1 SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING
6 Thursday, November 17, 2005
11 7:00 p.m.
16 Council Chambers
17 Scranton City Hall
18 340 North Washington Avenue
19 Scranton, Pennsylvania
24 Lisa M. Graff, RMR
25 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. ROBERT McTIERNAN
11 MR. JAY SAUNDERS, CITY CLERK
13 MS. KAY GARVEY, ASSISTANT CITY CLERK
15 ALSO PRESENT:
17 FRANK BLASI, ESQUIRE
1 MR. DIBILEO: Okay. Please stand for
2 the Pledge Of Allegiance. Please remain standing for a
3 short prayer. Roll call, please, Kay.
4 MS. GARVEY: Mr. McTiernan.
5 MR. McTIERNAN: Here.
6 MS. GARVEY: Mrs. Evans.
7 MS. EVANS: Here.
8 MS. GARVEY: Mr. Pocius.
9 Mr. Courtright.
10 MR. COURTRIGHT: Here.
11 MS. GARVEY: Mr. DiBileo.
12 MR. DIBILEO: Here. For the record,
13 Kay, we have a letter from Mr. Saunders informing us
14 that Councilman John Pocius will be unable to attend
15 tonight's City Council meeting, as he is out of town.
16 And if we can dispense with the reading of the minutes,
17 Mr. Saunders.
18 MR. SAUNDERS: 3-A, PETITION FOR A
19 STREET LIGHT AT 705 WEST ELM STREET.
20 MR. DIBILEO: Are there any comments on
21 3-A? If not, received and filed.
22 MR. SAUNDERS: 3-B, MINUTES FROM THE
23 FIREMEN'S PENSION COMMISSION MEETING HELD WEDNESDAY,
24 OCTOBER 26, 2005.
25 MR. DIBILEO: Are there any comments on
1 3-B? If not, received and filed.
2 MR. SAUNDERS: 3-C, MINUTES FROM THE
3 POLICE PENSION COMMISSION MEETING HELD WEDNESDAY,
4 OCTOBER 26, 2005.
5 MR. DIBILEO: Are there any comments on
6 3-C? If not, received and filed.
7 MR. SAUNDERS: 3-D, MINUTES FROM THE
8 COMPOSITE PENSION BOARD MEETING HELD WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER
9 26, 2005.
10 MR. DIBILEO: Are there any comments on
11 3-D? If not, received and filed.
12 MR. SAUNDERS: Mr. President, I have
13 two things tonight, the first thing is for everybody is
14 Thursday, next Thursday our Council meeting has been
15 cancelled due to the Thanksgiving Holiday.
16 The second thing I have tonight is that
17 before our meeting tonight I submitted my resignation
18 to City Council.
19 After lots of consideration and some
20 other things that I have taken into consideration, I am
21 leaving effective November 25th.
22 You have to bear with me a couple of
23 minutes here, I have to thank a couple of people, it's
24 been three and a half years that I've been doing this.
25 First, when I first came in, Mary Ann
1 Kitlas, Carolyn Lee and Jane Watkins, they taught me to
2 be the city clerk, Lori Reed, my second secretary, she
3 was my protector for a long time here, and then I have
4 the past City Council, Kevin Murphy, Brian Reap, Tommy
5 Gilhooley, Alex Hazzouri, Mike McCormick, and Gary, I
6 have to thank those guys, they gave me the confidence
7 to give me this position.
8 Also I have to thank Mayor Doherty and
9 the administration, they've been very professional with
10 me and very helpful through this three and a half
12 I will go to the future before I go to
13 our Council to finish this off, Sherry Fanucci and Judy
14 Gatelli also showing the confidence of us going forward
15 as the city clerk, and I appreciate their confidence in
17 Kay and Neil, every time I hear, Jay,
18 you're doing a great job, Jay, you did a great thing
19 there, it's always Kay Garvey, it's very seldom me, and
21 And then I will go to this Council,
22 Gary and Bob, I was friends with you guys well before I
23 ever took this position, and I'm sure I will be friends
24 with you guys forever.
25 John Pocius was a -- I'm more proud or
1 as proud that I was friends with his father for a long
2 time before I knew John, and I'm proud to say that I
3 served with John, he served for a lot of years here.
4 Janet, you made me famous, you
5 absolutely made me famous. You set the precedent and
6 the bar very high for a Councilperson, and I'm proud
7 that I served with you.
8 Bill, you became a friend of mine, and
9 I appreciate that. Gene Hickey and Mark Walsh and
10 Frank kept me out of trouble for a long time, and I
11 appreciate that.
12 And I would be kicked right out of my
13 house if I didn't say thank you to my mother and father
14 and to Tammy and my son Jason. Thank you.
15 MR. DIBILEO: Jay, that was very nice.
16 Just to let everyone know, this just became public
17 knowledge as of yesterday, so it literally has been a
18 very, very, short time period, and, you know, I feel
19 very melancholy knowing that not only, you know, will I
20 be here as of January 1, but now also, you know, you're
21 not going to be here.
22 May I ask everyone in the audience to
23 please refrain from speaking, please? And I think that
24 you'll be remembered as two things, Jay, and that is
25 number one, fair, and, number two, professional.
1 I have been on both sides of the aisle
2 regarding this City Council while you were here for
3 your three and a half years, I was in the so-called
4 minority, as they say, my first two years, and you were
5 here for most of that, you treated me very fairly and
6 professionally, and then I've been in the so-called
7 majority, as they say, these past two years, and
8 nothing has changed, you're very professional and fair
9 and you haven't changed regardless of my status, and I
10 would only hope that the next city clerk could be just
11 like you have been in your job.
12 So, I just want to thank you for all
13 that and wish you the best of luck. I'm sure your new
14 employer is going to be getting a real winner.
15 And as you mentioned before, Janet, I
16 think, made your new employer prove -- it was proven
17 that you can get the job done, because if you can
18 handle all of her things and chores that she gave you,
19 you can handle any chores. So, I just want to wish you
20 luck and say thank you, Jay.
21 MR. SAUNDERS: Thank you.
22 MR. DIBILEO: And we'll just move on.
23 MS. EVANS: Jay, I want to thank you
24 for all of your hard work and your professionalism and
25 your support. We've been through some great
1 challenges, great victories, great defeats, but we've
2 done it all together, and you served each and every one
3 of us fairly and admirably and you will be missed, not
4 to mention the fact, though, I'll inject a bit of humor
5 here, according to what people tell me was published in
6 Electric City, it looks like a couple of colleges are
7 going to have their balloon burst at some frat parties.
8 MR. SAUNDERS: Yeah.
9 MR. COURTRIGHT: Jay, if I may, I think
10 Kay could attest to the fact I spend a lot of time in
11 this building, and I probably wouldn't if you weren't
12 siting in that chair, so I can't even get into the
13 computer without Jay, so I -- Kay's going to have to
14 figure that out for me to get my mail, and everything I
15 did, I had to go to him for, and I appreciate it, and
16 we -- I think we became pretty good friends, and I hope
17 we stay good friends, Buddy. Thanks for everything.
18 MR. MCTIERNAN: Jay, I'd like to thank
19 you also for all of your help. As everyone has pointed
20 out, we've had an interesting two years, and I would
21 like to say that on more than one occasion you served
22 as a life preserver, rather than an anchor, so I thank
23 you for all of your help.
24 And for sure, we're going to you miss
25 you. I know that I will definitely miss all of your
1 help. And I agree, everyone sentiments professed
2 earlier, that you do handle this job with the upmost of
3 professionalism, and thank you for your service.
4 MR. SAUNDERS: Thank you.
5 MR. DIBILEO: Well, thank you,
6 everyone. And we're up to citizens participation. And
7 before I call up the first speaker, I would like to
8 remind speakers to please refrain from comments of a
9 personal nature, please try not to exceed our
10 five-minute rule, and please no -- I'd like to ask
11 audience members to please refrain from speaking while
12 anyone is at the podium so that we could pay attention
13 to their comments. And with that said, the first
14 speaker on the list is Fay Franus.
15 MR. SAUNDERS: Gary, the bell is broke.
16 MR. DIBILEO: Oh, yeah, and of all
17 nights, the bell that Jay has used since he got here is
19 MR. SAUNDERS: It's going with me.
20 MS. FRANUS: Fay Franus, Scranton,
21 Pennsylvania. Jay, we're really going to miss you.
22 You've really been quite nice to everybody.
23 Mr. Courtright, I'd like to talk to you
24 a couple seconds here. Have you decided what you're
25 going to do about the CRF loan?
1 MR. COURTRIGHT: I was going to speak
2 on it when it was my turn to speak, but being you ask,
3 I'll speak now.
4 I think there was a little bit of
5 confusion. I was waiting for Mr. Doherty to call me,
6 and evidently he was waiting for me to call him, and
7 this morning, I don't know, Jay, was it him you spoke
8 to or Earl?
9 MR. SAUNDERS: I spoke to Earl Masters
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: So, Earl called me
12 today, and I'm going to be speaking with him tomorrow
13 to see if I can get some of my questions answered.
14 MS. FRANUS: Which would be?
15 MR. COURTRIGHT: Which would be what?
16 MS. FRANUS: Your questions.
17 MR. COURTRIGHT: Well, I'd like to
18 reserve telling you what my questions are until I speak
19 to him, and I will come here and I will openly tell
20 everybody what we discussed, and any questions you
21 might have of me, then I will be happy to answer them
22 for you.
23 MS. FRANUS: Why can't you say what
24 questions you want to ask him? You've already said
25 already how many times, until he answers questions
1 about certain things, which would be, how he's going to
2 spend the money, are you going to ask that question?
3 MR. COURTRIGHT: Absolutely,
5 MS. FRANUS: You know what I find
6 strange, here is what I find strange, I find strange
7 that before the election you were very, very, very firm
8 about not going for this, you were right there with the
9 people, now all of a sudden the election is over, you
10 want to go with the majority of the people and go with
11 Mr. Doherty.
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: Well, I figured people
13 will come and say that, you know --
14 MS. FRANUS: Well, we'll see.
15 MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay. Could I explain
16 it to you?
17 MR. DIBILEO: Let Mr. Courtright
19 MS. FRANUS: Go ahead.
20 MR. COURTRIGHT: I think I mentioned
21 last week, I don't know if you say the meeting, you
22 know, Mr. DiBileo had asked me, and for those of you
23 that heard me last week, I'm sorry, I've got to repeat
24 myself here, I had walked constantly with him knocking
25 on doors throughout the election, and all the time he
1 asked me to take a second look at it, and, you know, I
2 didn't want to do it during the election because I
3 think people made it political, I don't think it was
4 about the people, I don't think it was about what was
5 good and what wasn't good for the city.
6 I think we had a parade of people
7 coming to that podium for their own personal reasons.
8 I have to make my decision based on what I think is
9 good for everybody, and so I didn't really want to
10 entertain it then.
11 I have the same questions now that I
12 had before, and Mr. DiBileo had asked Mr. Doherty to
13 come here, he would not come here and answer any of the
14 questions, and that was the number one reason why I
15 wouldn't vote in favor of it.
16 I'm not -- I don't know how I'm going
17 to -- if I'm going to reintroduce it or not, Fay, to be
18 honest with you. I have to see what answers he gives
19 me tomorrow.
20 I know you don't like that, and I know
21 you --
22 MS. FRANUS: It's very political.
23 MR. COURTRIGHT: Well, I mean, I know,
24 I knew people were going to say that.
25 MS. FRANUS: Well --
1 MR. COURTRIGHT: And I'm sorry, but I'm
2 going to do whatever I think is in the best interest of
3 the city. I had concerns, I wanted to see the city go
4 to banks and see if the banks would be willing to do
5 this, and I'm going -- that's one the questions I'm
6 going to ask him.
7 There's a couple other questions, I
8 would like to know if in fact there's any projects in
9 the works or does he have any plans for this money,
10 what he plans on doing with this money.
11 The single biggest thing I want to know
12 is, I'm going to ask him to produce for me whatever
13 information he has, and then I'm going to ask our
14 solicitor to get whatever information he has that can
15 guarantee me that if this loan ever goes through, that
16 they cannot circumvent this Council, because that's my
17 number one concern.
18 If there's five of us up here and a
19 project comes through and three out of the five of us
20 vote for it, well, I think that's, you know, the people
21 of the city voted for us and we're speaking on their
23 If a project comes up and it's not good
24 and three of five of us don't vote for it, then it
25 doesn't go. I need to be assured that that's going to
2 But I don't know. I know you -- I
3 know, I shouldn't say I know, but I believe that you
4 think in your heart that I have my mind made up, and I
5 don't know how politically would this help me. No
6 matter what I do --
7 MS. FRANUS: You don't want me to
8 explain that.
9 MR. COURTRIGHT: No matter what I do,
10 I'm sure I'm going to have a lot of people mad at me,
11 all right, but I'm going to do what I think is right in
12 my heart, and that's all I can do. That's the best I
13 can do for you.
14 MS. FRANUS: Well, I hope you don't
15 show cowardness and go against the people.
16 MR. COURTRIGHT: Well, I don't know --
17 I don't think I've ever been called a coward before. I
18 hope not.
19 MS. FRANUS: If the answers aren't
20 answers satisfactorily to the people, Billy, and you
21 vote for this, then there's something wrong here.
22 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yeah, yeah, I don't
23 disagree with you. I have --
24 MS. FRANUS: I find it strange that the
25 mayor would all of a sudden answer the questions now
1 and he wouldn't all this time before. Do you think
2 he's really going to come forward with all of these
3 answers and then you're going to say, Okay. You really
4 believe he's going to come forward with these answers?
5 MR. SAUNDERS: Your time is up.
6 MS. FRANUS: He spoke the whole time.
7 MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay, be nice now. He
8 called and asked to speak to me. Would you prefer I
9 don't speak to him?
10 MS. FRANUS: No, but I just find it
11 strange that now all of a sudden after --
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: Well, only he can
13 answer why he chose -- maybe he chose to speak to me
14 now because the election -- I don't know, I don't know
15 why he chose to speak to me now. But I, you know --
16 MS. FRANUS: How about Mrs. Evans, is
17 he going to speak to her, as well?
18 MR. COURTRIGHT: I don't know. I don't
19 know. I can't answer that. I can't speak --
20 MS. FRANUS: Did you get a phone call?
21 MS. EVANS: No, I didn't get any phone
22 call from the mayor.
