The amendment gives permission for police officers to order unlicensed taxis to be towed and impounded, and makes the owner liable for towing and storage costs. A similar ordinance amendment failed in December, to the relief of drivers and owners of North Plainfield taxis that are not licensed to operate in Plainfield. See Plaintalker's report here.
Dec. 12, 2016 City Council meetingThe December vote fell short of the four needed to pass. The council vote was 3-3, with Barry Goode, Rebecca Williams and Cory Storch saying "yes" and Tracey Brown, Bridget Rivers and Diane Toliver saying "no." Gloria Taylor was absent. After the crowd left the building, Soria Taxi supporters cheered and honked horns outside to celebrate.
Since then, the council make-up has changed, as winners of the November general election have been sworn in. Williams, formerly the Second & Third Wards at-large representative, is now the Citywide at-large member, replacing Brown. Charles McRae has replaced Gloria Taylor in the Third Ward. Joylette Mills-Ransome has been appointed to replace Williams. There is now a majority favorable to the administration that sought the amendment, which reads as follows:
Any vehicle operating in violation of this chapter shall be deemed a nuisance and a menace to the safe and proper regulation of traffic, and any Police Officer upon his or her discretion, may provide for the removal of that vehicle. The owner shall bear the costs of removal and storage which may result from such removal before regaining possession of the vehicle
The agenda-fixing session is 7:30 p.m. in City Hall Library, 515 Watchung Ave. If there is a consensus to move the amended ordinance, MC 2017-10, to the agenda, it will be up for a vote on Feb. 13. That meeting is 8 p.m. in Municipal Court, 325 Watchung Ave.