1


1 SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL
PUBLIC HEARING
2

3

4

5
IN RE: FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 13, 2006 - AN ORDINANCE -
6 AUTHORIZING THE VACATION OF A PORTION OF THE RIGHT OF
WAY KNOWN AS MURPHY COURT LOCATED BETWEEN DAVIS STREET
7 AND CRANE STREET, A RIGHT OF WAY CONSISTING OF AN AREA
12.5 FEET WIDE AND 284 FEET LONG.
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Held:
12
Thursday, March 9, 2006
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15
Time:
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6:00 p.m.
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18

19
Location:
20 Council Chambers
Scranton City Hall
21 340 North Washington Avenue
Scranton, Pennsylvania
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23

24 Lisa M. Graff, RMR
Court Reporter
25
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1 CITY OF SCRANTON COUNCIL:

2

3 MS. JUDY GATELLI, COUNCIL PRESIDENT

4

5 MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT, VICE-PRESIDENT

6
MS. JANET EVANS
7

8
MS. SHERRY NEALON FANUCCI (Arrived where noted)
9

10 MR. ROBERT McTIERNAN

11

12 MR. AMIL MINORA, ESQUIRE, SOLICITOR

13

14 MS. KAY GARVEY, CITY CLERK

15
MR. NEIL COOLICAN, ASSISTANT CITY CLERK
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25
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1 MS. GATELLI: We'll now open the public

2 hearing. Roll call, Neil.

3 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.

4 MS. EVANS: Here.

5 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci.

6 Mr. McTiernan.

7 MR. MCTIERNAN: Here.

8 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.

9 MR. COURTRIGHT: Here.

10 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.

11 MS. GATELLI: Here. This is a public

12 hearing, FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 13, 2006 - AN ORDINANCE -

13 AUTHORIZING THE VACATION OF A PORTION OF THE RIGHT OF

14 WAY KNOWN AS MURPHY COURT LOCATED BETWEEN DAVIS STREET

15 AND CRANE STREET, A RIGHT OF WAY CONSISTING OF AN AREA

16 12.5 FEET WIDE AND 284 FEET LONG.

17 And if the people that signed in don't

18 mind, I would like the developer to speak first, if you

19 don't have any objections to that. Okay. Mr. Navich.

20 MR. NAVICH: I would like my engineer

21 to speak first, Mrs. Gatelli.

22 MR. MOLINARO: Good evening. I have a

23 large scale plan of what was originally submitted with

24 the letter. Do you folks have the letter with you and

25 the half scale drawing? I have copies, if you don't
.

4


1 have it. You don't? May I come up?

2 MR. COURTRIGHT: Please.

3 MR. MOLINARO: My name is Dave

4 Molinaro, I work for Clough, Harbour & Associates. We

5 are the engineering firm that's representing Moosic

6 Realty Partnership. The reason we're here tonight is

7 to request a vacation of the right of way of Murphy

8 Court.

9 As you know, Murphy Court connects

10 Davis Street and Kane Street, and it's located in the

11 commercial area of Birney and Davis.

12 Currently Moosic Realty Partnership has

13 acquired all of the properties that abut Murphy Court.

14 There are currently in the planning stages to develop

15 some retail development on the front of the property.

16 There's anticipated creation of 40 to 50 jobs.

17 We are under the understanding that

18 tonight was to have the second reading and that the

19 third reading was going to occur next week with a vote.

20 I'm here tonight from an engineer

21 perspective, and we put together the plan to present it

22 to you and to answer any questions you may have, as

23 well as the developer is here to speak and is available

24 for questions, as well. And that is it.

25 (WHEREUPON, Ms. Fanucci entered the hearing.)
.

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1 MR. COURTRIGHT: Was it the zoning or

2 the planning commission who held off on giving it to

3 you because they wanted more information? Have they

4 been satisfied yet or no?

5 MR. MOLINARO: The planning commission

6 for the county?

7 MR. COURTRIGHT: For the city, for the

8 city.

9 MR. MOLINARO: The city issued an

10 opinion of denial. We were not in attendance at that

11 meeting. We had a communication problem and weren't

12 able to come to the meeting.

13 MS. GATELLI: Do you intend on going

14 back to the planning commission?

15 MR. MOLINARO: If we're allowed to.

16 Our understanding is we're going through the procedure

17 to vacate the right of way.

18 We initially submitted the plans, which

19 then were distributed to the planning commission, they

20 rendered their opinion, then we come before you in a

21 public hearing, and then we go through the readings.

22 If we can go back to the planning

23 commission to address any questions that the planning

24 commission may have, we will be glad to do that.

25 MR. COURTRIGHT: We tabled it because
.

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1 they voted to deny. We tabled this. We didn't vote on

2 this yet.

3 MR. MOLINARO: Correct.

4 MR. COURTRIGHT: So, we didn't even

5 have one reading yet.

6 MR. MOLINARO: There was an initial

7 reading, I can't remember the date --

8 MS. GARVEY: We had one reading for

9 introduction and it has to go to sixth and seventh

10 order following this public hearing.

11 MS. GATELLI: It has to go to two more

12 readings.

13 MS. GARVEY: It has two more readings

14 to go, but the planning commission again.

15 MS. GATELLI: There is a planning

16 commission meeting before that.

17 MR. MOLINARO: Okay. There was a

18 planning commission.

19 MS. GATELLI: There is another one

20 before the night we have to vote on this.

21 MR. MOLINARO: Okay.

22 MS. GATELLI: So, I think it behoves

23 you to go there --

24 MR. MOLINARO: We will do that.

25 MS. GATELLI: -- and explain to the
.

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1 planning commission, because you were denied because

2 they didn't know what you were doing. I watched it. I

3 mean, that was basically why you were denied. I'm not

4 saying I'm in favor of you or not, but --

5 MR. MOLINARO: We have no problem going

6 back to the planning commission. My understanding was

7 they made their ruling and that was it.

8 MS. GATELLI: I don't know, but call

9 Donny King tomorrow.

10 MR. MOLINARO: We will do that.

11 MS. GATELLI: Because we certainly have

12 time before we vote on this.

13 MR. MOLINARO: Absolutely. We have no

14 problem doing that either.

15 MS. GATELLI: Is anyone else from your

16 group going to speak?

17 MR. NAVICH: Yeah. Good evening,

18 Council. Tom Navich, Moosic Realty. Again, I think we

19 have a little miscommunication here, because we tried

20 to stay in correspondence with the city as far as what

21 is going to be on the agendas.

22 Now, as far as we understood for the

23 third time is that a public hearing would be here this

24 evening with a second reading.

25 As far as what the planning city
.

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1 commission, which Mr. Courtright said you just tabled

2 it, as far as the county, the city county, they

3 approved it, okay?

4 So, these are basically more or less

5 recommendations that does fall on Council then to make

6 the vote on this dedication, this vacation of the

7 alley.

8 Just to give a fast background on this,

9 Moosic Realty acquired five of the properties on Davis

10 Street with the intentions it is a CN zone, with the

11 intentions of doing something to benefit the

12 neighborhood, beneficial to Scranton, the neighborhood

13 and all parties involved.

14 We were going to start developing when

15 the back property owners did approach us. All six

16 homeowners, they did admit that they were all willing

17 to sell their properties.

18 We are very easy people, we work with

19 our neighbors, we work with any -- we have developments

20 down in Moosic, we have developments we did in Old

21 Forge, New York City, Philadelphia, and one thing we do

22 is we do everything by the book. We don't try to go

23 around anything. We don't try to go over anyone's

24 head. Whatever we are instructed to do, we do.

25 The six homeowners in the back, we
.

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1 acquired four of the six homeowners. The other two

2 homeowners, one was under an agreement, which he had a

3 $2500 deposit, which he kept, because our bank was not

4 able to close the loan in time.

5 The other homeowner, who we were also

6 in negotiations with at that time, did give us a price,

7 which we're also willing to give him that price that he

8 gave us.

9 Now we told them we could not close on

10 those properties. Right now we have over a million

11 dollars invested in the City of Scranton on this

12 project.

13 We could not go any further with

14 closings until we came to the city, got our proper

15 approvals, were able to see exactly what we were going

16 to be able to put on this property, and it depended on

17 what type of tenants. We're looking at all national

18 tenants to go into something like this.

19 Now, as far as the vacation of the

20 alley, after speaking with Mr. King and a couple other

21 people, they said this was just a common procedure. We

22 own both sides of the alley. They don't see any

23 problems as far as a vacation.

24 Now as far as this public hearing,

25 we're here to address whatever they might have. If
.

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1 they're here to ask us are we interested in dealing

2 with them with their properties, yes, we are, but we

3 cannot do anything yet until we come here to get our

4 proper approvals. Plain and simple.

5 I mean, we're here to do anything that

6 we are instructed to do. We're here to work with the

7 city, we're here to better the city.

8 And after they do speak, if there's

9 anything that has to be addressed to us, we would be

10 more than happy to understand any of their questions.

11 MS. EVANS: So, sir, can you tell us

12 definitely what retail stores are going in this area?

13 MR. NAVICH: Ms. Evans, right now

14 anytime that you're doing a development like this,

15 anytime that you have negotiations with any of these

16 national tennants, everything is in confidentiality,

17 due to the fact they don't want their name to get out

18 there, because if it did, then they might have somebody

19 trying to compete against them.

20 So, everything that is done at this

21 point, like I said, is all in confidentiality, until we

22 do have the proper approvals.

23 When we do have our approvals, at that

24 time the city planning, Council, everyone will have

25 exactly what would be going there on that corner with
.

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1 their approvals.

2 MS. EVANS: I do -- you mentioned two

3 property owners whose properties have not yet been

4 purchased.

5 MR. NAVICH: Right.

6 MS. EVANS: And my concern is for them

7 that they're not knowing, our not knowing what is going

8 to be located in this area is certainly problematic to

9 them, and I understand they're individuals that, you

10 now, who have resided, at least one of these families,

11 in that home for many, many years, and it's not that

12 they're unwilling to sell and relocate, but that, you

13 know, there's been no communication from you for a

14 very, very long time, and naturally they would be

15 concerned, as I would be concerned, if it were my

16 property, what's going in there, and my property still

17 hasn't been purchased, and, you know, as long as that

18 continues, how are they to know truly that it ever will

19 be?

20 MR. NAVICH: Well, very simple,

21 Ms. Evans, is that when we first, like I said,

22 purchased the first five properties in the beginning,

23 we were in contact with every neighbor there. We went

24 to every door and knocked on the door and we told them

25 at that point we were going to be putting up probably a
.

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1 strip mall with retail shops in a strip mall.

2 What retail shops? We did not have an

3 answer, because, again, that would be in all

4 confidentiality, but they would be retail shops.

5 Then when they came forward and said we

6 want to sell our back properties, that basically

7 changed our whole outlook.

8 Now instead of going with just a strip

9 mall with retail shops, now we're going to have more

10 land to develop, so now we're going to pursue other

11 tennants, AAA tennants, A tennants, whatever yo may

12 call them, in order to provide for that area. And we

13 would be putting something in that area that would be

14 needed.

15 And which, like I said, look at our

16 neighbors next door in Moosic with the malls coming in,

17 what they did up there at Glenmaura, we're not going to

18 go down there and put a three-story mall in. We're

19 going to put something there that's going to be

20 accessible for the traffic, accessible for the

21 neighborhood and it's going to be something that's

22 going to be utilized.

23 And like I said, at this time it's hard

24 to say, well, what's going to go there.

25 MS. EVANS: I can understand that, and
.

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1 I agree with you, I think it would be a fabulous

2 addition, but I still have my concern for these two

3 homeowners, because they would be, if you did not buy

4 them out, they're going to be right in the middle of

5 all that traffic.

6 So, I, you know, my own inclination

7 here, my concern is for them, and my inclination is

8 that you would deal with them, as you did with everyone

9 else, and get that cleared away before you went any

10 further.

11 MR. NAVICH: Right now, Ms. Evans, we

12 have two choices. Number one, if we do not get the

13 dedication of the vacation of the alley, we are still

14 going to be pursuing to put something in the front

15 property.

16 Now, again, and I don't want to bring

17 this up, because I hate to have any kind of negativity.

18 If these two clients would go to the original

19 agreements which they first planned on, we'd sign those

20 agreements tomorrow.

21 But when you have an agreement from

22 someone that says I want $150,000, I want $120,000,

23 then you're getting a letter from an attorney saying

24 you want $470,000, in our eyes, that's a little bit of

25 extortion.
.

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1 I mean, we're here to work with them,

2 but, again, we can't go and work with something we

3 don't have.

4 And like I said, right now we're at a

5 starting point of the vacation of the alley. Once we

6 have that, we can -- all we can do at that point is

7 construct the front end of the property and that's what

8 we're here for this evening, but we would love to go

9 into negotiations with the Donlans and with the

10 Howards. That was never not our intentions.

11 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Navich --

12 MS. EVANS: I'm sorry.

13 MS. GATELLI: Go ahead.

14 MS. EVANS: I don't know any of the

15 costs involved, I haven't discussed that with anyone, I

16 was told only that there, you know, a sale was

17 proposed, you were about to go to closing, then

18 everything was dropped, and they hadn't heard from you

19 in over a year, and I was told they were only looking

20 for a fair and reasonable price for their homes.

21 I wasn't quoted any dollar amounts

22 whatsoever, but I'm sure you can understand their

23 concerns and my concern for them. I'd love to see you

24 there, that's not the issue, I just want to make sure

25 that these two families are properly taken care of.
.

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1 MR. NAVICH: And we have every intent

2 to. But, again, if we are only going to be able to

3 develop the front part of the property and not get this

4 vacation, we are not going to be able to do anything

5 for them. Plain and simple. That's the way it's --

6 you know? We are going to develop the front or we're

7 going to develop the whole thing. And if we're not

8 going to get the vacation, then we're only going to be

9 developing the front property, which means we're not

10 going to be able to give Mr. Donlan or Mr. Howard

11 anything at all or offer them anything at all.

12 MS. EVANS: So, in other words, those

13 properties, let's say, pin, what is it, 166.20-030-049

14 and the one directly north of it and those to the west

15 of it, none of that would be developed?

16 MR. NAVICH: Right now it is

17 residential, so what we would have to do, because we

18 did make purchase of homes and demolitions of homes, if

19 the city did not, like I said, vacate the alley, then

20 we would have to go on that back property and do some

21 type of housing.

22 We can't sit there on purchases and

23 just expect the sit and not do a thing with it.

24 MS. EVANS: Okay. So, what you're

25 saying is you would develop a strip mall or whatever it
.

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1 may be to the south of Murphy Court, and to the north

2 of Murphy Court, you would develop a housing.

3 MR. NAVICH: That's the only options we

4 would have. That would be the only options we would

5 have. That would be the only option.

6 MS. GATELLI: That was my question.

7 Everything west of Murphy Court is residential?

8 MR. NAVICH: Everything would be -- the

9 west side? It would be everything behind the alley.

10 MS. GATELLI: That's all residential.

11 MR. NAVICH: That's residential,

12 correct.

13 MS. GATELLI: And the front is

14 commercial?

15 MR. NAVICH: All CN zone, correct, yes.

16 And then all the properties around us, which you have

17 the Liberty Bank, commercial, CVS, commercial,

18 Georgetti's, the gas station. I mean, the whole area

19 is commercial, the property across the street.

20 So, we're not looking to go in there in

21 the middle of a neighborhood and disrupt hundreds of

22 families there. It was never our intentions. That's

23 why we were in communication.

24 But like I said, until it came to a

25 point we are at a standstill until we do go through
.

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1 Council with this vacation, because that basically is

2 going to tell us yea or nay on what we could do.

3 MS. GATELLI: And what if we get the

4 vacation and you don't get the zoning change?

5 MR. NAVICH: That, again -- but I don't

6 see -- not for anything, Mrs. Gatelli, but at that

7 point if we did have -- we did acquire that and we did

8 come into agreement with the other two and the

9 surrounding neighbors, at that point, which that is a

10 whole different ball game at that point.

11 Right now, again, we are only here for

12 the vacation of the alley. That is the purpose of the

13 public hearing this evening. I mean, anything beyond

14 that would be matters which we would be all in

15 discussions with.

16 MS. GATELLI: What would happen if we

17 vacate Murphy Court, we all agree, and we give you the

18 vacation of Murphy Court, and then you go to change the

19 zoning back there, and the zoning board denies you?

20 MR. NAVICH: At that point again then,

21 we would be happy to just do with something in a

22 residential area. We would have to comply by the laws

23 of the city.

24 MS. GATELLI: Okay.

25 MR. NAVICH: Right now, again, we own
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1 both sides of Murphy Court.

2 MS. GATELLI: Yes, yes, I saw --

3 MR. NAVICH: And that court is useless

4 to the City of Scranton, it's useless to the two

5 abutting neighbors.

6 So, no matter what we do, it's not

7 going to be in any way, shape or form --

8 MS. GATELLI: The real issue is the

9 zoning change.

10 MR. NAVICH: Exactly, which, like I

11 said, that's a whole different phase. That has nothing

12 to do with this hearing or anything at this point.

13 MS. GATELLI: And I believe a zoning

14 change has to come back to Council, too.

15 MR. NAVICH: All right.

16 MS. GATELLI: The zoning board cannot

17 do that.

18 MR. NAVICH: Exactly. Like I said,

19 that's something not for this meeting, though.

20 MS. GATELLI: Okay. Anybody else have

21 questions? Okay. The next speaker is Edwin

22 Abrahamsen, Jr.

23 MR. ABRAHAMSEN, JR.: Good evening,

24 Madame President and Council. My name is Attorney

25 Edwin Abrahamsen, Jr. I'm here on behalf of William
.

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1 and Donna Howard, who as you heard already live at

2 3109 Cedar Avenue, which is one the properties that

3 surrounds this area.

4 And it's particular -- the whole area

5 is Birney Avenue, Davis Street, Cedar Avenue and Crane

6 Street, and then Murphy Court is right in the middle.

7 This is probably the busiest corner in Minooka, as some

8 of you may be familiar with.

9 The most important thing that we're

10 here with, as you know, dealing with the vacation of

11 Murphy Court. The Pennsylvania Courts have considered

12 this issue, and they have found consistently that it is

13 illegal to vacate a court to purely dedicate it to a

14 private corporation. It's illegal. And I actually

15 have copies, if I may approach. I have a case that

16 supports that position, as well, for you.

17 So, as the case we have here, Moosic

18 Realty Partnership is a private corporation that has

19 come to the city requesting this vacation for their

20 use, development of the property.

21 But even if we step back from that, and

22 if you don't believe in the illegality of this

23 situation, say it was illegal, we need to look at the

24 entire community that's involved here and what the

25 vacation of Murphy Court would do to them.
.

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1 On the other side of Cedar Avenue it's

2 St. Joseph's Church, which you may or may not know has

3 recently been combined with Taylor churches, as well,

4 so the community has expanded greatly.

5 And this particular time of the year,

6 the crowds are enormous that come to the church there,

7 and they use Murphy Court all the time. People park an

8 drive through Murphy Court, use it as an access off of

9 Davis Street and Crane Street to use it to access St.

10 Joseph's Church. So, it's used on a daily basis.

11 Not only that, it's also used by the

12 Howards to get to their property off of Davis Street

13 and Crane Street, and their neighbors, the Donlans, are

14 also here, as well, they use it on a daily basis.

15 But you'll hear -- I believe that there

16 are many other members of that Minooka section that are

17 here that use ita, as well. It's not just a purely

18 commercial area.

19 And the safety of the people that go to

20 St. Joseph's Church really would be put in question if

21 this Murphy Court was cancelled or was vacated.

22 So, not only is it illegal, but the

23 safety of the residents of Minooka is in question here,

24 the safety of the parishioners of St. Joseph's Church

25 are at issue here, as well.
.

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1 And then finally we have this issue of

2 Moosic Realty Partners dealing with the Howards and the

3 Donlans and what happen, and I think it's important

4 that you understand the full background of what

5 happened there.

6 It was well over a year that Moosic

7 Realty Partnership entered into an agreement of sale

8 with the Howards, and then they refused to close, and

9 that happened over a year ago, the refusal to close.

10 They violated the agreement of sale.

11 Since that time, they've had no contact

12 with my clients, the Howards. We have sent them

13 letters, and the Howards are working with the Donlans,

14 as well, to try to both sell their properties to Moosic

15 Realty, but they've had no contact, not even an

16 identification that they're waiting for bank approval

17 or anything to that effect.

18 So, it's important that you know it's

19 not the picture that Moosic Realty has attempted to

20 paint here. They haven't been working with all the

21 people in the area.

22 And I think President Gatelli really

23 hit the nail on the head, in that, even if you vacate

24 this court, they still have a zoning issue. It really

25 seems like they put the cart before the horse.
.

22


1 They should go and attempt to have the

2 zoning changed to whatever they may need for the entire

3 property, not just for one side of Murphy Court.

