Thursday, July 12, 2012

Continuation of a Taxi Cautionary Tale: Government Failure & the Death of Tigable Tekeba

The legacy of King County's Green Cab initiative still breaths though one primary figure, Tigable Tekeba died recently after lapsing into a coma over four years ago. This is a bad story, one of poor decision making on the part of King County, its council and its then executive director Ron Sims, which is now being played out in a jury trail with Ethiopian vs Ethiopian for the rights of what once were fifty King County taxi licenses.  The story is long and somewhat convoluted and truly deserving of an entire book rather than the few lines I am devoting to it tonight.  For a very quick history I suggest that you access the archives of The Seattle Weekly newspaper and read the terrific article upon the subject by Nina Shapiro in the March 26th, 2008 issue. The long and short of it is that some bleeding hearts thought they had a good idea to serve the taxi and East African community only to have it blow up into something completely unexpected because they never thought that anyone in the local industry would notice that what they were attempting to do wasn't completely legal.

Fast forward to the present date and we have a situation where the late Tekeba's brother is attempting to regain control over some or all of the licenses.  The tragic story concerning Tekeba is that early on in this fiasco he had some type of seizure from which he never regained consciousness. The sad or laughable part of the legal argument from the guys currently operating the licenses is that from day one they have not been operating the taxis in accordance with the conditions contained in the RFP (Request For Proposal) which authorized all this nonsense.  That King County has watched this comedy for four years without intervening is just another chapter in the saga.  What is occurring is chimerical because in reality, at least in accordance to the conditions mandated by King County, the two parties are fighting for something that doesn't actually exist though somehow they do.  Alice would need to consume a bushel of mushrooms to believe or imagine this story.  I would not be surprised if I am sometime summoned to testify.  During the 8th grade I played both the March Hare & the Mad Hatter. I will have to wear the proper attire to the courtroom.  Maybe they will have me enter through a mirror.

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