1 SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING
6 Thursday, May 4, 2006
10 6:30 p.m.
14 Council Chambers
15 Scranton City Hall
16 340 North Washington Avenue
17 Scranton, Pennsylvania
22 Lisa M. Graff, RMR
23 Court Reporter
1 CITY OF SCRANTON COUNCIL:
3 MS. JUDY GATELLI, COUNCIL PRESIDENT
5 MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT, VICE-PRESIDENT
7 MS. JANET EVANS
9 MR. ROBERT McTIERNAN
11 MR. AMIL MINORA, ESQUIRE, SOLICITOR
13 MS. KAY GARVEY, CITY CLERK
15 MR. NEIL COOLICAN, ASSISTANT CITY CLERK
1 MS. GATELLI: Okay. Please stand for
2 the Pledge Of Allegiance. Please remain standing for a
3 moment of reflection. Roll call.
4 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.
5 MS. EVANS: Here.
6 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci.
7 Mr. McTiernan.
8 MR. MCTIERNAN: Here.
9 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.
10 MR. COURTRIGHT: Here.
11 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.
12 MS. GATELLI: Present. I would just
13 like to inform the public that Mrs. Fanucci wrote us a
14 letter today. She is absent due to a health-related
15 issue. Thank you.
16 And I'd also like to make a motion that
17 Mrs. Evans be the temporary chair for community
18 development this evening.
19 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
20 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All in
22 MS. EVANS: Aye.
23 MR. MCTIERNAN: Aye.
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
25 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The ayes
1 have it and so moved. Dispense with the reading of the
3 MS. GARVEY: Third order. Mine is not
4 working. Wait a minute. Third order, there's no
5 business at this time. And there are no clerk's notes
6 to report this week.
7 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. I have some
8 items I'd like to discuss, the first thing is, I would
9 like to thank the Girls Scouts, the Scranton Pocono
10 Girl Scouts Council from Madison Avenue. They have
11 been so kind as to donate $250 in lieu of taxes. We
12 certainly do appreciate all the people that are
13 volunteering without even being asked. It's really
14 wonderful that they care so much about our community,
15 and I'd like to thank them.
16 The next item is starting tomorrow, the
17 art galleries are sponsoring a free trolley ride
18 through the downtown between six and eight o'clock
19 tomorrow night.
20 Some of the stores will be open, and
21 the trolley will take you to the various art galleries
22 and the various stores. And I have a flier here, if
23 anyone else would care to look at it, but it involves
24 some of the stores in the downtown, and it will have
25 some of the artists' work.
1 The second thing is the VFW Post 25 has
2 invited everyone to a Memorial Day tribute on May 29 at
3 noon at Nay Aug Park.
4 The next item is I finally received an
5 answer from PEL. In the letter they stated that they
6 have received to date from the state $1,747,602.
7 As you can see, that's quite a bit of
8 money, and the Recovery Plan still hasn't done anything
9 for our community. Maybe they should have donated that
10 $1.7 million to the citizens.
11 I also don't think that that -- I don't
12 think that it's an accurate amount. I think that it is
13 higher, so I have some people investigating that that
14 have some know-how and some innovative ways of looking
15 for things like that. So, that's still on hold,
16 because I don't think it's correct, but that's what the
17 letter said.
18 Tripps Park, no further punch list
19 items have been addressed to date.
20 FCore, someone asked about FCore, it
21 has been condemned by the SRA, and the owner has filed
22 preliminary objections.
23 There was a telephone pole leaning over
24 near the Hollywood Tan on the top of Green Ridge
25 Street. That has been reported to P&L.
1 I have a meeting schedule d, I don't
2 see Mr. Ancherani here yet, but I have a meeting
3 scheduled with Lisa Moran and Ann Marie Stulgis next
4 week concerning the Veterans' pay. I did that, because
5 I was getting conflicting answers. I'd go to one
6 person and get one story, one person and get another
7 story, so I said instead of going back and forth, maybe
8 we should get together and bring all your papers and
9 we'll see what's what. If any other Council member
10 would like to come with me, please let me know.
11 The next thing is the meeting on the
12 arbitration. I did meet with the mayor and several of
13 his cabinet concerning the arbitration, but I think
14 that all of Council should be involved in that
15 concerning Council's idea not to appeal the
17 So, the mayor said for Council to get
18 together and pick a time that's convenient, and we will
19 meet in executive session to discuss the negotiations
20 with the police department.
21 So, we'll get together after the
22 meeting and decide on a date. Probably next week
23 before the meeting is convenient for everybody.
24 The other thing that I wanted to tell
25 you is about the 500 block of Lackawanna Avenue.
1 Mr. Rinaldi did meet with the mayor yesterday. They
2 are finalizing the grant application that is to go to
3 the state. And when that is finalized, John Blake from
4 the governor's office will come here with Mr. Rinaldi
5 and we will get full details as to what the project
6 actually is.
7 And the last thing is, the potholes
8 that were repaired this week, 1100 Ash Street,
9 800 Roberts court, 400 of Birch Street, Alpha Street,
10 Hamm Court and Pear Street, 1415 Pine Street,
11 1828 Ferdinand, North Main and Philo, South Main and
12 Luzerne, New Street and Wyoming, 1400 block of Church
13 Street, 400 of Walsh Street, Cherry Street, 800 of
14 Morgan Court, 700 of Boland Court, 900 of Spellman, 900
15 of Roundwood, 1500 Oram, 1100 Fairfield, 1403 St. Ann,
16 1000 Blair, 700 Forrest, 700 Monroe, 1000 and 1100 of
17 Harrington, Main and Price, 1400 of Dorothy, 400 of
18 New Street, and Wolfe Court.
19 And, also, the railroad crossing that
20 Mrs. Jones talked about last week at Cherry and
21 Washington will be -- they are putting arms on there
22 and will probably go out to bid next month, and it will
23 be done before the end of the year. I talked to Larry
24 Malski of the Lackawanna County Railroad Authority.
25 And that's all I have. Does anyone else have?
1 MS. EVANS: Yes.
2 MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Evans.
3 MS. EVANS: First, on May 6, 2006 at
4 the Holy Rosary Auditorium in North Scranton, there
5 will be a community fundraiser to benefit Brittany
6 Gallagher, daughter of Kevin and Robin Gallagher of
7 North Scranton in her continued fight with an ongoing
8 illness requiring numerous surgical and medical
10 The proceeds will assist the Gallagher
11 Family in offsetting the costs associated with the
12 surgeries and the extended stay away from home. All
13 donations will be greatly appreciated and will go a
14 long way in helping our community to help our friends.
15 As we stated, the Gallagher Family
16 cannot do this alone, and with your help, they won't
17 have to. Thank you in advance for your kindness and
18 generosity. And, any checks may be made payable to the
19 Brittany Gallagher Benefit.
20 Also, volunteers are needed for John
21 Denver's Earth Camp for kids scheduled for the week of
22 June 19 through 23 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.
23 The camp will be held at Nay Aug Park in Scranton and
24 will serve children in grades three through six.
25 Volunteers will assist the campers with the many
1 environmentally focused activities planned throughout
2 the week. And you can contact Mrs. Ann Marie McCrone
3 at 961-2794, 961-2794, if you are interested in
4 volunteering for that project.
5 And on Sunday May 7, 2006 at 1:30 at
6 Scranton High School, there will be a fundraiser for
7 Michael Hall, a student at West Scranton Immediate
8 School who is trying to raise money to attend the
9 People to People International Ambassador Program.
10 This particular event is being very
11 generously run and sponsored by school resource
12 officers. So, I'm hoping that I'll see many of you
14 And then lastly, I wanted to bring up
15 an issue that seems to be, oh, maybe a bit troublesome
16 for some individuals.
17 Over the past several months, I have
18 received complaints from city residents, specifically
19 senior citizens, about houses without address numbers.
20 They are very worried that emergency vehicles,
21 specifically ambulances, fire trucks, and police
22 vehicles experience slower response times as they
23 search for address numbers on homes.
24 Now, I had made that request, as I
25 said, a few months back, and because the Department of
1 Licensing inspections and permits are terribly
2 overworked and understaffed, it's difficult for them to
3 actually be able to send all of the workers out simply
4 on that mission, so their response was when they would
5 notice such a situation, numbers missing, that they
6 would speak with the homeowner and request that they
7 would put numbers on their house.
8 And then as the months past, again,
9 senior citizens approached me and asked why nothing had
10 occurred, you know, that the same houses still lacked
11 the address numbers, and, so, I brought it up again and
12 Council, I believe, two weeks ago, in the hope that
13 numbers would be placed on every property, so that in
14 the event, God forbid, of any emergency, we're not
15 going to lose anyone or lose a home because our public
16 safety departments can't find that location swiftly
18 But I learned today that the Department
19 of Permits, Inspections and Licensing has been sending,
20 maybe they've conducted a sweep, it would appear to be
21 so from the ZIP code, but, nevertheless, they've sent
22 certified mail to citizens in one section of Scranton.
23 It appears to be West Scranton coincidentally.
24 And I don't know what the letter
25 actually says, but I know that our office received a
1 number of calls today, because in addition to the
2 notification from Permits, Inspections and Licensing,
3 they've also attached a letter stating that it's signed
4 by our city clerk and stating that I had ordered this
5 to be done to them.
6 Well, I'm going to set the record
7 straight tonight, that is not what was ordered. I
8 never at any time specified that letters were to be
9 sent out by certified mail or that individuals were to
10 be cited immediately, because that doesn't occur in any
11 other instance.
12 When an inspector goes out on a call to
13 a home with abandoned -- maybe with junk vehicles that
14 are presenting a safety hazard or something on the
15 property that must be removed, like tires and
16 appliances, et cetera, no one has received this type of
18 So, I would suggest tonight, since
19 evidently money is being spent on certified mail, I
20 would direct the department to stop sending these
21 certified letters. And what I would prefer to be done
22 is that you take that money and you purchase numbers
23 for homes. And when you conduct a sweep and you see
24 that there are homes lacking addresses, simply post the
25 numbers on the home for the individual, and that solves
1 the problem.
2 And, again, this was not done with the
3 knowledge, consent of any Council member or myself.
4 This has been ordered through the Department of
5 Licensing, Inspections and Permits.
6 And so, for the unfortunate individuals
7 who have been the, let's say, the victims of the office
8 or this misunderstanding, I would suggest that you
9 contact that office and, as I said, if I -- if I am
10 empowered to give orders, my order is buy numbers and
11 post them for people, and the problem is solved very,
12 very easily.
13 Because it was never my intention or
14 anyone else's on this Council to upset any of our city
15 residents. The purpose was to help. But somehow, and
16 I fear because it's election time, somehow this has
17 been twisted and distorted into something it was never
18 meant to be.
19 And, so, I will apologize for that
20 office, and I am hoping that now we have it cleared up
21 and we're just going to do the easy thing and the right
22 thing. Thank you.
23 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Anyone else?
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: Judy, can I just say
25 one thing, if you don't mind? Kay, before I forget,
1 could we ask Mr. Parker to give us a weekly update on
2 the punch list from the Tripps Park development just so
3 we know how that's progressing, if more things are
4 getting done? I think if we don't keep on top of it,
5 it might just fall to the wayside. So, if he could
6 just on a weekly basis let us know what's going on up
7 there, I'd appreciate that.
8 MS. GARVEY: Okay.
9 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you. That's it
11 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else?
12 MS. EVANS: Mr. Courtright, we've
13 invited Mr. Parker to a caucus, a public caucus. I
14 don't know that he will attend, but if he does, I'm
15 sure you could devote five or ten minutes of that to a
16 discussion of the Tripp Park development problems.
17 MS. GATELLI: Would anyone from the
18 Junior Council care to speak?
19 MR. MILLER: Good evening, Council.
20 Doug Miller. I would like to remind everyone that this
21 Saturday is our planting and cleanup project at the
22 Green Ridge Islands. I encourage everyone to come down
23 and give us a hand.
24 I would also like to invite all of the
25 City Council members to please come and volunteer. We
1 would appreciate it.
2 Earlier this week I received a phone
3 call from a family member of a student who has also
4 been chosen as a student ambassador to visit and
5 represent our country in Italy, France and Greece this
7 I think it would be appropriate if the
8 kids that are going all receive proclamations after we
9 receive a list of all the students going.
10 Mrs. Evans, you mentioned a student
11 tonight. Myself, as well as the rest of the Council,
12 are very proud of these kids and we wish them the best
13 of luck. Thank you.
14 And at this time if any other Junior
15 Council member would like to address Council, please do
16 so at this time. Thank you.
17 MS. GATELLI: I did receive a note from
18 another mother, her daughter is also going. She's from
19 Scranton High School. Cassandra Brady. She's a
21 MS. ORGAN: Hello. Katrina Organ, the
22 Junior Council. I'd just like, like Doug said, to
23 invite everyone.
24 Though the project officially starts at
25 11, we could use help from adults to start the
1 preparation, and the Junior Council will be there at
2 nine o'clock, if anyone would like to come early.
3 The rain date for this project is the
4 next Saturday, the 13th. But this rain date will only
5 be used in case of, like, extreme weather. It is
6 supposed to shower, but we're not going to cancel
7 unless it's pouring.
8 We would also like anyone who's coming
9 to bring watering cans, shovels, spades and gardening
10 gloves. Pizza will be served around 12:30 or one
11 o'clock. And that will just be a short break, and then
12 after the completion of the project, we will serve the
13 hot dogs donated by Scooter's Hot Dog Hut. So, I'd
14 just like everyone to come out and have a good time.
15 Thank you.
16 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.
17 MS. EVANS: Thank you.
18 MR. PIAZZA: Good evening, Council.
19 I'm James Piazza from Scranton High School. This
20 Saturday, May 6, the Scranton City Council invites
21 everyone to join us in our planting activity. It will
22 be held at the Green Ridge Islands on Woodlawn Street
23 from eleven to 3 p.m.
24 I would like to thank all the
25 businesses that donated to this event. The businesses
1 that are helping us are making this project successful
2 and an enjoyable experience for everyone.
3 The activity will benefit the City of
4 Scranton by enhancing its appearance. It also shows
5 that we care about our city and want to see it move
7 We are the future leaders who will try
8 to make Scranton the best city around. I have learned
9 a lot from being on the Junior Council, and I am
10 excited by taking action and being part of this
11 beneficial planting activity.
12 By being on the Council, I learned
13 about KOZs, non-profits and many other issues dealing
14 with the city. I look forward to learning more about
15 local government. By all of us working together, we
16 can move Scranton into the future. Thank you.
17 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Anyone else?
18 Mrs. Garvey.
19 MS. GARVEY: Fourth order. Citizens
21 MS. GATELLI: Don McKeon.
22 MR. MCKEON: Good evening. My name is
23 Don McKeon, and I work for the City of Scranton as a
24 housing inspector in the Department of Licensing and
1 I'm here tonight to encourage City
2 Council to take a more proactive approach against the
3 citywide problem of graffiti vandalism which has been
4 increasing lately throughout many of our city
6 Some of you may know that I have worked
7 for years, both as a city employee, and as a private
8 citizen, in trying my best to eradicate, or at the very
9 least, control this type of activity.
10 I am glad to say that a few years ago
11 the city adopted an amendment to our BOCA property
12 maintenance code, which gives all housing inspectors
13 enforcement capabilities in trying to clean up this
15 Unfortunately it is not perfect, since
16 the obligation to remove the graffiti is left up to the
17 owner of the properties, who themselves have been
19 I'm here tonight to proposes and
20 encourage the following, number one, that all citizens
21 realize that graffiti vandalism is a crime and should
22 be reported immediately to the police; two, that all
23 businesses in the City of Scranton be reminded that
24 they are prohibited from selling spray paint and/or
25 indelible markers to anyone under the age of 18 as per
1 city ordinance, File of Council No. 63 of the year
2 1996. If convicted, this summary offense carries with
3 it a maximum of $300 fine, that every effort be made to
4 remove the graffiti quickly, as it creates a blight
5 situation in our neighborhoods.
6 It is particularly insidious, in that
7 it not only ages real estate values, but it also saps
8 the spirit of our city.
9 Graffiti vandalism not only destroys
10 the physical fabric of buildings, but the social fabric
11 of communities, that cleaning up graffiti cannot be a
12 one-shot effort.
13 A police crackdown is needed on
14 apprehending these type of vandals. Prevention is key,
15 and I urge that our public schools and/or local police
16 institute cooperative programs which help our young
17 people seek constructive ways to express themselves,
18 that the city itself help in the removal process of
19 graffiti on abandoned buildings and on any city related
20 property by purchasing equipment needed for such
21 removal, that all neighborhood groups throughout the
22 city conduct periodic volunteer cleanups in their
23 respective areas, and finally, that City Council
24 resurrect the now defunct anti-graffiti task force
25 which was comprised of law enforcement officers, city
1 business and community leaders and others who are
2 interested in keeping our city clean and blight free.
3 Thank you.
4 MS. GATELLI: Mr. McKeon, did someone
5 get assigned to you from the police department to help
6 with graffiti?
7 MR. MCKEON: I did receive a name. I
8 have not been in contact yet with that police officer,
9 but, yes, I did receive a name.