4 Because if you vacate Murphy Court and

5 then they can't get the zoning, well, then you've given

6 up Murphy Court and they have no plans for the entire

7 property.

8 And it would make sense to me that you

9 want to know what the plans are for this whole section

10 of Murphy Court, both sides, before you were to

11 actually vacate it.

12 So, it's not a dead court. It's not

13 like it's buried in some corner of Scranton where no

14 one uses it. It's used all the time. So, I'd request

15 that this ordinance be denied, that you vote not to

16 approve the vacation of Murphy Court. Thank you.

17 MS. GATELLI: Thank you very much.

18 Chris Powell.

19 MR. POWELL: Good evening, Council. My

20 name is Chris Powell, I'm a property owner. I'm the

21 vanguard of the southwestern side of Crane Street, and

22 I own the whole entire block there and the 300 feet,

23 and I am the other neighbor here, and I am very

24 concerned about losing ten of my friends and residents

25 that have lost their homes that had to move. All of
.

23


1 them, I believe, have moved out of the city, and many

2 of these people feared of what was going in next to

3 them sold. It became a domino effect.

4 And my concern with the vacating of the

5 property is it's to a private organization. I'm aware

6 of many vacated allies or courts in the city for public

7 use goods, reasons, such as playgrounds and educational

8 institutions, for example, but I've never heard of one

9 being vacated, a used alley for a private organization

10 for profit, simply because they bought all the property

11 around it.

12 I will give you an example. I would

13 assume it's about ten foot wide by close to about 300

14 feet, which the alley would be, and an example of

15 property that's sold on the side across from me on

16 Crane Street, approximately 45 feet by 125 feet, let's

17 say that's 6,000 square feet, and that's giving them

18 some, and the alley is 300 feet by 10 feet, there's

19 3,000 feet. That property in the paper went for

20 $210,000. They needed to raise that house, remove the

21 debris, backfill, and that would cost approximately

22 another $10,000, so they invested $220,000.

23 We are going to give away half of what

24 -- half of the square foot, just offer it to them for

25 -- without knowing what's going there, without knowing
.

24


1 if their plans is to change to a 24-hour zoning if they

2 can get the whole block?

3 And so, it's a major concern. I'm the

4 vanguard for everyone behind me on the 3200 block of

5 Birney Avenue. I may not speak for them right now. We

6 haven't started our petition drive yet on that.

7 But another concern I have is there's a

8 storm drainage on the end of the alley on my property,

9 which since the trucks have been going back and forth,

10 I believe that it closed that, which has flooded my

11 property, and that is a concern, what are the

12 consequences if we turn it over to them, will they

13 continue to maintain that?

14 And the main concern is that -- our

15 concern is that they're planning to put a 24-hour

16 business in there.

17 We have commercial neighbors all around

18 us, which we applaud. The bank has been a good

19 neighbor, CVS has been a good neighbor. Their

20 lighting, they changed to make sure it's not affecting

21 people, but we have not heard anything from this

22 organization, and it's just -- to give away public

23 property that is worth by fair market value at least

24 $110,000 is not in the city's best interest.

25 MS. GATELLI: Thank you, Mr. Powell.
.

25


1 Marguerite Coyle.

2 MS. COYLE: My name is Marguerite

3 Coyle, and I live at 3207 Birney Avenue, directly

4 across from Chris, caddy corner from the proposed

5 development.

6 And I think what really bothers all of

7 us is that they're not saying what they're going to put

8 there, and Davis Street is already overcrowded.

9 The traffic patterns are horrendous.

10 There have been people hit by cars. Chris' son was hit

11 by a car last year. The traffic is -- it's out of

12 control.

13 They're saying it's commercial, yes,

14 it's neighborhood commercial, Birney and Davis, and

15 they bought six homes that people lived in and tore

16 them down, and now they want to put up a strip mall, at

17 least that's what they're saying, it's a strip mall.

18 They don't have the zoning for the

19 other half. They want the alley vacated. And it's

20 just without knowing what they want to put in there,

21 how can we say, you know, okay, vacate the alley and

22 give them the property?

23 We don't want a Route 6 back there.

24 There's still people that live there. They said the

25 church is there. The church is the center of the
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1 community, and I think there needs to be more thought

2 and it should be denied. Thank you.

3 MS. GATELLI: Is there anyone else that

4 would like to speak before Council? Mrs. Pocius.

5 MS. POCIUS: Kathy Pocius, 2933 Cedar

6 Avenue. I'd just like to echo everyone else's comments

7 that vacating that alley will be detriment to the

8 neighborhood. We still have a neighborhood there.

9 And, again, not knowing what will go in

10 in time, it's a great concern to us. And maybe they'll

11 be good neighbors, and then again, you never know.

12 Again, as Chris said, we don't want a

13 24-hour gas station or whatever. I mean rumors are

14 rampant. If they could just tell us what they have

15 planned for it, you know, then we can take it from

16 there, but without knowing, I'm dead set against it.

17 Thank you.

18 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Anyone else?

19 I'm not going to allow you to speak again, because I

20 don't want this to be a rebuttal kind of thing, if you

21 don't mind. Any other neighbors here that care to

22 speak? Okay. Thank you very much for coming. The

23 public hearing is over. We will recess for five

24 minutes before our regular meeting.

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1 C E R T I F I C A T E

2

3 I hereby certify that the proceedings and

4 evidence are contained fully and accurately in the

5 notes taken by me on the hearing of the above cause and

6 that this copy is a correct transcript of the same

7 to the best of my ability.

8

9

10
LISA M. GRAFF, RMR
11 Official Court Reporter

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1 SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING

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3

4

5 Held:

6 Thursday, March 9, 2006

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8

9 Time:

10 6:30 p.m.

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12

13 Location:

14 Council Chambers

15 Scranton City Hall

16 340 North Washington Avenue

17 Scranton, Pennsylvania

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23 Lisa M. Graff, RMR

24 Court Reporter

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1 CITY OF SCRANTON COUNCIL:

2

3 MS. JUDY GATELLI, COUNCIL PRESIDENT

4

5 MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT, VICE-PRESIDENT

6

7 MS. JANET EVANS

8

9 MS. SHERRY NEALON FANUCCI

10

11 MR. ROBERT McTIERNAN

12

13 MR. AMIL MINORA, ESQUIRE, SOLICITOR

14

15 MS. KAY GARVEY, CITY CLERK

16

17 MR. NEIL COOLICAN, ASSISTANT CITY CLERK

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25
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1 MS. GATELLI: Okay. Please stand for

2 the Pledge Of Allegiance. Please remain standing for a

3 moment of reflection. Roll call.

4 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.

5 MS. EVANS: Here.

6 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci.

7 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Here.

8 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McTiernan.

9 MR. MCTIERNAN: Here.

10 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.

11 MR. COURTRIGHT: Here.

12 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.

13 MS. GATELLI: Here. Mrs. Garvey,

14 dispense with the reading of the minutes.

15 MS. GARVEY: 3-A, CONTROLLER'S REPORT

16 FOR THE MONTH ENDING JANUARY 31, 2006.

17 MS. GATELLI: Are there any comments?

18 If not, received and filed.

19 MS. GARVEY: There are no clerk's notes

20 tonight.

21 MS. GATELLI: I just have a few things.

22 The public hearing went a little late, so I'll cut it

23 short.

24 I just wanted to tell you that we met,

25 our committee for the non-profits met at 4:30 this
.

4


1 evening, and we had quite a few people show up.

2 We're going to each get a list of the

3 non-profits, and for the next meeting, delineate which

4 ones that we think are appropriate and which ones we

5 think are not appropriate, because there are some on

6 there that, like little leagues, that we don't feel as

7 though we're going to ask for payment in lieu of taxes.

8 We decided that we're going to go to

9 the hospitals first and then to the educational

10 institutions. Anyone is welcome to attend the

11 meetings. The next one will be March 23 at 4:30.

12 I'd like to also acknowledge that there

13 are some organizations that are volunteering before we

14 even ask, and we got a check for $1,000 this week from

15 the Boys and Girls Club, and they're to be commended

16 for that.

17 The 2006 paving list is being compiled.

18 I would appreciate if anyone had any streets or allies

19 that they would like paved, to please call the city

20 clerk's office. Kay loves me when I do that. And,

21 also, Council members, if you get these on your

22 travels, please forward them to the office so we can

23 make our own list of streets that Council would like to

24 have done for the coming year.

25 The sign at Archbald Street has been
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5


1 hung. There was one slight error, but we're going to

2 disregard it. We're just happy that the sign is up,

3 and we'd like to thank Mr. Parker for that.

4 We got a letter from Attorney Kelly at

5 the Recreation Authority. I had sent a letter that

6 Council would like the playground named after Morris

7 Jackson, and the Recreation Authority said that it is

8 not up to them, it is up to Mayor Doherty, so I would

9 like Kay to send that on behalf of Council to the Mayor

10 that we would like something at the park for Morris,

11 whether it be a plaque or a tree planted or something

12 in memory of Morris Jackson.

13 I received letters from Gaynor Cawley

14 and Fred Belardi in response to my EMS letter, and

15 they're going to take the suggestions and see if they

16 can do something at the state level.

17 And Southern Union, I talked to Lee

18 Namey, and they don't want to go through the monitor,

19 Mrs. Evans, for whatever reason, and, you know, they

20 want us to pursue it.

21 According to Mr. Namey, he said that as

22 long as they make the grade, so to speak, in the first

23 year, that's all they're obligated to do. So, I think

24 that we need to send a letter to Southern Union and ask

25 them how many people are there, what they intend to do
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1 with the building, are they staying, are they leaving,

2 are they leasing, who are they leasing to, et cetera,

3 and I think that we should do that on behalf of

4 Council, and if anybody else has any questions they'd

5 like asked, please tell Mrs. Garvey before you leave

6 tonight and hopefully we will get an answer posthaste.

7 One good thing was the road was opened.

8 Did anyone see that? Isn't it wonderful? It's only

9 about three years later, but we're very happy that it's

10 open and I hope that it stays that way.

11 Another thing that came up at our

12 non-profit meeting was the fact that assessments on

13 properties which are done at the county level are being

14 done on a rather regular basis where assessments are

15 being lowered, and in some instances, they are being

16 lowered by half, and some of them are rather large

17 businesses and they do it, I believe, every Wednesday.

18 There are assessment hearings, and this

19 is not good for the school district or the city,

20 because we are getting our revenue from property

21 assessments, and if they're cutting big businesses in

22 half, we're going to get half of what we should get,

23 and then the property owner carries the freight once

24 again .

25 I'm not sure what I think we should do
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1 about it, but I think that someone in the city

2 government should be assigned to go to the assessments

3 and possibly give testimony why they shouldn't below

4 lowered as much as they are or maybe even at all.

5 So, I would like my colleagues to think

6 about that, and Attorney Minora, because I think

7 someone should be appointed to go there every time they

8 have an assessment hearing so that the city is aware of

9 what's being lowered and what isn't.

10 Now, I don't know how we go about doing

11 it, so if anyone has any suggestions, I'm certainly

12 open to that. I can't go and no one up here can go,

13 because we all work, but I really thing that --

14 MR. MINORA: Someone from the

15 solicitor's office would make a logical choice, because

16 they would understand the legal proceeding itself and

17 what evidence will be considered to reduce it or not

18 reduce an assessment during an assessment appeal, so if

19 I had to make a suggestion, that would be mine.

20 MS. GATELLI: All right. Well, then

21 maybe we can send a letter. I'll certainly do a

22 motion, absolutely, that we send a letter to the Mayor

23 telling him that we would like someone assigned

24 preferably from solicitor's office to represent the

25 city at the tax assessment hearings that are conducted
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1 in the county.

2 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Second.

3 MS. GATELLI: On the question?

4 All in favor.

5 MS. EVANS: Aye.

6 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Aye.

7 MR. MCTIERNAN: Aye.

8 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.

9 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Any opposed? The

10 ayes have it and so moved. And I only have one more

11 thing. I know Mr. Spindler gets nervous when I talk

12 too much.

13 We have one more student. This is

14 really taking off this student task force, and I'm

15 really very proud of all of you for getting involved,

16 and we have one more, and I have several more at home

17 that would like to come, so maybe once you all get

18 appointed, you can take turns or whatever so that

19 you're not all obligated to be here every week, but you

20 can do that among yourselves.

21 And I know that Mr. Rogan and

22 Mr. McTiernan have agreed to have meetings in the

23 schools, and the children who are on the Council will

24 have the meetings and take input from the rest of the

25 students about things in the city. So, I really think
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9


1 it's going to be a wonderful thing.

2 And the new person we have with us

3 tonight is from Scranton High School. They're

4 certainly hogging all of these up, Mr. McTiernan and

5 Mrs. Evans. You're really pushing it down there. But

6 he's from Scranton High School, and his name is

7 John Gilbride.

8 I would like to make a motion that we

9 appoint John Gilbride to the youth task force.

10 MS. EVANS: Second.

11 MS. GATELLI: On the question?

12 MR. MCTIERNAN: Matt Butler is also

13 here with us, and he was unable to come. Matt, raise

14 your hand.

15 MS. GATELLI: Oh, okay. We didn't

16 appoint him yet?

17 MR. MCTIERNAN: I can't remember. You

18 weren't here the night we announced --

19 MS. GATELLI: Well, we'll will put your

20 name on there, too, Matt Butler. Another Scranton

21 High?

22 MR. MCTIERNAN: Yes.

23 MS. GATELLI: Oh, my goodness. And

24 they will both be appointed this evening.

25 MS. EVANS: A young man, I believe,
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1 that looks forward to entering the Armed Service right

2 after graduation.

3 MR. BUTLER: Yes, ma'am.

4 MS. GATELLI: All in favor.

5 MS. EVANS: Aye.

6 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Aye.

7 MR. MCTIERNAN: Aye.

8 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.

9 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The ayes

10 have it and so ordered. Welcome. We love having you.

11 Does anyone else have anything before we --

12 MR. COURTRIGHT: Mrs. Gatelli, I know

13 this is kind of out of order, but if I may, a couple

14 weeks back Mrs. Krake came to the podium and spoke

15 about inaccurate reporting, and I was a victim of that

16 inaccurate reporting last week.

17 I was called by The Times and asked was

18 I able to make the meeting, and I said I absolutely

19 was, but there were other Council members that weren't,

20 and then the following day it was in the paper that I

21 couldn't make it because of the weather.

22 Now, my understanding is that possibly

23 today they corrected that. I am proud of the fact, I'm

24 going into my third year on Council, and I've only

25 missed one Council meeting, and the only reason I
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11


1 missed it was my 25th wedding anniversary, and my wife

2 and I went on vacation. So, I certainly was able to

3 make it last week. The snow did not stop me. I just

4 wanted to get that squared away.

5 And if I could bring this up, I was

6 going to bring this up last week when I was able to be

7 here, but I didn't.

8 I'm very proud of three West Scranton

9 wrestlers, Matt Sheerin, Chris Kobrynick and Eric

10 Shribes, they won district championships again, and I

11 just wanted to congratulate them on their victories.

12 That's it. Thank you.

13 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else?

14 MS. EVANS: Yes.

15 MR. MCTIERNAN: If I may, Scranton High

16 School, since we are talking about district

17 championships, the girls basketball team recently won

18 the District II Championship, and we're also very proud

19 of the girls basketball team. That's the first

20 district high championship in the Scranton High

21 School's history on either the boys or the girls

22 basketball court.

23 And to also emphasize the fact that

24 there are also things going on at Scranton High School

25 that are not athletic, our speech and debate team in
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12


1 the recent past won a state speech and debate

2 tournament, so there are also things going on at

3 Scranton High School that are not strictly athletic.

4 We're proud of those, as well. So, congratulations to

5 our folks, as well. Thank you, Mrs. Gatelli.

6 MS. GATELLI: Great. Anyone else?

7 MS. EVANS: Yes. I had requested from

8 Ms. Hailstone a report on the Mulberry Street corridor

9 project and funding for sidewalks in North Scranton. I

10 do have additional sidewalks to add to that request

11 that I'll reference later this evening under motions;

12 however, since she has failed to respond, and I don't

13 even recall when the original -- oh, here it is,

14 January 30, Councilwoman Evans requested the

15 possibility of funding, et cetera, et cetera, and a

16 second letter was sent on February 24, and it is

17 Thursday, March 9 and no response was received, so, I

18 am asking if we could send a third letter on behalf of

19 City Council, rather than solely myself. I'm hoping

20 that may make the difference, and so I'll make that in

21 the form of a motion that a third letter be sent.

22 MS. GATELLI: I'll second that. On the

23 question? All in favor.

24 MS. EVANS: Aye.

25 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Aye.
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13


1 MR. MCTIERNAN: Aye.

2 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.

3 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The ayes

4 have it and so moved.

5 MS. EVANS: And just one more thing, I

6 had also asked that our neighboring communities,

7 Dunmore, Throop, Moosic, Taylor, et cetera be included

8 in the Scranton-Abingtons Planning Association, and we

9 did receive a response of sorts from Mrs. Prowell,

10 however, she is going to provide further information in

11 writing, but she did indicate, and this is in response

12 specifically to Mr. Sbaraglia, who originated this

13 idea, and I merely followed up on it, but the response

14 has been regarding inviting our neighbors into the

15 plan, the process is much too far along to do anything

16 at this point; however, Mrs. Prowell said that they

17 were all contacted in the summer about this it, and she

18 also followed up with the Dunmore Councilmen, so they

19 all did have an opportunity to get on board if they

20 were interested.

21 She also indicates there were several

22 viewpoints on the committee, and the consensus was that

23 the process works best when you have no more than ten

24 participants, because when you get bigger, it becomes

25 much more difficult to make decisions together and to
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1 agree on things, and hence, decisions take longer.

2 And finally she said perhaps Dunmore or

3 Throop or Old Forge can plan with rural areas next to

4 them if they would like to get involved. And that's

5 it.

6 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. One more

7 thing that I forgot, I talked several weeks ago about

8 an employee of the Sewer Authority that had passed

9 away, and they will be having a benefit for him, his

10 name is Jack Williams, and his sister-in-law works in

11 central records in City Hall, and his wife is an

12 employee of the school district, and the daughter is a

13 student of yours, Mr. McTiernan, at Scranton High

14 School, she's a young girl in tenth grade that lost her

15 dad, and it will be at the Dante Club, 1916 Prospect

16 Avenue in lovely South Scranton, and it will be Sunday,

17 March 19 from 12:30 to five. I hope you can all come.

18 It's $10, and we have to tickets in the City Clerk's

19 office, and I also have tickets for anyone that's

20 interested.

21 The first speaker is Andy Sbaraglia.

22 MR. SBARAGLIA: Andy Sbaraglia, citizen

23 of Scranton. Fellow Scrantonians, thank you, Janet,

24 for following up a little on that. But I'll tell you

25 one thing, if we said no, they would have nobody up
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1 there. They only got 20,000 in that whole area.

2 Without us, they're nothing.

3 Okay. Let's go on to something on the

4 agenda. I believe it's 5-D, For introduction, a

5 resolution authorizing the Mayor and other appropriate

6 city officials for the city of scranton to enter into a

7 loan agreement and make a loan for the urban

8 development action grant repayment loan program,

9 project no. 400.14 in an amount not to exceed $550,000

10 to 500 lackawanna avenue project again.

11 Now, let's look at this project. The

12 governor gave them $10 million. So far, without this,

13 I believe you gave them OECD funds in the amount of a

14 half a million for development of this project to come

15 up with plans.

16 Now they want another loan, a UDAG

17 loan, no interest loan, not even interest on this loan,

18 so, hence, they will be taking the money away from

19 other projects that people that do pay money, and then

20 their only stipulation is that they spend $2 million

21 out of that $10 million for this loan.

22 But we have a lot more invested in

23 this. I would like Council to find out who's paying

24 for the condemnation proceedings, the City of Scranton

25 or the developer, because that's awful important,
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1 because we got a lot of lawyer fees involved with this.

2 And if you're familiar -- Judy, I guess

3 you worked over there. You're familiar with this

4 thing. They gave them a ridiculous bid in the

5 beginning so it looks good on paper, and then it goes

6 through a lot of lawsuits, then it comes out with a lot

7 more money being spent.

8 And really, this project, the only

9 thing they want to do is make loft apartments on the

10 upper floors, and I forgot the government program with

11 the fronts, but somewhere along the way I believe they

12 even get tax abatements on these properties once it's

13 done.

14 So, hence, we're pouring millions of

15 dollars into a project that's going to bring the

16 taxpayers of Scranton very little, if anything.

17 I really believe that when they get

18 their credits written off on these fronts and so forth

19 and so on, that the tax base on these properties is

20 going to be negligible.

21 But the worse thing about it, I heard a

22 lot of the residents, the people that own the

23 buildings, don't want to sell and they're hiring their

24 own lawyers to fight this, and if they do, and why

25 should I pay for this developer to want to buy these
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1 properties?

