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April 22, 2008 at 6:30 p.m.

City Hall,1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place               

Room 400

STAFF IN ATTENDENCE:  Acting Executive Director Jordanna Thigpen, Executive Secretary Tamara Odisho Benjamin – Taxi Commission, Sergeant Ron Reynolds- Taxi Detail, City Attorney Tom Owen


Jordanna Thigpen, Acting Executive Director: Turn-off cell-phones, interferes with phone systems and we get feedback.


  1. Call to Order/Roll Call
  • Present: Breslin, Gillespie, Oneto, Paek      Absent: Benjamin, Slaughter
  1. Staff Report and Commissioner Announcements [INFORMATION]

·         Acting Director Thigpen: Update on staff report.

·         Sergeant Reynolds: Update of third quarter SFPD Budget Report

Commissioner Announcements:

·         Com Breslin: Rules committee will be continued to a later date in the month of May. 

Public Comment:

·         Robert Cesana: Commission has promised to have a service meeting but have not held it yet.

·         Barry Taranto: Has attended many meetings at AT&T park and should be asked for questions. 

·         Mike Spain: Limos are using white zones as their parking lots.  And we need police to regulate these.

·         Carl Macmurdo: Using the screen at AT&T park is a good idea.  There should be a white zone for wheelchairs at AT&T park.

·         Emil Lawrence: NYC regulates limos and taxis.  In this city there is no regulation of limos and that’s why they continue to pick up here.

·         Bill Mounsey: Friend picked-up a limo from a hotel and bellman was trying to put him in a limo.  Do police know about gypsy cabs because they are not pulling them over.

·         Richard Hybels: There should be a meter increase because gas prices are out of control.

·         Michael Kwok: Approves increase in meter to relieve gas increases, but by how much do you increase it since oil is in high demand worldwide.

·         Emil Lawrence: The public doesn’t know where white zones are, and there’s no enforcement of who can park in the white zones.

  1. Consent Calendar [ACTION]

·         Acting Director Thigpen: Recommends severing item D.

·         Pres Gillespie: Does not want to sever item D since the PCC recommended this applicant but would like to sever item C2.

·         Public Comment:

·         Tariq Mehmood: Medallion #690 is violating the 3 layer rule, by accepting this color scheme change the commission is allowing for multiple layers.

·         Name: UTW is using #690 and breaking the 3 layer rule.

·         Mohammed Booya: Law only allows 3 layers and UTW is operating under 5 layers.

·         Mark Gruberg:  Moving medallion 690 to Green Cab because we were made aware by the Taxi Commission that we violated the 3 layer rule and needed to move the
     medallion from Regents since Green.

·         Com Breslin: On the application there was no reason stated for the color scheme change. 

·         Mark Gruberg: Mr. Welch filled out that application.

·         Barry Taranto:  Commission staff did a lot of work on the ramp taxi applicant who has a lot of discrepancies. Commission should monitor his waybills.

·         Giovanni: Law only allows three layers medallion 690 was under 5 layers.

·         Robert Cesana: Someone other than Mr. Welch is collecting the money from the 690 medallion.

·         Name:  This is a routine matter of colors scheme change but for others it is an opportunity to make trouble for Green Cab.

·         Name: Green cab board and UTW are not affiliated although there are some members of UTW who sit on the Green Cab board.

·         Mike Spain:  UTW won a right to use the Welch medallions and there is a relationship between UTW and Green Cab.  Why isn’t Mr. Welch here?

·         Ruah Graffis: Suddenly people are claiming there are 5 layers when while the medallion was under Regents they claimed it was 4 layers.  They should make up their mind.

·         Thomas George Williams: Once the color scheme is approved, Green Cab will be in compliance with the rules.

·         Com Paek: Motion to approve A- Minutes, C1- CS change for Teresa Callan and D1- granting a ramp medallion to Demian Volynsky.

·         Com Oneto: 2nd motion

·         AYES: Breslin, Gillespie, Oneto, Paek                     NO: 0

           ABSENT: Benjamin, Slaughter                                 RECUSE: 0


·         Com Breslin: Would like to see the applications filled out more properly in the future.

·         Com Oneto:  Who filed the initial lawsuit and whose behalf it was filed and who shares in those profits.

·         Acting Director Thigpen:  Overview of the lawsuit which was brought by UTW regarding the Welch medallions.

·         Mark Gruberg: Will be using this medallion in the company and used it until we are able to accommodate the driver and advance the vision of the company. There are disability

           questions that are at stake and we don’t want to go into it further.

·         Com Oneto: Please answer the questions I’ve asked.  I’m asking the legitimacy of Green all together.

·         Mark Gruberg: Zare was the driver listed in the lawsuit but died later. Green cab is a legitimate color scheme.

·         Pres Gillespie: Why is the settlement confidential?

·         Mark Gruberg: The settlement is confidential and that’s how it was agreed.

·         Com Breslin: The city should be involved in learning more about this medallion. 

·         City attorney: The City was not involved in this lawsuit as an active party and they withdrew the lawsuit dissolving the case against the city. The commissioners have no authority

           to require the information of the settlement.

·         Com Breslin: Motion to continue the item

·         Com Oneto: Second the motion.

