CITY HALL — Santa Monica officials on Tuesday said they’ve found a solution to the City Council’s Arizona boycott dilemma.

After passing a ban in May on doing business with Arizona companies because of that state’s controversial illegal immigration policy, the council last month was faced with a tough decision when city staff recommended approval of a $3 million contract with Phoenix-based Cavco Industries. The company, it turned out, had submitted the lowest bid for 20 “manufactured homes” to replace dilapidated units at the city’s Mountain View Mobile Home Park.

Going with a non-Arizona bidder would have cost at least an extra $400,000 — and possibly as much as $2 million — City Hall staff said at the time.

But in an unusual move, the council made an attempt to have it both ways.

Members rejected all proposals and authorized city staff to sidestep the normal bid solicitation process in order to negotiate directly with home manufacturers on the open market.

On Tuesday, officials said the move paid off, as they announced a new tentative deal for the homes has been struck with California-based Golden West Homes for no additional expense.

Under the proposal, the company would provide “the same quality affordable homes with the added benefit of keeping city dollars in the Southern California region,” a City Hall report stated.

Based in the Inland Empire city of Perris, Golden West is also 310 miles closer to Santa Monica than Cavco, so the new proposal would cut down on carbon emissions generated during the homes’ delivery, according to the report.

Golden West had initially submitted a proposal for the Santa Monica contract but came up short.

Under the new agreement, the company plans to partner with Marmol Radziner Prefab, the same Los Angeles-based company that had originally been attached to the Cavco bid.

The council will be asked to sign off on the new proposal at its next meeting, scheduled for Sept. 28.

Meanwhile, the Arizona bill that sparked Santa Monica’s boycott — along with boycott’s by other cities across the country — is held up in court.

The bill, SB 1070, requires police officers to check immigration papers if they stop someone on suspicion of committing a non-immigration related crime and have reason to believe the person is in the country illegally. Critics have said the bill would inevitably lead to racial profiling.

A federal judge in July blocked controversial parts of the law from taking effect while the litigation, which is expected to reach the U.S. Supreme Court, proceeds.

Councilman Terry O’Day, who in May urged his colleagues to adopt the Arizona boycott, said he was pleased with the new proposal for the manufactured homes.

“In my view we are getting to an even better outcome” compared with the Cavco bid, he said. “The money that we’re spending is staying in our region, creating jobs here and is reducing the impacts of transporting the houses across state lines.”

Mayor Bobby Shriver said the open market negotiation’s favorable outcome in this case means the council should re-evaluate its normal “request for proposal” procurement process.

“The ability to negotiate with the different vendors has provided a much better result for the community and I hope that in the future we’ll be able to figure out a process whereby negotiation will be allowed,” he said.

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