2 If the developer wants these

3 properties, he should buy them himself. We already

4 gave him how much? You gave him $10 million, plus

5 another $500,000. Now he wants another $550,000 with

6 no loan. And, of course, he could meet this very

7 easily, because he got $10 million in state funds to

8 use to make the $2 million.

9 So, really this man is putting nothing

10 into this project, but his name, and I don't know where

11 he's getting all these benefits from, other than maybe

12 he's connected with the right people, but unless these

13 people can come up with something tangible, I think you

14 should ask the people, instead of suing, that maybe we

15 divide the money amongst these people who want to keep

16 these businesses and let them fix their own properties.

17 We can avoid lawyer fees, we can avoid

18 a lot of infighting, and in the end we would probably

19 get a better project, because the people that own their

20 buildings pay taxes on them all this time should in

21 turn be glad if somebody gave them a -- I would be,

22 anyway. If you gave me a million dollars to fix up my

23 house, I would be well pleased.

24 And you probably would come up in the

25 end with the same amount of probably more taxes in the
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1 end, because it's true, developers in this city seem to

2 get a lot of tax breaks. And I guess the bigger

3 developer you are, the bigger your tax break.

4 The mall, I'll never live -- I'll die

5 before I can ever swallow that. The tax break they

6 gave the mall, which was enormous, considering they

7 took up, what, three and a half city blocks, four

8 blocks? And being on the tax rolls, we get $24,000 a

9 year out of that mall on the land and the mall.

10 It's on the tax rolls for under

11 $400,000, but it's foolish for me to keep repeating

12 myself on that. But this is only the tip of the

13 iceberg in the city.

14 I mean, God knows how many of the

15 properties have been revaluated downward, and the

16 burden you place upon us grows greater and greater.

17 The $52 that you're placing on the

18 burden on some of these people is pretty hard, but

19 that's only the tip of what's coming.

20 I mean, we can cry all we want to the

21 non-profits, they don't have to spend a penny, and they

22 probably won't. They won't do anything voluntary.

23 So, hence, the city's in financial bad

24 shape, we all know that, but we knew this four years

25 ago. We've been saying this for the last four years.
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1 Nobody listened then. I just hope you had enough and

2 you listen now.

3 When somebody comes up with a project

4 like this, you get somebody in here, the developer, and

5 let them explain the whole project and get people that

6 are also involved in it, bring them into the buildings

7 that you do not own and sit down, and maybe you can

8 come up with a better concession to what's being done

9 here. Thank you.

10 MS. EVANS: Just to pursue what you

11 were saying, Mr. Sbaraglia, I notice tonight under 7-B,

12 we're casting a final vote on a UDAG allocation of

13 $577,000 out of account number 91-400, and my question

14 is, Is $500,000 of that amount going to the Lackawanna

15 Avenue project, and, if so, that leaves $77,000 for

16 other projects and purposes.

17 And I know that since last we met, I

18 was flooded with phone calls from city residents who

19 were very concerned with the fact that, you know, it

20 was last discussed at the meeting of maybe February 28,

21 that, or whenever it was, February 24, that $150,000 of

22 that $577 was supposed to go toward the tree house, and

23 they were very, very concerned about street paving and

24 police and home repairs and blight.

25 And it just seems to me that, you know,
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20


1 it's not that I'm opposed to this project on Lackawanna

2 Avenue by any means, but we're continuing to pump

3 significant amounts of our revenue into the downtown

4 area, once again, neglecting the neighbors and the

5 streets at the same time.

6 So, I need to know I think before I can

7 cast a final vote tonight, I want to know where the

8 $577,000 is really going.

9 MS. GATELLI: Well, I know, $150 was

10 allocated for the tree house, and I don't think that

11 they're going to use it all. And, you know --

12 MS. EVANS: Did we ever get any

13 figures, though, on what the total --

14 MS. GATELLI: Collection?

15 MS. EVANS: Yeah, the donation total is

16 at this point?

17 MS. GATELLI: No, but I will ask that

18 question. However, it's very, I forget who I talked to

19 this week, I think it was -- it might have been Mr.

20 Narsavage, and we were discussing the same thing.

21 When you work in OECD and you have a

22 pool of money, you don't know what the projects are

23 until the people come and ask you for the money.

24 It's not like you have the money and

25 you say, Oh, I got this money, now I'm going to give it
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21


1 to Janet Evans and Sherry Fanucci and Judy and Bill and

2 Bob, because they're my friends and they're going to do

3 a project.

4 It doesn't work that way. You have the

5 money, and until you have the money, like the CRF, you

6 don't know who's going to apply for that money until

7 you have the money.

8 So, when everybody says what is this

9 money for, you don't know what it's for until you

10 receive the applications to see who was interested in

11 this type of money.

12 MS. EVANS: Well, we do have a lot of

13 applicants, it appears. We have the 500 block of

14 Lackawanna Avenue. I don't know if there is any type

15 of funding transpiring with these two new small

16 businesses on Spruce Street. Purportedly we were

17 providing a loan to a bar restaurant in the Casey

18 Parkway.

19 I mean, there are a lot of projects on

20 the table. And just like the incident we discussed

21 during the public hearing, I think we need to know now

22 where's the money going, because there are a lot of

23 people asking for that money.

24 I among them asking for sidewalks in

25 North Scranton on, you know, and I'll add to it
.

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1 tonight, Main Avenue, Charles Street, Wilber Street and

2 the streets that are listed here, places that have been

3 without sidewalks since homes were built.

4 So, we all have -- I'm sure if we went

5 down this desk, we could each come up with viable

6 projects. And I think OECD -- I want an answer. I

7 want to know what the project -- who's the winning

8 project, in other words, who's getting what out of that

9 $577, because I really think somebody is getting

10 something, or it wouldn't be transferred.

11 MS. GATELLI: All right. I'll ask.

12 I'll certainly ask that question. My other question

13 is, I really don't know what the Lackawanna Avenue

14 project is, because I wasn't here. I know Sherry won't

15 know either.

16 MR. COURTRIGHT: We had a presentation

17 given to us by the Rinaldis. I would assume they would

18 come back in if you would ask.

19 MS. GATELLI: I think we should do

20 that.

21 MS. EVANS: They wanted to restore the

22 500 block across the street from the new parking

23 garage, and they also intended, I believe, to create a

24 courtyard of sorts in the back with benches and a

25 fountain, and they envisioned, I think, specialty
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23


1 stores, as well as loft apartments and such, and it

2 would be designed such that it would fit in with the

3 historical environment of the area.

4 And I do recall, in fact, Councilman

5 Courtright and Councilman McTiernan were present the

6 day that the governor came to Scranton and made that

7 multi-million dollar award to the Rinaldi family for

8 the renovation of that block.

9 MS. GATELLI: All right. Well, Kay, if

10 you can schedule them to come at a future caucus to

11 tell us exactly what they have in mind, and I will ask

12 about the $577,000, and I'm also going to ask, because

13 the Mayor did say that we would be able to do some

14 projects, and I'm going to ask him about how much would

15 be left so that, you know, if you want to do your

16 little thing or anybody else up here has a pet project

17 that they're interested in, we can go from there, okay?

18 Okay. The next speaker is Les Spindler with is

19 Syracuse shirt on.

20 MR. SPINDLER: Good evening, Council.

21 Finally. I have some good news to report. Two weeks

22 ago I bumped into Mark Walsh, the day after the last

23 meeting, and he looks terrific, he said he feels great,

24 and I think he's well on the mend, so I wanted to

25 report that to everybody. I know Mark for a long, long
.

24


1 time, and he looks very well.

2 Next thing, Mrs. Gatelli, I wouldn't

3 get too excited about that fence staying down, because

4 last year it came down for the parade, and after the

5 parade it went right back up, so I wouldn't be

6 surprised if that happens again. Okay. Next thing.

7 MS. GATELLI: I didn't think about

8 that, Les.

9 MR. SPINDLER: Yep.

10 MS. GATELLI: You might have a point

11 there, because I see the green paint was out.

12 MR. SPINDLER: Yeah. Another thing

13 about Southern Union, I know for a fact, I was talking

14 to an overnight delivery person who delivers in that

15 building, he said they have three employees in that

16 building. When he goes in there to deliver, he said he

17 has to walk all over to try and find somebody to sign

18 for the deliveries.

19 And he swears to me, he's in there

20 every day, there's three employees. So, I don't know

21 how they're meeting their KOZ criteria with three

22 employees in there.

23 MS. GATELLI: Well, they told us that

24 -- Mr. Namey told us that they only have to meet it the

25 time first year, which, you know, makes no sense to me,
.

25


1 but we're going to pursue that, Les.

2 MR. SPINDLER: I think it should be

3 pursued. Okay. Moving on. An acquaintance of mine

4 called me this week and asked if I could say something

5 for him. He lives near the Lackawanna Little League.

6 He said the corner of North Merrifield and Price

7 Street, going up Price Street, he said in the

8 summertime when the little league games are taking

9 places, cars fly up there to Keyser Avenue, and the

10 kids are riding their bikes to the little league games.

11 He said somebody is going to get killed thee someday.

12 Could Council look into maybe getting a four-way stop

13 sign there?

14 Okay. Since you mentioned it already,

15 Mrs. Gatelli, about Jerry McNamara, unless you've lived

16 under a rock, for the last four years Jerry has

17 represented our city very admirably. We've gotten lots

18 of publicity from him playing up there.

19 So, I was at his last home game on

20 Sunday, and it was a great experience. I'm asking

21 Council when Jerry comes home, I think he very

22 deservedly should be presented with a proclamation.

23 And I speak to Jerry's uncle fairly

24 often, so if you want me to work with you and see when

25 he's going to be home.
.

26


1 MS. GATELLI: Okay. That will be

2 great.

3 MR. SPINDLER: When he won the

4 championship in his freshman year, and Council with

5 President Murphy in charge was supposed to do it, but

6 they never brought him in.

7 MS. GATELLI: Make the arrangements and

8 let us know.

9 MR. SPINDLER: I think it would be a

10 crime if he wasn't presented with nothing. Scranton

11 has been represented tremendously by him.

12 Next thing, last week in the paper, and

13 Mrs. Evans mentioned, two new businesses on

14 Spruce Street, New Laundry and Poochie, a pet boutique.

15 The Mayor was so excited about that. I think he should

16 look into keeping 30 stores in Steamtown Mall, because

17 if we lose 30 stores from the mall, you might as well

18 put a padlock on the mall. Who's going to come

19 downtown shopping at Poochie if the mall is closed up?

20 Next thing, the Mayor wants to merge

21 our fire department and police department with Dunmore.

22 Dunmore has many problems. I don't think we need their

23 problems.

24 Our fire department and police

25 department are just fine. If he would sit down and
.

27


1 give them each a contract, I think we would be in

2 better shape.

3 If he would have done that months and

4 months ago, we wouldn't have a problem, and I think

5 that's what he's trying to avoid by having this merger.

6 Lastly, I mentioned a few weeks ago

7 about the truck parked on Mulberry Street,

8 1-800-GOT-JUNK, did anyone look into that?

9 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yeah, Les, I did.

10 They had checked on that before, and where it was

11 parked wasn't illegal, and I asked them if they would

12 check on it again, and they did go out and check on it

13 again, but they haven't gotten back to me. They were

14 going out the day I called them. But they did check on

15 it before, and I don't know if it was in the same spot.

16 MR. SPINDLER: It wasn't there today,

17 but last week it was there for, like, five straight

18 days.

19 MR. COURTRIGHT: Right. Where it was

20 previous was illegal. I told them I didn't know if it

21 was the exact same location, so they said they would go

22 back out. I'll let you know for sure.

23 MR. SPINDLER: It's there every week,

24 not maybe every day, but it's there a couple days a

25 week.
.

28


1 MR. COURTRIGHT: I drove by after the

2 last meeting, and, yeah, absolutely.

3 MR. SPINDLER: It was there after the

4 last meeting, but it was there for four days after that

5 meeting. It's a turning lane.

6 MR. COURTRIGHT: I called them the next

7 morning, and they said at one time they did check.

8 Where it was at that time was legal. They're going to

9 go back out and make sure if it was the same location.

10 MR. SPINDLER: They said it was legal?

11 MR. COURTRIGHT: They had checked o it

12 once before, and it was parked on that street. They

13 did not know if it was the exact location. So, where

14 it was parked before was legal, so I asked them if they

15 could go back and out and check it and see where it's

16 parked now, if it was the same location or not.

17 MR. SPINDLER: There is a sign, no

18 parking sign on that block. And there's an arrow

19 pointing in both directions, but the arrows are bent,

20 so you can't see the arrows.

21 MR. COURTRIGHT: I talked to the

22 traffic division, they're going to get back to me.

23 MR. SPINDLER: Okay. Thank you.

24 MR. COURTRIGHT: You're welcome.

25 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Bill
.

29


1 Jackowitz.

2 MR. JACKOWITZ: Good evening, City

3 Council. Bill Jackowitz, city resident and taxpayer,

4 registered independent voter, retired United States Air

5 Force.

6 Maybe I can end some speculation. The

7 last couple meetings people have been wondering if

8 Mayor Doherty watches the City Council meetings, well,

9 when I had my meeting with him in November of '05, I

10 asked him if he watches City Council meetings, and he

11 said no. He said he doesn't even have cable

12 television, so he says he never watches the cable.

13 So, unless things have changed since

14 November, no, he does not watch City Council meetings,

15 at least that's what he told me anyway.

16 Okay. The state of the city address.

17 Okay, we're getting coffee shops. I'm in favor of

18 coffee shops, I think they're not nice, but what is the

19 salary range of the people that work in the coffee

20 shops?

21 We're also getting -- he talked about

22 the movie theaters, movie theaters are losing

23 popularity nationwide because people just don't go to

24 the movies anymore, because they just rent the DVDs at

25 home and stay at home and watch them at home.
.

30


1 High-dollar apartments, who's going to

2 be able to afford the high-dollar apartments? One

3 hundred forty manufacturing jobs, again, I'd like to

4 find out what the salary range is.

5 I'm not saying anything bad about the

6 jobs, I'd just like to know what the salary ranges are

7 for those jobs, because $20,000, $25,000 a year ain't

8 going to make it anymore.

9 Okay. Some of the questions I was

10 going to ask already been answered. I was going to

11 bring up about Southern Union being cleaned up and also

12 I'm wondering if it's going to -- if the crane's going

13 to reappear after the St. Patrick's Day parade of not.

14 The Mulberry Street corridor, I was

15 going to ask about that, but Mrs. Evans already talked

16 about that.

17 The 16th of March next week, we're

18 supposed to be getting a report on the Casey Garage

19 that Mr. Courtright has been waiting for, so we will

20 see if that comes in tomorrow.

21 And the big one is the Hollow Avenue

22 that's supposed to be resolved by the end of the month

23 with Mr. Parker, so I'm looking forward to that,

24 because I really would like to find out whether

25 anything happened or it didn't happen.
.

31


1 Okay. I guess something for the

2 Junior City Council, I would like to make a suggestion

3 that the Junior City Council conduct a survey to see

4 where they would like the skateboard park to be located

5 at.

6 I don't think Connell's Park is a good

7 idea, me and Mrs. Gatelli already discussed that at the

8 South Side meeting, because of its location, not only

9 because of its location, the hills. You're going have

10 kids skateboarding down those hills at 100 miles an

11 hour, because Connell's Park is surrounded by nothing

12 but hills. So, for safety reason, I don't think

13 Connell's Park is a good idea.

14 Also I would like to suggest that the

15 Junior City Council also talk with the principals of

16 the school and maybe get together with the, what's that

17 school where they -- the vocational school.

18 And I understand that the skateboard

19 park is in dire need of repair, so maybe we can get the

20 shops at Scranton High School and the vocational school

21 to do that as a project and repair the skateboard park

22 for us at no cost, and then we can find out where the

23 kids would like to have it moved to, and that will save

24 the city some money, also, plus the park will be

25 somewhere where the kids that are going to be using it
.

32


1 want it to be, instead of us adults making the decision

2 for them. Just a suggestion, and I hope somebody looks

3 into that.

4 I was going bring up about the 5-C and

5 5-D -- or 5-D and 5-B, also, or 7-B, about this

6 $577,000. If the tree house is built by donations for

7 $300,000, well, then we are going to save $150,000.

8 But as far as this Rinaldi project, I

9 was also going to suggest that we have Mr. Rinaldi come

10 in, but I got beat to the punch on everything today.

11 Bad day.

12 But from what I understand about the

13 Rinaldi project is it was going to be loft apartments

14 for $1,500 a month, loft apartments, and the reason I

15 know this is because one of my friends sold right at

16 the beginning, and $1500, basement boutiques and gift

17 shops in the basement, a coffee shop across the street.

18 Rinaldi was going to pay for the

19 restructuring of the outside of the building, but it

20 was up to the individual owners to repair the insides

21 of their buildings, so I don't know, Mrs. Gatelli, if

22 you need any more information, I will be glad to give

23 it to you.

24 And one other thing, and I normally

25 don't bring this up, but a friend of mine asked me to
.

33


1 bring it up, during the snowstorm on the Mulberry

2 Street side of City Hall, the sidewalks weren't

3 shoveled. Is that in violation of the city ordinance?

4 MS. EVANS: Yes.

5 MR. JACKOWITZ: And, again, I'm only

6 saying that because a friend asked me to bring it up,

7 but --

8 MS. EVANS: If I might comment on two

9 issues that you brought up this evening, I had asked,

10 this is related to the new parking garage, I had asked

11 for a financial report on the parking garage from

12 Mr. Wintermantle, and I requested a response by

13 March 16. I wanted to know the numbers on usage for

14 January and February of 2006, as well as the revenue

15 realized for those two months, and should we not hear

16 from Mr. Wintermantle by the 16th, I am going to

17 request that he come into Council to discuss the issue

18 with us in caucus.

19 Now, with regard to Hollow Avenue, I

20 did speak with Mr. Parker, and he was willing to meet

21 with one representative of Hollow Avenue and myself,

22 and I relayed that information to one of the residents

23 involved in this issue, and the response I received

24 from him was that, you know, they were not satisfied to

25 have just one neighborhood representative attend that
.

34


1 meeting, that they felt all of the residents were

2 entitled to be present, and I don't disagree with that,

3 so I'm in the process -- I'm going to be contacting

4 Mr. Parker again, I guess you would call me the

5 mediator here of sorts, and let him know what that

6 response was, and I'm hoping very much that he would

7 agree to meet with all of them and myself so that we

8 can find the answers and finally put this to bed.

9 MR. JACKOWITZ: I agree. It has been

10 going on a long time.

11 MS. EVANS: Too long.

12 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mike Dudek.

13 MR. DUDEK: Mike Dudek, 608 Depot

14 Street, Scranton, PA. And I think what I'm going to be

15 talking about will probably be -- maybe a little more

16 appropriate for the Junior Council to do some digging

17 in. It will save the City Council time.

18 What I have to offer is rather on the

19 unusual side. First of all, most major cities in the

20 United States exist where they are for some economic

21 reason. New York, Philadelphia, they're port cities,

22 Miami is a port, Minneapolis is a big grainery city for

23 the farms, St. Louis is a port city, Pittsburgh is

24 mining and so forth.

25 Our heritage here is mining.
.

35


1 Pennsylvania's major cities, Pittsburgh and Scranton

2 exist because of either coal, steel mining or both,

3 okay?

4 Our coal mining industry has declined,

5 as we all know. But with the current and rising price

6 of oil and the fact that it's never going to go down

7 again, we may be coming into a situation where we

8 should reinvestigate the use of those -- of the most

9 modern methods of coal mining possible and to reopen

10 some of our mining industry here.

11 Now, I'm not talking about West

12 Virginia coal mine like we saw, that's mom and pop coal

13 mining, like what used to be done here. I'm talking

14 about the kind of coal mining done in Europe that

15 developed a tunnel that went between England and

16 France.

17 When you have that tunnel underneath

18 the English Channel, that tunnel isn't even reenforced,

19 because the methods to drill it out were so new and so

20 up do date that they don't have to be reinforced.

21 Governor Casey realized that when we

22 drilled the other tunnel next to the Lehigh Tunnel,

23 that arched tunnel, there is no reinforcement there.

24 It's not necessary.

25 With that thought in mind, there are
.

36


1 modern coal companies in Illinois, in Kentucky that use

2 ultra new ideas, new ways of mining coal.

3 In Illinois, 40 percent of the coal

4 miners are women. These are operations run by

5 professional companies. They work hand and hand with

6 the United Mine Workers of America for mine safety.

7 For instance, every day when they check

8 a mine, there are probably no violations, or the most

9 one or two violations. Nothing like what we were

10 hearing coming out of West Virginia.

11 We're talking about operations in which

12 the union, the coal companies and the federal

13 government working hand and hand conduct mining.

14 I think what we should do is have Penn

15 State University reanalyze the entire area from

16 Hazleton all the way up to Carbondale to see how much

17 coal is left. I would estimate there's probably about

18 200 years worth of coal. Get that coal, gasify it and

19 say good-bye to Saudi Arabia.