23 MS. FRANUS: Well, I guess the
24 newspaper is reporting things wrong, he was going to
25 contact you, well --
1 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yeah. And --
2 MR. DIBILEO: Let me say this, Mr.
3 Courtright expressed an interest in speaking with the
4 mayor, and I told him that I would personally ask him
5 to contact Mr. Courtright. I actually didn't ask him
6 to contact Mrs. Evans.
7 MS. FRANUS: He should know enough on
8 his own without you, Gary, asking him.
9 MR. DIBILEO: But, Fay, let me just say
10 that, you know, now politics, I think, is removed from
11 this issue --
12 MS. FRANUS: That's what I'm trying to
14 MR. DIBILEO: I think it was all about
15 the election before, and I don't blame them for really
16 not introducing --
17 MS. FRANUS: What Mrs. Evans and Mr.
18 Courtright didn't do was not anything to do with
19 politics, it was for the people, and I hope they stay
20 their course and not back down and be turncoats here,
21 Mr. Courtright.
22 MR. DIBILEO: The fact that they chose
23 not to reintroduce it when people, as Mr. Courtright
24 said, paraded up here and asked --
25 MS. FRANUS: He didn't reintroduce it,
1 because he felt it was right for the people not to
2 without the answers, si why he didn't, not because of
3 the people coming to the podium.
4 MR. DIBILEO: Thanks, Fay.
5 MS. FRANUS: I mean, I would hope
6 that's why you did it.
7 MR. COURTRIGHT: I'll say it one more
8 time, that I have some questions that I'm going to ask,
9 I'm going to ask him to give me those answers. If he
10 gives me those answers, and to me they're satisfactory,
11 I will vote in favor of CRF. If he gives me those
12 answers and they're not satisfactory, I will not vote
13 in favor of CRF.
14 I cannot poll every person in the City
15 of Scranton to see what their opinion is, but I will do
16 what I think is best for the city, and I don't know
17 what else I can do, Fay.
18 I mean, I know if by some chance, if
19 by some chance I decide to make that motion, I know
20 you're going to be mad at me, I know you're going to
21 say if I flip flopped or whatever --
22 MS. FRANUS: It's not me, it's the
23 people in the city. I'm just one person.
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: I'm speaking to you,
25 that's why I'm saying you. I'm sure there will be
1 other people mad at me.
2 MS. FRANUS: Tons of people.
3 MR. COURTRIGHT: Right. If I chose the
4 other side, I'm sure there's going to be people that
5 are going to be mad at me for that, and that's fine,
6 that's the way it goes.
7 I asked to sit here, I asked to be
8 elected to this, and there's going to be decisions that
9 I'm going to make that somebody's not going to like.
10 MS. FRANUS: All right.
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yeah, I know. And so,
12 all I can tell you is I'm going to do what I think is
13 best, and if you disagree with me, well, then I'm
14 sorry, and there's not anything I can do about it, but
15 I wish that you wouldn't say I have my mind made up
16 already, because I do not, I promise you I do not.
17 MS. EVANS: Mrs. Franus, I had a
18 conversation this evening with Mr. Courtright
19 concerning CRF, and I can attest to the fact he does
20 not have his mind made up, that's what he has told me,
21 and that he does have definite questions and he would
22 like answers to those questions, and then as a result
23 of what responses are rendered, then he's going to make
24 his decision, but I do believe what he's told me
25 tonight that no decision has been made.
1 I believe if it were, he would make a
2 motion this evening regarding CRF. I don't believe
3 he's going to do so. If he does, I'll certainly be
4 quite shocked.
5 MS. FRANUS: Well, because he didn't
6 speak to the mayor yet, he certainly can't.
7 MS. EVANS: Well, all I'm saying is, if
8 indeed his mind were made up, I think he'd make the
9 motion tonight without ever having to have that
11 MS. FRANUS: It would be a little
12 foolish, but --
13 MR. COURTRIGHT: Fay, I --
14 MS. FRANUS: The answers to your
15 questions are the same Mrs. Evans wants answered. I
16 hope you want the same exact questions answered that
17 Mrs. Evans does, because she had some pretty strong
18 questions that needed to be answered, and I hope you
19 get those answered, as well, not just part of them, all
20 of them.
21 MR. COURTRIGHT: I'm going to tell you
22 this, Fay, and you can answer anybody that knows me, I
23 think that maybe you believe for some reason now Chris
24 Doherty is going to control my decisions, my votes,
25 that's never going to happen, nobody controls my
1 decisions, my votes.
2 He asked me for three months to bring
3 it up, and I didn't, all right? I'm going to do what
4 I'm going to do.
5 You know, I'm not going to be on
6 Council forever, and someday you people are going to
7 decide to vote me out, so while I'm here, I'd like to
8 do what I think is right, I'd like to do what I think
9 is best for the city, and that's all I can do. And I
10 hope that it doesn't offend you, and if it does, I will
11 apologize to you in advance.
12 MS. FRANUS: Well, I hope you do the
13 right thing, Billy. I'm putting some faith in you.
14 MR. COURTRIGHT: I would do my very
15 best to do the right thing, I really, really will.
16 MS. FRANUS: Thank you.
17 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you, Mrs. Franus,
18 appreciate it. Andy Sbaraglia.
19 MR. SBARAGLIA: Andy Sbaraglia, citizen
20 of Scranton. Fellow Scrantonians, well, the election
21 is over, and I guess it's pay back time.
22 The new budget came out, and he wants
23 to spend $74,700,000 to run the city. The old budget
24 called for him to spend $65,825,588. That one fell
25 through. We're in the hole.
1 How does he plan to make up another
2 $8,875,412 under this new budget? It's a figure that's
3 -- well, we told you that last time. We all knew it
4 was a figure pulled out of the sky, and it's still
5 pulled out the sky.
6 Now, you're looking how to make money,
7 okay, we can't afford to give away more money, we gave
8 away the CommD money, that's gone.
9 Any money that's left that we can
10 scrounge, has to go to pay down the debt. We can sell
11 our streetlights that we bought, that we should never
12 bought in the first place, and instead of giving away
13 our CRF loans as gifts for pay backs, we can mortgage
14 that to the banks and pay down the loan.
15 You must pay down the debt, and you
16 can't incur more debt. You have to go through this
17 budget. If you need help, we'll give you all the help
18 you need to go through every line of this budget.
19 Somewhere along the line you got to
20 come -- income got to meet expenses, and if you fail to
21 do that, all you're doing is putting your children --
22 you're putting them into bondage. You're selling your
23 children into bondage, if you don't pay back this debt,
24 because they have to pay it back.
25 We'll be gone, but that debt will ride
1 on and ride on and ride on. Something got to be done,
2 and now is the time to do it.
3 You can't let this guy do what he wants
4 to do. I mean, it's ridiculous to want to increase the
5 budget by $8,874,412, when he can't pull it out.
6 I think somebody said he has the Verto,
7 well, you know we got a cable fee, we get a cable fee
8 from Verto, now, Verto is in receivership, it's going
9 to deal to come out, God knows what we're going to get
10 from that deal.
11 He keeps putting it in, but I never see
12 any figures come out, how much money we actually got
13 from Verto for our cable franchise, but that's in
14 there, and there's a lot of other things in there
15 that's not going to come to bear. It's just not doing
17 Mr. Bolus came before you many times
18 and asked you to put an impact fee on a lot of these
19 people that are not paying any taxes, but it falls on
20 deaf ears, and obviously it fell on deaf ears to a lot
21 of voters.
22 I can't fault, the people of Scranton
23 has spoken. We're stuck with what we got, and we've
24 got to do the best we can with what we got.
25 I don't envy any of you on Council,
1 because believe me, what you do now affects your
2 children, and if you love your children, you got to act
3 in that response, because what you're doing is for
4 their future, as well as your present. And I thank
6 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you, Mr. Sbaraglia.
7 Terry Osborne.
8 MR. OSBORNE: Good evening, Terry
9 Osborne, 2644 Birney Avenue. Again, I'm here as a fire
10 representative from the pension board. I think we all
11 know that our pension ordinance had passed this Council
12 and was vetoed by the mayor and tonight will be an
13 override vote.
14 Once again, I'm here to thank the
15 entire Council. I think partially over this ordinance,
16 I think we got a good working relationship.
17 I had the opportunity to meet and speak
18 with most of you about that. Again, I'm hopeful here
19 tonight that we've given you enough information to, as
20 I just heard Bill Courtright say several times, to do
21 what is in the best interest of the city. Override
22 this veto, there's no question about it, is what is in
23 the best interest of the city.
24 We are with the clock running waiting
25 to have a court date after arbitration ruling. There
1 are interest dollars being paid every single day on
2 that ruling, and there's no doubt about it, we're going
3 to be upheld in the court.
4 Rarely do arbitrators give bad faith
5 with interest payments on a decision, unless it's
6 100 percent clear.
7 So, again, you know, if we're not able
8 to override this veto tonight, taxpayers are going to
9 continue to pay, and believe me, I am a taxpayer, I am
10 not at all interested in paying any more than I have
12 Again, the state law, I was actually on
13 the phone today with a member of The Pennsylvania State
14 Retirement Study Commission, just in my own mind to be
15 sure I don't have this law jazzed up, the law clearly
16 states two from the fire, two from the police, two from
17 the non-uniform. We willingly sat and negotiated in
18 1985 and added the mayor and the Council President and
19 the controller.
20 We sat and did that again with Council
21 President Bill Gerrity, and that's why we've lived --
22 we've lived since then with the nine members, despite
23 the fact that the law allows us to have six members,
24 strictly employees.
25 Part of the arbitration ruling is that
1 state law mandates when it has to be.
2 I was real disappointed with the
3 mayor's veto message. I think it made a mockery out of
4 Act 205, this line about, and I thank Lynn Shedlock for
5 showing me the message, that if we don't want these
6 people on the board, he'll stop putting in public
8 Act 205 mandates that those dollars go
9 in, and it also gives mandamus action, which means the
10 first day one of them dollars don't go in, any member
11 of the pension fund, active member, retired member,
12 could simply go into court and have a court order for
13 that money to be put in.
14 You know, we all listened to, and I
15 congratulate the mayor on his election win, Gary, I
16 congratulate you on a great run.
17 You know, shortly after the election we
18 heard this message about coming together, the unions,
19 the city workers, and I think that message made a
20 mockery of the let's come together message, and then
21 and I was really sad to see it.
22 You don't have to look any further than
23 what transpired yesterday in this room to see why we
24 need our board purified.
25 It made press today about that vote
1 yesterday. What didn't make press today, and Lynn is
2 sitting here, and she was here at yesterday's meeting,
3 and I want to tell you what didn't make press, Roseann
4 Novembrino, a member of our board for approximately
5 20 years, and the city controller of the City of
6 Scranton, a woman who I greatly admire and I greatly
7 respect because of her fairness, she's been with us
8 over the years, she has been against us over the years,
9 she has been a watch dog for the city, Roseann
10 contacted us and she asked could we postpone that
11 meeting yesterday to next Tuesday, because she's at a
12 state controller's convention and would not be able to
13 be at the meeting yesterday.
14 I told her I would bring it up at the
15 meeting, I would assume we're all professionals, I
16 couldn't imagine that we would not extend her that
17 courtesy, that motion was brought up at yesterday's
18 meeting, and by an eight to seven vote, the motion was
19 turned down to not postpone the meeting out of respect
20 for Roseanne Novembrino.
21 I think it was an insult to her on a
22 personal level, I think it was an insult to her on a
23 professional level. But, again, when the mayor
24 controls the board, that's the difficulty we have.
25 I want to make it perfectly clear,
1 every employee representative on that board voted to
2 postpone the meeting until next Tuesday out of respect
3 for Roseanne Novembrino.
4 The recommendation the board will come
5 to you in the form of an ordinance shortly. There is
6 some questions being asked on that.
7 Our employee attorneys are looking at
8 what transpired yesterday. There are also some
9 discussions about fiduciary responsibilities, the idea
10 of rejecting lower bids for higher bids.
11 Not one reason was given. Again, Lynn
12 was at the meeting here yesterday, again, not one
13 reason was given by anybody who voted in favor.
14 And I want to say publicly, Morgan
15 Stanley submitted a bid, they submitted a professional
16 bid, we have nothing against Morgan Stanley.
17 Lynn and I were in the middle of a
18 discussion when our current consultant came over and
19 pointed out to me something that I had not even
20 realized after the vote, that in fact it was the most
21 expensive proposal that we had received.
22 I wasn't even totally aware of that,
23 until our consultant in the presence of Lynn and I came
24 over and said that to me.
25 And with Lynn Shedlock, we sat and did
1 the numbers, and I'm not going to take up any more of
2 your time, but we're going to pay an additional 20 to
3 30 basis points in administrative fees for the contract
4 that was voted for yesterday.
5 Just to give you an idea of this, and I
6 know Ozzie Quinn and the taxpayers group is very
7 interested, if it's 20 basis points, we're going to pay
8 an additional $140,000 per year in administrative
10 That is money not out of the pension
11 fund, that is money the city budget, the taxpayers are
12 going to have to pay. If it's 30 basis points more, it
13 will be $210,000 a year.
14 Assuming our money goes up, $70
15 million, $80 million, $90 million, we are going to pay
16 over the five-year life of this contract anywhere from
17 $700,000 to $1 million extra in administrative costs.
18 I read in the paper about the Sewer
19 Authority problem, I don't know where the City of
20 Scranton and the taxpayers are going to the get this
21 money to pay these administrative fees.
22 MR. SAUNDERS: Your time is up, sir.
23 MR. OSBORNE: Thank you, Jay. Again,
24 you know, we've been in contact with some of you people
25 after that vote yesterday, we're hoping to have some
1 further discussions about that vote yesterday.
2 No way in a threatening manner or
3 everything, but we got fooled five years ago, and,
4 again, I want to absolutely state for the record, this
5 has nothing to do with Morgan Stanley.
6 I was quoted in the paper today, it has
7 nothing to do with Morgan Stanley, it has to do with
8 the process and what happened at the tail end of this
9 process yesterday in this room.
10 So, again, I thank you guys for the
11 discussions we had about your issues that you're going
12 to do here tonight, and, you know, this pension issue
13 that is now going to be coming back to this Council, we
14 hope to have the same open and frank discussions with
15 you in that matter. Thank you very much.
16 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you, Mr. Osborne.
17 Ozzie Quinn.
18 MR. QUINN: Ozzie Quinn, Scranton,
19 President of the Scranton Taxpayers Association. I'm
20 here tonight because of the fact of the budget, and
21 I've been coming for the last two months because of the
22 budget, because of the indebtedness that we have, that
23 Mrs. Evans brought up about two months ago, and we're
24 all aware of it, and yet we sent a letter to the mayor
25 asking him not to borrow, our group did, and to try to
1 cut out some of the so-called fat, and he just spit in
2 our face. Some of us, okay? There are people out
3 there that we know that are supporting Mr. Doherty,
4 okay, that wouldn't care if a tree fell on them, okay,
5 if Mr. Doherty said so, but the fact is that we feel
6 that we got really trampled on in the situation.
