CLINTON — The Clinton City Council Committee of the Whole on Tuesday forwarded several amendments and points of clarification regarding the city's taxicab rules and regulations.
A revised draft of the city's taxi laws will make its way to the regular council meeting next Tuesday for a final vote after several lengthy discussions at recent Committee of the Whole meetings. The revisions and clarifications include, among others, fare meter regulations and official city registration procedures.
The potential ordinance will allow the city's legitimate taxicab services to decide whether or not they wish to install an official meter in their vehicles. Taxi operators told the council during recent meetings that there are other ways to calculate passenger fare cost, such as cellphone apps.
The discussion was raised after some on the council voiced concerns that the lack of a blatantly visible meter may result in fare uncertainty for passengers. However based on taxi service representative accounts, the council has ultimately placed its faith in those companies.
"Let's not put some undue burdens on businesses," councilman Seth Odor said Tuesday. "Why are we telling them how to do this? I really sympathize with (taxicab company owners). I don't think they're trying to cheat anybody out of anything."
Clinton's On the Go Too taxi service manager Monica Herrera told council members that the company's passengers are always aware of the ride fare even though an official meter may not always be present.
Herrera's account of fair and honest pricing, and those of others who came before the council, were enough to convince council members to forward the draft placing freedom of the meter decision in the business owners' hands.
"Who am I to sit here and tell these folks how to run their business?" councilman Cody Seeley said. "If you don't want to ride in a taxi with no meter, ride in a taxi in town with a meter. If (taxi owners) don't want to use a meter, fine...as long as everything is clearly posted and nothing is fraudulent or endangering or blatantly misleading."
Also in the draft is a plan to have every legitimate taxi service vehicle in Clinton receive an official city-distributed licensing sticker, which will be the subject of renewal on Jan. 1 of each year, running through Dec. 31. This practice comes after one service owner brought it to light that, in the past, some area residents have been operating illegitimate taxi services.
In the case of unrest or questions, an appeal board is the process of being put together to hear those appeals as well.