20 We only get 15 percent of our coal or

21 our oil from Saudi Arabia. I think we could replace

22 that ourselves right here in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

23 Thank you.

24 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Erik Johnson.

25 MR. JOHNSON: Good evening, City
.

37


1 Council and staff. Erik Johnson, resident of North

2 Scranton and taxpayer.

3 Six Democrats and two Republicans are

4 lining up for one of Scranton's State Representative

5 seats will highlight the May 16 Primary Elections i n

6 Lackawanna County. May the best candidate win after

7 all the debates are over and the voters make their own

8 decision on the Election Day. Good debate, smart

9 decisions and a non-nasty attitude with an honest

10 opinion what you plan to do to Scranton and its voters.

11 Since The Times Tribune has a low

12 profile on City Council affairs and businesses, one

13 agenda could not be overlooked, City Council President

14 Judy Gatelli has advocated a payment in placement of

15 taxes or a pilot program, because we all know the city

16 needs the revenue.

17 The program is Judy has vowed to knock

18 on doors of the area's non-profits, KOZs and

19 organizations to persuade them to pay.

20 Another great expression of an idea has

21 been the work of North Scranton Neighborhood

22 Association and restoring Weston Park, which had been a

23 particular victim of neglect and willful and malicious

24 destruction.

25 Assistance from Ms. Marichak and her
.

38


1 West Scranton school students, as West Scranton's

2 Sophomore Katherine Told The Times Tribune, No one else

3 would do this if we didn't.

4 Another good event, the Downtown

5 Scranton Merchants Group hopes to continue to increase

6 commercial activity in the downtown community through a

7 new study.

8 This past Tuesday morning, three dozen

9 members of the group met at the Scranton Hilton.

10 Scranton seems to be heading in that particular good

11 direction.

12 Families of soldiers fear they are

13 being forgotten. Several hundred people came to the

14 event. The family Readiness Group raised $1,500 for

15 those left behind, family members of the 109th

16 Pennsylvania Army National Guard.

17 In addition to offering the families

18 counseling and advice, the group also helps those who

19 face a financial crisis.

20 It's true. A year or two ago everybody

21 was doing something for our troops. Today, you hardly

22 hear anything going on for our troops. Yes, we need

23 more stuff going on for our troops and their families.

24 Get on the board, everybody.

25 The City of Scranton and Dunmore are on
.

39


1 the right tract. Terrific idea of consolidating the

2 Scranton and Dunmore police and fire departments.

3 Financially it will profit both

4 Scranton and Dunmore and improve public safety

5 activities for both.

6 Mr. Doherty and members of the Dunmore

7 Borough Council deserve credit for recognizing the

8 reality of the situation and moving towards greater

9 efficiency and public safety.

10 And Pennsylvania, wrongful convictions

11 are being scrutinized. Lawmakers and citizens are

12 saying that many innocent people are being jailed.

13 Since PA adopted DNA testing rules in 2002, at least

14 eight supposed guilty people have been cleared with the

15 help of DNA testing.

16 If you're going to adopt very tough

17 criminal laws in PA, for violent offenders and sexual

18 offenders, they must impose that everybody in that

19 nature take a DNA test for the innocent and also for --

20 and also to incarcerate the guilty subjects.

21 It also costs the system a lot of

22 expense to jail innocent people or even execute the

23 innocent, along with the guilty. Thank you for letting

24 me speak.

25 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mr. Davis.
.

40


1 MR. DAVIS: We had a conversation

2 before you guys came in and he was telling me about the

3 possibility of having a Spanish interpreter for what

4 you're doing here, so I'm giving you a card from

5 Mr. Pedro Gonzales, and this is my card.

6 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Davis.

7 MR. DAVIS: What?

8 MS. GATELLI: Would you like to speak,

9 please?

10 MR. DAVIS: Yes, I am. Excuse me.

11 Number one, I would like to speak about the election

12 that we had. I didn't know that if we -- if we voted

13 for someone and we voted the most votes for the person,

14 they automatically became the President of the City

15 Council. I was --

16 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Davis. Mr. Davis,

17 we've been over this once before. Could you please

18 move onto some city business, please?

19 MR. DAVIS; that is city business.

20 MS. GATELLI: It's not. It's over.

21 MR. DAVIS: Okay.

22 MS. GATELLI: I'm the president for two

23 years. If you don't like it, I can't help that. Now,

24 please speak what you're going to talk about. I think

25 you just come here to harass me every week.
.

41


1 MR. DAVIS: Oh, please.

2 MS. GATELLI: And you do a good job of

3 it, believe me.

4 MR. DAVIS: I think that we've won in

5 the election, this is what I was going to continue --

6 may I continue now?

7 MS. GATELLI: Yes, you may continue.

8 MR. DAVIS: Thank you very much.

9 Because we've got these young people interested in city

10 government, I think we won. I think we're going to

11 change, and I think we got leaders in progress. We

12 have leaders for the future, coming forth, stepping

13 forth and doing what they can do best, which is

14 observing at this point in time in your life.

15 And this is what we want for all of our

16 kids, not just for these kids, but these are the kids

17 that are leading the way, and I compliment them for it.

18 And I think this only happened because

19 of the election, because change came about whether you

20 like it or not, and it was a beautiful change. You

21 never know what's going to happen when you do

22 something. You never know what the results -- the

23 total results that God allows to happen to you, and

24 this is a beautiful thing that happened to me.

25 Now, I had something else that happened
.

42


1 to me after that point. I saw Scranton High School,

2 the girls, win. I know I'm bringing up what he's

3 already said.

4 These kids, when they started the year,

5 they had no chance in who to win, but they stayed

6 together, they fought together, they played together,

7 they cried together, until they finally got their act

8 together, and they played beautiful, they really did.

9 I'm very, very proud of them. As a team, I'm proud of

10 them, because the school stood behind them and the

11 school was there. That was nice to see, because they

12 haven't always had good crowds. The guys get great

13 crowds, but the girls don't usually get good crowds.

14 But this time the stands were packed

15 and everyone was on their side, and I loved it. I just

16 loved the whole game. Whether they won or lost, it

17 didn't matter, because we had accomplished something.

18 We accomplished something greater than what we thought

19 we'd accomplish when we put the girls on the basketball

20 floor.

21 I'm telling you, I think this whole

22 school is going to unify just because of those girls

23 winning, believe me. And the guys had a great team,

24 too. I watched them every time they played and I

25 congratulated them, but not this year. The girls came
.

43


1 first.

2 Okay. The third point. There was a

3 man that lived in Scranton by the name of Ernie

4 Williams, he was the big brother of Chimsey Williams or

5 James Williams.

6 He died two weeks ago, and he was my

7 big brother at the Boys Club when it was down on the

8 corner of Mulberry and Adams Avenue. And I want to

9 give tribute to him now, because I've let it go too

10 far, I've let it go too long.

11 I've asked to have the crossing guard,

12 you know, commemoration and things like that, it

13 doesn't -- they gave him one. He has been given

14 commemoration since we've talked about it here several

15 times.

16 So, I'm not going to ask you to

17 represent those from Central City, because I don't

18 think anybody here is from Central City, and it's very

19 difficult for me to come -- it's very difficult for me

20 to come here and talk to you about Central City and the

21 problems we have in Central City, knowing nobody really

22 represents us.

23 We've got to have committee meetings in

24 Central City, so we have no way of getting knowledge of

25 Central City and what happens and what is needed in
.

44


1 Central City.

2 We were promised to have a skating

3 park, a skate thing, they were going to put it in the

4 parking lot at Northeastern for the kids after they

5 move it from Weston Field. Never heard about it again.

6 I've got kids out on the tennis court out there

7 skateboarding tearing down the nets.

8 I mean, these are things that we don't

9 have any say so over. Who do we complain to? Nobody

10 here that we know. Nobody knows us, and that's the

11 worst part about it.

12 And we don't know how to find out to

13 know, unless you come to our area and find out, not

14 just when there's a funeral of a famous person, not

15 just when there's a nice thing, Martin Luther King

16 celebration, but actually come and talk to the

17 residents, find out what they're thinking. It would be

18 nice.

19 If not, you guys do it and start

20 bringing back reports to them, because they might be

21 too busy. You're right.

22 MS. GATELLI: Okay. Thank you, Mr.

23 Davis. Mr. Davis.

24 MR. DAVIS: Thank you very much.

25 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.
.

45


1 MR. DAVIS: I'm so happy to be

2 thankful. I'm just so happy to be thankful that I'm

3 able to sit here and look at you and talk to you.

4 MS. GATELLI: Thank you, Mr. Davis.

5 MS. GARVEY: Mrs. Gatelli, can I just

6 respond to something that Mr. Davis touched on?

7 MS. GATELLI: Yes, you may.

8 MS. GARVEY: He was talking about a

9 proclamation that he asked for quite some time ago,

10 which we were not able to get a lot of information

11 because the last city clerk had left at that time. I

12 have been working on that. He was supposed to be here

13 tonight for his proclamation, it is ready for him,

14 unfortunately he is in the hospital and that was unable

15 to happen. It will take place as soon as he's ready.

16 MR. DAVIS: I have tears in my eyes.

17 MS. GATELLI: Jean Sueta.

18 MR. DAVIS: I have tears in my eyes,

19 because I've been asking for this for a long time.

20 MS. SUETA: How you doing? Jean Sueta.

21 I had a couple situations this week. On the corner of

22 Green Ridge and Sanderson Avenue where the townhouses

23 are being built, they had the sidewalks blocked for six

24 days, so I called the Scranton Police Department,

25 wanted to know why I had to go on a main highway
.

46


1 instead of them opening up the sidewalks. They told me

2 it was a city program.

3 I don't know what kind of city program

4 it is, so I got a little pissed off, oh, sorry. I

5 called the State Troopers. They told me they couldn't

6 do nothing, to got a hold of the supervisor on the

7 shift.

8 I called the desk again. He gave me a

9 phone number for the supervisor. It was a nursing

10 home. So, I gave him the benefit of the doubt and I

11 called the second time. I called the desk back and I

12 asked him why he was choking my chain and giving me a

13 runaround.

14 I even called Chief Elliott, got a

15 runaround there. They told me that that man has all

16 the authority to block them sidewalks, and I want to

17 know why.

18 Today you go up there, there's a sign,

19 Do Not Park on This Side. On Sanderson Avenue, there

20 are two white vans parked there every day up on the

21 curb. And I know the Scranton Police go by there.

22 Finally I got something done from

23 dispatcher 57, he sent a car up. If it wasn't for him,

24 I would have gotten nowhere.

25 And, Judy, about your snow removal
.

47


1 getting fined, it don't happen. I live next door to

2 Hollywood Tans, their snow wasn't removed. By Saturday

3 afternoon, I went over and I told the man, How come

4 your sidewalks aren't cleaned? He laughed in my face,

5 which off again, right, so I called the Scranton cops.

6 They come over, I said this man didn't

7 remove the snow. That ain't my fault. They were there

8 for 36 hours. He's an able-bodied man. I cleaned my

9 walks, why couldn't he clean his? He didn't get cited.

10 Why?

11 MS. GATELLI: I don't know, but if it

12 happens again, call Mr. Fiorini, because it is under

13 the BOCA Code. He could send an inspector out.

14 MS. SUETA: That was on a Saturday

15 morning. And now potholes, you know, people still use

16 coal. They throw these ashes in the garbage truck, why

17 can't the city send a section truck to pick up the

18 ashes, throw them in an open truck, which they used to

19 do, I did, take the ashes and fill the potholes?

20 Anything is better than nothing.

21 It saves the city money, there won't be

22 no tonnage. I'll probably get tarred and feathered

23 tomorrow by the guys, because I used to work there, but

24 it's a good solution. Nobody's answering me.

25 And school busses, Hollywood Tans
.

48


1 again, I got school bus No. 40 parks her bus on Gardner

2 Avenue and goes in for a tan in the middle of the day.

3 Don't tell me to call the school

4 people. I called, they do nothing about it. And it's

5 school bus No. 40.

6 MS. GATELLI: Is that every day, Jean?

7 MS. SUETA: It has been until I jumped

8 down her throat. You know, I got a little vocal with

9 her, which I have a tendency to do.

10 MS. GATELLI: Come on, Jean. I don't

11 believe that for a minute.

12 MS. SUETA: But that's why the guy over

13 at tanning, when he got the guy to come do his

14 sidewalks, he threatened me, and I was talking to the

15 police officer -- two seconds -- and he says, you know,

16 he was threatening me. I said, Are you threatening me?

17 And the police officer told him, You better go, buddy,

18 you know, because he was threatening me. He's a -- I

19 got to be nice, Judy will hit the gavel.

20 MS. GATELLI: They thought they'd have

21 to hit the gavel for me, too, Jeanie.

22 MS. SUETA: I know.

23 MS. GATELLI: And it's coming close.

24 MS. SUETA: I mean, what's going on

25 with that thing up on Green Ridge?
.

49


1 MS. EVANS: That's not -- you mean the

2 development. That is not a city project, that's a

3 private developer who is building --

4 MS. SUETA: You know, it's bad enough

5 we ripped the building down for them, now they're

6 taking the sidewalks off us and they're parking illegal

7 every day.

8 MS. EVANS: Well, I think the police

9 can do something about the illegal parking up over the

10 curb, but I know with regard to --

11 MS. SUETA: I called three times and

12 every day.

13 MS. EVANS: As some of the other

14 Councilpeople have said, the snow removal is really the

15 job of an inspector who is supposed to go out and look

16 for such violations and cite the violators.

17 MS. SUETA: Who do you get on a

18 Saturday?

19 MR. COURTRIGHT: Mr. Fiorini. Oh,

20 yeah, it's a Saturday, it's tough.

21 MS. SUETA: It was a Saturday.

22 MS. EVANS: Yes. You're not going to

23 get anyone on the weekend obviously, but I really don't

24 know --

25 MS. SUETA: If an officer came, he
.

50


1 should have cited him.

2 MS. GATELLI: If I were you, I would

3 take pictures on a Saturday.

4 MS. SUETA: Where?

5 MS. GATELLI: Of the snow.

6 MS. SUETA: I should take pictures?

7 MS. GATELLI: You know, if you can, if

8 you have a camera, I would take a picture of it.

9 MS. SUETA: I do.

10 MS. GATELLI: And Then the inspector

11 can go on Monday and say, Look, you know, here's your

12 sidewalks from Saturday and --

13 MS. SUETA: What about Green Ridge

14 Street?

15 MS. GATELLI: Green Ridge Street, I'll

16 call somebody about that. They shouldn't be blocking

17 the sidewalks.

18 MS. SUETA: Well, they told me it was

19 all right for them to do it.

20 MS. GATELLI: No, I don't think so.

21 MS. SUETA: I give you the officer's

22 number. Bill, I'll give you that.

23 MR. COURTRIGHT: Give it to Neil and

24 then I'll talk to him.

25 MS. EVANS: Now, the dispatcher did,
.

51


1 though, you said take care of that?

2 MS. SUETA: Two officers.

3 MS. GATELLI: Yeah, but I really don't

4 think it's the officer we should call. We should just

5 tell the Mayor about that.

6 MS. SUETA: It would do no good. I

7 called him, too. I called everybody.

8 MS. GATELLI: We'll call for you and

9 we'll see.

10 MS. EVANS: But you have access now?

11 MS. SUETA: Yes.

12 MS. GATELLI: It's open now?

13 MS. SUETA: What?

14 MS. GATELLI: The sidewalk is open now?

15 MS. SUETA: Yeah, but they're still

16 parking up on the curb.

17 MS. GATELLI: All right. Well, we'll

18 report that for you.

19 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: I'll take care of

20 the tanning bus driver, too, tomorrow morning.

21 MS. SUETA: I had three cops. Which

22 one?

23 MR. COURTRIGHT: Whoever the officers

24 were that came. Do you have their badge number?

25 MS. SUETA: No, but I have their name.
.

52


1 MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay. Give it to

2 Neil.

3 MS. GATELLI: The next speaker, I can't

4 read the first name, the last name is Hubbard. Liz.

5 MS. HUBBARD: My name is Elizabeth

6 Hubbard, Scranton resident. I have a couple of

7 questions.

8 I see some things I pulled off the

9 University of Scranton website that they list as their

10 softball field our Tripp Park field and their baseball

11 field they list as Connell Park Scranton. Do they pay

12 rent for using these city-owned fields?

13 MS. GATELLI: You know, I'm not sure if

14 they do. I think they do pay a fee to the league, and

15 that might be part of the lease agreement with the

16 little league, but I'll find out for you.

17 MS. HUBBARD: What do you mean with the

18 little league? I don't understand.

19 MS. GATELLI: The city has a lease with

20 the little leagues. They have to sign every year a

21 lease, and I'm pretty sure it allows --

22 MS. HUBBARD: Who owns the Tripp Park

23 field, is that a city --

24 MS. GATELLI: The city owns most of the

25 fields where the little leagues are.
.

53


1 MS. HUBBARD: Okay. Why would the

2 University of Scranton be able to use that field

3 without paying rent?

4 MS. GATELLI: They do pay, I believe,

5 but they pay it to the little league.

6 MS. HUBBARD: Oh, okay. All right.

7 MS. GATELLI: Because the little league

8 maintains the field, takes care of the grass, cuts the

9 grass. You know, the city really doesn't take care of

10 little leagues, so the University would pay the money

11 or Lackawanna.

12 I know Lackawanna Junior College used

13 to play up at Connell Park, and I'm 99 percent sure

14 they do pay the little league, but I will clarify for

15 you.

16 MR. MCTIERNAN: Sometimes there's an

17 agreement made where, for example, I don't know if it's

18 still done, but there was a time when West Scranton

19 High School utilized Battaglia Field, and there's an

20 agreement regarding maintenance or purchasing certain

21 items for the maintenance of the field as a trade for

22 the use of the field, so that may very well vary from

23 field to field and lessee to lessee.

24 MS. HUBBARD: Okay. I just wondered.

25 Another thing, does the University pay taxes on any of
.

54


1 its properties?

2 MS. GATELLI: I don't think so.

3 MS. HUBBARD: The parking lots?

4 MR. MCTIERNAN: They do. I was going

5 to go into this in motions, and I'll go over just that,

6 but to answer your question, of 12 properties listed,

7 and I'll go into it in motions a little bit later, but

8 a variety of addresses, there's a millage evaluation of

9 $116,000.

10 It looks to me like most of them are

11 ancillary properties, and that was a question that we

12 asked --

13 MS. HUBBARD: Yeah, but how about their

14 parking lots? When my daughter was a student there --

15 MR. MCTIERNAN: I don't know.

16 MS. HUBBARD: -- she had to pay for a

17 parking permit. Now, they're charging her to park, in

18 addition to the huge tuition I was paying, I just

19 wondered if do they pay taxes on the parking lots.

20 MS. GATELLI: Well, there is an

21 ordinance that anyone that has a parking lot, a paid

22 parking lot where you pay to go there --

23 MS. HUBBARD: Right.

24 MS. GATELLI: -- you're supposed to pay

25 the city $15 per parking space.
.

55


1 MS. HUBBARD; do they pay it?

2 MS. GATELLI: I'm not sure. We're

3 checking that out under our non-profit meeting.

4 MS. HUBBARD: Okay. I wanted to come

5 to that meeting today, but I just couldn't make it.

6 MS. GATELLI: Yes. That's one of the

7 things we need to check out with all the non-profits,

8 are they paying the parking lot fee.

9 MS. HUBBARD: Because it just occurred

10 to me. And I called her and checked on it. It seemed

11 to me -- she graduated in '96, but I recall paying a

12 parking permit fee.

13 MS. GATELLI: Yes, they pay to park

14 there.

15 MS. HUBBARD: Okay. Another thing, on

16 the North Scranton side of the river at the East Market

17 Street Bridge, there are -- it was a junkyard, and

18 there's a whole lot of junk cars right on the river

19 bank. That cannot be good for the water quality.

20 Does the city have any jurisdiction or

21 should I call DEP? Those junk cars shouldn't be right

22 there --

23 MR. COURTRIGHT: The city should have

24 --

25 MS. HUBBARD: -- leaching their junk
.

56


1 into the river.

2 MR. COURTRIGHT: Maybe we could ask Mr.

3 Fiorini to take a look at it, because they have health

4 inspectors and zoning inspectors. There's got to be

5 rules that they have to abide by.

6 MS. HUBBARD: So, should I call him or

7 will you take care of that?

8 MR. COURTRIGHT: We can ask him. Mr.

9 Fiorini, could you --

10 MS. HUBBARD: They've been there for a

11 long time, and --

12 MR. COURTRIGHT: I know exactly where

13 you mean.

14 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: What is it that's

15 there?

16 MR. COURTRIGHT: It was a former --

17 MS. HUBBARD: A junkyard.

18 MR. COURTRIGHT: I don't want to call

19 it a junkyard. There was a lot of junk cars there.

