COMMUNITY COMMENTARY:

I do wish to take issue with your Oct. 31 editorial “Council did no one any favors,” which appears more to have been written by the disgruntled owner of the unsuccessful cab company than anyone on your staff.

Also, if the inference in your editorial is that people can be bought and sold by campaign contributions applies only to the City Council, and not to the fine members of the Transportation & Parking Commission, I have no objection, as many of us have learned, to our dismay, that the individual who was your good buddy when seeking your vote and help in getting elected, has absolutely no concern for you, or any other resident, after the election.

Now, as to the Transportation & Parking Commission, your editorial is devoid of any knowledge of the ongoing situation regarding taxi cabs here in Glendale. As a former member and chairman of the commission, I can inform you that the issue of the number of cabs, and the deteriorating need for them, was a concern during my tenure, and has been for the four years since then.

On several occasions when the franchise licenses came up for renewal, there was a question of whether we were going to reduce, not increase, the number of licenses to any particular franchise. The main factor in not doing so was that Mr. “Pie in the Sky” Caruso had everyone convinced that his Americana at Brand was going to be so wildly successful that it would look like Times Square in New York, and we would have cabs lined up around the block to handle travelers from afar. So much for that pipe dream.

Also, we were suspicious then, as now, of someone who wanted only one license. I recall one individual who wanted only one license, and who was located about 25 miles away. He let it slip that he had an “in” with a local tavern owner, and was hoping for a monopoly in hauling drunks out of the bar. With considerable amusement, that license was denied.

As to your comment that four of the five companies “share” the same owner, this was only brought to the attention of the Transportation & Parking Commission by the owner of United Taxi. At all times, when we were presented with requests for license renewals, there were separate individuals who represented themselves as the owners of same. At no time did any of the paperwork presented to the commissioners by the city Traffic and Transportation Division, nor was anything ever said by the city representative about this. The same applies to United Taxi, regarding other franchises, so you should not pretend to be horrified by this somewhat common occurrence.

In summation, this Transportation & Parking Commission, confronted by the ongoing situation here in Glendale, did what all their predecessors have been doing for the past several years — no bribery, no protectionism, just common sense.


 JIM WELING is a Glendale resident.

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