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Rules and Regulations Subcommittee


November 20, 2008

City Hall,1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place               

Room 408

Present:  Breslin, Oneto, Gillespie

Absent:   None

Called meeting at 9:43 pm

1.      Call to Order/Roll Call : Quorum

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

  • Charles Rathbone:  I appreciate this forum and the good work that the commissioners and staff has done.  I hope going into the MTA we have the same opportunity to be heard.
  • Marty Smith:  The rules committee is a great thing and Jordanna has done good work.  Luxor needs 15 fleet medallions; we want health care and new vehicles.  We need the help to run the business.  Thank you for everything.

3.      Adoption of Minutes from the October 14, 2008 Subcommittee Meeting [ACTION] :

·         Adopted without objection

·         Com Breslin: Minutes are a great reference to go back to when we consider goals.

4.      Consideration of Amendments to Rule 4.A.9 [ACTION]

  • Dir Thigpen: I reviewed the past minutes from these hearings and I put together resolutions from your different opinions on these rules.  I attached those to the memo describing some of the old comments and issues around each one.
  • Com Gillespie: This is under the Medallion Holder section? Will this be under the Color Scheme section?  Who is going to be responsible?
  • Dir Thigpen: In the case of a Pre-K it would be the Color Scheme.  Theoretically it’s the Color Scheme that should control it.  As for Post-K the actual medallion holder should be responsible if they are really driving.
  • Com Breslin: We need to document that it used to be the old number.  So people can check from old rule to new rule.
  • Dir Thigpen: It’s a policy decision.
  • Com Gillespie: I’m not comfortable with passing the rule of place a business to the cab being able to park on the street.  The cab should be parked in a garage.
  • Com Breslin: The protection about those things is going to be kept in the cab is in the rule book.  To specify that they must be in a garage should be a city issue.
  • Com Gillespie: I know personally I get calls from cabs being parked in neighborhoods.  I don’t want to go towards a situation where people are shift changing everywhere.  I want to recognize reality but not set a trend where nobody has to shift change or park in a garage.

Public Comment

  • Charles Rathbone: We should definitely go with the cabs changing shifts at the cab companies.  We have some concerns about the medallion holders ensuring that there waybills are being turned in.  The Medallion Holder has designated the Color Scheme as their agent.  Keep in mind that some of the Medallion Holders are not able to meet that requirement.
  • Jim Gillespie:  I think there should be enough space available that cabs can change shifts on-site.  I don’t want cabs parking on the streets.  Changing shifts at a location and not parking is okay, but it’s a small percentage.  It’s not going to happen with our gate and gas cabs because they have to come back.  I like the consideration to change shifts in the city.
  • Marty Smith: I tend to think that at the end of every shift cabs should show up with their waybills.  You can get a permit right now to park your cab in your garage.  The Police Department will come out and okay it but the fact still remains that the waybills and lost property should be turned in at the end of every shift.
  • Barry Korengold:  Cab drivers should be able to change shifts on city streets.  Some of these cab companies are not in safe neighborhoods.  You can leave a cab for 4 hours anyhow just not for 24 hours.
  • Com Gillespie:  What if you park at your house on 28th and Ortega and the next person driving has to pick up the vehicle in the sunset.
  • Com Oneto: I’m more in favor of keeping the cab shift changing at the business premise. The city is only 47 square miles; you don’t have to drive a great distance. I’m in favor of keeping it the way it is.
  • Com Gillespie: I agree.
  • Com Breslin: When you say “as is” you want to see it the way it is?
  • Com Oneto: Yes
  • Com Gillespie: How many applications do we have for shift changing?
  • Dir Thigpen: They have always sent these applications before the commission.  Ronald Brother medallion holder 349 wanted to park at Fox Plaza and the commission said no because it was a residential parking lot.  We’ve tried to work with him to get a good solution.  We have not had that many applications. 
  • Com Gillespie: How many cabs do you think are shift changing off property and not turning in waybills?
  • Dir Thigpen: I think most of them are Affiliates.  They never have time stamps on their waybills. Town 90 and 86 are parking on Eagle Street, I get pictures everyday. 
  • Com Gillespie: Are we accepting waybills without timestamps as valid?
  • Dir Thigpen: We often have waybills submitted without timestamps.  Smaller companies have time clocks, time stamps or computers.  This is why we want to get some type of standardized log in system.
  • Com Gillespie: For their gates and gas but not for the long term leases.
  • Com Breslin:  We will move this to the commission with both the old and new for discussion and action.