10 And what I do is take photos, such as
11 what we see here. Unfortunately you're talking about
12 development in the 500 block of Lackawanna Avenue, and
13 I'm really looking forward to that.
14 This is a planter in the 500 block of
15 Lackawanna Avenue. Clearly visible to anyone coming
16 into the city. And as you can see, this city, though,
17 did try their best to remove this, but I think we lack
18 the proper equipment to be able to do so.
19 That's one example. There are many
20 others which you're free to look at, which, you know,
21 are throughout the city in various areas and certainly
22 need attention.
23 This is a copy, also, of a placard we
24 had made up many, many years ago to give out to
25 businesses which state the ordinance adopted by the
1 city in 1996, telling that graffiti is against the law
2 and what the repercussions are. Thank you for
4 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Andy
6 MR. SBARAGLIA: Good evening. Andy
7 Sbaraglia, citizen of Scranton. Fellow Scrantonians, I
8 see we're Coming back now with the old DPW site, the
9 site we used to own and we leased it for a dollar a
11 Under the first contract it was a
12 dollar a year for 198 years, and then was amended to be
13 $600,000. He still has the option of keeping that
14 parcel for 99 years for a dollar, but if he wants to
15 buy it, he has to pay $600,000.
16 Now, I see the mayor again -- first of
17 all, it wasn't a good deal in the beginning for the
18 taxpayers. We owned the DPW site at that point. We
19 don't own one today. We lease one and we paid for it
20 three different times. And what are you going to do?
21 But unfortunately, it's the way it goes. In this city
22 it goes that way.
23 But here's what he wants now. Now, if
24 you read the original, I don't know if anybody read the
25 original, but I did read it, they were supposed to pay
1 $600,000 in one clip.
2 Now, it says, Subject to all terms of
3 this agreement, the authority agrees to sell the
4 property to the Redevelopment for and the Redevelopment
5 agrees to purchase property from the authority and pay
6 therefore the amount of $600,000 to be paid in 20-year
7 lease installments of $30,000.
8 Now, we went from $600,000 down to
9 $30,000, and we don't pay any interest on this money.
10 We don't get a penny interest on this money.
11 Never in my life have I seen it. If
12 you follow this saga from the early beginning, okay,
13 that site was not a KOZ. That was given a KOZ in the
14 second round. That site was appraised originally for
15 over a million and a half. I think it was -- maybe
16 not, maybe $1,200,000, if I remember right, and they
17 claimed they couldn't get any buyers.
18 But at this point now, we are a 1-A
19 city. Our laws are under 1-A. And according to 1-A
20 laws, I had this done with a lawyer at the time this
21 came out, and he said, When they agreed to sell it,
22 they have to offer that property up at public auction.
23 They can't do it behind closed doors.
24 If they declare this property to be no
25 longer needed, then they have to offer for sale.
1 This property is now a KOZ; hence, the
2 value has went up on this piece of parcel. And I
3 believe we should auction it.
4 This property should be auctioned off,
5 like the law allows, instead of close to it. This was
6 a done deal, a back-door deal. This wasn't an upfront
7 deal, or we would never have lost our DPW site. We
8 would have had the new DPW site where the old one is,
9 because that's where it should have been.
10 But unfortunately things in this city
11 always go by way of the back door. Things happen that
12 shouldn't happen, but they did.
13 If you looked at the original
14 legislation on this, there was Spregman Hegweich back
15 there where The Icebox is now, they're built on the
16 Spregman Hegweich site, and that was a KOZ. But the
17 front part of where our buildings were wasn't a KOZ.
18 But when they came around, the state
19 gave out another option for KOZs, that was given a KOZ,
20 even though Burke had already had the option on it.
21 And that's not quite fair.
22 Now that we have a KOZ and we have a
23 piece of property there, I think it should be up for
24 bids and not closed for 30 years -- I mean, 20 years at
25 $30,000. I mean, that's ridiculous.
1 But anyway, let's get on to this $4
2 million grant. Now, I'm not going to say anything
3 wrong with a grant, but what are they going to use --
4 the Parking Authority going to do with this grant for
5 the Medallion? What's the $4 million for, being they
6 already took a bond on it? Why did they need the $4
7 million grant? Is it to pay off the bond? Are the
8 bonds callable?
9 In the legislation it didn't exactly
10 say what they were going to use the money for, other
11 than saying if they use it in the wrong way, we have to
12 pay it back. And there's a good possibility that they
13 can be using it the wrong way, because they already got
14 their money when they sold the bonds.
15 So, I know you're going to be voting on
16 it. I had nothing against the grant. I just wanted to
17 make sure that we are not going to be held up later on
18 saying that you took out the bond. You can't take out
19 a grant to pay off a bond, because they said that
20 before. You can't use CommD money or some kind of
21 money to pay off a debtness. Okay. Thank you.
22 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Ray Lyman.
23 MR. LYMAN: Raymond Lyman. Wait a
24 minute. I would like to thank City Council, Mr.
25 Santolli and the tree trimming crew for doing a
1 wonderful job, for cutting the trees in the 300 block
2 of Phelps Street. The tree company made a sure -- a
3 wonderful job on trimming the trees from -- a wonderful
4 job on cutting the trees. They did a good job.
5 Now I want to talk about our
6 neighborhood, what happened. Now, last week two kids
7 were hit by a car in front of John Adams, and they --
8 the -- and I know this, because a person told me he
9 witnessed it.
10 And they -- I know that the two kids
11 broke their legs, because it was right in front of the
12 school. And on Ash Street, a kid almost got abducted.
13 He was lucky that the person didn't grab them, but
14 almost got grabbed.
15 And on Capouse Avenue, the guy who does
16 bartending at the Juke Box, his car was set on fire,
17 vandalism. And on Phelps Street, we had people spray
18 painted people's cars.
19 This guy said that it's only a $300
20 fine and that's it. It should be $1,000 fine and three
21 years in jail for selling spray paint. That's my
23 Now, last Saturday I was coming from
24 town, two people came behind me, and I was robbed. I
25 called the Scranton Police. They took an hour and a
1 half to come to me to -- I should say my house, and it
2 was ridiculous.
3 So, I called my friend Dave, who was a
4 state police officer, and they came to my house within
5 five minutes. I made a report with the State Police,
6 and then I went to the, you know, to look at the books.
7 And they're still, I don't know, they're investigating.
8 The Scranton Police came an hour and a
9 half later. They were outraged that I called the State
10 Police. They said, You shouldn't have did that. And I
11 said to them, well, you should have came within five
12 minutes. I said, if I was a friend of Mayor Doherty,
13 he'd be here in two minutes. And they were hollering
14 at me, and I was a victim.
15 And my uncle, he was a Scranton Police
16 Officer, Richie Keiper, and he died after his job, you
17 know, was off duty. And I think it's kind of
18 ridiculous it took an hour and a half. And I called
20 Tuesday I went down to the 911 center.
21 I asked to get a copy of the tape. The first guy told
22 me they didn't have it. Then I asked the second
23 person. They had it, but they couldn't find it.
24 This is how ridiculous the county
25 commissioners are running that organization. You can't
1 find the tape, but -- I said I called the Scranton
2 Police twice. The first time I called the 348, you
3 know, the number, and then I called 911.
4 And, Mr. Courtright, you are supposed
5 to be part of the Scranton Police, and, in your
6 opinion, Mayor Doherty says there's no crime, and I
7 think this is kind of ridiculous. He don't want to do
8 his job. I think someone else should get in there and
9 do his job or have him impeached.
10 In California they recalled the mayor
11 -- the governor out of California for not doing his
12 job. I think we can recall this mayor out. He's not
13 doing his job. Crime is running rampant in this city,
14 and people are getting hurt.
15 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Lyman, I just have a
16 question for you, don't you have a community justice
17 program in Pine Brook?
18 MR. LYMAN: No.
19 MS. GATELLI: I read about it in the
21 MR. COURTRIGHT: That police substation
22 is closed. When Mary Chilipko is there, it's just her,
23 but we have no one from the district attorney's office.
24 MS. GATELLI: Yes, there has to be. I
25 think it's Paul Ware.
1 MR. LYMAN: There's no one there.
2 MS. EVANS: Well, they're not on duty
3 24 hours a day, Mr. Lyman, because --
4 MR. LYMAN: Well, I went down there,
5 there's no one there.
6 MS. EVANS: Well, there are certain
7 days and times at which Attorney Ware is available,
8 because -- Mr. Lyman, wait.
9 MR. LYMAN: That lady, the one that was
10 at yours, you know that lady district attorney, that
11 assistant --
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: Mrs. Lafferty.
13 MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Lafferty.
14 MR. LYMAN: She was there the first day
15 when they had the opening, when Mayor Doherty was
16 there, and she was there. Other than that, there was
17 no one from the district attorney's office. I could
18 vouch for that.
19 MS. GATELLI: Well, you must have a
20 police officer assigned there.
21 MR. LYMAN: Yeah, a police officer
22 there, but we need a beat officer from six o'clock at
23 night to six o'clock in the morning. That's when the
24 crimes occur.
25 MS. GATELLI: You don't have a beat
1 officer there?
2 MR. LYMAN: Only once in a while. We
3 don't have it every day.
4 MS. GATELLI: Well, you should. It was
5 on our schedule.
6 MR. COURTRIGHT: Five days a week.
7 MS. EVANS: Also, getting back to
8 Attorney Ware, Mr. Lyman, he is shared among the Green
9 Ridge Neighborhood Association, the North Scranton
10 Notion Association and Pine Brook, so that is why he's
11 really not available on a daily basis to any area.
12 There are certain days and times, but I can -- I just
13 wanted to add that --
14 MR. LYMAN: Well, my friend, who runs a
15 business in Pine Brook, told me if the Scranton Police
16 didn't want to do their job, you go to the Attorney
17 General, and he made a complaint for me to go to the
18 Attorney General, because that was kind of ridiculous
19 that the Scranton cops didn't do their job.
20 MR. COURTRIGHT: Ray, give me the date
21 and time this happened, and I'll find out what
22 happened. If it took them an hour and a half to get
23 there, there's got to be a reason.
24 MR. LYMAN: Last Saturday.
25 MR. COURTRIGHT: Last Saturday at what
1 time, Ray?
2 MR. LYMAN: 4:30.
3 MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay. I'll find out
4 why it took them so long.
5 MR. LYMAN: I don't know who the cops
7 MR. COURTRIGHT: All right. Calm down.
8 MR. LYMAN: I couldn't got their badge
10 MR. COURTRIGHT: If it took them an
11 hour and a half, which I find it hard to believe --
12 MR. LYMAN: The cop told me they
13 couldn't get the call. They couldn't get the call on
14 their -- the one officer said they couldn't get it on
15 their scanner.
16 MS. GATELLI: Scanner.
17 MR. LYMAN: The scanner on their patrol
19 MR. COURTRIGHT: I'll find out and I'll
20 let you know, how's that?
21 MR. LYMAN: But I think it's kind of
22 ridiculous that I'm paying money for them to -- they
23 should have patrol cars that they can listen when
24 someone's crying for help.
25 MS. GATELLI: Thank you, Mr. Lyman.
1 MR. LYMAN: I'm going to start caring
2 my gun, and I'm going to do the job that someone should
4 MR. COURTRIGHT: Don't do that.
5 MS. EVANS: Mr. Lyman, the day that I
6 was walking Pine Brook with Mary Chilipko and Mr.
7 Santolli, I saw a police car, and this was maybe --
8 MR. LYMAN: Yeah, that was from Central
9 City and it goes --
10 MS. EVANS: -- four o'clock in the
11 afternoon. But for the hour that I was there, I saw a
12 police car driving through three different times, and
13 Mrs. Chilipko --
14 MR. LYMAN: What date was that?
15 MS. EVANS: I didn't write down the
16 date, Ray, but Mrs. Chilipko even mention to myself and
17 to Mrs. Santolli how much --
18 MR. LYMAN: I'm not saying the Scranton
19 cops don't go down there.
20 MS. GATELLI: Ray, we're not getting
21 into a debate, please.
22 MS. EVANS: -- safer everyone feels and
23 what a good job the police were doing.
24 MR. LYMAN: I'm not saying that the
25 cops don't do their job, I'm just saying that they
1 didn't come when I called them, and I had an emergency.
2 MS. GATELLI: We're going to find out
3 for you.
4 MR. LYMAN: And they just told me --
5 but the one cop was arrogant to me. The other one said
6 that they could not get their call on their -- the
8 Now, Ms. Stulgis said at that taxpayer
9 association that the one antenna was, because I was
10 watching a rebroadcast Sunday -- or was it Sunday, I
11 think it was, that the one antenna, they put it
12 backwards and they couldn't receive it from tack one or
13 tack two, I think they call it, Mr. Courtright.
14 MR. COURTRIGHT: Ray, how about this?
15 I will find out for you. Leave your number with Neil.
16 MR. COOLICAN: He knows my number.
17 MR. COURTRIGHT: Give it to him again,
18 would you please? I will find out for you, I will call
19 you and tell you why it took so --
20 MR. LYMAN: I'll give it after the
22 MR. COURTRIGHT: -- long, and we'll
23 have an answer for you, okay?
24 MR. LYMAN: Because I already made a
25 report with the State Police. I wouldn't make it with
1 the Scranton Police, because I was fed up.
2 MS. GATELLI: All right. We'll take
3 care of it. Mr. Jackowitz.
4 MR. JACKOWITZ: Bill Jackowitz. City
5 resident and taxpayer, retired United States Air force.
6 I'd like to start off this evening by
7 reading a letter that I sent to Mayor Doherty and I
8 also sent to all five City Council members. I hand
9 delivered it myself yesterday.
10 City business is no joking matter. The
11 six of you represent 70,000 citizens of Scranton,
12 Pennsylvania. We currently have citizens losing their
13 houses, working for low paying jobs, in some cases
14 below poverty level, not able to pay bills on time or
15 educate their children.
16 Also in most cases when their children
17 complete their education, they move outside the city
18 and state. There must be a reason for this. It
19 happens far too often.
20 Why? Because there's no future in
21 Scranton, Pennsylvania. The only people who have a
22 chance are the elitists and politically connected.
23 The mayor will not address City Council
24 or his citizens, appointed cabinets officials will not
25 appear before City Council, and they also tell City
1 Council what they will do and not do.
2 Something is wrong with this picture.
3 You continue to spend taxpayers money foolishly, while
4 the citizens receive nothing in return, except tax
5 bills every year.
6 The word jobs is nothing more than a
7 resume filler for a politician. Liveable wages should
8 be more helpful to the citizens.
9 You've asked the citizens to remain
10 calm and respectful towards the Councilpersons. Again,
11 I ask the Councilpersons to remain calm and respectful
12 towards the speakers, and you did that tonight.
13 Sometimes issues become very intense
14 and heated, but we all must show composure. Remember,
15 you are the professionals and the elected officials.
16 Speakers are citizens and taxpayers who
17 sometimes request answers to their concerns. Working
18 together, we'll go a long way.
19 When a question is asked, the citizen
20 should receive an accurate an honest answer. I know
21 that I would not always receive the answer that I would
22 like to hear.
23 Also, when the question is submitted to
24 the administration, it should be submitted correctly.
25 Remember, City Council will be blamed when taxes go up,
1 and we all know that will happen.
2 Mayor Doherty I know that there are
3 many citizens who have questions that they would like
4 answered by their mayor. Please take the suggestion
5 under advisement. Communications, unity, that's the
6 word community.
7 I would like to know why only $150, I
8 repeat, $150 was budgeted for Veterans organizations.
9 Reference Page 61, 2006 city budget. If you only count
10 the Veterans residing at the Gino Merli Center, that
11 would amount to $0.75 a year for a Veteran, I repeat,
12 $0.75 a year for a Veteran. They are voters and
13 citizens, and in most cases, their sacrifices allowed
14 you to be where you are.
15 I understand that this is a state run
16 facility. I only used it as an example, because it was
17 easy to calculate. In comparison, there is $30,428.64
18 budgeted for a chauffeur for the parks and recreation
19 board. Who is this person? I got that answer this
20 afternoon, so I know who that person is, so there's no
21 need to address that. And it is a legitimate job.
22 Hollow Avenue, thank you, Mrs. Evans,
23 for continuing to ask about that.
24 Mr. Courtright, thank you for your
25 response on my letter. I received your E-mail today.
1 Mr. McTiernan, thank you for getting an
2 E-mail address.
3 Also, Mr. McTiernan, could you please,
4 since you're the finance chairman, find out where that
5 $150 was spent on -- for the Veterans in 2005, and
6 also, where it's going to be spent on in the year 2006?
7 And in closing, some of you may
8 remember a comedy show by the name of Hogan's Heroes,
9 some of you may not, but there was a character on
10 Hogan's Heroes by the name of Sergeant Schultz, and
11 Sergeant Schultz's main line all the time was, I know
12 nothing, nothing, nothing.
13 Sometimes I believe that all government
14 agencies and branches of government are controlled and
15 run by Sergeant Schultz. Thank you.
16 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.
17 Mr. Narsavage.
18 MR. NARSAVAGE: Stan Narsavage, city
19 resident. Mrs. Gatelli, this morning there was --
20 MS. GATELLI: Excuse me.
21 MR. NARSAVAGE: You're excused.
22 Mrs. Gatelli, let me say that I concur with everything
23 that McKeon had to offer. I was at the playground this
24 morning. There was still graffiti there. We don't
25 have a beat cop. It's going escalate.
