5 Held:

6 Thursday, June 15, 2006



9 Time:

10 12:00 p.m.



13 Location:

14 Council Chambers

15 Scranton City Hall

16 340 North Washington Avenue

17 Scranton, Pennsylvania






23 Lisa M. Graff, RMR

24 Court Reporter









7 MS. JANET EVANS (Arrived where noted)




















1 MS. GATELLI: Okay. Please stand for

2 the Pledge Of Allegiance. Please remain standing for a

3 short prayer. Roll call.

4 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans. Mrs.

5 Fanucci.

6 MS. FANUCCI: Here.

7 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McTiernan.


9 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.


11 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.

12 MS. GATELLI: Here. Dispense with the

13 reading of the minutes.

14 MS. GARVEY: Third order. No business

15 at this time. And I have no clerk's notes to report.

16 MS. GATELLI: There are a few

17 President's notes. This week St. Patrick's Church on

18 Jackson Street is having their picnic on the 16th and

19 17th.

20 St. Joseph's in Minooka is having their

21 picnic on the 15th, 16th and 17th. I called Stacey

22 Brown this week, because I got numerous complaints

23 about the street sweeping schedule, that it was on the

24 computer but nowhere else, and many people do not own a

25 computer.


1 So, Stacey was going to check into

2 having it put in every week in the briefs so people

3 would be aware of when the sweeper would be in their

4 neighborhood.

5 (WHEREUPON, Ms. Evans entered the meeting.)

6 MS. GATELLI: 1502 Cedar Avenue was

7 cleaned up this week. A sewer basin was repaired at

8 Moosic and Stafford. A sign was repaired at Cameron

9 and Lafayette that said no trucks. It had been knocked

10 down for several weeks. The court in the rear of 400

11 of Prospect was cleaned.

12 River Street, a city lot was cleaned

13 there. The dead end sign was repaired at 12th and

14 Eynon. The Children At Play sign that Douglas

15 requested was put up on West Locust and Dale.

16 And, of course, I told you already

17 about the 228th coming so that people will be able to

18 be there. And that's all I have. The first speaker is

19 Andy Sbaraglia.

20 Before you start, Mr. Sbaraglia, I'd

21 just like to say that we're going to hold to the five

22 minutes, if possible, and I would please ask that you

23 not call anyone names, and I know you don't, but I'm

24 saying this out to the public.

25 We will -- I will not tolerate anybody


1 calling anyone a liar, a clown, intellectually not on

2 the same plane.

3 We have all been elected up here, we

4 all intend to stay here until the end of our terms,

5 unless we die, and I just don't think it's very nice.

6 So, please, refrain your comments.

7 We don't all agree with each other, and

8 that's what America is all about and democracy, that

9 you and I can have a discussion and not agree with each

10 other and still we can walk out the door and go have a

11 cup of coffee together. And that's how I'd like to

12 keep it with all of us.

13 You respect us, we'll respect you, and

14 hopefully up here we will respect each other, also.

15 So, thank you for your cooperation.

16 MR. SBARAGLIA: Andy Sbaraglia, citizen

17 of Scranton. Fellow Scrantonians, a while back you

18 voted four to one to have free swimming at the city

19 pools that you control.

20 I'd like to know why that hasn't been

21 implemented. Does anyone know the reason why? No

22 answer on that? Have you contacted the mayor?

23 MS. GATELLI: Yes. We haven't heard

24 back yet. I think we would probably have to ask our

25 solicitor to draw up such an ordinance if we don't


1 hear.

2 MR. SBARAGLIA: I was told that you do

3 se the fees at all the pools. That's your prerogative

4 to set the fees.

5 MS. EVANS: Yes. Yes, it is, Mr.

6 Sbaraglia. And if memory serves me, we had a four to

7 one vote, which would constitute an extra ordinary

8 majority regardless.

9 MR. SBARAGLIA: So, I suggest you

10 contact whoever is in charge of these pools and tell

11 them that you have set the free fee and that they

12 should implement it or resign. It's as simple as that.

13 Either they do what they tell you to do

14 or they resign their office, just like everyone else.

15 MR. COURTRIGHT: We'd have to pass

16 legislation. I don't think we can just because we made

17 a 4-1 motion just tell them to do it.

18 I think either our solicitor or the

19 city solicitor is going to have to write legislation,

20 and then we're going to have to pass that, I believe.

21 I'd leave that to the solicitor to answer.

22 MR. SBARAGLIA: Well, I suggest you ask

23 them and do what has to be done, because it's

24 ridiculous to sit there and you four vote and the

25 children still can't swim. That's not a way to do


1 things.

2 And if the mayor so decides to override

3 you, which I doubt he can -- that's what I said. You

4 set the fees. I don't even know why you need a

5 resolution. That's in your prerogative.

6 Just like when you hire somebody for

7 your office, you have the prerogative to hire who you

8 want. You don't ask the mayor to say it's all right

9 for me to hire this person. Well, anyway, let's get on

10 to something knew.

11 The Sewer Authority, the ugly head of

12 the sewer authority is now out there. A snake has

13 risen to strike at the rate payers. What happened

14 there at the Sewer Authority is blatantly political. I

15 don't care what you said or how you color it.

16 Now, I'm not saying that if you hired

17 Mr. Barrett as an engineer, which he's probably well

18 qualified to be, I would understand that, but to put

19 him in charge of administrative, I can't see how, being

20 the negative publicity he got when his steam heat

21 company went under, and they did criticize his

22 administration skills. And now you're putting him in

23 charge of the administration.

24 This is a man who bought back the DPW

25 three different times. I don't know if we can afford


1 somebody like that to be in charge.

2 The Times hit it on the head. I don't

3 really agree with them many, many times, but in their

4 editorial they did explain it. We need good help at

5 this time. $100 million to be spent on this sewer

6 system may not have to be spent.

7 There's a lot of alternate alternatives

8 they can use. There's one way, they can just increase

9 the capacity of the holding pounds.

10 Our only problem is when we get a heavy

11 rain, the system can't handle it, okay? So, if there's

12 some way it is found to retain this overflow, we don't

13 have to go through all the trouble ripping up all the

14 streets. We would have to rip up every street, repave

15 them, run new pipes, split everything up. Then they'd

16 be right. It is $100 million, if not more.