7 He didn't really care for the
8 taxpayers, he didn't care at all for the taxpayers, so
9 the only thing I can say now is that he raised the
10 budget, it's up to 13.4 percent, put on new people,
11 that was probably the worst slap in the face we ever
12 got when he hired new people at $50,000. I mean,
13 that's like saying -- putting his five fingers up to
14 his nose to us, okay? At least he could have kept the
15 budget without adding people or giving raises, but no.
16 So, what I'm trying to say is this
17 here, I want to ask Council if they would look at
18 meeting with the Pennsylvania Economy League before you
19 do anything with the budget in regards to any enaction
20 of it, okay, and that you go over the budget.
21 I think actually the recovery plan,
22 which is, you know, overseen by the PEL had $7.2
23 million capped for health care, and Mr. Doherty put
24 $11.3, so obviously that recovery plan is outdated,
1 And you have to meet with this -- with
2 the Pennsylvania Economy League, because you've got to
3 see, you know, you've got to realize that because
4 that's outdated had and this restructuring of the fire
5 department and the police, it's not going to pay this
6 debt off, okay?
7 So, I would appreciate it that since
8 they are the originators to get us out of distress,
9 this recovery plan, I would appreciate that you ask for
10 a meeting with them before you act on the budget. I
11 would appreciate that. Thank you very much.
12 MS. EVANS: Mr. Quinn, you need not
13 come back to the podium, but since you are the
14 President of The Taxpayers Association, I have just a
15 few facts that I've been able to determine from a very
16 quick review of the budget, the 2006 operating budget
17 that I received on Tuesday, November 15, and first, the
18 mayor's borrowing on tax anticipation notes has gone
19 from $8 million in 2004, to now a hoped for $14,980,000
20 in 2006. That's an increase of $6,880,000 in two
21 years, or an increase of 87.2 percent, just to try to
22 plug his budget holes.
23 And I think in addition to that, what
24 is also important for you to know is that if he's
25 successful in borrowing $14.5 million in 2006, the
1 people will have to pay a total of $20,839,000 on his
2 long-term debt and TANS in 2004, $20,859,000, and that
3 comes out to, let me just look this up for you,
4 28 percent of all the city's revenue in 2006 is going
5 to be to pay off debt.
6 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you, Mrs. Evans.
7 Doug Miller.
8 MR. MILLER: Good evening, Council.
9 Doug Miller, Scranton.
10 MR. DIBILEO: Good evening.
11 MR. MILLER: I'd like to take care of
12 this issue once and for all here regarding the speed
13 bump issue I've brought up before, residents this week
14 have informed me, they're very upset that nothing has
15 been done over there, and all they want is just a sign
16 put up, a Children At Play sign to prevent the cars
17 from driving fast around those corners. There are
18 small children in that area, and somebody is going to
19 get hurt over there. The city --
20 MR. DIBILEO: That may be much more
21 doable, Doug, than the speed bump idea.
22 MS. EVANS: So, you've eliminated the
23 necessity then -- I understand you feel it's necessary,
24 but your request is no longer the speed bump, but
25 rather the sign?
1 MR. MILLER: Well, they said that you
2 said or Jay has said that the city cannot put in a
3 speed bump, so that's why we'll go with the sign. So,
4 if we could please get that taken care of.
5 MS. EVANS: We'll work hard towards
7 MR. MILLER: The second thing tonight
8 is regarding the budget, how does borrowing get you out
9 of debt? From what I read, we are in deep debt, and
10 how by borrowing does that get you out of debt without
11 selling assets or raising taxes or fees?
12 Today I was reading The Scranton Times
13 and I was reading a letter to the editor I came across
14 from a resident in Moscow, and she made the statement,
15 Shame on those who voted for Mrs. Evans and Mr.
16 DiBileo, this person should not question Scranton
17 residents on who they vote for in this election.
18 What somebody does behind that curtain
19 is their business. They have every right to vote for
20 who they chose.
21 I think this person who wrote this
22 letter should be ashamed. And I can only wonder how
23 the rest of the 11,517 Scranton residents who voted for
24 Mr. DiBileo and the 17,227 that voted for Mr. DiBileo
25 feel about this shameless remark.
1 Now, speakers pride to the election had
2 so much to say then, where are they now?
3 And, Janet, I would like to
4 congratulate you on your successful run. I think
5 17,000 votes says enough.
6 MS. EVANS: Thank you very much, Mr.
8 MR. MILLER: You're welcome. And, Jay,
9 I wish you the best of luck in the future. You're a
10 professional, and I thank you for all you did for us.
11 MR. SAUNDERS: Thank you.
12 MR. MILLER: And I'd also like to wish
13 everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. Thank you. Good night.
14 MS. EVANS: Happy Thanksgiving to you.
15 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you, Doug. Bob
17 MR. BOLUS: Good evening, Council,
18 Bob Bolus, Scranton.
19 MR. DIBILEO: Good evening.
20 MR. BOLUS: Janet, I'd like to
21 congratulate you.
22 MS. EVANS: Thank you.
23 MR. BOLUS: Gary, I know what you're
24 going through, I've been there. I know what it's like
25 to be criticized before, during and after an election.
1 And it's four years later, and I still get honorable
2 mention in The Scranton Times. So, you know, it's not
3 going to go away, I'm sorry, but maybe they'll pick on
4 you for the next four years and leave me alone.
5 You know, it's nice now to see that we
6 have a new mayor, and it's nice to see this new mayor
7 that's coming in gave us a job tax now of $52, we're
8 going to get some money here, but the old mayor
9 wouldn't bring it in. Now we got this new guy, he's
10 going to take care of it.
11 And now this new guy is coming in, he
12 wants a $75 million budget. This new mayor is going to
13 clean up the financial mess created by the last mayor
14 that was a deficit spending mayor here.
15 I'm sure he will figure out how to pay
16 the American Water bill of $5-plus million, and figure
17 out how to cover the $3 million debt from the Hilton
18 and not raise taxes or wholesale of assets, as his
19 predecessor is doing.
20 I'm sure he won't allow the Sewer
21 Authority to buy out catch basins at taxpayer's
22 expenses on borrowed money which would result in higher
23 fees, higher sewer bills, and I'm sure this new mayor
24 is going to put the golf course money in trust, like
25 the other mayor misrepresented us, I'm sure he will cut
1 fees, pay the lawyers, like Carl Greco, who earned over
2 $700,000 in three and a half years, I can't even speak
3 when I think of that money.
4 I'm sure this new guy is just going to
5 do one heck of a job to cut the deficit spending, and
6 of course you know I'm dreaming, because it's the same
8 We're not going to see changes, we're
9 going to see more deficits, we're going to see bigger
10 sale of assets, we're going to see higher legal fees,
11 and we're going to see a city run rampant.
12 Now, and that's going to be sad,
13 because we've spent a lot of time talking, and maybe
14 some people just didn't listen, but when they get that
15 new sewer bill, and they're going to get a tax raise,
16 because we can't continue like we are. And then we're
17 going to pay the piper.
18 And this new guy coming in town, he'll
19 probably get tagged as a deficit spender, too, because
20 it seems to be running that way.
21 I'd like to ask now that the campaigns
22 are over, but the questions still persist, I'd like to
23 see an investigation of the records of the Scranton
24 School District, Scranton High, especially, for the
25 information that was given to Mr. Doherty's son to run
1 a campaign.
2 I wonder how those records were
3 obtained and who's responsible. I think a letter
4 should go to the superintendent of schools and we
5 should have that answer. We have that right, and
6 people have a right to protection.
7 While some people may be able to get
8 some names on the Internet, I'm sure they can't get
9 them all. And that question has got to be answered.
10 I still think there should be a special
11 investigation by the District Attorney of Lackawanna
12 County into Mr. Doherty's campaign finances from his
13 last campaign. That question was asked and asked, it's
14 never been answered, but it's in black and white. It
15 should be answered. Maybe now is the time to do it.
16 I ask that a fee be put on all KOZs and
17 non-profits --
18 MR. SAUNDERS: One minute.
19 MR. BOLUS: Jay, you can throw the soda
20 can, since your bell isn't working, don't worry about
21 it tonight.
22 If we look at the non-profits and the
23 fees and the KOZs, we'll increase the tax base to
24 increase the tax rate, and maybe it will help us from
25 this deficit spending mayor who's going to bury us
2 You know, it was sad to see the
3 sergeant that was killed in Vietnam (sic) laid out at
4 the Armory, but more importantly what really troubled
5 me was the President and Commander In Chief, who was
6 right here at Tobyhanna Army Base, that this man who
7 sent this sergeant into battle to die, couldn't take
8 the time to go the seven or eight miles to pay his
9 respects that he should have had by his Commander In
10 Chief, and that bothered me.
11 MR. SAUNDERS: Your time is up, sir.
12 MR. BOLUS: What I'd like to say now
13 is, John isn't here, but he asked me on numerous
14 occasions when the Scooter's Hot Dog Hut was going to
15 open up in Dunmore, well, I'd like to tell him and
16 invite Council, Saturday we are having the grand
17 opening at one o'clock at Scooter's Hot Dog Hut up in
18 Dunmore, and everyone is invited.
19 Everybody listening, there will be
20 giveaways for prizes. And you will get one of the best
21 hot dogs you are going to find in Northeastern
22 Pennsylvania. And with that, I'd like to wish you all
23 a Happy Thanksgiving. Thank you.
24 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you, Mr. Bolus.
25 Phyllis Humphrey.
1 MS. HUMPHREY: These are gifts for the
2 City of Scranton.
3 MR. DIBILEO: Now, Phyllis, I'm going
4 to have to remind you to try to keep it to city
5 business and no prayers, please.
6 MS. HUMPHREY: This is no prayer. I
7 wanted the children from the University of Scranton to
8 come up, but, I don't know, they're kind of a little --
9 this represents peace, this represents crime, this
10 represents desecration.
11 One of my missions was to retrieve
12 religious and different articles that had to do with
13 the way they're destroying the mosques, the Catholic
14 churches, the Christian churches, and this is very
15 significant of the Holocaust.
16 Pope Pius The 12th, he was born in
17 1917. He seen the gifts of the spinning of the moon of
18 Our Lady of Fatima, but he is going to be canonized for
19 peace and to end abortion, euthanasia, capital
20 punishment and ethnic cleansing.
21 I want to lay this here as I go through
22 this, because I know I only have five minutes. This
23 represents also the Jewish people and what is
24 transpiring right now with the -- in the Middle East.
25 MR. DIBILEO: But does this have
1 anything to do with city business?
2 MS. HUMPHREY: Yes, it does have to do
3 with city business, it does. I want to give this to
4 the Scranton City Council to protect them. St. Michael
5 the Archangel, and this was one the things that was
6 desecrated, and I would like to come up forward, if I
8 MR. DIBILEO: Okay.
9 MS. HUMPHREY: God has picked you for
10 better things than you would ever know, would you
11 accept this for the City of Scranton for peace and
12 congratulations, and congratulations to Tom Munley.
13 I'm not completely finished yet, okay? I'm trying to
14 do the best I could in five minutes.
15 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you very much.
16 MS. HUMPHREY: This here is going to go
17 to the police department in honor of all mothers for
18 peace. That goes there for the police department.
19 Okay. Now, what I have here is, this
20 is heavy duty, this represents salt and bread for the
21 body and blood of Christ for Israel, the chosen people
22 for peace.
23 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you.
24 MS. HUMPHREY: Now, I have some other
25 documents, I know you don't want religion, but this is
1 the way it goes, the Baltic, the country, those that
2 died pre-war Jewish population 250,000, number of
3 Jewish people killed, 230,000, Belgium, 90,000, 40,000
4 Jewish people killed, Bulgaria, 65,000, 15,000 killed,
5 Denmark, 2,000, that was the pre-war Jewish, they were
6 completely killed, France 300,000, 90,000 killed,
7 Germany and Austria, it's 785,000, number of Jewish
8 people killed, 210, Greece 785,000, 210,000. I'm of
9 Eighth Grade education, I'm trying to read perfectly.
10 Hungaria, 75,000, 450,000 killed,
11 Jewish, Hungaria, 650,000 population, 450,000 killed,
12 Italy, 40,000, 8,000 killed, Luxembourg, 5,000, 1,000
13 killed, Netherlands, 150,000, 120,000 killed, Norway,
14 2,000, 800 killed, Poland, 3,334,000, 294,000, Russia,
15 975,000, 107,000 killed, Ukraine, 1,500,000, there was
16 900,000 killed, White Russia, 375,245 killed, Romania,
17 850,425 killed --
18 MR. SAUNDERS: Your time is up.
19 MS. HUMPHREY: Okay. We have Slovakia
20 and we have Yugoslavia, and plus the unborn. I have a
21 miracle, and it's going to -- I signed papers today
22 with the Catholic Light to bring the miracle and the
23 Russian Orthodox Church, the Polish National Church and
24 all that have the documents.
25 Now, I have a set here, they're kind of
1 beat up, but I'm going to hand them to Mrs. Evans,
2 because she is a school teacher, and I'm sure when she
3 sees everything, but the pictures I have are going to
4 go to Mr. Early, and I would like you to meet with him
5 for ecumenical peace.
6 MR. DIBILEO: Phyllis --
7 MS. HUMPHREY: And one more thing --
8 MR. DIBILEO: Even though your --
9 MS. HUMPHREY: -- exoneration and
10 vindication of all the priests from the Cedapeter,
11 they're innocent. I have the proof. Free our priests,
12 free our priests.
13 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you, Phyllis.
14 Thank you very much.
15 MS. HUMPHREY: And I want to thank
16 everybody, and may they all have a happy thanksgiving.
17 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you, Phyllis.
18 MS. HUMPHREY: And I'm glad, so happy
19 that you own.
20 MR. DIBILEO: We appreciate these
21 beautiful gifts. Thank you. And Happy Thanksgiving to
22 you, too, Phyllis. Reverend Cathryn Simmons.
23 MS. SIMMONS: Good evening, Council.
24 MR. DIBILEO: Good evening.
25 MS. SIMMONS: My name is Reverend
1 Cathryn Simmons, I'm a lifelong Scranton resident.
2 Jay, I just want to thank you for your kindness to
3 myself and my church over the past year in particular.
