Created in 1971 by Local Law No. 12, the Taxi and Limousine Commission is a Charter-mandated agency, the purpose of which is the continuance, further development and improvement of taxi and for-hire service in the City of New York. The Commission is also responsible for licensing and regulating for-hire vehicle, commuter van and wheelchair accessible van services as it relates to the overall public transportation network of the city; to establish taxicab rates, standards of service, standards of insurance and minimum coverage; standards for driver safety; standards for equipment safety and design; and standards and criteria for the licensing of vehicles, drivers and operators engaged in such services.
The Commission's Board consists of nine members, eight of whom are unsalaried Commissioners to be appointed by the Mayor with the advice and consent of the city council; five of said members, one resident from each of the five boroughs of New York City, shall be recommended for appointment by a majority vote of the councilmembers of each respective borough. The salaried Chair/Commissioner presides over regularly scheduled public Commission meetings, and is the head of the agency.
David Yassky is the eleventh person to serve as Commissioner/Chairman of the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission. He was nominated by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg on March 12, 2010 (Mayor Bloomberg Nominates David S. Yassky), and confirmed by unanimous vote of the New York City Council on March 24, 2010. Yassky’s term will expire on January 31, 2017.
Most recently, Yassky completed eight years of service in the New York City Council, representing the neighborhoods of Brooklyn Heights, Park Slope, Greenpoint and Williamsburg. On the Council, Yassky sponsored legislation to promote the use of fuel-efficient hybrid cars as taxicabs. He also authored innovative laws in the areas of affordable housing and economic development, including the City’s Film and TV Production Tax Credit.
Before election to the Council, Yassky had a distinguished legal career in government service, private practice and academia. In the 1990s, Yassky served under then-Representative Chuck Schumer as Chief Counsel to the House Subcommittee on Crime, helping to enact the Brady Law, the Assault Weapons Ban and the Violence Against Women Act, and practiced law representing major corporations and financial institutions on acquisitions and securities offerings. In 1998, he joined the faculty of Brooklyn Law School, specializing in administrative law and constitutional law. His scholarship on the Bill of Rights has been published in leading law reviews and has been cited widely in academic journals and judicial opinions. He has also taught at NYU Law School, and has published more than 20 op-ed articles in New York daily newspapers.
Yassky earned his A.B. at Princeton University, and his J.D. at Yale Law School, where he served on the editorial board of the Yale Law Journal and was awarded the Potter Stewart Prize for best moot court argument. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Diana Fortuna, and their daughters Susan and Margaret.
Commissioner Elias Arout was born and raised on Staten Island, graduating from Alexander Hamilton Vocational High School, and has actively represented his home borough on the Commission since 1988.
A consummate community volunteer since 1957, Commissioner Arout is also a veteran of the Armed Forces and a retired member of the Housing Police. Commissioner Arout retired as a photographer First Class from the U.S. Naval Air Reserve after 26 years of service, including two years of active duty during the Korean conflict. He is also a current member of Staten Island Council Knights of Columbus as well as a Past Grand Knight, a Past Chapter Chairman and Past District Deputy of the organization and is currently serving his second year as President of AARP #1424 of Staten Island. He is also a Former County Commander for the Richmond County American Legion.
Among the highlights of Commissioner Arout’s distinguished tenure with the TLC was his instrumental role in the opening of the Staten Island Taxi and Limousine Commission Licensing and Adjudication Satellite Office.
He currently lives in Staten Island with his wife Margaret.
With nearly 20 years of experience in banking, Commissioner Edward Gonzales has held managerial positions in the treasury departments of the former Dime Savings Bank of New York and, currently, Citigroup, both multi-billion dollar financial institutions. Commissioner Gonzales has successfully met the challenges of managing people, processes, and money in support of the residential mortgage business for these financial institutions. Most notably, Commissioner Gonzales played a key role in restoring the Dime Savings Bank to a “well-capitalized” designation with the Bank’s primary federal regulator in the early 1990s.
Commissioner Gonzales holds a BBA in Management from the College of William and Mary as well an MBA in Finance from New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business, completed on a part-time basis while working full-time. He is also a graduate of Regis High School in Manhattan.
Outside of work, Commissioner Gonzales enjoys running and weight training.
As a lifelong New Yorker, Commissioner Gonzales is honored to have the opportunity to give something back to New York City with an agency that has a vital impact on the day-to-day lives of so many of his fellow New Yorkers. He looks forward to enhancing policies that ensure customer and driver safety as well as business viability for owners.
Commissioner Gonzales was appointed to the Taxi and Limousine Commission in 2005 for a seven year term.
Lauvienska Polanco was born and raised in Santiago, Dominican Republic and relocated to Manhattan to join her family at the age of 16 which is the borough where she has resided ever since. She enrolled at John Jay College of Criminal Justice where she graduated with honors. Having demonstrated a keen and intuitive grasp of politics at an early age, Commissioner Polanco decided to pursue an education in law at Pace University School of Law.
Commissioner Polanco worked briefly as a mediator for insurance defense claims, before spending some years at a personal injury law firm. After that successful stint, Commissioner Polanco joined the New York State Unified Court System, first as a Court Attorney in the Lower Civil Court, and now in an elevated role as Principal Law Clerk at the Bronx Supreme Court.
Commissioner Polanco is an active community advocate, as former chair and active member of the Neighborhood Advisory Board of Manhattan Community Board (NAB) #12, which is responsible for identifying the service needs of their local communities (Manhattan #12), a process which guides the City in its allocation of federal Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) funding to support community-based human service programs in areas such as education, employment, health, housing, immigrant services, senior citizen services and youth development. Commissioner Polanco also maintains an enthusiastic dedication to her profession while demonstrating a commitment to women's issues through her board membership in the Dominican Women's Caucus.
