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01 SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL
02 PUBLIC HEARING
02
03
03
04 IN RE: FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 136, 2005 - AN ORDINANCE -
04 APPROVING THE TRANSFER OF A RESTAURANT LIQUOR
05 LICENSE OWNED BY THE ESTATE OF MARY ROSE DODGE
05 USED AT THE DODGE HOUSE, 813 BOULEVARD AVENUE,
06 DICKSON CITY, PENNSYLVANIA, LACKAWANNA COUNTY,
06 LICENSE NO. R-3761 TO LEGENDS BAR AND GRILL,
07 INC. FOR USE AT 110-112 NORTH MAIN AVENUE,
07 SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA, 18504 AS REQUIRED BY
08 THE PENNSYLVANIA LIQUOR CONTROL BOARD.
08
09
09
10 Held:
10
11 Thursday, June 23, 2005
11
12
12
13 Time:
13 6:00 p.m.
14
14
15
15 Location:
16 Council chambers
16 Scranton City Hall
17 340 North Washington Avenue
17 Scranton, Pennsylvania
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22 Lisa M. Graff, RPR
22 Court Reporter
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0002
01 CITY OF SCRANTON COUNCIL:
02
03
04 MS. JANET EVANS
05
06
07 MR. ROBERT McTIERNAN
08
09
10 MR. JOHN POCIUS
11
12
13 MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT
14
15
16 MR. JAY SAUNDERS, CITY CLERK
17
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19 MS. KAY GARVEY, ASSISTANT CITY CLERK
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0003
01 MS. EVANS: This is a public
02 hearing of FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 136, 2005 - AN ORDINANCE
03 - APPROVING THE TRANSFER OF A RESTAURANT LIQUOR LICENSE
04 OWNED BY THE ESTATE OF MARY ROSE DODGE USED AT THE
05 DODGE HOUSE, 813 BOULEVARD AVENUE, DICKSON CITY,
06 PENNSYLVANIA, LACKAWANNA COUNTY, LICENSE NO. R-3761 TO
07 LEGENDS BAR AND GRILL, INC. FOR USE AT 110-112 NORTH
08 MAIN AVENUE, SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA, 18504 AS REQUIRED
09 BY THE PENNSYLVANIA LIQUOR CONTROL BOARD.
10 Do we have a list of speakers?
11 Kay, please, roll call.
12 MS. GARVEY: Mr. McTiernan.
13 MR. McTIERNAN: Here.
14 MS. GARVEY: Mrs. Evans.
15 MS. EVANS: Here.
16 MS. GARVEY: Mr. Pocius.
17 MR. POCIUS: Here.
18 MS. GARVEY: Mr. Courtright.
19 MR. COURTRIGHT: Here.
20 MS. GARVEY: Mr. DiBileo.
21 MS. EVANS: No speakers have
22 signed our sheet this evening for this first public
23 hearing.
24 Is there anyone in the audience
25 who would like to address the issue? Then I call this
0004
01 public hearing to a close.
02 (HEARING WAS CONCLUDED.)
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0005
01 C E R T I F I C A T E
01
02
02 I hereby certify that the proceedings and
03 evidence are contained fully and accurately in the
03 notes taken by me on the hearing of the above cause and
04 that this copy is a correct transcript of the same to
04 the best of my ability.
05
05
06
06
07
07 ______________________________
08 LISA M. GRAFF, RPR
08 OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
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0001
01
01
02
02 SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL
03 PUBLIC HEARING
03
04
04
05 IN RE: FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 137, 2005 - AN ORDINANCE -
05 AMENDING FILE OF THE COUNCIL NO. 252, 2003,
06 THEREBY AMENDING FILE OF THE COUNCIL NOS. 188
06 OF 1994 AND 103 OF 1995 AS SET FORTH IN THE
07 SCRANTON CODIFIED CODE AT SECTION 332-20
07 PERTAINING TO FEES FOR USE OF FACILITIES, TO
08 AMEND THE FEES FOR THE USE OF OUTDOOR CITY
08 POOLS OTHER THAN NAY AUG PARK.
09
09
10
10
11
11 Held:
12
12 Thursday, June 23, 2005
13
13
14
14 Time:
15 6:15 p.m.
15
16
16
17 Location:
17 Council chambers
18 Scranton City Hall
18 340 North Washington Avenue
19 Scranton, Pennsylvania
19
20
20
21
21
22
22
23
23 Lisa M. Graff, RPR
24 Court Reporter
24
25
0002
01 CITY OF SCRANTON COUNCIL:
02
03 MR. GARY DIBILEO, COUNCIL PRESIDENT
04
05
06 MS. JANET EVANS, VICE-PRESIDENT
07
08
09 MR. ROBERT McTIERNAN
10
11
12 MR. JOHN POCIUS
13
14
15 MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT
16
17
18 MARK WALSH, ESQUIRE, SOLICITOR
19
20 MR. JAY SAUNDERS, CITY CLERK
21
22 MS. KAY GARVEY, ASSISTANT CITY CLERK
23
24
25
0003
01 MS. EVANS: This is a public
02 hearing of
03 FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 137, 2005 - AN ORDINANCE -
04 AMENDING FILE OF THE COUNCIL NO. 252, 2003,
05 THEREBY AMENDING FILE OF THE COUNCIL NOS. 188
06 OF 1994 AND 103 OF 1995 AS SET FORTH IN THE
07 SCRANTON CODIFIED CODE AT SECTION 332-20
08 PERTAINING TO FEES FOR USE OF FACILITIES, TO
09 AMEND THE FEES FOR THE USE OF OUTDOOR CITY
10 POOLS OTHER THAN NAY AUG PARK.
11 Kay, roll call, please.
12 MS. GARVEY: Mr. McTiernan.
13 MR. McTIERNAN: Here.
14 MS. GARVEY: Mrs. Evans.
15 MS. EVANS: Here.
16 MS. GARVEY: Mr. Pocius.
17 MR. POCIUS: Here.
18 MS. GARVEY: Mr. Courtright.
19 MR. COURTRIGHT: Here.
20 MS. GARVEY: Mr. DiBileo.
21 MS. EVANS: Before I call up the
22 first speaker, I'd like to thank all of you for
23 attending this very important hearing on pool fees. I
24 ask speakers to adhere to the five-minute rule for the
25 sake of time constraints, because Council has its
0004
01 regular weekly meeting scheduled for 7 p.m.
02 I also ask speakers to extend the
03 same courtesy and respect to others that you expect to
04 receive while speaking. Please refrain from making
05 remarks of a personal nature. Furthermore, please
06 limit your comments to the issue of pool fees.
07 And finally, I would ask that
08 council members refrain from speaking during this
09 public hearing, unless necessary or absolutely asked to
10 in order to allow our citizens as much time as possible
11 to speak.
12 And tonight's first speaker is
13 Andy Sbaraglia.
14 MR. SBARAGLIA: Andy Sbaraglia,
15 citizen of Scranton. Fellow Scrantonians, this Monday
16 I was having coffee when a lady come up to me and
17 expressed her concerns about this dollar fee.
18 She seemed to think it was a great
19 idea for safety reasons. And I asked her, Did you live
20 in the city all your life? She said, No, I live in
21 Dunmore, but I used to come down and swim in Nay Aug
22 Park because it was free and Dunmore didn't have a
23 pool.
24 Now, this was a lady that came
25 from Dunmore to swim in our pools for free because they
0005
01 were free, and they were there for a reason.
02 I told you in the summer way back
03 when when I grew up, okay, you could actually swim in
04 the falls if you wanted to. It wasn't very smart, but
05 you could. You could also dive off the bridge into the
06 falls that was there or you could swim in Roaring Brook
07 at various spots.
08 Well, today for some reason or
09 other the children have gotten more ansi and more, I
10 guess to put it, daring, so they do stupid things, and
11 the falls has become a very dangerous spot.
12 So, we have left our pools free
13 for a long, long time, our neighborhood pools, anyway,
14 and the reason why was to encourage the kids to swim in
15 a pool under supervision.
16 Now, we all know children are
17 children, they jump, they push. If you've been to them
18 pools and had swam long ago or even recently, you know
19 kids are kids, there's nothing about it.
20 When they want to jump in, they're
21 going to do their cannon ball. If you're in the way,
22 I'm afraid you're going to get splashed or maybe even
23 get jumped upon. It's there.
24 But for them to say it's a safety
25 issue, for them to charge money to keep out certain of
0006
01 our citizens, that's a crime. I don't care what, if
02 you're black, brown, Indian, Eskimo or whatever, you're
03 a child. A four-year-old, a five-year-old, a
04 six-year-old, a ten-year-old, 12 twelve-year-old,
05 you're a child. You're not obligated to go out and
06 take a job so that you can get your money to go to the
07 pool.
08 That was asinine. I don't like
09 statements like that. If a man comes before you and
10 says the pool fees are there for the chemicals or so
11 forth and so on, that makes more sense, but to say
12 they're a safety factor, that the kids don't deserve it
13 if you're not from the right, I guess, right side of
14 the tracks, let's put it this way, I don't care.
15 I was from the wrong side of the
16 tracks. I grew up in poverty. I don't care what, I
17 grew up that way, and I enjoyed them pools. That was
18 the only place you can actually -- well, all the parks
19 were nice, but there was the only place you could
20 actually swim in the city that was safe.
21 I grew up at a time when you could
22 actually move around the city fairly safety because the
23 war was on and nobody had cars. Things have changed
24 since then. We've got a lot more cars running, and I
25 still can't say why people would think it's more safer
0007
01 for a child to play in the streets than play by a
02 supervised pool. I don't understand the reasoning, I
03 probably never will.
04 I speak from the heart when it
05 comes to the children, because I enjoy them pools and I
06 have fond memories of them pools, even though I did get
07 jumped on or splashed or whatever.
08 That does happen, and I accept
09 that, but I can't accept anybody coming before this
10 place and saying that it's a safety issue because we
11 would rather see your child go out and play in the
12 street or go through the neighborhoods or join a gang.
13 I can see why gangs form, but this
14 is beside the point. The pools are there for the
15 recreation of the children, not necessarily all the
16 adults. I can understand somewhere there.
17 I can even understand you saying
18 for an adult you'd charge a buck, I can understand
19 that, but I can't understand you putting any
20 limitations upon a four-year-old, a five-year-old or a
21 six-year-old or whatever old because you figure they're
22 undesirable. And I thank you.
23 MS. EVANS: Thank you,
24 Mr. Sbaraglia. Excuse me. Mike Dudek.
25 MR. DUDEK: My name is Mike Dudek,
0008
01 608 Depot Street, Scranton, PA, here in the Plot. I'm
02 only going to speak during this session to the strict
03 legal and governmental issues involved here. I have
04 more I want to say, I'll save for the regular Council
05 meeting.
06 Strictly speaking, the fees that
07 exist violate the Civil Rights Act of 1965, and they
08 must immediately all be gotten rid of.
09 Any speaker supporting these fees
10 in effect will support racism. The reason is very
11 clear, this is a public accommodation we are talking
12 about. We are talking about Nay Aug Pool, taxpayer
13 money built, waterslide, taxpayer money built.
14 To use these facilities and the
15 circumstances this city is in, where 60 percent of the
16 children get free or reduced lunch, if these children
17 cannot afford a dollar for lunch, then, as Mrs. Evans
18 made it so cleanly clear two weeks ago, these children
19 obviously cannot afford to swim.
20 MS. EVANS: Mr. Dudek, if I could
21 just interrupt for one moment. We're discussing pool
22 fees for all pools other than Nay Aug Park.
23 MR. DUDEK: Other than Nay Aug.
24 Well, it makes no difference anyway. Any pool fee
25 anywhere in this city will violate the same standards.
0009
01 The reason is because of the
02 poverty in this city. We are not Beverly Hills. These
03 same fees in Beverly Hills would fly without a problem.
04 We are not Beverly Hills because we have children in
05 this town that cannot afford any kind of pool fee.
06 Now, if you had a snack bar,
07 charge, if they had to rent equipment, charge, but to
08 charge for a pool or to charge for the use of a pool
09 will land us in federal court.
10 The first black family with kids
11 who cannot afford to use that pool that marches down to
12 this federal courthouse will put this town on the front
13 page of every newspaper in this country.
14 And to any speaker coming behind
15 me representing this administration stating we need the
16 fees for this, that or any other thing, please think
17 very carefully.
18 Any fee to swim will violate the
19 Civil Rights Act. Jessie Jackson got his start on this
20 issue in Chicago in the '50s. And I have a Master's in
21 American History.
22 I am telling you these fees on
23 their face are racist. Maybe the black community in
24 this town cannot stand up here and say it, because they
25 are so outnumbered, I'll say it for them. I will say
0010
01 it for them, and all I want is one black family with
02 poor children to go down that courthouse with the NAACP
03 and file that suit. I don't think I have to predict
04 what the federal judge will tell the mayor. Thank
05 you.
06 MS. EVANS: Thank you, Mr. Dudek.
07 Fay Franus.
08 MS. FRANUS: Fay Franus Scranton.
09 When I look back to when I was a smaller kid, I guess,
10 I don't know, there was three of us in our family, and
11 the pool was right behind our house.
12 Now, I can't imagine my mother
13 giving me and my sister Jay and my brother a dollar
14 every day. It's almost $20 a week. I mean, I can't
15 comprehend it.
16 We had an allowance, maybe $5 a
17 week. I just can't see it. I mean, that was how many
18 years ago? Fifty.
19 But the thing is this, I
20 definitely think it should be taken away. I mean, I
21 really can't see the reason. Right now I'm paying
22 taxes. I'm assuming my tax dollars is going for all
23 the costs of this.
24 I mean, every time there's some
25 fee added on, they're always making excuses saying the
0011
01 tax money you're paying is going someplace else. It
02 should be going to these things and not keep on coming
03 after the taxpayer.
04 So, if my child were smaller and
05 wanted to go swimming, or all children, I'm already
06 paying for this. It's like double taxation.
07 So, if I give my boy a dollar,
08 here you go, Boy, go swimming, I'm paying twice. Now,
09 I would think that will be illegal, but, see, nobody
10 bothers to question this.
11 And as far as crime, well, a
12 dollar is not going to stop crime, and the lifeguards
13 are there to stop that and the policemen there were at
14 the pools stop that.
15 If they want to make money to stop
16 crime, put a toll booth going into South Side. You can
17 really use it there. Be realistic here.
18 I mean, how about the small kids
19 that don't want to ask that don't have the money and
20 they're standing outside?
21 Again, they can't go every day and
22 they want to, all their other friends are going. That
23 has to hurt them, and I'm sure they're humiliated and
24 embarrassed, and it's not fair to put a child through
25 this.
0012
01 I think it absolutely has to be
02 abolished, and I hope you really consider this very,
03 very sincerely.
04 And like Mike just said, enough
05 has been done already that's illegal with the
06 Recreational Authority and we sit here and take it week
07 after week. And they're getting away with it all the
08 time.
09 Why? Because they say so and
10 because their lawyer says so? They're only people.
11 We're the people that pay their bills. So, please,
12 let's consider this, okay? Thank you very much.
13 MS. EVANS: Thank you.
14 Larry McAndrew.
15 MR. McANDREW: Larry McAndrew,
16 taxpayer and Scranton resident. I want to thank
17 Council for having this public meeting so the public,
18 the people, can finally address this issue and let you
19 know how we really, really feel about it.
20 On the expressway entering
21 Scranton, the Central Expressway, I guess it's called
22 now Congressman Joseph McDade Expressway, there's a
23 sign across from Scranton High School, and this sign
24 says, Welcome to Scranton. We embrace our people, our
25 traditions, our future.
0013
01 Our traditions, as far as I know,
02 up to the last few years, our tradition was to have all
03 our pools free and open to the public. What has
04 happened here?
05 Our future, with the population of
06 this city, we must set an example for the community to
07 look up to, whether we're a distressed city, we must
08 find a way to show other communities around us the
09 kindness that we have for the public. This kindness in
10 the summertime is to have these pools free without
11 fees. I thank you.
12 MS. EVANS: Thank you.
13 Les Spindler.
14 MR. SPINDLER: Good evening,
15 Council. Les Spindler. Last week a gentleman --
16 MS. EVANS: Les, I'm sorry to
17 interrupt, your address, name and address.
18 MR. SPINDLER: Les Spindler, 1451
19 Bullwer Street, Scranton, PA.
20 MS. EVANS: Thank you.
21 MR. SPINDLER: Last week
22 Mr. Cowley was here speaking about the pool fees, he
23 said he watches his neighbor taking care of his pool
24 and what a difficulty job it is.
25 Well, I have a pool for nine years
0014
01 now, and it's not that difficult. Once you get it
02 started for the first time, it's almost
03 self-maintained. Mr. Cowley made it sound like an
04 eight-hour-a-day job. It's not difficult at all.
05 And then Mr. Scopelliti came with
06 his statistics, the statistics are down the last couple
07 of years. Well, as you said, Mrs. Evans, I know for a
08 fact the last two summers have been terrible
09 weather-wise, and that's one reason why they're down,
10 and another reason is, as Ann Marie Stulgis said last
11 week, since the waterslides have been put in at Nay
12 Aug, there's been a cop there every day. That's why
13 incidents have been down, not the pool fees.
14 I think all of these fees should
15 be cut out right now. I know Nay Aug is out of your
16 hands, but all the other ones. And we'll see what
17 happens in court with Nay Aug. But all of these fees
18 should be stopped right now. That's all I have to say.
19 Thank you.
20 MS. EVANS: Thank you.
21 MR. GERVASI: Good evening, City
22 Council. My name is Dave Gervasi.
23 MS. EVANS: Mr. Gervasi, your
24 address.
25 MR. GERVASI: I'm sorry?
0015
01 MS. EVANS: Address.
02 MR. GERVASI: Oh, I'm sorry.
03 1017 Luke Avenue, Scranton, Pennsylvania 18510.
04 MS. EVANS: Thank you.
05 MR. GERVASI: You're welcome,
06 ma'am. Just one brief comment, it was kind of a heated
07 meeting last week, and one thing I do have to agree
08 with Mr. Scopelliti was that lifeguards should be
09 watching children that are swimming and not trying to
10 control shenanigans, but who should be controlling
11 shenanigans is the police officers, that's their job in
12 the City of Scranton. We have many fine police
13 officers and they can handle any situation that happens
14 at any pool.
15 I was just thinking this week that
16 we have ordinances in the City of Scranton that if you
17 have a certain amount of people having a wedding in one
18 of our facilities here downtown, you need a police
19 officer there, and we have -- the ordinance also covers
20 if you have church picnics and you have a group of
21 people there, you need a police officer, or the Italian
22 Festival or anything that goes on in the city with a
23 numerous amount of people and we're required to have
24 police officers there.
25 Why then at a pool where you may
0016
01 have hundreds and hundreds of our most precious
02 commodity, our children swimming in dangerous
03 situations do we not require a police officer to be
04 there?
05 So, I think it's just ridiculous
06 that we can't have police at our pools, because the
07 money is being diverted to something else that's not
08 exactly priorities.
09 So, that's all I have to say. I
10 support the members of Council that are going to vote
11 to reduce this fee, because it's a job of the city to
12 create recreational opportunities for our families, and
13 especially our children. You're doing the right thing.
14 Thank you.
15 MS. EVANS: Thank you. There is
16 one final speaker whose name appears on tonight's list,
17 and I apologize, I cannot read the writing, and if
18 you -- oh, it's Mr. Morgan. I do apologize.
19 MR. MORGAN: Good evening,
20 Council. Lee Morgan, 810 North Washington Avenue,
21 okay? Well, the first thing I'd like to say is I think
22 in elimination of the fees, I think it's really a very
23 good thing.
24 I think there should be at
25 least -- I hope that all four of councilmen will vote
0017
01 for this, but I think that two people who should be
02 most in tune with why the fee needs to be eliminated
03 are you, Mrs. Evans, and you, Mr. McTiernan, because as
04 other speakers have spoken and they've talked about the
05 amount of children in the school district that live in
06 poverty in this community.
07 And, you know, a couple other
08 people got up and spoke, I remember when I was a kid
09 some people used to dive off that bridge at Nay Aug,
10 and I remember Tommy Evanston broke his neck in the
11 Gorge.
12 And, you know, people will come
13 and -- like a gentleman last week who spoke about the
14 pool fees and the children should be walking around,
15 you know, looking for odd jobs to earn money to come,
16 you know, I probably pay $10,000 a year in property tax
17 in the city, and I have no problem with children
18 swimming for free, because to be honest with you,
19 there's two things that I have an obligation to
20 children, and not my children, but everybody's
21 children, is that they receive a quality education and
22 that there is some safety framework built around them,
23 whether it's a playground program, whether it's the
24 pools.
25 And Mr. Gervasi got up here and he
0018
01 spoke about police, and, you know, I agree with him, I
02 agree that maybe one patrolman should be assigned to go
03 between the playgrounds and the swimming pools to make
04 a presence felt that there is an authority figure here.
05 Because you know what, I don't see
06 how the fee in any way controls somebody's behavior.
07 Really, I don't, okay?
08 The pools have to be free. The
09 last time when they were made free, other communities
10 followed us, as the previous Council had eliminated the
11 fee, and I think by eliminating this fee, you're
12 sending a message that we, the taxpayers, have an
13 obligation to not only the children in this community,
14 but everyone, to give them a safe place to swim.
15 There's a lifeguard there, if somebody gets in trouble,
16 if you get a cramp, no matter what happens to you, and
17 something happens to you, somebody is going to pull you
18 out of the water, and that's important.
19 We owe that. We have that
20 obligation to society, and I just am hopeful that the
21 four councilmen will vote and they will all vote to
22 remove the fee, because I can't possibly see how it
23 can't happen.
24 And if you need to ask people to
25 come and contribute money to help with the pool
0019
01 chemicals, I can understand that, but irregardless of
02 what has to happen, funds have to be found to make
03 these pool free.
04 And I'd just like to say that also
05 Nay Aug should go free, too, even though I do realize
06 that this Council has no control over them, I think it
07 behooves the mayor to communicate with the
08 Recreational Authority and change the scope of their
09 function inside the city, and that's the another thing
10 I think that needs to be done. Thank you.
11 MS. EVANS: Thank you. Would
12 anyone else like to speak?
13 MR. DAVIS: I have a message for
14 you from a --
15 MS. EVANS: Excuse me.
16 MR. DAVIS: Yes. Oh, my name is
17 Jim, excuse me, my name. My name is Jim Davis and I'm
18 from Scranton, Pennsylvania. I live at
19 499 Mulberry Towers. I'm not going to give you my
20 apartment number, but I live there.
21 MS. EVANS: Thank you.
22 MR. DAVIS: First of all, I have a
23 message for you about these pool fees from a young lady
24 who works at the sewer -- or at the parking authority.
25 She talks to me every single time I talk to there.
0020
01 Her name is Mrs. Grace Spindler,
02 and she said it's a sin that we have to charge our
03 children a fee to swim, it's a sin, that we're going to
04 charge them to eat, we're going to charge them to
05 entertain themselves on the Ferris wheel or whatever
06 rides they have up at Nay Aug or anywhere else.
