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Commission Chambers – Room 400

January 9, 2007 at 6:30 p.m.

City Hall,1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place               

Room 400

Present:  Gillespie; Breslin; Benjamin; Heinicke; Paek; Oneto; Kwok

Absent:    None

President Gillespie called the meeting to order at 6:33 P.M.

STAFF IN ATTENDENCE:  Executive Director Heidi Machen, Tamara Odisho – Taxi Commission, Sergeant Ron Reynolds– Taxi Detail, Tom Owen Paul Zarefsky– City Attorney

·         Heidi Machen, Executive Director: Turn-off cell-phones, interferes with phone systems and we get feedback.

  1. Call to Order/Roll Call - Showed a quorum was present.
  1. Presentation on 311 system and possible applications for Taxi Commission

·         Heidi Siek: Summarized the 311 system which will launch on March 29. The program has been created to alleviate non-emergency 911 phone calls. It is available 24/7 throughout the 415 area code to aid San Franciscans in any and all inquiries they may have. Derrick Kim will be our office liaison. The analytical piece of the program will be tracking all calls, inputting the information into a database to monitor the effectiveness of the program in the City. Do not create policy just aid in disseminating the information.

·         Pres Gillespie: How have other cities used 311 with regard to the Taxi industry?

·         Heidi Siek:  We will look into that, NYC is the only model we can use.

·         Com Heinicke: Do you provide a service to the customers?

·         Heidi Siek: We do not make policy calls on how you would like to use us, that is up to you. If you have ideas on how 311 can help your Commission, feel free to let us know and we will sit down.

·         Com Kwok:  Are your facilities disability friendly.

·         Heidi Siek: Yes they are.

Public Comment:

·         Thomas George Williams: Illegal limo reporting, and dispatch service will be great uses for 311

  1. Consideration of the Consent Calendar.

·         Pres Gillespie: Public Comment

Public Comment

·         Tom Stanghellini: Supporting documents on the internet where not redacted appropriately, security fraud/ breach.

·         Pres Gillespie: To clarify our policy for posting

·         Dir Machen: We have adopted a redaction policy and I would have to go back to ensure that policy was practiced.   

·         Com Heinicke: Is there a City wide policy that the City Attorney’s office has released?

·         Dir Machen: I am not sure if there is a Citywide policy but we consulted with the City Attorney’s office and created a office procedure.

·         Tom Owen:  There is not a city wide policy. The information would be available to the public if they requested it from our office or taxi detail.

·         Barry Taranto: I think there should be public comment on the severed items.

·         Tom Owen:  We can take public comment at anytime.

·         Pres Gillespie: No further questions, motion on A & B of the consent calendar

·         Com Heinickie: Motion to consider Items A&B of the Consent Calendar

·         Com  Paek: 2nd Motion

·         Roll Call


AYES:   Benjamin, Breslin, Gillespie, Heinicke; Paek, Oneto, Kwok    NOES: 0  

ABSENT:                                                          RECUSED:   0

·         Pres Gillespie: Item C, Commission Benjamin will recuse

·         Roll Call


AYES:   Breslin, Gillespie, Heinicke; Paek, Oneto, Kwok  NOES: 0  

ABSENT:                                                        RECUSED:   Benjamin

·         Pres Gillespie: Item D, Dir Machen could you provide us with some background information

·         Dir Machen: There’s only a one page document that was turned in, this is the first application that I have seen for this request.  This is the only required form. 

·         Pres Gillespie:  Since Ed Burke is here, could you come up here and explain this process for us.

·         Ed Burke:  Luxor cab would like to launch this dispatch, especially since the frequency is highly used and are congested to the degree we are bumping into other company frequencies.  We would also like to launch this initially with ramp taxis and any other ramp non-Luxor cabs that would like to be apart of this can join.  As well as any other cab company. For more information you would need to speak with Luxor cab since I am only a consultant.

