Sunday, November 2, 2008

Uhhh - huhh...

The Daily News reports that builders will also benefit from the windfall of LAUSD's Bond Measure Q, should it pass.

If Los Angeles Unified's $7billion school bond passes Tuesday, district students won't be the only ones who benefit.

Contractors and construction firms are expected to see an uptick in business during the slumping economy - and many of them have contributed financially to the Yes on Measure Q campaign.

Since early September, the Yes on Q effort received more than 140 contributions totaling more than $700,000. Nearly two-thirds of them came from general contractors, construction, architecture and engineering firms, most of whom do business with the district.

"It's not a surprise at all," said Bob Stern, president of the Los Angeles-based Center for Governmental Studies.

"Clearly they will benefit financially."

Local developers said the donations don't buy influence with Los Angeles Unified School District officials and see the contributions as support for public education, the local economy and a token of appreciation.

Most construction bids with the school district, undertaking the largest school construction project in the nation, are awarded based on lowest competitive bids.

"It would be easy to conclude that it helps garner favors, but when you look at the mechanics of the bids, there is no discretion," said Steve Pellegren, vice president for Bernards Brothers Inc., one of the largest builders in Los Angeles.

LAUSD facilities chief Guy Mehula agreed.

"The Los Angeles Unified School District's contracting process is transparent, fair and open to the public. Whether or not a company financially contributed to a campaign to support any district bond measure has absolutely no influence on the award of contracts," Mehula said.

More here.

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