City Council $31,000 Give-Away to Road Contractor Precedes Call for Tax Increases

In September 2009, the Las Palomas repaving project was awarded to low bidder International Pavement Solutions for $317,696.

At the November 2009 City Council meeting, an agenda item was included to allow sub-contractors to perform portions of the project. The City Staff Report (excerpt below) indicates that the State Public Contracts Code allowed the City to take a 10% discount on the project or cancel the bids.

In a similar situation in 2008, with the same contractor, the City of La Palma chose to rebid the project. (See La Palma Staff Report here)

At the City Council hearing for the project, a resident said that the project should be cancelled or the discount taken.

In an unusual action, then Mayor Vipperman motioned and gestured to the IPS representative to come to the podium to speak on the matter.

The Council approved the change without taking the allowed $31,769 discount on behalf of the tax payers, and at the March and April Council meetings lamented the lack of funds to repair roads and asked staff to look into a Trash Tax and increased Road Assessment .

At the April meeting where 3 new taxes were proposed, the City Council approved final payment to the Road Contractor, again without taking the 10% discount.

The same resident questioned how the Council could seek to raise taxes when $31,000 was given away to a road contractor that could have been used for road repairs or other items.

In other April spending, the Council approved almost $3,000 for La-Z-Boys.

Councilmember Vipperman justified the spending saying, "Maybe the layman doesn't know, but every fireman knows that you have to go back to your station and sit in your La-Z-boy. That makes you a fireman"