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Smart Voter
San Diego County, CA November 4, 2014 Election
Proposition A
Public Works Contracts
City of Chula Vista

Charter Amendment - Majority Approval Required

Pass: 27425 / 76.14% Yes votes ...... 8594 / 23.86% No votes

See Also: Index of all Propositions

Information shown below: Summary | Arguments |

Shall the City's Charter provisions regarding public works and general purpose contracting be amended to replace specific contracting procedures with more general contracting principles that would be implemented by ordinance, including the requirement for competitive bidding, City Council approval of major contracts and other best practices, and the requirement that any exceptions to standard competitive purchasing practices be approved by 4/5ths vote of the City Council with findings of public benefit?

This City Council-proposed measure would amend the City's Charter provisions governing the City's public works and general purchasing practices.

Section 1009 -- Contracts on Public Works

The existing Charter contains fairly detailed rules and procedures regarding the award of public works contracts. These include: (1) contracts in excess of $50,000 awarded only after formal advertisement for sealed bids, (2) contracts in excess of $25,000 approved only by City Council; (3) a 10% minimum bidder's bond requirement; and (4) public works projects using City employees allowed only with a 4/5ths vote of the City Council.

This proposed Charter amendment would delete these specific rules and, instead, delegate the authority to make specific rules to the City Council. General rules for public works contracting would still be provided in the Charter. These general rules include the following:

a. City Council approval would still be required for what it defines as "major" or "special" contracts, based on contract dollar amounts and other relevant factors;
b. Competitive bid processes would still be required, with formal advertisement for bids and sealed bids required for "major" contracts;
c. Contracts would still need to be awarded to the lowest "responsive" and "responsible" bidder;
d. The ability to reject any and all bids, readvertise for bids, or waive minor defects in bids would be retained, provided that the appropriate City-authority determines that such action is necessary or appropriate for the benefit of the public;
e. Emergency authority to waive competitive bid processes would also be allowed if the City Manager determines that the work is of urgent necessity for preservation of life, health or property; and
f. Alternatives to standard competitive bidding practices would be allowed, but only as part of a City-wide program, approved by 4/5ths vote of the City Council, with findings of public benefit.

The City Council would need to adhere to these general rules when adopting its specific rules. Specific rules would be adopted by ordinance at a public meeting.

The amendment would also clarify that public works contracts do not include contracts for routine maintenance.

Sections 1010 and 1011 -- Centralized Procurement System and Competitive Bidding for Non-Public Works

The changes proposed to Charter Sections 1010 and 1011 are primarily clarifying and reorganizing. The main substantive change proposed is to eliminate language that allows the City to adopt purchasing policies that gives businesses "located within the City" a preference, "quality and prices being equal." This Charter language is proposed for removal to allow the City to consider other types of local preferences or incentives in its general purchasing policies. Although no specific local preference program or policy for City purchasing has yet been proposed to City Council, City staff is currently evaluating City options in this area. As proposed, any such program, along with any other alternative to standard competitive bidding practices, would only be allowed as part of a City-wide program, approved by 4/5ths vote of the City Council, with findings of public benefit.

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Arguments For Proposition A Arguments Against Proposition A
Proposition A increases contracting efficiency and saves taxpayer dollars. It improves the way the city of Chula Vista does business. It

    • enables the Public Works Department to respond to and repair critical maintenance issues without costly delays;

    • streamlines procedures so that qualified, cost effective and available contractors can be selected without additional administrative costs; and

    • allows the City Council to support and advance local businesses and encourage local reinvestment.

Prop A replaces the Charter's current procurement details with general rules consistent with "best practices" of other San Diego County cities, including formal bid advertisement and sealed bids for all major contracts, and contract awards to the lowest responsive and responsible bidders. Any exceptions will require a 4/5ths vote of the City Council.

Proposition A is a transparent and more efficient process while preserving appropriate checks and balances.

Prop A will save taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars every year.

Proposition A amends General Purchasing Provisions to allow the Council to advance local business retention, expansion and attraction through its purchasing policies and provide local companies reasonable preferences when competing for the city's business.

Prop A does not change voter-approved Proposition G's Fair and Open Competition provisions. The Charter Review Commission unanimously recommended these amendments to the Mayor and City Council.

The City Council and I unanimously urge you to

Vote Yes on A.

Mayor, City of Chula Vista

No arguments against Proposition A were submitted.

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Created: July 23, 2015 14:58 PDT
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