1 SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING
6 Thursday, September 8, 2005
10 7:00 p.m.
14 Council Chambers
15 Scranton City Hall
16 340 North Washington Avenue
17 Scranton, Pennsylvania
21 Lisa M. Graff, RPR
22 Court Reporter
1 CITY OF SCRANTON COUNCIL:
4 MR. GARY DIBILEO, COUNCIL PRESIDENT
6 MS. JANET E. EVANS, VICE-PRESIDENT
8 MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT
10 MR. JOHN POCIUS
12 MR. ROBERT McTIERNAN
14 MR. MARK WALSH, ESQUIRE, SOLICITOR
16 MR. Jay SAUNDERS, CITY CLERK
18 MS. KAY GARVEY, ASSISTANT CITY CLERK
1 MR. DIBILEO: Okay. Please stand for
2 the Pledge Of Allegiance. Please remain standing for a
3 short prayer. Roll call, please, Kay.
4 MS. GARVEY: Mr. McTiernan.
5 MR. McTIERNAN: Here.
6 MS. GARVEY: Mrs. Evans.
7 MS. EVANS: Here.
8 MS. GARVEY: Mr. Pocius.
9 MR. POCIUS: Here.
10 MS. GARVEY: Mr. Courtright.
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: Here.
12 MS. GARVEY: Mr. DiBileo.
13 MR. DIBILEO: Here. Before we dispense
14 with the reading of the minutes, we have some
15 distinguished members in our audience today, and they
16 are members of The Scranton Eagles semi-professional
17 football team and organization.
18 In 1971, semi-professional football was
19 born in Scranton, and since then, The Scranton Eagles,
20 formerly the Lackawanna County Eagles, have been just a
21 great organization within Scranton as they travel
22 around the whole country doing us all good in Scranton,
23 and it's just helped so many people within our
24 community and allowed people to play and allowed fans
25 to watch terrific football.
1 And we spoke recently, and they asked
2 if we could acknowledge the fact that they have been in
3 existence for as long as they have, and we said,
4 absolutely, we'd love to.
5 So, I have a proclamation to read this
6 evening, and I'd like to ask all the members of Council
7 to join me up front, and I'd like to have certain
8 members of the Eagles come forward, if they'd like to,
9 and then possibly say a word or two at the podium after
10 we read the proclamation.
11 I'd ask Councilman Courtright to hold
12 the microphone for me. Appreciate that. And the
13 proclamation reads:
14 Whereas, the Council of the City of
15 Scranton is desirous of honoring The Scranton Eagles
16 for having been the keepers of the flame for the City
17 of Scranton in the world of Semipro Football, spreading
18 goodwill in large cities and small, from Chicago all
19 the way to Montreal and Ottawa; and whereas, The
20 Scranton Eagles were brought into existence by
21 businessmen John Rogan and Charles Chick Rader, whose
22 love of the sport stemmed from their playing days in
23 high school, college and semipro leagues; and whereas,
24 in 1971, The Scranton Eagles, in their very first
25 season, dethroned a team by the name of the Triple
1 Cities Jets, who were known to have ruled the Empire
2 Football League, beating them in one of the
3 hardest-hitting games ever played at Scranton Memorial
4 Stadium before a standing room only crowd estimated to
5 be between 11,000 and 13,000; and whereas, besides
6 Rogan and Rader, other legendary names from that team
7 were: Allen Butch Keller, Stan Kucharski, Bill Lazor,
8 Rich Solan, John Whitelavich, Joe Smicherko,
9 Joe Luciano, Dave Baker, Paul Iacavazzi and
10 Lou Costanzo.
11 The Eagles successfully defended the
12 Empire Football League title the following two years,
13 before money problems caused them to disband in the
14 middle 1970's; and whereas, the club was reborn in
15 1982, as The Scranton Eagles, with John Rogan again at
16 the helm, and two years later won the first of five
17 national championships, defeating the Racine Gladiators
18 for the Minor Pro Football Association National
19 Championship; and whereas, the Eagles have brought to
20 Scranton ten Empire Football League and five National
22 Some of the stalwarts of those clubs
23 included John Kennedy, who's with us tonight,
24 Mark Lloyd, John Sheroda, Kevin Edwards, Frank Yanik,
25 Tony Angeli, Alan McElroy, Charlie Savas, Ben Payavis,
1 Charlie Shultz, Kyle Krauss, John Shannon,
2 Jack Bravyak, Jerry McDowell, Glen Pazzaglia,
3 Mike Brennan, Gene Scalese, Mark Arcure,
4 Paul Iacavazzi, Bobby Fisher, Bob Kennedy, Dwayne Shaw,
5 Mike Malec, Dave Kimble and John Godbay; and whereas,
6 through good times and bad, the Eagles endured,
7 capturing more titles in the '90s under the watchful
8 eyes of owner Frank Santo, Coach Keller and general
9 manager Dave Lunger, which put them back on top of the
10 semipro football world; and whereas, as the loss of
11 Dave Lunger was felt by all, his spirit and memory live
12 on through his daughter Susan who performed all kinds
13 of magic to keep the organization alive and running and
14 continues to do so in her position as general manager;
15 and whereas, through the late '90s, the Eagles played
16 under a succession of coaches, Dave Susz, Jim Shaw and
17 Dan LaMagna and were lead by the play of linebacker
18 George Romiti, an EFL first-team, all-star and National
19 Football Events All-American, and running back
20 Damon Saxon; and whereas, 2005 has been a rebuilding
21 year, as the Eagles lost many of their players and
23 They are now being coached by
24 Mike Woodard and Joe Domenick. The Eagles' future
25 looks bright thanks to the nucleus of veterans
1 Mike Arcure, Konny Argiradi, Andre Chollete,
2 Rob Kashinsky, John Kennedy, Charle Lucke, Eric Paroby,
3 George Romiti, Bill Sandly, Jeremy Schaffer,
4 Jim Schaffer, Ben Simmons, Gary Visnofsky and Marvin
6 Now, therefore, be it resolved that on
7 Thursday, September 8, 2005, Scranton City Council
8 wishes to congratulate The Scranton Eagles and extend
9 our best wishes for success in all their future
11 Be it further resolved, that this
12 proclamation be made a permanent part of the minutes of
13 this Council, as lasting tribute to The Scranton
14 Eagles. Congratulations, gentlemen.
15 MR. KENNEDY: Just briefly. My name i
16 John Kennedy, I've been playing for a long time, and
17 George Romiti is another veteran on the team, and we
18 would just like to on behalf of the Eagles express our
19 thanks for being recognized in this way by the Council
20 and by the City and by the people of Scranton, and we
21 really appreciate the support.
22 I do want to let you know that probably
23 our last home game of the season will be at Scranton
24 Memorial Stadium on the 17th of September at 7:30, and
25 we're actually doing a thing with a lot of youth
1 football, and we'd like to make that announcement, that
2 it's Play Football Month, I guess, and you hear the
3 commercials on, and The Eagles are going to actually
4 sponsor that and let all the junior football players in
5 the city and the area come with their jerseys or
6 cheerleaders with their sweaters on admitted free to
7 the game on the 17th in honor of Play Football Month
8 and in honor of the proclamation that Council read for
9 us today. So, thank you very much.
10 MR. ROMINI: I just want to thank
11 Council for the wonderful proclamation. The Eagles are
12 a special team with some special people that are
13 involved, and we try to keep it going every year, and
14 without our fans coming to our games, that's the main
15 thing. We need our fans to be there. And the more
16 fans, the better. I just want to thank you.
17 MR. DIBILEO: Well, congratulations.
18 That honor is well-deserved, and good luck this season
19 and keep up the great work. And I must say that that
20 proclamation was the longest one I ever read, so I have
21 to say, Good job to Jay Saunders on that. That's a lot
22 of information there. Congratulations, guys.
23 Now if we can dispense with the reading
24 of the minutes.
25 MR. WALSH: Certainly. Third order.
1 3-A, PETITION FOR A STREET LIGHT AT THE 200 BLOCK OF
2 NORTH SUMNER AVENUE.
3 MR. DIBILEO: Are there any comments on
5 MR. POCIUS: Did we send this to the
6 engineering or did we send it to MEM, Jay? I'm not
8 MR. SAUNDERS: That will go right to
10 MR. POCIUS: Right to MEM, okay. For a
11 report and see if it's to install a light there. Okay.
12 I recommend that we send it.
13 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you. If there's no
14 further comments, received and filed.
15 MR. WALSH: 3-B, Clerk's notes.
16 MR. DIBILEO: Okay. Mr. Saunders,
18 MR. SAUNDERS: Yeah. Mr. President,
19 two weeks ago we had a question about the paper boxes,
20 the Scranton Times paper boxes on the corner, if
21 they're paying permit fees.
22 I talked to Bill Fiorini, there's no
23 ordinance in place to make anybody pay that, so they're
24 legally sitting on the corners of city streets.
25 Another thing we have is Julie Jones
1 spoke, she's here tonight spoke, she's hear tonight,
2 last weak and then a couple weeks before that about the
3 Valley View Terrace, the path down from Valley View
4 Terrace to Connell Park.
5 I talked to Bob Scopelliti about that,
6 he said that that is not the -- that is actually the
7 city's property, but it doesn't fall under the parks
8 and recreation department. It does fall under the
9 Scranton Housing Authority.
10 On the 16th of August we sent a letter
11 to Dave Baker, and he was kind enough to get right back
12 to us on this, but he has sent that out to his
13 maintenance staff to see what they can do about that
14 situation, and hopefully they will be back to us as
15 soon as possible.
16 And the other thing I do have to
17 mention tonight, Mr. President, is that those
18 proclamations in this case is Emailed to me, and I
19 print it out of my printer and bring it over to Kay
20 Garvey, and Kay writes all those. That is all I have,
21 Mr. President.
22 MR. DIBILEO: Okay. Thank you
23 Mr. Saunders.
24 MR. WALSH: Fourth order. Citizen
1 MR. DIBILEO: Okay. We have a sign-in
2 street, and before I mention the first person's name,
3 we want to welcome all audience members. We appreciate
4 everyone being here.
5 I'd like to remind speakers to please
6 refrain from remarks of a personal nature. And, once
7 again, I'd like to ask our solicitor, Mark Walsh to
8 aide me in trying to determine when that fine line is
9 crossed between Freedom of Speech and what would be
10 restricted speech.
11 Also, please keep your comments to no
12 more than five minutes, if you would, and we greatly we
13 appreciate that. And the first speaker is
14 Andy Sbaraglia.
15 MR. SBARAGLIA: Andy Sbaraglia, citizen
16 of Scranton. Fellow Scrantonians, Mr. Pocius, you made
17 the comment that the request for streetlights now goes
18 to MEM, are they the deciding factor on our
19 streetlights, or does it have to be approved by the
20 Department of Safety saying it should be put there and
21 then sent to MEM?
22 MR. POCIUS: To the best of my
23 knowledge, it goes to MEM, and they in conjunction with
24 the city engineer inspect the site to see if there's
25 not a light on the next pole or whatever, and they get
1 their head together and see if the petition is
2 warranted, and if it is, then it's installed in a
3 reasonable amount of time.
4 MR. SBARAGLIA: But in conjunction with
5 the Department of Safety, they go out and check this
7 MR. POCIUS: Not the Department of
8 Safety, the Department of Public Works.
9 MR. SBARAGLIA: Well, the Department of
10 Public Works, okay.
11 MR. POCIUS: There was a different
12 system years ago when PP&L installed the lights, we
13 used to send them to -- first to the engineer's office
14 and then out to -- but they do this kind of as a team
15 right now.
16 MR. SAUNDERS: Yeah. It just cuts down
17 on sending them to DPW and then over to MEM. It's just
18 directly to MEM and then --
19 MR. POCIUS: They get in touch with the
20 city engineer, whether it's Mr. Parker or Mr. Luciani
21 and they go out and inspect the site.
22 MR. SBARAGLIA: That's they way you're
23 going to work it now until the contract comes up with
24 these people, I guess, again, because it has to come up
1 I don't think when we voted on this
2 thing, we gave them 100-year contract, but I don't
3 doubt it, because I seen the 200-year contract go to
4 the Icebox. We should get straightened out on that.
5 . Now, under your -- well, actually
6 it's looking for a lease agreement. It's for
7 introduction - resolution - authorizing the mayor and
8 other appropriate city officials to execute and enter
9 into a master lease agreement between the City of
10 Scranton and Deer Credit. What is the dollar amount on
12 MR. DIBILEO: Let me check it on the
14 MR. POCIUS: It's like $14,043.75.
15 MR. SBARAGLIA: For how many payments?
16 MR. POCIUS: Twenty.
17 MR. SBARAGLIA: That's comes out to be
18 about $280,000?
19 MR. POCIUS: Yeah.
20 MR. SBARAGLIA: Wouldn't you assume it
21 would be better we enter into a lease to purchase
22 agreement, rather than to throw away $280,000?
23 MR. POCIUS: Well, I imagine this was
24 looked into, Mr. Sbaraglia. I don't really know, and
25 probably the --
1 MR. SBARAGLIA: Well --
2 MR. POCIUS: I didn't have a chance to
3 review the whole thing, but there's a purchase option
4 in the contract, and after five years, some of this
5 equipment would pretty much have its life used up.
6 MR. SBARAGLIA: Yeah. Well,
7 Mr. Bolus is coming up, he can probably answer it,
8 because he deals with that type of equipment.
9 MR. DIBILEO: We assume, Andy, that
10 this would have been looked into prior to deciding to
11 go for the lease instead of a purchase.
12 MR. SBARAGLIA: I don't assume anything
13 in the city. I like to see dollars and cents. You
14 assume, you know what assume means to people. We
15 assumed too many things, and we found out what is
17 We assumed that when they said they'd
18 transfer the South Side Complex over the Scranton
19 Redevelopment Authority, Scranton Redevelopmeent
20 Authority, that there were going to in TAN it, but we
21 assumed wrong, didn't we? And we've been assuming
22 wrong all along. It's just an occurrence in this city
23 where things are said but they're not necessarily so,
24 just like the song goes.
25 Okay. Another thing, I was informed
1 going over the airwaves that we may have a crunch on
2 heating, gas heating, going up near 71 percent. Is
3 there anything that you can do to ask Pennsylvania Gas
4 that when they give out a turn-off notice, that they
5 inform the city so we don't have recurrence of that
6 poor woman burning up in her house because they turned
7 the gas off and she was forced to use electric?
8 That becomes a safety issue. And
9 believe me, a lot of people are going to lose their
10 gas. I mean, if you get a 71 percent increase -- gas
11 in this city, I don't know how many of you have gas
12 heat. I happen to have one, and they can run up to
13 $300, $400 hundred dollars a month in the cold months.
14 Now, you multiple that by a 71
15 increase, and you're already putting out about $600 to
16 $700 for gas, and I don't know how many people in this
17 city could afford it, but I think we should make
18 precautions to sure that we don't have any more fires,
19 because fires really shouldn't, you know, shouldn't
21 Nobody should have to use electric
22 because somebody turned off their gas because somebody
23 is afraid they're making a dollar on it.
24 And this goes on within the city, and
25 you should look into see if something can be done
1 before it happens, not after it happens.
2 Well, I ain't going to take too much
3 more time. I must be close to my five minutes now.
4 So, I'll just end it. Thank you.
5 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you, Mr. Sbaraglia.
6 Regina Yetkowskas.
7 MS. YETKOWSKAS: Regina Yetkowskas,
8 Scranton resident and taxpayer. Since Channel 61 began
9 broadcasting the live city Council meetings, everyone
10 recognizes two things, first, that the broadcasts have
11 been very successful because the viewing public
12 continues to increase over the period of time, and
13 second, that the broadcasts have become and are the
14 only way the average taxpayers can get their message to
15 the entire viewing audience on matters that affect the
16 city, its operations, its terrible debt reported last
17 week, Mr. Doherty's job performance, taxes and other
18 matter concerning the good and welfare of the people.
19 It is not secret that the vast majority
20 of people who appear on Channel 61 are not Doherty
21 supporters for many reasons.
22 One often expressed reason for persons
23 to be adverse to Mr. Doherty is because it is obvious,
24 his idealogy for operating the city is, you must pay to
1 The people view this to be the lowest
2 common denominator for a mayor to govern a city. When
3 on listens to the taxpayers who appear at this podium,
4 it is easy to see there is tension between the people
5 and Mr.Doherty and his administration.
6 The reason is simply because the
7 people truly believe from actual experience that he has
8 not looked out for them over four years. He did not
9 communicate with the people for four years and did not
10 act for the benefit of the people for four years. All
11 the while, he alone created the largest long-term debt
12 in Scranton's history, which was reported at the last
13 Council meeting.
14 So, what can the podium speakers do to
15 get their massage to the remainder of Scranton's
16 people, it can only be by Channel 61.
17 The local newspaper owners not only
18 contribute a lot of money to Mr. Doherty's political
19 war chest, but they also act as his messenger boy to
20 carry his message to the reading public with editorials
21 an op-ed pieces which they have every right to do.
22 But when a newspaper proclaims itself
23 to be independent, one could expect it would report its
24 news stories in a fair, objective and balanced manner.
25 Unfortunately for the people, the
1 newspaper passes opinion as straight news and has its
2 editorial viewpoint in complete support of Mr. Doherty
3 and distort its news coverage.
4 This is often done subtly by the use of
5 adverbs and adjectives in its political news stories.
6 The newspaper has systematically and deliberately
7 blurred the line between fact and opinion.
8 Since most people generally skim the
9 headlines of news articles, it is very easy for the
10 newspaper to underhandedly sway public opinion.
11 For the past number of weeks in
12 City Council meetings, many people at the podium
13 referred to rumors that political pressure is being
14 implied to silence Channel 61, which is the only way
15 for people to present the other side of issues and to
16 voice complaints on the way Mr. Doherty does not do his
18 The newspaper has a monopoly in the
19 local print media. It would be tragic if the political
20 power brokers were able to silence the people by
21 silencing Channel 61.
22 We, the people, cannot allow this to
23 happen, because then Mr. Doherty, with the help of the
24 local newspaper, will be able to impose a despotic
25 situation on the people of Scranton who work and pay
1 the taxes.
2 I said it before and will repeat it
3 again, that when Mr. Doherty was he elected mayor, he
4 immediately abandoned his Democratic roots, he ignored
5 the taxpaying citizens who elected him and took care of
6 his friends and contributors.
7 If the people cannot expose such
8 underhanded political shenanigans on Channel 61, then
9 the end result could make Scranton a city without
10 objective news.
11 Pleas expose the names of anyone who
12 tries to silence Channel 61. Thank you.
13 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you, Ms.
14 Yetkowskas. I, too, have heard rumors about the
15 possible ending of Channel 61. I find it hard to
16 believe. I haven't personally looked into it myself,
17 but I think the positives of people at home viewing
18 their government in action far outweighs any negatives
19 that are associated with the televising of governmental
20 body meetings.
21 So, I'm not really concerned about it,
22 and if -- I haven't spoken to anyone, though, at
23 Channel 61. I think that it's safe to say that it's
24 probably here to stay. Reverend Cathryn Simmons.
25 MS. SIMMONS: Good evening, Council
1 members. I am Reverend Cathryn Simmons, lifelong
2 Scranton resident.
3 I was in quite a quandary this last
4 week about whether I should even come here tonight
5 because of all that has been going on.
6 I thought, Well, maybe the suggestion
7 made at a meeting the week before last about delaying
8 the West Scranton Youth Gang Summit was a good idea,
9 but I watched with great intent this past week about
10 the disaster which has befallen our Southern brothers
11 and sisters, and I say that close to heart, because my
12 family lives in Mississippi. They lost their home.
13 I've asked my Lord what lesson he is
14 trying to send to me and all of those around me, but it
15 just wouldn't come. But My Lord always answers me.
16 Whenever I take the time to pray and
17 study, he sends me an answer. And the other night he
18 said to me, Go, My Child, to the Book of Psalms 127,
19 and there you will find the answers that you seek.