1 I know you're sick of hearing this, but
2 it's going to escalate and get worse and worse. It's
3 not stopping. So, it's really going to be a problem.
4 Mrs. Fanucci is absent, but I'm going
5 to make the same request. This will be my third
6 request for an audit, a HUD audit from June 2005.
7 MS. GATELLI: From when? Excuse me. I
9 MR. NARSAVAGE: June 2005.
10 Mr. Courtright, were you successful in getting anything
11 on the burglaries?
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: Partially, because
13 just what I thought was going to happen, happen. Would
14 you like me to read the response? He gave me a
16 MR. NARSAVAGE: No. I don't want to
17 take my time. Maybe you can give me a copy or --
18 MR. COURTRIGHT: Could you hold his
19 time, Kay, so I can read the response? Is that okay?
20 All right. She'll hold your time.
21 Dave Elliott sent me this, and
22 evidently he responded to me before I sent the second
23 letter saying burglary. So, I'll just read to you what
24 he gave me.
25 In response to your letter I received
1 on April 27, 2006 regarding recent robberies in the
2 City of Scranton, I've compiled the following data for
4 April 3, 2006, 214 Hollister Avenue;
5 April 10, 2006, 100 Cedar Avenue; April 24, 2006, 600
6 North Washington Avenue, and April 26, 2006, 552 Front
8 There's a misconception between robbery
9 and burglary. Many people say they were robbed, when
10 they were actually burglarized. So, I do not know if
11 you were really looking for burglary statistics or
12 robbery stats included. So, we got the robbery, not
13 the burglary.
14 I know that you are aware of the
15 difference spending a lot of time with the police
16 department, but your fellow Council members may not be
17 and also citizens may not.
18 I have included a brief description of
19 the two references, and I'll read it quickly for you.
20 Robbery, the physical taking or removing of property
21 from an individual with force however slight and/or
22 threaten bodily harm, inflicts bodily harm in the
23 course of committing a theft.
24 And a burglary is if a person enters a
25 building or occupied structure with intent to commit a
1 crime therein, unless the business at the time is open
2 for business.
3 If you're looking for actual burglaries
4 for April, there were total of 40. We do not have them
5 listed. This includes all businesses and residences,
6 whether anything was taken or not. If there's anything
7 additional, I can help. Feel free to contact me. And
8 that was from Chief David Elliott.
9 So, we got the total number of 40. If
10 you like, I could send a letter asking him to list
11 which ones.
12 MR. NARSAVAGE: No, that's not
13 necessary. What I would like to know is how that
14 compares with the same month and time last year.
15 MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay. I could ask
16 that. Kay, could we --
17 MR. NARSAVAGE: Could we find that out?
18 MR. COURTRIGHT: Sure. Could we ask
19 Dave to compare it to last year at this time? So, we
20 got a response at least.
21 MR. NARSAVAGE: Thank you very much.
22 MR. COURTRIGHT: You're welcome.
23 MR. NARSAVAGE: Appreciate it.
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: You're welcome.
25 MR. NARSAVAGE: There's still things
1 going on. In West Side a lady was hit in the head with
2 a hammer and stabbed; a shooting on North Washington
3 Avenue near Cooper's, a motorcyclist shot in the back;
4 an alleged entry in West Side of a senior gentleman,
5 face was covered with a pillow, almost passed out and
6 was robbed of a small amount of money.
7 What are we going to have to do? You
8 know, that's rhetorical, I, you know. Crime just keeps
9 going up and everybody is still denying there's crime
10 here. I don't know whether they're coming in from out
11 of town or what.
12 And during fifth order I'd like some
13 kind of update on the South Side Complex. Now, I know
14 it's in litigation and I know an awful lot can't be
15 said about it, but isn't there any indication of a
16 hearing or a court case or something? It seems to be
17 dragging along. Can you get any information on the
18 South Side Complex?
19 MS. GATELLI: Do you know, Mr.
21 MR. NARSAVAGE: No?
22 MR. COURTRIGHT: I haven't heard
23 anything for quite a while, Mr. Narsavage.
24 MR. NARSAVAGE: Nothing.
25 MR. COURTRIGHT: We can ask.
1 MS. EVANS: There must be, I would
2 imagine, there must be some type of holdup regarding
3 the court case that has been filed by private citizens.
4 I would imagine that that may be involved the holdup.
5 You know, it's just amazing that after
6 all these years, I -- maybe you can refresh my memory.
7 I know it wasn't the last Council that sold or voted to
8 give the South Side Complex to the SRA for sale to the
9 University of Scranton.
10 MR. NARSAVAGE: Well, wasn't it --
11 wasn't Kevin Murphy president at that time?
12 MS. EVANS: Yes, I believe so. It was
13 that Council, yes. So, it has been ongoing since 2003.
14 MR. NARSAVAGE: Okay. Well, that's a
15 few years ago. Okay. Thank you. A couple other
16 things. Potholes -- oh, that total, that one and three
17 quarter million dollars that PEL received from the
18 state, what period of time does that cover?
19 MS. GATELLI: From '92.
20 MR. NARSAVAGE: From '92. It's not a
21 non-profit, are they?
22 MS. GATELLI: Are they non-profit?
23 They're a charitable organization, someone said
24 tonight. So, we're giving to a charity. Les Spindler.
25 MR. SPINDLER: Good evening, Council.
1 Les Spindler, Scranton resident. First thing I have to
2 say, I have a comment on what Mr. McKeon had to say.
3 I can't believe -- I think the
4 ordinance for the graffiti has to be redone. Just a
5 $300 fine, I think, is ridiculous. Maybe if there was
6 a stiffer penalty, people wouldn't be going around
7 spraying graffiti all over.
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: The fine's for selling
9 it, correct, Mr. McKeon? Yeah, the fine is for selling
11 MR. SPINDLER: For selling it?
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: That's a crime.
13 MR. SPINDLER: I misunderstood him.
14 MR. COURTRIGHT: To actually spray
15 paint it is a crime.
16 MR. SPINDLER: Okay.
17 MS. EVANS: And, Mr. Spindler, there
18 have been juveniles arrested throughout the city,
19 particularly in the Bellvue Section, who were caught
20 tagging buildings and destroying property, and the
21 police have been very successful in prosecuting and
22 remedying that situation, at least for now. But I do
23 agree, it's spread throughout the city.
24 MR. SPINDLER: I agree. Okay. Last
25 week, Mrs. Gatelli, you weren't fair with the
1 five-minute time limit. Countless speakers went over
2 five minutes. Now, I hit the five-minute time limit,
3 you said thank you and cut me right off.
4 MS. GATELLI: I'll try to be more
6 MR. SPINDLER: I've been coming here
7 for over four years, and it was only the second time I
8 ever hit the five-minute time limit.
9 MS. GATELLI: I apologize. I'll try to
10 be more diligent.
11 MR. SPINDLER: Okay. Last week the
12 Junior Council voted to remove one of its members. I
13 think that was totally wrong. The Junior Council have
14 no authority to do that. They have no rules, no
15 bylaws. Correct me if I'm wrong, Mrs. Gatelli, Council
16 had to approve each member, correct?
17 MS. GATELLI: Yes.
18 MR. SPINDLER: Well, shouldn't it be up
19 to Council to remove a Junior Council member?
20 MS. GATELLI: I don't know. I'd have
21 to ask Attorney Minora that.
22 MR. SPINDLER: They have no rules or
23 bylaws. How could they have authority to do that?
24 MS. EVANS: Well, actually they are in
25 the process of developing bylaws.
1 MR. SPINDLER: Okay. They are now, but
2 they didn't have them last week.
3 MS. EVANS: Yes. But -- well, let's
4 hear from our attorney. I don't know that this is
5 something that you can really answer, unless you know
6 of a precedent.
7 MR. MINORA: I think the more
8 fundamental question is, is this really city business?
9 Is this a matter concerning the city?
10 This is a program for young people to
11 involve themselves in, and it's for their benefit, and
12 I don't know that criticizing them publicly is a really
13 good idea, nor is it a matter of concern to the city.
14 So, city business? It's simply an
15 effort to have these young people learn about
16 government, learn about the city. And to have them
17 criticized publicly, I just think is totally unfair and
18 certainly outside the idea of --
19 MS. EVANS: And I would -- I do agree
20 with that, which it was, you know, probably why I took
21 issue with this originally, because there was criticism
22 of one of the members who wasn't even available to
23 really defend himself.
24 But I do -- I would tend to think, yes,
25 a motion was made, City Council voted, it was approved,
1 they received proclamations. That appears to be quite
2 legal to me. So, if there were any dismissals, I would
3 believe it would have to come from the body that
5 MR. SPINDLER: That's what I said. And
6 I'm asking you right now, Mrs. Gatelli, to reinstate
7 that person, because I know you did --
8 MS. GATELLI: Listen --
9 MR. SPINDLER: You overturned one other
10 decision that the Junior Council made. I think you
11 should overturn this one.
12 MS. GATELLI: I can't believe that you
13 people come here week after week criticizing these
14 young children.
15 MR. SPINDLER: I don't think it was
16 fair to do.
17 MS. GATELLI: Well, do you think it's
18 fair that they come here every week?
19 MR. SPINDLER: There's four or five
20 members missing tonight. Should they be voted out
22 MS. GATELLI: Well, I think they've
23 been here for most of the meetings.
24 MR. SPINDLER: Well, I don't think it's
25 fair. And if you don't --
1 MS. GATELLI: I think it's up to them.
2 It's their organization, and, you know, they need to
3 make some rules for themselves.
4 MR. SPINDLER: Well, I know for a fact
5 that there was a unanimous to overturn the presidency
6 and you overturned that deal.
7 MS. GATELLI: I didn't overturn it. I
8 did you not overturn it.
9 MR. SPINDLER: Then what I heard was
11 MS. GATELLI: Well, what you heard was
12 wrong. I volunteer with the kids. I went with them on
13 Saturday. I was the only Council member to be there
14 with the kids on Saturday. My husband also volunteered
15 this time --
16 MR. SPINDLER: I really don't want to
17 wast any more time on that.
18 MS. GATELLI: So, you know, I'm doing
19 this to help the children, and I don't think that they
20 should be criticized. They're minors.
21 MR. SPINDLER: I don't think it was
22 right that somebody should be voted because they had a
23 job and they couldn't attend these meetings.
24 MS. GATELLI: Well, if you have a job
25 and you can't attend, then you shouldn't be a City
1 Council member. They all have jobs. They got the
2 night off.
3 MR. SPINDLER: I disagree. I have
4 other things to discuss.
5 MS. GATELLI: Well, you can disagree
6 all you want, but it's up to the children. They're
7 running their own organization.
8 MR. SPINDLER: I've brought this
9 problem up for years now about the flooding of my
10 property. I have pictures.
11 MS. GATELLI: Bring them up.
12 MR. SPINDLER: The bottom of my steps
13 there, you can't even walk out the door. It's going
14 off on the lawn. It's so high. You can see in another
15 picture there where you can see ripples in the water.
16 The water is so deep.
17 And this is a problem the city caused
18 by removing the curb on the corner. And for years,
19 nothing has been done.
20 MS. GATELLI: Could you just put your
21 address on the back for me?
22 MR. SPINDLER: And now I have two more
23 things. Some of my time was taken up.
24 MS. GATELLI: Go ahead.
25 MR. SPINDLER: I've asked this for over
1 a year now. Line painting, the entrances, Mall at
2 Steamtown. There's three lanes there, but nobody knows
3 there's three lanes. There's no lines.
4 MR. COURTRIGHT: I brought that up last
5 week, Les. Hopefully we will get some kind of answers.
6 MR. SPINDLER: Also, the corner of
7 Spruce and Franklin going down Spruce Street, that
8 should also be three lanes. People go all over on that
9 corner. They make turns from the straight lane. They
10 go straight from the turning lane. I travel that way
11 every single day, and I work right on that corner.
12 That's all I have tonight. Thank you.
13 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Erik Johnson.
14 MR. JOHNSON: Good evening, City
15 Council and young members and Lisa and staff. Good to
16 be back again.
17 It's nice to hear that the police and
18 mayor are talking contract. I hope the police and city
19 receive a fair contract.
20 In the paper tax money marked for
21 police and firefighters. New equipment and salaries
22 are on the top list. As I said all along that the
23 Scranton Emergency and Municipality Tax should be used
24 for the police and firefighters numerous times.
25 As Mayor Chris Doherty said Monday, the
1 tax will be used to help buy new equipment for the
2 police and fire departments, such as police cars,
3 supplies, and as well assist in paying the salary of
4 the two departments.
5 The city collected $373,504 last year
6 from the so-called occupational privilege tax. And
7 with the increase within the tax, the city is expected
8 to take in $2 million this year.
9 It's never been a mystery that the
10 money was going to be used for that main purpose.
11 Mr. Doherty said it's in their operation budget and
12 it's being used to update police and the fire equipment
13 and to help pay their salaries.
14 I say it should only be used for police
15 and fire purposes, and not for any other purposes.
16 It's their tax. We need to improve their conditions,
17 instead of other city improvements of roads and reduce
18 property taxes, which would not be there after spending
19 costs for public safety.
20 I can't see anybody being against the
21 tax, when it is earmarked for police and firemen
22 operations, improvements.
23 Bottom line, that's where only that
24 amount of $2 million should go. People have been
25 griping, including myself, for more police officers,
1 more police funds, rising crime, more police protection
2 against drugs, robberies, assaults, domestic problems,
3 rapes and murders.
4 Do I have to say more, except to keep
5 our city from a burning crisis, which is unlikely to
6 happen if we use this tax in a priority sensible way?
7 Since 1982 moving back to Scranton,
8 there have been four mayors, and every one of them have
9 been criticized for job performances, which you can't
10 please every Scrantonian, regardless what they try to
11 do. It may be wrong for some people and right for
12 other Scrantonians.
13 The next mayor would also be
14 criticized, even if he performed a miracle from heaven.
15 We all have problems, like certain people like myself
16 who is trying for low income apartments, but overlooked
17 for transients moving in from New Jersey, New York and
18 Philadelphia, who seem to have priority.
19 People like myself who graduated school
20 locally, paid city taxes for years, school and county
21 and lost their homes without fault of their own, have
22 to suffer the consequences or move away from Scranton
24 Houses are going to outsiders. Some
25 Scranton insiders are close to being homeless, unless
1 you find a decent attorney like Paul Kelly, who
2 prevented me from being homeless and took a cut on his
3 proposed retaining fee so I could make some kind of a
4 profit for an apartment. Yes, he's a decent person, as
5 well as a decent lawyer. God Bless him.
6 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Josh Rojas.
7 MR. ROJAS: Good evening. My name is
8 Jose Rojas. I'm the vice president and one of the
9 founder of Scranton Latin Alliance. My English is
10 really bad.
11 MS. GATELLI: Take your time.
12 MR. ROJAS: I'm here -- I'm living in
13 Scranton for three years. We're doing very well. We
14 have a -- now we have three houses, and we got a
15 business on Main Avenue. It's a grocery store at 319
16 South Main Avenue, and next to the grocery store, I
17 started must own business, and I donated an office for
18 the Alliance.
19 I am not a public person. I chose
20 working directly with my community. Now we have close
21 to 1,000 people involved in the Alliance, whose name
22 and phone number and address we have.
23 We have 435 members already American
24 citizens like me. We never vote, because we don't
25 involve in political, but it's interesting. We need
1 your help at this point. I think that you could help
3 One of our problem is with the driving
4 licenses. My community, most of them are paperless.
5 They don't papers, and they don't have driving license.
6 You could help us driving without
7 driving license if you signalize where are the bus
8 stops. I spent weeks driving about five, ten minutes
9 behind the bus. I find that in many cases that buses
10 stop in place that they don't have sign, and one of
11 them is in front of South Side Shopping Center on North
12 Washington Avenue and Luzerne Street.
13 And I stopped and I go out of my car
14 and I asked somebody, like, how do you know that the
15 bus will stop here? And they said, Because my whole
16 family was living in Scranton for generation and
17 generation and we know that he will stop here.
18 I was in Washington yesterday. I saw
19 that in Washington, and I was living in Manhattan
20 before coming to Scranton. Washington they have signs,
21 like, a little map where people like me, that we are
22 not familiar with the city, we could see the bus, what
23 the route -- the bus route. I think it could be a good
24 idea if you could do that in this city, like, signalize
25 more what is the bus stop.
1 Plus, if you could make fliers and
2 bring it to the grocery store or call me, and I would
3 be glad to do it. We could find a volunteer. My phone
4 number is 561-4434. That's my cell phone number. My
5 grocery store number is 341-9750. This is the two
6 problems that I think that you could help us.
7 I was already in the office of
8 Mr. Cordaro with Kevin Murphy, and we are not receiving
9 yet help. I really want to know who will be the first
10 good samaritan that will help the Hispanic community
11 with the fliers. We need fliers to say what is the bus
12 stop, what are the times that the bus crosses or
14 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Rojas.
15 MR. ROJAS: Yes. Who said Mr. Rojas?
16 MS. GATELLI: It's me. You're hearing
17 the echo.
