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Rules and Regulations Subcommittee


January 11, 2008 at 10:30am

City Hall,1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place               

Room 408


Present:  Breslin, Oneto

Absent:   Gillespie

Called meeting at 10:44 am

1.       Call to Order/Roll Call

2.      General Public Comment (Please limit public comment to items not on the agenda)

·         Com Breslin: Any recommendations will be forwarded to the commission.

·         Tone Lee: We still have rules based on police rules made many years ago.

3.      Adoption of Minutes from the December 5, 2007 Subcommittee Meeting.

Adopted without objection.

4.      Consideration of Amendments to Taxicab/Ramped Taxi Rules & Regulations, Section 3, Definitions [DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION; EXPLANATORY DOCUMENTS]

·         Com Breslin: Last time I had an impasses regarding item 4, I would like to revisit it.

·         Com Breslin: I would like to begin with agenda number 5.

·         Jordanna Thigpen: We will continue item 4


5.      Consideration of Amendments to Taxicab/Ramped Taxi Rules & Regulations, Section 4, Medallion Holders [DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION; EXPLANATORY DOCUMENTS]

·         Jordanna Thigpen: (Reads rule 4.A.10) Staff has a recommendation to specify Municipal Police Code 1081(f) instead of “Appendix 2 etc.”  

·         Com Breslin: I recommended deleting this section and I would like to send it to the commissioners. With the recommendation, the driving requirement should not be held to which cab they drive. I would like to know the process to remove something from the Municipal Police Code.

·         Jordanna Thigpen: It’s through the Board of Supervisors; the Commission would have to make a resolution and the Board would have to pass an ordinance.


Public Comment

·         CharlesRathbone: It’s in the publics interest to get the cabs on the street instead of sitting in the lot.

·         Mark Gruberg: Rule says, unless the cab is out of service they don’t have to drive a spare.  There is a tremendous possibility of abuse here, it’s going to be hard to track and audit medallion holders if they drive any cab.

·         Carl Macmurdo: I want to review auditing and tracking.  Sgt. Simpson addressed that if a taxi were unavailable it would be considered out of service. If I drive a cab it doesn’t matter what number I drive.  This is terrible for public service if this rule is enforced.

·         Marty Smith: It doesn’t make a difference what vehicle is driven; if a medallion holder drives he should get credit for it.  It makes a big difference when you are getting the cabs out.  This is a law that is no good and should be done away with.

·         Jim Gillespie: A lot of people felt that cabs would be taken care of.  Majority of spares are in good condition.  I don’t support this because I think the public is better served. 

·         Com Oneto: Is it just the medallion holders or do you put everyone’s waybills in alpha order?

·         Jim Gillespie: We store all medallions by individuals, if a driver is on the list it takes time to pull his waybills. 

·         Com Oneto: Why couldn’t you keep the first ten on the list that are up for medallions in order?

·         Jim Gillespie: We have been following staff instructions when organizing waybills.

·         Com Oneto: I know that your company is one of the ones with GPS; electronic tracking. I’ve been asking to see what it is that your computer system produces for the last month.

·         Jim Gillespie: We don’t have anything, we have been waiting too.  We purchased two trailers that we store waybills in.

·         Com Breslin: Can we have a list of the fields that are in that GPS system?

·         Com Oneto: If we could come up with a system that would enhance the waybills, it would make it much easier.  I’m looking to see what we can come up with that can be more efficient.

Jim Gillespie: I’ll bring that up as a point so that we can develop it and get it accepted.

·         Jordanna Thigpen: Marty wants to announce electronic waybills.

·         Hansu Kim: There are several companies that are providing electronic cashiers.  You will see this in the next 2-3 years.  One thing I have developed is a triplicate copy waybill so the driver can always have a copy, as well as the Color Scheme and the Taxi Commission.

·         Com Oneto: Is there a way of scanning a copy of a waybill into the computer?

·         Hansu Kim: That’s what Yellow does, electronically.

·         Jordanna Thigpen: Marty informed me that he has an electronic waybill. He is debuting it on January 23rd at his company.

·         Marty Smith: With this waybill, it works off the meter and GPS. It takes the address you’re in front of and it feeds back to the computer at the company.

·         Barry Korngold: I’ve driven cabs that medallion holders drive all the time and they don’t keep them up.  I’m tired of getting in cabs that aren’t fixed.

·         Com Oneto: I don’t have an issue with removing this if it’s tied into a technological advantage that we could use to monitor what’s going on.  Why was this section put in place in the first place?

·         Com Breslin: I’d like to just talk about how this technological advantage can affect driving your own taxi.  I think it’s really unrelated, my sole concern is driving your own cab; they don’t meet the driving requirement if they don’t drive their own cab.  I think it’s unfair as far as the driving requirement is concerned. I motion to send a recommendation that 4.A.10 is deleted because it doesn’t make sense.