5.      Consideration of Amendments to Rule 4.A.11 and Proposed Rule 4.A.13 [ACTION]

  • Dir Thigpen: This rule was designed so that you would know a Post-K Medallion Holder was gone and wasn’t driving. 
  • Com Breslin: Do you remember what the vote was on this for this committee.
  • Dir Thigpen: You guys liked the language under the amendment part.  Commissioner Oneto and Gillespie still want to know what’s going on.
  • Com Breslin:  Complying with the driving requirement.
  • Dir Thigpen: That’s 4A10 which is item 6, this is notification of absence. 
  • Com Gillespie: Isn’t this rule derived from Prop K itself?
  • Marty Smith: Municipal Police Code.
  • Dir Thigpen: The idea that someone would take off for 30 days. 
  • Com Oneto: This is all Post K medallions.  With Post K they are managing a city asset. The idea was to be able to contact them should their be an issue with that medallion
  • Dir Thigpen: We have several people right now and we don’t know where they are.  We are trying to track them down.
  • Com Oneto: If you are managing a city asset this is something that all San Franciscans own. The city should be able to contact the individuals who are managing a city asset.
  • Com Gillespie: 30 days or more.  If he has driven his requirement, why do they have to tell us when they go on vacation?
  • Dir Thigpen: What if something happens with that medallion, how do we get in touch with them?
  • Com Breslin: For the sake of privacy, we need to strike out, out of the country or if they are gone more than 30 days. We only need to know how to reach them, not where they are.
  • Com Gillespie: This is a legacy of bankruptcy of the 70's. I don’t see a need for the Medallion Holders to let us know where they are if they have finished their requirement.
  • Dir Thigpen: Right now that requirement is only under the drivers section.  Each Medallion Holder designates the color scheme and an agency for service of process. If we need to give them an official letter if we can send it to their color scheme.
  • Com Breslin: We could keep it with 4A13.  If we put those together it may be cleaner. 
  • Com Oneto: This is a Municipal Police Code that they have to notify?
  • Dir Thigpen: Paul is saying that the policy is grounded in the Municipal Police Code. This rule is just its own. 
  • Com Gillespie: That sentence is actually in Prop K if I'm not mistaken. But with Prop A now, Prop K is subject to revision if we even go there. 
  • Dir Thigpen: Let’s say that a one man color scheme is going away for 60 days and they can’t get any drivers.  Then they can notify a city agency to let them know their cab will be off the streets.
  • Com Oneto: There is a section about abandoning the business.  Upon abandonment of a business for more than 10 consecutive days the permit can be revoked. The Medallion Holder will notify the police and not abandon the business and there forfeiting the permit.  I think this is where all of this came from.  This is to protect rather than to penalize them so they don’t lose this permit. Section 4, continuous operation, that’s got to be where it’s from.
  • Com Gillespie: As long as we have some way to contact them, they don’t need to tell us where and when as long as they met their driving requirement.
  • Dir Thigpen: This might be crazy but what if there is a rule if they notify the commission when they have finished their requirement.
  • Com Breslin: I thought the Color Scheme was responsible for getting this info to the TXC
  • Dir Thigpen:  They send it to the Tax Collector and the Taxi Detail, this is a daily process.  I would rather the Medallion Holders retain personal responsibility of keeping their records up to date. 
  • Com Gillespie: The A-card holders tell us when they change their address.  If there is going to be a temporary change that should go to the color scheme.
  • Com Breslin: Because of what you just said, after the first paragraph of 4A13; we should put that last sentence that they have to let the Color Scheme know there contact info, it’s all about address.
  • Dir Thigpen: I’ll type up a new one, I agree with that subject matter of keeping everything together.
  • Com Gillespie: We are not asking for the info about them "personally" being away.
  • Com Breslin: The reason has to be there.
  • Com Oneto:  I don’t think we can change rules that are in Prop K. 
  • Com Gillespie: We can’t, but we can recommend it to MTA.
  • Com Oneto: As for as record keeping the record keeping that is up to the Medallion Holder.

