Taxi licensing

Port Isabel-South Padre Press

Getting back to business as usual, the Port Isabel City Commission met Tuesday for a regular meeting. The commission began by accepting a request by Julian Hernandez Jr. — a Wave shuttle driver for 15 years in South Padre Island — to open and operate a new taxi company. A taxi permit was approved later under the conditions that the company met the needed requirements to hold one.

After an intermission, during the public comments of the regular meeting, Robin Ochoa, one of the owners of A Taxi and A Cab, expressed concerns of prejudice against her company by the City by requiring meticulous inspections be passed in order to continue operation. She alleged that similar stringent standards were not applied to another local taxi company, which she would not name.

“We’re not treated the same,” she said. “We want to know why we are being singled out by the fire marshal or the former taxi cab person.”

She and her husband’s operating license was reconsidered and granted following an review that mistakenly concluded that they did not meet the requirements for operation.

Also of note was Commissioner Maria de Jesus Garza’s request to restore the original format of open comments amongst commissioners, against the advice of City attorney Gilberto Hinojosa. The motion was not passed.

During executive session the Commission met to deliberate the longstanding litigation between the City of Brownsville and the City of Port Isabel in regards to Brownsville’s strip annexation of land near and around Port Isabel. The City cited a number of legal errors it alleges Brownsville made when citing the extent of its property claim. The two cities have for months been seeking a resolution and the case has gone to court. Upon the recommendation of the City attorney, the Commission did not discuss the matter in public session.

Mayor Joe E. Vega was not present at the meeting.

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