Public notices for sanitation district contract bids under attack

Legislation that would allow sanitation districts to post public notices online anytime they solicit bids for construction or the acquisition or disposition of property exceeding $35,000 was introduced yesterday by Assemblyman Tom Daly (D-Huntington Beach).

Co-authored by (R-Santa Clarita), AB 2003 would allow a district board to determine the manner for publication for these notices, “which may include, but is not limited to, newspapers, Internet Web sites, radio, television, or other means of mass communication.”

The reference to “Internet Web sites” and “other means of mass communication” would allow these notices to be posted on a district’s own website making it difficult, if not impossible for the public to ensure that the contract bidding process is fair and not gamed by inside contractors and vendors favored by a district.

AB 2003 is sponsored by the Orange County Sanitation District.

The measure is the third bill introduced by Assemblyman Daly in the last two years that attempts to repeal public notice requirements for certain types of notices.

AB 2003 has not yet been assigned to a policy committee but it will likely be heard by the Assembly Judiciary Committee sometime in mid to late March.

CNPA staff is preparing a strategic plan to defeat AB 2003 including sample communications with talking points for members to use once the bill is assigned to a policy committee.

Please stay tuned to upcoming editions of the Legislative Bulletin for more information.