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Commission Chambers

May 08, 2007 at 6:30 p.m.

City Hall,1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place               

Room 400

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

Absent:   Heinicke

President Gillespie called the meeting to order at 6:40 P.M.


STAFF IN ATTENDENCE:  Executive Director Heidi Machen, Tamara Odisho– Taxi Commission, Tom Owen– City Attorney, Sgt Reynolds-Taxi Detail


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


1.      Call to Order/Roll Call


2.      Controller’s Report on PC&N Findings  

·         Linda (last name), Controller’s Office: Presentation of the Controller’s PC&N Report

·         Com Breslin: Wishes she received the report earlier, so she could’ve been better prepared with questions.

·         Todd Rydstrom, Controller’s Office: Is happy to further discuss any questions, but wanted to ensure the numbers are based on averages only and is informational.

·         President Gillespie:  Why hasn’t the Controller recommended an increase in gate fees?

·         Todd Rydstrom: The increase in the flag-drop should supplement the increase of taxis.

·         President Gillespie: Did you include a fuel component?

·         Rydstrom: Did not since this report does not address that issue, but rather the increase of medallions. The fuel issue was handled last year with a .25 increase.

·         Com Oneto: I thought we are required to increase mileage and wait time consistently.

·         Rydstrom: Not aware of that, and would need clarification on that to comment.


Public Comment:

·         Barry Taranto: Wait time and mileage should increase directly.  Illegal limos are the issue of why the industry is losing money, increases in drop are just going to make it difficult for customers.

·         Mike Spain:  Reporters are lazy, didn’t do their research and reported on wrong information.

·         Charles Rathbone: Formula increase rate/mile but not rate/hour. Not increasing gate is bad for companies.

·         Bill Mouwsey: Shouldn’t increase medallions until illegal limos issue is addressed.

·         Robert Cesano: Commission should try to revamp system, try to coordinate day and night needs.

·         Name:  How did the Controller’s report determine the number of airport fares? Where did the averages come from? Digesting reports last minute is difficult. Reports should be published days before the meeting.

·         Marty Smith: No raise in meters, limos are a problem.

·         MarkGruberg: Gates shouldn’t increase nor should fees, health care is in the works and needs the funding.


3.      Consideration of the Consent Calendar.  

·         Dir Machen: Recommends severing Items C, D1, D2, E, G1 and G2

·         Pres Gillespie: Commission agrees.


Public Comment:

·         Barry Taranto: Severed item comments should be after the Commission discusses them.

·         John Lazar: Willie Johnson had gangrene, should not be removed from the list.

·         Richard Hybels: Confusions on why the Commission is approving color scheme changes for bad performing dispatch companies.

·         Items A, B & F

·         Com Oneto: Motion

·         Com Paek: 2nd Motion


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

ABSENT: Heinicke                                                                RECUSED:   0


·         City Attorney: Before voting on items D1& D2, would like to further discuss with the Commissioners

·         Pres Gillespie: Continued D1 & D2, based on City Attorneys advice.

·         Dir Machen: Item E; currently ramp medallion holder, and could’ve brought in waybills for years driven, but hasn’t.

·         William Johnson: Driver for 27 years, foot was amputated, waiting for prosthetic, will be able to drive.

·         Com Oka: Have you applied for ADA?

·         William Johnson: Yes, but was never given a time frame for the accommodation.

·         Dir Machen: Is not currently under an ADA accommodation

·         John Lazar: Worked with Sgt Simpson on this case.

·         Pres Gillespie: Continued, would like to accommodate, but needs to better understand the situation.  Requests forms and documents from doctors.

·         Item G1

·         Com Oneto: Motion

·         Com Oka: 2nd Motion


      AYES:  Breslin, Benjamin, Paek, Oka, Oneto                      NOES: 0

ABSENT: Heinicke                                                    RECUSED:  Gillespie


·         Item G 2

·         Com Benjamin: Motion

·         Com Oka: 2nd Motion


      AYES:  Breslin, Benjamin, Paek, Oka, Oneto                      NOES: 0

ABSENT: Heinicke                                                    RECUSED:  Gillespie


·         Item G 3

·         Com Benjamin: Motion

·         Com Oka: 2nd Motion


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

ABSENT: Heinicke                                                                RECUSED:  0



4.      Audit Procedures and 1095 Filing  

·         Jordanna Thigpen: Presentation of Audit and attachments

·         Pres Gillespie: Thanks staff for hard work.  States this report is only an overview, no action will be taken by Commissioners tonight.