20 I'm not sure if it was --

21 MS. HUBBARD: I understand somebody

22 said that the person that owns it, they moved their

23 business out of there to Moscow or something, but

24 there's all these cars that are still there.

25 MR. COURTRIGHT: Remain there, yeah.
.

57


1 I'm not sure the property, if it's --

2 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Do you have an

3 address?

4 MS. HUBBARD: If you go -- go over the

5 Market Street bridge, it's right there on the left on

6 the North Scranton side of the river.

7 MR. COURTRIGHT: You'll see it. As

8 soon as you go over the bridge, it's --

9 MS. HUBBARD: Now, if somebody is

10 storing stuff that's kind of a junkyard, are you

11 supposed to have a solid fence around it?

12 MS. GATELLI: I don't know. That would

13 be zoning.

14 MS. HUBBARD: Is that Mr. Fiorini?

15 MS. GATELLI: No. That's Mr. Wallace.

16 MS. HUBBARD: Oh, okay. All right.

17 Another thing, on Olyphant Avenue before you get to the

18 Throop line where they cleared that dump out of there

19 where it used to be the burning dump, they seem to be

20 dumping a lot of construction garbage in there, and is

21 that legal for them to do that? Are they filling with

22 it?

23 I mean, blacktop, I don't think, is

24 legal fill, is it?

25 MR. COURTRIGHT: I don't know.
.

58


1 MS. HUBBARD: But they didn't do it.

2 It seems to me they put sewer lines in or were going

3 to, and all of a sudden it's a dump and there's a big

4 pile of coal or something there.

5 MS. GATELLI: Okay. We'll check into

6 it.

7 MS. HUBBARD: I don't know what they're

8 going to do there.

9 MS. GATELLI: Okay. We'll check into

10 it for you. Thank you.

11 MS. HUBBARD: Okay. That was it.

12 MS. GATELLI: Thank you very much.

13 Mr. Elman.

14 MR. ELMAN: Hi, Ronnie Elman. You

15 know, you people are very fortunate the Mayor is not

16 aware of this program, because he would be getting your

17 $77,000 for his tree house.

18 It's just so frustrating. Every week I

19 listen to you say we're writing letters and we're

20 phoning and we're doing this to the Mayor's office, I

21 never see any acknowledgements of results of your

22 meetings or conversations.

23 And I figured out, it just got to be

24 that nobody seems to care in this administration.

25 In essence, I had Mr. Wallace from the
.

59


1 licensing bureau tell me a couple weeks ago, That's the

2 way it is and you can't do nothing about it.

3 Now, I'm complaining about blight.

4 That's the feeling that just undermines us, you know,

5 the people's attitude. I just don't understand why

6 nothing ever gets done around here.

7 My neighbor complained about me making

8 a carport, the very next day Ron Kitlas come out to the

9 house. I mean, the next morning after he got a

10 complaint, and he got it measured and so forth. I was

11 7 feet from the lot line, and I was right and my

12 neighbor was wrong.

13 But I'm saying, that's results. I've

14 been dealing with this for 14 months, and not one thing

15 has been done, except I've been told off by everybody

16 I've dealt with. It gets my blood pressure up. I

17 don't even want to talk about that.

18 MS. GATELLI: Well, you're in good

19 hands, because there's a nurse here.

20 MR. ELMAN: And about the snow, I want

21 to confess, last time it snowed, I didn't clean my

22 sidewalks. I got a $1,000 snow blower, and I'm just

23 putting it away for good.

24 Every morning I walk and every night I

25 walk about a mile for exercise with my basset hound
.

60


1 Lump, and Lump got these little short legs. He is not

2 built for speed or going through snow, and it's got to

3 be half the houses around me don't clean snow.

4 I mean, you know, nobody cleans their

5 sidewalks any more. And if they do clean it, there's a

6 car parked there where you can't use the sidewalk. But

7 there's the tent company down here, they don't clean

8 it, then the other way. I got a florist that doesn't

9 clean it. You know, people just quit cleaning

10 sidewalks for some reason, so I've joined them. You

11 know, just a confession.

12 But what I came for is unselfish

13 request. On the corner of Welles and North Main, it's

14 a bus stop for the school buses in the morning. All

15 the little kiddies, they're all little tiny ones, and I

16 don't have any kids or grand kids in school, but the

17 speeding cars and these kids, it's just a terrible

18 accident waiting to happen.

19 Monday a week ago, I was watching a

20 little boy up, I don't know, a couple hundred feet up

21 the street, and he opens up his coat like Batman and he

22 starts across the street, and he looked both ways and

23 everything like you're taught, and in seconds a

24 speeding car was right upon him. He run like hell to

25 get out of the way.
.

61


1 And the car was going -- I've driven

2 long enough to know the car had to be going well over

3 three times the posted speed limit. Where I was

4 standing it went completely on the wrong side of the

5 street for a couple hundred feet. And the neighborhood

6 is absolutely full of kids waiting for school busses.

7 The only way to stop these cars is some

8 stop signs on North Main Avenue, but then you have to

9 deal with the traffic bureau, I guess, with the city.

10 And I've been listening to people in

11 here for years complaining about trying to cross one

12 street to the mall, you know. They can't even get that

13 accomplished.

14 But it looked like what was said

15 before, the mall's almost history. They're not going

16 to have to worrying about crossing the street if

17 something is not done.

18 I really wish you could do something

19 about these little kids and the school bus stop. You

20 can't put a person out there, they'd get run over. I

21 mean, cars are going 70 and 80 in the morning, because

22 there's very light traffic at seven. It's a

23 catastrophe waiting to happen seriously. Thank you

24 very much.

25 MS. GATELLI: Thank you, Mr. Elman.
.

62


1 Pedro Gonzales.

2 MR. GONZALES: Good evening, Council,

3 Youth Council, all members in attendance. My name is

4 Pedro Gonzales, South Side resident, taxpayer,

5 registered voter.

6 I'm here today as a representative from

7 the Scranton Latin Alliance. We are a non-profit

8 organization here in the City of Scranton dedicated to

9 help the Latin people in any shape or form that we can.

10 It's been a while since I've been here

11 last. I'll have to admit, we've changed jobs, we've

12 been really, really busy, but my reason for not being

13 here is changing employment. I work nights now, so I'm

14 playing hooky tonight, and my boss will find out soon

15 enough.

16 But we have a new location. We

17 actually have an office now, not a little corner of a

18 store anymore. We are at 317 South Main Ave, generally

19 the same block, but we have a new office, a couple of

20 rooms, big desks, some stuff like that, thank God. We

21 have growing.

22 We just had a health fair, February 7th

23 and 9th, a free health fair, where doctors from Mercy

24 Hospital came down, gave blood pressure testing,

25 cholesterol scan, and we had a chiropractor on staff,
.

63


1 also. He came down. Everything free of charge. We

2 had about 35 families come down, assess them all. It

3 was great, fabulous time.

4 The ESL program that's up and running,

5 up and running for about the last six weeks. We have a

6 location in a church on Dorothy Street. We have about

7 12 to 15 students. Everything seems to be working fine

8 with that. They're growing, they're learning, they're

9 even cracking jokes in English now, so we'll see how

10 that goes. So far so good.

11 And we have helped many people find

12 jobs, secure jobs in this city. We have became a job

13 placement agency. I don't know how it happened, but it

14 did.

15 We've helped people find jobs at Mercy

16 Hospital right up to Andrew Brown's Pharmacy, places

17 like that, local businesses. And for any business

18 owner out there that wants a person, a Latin person, in

19 any shape or form that can speak both languages and

20 might be able audible to help service your customers in

21 any shape or form, please contact the Scranton Latin

22 Alliance, 504-4455.

23 March 25 we're having a Lupus Loop Walk

24 in the Steamtown Mall. We are raising money for the

25 Lupus Foundation. We are helping the Lupus Foundation.
.

64


1 We are sponsoring them. My mother passed away from

2 Lupus a long, long time ago, so that is my charity of

3 choice. Some of you know that, some of you don't.

4 But we're getting together with

5 Boscov's, Uno Fitness, the Scranton Latin Alliance, and

6 we are putting together a massive, massive fundraiser

7 in the Steamtown Mall March 25. It starts at 8 a.m.

8 It's going to run until about three in the afternoon.

9 We have live entertainment. We're

10 actually going to walk around the mall, again, to raise

11 money. $10 registration fee, you get a shirt, the

12 first 75 people get a shirt, and we will be having

13 food, hot dog sales for a dollar, things to that

14 effect. We have doctors from Mercy also doing health

15 assessments there. Uno Fitness will be doing body fat

16 analysis, so forth and so on. A couple other of

17 organizations will be on staff.

18 The Children's Library will be there.

19 This is very Latin friendly. (UNTRANSCRIBABLE) Please,

20 in other words, come on down. All the Latin people in

21 the city (UNTRANSCRIBABLE). Translation, please, all

22 the Latin people, come on down to the Steamtown Mall,

23 have fun with us. I don't want to mess with Lisa too

24 much tonight, you know.

25 Again, very Latin friendly. All our
.

65


1 functions are and will be. We have translators there

2 on staff. We have printed material in English and in

3 Spanish. We have plenty of people that will be there

4 narrating books, so forth and so on. Very, very Latin

5 friendly. Please, come on down. Tell a friend.

6 April 10th and 12th, we are having

7 another free health fair at 317 South Main. That will

8 consist of different doctors and different people.

9 Hopefully we are going to get Marywood to come on down

10 this time, the nurses from Marywood. They are student

11 nurses and a couple other people. Red Cross will

12 definitely be there, also. They are looking for the

13 Spanish people to come on down and be a part of them.

14 They're looking for volunteers, so forth and so on.

15 Great organization, The Red Cross, of course.

16 And last but not least, we are going to

17 have a tremendous skating event, roller skating event.

18 We are sponsoring the children's advocacy center,

19 trying to raise money for the children, abused

20 children, abandoned children, so forth and so on.

21 This will be held at the Icebox Arena

22 down in Providence. A whole sleeve of people will be

23 there, also. And I am so thankful to be a part of the

24 Scranton Latin Alliance. We have grown so much and

25 helped so many people, and it's only the beginning. I
.

66


1 can't wait to work with some of you guys hopefully in

2 the future.

3 And the skate park, I see people still

4 talking about the skate park. That's what brought me

5 about. That's how I got here. You ladies know, I have

6 spoken about it when I first got on the scene here in

7 Scranton, it was about the skate park, and it blossomed

8 into something else, and I'm so thankful, I'm so

9 thankful, but, still, I see there's still a problem

10 with the skate park situation.

11 And I've told La Senorita Fanucci one

12 time if the state of the city just gave me half or gave

13 us, excuse me, gave us half of what they spent on fines

14 and detaining these individuals, breaking their

15 skateboards, the police force messing with these kids

16 so forth and so on, loitering tickets, fines, so forth

17 and so on, we could build us a skate park, we could

18 build us an indoor skate park. We would not have this

19 problem. It would eliminate a lot of, a lot of

20 problems with the law enforcement agency, it would help

21 the revenue so, so much in this city.

22 MS. GATELLI: Okay. Thank you, Mr.

23 Gonzales.

24 MR. GONZALES: And last but not least,

25 please. Last but not least, please. I have one
.

67


1 request, one request, if I may. We are trying to

2 organize a Latin Day Parade in this city that will

3 involve all Latin nationalities, not just the Puerto

4 Ricans, not just the Dominicans, Cubans, so forth and

5 so on, we are including all Latin nationalities and

6 anyone else who would be kind to come on down and have

7 fun with us. How would I go about getting the proper

8 permits?

9 MS. GATELLI: I think you just need to

10 go to the chief of police, and he --

11 MR. GONZALES: That's it?

12 MS. GATELLI: Yeah. And he has the

13 permits there, and you go through him.

14 MR. GONZALES: Yeah. I do not have to

15 go to the Mayor's office or anything of that effect?

16 MS. GATELLI: I don't think so.

17 MR. GONZALES: Excellent. Once again,

18 my name is Pedro Gonzales, and thank you so much for

19 letting me express myself. God Bless you all.

20 MS. GATELLI: Thank you very much. We

21 miss you in South Scranton.

22 MR. GONZALES: Thank you. I miss you

23 too, Judy.

24 MS. GATELLI: Would anyone else care to

25 speak before Council? Mr. Ancherani.
.

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1 MR. ANCHERANI: Good evening, Council.

2 I'm Nelson Ancherani. I'm a resident, taxpayer, city

3 employee and financial secretary of the FOP.

4 I'm again asking that a $200 per month

5 bonus be paid to the city employee soldiers who served

6 in Iraq and they returned to their jobs. That bonus

7 would only be for the months that they spent in Iraq,

8 so, not the whole time that they were in the service.

9 Over the past five years, we have

10 talked about a lot of subjects. In January 2002, when

11 the current administration took over, the city had a $3

12 million surplus left over from the previous

13 administration.

14 In four short years, we have borrowed

15 ourselves into a deep and virtual bottomless pit. We

16 are facing a whopping $200 plus million debt long-term.

17 The truth of the matter, in 2002, the present mayor had

18 the opportunity to sit down with its employees and

19 negotiate contracts, contracts that would benefit all

20 the parties, the citizens, the city and the employees.

21 The Mayor decided to file for

22 arbitration, thus ending any negotiations. Arbitration

23 hearings began and lasted until September 1, 2004.

24 Since September 1, 2004, all the parties are waiting

25 for the arbitrator's opinion. The tab since the
.

69


1 arbitration process started is over a million dollars

2 and continues to get larger.

3 It has been 19 months since the

4 hearings ended, and there is nothing to show, except

5 bills to attorneys and arbitrators, and the countless

6 hours spent on preparation for the hearings.

7 Millions were spent on Nay Aug for

8 dirt, the water slide, the fish pond with green water,

9 the undersized bath house, the zoo with the raw sewage

10 running over the Davis Trail, the Davis Trail,

11 Christmas lights, security for the slide, the

12 refurbished train that sat unprotected from the

13 elements.

14 Now the mayor wants $300,000 for a tree

15 house at the gorge. Does anyone know how much money

16 was donated so far?

17 MS. GATELLI: No. We spoke about that

18 before. We are going to find out.

19 MR. ANCHERANI: Okay. What account the

20 money went into, that also, okay? In August 2003, a

21 $72 million bond was obtained by the city. $1 million

22 was for the Davis Trail, $12 million for capital

23 improvements, $1 million to other parks, $13 million

24 Worker Comp. self insurance, $10 million pension fund,

25 $7 million for four-year-old pension management advance
.

70


1 to Provident Mutual, a $300 million DPW building, which

2 went $1.7 million over budget, and a $3 million police

3 building, which went $600,000 over budget and wasn't

4 built big enough. I'm going to keep saying that.

5 That leaves at least $22 million not

6 accounted for, although $1 million was used to obtain

7 the bond rating.

8 Money over the years has been spent on

9 flower pots, like I said, and numerous, numerous other

10 items. I don't have time to mention them all. I would

11 have to take a lot more than five minutes.

12 One example is $5.5 million arbitration

13 loss to American Anglican that taxpayers will get the

14 bill on. Does anyone up there know where the $20

15 million balance for the bond was spent? It was a $72

16 million bond issue, but $20 million, they never

17 allocated that for anything. Does anybody know where

18 that went?

19 In October of 2003, $27,123 was spent

20 on Nay Aug water bills because there was a leak in the

21 pool. But what I'm getting at here is that it is a

22 good thing for children and visitors to be able to

23 enjoy Nay Aug Park.

24 If we spend millions so that all

25 visitors to the park will enjoy themselves, then why
.

71


1 can't we spend approximately $20,000 on the employee

2 soldiers who fought for our freedom to enjoy our parks?

3 So, I say to Council, take the bull by

4 the horns, and you make a motion to pay these soldiers.

5 It's the right thing to do. Restore our pride. Thank

6 you.

7 MS. GATELLI: Is there anybody else

8 that would like to speak before Council?

9 MS. STOKER O'MALLEY: Good evening,

10 Council. Sarine Stoker O'Malley. I came here tonight

11 to see if anybody in the last couple of weeks heard,

12 talked to, saw anybody. No.

13 I saw Mr. Parker, he came in where I

14 work. I asked him what was happening. He basically

15 told me he didn't know. He didn't know anything about

16 it. He looked confused.

17 I'm right back to square one. I have

18 to ask Council now to ask the Mayor, because I can't

19 see the Mayor, he will not see me, me, a taxpayer, to

20 just sit down, you know, talk to me, tell me what is

21 the story with my property.

22 Give me access to my property. I am

23 paying taxes on land I cannot use, and it is the most

24 ridiculous thing that I've ever heard in my entire

25 life. I tell anybody about this, they laugh, because
.

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1 it's just wrong. And I see not an answer from anyone,

2 not from the Mayor, or anyone. Council, can you help

3 me?

4 MS. GATELLI: Well, I really don't know

5 what we can do, other than to keep asking them to do

6 it. I mean, Amil, do we have any -- can we make the

7 Mayor do or make George Parker open that street? I

8 mean, I don't know if we have the authority to.

9 MR. MINORA: I don't know why it's not.

10 You know, is there a reason?

11 MS. STOKER O'MALLEY: No.

12 MS. GATELLI: I don't know. But, see,

13 Paul Lameo had the same problem. He had property that

14 he couldn't get to. Remember he used to come here?

15 MR. COURTRIGHT: Hers was an open

16 street.

17 MS. STOKER O'MALLEY: That's different.

18 MR. COURTRIGHT: Her street was open at

19 one time.

20 MS. STOKER O'MALLEY: Yes, it was.

21 MR. COURTRIGHT: I went through this

22 with you, Sarine. I thought we had it solved.

23 MS. STOKER O'MALLEY: So did I.

24 MS. GATELLI: Well, I'm not getting an

25 answer.
.

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1 MS. STOKER O'MALLEY: Either am I. And

2 I'm not getting one for 13 years, Judy.

3 MS. GATELLI: And in my heart, I just

4 don't think they're going to do it.

5 MS. STOKER O'MALLEY: So, what do I do

6 next? What do I do?

7 MS. GATELLI: I don't know. I don't

8 know that answer, that's why --

9 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Put it in the form

10 of a motion that we'll open the street, send it, we'll

11 open it and see what happens. What could happen?

12 Could anything bad happen?

13 MR. COURTRIGHT: Make the motion. Go

14 ahead.

15 MS. FANUCCI: I make a motion that we

16 open it.

17 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.

18 MS. STOKER O'MALLEY: Thank you.

19 MS. GATELLI: On the question?

20 All in favor?

21 MS. EVANS: Aye.

22 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Aye.

23 MR. MCTIERNAN: Aye.

24 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.

25 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The ayes
.

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1 have it and so moved.

2 MS. STOKER O'MALLEY: Thank you. Now

3 we'll see what happens, if anything.

4 MS. GATELLI: If we could do things

5 that easily.

6 MS. STOKER O'MALLEY: Don't you wish it

7 was that easy?

8 MS. GATELLI: We can make motions for

9 everything. I don't know if it will hold any water,

10 but we'll try.

11 MS. STOKER O'MALLEY: I understand, and

12 I appreciate it. I'm still going to continue to try to

13 see the Mayor. He won't see me.

14 MS. GATELLI: We'll try.

15 MS. STOKER O'MALLEY: I'm still going

16 to keep going down and trying to talk to Mr. Parker.

17 I'm just going to keep going. I'm not going to go

18 away. I want my street open and I want access to my

19 land.

20 The other question that I have for

21 Council is that I asked once before about KOZ, why

22 can't this be KOZ'd until this matter is straightened

23 out?

24 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: I believe the

25 State has to come in and evaluate that. So, maybe we
.

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1 need to look into that first.

2 MS. STOKER O'MALLEY: They would be

3 more than happy to, because this is their money. You

4 know, they spent all this -- they paid the city to

5 maintain this, and it was never done. It was grossly

6 neglected, as everybody knows, so much so that the

7 bridge was torn down. So, the State, I'm sure, would

8 --

9 MR. COURTRIGHT: Sarine, could I ask

10 you a question? All you're looking for is to get these

11 trees removed? I mean, if they came in and bulldozed

12 them --

13 MS. STOKER O'MALLEY: Okay. Honestly,

14 this is what I need, honestly, I need, and it would

15 take one day, okay? It would take tree cutters to come

16 up. Maybe if the city wants to put, like, a --

17 MR. COURTRIGHT: I mean, if they come

18 in and bulldoze it, they could bulldoze these trees

19 down, right?

20 MS. STOKER O'MALLEY: They could

21 bulldoze it.

22 MR. COURTRIGHT: Then you'll be happy?

23 MS. STOKER O'MALLEY: I will be happy

24 and go away.

25 MR. COURTRIGHT: I don't know why we
.

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1 can't do that.

2 MS. STOKER O'MALLEY: Exactly. I can't

3 either. I think it's the most ridiculous day. It

4 would be like winning the lottery.

