tv [untitled] July 16, 2010 3:30pm-4:00pm PST
one could if one took it at faith on the statement that perhaps one car was out of -- was being repaired and the other one was being used -- it's not quite logical and it's not quite believable, but you know, there is some ability to see that there was a significant time frame between some of those instances. some of those instances were quite close in time between what was registered at the airport between one car and the other car. i couldn't find from all the instances that was raised that there was a definitive, you know, it was hard to believe that given the short distance in time, the difference in time, that it probably there were two cars in operation alt some period of time. those are things that we know
that were misdeeds by this particular medallion and color scheme holder and there needs to be some type of a rational penalty related to this. the question in my mind, and i still have not had a significant enough information from either the department or from the appellant as to what makes a rational decision for a penalty. commissioner goh: well, i am troubled by the concerns raised by speakers and the m.t.a. with respect to the conduct and as i stated at the last hearing, the worker's comp issue is a very
important one and you can't sidestep that requirement, so i was looking for some guysance on the penalty. don't think that we can issue a dollar amount from this board, but i do also understand the message needs to be sent in some form. revokeation would be the only thing we have the jurisdiction to do if you can't come together on a number. i think the numbers presented -- president peterson: suspension. commissioner goh: suspension? sorry. talking about the color scheme. president peterson: for both options you have the rev occasion -- revocation or suspension. commissioner hwang: so that is the -- i'm trying to figure out where it is that we can come to -- it feels a little bit like
an all or nothing proposition unless we get closer. unless the parties get closer. commissioner goh: i have to say that because i do think that a financial or some kind of a fine or penalty is problematic for this commission to impose, i -- i do think we have to be considering revocation or suspension of the color scheme and/or medallion and i am also given that we have before us the no worker's comp, the presenting of false statements, having the two cars in operation at the same time, having the counterfeit medallion as facts, i dunk i'm inclined to -- i'm more harshly inclined at this hearing than i was at the other, at the last
hearing notwithstanding that i was disappointed with m.t.a.'s offering and certainly with the briefing. i don't -- with the other two commissioners who have spoken i also don't know where i'm going to land on it. i may even be persuaded to go for revocation of both but i'd be curious to hear from the other commissioners. commissioner garcia: i think at the last hearing the m.t.a. suggested as did a speaker tonight that one of the worst possible things that could happen would be for a driver to be out on the road and not have provided workman's compensation to his driver. if that's a fact, and we were asking if that's a fact, if
that's considered to be one of the worst possible things, we've certainly seen worse things than that. we've seen cabs drivers who have abandoned an -- a drunk or an ealedly drunk fare at 3:00 in the morning in the middle of nowhere. to me that's worse. we've had cases of a cab driver having hit on a teenage girl. that's certainly worse to me. but if this is the worst, then there should be ample evidence that it has been treated as the worst and the death penalty was imposed. so we ask, bring forth those cases. let us see how s.f.m.t.a. now or taxi commission previously felt about this. indicate to us how grieveous this is. and what do we get? we get statements made bit appellant that in the past, and granted one of the people representing the appellant was one of the people who might
have had something to do with the imposition of those fines, and/or penalties, but all we get back is that other larger companies who have much more favorable issues in terms of what it costs to put a cab on the street because ne get reductions for multiple units, have been given a certain period of time in which to come into compliance and have been fined $1,000 or something. and so people come here outraged at us because we're not willing to say ok, you can still drive a cab but no color scheme, no medallion, even though we've been shown nothing that indicates that other people have committed similar offenses, speaking only of the workman's comp, have been dealt with thusly.
