Today I just wasn't in the mood for the public testimony. Having no intention of speaking this time around I arrived after the proceedings began. I even skipped the noon driver rally. My feelings today centered around the fact of a crazed full moon weekend and the sorry fact that the resolution was a done deal, nothing I might say altering a finished document. Next week I will hopefully find the time to explore with you the more important details.
Suffice to say we in the taxi industry got screwed royally today, openly blamed for our fate, being told our poor service over the years resulting in our own comeuppance, some members of council suggesting all this should act as an operational tonic. Knowing my constructive suggestions have been ignored for years on end, please understand my jaundiced outlook.
In their limited fashion, the council attempted to reach a comprehensive and fair conclusion. Unfortunately for us in the taxi industry the city council, by taking concrete measures validating the flat rate for-hire fellows and regulating the ride-share (TNC) industry, blindly overstepped their regulatory authority by issuing a de-facto blanket amnesty absolving everyone for their sins. Mistakenly viewing themselves as jurists, the city council decided that the years of illegal operation by both parties to be unimportant, unworthy of any penalty or fine, telling us to essentially "suck it up" and accept the inevitable.
As insulting as their arrogance is, they have provided us with the legal opening we needed, making the City of Seattle's position vulnerable. No municipality can selectively enforce known rules, laws and legal protocol. Since they can't do it we should be able to force an injunction halting their legislation while we move to have it completely tossed out. Tomorrow I will be asking both Mayor Murray to veto the bill and the City Attorney to open an investigation. I am more than doubtful that either will effectively respond to our position. That is why we in the taxi industry must immediately begin to respond. This is what we should do:
Beginning this week we need to begin shopping for lawyers and gathering monetary commitments from all of the drivers. Eventually the associations will join us. To hesitate is to fail. Thursday I will be more detailed. Suffice to say we must move quickly. The fate of our industry is in our hands. That my friends is the cold and hard reality. To do otherwise will be placing our heads in the bureaucratic guillotine. Our industry is about to be decapitated.