Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Town Hall Meetings: Mission Statement

Deputy Director of Taxis, Chris Hayashi, perhaps appropriately dressed as Uma Thurmand in Kill Bill for the Halloween Town Hall Meeting, looks at the Taxi Mission Statement.

The outfit may have been inspired by Ms. Hayashi's tongue-in-cheek threat at an earlier meeting "to bring a gun" to keep the unruly, arguing cab drivers in line. The outfit and her sword seemed to do the trick last Friday.

The Mission Statement so far is the only concrete accomplishment of the thirty or so hours that the deputy director and taxi people have spent analyzing and haggling over the various plans designed to reform the cab industry.

Not that we've been twiddling our thumbs. Many plans, ideas and options have been discussed at the Town Hall meetings and the Mission Statement has given us a format to use as a basis for negotiating various points of view.

Before going into what the Mission Statement is, in light of various rumors floating around, I think it's necessary to say what the Mission Statement is not. It's not a plan. It's an approach to a plan - a listing of the problems that need to be solved and goals that need to be attained.
  • There is not, for instance, a plan in effect to take medallions away from medallion holders.
  • Nor is there a plan to put the medallions up for sale at an auction.
  • The plan should be developed over the next few weeks.
The problems to be solved and the goals to be attained are:
  1. ENTRY - Who gets a medallion and how.
  2. EXIT - (Retirement for drivers and medallion holders) and/or (Sale of medallions).
  3. CITY REVENUE - Deputy Director Hayashi keeps insisting in the face of all moral and ethical standards that the MTA has the right to extort $10 million from the taxi industry.
  4. BUSINESS STABILITY - Whatever plan we come up must keep the companies flush.
  5. RELIABLE SERVICE - For a good price. How do we improve service in the neighborhoods.
  6. DRIVER QUALITY OF LIFE - How to improve the security and money for all drivers.
  7. REPRESENTATION - How to get the representation at city government that we are lacking now.
The ultimate goal is of these meeting is to come up with a "consensus" plan that will be acceptable to a majority of the people in the industry. If we don't, Mayor Newsom and Malcolm Heinicke will more than likely come up with a plan for us.

In other words, our only chance is to develop a unified position and stick together.

Details of the plans and the characters who hold them starting tomorrow.

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