18 MR. ROJAS: Sorry.
19 MS. GATELLI: The busses are the
20 Lackawanna County Transit Authority. But we will
21 contact the county commissioners and tell them of your
22 concern about the signs and we'll get you some bus
24 They actually have schedules printed,
25 and we'll try to get some for you and have them brought
1 to the store.
2 MR. ROJAS: That could be great. If
3 you do, we have some person that could help us
5 This don't mean -- this is your
6 country, and we make this country our country, too.
7 This don't mean that we don't want to learn English,
8 it's that most of my people have to work two jobs. And
9 it's hard after 16 hours to sit in front of a teacher
10 to learn English.
11 The other thing is, I want to take the
12 time, we need some immigration lawyers. Maybe somebody
13 is watching on the TV could recommend some lawyers. We
14 have people who need immigration help.
15 MS. GATELLI: Maybe Attorney Minora
16 could give you the number for legal aide and someone
17 there would be able to help them.
18 MR. ROJAS: We will pay for it.
19 MS. GATELLI: Yes, yes.
20 MR. MINORA: When you're done, I'll
21 give you a card where you can call me at the office,
22 and I'll do what I can to find somebody or help you
23 myself, if I can.
24 MR. ROJAS: Okay. Thank you a lot for
25 your time. And, once again, we are already in the
1 Alliance around 2,000, 1,000 members. We are growing
2 now, and people like American citizens from the
3 Dominican Republic from Mexico to Hawaii, we have at
4 least 435 people, members. Thank you for your time.
5 MS. GATELLI: You're welcome.
6 MS. EVANS: I just wanted to add. I
7 was over at the Riverfront Stadium last Saturday for
8 the Latin festival.
9 MR. ROJAS: That was good.
10 MS. EVANS: Oh, it was wonderful. And
11 you had so many people. I heard it was a record
12 breaking crowd. And the mariachi band, oh, that was
13 the best. That was the treat of the day. I loved it
14 and watching the people dance. I think you should give
15 dancing lessons so we could all learn.
16 MR. ROJAS: I was there, but my
17 daughter was in the hospital that day, and I got to
18 spend the whole time, but it was a good time. Tomorrow
19 from five to 7:30, we will get a party in front of the
20 courthouse --
21 MS. GATELLI: Sinco de mao.
22 MS. EVANS: Yes.
23 MR. ROJAS: And after that in Don
24 Pablos we will meet over there drinking margaritas and
1 MS. EVANS: Oh, that sounds good.
2 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.
3 MR. ROJAS: Thank you.
4 MS. GATELLI: We'll help you.
5 MR. ROJAS: Thank you.
6 MS. GATELLI: Dick Laske. That man
7 bueno bueno moocho bueno, right? Okay. Leggetts
8 Creek, the fishing derby, May the 13th from ten to
10 And if anybody don't know where it is,
11 what you do is from Providence Square, go up the block
12 before Keyser Avenue, turn right, go one block, turn
13 left and follow it right around to the stream.
14 Now, a lot of people think we're doing
15 real good in the city, this and that and the other
16 thing. Let me just give you a little story.
17 Years ago we used to get $1,000 from
18 the City of Scranton to buy fish for the kids. You
19 know how we get anymore? Slightly less. We get $50.
20 You don't buy a heck of a lot of fish with $50, if you
21 know what I mean.
22 And I'd like to see everybody come.
23 The kids have a good time. It's sponsored by our
24 rotary club, and it's a very interesting day.
25 Okay. Enough about that. Now, this
1 $52 tax, the first week I got my paycheck, I'm a
2 crossing guard. I make less than $4,000 a year. Now,
3 it wasn't a misprint in the paper that said you have to
4 make twelve, right? Well, they took it out of me.
5 Didn't somebody think to check at first?
6 MS. EVANS: Well, they're taking it out
7 from everyone, and then those who earn $12,000 or under
8 will receive a rebate or a refund in 2007.
9 Now, my concern was at the time, I
10 mean, yes, this tax provides funds for much needed
11 programs, such as police and fire equipment, paving
12 projects, et cetera, so it's not, I think, the tax
13 increase itself that's in question here, it's the
14 manner in which this was enacted.
15 And it's not really the problem of
16 local government. This came down from the state
17 government. This came down in December of 2004, when
18 legislators were too self absorbed to stay and provide
19 for a proper way to enact this tax increase. They
20 simply gave a dollar amount and walked way so they
21 could go on vacation.
22 But it should have been, at least in my
23 mind, it should have been $20,000 and under exempt and
24 it should never have been collected from those
25 individuals, and from those who are paying, there
1 should be a payment schedule.
2 But the worse part, Mr. Laske, is this,
3 you are -- the good news is you are entitled to a
4 rebate, the bad news is you're going to pay again in
5 2007, I greatly fear, before you're ever going to see
6 your 2006 rebate. So --
7 MR. LASKE: In other words, they grab
8 me for over $100.
9 MS. EVANS: Right. And it's just going
10 to continue on its merry way in this manner until the
11 state legislature does something, amends this bill to
12 provide properly for the people of Pennsylvania.
13 Because what you have now is a -- and
14 in fact -- of course your case is worse, considering
15 what you're making, but I got a note tonight -- a phone
16 call was made to me yesterday from a concerned mom and
17 it says her son made $525 working at Montage in winter
18 months and was taxed the EMS $52. Will he ever get
19 this back? Well, he's in your boat. So, the answer to
20 him is the same, yes, he will receive it back, but
21 before he does, they're going to take another $52 next
23 MR. LASKE: What about the interest on
24 this money? Who's holding it?
25 MS. EVANS: The tax collector.
1 MR. LASKE: That makes it right then, I
2 guess. I don't know.
3 MS. EVANS: No, it doesn't make it
4 right. He didn't enact this, but the point is, Mr.
5 Laske, we asked him to provide a plan so that he could
6 give you your money in a timely fashion. Nobody's done
7 a thing.
8 MR. LASKE: Right, exactly. Because I
9 called three different departments, and nobody knew who
10 gave the order to take this. The state gave the order,
11 but the local people took my money. They're holding my
12 money. I'm not getting a dime interest, right?
13 MS. EVANS: Right.
14 MR. LASKE: I should be getting
15 interest or someone should be getting interest.
16 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Laske, the good news
17 is, we are the only community where it's not $1,000.
18 Everybody else is $1,000.
19 MR. LASKE: The way things are going,
20 Judy, you'll have my house in a year or two anyway, so
21 it ain't going to matter, you know what I mean? I'll
22 go out in the woods and live. Seriously. At least the
23 James Brothers used guns. These people don't. Okay.
24 Well, I didn't prove a heck of a lot with that, did I?
25 Hollow Avenue, now, Mr. Parker don't
1 want to come up and meet with the people up on Hollow
2 Avenue. I was one of the people involved. He's
3 completely ignored us, and the part that really, really
4 hurts me is I have been trying for years to get people
5 up to Weston Park.
6 Mr. Santolli sprayed trees up there
7 years ago. It's washed off already.
8 MS. EVANS: I know.
9 MS. LASKE: He wouldn't come and take
10 down any trees, but a man that's politically connected
11 with our administrator had Mr. Parker's men go up and
12 work on private property. Well, this is not right.
13 MS. EVANS: Oh, I agree.
14 MR. LASKE: This is definitely not
15 right and it's frustrating.
16 MS. EVANS: Mr. Laske, I'm glad you're
17 here so that you can assist me with this particular
18 issue. We -- rather I, asked for a letter last week to
19 be sent to Mr. Parker and Mr. Fiorini asking them to
20 attend a public caucus, a televised public caucus, here
21 in Council chambers with the neighbors of Hollow
22 Avenue. We are awaiting the response.
23 We have offered them a specific date,
24 time and place. Now, it is my strong feeling that
25 should one of them or both of them fail to attend, I
1 would like the meeting to carry on regardless, because
2 I think the people of Hollow Avenue can voice their
3 problems and their concerns to this City Council, and
4 perhaps as a group, we can do something then to get to
5 the bottom of it.
6 But I do agree with you. A city
7 employee -- when a city employee, whether it is the
8 Indian or the chief, is asked to appear at a Council
9 meeting or a caucus meeting, they should come. It's
10 part of the job.
11 MR. LASKE: Okay. Will you be kind
12 enough to let me know when that meeting is?
13 MS. EVANS: Yes. And the help I need
14 from you, if you would be kind enough then to contact
15 the other individuals, the same folks that we all met
16 as a group up at Weston Park the night that Mr. Parker
17 didn't show up.
18 MR. LASKE: Okay.
19 MR. LASKE: If you could get in touch
20 with all of them again, I'd like them all here, and
21 anyone else who may be interested who was unable to
22 attend that night.
23 MR. LASKE: Okay. I'll get them all
24 together and I will give you a call.
25 MS. EVANS: Very good.
1 MR. LASKE: Will you write down your
2 number for me, please?
3 MS. EVANS: I surely will.
4 MR. LASKE: I know I'm a little long,
5 Judy, but I won't be back for a month.
6 MS. EVANS: No, he's not long. I'm the
7 long-winded one. I don't mind getting taken, but I'd
8 like to be kissed.
9 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Lee Morgan.
10 Oh, is he there? No? Mary Ann Wardell.
11 MS. WARDELL: Good evening, Council.
12 I'm here to address an action that took place last week
13 that upset me greatly.
14 And I will disagree respectfully with
15 Mr. Minora, I believe City Council, Junior City
16 Council, is city business. They voted to remove a
17 young man because he could not attend meetings because
18 he has a job.
19 I wish they were here. It seems like
20 they all disappeared, though, so they could hear me.
21 They have to learn through experience from watching
22 this City Council that it's a question sometimes of
24 And we know that you as City Council
25 people all have different jobs, and sometimes your jobs
1 preclude you from attending meetings. And that's part
2 of learning how to govern our city.
3 I think that if these children cannot
4 take constructive criticism, then they do not belong
5 here, because we're trying to teach them how to be
7 And to be a leader, you have to be
8 willing to accept some criticism when it comes your
9 way. This is not a rose-colored chamber and we do not
10 have a rose-colored government. They have to accept
11 these things. And if they don't learn them from you,
12 then who are they going to learn them from?
13 I also have to disagree with the way
14 that there was a chairman appointed to this Junior City
15 Council. When all of these members received their
16 proclamations, at that time they should have voted for
17 a chairman.
18 And I say this, because you as City
19 Council people did not appoint a chairman. You elected
20 a chairman to your Council. And for them to understand
21 the mechanics of our government, that's what should
22 have been done in this case.
23 I am not criticizing any one
24 individually, but I am saying if you are going to be
25 the examples and you are going to be the role models,
1 then you want to make sure that what they're doing is
2 right. They're very young and they're very
3 inexperienced. And I give them a lot of credit for
4 wanting to be here and from learning, but they're going
5 to learn from you, and they're either going to learn
6 the right way to govern or they're going to learn pay
7 to play politics or they're going to learn it's all in
8 who you know, and those are not things that we want to
9 teach these children. They're going to lead us some
10 day, and we want to make sure that they get the right
12 So, I would like to suggest that this
13 Junior Council when they're putting their bylaws
14 together, reorganize, elect a chairman, vote on a
15 chairman, and give that young man that is not here an
16 opportunity to come back to this Council, because
17 everybody's priorities change day to day.
18 His priority right now is a job. I'm
19 sure, though, that all these young people have
20 telephones, I'm sure they know everybody's phone
21 number, and if this young man cannot be at a City
22 Council meeting, just as you're going to do with
23 Ms. Fanucci, they could bring him up to date with what
24 took place at this meeting.
25 He can watch this meeting at another
1 time. They can let him know what is going on with
2 their Council. Their important work is working at the
3 schools and bringing the issues of the children here to
4 this City Council so that those kids in the school know
5 that they have someone that's representing them.
6 So, I would -- Judy, I would ask you if
7 you would ask this Council, this Junior Council, or
8 allow them to do this and get them started on the right
9 foot and let them do their bylaws and continue from
10 there. Thank you.
11 MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Jones.
12 MS. JONES: Julie Jones, city resident.
13 I know we have five minutes. I would like to say what
14 I have to say, if it's okay with Council.
15 And if I go over the five minutes, I
16 would like to be excused this evening, because I do
17 have a letter from my son that he would like me to
19 Good evening, City Council. Julie
20 Jones, city resident. Last week I spoke about the
21 Junior Council, and people did not seem to like it.
22 Well, let me ask any parent in this
23 room if they would stand up for their children or
24 child. Well, I did and I got criticized for doing so.
25 You're talking about criticizing, that
1 it's not proper. Well, I sat in this office or this
2 chambers last week and got criticized, and it was a
3 personal attack, and the person didn't get stopped from
4 saying it. So, they have to follow the same rules as
5 the adults do in my eyes.
6 My phone rang the minute that happened,
7 and it was my son from work, and he said, Mom, you
8 always told me whether an adult is right or wrong, you
9 don't disrespect that adult. If you disagree, you
10 disagree and you walk away, but you don't mouth back to
11 an adult.
12 And he was so upset at work to see a
13 Junior Councilperson disrespect his mother on TV, when
14 you're taught not to do so. Well, that is okay,
15 because I used my freedom of speech last week.
16 After last week's meeting, one Junior
17 Council member come up to me to let me know that they
18 did not vote against Corey. Also, an adult that works
19 in Council Chambers and said it was totally wrong, a
20 member of the audience said Corey was getting the wrong
22 I voiced my concerns through an E-mail
23 to a Council member, and all I got back was that the
24 teachers had a problem about the meeting, to tell
25 Mr. McTiernan, and also that they miss class for a lot
1 less important things.
2 Also they said they didn't have to make
3 all the meetings, not that they didn't have to go to
4 any. That was not fair to the rest of the kids, and
5 that he did not participate in anything yet.
6 Well, perhaps the mayor could be thrown
7 out of office, because he does not participate in any
8 meetings like he said he would.
9 This also tells me that education is
10 not important at the Junior Council meetings. I
11 disagree. These school kids have a lot of early
12 dismissals that the meetings could be then or after
14 Then got told by this Council member
15 that I E-mailed through the Council E-mails said that
16 they refused to answer me, telling me I have big
17 problems, and they would not participate in my
18 negativity and always knocking down the Junior Council,
19 and that if this Council member missed Council
20 meetings, they certainly would throw this person out,
21 and I would be the first one to do that, and I was not
22 to E-mail them ever again.
23 Well, isn't that the great Council
24 representative to demand a citizen to stop E-mailing
25 them? I thought that it was what their E-mails were
2 I remember Council saying one week that
3 they get good E-mails and they get bad E-mails, but as
4 a Council official, they are to take, whether good or
5 bad, just like they take it at the podium.
6 I guess people who run for office once
7 they voter their way in do not have to follow the
8 rules. But to tell a citizen who is voicing their
9 opinion, whether positive or negative, they're not to
10 use this Councilperson's E-mail is totally against
11 Council rules.
12 Well, we come to these meetings to
13 voice our concerns, and we should be respected for
14 that, whether Council agrees or not.
15 Once again, this is my opinion, and I
16 should be allowed to voice it, but who knows. We all
17 know the gavel is back, in fact, didn't we joke about
18 that last week?
19 In closing, I came to City Council a
20 few months ago for help from the Scranton Parking
21 Authority with parking tickets that I shouldn't have
23 Well, I was told that Mr. Wintermantle
24 was talked to, and that if I had any more problems, to
25 talk to him.
1 Well, well and behold, last Friday I
2 received a notice to appear in court some $135 later.
3 So much for the help from Council.
4 Now, I would challenge, too, I'll just
5 say one more line and then I'll state his, I would
6 challenge any of these kids to do what my son does.
7 He has a straight honor roll schedule,
8 he has strings, extracurricular activities all the
9 time. He has extracurricular activities at the school.
10 This week alone he's holding a full
11 school load. It's the end of the school year. They
12 performed at middle states. He's been working since
13 yesterday after school. You know when he'll finish?
14 Saturday night at two in the morning.
15 I challenge any of them to do that and
16 carry a full load at school, but he gets criticized
17 because he's not sitting n this chair.
18 I have not been feeling well, so my son
19 has been helping with the monthly bills, if anybody
20 cares to know.
21 Dear Scranton City Council and Scranton
22 Junior City Council, it has come to my attention that
23 I, Corey Jones, have been a conflict of interest over
24 the past weeks.
25 I know that I have not attended
1 Scranton City Council meetings over the past several
2 weeks, but I have watched the meetings on Channel 61 to
3 keep up.
4 The Junior Council does not have their
5 meetings televised, and I'm not saying they have to,
6 but I do understand that the Junior Council has
7 meetings before meetings on Thursdays.
8 I have to work every Thursday, and I
9 make that commitment before I joined the Junior
10 Council. I feel that it is important to follow through
11 on commitments, and I believe that members of both
12 Councils seem to believe that I have not followed
13 through on my commitment I made months ago to join the
15 In those members' eyes, I could see
16 their argument, but now it is my turn to say my side of
17 the story.
18 In my opinion, and which is shared with
19 many others, education is the key and important to the
20 future of young individuals. Education is my top
21 priority in life, and I do not believe that after
22 school activities should come before my education.
