2 SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING
7 Thursday, November 3, 2005
11 7:00 p.m.
15 Council Chambers
16 Scranton City Hall
17 340 North Washington Avenue
18 Scranton, Pennsylvania
23 Lisa M. Graff, RPR
24 Court Reporter
1 CITY OF SCRANTON COUNCIL:
3 MR. GARY DIBILEO, COUNCIL PRESIDENT
5 MS. JANET E. EVANS, VICE-PRESIDENT
7 MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT
9 MR. JOHN POCIUS
11 MR. ROBERT McTIERNAN
13 MR. JAY SAUNDERS, CITY CLERK
15 MS. KAY GARVEY, ASSISTANT CITY CLERK
18 ALSO PRESENT:
19 FRANK BLASI, ESQUIRE
1 MR. DIBILEO: Kay, can we have a roll
2 call, please?
3 MS. GARVEY: Mr. McTiernan.
4 MR. McTIERNAN: Here.
5 MS. GARVEY: Mrs. Evans.
6 MS. EVANS: Here.
7 MS. GARVEY: Mr. Pocius.
8 MR. POCIUS: Here.
9 MS. GARVEY: Mr. Courtright.
10 MR. COURTRIGHT: Here.
11 MS. GARVEY: Mr. DiBileo.
12 MR. DIBILEO: Here. If we can dispense
13 with the reading of the minutes, please.
14 MR. SAUNDERS: Third order. 3-A,
15 Petition to consider vacating the unnamed court at the
16 rear of the 700 block of Davis Street.
17 MR. DIBILEO: Are there any comments on
18 3-A? If not, received and filed.
19 MR. POCIUS: Mr. President, at this
20 time I would like to make a motion that we send this
21 petition to the proper city officials for review of the
22 city planner/city engineer and on their report if they
23 could ask Attorney Farrell to prepare the proper
24 ordinance for the vacation of this court.
25 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
1 MR. DIBILEO: We have a motion on the
2 floor and a second. On the question? All those in
3 favor signify by saying Aye.
4 MR. POCIUS: Aye.
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
6 MR. MCTIERNAN: Aye.
7 MS. EVANS: Aye.
8 MR. DIBILEO: Aye. The ayes have it
9 and so moved. Thank you, Mr. Pocius.
10 MR. SAUNDERS: 3-B, Minutes of the
11 Scranton/Lackawanna Health and Welfare Authority
12 meeting held on September 15, 2005.
13 MR. DIBILEO: Are there any comments on
14 3-B? If not received and filed.
15 MR. SAUNDERS: 3-C. Agenda for the
16 Zoning Hearing Board meeting to be held on Wednesday,
17 November 16, 2005.
18 MR. DIBILEO: Are there any comments
19 on 3-C? If not, received and filed. Clerk's Notes.
20 MR. SAUNDERS: I have nothing at this
21 time, Mr. President.
22 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you, Mr.
23 Saunders. We will go right to citizens participation.
24 Before I call up the first speaker, I want to of course
25 welcome everyone here, everyone here in our audience,
1 all of our speakers, and even those at home. We are
2 five days away from a very emotionally charged
3 election, and, you know, people are very passionate on
4 both sides of this election and I would like to stress
5 to the audience, please, to show respect to all
6 speakers by refraining from any noise from the audience
7 while speakers are at the podium.
8 I ask speakers to abide by our
9 five-minute time limitation in consideration of others,
10 and I also ask speakers to refrain from comments of a
11 personal nature I appreciate everyone abiding by these
12 rules and I thank you for it.
13 And I have a gavel, I don't want to use
14 it, too often, but we may have to use it if there's any
15 noise in the audience, so we greatly appreciate your
17 In addition to that, I just want to
18 make a quick mention of the fact that there was an
19 incident, an unfortunate incident, today that took
20 place. There was a shooting outside of one of our
21 schools and you know, we don't want any speakers to
22 dwell on that incident. I want to congratulate our
23 police force for apprehending the person involved.
24 It looks like the victim is going
25 to be okay and, you know, this is just another example
1 of what we've been talking about, but everybody is
2 going to be okay and the police did a good job. And
3 with that said, I'd like to call up our first speaker,
4 Charlie Newcomb Jr.
5 MR. SAUNDERS: Mr. President, before
6 you go any further, I just have to call fourth order
7 just to get it in that order. Fourth order, citizens
9 MR. DIBILEO: Okay. And Charlie.
10 Newcomb Jr.
11 MR. NEWCOMB JR.: Good evening,
12 Council. If I could, I have some pictures that I'd
13 like to hold up that I kind of blew up that I would
14 like to show you. Before I get into that, last week we
15 heard about a letter that a particular citizen
16 received, and I'll just get into it a little bit more.
17 These pictures that I want to show you,
18 and I'll show them to the audience when I'm done, if
19 you can see this, this is Lackawanna Avenue, behind it
20 is where the new Casey Garage is being built.
21 In front of it there's a red pickup
22 truck and on each side of it it has a towel tied to the
23 mirror and tied to the handle covering the name on the
24 truck when you go on the other side. As you can see in
25 this picture, it's on that side, as well.
1 If you're driving up Lackawanna Avenue
2 where this truck was parked a block away you have a
3 bank, you have a courthouse right up here that you can
4 see from here, you have the communication center on the
5 other corner, you have Chamberlain behind this and you
6 have the Mall at Steamtown where the police station or
7 the patrol cars leave from underneath, so a vehicle
8 like this kind of stands out downtown as suspicious.
9 When you take the towels off the truck --
10 MR. DIBILEO: Charlie, maybe you want
11 to just show the audience what you are showing us
12 quickly, just very quickly. Okay. Thank you.
13 MR. NEWCOMB JR.: When you take the
14 towels off of the truck, here is the name that's
15 underneath, McGregor, Dunmore, Pennsylvania, and it has
16 their U.S. DOT Number.
17 As we learned last week who McGregor
18 is, it's the mayor's sister, which isn't a problem to
19 have your truck parked on Lackawanna Avenue but why is
20 there a towel covering each side of it if there's
21 nothing wrong?
22 I think it would be a little bit easier
23 just to park the truck there and don't put the towel on
24 each side of it because it wouldn't be as conspicuous
25 then, but what is going on with the McGregor's and the
1 Casey Garage?
2 And I'm not up here to personally
3 attack anybody, but when you go downtown and you see a
4 truck parked on the side of the road with towels
5 covering over the name, you pick it up and it's the
6 mayor's sister and her husband's business, it kind of
7 sends up a red flag what is going on in this city.
8 It's a little fishy to know that something like that is
9 going on there. Why would you cover it up if nothing
10 is going on?
11 MR. DIBILEO: Perhaps you want to
12 show that to the audience.
13 MR. NEWCOMB JR.: So, I just don't
14 get it. And, Mrs. Evans, last week you mentioned about
15 how this woman received a letter, I can't get a copy of
16 a letter from Mr. Parker about a flooding problem in
17 front of my house, but the mayor's sister can get a
18 letter regarding the garage and now her vehicles are
19 being parked out front with towels in front of it.
20 MS. EVANS: Well, actually, Mr.
21 Newcomb, I believe the letter concerned the Hilton
22 Hotel and Conference Center, rather than the garage,
23 but it was a matter of concern to me, in that, as an
24 elected official seated on City Council, I do not have
25 access to that information, nor did I see that
1 information until documents had been subpoenaed.
2 They were among the subpoenaed
3 documents. So, neither myself as a councilwoman or you
4 or anyone in this audience, John Q. Public, has access
5 to that information, but, yet, Mrs. McGregor, the
6 mayor's sister, evidently does, and that of course
7 opens the situation up to the inevitable question, why,
8 and I don't know why
9 MR. POCIUS: I know why. I know why.
10 MS. EVANS: Well, please tell us
11 MR. POCIUS: I did that abominable
12 thing, I asked. Is that terrible? I picked up the
13 phone and called
14 MS. EVANS: I'm so glad you did, John,
15 because The Scranton Times didn't even ask.
16 MR. NEWCOMB: I don't get answers when
17 I call either
18 MR. POCIUS: The bottom line is, and
19 again this is Mrs. McGregor served on the transition
20 team prior to Mayor Doherty being sworn in in 2003, I
21 guess that would be, or 2002, I guess more active, I'm
22 confused with the dates, and that was the office they
23 had set up in the PNC Bank, and at that time the
24 developers of the hotel were trying to set up various
25 meetings with the transition team in lieu of the
1 administration taking effect.
2 Mrs. McGregor was on the team, and
3 various faxes were sent and whatever letters and
4 correspondence were sent to various members on that
5 team. I talked to Virginia personally and she said she
6 had no knowledge of ever receiving that because it
7 seemed the name was just left on there and she never
8 got the fax. I have one question for you, Mr. Newcomb,
9 do you know who took those pictures?
10 MR. NEWCOMB, JR.: Yes.
11 MR. POCIUS: Do you want to tell me
12 who took them?
13 MR. NEWCOMB, JR.: I'll tell you
14 after the meeting
15 MR. POCIUS: I think I know who took
17 MR. NEWCOMB, JR.: You can tell me
18 and I'll tell you if you're right.
19 MR. POCIUS: Was it President
21 MR. NEWCOMB, JR.: No, it wasn't.
22 That's not who I received the pictures from. I blew
23 them up myself.
24 MS. EVANS: Mr. Pocius --
25 MR. NEWCOMB: Can you answer my
1 question, Mr. Pocius?
2 MS. EVANS: Here it is, so I'm quite
3 certain she would have received it, and she's not the
4 only one listed, it's Carl Greco. I'm assuming that
5 Carl Greco, Virginia McGregor and the mayor, so I would
6 say, you know, I don't know why -- I don't know that
7 you know the mayor's sister should be running city
9 MR. POCIUS: She's not running city
11 MS. EVANS: Well, at the time it
12 appears she had quite a hand in the process or maybe
13 she was an investor.
14 MR. POCIUS: I explained to you what
15 the process was. That was three months into the
16 administration. I get faxes at work on projects where
17 I may have attended one meeting and basically turned
18 the project over, but I'm still copied on faxes as it
19 goes through the project. Until you tell somebody,
20 Look, really you don't have to send it to me anymore
21 because I have nothing to do with it, it's passed onto
22 another engineer or whatever. So --
23 MS. EVANS: Can you imagine that City
24 Council has to subpoena information in order to learn
25 what is going on with the construction?
1 MR. POCIUS: That's your opinion.
2 MS. EVANS: With the construction of
3 all these buildings, I wonder if perhaps your sister or
4 my sister could get copies of all of the documents that
5 we handle.
6 MR. POCIUS: My sister would have no
7 reason to even ask for them
8 MS. EVANS: Nor would mine.
9 MR. POCIUS: Let's not talk about
10 family, let's make another example if we're going to
11 make an example, all right?
12 MR. NEWCOMB, JR.: Can I real quick,
13 Um, Mr. Pocius, I'll tell you, it was a retired police
14 officer that gave me the pictures, and out of respect
15 I'll tell you afterwards what his name was, if you
16 really want to know.
17 MR. POCIUS: He gave you the pictures
18 but did he take them?
19 MR. NEWCOMB, JR.: Yes, he took them
20 and he gave them to me and I blew them up so it would
21 be easier for people to look at. And can you answer
22 why if you're so knowledgeable and you can get an
23 answer and I can't pick up the phone to get an answer,
24 can you tell me why it would be normal then for a
25 vehicle, whether it's mine, yours, anybody's, to be
1 parked on Lackawanna Avenue covering the name over it?
2 Do you think that that's a normal thing?
3 MR. POCIUS: What I understand is from
4 my knowledge of the situation is that the McGregor Iron
5 Company was doing some iron installation which they
6 received on a bid from the construction manager
8 MR. NEWCOMB, JR.: I understand that,
9 but why would you cover the name up on both sides
10 Lackawanna Avenue when you're in an area like that?
11 MR. POCIUS: Well, I'm not sure why, I
12 have an idea, and again it's not anything like
13 clandestine, it's just kind of a trades thing.
14 MS. EVANS: The trade trucks cover
15 their names with towels?
16 MR. NEWCOMB, JR.: This is what
18 MR. DIBILEO: I have to ask the
19 audience to please refrain from making noise.
20 MR. POCIUS: Well, I guess I'll
21 explain. To my understanding, the McGregor Iron
22 Company is basically, I think it's a non-union -- in
23 order to work on a union job to pay the rate, they have
24 to come on the site
25 MR. NEWCOMB, JR.: I believe they're
1 union. I was told today they were union.
2 MR. POCIUS: I'm not sure but I think
3 the company itself maybe. It's only my guess, and they
4 would cover the name because they would have to pay the
5 union, they would make an agreement with the union to
6 do that type of work, but I think they would have to
7 have basically no affiliation with the company as the
8 tradesmen would work on it.
9 MR. NEWCOMB, JR.: Just to respond to
10 you, there's a truck parked right behind it and it says
11 Quandel on it and that doesn't have anything covered
13 MR. POCIUS: You're not listening to
14 what I'm telling you.
15 MR. NEWCOMB, JR.: I'm listening to
16 what you're telling me, but you're getting
17 argumentative, and I'm not getting argumentative, I'm
18 telling you what it is.
19 MR. DIBILEO: I'm sorry, but when Mr.
20 Pocius is speaking let him finish.
21 MR. POCIUS: That's all.
22 MR. COURTRIGHT: Mr. Newcomb, can I ask
23 you a question? As you bring that up, something just
24 jumped in my head, I know the school district has a
25 nepotism rule, would you be in favor if this city
1 council made a nepotism rule with no council members,
2 family members or the mayor's family members can't do
3 work for the city, would you be in favor of something
4 like that?
5 MR. NEWCOMB, JR.: Two hundred and
6 fifty percent. I think the best motion that you ever
7 made was that nobody on city council can have an
8 interest in -- financial interest regarding personal
9 business, and I agree with you 250 percent. And if
10 anyone wants these pictures, I have small copies, and
11 if The Times wants them, I have smaller ones, as well.
12 Thank you.
13 MR. DIBILEO: And let me say that, you
14 know, that is quite extraordinary when you see a
15 vehicle with towels covering its identity. We have
16 Chamberlain Ammunition Plant in the neighborhood, we
17 have banks in the neighborhood, as Mr. Newcomb said,
18 and that is an unusual circumstance, and it just looks
19 like somebody is trying to hide something. And when it
20 turns out to be a family member of the mayor you wonder
21 why they would be trying to hide something.
22 And Mr. Courtright brings up an idea, I
23 think, I think that this City Council for the City of
24 Scranton should be considering a nepotism policy.
25 The school district has one, I think we
1 should consider it this evening, as a matter of fact,
2 whereby no member of a mayor's family or a city
3 councilman's family could do work for or work for the
4 City of Scranton, and I am going to use just another
5 example of why this might be a good idea.
6 I understand that all of the Workers'
7 Compensation work for the City of Scranton is done by a
8 partner of the brother of the mayor, a partner in the
9 law firm of Nealon, Doherty, something, Scanlon, Howley
10 and Doherty, and one of the partners is Mr. Nealon,
11 Attorney Nealon, and he does all the Workers'
12 Compensation work, so he is an individual attorney in
13 that firm, but the fact is that that work is going into
14 the firm of the mayor's brother, and I would find it
15 surprising if the mayor's brother didn't somehow
16 benefit from that firm receiving all of that work, and
17 I'm told it could be in the neighborhood of $200,000 a
18 year in business, which would be $800,000 over a
19 four-year period, and because of that, and because of
20 the situation that we're hearing about today, I don't
21 know if McGregor Iron, the mayor's sister's company, is
22 working on that garage, maybe they're supposed to be
23 there, maybe they are not supposed to be there, but it
24 looks awful funny to have towels blocking its identity.
25 And something's strange there, so I
1 think that when motions come around, I'd like to make a
2 motion that we include nepotism, anti nepotism in the
3 City of Scranton. And if one speaker coming up tonight
4 think's that that's a bad idea, just please say so.
5 And with that said, we'll move on to the next speaker,
6 who is Louann Lord.
7 MS. LORD: Good evening, Council. I'm
8 a little nervous, too, bear with me. I want to thank
9 you first off for the opportunity to speak to you
10 tonight. On October 6th of this year, our family
11 became the victims due to fire I'm here on behalf of my
12 family tonight to thank the fire department of the City
13 of Scranton.
14 Our home was not a total loss, thanks
15 to the quick response and the diligence of the fire
16 department. They made us feel at ease and took what is
17 was one of the worst days of our lives and gave us
19 When this house went up in flames, we
20 felt as though we were losing a part of ourselves and
21 of our history. It was the home my mother was born in
22 and it felt as though we were losing my mother all over
24 The fire inspectors, three of them,
25 Jack, Sean, I can't remember the third one, worked
1 carefully to find the reason and actually educated us
2 on different things that can start fires as this
3 process went on. We left for a few minutes and left
4 them a number to reach us if they had any questions.
5 They called us to let us know that a FedEx package had
6 been delivered.
7 Where in the world does a fire
8 department call you to let you know your FedEx is ready
9 to be picked up and they asked the delivery man to wait
10 five minutes until we can get there?
11 So, I want to thank the men of the
12 Scranton Fire Department from the bottom of my heart
13 for going above and beyond, and I want the City of
14 Scranton to know just how wonderful they are.
15 At the same time I also want to thank
16 the city officials who stopped by that day, Mr. Mark
17 Sitzinger, Mr. Charles Matthews, Mr. Bob Scopelliti,
18 just to name a few. I can't even remember them all. I
19 want to thank Mr. George Parker, Sam Vitris and the
20 entire Department of Public Works, they all showed
21 their great concern for our family that day.
22 These are the people that make this
23 city a great place to live. God willing we will never
24 need these kinds of emergency services again.
25 Thankfully they were there for us when we needed them.
1 They all were a vital part in making a bad situation
2 better. The services under the leadership of Mayor
3 Doherty are by far the best and second to none. Thank
4 you for your time.
5 MR. DIBILEO: Ms. Lord, we are very
6 sorry for your unfortunate situation, and cudos go out
7 to the fire department and everyone involved. I was
8 not aware of that situation, so I'm glad everything
9 turned out as it could be. Thank you. Mary Dunleavy.
10 MS. DUNLEAVY: Good Evening. My name
11 is Mary Dunleavy, I was born and raised in this area
12 and like many young people, left to pursue an education
13 and a career.
14 I moved to this city approximately ten
15 years ago where my husband and I are currently raising
16 our three children. I'm actively involved in my
17 children's PTA, and currently and have been for the
18 last eight years the secretary of the East Mountain
19 Residence Association.
20 And for the past seven years, I've had
21 the privilege of serving on the City of Scranton Zoning
22 Hearing Board. As a zoning board member, I have
23 experienced firsthand the progress this city has made
24 over the past four years under the leadership of Mayor
1 There have been many multiple
2 million dollar projects which have been brought to this
3 area, such as the Riverfront Sports Complex, The
4 Icebox, The Mill in East Scranton, just to name a few,
5 as well as the townhouse projects which are currently
6 under construction all over the city.
7 This progress has also extended
8 into our small business community, as well. We've had
9 countless numbers of applications for bridal
10 consultants, caterers, counseling centers, beauty
11 shops, gift shops, small restaurants, local grocery
12 stores, art studios, and automotive sales and repairs,
13 just to name a few.
14 These people have invested their
15 time and energy and money here. Many of the buildings
16 which have been vacated for years are currently being
17 occupied. As you can see, good things are happening in
18 our city. All of these projects, in my opinion, are a
19 vote of confidence that this city is moving in the
20 right direction. I believe that many of us here feel
21 that Scranton is finally moving forward and we are all
22 here striving to make it better.
23 I'm here tonight to ask City
24 Council to continue the momentum of the last four years
25 to work with Mayor Doherty to keep this city and its
1 recovery plan moving forward. This city and especially
2 all of its hard working citizens are well worth the
3 effort. Thank you very much for your time.
4 MR. DIBILEO: Terry Osborne.
5 MR. OSBORNE: Good evening, Council.
6 My name is Terry Osborne. I reside at 2644 Birney
7 Avenue, and again I'm here tonight as a fire
8 representative of the pension board just to talk to you
9 about our ordinance, which I understand is in third
10 reading tonight.
11 But before I do, I did miss the woman's
12 last name, but Louann, I believe her name was that was
13 up here, I would like to pass along from the fire
14 department, we appreciate those words that she had to
15 offer for us. We do in fact on a daily basis go out
16 and give that type of service, and it's nice to see
17 people come forward and recognize us for that, so,
18 again, I am sorry I missed her name but I thank her for
20 Again, as you said, our ordinance I
21 know is in third reading for tonight, and, again, I'm
22 here tonight to say that, you know, we will hope that
23 it will attain a 5-0 vote but if not you know just at
24 passing, our hope I guess would be that it would then
25 go to the mayor and he would in fact accept the vote of
1 this council and in fact institute the finding of the
3 Interesting enough, when I left here
4 last week I stopped over on Pittston Avenue at the
5 Scranton Latin Alliance meeting, and I had a woman who
6 is not Hispanic but was at the meeting come up to me
7 and say, Is any of the stuff you say about the pension
8 fund true? Which you know was kind of amusing, but I
9 was kind of sad with that, too, the thought that
10 somebody thinks you just get up here every week and
11 make things up about the pension fund.
12 We did have a nice conversation
13 about it then, and I would like to think that when she
14 walked away she did and truly believed that I was up
15 here speaking factually. But again just to go over it,
16 the arbitrator has ruled the ruling is clear, people
17 have to be removed from our pension board it's really
18 just a matter of time whether it's through this council
19 and the mayor allowing that ordinance to go into
20 existence or whether it's by a court who is going to
21 finally order these people be removed from our pension
23 The sadness of that is since I was here
24 last week, the interest payments on that award are
25 going up. I also stand here as a taxpayer, I'm paying
1 for that award. I'm paying because there are fees and
2 interest being added to those fees since
3 September 27th. It's absolutely crazy that this thing
4 is where it is today.
5 The legislative intent of Act 205 which
6 created our composite pension board was perfectly
7 clear. It put the handling of the pension fund those
8 funds that are the employee funds, back into the hands
9 of the employees.
10 It literally was written to get it out
11 of politicians' hands over the years for the kinds of
12 reasons. Sometimes our city, like many other cities,
13 just did not have money at the end the year to make a
14 pension contribution so the pension contribution wasn't
15 made. It's the reason the funds in Scranton and all
16 over the State of Pennsylvania were in the sad
17 conditions that they were in. But once our board was
18 in the employees' hands, we had done better.
19 And again as you stated earlier, we've
20 never had this going on before with our pension fund.
21 Mayor McNulty, Mayor Wenzel and Mayor Connors
22 thankfully had a hands-off approach.
23 It's just crazy what has gone on here
24 in the last five years. And again, like I said, we're
25 in the third reading here tonight.
1 You know, over the years, you know,
2 I've come here as the union president in the past and
3 we argue sometimes over contracts whether they are
4 going to be passed, or not passed, but you know what,
5 in all honesty, contracts are generally short lived,
6 two years, three years, five years, and on, then
7 they're over and we're back asking council for some
8 help again. That's not the case with the pension fund.
9 We have had under performance over the
10 last five years as you reported here of over four and a
11 half million dollars. That's not money that's ever
12 going to be made up again. That's money that through
13 the municipal obligation of the city, the taxpayers are
14 going to pay, and what I'm here tonight to ask, I
15 guess, is that if we want to correct this, we have a
16 real important vote coming up in two or three weeks for
17 our composite pension board, and as I keep stating, we
18 would like our board purified. We would like the
19 additional members removed, we would like the board put
20 back to those original nine members as the state law
21 intended, and as I stated here last week as we sat down
22 with then Council President Bill Gerrity at the time
23 and did on behalf of the employees fund and on behalf
24 of the government in the City of Scranton, we did it
25 cooperatively and it's worked, it's worked for over
1 21 years.
2 So, again, finally I guess I would just
3 like to say that I hope council will be able to help us
4 out with this, and, again, if your ordinance makes it
5 to the mayor's desk I'm also hoping that the mayor will
6 once and for all I know, see the wisdom of this and
7 simply just sign the ordinance that you guys hopefully
8 will pass tonight.
9 And, again, I want to thank you guys
10 for the process. As I stated a couple of weeks ago,
11 you all were willing to sit and talk with me. I
12 appreciate that, and, again, I hope we do okay with the
13 vote tonight. Thank you.
14 MS. EVANS: Mr. Osborne, before you
15 leave the podium, I have a few questions, because last
16 week the presentation was made by one of your members
17 that I found very enlightening and very frightening and
18 I was hoping that you might be able to shed some light
19 on it for me. Could you tell me first what your
20 position is in the fire department?
21 MR. OSBORNE: Okay. Let me just state
22 this, I'm here as the fire pension representative.
23 MS. EVANS: Right. We'll set that
25 MR. OSBORNE: I am Deputy Chief of
1 the fire department, but I'm not in any way here on
2 official capacity for the fire department.
3 MS. EVANS: You are the Deputy
5 MR. OSBORNE: Yes, I am.
6 MS. EVANS: And what are your
7 qualifications to hold that position?
8 MR. OSBORNE: I would like to tell
9 you I'm very qualified for that position, just ask me,
10 but in fact I'm on the fire department for over
11 22 years, I do have a degree in fire science. I have a
12 masters degree in human resource management, which I've
13 attained since getting my position, so I would like to
14 think I'm qualified.
15 MS. EVANS: Would you then with
16 that background of qualifications feel yourself in a
17 sound position to restructure your fire department?
18 MR. OSBORNE: Single handedly, no,
19 I don't think I would be. You mean, in fact, 12, 13
20 years ago whenever that was when I was the union
21 president, you know, we at that time we negotiated with
22 the Pennsylvania Economy League, like I said this a
23 week or two ago and in fact in that recovery plan,
24 which we did agree to, the Economy League put language
25 in to have a study conducted to restructure our fire
1 department and we sat on a committee, along with a
2 gentleman by the name of Boyd Hughes, I think was sent
3 by the Economy League and Boyd was the guy who ran the
4 committee. It had labor side and it had management
5 side appointees.
6 MS. EVANS: Speaking of the study,
7 however, I believe the mayor has made a statement,
8 maybe I can paraphrase, we've been studied to death, so
9 apparently he is opposed to such studies and that
10 studies be generated for any restructuring?
11 MR. OSBORNE: That's the language
12 of the current recovery plan, I guess, but, again, and
13 I'll just use myself as the example, at that time I was
14 the union president and I sat on that committee and I
15 think when you have singularly people making that
16 decision, that type of a decision, I guess, you know
17 again using myself I'm from South Side, I'm from
18 Minooka, if anyone was going to mention the fire house
19 in South Side Minooka, and I'm in no way saying anybody
20 is, I would want to protect my turf, although I would
21 like to work for the greater good of the community.
22 I think that's why you do these
23 studies, people come in, they study traffic patterns,
24 they study demographics, and, you know, just a side to,
25 you know, that argument is going on and I kind of don't
1 care to get in the middle of it.
2 But I know for a fact in the
3 City of Philadelphia where this thing kind of took
4 place, they were looking to shut down -- I carry on a
5 relationship with a group of Philadelphia firemen and
6 there's an actual court case, no more than we are going
7 to have a court case over the pension plan orders, and
8 we will make the same argument under safety, that a
9 study has to be done, that any community has to do an
10 impact study one for the financials.
11 Most importantly, though, the safety of
12 the firefighters and the safety of the citizens. And,
13 you know, I'm sure when this whole thing does get
14 settled, I'm sure Mayor Doherty will be in consultation
15 with his Attorney Dick Goldberg. I see him on
16 occasion, and I'm sure Mr. Goldberg will make the city
17 aware that there is now court cases that say you have
18 to based on the safety of the firefighters, the safety
19 of the citizens, conduct such a study because, again,
20 that case was just settled in the City of Philadelphia
21 and it generally becomes present.
22 MS. EVANS: Is it reckless to think
23 that a mayor, any mayor, with no qualification in fire
24 science, no background in public safety, could make
25 single handedly such a decision that would decrease
1 manpower, close fire stations, et cetera, thereby
2 negatively impacting the welfare of the people of the
4 MR. OSBORNE: Well, again, as my
5 position as a Deputy Chief, I think I would rather not
6 comment on that. I mean, the mayor -- I work for the
7 mayor and everything, but like I said, I think
8 factually the court's or an arbitrator will rule on
10 And, again, we did it in 1992 or 1993
11 at the request of the Pennsylvania Economy League, who
12 is still the plan coordinator, so you would think the
13 Economy League as they did then, you think and you hope
14 will see fit to have the study conducted again to
15 eliminate all the turf stuff, and a that stuff going on
16 and to have a good study by experts in the field to
17 come in because it really and truly that's a big
18 decision, that's beyond -- I would like to think I'm
19 pretty good with the City of Scranton Fire Department,
20 but that's beyond anything that I would possibly with a
21 degree in fire science want to do single handedly.
22 MR. COURTRIGHT: Mrs. Evans, that's
23 what I want to say. Mr. Osborne, I know how qualified
24 you are, but you wouldn't be comfortable with even just
25 you making that decision?
1 I don't think anyone, no offense, you
2 just don't think any one individual can make those
3 drastic changes that possibly will be made, and you
4 think we need to take a look at it.
5 I don't know if it's been studied to
6 death, but if we're going to possibly do something
7 that's going to affect the safety of the citizens and
8 the firefighters, I think we need to take a good hard
9 look before we make any changes there and make sure
10 we're doing the right thing for all concerned.
11 MR. OSBORNE: And, again, Billy, like I
12 said, the gentleman's name is Lloyd Metzer, he's from
13 the Pennsylvania Economy League, he's the guy that
14 charged the committee. We agreed with that, we agreed,
15 like, the Economy League guy be the guy that chaired
16 the committee. The mayor had appointees. You as the
17 union president had appointees and we, we did that type
18 of thing. Everybody left their agendas at the door so
19 to speak and tried to just work for the betterment of
20 the community, what our department, what the city
21 should look like 5-10 years in the future. Hopefully
22 that will be the same process:
23 MS. EVANS: And this will not
24 violate a recovery plan then, a study, because
25 apparently the recovery plan dictates--
1 MR. OSBORNE: I believe this one
2 says no study. What I was speaking about is the
3 language in the recovery plan that I was the union
4 president for specifically put in by the Pennsylvania
5 Economy League mandated that this committee be formed
6 and that this study -- and in fact what it is was it
7 was a New York City Fire Chief by the name of John
8 O'Rouke, who works all over the country doing this
10 He came in and conducted a study.
11 Again the study later on was set aside for various
12 reasons on both sides, but there are people out there
13 who do that and that are experts in their field, and,
14 again, I think if nothing else, to facilitate the
15 process, I think they are good at what they do.
16 MS. EVANS: My concern is just that
17 apparently according to the recovery plan, the mayor is
18 looking for $5,000,000 to eliminate from an operating
19 budget there by halting annual deficit, and it also
20 appears that public safety has been earmarked for those
21 purposes, and, again, he's relying on the recovery plan
22 as his justification for so doing.
23 So, that's why my concern was will this
24 study ever really occur, since it seems to be almost in
25 contradiction to the recovery plan.
1 MR. OSBORNE: Well, again, I stand here
2 in no official capacity, not as a deputy chief, I stand
3 here as a firefighter and a citizen of Scranton and say
4 I hope so.
5 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you, Mr. Osborne.
6 And would you have any -- do you see any drawbacks to
7 an anti-nepotism policy in the city?
8 MR. OSBORNE: Anti-nepotism? No, I
9 think anti-nepotism would be fine.
10 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you. Stan
12 MR. NARSAVAGE: Good evening, City
13 Council. My name is Stan Narsavage, I'm a Scranton
14 resident. I'm back here on a -- two or three times or
15 twice now. It concerns a letter that my granddaughter
16 received from Chris Doherty, Jr. It evidently is in
17 conjunction with Chris Doherty, Sr. I have questions
18 about this, because this is bothering our whole family.
19 I went to the School District
20 Administration Building this morning to see Mr.
21 Sheridan, he was not in. His secretary suggested that
22 you see Mr. King, he's the assistant to Mr. Sheridan.
23 Mr. King also was not in, but his secretary listened to
24 my complaint.
25 I left my name and number to be called,
1 however, I didn't receive any calls. My complaint is
2 this letter, not the letter, my complaint is how they
3 got the name and addresses of the people that they sent
4 the letter to.
5 Our granddaughter graduated from West
6 Side High School in 2001. I have some questions that I
7 would like to ask, I guess, the team of Jr. and Sr.
8 Our granddaughter received a campaign
9 letter in the mail from Chris Doherty Jr. The
10 questions I would like to ask is, how is Junior able to
11 obtain a list of graduates from West Scranton High
12 School? How many people have access to the list they
13 compiled? Is this a gross violation of my grand
14 daughter's civil rights? Who are the people
15 responsible for supplying this list? Can anyone go to
16 West Scranton High School and get a list of graduates
17 and addresses? Can you walk up to the front door and
18 go in the office and ask for a list of graduates and
20 MR. DIBILEO: Do I know the answer to
21 that question? Since you work in the school, Mrs.
