For a short time at last night’s Kodiak City Council meeting, about half of all taxi cab permits in the city were endangered. An issue with taxi permit number 11, which had been revoked by the city clerk’s office because the cab had not been on the road the minimum number of hours per month, threatened to spill over and affect many of the cabs in town. The council however overturned the revocation and avoided setting a precedent.
City Clerk Debra Marlar said that in surveying the cabs in town, she found that many had not been on the roads the minimum number of hours:
— (Taxi 1 27 sec "I think it’s important … and limousine permitees.")
Taxi permit number 11 is owned by Donna Jones, who admitted to not having her cab on the road the 120 hours a month because of extenuating circumstances. She said the rule needed more flexibility:
— (Taxi 2 40 sec "The 120-hour rule … and most important, safety issues.")
The council took a conciliatory tone in overturning the revocation, three of the four present saying they were wrong to have voted no when Jones attempted to transfer the permit to her friend and financial backer, Shane Rupe. The sale, for the amount of five-dollars, would have reset the clock on the cab’s time on the road, and would have allowed them to avoid the revocation. Councilman Tom Walters:
— (Taxi 3 34 sec "I’d like to see you … your pocketknife, anything.")
Councilman Terry Haines agreed that he too should have voted differently on the sale of the permit. He defended the clerk, but said the code does need work:
— (Taxi 4 31 sec "I think it’s very clear … shake it and see what rattles.")
Marlar agreed, and asked the council to review the code and work with her on rewriting it:
— (Taxi 5 22 sec "As written, Code 540 is … if it is withdrawn.")
Walters suggested involving taxi drivers and owners in the redrafting of the taxi cab code.