A series of ordinances before the Anaheim City Council tonight may result in the city incurring the ire of a local taxicab company that says it is being shut out of the competitive bid process.
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Konstantinos Roditis, President of 24/7 Yellowcab, tells the Weekly that he might sue the city if it goes through with a proposal to extend the expired franchise of A White and Yellow Cab, Inc. (also called "A Taxi"), a rival cab company. And the city wouldn't be surprised if he did, says planning director Sheri Vander Dussen*. A Taxi's contracted franchise agreement with Anaheim actually expired on Valentines Day; even if the council votes to award A Taxi a new franchise as proposed, the company's taxis wouldn't technically be street-legal until 30 days after the council goes through the required second reading of the agreement at its next meeting in March. But the city attorney has said that Anaheim won't take any action to stop the company from operating in the city while its franchise has lapsed.
This all has Roditis ticked because it means that his company won't be given a shot to get into the Disneyland/Convention Center/Angels Stadium/Chain Reaction (JK on the last one) taxi market in Anaheim -- even though he submitted an application to pick up A Taxi's lapsed franchise. It's not that his application is being denied. It's that it's not really being considered. A committee of local business people was assigned to evaluate competing proposals for a new taxi franchises in the city. Their recommendation placed 24/7 Taxi dead last in the running, but Roditis and a few other firms objected to the way in which that recommendation was obtained. At the council's meeting two weeks ago, Vander Dussen said the council wasn't happy with the idea of idea of reducing the number of competing taxi companies in Anaheim by awarding the franchise to Yellow Cab of Greater Orange County, as was recommended. So, instead of dealing with each of the four franchise agreements set to expire within the next few years all at different times, the council expressed a desire to extend all incumbent cab company franchises until 2012. Great for the companies already in the city; not so great for Roditis.
"I just want a fair shot. If I still fail, that's fine," he says. "We're hopeful that the city will realize what they're doing is illegal and wrong. "
*Originally misspelled. Thanks to Ron Vander Dussen for the catch!