Another out of the box thinker is Jane Bolig, President of the Board at Desoto Cab. She wants to transfer the medallions but instead of selling them to individuals, she thinks they should be sold to "all the drivers and employees in their companies ..." Bolig says that this could be done through federal programs called Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOP) that have worked successfully for almost 50 years and "carry enormous tax advantages."
I'm not clear as to how this would work but, having once helped put together a paper with Jane in the distant past, I'm certain that she can provide a detailed and logical argument. Some features of her proposal are:
- Both individual medallions and the List would continue.
- Companies could continue to contract only with medallion holders but when the owners retired they could sell their companies to an ESOP.
- K medallion holders could continue to work them as usual. When they retired or died the medallion would be given to the next person on the list just as they are now. Or the holder could sell the K medallion to an ESOP.
- New medallions would go to people on the list.
- The City could charge a fee for each medallion sale.
The plan is idealistic and would solve more problems than any other plan out there. Non-medallion holding drivers would benefit far more from this proposal then they would from anything else that has been offered so far. Unlike the UTW or the Asian Law Caucus, Bolig actually addresses the fundamental weakness of the ordinary driver's situation - a lack of power or control.
It's a great proposal and could make medallion holders, ordinary drivers and the City all happy. Now all Jane has to do is convince her fellow owners to go along with her idea.