4 I know you from 1371 North Washington Avenue, and you
5 were very professional out there, you will dearly be
6 missed. God's blessing to you.
7 I came here tonight not as an ordained
8 member of Bethel AME ministry staff, but as a loving
9 and blessed member of Bethel AME Institutional Church.
10 Last week you allowed the vision of our
11 pastor, Reverend Andrew K. Newberry, who could not be
12 here this evening, his father has passed away and he is
13 in Ohio for a funeral, or he would be here himself, but
14 you allowed this vision to be upheld, and also the
15 words of my father God himself out of Psalm 146 the
16 Lord says, Happy is he that asks the Lord of God Jacob
17 for his help, which is hope is in the Lord his God
18 which made heaven an earth the sea and all that there
19 in is, which keepeth truth forever, which execute
20 judgment for the oppressed who gives food to the
21 hungry. The lord looseth the prisoner, he opened the
22 eyes of the blind, the Lord raisedth them that are
23 bowed down, the Lord loveth the righteous, the Lord
24 preserveth the strangers, he relievth the fartherless
25 and the widows.
1 In allowing the grant to come to
2 Bethel, you are feeding the hungry, you are watching
3 out for those that can't take care of themselves right
4 now, but possibly in time to come, maybe even one of
5 them some day will be sitting on Council's seat, maybe
6 during your reign, Mayor Evans, but until that time, we
7 at Bethel thank you for your support both financially
8 and spiritually, and we say to you, God's blessing to
9 each and every one of you, and may you all have a
10 blessed Thanksgiving.
11 MS. EVANS: Thank you.
12 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you. Thank you,
13 Reverend Simmons. Les Spindler.
14 MR. SPINDLER: Good evening, Council,
15 Les Spindler.
16 MR. DIBILEO: Good evening.
17 MR. SPINDLER: Jay, I, too, want to
18 wish you the best of luck in the future endeavors,
19 we're going to miss you here. You did a great job.
20 First of all, is there any news on the
21 Hollow Avenue situation? I know a few weeks ago Mr.
22 Moran spoke here and there was supposed to be a meeting
23 arranged with Mr. Parker and him.
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: We were never able to
25 get a hold of Mr. Parker, I guess we will try again to
1 see if we can get a hold of him.
2 MR. SPINDLER: I'm not surprised.
3 Mr. Courtright, I, too, am going to ask you again, I
4 don't care what the mayor has to say to you, vote no to
6 And I agree with Mrs. Franus, that it
7 is political, because before election, there were all
8 union representatives asking to pass CRF, where are
9 they now? The election is over, they're nowhere to be
10 found. So, I urge you to please vote no.
11 I really had no intentions of being
12 here tonight until I woke up and saw the paper
13 yesterday about the budget and the mayor wants to
14 borrow more money. This Council can't let him borrow
15 any more money. We borrowed, borrowed, borrowed, and
16 that's why we're in the debt we're in now.
17 You can't use a credit card to pay off
18 another credit card. I urge you, don't give this man
19 another penny in this new budget.
20 Something else on the budget, he said
21 he wants to restructure the fire department to save
22 $2.4 million, well, he could have saved $3.3 million in
23 raises that he gave his friends in City Hall in four
25 I have something else to read. Well,
1 citizens of Scranton, sad to say it didn't take very
2 long to say one big I told you so, or should I say, $6
3 million big I told you so, five for us, one for
4 Dunmore, and it only took one week.
5 It took Mayor Doherty a couple of years
6 to fritter away the $3 million that Mayor Connors left
7 him, but it only took one week to discover that
8 Scranton is already another $5 million in the red.
9 And our good neighbors in Dunmore can
10 thank Mayor Doherty for digging them a million-dollar
11 hole. Now, where was The Scranton Times on this story?
12 Where was their famous investigative reporters before
13 Mayor Doherty's election? Nowhere to be found. So
14 much for ethics, so much for integrity.
15 If Jimmy Connors lost $6 million, The
16 Scranton Times would have had him hanging from their
17 tower. And where is the PEL, spending the $2 million
18 of our money that we paid them. What a racket,
19 lawyers, bond dealers, friends, consultants, family
20 members, every one a wash in money, while the taxpayer
21 is hosed.
22 Here is what happened to our
23 $6 million, Mayor Doherty brought in American Anglian,
24 then reneged on the deal, threw them out when they were
25 doing a good job, and now we owe $6 million, all
1 because Mayor Doherty had the new friends he wanted to
2 hire and new contracts he wanted to give out. The
3 people suffer. At least we found out early this time.
4 And by the way, Scranton Times, thanks
5 for the great piece of Pulitzer surprise winning,
6 hard-hitting investigative journalism, asleep at the
8 So, after the city finally got out of
9 debt, balanced its budget three years in a row under
10 Mayor Connors and left a surplus, we're now saddled
11 once more with a structure deficit of over $5 million
12 in untold long-term debt.
13 And since several of its employee
14 contracts are already settled, how on earth do you wipe
15 out that debt on the backs of the remaining police
16 officers and firefighters? You would have to decimate
17 both departments leaving the city totally unprotected.
18 Does this mayor really have a plan or
19 is he making it up as he goes, and are we dragging
20 ourselves deeper and deeper into debt while leaving our
21 streets more and more unprotected? Only time will
22 tell. Thank you.
23 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you, Mr. Spindler.
24 Bill Jackowitz.
25 MR. JACKOWITZ: Good evening, City
1 Council. May I approach the bench before my time
2 starts? I've always wanted to say that.
3 MR. DIBILEO: Certainly.
4 MR. JACKOWITZ: Okay, Jay, you can
5 start my time now, please. Bill Jackowitz, city
6 resident, taxpayer, registered independent voter,
7 retired military.
8 I had a meeting with Mayor Doherty this
9 morning, the meeting went very well. I'm not going to
10 reveal what answers I received. I gave copies of the
11 questions I asked to the Council members. I will leave
12 some here for some people if they want to look at them.
13 The only answer I'm going to reveal is
14 the first answer. I asked the mayor why he did not
15 attend the February 26th homecoming of the military
16 personnel, the mayor stated that it was his son's
17 eight-year-old birthday party and his son wanted to go
18 see Jerry McNamara play basketball, but then he said
19 something that really insulted me as a Veteran, he said
20 that he did not receive an invitation to attend the
21 homecoming of the Veterans.
22 I really don't think anybody received
23 an invitation. I think that most people attended
24 because they wanted to welcome home the Veterans and
25 salute them for their courage and for protecting the
1 Iraqi citizens' rights to vote. So, that's the only
2 thing I'm going to reveal about the meeting.
3 But I do have some breaking news, to
4 all the residents of Scranton and the surrounding
5 communities that read The Times Tribune, Scranton
6 election for city offices became official on the
7 evening of 8 November 2005.
8 Mayor Doherty was re-elected, Janet
9 Evans was re-elected, Judy Gatelli and Sherry Nealon
10 Fanucci were elected to City Council, so now that that
11 news has been made public, I hope The Times Tribune
12 will stop publishing the trashing of the candidates.
13 Enough is enough.
14 Let's stop with the editorials and
15 letters about the characters of the candidates,
16 especially the ones from the ex-citizens of Scranton.
17 That really impresses me, ex-citizens. Why are they
19 The mayor stated he has no control over
20 The Scranton Times. Mr. Lynett, and editors, you have
21 control. Let's put a stop to it. Enough is enough.
22 This also goes to the speakers at City Council, the
23 election is history, let's move on.
24 Today's news reading today's newspaper,
25 Mr. Courtright stated that he was hard pressed to come
1 up with an alternative. That was a re-assuring
2 statement, Mr. Courtright. Mr. Pocius stated that it's
3 nothing out of the ordinary and he is not concerned
4 about paying it back. That's my kind of guy. The
5 banks already have enough of money, so let's not worry
6 about paying it back.
7 Judy Gatelli stated she also does not
8 have an alternative. Sherry Nealon Fanucci agreed with
9 Mr. Pocius, borrow more money to pay off the bills.
10 The only person, in my opinion, that made any sense was
11 Mr. Quinn, and he has not been elected to any office.
12 The people's team, the Scranton School
13 Board, will be raising property taxes in January by
14 6.3 percent. The reason due to high energy costs,
15 health costs. Well, People's Team, my personal energy
16 costs and health costs also have risen.
17 Do you think that you can raise a few
18 dollars to help us citizens out with our bills? Maybe
19 the school board should develop a recovery plan, also.
20 The main question that I asked this
21 morning was, Where does the money go? I asked that
22 question five years ago, I still have not gotten an
24 For those of you who say that Scranton
25 has always been this way, nothing will ever change.
1 You're right, if you stay home, say nothing, change
2 nothing, it will never change.
3 Remember California, Arnold is now the
4 governor, Pennsylvania legislators, no pay raise s,
5 people spoke up.
6 A politician, a politician, in my
7 opinion, is like a diaper, it needs to be changed
8 regularly for the same reasons.
9 An elected official is a person who
10 takes his or her office seriously and takes that oath
11 of office that they took when they assumed that office
12 seriously and will do what they can to help the people
13 and the citizens who put their confidence in them when
14 they voted for them.
15 And again, I hope we have no
16 politicians, but I'm beginning to think that we do. I
17 hope the elected officials stand up, be counted, stand
18 your ground, don't give in, and especially don't listen
19 to political rhetoric, because that's all I heard all
20 morning today.
21 And, Mr. McTiernan, if you would please
22 read that part about Veterans for me, because we do
23 have a lot of young people in the audience, and I've
24 been told that there are a lot of young people who
25 listen to this program.
1 MR. MCTIERNAN: Are you talking about
2 the second section?
3 MR. JACKOWITZ: The second section
4 where it says Veterans.
5 MR. MCTIERNAN: It is the Veteran, not
6 the preacher, who has given us freedom of religion, it
7 is the Veteran, not the reporter, who has given us
8 freedom of the press, it is Veteran, not the poet, who
9 has given us freedom of speech, it is the Veteran, not
10 the campus organizer, who has given us freedom to
11 assemble, it is the Veteran, not the lawyer, who has
12 given us the right to a fair trail, it is the Veteran,
13 not the politician, who has given us the right to vote.
14 It is the Veteran.
15 It is the Veteran who serves under the
16 flag, it is the Veteran who salutes the flag.
17 MR. JACKOWITZ: And then the other part
18 about tomb of the unknown soldiers, please.
19 MR. MCTIERNAN: On Page 4?
20 MR. JACKOWITZ: Right.
21 MR. MCTIERNAN: Eternal rest grant
22 them, O Lord, the perpetual light shine upon them.
23 MR. JACKOWITZ: The whole thing,
25 MR. MCTIERNAN: Before I read it out
1 loud, I want to read it myself.
2 MR. JACKOWITZ: Sure, that's
4 MR. MCTIERNAN: I don't know if you saw
5 this in the news, but it really impressed me, funny,
6 our US Senate House took two days off as they couldn't
7 work because of the expected storm.
8 On the ABC evening news it was reported
9 tonight that because of the dangers from Hurricane
10 Isabella approaching Washington, DC, the military
11 members assigned the duty of guarding the tomb of the
12 unknown soldier were given permission to suspend the
13 assignment. They respectfully declined the offer. No
14 way, sir.
15 Soaked to the skin, marching in the
16 pelting rain of a tropical storm, they said that
17 guarding the tomb was just not an assignment, it was
18 the highest honor that can be afforded to a service
20 The tomb has been patrolled
21 continuously since 24-7 since 1930. I don't usually
22 suggest that many Emails be forwarded, but I would be
23 extremely proud of this one, if this one reached as
24 many as possible.
25 We can be very proud of our young men
1 and women in the service, no matter where they serve.
2 God bless them all.
3 MR. JACKOWITZ: Thank you, Mr.
4 McTiernan, for doing that, and I hope people payed
5 attention and listened. And just remember, those
6 service people make a lot less money than those
7 politicians who stayed home for two days because they
8 were afraid to get wet. Thank you.
9 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you, Mr. Jackowitz
10 and Mr. McTiernan. Lee Morgan.
11 MR. MORGAN: Good evening, Council.
12 MR. DIBILEO: Good evening.
13 MR. MORGAN: The first thing I'd like
14 to say is that I really appreciate the people that came
15 to the zoning meeting yesterday from mad you son' and
16 Vine Street who complained about Lackawanna College,
17 and I think it would be a very positive thing for
18 Council to set up meetings with the University of
19 Scranton and all the institutions of higher learning in
20 the city to create a code of conduct for all of their
21 students and have them enforce it.
22 I think it would be a very productive
23 thing for the neighborhoods and for the city itself,
24 and I'm not saying that we don't want students to come
25 from other places, I think we just want them to respect
1 this city.
2 I'd also like to say that I think that
3 the two Council-elects should come in to Council and
4 sit in on the budget, considerations, and I think that
5 this Council should go through this budget on Channel
6 61, even if it's in a special meeting, and go through
7 this budget line by line, and I think it's extremely
8 important that we try to cut this budget by
9 $10 million.
10 I can't honestly see how we're going to
11 borrow $14 million and promise anybody in this city,
12 whether they're a business person, a property owner or
13 a resident any future here.
14 What we've seen here in this city is, I
15 think the mayor was the finance chairman when American
16 Anglian came in and took the sewer authority, and he
17 stated how great this deal was, and I told Council and
18 I told Myron Walcoff, and I told anybody who'd listen
19 that this agreement had nothing to offer this city,
20 except a later date with bankruptcy.
21 And as you can see, it has nothing to
22 offer us. And, you know, like when we talk about this
23 $14 million, I don't think that even includes the
24 almost $6 million we're going to have to pay them.
25 And the other question is, are we going
1 to have to pay their legal costs to collect this money?
2 Are we responsible for that?
3 You know, for all the residents, it's
4 important to understand that special interest is in
5 play here, PEL has been silent for four years, in my
6 opinion, and there has been no movement forward to save
7 this city, none.
8 We've given everything away that could
9 be given away. And to be honest with you, there's not
10 much left. I'd really hope that a lot of people would
11 get involved and start attending meetings.
12 The Scranton Lackawanna Taxpayer Group
13 is meeting next Tuesday at seven o'clock. It's never
14 too late to make change.
15 And I'd be extremely concerned about
16 the Scranton School District's plan for -- I guess I'd
17 have to say modernization of their buildings, because I
18 think it lacks the focus of what really needs to be
20 And before I go from this podium, I'd
21 like to say that I think it's important, also, that
22 once and for all we move some legislation in this
23 Council to control vicious animals inside the city.
24 We've waited a long time, and I hope somebody would do
25 something on that.