07 Everything else is for charge.
08 If you go down to Weston Field,
09 they don't serve you any food down there, not that I
10 know of. I was at all the pools. I went to every
11 single one of the pools, and today I went to the Nay
12 Aug Pool, and the crowd wasn't that great.
13 It was a beautiful day, absolutely
14 gorgeous, but there weren't that many people going
15 through the door. I asked him for a count, and he
16 wouldn't give me a count. He said, Nobody is counting
17 heads. I said, What? How can you tell how much money
18 you're taking? Who is doing the accounting on this?
19 He said, we were told not to count heads. So, I don't
20 know what's going on there.
21 I have a friend who went to
22 Nay Aug and had four children with him, and he was
23 refused entry because he didn't have enough money for
24 the last three kids.
25 He was at the last meeting of the
0021
01 Scranton Recreational Authority, he was supposed to
02 meet me here tonight, but he has class up at the
03 University of Scranton.
04 But I'm saying when you get ready
05 to vote, I heard a lot of conversation about how you
06 make the children feel, how you make the parents feel.
07 I walked into the pool area today.
08 Because I wasn't going to swim, I didn't pay any money.
09 You go in there and sit down, if you want, around the
10 water, whatever you want. No money at all.
11 Now, I don't know if that was true
12 for everyone, but they had another problem that
13 whenever the kids went in there to swim and their bands
14 got wet, they lost their bands, so, therefore, those
15 who had a band that said you can only swim and not use
16 the slide, they came back and said, I lost my band
17 because it got wet. And the guy said -- they gave them
18 another band.
19 I said, What if they only paid to
20 swim and now he wants a band to use the slide. He
21 said, There's no way in the world we would know that.
22 I said, There's something wrong
23 with the accounting here. You don't even know how many
24 people you have in there. If I asked you for a head
25 count, you can't give me a head count. If I asked you
0022
01 how much money you made, you can't tell me that because
02 you don't know what tickets you sold, you don't keep
03 track of them.
04 I said, I never heard of such
05 accounting before from a money-making organization. If
06 this is what you're doing, if you're there to make
07 money, that's very poor. That's poor administration,
08 to me. So, therefore, people are going to be hurt by
09 it, I know that.
10 As soon as they get hungry enough
11 and earn enough money, they will not let you in there,
12 I'm quite sure of that. They will restrict those
13 people who do not have the money to come in there, even
14 though they say in their most beautiful voice, Nobody
15 gets turned away. We know that's not true.
16 Okay. I think that the fees at
17 the outside pools, your satellite pools as you call
18 them or peripherals, they should not charge a fee.
19 And the reason why I say they
20 should not charge a fee, you've got to leave them out
21 for the kids. You really have to leave them out for
22 the parents and the kids who can't afford it and want
23 their children to go swimming and they want to join.
24 The places are nice. Weston Field
25 is ideal. I haven't gone to Novembrino yet, but I have
0023
01 been to two other pools, and they're all well kept,
02 they're very clean, and the guards, the lifeguards, are
03 right on their toes, so I have no complaint about them.
04 MS. EVANS: Thank you, Mr. Davis.
05 MR. DAVIS: Did you find out about
06 the sign? No, not yet.
07 MS. OSBORNE: My name is
08 Pamela Osborne, I live at 449 Arthur Avenue.
09 I believe that everyone is looking at this pool fee in
10 the wrong perspective.
11
12 I don't believe that it's being
13 enforced to keep any ethnic group out of the pools. I
14 believe it's going to help give the people that are
15 using the pools more respect for the city property.
16 I disagree with the gentleman that
17 said that it's keeping the black ethnic group out. I
18 live on Arthur Avenue close to Nay Aug Park, and I
19 visited the pool before I came here, and 75 percent of
20 the swimmers were of black origin.
21 I grew up in the '50s and the
22 '70s, and I lived in Tripps Park, and what I remember
23 is having to pay the dollar fee to use Nay Aug Park.
24 I used to take the bus with my
25 friends, get the transfer at the Globe Store, make the
0024
01 trip up to Harrison Avenue, get off the bus and walk up
02 to Nay Aug Park and vis-versa for the way home. I
03 baby-sat, I had a part-time job.
04 My family was not wealthy, but I
05 was able to do it because I wanted to do it, and I had
06 respect for the pool when I got there.
07 And I believe it's a matter of
08 having respect for the properties. I think we have to
09 ask for more community help in maintaining the pools
10 and the parks. They've been in the best condition
11 they've been in in how many years.
12 And I think that we need more
13 citizen participation in maintaining these pools, we
14 need a volunteer list, because it's overwhelming for
15 the parks and recreation.
16 I'm a taxpayer, as are all the
17 others here, but I just fee that we all have to give
18 and not just take.
19 I worked for social service
20 agencies for a combined ten years and they were child
21 oriented and they depended on government funding, but
22 if the government didn't give them that funding, things
23 were taken away.
24 And years ago everyone was so
25 grateful. Ten years ago, anything you did they were
0025
01 grateful for. If you worked for these agencies and you
02 helped them, they followed your advice.
03 Now, I'm sorry, it's taken a turn
04 and they start to say, no, you have to do this for me.
05 There has been a turn. People have to be more
06 accountable. Thank you.
07 MS. EVANS: Thank you.
08 MR. NEWCOMB, SR.: Good evening,
09 Council. Charlie Newcomb, 104 North Grant, Scranton.
10 A few things on the pools, we heard a speaker last week
11 talk about the little 91-year-old lady/client/taxpayer,
12 well, about how much if we don't charge our children or
13 our adults to swim, how much she's going to pay, well,
14 I have a question, we need to ask that 91-year-old
15 taxpayer, along with my 80-year-old mother-in-law and a
16 lot of other senior citizens in this city, is nevermind
17 how much it's going to cost them for a dollar for a
18 pool fee, but how much are they already paying for
19 their consultants and their lawyers and everything that
20 they're paying on a daily right now, how much is that
21 costing them for the taxpayers?
22 And on the pools, we came here
23 week after week about pool fees, and we said that it
24 should be free, I see in this morning's paper that, I
25 believe Ms. Shedlock wrote the story about around all
0026
01 the other areas that pay, but what they didn't go into
02 was about the income and the residents, how many people
03 live in those areas.
04 We made it very clear that in the
05 City of Scranton, I believe 6,000 families, 6,000
06 children's families are at a level, and that level is
07 between $17,000 and $22,000 in the City of Scranton,
08 that's the level for swimming.
09 And these people -- I hear so many
10 stories out in public about, you know, the Council and
11 the people are trying to help a certain type of person.
12 I want to make it very clear, we're trying to help the
13 people that are embarrassed, that's why they're not
14 here, because they're embarrassed to come and say we
15 can't afford a dollar in the pools.
16 It's the ones that are out there
17 that are working, one, two and even three jobs, have to
18 raise three, four children and they cannot afford to
19 pay these fees.
20 We are not trying to help the
21 people that just sit at home collect a check from the
22 government and do not pay any taxes. Those are not the
23 people that we're trying to help.
24 In closing I'd just like to say
25 that we came to this old Council two years ago and
0027
01 asked the Council, begged the Council to do a few
02 things, not to sell our golf course, which it sold,
03 which I feel we're no better off today, not to sell the
04 South Side Complex, which it did try to sell and we
05 took a $700,000 deposit on it and it's spent already at
06 Nay Aug.
07 So, just in closing I ask that
08 let's give the people something they pay for, which is
09 taxes, and please let this Council listen to what we
10 have to say, unlike the last rubber stamp Council who
11 voted for what the administration wanted.
12 I'd also like to say in closing, I
13 do agree that residents should swim for free. I
14 don't -- I'm not in favor of Old Forge, Taylor, all
15 those people that pay taxes down there to swim for
16 free, but Mr. DiBileo didn't know about having some
17 identification he mentioned at the last meeting about
18 how it should be done.
19 Well, all we should do is have
20 some kind of pass or some kind of band for all
21 residents in the city to swim.
22 But I do believe that the people
23 that live out of the area that don't contribute taxes
24 to the city, those people should have to pay, but
25 please let our children and our people that cannot
0028
01 afford to pay a fee have something to look forward to
02 and enjoy this summer. Thank you.
03 MS. EVANS: Thank you.
04 MR. NEWCOMB, JR.: Good evening,
05 Council. Charlie Newcomb, 230 North Cameron Avenue,
06 Scranton.
07 It's nice to see that we're coming
08 here for you to listen, for us to say that pools should
09 be free. It seems that the mayor doesn't believe that
10 pools should be free, and I'm not a mind reader, and I
11 can't see what Council thinks, but I ran into a woman
12 this past week who stopped me and she says she lives in
13 the Hill Section and she didn't want to come her to
14 this meeting, but she asked me if I would tell her
15 story. And I'm not in her situation fortunately, so I
16 told her I would tell the story.
17 She is a mother of three children,
18 she lost her husband three years ago to cancer and they
19 had no life insurance, and last week when the weather
20 was very humid, her kids wanted to go to the pool, so
21 she gave two of her children $5 and said this is for
22 the week for you to go swimming at the pool.
23 Well, as we all know when kids get
24 together and there's a group together, peer pressure,
25 you do what the group wants to do, whether it's
0029
01 fortunate or unfortunate, and the rest of the kids that
02 were there are a little bit more off financially and
03 they all wanted to go on the waterslide, well, put
04 yourself in that child's position and say to your
05 friends, I don't have the money to go on the
06 waterslide.
07 So, the kids paid the three bucks
08 to go on the waterslide and then they're left with no
09 money for the rest of the week.
10 So, that mother told me to come
11 here and say, What am I supposed to do? It's not my
12 fault that I have three children that I have to raise
13 on minimum wage. And I pay my -- she pays her property
14 tax and she pays the wage tax like the rest of us.
15 So, what is he supposed to tell
16 her children? She told me to ask anybody that
17 disagrees with this fee, what is she supposed to tell
18 her children to do on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and
19 Friday when she has no money to give them to go to the
20 pool?
21 And I think that's a very good
22 point. And it's been stated here before about the
23 numbers, but there's also a number I'd like to throw
24 out, and this woman gave me this statistic and I heard
25 it again this week, because she's in this area, that
0030
01 44 percent of the households in Scranton make
02 $22,000 or less, and these are the people that we need
03 to not charge these fees for, because they can't afford
04 to do it.
05 And I don't think any child should
06 be discriminated against, and that's what, I don't care
07 what anybody says, that's what I think it is, because
08 you have a parks and recreations director and the mayor
09 who state, first, we have to pay for the chemicals,
10 then we have to charge a fee because we want to keep,
11 and this was stated by the administration, the
12 riffraff, the minorities and the welfare recipients
13 out.
14 Then we're told that we have to
15 charge a fee because we have to maintain the
16 Wildlife Center at Nay Aug Park. Well, that's a whole
17 other story, and I'll drop that bomb later.
18 But I don't think any one of them
19 are true, because I've been requesting information to
20 find out how much money we have to pay to keep these
21 chemicals going, and I can't get an answer.
22 And it was Mr. Doherty who sat on
23 Council before when he was on Council when this pool
24 free came up to be free, and he told me while I was
25 standing at this podium when I asked the question, he
0031
01 said it only costs about $18,000 to maintain the pools
02 for the season, and that was Mr. Doherty that believed
03 children should swim for free before he became the
04 reign of office that he's doing right now.
05 So, let's give them the benefit of
06 the doubt and say with inflation we'll go up and say it
07 costs $25,000 to maintain the pools, there's three of
08 the administrative raises that we gave and there's the
09 consultants.
10 So, if we're causing this problem
11 over about $25,000, the mayor needs to look in the
12 mirror and see who he truly is representing. Thank
13 you.
14 MS. EVANS: Thank you. We have
15 less than ten minutes remaining in this public hearing,
16 so I would ask if we have a number of speakers this
17 evening, if you have something to add other than what's
18 already been said, let's allow those people to speak
19 first.
20 MS. STULGIS: I'm Ann Marie
21 Stulgis. I think that we have to take into account
22 that the swimming pool and the slide were paid for with
23 tax payer dollars, and yet they aren't readily
24 available to all taxpayers.
25 So, I decided to do just a little
0032
01 bit of research, just a tiny bit, into what some of the
02 money that parks -- some of the money the Parks and
03 Rec. has, although I don't know where they get it from,
04 is used for.
05 Because if it's so important that
06 we charge children to swim, I surely hope that what
07 they're spending money on is equally as important.
08 So, I'd like to share a few things with you.
09 Parks and Recreation paid for the
10 television commercials that were run on local TV that
11 said We've Got It All. The purpose was to draw people
12 into Scranton, it's just that they were run on a
13 Scranton station, so I don't know if we were trying to
14 draw people from Taylor or Nanticoke, but that cost
15 $3925.
16 We also rented 250 chairs on
17 July 14 of last year and a tent for $500. We also
18 rented another 250 chairs and another tent for an
19 additional $500. On July 28, we rented and additional
20 250 chairs and another tent for $475.
21 On July 21, more chairs, $180. On
22 August 20, more chairs and a tent, $390. On August 7,
23 more chairs and two tables, $252.
24 We paid for the Everhart Museum,
25 for the grounds to be fertilized, for $252. We paid
0033
01 Kalinosky an additional $1335 on August 12 to fertilize
02 some lawn at Nay Aug.
03 We paid for three signs, three
04 signs, that said Gershwin In The Park, $165.60. We
05 paid Reeve's Rent a Johnny, Incorporated in August
06 $1890 for extra clean, that's all it's listed as.
07 We also paid an additional $990 for extra clean units
08 for July.
09 For a wash stand at the
10 brooks Mine for August, $250. August, a wash stand at
11 the Wildlife Center, $585.
12 August, a wash stand at the
13 amphitheater, $425. Two wash stands, August, past the
14 concession stand, $660.
15 Stripping and refinishing the zoo
16 floors, $450. Scrub the zoo floors, $150. Scrub and
17 refinish the floors, $150.
18 Electrical work for the rest room
19 on Arthur Avenue, excuse me, not electrical work,
20 piping work, $1267.
21 Fireworks, $5,000. Repair to the
22 comfort station, $1200. Flushing out toilets at the
23 restroom near CMC and the concession stand, $300.
24 A 14-foot two-way step ladder,
25 $436. For a company named Cintas, C-I-N-T-A-S, and I
0034
01 checked it on the Internet and it said they are the
02 largest supplier of uniforms, for the zoo, $315.40.
03 Don't know what it's for.
04 But after we got the zoo floors
05 all refinished, we bought a 12-by-24 foot Congolieum
06 for the zoo floor, $543.68.
07 For electrical work, $1725.60.
08 For five fire extinguishes for the zoo, $286. And for
09 54 extension cords, and, no, this wasn't for Christmas,
10 this was in April of last year, $1504.42. For a lock
11 for a steel door, $80.
12 If we can afford all that, we can
13 certainly afford to allow the children to use the slide
14 and to swim without charging them. Their families paid
15 the taxes to pay for those items, and I don't think we
16 should then punish the children. Thank you.
17 MS. EVANS: We have time for one
18 more speaker.
19 MS. KRAKE: Good evening, Council.
20 My name is Nancy Krake, and I'm a resident of the City
21 of Scranton.
22 As Mrs. Stulgis was saying, as
23 individuals and then as a community, we come together
24 to share our resources. This is an age old debate as
25 to how and to whom these resources are distributed.
0035
01 When those in power or those in
02 control of these resources act in an abominable
03 fashion, we have the following example written by
04 Charles Dickens in a story called A Christmas Carol,
05 which could easily be a story about summer vacation in
06 Scranton with Scrooge as the mayor or maybe as the
07 director of parks and rec.
08 This part of the book is where two
09 gentlemen come and ask Mr. Scrooge for a donation, it's
10 in the very beginning.
11 And it says, At this festive
12 season of the year, Mr. Scrooge, said the gentleman
13 taking out the pen, it is more than usually desirable
14 that we should make some slight provision for the poor
15 and destitute who suffer greatly at the present time.
16 Many thousands are in want of common necessaries.
17 Hundreds of thousands are in want of come comfort,
18 sir.
19 Are there no prisons, asked
20 Scrooge. Plenty of prisons, said the gentleman laying
21 down the pen again. And the union work houses,
22 demanded Scrooge, are they still in operation? They
23 are. Still, return the gentleman, I wish I could say
24 they were not.
25 The treadmill and the poor of law
0036
01 are in full vigor then, said Scrooge. Both very busy,
02 sir. Oh, I was afraid from what you said at first that
03 something had occurred to stop them in their useful
04 course, said Scrooge. I'm very glad to hear it.
05 Under the impression that they
06 scarcely furnished Christian share of mind or body to
07 the multitude, return the gentleman, a few of us are
08 endeavoring to raise a fund to buy the poor some meat
09 and drink and means of warmth -- or maybe a swim in the
10 summer when it's warm.
11 We chose this time, because it is
12 a time of all others, when want is keenly felt and
13 abundance rejoices. What shall I put you down for?
14 Nothing, Scrooge replied.
15 You wish to be anonymous? I wish
16 to be left alone, said Scrooge. Since you asked me
17 what I wished, gentleman, that is my answer.
18 I don't make merry myself at
19 Christmas, and I can't afford to make the idle people
20 merry. Where have we heard these words before?
21 I hope to support the
22 establishments I have mentioned. In fact, I believe
23 Mr. Scopelliti mentioned a few places they could bus
24 the children to swim to last week.
25 They cost enough and those who are
0037
01 badly off must go there. Many can't go there and many
02 would rather die.
03 If they would rather die, said
04 Scrooge, they had better do it and decrease the surplus
05 population. Besides, excuse me, I don't know that.
06 But you might know it, observed the gentleman.
07 It's not my business, Scrooge
08 returned. It's enough for a man to understand his own
09 business and not to interfere with other people's.
10 Mine occupies me constantly. Good afternoon,
11 gentlemen. Seeing clearly that it would be useless to
12 pursue their point, the gentlemen withdrew.
13 Scrooge resumed his labors with an
14 improved opinion of himself in a more facetious temper
15 than what's usual with him.
16 And I apologize, but this just
17 speaks to me as exactly how this administration has
18 acted in the past three and a half years, and they've
19 made it abundantly clear how they feel about the
20 children in this community. Thank you.
21 MS. EVANS: Thank you. And I call
22 this public hearing to a close.
23 (HEARING WAS CONCLUDED.)
24
25
0038
01 C E R T I F I C A T E
01
02
02 I hereby certify that the proceedings and
03 evidence are contained fully and accurately in the
03 notes taken by me on the hearing of the above cause and
04 that this copy is a correct transcript of the same to
04 the best of my ability.
05
05
06
06
07
07 ______________________________
08 LISA M. GRAFF, RPR
08 OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
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0001
01
01
02 SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING
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08 Held:
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09 Thursday, June 23, 2005
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11 Time:
12 7:00 p.m.
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14 Location:
15 Council chambers
15 Scranton City Hall
16 340 North Washington Avenue
16 Scranton, Pennsylvania
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23 Lisa M. Graff, RPR
24 Court Reporter
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0002
01 CITY OF SCRANTON COUNCIL:
02
03 MS. JANET E. EVANS, VICE-PRESIDENT
04
05 MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT
06
07 MR. JOHN POCIUS
08
09 MR. ROBERT McTIERNAN
10
11 MR. JAY SAUNDERS, CITY CLERK
12
13 MS. KAY GARVEY, ASSISTANT CITY CLERK
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0003
01 MS. EVANS: I would now like to
02 begin tonight's Council meeting. I welcome everyone to
03 Council and ask you to please rise for the Pledge of
04 Allegiance. Please remain standing for a prayer.
05 Roll call, please, Kay.
06 MS. GARVEY: Mr. McTiernan.
07 MR. McTIERNAN: Here.
08 MS. GARVEY: Mrs. Evans.
09 MS. EVANS: Here.
10 MS. GARVEY: Mr. Pocius.
11 MR. POCIUS: Here.
12 MS. GARVEY: Mr. Courtright.
13 MR. COURTRIGHT: Here.
14 MS. GARVEY: Mr. DiBileo.
15 MS. EVANS: Mr. Saunders, could
16 you dispense with the reading of the minutes, please?
17 MR. SAUNDERS: 3-A, 2004 AUDIT
18 REPORT FOR THE SCRANTON REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY.
19 MS. EVANS: Are there any comments
20 on 3-A? If not, received and filed.
21 MR. SAUNDERS: 3-B, AGENDA FOR THE
22 MUNICIPAL PENSION FUND TO BE HELD WEDNESDAY,
23 JUNE 22, 2005.
24 MS. EVANS: Are there any comments
25 on 3-B? If not, received and filed.
0004
01 MR. SAUNDERS: 3-C, MINUTES FOR
02 THE COMPOSITE PENSION BOARD MEETING HELD WEDNESDAY, MAY
03 25, 2005.
04 MS. EVANS: Are there any comments
05 on 3-C? If not, received and filed.
06 MR. SAUNDERS: 3-D. 2004 COMBINED
07 AUDIT REPORT FOR THE SCRANTON-LACKAWANNA HEALTH AND
08 WELFARE AUTHORITY.
09 MS. EVANS: Are there any comments
10 on 3-D? If not, received and filed.
11 MR. SAUNDERS: 3-E, MINUTES FROM
12 THE SCRANTON-LACKAWANNA HEALTH AND WELFARE AUTHORITY
13 HELD THURSDAY, MAY 19, 2005.
14 MS. EVANS: Are there any comments
15 on 3-E? If not, received and filed.
16 MR. SAUNDERS: 3-F, MINUTES FROM
17 THE FIREMAN'S PENSION COMMISSION HELD WEDNESDAY, MAY
18 25, 2005.
19 MS. EVANS: Any comments on 3-F?
20 If not, received and filed.
21 MR. SAUNDERS: Clerk's notes.
22 Last week Councilwoman Evans discussed the land that is
23 between Albright Avenue and Nay Aug Avenue and what was
24 the full rundown, well, I spoke this week with
25 Ralph Pappas, he gave me a -- first, a map that showed
0005
01 that land there.
02 The land there is his owned by the
03 City of Scranton, and that will not be a -- they will
04 not be able to do anything with that land. There's
05 going to be ramps that go up to the levee project
06 there.
07 They're actually taking out with
08 the levee project Nay Aug Avenue spilling into that
09 plot of land that is between Albright and Nay Aug
10 Avenue.
11 All the properties have been
12 acquired, most all of the properties have been acquired
13 on that street, except for I think one or two.
14 And Gardner Avenue, which runs
15 down into Nay Aug Avenue, they're going to make a
16 cul-de-sac there, and that will be taken care of.
17 MS. EVANS: Thank you.
18 MR. SAUNDERS: He sent a map up, I
19 believe you guys might have got that in your box
20 today.
21 Last week also Councilwoman Evans
22 talked about Marywood and Tree Stadium, and it's being
23 called throughout the City of Scranton as of now, I
24 spoke to a representative from Marywood, the public
25 relations director, and she said that Marywood has put
0006
01 that project on hold until they see the public hearing
02 go through, until they research the ordinance and the
03 legality of the ordinance. So, that is on hold as of
04 right now.
05 MS. EVANS: Have we received the
06 recommendations of the planning commission? I believe
07 this issue came before them during their June 21
08 meeting.