20 And I quote from there, Unless the Lord
21 builds a house, the work of the builders is useless.
22 Unless the Lord protects a city, guarding it with
23 centuries will do no good.
24 It is useless for you to work so hard
25 from early morning until late night anxiously working
1 for food to eat, for God gives rest to his loved ones.
2 Children are a gift from the Lord.
3 They are a reward from him. Children born to a young
4 man are like sharp arrows in a warrior's hands.
5 How happy is the man whose quiver is
6 full of them. He will not be put to shame when he
7 confronts the accusers at the city gates. Amen.
8 What does this have to do with tonight
9 you ask? Well, we have watched with great sorrow about
10 what happens when no organization and no obedience is
11 in place, when associations such as neighborhood crime
12 watches or criminal justice projects are not in place,
13 sheer turmoil happens rather quickly.
14 When our children are not treated as
15 they should be, gifts from Father God himself, the
16 streets will run with the waters of those sent to
17 cleanse and make right all that we have done wrong.
18 I know many of you tonight are saying,
19 What is she talking about? What is she going on about?
20 Well, I will tell you right now. My God is screaming
21 out for us to hear him and to listen to those words of
22 Psalm 127.
23 I was told at a meeting the other day
24 that we should delay a meeting concerning young people
25 because there's a football game that evening.
1 Our children are in deep trouble. They
2 need us to lead them out. It's been shown to us if our
3 southern towns, and I quote, The bodies of the good
4 kids are floating in the same waters as the bodies of
5 the bad children.
6 Did we prepare either of them for this
7 journey? We have that opportunity now to show the
8 children of our Lord in the dry streets of life that we
9 can prepare them to walk poignantly and obediently from
10 the age of eight seconds to 88 years.
11 Let us not be so disobedient of both
12 Farther God's and man's laws, that the only way to
13 cleanse and repair is to open the levee and let forth
14 the waters come.
15 I hope that I see all who believe and
16 love in the children of this town tomorrow night as we
17 begin to repair our own lake called Scranton. Thank
19 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you, Reverend
20 Simmons. Mike Dudek.
21 MR. DUDEK: Good evening. My name is
22 Mike Dudek, 608 Depot Street, Scranton, PA. I live in
23 the Plot, and I gave Council prior to coming up here
24 copies of the Union News, Page 3, the editorial page,
25 which expands on the point that I tried to make last
1 week about Senator Mellow's opposition to Channel 61.
2 He expressed that opposition at a
3 fundraiser for Chris Doherty, so I'll go through the
4 pertinent points of this.
5 People served well by community access
6 television channel is the title of the opinion on this
7 in the Union News.
8 What's up with condemning Scranton
9 Today's community access station Channel 61? We would
10 like to know. Now, go down two more paragraphs.
11 The Scranton City Council weekly
12 meetings in which residents of Scranton can witness
13 their government in action while in their homes has
14 angered some, mostly supporters of Scranton of Scranton
15 Mayor Chris Doherty. They have called the Council
16 meetings Mayor Doherty bashing.
17 One local elected official has even
18 called the community access television channel, quote,
19 Bad for the region.
20 The official is Pennsylvania State
21 Senator Robert Mellow, the same Senator Mellow that
22 gave himself a pay raise of $33,000 in the middle of
23 the night and circumvented the state constitution
24 allowing legislative members to receive --
25 MR. DIBILEO: I'm sorry.
1 MR. WALSH: You had asked me to
2 interrupt if I thought anything was --
3 MR. DIBILEO: Yes.
4 MR. WALSH: And Senator Mellow isn't
5 really part of this forum, hasn't availed himself of
6 this forum, and although Mr. Dudek is permitted under
7 his First Amendment Right to talk about public
8 officials, perhaps --
9 MR. DUDEK: Only in terms of whether or
10 not he's going to advocate pulling the plug on Channel
11 61. That's the only point that I want to make.
12 That's the only point I want to make.
13 And I think if you read the rest of it,
14 I think we can just assume that, like Councilman
15 DiBileo said, it probably isn't going to happen,
16 because by now Senator Mellow has faced enough
17 embarrassment over his words to being with.
18 But if Senator Mellow wants to get
19 involved in Scranton City politics, I have a word of
20 advice for him, please do it.
21 If he backs Chris Doherty,
22 Senator Mellow will do the same for Chris Doherty that
23 he did for 20 other Pennsylvania State Senators that
24 lost election.
25 When Senator Mellow became Senate
1 majority leader, the Pennsylvania Senate had Democrats
2 as a majority. Now they are a shrunken minority. No
3 person has ever done a worse job representing his
4 constituents than Senator Mellow has.
5 MR. DIBILEO: Mr. Dudek, Mr. Walsh is
6 once again stopping us here at this point, and if this
7 comment --
8 MR. DUDEK: Okay. I'm finished with
9 that point. I'm completely off it. I will stop on
11 I do have one question for Ms. Evans, I
12 went over some of the numbers that you had last week,
13 and a couple of them didn't seem to me to be quite the
15 Did you go over the same numbers that
16 you presented and do you have anything?
17 MS. EVANS: Yes. In fact, the same
18 evening later that evening following the Council
19 meeting I did review the numbers again, and I realized
20 that I had misread a misread a column of dates, and at
21 that time I contacted a Scranton Times news reporter so
22 that I could make that public, and I just want to say,
23 you know, in no way would I ever intentionally mislead
24 people or provide inaccurate information, and it's
25 probably just as easy for me, not being a CPA, to make
1 an error, as it would be for the CPA to make an error
2 in his total calculations of a column, which actually
3 occurs on the very same page of the audit.
4 MR. DUDEK: I'll forgive you this time.
5 In all honesty, I've done it myself as a classroom
7 MS. EVANS: I just -- I did want to
8 add, though, I'm going to address this in more detail
9 under motions, but I do want you to know that I stand
10 by all the remaining numbers, particularly the bottom
11 line, a total of over $198 million in long-term debt.
12 MR. DUDEK: Thank you.
13 MS. EVANS: Thank you.
14 MR. POCIUS: Mr. President.
15 MR. DIBILEO: Yes.
16 MR. POCIUS: I think it's appropriate
17 that, if I can ask you indulgence, if I can just
18 interject into Mr. Dudek's comments now.
19 MR. DIBILEO: Certainly.
20 MR. POCIUS: I had a conversation today
21 with members of Senator Mellow's staff concerning this
22 issue. There could be nothing further than the truth
23 that he's trying to stop Channel 61.
24 I have a letter from 2001 from Scranton
25 Today, which is a division of Scranton Tomorrow, it was
1 Senator Mellow's office who secured a $20,000 grant to
2 set up Channel 61.
3 It was also Senator Mellow, in my
4 conversations with the staff, that brought the cameras
5 into the Senate, which we watch on PCN.
6 We're told up here week by week that
7 editorials sometimes don't contain all the facts, well,
8 Mr. Dudek is quoting from an editorial, not -- it says
9 our opinion, not a fact sheet like a -- something like
10 this, but the records state for itself. This is a
11 letter thanking Senator Mellow back in 2001 from
12 Scranton Tomorrow for securing the $20,000 grant for
13 this facility. So, I just think it's appropriate that
14 it be brought up right now.
15 MR. DIBILEO: Well, thank you for
16 clearing that up. I appreciate that Mr. Pocius.
17 MR. POCIUS: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 Bob Bolus.
19 MR. BOLUS: Good evening, Council. Bob
21 MR. DIBILEO: Good evening.
22 MR. BOLUS: I heard Andy mention
23 something about on the agenda here about the type of
24 equipment that was being purchased and used and as to
25 the value.
1 I'd be glad to look at it, and if
2 someone wants to make that available to me to evaluate
3 it, look at the particulars of the agreement, see if
4 it's a good one or a bad one and just voice an opinion.
5 I don't have that in front of me, so I
6 can't really voice anything on it, but I would be glad
7 to help out doing that.
8 Reverend Simmons was up here, I'd
9 like, I guess she left, but I'd like to tell her that
10 some of our trailers have already been loaded with the
11 help of volunteers and people, have already gone into
12 the disaster area.
13 We have one that was in Sidel down in
14 Louisiana, the other one is Haitisburg or somewhere
15 like that, and one is being presently loaded that's
16 going into Gulfport, Mississippi, one's going into
18 We've bypassed dealing with FEMA, the
19 Red Cross and everyone else because of the bureaucracy
20 and the red tap and trying to get these vehicles down
22 I've dispatched them with the
23 assistance of the State Police in both states that are
24 escorting our vehicles to where they are needed, and
25 that's to the ones that cannot get supplies, other than
1 come get them.
2 So, I would ask anybody out there that
3 wants to donate non-perishable items, it will get there
4 a lot quicker than the money getting through donations
5 and stuff to somebody to somebody to finally get it
7 They need to eat now, they need clothes
8 on their back, babies need formula, they need diapers,
9 women have needs, and there are many other things out
10 there that the red tape and bureaucracy between FEMA
11 and everyone else is sidetracked.
12 If you want to send a truck, you have
13 to wait two, three days to get approval from them to go
14 where they think you should go.
15 So, we bypassed it and we're getting
16 the job done with the help of the volunteers and some
17 of our drivers who are doing this.
18 So, I would like to -- Arianna, a young
19 lady that's been helping us, has done a tremendous job
20 in securing a lot of things there, so I'd like a lot of
21 people to know we are going there and we're going where
22 it's needed.
23 And, Mrs. Evans, I spoke with
24 Mrs. Lowry last week and offered her to take her stuff
25 down on one of our trailers. I didn't have a truck, we
1 don't play with them, we play with the big toys, but
2 hopefully they did get down what they needed and people
3 will get what they need.
4 There's going to be a
5 transportation Independence Day next week or Saturday
6 at the stadium that's going to involve trucks and
7 different things going on down there, and they're
8 loading perishables, as well, or non-perishables, and
9 our Scranton Police Department is going to give a
10 demonstration to people on DOT, with trucks and all,
11 and I'm proud to say Scranton is associated with it
13 Mr. McTiernan, I think you did one
14 heck of a job grabbing the kid. I think you should be
15 commended for that at the school.
16 MR. McTIERNAN: Thank you, Mr. Bolus.
17 I can't take all the credit for that. There were two
18 uniformed Scranton Police Officers present and other
19 members of the administration, Mr. Schaefer, Mr. McGraw
20 and Ms. Rose, so there was an awful lot of help.
21 But, thank you, I'll pass that thanks along.
22 MR. BOLUS: See, I do say nice things
23 about you.
24 MR. McTIERNAN: Thank you.
25 MR. BOLUS: What I did is -- and we're
1 talking about 61, well, you saw what happened with the
2 courthouse now, the commissioners did listen to the
4 And Lynn's here, and reporters could
5 not write the full story for that three, four hour,
6 whatever it was, meeting, but 61 televised it in its
7 entirety that everyone was informed, and it shows that
8 if you're a good legislature or whatever it is, you
9 will listen to the voice of the people, and that
10 happened here.
11 We're going to get the renovations, our
12 judges are going to be safe and people are going to be
13 safe going into the courthouse. Maybe now we'll have
14 that back elevator fixed to get upstairs from the back.
15 There are other issues here, and I
16 spoke to Mr. Keeler before, and a couple weeks ago, I
17 missed last week, I was out of town, but he said
18 billions, not millions.
19 Well, I heard you say the billions, but
20 I thought you had future knowledge what Mr. Doherty was
21 going to spend, not the millions that he's spending
22 right now. So, I did hear that, so I didn't miss it.
23 You know, we're looking at the millions
24 of dollars that are going here. I see the labor unions
25 are here, and I'd like to ask them, I heard them
1 arguing about $5 million last week, well, there's a $15
2 million courthouse going up, there's millions in the
3 new transportation center on Lackawanna Avenue, there's
4 the Rinaldi Development that's in the millions, there's
5 millions on parking garages, millions by Mr. Joyce
6 that's going to be at the old Bewitching and
7 The Commons on Wyoming Avenue, and there's millions
8 more going on.
9 But you want us to turn around and give
10 $5 million to a guy who sold the golf course, never put
11 this money in the bank where it's supposed to be in
12 trust, took $700,000from the South Side Complex without
13 even having it sold yet, didn't get the money from the
14 DPW complex that was over $600,000, takes a dollar, and
15 I can go on and on and on to the misspending, a guy who
16 does no bids.
17 If he were to come in here today and
18 Mr. McTiernan and Mr. Pocius and Mr. Keeler and ask you
19 for a loan based on those circumstances, that he took
20 money from his corporation, which was questioned, did
21 he tack money from his corporations in his campaign the
22 last time and never came forward to say if he's
23 disclosed that, other than it's in black and white, and
24 nothing's been done.
25 When you turn around to a guy who took
1 e here, but the La Festa was one heck of a thing for
2 the city, it showed what we are in this county. It was
3 just scary to see big dogs walking around in there with
4 little kids there. I think we should try and curtail
5 that next time. And thank you.
6 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you.
7 MR. BOLUS: And tonight, Gary, if you
8 don't mind, there are many, many things that we have in
9 the city, and, you know, I just feel that the
10 Republican party let everybody down this week, the
11 leadership especially, by not properly representing the
12 Republicans at La Festa. Thank you.
13 MR. DIBILEO: Now, do we have another
14 speaker, Mr. Bolus, because, I'm sorry, your five
15 minutes are up.
16 MR. BOLUS: I know. And I'm proud to
17 wear your bracelet, too, and I'm sure all the Vets are.
18 Douglas Miller is on the list right after me.
19 MR. DIBILEO: Okay. Where is he at
21 MR. BOLUS: I think he' standing right
22 here, Gary.
23 MR. DIBILEO: Douglas Miller, okay.
24 Yeah you're up, Doug. Go right ahead.
25 MR. BOLUS: Okay. It's his turn now.
1 Thank you.
2 MR. MILLER: Good evening, Council.
3 Douglas Miller, Scranton.
4 MR. DIBILEO: Good evening.
5 MR. MILLER: Good evening. Before I
6 begin, I just want to say that I want to thank Council
7 for giving me the opportunity to speak tonight.
8 I would also encourage other young kids
9 to come out and speak about city government. I think
10 it's important that they come out and get involved.
11 Like Mr. Bolus just said, I want to say
12 that La Festa was great this weekend. It was one of
13 the best they've had in the last couple of years.
14 There were good crowds, and especially on Saturday for
15 the fireworks, which were great. Probably the best
16 fireworks show they ever had, so I was glad everything
17 went well down there.
18 The first problem I have is an arrow
19 needs to be put at the light at Moosic Street next to
20 Harrison Avenue. You need that arrow to make the
21 left-hand turn onto Harrison Avenue.
22 MR. COURTRIGHT: You know, Doug, I
23 think we asked Jay about that in the past, and I don't
24 know -- that had to go to PennDOT, didn't it, Jay?
25 MR. POCIUS: Jay, I also think that
1 signal is included in the project that's ongoing right
2 now with the CDBG signals. It's not only in the
3 downtown, I think this one is definitely included, as
4 one as the one at Mulberry and Harrison.
5 So, that will be addressed, Douglas,
6 with an overall brand new signal project.
7 MR. MILLER: Okay. Thank you. The
8 next thing I have here is at the end of West Locust
9 where it dead ends into Dale Drive, speed bumps need to
10 be put in because cars fly around that corner and there
11 are kids in that area, too, and something is going to
12 happen over there if you don't do something soon. It's
13 very dangerous over there, so that needs to be looked
15 MR. DIBILEO: Okay. We'll look into
16 that, Doug.
17 MR. MILLER: All right. And the last
18 thing I have is I want to thank the Council. I was
19 here a year and a half ago and I came to speak about
20 streetlights that had to be put in the Dale Drive
21 Development. They were put in, so I wanted to thank
22 Council for that. They look great. Thank you.
23 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you, Doug. Gene
25 MR. HICKEY: Good evening, Council.
1 MR. DIBILEO: Good evening.
2 MR. HICKEY: Mr. Saunders, who just
3 stepped out, Mr. Walsh, and the residents that are here
4 this evening.
5 I'm here tonight to talk about the CRF
6 program. I understand that there were numerous union
7 members who came last week and spoke on the subject
9 Unfortunately I was unavailable due to
10 an illness and couldn't be here. The mayor did ask
11 that I come up, and if Council had any questions
12 concerning the program, if I can answer them, I'd be
13 happy to do so.
14 I think most of those union members
15 based upon the reports I saw indicated the benefits of
16 the program, benefits to the union members, as well as
17 benefits to the city and future development within the
19 My understanding of the history of the
20 legislation was that Council voted on the legislation
21 when Mr. Pocius and Mr. McTiernan were absent from the
22 meeting and the legislation was voted down by a two to
23 one vote, and Mr. DiBileo, I believe you voted in the
24 affirmative at that time; is that accurate?
25 MR. DIBILEO: That's accurate.
1 MR. HICKEY: All right. And I believe
2 you indicated your agreement in support of the program
3 at the time of that original vote.
4 Subsequent to that, it's my
5 understanding that Mr. McTiernan had made a motion to
6 actually introduce new legislation on a similar topic,
7 and that was likewise voted down by Council, at which
8 time Mr. DiBileo, Mrs. Evans and Mr. Courtright voted
9 against reintroducing similar legislation, and then
10 another motion was made subsequent to that asking
11 Council to suspend its rules concerning putting the
12 legislation back on the agenda in the same form that it
13 was in when Council originally voted two to one against
14 it. Is that accurate?
15 MR. DIBILEO: Yes, it is.
16 MS. EVANS: Mr. Hickey, with one small
17 exception, I wasn't present at the meeting, I believe
18 it's the second meeting you mentioned when
19 Mr. McTiernan would have raised the issue asking that
20 the legislation be drafted again. That's is.
21 MR. HICKEY: Thank you, Mrs. Evans.
22 The reason I'm here is, as a solicitor to City Council
23 for approximately 13 years, I'm very familiar with the
24 council's rules of procedure.
25 Council has the right under its rules
1 to suspend the rules and place an item back on the
2 agenda for reconsideration and a new vote, and I'm
3 uncertain at this time, and the mayor's requested I
4 come to ask these questions, as to why Mr. DiBileo, in
5 particular, who voted in favor of it has voted now not
6 to suspend the rules and put it back on the agenda, and
7 if I can offer assistance in getting it back on the
8 agenda, I'd like to do so.
9 MR. DIBILEO: We, as a body, made
10 ourselves perfectly clear last week. We will
11 reintroduce this legislation if one of the descending
12 votes makes a motion to bring it up again, and we never
13 suspend our rules to revote and issue.
14 And I said last week, and I'll say it
15 again this week, rules to revote and issue. And I said
16 last week and I'll say it again this week, Mr.
17 McTiernan and Mr. Pocius missed two opportunities in a
18 row to be here to voter on that issue.
19 No meetings were scheduled when any
20 Council members were not able to be here. As a matter
21 of fact, the meeting of August 1, was rescheduled by
22 Mrs. Evans.
23 So, we've made a decision as a body not
24 to suspend our rules to revote something when everyone
25 had an opportunity to be here to vote. And if
1 Mr. Courtright and if Mrs. Evans chose to make a motion
2 to re-entertain that legislation, I will vote in favor
3 of it and we will take a revote on that.
4 MR. HICKEY: I understand your
5 position now, thank you, Mr. DiBileo. Let me say a few
6 things with regard to that issue.
7 First and foremost, as a Council
8 president, you're a leader of this body, and as a
9 leader of a body, it's my position, not only as an
10 assistant city solicitor, but as a taxpayer and a
11 resident that you should show that leadership, and when
12 you have the ability to re-introduce legislation that
13 you're in favor of, that you ought to go ahead and make
14 that motion and do it.
15 Secondly, the fact remains that Council
16 has the ability to suspend the rules, and you did it
17 even tonight. You suspended your rules to take a
18 proclamation, you suspend your rules when you let
19 Mr. Bolus speak more than five minutes. Council
20 suspends their rules routinely. And it befuddles the
21 mind as to why you would not agree to suspend the rules
22 to vote on something that you claim that you're in
23 favor of in order to side with two of your political
24 allies. It simply doesn't make sense.