22 Evans, Mr. McTiernan?
23 MR. MCTIERNAN: No.
24 MS. EVANS: I would think not. I
25 mean, it's never happened, so I haven't had occasion to
1 deal with it, but I would expect not. I can't give
2 that information.
3 MR. NARSAVAGE: Mr. DiBileo, may I ask
4 Mrs. Evans a question?
5 MR. DIBILEO: Certainly.
6 MR. NARSAVAGE: Do you know if there's
7 a privacy law that covers that?
8 MS. EVANS: No, I don't.
9 MR. DIBILEO: Mrs. Williams, if you
10 don't mind keeping the noise down. Thank you.
11 MR. NARSAVAGE: Come on, Mrs. Williams.
12 MR. DIBILEO: Stan, please, just
13 address us, Mr. Narsavage.
14 MR. NARSAVAGE: Can anyone go to West
15 Scranton High School and get a list of addresses? I
16 ask, If this list is distributed, if this list was
17 distributed, what possible harm could become to my
18 granddaughter? Who has this list and who are the
19 people they gave it to? If they did, how many copies
20 were made of this list and what is the law protecting
21 our young children in school?
22 Our family is upset about this. I'd
23 like to get some answers on this. This is my third
24 attempt. And little by little we are putting pieces
25 together from doing the --
1 MR. DIBILEO: Mr. Narsavage, you're not
2 alone in your concerns over that situation.
3 MR. NARSAVAGE: You certainly hope I'm
4 not. Excuse me. Go ahead. I'm sorry.
5 MR. DIBILEO: I know of a person who
6 spoke to the superintendent, and the superintendent is
7 mistified by the situation, he has no idea how that
8 information would have gotten out of the school
9 district. Somehow it got funneled out.
10 We never read about the situation,
11 maybe it depends on which candidate tries that tactic,
12 but I don't know. I think that it's a privacy law that
13 you cannot release personal information on names and
14 addresses of graduates, but he did not know where that
15 information came from.
16 MR. NARSAVAGE: The superintendent did
17 not know?
18 MR. DIBILEO: He did not know.
19 I did not speak to him, but this is what I'm told.
20 MR. NARSAVAGE: Well, there's bits and
21 information coming out that have to be verified and
22 proved naturally, but there is information out there
23 and I hope that I can get it. And it doesn't matter if
24 the election is over or not, I'm not going to give up
25 until I find out.
1 MR. DIBILEO: Good for you.
2 MR. NARSAVAGE: And I would like to add
3 that probably one of the most interesting things at the
4 debate at the Scranton High School that took place
5 between the mayoral candidates was when Chris Doherty
6 stands before a group of people and spreads out his
7 palms and says, I'm running on my record, whoever the
8 P.R. man is that came up with that for Chris Doherty I
9 think should be fired. This is all I have to know not
10 to vote for this man if he's running on his record,
11 it's plain and clear in my mind.
12 MR. DIBILEO: Jim Stucker.
13 MR. STUCKER: My name is Jim.
14 Stucker. I was talking to my staff today or Tom, his
15 name is Tom, and he told me he had told people over the
16 street and he said he is going to have to sue the city
17 if they don't fix the street.
18 MR. COURTRIGHT: Jim, I asked twice.
19 Mr. Saunders sent letters out, I asked twice. I know
20 the gentleman you're talking about, I asked twice for
21 somebody to go down there and take a look at it. I
22 went down myself. I don't know what the holdup is, why
23 no one is going down there.
24 We did request twice for somebody to go
25 there and take a look at it. It's a problem, and I
1 don't want to say the gentleman's name on the air, but
2 it's on West Locust Street, and I'll ask a third time.
3 MR. STUCKER: Well, he went down there
4 today, and when he did, everybody on the block looked
5 at the hole, looked at the street, the guy told me
6 about it today or yesterday, Tom told me about it, he
7 said, in My book, I wouldn't fix it for you.
8 He said he's going to sue the city if
9 they don't get somebody out there so they break the
10 pipe. That's their problem they said. So, to me, I
11 don't care.
12 MR. DIBILEO: Okay. So, we're going to
13 get right on top of that, Mr. Saunders, please, for
15 MR. STUCKER: And I got to find a
16 place, but in two weeks. Frank, my caseworker, they
17 barred me out of the building. Fred told me I got to
18 move this month.
19 MR. DIBILEO: Jim, after the meeting
20 stick around because that's not regarding city
21 business, and we'll see what we can do there for you,
23 MR. STUCKER: They're giving me a lot
24 of problems there.
25 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you. Appreciate
1 it. Thank you.
2 MR. STUCKER: About that sign, did you
3 see about that sign again across from the church, next
4 to the church?
5 MR. DIBILEO: Nothing yet on the sign,
6 Jay? Follow up on it, okay? All right, Jim. Thank
7 you very much.
8 MR. STUCKER: I'll be at your party,
9 Mrs. Evans.
10 MS. EVANS: Oh, see you there.
11 MR. STUCKER: We'll be there.
12 MR. DIBILEO: Andy Sparaglia. I know
13 we have a large audience tonight, which is a good
14 thing, but I have to remind people that we can hear
15 your voices back there, and I think the speakers can,
16 too, and we have to try to refrain from speaking,
17 please. Even upstairs, also, I can hear it very well.
18 Appreciate your consideration.
19 MR. SBARAGLIA: Andy Sbaraglia, citizen
20 of Scranton. Fellow Scrantonians, now when I speak to
21 you, I don't know any of you personally, you know, I
22 only know you as Council, but that's it, and none of
23 you know me either, so what I say is completely neutral
24 because I have nothing to gain, I'm not looking for
25 nothing, and I'm not going to get nothing, but I
1 received two letters that I wasn't happy to receive,
2 one was from our North Scranton Association telling me
3 that of course they support the mayor. Well, of course
4 they got the Providence Project. Maybe I can see why
5 they would do that now.
6 I got a letter from the county with a
7 bunch of prestigious names on it telling me they
8 support the mayor and there is no other democrat
9 running, but I happen to realize we have a lot of
10 democrats running, in fact, they're democrats running
11 no matter where.
12 But let me look at some of the projects
13 that went on that we keep hearing about that nobody
14 actually brings them up in detail. Let's start off
15 with the Casey Laundry, that was one of the first
16 things done four years ago when the mayor took over.
17 The building was given away for a dollar. You know the
18 size of that building, the building was given a
19 $200,000 grant, okay, and then a $250,000 loan was
20 tacked on, so that took care of the Casey Laundromat.
21 Ufbergs, I never did find out what the
22 SRA paid for Ufbergs, so I could never give that
24 Now, the Hilton, we had a $10 million
25 grant, we gave them $1,500,000 for the old Casey site,
1 which was quite a lot of money for a hole in the
2 ground. Now we lost $3,000,000 on that deal. So,
3 let's move on. Let's move on to the Casey Garage.
4 As you know, they took out a bond issue
5 $12,000,000. We also have a letter of credit for
6 another $12,000,000 tacked onto that.
7 Now, when Brenigan's moved in they
8 always talk about this Brenigan's, they got $160,000,
9 we got, I think, $100,000 grant, and the Parking
10 Authority gave them $69,000 in write-off's, for what, I
11 don't exactly know. I think they said bathrooms.
12 The Medallion Garage we got a
13 $4,000,000 grant there and another, I think,
14 approximately $8,000,000 bond issue was issued to
15 complete the Medallion Garage.
16 Now, across the street, Lackawanna
17 Avenue, okay, we have $10,000,000 grant going into
18 those buildings down there, and I believe you gave them
19 around $500,000 for architectural design, so forth and
20 so on.
21 Gentlemen, when you add them all up,
22 that comes to $51,619,000 that you poured into not even
23 one block of the city. You can't continue them
24 figures, no one can. You're destroying the whole
25 neighborhoods by pouring all the money into what is an
1 empty fountain, actually, because there really hasn't
2 been anything out of that fountain yet.
3 And as far as the taxpayers go, we will
4 be dead before we get anything from that because most
5 of that stuff is KOZ'd and it will be ten years in the
7 Now you're telling me, well, you're
8 going to get a little money if people come here come
9 there, believe me, that ain't coming to the taxpayers.
10 And you look at your debt, all this
11 money you poured into it you're still $4,000,000, maybe
12 even more in the hole and constantly be in the hole.
13 We sold everything we can sell except
14 our loans for the future, and even that you're debating
15 selling. What are you going to leave for anybody that
16 comes after you, Except used piles of debt and nothing
17 really to work with?
18 Even them loans, if the block grants
19 dry up and that money is transferred to go to Florida
20 and the Gulf states and Louisiana, you'll have nothing,
21 you won't be able to come up with a darn dime, and you
22 can't even borrow because you're already up the bond
23 rating is Triple B, by the way, not Triple A, the
24 Triple a was for the $72,000,000 loan where we took the
25 insurance out. Our rating now is Triple B.
1 So, I don't know how much more money
2 you could borrow or how much money we could afford, and
3 you're thinking of raising taxes, even though you say
4 it's going to be out of towners, but it affects us, all
5 the people who work, the poor people that have two jobs
6 that work within the city is going to get hit hard.
7 Well, I guess my time is up, and I'm
8 not going to extend past it, but I wish you would look
9 into things.
10 MR. DIBILEO: Doug Miller.
11 MR. MILLER: Good evening, Council.
12 Doug Miller, Scranton. I have a few things tonight,
13 the first one is regarding some railroad tracks over on
14 Luzerne Street. It may be the end of Luzerne Street
15 and North Division Street, but they have been having a
16 problem over there for a while with -- they are not
17 giving any signs or some kind of signal to let drivers
18 know that a train is approaching, and my aunt was over
19 there last week and she had a train come out of nowhere
20 and almost hit her because there's no sign or signal to
21 keep drivers aware that a train is coming. So, I was
22 wondering if the city -- supposedly the city is looking
23 into it.
24 MR. POCIUS: I could speak for that.
25 We recently, within the last few weeks, had a PUC field
1 conference over there. The City of Scranton was
2 represented basically by Rob Farrell, the city engineer
3 and I were there because we basically started this a
4 long time ago.
5 Also there was representatives of
6 PennDOT and also from the railroad authority, and what
7 we basically entered into is kind of confusing because
8 PUC law is not -- it's not -- it's different than
9 normal law, there's a lot of, like, what's called an
10 order, what's called a consent, what's called this,
11 what's called that, but basically there was a time
12 frame established for, number one, for the railroad and
13 everyone to come back with a plan to put in the, as you
14 would say lights, and also the gates.
15 And they move rather slowly with their
16 decision frames, but hopefully -- I'm going to say next
17 spring we should see some action over there and have a
18 permanent solution. It's just a slow process, it's not
19 something that just happens immediately, because the
20 city and PennDOT agreed to commit up to $10,000 in this
21 installation, which is approximated to be $100,000.
22 The railroad refund about $80,000, so
23 rest assured it's not something we let slip under the
24 cracks, we're -- and this is what -- we were able to
25 get at least the flashing lights on top of the signs in
1 which is not normal installation, but at least it draws
3 I'm unhappy with the situation, but the
4 law is the law, and there's a process that allows for a
5 timely processing of all these things, so I hope that
6 answers your question. The city is on top of it.
7 MR. MILLER: Okay, thank you. You
8 know, it's so much nicer to be here in Scranton
9 tonight. I had the opportunity to observe a Throop
10 Council meeting last week, and I was shocked to see how
11 Councilman Barnick and Barone belittle, insult the
12 woman council members. I have never experienced
13 anything like that before.
14 I wouldn't know how to react if my mom
15 was sitting there being belittled by people like that.
16 Thehy should come to Scranton City Council and see how
17 members here respect women and others like Mrs. Evans.
18 I don't believe anyone on Council would ever scream and
19 yell and insult women or other Council members like Mr.
20 Barnick and Mr. Barone did last week in Throop.
21 I told Mr. Bolus, I never want to come
22 back here again. Mr. Baron started screaming at Mr.
23 Bolus because he was trying to donate a building to the
24 borough of Throop for free, and they were, you know,
25 and they were insulting him for trying to save the
1 borough some money. I bet if somebody wanted to donate
2 something for this city for free, they would take it.
3 And in closing tonight, I know we have
4 a very important election for mayor in this city next
5 week, and I want everyone to get out and vote because
6 our futures are at stake. Thank you.
7 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you, Doug.
8 Ozzie Quinn.
9 MR. QUINN: Ozzie Quinn. Good evening.
10 We hear about on the air about Mayor Doherty's recovery
11 plan, and tonight I would like to speak a little bit
12 about his spending plan.
13 We're pretty much appalled with the
14 fact that Attorney Carl Greco received $770,000 in a
15 two year period. There's no doubt about it, Roseann
16 Novembrino did her job, she approved it, but to give
17 someone $770,000 of taxpayer money in two years is
18 really appalling to us.
19 MS. EVANS: Mr. Quinn, I might be
20 mistaken here, but I think it was longer than two
21 years, I think it might have been more like three and a
22 half years.
23 MR. QUINN: 2002 to 2004 in the paper.
24 MS. EVANS: Okay. Well, that would
25 include 2002, 2003, 2004, so that would give you three
1 years rather than two, but I think what was also
2 notable in that particular article was the fact that
3 the -- under the previous administration, the attorney
4 who served in a similar capacity did not make close to
5 that sum of money in a 12-year time span.
6 MR. QUINN: That's correct I read that
8 MS. EVANS: But maybe it's inflation.
9 MR. QUINN: It could be, it could be,
10 but anyway, that's a quick way to get in the Fortune
11 500 magazine, I think is working for the mayor.
12 The mayor spent over millions of
13 dollars in hiring employees, giving them raises,
14 outside consultants, lawyers, no-bid contracts to a his
15 cronies, he's looking to borrow an additional $4
16 million to balance the budget that will increase our
17 present debtness over the now $204 million, and the
18 highest ever in the history of Scranton as far as I
20 The school district has a $131,000,000
21 debtness and their future plans will increase the debt
22 being more school taxes on top of the city and the
23 school district.
24 The bottom line is that the city
25 taxpayers will have to pay out the city and school
1 district's debt. One cannot continue to borrow or
2 consolidate, refinance a debt. All taxpayers are going
3 to have to pay.
4 I watched the mayoral debate on Channel
5 61, and Mayor Doherty said that the tax base was a role
6 he says that it's impossible to count the number of
7 people that move out of the City of Scranton. He said
8 that a couple of times, okay, so I made a call to the
9 Pennsylvania State Census this week, and they inturn
10 told me that through their formula, okay, that this is
11 documented 2,495 people left the City of Scranton since
12 the 2000 census, that's about 500 persons a year
13 leaving the city.
14 This was documented by the US Census
15 distributed the housing unit method, a scientific
16 method calculated by births, deaths and internal
17 migration integrated with housing demolished building
18 permits and average size of household.
19 This is translated into the documented
20 fact that our tax base is eroded, and subsequently we
21 are going to have to pay higher taxes. We are going to
22 get nailed in the future, I don't care what anybody
24 This letter I received from two women
25 who are Doherty supporters, and it's about Mr. DiBileo
1 and it's more or less saying what Mayor Chris Doherty
2 can do, and it says if you elect Mr. DiBileo he will
3 raise our taxes, I thought that kind of amusing because
4 of the fact that there's no doubt that the taxes are
5 going to be raised and we're going to be increased so
6 much that more people are going to be leaving the City
7 of Scranton.
8 You know, Mr. Doherty four years ago
9 promised to reduce the wage tax and he never did
10 anything about it, and at the debate when he was asked
11 that, he didn't answer.
12 I want to ask you, Mr. DiBileo, the
13 wage tax, do you plan to reduce the wage tax if you're
14 elected mayor?
15 MR. DIBILEO: I absolutely would like
16 to lower the wage tax as a top priority. I believe
17 it's probably -- I think even The Scranton Times will
18 agree that that's our number one problem in the city
19 what's driving people to move to just outside of our
21 MR. QUINN: Yes. We believe that, too,
22 there's no doubt about it. There was an exodus a long
23 time and the wage tax and the property tax when the
24 increases come, we're going to see more people going
1 I just want to point out something. I
2 went downtown this week with my wife about 6:30, we
3 were there to a movie until about 9:30, and this is the
4 end of my thoughts, okay, you can shoot an elephant gun
5 off in the city downtown and you wouldn't hit nobody,
7 We went to the movie, it's a very nice
8 movie theatre down here at the movie house, okay, we
9 went to a movie theatre that sat 132 people, and when
10 the movie started and the movie ended there was only
11 two patrons in that movie, me and my wife, okay, two
13 I come out of the movie, and again you
14 could have shot an elephant gun off and you would have
15 never hit anybody. I don't know what the mayor is
16 trying to say that the downtown is vibrant with
17 restaurants and all kinds of shops and everything. I
18 think somebody is drinking the Kool Aid, as they say.
19 Okay. I appreciate it very much. Thank you.
20 MR. DIBILEO: Ann Marie Stanford.
21 MS. STANFORD: Good evening, members of
22 Council. My name is Ann Marie Stanford, and I live at
23 725 North Irving Avenue in Scranton. I was raised in
24 this city and I have lived here for the last 30 years,
25 worked here for the last 30 years and have been a
1 property owner for 24 years. I did live in other
2 places, such as Colorado, and like so many
3 Scrantonians, I left here in my 20s and returned here
4 to raise a family.
5 After living out West and then coming
6 home again, I acquired a greater appreciation for my
7 hometown, which I sometimes jokingly call Beaver
8 Cleaver Land.
9 We have neighborhoods and a quality of
10 life here that the rest of the country gave up on years
11 ago and wishes they had back. I've been convinced for
12 the last 20 years that the renaissance of Scranton was
13 just around the corner.
14 There were just so many things to
15 appreciate about Scranton. Unfortunately the
16 renaissance took a bit longer than I predicted, but now
17 in just a few years, things are really turning around.
18 I'll tell you what things I've observed
19 that bare this out. I work at the University of
20 Scranton, it used to be that as soon as a new professor
21 was hired at the University, immediately they would
22 take up residence in the Abingtons or anywhere but the
23 Hill Section or any other part of the city as if it was
24 unthinkable to live in the city.
25 In the last few years, I've seen a
1 great number of our new faculty buy homes in the city,
2 and they are amazed at the value and the wonderful
3 quality of life the neighborhoods, the parks beautiful,
4 architecture, the schools, the friendliness of the
5 people, all of the things that I knew for so long that
6 seems to be the hidden secrets of Scranton.
7 Another thing I've noticed is that new
8 businesses seem to be taking a chance on the city now.
9 People aren't as afraid to make an investment here and
10 new buildings and investments in existing property are
11 all over the place.
12 In my neighborhood alone people are
13 buying up old houses and making them into show pieces.
14 Young families with children are moving in and taking a
15 chance on the city, whereas ten years ago they would
16 have moved to Clark Summit or to Dunmore.
17 Last year during the presidential
18 election I housed some campaign workers from New York
19 State, these were well-educated people from New York
20 City, Syracuse, Ethica and other places. Many of them
21 had never been to Scranton and had previously had a
22 negative view of the city, mostly from that old
23 stereotype that still pushes from the national media
24 about our area.
25 These people were without exception
1 impressed by the vibrancy and beauty of our city. Some
2 have returned to visit and are keeping up ties with
3 those of us that they met here.
4 And I think the word is spreading about
5 what a great place Scranton is, and I think a large
6 part of this revitalization is due to the hard work and
7 vision of Mayor Chris Doherty.
8 Change is very difficult, as I've
9 learned in my job where I've had to adjust to many
10 changes in administration over the last few years, it
11 takes patience and foresight to work toward long range
12 goals, something that hasn't been the hallmark of our
13 mayors in past years, however, I would rather see a
14 mayor I don't remember with a long range plan spending
15 money strategically towards those goals, as this mayor
16 has done, than have a politician who is business as
18 We had decades in the city where
19 opportunities were missed, money was spread thin to
20 keep everyone happy, and yes taxes weren't raised, but
21 things went downhill. We need to recognize the
22 leadership and stick with it. If it works, don't fix
23 it. Thank you.
24 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you, Ms. Stanford.
25 Phyllis, I know. I have to remind you --
1 MS. HUMPHREY: Excuse me. I know what
2 you're going to say and --
3 MR. DIBILEO: Let me say it first.
4 MS. HUMPHREY: Excuse me, Mr. DiBileo,
5 say it first, but make sure they don't cut the thing
6 off like they've been doing on me, because people are
7 watching and they said that's even cutting off my
9 MR. DIBILEO: Make sure that there are
10 no prayers, please. We appreciate you being here and
11 try to stick to city business. Thank you.
12 MS. HUMPHREY: May the peace of Lord
13 Jesus Christ, Father, Son and Holy Spirit be with you.
14 There's a sign that fell over by Mulberry Towers, that
15 gotta be repaired.
16 And I just went today to where um, to
17 the MRI center, and I'm sitting on this big rock, they
18 need to put a little bench there for the disabled
19 people, because I want you to know I am challenged, I
20 am a challenged person, but I'm not as challenged,
21 mentally challenged as people think.
22 MR. DIBILEO: Excuse me, Phyllis. I
23 have to address the audience. Please, if everyone
24 would keep their voices down while there's a speaker at
25 the podium. Thank you very much. Go right ahead.
1 MS. HUMPHREY: Over the weeks I've been
2 here I look very much into a person's heart and most of
3 their actions, and the first week I was here I was very
4 frustrated and hurt because someone harassed me and a
5 lot of things happened that was sequestered in this
6 area, and I gave you documents to be exposed to the
7 City of Scranton which might be personal to you, but I
8 have to, but this has to do with the town of Eynon to
9 the City of Scranton to New York City to the United
10 Nations. I want this to be a better town and I love my
12 When I spoke to you, you had told --
13 Mrs. Evans was very kind and said we will talk to you
14 after everything was over. Mrs. Evans was kind, she
15 gave me a few minutes, but her husband came to me and
16 says to me, you know what you need, you need -- and I
17 said, Well, I don't think I need any lawyers, because I
18 think 97 percent are going to hell and the other
19 percentage became priests.
20 He says, You need an exorcism. I want
21 to tell you, I exorcise. That's one of the gifts God
22 has given me. So, the second week went by --
23 MR. DIBILEO: Phyllis, can you stay to
24 city business now?
25 MS. HUMPHREY: It is city business.
1 It's about City Council. It's about City Council. The
2 second week I came again it was, I will, we will meet
3 afterwards, which the first week everybody scattered.
4 I respect Mr. Pocius, God bless him, he's a holy man,
5 he went to celebrate with his wife, I love him, right?
6 MR. POCIUS: Uh-uh.
7 MS. HUMPHREY: Mr. DiBileo, the honest
8 to God's truth, I really don't know that much about
9 you, other then I have insurance and then I dropped it,
10 I was still getting bills. If I owe you money, check
11 will be in the mail.
12 MR. DIBILEO: All right.
13 MS. HUMPHREY: The other thing that I
14 want to say is so everything was like being taken some
15 people told me that when I got up to the podium the
16 microphones were being shut off, well, you know, I
17 cannot hide anything.
18 The Scranton Times on numerous
19 occasions I have called them to come to my home to
20 bring a message to everyone, and they never came.
21 Numerous people attack me. I had a lot of crime put
22 against me.
23 The test was sometimes unbearable, but
24 I pray for everybody, because at this point we got to
25 pray for everybody. I wouldn't shun the Catholic
1 religion to the Muslim religion. To come back to my
2 faith, I represent all faiths.
3 So, to tell me, Mr. DiBileo, not to
4 pray, I don't know how to tell ya, I pray underneath my
5 breath every moment, every second, every hour for our
6 city, for our town, for our country.
7 Because my mother inbreeded me to love
8 God above all things and love our neighbor as
9 ourselves. And if we don't have that put together as
10 people in the United States of America and councilman
11 or if you're going to be a mayor or whatever you're
12 going to be, if you don't set yourself on those
13 commandments, then you're going to put your hand on
14 that book that you got to really think about the
16 If you tell someone I'll see you
17 afterwards, but never see you -- I told you I have a
18 child that we don't know where it is, well, a month --
19 three weeks ago --
20 MR. DIBILEO: I am going to have to ask
21 you if you can stay after the meeting again and I'd be
22 happy to --
23 MS. HUMPHREY: No, I'm not staying
24 after the meeting. My time is too valuable. I'd be
25 meeting with people at the United Nations, I'm gonna be
1 meeting with the Russian Orthodox Church. My time is
2 as valuable as yours. I might be poor, but at the rich
3 and greatness of God.
4 MR. DIBILEO: Let's get together after
5 the meeting or tomorrow.
6 MS. HUMPHREY: If you say after the
7 meeting and you don't show up and what I've told you it
8 would have been so nice if somebody showed up at my
9 door in concern.
10 The person that I want to lead my
11 country, my town, and my city, I want him to give me
12 the time, not to cut me short. And if he says he's
13 going to meet me after the meeting, he will meet me
14 after the meeting. So, you got this?
15 MR. DIBILEO: I will meet you after the
17 MS. HUMPHREY: I'm not going to say who
18 I'm voting for, but I'll tell you one thing, somebody
19 is getting fired. God bless you. Before I got a
20 letter from the president --
21 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you. Bill.
23 MR. JACKOWITZ: Bill Jackowitz, city
24 resident, taxpayer, registered independent voter, proud
25 military retiree. By Christopher J. Kelly, The Sunday
1 Times, February 27, 2005, I can't put it into words,
2 Marie Ferguson say that she waited on the corner at
3 Gibson Street and Jefferson Avenue for a sign of three
4 buses that left Fort Dix New Jersey.
5 Just after 8 a.m., Specialist Carl
6 Ferguson formally of Dickson City was on one of the
7 buses and his mother wanted to be there when the doors
8 opened. It's been a long year, she said. He's my only
9 child, so I've been -- so it's been hard, it's been
10 hard for everyone, but this was really hard.
11 At 11:42 the cries of sirens drew tears
12 from the 150 or so supporters gathered outside the
13 armory. An announcement was made inside and the
14 auditorium erupted with shouts and cheers of more than
15 500 people.
16 State Police met the buses at the New
17 Jersey border providing an escort to be joined by
18 Scranton Police and firefighters as the convoy rolled
19 into town. The route was lined by supporters waving
20 signs, signs that read Welcome Home and You Are Our
22 The West Scranton High School Band
23 marched ahead of the buses' last block. Their
24 counterparts from Scranton High school were waiting at
25 the armory at the Gibson Street entrance.
1 As the soldiers unloaded their luggage,
2 family and friends climbed bleachers and hundreds of
3 cameras went off as they opened the doors.
4 These are tears of joy, Mary Emily said
5 as she looked out for her son Specialist Greg Emily, 21
6 of West Scranton. It's like there's an empty place in
7 your heart today. My heart feels old.
8 The soldiers' entrance was greeted with
9 the kind of response usually reserved from rock stars.
10 The auditorium thundered with cheers as the company
11 assembled for the final act of this deployment.
12 At 12:14 the words somebody had waited
13 so long to hear finally came, Dismissed. Where was the
14 mayor of Scranton? Did he participate in the welcome
15 home ceremony?
16 Mayor Doherty said in his own words
17 that he was in Syracuse, New York watching a college
18 basketball game with his son. The mayor made the
19 choice that a basketball game was more important than
20 the soldiers safe return home.
21 You could say that the mayor of the
22 city is the commander and chief of his city, on
23 February 26, 2005, Mayor Doherty was the commander and
24 chief of the Syracuse basketball team.
25 Mayor Doherty, Syracuse had 17 home
1 games, plus tournament games. Why did you choose this
2 game? I hope Syracuse had a parade for you.
3 The fact that Mayor Doherty did not
4 find it in his heart to welcome home my brothers and
5 sisters, I find disrespectful.
6 I hope the citizens of Scranton feel
7 the same way. The four or six veterans who protested
8 in front of Mr. DiBileo's headquarters, you chose the
9 wrong headquarters.
10 Speakers have criticized Mr. DiBileo
11 and his son about the bracelets. I would also like
12 those same speakers to criticize Mr. Doherty. He
13 disrespected American soldiers who just came back from
15 The real people that wear uniforms
16 supported Pennsylvania heros. The State Police, the
17 Scranton Police, the Scranton Firefighters, the
18 Scranton, West Scranton High School Bands.
19 Mr. Doherty chose to support Syracuse
20 basketball players in uniform. Sometime in June 2006,
21 the 109th will be returning from the war. So far they
22 have five causalities. I would like both candidates to
23 announce on record what their plans will be for the
24 homecoming ceremony in June.
25 My father's name appears on the back of
1 general -- and General Pulaski's monument. I'm proud
2 of that. He was also a veteran. My hope and belief is
3 that there will be two Veterans Days, Tuesday, November
4 the 8th, and Friday, November the 11th.
5 Actions speak much louder than words.
6 I hope -- I also hope that the non-veterans feel the
7 same way. Remember, the miliary will always be there
8 for you.
9 Mayors come and go. Remember the date,
10 26 February 2005. Mayor Doherty was very confident
11 that no one was going to run against him. Things have
13 I will respect the office of the mayor,
14 I will not, I am not required to respect the person
15 holding the office.
16 Mr. DiBileo, some of the greatest
17 generals and elected officials have changed their
18 minds, that's how we won a few wars. Don't be ashamed
19 to change your mind if it's for the people.
20 And, again, I would like to thank you
21 for allowing me to speak in front of you. My name is
22 Bill Jackowitz, Master Sergeant, Retired, United States
23 Air Force, and I am very, very, very proud of that, and
24 I am very disgusted the Commander and Chief, the Mayor
25 Doherty of Scranton chose to go watch Syracuse play
2 And, Mr. Pocius, it does not matter who
3 took those pictures, the pictures were taken. Do you
4 remember Oklahoma City? I do. Thank you again for
5 allowing me to speak.
6 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you, Mr.
7 Jackowitz, and thank you for serving our country.
8 Elizabeth Hubbard:
9 MS. HUBBARD: Good evening, Council.
10 Elizabeth Hubbard, 1507 Gardner Avenue in Scranton,
11 which is in Green Ridge. There were a couple of things
12 that I have tonight, first off, I would like to say on
13 a lighter note, I think if I was going to try to hide
14 the name on the side of my truck, my red truck, I would
15 have used red towels instead of bright blue, it would
16 have been a little less noticeable.
17 But anyway, I have a question about
18 that letter that was copied to Virginia McGregor,
19 Mrs. Evans, did you ever find out really why that copy
20 went to her? It wasn't just accidentally, or it was
22 MS. EVANS: Oh, I don't think it was
23 any accident. Now, Mr. Pocius has one explanation for
25 MS. HUBBARD: But I wondered if you had
1 gotten anything more on it.
2 MS. EVANS: Oh, no. I thought perhaps
3 The Scranton Times might have looked into it, but they
4 failed to, so I think we are all just left to assume
5 whatever the connection is, whether it's financial,
6 whether it's, you know, a hand in city government, no
7 one knows.
8 MS. HUBBARD: Now, another thing that
9 came up this week, I was speaking to an elderly friend
10 of mine about going out on Election Day to vote, and
11 she said, well, she didn't know because she had to go
12 up the Morgan Highway to vote at that Rock Church,
13 which is the third ward second district, and I said to
14 her, I think that I heard that voting place was
15 changed, but I said, Let me look into it and I'll get
16 back to you, so I called another friend and she said,
17 yeah, she thought it was going to be at Neil Armstrong
19 So, I called down to the voter
20 registration office, and, yes, it is going to be Neil
21 Armstrong School, but they said they had sent letters
22 out, and someone else called them and they said, no,
23 that the only way they notified people was a little
24 article in the legals in the newspaper, which nobody
25 ever reads, and I find it very strange that the county
1 would change a voting polling place and not notify the
2 voters in the district, a lot of whom are elderly
3 people that they now have to go to somewhere else.
4 I just wanted to say that maybe
5 somebody watching Channel 61 will now know they have to
6 go to Neil Armstrong.
7 I have another question, the property
8 at the corner of Green Ridge Street and Sanderson
9 Avenue, where that big house was torn down, I
10 understand the city tore that house down?
11 MS. EVANS: Apparently so.
12 MS. HUBBARD: Why would the city tear a
13 house down for a private developer? I mean, who would
14 I ask that question to? That, I must get an answer to.
15 My tax dollars are going to pay to tear down a property
16 that somebody is going to make a profit on developing?
17 I don't understand that at all.
18 MS. EVANS: No, I would agree with you.
19 MS. HUBBARD: I mean, if was a
20 condemned property and there were rats and homeless
21 people and everything hanging out and nobody owned it
22 or they couldn't find the owner or whatever, but to
23 tear it down for somebody that bought it, to develop it
24 into townhouses, I find is absolutely outrageous would
25 be the word.
