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SFMTA Taxi Services
Taxi Advisory Council
Monday, June 27 2011
PRESENT: Timothy Lapp; Tara Housman; John Han (late); Barry Korengold; Carl MacMurdo; William Mounsey; Tone Lee; Athan Rebelos; Chris Sweis; Ruach Graffis
ABSENT: Richard Hybels; Dan Hinds; David Khan; John Lazar; William Minikel
STAFF IN ATTENDANCE: Christiane Hayashi Deputy Director Taxi Services
1. Call to order: Chris Sweis called the meeting to order at 1:09 p.m.
2. Roll Call – The Roll Call showed a quorum was present.
3. Announcement of prohibition of sound producing devices during the meeting.
4. Approval of Minutes: June 27, 2011
Mr. Korengold said that Mr. Mao was the Burmese not Vietnamese Association on page 2.
Mr. Newsham said that the minutes should include that when Mr. Mehmood stated there would be a strike there was laughter in the room.
Public Comment Closed
Mr. Korengold motioned to approve Ms. Housman seconded. Minutes are approved as amended.
5. Public Comment
Mr. Newsham said an advisory resolution should be implemented by this body. He said that Taxi money should stay in the industry and not go to SFMTA.
Mr. Faulkerson said that driver representatives on this board should respond to Mr. Newsham’s resolution. He made a personal remark towards Mr. Lee.
Mr. Sweis said he will not tolerate personal comments made about anyone on the council. He said in the future if any personal comments are made he will not allow that person from making a public comment for the remainder of the meeting.
Mr. Gratch said that the 5% credit card charge be passed on to taxi cab drivers. He made a personal comment about Ms. Hayashi.
Mr. Sweis reminded Mr. Gratch of what he just stated regarding personal comments.
Mr. Rathbone said he felt the strike was poorly organized and that there was negative press on the strike on city hall steps.
Mr. Malik said he wanted to personally thank Mr. Kim for bringing technology on faster dispatch. He said that the 5% credit card fee should be passed on to the customer.
6. Report of the Council Liaison (Discussion only)
Announced follow up meeting of the sunshine ordinance June 28th 4pm room 408. SFMTA taxi related board meeting Aug 2nd includes Flag Drag increase new permits and approval of board for implementation of electric vehicle program.
Mr. Harris updated brought medallion sales report.
Mr. Macmurdo said he wanted to know what will be on the agenda Aug 2nd regarding new medallions.
Ms. Hayashi said the following is being reviewed by the planning department: 50 single operator permits 25 regular medallions to be issued to the top of the waiting list, 10 regular medallions to be sold by the SFMTA 2 electronic vehicle permits for a total of 87.
Mr. Mounsey said that the single operator deal will be a mess. He asked how these permits would be regulated.
Ms. Hayashi said by electronic way bill it will be monitored.
Ms. Graffis said it may help to change the medallion color for these particular permits
Mr. Sweis asked the council members not to get off topic.
Ms. Housman wanted to know who decided on the ten medallions to be sold.
Ms. Hayashi answered it was an agency decision.
Mr. Newsham said that the medallion sales decisions are being made behind closed doors. He said there is never a discussion on how these decisions happen. He said this body is starting to become irrelevant.
Mr. Malik wanted to make a general comment of Pilot Program.
Mr. Sweis asked him to stay on topic.
Mr. Gruberg said that the medallions going to the list has just about dried up unless more medallions are issued. He said that the ten medallions is an economic fiscal move in favor of SFMTA.
Mr. Faulkerson said he wanted to support previous speaker comments about this body. He said there doesn’t seem to be due process.
Mr. Malik said that it is unfair for person on the waitlist for 21 years to be made to buy a medallion for 250,000 dollars.
Mr. Watson wanted to support what Mr. Fualkerson said.
7. Re-election of TAC chair and vice chair (Discussion and Possible Action)
Mr. Sweis asked if there was anyone to be considered to be Chair.