25 MS. EVANS: Mr. Hickey --
1 MR. HICKEY: If I could finish.
2 MS. EVANS: I'm sorry. I'm sorry for
4 MR. HICKEY: It simply does not make
5 sense, and I don't understand it. If you're in favor
6 of it, you ought to vote yes, you ought to suspend the
7 rules; if you're against it, say you're against it and
8 get off the fence and vote accordingly.
9 MR. DIBILEO: Well, I'll say again, I'm
10 not against it, I'm in favor of it, and when
11 Mrs. Evans or Mr. Courtright make a motion to
12 re-entertain that, we will, and I will vote again in
13 the affirmative. And I appreciate your comments on
14 your feelings for this situation.
15 MR. HICKEY: So, your position is you
16 will it continue to vote with the bloc that you vote
17 with on a weekly basis?
18 MR. DIBILEO: My position is, we've
19 addressed this perfectly clear last week.
20 MR. HICKEY: All right. And now I
21 understand your position, and I disagree with you.
22 MS. EVANS: Mr. Hickey, could I ask you
23 a question, though?
24 MR. HICKEY: Certainly, Mrs. Evans.
25 MS. EVANS: In my memory, which is
1 certainly not as long as yours, because I haven't been
3 MR. HICKEY: I'm afraid to interpret
4 that comment, but that's okay. It must go to my gray
6 MS. EVANS: We have suspended rules,
7 yes, but for issues as you enumerated, and I might add,
8 also, too, to speed legislation along from sixth order
9 into seventh order, so I do understand what you're
10 saying, but can you remember a time where the last time
11 when Council would have suspended its rules in order to
12 reverse a vote over-riding the, you know, Robert's
13 Rules and the votes in the affirmative?
14 MR. HICKEY: Yeah, actually I can.
15 There were Sewer Authority issues that we re-voted on.
16 I think it -- there actually might have been a rate
17 hike, which was a very important issue to the citizens,
18 not only of the city, but also the users of the
19 Scranton sewer system, and there were numerous other
20 votes that when new information came to light, yeah,
21 this body would actually suspend its rules and
22 re-introduce the same legislation for a new vote.
23 The purpose of having that provision
24 and the rules of Council is to permit just that.
25 That's why it's in there. Hat's why Council utilizes
2 MR. DIBILEO: Has there been any new
3 information come to light in this instance?
4 MR. HICKEY: In what respect,
5 Mr. DiBileo?
6 MR. DIBILEO: You said when new
7 information comes to light, there reasons to --
8 MR. HICKEY: Sure. You had new
9 information. You had Mr. Pocius and Mr. McTiernan here
10 at a meeting who could have voted on the legislation.
11 I'll let them speak to the reasons why they weren't
12 here, because I think there's a disagreement amongst
13 you and Mr. Pocius at least as to why he wasn't present
14 for that particular meeting when you voted on it.
15 That's not my issue. My issue here is
16 simply Council has the ability, it has the authority,
17 and quite frankly, I think it has the obligation that
18 if three members of the body are in favor of a
19 particular piece of legislation, they ought to put it
20 back on the agenda, vote accordingly and move on to the
21 next issue.
22 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you.
23 MS. EVANS: Mr. Hickey, I just wanted
24 to pose a question as a follow-up to what
25 President DiBileo said, I understand what you're
1 saying, as well, if new information arises, in terms of
2 your response, that information coming from two of my
3 colleagues, they had already expressed their point of
4 view publicly on that issue, but my concern is, again,
5 as Mr. DiBileo said, what is the new information? Can
6 you tell me what the project or projects are that
7 you're asking me to fund?
8 MR. HICKEY: I'm not aware of what the
9 projects are, Mrs. Evans, and quite frankly, I don't
10 think Council needs to know if there's even a project
11 in existence.
12 Assuming the funding is in place, this
13 body has the ability -- actually it has the obligation
14 to review the project and actually vote on it and see
15 whether or not the funding gets put in place for that
16 particular project.
17 Mr. Bolus spoke in his usual eloquent
18 self this evening and rattled off probably ten projects
19 that have come through this very body for approval. I
20 don't recall Council ever disapproving one of them.
21 So, for the downtown development that
22 that money is used for to infuse capital, to create
23 jobs for the trades unions, to creat permanent jobs for
24 other city residents, Council has the authority, the
25 ability and the obligation to actually review them and
1 vote accordingly.
2 You're not giving up anything by taking
3 the money from the program and putting it back into
4 city coffers and having Council then decide whether or
5 not they're in favor of a program or not. Actually you
6 eliminate the risk.
7 MS. EVANS: Well, I think -- well,
8 first of all, I don't think we're at risk, because CRF
9 is assuming our most secure loans. They have not
10 defaulted during any period of payments, so they are
11 choosing the cream of the crop of those loans, and I
12 think, in fact, we do jeopardize the future for the
13 present; in that, as Mr. Bolus stated, there are
14 numerous on gong projects through the city, but as
15 these payments come in on a monthly and annual basis,
16 they are providing for thereby future small businesses
17 and small businesses and projects, and to take all of
18 it in one lump sum right now and leave us with nothing,
19 other than the weeds in the garden, the loans that are
20 high risk, to me, jeopardizes the future.
21 MR. HICKEY: I disagree, Mrs. Evans,
22 because for the low or the smaller business loans, the
23 money comes in in a trickling effect.
24 I think it was this very body that
25 actually voted against the small loan program for
1 various businesses in the city.
2 MS. EVANS: Oh, no, no. This body
3 voted against renewing the contract for a consultant
4 because the city was not utilizing services that were
5 free of charge, and in addition to that, having spoken
6 with at least, well, actually several of these
7 businesses, but I know of one, for example, who was
8 forced to borrow more money than they actually needed
9 in this loan, and they were given the option, you take
10 this significant excess, or you get nothing at all.
11 So, I have many questions about that unnecessary
13 But there was, I've lost my train of
14 thought, I'm sorry, there was something else that you
15 had said, oh, I know what it was, that everything has
16 to come before City Council, well yes, indeed, in a
17 democracy and the design of a democracy as the
18 legislative branch, one would hope and think that that
19 were true, but it appears in this case to only be true
20 in theory and not application, because this mayor had
21 demonstrated that he circumvents City Council by
22 re-routing, whether directly or indirectly, moves
23 through municipal authorities so that City Council can
24 never put their hands on that issue, and that's what
25 I'm trying to avoid.
1 MR. DIBILEO: I just have two quick
2 things to say, and then I am going to have to get onto
3 the next speaker, Mr. Hickey.
4 MR. HICKEY: One quick comment to Mrs.
5 Evans' last comment, and that is, you --
6 MR. DIBILEO: Hold on. We have a
7 conversation here involving a Council member.
8 Please. We have conversation here between a Council
9 member and somebody at the podium. I know we're beyond
10 the five minutes, but we're going to be moving onto the
11 next speaker immediately.
12 MR. HICKEY: Just in response to Mrs.
13 Evans' statement, that money from the CRF program will
14 come directly into the city, and as finance chairwoman,
15 you know the only way for that money to go out of the
16 city is through approval by Council.
17 So, the statement that you're making is
18 totally incorrect.
19 MS. EVANS: No.
20 MR. HICKEY: Similar to the statement
21 that you made last week concerning the debt the city
22 has incurred.
23 MS. EVANS: Oh, I wouldn't say --
24 MR. HICKEY: Totally incorrect, Mrs.
1 MS. EVANS: Mr. Hickey, the difference
2 between you and me is simply this, you're hired by this
3 administration and you're taking your marching orders;
4 I was elected by the people of this city and I am
5 representing their best interests. I'm not
6 representing one man. I am representing thousands of
8 MR. HICKEY: You're representing your
9 interests, not the citizens, your interests.
10 MR. DIBILEO: I have two comments, and
11 then I'm going to have to ask you to sit down,
12 Mr. Hickey.
13 MR. HICKEY: Certainly. And I
14 appreciate your indulgence, Mr. DiBileo.
15 MR. DIBILEO: Number one, I think that
16 if anybody walked in here and put a project in front of
17 this City Council, I'm sure that Mrs. Evans or
18 Mr. Courtright would jump on the opportunity to provide
19 that business money to get into Scranton, which we
20 need; number two, I happen to think that people are
21 starting to politicize this issue, given the fact that
22 there is no project right now, that I think that they
23 would jump on an opportunity to give the money to, and
24 thank you very much.
25 MR. HICKEY: Thank you, Mr. DiBileo. I
1 don't think there's any politicism going on here, other
2 than that coming from members of Council. Thank you.
3 MR. DIBILEO: Don Hart.
4 MR. HART: Good evening. My name is
5 Don Hart. I was born and raised in Minooka. I
6 currently live in Dunmore.
7 I represent 150 members of the brick
8 layers and allied craft workers union who do live in
9 the city are raising their families here, and I would
10 like to urge Council to revisit that issue that
11 Attorney Hickey just discussed.
12 And I had an opportunity this past week
13 to speak to those 150 members, and I'm here carrying
14 their water, because they can't fit in this room, or
15 they'd be here.
16 They urged me to speak in favor of it,
17 because not only for the temporary construction jobs it
18 may or not create, but for the quality of life issues
19 that it addresses and the permanent jobs that it will
20 bring to our city.
21 So, on behalf of those roughly 150
22 members and their families, I urge you to look at this
23 again. Thank you.
24 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you.
25 MS. EVANS: Thank you.
1 MR. DIBILEO: Oh, that's a good one.
2 Okay. I have to say that I'm a little bit dismayed,
3 but let me ask people to -- I'm a little bit dismayed
4 by the fact that the mayor is encouraging a small
5 number of union members to come to these Council
6 meetings and speak.
7 We as a body, as I told Mr. Hickey --
8 excuse me. I have to ask that people refrain from
9 speaking in the audience, please. Okay.
10 We as a body made ourselves perfectly
11 clear last week, that if Mrs. Evans or Mr. Courtright
12 bring a motion up to vote that legislation again, they
13 will, and it could happen at any time, and personally,
14 I hope it happens sooner than later, but the reason I
15 say that I know the mayor is urging union members to
16 come here, yet for some strange reason he won't come
17 here himself, is I spoke to a member of the brick
18 layers union today, and I'm not going to mention his
19 name, and he told me personally that the mayor called
20 him today and asked him to come to the meeting tonight.
21 And I just think that, you know, I
22 personally believe that he is beginning to use certain
23 union members as political ploys, because I think he
24 should be the person standing in front of us telling us
25 why Mr. Courtright and Mrs. Evans should bring that
1 motion before us once again.
2 And for some strange reason, he choses
3 not to be here, and I'm not going to go on for why I
4 think he's not coming, but anyway, I just had to say
5 that --
6 MR. HART: Mr. DiBileo, can I make a
7 point of information, please?
8 MR. DIBILEO: No, I'm sorry.
9 MR. HART: My members sent me here
10 tonight. This union leader was sent here by his
11 members. Thank you.
12 MR. DIBILEO: We'll move on. Les
14 MR. SPINDLER: Good evening, Council.
15 Les Spindler, Scranton resident. Well, you stole my
16 thunder, Mr. DiBileo. I was going to say those exact
18 If Chris Doherty is so adamant about
19 having this CRF reintroduced, why doesn't he come here
20 himself and ask? What's he afraid of? Why is he
21 sending puppets to speak for him every week? That's
22 all I have to say about that.
23 Back in the springtime I came and asked
24 about two certain areas that have lines painted. To
25 this date, they still haven't been painted.
1 It's funny, we don't have people to
2 paint lines, but we have people that go around putting
3 banners on buildings advertising what the mayor has
4 done, and none of those things are true, such as on the
5 Brooks Building it says, 3000 new jobs. Well, we shot
6 those jobs down last week. They were all under Jimmy
8 Across the street on the building it
9 says, 500 city blocks paved. I spoke about that a few
10 weeks ago. Everybody that puts gas in their car helps
11 to pave the city streets. So, it's not Mayor Doherty
12 that's paving the city streets.
13 Next, I came across a piece of Chris
14 Doherty paraphernalia that's going around the city
15 advertising things he's taking credit for, which he
16 didn't get started, like everything else.
17 East Mountain Road in Scranton now has
18 new sidewalks, cuts, drainage and roadways, $5 million.
19 Well, that project was started under the Connor's
21 Providence Square in North Scranton is
22 getting new sidewalks, curbs and paving, $300,000.
23 Kevin Murphy and Mayor Connors also got the money for
25 After decades of disrepair, the East
1 Market Street Bridge opened in July with an impressive
2 new look and a level of safety, $4,000,000. Also, the
3 Connors administration got that money. So,
4 Mayor Doherty wants to take credit for everything that
5 Mayor Connors started.
6 One more thing to read here, You can't
7 run out the clock. It's a long time until election
8 day, November 8, and it seems as though Mayor Chris
9 Doherty is trying to run out the clock.
10 Each day that goes by without incident
11 or at least without the people noticing brings him that
12 much closer to another four years.
13 Four more years we can go back into
14 ignoring the people, neglecting the neighborhoods and
15 rewarding his friends and campaign contributors with
16 millions of dollars that should have been used for a
17 tax cut, police protection and street repairs.
18 So, before the buzzer goes off and the
19 corks begin to pop, let's remember the first three and
20 a half quarters.
21 Number one, $3 million surplus gone, no
22 tax cut; number two, Hilton bankrupt; number three,
23 Southern Union; twelve jobs; number four, potholes
24 galore; number five, crime rampant, result of police
25 taking up the streets, bikes, motorcycles, beat cops,
2 Administration analysis, crime is not
3 up, the perception of crime is up. The violence is not
4 gang related.
5 A, young man beaten to death on a
6 street in West Side; B, teenager viciously beaten in
7 front of Mayor Doherty's home in Green Ridge; C,
8 stabbing in Pine Brook; D, shooting in South Side; E,
9 shooting death in the Hill; F, riot at neighborhood
10 little league carnival in Keyser Valley; G, student
11 brings loaded gun to Scranton High school, not part of
12 a gang.
13 Look, Mayor Doherty, stop blowing
14 smoke. The people are not dumb. Your expensive TV
15 commercials, billboards and taxpayer funded signs will
16 not do the trick.
17 There's too much time left on the clock
18 to freeze the ball. Do something or get out of the way
19 and let someone else take over.
20 We're losing our neighborhoods and
21 losing our -- and our children are in danger. Thank
23 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you. John Francis
25 MR. BRZYCKI: Do I get 15 minutes like
1 Mr. Hickey?
2 MR. DIBILEO: Well, if there's
3 discussion between you and any Council members,
4 Mr. Brzycki.
5 MR. BRZYCKI: Okay. John Francis
6 Brzycki, Jr., taxpayer and owner in the City of
8 Council does not know what the mayor
9 and some members of this Council know, that the City of
10 Scranton is broke, that this incumbent mayor has rung
11 over $198 million in debt just in three and a half
13 This mayor is going to break the backs
14 of our senior citizens and their children and
16 You know, it took me three and a half
17 years to realize what a distressed city really means.
18 What perked my curiosity, as well, as the 34 taxpayers
19 that were left here and Mr. Pocius wanted to suspend
20 motions during our public forum.
21 This Council or this man was so
22 anxious to get his agenda out of the way, maybe the
23 mayor wanted to go to sleep that night early. Now, I
24 am very upset about this, and you have $5 more million
25 for a project.
1 Now, Janet Evans conducted her business
2 after the meeting, and she told us that $5 million more
3 was going to go to the mayor, but she blocked it, and
4 Mr. Courtright did and also Mr. DiBileo.
5 Then the bomb really went off in my
6 head at 10:15, when Mrs. Evans spoke of the audit that
7 was conduced for the year 2004. I could not believe my
8 ears when hearing that this city will be in debt until
9 the year 2033.
10 Now, this city is deteriorating, and it
11 is my life's savings are being drained, not only me but
12 my life savings to pay for these high taxes that's
13 going to rob me of 34 years of sacrifice.
14 Maybe God sent for me never to get
15 married and have a family because I couldn't have it in
16 this distressed city.
17 Gary, you have a big heart. You know
18 maybe you'd like to give the mayor a job and teach him
19 how to run government when you beat him.
20 Now, for the public record, I voted for
21 Gary DiBileo, Janet Evans and Mr. Bill Courtright, and
22 also for Chris Phillips for Council, and also Bob Bolus
23 last election.
24 MR. DIBILEO: I'm sorry. Mr. Brzycki,
25 we can't talk about political elections, please.
1 MR. BRZYCKI: Oh, okay. I'm sorry
2 about that.
3 Okay. Anyway, I have two bones to pick
4 with our local paper. I'm referring to an article that
5 appeared in Friday's paper about DiBileo's bracelets,
6 how it goes on to say that these vets are from Dunmore
7 and this was not going for political gain.
8 You know, this paper will stoop so low
9 to undermined Gary DiBileo's chances of becoming the
10 next mayor of the City of Scranton.
11 Well, it not going to work with me or
12 our fellow Scrantonians. We can see right through this
14 First of all, when the soldiers first
15 came in from Iraq from the Army in March, Gary took his
16 family to welcome them back home.
17 His son Gary was so touched that his
18 son wanted to do something for our brave soldiers that
19 he thought of this idea for the bracelets to help the
20 families, but their lives were displaced by fighting
21 for our country.
22 When the Army National Guard Defenders
23 of Freedom came in from operations in Iraq on
24 August 20 of 2005 at Scranton High School, who was on
25 stage after the ceremony and gifts were presented to
1 our brave fighting men but Mayor Doherty and his wife,
2 and they were handing out little pieces of paper.
3 Now I see Mr. McTiernan has left, because you know what
4 they were handing out.
5 A second bone I have to pick with this
6 only newspaper is an article I submitted to the editor
7 on July 25, 2005. I was called twice at my home to see
8 if I really wrote it to the editor.
9 Well, it was written by me, and I'd
10 like to read it for you right now, if I could, Council.
11 MR. DIBILEO: Do we have time?
12 MR. SAUNDERS: Yes.
13 MR. DIBILEO: Okay.
14 MR. BRZYCKI: Okay. It says, Let's
15 Wake Up American And Smell The Decay Of The United
16 States These ABC's Spell.
17 A, Voter apathy very high-afraid to
18 vote for all politicians are crooks.
19 B, Foreigners influx into our country.
20 They don't pay taxes, get all the free health and
21 welfare forcing corporations to hire them and abandon
22 the white worker. These foreigners are willing to work
23 for $6 an hour, and if they get overtime, they have a
24 comfortable way of life. They also are going to change
25 this country's language. They're having babies, the
1 Americans are murdering the babies right from the womb.
2 C, All goods and stores come from a
3 slue of foreign markets. We just buy the cheaper
4 foreign goods. We do not buy American good anymore.
5 D, All banks and insurance companies
6 own American and can pay very little interest in
7 savings accounts to seniors and other tax payers.
8 E, Their is no middle class taxpayer.
9 The rich are getting richer and finding all kinds of
10 loopholes to keep a strong grip on the economy. Why
11 the poor are finding it very hard to survive, they need
12 all kinds of help.
13 F, There's a disrespect for our elderly
14 and handicapped, but not here in Scranton. We're very
15 good. We're very good with the charitable people here.
16 G, We have a good for nothing governor
17 in the State of Pennsylvania that all he thinks about
18 it gambling, which will make the people of this state
19 poorer. He does nothing for the doctors in the state
20 who are leaving because of insurance of malpractice is
21 very high. HMO doctors are hanging in by the skin of
22 their teeth. Can I go on? I only got about eight
24 MR. DIBILEO: Do you mind coming back
25 next week with that, Mr. Brzycki?
1 MR. BRZYCKI: Sure.
2 MR. DIBILEO: Appreciate it. Thank
3 you. John Keeler.
4 MR. KEELER: John Keeler,
5 Orchard Street, Scranton, Pennsylvania, citizen,
6 taxpayer and listener to all the cursing going on
7 behind my wife and I there from the so-called -- I
8 don't know what they are.
