11 Held:
Thursday, March 23, 2006


15 6:00 p.m.



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


Lisa M. Graff, RMR
23 Court Reporter



























1 MS. GATELLI: This public hearing will now

2 come to order. Neil, roll call.

3 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.

4 MS. EVANS: Here.

5 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci.


7 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McTiernan.

8 Mr. Courtright.

9 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.

10 MS. GATELLI: Here. Notice of said

11 public hearing is to testimony and discuss the

12 following: FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 17, 2006 - AN ORDINANCE





17 The first speaker is Eric Holecko.

18 Please note that Mr. McTiernan is also present.

19 MR. HOLECKO: Good afternoon. My name

20 is Eric Holecko. I'm here representing the Holecko

21 Corporation and its efforts to develop some land down

22 by Boulevard Avenue and Parker -- well, not so much on

23 Parker Avenue, but Olyphant Avenue, as well.

24 I'm here tonight to request a zoning

25 change before City Council. The portion that I'd like


1 to have changed would be --

2 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Holecko, that's the

3 second public hearing. This one is to vacate the

4 streets.

5 MR. HOLECKO: Okay. In order to vacate

6 the streets, we're looking to vacate a street along

7 that goes from Boulevard Avenue down to Olyphant

8 Avenue, a portion of the street that goes between

9 Olyphant Avenue and -- it's actually Hill Street --

10 it's called Hill Street on the map, and an alleyway

11 coming through Parker Street.

12 We would be looking to vacate these

13 streets to develop a self storage facility in that area

14 and generate taxes for the City of Scranton.

15 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.

16 MR. HOLECKO: I also have a surveyor

17 here, my surveyor, Bob Mendola, to --

18 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Mendola, would you

19 like to give testimony? Good evening. Bob Mendola,

20 professional land surveyor.

21 We generated the actual drawings from

22 aerial photography and we've done the land survey for

23 the boundaries, so we know exactly what areas we're

24 impacting.

25 And as Mr. Holecko said, and the first


1 part of our looking for a resolution for the vacation

2 of the said alleyways and streets, is that, number one,

3 the terrain, and we do have a telegraphic map, if you

4 want to review it, is so adverse that you couldn't put

5 a street there if you had to, that's number one; number

6 two, there's no purpose for those paper streets ever to

7 be opened, as I see it, in doing my survey and looking

8 at the adjoining properties, looking at the adjoining

9 houses, garages.

10 We're not affecting anybody's access or

11 reasons to get to their property, other than their own

12 reasons that they have to offer for the existing alley

13 or driveways, et cetera.

14 So, it's not going to affect the area

15 in that respect at all. So, we want the Council, and

16 if there's any neighbors here tonight, we want them to

17 realize that.

18 This would only help to improve and

19 take a greater area with a change in terrain, the

20 contours are so, you know, hilly and lumpy, that we'll

21 have a greater area to make it a better place to

22 develop the storage facility.

23 MS. EVANS: Go ahead.

24 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Go ahead. I

25 was just going to ask if anybody was here.


1 MS. EVANS: I do have a list of

2 questions from some of the neighbors. I think many are

3 present tonight, and what I'm hoping is that you'll be

4 able to respond to these questions for them, but just

5 one or two that I might pose to you, again, these are

6 the residents' questions.

7 MR. MENDOLA: Absolutely. That's okay.

8 That's fine.

9 MS. EVANS: What will the distance be

10 from the existing properties to the proposed project?

11 MR. MENDOLA: Okay. In that respect,

12 that's a good question and the neighbors should be

13 concerned by that, too. We're going to abide by all

14 the setback requirements and buffer areas required by

15 Scranton Zoning to fulfill, number one, the integrity

16 of the neighborhood, the safe distances for whatever

17 we're going to have to do to improve their sight from

18 their proximity of their houses and yards and things of

19 that nature.

20 So, we will address that in a very

21 legal way, a very proper way, and I think a developer,

22 if he has to do something a little bit better than from

23 what the ordinance calls for, I think he'll -- he's

24 open to suggestions.

25 I'm not going to put the words in his


1 mouth, but I will at least leave it open for debate or

2 talking about other areas if anybody has a concern.

3 MS. EVANS: Have you any idea, though,

4 what the footage or yardage is according to the zoning

5 regulations?

6 MR. MENDOLA: I would say that in some

7 of the requirements you're looking at a buffer from

8 anywhere to 10 feet to 30 feet, so we will use those

9 distances to, number one, do it properly, and number

10 two, to serve the neighborhood, as well.

11 MS. EVANS: Okay. Also, there is a

12 water problem that exists, a very serious water

13 problem, in the area of East Parker Street and

14 Boulevard Avenue whenever it rains heavily. The street

15 floods, and frankly turns into a lake.

16 And we did have a caucus with

17 Mr. Parker, the city engineer, last summer, at which

18 time he indicated that this is a very difficult problem

19 to solve, in fact, he didn't see any solution, other

20 than possibly the purchase of an industrial pump by the

21 city to pump that water out whenever the area suffers

22 from an excessive rainfall.

23 Now in the meantime, to my knowledge,

24 that pump has never been purchased. I did try to speak

25 with Mr. Parker about it as recently as today, in fact,


1 but I haven't been able to get a response from him, he

2 hasn't called me back yet.

3 So, would your proposed project have

4 any impact on that situation for the better or the

5 worse?

6 MR. MENDOLA: I would say in this

7 respect, we're going to design that site by all means

8 of what science allows, what your ordinance requires,

9 and then -- and what you're mentioning now, I had heard

10 these situations you've mentioned.

11 MS. EVANS: Oh, you should see photos

12 of it. They were given to Mr. Parker.

13 MR. MENDOLA: I appreciate that.

14 Again, not to put words in my client's mouth yet or to

15 have him do more than he should, but if there's

16 anything we can do with our design and storm water

17 management, myself, as surveyor, along with Ceco

18 Associates, a very reliable engineering firm, we have

19 the task of designing this project, and we will do it

20 in the best manner to, number one, serve the ordinance

21 for the requirements; number two, for the grades that

22 are there.

23 As I mentioned, the adversity of the

24 area from yesteryear, what it was used for, we're going

25 to try to even that out and try to improve that site


1 for water runoff.

2 Also with respect to the storage

3 facility, we displace any land or woods or dirt and

4 that kind of things with impervious surfaces. We will

5 design it to accept things to be if not as what it was,

6 but better than before this was built.

7 MS. EVANS: Okay. So, I think what I

8 hear you saying is that by taking green space, which

9 would obviously absorb a part of the moisture that

10 occurs in that area, you intend to make up for that?

11 MR. MENDOLA: Absolutely, absolutely.

12 MS. EVANS: In fact, improve the

13 situation. And I think we have the -- I'm not sure,

14 are you the developer or the purchaser?

15 MR. HOLECKO: The developer.

16 MS. EVANS: I'm just tossing an idea

17 out there on behalf of the citizens. I haven't

18 discussed it with them at all. But since, you know,

19 there is such a tremendous problem in that area with

20 flooding, it's something that would affect you, as

21 well.

22 And when this occurs, believe me,

23 traffic comes to a dead standstill. No one can get

24 through this amount of water. Would you be interested

25 in perhaps sharing the cost of an industrial pump that


1 would address those flooding conditions as soon as they

2 begin?

3 MR. HOLECKO: How much does an

4 industrial pump cost?

5 MS. EVANS: That, I do not know. I can

6 find out for you, and we need to know, as well, from

7 Mr. Parker. I tried to have that information for this

8 evening, because I knew you were coming, because as I

9 said, he didn't return my call yet.

10 MR. HOLECKO: Okay.

11 MS. EVANS: But might you be willing?

12 MR. HOLECKO: I'd be curious to know

13 the cost.

14 MS. EVANS: The cost.

15 MR. HOLECKO: I mean, I don't want to

16 commit to something before I know the cost. I'd like

17 to know the cost of an industrial pump.

18 One thing that we're doing with this

19 site is we're engineering it so that it will not impact

20 any abutting or adjacent neighbors with any more water.

21 We would be looking to contain all the

22 water on site through the latest technologies

23 available. We would also have an access from Olyphant

24 Avenue, as well, an emergency access just in case the

25 problem did arise that traffic was unable to get in


1 through Boulevard Avenue, you would be able to get in

2 through the higher part along Olyphant Avenue. So,

3 that is all in some of the plans that we're currently

4 working on and drawing up.

5 MS. EVANS: Well, that sounds certainly

6 very encouraging. I'm just -- I'm going to give you

7 the bottom line here. Since we had this discussion, I

8 believe, in June of 2005, a public caucus with the

9 residents and Mr. Parker, the city has failed to take

10 any steps in that direction toward the purchase of this

11 pump, so the people are still suffering from the same

12 problems.

13 Again, not being a city engineer the

14 Mayor, I can't guarantee that this purchase is going to

15 be made, but it certainly is something that would be to

16 the advantage of all of you.

17 MR. HOLECKO: Sure.

18 MS. EVANS: Because, you know, as I

19 said, it's impossible to traverse the area when this

20 occurs, and it's not that it's a fluke, this is a

21 regular occurrence.

22 MR. HOLECKO: We would plan for -- we

23 would make plans for the pump, we would make plans if

24 the pump wasn't there, we would plan either scenario,

25 and hopefully even through some of the tax dollars that


1 this business would generate for the city, maybe that

2 would also go towards the purchase of a tax pump --

3 well, we might need a tax pump too, but --

4 MS. GATELLI: Are there any neighbors

5 that would like to give testimony?

6 MS. EVANS: Thank you both.

7 MR. FENTON: My name is Wayne Fenton.

8 I'm speaking on behalf of my elderly parents who live

9 on the corner of Parker and Boulevard, and all the

10 neighbors that are in the region, the area there.

11 The major concerns, as Mrs. Evans has

12 spoke about, is the water problem. How the water

13 runoff and the drainage is going to be taken care of.

14 The current survey markers that are

15 there are very close to the property lines of my

16 parents that have lived there for over 50 years, since

17 '55.

18 The markers, where they're put, there's

19 a Christmas tree that's been there for 40 years. I

20 wouldn't want to see that Christmas tree destroyed by

21 these people coming in to take that Christmas tree down

22 after it's been planted there since I was a high school

23 child, and I can't see destroying it.

24 We have a storage shed on our property

25 which also falls under their boundary lines. Back in


1 1955, there was a fence that was there when my parents

2 bought the property, but over the years, they said that

3 the properties are on an angle on that street. So, the

4 way the street angles line up and the survey lines, the

5 existing area, the neighbor has a water pond on their

6 property, which would also be affected by this.

7 We don't want to see all these things

8 that hard work went into to be taken away from us in

9 regards to the neighborhood.

10 The traffic problems that exist in the

11 area on an already congested street with many accidents

12 and fatalities have occurred on Boulevard Avenue.

13 We're worried about the traffic that's

14 going to be increased by these storage sheds coming and

15 going all hours of the night, because most storage

16 sheds are open for people to access them during late

17 hours, and we don't want the storage sheds open late at

18 night where you're going to have people hanging there

19 and having beer parties and whatnot in the lots

20 adjacent to all the properties and homes.

21 We're concerned whether there will be

22 bright lights on the property, the noise and the debris

23 with a constant flow of traffic.

24 If they're not going to have fences to

25 block the existing properties, we're going to have a


1 problem with all that trash blowing over in the

2 neighborhood.

3 The neighbors have resided there for

4 over 50 years, my Godparents and whatnot. If we allow

5 the zoning to be changed for this project, such as a

6 new nursing home that was built there, it was never

7 brought before the neighbors, as far as getting their

8 interest in the nursing home. It was just

9 automatically put there.

10 It never went through the zoning board

11 as far as the neighbors were to come to a public

12 hearing like this. We're thanking you for having this

13 public hearing to allow us to speak, to try to get this

14 resolved before the storage sheds are put there.

15 I understand the storage sheds are

16 going to run from Olyphant Avenue all the way to

17 Boulevard. There's a big column dump there right now

18 which they're going to have to remove out of there,

19 from which I understand.

20 I'm wondering if it's going to be flat

21 land or if the storage sheds are going to be built on

22 different levels in this area because that will

23 increase the water runoff, which we have the problem

24 with the drainage already in the area.

25 And also, we would like to have a


1 contact name of the people once the storage sheds are

2 put up there that we can contact them in case there's a

3 problem in the future.

4 Because like Mrs. Evans said about

5 Mr. Parker, we had the meeting in 2005 with him in

6 regards to the industrial pump, it fell on deaf ears.

7 To this day, if it rains heavy, the street floods, you

8 can't get through.

9 And the neighbors are mostly elderly

10 neighbors in that neighborhood, and they're not able to

11 get out of their homes, unless to be taken out by

12 boats, and it shouldn't have to be this way. Something

13 should be done in the neighborhood.

14 Thank you for allowing me to speak on

15 the issue and on behalf of the neighbors which are many

16 present tonight.

17 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Are there any

18 other neighbors that would care to speak? Come up,

19 please. How many neighbors are out there for this

20 particular case? How many are against the project for

21 the moment? Okay. Thank you.

22 MR. SUMMA: Andy Summar, I live on

23 Olyphant Avenue. He mentioned access from Olyphant

24 Avenue to the storage sheds, where's the access going

25 to be? There's a column bank on one side, and I live


1 on the other side, so I don't know how you're going to

2 get in there from Olyphant Avenue.

3 MR. HOLECKO: If I could address that.

4 MS. GATELLI: Step back up, please.

5 MR. HOLECKO: We are currently, to

6 address a couple of the questions, I was writing a

7 couple of them down, we are currently working on

8 Olyphant Avenue to make it that partial, which is under

9 sale agreement, accessible, via Olyphant Avenue. We

10 are working on engineering that.

11 As far as the lighting, we will take

12 the measures necessary to make sure that the light does

13 not shine on the neighbors. We're working with a self

14 storage consulting firm, I guess you would call them,

15 to make sure that this site gets designed properly and

16 that it will be a first class storage facility.

17 As far as the garbage on the street,

18 garbage and beer parties going on at this self storage

19 facility, there will be none of that. I have a couple

20 of pictures that I would like to show the City Council.

21 This is some of the garbage that's down

22 there currently. We would be looking to clean up the

23 garbage. We're currently working to make this a

24 beautification process in hopes to attract new business

25 down by that Olyphant Avenue and Boulevard Avenue and


1 that area. We're looking to help lay the seeds, such

2 that the nursing home already did provide down there.

3 And this is not a KOZ land. There will be taxes

4 generated to the city.

5 Also, self storage is a low traffic

6 business. It doesn't generate a high amount of

7 traffic. The traffic that it does generate or the

8 traffic that will be going past here will be of the

9 local neighbors. That's who this self storage facility

10 is targeting.

11 It's for the people in green ridge.

12 It's so that they have more room to store some of their

13 stuff, whether it's a boat, a car, a motorcycle. It

14 will be a benefit to the neighborhood down there and

15 directly have a positive impact on the folks down

16 there.