·         Pre Gillespie: Tom Stanghellini can you speak on behalf of Luxor?

·         Tom Stanghellini: I can try.  Luxor is trying to serve a need, and compete with technology demands.

·         Pres Gillespie: Do you have cabs to be transferred to that system?

·         Ed Burke: Not until March

·         Pres Gillespie: Will you have any cabs on your system if we approve this tonight?

·         Ed Burke: We could, if necessary

·         Com Kwok: My concern is what if we approve this contact and in a few years you separate from Luxor cab, you will not have the foundation or minimum number of cabs required for a dispatch company. The relationship between you and Luxor cab is not clear. We need clarification of the relationship.

·         Tom Owen: The current rule on the books, does not allow separate dispatch companies for color schemes.  It also doesn’t allow taxi cabs to register with more than one dispatch service, which should be the same as their color scheme.

·         Com Heinickie: Initially you made it sound that GSP would be a separate entity from Luxor cab, which would allow companies to belong to this. Since GPS’ is owned by Luxor, that would conflict with the current rule. Could Luxor operate this company as a different corporate umbrella?

·         Tom Owen:  The purpose of the rule was for customers to get information from the company.  If GPS is being setup as a separate entity, even owned by Luxor, this would be a separate dispatch company.  TXC could require that this number to be the same.

·         Com Breslin: I saw the system and it is fun and great and to clarify, GPS is a system.

·         Pres Gillespie: My question is not about GPS but why you are doing this?

·         Ed Burke: We are specialized dispatch is not centralized dispatch. I own 20% of this and Luxor owns 80%.

·         Com Oneto:  How does Yellow operate with 2x’s more cabs?

·         Ed Burke:  They have more frequency; not sure if Luxor can purchase more frequency.

·         Com Oneto: Why is your name on this and not John Lazar, and why is he not here.

·         Ed Burke: He is in Arizona.

·         Com Kwok: I think there is a conflict of interest.

Public Comment

·         Mark Gruberg: This is an unorthodox application, we need more information. Under the TXC rules there is a clear violation. Sec 1123 states no permit shall be registered to more than 1 dispatch service.

·         Laurie Graham: I think Luxor is trying to bulk the ramp medallions on one dispatch and I find that concerning.

·         Barry Taranto: I am confused and entertained.

·         Thomas George Williams: All makes sense, Mayoral coming up and GPS is what he wants Campaign. John Lazar donated $40k, this is a setup.

·         Pres Gillespie:  I think we should continue this so that John Lazar could be here to answer questions

·         Com Paek: Motion to continue Item D, for further information

·         Com Kwok: 2nd Motion

·         Pres Gillespie: Continued without objection

  1. Staff Report and Commissioner Announcements

·         Director Machen: Gave her staff report on meetings, correspondences, etc.

·         Sgt Reynolds: Updated Commission on monthly Taxi Cab statistics, accidents, deaths, etc. Updated recent car thefts, and reports. Cameras in either cab not working properly. Officer pulled over and sited a driver with an expired A card since 1995.

·         Com Heinickie: Who is responsible for the cameras in the cabs?

·         PresGillespie: I think it may be us, we need to look into that and get back to you. I would like to thank Commissioner Kwok for all his work on the Commission.

·         Com Paek: Concerned regarding letter about Thomas George Williams bomb threat. Would like further details about the incident. And is concerned of his safety and other drivers.

·         Thomas George Williams:  The bomb went off in my mail box, not sure who it was, the police are investigating.

·         Com Breslin:  Good message but let’s not assume it was someone within the industry.  I would like to have a quarterly reports from Dan Borg. And would like the bicycle coalition to attend one of our Commission meetings.  

·         Pres Gillespie: Srgt Reynolds and I tried scheduling a meeting with Dan Borg, but we had to reschedule.

Public Comment

·         Barry Taranto: We should work with the Entertainment Commission to get dates to notify the industry of events being held in the City.

