Minutes of Special Meeting


April 21, 2008




The special meeting of the Cabrillo College Governing Board was held at Cabrillo Community College District, 6500 Soquel Drive, Aptos, California, meeting room 804A on Monday,
April 21, 2008. Chair Claudine Wildman called the meeting to order in Open Session at
12:22 pm. Roll was taken; present were Chair Claudine Wildman and Trustees Rebecca Garcia, Gary Reece, and Katy Stonebloom.Trustees John Leopold, Al Smith and Rachael Spencer were absent. Also present were members of the community and college staff.


It was moved and seconded (Garcia/Reece) to adopt the agenda.The motion carried unanimously.


Chair Wildman asked for comments on non-agenda items.There were no comments on non-agenda items.






Item 1. Award of Bid:Allied Health Complex

President King presented the recommendation that the Governing Board award the bid for the Allied Health Complex to Soltek Pacific, the lowest qualified bidder, in the amount of $18,417,000.


Vice President Ard reviewed the history of this Board item.The bid proposals were presented at the April 7th Board meeting and tabled for further review.The Board Facilities Committee subsequently met, with Trustee Al Smith recusing himself.District counsel was consulted regarding the issues involved.


Trustee Leopold arrived at 12:25 pm.


Vice President Ard stated that staff recommended moving forward with the Soltek bid.


Trustee Reece stated that some questions are consistent and always of concern on projects, whether local contractors are in the process and how bids are put out and awarded.In this case, he stated, the issue is one companyís concern regarding technicalities, while the other company could make the same claim if their bid is disallowed.Counsel has advised that although the issues brought up by Local 505 have been studied, technical issues on both sides could apply, and the listing of subcontractors involved less than 1.5% of the work.


Vice President Ard commented that the good news is that there are local subcontractors that will obtain work from most of the proposals.


Chair Wildman stated that one of the questions put forth from Trustee Spencer is in regards to reference checking.


Vice President Ard responded that each of the proposals were to present all of their projects from the last two years.Soltek presented 34 projects of similar scope.The FDO checked with many of the project owners, including PVUSD and the Defense Language Institute, and they all suggested they would be comfortable with bringing Soltek back for another project.


Trustee Leopold stated that while he does not pretend to know legal requirements, he is concerned about avoiding the types of problems encountered with the Student Activities Center.He stated that one of the ways to avoid those types of problems is to know who is actually doing the work, and one of the concerns about Soltek is that they might use local subs but they are unknown and might not be prepared to do a key part of the work.He expressed his concern about moving forward without that kind of knowledge.


Trustee Garcia asked if the college counsel had said the college must go with Soltek.


Vice President Ard stated that it was a possibility.


Mr. Deaver added that the options are to award the bid to Soltek, not award the bid to Soltek because they were not responsive, or to re-bid the project.


Chair Wildman asked about the ramifications of re-bidding the project.


Vice President Ard responded that time was the main factor.She added that the college has four reasonable bids right now; June would be the earliest possible Board approval.


Chair Wildman asked if Trustee Leopoldís questions could be answered in a re-bid proposal.


Mr. Deaver responded that no bid packages to date have gone to that level of detail; minimum qualifications of experience pertain to the prime contractor, not to second or third levels of subcontractors.


Chair Wildman responded that this was the problem with the SAC.


Mr. Deaver stated that the particular issue with the SAC was a prime contractor.


Trustee Leopold clarified that the SAC project was multiple prime contractors.


Trustee Garcia asked if the college could decide at what level the bids are responsive.She noted her concern regarding the subcontractors and dollar values being unknown.


Mr. Deaver stated that counsel reviewed all the bids and believed there were some irregularities in all of the bids.


Trustee Garcia responded that for $18M, she wanted top standards, not minimum standards.She asked about the omissions.


Mr. Deaver responded that the information omitted from the Soltek bid was the size of some of the subcontractorsí bids and their license numbers, which can be and was submitted subsequent to the bid deadline.


Vice President Ard stated that there was a discussion regarding a performance concern with one of the subs.There was a brief discussion regarding the steel subcontractor, who has provided references, has completed projects of nearly the same size, and will have an independent steel inspector on site at all times.


Trustee Reece stated that he shared Trustee Leopoldís concern regarding subcontractors, but he noted that a sub with a good record can blow it and vice versa.He stated that if the law says Soltek has a right, and the college has confirmed that with their attorney, as much as the next company, Bogard, is fine, there are rules to abide by.Trustee Reece stated that he appreciated the unionís concern and considered it only just that fair wages be paid, but he considered it a slippery slope if the college begins to change processes without some significant legal issue.He stated that he wished he could see a different outcome, but the college was in the position of taking its attorneyís advice.He was prepared to support staff and legal advice and support the award of bid, though he shared the concern regarding the subcontractors and hoped Soltek would do a good job.


It was moved (Reece) to award the bid for the Allied Health Complex to Soltek Pacific, the lowest qualified bidder, in the amount of $18,417,000.There was no second.


Trustee Garcia asked if all the unanswered information was provided.


Vice President Ard responded yes.


There was a brief discussion regarding college control over costs.Mr. Deaver explained that change orders cover many things, such as change of design by owner or contractor, and there is nothing to prohibit a contractor from requesting a claim.Project Director Paul Anderson added that research shows that Soltek is not in the habit of doing frivolous change orders.He stated that the fact that all four bidders are so close may mean that the drawings are good.


Vice President Ard stated that it was hoped that not doing multiple prime contractors would help.


Chair Wildman opened the opportunity for public comments.


Ned Van Valkenburgh, Carpenterís Union Local 505, took issue with the college counselís interpretation of the kinds of errors and omissions that can and cannot be waived in the bid process.He disagreed with the districtís interpretation that subcontractor amounts could be provided after the bid closing.He reviewed a 1998 San Francisco case and told the Board they must reject the Soltek bid, adding that the options are to accept Bogardís bid or reject all bids.


Chair Wildman asked how long the bids would remain good.


Vice President Ard responded that they would be good for 60 days.


Chair Wildman suggested that another option would be to have counsel review the cases sited by Mr. Van Valkenburgh and review them at another meeting.


Trustee Reece concurred with Chair Wildman, noting that $18M is a lot of money.He added that the college would be spending money to reject the bids and did not want to rush the process.


Mr. Deaver stated that one concern is to get as much foundation work done as possible before the rainy season.


Trustee Reece stated that there is enough concern among the Board members to wait for counselís response.


Trustee Leopold stated that Trustee Reece brought up good questions and the trustees are not ready to take the step of putting this forward to a vote.He felt it was reasonable to wait as it was the responsibility of trustees to do right by the college by getting the best price and the assurance of quality work.


President King stated that information will be coordinated through the Board Chair.


It was moved and seconded (Reece/Garcia) to table this item until further information is researched and reviewed.The motion carried unanimously.











The open session of the special meeting of the Cabrillo College Governing Board was adjourned at 1:04 pm.





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