Oswego Approves Amendments To Taxi Cab Law

OSWEGO, NY – At its meeting Monday night, the Common Council fine tuned its local law regarding taxis.

“It was more than a year ago when we introduced this local law and there was a question from (the Workforce Advocacy Center) that had to do with the law’s legality as it related to how you would treat convicted felons and others who have already done their time and whether or not what we were trying to do was discriminatory against those individuals,” Council President Ron Kaplewicz explained.

The council has since had the state of New York go through the legislation and made it legal; so the local language is consistent with state statue and other law, he added.

“So, now it will regulate taxi cabs, taxi cab drivers, will require individuals to submit to a host of questions regarding their background. What we’re really looking to do is if your mother or father, brother, sister whoever hops in a cab, they have the right to know who is driving and be safe,” Kaplewicz said. “That’s really what it comes down to.”
The code was amended so that it reflects the state’s Correction Law, which has the appeals process for this type of thing spelled out.

So if someone feels they have been wrongfully treated, the appeals process is now clearly marked, according to Sixth Ward Councilor Eric VanBuren.

Originally, the law barred persons with felony convictions from driving taxis in the city of Oswego.

Depending on who you talk to right now (regarding taxis), the market in Oswego “is pretty unregulated,” Kaplewicz pointed out.

According to Third Ward Councilor Mike Todd, the law will make things safer for those using taxis.

“If you’re a registered sex offender you could (drive a cab and) show up at the Oswego Middle School to pick up girls leaving the school dance and give them a ride home,” he said, adding that there were nine registered sex offenders he knew of that were driving cabs.

Two of them, Todd said, both served over eight years in prison; “One for raping an 11-year-old girl and the other for sexually abusing his five-year-old daughter.”

Theoretically, the new law should prevent these people from driving a cab, he said.

Todd pointed out that the Workforce Advocacy Center’s representative said that child abusers are the least likely of criminals to repeat.

“Any law enforcement agent I ever knew says (sex offenders) are the most likely to repeat and probably have usually done it 40 or 50 times before they get caught,” he said. “No one with a history of sexually based offenses should ever be in the position to be alone in a vehicle with a child, or a young woman who is inebriated, or a young man for that case. They shouldn’t be allowed to legally operate in the city of Oswego if they’re a sex offender; you should never be allowed out of prison if you’re a sex offender.”

The proposed Local Law No. 1 of the Year 2014 – A local law amending Chapter 228, Taxicabs, of the Code of the City of Oswego, NY, was approved 5-0-2 with councilors Mike Myers and Shawn Walker being excused.

1 Comment

  1. sex offenders are the least likely to repeat offend ONLY if they take what they’ve done seriously and have sincere remorse for their actions. Usually they were also sexually abused when children and grow up with a false sense that this is not a ‘big deal’ which allows them to consider doing the same thing when they do get older… it is an insidious circle, but one I believe that should be treated as any other crime.. do it again and have the book thrown at you.. however that isn’t the case, there’s sex offender registration, and social ostracized for life individuals that would likely never repeat that behavior ever again, once they realize fully the impact it has. I recall back in the 1970’s or so, people were getting drunk and getting into car accidents and killing people, yet getting off on the charges because they ‘weren’t in a mental state ‘ to accept responsibility.. and then the rules changed, and started sending these drunks to jail for a very long time.. now we let them out on drug charges and programs … sex offenses are likely to be similar in the future too… because this sort of thing DOES happen OFTEN and is still widely gone unreported in most cases. You hear more about it, and awareness is up now, and all it takes is a kid saying ‘he did it’ and wham! the guy is in jail.. NO proof, no evidence.. just an accusation is enough to ruin someone’s life. If they don’t have LOTS of money, they take a court appointed lawyer and COP a plea because NO one wins in court guilty or NOT with such accusations.. and you say ‘all sex offenders should never be released from prison’ because you simply haven’t been caught.. YET>..

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