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May 27, 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, City Attorney Paul Zarefesky


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


  1. Call to Order/Roll Call
  • Present: Benjamin, Breslin, Gillespie, Oneto, Paek, Slaughter                   Absent: 0


  1.  Closed Session – Public Employee Nomination: Executive Director Of Taxicab Commission (ACTION)
    1. Public comment.
  • Charles Rathbone: Would want to be compensated if he were working more hours and had more responsibilities.
  • Robert Cesano: Board of Supervisors and MTA are creating a national search for a executive director.
  • Mark Gruberg: Jordanna has been fair and balanced and is needed during transition.
  • Jim Gillespie: Would want Jordanna to be compensated, Commission should give her a salary increase.
  • Mary Maguire: Has heard Jordanna doesn’t say nice things about medallion holders.
  1. Closed session as described above, pursuant to Section 67.10(b) of the San Francisco Sunshine Ordinance (S.F. Admin. Code §67.10(b)) and Section 54957(b) of the Ralph M. Brown Act (Cal. Govt. Code §54957(b)).

·         Com Paek: Motion to go into closed session.

·         Com Benjamin: 2nd motion.

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

      ABSENT: 0                                                                                                       RECUSE: 0


  1. Vote on whether to disclose closed session discussion.  (ACTION)

·         Com Slaughter: Motion to not disclose discussions in closed session.

·         Com Paek: 2nd motion


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

      ABSENT: 0                                                                                                      RECUSE: 0    




  1. Report on any action taken as required by Section 67.12(b)(4) of the Sunshine Ordinance (S.F. Admin. Code §67.12(b)(4)) and Section 54957.1(a)(5) of the Ralph M. Brown Act ( Cal. Govt. Code §54957.1(a)(5)).
  1. Staff Report and Commissioner Announcements [INFORMATION]
  • Acting Director Thigpen: Overview of staff report
  • Sergeant Reynolds: Overview of Taxi Detail report
  • Wade Crowfoot, Mayor’s Office: MTA Update

Commissioner Announcements:

  • Com Benjamin:  Asked Jordanna to put together memo on color scheme rule changes and would like Rules Committee to review.

Public Comment:

  • Mike Spain:  Glad Taxi Detail is requesting input from drivers to address limo issue.
  • Robert Cesano: Taxi Commissions budget was increased without Commissioners knowledge.
  • Mary Maguire: Limos are out of control. Commission budget wasn’t approved by Commission.
  • Carl Macmurdo:  Mayor’s office and Board of Supervisors will hire an executive director commission will only be advisory during merger.
  • Charles Rathbone: Spares should not be calculated per legislation regarding emissions.
  • Marty Smith: Emissions numbers not working out.
  • Tariq Mehmood: Budget was passed without the Commissions knowledge.
  • Mark Gruberg: Mayor’s office sets budget not Taxi Commission.


  1. Consent Calendar [ACTION]
  • Acting Director Thigpen: Recuse items D2-5 and F4
  • Com Slaughter:  Shouldn’t deny color scheme changes based on insufficient reasons, until the Commission sets standards.
  • Com Breslin: Comment section is a standard on application and should state why the change is occurring.
  • Acting Director Thigpen: Item F-4 Abdel Sdaigu will be going to the Board of Appeals.

Public Comment:

  • Richard Hybels: Families moving medallion because of family issues and not color scheme disagreements.
  • Emil Lawrence: American cab doesn’t keep waybills or electronic records from 2004.
  • Com Oneto: Motion to approve items A- Minutes; B- Driver permits; C- Grant medallions to C1: Mohammad Ilyas and C2: Antone Nguyen; D- Color scheme change to D1: Frank Fahy from Bay to Fog City and D6: Xiem Khuu from Regents to Fog City; F- Ineligible for ramp medallion F1: William Gahan, F2: Constantino Peralta, F3:Adel Awadallo; G- Allow to park at alternate site G1- Wes Hollis.
  • Com Paek: Second motion

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

    ABSENT: 0                                                                                                   RECUSE: 0    


  • Com Paek: Motion to approve color scheme change to D2: Mildred Rancatore; D3: Sandra Palazzo; D4:Antoinette Dell’Aqua, D5: Feridoon Golshan
  • Com Benjamin:  2nd motion

·     AYES: Benjamin, Breslin, Oneto, Paek, Slaughter       NO: 0

      ABSENT: 0                                                                            RECUSE: Gillespie


  1. SPECIAL ORDER 8:30 – 9:00 PM: Public Comment (Please limit public comment to items NOT on the agenda)
  • Name: UTW is a broker.  Safety concerns regarding Barry Taranto, his A-card has been revoked.
  • City Attorney: The public should be aware that there is no protection for defamatory statements from or about the public do not represent the Commissions viewpoint.
  • Mike Spain: Commission did not approve budget presented before the Board of Supervisors.
  • Robert Cesano: Public safety issue is not black and white as commission assumes.
  • Keith Raskin: Taxi and illegal limo problem especially when there are no TCP numbers.
  • Emil Lawrence: Why was the budget presented to the Commission if the Board was going to change it?
  • Bill Mounsey: Passenger reluctant to get in cab before she took a good look at his face because she was almost raped by a driver.
  • Richard Hybels: Has commented to folks at SFO as how to improve service and crack down on illegal limos.
  • Name: Driver’s Bill of Rights should be inside each taxi. Color scheme change comments are useless.
  • Barry Taranto: Needs to know how Commission spent money this year. Difficult to stop illegal limos.
  • Mary Maguire: Com Slaughter requested billings of Commission and has not been produced.
  • Tariq Mehmood: Drivers are from all countries.
  • Mark Gruberg: No one has seen the lease how can anyone comment on it?