5 MR. COURTRIGHT: I think there's

6 something more to it, or else I think he would have

7 done it by now. You know, if it's that simple, I --

8 MS. STOKER O'MALLEY: I've never gotten

9 a reason ever why -- and honestly, I never heard about

10 cost until you said it, Mrs. Gatelli, honestly. Nobody

11 ever said it to me, because I'm always saying, Well, my

12 family paid taxes on it, I'm still paying taxes on it,

13 the State paid the city to maintain it, so nobody said

14 anything to me about cost ever.

15 And it would take one day. It would

16 take one day to open it. It would take tree cutters, a

17 dozer, and if they want to put a, you know, a drainage

18 ditch across that street, but that's up to them. But I

19 don't think so, because there's hardly any water goes

20 there.

21 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Did something

22 happen that they closed it, or did they just stop

23 maintaining it?

24 MR. COURTRIGHT: They just let it

25 overgrow.
.

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1 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: It just wasn't

2 maintained any longer. So, there was no problem that

3 they decided to vacate it?

4 MS. STOKER O'MALLEY: No. There used

5 to be a house up there in 1974.

6 MS. GATELLI: It's the same on Archbald

7 Street over on West Side. You know there's a real

8 steep hill on your way up to St. Ann's, when you go

9 around the junkyard, and they just let that overgrow,

10 too.

11 MS. STOKER O'MALLEY: The only thing I

12 have to say to everybody is, too, I'm not even asking

13 for it to be all the way open to Wintermantle, only up

14 to and including the end of my property line.

15 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yeah, Wintermantle

16 would be a project.

17 MS. STOKER O'MALLEY: Oh, yeah. I'm

18 not asking that.

19 MS. GATELLI: That was never open to

20 Wintermantle.

21 MS. STOKER O'MALLEY: No, it was never

22 open, but it was to the house that was there.

23 MR. COURTRIGHT: Let's see if our

24 motion does something. If not, then we'll move forward

25 on something else.
.

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1 MS. STOKER O'MALLEY: Well, all I can

2 keep doing is trying, and I'm sorry to keep bothering

3 you, but I will continue to keep coming until I get

4 satisfaction, which is something I'm rightfully

5 entitled to. Thank you.

6 MS. GATELLI: You're welcome. Thank

7 you. Anyone else like to speak before Council?

8 MR. MCGUIRE: Bill McGuire, Scranton

9 resident and taxpayer. Since Council is so nice to

10 pass motions, maybe -- over the past I have given some

11 information on licenses of cats in the city, and I'm

12 also introducing a trap, neuter and release program for

13 spay and neutering of cats.

14 If Council could introduce or make a

15 motion that we at least entertain it to see what

16 legally we have to do to make this --

17 MS. GATELLI: I'll make a motion that

18 we have Mr. Fiorini check into licensing of cats.

19 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: I second that

20 motion.

21 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All in

22 favor.

23 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Aye.

24 MR. MCTIERNAN: Aye.

25 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The ayes
.

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1 have it and so moved. Hey, come on up, guys.

2 Tonight's the night. Anyone else?

3 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: I do want to

4 comment. I think that's a great program. I believe we

5 will all benefit from that in the city if we can get

6 that going, so I do agree with that. So, hopefully we

7 can get somewhere with that.

8 MS. GATELLI: I see Mr. Ancherani is

9 waving to me back there, so I better make the motion

10 about the $200, or I won't hear the end of it, for the

11 soldiers in Iraq. I make a motion that we send that

12 letter to the Mayor.

13 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: I second that

14 motion.

15 MS. GATELLI: On the question?

16 All in favor?

17 MS. EVANS: Aye.

18 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Aye.

19 MR. MCTIERNAN: Aye.

20 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Any opposed? The

21 ayes have it and so moved. If there's no one else --

22 MS. GARVEY: 5-A, motions.

23 MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Evans.

24 MS. EVANS: Good evening. I ask for

25 your prayers for two Scranton High School students
.

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1 tonight, Christian Budney, who was seriously injured in

2 a snowboard accident last weekend, and Pat Lavoullo,

3 who was recently diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease.

4 Both boys and their families need our prayers.

5 Also, there will be a fundraiser

6 conducted on Sunday, March 19 from two to five at the

7 American Legion in Minooka to benefit Pat Lavoullo and

8 his family. Tickets are $10, and i encourage everyone

9 to attend.

10 At the February 23rd meeting of

11 Scranton City Council, I made a motion which passed

12 unanimously by this Council to draft a resolution to

13 instruct Mr. McDowell, city tax collector, to submit a

14 detailed EMS tax refund plan for 2006. Can you update

15 me?

16 MR. MINORA: I have not done that yet,

17 but I wanted to talk to you about that.

18 MS. EVANS: Okay. I had a concern

19 after I first brought that up, and I'm wondering who

20 Mr. McDowell is accountable; in other words, who

21 oversees his job performance.

22 Taxpayers have complained to me since

23 that evening that some of them have not yet received a

24 $10 occupational privilege tax return from the year

25 2004, others from 2005. Still others complained that
.

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1 as of February 2006, they still had not received their

2 2005 local income tax refunds.

3 In addition, employers complain that

4 they must deduct this tax, that is the EMS tax, from

5 all employees, regardless of their wages or be forced

6 to pay the tax themselves, which is why some workers

7 which, Mr. McTiernan noted, two weeks ago was a concern

8 of his, those that work more than one job, they have

9 had the EMS tax deducted more than one time.

10 And my greatest fear at this point in

11 time is that workers will pay their 2007 EMS tax before

12 they ever receive their refund from 2006.

13 So, I am hoping that perhaps we could

14 have a public caucus with Mr. McDowell and get his

15 point of view on this and perhaps he can personally

16 provide his plan for dealing with all of this at the

17 end of year.

18 I'm sure it's not going to be as simple

19 as show your pay stub and get a check. I would imagine

20 we're going to see a holdup on that for several months

21 at the very least, which is why I have indicated you'll

22 be paying twice before you even get the first refund

23 back .

24 MR. COURTRIGHT: Ms. Evans, could I --

25 MS. EVANS: Sure.
.

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1 MR. COURTRIGHT: I also was going to

2 ask for that. I'm not trying to put him on the spot or

3 anything, but I'm getting flooded with questions, and I

4 had an individual that works three part-time jobs in

5 three different municipalities, so they got whacked

6 three times, and one of the municipalities said they do

7 not give refunds.

8 MS. EVANS: They don't.

9 MR. COURTRIGHT: One municipality told

10 them they didn't, so some of the questions I think that

11 we need to ask him, you know, is how do you go about

12 getting your refund, when will you get the refund and

13 things to that nature.

14 So, maybe if we come in, and, again,

15 not to put him on the spot, but I think if we have him

16 in, I think we need to do it on the air so that --

17 MS. EVANS: Yes, so people could hear

18 the responses.

19 MR. COURTRIGHT: Let's give him plenty

20 of time so he can prepare himself.

21 MS. EVANS: But what you're saying is

22 one person, for example, paid $156, and they aren't

23 going to get that back?

24 MR. COURTRIGHT: There were told by the

25 one municipality, their municipal does not give
.

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1 refunds.

2 MS. GATELLI: The other municipalities

3 do not give refunds because they charge every one that

4 makes $1,000, so they pay on every $1,000 job they

5 have. We made it $12,000. And, you know, frankly, you

6 know, we're being made to look like the bad guys, when

7 we, in fact, are the only municipality that raised it

8 to $12,000.

9 MS. EVANS: And, frankly, it should be

10 even higher than that.

11 MS. GATELLI: Well, it's supposed to be

12 going up to $20,000.

13 MS. EVANS: Yes. $20,000 would

14 certainly be, I think, the most minimal amount that

15 should be considered, because we're talking about

16 poverty level lifestyles here where people simply can't

17 live on that amount of money and they're expected to

18 dole out in one lump sum $52 to every municipality

19 township or borough for which they're working.

20 MR. COURTRIGHT: Sorry.

21 MS. EVANS: No, I agree. I'm very glad

22 that you interrupted.

23 MS. GATELLI: Maybe when there's

24 someone new down in Harrisburg, they will have a say

25 and it won't happen like that, because the state seems
.

84


1 to do that quite frequently, especially to the school

2 district.

3 MS. EVANS: Drop the ball you mean?

4 MS. GATELLI: Yes.

5 MS. EVANS: Yes.

6 MS. GATELLI: And mandate programs that

7 can't be funded.

8 MS. EVANS: Except through your local

9 taxpayer.

10 MS. GATELLI: Exactly.

11 MS. EVANS: We did receive, as you

12 noted earlier, a response from Mr. Belardi, and

13 according to that document, it seems that there's been

14 a tug of war of sorts between the General Assembly and

15 the State Senate as to how to address this

16 specifically, and he indicates they're still working on

17 this and they hope for a solution this year.

18 Well, we can hope that will happen, I

19 don't know if it will or not, but on the other hand, I

20 think we have to at least try to do something, put some

21 plan in place that's going to protect our people

22 locally at the end of this year, because when you're

23 looking at $10, you're waiting for $10 for two years,

24 there's a problem.

25 Also, I recently read that Scranton and
.

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1 Dunmore are exploring a public safely merger, which was

2 discussed earlier this evening among Council speakers.

3 It appears that DCED supports these types of

4 regionalizations, and sometimes awards or rather grants

5 are awarded through DCED to the participating boroughs

6 and municipalities for necessities that are incurred as

7 a result of such mergers.

8 So, my greatest hope at this point is

9 that if this situation continues, discussions,

10 negotiations continue, that DCED and the municipal

11 unions, as well as management, are all equal partners

12 in this process.

13 What would be most unfortunate is to

14 have those guiding the process who have absolutely no

15 expertise in public safety.

16 And when we're looking at something --

17 a picture that is indeed that large, I think it's

18 imperative that all three parties participate.

19 In addition, I also noticed that

20 Dunmore's QRS has been reinstated and that Dunmore

21 shares its ambulance provider, Lackawanna Ambulance,

22 with Scranton.

23 In fact, large departments nationwide

24 use the quick response service, yet in Scranton, we do

25 not.
.

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1 Within the last two years, the Mayor

2 has refused to instate the quick response service,

3 although, Council learned that the City of Scranton is

4 not guaranteed the presence of even one ambulance

5 within city limits at any given time.

6 I think Scrantonians deserve a quick

7 response to medical emergencies such as heart attacks,

8 seizures, serious breathing problems when an ambulance

9 isn't available or when that ambulance experiences

10 difficulty finding the location. And we've heard some

11 very unfortunate cases where that has occurred and an

12 individual passed away.

13 Therefore, I move that Council send a

14 letter to Mr. Doherty and Mr. Schriber requesting that

15 they discuss and hopefully implement a QRS for Scranton

16 residents. I think the people's health and welfare

17 have to take precedence right now over contract

18 negotiations.

19 MS. GATELLI: I'll second that motion.

20 On the question?

21 MR. COURTRIGHT: On the question. We

22 thought that we had. We thought we had an agreement.

23 When I you say we, myself, members the union, Director

24 Hayes and Chief Davis thought we had worked something

25 out for a QRS at one time, and then when it was brought
.

87


1 to the administration, I believe the answer was, and I

2 think I'm correct on this, was they weren't willing to

3 implement a QRS system until one time union contracts

4 were settled. So, I fear that's the answer that we

5 will get again.

6 MS. EVANS: Well, it seems, though, if

7 the Mayor, and it appears this is true, is involved in

8 discussions with Dunmore over a partnership and Dunmore

9 utilizes a QRS, then it seems to me Scranton will be

10 doing so, as well.

11 And since you're greatly expanding the

12 area of coverage by incorporating the Dunmore QRS, I

13 would assume that our men are going to have to join

14 that effort.

15 So, in the meantime, why, oh, why, if

16 someone could please tell me do Scrantonians have to

17 suffer without benefit of such a program that can be

18 provided at next to no cost, if any, simply out of

19 obstinacy?

20 So, I am hoping right now that this may

21 change because of the circumstances that have come to

22 light over a possible regionalization.

23 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else on the

24 question? All in favor.

25 MS. EVANS: Aye.
.

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1 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Aye.

2 MR. MCTIERNAN: Aye.

3 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.

4 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The ayes

5 have it and so moved.

6 MS. EVANS: I also had the pleasure of

7 attending a Taylor Borough Council meeting last

8 evening. And as it was my first visit, I was amazed to

9 see the Mayor, Mr. Bowen, seated next to Council,

10 almost as if he were the eighth councilman.

11 He provided a detailed mayor's report

12 in which he enumerated the type and number of every

13 crime recently committed in Taylor Borough.

14 Mayor Bowen also provided input and

15 answered questions posed by Council members. The

16 Council agenda itself included an itemized list of

17 December 2005 invoices for approval, as well as a

18 financial statement as of February 28, 2006, and a

19 recycling report.

20 The Council President, I must say, ran

21 a most impressive and orderly meeting, and both the

22 Mayor and the Council, and I should add their staff,

23 really deserve my accommodations and admiration. I've

24 never really witnessed such a well run cooperative

25 meeting with full disclosure of information on both the
.

89


1 part of a Mayor and a City Council.

2 MS. GATELLI: Welcome home.

3 MS. EVANS: I don't know that we're

4 quite there yet.

5 MS. GATELLI: That's what I mean.

6 Welcome home.

7 MS. EVANS: Oh, we're back here.

8 Right, right. Okay. I also have a few citizen

9 requests. And I do apologize to many of you who have

10 attempted to E-mail me this week, but I am experiencing

11 computer difficulties.

12 First the intersection of Parker Street

13 and Boulevard Avenue, citizens report that there were

14 once four stop signs and one on each corner, now there

15 are only three.

16 They also report that vehicles speed

17 from this intersection to the Throop border, despite

18 numerous potholes, so please send letters to Mr. Parker

19 and Chief Elliott.

20 Next, residents of the Marvin Section

21 report that sidewalks are needed on Wilbur Street and

22 Charles Street. They state there are, in fact,

23 $170,000 homes and upward that are still without

24 sidewalks.

25 Also, residents of North Main Avenue in
.

90


1 North Scranton report that sidewalks are needed in

2 their area. Since it is one of the gateways to the

3 City of Scranton, we feel it presents a very poor

4 picture of our city to visitors, travellers and

5 residents.

6 And in the 500 block of West Market

7 Street, speed limit signs of 25 miles per hour are

8 posted, yet dozens of vehicles continue to speed down

9 the hill thereby placing three DPW workers, Mike

10 Thomas, Wally and Tom Evans in danger as they pick up

11 refuse.

12 And this occurs every Tuesday morning.

13 They find themselves jumping out of the way of speeding

14 vehicles onto a curb. So, I do not wish to see our

15 workers' safety jeopardized. And, once again, I would

16 request that police monitor this block on Tuesday

17 morning, when they can, between the hours of 6:45 and

18 7:35 a.m. That's it.

19 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mrs. Fanucci.

20 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: I am going to

21 respond a little bit on what people are talking about

22 tonight. People -- I feel that people are thinking

23 that we do not appreciate them and do not want them to

24 invest in our city. I feel like we're a little bit

25 skeptical of everyone who wants to bring a business
.

91


1 here.

2 Businesses are excessively important.

3 We want everyone to feel welcome. I do not -- you

4 know, I heard some things about dog -- people upset

5 about a dog parlor opening or whatever. This is not

6 what we are about. We want everyone to feel like they

7 are welcome here.

8 The development downtown, I'm a little

9 concerned about why we're upset about loft apartments

10 and developing. Loft apartments are excessively

11 important to our downtown, and here's why. We want

12 people to come home and live downtown and that be their

13 neighborhood. We want them to park their cars and

14 spend their money and stay home.

15 Like we go home to our neighborhoods,

16 we want downtown to be a neighborhood. We want them to

17 spend money at the mall and walk to the stores and walk

18 to the restaurants. Once they're home, they're home.

19 That is something that's imperative for us to survive.

20 We want that to be their own community.

21 Eventually I'd like to see a grocery store. I'd like

22 to see, you know, the florist open all night. This is

23 what our hopes are.

24 So, the loft apartments are not

25 necessarily a bad thing for any of us. We want them.
.

92


1 We want people to live in our downtown.

2 Something about the mall, I don't

3 understand why people think the mall is closing.

4 MS. EVANS: I think it's because of the

5 proposed stores at Montage.

6 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: All right. Well,

7 have you been anywhere else? There are Wal-Marts in

8 every half a block, there are stores everywhere. We

9 are shoppers. We're prepared for it. We're going to

10 be okay. I don't think there's a big threat of the

11 downtown mall closing.

12 It sort of makes me -- you know, we put

13 out these big red flags all the time as if we're a

14 community that are always on the brink of destruction.

15 That is not the case. We want businesses

16 The more business, the more

17 competition, the more competition, the more money, the

18 more you benefit as a community. Get guess? Because

19 he has to put his price down, so you go to him.

20 Competition bring business.

21 Ask any restaurant, ask any business.

22 They love when another restaurant opens. Why? Because

23 you might be here today, but tomorrow, you're next

24 door. We want as many businesses as we can get. It is

25 important for us.
.

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1 About our taxes, listen, we can fill

2 every pothole right now, we can pave every street, but

3 we do not have businesses here, the potholes are going

4 need to be filled next week, next year. This is what

5 we are about, this is what we need.

6 So, I just want to address a lot of

7 these things. I think because of now I'm spending a

8 lot of time with OECD, I think I'm starting to get the

9 understanding of what we need to survive. We want

10 everyone to feel welcome.

11 I also want to talk about why the

12 business opens and what's a big deal. Okay, yeah.

13 Because your cousin is going to put the carpet in.

14 Maybe you're not going to get the contract, but your

15 buddy's got to put the computer in.

16 This is what spawns us as a community

17 little by little. You have a painter, you have a guy

18 who's going to put the windows in. This is where the

19 economic development happens.

20 Every time we question and worry about,

21 well, where is this going? I don't -- you know what,

22 build it. Build it. Develop it. Bring it here for

23 us. This is what we are about.

24 And I feel when I hear these people

25 talking, it almost sounds like we don't want you. No,
.

94


1 we want everyone. Come to Scranton. Build here.

2 We'll be thrilled. I went off on a little tangent, I'm

3 sorry, but I really, really feel that this is

4 something.

5 MS. GATELLI: You can talk all you

6 want.

7 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Oh, my God --

8 MS. GATELLI: With me and Janet here,

9 you don't get much of a chance.

10 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: I really don't. I

11 got the mic, I'm starting to feel really good about it.

12 When we give projects an idea to grow,

13 we say no to -- you know, if you say no to everything,

14 you have no chance for anything. So, taxpayer-wise,

15 guess where you're going? Nowhere. No, no, no, guess

16 what it means? Nothing, nothing, nothing.

17 When you see no development and spawn

18 new activity -- look at this Junior Council, this

19 wouldn't have happened before. Why? It just wasn't

20 given a chance. That's all we need.

21 So, I am going to be someone who wants

22 things to happen. I'm going to sit down and make

23 things happen. I'm going to sit with the Mayor, I'm

24 going to sit with our Council.

25 Now, she was talking about Taylor,
.

95


1 yeah, I talk to the Mayor of Taylor all the time. It

2 is run unbelievable. Why, though? Because there's no

3 nitpicking. I'm calling it what it is. There is no

4 nitpicking. It's not, well, last year you didn't -- I

5 don't care about last year. I care about now and next

6 year. That's what we're about. It's now today. Let's

7 start.

8 Now, we've listened to all these

9 complaints, we have the road, vacate a road. It breaks

10 my heart. How would you like to have a property you

11 can't use? All right. Well, let's get it done. Let's

12 open it. We just have to pull together. Enough of the

13 paper.

14 Pick up the phone, call the people we

15 need to call and say we want to work together. I

16 believe that the people working in this city are great

17 people. I believe the administration are good people.

18 Why? Because they're us. They're working for us.

19 It is not Council against

20 administration, it's not the administration against

21 Council. We are all one. Why? Because I pay taxes.

22 I'm not only your Councilperson, I pay taxes.

23 It's time that we just pull together

24 and start working. And I know we're all ready, we're

25 all ready.
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1 So, when I hear people get up and bash

2 all of the stuff, it makes me feel like a little bit

3 like, Let's do it. Let's not worry about what. Let's

4 say, Come on. Bring it on. We're ready for it. We

5 want you here.

6 Another thing I'm going to bring up

7 while I'm on a role now that I got the mic, the park,

8 the park, the park, the park.

9 I was on the planning commission. All

10 I heard was we are losing the jewel of our city.

11 Please do something for us. Every week of my life,

12 please, please, help us. We want money put into our

13 city. We lost it. We lost it. We lost it.

14 Now we didn't lose it, and guess what?

15 It's wrong. It's bad. We shouldn't have done it, we

16 shouldn't do it, we shouldn't have a tree house, we

17 shouldn't -- I don't believe that. I want everything.

18 I want your properties to be condemned

19 next door to you if that's what needs to be done, but I

20 also want a tree house. I want it all.

