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March 11, 2008 at 6:30 p.m.
City Hall,1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place 
Room 400

STAFF IN ATTENDENCE:  Executive Director Heidi Machen, Deputy Director Jordanna Thigpen, Executive Secretary Tamara Odisho – Taxi Commission, Sergeant Ron Reynolds, City Attorney Tom Owen

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

1.      Call to Order/ Roll Call

·         Present: Gillespie, Breslin, Benjamin, Paek, Oneto, Slaughter
     Absent: 0

2.      Consent Calendar [ACTION]

Public Comments:

·         Reza Ghorbani: Has been a owner/driver for 20 years in the tri-bay area.

·         Thomas Stern:  Has stopped driving for 10 years ago and has not contacted the Commission with his new address.

·         Ron Fishman: Why is American allowing Best Cab to leave, that shouldn’t be a decision up to the Commission.

·         Barry Taranto: Studies show that American dispatch did not do any service. Best cab should move to a dispatch company that provides service to ramp vehicles.

·         Jim Gillespie: Compliments Rashad Ahmed and Luis Lavagnino for receiving medallions.

·         Tariq Mehmood: Rashad is a good driver and knows he doesn’t have any background problems.

·         Com Benjamin: Motion to approve consent items: A- minutes; B-Public Passenger permits; C1- Sherry Giorgetti, C2 Thomas Stern, C4- Pascal Consentino; D1- CS change for
     Evern Byrd

·         Com Oneto: 2nd motion

·         AYES: Gillespie, Breslin, Benjamin, Paek, Oneto, Slaughter    NO: 0 
     ABSENT: 0                                                                                   RECUSE: 0

·         Com Breslin: Remove item C3-Reza Gorbani for failure to respond or submit an application

·         Com Benjamin: 2nd motion

·         AYES: Gillespie, Breslin, Benjamin, Paek, Oneto, Slaughter    NO: 0
     ABSENT: 0                                                                                   RECUSE: 0

·          Com Benjamin: Approve pending DOJ background clearance items E1- Rashad Ahmed and  E2- Luis Lavagnino

·         Com Paek: 2nd motion

·         AYES: Breslin, Benjamin, Paek, Oneto, Slaughter         NO: 0
    ABSENT: 0                                                                       RECUSE: Gillespie

·         Com Oneto:  Waiver requirement for Item F- Best cab dispatch change to be placed on notice.

·         Com Benjamin: 2nd motion

·         AYES: Gillespie, Breslin, Benjamin, Paek, Oneto, Slaughter    NO: 0
    ABSENT: 0                                                                                   RECUSE: 0

·         Com Benjamin: Approve dispatch change for Best Cab from American to Town taxi

·         Com Oneto: 2nd motion

·         AYES: Gillespie, Breslin, Benjamin, Paek, Oneto, Slaughter    NO: 0
     ABSENT: 0                                                                                   RECUSE: 0

SPECIAL ORDER 7:00 – 7:30 PM

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

·         Charles Rathbone: Resigned as Treasurer from Medallion Holders Association

·         Barry Taranto: Staff is meeting with SFMTA to discuss folding of agencies.  Someone from the SFMTA should be invited to update the Commission on merger meetings occurring.
     Abuses happening with the smart card, there is an investigation.  Limo and town cars taking business.  Baseball season beginning.

·         Jim Gillespie: Address the issue of bandit taxis affecting the industry. Would like Commission to write a support letter in favor of the bill. Doesn’t seem to have any opposition.

·         Chuffa: Would like the Commission to reconsider the requirement for the medallion holders to drive 156 hours their first year of receiving medallions.

·         Jaswinder: UTW sued and asked drivers to not drive Welch medallions. UTW settled the lawsuit and took those medallions leaving yellow drivers without a job.

·         Name: UTW abused the Taxi law and created more layers than allowed.

·         Mohammed Booya:  Why doesn’t UTW show their financial records to their members. Where does the collected money go?