17 As far as the pine tree, there is a

18 required buffer zone. I believe along the area that

19 the Fentons live, there will be an 8 feet green zone,

20 and actual buffer zone.

21 Any buildings from that area would have

22 to be set back an additional 30 feet. They are all

23 being addressed.

24 As far as having a contact, I did go

25 down, I did shake hands with all the neighbors down


1 there. I introduced myself. I gave them all my

2 business card and said if they had any questions, to

3 give me a call. I would be more than happy to work

4 with them. I'm looking to be a good neighbor down

5 there, and that is why I took this before them first.

6 And I do welcome questions. I do want to work with the

7 neighbors in that area to continue the beautification

8 process down there.

9 MS. EVANS: So, you would be the

10 contact person?

11 MR. HOLECKO: I would be the contact

12 person.

13 MS. EVANS: And, also, I remember one

14 of their concerns was the hours of operation, is it a

15 24-hour business?

16 MR. HOLECKO: The hours of operation

17 haven't been determined yet. I don't have a time

18 frame. Some places have 24-hour access. There may be,

19 I can't tell you the hours of operation yet.

20 MS. EVANS: Okay.

21 MR. HOLECKO: But it is a quiet

22 business. It's not that people will be partying down

23 there. There would also be all the protections in

24 place, a buffer zone.

25 We're actually going to have to plant


1 more trees down there in that buffer zone, particularly

2 it would have to be evergreens, so they make the best

3 buffers. So, I would not be looking to --

4 MS. EVANS: Is it a multi- level

5 project or --

6 MR. HOLECKO: We're still -- it will be

7 -- due to the elevation change, we will have -- it will

8 be multi-level. We're still working on developing it

9 and doing building layouts so that we meet the criteria

10 for the city, protect the neighbors. At the same time,

11 we want them to be our customer. We don't want them to

12 not like us down there.

13 MS. GATELLI: Have you already met the

14 with some of these neighbors?

15 MR. HOLECKO: Yes. I've met with all

16 the neighbors along -- boarding the property. I kept

17 going back until I spoke to everyone at least once down

18 there.

19 MS. EVANS: And I think I hear you

20 saying, also, that, but I'm not sure, which is why I'm

21 going to ask for a bit of repetition, they would be

22 allowed, these property owners, to keep their Christmas

23 tree, their pond?

24 MR. HOLECKO: A pond?

25 MS. EVANS: Yes. I heard something


1 about a small pond on one neighbor's property. I'm not

2 talking about the type one would ice skate on, just a

3 small pond.

4 MR. HOLECKO: You might be talking --

5 there's a pool. I don't know if this is -- here's some

6 more pictures. There's a pool that is actually -- that

7 would be in this section right here. I don't know -- I

8 think that's a safety hazard right there.

9 I can't -- I don't think that that

10 should even be there if that's the pond or pool.

11 That's the only watering hole in the whole area.

12 MS. GATELLI: Is the person here that

13 has the pond? Will you come up here and see if this --

14 this looks like just a swimming pool that has been

15 abandoned. Come on up. That's just a swimming pool

16 that has been abandoned, I believe. Is that what

17 you're talking about? No? Okay. Mr. Holecko, is

18 this swimming pool part of the property you're going to

19 use?

20 (WHEREUPON, discussion held at sidebar not on record.)

21 MR. HOLECKO: That's currently on the

22 property in the agreement of sale.

23 MS. GATELLI: Oh, so you will be taking

24 care of this?

25 MR. HOLECKO: That will have to be


1 another meeting after this. I'm looking to continue to

2 move forward, but hopefully we can settle that outside

3 of a court. I'm just here for the vacating of the

4 streets and the zoning change tonight.

5 MS. GATELLI: The woman with the red

6 coat, would you like to speak?

7 MS. THIES: Hi. My name is Barbara

8 Thies. I heard him say something about, like, an alley

9 off of East Parker Street, and I was wondering what

10 that is. Like, where my land ends and then this, like,

11 hill, like, that's right on top of me. So I was --

12 MS. GATELLI: Maybe he can show you on

13 the map.

14 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Holecko, hold up here

15 a minute. I don't know how the rest of Council feels,

16 but I think that you need to meet with these neighbors

17 in a meeting-type setting.

18 MR. HOLECKO: I have been going down

19 there since January, or since December.

20 MS. GATELLI: Well, then why do they

21 have all these questions?

22 AUDIENCE MEMBER: He's only came once.

23 MR. HOLECKO: I've gave them my card.

24 I've sent them a certified mail stating in that

25 certified letter that I mailed out in the beginning. I


1 said in that letter, I asked them if they had any

2 questions, to please contact me.

3 MS. GATELLI: Well, obviously they have

4 questions, and obviously they need to be addressed.

5 What I'm telling you is that I think it would be behove

6 you to have us table this for now and have you meet

7 with the neighbors and come back to us at a later date.

8 That's my suggestion, and I think the rest of Council

9 is going to agree with me.

10 MS. EVANS: Yes, I would tend to agree.

11 I'm not saying that the neighbors weren't contacted,

12 but from what they communicated to me, it seems you

13 went door to door, introduced yourself, gave them the

14 card, but they've never really seen the plans, heard

15 the specifics of what you intend to do, and obviously

16 you can tell they have numerous questions, and I do

17 think that they're here tonight for this public

18 hearing, not only because you informed them of it, but

19 because they really haven't had the opportunity to meet

20 with you.

21 And I know that, you know, and granted,

22 I think it's very respectful and very considerate of

23 you to have made this effort and knocked on each door

24 and given the card and made personal contact, but I

25 think it's difficult one on one; in other words, if


1 Mr. Fenton is going to call you about an issue, and

2 then Mr. Summa is going to call you about an issue, and

3 Mrs. Thies is going to call you about an issue. The

4 communication can be crossed then.

5 I think, as Mrs. Gatelli says, what

6 they need is one joint meeting with you where you can

7 address all of their questions and concerns, show them

8 the plans, and each side be a good neighbor and work

9 together to make this hopefully happen.

10 MS. GATELLI: And Mrs. Garvey just told

11 me that there is a large room next to this room, if you

12 would like to go over there now while you're all here.

13 MS. EVANS: That's convenient.

14 MS. GATELLI: That's convenient for

15 everyone, and, you know, discuss some of your issues.

16 MR. HOLECKO: Okay. I mean, I did

17 attend the neighborhood association meeting down in

18 Green Ridge, I have been there, I plan on going back to

19 the neighborhood association meeting this Tuesday night

20 again.

21 MS. GATELLI: I know, and you've been

22 here many, many times, but, you know, sometimes it

23 just, you know --

24 MS. EVANS: You know what the problem

25 is, though, with the Green Ridge neighborhood meetings,


1 they're really not well advertised. You know, for

2 example, I've been very anxious to attend them, and

3 since the time at which they had significant problem

4 with crime, it seems that everything settled down and

5 the publicity was cut.

6 And as a Councilwoman, I don't know

7 when their meetings are. I don't even know where

8 they're conducted, and I don't know if these residents

9 know that information or if they even attend the Green

10 Ridge meetings.

11 Perhaps they attend the meetings of The

12 Plot Neighborhood Association. There are two that, you

13 know, actually intersect in terms of the area in which

14 they live, so they may be going to one and not the

15 other. I think much of Green Ridge is upper Green

16 Ridge.

17 MS. GATELLI: Would you like to use the

18 other room?

19 MR. HOLECKO: Would we be able to come

20 back later on for --

21 MS. GATELLI: Amil, will they be able

22 to come back later, if they can settle? I don't know.

23 MS. EVANS: Well, yeah, why couldn't

24 they?

25 MR. MINORA: Tonight? I would suggest


1 another night.

2 MR. HOLECKO: At least just a chance

3 for them to give you their side. I mean, either way we

4 would be looking to develop this land. It's not --

5 there's been property lines set. We are looking to

6 develop this land. We're looking to do the best job

7 for the city in development, and we are looking to move

8 on that. I've been taking the correct procedures.

9 MS. EVANS: Yes, you have. And, you

10 know, it's a very good idea. I, for one, am very

11 pleased whenever I hear a business wants put something

12 on the tax rolls, rather than, you know, engaging in

13 more corporate welfare, but the number one priority, at

14 least for me, is the neighbor --

15 MR. HOLECKO: Sure.

16 MS. EVANS: -- the people who live

17 there -- who have been living there for 50 years,

18 40 years. They're invested in their homes and their

19 properties, so they have to be the number one concern.

20 And when they tell me they're happy, they're satisfied,

21 then I'm satisfied. So, that's why I need you to talk

22 to them.

23 MR. HOLECKO: I will be more than happy

24 to go in the room next door and meet with the

25 neighbors, but I would also -- if we could -- if it


1 would be possible to have a vote maybe --

2 MS. GATELLI: This is not a vote, this

3 is just a public hearing, but I think that we should

4 have the public hearing on the zoning change, too, so

5 that we're all ready, okay?

6 MR. HOLECKO: Okay.

7 MS. GATELLI: So, we will -- go ahead.

8 MR. LIVELY: My name is B.T. Lively,

9 I'm with the Green Ridge Neighborhood Association. And

10 as you know, we meet the last Tuesday of every month at

11 seven o'clock.

12 MS. EVANS: Honestly, I did not.

13 MR. LIVELY: You attended our meetings.

14 MS. EVANS: I attended the meetings

15 that you had when Mr. Cleveland was the president at

16 the American Legion Building, and this is when the

17 incident occurred on North Washington Avenue, but since

18 then, I haven't been able to ascertain any information.

19 MR. LIVELY: Correct. We meet the last

20 Tuesday of every month at seven o'clock on Deacon

21 Street. Mr. Holecko has agreed and accepted our

22 invitation to meet with the neighbors this coming up

23 Tuesday.

24 I, myself, have walked around and

25 talked to some of the neighbors. They obviously have


1 very many concerns. Many things go from hours of

2 operation to flooding, as we've spoken about this

3 evening.

4 There's also a concern from some of the

5 neighbors in that area of the paper streets that are

6 being closed, will they be permanently closed or will

7 that area be developed, because they run very close.

8 That area also on Parker sets on a

9 blind curve, which if it has any kind of development,

10 it becomes a safety hazard.

11 Hearing Mr. Holecko speaking on

12 Olyphant Avenue for an emergency exit. As we know,

13 emergency exits sometimes become exits. It's on a

14 downward blind slope. That area is roughly a traffic

15 hazard to say the least. It is consistently having

16 people running 40, 50 to 70 miles an hour.

17 MS. EVANS: I've witnessed that.

18 MR. HOLECKO: So, we have a concern

19 about that. We also have a concern for the buffer

20 zones and the setbacks. The developer has spoken with

21 interest of increasing the setbacks voluntarily. We

22 obviously have a concern about the integrity of the

23 neighborhood, where many people feel this area of

24 Green Ridge is not truly Green Ridge. The people that

25 live there do consider it Green Ridge. They do


1 consider the neighborhood and they do consider the way

2 it looks now with the woods, with the effort people put

3 in and have a great concern upon when entering that

4 area, is it going to look like an industrial zone.

5 They also have a concern with the

6 lighting and the security, as to whether or not it is

7 going to impede upon their daily life and their

8 nighttime life.

9 Mr. Holecko, as I said, has agreed to

10 meet with the neighborhood association this Tuesday at

11 seven o'clock to address these concerns and any others.

12 Those are right now our concerns that Council should

13 know about. Thank you.

14 MS. EVANS: Thank you.

15 MR. HOLECKO: Could I have one more

16 thing to address to Council? In the city's master

17 plan, the comprehensive master plan, on the map -- the

18 maps behind Page 112, it does have this section

19 designated as an industrial park section of the city.

20 That's what the city is trying to target in this area,

21 according to the master plan.

22 Self storage is actually a great

23 buffer, an ideal buffer zone, between residential and

24 industrial property, and that's what I'm looking to put

25 in there. I'm looking to do a first class facility.


1 The roofs are going to be high pitched, one, to

2 eliminate the light going over onto the residential

3 neighbors. I was also going to do a split faced block

4 so it doesn't have just the metal building look. It

5 actually has a nicer appeal.

6 And I really do want to do a first

7 class job here on this project, and it's would be

8 beneficial, and I'm looking to have a win/win situation

9 with the residents, as well as the industrial community

10 that I would hope the city would like to see go in

11 there someday.

12 MR. COURTRIGHT: This gentleman seems

13 to have a very good handle on everybody's concerns, so

14 I think maybe if you and him speak, maybe you'll be

15 able to work something out. He seems to have a pretty

16 good idea what everybody else in general has spoken on,

17 and he seems like a reasonable guy, so maybe you guys

18 can work something out.

19 MR. HOLECKO: Sure.

20 MS. EVANS: Well, I would add, though,

21 I think maybe you need to include some of the

22 residents. They need to be satisfied. I don't think

23 that's enough to speak to one, you've got to talk to

24 all of them.

25 MR. COURTRIGHT: I didn't mean to


1 exclude any of the residents, I just said --

2 MS. GATELLI: He'll just be the

3 conduit, as all neighborhood leaders are. Okay. Now

4 we have to conduct the second public hearing.























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


3 I hereby certify that the proceedings and

4 evidence are contained fully and accurately in the

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

6 that this copy is a correct transcript of the same

7 to the best of my ability.



11 Official Court Reporter






















13 Held:
Thursday, March 23, 2006


17 6:15 p.m.



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


24 Lisa M. Graff, RMR
Court Reporter






















1 MS. GATELLI: Okay. Now we have to

2 conduct the second public hearing. To hear testimony

3 and discuss the following:

4 FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 18, 2006 - AN









13 MR. COURTRIGHT: Roll call, Neil.

14 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.

15 MS. EVANS: Here.

16 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci.


18 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McTiernan.


20 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.


22 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.

23 MS. GATELLI: Here. And the first

24 speaker is Mr. Holecko.

25 MR. HOLECKO: At this time I'd like to


1 recommend, I guess, to the City Council that we meet in

2 another room and I could discuss this over with the

3 neighbors.

4 MS. EVANS: Wonderful.

5 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Mendola, do you have

6 anything further?

7 MR. MENDOLA: Only when we speak to the

8 neighbors, like Mr. Holecko said, and the president of

9 the association, I think if we have a meeting of the

10 minds, we can feel more comfortable talking to you guys

11 later.

12 MS. GATELLI: Yes. Thank you. Would

13 any of the other neighbors like to say anything at this

14 point? Okay. The public hearing is adjourned. We're

15 going to recess for five minutes, and we'll be back to

16 start the regular meeting.











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


3 I hereby certify that the proceedings and

4 evidence are contained fully and accurately in the

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

6 that this copy is a correct transcript of the same

7 to the best of my ability.



11 Official Court Reporter




















5 Held:

6 Thursday, March 23, 2006



9 Time:

10 6:30 p.m.



