It was the unchanged melody Monday.
Acting on a motion from Director Alan Day, the El Dorado Irrigation District board voted 4-1 not to double the limit the general manager would be allowed to solicit bids and execute contracts without board action.
“It’s a matter of perception,” Day said, making a counter-motion to Director George Osborne’s. “At this time I don’t want to abdicate this authority. The contracts are informative for me.”
Day also said his motion was “no reflection on the general manager.”
Osborne’s motion to double the manager’s contracting limit from $50,000 to $100,000 failed to get a second.
Director John Fraser seconded Day’s motion.
Director George Wheeldon emphasized the importance of keeping bidding “fair, open and balanced,” adding that too much time has been devoted to “refuting criticism.”
“I have always questioned the $100,000 change order,” said Board President Bill George. “I agree with the educational value. I’m really conflicted.”
Deputy general counsel Brian Poulsen said the $100,000 change order allowance for the GM has existed since 1991.
“By nature it (a change order) is unanticipated and needed. Delay attributable to one party is expensive,” Poulsen said.
District General Counsel Tom Cumpston added that a two- to three-week delay waiting for board action could cost the district $10,000 a day.
George pointed out there is a provision for emergency board action, but Poulsen countered that a change order is not a qualified emergency that would affect health and safety.
Day requested that General Manager Jim Abercrombie prepare a staff report on how many times the GM has had occasion to approve a change order.
Fraser requested that the GM bring such implemented change orders to the board as an information item.
“I think it is the perception of spending money,” George said before calling for the vote.
Osborne was the lone dissenting vote.