1 And another thing, I understand from a
2 friend that last Thursday night they were doing paving
3 up on East Mountain at, like, midnight.
4 MS. EVANS: Yes.
5 MS. HUBBARD: Does the city --
6 MS. EVANS: I could comment on that.
7 As you might know, last Thursday we had a very late
8 council meeting, and I didn't arrive home until
9 slightly after 12, and I received a call at about 12:15
10 notifying me that as we spoke East Mountain Road was
11 being paved, and as the days wore on throughout the
12 week, I received other calls about marking the roads in
13 the pouring ran and et cetera, and it is an unusual
14 situation to say the least, but on the other hand, I
15 think they're trying to meet a deadline before Election
16 Day or it might have been today.
17 I think someone said something might
18 have occurred today, but the rush was on. It's a
19 wonderful project, I'm very, very pleased that it's
20 finished, but we might want to look into the overtime
21 for that.
22 And the other concern I have is this,
23 for all of the hundreds, no, I think it's thousands now
24 of people who've contacted me in the two years in which
25 I've been seated on City Council to have their street
1 paved or their court paved or their alley paved and
2 they're still waiting, and some of them are waiting
3 20 years, some of them waiting two years, and asking, I
4 just hope that their situations are addressed in such a
5 timely fashion, because that's only fair.
6 MS. HUBBARD: Well, when you come over
7 the Albright Avenue Bridge and go to your left to go up
8 Albright Avenue, that section in there between Nay Aug
9 Avenue and the bridge is absolutely atrocious.
10 MS. EVANS: Yes, it is.
11 MS. HUBBARD: It can ruin your car.
12 Now, I'm sure they might be holding off because of the
13 flood project, but I don't know if anybody has any idea
14 when they're going to get that going or finished or
15 started. So, I mean, maybe you guys can do something
16 about getting at least some of the holes filled.
17 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you, Ms.
18 Hubbard. We will.
19 MR. POCIUS: Mrs. Hubbard, could I
20 respond to one of your questions?
21 MS. HUBBARD: Sure.
22 MR. POCIUS: To give you another
23 insight into it, nighttime paving is a very common
24 practice anymore. Most of your projects, especially as
25 they reach deadlines, such as this one, because of the
1 temperature concerns, because of colder conditions as
2 we get into this late time of the season, plus also the
3 availability of materials. You're up against the
4 closing of the plants because of the restrictions put
5 on them by PennDOT inspectors and so on and so forth,
6 I, too, was caught up in a little bit of a traffic jam
7 last Saturday, I was going up to East Mountain and I
8 took a short cut, which I thought, but I got behind the
9 paving program up there, so it's not unusual as
10 projects get near deadlines to pave at night.
11 They just recently paved the Morgan
12 Highway intersection at night, they did the milling and
13 the paving at night. So, it's not --
14 MS. HUBBARD: Is that State or City,
15 the Morgan Highway?
16 MR. POCIUS: Well, right now -- right
17 now as it sits, the East Mountain Road is under the
18 jurisdiction of PennDOT in the contract and that will
19 not be turned back over to the city until it's excepted
20 as a final project. So, PennDOT has the jurisdiction,
21 because we use the PennDOT ten or 12-year plan to bid
22 that project through the help of Congressman Kanjorski.
23 MS. HUBBARD: Who is paving, I
24 understand it's the city?
25 MR. POCIUS: No, no, no, no. That was
1 Leeward Construction. The City of Scranton did not do
2 any work up there, that was all basically done by
3 contract. Leeward Construction was the number one
4 bidder, the lowest bidder on the project.
5 MS. HUBBARD: On East Mountain?
6 MR. POCIUS: Correct.
7 MS. HUBBARD: Okay.
8 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you, Mr. Pocius.
9 Jean Suwetta.
10 MS. SUWETTA: How are you? I am Jean
11 Suwetta, Scranton resident, 1549 Gardner Avenue. How
12 is everybody tonight? I enjoyed coming down Mulberry
13 Street, our maintenance guys did a wonderful job with
14 the Christmas lights up, but why are they turned on
15 since two weeks before Halloween?
16 The Christmas lights are all on two
17 weeks before Halloween. I heard of rushing the season,
18 but wait a minute.
19 Go down Mulberry Street, all the lights
20 are on. They've been on for the last three weeks, all
21 these little green red poinsettias. They are lit up
22 down there.
23 MR. DIBILEO: When do they normally go
24 up, does anyone know?
25 MR. SUWETTA: They usually go up in
1 the warmer weather. The maintenance guys, you know,
2 they jump on it, but not to turn them on. I mean, the
3 tower ain't even lit at The Times building, but
4 Scranton got Christmas lights. Who is paying for it?
5 MS. EVANS: In October.
6 MR. SUWETTA: October the 9 the lights
7 were turned on.
8 MR. DIBILEO: I'm sorry.
9 MR. SUWETTA: Shut up.
10 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you very much.
11 MR. SUWETTA: I'm talking. Shut up.
12 But really, the lights have been on since October the
13 9. Isn't that rushing the season? And who is paying
14 the bill? Mr. Courtright, DiBileo, Janet, McTiernan,
15 Pocius, me, who?
16 MS. EVANS: All of us.
17 MR. SUWETTA: Yeah. Why? Give me an
18 answer. First time I'm going here.
19 MR. COURTRIGHT: We don't know. They
20 were on when I left council last week. I'm not
21 disputing you, I just don't know why they were on.
22 MR. SUWETTA: They are on.
23 MR. COURTRIGHT: I believe you. I saw
25 MR. SUWETTA: I wouldn't lie to you.
1 MR. COURTRIGHT: I know.
2 MR. SUWETTA: That's all.
3 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you.
4 MR. SUWETTA: Just find out.
5 MR. DIBILEO: Les Spindler. Oh, I'm
6 sorry. Okay.
7 MS. LASKE: I'm not Les Spindler, he
8 let me go before him because I have the baby with me,
9 so I probably wouldn't get out of here until midnight
10 or one o'clock if I had to wait for everybody, so I
11 really appreciate it. Thank you very much.
12 My name is Judy Laske, I'm a resident
13 of Scranton, I own a home in Scranton. I just came
14 down because the last two weeks I've been trying to
15 catch up on the meetings, and I'm not going to mention
16 the person's name, because I don't want to get gaveled,
17 but they came up and they called you vicious and all
18 these other rotten names, and if they knew who you
19 really were, they wouldn't call you that.
20 I don't know if it's, you know, the
21 mayor putting them up to it or whatever, to me, it
22 seems like if they are, I don't know, but if anybody
23 knew who you were, this is just how I feel about Gary
24 and about everyone up there.
25 I like everybody up there. I have
1 nothing bad to say about any of you. My dad died back
2 in May, and he died about five days before the election
3 in May, and let me tell you about these people up here,
4 Janet came to my dad's viewing, she stayed with me for
5 a good half hour, took time out of her time, wasn't
6 there saying, Hi, I'm Janet Evans, I'm running for City
7 Council, she was there for me. I consider you a very
8 good friend, Janet, I really do. I love you, you're
9 wonderful, and if anybody has anything to say about
10 you, anything bad, come see me, because I'll knock them
12 And as far as Gary goes, Gary came to
13 my dad's viewing, also. He came the day of my dad's
14 funeral. Gary wasn't there saying, Hi, I'm Gary
15 DiBileo, I'm running for mayor of Scranton, he was
16 there to comfort me and my children in my time of need.
17 I didn't see the mayor at my father's
18 viewing or funeral, he knows who I am, but you guys, I
19 want to make a point of that, because you guys took
20 time out of your busy schedule to show me how much you
21 care about somebody, and I really from the bottom of my
22 heart I want to tell you, thank you.
23 Another thing I want to talk about, me
24 and my husband had a discussion about our road. I've
25 been coming down here for over four years, because when
1 Kevin Murphy was on and he was the president, he
2 promised me that my road would be paved. The gas
3 company ripped up our road over the summer, we waited
4 and waited and waited for them to come up the road and
5 pave, we thought it would be shortly after that.
6 My husband said, Well, you know, they
7 know who you're going to vote for, so it probably
8 wouldn't get paved.
9 Well, I really didn't care, because we
10 have our home on the market right now, so I really
11 don't care because I'm going to be moving out of the
12 city hopefully soon, but after the election.
13 My husband said to me, they're not
14 going to pave it because they know who you're voting
15 for. Well, you want to talk about liars, calling
16 people liars, well, guess what, I'm one of them, and I
17 hope Doherty's people are listening to me, because when
18 they called me, I would say about three, four weeks ago
19 to look for my support, I lied. I said -- they asked
20 me if they could, you know, if I'm going to support Mr.
21 Doherty, and I said, Oh sure, I am, and they asked if
22 my husband was going to -- felt the same, I said,
23 Oh, believe me, we're all going to be out there to
24 vote. I've got my family, I've got my friends, I've
25 got everybody out there.
1 But then they asked me if I would put a
2 sign up in my yard, well, that's where I drew the line,
3 because if I put a Doherty sign in my yard, I'll never
4 sell my house.
5 So, what happened was low and behold
6 the next day I had a knock on my door, my door bell is
7 ringing. Well, I was in my jammies, I just had a baby
8 five weeks ago, so I wasn't going to open the door for
9 anyone knocking on my door to move my vehicle, well,
10 here the next day, or it might -- I might be
11 exaggerating, it might have been two days after I got
12 his phone call from the Doherty campaign headquarters
13 or whatever, well, guess what, my road is paved, and so
14 now I can come down here and tell them I am not voting
15 for him because I don't feel he deserves my vote and
16 I'm the liar, so I don't care if they call me a liar or
17 not, I don't care, because I have nothing political to
18 gain, I'm not running for anything, but I'll make darn
19 sure that on November 8 every member of my family, my
20 son who has never voted before, I finally got him to
21 register back in March or April and to make sure all
22 his friends voted, so that next time I come down here
23 there's going to be a vacant seat up there, and it's
24 going to be Mr. DiBileo's vacant seat because Mr.
25 DiBileo is going to be our next mayor hopefully. So,
1 thank you.
2 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you, Ms. Laske.
3 Thank you. Les Spindler, it's back to you. Les
5 MR. SPINDLER: Good evening,
6 Council. Les Spindler, Scranton. First thing I want
7 to say, Mr. Pocius, I think you owe Mr. DiBileo an
8 apology for accusing him of taking the pictures of that
9 truck. You were wrong.
10 MR. POCIUS: Did you take them?
11 MR. SPINDLER: Pardon me?
12 MR. POCIUS: Did you take the
14 MR. SPINDLER: No, I didn't.
15 MR. POCIUS: Oh, okay.
16 MR. DIBILEO: An apology is not
17 necessary. Go right ahead, Mr. Spindler.
18 MR. SPINDLER: If he was a, man he
19 would apologize.
20 MR. DIBILEO: That's okay. John,
21 what did you say?
22 MR. POCIUS: Why doesn't he say it?
23 MR. DIBILEO: Please.
24 MR. SPINDLER: Last week a speaker
25 said you voted yes, Mr. DiBileo, and then later on you
1 voted no, well, if the speaker got the facts right, you
2 voted yes to -- you voted no about changing council's
3 rules, right?
4 MR. DIBILEO: That was the motion.
5 MR. SPINDLER: So, whoever is writing
6 these speeches should get their facts right.
7 Last week in the debate Mayor Doherty
8 commented in his speech about all the buildings going
9 up in town, the Southern Union building is taking
10 longer than the Empire State Building to get done, and
11 it's empty now, and the parking garage has cracks in
12 the concrete, and I think they were in a hurry to get
13 that done so they could have it done for the election.
14 Bill Fiorini says it's okay. Well, what do we think
15 he's going to say? He's a Doherty supporter.
16 Another speaker came, said he's
17 representing the brick layers. Talking about CRF, says
18 no one sends him, interestingly enough, I found out his
19 son got a job with the Scranton Housing Authority. You
20 wonder who got him that job.
21 Clippings in the paper, yesterday's
22 paper, it says No Crime in the City. Yesterday's paper
23 a Scranton woman raped in South Side. Burglar hits
24 Park Gardens today. Now today there was a shooting in
25 front of West Scranton High School.
1 Chris Doherty's commercial says, We
2 don't have crime. Don't take the bait. Well, you
3 better take the bait, because if Chris Doherty is
4 re-elected, we won't be able to leave our houses.
5 He'll cut more cops and fireman.
6 So, if your house isn't burglarized, it
7 will probably burn down. I have a teenage daughter who
8 we won't let walk the streets because of the crime in
9 the city. She says we are overprotective, but my wife
10 and I are, and I would rather be overprotective than
11 let her be a statistic in The Scranton Times like a lot
12 of other people.
13 Time for a change. The people thought
14 they were going to get a mayor who would stop the
15 arbitration awards and lower the taxes and at the same
16 time would open -- would be open and accessible. I
17 believe they got neither.
18 They never expected level of services
19 that they were used to diminish, never expected police
20 officers to disappear from their neighborhoods, they
21 never expected the potholes to increase, they never
22 expected snow, ice, leaves to remain until they need to
23 remove them, they never expected anti-skid material to
24 be replaced by ground glass.
25 Most importantly, they never expected
1 that when you needed the mayor, he would be absent. It
2 took assaults on our children, drive-by shootings, gang
3 activity in our schools and the lost to crime or
4 blighted neighborhoods in order to finally entice Chris
5 Doherty out of the rose garden.
6 One wonders if it's really the election
7 that got his attention, and if he wins will he be seen
8 again. They fully expected as promised that their
9 taxes will go down every year, that never happened.
10 They are flabbergasted that their $3,000,000 surplus
11 has turned into a $204,000,000 debt for children and
12 grandchildren to deal with. Meanwhile Chris Doherty
13 takes credit for projects that everyone knows he had
14 little to do with, East Mountain Road, the East Market
15 Street Bridge, Providence Square and Weston Park.
16 So, what has Chris Doherty
17 accomplished? Scranton is still distressed, the taxes
18 are still too high, arbitration awards are through the
19 roof, the golf course and the South Side Complex are
20 gone, and some of our children can't afford to use our
21 public swimming pools, but Chris Doherty's friends and
22 political campaign contributors have made hundreds of
23 thousands of dollars of the taxpayers' money. Is this
24 really the road you want to continue on? I don't think
1 A few weeks ago, Mr. DiBileo, a speaker
2 said you would make a good mayor, just not now. Well,
3 I think he was half right, you would make a good mayor,
4 but now is the time, and I urge everybody on November 8
5 to restore my pride and vote for Gary DiBileo for
7 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you, Mr. Spindler.
8 And I would ask any future speakers to not make those
9 type of endorsements, not that we don't appreciate
10 them, but it's not the place for them.
11 And one clarification, you mentioned
12 $3,000,000 deficit to 2004, that was an annual deficit
13 for that particular year, as compared to the
14 $204,000,000, which is the long-term debt including
15 interest. Thank you. Now Regina Yetkowskas.
16 MS. YETKOWSKAS: Regina Yetkowskas,
17 Scranton resident and taxpayer. Tuesday, November 8 is
18 Election Day. I ask everyone eligible to get out and
19 vote, vote for your choice, but vote.
20 November 8 is the one day when each and
21 every one of us becomes the political power in
22 Scranton. Just think back four years, all taxpayers,
23 city residents, neighborhood activists and just plain
24 law abiding citizens who have been completely ignored
25 by Mr. Doherty and his administration will have our one
1 chance to vote and tell Mr. Doherty if he is to stay or
2 if he must go and become an ex-mayor.
3 The most important message I can give
4 everyone is when you are in the voting booth with the
5 curtain closed, you know your vote is secret. You and
6 only you are the only person who knows how you vote.
7 This election is not a race between two
8 candidates, rather it is a decision by the people on
9 whether Mr. Doherty performed his job as he promised,
10 and if he improved the likes of the people who elected
12 Let me repeat, each person's vote will
13 decide if Mr. Doherty performed his job as he promised
14 and if he improved the lives of the people who elected
16 As Election Day -- as Election Day
17 nears, I see and hear Mr. Doherty and his newspaper
18 tell the people that Scranton is better now than it was
19 four years ago.
20 The people should take notice that
21 neither Mr. Doherty nor his newspaper never ever said
22 the people are better off now than they were four years
23 ago. You know why? Simply because they are not.
24 The people's taxes are not less than
25 four years ago, the people's neighborhoods are not
1 better than they were four years ago, each time Mr.
2 Doherty and his newspaper referred to the physical
3 appearance of Central City and the parks looking better
4 now than they did four years ago, it is additional
5 proof that they are not interested in the people to
6 this day. To them, buildings and grass are more
8 Mr. Doherty was not concerned if people
9 could pay their taxes or if there were potholes in the
10 streets big enough for a car to sink in up to the axle
11 or if the neighborhood associations's received grants
12 to help the people in the area or how all the people
13 will pay for the $210,000.000 debt ran up in less than
14 four years.
15 It is sad but true when the facts show
16 by far most of the people who come to this podium are
17 the neglected ones of four years.
18 You don't see the political cronies and
19 friends of Mr. Doherty who receive millions of dollars
20 in money grants or tax abatements for ten years come to
21 this podium, they are the persons who are satisfied and
22 smiling because of what Mr. Doherty did for them.
23 But can you and I smile because of what
24 he did for us? After all, Mr. Doherty's most important
25 duty for four years was to improve the lives of the
1 people who elected him. It is obvious that he did not,
2 because he took care of his contributors and political
4 The average person is recognized only
5 when election comes. After that, we will all be left
6 out in the cold again. Do we want that to happen to us
7 for another four years? You all know what my answer
9 Any taxpayer, including you and I, can
10 make Central City look better on the outside if we were
11 able, like Mr. Doherty, to take the millions of
12 borrowed dollars and spend them by way of grants and
13 loans, while at the same time create Scranton's largest
14 debt in its history.
15 Before anyone walks into the voting
16 booth, that person should ask himself or herself if he
17 or she personally is better off now than four years
19 The question is not is Scranton better
20 now than it was four years ago. I am not better off
21 than I was four years ago because of the debt Mr.
22 Doherty laid on the backs of all Scrantonians.
23 Any change in the mayor's office cannot
24 be worse than now, it can only be better than, so I
25 shall vote. Thank you.
1 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you. Mary
3 MS. CHIOKA: Thank you for allowing me
4 to speak. Can everyone hear me? Fine. My thing that
5 I want to talk about is a personal thing, and I thought
6 it infringed upon my person and my property, and I have
7 decided to --
8 MR. DIBILEO: For the record, Mary,
9 just state your name.
10 MS. CHIOKA: Mary Chioka, I am a
11 senior citizen, a resident of Scranton, a third
12 generation resident. I live in North Scranton, and an
13 incident occurred in the week of October 23rd, it was a
14 very rainy Friday night, Saturday morning, and I had
15 two signs on my property, not on the street, not on the
16 sidewalk, they were on my personal property, and low
17 and behold the next day when I woke up, they were gone.
18 And when I talked with other people,
19 there was something going on, and I wrote a letter to
20 The Times, and they really edited everything out that I
21 said. I would just like to read this short letter to
22 you, if I may.
23 In the Case of the Missing Signs. They
24 said it was the sign of the times. Well, maybe that's
25 good, too. I am a senior citizen, a lifelong resident
1 of the City of Scranton currently residing in North
2 Scranton. I have been very concerned and outraged by
3 the unlawful and sneaky behavior that has occurred in
4 our city during the weeks of October 16th and the early
5 part of October 23, 2005.
6 Political election signs that were
7 legally and rightfully displayed on the private
8 property of citizens have gone "missing" overnight.
9 Other areas of Scranton have also experienced the same
10 type of losses.
11 At the time I wrote this, as many as 80
12 signs were taken by someone or someone at last count.
13 I will call it what it is, stealing and intimidation.
14 Oh, yes, did you know they were all Gary DiBileo signs?
15 Now, who could have done that?
16 Surprised, living and being a citizen of the United
17 States of America entitles me and all other citizens of
18 the United States the right and freedom of speech and
19 the right to vote their conscience without fear of
20 retaliation or intimidation.
21 Many sacrifices that our military
22 forces and the prices they paid, both in war and peace,
23 paid for us as a sacred thing to be treasured. Please
24 don't tell me I'm wrong and they died in vein. Vote
25 your conscience, please. Thank you very much.
1 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you, Mary. Cathy
3 MS. BECK: Cathy Beck, East Mountain
4 resident. I'm also a proud homeowner. I've lived in
5 Scranton for over 20 years. I love my neighborhood, I
6 love my city, that's the reason I'm here to speak.
7 I don't feel you have to be silent, and
8 I'm up here at the podium to speak my peace of mind.
9 After listening to the mayoral debate, Mayor Doherty's
10 challenge of using the state police as a source of
11 population numbers, wondering when the state police
12 added an accounting department to count residents, I
13 decided to, as usual, conduct my own research on the
14 statement, as well the crime reports in general.
15 A review of the Pennsylvania Uniform
16 Crime Reports for 2003 and 2004 resulted in the
17 following, criminal homicide, three, an increase of one
18 from 2003; sex offenses, 167, remaining the same as
19 2003; robbery, 104, an increase of 12 from 2003;
20 assaults, 579, an increase of 40 from 2003; property
21 offenses, 3879, an increase of 134 from 2003; arson,
22 22, an increase of 12 from 2003; drug violations, 462,
23 an increase of 48 from 2003; alcohol crimes, 869, an
24 increase of 102 from 2003.
25 Total offenses in 2003, 5,736. Total
1 offenses in 2004, 6,085, or an increase of 349
2 offenses. That equates to a 6.1 increase in the total
3 offenses reported.
4 Here is another interesting point, in
5 2004, Scranton's population was 74,896, was 35 percent
6 of Lackawanna County's population; however,
7 60.4 percent of the crime reported in Lackawanna County
8 occurred in the Scranton jurisdiction.
9 And just to satisfy my own curiosity
10 over the mayor's challenging of the state police
11 population figures, I called the help desk of the
12 department that compiles the information in Harrisburg.
13 The figures they use are provided by the FBI. That
14 telephone number, by the way, is 866-782-7711, if
15 anyone would like to call it.
16 Interestingly enough, the population
17 figure of 76,751 used by state police in 2003 was 2,431
18 people higher than the census bureau's 2003 estimate of
20 I must direct that this information is
21 not being provided as a scare tactic, it is being
22 provided merely to address the truth. Since some
23 individuals deny the facts and ignore reality, even
24 though they warranted not to be swayed by
1 I have a few copies of my researcher's
2 proof that the information I have provided is in fact
3 accurate and verifiable. I would like to leave them
4 with you at the end of my presentation, if that's all
6 MR. DIBILEO: Sure.
7 MS. BECK: Next, a number of
8 iindividuals have come to this podium and chastised
9 this Council for being against economic development
10 because you did not vote in favor of the sale of loans
11 to CRF, I, too, would love to see all of our union
12 workers have work in this city close to their families.
13 I do, however, have serious concerns
14 regarding the sale. First, it has been stated by many
15 that you should not be concerned with the specific
16 projects for which the funds would be used, since you
17 would have to approve the use of the funds. This is
18 not true.
19 The Council seated at the time would
20 make that decision, if that should be a work or staff
21 council. There is no telling how quickly or for what
22 purpose that $5,000,000 could be blown through giving
23 this mayor's no-bid spending habits, this coupled with
24 the fact that the city could be faced with a loss of
25 three million dollars on future federal funding due to
1 the Hilton foreclosure means that future development
2 could come to a screeching halt.
3 I would rather several years of planned
4 development and construction jobs, rather than one year
5 of frivolous spending.
6 Finally, after reviewing the article
7 that appeared in the October 23rd edition of The
8 Scranton Times that was referred to by Mr. Gervasi and
9 Mrs. Krake last week, I have the following serious
10 concerns and questions, Mayor Doherty is looking to cut
11 $2.4 million from the fire department through overtime
12 and other re-structuring, even if the $500,000 of
13 overtime that was budgeted in 2005 was eliminated
14 completely, which is not feasible, $1,000,900 would
15 remain to be cut through restructuring.
16 This, to me, indicates the loss of
17 sufficient number of firefighters which, in turn, would
18 mean the closing of one or more firehouses since all
19 existing locations cannot be manned adequately.
20 I've heard that East Mountain, Ash
21 Street, Main Avenue could be possible victims. I don't
22 believe any neighborhood should be placed in danger,
23 but living on East Mountain is naturally a big concern
24 for me, given the very limited access to parts of the
1 We have all heard that the first three
2 minutes of a fire are the most critical in terms of
3 saving lives. It would take a minimum of eight
4 minutes, at best, for a truck to get up to the upper
5 most part of the mountain from Pittston Avenue, Center
6 City or Ash street.
7 My question to Council this evening is,
8 Do you have any idea how the neighborhoods would be
9 affected by any restructuring, and can you with any
10 degree of certainty or confidence state that there will
11 be no closing of firehouses as a result of this
13 MR. COURTRIGHT: Mrs. Beck, I would
14 think if they cut that amount of firefighters, that
15 they would have no choice but to close down fire
17 I don't know how they could man them if
18 they cut that amount of firefighters. I would state
19 right now, as Mr. Osborne was up here before, any
20 restructuring, I think they should do a study, I don't
21 think there's any one individual, Mr. Osborne included,
22 that could determine what we need and what we don't
23 need. I really think they need to do a study if they
24 are going to do any restructuring.
25 MS. BECK: Thank you. I certainly
1 hope that we will not experience any further loss of
2 services in the area of public safety. East Mountain
3 has already had its patrolman taken away and the dirt
4 bike that was donated for the purpose has disappeared.
5 Thank you for the opportunity to speak. I also have
6 folders for you.
7 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you. I'm looking
8 at the list here, and I see that I skipped over one of
9 the speakers, I apologize. Larry McAndrew, you're up
10 here at the top. Sorry about that. And then Joanne
11 Williams after that.
12 MR. MCANDREW: I thank you, Mr.
13 DiBileo, but I'm so interested in tonight's meeting
14 that I don't mind waiting a turn to speak. My name is
15 Larry McAndrew I'm a Scranton taxpayer, Scranton
17 A couple weeks ago I asked about a park
18 bench in the Providence Section of Scranton, being
19 there today I noticed that there was nothing done on
20 this bench. Have we received any kind of answer or any
21 investigation on this?
22 MR. DIBILEO: Jay, do you have any
23 information on that?
24 MR. SAUNDERS: We haven't heard
25 anything back on that yet.
1 MR. MCANDREW: You know, a couple weeks
2 ago the City Council voted on the second phase of this
3 project, and I think the mayor is allowing $87,000 for
4 this second phase, but I think what we should do first
5 is maintain the improvements that we made, first take
6 care of what we've done.
7 I mean, I discussed this two or three
8 weeks and nothing has been done about it. Friday I
9 received a letter in the mail and it was encouraging me
10 to vote for Mr. Doherty, it was signed North Scranton
11 Neighbors, and on this list the first name I recognized
12 was Kevin Murphy. There was other businessmen and
13 business ladies' names that are well known in North
15 I came to this podium about a year ago
16 speaking about our city government, about the lack of
17 accountability that this administration has shown, the
18 audit from Rossi & Rossi has shown the debt that is so
19 unbelievable that the taxpayers and the future
20 generations have to burden with.
21 I don't see any alternative but a tax
22 increase. It really stumps me how these people can get
23 up and support this mayor, saying that what a great job
24 he has done for this city, what his record shows this
1 November 8th is coming up, the election
2 is so important here in Scranton, which way do we go?
3 I as a member of the Scranton Lackawanna County
4 Taxpayers and Citizens Group have made up my mind a
5 long time ago.
6 I encourage all our citizens that are
7 eligible to vote to get out and make your decision come
8 November 8th. This is a great country here. We the
9 people, according to the Constitution, have a right to
10 have a say here, and November 8th in that election
11 booth we make the decisions of where we're headed.
12 Again, I encourage everybody to get out
13 and vote and support your candidate November 8th. Like
14 I said, I know I made my decision a long time ago, and
15 definitely it's not going to be Chris Doherty. I thank
17 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you. Joanne
18 Williams. And I'd like to remind all audience members
19 to please not make any noise while there's a speaker at
20 the podium. Thank you.
21 MS. WILLIAMS: Good evening,
22 Council. Joanne Williams, taxpayer and homeowner.
23 First before I get into my notes, a quick question,
24 maybe Mr. McTiernan, I don't know if you can answer
25 this for me, in the back of senior yearbooks, are there
1 names and addresses and phone numbers?
2 MR. MCTIERNAN: I don't know that
4 MS. WILLIAMS: I heard, I don't know if
5 that's true, I have heard that though. So, that's a
6 possibility that maybe, I'm not sure, that could be
7 where they're at.
8 Second of all, Mr. DiBileo, this is
9 just a question for you, is it correct that when you
10 were on the school board you obtained a job for an aunt
11 of yours?
12 MR. DIBILEO: I what? I'm sorry.
13 MS. WILLIAMS: You obtained a job when
14 you were on the school board for a relative when you
15 were on the school board, your aunt was appointed.
16 MR. DIBILEO: My Aunt?
17 MS. WILLIAMS: An aunt or a relative.
18 MR. DIBILEO: Not that I'm aware of.
19 MS. WILLIAMS: Okay, that's what I'm
21 MR. DIBILEO: No, I'll say no, because
22 I don't know of any relative that got hired with the
23 school district.
24 MS. WILLIAMS: Just asking a question,
25 Mr. DiBileo. Also another question, Have you received
1 campaign contributions from some of the police, fire
2 and clerical unions?
3 MR. DIBILEO: I think that's private
5 MS. WILLIAMS: Okay. Okay.
6 MR. DIBILEO: If you gave me money,
7 I wouldn't say so, Joanne.
8 MS. WILLIAMS: Excuse me?
9 MR. DIBILEO: If you had given me a
10 contribution, I wouldn't say so.
11 MS. WILLIAMS: I don't have money to
12 give contributions, Mr. DiBileo.
13 MR. DIBILEO: Okay. I'm just saying,
14 it's not --
15 MS. WILLIAMS: Well, and I'm answering
16 your question, okay? I come before City Council
17 tonight, as I have for several years, to ask my
18 neighbors and all the citizens of Scranton to support
19 positive growth and progress in the City of Scranton.
20 I've been at this podium long before TV
21 cameras entered Council chambers, and my message has
22 always been the same, Scranton needs a strong and
23 decisive mayor that is not afraid to make tough
24 decisions, that will move Scranton forward in a
25 positive direction.
1 Mayor Doherty has not raised taxes
2 during his four years in office and has shown what
3 strong decisive leadership can accomplish. The level
4 of confidence within Scranton and in our business
5 community and the private sector has never been higher.
6 The trade unions' support and
7 endorsement of Mayor Doherty's leadership speaks
8 volumes about our city's growth. The people of
9 Scranton do not want to go back to prerecovery days
10 when a portion of police and fire unions allowed the
11 city tax dollars to be wasted on excessive Workers'
12 Compensation costs.
13 Who will ever forget the city worker
14 that was racing stock cars while the citizens of
15 Scranton's tax dollars paid his Workmen's Compensation
17 Scranton must move forward with the
18 recovery plan that we as a city and overwhelmingly
19 voted for and supported by a 70 percent to 30 percent
20 margin in a recent election.
21 This election is about our future and
22 not about our past. On the eve of the election it is
23 clear that negative attacks against the mayor have
25 Mayor Doherty will not be intimidated
1 by attacks against his family, his children, his
2 supporters or himself.
3 On the eve of the election it is
4 obvious that the negative campaign tactics to ask for a
5 vote against the mayor's simply because he is Irish has
7 MR. DIBILEO: Please, I have to ask
8 everyone to refrain from speaking or making any noise.
9 MS. WILLIAMS: I know, Mr. Courtright,
10 you can shake your head, but this is my opinion.
11 MR. DIBILEO: Go right ahead, Mrs.
13 MS. WILLIAMS: Thank you, Mr. DiBileo.
14 Senior citizen and West Side resident Lori Sottile's
15 November 2nd letter to the editor confirming that
16 Mr. DiBileo had insulted her by expecting her to vote
17 simply because she was Italian is truly a sign of a
18 desperate candidate. I will need more time. I'm not
19 yelling at you, Jay, I need more time because of that.
20 Mr. DiBileo.
21 MR. DIBILEO: Yes, that's true.
22 MS. WILLIAMS: The truth is that
23 Scrantonians from both a democratic and republican
24 parties have supported Mayor Doherty, city and
25 statewide leaders, such as Mayor David Wenzel, Governor
1 Bill Scranton, Congressman Joe McDade, Governor Ed
2 Rendell, Senator Bob Mellow, and Scranton's own Bob
3 Casey, Jr. support Mayor Chris Doherty and are asking
4 Scrantonians to reelect Mayor Doherty on November 8th.
5 And the reason is simple, because Mayor
6 Doherty is, number one, a proven leader that has not
7 raised city taxes, a mayor that has always supported
8 seniors, a mayor that has proven he can and will move
9 Scranton forward through job creation and economic
10 growth, and a mayor that has reinvested in our
11 neighborhoods by investing in our parks.