13 Location:

14 Council Chambers

15 Scranton City Hall

16 340 North Washington Avenue

17 Scranton, Pennsylvania






23 Lisa M. Graff, RMR

24 Court Reporter





























1 MS. GATELLI: Okay. Please stand for

2 the Pledge Of Allegiance. Please remain standing for a

3 moment of reflection. Thank you. Roll call, Neil.

4 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.

5 MS. EVANS: Present.

6 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci.

7 MS. FANUCCI: Here.

8 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McTiernan.


10 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.


12 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.

13 MS. GATELLI: Here. Mrs. Garvey.



16 2006.

17 MS. GATELLI: Are there any comments?

18 If not, received and filed.



21 2006.

22 MS. GATELLI: Are there any comments?

23 If not, received and filed.




1 MS. GATELLI: Are there any comments?

2 If not, received and filed.



5 MS. GATELLI: Are there any comments?

6 If not, received and filed.




10 MS. GATELLI: Are there any comments?

11 If not, received and filed.



14 MS. GATELLI: Are there any comments?

15 If not, received and filed.



18 JANUARY 25, 2006.

19 MS. GATELLI: Are there any comments?

20 If not, received and filed.



23 FEBRUARY 22, 2006.

24 MS. GATELLI: Are there any comments?

25 If not, received and filed.




3 JANUARY 17, 2006.

4 MS. GATELLI: Are there any comments?

5 I'd just like to make one comment on that. I did get

6 the report from the vacant property review committee,

7 but I'd like it a little more specific about what stage

8 each house is at. You know, it named houses that were

9 blighted. I really wasn't too familiar with their

10 process of how they assessed them.

11 So, I'd like the houses listed

12 separately and at what stage they're at. Anyone else

13 have a comment? If not, received and filed.



16 MS. GATELLI: Are there any comments?

17 If not, received and filed.

18 MS. GARVEY: That's all I have.

19 MS. GATELLI: Okay. Before I start, I

20 don't see Mr. Ancherani here yet, but he asked about

21 the $70 million bond issue and that $20 million was not

22 accounted for, and I received a whole list from the

23 B.A.'s office. So, if anyone sees Mr. Ancherani come

24 in, he can pick this up after the meeting.

25 I'd like to congratulate the Bishop


1 Hannon Boys Varsity Basketball Team on making it to the

2 state championship. And that's tomorrow night in

3 Hershey.

4 MS. EVANS: And we wish you the best of

5 luck. We're all behind you.

6 MS. GATELLI: The North Scranton

7 Neighborhood Association will meet this Monday -- no,

8 next Monday, April 3, at 7 p.m. The meetings are held

9 at Weston Park Neighborhood Center located on

10 Bellmont Terrace off Spring Street.

11 It will be a Meet the Candidates Night

12 for people seeking the office of the representative for

13 the 113th district. All candidates for the office have

14 been invited to introduce themselves and their

15 platform. No question and answer period will be

16 allowed.

17 And we have two candidates from City

18 Council, Mrs. Evans and Mr. Courtright, and I'm sure

19 they will both be there.

20 Next is a spaghetti dinner being

21 sponsored by the Mountain View Care Center Axillary.

22 It will be held this Saturday at Saint Joseph's Hall in

23 Minooka from four to 7:30, and that was from Ann Marie

24 McKeal, the vice president.

25 I'd like to say that 1719 Prospect


1 Avenue has been boarded up and placed on the demolition

2 list.

3 A stop sign was fixed on Corey Street

4 and Cedar Avenue.

5 We are still forming a paving list for

6 City Council, so people have been E-mailing us and have

7 been calling us, and Kay is compiling a list that we

8 will give to Mr. Parker. I'd say within the next month

9 we should have it ready for him. So, try to get your

10 requests in as soon as possible.

11 The sign was fixed at East Parker

12 Street and Boulevard Avenue.

13 Please shut off all your cell phones

14 during the Council meeting. Last week's someone's

15 phone was ringing for a long period of time, and it is

16 very distracting, so please turn of your cell phones.

17 I've been receiving a lot of questions

18 about the project on the 500 block of Lackawanna

19 Avenue, and I did meet with John Blake from the

20 governor's office very briefly. Probably the Council

21 that has been sitting here knows a lot more about it

22 than Sherry and I, and I'd like to suggest that we

23 invite the developers here and whoever else would be

24 necessary to be here, Mrs. Hailstone, or whoever, and

25 possibly on April 6, we could have them at 5:30 for our


1 caucus. Dan Rinaldi, and whoever else he would like to

2 bring to be updated on the Lackawanna Avenue project.

3 MS. GARVEY: We do have someone at six

4 o'clock for a brief time. Do you want me to push that

5 time back a little later?

6 MS. GATELLI: Yes, please. Thank you.

7 908 Kirst Court will be demolished Monday or Tuesday.

8 That's a big plus. It was condemned when I was there

9 13 years ago, so it was a long time coming.

10 The next thing I just wanted to bring

11 up briefly was, I've had a lot of complaints from

12 people that are requesting handicapped signs in front

13 of their properties.

14 There's a particular person that lives

15 near me that has very bad knees. She's scheduled for

16 surgery in May. She has a garage that's detached

17 that's at least a half a block away from her house.

18 And she has been refused a handicapped sign.

19 So, I don't know if we should send the

20 mayor a letter at first, and maybe we can do some

21 legislation later, but a detached garage, I think, is

22 hard, because how are you going to get to the garage if

23 your knees are bad? If it's attached to your house,

24 well, that's understandable because you pull right in

25 and you go right in your house.


1 But they're being denied with detached

2 garages. And if they truly have a handicap, they're

3 not using that detached garage anyway. So, please send

4 that to the police chief for us.

5 And also anybody that knows of a

6 handicapped sign in their neighborhood where the person

7 is deceased or has moved, please let City Clerk's

8 office know.

9 Several people did tell me that, too,

10 that there are signs and the people have since moved

11 from the property.

12 Next week the meeting is at the South

13 Side Renaissance Center at 705 Pittston Avenue. There

14 will be a caucus at 5:30 to discuss the Cedar Avenue

15 Renaissance Project and the Connell Park Project for

16 people that are interested in South Scranton.

17 The next thing I'd like to say is I

18 know that there are a lot of people here concerned

19 about Murphy Court.

20 We received a letter from

21 Attorney Jones, representing the developers, for a

22 motion to table the legislation until he has spoken

23 further and negotiated with the neighbors. So, I'd

24 like to suspend the rules. Do I need a second to

25 suspend the rules? Would anyone like to suspend the


1 rules so that we can do this issue now and they won't

2 all have to stay here for the length of the meeting.


4 MS. GATELLI: I have a second. On the

5 question? All in favor.

6 MS. EVANS: Aye.




10 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The ayes

11 have it. So, we're going to suspend the rules. Would

12 anyone care to make a motion to table the ordinance?

13 There being no motion to table the ordinance, I will

14 medical a motion that we deny Murphy Court from being

15 vacated.

16 MR. MCTIERNAN: Second.

17 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All in

18 favor.

19 MS. EVANS: Aye.




23 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The ayes

24 have it by a vote of 5-0. I'd just like to tell the

25 developer that that does not mean that you cannot come


1 back here at a later time. We certainly will be open

2 to bringing this back up on the floor, but we really

3 didn't want to waste anybody's time this evening. So,

4 thank you very much for all coming.

5 Before we get to the speakers, we'll

6 see if any of the Junior Council members would like to

7 have anything to say. And, oh, also, before we finish,

8 if anybody else up here would like to say anything,

9 please feel free. Douglas.

10 MR. MILLER: Good evening, Council.

11 Doug Miller, Scranton. I would like to announce the

12 first Junior City Council meeting. It will be held on

13 April 4 at 1:30 at Scranton High School. And I would

14 like to thank Mr. McTiernan for allowing us to hold

15 this meeting.

16 We will be meeting with the seniors,

17 and I look forward to this wonderful opportunity. So,

18 thank you again.

19 It's amazing to see that so many kids

20 are interested in this Junior City Council. They want

21 to be involved. I commend all of you and thank you all

22 for being so interested. Our goal is to help get more

23 kids involved and help move our city forward.

24 In the past trying to accomplish

25 anything seemed impossible. And when I first proposed


1 the idea of a Junior City Council, it was given much

2 criticism. Many felt it would serve no purpose and

3 getting kids involved would be impossible.

4 Well, there's so many kids up here and

5 so many kids interested that we now have to make a cut,

6 and we can no longer allow, as much as we don't want

7 to, but we have to have a limit now.

8 People forget that kid have issues, as

9 well. And we know what's going on in this city. We

10 read the newspapers, and we come here every week, and

11 we're very well informed. And we have to remember one

12 thing, we are the future, and what we do now will

13 affect us in the future. Thank you.

14 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.

15 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else?

16 MR. MCTIERNAN: Doug, I just want to

17 thank you. Kevin and I talk often at the lunch and the

18 school, and prior to this he was talking about a birth

19 of progressive ideas in the city, and we most recently

20 he said that, you know, he thinks that with this new

21 City Council, we'll probably enter a period of great

22 intellectual fecundity, and I think we're going to have

23 a lot of growth and prosperity, and a lot of it will

24 come through you folks. We really appreciate it.

25 MR. MILLER: You're welcome. Thank


1 you. Thank you very much.

2 MS. GATELLI: Jackson. Before Jackson

3 starts his speech, I'd just like you to know that he

4 has all the equipment and he has donated it for the

5 meting in South Side, all the audio equipment, and he's

6 going to be taking care of that for us at the meeting,

7 and he's to be commended for that. Thank you.

8 MS. LOCKHEED: You're welcome,

9 Mrs. Gatelli. Good evening, Council. I would also

10 like to thank Mr. McTiernan and the City Council for

11 considering the idea that we have meetings with the

12 youth, with Scranton's youth.

13 It is really important. They do have a

14 lot to say, believe it or not, and I'm very excited.

15 And I can't wait until Doug has an update after the

16 meeting for you. Thank you.

17 MS. GATELLI: Thank you very much. We

18 have just a slight holdup. We have a proclamation for

19 this evening. Mrs. Garvey, is there someone here to --

20 MS. GARVEY: Is there someone here?

21 Theresa? Okay.

22 MS. GATELLI: Okay. We are presenting

23 a proclamation to Theresa Kluchinski.

24 Whereas, the Council of the City of

25 Scranton is desirous of honoring The Slovak League of


1 America in recognition of the Slovak League holding its

2 54th Congress in the City of Scranton; and whereas, the

3 Slovak League of America is a civic and cultural

4 federation of Americans of Slovak ancestry that was

5 founded in Cleveland, Ohio in 1907; and whereas, the

6 League was founded in response to the need to bring the

7 sad political and social plight of the Slovak nation

8 home; and whereas, The Slovak League of America

9 actively promotes close American-Slovak ties through

10 various cultural and educational exchanges and

11 projects.

12 As an umbrella organization, it

13 represents the overwhelming majority of organized

14 Americans of Slovak ancestry; and whereas, The Slovak

15 League of America remains a positive bridge uniting the

16 old world and the new in which Slovak culture and

17 traditions are better appreciated.

18 Slovak Americans can be proud of their

19 many contributions to the culture, education, business

20 and religious traditions which form the fabric of

21 American life.

22 Now, therefore, be it resolved, that on

23 Thursday, March 23, 2006, Scranton City Council wishes

24 to recognize The Slovak League of America, for holding

25 their 54th Congress in City of Scranton.


1 Be it further resolved, that this

2 proclamation be made a permanent part of the minutes of

3 this Council as lasting tribute to The Slovak League of

4 America. Congratulations.

5 MS. GATELLI: Also, before we start

6 with speakers, just to let you know that we had another

7 meeting today with the committee that's interested in

8 the non-profit organizations and the pilots, and we're

9 forming our strategy. I'm not going to tell anyone

10 just yet, because we don't want to show our hand, but

11 Amil is here assisting us, and we also had the Mayor

12 with us today, who assured us that he also will go

13 forward in trying to get the non-profits to contribute.

14 So, just to keep you updated, we are

15 continuing our progress in a positive direction with

16 the non-profits. The first speaker is Andy Sbaraglia.

17 MR. SBARAGLIA: Andy Sbaraglia, Citizen

18 of Scranton. Fellow Scrantonians, Judy, I'd like you

19 to expand that meeting with the 500 Lackawanna Avenue

20 project to include the people that are affected in that

21 project.

22 There's a lot of people that are

23 affected, and they should be brought here, too, and we

24 have it all in the open.

25 I got the brochure here. I went


1 through it. The State is coming up with $9 million.

2 PennDOT Hometown Street Program, I assume they're going

3 to fix our streets in front of this project?

4 MS. GATELLI: I'm not sure. That's why

5 I'm having them come here.

6 MR. COURTRIGHT: I think it's the

7 streets and the sidewalks, I think, Andy.

8 MR. SBARAGLIA: Yeah, I think so, too.

9 You notice we can't get sidewalks in the neighborhood,

10 because we don't deserve them, but other people do.

11 Okay. Now this MUFFI funding program,

12 I assume they're going to come through with money to

13 fix some of the interiors of this building. It's in

14 your brochure, so they must coming through, or it

15 wouldn't be in here.

16 Now, who's paying for this park in the

17 back? They're going to put a park behind this complex.

18 I assume the city is. I don't know who else would do

19 it, but somebody has to.

20 Now, look what this man is getting.

21 Now he's getting $9 million from the government. God

22 knows how much he's getting from these other entities.

23 His contribution is probably seven to $8 million, which

24 he's going to borrow from the bank.

25 So, you're giving this man a free


1 building, because his money doesn't have to come. He

2 can use the bank money, because he got enough

3 collateral. He got all this money that you're giving

4 him, all public money. This guy isn't taking a chance.

5 He's given a gift.

6 Now, this is your payback schedule.

7 This is with $550,000, supposedly a buyout. The

8 borrower shall provide the city with evidence that has

9 completed the improvements or the costs of at least $2

10 million.

11 Notice we gave them $9 million from the

12 State, to real properties described in B, which I don't

13 have, attached herein using the attached project report

14 Exhibit C.

15 Upon review and approval of the project

16 report, the city will provide the borrower with a

17 written statement that the borrower has completed

18 improvements with a cost of at least $2 million to the

19 real property described in Exhibit A, and the city

20 shall mark the note evidencing that this loan satisfies

21 and paid in full as if the entire balance of principal

22 and interest under the terms therefore have been paid

23 in full. Do you understand what that means?

24 They're going to forgive him the loan

25 if he spends $2 million of our state money into these


1 buildings; in other words, he's getting the loan for

2 free. You have a lawyer, if you want to ask him.

3 This project is a giveaway. Now, I'm

4 not saying it has, you know, it could be done, but not

5 the way they're doing it. You got too many other

6 people involved. You told me four buildings were being

7 excluded from this deal. Is that what you said last

8 week, four buildings were being excluded besides the

9 two tear downs?

