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TA Meeting Eliminating access to Public Records

TA Meeting Eliminating access to Public Records

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Published by TaxiDriverLV
A Workshop for the State of Nevada Taxicab Authority was held on Wednesday, November 9th,
2005 at the Taxicab Authority to finalize closing the Cab Owners operating books from all disclosure requirements. This action eliminated all public disclosure and oversight. Apparently TA didn't understand the term PUBLIC Records when it basically sold the public down the river. The Nevada Attorney General as well ignored the Law and was party to this action making public records private and off limits to inspection. The action was taken under the ruse of protecting innocent parties to financial disclosure issues. The public's right to know was throw under the bus. Nevada Taxi Owners now operate in secret.
A Workshop for the State of Nevada Taxicab Authority was held on Wednesday, November 9th,
2005 at the Taxicab Authority to finalize closing the Cab Owners operating books from all disclosure requirements. This action eliminated all public disclosure and oversight. Apparently TA didn't understand the term PUBLIC Records when it basically sold the public down the river. The Nevada Attorney General as well ignored the Law and was party to this action making public records private and off limits to inspection. The action was taken under the ruse of protecting innocent parties to financial disclosure issues. The public's right to know was throw under the bus. Nevada Taxi Owners now operate in secret.

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Published by: TaxiDriverLV on Feb 11, 2009
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10/13/2012

 
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BEFORE THE STATE OF NEVADA TAXICAB AUTHORITYWORKSHOP MINUTESNovember 09, 2005
 A Workshop for the State of Nevada Taxicab Authority was held on Wednesday, November 9,
th
2005 at the Taxicab Authority, 1785 East Sahara Avenue, Suite 200, Las Vegas, Nevada 89104. Themeeting began at 9:30 a.m.Board Members Present: Horacio Lopez, Member, Dr. Edward E. Goldman, Member. and Carolyn M.Sparks, Member. Others present: Legal Counsel for Staff, Senior Deputy Attorney General Christine Guerci;Kenneth D. Mangum, Acting Administrator; and Barbara Webb, Legal Secretary II/ Recording Secretary.Interim Chairman Kathryn Werner was absent.Senior Deputy Attorney General Christine Guerci read the regulation into the record. Ms.Guerci asked for Public Comment.Cheryl Knapp of Whittlesea Blue/Henderson Taxi stated that previously when these regulationswere discussed, she had submitted in her intervention her comments. Her company supports thisregulation and was involved in previous workshops. She has a problem with the language as it reads,if an existing certificate holder were to make application before this Authority to change their certificatein some way, they are bound disclose those financial records pursuant to the existing statutes, whereasintervenors, the way it now reads, she doesn’t believe she would have access to those records and shebelieves the regulation should be modified so that anyone who is an existing certificate holder applyingfor authority, anyone who is applying for new authority that those financial records are imperative tothem to determine whether or not as intervenors we believe that they can actually support what theyare asking for. An example being Deluxe’s application to go countywide. If we had not had access totheir financial records, intervenors would have been unable to make their opposition to that application.That is the only change that she suggests.Member Sparks questioned Christine Guerci as to whether that was part of the originaldiscussion. Ms. Guerci stated that no it wasn’t because they drafted a very simple, narrow regulationand sent it up to LCB and they expanded it. At the Adoption Hearing is when the Board will have todiscuss. It does not have to be adopted the way it is written, changes can be made and then adopt it.Member Sparks reiterated that LCB did not choose to include other parties as part of the regulation.Cheryl is asking that each company have access to everyone else’s, is that right? Ms. Guercianswered is no, what she meant was that intervenors have access to new applicants or when people
Workshop MinutesNovember 9, 2005
are changing their certificates. That makes all financial records that are submitted to the Authority,whether a new applicant or certificate holder confidential and not available to intervenors as it is now Attorneys Stacy Smith and Judah Zakalik for Frias Companies stated that it is their opinion thatbecause the Taxicab Authority wants to protect confidentiality of certain financial information, they hasnot met its burden of establishing privilege of non-disclosure for the financial records based on statutoryauthority or the relevant balancing tests under Nevada law. Member Goldman asked what the statutorythat exempts these documents from the public record law. Ms. Guerci stated that that is what is beingcreated now is the statutory authority to do that. Member Sparks asked if there was an existing
 