·         Bill Mounsey: Drivers received a gas increase last year but now there’s a gas and gate increase leaving the drivers in the red.

·         Robert Cezano: Smart card was not created to track medallion holders there is no identification on the card.  There should be some system created

·         Tariq Mehmood: Need some basic healthcare plan. There’s a violation of the layer clause with the Welch medallions and should be addressed by the Commission. A station wagon 
     is registered as a taxi and is not allowed. 

·         Ron Fishman: As a driver had more money in 1980 than today. Meter should be increased. Higher driver turnover due to less competitive salary. Pay doesn’t keep up with inflation.

4.      Election for a President and Vice President of the San Francisco Taxi Commission [ACTION]

Public Comment:

·         Barry Taranto: Commission to re-elect a new president.

·         Peter Witt: Does not support President Gillespie.

·         Tariq Mehmood: There are so many bad drivers out there.  Commission and President should be proud of what they do.

·         Anne McVeigh: Would like to support Com Breslin for her role and would like to see her stay in her role or elected as President.

·         Mark Gruberg: No longer supports President Gillespie as president.

·         Chuffa: Commissioners are regular people caught between people. What’s the importance of this election if the Commission will move to the SFMTA?

·         Hansu Kim: Supports President Gillespie’s nomination.  Difficult industry and hard to reach a consensus.

·         Bill Mounsey: Supports President Gillespie’s nomination because he is the only driver on the commission.

·         Dan Hinds: Supports President Gillespie’s nomination.  Over the few months has exercised leadership.

·         Name: Would like to support President Gillespie.

·         Carl Macmurdo: Any commissioners would make good president.

·         Name: Approves of Pres Gillespie and wishes him well.

·         Barry Korengold: Supports Paul although he doesn’t agree with him. Only cab driver on the Commission.

·         Name: Would like to support Paul Gillespie as president.

·         Commissioner Breslin: Paul you have served as vice president under several executive directors and as president you have done and accomplished a lot.  I am not suggesting
     myself. This commission is made up of many representatives. I would like to recommend Commission Benjamin as president. 

·         Com Slaughter: The Commission’s working very well and there are a lot of things coming up. Stability is something this commission could use.

·         Com Paek: Electing a new president, would rock the boat.  There is a lot that needs to get done and to learn for someone in a new position.

·         Com Benjamin: Appreciates the nomination but would like to support Paul as president and Patricia as vice president.

·         Com Paek: Motion to elect Paul Gillespie as President of the Taxi Commission.

·         Com Oneto: 2nd motion.

·         AYES: Gillespie, Breslin, Benjamin, Paek, Oneto, Slaughter    NO: 0
     ABSENT: 0                                                                                   RECUSE: 0

·         Com Oneto: Motion to elect Patricia Breslin as Vice President of the Taxi Commission.

·         Com Benjamin: 2nd motion.

·         AYES: Gillespie, Breslin, Benjamin, Paek, Oneto, Slaughter    NO: 0
     ABSENT: 0                                                                                   RECUSE: 0

5.      Establishing Dispatch Standards [DISCUSSION and POSSIBLE ACTION]

·         Dir Machen:  Overview of the item

·         Mark Soto, Veolia Transportation: Provided historic context for MTA setting minimum number of taxis per dispatch companies to contract with paratransit broker.

·         Pres Gillespie:   We have not had a minimum requirement for a particular color scheme. 

·         Mark Soto: Creating a minimum would help aide the paratransit community.

·         Dir Machen: Overview of the number of ramps at each dispatch company. The requirement would be to have at least 4 ramp vans per dispatch company. There are 11 dispatch  
     companies that operate any number of color schemes.

Public Comment:

·         Name: By doing this you will eliminate small businesses which is against what SF stands for.  When starting a business, it would be impossible to line up 50 cabs.

·         Ron Fishman: There’s no way to line up 50 taxis and is discriminatory in a small business progressive city.

·         Bill Mounsey: This is a step in the right direction.  Most ramp cabs are not being used as ramp vehicles. B&W checker does a good job picking up the disabled community.