10 MS. GATELLI: I think it's five.

11 MR. SBARAGLIA: Okay. Five buildings

12 is excluded. Now, does that make sense? Are we going

13 to -- is this $9 million going to be used to fix their

14 buildings up in the front, too?

15 MS. GATELLI: Yes.

16 MR. SBARAGLIA: Okay. So, they're

17 getting a new front, but not entirely. So, if that

18 goes that way, okay --

19 MS. GATELLI: I don't know about the

20 interiors, that's why I said we I have to bring him

21 here. I don't know if the old Council knows, but, you

22 know, Sherry and I certainly don't know.

23 MR. SBARAGLIA: Because this man said

24 he had loft apartments to put into these buildings and

25 so forth and so on, but I can see the main thing of his


1 building is to get a free office building brand new on

2 the taxpayers' back, and this is what he's getting.

3 This isn't a project that all this development is

4 there. This is a giveaway.

5 This mayor has given away a lot of

6 things. That hotel is a giveaway, them parking garages

7 are going to be giveaways, and the whole system down

8 there is going to be giveaways.

9 If that train should ever fall through,

10 we're going to have to go bankrupt, because there's no

11 way in heck all these people that are in there can

12 actually do what they want to do, because it's all

13 geared to that train coming from New York with these

14 New Yorkers escaping. Well, maybe coming from Jersey,

15 too.

16 And this is the whole premise of all of

17 this redevelopment in Scranton is that train. And

18 believe me, if that train doesn't come true, we're

19 going to be in one heck of a mess all the way around.

20 But I would like you to say -- invite

21 all the people involved with the developer. Let's have

22 an open meeting, because they probably have a lot

23 better questions than me. Thank you.

24 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mrs. Garvey,

25 maybe you would want to write a letter to all the


1 owners in the 500 block. I know I've gone past there,

2 and I don't see any addresses, so maybe somebody will

3 just have to hand deliver letters to each building for

4 them to come if they're interested, yes. Mr. Spindler.

5 MR. SPINDLER: Good evening, Council.

6 Les Spindler, city resident. Mrs. Gatelli, I'm very

7 disappointed last week in your vote for the Greco deal.

8 I have to say, I agree with Mrs. Evans.

9 I don't think you are for the people of this city. You

10 said you fought for the people for 25 years, that was

11 for the people from South Side. Now you represent

12 people from the whole city, not just South Side.

13 So, I'm wondering what kind of deal the

14 Mayor offered you to vote yes on this.

15 MS. GATELLI: The Mayor didn't offer me

16 any deals. I certainly wouldn't do that, Mr. Spindler.

17 Mr. Spindler: How can you justify

18 voting for Carl Greco? How can you justify that vote?

19 MS. GATELLI: Well, Mr. DiBileo did it

20 three times. He voted for Mr. Greco's contract.

21 MR. SPINDLER: I'm not talking about

22 the past, I'm talking about the present. I mean,

23 that's --

24 MS. GATELLI: I gave my reasons last

25 week.


1 MR. SPINDLER: That's the way the

2 politics is in this city, and I'm sick of the politics

3 in this city. It's because of politics in the city, I

4 can't get my sidewalk fixed in the front of my house

5 for a problem the city caused.

6 And Mrs. Gatelli, you took my address,

7 and you never even came up to look at that problem.

8 MS. GATELLI: I called Mr. Parker about

9 it.

10 MR. SPINDLER: Well, like I said,

11 because I didn't vote the way the Mayor wanted me to

12 vote, I'll never have that problem fixed. Mr. Parker

13 will never come up.

14 And I'm sick of the politics in this

15 city, and that's all that Carl Greco vote was last

16 week.

17 MS. GATELLI: Well, that's your

18 opinion, and you're entitled to that.

19 MR. SPINDLER: That's a lot of people's

20 opinion.

21 MS. GATELLI: You're entitled to that,

22 Mr. Spindler.

23 MR. SPINDLER: That's a lot of people's

24 opinion.

25 MS. GATELLI: You're entitled to that.


1 MR. SPINDLER: And Mrs. Fanucci, you

2 said the vote didn't matter, the Mayor could name

3 Mr. Greco anyway. Well, at least if you voted no, the

4 people would know where you stood, that you're behind

5 the people, not just being a puppet of the Mayor.

6 And that's another thing, it's just the

7 politics of this city, it's ridiculous. And you want

8 to move the city forward, Mrs. Fanucci? With politics

9 the way it's going in this city now, this city will

10 never move forward. That's all I have to say on that.

11 One thing, Mrs. Gatelli, I do have to

12 applaud you on talking about Channel 61 last week, if

13 it's not going to be funded by the library, you said we

14 will come up with -- Council will come up with money to

15 --

16 MS. GATELLI: I'm sure it can be funded

17 with block grant money.

18 MR. SPINDLER: I was glad to hear that,

19 because so many people watch this station. And it

20 would be a crime, because it's the only way we get the

21 truth out to the people.

22 Lastly, you mentioned last week about

23 the -- you spoke to Gerry McNamara's mother, he said

24 that, you know, she could come in with her husband and

25 get the proclamation, I don't see the rush. When I


1 brought this up, I didn't mean there was a rush to do

2 this.

3 My point was to bring Gerry in

4 personally. I mean, I think Council could wait until

5 he graduates, and I'm sure there will be a Thursday

6 available. And I think that's the way it should be

7 done.

8 MS. GATELLI: Okay.

9 MR. SPINDLER: That's just my opinion.

10 I think that would be the right thing to do. Thank

11 you.

12 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Bill

13 Jackowitz.

14 MR. JACKOWITZ: Good evening, Council.

15 Bill Jackowitz, city resident and taxpayer, registered

16 independent voter, retired United States Air Force.

17 First thing I want to start off with,

18 do you people realize that there's 12 zeros in

19 trillion, and we have a nine in front of it,

20 $9 trillion federal debt.

21 And second of all, I don't know who's

22 in change of pigeons for the City of Scranton, but as I

23 speak right now, there's a large amount of pigeons

24 sitting on the Scranton Electric sign, and I think

25 something needs to be done about that before we have a


1 problem. And if all those pigeons were taxpayers, we

2 wouldn't have a debt right now.

3 Okay. I would like to start off by

4 congratulating Stacey Brown on receiving an award for

5 his article on the Everhart Museum, and also his

6 article in today's newspaper, St. Peter's Progresses.

7 I also commended Mr. Jeffrey Joyce for

8 speaking so openly about the St. Peter's Square

9 project. Also for securing high level institutional

10 funding for the project.

11 I interpret that to mean tax relief for

12 the citizens, also not a KOZ property. I also commend

13 him for that, which means developers are investing in

14 this city, not the city investing in developers.

15 That's great news for me.

16 It sounds to me that I was very close

17 to being accurate last week. The interstate system

18 passenger rail, Yorkers, travelers, money, very sound

19 plan for the improvement of the City of Scranton.

20 After reading today's article, I have a

21 better understanding of what is happening and why.

22 Trust is the key word. So, Mayor Doherty, City

23 Council, Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Joyce, Mr. Lynett

24 from the newspaper, do not let the citizens of Scranton

25 down. Please no backroom deals. Keep the information


1 flowing. And, Mrs. Fanucci, if you had anything to do

2 with that, I appreciate that, also.

3 Now, I'd like to get the same

4 information out on the 500 Lackawanna Avenue project.

5 Let's get it out there, people. We don't need no

6 backroom deals going on. Let's get it out.

7 Like I said, the North Scranton Junior

8 High article that was in Saturday's paper was great.

9 Again, it's telling us what's going on up there. It

10 went from apartments, now it's going to office

11 buildings, at least we know that now.

12 I'm not in favor of the office

13 buildings, because I think we have enough offices in

14 Scranton right now, but at least we know, so I have

15 something I can talk about.

16 Okay. Mrs. Gatelli, last week I spoke

17 for five minutes, I timed it.

18 MR. MINORA: No. You were at the mic

19 for 17 minutes, I timed it.

20 MR. JACKOWITZ: Yeah, but that was --

21 12 minutes of that was City Council's responses to my

22 questions. So --

23 MR. MINORA: I said you were at the mic

24 for 17 minutes.

25 MR. JACKOWITZ: I'm not arguing that


1 point. I'm saying I only spoke for five minutes. But

2 anyway, my point is, let's not change what's going on,

3 because we actually have good conversation going on

4 here.

5 We have debate. Mr. Minora and myself

6 just had a small little debate there. City Council

7 members are talking with each other. Before the votes

8 last week, there was a great discussion going on.

9 Mr. McTiernan and Mrs. Fanucci challenged the Minooka

10 project. Fantastic. That's what we need. That's what

11 these meetings are all about.

12 It's not about time. It really isn't.

13 If someone is up here for five minutes or 17 minutes,

14 it really doesn't matter, as long as there's good

15 discussion going on, an open debate, conversation.

16 If we get out of here 15 minutes later, big deal. At

17 least something was accomplished.

18 Now, if we have arguments going on,

19 character assassination, that's a different story. But

20 when someone's actually speaking about projects and

21 trying to get the city moving and cooperation.

22 Like I said last week community, the

23 first part of the word is communication, the second

24 part of the word is unity. That's what it's all about,

25 people. That's why we're here. That's why you're


1 here.

2 Okay. Another question I have is the

3 Granito project, the one going on in South Side. I

4 think we need to look into that one, too, and let's get

5 that out in the public. The South Side project, the

6 old Granito's there on Moosic Street and Pittston

7 Avenue.

8 MR. COURTRIGHT: So far the only monies

9 that's been put into that is loans that they have taken

10 from the bank. That's my understanding so far. That's

11 all that's been put into it as of now.

12 MR. JACKOWITZ: Right. Like I said,

13 let's get this out there. Let's find out what the

14 taxpayers are actually paying for and what they're not

15 paying for, what the developers are paying for and what

16 the developers are not paying for, and whether or not

17 it's going to actually benefit all the citizens, not

18 just a select few.

19 It's got to benefit the entire city as

20 much as it can. I know not everybody, but there's a

21 majority of the people that have to be benefit from

22 this.

23 And like I said, I really appreciate

24 the article that Stacey wrote, and I appreciate Mrs.

25 Fanucci's help, if she helped, and whoever else helped.


1 I thought the articles were great, and I really think

2 we need to do something about this. And Mr. Minora

3 just gonged me, so I guess I have to stop.

4 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Stan

5 Narsavage.

6 MR. NARSAVAGE: Good evening, Council.

7 I gathered some information out of the local newspaper,

8 and we all know that's very accurate, their

9 information. So, I took it to heart and did a little

10 math.

11 And the article was about the schools

12 in the City of Scranton and how many children are in

13 each school and how many -- what percentage and how

14 many children come from low income families.

15 There were 19 schools listed, one is

16 closed, so that left a total of 18. From the numbers

17 that they gave, the numbers of students in each school,

18 I worked out the avenues, and the overall average comes

19 to 51.3 percent of the children in our schools come

20 from low income families.

21 Now, I'm really just putting that out

22 for information for now, but I intend to keep this

23 until the summertime comes and this Council votes, I

24 assume they'll vote again, I don't know if they will or

25 not, on fees for the schools -- or for the pools.


1 And I spoke about this last year. I

2 believe there were -- the only numbers I had, and help

3 me with this, Mrs. Evans, was it 600 students at

4 Scranton High that were getting free lunches? Do you

5 recall that?

6 MS. EVANS: I'm sorry. I don't, but

7 probably Mr. McTiernan would know.

8 MR. NARSAVAGE: Was that the number,

9 Mr. McTiernan?

10 MR. MCTIERNAN: Off the top of my head,

11 I don't remember, but I can have that for you next

12 week.

13 MR. NARSAVAGE: Okay. I'm just going

14 to use that as the number, because I think that's what

15 it was. But this is the overall picture, not just from

16 Scranton High School.

17 So, I think that's -- out of those

18 there were -- there's 8,930 kids in those 18 schools,

19 and out of that, 4, 581 children come from low family

20 incomes.

21 And to charge these kids to go to swim

22 at Nay Aug, I mean, what's behind that? Do they want

23 to keep these poor kids out of Nay Aug Park or what's

24 the bottom line? Anyway, I'll be back in the summer

25 and ask this same question, if that vote comes up.


1 Mr. Courtright, thanks for getting the

2 information I asked you for. It's helpful. And I'll

3 probably need some more in the future.

4 And the only other thing that I have is

5 that I contacted the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board

6 and asked about how many feet an establishment should

7 be from a school to sell beer, and they sent me back

8 their -- the whole law and the whole form, and it says,

9 I'll just basically tell you they recommend 300 feet.

10 Now, in the Icebox there's a pizza

11 place, at the last one at the end of the strip there,

12 that sells beer, and I don't know how far it is, and I

13 don't know if anybody else here knows how far it is

14 from Scranton High School, but would you have an

15 educated guess, Mr. McTiernan?

16 MR. MCTIERNAN: I guess it's in excess

17 of 300. Probably 300 feet, a football field, so I'm

18 assuming a football field and the parking lot is --

19 well, our parking lot to the front door from the edge

20 to the property.

21 MR. NARSAVAGE: Right. Yeah. And the

22 only other thing they said is they wouldn't allow any

23 advertisement, especially in yearbooks or stuff like

24 that for an establishment that does sell liquor or

25 beer. Okay. Thank you.


1 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Maureen

2 McGuigan.

3 MS. MCGUIGAN: Hi. Maureen McGuigan,

4 resident of Scranton. I just have two quick things

5 tonight. One is one I've been meaning to bring up for

6 a while, but I finally got to it tonight.

7 I'm really thrilled with a lot of the

8 progress in the city, especially in South Side, but

9 there's one area of South Side I don't know if we were

10 talking of, and I'm not sure what we can do with it,

11 it's that stretch between Cedar Avenue and South

12 Washington Avenue, which is a really important corridor

13 that goes from a commercial and industrial section to a

14 residential section, and it's really a mess.

15 I mean, I walk that street my whole

16 life, and it hasn't changed much. There's a lot of

17 glass and garbage, and one time I actually saw a fan

18 thrown there, and I'm just trying to think creatively.

19 I don't know how much it would cost to put lights there

20 or even some trash cans. I'm not even sure how to

21 begin looking at that, if a block grant would qualify.

22 MS. EVANS: Excuse me. Is that the

23 area in which the car business is hoping to relocate?

24 MS. MCGUIGAN: I'm not sure.

25 MS. EVANS: It's along South Washington


1 and --

2 MS. MCGUIGAN: Kane Truck Company or --

3 MS. EVANS: No, it's not a trucking

4 company.

5 MS. GATELLI: It's on Birch by the

6 bowling alley where you turn off where Cawley Brothers

7 Van Lines is.

8 MR. COURTRIGHT: Are you talking about

9 near the bridge?

10 MS. MCGUIGAN: There on South

11 Washington. There's Kane Trucking. There's also --

12 I'd love to find out who owns the land -- it's next to

13 Allied Company, but that would be a great pocket park.

14 I don't know who owns it or something. It's a really

15 large piece of land that's been sitting there literally

16 since I was born.

