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tv   [untitled]    June 5, 2012 4:00pm-4:30pm PDT

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there are a whole series of amendments for it most of them are preventing abuse from the cab company to the cabdriver. as a cabdriver, always losing their jobs by the cab company, they have no rights. all of these amendments are good. some of them are fair and some of them are not fair. most of them are ok. 1113, requires should be going to optional. the credit card machine -- we already have one in the front. we do not need another one in the back. we are chinese. i have a wife and another girlfriend. nobody makes me a case. you're white man, it is a big case for you. please, i only need one credit
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card machine. it is in the front and the customer has to give the credit card and let me slide it. i do not know what they do, where they take their credit card from. a lot of issues in the town hall meeting were already mentioned. if you are a mcdonald's franchise, you have to do the same food. but we are independent, small, individual people. we have our own small restaurant. you have to eat for it -- you have to eat. this is really unreasonable. thank you. vice chairman brinkman: thank you. let's hope your wife never finds sfgov tv. >> i agree. if you're going to eliminate the board of appeals, we want a
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refund. we want our money back. the board of appeals have a -- has a 2-3 month time frame. the current officer drags on his case is forever, sometimes as much as two years. you are still using this hearing officer. your sample is a bad one. i sat on that case originally and that person was an attorney. he could carry it to the higher courts without any higher expense. even so, this person still could not carry it to the higher courts even if they had the means. do not eliminate the board of appeals. it is not right. i would like to speak on item 15. the single operator permits. there is a requirement that is the same as a full-time medallion. someone who attended last week's town hall meeting was told that the medallions would be given
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out by june 15. the way bills will be checked after the fact. after a lengthy discussion -- how long have you been talking about this? two years. why the rush? it is june 5. in 10 days, your right to issue these medallions and then check the weigh bills? i think it is very hard to take something away from someone once they have it in their hands, from my experience. we never give up the medallion. i sat as commissioner for seven years. someone will have also purchased the vehicle, insurance, maybe there is another driver on the shift. which brings in the subject of workers' compensation. what are the requirements for this permits and how are they going to make that expense?
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>> veteran is a word i will have to look up in the dictionary. if you mean more discussion -- vetted is a word i will have to look up in the dictionary. if you mean more discussion, i think we need a town hall meeting in order to properly vet this issue. thank you. >> i agree that there has been very little time to review all of this for it there was like 180 pages of stuff to review. most of us are working and doing other stuff. there is not enough time for us to go over it. i understand the problem of people endlessly appealing
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permit revocation. i do not think it is right that we should not have the right to go to the board of appeals. cabdrivers should be allowed due process. the other thing i noticed is there is a requirement in their that prohibits tampering with required equipment in taxicabs. there should be an exception to the current taxicab cameras. as you might be aware, there was recently a hearing at the state senate and transportation housing committee where the law was intended to be changed but the committee voted 7-1. the cab drivers continue to have the right to disable or turn off these devices. there is no switch on the current cameras to turn them off. it is also illegal to record audio as california law states you need expressed consent before recording a conversation. a lot of the companies in san francisco continue to record
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audio in the cabs. putting a sign on the window is not enough. that is not expressed consent. you have asked every passenger when they come in if they mind being recorded. if they do not, how else are they supposed to get to where they are going? out -- >> i do not have much to say. mainly, because i did not read any of this stuff. [laughter] that kind of speaks to it. we work. i have to take short shifts. normally, i would be working, but i had a short shift to come to this meeting. it is not part of our full-time job description to read this material. there is a lot of it. i am noticing that the taxi industry, which is often totally at odds, is actually all in
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agreement that to vote on items 14 and 15 would be too hasty. everybody is saying they did not have a chance to thoroughly review it. it seemed like the one about the appeals seems to be kind of important and the industry seems united in wanting more time to look at that it thank you. >> directors, the drivers should have the right to appeal. as a matter of fact, anyone should have the right to appeal. about the security camera -- any criminal activity that happens in the taxicab for any accident should only be reviewed by the law enforcement and not by the cab companies. the cab companies should not have access to real-time video. if you allow the cab companies
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to average out the fee, you should allow the medallion- holders to average out the fee in favor of them. to solve this matter, have the fee average every day, whatever the gate fee is. directors, driving 23 years and on the dalia list for 13 years, -- on the medallion list for 13 years, your policies are hurting drivers like me. we have been suffering from the medallion pilot program giving single operator permits to drivers who never signed up for it. you are bypassing the entire waiting list and giving medallions to those who never ask for it. those who have the medallions already, you should only issue
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medallions to qualified drivers 3 it i am asking for your help. now, not 15 years from now, because i will be retired. i lost the page. thank you very much. >> good afternoon, commissioners. with an item number 15, i want to speak about a tiny portion of that, subpart number 5, which authorizes the director to impose a moratorium on the issuance of color schemes. most people do not know what color schemes are. it is a business license. it allows businesses like yellow cab, desoto, green taxi to operate using medallions that are issued by the mta.