1 And Mr. Courtright, I think that
2 everybody that's come to this podium, and, Mrs. Evans,
3 you had stated that you thought that if Mr. Courtright
4 was going to vote for CRF, he would introduce it
5 tonight, I seriously doubt that, because there's only a
6 2-2 split on that Council, the way I see it now, and it
7 couldn't pass, but if Mr. Pocius was here, then I might
8 believe that could be possible.
9 But I'd say this, you know something,
10 there's a lot of things that have taken place in this
11 city that were totally political, and this is one thing
12 that can only be political.
13 Because Mr. Courtright, would you loan
14 somebody a dollar and let them pay you back $.88 of
15 your own money? Thank you.
16 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you, Mr. Morgan.
17 Pedro Gonzales.
18 MR. GONZALES: Good evening, Council,
19 speakers, everyone in attendance. First of all I want
20 to say congratulations to Mayor Doherty on his win.
21 The election is over, it's time to move on, yes?
22 Jay, my man, you will be missed. I've
23 only known you a little while, we spoke on the phone a
24 couple of times, and I know some of the same people you
25 know on a personal level outside of this place, and
1 everyone has nothing but good things to say about you.
2 Hopefully I'll catch you on the basketball court one
3 day, you know?
4 The meeting we were going to have for
5 the Scranton Alliance for the 22nd has been cancelled.
6 One of our committee members is going away on family
7 business, and another member has finals and so forth
8 and so on, so that meeting has been cancelled next
9 Tuesday on the 22nd.
10 We are concentrating more on the
11 programs, the ESL program, like we said before, the
12 English is a second language, that is going according
13 to schedule. We are shooting for the first --
14 actually the second, it a Monday, the 2nd of January.
15 Everything is going great with that.
16 And, again, any teachers that are willing to volunteer,
17 we have about 12 on board that have confirmed right
18 now, which is fabulous, excellent, all volunteers, some
19 retired, some actually that are still working as
20 teachers, Scranton School District all over the city.
21 Fabulous, fabulous turnout.
22 We need about six more to have a full
23 curriculum. Students, we have about 30 to 40 already
24 signed up ready to play, all adults. And, again, these
25 individuals that struggle with English and are very
1 adamant in contributing to the city in any shape or
2 form, especially with the form of education.
3 I want to ask, again, any teachers that
4 are out there that have old ESL books, books that are
5 just laying around the house from old programs, please,
6 if you could donate them to us, that will be fabulous.
7 You can bring them down to the store at 319 South Main
8 or you can give us a call down at 341-8256 or call me
9 personally on my cell, 504-4455.
10 And, again, donations, that's what it's
11 all about, and that's how we're running all our
12 programs on donations, and I thank everyone in the city
13 for their contributions.
14 Mr. DiBileo, you yourself donated
15 papers, envelopes and stuff like that, office
16 materials, we thank you so much, other people also have
17 donated stuff for the office, computers, so forth and
18 so on, we thank them very, very much.
19 Again, we are meeting with Mercy
20 Hospital to secure the classrooms, everything is going
21 great with that, and they're also very adamant in
22 hiring some of the Latino people in the city, which is
23 another fabulous, fabulous thing.
24 My prayers go out to Judy Gatelli, I
25 heard she has fallen ill, and she's a very good friend
1 of mine. And Judy, stay with it, girl, and I hope you
2 feel better, hope to see you soon at the next meeting.
3 And we have our official logo finally,
4 Moving Forward With the Scranton Alliance. Again, it's
5 been great, tremendous. The logo is going to look
6 something to this effect. Everything is copyrighted,
7 of course, everything is going -- everything that we do
8 is under the accordance of law here in Scranton, we try
9 our best to do that.
10 And last, but not least, we have our
11 first official fundraiser, and it's going to be held on
12 December the 3 at Don Pablo's in Dickson City. It's
13 going to be $5 to get in. We're going to be dancing
14 all night long.
15 Yes, it is an adult party. We will be
16 shaking what your mother gave you, pretty how they say
17 it, you know, but it will start from 10:30 until about
18 two in the morning until closing. We tend to raise
19 money for some of the programs, leaflets,
20 advertisements, things to that effect, anything that
21 has to do with alliance business, and we invite City
22 Council, all in attendance, and the entire city, anyone
23 and anyone who's ready to come out and just donate and
24 give with their hearts, please, you're welcome to come
25 join us.
1 And once again, my name is Pedro
2 Gonzales, president of the Scranton Latin Alliance.
3 Thank you so much for letting me express myself.
4 MR. DIBILEO: You're welcome. Thank
5 you, Mr. Gonzales. Erik Johnson.
6 MR. JOHNSON: Good evening, City
7 Council and staff.
8 MR. DIBILEO: Good evening.
9 MR. JOHNSON: And I believe that
10 Mr. Gonzales is doing a great job with the Latin
11 community, and we appreciate a man of his quality to be
13 MR. DIBILEO: Yes, he is.
14 MR. JOHNSON: Erik Johnson, resident of
15 Scranton, taxpayer. At the -- oh, Jay, thank you for
16 the excellent job that you have given us for City
17 Council, we appreciate you, and we're going to miss
19 At the Downtown Scranton Senior Citizen
20 Center, a police officer, Lieutenant Leonard Niometka
21 recited an excellent oral review on crime against the
22 elderly, brought up numerous good points against shams
23 and potential robberies and other crime factors to be
24 aware of and how to protect and react in such criminal
1 Mr. Gonzales, you would like to hear
2 this, I was invited to a neighborhood Latino birthday
3 party and was the only one that was not Latino. They
4 treated me excellent, spoke English to me, the party
5 with excellent Spanish food for my son and I to enjoy,
6 and the respectful Latino ladies were dressed up in the
7 upmost neatness and pretty outfits.
8 A clean cut party without drugs or harm
9 of any sort, a great example of these Latinos, men,
10 women and beautiful children. My son, a police officer
11 said, Indeed, how decent, Dad. These good people put
12 on a party and fed us until we were full of good food,
13 and they were also impressed by the size and good
14 demeanor of my son as a police officer.
15 Officials predict hikes in crime if
16 Congress cuts program funds. Fund have already been
17 cut for federal funded more police on the streets, and
18 now law enforcement leaders blasted proposed budget
19 cuts by Congress that would help kids get a right start
20 into life to avoid crime.
21 Local programs, such as Head Start,
22 SMART, Pride and education assistance programs would
23 lose more than $1 million and would force hundreds of
24 children throughout the Scranton School District out of
25 after school activities.
1 We all should protest to our lawmakers
2 to keep these anti-crime programs for our children of
3 today and tomorrow, not cutting these programs.
4 We need a change of the proposed
5 government policy that would allow authorities to get
6 records or frame up such records that are politically
7 inspired about people or citizens who aren't suspects
8 of any crime or have been found innocent of a supposed
9 law breaking infraction who are made to be mug shotted
10 and fingerprinted in the system for insinuendos,
11 motives, against innocent citizens that never even had
12 a preliminary hearing on such criminal charges, as such
13 indicated by these authorities.
14 The ACLU should have total right to
15 investigate and correct these false implemented records
16 and have them expunged. Such records have ruined
17 innocent citizens' lives from jobs to every aspect of
18 their defamed life for the rest of their life
20 Let's not waste our hard-earned
21 taxpayer money against scrutinizing innocent people and
22 do solely on the raising number of real -- the rising
23 number of real criminals such as terrorists, murderers,
24 bank robbers, pedophiles and other real criminals that
25 are a threat to our society and security. Thank you
1 for letting me speak.
2 MR. DIBILEO: You're welcome. Thank
3 you, Mr. Johnson. Mike Dudek.
4 MR. DUDEK: Good evening, Council. My
5 name is Mike Dudek, 608 Depot Street, Scranton, PA, The
6 Plot. It sounds like there's a plot tonight here.
7 Everybody is speaking about the same thing that I want
8 to speak about, and I think repetition is very good
10 This budget is a mess. This last
11 problem that we saw come down with the sewer, with the
12 arbitration award, the $5 million arbitration award,
13 just the latest of a continuing series of problems, and
14 I pointedly would like to ask The Scranton Times why
15 they didn't publish this the day after the decision
16 came down. That decision came down almost a month ago.
17 The Times sat on it, and I resent that.
18 As to Council business, I did want -- I
19 would ask Mrs. Evans to please clarify something for
20 me, because it's traditional for mayors to contact
21 newly elected or City Council people who when
22 re-elected, he never congratulated you, he never
23 contacted to call -- he never called you?
24 MS. EVANS: No.
25 MR. DUDEK: Oh, God, so much for
1 extending -- I'm shocked, I'm very shocked, but then I
2 have the same shock sitting here to hear the Veteran
3 say that the mayor expected to be invited to honor a
4 Veteran. I mean, is this King Doherty? I can't stand
6 As to the budget, I'm going to ask
7 Council to do just one thing, put the mayor's feet to
8 the fire. He has paid consultants all over the place.
9 Mr. Saunders did his job magnificently.
10 I don't see a $100,000 paid consultant doing Jay
11 Saunders' job. Mr. Saunders did Mr. Saunders' job.
12 Before we do anything, let's rip out $3
13 million worth of consultants, and then let's see what
14 kind of a budget we can get. Thank you very much.
15 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you, Mr. Dudek.
16 That's it for the sign-in sheet. Are there any other
18 MR. MCANDREW: Good evening, Council.
19 Larry McAndrew, Scranton resident, Scranton taxpayer.
20 MR. DIBILEO: Good evening.
21 MR. MCANDREW: There's a famous radio
22 commentary ends some of his stories by saying, Now you
23 know the rest of the story. Here in the City of
24 Scranton, the taxpayers know the rest of the story.
25 Mayor Doherty's budget proposal is a
1 slap in the face to all taxpayers in the City of
2 Scranton. We cannot expect to borrow more and more
4 And I say to you, Council people this
5 evening, Mr. Pocius isn't here, but when time comes to
6 vote on this disgraceful budget, please vote no.
7 And when the mayor, and I'm sure he
8 will do this, veto this, again, I ask you all to vote
10 Take into consideration what Mr. Quinn
11 said. And, again, this Tuesday at 7 p.m., the
12 taxpayers and citizens of the Lackawanna County are
13 going to meet here.
14 Jay, we're going to miss you, we're
15 going to miss your bald head over there, that
16 shininess, we're going to miss that. You did a good
17 job. Congratulations.
18 MR. SAUNDERS: Thank you.
19 MR. MCANDREW: I want to wish everybody
20 a happy and healthy Thanksgiving.
21 MS. EVANS: Thank you.
22 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you.
23 MR. MCANDREW: Again, with this budget,
24 please, not only for the taxpayers now, for the future
25 generations that live in this city, vote no for it.
1 Thank you.
2 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you.
3 MR. DAVIS: Assalaam Alaikum. Jay,
4 Jay, Jay, last week I'm here and I'm calling you an
5 honorable man, are you going to tell me that Mr. Morgan
6 has been arranged for as far as a citation, no?
7 MR. SAUNDERS: I will promise you that
8 I will do that before I go on Wednesday.
9 MR. DAVIS: Your word is your bond.
10 MR. SAUNDERS: We received the budget
11 this wee, Mr. Davis, it was a busy week for us.
12 MR. DAVIS: Okay. Thank you.
13 Accountability, I've heard this term used over and over
14 again by many, many people, and this is what we're
15 hoping for, we're hoping that this four years that's
16 coming now that will start right from this point on,
17 that people will become accountable to you, City
18 Council, that when you ask people to bring forth
19 information, you will get that information so that you
20 can run the city properly.
21 Those that are here, fine; those that
22 are not here, but the people in the audience, the
23 people in the city itself, they say that what rights do
24 you have of asking for accountability if nothing can be
25 done with it?
1 If the figures you get are bloated or
2 wrong, can we correct them at that point? So far we
3 haven't been able to, but at least from my count.
4 I came to you a couple weeks ago and I
5 asked about a program that was being done by the city
6 as far as consolidating funds for the Boys Club in
7 Scranton, today I tried to find out what this program
8 was all about, just asking a question, what is this
9 program going to do?
10 I understand there are two programs,
11 there's one that's run by the city, there's one that's
12 run by the county, and what it does is it transports
13 people from the low income areas to the Boys Club,
14 things like that, it's Reach Out, is what the name of
15 the program is, but nobody knows the parameters of it,
16 nobody knows how much is going to be spent, nobody
17 knows the full gist of it.
18 I can't imagine how they can move
19 $30,000 into an account, and when you call the people,
20 such as the County Housing Authority, nobody even knows
21 the program exists. And I was told that these are the
22 people who would know at the county.
23 When I called OECD, I couldn't get Sara
24 Hailstone, I think she didn't return my call, maybe
25 tomorrow she will return it, God willing.
1 I don't know how to say that I'm not
2 displeased with the election, I think Mr. DiBileo,
3 although I've seen you and known you for a long time, I
4 think when you went to law and order, you blew the
5 black vote.
6 MR. DIBILEO: When I what, I'm sorry?
7 MR. DAVIS: When you went to law and
8 order, when you became a law and order advocate, I
9 don't know any other way of saying it, you just listen,
10 whenever you make statements like that, most of the
11 black community remembers the Trickle Down Theory, it
12 came along with the law and order regimes in the United
13 States, in Scranton and everywhere else, and we usually
14 suffered from them, more so than any others, so that is
15 the reason why it might have hurt you within the black
17 I'm saying this because I think you
18 could have -- you ran a beautiful -- up to that point,
19 you ran a beautiful campaign.
20 MR. DIBILEO: Jim, what did I say
21 exactly? I'm still not sure what you're getting at.
22 That's okay. We can talk about it later.
23 MR. DAVIS: Thank you. Thank you.
24 MR. SAUNDERS: Your time is up, sir.
25 MR. DAVIS: Okay. The Latin American
1 Alliance, I'm very happy to have you aboard. I wish
2 you nothing but the best. I'll pray for you, I'll join
3 you, I'll do anything you'd like me to do.
4 As a matter of fact, I've introduced
5 you to the NAACP in Wilkes-Barre, so you're on your
7 Election was bought, it was a bought
8 election from my standpoint. Promo, the whole nine
9 yards, I can see just nothing but money being bought
10 conquering people. I don't know if you can understand
11 what I'm saying.
12 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you, Mr. Davis.
13 MR. LYNOTT: Good evening, City
15 MR. DIBILEO: Good evening.
16 MR. LYNOTT: Just for the record, can
17 you give your name and address, please?
