Written by Joe Scotchie Friday, 17 September 2010 00:00
Checker Cab Company, a firm that had recently protested a local law concerning the Taxi Franchise Ordinance, has been awarded that same franchise for the Village of Massapequa Park.
Checker received the franchise, one that will last for one year, at the village’s Sept. 13 board of trustees meeting.
Mayor James Altadonna said that the BOT reviewed a number of bids, including Checker’s, before awarding the bid. Checker, he added, came in with the lowest bid. “[Checker] bid [for] free,” said Altadonna. The bid, he added, came at no cost to “anyone” in the village.
Altadonna said that the village performed a due diligence report on Checker, adding that they are an established company that would fulfill their contractual obligations.
At a previous meeting, the village amended the taxi ordinance, reducing the length of the contract from four years to one year. When that vote was taken, Mayor Altadonna defended the BOT’s actions, by claiming that it would make the entire contract process more competitive, one benefiting both the taxi companies and Massapequa residents. The new law, the mayor said, would allow a taxi company that loses a bid the opportunity to come back the following year and bid again, rather than waiting another four years.
At the time, Phil Fortuna of Checker Cab Company opposed the amendments.
“We feel that by having a one year contract, the village gives the incumbent the edge,” Fortuna told The Massapequan Observer in August. “The investment we have to make costs money.”
As it turned out, delivering the lowest bid was enough to upend any incumbent.