17 And we can't afford it. We just can't

18 afford a system like that, where if there's an

19 alternative system, if we hired somebody that's really

20 familiar with these different systems, or even going to

21 all the universities, because there's a lot of work

22 being done on this, and get an alternative plan, we can

23 really, really save a lot of money for the rate payers

24 of Scranton and Dunmore. I thank you.

25 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Ray Lyman.


1 MR. LYMAN: Ray Lyman. Like Andy just

2 said before about the swimming that you voted on,

3 Tuesday I took a neighbor kid who's seven years old to

4 the Capouse Avenue pool, and they are charging a

5 dollar.

6 And you guys did vote that the pools

7 were free, and I think it is asinine, ridiculous, that

8 this mayor who's discrimination towards children. And

9 I think it is ridiculous that you guys voted for free,

10 and it should be free. I mean, if I was a Councilman,

11 that would be passed and it would be free.

12 Now I got some other questions. Mr.

13 McTiernan, I want the audit for '05 and '06 for the

14 city. Can you give me that information?

15 MR. MCTIERNAN: I'll try to dig that

16 out for you, yes.

17 MR. LYMAN: And I want for how far in

18 debt we are right up until for '06 up until now, from

19 January '06 to now, how far we are.

20 I mean, last year, Ms. Evans, you said

21 that we're up to $240 million. I think if my estimate

22 is right, since that tree house and all this other

23 stuff Mayor Doherty, we might be up to $240 or $250

24 million in debt. Might be. I don't know. I just want

25 to know how much we are.


1 MR. MCTIERNAN: Which debts do you want

2 included in that?

3 MR. LYMAN: The whole city. That

4 counts all these groups, you know, all these

5 authorities.

6 Now I want to know, Ms. Gatelli, you

7 said last week about Capouse Avenue being paved, since

8 I can't get a hold of George Parker, did you get word

9 out to him yet?

10 MS. GATELLI: No. I asked Kay to get

11 the paving list.

12 MR. COURTRIGHT: It's not on the list.

13 MS. GATELLI: Not on the list.

14 MR. LYMAN: Did you guys -- you said

15 that you were coming up with a list. Can you put that

16 on the list?

17 MS. GATELLI: We can add it.

18 MR. LYMAN: Okay. Add it.

19 MS. GATELLI: Do you know what block,

20 Mr. Lyman?

21 MR. LYMAN: From the 700-block to the

22 1200 block. That needs to be paved. Mrs. Evans, you

23 drive down that street to the school. That needs to be

24 paved.

25 MS. EVANS: Oh, yes.


1 MR. LYMAN: That's right. Now, I also

2 want to know about -- I asked about the Junior Council,

3 if they're going to have a website. Like, you guys

4 have a website about your council members.

5 I gave them that idea about the Junior

6 City Council website. I think that would be a good

7 idea for those kids. There's a lot of kids that want

8 to join their group.

9 They came up to me and they were asking

10 about joining the Junior Council, and they said, how

11 could we get, you know, information.

12 I said if they had a website or come

13 down to the City Council office. I said write a letter

14 of reference, you know, by a priest or by their boss or

15 their family, you know, because they want to join,

16 since you got three or four openings, I said. Right,

17 Judy? That's what they told me.

18 Now, I also want to know, Ms. Evans,

19 about Mr. Santolli. The 400 block of Phelps Street

20 needs the trees cut. They forgot about doing that.

21 And he said that he was supposed to do that, and that

22 never happened. Can you get a hold of him?

23 MS. EVANS: Yes, I will. I know,

24 though, it's going to depend on their budget.

25 MR. LYMAN: Well, I thought Judy said


1 that she gave them $20,000.

2 MS. EVANS: Yes. It's been increased,

3 but I know there are myriad problems citywide --

4 MR. LYMAN: Okay.

5 MS. EVANS: -- and even throughout the

6 city parks, and that same money is used in that

7 capacity.

8 MR. LYMAN: Okay. Because that was

9 promised to get that area done, and they're crying down

10 there.

11 Now, our group neighborhood association

12 was -- we had to cancel the meeting at the Pine Brook

13 Association building because Jerry Richardson wouldn't

14 let us have it there. So, I have to tell the people

15 about that.

16 And, now, Mrs. Gatelli, I want to know

17 that light on the 300 block of Phelps Street, any word

18 about that yet, when that's going to be installed?

19 MS. GATELLI: No. I haven't heard. It

20 was reported.

21 MR. LYMAN: I know they said it was

22 approved. Can you find out when they're going to hook

23 it up?

24 MS. GATELLI: Sure.

25 MR. LYMAN: Okay. And the catch basin


1 on the 300 block of Phelps Street, can you find out

2 when they'll fix that? Because I saw them fixing one

3 downtown today.

4 Now, I got a question for you,

5 Mr. Courtright. I didn't forget about you. Now, any

6 word on those new police cars that weren't seen for

7 weeks and weeks and weeks?

8 MR. COURTRIGHT: I called the company.

9 What happened was they had police cars for the city on

10 their property. We did not get them, according to the

11 gentleman from the company, we did not get our purchase

12 orders to them in time. They sold those police cars.

13 There are cars that are coming to the

14 company, I believe it's out of Jersey from Ford, and he

15 didn't have an exact date when they'd be in, but he

16 said he would know better by the end of the month. Our

17 purchase order didn't go in until the 10th, I believe

18 it was, of May. So, there's eight crown victorias,

19 white with charcoal interior. Ray, they're coming.

20 MR. LYMAN: Are they going to have new

21 computers in them?

22 MR. COURTRIGHT: That's not --

23 MR. LYMAN: Can you find out?

24 MR. COURTRIGHT: That's not up to --

25 when we buy them, we don't buy them with the computers.


1 I think the county has a program.

2 They're going to try to get computers for us. I

3 believe so.

4 MR. LYMAN: Oh, okay. And I have one

5 more question to you, Mr. Courtright.

6 MR. COURTRIGHT: Go right ahead.

7 MR. LYMAN: Can you find out if our

8 beat officer will be back in Pine Brook?

9 MR. COURTRIGHT: I didn't know he was

10 gone.

11 MR. LYMAN: I didn't see him for at

12 least three weeks.

13 MR. COURTRIGHT: I have to find out. I

14 guess -- I don't know what's happening. I just

15 mentioned this earlier in the caucus.

16 I haven't heard about Pine Brook, but

17 Weston Field area and West Scranton area, they're

18 telling me that they're only seeing their beat officer

19 one or two days a week, and so I wasn't aware of that.