12 I leave the podium tonight with my head
13 held high strengthened by my knowledge that the insults
14 that have come my way have not brought me down.
15 I am also strengthened by my confidence
16 that on November 8th the people of this City of
17 Scranton will make the positive choice and reelect
18 Mayor Chris Doherty.
19 Please, everybody, remember to vote on
20 November 8th. Thank you and good night, Council, it's
21 been a pleasure.
22 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you, Mrs. Williams.
23 And you don't have to stay, but you mentioned two
24 things that I'm going to address when it's time for
25 Council members to speak, and one thing that I'll
1 expound upon is the fact that I'm very, very proud to
2 be half Irish. I didn't realize there was this many
3 Irish people in the audience, but --
4 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you. Joe Maloney.
5 Joe Maloney.
6 MR. MALONEY: Good Evening, Council.
7 My name is Joe Maloney, I'm a resident taxpayer of the
8 City of Scranton, a long time watcher, first time
10 And, you know, I appreciate that
11 Channel 61 has given me the opportunity to witness city
12 business. Sometimes I wonder what it is, but I guess
13 in May after the primary the line was drawn in the
14 sand. Some sad people have come here, you know, some
15 in the attack of Mr. Doherty, some in the attack of Mr.
17 For the life of me, I really can't
18 understand it. A woman who comes here frequently and
19 attacks you, Mr. DiBileo, six years ago I saw her
20 riding on your float in the St. Patrick's Day Parade.
21 Today she's used detrimental things about you and your
22 family, and I just don't understand it, over a mayoral
23 race, why someone would do that.
24 And certainly I can't apologize for
25 her, but it is certainly an insult to the citizens of
1 the City of Scranton who have to sit home and watch it,
2 and I find it sad.
3 Another thing I'd like to discuss is
4 the CRF loans, and for the life of me I really don't
5 understand people coming to this podium and they want
6 you to sell loans that the city is collecting --
7 they're collecting at a 100 percent of the value, they
8 want you to sell them from anywhere from $0.88 on a
9 dollar to $0.84 on the dollar.
10 They have no plan for the money, they
11 want the money to sit in the bank somewhere and
12 anywhere from 12 to 16 percent on the money, and it
13 makes no sense to me.
14 You know, I'm not a banker, I can't
15 come here like other bankers and tell you it make sense
16 to borrow money. My father always told me it made no
17 sense to borrow money if you dont have to.
18 People borrow money when they are in
19 need of money, they don't borrow money for fun, and if
20 they are borrowing money, it's because they can't pay
21 it back or they'll have trouble over the longrun paying
22 it back.
23 City debt, which is somewhere between
24 $120,000,000 and $204,000,000, or whatever the number
25 is, you know, we'd have to assume that we're -- that we
1 will pay the full amount, the 204 or six or ten or
2 whatever the number is, because obviously the city has
3 the money to pay it back.
4 Now, these things to me are trouble.
5 They talk about the $275,000,000 worth of construction
6 is going on within the City of Scranton in the last
7 four years, you know, and I contend that 80 percent of
8 it is KOZ buildings that the city gets no immediate
9 benefit from.
10 You know, I lived in New York for 50
11 years of life prior to moving here ten years ago, and
12 30 miles south of me was Mowan, New Jersey, and they
13 built a Ford plant there around 1956 with a 25-year
14 non-taxable on the property, it was the largest car
15 plant in America.
16 When the plant was opened for 25 years,
17 they shut the doors and walked away. The city of
18 Mowan, New Jersey never collected one penny of tax, and
19 I'm afraid things like that will happen to Scranton.
20 Southern Union hasn't done one bit of
21 work on that building since they were bought up and the
22 headquarters are moving to Houston, Texas.
23 A man was here last week or two weeks
24 ago saying it's because they have trouble getting
25 stone, they have trouble, well, I find that hard to
1 believe personally. You know, we talked about all the
2 paving that has been done in the city, and granted
3 there has been a lot of paving done, but at what
4 expense? How much money can we borrow to pave streets,
5 you know?
6 We've operated the city on borrowing.
7 I went to Nay Aug Park, I was never in the park before,
8 I was not a citizen, I wasn't born and raised here, I
9 lived here for ten years, I walked through the park and
10 went through the Davis Trail, I found it to be a
11 beautiful place, and the entire job was done on
12 one-time revenues.
13 How are we going to maintain it? The
14 City of Scranton couldn't maintain when they had a
15 100,000 people living here when people didn't have
16 swimming pools, people didn't have video games and
17 other things to do, when our city parks were a place
18 where people went.
19 You know, the town I lived in, I went
20 to my city park because you had no place else to go.
21 Now there's plenty of other places to go. What are we
22 using to maintain this park?
23 We've spent an awful lot of money in
24 the City of Scranton. You know, we talk about our
25 parks, we've sold one park, the most used park in the
1 city, you know, and for what reason, to sink the money
2 into another park? I mean, it just doesn't make sense
3 to me.
4 You know, we've redone Weston Field,
5 and 95 percent of all the money spent in the city for
6 parks was spent on two parks, and 75 percent of that
7 money was spent on one park.
8 You know, it's good for the citizens,
9 if you can afford it, but I don't believe that we can
10 afford it.
11 You know, the pension composite board,
12 six members were added to it so that one person can
13 control the vote of it, you know, and now it's gone
14 before Council, and two Council members, in violation
15 of the law, are still voting in favor of keeping the
16 composite board as it is.
17 Why, so they can sell the assets again,
18 collect the one-time revenue so they collected
19 $7,000,000 revenue in two years, paid the $9.2 million
20 back, $2.2 million in interest on a $7 million loan is
21 just out of -- it's crazy.
22 I don't understand how people, you
23 know, my understanding of government is it's your job
24 to monitor business of the mayor's office, but it seems
25 like, you know, it's a rubber stamp kind of a deal.
1 Everything he can veto because he has
2 two votes on the Council, because it doesn't seem like
3 they vote in the best interest of the city, as far as
4 I'm concerned.
5 So, I, like everyone else, I would
6 like everyone to go out and vote and vote who you think
7 will do the best job.
8 If you're happy with what has happened
9 over the last four years, if you're happy that the
10 promises made were kept, you can vote for the current
11 mayor, and if you're not, then you can make another
12 choice. Thank you.
13 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you, Mr. Maloney.
14 And just a comment on something that Mr. Maloney
15 mentioned, he mentioned $250 million in development,
16 that's one of the signs that we see often hung from
17 buildings downtown, but the developer of the Tripp Park
18 Village weeks ago told me that it's his understanding
19 that $150 million of the $250 million figure is his
20 Tripp Park Village Development, and he did not know
21 that until recently, so that's supposedly is, you know,
22 more than half of what that $250 million figure is, the
23 Tripp Park Village up in Tripp Park. Thank you. Lee
25 MR. MORGAN: Good evening, Council.
1 MR. DIBILEO: Good evening.
2 MR. MORGAN: It looks like tonight is
3 going to be a long night. You know, I really
4 appreciate that, it just shows that everybody is
5 energized, and I probably assume that most of the
6 councilmen probably aren't very happy about having to
7 stay up until probably midnight, but that's the way it
8 goes when you run for elected office. And this is
9 democracy at its best.
10 The first thing I have is I'd like to
11 interject a comment that Mrs. Novembrino made in The
12 Scranton Times newspaper, and I think it speaks volumes
13 of the problems that the City of Scranton is
14 experiencing in regards to Carl Greco and legal fees
15 the city has paid.
16 You know, Mrs. Novembrino stated that
17 this has been going on for a very long time, and it
18 probably has, and we look at why the city is troubled
19 when we had Mr. Greco making over $700,000 in, I
20 assume, one year, and it's a very troubling thing, and
21 I'm just curious, why do we even have city solicitors
22 if they can't handle the case load of the city?
23 I think if we don't have the right
24 staff, we should do something about it. We should --
25 do you want to say something Ms. Evans?
1 MS. EVANS: Well, Mr. Morgan, first
2 the over three-quarters of a million dollars was earned
3 over a three-year period, not one year, and secondly,
4 there are many more attorneys on the clock besides Mr.
5 Greco, he's one of, I can't even tell you frankly, how
6 many that are employed, but I was just thinking as you
7 were commenting, it kind of reminds me of that show Who
8 Wants to Be a Millionaire, it's like, you know, donate
9 to a campaign and win the jackpot, a million dollars,
10 who will be the first millionaire, the attorney, the
11 gardner or the investment banker, because the, you
12 know, the attorney -- well, obviously the attorney has
13 a contract, his latest, well, actually he had one
14 contract in 2002, and three of them in 2003, and the
15 latest one has no ceiling in terms of money and no time
16 limit attached, completely open ended, and then we have
17 the landscaper who put in the bushes and the fishpond,
18 and then we have the investment banker who can go out
19 and borrow millions and millions of dollars, hundreds
20 of millions of dollars to dig you into debt, but I'm
21 just wondering which fellow is going to reach the
22 million dollar mark first?
23 Maybe they have already, I don't know,
24 I don't have proof to say otherwise, but I will bet you
25 given enough more time into the future, we're going to
1 have a lot of them who can say, I'm a millionaire.
2 MR. MORGAN: I agree. You know, the
3 other thing I have here, and I'm going to be very
4 brief, because I know everybody wants to get out of
5 here, but, you know, I question how someone can run to
6 be mayor of this city and spend the amount of money
7 that's being spent in this campaign for a job that's
8 only going to raise a salary of really -- it's a
9 pittens compared to what this gentleman is paying to
11 And I really think what it does is it
12 steals the election from the people, and I don't know
13 if Council can draft a law that can say that you can
14 only spend so much money to run for mayor of the City
15 of Scranton, but I really think the amount of money
16 being spent here is obscene and there is absolutely no
17 need for it.
18 And I have a very serious problem when
19 a state senator, Mr. Mellow, or a member of Congress,
20 Mr. Kanjorski, tries to tell a citizen of this country
21 how to vote, because the right to vote is just so
22 totally sacred.
23 And the one last thing I have here is
24 that, you know, they're talking about the reality
25 transfer tax as if it were some of windfall and, you
1 know, I find that to be theft from the people that put
2 forth all their blood and sweat into buying this
3 property, and then the city feels and other entities
4 feel that they have an obligation to your money, and I
5 just think this city has to change course.
6 And I'm not going to tell the people
7 who to vote for, and I would also like to say that I
8 think that when the mayor sends his budget up, I think
9 we need to make the cuts necessary to make up for the
10 shortfall this year, and let's start doing some very
11 prudent things and protect the taxpayers and residents.
12 And I would also like to say as I walk
13 away from this podium that I hope that Council would
14 consider the three grants the Scranton Lackawanna
15 Taxpayers Association has applied to, because we can
16 show you how to use those funds without politics being
17 involved, and we'd appreciate your consideration.
18 And the last thing I have is the
19 Scranton Lackawanna Taxpayers Association is going to
20 meet here on Monday at seven o'clock, and we'd like
21 everybody to come. And you know what, I hope that
22 everybody here in this audience comes to the next
23 Council meeting even after the election, and let's
24 change this city. Thank you.
25 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you. Valerie
1 Burke and Bill Burke.
2 MR. AND MRS. BURKE: Good evening.
3 My name is Valerie Burke, I'm a resident of the City of
4 Scranton, I live on Wheeler Avenue. I came today
5 mostly because I was tired of all the negativity that I
6 personally feel goes unchallenged in this environment.
7 I watch this on TV, constantly catch the reruns Sunday
8 morning and whatnot. This is the first time I've
9 attended, and there is a specific comment that just
10 seemed, you know, to really just crystalize the
11 absurdity for me.
12 One of the Council members said that
13 wasn't it sad that Deemer's Office Supply was going out
14 of business, wasn't it sad for our downtown, implying
15 that it's somebody's fault.
16 I'm sure that Council realizes that a
17 small office supply business would have run its course
18 naturally with competition from business supply super
19 stores and the ease of ordering online from these types
20 of companies.
21 Well, it is sad, I agree 100 percent,
22 when any business closes their doors, it's more of a
23 reflection on a particular business model and not
24 necessarily our city as it currently is.
25 Lavish, for example, is a cosmetic
1 store that is a perfect example of the businesses that
2 I think will flourish in our downtown. They offer
3 something that's unique that a lot of your stores don't
4 offer, and you wouldn't find it unless you were in a
5 big city in a larger boutique.
6 It's those unique small businesses that
7 really will come in and revitalize our downtown, like
8 the coffee shops, the bridal boutiques, things like
10 So, if you ask why one small business
11 is leaving the downtown, I'd ask, Haven't you noticed
12 the progress that Mayor Doherty has made for all of us
13 with all of the construction going on, the thousands of
14 new jobs for our area, the development and growth?
15 To me, it's just amazing in this area.
16 I grew up here, I went to college here, and years ago
17 when I was in college, and not that long ago when we
18 would go out in the downtown area and would walk back
19 to our cars, people would be offering to sell us drugs,
20 it was terrifying.
21 I couldn't wait to get out of what I
22 considered a crast and dismal area, and I think I
23 probably speak for a lot of the youth that graduated
24 and then leave.
25 I moved to Atlanta ten years ago, and
1 as I came back over the years to visit my parents, I
2 was gradually seeing changes that I thought for the
4 My dad is a very political person
5 always pointing out this happening, you know, for good
6 or bad in the city, and it is these visits when I would
7 come back and see the changes that were happening,
8 which was why my husband and I decided to move again,
9 move to Scranton.
10 The reason we came back here was the
11 recovery plan, and at the time when it went back to, I
12 believe it is -- was the citizens of Scranton to vote
13 on that plan, I wasn't able to vote, I hadn't been here
14 long enough, and I was so concerned, you know, you
15 elected someone they had a great plan, I loved what the
16 plan said, I was so concerned that they wouldn't pass
17 it, and I held my breath, and they voted to pass it.
18 The mayor does do things that might
19 scare some people, because there aren't immediate
20 returns to KOZ things. He's investing for our future,
21 he's making strategic business decisions, and I was so
22 relieved to finally have a mayor running this city as a
23 true businessman should.
24 If you want young people to stay here,
25 you have to make the place worth staying, and the
1 current mayor has done just that.
2 And finally, I would like to share a
3 little trivia from Forbes Magazine, they put together a
4 list of the best places to live nationwide, 200 of the
5 best cities, the data is compiled by Forbes using
6 economy.com, Spurling's best places and FBI crimes
7 statistics, and they rate the areas on home value, job
8 growth, economic containment, so in 2002, we were
9 ranked 159, and obviously being number one is the best,
10 and in 2003, we were 147.
11 In 2004, Scranton Metropolitan Area was
12 112. Incidentally, Hollywood, Hawaii was 113. And I
13 think everyone can agree that that seems like a pretty
14 great place to live, Forbes still thought Scranton was
16 Well, in 2005, we were 105, so Forbes
17 Magazine can even see it's a better place to live than
18 it was four years ago.
19 And as someone that was a local and has
20 moved to the city again, I can see that Scranton is
21 moving in the right direction and I just wanted to
22 acknowledge that on the record to stand against so much
23 of the negativity that I hear in this forum every day.
24 Thank you.
25 MR. DIBILEO: Mark Phillips.
1 MR. PHILLIPS: Mark Phillips, 543
2 Clay Avenue. I thought it necessary to come down here
3 tonight to speak on the progress of the city as a
4 homeowner and a father of small children.
5 I walk through my neighborhood often
6 and I see constructions on homes, I see people
7 rebuilding their porches, new roofs going on houses,
8 the work is -- it's everywhere, and as a member of
9 Local 654, the carpenters, I've enjoyed much employment
10 inside the city, and it hasn't been on city run
11 projects, it's been for LR Costanzo.
12 I've worked on the Woolworth Building,
13 as well Scranton Prep, and they are not investing in
14 these buildings because of cities going backwards,
15 they're investing because the city is going forward,
16 and I believe in the progress of the city, and we are
17 going to have four more good years with the city if we
18 -- if everybody votes properly on Election Day. Thank
20 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you. Joseph
22 MR. TULLIE: Good evening, Mr.
23 President, Councilmen, Councilwoman.
24 MR. DIBILEO: Good evening.
25 MR. TULLIE: Last week several
1 speakers spoke before Council attempting to make this
2 election a veterans issue. This mayor supports
3 supporting veterans.
4 A person representing the police union
5 stated that this administration did not support city
6 employees deployed as military in Iraq, this is simply
8 What the city does, as does the federal
9 government, but not all employers, is guarantees that a
10 soldier's pay and benefits are not less than when they
11 work for the city.
12 The city police union want all city
13 employees to receive both their full city pay and their
14 full military pay. This is not a small sum of money,
15 and done by no large government or business entity.
16 Last week a veteran stood here and said
17 the mayor did not support veterans because he did not
18 greet them personally upon their return from service in
19 Iraq, let me tell you, as a Veteran who has returned
20 many times as an enlisted men, the last person any
21 military man or woman wants to see standing between
22 them and their families when returning is a politician.
23 The mayor honored returning National
24 Guard Veterans and their familles at Scranton High
25 School. Further, the mayor proudly marched and
1 reviewed in the Armed Forces Day Parade.
2 Meanwhile, the mayor's opponent has
3 picketed a veterans' home for political purposes and
4 was picketed by local veterans leaders for attempting
5 to raise campaign funds by profiting off the sale of
6 support of our troop bracelets. Thank you for your
8 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you. And, Mr.
9 Tullio, it should be noted that you were one of those
10 picketers. Thank you. Al Donohue.
11 MR. DONOHUE: Al Donohue. My name is
12 Al Donohue, Vine Street, Scranton, retired Air Force
13 Lieutenant, former city cop, etc., etc.
14 Mr. DiBileo, do you know what the city
15 does for its employees deployed to Iraq? Do you know
16 what the package is?
17 MR. DIBILEO: I don't know the total
18 details of it.
19 MR. DONOHUE: They get two months pay
20 on top of their military base pay, and their military
21 allowances, any difference between that, and the city,
22 they get the difference. The city pays the difference.
23 So, they don't suffer.
24 And on top of that, which I found
25 really amazing, they still acrue vacation days, they
1 acrue sick days, they have medical coverage, and I
2 don't know of any business certainly that's ever done
3 that, and I've heard people say that there's some
4 dissension, well, it should just be military pay
5 instead of military allowances.
6 And really that's kind of a misnomer,
7 because military pay, basic pay, is kept artificially
8 low so poor old pensioners like me only get half of
9 that number instead of the allowances.
10 But when you go to a bank when you get
11 a loan, your pay is considered your basic pay and your
13 And I have here, I don't know if you
14 knew that, I assume you got a copy -- this is a letter
15 from the Department of Labor that actually commends the
16 city. It's dated May 18, 2004, if you'd like a copy, I
17 believe you got one.
18 MR. DIBILEO: Certainly.
19 MR. DONOHUE: But my concern was that
20 when the president of the union was up here last week,
21 I think I said on television I had planned to stay away
22 from the circus, that the city did not, veterans were
23 taken care of, employees with the city were not taken
24 care of when they were sent to Iraq, and the city did
25 nothing, that's absolutely untrue, and you let it
1 stand, so I assumed you didn't know what it was, and I
2 thought everyone would want to know what benefits they
4 MR. DIBILEO: Very good.
5 MR. DONOHUE. The other thing is,
6 City of Scranton fireman's pension commission, there's
7 a discrepancy, ask Senator Mellow and I guess all the
8 local legislators, there's discrepancy for Class AA
9 cities, and what it is, if you have miliary duty, you
10 don't get -- you can't get as much time for your
11 miliary service, buy as much time as you would if you
12 belonged to Philly or even a smaller city, and the
13 pension board was trying to get this changed, actually
14 I think it goes back years and years and years, and it
15 never has been.
16 It was brought up a couple of times,
17 the pervious mayor actually opposed it, this pension
18 board unanimously voted for it and the mayor's if not
19 supporting it, definitely not opposing it, and it's in
20 the process.
21 Again, another piece of paper, but the
22 mayor said nothing in terms of what he did for Veterans
23 or letting it go. I think it's a cheap hit to say that
24 the mayor is against Veterans. This election isn't
25 about Veterans issues, this election is about the city.
1 Veterans are a part of it, we are a large part it, but
2 this is about how the city is run, and all I'm trying
3 to say is just as Mayor Doherty's taking care of
4 Veterans and our employees serving in the city, I'd
5 expect you to do the same.
6 MR. DIBILEO: Absolutely.
7 MR. DONOHUE: And I have another piece
8 of paper for you. The other thing you've kind of taken
9 a couple of hearsay shots here.
10 MR. DIBILEO: Okay.
11 MR. DONOHUE: Like, I'm not sure if t's
12 true, but I hear 175,000,000 of the 200, I'm going to
13 take a hearsay shot.
14 MR. DIBILEO: Okay.
15 MR. DONOHUE: From what I hear, over
16 half of your campaign contributions, again, that's
17 hearsay, are from fire and police, and I don't know if
18 it's legal, maybe Mr. Courtright can tell us, is it
19 legal for a city policeman or firemen to contribute
20 $100 to a campaign?
21 MR. COURTRIGHT: I have no idea. I
22 don't know.
23 MR. DIBILEO: And I would tell you this
25 MR COURTRIGHT: You were a policeman,
1 do you know?
2 MR. DONOHUE: From what I understand,
3 it was -- there was a dollar limit.
4 MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay. Then what are
5 you asking me for?
6 MR. DONOHUE: I don't know, since
7 you're the police person. Since you're Council's
8 police person, I thought --
9 MR. COURTRIGHT: No, Mr. Donohue, you
10 said it to try to embarrass me. End of subject.
12 MR. DONOHUE: I figured you'd know
13 that and --
14 MR. COURTRIGHT: No. You said that to
15 try to embarrass me.
16 MR. DONOHUE: No, absolutely not.
17 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes, you did.
18 MR. DIBILEO: To answer your question,
19 it is hearsay, because it's not true, because it's not
20 true, but the developer of that Tripp Park Village told
21 me that $150,000,000 of Mr. Doherty's $250 million in
22 development is his development, that's hearsay.
23 MR. DONOHUE: That is the word I hear.
24 MR. DIBILEO: He told me himself.
25 MR. DONOHUE: But you said, I hear.
1 MR. DIBILEO: Well, he told me himself,
2 I heard it from him.
3 MR. DONOHUE: And a policeman told me
4 themselves, so both of them are hearsay. I'm just
5 trying to say you took a cheap shot. And thank you,
6 it's been a pleasure coming before you folks.
7 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you. Charlie
8 Newcomb, Sr.
9 MR. NEWCOMB, SR.: Good evening,
10 Council. I just want to clear the air about a few
11 things, but first of all, I'd like to make a comment
12 about two years ago, Mrs. Evans, she's not here right
13 now, but Mr. McTiernan, myself, Mr. Courtright, Kevin
14 Murphy and a few other people that ran for office sat
15 up at the Taurus Club in front of the fireman's union,
16 the next week I believe we had to go to the police
17 union, and different questions were asked of all of us,
18 and it's on videotape.
19 Mr. Courtright, Mr. McTiernan, myself
20 were all asked the same questions, and one of those
21 questions were, unlike the rubberstamp Council that we
22 had then, meaning the ones that were there two years
23 ago, who Kevin Murphy was one of those because he was
24 president, were asked if we would be rubber stamped
25 Council people.
1 My answer to that was, Definitely not,
2 Mr. Courtright's was not, Mrs. Evans was not, and Mr.
3 McTiernan said he would not be a rubber stamp Council,
4 he would listen and make his decision.
5 We would just like to remind Mr.
6 McTiernan, I really gave you the benefit of the doubt,
7 and I've been looking at all the things that you voted
8 on in the past, you have voted for everything that this
9 mayor has sent down here, not gone with the majority,
10 but what I was really disgusted with, and that's your
11 prerogative, but what I was disgusted with is that you
12 voted for this pension for what the mayor wants, when I
13 believe the courts say the mayor is wrong and we're
14 going to have to pay fines.
15 So. I mean being a rubber stamp is one
16 thing, but going to an extreme is another, and I
17 believe that's an extreme.
18 I would like to make a comment right
19 now and I want to clear the air here about these trade
20 unions. Everybody sees these billboards, I just want
21 to make this very clear, of the 12 faces of the
22 building trades and those in the billboards that you
23 see out there, only six trade unions of the 14 were
25 Only five of the 14 regional trade
1 unions actually endorsed the mayor, and nine did not.
2 Two people in the ad don't even belong to building
3 trade unions. Of the construction trade, council,
4 members in the ad, only four union officers actually
5 live in the city.
6 I would just like to clear that up.
7 And if you remember years ago about all the union
8 unrest in the city, if people could remember that these
9 guys forget, we had a problem at The Ice Box project.
10 The IEBW picketed. The business incubator on
11 Lackawanna Avenue, the iron workers picketed that.
12 The new parking garage on Lackawanna
13 Avenue, the operational engineers picketed that. Where
14 was Mr. Doherty during this labor unrest?
15 Mr. Doherty was very content to be
16 anti-union in the past. He also or the city also, and
17 I'm sure it's under his direction, ordered labels to be
18 printed in the city on the paper from a printing
19 company and did demand that no union budget be used.
20 This was brought up here, if you remember, and I would
21 just like to ask all union members if you think that
22 these things are fair.
23 This is some of the things that has
24 come out of our recovery plan. Pensions will be offset
25 by Social Security benefits, job classification and
1 duties will be determined by his sole discretion,
2 additional six hours per week of duty without
3 additional pay, but this is the best one, Mayoral
4 determination of work-related injuries instead of a
6 Now, just remember what I said, mayoral
7 determination of work-related injures instead of a
8 physician. What I do is I ask all fellow union members
9 and the 3,142 teamsters who live in the City of
10 Scranton that belong to the union. All the facts about
11 these unions. This whole thing is a farce.
12 These people picketed the same places
13 now that the mayor says that they're working because
14 they were given to, and even Nay Aug Park no bid
15 contracts on non-union labor, and they also picketed
16 Nay Aug Park.
17 So, I want all your union people to do
18 one thing when you go into the polls next week, I'm not
19 going to tell you who to vote for, but it's obvious.
20 And just remember when you do go in there, ladies and
21 gentlemen, and as I read this, please don't take the
23 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you. Erik
24 Johnson. I'm sorry. Ian Miller.
25 MR. MILLER: Good evening, Council, Ian
1 Miller. I live in the Plot Section of Green Ridge.
2 I would just like to start off thanking
3 Mr. Pocius for not only speaking up for himself and his
4 beliefs, but for the city and the mayor.
5 I would also like to say thank you to
6 Doug Miller for acknowledging me last week. Although
7 we don't have the same opinion on mayor, I do respect
8 him for coming up here and expressing his opinion.
9 I would like to clarify something that
10 has brought up by a speaker almost every week about The
11 Plot. As I just stated, I live in The Plot, and have
12 my whole life, which is almost sixteen years, so if
13 someone comes up here and makes facts about The Plot,
14 they must have the correc information before they
16 So, here is the correct information.
17 Mayor Doherty was in The Plot before it got flooded,
18 and as soon as they allowed cars back in The Plot after
19 it was flooded, he was one of the very first few cars,
20 and he didn't stop at my house, he didn't say, Hi, I'm
21 Mayor Doherty, I'm running for reelection, he came to
22 comfort my family through the flood.
23 So, Don't dare come up to this podium
24 and make false facts about The Plot, when you don't
25 even live there.
1 I wasn't going to say this tonight, but
2 I guess I will. I do have one issue that I brought up
3 two weeks ago, and that is crime. I never -- well, I
4 personally never had any problems walking with friends
5 at night or being downtown at the movies or the mall on
6 Friday or Saturday nights, so I really don't know how
7 crime gets skyrocketed just because it's election year.
8 Mayor Doherty said that crime did not
9 go up in the last four years, and his source is, yep,
10 it's crime statistics.
11 Mr. DiBileo, you said it did, and you
12 said your source is Pennsylvania State Police, so who
13 is correct? I guess it depends on who you're voting
14 for on November 8th or whether you want to believe the
15 FBI or State Police.
16 This Election Day is Tuesday, and I
17 would like to encourage everyone to get out and vote.
18 Although I cannot vote, I would like to ask everyone
19 to, and before I go, I would like to personally thank
20 Mr. Pocius for the sixteen years he put into Council.
21 And he deserves a lot more respect then he gets up
22 there. Thank you very much.
23 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you, Ian.
24 Considering you probably have to get up for school
25 tomorrow, I wish I would have noticed you in the
1 audience and could have gotten you up here sooner than
2 now. Thank you. Erik Johnson.
3 MR. JOHNSON: Erik Johnson, taxpayer,
4 Scranton resident. Good evening, City Council, and
5 staff, Lisa.
6 MR. DIBILEO: Good evening.
7 MR. JOHNSON: In this morning's
8 Times Tribune newspaper, staff writer by Lynn Slack
9 Shedlaock, whether it's true or not, because all that
10 is written in our newspaper isn't always the truth, it
11 mentioned a candidate supposedly said that he changed
12 his mind on the plan and not altered the recovery plan,
13 he still favors a needed public safety impact study.
14 As I read this very important issue, it
15 was also iterated by the candidate that he still favors
16 a public safety study that would investigate changes in
17 staffing before re-structuring the fire department, and
18 the police department was not mentioned in that same
20 Did the staff writer intentionally not
21 mention the police department, that the phrase or what
22 is to be implemented by the recovery plan to change the
23 number of officers in different shifts?
24 As people most likely read the front
25 page part without following through continuing page six
1 for the complete story, which states neither candidate
2 is proposing personnel cuts in the police department.
3 But the new language in the recovery
4 plan hinges on police and firefighters union contract
5 for wage freezes and health cap and management rights,
6 which was mentioned on page six.
7 In my opinion, when mentioning such
8 changes like this, this means you indeed are
9 restructuring the police department, along with the
10 fire department, which should have been mentioned on
11 page one highlighted by the staff writer, whom I'm
12 trying to help with a suggestion of a topic consists of
13 two major factors on an important issue, state and
14 indicate both main factors to be continued to your
15 issue which has to be continued on page six.
16 That's how I was taught at Dunmore
17 High, which at the time had the highest standard of
18 school education in the area and also one of the most
19 successful businessmen in this area, and at that time
20 graduated from Dunmore High with a 96.
21 We used to kid him about upside down 96
22 which was 69. Everybody knows who is the most famous
23 businessman around here, graduated from Dunmore with
25 Election Day is November 8th, Tuesday.
1 Let's all get out and voice your freedom and opinions
2 by voting. That including all the new voters
3 registered. If you are registered and do not vote, do
4 not complain or object to who becomes mayor or not.
5 At the Senior Citizens Center downtown
6 there is a flea market this Saturday 9-5 to help pay
7 for the winter bills.
8 Speaking of heating bills, I'm glad
9 Scranton is helping the poor and low income with
10 assisting funds for the heating bills this winter.
11 And last but not least, our prayers and
12 thoughts go out for our counselor, Attorney Mark Walsh.
13 I pray that God will be his main physician. Thank you
14 for letting me speak.
15 MS. EVANS: Thank you, Mr. Johnson.
16 George Moran.
17 MR. MORAN: George Moran, Green Ridge.
18 First I'd like to say about respecting the Council
19 people, it seems like it is on board more every week
20 disrespectfully we voted for you, if people don't like
21 it, well, you're our voice.
22 And the CRF loans, we get -- my
23 understanding is they borrowed money from us and we get
24 the interest in the loans, is that how that works?
25 MS. EVANS: Yes, through the OECD
1 Office, we have a revolving loan program and businesses
2 are able to borrow a certain amount of money, and
3 they'll make payments on those loans over a period of
4 years determined by the loan agreement, and, yes, we're
5 receiving interest and the payments made enable more
6 money to be loaned out for additional businesses.
7 MR. MORAN: So, that sounds like it
8 would be another asset we'd be selling.
9 MS. EVANS: Yes.
10 MR. MORAN: We're getting that money
11 every month or whenever they pay it, that's just like
12 getting rid of another city asset. At least we know
13 we're going to get that money. I think some of that
14 money we should give it to the kids we have all these
15 kids and it seems like every week someone is in here
16 begging money for them. It shouldn't be that way.
17 And about our neighborhoods, I have to
18 say one thing about them, changing neighborhoods. It
19 was Halloween, and our neighborhood, we usually get
20 tons of kids at our house, my wife really enjoys this,
21 this year we had, like, five kids.
22 We looked out our street, what the
23 heck, you know, we looked out, the streets are all
24 dark, you know, and the neighbors turned their lights
1 And what, are they afraid? Why don't
2 they want to let kids in? I thought it was terrible,
3 because we have been in that neighborhood over
4 20 years, we never saw nothing like that. And I hope
5 next year it's better. Our light was on, but there was
6 nobody coming.
