Hail, No! Judge kayoes Mayor Bloomberg’s plan to let livery cabs make street pickups
Decision blows a $1 billion hole in city budget
By Barbara Ross / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Friday, August 17, 2012, 5:24 PM
Sabo, Robert/New York Daily News
Cabbies dressed in yellow shirts joined together to protest plans for looser rules for livery cabs in front of City Hall Monday, June 20, 2011 in Manhattan, New York. TAXI CAB PROTEST
Adams IV, James Monroe (Freelancer)
Daily News reporter Ryan Strong hails a livery cab in front of the Atlantic Terminal on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn on January 19, 2011.
Mayor Bloomberg's plan to allow 18,000 livery cabs to take street hails in the outer boroughs and upper Manhattan got a red light Friday from judge — blowing a big hole in the city’s budget.
The ruling, which will likely be appealed, blocks the city from selling 2,000 new medallions for handicapped accessible yellow cabs or authorizing the livery street pickups.
The decision by Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron means the city loses out on $1 billion in one-shot revenue it had hoped to generate from medallion sales.
Earlier this summer, Engoron temporarily blocked the Bloomberg administration from selling the yellow medallions and taking applications for livery hail licenses after lawyers with the medallion industry argued that the law authorizing the plan was illegal.
They said Bloomberg violated the state's home rule law by sidestepping the City Council — which opposes the plan — and going straight to the state Legislature to get it approved. Gov. Cuomo signed the measure after lawmakers added more yellow cabs for the disabled.
Opponents also said the mayor had violated the City Charter because the law lets him decide how to spend the $1 billion that the medallion sale will yield — sidestepping the council, which must approve the city's budget. "End runs are legal in football and in politics," Engoron wrote in June.
He said the "most basic question" raised by opponents is whether the mayor violated the home rule provision of the state constitution by not going to the Council.
"This court has trouble seeing how the provision of taxi service in New York City is a matter than can be wrenched from the hands of city government, where it has resided for some 75 years, and handed over to the state," he said.
Engoron signed a temporary restraining order blocking the city from implementing the plan.
The judge said the opponents, who now have the exclusive right to pick up street hails, were “likely to succeed” on this issue and they proved they would suffer 'irreparable harm' if the plan were put into effect before the litigation was resolved.
Engoron's decision triggered an angry response from Bloomberg who said the judge had blown a $1 billion hole in the mayor's proposed budget and would result in layoffs. Ultimately, the city budget adopted did not have the layoffs he threatened.
Entire article can be found here: http://www.nydailyne...1#ixzz23tdAvrVe