GCLA board director Lee Martinez, Treasurer Jack Nissim, and President Mark Stewart have helped lead the assocaition to a string of successes during the past year, including a major vehicle expo with the largest number of vehicles ever displayed at a GCLA event, a significant boost in membership, a cooperative outreach to airport regulators that has slowed down harmful green vehicle regulations, and the hosting of an extensive panel of law enforcement officials and state regulators who spoke to operators at the April 11, 2012 member meeting in San Diego.
SAN DIEGO — The Greater California Livery Association highlighted the ever-growing challenges created by illegal operators in California when it brought together representatives from several agencies for its April 11 meeting in San Diego.
It was a rare event in that the GCLA was able to host officials of significant rank and position from multiple state and local agencies at once to address one of the most serious problems facing the California industry: Illegal limousine operators who undercut the market and compromise the safety and quality of chauffeured services.
GCLA board director Jorge Rodriguez introduced a guest panel that included representatives from the California Public Utilities Commission, the California Highway Patrol, the Employment Development Division, the San Diego District Attorney’s Office, and the San Diego Harbor Police Department. The guests outlined challenges they face within their departments and their goals for this year.
CHP Sgt. Dave Dreher and Motor Carrier Specialist Jim Golojuch detailed the responsibilities their department oversees and public services offered to the chauffeured transportation industry. Challenges for the CHP involve having to work during the day and thereby focus their enforcement efforts mostly on the commercial trucking industry.
The San Diego District Attorney team of Deputy District Attorney Dominic Dugo and Jesse Navarro along with Jennifer Gillette of the Employment Development Division highlighted their ongoing efforts to cite and prosecute any San Diego based transportation company involved in worker’s comp or payroll tax fraud. Dugo and Navarro are actively closing on some cases involving such fraud.
Cpl. Magda Fernandez and Officer Cynthia Markley introduce their community outreach program within the San Diego Harbor Police Department, which is directly involved with patrolling the San Diego Airport and the surrounding community. In the near future, the GCLA will communicate directly with Fernandez and her staff. The efforts will be solely about education, which will result in fewer illegal operators.
The meeting concluded with Haydee Clarke and Adrianne Johnson from the PUC, which is the agency that regulates chauffeured transportation and charter party carriers in California. The Consumer Protection and Safety Division launched April 23, led by CPSD Director Brigadier General Emmy “Jack” Hagan. His mission statement reads, “To ensure that passenger and household goods carriers operate in conformance with consumer protection and safety requirements and compete fairly in the marketplace by investigating and prosecuting carriers who violate the law.”
GCLA members were delighted to hear that his primary goal will be enforcement that results in neutralizing the illegal limousine operators. Johnson also announced the possibility of assigning two new investigators to the southern California region.
The GCLA and its members were honored and please to see a pronounced panel of such influential status attend our San Diego meeting. The GCLA and its membership look forward to having an impact in reducing the unfair practices brought by the illegal operators.