Public Comment

  • Mark Gruberg: these points to some of the minor problems in Prop K that can be addressed by the MTA without doing injury.  The 10 day abandonment could be constructed to say “you have abandoned the taxi industry”.  Perhaps there should be a rule that clarifies that. The other problematic rule is the one about the cab being operated everyday the further language to the extent to provide service.  But it really points to the single shift drivers.  There are larger questions that the MTA should get to.
  • Charles Rathbone: Medallion Holders and drivers should always submit a change of address to Taxi Commission.  Medallion Holders going away on vacation is nobodies business.  Contact info should be sufficient.  We are into some pretty unusual times now; it’s possible that people will have problems.
  • Com Gillespie: If one of your permit holders goes to another country, what do you do?
  • Charles Rathbone: We at least once a year require everyone to update their contact info.
  • Com Gillespie: Does Green cab do that?
  • Mark Gruberg: A-Cards and DMV printouts will be requested.
  • Chris Sweis: I usually get their email address or contact of a friend or relative.  We have a larger company; there is too much money at risk to not operate.
  • Mark Gruberg: Green cab is an entirely gas and gates company. 
  • Marty Smith: The 90 day rule is out of the Municipal Police Code.  All the rules in the Rules and Regulations are out of the Municipal Police Code. Taxicab permits have never not been apart of city property. Before someone goes on vacation, there are logs that people fill in which Tom Stanghellini maintains and knows what the schedules are.  Even with the days off you have to put in for it.
  • Com Breslin: Emergency contact information, does anyone have a problem with keeping emergency contact information updated all the time?
  • Mark Gruberg: If I go away for a weekend, do I have to let someone know?
  • Com Breslin: It goes the opposite way; you don’t have to let people know where you’re going.  Emergency contact info doesn’t change on a daily basis. 
  • Com Oneto: How many cab drivers don’t have cell phones? If you’re just going to Eureka, your cell phone will work.
  • Mark Gruberg: Our Company has about three people who don’t have cell phones. 
  • Com Breslin: I’m willing to leave it at 30 days.  We should be able to reach you.
  • Mark Georgio: I think that Medallion Holders want to be reachable.  There is an uncertainty issue that I’m not sure about how to resolve.  I think we should just remove a layer that is not needed.
  • Com Breslin: The one change id like to see is putting the contact info in with 4A13, but the language of what we are going to put forward "as is"
  • Com Oneto: I’m not opposed to those changes.   What I would like to see is who is responsible for the contact. 
  • Com Breslin: When you say change, you’re not opposed to the Color Scheme is providing it?
  • Com Oneto: Then its ok, I don’t need to know where the Medallion Holder is. As long as a Color Scheme is the agent for process, I don’t need to know anything.
  • Com Gillespie: Make a separate rule that states this information needs to be on file with the Color Scheme.  Then we will get rid of it anywhere else it shows up.
  • Com Breslin: I'm in favor of that.
  • Dir Thigpen: The packet is already done.
  • Com Gillespie: Before Tuesday you are going to prepare something?
  • Com Breslin: If we make amendments now, is it better to put forward what’s there or make changes verbally at the commission.
  • Tom Owen: When you get to the commission meeting Tuesday, you have to start with what’s on the agenda and then introduce.
  • Com Oneto: Is that part of making the Color Scheme an agent for process?
  • Dir Thigpen: It’s in this rule.  I can also add in another rule in the Color Scheme section. That would have to be voted on Dec 9th.
  • Com Breslin: We can put this under the Medallion Holder action.
  • Dir Thigpen: I’ll draft everything up and bring them that night.

