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From the Desk of Mayor Butch Starkie - September 18, 2009

Addressing Taxi Licenses In the Village

You may have read about a campaign waged by Long Island Checker Cab to disparage the board of trustees for not issuing a taxi company license to Checker Cab. I want to set the record straight with respect to this issue.

For 30 years the Village of Farmingdale has had Yellow Taxi Company as its only vendor licensed to operate taxi cabs in the village. The owner of Checker Cab requested a license to operate within the Village. The board of trustees decided that after 30 years it was a good time to solicit prices from any cab companies interested in a license. The hope was that we could get the pricing for cab rides more competitive for our residents.

Yellow Taxi Company and Checker Cab Company submitted proposals. Their pricing was similar but Yellow Taxi Cab’s pricing was lower. We knew that they were a good company having served us well for 30 years. We also knew that we are a village of about one square mile and multiple cab companies may actually reduce service and would not be inclined to give us their best price if they had to share the territory. Thus, we issued a license to only Yellow Taxi Company who has reduced its prices to our residents based upon its proposal.

Unfortunately, Mr. Fortuna, the owner of Checker Cab, has taken full-page ads in our local papers questioning the trustees’ motives and ethics in having only one Cab Company. It has always been and continues to be the trustees’ intention to have the village serviced by the best taxi company available at the lowest prices to our residents. Frankly, it is our only concern. We think we have done this in issuing a license to Yellow Taxi Cab Company at better pricing to our residents.

We expect Checker will continue its campaign against us. Based on advice of village counsel, I will not respond to Mr. Fortuna’s specific allegations. I respect his right to express himself but I am confident that the trustees acted both legally and, more importantly, in the best interest of our residents in its decision regarding issuance of taxi licenses in the village. I wanted you to know the real story since the board of trustees answers to you, our residents. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me or stop by a board of trustees meeting any Monday night.