Monday, February 15, 2010

Open letter to Mark Gruberg

Hi Mark,

Let me start out by saying that I've been admiring your disinformation campaign in the local press. You've certainly got those bozos nailed. Opinions instead of facts, soundbites instead of truth, right? I've got to hand it to you. Carl Rove's got nothin' on ya.

Out of all the red herrings, distortions and flat out lies that you've been feeding these boobies, it's hard for me to say which one I like the best.
  • Maybe it's your telling the press that medallion holders make $70,000 a year when you pay your own medallion holders $2,200 a month. (2,2oo x 12 = $26,400, Mark.)
  • Or maybe it wss telling the press that the plan was a cab company plan - after you sat though about 120 hours of meetings and watched the Consensus Plan being put together mostly by working drivers like yourself ... but, well ... you're a cab company owner yourself, aren't you?
  • Or maybe it was having your man, Bud, get up at the MTA board meeting and claim that taxi companies would buy up all the medallions when you know full well that our Consensus Plan forbids the sale of a medallion to anybody but a working driver who doesn't already own a medallion.
  • Or maybe it was your labeling of the Town Hall Meeting as "unfair" when the only thing unfair about them was the fact that we were forced to listen to you say the same things ("I don't see why we can't just keep Prop. K and have the medallion holders pay for everyone's benefits") in same tone of voice ("I've been cheated, been mistreated, when will I be loved") over and over again for 6 months.
But it was the subtler touches that took my breathe away. Like having your disciples warn the MTA and the press that "meter rates" would go up if the consensus plan was adopted. As if they wouldn't go up otherwise. As you know full well:
  • The meter hasn't gone up since 2003.
  • During that time the purchasing power of the dollar has declined 19%.
  • Thus the profit margins of some taxi companies is running as low as 3%.
  • Thus cab drivers are making 19% less in actual spending power than they were making in 2003 - and that doesn't include the 25% or so that business is off due to the recession.
  • Thus the meter will be going up regardless of what else happens.
  • Brilliant, Mark, brilliant. A red herring for all time.
And claiming that the Consensus Plan "wouldn't do anything to improve service" wasn't bad either.
  • As if helping aging and handicapped drivers get out from behind the wheel wouldn't improve service all by itself.
  • Not to mention improve the life expectancy of both the drivers and the public.
  • And of course your statement ignored all the various ideas that Chris Hayahi tossed out during the Town Hall Meeting like: pesero cabs on Geary, using extra spares during rush hour, rewarding drivers for taking radio calls or using high-tec strategies for improving the radio.
  • But, of course, those technically aren't in the plan are they?
  • Subtle, Mark, subtle.
I can't help but admire the depths that you've explored to keep yourself from facing the fact that you're playing a losing hand. Congratulations.

Yours Truly,

Ed Healy

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