"In the short time I have been on the TLC's Board, I have learned much about the importance of our regulated industries to the City's transportation network. Someday, when I look back on my time here, it is my hope that people will say, 'she brought something to the table, and she made things better.'" said Commissioner Polanco.
LaShann M. DeArcy is a member of Morrison & Foerster’s Litigation Department. Her practice focuses on complex commercial litigation representing Fortune 500 companies, among others, in a wide range of accountant liability, antitrust, contract, tort, and securities matters. Ms. DeArcy’s experience includes numerous successful representations in state and federal trials, as well as alternative dispute resolution tribunals. She has authored several successful appeals before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second and Fourth Circuits and the New York State Appellate Division.
In addition, Ms. DeArcy has volunteered her time to numerous pro bono efforts. She successfully represented a woman on death row, winning a reversal by the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals of her client’s death sentence. She also negotiated a favorable settlement on behalf of an inmate seeking redress of First Amendment violations in a Section 1983 action, among other matters. Ms. DeArcy has worked directly with programs aimed at introducing minority youth to the law, such as Sponsors for Education Opportunity (SEO), Constitutional Works, and the High School of Law and Justice. For her work in promoting diversity in the legal profession, Ms. DeArcy was honored by the New York City Bar Association as a recipient of its 2009 Diversity Champion Award.
Ms. DeArcy serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Neighborhood Defenders Service of Harlem. Ms. DeArcy is also an executive member of the Council of Urban Professionals, and is a member of the Metro Manhattan Chapter of the Links, Inc.
Ms. DeArcy earned her J.D. magna cum laude from Howard University School of Law in 2000. At Howard University, Ms. DeArcy was a member of the Howard Law Journal. She was also captain of the national championship Huver L. Brown Trial Advocacy Moot Court Team and was individually honored as the “Best Advocate” in the Allegheny Trial Lawyers’ Association Trial Advocacy Competition. Ms. DeArcy earned her undergraduate degree from Antioch College in 1992, where she was a Chatergee Merit Scholar. She was also a member of the United States Air Force from 1995 to 1997.
Commissioner Nora Constance Marino, a Queens County resident for 20 years, has been in the private practice of law for well over a decade, with a focus on negligence, torts, commercial litigation, medical malpractice, constitutional law, matrimonial and family law, among other areas of specialty. She regularly receives appointments from Supreme Court Justices for various court appointments such as Referee, Court Evaluator, Guardian Ad Litem, and is “Of Counsel” for numerous law firms.
In 2001/2002, Commissioner Marino served her country with distinction as a First Lieutenant in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps of the United States Army Reserve. Dedication to her fellow Veterans remains a hallmark of her professional life, as demonstrated by her service as Chief Counsel to Veterans Quality of Life Access Network, Inc., a non-profit organization that assists military Veterans.
A prominent advocate for animals, Commissioner Marino volunteers at New York City Animal Care and Control, and is Chief Counsel to Kinship Circle, a non-profit organization that promotes animal advocacy and education.
Commissioner Marino was educated at University of California at Berkeley, New York University, and the City University School of Law at Queens College, and is a member of the American, New York State, New York City, and Queens Bar Associations, as well as the Queens County Women’s and Queens County Columbian Lawyers Bar Associations. She is also very active in the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.
Frank V. Carone was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York where he attended and graduated from St. John’s University cum laude in 1991 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance. He received his Juris Doctor at Brooklyn Law School, where he graduated in the top of his class in 1994 and received the award for American Jurisprudence in Legal Ethics.
Mr. Carone is a founding partner in the Law Office of Seddio & Carone, PLLC.
A proud veteran, Mr. Carone served in the United States Marine Corps from 1993 to 1995, where, upon completion of Officers Candidate School, he was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant. He also graduated from The School of Mortgage Banking in 1999. Mr. Carone is an active participant in Bar Association conferences and in seminars offered by several other trade associations. He has served as a guest lecturer at the Brooklyn Bar Association and the Columbian Lawyers Association of Brooklyn, and is consulted regularly by attorneys and members of the profession on regulatory compliance, corporate governance, and complex criminal matters.
Mr. Carone has been honored by the Federation of Italian American Associations where he presently works with the Board on the Building Planning Committee to complete the building of the largest Italian American Cultural Center in the United States; The Kings County Democratic County Committee (where he now serves as an attorney); The Thomas Jefferson Democratic Club as Man of the Year along with United States Senator Charles Schumer, and has served as the dinner’s chairman and master of ceremonies for several years; and at the Catholic Charities Golf Classic. Earlier this year, Mr. Carone was chosen as “Businessman of the Year” by the Bensonhurst West End Community Council and as “Man of the Year” by the Kidney and Urology Foundation. Frank also has worked as a treasurer for several elected legislators and has counseled various judicial candidates on their filing obligations, et al. Among Mr. Carone’s many philanthropic endeavors is his participation in the Adopt-a-Scholar Program at The Columbus Citizens Foundation, where over two and a half million dollars is donated annually to scholarship endowments. Mr. Carone also currently serves as audit chair for a large not-for-profit and a community bank.
Mr. Carone was appointed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission and his appointment was approved unanimously by the New York City Council on March 2, 2011 for a term expiring on January 31, 2015.
Frank V. Carone resides in Brooklyn with his wife Diana and their two children.