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Commission Chambers

February 27, 2007 at 6:30 p.m.

City Hall,1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place               

Room 400

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

Absent:    None

President Gillespie called the meeting to order at 6:32 P.M.

STAFF IN ATTENDENCE:  Executive Director Heidi Machen, Deputy Director Jordanna Thigpen, Junior Analyst Jack Brodnax, Executive Secretary Tamara Odisho – Taxi Commission, Tom Owen– City Attorney

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


1.      Call to Order/Roll Call


5.    Public Comment: (This item was taken first)

·         RobertCezano: Why did the survey go out to only the first 200 people, questions were inappropriate.

·         Ruach Graffis: Announcement of free health screening would be held at SFO over the weekend.

·         Thomas George Williams: Tax Collector fee is being protested and driver should not pay

·         Tariq Mehmood:  Market crashed, there are many problems facing the world.

·         Chuffa: Commission should be paranoid about the future.

·         Mike Spain: Goldman School research would be good for the healthcare issue. Add fare for picking up in the Sunset.


2.      Consideration of the Consent Calendar. [ACTION]

·         Director Machen: Recommends severing items D1 &3; E, F & G

·         President Gillespie: Agrees.

Public Comment:

·         Mark Gruberg: Commenting on his new color scheme.  Not moving medallions just yet.

·         Com Heinicke: What are the plans for Green Cab? Not all dispatch companies are equal. If your dispatch isn’t generating business, would you move your company to another dispatch?

·         Mark Gruberg: Wants to pursue best business practices, and generate calls through dispatch, if dispatch isn’t performing, will move company to another dispatch service. 

·         Com Benjamin: Only all green cabs?

·         Mark Gruberg: Yes, hope to have all prius vehicles.

·         Com Oka : Concerns with Regents dispatch since they don’t pick-up ramps.

·         Mark Gruberg: Customers don’t typically call Regeants for pick-up Green cabs hopes to change this.

·         Ruach Graffis: Companies should hire drivers that take radio calls, which will be something Green Cab does.

·         Dan Hinds: Shouldn’t color scheme have a permit? TXC should not fine James Gillespie.

·         Chuffa: Jim Gillespie the best in the industry. TXC should hear the whole story.

·         Charles Rathborn: Jim Gillespie respected person in the industry.

·         John Lazar: Item F; small fleets not performing at levels that larger medallions are. Taso’s application should not be applied.

·         Carl McMurdo: Support Jim Gillespie.

·         Taso Zografos: Jim Gillespie is a good guy.

·         Mike Spain: Green Cab good idea, good luck.

·         Tom Stanghellini: Jim Gillespie shouldn’t be penalized.

·         AbdulhadiYassin: Both Yellow and Luxor began as small companies, they shouldn’t be hard on the small companies now.

·         Tariq Mehmood: Recently picked up a customer who was waiting for a Luxor cab for over 45 minutes.

·         Pres Gillespie: Public comment closed, vote on A, B,  & C

·         Com Oneto: Motion on A, B & C

·         Com Paek: 2nd Motion

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

ABSENT:  0                                      RECUSED:   0


·         Abdulhadi Yassin: He didn’t realize he was supposed to speak on his item.

·         Pres Gillespie: Strike vote on Item C1

·         AbdulhadiYassin: Claims that as a MUNI driver, should get credit for driving a taxi. 

·         City Attorney: Must operate a privately owned vehicle, MUNI is public vehicle.

·         Com Heinicke: No more debate, on this item should vote. Motion to vote on C1 to remove his name from the medallion waiting list.

·         Com Benjamin: 2nd Motion


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

ABSENT:  0                                        RECUSED:   0


·         Com Heinicke: Has a problem with color scheme changes from a high scoring dispatch company to a lower scoring dispatch company. Green is a new company would not be an issue?

·         Com Breslin: Feels the same way except the “reason” section on the application not convincing.

·         Pres Gillespie: Finds it troubling that the Commission would continue the color scheme changes based on PC&N.  Feels there’s a need to approach this differently. Dire need for centralized dispatch.

·         Com Heinicke:  We have this information now, we should act and try to do something and not continually pass this issue. If not now, when?

·         Pres Gillespie: Should we continue it?

·         Com Oka : Does there need to be a formal motion?

·         Steve Anton:  We respond to ½ the calls we receive. We are a small company and have 2 paratransit cabs. We receive 12 calls/month for ramp.

·         Com Breslin: Wants stability in the fleets, no reason for cabs to jump from one company to another. Wants good “reasons” for drivers to change companies.

·         Pres Gillespie: Should only certain companies receive ramps?

·         Com Heinicke: Dispatch companies who received a low rating should be put on watch. Motion to continue Items D1 & 2.

·         Com Breslin: 2nd motion

·         Com Oka:  Should make rules before denying anyone’s request.

·         Director Machen: Roll call on D1


AYES:   Breslin, Heinicke; Paek,      NOES: Oneto, Oka, Gillespie

ABSENT:  0                                        RECUSED:   Benjamin


·         Director Machen: Roll call on D2


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

ABSENT:  0                                              RECUSED:   0


·         Com Gillespie:  Dispatch issued to be continued until March 27, 2007 for Discussion and Action

·         Com Onteo: Should establish a criteria for dispatch. Also please continue D3 since Sgt Reynolds is investigating this case.

·         Com Paek: Continue D3

·         Com Oka : 2nd motion

·         Director Machen:  Line item E; Taso Zagraffos

·         Taso Zagraffos: We thought we needed this application but we do not. We will conduct tests but do not need the dispatch lines. Withdrawing application.