and i plead with anybody who got he here and testified that is a member of the taxi community to read the papers and see if you come away feeling as though it was proven that two cabs were on the street simultaneously. there were some things that were probative that might lead one to believe that but also things that indicated that based, for instance, on the mileage driven by the two cars that it seemeding un -- unlikely that two cars were on the street and if they were they didn't manage to maximize their time on the street and do anything about it. the fake medallion -- can't overlook that. that's pretty serious. that's pretty serious. but i felt last time we had this hearing and i feel now that these penalties might represent a misunderstanding on my part of what is ruled by
which, color scheme and/or medallion, but it seemed to me as though these offenses had to do with the color scheme and not with the medallion. we felt, i felt at least, that sfmta had not made a strong case for the penalties they were asking, so we asked humbly that they please go back and reconsider some penalty that seemed to be in line with and to show us that it was in line with what had happened in the past. and if this was some new waive approaching it, then all they had to do was say in the past thus and so happened but we're not concerned with that any more, we have new standards and here's the logic for that. believe me, all we got was a rehash of what the offenses had been. nothing close to what we had asked for. i think we're all over the
board up here in terms of what should happen. first of all, one thing i feel fairly reasonable about, fairly reasonably certain about is i don't think the medallion should be revoked. on the basis of what we have before us. the color scheme, if we suspend, i would think we suspend for a year but i'm led to understand if we revoke, within a year the individual can come back and apply. i guess there is some possibility we can impose some standard that he'd never be able to apply again for a color scheme. i don't know if we have that power. but i'm disturbed by both sides. the appellant would have us think well, these are minor things. there was somebody waving on the corner in the middle of the night and it was cold abandon i passed them by. that's not what happened. sfmta wants us to revoke someone when worst cases have come before us, granted not since the merger or whatever
that transfer of power is called and we weren't asked to do this so i'm going to wait to hear what other people have to say and then i'll along with everybody else i'm sure make my suggestions as to how i think we ought to deal with that. president peterson: thank you. first to address the soft on crime. first we're all presumed innocent and we take that seriously up here. we are trying to trace some equity or irregularry. in how people are, you could say sentenced or penalized yet we recognize the gravity of the fact that most people in our state must ware worker's comp. i segregate the two issues, taxicab medallion from color scheme permit. i do suggest revoking the color scheme permit and that would be
my motion unless hearing otherwise. commissioner hwang: i'd like to hear with respect to the, commissioner garcia, you have talked about being able to reapply within a year if ats a revocation -- it's a revocation versus a suspension, which is a set period of time and not being permitted. i'd like to get a little more information about that. is that accurate? commissioner garcia: i would think that we ask mr. murray that question. commissioner hwang: right. president peterson: mr. murray? or francesca? >> the business and tax code says generally when a permit is denied you are barred from reapply forg that permit for one year so presumably in most instances when the board denied the permit the permit holder could come back and apply in a year and if that were denied it
could also be appealed to the board again in a year. president peterson: you're saying it would be a year before they could come to -- >> given this provision that allows reapplication within a year i dent know that this kind of suspension could really exceed a year. chien-ming wang chien-ming wang so it be effectively the same? is that what you are saying? >> the suspension could be for less than a year. chien-ming wang -- commissioner hwang: got it. commissioner fung: but i believe it's different between a color scheme and a medallion. commissioner hwang: oh, right. commissioner goh: because the medical meld they have to go back to the bottom of the waiting list. exempt for this pilot program where they could be sold. commissioner fung: yeah. president peterson: so, commissioners, shall we call the roll on this motion in
commissioner garcia: i would like to amend that if president peterson would consider that. since this board can't impose a fine, unless i misunderstood, i thought an offer had been made to accept or offer this board a payment of $1,425. i don't know if i misheard that along with the motion by professor -- professor? -- president peterson that she would accept also the imposition, the acceptance of an offer to pay the $1,425 fine. president peterson: in addition to the revocation? >> commissioner garcia: right. i don't think we put a time limit on the revocation. a year? i'm sorry, on the suspension. president peterson: that sounds fine. >> there is a regents case where there was a 60-day suspension. i found the facts were more eegregious.
than the regents matter and that's why i went for full revocation. but the fine -- commissioner fung: but commissioners, you are mick -- mixing things up. what was brought forward was revocation. commissioner garcia: yeah, i meant suspension. commissioner fung: and they're talking about a fine in lieu of anything else. >> it's not necessary. so you're adding on to the revocation? commissioner garcia: right. the acceptance of an offer to pay a $1,425 fine bit appellant. commissioner goh: i think commissioner fung's point is that that is not an actual offer. it was to pay that in lieu of the revocation or suspension. we could get clarification. i think thts it the -- that is the a little bit of a sticky wicket to get into. commissioner hwang: she's nodding. commissioner goh: i would
support the revocation of the color scheme. commissioner fung: i'd like to ask mr. murray one or two questions related to that. mr. murray? if a color scheme is revoked, can the -- can any citizen reapply for a new color scheme in one year? >> can -- well, first off if a color scheme is revoked i actually think the rules and regulations are silent on that matter so i honestly don't have an answer as to whether they could come back after a year or two years or whatever it is. i don't believe there is an actual explicit regulation related to that, to the revocation issue. commissioner fung: and if a medical meld is revoked? >> if a medallion is revoked i don't believe there is a regulation for that as well.