23 I'm sure many people agree with this.
24 So, I am saying all of this because there was a meeting
25 at Scranton High with both the Junior and Scranton High
1 Student Council. I did not attend this meeting because
2 I have classes, as I am sure many do at this time.
3 I know that students are excused from
4 other things, such as concert rehearsals and sporting
5 activities, but they are school-related, and some of
6 these activities are graded assignments. Junior
7 Council meetings are not graded assignments; therefore,
8 my education comes first.
9 Also, I feel it is equally important to
10 be able to sustain myself in society from both a
11 student's and an employee's perspective. I can say I
12 have learned a great deal of responsibility from both
13 my place of employment and school, therefore, I feel my
14 job comes before Council, also.
15 Junior Council would be my next
16 commitment. I believe my contribution to a city, such
17 as Scranton, would make me feel more like a citizen of
18 the city.
19 I live in this city, I pay taxes in
20 this city, and I grew up in this city. I feel as I owe
21 something to it, so that's why I joined Junior Council
22 at first.
23 I was told we would project the voices
24 of the young people of Scranton. That is why I joined.
25 I did not join to plant flowers.
1 So, I would sure wish that I could be
2 accepted in this Junior Council. I would not be able
3 to attend Thursday meetings, but I have a few ideas on
4 how I could still work together with this group.
5 If I were given something to work on
6 over a few weeks' time, I would gladly do that. If
7 meetings were short and after school, I would also
8 attend them. And I'm sure once summer comes, it will
9 be easier for all of us.
10 If you planned or already decided for
11 me not to be a member of this Council, I would sure
12 hope for you to reconsider. I know I could be a
13 helping hand to this Council and this city. Thank you.
14 Cory Jones. You may have the letter.
15 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mike Dudek.
16 MR. DUDEK: My name is Mike Dudek,
17 608 Depot Street, Scranton. I live in The Plot. I'm
18 going to just take 30 seconds to talk about a pothole
19 and the remaining four minutes and 30 seconds to
20 address this situation that has come up with our
21 student council here.
22 In 30 seconds, there is a 4-foot wide
23 pothole in the middle of a city street. It is at the
24 intersection of Nay Aug and Albright. As you proceed
25 south on Albright Avenue along the Scranton Laceworks,
1 you're going to see a big gigantic blue garbage can,
2 twice the size of your cans that you have here in the
3 city. I appropriated it and I put it there so that
4 nobody falls into this thing.
5 Now, I use the rule of a six-year-old.
6 If a six-year-old could fall in, we could have a
7 problem. If Andre The Giant were alive, he would
8 disappear into this hole.
9 If a fire truck were to proceed
10 southeast on Nay Aug and the right front tire of that
11 fire truck, the biggest piece of apparatus we would
12 have, if it went into this hole, the truck would be
13 damaged. You would need a crane to get the truck out
14 of this hole.
15 I called the city police, I gave them
16 my name, my address and my telephone number. I'm
17 appearing here. I want you to please take care of
18 this. It is really that bad of a hazard.
19 Now, as to the other four minutes and
20 30 seconds, Attorney Minora, in your college days in
21 law school, you may have taken a Constitutional Law
22 course or reading on a case Powell versus McCormack.
23 In 1962, Adam Clayton Powell ran for
24 re-election for the House of Representatives. He
25 represented Harlem in New York City.
1 From 1960 to 1962, there were 420 work
2 days in the House of Representatives. He only showed
3 up for two days of work and spent the other 418 days on
4 the Island of Bimanee.
5 He even had arranged his salary checks
6 to come to him in Bimanee all the time that he was
7 there. He ran for re-election to the House of
8 Representatives from Bimanee and won.
9 The Speaker of the House, John
10 McCormack, thought that what he was doing was such a
11 flagrant insult to the House of Representatives, that
12 he called a special Democratic caucus of all of the
13 Democratic members of the House, over 200 lawyers, and
14 they came up with the solution not to let him take his
15 oath of office so that he could not become a member,
16 because The Constitution allows each house to organize
17 its meetings and its matters in its own fashion.
18 Well, Adam Clayton Powell sued, and the
19 case went before the House of Representatives. And
20 I'll tell you something, you never saw more embarrassed
21 faces in Washington when the Supreme Court ruled in
22 favor of Adam Clayton Powell.
23 You cannot in the House of
24 Representatives prevent a person from taking an oath.
25 The Supreme Court said the proper procedure was for
1 them to let him take his oath, then make a special vote
2 up or down to discharge him because of his activity.
3 Now, what has happened here with the
4 Student Council doesn't rise to that level. The person
5 involved is trying to balance his obligations to his
6 work, to his family, and trying to work with the
7 Student Council, an organization that does not yet have
9 So, in the absence of bylaws, I think
10 the most common sense thing to do is to cut everybody
11 an awful lot of slack on this thing, let him serve, and
12 once the bylaws are written, then make sure everybody
13 understands what these rules and regulations are before
14 you proceed.
15 We don't want to make the same mistake
16 that the Congress for the United States made in one of
17 the more hilarious episodes in American Constitutional
19 Because I don't mind if our Congress
20 becomes a laughing-stock for the American people, but I
21 don't want our young people to become a laughing-stock
22 just because somebody makes a mistake on whether or not
23 somebody is a member of it.
24 We're help instruct, we're here to
25 guide, to help, to lead, and I don't think proceeding
1 in the way that we've been proceeding is the proper way
2 to do this. Thank you.
3 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Is there
4 anyone else that cares to speak before Council?
5 MR. OSTERMEIER: Good evening. My name
6 is Dan Ostermeier. I'm from the University of
7 Scranton. Over the last three weeks I've had the
8 opportunity to volunteer with United Neighborhood
10 They run a volunteer program through
11 the University of Scranton, and it has been my
12 privilege to work with Jean Broland in the United
13 Neighborhood Division of Fair Housing.
14 Tonight I would just like to take a
15 small amount of time to raise awareness for the Fair
16 Housing of Pennsylvania, the UNC's response to the act,
17 and the general guidelines for fair housing practices
18 all community members should be aware of.
19 According to the Commonwealth of
20 Pennsylvania's Fair Housing Practices Act, it is
21 unlawful to refuse, to sell or lease housing because of
22 a person's race, color, religion, sex, ancestry,
23 national orgin, any disabilities, familial status or
24 the age of the tenant or the buyer.
25 Along similar lines, it is also
1 unlawful to retaliate against an individual because
2 they filed a complaint with the Fair Housing Commission
3 or Human Relations Commission regarding discrimination
4 when leasing or buying property.
5 If it is suspected that you or someone
6 that you know has been discriminated against while
7 trying to obtain housing, according to the previously
8 mentioned reasons, there is a 180-day period beginning
9 the day of the incident from which you can file a
10 complaint with the state.
11 To get assistance with any filing
12 processes or if there's any questions about this Fair
13 Housing Act, which I know myself was not aware of, and
14 I'm sure many citizens of Scranton are also not aware
15 of, United Neighborhood Center will gladly provide free
16 consultations with tenants and suspected victims of
18 Contacts should be initiated with Jean
19 Broland at the phone number of 346-0759 at extension
20 110. And they will help evaluate the situation to
21 determine if discrimination did occur, and they will
22 also provide further investigation to help through the
23 filing process.
24 Again, if any member of the City of
25 Scranton knows of anyone who's been discriminated
1 against when filing for housing or applying for a
2 tenantship, please contact Jean Broland at 346-0759,
3 Extension 110, with the United Neighborhood Centers
4 Fair Housing Department. Thank you for this time.
5 MS. GATELLI: Thank you very much.
6 MR. JONES: Kevin Jones. I'm a student
7 at Scranton High School. Somebody spoke earlier about
8 a bunch of students missing this meeting. I apologize
9 for not being able to sit there with my fellow Junior
10 Council members. I have an eye infection this evening,
11 and I believe the reason John Gilbride isn't here is
12 because he has a baseball game; is that correct,
13 Mr. McTiernan? Do you know if there's a game tonight?
14 And Matt Butler isn't here, I believe, because he has
15 physical training for the Army, which he leaves for the
16 end of June.
17 The reason that we were all upset about
18 this Junior City Council is that because the person in
19 question hasn't been here for the past ten weeks.
20 And I completely understand with him
21 working and the caseload that he takes on, which his
22 mother explained to us, which is tremendous. I don't
23 believe I could even handle that. That's incredible.
24 But we've been at school for ten weeks,
25 and the majority of us do go to Scranton High School,
1 and he can corner us, any of us in the hall. We're not
2 hard to approach. But I just don't understand why he
3 couldn't have, like, spoke to us in the hallways at
4 all, because we are there.
5 I would like to have him come back, if
6 he can, if he can find the time in his busy schedule,
7 but he can talk to any of us in the hallway, if he
9 We have a phone sheet that we will give
10 him, and his mother did get a copy of the bylaws a
11 couple minutes ago that Jackson printed up for us,
12 thank you very much. Doug has a copy, and all the
13 members will have one.
14 I just saw what happened before at the
15 house, and I decided to come down because I was kind of
16 mad. Thank you.
17 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Anyone else?
18 MR. BECK: Good evening, Wayne Beck,
19 East Mountain, taxpaying resident. It's been a long
20 time since I've been here. It's so long, I owe my
21 belated congratulations to the Youth Council and to Kay
22 and her position, and Amil, who I know for 40 years,
23 and congratulations to the new electees and
25 I was home watching this on television,
1 and when Mr. Narsavage asked about the South Side
2 Sports Complex, and although I'm not a member of the
3 original or the second lawsuit that has been filed, I
4 do try to keep up on it, because I still use the
5 facility. And I think it I have the facts fairly
6 straight in my mind. If not, I stand to be corrected.
7 The original lawsuit which was filed a
8 couple of years ago by Chris Phillips and Fran Vutnoski
9 is still alive. It bounced back and forth between the
10 Commonwealth Court and the Court in Harrisburg.
11 A second lawsuit that had been filed,
12 and when that was issued a docket number, it was issued
13 the same, from what I understand, the same docket
14 number that the original lawsuit was issued, even
15 though it was filed by a different plaintiff and on
16 totally different grounds. I think it was filed on
17 objection to the -- or I should say supported by the
18 Dedicated Parks Act, and from what I understand, has
19 some substantial teeth to it.
20 But in any event, Judge Mazzoni, I
21 believe, was made aware of this mix-up with the docket
22 number and immediately took action, and Judge Walsh
23 issued an injunction staying the sale or transfer of
24 title until an open hearing could be heard.
25 And I don't know if that's what's going
1 to be held in June or not, but in June it is going to
2 appear before The Court in Harrisburg again, mid-June,
3 13th, 14th, 17th, something like that.
4 But in the meantime, of course,
5 Judge Walsh retired, and he was the one that was
6 hearing the initial lawsuit filed by Fran Vutnoski and
7 Chris Phillips, and the new lawsuit has been assigned
8 to Judge Mazzoni.
9 I hope that he feels there is merit
10 there. It has been outstanding for a long time. It
11 even made it to the House floor back in 2002, maybe,
12 when Representative Veon and DeWeese fought to push
13 Senate Bill 850 through before a new Council could take
14 effect, classified it as a little-used used piece of
15 rough and tumble piece of ground, when the $90,000
16 survey that was performed by an uninterested third
17 party in Bethlehem classified it as the highest used,
18 highest fee generator of any park in the city.
19 So, I think there's been a lot that has
20 happened, a lot of eyes have been opened, and I
21 certainly don't want anybody to, just because it hasn't
22 been brought here to Council or hasn't been in the
23 paper, I don't want anybody to be under the
24 misconception that it's still not alive and not
25 seriously taken by those that utilize the field.
1 And I thank everybody who has helped us
2 all along the way, and I hope that we're going to be
3 successful. And I really believe we could probably
4 have use of that field for years to come, whether or
5 not the lawsuit is settled. And it is still getting a
6 significant amount of use.
7 MS. EVANS: Yes, I've noticed that.
8 I'm very glad that you came, Mr. Beck, because as I
9 said earlier, I thought I had safely assumed that
10 litigation is alive and well, otherwise it would have
11 been long gone, thanks to an old Council and thanks to
12 a lot of people in Harrisburg who bent the law and
13 shaped a new law in order to try to steal from the
14 people of Scranton what's rightfully theirs.
15 MR. BECK: And our thanks go out to
16 them, too, because we know how a lot of them fought,
17 how hard they fought.
18 And just on a different note before I
19 leave. You know I spoke up here before on crime and
20 the fact that I thought it was always here, and I'm not
21 going to get involved with that again, but I would like
22 to say that over the last few months, I've seen an
23 awful lot of activity in South Side by the police
24 force. They're doing a great job, I think.
25 I've witnessed some of the situations
1 firsthand, and you realize what they have to go
2 through, the abuse that they take, the situations they
3 put themselves in, the lack of respect that's given to
4 them when they do try to enforce the law, and the
5 patience that they show, which I wouldn't have, to be
6 honest with you.
7 And I just want to thank them and send
8 my -- Mr. Courtright, you can thank them for me,
9 because you're the liaison there, but I think they're
10 doing a great job over in South Side, and I imagine
11 they are in the rest of the city, too. So, thank you.
12 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.
13 MR. HERNANDEZ: Good evening, Council.
14 My name is Jeff Hernandez, and I attend West Scranton
15 High School.
16 I would like to commend Junior City
17 Council for all their hard work. I think they've done
18 a great job for the city and they're doing a really
19 great job. I will be attending Saturday for that
20 planting party. Yes, I will be planting flowers for
21 the city.
22 I attend West Scranton High School, and
23 I have the opportunity to talk to Doug Miller and
24 Jerome Singleton about my concerns about the City of
25 Scranton and ask them questions.
1 I have been here for the last couple of
2 weeks observing these meetings and learning a great
3 deal about the City of Scranton.
4 Now, it has been brought to my
5 attention that these fellows students of mine have been
6 taken, like -- excuse me. I'm really nervous. But
7 these students -- I'm just nervous. Excuse me. I'm
8 just nervous.
9 MS. GATELLI: Go ahead. Take your
10 time, Honey.
11 MR. HERNANDEZ: Well, I'd like to say
12 that it's not fair to discriminate and attack these
13 kids just because, well, they removed certain people.
14 I have talked to Doug Miller and Jerome
15 about the certain person who was removed from the
16 Junior City Council, and I have to say, although he is
17 a good kid, he missed several meetings. Enough about
19 And the last thing I would like to say
20 is, when I came here earlier, I overheard a
21 conversation about two people, two adults, rather,
22 saying very disregarding and disrespectful things
23 toward the City Junior Council. I think that is
24 disrespectful, and that should not be allowed for this.
25 I thank you for this time. Thank you.
1 MS. GATELLI: Thank you, Mr. Hernandez.
3 MR. SLEDZINSKI: Bill, lower, Bill?
4 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yeah, bring it down.
5 Go ahead.
6 MR. SLEDZINSKI: Judy, could I ask you
7 a question, Jude? This is just for you, Judy, okay?
8 Okay. You know where the high school is, right, Jude?
9 The parking lot there, who put signs up, those bicycle
10 signs up for us? Kids are going to break their necks.
11 Somebody is going to get hit by a car or something down
13 MS. GATELLI: Bicycle signs?
14 MR. SLEDZINSKI: Yeah, yeah. By West
15 Side High School. You know where it is, right, Jude?
16 Where we pull in there. Right there.
17 MS. GATELLI: Okay.
18 MR. SLEDZINSKI: Okay. Thanks, Jude.
19 MS. GATELLI: You're welcome.
20 MR. DAVIS: Assalaam Alaikum. I'm a
21 little dismayed, but not really. Politics is at, you
22 know, politics makes strange bedfellows. I was
23 watching the debate for those who are running for state
25 And I said to myself, What does a state
1 representative do? I said, Well, I have a chance here
2 to -- because many people have come to me and they've
3 asked, Who do we vote for? What is the difference?
4 What does a state representative do for the people of a
5 community? How do they represent a people of a
6 community, when they couldn't represent the people of a
7 community as a City Counciler or they have only
8 segments? Is there certain segments? Yes, they're by
9 districts. I understand that's my district.
10 When I explained it to them, I say,
11 Well, sometimes it takes them a period of time to
12 orientate themselves to what is going on in the state
13 government before they become effective as a state
14 representative. They call it a honeymoon period.
15 Now, I think that we have allowed this
16 particular Council a honeymoon period -- an extended
17 honeymoon period, when we are in dire need. So much
18 so, that I think that our students are starting to feel
20 And I'm sorry for that, because I'm so
21 very proud of you guys. I really was from the very
22 beginning. I thought it was a beautiful move to have
23 you here and have you represent the kids.
24 But it seems as though you let the old
25 people get into your way. And maybe what you have to
1 do is to, as they've asked you to do, bring information
2 to them, as diverse to asking them for information.
3 In other words, if you do your
4 homework, if you do your inspection of good and things
5 like that, and then come to them with possible
6 solutions, then maybe they can work with you.
7 As far as dismissing people because of
8 work and things like that, commitments, I can remember
9 my father saying to me, I don't raise gladiators in my
10 house. You don't play football.
