FAIRFIELD — Town leaders this week gave their consent to a new ordinance that will allow the town to deny taxi licenses to people convicted of certain offenses.

The Town Council discussed the proposal at a meeting last month and then held a public hearing and approved an amendment to the public safety ordinance Wednesday.

The change means a person convicted of certain crimes will be denied a taxi license by the police chief, although there is a process under which an appeal can be lodged.

Some of the crimes for which an application can be denied are murder, attempted murder, manslaughter if the conviction was a result of dangerous driving or driving under the influence, stalking, aggravated reckless conduct if it involved a vehicle kidnapping, violation of privacy and robbery.

The ordinance already had rules regarding convictions for other offenses, like operating under the influence, sexual crimes and motor vehicle violations. A person found guilty of such crimes cannot apply for a license within a certain amount of time from the date of conviction, depending on the offense.

The changes approved Wednesday means the town can permanently withhold a license from an applicant convicted of a serious offense.


Police Chief Thomas Gould said in August that the issue is a safety concern for residents, as taxis often pick people up late at night or when a person is inebriated, and can be giving rides to children. Right now, he said, a person convicted of murder 11 years ago could apply for a license and the Police Department cannot deny it.

Town Manager Michelle Flewelling said Friday that police ran into a case this summer where a person applying for a license had been convicted of a felony crime 11 years ago. Gould wasn’t comfortable with approving the license application, but there was no legal recourse to deny it.

“It is a situation that we have recently run into which kind of triggered this for me,” Gould previously said.

Flewelling said she did not know if that person ended up getting a license or not, and Gould was on vacation and unavailable to further explain it this week.

The changes to the ordinance also adjusts some language relating to the regulation of yard sales, and eliminates the need for a permit to have a yard sale on a person’s own property.

The council also repealed the solid waste ordinance, which dealt with regulations for solid waste haulers and the town’s contract with Penobscot Energy Recovery Co. The town withdrew from that contract several years ago so the ordinance was no longer relevant.

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