WAYNE, N.J. — The Limousine Associations of New Jersey held its 7th annual auction on May 13 to benefit the association and its PACT fund. In 2008, this auction raised $16,000 for the association. The event, which drew more than 100 operators and vendor members, was held at Universal Limousine Distributors and Wayne Lincoln Mercury.
• Tim Rose, president of LANJ, reported that LANJ recently added two ad hoc board positions. These positions have been extended to a representative from the Luxury Based Operators Association of New York (LBOA) and to the Philadelphia Regional Limousine Association (PRLA). The two associations will extend LANJ the same courtesy. The sharing of board members will allow the associations to communicate better on key issues and work together in dealing with legislative fights. Rose explained that LANJ was instrumental in negotiating with the New York City TLC about the recent new rules that were put in place on for-hire operators. “Our goal was to mitigate potential damage,” Rose said. “We feel we did our best for the Tier 1 operators.”
• Barry Lefkowitz, executive director of LANJ, said the association has accomplished a lot for its members. “We stopped Avis. They are prohibited at Newark, JFK, LaGuardia and the seaports. Additionally, on June 8, the legislation that will amend the New Jersey Limo Law will be voted on. This amendment will allow more passengers in stretch limousines and will allow the state police the right to go onto the property of an illegal operator if they have probable cause. Language also has been added to the amendment which will make the Avis model illegal.”
• Don Mallo of the human resource consultancy, Extensis, explained that there has been a rash of litigation about overtime payments for chauffeurs in New York. Mallo said one reason for this is that people are looking for other streams of revenue in the downturned economy. Six cases have been filed in New York in the last eight months, Mallo said.
• Ralph Bitter of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s compliance division spoke about New Jersey’s law on idling vehicles. The law states that there is a three-minute maximum that vehicles can be left idling before they are ticketed. Bitter explained that this law protects the environment from the noxious gases produced by the idling vehicles. Buses using diesel fuel are especially noxious, he said.
• LANJ also has instituted a program which will allow operators to donate regularly to their PACT fund. The new program will take credit card payments monthly, allowing operators to donate as little as $15 per month directly to the PACT fund. PACT money is used for association lobbying and political fund raising to garner support from politicians on key issues that affect operators in New Jersey.
Source: Linda Moore, LCT Magazine