11 That's all there was to it. That was a
12 law. He was the law. He just said, No, you're not
13 going to play football. I said, But dad, the coach
14 wants me. Everybody thinks I'm good. My father said,
15 No. I just don't raise gladiators.
16 So, that's something you have to think
17 about. If you are going to be a politician, be ready
18 for rejection, but hang in there. It's worth it. It
19 really is. Because everybody steps on a stepping stone
20 to get to somewhere.
21 Now, I have a question that you can
22 answer at your leisure, maybe even next week or maybe
23 the week after next week.
24 State representative, what are we
25 getting when we vote for you? And who will you
1 represent? Is there a certain figment or a certain
2 section of the population that you are going to
3 represent more so than others?
4 And that was the question that was
5 asked of me, and I'm bringing it to you. That's the
6 only thing I came -- I came because I was dismayed,
7 because I thought I saw the Junior Council falling
8 apart, and I don't like that idea. As a matter of
9 fact, it made me kind of angry. You're only four weeks
10 into it, and already there's -- well, that's not real.
11 That's not true.
12 I'm glad to see that you're hanging in
13 there, because that's what it takes, a lot of times to
14 hang in there and just be persistent and persevere.
15 That's the only way you are going to learn this road.
16 Thank you very much.
17 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.
18 MR. DAVIS: And, oh, good luck whoever
19 wins that dang election, because I really would like to
20 know --
21 MS. GATELLI: You're lucky, because you
22 get to see the 113th district many times, and we
23 haven't seen the 112th district at all.
24 MR. DAVIS: I haven't seen the 116th.
25 I haven't seen anybody else, so I don't know what's
1 going on. Maybe it's me. Are we selectively showing
2 different people? Are we selectively showing certain
3 candidates? Is this the start of that money or --
4 MS. GATELLI: No . They're all being
5 shown there, and I think they were all interviewed, and
6 they will be on Channel 61, also.
7 MR. DAVIS: I stand corrected.
8 MS. GATELLI: But the 112th is not.
9 The incumbent refuses to debate and refuse to be
10 interviewed, so people in the 112th aren't getting the
11 proper knowledge about who to vote for, and that's
13 MS. HUMPHREY: Hi, everybody. How are
15 MS. GATELLI: Fine.
16 MS. HUMPHREY: I came here -- I'm going
17 to speak about politics. Believe you me, I'm going to
18 speak about politics.
19 Me and Mrs. Judy Gatelli made the third
20 page of the paper. I call her -- I'm the female
21 girbaldi (phonetic) of Italy for Peace, and she's the
22 Tammy Baker of politics.
23 I have this picture. Okay. This is
24 what I want to get on with here, the City Council. The
25 newspapers, they don't cover everything, and I noticed
1 on the second day, I never get to watch myself what's
2 happening, and I see some things were censored. Who
3 does the censoring, I don't know.
4 So, anybody that wants to send
5 anything out, if they're not getting what they desire
6 at The Scranton Times, Catholic Light, send your --
7 everything into the Catholic Light. I'm sure they will
8 be able to help. Mr. Genello will help you.
9 The next thing that I have to say is, I
10 am standing here in honor of my forefathers' fathers,
11 my predecessors, my successors of the United States of
12 America, my town, my city, my country and my church,
13 but also in honor of Mr. Evans.
14 I was happy to meet with his father.
15 He put his name and his telephone number on here.
16 MS. GATELLI: Phyllis.
17 MS. HUMPHREY: Mr. Evans --
18 MS. GATELLI: Please, you're not
19 supposed to show those at the Council meetings.
20 MS. HUMPHREY: Oh, I have the number on
21 here because I have something else. I was making
22 different things here.
23 Mr., what's his name, DeNaples was in
24 the paper that he wants this gambling casino and
1 That's fine and dandy in one way, but
2 in another way I feel that it's bringing -- it will
3 bring a lot of jobs, but it's also going to bring a lot
4 of evilness, drugs, sex, you name it, into this area.
5 That's the second thing.
6 The third thing is, I have these books
7 from Bishop Martino for everybody here to have.
8 MS. GATELLI: Phyllis, Phyllis, you're
9 out of order.
10 MS. HUMPHREY: Okay. I just want to
11 know. Okay.
12 MS. GATELLI: You're out of order.
13 MS. HUMPHREY: Freedom of speech, and
14 today is National Prayer Day.
15 MS. GATELLI: Freedom of speech --
16 Attorney Minora, could you please explain the religious
18 MR. MINORA: You can't promote religion
19 at these meetings. The meetings are to discuss city
20 business. We're not here to promote one religion.
21 MS. HUMPHREY: Okay. Can I ask you
22 something? This isn't promoting one religion, this is
23 promoting our faith, our belief, our freedom of speech.
24 Mr. Minora, I have a question I want to
25 ask you on a legal aspect. When someone is attacked,
1 battered, abused and they don't do what they're
2 supposed to be doing, the legal system, what would you
3 call that? Would you call that discrimination? Would
4 you call that obstruction of justice?
5 MR. MINORA: I wouldn't call it either.
6 MS. HUMPHREY: What would you call it?
7 MS. GATELLI: I'd call it not city
9 MR. MINORA: Right.
10 MS. GATELLI: That's what I would call
12 MS. HUMPHREY: But is it city about
13 crime, that there's lower --
14 MS. GATELLI: You can talk about crime,
16 MS. HUMPHREY: Okay. Now, here's what
17 I propose. We are in debt, I was told. I don't know
18 how true it is.
19 The gift that God, excuse me, the big
20 one up there it, has given me, I thought that this
21 would be able to help the City of Scranton, and you can
22 call this Uncle Benedict.
23 I would like this to be representing
24 in a special way our Lady of Freedom in the City of
25 Scranton and our mighty counselor of the City of
1 Scranton. It's a gift.
2 And what I have to ask you is you say
3 that it doesn't -- you will not constitute and telling
4 me of misjudgment or obstruction of justice, we have a
5 lot of wonderful policemen here, I will not deny it.
6 They've always came whenever anything happened, which
7 was many times.
8 But the thing was when it came to the
9 reports and came to the district attorneys and going to
10 the courts, they blocked me.
11 What I have is documents here to share
12 with the Council that I want them to document, because
13 they're going to the President of the United States, so
14 I want you to be aware of this.
15 MS. GATELLI: Okay. Thank you.
16 MS. HUMPHREY: Thanks, everybody. I
17 love you. And I wonder when we're going to be in the
18 paper again.
19 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Ancherani. Is anyone
20 else coming up to speak? Phyllis, Phyllis.
21 Mrs. Krake. I'm sorry that you were detained.
22 MS. KRAKE: That's fine. I'm just
23 pleased that there's a place that Phyllis can speak at.
24 I think it's wonderful that we're all here and that she
25 gets a chance too.
1 Actually, last week for Council members
2 voted to review our current distressed status. That
3 has to be one of the best things that has ever happened
4 in this Council chambers within the past five years.
5 And you probably noticed the flury of
6 political spin that started, so apparently people are
7 taking notice and they're scared. So, thank you very
9 And actually you received that report,
10 Mrs. Gatelli, that costed the state $1.7 million, the
11 Pennsylvania Economy League. Well, whether that's true
12 or not, no matter what the Pennsylvania Economy League
13 has been paid for work performed, I believe the
14 question should be what work and what results have we
15 seen here in Scranton, no matter what the cost has
17 We would have all been better off if
18 the money was spent on -- if the money spent on
19 consultants came back to the municipalities as revenue
20 sharing funds or low interest loans.
21 As I mentioned last week, it's sad to
22 see a community like Nanticoke have to now endure
23 state-funded consultants.
24 The consulting group assigned to
25 Nanticoke is Keystone Municipal Services, a different
1 name, but they're just as ineffective as the consulting
2 group for Scranton, which is the Pennsylvania Economy
4 It was refreshing, however, to see the
5 employees and elected officials meet to discuss their
6 city's problems before the state held their distressed
7 hearing. This is a good example of how this process
8 should work, mutual respect between the elected
9 officials and the workers in the City of Nanticoke.
10 The administrators have taken input
11 from the workers and did not assume an automatic
12 adversarial role from the beginning.
13 Because of this tact, the people of
14 Nanticoke will probably work through this together,
15 also, as long as they keep the bean counters or
16 consultants from out of town in check.
17 Unfortunately in Scranton, the rubber
18 stamp Council of the past enabled Mayor Doherty's
19 agenda of division and catastrophic debt to become a
20 way of life for us.
21 Passing the Recovery Plan in 2002 was a
22 universally unique action of deep seated polarization
23 of a community. That's a lot to say for what actually
25 Some of those conflicts that were
1 created and that remain with us today would be downtown
2 versus neighborhoods, parks versus potholes,
3 progressive restructuring versus management perks, and
4 the most blatant tax relief versus crony enrichment.
5 And today actually The Times got it
6 right, The Times' cartoonist, that is, the Recovery
7 Plan should be buried deep.
8 Nanticoke is in the infancy of Act 47.
9 But after seeing how this city has approached the
10 process from the beginning, maybe a community like
11 Scranton, that has been in distressed status for
12 14 years, can take a lesson of mutual respect and
13 cooperation from Nanticoke.
14 And I have one more thing I'd like to
15 ask. Mrs. Wardell asked me to mention it. The
16 handicapped entrance was not open today, and I guess
17 many evenings it's not, so if we could look into that.
18 It was a struggle for some people to get in. Som thank
20 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mr.
22 MR. ANCHERANI: Good evening, Council.
23 I'm Nelson Ancherani, I'm a resident, taxpayer, city
24 employee and financial secretary of the FOP.
25 I heard what you had said about the
1 soldiers. That's good that's it's moving along.
2 I come with my opinion and First
3 Amendment rights. Again, the one newspaper in this
4 town fumbled the ball. They had the chance to tell the
5 full story about the distressed label that this city
6 has had for the last 14 years. And that's right, 14,
7 not 13 like their editorial says.
8 Their editorial of 4/30/06 is titled,
9 Truth still hurts. City is distressed. They are
10 right. The truth hurts. That is why they don't print
11 the full story.
12 The truth hurts, and this paper can't
13 handle the truth. Who are these editorialists? These
14 faceless Halloweeners?
15 I don't hide behind an editorial. I
16 don't wear a mask like they do. This is cowardly.
17 These Halloweeners chastise the Council for taking the
18 initiative to rid the city of the distressed label.
19 Where is this newspaper chastising this
20 mayor for spending us into bankruptcy for his fiscal
21 irresponsibility in the putting this city into $240
22 million plus debt?
23 Why are these Halloweeners hiding
24 behind their masks? Are they yellow masks that extend
25 down their backs? This mayor is spending this city
1 into oblivion, and they sit back and don't print a word
2 about it.
3 This is a sad day in Scranton history
4 in this one newspaper town. These editorialists are
5 concerned. And, well, they should be, that the award
6 by the arbitrator to the police union will be costly.
7 The paper says the award will be $2.4
8 million. That's if you believe the newspaper. What
9 the newspaper fails to say is that the mayor in the
10 last five years violated his own Recovery Plan to the
11 tune of $5.5 million in raises and new hires, while
12 laying off clerical workers. Where were the
14 And we have to remind you that the
15 unions got nothing during that whole time. The last
16 paragraph of that editorial says, Mr. Courtright knows
17 that something has changed, however, since the
18 inception of the program, the Doherty Administration
19 has strived to implement meaningful change through the
20 Recovery Plan Program, which it continued to do so.
21 And I say, What has the Doherty
22 Administration strived to implement? What meaningful
23 change? I guess they mean violating the Recovery Plan
24 is meaningful change.
25 I have questions and observations now.
1 Approximately ten months ago I brought this up, and I
2 ask again, Where is the DPW on Diamond Avenue?
3 I'm asking, because a while back a
4 company was paid $3,428 to furnish and install wiring,
5 switching and receptacles at the DPW on Diamond Avenue.
6 So, I say, where on Diamond Avenue?
7 There's a building out there that, what
8 I was told, and I don't know how true it is, that they
9 were doing to work for our catch basins.
10 If they were, is that private property?
11 There's a sign on it of a private contractor. So, if
12 it isn't our property, why are we doing work there?
13 A while back I said that there was a
14 novelty shop that sold hardware for flags or that
15 charged the city $314.40 for hardware for flags.
16 That wasn't bad, but they changed $1670
17 to restock, charge, and a freight on that. Where were
18 the newspaper editorialists on that?
19 Verizon Wireless, they were paid for
20 phone bills for two parties from the city. One was
21 $336, one was $243, and one was $390, two parties for
22 the City of Scranton phone bills.
23 One company was paid for a banner, and
24 I like Gerry McNamara, I think he did a great job, but
25 I think for that banner, $1250 is a lot of money.
1 Scranton Tomorrow, Development
2 Renaissance Project, $300; Leadership Lackawanna, $950;
3 Signs By Tomorrow, $1200, banners for Bush and Rendell.
4 A fireworks company, $10,000;
5 Reimbursement of airfare regarding the Memphis
6 Manifesto, 516; neighborhood development trust fund,
7 $10,664, again, $10,664; again, for the Neighborhood
8 Development Trust Fund $10,648; Pennsylvania League of
9 Cities, $27,633.20; PA League of Cities, $20,865.88; PA
10 League of Cities, $27,633.
11 These are all bills that they paid.
12 Where was the newspaper when these were being paid?
13 This is all city business, but yet we hear nothing from
14 the newspaper at all. I thank you for letting me take
15 the time.
16 MS. GATELLI: Thank you very much. Is
17 there anyone else that cares to speak? Mrs. Garvey.
18 MS. GARVEY: 5-A, Motions.
19 MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Evans.
20 MS. EVANS: Good evening. I received
21 an update tonight on the plaque in memory of
22 Mr. Lasess, Jerome Lasess at the Wildlife Center.
23 We're very pleased that it has been approved by the
24 Recreation Authority and by Mr. Scopelliti, however, we
25 now need the approval of the mayor in order to install
1 that plaque in the zoo, so I am hoping that we will
2 receive that agreement from him in the very near future
3 and have that plaque installed with a very nice small
4 ceremony commemorating all of the work of Mr. Lasess.
5 And do we have a report on Southern
6 Union yet regarding their building?
7 MS. GATELLI: No. Sherry was supposed
8 to meet with them.
9 MS. EVANS: Okay. I also have a list
10 of citizens' requests for the week. Trim the tree
11 nearest the flagpole at light pole at Connell Park, and
12 I'm hoping as they are renovating the park, they're
13 going to keep these requests in mind.
14 Also, the residents of Connell Park
15 area would like a plaque honoring Gene Marlow installed
16 near the flagpole in Connell Park. They're very proud
17 of her participation in the All-American Girls Baseball
18 League and her inclusion in the Hall of Fame,
19 particularly since she grew up in their neighborhood.
20 Residents of the Connell Park area
21 would like to know where the monument from Hickory
22 Street and Pittston Avenue is. It was removed many
23 years ago, and it listed those South Side residents who
24 fought and those who died in defense of our country.
25 They request that the monument be installed in Connell
2 A sewer basin at 1920 North Washington
3 Avenue was cleared by the Sewer Authority, but the
4 residents of the block request that a hydro jet be used
5 to thoroughly open it.
6 604 Warner Street, the front lawn is
7 littered with debris which is blowing onto other
8 properties. Please send an inspector quickly, because
9 the neighbors, particularly one older gentleman, is
10 very upset by the situation.
11 Greenwood Avenue at the Corey Street
12 end, please replace the No Trucks Allowed sign on this
13 block which was knocked down and disposed of.
14 Pave Kearney Court between Corey Street
15 and Warner Street, which is desperately in need of
16 work. Hermans Avenue behind 26 Dean Street, for over
17 one year a burned-out shell of a house continues to
18 stand. There are no windows and the roof appears to be
19 caving in spots. It's also a harbor for cats and
20 pigeons. When will this structure be demolished?
21 Also, please notify the police
22 department. I don't know that there really is anything
23 they will be able to do, but hopefully they can take a
24 look at this.
25 Notify them about the following
1 problem, the exit ramp off of I-81 at River Street to
2 Meadow Avenue. Between four and 5 p.m., numerous
3 vehicles wait legally in the left lane to turn left,
4 while others pass on the right, turn into the parking
5 lot of the Salvation Army and pull ahead of the cars
6 trying to turn left off the exit thereby stalling those
7 in line even further.
8 Those who commute daily to Wilkes-Barre
9 have contacted me for possible assistance and indicate
10 that the problem reaches a peak on Fridays.
11 The corner of Alder Street and Prospect
12 Avenue, a manhole cover is crushed and the concrete is
13 sinking, and a girl has already broken her ankle from
14 stepping into this depression. I originally made this
15 report in the fall of 2005, and I would like to see
16 progress now.
17 Morgan Court in the rear of 527 Alder
18 Street, there are pave cuts that were never finished,
19 and residents of the area deserve to have the work
21 Finally, I wish to thank Ryan Kelly for
22 reporting the potholes behind Neil Armstrong School.
23 He's nine-years-old, plays ball at the North Scranton
24 Little League and watches Council meetings every
25 Thursday night. I was notified today that the potholes
1 were indeed filled. Good job, Ryan.
2 And one last motion, I move that the
3 Office of Licensing Inspections and Permits would cease
4 sending certified letters to city residents, and
5 instead use those monies for the purchase of address
6 numbers which will be posted as they are noticed by the
7 inspectors throughout the city.
