Mayor Bloomberg just wanted to make it legal to hail a livery cab in the outer boroughs and all he gets are headaches. Which is to say, another big name has joined the chorus decrying Bloomberg's puke green street-hailable Boro Taxis. Public Advocate and mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio today filed an amicus brief siding with a group of yellow taxi medallion owners who say that by getting the laws for the move done in Albany rather than in the city, Bloomberg way overstepped his bounds.
“This is a bad plan made worse by the Mayor’s overreach" de Blasio said. "City Hall rushed to overhaul an $11 billion industry, and the lack of oversight along the way means thousands of families and small businesses have been put at risk."
De Blasio isn't the first to make this argument. While Comptroller John Liu is against the deal if all cabs aren't made accessible, Brooklyn Councilman Lew Fidler has gone so far as to join the suit against the law as a plaintiff. "Quite frankly, I think the mayor did an end run around the Council," Fidler told Capital, adding, "The state does not have the power to enact legislation that is so narrowly focused on the city of New York without getting a home rule message from the city's legislative body."
At issue is the fact that Governor Cuomo signed the law allowing the creation of an 18,000 fleet of "borough" taxis which would be hailable in the outer boroughs and in upper Manhattan. But the creation of 18,000 new taxi medallions, when the current 13,000 yellow medallions out there are worth so very, very much, has many yellow taxi medallion owners rightfully freaked. Especially, as they point out, since the New York City Charter notes that "Additional taxicab licenses [medallions] may be issued from time to time only upon the enactment of a local law providing therefor."
"It’s not surprising that Mayor Bloomberg did an end-run around the Democratic process," de Blasio said at a press conference today, digging into hizzoner's history. “He did it with term limits, he’s done it in many other instances. What he did here was when he knew that some City Council Members would raise objections, he just left the City Council out altogether and set a horrible precedent in the process."
A judge will be hearing the case this week, but in the meantime, TLC Commissioner David Yassky seems okay with the whole thing. "I am confident the suit will be dismissed," Yassky said in a statement. "I cannot understand why Mr. de Blasio would side with a handful of taxi fleet owners against the interests of 7 million New Yorkers in the boroughs and northern Manhattan."