20 I thought they were going to be there

21 the five days. I will find out where they are and why

22 they're not where we thought they were going to be.

23 MR. LYMAN: And I got one more

24 question, Kay. Mr. Courtright, I saw on ABC News the

25 federal government is passing a bill for, like,


1 remember when 9-11 they had that police thing for

2 cities and villages, you know, small towns to hire more

3 police, that you guys could hire more police.

4 So, Mayor Doherty and City Council, ask

5 your State Representative, Mr. Kanjorski, Mr. Santorum,

6 to get some money here to hire more police.

7 Because I saw it on ABC News, they had,

8 I forget what senator it was, I think it was Bird, it

9 was -- they were passing -- they passed the

10 legislation, him and Hillary Clinton and the

11 Republicans, they passed it.

12 You have to send -- write the form and

13 you can get it -- you can hire three or four police

14 officers.

15 MR. COURTRIGHT: Well, can you get me

16 the forms? You can tell me where I can get them from.

17 I'll certainly send it in.

18 MR. LYMAN: You have to ask those

19 senators and those Congressmen.

20 MR. COURTRIGHT: U.S. Senator. Okay.

21 All right.

22 MR. LYMAN: That's right. I saw it on

23 ABC News. It was on Tuesday.

24 MR. COURTRIGHT: All right.

25 MS. GATELLI: Reverend Simmons.


1 MS. SIMMONS: Good afternoon. Reverend

2 Kathryn Simmons. I come wearing two hats today. The

3 last time I was here I had come already prepared to

4 talk about something else, but I was deeply disturbed

5 about something that was said about the young people

6 that were seated here.

7 And I hope you'll give me a moment to

8 say a prayer for them, because I think they need it.

9 And if you won't, that's too bad, because I'm going to

10 say it anyway.

11 Oh, My God, I trust in you. Let me not

12 be ashamed of what I do. Let not my enemies triumph

13 over me. Indeed let no one who waits on you be

14 ashamed. Let those be ashamed who deal treacherously

15 without cause.

16 Show me the way, Lord. Teach me the

17 path. Lead me in your truth and teach me. For you are

18 the God of my salvation. On you I wait all day.

19 Remember, Oh Lord, that the teacher of

20 tender mercies and loving kindness, for they are from

21 old. Do not teach me to remember the sins, for they

22 are the transgressions according to Satan himself.

23 Remember me for your goodness sake, Oh Lord. Amen.

24 I just came from a four-day conference

25 where children, youths, were much apart of, and what


1 they had to say would have made you sit up straight and

2 take great note of how wise youth are today.

3 These young people might not have much

4 to say every Thursday, but they have much to share when

5 they leave here.

6 I brought back for them some gifts from

7 people in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Lancaster,

8 Allentown, Reading, Camden, New Jersey. They are their

9 partners. They are trying so hard down there to become

10 part of what they are up here. They're trying to live

11 another day.

12 Our children are so lucky. They are so

13 blessed. We should be ashamed to come up here and

14 insult them when they are trying so hard to make a way

15 for themself.

16 So, if somebody doesn't show up for a

17 meeting, there's many of us who don't show up many

18 times, and when we do, we don't anything good to say.

19 There's many positive things in Scranton.

20 On July the 28th, there's going to be a

21 day long show of support for law enforcement in

22 Scranton. One of the gentlemen who taught at the

23 seminar in York is coming to Scranton. He's going to

24 teach a day long class on gang violence.

25 It's free. It's going to be over at


1 the United Neighborhood Centers. It's open -- the door

2 is open for anyone that wants to come in. And in the

3 evening is going to be a dinner, which I announced

4 before, it's going to show support, first of all, for

5 our law enforcement, and, second, to give some awards

6 to some people who are so deserving of them.

7 I hope to see our City Council people

8 there. I know that some people say, you know, well,

9 they're just out to sell tickets. It's not about

10 selling tickets. It's about coming out and showing

11 support for people who are deserving of it.

12 We walk the streets every night. We

13 know what they do. They need your support. We hope to

14 see you there.

15 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.

16 Bill Jackowitz.

17 MR. JACKOWITZ: Good afternoon, City

18 Council. Bill Jackowitz, city resident and taxpayer,

19 retired United States Air Force.

20 I work for my supporters, my people,

21 you people, those people, City Council clowns, gloom

22 and doom, real people, and legion of doom.

23 I find these statements very

24 disturbing, and it just inspires me to come back and

25 come back.


1 How many Councilpersons have an

2 honorable discharge from the United States military?

3 May the record show none.

4 Well, I have five, plus a retirement.

5 My father is an honorable discharge veteran from World

6 War II, plus his name appears on two monuments on

7 Courthouse Square Downtown Scranton, General

8 Kosciuzko's and General Pulaski's.

9 He was never a politician. He loved

10 the City of Scranton. I am asked every day, Why do you

11 speak at City Council? My answer, because of my

12 father. He loved this city.

13 Council members do not pay attention.

14 Nothing will change. Council has grown their own

15 agenda. Their strings are controlled by the puppeteer.

16 They cannot answer your questions until the briefing

17 has been completed. But more importantly, they do not

18 know the answers.

19 City council, three members employed

20 school district, one member employed state, one member

21 under contract by the state. Looking at this lineup,

22 How does the average citizen stand a chance? Answer,

23 they don't.

24 Last week City Council stated that they

25 had goals. Can you please tell the citizens what those


1 goals are? How many goals have been reached in the

2 year 2006? What are they? Do not say free swimming.

3 Does Hollow Avenue fall into that

4 category? Appointed official who resides outside of

5 the city limits tell City Council what to do, but still

6 drives a taxpayers' car and pays no taxes to the City

7 of Scranton.

8 I am glad that I never had to serve

9 with City Council members in the military. My back

10 would no have been protected, intimidated by appointed

11 officials.

12 Who am I? An American Veteran, citizen

13 of the United States of America who's not beholding to

14 any politician or elected official who expects his

15 elected officials to work for all the people, not just

16 the people who supported them during their election.

17 I should have been born in Missouri,

18 the Show Me State. All I ever hear in Scranton are

19 words, which are not backed up with actions or votes.

20 Thursdays should be devoted to city

21 business, no joke. If the meetings last four hours, so

22 be it. $12,500 a year.