09 MR. SAUNDERS: Yes, it did go
10 before the city and county planning commissions, but we
11 have yet to receive the recommendations. They have a
12 30-day time frame where they usually 99.9 percent of
13 the time respond to us.
14 MS. EVANS: Thank you.
15 MR. SAUNDERS: Also, last week
16 Mrs. Evans, this is just to update you that we did talk
17 about this earlier, and I just want to clarify this to
18 set this straight, we did talk about last week how to
19 find out some of the questions that you asked last week
20 at the Council meeting about the Housing Authority jobs
21 and who received the jobs and the requirements for
22 those jobs, and we also to find out the low income or
23 minorities, if they received any of those jobs, but
24 that letter is out, it's in their hands, we have not
25 received anything back on that. I just wanted to
0007
01 clarify that from an earlier conversations that we had
02 on that.
03 MS. EVANS: Thank you.
04 MR. SAUNDERS: The last thing I
05 have, if I could find it, is a letter from
06 Chief Davis, the fire. I think Charlie Newcomb, Jr.
07 had spoke about this, the antenna on Engine 9 and
08 Truck 4, he said that a visual inspection by
09 Captain J.R. Davis, that there's not a problem up
10 there.
11 They're saying they spoke to
12 McGuire Electronics that actually takes care of the
13 tower up there, they talked to the people at the
14 station. He said there's no evidence of destruction
15 being a threat to anyone at this time. Maybe I phrased
16 the question wrong, but I think that was the answer
17 that you were looking for. And that is all I have.
18 MS. EVANS: Thank you.
19 MR. SAUNDERS: Fourth order,
20 citizens participation.
21 MS. EVANS: Before calling up the
22 first speaker, I'd like to thank all of you for
23 attending tonight's meeting.
24 I ask speakers to adhere to the
25 five-minute rule for the sake of time constraints, and
0008
01 please extend the same courtesy and respect to others
02 that you expect to receive when speaking.
03 I also ask, once again, that
04 speakers refrain from making remarks of a personal
05 nature. And finally, please comment only on matters
06 pertaining to city business. The first speaker is
07 Andy Sbaraglia.
08 MR. SBARAGLIA: Andy Sbaraglia,
09 citizen of Scranton. Fellow Scrantonians, I come
10 before this Council many, many times, and I want this
11 Council to really understand, I have no interest in a
12 job in this city, I have no family members that want a
13 job in this city, I speak mainly from my heart for the
14 benefit of the city, no other reason. I have no other
15 agenda.
16 Because you hear me speak many,
17 many times about money matters, and true, that's the
18 taxpayers. That, I'm interested in. As a taxpayer,
19 when it comes to money, I'm right there.
20 And I believe that the taxpayers
21 are not getting a very good deal in this city. I told
22 you many, many times, I'm not happy with all the
23 garages being done, because of the fact we're taking
24 money from the city treasury to do them.
25 And I think if we need garages,
0009
01 they should be done by private developers. Surely if
02 they're such a great benefit to the city, some
03 developer should have their hands out for them, but
04 they're not, because they know they don't pay.
05 We have many things going on in
06 this city there will never pay for themselves, and
07 there's the sad part, because the taxpayers are going
08 to have to pay for them.
09 Last meeting you mentioned
10 something about an SRA audit and you claim there's,
11 like, $8 million in the audit, and I just wondered if
12 that money that you read in that audit is the money
13 that we gave them for the garage, the $12 million we
14 gave them, as you notice that.
15 MS. EVANS: The garage money is
16 included in that audit, yes.
17 MR. SBARAGLIA: And they only have
18 $8 million left out of the $12 million we gave.
19 MS. EVANS: I can't verify that
20 for you, Andy. I'll have to refer to the audit itself.
21 I will be happy to check it for you.
22 MR. SBARAGLIA: I wish you would
23 check very, very closely, because they had a bong issue
24 for $12 million? That money was only supposed to pay
25 off the interest until this place got occupied, and if
0010
01 we ran that much money out of it, I'd like to know that
02 it went for the garage, and not for any other purposes,
03 because these people seem to have plenty of money and
04 we wonder where they're getting it from. And I just
05 hope it isn't from that $12 million letter of credit
06 that you okayed, because that money was specifically
07 for this garage, and not for any other projects they
08 may have.
09 The SRA, like I told you before, I
10 don't approve of any body that doesn't come under
11 Council control. I don't believe as the separate
12 bodies we have throughout all the city, hiring lawyers,
13 borrowing money, and really pushing it all on the
14 taxpayer.
15 The county had the right idea when
16 they decided they were going to abolish all
17 authorities, and I wish when the new Council comes in
18 and the new mayor, that be your first priority, to
19 abolish all the authorities.
20 We might as well have it right
21 there in front of us, what we owe, what we will owe,
22 and how much we got really to spend, because I think we
23 mortgage away our children's life, and I don't believe
24 the poor people in this city are ever going to get out
25 of debt, because we borrowed so much.
0011
01 I know there's a lot of things you
02 can't do, I understand that, but there are a lot of
03 things you can do, and the things you can do is look
04 closely at all this money that's being borrowed by
05 either the authorities or the city and really give it
06 priority consideration, because somewhere along the
07 line everything has to fall due. Somewhere alone the
08 line somebody is going to have to pay for that fiddler,
09 and it's going to be our children that's going to have
10 to pay for this fiddler.
11 Some of the loans we borrowed
12 might be for 20 years, so 20 years from now, I'll be an
13 old man, older than I am now, if I'm still around,
14 which I doubt, but anyway, that debt is still there.
15 And the worse part about it, the
16 city as itself is aging. We still need all the
17 services, and God knows what they're going to cost in
18 the future.
19 The landfill up there keeps
20 raising their landfill. We used to have a landfill,
21 those of us that are old enough to remember it, we had
22 a landfill up there where the Cathedral Cemetery is a
23 long time ago. Too bad we got rid of it. We could
24 have been millionaires today if we kept it. We would
25 have made a fortune, but unfortunately it's gone.
0012
01 But a lot of these things that are
02 happening in the city is going to impact upon the city
03 in the future. I thank you.
04 MS. EVANS: Thank you,
05 Mr. Sbaraglia. Larry McAndrew.
06 MR. McANDREW: Larry McAndrew,
07 Scranton resident and taxpayer. Thank you again,
08 Council, for letting me have the opportunity to speak
09 this evening.
10 MS. EVANS: You're welcome.
11 MR. McANDREW: I want to first
12 start off about addressing Act 72. As everyone is
13 quite aware, the first time in the history of
14 Pennsylvania we have a governor who's trying to give, a
15 possibility, a billion dollars.
16 Away to what? It mostly could
17 come back to the taxpayers, the property owners, and
18 the ones that have foot the bills. But he has a
19 problem here, the way this Act 72 was set up.
20 My understanding is legislators
21 will amend this and this will be taken care of, and we
22 will have property relief.
23 Although I disagree with the way
24 it is going to be set up, I think that the taxpayers
25 should come first, and then the gambling outfits should
0013
01 get their money.
02 But that's not the reason I'm
03 talking about Act 72. On Memorial Day, there was a
04 special school board meeting here in the City of
05 Scranton that was held, it was dismissed because of
06 lack of quorum.
07 The disrespect that was shown to
08 the taxpayers by these school board members by not
09 showing up to this meeting, is unforgettable.
10 A Scranton Taxpayers Association
11 has been formed because of that disrespect. This has
12 been spearheaded by a respectable gentleman that I have
13 the honor to be in his company,
14 Mr. Robert Ozzie Quinn.
15 Myself and several other taxpayers
16 have sat down and decided that had we want one thing,
17 we want one thing from our county government, we want
18 one thing from our school board, and we want one thing
19 from our city government, and that is accountability.
20 We were here Monday evening
21 discussing which way we should go and what direction we
22 should take.
23 On Tuesday evening, July 5 at
24 7 p.m., we're having another meeting. We need
25 taxpayers' input and information on what direction we
0014
01 should take.
02 I urge and I encourage all our
03 taxpayers, you in Lackawanna County, and especially
04 here in Scranton, to get involved with our association,
05 to let us know how you feel about this, to form and to
06 fight and to get accountability. Thank you.
07 MS. EVANS: Thank you.
08 Joanne Williams.
09 MS. WILLIAMS: Good evening,
10 Council. Joanne Williams, Scranton resident. Do you
11 need my address, Mrs. Evans?
12 MS. EVANS: Yes, please.
13 MS. WILLIAMS: 220 Prescott
14 Avenue, Scranton. Thank you.
15 MS. EVANS: Thank you.
16 MS. WILLIAMS: I'm here this
17 evening because last week I spoke, I asked questions
18 about our police department, because I really didn't
19 know what they were, and I received some answers that I
20 was grateful to receive; however, when I went home, I
21 put on fifth order, which is your time to speak, and
22 Mr. Courtright had stated that maybe I was against
23 unions. Mr. Courtright, I never said that up here, and
24 I want you to know that I'm not. And I know you had
25 said, also, because I do watch Council meetings, that
0015
01 people need to pay more attention to what people are
02 saying, I would like you to pay more attention to what
03 I'm saying.
04 MR. COURTRIGHT: I never said you
05 were against unions. I asked -- I said I hope you
06 weren't implying that. I never said you were against
07 them. Maybe you should watch.
08 MS. WILLIAMS: No. You said, I
09 think maybe she's against unions. We can watch the
10 tape again, but I'm not going to go into anything about
11 it, okay?
12 All right. My second thing is
13 this, Mrs. Krake quoted from a Christmas Carol tonight
14 and insulted the mayor by calling him Scrooge, let's go
15 back to It's A Wonderful Life, okay? I picked that
16 movie out, good one. I picked that one out.
17 Let's go back and let's take a
18 look at Scranton in the Jimmy Connors' era. Let's
19 really think about it, what did we have? A potter's
20 field, okay?
21 Mrs. Stulgis spoke on the bills
22 for the zoo, I wasn't in here long enough to hear
23 everything, but let's go back the Connor's era when we
24 had a zoo, or did we have a zoo? Let's think about
25 it. Another potter's field.
0016
01 Last year there was a playground
02 constructed up at Nay Aug Park by volunteers, it was
03 built for all of the children in this city. The mayor
04 was there, Mr. McTiernan, you were there,
05 Mr. Scopelliti was there, some members of the
06 recreational board were there. Where were you,
07 Mr. Courtright, were you there?
08 MR. COURTRIGHT: No, wasn't.
09 MS. WILLIAMS: Mrs. Evans, were
10 you there?
11 MS. EVANS: No, I wasn't. I had
12 heard that there was a requirement to sign away any
13 type of liability in case of an accident for the city,
14 and I really wasn't in agreement with that, so I
15 wasn't there.
16 MS. WILLIAMS: Okay. Well, I
17 didn't know -- I didn't sign anything like that, and a
18 lot of other volunteers didn't either.
19 But just to let you know that I
20 speak from the heart here, too. I mean, people come up
21 here and think that, I don't what they think, but I
22 love this city like I always have and I always will, no
23 matter who the mayor is, but this mayor has gone out of
24 his way, and I want to thank him personally and the
25 administration along with Councilman John Pocius and
0017
01 Councilman McTiernan for restoring our downtown and
02 restoring our parks, and most of all, restoring our
03 pride. Thank you.
04 MS. EVANS: Thank you.
05 Les Spindler.
06 MR. SPINDLER: Good evening,
07 Council. Les Spindler, 1451 Bullwer Street,
08 Scranton, PA.
09 MS. EVANS: Thank you.
10 MR. SPINDLER: Last week I went
11 down to Weston Field to sign my daughter up for soccer
12 again, and that parking lot is still a mess. I asked
13 two years ago when is that lot going to be paved.
14 I was told it was going to be
15 paved two years ago. It still hasn't been paved. It
16 looks like a street in Iraq that was bombed. Is there
17 any idea when that's going to be fixed? Like I said,
18 it's been two years now.
19 MR. SAUNDERS: Mr. Spindler, the
20 answer that I received there that is, if at all
21 possible they will pave that, but at this point in time
22 it's not possible to pave that, that was the answer.
23 MR. SPINDLER: So much for
24 Chris Doherty caring about our parks. Okay. Last week
25 Bob Scopelliti was here putting blame on Council if
0018
01 they did away with the pool fees and there's incidents
02 at the pools, well, unfortunately this week a body was
03 pulled out of the gorge, it wasn't a swimmer, it was
04 unfortunately a homeless man. Who's to say next time
05 it won't be someone's teenage daughter or son that
06 can't afford the $3 fee to get into Nay Aug?
07 Then the blame is going to be on
08 Bob Scopelliti, Chris Doherty and the Recreation
09 Authority for charging the fees. It's a safety issue.
10 It's a safety issue for the kids that have to go to the
11 gorge because they can't afford to pay to get into Nay
12 Aug.
13 Okay. As Mrs. Williams stated,
14 she asked questions last week, Mr. DiBileo isn't here,
15 he answered them all, along with you, Mr. Courtright,
16 and you, Mrs. Evans. I heard all the questions
17 answered.
18 Where is Chris Doherty to answer
19 our questions? He's downstairs hiding behind his
20 frosted door answering questions from ten-year-olds
21 that was on TV last week. Why doesn't he come here and
22 answer questions that we have?
23 Moving on, I saw in the paper the
24 other day where the Recreation Authority and mayor got
25 $170,000 grant to do a study on expanding the zoo,
0019
01 well, they're complaining about they can't make ends
02 meet now with how small it is, how are they going to
03 expand the zoo and expect to make ends meet then? Are
04 they going to charge an illegal fee there to get into
05 the zoo?
06 And that's funny, we can get
07 grants for everything else, but the mayor's recovery
08 plan doesn't allow for grants to hire policemen to
09 protect the people of this city.
10 Well, I think Mayor Doherty has
11 his priorities mixed up. He cares more about the park
12 than he does about protecting the constituents of this
13 city.
14 Lastly, I heard some news today
15 from a very reliable source that Southern Union is no
16 longer moving into downtown Scranton, they're going to
17 Texas, because half of the people that were supposed to
18 move here from Texas don't want to come here.
19 So, so much for Chris Doherty's
20 downtown development. And this wasn't going to be
21 announced until after the election, for obvious
22 reasons.
23 So, like I said, I have it on good
24 authority that they're not moving into the city, and
25 that was the biggest part of his downtown
0020
01 redevelopment. So much for that. Thank you.
02 MS. EVANS: Thank you,
03 Mr. Spindler. Mike Dudek.
04 MR. DUDEK: Good evening.
05 My name is Mike Dudek, 608 Depot Street, Scranton, PA.
06 I live in the Plot, and I am one of the taxpayers of
07 the City of Scranton, not a true taxpayer, just a
08 taxpayer.
09 At the previous meeting earlier
10 this evening on the pools themselves, I pointed out
11 that any kind of fee this city would put onto these
12 pools would violate any number of civil rights laws
13 that have been in effect for at least 40 years.
14 I maintain the same thing goes
15 even stronger to the Nay Aug pool. I don't want
16 anybody to think that I am calling Mayor Doherty a
17 racist.
18 When you're trying to put together
19 a program for a city and you are working with budgets
20 and you're working with facts and figures and so forth,
21 every now and then you're going to put together
22 something that doesn't come out right, but when you run
23 a city like a monarchy and you don't consult with
24 City Council and you don't get input from the people,
25 you can make some very outrageous mistakes, and this
0021
01 one in this city has got to be one of the biggest
02 bloopers I have ever seen come across.
03 Inherently, all of these fees
04 violate the Civil Rights Act of '65, there's no two
05 ways about it. And whether or not they accidentally
06 violate the Civil Rights Law or intentionally violate
07 the law, the bottom line is these, as it plays out,
08 they become racist legislation. And all of these fees
09 have to go bye-bye, no two ways about it.
10 Now, I can understand, like I
11 said, the mayor. Now, would you please give Council
12 the handout that I handed you?
13 I can understand how a mayor can
14 make a mistake like this, I cannot understand how the
15 Sunday Times could run the cartoon that they did.
16 This is out and out racism like
17 I've never seen before. I couldn't believe it. And
18 that's when this hit me in the back of the head, this
19 Sunday when I finally saw this cartoon.
20 That's where it hit me, from 50
21 years ago the riffraff were the blacks, that was
22 another term for them when I was growing up, and we're
23 hearing it all again, and we're using the phrase safety
24 as an excuse to put these fees in. It's absolutely
25 ridiculous.
0022
01 I have my own idea of a political
02 cartoon, it should show the three Lynett brothers
03 standing just facing and smiling at you, no caption,
04 just wearing T-shirts, Dumb, Dumber and Dumberer.
05 I don't know what these three men
06 were thinking about when they ran this. And to top it
07 off, they ran this cartoon on top of an article in
08 praise of Civil Rights, a George Will column.
09 This cartoon says that Mayor
10 DiBileo, oh, I hope it's Mayor DiBileo, wants to
11 destroy the rights of the white kids to swim by taking
12 away their public safety. That sounds like
13 Bull Connor with the old police dogs in Birmingham.
14 That's not what's going on here.
15 What is going on here is that
16 these fees are on their face racism. And like I said
17 before at the other meeting, the black population in
18 this town is much too small to make an issue out of it,
19 because everybody else would drown them out and say
20 you're wrong.
21 Well, I'm the white guy to come up
22 here to tell you that if there's a black family in this
23 town that cannot afford these swim fees, all they have
24 to do is contact the NAACP, go down to our federal
25 courthouse here, find a federal judge, file against the
0023
01 mayor and file against the city and then watch this
02 thing play out.
03 Because I am telling you based on
04 my experience as an academic who has studied American
05 History, there's only one way a federal judge would
06 ever rule on this, he would rule in favor of the
07 family.
08 So, rather than embarrass the City
09 of Scranton nationally, let's do the wise and sensible
10 thing, let's act as wise and sensible adults and get
11 rid of these fees before they humiliate this city in
12 national press. Thank you.
13 MS. EVANS: Thank you, Mr. Dudek.
14 Fay Franus.
15 MS. FRANUS: Fay Franus, Scranton,
16 West Side. I have to say a couple things first about
17 that factory over there on Dickson Avenue, I can't
18 understand why they're not made to leave instead of
19 having these people have to deal with all of this dust.
20 I mean, they can put cement
21 driveways in and everything, it's not going to make a
22 difference because the dust is still going to go across
23 the street and these kids are going to get asthma and
24 who knows what else.
25 So, why is everybody trying to
0024
01 help these people as far as, like, getting driveways
02 and putting water on the streets?
03 Get rid of the factory. It's KOZ,
04 for one thing. They're not contributing one thing to
05 this city except aggravation. So, I think somebody
06 should look into getting rid of these people.
07 Now, many people talk about being
08 treated, like, when they come to this podium with a,
09 you know, the audience abuse, well, other people like
10 myself, and I won't name others, they can speak for
11 themselves, I got a letter in the mail on Saturday,
12 naturally it wasn't signed, but I would like to read
13 it, just to let the people in the City of Scranton know
14 and let them form their own opinions as do they think
15 the type of people sent this, who they are for, what
16 they're against.
17 It doesn't bother me, because I'm
18 thicked skinned, but I'm sure if some other people
19 would have gotten this, they might have been upset.
20 I don't have my glasses, so I'll
21 try here. Hey, Fay, cut your act on Channel 61.
22 You're nothing, I'm reading this, so, I mean, don't
23 mind this, you're nothing but an ignorant, vengeful,
24 hateful, ill-informed Scranton nut job. A low-life
25 dirt bag like you has a lot of nerve even saying
0025
01 Doherty's name in public. Also, you couldn't be more
02 homely. Somebody really had to be drunk the night they
03 were with you.
04 I don't know. That speaks for
05 itself basically, and I just hope that other people
06 that get letters like this don't feel they shouldn't
07 come here.
08 I think they should come here in
09 droves and they should say whatever they want whenever
10 they want and not worry about bricks going through the
11 window or whatever. Just don't worry about it. You
12 come here and you speak your mind, and the truth will
13 be told come election day. Thank you.
14 MS. EVANS: Thank you,
15 Mrs. Franus. Lee B. Morgan.
16 MR. MORGAN: I want to revisit an
17 issue that I brought before Council. Here are police
18 reports from evidently the police department and a
19 statement that is not sworn, but it's still a
20 statement, about the dog attacks that took place on
21 South Filmore Avenue.
22 Now, I believe that attack was in
23 March. There was another attack in April, where
24 another dog was attacked and it sear was ripped off and
25 its intestines were basically, you know, it was
0026
01 disemboweled to a certain degree.
02 And I'm just curious as to when or
03 if this Council thinks it's important enough to ask the
04 public safety director and the chief of police to get
05 on one page here.
06 What we have here is we have three
07 pitbulls that get out off their property and attack at
08 random any animal that proceeds down that street.
09 Now, when you get a chance to read
10 this, you'll see that the one neighbor lives directly
11 across the street, and this is not an isolated issue,
12 this has happened three or four times previously, and
13 these dogs have even bit the owner, as to where a
14 neighbor had to come and pull these dogs off of the
15 woman who owns these dogs.
16 And my question is this, is that
17 when there's a child walking down the street, we'll
18 say, just carefree, and these dogs attack him and maim
19 him or kill him and nothing's been done and these
20 animals have continued to -- you know, this is not an
21 isolated incident, these are numerous instances, and I
22 really think that it behoofs Council, the mayor or
23 whatever appropriate officials can to really do
24 something on this issue, because, you know, you can
25 just imagine what one pitbull can do to one ordinary
0027
01 person my size, because I do -- I'm sure you do
02 understand how they kill people.
03 So, I mean, when you're talking
04 about three at one time, you know, a child's not going
05 to have a chance. I mean, it's going to be over.
06 And this was brought forward to
07 Council in March, and Council was going to talk to the
08 animal control officer, and I don't know if anything
09 went with Mr. Hayes or Mr. Elliot, but all I'm saying
10 here is, you know what, Council is a conduit for common
11 concerns of the community, and this is one very
12 important thing that has to be addressed.
13 If nothing else said here at any
14 time is ever going to be addressed and move forward in
15 a legitimate manner, this is one issue that can't sit
16 in mid-air and wait.
17 I mean, we can debate the pool
18 fees, we can debate whether the mayor is doing a good
19 job or not doing a good job, and, you know, anything
20 you want to debate, but this is one thing where
21 Council, and not just -- all five councilmen need to,
22 that's why I brought this report in, because Council
23 can see. It's a police report, it's a statement, and
24 you really have to move forward on this, because some
25 little kid or some adult is going to get seriously hurt
0028
01 or killed, and we don't need that to happen.
02 So, I'm asking you to address this
03 problem in a very serious straight forward manner and
04 do what has to be done. And I'd advise you to do it
05 tomorrow, because this community can't wait anymore.
06 Thank you.
07 MR. COURTRIGHT: Lee, when you
08 brought up the last time, I believe Mr. Saunders dug
09 out the ordinance for us.
10 MR. MORGAN: Well, ordinances are
11 really unimportant, because there's a dangerous dog
12 ordinance.
13 And the other thing is, you know,
14 you look, at this report and read it and see who
15 compiled it and then see what was done about it.
