Friday, February 11, 2011
With the amazing facts that are driving out of Charlotte Douglas International Airport's Arrivals area, I think we need a nice musical interlude. Bob James - Angela, aka the theme from Taxi is just the ticket.
Enjoy it while you can, because its about to get a lot less Jazzy and way more "Head Banger"!
Stand by for news....
Monday is Valentines Day, and until this week Charlotte City Council was expected to approve a sweetheart deal for some of Jerry Orr’s closest friends.
Three issues have since come to light:
First, one of the companies Orr is recommending is owned by two convicted felons. But Orr says it's not a big deal and will not affect his decision.
Second, two of the companies have questionable connections to the selection board and a city council member. Each company paid $5,000 to join HTA no other companies paid the five thousand dollar fee.
Third, the elimination 9 of 12 taxi companies will more than likely be a death blow to those companies and lead to government mandated consolidation with driver and repainted cars morphing into the 3 remaining companies. The change doing little to improve service, or the image of Charlotte, simply same old horse just painted a different color. Yet for smaller taxi cab business owners it will be a St. Valentines Day Massacre.
But let us introduce you to the players:
At the top are, Mohammad Jenatian of the Greater Charlotte Hospitality and Tourism Alliance (HTA), who some say promised that taxi cab companies would receive lucrative contracts at the Charlotte Douglas Airport if they paid $5,000 to join his group.
Next in line, Charlotte City Council members, notably Councilman and Mayor Pro-tem Patrick Cannon who is a member of the HTA. Cannon who chairs the Public Safety committee which overseas taxi cabs, asked the city attorney's opinion whether there was a conflict of interest and the attorney told Cannon not unless he directly benefited.
Charlotte Douglas International’s curmudgeonly aviation director Jerry Orr.
Convicted felons Javed Kashmarys and Naheed Kashmary owners of Kashmary Enterprises, the operators of King Cab and Royal Cab in Charlotte. Who have been recommended for one of the 3 contracts.
HTA Corporate Partner Yellow Cab and Mayur Khandelival HTA Board Member, Corporate Partner and owner of Crown Cab, are the other 2 companies that were recommended by the airport committee, who just happen to have paid the $5,000 to join HTA as "corporate partners."
Burhan Al-Shaikh - Charlotte's Passenger Vehicle for Hire manager. The Passenger Vehicle for Hire office is part of Charlotte-Mecklenburg police department. Who is responsible for doing background checks on taxi cab operators.
Mujeeb Shah-Khan an attorney for the Passenger Vehicle for Hire Board, who claims the board did nothing wrong.
Tim Newman of the Charlotte Regional Visitor's Authority is an ex-officio member of the HTA board and close ally of HTA President.
Does any of this smell funny to you?
Wait it gets better....