By Carol McCracken
The two members present of the Transportation Committee voted unanimously to pass the Taxi Advisory Committee proposal and forward it on to the full city council for consideration next month. (Councilor Cheryl Leeman was absent.) Councilor Kevin Donoghue is chair of the Transportation Committee.
The Advisory Committee would “create an effective taxi board that would unite the fractured industry and make sure the public interest would once again be served,” said Charles Bragdon, who proposed the Committee idea originally earlier this year. Later, on June 16th, Bragdon submitted a comprehensive proposal setting forth “clear guidelines on how the board should be run; including duties and responsibilities,” to the Transportation Committee. Bragdon wanted a nine member board while Donoghue and John Anton, opted for seven members. That would eliminate two board members from the public sector that Bragdon had wanted to insure adequate public feedback on transportation matters. Contrary to Donoghue, Bragdon also wanted the board members to be picked by the transporation industry and not by the city itself.
Charles Bragdon is a candidate for District I city council this fall. He owns his own taxi company as did his father before him. He’ll be facing the incumbent councilor Kevin J. Donoghue. The latter is known for his wide-spread abrasiveness as well as his green agenda. (Paul Farrell who was considering a run for the seat as well withdrew yesterday.)
The immediate and most contentious issue separating Donohue and Bragdon was whose idea was this Committee? In the opening moments of the meeting, Donoghue tried to establish that he was the originator of the Committee idea. However, he backed down sheeplishly when a women taxi driver, Julia, called him out on it. On June 16th, Bradgon presented a comprehensive document to create this commission and submitted it to the Transportation Committee. Donoghue embraced the idea countering with his own watered-down proposal. For that action, Donoghue credited himself for the proposal.
Could this be the beginning of a David and Goliath political struggle right straight through to November 3rd?!