16 I mean, you can just look at this
17 report that this gentleman says here. I mean, in this
18 report, I don't have the $900 bill from the lady who's
19 last dog was attacked, but there is a bill here for
20 $920, and in the end when they put the dog down, it was
21 $2500 was spent on this dog, and the reason they had
22 to put it down was because its head was almost chewed
23 off and the nerve that makes you swallow had been
24 severed.
25 Not only that, but its legs were
0029
01 maimed. I mean, it was a mess. I mean, and it was a
02 Shar Pei or whatever it is, and they just don't lay
03 down. This dog was 15 years old, but it couldn't fight
04 against three pitbulls. I mean, let's be honest here.
05 Me and you would last five seconds.
06 I mean, it wouldn't even be a
07 debate what would happen. I mean, these are definitely
08 dangerous dogs. The time to act is now. Well, really
09 the time to act was in March.
10 But you know what, it's not too
11 late to act now, because we haven't read the Scranton
12 Times where a kid has been maimed yet, but what are we
13 going to say to each other if that happens? Really.
14 I'm not trying to cut you short.
15 MR. COURTRIGHT: No. What I was
16 trying to say was we took out the ordinance that was, I
17 don't know if it was it a leash law, was that what it
18 was?
19 MR. SAUNDERS: Yeah.
20 MR. COURTRIGHT: You can talk with
21 Mr. Walsh, our solicitor who is not here this evening,
22 we were looking into it, and I believe, Jay, you can
23 correct me if I'm wrong, to just single out a pitbull
24 wasn't the proper way to do it. You would be singling
25 out one individual type of a dog, and that wasn't the
0030
01 route that we needed to take.
02 To be perfectly honest with you, I
03 don't know where we are right now on it, but we didn't
04 just let it drop. Jay, can you --
05 MR. SAUNDERS: Yeah. We did check
06 with the -- we researched this, Solicitor Walsh
07 researched this high and low. We actually talked to
08 The Pennsylvania League of Cities and asked for
09 ordinances that they may have or have seen, and I
10 believe that their recommendation to us was that you
11 can't single out just pitbulls for discriminating
12 reasons.
13 MR. MORGAN: Okay. Well --
14 MR. SAUNDERS: But if I can finish
15 here, Solicitor Walsh has not exhausted this. He has
16 looked in a couple of different areas on how to get
17 around using the word pitbull or referring directly to
18 a pitbull, so this issue is certainly not dead with us.
19 council has told us to get something done with it, and
20 we have been working on it and waiting for information
21 on this.
22 MR. MORGAN: Okay. Well, you
23 know, what I'm going to say is this, the state has
24 decided that Scranton is a homerule community, okay,
25 and other agencies don't want to come in here, but
0031
01 they've stated that this case was handled totally wrong
02 from the very beginning and there's a danger dog act
03 and these dogs should be kept in a cage that's a cage
04 on the bottom, the sides and the top so these animals
05 cannot get out of that cage at any time, unless the
06 owner takes them to a veterinarian, and at all other
07 times they should be in a cage, at all other times.
08 And what I'm saying to you is it's
09 not so much that they're pitbulls, what it is is that
10 they are very dangerous, they're aggressive and they've
11 tasted blood, okay?
12 They haven't attacked one dog,
13 they've attacked numerous dogs. And what I'm saying to
14 you is this, that if they attack a child, it's going to
15 be a different thing.
16 And we're not going to want to
17 hear what Attorney Walsh has to say, what we're going
18 to want to hear is how did this happen.
19 And what I'm saying to this
20 Council, this mayor, this administration, Mr. Hayes and
21 the chief of police is, you know what, do what has to
22 be done, do it today, or really you should have did it
23 yesterday, okay? That's all I have.
24 MS. EVANS: Thank you,
25 Mr. Morgan. I agree. J.B. Davis. He is absent. And
0032
01 the next speaker is Andrew Porter.
02 MR. PORTER: Good evening, ladies
03 and gentlemen of City Council, as well as members of
04 Scranton, citizens of Scranton.
05 MS. EVANS: Mr. Porter, why don't
06 you pull that mic up closer? That's better. And also
07 if you could state your name and address for the
08 record.
09 MR. PORTER: Yes, I'm going to do
10 that now. Yes. My name is Andrew Porter, and I'm a
11 resident right in downtown Scranton.
12 I'd like to speak to you about my
13 perspective and personal experience with trying to
14 ascertain employment with the Scranton Housing
15 Authority, but prior to doing that, I'd like to tell
16 you a little bit about myself.
17 I've resided in Scranton for
18 approximately seven years, two of which was on the
19 West Side of Scranton, and a little more than five
20 years I've resided within the Scranton Housing
21 Authority right in Downtown Scranton.
22 Prior to talking to you about my
23 experience as far as Scranton Housing Authority, I'd
24 like to tell you a little bit about myself again.
25 I consider myself to be a security
0033
01 professional. I've done everything from director of
02 security for one of the largest and -- for one of the
03 largest banks in the country, one of their most
04 strategic installations, their remote command center, I
05 was the director of security there for over six years.
06 I was also chief of security at
07 State College, and I've done everything from designed
08 security systems to setting up security for Night of
09 100 Stars and also the Tony Awards in New York City.
10 One of the reasons -- the reason
11 why I'm here is because I've had a personal experience
12 a couple of years ago, and I wanted to make some
13 recommendations and I wanted to ascertain employment
14 with Scranton Housing Authority.
15 I've chose to try to set up a
16 meeting with then the executive director, Mr. Baker,
17 for more than a week, and I couldn't get an audience
18 with him, so I think I made the mistake of writing a
19 letter to HUD.
20 And all I did, I didn't make any
21 negative connotations towards Scranton or anyone that
22 works with Scranton Housing Authority or anybody from
23 Scranton, but I simply explained who I was and what my
24 experience was, that I thought I had some ideas that
25 would help the security and safety of the residents of
0034
01 Scranton Housing Authority.
02 Well, I got a letter back saying
03 that I had some real good ideas, but it was nothing
04 that they could do and I should refer back to Scranton
05 Housing Authority.
06 Well, as it is, I'm on
07 Social Security right now, and I've been cleared to go
08 back to work for more than a year now, and I feel like
09 I'm ready to go back to work.
10 Now, I'm not here to take
11 anybody's job, I don't mind starting from the middle, I
12 don't even mind starting from the bottom, what I would
13 say is is that I'd just like to have the opportunity to
14 at least ascertain a job -- to ascertain employment
15 here to show what I can do as a security expert. And I
16 do have experience, also, in maintenance.
17 I've been told that there's a lot
18 of racism here, there's bigotry and so on and so forth.
19 I refuse to believe that, okay?
20 in my personal experience, I've
21 worked with Blacks, Whites, Puerto Ricans, Chinese,
22 Germans, so on and so forth.
23 I've had a personal conversation
24 with one of Scranton's finest residents, Mr. John
25 Pocius, we shared personal experiences as far as shop.
0035
01 He talked about being the police
02 chief here in Scranton, and I talked about some of my
03 personal experiences as a security expert.
04 And I don't believe that this
05 City Council, as well as Scranton itself, would fall
06 back and feed on racism and bigotry.
07 I've spent a lot of my time, and I
08 know my time is up, but I've spent a lot of my time in
09 the city of New York, and the city of New York is one
10 of the greatest cities in the world.
11 The reason why it's one of the
12 greatest cities in the world is because of the
13 diversity, the contributions from all people.
14 So, the question I pose to you as
15 Council members is, Am I forgetting something or is it
16 something that you could suggest to you to me that I do
17 to increase my chances of employment with the Scranton
18 Housing Authority?
19 MS. EVANS: Have you made
20 application recently?
21 MR. PORTER: Yes, I did. I was
22 told by -- and in fact, of the managers there, and also
23 I have a wealth of experience in maintenance, also.
24 In fact, the manager was nice
25 enough to supply me with paint, and I just today
0036
01 finished painting my apartment again after being there
02 for over five and a half years. I did that myself.
03 The application was put in about a
04 week ago. I have references from owners of
05 corporations from New York that I've worked for, as
06 well as a couple of managers there, Scranton Housing
07 Authority. Other than that, I don't know what to do.
08 MS. EVANS: Did you inquire if
09 there were any vacancies; in other words, are there any
10 job opportunities currently?
11 MR. PORTER: Well, I couldn't tell
12 you that. I could tell you that about within a month
13 after I had submitted the information to HUD, and I've
14 lived there for five and a half years, that there was
15 in fact a security manager installed within a month's
16 time of that letter. I don't know if it was
17 coincidental or what.
18 Also, I can tell you that there
19 have -- since I live there, I see new people coming in
20 security daily, if not monthly, and also in
21 maintenance, also.
22 So, I don't know exactly what
23 their status is, but the application is there, the
24 experience and the know-with-all is there on my part.
25 I'm ready, willing and able to work. I think I bring a
0037
01 host of experience, and I think Scranton Housing
02 Authority, as well as the citizens of Scranton will
03 deny themselves of some expertise in security and
04 maintenance by not looking -- at least taking a look at
05 what I have to offer.
06 MS. EVANS: I agree. Thank you,
07 Mr. Porter. Jim Stucker.
08 MR. STUCKER: Hi, Mr. Courtright.
09 MS. EVANS: Hello.
10 MR. STUCKER: Hello. We had a big
11 fire Monday in the alley down where I live, a big blue
12 house caught on fire Monday. A lot of stuff burnt.
13 Yeah, the guy's name is Ernie. He was in New York.
14 When he was New York, they were trying to get a hold of
15 him. They couldn't.
16 MS. EVANS: Jim, I just want to
17 stop you for one second. Did you give your name and
18 address to Kay?
19 MR. STUCKER: Okay. My name is
20 Jim Stucker, and I live on Moosic Street.
21 MS. EVANS: Thank you,
22 Mr. Stucker.
23 MR. STUCKER: All right. Okay. I
24 was there all day Monday watching the people come in
25 and out of the fire, and the fire got pretty hot and
0038
01 pretty burnt. The camper got it, the side of the
02 pickup got it. Ernie, the guy named Ernie is down
03 there now working on it, taking some stuff out of the
04 house.
05 The house is, the insurance has
06 it. It's in the insurance company.
07 MS. EVANS: Oh.
08 MR. STUCKER: So, the same with
09 the camper and the pickup.
10 MS. EVANS: Well, it sounds as if
11 the fire department did a fine job.
12 MR. STUCKER: Yeah, oh, yeah. We
13 didn't get them lines in yet, those white lines for
14 crossing down there on Moosic Street for us, crossing
15 lines.
16 MS. EVANS: Jay.
17 MR. STUCKER: I hope they can get
18 them done.
19 MS. EVANS: Crossing lines on
20 Moosic Street.
21 MR. SAUNDERS: I believe that was
22 from last week, I think we just sent that out.
23 MR. STUCKER: And I had to go to
24 court today, so --
25 MS. EVANS: We'll have to give
0039
01 that a little time. Thank you, Mr. Stucker.
02 MR. STUCKER: Thank you.
03 MS. EVANS: Mrs. Clutter.
04 MS. CLUTTER: Mrs. Clutter, West
05 Scranton. I belong to the West Side Neighborhood
06 Association and the West Side Crime Watch. I'm here
07 for a few different things.
08 First I want to thank Mrs. Evans,
09 because my children go to Frances Willard Elementary
10 School, and they're going into third and first grade,
11 and I personally see the teachers buying coats, hats,
12 gloves, boots, sneakers.
13 We had one little girl walk from
14 Saint Ann's Street to Eynon Street with no socks on
15 for, like, two and three days in a row and the
16 mother -- well, I volunteer in the school, like, every
17 day, and one of the teachers said to the mother, you
18 know, You can't do this. Well, I can't afford it.
19 And it's, you know, the teachers
20 know they can't afford it, and you just, you know,
21 volunteer. And we have Christmas boutiques and book
22 fairs, and the teachers are shelling out $20, $30 for
23 the students, and it's just very disheartening for
24 parents who, you know, your kids are there and you're
25 spending $30 on books, and they get $2. And all the
0040
01 books are $3 and above.
02 So, you know, we know there's a
03 lot of teachers out there who, you know, they're not
04 just teachers.
05 Another reason I'm here is on
06 Main Avenue and Luzerne Street, we were supposed to get
07 crosswalks, and we never received crosswalks.
08 And it's in the morning and in the
09 afternoon, it's worse in the morning when the people
10 are in such a hurry to go to work and from, the
11 crosswalk lady, you know, she calls and says, you know,
12 the people don't stop and there's no turn on red and
13 they're turning. Well, you have to get their license
14 plate number.
15 Well, when you're trying to cross
16 the kids and the kids are almost getting hit, it's very
17 difficult to do that. And the one lady, she had quit
18 because she had written down license plate numbers and
19 they never did anything about it.
20 And on Eynon Street and
21 Main Avenue, that also needs to be -- the crosswalks
22 need to be put there. A lot of children -- I was told
23 they couldn't put crosswalks on Hampton and
24 Main Avenue because --
25 MR. COURTRIGHT: There used to be
0041
01 one there.
02 MS. CLUTTER: There used to be.
03 There is crosswalks, they're just very faded. And
04 there used to be a stop sign there, as well, but the
05 stop sign was taken down. Well, I was told it was in a
06 car accident and it just was never put back up.
07 But my son, the one day we were
08 talking with a whole bunch of parents at the back of
09 the building on Hampton, so we just walked down
10 Hampton, and we were crossing, and my younger one, he
11 was in four-year-old pre-school at the time, and he was
12 almost.
13 And I went home, I called, you
14 know the principal and then I called the police, and
15 they said, You know, there's nothing we can do, because
16 it happened so fast, I couldn't get the license plate.
17 So, a lot of the kids who live on
18 Hampton Street and down farther go to Hampton and cross
19 there, and they don't go up to, you know, up to Eynon
20 Street where they actually should cross, but they
21 don't.
22 And a lot of them are the middle
23 schoolers who, you know, are too cool to cross -- and
24 have the old lady cross them, and they're just, you
25 know, walking in front of the street and everything.
0042
01 The other reason I'm here is for
02 Fellows Park. I wasn't going to come, because one of
03 the members of the neighbor association had called one
04 of the women in the crime watch and told her to shut
05 her mouth and mind your own business and don't worry
06 about it because we're handling it, and I don't, you
07 know, I don't want to get them mad because I know
08 they're trying to get stuff done, but it's not
09 happening fast enough.
10 There was a town hall meeting
11 here, and that's what got me initiated into it, because
12 I was taking my kids to the park and the playground was
13 broken. There was beer bottles all over, broken glass
14 all over.
15 And I spoke to Mr. Scopelliti, and
16 he said, he's the one that put me in touch with the
17 crime watch, the neighborhood association, and he said,
18 Call me. Whenever you have a problem, call me, call
19 me, call me.
20 So, I began to call him, and one
21 day after school my children and my friend and I were
22 walking through the park and my son went down the
23 slide. Well, there was dog feces in the slide.
24 And I called Mr. Scopelliti and I
25 told him that my son had to proceed all the way home
0043
01 covered in the dog feces. And he said, I can't go
02 around to the different parks in Scranton and be a
03 pooper-scooper.
04 And I said, I'm not asking you to
05 do that, I'm asking you to put up a fence. Put up, you
06 know, dog signs. I said, there's the woman who lives
07 in the alley across the street behind the bar, and
08 every morning at a certain time before school, she lets
09 the dogs out.
10 They're not on a leash, and they
11 go in the yard. I've approached her twice. And she
12 said, Oh, no, it's the other woman, it's the other
13 woman.
14 And I told her what happened to my
15 son, and she said, Well, I can't deal with that. Well,
16 for me being a parent and having my son have to walk
17 two blocks covered in this and having three or four
18 other kids there and seeing him, it was very
19 disheartening.
20 And in Frances Willard, one of the
21 fifth grade teachers and I went to the park, we cleaned
22 up the park, we planted flowers, we raked leaves, we
23 painted the benches.
24 And a lot of my friends would
25 tease me because he W's were kind of, you know, sloppy
0044
01 and everything, but it was really windy that day, so,
02 you know, we did the garbage cans and everything.
03 We were supposed to get new
04 benches put in, we were supposed to get a fence. I was
05 told that the bar on the corner there, that they had
06 taken part of the space that was actually part of the
07 park and they made it their parking lot so they cut
08 part of the park.
09 I was also told that the reason no
10 one is doing anything for the park is because the city
11 is waiting for all of that -- all the houses to be
12 bought and so that they can sell it.
13 But I was told at a crime watch
14 meeting by Lieutenant Murphy, before he retired, that
15 Mr. Fellows, who he was a fire chief or a police chief
16 or he was something, he's actually buried there in
17 that -- that's why that statue is there.
18 And I called Mr. Scopelliti and I
19 said, There are things that need to be fixed in that
20 park. And he just blew me off. And there are safety
21 concerns. There's screws on the small slide on the
22 back of it that are missing, there's, like, nuts and
23 bolts that are missing.
24 There was a crack going down the
25 straight slide, and there was a big crack in it, like a
0045
01 gouge, and one of my sons and my friend's son went down
02 and they both cut the back of their legs because they
03 were wearing shorts.
04 Well, they took, like, a -- like a
05 super glue --
06 MR. COURTRIGHT: Mrs. Clutter,
07 that's not the same crack from last year they fixed?
08 MS. CLUTTER: Yes.
09 MR. COURTRIGHT: There's a new
10 one?
11 MS. CLUTTER: No, it's the same
12 one, but they put -- they put, like, a super glue on it
13 to fix it, but it didn't adhere properly and it still
14 sticks up.
15 MR. COURTRIGHT Because I remember
16 you brought that up last year and we asked for it to be
17 fixed.
18 MS. CLUTTER: Yes. And it wasn't
19 fixed. And the tops of the playground, the metal
20 parts, they have, like, these plastic, like, covers on
21 it, and they just never -- they all broken off and it's
22 just never fixed.
23 MS. EVANS: Thank you,
24 Mrs. Cutter, very much for coming to Council.
25 MS. CLUTTER: Well, I'm very
0046
01 nervous, and I know everyone is going to be mad at me
02 for bringing all this stuff up, but it's very -- it
03 needs to get fixed.
04 MS. EVANS: I thank you for all of
05 your comments and concerns. I invite you back again
06 next week, and we will send notice to Mr. Scopelliti,
07 because I'm well aware that Fellows Park has had the
08 same problems now for over a year, and not much has
09 been done to take care of it, and we'll also get on the
10 crosswalks in those three areas. I'm sure Kay took
11 note of that.
12 MS. CUTTER: We were supposed to
13 get benches and everything, but the people that live
14 across the street, their children ruin everything.
15 Like, the neighborhood association
16 did put in a wooden picnic table, they put in two, and
17 they completely broke it and demolished it, so the new
18 equipment that we need to get there has to be like the
19 metal, you know, like the metal picnic tables so that
20 they can't demolish it.
21 MS. EVANS: Yes.
22 MS. CUTTER: So we can make it
23 better.
24 MS. EVANS: We will definitely
25 look into this for you.
0047
01 MS. CUTTER: Thank you.
02 MS. EVANS: Thank you very much.
03 Dick Laske.
04 MR. LASKE: John,
05 (UNTRANSCRIBABLE). How are you? I didn't mean to wake
06 you, John. No offense. Now, just stay cool.
07 Okay. I had a lot of things wrote
08 down here, and you're wondering who I am?
09 MS. EVANS: Indeed.
10 MR. LASKE: I'm the good-looking
11 guy that was talking to you in front of your house.
12 Dick Laske, 1082 West Market Street.
13 MS. EVANS: Thank you.
14 MR. LASKE: Okay. But seriously,
15 doesn't state law supersede city law?
16 MS. EVANS: Yes.
17 MR. LASKE: Okay. The state law
18 specifically states you must have your dog under
19 control at all times. Now, I know this might sound
20 radical, and any animal lovers, don't shoot at me, but
21 I was born on a farm, and the way we treated mean dogs,
22 it's really quite simple, you just put a little piece
23 of lead either in its left ear or its right ear, stops
24 it from biting. You know what I'm saying?
25 I'm sorry, Janet. I didn't shoot
0048
01 your dog. Okay. Enough of that. But seriously,
02 that's the law, because I raised Beagles for 35 years,
03 and I had one run over by a car in my neighborhood, and
04 I wanted to duke it out with the guy, and you know what
05 would have happened? He'd have me up Clarks Summit for
06 being nuts, because the law states it must be under
07 control.
08 And if a dog is running loose, it
09 is not under control, regardless. And there's not a
10 dog that was ever born that won't bite.
11 I like these people that say, Oh,
12 my dog don't bite, and all the while he's hanging on
13 your leg. Come on, get real, Lady. You know what I
14 mean? Okay. Enough is enough, right?
15 Okay. I want about the Sewer
16 Authority. Now, I was here quite a while ago and I
17 added it up, if you recall, I said I could feel sorry
18 for Janet, and it was $42 million for five years.
19 Now, I know they have expenses,
20 but you know what's going to happen with our Sewer
21 Authority, now, I'll make a prediction, and I home I'm
22 100 percent wrong, a few years down the road they're
23 going to be looking for money, because anything
24 mechanical is prone to break, right?
25 And when it happens, it's going to
0049
01 happen, and it's going to be another burden. Now, this
02 is purely a suggestion, but I'm from the old school,
03 you take care of the pennies, the dollars watch
04 themselves.
05 Now, why can't the Sewer
06 Authority, it's not run by the water company, am I
07 correct?
08 MS. EVANS: That's correct.
09 MR. LASKE: Okay. Why can't the
10 man down there that gets a lot of money squirrel some
11 money away? It's no sin to have a little cash.
12 Squirrels have been hiding nuts for centuries. They
13 seem to do all right. Why can't you squirrel a couple
14 dollars away and have it when you need it, you know
15 what I mean?
16 And, John, when Green Ridge Street
17 or East Market Street bridge opens, I'll flip you.
18 Either you buy my lunch or I'll buys yours at the
19 Taurus Club. I'll be so happy, I'll want to jump and
20 celebrate.
21 MR. POCIUS: I'll buy.
22 MR. LASKE: Huh?
23 MR. POCIUS: I'll buy.
24 MR. LASKE: Okay. But it's on the
25 way, because I almost got run over yesterday trying to
0050
01 walk over with my bad back and I almost got ran over.
02 Okay. What else have I got?
03 $42 million, can I have that job next? I'd love to
04 have a Volvo like Mr. McTiernan's. Marie has one,
05 because I married a rich woman.
06 Okay. Now, the collection agency,
07 that's another thing that got my blood boiled about 210
08 ready to bubble. They have been nothing but trouble.
09 I can speak personally. They told
10 me I didn't pay my bill. Well, like a dummy, I
11 destroyed the letter. But being a little radical, I
12 insisted upon an apology. And I got one when
13 Mr. Reap was on Council. I should have kept that.
14 But, I mean, let's be honest. I
15 remember the night that the two people here, the
16 elderly people, that lady almost cried. Well, she
17 don't have any more sewage problems, because she's in
18 the Cathedral now. Once you go through the gates, the
19 bills stop.
20 But seriously, you got to do
21 something about that. When that thing comes up, vote
22 it down. I know whose brainchild it is, but I won't
23 say.
24 But in all reality, I'm like a lot
25 of other people in this town, I don't work anymore, I'm
0051
01 not crying poverty, but I am on a fixed income, and I
02 can't go much farther, you know what I mean?
