Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Taxi Towing Ordinance Moved to Feb. 13 Agenda

Their signs said City Council action will destroy their livelihood, but as a capacity crowd of North Plainfield taxi owners, drivers and their relatives watched, a City Council majority agreed to vote next Monday on an ordinance allowing police to have out-of-town taxis towed.
Plainfield taxis must be licensed, inspected and insured at a considerable cost to the four companies doing business here, but two North Plainfield taxi companies claim they give better service and want the right to pick up fares in Plainfield. They cannot obtain licenses in Plainfield, as the limit on the number of taxis has been met.

The city has increased fines for unlicensed cabs to deter them, and tried in December to up the ante by allowing police to order them towed. The measure failed, but with a new council majority, it is being brought back for a vote at the Feb. 13 regular council meeting.
In public comment Monday, Dr. Harold Yood led off by saying, "I think this ordinance should be trashed."

Yood, author of the blog Doc's Potpourri, said Plainfield, North Plainfield and Watchung constitute one economic entity and the whole (Municipal) Code should be revised to recognize that.

He was followed by a string of speakers from the North Plainfield taxi companies who said passage of the ordinance will take bread off the family table, among other dire predictions.Some made the point that many drivers for the out-of-town taxis are Plainfield residents and taxpayers.

Council members Barry Goode, Joylette Mills-Ransome, Cory Storch, Charles McRae and Council President Rebecca Williams agreed to move the ordinance to the Feb. 13 meeting, while Councilwomen Bridget Rivers and Diane Toliver said "no."

Rivers was extremely outspoken in support of the out-of-town taxis, calling the ordinance "a disgrace" and asking how dare the city tell residents which taxis they can call or not call.

"It's wrong, it's so wrong," she said to applause from the taxi faction.

 At the end of the meeting, the last speaker said he had to go home and tell his family he had lost his job.

"Don't be surprised if you see me on the corner doing bad things," he said.

Rivers encouraged him to stay positive and said she will be praying for him.

The taxi towing ordinance will be up for passage on first reading at the regular council meeting, 8 p.m. Feb. 13 in Municipal Court, 325 Watchung Ave.



  1. Do toliver ever talk ?

  2. Mayor Trumpp rearing his ugly head in Plainfield. What's next, Mayor Trumpp, a wall? Keep them over there. Make Plainfield Great Again!

  3. Hi Ms. Paglia I was there last night my heart is sadden this morning. When are we as Plainfield going to get past the petty politics.


    1. When you talk about “petty Politics” I hope you are referring to the two that felt the need to grandstand. Instead of Rivers and Toliver working to change the ordinance they choose to grandstand about the fine. That is not how change is achieved.

      I agree their behavior saddens me as well. You should ask your crew why can’t they just accept that the Mayor has at least 4 like mined individuals on the council and why they feel the need to continue to be obstructionist.

      Rivers and Toliver was part of the establishment that controlled the council for the last four years. Again I agree, It’s time for them to let go of the petty politics and start working for the betterment of the residence and not themselves.

  4. Anom 3:06 am - Yes Councilwoman Diane Toliver spoke last night and in depth. Arguing how all our taxpayer monies are being spent left and right.

    1. shouldn't taxpayers money be in sitting in a bank account somewhere accruing interest for a rainy day?

  5. Council agenda fixing meeting was a twilight zone

    The council unanimously voted to make Plainfield a “Fair and Welcoming” City to stand behind the illegal immigrants that are living in the shadows to show that WE care.

    Allowing the action services to accept monetary donations to assist those who are on the edge or have falling into despair. #GoPlainfield

    Asking the council to allow 60K for a marketing company to promote Plainfield in a positive view. So, that we can have a positive spin on the place we all call home.!!

    No sooner did the resolutions moved toward next weeks’ council meeting.

    The city turned their backs on our neighbors. It was very clear that the City of Plainfield does not want to be welcoming to our residents that work for taxi cab companies that is in North Plainfield.

    Plainfield is not an island nation, but we are part of the Plainfields' as a whole. North Plainfield, South Plainfield, Watchung, Dunellen, do others exclude fair trade towards taxi cab companies? Are there other communities with the same malaise toward Plainfield?

    Why is there so much anger towards those who want to do the right thing for their families? These are taxpaying citizens, they have a right to be gainfully employed. Would the city rather keep people down and or have them turn to illegal activities causing more issue for Plainfield.