Mr. Lee motioned to nominate Mr. Sweis as Chair. Mr. Korengold seconded.
Mr. Healy said he support Mr. Sweis becoming Chair.
Mr. Markarian said he would like someone else take over Chair.
Mr. Gruberg said he would like to see someone other than a medallion holder or cab company owner be Chair.
Public Comment Closed
On the motion to have Mr. Chris Sweis Chair the Council
Motioned Passes Unanimously
Absent: Richard Hybels, John Han, Dan Hinds, David Khan, John Lazar, William Minikel
Mr. Macmurdo nominated Barry Korengold for vice Chair second by Ms. Housman.
Mr. Rebelos nominated Mr. Macmurdo.
Mr. Macmurdo declined nomination
Mr. Healy said Mr. Rebelos was doing a good job as vice Chair.
Mr. Gruberg said he would like to see a driver as vice chair.
Mr. Fualkerson said that he would like to see council members behave more respectfully with one another.
Mr. Malik said that Mr. Korengold would make a good vice chair.
Mr. Markarian said he hopes Mr. Korengold does a better job and remembers how it is to be a driver.
Public Comment Closed
On the motion to make Mr. Korengold vice Chair.
Ayes: Ms. Housman, Timothy Lapp, Tone Lee, Barry Korengold, Carl Macmurdo, William Mousey, Chris Sweis
Nayes: Athan Rebelos
Absent: Richard Hybels; John Han; Dan Hinds; David Khan; John Lazar; William Minikel;
8. Discuss options for the driver’s fund [Discussion only]
Mr. Hayashi said that FCU brought Eric Fersner to help with any questions the council may have.
Mr. Korengold passed out a Driver Investment fund proposal and explained it.
Mr. Rebelos asked Mr. Fersner can an investment fund be mandated. He raised this question to Mr. Korengold.
Mr. Housman asked how much money is in the driver’s fund.
Mr. Macmurdo pointed her to the handout with those figures.
Mr. Lee said he suggested giving a voucher to drivers to attend TAC meeting and then receive money like a lottery from the driver’s fund.
Mr. Macmurdo said that he would like to talk about a dental plan help fund. He also said maybe being able to purchase disability insurance if it’s legal to do.
Ms. Housman said that she would like to see the driver’s fund used to administer a health plan or dental plan.
Mr. Korengold would like to see a vision plan.
Mr. Lee said that he is against anything that can be a problem. He said this money can’t be used right away.
Mr. Rebelos asked Mr. Fersner if supplemental insurance be possible.
Mr. Fersner said based on the amount of drivers and the amount of money in the driver’s fund, health care insurance for everyone would not be sustainable.
Mr. Sweis asked who should driver's fund benefit.
Ms. Housman said drivers.
Mr. Lapp said maybe this should be really simple to invest it and use it to pay for the drivers A-card.
Mr. Lee said that A-card is a fee you have to pay.
Mr. Sweis asked who should make decision to oversee the fund.
Mr. Rebelos said there should be a board that all have an interest in the fund to administer it.
Ms. Graffis said the biggest problem with this industry is not encouraging drivers to stay in this industry. She said she supports Mr. Korengold proposal.
Mr. Healy said that he likes the idea to grow the fund and would not like it to go to a specific group.
Mr. Malik said that the funds could be used for driver’s families if a driver dies while on duty.
Mr. Gruberg said there are many ideas and feels despaired talking about this issue at this TAC meeting. He suggested a subcommittee or town hall meetings be created to address this issue.
Mr. Faulkerson said the fund proposal that Mr. Korengold made should be a different idea that does not involve the fund.
Mr. Markarian said that a certain percentage of selling the medallions go to drivers fund.
Mr. Rathbone said the money should be put aside and allowed to grow in at least a 10 year span. He said the money should be invested in taxi medallions.
Public Comment Closed
Mr. Rebelos said that he would urge council members to determine how the money will be held and be overseen.