·         Charles Rathbone:  Approves of this resolution and hopes the Commission approves this. American is a mockery of dispatch service.  Commission shouldn’t allow any dispatch
     unless it can provide service to all communities.

·         Name: American is a mismanaged company that operates other types of business.  It’s a mismanaged and over extended company and doesn’t deserve ramp vans.

·         Robert Vitcha: Small but a step in the right direction.  Should strengthen standards on ramp dispatch.

·         Barry Taranto: Happy this resolution is coming before the Commission. But should wait to vote on this until the next meeting.  The minimum should be 30 and there should be at least
     one ramp in the city for service.

·         Anne McVeigh: Decisions are being made on the surveys conducted by staff.  Industry didn’t approve of those results.  Commissioner should consider this.

·         Dan Hinds: National doesn’t accept ramp vans because they cannot provide good service to disabled community.

·         Name: This legislation is anti competitive and anti small business.

·         Andy Snaiku:  Radio dispatcher for DeSoto and drove a ramp for a few months. Minimum requirement of 50 medallions is high.  A lot of cooperation among the larger companies to
     be able to service the ramp community.

·         Hansu Kim:  Long over due to improve public service and availability. Dispatch companies are important for public service and are different than owning a small business and
    operating a medallion.  The minimum requirement should be 75 medallions per dispatch service. This creates a standard.

·         Rich Hybels: Servicing the community is difficult with 30 cabs.  Most of them are at the airport.  We work off Citywide’s dispatch.

·         Ruah Graffis:  Interesting that Commission is taking this on after so much technology coming out to make this easier off one phone number.  Against this resolution

·         Chuffa: Ramp service is improving but for some reason orders are not being posted on gps / radio orders. Has spoken to drivers at other companies that are wondering where the
     orders are going.

·         Peter Witt:  Agenda doesn’t mention ramp taxis so shouldn’t be discussing this issue.  This is not a solution to this problem. 

·         Mark Gruberg:  Supports this idea but not sure this resolution is the best way of approaching this issue.  Unfair for the Commission to set a 50 cab standard to be met within a few

·         Tariq Mehmood: Dispatch to the disabled community is a serious issue. The resolution will not solve the issue.  Ramp drivers should have monetary incentives since picking up ramps
     do not make enough money to gas and gate. 

·         Com Benjamin:  Approves and agrees with this resolution.

·         Com Oneto: As a consumer, who would call a dispatch company with a small number of taxis?  A better number would be at least 75.  Would like to hear from PCC on this. 

·         Com Paek:  This is more complicated then just numbers and would like to hear more discussion on this.  Would like to realize incentives for ramp drivers since this is touching on a
     driver’s income.

·         Pres Gillespie: Would like to hear from the PCC community and the rules committee.

·         Com Slaughter: Ramps and regular taxis are different conversations.  This resolution doesn’t address the ramp problem.  

6.        Consideration of Taxicab Rules and Regulations Section 4 Rule Changes [DISCUSSION and POSSIBLE ACTION]:

·         Com Breslin: Introduction of this item.  Would like to dedicate one hour of tonight’s meeting to this discussion.

·         Deputy Director Thigpen: Review of 4.A.7- Leaser to have name on vehicle title and registration.

·         Com Oneto: Since the legislation was passed last week this would now double charge drivers.

·         Com Breslin: I don’t believe this will change anything for the drivers.  Would like to send this back to the Rules committee.

·         Deputy Director Thigpen: Review of 4.A.9- shift changing ; 4.A.10- ; 4-A.11- notice when leaving for 30 days or more; 4.C.1- leases 

Public Comments:

·         Ron Fishman:  30 day notice burdensome and would like it eliminated. Shift changing on property causes accidents and safety problems.

·         Emil Lawrence:  Shift changing on lot isn’t purposefully. 30 day notice shouldn’t be required.

