HOW MUCH more nonsense and damage must the cabdrivers, passengers, mayor and council of this city endure from three power-crazed and capricious members of the rates panel of the D.C. Taxicab Commission before they're given an eight-zone, one-way ride out of their tax-paid jobs? Having thoroughly botched the important business of determining some reasonable fare increase -- taking forever, picking a surcharge that does no one any real good and doing it so badly that it was thrown out by the city's lawyers -- the three are now stubbornly clinging to their 40-cent solution, with more deliberations in the offing. Why on earth are these stipend-happy obstructionists still being tolerated in office?

At least the D.C. Council has approved a bill shifting ultimate authority on rates and rules from the panel of five members to the full 12-member commission. But panel members Joseph Becker, John Jessamy and Lucille Johnson keep on going out of their bureaucratic way to demonstrate disregard for drivers as well as the riding public, not to mention their own commission chairman, Arrington Dixon. If Mayor Barry cares at all about the oversight, quality and future of cab service in the nation's capital, he should dismiss these three before another day is wasted.