City being shady on handling street repair funds?

Gerardo Mercado is with Roy Bleckert and 15 others.

4 hrs

It appears that Public Code Contract laws are being broken and serious Brown Act violations are occurring with the current city road repairs that use General Funds and SB1 Gas Tax monies. It will be interesting to see how the Public Works Director Michael Wolfe, Mayor Yxstian Gutierrez, Mayor Pro Tem Victoria Baca and Councilman Ulises Cabrera explain this at tonight’s city council meeting.

BACKGROUND:
On May 15, 2018 the City of Moreno Valley advertised the project, “Phase 1 Slurry Seal - Arterial Rehabilitation and Bike Lane Improvements” with an estimated construction bid value of $2.5 million. The advertised project included (3) three base bids and (3) additive alternatives. All American Asphalt provided the winning bid at $2,977,700. On June 19, 2018 the City awarded the contract to All American Asphalt for $2,576,899. The contract only included base bids 1, 2, and 3 and excluded the (3) additive alternates which included work on the heavily traveled roads of Alessandro and Cactus presumably for lack of funds? Under agenda item A.19 from the council meeting on June 19, 2018 you will notice that the available project budget was manipulated by authorizing the Chief Financial Officer to appropriate an additional $280,000 from the General Fund and also authorized the Public Works Director with a contingency of $128,845 bringing the available project budget to $2,830,767. This would put the project budget closer to the original $2,977,000 bid submitted by All American Asphalt. It appears the City entered into contract knowing that the $2,576,899 would be short and planned to make up for it using purchase orders. Keep in mind they had already asked for $1.2 million from the General Fund on January 16, 2018.

TONIGHT 8/21/18: COUNCIL MEETING AGENDA ITEM G.1

You may be asking why this is important? At tonight’s council meeting they WILL ASK for an ADDITIONAL $1.1 million from the General Fund for a project which includes the roads segments of John F. Kennedy Drive (Heacock Street to Indian) and Iris Avenue (Perris Blvd to Kitching St) as a “purchase order” to All American Asphalt’s original contract from June 19th. The rationale provided by staff is that these road are “high volume street segments that continue to degrade exponentially.” However this roadwork project was NOT part of the original advertised request for construction bids nor were they part of the add alternates scope that was advertisement back on May 15, 2018.

Competitive Bidding: You must be responsive and responsible. There are two Public Contract Code sections (20161 and 20162) that mandate that California public works projects be competitively bid. The public works competitive bidding laws are intended to eliminate favoritism, fraud and corruption in the awarding of public contracts. By the City’s own admission in the staff report provided in tonight's agenda item G.1, they indicate that they are relying on A QUOTE from All American Asphalt as opposed to a competitive bid. Why is a project that needs $1.1 million worth of General Funds to cover the project cost not being publicly advertised and competitively bid? 

Why did this City elect to SWITCH the road segments along heavily traveled Alessandro and Cactus that were already identified as separate bid add alternates, that are also high volume street and also continue to degrade exponentially in favor of road segments in District 4 that were NOT part of the original bid or add alternates. What party’s were involved in making that decision? Is there collusion going on between city staff and those Council members up for re-election? 

Councilman Ulises Cabrera who is up for re-election in District 4 has been touting the road repairs in recent days and even states on his re-election page on August 14, 2018 at 5:26 pm well before the vote has even taken place, “In addition to the roads on this map, we are also going to repave Iris Avenue from Kitching to Perris and JFK from Heacock to Indian this summer.” Councilman Cabrera, your statement sure seems to implying that this is a done deal and you already know how the majority members of Council are going to vote tonight in violation of the Brown Act. 

The Residents of Moreno Valley should be alarmed and demanding answers from Council and Staff. Let’s see how this plays out tonight.

Debra CraigComment