·         Carl Macmurdo: Shift changing is an issue for people who live far off on the lot especially long term drivers. Drive your own medallion rule inhibited service esp during dot com 
     boom.  30 day notice rule doesn’t seem right.

·         Barry Taranto: Drive your own medallion is important for vehicle maintenance. Should set up a procedure for shift changing to help better service the public. Broker language should
     be approved as amended. 

·         Robert Cezano: 30 day notice requirement is against rules.

·         Richard Hybels: leased drivers will pay for their own vehicles and have and will save money.  Shift changing should occur off lot.

·         Jim Gillespie: Sees both sides of shift changing. The commission won’t be able to stop it but the parking on the street is negative.  Maybe some regulations on taxis found parked on
     a public street. Don’t understand the drive your own medallion rule.  

·         Chuffa:  Shift changing off site should be allowed. We need to service the city and how to improve it. 30 day notice is wrong.

·         Anne McVeigh: Agrees with Carl Macmurdo’s changes.

·         Hansu Kim: Current rules have not been updated to incorporate leased drivers. Shift changing off site should be allowed. Drive your own medallion rule shouldn’t be required either.

·         Barry Korengold: Drive your own medallion rule impractical. 30 day notice is infringement on rights. Shift changing off site should be allowed.

·         Tom Stanghellini: Shift changing off site happens all the time. How will commission obtain waybills if they shift change off the property? Drive your own medallion rule should be

·         Charles Rathbone: Shift changing on premises is best way to control a taxi. 

·         Sgt Reynolds: Most drivers are honest and hard working people.  Tried locating a taxi medallion and found out that the cab didn’t report to color scheme since November 2007.

·         Mark Gruberg: Drive your own medallion should be left in tact.

·         Ruah Graffis: Should keep shift changing on site.

·         Bill Mounsey: Problem is long term leases and someone should look into that.

·         Mary Maguire:  What protection does medallion holder have for their drivers if they do not follow the rules?

·         Name: UTW is in violation of the rules.

·         Peter Witt: GTU should be addressing some of these issues. Long term leases, lots of drivers like them should ask why.  3 months notice sounds appropriate 30 days may not be

·         Tariq Mehood: There are a lot of taxis and drivers park their personal vehicles which get broken into off the lot.  GPS makes it easy to locate taxis.

·         Com Oneto: The reason for the 30 day rule was placed on the books because the Commission needs to know where medallion holders are at all times.

·         Pres Gillespie: 4.A.3 and 4.A.7 should be revetted by the Rules subcommittee. 4A.9 to be added to resolution on the waybill portion of that rule. 4.A.10 to be considered and
     drafted in a resolution. Drive your own rule, reso for modification, elimination and reduction.

·         Com Breslin: 4.A.11 resolution to get rid of this rule and add the new amendments.  Change of residence address even if they are vacationing. The last sentence should go to the
     color scheme section.

·         Com Slaughter: Draw up a resolution as 2 separate resolutions eliminating 4.A.11.

·         Pres Gillespie: 4.B.3 also needs a resolution merging the language.

7.      Staff Report and Commissioner Announcements [INFORMATION]

·         Deputy Director Thigpen: Read Ms. Machen’s staff update.

·         Sgt Reynolds: Update

Commissioner Announcements:

Com Benjamin:  Received a memo from Tom Owen and would like it to be agendized.

City Attorney: Allows a key personnel exemption to drivers.

Public Comment:

·         Carl Macmurdo- Sup Elsbernd will be introducing an amendment to the key personnel legislation

·         Barry Korengold: Drivers didn’t get anything out of the gas and gate increase.  Rec adding a .25 to drop. 

8.  Public Comment (Please limit public comment to items NOT on the agenda; also limited to public that did not speak during Special Order)

·         Richard Hybels- Make a rule that even numbered cabs are only allowed to the airports on certain days.

·         Mark Gruberg- Relentless attacks at UTW over and over again. Legislation recently passed worst taxi legislation created.

·         Hansu Kim- Update on debit card another time.

9.         Adjournment – 11:35 pm



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