In July, the City of Turlock denied the only taxi cab driver a permit due to city ordinances. There was much debate about these ordinances at that meeting but ultimately the council stuck to the existing Municipal Code. However, staff was given direction to revisit the the ordinance to determine if there was need for any revisions.
Christopher Duncan Sansom was the only active, permitted taxi cab driver for the entire city of Turlock. His permit renewal was up for debate in July because he received two speeding tickets in one year, violating the City ordinance.
One ticket was received in his taxi, in an area on Golden State Boulevard where the speed quickly changes from 35 to 50 mph. This was the only ticket he received on the job throughout his four years of cab driving. The other ticket was received in his personal car.
Since the Turlock City Council denied Sansom’s renewal, Turlock was without taxi service until the August 23 City Council Meeting when Jimmy John Davis, with Yellow Cab, was approved for a Taxi Cab Permit.
This was one of the biggest concerns expressed back in July by Councilman Forrest White, “We need cab service, and we have to wait for Council meetings to approve someone to drive somebody home,” questioned White.
White felt that this would be better handled by the Police Department rather than coming back to council every time.
At the September 13th City Council Meeting a revised Municipal Code for both the Police Permit Appeals process (Municpal Code Title 1, Chapter 4) and the Taxi Cabs and Automobiles for Hire Regulations (Municipal Code Title 3, Chapter 1, Section 12). The recommended amendment to the Taxi Cabs and Automobiles for Hire Regulations was to remove the necessity for Council review and therefore removing duplication of governmental oversight. The recommended amendment to the Appeals process changes to make Police Department approval authority and the City Manager the hearing authority and therefore making it consistent with the revised Taxi Cab Regulations.
In addition to the changes made in the process, the permitting for Automobiles for Hire, mostly limo companies, have been removed from the process since those are regulated by the State. This will mean the loss of permitting fees from such companies but it will eliminate the duplication of efforts.
Councilman Bill DeHart was the first to comment about the need for professionalism and observance of the laws such as speed limits, as those standards were not changed.
"Thank you to Mr. White for bringing up the original question. Thank you very much for all the work that has been done. Thank you to the cab company for their participation,” stated Councilman DeHart. “I think this will be a good solution fo rour community if drivers act like the professionals they are licensed to be."
The revisions were passed unanimously and will be implemented by the Turlock Police Department.