21 So, to pick and chose and say, like,

22 this is right or this is wrong, I don't believe in

23 that.

24 The reason I got off on the park is we

25 need some stop signs up there. Unfortunately I live
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1 there, so call it right now, if anybody is going to put

2 me on the website or whatever, yeah, it is near my

3 house, but I need a stop sign at the corner of Colfax

4 and Olive.

5 This has been passed -- actually in the

6 previous Council before any of us were here, it was

7 passed when I was on the planning commission. It just

8 was never done.

9 So, I don't even think we need to make

10 a motion on it, we just need to remind everyone. At

11 that time four-way stop signs, and this is a problem we

12 all had, they were -- all over the whole entire -- all

13 of Pennsylvania was not allowed to have four-way stop

14 signs. They're reevaluating the whole entire project

15 and saying, If you need a four-way stop sign, then we

16 have to put a red light.

17 Well, how's that? How about your

18 neighborhood? Would you love that, a red light at

19 every time -- then you'd be really mad.

20 But we need to have stop signs -- a

21 four-way stop sign at the corner of Colfax and Olive.

22 The park traffic, it's only seasonal, but what happens

23 is they fly from the back end of the park all the way

24 down two blocks, and there are kids all over the place.

25 And I thought a Children At Play sign
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1 is only as good as people are reading it, let's be

2 honest. Yeah, Children At Play, as they're driving by.

3 It doesn't mean anything, but we need a stop sign

4 there.

5 So, I went off on my little tangent,

6 and it was my turn. I mean, let's be honest. I've

7 been here for a while. So, I just want to say that

8 it's time to put -- I want a new light on this. I want

9 new ideas, I want fresh ideas, I want to bring us

10 together, and maybe we can learn something from Taylor,

11 yeah, definitely. Let's just stop worrying and start

12 doing more of what we need to do. That's all. Okay,

13 Jud. Thank you.

14 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. My dear

15 friend Mr. McTiernan.

16 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Ut-oh.

17 MS. EVANS: Before we jump into him, I

18 just want to -- no, no, no, no ut-oh. I am just going

19 to comment very, very briefly.

20 I want it all, too. I think most

21 people want it all, but you can't always afford it all.

22 I mean, you know, we can take a look at any one of our

23 circumstances, and if, you know, you're on a budget,

24 you have to prioritize and you have to do what is

25 essential first. And as much as we all want it all,
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1 unless you happen to be Donald Trump, it's not going to

2 happen.

3 And then I think what the people were

4 trying to say tonight, I could be wrong, I don't get

5 the feeling that they're opposed to a neighborhood

6 creation downtown. I think that's a wonderful idea, in

7 fact, I think I, myself, would like to live downtown

8 eventually, it certainly would be much handier for me

9 and much more vibrant, but if loft apartments are going

10 at a monthly rate of $1,500, that's completely

11 inaccessible to the vast majority of Scrantonians.

12 They simply don't earn the wages to support that.

13 I know -- really I do -- I'm far better

14 off than many, many people in Scranton, and there are

15 other people who are far better off than I, but I

16 couldn't afford that rent. And for that amount of

17 money, I can own a home, you know, pay a mortgage, pay

18 the utilities and actually say this is mine.

19 So, it's quite an amount of money. You

20 know, I know that there are some people who are going

21 to thankfully be able to pay that amount, but for the

22 vast majority of us, that's simply out of our reach.

23 And we're in our neighborhoods and we're in those homes

24 that, you know, we own and we've been paying on and

25 working for for a lifetime, and we're just asking that
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1 those areas are clean and safe and maintained.

2 MS. FANUCCI: And I don't think anybody

3 is disputing that. We want everything maintained. My

4 fear is that you're not going to be welcomed to charge

5 -- to build a new building and charge what you want to

6 charge. You're not going to be welcome -- no, no.

7 Hey, listen, if you can't rent it,

8 that's your problem, but I don't think you should not

9 build it because somebody out there is saying -- no, I

10 understand your fear. I did say it. I did say it.

11 The problem is there are going to be

12 people there. There's waiting lists --

13 MS. GATELLI: Shh, you're not allowed

14 to talk.

15 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: I'm not engaging.

16 But there's been waiting lists with these buildings

17 built. When Marquis did his building, there was such a

18 waiting list that he could not provide everyone with --

19 I mean, there are people who will pay this.

20 Just because maybe you won't, doesn't

21 mean that there aren't people who will. And I don't

22 think we can stop a project or we should stop a project

23 because someone won't do it. Just because we can't,

24 doesn't mean someone won't. And I'm not going to not

25 attract the people who can bring money to the city so
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1 that they're not here.

2 Well, okay, so they have money and

3 maybe they can afford the apartment, and guess what,

4 they're going to spend the money everywhere else, too.

5 Is that bad? I don't see where it's bad. It can't be

6 bad.

7 MS. EVANS: No, that isn't bad at all,

8 I agree. There are a lot of advantages to that, but I

9 think what people are objecting to is that their money

10 is being used to loan to these developers or given to

11 these developers as grants vis-à-vis state taxes, et

12 cetera, so what they're -- I think they're underlying

13 concern is that they want their money used, you know,

14 for their priorities, rather than loaned out to wealthy

15 developers that they would prefer would use, you know,

16 their own money to pursue the project.

17 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Well, I guess I

18 get confused with the wealthy developer and the

19 non-wealthy developer. But my fear -- it doesn't seem

20 to matter to me who -- if you're wealthy or not

21 wealthy, as long as you're developing.

22 I understand you're upset. There are

23 so many things we can do, but what I'm saying is

24 economic development is going to take away all the rest

25 of those problems that you complain about.
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1 Until you start somewhere, you are not

2 going to get to where you need to get. You need to

3 bring the money in the city, and you cannot bring it in

4 the city if you do not develop, because you are just

5 going around and around in a circle.

6 These projects are great. Hey, listen,

7 Southern Union, we're all upset about the way this

8 project ended up, but we are left with an unbelievable

9 building with potential for all of us.

10 And it was not that unbelievable what

11 was there before. We did not walk down the street and

12 say, This is great. This is a great building we're

13 left with. But we have it now.

14 This is what we want. We want -- come

15 and put -- I don't care if you put up 100,000

16 buildings, as long as people move here and they want to

17 here. We need to be attractive for people to want to

18 be here. That's all I'm trying to say.

19 I just -- I guess my ideas are

20 different than -- I want the potholes filled, I think

21 it's extremely important, I think it's important that

22 people be able to walk in front of a project when, you

23 know, they feel that their -- but this is long-term.

24 These are not instant gratification projects. And I

25 think if we keep looking for instant gratification and
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1 constantly blocking everything so we're happy all the

2 time, we're going to get absolutely nowhere.

3 And that's my fear. My fear is that we

4 want to get to where we need to be. We want our taxes

5 down, we want to be able to afford where we live.

6 We're all going to be able to do that, but we need to

7 start and be attractive and be available for people.

8 That's all.

9 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.

10 MS. EVANS: I think, though, just one

11 last thing, I know, I know, but this is, I think, a

12 very educational debate, but, you know --

13 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: I don't think it's

14 a debate, I think it's --

15 MS. EVANS: Well, it's an exchange of

16 ideas.

17 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Yes.

18 MS. EVANS: I think we have, you know,

19 to say any type of progress has been stopped, whether

20 that's fortunate or unfortunate, and it hasn't

21 occurred. The progress has continued full steam ahead

22 now for four to five years, but as a result, we've

23 incurred an awful lot of losses, for example, the

24 Hilton Hotel.

25 And I think, you know, when you're
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1 looking at a long-term debt service that's now probably

2 close to well over $220 million and you're paying

3 $20 million in 2006 on your debt service, which is, Oh,

4 I don't know, well, it's over a quarter of your budget,

5 well over a quarter of your budget, there's something

6 wrong.

7 I think in the car business they call

8 that being upside down, and we are upside down hanging

9 by our feet.

10 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Yeah, but I didn't

11 pass those budgets.

12 MS. EVANS: I didn't pass it either.

13 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: But what I'm

14 saying is we know what we have to work with. We want

15 to work with it. So, there's a certain amount of money

16 for economic development, there's a certain amount of

17 money not for economic development.

18 MS. EVANS: But we've gone, you know,

19 really gone out of balance in one direction, and I

20 think we need to get balanced again.

21 MS. GATELLI: I'm just going to put my

22 two cents in now, too.

23 MS. EVANS: Good.

24 MS. GATELLI: The only thing I can say

25 about that is that when the governor comes here with
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1 money or the state comes here with money, it's

2 earmarked for that project. They're not going to give

3 us money for potholes, they're not going to give us

4 money to hire cops, they give us money for economic

5 development.

6 So, you know, we shouldn't refuse that

7 money. And it's earmarked for that particular reason.

8 It's not for cops or potholes or all the wonderful

9 things that I'd love in my neighborhood.

10 MS. EVANS: But we never refused a

11 grant.

12 MS. GATELLI: No, no.

13 MS. EVANS: No one ever has for any

14 project.

15 MS. GATELLI: No. Absolutely not. All

16 right. Now can I call on my friend Bob McTiernan to

17 see if he's going to talk tonight. Not much time left,

18 Bob. You can have a minute. That's it.

19 MR. MCTIERNAN: Thank you,

20 Mrs. Gatelli. I'd like to start off with a few

21 announcements. First of all, I was asked to announce

22 that the annual Martin A. Nonnenberg Three Point

23 Shootout will be held in memory of Martin Nonnenberg

24 put on by the Martin A. Nonnenberg Tragedy Fund

25 Association.
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1 This will be their third annual three

2 point shootout at the Holy Rosary Hall in North

3 Scranton on March 25 beginning at nine o'clock a.m.

4 All proceeds will go to help victims of tragedies in

5 the Scranton area.

6 Last year's event raised over $7,000

7 and went on to support 12 local families through the

8 holiday season. Participants of all ages are welcome.

9 With the donation of $5, participants will receive a

10 commemorative three point shootout T-shirt, and

11 corporate and private sponsors are welcome to help make

12 this event another successful season.

13 The telephone number to contact to

14 participate, donate or help out is 347-0808, 347-0808,

15 and the website that you can visit regarding this event

16 is www.martinnonnenbergthreepointshootout.com.

17 Also, the Scranton High School, I'll

18 put a plug in, since we're doing athletic events,

19 Scranton High School girls basketball team is going to

20 participate in the first round of the state playoff

21 tournament for girls basketball this Saturday at

22 Carbondale Area High School at eight o'clock.

23 And Mr. Courtright and I and

24 Mrs. Fanucci were at a function this afternoon with

25 Governor Rendell speaking, and one of our speakers
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1 tonight mentioned -- I'm sorry. The game is Friday.

2 Thanks, guys. I'm glad the Scranton High guys were

3 here. It's Friday night at Carbondale. I don't know

4 why I'm thinking Saturday.

5 One of the speakers mentioned our local

6 coal supply, and Governor Rendell is talking about a

7 local project in the northeast that will be part of a

8 coal gasification project that, in his terms, will

9 revolutionize energy in Pennsylvania, and he cited that

10 China is building, I believe he said, 13 of these type

11 of plants. I think he quoted $700 million a piece, 600

12 full-times jobs, I believe, and that Europe is building

13 three, and Pennsylvania is building one. So, we are in

14 international competition for coal gasification, which

15 is in line with one of the speakers this afternoon.

16 I have some detailed information, I

17 guess, that I need to thank Mrs. Garvey on, and it may

18 make it sound like I did the work, but I did not, Mrs.

19 Garvey did the legwork for me, and I'm guess I'm just

20 announcing it, so, thank you, Kay, and I appreciate the

21 work that you did.

22 We've talked an awful lot about KOZs,

23 non-profit taxes, and last week I asked for a handful

24 of items. And I won't go through them all, because

25 there's a long way to go before we can have meaningful
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1 discussions on this, so I'll summarize some of the

2 information Mrs. Garvey was able to dig up for me.

3 She did a little bit of research this

4 week and was able to find out from the local tax

5 office. Talking about the big hitter non-profits, the

6 hospitals and the University of Scranton, and just in

7 summary, Mercy Hospital has 16 properties currently

8 assessed at $2.3 million that they are paying taxes on.

9 And, again, we need to figure that into the picture

10 when we talk about non-profits.

11 And Community Medical Center has one

12 property on right now assessed millage at $741,000.

13 Moses Taylor, 19 properties, assessed millage at

14 $1.6 million, and the University of Scranton, 12

15 properties, total millage assessed at $116,000 and

16 change, and Lackawanna Junior College with one property

17 asses at $109,500.

18 And, again, that's just to fill in some

19 of the pieces that there are some taxes being levied.

20 Those are not exempt properties. And many of them are

21 ancillary facilities and parking garages and parking

22 facilities in the City of Scranton. So, there is some

23 information on the good side.

24 Continuing on with some of the

25 information Mrs. Garvey was able to get for me, we've
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1 talked very early in the fall about KOZs and taxes that

2 Pennsylvania municipalities can levy, and this is just

3 a list of the approved taxes that a city in

4 Pennsylvania can levy, real property, occupation,

5 occupational privilege, which now we would consider the

6 EMS tax, per capita tax, earned income, realty

7 transfer, amusement, mechanical devices and mercantile.

8 I believe, I would have to look back

9 through some of the records, but I think we use most of

10 those taxes. The only one that we may have a little

11 bit of additional wiggle room might be amusement taxes,

12 mechanical, and I'm not sure what other taxes are out

13 there.

14 So, we have a little bit more research

15 to do with regard to that, but that's according to the

16 government taxes website. So, I thank Mrs. Garvey for

17 digging some of that information up for me. Finally --

18 MS. GATELLI: Now, you're getting

19 carried away, Mr. McTiernan. You're way beyond your

20 minute.

21 MR. MCTIERNAN: My minute. My minute

22 of fame, I suppose.

23 Finally with regard to KOZs, several

24 speakers have talked about impact fees, and from a

25 website on impact fees highlighting some of the
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1 frequently asked questions, an impact fee, according to

2 this website, can be used for very specific purposes,

3 and I will outline what they can be used for.

4 The legal authority to use impact fees

5 would be for facilities that are limited and linked to

6 basic services, such as water, waste water and roads

7 and drainage.

8 Sometimes within Home Rule Authority

9 there's a little bit more wiggle room for that, but

10 there are certain things that impact fees can be used

11 on.

12 Another question that's asked often

13 that is important with impact fees, particularly with

14 some of the KOZs that we're looking at currently, the

15 question is asked when are impact fees usually paid,

16 and the answer to that question is, according to this

17 website, most impact fees are paid at the time of

18 building permit issuance; however, some fees are paid

19 earlier at the time of subdivision or plan approval,

20 which puts us into a difficult situation, because we're

21 beyond that.

22 Again, I'm not professing to be an

23 expert in the KOZ impact fee situation, but there is

24 some information out there, and this may put us behind

25 the curve, and I, with Mrs. Garvey's help, will
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1 continue to research this and deliver some of that

2 information back to you.

3 And can we take those impact fees and

4 place them in the general fund? And the answer to the

5 question generally speak is again no. So, for us to

6 take an impact fee and place that in the general

7 budget, that may not be doable, again, according to

8 this website.

9 And then the last major question, there

10 are dozens of them, but are builders in support or

11 developers in support of impact fees? And this website

12 indicates that some developers are in favor of impact

13 fees because it does create a level playing field, and

14 I know that is one of the complaints of many of the

15 citizens in our community with regard to business KOZs

16 or residential KOZs, that it's not a level playing

17 field, particularly for established businesses.

18 So, some developers will be receptive

19 to impact fees and build them into the cost of the land

20 that they are developing in a KOZ zone, according to

21 this website. But, again, noting that we may be behind

22 the curve, because most of our KOZs are already

23 developed and many of our permits have been issued.

24 Finally with the research Mrs. Garvey

25 provided for me, one of the things that we need -- two
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1 of the things we need to be aware of and are legal

2 challenges to impact fees, and two of the main places,

3 and I know Mr. Attorney Minora will correct me and

4 certainly tell me, Bob, don't play lawyer, I'm the

5 lawyer, but the information here talks about challenges

6 regarding the original intent of the law and the fact

7 of equal taxation, and I know our former solicitor

8 cautioned oftentimes about selective taxation, and I

9 think there's a very slippery slope that we need to be

10 careful of considering the impact fees.

11 And finally, Mrs. Gatelli, there were

12 requests made regarding the pool feels, and on

13 February 28, we received correspondence from Attorney

14 Paul Kelly, who's the solicitor for the Municipal

15 Recreation Authority regarding -- these are total Nay

16 Aug expenditures and incomes.

17 And summarizing the middle paragraph,

18 For the summer season of 2005, the Recreation Authority

19 collected, $56,830.58 for swimming fees at Nay Aug Park

20 and spent $30,388.28 for miscellaneous expenses to

21 operate the pools.

22 The holiday season drew in donations

23 totalling $33,853.04, and spent approximate $6,400, and

24 that is from Attorney Paul Kelly. And that, Mrs.

25 Gatelli, is all. Thank you.
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1 MS. GATELLI: Well, thank you very

2 much.

3 MR. MCTIERNAN: You're welcome.

4 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Courtright.

5 MR. COURTRIGHT: Father Paul from St.

6 Ann's Church asked me to make this announcement. At

7 St. Ann's Basilica Church in West Scranton on Sunday,

8 March 26 at 5 p.m., Detective Steve McDonald, he's a

9 New York City police officer, he was shot in the back

10 while on duty in Central Park, and he is now a

11 paraplegic and is still on the police force.

12 He will be at St. Ann's on the 26th at

13 five to give a talk on forgiveness. So, Father Paul

14 asked me if I would mention that, and everybody is

15 welcome to attend that.

16 Not this past Sunday, but the Sunday

17 before as I was driving down Main Avenue, I saw the

18 fire trucks, so I pulled over. There was a fire in

19 Decker Court. And when I got there, smoke was coming

20 -- a lot of smoke was coming out of the eaves of the

21 house, and within a matter of minutes, it was over.

22 They were getting ready to pack up and leave, and I

23 couldn't understand it, how they got a fire put out so

24 quickly. And minimal damage to the house, just on two

25 rooms on the first floor. And the answer that the
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1 firefighters had given me was just they had arrived

2 there so quickly. And by them arriving so quickly, you

3 know, saved this home.

4 So, one of the best jobs I've ever seen

5 done by a fire department, and I couldn't believe how

6 quick they put it out.

7 Obviously paving is a major issue in

8 the city. I just have a couple of requests that were

9 made of me.

10 From the 1200 block to the 1600 block

11 of Washburn Street, if Mr. Parker could look into, Kay,

12 considering paving those blocks.

13 And on Parrot Avenue, a friend of mine,

14 Ralph Giordano, has been asking me for a while, and I

15 told him I don't have the authority to get it paved,

16 but I will ask. From Parrot Avenue from Sloan Street

17 to Locust Street is in very bad shape, if they could

18 also take a look at that and see if possibly we can get

19 it paved.

20 I mean, I'm from West Side, so I ride

21 these streets all the time, so I'm a little bit more

22 familiar with those roads.

23 I was at the Lithuanian flag raising,

24 and I know Mrs. Gatelli and Mrs. Evans was there two

25 Saturdays ago in City Hall, and a nice function.
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1 I took the opportunity -- the Mayor was

2 there, and I took the opportunity to talk to him. For

3 as long as I've been on Council, Mr. Walter Anterkowski

4 and many, many other people have asked me about

5 Fellows Park on Main Avenue in West Side.

6 I know in the past the playground

7 equipment fell in disrepair, we couldn't get much done

8 with it. Up until now neighbors, people from Willard

9 School, both parents and children and teachers also at

10 West Scranton High School, West Scranton Middle School,

11 they've been kind of taking care of that park the best

12 they could.

13 And I asked the Mayor if possibly we

14 could get some work done there. And he said yes. So,

15 they're going to -- hopefully they're going to put new

16 sidewalks in there and new playground equipment. And I

17 hope that happens very soon. I hope he holds true to

18 what he had told me there.

19 A gentleman by the name of Slivers gave

20 me some pretty good advice on City Council, so I want

21 to thank him for that.

22 I've been getting questioned recently

23 by a couple people about money that the CRF, what

24 happened with the money that was given for CRF, so I

25 never met this woman in person, but I called her on the
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1 phone and she answered my questions, her name is, I

2 don't think I ever met you, Leslie Mellow Collins.

3 I called her and asked her for some

4 information, and this is what she provided me for

5 projects that are possibly going to be funded.

6 There's an automobile dealership that

7 should be relocating frog Dickson City into Scranton.

8 That's considered to be a multi-million project with a

9 potential of 40 -- in excess of 40 new jobs.

10 There's a private developer that bought

11 what is known by many as the Granito buildings across -

12 on Moosic Street across from Krispy Crème Donuts.

13 Several buildings there with a mix of properties for

14 retail and restaurants.

