Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A Minute of Public Comment & Yesterday's Commission Meeting

I still don't believe I drove all the way to Seattle only to be granted (me and everyone else) one solitary minute before the city council committee reviewing the requested meter rate increase.  I was expecting the usual paltry two minutes.  Such are the machinations of government.  It appears that they overestimated the number of drivers signed up to comment, perhaps startled by the din emanating from outside the council chamber.  Raised voices leaking into the chambers provided the prospect of a newer version of the storming of the Bastille.  But once invited in the raging proletariat quickly became taxi lambs. Everyone remained well-behaved throughout the entire proceeding.  Actually I can not remember my fellow taxi denizens being more polite than they were this afternoon.

Having received the second allotted minute I was able to display my bright yellow pamphlet I had received from the Department of Revenue stating why I needed a business license while simultaneously pointing out the L&I contradiction. I made it clear that we were all there because of L&I and no other reason and that a positive vote would be validating an erroneous position.  Subtle I wasn't.  What I found most interesting was though the majority of the speakers voiced opposition to the increase, none of them mentioned L&I, again pointing out to me that rarely does anyone in the industry ever truly comprehend the finer points.  Frustrating but no longer surprising.  Even my friend Deb's fairly eloquent analysis of negative economic impacts failed to address the larger issue.  Friends, how many times do I have to state that this is all about a Labor & Industry definition and interpretation and implementation and nothing else?  Not a single driver mentioned a concern about losing L&I protection or that how it implicated the hearing.  Clearly I will be writing a letter this week to the committee. And will I or anyone else be successful in awakening the drivers to the real issue?  About the same chance of sunshine in Seattle.  You will have to consult the good Professor Cliff Mass upon that subject.

Commission

Well we actually achieved a quorum yesterday. The most shocking development was a late Monday evening email from Jodie Trueblood, our King County commission liaison stating that for the moment for-hire vehicle rules changes WOULD NOT be forwarded to the KC council.  As I am tired I will let the commission news rest in peace for the moment.  Sleep not agitation is my current priority, napping my favorite and most strenuous activity. Quite sick of being an unproductive slipshod howling at an unresponsive moon!




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