if they were to come back and apply they would be on the list and it's a 17-year list. commissioner garcia: the bottom of the list. >> right. commissioner hwang: how would that work with the color scheme? if the rules are silent and tomorrow he could reapply, then what is the process? >> we would look into had he ever had a color scheme before and were there any problems. commissioner hwang: so revocation would then function and serve as a stain on his record for purposes of reapplying? >> that's correct. commissioner hwang: ok. thank you. commissioner fung: commissioners -- president peterson: there's a motion to revoke. commissioner fung: there is, but i'd like to have a little further discussion on that.
in this particular instance i am in concurrence that the penalty action should apply to the color scheme. i'm not supportive of attacking his medallion. he has then a number of options, to continue driving. the question is whether he has ability, any ability left as determined by our decision to maintain a business that he's held for the last 10 years. if we revoke the color scheme, he can reapply with no assurances that the department is ever going to let him rup a business again.
if we suspend the color scheme, it's almost equivalent to a penalty, financial penalty. depending on the number of years that we suspend. commissioner garcia: do you have a suggestion? commissioner fung: i have a suggestion that -- of two years. commissioner goh: i would support that. commissioner hwang: let me think about it in a monetary sense. but what would then two years be equivalent to in commissioner fung: it would be what he makes off the profit of other drivers on his color scheme. commissioner goh: do you have a concept of what that -- commissioner fung: i have no idea. i could only guess.
commissioner hwang: i'm more inclined to go with one year. i'm definitely disinclined to revoke the medallion. commissioner goh: but in terms of advocacy -- revocation or suspension of the color scheme, if we revoke the color scheme it may or may not be permanent given -- i mean -- president peterson: just to clarify, i think if you revoke the color scheme under the business and tax code it's clear he can reapply in a year. if -- it's -- if they denied that application, it's appealable and the board could then a year from now decide whether he should be granted a color scheme or not the commissioner fung: i think it's pretty clear that the consensus on this board at least is we are not interested in revoking his medallion. the issue is whether we revoke the color scheme and therefore
eliminate his business or penalize him in some respect to that and at a future point allow him to then continue with his business. commissioner goh: i guess my thought with the revocation was that the gentleman goes back to the regulatory body and they determine where he is in terms of compliance with current regulations. that might be the get -- better system going forward. i was trying to estimate three months, nine months, two years and equate it to a penalty. he's probably maybe obviating some of the restrictions against us but also it's difficult to estimate. commissioner fung: part of the difficulty here is that the comments made by the speakers and all the parties correlate to some type of known
procedures and penalties that are extremely well documented and is known by all parties out there. nobody's presented any of those to us, yet their expectation is our decision should be based on that. and i'm not prepared to do that when i haven't heard anything as to what the policies, whether changes have occurred, was -- with mta taking over taxi. all the things that every speaker's been bringing up calling for revocation, well, i'm sorry, there has been no information provided to this board as to what makes sense on a policy. so we're making it up and what feels belter to me is not revocation but suspension. >> president peterson with, m.t.a. has asked for the
opportunity to address the board with respect to the financial ram fipcations of revocation or suspension of the color scheme. commissioner fung: i would ask the question then of the department. madame president, if you don't mind. president peterson: that's fine. commissioner fung: the question, only the question is the financial implications correlated to a time frame for either suspension or revocation . commissioner garcia: and if you would, commissioner fung, i'm still, if someone knows the answer to if we revoke do they get to reapply in a year, if someone knows the answer to that i'd also like to know the answer to that. >> good afternoon, i'm the deputy director tore -- for fax -- taxi services for the sfmta and i'm terribly sorry to bump mr. murray from the microphone.