9 But anyway, I'd just like to thank
10 Council for giving me this opportunity the last few
11 weeks to exercise my First Amendment rights, I really
12 appreciate it, you're to be commended.
13 And I want to thank Mayor Doherty and
14 School Director Bob Lesh and the rest of the school
15 district for their cooperation in renovating and
16 dramatically improving Whittier School playground,
17 which is directly across from my house, and they've
18 done a great job, and I just want to tell them how much
19 we appreciate that.
20 Number two, the 2003 bond issue that
21 was issued by the City of Scranton is a AAA rated bond
22 issue, which, by the way, nobody on Council has
24 Any previous issue into by the City of
25 Scranton has been a junk bond. They have not been
1 rated at all.
2 Under Doherty's administration, people
3 don't realize the significant savings accomplished via
4 credit insurance or bond insurance that the city
6 I happened to watch a little bit today
7 of the audit meeting that was going on here with the
8 CPA firm, and it was clear that the city is absolutely
9 not broke, as a matter of fact the cash flow has
10 enhanced, and the cash flow is really all that matters.
11 The cash flow was enhanced because of the debt.
12 The AAA bond rating was derived because
13 of the bond insurance. The city was able to have bond
14 insurance because of its sound fiscal situation.
15 Belive me, Moody's, which rated them BBB, would not do
16 that if the city was not on sound financial footing.
17 They don't -- they're completely objective.
18 They have no bearing on whatever
19 happens. It's strictly to the investor's benefit to
20 have Moody's look at it and rate it and then have
21 insurance on top of it. So, I think the entire
22 presentation last week on the audit was totally
24 Number two, the Municipal Authorities'
25 debt was lumped into the city's debt, pay their own.
1 They amortize their own debt. Whether it's the Sewer
2 Authority or whether it's the Parking Authority, both
3 agencies amortize their own debt.
4 So, they are contingent liabilities.
5 And by the way, there has been some people opposing the
6 mayor and keep telling me that the average Scrantonian
7 is never going to understand what I'm talking about,
8 they don't understand the numbers and -- there's
9 actually a feeling out there that people are not going
10 to understand what I'm talking about.
11 Boy, I don't believe that. I think
12 people do understand it. I think they do understand
13 the savings and interest rates. 4.41 percent is the
14 average rate on that last issue.
15 4.41, that's way below mark let rates.
16 That's simply because of what Chris Doherty's been able
17 to do in riding the financial ship of this city.
18 That's bottom line. I'm not making
19 this up. Mooty's rated it. They were able to get bond
20 insurance. That's a fact. So, anybody who wants to
21 dispute that, bring it up at Mooty's.
22 I would say another thing is that it's
23 been said here that folks wonder what my brother would
24 say to me about my presentations here, and all I can
25 say is I wish the heck I had that opportunity for him
1 to say something to me.
2 Because I can tell you this much, he
3 may disagree with me, but he would never, ever, ever do
4 anything but support what I was doing. And God help
5 the human being that would say something like that to
6 his face.
7 So, I would give almost anything,
8 because he's dead, I would give anything to have that
9 opportunity for him to stand here and punch me in the
10 face, criticize me, anything else.
11 And I don't appreciate people asking
12 the public what my brother would say. And that's a
13 personal note there.
14 So, I just want to express my -- and I
15 might have been born at night, but it wasn't last
17 If there's anybody who believes that
18 that Council meeting when the two folks weren't here
19 wasn't scheduled and the results were not intended, you
20 got to be smoking something. Thank you.
21 MR. DIBILEO: Mr. Keeler, I resent
22 those remarks, and it's not true.
23 MS. EVANS: Actually, I just wanted to
24 address that, because as Mr. DiBileo has stated a
25 number of times, I was the one who re-scheduled that
2 Mr. DiBileo in town, in fact, he was
3 not in the country. And so, it was my choice as
4 Council president to reschedule that meeting. I did so
5 because maybe 20 minutes before the meeting we received
6 a call from Mr. Pocius saying that suddenly due to work
7 commitments, he wasn't able to attend.
8 And I actually scheduled the meeting
9 for the following Monday, because I had a concern about
10 the zoning board, and since City Council appoints to
11 those positions, it was important that that appointment
12 was made prior to a date that was occurring that week,
13 and we could not miss that deadline, and that's why the
14 meeting was scheduled on Monday, and for no other
15 purpose, and actually everyone, again, had the
16 opportunity to be there.
17 And I think especially when you have a
18 Council meeting, now, health reasons and debts, I don't
19 think anyone should ever discuss those issues, I think
20 that's beyond reproach, and anyone who feels
21 differently, well, I think is misguided.
22 But I think we also know when we have a
23 meeting, and in my own opinion, you know, work just
24 can't suddenly take precedence over that. The work has
25 to wait because the meeting has been scheduled and it's
1 running and there are people in attendance and there's
2 a television station waiting to broadcast that meeting,
3 and I wish that meeting had been held that day.
4 That's all I wanted to clarify.
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: Mr. President, may I?
6 MR. DIBILEO: Yes.
7 MR. COURTRIGHT: You know, everything
8 Mrs. Evans says is exactly true. Now, Mr. Keeler, I
9 don't know why you're shaking your head, no, you didn't
10 hear what I had to say yet.
11 I was standing in the office with
12 Mrs. Evans waiting to come out here. We got a call or
13 Mr. Saunders got a call that Mr. Pocius couldn't be
15 We had no idea. I mean, we were here
16 waiting to go. She said would I be able to make it on
17 Monday, I said fine. She scheduled the meeting.
18 If you choose to call me a liar then
19 that's you're business, but I'm telling you, I'm not
20 lying. And if you don't believe me, if you think I'm a
21 liar, that certainly your prerogative, but as God as my
22 witness, that is the truth. And if you don't believe
23 it, that's certainly up to you. And that's all I have
24 to say.
25 MR. DIBILEO: You have a First
1 Amendment Right to speak, but not a First Amendment
2 Right to tell an untruth.
3 MS. EVANS: Just one other issue I
4 wanted to clarify. The speaker is correct when he
5 insists that these are autonomous bodies and they do,
6 you know, they are actuarially sound and independent.
7 Well, I'm not going to speak to the Recreation
8 Authority, because we don't have any evidence of that
9 at this point; however, I think it's also important for
10 everyone to recognize that the city guarantees their
11 loans if they default whether it's the Scranton Parking
12 Authority on the garages, for example.
13 We, the taxpayers of the city, assume
14 that debt. And even with regard to the Sewer
15 Authority, we're even entangled now in terms of our
16 having used the new DPW as collateral almost for letter
17 of credit. So, we no longer own the DPW. The
18 Sewer Authority in fact owns the DPW at this point in
20 So, there's much more -- they're
21 complicated issues, and there's much more to each one,
22 I think than meets the eye of the average citizen
24 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you. Erik Johnson.
25 MR. JOHNSON: Good evening, City
1 Council and staff.
2 MR. DIBILEO: Good evening.
3 MR. JOHNSON: Let Channel 61 ring for
4 the citizen speakers for all.
5 Every speaker here at the City Council
6 meeting has Freedom of Speech, unless you use personal
7 private character remarks to damage any citizen's
8 reputation in a defamation and falsely way or accuse
9 any citizen in a criminal way with intent to embark a
10 criminal label on such, without a court trial, in some
11 cases including a jury.
12 There's a threat looming to create a
13 specialty court that would favor and benefit the elite
14 and wealthy which would be decided by experts and their
15 professions and ordinary citizens would be excluded
16 from the decision making process.
17 In 1979, our tough great Chief Justice
18 William Reihnquist, who recently died and refused to
19 give up his job stubbornly, and although gravely ill
20 with cancer stated and said, The founders of our nation
21 consider the right of trial by jury in civil cases and
22 even criminal cases, an important bulwark against
23 tyranny and corruption and means of elite with wealth
24 buying off court system against the non-elite citizens
25 or law enforcement or government agents to frame
1 private citizens for political reasons and dwindles are
2 just a reason to close a popular case for political
4 Rheinquist, known for his conservatism,
5 he was also an activist for human rights, rich or poor
7 In the year 2000, the Court heard a
8 challenge of the Miranda Rights. Rheinquist wrote th
9 opinion upholding it. And get this, he sided with
10 political parties when a state tried to mandate
11 primaries opened to persons not members of the parties.
12 He also stated federal power that want
13 unlimited power are limited because they are
14 enumerated, although the so-called conservative Chief
15 Justice Rheinquist, born in Wisconsin of Sweedish
16 relatives was a judgement of change if he pondered
17 lately of a justified calls of such like the Miranda
19 Our hearts and prayers goes out to the
20 loss of a great Chief Justice of the Federal Supreme
21 Court, William Rheinquist and his family.
22 Also our hearts and prayers go out for
23 the lives lost and hardship to the victims of the
24 Hurricane Katrina.
25 We must see that rescue and supplies
1 are delivered to the victims first, and then as I said
2 last week, and then comes money relief to the victims
3 after saving them. What good is money when you're dead
4 from drowning, starving, thirst or without shelter?
5 Any mayor of a city should know this.
6 I'll admit, I was wrong when I said no foreign country
7 will help us. You're offered aid, but are still
8 waiting for the US response.
9 Sweden wants to purify the flood
10 water, they are experts in doing it, give mobile
11 network and blankets.
12 Poland, Austria and Norway have not
13 heard back on their offers. Countries like China,
14 Cuba, Iran, South Korea, countries like this are
15 willing to help, but not our wealthy oil rich ally,
16 Saudi Arabia.
17 By the way, there are 200 missing
18 police officers lost in New Orleans during this
19 catastrophe. Thank you for letting me speak.
20 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you. Robert Baron.
21 MR. BARON: Robert Baron, city
22 resident, taxpayer, homeowner. Before I start,
23 Mr. Pocius was absent at the meeting when I was here
24 three weeks ago, so I just want to show him these
25 pictures so that he'll know what I'm talking about.
1 Now, I only have a short speech. I
2 feel kind of silly with all that is going on here.
3 I came to the City Council meeting
4 three weeks ago looking for help to the problems I have
5 around my residence. Nothing has changed, and I'm not
6 surprised. I am just one person, like David fighting
8 Thanks to my neighbor, which I deeply
9 appreciate it, he cut the front lawn on the condemned
10 property on Quincy Avenue next to my home.
11 It has at least made some respectable
12 appearance. By the way, there were condition houses on
13 this property that this owner removed.
14 I'm sure the Council made some effort
15 on my behalf, but like many other requests that Council
16 asks our city departments, it falls on deaf ears.
17 I guess nothing has been heard of these
18 people of the condemned houses, if they pay taxes or
19 not. I feel I made a fool of myself by coming here in
20 the first place.
21 I will not try it again, as I know that
22 Council has more important problems to work out, but I
23 detest the thought of having to live with this.
24 I feel that it's a shame that a person
25 has to get our neighborhood to look presentable and
1 nothing can be done. Thank you.
2 MR. SAUNDERS: Sir, the address is what
3 on that? 642? Is it 642 Quincy Avenue? 847, okay.
4 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you, Mr. Baron.
5 MS. EVANS: Mr. Baron, why don't you
6 speak with, Mr. Pocius wants to return your pictures,
7 but I'd like you to speak with Mr. Fiorini, who's here
8 this evening, he's out in the hallway.
9 MR. DIBILEO: Okay. That's it for th
10 sign-in sheet. Are there any other speakers?
11 MS. WILLIAMS: Good evening, Council.
12 Joanne Williams, taxpayer and homeowner.
13 MR. DIBILEO: Good evening.
14 MS. WILLIAMS: I do agree, first of
15 all, with Mr. Keeler that we had to put up with some
16 nonsense behind us during the meeting.
17 MR. DIBILEO: I'm sorry for that. I'll
18 try to make sure it doesn't happen again, Joanne.
19 MS. WILLIAMS: Mr. DiBileo, I heard
20 that if you were elected mayor, you would be a mayor
21 for all the people, at last week's meeting you slammed
22 the door closed and said no to thousands of
24 When you said no to revisiting the loan
25 consolidation, you said no to plumbers, electricians,
1 construction workers who need work to put food on their
2 tables and keep a home for their families.
3 Your statement, a mayor for all the
4 people feel is false. There you go flip flopping
6 And you, Mr. Courtright, along with
7 Mr. DiBileo own your own business. What were you
9 Did you ever think that a portion of
10 that loan may have gone to help renovate
11 South Scranton? You also said no to South Scranton.
12 At the last few meetings I have heard
13 that Mayor Connors started all the new jobs and
14 businesses. I haven't gotten time to do research on
15 this, but I do know Mayor Connors served 12 years. He
16 may have3 started things, but he never completed
17 anything. He was sanctioned by the state.
18 Mayor Doherty has been in office only
19 four years, and I'm sure that the residents have
20 noticed huge successes in our city without raising
22 I was appalled last week when I heard
23 Councilman DiBileo's comments on his latest flip flop.
24 Mr. DiBileo was attempting to take money for his
25 campaign off the backs of our military men and women by
1 selling bracelets that said support our troops/Gary
3 A small fraction of the proceeds of the
4 bracelet sales would go to the veterans, while the
5 almost 80 percent of the remaining money would go to
6 Mr. DiBileo's campaign coffers.
7 Only after a group of veterans heard of
8 the scheme and decided to picket his headquarters and
9 put intense pressure on him, that he decided to flip
10 flop and rightly give all the proceeds to the men and
11 women of our military.
12 To even make it more disgusting,
13 instead of taking the blame like a man and a leader, I
14 was shocked again when Mr. DiBileo attempted to blame
15 his young son for the fundraising idea.
16 If Mr. DiBileo hadn't been picketed, I
17 have no doubt that the men and women of our military
18 would have received little to no money for his latest
20 Finally, your sad attempt at an
21 apology gives us yet another example of your poor
22 leadership and constant attempts to have it both ways.
23 Thank you.
24 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you, Mrs. Williams.
25 I just want to respond just briefly regarding the
1 statement you made about the bracelets. That's not
2 true -- Mrs. Williams, are you interested in me
3 responding? She left. Okay. Well, that's okay, I'll
4 respond to her anyway.
5 She made a statement that after my
6 campaign headquarters was picketed, that a change was
7 made, that's absolutely not true.
8 A change was made to give all the
9 proceeds to the family of veterans prior to that
10 so-called picketing situation. It was on our campaign
11 Web site as documented prior to the so-called
13 And just while we're on the topic of
14 picketing, I wasn't going to mention it, but it was
15 seen by a witness, a, I don't even know if I should say
16 this, but a big Doherty supporter was seen bringing
17 garbage bags out of his car with picketing signs coming
18 out of the garbage bags, and that's where the signs for
19 the so-called veterans came from.
20 I'll use his name after the meeting to
21 anybody who wants to know, but I'm not going to say it
22 right here on the air. This information came the day
23 after the so-called picketing occurred.
24 And I didn't blame my son at all. It
25 was my son's idea for the bracelets, little Gary, and I
1 thank him for it, and it's his way of our family
2 helping out the families of the troops. Thank you.
3 And he was very proud of that idea, I might say. Go
4 right ahead.
5 MS. JONES: Good evening. Julie
6 Jones. Tough act to follow, but I will.
7 I just want to say, as a Scrantonian,
8 to Gary DiBileo, Jr., I am proud as a Scrantonian to
9 wear this bracelet.
10 You know, people come up here and they
11 say that there isn't any sixth seat, Mr. Doherty never
12 came in as the sixth seat, no, he didn't.
13 He didn't come in person, but in the
14 way of messages. And I wish Mr. Hickey was here, but
15 it seems like anybody that has a gripe with Council,
16 they run out the door, they don't want to hear anybody
18 But what I would say to Mr. Hickey is,
19 when he's going on to you guys about Robert's Rules of
20 order, Mr. Doherty for the four years he's here, he
21 doesn't have any rules, so how can Mr. Hickey come up
22 here and say that, when Mr. Doherty doesn't follow any
23 rules, he does what he wants?
24 Okay. I'll move on after that. I'd
25 like to thank, it was already said, but Mr. McTiernan
1 the staff at the high school, the police department,
2 anybody that helped out in that situation, because it
3 could have been, you know, a nasty situation. My son
4 goes there, and you did a great job.
5 I would also like to thank Kane
6 Trucking, Mr. Bolus, Mr. DiBileo, anybody that has
7 trucks out there that they're loading for the victims
8 of Katrina.
9 I heard a lot of complaints on the TV
10 this week, whether it was via Talkback 16, interviewing
11 people, radio stations, about the victims of Katrina,
12 and all I here is, we don't want them here, we have
13 enough Welfare people here, we don't want them here.
14 Well, you know what, Scrantonians and
15 surrounding areas, what happened when Agnes hit?
16 Everybody was here for us. And I say we all come
17 together an we welcome them into our community.
18 Jay Saunders had mentioned, I guess
19 Mr. Baker returned a letter to Council and yourself, I
20 don't know what that letter consists of.
21 MR. SAUNDERS: I'll give you a copy of
22 that letter.
23 MS. EVANS: No, I have it for her, Jay.
24 Can I give this to you?
25 MS. JONES: Okay. Well, in compliance
1 with the letter, low and behold, Mr. Baker appeared at
2 my door yesterday with his attorney and his
3 maintenance, but if he needed back-up, that was his
4 choice, I'm not going to knock him for that.
5 I'm glad he came out. I believe the
6 ball is rolling. He said differently since Jay, so
7 since it's more recent than when Jay heard from him,
8 I'm hoping it's going to get done.
9 The only thing we did disagree on, and
10 I probably shouldn't bring this up because I'm going to
11 get heck when I go home, is he didn't agree with the
12 one strike, you're out.
13 So, I had to go in my house, and I came
14 out. He still didn't agree with me. After he saw it
15 downloaded from HUD, which is jeopardizing any funding
16 for people that get housing in this city by not
17 following that rule.
18 His answer was, Well, it was amended in
19 1997. I said, Excuse me. Here is HUD, 1999. It's
20 time to update your rules. I said, Maybe if you can
21 just enforce that a little bit, South Side would be
23 So, we did disagree on that. We came
24 to a conclusion on how to keep the crime away from my
25 house and neighbors. I'm hoping it goes through. He
1 was going to okay it with the city.
2 He knows it's city land, but on the
3 other hand, the Housing Authority is willing to take
4 care of it, so we're just waiting to hear back from the
5 city, with the help of Judy Gatelli.
6 Something was brought up at the
7 residents association meeting, and Mr. DiBileo was
8 there and Mr. Courtright was there, and I think in a
9 way it has a lot to do with a lot of things in the city
10 in the line of business.
11 People go to the zoning meetings, they
12 go, they tell them their plans, they get these
13 buildings zoned, they're done.
14 Zoning commission two months down the
15 road needs to goo out and really see if these buildings
16 are open for what they were zoned for, because they're
18 We have too many in South Side that get
19 zoned and they're not -- and they turn around and they
20 turn the building into something else.
21 From my understanding, once a building
22 goes down as a bar, it can never be a bar again, and
23 zoning allows this to go through.
24 So, my suggestion is us as South Side
25 Residents Association are going to try to form a
1 committee to try to make sure that these zoning
2 procedures are followed out.
3 You know, if we see something zoned for
4 South Side, we're going to go out and make sure two
5 months down the road that it's zoned properly for South
6 Side, or we're going to go to the zoning board.
7 And i think the zoning people need to
8 do that, also, and I think it would stop a lot of
9 nuisance bars in the areas or problem spots, that and
10 any -- you're going to hear this until it's done,
11 anything about the Children At Play sign in the five of
13 MR. SAUNDERS: Nothing as of yet.
14 MS. JONES: Okay. Well, like another
15 speaker said, something is tragically going to happen
16 in that block preferably when they come down the 600 of
17 Birch, I would rather a stop sign and make it a
18 three-way stop.
