Monday, October 22, 2018

Patrick Keane Rochester City Council Ward 1 Questions

Patrick Keane Rochester City Council Ward 1 Questions

From Patrick Keane

Hello Arthur: Thank You for taking the time to write. There are a lot of issues / questions in your note -- I want to respond to all of them in some fashion.

Since I drafted this response to your Oct 19th note, I also received your other note on Oct 20 where you put some of your issues into perspective.

Carbon tax
City switching to electric cars and buses to end burning fossil fuels
$15 minimum wage
Tax on soda Payroll tax for homeless programs
Ban on soda straws
Resolution against pipelines or transportation of oil railcars through city
Should airbnb be regulated and taxed like hotels?
Should rideshare like uber be regulated and taxed like taxis?

When I look out of the next four years, I see some of these as issues that will clearly be worked at the City level. Others - like Carbon Tax - are much less likely to be championed as City Level issues to be resolved.

AirBnB / VRBO Regulations. this is coming up right now to the current council. I start with the perspective that these units are working as self regulating rentals right now and they are paying the City's lodging tax and sales tax. What I would like to see is similar to what happened with Uber and Lyft -- these new models forced the city to review our Taxi Licensing and upgrade that to keep it competitive. With AirBnB, it bothers me that it is the existing lodging industry (hotels) calling for room sharing to be "licensed". My take is that they want the city to hold back the competitive.
Rideshare / Networked Transportation / Uber: Similar to #1. I find that Lyft does a better job compensating their drivers. I would not like to see one company operating in Rochester with no competition

The straws should not be acted on at the city level. I never use straws, and I find them to be wasteful by and large. But it is such a small part of the recycled plastic that it should not be getting the attention that it does get.

Electric Buses: I like these when they are cost neutral to operate and the numbers I saw say they are getting that way with operational savings over the years (more expensive to purchase).
Topics like carbon tax should not come up at this city.

$15 minimum wage: This one likely bothers me more than you. I dislike that we are in a place in the USA right now where someone can work 50 or 60 hours a week and not be able to afford the basics. My formal position is that I do not want our city to move into Labor Law, I also do not want the state to preempt cities on Wage Laws. I will watch to see if our "hot" job market will naturally push up wages and if they really do operate on normal "supply and demand" economic concepts. If they do not, something is wrong with our Markets.

Again, Arthur, thank you for writing. I hope that I can earn your support for our City Council Election. I walked in your neighborhood earlier this month or at the end of September. Maybe we talked? but I do not think so.

IF you want to talk more about issues and your views on the City, I can stop in some afternoon or evening.


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