Financial Services Team Licensing & Regulatory Services Team Natural Resources Services Team Consumer & Labor Services Team
Nevada Department of Business & Industry
2
statutory law preventing it and Ms. Guerci said no. It is probably better to discuss this during theadoption hearing when it’s a meeting, this is now a workshop to get public comments. When this iscompleted, we can then discuss this. Member Lopez asked for more information on that. Atty. Zakalik stated that under open records law, Nevada case law states that it’s the agencythat bears the burden of establishing the existence the privilege on confidentiality. There are 2 waysthat that can be done - statutory authority in the statutes and/or balancing test laid out by the case lawand attorneys. The open records law states that unless all public records of a government’s entity thecontents of which are not otherwise declared to be by law to be confidential are to be kept open to thepublic. Therefore, the statutory authority should first be looked at to see if the statute states that theserecords should be kept confidential, i.e. declared by law to be confidential and if not, they should beopened to the public. If there is no statutory authority, then a balancing test is waived, which has beenlaid out by the Attorney General’s Opinion.Ms. Guerci, in answer to Member Sparks’ questioned regarding asking questions, stated thattoday, a workshop for public opinion and when all information is received, it is closed and an adoptionhearing is opened when public comment can be asked for by the Board again.Jamie Pino of Nellis Cab supports the confidentiality regulation. He agrees with Cheryl Knapp’scomment regarding new applicants should be excluded so the current certificate holders can determineif they are financially stable to run a company as well as the expansion of current certificate holders.Ms. Guerci asked if there were any further public comments. She asked Linda Holtan if therewere any other written comments the Board is familiar with.Cheryl Knapp commented that at the time of the original workshop, the TA requested commentsfrom the certificate holders, George Balaban of Desert Cab intervened that the regulation should bemodified to exclude whenever a person is making application or existing companies want to expand.Ms. Guerci stated that there are written comments that will be attached to this section and willbe available in a day or two. There had been some written comments submitted also which the Boardhad seen when this item was on the agenda so they are familiar with those comments.She stated that if there is no further public comment, the Workshop will be closed and it is timefor the adoption hearing.Ms. Guerci stated that it is now the Board who will oversee the Adoption Hearing. As senior board member, Member Lopez took the helm and was advised to state what was to be done at thistime. Member Lopez continued that it was the time for the Adoption of the Regulation regarding theConfidentiality of the Financial Records. He asked for comments from the Administrator.
Workshop MinutesNovember 9, 2005
Ms. Guerci advised that typically the Board has some discussion and then open the meeting upfor public comment and then take a vote so the public will know what to comment on. Therefore,discussion of comments heard and feelings of the regulation should be discussed among the Board.He asked to speak to Ken Mangum the Administrative Services Officer. He asked Administrator Land how extensive is the examination of the financial statements when new companyapplications are filed or when a current company wants to expand their operation for recommendations
 
Financial Services Team Licensing & Regulatory Services Team Natural Resources Services Team Consumer & Labor Services Team
Nevada Department of Business & Industry
3
that will be made. Member Lopez suggested getting the financial person before answering thequestion. Member Lopez reiterated his question to Ken Mangum, Administrative Services Officer. Mr.Mangum commented that the investigation is very extensive especially on new applicants. A lot isbased on the 80/20, they need to maintain at least 80% of their capital, they can only run about a 20%deficit in their debit side. A lot of that is looked. Prior to the Boards recommendation on a previousexpansion, a lot of the information was fairly “murky”. Looking at new companies, it is reviewed veryclosely. The Controller’s Office also reviews the financials with TA Accounting Staff. There areguidelines in the NRSs that must be adhered to, some of which is the 80/20.Member Lopez asked about the expansions of the existing companies. Mr. Mangum said in thetime he has been with the TA, there have not been any expansions. Most of what is looked at is their financials once a year which need a lot of work, when they are submitted, but not much more than thatunless the companies are audited. What is reviewed as a program statement which is turned into LCBlooks at current financials they look back in the current fiscal year and review the current financials thatare reported on a monthly basis?Member Lopez stated that the TA accounting staff is aware of the financials on a monthly basis.Mr. Mangum stated that yes other than their debiture and the TA has the access to call the companiesand request a review of their bank statements. Most of the companies will do it as soon as possible,the TA gives them 72 hours at which time their bank statements and debiture can be audited.Member Lopez asked if that determines their source of recommendation. Mr. Mangum stated in anexpansion only. Otherwise, it is just medallions. Mr. Lopez reiterated that the financial statements arescrutinized by the Controller’s Office as well as the TA. Mr. Mangum stated one individual in theController’s office and that the TA’s contact.The Board had no further questions. Ms. Guerci asked if the Board discussed all they want to.Member Sparks would to be sure she understands if all financial records are public records. Ms.Guerci stated that originally when the financial report was discussed it was to change the reporting format which time, because of the information that was requested on that new form, the certificate holdersdid not want to give such detailed information because it was a public record and could be used againstthem in litigation and various avenues. Ms. Guerci did research on whether or not the financial recordscould be made confidential. She found that a majority of other financial institutions or Boards or Commissions that require financial records keep those records confidential. Some do them throughstatute others through regulation. There is an Attorney General Opinion that interprets this declared bylaw is confidential which is what the Frias Companies is talking about. And declared by law has beeninterpreted by the AGO to include a statute or regulation, but not an ordinance so that the Board hasthe authority to place this regulation on the books to make these financial records confidential at whichtime it would be declared by law because the Board has declared that these are confidential. This isnot out of the ordinary and lot of people were surprised that the TA had not been keeping thisinformation confidential and there were no regulations or statute declaring so. The balancing test thatFrias Companies referred to is only if there’s no law therefore that we had been using now whensomeone requested financial information, we would have to give them out because they were publicrecord or do this in balancing test which only comes in if it hasn’t been declared by law by either statuteor regulation. Therefore, it is within the Board’s authority to make the change. Member Sparks stated
Workshop MinutesNovember 9, 2005
that up until now, they have not been satisfied with the financial reporting they have received because itwas unclear or insufficient. Therefore, if the Board adopts it to be confidential, they can request moreinformation. Ms. Guerci stated yes to make the companies more forthcoming which is why Mr. Croy

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