03 Because in all reality, you people
04 there, most of you are younger than me, because I'll be
05 50 my next birthday, in all the reality, we need a
06 break.
07 And excuse me if I'm wrong, but
08 that episode with Mr. and Mrs. Chase was not solved by
09 that collection agency on Keyser Avenue, it was solved
10 by Nancy Krake, because I went down to the tax office.
11 And in all reality, for years and
12 years and years, we didn't need these people, you know
13 what I mean? All of a sudden we need them. Not
14 really.
15 Them people that's downstairs in
16 the tax office are very, very efficient. I have yet to
17 go into that office and be talked to sarcastic or
18 anything else, you know what I mean?
19 MS. EVANS: Yes.
20 MR. LASKE: Jay, what have I got,
21 30 seconds, Buddy?
22 MR. SAUNDERS: You're done.
23 MR. LASKE: I'm done. I've been
24 done since the twenties. John, one favor, give Jimmy
25 his scooter back, will you? Is that his name, Jimmy
0052
01 that has the scooter?
02 MR. POCIUS: I heard it's up in
03 your garage.
04 MR. LASKE: It was, but I don't
05 have a garage, John. It's under the back porch.
06 MR. POCIUS: Okay.
07 MS. EVANS: Thank you, Mr. Laske.
08 MR. LASKE: Thank you very much.
09 Have a nice night.
10 MS. EVANS: And you also. That
11 concludes tonight's sign-in sheet. If any speakers
12 would like to address Council from the audience, you
13 may do so at this time.
14 MR. NEWCOMB, JR.: Good evening.
15 Charlie Newcomb, Cameron Avenue, Keyser Valley.
16 First before I get into what I basically came here for,
17 I have a couple questions. Did we find out where the
18 pothole machine is yet?
19 MS. EVANS: Not that I've heard.
20 MR. SAUNDERS: Not yet.
21 MR. NEWCOMB, JR.: It amazes me,
22 amazing. Is anything being done about the problem on
23 Cameron Avenue, the water problem that I addressed a
24 couple times? Did we send letters to anybody?
25 MS. EVANS: I'm sure the letters
0053
01 were sent, Mr. Newcomb, but as yet, we haven't received
02 a response to those.
03 MR. NEWCOMB, JR.: I just don't
04 understand why these questions go on deaf ears all the
05 time. It really gets frustrating.
06 I, too, got a laugh, but I guess
07 the laugh would be in a different way than the
08 editorial to the Scranton Times, and the story that I'm
09 about to tell you in a couple minutes, let's see if
10 that makes it to the paper, and I can make a nice
11 editorial for that, as well.
12 I also see that in the paper this
13 week that we found $175,000 grant for a feasible study
14 at Nay Aug Park, but it just amazes me that we can't
15 get grants to put cops back on the street. That just
16 blows my mind.
17 And I hope you find this
18 interesting, as well. This past weekend I attended the
19 St. Joseph's Festival, like did many, and I finally saw
20 the mayor. And I went to approach him to ask him about
21 the Quick Response System, and he took off like a jack
22 rabbit faster than you've ever seen in your life.
23 So, that just has to tell me
24 something that, boy, am I doing something right if you
25 don't want to face me and answer my question.
0054
01 And I have to say at least two
02 dozen people came up to me and said that they are
03 seeing right through this guy, and that for the last
04 three and a half years he hid in his office, and now
05 he's out at the picnics shaking the hands, kissing the
06 babies, but it's a little too late, because he's
07 sinking.
08 But I'm glad to benefit us that
09 he's doing this, because the people are seeing right
10 through them. So, I say to Mr. Doherty, keep up the
11 good work.
12 I'm about to tell you something,
13 and put your seatbelts on, because this is a good one.
14 Weeks upon weeks upon weeks we've seen in the newspaper
15 that the mayor is at the zoo at Nay Aug Park and he's
16 doing this and they're getting this money and they're
17 getting that money, and before I go into telling you
18 the story, I have to apologize to Mrs. Miller at the
19 Wildlife Center, because I was under the impression, as
20 well as many taxpayers and probably people on Council,
21 that they were getting a lot of money from this city
22 and it was wrong for them to charge a fee, and I was
23 the first person to come to this podium and say that it
24 is wrong for them to charge a fee because of the money
25 that they are receiving.
0055
01 Well, this past Friday I had a
02 meeting with Mrs. Miller, a long with a couple other
03 taxpayers, to be there so they can witness what I was
04 told what I was going to this meeting for, and what I'm
05 about to tell you is going to put a huge, huge hole in
06 the mayor's political life preserver, and what I mean
07 by that is, it seems to me that he's using Nay Aug Park
08 as his political life preserver to stay afloat.
09 Well, first let me say that what
10 I'm about to tell you comes directly from Mrs. Miller,
11 and maybe if Kay can give you these and I can continue
12 on talking, I'd appreciate it.
13 She will not come to this meeting
14 because she is afraid to death, and I say that because
15 that's what she told me, of Mr. Scopelliti and this
16 mayor.
17 On a weekly basis this man treats
18 her like he treats the other employees. It's pretty
19 good. She was told never ever to come to a City
20 Council meeting, never to speak to you, Mrs. Evans,
21 because Mr. Scopelliti said that you hate the zoo and
22 you hate the animals and you want to close it.
23 To clarify again for everybody,
24 this zoo is actually not a zoo, it is a wildlife
25 center. Mrs. Miller rescues the animals. She was
0056
01 approached by the city four years ago to bring her
02 animals to the city.
03 She was told she would have full
04 use of the building, the food paid for, the cleaning,
05 the maintenance and anything that she needs.
06 Well, guess what, just like the
07 rest of us, she was lied to. The only thing that she
08 has received from this city is the $50,000 a year that
09 the recreation authority gives her.
10 And as you can see on that paper
11 that I gave you, the $50,000 is broken down to a salary
12 of a full-time person, a part-time person, and her
13 accountant and the other federal things that she has to
14 do with taxes.
15 The total comes out to $48,060 a
16 year. So, that leaves her basically zero to operate
17 this zoo.
18 On the next page, and let me just
19 go before you read any further, these pieces of paper,
20 Mrs. Miller had a meeting with Mr. Scopelliti and the
21 mayor, and they ripped them up and threw them back in
22 her face, but little did they know that she had other
23 copies to give to me.
24 It says down the bottom, $5,721 a
25 month, food, meats, cleaning supplies and so on. That
0057
01 is what this woman is paying out of her pocket every
02 single solitary month to keep this wildlife center
03 afloat.
04 She also pays $400 a month for a
05 reptile show that the mayor wanted, and she can't get
06 any money from him to do it.
07 She also told me that citizens
08 have donated money. One person came to her, said that
09 she donated $500. She never saw it.
10 She, Mrs. Miller, endorsed a check
11 from the Recreation Authority for $2500 for Allied
12 Services, never got it. That was last year.
13 She got $3,300 donation, which was
14 all over the newspaper last week from
15 Leadership Lackawanna. She endorsed the check, never
16 got the money.
17 Where is the money? Where is all
18 the money going? People donated new tiles for the
19 floor, new windows, where are they?
20 Mr. Scopelliti continues to scream
21 at this woman when she asks him for help. Two weeks
22 ago Mrs. Miller had the opportunity to rescue a monkey
23 from a closed zoo in Ohio. She asked Mr. Scopelliti
24 for a simple favor, that was to get a piece of fence so
25 that she can split a cage in half so she can introduce
0058
01 the monkeys to the other monkeys that were there.
02 Guess what? He yelled at her and
03 told her no. All he had to do was go buy a $30 or $40
04 piece of fence to put at the zoo, but we can spend
05 $290,000 on a waterslide, we can pay $300,000 for a
06 dangerous trail, we can pay $700,000 for a slime pond,
07 but we can't spend 50 bucks to save a monkey so that
08 the children can look at. And guess what, this monkey
09 went to a medical lab.
10 In closing, again, there's so much
11 information here that I can literally stand here for
12 25 minutes. Mrs. Miller asked me to please expose this
13 problem, and I begged and begged and begged
14 her to come to this meeting, and she won't, because
15 she's afraid.
16 And it's disgusting that a woman
17 is afraid of this man. And I tell Mr. Scopelliti, you
18 go tomorrow and you say something to her, and I
19 guarantee you, I will be at this meeting next week, and
20 I will let the 90,000 people that watch this meeting,
21 and you know, of his disgusting tactic.
22 And I dare him to question me on
23 what I have to say. And in closing, and if you have
24 questions for me, I will be more than happy to answer
25 them, she is going to close the zoo as of June 30th,
0059
01 because she cannot afford to keep this zoo going
02 anymore.
03 So, I'm asking Council, next week,
04 whatever you have to do, do a caucus, get her in here,
05 if she'll come, get Mr. Scopelliti in here, get the
06 Recreation Authority and ask them where this money is.
07 The mayor was on TV last week in
08 his fake address and told us that the money -- that we
09 have to charge kids to go swimming because we have to
10 keep the zoo afloat. Well, where is the money? That's
11 what I want to know.
12 MS. EVANS: Thank you,
13 Mr. Newcomb.
14 MR. COURTRIGHT: Mr. Newcomb, you
15 know, there's some pretty serious accusations you're
16 making, there, you know?
17 And I'm not saying that they're
18 not true, so I hope you don't take offense to this, but
19 I would be willing to speak to Mrs. Miller. I would
20 like for her to confirm, you know, you're saying this
21 man is abusive towards her, you're saying and the mayor
22 is abusive, you're saying there's fraud with money,
23 with donations, so I would ask you, if it's possible,
24 to contact her and ask her to talk to me, because I
25 would like to speak to her in person, because that's
0060
01 some pretty serious stuff you're saying there.
02 MS. EVANS: Well, I think we
03 might be better served to have a public caucus meeting
04 among all of those involved. Perhaps we could --
05 MR. COURTRIGHT: She's afraid,
06 though, right?
07 MS. EVANS: Well, this will be a
08 public meeting, and we'll all be present, and I'm sure
09 in our presence everyone will behave in a civil manner,
10 and if she would like to come in, as well as
11 Mr. Scopelliti and any members of the
12 Recreation Authority, or whoever it is, we'll have to
13 determine, Jay, please, who is handling the monies for
14 the zoo.
15 And I agree with Mr. Courtright,
16 these statements and accusations have to be confirmed
17 by Mrs. Miller, and I'm sure we then can trace all of
18 the problems and help her solve them.
19 And it seems to me, though, if in
20 fact this is all correct --
21 MR. NEWCOMB, JR.: It's from her.
22 MS. EVANS: Correct. Yes, I
23 agree, you gave us information from her, but if this in
24 fact is the case and they're having such difficulty
25 supporting the current wildlife center, I would have to
0061
01 question the wisdom of a zoo expansion and the hiring
02 of 20 individuals if we're not taking care of business
03 as it stands.
04 MR. NEWCOMB, JR.: On that note,
05 Mrs. Evans, and I will be real, real, real fast, when I
06 was up there for that meeting, she got about 25
07 messages on her answering machine for people calling
08 for applications because this was in the paper.
09 And she just had to let three of
10 her workers go because she can't afford to pay them
11 anymore.
12 And, Mr. Courtright, I would, and
13 I'm not disagreeing with anything you say, I was
14 tempted whether I should come to this podium and say
15 this or not, but it came right from her mouth.
16 And I'm not disagreeing with you,
17 I'm just telling you for the record, believe me, if I
18 ever came to this podium and said something that wasn't
19 true, these people would have me on the front page of
20 the paper, believe me, or in an editorial or some other
21 farce way of getting back at me.
22 But I was so disgusted and
23 aggravated when I got done talking to this woman, I
24 wanted to go see Mr. Scopelliti myself and ask him
25 these questions.
0062
01 And I took three other citizens up
02 there with me so they could see this, and I'm going to
03 make this statement, and I mean every word of it, if
04 what I just said at this podium is not true, I will
05 never, ever, ever come to a City Council meeting ever
06 again. Thank you.
07 MS. EVANS: Thank you.
08 Mr. Saunders, let's try to have that caucus as soon as
09 possible, hopefully next week at whatever time we have
10 to squeeze it in.
11 Pardon? Okay. I think, though,
12 this should take precedence over -- we were looking to
13 schedule a meeting with Mr. Parker, Mr. Lennox, etc.
14 If we could maybe postpone that
15 for a week or two and try to get this scheduled in its
16 place.
17 MR. SAUNDERS: I'll take care of
18 that.
19 MS. EVANS: And if that's not
20 possible for next week, then let's just put a go-ahead
21 on the former meeting. Would you state your name and
22 address, please, for the record?
23 MR. LYMAN: Raymond Lyman.
24 MS. EVANS: And your address,
25 Mr. Lyman.
0063
01 MR. LYMAN: Phelps Street.
02 MS. EVANS: Thank you.
03 MR. LYMAN: The first thing I want
04 to know, and you can answer this in motions, when is
05 Olive Street and Capouse Avenue ever going to be paved?
06 MS. EVANS: Mr. Lyman, in fact
07 that was a matter I was going to bring up myself this
08 evening. I agree with you. We've been waiting a long
09 time. We've been waiting over a year. I started
10 asking about that over a year ago.
11 Mr. Parker has indicated twice
12 that this would be paved this spring.
13 MR. LYMAN: Oh, so it is going to
14 be paved?
15 MS. EVANS: Well, that's what I
16 had been told in the past, but I'm still waiting. I've
17 noticed that very recently it was once again patched,
18 and that's insufficient, because it's been patched
19 umpteenth times.
20 MR. LYMAN: It's terrible.
21 MS. EVANS: Right. That's no
22 solution. This has to be paved, and this is something
23 we really can't overlook any longer.
24 MR. LYMAN: The cars are getting
25 so badly damaged.
0064
01 MS. EVANS: Yes.
02 MR. LYMAN: And now the important
03 thing. Now, I won a trip to New York City, and when I
04 was in New York City, now, I have to tell the whole
05 story to get to the point, now, when I was in New York
06 City, I met their mayor, their Council, you know, the
07 fire department and the police, you know, the police
08 station, the fire station, and I was interviewed by the
09 New York Post and the Daily, you know, the Daily News,
10 and a friend of mine told me, who lives here, that the
11 Scranton Times never mentioned anything about it.
12 And the paper came out June 3, so
13 the New York Post and the Daily News does come to
14 Scranton, and the Times Leader had an article about it.
15 Channel 16, 22, 28 never mentioned
16 anything about it. It's kind of odd. And when I was
17 there, I happened to tell my friend who's a lawyer, I'm
18 not going to mention his last name, but I'm going to
19 say his name, Michael, about this mayor, what he's
20 doing about these pool fees, Nay Aug and all these
21 other pools, about racism, about the poor, and he told
22 me to call the ACLU.
23 So, I called the ACLU and they
24 said I have a case and they're going to help me file a
25 lawsuit.
0065
01 MS. EVANS: Well, Ray, I think,
02 you know, that's certainly a private matter for you,
03 something that, you know, you can pursue on your own,
04 but --
05 MR. LYMAN: Well, they said, they
06 told me that the 76,000 people of the City of Scranton
07 versus Christopher A. Doherty, I think that's his name,
08 Christopher A. Doherty, since he initiated the fee.
09 MS. EVANS: Well, Ray, we don't
10 even know that that is the case, but I really think
11 that this isn't the forum to discuss that, because
12 you're talking about really basically a private issue
13 for you, your conversation you had with an attorney
14 friend and, you know, suggestions that are made, so I'm
15 going to ask you let's change -- let's move on go to
16 the next topic.
17 MR. LYMAN: And he also asked me a
18 question to the city, whatever happened to all the tax
19 dollars that we paid this year that went to all these
20 pools? We pay all the money of our taxes that go to
21 these pools.
22 MS. EVANS: Ray, not all of our
23 tax money goes to support the pools. Obviously our tax
24 dollars are going in myriad directions.
25 MR. LYMAN: I know, but we take
0066
01 some money that --
02 MS. EVANS: Yes. There's money
03 allocated through Parks and Recreation through the
04 capital budget, through the general fund.
05 MR. LYMAN: And I'm not talking
06 about charging a fee, I'm talking about some money
07 going to these pools.
08 MS. EVANS: That's true, Ray.
09 MR. LYMAN: Now, where are these
10 monies going? Where did that money went?
11 MS. EVANS: Well, we'll try to
12 find that out, and hopefully you'll come --
13 MR. LYMANS: My friend told me
14 it's kind of odd that it disappeared.
15 MS. EVANS: Well, we'll try to
16 track this down, Ray, and thank you very much for your
17 comments and hope you'll come back next week.
18 MR. LYMAN: And the ACLU is also
19 going to do an investigation.
20 MS. EVANS: Okay. Ray, we'll
21 discuss that next week. Thank you.
22 MR. LYMAN: Okay.
23 MS. PILOSI: Good evening,
24 Council, Violet Pilosi, taxpayer, resident of
25 South Scranton.
0067
01 I am going to be very brief
02 tonight, I would like to know why it's so hard to find
03 out where our pothole fixing machine is. Such a huge
04 piece of equipment that cost us taxpayers money, and
05 nobody knows where it is for weeks and weeks? What is
06 the problem? Nobody has --
07 MS. EVANS: I haven't seen it out
08 myself. I'm wondering, just as you are, is it parked
09 at the DPW garage.
10 MS. PILOSI: How much effort has
11 been put into finding it?
12 MS. EVANS: Pardon?
13 MS. PILOSI: How much effort has
14 been put into finding it?
15 MS. EVANS: Well, I know that
16 we've been making that effort, but with no success.
17 MS. PILOSI: Okay. I'll wait one
18 more week. I only have one more statement to make, and
19 I'd like to make it to the solicitor for the
20 Recreation Authority, attention Attorney Paul Kelly,
21 you've heard it from me before and you'll hear it from
22 me again, where are the financial reports and where's
23 the money? I'd like to know.
24 I've said it to you before and I'm
25 saying it to you again, Paul, where's the money? Thank
0068
01 you.
02 MR. NEWCOMB, SR.: Charlie
03 Newcomb, Sr. again, 104 North Grant, Scranton. I'll
04 also be brief, too.
05 Mr. Courtright, just on your
06 comments before when you had some dialogue there with
07 Mrs. Williams, I also watched the replay and I know
08 what you said, and it wasn't what, you know, she said
09 you said, but I just want to make it a little bit clear
10 on unions and why we have the problems with the
11 arbitration, I also am proud to say that for the past
12 29 years, that I'm also a member and was an official of
13 the Teamsters Union 229, still am a proud member, and
14 they've also helped me out, too, when I needed help
15 with certain ideas and different things, and I would
16 just like to say when the question about the manning
17 clause came up last week or they asked you why and they
18 were waiting for you people to, you know, everything
19 was like this pre-programmed for them to speak about
20 the manning clause, what people don't understand is is
21 this, the magic word in any union with their employees
22 is contract.
23 Mrs. Evans works in a school
24 district, Mr. McTiernan works in a school district, and
25 I believe that Mr. McTiernan, when we had a couple of
0069
01 meetings with the unions when we ran for office
02 together, stated that, you know, he was on both sides,
03 he was on the union, now he's on the other end, so he
04 also knows, you know, what it is to be in a union and
05 what a union is all about, and the magic word there is
06 contract.
07 So, if we have a manning clause,
08 and what I mean by we, is the citizens in the city have
09 a manning clause, and we have all these benefits and
10 pensions and everything, we have them for one reason
11 and one reason only, that's because somebody negotiated
12 them, and that's the mayor, that's who negotiates the
13 city contracts, and the City Council approves them and
14 that's it, they're law.
15 So, when anybody says we're
16 getting socked in arbitration, we got it again, and
17 I've said it millions of times, we're going to lose a
18 million dollars, and we did, because I am a little bit
19 familiar with labor law myself.
20 The reason why this happens, and
21 Mr. Gervasi I believe stated it himself, was because
22 the city violates the contracts.
23 If we have a contract in writing,
24 and I don't care how broke we are, if we're distressed,
25 and we have a contract that says we pay John Smith $12
0070
01 an hour and "X" amount of dollars a month it costs for
02 the health care, well, guess what, we have to make sure
03 we pay John Smith $12 an hour an "X" amount for his
04 health care, because if don't, a third-party is going
05 to make sure that we do.
06 So, I just want to get that clear.
07 It's not the people in the unions that create this
08 problem, they're only asking for what they have coming
09 in the way of the contract, that they agreed to with
10 this city.
11 And one more thing about closing
12 about last week, the only thing I have to say to the
13 citizens and the good people of the city of Scranton
14 is, Read the writing on the wall. This is an election
15 year.
16 In May we had one heck of an
17 election, I'll tell you that, the way it turned out,
18 and I'm glad to say it's going on until November, but
19 my point is is this, when was the last time in the
20 last three and a half years, except once over there I
21 believe Mr. Kresefski sat with a budget did you see any
22 members of this administration here?
23 I don't care what they say, they
24 are here for one purpose, because it is an election
25 year. And for the comment that Mr. Scopelliti made
0071
01 about if anything happens, comes down the pike, I
02 believe was the word, that it's on the Council's head,
03 the only thing I have to say to Mr. Scopelliti and
04 people like him is, the world resolves, and what goes
05 around comes around, and someday, and I want to make
06 this as a statement, because I'm sure somebody will
07 say, Oh, he was threatened, this is just a statement,
08 because it goes out to anybody who's in the same
09 situation, someday people that have that attitude are
10 going to scream at somebody, and one day that person is
11 going to scream back.
12 So, all I can say is to any
13 citizens out there or any people that work for this
14 city that think that they're not treated the right way
15 or anything, there is places to go and people to talk
16 to, and maybe if this election goes around and we get a
17 new mayor and these people are not on the
18 administration, on the jobs anymore, maybe they will
19 realize what it is to be on the other side of that
20 fence. Thank you.
21 MR. LAMEO: Paul Lameo,
22 Snook Street, Scranton, Pennsylvania. I would like to
23 bring up a couple different things.
24 About three weeks ago I went to
25 Bill Fiorini and I asked him, I said, Bill, what's
0072
01 going on up on 32 Elmhurst Boulevard? They're cutting
02 the road right through there and no permits, no nothing
03 else. He said, Oh, I gave them a stop order, but they
04 refused to stop.
05 What makes me bring this up, last
06 week I watched Council, and you were bringing up the
07 stop order for Marywood. What good is a stop order,
08 because they don't stop?
09 He said, I gave them two stop
10 orders. I said, Don't we have a police department in
11 the City of Scranton? He said, Oh, they can't do
12 nothing. Now, maybe the president of the union can
13 answer that question, that they won't stop working.
14 Now, he's digging, he's putting
15 drains in and he's putting pipe in that's 8 inches in
16 diameter and everything else. No permit.
17 Then I'd like to know what kind of
18 a permit was pulled for the concrete work over at the
19 Guild Studio. It started out where this machine went
20 into the ground and it laid for months before anybody
21 got to it.
22 So now they start fixing the
23 sidewalks, but I see a city truck there putting in the
24 ramp for the people. Now, they're there doing the
25 sidewalks, but they can't put that handicap section
0073
01 in?
02 Now they're digging out a
03 driveway. Do they have a permit to do all that work?