18 MR. LYNOTT: Oh, Martin Lynott, city
19 resident, no affiliation with the paper. I hope that
20 Ms. Gatelli is doing okay and Mr. Walsh is doing okay.
21 And, Jay, good luck in your endeavors.
22 MR. SAUNDERS: Thank you.
23 MR. LYNOTT: I heard somebody bring up
24 the Adelphia issue earlier today, and I know it's not
25 about the budget, and I hope I'm not off base here a
1 little bit, I was wondering, does the city have a
2 contract with Adelphia where they, like, they help the
3 city, like, they reimburse the city for their
5 MR. DIBILEO: Yes, they do, Mr. Lynott.
6 MR. LYNOTT: Do they?
7 MR. DIBILEO: Yeah.
8 MR. LYNOTT: Does Scranton Housing
9 Authority fall under those same rules and regulations?
10 MR. DIBILEO: I'm not sure what you
11 mean, but I don't believe so.
12 MR. LYNOTT: You don't believe so?
13 MR. SAUNDERS: No, Adelphia's contract
14 is with the City of Scranton, not anybody else.
15 MR. LYNOTT: Not with the Scranton
16 Housing Authority?
17 MR. SAUNDERS: No.
18 MR. DIBILEO: Right.
19 MR. SAUNDERS: It covers the whole
21 MR. LYNOTT: Excuse me?
22 MR. SAUNDERS: It covers the whole
24 MR. LYNOTT: It covers the whole city,
25 but not the Housing Authority?
1 MR. DIBILEO: Well, the Housing
2 Authority as far as being a part of the City of
3 Scranton, yes, but not as a separate entity.
4 MR. LYNOTT: It's a separate entity.
5 MR. DIBILEO: But it doesn't cover them
6 as a separate entity, only as a part of the entire
8 MR. LYNOTT: Okay. My question is, I
9 ride around the projects and everything and people
10 have, like, their satellite dishes on their front
11 porch, like, in Bangor, for example, or Hill Top, I
12 guess you can see them up there, and I was wondering if
13 it was in the power of the Scranton Housing Authority
14 to, like, erect something on top of my building to be
15 specific so I could have cable -- so I could have
16 satellite access, because as everybody knows, like, the
17 cable bill is stifling, you know, it's, like, very,
18 very high, and I want the option of having satellite,
19 and I wonder if that's, like, a possibility.
20 MR. DIBILEO: I suppose that would be
21 up to the Housing Authority board. I don't know if
22 they have a current, you know, rule about that or not,
23 Mr. Lynott.
24 MR. LYNOTT: Is there any reason or is
25 there any way that City Council could recommend to the
1 Scranton Housing Authority that --
2 MR. DIBILEO: Well, I can have
3 Mr. Saunders ask if that exists right now. We can't
4 really recommend anything, since that, you know, they
5 cover, you know, their rules and regulations
7 MR. LYNOTT: Okay. Because in the
8 Scranton Housing Authority, there must be, like, a few
9 thousand members, and they're all paying, like, at
10 least 50-some dollars a month, which I think is very --
11 a lot of money, especially with people on fixed income,
12 you know?
13 I think it would be something to
14 pursue, and I wish you could look into it for me.
15 MR. DIBILEO: Okay.
16 MR. LYNOTT: I'd appreciate that.
17 MR. DIBILEO: Okay. Mr. Saunders, if
18 you would.
19 MR. LYNOTT: Thank you for your time,
21 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you, sir.
22 MS. STULGIS: Good evening. I'm Ann
23 Marie Stulgis, I reside in the city, and I'm President
24 of the Fraternal Order of Police.
25 Before I tell you a little story, I
1 want to remind everyone that as of this date, the
2 police officers who are back from Iraq and the police
3 officer who is in Iraq has not received one dime in
4 compensation from the city to try to bring his salary
5 or their salaries up to what they would have made had
6 they not gone on active duty, costing them between $14
7 and $16,000 in loss for serving in Iraq.
8 We all know about the debacle with the
9 Sewer Authority and the fact that that decision was
10 brought down and held back.
11 We also know that suddenly the city
12 doesn't think that they can appeal an arbitration
13 award, mind you, they've appealed every arbitration
14 award filed by police officers and won, and every
15 arbitration award filed by firefighters and won, and
16 they didn't come to $5.5 million, as the Sewer
17 Authority one does.
18 I think that says a lot about this
19 administration's concerns about the public safety
20 employees in the city, but I want to share a little
21 story with you starting with an article that I read on
22 line by Water Tech, and it questions --
23 MR. DIBILEO: Excuse me. Would -- I
24 don't know who's speaking, but whoever it is, would
25 they please refrain, Mr. Lynott, from speaking while
1 there's --
2 MR. LYNOTT: I'm sorry about that, sir.
3 MR. DIBILEO: No problem. Go right
4 ahead, Mrs. Stulgis.
5 MR. LYNOTT: It brings up the fact that
6 the United States Justice Department questioned as to
7 why the City of Scranton wasn't fined as other
8 municipalities were for any EPA violations. It is
9 DEP's job to enforce any fines and any problems found
10 by the EPA.
11 Our mayor said that they weren't --
12 they didn't collect the fines from the city because we
13 were a distressed municipality, however, a fine was
14 levied, just not collected, in the amount of $194,929
15 by a Mr. MacDonald, who at the time was the head of the
16 DEP in Luzerne County.
17 Now, keep in mind that that fine,
18 according to Mr. Doherty's statements, was not
19 collected by Mr. MacDonald because we are a distressed
21 However, coincidentally, shortly
22 thereafter Mr. MacDonald retired from the DEP. And low
23 and behold, if he didn't get a new job as executive
24 director of the Scranton Sewer Authority at $90,000 a
1 So, now he works for the Scranton Sewer
2 Authority for $90,000 a year, and as long as he's there
3 managing everything, American Anglican is out, costing
4 the taxpayers $5.5 million.
5 The mayor was well aware of this, The
6 Scranton Times printed it on August 6 and August 8 of
7 last year, stating that the deadline was running out
8 and that it was going to cost the taxpayers of Scranton
9 $5.5 and the taxpayers of Dunmore over $1 million, and
10 the mayor's comment was something to the effect of,
11 Well, what will be will be. And I guess we found out
12 what will be, since we're going to owe that $5.5
14 But as an aside to the fact that Mr.
15 MacDonald coincidentally got a $90,000 with the
16 Scranton Sewer Authority, Mr. MacDonald's E-mail
17 address, if you want to apply for a job at the Scranton
18 Sewer Authority, you write to William MacDonald at
19 CECO, not at the Scranton Sewer Authority.
20 Now, I really think that if that isn't
21 enough for somebody to be a bit suspicious as to what's
22 going on in the city, then people really are missing
24 And it's all public knowledge, and all
25 you have to do is go onto DEP's website and you will
1 find that e-mail address.
2 MR. COURTRIGHT: Mrs. Stulgis, I
3 thought way back when we had two police officers that
4 were away in Iraq and they weren't getting paid, and
5 then I had a conversation with Ms. Moran and she said
6 she made a mistake and that was taken care of, so now
7 you're telling me this is happening again?
8 MS. STULGIS: It's continuing.
9 MR. COURTRIGHT: They're not getting
10 any money?
11 MS. STULGIS: Officer McDonald and
12 Officer Kowalick are back quite a long time.
13 MR. COURTRIGHT: Right.
14 MS. STULGIS: They never received a
15 dime. They are the ones who lost between $14 and
16 $16,000. They took that pay cut to serve in Iraq, and
17 the city did not give them a dime.
18 MR. COURTRIGHT: I thought they were
19 supposed to get money to make their pay come out
20 equivalent to what it would have been.
21 MS. STULGIS: That was the original
22 agreement, yes.
23 MR. COURTRIGHT: And you're saying that
24 didn't happen?
25 MS. STULGIS: That did not happen, sir,
1 and I also provided the city with their W-2s, because
2 coincidentally, both those officers served from the
3 beginning of the year right through the end of the
4 year, so their W-2 from the United States Government
5 would reflect their entire pay, and I provided that to
6 the city, too, to prove that, as a speaker a few weeks
7 ago stated that I was trying to gorge the city, I
8 provided W-2s showing what those officers made, and
9 they did take huge pay cuts, and their families
10 suffered greatly.
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: Ms. Moran told me when
12 I was there, and this was a long time ago, right, she
13 told me that there was a mistake made and that whatever
14 pay they got, I'm trying to put it in just my terms,
15 whatever pay they got from the military, then the city
16 would make up the difference so that their pay would be
17 equivalent as if they were here.
18 MS. STULGIS: That's correct.
19 MR. COURTRIGHT: And you're saying that
20 didn't happen?
21 MS. STULGIS: No, sir, that did not
22 happen. And officer Scarfo is still in Iraq, and his
23 wife is not getting a dime either.
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: Well, I will ask her
25 tomorrow, because -- unless I misunderstood, that's
1 what she told me, and I just thought it was a done
3 MS. STULGIS: No, it hasn't been. As a
4 matter of fact, we have grievances filed on it, and
5 maybe you can do something so that we don't have to go
6 to arbitration on it and cost the taxpayers more money,
7 but, no, they reneged on that agreement.
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: You're saying they got
9 no money, none?
10 MS. STULGIS: Not a dime, not one dime
11 from the city for the entire year those two men were in
12 Iraq, they did not get one dime from the city.
13 MR. COURTRIGHT: All right. Well, I'll
14 ask tomorrow. I was under the impression that that was
15 done a long time ago.
16 MS. STULGIS: I wish it were. It was
17 not. Thank you.
18 MR. COURTRIGHT: All right.
19 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you, Mrs. Stulgis.
20 And thank you, Mr. Courtright, for looking into that
21 situation. Chris, come on up.
22 MR. SLEDZINSKI: Jay, I'm going to miss
23 you, Old Buddy. So, keep it up, will you? Good luck,
25 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you, Chris. Very
1 nice, Chris.
2 MS. KRAKE: Good evening, Council. My
3 name is Nancy Krake, I'm a resident of Scranton, and
4 I'm also president of the clerical union.
5 First I would like to say thank you to
6 Jay Saunders, and good luck in the future. We'll miss
8 I looked over the mayor's budget, I
9 never received a copy, and I never received or actually
10 never communicated with anyone in the administration
11 about any of the budget cuts.
12 There are four clerical jobs cut, they
13 total $96,000, there are six job creations that I can
14 see so far. As I said, no one has spoken to me from
15 the administration, so I'm really not sure.
16 It looks to me that there are six
17 creations and many raises. There are raises for
18 $5,000, $2500, $3200, $6,000, just more and more of the
20 That total appears to be $281,000.
21 Once again, the mayor will say he's making cuts because
22 we need to make cuts to save money, but it is
23 absolutely not true.
24 It wasn't true the first time he did
25 it, and it's not true the fourth time. He's just
1 continuing more of the same.
2 He's driving us into debt that is
3 spiraling and spiraling out of control. There's no way
4 he can justify small job cuts and giving huge raises
5 and award huge jobs.
6 I wonder how this happens in a city
7 with a distressed status. It's very curious that the
8 Pennsylvania Economy League looks the other way when
9 the mayor asks what he needs. I urge this Council to
10 examine the disastrous role of the distressed status.
11 The Pennsylvania Economy League and
12 their various recovery plans, and I certainly hope that
13 you will never renew any recovery plan that comes
14 before you, since this one technically is up at the end
15 of this year, no matter what anyone says, and I
16 certainly hope you would never approve any new recovery
17 plan that has anything at all to do with the
18 Pennsylvania Economy League. Thank you.
19 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you.
20 MS. FOWLER: Patty Fowler, city
21 resident and health inspector. Now that it's budget
22 time and we're in such a bind, I'd like to propose
23 maybe we could charge for condemnations, or if not for
24 the condemnations, for the general inspections required
25 to lift those condemnations.
1 When we have a general inspection, we
2 send out four to five inspectors, health, housing,
3 electrical, mechanical, plumbing. That's a lot of man
4 hours, that's a lot of time and money, and we have a
5 lot of out of town landlords who can certainly afford
6 this charge when we have to condemn these houses
7 because they're not taking care of them, they're just
8 accepting their rent money and not taking care of these
10 I would just like to propose -- I
11 mentioned it to the department director, he thought it
12 was a good idea, but the thing in City Hall seems to be
13 unity, and so I'm trying to unify maybe all areas of
14 government, and maybe we can get together and put some
15 legislation together for some kind of a charge.
16 Obviously we could use more money into
17 the city, there's a lot of man hours that are used for
18 a general inspection, even a regular inspection, a
19 pluming inspection, electrical inspection, that's a lot
20 of man hours, a lot of money used when we go out to
21 lift a condemnation, or even if we changed for a
22 condemnation, something.
23 There's a lot of out of town landlords
24 that can certainly afford it, when they can be buying
25 these houses sight unseen. Thank you.
1 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you, Mrs. Jennings.
2 MR. MCGUIRE: William McGuire, resident
3 and taxpayer. This evening I didn't plan on coming
4 down, I was going to wait until the second meeting
5 actually, because next week, I believe, you will be off
6 for the holidays in regards to an ordinance, but
7 Mr. Morgan had brought it up about the ordinance for
8 vicious dogs, if that ordinance is going to be
9 entertained by this Council, I would like to add a
10 couple things that you could take into consideration.
11 One of the things are licensing of
12 cats, feline animals. In our city we have to license
13 all dogs, well, cats are no different. I believe there
14 should be a license fee for cats, too.
15 Also for the dog license and cats, if
16 this was accepted or passed, a portion of that money
17 from the licensing would go towards, excuse me, I'm
18 very sick, a spay and neutering fund. What that will
19 do is that could help in spay and neutering, a lot --
20 some people like to call them stray cats, I like to
21 refer to them as homeless cats.
22 If you spay and neuter those cats,
23 there's another program that's available, it's called
24 Spay, Trap and Release. The cat is trapped it's taken
25 to veterinarian and spayed.
1 If we use some of that money to put
2 toward that spaying of them, we're going to cut down on
3 a lot of the stray population of cats throughout the
4 city, which in return would take a lot of time away
5 from the animal control officer going out and doing
6 those things.
7 Another thing, as far as the licensing
8 goes, today we use a big 8-by-10 sheet for licensing
9 information. If we modernize that or copy what the
10 county does, they have a small form, you drop it off at
11 the local veterinarians, you rip it off, they take it
12 home, they mail it in with the information, and it's
13 sent back and the dog can get a license that way,
14 instead of people coming down to City Hall and trying
15 to find parking, which they complain about a lot.