19 My cousin lives in that block. I run
20 my house and her house. She has MS, she's in a
21 wheelchair, her daughter has Downs Syndrome, that's why
22 I am so determined to get that sign in that block,
23 because something is drastically going to happen.
24 Also, the stop sign at the corner of
25 Genet and Webster, it's not moved yet. Is it so hard
1 for the city to come out and move it five feet, or
2 should I take it upon myself to move it?
3 I'm asking for seven weeks about a stop
4 sign to be moved five feet. You mean even when DPW
5 comes by, they can't stop and move that stop sign five
6 feet? It's ridiculous.
7 I'm not asking for a new sign, I'm
8 asking it to be moved five feet. And if the city can't
9 do that, they better not come after me for doing it,
10 because I will move it.
11 And if a Children At Play sign isn't in
12 that block soon, I will move it from another block and
13 put it there. And if the city would like to come out
14 after me, they could do what they want. I'm asking too
15 long for that sign, and a child is going to get hit.
16 MR. DIBILEO: Mrs. Jones, I'm going to
17 ask Mr. Saunders if he can get on the phone with
18 somebody tomorrow regarding the Children At Play sign,
19 and you're really better off not touching any of the
20 signs, just leave them where they're at. We'll see if
21 we can get a new Children At Play sign.
22 MS. JONES: I mean, Mr. Baker the other
23 day said that stop sign was a problem. Now, he's the
24 Housing Authority, and he said that is a problem.
25 MR. COURTRIGHT: What's wrong with the
1 stop sign?
2 MS. JONES: If you're coming up Webster
3 and you're going to go up the hill to Connell Park,
4 there's a stop sign on Webster and Genet. The stop
5 sign say is here, the property that the stop sign is
6 on, the bushes end up here, so by the time you creep
7 your way out, the front of your car is gone. So, it
8 needs to be moved.
9 And it's not a big deal. I mean, just
10 somebody --
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: I think Mr. Parker
12 needs to give the okay before one of the workers can go
13 out. They can't just go out and move it, so, Jay, I
14 guess we can ask Mr. Parker if he can take a ride back
15 and check it out. I'm sure there's some kind of rule
16 that they have to go by out in the distance from the
18 MS. JONES: Okay. Thank you.
19 MR. DIBILEO: And while we're talking
20 about stop signs, could you please ask someone to look
21 at the corner of South Webster Avenue and Kennedy
22 School, there's no stop signs at the intersection right
23 at the school, the grade school, and there seems like
24 there should be a stop sign possibly there just to slow
25 traffic down. So, if you can have that looked at. I'm
1 not sure what intersection that is, South Webster and
2 something. Windfield?
3 But cars are not required to stop at
4 all in front of that school, and it might be a good
5 idea at the intersection. Thank you. Any other
7 MR. FIGURED: Good evening, Council.
8 My name is Jack Figured, I'm a resident of
9 North Scranton. And earlier when Mr. DiBileo alluded
10 to a member of the brick layers that he had spoken to
11 today, that was myself, Jack Figured. I'd like
12 everybody to know that, because it seems that we've
13 finally come upon some common ground.
14 Yes, absolutely, the mayor called me
15 this week and told me that he is in total support of
16 economic development in the trade unions.
17 Gary also called me today and told me
18 he is in total support of economic development in the
19 trade unions.
20 I talked to both of them and I asked
21 them, please take politics out of the situation. The
22 conversation went very well. I was very happy to hear
23 from both of them, they both are on the same agenda.
24 All we need to do is find a path there today or
25 tomorrow and get this thing moving.
1 Mr. Hart was here earlier and spoke,
2 he's a member of the brick layers and allied craftsmen,
3 also. That is correct.
4 He represents 150 members of this
5 organization, just as I do. It would be crazy to think
6 that any person would be against jobs, whether you're
7 trade unions, council president or the mayor.
8 All I ask is once again tonight, please
9 take a look at the situation, take the best path, good
10 down that road. There's a lot of comments, there's a
11 lot of talk about projects that are not visible.
12 Projects take time to come together.
13 They take years to come together. That project may not
14 be here today, but it will be there tomorrow. Whether
15 Mr. Doherty or Mr. DiBileo is the new mayor of this
16 city, that money will be available to both of them.
17 So, please, I am the person Mr. DiBileo
18 spoke to today, we had a very good conversation, I'm
19 also the person that the mayor spoke to.
20 Take a look at the situation, come to
21 an agreement. It both sounds like you're on the same
22 track, you've just have to find the road to get there.
23 Thank you very much.
24 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you, Mr. Figured.
25 MR. BUDZINSKI: Fred Budzinski, Jermyn
1 Apartments. A few women driving from the bingo in
2 North Scranton brought up again to me about the -- how
3 dark it is around the North Scranton High School, it's
4 a driving hazard driving through there with the cars
5 coming the other way blinding them out, and she asked
6 me to bring it up to you.
7 Last week I was talking to Ma Gerrity
8 up in Keyser Oak, she has her office up there, she told
9 me she's definitely thinking about opening a grocery
10 store in Scranton.
11 Now, I believe if the Southern Union
12 has KOZ, I think there's no reason whatsoever Gerrity's
13 store should not have KOZ, and that would probably --
14 really decide to come into Downtown Scranton.
15 Now, I hear a lot of talk about people
16 moving out of the city. Five years ago they had a
17 census, about 73,000 people moving out.
18 And when they take the next census,
19 2010, it's possible the population will be down around
20 blow 69,000. Where we were once the third largest
21 city, we're now the eighth, and in five years, the
22 chances are we're going to be down about the tenth
23 largest city.
24 And now this past year four churches
25 closed down, four Catholic churches closed down its
1 doors. Why? I assume population declined.
2 And who would ever think of St. Ann's
3 School would close its doors? And one reason, I
4 believe, in this area you have low-paying jobs. You
5 look in the newspaper, the jobs are going $8, $9 an
6 hour. When everything is taken out of that paycheck,
7 you're down to about $5, $6, $7 an hour.
8 Now, if this city started working on
9 bringing jobs in this city that pay an average of $13,
10 $14, $15 an hour, I doubt if the people would be moving
11 out of this town. You cannot blame the people for
12 moving out.
13 Now, I have that petition. You'd be
14 amazed the names I got. These are all mostly senior
15 citizens. They're not taken me sitting and getting
16 them out of the phone book. I don't have the time to
17 tell you the comments that these people are telling me.
18 Some of these people that have
19 arthritis that can't stand on their feet, they lose
20 their balance. A couple of weeks ago I seen an
21 ambulance come down and pick up a woman and take her to
22 the hospital.
23 And to them, this election is benches
24 and a store downtown. And who's going to decide this
25 -- there's many reasons going to decide this election,
1 but in my opinion, I think it's the senior citizens of
2 this city that's going to decide who's the mayor of
3 this town. Thank you.
4 MR. DIBILEO: Jay, let's get some
5 benches downtown. Only kiddin'. But we do need them
7 MS. EVANS: Well, actually I asked
8 weeks ago for information from OECD and from our BA
9 about what monies might be available, and I haven't
10 heard a word back from either department.
11 MR. SAUNDERS: Councilwoman Evans, Sara
12 Hailstone did call me on that situation. She was a
13 little taken back by us sending the letter to her, she
14 doesn't know where we want it or if it's on city
15 property or if it's on --
16 MS. EVANS: What I'm asking is, Is
17 there money, that was what was posed to her, not the
18 location of the benches, but is there money available
19 for the purchase of benches.
20 MR. SAUNDERS: She's saying that there
21 is money available, but she has to know, you know,
22 where do we want these and understand the whole project
23 before she can okay anything like that. That's my
24 mistake for not telling you that, but I -- but the
25 conversation didn't -- you know, we could have went
1 further with that, I didn't have the locations on it.
2 MS. EVANS: When did she call?
3 MR. SAUNDERS: Last week.
4 MS. EVANS: We'll get the locations
5 then. We'll work on that.
6 MR. SAUNDERS: Okay. Thanks.
7 MR. DIBILEO: I think one location that
8 Mr. Budzinski has brought up in the past is that the
9 bus top, the main bus stop down in front of Diversified
10 and over in front of the Oppeheimer Building, I think
11 we would start right there and the take it from there.
12 Go right ahead, Mr, Fiorini.
13 MR. FIORINI: Good evening, Council.
14 My name is William Fiorini, director of permits,
15 license and inspection.
16 I'd like to speak on 5-B that's in
17 front of you tonight, the resolution. The reason that
18 the lease is for five years and purchased to buy at the
19 end is because the monies that are going to pay for
20 that come out of the CDBG money that I receive every
21 year for demolition, and that's HUD's regulation.
22 We cannot do an outright purchase of
23 those two pieces of equipment. So, I determine five
24 years as the time period for the lease, and the longer
25 you take the lease out, the more interest you're
1 paying, and hopefully at the end of five years through
2 the salvage material, which we get money for, which is
3 being put into a special city account for demolition,
4 that would be city monies that we could use then to
5 purchase that equipment. That's all I have on that.
6 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you.
7 MS. EVANS: Mr. Fiorini, while you're
8 here, could you give us an update on Price Rite,
10 MR. FIORINI: All right. I spoke to
11 Kate Realty two days ago, and they have a contractor,
12 they're waiting for all the insurance certificates and
13 et cetera before they get started, so hopefully next
14 week they will get started there.
15 I mean, I'll keep calling every week,
16 but they still have the deadline of September 28 to get
17 done before I start writing citations, and I think
18 they're going to meet that time period. Is there
19 anything else?
20 MS. EVANS: That's it. Thank you.
21 Keep on that, please.
22 MR. FIORINI: Thank you very much.
23 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you:
24 MR. BURKE: Good evening, Council. My
25 name is Matthew Burke, Scranton resident, city
2 I'd like to first say thank you to you,
3 Scranton Council, and the citizens of Scranton for
4 taking the time to listen to me, a concerned citizen,
5 voice my opinion of the efforts put forth by the
6 administration, members of council, and many of the
7 residents of Scranton and surrounding communities.
8 My background is this, I was born and
9 raised in Dunmore, stayed there through high school. I
10 attended Temple University in Philadelphia and received
11 my education there.
12 I worked in the Philadelphia area and
13 the Harrisburg area suburbs for over 15 years. As
14 always, when asked by my friends, associates and even
15 strangers where I was from, my first response was from
16 the City of Scranton.
17 I felt lucky to be from Scranton
18 because of the great experiences I had as a child and
19 young adult.
20 As I travelled both in the Northeast
21 and throughout the country, I developed an even greater
22 appreciation for my home area of Scranton, and the most
23 notable was for the people of Scranton and the pride
24 they carry with them while home or abroad. It is truly
25 the best asset that the area has to offer and to boast
2 There was a perception of Scranton that
3 is prevailed mostly because of its glorious past as a
4 leading producer of coal throughout the region. We are
5 sometimes referred to as coal crackers or being from
6 the coal regions.
7 As the production of coal declined and
8 the region was scarred with closed mines, factories and
9 struggling economy, jobs declined and the city
10 struggled and eventually fell to a distressed status.
11 Many, like myself, had to live and work
12 away from the place they have come to know and be proud
13 of. Again, having lived out of the area, I'd always
14 kept my eye and ears on the city and what was happening
15 around the area.
16 I was especially pleased and exited for
17 the area when I learned of the recovery plan and the
18 enthusiasm throughout to region to accept it.
19 As it past 70 percent for and
20 30 percent against, I was very pleased to see that the
21 city was making progress.
22 There was a new mayor, and he was
23 enthusiastic. It was a sign that people were behind
24 positive change and growth for the city.
25 At about the same time, I was offered
1 an opportunity to return home to live and work in the
2 City of Scranton. I vividly remember one of the first
3 things I did family with my family was to walk through
4 the grounds at Nay Aug Park, me, my wife, and five
6 As I walked around the different areas
7 of the park, I told my kids of the great experiences I
8 had, like many, had had at the park, the zoo, the
9 rides, the pool, many great times.
10 It was hard for my kids to grasp this,
11 because as they walked around, all they could see was
12 overgrown weeds, a petting zoo that had been abandoned,
13 empty cages, a dilapidated playground area, and a
14 deteriorating pool complex. The zoo cages lay empty as
15 the kids ran through in and out of the cages where
16 monkeys once stood.
17 Over the next few years we've enjoyed
18 the revitalized park and its fabulous improvements.
19 The zoo, the new playground, the pool with the slide,
20 the theater, the Davis Trail project, a safe place for
21 children and adults to relax and enjoy outdoors.
22 It enhances the city, both
23 aesthetically and economically. It has raised property
24 values in the Hill Section and kept residents home to
25 enjoy local parks.
1 It has brought young families to the
2 Hill Section to invest in and care for the beautiful
3 homes that have been have been built in the area. They
4 have taken back that neighborhood from elements and
5 crime that have crept into the area, and I do believe
6 it is a result and a direct result from the efforts to
7 revitalize the park and to bring people into the area
8 and to enjoy the beautiful surroundings it has to
10 The fees collected at the swim complex
11 helped to reduce the taxpayers' burden and allow those
12 who use the park to pay for it to keep it nice.
13 As far as I know, no one will be turned
14 away at the pool, if they can't afford the pool. It
15 also lets the others enjoy the surrounding areas of the
16 pool complex.
17 I know how much the improvements are of
18 the city and its assets are to the mayor. I've
19 personally seen him cleaning paths and chopping trees
20 and building playgrounds.
21 I like what I see happening in the city
22 as far as new development. Southern Union, Hilton
23 Hotel, first class buildings in the city, The Icebox,
24 Riverfront Sports Complex. I mean, wow, think of what
25 was there beforehand.
1 By building these sport complexes and
2 these hotels, people are coming into the area, although
3 some of these areas are in KOZ developed property
4 areas, they are bringing tax dollars in by inviting
5 guests through tournaments, out of town people from New
6 Jersey, New Jersey, Delaware, New York our spending
7 money at the hotels, the parks, the restaurants, and it
8 helps the citizens of the city defray the costs of
9 paying for some of these things.
10 The main reason I came here tonight is
11 to express my support, not criticism, for the mayor,
12 members of City Council and city residents who support
13 the revitalization of the city and support the recovery
15 I ask the member of Council to back,
16 not block, the mayor in his efforts to enhance the city
17 and to keep the citizens proud of the area we live in.
18 Scranton is a great place to live. Thank you.
19 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you, Mr. Burke.
20 MR. DAVIS: My name is James B. Davis,
21 III. I had a very hard week, and perhaps you might
22 understand, I was at a school board meeting on Monday,
23 and I heard where they had defrauded our children with
24 a program of over $600,000.
25 MR. DIBILEO: I don't think that that's
1 the case, Mr. Davis. They overspent on a particular
3 MR. DAVIS: On the BEST Program.
4 MR. DIBILEO: Which actually, you know,
5 helped the kids, but it went over budget.
6 MR. DAVIS: But it was for those kids
7 that were lagging behind. That program itself was
8 supposed to bring the kids up to par, up to snuff.
9 That was a program that the kids needed tutorial help.
10 This money was spent erroneously. If
11 you're paying someone for something and you're
12 overpaying them and the kids -- evidently the kids are
13 not receiving it.
14 MR. DIBILEO: Actually I don't know if
15 that's the case to be honest with you, Mr. Davis.
16 MR. DAVIS: I wish they would explain
17 it to me.
18 MR. DIBILEO: I don't know who can give
19 us more specific information on that, but --
20 MR. DAVIS: Would you please.
21 MR. DIBILEO: -- other than the school
23 MR. DAVIS: Well, the school board is
24 something that perhaps -- because they were the ones
25 that were in charge. They were the ones that were
1 actually overseeing this project. They're the ones
2 that were actually overseeing this project.
3 They're the ones who told the Federal
4 Government, you can bring that project through here,
5 we'll make sure we police it properly and the kids will
6 get everything out of it that they're supposed to get.
7 Somewhere along the line,
8 mismanagement, fraud was incorporated into that
9 program, and I know who lost from that program, that's
10 the poor of the community, those who are not up to
11 snuff, because that's who the program was aimed at.
12 MR. DIBILEO: Well, I don't think there
13 was any fraud at all, but, however --
14 MR. DAVIS: I'll get off it then.
15 MR. DIBILEO: -- we'll get off that
16 topic. Okay.
17 MR. DAVIS: Thank you very much. After
18 the meeting I was so distressed, I had to go to -- I
19 went to the old Tech High School grounds, and I sat on
20 the benches outside of the tennis court.
21 These are grounds that were anointed by
22 our ministers. The Pine Street Baptist Church is where
23 I was raised at. I was baptized there. And the one
24 thing that they taught us was, you are responsible.
25 Not that you're not able to do, but you're responsible
1 for the welfare of the children.
2 And I looked at that place, and I just
3 heard in a meeting that the school board, that they did
4 not want us to walk across the grounds, they did not
5 want us there after dusk, when school was out, they
6 didn't want us on the property.
7 How insulting. My farther's home was
8 taken, my Aunt Donna's home was taken, the church that
9 we were raised in was taken, and now it's a parking
10 lot, and a parking lot for whom? For the school
12 They don't want to repair the field for
13 the community, they don't even want to repair it for
14 the kids that play there during the day. And I became
15 very unsensitized, to the point where I said, What can
16 you do about something like this? How can you fight
17 something like this?
18 Then I brought a young man here last
19 week who really had a program, I thought he had a
20 program, and I waited for your comments, I waited for
21 your motions, I waited for somebody to say, Let's try
22 and fund this kid, let's try and fund this young man in
23 his problem, in his need, in his, you know, in his
24 desire to be a good young businessman, but I never
25 heard anything from you, just like I don't hear it when
1 I asked you.
2 And I said, What do we have to do in
3 order to get a response out of Scranton? We pray to
4 God, we pray to Allah, we pray to everybody possible.
5 We tell our kids to be respective of
6 all things at all places at all times, we try to fix
7 that, and every time we turn around, we're being
8 shouted down at, we're being looked at as scams, we
9 have all sorts of inferiority, superiority problems
10 with our teachers, with our principals.
11 I don't understand what we have to
12 teach our children in order to survive. I don't want
13 our kids to just survive. It's nice to survive, but I
14 want them to stop being victims.
15 In this system we have died -- there's
16 too much of our blood that has been put into the soil
17 of Scranton, Pennsylvania for our children to have to
18 suffer as victims again at the hands of those who say,
19 We know best for your kids. Thank you for your time.
20 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you, Mr. Davis.
21 MR. DAVIS: Do something for the kid,
23 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you, Mr. Davis.
24 MR. DESIRE: Good evening, Council. I
25 just came to say how proud I am of all five of you,
1 even you see different things different ways. And as
2 long as I lived in Scranton, I've never been to a
3 Scranton Council meeting, so I'm very nervous right
5 MR. DIBILEO: You're doing okay. Oh,
6 just for the record, could you give your name and
7 address, please?
8 MR. DESIRE: See, I told you I was
9 nervous. Chris Desire. I see, you know, I walk
10 through the streets every day and I'd see sidewalks
11 that need to be fixed and I'd see things that say they
12 will be done, and I keep wondering, you know, when are
13 they going to get done, and I keep watching the
14 meetings seven days a week to find out, you know, when
15 are they going to get done.
16 And we all got to stop and look at
17 ourselves. I mean, like, some of us are Republicans,
18 some Democrats, but, I mean, if we send something down
19 to the mayor, the mayor should say, Hey, I better get
20 this back up to them so they have an answer.
21 So, I mean, I just wish the five of you
22 could get together and, like, compromise. I can't
23 understand how a couple people could see the mayor and
24 other ones can't, I really can't. And that's about it,
25 and thank you.
1 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you. Thank you
2 very much, Chris.
3 MR. NEWCOMB, JR.: Good evening,
4 Council. Charlie Newcomb, Scranton. I had a lot to
5 say here tonight, but I was taking notes back there,
6 and I just agree with you, Mr. DiBileo, 100 percent,
7 and everybody that said before, why can't the mayor
8 come here and ask you questions himself? Why does he
9 have to send Attorney Hickey and everybody else to come
10 here and ask these questions?