6.      Consideration of Amendments to Rule 4.A.10 [ACTION]

  • Dir Thigpen: This is the "drive you own cab" rule.  With this rule there have been mixed feelings.  There was a high profile case with an individual who didn’t drive his own cab and was brought up on administrative charges.  There’s been much discussion on comments from the year 2000. Lots of misrepresentation and the rule make sense in some regard.  It seems like the rule can be amended to say, “They should drive their own taxicab if it’s available”.  Color schemes like the idea of "if available".
  • Com Oneto: Going back to when we had this discussion before, I heard from the industry that this doesn’t happen on a regular basis. 
  • Dir Thigpen: The rule is the rule, there are no percentages. I am not going to give a percentage. 
  • Com Breslin: It’s too administratively impractical.
  • Com Gillespie: This language gives enough leeway. The intent of the commission is to allow some flexibility.  In Prop K the language says "under any permit that is issued to you" it pretty much says that you have to drive your own cab. I think this language allows the city the maximum amount of service. I think this rule is fine as its written now; no one will lose their medallion.
  • Com Breslin: Because of the long standard. I'd be more satisfied with a definition of "unavailable”.
  • Com Gillespie: Unavailable means it’s not in yet from the day shift?     
  • Com Breslin: I would leave it as unavailable.   
  • Com Oneto: What were your reasons?
  • Com Breslin: Unavailable either, already in use, being repaired or out of service.

Public Comment

  • Charles Rathbone:  Keep a minimum or percentage.  If you allow this language of "unavailable" it will create a control issue.  You shouldn’t do that; you can end up putting more authority under the cab dispatch at 4am when management is not available.
  • Com Breslin: Could you clarify control issue?
  • Charles Rathbone: If the cab is "unavailable" we would rather have the cab go to the medallion holder and they would argue with the dispatchers.
  • Com Breslin: Does the Color Scheme always know when the Medallion Holder is coming to drive the shift, are they scheduled?
  • Charles Rathbone: Yes.
  • Com Breslin: I think that’s an internal problem with the Color Scheme.  When a Medallion Holder doesn’t want to drive a vehicle because it’s so bad.
  • Chris Sweis: I think this issue is a little more that what is made of it.  It’s a deeper sense of pride with Medallion Holders; they want to drive their own cab or vehicle number.  In terms of having them driving for maintenance of their cab, which is incumbent on the color scheme to make sure it’s in properly working order.
  • Mark Gruberg: I think "unavailable" is too much for use. It requires all kinds of caveats as to what is unavailable is. Enforcement will be a disaster. I agree with Charles, a percentage rule is far similar the big elephant here is the long term leasing of K medallions. Its going to be very controversial you are opening the door to it, you have to make some change.
  • Com Gillespie: If you want us to give some flexibility we should make a percentage.
  • Mark Gruberg: I like the percentage idea myself.  From 2000 when Simpson had the conversation, the rule did exist. So it was a bit of a shock to have it re-interpreted. 
  • Com Gillespie: Why is this issue so important that you shouldn’t be required to drive your own?
  • Mark Georgio: Its enforcing it right up to 100%
  • Com Gillespie: What is the percentage you don’t driver you own cab?
  • Mark Georgio: 10-20 percent I don’t drive my own cab.
  • Com Breslin: Why wouldn’t you drive your own cab, what reason?
  • Mark Georgio: I don’t have a time specific as to when I don’t come in and the dispatcher has already put that vehicle out. I don’t mind driving another cab.
  • Com Gillespie: So you are happy with 75% of a time?
  • Mark Georgio: Yes, even 50%.  I think that 100% would be a problem.
  • Marty Smith: This should only be done with gates and gas. When someone comes in early and they can get the cab out early.  Every waybill should be counted because he did drive. It’s only for the good of the public that this is being done.  It should be not a long term lease, only gate and gas.
  • Barry Korengold: It should say when available at a percentage of 50%. I think most medallion holders would prefer to drive their own cab.  I was anxious to drive my own cab because I make sure it’s in good condition. Whatever cab I have I would keep it up and drive whenever I could
  • Jim Gillespie: Why do we need to change this rule; most K holders drive their own cab. On a daily bases It’s the reality, things happen. From a service stand point just run their business.  Most guys want to driver their own cab.
  • Com Gillespie: If available or percentage to fulfill your driving requirement?
  • Jim Gillespie: I wouldn’t go with percentage.  I just don’t see it happening.
  • Com Oneto: If you never have to drive your own medallion, a medallion holder can give his medallion to a broker, and now you have no way of monitoring what’s going on with that medallion. If we make a rule that monitored the change I’m fine. 
  • Com Gillespie: Unavailable shouldn’t mean brokered. 
  • Com Breslin: Can we add that as a definition to “unavailable” as it applies to long term leases? 
  • Dir Thigpen: The issue of brokers and leases and needs to be resolved before it gets to MTA.  I think it’s fair to say you are going to be looking at that issue.  For the record I’m opposed to a percentage.
  • Com Breslin: I agree, I’m totally opposed to it as well. 
  • Dir Thigpen: We won’t enforce action against people.
  • Com Breslin: If we are not going to vote on leases for the next couple months, it will be punitive to medallion holders or public service. 
  • Dir Thigpen: No one will be cited for it.
  • Com Breslin: All shifts will be counted towards the driving requirement?
  • Dir Thigpen: We are not going to have time to do an audit, prior to the end of the year.
  • Com Breslin: All hours will be counted regardless of cab?
  • Dir Thigpen: I can’t make a blanket statement.
  • Com Breslin: This is why I want this rule addressed, that’s the route we should go.  I want it to go forward to the commission.
  • Dir Thigpen: Some people drive spares, repeatedly. I’m not going to go looking for people. I can’t make that assessment, and say everyone’s waybills will be counted.  There might be other problems.
  • Com Breslin: I would like this to stay on the agenda if possible.