23 Still waiting, Hollow Avenue. Was the

24 work done? Was the work legal? Who are authorized the

25 work? Still waiting for those answers. Simple


1 questions. Where are the answers?

2 Rinaldi project, two years. Nothing

3 has happened. HUD report. Maybe there is no report.

4 New tenants, Southern Union building. Last month we

5 were told two weeks we will have new tenants. Who are

6 the new tenants in the Southern Union building?

7 Pothole machine, asphalt machine. Can

8 somebody give me the location of them? 2006 financial

9 report, one to two months late. Do we have a report?

10 Mayor's invitation, City Council, 30

11 April deadline. What is the story on the invitation?

12 Was it ever issued? Austin Burke's invitation to City

13 Council, was it ever issued? What's the story on it?

14 Sara Hailstone, invitation to City

15 Council. Was it ever issued? What's the story on it?

16 The meetings are at twelve o'clock. These people are

17 right here in this building right now.

18 Soldiers' pay. Were they paid? How

19 about the bonus? My favorite, house numbers. Do

20 people have to have numbers on their houses now?

21 Tax exempts non-profit committee, DOA,

22 dead on arrival. What happened to it? How much money

23 has PEL been paid since 1992? $1,700,000. Is that a

24 correct amount?

25 Many more unanswered questions. They


1 can wait until another meeting.

2 Mr. Minora, I would like to ask you two

3 questions. Should an elected official make a public

4 statement that they work for my people and my

5 supporters?

6 Also, do elect officials have to check

7 with appointed officials before making a decision? I

8 really would appreciate an answer. Make sure your

9 mic's on, too, please.

10 MR. MINORA: If you can see me after

11 the meeting and give me the questions and I'll be happy

12 to look it over for you.

13 MR. JACKOWITZ: Okay. Thank you very

14 much.

15 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Bill Needham.

16 MR. NEEDHAM: Good afternoon, City

17 Council. Your Honorable President, Judy Gatelli, other

18 distinguished members of Council, I come here today

19 with two problems, one I thought I had resolved in

20 1994. It's a public safety problem.

21 I took the time at that time to go to

22 the proper authorities, have a safety feasibility study

23 done of the street. At that time the city had nobody

24 to do it. They retained Bogart Industries.

25 I have a copy here of what the engineer


1 said at the time they finished. I also have a drawing

2 of the way they wanted the street signed.

3 All right. They went ahead and signed

4 the street. But until this day, I had this done in

5 1994, I'm living in the house over 40 years, we had the

6 problem since day one.

7 I'm still getting the truck traffic.

8 I'm still getting the damage. I called the police, and

9 I finally came to pull this out and I went to City

10 Council.

11 And here's what I found out. This was

12 put in. There's no ordinance governing what was done.

13 There's no ordinance on it.

14 So, if I call the police, my first

15 resort is to go to a magistrate. The magistrate form

16 right on it, he wants the ordinance, which was broke,

17 the number of the ordinance. We have none. There's

18 none in the file, in the city.

19 I have this check, there's none --

20 there's nothing on there. So, I'm tired of - myself, a

21 week ago Wednesday out there in the pouring rain,

22 directing a truck in there, and the gentleman driving

23 the truck could not even understand me. He told me

24 he'd take the fence down and the sidewalks and the

25 shrubs in front of it.


1 I don't have to put up with this, and I

2 won't. And I think what we need here is an ordinance

3 on the work that was done. It's not been done.

4 I just can't keep going. Every time a

5 truck comes, you want to go. And I tried dealing with

6 where the trucks are going, the business place. To no

7 avail. To no avail.

8 He got a legal problem there with an

9 access road and an easement granted by row houses,

10 which are in the area. That has nothing to do with me.

11 If them trucks cannot get in there,

12 he's got a problem, because if you look at the shipping

13 manifest, it's 609 Cedar Avenue. He's residential

14 zone. I'm in an R zone, and I'm not going to put up

15 with it. I hope you can get an ordinance through to

16 cover this paperwork so I don't have to be running out

17 there all hours of the night and when it's raining, you

18 know, to do it. And maybe you can help me on that.

19 And the other thing that I came to

20 speak today on is our garbage fee in the City of

21 Scranton. Right now it's a garbage fee.

22 I wholly believe that that should be

23 changed from a fee to a tax. Because right now we have

24 a fee. Half of the people are not paying it.

25 Even when you have closings with most


1 of the lawyers, you will see the property change hands,

2 but neither one of the seller or the buyer is paying

3 the fee.

4 Why don't we change the fee to a tax

5 and put it on the property, then you can lien the

6 property and everybody pays, not just certain people.

7 That's what's happening in the city.

8 I mean, you see tons and tons of

9 garbage, the same ones, and if you get a runoff, you'll

10 find out just what I'm saying. There's certain people

11 paying it, and they don't care.

12 They turn it into Northeast Credit, who

13 gets a humungous fee, and then -- they don't pay

14 anyhow. They're going to ruin their credit. Well, the

15 majority of these people's credit is ruined before they

16 go to Northeast Credit.

17 And my final thought is, absentee

18 landlords. I believe we had an ordinance on the books

19 regarding absentee landlords. If the property they own

20 is -- if they live six miles from site, they're

21 supposed to have somebody watch it where you can go and

22 complain. This don't exist.

23 I have it in my neighborhood. I

24 believe I had to go see you, Judy, and you took care of

25 it for me. Well, it's the same thing over and over.


1 But these are, you know, I mean, we get the ordinance

2 -- but this one here, we have to get an ordinance to

3 cover what transpired already. And thank you for your

4 time.

5 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Eric Johnson.

6 MR. JOHNSON: Good evening, City

7 Council and Lisa and staff. City Council, you all --

8 all of you are doing a great job as I see it, and I get

9 a lot of reports from the public that you are doing

10 your job as a City Council.

11 And also our young audience here, I

12 think they're a blessing to have here with us. And

13 it's nice that they're part of City Council here. And

14 I'm thankful that I'm here and able to speak whenever I

15 want to here in Scranton.

16 Good afternoon, City Council. I'm Erik

17 Johnson, taxpayer and resident of Scranton. Possibly

18 more jobs and revenue coming to Scranton area. I'm

19 going to be positive for a change for the Scranton

20 Times Tribune paper and congratulate them on an echo

21 response from thousands of Scranton and its area

22 residents on a past due well deserved great, excellent

23 article in the this past Sunday's paper regarding one

24 of the best, if not the very best, successful

25 legitimate businessman in our local area.