Mr. Lapp asked Mr. Fustner can you improve the return on an investment.
Mr. Fustner said you have to determine how long you want to invest and how risky you want to invest.
Mr. Mounsey said his concern is that this money is in government hands and would like it being handled by a private investment group.
Mr. Macmurdo said that it’s too little money to determine what to do with it. He said that the transparent motivation that MTA needs money for the budget therefore put out more medallions doesn’t sit well with him.
Mr. Lee said that everyone wants health insurance but it is not affordable. He said that figuring out how to grow it is not in there interest. He said it needs to go to driver right away.
Mr. Lee motioned to use 5,000 a month from drivers fund to go towards 50 drivers a month who attend the TAC meeting. No seconded.
Mr. Lapp would like to motion to defer the cost of A-card with Fund. No second
Mr. Korengold said permit fees should not be paid from fund. He said permit fees should go down when SFMTA creates revenue from industry.
Mr. Macmurdo said who approves the use of the fund.
Ms. Housman said the MTA.
Mr. Sweis asked who should manage the fund.
Mr. Rebelos motion to have fund be overseen by a board of directors comprised of beneficiaries. Mr. Marcmurdo seconded.
Mr. Healy said motion is vague.
Mr. Gruberg said he likes the idea of motion and thinks there should be more non-medallion holders than medallion holders.
Mr. Fualkerson said that they should send a message to the SFMTA regarding how they want to manage there fund. He suggests making 5 people on the board. He discussed how to appoint the people who will be on this board.
Mr. Rathbone said a sounds like a good idea that can’t work. He said having the beneficiary manage the money is a conflict of interest.
Mr. Lux said the benefactors should have control of this not the beneficiaries.
Public Comment Closed
Ms. Housman said she would like to have professional money management to oversee. She said she does not trust SFMTA to yet again put there fingers into her pocket. She doesn’t want there agenda to be in the driver’s fund.
Mr. Macmurdo would rather have the word drivers instead of beneficiaries.
Mr. Korengold said he understands the concept of possible conflict of interest. He said the drivers know best on how the money should be managed.
Mr. Lee said the money will not grow very much and that requires more work.
On the motion that the driver fund be managed by a board of directors comprised of the beneficiaries of the fund.
Ayes: Tara Housman; Timothy Lapp; Barry Korengold; Carl Macmurdo; William Mounsey; Athan Rebelos; Ruach Graffis;
Nayes: Tone Lee; John Han; Chris Sweis
Absent: Richard Hybels; Dan Hinds; David Khan; John Lazar; William Minikel;
9. Council Request for information [Discussion only]
10. Schedule upcoming calendar items. (Discussion and Action
Mr. Sweis read a list of possible calendar items. He also asked for any possible ideas for future calendar items.
Mr. Healy said he thinks that having a meeting on electronic way bills is unnecessary.
Mr. Gruberg said Mr. Healy may not be correct. He said he wanted to bring up the point of credit card fees.
Mr. Faulkerson said he didn’t hear anything on the next agenda meeting was pertinent.
Mr. Barry said that the next SFMTA board is not till Aug 2nd. He said that it’s important to have TAC talk about credit card fees.
Mr. Malik wanted to know who makes decisions.
Public Comment Closed
Mr. Sweis asked for a show of hands determining next agenda item.
Mr. Sweis asked for a show of hands for next agenda item.
Ms. Housman Motioned Korengold seconded to have electronic way bill, MTA discontinue direct sales and credit card waiver memorandum on next agenda item.
Ayes: Tara Housman, John Han, Barry Korengold, Carl Macmurdo, William Mounsey, Ruach Graffis
Nayes: Tone Lee, John Han, Chris Sweis
Absent: Richard Hybels, Dan Hinds, David Khan, John Lazar, William Minikel
ADJOURNMENT: The meeting was adjourned by standing vote at 4:08 p.m.
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