11 You see on the news that the mayor of
12 Wilkes-Barre goes and either works or disagrees with
13 Council, but they're still at the meetings.
14 I was at meetings before when Mayor
15 Connors came in and got blasted, but he still showed
16 his face. The Mayor of Dunmore shows up at a meeting,
17 but this mayor has to send people here to speak for
18 him. I think it's a disgrace.
19 And I also think it's a disgrace to
20 know that we have an assistant solicitor to say that
21 Council doesn't need to know what the project is, just
22 vote on it.
23 If I walked into a bank tomorrow and
24 asked them for a loan for $150,000 or a dollar and I
25 didn't tell them what it was for, I don't think they'd
1 give it to me if I didn't tell them what it was for.
2 I just think it's getting political and
3 it's getting ludicrous the way that things are going
4 on. And I commend Council for not re-going back on
5 this issue. It's dead. Let it go.
6 I also would like it say publicly that
7 I respect everybody that comes up to this podium,
8 whether you disagree with what I have to say or you
9 don't agree with what I have to say, but to be pointed
10 at in the back and told to shut up and stuff like that,
11 just goes to prove some people's character. That's all
12 I have to say on that. I'm glad I irritate these
13 people. I can go home and sleep at night knowing that
14 I do that.
15 Do we have a total yet for the Summer
16 In The City banners? I looked up my thing, I've been
17 asking for this since the first Council meeting in May.
18 MR. DIBILEO: Mr. Saunders.
19 MR. SAUNDERS: Nothing yet.
20 MR. NEWCOMB, JR.: Will this Council
21 use its power of subpoena to ask for this? It's
22 obvious people don't listen to you. I filed under The
23 Right To Know Act today, so maybe Council can use its
24 power of subpoena, because I don't think I am going to
25 get an answer through that.
1 Usually what happens when I file under
2 The Right to Know Act, the city gets a letter and then
3 they call me on the phone, Pick up your paperwork,
4 because they push you to see how far you can go.
5 So, if I can't get an answer, I hope
6 this Council would step in here, because something is
7 going on that you just can't open up a file cabinet,
8 get copies and send them over. I think that's
10 And I urge anybody on Council to file
11 unde the Right to Know Act, as well, if you don't want
12 to use your power of subpoena, because you have as much
13 right To do that as I do.
14 It's also -- you answered my question
15 before regarding the bins for the newspaper, that's
16 fine if The Scranton Times doesn't have to pay permits
17 for this, but then I ask, Can other newspapers come to
18 this City of Scranton to put bins out, as well, and
19 charge for them?
20 If we can find that out, a couple
21 people were asking if they can come up and put bins, if
22 no permits are required and sell the newspaper, as
23 well. A little competition is good for business.
24 I was corrected this past weekend by a,
25 I don't know, gentleman who corrected me -- last week I
1 came up here and I challenged the mayor on his jobs and
2 nobody has yet to come forward and tell me that I was
3 wrong, except that he told me that the Green Ridge
4 Scranton Health Care center is up and running and that
5 there is approximately 120 jobs.
6 I didn't investigate it, I'm taking his
7 word for it. I stand corrected, but I subtracted all
8 the numbers, and according to the so-called jobs, it's
9 1800 jobs in the negative. So, we actually lost jobs
10 when you add in those 120. So, I'll give you them, the
11 120 KOZ jobs, but we're 1800 less than we were before.
12 So, I stand corrected. I'd like somebody to come up
13 here and correct me if I'm wrong.
14 I'm not getting political because I
15 respect you in the beginning when you say to do that,
16 unlike another speaker who came up here and mentioned
17 your whole political agenda, but I had, I can't even
18 tell you, how many Veterans stopped me this week irate
19 for the situation that happened in West Scranton that
20 was spoke of here before, and I am one person because I
21 showed up where the mayor wasn't when these troops came
22 home and I thanked them for the job that they did, so I
23 am a person who thanks Veterans of past wars and
24 present, and this Veteran told me that if I didn't say
25 this he was coming here for himself, and I urged him to
1 come here anyway, but he told me that he doesn't want a
2 group of four Veterans speaking for him, that he fought
3 in World War II and Korea and he doesn't like the idea
4 that people are protesting something that somebody
5 thinks is right.
6 So, he wanted me to make it very clear
7 to the Veterans that support this mayor not to speak
8 for him and the other Veterans. If they have a problem
9 or if they're put up to it politically, don't use the
10 word Vets when they come forward to protest.
11 My last thing that I'd like to ask,
12 Mrs. Evans, I was sitting in the back last week, and I
13 think I heard it hear right tonight, can you tell me
14 how much money -- nobody brought this up, it wasn't in
15 the newspaper, it should have been the headline, but
16 how much debt is this city in according to the audit?
17 MS. EVANS: As of December 31, 2004,
18 over one $198 million.
19 MR. NEWCOMB, JR.: So, we're in a debt
20 of $198 million and we have 1600 jobs less than we did
21 before. Whose pride is being restored? It sure as
22 heck isn't mine. Thank you.
23 MS. FRANUS: Fay Franus. I was home
24 again with my boy watching Big Brother. I don't know
25 if April got thrown off or Howie, but Eugene Hickey got
1 me here.
2 All I can say is I hope the people say
3 that are watching this show stay and listen to what you
4 say, Mrs. Evans, about the figures, because what you
5 said last week really rocked a lot of people, and I
6 hope they're listening.
7 I'll have to reiterate what Charlie
8 said. I'm trying to understand very much so, everybody
9 has come here and asked the same question, how come
10 Mr. Doherty, Mayor Doherty doesn't come here?
11 I mean, if he wants this loan so badly,
12 I would think that you would be very agreeable to
13 listen to him and ask him questions. If only he would
14 come so you could ask him questions and he could
15 answer, the people in the city would know, instead of
16 this one saying that and this one saying this and this
17 one cutting this one down, it's not right.
18 I mean, he'd only help himself, and you
19 might possibly change your mind. So, for sending other
20 people here is not going to help his cause. What would
21 it take for him to come here and just sit here and
22 answer your questions?
23 I would say that's a person that's
24 trying to hide something. I mean, what else would it
25 be? Apparently he can't answer the questions or
2 And I'm not saying that derogatory, I
3 just figure common sense. Week after week we're
4 waiting and he doesn't come, so what would anybody
6 It's just, like, more or less common
7 sense, and I just wish he would consider it. And like
8 Charlie said, who would give money to a person without
9 knowing what the money is for?
10 And we're $198 million in debt, oh, and
11 he wants to add to this debt. Thank you very much for
12 not doing this, and I hope you stand your ground.
13 And if Mr. Pocius and Mr. McTiernan had
14 a problem with the meeting, couldn't come, I'm sure --
15 like some people tried to make a statement like you
16 planned meeting when you knew they wouldn't be here,
17 I'm sure if that were true, they would have said
18 something themselves and they haven't, so that speaks
19 for itself, as well. These men are honorable, and all
20 of you are.
21 That's about all. And I just hope that
22 people listen to Mrs. Evans at the end of this meeting
23 to get the real facts and remember what she says. And
24 I hope the Scranton Times has enough guts to put it in
25 the paper. Thank you.
1 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you. Just your
2 name and address for the record.
3 PHYLLIS BERNADETTE: My name is Phyllis
4 Bernadette (UNTRANSCRIBABLE), my Carmelite name is
5 Phyllis of Jesus and Mary.
6 I came here to present and give hope to
7 the City of Scranton, but I also came to explain what
8 transpired prior to September 11.
9 I'm a visionary. Our Lady gave me
10 mathematical numbers that went to 25 coinciding with
11 nine for the nine months, eleven for Lord's friend,
12 she's the Immaculate Conception.
13 Documents were given. I went to Rome
14 in 1999 with a letter documented by the Most Holy
15 Virgin Mother, which a lot of people, quote, will not
16 like to hear about religion, but it's our country.
17 In God We Trust is even on a dollar
18 bill, and it's time to shakedown down and change this
19 world and change the City of Scranton.
20 I've been victimized, I've been raped,
21 I've been dragged out of church, I've been abused by
22 numerous politicians, but I pray for them.
23 Even to this day, about a week ago, a
24 man came to me and started using vulgarities, and he
25 was here tonight.
1 And the times that I went to the
2 courthouse, to the police department for my plea with
3 the rapes and the attacks, the medical records all
4 showed I was raped and attacked by high officials. I
5 pray for them, I pray for them.
6 What transpired September 11, I went to
7 Rome. Bishop Timlin and all knew what the Virgin
8 Mother was telling me.
9 Being that when I was young they put me
10 in a mental institution, and then they found out there
11 was nothing the matter.
12 I've been checked by scientists, I've
13 been checked by doctors, I am not mentally
15 What transpired here is, I go
16 downstairs, I see the police department is deplorable.
17 A miracle happened -- a miracle happened here, they put
18 the lights up, but they didn't put the miracle to bring
19 people here.
20 The Virgin Mother was imprinted on my
21 MRI X-ray, Jesus hanging on the cross, the Holy Spirit,
22 to tell people to turn around to stop killing, aborting
23 and the whole nine yards.
24 I went to the United Nations. The
25 United Nations took my documents a year before
1 September 11.
2 Memorial Day weekend, what transpired,
3 I have documents to a Mr. West to get everybody out of
4 the Pentagon. He took the documents and everybody died
5 September 11. Do you think that's right?
6 MR. DIBILEO: Let me stop you one
8 MS. PHYLLIS BERNADETTE: The police
9 aren't doing their job downstairs, the district
10 attorney isn't doing his job.
11 MR. DIBILEO: Let me stop you one
12 second. Let me ask you, please, I'm sorry, let me ask
13 you, please, if you would be able to stay after the
14 meeting and that we can, you know, possibly continue
15 this conversation, if you don't mind, because I --
16 MS. PHYLLIS BERNADETTE: I know it's
17 shocking, but --
18 MR. DIBILEO: Yeah, we have to get on
19 with our regular business now.
20 MS. PHYLLIS BERNADETTE: You can call
21 the United Nations, you can call Koffian, you can call
22 Mr. West that took the documents Memorial Day Weekend
23 that was supposed to get everybody out of that place.
24 Pray for him.
25 MR. DIBILEO: All right. Thank you
1 very much.
2 MR. ANCHERANI: Good evening, Council.
3 I'm Nelson Ancherani, resident taxpayer in the city of
4 Scranton, and I'm also a member of the FOP.
5 I see Mrs. Evans left the podium, but I
6 had something to say that when I came into the council
7 chambers tonight, a man in a gray suit approached me at
8 the door and asked me when I should know when to clap
9 for Mrs. Evans, or how I knew when to clap, and I just
10 told him to clap when he wants to. I don't know what
11 the purpose of that was, but I just thought I'd get it
12 out there.
13 And I find it ironic that the mayor
14 would talk to the other unions and he won't talk to his
15 own public safety unions, and once, recently, and maybe
16 that's because November is coming.
17 But in the Scranton Times on May 10,
18 2001, the headline is, Doherty Said He Has A Vision To
19 Restore City. And I'm going to quote what the article
20 says, He also said he plans to work with the city's
21 business administrator and other officials to organize
22 a fair deal with union workers, the city's fire, police
23 and public works departments, whose contracts expires
24 in 2002.
25 You have to sit down with all of them
1 and be upfront and honest. Let's work together, Mr.
2 Doherty said, This is important for them because they
3 will feel confident that we will be able to meat our
4 financial requirements. That's the end of that quote.
5 I also didn't know if I should say
6 this, but I'm going to, when you look back at the
7 Primary Election, disabled Veterans' votes were
8 challenged, and I didn't see any Veterans who are not
9 disabled, their votes, I didn't see any of them being
10 challenged. They were all able to get out and vote.
11 Approximately two months ago a
12 Councilperson in response to me wanted to know what
13 item in the budget where the money could come from to
14 pay a $200 per month appreciation bonus to returning
15 soldiers who are city employees who served in Iraq.
16 I wish to thank that Councilperson for
17 persisting in wanting to know what line item the
18 requested bonus would come from. At the time I didn't
19 know the line item number. I was going generally from
20 the budget, but I found what I thought was interesting,
21 but I'll get back to that.
22 I am going to ask the Council if they
23 could send a request to the mayor to pay these
24 returning city employees a bonus of $200 for every
25 month that they spent in Iraq.
1 This will not amount to what they
2 would have earned if there were not activated and sent
3 to Iraq.
4 The city saved money by not paying them
5 their full budgeted amount. It would be less than
6 $25,000 or $2400 per soldier.
7 I believe we spent more on flower pots
8 that are decorating the Central City area. And as I
9 said, I'm sure the city saved much more than that.
10 There is no excuse not to pay these brave soldiers.
11 Because of this Councilperson's
12 persistence about the line item in the budget, I was
13 motivated to go through the city budgets and see what I
14 could find.
15 I used Mayor Connor's 2001 budget as a
16 starting point, the reason being that Mayor Connors
17 left incoming Mayor Doherty with a $3 million surplus,
18 and I also used Mayor Connor's last budget to get to a
19 point of comparison.
20 It should be noted that Mayor Connors
21 wasn't trying to break the police and fire union, as is
22 the case with this administration.
23 The present administration is blaming
24 the unions for its fiscal problems, instead of looking
25 at themselves, but that makes sense if you want to
1 shift the focus from yourself, blame someone else and
2 hope that you can get people to believe you.
3 Remember, the Connor's administration
4 left a $3 million surplus at the end of 2001, when he
5 left office. The Connors administration 2001 budget
6 totalled $55,790,000 plus.
7 The Connors administration wrote a 2002
8 budget that totalled $56,597,000 plus, an increase of
9 $807,261,017. This was a budget that Mayor Doherty
10 would inherit if he was to take office in 2002.
11 The Doherty administration later
12 amended the 2002 budget, and this totalled $58,197,640.
13 This was an increase over 2001 of $2,407,297.17.
14 The Doherty administration's 2003
15 budget totalled $56,321,546.21, an increase over 2001
16 of $531,202,079.
17 The Doherty administration's 2004
18 budget totaled $60,949,591.62, an increase two 2001 of
20 The Doherty administration's 2005
21 budget totaled $65,825,588.40, an increase over 2001 of
23 Totalling up the increases
24 cumulatively, it comes out to $18,132,994.14 extra.
25 And I say extra, that the city will collect and spend
1 over and above 2001. I'll finish the rest next week.
2 Thank you.
3 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you.
4 MR. GERVASI: Good evening, City
5 Council. My name is Dave Gervasi, Scranton resident
6 and firefighter.
7 A few things that -- I want to make
8 comments on some of the speakers, it was great to see
9 Attorney Hickey here tonight, I haven't seen him in a
10 while, and he said that his mind was befuddled.
11 Well, what befuddles my mind is that
12 just a few short years ago Mr. Hickey was sitting where
13 Mr. Walsh is making $40,000 a year, and the mayor so
14 kindly cut Mr. Walsh's salary, I believe, in half, and
15 immediately after that, the city hired a new city
16 solicitor at $40,000 a year, and that would be Mr.
17 Hickey. So, I could probably give you 40,000 reasons
18 why Mr. Hickey was here talking tonight about the CRF
20 A couple other things I want to bring
21 up, I was watching the meeting at home, the caucus, and
22 there was a few things I wrote down that Mr. Rossi and
23 the others that were talking about, they mentioned that
24 there was a $3.7 -- I believe it was $3.6 and change,
25 approximately $3.7 million unreserve fund balance.
1 I know we've put yourself deeper in
2 debt, long-term debt, but we said years ago that the
3 city in 1999 was no longer distressed financially, and
4 everyone laughed at us, and we said last year what our
5 financial condition was, approximately $3.5 million, no
6 one believed us, but I remember -- I'm glad Mr. Keeler
7 mentioned tonight Mooty's and the bond rating, because
8 I just happen to have this with us tonight, because I
9 brought it with me, this is Standard and Poor's, the
10 financial condition of the city when they were going
11 after the bond rating, it's the actual document I
12 received from the city, and he one line is pretty
13 interesting, and I mentioned this before a few years
14 ago, it says, The city's improved financial performance
15 and position as evidenced by an ending unreserved
16 general fund balance of $2.9 million at fiscal year end
18 Well, if anybody recalls, correct me if
19 I'm wrong, that was the last year the Connors
20 administration. And shortly after that, we went into
21 the referendum campaign, and the mayor made statements
22 that the city's broke, we're distressed, and if we
23 don't vote for the recovery plan, I'm going to have to
24 raise your taxes.
25 Well, I don't know what else to say,
1 but that was a lie, and there's the proof right there,
2 and this year we have a $3.7 million.
3 The other thing I found interesting in
4 what they were saying was, if I can find it, they said
5 that, here it is, that there was actually from 2003 to
6 2004, there was a decrease in revenues, well, it's
7 funny that the first two recovery plans talked about
8 trying to raise revenues without putting a tax burden
9 on the citizens of Scranton.
10 And, again, I'd like to bring up that
11 the unions came up with 32 different ways to raise
12 revenues. A lot of these came from the two recovery
13 plans that all of a sudden aren't in the new recovery
14 plan. So, that's another point I wanted to make.
15 And a speaker was up here last week
16 talking about all the wonderful real estate transfer
17 tax and everything that's bringing in with these KOZs,
18 and I believe they were talking about millions of
19 dollars, correct me if I'm wrong, but I remember Mr.
20 Rossi said before that it was $337,000, not millions of
22 And the really interesting thing I saw,
23 I listened to, was that there was increases in public
24 safety and public works, and in public safety, health
25 care increases went up $2.2 million, and health care
1 went up, I'm sorry, pension went up $1.6 million, and
2 in public works, it went up $1.2 million, pension and
3 health care.
4 Correct me if I'm wrong, but was that
5 not caused by the recovery plan for the additional
6 people that went off on pensions, right?
7 MS. EVANS: Yes.
8 MR. GERVASI: And I was glad Mr. Hickey
9 was here, too, because I remember a few years ago that
10 Mr. Hickey and Mr. Pocius and Councilman Doherty
11 started that new deal, actually fostered that new deal
12 with Asco that lost tens of millions of dollars, and
13 actually the return on our money in the pensions were
14 in the bottom, I believe, eight percent of returns on
15 average for all budget managers throughout the country,
16 and I'm sure that raised our MMO.
17 And on the health care increases,
18 correct me if I'm wrong, but we were keeping our health
19 care costs under control for years, like, ten years,
20 and when the Doherty administration came up, the first
21 thing they did was fire the health care consultant,
22 fire the auditor that was going to possibly get
23 millions of dollars back from overcharges from Blue
24 Cross Blue Shield, and all of a sudden we're talking
25 about health care costs going up.
1 Well, we won that arbitration. There's
2 a new health care consultant in place, and we still
3 haven't met.
4 We've done our part of the job, and the
5 city hasn't done theirs. There's money to be saved
6 again. So, if there are increases, you cannot blame
7 the unions for that either, because that's a lie if
8 they want to say that.
9 And there was a few people that have
10 been saying for a few months now that we are not going
11 to get a contract as long as I come up here and bash
12 the mayor at these Council meetings, and all I have to
13 say about that is that's a compete falsehood.
14 As a matter of fact, the mayor just
15 wrote a letter to all union members in the area that
16 says, However, more than two years after this
17 overwhelming referendum vote, the police and fire
18 unions have still refused to agree to a new contract.
19 I have contacted the mayor's office six
20 times probably in the last nine months, I actually had
21 a meeting with him last week. The meeting lasted a
22 little less than ten minutes, and I did not get one
23 impression whatsoever that there is any urgency to sit
24 down and negotiate with us. And if you think I'm
25 lying, bring the mayor here and I'll say it right in
1 front of him.
2 So, all this baloney you hear, all this
3 campaign rhetoric you hear, that's exactly what it is.
4 And I'll tell you why there's so much division here and
5 in the city and between unions, and I'm hearing now
6 between families in this town, there's a reason for it,
7 because you don't hear the other side of the story.