·         Art Hembke : If someone did this to Thomas, they should go to jail.  No one in the industry wants to hurt anyone. Suggesting that is unfair.

·         RichardHybels:  I’ve checked with CHP and the number of accidents due to mechanical error are 8/10 of 1%. Health Insurance will put me out of business.

·         Roger Ray: Write a letter to medical examiner’s office for a new field in their report. Camera’s in the cab should not have a chip but a image tap instead.

·         Emil Lawrence: SFPD worst homicide record.

·         Thomas George Williams: We need inspection of cabs. Arrow Cab robbery notice took 10 days.

·         Carl McMurdo: Look into Governor’s health insurance plan.

·         Corey Lamb: Car accident passenger broke face.

·         Ruach Graffis: Arrow Company only installed one light after incident. Not secure enough. OSHEA regulations.

·         KyeRorie: What’s my place on this list, what happened to my case.

·         Dir Machen: We will look into this.

  1. Appeal of Executive Director's decision denying the request of Michael Merrithew, medallion number 887, for a waiver of the driving experience requirement imposed by Section 1121(b) of the Police Code, on the basis of disability

Public Comment:

·         Emil Lawrence: Do not base your decision on the Executive Director’s

·         Murai: Pres Jackson suggested that disabled medallion holders could receive benefits from the state after their medallion’s taken away.  That is not the case.  The money is limited and runs out quickly.

·         Carl McMurdo: Not fair that public comment is being held before the item is heard.

·         Dan Heins: There were Board of Appeal decisions that should be upheld and would reverse the ED’s recommendation. 

·         Mark Gruberg: There has not been any policy change by the Board of Appeals since they are not a policy making body.

·         Thomas George Williams: Tired of all the ADA complaints.

·         Ruach Graffis: The industry doesn’t have a retirement plan, drivers should invest and save.

·         Chuffa: Create a law and stop discriminating against the disabled. There are many able body medallion holders not driving and getting away with it.

·         Director Machen: Reading of report

·         Elliot Myles: Reading of his report. Suggesting the adoption of a decision by Naomi Little should satisfy his argument. And under Sections 1096(a) and waive 1081(f), his client should be able to keep his medallion.  

·         Director Machen: Rebuttal that the case Hayward Wong be reasoning that this case is not valid.

·         Paul Zarefsky:  This is not a retirement plan. And driving is a requirement in the industry.

·         Elliot Myles: Hayward Wong good example because the Commission could provide an exemption. Statues can be interpreted in different ways.

·         Com Heinicke: Do you think that under ADA your client can receive an exemption?

·         Elliot Myles: Yes, as long as Section 1081(f) is exempt and sections of Prop K

·         Com Breslin: I’ve been against Prop K from the start. I don’t believe permit holders should be required to drive.

·         Paul Zarefsky: Court of Appeal understood Sec 4 of Prop K and clearly states the driving requirement is there. Court of Appeals provisions of Sec 1090 also recommend a full-time driving requirement.

·         Pres Gillespie: I believe we should uphold our ED’s recommendation.

·         Com Oneto: Motion to deny appeal

·         Com Heinickie: 2nd Motion

AYES:   Benjamin, Gillespie, Heinicke; Paek, Oneto,          NOES: Breslin, Kwok

ABSENT:                                                                  RECUSED:   0

  1. Public Comment (Please limit public comment to items NOT on the agenda).

·         Chuffa: Wants waybills

·         Jackie Sacks: Problems with ramp medallions at hospitals especially during inclement weather. Driver’s do not get out of their cars to help, and leave after a few minutes.

·         Nathan Dwery: Enforcement of limos important, unfortunate that Office Marcic is limited to overtime restrictions.

·         Jim Gillespie: Has tried to work things out with the hospitals, white zones always loaded with cars, if drivers get out, security issues ticket.  Always tries to encourage good customer service.

  1. Adjournment


Respectfully Submitted,

Tamara Odisho
Executive Secretary



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