February 6, 2004

Editorial:

Propostion B is just plain wrong!

Proposition B. City of San Diego. Amends the Charter of the City of San Diego by Adding Section 94.4, Construction Manager At Rick Contracts. Shall the City Charter be amended to permit the award of public works construction contracts using a combination of (1) design review and management services, and (2) construction and construction management services; for a guaranteed maximum price pursuant to a process of competitive negotiation conducted as required by the Charter or Municipal Code?

This proposition is supported by several minority contracting organizations in response to the dismal contracting opportunities handed out by the City of San Diego to minority contractors, which at one time was less than 1% and is not much better today.

What this proposition will do is eliminate the lowest bidder process that the city of San Diego now uses. Though the language of this proposition says this will not replace the lowest bidding process, it is just another tool to be used, and instead, will hand out the contract to the best qualified contractor who will work with the design team from the beginning of the process, and then, parcel out subcontracts. This process is more commonly known as Contract Bundling.

While we applaud the minority contractors’ organizations for trying to find an answer and provide opportunities for minority contractors, nowhere in this proposition is there language that ensures equal opportunity in contracting. There is a lot of language such as encourage, outreach, flexibility and the like, but nothing enforceable or tangible.

Contracting Bundling was wrong in the past. In fact, in 2002 the Small Business Administration, under the direction of the President, developed a strategy to un-bundle contracts so that minority contractors would have greater access to federal contracts, and the fact that minority contracting organizations are now proposing a bundling process does not make this process right!

Opportunity between the City of San Diego and minority contractors needs to be addressed and resolved, but Prop B is wrong. Even if it did pass, this proposition will do nothing to change the cirumustances that minority contractors find themselves in and contract bundling is just plain wrong!

Vote No On Propostion B

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