Cobb v. Pasadena City Bd. of Ed.

Decision Date24 June 1955
Citation134 Cal.App.2d 93,285 P.2d 41
CourtCalifornia Court of Appeals Court of Appeals
PartiesCharles S. COBB, Plaintiff and Appellant, v. PASADENA CITY BOARD OF EDUCATION, Defendant and Respondent. Civ. 20915.

Appellant in pro. per.

Harold W. Kennedy, County Counsel, Wm. E. Lamoreaux, Deputy County Counsel, Los Angeles, for respondent.

MOORE, Presiding Judge.

The question here presented is whether a board of education is required to advertise for competitive bids before it may contract with an architect for his professional services to prepare plans for the city's school extension program.

By his complaint, appellant sought an injunction to prevent respondent from disbursing public funds as architect's fees for services rendered and to be performed in connection with the proposed Pasadena school extension program. A general demurrer was sustained. After appellant's failure to file a valid pleading following successive attempts, the court entered judgment dismissing the action.

Appellant urges upon this court that his cause is governed by sections 18051 and 18052 OF THE EDUCATION CODE* which require (1) respondent to advertise for bids from architects and (2) to award any contract to the lowest bidder. Because such procedure was not followed, appellant contends that the judgment should be reversed and that respondent should be enjoined from expending any public funds on a void contract.

The contention here made has long since been denied judicially and legislatively. It has been held that because an architect is an artist, that his work requires taste, skill and technical learning and ability of a rare kind, it would be bad judgment to advertise and get many bids when the lowest bidder might be also the least capable and most inexperienced and his bid absolutely unacceptable and therefore 'the employment of a person who is highly and technically skilled in his science or profession is one which may properly be made without competitive bidding.' City & County of San Francisco 1044; Miller v. Boyle, 43 Cal.App. 39, 44, 184 P. 421. Because all contracts for the construction of improvements must be subject to competitive bidding, and because such contracts must conform with the procedure prescribed in sections 18051 and 18052, supra, it does not follow that in the employment of an architect to prepare plans for a public building a board must comply with those sections. Kennedy v. Ross, 28 Cal.2d 569, 581, 170 P.2d 904. Where competitive proposals do not produce an advantage, a statute requiring competitive bidding does not apply. Ibid.

But after the above-cited decisions, the Legislature in 1951 added section 53060 to the Government Code as follows:

'The legislative body of any public or municipal corporation or district may contract with and employ any persons for the furnishing to the corporation or district special services and advice in financial, economic, accounting, engineering, legal, or administrative matters if such persons are specially trained and experienced and competent to perform the special services required.

'The legislative body of the corporation or district may pay from any available funds such...

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12 cases
  • Professional Engineers v. Department of Transportation, S042591
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • May 15, 1997
    ...skilled in his science or profession is one which may properly be made without competitive bidding.' " (Cobb v. Pasadena City Bd. of Education (1955) 134 Cal.App.2d 93, 95, 285 P.2d 41 [competitive proposals do not produce an advantage in hiring professionals such as The majority find Chapt......
  • Fair Educ. Santa Barbara v. Santa Barbara Unified Sch. Dist.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • December 15, 2021
    ...District (1973) 36 Cal.App.3d 46, 60-62, 111 Cal.Rptr. 433 ( Sunnyvale Elementary ); see also Cobb v. Pasadena City Board of Education (1955) 134 Cal.App.2d 93, 96, 285 P.2d 41 ( Cobb ) [contract for "special services" is exempt from competitive bidding requirements].) The purpose of compet......
  • San Bernardino Fire and Police Protective League v. City of San Bernardino
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • January 23, 1962
    ...179 Cal. 518, 522, 177 P. 465; Lesem v. Board of Retirement, 183 Cal.App.2d 289, 298, 6 Cal.Rptr. 608; Cobb v. Pasadena City Bd. of Education, 134 Cal.App.2d 93, 96, 285 P.2d 41.) Under the formula used by the city council to fix salaries for the fiscal year 1958-1959, it first determined t......
  • Weinstein v. Cnty. of L.A.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • June 17, 2015
    ...col. 1.)” (City of Monterey v. Carrnshimba, supra, 215 Cal.App.4th at 1091–1092, 156 Cal.Rptr.3d 1.) In Cobb v. Pasadena City Board of Education (1955) 134 Cal.App.2d 93, 285 P.2d 41, the court considered whether a school board was required to seek competitive bids to employ an architect to......
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