16 The other thing is, if we go to a
17 smaller form of the application, in the past a lot of
18 local vets would take the application, they would sell
19 the license right there.
20 Well, in today's day and age, it's not
21 beneficial for them to use their manpower to do the
22 city's work, so they're using their staff to fill out
23 applications, you know, the whole nine yards, well,
24 that's resources they're losing at their expense.
25 If you just have a general form there
1 in a smaller version, it's easier on the county, they
2 could just rip it off and send it in.
3 The other thing is, Mr. Morgan had
4 mentioned about vicious dogs, state law already has
5 laws in place where vicious dogs are -- they have to
6 follow certain rules and regulations.
7 The other thing I think is what he's
8 talking about is, maybe stopping certain breeds of
9 animals in the past from coming to the city, which has
10 been done in other states. You cannot do that. You
11 cannot discriminate against any breed of dog. The law
12 will not allow that. It has been tried in other
14 There are other ways that have been
15 done that pertain to vicious animals at large or dogs
16 biting people and stuff, so there are other ways to do
17 the law, besides, you know, saying that particular
18 breed can't be in our city.
19 I think the one state does for certain
20 breeds, they have a fee that would be required for
22 But the licensing fee for cats is
23 really big. The cost of having somebody do the
24 monitoring of the licensing, it's a win/win situation.
25 If the cat is licensed, it has its rabi vaccinations.
1 If by chance you're in the neighborhood and you're
2 trapping farrow cats, somebody's Fluffy gets caught in
3 a trap, well, now it has a license and identification.
4 So, now it can be brought back to the owner and sent up
5 to the Humane Society.
6 The other thing that I don't know if
7 it's legal to do, as far as vicious dogs that bite more
8 than once, maybe there's a way that legislation could
9 be written according to the law, that they could do
10 microchipping of the dogs.
11 If the dog after the second bite is a
12 repeat offender, it could be microchipped, that way it
13 goes into a computer system.
14 So, if they move from Scranton and go
15 to Dunmore, the computer system stays there with a
16 chip. So, once it's in there, it's registered now.
17 Now the next municipality or a lot of them seem to be
18 come to our city, we would already know if they're a
19 second or third offender. So, that might be a way to
20 track a lot of the first, second and third bites.
21 I have some other thing, but the Trap
22 Neuter and Release Program that is available, I do have
23 some information. If you want, I can leave it with
24 Kay, she can copy it and give it to you. It's an
25 actual company that comes into your municipality. They
1 set up the whole program.
2 I don't know exactly, it's been a while
3 since I read it, I don't know exactly what the fee is
4 involved in doing it, if there is one, but I think the
5 benefit outweighs the cost in doing this, and we can
6 cut down on a lot the population of cats. And if we
7 start enforcing some of these other ordinances
8 pertaining to dogs, we can cut down on the vicious dogs
9 and dogs at large and stuff. Okay. Thanks. Sorry if
10 that was all broken up.
11 MR. DIBILEO: No problem. Thank you,
12 Mr. McGuire. That's good information. Perhaps you can
13 leave a copy of that for City Council's office, Mr.
14 McGuire. Thank you.
15 MR. SAUNDERS: Fifth order. 5-A,
17 MR. DIBILEO: Okay. Were there any
18 other speakers? Okay. If not, Mr. McTiernan, any
19 motions or comments?
20 MR. MCTIERNAN: Just briefly, I want to
21 wish Mr. Saunders good luck and thank you for all his
22 help over the past two years.
23 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you, Mr. McTiernan.
24 Mrs. Evans, motions or comments?
25 MS. EVANS: Yes. First I'd like to ask
1 for everyone's prayers for Katherine Van-Heusen, who
2 was a very good friend of my late father's and of mine,
3 and for Leann Lapinski, as well.
4 Tonight I wish to thank the good people
5 of Scranton for placing their confidence in me. I will
6 spend the next four years watching vigilantly how their
7 tax dollars are spent. I also look forward to working
8 on Council with Judy Gatelli and Sherry Fanucci.
9 And I have quite a number of requests,
10 not all will be read, but many are of urgent
11 importance. 2701 Birney Avenue, remove the curb which
12 the city installed from the resident's driveway as soon
13 as possible, please.
14 1114 Monroe Avenue, residents complain
15 abandoned parked cars. 737 Fig Street, curbstones are
16 broken. Grimes Court, a very large hole and neighbors
17 ash that DPW fill that before winter.
18 Repair and pave the road which enters
19 McNicholl's Plaza School. Clear abandon lot on
20 East Elm Street next to McNicholl's Plaza.
21 The rear of 1505 Cedar Avenue, fill a
22 large pothole. A letter to Mr. Packer, several
23 residents of Green Ridge have requested that the block
24 of Capouse Avenue which meets Electric Street either
25 change to a one way Street or that parking be
1 prohibited on one side of Capouse Avenue in that block.
2 A letter to Mr. Fiorini and OECD, I was
3 informed that in prior administrations, landlords
4 and/or tenants who were at fault for the condemnation
5 of a house or an apartment were billed for emergency
6 housing caused by condemnation.
7 It appears the city, however, has been
8 paying for emergency housing for the past few years.
9 Is this correct? And if so, can the process change?
10 If the landlords or tenants at fault
11 were billed for emergency housing costs, the city would
12 have more funds available for heating and heating
13 repairs for the needy each winter it.
14 Remove illegal vehicles from Schimpff
15 Court. Residents have complained for the last two
16 months that other vehicles were removed by an inspector
17 and police, yet the vehicles owned by Hart Masonry
18 Company have 2004 stickers and continue to sit week
19 after week.
20 Neighbors complain that at the entrance
21 to Kirst Court in South Side, Sheetrock, roofing
22 materials and debris are being thrown by another
24 Also, a letter to Mr. Wallace and
25 Mr. King regarding Apgar Place in the rear of 1518 West
1 Locust Street. And this has been an ongoing problem
2 for a number of years, and one that I have addressed
3 time and time again.
4 The resident is an elderly disabled
5 woman who now feels so beaten down by the city, she's
6 ready to give up on life, and she's ready to give up on
7 her property.
8 I've attached copies of supporting
9 documents to be sent to Mr. Wallace and Mr. King, and I
10 ask them, please, so many exceptions have been made for
11 large and lucrative businesses in this city, I really
12 cannot understand why they cannot do something for this
13 woman, when in fact she's in the right.
14 Fix streetlights in Reed Court, and I
15 do have all of the pole numbers. Viaduct between
16 Railroad Avenue and Meridian Avenue, weeds, trash and
17 rats liter the sidewalks that run along both sides.
18 Please clear before winter weather.
19 Letter to appropriate department head
20 regarding the animal control officer. The Humane
21 Society cannot meet the requirements or the
22 responsibilities of a full-time officer.
23 Police often are called concerning
24 animal problems, and neither is this their
25 responsibility. So, when will the position be filled?
1 Residents of Detty Street and Ruth
2 Avenue request the placement of a stop sign on Detty
3 Street where it meets Ruth Avenue.
4 801 South Webster Avenue, trim trees.
5 The rear of 309 Fig Street, this house has been
6 condemned for several years. There have been problems,
7 ongoing problems, with rats, and currently vagrants are
8 using the building for shelter. The residents feel
9 that this poses a potential fire threat and they are
10 very concerned about vagrants in the neighborhood.
11 The 400 block of Gibson Street,
12 residents complain that sidewalks have been washed away
13 as a result of lack of curbs, and water is ponding or
14 turning to mud, and I've included photos to accompany
15 that request.
16 Also, I asked Mr. Parker to consider
17 collecting bagged leafs many weeks ago. I was very
18 pleased to recently read in the newspaper that the city
19 will pick up bagged leafs, as well as vacuuming the
20 leafs from beside curbs, however, Mr. Parker will not
21 create a leaf pickup schedule, so we don't know when
22 any neighborhood will be addressed or when we should
23 move our cars; therefore, bagging could be the most
24 reliable system for pickup for most of us.
25 Next, with regard to 841 and 843 Quincy
1 Avenue and a condemned house at that location, a letter
2 was sent to the owner notifying him of demolition and
3 lien that will be placed on the property for demolition
5 Also, a letter was sent to Mr. Parker
6 requesting a traffic study in the 1400 block of Cedar
7 Avenue for the elderly residents who cannot exit their
8 driveway due to excessive traffic.
9 Two letters were sent to Mr. Baker
10 regarding handicapped parking at Park Gardens. I
11 continue to wait for his reply.
12 In addition, I still await a response
13 from Mr. Parker regarding overtime costs at the DPW
14 from May to November 8, 2005.
15 Also, there has been great publicity of
16 late concerning American Water Services and the
17 arbitration that is owed, when I was elected to this
18 Council seat two years previous, one of the hotly
19 discussed issues before the public was the intent of
20 Dunmore and the Sewer Authority to terminate American
21 Water Services Company's contract; moreover, Dunmore,
22 the Sewer Authority, and the mayor gambled that the
23 termination would cost them nothing.
24 At that time I was a newcomer to
25 Scranton's political scene with no knowledge of the
1 law, but with ordinary common sense, anyone should know
2 that a company of American Water Services' size would
3 not give Scranton $6.7 million, and Dunmore $1.3
4 million upfront for a 20-year contract to manage the
5 sewer services.
6 Obviously American Water Services
7 expected to make a profit in managing the sewer
8 services, and also recover its total of $6.6 million
10 To put it in plain language, the
11 company was not going to allow itself to be cheated out
12 of its profits from the contract without a fight. Big
13 money, in the millions of dollars, was at stake.
14 When I learned of the mayor's approach
15 to this problem to fight American Water, I spoke out
16 clearly and often against the mayor's intended course
17 of action, especially when American Water Services held
18 a strong contract in its favor.
19 On a number of occasions, I said the
20 mayor stands a good possibility to lose the
21 arbitration, and from where would the money come,
22 knowing the financial mess we're in right now?
23 From the first time I spoke on this
24 subject, I was chastised by many as a negative person.
25 I viewed myself as a realist, because I told the people
1 accurately what could happen as a result of the mayor's
2 and Dunmore's and the Scranton Sewer Authority's
4 In any event, the mayor fought the
5 arbitration with AWS. This past Tuesday we were all
6 informed that the mayor lost, and lost an amount of
7 money that could be as high as $5.4 million.
8 With, that $5.4 million does not
9 included legal fees, arbitrator's fees, stenographic
10 fees and other costs incurred in the arbitration.
11 I wonder, do the people consider an
12 additional debt of $5.4 million plus as the city moving
13 forward? Where is Mr. Doherty going to get $5.4
14 million, when we all know he's scrambling to get
15 millions to plug holes in his operating budget.
16 The newspaper reported, the mayor said
17 the city is in a much better financial position to deal
18 with the matter now. This, I must see, because if he
19 borrows money to pay the arbitration award and fees, he
20 will just continue to increase the long-term debt or
21 will he sell an asset? Is this being negative or
23 As of this date, Mr. Doherty sold most
24 of the city's assets. I believe there are only a very
25 few assets the people have left, one, is the safe $5.2
1 million loan portfolio, which the mayor so desperately
2 wants to sell to CRF and lose approximately a half a
3 million dollars on the sale.
4 In fact, he still has people come to
5 the podium and urge Council to approve that sale, and I
6 still ask if anyone has a safe asset with a nice income
7 every year, would he be willing to sell it at a loss of
8 half a million dollars? Is this being negative or
10 Another remaining city asset the people
11 own is the storm water and catch basin system. Beware
12 if the mayor tries to sell this system to the Sewer
13 Authority, because it would be a phony sale.
14 The mayor would sell the people's storm
15 sewer system to the Sewer Authority, which is to the
16 people; in other words, the people would be paying for
17 something they already own, then no doubt, the Sewer
18 Authority would increase the rates, which would be
19 nothing more than an additional tax on the people to
20 paw for what they already own.
21 It will be interesting to see City
22 Council's vote on this request. To me, it's all more
23 smoke and mirrors. Is this being negative or
25 The third remaining city asset is the
1 housing development of Park Gardens. It is profitable.
2 We should all be wary about Park Garden's future, so
3 long as Mayor Doherty continues to search for money to
4 satisfy his spending addiction.
5 I am the person who first raised the
6 mayor's spending conduct, which created his long-term
7 debt. Both he and the newspaper denied my statements,
8 but later admitted to a larger amount of long-term debt
9 than I first told the people about.
10 Since I took my seat on Council,
11 virtually all of my criticism of the mayor has been on
12 his excessive spending, sale of city assets, favors for
13 contributors and unnecessary borrowing.
14 I shall continue to give the people
15 facts on this city's financial condition, because I
16 firmly believe that this city cannot and will not
17 realistically move forward, when it continues to sink
18 deeper into debt. And the burden of paying that debt
19 falls primarily on you, the average taxpayer. You
20 cannot borrow your way out of debt or use a fictitious
21 sale to do it.
22 By the way, the four assets Scranton
23 still owns is City Hall and the parks. Keep your eye
24 on them. And I'm going to let the people decide, is
25 this negative or realistic? That's it.
1 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you very much, Mrs.
2 Evans. Mr. Courtright, motions or comments?
3 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes, Mr. President.
4 Well, Jay, evidently you have more friends than you
5 thought you did. Some people like your haircut and --
6 once again, thank you.
7 And you will be missed, not only from
8 people here, but people that watch us, and I understand
9 many colleges will be missing you.
10 One, I'm sure you will be passing these
11 onto Kay, but I'll give them to you one last time, I
12 still haven't seen the report, if there is one on the
13 parking garage that we were supposed to get from the
14 engineer, Mr. Pocius made the motion, and we haven't
15 received any report yet on what's going on down there,
16 so we can ask that question, is it going to be coming
17 soon, are we going to be getting that report before
18 they open the garage?
19 I brought up a subject, I think it was
20 last week about campaign contributions, and I don't
21 think our solicitor was here at the time, but I would
22 ask that he looks into seeing about caps on campaign
23 contributions, especially for people that are doing
24 business with the city, if there's anything that this
25 Council could do about that.
1 I mentioned last week that quite a
2 while ago Mrs. Evans had brought that up, and I think
3 in light of what had happened in this past election, as
4 I said last week, I think the money got really out of
5 control, I think spending that kind of money prohibits
6 the average everyday person from even considering
7 running for office, so I'm going to pursue this until I
8 get some kind of an answer. So, if we can look into
9 that and see if there's anything that this Council will
10 do about that, I would appreciate it, and if there is,
11 I will certainly make a motion to try to move in that
13 MS. EVANS: Mr. Courtright, if I might
14 add, I'm in complete agreement with you, it's called
15 play to play politics, and it's been a movement across
16 the country to try to reign this in, and we were
17 closely watching the City of Philadelphia, because
18 their Council had intended to propose just such
19 legislation approximately a year ago and commissions
20 were formed and the issues were studied, and I'm sure
21 we're all aware of what has happened in Philadelphia in
22 terms of their City Council, their mayor, and a lot of,
23 well, diplomatically speaking, legal problems that have
24 arisen because of play to play politics, and so they
25 have successfully passed Council legislation, and I
1 believe that the time is well overdue, and it is my
2 hope to join you, that this Council will pass
3 legislation, and legislation with teeth.