17 MS. GATELLI: Maybe you will want to

18 come to the meeting next week and give us.

19 MS. MCGUIGAN: Yeah. I mean, I'll do

20 what I can. I just thought I would make you aware of

21 it.

22 The other thing is, I was just a little

23 concerned about something I heard last week on Council.

24 This was the quote, I think it came out of the

25 discussion about the future of Channel 61. The quote


1 was, The bottom line, it's the administration's way or

2 the highway. So, if that's what they want to happen,

3 eventually that's what's going to happen. Whatever the

4 people want is irrelevant.

5 And I think that's -- I was just

6 concerned, because I wouldn't want the public to think

7 that that's the truth.

8 Because the reality is that the future

9 of Channel 61 lies in the hand of the fundraising

10 committee that's been set up, and the public, that it's

11 up to the committee to create a strong three to

12 five-year plan for the channel that uses a lot of

13 cross-section of funders that thinks outside the box,

14 maybe do more educational programming and draw in

15 sources from there.

16 So, I just wanted to bring that up so

17 that the public is aware that, you know, once 61

18 becomes incorporated and is a 501C, the administration

19 really doesn't have power over it. So, the people do

20 have power. So, thank you.

21 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Are you on

22 the committee?

23 MS. MCGUIGAN: I have Emailed my ideas,

24 so I'm probably going to be speaking to them, so I --

25 MS. GATELLI: I think that you can


1 speak for this Council that we support Channel 61 and

2 we will all continue to support Channel 61.

3 MS. MCGUIGAN: Okay. Thank you.

4 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Ron Elman.

5 MR. ELMAN: Ronny Elman again. These

6 glasses cost a couple hundred dollars and I can't read

7 out of them. These are from the dollar store. That

8 ought to teach you something. I don't know.

9 MS. GATELLI: These are, too, Mr.

10 Elman.

11 MR. ELMAN: Yeah. I got some notes, so

12 I wouldn't be just rambling all over the place. Before

13 I alienate you all people some more, I try not to be so

14 adverse about Mr. Doherty, but I can't help it. I just

15 -- I just had a bad experience with him, you know,

16 trying to deal with the city, and it seems to me that

17 his only hope of being a good mayor is having a good

18 administration, because he had no experience or

19 expertise in mayoring when he come in.

20 And the people that I've dealt with in

21 this administration, I don't mean the people in this

22 building that are working for him and doing office

23 work, the few people I dealt with, were just -- it's

24 just a terrible experience, and they just don't seem to

25 have the expertise. And they're just not


1 conscientious. Every one of them is hard to talk to.

2 I understand what you people have to go

3 through in trying to deal with him. You know, I think

4 he could go down the soup kitchen and hire some

5 qualified people that want to work and have a better

6 administration myself.

7 But I owe Mr. Doherty an apology. I

8 stood here last week or the week before and said his

9 number one priority was the tree house. Today's paper

10 said it's the blight on Linden and Wyoming, so I stand

11 corrected.

12 I was wondering if we're going to --

13 the city was going to tear down these buildings, like

14 we've been doing all over town for the builder and then

15 give the land away. You know, we did that on Sanderson

16 and Green Ridge. That cost a fortune to tear that

17 house down and use the city help and union help and

18 machines and send it to a landfill.

19 And then I was told a few weeks ago

20 that's why there's no money for blight when a house

21 burns down in the neighborhood, it's because that money

22 is wasted on wealthy builders.

23 You know, wealthy people just seem to

24 be able to buy an office in this city. You know, Todd

25 O'Malley is not qualified to be ahead of the school


1 board. He gave away tens of millions of dollars in KOZ

2 programs, and that's why Scranton is in such trouble,

3 if you ask me, and more knowledgeable people than me.

4 And I don't understand why we can't go

5 after the people in Tripp Park. You know, last week

6 they said there are programs to try to recover KOZ

7 money when it's been mistakenly used like that, but

8 when it's brought up, nothing is ever done.

9 Todd told me to come to a meeting and

10 say something, I went to a couple school boards

11 meetings, he wouldn't recognize me.

12 If somebody got 13 years free taxes on

13 their house, and they just have one child going to

14 school for -- that's over $100,000, right?

15 We got a whole community full of people

16 that can afford $200 and $300,000 houses going to

17 school, and I have $4,000 a year taxes on my house, I

18 don't know where they come from. It started out less

19 than $1,000 11 years ago.

20 Well, I heard your bell. You know,

21 there's some people in this administration ought to be

22 investigated by a grand jury, not have their pictures

23 all over the newspaper.

24 There's just too much underhanded

25 things go on around here. I like to go to a little


1 auction on Thursday night in Olyphant, Mr. Savo's

2 Auction. I'm going to go back to the auction, because

3 I just get all mad and everything, you know, and I just

4 don't see nothing being done by you people.

5 You just don't seem to have any accomplishments.

6 I don't want to get you mad at me, but

7 really. What's done? Every day -- you say write a

8 letter to the Mayor, send the Mayor this, and I'll go

9 see the Mayor. The Mayor just doesn't appreciate you

10 guys. He doesn't appreciate these people out here that

11 keep coming to meetings.

12 He was in the building tonight, why

13 didn't he stay an extra hour here and listen to people?

14 Because he doesn't care. This administration doesn't

15 care about the little man in the city. That's what's

16 wrong when wealthy people can buy an office like this.

17 Thank you.

18 MS. GATELLI: Thank you, Mr. Elman.

19 Erik Johnson.

20 MR. JOHNSON: Erik Johnson, taxpayer

21 and North Scranton resident. Janet Evans, you need to

22 be recommended for the great input you did in the last

23 meeting for the Minooka project.

24 MS. EVANS: Oh, thank you.

25 MR. JOHNSON: You did a great job


1 there, okay?

2 MS. EVANS: Thank you.

3 MR. JOHNSON: All right. Scranton City

4 Hall building often has been a -- oh, wait a minute. I

5 want to recommend Michael Garzarella for his great

6 speech he made last week at the City Council meeting.

7 And lot of people are coming up to me recommending me.

8 They're asking me who he is and did he really make that

9 speech by himself, and I said, Of course he did. All

10 right.

11 Scranton City Hall building often has

12 been a metaphor for the City Hall and the city

13 government. The 1888 building structure reflects the

14 opinion and the solid prosperity of the city's

15 industrial heyday

16 But as mining and heavy industries

17 declined, so did the city's tax base and the city's

18 ability to tend to the upkeep foundation of the

19 building's structure.

20 As the city government attention was

21 focused elsewhere, mostly on economic survival, in the

22 1990s, the roof deteriorated equal to the city

23 government beneath it, rain damage to the interior

24 offices, heavy tiles fell to the sidewalk.

25 In keeping the building in its


1 historical pattern, a modern $1.5 million renovation

2 project for the City Hall was announced Monday by the

3 city administration, which also includes converting the

4 City Hall building heating system from the painfully

5 high cost of steam heat central system to the updated

6 natural gas, which would be somewhat cheaper.

7 The City Hall renovation also reflects

8 the long overdue move of the police department out of

9 its cramped basement quarters to a state of the art

10 building near the Mall at Steamtown.

11 The space will be used for a cafeteria

12 and other space to benefit city employees. In all, the

13 project is a step forward for all the city employees

14 and taxpayers.

15 And renovation will be paid for through

16 rebates from the State Energy Program. Changing the

17 heating system will save tens of thousands of dollars

18 for the taxpayers and city employees.

19 St. Peter's downtown project, a $50

20 million downtown commercial and residential development

21 is supposed to mean progress after three motionless

22 years. The downtown project will be on track. The

23 site now contains mostly unoccupied commercial

24 buildings and a parking lot. This project is KOZ free

25 and would add to the paying tax bases.


1 Nobody should not criticize the new

2 police headquarters, even has a workout gym for our

3 police officers and beats all that they had when they

4 were cramped in the basement of City Hall to the

5 Steamtown Mall's gas chamber room on the bottom tier

6 parking garage.

7 We as a city are safer than

8 Wilkes-Barre as for crime prevention, and we are a

9 leather city than Wilkes-Barre.

10 Our police department is mostly

11 responsible for the incredible job they are doing. And

12 we also should be concerned for the safety of our

13 police officers.

14 Also, when an officer makes an arrest

15 or is trying to arrest a criminal suspect and he or she

16 tries to take the officer's weapon away from them, the

17 officer has the right to protect themselves from the

18 criminal and intend to use the officer's weapon to kill

19 them.

20 The bottom line, the officer has a

21 right to shoot the criminal without remarks of who was

22 white or who was purple or whatever. Also, the law

23 officer by all means need not to abuse his or her

24 powers in making a supposed arrest in isolated

25 incidents. Thank you for letting me speak.


1 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Lee Morgan.

2 MR. MORGAN: Good evening, Council.

3 MS. GATELLI: Good evening.

4 MR. MORGAN: You know, the gentleman

5 back here with the glasses on with the long dark hair,

6 you know, I'd like to agree with what he said that, you

7 know, for quite a considerable period of time we've had

8 a serious problem here.

9 You know, people come to the podium or

10 people write to The Scranton Times and they say, Well,

11 you guys keep debating the same issues, and that's

12 because previous administrations and previous Councils

13 haven't answered any questions.

14 When you take a look at the meetings

15 we've had, we know the city is in severe dire straits.

16 We've seen no budget cuts that we can really talk

17 about. The budget just continues to grow.

18 We keep borrowing, and one time revenue

19 sources, we've just done such a halituous job of

20 killing the city off.

21 And there's no answers, and there's no

22 way to pay all this debt off, and yet and still --

23 where's the $6 million going to go come from to pay

24 American Anglican back? Where is all this money going

25 to come from?


1 You know, the school district in San

2 Diego in 2003 filed bankruptcy, and I'm going to say

3 this once more from this podium, it's time for the city

4 to file bankruptcy and quit kidding ourselves that we

5 have any way to pay the debt we possess at this time.

6 You know, it's come to pass, at least

7 in my own opinion, okay, that we're too worried about

8 taking care of people that have a ton of money, and

9 it's continued for a long time.

10 So, I mean, evidently it's time for the

11 people who come last for once to come first. And until

12 this Council decides that it's important enough to make

13 a change in direction, it's never going to happen.

14 Okay. We can all talk about how we

15 elect people to represent -- we elect public officials

16 to represent the people, but that's not really going on

17 in any level of American government from the federal

18 government right down, because they're all bankrupt.

19 We're selling all our fixed assets.

20 The toll roads in Indiana, the skyway in Chicago, I

21 mean, we're selling this country off piecemeal, okay?

22 And what I'm saying to this Council is,

23 when the next budget comes, let's cut it by 10 or 20

24 percent and let's send a strong message to the

25 administration and to the people in this city that


1 we're going to make a change in direction.

2 And to be bluntly honest with you,

3 probably the people in my age bracket are going to take

4 the hardest hit.

5 But you know what, somebody has to pay

6 the piper and we have to free these children and give

7 them a future, and it lies on us to make that change.

8 And the other thing I have is, in

9 regards to the playground at Nay Aug Park and in

10 regards to naming it in honor of Morris Jackson, has

11 anything happened in that regard?

12 MS. GATELLI: I got a letter from the

13 Rec. Authority saying that they didn't have the power

14 to do that.

15 MR. MORGAN: Okay.

16 MS. GATELLI: And I forwarded the

17 letter to the Mayor, but I haven't heard anything.

18 MR. MORGAN: Well, I think that

19 somebody needs to follow that up and make that happen.

20 MS. GATELLI: Okay.

21 MR. MORGAN: I had some questions on

22 payments to PEL, and, you know, you might have had them

23 last week, I wasn't here, and I'm just curious, do you

24 have that figure? Okay.

25 MS. GATELLI: We'll get it for you.


1 MR. MORGAN: Okay. I think that this

2 Council needs to take a good hard look at what causes

3 blight, because a lot of the city's blighted, and we

4 can't keep chasing blight all over the city, and I

5 think we need to take a welcome at the tax code.

6 I mean, there's a lot of answers here.

7 And I seriously question why we can't have a playground

8 program in this city. We've got money for all these

9 projects, but we have no money for the children in this

10 city. And I can't understand why the county can't

11 spend some money either.

12 I think we need to take a hard look at

13 the heroin and the crack problem in this city and

14 realize that there's a lot of gang violence outside of

15 this city.

16 As a matter of fact, there was a

17 shooting in Easton that was gang-related, and that wave

18 is going to come here. And if we aren't prepared to

19 spend money on children to give them an outlet, we're

20 only kidding ourselves.

21 And, you know, we can all talk about

22 what our future is. You know, the mayor's talked about

23 how the young people are our future in regards to

24 development, but really and truthfully, you know, our

25 future is the children in the communities.


1 And the last thing I have here is, you

2 know, I hope that the Junior Council, that we could put

3 one or two people on that Council that have dropped out

4 of high school, because I think it would be a good

5 thing to have them represented here, too, because they

6 are the youth of this city, and I think that we should

7 acknowledge that they exist and there needs to be two

8 seats at least made to seat them. Thank you.

9 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Julie Jones.

10 MS. JONES: Good evening, council.

11 Julie Jones, Scranton resident. I'm here tonight for

12 several reasons.

13 Last week it was mentioned that we

14 should be happy that new businesses are coming to the

15 downtown. Well, I would be happy, also, but when it

16 affects the Scranton residents' money by putting the

17 city more in debt, then, no, I am not happy at all.

18 Also, the Mayor seems to only care

19 about the downtown and Green Ridge, and the heck with

20 the rest of the city. There are new businesses opening

21 up outside the city, but you never hear about them.

22 Speaking of that, I would like to

23 announce that a new business has opened at 1621 North

24 Keyser Avenue called Nature's Outlet. They carry a

25 variety of natural items for those of you who are


1 interested or are currently buying things from the

2 internet.

3 If they don't carry what you are

4 looking for, it can be ordered. But, once again, you

5 do not hear about these other new businesses, because

6 they are outside the city's inner circle and of no

7 concern of the mayor.

8 When I drove through town on the day of

9 the parade, I said to myself, Wow, why can't the city

10 look clean like this all the time?

11 Once again, I'm asking for your help

12 with few things. Did the letter go out to

13 Mr. Scopelliti, and if not, I am asking that this

14 matter be addressed. Spring is here and the problems

15 will be starting.

16 Also, at the corner of Feeney and Oak

17 Street, the catch basin is terrible. If by accident

18 your wheel was to land in it, you would never get out.

19 You would have to have a tow truck come to get you out.

20 Also, the people in that area are hoping that it is not

21 a sinkhole opening up.

22 Also, I need your help with another

23 never ending problem. Once again, I received a parking

24 ticket in the 200 block of Linden Street with

25 25 minutes still left on my meter. I am very


1 disappointed with the Scranton Parking Authority and

2 Mr. Wintermantle. I left several messages for him to

3 call me and no response.

