The MHA held its annual meeting last night highlighted by talks by Chris Hayashi (picture), Hansu Kim and Matt Gonzales. Dan Hinds also showed up but had to leave before he was able to deliver his scheduled speech.
Deputy Director of Taxis Hayashi covered much the same ground as she has in her Town Hall meetings so I won't go into the them here. Many of the drivers had not attended the meetings so her talk turned into a catch up session for them.
Ms. Hayashi did emphasize that, despite all the rumors flying about, the Newsom/Heinicke plans to confiscate medallions are dead.
On the other hand, Hayashi said that Proposition K would have to be changed because of the lack of an exit strategy and that it was up drivers to come up with a plan that most people in the cab industry could get behind. She encouraged drivers to either make presentations at the Town Hall meetings or send their plans and comments to her.
She said that she would formulate a reform plan taken from the various driver plans and the work done at the Town Hall meetings and present it to the MTA. The MTA would hold open hearings on the plan and, if they was no massive opposition, the plan would go into effect soon afterwards.
Director Hayashi set a target date of February 1, 2010 for wrapping up the whole process.
Medallion holders talked to her on many topics after her speech. One main theme that kept cropping up was the thought (expressed passionately by many) that the MTA had no right to extort $10 million from cab drivers. Ms Hayashi as is her custom told them that she did have the legal right to do so.
One driver said that, while she might have the legal right to steal our money, she did not have the moral right - a thought seconded by this blogger.
Another theme popular with the drivers was the idea of unity. Many drivers who asked questions of (or made comments to) Ms Hayashi as well as Hansu Kim and Matt Gonzales said that San Francisco's cab drivers had to come up with a plan that drivers from all factions could all get behind - another thought seconded by this blogger.
Chris Hayashi can be reached at: