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Taxi and Limousine Commission Chief Tells Staff He Plans to Leave

By Victoria Bekiempis | September 23, 2013 6:44am
 David Yassky, TLC Commissioner, prepares to leave the agency.
David Yassky, TLC Commissioner, prepares to leave the agency.
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Taxi & Limousine Commission

NEW YORK CITY — David Yassky, the head of the Taxi & Limousine Commission, is preparing to leave the agency, DNAinfo New York has learned.

Yassky's plan, outlined in a staff memo obtained by DNAinfo New York, comes after both mayoral hopefuls Bill de Blasio and Joe Lhota promised to fire the TLC commissioner if elected mayor.

"You may have heard (or read in the newspaper) that yesterday both Mayoral candidates said they would want to appoint a new Commissioner for the TLC," Yassky wrote in an email sent to TLC staffers early Friday morning.

"While TLC Commissioners serve for fixed terms (unlike most City Commissioners), I believe the next Mayor is entitled to have his own person head the agency, and I will of course follow his wishes," continued Yassky, a former City Council member who was appointed to the post in 2010 by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

"So the TLC (as you've probably been expecting anyway) will have a new Commissioner sometime early next year."

Yassky implored TLC employees "to work like the dickens to finish as much of our projects as we can in the remaining 100 days," and urged staffers to brace themselves for even more work under the new regime.

"As much as we have worked to push forward our agenda over the past few years, you should get ready to work even harder when the next administration arrives, with all of its new priorities," he wrote.

Yassky's tenure at the TLC angered some in the taxi and limousine industry — which has reportedly donated $200,000 to de Blasio's campaign — by pushing for increased outer borough street hails and a more uniform fleet, among other initiatives.

Asked about the memo, Yassky declined to discuss his future but reiterated his success at the agency.

"I'm enormously proud of the work the TLC has done in bringing taxi service to northern Manhattan and the boroughs and raising living standards for taxi drivers and keeping New York City taxi service at the forefront of technology," said Yassky, reached Sunday afternoon by telephone.

"I'm sure that under the next administration taxi passengers and car service passengers will be very well served."

Reps for the TLC and the mayor's office did not comment on the memo or Yassky's memo about his pending departure.