1 As a school student at Dunmore High, I

2 knew Louis very well and got along great with him and

3 his friends.

4 Louis was well liked by everyone. Yes,

5 a 100 percent well brought up and well behaved Catholic

6 and school student of Dunmore High.

7 He, Mike Mecca and Pete Mills accepted

8 me in their club called the Jazzers made up mostly of

9 American Italians.

10 I never had a boring day at school with

11 them. As a junior in Dunmore High when my mother died,

12 and I took it very hard, Louis or his friends would

13 take me to their homes and made sure I had a good

14 Italian meal every day.

15 Yes, Louis was already a good

16 humanitarian, as a young student and a hardworking

17 student, as we had the toughest subjects in Dunmore

18 High called the industrial arts course. The teachers

19 were very glad we all graduated.

20 Even though I was a Swed, and the only

21 one in Dunmore High, Louis, Mike, Pete, and not

22 forgetting Angelo Naro, who became an executive,

23 welcomed me to their club, The Jazzers, as the only one

24 not Italian. They christened me, John Snelli in a well

25 in Bunker Hill.


1 Yes, I hope and pray Louis DeNaples

2 will receive his state license to operate a slot casino

3 at Mt. Airy Lodge.

4 I hear he's done a lot of humanitarian

5 work for this city and its area. And by him getting

6 the license means more jobs, revenue and tourists in

7 our local area, instead of New Jersey.

8 Let New Jersey have their Atlantic City

9 casinos, while we Pennsylvanians will have our own, and

10 Louie DeNaples, Mt. Airy slot casino lodge, which the

11 City of Scranton and this area can feed off on as for

12 jobs, revenue and tourists from Pennsylvania and

13 neighboring states. Thank you for letting me speak.

14 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Is there

15 anyone else that --

16 MS. SHUMAKER: Good afternoon. I'm

17 Marie Shumaker, a reluctant resident of the City of

18 Scranton. I am here soliciting your help.

19 I have been attempting to get an

20 itemized list of the individual projects in the

21 Department of Parks and Recreation budget.

22 First and foremost, you may recall I

23 appeared those of you who were here last year after the

24 OECD budget came out and you held hearings. I had a

25 vested interest in the comfort station.


1 OECD at that time had invested almost

2 $20,000 over a period of three or four years in doing

3 the interior work required, but the exterior work that

4 was required to make it actually accessible to the

5 public had not been done, was not in the budget, and I

6 ask you to insert that. That didn't happen.

7 So, my fondest hope was when I saw a

8 capital budget was that perhaps this was in the city's

9 capital budget. So, that was why I requested the

10 information.

11 Also, several years ago, I live on the

12 East Mountain, the mayor had promised the following

13 year some capital improvements to Robinson Park. They

14 have yet to happen. I was hoping those would appear in

15 the itemized list of the Parks and Recreation capital

16 budget.

17 And finally, it appears that allowing a

18 park to deteriorate is a precursor to selling it off.

19 I was interested in the overall distribution among the

20 parks of these capital projects.

21 So, I came over one day. I visited

22 with Ms. Garvey, she was very helpful. I asked her how

23 I obtain this list, and she suggested I check with the

24 mayor.

25 I remember the day well, because the


1 elevator wasn't working and it was one of those 90

2 degree plus days.

3 So, I came back down to the mayor's

4 office. The mayor's office said, No, you can get that

5 information from the business office.

6 So, I schlepped up the stairs to the

7 business administration office. And they said, Oh,

8 yes, we have that information, but you have to go

9 through legal.

10 So, I went down the hall to legal and

11 they said, Oh, yes. We can help you, but you have to

12 write a right to know letter.

13 I went home and I wrote a right to know

14 letter and I mailed it. I got a response saying, Send

15 us a check for $4.50 for the cost and we will send you

16 the information.

17 I did that. I got back a package of

18 materials that was so non-responsive I was actually

19 offended, but I will explain my further offense in a

20 minute.

21 I got a copy of the budget, which I

22 already had obtained, and I got a, I guess at that

23 point it was a four-year-old or a three-year-old

24 document that had -- was portions of the mayor's

25 five-year plan, capital budget plan, which had already


1 been obliterated.

2 I mean, the total amount had already

3 been expended that he had in for the five years. So,

4 there was no information there.

5 So, I wrote another letter and I said,

6 You know, thank you for the materials, but they were

7 totally unresponsive to my request. I want the

8 itemized list.

9 I got a letter back saying, and this

10 was -- this letter from the law department, Mr.

11 Farrell, is dated December 14. Regarding my request

12 for additional documents, the Department of Recreation

13 individual projects in the 2005 and 2006 capital

14 budget. I'm in receipt of your letter of December 4,

15 received on December 7, regarding the above request.

16 I am happy to investigate for

17 additional documents responsive to your request.

18 Finding the documents requires searching off site and

19 will require an additional 30 days.

20 I waited the 30 days, and I called the

21 law office and I spoke with a young woman who has been

22 stringing me along for these last many months saying,

23 Oh, I'm waiting for one more piece of information, and

24 I don't blame her. I'm sure she was doing what was

25 told. May I have the indulgence of a few more moments?


1 MS. GATELLI: Yeah, you have one more

2 minute.

3 MS. SHUMAKER: Okay. And what I got --

4 and she kept saying, Oh, yeah, I know. I'm waiting for

5 one more piece of information. I'd call and say, Well,

6 why don't you send what you have and then you can --

7 no, it's just one more piece of information.

8 Finally I have received this letter

9 June 5, 2006. Ms. Shumaker, the law department

10 previously forwarded to you on December 23, 2005

11 various correspondence and documents.

12 Please be advised that the law

13 department has done extensive research regarding your

14 request beyond that correspondence in response to your

15 follow-up request.

16 Despite those efforts, there are no

17 additional documents responsive to your request. Very

18 truly yours, Paul A. Kelly.

19 Now, this is such an insult, I can't

20 believe it. I have been to every Parks and Recreation

21 or the whatever that authority is that meets over

22 Weston Park every time since last August.

23 I've heard about that park. I know

24 from Mr. Scopelliti that the contract was left for that

25 work. I was up there. My mother and I were up on


1 Sunday. Some of the work has been done. There's a

2 concrete apron, so at least you can get up, so work is

3 progressing.