8 MS. GATELLI: I'll second that motion.
9 However, I'm not sure that you can put the numbers on a
10 house without the person's permission.
11 MS. EVANS: Oh, I don't think they'll
12 object. I don't think they should put it on while
13 they're not home, but I can't imagine anyone, on the
14 other hand, though, not wishing to have the quickest
15 availability of any type of emergency service, because
16 you don't know when something is going to happen to you
17 or your home.
18 MS. GATELLI: Yes, that's true. On the
20 MR. COURTRIGHT: I'll vote in the
21 affirmative. I don't know if we're able to do that or
22 not. I guess we have to ask Mr. Fiorini first, but
23 I'll vote to see what he has to say.
24 MS. EVANS: Thank you. Well, I'm
25 hoping, you know, that they're going to do the right
1 thing there, because even, you know, as you listen to
2 the requests that citizens report to me week after week
3 after week, how many of them fall under the
4 jurisdiction of that office and how many of them have
5 been waiting for month after month, year after year
6 after year, and I don't see that there's any rush to
7 action in those particular instances, yet I find it
8 highly questionable that there was such a rush to
9 action with regard to these residents, and I think
10 they're being placed unfairly in the middle simply
11 because it's election time and simply because the
12 administration supports their own candidate. And I'm
13 not going to allow the people of Scranton to be the
14 pawns in an administrative game of chess. So, I want
15 it to be straightened out.
16 MS. MCTIERNAN: Mrs. Gatelli, I think
17 it's a certainly a noble idea, but I would want to know
18 from Attorney Minora whether we can send city officials
19 or city employees on the private property to place
20 numbers or ornaments on private homes.
21 I think it's a great idea. I would
22 vote yes if it was to cease using the certified
23 letters, but I would like the solicitor's opinion as to
24 whether we can send someone on private property.
25 MR. MINORA: Well --
1 MS. GATELLI: Maybe we can have them
2 available here and put it in the letter.
3 MS. EVANS: Well, actually, yeah, I
4 don't know about maybe installing, but the inspectors
5 are allowed on private property.
6 In fact, when there is a junk vehicle
7 or an abandoned vehicle that is not located on a city
8 street, it's the police, I believe, who cannot go onto
9 private property to take action in that instance, but
10 the city inspectors are empowered to do so.
11 MR. MINORA: I think it's a safety
12 issue you're raising; is that right --
13 MS. EVANS: Yes.
14 MR. MINORA: -- so emergency vehicles
15 would be able to recognize homes? I don't think in
16 that circumstance the city would have the right to
17 number the houses.
18 MR. MCTIERNAN: So, that's in the
19 statute if I don't want the -- I don't like the design
20 or it doesn't match my house? I know it sounds
21 ridiculous, but we have someone who says you put brass
22 or black and I want brass.
23 I just -- I think Mrs. Gatelli's ideas
24 if we're going to do this, make it available, but I
25 just think we're opening up a can of worms. It
1 certainly is a safety issue.
2 MR. MINORA: It certainly makes it
3 cleaner to require somebody from that office to knock
4 on the door and ask permission --
5 MS. EVANS: Yes. But I think --
6 MR. MINORA: -- or get a release.
7 That's obviously a much cleaner way to do it, but for
8 safety reasons --
9 MS. GATELLI: I think the more
10 important issue is not to have the letter attached from
11 City Council, because it's not our job to enforce that.
12 MS. EVANS: But I also don't believe
13 they need to be wasting money sending certified
14 letters, because they're costly, and that type of money
15 is better used to purchase the numbers.
16 Because, you know, I think you notice
17 as you travel around this city, the more affluent homes
18 certainly have the address numbers and sometimes
19 they're in brass and they're very proudly displayed.
20 It seems to be very often those who may
21 not have the means or even the opportunity to go and
22 get something like that. And we're just trying to
23 assist them, not to glamorize the home, but just assist
24 them and put it in a place where it's simply visible in
25 the event of an emergency. And I bet even the post
1 office will give us at 'at a boy for that.
2 MS. GATELLI: Are you restricting that
3 just to house signs, not sending certified mail?
4 MS. EVANS: Yes, just -- well, it's not
5 -- the address numbers.
6 MS. GATELLI: Okay.
7 MR. MINORA: So I understand the
8 motion, it's to cease sending certified mail from the
9 Office of Licensing and Inspections and to use that
10 money to provide a numbering system for the homes?
11 MS. EVANS: Uh-huh. But we're talking
12 about, only as Mrs. Gatelli said --
13 MS. GATELLI: Only the house number
15 MS. EVANS: -- this instant. We're not
16 saying that this office is never to send certified
18 MR. MINORA: Just for the address, the
19 city addresses.
20 MS. EVANS: Right.
21 MR. MINORA: And is the motion amended
22 to say they're going to seek permission to put the
23 number on, or are they to just go ahead and do that
24 whether or not they have permission?
25 MS. GATELLI: Well, maybe they can say
1 in the letter, you know, if you do not respond within
2 so many days, we will put numbers, you know, this
3 office will.
4 MR. MCTIERNAN: Don't these folks --
5 aren't we identifying these houses by someone being
6 physically present seeing it? Why don't we use the
7 money them to put a warning tag or a door tag on it and
8 say, You're not in compliance, instead of putting
9 people on a property?
10 I mean, that's -- I'm just afraid now
11 it's a safety issue for a vehicle that's out of the
12 motor code -- the vehicle code that's a safety issue,
13 and, you know, now we have to repair mufflers. It just
14 doesn't make sense to me. That's all.
15 I would think that we could use that
16 money if there's a person walking around and they are
17 noticing there's a home out of compliance, they would
18 have a series of tags in their possession, tag the door
19 saying you're out of compliance and next week walk
20 around. I'd rather make it a provision where we can
21 enforce that, and certainly we can use other funds to
22 make those available.
23 MS. EVANS: Well, I think we already
24 have such an ordinance on the books. And, to me, as I
25 said, it's more a safety issue, though, I do agree that
1 it can be seen as setting a precedent for other things,
2 I don't think that, you know, the city providing a
3 muffler is going to be in the same category with, you
4 know, maybe a dollar per house so that the residents of
5 that home are protected in case of emergency.
6 MS. GATELLI: Well, we're going to have
7 Amil investigate this. This is motion really, right?
8 MS. EVANS: Uh-huh. Well, no, it
9 wasn't for him to investigate it, it was the motion to
10 have the office stop sending certified letters, because
11 it is a waist of good money.
12 And, you know, furthermore, if you're
13 going to go out and tag all of these homes and then
14 send a follow-up letter or send people back again,
15 you're using a good deal of manpower here where you
16 just simply go out with the numbers and say these are
17 the numbers. Would you like to put them on yourself or
18 would you like us to do it for you? It's for your
19 health, safety and protection.
20 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else on the
21 question? All those in favor, say aye.
22 MS. EVANS: Aye.
23 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
24 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed?
25 MR. MCTIERNAN: No.
1 MS. GATELLI: The ayes have it and so
3 MS. EVANS: That's it.
4 MS. GATELLI: Mr. McTiernan.
5 MR. MCTIERNAN: Thank you, Mrs.
6 Gatelli. Mrs. Garvey, could you do me a favor, please?
7 Regarding that veterans issue that was brought up
8 earlier tonight, would you mind making a contact with
9 Mrs. Novembrino's office to see from the 2005 budget if
10 there were any expenditures for the $150 line item for
11 the Veterans, please?
12 And I would ask the same request for
13 the 2006 budget, if you would, please. And just where
14 those checks were allocated to, if you would. Thank
15 you very much.
16 And I just want to say that I have a
17 previous commitment on Saturday, that I will not be
18 able to make your -- Junior Council's event on
19 Saturday, but I wish you well, and hopefully I will be
20 able to help and participate in a future event.
21 And number three, I did have an
22 opportunity to speak with members from the
23 administration, and I am interested in finding more
24 details out regarding the proposals that were studied
25 in the arbitration award case regarding the police
1 union, as well as the firefighters contract
2 arbitration, and I am hoping -- the administration
3 asked -- they said that they feel a decision will be
4 imminent regarding the firefighters decision and that
5 it would be premature to discuss one without the other,
6 because I think there are me too issues and they're
7 probably inextricably linked.
8 So, I did get a verbal commitment that,
9 as Mrs. Gatelli pointed out earlier today, that there
10 would be an executive session regarding those. And
11 what I've asked for in addition was a study or an
12 analysis, and actually waiting for the fire arbitration
13 to come through, would give the administration some
14 time to, number one, outline both proposals, the
15 administration's proposal, as well as the collective
16 bargaining units' proposals in their entirety so that
17 Council can view them to find out exactly where we were
18 prior to the arbitrations. And then we can probably
19 make a more informed decision regarding the appeals
21 I'm also asking that the administration
22 prepares a detailed analysis, not a one-page analysis,
23 but a detailed analysis on those proposals and the
24 impact on the community, and probably using a few case
25 studies with individual homes and properties in the
1 city and how the impact of both proposals would affect
2 individual persons within the city.
3 And what is the last thing I have here?
4 We know that continuing along with the current
5 contracts as they are, we're operating under the old
6 contracts, and they have a certain cost, which we know,
7 because we've been working on those budgets for the
8 last few years.
9 So, we're hoping -- I'm hoping to have
10 a detailed analysis so that we can make a more informed
11 decision regarding those. I can feel a little better
12 about the way we vote. So, I'm looking forward to a
13 large amount of information to study over the next few
15 And we have a letter from a -- an
16 anonymous, or I should say a confidential individual
17 who is outlining a situation relative to the revenue
18 side of the taxes, that there are folks who maintain
19 properties in the city, yet officially list residences
20 outside of the city.
21 And I do not know the mechanism, but I
22 would suggest that any citizens that know of people who
23 reside in the city, yet claim to live outside the city,
24 therefore, dodging a tax, about two percent plus, that
25 they should report it to Council and then we can
1 forward it to the appropriate people to see whether or
2 not that person is avoiding income tax. That is
3 something that is not legal.
4 So, we can certainly look at that. And
5 I think every one of us in this room pays our fair
6 share for living here. So, I think it would only be
7 fair if you live in the city and maintain a residence
8 in the city, that you should pay your fair share, as
9 well. And that's all I have, Mrs. Gatelli. Thank you.
10 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.
11 MS. EVANS: Can I just add something,
12 though? I like the information that Mr. McTiernan
13 seeks, but if we can also obtain what the potential
14 cost of an appeal --
15 MR. MCTIERNAN: Sure.
16 MS. EVANS: -- will run. And, oh, my
17 goodness. There was something else.
18 MR. MCTIERNAN: That's a good balance.
19 If you think about that, you're look at the cost of
20 maintaining the current contract, which we all know,
21 because some of us on the dais here, and Mr. Courtright
22 formerly, we all have experience with collective
23 bargaining, and there are times when an expired
24 contract is beneficial.
25 I think that's obvious. And anyone
1 who's a union member or has been a union member may
2 have been in that situation, where sitting on a former
3 contract is beneficial to the membership.
4 And that's the job of the union
5 leadership to promote the interests of their
6 membership. That's without question. So, I think
7 you're right.
8 To analyze the cost of maintaining the
9 current collective bargaining agreement, the cost of
10 appealing it, and then the cost of implementing the
11 arbitrator's agreement is definitely reasonable. Thank
13 MS. EVANS: And just one quick thing,
14 you jogged my memory as you were discussing another
15 issue. Kay, did we ever hear from Mrs. Moran
16 concerning the DPW worker who resides outside of the
17 city --
18 MS. GARVEY: No.
19 MS. EVANS: -- but is employed?
20 MS. GARVEY: No, I didn't get anything
21 back yet.
22 MS. EVANS: Could we give her a call,
23 please, tomorrow, and remind her that we're waiting for
24 that response?
25 MS. GARVEY: Okay. I'll call her
2 MS. EVANS: And if there -- if they
3 need some cooperation to expedite the discovery, I do
4 have the name of the individual.
5 MS. GARVEY: Okay.
6 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Courtright.
7 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes. I'm happy to
8 report our own Chrissy Sledzinski brought up before
9 about Main Avenue and Jackson Street, the catch basin.
10 It's not fixed yet, but they've got a horse around and
11 they've got a line painted around it, so I'm assuming
12 they're going to fix it soon.
13 As I was standing there, I ran into a
14 supervisor from the Sewer Authority, and he -- they got
15 the letter that we sent down about a schedule for the
16 catch basins, and he told me off the top of his head he
17 believes that they did 900 catch basins in the last
18 four months, and he said he's aggressively pursuing
19 doing all of them. So, hopefully we will have every
20 catch basin done in the near future.
21 And, Kay, I don't know who I send this
22 to, whether it would be -- I'm guessing maybe Mr.
23 Parker. On Sloan and Parrot, I've gone through this in
24 the past when I first came on Council, for some, I have
25 no idea why, but for some reason every so often we have
1 a tractor-trailer driving down that street. I can't
2 imagine what they're doing there, but they're
3 destroying this man's sidewalk.
4 They go up other his sidewalk all the
5 time, and he spent a lot of money to fix these
6 sidewalks. Now, I don't know if the city could -- I
7 don't think he could legally put any kind of a barrier
8 on there, but if he could take a look at that situation
9 and give a recommendation to me and I can tell the
10 resident what could be done there.
11 I know if you put those pipes in the
12 ground, then you're liable if something happens and
13 somebody for insurance, but if there's anything the
14 city could do.
15 You know, I feel really bad for this
16 guy. He spent a lot of money on these sidewalks, and
17 it's repeatedly happening.
18 And I'll speak with the police
19 department to see if we can post that no trucks be
20 allowed on that road. I just can't imagine what
21 they're doing there.
22 He tried to get the license plate off
23 of it, but they couldn't get it. They do have the name
24 of the trucking company, so maybe I can forward that to
25 the police department.
1 One other thing, Kay, they're going to
2 be calling you Jay soon. I know we ordered police cars
3 quite a while ago, and they haven't materialized. So,
4 could we ask Mr. Lynady where they're at?
5 I see we've got guys doubled up in
6 cars, and I don't like to see that. So, if we can ask
7 Mr. Lynady where the police cars are? Are they on
8 their way? Did they get lost? What happened?
9 And Luzerne Street heading towards
10 Keyser Avenue, when Mr. Pocius was here, he was
11 actively involved in it, the railroad crossing there.
12 Well, they now have the arms up to come
13 down when a train goes by, so hopefully no more
14 accidents. And we thank everybody involved in getting
15 that done. That was a real problem there.
16 And just one last thing, hats off to
17 the fire department again. One of the biggest fires in
18 recent history last week, a tough fire to fight, but
19 they did a wonderful job. And we would like to thank
20 them for that. And that's all I have, Mrs. Gatelli.
21 Thank you.
22 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. I only have a
23 few things. I'd like to make a motion that we send a
24 letter to the mayor to look into the possibility of
25 hiring some more CommD patrols with the EMS Tax. I
1 know that's one of the reasons that it is collected.
2 So, I'd like to look into that possibility. For next
3 year's budget.
4 MR. COURTRIGHT: I'll second the
5 motion. But on the question, Mrs. Gatelli, I think we
6 were told we were topped out; isn't that what they told
7 us? We spent as much as we could spend on CommD money,
8 because you could only spend so much. We tried with
9 the last Council to get more.
10 MS. EVANS: I think we should let Mrs.
11 Gatelli give it a try.
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: Well, if she could get
13 them to raise that, go right ahead.
14 MS. GATELLI: Or maybe not CommD.
15 We'll call it something else.
16 MS. EVANS: Take it from anywhere --
17 anywhere they can find it.
18 MS. GATELLI: I talked to the mayor a
19 little bit, but we didn't look into it. When we were
20 in OECD, we hired Community Development Officers that
21 were on reserve. They weren't actual police officers,
22 but they were certified, and they were on the list to
23 be hired, and we used them.
24 Now, there were some union problems
25 that surfaced, and we weren't allowed to do that
1 anymore. But I think if we all get together and
2 recognize the need for more officers, I think the union
3 would certainly be amenable to that idea. So, I would
4 like that investigated. That's my motion. On the
5 question? All in favor.
6 MS. EVANS: Aye.
7 MR. MCTIERNAN: Aye.
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
9 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The ayes
10 have it and so moved. I'm going to make another motion
11 that Mr. Jones be reinstated until the bylaws take
13 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
14 MS. GATELLI: On the question?
15 MS. EVANS: Have the bylaws already
16 taken effect?
17 MS. GATELLI: I'm not sure.
18 MS. EVANS: I saw them this evening,
19 and they're signed by Doug Miller and dated as of
21 MS. GATELLI: Well, let me change my
22 motion then. Kill that motion. And I'd like to make a
23 motion that the Junior City Council call Mr. Jones and
24 ask him what his intentions are and read him the
25 bylaws, and if he can abide by the bylaws, that he's
1 allowed to come back. That's my motion.
2 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second. Do we have to
3 vote down the first motion, though, Mr. Minora?
4 MS. GATELLI: No, I killed it. Nobody
5 seconded it.
6 MR. MINORA: Your fir motion was
7 withdrawn, wasn't it?
8 MS. GATELLI: Yeah. So, that's my
9 second motion, that they contact Corey.