4 Well, I guess that is just one more

5 city department ran by the behind-the-scenes ghost,

6 Mr. Doherty.

7 Can anyone tell me why they put permit

8 parking in the Hill Section -- when they put permit

9 parking in the Hill Section and why?

10 MS. GATELLI: I think it's in several

11 places in the Hill Section, and I think you have to --

12 so many names on a petition from the block.

13 MS. JONES: Well, I think parts of

14 downtown, especially where the high rises are where the

15 elderly are, permit parking should be put into effect.

16 The workers from downtown can pay to park in the

17 garages and give the little guys a break by spending

18 money they don't have on parking meters.

19 Also, I would hope to see from this

20 evening on that the same rules apply for Council

21 members as they do for the speakers.

22 Last week things were said by Council

23 members that if we were to say them, we would get

24 gaveled.

25 Finally, I would like to say that -- I


1 would like to say that Doug, if he doesn't already --

2 if he hasn't already, if he could -- being that Doug is

3 in charge should have a list of all Junior Council

4 members' phone numbers to call them if they absolutely

5 have to be at a set meeting, like, when they took the

6 photo for The Times.

7 My son has not been able to make the

8 past few meetings due to work. How many kids today

9 would be out there today working their butts off to pay

10 for a trip to Florida that holds a cost of $750 to go

11 to?

12 We were able to help him a little, but

13 he did the rest. We could not help that much because

14 we, ourselves, are trying to stay afloat in this

15 expensive city.

16 In closing, I would like to say good

17 luck to Ms. McCollough and the advanced string students

18 at Scranton High, as they will be performing in Florida

19 next week, and I am proud to say my son Cory will be

20 part of that performance. I thank you for your time.

21 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Pedro

22 Gonzales.

23 MR. GONZALES: Good evening, Council,

24 and all in attendance. My name is Pedro Gonzales,

25 South Side resident, taxpayer and registered voter.


1 I want to start off by apologizing to

2 La Senorita Gatelli and Ms. Fanucci. Last time I was

3 here, I didn't congratulate you guys on your seat. I

4 want to congratulate you guys. I apologize for that.

5 You come up here, everybody comes up

6 here and they have their little agendas, and so forth

7 and so on, and me, I'm a nervous wreck. I might not

8 show it, but I am. You know, you get the butterflies

9 in the stomach, the whole thing, but so be it.

10 I want to speak about the Lupus

11 Foundation, our function that we will be having at the

12 Boscov's at Steamtown Mall this Saturday, the 25th.

13 Please, I urge all in the city to come out, have fun.

14 Kids, family, grownups, Latinos, all people, please,

15 come on out. We will be having free health screenings,

16 blood pressure screenings, body fat analysis,

17 cholesterol screenings, free lupus testing, all of it,

18 again, all by volunteer people. It's just ten dollars

19 to register. You get a shirt, you get to walk in the

20 mall. I think it's about maybe two miles, if that.

21 You walk a couple times upstairs, a couple of times

22 downstairs, and hopefully someone could write about it

23 in the newspaper and we'll see how that goes.

24 The next thing I want to speak about is

25 the job placement. Please, all in the city, since the


1 last time I was here, we've gotten a lot of calls from

2 employers looking for employees.

3 So, anyone out there, Latin or not,

4 that needs a job, please, just because we or I

5 represent or we represent the Latin people, and I'm one

6 of the representatives, that means nothing as far as a

7 person that needs a job or needs to feed their family

8 and so forth and so on.

9 So, anyone in need of job, please call

10 504-4455, and we would gladly help you in any shape or

11 form.

12 And last but not least, I want to speak

13 about the Latin Day Parade that we're trying to

14 organize. I want to the police department, like you

15 told me to do, and they were great.

16 The police chief, Corporal Newcomb, my

17 hat's off to them. They were great, very respectful,

18 very attentive, and they are willing to do whatever or

19 to help in any shape or form.

20 We're shooting for August the 12th.

21 We're shooting for August the 12th. And it turns out

22 that you do not need a permit from the people upstairs.

23 It turns out that we need permission from them and

24 permission from the Council and the mayor's office.

25 So, we're in the process of forming a paper to write a


1 proper request for that subject, and we will present it

2 to you guys, and hopefully the Mayor will respond.

3 We've sent letters to him in the past,

4 and still have nothing from him. We've tried calling

5 his office, tried to contact him, he has not responded

6 yet.

7 Never seen the man, only on TV, so

8 forth and so on, I have nothing against him, so I can't

9 saw nothing bad about him, but he used the Latin people

10 for part of his platform to get re-elected, and, again,

11 still we have heard nothing about this man or from this

12 man as far as what is he doing for the Latin people in

13 the city.

14 I would love to know. And, again, if

15 someone can contact him and he could contact us, again,

16 the number is 504-4455. We would love to hear from him

17 or someone in his office. That would be great. That

18 is all I have for tonight. I want to thank you all for

19 listening and letting me express myself. Once again,

20 my name is Pedro Gonzales, God bless you all.

21 MS. GATELLI: Thank you, Pedro. What

22 time does the lupus walk start?

23 MR. GONZALES: It starts at eight in

24 the morning, so please don't hang out the night before,

25 but it starts about eight in the morning. 8:30 starts


1 to warmup, nine o'clock starts the walk. I will be

2 doing the warmup up on the stage. About ten o'clock we

3 will be having a dance, dancers from Keystone College,

4 he steppers, come out.

5 We have a vast amount of volunteers

6 from all over the city, students, students from the

7 high school, a lot of juveniles coming out, and, no

8 they are not delinquent, and we have Scranton

9 University is coming out, Scranton University students

10 are coming out, Keystone College students coming out.

11 A lot of different organizations will

12 be there, again, Mercy Hospital, the Lupus Foundation,

13 Uno Fitness. So many things are happening . The

14 Lackawanna Children's Library will be there doing

15 things for the kids. Everything, again, free of

16 charge.

17 We will be having free cooking demos,

18 healthy cooking demos, except for one. There will be a

19 hot dog sale. So, you know, that was out of my hands.

20 You know, I tried, I tried on that one, but, please, I

21 ask all the Latinos (UNTRANSCRIBABLE) come on out and

22 have fun and enjoy the day.

23 There will be tons of informative

24 information on brochures so forth and so on, English

25 and in Spanish. This event is very Latino friendly.


1 And, Lisa, sorry if I messed you up a little bit there.

2 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Is there

3 anyone else who would like to speak before Council?

4 MR. DUDEK: Mike Dudek, 608 Depot

5 Street, Scranton, PA. I live in The Plot. As I'm

6 looking over our student council here, the thought

7 occurred to me, I going to speak tonight, but something

8 did occur to me that may be a worthwhile project to

9 consider, if you take a look where Electric Street,

10 Shawnee Avenue, Penn Avenue and Capouse Avenue

11 interlace in Green Ridge, it's in a section that people

12 who live there call the islands. Janet, do you know

13 where I'm talking about?

14 MS. EVANS: Yes, I do.

15 MR. DUDEK: Okay. At one time there

16 was a homeowner there who used to take one of those

17 islands and plant flowers on one of them, okay?

18 My thought was, and looking over here

19 we have a pretty good labor force, why not take all of

20 these islands and really do a project, a 12-month a

21 year project with these islands to keep them constantly

22 looking beautiful? You know, flowers for nine months

23 of the year, and then for the three winter months,

24 whatever the students want to do with it, do something

25 with it. That was one thought that I had.


1 On a more practical level, about

2 22 years ago a science teacher in Mid-Valley named

3 Sylvester Luckasiewicz, had his 9th grade science

4 students take different soil samples from throughout

5 the school district in the towns of Throop, Olyphant

6 and Dickson, and about ten of the samples came back at

7 13,000 times the normal amount of lead.

8 And those samples were so dangerous

9 that they were actually dangerous to handle in a

10 laboratory setting, so Mr. Luckasiewicz sent them off

11 to Penn State University, and that was the beginning of

12 the Superfund site in Throop, that, you know, about the

13 Marjol Battery. That's how it began. It began with

14 9th grade students doing a science project.

15 And, again, looking with the students

16 here, typical projects could be, for instance, taking

17 samples of water quality along the entire length of the

18 Lackawanna River, also where Roaring Brook comes into

19 the city and meets the river.

20 There's a number of science projects

21 that perhaps could be done to see whether or not

22 Scranton may have their own hot spots of danger, just

23 as the Mid-Valley School District accidentally found

24 about 20-some years ago.

25 Just a couple of thoughts that I want


1 to run by Council, and perhaps something very

2 practical, very oriented to their abilities to do the

3 job, and yet at the same time something useful could

4 come out of it. Thank you.

5 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.

6 MR. DAVIS: Assalaam Alaikum and

7 (UNTRANSCRIBABLE). I heard something on television as

8 I was coming up tonight about the Lithuanians having a

9 celebration or getting a --

10 MS. GATELLI: The Slovaks.

11 MR. DAVIS: Slovaks. Well,

12 (UNTRANSCRIBABLE) is the wrong language? Did I say

13 something wrong? Is that correct? Thank you. I'm not

14 Polish. Okay. That's a school teacher.

15 Okay. The only reason why I came

16 tonight is to give these guys this picture. This

17 picture is your first picture that I've ever seen of

18 you guys together, and I think you should take it and

19 you could make copies of it. I'm going to give it to

20 the first guy here. You make copies of it and it's a

21 good copy, and pass it around. I did the best I could.

22 You guys move it around.

23 City Council, I'm so glad to be here.

24 I was down south last week, I had to go down to a

25 family gathering, and it reminded me of a lot of


1 things. It reminded me of the road that my father

2 travelled before he came here, and my grandfather

3 travelled before he came here, and my grandmother

4 travelled before, because they all died here in

5 Scranton, they all died in the arms of Ms. Franklin. I

6 give tribute to her, also.

7 But first of all, I give tribute to

8 God, because it's God who's allowed us, and we realize

9 that, he's allowed us to prosper in this land, also.

10 And I want the kids understand the

11 history of all of our people within the confines of

12 Lackawanna County, and then we are all very rich with

13 history, not just me, not just you, but we all have a

14 right to coexist peacefully and with prosperity as its

15 main goal. We want our kids to be as strong as they

16 can be, we want them to run as fast as they can be, but

17 we also want them to be as knowledgeable of this world

18 we have to live in.

19 We are tired of the fraud, we are tired

20 of the deception that's being placed upon us by

21 politicians for whatever reason, and the only way these

22 kids are going to know how to decipher the truth from a

23 falsehood is to listen with open ears and open hearts

24 and fetter it out all those things that don't match the

25 criterion of truth.


1 That means you got to stay in school,

2 it means you've got to study philosophy, metaphysics

3 and all those other things that go along with it,

4 because then you can get an idea of what they said

5 before you, before you are even thought of.

6 These are cultures that have always

7 tried to decipher the truth for the people and try to

8 gauge the people by what they wanted for the truth.

9 And the people haven't always wanted the truth. The

10 truth is very hard to live by.

11 When you start living by the truth, it

12 makes everything move smoothly, or at least for a

13 little while, until somebody comes along and says, I

14 don't like the truth.

15 I'm quite sure Mr. McTierney has heard

16 it a million times in his training, his education where

17 truth is very dependent upon the individual who is

18 saying it or who is receiving it at the time.

19 Thank you. It's been a pleasure. And

20 I love giving this to the kids, because this is our

21 future. And I have the kids at the Progressive

22 watching right now so that they can eventually become a

23 part of this, but they are a part of it already, and I

24 thank you for that. Assalaam Alaikum.

25 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Anyone else


1 care to speak before Council.

2 MR. HOLECKO: Hi. My name is Eric

3 Holecko, 932 and a half East Drinker Street, Dunmore.

4 I would like -- I was in here earlier tonight regarding

5 the public hearings.

6 After meeting with the neighborhood

7 association president and going over some details with

8 the neighbors, we realize that there's still some more

9 work that needs to be done, which is why we have agreed

10 to set up a meeting this coming Tuesday.

11 We would also like to ask City Council

12 to continue the public hearing April 6, if possible.

13 I'm not sure if there's any zoning -- I will meet with

14 the neighbors as many times between that period, but I

15 would ask that we could reconvene on April 6. I think

16 we both agreed that that would be done in a timely

17 manner allowing questions from both the neighbors and

18 allowing me a chance to respond and work out anything

19 -- any accommodations that we could work out. So, I

20 would ask that of City Council. Thank you.

21 MS. GATELLI: Attorney Minora, do you

22 think that that -- I think that if we just put the

23 ordinance on for introduction, maybe if we put it in

24 the first part, and they can have public input. Do we

25 have to have the public hearings again?


1 MR. MINORA: I don't think you've

2 completed the public hearings. You just continued

3 them, is what I understand. So, you need to conclude

4 those, and on the 6th, I think you have a caucus on the

5 500 block of Lackawanna Avenue.


7 MR. MINORA: So, I'm not sure how long

8 you intend that to be.

9 MS. GATELLI: Well, we can always have

10 the hearing at 6:30. If they've indeed settled, it

11 shouldn't take too long. So, we will just have them

12 right before the regular meeting.

13 MR. MINORA: But you have to have --

14 yeah, you have to have a hearing concluded.

15 MS. GATELLI: Okay. So, we will have

16 --

17 MR. HOLECKO: Would there have to be

18 additional advertisements?

19 MS. GARVEY: Yes.

20 MS. GATELLI: Yes. So, there will be

21 the two public hearings again that will be continued

22 from this evening on April 6 at 6:30.

23 MR. HOLECKO: Should I send a notice

24 with a return receipt to all the neighbors?

25 MS. GATELLI: I would assume.


1 Mr. Minora, do you think so?

2 MR. MINORA: I think that would be

3 prudent.

4 MS. GATELLI: He would have to notify

5 them again. I would say yes.

6 MR. MINORA: That would be prudent.

7 MS. GATELLI: He's the lawyer. Thank

8 you very much for cooperating with the neighbors.

9 You're to be commended for that. Thank you.

10 MR. LIVELY: Just to let Council know,

11 again, I'm B.T. Lively with the Green Ridge

12 Neighborhood Association. Mr. Holecko has agreed to

13 meet with the neighbors of the area this Tuesday,

14 answer their questions, which we'll be formatting for

15 him with a moderator in order to contain and keep

16 things at a level head.

17 He has also agreed at that point to

18 return and meet with the neighbors to answer any

19 questions they have for his responses.

20 The neighbors have also asked that the

21 hearing be, as you just determined, continued, so they

22 would like that on the record that they would like it

23 continued. Thank you.

24 MS. GATELLI: Thank very much.

25 MS. EVANS: Thank you.


1 MS. GATELLI: And good luck as the

2 neighborhood president. You might be there a long

3 time.