15 There's a private restauranteur, and

16 I'm not saying his name, I don't want any other

17 restaurant to say I'm giving him air time when I didn't

18 give them, he bought property on Spruce Street and is

19 renovating that and he's possibly going to be buying a

20 restaurant over in South Scranton and renovating that.

21 So, they're three projects that have ben approved by

22 the bank and that CRF money is probably going to be

23 used for.

24 There are three or four other ones that

25 are still in its infancy, and, so, we're not at liberty
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1 to bring them up, because if it jeopardized those

2 project. As soon as I get the information on those

3 three or four or any other ones that they give to me, I

4 will pass it on to you, because I know there was great

5 concern about that. And that's all I have. Thank you.

6 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Fifth order,

7 Mrs. Garvey.

8 MS. GARVEY: 5-B, FOR INTRODUCTION - AN

9 ORDINANCE - AUTHORIZING THE TRANSFER OF A PARCEL OF

10 LAND ACQUIRED BY THE CITY THROUGH THE FLOOD CONTROL

11 PROJECT BY SEALED BIDS TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER, PROPERTY

12 LOCATED AT 608 RACE STREET, AND IDENTIFIED AS TAX MAP

13 NUMBER 13509-030-023.

14 MS. GATELLI: At this time I'll

15 entertain a motion to introduce it into its proper

16 committee.

17 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.

18 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Second.

19 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All

20 those in favor, say aye.

21 MS. EVANS: Aye.

22 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Aye.

23 MR. MCTIERNAN: Aye.

24 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.

25 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The ayes
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1 have it and so moved.

2 MS. GARVEY: 5-C, FOR INTRODUCTION - A

3 RESOLUTION - AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND OTHER

4 APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS TO EXECUTE AN APPLICATION

5 FOR FUNDS UNDER THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA

6 REDEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE CAPITAL PROJECT PROGRAM IN THE

7 AMOUNT OF $4,000.000 FOR THE RENOVATION AND

8 REHABILITATION OF THE FORMER NORTH SCRANTON JUNIOR HIGH

9 SCHOOL AND TO RECEIVE AND DEDICATE THE SAID FUNDS TO

10 THIS PROJECT IF A SUCCESSFUL APPLICANT.

11 MS. GATELLI: At this time I'll

12 entertain a motion to put it in its proper committee.

13 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.

14 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Second.

15 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All

16 those in favor.

17 MS. EVANS: Aye.

18 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Aye.

19 MR. MCTIERNAN: Aye.

20 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.

21 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The ayes

22 have it and so moved.

23 MS. GARVEY: 5-D, FOR INTRODUCTION - A

24 RESOLUTION - AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND OTHER

25 APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS FOR THE CITY OF SCRANTON TO
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1 ENTER INTO A LOAN AGREEMENT AND MAKE A LOAN FROM THE

2 URBAN DEVELOPMENT ACTION GRANT REPAYMENT LOAN PROGRAM,

3 PROJECT NO. 400.14 IN AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED

4 $550,000.00 TO 500 LACKAWANNA DEVELOPMENT COMPANY TO

5 ASSIST AN ELIGIBLE PROJECT.

6 MS. GATELLI: At this time I'll

7 entertain a motion that it be introduced into its

8 committee.

9 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.

10 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Second.

11 MS. GATELLI: On the question?

12 MS. EVANS: Yes. Can we find out if

13 this $550 is part of the $577 before we take -- it is a

14 resolution, so it's only going to require one

15 additional vote, so prior to that vote being taken, can

16 we have that information, please?

17 MS. GATELLI: Yes. Anyone else on the

18 question? All in favor.

19 MS. EVANS: Aye.

20 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Aye.

21 MR. MCTIERNAN: Aye.

22 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.

23 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The ayes

24 have it and so moved.

25 MS. GARVEY: 5-E, FOR INTRODUCTION - A
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1 RESOLUTION - AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND OTHER

2 APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS TO EXECUTE AND ENTER INTO A

3 CONTRACT FOR PROFESSIONAL SERVICES WITH THE LAW FIRM OF

4 CARL J. GRECO, P.C. FOR LEGAL SERVICES INCLUDING BUT

5 NOT LIMITED TO GENERAL COUNSEL TO THE OFFICE OF

6 ECONOMIC AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT (OECD), URBAN

7 RENEWAL PROCESS AND PROCEDURE, EMINENT DOMAIN AND

8 RELATED LITIGATION, DISPOSITION OF SURPLUS URBAN

9 RENEWAL LANDS, TITLE SEARCHES AND DEED PREPARATION.

10 MS. GATELLI: At this time I'll

11 entertain a motion to introduce it into its proper

12 committee.

13 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Second.

14 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All in

15 favor --

16 MR. MCTIERNAN: You need a first.

17 MS. GATELLI: Oh, I'm sorry. I thought

18 somebody said it.

19 MR. MCTIERNAN: Second.

20 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Sorry. I jumped

21 the gun on my second.

22 MS. GATELLI: It's so routine

23 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: I know. I'm

24 sorry.

25 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All
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1 those in favor.

2 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Aye.

3 MR. MCTIERNAN: Aye.

4 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed?

5 MR. COURTRIGHT: No.

6 MS. EVANS: No.

7 MS. GATELLI: The ayes have it and so

8 moved. Just to make a comment there, Mr. Hickey will

9 be here next week to answer any questions that anyone

10 has about the procedure of choosing Attorney Greco.

11 So, he will be here next week, Kay. Do we have a

12 public caucus with Fiorini?

13 MS. GARVEY: Yes. We were supposed to

14 have that at 5:45. Do you want to cancel that or --

15 MS. GATELLI: No. Let's meet with

16 Hickey before that, 5:30.

17 MS. EVANS: And, you know what, as long

18 as we're having a meeting, could you take down this

19 list of information that I'd like him to provide,

20 please?

21 We do have a copy of the proposals.

22 I'm assuming it was advertised in only one newspaper.

23 I would like all of the contracts that have been

24 awarded for 2001, 2002, 2003, four, five, and six. I

25 would like the copies of the ads that ran in
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1 newspapers, in 2001, 2002, three, four, five and six.

2 I believe that Attorney Greco would

3 have taken this position effective January 2002, so I

4 would like to see the ads that were posted at the end

5 of 2005 for that, and I would also like to see the

6 evaluations, the written evaluations, of the committee

7 that examined the two proposals.

8 And I also wanted to thank

9 Mr. Courtright for his vote of confidence here in

10 saying no to this.

11 MR. COURTRIGHT: You're welcome.

12 MS. GATELLI: Just for your

13 information, Kay, I don't think there were any other

14 RFPs in those years. I don't think it was ever put out

15 to bid.

16 MS. EVANS: I agree with you that that

17 might well be the case, but I think if that indeed is

18 so, we need documentation of that.

19 Also, perhaps he can answer the

20 question as to how Attorney Greco is being paid for his

21 services from October 2004 through February 2006.

22 MS. GATELLI: Okay. Sixth order.

23 MS. GARVEY: Sixth order. 6-A, READING

24 BY TITLE - FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 22, 2006 - AN ORDINANCE

25 - AUTHORIZING AND APPROVING THE DESIGNATION OF PARKING
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1 SPACES FOR CERTAIN CITY OF SCRANTON PERSONNEL IN AND

2 ALONG DIX COURT, THE PARKING AREA IN THE REAR OF THE

3 CITY OF SCRANTON MUNICIPAL BUILDING, AND A PARKING LOT

4 ALONG MULBERRY STREET ADJACENT TO SCRANTON FIRE

5 HEADQUARTERS, AND AUTHORIZING THE CITY OF SCRANTON

6 POLICE DEPARTMENT TO ENFORCE THE PARKING DESIGNATION AS

7 REFLECTED IN THE ATTACHED SCHEMATIC.

8 MS. GATELLI: You've heard reading by

9 title of Item 6-A, what is your pleasure?

10 MR. COURTRIGHT: I move that Item 6-A

11 pass reading by title.

12 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Second.

13 MS. GATELLI: On the question?

14 MS. EVANS: Did we find out if they're

15 going to provide an additional handicapped spot?

16 MS. GARVEY: Yes. Mr. Fiorini, I did

17 speak with him, Janet, and he said that he would take

18 care of that.

19 MS. EVANS: Excellent. Thank you.

20 MS. GATELLI: Just one more thing.

21 When you talk to Mr. Fiorini or Mr. Parker, that alley

22 is the worse alley I've ever driven in, and it needs to

23 be paved by next Wednesday, next Thursday.

24 MS. EVANS: Can I take you down to

25 Boulevard Avenue?
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1 MS. GATELLI: Oh, my goodness.

2 MS. EVANS: Or coming around the old

3 Scranton Lace, it's like riding in the old dodge-ems up

4 at Nay Aug Park.

5 MS. GATELLI: Somehow it was fun when I

6 was seven.

7 MS. EVANS: Yeah, it was fun then, and

8 there were no potholes on them, on the floor.

9 MS. GATELLI: Seventh order, Kay.

10 MS. GARVEY: 7-A, FOR CONSIDERATION BY

11 THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC WORKS - FOR ADOPTION -

12 FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 19, 2006 - AN ORDINANCE -

13 ESTABLISHING REGULATIONS FOR THE DISCHARGE OF STORM

14 WATER INTO THE SEWER SYSTEM PROVIDING FOR THE

15 ENFORCEMENT OF THIS ORDINANCE DEFINING CERTAIN ITEMS

16 AND IMPOSING PENALTIES.

17 MS. GATELLI: What is the

18 recommendation of the chairperson for public works?

19 MS. EVANS: As chair of the committee

20 on public works, I recommend final passage of Item 7-A.

21 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.

22 MR. DIBILEO: On the question? Roll

23 call.

24 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.

25 MS. EVANS: Yes.
.

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1 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci.

2 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Yes.

3 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McTiernan.

4 MR. MCTIERNAN: Yes.

5 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.

6 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.

7 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.

8 MS. GATELLI: Yes. I hereby declare

9 7-A legally and lawfully adopted.

10 MS. GARVEY: 7-B, FOR CONSIDERATION BY

11 THE COMMITTEE ON COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT - FOR ADOPTION -

12 FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 20, 2006 - AN ORDINANCE -

13 AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND OTHER APPROPRIATE CITY

14 OFFICIALS TO ALLOCATE AMOUNTS NOT TO EXCEED $577,000.00

15 FROM ACCOUNT NO. 91-400, REPAYMENT OF URBAN DEVELOPMENT

16 ACTION GRANTS, FOR VARIOUS ELIGIBLE PROJECTS.

17 MS. GATELLI: What is the

18 recommendation of the chairperson on community

19 development?

20 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: As chairperson for

21 the committee on community development, I recommend

22 final passage of Item 7-B.

23 MR. MCTIERNAN: Second.

24 MS. GATELLI: On the question?

25 MR. MCTIERNAN: Yes, Mrs. Gatelli. I
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1 would like to just read some of the backup into the

2 record stipulating what this $577,000 can be used and

3 is limited to.

4 And the resolution reads that it can be

5 used for newly created projects, including public

6 facilities, infrastructure improvements citywide,

7 public facilities, including parks and recreation

8 facilities improvements citywide, public services,

9 which would include public safety citywide, and the

10 clearance and elimination of blight citywide. And that

11 is all.

12 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.

13 MR. COURTRIGHT: On the question. I'm

14 in favor of almost every single thing that's going to

15 be covered in there, and -- I wouldn't want it to be

16 misconstrued otherwise, because I think in the past

17 when we voted on something similar to this, months

18 later we were said to be against buying police cars or

19 things to that effect, and that certainly is not my

20 intention.

21 Although I don't disagree with having a

22 tree house, I just don't think at this point in time

23 and the financial problems this city has, that I can go

24 along with spending $150,000 of this money for a tree

25 house.
.

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1 I'm certainly not against the tree

2 house, and I think it is a worthwhile project, but just

3 not at this time. And for that reason and than reason

4 alone, I will be voting no on this.

5 MS. EVANS: Mr. Courtright, wouldn't

6 you agree with me that the tree house can and should be

7 built on donations?

8 MR. COURTRIGHT: I would certainly hope

9 so, and I believe Mr. Scopelliti, that was his hope

10 when he was here that evening.

11 MS. GATELLI: Yeah. And I believe that

12 most of it will be. I'm going to get it for next week.

13 MS. EVANS: But I share Mr.

14 Courtright's concern about that. As I noted much

15 earlier this evening, I have been flooded with phone

16 calls following the final meeting in February from

17 residents who are just so opposed to spending money

18 that way.

19 And as their voice on Council, I can't

20 approve this, because it's like turning my back on them

21 and saying, No, I don't need your opinion, I don't want

22 your input. So, I'm going to have to vote with

23 Mr. Courtright.

24 MR. COURTRIGHT: I would just say this,

25 you know, I was leaning towards voting no anyway, but
.

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1 in the last two weeks at several functions that I went

2 to, this was brought up to me. And I'm not saying it's

3 everybody's, but many of the people that spoke to me

4 about this, that was their concern.

5 I don't think anybody's against it, I

6 don't think anybody doesn't think it's a worthwhile

7 project, but their concern was at this point in time

8 they couldn't see spend that money.

9 And if there's anything I would be able

10 to do to help raise money for it, I will certainly be

11 happy to do that, but I just -- I don't want people to

12 think I'm against helping the handicapped people, I'm

13 not, absolutely not, I don't think anybody up here is.

14 MS. EVANS: I don't think, though, just

15 as an aside here, that the tree house is only for the

16 disabled, I think anyone is going to be able to, you

17 know, to go up and take a look at the gorge or to sit

18 down and have lunch.

19 I, you know, again, I'm off on a

20 tangent here. I do have safety concerns, though, about

21 -- especially over the evening hours how that's going

22 to be taken care of, you know, beyond that railing that

23 appears to be about hip high, but I think the greatest

24 consideration right now is financial.

25 And you know, if, in other words, if
.

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1 you have to pay your mortgage and your utilities, can

2 you really go out and get the Mercedes or the fur coat,

3 you know? You've got to have somewhere to live first

4 and you've got to be able to have running water and

5 heat and electricity. So, that's what I'm hearing, as

6 Mr. Courtright said, overwhelmingly from the people of

7 the city. So, I'm going to follow their direction.

8 MS. GATELLI: Well, I may agree to a

9 certain extent with that, but if you're voting no to

10 transfer the whole $577,000, then we're jeopardizing

11 some other projects, too, not just the tree house.

12 Only $150 is going to be the tree house, so now we're

13 not going to have the other $400 to do other projects,

14 so --

15 MS. EVANS: Well, that may -- I don't

16 even know right now. That may be going into it

17 Lackawanna Avenue.

18 MS. GATELLI: I don't think so.

19 MS. EVANS: Well, then they would have

20 -- I assume they would be taking their entire amount of

21 UDAG allocations for 2006 for Lackawanna Avenue, which

22 then leaves very, very little to cover the needs of the

23 rest of the city.

24 MS. GATELLI: If they were taking the

25 $550,000 for Lackawanna Avenue out of the $577,000,
.

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1 there'd only be $27,000 left, and they wouldn't be able

2 to do the tree house.

3 MS. EVANS: Unless they have that

4 amount of donations.

5 MS. GATELLI: No, I'm sure they don't.

6 Any way, I'm voting yes because I don't want to

7 jeopardize the little project that I may want to do for

8 $150 out of the $577.

9 MR. MCTIERNAN: Attorney Minora, can I

10 ask you a question, please? And I think I know the

11 answer, but I'll ask it anyway.

12 MR. MINORA: Shoot.

13 MR. MCTIERNAN: After, if this is

14 approved and there are projects that are worthy

15 projects of this, do those loans and projects have to

16 come before Council for final approval?

17 MS. GATELLI: Yes, they do.

18 MR. MINORA: They do.

19 MR. MCTIERNAN: So, there's none of

20 this money will be spent without our approval down the

21 road?

22 MS. GATELLI: No.

23 MR. MINORA: That's correct.

24 MR. MCTIERNAN: And just to reiterate,

25 there's been a lot of focus on the tree house, my
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1 conversations with the Mayor indicate that he's

2 expecting that a fair amount, if not all, of the money

3 for the tree house will come from donations, and that

4 the availability of some of that money would go towards

5 other park improvement projects throughout the city,

6 and I think someone mentioned today in their

7 conversations, the project that the West Scranton High

8 School students are working with their science teacher

9 at Fellows Park, I believe, so I agree with

10 Mrs. Gatelli that --

11 MS. GATELLI: I wouldn't want to just

12 jeopardize the whole amount because you don't want the

13 tree house.

14 MR. MCTIERNAN: A large amount of the

15 money, there will be a significant portion of this, I'm

16 hearing from the Mayor, can and will be used for paving

17 projects. And that's all I have, Mrs. Gatelli. Thank

18 you.

19 MS. EVANS: Well, unfortunately I

20 haven't heard anything from the Mayor on paving

21 projects or anything else.

22 MS. GATELLI: Yes, Janet, but all of

23 the -- whatever happens has to come to us anyway, so

24 you can vote no then.

25 MS. EVANS: I can vote no, but it will
.

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1 be irrelevant because --

2 MS. GATELLI: Why would it be

3 irrelevant?

4 MS. EVANS: Because if there are three

5 votes to do it, that's what's going to happen. The

6 Mayor is famous for saying, It only takes three. I

7 only need three.

8 MS. GATELLI: All right. Well, go

9 ahead. You made your point. All right. I don't know

10 where we're at now.

11 MR. MCTIERNAN: Roll call.

12 MS. EVANS: Roll call.

13 MS. GATELLI: My goodness. Roll call.

14 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.

15 MS. EVANS: No.

16 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci.

17 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Yes.

18 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McTiernan.

19 MR. MCTIERNAN: Yes.

20 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.

21 MR. COURTRIGHT: No.

22 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.

23 MS. GATELLI: Yes. I hereby declare

24 that Item 7-B is legally and lawfully adopted.

25 MR. COURTRIGHT: Mrs. Gatelli, could I
.

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1 -- not to prolong this any, I had neglected to say when

2 I talked about the money for those projects earlier

3 that I spoke to Leslie about, and it just jogged my

4 memory of what Mr. McTiernan said, any of those

5 projects that I had mentioned before or any of the

6 projects come down the road in the future do have to go

7 by us.

8 So, if any of those projects are

9 projects that this Council doesn't feel are good

10 projects, we can vote it down. I neglected to say that

11 earlier, and I just want to make sure everybody knows

12 that.

13 MS. GATELLI: And the CRF money isn't

14 even here yet. Anyone that's interest, it hasn't come

15 yet.

16 MR. COURTRIGHT: But the questions are,

17 so -- okay. Sorry.

18 MS. GARVEY: 7-C , FOR CONSIDERATION -

19 BY THE COMMITTEE ON COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT - FOR

20 ADOPTION - FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 21, 2006 - AN ORDINANCE

21 - AMENDING FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 157, 2005, ENTITLED, AN

22 ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND OTHER APPROPRIATE

23 OFFICIALS OF THE CITY OF SCRANTON TO TAKE ALL NECESSARY

24 ACTIONS TO IMPLEMENT THE CONSOLIDATED SUBMISSION FOR

25 COMMUNITY PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS TO BE
.

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1 FUNDED UNDER THE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANTS,

2 (CDBG) PROGRAM, HOME INVESTMENT PARTNERSHIP (HOME)

3 PROGRAM AND EMERGENCY SHELTER GRANT (ESG) PROGRAM, BY

4 REALLOCATING $100,000.00 FROM PROJECT NO. 100,

5 COMPREHENSIVE HOUSING REHABILITATION PROGRAM, TO

6 PROJECT NO. 122, LEAD PROGRAM, WHICH IS ADMINISTERED BY

7 NEIGHBORHOOD HOUSING OF SCRANTON.

8 MS. GATELLI: What's the recommendation

9 of the chairperson for the committee on community

10 development?

11 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: As chairperson for

12 the committee on community development, I recommend

13 final passage of Item 7-C.

14 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.

15 MS. GATELLI: On the question? Nobody

16 has a question?

17 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Go with it.

18 MS. EVANS: Go with it.

19 MR. MCTIERNAN: Don't ask twice.

20 MS. GATELLI: Roll call.

21 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.

22 MS. EVANS: Yes.

23 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci.

24 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Yes.

25 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McTiernan.
.

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1 MR. MCTIERNAN: Yes.

2 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.

3 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.

4 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.

5 MS. GATELLI: Yes. I hereby declare

6 Item 7-C legally and lawfully adopted. Do I have a

7 motion to adjourn?

8 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.

9 MR. MCTIERNAN: Second.

10 MS. GATELLI: We're adjourned.

11

12 (MEETING WAS ADJOURNED.)

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1 C E R T I F I C A T E

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3 I hereby certify that the proceedings and

4 evidence are contained fully and accurately in the

5 notes taken by me on the hearing of the above cause and

6 that this copy is a correct transcript of the same

7 to the best of my ability.

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LISA M. GRAFF, RMR
11 Official Court Reporter

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