4 But that's a capital project. The pool

5 is a capital project. I would think you all need to

6 know for maintenance purposes. Just take the comfort

7 station as one example. Who's going to maintain it

8 when it's open? That's going to come out of your

9 operation budget, whether it's outsourced to somebody

10 else or whether the department is going to do it, it's

11 more work.

12 The pool was. All of these projects,

13 what impact do they have on your budgets? I would

14 think you would want them, I think you would have them

15 and I think the public has a right to know what's in

16 these multi-million dollar requests.

17 And, so, I'm asking -- can I get any

18 assistance from you or must I go through the Right to

19 Know, the next level of The Right to Know?

20 MS. GATELLI: Leave your request with

21 Kay and we'll see if we can find out for you.

22 MS. SHUMAKER: And how long should I

23 expect before some kind of response so I don't nag you

24 on this?

25 MS. GATELLI: I'd say a week or two at


1 the most.

2 MS. SHUMAKER: Okay. I'll be back in a

3 weak or two.

4 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.

5 MS. SHUMAKER: Thank you.

6 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Narsavage.

7 MR. NARSAVAGE: My name is Stan

8 Narsavage, city resident and newly proclaimed member of

9 the legion of doom.

10 I, like Mr. Ancherani and others, like

11 that tag, and I prefer to be a member of the League of

12 Doom and not the administration financial doom.

13 Never in the history of this fine city,

14 incorporated around 1800s, have we faced more pain and

15 peril. This administration financial incompetence will

16 live forever in the history of this city. Naturally,

17 in my opinion, this legacy should follow the

18 perpetrators wherever they go in the future.

19 Here's some following dooms that I

20 would not be involved with, but we surely have them. I

21 will just name a few.

22 The sewer payback doom, the fire and

23 police contract doom, the pothole doom, the pay to play

24 doom, the Southern Union doom, the 500 Block of

25 Lackawanna Avenue and the Hilton doom, Parking


1 Authority doom, Nay Aug Park doom, absentee and

2 unqualified department heads doom, no Recovery Plan

3 doom, $240 million in rising long-term doom, and on and

4 on and on. I only have five minutes, so I had to cut

5 it off there.

6 I would be remiss if I did not mention

7 the editorial writer of The Scranton Times. The Times

8 depends on the First and Fourth Amendments to operate,

9 however, they are willing to try to take my First

10 Amendment rights from me.

11 Naturally, in my opinion, if we had an

12 investigative newspaper, and I believe we have a chance

13 in the near future to obtain one, we wouldn't have a

14 lot of these problems. All of my statements of my

15 First Amendment rights.

16 I would like to ask, but maybe you can

17 give answers in fifth or seventh or whatever, the

18 report that -- this is my sixth request for a report on

19 a HUD audit.

20 And naturally, Mr. Parker, the night

21 that I said to have him subpoenaed, three members of

22 the Council were pretty adamant about bringing him in

23 here on private terms behind closed doors. I don't

24 think that happened, or did it? I don't know that.

25 What's ever going to become of that?


1 Mr. Courtright, from a response to a

2 letter to Hailstone about the CRF loans, this is a

3 quote from her letter, The sale of the loans are not

4 complete as of such. No CRF loans have been sold or

5 funds received at this time. Sara Hailstone, 3/29/06.

6 If there's any comment or update on the CRF loans, I

7 would like to hear about them.

8 I also have to take exception to a

9 quote that was in the paper by Mr. Lockhead. And the

10 quote was in the Quotes of the Week, and the title of

11 the quote is Positive Approach.

12 We are trying to help, and these

13 people, these people, who come here instead of always

14 complaining, that's always complaining, about the city,

15 they should bring ideas to help the city.

16 Now, Mr. Lockhead and I met out in the

17 hall after the first time this occurred, and he has as

18 much rights as I have. He has his right to speak, as

19 well as I do. And I guess we're going to get to the

20 point where we just have to agree to disagree, however,

21 these people, in my opinion, is arrogant or derogatory,

22 take your pick.

23 I just can't understand why you would

24 be using that kind of language. But that's my opinion,

25 I guess. Thank you.


1 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Anyone else?

2 MR. SLEDZINSKI: Hi, Jude. Billy, I

3 got something for you. Bill, up by my house, Billy,

4 you've got to see the back of it. It's all graffiti up

5 there. It's all marked inside the building.

6 MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay. We'll look at

7 it, Chris.

8 MR. SLEDZINSKI: Thanks, Bill.

9 MR. COURTRIGHT: You're welcome.

10 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else?

11 MS. KRAKE: Good afternoon, Council.

12 My name is Nancy Krake. The first request I have is,

13 Mrs. Gatelli or whomever on Council, if you would

14 perhaps ask Joe Cox, who is in OECD and is back, if we

15 could have his documentation that he's been keeping on

16 the compliance of the KOZs within the is City of

17 Scranton, and, you know, obviously as quickly as

18 possible. Thank you.

19 I'd like to say that there are three

20 persons seated on Council who served under the Connors

21 Administration. That being said, I'm sure they all

22 pretty much agreed with his philosophies.

23 And, Mrs. Evans, I think we all know

24 how you feel about where we had a surplus and now we're

25 plunged into a deficit.


1 Mayor Connors never wanted us to be

2 distressed, in fact, I'm sure none of the citizens

3 wanted us to be distressed. That was the Council --

4 the seated Council at the time who went after that

5 distressed status.

6 So, Mrs. Fanucci, I'm assuming you're

7 not going to resign Council or your state job, correct?


9 MS. KRAKE: Okay. Would you kindly

10 bring that fact back to the Pennsylvania Economy League

11 that the citizens of Scranton never wanted to be

12 distressed, ever.

13 This current administration's actions,

14 however, speak volumes about our financial status; for

15 example, the five million in raises they had no trouble

16 doling out to their administration, and also their

17 ability to borrow, which they brag about, which would

18 mean we were on solid footing, millions and millions of

19 dollars.

20 Now, there's two ways to look at this,

21 either we aren't distressed and they're going with

22 that, or maybe that's their way to justify our

23 distressed status by plunging us deeper and deeper into

24 debt.

25 Either way, this is a horrific thought,


1 and it's been going on for 14 years. It's about time

2 that this was ended.

3 And, Mrs. Fanucci, I think that would

4 be -- I know it would be my goal if I was in your

5 chair. Thank you.