4 MR. PAPP: Good evening, people.

5 John Papp, I live on Eynon Street.

6 The reason I'm here is a couple things.

7 First of all, the pothole situation, we depend on the

8 public to call them, which they probably do, but why

9 can't truck drivers on the garbage truck if they see a

10 bad pothole, they're going to run over it, they know

11 it's there, jot it down.

12 What about the police? They're all

13 over the city, and I'm sure they got a moment to, you

14 know, jot down an address or a block number or, you

15 know, on these potholes, because I run into some big

16 ones.

17 MR. COURTRIGHT: They do do that. They

18 do call them into dispatch when --

19 MR. PAPP: Do they?


21 MR. PAPP: Another thing is two weeks

22 ago or three weeks ago I was here, and, Madame

23 President, I talked to you about having the dead end

24 signs fixed on 12th Street and Eynon, that's the block

25 before the intermediate school, it's right in between


1 there. Well, just a week and a half ago there was a

2 tractor-trailer down the street, and he can't get -- I

3 don't know if you remember.

4 MS. GATELLI: Did you give me the

5 photos?

6 MR. PAPP: Yes. Well, I have some

7 more, too.

8 MS. GATELLI: Okay.

9 MR. PAPP: Well, the same ones, but I

10 do have them concerning about the mud.

11 MS. GATELLI: That mud, yes. They said

12 in the spring, I told you, in the sprung --

13 MR. PAPP: In the sprung. I'm waiting.

14 I've been here before.

15 MS. GATELLI: It might be here soon, I

16 don't know. It's here on the calendar, but it isn't

17 here in the temperature.

18 MR. PAPP: I mean, it's terrible. Even

19 the kids walking out of school, they don't walk down

20 the sidewalk, they're walking down the middle of the

21 road. For one reason when it rains, there's a mud

22 hole. There's a mud hole now. It's always mud,

23 because everything just comes down that street because

24 of no curbing. It's terrible.

25 My landlord -- my house stinks half the


1 time when it rains. You know, and this has been going

2 on now for two years.

3 So, that's actually I have. And I do

4 have the pictures of the 1200 of Eynon, if you would

5 like them again, another set, just to remind you. I

6 know you're busy.

7 MS. GATELLI: I have them. They're in

8 my notebook at home. We'll be there.

9 MR. PAPP: That's all I have.

10 MS. GATELLI: Thank you, Mr. Papp.

11 MR. ANCHERANI: Good evening, Council.

12 I'm Nelson Ancherani. I'm a resident, taxpayer, city

13 employee, and a member of the FOP.

14 I heard that you have a letter there

15 for me, Mrs. Gatelli?

16 MS. GATELLI: Yes, I do.

17 MR. ANCHERANI: Okay. So, I'll get

18 that later? You ruined half of what I was going to say

19 anyway, so -- by having the letter.

20 Anyway, it's five weeks since Council

21 was going to talk to Ms. Moran about the $200 a month

22 bonus for our returning city employee soldiers.

23 You didn't have an answer from

24 Ms. Moran, or you would have relayed it to us already.

25 Two weeks ago a motion was made to send


1 a letter to the Mayor about the bonus, and I bet

2 there's no answer from him yet.

3 The question about the bonus is now

4 ready for Council to draft its own legislation to give

5 these soldiers that bonus.

6 If it takes your own legislation or by

7 motion to do it, do it. There are five of you up

8 there, make a motion to pay them. Vote on it. And if

9 the Mayor vetoes it, then he shows his true colors.

10 Even if the Mayor vetoes it, if you

11 can't get four votes up there to override a veto,

12 something is definitely wrong.

13 We give $20,000 to the Everhart Museum

14 a year, we give $50,000 a year to the zoo. This is a

15 one-time payment for the soldiers of approximately

16 $20,000. Let's show our appreciation. The animals in

17 the zoo don't protect our freedom. The exhibits in the

18 museum don't protect our freedom. They are there for

19 our enjoyment, which we wouldn't enjoy if we didn't

20 have our freedom.

21 In today's editorial in the paper,

22 because of the planned renovations at City Hall, it

23 mentions the police department was moving out of

24 cramped spaces.

25 I know a lot of people think that I


1 criticize the building. The building is a beautiful

2 building. We needed it. So, them building it for the

3 police department was great.

4 And I'm going to say it again, it's too

5 small. And the proof of that being too small is that

6 the juvenile unit and the training division are not in

7 that building.

8 The original intent of building that

9 building was to house the entire police department, and

10 it didn't do it. It's undersized, and it's undersized

11 because of budget constraints.

12 The parking is horrendous. You would

13 think that the parking would be better, but that's

14 cramped. Some offices are too big, some too small.

15 And at this time yet the juvenile unit still doesn't

16 know where they're going, but there has been talk that

17 the city wants to eliminate the juvenile unit.

18 I've said it before, I'll say it again,

19 the juvenile unit is not the city's favorite. We're

20 the orphans of the department.

21 And, Mrs. Gatelli, have you been by

22 Cemetery and Kane Streets since the one pothole was

23 fixed?

24 MS. GATELLI: Yes. I'm going to have

25 Mr. Parker draw up an estimate. He's in the process of


1 doing that now and having that done as a project.

2 MR. ANCHERANI: They did do one

3 pothole, so they did do the intersection.

4 MS. GATELLI: Yes, they did. It's the

5 water runoff that's the problem there. If they don't

6 address that, it's never going to get corrected.

7 MR. ANCHERANI: Right. That's even

8 Kane and Cemetery, that one is even worse, but I know

9 they can't do that in the winter anyway.

10 I don't even know if I should mention

11 this, but I'm going to. We have a wall right here

12 that's bear. We did have a mural at one time on the

13 old Storm Pfister Building, it was a mural, it was a

14 county building, but maybe some group or artist group

15 may want to volunteer with the history of the city. It

16 might be something that looks nice there.

17 Like, I don't have any contacts in any

18 of that, but maybe somebody might have a contact for

19 that. It might be something to think about. Okay.

20 Thank you.

21 MS. GATELLI: Is there anyone else that

22 would like to speak before Council. Mrs. Garvey.

23 MS. GARVEY: 5-A, Motions.

24 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Ancherani, the $200,

25 you said it would cost approximately $20,000?


1 MR. ANCHERANI: Yes, for all the --

2 there weren't that many that gone to Iraq. I think

3 there's either one policeman --

4 MS. GATELLI: Is there a way that you

5 could get us that information for next week?


7 MS. GATELLI: Okay. And then we'll

8 consider doing a motion to have that paid. Try to get

9 us the information, if you can. Thank you. I'd

10 appreciate it.

11 MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Garvey.

12 MS. GARVEY: 5-A, Motions.

13 MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Evans.

14 MS. EVANS: Good evening. Once again,

15 the CDBG program is under assault by the Bush

16 Administration.

17 The President's 20007 budget calls for

18 a $1 billion reduction in CDBG funding, decreasing

19 levels to the absolute lowest funding we have witnessed

20 in the last 16 years.

21 As I did last year, I wish to make a

22 motion to send a letter stating Scranton City Council's

23 vigorous opposition to this measure and urging our U.S.

24 Representative and Senators to reject any cuts to the

25 CDBG Program.


1 Such letter is to be sent to

2 Congressman Kanjorski, Senator Spector and Senator

3 Santorum.

4 MS. GATELLI: I'll second that motion.

5 On the question? All in favor.

6 MS. EVANS: Aye.




10 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The ayes

11 have it and so moved.

12 MS. EVANS: Thank you. I also urge all

13 organizations who have received CDBG awards from the

14 City of Scranton to contact these elected federal

15 officials and voice your opposition in great numbers.

16 Kay, have we received a response from

17 OECD regarding a status report on the Mulberry Corridor

18 Project?

19 MS. GARVEY: No, we haven't.

20 MS. EVANS: Did we receive a response

21 to, I believe it was Mr. McTiernan's motion, that we

22 voted unanimously to support regarding the placement of

23 liens on all demolition properties by OECD?

24 MS. GARVEY: I don't believe we have,

25 but I'd probably really have to check that.


1 MS. EVANS: Okay. I know that our

2 office sent letters to Ms. Hailstone on the following

3 dates, January 30, February 3, February 24h, and again

4 on March 14, concerning the Mulberry Street corridor

5 project.

6 I really don't know what else can be

7 done there. Sometimes getting information -- maybe

8 Mrs. Fanucci can get it.

9 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: I was going to

10 say, I could probably help you out with that. I know

11 that there's been some issues, because PennDOT is

12 trying to change the roadway there, and until that goes

13 there through or they come to some type of conclusion,

14 I don't think there's anything that can be concrete

15 right now. I know that that's an issue right now that

16 they're dealing with.

17 They're trying to make it a two lane,

18 and whether or not the citizens are going to -- I mean,

19 there are some issues. So, that is definitely holding

20 up any information that we've gotten.

21 MS. EVANS: If you could find anything

22 else out, though, please.

23 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Yeah, I will.

24 MS. EVANS: Also, as I travelled our

25 area, I met a wonderful family who has one very small


1 request of our city, they humbly ask if their

2 grandfather, Jerome Lacess, could be remembered with a

3 plaque which would be displayed at the Nay Aug Park

4 Zoo.

5 Mr. Lacess was a zoo attendant who had

6 but one credo, to see that the animals were fed and

7 comfortable. A shy, soft-spoken man who spoke in

8 broken English, he was the only individual who could

9 safely walk in and out of the pen of Tilly the

10 Elephant, and I know you're all too young to remember

11 Tilly the elephant, but I do.

12 The story was told to me by his

13 grandson, Raymond Herne, of how Mr. Lacess walked from

14 his home on West Mountain during the 1958 snowstorm to

15 get to the Nay Aug Park Zoo to see that the animals

16 were kept warm and fed.

17 This was typical of his devotion which

18 continued until his untimely death at age 75, which

19 occurred while trying to repair a broken water pipe in

20 the elk pen. He was gored by a bull elk and died from

21 his critical injuries several days later.

22 Therefore, I move that Scranton City

23 Council purchase a plaque from our Council budget fund

24 to honor Mr. Lacess. Further, that Council send

25 letters to the Scranton Recreation Authority and the


1 Mayor requesting that this plaque be displayed in a

2 conspicuous location within the Nay Aug Park Zoo.


4 MS. GATELLI: On the question?

5 All in favor.

6 MS. EVANS: Aye.




10 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The ayes

11 have it and so moved.

12 Oh, and before I do go on, I was given

13 some information by his grandson and great grandson,

14 and these are copies of the news articles, I believe,

15 from The Scranton Times in 1964, that include his

16 picture, and even some photos of George Lowry at the

17 age of 29, who was also injured that day.

18 So, if everyone would like to take a

19 look, and the Junior Council members might want to see

20 that, as well.

21 Last evening I attended a Lackawanna

22 county Taxpayer Association meeting where Commissioner

23 Cordaro addressed the public, I do commend him for

24 living up to his duties and responsibilities as an

25 elected official.


1 I listened closely to the taxpayers'

2 frustration, anger and passionate pleas for help. They

3 just wanted his help.

4 I listened to Mr. Luckasiewicz, Throop

5 Council President, who reminded Mr. Cordaro of his

6 roots and the stark financial reality of the majority

7 of the residents of Lackawanna County.

8 I listened to Mr. Cordaro remind me

9 that our county taxes constitute only 18 percent of our

10 tax bills in Scranton, but 18 percent for me equals

11 hundreds and hundreds of dollars.

12 Three critical points occurred to me as

13 a result of last night's communications, first, it is

14 so easy, in fact, far too easy for elected officials to

15 spend someone else's money; second, elected officials

16 have the obligation to listen to the people and to

17 carry out their expressed wishes.

18 We have no right to spend your money

19 without your agreement. Taxpayers aren't children.

20 They don't need any powerful politician making

21 decisions for them, rather an elected official serves

22 the people by carrying out the decisions of the people,

23 and, third, although the city and the county work

24 cooperatively on select purchase agreements, none of

25 the three taxing bodies, city, county, school district,


1 none consults any of the other on the issue of

2 taxation.

3 These are three reasons, I believe,

4 three major reasons why government fails you. I

5 believe elected officials need to dedicate more of

6 their time to the people to listening, discussing and

7 recognizing the people's needs and the people's

8 decisions.

9 I've learned more from my conversations

10 with citizens of this city and beyond than I ever have

11 from any discussions I've had with politicians.

12 I also believe that the only way to

13 control finances in Scranton is through it referendum.

14 I suggested to the taxpayers association to place a yes

15 or no vote on the ballot in 2006; for example, should

16 the Home Rule Charter be amended to place a financial

17 ceiling on the dollar amount a mayor can borrow, or if

18 a mayor intends to borrow beyond a specified dollar

19 amount, must such borrowing be approved by referendum?

20 And aside from the Home Rule Charter, I

21 also suggest that a yes/no question be placed on the

22 ballot regarding pay to play politics, that is

23 excessive financial constructions to candidates for

24 elected office.

25 Such restrictions could serve to


1 curtail the no-bid contracts, job creations, and

2 non-union pay raises we've witnessed.

3 It's my hope that some organization

4 will catch the ball I've pitched and run with it to

5 help all the people.

6 And finally, I have citizens' requests

7 for the week. First, the rear of 908 Pittston Avenue.

8 This house has been condemned for years. And although

9 the DPW boarded up the doorways after the doors were

10 stolen and cleared out the homeless who were residing

11 within, the windows are now broken, the siding was

12 painted with graffiti, and there is debris throughout

13 the property. The neighbors are concerned it's a fire

14 hazard and state that it has been in this condition for

15 at least five years. Please update.

16 The 300 block of Reece Street and

17 Greenbush, there are two vacant lots which are littered

18 with garbage and furniture. Please clear the lots.

19 And neighbors also request a no dumping sign be posted

20 on both of the lots.

21 Well, no, actually 408 Honesdale Court,

22 garbage has been piled on the side and back porches

23 since April 2005, and I believe the resident parks a

24 car in the court which causes other vehicles to

25 traveling through the court to drive over the


1 neighbors' properties. In the winter, snow is not

2 plowed because this car blocks the court. Please send

3 in an inspector to examine the property and a police

4 officer to address the parked car.

5 Roundwoods Place, which is located

6 between the 900 block of South 9th and Main Avenue in

7 West Scranton, specifically between Dunn's Bar and

8 Jerworski Printing, please fill potholes. Residents'

9 driveways are in this alley, and they report damage to

10 the bottom of vehicles. They also fear that someone

11 will be injured falling into these potholes.

12 Now, this is my third request. I made

13 the first request in August 2005; the second was in

14 October 2005. So, now I'm going to ask for a written

15 response, since both the residence and I have waited

16 for eight months, meanwhile potholes in the direct

17 vicinity were filled, yet Roundwoods Place was

18 bypassed.

19 Residents request the installation of a

20 stop sign at the intersection of Jackson Street and

21 Sumner Avenue next to St. Patrick's Rectory.

22 A letter to Mr. Wintermantle, what is

23 the monthly debt service on the Casey Garage?