4 And should we be unsuccessful, then I
5 would also ask you, since you will continue to be
6 seated on Council, as will I, to pursue an action that
7 would place the question on the ballot for the Scranton
8 voter, to then be presented in Harrisburg to our state
9 legislators in the hopes that it might move them to
10 change election law to include a provision that will
11 allow for caps on individual contributions, corporate
12 contributions and PAC contributions.
13 MR. COURTRIGHT: And I brought it up
14 because I think Philadelphia might have paved the way
15 for us, and it might be a little bit easier for us to
16 do it now, and I hope it could go through Council and
17 wouldn't have to be put on a ballot.
18 I can't imagine anybody running wanting
19 to have to raise that type of money. It's very, very
20 difficult for those of us that don't have it. So, if
21 we can look into that, and I know it's going to take
22 some time, but I just don't want it to drop.
23 I don't want to have people coming here
24 again saying I'm trying to scare people, but we have
25 had several daytime robberies of homes in this city in
1 the recent week or so, several, I don't want to give
2 the number, because I think the number might be a
3 little scary, and I would ask that you pay specific
4 attention. It seems to be happening in the daytime
5 when people are at work, so if you can watch out for
6 your neighbor, and if you see any action going on that
7 don't seem right, call the police department, because
8 there's just been a rash of these break-ins, and
9 hopefully we can catch these individuals.
10 I was just sitting here thinking ever
11 since Mrs. Stulgis brought that up, that something just
12 doesn't seem right. I was almost positive that this
13 was solved with the soldiers.
14 I haven't gotten any more calls from
15 the two soldiers' wives who had called me originally
16 when the problem occurred, that's why I assumed it was
17 over with, and I'll try and find out tomorrow, and if
18 in fact we did not pay them what they had coming to
19 them, My God, let's just get that done. It's only
21 MS. EVANS: Mr. Courtright, I was
22 wondering if you knew that the city by law must make
23 the pension contributions while the employee is engaged
24 in active duty, and the city hadn't been doing that
25 either and --
1 MR. COURTRIGHT: That particular thing
2 I wasn't even aware of. I didn't even --
3 MS. EVANS: It's contained in the
4 minutes of, I believe, one of the meetings of the
5 Composite Pension Board, and they are looking at
6 addressing that now and refunding the money paid out by
7 our city employees.
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: I just think that, you
9 know, no matter what side of the politics you're on, I
10 don't think that there's anybody in this city that
11 doesn't believe that our soldiers shouldn't get what
12 they have coming to them, I can't imagine anybody
13 disagreeing with that, so I will do my best to try and
14 find out what happened there, and also I'll bring up
15 what you had just mentioned, I wasn't aware of that.
16 And one last thing, our own Chrissy has
17 brought this up in the past, on Main Avenue, Jay, and
18 Jackson Street, I don't know if it would be the city,
19 if they put the sewer in or what, but he had brought up
20 about it being broken up, the sidewalk there, there's a
21 very large chunk of cement broken up. I actually tried
22 to put it back in place, a little bit like a puzzle
23 there, but it's a real danger. And I don't know if
24 that's the city or the state there, it's at the corner
25 of Jackson and Main right on the corner where the
1 Wachovia Bank is, it's really bad, it's a heavily
2 travelled area, if we can get somebody over there and
3 take a look at it. And I guess that's the last request
4 I get to make of you, huh?
5 MR. SAUNDERS: I will follow through on
7 MR. COURTRIGHT: All right. Thank you.
8 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you, Mr.
9 Courtright, and thank you for following up on the
10 situation regarding the pay of the military personnel
11 of the city. I, too, thought that that was already
12 solved and taken care of, but if it's not, I think it's
13 something that we need to work on immediately, if not
15 Also, it's too bad that the campaign
16 caps question couldn't have been on the ballot last
17 year instead of this year. That would have been a good
19 And I'd like to recognize the 2005
20 Super Bowl Champions of the Northern Area Junior
21 Football League, and I'm speaking of the North Scranton
22 Vikings. I was asked to recognize them, and they truly
23 deserve it.
24 The North Scranton Vikings C Team won
25 the super bowl of the C division by beating the
1 Abington Junior Comets 7-0, and the North Scranton
2 Vikings B Team won their super bowl by beating the
3 Valley View Bulldogs 29-6.
4 So, our congratulations go out to all
5 the members of the North Scranton Vikings and all the
6 coaches, including head coach Dave McGonaghey.
7 And also, I want to wish everyone a
8 Happy Thanksgiving, and I hope that we all can be
9 fortunate enough to feast on Thanksgiving.
10 And, Jay, I had given you the bell from
11 my office, which you've used now for the past, I think,
12 two years, and you've really come to master that bell,
13 and I just want to say that, you know, you can keep the
14 bell as a lasting remembrance of your City Council
15 service. And I appreciate all your help, and thank
17 MR. SAUNDERS: Thank you.
18 MR. DIBILEO: And that's all I have.
19 MR. BLASI: 5-B, FOR INTRODUCTION - A
20 RESOLUTION - AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND OTHER
21 APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS TO EXECUTE AND ENTER INTO A
22 MORTGAGE SUBORDINATION AGREEMENT, AND ANY RELATED
23 DOCUMENTS, IN FAVOR OF PENNSTAR BANK CONCERNING A CITY
24 OECD COMMERCIAL INDUSTRIAL LOAN WITH WOOLWORTH
25 DEVELOPMENT COMPANY, LLC.
1 MR. DIBILEO: At this time I'll
2 entertain a motion that Item 5-B be introduced into
3 it's proper committee.
4 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
5 MR. MCTIERNAN: Second.
6 MR. DIBILEO: On the question?
7 All those in favor, signify by saying aye.
8 MS. EVANS: Aye.
9 MR. MCTIERNAN: Aye
10 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
11 MR. DIBILEO: Aye. Opposed? The ayes
12 have it and so moved.
13 MR. BLASI: 5-C, FOR INTRODUCTION - A
14 RESOLUTION - AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND OTHER
15 APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS TO EXECUTE AND ENTER INTO A
16 MORTGAGE SUBORDINATION AGREEMENT, AND ANY RELATED
17 DOCUMENTS, IN FAVOR OF PENNSTAR BANK CONCERNING A CITY
18 OECD FACADE GRANT WITH WOOLWORTH DEVELOPMENT COMPANY,
20 MR. DIBILEO: At this time I'll
21 entertain a motion that Item 5-C be introduced into
22 it's proper committee.
23 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
24 MR. MCTIERNAN: Second.
25 MR. DIBILEO: On the question?
1 All those in favor, signify by saying aye.
2 MS. EVANS: Aye.
3 MR. MCTIERNAN: Aye
4 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
5 MR. DIBILEO: Aye. Opposed? The ayes
6 have it and so moved.
7 MR. BLASI: Sixth order. 6-A, READING
8 BY TITLE - FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 160, 2005 - AN ORDINANCE
9 - ESTABLISHING AS ONE-WAY THE FIVE HUNDRED (500) BLOCK
10 OF COREY STREET ALLOWING TRAFFIC TO TRAVEL FROM BIRNEY
11 AVENUE TO PITTSTON AVENUE ONLY.
12 MR. DIBILEO: You've heard reading by
13 title of Item 6-A, what is your pleasure?
14 MR. COURTRIGHT: Mr. Chairman, I move
15 that Item 6-A pass reading by title.
16 MS. EVANS: Second.
17 MR. DIBILEO: On the question? All
18 those in favor, signify by saying aye.
19 MS. EVANS: Aye.
20 MR. MCTIERNAN: Aye
21 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
22 MR. DIBILEO: Aye. Opposed? The ayes
23 have it and so moved.
24 MR. SAUNDERS: Mr. President, before we
25 move onto 6-B, I think we're going to need a motion for
1 a public hearing for 6-A, December 1 at 6:45.
2 MR. COURTRIGHT: I'll make a motion
3 that we have a hearing.
4 MS. EVANS: Second.
5 MR. DIBILEO: Okay. Motion on the
6 floor and a second. On the question? All those in
7 favor, signify by saying aye.
8 MS. EVANS: Aye.
9 MR. MCTIERNAN: Aye
10 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
11 MR. DIBILEO: Aye. Opposed? The ayes
12 have it and so moved.
13 MR. BLASI: 6-B, READING BY TITLE -
14 FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 161, 2005 - AN ORDINANCE - AMENDING
15 FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 82, 2004 - AN ORDINANCE ENTITLED
16 GENERAL CITY OPERATING BUDGET 2005, BY TRANSFERRING
17 $252,360.17 FROM VARIOUS CITY ACCOUNTS TO PROVIDE
18 FUNDING FOR LIFE INSURANCE, UTILITIES AND DEBT SERVICE.
19 MR. DIBILEO: You've heard reading by
20 title of Item 6-A, what is your pleasure?
21 MR. COURTRIGHT: Mr. Chairman, I move
22 that 6-B pass reading by title.
23 MR. MCTIERNAN: Second.
24 MR. DIBILEO: On the question? All
25 those in favor, signify by saying aye.
1 MS. EVANS: Aye.
2 MR. MCTIERNAN: Aye
3 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
4 MR. DIBILEO: Aye. Opposed? The ayes
5 have it and so moved.
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 THE
10 COMPOSITION OF THE CITY OF SCRANTON COMPOSITE PENSION
11 BOARD RESTORING SAID COMPOSITION OF SAID PENSION BOARD
12 TO THE COMPOSITION AS SET FOR THE WITHIN SECTION 6 OF
13 FILE OF THE COUNCIL NO. 154 OF 1987. MOTION TO
14 OVERRIDE OR SUSTAIN MAYOR'S VETO.
15 MR. DIBILEO: As chairperson for the
16 committee on rules, I recommend final passage of Item
18 MR. COURTRIGHT: Seconded.
19 MR. DIBILEO: On the question?
20 MR. COURTRIGHT: On the question, Mr.
21 President, Jay, if we vote yes, that is to override the
22 veto, am I correct? A yes vote is to override the
24 MR. SAUNDERS: One second.
25 MR. COURTRIGHT: Don't falter here in
1 your last moments, Buddy. I just don't want to vote
3 MR. SAUNDERS: Yeah, the motion to
4 override would be yes.
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: All right. Thank you.
6 MS. EVANS: I'm going to be voting in
7 the affirmative this evening. An arbitrator's decision
8 indicated that the makeup of the Composite Pension
9 Board is illegal, there is state laws that mandate the
10 composition of the Composite Pension Board.
11 Unlike the mayor, who sometimes breaks
12 laws and then makes his own, I believe in the law, and
13 I will abide by the law, and that is why I am voting
14 for this override of this piece of legislation.
15 MR. MCTIERNAN: Mr. President, I want
16 to just say very simply that I've had three occasion to
17 speak with Mr. Osborne, who has outlined his particular
18 position on this issue, and quite frankly, he's done an
19 objective job.
20 I've also taken the opportunity to
21 speak with members of the administration and some of
22 the lawyers representing the administration, and they
23 are equally as passionate about their position, and
24 with this being the appeal, the arbitrator's rule and
25 appeal, I will be voting no, waiting for the lawyers
1 and for the appeal process to take effect.
2 So, not being a lawyer, I think the
3 best thing you can do at this point in time is to wait
4 until a decision is settled by the courts. Thank you,
5 Mr. President.
6 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you. Anyone else?
7 MR. BLASI: Mr. President, before you
8 take a vote, just so we're clear on the record, a vote
9 of yes will be to override the mayor's veto, a vote no
10 would be to sustain the mayor's veto.
11 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you. And I'd just
12 like to say that, you know, in compliance with the
13 arbitrator's decision, I feel that we are compelled to
14 override this veto at this point, that's number one;
15 number two, that I think no one more than the employees
16 themselves, who this pension plan is to benefit, would
17 have the best interest of not only themselves, but more
18 importantly, the taxpayers in mind when they oversee
19 this pension by the makeup of this board.
20 So, with that said, I'm in favor of
21 overriding the mayor's veto.
22 MS. EVANS: And Mr. DiBileo's comments
23 spurred a thought that was raised earlier this evening
24 when Mr. Osborne addressed Council, apparently the
25 highest bidder is receiving the pension management
1 contract, and it's going to cost the taxpayers.
2 And according to what Mr. Osborne said,
3 if I heard him correctly, that will run anywhere from
4 $140,000 to $210,000 extra per year.
5 In light of the budget difficulties
6 we're facing, I can't imagine how anyone could justify
7 throwing away that kind of money year after year.
8 And apparently this was a decision
9 voted on by the people who are placed there by the
10 mayor. So, the deck was stacked very successfully, I
11 would say, but it's an illegal stack, and I'm going to
12 follow the law.
13 MR. DIBILEO: Okay. We have a motion
14 and a second, and if there's no further questions, can
15 we have a roll call, please, Kay?
16 MS. GARVEY: Mr. McTiernan.
17 MR. McTIERNAN: No.
18 MS. GARVEY: Mrs. Evans.
19 MS. EVANS: Yes.
20 MS. GARVEY: Mr. Pocius.
21 Mr. Courtright.
22 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
23 MS. GARVEY: Mr. DiBileo.
24 MR. DIBILEO: Yes. The recommendation
25 to override the mayor's veto of Item 7-A, File of
1 Council no. 156, 2005, has not had an extraordinary
2 majority vote, therefore, I declare the override of the
3 veto of File of Council No. 156, 2005 defeated, which
4 means the veto stands.
5 Seeing no further business at this
6 time, I'll entertain a motion that we adjourn.
7 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
8 MS. EVANS: Second.
9 MR. DIBILEO: We're adjourned.
12 (MEETING WAS ADJOURNED.)
2 C E R T I F I C A T E
4 I hereby certify that the proceedings and
5 evidence are contained fully and accurately in the
6 notes taken by me on the hearing of the above cause and
7 that this copy is a correct transcript of the same
8 to the best of my ability.
LISA M. GRAFF, RMR
12 Official Court Reporter