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tv   [untitled]    August 18, 2010 9:00am-9:30am PST

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their teas were crossed and their eyes -- their t's were crossed and their i's were dotted. i tend to uphold the department. it is so moved. president peterson: on that motion, would the commission be making findings adapting the -- adopting the hearing officer's findings? commissioner garcia: those would be my feelings. commissioner fung: you want to indicate we require no abuse and no error in this decision. >> i think he would need to make some findings of fact that it was warranted. if you agree with the findings in the hearing officer's decision, you could incorporate
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those into your findings. or the board could meet its own findings. commissioner fung: i think that is important. i will recommend it. is that part of your mission? commissioner garcia: it was. president peterson: call the roll on that motion. >> this is a motion to uphold the revocation. the hearing officer's findings are adopted. again, the motion was from commissioner garcia to uphold this replication with adoption of the hearing officer's findings. on that motion, commissioner fung aye. the vice president is absent. president peterson and commissioner hwant,
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president peterson: welcome back. we will move on to item eight. call that item, please. appeal no. 10-021, linus oha vs the department of texas. it is an appeal of the denial on to europe 18, 2010 of a taxicab medallion, permit type p16. president peterson: i will start with the department. >> good evening, members of the board. i am with enforcement and legal affairs for the sfmta. this is the issue regarding linus oha's application for a
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regular medallion, which was properly denied by the the hearing officer in the earlier proceeding. there is only one thing at issue here. the issue is whether mr. linus oha fulfilled the requirements. in order to qualify for the medallion, the applicant must be able to prove that he is driving 1564-hour shifts per year or four out -- 156 4-hour shift per year for four out of the last five years. he had to under 27 hours in 2006. -- he had 227 hours in 2006. in none of the years did he satisfy april time driving requirement.
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-- a full time driving requirement. mr. linus oha claims there should not be a full-time driving requirement for him because of the legislation, but that is an incorrect. the board of supervisors has the authority or the right to adopt regulations that operate in the same province. commissioner garcia: i did not hear your last words. >> they have the authority to adopt legislation that regulates the same process as a voter ordinance. the only difference is the board of supervisors cannot create legislation that conflict with the ordinance. the establishment of that criteria, the 800 hours, does not conflict with the ordinance providing for a driver requirement of a medallion. one of the other issues is that
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mr. linus oha currently has a wrap taxi. that is a medallion to operate for paratransit. he is also the owner of the color scheme in operation under our regulations. if we are going to claim he is unaware of the regulations or does not have any knowledge of how their work, he is someone who is part of the industry. he is a color scheme owner. he is also someone who has had a ramp medallion for almost 10 years. as i stated in my brief, proposition k is meant for the working cabdriver. we want to discourage that class of absentee medallion holders
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who write a check or collect a check but do not participate in the industry as drivers. we do not want to favor the non- drivers over the drivers. one of the most and will the issues we have is we had this 3000 people wait list of people who have been waiting 15 years or longer in order to obtain a medallion, who are doing everything they can to drive a taxi to demonstrate they are qualified. for someone in linus oha's position to obtain a taxi medallion without having to drive, that is wrong to everyone behind him who is trying to do everything they can. he would keep his medallion for the rest of his life and that person who is doing everything right and abiding by all the rules has to wait. that is unfair for the majority of our drivers who are on this list.
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one of the last things i think we need to put before the board of appeals is that mr. linus oha already has a position with the sfmta and parking control office. that presents an inherent conflict. there is a complete prohibition for him being a parking patrol officer, but it has to be approved by the department of transportation. even if he were able to demonstrate he drive that many hours, he would still have to obtain approval from the director of transportation in order to be able to meet obtain a medallion. again, because i think it is pretty clear he did not meet the driving requirement, i believe the board should up hold the hearing officer picked decision and continue the denial of the medallion and take him off the
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list. commissioner fung: toward the end of your brief, you included a comment related to the paratransit system and things related to whether there were any there's picked up by the appellant. is that system required as part of the paratransit? >> the debit system is required, yes. at this point, i believe all taxes are equipped with it. the best cab, i am not quite sure. all of them are required to have it. commissioner garcia: not to jump ahead to the attorney for the appellate's arguments, but he
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suggested a guild system exists whereby battalion holders are the ones setting the rules as to who gets the medallions. i was confused by that. could you explain to me briefly how a new medallion is created? is decorated through attrition? once in a while does the mayor's office or somebody have an authority to create new medallions? >> let me briefly explain that. obtaining and medallion -- obtaining a medallion ok -- there is a static number. in order for new medallions to be issued, whether it is 10, 50, or 200, there has to be a study done on public convenience and necessity. that study will recommend the amount to be issued for new medallions after that point.