·         Com Oneto: I won’t oppose it going to the commission; I don’t think it’s appropriate to throw this out to the commission without a full staff on the committee.

·         Jordanna Thigpen: (Reads Rule 4.A.11) In this section staff recommends to change “Taxi Detail” to the “Taxi Commission” since we handle all the administrative functions.  For your consideration, there had been some discussion that once people have fulfilled the driving requirement they won’t have to make the notification. 

·         Com Breslin: What is the connection between not driving and notifying?  If they’re a medallion holder they need to be contacted if their medallion is in use.

·         Jordanna Thigpen: They are required to notify us if they change their address, which is one of the issues. 

·         Com Breslin: I’m still trying to reach the connection.  I actually tend to side with a little invasion of privacy.

·         Com Oneto: I know that there is a section in “drivers” for change of address but not in the medallion holder section.

·         Jordanna Thigpen: Medallion holders are required to get an A-card, so they have to comply under the driver section to comply with the address rule.

·         Com Oneto: If you can come up with an alternative wording that would require them to notice a change to where they can be reached.

·         Com Breslin: It should parallel the drivers’ requirements, they would need to notice the Taxi Commission if they will not be residing at the address on file for 10 days or more.

·         Com Oneto: We can let staff come up with some language.

·         Jordanna Thigpen: The rules need to be a little more stringent.

·         Com Breslin: We need to be able to contact the medallion holder if something happens with the medallion.

·         Charles Rathbone: We are in this business for freedom and independence.

·         Hansu Kim: Speaking on behalf of Robert Cesana, he finds this rule personally offensive.  If the driver is fulfilling the requirement then it should not be the Taxi Commission’s business.

·         Com Breslin: do you feel that the medallion holder needs to keep the color scheme informed?

·         Hansu Kim: Majority of medallion holders basically should provide contact information to the Color Scheme. Communication to the Color Scheme is appropriate.

·         Com Breslin: Should we put this under Color Scheme and not Medallions?

·         Hansu Kim: A medallion holder who is his own Color Scheme should notify their dispatch, they would have to let the commission know.

·         Com Oneto: Medallion holders are holding a city asset; I believe that the commission should be able to get in touch with these people because of this situation. 

·         Hansu Kim: Robert Cesana has a problem contacting the commission when he driving and not driving.  Just as long as his medallion is serving the public.

·         Com Oneto: It’s appropriate for the commissioners to know contact information.

·         Com Breslin: We have to deal with single medallion/color schemes in a different way

·         Tone Lee: A lot of medallion holders are not complying with this law to notify the Taxi Commission, they don’t pay attention to this.  I think the 30 days is very important.  They should require the Color Scheme to notify the Taxi Commission. 

·         Com Breslin: You believe that at all times we need to know how to contact the medallion holder? Or are you saying we need to know that, that individual went somewhere for three weeks?

·         Jordanna Thigpen: Tone is saying that post k medallion holders must notify the commission of contact information but also notify the color scheme of non-driving. 

·         Com Breslin: I don’t see anything wrong with the contact issue.

·         Marty Smith: Continuous operation is what is important. The dispatch company should be in contact with the medallion holder not the color scheme.  This rule was put this in for continuous operation not for vacation.

·         Barry Korngold: I think it’s an invasion of privacy because it’s not anyone’s business where you are going. I think it’s important that the Taxi Commission has contact information.

·         Com Oneto: If we wanted to send certified mail, we can’t do it over the phone. 

·         Barry Korngold: I shouldn’t have to give up my freedom.

·         Mark Gruberg: I don’t think that the regulatory purpose is strong enough to keep this; I think it creates a regulatory burden.  It’s a privacy issue, contact information is vital for medallion holders’ own protection.  I would take out this section and substitute it for contact.

·         Carl Macmurdo: With that said the 30 days should be 120-180 days. This needs to be taken out.

·         Jim Gillespie: We have so many rules, so I look at this and I think the responsibility should be between the color scheme and medallion holder. 

·         Com Oneto: I understand about the privacy but it’s been a concern that we’ve had issues of medallion holders being unreachable.  This section as it’s written should be taken out and revised as to where they could be contacted. 

·         Jordanna Thigpen: I think Commissioner Oneto’s point could be dealt with by a document being submitted, if you are gone for an extended period of time you agree that in your absence we can mail materials to the color scheme.  I can draft some different variations.

·         Com Breslin: I’m not sure if I would like to hold the color scheme responsible. 

·         Jim Gillespie: Every medallion holder would have to sign that the color scheme is only doing a service.

·         Jordanna Thigpen: I’ll draft some language for the next meeting. (Reads Section 4.A.12)

·         Mark Gruberg: I would like to see an affirmative statement for the medallion holders to sign how many hours were driven for the years.  It would be one added tool in getting compliance.