    These are our own citizens employed by these companies. We need to find out why the administration protects these 4 cab companies who have the licenses within the city, are our residents working for them or are they just taking advantage of political influence.

    The administration wants to dictate who and what choices we have to call for a taxi, this is not friendly but has the actions of building division and pitting against our neighbors.
    Are we living in harmony or living in an abusive relationship, we need to hire a professional therapist to find out why our city has no compassion?

    There has to be a balance, one side of the face is spending time to encourage and lay out a WELCOME MAT, then the other side is pulling the MAT out from under those who are trying to make a living wage.

    Fair and Welcoming City, some of the council members need to get out a dictionary to understand these words and live by them and apply to all parts of our city and the actions that they vote on.

    1. I as so many others have to agree with Trump on the issue of illegal immigrants,especially those that address our council members with threats of violence.There is no place in Plainfield or the U.S. for them.

  6. There are four licensed, inspected and insured taxi companies that have paid for the right to do business in Plainfield. Soria and Gray contribute nothing to poach business from these companies. By taking business away they are also taking bread away from hard working Plainfield residents. Doing something wrong and being punished for it will not gain my sympathy.

  7. "Dont be surprised if you see me on the corner doing bad things" REALLY!!! Take your temper tantrum to the nearest corner in North Plainfield and do your "bad thing". Why is it when Plainfield wants to impose laws that are unfavorable to other communities we are told we are part of a "diaspora" yet if iou go to any of these communities and mention Plainfield, we are considered the scum of the earth. I don't use any of the taxis...but I understand.

    As far as Plainfield being labeled a Welcoming City, if this means no federal funding from the Trump Administration, the Mapp Administration better start rolling the welcome mat up because that will mean more tax burden on the already over taxed, under served homeowners of Plainfield. and you Mayor Mapp, Tracey Brown and any other candidate will not be welcome either.

  8. If you do not like using the City Taxis - try Uber - you will be presently surprised by the quick service and good rates.

  9. Anon 12:59 you are so clueless. This is about people lives. Have a heart. Right is right, and wrong is wrong. This ordinance to tow their vehicles is wrong.


  10. A few things I'd like to know:
    - do surrounding towns permit Plainfield taxis to pick up fares?
    - do the four 'local' cab companies have enough cars to meet the demand in a community that has a large number of residents without cars?
    - has there been any conversations on the matter with the administrations in adjacent towns?
    - has the administration or council requested that the state legislature open up the lists to permit more cabs?
    - has anything been quantified like # of cabs, # of passengers, business lost, average wait times, etc.?
    - are the four Plainfield cab companies in compliance with our local ordinances?
    - what is the safety record for all these companies?
    - does the monopoly cost consumers more or does it provide an overall benefit to riders?

    I wasn't at the meeting, or the previous one where this came up, but I certainly would want to hear the answers to these questions before taking any punitive action that is likely to weigh heavily on many people.

  11. Alan, good questions:

    -Yes, surrounding towns permit Plfd taxis to pick up fares.
    - No, the four local cab companies do not have enough cars to service the public effectively for the Plfd to No Plfd/No Plfd to Plfd passengers. Another question to ask, are the four locals going to buy about 20 cabs to match what Soria/Grey Taxi currently have? If they can't match that, how will this affect the residents that need to be at work at a certain time, pick up their children at a certain time, make a doctor's appointment on time?
    - I'd also like to know if there has been any convos with neighboring administrations on this issue.
    - It doesn't look like this administration is int'd in opening up any legislature to permit more local taxi licenses. Let's ask, does it have anything to do with the local cabs displaying Williams/McRae political signs on the outside of their cabs last primary?
    - I can attest to even before No Plfd taxis existed, the horrible waiting time the Plfd cabs would impose on myself and my family members. Leaving us stranded was a normality.
    - Let me ask, can the public verify the Plfd taxi's good standing also?
    - Yes, the public should know safety records of all these companies.
    - I stopped using Plfd cabs when they would charge $5 to cross the border of Plfd/No Plfd. Soria Taxi only charges $4 for crossing that city border. Now when you depend solely on taxis, those savings go a long way.

    On another note, my experience with Plfd cabs, they are very rude. They don't know how to say bye, you say your address & they go 'click'. How's that for customer service? I can go on and on, but the public can catch the rest of my opinion on this issue once it is aired. That is if the administration chooses to air it.