10 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
11 MS. EVANS: On the question?
12 MS. GATELLI: Yes.
13 MS. EVANS: The bylaws were written by
14 whom? You wrote them, Jackson? They're not based on
15 anything else?
16 MR. LOCKHEAD: They're based on
17 Roberts Rules.
18 MS. GATELLI: Roberts Rules, he looked
20 MS. EVANS: So, you took it out of
22 MR. LOCKHEAD: Yes. I used everything
23 that you have.
24 MS. EVANS: And then adapted it?
25 MR. LOCKHEAD: Yes.
1 MS. EVANS: I see. Okay. Thanks.
2 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else on the
3 question? All in favor.
4 MS. EVANS: Aye.
5 MR. MCTIERNAN: Aye.
6 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
7 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The ayes
8 have it and so moved. And that's all I have, Mrs.
10 MR. MCTIERNAN: Judy, could I have a
11 moment? Kay, can I give you the account number for
12 those Veterans' funds? That might help you what to ask
13 for. It's Account No. 01.401.17020.4299. Thank you.
14 MS. GARVEY: Fifth order. 5-B - FOR
15 INTRODUCTION - A RESOLUTION - APPOINTMENT OF FATHER
16 MICHAEL HARRIS, 1500 PENN AVENUE, SCRANTON,
17 PENNSYLVANIA, 18509, AS A MEMBER OF THE SCRANTON PUBLIC
18 LIBRARY BOARD EFFECTIVE MAY 1, 2006. FATHER HARRIS
19 WILL BE REPLACING MSGR. MCGOWAN, WHO NO LONGER RESIDES
20 IN THE CITY OF SCRANTON. FATHER HARRIS' TERM WILL
21 EXPIRE ON DECEMBER 31, 2007.
22 MS. GATELLI: At this time I'll
23 entertain a motion that Item 5-B be introduced.
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
25 MS. EVANS: Second.
1 MS. GATELLI: On the question?
2 MS. EVANS: Yes. I'd like to
3 congratulate Father Harris. He is in charge of my
4 parish, St. Paul's. So, it's very nice indeed to see
5 him come on board.
6 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else on the
7 question? All in favor.
8 MS. EVANS: Aye.
9 MR. MCTIERNAN: Aye.
10 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
11 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The ayes
12 have it and so moved.
13 MS. GARVEY: 5-C - FOR INTRODUCTION - A
14 RESOLUTION - APPOINTMENT OF RICHARD LEONORI, 714 TAYLOR
15 AVENUE, SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA, 18509, TO THE HUMAN
16 RELATIONS COMMISSION EFFECTIVE APRIL 25, 2006. MR.
17 LEONORI WILL BE REPLACING DR. MICHAEL ILLUZZI, WHO IS
18 UNABLE TO FULFILL HIS TERM DUE TO HIS EMPLOYMENT
19 RESPONSIBILITIES. MR. LEONORI'S TERM WILL EXPIRE ON
20 DECEMBER 31, 2008.
21 MS. GATELLI: At this time I'll
22 entertain a motion for 5-C.
23 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
24 MS. EVANS: Second.
25 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All
1 those in favor, signify by saying aye.
2 MS. EVANS: Aye.
3 MR. MCTIERNAN: Aye.
4 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
5 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The ayes
6 have it and so moved.
7 MS. GARVEY: 5-D - FOR INTRODUCTION - A
8 RESOLUTION - RE-APPOINTMENT OF JOSEPH O'CONNOR, 643
9 NORTH BROMLEY AVENUE, SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA, 18504, AS
10 A MEMBER OF THE SCRANTON RECREATION AUTHORITY. MR.
11 O'CONNOR'S TERM EXPIRED ON MARCH 1, 2006 AND HIS NEW
12 TERM WILL EXPIRE ON MARCH 1, 2011.
13 MS. GATELLI: At this time I'll
14 entertain a motion that 5-D be introduced.
15 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
16 MR. MCTIERNAN: Second.
17 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All
18 those in favor.
19 MS. EVANS: Aye.
20 MR. MCTIERNAN: Aye.
21 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
22 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The ayes
23 have it and so moved.
24 MS. GARVEY: 5-E - FOR INTRODUCTION - A
25 RESOLUTION - AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND OTHER
1 APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS TO EXECUTE AND ENTER INTO A
2 CONTRACT FOR SERVICES WITH STEMENS BUILDING
3 TECHNOLOGIES, INC., SPECIFICALLY A PERFORMANCE
4 CONTRACTING AGREEMENT ACCORDING TO AN ACT 77 GUARANTEED
5 ENERGY SAVINGS PROJECT FOR CITY HALL.
6 MS. GATELLI: At this time I'll
7 entertain a motion that 5-E be introduced.
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
9 MS. EVANS: Second.
10 MS. GATELLI: On the question?
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: On the question,
12 Mrs. Gatelli. There's a whole binder full of
13 information, so we need to take a look at it, but I
14 will be vote in the affirmative just to move it
16 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else? All in
18 MS. EVANS: Aye.
19 MR. MCTIERNAN: Aye.
20 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
21 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The ayes
22 have it and so moved.
23 MS. GARVEY: Sixth order. 6-A -
24 READING BY TITLE - FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 33, 2006 - AN
25 ORDINANCE - SALE OF TAX DELINQUENT PROPERTY AT 1028
1 BUNKER HILL ROAD, SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA, TO JOSEPH AND
2 CONSTANCE GENTILE, 116 SAND STREET, DUNMORE,
3 PENNSYLVANIA, 18512, FOR THE SUM OF $2,000.00.
4 MS. GATELLI: You've heard reading by
5 title of Item 6-A, what is your pleasure?
6 MR. COURTRIGHT: I move that Item 6-A
7 pass reading by title.
8 MS. EVANS Second.
9 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All
10 those in favor, signify by saying aye.
11 MS. EVANS: Aye.
12 MR. MCTIERNAN: Aye.
13 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
14 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The ayes
15 have it and so moved.
16 MS. GARVEY: 6-B - READING BY TITLE -
17 FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 34, 2006 - AN ORDINANCE - SALE OF
18 TAX DELINQUENT PROPERTY AT 305-307 SPRING STREET,
19 SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA TO JANET STRENKOSKI, 2119 WAYNE
20 AVENUE, SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA, 18508, FOR THE SUM OF
22 MS. GATELLI: You've heard reading by
23 title of Item 6-B, what is your pleasure?
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: I move that Item 6-B
25 pass reading by title.
1 MS. EVANS: Second.
2 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All
3 those in favor.
4 MS. EVANS: Aye.
5 MR. MCTIERNAN: Aye.
6 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
7 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The ayes
8 have it and so moved.
9 MS. GARVEY: 6-C - READING BY TITLE -
10 FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 35, 2006 - AN ORDINANCE -
11 AUTHORIZING THE INSTALLATION OF TRAFFIC CONTROLS AND
12 THE CORRESPONDING REGULATORY SIGNS AT THE INTERSECTION
13 OF BROADWAY AND RAILROAD AVENUE.
14 MS. GATELLI: You've heard reading by
15 title of Item 6-C, what is your pleasure?
16 MR. COURTRIGHT: I move that Item 6-C
17 pass reading by title.
18 MS. EVANS: Second.
19 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All
20 those in favor.
21 MS. EVANS: Aye.
22 MR. MCTIERNAN: Aye.
23 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
24 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The ayes
25 have it and so moved.
1 MS. GARVEY: Seventh order. 7-A - FOR
2 CONSIDERATION BY THE COMMITTEE ON RULES - FOR ADOPTION
3 - FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 32, 2006 - AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR
4 AND OTHER APPROPRIATE OFFICIALS OF THE CITY OF SCRANTON
5 TO ENTER INTO LEASE AGREEMENTS WITH VARIOUS LITTLE
6 LEAGUE, TEENER LEAGUE, MISS-E LEAGUE, AND JUNIOR
7 FOOTBALL LEAGUE ASSOCIATIONS FOR USE OF CITY-OWNED
8 PROPERTY IN CONNECTION WITH APPROVED LITTLE LEAGUE,
9 TEENER LEAGUE, MISS-E LEAGUE, AND JUNIOR FOOTBALL
10 LEAGUE ACTIVITIES FOR A THREE-YEAR PERIOD BEGINNING
11 APRIL 15, 2006 AND ENDING APRIL 14, 2009.
12 MS. GATELLI: As chairperson for the
13 committee on rules, I recommend final passage of Item
15 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
16 MS. GATELLI: On the question?
17 MR. MCTIERNAN: I'd like to make a
18 motion to amend 7-A to read in the last sentence
19 amending the term from three years to one year.
20 The purpose being is that there is one
21 little league that is in discussion with the Scranton
22 School District regarding an agreement for that, and a
23 three-year agreement might preclude further
25 I understand Mr. Courtright and
1 Mrs. Gatelli spoke with little league representatives,
2 and I know that the district would be agreeable to try
3 to do that.
4 I know the district has plans to dump a
5 significant amount of money into that facility for use
6 by the little leagues, and in cooperation with the
7 Sloan Little League in particular.
8 MS. GATELLI: Can we make that
9 amendment, Attorney Minora?
10 MR. MINORA: Yes.
11 MS. GATELLI: So, it would read a
12 one-year period.
13 MR. MCTIERNAN: Correct.
14 MS. EVANS: Don't you have to make a
15 motion to amend?
16 MR. MCTIERNAN: I did.
17 MS. EVANS: And it was seconded?
18 MS. GATELLI: No I didn't hear a
19 second. I'll second it. On the question?
20 MS. EVANS: Yes. I think -- my
21 understanding of that property is that it falls under
22 Project 70 land, and it's going to be quite difficult
23 to move that along.
24 This broaches the situation that we've
25 encountered over the South Side Complex, and I, too,
1 have spoken with representatives of the Sloan Little
2 League, and it's their desire to sublease their fields
3 to the Scranton School District, as they very often
4 have, and they're quite agreeable to continue doing
5 just that. So, I'm not going to approve the amendment.
6 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else on the
7 question? No? I'd just like to just say that we spoke
8 to Paul Brode at six o'clock, and he had no objections
9 to us doing the one year so that they can negotiate
10 with each other.
11 MR. MCTIERNAN: And I would be willing
12 -- I spoke with Mr. Sheridan, who is the CEO of the
13 school district, this afternoon before I came in, and
14 if it were agreeable to Council to table this for one
15 week, as opposed to an amendment, I would withdraw my
16 motion and we can have that discussion right here.
17 What the problem is, as I understand
18 it, we have folks talking to the lawyers independently.
19 And I know Mrs. Gatelli has had contact with Mr.
20 Farrell, as have I.
21 And Mr. Farrell -- Attorney Farrell and
22 Attorney McGrath, for the school district, haven't had
23 the ability to have direct communications. And there
24 is some discussion as to whether or not they can enter
25 into a lease agreement that would not violate the Act
1 that Sloan Field was built under.
2 So, Mr. Sheridan asked that if we
3 cannot come to an agreement regarding an amendment, he
4 would respectfully request that if we could table that
5 for one week, and I would withdraw my motion if we had
6 an agreement on that.
7 MR. COURTRIGHT: Maybe I should suggest
8 we table it, because I was going to vote no, so it
9 would be a two to two, and it would fail, all right?
10 And the only reason I was voting no is
11 when I spoke to Pete right before we came out here, he
12 was hoping he said that we went along with it, and then
13 if, in fact, they did have an agreement, they would be
14 willing to null and void a three-year contract.
15 So, now we'd have a 2-2 vote and it
16 would fail. So, maybe we can table it and we can --
17 MS. EVANS: Well, my concern is, you
18 know, at least in the past the school district was not
19 willing to commitment to writing any of the promises
20 that they were extending to Sloan Little League, just
21 very similar to the situation with the University of
22 Scranton and the citizens of Scranton. Nothing could
23 be put in writing. We were supposed to take their word
24 that citizens would be allowed to use that facility.
25 So --
1 MS. GATELLI: Yeah, but if that
2 happens, we'll just vote no, because I'm not voting
3 against the little league either.
4 MS. EVANS: Well, they've been, you
5 know, single handedly maintaining that field for years.
6 MS. GATELLI: And they've paid for
8 MS. EVANS: And they have paid for
9 everything through their own fundraisers. And it
10 wasn't until last year that they got their first
11 $5,000, and now this year they have been given an
12 increase in that funding.
13 But they have been on their own for a
14 long, long time, and the last thing that I want to see
15 or I'm going to agree to is their property being taken
16 out from underneath them.
17 MS. GATELLI: Well, that would be in
18 black and white before we vote for it.
19 MR. MCTIERNAN: So, I will withdraw my
20 motion to amend 7-A.
21 MS. GATELLI: I'll second it to
22 withdraw it. I'll withdraw my second.
23 MR. MINORA: Now what --
24 MR. MCTIERNAN: I'm withdrawing my
25 motion to amend 7-A, and as soon as someone withdraws
1 their second, then I'll make another motion.
2 MS. GATELLI: I withdrew the second.
3 MR. MCTIERNAN: I'd like to make a
4 motion to table Item 7-A, please.
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
6 MS. GATELLI: All in favor?
7 MS. EVANS: Aye.
8 MR. MCTIERNAN: Aye.
9 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
10 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The ayes
11 have it and so moved.
12 MR. MCTIERNAN: Thank you.
13 MS. GARVEY: 7-B - FOR CONSIDERATION BY
14 THE COMMITTEE ON COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT - FOR ADOPTION -
15 RESOLUTION NO. 49, 2006 - AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND
16 OTHER APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS TO EXECUTE AND ENTER
17 INTO A COOPERATION AGREEMENT WITH THE SCRANTON PARKING
18 AUTHORITY REGARDING THE RECEIPT OF A GRANT OF FOUR
19 MILLION ($4,000,000) DOLLARS UNDER THE REDEVELOPMENT
20 ASSISTANCE CAPITAL PROGRAM PERTAINING TO THE MEDALLION
21 PARKING GARAGE.
22 MS. GATELLI: What is the
23 recommendation of the chairperson on community
25 MS. EVANS: As chair for the committee
1 on community development, I recommend final passage of
2 Item 7-B.
3 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
4 MS. GATELLI: On the question? Roll
6 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.
7 MS. EVANS: Yes.
8 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci.
9 Mr. McTiernan.
10 MR. MCTIERNAN: Yes.
11 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
13 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.
14 MS. GATELLI: Yes. I hereby declare
15 Item 7-B legally and lawfully adopted.
16 MS. GARVEY: 7-C - FOR CONSIDERATION BY
17 THE COMMITTEE ON COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT - FOR ADOPTION -
18 RESOLUTION NO. 50, 2006 - AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND
19 OTHER APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS FOR THE CITY OF
20 SCRANTON TO ENTER INTO A LOAN AGREEMENT AND MAKE A LOAN
21 FROM THE URBAN DEVELOPMENT ACTION GRANT REPAYMENT LOAN
22 PROGRAM, PROJECT NO. 400.16 IN AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED
23 $75,000.00 TO LAVISH SKINCARE, INC. TO ASSIST AN
24 ELIGIBLE PROJECT.
25 MS. GATELLI: What's the recommendation
1 of the chairperson on community development?
2 MS. EVANS: As chair for the committee
3 on community development, I recommend final passage of
4 Item 7-C.
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
6 MS. GATELLI: On the question? Roll
8 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.
9 MS. EVANS: Yes.
10 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci.
11 Mr. McTiernan.
12 MR. MCTIERNAN: Yes.
13 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.
14 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
15 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.
16 MS. GATELLI: Yes. I hereby declare
17 Item 7-C legally and lawfully adopted.
18 MS. GARVEY: 7-D - FOR CONSIDERATION BY
19 THE COMMITTEE ON COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT - FOR ADOPTION -
20 RESOLUTION NO. 51, 2006 - AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND
21 OTHER APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS FOR THE CITY OF
22 SCRANTON TO ENTER INTO A LOAN AGREEMENT AND MAKE A LOAN
23 FROM THE URBAN DEVELOPMENT ACTION GRANT REPAYMENT LOAN
24 PROGRAM, PROJECT NO. 400-15 IN AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED
25 $250,000.00 TO PAPERLESS PRACTICE INC. TO ASSIST AN
1 ELIGIBLE PROJECT.
2 MS. GATELLI: What's the recommendation
3 of the chairperson on community development?
4 MS. EVANS: As chair of the committee
5 on community development, I recommend final passage of
6 Item 7-D.
7 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
8 MS. GATELLI: On the question? Roll
10 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.
11 MS. EVANS: Yes.
12 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci.
13 Mr. McTiernan.
14 MR. MCTIERNAN: Yes.
15 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.
16 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
17 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.
18 MS. GATELLI: Yes. I hereby declare
19 7-D legally and lawfully adopted. Do I have a motion
20 to adjourn.
21 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
22 MS. GATELLI: Second. All in favor?
23 Meeting adjourned. Thank you.
24 (MEETING WAS ADJOURNED.)
1 C E R T I F I C A T E
3 I hereby certify that the proceedings and
4 evidence are contained fully and accurately in the
5 notes taken by me on the hearing of the above cause and
6 that this copy is a correct transcript of the same
7 to the best of my ability.
LISA M. GRAFF, RMR
11 Official Court Reporter