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Okaloosa County updating ordinances for cab drivers
OKALOOSA COUNTY -- OKALOOSA COUNTY - Okaloosa County is updating an ordinance that regulates taxi services at Northwest Florida Regional Airport.
The ordinance has been around since 1977.
The ground transportation policy at the Northwest Florida Regional Airport has been around for over 20 years and many cab drivers and county officials say it needs to be updated. As of now drivers have to practice good hygiene, keep hair and facial hair trimmed, and wear "business clothing." Many taxi companies say they already have these standards in place.
"We all have to wear dress slacks, uniform shirts, or dress shirts at all times regardless of what the weather is," said Justin Jackson, owner of Jackson Transportation Service.
As the ordinance reads now, if drivers fail to comply they may face a fine or even jail time.
"I think that's quite heavy handed and I have no idea why this administration feels it's necessary to go so heavy handed on punishment ," said Joe Scavuzza, owner AA Green Transportation.
So far no fines have been written and no arrests have been made.
County Commissioner Nathan Boyles agrees the ordinance needs to be updated.
But, he feels the airport should regulate the transportation companies not the commission.
Some cab drivers agree..
"What we have currently is fine, but take out the jail time maybe do a little tweak on what the precautions would be, maybe a suspension for a day and so on and so forth," said Jackson.
Others say if the airport is put in charge a monopoly on cab service could follow.
"They will put us out of business and put in business who they want," said Scavuzza.
The new ordinance may also alter the cab companies' insurance. Raising it from $300,000 a year to $500,000.
Cab companies are asking the commission to be a part of the decision making process.
"We know where our bread is buttered and we know when to apply the pressure, and we will do that, we intend to do that," said Scavuzza.
Any decisions have been postponed at this time.