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as an attorney who represents small businesses and businesses in the immigrant community, i can say that this is bad policy that has not been justified in any way. yes, there are public safety reasons. for instance, limiting liquor licenses. this one is simply an anti- competition policy that i urge you to reconsider. it has created a black market in the existing color schemes. there are transfers taking place right now. people who want one of these color scheme permits are paying exorbitant amounts of money to get them. also, it is a disingenuous request from staff to be authorized to place this moratorium because staff has been denying new color schemes for at least the last year.
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according to testimony at the board of appeals, they have been denying it for the past two years. i can provide documentation to that effect. as a policy proposal, it is a very bad policy. at the very least, i ask you to put some sort of a sunset on this. not saying we are going to place some new requirements so that they can qualify, it is saying that only the existing 30 color schemes will be allowed to benefit from future issuance medallions. thank you. vice chairman brinkman: that is the last person who has turned in a speaker card. thank you very much. director heinicke: i was surprised again. i saw these cabdriver's all take the same position on an issue. it was not in my day planner today.
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[laughter] >> can we get a photo? director heinicke: i would love a photo. we might need a wide lens. these are important changes. it is important to recognize that a great deal of the industry input on them was positive. many are geared to make the industry work better. i will say that on one of the more contentious issues, the board of appeals process, i have seen, in my experience, the really deleterious effect that lengthy permit revocations can have. it hurts faults on the prop k ist. if someone is waiting to get his medallion and he has to wait longer because of an unfounded
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appeal, that is a problem. we have heard some very strong proponents of prop k, that it is not a good idea and does not save time. similarly, there is questions about the single operator permit, which i am a big advocate of. one question i have come to revisit is whether we should be going from a-card security to permits. this is a very good start. i am pleased with a lot of it. usually, when we hear the request for more time, it is from a segment of the industry that does not like what we are going to do even though we have given it far more than enough time. today, we are hearing from throughout the industry for more time. frankly, this is not a cut and dry policy issue. these are largely technical or specific changes. my question, noting that a lot
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of the reaction to this is positive and many speakers have commended the director on her hard work, i wonder if this is something that staff would be open to taking back to a town hall meeting or having a discussion. or if you feel, and i do not ask this as a leading question, that these issues have been discussed enough or that this is something we can continue to change organically as we go forward? >> first of all, you have two pieces that you're considering. one has to do with police code amendments, bringing former police code sections into the transportation code. i would represent to you that the removal of the board of appeals jurisdiction as part of the amendment of the police code -- [microphone feedback]
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you would not be adopting here today. you would be forwarding recommendation to the board of supervisors. the reason you are doing that is to clean up legislation. the board of supervisors, all of these things are coming out of the police code because they no longer belong there. because they are no longer within the purview of the board of supervisors. the reason the board of appeals has jurisdiction over the taxi providers is that existing police code 2.13. an ordinance of the board of supervisors, not a section of the charter from the city and county of san francisco, which is currently in the police code. if it continues to exist, it should be in the transportation code. the board is free to ask staff to bring legislation that would adopt the board's own requirements, that permits heard -- be heard by the board of appeals. what used to happen under the taxi commission and what happens
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today. under the taxi commission, there was a staff recommendation. that would go to a hearing before the taxi commission. this board, when we transition in 2009, asked that staff lee what the hearing procedures -- asked the staff rewrite the hearing procedures on revoking medallion issuances. that has been moved to a hearing before our professional hearing staff. when they are not hearing permit issues related to taxi permits, they are well-versed in the code of administrative procedures. i find them not always instantaneous. i think we could improve that part of it. i find them thoughtful and careful with their opinions. then, i am sorry.
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i am getting confused. the taxi commission hearing, which would be your sfmta board hearing if it were still done this way today, once that hearing is done, you go to the board of appeals. then, if you do not like the result of the board of appeals, you pay for a lawyer to go to court. the way that i have proposed this legislation is that there is an sfmta staff decision. there is no change there. number two, there is a hearing. instead of the taxi commission or this board, it is in front of the hearing officers that are part of our sfmta staff and have experience in the various types of hearings. third, if you do not like that result, you can pay for a lawyer and go to court. i do not believe there is any limitation on due fact, i thinkd by the professionalism of our hearing section.