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

·         Consideration of Hearing Officer’s decision to suspend Permit # 061042 for three years for reckless driving

·         Acting Director Thigpen: Overview of the item.

·         Sgt Reynolds: Overview of police report.

·         No Public Comment

·         Com Slaughter: Serious damage and shows no respect to the Commission by not appearing.  Motion to   uphold hearing officer’s decision.

·         Com Benjamin: 2nd motion,

·         Com Oneto: Would this set precedent for all reckless drivers?

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

      ABSENT: 0                                                                                              RECUSE: 0    


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

·         Douglas Wong: Consideration of Hearing Officer’s decision regarding continuation of summary suspension of P-44 Permit # 050561 and P-16 Permit # 180, issued pursuant to San Francisco Municipal Police Code Section §1090(c) for alleged violations of Penal Code §§ 12020(a)(4) (carrying concealed dirk or dagger); 12025(a) (carrying a concealed firearm), and 12031(a)(1) (carrying a loaded firearm by carrying it in a public place or public street).

·         Acting Director Thigpen:  Overview of the case.

·         Attorney Hallinan, representing Mr. Wong: District attorney dismissed the charges and Mr. Wong will           not carry weapons in the future.

·         Acting Director Thigpen:  Commission needs to vote on how to proceed.  Can amend the hearing officer’s decision by lifting the suspension or proceed with something else.

Public Comment:

·         Marty Smith: LA taxi driver killed 2 passengers while trying to escape a hold up.

·         Emil Lawrence: Douglass Wong never reported drug deal to police and should have.

·         Mike Spain: He’s already been suspended for 3 months, will not do it again.

·         Com Benjamin: Should lift the suspension with strong warnings and this is illegal and that if something occurs again police should be called.

·         Com Breslin: Public safety issue and should not carry any firearm.

·         Com Slaughter: Agrees with Com Benjamin and no one should carry a firearm.

·         Com Oneto: Also supports decision since there are no rules on this type of matter.

·         Com Benjamin: Motion to lift suspension.

·         Com Paek: 2nd motion

·      AYES: Benjamin, Gillespie, Oneto, Paek, Slaughter     NO: Breslin

      ABSENT: 0                                                                             RECUSE: 0    

  1. Consideration of Amendments to Taxicab/Ramped Taxi Rules & Regulations Rule 5.C.34 [ACTION]
  • Jordanna Thigpen: Once details are formally adopted will purchase laptops and memory chips.  Raywood cameras will need to be replaced.
  • Com Oneto: Section D should be lowered from 75% to 10 or 5%.

Public Comment:

  • Charles Rathbone: Percentage should be less than 75 but good faith effort placed on color scheme if green light is on but camera is not working.
  • Emil Lawrence:  Technology is old, memory chips should be replaced and monthly maintenance should be required.
  • Jim Gillespie: Inspections are never done and cabs are usually out of service in case it doesn’t work. Item B in the resolution addresses signage, can the language be more loosely written?
  • President Gillespie: Would like to remove section B , include noticing language in the first section and change 75% to 5%.
  • Com Breslin: Motion to adopt the amendments; remove section B, include public noticing and change 75% to 5%.
  • Com Paek: 2nd motion
  • Com Slaughter: Motion on the resolution including the amendments.
  • Com Paek: 2nd motion

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

        ABSENT: 0                                                                                              RECUSE: 0         


  1. Consideration of Amendments to Taxi Commission Wrap Procedure [ACTION]
  • Com Gillespie: Likes commission’s role on making the decision
  • Com Paek: Prefers the executive director to take the roll
  • Com Benjamin:  Increase the fleet size from 15 to 25% to be wrapped. Has never voted against a wrap and should allow the executive director to make the decision.
  • Danelle. Clear Channel: Clear Channel has lost several wrap contracts due to the quick turn around needed.  The noticing and consent calendaring of the item takes long. Going through the director is much easier.  Clear channel follows the rules and regulations and does not accept any advertisements from gentlemen’s clubs.
  • Charles Rathbone: It would be very valuable for color schemes to allow more wraps.
  • Com Slaughter: Motion to adopt executive director authority and increase wrap fleet to 25%
  • Com Benjamin: 2nd motion

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

        ABSENT: 0                                                                                                               RECUSE: 0


  1. Consideration of Possible Rule for Reconsideration of Commission Decisions on Permits Granted Pursuant to Municipal Police Code § 1079, in accordance with Section 2 of Ordinance No. 58-08, signed into law on April 10, 2008 [DISCUSSION]

·         Pres Gillespie: Daly/Ma was amended to allow the exemption for people like Ray Delgado.

·         Carl Macmurdo: Offers suggestions as how to implement the bill

·         Pres Gillespie: Directs staff to draft possible rule change. Believes only 1-2 people will be affected by this.

·         Com Oneto: How far back will this go? Should we get a list of names affected by this? How much time will        it take to generate the list?


  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 - 10:45 PM



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