·         Jordanna Thigpen: It can be in the Form 1095.

·         Com Breslin: Recommendation to leave it as it is.

·         Jordanna Thigpen: (Reads Section 4.B.1)

·         Com Breslin: Wasn’t there something to do with the owner of the vehicle?

·         Jordanna Thigpen: Section 4.A.7, title and registration.  If you were going to include change to 4.A.7 you would have to add “additional party” into 4.B.1.

·         Com Breslin: Do you have the wording of what we required in the other section?

·         Jordanna Thigpen: I don’t have it with me but I will bring it next time.


Public Comment:

·         Charles Rathbone: What is the need of having a medallion holders name on insurance? Does the insurance company require 50 different documents?  If you work for UPS, there are 1000s of drivers; do all drivers names have to go on insurance?

·         Jordanna Thigpen: UPS is under general liability, their drivers are employees.

·         Charles Rathbone: In the case there is an accident I don’t see the importance that my name be shown on the insurance papers.  Its just seems like a strange burden.

·         Jim Gillespie: I personally think that there is some confusion, when it comes to insurance policy, they get a list of drivers and medallion holders, they know at the insurance company who is driving that vehicle.  If a medallion holder buys his own car/insurance you may see his name on the insurance.

·         Com Breslin: Every time you take on a new medallion you update your insurance list?

·         Jim Gillespie: Yes.  Are we talking about registration?

·         Jordanna Thigpen: We will get to 4.B.3.

·         Com Breslin: 1 and 3 can be combined with the exception of permit registration.

·         Marty Smith: When a medallion holder leases his medallion to a driver on a long-term lease, you can let him have his name on the registration.

·         Mark Gruberg: Naming the medallion holder on insurance policies will be additional protection for the medallion holder. 

·         Com Breslin: Is there any instance where the owner of the vehicle will be covered in this?

·         Mark Gruberg: We have tons of owners of vehicles who are not medallion holders

·         Tone Lee: One is independent or gate/gas.  A lot of cab companies have insurance under registered owner.   This is a little complicated with the current law and DMV law.

·         Jordanna Thigpen: 4.B.3 would seem to duplicate 4.A.7.

·         Com Oneto: No, as I understand it all the medallion holders are on a policy.

·         Jordanna Thigpen: 4.A.7 includes spares; 4.B.3 is a little bit more specific.

·         Com Breslin: Moving 4.A.7 into 4.B.3.  I would like to know if anyone has a problem with that? Does anyone have any issues with 4.B.2?

·         Jim Gillespie: I was pretty sure that you had changed 4.A.7 to propose adding the name of the long term lease driver.

·         Jordanna Thigpen: The owner could be the long term lease holder who is the driver.

·         Com Breslin: 4.A.7 will take the place of 4.B.3, anyone have a problem with 4.B.2?

·         Jordanna Thigpen: (Reads Rule 4.C.1)

·         Com Breslin: Any comments or proposed changes?

·         Charles Rathbone: Observation is I understand the comments, this no longer reflects the reality of the taxi industry.  

·         Jordanna Thigpen: One recommendation, increase the penalty and fines for more regulatory power.

·         Mark Gruberg: I wanted to agree with what Charles said. We have a regulatory scheme; dispatch services, color schemes, drivers and medallion holders, there are lot of shadow companies.

·         Com Breslin: Can you give me a real example of “managing medallions”

·         Marty Smith: They are making deals with the color schemes and drivers.

·         Com Breslin: Are the brokers connected with the Color Scheme?

·         Jordanna Thigpen: I can draw you a flow chart for the next meeting.

·         Ruach: There are medallion holders/drivers that are doing illegal things.  Three layers need to be enforced. 

·         Jim Gillespie: There may be a legitimate broker but there are some that need to be sought out and put out of business.  I have caught and kicked out guys that were doing this and revoked their contracts, 3 layers are sufficient.

·         Saam Aryan: If these brokers want to manage why don’t they form a Color Scheme? They don’t want a color scheme because they don’t want enforcement.

·         Com Breslin: 3 layers need to have more teeth, and I’d have it go to the commission to decide.  The 3 layers don’t reflect reality.

·         Com Oneto: I am in full agreement; we do not need a 4th party in on this. 

·         Jordanna Thigpen: The underworld is starting to come in due to lack of real penalties for enforcement.

·         Com Breslin: I am interested in seeing the flow chart.

·         Saam Aryan: Electronic waybills can be developed very easily. 

·         Jordanna Thigpen: (Reads Rule 4.C.2)

·         Com Breslin: I see no problem, public comment?


Public Comment:

·         Sylvia: It has a lot to do with the management and the police department.

7.   Adjournment.       



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