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if there is a problem with the perception of the fact that our hearing officers are within the sfmta, first of all, we face that with respect to all of our hearings. second, i want to refer you to our experience in one event where we had a hearing by the hearing section and there was strong, repeated requests for a rehearing. the staff referred that to an independent hearing officer of the rent board. $40,000 later, we had one decision. we are happy to follow any procedures of due process that this board and agency see fit to impose. we like due process and we like transparency. we like to get it done correctly and efficiently. director heinicke: that goes to
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my question. everything you just described it sounds fine to me for it if we had not heard all of this public comment, i would probably vote for it because it makes sense. to the point of due process and transparency on these highly technical things, when we're talking about people who own permits, i am wondering if another month's time to get input from the community -- i am not saying we will not do this. we should do this. we should do all this stuff. i have heard such uniform comments, that folks wake up on saturday morning -- you get what i am getting at. i am not questioning the merits of what is in here. i am questioning whether the industry has had enough time to give you their feedback. >> with respect to the police code decision, you had multiple opportunities to add an appellate level to your own regulations. if you feel that the board of
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appeals is a useful exercise in the appellate process, ask us to bring that legislation that will require it to be part of the appellate process. we will do that and get it introduced before it is at the border supervisors. director heinicke: i do not think i do. that is not my point. is that ok? >> maybe i could take the other piece as a point of illustration. i preferred initially to bring this clean-up legislation to the board as a discussion-only item. i would be thrilled to see it continued to a different meeting, where we can continue to work on these things. again, i want to emphasize to you that all of us here on the other side of this room, our staff and all the people in the industry, are weary of ongoing regulatory changes and we are
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feeling some urgency to get these things done. and to push forward, to get these out on the table, where there will be discussed. sometimes, i feel like i am chasing people around, trying to get answers. guess what? they all came to me this time. >> having heard the public comments and some of the sentiments here, with regard to item 15, i think that would probably benefit from some more public vetting, in a town hall format or otherwise. it is a very good piece of work. what will come out of that process is something that is likely fairly similar. perhaps it can be made better and perhaps some of the concerns that have been put out there can be addressed. i think that will be fine.
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as ms. hiyashi said, that was probably her preference from the start. with regard to the police code, item 14, what she was trying to convey is this is not an action that the m.t.a. board can take. what the board would be doing is making a recommendation to the board of supervisors. this legislation is not the mta stripping away a level of appeals. it has the effect of removing that level because it does not exist in the transportation code where these elements would be moving to from the police code. the timing of this, which she was conveying, is that from here, were the board to approve the item today, it would be introduced as an ordinance. it would have a 30-day old.
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because it -- 30-day hold period before it could be heard in committee. during that time, there would be the process of reviewing item 15, where the issue of whether we should insert the board of appeals level into the transportation code could be discussed. the mta board action today would be moving forward what i think -- i do not think i heard any dissension from the very important aspects of item 14, the core of the legislation that would be proposed to the board of supervisors. at the same time, it would provide ample time to come back with a recommendation either to add the board of appeals in to the transportation code or not, depending on the outcome of the
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public discussion and ultimately, the will of the board. i do not think the mta board acting today precludes or directs a specific outcome. director heinicke: in summary, we would adopt 14 today. we would continue item 15 with the idea that all of the issues would be open for discussion within the industry. added to that bucket of issues, to be discussed, is what sort of appeal process permitting we have within the transportation code. >> correct. director heinicke: ok. i am for that. vice chairman brinkman: let's go ahead and -- >> i think mr. toronto indicated that i indicate my assent on the
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record. >> he is a ray of sunshine. vice chairman brinkman: is there any more board discussion on this item? do i have a motion to approve? do i have a second? all in favor. the aye's have it. director heinicke: a motion to continue 15? or do we need to do that? vice chairman brinkman: i want to thank all of the speakers who spoke up about this. i know that this has been a long process. cleaning up the administrative code is a long process. she has done a fantastic job. you have all hung in there for a long time. we are going to get this cleaned up. i assure you that everyone sitting up here as the taxi industry and the taxi driver's best interests at heart. we all truly intend to give you a better working environment, a safer working environment.
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let's keep pushing through and we will get there. do believe that we take this very seriously. we do have your best interests at heart. with that, we have to move back to the rest of our agenda, which takes us back to -- secretary boomer: at this point in your agenda, they will do the executive director report later. there are members who wish to -- who wish to address you on item number nine. there are a lot of those. there will be no advisory council report. if you would like me to call item nine, this will be on matters within the jurisdiction of the sfmta, but not on today's agenda.
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>> my name is cory lamb. it was not on the agenda today, but i would really like to bring up the issue of ubercab, a consistent born in our side. i understand there are some issues as to which jurisdiction that will fall under. they are not cabs. they are black towncars. they pick up passengers and functioning as taxis even when they are not doing uber business. i was on their twitter feeds and they quoted a price that was $85 from sfo to downtown. it clearly says, do not worry about it. hit a button and we will pick you up. no waiting, no checking in, no
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fees. this is not the airport commission, but they are not paying any fees there. they're not coming in here to pay the fees to operate. we do not know who they are driving. it is really disheartening as a cabdriver. trying to work and do everything that is supposed to be done legitimately, to lose a fair because i have a fair. there are three guys around the corner that do not and they jump into a black town car and get quoted whatever price it is. if i did that, i would be in trouble and definitely lose my police, probably. their operating with impunity and they do not have the gates, a place they have to park. a lot of them do not even live in san francisco. i was talking to a cab driver who said he would do a cpc somewhere else and come work here as ubercab.
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vice chairman brinkman: is mr. templeton here? he left? tara housman. >> i will try not to sound bitter. imf member of the taxi advisory council. the pac report is still monitoring on someone's desk and has not been presented to you. the perception in a lot of the distain for us at the sfmta, both because of teh tac -- the tac, which would