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05/26/88 the People Ex Rel. Willett v. Board of Education of the

May 26, 1988

THE PEOPLE EX REL. WILLETT MOTOR COACH COMPANY ET AL., PLAINTIFFS-APPELLEES

v.

BOARD OF EDUCATION OF THE CITY OF CHICAGO ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, FOURTH DIVISION

524 N.E.2d 1155, 171 Ill. App. 3d 166, 121 Ill. Dec. 107 1988.IL.832

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Albert Green, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE McMORROW delivered the opinion of the court. JIGANTI, P.J., and JOHNSON, J., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE MCMORROW

The Board of Education of the City of Chicago (the Board of Education or Board) appeals from orders of the circuit court of Cook County that declared the Board obligated to award 1988 and 1989 summer school passenger bus service contracts for the Board's special education program to Willett Motor Coach Company (Willett); directed the Board to award those contracts to Willett; and found the Board in breach of contract for its failure to award the 1987 summer school passenger bus service contract to Willett. The trial court reserved determination of damages relating to this breach of contract for a subsequent evidentiary hearing. The Board appeals from the trial court's award of declaratory and injunctive relief.

We affirm.

Background

According to pertinent evidence presented at trial and the language of the relevant documents, the Board solicited bids in the spring of 1986 for transportation services in its special education program from August 1, 1986, through August 31, 1989. Bids were solicited for four types of vehicles, which were categorized as follows: (1) 40-passenger school buses (Type I); (2) 16-passenger vans (Type II); (3) vehicles with ramps (Type III); and (4) vehicles with mechanical lifting devices (Type IV). The Board's solicitation required that bids for the regular school year be made on separate proposal forms for each of the four types of vehicles set forth above. With respect to bids for transportation work during the summer school session, the 1986 special education solicitation provided in relevant part as follows:

"Summer School Service -- There will be no guarantee that summer schools will be in session or that the schools in any geographical area will be utilized as summer schools. Both of these conditions depend on Board of Education action and approval, and are contingent on budgetary restraints.

If a bid is submitted for regular school year service in one or more geographical areas, you must also submit a bid for summer school service. If, and when it is determined that there will be summer school sessions, the successful bidder(s) will also be eligible for providing summer school service in any geographical area.

Since the number of vehicles required for summer school service will be less than the number required for regular school year service, the vendor with the lowest daily rate per vehicle . . ., and for each type of vehicle, will be awarded summer school service, and subsequently to the vendor who quoted the next lowest daily rate per vehicle until the required number of vehicles have been obtained."

Willett's bid in response to this solicitation offered to provide all of the Board's 40-passenger buses during the regular school year at a daily rate of $138 per vehicle. It also included an alternate bid that offered to provide all the Board's 40-passenger buses during the regular school year at a daily rate of $124.15 per vehicle, provided Willett was also awarded contracts for at least a certain specified number of 16-passenger vans and vans with ramps. Willett also submitted a separate bid for summer school service in which it offered to provide 40-passenger buses at a daily rate of $108 per vehicle.

Thereafter the Board's bureau of purchasing submitted a report containing its recommendations regarding the award of transportation service contracts for the special education program. The bureau of purchasing proposed acceptance of Willett's alternate bid to provide all of the Board's 40-passenger buses and a certain number of 16-passenger vans and vans with ramps. The bureau of purchasing also suggested acceptance of the bids of Steward Bus Companies, Inc. (Stewart), and Student Transit Corp. (Student) to provide the remaining number of 16-passenger vans and vans with ramps which the Board would require during the regular school year. With respect to summer school transportation awards in the special education program, the report listed all companies that were responsible bidders for the regular school year work in the program for each type of vehicle, ranking these companies according to their daily rate per ...


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