Council to receive Measure H annual report, review CalPERS/JFA contract

MARTINEZ, Calif. – Martinez City Council will vote tonight whether to amend a contract with the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) to provide for the merger of the Pleasant Hill-Martinez Joint Facilities Agency (JFA.)

That agency was formed in the 1970s to make the purchase of computer equipment more efficient. But Pleasant Hill soon withdrew from the agency. Meanwhile, the city of Martinez indicated 92 employees worked for the JFA.

An audit released in 2015 indicated those people actually worked for Martinez and CalPERS notified the city that those employees must begin paying into Social Security.

After extensive negotiations, the city settled with Social Security, the Internal Revenue Service and CalPERS, with Martinez owing three years of retroactive payments to the IRS. It also terminated the JFA resolution in 2018.

At its April 17 meeting, the Council agreed to amend its CalPERS contract by merging the JFA with the city, the procedural way to end the agency. The panel also introduced the merger ordinance on first reading.

In his report to the Council, Michael Chandler, deputy director of Administrative Services, explained this ordinance and the resulting merger “merely reflects the combination of the pre-existing liabilities of the two plans.”

The Council also will hear from Interim City Engineer Randy Leptien and Finance Director David Glasser concerning the award of a contract to Star Construction for 2018 Measure H improvements to Alhambra Park, Golden Hills Park, Highland Avenue Park and John Muir Park.

Star Construction of San Bruno submitted the lowest bid, at $1,585,025.55, for the work. Suarez and Munoz was the next lowest, with a bid of $1,819,216. Integra Construction, Kerex Engineering and Shaboo, Inc., also sent in even higher bids. An engineer had estimated the jobs should cost $1,591,242.85, according to the joint report.

The Council awarded the contract April 17 to Star Construction, and the two said the lowest bid was “responsive” and “responsible.”

But the Foundation for Fair Contracting (FFC) sent an advisory asking that the contract not be awarded, citing prevailing wage and apprenticeship matters included in prior contracts with other agencies, the pair wrote in their report.

Leptien responded to the advisory, telling FFC that the proposed contract would require Star Construction to pay prevailing wage and provide reporting to the Department of Industrial Relations as required by state law, and that contract requirements would be enforced, the joint report said.

However, at its May 1 meeting, the Council asked for a report on the contract, the report said.

The two wrote that city staff is recommending the Council refrain from rescinding the contract with Star Construction, saying the advisory wasn’t received during the time allotted for protests, that Suarez and Munoz didn’t challenge the contract award, that paying prevailing wages and keeping to California’s provisions for employing apprentices are required by state law, that Star Construction must furnish a payment bond to guarantee conformance and that Star’s bid was “responsible.”

The pair wrote that a review found some errors in the extension for some bid items in the documents Star Construction submitted. But even with corrected totals, Star’s bid remained lowest.

The city is required to award contracts to the lowest responsive, responsible bidder, they wrote, and when checking Star’s references, staff determined the company has performed similar construction satisfactorily.

The Council will vote whether to confirm Mayor Rob Schroder’s nomination of Julia Dozier to the Contra Costa County Library Commission and the reappointments of Michael Menesini, Charles Martin and Ingemar Olsson to the Veterans Commission.

In addition, the Council will receive the annual report on Measure H park bond revenue spending submitted by the Citizens Measure H Bond Oversight Committee.

On the consent calendar, the Council will decide whether to award a $2,096,512.45 contract to American Paving Systems for the next Measure D sales tax revenue paving rehabilitation project and a $58,000 agreement with Jacobs Engineers to provide construction support services for that work.

Also on the consent calendar is the lease and sublease amendments to the city’s agreement to use the Campbell Theater, 636 Ward St.

Martinez has a commercial lease agreement with JaBa LLC to use the building, and in turn subleases the theater to Onstage Repertory Theater.

Martinez began leasing the building from the Bisio Trust in January 2005. That agreement expired Dec. 31, 2014. The Bisio Trust was succeeded by JaBa, and the city entered into two amendments of the commercial lease as well as its sublease to Onstage.

With the latest amendments, which ends Aug. 31, 2020, Martinez rents the building for $5,045 a month and rents it to Onstage for $1,500 a month.

The panel also will receive an update to the Water System Priority Projects.

The Council will hear presentations from Bay Church on its Clean Start Program and College Park for Grad Night and will issue proclamations announcing Public Service Week and recognizing June as LGBTQ+ Pride Month.

The meeting will start at 7 p.m. today in the Council Chamber of Martinez City Hall, 525 Henrietta St.

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