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then eight new medallion can be issued. it is whether we think there is room enough in san francisco to issue 100 new medallions. 100 new medallions then be created and apportioned. as far as obtaining a medallion, under the current system, without that study, those medallions only return into the system after the death of a medallion holder or if there is a revocation of a medallion, or something else of that sort. those are the only ways those battalions return back into the system -- those medallions return back into the system. >> and medallion holder is no part of the process? after they pass away, they are gone. commissionery object, those incidents with taxi have come before us. for some reason, we had to rule on the study mentioned.
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the taxi operators objected to the fact that new medallions were going to be created. it seemed to me they are not part of the process. >> right. that are allowed to come into public comment and say what ever they would like to say, even in terms of obtaining a new medallion. if there are people who feel, "i have never seen a guy drive before," they can come in and say it. commissioner garcia: thank you. >> thank you. president peterson: mr. alexander? >> good evening, madam president, commissioners. mr. linus oha and i are going to try to move quickly. the facts are straightforward here. linus oha has been a taxi driver for more than 20 years.
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he is fully qualified to operate a taxi medallion in the city of san francisco. his hearing come -- came up in october 2009. in february, he was denied his regular taxi medallion because he had not met the standards of the newly enacted transportation section. he is going to talk about how he thinks they did not credit him with enough hours, but i am more directed to the standard itself, and basically to the proposition if you are going to make game changing rules you have to do it properly. proposition k did not require qualification by proof of drawing -- by proof of driving. it looked at what the applicant was going to do in the future. there are regulations in place to make sure they do it. because it was a voter and -- a voter amendment, it omitted that
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it would change the nature of the requirement through another appeal to the electorate. 114c3 is the result of a vote on prop a, which gave full oversight to the mta. it did not address private driving, which was rubberstamp by the board, but they did it badly. years ago, when linus oha put his name on the list, the only requirement was not a requirement. it was a preference. i have indicated in the brief why i think there are problems with that. in 2004, elements in the industry persuaded the taxi commission that only career drivers should hold medallions. the taxi commission persuaded the supervisors. obviously, some people thought that was a good idea. i have tried to show you why i
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think it might not be such a good idea. but what is clear is that prop k in no way or form required battalions be issued to career drivers. it did not contemplate that. instead, it looked squarely at the question of experience and said two years after its adoption people with one year's experience in the three prior years would be given preference. that preference expired in 1980. there has been no preference since then and never was. everything in between, leading up to prop a, has been legislative interference with a voter initiative. it is the exact thing that charter section 14.10 is a to prevent. if you want to change the requirements, a change to this to apply for a medallion, go
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back to the voters who created a program and ask for it. if you accept that proposition, the transportation section is standing out there alone as an unprecedented ratcheting up of the requirements and defeat of longstanding expectations of people who put their name on the last 20 years ago under another set of assumptions. these are highly technical arguments, but those are highly technical standards supported only by broad policy assumptions as to why they are a good thing. there is also some indication that linus oha's ability to apply it was hampered by his physical disabilities during this time. how much time do we have? ok. >> thank you. my name is linus oha. i will start by saying -- by
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responding to some of the impressions that were presented here about absentee drivers coming to get a medallion. i will correctly state that i am not an absentee driver. i have been in the taxicab business for 30 years in the city and county of san francisco. i have not stopped walking or driving in a taxicab in those years. it is true that i am also an employee of sfmta. i do not think a conflict of interest is an issue in today's hearing. i have been on the waiting list. the list is 3000 people waiting on one of those. they did not come from anywhere. i have been waiting patiently for 20 years. in 2001, i was called for a ramp
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medallion permit. the ramp medallion is to permit a wheelchair riders. i accepted it. from 2001, i have been running it. the business is good. when i first got it, the regional taxi company, and then lock start and abc car moved that permit from company to company. there was so much competition and difficulty about it. back in 2006, toward the end of best tap company, which i am still operating today. i started it in 2006. iío6
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schedule, even though i have my job also. then when i started this color scheme i also had to be on the road as a taxicab driver. i had to comply with all the rules and regulations for taxicab operation. i also had to maintain my job. it happens that when the regular medallion -- when i came up in the list for regular medallion happened to coincide with when i started running the color scheme. this also changed the rules and the process from when i first got on the list. when i first got on the list, it was that you have to prove you have driven a taxicab previously the 12 months prior.