04 And how much did they pay for that permit? I'd like to
05 get an answer on that.
06 Because I go up there and he says,
07 We can't stop them. I thought a stop order meant stop
08 work. And I said, Get the police department up there.
09 Oh, no, we've got to wait for Mr. Parker and we've got
10 to call DEP.
11 Why do you got to call Mr. Parker
12 to get a stop order? That's like asking Bob Farrell to
13 give you a decision on the pool. It's the same
14 difference.
15 So, that's all I have to say. I
16 mean, you've got two big things going on and no one is
17 stopping anything. No permits? The city don't need
18 the money. Thank you.
19 MS. EVANS: Thank you, Mr. Lameo.
20 Mr. Saunders, we're going to look into that
21 immediately, too.
22 MR. POCIUS: Jay, you don't have
23 to look into that. We were directly responsible for
24 the work at the Guild Studio. We did the design. Not
25 only were the permits taken out -- the project was
0074
01 delayed because of the highway occupancy permit, which
02 caused the driveway to be concreted.
03 But everything was submitted by
04 Scartelli Construction up to Mr. Fiorini months and
05 months and months ago for the permits, and I'll stake
06 my reputation that the permits were issued for that
07 project. It's way too visible not to be. I just take
08 that as an affront that someone would even say that,
09 okay?
10 MS. EVANS: Yes. And the first
11 situation, however, that Mr. Lameo --
12 MR. POCIUS: I have no idea what's
13 going on up there, Mrs. Evans.
14 MS. EVANS: Then let's, please,
15 look into that. Thank you, Mr. Pocius.
16 MR. POCIUS: You're welcome,
17 Mrs. Evans. Thank you.
18 MS. SIMMONS: Good evening
19 City Council Persons. My name is Reverend Cathryn
20 Simmons, and I am a Scranton resident.
21 Peace onto each of you. I watched
22 last week with great interest the public testimony of
23 some persons who came forward to this podium. My first
24 thought was to get up off the couch and run on down
25 here, but my running days are over, so you have to put
0075
01 up with me tonight.
02 I could use some very descriptive
03 words to describe these people, amusing, abusive,
04 argumentative, are but a few.
05 I watched a person stand here and
06 say that if you are low income and live in public
07 housing, you don't know how to raise your children,
08 because in public housing, there are no neighbors'
09 lawns to cut. Children just shouldn't go to the pool.
10 This person needs to get out in
11 life and come to understand what if means to be a low
12 income family. I work with low income families every
13 day.
14 I have a young man who's
15 15 years of age, he goes out every day, he carries
16 groceries for people, he takes out neighbor's trash, he
17 walks dogs, and all of the money that this young man
18 earns, he gives to his mother to help her, because she
19 only makes $8.50 an hour.
20 How dare this man come to this
21 podium and say they're not responsible and they don't
22 know how to teach their child.
23 He needs to get out and learn what
24 it is to be Black, Hispanic or Asian. I've seen
25 children go through neighborhoods where not only
0076
01 wouldn't the people answer the door to let them work on
02 the lawn, but they slide the lock over to make sure
03 nobody gets in.
04 I watched as another person later
05 crossed this lector and asked questions, and then when
06 answers were attempted to be given to them, they
07 started accusing people of overshadowing them, trying
08 to stop them from getting their answer that they were
09 seeking.
10 Their questions concerned the
11 police department, and they in themselves were
12 embarrassing. Why are people constantly attacking the
13 police and fire department of this beautiful city?
14 These men and women scour these
15 streets daily 24/7. I have never yet heard when a
16 fireman goes to a home that's ablaze where the tenant
17 stops them and says, Wait a minute, is your union still
18 in arbitration?
19 When a police officer is called to
20 a business that's being robbed or has just been robbed,
21 I don't remember any business owner asking them, Are
22 you still unionized?
23 This city's history was built upon
24 the unionization of workers. Our county square holds
25 memories that are known across this nation.
0077
01 From this podium I'll say to you
02 tonight, praise all union workers. May those who've
03 come and passed be remember with love and respect, and
04 to those who are here today, I say to you, Fight on and
05 never give up. You are loved by many of us.
06 To those of you who are seated in
07 seats called City Council, to you who are seated in
08 seats called union, and to you who are seated in the
09 seats called riff-raff, I tell you to go to Psalm 21,
10 it's a prayer for help against the wicked.
11 Let it be the nightly prayer for
12 all union members and all riff-raff, and, yes, even
13 Council members. Amen.
14 MS. EVANS: Thank you. Is there
15 anyone else who would like to address Council?
16 MS. YETKOWSKAS: Regina
17 Yetkowskas, Scranton resident and taxpayer.
18 In the early part of Mr. Doherty's
19 last four years as mayor, he created a 109-page
20 document called his Recovery Plan.
21 Whenever Mr. Doherty was pressed
22 because of his deficit spending, he often gave the same
23 excuse, it was simply that if Mr. Doherty was able to
24 implement his Recovery Plan, he would be able to
25 continue with his spending, selling the city's assets
0078
01 and still keep Scranton from going deeper in debt.
02 The most unique thing about
03 Mr. Doherty's Recovery Plan is that he kept its
04 contents the best secret for four years.
05 The Recovery Plan's contents rival
06 the World War II Manhattan Project, The Atomic Bomb.
07 On different occasions at this podium Mr. Gervasi often
08 referred to Mr. Doherty's secret recovery plan, but
09 only in the context that his union objected to various
10 parts.
11 If I recall, Mr. Gervasi did not
12 go into any specific numbers on which the Recovery Plan
13 is built. Over the entire four years, the Recovery
14 Plan has been in existence, Mr. Doherty's public
15 relations agent, The Scranton Times, never wrote even
16 one investigative article on the Recovery Plan's
17 contents, because whenever The Times referred to the
18 Recovery Plan in news stories, it always said the plan
19 was overwhelmingly accepted by the public.
20 The Times never wrote an opinion
21 article about the overall plan or any part of it.
22 Outside of its editorial page when the newspaper
23 printed its general phrase of the plan in news stories
24 without any published factual foundation, it was, in my
25 opinion, unprofessional and slanted journalism.
0079
01 The people should consider the
02 newspaper's conduct on the Recovery Plan so far, and
03 they will know this further reduces the paper's
04 credibility.
05 Sure, the people overwhelmingly
06 accepted the Recovery Plan because it was thought to be
07 the last hope to save our city. The people always
08 thought Mr. Doherty would either go on television alone
09 or appear before City Council to show with facts and
10 figures, that when he implements his Recovery Plan, how
11 the plan would restore Scranton to a financially sound
12 city.
13 For four years, he did neither.
14 He kept the contents of his Recovery Plan a city secret
15 and never went to the people to explain the plan's
16 effect.
17 I believe I am the first person to
18 do this, but at this time I, only one senior citizen,
19 publicly issue a challenge to Mr. Doherty to show the
20 people with facts, figures and calculations just
21 exactly what the amounts of his plans, revenues, cost
22 containments and savings would be as he claims.
23 Mr. Doherty should be given the
24 opportunity to show how his Recovery Plan is the
25 financial panacea for Scranton as he claims.
0080
01 We all know the Recovery Plan
02 vitally affects the lives of all the people 24 hours
03 each day if it produces the results Mr. Doherty
04 continuously claims, then I shall be very happy, but it
05 cannot continue to be kept a secret.
06 There are only two conditions to
07 my challenge, number one, Mr. Doherty must make his
08 figures and calculations immediately available to the
09 public for verification, and number two, he cannot use
10 the 2005 operating budget as proof of his position,
11 because I showed weeks before he excessively inflated
12 revenues, it is a phony budget constructed with smoke
13 and mirrors.
14 Input from Mr. Doherty's public
15 relations agent, the newspaper, is not requested,
16 because once the public has his figures and
17 calculations, it doesn't need the newspaper's
18 Doherty slant. The people will obtain a neutral and
19 objective opinion.
20 Mr. Doherty, now is the time for
21 you to put up or shut up on what you claim your
22 Recovery Plan will do for the people in Scranton.
23 Thank you.
24 MR. GERVASI: Wow, I had to pick
25 being after Regina. I'd like to mention just a few
0081
01 points that Regina made. First I'd like to thank the
02 Reverend Simmons for her kind words for the police and
03 firefighters. It doesn't usually happen.
04 MS. EVANS: I'm sorry. I'm sorry.
05 MR. GERVASI: Dave Gervasi,
06 Luke Avenue, Scranton, Pennsylvania.
07 MS. EVANS: Thank you.
08 MR. GERVASI: I'm sorry,
09 Mrs. Evans. But I'd like to thank the
10 Reverend Simmons, because we don't usually get too many
11 kind words in this building, and we haven't for the
12 last three and a half years. It's nice to hear
13 something like that every now and then.
14 I'd like to just expound on what
15 Mrs. Yetkowskas just mentioned, that -- I think I
16 mentioned this, and I think I asked a question of this
17 Council a few weeks ago, that the mayor keeps saying
18 that when the Recovery Plan is implemented, you know,
19 all, you know, the flowers are going to bloom and
20 everything is going to be peachy with the budget, but
21 I'll ask again, does anyone know what he's going to
22 do? He hasn't told us either.
23 MS. EVANS: No.
24 MR. GERVASI: Again, I'll tell you
25 what he's going to do. He's going to reduce your
0082
01 services, even though he gives them money and savings,
02 just like he gave the money the saved when he reduced
03 the clerical workers, instead of giving you tax relief
04 for less services, he gave the money to his non-union
05 employees in raises and new job creations and
06 consultants and whatever he had the sole discretion to
07 chose to do, because now he had control because of the
08 Recovery Plan.
09 Well, our message to the mayor,
10 and I believe it was during the Recovery Plan fight, I
11 chose, like I said before, I'm not a college educated
12 person like he is, he has a lot of experience in
13 business, he wrote the plan.
14 I simply read it twice and I was
15 willing to debate him on the few percentage of the
16 Recovery Plan that we thought was wrong, it was never
17 going to pass muster in court, but he chose to not talk
18 to us and he chose to spend $700,000 so far of your
19 money defending it.
20 So, if anybody does find out what
21 he's going to do when he implements the plan, please
22 let us know, it will be nice to know, but we're not
23 going to give him sole discretion to do anything he
24 wants and determine your safety with him just saying,
25 Trust me.
0083
01 Well, after what has happened in
02 the last three and a half years, I don't have too much
03 trust in that.
04 A little eye opener last week,
05 too. I don't know if anybody really knew this, but, I
06 mean, you hear over and over about the police officers
07 that the Recovery Plan, the big problem with the police
08 officers is their minimum clauses, where you have an
09 equal amount of people on the shift, and the city just
10 has to get control of these cops and get control of
11 this contract and put people on a high-crime shift.
12 I didn't know this, but I found
13 out last week from Ann Marie Stulgis and from Nelson
14 Ancherani, that their contract does call for a
15 D shift, if they want to.
16 They have the management rights
17 right now to take officers from other shifts and put
18 them on a D shift during the high-crime area.
19 Why are they not doing it now?
20 Why do they need the Recovery Plan before they do that?
21 It's in the contract, the current contract now.
22 And the other eye opener was that
23 the minimum manning per shift is only nine people.
24 See, that's what unions do. Unions find out what are
25 safe levels, and we agree with the city to, please,
0084
01 don't go under this, because it could be detrimental to
02 the safety and the impact -- on the public safety on
03 the public and impact on ourselves.
04 So, all the union has in that
05 thing is that at least nine officers have to be on
06 every shift, just nine, just like Ann Marie Stulgis
07 said.
08 Do you really want two officers or
09 three or four officers guarding the entire city on any
10 given eight-hour shift? I don't think you do, but
11 that's all we do with our so-called we control the
12 city. No, we just give them bear minimums so we don't
13 get killed and the public doesn't get killed, that's
14 all we do.
15 One other thing that Ann Marie
16 Stulgis brought up last week was, and I forgot about
17 this in the article, last Sunday's article in
18 The Times where they said that the unions are the cause
19 for the city borrowing $4 million a year.
20 Well, I want everyone to pay very
21 close attention to Nancy Krake's presentation tonight,
22 because I think with truth and documentation, how she
23 came up with these figures, you're going to find out
24 why they had to borrow $4 million.
25 Not because of the unions,
0085
01 because, again, the police and firefighters unions have
02 received nothing, zero, in any increases in the last
03 three and a half years, and on top of that, out
04 overtime in both departments were reduced.
05 So, we actually cost less than we
06 did when Mayor Doherty took office right now. So,
07 listen to the numbers and you'll find out why we have
08 to borrow $4 million.
09 One other thing, I had a call from
10 a friend, and I love coming up here and talking about
11 the Scranton Times, because they frustrate me daily
12 every time I pick up the paper.
13 And a friend called me who was a
14 journalist, and he says, Can you read -- I wrote
15 something up, because he has been frustrated, also,
16 he's not a journalist any more, he has his own
17 business, he has his own business, and he says,
18 Can you read something for me? And I told him I
19 would.
20 So, I would like to read this
21 little letter from a journalist, former journalist.
22 Once again the Scranton Times and the newspaper
23 publishers are hurting the credibility of other members
24 of the media in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
25 They continue with their
0086
01 relentless attack on fairness and accuracy. One of the
02 fathers of this great nation, Ben Franklin, must be
03 spinning like a top in his tomb in Philadelphia because
04 of the way the publishers of the Scranton Times
05 Tribune, the Lynetts, make a mockery out of
06 The First Amendment of this nation's Constitution.
07 Article 1 of the United States
08 Constitution guarantees the freedom of press.
09 Ben Franklin, a newspaper publisher himself, had much
10 to do with the writing of this article.
11 He believed to prosper, society
12 must have a free and open press. He felt that the free
13 press would help guarantee that the people would have
14 access to their government and the press would be the
15 bastion voice of the people, all of the people, rich,
16 poor, black, white, man or woman.
17 Instead, here in
18 Lackawanna County, the only daily newspaper is in bed
19 with the government. The publishers serve on the
20 Chamber of Commerce, sit on the board of -- may I
21 finish, Mrs. Evans?
22 MS. EVANS: Please wrap it up
23 quickly, Mr. Gervasi.
24 MR. GERVASI: Sit on the board of
25 community and regional organizations creating an
0087
01 obvious conflict of interest. Newspaper publishers
02 should be independent of internal involvement of
03 government, but the Lynetts think otherwise. They are
04 not part of the solution for Lackawanna County and
05 Scranton, but part of the problem.
06 For our community to grow and
07 prosper, a free and aggressive press is needed with one
08 standard for all.
09 During the past primary election,
10 the newspaper's publishers gave $4,500 help to re-elect
11 Mayor Doherty in campaign contributions.
12 Newspaper publishers involved with
13 a political campaign is outrageous. It goes on for two
14 more paragraphs. I'll finish it up next week.
15 MS. EVANS: Thank you.
16 MR. GERVASI: And I believe the
17 Safer Act we talked about last week, I met with our
18 public safety director, and he said that the city does
19 not want to take on the expense toward the end of that
20 program.
21 So, I said, Well, should we at
22 least apply for it, because you never know what is
23 going to happen with negotiations in the next few
24 months, and I said, maybe we can tie it in somehow, but
25 they felt that they don't want to do it, that they
0088
01 don't want to file for those grants because of the
02 expense that's incurred toward the end of the program,
03 which will be five years down the road. So, they're
04 not applying for that grant.
05 MS. EVANS: That's very
06 disappointing.
07 MR. GERVASI: Thank you.
08 MS. EVANS: Thank you.
09 MR. BUDZINSKI: Poor
10 Mr. Scopelliti last week --
11 MS. EVANS: Sir, I'm sorry to
12 interrupt, your name and address, please?
13 MR. BUDZINSKI: Oh, I'm sorry.
14 I'm sorry. Fred Budzinski, Jermyn Apartments.
15 MS. EVANS: Thank you.
16 MR. BUDZINSKI: Last week at the
17 Council meeting Mrs. Evans, you sure put him through
18 the ringer, and DiBileo asked him to resign right here,
19 oh, I couldn't believe it.
20 Anyway, following his speaking,
21 Dave Gervasi spoke up and said that wasn't
22 Mr. Scopelliti speaking, that was the mayor. He takes
23 his orders from the mayor, because the mayor's the CEO.
24 Now, a couple of months ago the
25 Scranton Times had a picture of the court between
0089
01 Jermyn Hotel and the garage, they finished that up and
02 there was no patch jobs and they did a good job. So,
03 to the Scranton Times, I give them credit for that.
04 And also in the Scranton Times, I
05 read an article in the paper that the two gentlemen
06 said that the average salary or the average wages is
07 $48,000 and $55,000, and I believe when they make
08 statements like that, they should back things up.
09 Anybody can say anything and not back things up.
10 And as far as them wages, I don't
11 know where they're coming from. I doubt if the school
12 teachers are up at that salary range or any of these
13 other good jobs, or even the policemen or the firemen
14 in that salary range.
15 So, anymore when they're making
16 statements, I hope they can always back things up and
17 not have us to believe them.
18 Now, also the manager at Gerrity's
19 over in West Side told me to mention that they have
20 this free service for the senior citizens in West Side
21 and Jackson Heights Apartments take advantage of it,
22 and use it or lose it. Thank you.
23 MS. EVANS: Thank you. Are there
24 any other speakers?
25 MR. HAYES: Good evening.
0090
01 MS. EVANS: Good evening.
02 MR. HAYES: I'm Ray Hayes,
03 Director of Public Safety, 2637 Cedar Avenue in the
04 city of Scranton.
05 I was just standing in the back,
06 and Dave Gervasi mentioned to me, he said, Oh, is this
07 your week to come to the meeting?
08 And I said, No, actually I was
09 down in my office working, and I had the TV on, and I
10 wanted to clarify some of the things that he had
11 mentioned here that I felt needed clarification.
12 Also, as you know, when requested,
13 we have appeared here. For two caucuses, I've been
14 here when requested, and this is my first time here not
15 requested, but I felt I just wanted to clarify a few
16 things okay?
17 First of all, Mr. Gervasi
18 mentioned that as he was standing here he was very
19 happy to hear the kind words from Cathryn Simmons
20 because he doesn't hear many kind words, that's not
21 true.
22 Two years ago I began a Public
23 Safety Recognition Day where we have honored in excess
24 of 50 firefighters and police officers for great work
25 they've done throughout the year, so that's not really
0091
01 totally accurate.
02 The second thing I want to
03 clarify, he mentioned about right now the
04 City of Scranton could implement a D shift that would
05 cover the high crime area, that's true, we do have the
06 right to do that; however, the way the contract is
07 structured, we don't have the manpower to do that
08 because we have to maintain certain minimums on each
09 shift and we would not be able to cover all the shifts
10 where we would be required to. That's number one.
11 Number two, he said that only nine
12 officers are required on each shift. He is the fire
13 spokesman, but now he speaks for the police department,
14 also. That's inaccurate, also.
15 It's 11 or 12 officers which are
16 mandated on each shift; however, that's not completely
17 accurate, because that could lead you to believe that
18 maybe there's only 11 or 12 officers actually on the
19 road. That's not true.
20 There may be 25 police officers
21 working that shift. There's highway cars that
22 investigate car accidents that don't count, there are
23 supervisors that don't count, there are lieutenants
24 that are working that don't count.
25 Every one of these officers carry
0092
01 a firearm, every one of those officers are trained,
02 every one of those officers can respond to a crime.
03 There are detectives working.
04 So, in reality when we're talking
05 about only nine officers on the street, the average
06 person, including some in this room would think, well,
07 jeez there's only nine police officers out there. That
08 is not accurate. There are several police officers,
09 much more than the 11 or 12. The problem is, none of
10 them go into the count.
11 So, I just want to clarify that.
12 I'm not going to try to get into a -- into collective
13 bargaining or go back into our contracts, but there are
14 three or four things that he mentioned this evening
15 alone regarding the police department, all of which are
16 not accurate.
17 The last thing I think I may have
18 heard when I came in the room, and correct me if I'm
19 wrong, I thought I heard him say that we weren't going
20 to apply for that fire grant, is that what was said?
21 MS. EVANS: Yes.
22 MR. HAYES: May I explain that to
23 you just a moment, that fire grant? President Gervasi
24 or Spokesman Gervasi and I had a conversation this week
25 about that grant, and he brought a number of issues to
0093
01 me, and I said, No, Dave, that's not the way the grant
02 is written.
03 What we did was, the responsible
04 thing to do is when you look at it at first, it looks
05 like free money, it's like when you go and buy
06 furniture, nothing down, no interest, no payment until
07 2007, but eventually the payment comes in, and what the
08 grant did was it was similar to the cops grant.
09 And we did research it, I took it
10 to Len Kresefski, our business administrator, I asked
11 him to cost it out to see if it's worthwhile, let's
12 jump on it, because we certainly want the money also,
13 if we can get it, there's no reason not to want free
14 money.
15 Well, if you cost the grant out,
16 it pays for a maximum the first year of $36,000 per
17 firefighter. Well, that doesn't cover the basic costs.
18 And then each successive year after that, you lose
19 additional funding because it's a less of a percentage
20 each year, until the final year, the fifth year, you
21 have to pay the entire cost.
22 And the way we figured it out, I
23 asked Linda to cost it out over that period, which
24 apparently that wasn't brought to your attention,
25 because I don't know if Mr. Gervasi cost the whole
0094
01 grant out, that's the responsible thing to do, to see
02 what it's truly going to cost you, because in reality
03 there is no free ride.
04 And we determined that that grant
05 for each firefighter, we would get $100,000
06 approximately from the federal government for each
07 firefighter; however, the city's cut of that would be
08 $110,000, which would cost the city an additional
09 $110,000 for each firefighter that we brought on board.
10 If you look over the grant, the
11 first concept in the grant talks -- it explains the
12 philosophy behind the grant. As I said, it's similar
13 to the cops program.
14 The first thing it says is, it's
15 designed to bring fire departments up to a status where
16 they have the ability to have a fire department
17 24 hours a day.
18 We have a fire department 24 hours
19 a day right now. It also talked about giving money to
20 volunteers and giving money to hybrid departments being
21 full-time and part-time firefighters.
22 But what the main crux of it is to
23 bring firefighters' departments up to the point where
24 they can in fact have firefighters 24 hours a day.
25 Again, I'm saying that we already have that.
0095
01 So, looking at that, we didn't
02 went to put possibly the next administration in the
03 same position where this current administration is,
04 where we have 29 police officers which did great work
05 under the cops program, under Clinton's program, did
06 excellent work; however, if you can't pay -- it's like
07 sort of buying on a credit card, if you can't pay
08 today, what is going to make you think you can pay down
09 the road?
10 Sooner or later the bill is
11 coming. So, we had to pay for 29 officers that we did
12 not have budgeted when we come on board, so we had to
13 to pay for those 29 officers, which put a strain on the
14 budget, all right?
15 So, we didn't want to do that
16 going forward, because we didn't -- first of all, we
17 don't have any contracts and right now we can't even
18 cost out a firefighter for the future.
19 So, we didn't feel it was prudent.
20 Not that we wouldn't like to get free money as anyone
21 else, but we didn't feel it was prudent at this time to
22 do that.