7 And these, like, the gas company, they
8 do work on the roads or the water company, do they get
9 permits or do they just do it because they think
10 something is wrong or --
11 MR. POCIUS: They have to pull pave cut
13 MR. MORAN: Because I live right off
14 Wink Avenue, it has been over 20 years since it was
15 paved, they finally paved it. And a couple months
16 later or so they come up and ripped the whole road
18 Now, it's been months and months, they
19 never paved it. All the patching they did is all
20 coming out. It's all potholes. I mean, Can you check
22 MS. EVANS: Yes, I'll forward that
23 situation to Mr. Hazzouri, who is the pave cut
24 inspector, and I'm sure he can get in touch with the
25 utilities. It's their obligation to pave and make
1 those improvements, as long as it's within a five-year
2 period following the actual pave cut.
3 MR. MORAN: And I watched that Pulse
4 and I saw Mayor Doherty on Sunday, and he named three
5 things, like you, he said he was going to do when he
6 takes over as the mayor, and the middle thing he said
7 he was going to concentrate on the spending, so I guess
8 he did concentrate on it because we went from
9 $4,000,000 ahead to almost $200,000,000 behind.
10 I don't know his concentration, if my
11 wife concentrated like that, I would take her credit
12 cards off her. And that's it. Everybody go out and
14 MR. DIBILEO: Dick Laske.
15 I didn't think Dick is Here. Jeff Belardi. Okay.
16 He's not here either. Yvonne Xanthis.
17 MS. XANTHIS: Good evening, Council.
18 My name is Yvonne Xanthis, I live on Dickson Avenue in
19 Green Ridge. A few months ago I came to Council with a
20 legitimate problem, at lease to us. I had no political
21 agenda at that the time, I was concerned about the dust
22 and noise from Daron Northeast.
23 I heard last week Daron sent a letter
24 to Council, that's very nice, but unfortunately these
25 people do not live in Scranton, and thus are not
1 affected by noise or dust.
2 In the last one and a half years, my
3 daughter has gone from a seasonal allergy medicine
4 Flonase to three medicines for asthma at a price of
5 over $280 a month. We have a developed asthma in my
7 This is not a joke. Our lives have
8 drastically been altered. This past summer we could
9 not sit on our porches or swim in our pool. The dust
10 level was extremely high due to the hot dry weather.
11 Once the wind hits it, it blows
12 everywhere. We can't open our windows anymore, we
13 still get a fine coat of dust on everything. Our DVDs
14 and computers have to be cleaned continuously.
15 For two years, I called city hall to
16 get help, I got nothing. I went down to the mayor's
17 office four times, I was ushered out nicely the first
18 two, the last two I was kindly told to get lost.
19 My main problem is I worry about what
20 is this dust that we are breathing in. I saw the mayor
21 on Channel 61 saying he wants a safe place for his
22 children to live, but what does he think I want?
23 My children are subjected every day to
24 the diesel smell and a dust in the air. I don't come
25 from money, and I don't have any connections.
1 Apparently that's why I don't count.
2 But I do live in Scranton, and I do vote in Scranton
3 and I resent receiving advice from people that don't
4 know me that don't live in Scranton telling me who to
5 vote for.
6 A dear friend of mine gave me a call
7 two weeks ago, she was very upset, she got a letter
8 from Scranton High School for her son Richie. He
9 graduated from there. Very drastically Richie died
10 shortly after graduation. They should look into their
11 records a little bit better before they send out all of
12 this political garbage.
13 I want to thank you, Mrs. Evans, for
14 her help. She has been great. Mr. DiBileo, you've
15 been down there, Mr. Courtright, you've been down
16 there, and Mr. and Mrs. Pilchesky have gone out of
17 their way. Also, Ann Marie Stulgis, for sticking her
18 neck out trying to help us.
19 Every week Mr. DiBileo is cornered by
20 very disrespectful people, but he responds with grace
21 every single week. You have to earn respect. There's
22 not a price tag on it, so no matter how much money you
23 have, you can't buy respect.
24 I'd also like to thank Mr. Fiorini, he
25 did come to my home and spoke with me about Daron.
1 Also, anyone who disagrees can stop by and admire this
2 future environmental disaster on 16 acres of KOZ land,
3 38 feet, I measured it, from my front porch.
4 What a beautiful site. Whenever you
5 get up in the morning, you see cement blocks skyhigh in
6 front of you.
7 I have never committed a crime, and
8 I've never been in prison, I feel like I am now. Come
9 down here, you should wear safety goggles and don't
10 breathe in too greatly, because it really isn't pretty.
11 That would have been a great park,
12 since that's the leading point of this mayoral
13 campaign. That park would have been beautiful over
14 there, why do we have to have factories?
15 By the way, our street hasn't been
16 cleaned since August. They came on my street, because
17 I called DPW, they sat across the street from my house,
18 but apparently they don't agree with my political
20 And I took a video of this, so I have
21 this on camera, and also I was told that I should thank
22 the mayor for cleaning my street, well, should I also
23 thank the mayor for ruining my children's health? Good
24 luck, Mr. DiBileo.
25 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you. Marion
2 MS. SHIELDS: My name is Marion
3 Shields, I live on Wayne Avenue in North Scranton. It
4 will be two-weeks tomorrow that the side street where
5 my driveway entrance is has been recently repaved. I
6 now have a curbstone, which I call one of the speed
7 bumps ,in my driveway, which last summer we paid over
8 $1800 to get it redone.
9 I have a car that's low in front, I
10 scrape bottom every time I go over. I have to go in at
11 a slant because there's cars parked on both sides, so I
12 get one end up, the other comes off the curb.
13 I have a fence there, and come
14 wintertime, I'm going to go through that fence. And
15 then when you go to pull out, it's even higher, so you
16 roll down to the bump, my speed bump, and you have to
17 gas the car to get it out of there, and I can't see up
18 the street, neither can my husband, when we're backing
19 out in the morning to go to work.
20 So, if I pull out in front of somebody
21 or my husband does, insurance is going to charge it to
22 us if we're hit by somebody, not the person that hit
23 us. But I can't get out of my driveway because of this
24 speed bump.
25 I have called the mayor's office, spoke
1 to the secretary twice now, both times I'm told contact
3 The last time I called George Parker,
4 contacted him, well, that's nice, if you can get to
5 talk to them, leave a message.
6 I contacted the mayor's office again,
7 spoke to a man, well, actually left a message for this
8 person. Never called me back, either did George
9 Parker, never called me back.
10 I explained on the phone -- I explained
11 to the girl at the DPW what is going on, somebody come
12 and fix this. The winter is going to come. How am I
13 going to get in and out of my driveway? This is
15 MS. EVANS: Kay, would you add that to
16 my list this evening, only let's put it ASAP on that
17 Mr. Parker?
18 MS. SHIELDS: I don't know where to go.
19 Very nicely yesterday I got something in the mail that
20 had a phone number to call, so I figured I'm going to
21 call, and I was told by someone to come to the Council
23 MR. DIBILEO: Marion, that doesn't seem
24 like it would be a monumental task to get that fixed
25 for you, and I think that we could probably try to help
1 you out there and see if we can. Jay, can you --
2 MS. SHIELDS: The office of the mayor
3 even knew who was -- it was Linde. And she said, Well,
4 Linde is going to have to fix it. Nobody has come to
5 see it, I don't get returned phone calls, I leave my
6 work number and my home number.
7 Unfortunately this was done on a
8 Friday, it will be two weeks tomorrow that this was
9 done, and I've been trying since last, not this Monday,
10 but Monday before, to have somebody come and even look
11 at it, and what I'd like them to do is drive in and
12 back out and see what it does to your car.
13 And if we keep that up, I'm going to
14 have a car that I won't be able to use.
15 MR. DIBILEO: We will try to get.
16 Somebody right on it.
17 MS. SHIELDS. Thank you. I'd
18 appreciate that. I mean, other people, they had the
19 same thing wrong, but they were home to go out and say,
20 Hey, I don't want that there, we weren't, and I think
21 it's a shame that when you call someone, you can't
22 speak to anybody, you have to leave a message and then
23 not get called back.
24 I mean, like DPW is busy, but this is
25 not a right thing, and like I said, nowhere else to
1 turn but to come here.
2 MR. DIBILEO: Okay. Well, you came to
3 the right place. I think we can help out.
4 MS. SHIELDS: I hope, because pretty
5 soon you better tear that down, that tar is not going
6 to stick there.
7 MS. EVANS: Could you give Kay your
8 address, please, before you leave?
9 MS. SHIELDS: 1704 Wayne Avenue, North
10 Scranton. My driveway and fence are on Putnam Street,
11 the back of the house.
12 MR. DIBILEO: Mike Dudek.
13 MR. DUDEK: My name is Mike Dudek,
14 I live at 608 Depot Street, Scranton, PA. That's in
15 The Plot. And I have literally been bouncing off the
16 walls and the ceiling for the last few days because of
17 a letter that I received from an attorney by the name
18 of Paul A. Labelle.
19 Mr. LaBelle obviously is a Doherty
20 supporter, because he has put me on notice that I am
21 about to be sued, and I'd still like to know over what.
22 Over the last six weeks I've been downing one note at
23 this podium over the debt, $132,300,000 of Christopher
24 Doherty debt.
25 And no number of Doherty supporters
1 telling us how wonderful this city is going to change
2 that fact. I know the city is wonderful. I'm a
3 DiBileo supporter, and I choose to live in this city
4 and I choose to work to make this city better.
5 Seven years ago a person who is now a
6 Doherty supporter, a man named Tom Fernable and I
7 worked out what is now a national model for obtaining
8 flood protection.
9 Both of us were honored by the General
10 Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania last year
11 for bringing $22 million into a distressed city that
12 otherwise was not entitled to a dime.
13 On Tom's kitchen table and on my
14 kitchen table, we worked out the parameters of what is
15 now a national model for any distressed city to obtain
16 any amount of flood protection it needs.
17 Now, people who love this city do
18 things like that. And I don't care if you're a Doherty
19 or DiBileo supporter.
20 So, we know that Scranton is a
21 wonderful place to live, but the mayor doesn't get
22 credit for that that's like worshipping Mao when he was
23 the head of red china.
24 The Chinese make China a great country,
25 not Mao, and the people of this town make Scranton a
1 great city not the mayor. So, let's all get that
2 straight, okay?
3 But the reason why I'm bouncing off the
4 walls, a member of the District Attorney's office has
5 taken a very special interest in me, simply because I
6 wrote a letter to the Attorney General asking that he
7 remind this person to cease and desist from political
8 campaigning because is an employee of the District
9 Attorney, he carries the police power of the state,
10 he's not allowed to campaign.
11 He hired a lawyer, and he sent me this
12 letter, and it's unbelievable. Please be advised I
13 have been retained by Mr. James Moran with regard to
14 the liable letter you wrote.
15 I have had an opportunity to review in
16 detail and I'm of the belief that Mr. Moran has a claim
17 for defamation of character based upon the false
18 statements contained in these letters.
19 Now, at this point I should remind you
20 I taught Constitutional Law, Mr. LaBelle, I don't think
21 ever knew that. It is quite clear you have already
22 shared these false statements with the public since you
23 provided these letters, et cetera.
24 No. I am sharing these true statements
25 now with you, just as I did this morning on WICK with
1 Sue Henry.
2 Over the past several months my client
3 has been contacted on numerous occasions with regard to
4 false allegations which are being spread throughout the
5 community as of a result or your letter. Now this next
6 paragraph, I can't make this up.
7 Although there's a lack of sufficient
8 information to formulate a complaint at this time, I
9 believe that my client has claims for defamation in the
10 form of liable and possibly slander.
11 I plan to file summons in order to
12 commence an action against you, and then I plan on
13 taking your deposition, as well as the deposition of
14 others in the community to prove these liable
15 statements. I would advise you to obtain an attorney
16 so that I may schedule your deposition.
17 To Mr. LaBelle, at least as far as I'm
18 concerned, you're not scheduling anything. As far as
19 I'm concerned, You can step out of your office door on
20 Washington Avenue and make a left, when you get to the
21 alley, take the next left along the side of your
22 building, you'll see a rain pipe, you walk up to that
23 rain pipe, you know what to do. I will not be
24 intimidated. I will not be intimidated. Thank you
25 very much.
1 MR. DIBILEO: Mary Ann Rosky.
2 MS. ROSKY: He's a tough act to follow.
3 Anyway, good evening, Council. I'm Mary Ann Rosky, a
4 city taxpayer, homeowner and lifelong resident of
6 And, Mr. DiBileo, first of all, I want
7 to commend you on your patience and your fairness and
8 your kindness and respect towards all. And you've
9 earned the admiration that people give you.
10 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you.
11 MS. ROSKY: I'm going to go back to the
12 debate. First of all, I do want to say I appreciate
13 any person that speaks from his or her heart, and you
14 guys up there, okay?
15 Now going back to the debate with the
16 mayor, can you hear me, okay, when the mayor and Mr.
17 DiBileo did agree on the train coming from Hoboken to
18 Scranton, Mr. DiBileo, you did make a comment, we both
19 agreed on that, and you did make the comment that it
20 had to be secure, as long as, you know, there's no
21 drugs or guns coming off that train.
22 We don't need that, but Mayor Doherty
23 did not comment to that, okay, so I don't know where he
24 stands with that, but we do have enough drugs in the
25 city, we're overwhelmed in every area you go, North
1 Scranton, South Scranton, West Scranton, there's drugs
2 all over.
3 How can the mayor be proud of his city
4 if many taxpayers are ignored? How can he stand up
5 there and say I'm proud of city and then there are
6 taxpayers being ignored by phone calls from persons
8 And how would he like to be in over and
9 over and again? I don't think he would like that.
10 Okay, with all due respect to Mayor Doherty, it's our
11 city, too, and they are our streets, our police
12 department, and our fire department.
13 Okay. We need the protection from our
14 police and fire department to feel safe, and we're also
15 all Americans and should work together and be proud to
16 do so not only all city people taxpayers and were also
17 Americans and we are also all of God's children.
18 And respectful communication to me is
19 with one another is the key to any relationship. Okay.
20 And I spoke, not to digress off of that, but I did
21 speak to a very nice woman who told me that her street
22 and could give the address later if it's okay or at one
24 Her street has big potholes in it and
25 she has the traffic from the bus, from the city and
1 also the school busses, that there's potholes in the
2 street, but there's also little pebbles in there and
3 pebbles keep shooting at her house, so I told her to
4 contact the mayor's office and hopefully before
5 election she will have that fixed.
6 So, okay. And also another statement
7 for Mayor Doherty, City Council members are not just
8 people, I swear, I mean, or scary people, I mean this
9 is only my second time speaking here, and I'm not
10 intimidated by, at all, by any one of you, just to make
11 that clear.
12 And at the debate, to go back to that,
13 the mayor not only spoke about other cities and crimes,
14 but solely on murders. I would like to know theft,
15 beatings, arson, robberies, vandalism, being held at
16 gunpoint, knifepoint, raped, selling, using drugs are
17 they not crimes?
18 We have to think about that really,
19 really hard. He focused only on murders. We had a
20 gunshot with a tenth grader today, was wounded, not
21 murdered. Thank God. I pray for him and his family.
22 Would that be considered a crime if he
23 were? Fortunately he's going to make it. He did get
24 shot, and he's going to make it.
25 So, I just had to leave it with the
1 mayor wondering if by him getting shot, and thank God
2 he wasn't murdered, does he call that crime that he was
4 All right. My final words, please,
5 voters, on November 8th, okay, do yourself a favor, a
6 big favor, before you pull that lever, keep in mind the
7 high property taxes and wage taxes, no money to help
8 the poor people, average people with their homes, with
9 their properties, and emergency situations like I'm
10 talking about, these people have no money.
11 The rising of crimes, the lack of jobs
12 in our city, honesty, and also a mayor for everyone.
13 Keep issues and priorities in prospective this Election
14 Day. Ask not what our city can do for you only, but
15 ask what you can do for your city by voting an honest
16 fair and caring person for all of us in Scranton.
17 Thank you for allowing me to speak have a good night.
18 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you.
19 MS. MCCRONE: Good evening. I'm
20 Sharon McCrone, and I'm the executive director of the
21 Employment Opportunity and Training Center in Scranton,
22 and it may be more familiar to people as EOTC, and we
23 are a private non-profit-type serves the residents of
24 this city and have been doing so since 1986.
25 I want to thank the Council members for
1 the opportunity, and to Mr. Saunders, for extending the
2 invitation, and also I hope for passing along copies of
3 the proposals that I submitted.
4 I just wanted to bring to the attention
5 of the Council members the two proposals that EOTC
6 submitted that are not among -- that are not included
7 in the community action plan, and one is for our
8 economic development project that is on the 4th and 5th
9 block of North 7th Avenue.
10 We are doing the first environmentally
11 sustainable renovation in downtown Scranton and
12 probably in all of Lackawanna County, and we made an
13 application. Most of the people of the 5,000 people or
14 so that will be served in this non-profit resource
15 center fit the economic development qualification, 51
16 percent low or moderate income, so we made two
18 We prioritized the first one, which was
19 a request for funding for the economic development
20 project and for help in developing this non-profit
21 resource center and serving the families of Scranton,
22 and the second one that we did was for a Bridge
23 Employment Program.
24 Scranton has been one of seven cities
25 that was selected for a program called a transitional
1 jobs project, and we are going to have the benefit of
2 technical assistance to create a model transitional
3 jobs program that will address folks in the city who
4 are -- who would normally not be eligible for other
5 programs and who you would probably be familiar with as
6 folks who fall through the cracks.
7 And we have asked that we would have
8 funds -- some support of funding for that project, as
10 We have prioritized the project, the
11 economic development project, that is the building
12 renovation in Downtown Scranton, because as I said, it
13 is a renovation project that will actually bring our 46
14 employees under one roof and will have other
16 Ultimately what this will do is over
17 time it will allow us to consolidate services,
18 therefore, allowing more of the grants that we bring in
19 and more of the contributions that we bring in to go
20 directly to serving residents, rather than paying
21 leases and paying mortgages.
22 So, basically my presents here tonight
23 is just to ask you to consider those two proposals as
24 you are look at all of the plans that have been
25 submitted to you for the use of Community Development
1 Block Grant funds. Thank you for your time.
2 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you. That's it for
3 the sign-in sheet, are there any other speakers?
4 MS. MARTIN: Hi, my name is Ann Martin,
5 I am a taxpayer, resident, disabled police officer. I
6 just would like to make a couple comments.
7 I live in the city's South Side, I
8 would like to make a comment to the woman who stated
9 that more people were moving into the cities Hill
10 Section and would like to say you're welcome, because I
11 was one of many police officers who helped clean the
12 Hill up night after night.
13 I also wanted to know that many people
14 had stated to me that the reason why they supported the
15 referendum was because the mayor had threatened to
16 raise the taxes if it wasn't followed through.
17 Regarding the debate at Scranton High,
18 I watched it at my home, because it's tough for me to
19 do a lot of things anymore, and I was infuriated when
20 Mr. Doherty stated that he respected workers of the
22 Let me give you a little history. I
23 had an accident while on duty with the police
24 department. Within two hours of the accident, I
25 finished out my day with a duty belt off at the
1 magistrates office.
2 As time went by, trying to correct the
3 problem, I had my first back surgery, however, as time
4 went by and the mayor's changed apparently, my
5 well-documented case was not enough.
6 I was taken out of work for my second
7 surgery, and my surgeon gave the city four weeks to
8 have me seen by whoever they needed or wanted me to
9 see, instead my surgery was cancelled, and the reason
10 given was that the doctor retained by the city could
11 not see me in the time frame given.
12 Like I said, it was four weeks. I then
13 found out late -- I later found out that that reason
14 was illegal, and by the time I did get to have the
15 surgery, my back was totally different from the MRI
16 last taken.
17 Subsequently, because of the months
18 lost before the surgical hours needed, I gained a new
19 disease that I have to wait for the scientist and
20 doctors to catch up with me, so not only was I treated
21 tragically, I'm very, very upset from the direction of
22 City Hall and through PMA, I then was kicked in the
23 teeth that I was sent to collections because of the
24 city's responsibility to me.
25 While I'm sure there are a few that
1 don't care about my problems and the city's
2 responsibility and obligations to its workers, however,
3 if this mayor stays in office, the next victim may be
4 your relative.
5 You have no idea what it takes out of
6 me to do anything, and I'm too young for this, and I
7 blame the leader of this city by the direction of his
8 lack of respect for the city workers. By the way, I'm
9 not Italian either. Have a good night.
10 MR. HEWITT: Good evening, Council. My
11 name is Larry Hewitt, Scranton resident. It's been
12 about three or four years since I've spoken here, but
13 after what happened today, I feel it's necessary.
14 Mayor Doherty claims crime is not on
15 the rise, well, I beg to differ. Let me refresh his
16 memory by reading some serious crimes reported by The
17 Scranton Times from March to October 2005.
18 March '05, crime wave in Green Ridge;
19 Green Ridge Crime Meeting, Mayor, police chief, a no
20 show; second Green Ridge meeting, police chief shows,
21 still no mayor; April '05, another burglary in Green
22 Ridge, Electric Street.
23 May '05, another burglary in Green
24 Ridge, Park Street, Ex-Councilman Murphy front page
25 news after chasing an alleged purse snacher, Times have
1 camera ready for photo-op; May '05, another burglary in
2 Green Ridge, Capouse Avenue; May '05, drug arrest on
3 Stafford Avenue, still May of '05, purse snatching on
4 Willow Street, yeah, crime is down.
5 Another theft in Green Ridge on
6 Electric Street, road rage incident in Green Ridge,
7 resident pulls gun on Boulevard Avenue, gang violence
8 reported at Adams and Gibson, kidnapping attempt Green
9 Ridge Street and North Main Avenue, still May of '05,
10 drug bust reported, another drug bust reported, 400
11 block Hickory Street, burglary in Hill Section, 500
12 block North Irving Avenue, police chase, 500 block of
13 Madison Avenue, May -- or, yeah, still May of '05,
14 stabbing, Green Ridge, glad crime is down, stabbing
15 Cabrini Avenue, robbery, shooting Ash Street.
16 Still May of '05, car burglarized, car
17 chase in South Side, drug arrest, Green Ridge, Capouse
18 Avenue, burglary, East Mountain.
19 In June of '05, Garcia's Market robbed
20 in South Side, robbery in South Side, Maple Street,
21 still June, woman arrested North Main Avenue, North
22 Scranton, car theft North Scranton, drug raid, Harrison
23 Avenue, Hill Section, bank robbery, still June,
24 patrolman breaks hand while apprehending suspect on
25 Linden Street, Central City.
1 Body discovered in Gorge, arrest made
2 in bank robbery Green Ridge Plaza Bank, bank robbery at
3 bank on Meadow Avenue, assault, drug possession at
4 Hilltop Manor, stabbing on Willow Street, man gets
5 prison term of five to fourteen years for tying up
6 girlfriend, beating, bounding gagging at apartment on
7 West Parker Street from January 4.
8 Still June of '05, burglary, Wood
9 Street, burglary Bryn Mawr Street, stolen steaks from
10 Garrity's, money used for drugs, drug arrest, Pittston
12 July, arson in Pine Brook, attempted
13 robbery, assault, Penn Avenue, 100 block, strong-arm
14 robbery, 1000 block of South Main Avenue, burglary at
15 1634 Capouse Avenue, Green Ridge, burglary on 1422-24
16 Academy Street, police find robber in rear apartment,
17 juvenile hit on head with skateboard, 100 block of Penn
18 Avenue, indecent assault of minors, 600 block of
19 Prescott Avenue, police pursuit ends with a crash at
20 Oak Street exit, souple threatened with a gun outside
21 the Hilton Hotel, burglary in Green Ridge, Ross Avenue,
22 theft on Vine Street, burglary in Hill Section, Master
24 Still July, local hip hop artist gets
25 jail time for selling crack cocaine, trouble in South
1 Side, DA wants to close Tony and Mary's Bar, rape at
2 Connell Park, rape in Hill section, burglary at 235 W.
3 Parker Street, North Scranton, assault and burglary at
4 630 Moosic Street, South Side, Tony and Mary's closes
5 nuisance bar, Mayor get photo-op, Pine brook and
6 Central City sweeps result in five drug arrest, ten
7 warrants served, but crime in down right?
8 Murder on South Sumner Avenue in West
9 Side, man struck with sickle in the Hill Section, rape
10 of 15 year old girl in West Side, 712 North Bromley
11 Avenue, heroin drug bust, owner of Tony and Mary's
12 indicted on drug charges, heroin, coke and narcotics,
13 four from Philly get caught selling heroin in West
14 Side, 902 Luzerne Street, Apartment 1, Police ID
15 robbery suspect, rape at Nay Aug, on the local news,
16 but nothing in the paper, State Trooper attacked by a
17 gang at a West Side carnival, statutory rape of a girl
18 on Luzerne Street, crime's not down, folks.
19 We need a change. It was said here
20 that we need a strong mayor, one who is going to work
21 for all the people. Well, we need an honest mayor, and
22 that's why we need a change. Thank you.
23 MS. PILOSI: I really had no intentions
24 of speaking tonight, I was kind of tired, but I stayed
25 because I just couldn't leave without saying something.
1 We are looking at these pictures of a
2 red truck with the towel, well, I drive down Lackawanna
3 Avenue myself, and I remember specifically seeing that
4 red McGregor truck there and thought nothing of it, and
5 guess what, it didn't have no towel hanging over the
7 I can't help but think that someone put
8 those towels over those doors for the purpose of
9 picture taking. I know crimes have happened in the
10 past on both sides. I know some names, too, but I'll
11 never say.
12 But, you know, pictures don't lie, but
13 picture takers do lie, and I wouldn't take it to be the
14 truth just because you have pictures of it. I say it
15 was a setup. I've seen the truck parked there before
16 without any towels on it.
17 And another thing I noticed that the
18 last couple of weeks we've been hearing readings from
19 the three-ring binder called The Scranton Constitution
20 According to Attorney Sheldon Rosenberg, all
22 I don't know why he can't come here
23 himself and speak, well, I guess because he doesn't
24 live in Scranton, or why the speaker doesn't speak her
25 own words.
1 It's crazy. Everybody else comes here
2 and says what they have to say and other people send a
4 MS. EVANS: Mrs. Pilosi, do you have
5 documentation for what you're saying?
6 MS. PILOSI: No, but I know for sure
7 that's where it's coming from.
8 MS. EVANS: Well, what is the proof? I
9 mean, without the proof, I don't think we should be
10 making such statements.
11 MS. PILOSI: I know it to be the truth
12 from way back when this first started.
13 Anyhow, I want to remind everybody,
14 too, to vote on November the 8th. I don't want to take
15 up a lot of time. There's a lot of speakers in back of
16 me that also want to talk. All I'm saying is we need
17 to keep Scranton moving forward and keep Chris Doherty
18 in for another four years. Thank you.
19 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you, Violet. And
20 I have a little more information regarding the red
21 truck that I can share with you when we have time to
23 MS. BENZELESKI: My name is Beverly
24 Benzeleski, and I'm a citizen and taxpayer, and I live
25 in North Scranton. I wasn't going to come down until I
1 saw young Mr. Miller speak today, and I just want to
2 state that I was a resident down at The Plot. I've
3 lived there all my life until 16 months ago, I lost my
4 home to the flood, which that doesn't matter.
5 I do have a mother down there that
6 lives four doors away from the Millers, and on the
7 flood Mr. Doherty did not come and comfort my mother.
8 She was by herself, no one knocked.
9 From FEMA, which I do appreciate, but
10 Mr. Doherty never comforted my mother, and she's
11 83-years-old. And it's very upsetting how he does
12 treat people.
13 And another incident, and I get very
14 upset about my mother was also a victim down in The
15 Plot with her home, and Mr. Doherty didn't comfort her
16 on that either, so where is he good for people here? I
17 don't think so.
18 And I just had to come down, like I
19 said. I was watching it tonight, and enough is enough.
20 And I thank you for speaking. And, Mr. DiBileo, I wish
21 you all the luck. Thank you.
22 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you very much.
23 MR. GONZALES: Good evening, Council.
24 Lisa, tremendous job, I know it's been a long night for
25 all of us. My name is Pedro Gonzales, I'm the
1 president of the Scranton Latin Alliance.
2 I come here today to give thanks to all
3 the people that came to the meeting on the 27th. It
4 was on a Thursday. Council was adjourned, so most of
5 you guys cannot make it.
6 We have another meeting coming this
7 coming month, the 22nd, and again it's on a Tuesday, so
8 feel free, please. Excuse me, let me back up.
9 I am looking for volunteers for the ESL
10 program, a brand new program that we're starting,
11 thanks to Mercy Hospital, they have donated a block of
12 space for us at the hospital.
13 There's a conference room, we have
14 bulletin boards, we have chalkboards, we have students,
15 we need teachers, certified teachers, one hour of their
16 time is all we need. We're looking for at least 20
17 teachers. Anyone that's interested in volunteering, my
18 number is 504-4455, or please come down and sign up at
19 the store and address is 319 South Main. It's right
20 downtown across from Walgreen's. Most people are
21 familiar with that area.
22 MR. DIBILEO: What is the name of the
24 MR. GONZALES: ESL Program, English as
25 a second language.
1 MS. EVANS: Is this for adults?
2 MR. GONZALES: It is for adults, it's
3 not for children, it is for adults, strictly for
4 adults. I shouldn't say strictly for adults, anyone
5 who wants to learn English, is challenged in that area,
6 please come on down, we are happy to help, and it is a
7 free program.
8 Again, we are running a non-profit
9 organization. We are waiting on non-profit status. So
10 far so good. Everything is going quite well with
11 lawyers, I thank God for that.
12 Ms. Evans, I want to thank you for
13 being an inspiration for me. Back when I first came to
14 this city and I started going to all the neighborhood
15 association meetings and all the meetings around town
16 and I was pitching the idea of the skate park and
17 recreation centers and things for the kids, because
18 that's what I'm all about is helping the kids, being a
19 teacher myself, just like yourself, I want to thank you
20 for helping me, because they were going to chew me up
21 and spit me out that night.
22 I was brand new in town, and you talked
23 about helpingme with this, helping me with that, and
24 they did not want to hear it, and you stepped in and
25 helped me and I want to thank you. And this is why I'm
1 here again today.
2 MS. EVANS: Thank you.
3 MR. GONZALES: As far as our present
4 mayor, I am not choosing sides, but he has said a lot
5 of things that are not true.
6 I am a resident of this city, I see a
7 lot of stuff. I am a taxpayer and a registered voter,
8 and some of the things are not true.
9 As far as feeling safer in the city,
10 no, I do not feel safe around this city. As far as the
11 police being at the top of this peak, no, they're not,
12 they're being cut, they're being shorthanded, a lot of
13 them are being fired, layed off, which is unfair
14 because these men put their lives on the line for us
15 every single day of the week, every single day of their
16 lives they're out there battling all these people out
17 here shooting drugs so forth and so on.
18 This is their job and they put their
19 lives on the line for us, and I think they should be
20 treated with way, way more respect than what they are
21 being treated right now.
22 As far as the fire department, same
23 thing, they're being reduced, if I'm not mistaken, they
24 are being cut, downsized, and these people come out,
25 you hear the speakers come here thanking the fire
1 department for coming out and helping them with their
2 homes and so forth so on putting out the fires, but
3 also the humanity aspect of it, helping them with their
4 families and kids, packages, whatever the situation is.
5 These people don't deserve to be
6 treated that way either. I mean, these guys go in the
7 fire, they risk their lives for you every single day.
8 Everyone in this city, they risk their lives for us
9 every single day. They deserve the pension, they
10 deserve the benefits that they're fighting for, they
11 deserve more people on the force, more people on the
12 police force, more people on the fire department, and I
13 hope after the first of the year, because I think that
14 is when everything will actually start to really take
15 place, it unfolds in the city after the election, I
16 hope after the first that we can get together, City
17 Council, maybe Lisa Moran and some other people that
18 have the power to reinstate a test, I think that's how
19 it goes down, if I'm not mistake, the test has to be
20 stated and publicized in the newspaper, please come
21 down, take the test, and we're looking for more fire
22 people, fire department people or police department
23 people, is that correct? Anyone on Council know?
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: Pretty much.
25 MR. GONZALES: Pretty much, okay. I
1 hope that by the first of the year, we can post that
2 again and maybe we could have some more Latinos join
3 the force, fire department, police department to bridge
4 that communication gap and to help that Latin person
5 that can't communicate with the American person or visa
6 versa, the American that cannot communicate with the
7 Latin person.
8 We need to bridge that gap in some
9 shape or form, and I think it will happen. I see it
10 happening in time with patience.
