Excerpt from The General Street Law of California: With Annotations
The Resolution of Intention requires more precision and care than any other proceeding of the municipal legislature. From it alone is jurisdiction derived. If it is fatally defective, all subsequent proceedings, however regular in form, are without jurisdiction, and are absolutely void. The precision required in it does not, however, extend to such amplification of detail as is needed in the Specifications, whether general-or special. These specifications must be adopted before the order of work. It is safer to have them precede the Resolution of Iuten tion also, but that is not absolutely necessary. Yet, however general may be the work named in the resolution of intention, the limits or points between which work is to be done must be clearly fixed from the outset. For instance: It may be sufficient to declare an in tention to Construct culverts and crosswalks in intervening crossings, and afterwards, in the order of work, specify how many crosswalks and culverts shall be constructed in each of the crossings. Each crossing may have a peculiar requirement. Whatever these may be they must be specified by the City Council as its own conclusion. Nothing must be left subject to variation or the discretion of any city official or the contractor. The Council is supposed to be acting always under the advice of the Engineer or Street Superintendent, and thereafter neither odi cial has the power to make changes. N 0 such phrase as where necessary can be allowed to creep into any street resolution of the Council. Those two fatal words haveinvalidated street assessments in the city of San Francisco alone to the amount of more than half 8. Mil lion of dollars. But the decisions are that the words where not already done are sufh ciently certain to support a contract.
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