.” In 1997 the pilot program for E-verify was launched, allowing employers to enroll in the program and using paperwork to confirm that their employees are able to work in the U.S.

The conversation began in Hoquiam to remove their affiliation with the program following bids on the thinning of 526 acres and planting of 43 acres of trees within the City watershed. Without the program, their costs could have been approximately $150 per acre, while using the program their option was approximately $250 an acre.

The State of Washington does not have a statewide E-Verify requirement, but Hoquiam joins only a few cities such as Kennewick, Yakima, and Lakewood with these requirements, along with Clark, Cowlitz, Lewis, Pierce, and Whatcom Counties.

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