11 And as a resident of the city, I see
12 everything takes time little by little, but I'm a man
13 with a lot of patience, as you see I stayed here all
14 night, I was not leaving, and I thank you guys,
15 everyone here, for having the same type of patience I
16 have because this is what it's all about, being heard
17 and speaking, not going home sitting on the couch
18 looking at your T V. talking and complaining, but come
19 down here to do that. Next thing is --
20 MR. DIBILEO: Pedro, I'm going to have
21 to ask if you can come back next week with the
22 following thing
23 MR. GONZALES: All right. I just have
24 one more thing to say, and it's regarding November the
25 8th, everyone, please, if you have the power to vote
1 and if you're registered to vote, please vote for
2 whatever candidate you wish to put in that chair.
3 Please come out and vote. There's many people that
4 don't have that right, a lot of Latin people do not
5 have that right to vote and they wish they did, and yet
6 there's people here that just don't appreciate the fact
7 that they can do it, and they have the right to do it,
8 and they don't exercise that right.
9 Less than half the people in the city
10 voted the last time around, if I'm not mistaken. We
11 all need to come out and vote, we need a change in this
12 city, and I think the people will speak on that date.
13 Again, My name is Pedro Gonzales,
14 President of the Scranton Latin Alliance. Thank you so
15 much for letting me express myself.
16 MR. KEELER: John Keeler, Orchard
17 Street, Scranton Pennsylvania, city resident and
18 taxpayer. I'd just like to say if you're going to hold
19 speakers here to the level of bringing up proof what
20 they are saying, this will be a 15-minute meeting.
21 The City of Scranton debt comparison,
22 as of October 27, 2005, from the Pennsylvania
23 Department of Community and Economic Development, debt
24 balances. Allentown, 106,000 people total debt, the
25 $140,000,000, Bethlehem, 71,000 people, total debt
1 $213,000,000, Erie, 104,000 people, total debt
2 $207,000,000, Lancaster, 56,000 people, total debt,
3 $117,000,000, Reading, city of 81,207 people,
4 $135,000,000 in debt, Scranton, 76,415 people as of the
5 2000 census, is reported by the state, Department of
6 Community and Economic Development, as of October 27th,
7 the debt was $128,000,000.
8 Now, that's right here. So, as you can
9 see, it's not uncommon for municipalities the size of
10 Scranton to not leverage their revenue. That's exactly
11 what they are doing, they are leveraging their revenue
12 by borrowing. It's a common practice.
13 First of all, the gentleman eluded
14 before we do have a Triple B rating. Every issue prior
15 to that was non-rated. Every single one, the issue
16 that was done in 2003 created a Triple A because of the
17 insurance which created a savings which he would have
18 gone over more and more, as you think reasonable people
19 would get that by now.
20 As far as election contributors are
21 concerned, any contributor contributing more than
22 $50.01, actually more than $50.00, $50.01, needs to be
23 reported on the election reporting documentation. And
24 those reports are public information, they are not
1 Second of all, you mentioned Tripp Park
2 development, in what municipality is that located?
3 MR. DIBILEO: Scranton.
4 MR. KEELER: Okay. So by your sayingt
5 that the developer said that the investment there is
6 $150,000,000 makes some kind of a claim that that
7 doesn't add up to the $300,000,000 that Mayor Doherty
8 is claiming, even though it's in the city? I mean,
9 that is ridiculous.
10 Another thing that you said at the
11 debate about the crime, you mentioned three incidents,
12 all of which I am familiar with because one unfortunate
13 participant is a very good friend of mine, I happen to
14 speak to one today, young Paul McGloin, and they didn't
15 really appreciate the fact that those circumstances are
16 thrusted into this campaign.
17 MR. DIBILEO: I didn't mention names.
18 MR. KEELER: Yes, you did.
19 MR. DIBILEO: No, I did not .
20 MR. KEELER: You mentioned Farley's,
21 you mentioned Green Ridge.
22 MR. DIBILEO: No I didn't. I did not
23 say Farley's.
24 MR. KEELER: Yes, you did. You
25 mentioned the murder on Sumner Avenue, and you
1 mentioned Farley's, and you mentioned the Green Ridge
3 MR. DIBILEO: Did I mention any names?
4 MR. KEELER: No. I did. I mentioning
5 names because --
6 MR. DIBILEO: He should be upset that
7 you're mentioning it now.
8 MR. KEELER: No, I asked him today. I
9 asked him today if it was okay with him if I did that.
10 I wouldn't do it, that's why I'm not mentioning the
11 other names.
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: Mr. Keeler, there is
13 more then on incident at Farley's. I don't know how
14 you can read Mr. DiBileo's mind and say that it was Mr.
16 MR. KEELER: I'm not.
17 MR. COURTRIGHT: Well, he never
18 mentioned his name, there was more than one incident at
20 MR. KEELER: Was there more than one
21 incident on Sumner Avenue?
22 MR .COURTRIGHT: I just want to leave
23 it at that.
24 MR. KEELER: Was there more than one
1 MR. COURTRIGHT: I choose not to argue
2 with you.
3 MR. KEELER: Well, you won't talk to
4 Mr. Al Donohue, you know, and speaker after speaker
5 after speaker comes up here and gets feedback, negative
6 feedback from the Council members, and that's okay, or
7 they attack Mr. Pocius, and that's okay, or they attack
8 Mr. McTiernan, that's okay, Al Donohue, who asked you a
9 question, you tell him you don't want to answer him
10 because he is coming after you personally? What the
11 heck is that?
12 Another statement that was made at the
13 debate was about Buy Scranton First, that reminded me
14 so much of the Seinfeld episode when it was suggested
15 to Mayor Dickinson that he go out and put name tags on
16 everybody in New York City. Buy Scranton First, what
17 the heck? We don't live in an island. This city is --
18 we live in a region.
19 Buy Scranton First would be
20 extraordinary detrimental to the merchants in this
21 town. As a matter of fact, you mentioned that tax
22 which would be a generated million dollars from people
23 who live outside of the city that would pay that tax,
24 well, the heck, they wouldn't spend any money here then
25 if there was some sort of war going on between
1 different municipalities.
2 We are -- this region is
3 interdependent, it's not -- we don't -- it's not a
4 unique situation here unilaterally. That's
5 unconscionable that somebody running for an office
6 would make a statement like that. That just blew me
7 away. I heard it on TV, I couldn't believe it. Thank
8 God Chris had the common sense to point out how
9 unsightly that would be.
10 And now I'll tell you another thing, it
11 was questioned here how anybody in this city could make
12 a decision to support Chris Doherty, it's the easiest
13 decision I've ever made because he has done what he
14 said he was going to do, he has restored the pride in
15 this city, he has created jobs, he has beautified the
16 parks, the East Market Bridge is fantastic, the gateway
17 of North Scranton, all the Providence Square Project is
18 out of this world, this man has done it.
19 We have waited our entire lives for a
20 mayor in the city to do what had to be done to do the
21 right thing simply because it was the right thing to
23 We thought something would come up here
24 tonight, some sort of skit would take place, and all
25 you can come up with was a towel over a truck?
1 I mean, this mayor has done more in
2 three and a half years than has ever been done in the
3 history of Scranton, and he's going to win because most
4 people in this city know that. Thank you very much.
5 MR. DIBILEO: Mr. Keeler, a couple
6 weeks ago I asked you a question, you said you didn't
7 know, does your company do business with the city?
8 MR. KEELER: I hope so, because doing
9 business with --
10 MR. DIBILEO: Still don't know?
11 MR. KEELER: No, I don't.
12 MR DIBILEO: Okay.
13 MR. KEELER: I could just tell you
14 this, doing business with this city would be a good
15 thing to do, because the city is on sound financial
16 footing. Thank you.
17 MR. DAVIS: I think that unity means
18 strength, and I'm hoping at the end of this election
19 this town, this city, will be a unified strength for
20 our kids. I don't see it happening. I'm waiting for
21 someone to say that.
22 I tell the people, they ask me who
23 should we vote for? Listen to what they're saying to
24 you, is this going to be inclusive? Are we going to
25 try to include everyone in this town, to move forward?
1 Are we still going to have the specific set of people
2 that are going to move this town along and leave a lot
3 of people behind? This is my fear.
4 My fear is so much so that my kids are
5 being left behind already. Okay. Human relations
6 department people keep coming to me, and I say where do
7 we recommend, what do you recommended as far as where
8 do we complain about racial problems that we're
9 encountering when we go for renting homes and things
10 like that?
11 They have human relations, remember
12 that? The mayor -- people can't be found. I went to
13 -- where can I send these people? Send them to Mr.
14 Handley's Office, in UNC. Okay, that's the only office
15 they have, there's no budget for them. They don't have
16 a phone number for them, except someone's office.
17 Human relations, when it's run by a
18 city, it's there for a purpose. You don't send them to
19 UNC, you get results on what should be done, especially
20 if UNC has a problem, also.
21 Okay. We've been asked to read about
22 or talk about these things that are on the menu, as you
23 called it this afternoon in Jay's office, and in title,
24 6-A, I didn't see the background on this, because it
25 wasn't available at the time when I was in the office,
1 I wanted to know what the administrative cost for
2 running this program is going to -- what is it
3 estimated at this point in time?
4 MR. SAUNDERS: 6-A?
5 MR. DAVIS: 6-A.
6 MR. SAUNDERS: That's not for
7 administrative costs, we're transferring money to the
8 Boy's Club from one project they have to another, it's
9 not an administrative --
10 MR. DAVIS: Whenever you transfer money
11 from one organization to another, on project to
12 another, there's got to be a writeup as far as what
13 administrative costs and the program costs should be;
14 in other words, I'm trying to say how much of this
15 money is going to reach the kids? How much of this
16 money is going to --
17 MR. SAUNDERS: I don't think any of it,
18 Mr. Davis. I'm not sure how much. I think it's for
20 MR. DAVIS: The retail program, you
21 don't know anything about it?
22 MR. SAUNDERS: No, I know about the
23 program, but I don't know how much money is actually
24 reaching out for the children.
25 MR. DAVIS. Okay. The next one I have
1 is B. I wanted to know the demographics of the
2 persons reached again. I keep going back to
3 demographics, because when we get into the school
4 system we get these SSA results and things like that.
5 We see where there's a problem with
6 those that are minorities, but also those that are
7 economically disadvantaged, and those are the ones that
8 happen to have a higher rate of absenteeism.
9 They have a higher rate of decline, and
10 I want to know why because we should be doing something
11 as a stop gap to stop the gap that's occurring in our
12 society in our culture, in our city between those that
13 can afford to leave this town and find better jobs and
14 those who are going to be stuck here for the rest of
15 their lives.
16 With unemployment 17 percent for
17 non-whites, 17 percent, and whether the whites have
18 five percent and the majority of the people that live
19 in this town are whites, but yet the percentage of
20 unemployment is so nothing has been done over eight
21 years that I've been bringing this, this statistic to
23 I have not heard the city say anything
24 about starting a CETA program for the kids in the
25 summertime to get that 17 to 24-year olds into a
1 position where you can learn how to be a working man,
2 where you can learn the essence of working for a living
3 and learning maybe an upward value type of job working
4 within City Council, in city office.
5 We used to have this type of jobs, but
6 we haven't done anything recently, in the last eight
7 years. Okay. I went to a Reverend Irwin -- bible
8 study --
9 MR. DIBILEO: Mr. Davis, I think -- was
10 that --
11 MR. SAUNDERS: Yeah, that is five
13 MR. DAVIS: I couldn't tell which one
14 it was.
15 MR. DIBILEO: Would you mind bringing
16 it back next week, please?
17 MR. DAVIS: Okay. One statement. He
18 taught a class on regression of pride and it was based
19 on Jonas' work, it's very interesting if you get a
20 chance, you get a bible, check it out. It's very --
21 it's well meaning, and I think it will take you a long
22 way in your conquest of the stars and the people of
23 doing the right thing.
24 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you very much.
25 And by the way, Mr. Davis, I spoke to School Director
1 Joe Garvey about what you asked about last week, the
2 lights over at Northeast Intermediate, and he would be
3 in favor of keeping the lights on over there. So, if
4 you could follow up with him on it.
5 MR. DAVIS: Thank you very much. Now
6 we can't go on the playground because they got a sign.
7 MR. DIBILEO: That's something that
8 they'll have to double check with you.
9 MR. DAVIS: Okay. One step at a time.
10 Thank you.
11 MR. LYMAN: Raymond Lyman. I wasn't
12 going to come up here to speak, but I had to say
14 Last week I was at the Giant and Mayor
15 Doherty was there campaigning, Ms. Evans, and Mr.
16 Doherty, he was, you know, he was there and he had some
17 of his supporters and there was, you know, there were a
18 few people who are Gary supporters, you know, and, you
19 know, he was passing out, you know, you know, he was
20 talking and I didn't even know he was there, because I
21 was shopping, and then all of a sudden I heard him
22 speaking, and first he was saying he's going to cut 35
23 firemen and he was going to cut about 30 policemen, and
24 then this is when I heard Mayor Doherty.
25 I turned around and I saw the mayor and
1 he was with that Mr. Sallusti, I hope I'm pronouncing
2 his name right, you know the guy that came here and you
3 were, I'm not saying arguing, he was arguing with you,
4 remember, about the audit?
5 He was there, and he was saying with
6 the mayor -- he was talking with these people saying
7 now he's going to do with this -- I don't know if it's
8 going to be a commercial or what, but Mayor Doherty
9 with his supporters are now trying to say that he
10 didn't cause this debt, but it's you and Gary DiBileo
11 that caused it, some kind of stupid ridiculous -- I
12 know it's ridiculous, but, you know how these Doherty
13 supporters are. I mean, it's stupid.
14 MR. DIBILEO: All right. Let's change
15 the subject.
16 MR. LYMAN: I know, Gary, I know, and I
17 actually didn't fight with the mayor, but a discussion
18 with the mayor about this I said, It's ridiculous, and
19 you caused this debt, admit to it, I said to him.
20 And I even heard him say that he is
21 going to prioritize the DPW, and if Sam Vitris is
22 hearing me, I'm not a liar.
23 MR. DIBILEO: Okay.
24 MR. LYMAN: I heard the mayor, there
25 were 15 other people. I don't know who these other
1 Gary supporters were.
2 MR. DIBILEO: You may have heard it
3 wrong, so I don't know --
4 MR. LYMAN: No, it came from Mayor
5 Doherty's lips.
6 MR. DIBILEO: Let's go to something
7 else anyway.
8 MR. LYMAN: Now, I got his letter today
9 in the mail, now this came from Senator Mellow,
10 Kanjorski, Mike Washo, it came from Paul Kanjorski, and
11 also from all these other democrats, and also from Bill
12 Scranton, a Republican, supporting Chris Doherty, and I
13 actually wrote Senator Mellow, because I was at the
14 Genetti's when Senator Mellow said, and I'll quote
15 this, that he'll do his best to shut these meetings
16 down of City Council.
17 MR. DIBILEO: Ray, we --
18 MR. LYMAN: I know--
19 MR. COURTRIGHT: Mr. Pocius got a
20 letter and he said he is not interested--
21 MR. LYMAN: He lied to you.
22 MR. COURTRIGHT: You can't say that.
23 MR. LYMAN: He lied to you. I was
24 there with senior citizens, and he said that he will
25 shut this down.
1 MR. COURTRIGHT: You can't say that,
3 MR. LYMAN: He said it.
4 MR. COURTRIGHT: Ray, you can't say
6 MR. DIBILEO: Ray, you got to go to
7 another topic.
8 MR. LYMAN: I'll go to another topic.
9 I wrote a letter to him. I don't know when he's going
10 to write back to me, but I wrote a letter to him why 61
11 is only running this Sunday, 61. 61 gave me some kind
12 of bullshit --
13 MR. DIBILEO: Okay. All right. Go sit
14 down, Ray. I'm sorry.
15 MR. LYMAN: Okay. I'm sorry for using
16 that word.
17 MR. DIBILEO: No. Come back next week
18 and maybe we will let you start over again.
19 MR. LYMAN: They gave me an excuse that
20 these meetings were long, well, the Throop meeting was
21 almost four hours, they ran it, they ran it four days
22 in a row or more.
23 MR. DIBILEO: Next speaker, please.
24 MR. CALI: How are you doing? My name
25 is Dave Cali, I'm twenty-years-old, and I'm a citizen
1 of Scranton. I wish that gentleman stuck around a
2 little while, he just spoke a couple minutes ago.
3 I'm not going to say his name, but he
4 said that we should be happy with the production our
5 mayor has done for the past three and a half years,
6 well, if the mayor came out and said I'm going to raise
7 taxes, I'm not going to tend to the needs of certain
8 people in the city, then I would have said, Sure, he's
9 done a great job for the past three and a half years,
10 but that's not the case, in fact, he's raised our wage
11 taxes, he hasn't done what he said he's going to do.
12 I haven't seen -- I would love to see
13 the 500 roads that he paved, and I'd also love to know
14 why he's building a new police station when he cut
15 20 percent of police force.
16 And I'd also like to know why he's
17 cutting the firemen, but most importantly the police
18 force. Obviously we could see that the crime in
19 Scranton is going up. We had that shooting today in
20 front of West Scranton in front of the intermediate,
21 was it, in front of West Scranton High School, and
22 there's several other things that we have had going on
23 in the past few months.
24 The crime rate isn't good in Scranton.
25 I don't know where he's getting his information from
1 but it's definitely not going down, and it doesn't help
2 to cut the police force, it doesn't help at all, and we
3 spent millions of dollars in building this new police
4 station, and I don't understand if you're going to keep
5 cutting these policemen. It doesn't make sense to
6 start building new buildings.
7 Speaking of building new buildings,
8 where are these new businesses that he's bringing in?
9 I haven't seen them. When are they going to start
10 building them, next week? I mean, this is getting out
11 of control.
12 And what about the Hilton's
13 foreclosure? Somebody bought it, yes, but, you know,
14 it did go under. And these two parking lots that he
15 built aren't even built yet, so I mean, there's still a
16 lot of things that he's saying that just aren't making
17 too much sense.
18 And the education, he spoke about
19 education, too, well, I just don't know where he's
20 getting his education knowledge from about the City of
21 Scranton, I don't know where he's getting his
22 information from that the crime in Scranton has gone
24 It's just another four years with our
25 current mayor, God knows where the city will stand.
1 Not even as far as, you know, business and the police
2 are concerned, but it's not just the concern of myself
3 and my family, what about everybody that lives in the
5 If the wage taxes, if the taxes goo up
6 in this city, there's going to be more people that are
7 going to be financially unstable, and do we honestly
8 need that here?
9 I mean, I'm not embarrassed to live in
10 Scranton, I'm very proud of where I come from, very
11 proud, and for him to say that he's restoring the pride
12 of Scranton, no.
13 Scranton has always had pride, always.
14 I don't know why he's talking about restoring the pride
15 of Scranton. There's things maybe he's trying to fix,
16 but maybe he should have worded that properly. There's
17 no restoring any pride in Scranton. We have a lot of
18 pride. So, that will be all thank you.
19 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you.
20 MS. VUTNOSKY: Good evening,
21 Council, Fran Vutnosky, North Main Avenue, North
22 Scranton. Normally I come here to talk -- I usually
23 just speak from my heart, but tonight I have a little
24 presentation, and I'm really happy about it, it's good
25 news. I think it's good news.
1 It's entitled South Side Complex
2 emergency petition for injunctive relief. The legal
3 road for the residents and taxpayers has been a very
4 long and had fight to keep the complex in the hands of
5 the people, where it belongs, has been a fierce battle
6 between the people and the lawyer for the city,
7 Attorney Carl Greco.
8 The emotional roller coaster for the
9 residents and taxpayers has been, to say the least,
10 sometimes too much to bear after suffering one legal
11 defeat and setback after another.
12 As determined, as Mayor Doherty was to
13 sell the kids' baseball fields to the University of
14 Scranton and as adamant as the University was to take
15 it away from the kids, the determination of the
16 residents and taxpayers was just as dedicated to the
17 loyalty that owed to staying the course and fighting
18 the fight in the best interest of the kids.
19 At risk was losing an entire sports
20 complex that has been the home for a wide variety of
21 sports programs, not just for the many youth groups
22 that relied upon it, but also for several adult
24 The complex was without question a
25 staple in the lives of thousands of children who
1 socially benefited from sports participation where they
2 built healthy minds and bodies made lifelong friends
3 and created memories to reflect upon their lives.
4 No child should have that critical part
5 of growth development stolen from them, but Mayor
6 Doherty unethically saw it fit to do just that, and for
7 the benefit of his friends and business customer, a
8 University whose worth exceeds $200,000,000 and who
9 could buy land anywhere to accommodate their sports
11 The complex is legally designated as a
12 formally excepted public park, because of that
13 designation there are trust laws attached to it's
14 existence, as well as attached to it being maintained
15 forever as a public park.
16 The City of Scranton was the trust in
17 care of the complex for over 30 years until it was
18 inappropriately transferred over to the Scranton
19 Redevelopment Authority by Mayor Doherty and the rubber
20 stamp Council, excluding Mr. DiBileo.
21 It was transferred because property
22 sold by the S.R.A. does not have to be bid, therefore,
23 when the S.R.A. improperly negotiated with the
24 University of Scranton to buy it, there were no
25 competitive bidders.
1 The trust laws that apply to the
2 complex are very complicated, which is why the legal
3 battles were laden with one controversial issue after
4 the other. There were legal loopholes within the trust
5 laws that allowed the city's lawyer, Attorney Carl
6 Greco, to defeat one attempt after the other to stop
7 the sale, however with each legal battle, one loophole
8 after the other was sewn up by the residents and
9 taxpayers fighting the fight.
10 The goal of the residents and taxpayers
11 was to come to a legal position where all of the legal
12 loopholes were eliminated and that finally a petition
13 could be put before the court that would ultimately
14 provide for the sale the complex to finally be voided
15 so the people could resume its rightful ownership.
16 The ultimate goal was to go before the
17 court with an emergency petition for injunctive relief
18 that would operate to fend off any and all legal
19 challenges by the City of Scranton and to finally void
20 the sale. That was a formidable task.
21 The legal process involving emergency
22 petition for injunctive relief is two fold. First it
23 includes an order to be issued by the court for an
24 emergency hearing to stop the sale and second the
25 actual petition for injunctive relief that holds within
1 it all of the legal grounds necessary to satisfy the
2 court that the petition would be successful.
3 In essence when the court reviews the
4 petition, unless it is comprised of the sound legal
5 grounds to be successful, the court will find it
6 improper to issue an order for an emergency hearing to
7 interrupt the action of others, therefore the issuance
8 of an order by court to -- emergency hearing to be
9 scheduled immediately amounts to the court
10 acknowledging that finally the loopholes are closed and
11 legal grounds have been presented to the court that
12 satisfies it that the sale of the complex was illegal
13 and the sale should be voided.
14 At approximately 9:30 this morning.
15 Judge James Walsh was presented with an emergency
16 petition for injunctive relief in motion court
17 requesting that a hearing be scheduled immediately.
18 The emergency petition for injunctive
19 relief would have to be comprised of sound legal
20 grounds to show that the sale was in fact unlawful and
21 illegal before an order for an emergency hearing could
22 be issued.
23 The judge listened as the sound legal
24 grounds were established for him and forthwith issued
25 an order that an emergency hearing be scheduled on the
2 We are confident that by the
3 affirmative actions of the court this morning and the
4 content of this latest petition for injunctive relief
5 that on November 16, 2005. The hard and diligent work
6 of the residents and taxpayers will pay off and the
7 sale of the complex will finally and properly be voided
8 and justice shall be served upon Mayor Doherty and the
9 University of Scranton.
10 And I just want to say in closing that
11 I have before me an order that was signed today as of
12 November the third by Judge Walsh. There will be --the
13 hearing will be held November 16th at 9:30 in the
14 morning at Judge Walsh's courtroom, and I am so happy
15 because we are finally getting somewhere with this.
16 We aren't losing that South Side
17 Complex. If I have to lay in the middle of it and
18 you'll have to drag me away, but I will -- I'm
20 And I just want to say thank you to
21 Chris Phillips, my Attorney and Chris's attorney,
22 Attorney Paul Walker, and also Mr. Joseph Pilchesky who
23 has gone to court, and he is the one that got this
24 emergency petition for us. And thank you so much, Mr.
25 Pilchesky, and all the people that helped us.
1 Mrs. Evans, Mr. DiBileo and Mr.
2 Courtright, thank you so much.
3 MR. MUSTI: Good evening, Council. I
4 haven't been here in quite some time. My name is Chris
5 Musti, I live over on Hampton Street in Scranton,
6 Former Scranton School Director, retired PA State
7 Constable, and currently a real estate investor
8 basically investing in Scranton and Lackawanna and
9 Luzerne Counties.
10 A couple questions I have this evening
11 regarding is debt. Mrs. Evans, how much currently are
12 we in debt in the city right now?
13 MS. EVANS To the best of my
14 knowledge, a total long-term debt figure is
16 MR. MUSTI: $204,000,000.
17 MS. EVANS: However, the mayor is on
18 record stating that he intends to borrow additional
19 millions next month in order to fill his budget holes
20 for next year.
21 MR. MUSTI: When Mayor James
22 Connor's left office, what was, where were we
23 financially at that point?
24 MS. EVANS: I believe that in
25 December 2001, Mayor Connor's administration had gifted
1 the new administration with $2.9 million. Now, not
2 cash, but on paper.
3 MR. MUSTI: So, we weren't in the
4 red, we were in the black.
5 MS. EVANS: We were in the black,
6 yes, sir.
7 MR. MUSTI: All right. And another
8 thing I'd like to speak about is Mayor Doherty
9 mentioned last week at the debate, unless I'm wrong,
10 what would be one of his main priorities when he took
11 mayor the second term regarding what part of town would
12 he like to focus on first, and he said, that his
13 concentration would be on South Scranton, well, I think
14 if I'm right, and he said that, then I think he missed
15 the boat on the South Side Complex, which has a lot to
16 do with lower Bellvue and South Scranton.
17 So, I think he missed the boat, and at
18 the same time I think we were sold out to one of his
19 business associates, the University of Scranton.
20 The next issue I would like to cover is
21 crime. I was here many, many years ago when
22 Councilman Pocius, maybe you were in your second term,
23 Councilman Pocius, third term, when the patrolman
24 Anthony Crapella, Rich Rossi, many other cops walked
25 the beat back in West Scranton and I felt very safe as
1 a child growing up in West Scranton, and then they were
2 going to take them off the street, and I think for a
3 period of time they did, and I came here many, many
4 times to fight to keep them back on the street.
5 Eventually they were put back on the
6 street. At that point I felt very safe and secure
7 walking up and down the city streets. Now I don't
8 because of the bicycle cops and the cops walking the
9 beat has once again been taken off the street.
10 That needs to be restored. And I
11 believe under Gary DiBileo's watch as the new mayor of
12 Scranton that will be done.
13 The other issue I would like to talk
14 about is a police station. This evening I was leaving
15 a local cigar shop actually headed to South Scranton to
16 drop a friend of mine off, and on the way we drove by
17 the new police station because he wanted to see it, he
18 was amazed that the juvenile division was not placed in
19 the new police station, we put all the money in the new
20 police station, and they still have to be up in the
21 Hill Section in the office up there.
22 There is where there's a will there's a
23 way. If this mayor wanted to put the juvenile police
24 officers down there, he could have did that. In real
25 estate, in no matter what you do in life, I've learned
1 one thing, if you want to do something, if you're
2 willing to do something, you will do something.
3 And that leads to the next thing,
4 cooperation between the mayor and City Council and the
5 school board is important, as well.
6 When you're the mayor, you should be at
7 Council meetings, you should be at school board
8 meetings, you should be at neighborhood meetings.
9 This mayor has not been seen at any of
10 those meetings, okay? When I was a school director and
11 Mr. McTiernan worked for me, I used to go over Mr.
12 McTiernan's office, okay, to see Mr. McTiernan, see how
13 everything is going, I used to visit neighborhood
14 schools, I used to go to neighborhood meetings, I used
15 to be actively involved. I was involved with all
16 ranges of government.
17 You have to have cooperation. And this
18 mayor by not cooperating with the City Council, you're
19 not going to get things done.
20 That's why I am endorsing Gary DiBileo
21 for mayor, and I could tell you over here, Gary,
22 there's a picture, and there's the opening there,
23 that's where Mayor Doherty is going next. Thank you.
24 MS. SLACK: Good evening, Council. My
25 name is Betty Slack, a West Sider. I, too, received
1 two letters actually, mine is promising to do, continue
2 doing good work in Scranton and all this, so, you know,
3 it's just another one of those promises that you never
5 I do have a question tonight, though,
6 my question is, My son, who is going to be 14, and he's
7 really excited about getting his working papers, now,
8 the taxes that a 14-year-old would pay when they get a
9 job, is that the same as an adult? Could anybody
10 answer that question?
11 Because I'm really wondering this. I
12 don't want to see my son pay the debt for Mayor Doherty
13 turning 14> why is he going to start working paying
14 someone else's debt? He didn't even create his own
16 MS. EVANS: That's very true, but he's
17 unfortunately been saddled with it for the next 28
18 years of his life.
19 MS. SLACK: Okay. Well, because,
20 like, we only have a few choices, you know, if my son
21 indeed has to pay the same as everyone else. And those
22 choices would be not to get a job. Move out of
23 Scranton, or not take the bait.
24 On November the 8th, get out and vote,
25 vote for change, for our children. Children are our
1 future, and our children should not be paying off the
2 mayor's debt. Our children should not start a working
3 career and paying off Mayor Doherty's debt.
4 I think we need to get out there and
5 vote on November 8th. Vote for change. Vote for red
6 and blue. That's all I have to say, because I'm
8 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you.
9 MR. GERVASI: Good evening, ladies and
10 gentlemen. My name is Dave Gervasi, I am a resident,
11 homeowner, taxpayer and a member of the Scranton Fire
13 Before I get into what I was going to
14 speak about, there was some questions earlier on, and I
15 kind of knew about this because we heard The Scranton
16 Times, which I consider a political campaign arm of the
17 Doherty Administration, we heard there was going to be
18 -- they're looking for addresses and names of people so
19 they can go to financial campaign, financial reports
20 and see if cops and fireman are donating money to
21 certain campaigns, and I just want to read the
22 Pennsylvania Civil Service guidelines for political
23 activity, the ones that are important.
24 We can register to vote any election.
25 We can express an opinion as an individual privately or
1 publicly on political subjects and candidate. We can
2 display political pictures, stickers, badges, buttons,
3 while not on duty, and at locations, other then our
4 work place.
5 We can participate in non-partisan
6 activities, civic communities, social, labor,
7 professional organizations. We may be a member of a
8 political party, we may attend political conventions,
9 but not as a delegate, and we can put sign, a political
10 petition, and we can make financial contributions to a
11 political party or organization.
12 If the city has any problem with this,
13 I'll be happy to walk them down to the federal
14 courthouse to defend my members and their rights to
15 engage in the political process. We are not second
16 class citizens.
17 The other, and I will say that I do
18 have Mr. Doherty's campaign financial reports in front
19 of me, and I have yours, Mr. DiBileo, in front of me,
20 and there are numerous names of firefighters, in your
21 campaigns, because I know a lot of people went to your
22 breakfast and you had another rally, and when we
23 bought, purchased the tickets to go to those rallies,
24 they end up on your campaign finance report.
25 This is Mayor Doherty's campaign
1 finance reports, And this is Mayor DiBileo, maybe I'm
2 jumping the gun here, Councilman DiBileo's campaign
3 finance reports.
4 I did a little study of these, because
5 frankly I felt I have been coming here for three and a
6 half years telling you about lies and deceit and all
7 the fudged numbers and misinformation that has been
8 thrown about the fire department and police department
9 unions and things in general, I'm not talking about any
10 of those subjects tonight.
11 Tonight I am going to bring you factual
12 information from my study of these two campaign finance
13 reports. And what I've come up with is something I
14 think that people should be aware of.
15 This is all public information, but I
16 don't think the residents of the City of Scranton can
17 go down to the voter registration office and obtain
18 that's so everyone knows who is giving what to who.
19 I've been saying this, pay to play
20 system. Tonight I am not going to mention any
21 individual's names, unless they are public officials,
22 and I'm not going to try to embarrass anyone.
23 I just want to give some facts and
24 figures of who gives to who and for what reason.
25 According to financial reports of Mayor
1 Doherty, from January 1st of this year to October 24th,
2 which is the third quarterly report they sent in, he
3 has raise $784,127 in campaign contributions. Mr.
4 DiBileo has raised $297,557 in campaign contributions.
5 The interesting part about this is
6 where these campaign contributions come from. I broke
7 this down between people who are residents of the
8 City of Scranton and can vote for candidates and
9 non-residents from outside of the city that cannot vote
10 for the candidates.
11 The Scranton contributors to
12 Mayor Doherty's campaign equals $255, 865 or
13 35.4 percent of all the money he raised came from
14 outside the city, from inside the city. From outside
15 the city $467,310 or 64.6 percent of all the money he
16 raised came from outside of the city.
