Saturday, December 12, 2009

Town Hall Meetings: Dan Hines

At first I hardly noticed Dan Hines, the manager of National Cab, at the Town Hall meetings. He hardly said anything during the discussions, preferring to spend most of his time taking notes. But, the longer the meetings went on, the more I began to appreciate him.

When Dan did speak, everything he said was carefully thought out and presented in a clear and precise manner. He gave no long, rambling proofs of his positions nor did he spout a second-rate political philosophy. He never lost his temper or put down anyone else's thinking or made a personal attack. He just stated his ideas as briefly as possible or asked questions that were direct, to the point and polite.

Compared to the out-of-control behavior of several participants, including myself, Dan's attitude and demeanor were truly refreshing.

His main ideas are:
  • Taxies should be sold at a fixed price with the price being set by the ability of drivers to pay.
  • That we need to develop a higher quality, professional driver.
  • Having been on a list and worked for 15 years should not by itself be enough to get a medallion. The future medallion holder should have to pass a difficult test showing a thorough knowledge of the City, traffic flows and the cab business in general.
  • The overall quality of all drivers should also be improved whether or not they hold medallions.
  • Once medallions are sold they should belong to an individual and not the City.
This last point is important if we want to avoid having future politicians trying to steal the medallions like Newsom wanted to do last January. If we actually owned the medallions, deregulation would be about the only way left to destroy a medallion owner's livelihood.

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