24 Also, 926-928 Cedar Avenue, there is a

25 blighted property which is unoccupied at this time, and


1 I wanted to add that I received this notification

2 tonight from Mr. Garzarella of the Junior Council, and

3 I'm very happy to see that either he's reaching out to

4 his neighbors or neighbors are reaching out to him in

5 order to get their needs placed before Council. So,

6 thank you.

7 And please continue to send your paving

8 requests to www.Janettomkoevans.com. I am compiling a

9 list of your requests that will be submitted to our

10 office. And that's it.

11 MS. GATELLI: Thank you, Mrs. Evans.

12 Just to update you on the rear of 908 Pittston Avenue,

13 I think you might have been in the ladies room, I

14 talked to Mr. Fiorini about that today. I got calls

15 from Mr. and Mrs. Kingsley, and it's coming down Monday

16 or Tuesday.

17 MS. EVANS: Oh, that's wonderful news.

18 MS. GATELLI: I'm happy about that.

19 And as far as the five years, it's there since I was

20 here, so it's about 13 years ago.

21 MS. EVANS: Oh, okay.

22 MS. GATELLI: Yeah, it's a long, long

23 time.

24 MS. EVANS: Well, I spoke with Mr.

25 Kingsley, so he gave me the information.


1 MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Fanucci.

2 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: I don't have much.

3 I want to respond to a comment that was made last week

4 about meeting with the Chamber of Commerce. I have

5 spoken to them and they decided that we will have

6 weekly or biweekly meetings and maybe sit down and have

7 some communication so that I'm privy to what is going

8 on so that I could come back and report to you. So, I

9 think that that's a wonderful task. And I have to say

10 thanks for the, you know, the idea. It's a good one.

11 And they're very, very accommodating there, and very

12 excited about what we're doing.

13 Also, I have to say one person, oh,

14 don't leave, it's about you, you're right about the

15 fact that we write letters, write letters, write

16 letters and we are not getting where we need to get.

17 I feel that way myself. I think maybe

18 the problem is we need to start picking up our phone

19 and start asking and communicating with each other.

20 We're talking about next week with the soldiers and

21 trying to get them money. We wrote how many letters to

22 Mrs. Moran. Maybe it's time that I am personally going

23 to take that tomorrow and call her and see what her

24 response is.

25 I know I'm inundated with paperwork,


1 and I'm sure, as we all are, we get -- out boxes are

2 full like this. Maybe that is problem. I can't

3 guarantee that's what it is, but I do believe that we

4 need to open up the lines of communication so that we

5 can start in keeping what we're doing here going

6 further than this room.

7 So, I just want you to know that I am

8 going to make an effort to at least try to reach out

9 and pick up the phone and talk to people and say what

10 can we do. That's all I have. Thank you.

11 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.

12 MS. EVANS: Can I just respond to

13 something? As Mr. Ancherani knows, the issue of the

14 soldiers, active duty soldiers pay had been brought up

15 at City Council a number of times over the last two

16 years, and Ms. Moran was contacted, and her response

17 was, negative, and the Mayor's response was negative.

18 I believe you would remember that, Mr. Ancherani.

19 And then with regard to the letters, I

20 can tell you I also pick up the phone. Some people

21 answer a phone call much more readily than others, some

22 people perhaps are a lot busier than others, some

23 people never respond.

24 But in terms of, I think, being able to

25 hold an individual to their word, it's always wise to


1 get it in writing. Word of mouth can always be

2 forgotten, misconstrued, et cetera.

3 But when something is committed in

4 black and white, then certainly those words must be

5 lived up to.

6 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: I think that's

7 wonderful, but I also believe that actions speak louder

8 than words, so I'd rather someone get it done than talk

9 about it for a month, so that's why I thought that this

10 might be a good idea. That's all.

11 MS. GATELLI: Mr. McTiernan.

12 MR. MCTIERNAN: Thank you, Mrs.

13 Gatelli. Are you going to speak on your request

14 regarding the parking lots or -- is that part of your

15 remarks?

16 MS. GATELLI: No. Go right ahead, Mr.

17 McTiernan. I always like to hear you.

18 MR. MCTIERNAN: If you were, I was

19 going to defer, but if you're not, just --

20 MS. GATELLI: No, I'll defer to you.

21 MR. MCTIERNAN: You are a wonderful

22 person.

23 MS. GATELLI: And you are a wonderful

24 man. Here we go. This is our comedy part. People

25 like that. They say, We like when you laugh.


1 MR. MCTIERNAN: I wonder who the

2 straight guy is, since it's a comedy routine.

3 Just very briefly. We have been

4 talking an awful lot about the non-profits, and I am

5 not expressing my viewpoint on it, I'm just giving you

6 basic facts, but looking at the packet that

7 Mrs. Gatelli requested for Mr. Fiorini regarding

8 parking lots and parking lot fees at the rate of $15

9 per space, several of the non-profits are listed.

10 I spoke last week about some of the

11 taxes that were paid by the non-profits, and, again,

12 just to give you some very brief information, Moses

13 Taylor paying for parking lot fees the following

14 amounts were submitted to us by Mr. Fiorini's office:

15 $480, $195, $5,220, Mercy Hospital, $630, $7,155,

16 $6,255 . And I realize that is not even close to a

17 tax, but I am just trying to make a point that there

18 are some monies coming into our coffers for those areas

19 of property. Community Medical Center, $6360, $6810.

20 And that's all, Mrs. Gatelli. Just, again,

21 informational points that there are some monetary fees

22 coming in from some of the non-profits. I just want to

23 make sure that record is -- information is fair and on

24 the record. Thank you, and that is all.

25 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.


1 Mr. Courtright.

2 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes, thank you. My

3 mom volunteers at the American Red Cross and she asked

4 that I read this off. The Scranton Chapter of the

5 American Red Cross will host its 17th annual

6 fundraising auction on April 1. All proceeds will

7 strengthen the local Red Cross funds.

8 And it's still not too late to buy

9 tickets. There's a silent auction and a live auction.

10 For further information you can contact Cindy at

11 207-0109.

12 As times goes on, we're compiling the

13 street list. I have some more, Kay. The 2300 and 2400

14 block of Swetland, the 200 and 300 block of Merrifield,

15 Oxford Street from Tenth Avenue down to Meridian

16 Street.

17 And I believe we have mentioned these

18 before, I'm not quite sure, Parrot Avenue from Sloan to

19 Locust, Washburn, and I'll give it to you, Kay, so you

20 don't have to write all this fast, Washburn Street from

21 the 1200 to the 1600, and I got a request for the 1600

22 block of Division Street, and Pike Street, we've been

23 working on. We haven't gotten far on that, but we're

24 working on it.

25 A little over a year ago, maybe more


1 than over a year ago, I attended and other Council

2 members did a hearing, not a meeting, but a meeting up

3 at PennDOT in Dunmore about Birney Avenue, and

4 afterwards it was followed up with a meeting here and

5 Representative Cawley got involved, and this past

6 Sunday I was at a fundraiser with my friend Eddie and

7 his grandson, and as we tried to get across the street,

8 sure enough, cars came speeding by and we had to pull

9 his grandson back.

10 So, Kay, if we could ask PennDOT where

11 do we stand on making that a one way. I don't know if

12 we've gotten anywhere as of yet, but if they could just

13 update us on that, I would appreciate it.

14 And Les Spindler, you'll be happy to

15 know, Les, did he leave, yeah, Lieutenant Thomas called

16 me and he said there will be the no parking sign put up

17 in that location on Mulberry Street that you've been

18 concerned about.

19 Mrs. Gatelli brought up a week or two

20 ago about Elm Street. I went by, I checked it all out.

21 They cut the trees down and it's great. Now maybe,

22 Kay, if we could ask the DPW if they can clean the

23 sidewalk area of the Elm Street Bridge there, because

24 it's -- there's no other -- I'm sure there's a sidewalk

25 under all the dirt and debris.


1 But if they can do that, I'm not trying

2 to be greedy here, but we got them down here, maybe

3 they could help us out a little further.

4 And I was given a list by a police

5 officer that I didn't know existed, it's a list of

6 officers that passed away in the line of duty here in

7 the City of Scranton. And there's not a plaque or

8 anything to commemorate those people down there at this

9 new building, so I'm trying to get it to where there

10 had been several trophies from baseball leagues and

11 what else, whatnot, I should say, down in the police

12 department and they're scattered about.

13 And we're trying to get, if we could,

14 some cases to put the trophies in there, and hopefully

15 we will be successful with that. But, also, I'll turn

16 it over maybe to Director Hayes, that we could put a

17 plaque up there for all these officers that did die in

18 the line of duty. So, I'll try to get that and I'll

19 speak with Director Hayes and hopefully we'll be

20 successful. And that's all I have, Ms. Gatelli. Thank

21 you.

22 MS. EVANS: Mr. Courtright, just as a

23 follow-up to what you just said, you sparked a memory.

24 About a year ago when I was over in Cathedral Cemetery,

25 a man drove by who, and I can't recall his name now, an


1 older gentleman who had served on the Scranton Police

2 force, in fact, under Police Chief Pocius, and he told

3 me that when he was young, there were a number of

4 police officers, himself included, who took care of the

5 graves of the deceased police officers of Scranton by

6 placing some type of a marker for Memorial Day on those

7 graves, and he said they did it for many years, and

8 it's no longer done. And he had tried to keep up to

9 this himself, and he's, you know, he's up in years, and

10 surprisingly, there are a number of graves involved.

11 So, maybe if that could be brought up,

12 as well, if there would be anyone interested in

13 reviving that tradition, I think it would be something

14 very nice.

15 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yeah, I know a

16 gentleman, I don't know if he'd want his name mentioned

17 on the air, he's one of the guys I'm dealing with, he's

18 a retired police officer for the trophies. I think he

19 might be interested in something like that. I'll ask

20 him. I don't want to say his name, because I don't

21 know if he wants it on TV here or not, but I will

22 certainly ask him. Thank you.

23 MS. EVANS: Thank you.

24 MS. GATELLI: I just want to ask you a

25 question. You asked about something about PennDOT?


1 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yeah. We met,

2 Mrs. Evans was there, Mr. DiBileo, I think Mr. Pocius,

3 I'm not sure who else well over a year ago about

4 Birney Avenue, we had a meeting there.

5 MS. GATELLI: We did get an answer on

6 that.

7 MS. EVANS: Uh-huh. I thought the

8 answer was it was going to be corrected.

9 MS. GATELLI: No. The answer, I

10 recall, was that it can't be done. You can't make

11 Birney or Pittston a one-way street.

12 MS. EVANS: That was the original

13 response, and then Representative Cawley did not want

14 to accept that response, because it evidently is no

15 solution to the problem, and then it seems there was

16 another response.

17 MS. GATELLI: I never got the second

18 response.


20 MS. GATELLI: And what did they want to

21 do? Make it --

22 MR. COURTRIGHT: They want to make it a

23 one lane, because what happens is they start speeding

24 around each other, and there's been some accidents,

25 some people seriously injured --


1 MS. EVANS: Yes.

2 MR. COURTRIGHT: -- and they want to

3 make -- because it turns into one lane. It's one lane

4 before. It's only two lanes for approximately a mile,

5 if that, and then it turns into one lane again. So,

6 Representative Cawley didn't take no for an answer.

7 But nothing has been done yet. I just

8 wanted to see where they're at. If they are going to

9 do it, when are they going to turn it into one lane?

10 There were some other suggestions made

11 on crosswalks, but --

12 MS. EVANS: Yeah, but they said that

13 wasn't feasible.

14 MR. COURTRIGHT: -- the fear was if

15 somebody was stopped to let somebody cross the street,

16 the person behind them would go around them and we'd

17 have more problems.

18 So, the best solution that could be had

19 was one lane. So, if they're going to do that, could I

20 just find out when? That's it. Thanks.

21 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.

22 MR. MCTIERNAN: Could I have one

23 minute?

24 MS. GATELLI: Yes, absolutely.

25 MR. MCTIERNAN: Mr. Courtright made me


1 think of something that I should clarify. Over the

2 past few weeks there have been a large number of police

3 vehicles park at Scranton High School, and there's been

4 a lot of talk at what those police vehicles were there

5 for.

6 I need to let you know that in a joint

7 effort with the city and the school district, the

8 police department has been surveying our building

9 looking at our emergency evacuation planning and making

10 plans with the physical plant of our building, so that

11 in the need of action by the police department and in

12 an emergency, they're prepared with knowledge of our

13 building. So, that has been going on for approximately

14 the last three weeks. So, there hasn't been a major

15 catastrophe there. There has been some good planning.

16 Thanks for reminding me of that.

17 And I want to thank the police

18 department for their efforts on behalf of our students.

19 Thank you.

20 MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Garvey.





25 PENNSYLVANIA, 18508, FOR THE SUM OF $2,000.00.


1 MS. GATELLI: At this time I'll

2 entertain a motion that 5-B be introduced into its

3 proper committee.

4 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.


6 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All

7 those in favor, signify by saying aye.

8 MS. EVANS: Aye.




12 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The ayes

13 have it and so moved.





18 PENNSYLVANIA, 18505, FOR THE SUM OF $3,500.00.

19 MS. GATELLI: I'll entertain a motion

20 that Item 5-C be introduced.

21 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.


23 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All

24 those in favor, signify by saying aye.

25 MS. EVANS: Aye.





4 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The ayes

5 have it and so moved.






11 EXPIRE ON JUNE 1, 2010.

12 MS. GATELLI: At this time I'll

13 entertain a motion that 5-D be introduced.

14 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.


16 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All

17 those in favor, signify by saying aye.

18 MS. EVANS: Aye.




22 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The ayes

23 have it and so moved.

24 MS. GARVEY: Sixth order. There's no

25 business at this time. Seventh order. 7-A was taken


1 out of order earlier in the meeting and was unanimously

2 voted down. So, we'll proceed with 7-B.

3 MR. COURTRIGHT: Kay, could I interrupt

4 you a second? Do we still need to vote on this or no,

5 Mr. Minora?

6 MR. MINORA: I believe you already

7 have.

8 MS. GATELLI: Yeah, we did.

9 MR. MINORA: I think by taking it out

10 of order and voting, it's now done.

11 MR. COURTRIGHT: All right.








19 MS. GATELLI: As chairperson for the

20 committee on rules, I recommend final passage of 7-B.

21 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.

22 MS. GATELLI: On the question? Roll

23 call.

24 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.

25 MS. EVANS: Yes.


1 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci.


3 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McTiernan.


5 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.


7 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.

8 MS. GATELLI: Yes. I hereby declare

9 Item 7-B legally and lawfully adopted. Can I have a

10 motion to adjourn?

11 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.

12 MS. GATELLI: Second. All in favor?

13 Adjourned.














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


3 I hereby certify that the proceedings and

4 evidence are contained fully and accurately in the

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

6 that this copy is a correct transcript of the same

7 to the best of my ability.



11 Official Court Reporter