6 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mr. Gonzales.

7 MR. GONZALES: How are you today, Ms.

8 Gatelli? Good afternoon, Council, and good afternoon

9 to the Junior Council and all in attendance.

10 My name is Pedro Gonzales, South Side

11 resident, registered voter. First off, I want to start

12 with congratulating La Senorita Evans and Mr.

13 Courtright for their race for the seat that just past.

14 You guys have nothing to be ashamed

15 about. You guys did a great job in going for this

16 position. I want to congratulate you guys for just

17 your effort and your trying. It was a tremendous thing

18 that you both did. Good job.

19 Second of all, as usual, up and coming

20 events. The Latin Alliance is having a Father's Day

21 bash this Saturday the 17th at the South Side Sports

22 Complex. There's going to be a lot of food, vendors,

23 entertainment, so forth and so on, a lot of dancing,

24 like we normally do. We love to party. We love to

25 have fun and dance. That's what we're about, and raise


1 funds, of course, for all the different programs that

2 we have. Again, that is the 17th, Saturday the 17th,

3 South Side Sports Complex from 1 to 7 p.m.

4 Second is a Scranton Cultural Center

5 event. The Latin Alliance is having a production. We

6 are actually performing. I will be one of the

7 performers on stage actually dancing, along with the

8 dance troop (UNTRANSCRIBABLE), and that will be

9 June 30, Friday, June 30, and it's going to run from

10 8 p.m. to about midnight on Friday, June 30.

11 Also, please come on out. We have a

12 collaboration of dancers, a lot of kids from different

13 schools, West High School, Scranton High School,

14 Dunmore High School, kids that are involved in our

15 uplift program that we are helping create leadership

16 skills and mentoring and role model.

17 Again, June 30, Scranton Cultural

18 Center from 8 p.m. to midnight. Please come out and

19 support the kids on that function.

20 And last but not least, July 22 is a

21 unity festival at Nay Aug Park. That event is going to

22 run from noon to 7 p.m. it's going to be July 22.

23 It's a Saturday. It's going to be a fun filled day

24 with food and entertainment. A lot of vendors will be

25 out there, and that event will be monumental simply


1 because it's the one day of the year where all

2 nationalities could come together under one banner,

3 under on one flag, under one accord.

4 Regardless who you are, what race or

5 color or creed, please come out on July 22 to the

6 festival, to the Unity Festival in Nay Aug Park.

7 Again, July 22 from noon until 7 p.m.

8 And last but not least one more, since

9 I still have time, August 12 and 13, is the parade and

10 festival scheduled here in this city, the very first

11 one of its kind. It's a Latin pride parade, we're

12 calling it.

13 By next week we will have the logo and

14 the fliers will hit the streets. It's a group called

15 (UNTRANSCRIBABLE), which means in Latin impact.

16 We have gotten together, and it's a

17 group of Latin activists here in the city, Latin

18 leaders here in the city, about a good eight of us that

19 have gotten together, sat at the table for the first

20 time ever, and we are organizing this event.

21 And it is going to kick off the 12th

22 with the festival at Nay Aug Park. Vendors, food,

23 entertainment, so forth and so on. And the 13th, the

24 very first parade of its kind, the Latin pride parade

25 downtown, just like all the other parades in this city.


1 Once again, I thank you all. God bless

2 you all. My name is Pedro Gonzales. Thank you for

3 letting me express myself. God bless.

4 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.

5 MR. MORGAN: Good afternoon, Council.

6 The first thing I'd like to start with is a phone

7 number, 558-1648. And the reason for that number is,

8 the Scranton Lackawanna Taxpayers Association would

9 like to know where all picnics or festivals are being

10 held throughout Lackawanna County so that we can send a

11 representative there to try to interact for all the

12 people of Lackawanna County in any way we possibly can.

13 The other thing I have here is, and I'm

14 going to be extremely brief, because there's not a lot

15 to hash out here. I'd just like to say that we've

16 talked about all the issues that confront this city for

17 a very, very long time.

18 Solutions really haven't come. We've

19 waited a long time. I hope there's solutions soon.

20 But I find what is happening with the Scranton Sewer

21 Authority to be extremely troubling, when Mr. Barrett

22 and Mr. Scopelliti manage to eek out excellent jobs and

23 shift themselves around.

24 And I find that to just be so

25 absolutely atrocious to the taxpayers of this city and


1 the people who pay sewer fees in this city, because the

2 Sewer Authority is faced with a lot of costs coming up,

3 and I don't think that either one of these two people

4 are qualified to try to run that authority.

5 And I just think it's smacks of

6 politics. And we've had enough politic for too long

7 here. And I think that everybody should rethink what's

8 happening at the Sewer Authority.

9 The other thing is, there's an

10 editorial today, and I'm glad somebody left the paper

11 back there, but, you know, I read that this morning,

12 and I think that everybody who thinks the courts are

13 going to come in here and save us, I think they're

14 sadly mistaken.

15 I think that our courts have become

16 extremely politicized, right up to the Supreme Court.

17 I really think in all courts, including the Court of

18 Common Pleas in Lackawanna County, and I do have some

19 experience in that court, because I have a couple cases

20 in Superior Court at this time, and I just think that

21 -- I just think there's too much politics. It's all

22 across -- it's everywhere.

23 And when you look at decisions that are

24 being rendered, I think the only choice that people

25 really have is to get involved in government, either


1 with a tax group or in small groups in the communities

2 where they live.

3 Because as long as we look for

4 politicians to save us, we're just going to drown.

5 They're going to be in the boat with the life jackets

6 and we're going to be in the water. We're going to

7 drown, and they're going to row right down to the next

8 port or dock and stop and get off and have a great

9 life.

10 And I think that that is illustrated by

11 what's happening at the Scranton Sewer Authority.

12 We've created jobs for two people with no thought of

13 the rate payers at all in any manner whatsoever.

14 We've used all of assets to borrow

15 against. And it's never going to change as long as we

16 allow the same people to sit in office.

17 And I just hope the people would call

18 this number, leave a message, and we will appear at

19 your meetings. And we're not trying to run for office

20 or become anybody special, but we want change, and we

21 wanted it not today, but we wanted it a long time ago.

22 Thank you.

23 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.