·         AYES: Breslin, Gillespie, Oneto, Paek                     NO: 0

           ABSENT: Benjamin, Slaughter                                 RECUSE: 0

  1. Consideration of Recommended Amendments to Taxicab/Ramped Taxi Rules & Regulations 4.A.7, 4.B.1, 4.B.3, AND 5.G.2.a. [ACTION]

·         Acting Director Thigpen:  Overview of resolutions for rule changes.

Public Comment:

·         Thomas George Williams: Long term leases currently use more than 3 layers which is against the rules.

·         Robert Cesana: The commission has not defined layers.

·         Mike Spain: Opposes 3 layer minimum rule and believes there should be unlimited layers.

·         Tariq Mehmood: Should have rules meeting daily since there are many things that need to be addressed before the commission folds into the MTA.

·         Emil Lawrence:  The commission needs to define layer since we do not know who owns corporate and or pre-k medallions.

·         Com Breslin:  We wanted to protect a driver who is not allowed to put his name on the registration.

·         Com Oneto: This resolution does not deal with layers but I support it as it stands.

·         Com Paek: Glad the Commission is moving forward with the Resolution. Motion to approve resolution.

·         Com Oneto: 2nd motion

·         AYES: Breslin, Gillespie, Oneto, Paek                     NO: 0

          ABSENT: Benjamin, Slaughter                                  RECUSE: 0

SPECIAL ORDER 7:30 – 8:00 PM

  1. Public Comment (Please limit public comment to items NOT on the agenda)
  • Robert Cesana: Commission must be careful on limiting who becomes a taxi driver since lawyers will not be applying to be a taxi driver. Happy to hear about white zone enforcement legislation.
  • Jim Gillespie: How many defaulted cameras happened in the inspection? Would welcome random checks at color scheme companies. Yellow cab companies that are operating illegally are still pervasive.
  • Barry Taranto: There are a lot of abuses with the airport smart cards. Number of officers used during the torch run should be used to bust illegal limos to stop the problem. How many taxi violations issued last year.
  • Bill Mounsey: Sgt. Reynolds doing a great job, but his effort is not making a difference on illegal limos. Gypsy cabs in the Mission painted yellow are picking up.
  • Richard Hybels: Meter increase is required to supplement the high costs of gas.
  • Michael Kwok:  Supports incentive for drivers to help subsidize the increase in gas.
  • Emil Lawrence:  White zones are an issue since customers do not know about them or how they function. 69 cabs seemed to be rubber stamped before it went before the Board of Appeals.
  • Barry Korngold: Feels he should be on the consent calendar on May 13 agenda.
  • Tariq Mehmood: Wants to honor Alberto for helping out other drivers and raising money for kidney replacement surgery for a driver’s son.
  • Andy Sinaiko: Why wasn’t his name mentioned earlier believes he should be included. 
  • Mark Gruberg:  Companies are overcharging gas and gate.  This would be easy for the commission to enforce.  One company is charging for credit card transactions.
  • Mike Spain: Several years since meter increase.  Time for a rate increase. At the last meeting, there was a position to be approved for a clerk and commission should have cut that position.
  • Name: What is the commission doing for the drivers especially the bill of rights, the companies are not treating drivers well. 
  • Thomas George Williams:  American dollar is low and the meter increase is needed. The city should hire more officers since there are only 2 for all the limos in the city.
  • Name: If the commission requires each company their gates and their policies on credit cards and have them sign each of the letter, it would be interesting to see if any signs these.


  1. Taxi Commission’s Taxi Wrap Fund [INFORMATION AND DISCUSSION]

·         Acting Director Thigpen: Overview of the item.

·         Pres Gillespie: Would like to continue further discussion on this issue at a future meeting.

Public Comment:

·         Carl Macmurdo: This money is for the drivers and should be made by the non-medallion holder drivers.

·         Emil Lawrence: Opposes any of these monies to be spent on photos.  Wants to know if the money has collected any interest.

·         City Attorney: The controller invests City money funds.

·         Mike Spain: This is the drivers’ money.

·         Robert Cesana: Let the driver’s decide how they want to spend their money.

·         Thomas George Williams: The money should be used to create a soup kitchen in case it comes down to that.

  1. Consideration of Hearing Officer’s Recommendations in Taxi Commission v. Eric Brill: [ACTION]

·         Consideration of Hearing Officer’s decision regarding continuation of summary suspension of P-44 Permit #  63024.

·         Acting Director Thigpen:  Overview of case. 

·         Sgt Reynolds:  Overview of his background.

·         Com Breslin: The commission did not lift the summary suspension as noted in the complaint.

·         Acting Director Thigpen: Previous director lifted the summary suspension on behalf of the commission.

Public Comment:

·         Robert Cesana: Commission is going on a presumption of guilt and shouldn’t.

·         Emil Lawrence: The commission should uphold the hearing officer’s recommendation and should revoke his permit.

·         Thomas George Williams:  Should be presumed innocent and not guilty.

  1. Consideration of Hearing Officer’s Recommendations in Taxi Commission v. Enazzer: [ACTION]

·         Consideration of Hearing Officer’s decision to revoke P-16 Permit # 431 for Violation of the Prop. K Full Time Driving Requirement, MPC § 1081(b) for 2001, 2005, and 2006; and violation of MPC § 1138, accurate and legible waybills.

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

·                               No public comment.


  1. Adjournment – 10:00 pm



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