Great headline you must admit, for the New York Post or the National Enquirer, and it is all true, unlike "Taxi Driver With Three Heads" or "Taxi Marsupial Hops Over Smith Tower." Smith Tower,by the way, in Seattle, Washington was once the tallest building west of the Mississippi. Now it is dwarfed by taller but inferior buildings though it is now for sell. Anyone interested?
But it is true, the commission outdid itself yesterday by the sheer audacity of what occurred. It started off pleasantly enough with a presentation by Bill Moomau, my Labor & Industry contact who, you might remember rode with me in 478 a few weekends past. He was explaining the new L&I rules which I have been commenting upon the past few weeks. Bill was accompanied by L&I associates Al, whom I have spoken with over the telephone, and Ethan, who is the taxi industry L&I account manager. I kind of put Bill on the spot, asking just what the definition of "covered worker" is. One thing I am learning about politics is that I don't like it. I don't like maneuvering people into positions, especially people I like and respect. It is distasteful and I end up feeling foolish and dishonest. I found a dead squirrel this weekend and felt like crying. I don't think I was made for this rough and tumble world.
Complicating Bill's presentation was the "speakerphone attendance" of one commission member. The member had difficulty at times hearing and following the conversation. This kind of attendance is not to be recommended. Regardless of that, everything went quite well save for some rambling and disjointed questioning by some commission members. Mister Moomau, with his usual grace and aplomb, avoided stepping upon any hidden land mines. Did you know that for a number of years the leading cause of death of Falkland Island sheep were stray land mines placed by the Argentines? I'll have to leave that for another day.
It was only when Craig Leisy of Consumer Affairs began his "for-hire car" presentation that everything went sour. He had evidently notified various "For-Hire Car" associations that he would be doing this. The "Eastside for Hire" president was the only one who made it to the meeting. He by the way is an old taxi buddy and associate of mine, one of the key figures who along with me and others initiated the legal fight with Ron Sims and King County. Due to poor supervision, he was allowed to sit at the commission table, unfortunately supplanting a King County Licensing supervisor. That the commission remains disorganized is all too apparent. And once Mister Eastside was invited to explain to the commission just what a "for-hire" company is, the commission, like a dysfunctional porcupine, displayed all its inherent flaws. It was quite embarrassing as the L&I contingent was still in attendance.
Mister Eastside, like too many other _____cabbies I have seen at official hearings and meeting, began railing at everyone concerned including myself, his old trusted comrade. The biggest problem was the inaction of both our commission chairwoman and the KC liaison who oversees the commission to instantly put a stop to his inappropriate outburst. He even had me shouting at him to stop. Making it worse was the howling of the electronically connected member who himself became his own version of indigant, flinging around accusations aimed at me and others. It was quite the entertaining madness if one enjoys insanity. Compounding the silliness was that for some untold reason our chairwoman thought it reasonable to invite Eastside back next month for what purpose I can't imagine. This was after his most amazing display. When I said that we needed a vote of approval I was curtly informed by the KC liaison that it within the chair's discretion to do so independently of other prevailing opinions. So there we were, suddenly transformed from a democratic commission to a single-party dictatorship. Wow is all I can say. We do have some seats open on the commission. Don't all of you break down the door applying. Why Position Three might be opening up soon too. I would not be surprised.