Monday, March 10, 2014

Going To Eastern Washington

Tomorrow I am going over to the potholes and coulees near Quincy, Washington to breath in some high desert air.  Standing in the middle of a desert valley surrounded by buttes and plateaus listening to shrieking red-tailed hawks is my kind of therapy.  After another rain soaked taxi weekend I am ready!  Thank goodness today's City Council meeting was cancelled, allowing me to sleep to 1:00 PM.  That I am tired of all this pointless conversation is the taxi understatement of the year.  I don't like that we have and continue to be ignored.  On Friday I got a voice message from someone in the new mayor's office saying that they are too busy to meet.  Thanks for making our issues a priority is what I say!  This coming after saying there would be a meeting.  I am beginning to understand that those folks down at City Hall are not that well organized.  This is my prediction of upcoming events.

Even after all this---- the demand study, the many hearings, not to mention the many telephone calls, the emails and the face-to-face meetings---- the City Council will nonetheless pass a bill completely unacceptable to the taxi industry.  We will request Mayor Murray to veto it and of course he doesn't.  We will sue and get a court ordered stoppage.  Serious negotiation begins but only to be impeded by a City reluctant to reveal who has been making all these peculiar decisions over the past three years.  Finally we find out who was behind Seattle's failed strategy.  People are fired. Some may be prosecuted. Damages are paid to the taxi industry.  The flat rate for-hire industry continues to exist and operate but only upon their original mandate.  The ride-share industry is now regulated and allowed to operate with a truncated and limited operational mandate only after paying fines and penalties to the State of Washington, King County and the City of Seattle.  All current Seattle and King County cabs are made regional and dual-plated.  Up to two hundred new taxi licenses will be issued from a lottery of experienced drivers. 

This my friends, as near as I can tell, will be the near future over the next 6-18 months.  By the end of that period everyone will be asking why did the folks dictating the current crisis ever think they would get away with it.  Yes, I am both amused and curious.  Why did they ever think they wouldn't be held accountable?  But the kind of arrogance displayed recently makes no sense, which I guess contains its own distorted logic.  So much for sound and equitable government. Or is that just theory never meeting or matching reality?  I think I know the answer. And I would bet that you also know the truth.  Kind of obvious, isn't it?

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