7.      Consideration of Goals for Rules Subcommittee for Next Few Months [DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION]

  • Com Gillespie: We should be getting rules considered and done with.
  • Dir Thigpen: Long term leases and brokering.
  • Com Breslin: Are you saying workers compensation should be moved over?  If we are not hearing the speaker we do not need to handle this in such a short period.
  • Com Gillespie: Our rules in place now are serving us well.
  • Com Breslin: We haven’t even gotten to the drivers section.  Such as driver training.
  • Dir Thigpen: Rather than going thru it rule by rule, we should go through the "rule of conduct".
  • Com Breslin: Physicals and drug testing can be possibly touched on. 
  • Dir Thigpen: It’s bi-annual, every two years.
  • Com Breslin: I would like to see this rule go through and talk about leases.
  • Dir Thigpen: Two rules; having 1095s every year in person. 
  • Com Breslin: I think that’s such a volatile issue.
  • Com Gillespie: That is a big issue that Nat has to deal with.  I think Dir Thigpen is saying that everyone else has to file annually, why is it a 3 time cycle for permit holders and not drivers.
  • Com Breslin: We should only have pre-k's do a notary for their 1095.
  • Com Gillespie: I'm for making separate rules for pre and post k holders. 
  • Dir Thigpen:  Drivers showing DMV print outs to get their A-Card. 
  • Marty Smith: Insurance requires us to annually get DMV printouts from drivers.
  • Com Gillespie: We need a penalty structure for the clean air taxi. 
  • Dir Thigpen: We talked about it at the June and July Taxi Commission hearing and you guys did vote on penalties for Board of Supervisors. We can just re-visit it and make sure they are relevant.  As for Color Scheme changes, you may want to set some parameters for rejecting or put a change on a probationary.

Public Comment

  • Marty Smith: EER, the economy is gone off the roof; we have more and more people applying to drive cabs everyday.  We are going to need the jobs. 
  • Mark Gruberg: I would urge you to look at workers compensation.  Simply cut the knot and put in a requirement to serve the airport we must have workers compensation. 
  • Com Breslin: There is a 10 day noticing requirement for these types of rules.
  • Barry Korengold: I would suggest a bi-annual physical; it costs a lot of money.
  • Com Breslin: I would suggest that we all look at the drivers section to discuss for the next meeting.

8.      Adjournment. 11:36pm



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