23 Just one other thing I'd like to
24 mention, I know, Mrs. Evans, you brought up, I think it
25 was two weeks ago, and I did speak with Jay regarding
0096
01 the use of radar in the city, I believe.
02 MS. EVANS: Yes.
03 MR. HAYES: I checked into that,
04 and that's been a bone of contention for a number of
05 years where local police have been trying to get the
06 use of radar, okay, and the legislature has never
07 really passed it. That was a bill. The house has
08 passed that legislation, but the senate hasn't acted on
09 it yet, and then it would have to go to the governor
10 and then it would be a pilot program within various
11 cities.
12 The problem with that is that
13 they're very conscious that municipalities will use
14 that primarily as a tool to generate revenue, and
15 there's a lot of safeguards built into that, but
16 certainly if that would become available, we would
17 certainly want to jump on the bandwagon. I just want
18 to let you know where that bill stands right now.
19 And I appreciate it. If you have
20 any other questions regarding the fire grant or
21 anything else I mentioned, I will be glad to answer
22 them. Okay. Thank you very much.
23 MS. EVANS: Thank you. Any other
24 speakers?
25 MS. KRAKE: Good evening again.
0097
01 My name is Nancy Krake, and I am a resident of the
02 City of Scranton.
03 I think it's very interesting that
04 Ray Hayes brought up costs, what people cost in the
05 city. The basic cost of Ray Hayes in his office is
06 quite expensive, and apparently he has a TV in his
07 office, which is news to me, but then again, the
08 monkeys at Nay Aug have TVs, too.
09 $4 million deficit is clearly the
10 result of salaries, administrative salaries.
11 Approximately $3.3 million, from 2002 through 2005.
12 Some of these examples -- some of these I can give you
13 examples of.
14 Human resources department,
15 $50,608; the IT department, $425,000. These are not
16 firefighters and police, they are not clerical workers
17 that are doing the day-to-day jobs, these are
18 administrative people.
19 Business administration office,
20 $798,000. Fabulous. Let's see where Ray Hayes is
21 here. Ah, public safety, $378,000. No wonder he
22 doesn't want more police and fire, he needs the money
23 for him.
24 There are many other examples, but
25 it came out to $3.3 million. And as I bring up every
0098
01 week, we've also paid $476,000 for an unfunded pension
02 for just this year alone. That bill will come every
03 year until all these people are no longer collecting a
04 pension, so you're looking at at least another 20
05 years.
06 On the small side, that's
07 $3.8 million approximately. To make up the difference,
08 plug in any number, you can use no-bid contracts,
09 professional services, and you'll see why we need
10 a $4 million loan and that we've used up the surplus
11 this mayor inherited from the previous administration.
12 Scranton Times reports as this
13 administration dictates, not as these facts dictate.
14 They have good reason to do this, too. If anyone was
15 driving in the downtown today, I'm sure they noticed
16 two banners for the Scranton Times, and I was wondering
17 how much, if anything, the times paid for the hanging
18 of these two banners.
19 I believe the policy was for city
20 workers to only hang banners for non-profit
21 organizations. In fact, last year a banner was removed
22 because it was for a business.
23 We might as well consider the
24 newspaper non-profit, however, since they have lost
25 approximately 30 percent of their business since they
0099
01 bought the Tribune.
02 How much of the remaining readers
03 actually believe in the credibility of this newspaper?
04 I think it's very apparent that many people are afraid,
05 including the people in the administration, of what
06 gets brought out at this Council meeting every week.
07 They've been showing up here religiously.
08 I have one more thing that I'd
09 like to mention, even though it's not directly related,
10 first of all Joanne Williams indicated that I insulted
11 the mayor, I'm sorry she feels that way, that's her
12 opinion, I was making an analogy. Maybe she didn't
13 care for it. I don't care for a lot of things this
14 administration does.
15 And last week Mr. Scopelliti, the
16 Director of Parks and Rec., told us that first and
17 foremost is he concerned about the lifeguard safety,
18 not the swimmer's safety, first, the lifeguards.
19 He also told us that these
20 lifeguards were city residents; however, the city has
21 hired lifeguards from Archbald, Dunmore, Dalton and
22 Moosic. Last year they did the same. So, they are not
23 all Scrantonians, as Mr. Scopelliti said. Thank you.
24 MS. EVANS: Thank you,
25 Mrs. Krake.
0100
01 MS. STULGIS: I'm Ann Marie
02 Stulgis, and I live in Scranton.
03 Earlier during the special meeting
04 I read off some bills. I did neglect to tell you that
05 they are not all the bills, they were just a couple
06 that I grabbed as I was leaving the house, and I think
07 it's interesting to note that they in and of themselves
08 total in excess of $25,000. I just don't know where
09 the Recreation Authority gets all their funds from.
10 I'm wondering if you all had the
11 privilege or the embarrassment of catching Channel 16,
12 not a member of the sensorship alliance, I might add,
13 during their news this week, we got to see a Scranton
14 fire truck being towed away from a fire scene. How
15 embarrassing.
16 I'm only grateful that the truck
17 was towed away after the fire and not when it was
18 called to respond to a fire, because this
19 administration has cut back on the number of fire
20 companies it allows to respond to fires. That would
21 have very serious consequences.
22 Also I notice that we're going to
23 get a grant for a study to see if we can expand the
24 zoo, the zoo, by the way, that we've learned tonight
25 probably isn't being funded.
0101
01 It's interesting to note that it's
02 okay to apply for a grant for the zoo, but it's not
03 okay to apply for a grant for public safety. That's
04 amazing.
05 And as we heard earlier, yes, some
06 of these grants for public safety do cost money, but
07 you're getting something. And if you listen to the
08 figures, it's half price. I love getting things for
09 half price, and that's what you get public safety
10 employees for if you accepted these grants. I think
11 it's a good deal.
12 I also came across something as I
13 was going through some old bills to note that Scartelli
14 was paid $8259 to do sidewalks in front of City Hall. I
15 find it ironic that the taxpayers paid $8,259 for
16 sidewalks in front of City Hall, but the city, OECD,
17 gave a grant to a private building owner to put new
18 sidewalks in front of the building where OECD moved
19 where they now pay $4200 a month rent to that private
20 business owner, too. That's interesting.
21 Also, we paid for one laptop
22 computer and two notebook computers, and you can all go
23 on line and check and see how much they cost, they were
24 Del, we paid $9,382 for those three.
25 I have news for you, there is no
0102
01 way on god's green earth they should have cost that
02 much money. They really shouldn't have.
03 Also when we were giving away
04 recycling buckets, which, by the way, my garbage wasn't
05 picked up again, when we were giving away recycling
06 buckets, we had three signs made to show you how to get
07 to pick up your free recycling bucket, $975.70 for
08 three signs, but we're distressed.
09 Also, let me please once and for
10 all, and I will be happy to provide a copy of the union
11 contract to anyone, let me please clarify this manning
12 business.
13 Yes, you can have a D shift. Yes,
14 we mandate nine police officers on the road at all
15 times, that is patrol officers, they are the people who
16 wear the blue uniforms and who when a person calls,
17 they are the ones who respond.
18 Detectives do not respond to
19 calls, training division does not respond to calls, our
20 desk officer does not respond to calls, and our wagon
21 man, with the exception of a dire emergency, does not
22 respond to calls.
23 That leaves you nine patrolmen in
24 those little white cars in those blue uniforms
25 responding to calls.
0103
01 Anybody can turn anything any way
02 they want. Facts are facts. Patrolmen are the ones
03 who respond to the calls. Patrolmen are the people who
04 answer the radio and take care of the crime in the
05 city. That's what our minimum is.
06 We don't dictate other things. We
07 dictate how many patrolmen have to be on the road to
08 protect the people in this city and the 27 square miles
09 of this city.
10 Now, I'd like to share with you a
11 proposal I came across the other day. It's a proposal
12 from the Gibbons Company, and I'll only give you
13 excerpts because of time, it's the proposal they
14 presented to the City of Scranton.
15 And it starts off by saying that
16 the proposal outlines a broad array of services that
17 the Gibbons Company will provide to help the
18 City of Scranton.
19 The Gibbons Company will provide
20 Council to the mayor, members of the cabinet and others
21 in city government on the marketing implications of
22 issues, news media relations and response to breaking
23 stories.
24 Communications policy, the Gibbons
25 Company will formulate a communications policy. It
0104
01 will spell out broad communications goals, specify who
02 may speak for city government, it will establish
03 guidelines for interaction with the news media, and
04 defy news media access, create a gatekeeper, a function
05 to govern media relations.
06 On issue management, it's an
07 important element of any communications program,
08 maintaining control of the public agenda. Driving the
09 story, Rather than reacting to events as they happen.
10 We will create story opportunities
11 for the news media. Lord knows, they've done a good
12 job, just read that fish wrap, that support and promote
13 the Doherty administration's vision of the City of
14 Scranton.
15 Now, real quickly, I just have to
16 tell you how much we're paying for this Drive The
17 Story. We paid the consultant $100 an hour; planning
18 $100 an hour; media relations, $75 an hour;
19 copyrighting, $65 an hour; creative supervision, $75 an
20 hour; product supervision, $50 an hour, and my personal
21 favorite, since we laid off 22 clerical workers,
22 clerical workers, $25 an hour.
23 In addition, you are billed for
24 mileage, lodging, airfare, shipping, postage, telephone
25 and any other expenses incurred at net plus 10 percent.
0105
01 We have lots of money for the Gibbons Company, not
02 enough for public safety.
03 MS. EVANS: Thank you.
04 MS. FIDATI-ADSIT: Hi. My name is
05 Annabelle Fidati-Adsit. I live in Penwood in
06 South Scranton.
07 And I didn't expect to speak
08 tonight, but Charlie Newcomb, Jr. did make a statement,
09 and I would like to clarify that everything he told you
10 was true.
11 I was present, and I believe this
12 woman, Mrs. Miller, is a very respectful and beautiful
13 person. I looked right in her eyes, and she just spoke
14 very freely to us.
15 There were two other people
16 present, one of which is a very good friend of mine,
17 Regina Yetkowskas, and the other gentleman is also a
18 good friend, Mr. Stan Narsavitch.
19 We were all there. We heard
20 everything she had to say. She loves those animals
21 with all her heart. And she does live in the Poconos,
22 and she does this to see the pleasure on the faces of
23 the children that come there to Nay Aug, and she's
24 being treated brutally.
25 And I can understand how a woman
0106
01 would feel when she's being treated brutally by a
02 brute. I think it's despicable. No man should ever
03 come down on a woman like that, especially a woman who
04 is a respectable and loving person.
05 So, everything that Charlie said
06 tonight is true. This woman is amazing to travel from
07 the Poconos. She is not even a Scranton resident, and
08 she enjoys the children that come to see her beautiful
09 animals.
10 And the place is so beautiful and
11 so clean and so spotless, they should be putting awards
12 on her chest, not the despicable manner in which
13 Bob Scopelliti treats this woman who doesn't deserve it
14 at all.
15 And in fact, many other women have
16 been brutally abused, and they haven't been
17 reprimanded, the abusers. I think it's terrible.
18 Something has to change in the
19 City of Scranton starting with the mayor. We need to
20 put someone new in that position, because he certainly
21 is in charge, and this is going on while he is the
22 mayor.
23 He can't say he doesn't know about
24 it, because I'm sure he does. She doesn't deserve what
25 is happening up there, and I don't think anyone who
0107
01 goes there with their children should ever, ever have
02 to feel that it's all being done by the mayor, because
03 it isn't, it's being done by Marge Miller, and it's all
04 being done for your children, so the parents out there
05 who are bringing your children, there were many there
06 that day that we were all there, you can thank
07 Marge Miller, not the mayor.
08 She's doing a wonderful
09 magnificent job, and she's being slapped around for
10 it, and she doesn't deserve that. And I think we all
11 have to get behind her, stand with her and tell her how
12 we appreciate her and let's stop the abuse.
13 And I didn't expect to do this
14 tonight, but it's awful strange following
15 Director Ray Hayes at a Council meeting. Of course he
16 didn't bring the subject up, but I'm sure he's aware of
17 it, too.
18 So, I just want to ask all the
19 parents who bring their children up to Nay Aug, when
20 you do go up, just thank Mrs. Miller for everything
21 she's doing.
22 And I can't see you, Mr. Pocius,
23 but maybe you can thank her, also. I think it's a
24 beautiful thing this woman has done. I believe every
25 single thing she has told us. You can't not believe
0108
01 this woman. So, I just want to say thank you.
02 MS. EVANS: Thank you. And I'm
03 sure we're all most appreciative of her hard work, as
04 well, but I think it's Council's responsibility to
05 check out the situation and make sure that the
06 donations that have been given toward that zoo, are in
07 fact received by the zoo.
08 Are there any speakers this
09 evening? All right.
10 MR. SAUNDERS: Fifth order. 5-A,
11 Motions.
12 MS. EVANS: Mr. McTiernan, do you
13 have any motions?
14 MR. McTIERNAN: Nothing at this
15 time, Madame President.
16 MS. EVANS: Thank you.
17 Mr. Pocius, any motions?
18 MR. POCIUS: Yes. I make a motion
19 right now in Mr. DiBileo's absence that we appoint
20 Mrs. Evans as the acting rules chairperson for
21 tonight's meeting.
22 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
23 MS. EVANS: Okay. We have a
24 motion on the floor and a second. On the question?
25 All those in favor, signify by saying aye.
0109
01 MR. McTIERNAN: Aye.
02 MR. POCIUS: Aye.
03 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
04 MS. EVANS: Aye. Those opposed?
05 The ayes have it.
06 MR. POCIUS: Just one thing, there
07 was a statement made about all lifeguards not living in
08 the city, it is very, very hard to get lifeguards
09 today, it's just not -- some kids go in for it, some
10 don't, you have to be a very good swimmer, train,
11 qualify with the Red Cross.
12 I know that they go through the
13 applications and hire in the beginning all the city
14 kids that are on the list that qualify, and I think
15 they have to go outside the city to keep the pools open
16 and, you know, to get the rest of the kids in there, so
17 I don't think they're just going outside the city just
18 randomly, I think they've got to use what they have to
19 do.
20 I saw where Mr. Saunders wrote a
21 letter to Sara Hailstone concerning the question I
22 brought up last week about the 400 block of Linden
23 Street. Jay, nothing back on that yet?
24 MR. SAUNDERS: No, not yet.
25 MR. POCIUS: I'd like to
0110
01 strengthen that a little bit and make that a motion
02 that we ask the department of OECD to actually put this
03 project into motion, if it's not already into motion,
04 because I think, like we said, it's the last little
05 piece of that block and there have been other project
06 through the downtown at the Scranton Life Building,
07 another project down in the, what would that be,
08 the --
09 MS. EVANS: Mr. Pocius, just one
10 second. Please, I'd like quiet. Mr. Pocius is
11 speaking, and he deserves your respect and for you to
12 listen to him.
13 MR. POCIUS: Other blocks, there
14 was pilot programs, the same kind of grant we used for
15 the senior citizen center. So, I'd like to see this
16 block finished, you know, there, and so I put that in
17 the form of a motion.
18 MR. COURTRIGHT: I'll second that.
19 MS. EVANS: We have a motion on
20 the floor and a second. Are there any questions on
21 this motion? All those in favor, signify by saying
22 aye.
23 MR. McTIERNAN: Aye.
24 MR. POCIUS: Aye.
25 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
0111
01 MS. EVANS: Aye. The ayes have
02 it.
03 MR. POCIUS: Just one more thing,
04 I thought the meeting went very well tonight. There
05 was a lot of different opinions given both back and
06 forth, and I thought it was very, very good. I still
07 think we border -- there's some crossing over the line
08 on some of the comments, it's going to be very hard to
09 pull that back, it's been going on so long.
10 I want to commend you,
11 Mrs. Evans, I think you ran a very good meeting
12 tonight, you kept things in order, you kept things
13 moving along very expeditiously as possible, you gave
14 everyone a chance to finish, you kept everyone
15 basically, you know, let them say what they wanted to
16 say, but, again, you kept them on a timely manner.
17 MS. EVANS: Thank you.
18 MR. POCIUS: What we have to
19 really realize here is this is a public forum, and it
20 may be the only public forum that's available to
21 anyone, Channel 61, which started basically I think it
22 was 1999, it started the first meetings broadcast, so
23 we have been six years into it now, roughly six years.
24 It started in the spring of 1999.
25 We have to keep open still this
0112
01 idea that everyone is not always going to agree with
02 what another person says, everyone is not going to
03 always have the same opinion on a matter, that's why
04 we're all human beings and that's why we do things the
05 way we do.
06 But I really think those people
07 that, we hear it from the podium, that really use it as
08 a whipping post should really take a good look at
09 themselves and maybe pull -- just -- it's -- you may
10 think it sounds cute, but it sends a bad message out to
11 anyone, because this show is not only watched in
12 Scranton, it is watched up and down this valley, I
13 mean, from Archbald to Jessup to Moosic.
14 Whoever gets Adelphia cable has
15 this show. People don't you, except for this show,
16 really, they don't know another thing in your life
17 except that you're on Channel 61. They don't know what
18 you do for a living, that you're a teacher, that I'm an
19 engineer, Bill is a martial arts instructor or Bob's a
20 principal, but they know you're on TV.
21 And, I mean, emotions run high,
22 and, you know, politics is something that's, I think,
23 how would you say it, in this valley it's kind of
24 something that's inbred in your system, it's kind of,
25 like, another hobby, it's something that people take up
0113
01 as -- young people, the same way they take up baseball
02 or riding a bike, politics seems to be.
03 But I think we still have to watch
04 what we say from this podium. I mean, some things are
05 out and out vicious, and if it's based on facts, it's
06 fine.
07 I've said this in the past, to
08 kind of go back and clear up -- if you had to clear up
09 everything that was said up here, it would take us --
10 we would have to have another meeting just to go back
11 and research it and come back and say, Yes, that was
12 right, that was right, that was wrong.
13 So, there's a lot of things that
14 are said that, I don't know if they're true, I'm not
15 saying they're lies, but it could be an interpretation
16 of something as far as spending or politics or policy,
17 just a little -- I don't get philosophical very often,
18 but I just think this was -- I just think it was -- we
19 have to be careful as to what's said, because it has
20 effect on a lot of people.
21 I know the effects some people are
22 trying to cause, and I think you just have to -- you
23 could be hurting yourself more than helping yourself by
24 saying some certain things here.
25 So, I'm not saying not to say what
0114
01 you want on your mind, but when it gets outright
02 vicious and there's name calling or innuendos, almost
03 criminal activity, I think we have to be very, very
04 careful there that this is not taken as truth, because
05 this is still the United States of America and everyone
06 is innocent until proven guilty.
07 But, again, people run away from
08 this show, the next morning you'll hear all kinds of
09 things on the street, it's got to be fact, because I
10 heard it on Channel 61. So, I think we all have to be
11 careful. So, thank you. Thank you for granting me a
12 little philosophical -- being an engineer, I'm kind of
13 cut and dry, columns and numbers, but tonight I just
14 want to philosophize a little bit. Thank you.
15 MS. EVANS: Thank you,
16 Mr. Pocius. Mr. Courtright.
17 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes. Some of you
18 might have seen on TV where there was a local off-duty
19 sheriff that rescued a man from a burning house, and
20 he's a modest man, and I don't think he's looking for
21 any recognition, but I'd like to make a motion that we
22 ask Mr. Glenn Capman to come in and we give him a
23 proclamation for his efforts in saving that man from
24 that building. So, I'd like to do that in the form of
25 a motion.
0115
01 MR. POCIUS: I'll second it.
02 MS. EVANS: We have a motion on
03 the floor with a second. Anything on the question?
04 MR. COURTRIGHT: And one other
05 thing on the question, he is an off-duty sheriff, and,
06 again, Mr. Shyzmanski isn't one, I don't think to try
07 to come into the limelight, but I would say, Jay, if we
08 could offer an invitation to Mr. Shemanski, if
09 Mr. Capman comes in, and if he would like to come in
10 and enjoy the ceremony with us. That's all I have.
11 Thank you.
12 MS. EVANS: Thank you. All those
13 in favor, signify by saying aye.
14 MR. McTIERNAN: Aye.
15 MR. POCIUS: Aye.
16 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
17 MS. EVANS: Aye. The ayes have
18 it.
19 MR. COURTRIGHT: And we have a
20 department, and I hope I have the right name for the
21 police department, it's called the motor carrier
22 enforcement team, and I happened to be with them down
23 on Dickson Avenue this week, and they were down there
24 checking on some of the vehicles from a well-known
25 street that's having some problems, and some of the
0116
01 neighbors I spoke with there, and what they had asked
02 is that evidently between five, six, 6:30, there's some
03 very heavy truck traffic at that time, but these
04 individual officers are off shift by then, so they're
05 not there to monitor this problem.
06 So, Jay, I would ask if maybe we
07 can ask the police chief, and I'm not asking for it on
08 a daily basis, but every now and then would it be
09 possible, again, I've got to make sure it's okay, like,
10 by the union or whatever, I don't think they'd have a
11 problem with it, would these officers maybe could do
12 their truck detail at that hour, you know, when the
13 neighbors feel the truck traffic is heavy, so maybe you
14 can ask that for me.
15 MR. SAUNDERS: That's between five
16 and six o'clock?
17 MR. COURTRIGHT: Anywhere from
18 five on, five, six, 6:30, if it's all right -- I would
19 imagine that even if it wasn't all right, the union
20 might bend a little bit on that issue. So, if you
21 could do that, I'd appreciate it.
22 And I apologize, I don't know,
23 there's two individuals that are lifeguards,
24 Mike and Mark Loretti, and I'm sorry if I got the wrong
25 one, but I believe Mark Loretti, you know, he basically
0117
01 saved someone at Nay Aug this past week, I believe it
02 was, so I'd like to congratulate him.
03 His brother had saved someone last
04 year. So, you're coming from a good family and doing a
05 good job. And as we all know, lifeguarding is not an
06 easy job, and so congratulations to Mr. Loretti and his
07 mom and dad.
08 And on a good note, I've been
09 asking for several weeks about money for Weston Park
10 Teener League, Mr. Saunders got information today that
11 that money is available, and hopefully next week we
12 will see that legislation, the money, going to the
13 Weston Park Teener League. I think we got lucky on
14 that one, and I'm happy to see that.
15 Mr. Saunders stepped out, but I'll
16 ask him afterwards, I think we all know that there's a
17 lot of rumor in this city, a lot of rumors, you know,
18 we're not hurting for rumors, and this past week I
19 can't tell you how many people have been asking me
20 about Southern Union coming here, and somebody, I
21 think, brought it up at the podium, so maybe we can
22 just ask Southern Union. I'm getting now, they're
23 telling me, only ten employees coming to the
24 City of Scranton.
25 MS. EVANS: Mr. Courtright, if I
0118
01 might, I had asked for a public caucus with Mr. Karam
02 and some other individuals so that we might discuss
03 that situation publicly, and we had been offered a tour
04 of the building, for example, and of course I would
05 very much enjoy that, as I'm sure everyone else would,
06 but I still insisted that the caucus occur, so we can
07 tell Mr. Saunders when he returns that we would like
08 him to, in fact, here he is now, perfect timing, we
09 need you, Mr. Saunders, to schedule the caucus with
10 Southern Union, please.
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: And until that
12 gets done, Jay, I was mentioning that, you know, I'd
13 like to dispel whatever rumors there are. If they can
14 let us know via phone potentially how many employees
15 they would be bringing here so that people don't need
16 to bring it up each week at the podium and we don't
17 have to have this rumor going around in this city
18 non-stop.