17 Mr. DiBileo's $266,252, came from city
18 contributions, city residents which made up the
19 90.6 percent of your campaign contributions, and
20 outside of the city $31,405 which was the 9.4 percent
21 of all of your campaign contributions came from outside
22 of the city. Stark contrast.
23 I've been told that Mayor Doherty may
24 raise up to or close to a million dollars and with
25 64 percent of the people from outside of the city, why
1 would you spend a million dollars to obtain a $50,000 a
2 year job? And why is the vast majority of your money
3 being raised from outside of the city from people who
4 can't even vote for you? Makes you wonder.
5 Another few interesting things I saw in
6 the campaign finance reports. Mr. DiBileo, sorry to
7 say this, but campaign volunteers, it seems you didn't
8 pay anyone to work in your campaign, other than, your
9 media people and whoever did your radio things.
10 But according to Mr. Doherty's
11 campaign, he paid a family member $18,000 this year to
12 work his campaign of campaign contributions that were
13 given to him. He also hired his own company, a family
14 owned company, and paid $17,384.06 of campaign
15 contributions to a family member's company.
16 They talk about The Scranton Times, I
17 can understand why maybe Mr. Doherty gets favorable
18 editorials, because the Scranton Times frankly is a
20 Mr. DiBileo spent $15,523.60 on
21 advertisements, and Doherty spent $71,997.94. PAC
22 funds, donations from PAC funds, PAC funds are
23 Political Action Committees or whatever organizations,
24 different political people, PAC funds for Mayor Doherty
25 to the totals $55,250, PAC funds for Mr. DiBileo total
2 A couple interesting notes I have, who
3 donated, labor attorneys, which are costs for labor,
4 legal fees, fighting his illegal, as far am I'm
5 concerned, recovery plan, which he's going to lose in
6 court, is up over $800,000 in legal fees, but the
7 lawyers I can understand they must be making a lot of
8 money because there were very generous.
9 One lawyer gave $2,000 to the campaign,
10 one lawyer gave $2,500 to the campaign, one lawyer gave
11 $6,000 to the campaign, and another lawyer gave $9,000
12 this year, but I can say, he's a paid person.
13 Attorney Carl Greco has given $15,700
14 to the mayor's campaign. Not a bad return when you
15 made close to three quarters of a million on city
16 taxpayer' money.
17 And just to finish the publishers of
18 The Scranton Times, if you're wondering if they are
19 bias or if they have any kind of favoritism, I guess
20 they want to protect their investment, so far family
21 members of the Lynetts have donated over $11,000 to
22 mayor's campaign.
23 And after it was shown here last week
24 that they did make contributions, which people think
25 might not be the best thing to do for a one newspaper
1 town, they also made $3500 more in donations since it
2 was exposed that they do donate to one candidate, not
3 the other. Thank you very, very much for my
4 opportunity to speak.
5 MR. MAIER: Don Maier. Members of
6 Council, on this wall behind me, six of the last seven
7 mayors up there, and I was appointed to Scranton Fire
8 Department in second of January 1960 by Mayor Hanlon.
9 After that I worked under Mayor Walsh, under Gene
10 Peters, and under Gene Hickey, under Dave Wenzel, and I
11 worked for several fire chiefs, and I would never
12 embarrass them by coming before a Council and going
13 through how much the mayor spent to get elected in all
14 those years.
15 Now, I might be wrong, but I don't
16 think it's any of the public's business. Gary, you
17 published a financial statement, a year ago you had me
18 down for a donation to your campaign, and Janet, you
19 did, too. I'm not ashamed with that, I give what I can
20 give. Gary, you've been my insurance man for how many
21 years, as soon as you started business?
22 MR. DIBILEO: A long time.
23 MR. MAIER: We've been friends, but
24 I'm sorry, this time I got a different horse. John, I
25 watched tonight when you gave a description of the
1 paving at night, up East Mountain Road. I remember as
2 a youngster going to Philadelphia when I first started
3 seeing the paving at night on Broad Street in
4 Philadelphia. I thought it was a good idea then, and I
5 think it's a good idea now.
6 What I came hear tonight especially to
7 speak of what Mr. Osborne came to talk about, the
8 pension fund.
9 I have been retired 18 years, Scranton
10 Fire Department, worked with your dad, John, and I've
11 never missed a pension check, and I don't know where
12 all of this problem is coming up about the pension
14 What I do know is this, Terry Osborne
15 followed me in between Harvey Applegate and Richy Pica
16 as the deputy chief of fire department. When I was the
17 deputy chief, and I trained him, I trained Terry
18 Osborne when he came on the job.
19 I didn't spend the city's money sending
20 him down to Philadelphia to school down there that they
21 don't learn any more, then I taught him up in Nay Aug
22 Park. And I'm here tonight to say, yes, maybe the Fire
23 Department does need a reorganization, but it doesn't
24 need a reduction in the manpower.
25 It just means why buy a half million
1 dollar fire truck to put two men on it, when they can
2 buy one truck instead of four and put the equivalent of
3 men that the national association of firefighters
4 represent that recommends that they be on the fire
6 And the day is coming, and it's as sure
7 as we're sitting and standing here tonight, the fire
8 department has to be re-organized.
9 And it won't be by putting a new
10 ambulance division in there's, that was the biggest
11 drain on manpower they ever had when we had the
12 ambulance division. Let me say this to Mr. Osborne,
13 keep the pension checks coming. Thank you.
14 MR. DiBileo: Thank you, Mr. Maier.
15 MR. HAYES: Good evening, Ray Hayes,
16 Director of Public Safety, 2637 Cedar Avenue, Scranton.
17 I come here tonight, Mr. President and Council members,
18 to invite everyone and Council members, all elected
19 officials, city employees, citizens of the City of
20 Scranton to the grandopening -- or the open house
21 rather of the police station which will take place this
22 Saturday from ten until two for police officers and
23 their families, retired police officers and their
24 families and widows and children of police officers who
25 have passed on prior years.
1 Sunday we'll have the station open for
2 the general public. I believe it's from one to three,
3 all right?
4 As you'll see when you get there, we
5 really want everyone to come out, it is a labor of
6 love. The police department put a lot of effort in and
7 we've been working on it for two years, so we're very
8 proud of it.
9 Another point I would like to make is
10 that when you go there, you'll see that it's not fully
11 operational and there is no furnishings in there at
12 this time.
13 That was done intentionally, because
14 it's a secure facility and we can't have people and
15 children running around in there with firearms and
16 things of that nature, so we thought it the best way to
17 do it would be before the furniture comes in, which
18 will be probably be some time next week, and we hope to
19 be operational, and I'm saying maybe around
21 Another thing I'd like to mention, and
22 we worked very hard on this, excuse me, the historical
23 society curated from Steamtown, members of the police
24 department, retired members, we've been trying to put
25 memorabilia and artifacts together to create a museum
1 type display case in the foyer.
2 The retirees were asking for anything
3 they may have, we will give them attribution and placed
4 in the cases saying who it is on loan from. They
5 really are the living history of the Scranton Police
6 Department. They have a very proud history and we're
7 hoping to get as much memorabilia as possible.
8 In the future what we plan on doing is
9 creating an actual memorial area out in front of the
10 police station where we can honor those that have
11 passed on in years and who have lost their lives in the
12 line of duty.
13 So, I invite everyone to please come
14 out and have an opportunity, because after that day you
15 really won't be able to get in, unless of course you
16 come in the back way and visit the cell portion of the
17 hotel, or as they say, the crowbar hotel.
18 I would just like to mention one thing,
19 and I really don't mean it on a negative note, so
20 please don't take it that way, because I really wanted
21 to keep everything positive tonight, there's been talk
22 about and it was mentioned a couple times tonight, and
23 they are valid questions about why the juvenile unit is
24 not housed within the police department, in fact, we
25 have a juvenile officer who comes here on a regular
1 basis and asks that question, if you look, first of
2 all, space constraints were an issue because we all
3 wanted a bigger home in our lives, but we can only
4 afford so much, so you try and do the best with what
5 you can.
6 So, we looked at the different
7 components and the juvenile division, and the juvenile
8 officer who comes here weekly knows this. Juvenile Act
9 says that children and adults should not be in the same
10 atmosphere, all right, whether it's juvenile justice
11 system, I mean, the court system, the Juvenile Court
12 and the adult court is separate.
13 Juvenile probation and adult probation
14 are separate, as is the Lackawanna County Prison and
15 Juvenile Detention. They don't house them in the same
17 So, the philosophy is that you do not
18 house juveniles with adults. The other portion is the
19 training area right now we are trying to be cost
20 effect. The city can only really afford one training
21 area for the police and the fire.
22 What we are going to do is, we are
23 going to completely remodel the one we have at city
24 hall where both the police and fire departments can use
25 the one training center.
1 So, that's the rationale for not
2 bringing everyone in under the one umbrella, it's not
3 to discriminate against one particular unit. I mean
4 everyone is important, and I just wanted to try to
5 clear that.
6 So, again, please come out if you have
7 an opportunity. It's a beautiful facility. The men
8 and women in the police department truly deserve it.
9 And thank you for your time. Are there any questions?
10 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes, one question. I
11 just heard not too long before I came here today that
12 Lieutenant Mackey and Captain Graziano went on the
13 internet and found free furniture for the City of
14 Scranton, an insurance company that was going out of
15 business so we got to take all their furniture?
16 MR. HAYES: What we did was, you're in
17 the ballpark there, Councilman, what they did was they
18 found -- there's -- I'd rather not name the place, but
19 there was a place that was leaving the city that found
20 it would be more cost effective not to take the
21 furnishings with them.
22 So, not only Scranton, but there was
23 other agencies that acquired some of the furnishings.
24 What we did was we took selective things that would be
25 used in the police department and the other things that
1 we were able to take, which were chairs and desks and a
2 lot of equipment will be used in the new training room,
3 so yeah, that's --
4 MR. COURTRIGHT: So, we got
5 something for nothing.
6 MR. HAYES: Absolutely. Great
7 stuff, too. So, good point you bring up. Thank you.
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: All right> thanks.
9 MR. HAYES: Any other questions?
10 Thank you all for your time. I appreciate it.
11 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you.
12 MR. ANCHERANI: Good evening. Well,
13 I don't know if it's evening anymore, but I am Nelson
14 Ancherani, Scranton resident, taxpayer and a member of
15 the FOP, And I'm the juvenile Officer that Mr. Hayes
16 was speaking about.
17 I will get right into that part
18 then. The first new police headquarters will be open
19 shortly, only problem it wasn't built big enough to fit
20 the entire department in it.
21 Juvenile unit, training unit will not,
22 it will be located at city hall. So, instead of being
23 scattered at several sites, we'll be scattered at two
25 We finally found out why the police
1 department won't be in one building, budget
2 constraints. This is really strange, considering all
3 the money that was borrowed over the last three years.
4 Notice where the budget constraints
5 come, public safety. Maybe if the building was built
6 in Nay Aug, the police department wouldn't suffer under
7 budget constraints.
8 In the past four years this has to be
9 the first time I heard that mentioned. But there was
10 money for the green fishpond at Nay Aug and TVs for the
12 While I am at it about the police
13 building, I wonder if any of the planners thought about
14 patrol cars getting into Central City from the new
15 building on an emergency call, especially when a train
16 is stopped over the roadway railroad cars are being
17 dropped off or picked up in Chamberlain's court.
18 I have to remind them that in '03,
19 that's August of '03, DPW Complex estimates rises $4.7
20 million instead of $3 million that they budgeted. No
21 budget constraints for them.
22 Also, the new building could have had a
23 door and an office built into it where they couldn't
24 get into the other parts of the building. We now take
25 juveniles downstairs in our police department, also.
1 That argument shoots that argument down.
2 Mr. Narsavage is here just to touch on
3 your concerns. There's federal law that mandates that
4 in order for any students' information could be
5 released, the school principal must be the written
6 permission from that former student to release it.
7 Also, in answer to Valerie, In May of
8 '03, Scranton was called a business burnout by Forbes
9 Magazine. I also have a City of Scranton Pennsylvania
10 independent auditors report. I will be answering Mr.
11 Keeler as to whether there's business with City of
12 Scranton, but first I'll get into the debt comparison,
13 he was comparing Allentown Lancaster, Reading, et
14 cetera, to ours.
15 Can't compare Scranton with them, we're
16 the ones that have to pay Scranton taxes and Scranton
17 debt. We're the only ones for that so he can compare
18 all he wants. We're going to be paying our bills.
19 As for having business with the city
20 with Fidelity Bank, my Christmas club is with Fidelity
21 Bank, so we do have business with them.
22 Also, from that City of Scranton
23 Pennsylvania independent auditors report, Redevelopment
24 Authority note payable, the authority has a note
25 payable with a Fidelity Deposit and Discount Bank with
1 maximum borrowings of $2.5 million dated November 1998.
2 Maturing in November of 2013.
3 Veteran's Day is fast approaching, and
4 it doesn't look like the mayor is going to honor the
5 returning soldiers who served in Iraq, so there are six
6 policemen and one fireman, and just for Mr. Donohue's
7 information, the military does not accrue sick days or
8 vacation when they got back here. Our guys did not get
9 full pay, and he should have talked to them before he
10 said that.
11 At the debate at Scranton High School
12 the mayor said he couldn't enact the $52 job tax
13 because the budget was already made up for 2005. He
14 must have forgot that the 2002 budget that
15 Mayor Conners proposed was amended by the Doherty
17 If you don't believe me you can look at
18 the budgets. They are in black and white, so that's a
19 lame excuse.
20 But let me read what the real excuse is
21 for not enacting job tax as reported in the newspaper
22 dated 12-18-2004 this is a quote, Mr. Doherty was
23 apparently is concerned that the additional revenue
24 would compromise the city governments position in labor
25 arbitration with the police and fire unions.
1 So, if the mayor enacted the job taxes
2 Council wanted to do, he wouldn't be able to justify
3 keeping the distressed status of the city. Supposedly,
4 it would have given the worker an advantage over the
5 city during arbitration, and that's a crock. Thank
7 MS. STULGIS: I'm Ann Marie Stulgis,
8 and I'm a city resident, president of the fraternal
9 order of police. Before I say what I have to say,
10 earlier this evening an elderly gentleman, not that I'm
11 young, got up and said that he has watched the police
12 representative several times get up and say that in
13 fact the police officers who were on active duty in the
14 military weren't being paid, and he said that that's
15 not true, but that in fact I wanted them to be paid
16 their full police salary, as well as their full
17 military salary.
18 Mind you, he said he watched me say
19 this several times. So, I met him in the hall and I
20 approached him and I said, you know, you've been
21 misinformed, that in fact is not true. In fact, we
22 have grievances pending right now that may go to
23 arbitration, as a matter of fact, because our last few
24 officers who have gone to active duty, two of them are
25 home now receiving not one dime from the city.
1 He said, Who are you? I have never
2 seen you before. So, I would suggest that in the
3 future when they're giving scripts, maybe they want to
4 attach pictures so they would know who people are.
5 Also, if you want to get on the
6 military, I discovered early this week that the city in
7 fact is in violation of a 1944 federal law that
8 mandates the municipalities to pay the pension payments
9 for any police officers and firefighters who are called
10 up to an active conflict.
11 The city did not pay these officer's
12 pension payments, and as a matter of fact, they were
13 even going to double charge them when they came back
14 for those pension payments. Yeah, that's pride.
15 And I have a couple of bills. Although
16 I do want to comment very briefly on the incident that
17 happened in West Scranton earlier this evening, only
18 because I had the privilege of watching our chief -- he
19 had it solved before they had any idea -- before the
20 interviews were conducted, he already informed
21 everybody it wasn't gang related and people weren't
22 riding around with guns in their cars.
23 Of course the gentleman got out of the
24 car with a loaded weapon, fired it, a child was shot,
25 and there was three to four bullet in him, but he
1 doesn't want anybody thinking people have loaded guns
2 in cars in the city because there's no crime. Okay.
3 I want to share a couple of bills with
4 you. In addition to the legal bills, which I'll give
5 later, we have work done at city hall for $5,500 to
6 install security cameras; $728 for video surveillance
7 camera; $233 for digital camera for human resources; we
8 demolished a building for a private developer in West
9 Side to the tune of $79,000, taxpayer money; we paid
10 installments to Penn Northeast for $11,197; big
11 favorite of mine is we paid $925 for lanterns in
12 February of this year, nobody's seen them and they
13 haven't been used yet, but we paid $925 taxpayer
14 dollars. That means the average taxpayer's in the City
15 of Scranton property taxes is $400 that they paid the
16 City of Scranton, not the county share or the school
17 district, that's two taxpayer's property taxes to the
18 City of Scranton to buy lanterns that nobody seen.
19 Then we have the Kalinosky Landscaping
20 for $495,889, and we have some more Kalinosky
21 Landscaping for Nay Aug for $166,502, and same company,
22 $162,885, then we have more work at Nay Aug for
23 $180,046, Pennsylvania League of Cities , $76,132,
24 Neighborhood Development Trust Fund, don't know what it
25 is, but it's $44,125, supplies for the Nay Aug Zoo,
1 $34,838. Should you doubt these, by the way, I have
2 the voices, if anybody wants to see them.
3 Philadelphia lawyers, $3812, Kingston
4 lawyers, $16,700, Kingston lawyers, $9,926, Scranton
5 Times, $889, Kingston lawyers again, $9,900, fence at
6 the zoo, $15,085, planting grass, $3240, cutting grass,
8 And I also have a total on legal fees,
9 since my time is up, the legal fees that this city has
10 spent in just under three years, this does not include
11 any of the authorities, because obviously we don't have
12 access to that information, $1,690,497 paid to lawyers,
13 $1,690,497 to lawyers alone.
14 MR. POCIUS: Mrs. Stulgis, can I ask
15 you a question, two questions really?
16 MS. STULGIS: Yes.
17 MR. POCIUS: Number one, there's a lot
18 of talk just going around about a lot of things here,
19 do you currently receive a city pension?
20 MR. STULGIS: Yes, sir.
21 MR. POCIUS: Do you receive a
22 disability pension?
23 MR. STULGIS: Yes.
24 MR. POCIUS: Do you pay taxes on
1 MR. STULGIS: No, sir.
2 MR. POCIUS: Okay.
3 MS. STULGIS: But I do pay property
4 taxes on both of my homes.
5 MR. POCIUS: Okay. I pay property
6 taxes, too. Have you, like Mr. Maier said, have you
7 ever missed a pension check?
8 MS. STULGIS: No.
9 MR. POCIUS: Oh, okay. Thank you. Oh,
10 one or thing, there was a discussion a few weeks ago
11 on, and you brought it up, I didn't, on the turn back
12 of the Glocks.
13 MS. STULGIS: Yes, sir.
14 MR. POCIUS: Did you turn your Glock
15 back in? Oh, I forgot, you couldn't qualify for the
16 Glock, could you?
17 MR. STULGIS: No, that's not true.
18 MR. POCIUS: No?
19 MR. STULGIS: No, sir. And may I ask
20 you a question?
21 MR. POCIUS: Yes, ma'am.
22 MR. STULGIS: Is it common place for a
23 councilman to attack a citizen of the City of Scranton
24 and to try to demean them when we come up here an try
25 to speak our mind? That's a simple question.
1 I have something to say to you, Mr.
2 Pocius, I find your behavior rather appalling, I find
3 it insulting to the taxpayers who pay you to be here,
4 including myself.
5 I come here because I care. I don't
6 yawn during meetings and forget to cover my mouth, as
7 you do, I do not sit there and doze, I do not sue the
8 city or the pension fund for a pension for a part-time
9 job, as you are, so I really don't think you want to
10 get into a match with me, because it's not the way you
11 want to go.
12 I just find your behavior appalling.
13 Thank you sir, and have a good night.
14 MR. POCIUS: I just ask you a question
15 and you took offense to it, so that's fine.
16 MS. STULGIS: It's really improper. I
17 find your question of a speaker to be improper, sir.
18 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you.
19 MS. KRAKE: Good evening, Council. My
20 name is Nancy Krake. And before I speak tonight, since
21 Mr. Pocius had some remarks to make, I'd like to remind
22 him of the evening he told me about the 28 mouths he
23 had to feed, which is why he needed to support our
24 current mayor.
25 He also told me about how he needed to
1 negotiate my contract in a bar. Also, i was pretty
2 sure that he has not paid legal fees to be represented
3 in his pension case.
4 MR. POCIUS: Could I respond to the one
5 point? When I did -- the time that you were
6 unsuccessful in saving any jobs, I think I got 11 or 12
7 or 14 jobs back in the budget, and that's a fact,
8 that's a fact.
9 MS. KRAKE: I'm so glad you feel that
11 MR. POCIUS: I did. I did, Mrs. Krake,
12 you know that.
13 MS. KRAKE: I'm glad you feel that way,
14 I'm very happy for you.
15 MR. POCIUS: And the job --
16 MS. KRAKE: And I'm glad you did not
17 lose your 28 jobs.
18 MR. POCIUS: We're trying to grow in
19 the city.
20 MS. KRAKE: And I know you've done very
21 well pay wise on the city money to do that, over
22 $400,000 no-bid contracts. Fabulous. Good work, if
23 you can get it. Good job.
24 MR. POCIUS: Like I said, Mrs. Krake,
25 they were all done properly by a process overseen by
1 the Department of Transportation. That's the only
2 contracts we got.
3 MS. KRAKE: You don't have to defend
4 yourself to me, Mr. Pocius, apparently the taxpayers
5 were not.
6 MR. POCIUS: I'm just stating a fact.
7 When I state the facts, people get offensive.
8 MS. KRAKE: I'm glad you feel that way.
9 MR. POCIUS: I'm just telling the
11 MS. KRAKE: I don't think you quite
12 know the difference between facts and feelings.
13 MS. KRAKE: Because of this
14 administration, the City of Scranton, contrary to Mr.
15 Keeler and his love of debt, or his blindness to it has
16 $275 million of long-term debt hanging over our future
17 and our children's future.
18 Logically the first place we look for
19 relief is to the elected officials responsible for the
20 taxes the city currently has in place.
21 That person is Ken McDowell. He's in
22 change of the Single Tax Office. He should be a watch
23 dog for the tax revenue.
24 Unfortunately the taxpayers and workers
25 have expressed their frustration and concern in dealing
1 with Mr. McDowell as soon as he became the city tax
3 In a recent Scranton Times story, he
4 says he's on call every day. The question is, Where is
5 he on call?
6 Most Mondays during golf season he can
7 be found during working hours on the links as a member
8 of a golf league.
9 Maybe he would say he makes up that
10 time by spending longer hours in the office.
11 Unfortunately he wraps up on average about six hours a
12 week being at work. The average person works more than
13 six hours in one day.
14 Mr. McDowell says he can't offer
15 amnesty. Former tax collector Ed Walsh had an amnesty
16 program in conjunction with the taxing bodies that
17 extended a hand to all eligible persons.
18 Mr. McDowell may have an unwritten
19 amnesty policy for certain pay to play campaign
20 contributors of this mayor.
21 Perhaps this is the reason that neither
22 McDowell or Doherty has had an audit in the City of
23 Scranton wage tax collection since they've been in
25 An audit would have given us a true
1 picture of how much money is owed and just who owes
2 this money.
3 It could be the current administration
4 and tax collector don't want these facts revealed.
5 Perhaps this new group that's out running ads in the
6 paper called Taxpayers For Accountability, maybe they
7 could request an audit.
8 In the same news article Tax Collector
9 McDowell told us tax collections are up. This
10 statement is quite misleading. Tax collections are up
11 because the real estate taxes went up 48 percent.
12 Even though the single tax office was
13 already computerized, McDowell installed another system
14 loaded with glitches.
15 The citizens of Scranton are familiar
16 with these glitches. They're timely refunds are very
17 late. The refunds are not being refunded to taxpayers
18 at all.
19 He also mentioned 24 separate check
20 books, what these are banks that collect real estate
21 money from taxpayers, by the way, they still do exist.
22 Mayor Doherty awarded McDowell with a
23 big pay raise in the 2002 budget. The mayor's first
24 year in office was McDowell's, also.
25 Courtesy of the Mayor, McDowell gets a
1 raise even before he steps in the door. We're paying
2 nearly $50,000 a year to a man who doesn't care enough
3 about our city to even show up for work.
4 Four years ago these two men, McDowell
5 and Doherty, were just beginning their terms in office.
6 Myself and many other speakers were also beginning our
7 attempt to keep the public informed by speaking at City
8 Council meetings each week.
9 Unfortunately the summation of those
10 four years is not very positive. We have $275 million
11 in long-term debt, our excessive wage tax is still
12 stunting our growth, and the only people moving forward
13 are the 2000 plus people who moved out of Scranton
14 since the mayor's term began.
15 I hope on November 8 you vote to give
16 Scranton back to all the people. Thank you.
17 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you. That will be
18 it for public participation, but we're going to have
19 Lisa take a break, she's been working non-stop, so
20 we'll take a break and then we'll come back.
21 (A RECESS WAS TAKEN.)
22 MR. SAUNDERS: 5-A, Motions.
23 MR. DIBILEO: Okay. We're going to
24 call our meeting back into order. And a couple of
25 observations, number one, it's Friday. This is a
1 first, and actually I forgot what my second point was,
2 it will come to me. Mr. McTiernan, any motions or
4 MR. MCTIERNAN: Just a comment. At the
5 request of Holy Cross Basketball that the final sign-up
6 will be held Sunday the 6th of November from six until
7 8 p.m.
8 MR. DIBILEO: I'm sorry. I just
9 remember what my second announcement was, we're not
10 being televised right now, however, we're being told
11 that the rebroadcast of these meetings will be
12 televised, so I just wanted to mention that. Is that
13 it, Mr. McTiernan?
14 MR. MCTIERNAN: Yes.
15 MR. DIBILEO: Yes. Okay. Mrs.
16 Evans, any motions or comments?
17 MS. EVANS: Tonight's list of citizens
18 requests is as follows: A letter to Mr. Parker, a
19 request for a traffic study in the 1400 block of Cedar
20 Avenue, also snow plows push snow into the driveway
21 causing an elderly woman to have to have to shovel her
22 driveway herself in order to transport her sickly
23 husband to and from the hospital. I made this request
24 first in the spring of 2005. This is my second
1 Clean city owned lot that runs from
2 Wood Street to 1422 North Rebecca Avenue. The neighbor
3 has contacted the DPW and the mayor's office numerous
5 Pave Ward Place, second request. Pave
6 Wales Street, third request. Trim overgrown tree in
7 Oliver Court behind the 1300 and 1400 blocks of Luzerne
9 Residents request a stop sign at the
10 corner of Everett and Washburn Street. Residents also
11 request a stop sign on Jackson Street at the corner of
12 the 1300 block of Jackson Street and Sumner Avenue near
13 St. Patrick's Rectory.
14 A letter to Mr. Parker, a request for
15 an update on the street lights and the flooding
16 conditions in Tripp Park.
17 I understand nothing has been done to
18 rectify this problem, and I have to wonder if the city
19 is waiting for an accident to occur before action is
20 taken. 1703 Sanderson Avenue, clean and repair two
21 catch basins.
22 A second request for DPW overtime for
23 2004 and 2005, up to an including October 18, and
24 specific reports for May to November of 2004 and 2005.
25 I'd also like to extend the date now to
1 November 8, since I won't receive the information in a
2 timely fashion anyway.
3 Greenwood Avenue and Corey Street, a
4 catch basin is collapsing. It was marked a few weeks
5 ago, but still no work has been done.
6 I also requested a letter to Mr. Baker
7 several weeks ago regarding handicapped parking spaces
8 at Park Gardens. I would like a second letter, since
9 winter is fast approaching and another burglary
10 occurred just this week. The elderly handicapped
11 resident needs this help, please, as soon as possible.
12 Also, Ruddy Place, a court in North
13 Scranton, specifically Bulls Head off Providence Road
14 needs paving, and it's been well over 20 years since
15 that's occurred.
16 A street sign at Archbald Street and
17 South Main Avenue, which I have been asking for since
18 June '05.
19 Also, a portable pump for Parker Street
20 flooding problem, if Mr. Parker could please give me a
21 response about that, are they going to be purchased, if
22 so, when.
23 Paving in the alley at the rear of 613
24 Green Ridge Street, the 90-year-old woman who resides
25 there broke her leg, and a pothole in that alley last
1 year, and this is my second request for that issue.
2 I also have two announcements, first of
3 all, the Upper Hill Ecumenical Committee is hosting a
4 night to benefit the local military families.
5 Eating at the Friendly's in Dunmore
6 between the hours of 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. on November 9
7 will contribute to the ten percent donation the
8 restaurant will make from all diner receipts. We would
9 appreciate the support of the community for this very
10 worthy cause.
11 Also, the Downtown Scranton Senior
12 Citizens Center will conduct a flea market and bake
13 sale on Saturday November 5 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. A
14 breakfast will be served in the morning for a very
15 small charge. Please support this worthy fundraiser
16 for our senior citizens.
17 We did have some discussion earlier
18 this evening about the East Mountain Road Project and
19 the paving that occurred and repairsnight, and, you
20 know, I do admit I've seen paving occur in the wee
21 hours of the morning, but it's always been on a major
22 interstate, not within the City of Scranton, however,
23 before credit is showered on a number of Johnnies Come
24 Lately to the situation, I believe it's important to
25 state the facts.
1 This project began many, many years
2 ago, at least ten years ago, and it was begun by Brian
3 Reap, president of the East Mountain Neighborhood
4 Association, and he followed through on this during his
5 term as a councilman.
6 Mayor Jim Connors was also highly
7 instrumental in pushing this project forward, as was
8 Congressman Sherwood, who provided the federal funding
9 to make this a reality. So, I think it's time that we
10 give some credit where it really is due.
11 Now, on Wednesday, November 1, I
12 received a copy of a letter addressed to Jay Saunders
13 over the signature of Gerald Butler, assistant city
14 solicitor, and it included a copy of the five-year 2003
15 capital budget. This was the first time I saw the 2003
16 capital budget, because it was filed before I was on
18 Mr. Butler wrote since the five-year
19 budget was filed in 2003, the mayor need not file
20 another capital budget until 20007.
21 The updated 2006 capital improvement
22 plan filed is only a continuation of the original 2003
24 So far Mr. Butler is correct. But when
25 he further wrote, No new capital spending is proposed,
1 and quote, Therefore, Section 904 Paragraphs one
2 through five of the Home Rule Charter does not apply,
3 closed quote. Mr. Butler was not completely correct.
4 When I reviewed the 2003 capital budget
5 for the first time, I found with respect to each item
6 this mayor did not and still does not comply with
7 Scranton's Home Rule Charter Section 904 paragraphs
8 four and five.
9 Nowhere in the 2003 capital budget does
10 it state for each item, quote, An estimated annual cost
11 of operating and maintaining the facility to be
12 constructed or acquired, paragraph four, nor, quote,
13 An inventory replacement schedule for purchase and
14 replacing of major equipment, closed quote, paragraph
15 five, such as the new information technology for
16 City Hall.
17 The people are still entitled to that
18 information. My statement on behalf of the people is
19 not nitpicking, as previously described by this city
20 solicitor, it is a pure and simple violation of the
21 Home Rule Charter. The mayor cannot violate the with
22 impunity just by saying something is nitpicking.
23 When I reviewed the mayor's 2003
24 capital budget, the last page really struck my eye.
25 Now, mind you, I am just reporting what is on the last
1 page of that budget.
2 The mayor said in his 2003 capital
3 budget, quote, As of December 31, 2001, which was the
4 end of Mayor Connor's last term, The city had an
5 estimated remaining long-term borrowing capacity of
6 approximately $159 million based on audited amounts
7 reported in the city's 2001 audited financial
8 statements, closed quote. I submit, this amount
9 appears to apply to all debt.
10 Further down the same page he wrote,
11 quote, Non-electoral debt limit, $195,435,567 less
12 long-term obligation at December 31, 2001, and that is
13 $36,533,064, and the remaining long-term borrowing
14 capacity is $158,902,503.
15 Also, in paragraph three on the last
16 page Mayor Doherty wrote, quote, The operating budget
17 also includes debt service appropriations for the
18 payment of long-term debt principle, interest, and
19 other costs.
20 Isn't this statement by Mayor Doherty
21 directly opposite all the printer's ink The Times used
22 to first argue that interest should not be included in
23 long-term debt?
24 The foregoing facts raise a question
25 for all to ask Mayor Doherty, it is, If when he took
1 office in 2002, he could not legally borrow more than
2 $158.9 million without first going to the people for
3 permission, then isn't he in violation of the law with
4 the present long-term debt of over $200 million?
5 And if you can bear with me just
6 another few minutes, I should like to make an
7 observation on the newspaper's full-length editorial
8 last Sunday's, The paper endorsed the mayor for
9 re-election. Could anyone have ever thought otherwise
10 based on the newspaper's Doherty promotions for the
11 last four years?