8 There is a -- probably a majority
9 group of people that listen to these Council meetings
10 to gather information about what's going on in the
11 city, and it's obvious to me and to many other people I
12 know that you're not getting the entire story in the
13 newspaper, and then you hear about just the other day
14 down the Italian Festival, I look up on a public
15 building and I see, Welcome to the Italian Festival,
16 Restoring The Pride, a campaign slogan probably, I'm
17 assuming, paid for by the city hung on a public
19 So, I think I know why people come here
20 frustrated, because they don't read the truth, they
21 don't get the entire story and they look to this podium
22 to gather some truthful and honest information.
23 And that befuddles my mind why groups
24 of unions -- I mean, this mayor has tried to divide the
25 unions in this town, he tried to stick a wedge in them,
1 because that's a typical political thing that's done,
2 you divide and conquer, and he did nothing for any of
3 these trade unions for his first two years in office,
4 and all of a sudden he started throwing some crumbs to
5 them here and there, and now he's got them coming to
6 speak for him.
7 The mayor -- what the mayor needs to do
8 is I think to stop all of this, he needs to tell the
9 Scranton Times, his friends that donate money to him,
10 to please put the truth in the newspaper, and maybe he
11 should come here and explain himself. And if that
12 happens, I think you'll see a lot less people fighting
13 with each other out here and out in the streets of
14 Scranton. Thank you very much for the opportunity.
15 MS. KRAKE: Good evening, Council. My
16 name is Nancy Krake. I am a city resident, and I am
17 also a union leader, and the mayor doesn't call me to
18 come here, in fact, he's never called me to come here
19 over the past three and a half years, because I just --
20 just in case anyone was wondering, I'm not one of the
21 union leaders that he calls.
22 Also, another comment on what the
23 speakers have said here, they made the remark that they
24 would like to see politics taken out of the CRF loan
25 deal, well, the perfect way to do that, as was
1 mentioned here several times tonight, is to have the
2 mayor tell us what projects he has in mind. It can't
3 be any simpler than that.
4 Another comment on one of the
5 speakers, I bet the residents of South Scranton and all
6 the neighborhoods would like to see revitalization and
7 less crime, just like around Nay Aug Park, and it still
8 fascinates me that Joanne Williams has never heard of
9 the Steamtown Mall, which was completed under Jimmy
10 Connors. She tends to make that remark every couple
11 weeks or so, but I'd like to point that out to her as a
12 project that was completed
13 A comment I have for Mrs. Evans, and
14 since I'm the last speaker, many people have already
15 mentioned it, but it bears repeating, it's $198 million
16 in long-term debt?
17 MS. EVANS: Yes.
18 MS. KRAKE: 28 years to pay that
20 MS. EVANS: Yes.
21 MS. KRAKE: And I'd also like to
22 mention that I was here for the auditor's caucus, and
23 on the same page where Mrs. Evans misread the audit
24 information, which was not very clearly presented, I
25 might add, there's a problem with their addition. I
1 believe they're off by over $21 million. So, I don't
2 think you should feel too badly, Mrs. Evans.
3 Perhaps it was because you suggested
4 they have this audit completed in time, you know, that
5 maybe they made a few errors, but thank you for doing
6 that for us anyway.
7 Oh, also I believe the mayor intends to
8 borrow another $4 million in 2005.
9 MS. EVANS: Yes.
10 MS. KRAKE: He truly is restoring our
11 deficit. We are living beyond our means, and our debt
12 service payments directly affect the money we have
13 available for our day to day services.
14 Mr. Hickey also brought out some
15 interesting points concerning the vote on CRF, that was
16 the loan purchase legislation.
17 In fact, he made it pretty clear that
18 if the mayor tells you to do it, you should do it.
19 John Keeler said we're no longer distressed, so my
20 suggestion would be since we can revote on anything at
21 any time to suspend the rules, President DiBileo, that
22 we revote on the recovery plan, if that's okay, and
23 perhaps we could revote on all those budgets that
24 increased the administration's salaries and eliminated
25 clerical jobs. Those are the issues I would like to
1 see revisited.
2 This issue, when the legislation is the
3 same or unchanged, that logically you could vote over
4 and over again on the same issue, that is truly
5 obstructionist thinking. Nothing would ever be
6 accomplished if you followed that rule of logic. I
7 think he's not the gentleman that deserves $40,000 a
8 year, it's Mr. Walsh.
9 An example on tonight's agenda would be
10 property purchased by a citizen. This week we can say,
11 yes, you're allowed to have that property, next week,
12 goes back to the city.
13 Perhaps Mr. Hickey doesn't care about
14 the average citizen, but I know obviously certain
15 council members do, so they're not going to go down
16 that road of illogic thinking and set a precedent.
17 I have one other thing for this
18 evening, and it was on the agenda, and it was 5-B, this
19 is about entering into the master lease agreement
20 between the city and Deere Credit, I was curious, was
21 this put out to bid?
22 MR. DIBILEO: Well, let's find that out
23 before we vote on it next week.
24 MS. KRAKE: And also, what account
25 would they be using to pay for this? They're using
1 OECD funds? Do you have the account number?
2 MR. POCIUS: I don't have the account
3 number --
4 MS. KRAKE: That's what I'm asking, the
5 account number. In particular, I wanted to see where
6 it would be in the budget or --
7 MR. POCIUS: I think it's in the --
8 MS. KRAKE: Excuse me?
9 MR. POCIUS: It's in the block grant.
10 I remember there was a line item for it, it's easy to
11 recognize, it was in last year's block grant, I
12 remember there was a certain amount of money committed
13 to OECD for this demolition project.
14 MS. KRAKE: And are we confident that
15 that is the account they'd be using, Mr. Pocius, you've
16 spoken with them?
17 MR. POCIUS: Well, I didn't speak to
18 Mr. Fiorini, but I will ask Mr. Saunders just to get us
19 the account number for next week, specifically what
20 project number it's under.
21 MR. DIBILEO: He said it was the annual
22 CDBG allotment that they get for demolition.
23 MS. KRAKE: And then the account, we
24 can add that number specifically that we're going to be
1 MR. DIBILEO: We will try to get that
2 for next week.
3 MS. KRAKE: That's great. Thank you.
4 MR. DIBILEO: Okay. If there's no
5 further speakers --
6 MR. WALSH: 5-A, motions.
7 MR. DIBILEO: Mr. McTiernan, do yo have
8 any motions or comments?
9 MR. McTIERNAN: Nothing at this time,
10 Mr. President.
11 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you. Mrs. Evans,
12 any motions or comments?
13 MS. EVANS: Thank you. Last week when
14 I reported to the people the amount of this mayor's
15 long-term debt created in less than four years, I did
16 not err on the amount of the debt, but I did err on the
17 annual principle and interest payments to service the
18 debt because of the way the independent auditors
19 formatted that audit report.
20 On the audit's Page 57, there are four
21 columns which list the city's debt service obligations
22 to pay off the long-term debt. The columns are the
23 dates, the required payment on principal, the required
24 payment of interest and the total of the two columns.
25 The first five line items in the date
1 column are one year at a time from 2005 through 2009 ,
2 then for the next five years beginning 2010 through
3 2014, the auditor's put all five years into one line
5 The total for the principle and
6 interest for five years is over $30 million, and this
7 is where I misread, because I thought the audit report
8 continued with a line item for each year, and I
9 reported the five years as one year.
10 This is my error, and now I correct it.
11 But my error does not negate the fact that this mayor
12 began his administration with $2.9 million in the
13 black, and in less than four years, he created a
14 long-term debt of more than $121 million principle, and
15 over $77 million in interest, making a total long-term
16 debt of more than $198 million.
17 My error does not negate the fact that
18 it's going to take 28 more years for Scranton's
19 taxpayers, their children and their children's children
20 to pay off the astronomical debt this mayor created.
21 My error doesn't negate the fact that
22 the independent audit reports for the year ending
23 December 31, 2004 this mayor ran the city over $3
24 million more into debt.
25 Now, an important question for you to
1 be asking yourself is, When will this mayor stop
2 selling city assets and stop his spend and borrow
3 policies to keep Scranton from getting into a deeper
4 hole of debt?
5 Because everyone knows, when you're in
6 a hole, you must, I mean, you must stop digging the
8 My error does not negate the fact that
9 this mayor has done thorough job of leading the people
10 of Scranton in the deterioration of Scranton's
12 I read in Letters To The Editor that
13 some people continuously write of the progress and fine
14 parks this mayor brought to Scranton over the past four
15 years, much like a speaker we heard this evening, but
16 not one of these writers ever mentioned the cost of
17 such claimed progress.
18 None of the writers ever discussed
19 whether the people can afford such costs or whether
20 such progress, they claim, has improved the quality of
21 our lives or in any way reduced our tax burden or
22 reduced the crime in Scranton, other than just claiming
23 it doesn't exist, or improved or city's neighborhoods
24 and streets, other than in an election year.
25 Anyone who may hear me at City Council
1 meetings will know that other than trying to help
2 people, my main discussions have centered around
3 Scranton's serious financial condition and long-term
5 Would the average taxpayer go out today
6 and incur a debt to buy a Roll Royce? It's only common
7 sense that before Mr. and Mrs. Average Taxpayer would
8 incur a large debt by buying a Rolls Royce, they would
9 sit down together and decide if their incomes would
10 enable them to pay off the debt, plus interest, and if
11 the Rolls Royce would really improve the quality of
12 their life, and if not, why not a Chevrolet?
13 On the other side of the coin, this
14 mayor's job performance shows he was never concerned
15 with the cost of his conduct or if Scranton could
16 afford what he did either directly or through the
17 municipal authorities.
18 If Scranton could not afford his
19 policies, he simply went ahead and sold city assets,
20 even for less than their true value.
21 And, yes, he has borrowed millions of
22 dollars, as long as he had a rubber stamp Council, and
23 the end result of all of this is $198 million of debt.
24 The mayor spent millions of dollars in
25 projects that everyone can see, like the park and the
1 buildings in Central City, but he did nothing to
2 improve the neighborhoods. That's because they're
3 intangible. They wouldn't be as impressive to the
4 average voter, as the park or new buildings downtown.
5 And that is what he touts as his accomplishments, not
6 our neighborhoods.
7 Now, if this mayor had any doubt of
8 getting his sell, spend and borrow policy through City
9 Council, he just bypassed Council by working through
10 the different municipal authorities he controls.
11 Prime examples are the sale of the golf course and the
12 South Side Complex.
13 To put all of this in plain language,
14 this mayor seems to have circumvented all of the checks
15 and balances in our democracy.
16 As a result of his job performance for
17 four years, the people come to Council meetings and
18 speak at the podium each week, they represent
19 themselves and their neighbors, they have problems with
20 their everyday lives because of things the city did or
21 did not do or should have done long, long ago.
22 What most people say at the podium
23 shows they don't support this mayor's sell, spend and
24 borrow policies. People aren't stupid, because they
25 recognize that under this mayor, Scranton politics has
1 become an arena for the glorification and care of his
2 friends and contributors, and forget the taxpayers
3 would elected him.
4 In my opinion, this is a system almost
5 completely devoid of concern for the average person,
6 the elderly, and other Scrantonians on fixed incomes.
7 And as I listen to the people at the
8 podium and at neighborhood meetings and at church
9 picnics and on the street, I see, I hear their
10 overwhelming desire to have a mayor work to improve
11 their lives and to free them from large debt, and I am
12 committed to those goals.
13 In addition to this long-term debt, we
14 mustn't forget about the looming $6 million lawsuit
15 with American Water Services caused by a failure to
16 renew their contract.
17 Furthermore, the mayor has lost his
18 fifth arbitration case. Fortunately this time we owe
19 only the legal fees involved, rather than an additional
20 monetary award.
21 how long will it take this
22 administration to stop breaking contracts and wasting
23 taxpayers' money? How many times will it take before
24 he finally gets the point, you cannot violate contracts
25 and expect to win?
1 Jay, I'd like a letter sent, please, to
2 DCED and PEL requesting their presence at a public
3 caucus to discuss the financial concerns and debt of
4 the City of Scranton, and I'll make that in the form of
5 a motion tonight.
6 MR. COURTRIGHT: I'll second it.
7 MR. DIBILEO: Okay. We have a motion
8 on the floor and a second. On the question? All those
9 in favor, signify by saying aye.
10 MS. EVANS: Aye.
11 MR. MCTIERNAN: Aye
12 MR. POCIUS: Aye.
13 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
14 MR. DIBILEO: Aye. The ayes have it by
15 a 5-0 vote.
16 MS. EVANS: Thank you. And, Jay, let's
17 get that scheduled for October, please.
18 I also have some weekly requests.
19 There's a lot on Prescott Avenue where an owner is
20 dumping dirt or fill regularly. I'd like the city
21 inspector to make a visit out there, please, and I have
22 photos that I want to share with my colleagues on
23 Council so that they can get an understanding of that
25 Also, at 212 Oak Street, a house was
1 demolished tow years ago and the remaining lot is
2 overgrown and there are two dead trees lying there and
3 the tree limbs from the existing trees are falling on
4 the roof of the neighbor's house, and I've talked about
5 this before and I've talked about this before, this is
6 the third time I'm talking about this, so I really hope
7 that we're going to get this done. It's been two years
8 that the residents have been waiting for some action at
9 212 Oak Street.
10 Also, 122 Florida Street in East
11 Mountain, there's an open culvert in front of that
12 residence and animals are living inside the drainage
14 In the 1500 block of Von Storch,
15 residents have called in their potholes over a dozen
16 times in the summer of 2005, and not one pothole has
17 been filled.
18 I also understand that the meager
19 lighting situation in police headquarters has not been
20 addressed. I brought it up last week. I don't know
21 what could take seven days to fix, but -- also there
22 are four cars that have been out of service for two
23 weeks, and I'm going to request a report on these
24 repairs from either the fleet manager or the mechanics.
25 Leggett's Creek, there are two trees
1 lying in the creek and the river bank is eroding behind
2 the homes on Leggett Street.
3 In the Tripp Park Development on Abby
4 Way, we have a drainage, a serious drainage problem
5 there. A pipe is buried in the back of the property.
6 The developer is involved in this. I'd like Mr. Parker
7 to go back out there.
8 I learned he was there doing a site
9 inspection three months ago, and he instructed the
10 developer to formulate a plan to address the problem,
11 and I just want to know from Mr. Parker if that plan
12 has actually been presented to him, and if not, could
13 he please follow up.
14 Gutter and drain pipe replacement at
15 1429 East Elm Street. And we did talk earlier this
16 evening about the area of Whittier School, and it's
17 very coincidental, but today I just received some
18 requests concerning that location.
19 Parents would like to have at the
20 corner of River Street and South Irving Avenue, they
21 would like two additional stop signs posted at that
22 intersection so that it will create a four-way stop
23 sign situation.
24 There have been four accidents in the
25 last, I think, two years at that location. Most
1 recently, one in the last two weeks.
2 Also at the corner of Orchard and South
3 Irving, at the end of the block where Whittier is,
4 they'd also like two more stop signs there, because
5 cars are parking right to the corner, and so it's
6 prohibiting visibility, and they'd also like to have
7 crosswalks painted at Whittier School. They've never
8 had crosswalks.
9 And I just wanted to -- I'm sorry here.
10 Pass these down. I showed them to Mr. McTiernan. This
11 is the situation on Prescott Street, and these were
12 photos that were forwarded to me from Price Rite, but
13 as we heard earlier, Mr. Fiorini is on top of that.
14 And finally, I, too, we're going to be
15 giving you a big head, I don't even think he knows I'm
16 talking to him, but anyway you're going to get a very
17 big head tonight, Mr. McTiernan, because I wanted to
18 commend you, as well, and, of course, as you mentioned
19 earlier, our three other administrators and our two
20 school resource officers for your immediate and
21 courageous response to what was a very dangerous
22 situation, and I want to thank you for that and for
23 putting the safety and welfare of everyone in our
24 building uppermost in your mind and in your actions, so
25 thank you.
1 MR. MCTIERNAN: Thank you.
2 MS. EVANS: And that's it.
3 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you, Mrs. Evans.
4 Mr. Pocius, motions or comments?
5 MR. POCIUS: Yes, Mr. President. Thank
6 you very much. Just a couple comments here in the
7 beginning. If anyone had to guess, that certain
8 councilman Mr. Ancherani was referring to was me. You
9 could had said my name, Nelson, I don't have a problem
10 with that.
11 Number two, there was a comment made
12 about the amount of paving and kind of alluded to that
13 the city had no responsibility for the paving, well, a
14 large majority of the streets paved were done in the
15 capital budget, that was a two-year program. We also
16 explored K Route paving. We have $544,800 for this
17 year. This is the first time we ever used it, and I
18 think there was some OECD paving involved, plus there
19 was enforcement of the utility cut law, where if the
20 utilities, if they did more than a certain amount of
21 cuts would have to resurface the whole road, and that
22 just happened over there on Fig Street from Prospect
23 all the way down through Pittston, through Cedar, and I
24 think down another block, because there was a lot of
25 gas mains replaced in that block, so that's the kind of
1 paving you see in the city here.
2 Another quick comment, Mr. Gervasi
3 referred to two things, he said, We're down in
4 revenues, and Mr. Rossi and his staff explained it,
5 there was a one time large influx of capital budget
6 money into the general budget, which he explained was
7 the reason why there was a big revenue item in and
8 there's no longer that capital budget money that was
9 put into the budget.
10 Also, too, he referred to something
11 that Attorney Hickey and I schemed about the Asco deal,
12 well, I mentioned this in the past, the Asco deal
13 basically -- we did not make a pension payment the one
14 year, it accrued interest, it was going on the second
15 year of accruing interest, we had another pension
16 payment due.
17 What we basically did was took the
18 money we made from the Asco deal, immediately poured
19 that into the pension fund, which allowed then the
20 state to release their share of the MMO, which put over
21 $10 million into the funding and basically got us out
22 of hock with the state at that time, because they were
23 breathing down our necks.
24 We were really -- because the interest
25 is -- if you're one second late, never mind, like, it's
1 not, like, per month, if you're one minute late past,
2 like, one minute after one, twelve o'clock on January
3 1, you pay to whole year's interest, it's tacked right
4 on all at once and that carries. Okay. That's that.
5 Kind of on a lighter note, I'd like to
6 wish my wife, who's hopefully sitting home tonight, she
7 was at a little golf game tonight, this is our
8 anniversary, and I want to thank her for putting up
9 with me for 32 years. A little harder than it seems, I
11 Also, I do not believe I have to
12 comment any more on my absences. I memorialized my
13 comments, I put them in a letter to Mr. DiBileo, as
14 president of council out of respect for his position, I
15 shared that with my former Council people, and also for
16 the general public, I sent it to the paper to be
17 published, and they called me on it and they said they
18 would publish it.
19 I can't dance around it, I memorialized
20 it, and what I said, I said, my reasons are there, and
21 believe me, it's the truth.
22 So, saying that, I have one motion at
23 this time. Again, I'm going to revisit the same
24 subject and I'm going to do it every week until we get
25 some resolve with this, I'm going to make a motion that
1 we suspend our rules again allowing for the
2 reintroduction of the CFR ordinances that were
4 MR. MCTIERNAN: Seconded.
5 MR. DIBILEO: Motion on the floor and a
6 second. On the question? We have a motion on the
7 floor and a second. On the question? All those in
8 favor, signify by saying aye.
9 MR. MCTIERNAN: Aye
10 MR. POCIUS: Aye.
11 MR. DIBILEO: Opposed?
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: No.
13 MS. EVANS: No.
14 MR. DIBILEO: No. By a 3-2 vote,
15 motion does not pass.
16 MR. POCIUS: Okay. Thank you. I think
17 that's it, Mr. President.
18 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you. Happy
19 Anniversary, you and your wife.
20 MR. COURTRIGHT: Happy Anniversary,
22 MS. EVANS: And many more.
23 MR. POCIUS: I hope so.
24 MR. DIBILEO: But I think you've been
25 on this Council long enough to know that that's real
1 petty, that motion you just made.