19 As I mentioned before, now they're
20 telling me ten employees, which, God, that's not many,
21 but if you can ask them via telephone, if they can give
22 us a ballpark figure, I'd appreciate that.
23 And I'm sorry to give you all
24 these jobs to do, Jay, but you're only going to give
25 them to Kay anyway probably, right?
0119
01 The lines, I don't know what the
02 hold-up -- what the problem is. We seem to have a
03 problem with the lines this year. Maybe Mr. Parker can
04 give us a schedule, you know, when they're going to put
05 the lines down and what areas of the city, because each
06 week we have a different individual coming and asking
07 about lines, so maybe Mr. -- he's been pretty good
08 giving us answers, so if you can do that. I'm sorry to
09 be lengthy this evening.
10 I drove over to Green Ridge, and I
11 believe it's Sanderson Avenue and Green Ridge Street
12 where that house was torn down that people kept
13 questioning, so I just went over there to take another
14 look at it, and as I was stopped at the light, and I
15 guess this would be the Sewer Authority, there's a
16 catch basin or a drainage thing there that is so filled
17 with dirt that it's coming out of it. There's
18 absolutely no way any water is getting into this thing,
19 so maybe they can take a look at that and clean that
20 out. I've seen some bad ones. This is about the worse
21 I've seen, worse than the one that had a strut in it
22 from a vehicle.
23 And one last thing, I would hope
24 that we can get this issue with the zoo settled as soon
25 as possible, because there was some very strong
0120
01 statements made here, and I don't want rumors to spawn
02 from that.
03 So, if they can get together this
04 week, as Mrs. Evans suggested, that'd be great, because
05 there's a lot of strong statements being made here, so
06 I'd like to have them either be proved or disproved as
07 soon as possible. And that's all I have,
08 Mrs. President. Thank you.
09 MS. EVANS: Thank you.
10 MR. POCIUS: Mrs. Evans, I would
11 just caution with such accusations being made, this may
12 be a personnel issue, something like that, so we better
13 get some legal advice from Mr. Walsh as far as where we
14 can or can't go with something like this in the public;
15 do you understand what I'm saying?
16 MS. EVANS: Yes, I do.
17 MR. POCIUS: Do you know what I
18 mean? Just so we're on solid ground that we don't end
19 up getting on the wrong side of a lawsuit.
20 MS. EVANS: I believe Mr. Walsh
21 should return to town tomorrow, so we can contact him.
22 MR. POCIUS: Yeah, he had
23 contacted me that he had a person commitment tonight,
24 and so on and so forth, and that he would be back, but
25 I think it's something we should get a little advice.
0121
01 Though I'm not against getting to
02 the bottom of it, but I think we should caution
03 ourselves as to how we go about it, because there's
04 personnel involved and accusations, and it's not
05 something that maybe -- we may be getting ourselves or
06 someone in -- putting them in a jeopardy situation,
07 okay?
08 MS. EVANS: Yes.
09 MR. POCIUS: Just some advice.
10 Thank you.
11 MS. EVANS: Thank you very much.
12 Good idea. First I'd like to report to the people, as
13 you have heard discussed earlier this evening, the city
14 did not apply for the safer grant program for
15 additional firefighters, but, to me, it's quite obvious
16 what the mayor's priorities are, and they are, Nay Aug,
17 Nay Aug, and Nay Aug, in that order.
18 The city, on the other hand, did
19 apply for a grant to conduct a feasibility study of an
20 expansion of the Nay Aug Zoo, which is a very worthy
21 idea, but I submit project is very well already signed,
22 sealed and delivered, complete with architectural
23 drawings and small scale models, and I think maybe the
24 mayor just wanted to wait until the election to unveil
25 the newest steel.
0122
01 At the very same time, however,
02 you know, the city is refusing, as was mentioned just a
03 few seconds ago, to apply for grants for the fire
04 department, and we're waiting on the police
05 department.
06 And, you know, I thought about
07 some of the statements made by Mr. Scopelliti last
08 week, I believe, if I'm not incorrect here, he stated
09 that there were 120 or 130 lifeguards and parks and
10 rec. workers under his supervision, and I thought to
11 myself, that's almost or it's very close to the number
12 of fire and police that we have.
13 And then I thought further,
14 according to the article that I read, that the mayor
15 intends to hire 20 new employees to man the new zoo.
16 And I thought, well, you know, we've cut 22 police
17 officers, we won't apply for additional firefighters,
18 but we're ready to hire 20 zoo employees. What is
19 wrong with this picture?
20 The zoo is more important than
21 public safety and more important than the people of
22 this city and their safety?
23 And what makes the headlines?
24 Lately, pool fees or the zoo. Crimes are located
25 somewhere inside the newspaper, and I think that's done
0123
01 perhaps in order to divert our attention from the real
02 issue here, which is crime.
03 And instead, we're focusing on
04 pool fees and a new zoo, because these are the
05 priorities of our law and order mayor.
06 So, I would hope -- I'm glad
07 Mr. Hayes came this evening, and I would hope that when
08 this piece of legislation is approved, he will indeed
09 keep his word and apply for Scranton to become an
10 active member of that pilot program, and I also hope
11 that new revenue isn't going to be a problem for the
12 mayor, because, you know, we have a documented record
13 here that very often the mayor either neglects or
14 declines new revenue sources.
15 Incidentally, two DPW workers had
16 to jump out of the way of a speeding vehicle on
17 Tuesday, June 21, in the 500 block of Market Street,
18 and I had mentioned that last week. Well, there it is
19 again.
20 Second, Jay, I would like to know
21 if the residents of Bulls Head have received a rate
22 reduction in their flood insurance as a result of the
23 flood project. Ask Mr. Pappas if this, you know, has
24 occurred, and if not, what can he provide in the form
25 of documentation to assist the residents with this
0124
01 issue?
02 Third, I've received complaints
03 from residents of Hampton Street. The 500 to 800
04 blocks were just paved last fall, and already
05 Linde Construction is working on a new gas line, I
06 think, and this road, if I'm not mistaken, should not
07 have been cut for a period of five years, and the
08 neighbors of Hampton Street are very upset that their
09 new street has been cut, because they've waited
10 somewhere, according to whom you speak with, but
11 they've waited ten to twelve years for this to happen,
12 and now we're cutting right down the middle of the road
13 and there goes the paving project.
14 So, Jay, I'd like you to ask
15 Mr. Parker the following questions, please, No. 1, Why
16 is he allowing a utility to cut a new road; No. 2, who
17 is the inspector watching the project, maybe
18 specifically settlement and compaction, and is this in
19 a spot-check capacity or is it an all-day capacity?
20 Also, I'd like a copy of the
21 permit issued to the gas company as soon as possible,
22 because I'd like to check for restoration of the road,
23 among other things.
24 Fourth, Jay, I still have not
25 received PEL summaries for March, April, May and June,
0125
01 and there are no more excuses.
02 Councilman Doherty received copies
03 of these summaries on a regular basis when he sat in my
04 seat as finance chair of Scranton City Council, and it
05 appears that these summaries are being purposely
06 withheld from me, or else, they're being sensored
07 before they reach my hands, and I have every right to
08 the same information, as finance chair of this Council,
09 that Councilman Doherty received when he sat in this
10 chair.
11 Also, Mrs. Moran never sent us the
12 information I requested at the Workers' Comp. public
13 caucus. She stated she had it in her possession that
14 evening and would provide it to Council immediately
15 following the caucus, but to date I have not received
16 those Workers' Comp. records.
17 Next, 1020-1022 Diamond Avenue
18 have been inspected several times over the last three
19 months actually, and inspectors report that progress
20 is being made.
21 And with regard to a property on
22 Leggett Street behind Kelly Avenue, has the situation
23 involving nearly 100 vehicles, according to
24 Mr. Fiorini, a letter was sent June 1, and if the
25 requirements expressed in this letter are not complied
0126
01 with, then the case will be taken to magistrate's
02 court, and in addition to that, very likely the cars
03 are going to be towed.
04 Next with regard to the problems
05 on Watson Street, first, neighbors report this is more
06 of a warehouse, not an apartment which was constructed
07 with recent permits granting apartment construction.
08 They, the neighbors, get no help.
09 They submitted a petition to ban truck traffic in that
10 area, and that has been denied.
11 And it just appears that there's
12 no controlling the business expansion in that area, and
13 that unfortunately the residents are left just to
14 suffer in silence.
15 And then something else I found
16 useful, very, very useful, maybe a little questionable,
17 but, you know, I'm going to accept it the way it is,
18 because I think we can apply its use elsewhere,
19 Mr. Wallace says the business has been at this site for
20 over a generation and is now an acceptable
21 non-conforming use, well, that being said, I expect
22 that the same designation and rights will be given to
23 an elderly resident of West Locust Street, who has a
24 road behind her garage in the back of her house, which
25 she and her neighbors have used to access their garages
0127
01 for many, many years; in fact, this particular
02 individual, she has been using that road for over the
03 50 years that she's resided in that house, but when a
04 new resident purchased a property from a developer,
05 when they came in, they put up a fence that's not
06 dividing this road in half, but has taken a sizeable
07 chunk of this road, and the city claims they have every
08 right to do so, but I'm going to submit if this
09 acceptable non-conforming use due to a generation of
10 business is okay for this business, then it's okay for
11 this resident, as well.
12 So, I expect Mr. Wallace to take a
13 look at West Locust Street immediately and to correct
14 that problem, because what is good for one individual
15 is good for another individual, even if they're not
16 making campaign contributions.
17 Now, I have a new request list.
18 First of all, 6 Silex Street, I need two trees removed
19 there that were promised last fall to have been
20 removed, and another tree across the street from the
21 corner of South Cameron and Washburn.
22 I believe Mr. Santolli has seen
23 both. They've been already marked in orange, and we're
24 just waiting for this to happen, because in the
25 meantime, the tree has actually in one case broken
0128
01 windows in the house.
02 Also, back to the 200 block of
03 South Decker Court, I think it was Mr. Bingham who came
04 before us not too long ago with the problem asking for
05 the speed bump, etc., and I have spoken with him again.
06 He indicated that Mr. Scopelliti will place a change
07 across the through-way there in order to prevent
08 two-way traffic, you know, in a one-way court; however,
09 there's still concern with the speeding, it continues,
10 and they are requesting that a large brightly colored
11 slow children at play sign be installed, and
12 Mr. Bingham said, you know, if that is a disturbance to
13 anyone, he'll even take it on his property so that the
14 children residing there are protected.
15 Also, I had a number of complaints
16 about Weston Park, the overall condition of the
17 ballfield and the area around the field where
18 spectators watch games. There's a lot of very high
19 grass and the trash cans are overloaded spilling over,
20 and of course there's more liter lying on the hill
21 there and the fence along the field needs repair.
22 Now, this is important, maybe the
23 most important tonight, I also had some calls from
24 neighbors of the Connell Park pool area, and they said
25 kids are actually climbing over the fence around the
0129
01 pool and they're running around inside that area, and
02 the people are very concerned that these children
03 could -- the pool has water in it, I've heard, and
04 they're afraid that the kids could fall into the pool,
05 you know, even if it's a matter of horseplay, and
06 drown, so they're asking that that situation be
07 addressed immediately.
08 And when you're reporting that
09 sewer drain Mr. Courtright mentioned a few moments ago,
10 I have three sewer drains to add to that, and in fact,
11 two of those three really require barricading
12 immediately, because the holes are large enough for a
13 child to fall into. And that concludes my motions this
14 evening.
15 MR. POCIUS: Mrs. Evans, could I
16 just have one second? I think I can help you with two
17 of the points that you brought up.
18 As far as that flood insurance
19 reduction, we've been involved in some flood projects
20 throughout the valley, what happens is once the project
21 is completed, it's a lengthy process, a report has to
22 go from the Army Corps. to FEMA, FEMA has to do their
23 own investigation to change the flood plane lines and
24 everything.
25 There's no immediate relief.
0130
01 There's not -- there will be relief some day, but it's
02 a time-consuming process.
03 And just from my experiences, not
04 only as an engineer, but a professional land surveyor,
05 that appears, I'm not offering advice, but that issue
06 of that driveway or roadway appears to be an adverse
07 possession type of claim. Adverse possession is
08 something that's very, very -- it's a difficult thing
09 to prove, you know what I'm trying to say? I don't
10 think it's a zoning issue, it's more on the lines of
11 kind of a property line type of thing, so just to
12 submit that. That's all.
13 MS. EVANS: Thank you.
14 MR. SAUNDERS: We've actually met
15 with those people on --
16 MS. EVANS: Oh, yes, I know. A
17 number of people have been out there, Mike Wallace,
18 Bill Fiorini, and, you know, actually the city had
19 paved that roadway in the back there several years ago,
20 so the city was taking care of it, but, you know,
21 again, now as Mr. Pocius said, there's an issue over
22 possession and such, but what I'm saying is, if a
23 person -- if indeed rights are granted to a business,
24 that, you know, are exceeding what's required and what
25 is appropriate under law because they're kind of being
0131
01 grandfathered in, let's put it that way, then I don't
02 see why we're not going to grandfather in, you know, a
03 much smaller situation for a resident.
04 MR. POCIUS: See, what I'm trying
05 to get at is, though, the first issue you bring up, the
06 Watson Street and Main Avenue is a zoning issue, that's
07 something we have jurisdiction over, the other thing is
08 a title to land or a use of land issue, which is really
09 something that's determined by a court of law, some
10 type of a seizure, so it's just from my experience that
11 I just throw these thoughts out. It's not to say one
12 is right and one is wrong.
13 MS. EVANS: Right. And I think
14 they each have a deed that shows the property lines.
15 MR. POCIUS: See, sometimes, I
16 mean, not to dwell on this, because it is getting late,
17 but sometimes there's language in the deeds that allows
18 access through rears or properties for all the people
19 to get in. I found that in our research on different
20 projects we've been involved in. That's not always the
21 case.
22 There's -- it's difficult, because
23 there has to be, like, you have to notify the people in
24 question that you're using their property on a timely
25 basis to keep the use chain up, you know what I'm
0132
01 trying to say? It's not an easy thing, so it may not
02 be resolvable on a quick-fix type of basis.
03 MS. EVANS: I can agree with that
04 definitely. Thank you. Let's see now. Just one
05 minute. All right. Fifth order. 5-B.
06 MR. SAUNDERS: 5-B, FOR
07 INTRODUCTION - A RESOLUTION - APPOINTMENT OF
08 DANIEL GERALDO, 606 SUMMIT POINTE, SCRANTON,
09 PENNSYLVANIA, 18508, TO SERVE ON THE HUMAN RELATIONS
10 COMMISSION. MR. GERALDO WILL BE FULFILLING THE TERM OF
11 MONSIGNOR CONSTANTINE SICONOLFI, WHO SUBMITTED HIS
12 RESIGNATION ON MARCH 3, 2005. MR. GERALDO'S TERM WILL
13 EXPIRE ON DECEMBER 31, 2008.
14 MS. EVANS: At this time I'll
15 entertain a motion that Item 5-B be introduced into its
16 proper committee.
17 MR. POCIUS: So moved.
18 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
19 MS. EVANS: On the question?
20 MR. POCIUS: Just on the question,
21 if anyone knows Monsignor Siconolfi, just his time and
22 effort that we gave, and we know he said he basically
23 resigned because of his duties at the kitchen and
24 everything else was just overwhelming him, and, you
25 know, he did a fine job at this time.
0133
01 MS. EVANS: Yes. All those in
02 favor of introduction, signify by saying aye.
03 MR. McTIERNAN: Aye.
04 MR. POCIUS: Aye.
05 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
06 MS. EVANS: Aye. The ayes have
07 it and so moved. Sixth order.
08 MR. SAUNDERS: Sixth order. 6-A,
09 READING BY TITLE - FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 136, 2005 - AN
10 ORDINANCE - APPROVING THE TRANSFER OF A RESTAURANT
11 LIQUOR LICENSE OWNED BY THE ESTATE OF MARY ROSE DODGE
12 USED AT THE DODGE HOUSE, 813 BOULEVARD AVENUE,
13 DICKSON CITY, PENNSYLVANIA, LACKAWANNA COUNTY, LICENSE
14 NO. R-3761 TO LEGENDS BAR AND GRILL, INC. FOR USE AT
15 110-112 NORTH MAIN AVENUE, SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA,
16 18504 AS REQUIRED BY THE PENNSYLVANIA LIQUOR CONTROL
17 BOARD.
18 MS. EVANS: You've heard reading
19 by title of Item 6-A. What is your pleasure?
20 MR. POCIUS: Mrs. President, at
21 this time I make a motion that we pass 6-A reading by
22 title.
23 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
24 MS. EVANS: On the question?
25 MR. POCIUS: Just on the question,
0134
01 this has been a bar forever. When I was a child, it
02 was Tobin's Bar, it changed ownership many times. It's
03 been a bar. I wish these young men well. I heard they
04 run a nice business over there, and we wish them well
05 for staying in the city.
06 MS. EVANS: Definitely.
07 Anyone else? All those in favor, signify by saying
08 aye.
09 MR. McTIERNAN: Aye.
10 MR. POCIUS: Aye.
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
12 MS. EVANS: Aye. The ayes have it
13 and so moved.
14 MR. SAUNDERS: Seventh order.
15 7-A, FOR CONSIDERATION BY THE COMMITTEE ON RULES - FOR
16 ADOPTION - RESOLUTION NO. 149, 2005 - AUTHORIZING THE
17 MAYOR AND OTHER APPROPRIATE OFFICIALS OF THE CITY OF
18 SCRANTON TO EXECUTE AND ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH
19 BERKHEIMER OUTSOURCING FOR THE USE OF THE BERKHEIMER
20 SYSTEM AND TECHNICAL SUPPORT TO ORGANIZE, SEARCH AND
21 UPDATE CITY TAX RECORDS.
22 MS. EVANS: As chairperson for the
23 committee on rules, I recommend final passage of
24 Item 7-A.
25 MR. POCIUS: Seconded.
0135
01 MS. EVANS: On the question?
02 Jay, were you able to get any answers on
03 Mr. Courtright's concerns and the questions I posed?
04 MR. SAUNDERS: Yeah, he's got it
05 right there.
06 MR. POCIUS: A full lengthy, Bill.
07 Are you satisfied with it?
08 MR. COURTRIGHT: Absolutely.
09 MS. EVANS: Yes?
10 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yeah, I didn't
11 mean to hold it up, I just wanted those questions
12 answered.
13 MR. POCIUS: Mrs. Ruane responded
14 back.
15 MR. COURTRIGHT: Mrs. Ruane did a
16 very good job, and I appreciate that.
17 MR. POCIUS: That's why I kept
18 this out just in case that came up, we have it.
19 MS. EVANS: Thank you. Roll call.
20 MS. GARVEY: Mr. McTiernan.
21 MR. McTIERNAN: Yes.
22 MS. GARVEY: Ms. Evans.
23 MS. EVANS: Yes.
24 MS. GARVEY: Mr. Pocius.
25 MR. POCIUS: Yes.
0136
01 MS. GARVEY: Mr. Courtright.
02 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
03 MS. GARVEY: Mr. DiBileo.
04 MS. EVANS: I hereby declare Item
05 7-A legally and lawfully adopted.
06 MR. SAUNDERS: 7-B, FOR
07 CONSIDERATION BY THE COMMITTEE ON RULES - FOR ADOPTION
08 RESOLUTION NO. 150, 2005 - AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND
09 OTHER APPROPRIATE OFFICIALS OF THE CITY OF SCRANTON TO
10 EXECUTE AND ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH BERKHEIMER
11 OUTSOURCING FOR THE TASK OF SCANNING, INPUTTING AND
12 OTHERWISE COMPUTERIZING CITY TAX RECORD BOOKS.
13 MS. EVANS: As chair for the
14 committee on rules, I recommend final passage of
15 Item 7-B.
16 MR. POCIUS: Seconded.
17 MS. EVANS: On the question? Roll
18 call, please, Kay.
19 MS. GARVEY: Mr. McTiernan.
20 MR. McTIERNAN: Yes.
21 MS. GARVEY: Ms. Evans.
22 MS. EVANS: Yes.
23 MS. GARVEY: Mr. Pocius.
24 MR. POCIUS: Yes.
25 MS. GARVEY: Mr. Courtright.
0137
01 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
02 MS. GARVEY: Mr. DiBileo.
03 MS. EVANS: I hereby declare
04 Item 7-B legally and lawfully adopted.
05 MR. SAUNDERS: 7-C, FOR
06 CONSIDERATION BY THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC WORKS - FOR
07 ADOPTION - RESOLUTION NO. 151 - 2005 - AUTHORIZING THE
08 MAYOR AND OTHER APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS TO EXECUTE
09 AND ENTER INTO SUPPLEMENTAL ENGINEERING AGREEMENT
10 NUMBER 041761-B WITH BUCHART-HORN, INC. TO AMEND
11 PARTS I, II AND III OF THE AGREEMENT RESULTING FROM A
12 CHANGE IN PROJECT SCOPE FROM BRIDGE
13 REDECKING/REHABILITATION TO MAJOR RECONSTRUCTION AND AN
14 OVERALL EXTENSION OF THE LACKAWANNA AVENUE BRIDGE
15 PROJECT FOR AN ADDITIONAL COST OF $331,100.10.
16 MS. EVANS: What is the
17 recommendation of the chair for the committee on public
18 works?
19 MR. POCIUS: As chair for the
20 committee on public works, I recommend final passage of
21 Item 7-C.
22 MR. COURTRIGHT: Seconded.
23 MS. EVANS: On the question?
24 MR. POCIUS: I think we mentioned
25 this last week, this is still -- our share is funded by
0138
01 OECD. It's five cents on the dollar, and hopefully
02 this will get this project jumpstarted again and get it
03 completed in a timely manner.
04 MS. EVANS: Thank you. Roll call,
05 please.
06 MS. GARVEY: Mr. McTiernan.
07 MR. McTIERNAN: Yes.
08 MS. GARVEY: Ms. Evans.
09 MS. EVANS: Yes.
10 MS. GARVEY: Mr. Pocius.
11 MR. POCIUS: Yes.
12 MS. GARVEY: Mr. Courtright.
13 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
14 MS. GARVEY: Mr. DiBileo.
15 MS. EVANS: I hereby declare
16 Item 7-C legally and lawfully adopted. If there's no
17 further business, I'll entertain a motion for
18 adjournment.
19 MR. POCIUS: So moved.
20 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
21 MS. EVANS: And we are adjourned.
22
23 (HEARING WAS ADJOURNED.)
24
25
0139
01 C E R T I F I C A T E
01
02
02 I hereby certify that the proceedings and
03 evidence are contained fully and accurately in the
03 notes taken by me on the hearing of the above cause and
04 that this copy is a correct transcript of the same to
04 the best of my ability.
05
05
06
06
07
07 ______________________________
08 LISA M. GRAFF, RPR
08 OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
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