Public Comment:

·         Jim Gillespie: Believes companies and commission should meet to discuss all these issues at hand.

·         Marty Smith:  Long term leases are more affordable in the long run.

·         Charles Rathbone: Protests inclusion of all these items under one heading.

·         Robert Cesano: Shift changing on the lot takes longer and not worth it.

·         Barry Taranto: Staff put a lot of work into this.  Each item should be dealt with separately.

·         Rich Hybels: Never heard of anyone, except for last year, of being hurt because of off lot shift change

·         Rich Weiner: Don’t fix things that aren’t broken.

·         Tom Stanghellini: Due process is needed for disciplinary hearings.

·         David Pilpel: Make clear what a 1095 is for the public. Ensure 10 days for rule changes.

·         Dan Hinds: Long term leasing and gat & gate are different, long terms role is important since drivers care for their cabs more so then gas and gate.

·         Mary McGuire: Doesn’t agree with removing the checks and balances of the appeals process

·         Anne McVeigh: Leasing works well, changing cabs at the house is safer then at the lots.

·         Ruach Graffis: Companies should have controlled access of the lots to make it safer for shift changing.

·         Mark Gruberg: Long term leasing should be addressed as soon as possible.

·         Mike Spain: 10% should be the most medallion holders have to drive

·         Nathan Dwiri: Problems with driving “your own medallion” is that some medallion holders tell dispatch they are coming in and don’t.  Leaves at any one time 60 cabs in the lot.

·         Tony Fletcher:  Protect the innocent, at any cost.  Don’t use them to make a point.

·         John Lazar: Commission should sit down with all the companies to discuss these issues.

·         Com Breslin: Good idea, commission should create a subcommittee.


5.      Call for Members and Discussing Scope for Charter Reform Working Group  

·         Pres Gillespie: Doesn’t want to rush this process.  2008 is an election year, and the Commission should take that much time to address all the issues. Health care was even short period of time.


Public Comment:

·         Anne McVeigh: Removal of board of appeals not a good idea.

·         Mark Gruberg: Hopes the process is slow, there’s a lot to deal with.

·         Steve Reimers: Lots needs to be done

·         DavidPipel: Board of Appeals isn’t an all or nothing deal bc the Commission’s plate is full.

·         Dan Hinds: Addressing Prop K is an important issue.

·         John Lazar: Nominates himself or Tom Stanghellini for the working group.

·         Nathan Dwiri: Volunteering for the working group

·         Robert Cesano: Need help from the voters in 2008 for change. ADA should also have a policy

·         Thomas George Williams: Work force has no labor rights, needs a voice.  Volunteers for group.

·         Mike Spain:  Hopes commissioners participate in the working group. Reform is important and not sure how to override the board of appeals.

·         Charles Rathbone: Committee should consist of a large group.

·         Com Oka : Larger the group the more difficult the decision making process.

·         Com Breslin: Mayor’s 1998 task force, over 27 people and it went and made time goal.

·         Tariq Mehmood: Group should have 11 people and open to the public to attend.

·         Carl McMurdo: nominated Mike Spain or Charles Rathbone for the working group.

·         Name: Recommends Willie Brown as one of the group members


6.      Staff Report and Commissioner Announcements  

·         Director Machen: Overview of staff report.

·         Sgt Reynolds: No report due to loss of staff person. Small update

Public Comment:

·         Steve Reimers: Happy to hear taxi detail is on the streets and patrolling limos

·         Robert Cesano: Commission should relieve taxi detail of property loss responsibility.


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


·         Andrew Linden: Pulled over for not having a card in view and officer was very hard on him. Told him there’s a zero tolerance policy. Hopes policy is the same for limos.

·         Tom Stanghellini: TXC faxed informational flyer regarding taxi schools, but yet, Taxi detail disciplines companies for being biased towards taxi schools.

·         Heidi Machen: Information was only faxed because of delinquent A card holders are required to go back to taxi school and this particular school was giving a discount

·         Charles Rathbone: Murder of taxi driver in sunset is due to lack of enforcement.

·         Bill Mouwsey: Believes Heidi’s doing a great job. Limos should have serious fines.

·         Thomas George Williams: Murder of driver is because City lacks enforcement.

·         Mary McGuire: Medallion #690 has phony worker’s compensation.

·         Steve Reimers: Gypsy cab owed money to people.

8.      Adjournment




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