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Port Chester Daily Voice serves Port Chester, NY

Port Chester Taxi Drivers Bide Their Time

PORT CHESTER, N.Y. -- Mayor Dennis Pilla and the Village Board of Trustees voted Monday evening to extend taxi licenses until November 30 to allow time to review the viability of transferring licensing from the Village to the County. "Personally, I don't think we should (extend the licenses)," said Pilla before the vote, but said he'd support it out of respect for Trustee Luis Marino, who was absent from the meeting.

Marino is away for the month of August and requested the licenses, due to expire August 30, be extended further to allow his input.

Marino has come out against Pilla, who supports transferring taxi licensing over to the Westchester County Taxi and Limousine Commission.

Local taxi drivers and company owners remain vehemently opposed to the proposal, which would eliminate the 75-cab cap in the Village and lessen the value of their licenses known as "medallions." The mayor said he felt the taxis were not properly regulated and were unsafe and that it would be better to lift the burden of governance from the Village to the County at no additional cost to taxpayers. Taxi drivers feel snubbed by this declaration and claim the move has nothing to do with safety as their cabs undergo rigorous inspections twice a year. "I think it is a political move for his resume so he can move on to the County," said taxi driver Harry Salcedo.

The proposal still has to be drafted and voted on, which could happen anytime between September and November. In the mean time, Village trustees have to make up their minds and ultimately decide whether or not to side with the mayor or the taxi drivers.

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