Mayor Michael Villa issued a veto today on a resolution passed by the Amsterdam Common Council at Tuesday’s meeting which would restrict the number of licenses issued to taxi cab companies to five. The resolution was passed 3-2. Aldermen Ed Russo and Chad Majewski voted no on the measure. Under the terms of the resolution, the six currently licensed taxi companies would be allowed to continue to operate in the city.
Villa wrote in his veto statement, “After careful thought I am of the opinion that limiting the number of cab companies allowed to operate does little to solve a deeper problem.”
Reached for comment today, Villa said, “The more I think about this…who are we to limit who can do business?”
Villa said the complaints he has received have to do with unlicensed persons operating taxi services within the city.
“It’s difficult for the police to identify who is a [licensed taxi company] and who isn’t…So I think enforcement is an issue,” said Villa.
He said issuing clearly visible medallions for licensed vehicles could be one option to address the problem, so that customers could easily tell which vehicles are licensed by the city.
Current city laws require any taxi cab company that picks up fares within the city to obtain a license for the company, for each vehicle, and for each driver. All licenses are reviewed by the Amsterdam Police Department.
The council has the option to override the veto within fifteen days, but would require a “majority plus one” vote in order to do so.