LWV League of Women Voters of California
Smart Voter
Orange County, CA November 5, 2002 Election
Measure U
Public Works Contracts
City of Placentia

Charter Amendment - Majority Approval Required

6,959 / 74.9% Yes votes ...... 2,330 / 25.1% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Nov 12 4:00pm, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (36/36)
Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments |

Shall Section 608 of the Charter of the City of Placentia be amended to require competitive bidding on public works projects involving an expenditure of more than $25,000.00, or in the alternate, to provide for the award of public works contracts by a best value process, including design , build and construction manager at risk approaches, as approved by the City Council and adopted by Ordinance?

Impartial Analysis from City Attorney
Under the current provisions of the City's Charter, all contracts for public works in the amount of $5,000 or more are required to be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder after advertising for bids. The Charter does not expressly recognize any other process for the City Council to award a public works contract, including the design-build process. This measure will increase the threshold amount from $5,000 to $25,000 for public works projects that are required to be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder after advertising for bids. This measure also allows the Council to use best value processes, including design-build and construction manager at risk approaches, for the award of public works contracts in excess of $25,000 so long as the Council adopts an implementing ordinance allowing such processes and the Council finds that use of best value processes will reduce project cost, expedite project completion, or provide unique design features.

The current City's Charter also allows for the City Council, by a four-fifths vote, to purchase materials or supplies for emergency purposes without advertising for bids. This exception from the advertisement of bids requirement for emergency purposes does not expressly include public works contracts. The measure will clarify that the City Council may, by a four-fifths vote, approve contracts for the construction or improvement of public buildings, works, streets, drains, sewers, utilities, parks and playgrounds without advertising for bids for emergency purposes.

This measure also affirms the discretion of the City as a charter city to be bound by the California Public Contracts Code only to the extent such requirement is expressly provided in the Charter or as expressly required by the City Council by ordinance.

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Arguments For Measure U Arguments Against Measure U
Measure U will allow the City to use alternate contract bidding procedures proven to be successful and cost efficient in the private sector.

The City Charter currently requires that public works contracts exceeding $5,000 be bid through competitive bidding. This requires the City to contract with an architect to design the project. When the design is complete, the City invites general contractors to bid on the project. The contract is awarded to the "lowest responsible bidder." This method is traditional, tried, but not always true.

This method does not always give the City the best value and quality. This method is time consuming and generates change orders diminishing the value of the contract. Quality suffers because the City cannot consider a contractor's experience or reputation.

If this Measure is adopted, the City can still use competitive bidding for projects costing over $25,000. It will not be the exclusive method. This Measure allows the City to formulate alternate competitive bidding processes, predicated on best value considerations, practiced with much success in the private sector, resulting in high quality projects at reasonable, budgeted costs. One best value alternative is the "design-build" process allowing the City to award a contract to a single company to design and build a project at a budgeted cost. The City could use an alternate process like design-build only if the City Council makes specific findings that use of a best value process will reduce project cost, expedite project completion, or provide unique design features.

The City needs flexibility in the award of public works contracts to secure the best value for our citizens. Vote YES on Measure U and maximize the use of your tax dollars.

No arguments in opposition were filed.

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Created: December 6, 2002 03:14 PST
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