Council Committees Discuss Mobile Food Trucks
On April 17, the Committees on Health – of which Councilmember Peter F. Vallone Jr. is a member – and Transportation held a joint hearing to discuss oversight of mobile food trucks, as well as a bill by Councilmember Dan Garodnick which would designate specific locations where the trucks could vend.
During the hearing, Elizabeth Weinstein of the Mayor’s Office of Operations, Daniel Kass of the Department of Health and Kate Slevin of the Department of Transportation testified that the city cannot take into account competition with brick and mortar restaurants when determining regulations for mobile food trucks due to a court ruling from the 1940s.
Vallone, who ran a small business for over a decade, is concerned about the effect food trucks can have on restaurants, which pay much higher taxes and rent and are subject to more rigorous and costly health inspections.
“The lack of rules and enforcement has led to the Wild West Side, the Wild East Side and the outer boroughs being left to fend for themselves,” said Vallone. “We shouldn’t let some Depression-era ruling be the basis by which we establish policy for a very modern problem – that ruling needs to be challenged in the higher courts.”