2 MR. POCIUS: No, Mr. DiBileo, I wasn't
3 going to --
4 MR. DIBILEO: The fact that you're
5 going to do it every week, you can go right ahead.
6 MR. POCIUS: I will.
7 MR. DIBILEO: And you're going to get
8 pettier and pettier and pettier.
9 MR. POCIUS: You made a statement
10 before Mr. -- you made it many times, you said, Council
11 as a body did this, well, there's two people on Council
12 that would like to revisit the situation. It was the
13 majority of Council that will not allow it to be
15 So, I mean, I didn't want to get into
16 this, but basically I believe it's the right thing to
17 do, it's the situation.
18 You've gone on record as saying you're
19 in favor of it, I'm never going to -- I've never asked
20 anybody why they voted on a thing, a reason, because
21 I've never wanted to be asked myself, but once you go
22 on the record for something that you're for, you can't
23 pull it back.
24 So, if you think it's petty, that's
25 fine, but be prepared every week, I will make this
1 motion until maybe one -- Mrs. Evans and Mr. Courtright
2 might make it and make like a little easier here.
3 That's all.
4 MR. DIBILEO: And I would correct
5 myself. I should have said the majority of Council as
6 a body.
7 MR. POCIUS: That's fine.
8 MR. DIBILEO: But Council as a body,
9 the majority of Council as a body decided that issue,
10 and perhaps one of the two descending votes will
11 reconsider their situation.
12 But to me, it's playing politics, and
14 MR. POCIUS: You want to talk about
15 playing politics, this whole meeting is playing
16 politics, for crying out loud.
17 MR. DIBILEO: I'll continue saying
18 that, and every week that you make that motion --
19 MR. POCIUS: You'll say it's petty?
20 MR. DIBILEO: I'll say it's petty and
21 I'll say it's politics.
22 MR. POCIUS: Fine.
23 MR. DIBILEO: So, as long as we're on
24 the record.
25 MR. POCIUS: Then every week I'll say
1 the same thing, but get ready for the motion, it's
2 coming every week.
3 MR. DIBILEO: Ditto. Mr. Courtright,
4 motions or comments?
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes. We all get
6 several calls, I'm sure all of us each week, and this
7 past week I got the single most calls I've got since
8 I've been on here, and that was on the -- when Mrs.
9 Evans read the report from Rossi.
10 The $198 million really hit home with
11 people, and I got a lot of calls about it and questions
12 -- asking me questions that I really don't think I'm
13 qualified to answer.
14 If anybody's interested in looking at
15 the report, we have it in the council office, you're
16 more than welcome to come in and look at where she got
17 the $198 million figure from.
18 Just a lot of people really, really
19 shocked at it. I mean, I was aware of it because we
20 had it, and I guess I assumed everybody else was, but
21 they're not, but you're welcome to come and take a look
22 at it. Mr. Saunders has it in our office.
23 Jay, this is probably the third week I
24 bring it up, and maybe to some people not significant,
25 but the reason I bring this up is this pothole machine,
1 is because right about the time when they started doing
2 a little bit of advertising for the festival, Festa
3 Italiana downtown, people -- a lot of people were
4 calling me saying, You know, that's pretty much the end
5 of the summer, and we still have a whole bunch of
6 potholes that haven't been fixed from last year. You
7 know, you bought this machine, where is it?
8 That's when I started asking about it.
9 So, I guess we haven't received any, you know, and I
10 don't know, does that get the job done faster, I guess
11 as opposed to -- that's why, I believe, why we bought
13 But if we can find out what the holdup
14 is, because, again, people are considering summer over
15 and then they're looking to the winter and not
16 satisfied with the holes from last year haven't been
17 repaired yet.
18 And if I can just have an opportunity,
19 I know we're late here, to read this, because I think
20 this is pretty important, I had a note handed to me
21 earlier in the week, and this article, I'm guessing, is
22 from The Times, somebody ripped it out, and like I said
23 on more than one occasion, I don't read the paper that
24 often, I apologize for that, but if I may read, I won't
25 read the whole thing, I'll just read a portion of it,
1 As one city firefighter returned home from the Gulf
2 Coast on Wednesday afternoon assisting with rescue
3 teams, two more were gearing up for deployment to help
4 fill a federal request for 2,000 firefighters to serve
5 as public information officers.
6 In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina,
7 Captain Dave Schreiber was called to Gulfport,
8 Mississippi. A member of The Pennsylvania Task Force
9 One Urban Search and Rescue Team, Captain Schreiber
10 helped search for missing residents.
11 Wednesday afternoon he was on a bus to
12 Scranton and due back late in the evening. As Captain
13 Schreiber made his way back, two more firefighters
14 awaited a call to head south.
15 On August 31, the Federal Emergency
16 Management Agency put out a call for 1,000 two-person
17 firefighter teams to assist those affected by Hurricane
19 The 2,000 firefighters will be serving
20 as public information officers for FEMA helping
21 disaster victims with aid application and answering
22 questions, as said Deputy Chief Terry Osborne.
23 About 50 city firefighters submitted their names for
24 consideration, and Elliott Clay and Erik Woiteck were
25 chosen. So, we'd just like to thank Mr. Schreiber for
1 going, and thank those two that are going. They're
2 greatly needed there.
3 Mr. Bolus, I don't know, like him or
4 not like him, sometimes I agree with him, sometimes I
5 don't, but it just seems that he steps up to the plate
6 every time something happens, every year he does the
7 thing at Christmastime, which I think is great, and now
8 he's donating his trucks to help the people in the
9 disaster, and I'd like to thank him for that.
10 And hopefully it's been put to rest
11 that Senator Mellow is trying to shut down Channel 61.
12 Mr. Pocius read a thing saying from his office that
13 he's not, so I think that's a good thing. All right.
14 And, Jay, lastly, are you with me here, okay, I don't
15 know what the delay is, you know Mr. Newcomb asks week
16 after week about these banners, but I'm interested in
17 to know how much all this costs.
18 The last figure I got was about
19 $13,000, and that was rumor in this great rumor mill we
20 have here in Scranton, but I believe the answer has to
21 come from Sara Hailstone; is that correct?
22 MR. SAUNDERS: Yes.
23 MR. COURTRIGHT: All right. If in fact
24 she's having difficulty obtaining those figures, could
25 she tell me what the difficulty is that we can tell
1 everybody here, you know, why, because there's banners,
2 there's an article or an advertisement for The Times
3 that Mr. DiBileo brought up, there's billboards,
4 there's a whole host of things, ads in the newspaper,
5 as I said, a host of things, so if we can't get those
6 figures by next week, can she let me know what the
7 holdup is and we'll let the rest of the city know what
8 the holdup is? And that's all I have. Thank you.
9 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you, Mr.
10 Courtright. This week there's no legislation on the
11 Hilton Hotel and Conference Center, and I actually
12 expected that to be introduced last week, and when it
13 wasn't, I thought we'd see it this week, but maybe
14 that's a good thing, because we have something called a
15 Memo of Understanding, and it deals with three issues,
16 parking, taxes, and also what's referred to as Section
17 108 Loan, and that's the repayment of the $3 million
18 that this city has kicked in.
19 There are two issues on that Memo of
20 Understanding that I'd like to revisit and improve in
21 the areas of the Memo of Understanding, so, I'd like to
22 actually request that we have another meeting with
23 representatives of Spectrum and their attorneys and our
24 attorney, Boyd Hughes, I think Mrs. Evans brought him
25 up, and let's revisit that memo of understanding and
1 see if we can improve to the city's benefit in two of
2 those areas in negotiation with Spectrum.
3 And, now, in order to have all five
4 members of Council there, we would have to advertise
5 that and do it in private session, and perhaps that's
6 the best way to handle it this time around, rather than
7 just having one or two members of Council available.
8 MR. WALSH: Mr. President, just to let
9 you know, I did meet with Attorney Farrell and with
10 Attorney Kelly, and I believe they are preparing some
11 sort of legislation to send down.
12 MR. DIBILEO: Okay. We're running out
13 of time, and the thing is, before we introduce it
14 possibly next week, we might not have a chance to make
15 any improvements to what's already been discussed at
16 the original meeting, so that's why I think maybe
17 another meeting as soon as we can hopefully as late as
18 next Thursday might be a good idea.
19 In addition to that, I requested the
20 mayor or a designee of his to speak it us strictly for
21 informational purposes for both City Council's purposes
22 and the public's purposes as to the timeline involved
23 regarding the two garages that are adjacent to the
24 Hilton Hotel and Conference Center. One is the
25 Medallion Garage, which has now been taken down, and
1 the other is the new Casey Garage, which is almost
3 But regarding the fact that, you know,
4 neither of those two garages were made available for
5 the Hilton to possibly have a better chance of
6 succeeding, and, again, not to point fingers, just so
7 that we understand the timeline involved, especially in
8 the Medallion Garage, because I think that a lot of
9 money was spent in there prior to it being torn down,
10 so I just want to make sure I understand, possibly
11 other council members understand, the public
12 understands where we came from there. So, maybe next
13 Thursday. Jay's not here, but maybe we can see if
14 somebody could address that issue, possibly even during
15 this meeting with Spectrum, although I think that that
16 would be more of a public situation will regarding the
17 two garages on availability.
18 We did not break through August, as I
19 said, mainly for that issue, and I'm glad that we were
20 able to meet regarding it, but there's an E-Mail that
21 went out to Mrs. Evans, and she shared it with me, and
22 we're not being spoken very highly of regarding the
23 fact that we met through August by Mayor Doherty, and,
24 if I might, I'm just going to read the first paragraph
25 of this E-Mail. It says, Dear Fellow Democrat, City
1 Council is back to their regular schedule, and despite
2 Gary DiBileo's assurances that important work justified
3 suspending their August recess, nothing was done to
4 move our city forward.
5 In the coming weeks you can expect to
6 hear continued bashing of my administration. Here are
7 some things discussed at City Council last week and my
8 analysis of what it really means.
9 So, even though he doesn't come here,
10 he obviously listens or watches on TV. And I'm not
11 going to go into each topic, but the topics are, Evans
12 Can't Count, DiBileo Keeps Silent, and DiBileo Ignores
13 the Unions, which he asks to come here every week.
14 So, that's the type of response that
15 our mayor has to us meeting during the month of August
16 on the Hilton Hotel and Conference Center.
17 MS. EVANS: Mr. DiBileo, if I could
18 just interrupt for one second.
19 MR. DIBILEO: Yes.
20 MS. EVANS: You were mentioning a
21 moment ago that you sent a letter of request for the
22 mayor or his representative to address the issue, the
23 timeline of the two parking garages, well, I just
24 wanted to add that as part of my motion for a subpoena,
25 I had also listed Ms. Hailstone of OECD to be
1 subpoenaed, and, you know, to come before Council to be
2 questioned on these issues, so even though at this
3 point that subpoena has not been exercised, purely the
4 subpoena seeking documents, if you should not receive a
5 positive response from the mayor, I would suggest that
6 we then subpoena Ms. Hailstone. We don't have to make
7 another motion, that was part of my original motion,
8 which passed.
9 MR. DIBILEO: Okay. Let's keep that in
10 mind. Hopefully we'll hear something back from
11 somebody within the administration by next week.
12 There's a wonderful telethon going on
13 today, it's actually going on for another 40 minutes, I
14 have 10:20 right now, and I think it goes until eleven
15 o'clock this evening, and that is The Hurricane Katrina
16 Relief Telethon, and they are obviously collecting
17 money for the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
18 Money is being raised through the
19 American Red Cross. People wishing to donate even
20 after the telethon is over could make a check payable
21 to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, and
22 down in the memo section you would put in there,
23 Hurricane Katrina. So, that's American Red Cross
24 Disaster Relief Fund, in the memo, Hurricane Katrina.
25 I wanted to go over there and answer
1 some phones for a little bit today, I never made it. I
2 did call and make a donation, and this is the
3 information they gave me.
4 You then send it to the Wyoming Valley
5 Chapter of American Red Cross, Wyoming Valley Chapter
6 of American Red Cross, 256 North Sherman Street,
7 Wilkes-Barre, 18702, 256 Sherman Street, Wilkes-Barre,
9 And the last thing is, we've mentioned
10 a couple weekend festivities the last couple of weeks,
11 and I think this weekend is a church picnic at St.
12 Paul's Church, I don't know the details of what
13 evenings they are.
14 MS. EVANS: I believe it's Friday,
15 Saturday and Sunday.
16 MR. DIBILEO: Friday, Saturday and
17 Sunday at St. Paul's.
18 MS. EVANS: 9th, 10th and 11th, yes.
19 MR. DIBILEO: Okay. And they could use
20 your support. And that's all I have.
21 MR. WALSH: Fifth order. 5-B, FOR
22 INTRODUCTION - A RESOLUTION - AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND
23 OTHER APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS TO EXECUTE AND ENTER
24 INTO A MASTER LEASE AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE CITY OF
25 SCRANTON AND DEERE CREDIT, INC. FOR THE LEASE OF
1 EQUIPMENT TO AID IN THE DEMOLITION OF BLIGHTED
3 MR. DIBILEO: At this time I'll
4 entertain a motion that Item 5-B be introduced into
5 it's proper committee.
6 MR. POCIUS: So moved.
7 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
8 MR. DIBILEO: On the question?
9 All those in favor, signify by saying aye.
10 MS. EVANS: Aye.
11 MR. MCTIERNAN: Aye
12 MR. POCIUS: Aye.
13 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
14 MR. DIBILEO: Aye. Opposed? The ayes
15 have it and so moved.
16 MR. WALSH: Sixth order. 6-A, READING
17 BY TITLE - FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 144, 2005 - AN ORDINANCE
18 - SALE OF TAX DELINQUENT PROPERTY AT 1302 MULBERRY
19 STREET, SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA, TO JOHN J. HARRINGTON,
20 JR. AND CATHERINE A. HARRINGTON, HIS WIFE, 102 LILAC
21 LANE, SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA, 18505, FOR THE SUM OF
23 MR. DIBILEO: You've heard reading by
24 title of Item 6-A, what is your pleasure?
25 MR. POCIUS: Mr. President, I move that
1 6-A pass reading by title.
2 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
3 MR. DIBILEO: On the question? All
4 those in favor, signify by saying aye.
5 MS. EVANS: Aye.
6 MR. MCTIERNAN: Aye
7 MR. POCIUS: Aye.
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
9 MR. DIBILEO: Aye. Opposed? The ayes
10 have it and so moved.
11 MR. WALSH: 6-B, READING BY TITLE -
12 FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 145, 2005 - AN ORDINANCE SALE OF
13 TAX DELINQUENT PROPERTY AT 1326 MULBERRY STREET,
14 SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA TO LOGO-TEES, INC., D/B/A
15 WILLIAMS MARKETING & SALES, 276 EAST GROVE STREET,
16 CLARKS SUMMIT, PENNSYLVANIA, 18411, FOR THE SUM OF
18 MR. DIBILEO: You've heard reading by
19 title of Item 6-B, what is your pleasure?
20 MR. POCIUS: Mr. President, I move that
21 6-B pass reading by title.
22 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
23 MR. DIBILEO: On the question? All
24 those in favor, signify by saying aye.
25 MS. EVANS: Aye.
1 MR. MCTIERNAN: Aye
2 MR. POCIUS: Aye.
3 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
4 MR. DIBILEO: Aye. Opposed? The ayes
5 have it and so moved.
6 MR. WALSH: Seventh order. 7-A, FOR
7 CONSIDERATION BY THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC WORKS - FOR
8 ADOPTION - RESOLUTION NO. 160, 2005 - AUTHORIZING THE
9 MAYOR AND OTHER APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS TO EXECUTE
10 AND ENTER INTO A SUPPLEMENTAL REIMBURSEMENT AGREEMENT
11 NO. 040809-C WITH THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA,
12 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION REGARDING THE LACKAWANNA
13 AVENUE BRIDGE PROJECT TO ALLOW FOR AN INCREASE IN THE
14 MAXIMUM FEDERAL REIMBURSEMENT.
15 MR. DIBILEO: What's the recommendation
16 of the chairperson for the committee on public works?
17 MR. POCIUS: I move for final passage
18 of Item 7-A.
19 MR. COURTRIGHT: Seconded.
20 MR. DIBILEO: On the question? Roll
21 call, please, Kay.
22 MS. GARVEY: Mr. McTiernan.
23 MR. McTIERNAN: Yes.
24 MS. GARVEY: Mrs. Evans.
25 MS. EVANS: Yes.
1 MS. GARVEY: Mr. Pocius.
2 MR. POCIUS: Yes.
3 MS. GARVEY: Mr. Courtright.
4 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
5 MS. GARVEY: Mr. DiBileo.
6 MR. DIBILEO: Yes. I hereby declare
7 Item 7-A legally and lawfully adopted.
8 MR. WALSH: 7-B, FOR CONSIDERATION BY
9 THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC WORKS, FOR ADOPTION --
10 RESOLUTION NO. 161, 2005, AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND
11 OTHER APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS TO ENTER INTO A
12 REIMBURSEMENT AGREEMENT 048748 WITH THE COMMONWEALTH OF
13 PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION TO
14 PARTICIPATE IN THE 2005 K ROUTES PROJECT AND THEREBY
15 BECOME ELIGIBLE FOR $544,800 IN FEDERAL REIMBURSEMENT
16 FOR CONSTRUCTION COSTS.
17 MR. DIBILEO: What's the recommendation
18 of the chairperson for the committee on public works?
19 MR. POCIUS: I move for final passage
20 of Item 7-B.
21 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
22 MR. DIBILEO: On the question? Roll
23 call, please, Kay.
24 MS. GARVEY: Mr. McTiernan.
25 MR. McTIERNAN: Yes.
1 MS. GARVEY: Mrs. Evans.
2 MS. EVANS: Yes.
3 MS. GARVEY: Mr. Pocius.
4 MR. POCIUS: Yes.
5 MS. GARVEY: Mr. Courtright.
6 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
7 MS. GARVEY: Mr. DiBileo.
8 MR. DIBILEO: Yes. I hereby declare
9 Item 7-B legally and lawfully adopted.
10 MR. WALSH: 7-C, FOR CONSIDERATION BY
11 THE COMMITTEE ON RULES - FOR ADOPTION - RESOLUTION NO.
12 162, 2005 - AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND OTHER APPROPRIATE
13 CITY OFFICIALS TO EXECUTE AND ENTER INTO A PROFESSIONAL
14 SERVICES CONTRACT WITH PETERS DESIGN GROUP, INC. FOR
15 RENOVATIONS TO CITY HALL FOR THE BASEMENT, THIRD AND
16 FOURTH FLOORS OF CITY HALL AND THE SECOND AND THIRD
17 FLOORS OF FIRE HEADQUARTERS.
18 MR. DIBILEO: As chairperson for the
19 committee on rules, I recommend final passage of Item
21 MR. POCIUS: Seconded.
22 MR. DIBILEO: On the question? Roll
23 call please, Kay.
24 MS. GARVEY: Mr. McTiernan.
25 MR. McTIERNAN: Yes.
1 MS. GARVEY: Mrs. Evans.
2 MS. EVANS: Yes.
3 MS. GARVEY: Mr. Pocius.
4 MR. POCIUS: Yes.
5 MS. GARVEY: Mr. Courtright.
6 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
7 MS. GARVEY: Mr. DiBileo.
8 MR. DIBILEO: Yes. I hereby declare
9 Item 7-C legally and lawfully adopted. Seeing no
10 further business on the agenda, I'll entertain a motion
11 we adjourn.
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
13 MR. POCIUS: Seconded.
14 MR. DIBILEO: We're adjourned.
16 (MEETING WAS ADJOURNED.)
2 C E R T I F I C A T E
4 I hereby certify that the proceedings and
5 evidence are contained fully and accurately in the
6 notes taken by me on the hearing of the above cause and
7 that this copy is a correct transcript of the same
8 to the best of my ability.
LISA M. GRAFF, RPR
12 Official Court Reporter