City Council OKs new bid threshold, related city manager authority

File photo

By Charles M. Kelly

The City Council held a public hearing this week on two issues: the bidding threshold for Public Works and the city manager’s authority to approve contracts on her own initiative. (Technically, this authority would be with or without written contracts.)

No one called during the public comment portion of the hearing. 

The council unanimously approved both by voting on a single motion.

 “Bid threshold means the statutory amount over which a contract agency must seek bids,” according to

As of March 2002, the City Charter requires the bidding threshold for Seal Beach Public Works contracts to be adjusted annual, according to the staff report prepared by Iris Lee, city engineer and deputy Public Works director.

In June 2013, the council basically authorized the city manager to make contracts for equipment, supplies and services. 

“The City Charter specifies that the City Engineer shall calculate the required adjustment and the City Council shall confirm the calculation following a public hearing on the matter,” according to Lee’s report.

The proposed bidding threshold would be $36,514, an increase of 5.91%, according to Lee’s report.

The basis for the change to the bidding threshold (and the city manager’s authority) is based on the Engineering News Record Construction Cost Index 20 City Average and the “ENR” for the previous June 1, according to Lee’s report.

Changing the bidding threshold would change the city manager’s threshold to “bind the city” to agreements for goods and services, according to Lee’s report.