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Oxford Board of Aldermen Roundup: Oct. 7

Oxford Mayor Pat Patterson opened the meeting by congratulating the Ole Miss football team for their 23-17 victory over Alabama Saturday night in Oxford. He also congratulated Oxford after ESPN College GameDay producer Lee Fitting said their first experience in Oxford was the best the show has seen in its 27 years.
Patterson announced the parking meters on the Square have been successful, with $55,000 made in the first month of operation.
Since the amendments were made to the city’s taxi ordinance over the summer, many have complained about Uber drivers being cited as unlicensed cabs since the drivers have not gone through the city to perform background checks and secure a proper permit. Uber officials have said that their requirements for employment with Uber, an app that connects passengers to drivers in real time, are more stringent than Oxford’s rules and therefore should not be cited.
Uber lobbyist Austin Barbour came before the board Tuesday night to give his reasoning on why the Uber cars should not be under the same umbrella as Oxford taxis.
“After a variety of questions and comments, it was concluded that while the city welcomes Uber, it will continue to ticket any driver of a vehicle for hire up to $1,000 per offense if not actually licensed by the city,” Ward 1 Alderman Jay Hughes said in an email after the meeting. “Mr. Barbour agreed that the drivers using Uber apps are actually vehicles for hire but would get the board a list of changes he would like to see made to apply specifically to their drivers. … The unanimous opinion of the board that fairness dictates that all people who drive others for a fare in Oxford should have to follow the same laws designed for safety of drivers and passengers. Uber is a great tool, but its drivers are drivers, just as pilots are pilots and required to meet certain minimum requirements before taking passengers.”
Uber officials in past interviews with HottyToddy.com stated that any citations to their drivers would be reimbursed by the company.
The board also unanimously approved changes to the zoning requirements in RB- and RC-zoned areas, limiting construction to 40 percent of lot coverage as well as restricting the number of bedrooms per unit and units on a lot.
Amelia Camurati is managing editor of HottyToddy.com and can be reached at amelia.camurati@hottytoddy.com.

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