Measure D, Gilroy’s charter amendment for public projects, takes big lead

The City of Gilroy’s attempt to streamline its bidding procedures for public projects has so far passed muster with voters, garnering 74% in favor, according to early election results.

Measure D, a Gilroy charter amendment, would require the city to formally bid a public project that exceeds $200,000, up from the current $35,000, which was adopted in 1960.

The measure would also allow the city to contract with a single entity for both the design and construction for a public project, known as a “design-build” form of contract, rather than the current method of bidding separately.

The measure would also require the city to publish its construction bids in a newspaper of general circulation, “if available” at least seven days before the bids open. It doesn’t prohibit the city from also publishing online and in trade journals.

City officials have earlier said that the “design-build” contract would prove beneficial for the proposal to construct a pair of ice rinks at the Gilroy Sports Park. Under the charter amendment, the city would only have to bid the project with a contractor. That contractor, in turn, would then form a team that includes a designer.

An earlier form of Measure D, which eliminated public noticing of projects in the newspaper, drew criticism from the Gilroy Dispatch, saying that such a move would leave the public in the dark with major projects.

City staff later added the requirement to publish in the paper back in the proposal.