One of the proposed laws would have made English the official language of Tomball. It failed on a vote of three to one. Preston Dodson is one of the councilmembers who voted no. He says the English-only measure was purely symbolic.
"Without having some purpose for the ordinance, some way it's going to advance and enhance the city of Tomball, we don't need it."
The second ordinance the council voted down would have barred illegal immigrants from renting or owning property or operating a business inside city limits. Councilman Dodson says Tomball is heeding the lesson learned by a Dallas suburb that approved a similar law, which a judge later found to be unconstitutional.
"Farmers Branch, we understand, has spent three-and-a-half, four million dollars defending their ordinance. We can't do that. These ordinances have failed in every venue."
Dodson says a third measure, one that would require city contractors and their subcontractors to hire only legal immigrant labor will be adopted at a later meeting as policy for contracts, rather than voted in as law.