·         Director Machen: Line Item F

·         Com Breslin:  Lots of Q&A regarding this issue, what’s the difference between this or the color scheme change?

·         Com Heinicke:   There is a difference between color scheme change and new color scheme issuance. Different situation.

·         Com Breslin:  Motion to approve Item F

·         Pres Gillespie: 2nd Motion


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

ABSENT:  0                                              RECUSED:   0


·         Pres Gillespie: Recuses himself from Item G.

·         Com Breslin: Proceed with Item G

·         Jack Brodnax: Summary of Case

·         Com Heinicke: Questions regarding fine.

·         Com Benjamin: What’s the fine per day?

·         Bill Ward; Attorney for James Gillespie: Review and summary of case. Doesn’t feel hearing officer recommended admonishment. Sent letter of lease to TXC staff in November has not received a response.

·         Director Machen: Letter was received but no documents to show proof of lease.

·         Com Heinicke: Not here to re-review the case, but to make a decision and stick to the rules which needs to be followed. Did the hearing officer have the information needed to make an appropriate decision.  

·         Com Breslin: Where was the fine amount derived from?

·         Director Machen: Doesn’t think hearing officer knew what the lease fees were.

·         Com Heinicke: Remand of the fine findings from the hearing officer.

·         Com Breslin: Continues the item without a vote.

·         City Attorney: Commissioners can review the hearing tape.

·         Com Breslin: No need, wanted to know if staff created the fine or not. Also disagree with finding No 5.

·         Director Machen: Findings 1-5 are hearing officers.


3.      Public Convenience and Necessity [INFORMATION and ACTION]

Public Comment:

·         Warren King:  Ramps should not be going to the airport, but servicing the City.

·         Karen Trailer:  Hard to get a wheel chair van and it’s gotten worse. 50 are needed.

·         Mike Spain: Can’t measure this by population but should measure it on needs.

·         Cheryl Domingo: 50 more ramps are needed. Recognizes problem and is trying to solve it.

·         Susan Mizner: MOD Director: No questions that the ramps are not working most problematic in Commission. Need for compliance and more medallions. Com Oka is the only one who is speaking for the disabled community.

·         Mary McGuire: Who is Erik, looked like Tristan Bettencourt.

·         Tom Stanghellini: Does the TXC want better service or more cabs? Give ramps to people who drive them.

·         Com Oka : Wants to make a difference, not here to agree or disagree with the Commission.

·         Jim Gillespie: Concerned about Ramp issue doesn’t think ½ are appropriately functioning. Peak-time medallions not feasible.

·         Laurie Graham: If you issue more medallions, may lose ramps.  I would accept it, getting to old for the program, plus the money isn’t what it should be.

·         Mark Gruberg: Many people are eager on the list and will take anything including the peak-time medallions.

·         Corey Lamb: There should be incentives for ramp drivers. Cabs should only take about 20 minutes to get around the City.

·         Thomas George Williams: No more cabs during an election year. TXC should put efforts into enforcement. Ramps should not belong to the TXC, but to the MTA

·         Com Benjamin: We need incentives for the ramp program. TXC should focus on the ramp program. Measure the number of disabled members in our community and create a shuttle program specifically to address the need.

·         Com Oka :  Want cabs not special vehicles. Should have an equal opportunity. Riders should be apart of the decision making process. This discussion has been going on since 1992.

·         Com Heinicke: Service is an issue. Peak-times make sense, but in the abstract not reality. Frustrated with Prop K, which doesn’t give much flexibility without statute. Propose 125 medallions; 50 now; color schemes should be scrutinized, GPS should be a requirement.

·         Com Breslin: We should reserve some ramps.

·         Com Heinicke: Do we need to reserve ramps?

·         Director Machen: No you do not.

·         Com Benjamin:  Could the paratransit community work on reviewing the ramp medallion recipients?

·         City Attorney: Another body cannot be created because of Prop K.

·         Pres Gillespie: Supports 25 ramp medallions with the support of the paratransit body

·         Com Breslin: Will “City” only cabs work? They would be required to stay in the City.

·         Pres Gillespie: That would be difficult to enforce. 25 regular and 25 ramp medallions with review by the paratransit group should suffice at this time.

·         City Attorney: This would be ok, however the group does not get the last say as to who does or doesn’t receive a ramp medallion and cannot go through the list and pick ramp holders.

·         Com Paek: There is a need for this and we should approve it.

·         Com Oka : Motion to approve 25 ramp medallions with review by the paratransit council.

·         City Attorney: The TXC can stipulate medallions but under CEQA the medallions are required to undergo an environmental review.

·         Com Paek: 2nd motion


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

ABSENT:  0                                                   RECUSED:   0


·         Com Henicke: Would like to issue regular medallions.

·         Com Paek: Not in favor of issuing the ramp medallions

·         Com Onteo: Believes the increase would stress out the drivers. This isn’t fixing the problem.

·         Com Breslin: The public’s problem is that there is not enough service and needs more, and wants to address that.

·         Com Benjamin: The industry can absorb the medallions.

·         Com Heinicke: Motion on 25 alternate fuel and hybrid medallions

·         Com Paek: 2nd Motion


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

ABSENT:  0                                                  RECUSED:   0


4.      Staff Report and Commissioner Announcements [INFORMATION]

·         Director Machen:  Update

·         Sgt Reynolds: Update


6.   Adjournment



Respectfully Submitted,

Tamara Odisho
Executive Secretary



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