he's doing an excellent job but i wanted to address this issue of whether there is any financial loss based on a suspension and the answer is no. the income comes from the medallion. in fact if the color scheme were to be suspended the effect would be to relieve mr. hollis and executive taxi of some of the financial burdens of maintaining a color scheme business. however, the medallion is still say business and expected to be operated in accordance with the standards of the business, including insurance coverage and that is where all of -- of the revenue comes from. the only thing he would lose besides having to pay the permit for the color scheme is access to a spare vehicle. commissioner garcia: you can't be suggesting that he's in this for fun? there must be some income generated from having a color scheme. >> perhaps some of the other company owners would like to address that because they have. better expertise than i do but the income from a color scheme
comes from the medical melds that are affiliated with it. commissioner garcia: he would get income from it if he were to place it with another company. >> that's correct. that's why the imposition of the suspension of the color scheme would have no practical effect it commissioner fung: you are saying if he maintains the medallion he could continue his practice with other drivers and they would continue to pay gate fees and he would be relieved of workman's comp? >> depending on the operational model he chose i may -- he may choose to pass that obligation to the operator of the color scheme but either way the medallion holder is liable jointly and severally. both were violated in this particular case. commissioner fung: so your point is he would only maintain -- if there is financial gain to a color scheme it's only when you have multiple --
>> yes. i mostly was concerned about, to address this question of whether there was a financial consequence for the suspension and is answer is no, there wab -- would be a relief. commissioner garcia: wait, you said he was not carrying insurance? >> if you are running two vehicles, only one can have coverage and the insurance company can decide which that is in the case of an accident. commissioner fung: you said if he -- commissioner garcia: you said if he had no liability. you want to amend that? >> at any time he was operating a spare vehicle in addition to the primary vehicle one of those was not covered by insurance and neither was covered by workman's comp. i'm also available to address the color scheme play-action if you are interested. president peterson: i'm
interested. >> as we've transition the over to the m.t.a. the board has directed us to not find any more color scheme applications until we have defineded the criteria baud -- because we do want to be careful we are setting the bar where they will actually be serving the public. so currently those standards do not exist. however i would agree that -- with characterizations that past conduct would carry ford into future applications. . commissioner garcia: currently even though you're not accepting applications for a color scheme what are the standards and practices having to do with if you have been revoked? are you able within a year to reapply? if you are -- if your department. were taking applications? >> there's no bar to reapplying at any time. not under the current regulations because there
aren't any, nor as a personal matter, a mat -- matter of personal opinion, do i think it's necessary to keep people from reapplying for any period of time. my feeling is people can apply if they are qualified under the regulations but i would definitely i think that in all of our permit considerations we do look at past history with respect to other permits under our own motor vehicle for hire program as well as other motor vehicle for hire passenger permits. commissioner garcia: so in the past if taxi had revoked someone who with -- had a color permit, the next day they could walk into taxi and apply for a color scheme? >> to the best of any -- my knowledge there was no bar to the application at the -- under the rules that existed at the time. i think each application can stand on its own merits without any time bars. commissioner garcia: so s.f.m.t.a. asked for a revocation of a color scheme
just because he had one even though there are no consequences? >> no. we've asked for the revocation of both the medallion and the color scheme. both of of those are businesses that we expect to be operate -- operated to the business standards. commissioner garcia: i understand but you make it signed -- sound like there is no real exng -- advantage to having a clorls. >> if you have one vehicle there is no advantage to a color scheme. it's when you start to accumulate a certain number of medallions, you get operating overhead that will cover your operations. i think that is what you're hearing from some of these other taxi companies. they are investing in back office operations and the infrastructure of their businesses. they would prefer if competition was held to the same standard. commissioner garcia: mr. hol lis's color scheme would only have made a difference if others
had bought their medallions to him and he had to cabs on the streets simultaneously? >> as a one medallion company he would not make more than one another medallion holder would make by leasing out his medallion to other drivers. commissioner garcia: thank you. president peterson: can we hear from the appellant on this point? >> thank you for the opportunity to address this, commissioner. i believ commissioner fung:''s first question was whether there was any known cost to the revocation of a color scheme. that was brought forth in the belief i submitted on behalf of mr. hollis to say there would be a fee for repainting and for changing affiliation.