12 And The Times has a right to its
13 opinion, so long as it is printed on its editorial or
14 op-ed page; however, the most obvious point any reader
15 should have noticed was that in the entire editorial,
16 the writer never even once mentioned the complete
17 financial disorder and long-term debt this mayor
18 saddled on the people in less than four years.
19 Remember, the long-term debt is now in
20 the hundreds of millions, even his newspaper admits
22 Many Scrantonians lost their homes to
23 foreclosure and sheriff's sale because they were
24 mortgage poor. Many other Scrantonians, including
25 those would are elderly and on fixed incomes, are now
1 Doherty poor because of the large debt he obligated a
2 of us to pay. And he's on the record stating he fully
3 intends to borrow millions more right after this
5 The people of Scranton have come now to
6 the point where Election Day will not really be a race
7 for the mayor's office, rather, the election will be a
8 race for the survival of the people who live, work and
9 raise their children here.
10 The history of Mr. Doherty's conduct in
11 office and job performance is at times a history of
12 repeated injuries to the people and usurpation of the
13 rights belonging to the people.
14 Here are the financial facts, first, to
15 this day, Doherty refuses to comply with Scranton's
16 home rule charter with his filed capital budget;
17 second, he had the city enter into substantial no bid
18 contracts with friends and political cronies, while the
19 people are left with the bills to pay; third, he sold
20 the golf course for less than its true value and did
21 not put the remaining money into a trust as promised;
22 fourth, he cut hourly personnel in City Hall, while at
23 the same time he hired directors and supervisors at
24 much higher salaries which resulted in much higher
25 costs to the taxpayers, he hired consultants at no-bid
1 contracts to help the department heads and supervisors
2 whom he claimed were all well qualified for their jobs;
3 six, he purchased a pothole repair machine for many
4 thousands of dollars, and the pothole machine didn't
5 repair potholes, it did nothing but collect dust;
6 seven, he refused to explain why his OECD director,
7 Sara Hailstone, wasted, yes, wasted $266,000 to
8 rehabilitate the Medallion Garage and then stopped the
9 work and gave orders to tear it down, it must now spend
10 an additional $8 million to build a new garage; eighth,
11 he wasted our money on costly losing arbitrations,
12 attorneys and legal fees, an ninth, the most important,
13 he created more long-term debt for Scrantonians, over
14 $204 million, more than any mayor in the entire history
15 of Scranton, and I truly fear for all of the financial
16 problems he's created for us and which we must pay for
17 for the next 28 years.
18 This mayor's fiscal job performance and
19 his four-year attitude of ignoring and looking down on
20 the taxpayers can't continue.
21 The question is not if Scranton looks
22 better, rather, these are the questions all of you
23 should ask, Am I and my family better off now than I
24 was four years ago? Can we the people afford another
25 four years of Doherty's addictive spending and
1 borrowing millions of dollars every year just to plug
2 holes in his phony budget and increase our long-term
4 And how Much of the hundreds of
5 millions of dollars that have been borrowed did he
6 spend to improve your home, your neighborhood or to
7 assist in your children's future or to improve your
8 family's safety and security? And when you answer
9 those questions, they will tell you how to vote.
10 The election on November 8 is not only
11 to see who will be mayor of Scranton, but it will also
12 be a very important discussion on the safety and the
13 security, and the financial future of each and every
14 one of us. That's it.
15 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you, Mrs. Evans.
16 Mr. Pocius, motions or comments?
17 MR. POCIUS: Yes, Mr. DiBileo. Mrs.
18 Evans, you credited a lot of people who did have a lot
19 to do with the East Mountain Project, but you forgot to
20 mention Senator Mellow who delivered two key grants for
21 that project, one from the Department of Environmental
22 Protection, and another one from capital budget or
23 something like that, probably to the tune of close to a
24 million dollars, for both grants, so Senator Mellow was
25 very instrumental.
1 Because there's a picture I have of
2 Brian Reap receiving the checks up there from
3 Senator Mellow on a cold winter's day quite a few years
5 We never had, I don't know why, but
6 maybe I do know why, we had -- this Council unanimously
7 voted to have a meeting with the public safety and the
8 police on manning and also with the accountant Rossi &
9 Rossi, we haven't had a caucus meeting, the only thing
10 we came in early for was the public hearing, and I
11 thought we could straighten out a couple of things, but
12 maybe we didn't want to staighten them out.
13 One, there has been a lot said, and I'm
14 going to be very brief, I have a real concern here,
15 there has been a lot said on the Hotel Casey Parking
16 Garage, and this concerns me, only for the fact that
17 Bill, I want to ask you, did you have a set of plans
18 sent to a consulting engineering firm in New Jersey?
19 MR. COURTRIGHT: No.
20 MR. POCIUS: Okay. All right.
21 MR. COURTRIGHT: The gentleman picked
22 up a set of plans for me, but to the best of my
23 knowledge, he didn't send them to New Jersey.
24 MR. POCIUS: I'll check on that. Okay.
25 Thank you. Oh, one more thing, I honestly forgot
1 because the hour is late, we had 55 speakers, I'm
2 55-years-old, I guess I get a little forgetful, this is
3 an important election coming up on Tuesday, and I
4 encourage all citizens to go out, exercise their right
5 to vote. It's very important that we all exercise that
7 I will be out of town on Tuesday, I
8 exercised my right to vote this last Tuesday. I voted
9 absentee ballot, I voted right in the voter
10 registration office. After I cast my vote, I didn't
11 run out and buy a dead bolt, if you know what I'm
12 talking about. So, thank you.
13 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you. I guess the
14 mayor is ahead in the election. Mr. Courtright,
15 motions or comments?
16 MR. COURTRIGHT: I have a letter I'd
17 like to read. Our office received a phone call from an
18 employee at Neil Armstrong Elementary School, that they
19 asked to be brought to our attention at Thursday's
20 meeting, and they asked if we would mention the
21 following message, On Sunday, October 23, 2005 at 3
22 p.m., a kitchen fire broke out at 2202 Kelly Avenue in
23 North Scranton. The C shift of the Scranton Fire
24 Department under the direction of E.J. Gallagher would
25 like to acknowledge six-year-old James Williams, who's
1 a first grade student at Neil Armstrong School in Mrs.
2 Pilosi's class for doing the right thing.
3 He did everything right. He got his
4 two-year-old sister out and alerted his farther.
5 Engine Eight, Truck Four and Resource One were called
6 to the scene.
7 Firefighters Jim Sable and Jerry Garvey
8 were the first on the scene to put the fire out. The
9 staff from the Neil Armstrong School was very grateful
10 to the firefighters for all their help with teaching
11 the children so efficiently about fire safety and how
12 to react in a situation such as this.
13 Six-year-old James Williams is a second
14 grade student at Neil Armstrong who has benefited from
15 the teachings of our fire department during Fire
16 Prevention Week at our school. Thank you again to The
17 Scranton Fire Department.
18 And Hollow Avenue has been brought up
19 several times, and last week I said to see if Mr.
20 Parker would be willing to sit down with the residents
21 and talk with them, Jay tried to contact him on several
22 occasions for me by phone, and I don't know if he
23 didn't have his phone on or just wasn't answering it,
24 but we have not been able to contact Mr. Parker.
25 I don't know what else to tell the
1 residents of Hollow Avenue. For me to go up there and
2 look at it, to be quite honest with you, I don't know
3 if I know what I was really looking at.
4 If Mr. Parker isn't willing to help, I
5 don't know, maybe they need to get maps and hire their
6 own surveyor or something, I'm not quite sure what to
7 tell them at this point. We will continue to see if
8 Mr. Parker will meet with them.
9 And the parking garage, you know, when
10 I spoke last week I tried to make it perfectly clear
11 that I was not blaming any of the workers whatsoever,
12 and I got a call from a man who writes for the paper
13 that says that one of the gentleman from the union
14 leaders or whatever you want to call him, was saying
15 that -- telling some the union workers I was speaking
16 against them, it had absolutely nothing to do with the
17 union workers, and I just wanted them to know that, and
18 also stated that I wasn't an engineer, but Chris
19 Doherty felt the need to put in The Times again that I
20 was not an engineer, I never said I was.
21 The thing that bothers me is that did
22 he send an engineer out there to look at it? No. He
23 sent out Mr. Fiorini, who is not an engineer. But the
24 city has engineers, so if he was going to send them,
25 why not our engineers?
1 I spoke to a gentleman, I don't want to
2 say his name, from Highland Associates on more than one
3 occasion since last meeting, that's the architect on
4 this, and he answered a lot of my questions. He
5 couldn't be more helpful, and I never met the man in my
6 life, I just spoke to him on the phone, but I'll tell
7 you, there's so many questions have come up, people
8 have visited me in person, too many to even tell you
9 about, I don't know how many phone calls, Mr. Pocius
10 asked about -- I asked for plans and a gentleman that
11 picked them up for me that was much more versed in this
12 type of thing, and I'm not an engineer, I don't know
13 what he did with them, I believe he still has them in
14 his possession, but I asked him to take a look at them
15 for me.
16 And talking to the gentleman from
17 Highland Associates, a lot of different questions came
18 up, things maybe too technical for me to try to explain
19 it to you, and I want to do it properly, but one of the
20 questions were on the beams on the floor that there
21 needs to be a separate section there for expansion of
22 the metal expansion and cracks.
23 People came to me and said maybe the
24 shoring was put too soon in an effort to get the garage
25 done fast and that might have caused it, so many
1 different items, but one thing that I spoke to about
2 with the gentleman from Highland, he wasn't aware of
3 it, and he said that if it was true, that it could be
4 potentially a big problem with the rebar that was
5 coming through the ceiling on the one spot, and he
6 wasn't aware of that and he said he would look into
8 But we've tried to get Mr. Wintermantle
9 here on several different occasions, and I believe
10 that's one of the reasons we didn't have the other
11 caucus meetings, but we can't seem to get him in here.
12 So, in light of the fact, and I'm sure
13 Mrs. Evans had questions on that, but in light of the
14 fact that Mr. Wintermantle -- we can't get Mr.
15 Wintermantle in here to answer these questions, and I
16 don't know if I can do this now, Mr. DiBileo is not
17 here, but I assume Mrs. Evans can take control of the
18 meeting as vice president, I'd like to make a motion
19 that the city hire an engineer, an outside engineer, to
20 take a look at this project to see if everything is
21 done properly and being repaired properly. I will do
22 that in the form of a motion.
23 MS. EVANS: Second. Well, we have a
24 motion on the floor and a second. On the question? We
25 have the return of the president. Mr. President, we
1 have a motion on the floor and a second, and I'd ask
2 Councilman Courtright to restate his motion so that you
3 can consider it.
4 MR. COURTRIGHT: I made a motion that
5 the city hire an outside engineer, structural engineer,
6 to take a look at the parking garage and make sure
7 everything is all right there, and whatever repairs are
8 being done, that they're being done properly.
9 An on the question, I'd like to say I
10 anticipated some people might say, it would be costly,
11 so I asked some people about what it would cost, and
12 for millions and millions of dollars that we spent on
13 the garage, one individual, and I don't have any
14 documentation, he said $2,000 maybe approximately to
15 have somebody come in and do a report to make sure this
16 is correct, and in the process, I'll wait for the vote
17 and make another statement.
18 MR. DIBILEO: Okay. We have a motion
19 on the floor and a second. On the question?
20 MS. EVANS: I'm going to vote to
21 support this, because I think it is a very good idea,
22 and Mr. Fiorini, who is a wonderful man with a wealth
23 of experience, but as the code inspector, I just don't
24 know that this field would be his forte; moreover, I
25 don't feel comfortable with having those who did the
1 work inspecting their own work, so I think it's very
2 beneficial to bring in an independent source who can
3 give us an objective opinion. It's money well spent,
4 because I really don't think we want to compromise the
5 safety of the public.
6 MR. MCTIERNAN: I have a comment, it
7 sounds like a reasonable proposition, I'm just curious,
8 can we or do we have jurisdiction in the project at
9 this time? Who is responsible for that? It sounds
10 like a reasonable idea, so I just don't know --
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: I don't know that us
12 as Council, I'm assuming the city, so maybe we can send
13 this -- make this motion and send a request down to the
14 mayor, I don't know if that's the proper channel --
15 MR. SAUNDERS: Yeah, I would imagine
16 that we would be send that out to the administration.
17 MR. COURTRIGHT: Because I would
18 probably think that they would want the same as we
19 want, things just to be done right. I'm not trying to
20 point the finger, I just want the garage to be built
21 the way it was meant to be built and to last as long as
22 it's physically intended to last. That's my only
24 MR. POCIUS: I will be voting in the
25 negative on this, for the simple fact that it --
1 there's professionals in charge of the project. Being
2 a professional myself, we have much more to lose than
3 anyone else does, so if anyone, and I would never say
4 anyone would try to cover something up, but they have
5 their professional licensures on these drawings, it's
6 their responsibility to make sure the project is done
7 right, and I think it's unduly causing some alarm here
8 on something that I believe could be handled by the
9 construction manager or the professionals that would
10 have been hired for the project already.
11 There was a third party inspection that
12 probably did most of the work on the inspection, and
13 things do happen with projects such as this an
14 adjustments are made, but this is a post-tension force,
15 so I just think it's not warranted, and I believe that
16 the parties involved will successfully handle this, and
17 the garage will be open, as I believe it is going to be
18 open in the safest and a secured condition.
19 MS. EVANS: I had heard something that
20 one of our local hospitals had experienced a similar
21 problem with a parking garage and they're involved in a
22 lawsuit now as a result, and I think anything, you
23 know, would prevent such a potential is what we should
24 do, and, again, is money well spent, because I don't
25 know that we want to get into that type of situation.
1 We've got too many lawyers and too many
2 arbitrations and litigations ongoing as it is.
3 MR. DIBILEO: If there's no further
4 questions, all those in favor, signify by saying aye.
5 MS. EVANS: Aye.
6 MR. MCTIERNAN: Aye
7 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
8 MR. DIBILEO: Aye. Opposed?
9 MR. POCIUS: No.
10 MR. DIBILEO: By a 4-1 vote, motion
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: And one last thing,
13 Mr. President, I am not going to make this motion,
14 because I think you said earlier that you will be
15 entertaining it, because even throughout this process,
16 and believe me when I tell you, I tried not to make
17 this political, it became political once the mayor said
18 in the paper I did it to hurt his chances of becoming
19 mayor again, I mean, if him winning the election hinges
20 on this garage opening or not, then I feel sorry for
22 But through the process of talking to
23 people, many people, and, again, way too much
24 information for me to process, I'm not an engineer, and
25 I'll keep repeating that, but I found out that some of
1 the testing people, who they were, who they were
2 related to, what companies they were related to, and
3 I'm not going to say the name on air, but I think it's
4 time that that city adopts some kind of nepotism
5 policy, so I'll wait for Mr. DiBileo to make a motion
6 like that, and that's all I have, Mr. President. Thank
8 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you, Mr.
9 Courtright. I have a couple of brief things,
10 considering the hour.
11 I just wanted to state that The
12 Scranton Times seems to be working overtime recently,
13 especially in trying their best to portray me as an
14 indecisive person, a flip-flopper, as you may, if you
15 may, but I want to get something straight, that at the
16 debate I mentioned something about the recovery plan.
17 Prior to the debate, I was told that it
18 may be the case that the recovery plan would have to be
19 resubmitted at the end of 2005, that that may be the
20 case. If that was to be the case, I said at the debate
21 that because the recovery plan was voted on so and
22 repairswhelmingly that it should not be changed very
23 much at all. I'm satisfied now knowing that it does
24 not have to be resubmitted, and I'm not looking to
25 change anything, except perhaps an impact study which
1 makes sense to me.
2 So, I did not change my mind about
3 anything. So, no matter what you read in the paper
4 about me being indecisive, don't believe it. It's
5 election time.
6 Another thing came up at the podium
7 tonight, and in the newspaper this week, and I just
8 want to respond to it, there was a letter to the
9 editor, and in response to that I just would like to
10 say that I don't believe that ethnicity should have
11 anything to do with this election or any election.
12 I'm very proud to say that I'm half
13 Irish and half Italian, my wife is very proud to be
14 half Irish and half Italian, my wife and I are very
15 proud that our four children, therefore, are half Irish
16 and half Italian.
17 My mother Jane Higgins and my father
18 Angelo Moe DiBileo would not be very happy with me if I
19 did not show anything but pride about who I am.
20 My wife being a little disturbed about
21 what she had read submitted a letter to the editor to
22 The Scranton Times, which I hand delivered to Pat
23 McKenna yesterday, and he looked at it, and he said he
24 would run it, so, you'll probably see it, but just in
25 case it doesn't make it in before the election, I'm
1 going to road my wife's letter to the editor.
2 Dear Editor, I am writing in regard to
3 the recent letter to the editor that implies that my
4 husband has an ethnic bias. Nothing could be further
5 from the truth.
6 I am hurt and deeply concerned about
7 the direction that this election has taken. I find it
8 reprehensible that this letter would be printed at such
9 a critical time for this election.
10 My husband and I believe that ethnicity
11 should play no part in this mayoral election.
12 Gary and I are very proud of our half
13 Irish and half Italian heritage. Our four children
14 share these same wonderful roots.
15 Gary's mother, Jane Higgins DiBileo,
16 and father, Angelo Moe DiBileo would be upset if he
17 portrayed himself as anyone other than who he is. I
18 can accept challenges to my husband's public record,
19 but not his character.
20 I was particularly taken back by the
21 suggestion that my husband was surly. Gary does not
22 have a mean bone in his body.
23 This election is about who the people
24 of Scranton trust to face the issues that challenge our
25 city today. And that's sincerely Christine McDonald
2 Now, the person in question writing to
3 the editor has a 4-by-8 foot Chris Doherty sign in her
4 yard. When I entered the insurance business 20 years
5 ago, I became a competitor of the person in question,
6 so our relationship's never been very close, I think as
7 a result of that, but I remember the knocking on the
8 door and the greeting being somewhat unpleasant, and my
9 recollection of the exchange is different than what was
10 written in the newspaper.
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: Mr. President, can I
12 interrupt for one second? I am just going to say this
13 here, as I often do, I was walking with Mr. DiBileo
14 that day, and I'm sure people know that I do that with
15 him, and I was standing on the sidewalk when he spoke
16 to this woman, I don't know this woman, I know who she
17 is, but I don't know her, and the first comment she
18 made to him wasn't very nice, but at no time did I ever
19 hear, again, I was on the sidewalk, I was standing next
20 to him, at no time did I ever hear him mention to her
21 anything about Irish. I heard him state he was from
22 West Side, so I don't know what was printed in the
23 paper was exactly what that woman said, but I just know
24 what I head. That's all I have to say. Thank you.
25 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you. And also,
1 I said earlier that I wanted to make an anti-nepotism
2 motion, and I'm going to do that in a minute, and the
3 reason that I will make this motion is based on
4 situations like the mayor's sister's company vehicle
5 being parked at a downtown construction site with
6 towels covering the vehicle's identity, even though
7 they were construction workers were wearing hard hats
8 that were occupying the vehicle, now, if the mayor's
9 sister's company is involved down at that garage, and I
10 would assume there's some involvement, otherwise why
11 would they be there and why are they using towels to
12 hide the identity of this vehicle, but if they're
13 involved and they're benefitting from city business,
14 and I think that's wrong, that those towels had to be
15 there for a reason, and it was mentioned at the podium
16 by Violet Pilosi that maybe someone put the towels on
17 there, well, I happened to be in town, I got a phone
18 call on my cell phone, and I was near the coffee shop
19 around the corner, and I went over myself, and I'm not
20 sorry to say that I was the one that lifted the towel
21 up to see what was underneath.
22 I'm a City Councilman, that looked odd
23 to me, and there's no way I wasn't going to lift the
24 towel up, and I did, and the picture was snapped, and
25 that's what was underneath, McGregor Iron, and that
1 happens to be the sister of the mayor's company. So,
2 but this is what movies are made off. I mean, that's
3 good stuff.
4 MS. EVANS: Could I you just jump in a
5 minute, though? I could be wrong, but I thought I
6 remembered at the very origins of this project seeing a
7 sign posted at that location for McGregor Ironworker or
8 McGregor Industries, and it was up ever so briefly and
9 then removed.
10 MR. DIBILEO: Also another sign down
11 there, Restoring the Pride. Gee, when your family is
12 working on a project, I don't know how much pride
13 you're restoring there, but another reason I'll cite is
14 the fact that the mayor's brother's law partner works
15 on possibly all or most of the city's worker's
16 Compensation cases, as far as settling them.
17 I have a voucher here from the partner
18 in question, and the address of the partner in
19 question, here it is, the address of the partner in
20 question on the voucher is 1000 Bank Towers, 321 Spruce
21 Street, Scranton, PA.
22 I also have a copy of the letterhead of
23 the firm, Scanlon, Howley and Doherty, attorneys and
24 counselors at law, 1000 Bank Towers, 321 Spruce Street,
25 Scranton, Pennsylvania, same address, money is going to
1 the same place, so my question is, Normally partners
2 share in their business, they share in the profits of
3 the business, if that's the case, then the mayor's
4 brother is benefitting from this city's business. It
5 looks to me like we have a sister and a brother
6 benefiting from city business.
7 And with that said, I'd like to make a
8 motion to direct either Mr. Mark Walsh or his law
9 partner, Frank Blasi, to draft anti-nepotism
10 legislation by which City Council members or the mayor
11 should abide by and not doing any city business with
12 family members.
13 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
14 MR. DIBILEO: Okay. We have a motion
15 on the floor and a second. On the question? All those
16 in favor, signify by saying aye.
17 MS. EVANS: Aye.
18 MR. MCTIERNAN: Aye.
19 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
20 MR. DIBILEO: Aye. Opposed?
21 MR. POCIUS: No.
22 MR. DIBILEO: By a 4-1 vote, motion
24 And the last thing I have is this,
25 please vote on Tuesday, this Tuesday, November the 8th.
1 Regardless of who you vote for, please vote. If you're
2 unsure where you're supposed to vote at, call voter
3 registration and ask. The phone number there is
4 963-6737, 963-6737. Call up, find out if you're
5 unsure. And no matter who you vote for, please vote.
6 MS. EVANS: Mr. DiBileo, I just have
7 two quick things, I'm sorry, that I didn't mention it
8 earlier, I think it's due to fatigue, if I could jump
9 it, first I'm requesting a copy of a police report, I
10 was contacted by a homeowner who was told there is no
11 police report that was filed, and this accident
12 occurred at 2:50 a.m. on Saturday, October 29, a drunk
13 driver hit his house at 469 Oak Street, so I'd like to
14 try to get a copy of that police report for him, only
15 because his insurance company is requesting this in
16 order that he can file a claim.
17 Also, I'm requesting a proclamation for
18 outstanding community service from Scranton City
19 Council honoring Mr. James Hughes of North Scranton. I
20 think we all know Jimmy, and he does a fantastic job
21 sweeping the curbs of his neighborhood and up at The
22 Friendship House every day from about 7 a.m. until it's
23 time for dinner, and this very remarkable man also runs
24 an annual fundraiser for the benefit of the American
25 Heart Association, and I'm hoping that none of my
1 colleagues would mind.
2 MR. DIBILEO: Absolutely. I think he's
3 well worth a proclamation.
4 MS. EVANS: And, Mr. Courtright, I am
5 going to show you this request, because there is a
6 house on here where there are great problems, drug
7 sales going on right in front of the house, and some of
8 the neighbors were solicited to purchase drugs, and I
9 was hoping that maybe you could pass this along.
10 MR. COURTRIGHT: Sure, no problem.
11 MR. DIBILEO: I have two things real
12 quick. I almost forgot, there's an apple pie sale
13 sponsored by the Elm Park United Methodist Church. You
14 can buy apple pies in advance, either baked or unbaked
15 by November 15 by calling 342-8263, 342-8263.
16 Elm Park United Methodist Church is at
17 the corner of Linden Street and Jefferson Avenue. Call
18 before November 15, and you can pick up your apple pie
19 baked or unbaked on Saturday, November 19, Saturday,
20 November 19, just in time for Thanksgiving, if you're
21 going to wait that long to eat it.
22 And the last thing, the Downtown Senior
23 Center, 305 Penn Avenue, is having a flea market,
24 Downtown Senior Center at 305 Penn Avenue, a flea
25 market Saturday, November 5 from nine until four, nine
1 until four. The kitchen will be open. It says here
2 breakfast will be served until eleven o'clock, and so
3 get down Saturday, November 5 to the Downtown Senior
4 Center for the flea market from nine until four, and
5 breakfast from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. That's all I have.
6 MR. BLASI: 5-B, there's no business at
7 this time.
8 Sixth order. 6-A, READING BY TITLE -
9 FILE OF COUNCIL NO.157, 2005 - AN ORDINANCE - AMENDING
10 FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 68, 2004, ENTITLED, AN ORDINANCE
11 AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND OTHER APPROPRIATE OFFICIALS
12 OF THE CITY OF SCRANTON TO TAKE ALL NECESSARY ACTIONS
13 TO IMPLEMENT THE CONSOLIDATED SUBMISSION FOR COMMUNITY
14 PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS (AS AMENDED) TO BE
15 FUNDED UNDER THE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT
16 (CDBG) PROGRAM, HOME INVESTMENT PARTNERSHIP (HOME)
17 PROGRAM AND EMERGENCY SHELTER GRANT (ESG) PROGRAM, BY
18 TRANSFERRING $23,279.17 FROM PROJECT NO. 05-066.1 BOYS
19 AND GIRLS CLUB (PARK-IT) AND $7,067.54 PROJECT NO.
20 04-252 BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB (ROOFING) TO PROJECT NO.
21 03-066 BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB (REACH OUT).
22 MR. DIBILEO: You've heard reading by
23 title of Item 6-A, what is your pleasure?
24 MR. POCIUS: Mr. President, I move that
25 6-A pass reading by title.
1 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
2 MR. DIBILEO: On the question? All
3 those in favor, signify by saying aye.
4 MS. EVANS: Aye.
5 MR. MCTIERNAN: Aye
6 MR. POCIUS: Aye.
7 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
8 MR. DIBILEO: Aye. Opposed? The ayes
9 have it and so moved.
10 MR. BLASI: 6-B, READING BY TITLE -
11 FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 158, 2005 - AN ORDINANCE - AMENDING
12 FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 68, 2004, ENTITLED, AN ORDINANCE
13 AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND OTHER APPROPRIATE OFFICIALS
14 OF THE CITY OF SCRANTON TO TAKE ALL NECESSARY ACTIONS
15 TO IMPLEMENT THE CONSOLIDATED SUBMISSION FOR COMMUNITY
16 PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS TO BE FUNDED UNDER
17 THE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT (CDBG) PROGRAM,
18 HOME INVESTMENT PARTNERSHIP (HOME) PROGRAM AND
19 EMERGENCY SHELTER GRANT (ESG) PROGRAM, BY REALLOCATING
20 $100,000.00 FROM PROJECT NO. 99-100, COMPREHENSIVE
21 HOUSING REHABILITATION PROGRAM, TO PROJECT NO. 04-107
22 EMERGENCY HOUSING REPAIRS, WHICH IS ADMINISTERED BY
23 NEIGHBORHOOD HOUSING OF SCRANTON.
24 MR. DIBILEO: You've heard reading by
25 title of Item 6-B, what is your pleasure?
1 MR. POCIUS: Mr. President, I move that
2 6-B pass reading by title.
3 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
4 MR. DIBILEO: On the question? All
5 those in favor, signify by saying aye.
6 MS. EVANS: Aye.
7 MR. MCTIERNAN: Aye
8 MR. POCIUS: Aye.
9 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
10 MR. DIBILEO: Aye. Opposed? The ayes
11 have it and so moved.
12 MR. BLASI: 6-C, READING BY TITLE -
13 FILE OF THE COUNCIL NO. 159, 2005 - AN ORDINANCE -
14 AMENDING FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 114, 2003, TO AMEND THE
15 COMPOSITION OF THE FIREMEN'S RELIEF AND PENSION FUND
16 COMMISSION RESTORING SAID COMPOSITION OF SAID
17 COMMISSION TO THE COMPOSITION AS SET FORTH WITHIN
18 SECTIONS 2(a) AND 2(b) OF FILE OF THE COUNCIL NO. 14 OF
20 MR. DIBILEO: You've heard reading by
21 title of Item 6-C, what is your pleasure?
22 MR. COURTRIGHT: Mr. President, I move
23 that 6-C pass reading by title.
24 MS. EVANS: Second.
25 MR. DIBILEO: On the question?
1 MS. EVANS: Yes. I was just wondering
2 if I could ask my honorable colleague Mr. Pocius why he
3 opposes this piece of legislation.
4 MR. POCIUS: Because it's been
5 appealed, and it may not happen. If we pass this thing
6 and it's overturned by the arbitrators, then it's
7 basically for nothing, so that's why I'm voting in the
8 negative right now. You asked me, and I am responding.
9 Thank you.
10 MS. EVANS: Thank you. I'm just
11 wondering, though, if the appeal fails and the
12 individuals remain seated and a new firm is hired, if
13 that is taken to court, is that firm then tossed out an
14 a new vote and a new firm put in place, I think, you
15 know, on the other hand we're looking at great legal
17 MR. POCIUS: I won't respond to that
18 because the hour is late, but I know the facts on
19 something like, so I'm not going to respond. It's too
20 late to debate you.
21 MR. DIBILEO: Okay. If there's no
22 further questions, all those in favor, signify by
23 saying aye.
24 MS. EVANS: Aye.
25 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
1 MR. DIBILEO: Aye. Opposed?
2 MR. MCTIERNAN: No.
3 MR. POCIUS: No.
4 MR. DIBILEO: By a 3-2 vote, motion
6 MR. BLASI: Seventh order. 7-A, FOR
7 CONSIDERATION BY THE COMMITTEE ON RULES - FOR ADOPTION
8 - FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 156, 2005 - AN ORDINANCE -
9 AMENDING FILE OF THE COUNCIL NO. 113, 2003, TO AMEND
10 THE COMPOSITION OF THE CITY OF SCRANTON COMPOSITE
11 PENSION BOARD RESTORING SAID COMPOSITION OF SAID
12 PENSION BOARD TO THE COMPOSITION AS SET FORTH WITHIN
13 SECTION 6 OF FILE OF THE COUNCIL NO. 154 OF 1987.
14 MR. DIBILEO: As chairperson for the
15 committee on rules, I recommend final passage of Item
17 MR. COURTRIGHT: Seconded.
18 MR. DIBILEO: On the question? Roll
19 call please, Kay.
20 MS. GARVEY: Mr. McTiernan.
21 MR. McTIERNAN: No.
22 MS. GARVEY: Mrs. Evans.
23 MS. EVANS: Yes.
24 MS. GARVEY: Mr. Pocius.
25 MR. POCIUS: No.
1 MS. GARVEY: Mr. Courtright.
2 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
3 MS. GARVEY: Mr. DiBileo.
4 MR. DIBILEO: Yes. By a 3-2 vote, I
5 hereby declare Item 7-A legally and lawfully adopted.
6 MR. BLASI: 7-B, FOR CONSIDERATION BY
7 THE COMMITTEE ON RULES - FOR ADOPTION - RESOLUTION NO.
8 170, 2005 - A RESOLUTION - AUTHORIZING CITY OF SCRANTON
9 PARTICIPATION AND INDICATING SUPPORT FOR THE
10 POSSIBILITY OF INTERGOVERNMENTAL COOPERATION IN THE
11 CREATION OF A REGIONAL COMPREHENSIVE PLAN.
12 MR. DIBILEO: As chairperson for the
13 committee on rules, I recommend final passage of Item
15 MR. POCIUS: Seconded.
16 MR. DIBILEO: On the question? Roll
17 call please, Kay.
18 MS. GARVEY: Mr. McTiernan.
19 MR. McTIERNAN: Yes.
20 MS. GARVEY: Mrs. Evans.
21 MS. EVANS: Yes.
22 MS. GARVEY: Mr. Pocius.
23 MR. POCIUS: Yes.
24 MS. GARVEY: Mr. Courtright.
25 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
1 MS. GARVEY: Mr. DiBileo.
2 MR. DIBILEO: Yes. I hereby declare
3 Item 7-B legally and lawfully adopted. And at 1:15,
4 seeing no further business on the agenda, I'll
5 entertain a motion we adjourn.
6 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
7 MS. EVANS: Second.
8 MR. DIBILEO: We're adjourned.
9 (MEETING WAS ADJOURNED.)
1 C E R T I F I C A T E
3 I hereby certify that the proceedings and
4 evidence are contained fully and accurately in the
5 notes taken by me on the hearing of the above cause and
6 that this copy is a correct transcript of the same
7 to the best of my ability.
LISA M. GRAFF, RPR
11 Official Court Reporter