In 2008, voters approved Proposition R, a $389 million bond for Chula Vista's Southwestern College. As construction plans begin to take shape, contractors, subcontractors, and consultants are lining up before the Southwestern Governing Board. Some entrepreneurs are also lining the campaign coffers of incumbent board members Yolanda Salcido and Terri Valladolid, who will be fighting to retain their seats in November.
Nicholas Alioto, Southwestern’s vice president of business and financial affairs, threw a fundraiser for Salcido and Valladolid May 20, 2010. The campaign-disclosure statements from January 1 through June 30, 2010, for Friends of Salcido and Friends of Valladolid contain numerous contributions dated May 20. Donors from that fundraiser include: Focuscom, Consulting and Inspection Services, Native Landscape Inc., HAR Construction, Owen Group, and the infrastructure PAC of the Association of General Contractors.
Of particular note on both candidates’ disclosure statements are the generous donations of $2500 from Seville Construction Services Inc. Seville was selected in October 2009 to provide construction management not only for the $389 million Prop R funds but also for remaining funds from Prop AA (which paid for construction of Southwestern facilities in Otay Mesa and San Ysidro).
Another generous donation came from business owner Christopher Rowe of Echo Pacific Construction. He gave $1000 to the campaigns of both Salcido and Valladolid on June 2, 2010. In an April meeting, Southwestern’s board approved an agreement with Echo “for $68,500 for pre-construction, $318,500 for construction management services, and $458,050 for general conditions.” This agreement was funded from Prop AA. On July 14, 2010, the board awarded Echo another contract for the Prop R corner-lot construction, preconstruction costs, and “fixed lump-sum fee general conditions costs” — a contract totaling over $4 million.
A generous mystery donor for both candidates was Design Acquisition Corporation. An internet search for this company comes up empty. But if you enter the address listed on the campaign-disclosure form for Design Acquisition (210 Hammond Avenue, Fremont CA), the search will produce BCA Architects. In a board meeting on April 20, 2010, BCA was awarded a contract “to provide architectural services for the Corner Lot Parcel Project at a fee equal to a maximum of 5.75% of the cost of construction estimated at Fifty-Five Million Dollars plus normal and customary reimbursables and services.”
(Note: the cost of the corner lot seems to be rising fast: $55 million in April 2010 as opposed to $59 million in August 2010.)