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they have changed. to assess and six -- president peterson: idç are out of time. >> i have seven minutes. >> your team will have another three minutes. commissioner fung: i have a couple of questions. in your color scheme, do you rent medallions? to you on a medallion? >> i have another partner with me in my color scheme. commissioner fung: how many taxis do you have? >> i have to operating taxis. -- two operating taxis. commissioner fung: in the feñrdepartment brief, you are operating under a ramp medallion, but paratransit shows
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no fares to your taxes. >> that issue had not come up. i have not had any issue with paratransit. we constantly engage in it. we take the passengers. when he was saying something, i did not quite get what he was saying about that. the denial of the permit was solely based on the fact that i did not meet the requirements. inside it, i was clear that the 1vm3ivö;+'kr1b(- ++t
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mean you have not picked up any disabled passengers this year? >> again, we do pick up disabled passengers. i mean, that is what we operate. we pick up disabled passengers. we do. commissioner fung: thank you. president peterson: is there any public comment on this item? seeing none, we will move into rebuttals. mr. murray? >> commissioners, thank you. again, i want to reiterate that the board of supervisors has the authority to make legislation. there is no conflict in clarifying the hours in terms of the driving requirement. this represents mr. linus oha's& driving.
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these are the bills we have collected in our investigation in order to determine he does not qualify for a medallion. he is the color scheme holder for best cab company. taxicab 1342 received their medallion in 2008. i believe as the color scheme holder he would have been well aware of the collection of bills in order to demonstrate the driving requirement for his partner in order to obtain that medallion. again, when he says that the rules should not have applied to him, this rule has been in effect since 2004. also, he had a color scheme in 2006, and a vehicle in his color scheme obtained this medallion in 2008. he is well aware of this rule.
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it is not a surprise. he has had time to understand and follow it. again, the decision of the hearing officer should be upheld. commissioner fung: mr. murray, in order to conform to the requirements of a ramp medallion is it possible that he is in compliance without having any tears onfares? >> no. even without the sweat machine, there is paper documentation. that -- the only way a paratransit user would use a taxi without us knowing would be if he used cash. all paratransit users currently
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use a card, a swipe card. before that it was scrip that was collected and followed by the paratransit users. president peterson: what about this reference to a conflict of interest? >> because he is an officer with the mta, it is an inherent conflict of interest. it is no allegation that he is doing anything. commissioner hwang: thank you. president peterson: mr. alexander? >> on mthe paratransit matter, the first time i heard of this was in the opposition break. it is a distraction.
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between january 2010 and june 2010, what is at issue is mr. linus oha's driving performance in the years leading up to 2009 and the rules that apply to him or anyone else in his position. he is not claiming that this was a surprise. what we are claiming is that if you are going to make rules that impede experienced drivers from obtaining medallions because they have not met some arbitrary standard, you have to do it properly. you cannot just say, "let us make him do this," and not enact it in a proper way with respect toward the democratic initiative process. the other thing on this conflict is substantive [unintelligible]
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i did not see any authority for the proposition that only conflicting legislation -- you cannot substantively amend a voter regulation through legislation. you have to go back to the voters. the people who drafted proposition k came out in force. what happens when you impose this driving request, this expensive driving requirement that prop k never required -- it was about opening up the business. who has them? it is the big companies. that is not ascribing evil motives to anyone, but it is self interest. if you have the ships, you can see who has two prop k medallions. they tend to be concentrated in the big companies.
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in san francisco, in order to get a medallion you have to drive for somebody else and associate your medallion with somebody else. it is a self perpetuating system. the set up a self perpetuating a system where the people who have the opportunity to control the opportunity and people like mr. linus oha, who want to engage in the taxi business for themselves, as prop k posited, are increasingly shut out because they have to apprentice themselves for five years. that is the fundamental difference between what they have now and had then. it is a different idea. if you have different ideas, that is an act of process law.
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commissioner hwang: i was expecting to hear more on the issue of disabilities and accrediting. i thought that mr. linus oha was going to speak to disability crediting. >> would you like us to address your question? ok. >> you are asking about the disability operation of the paratransit system? commissioner hwang: your own disability that prevented you from doing the proper number of hours. >> i was working very hard. i was driving. prior to my color scheme, i was keeping up with my driving requirements. i had to do my regular job and the driving.
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i have a spine problem. i am going to a lot of pain. in the 2007, i had a disability due to the spine problem that i have. commissioner fung: i would like to follow up. was your spine problem continuous throughout that year, or was it for a certain time? >> it is on and off. it is due to where i work. i sit on my back most of the time in these jobs. i had to continue to be doing it. i have children. the disabled van

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