24 MR. GERVASI: Good afternoon, City

25 Council. My name is Dave Gervasi. I'm a firefighter,


1 homeowner and taxpayer, resident of the City of

2 Scranton. I have a few questions for Council, because

3 I can see what's coming up over the horizon soon.

4 And, Mrs. Fanucci, I have just a few

5 questions. Since you're talking to PEL, I think maybe

6 there's a little bit of information you should know.

7 While you're talking to them, if

8 anything comes up about the city finances, can you

9 remind PEL that the city has had an operational budget

10 surplus since 1999, and if they have any updates of

11 whether we're in debt now or not.

12 Because we had an operational budget

13 surplus in 2004. I'm sure we're going to be getting

14 Mrs. Evans the updates next month on the new audit --

15 independent audit for 2005.

16 And the other question, because I know

17 this is probably going to happen, and I don't know if

18 Mrs. Fanucci has heard anything about this in the PEL

19 meetings, but I would like to ask all the members of

20 City Council, are any of you in favor of reducing the

21 fire department by 30 people, 30 positions? Anybody in

22 favor of that? I see one no. You're not in favor of

23 that? You're not either, Mrs. Fanucci? How about you,

24 Mr. McTiernan?

25 MR. MCTIERNAN: I think I would like to


1 take your advice on a study from a professional to see

2 just what we need.

3 MR. GERVASI: Yeah. Well,

4 unfortunately the recovery plan says there will be no

5 studies. It will be the sole discretion of the mayor.

6 So, the studies are probably out the door.

7 I was just curious if anyone up there

8 is in favor of engine company closures, like, two

9 maybe.

10 MS. EVANS: No, neither that, nor the

11 cuts. But basically I agree with Mr. McTiernan. You

12 know, a study should have been conducted by experts in

13 this field, and I don't feel that I'm an expert, I

14 don't feel the administration contains any experts who

15 can safely make such a decision. So, in lieu of that,

16 I wouldn't like to see any decreases.

17 Furthermore, I would anticipate that

18 the people of this city would be very, very upset to

19 learn that a fire engine company in their neighborhood

20 would be closing down, because not only would it affect

21 their neighborhood, but it's going to affect the

22 response time citywide possibly to any fire.

23 So, I just don't think it's a prudent

24 decision.

25 MR. COURTRIGHT: Could I have a minute?


1 I have to wait and ask Mr. Minora what I could and

2 could not say.

3 We had an executive session with

4 Mr. Farrell and Mr. Kresefski, and I brought up about a

5 professional company coming in and saying which way the

6 fire department should go. And I don't know if I'm at

7 liberty at what went on at that meeting or not, because

8 it was an executive session. So, I will wait until I

9 talk to Mr. Minora. And then if he says I can tell you

10 what we talked about in there, I certainly will.

11 MR. GERVASI: Great. We'd be

12 interested in that. And I'd just like to ask other

13 members of Council if -- since administration people

14 have all gotten $5,000 raises, some $10,000, two other

15 unions were given raises, do you think it's right or

16 it's fair that for three years back and two years

17 forward the fire department should not have any?

18 MR. COURTRIGHT: I asked that, also.

19 And I just don't know what I can say or can't say.

20 That's another question I asked.

21 MR. GERVASI: I'm just asking you. Do

22 you think it's fair that we should have a five-year

23 wage freeze in the fire and police department?

24 MR. COURTRIGHT: I don't think it's

25 fair, no. I --


1 MR. GERVASI: Mr. McTiernan, do you

2 think that's fair?

3 MR. MCTIERNAN: I don't know that it's

4 fair, but I still think that the argument we're having

5 back and forth is a matter of what comes in and what

6 goes out.

7 So, I don't know that I'd say it's fair

8 for anybody. We all look for raises every year in

9 every job across the board. So, is it fair? I don't

10 know if it's fair, but I think we need to have a

11 productive realistic conversation.

12 And I now that there are arguments on

13 both sides regarding raises at the administrative

14 level, but we have a budget that's approaching $100

15 million before we're all done here. And the majority

16 of that is personnel.

17 So, in any of these entities, whether

18 it's private industry or whether it's public, and the

19 majority of your overhead comes in personnel. We have

20 to have a serious look at that problem.

21 MR. GERVASI: It's funny you should

22 bring it up, because PEL always says that, and The

23 Scranton Times always says that that if you don't look

24 at salaries and cutbacks and salaries because cities,

25 you know, I believe they said 85 percent of all the


1 budgets are personnel.

2 Well, this is -- we don't make widgets.

3 The reason why we have 85 percent of the city's budget

4 is personnel is because we provide services to the

5 city. We protect the city, we fight crime, we pick up

6 garbage and we clean streets and we do the paperwork

7 necessary so everyone can do those things. So --

8 MR. MCTIERNAN: I agree. I'm one of

9 those personnel that's in one of those situations, but

10 the problem is is we can circle that issue, but the

11 bottom line is is unless we're talking about

12 substantive dollars, I don't know how we get into a

13 position where we're not in debt and we don't have to

14 borrow.

15 I understand we have a deficit right

16 now, I understand that. The question is is, you don't

17 save large amounts of money by changing to fluorescent

18 light bulbs. You know, that is a significant savings,

19 but it's not going to balance a budget where we're

20 literally millions of dollars in debt.

21 So, I think it's a total big picture,

22 and I would like you not to twist the word around.

23 It's not just personnel. It's the whole package.

24 But if 85 percent of your costs are

25 personnel, that's a place where you can have


1 significant savings by examining that.

2 I'm not suggesting layoffs, I'm not

3 suggesting anything, other than a really strict

4 examination of personnel usage.

5 It may not mean any reduction. It may

6 just mean a restructuring of how we use the personnel.

7 MR. GERVASI: Are you aware, though,

8 that with the borrow and spending in the last four

9 years having increased our long-term debt payments by

10 $7 million each and every year over the next 29 years?

11 MR. MCTIERNAN: Unfortunately I've been

12 here for that unfortunately, yes.

13 MR. GERVASI: So, because of the things

14 that we purchased with all the borrowing and spending,

15 does that mean the police and fire departments are

16 going to have to pay for this overspending?

17 MR. MCTIERNAN: No. There's been a lot

18 of things we -- we haven't purchased necessarily

19 material goods.

20 A lot of the budget borrowing from last

21 year, if my memory serves me, I'd have to go back and

22 go through it, is we've borrowed money to finish

23 pension contributions, minimum monthly obligations,

24 funding, a variety of programs that are built into the

25 system. So, it not all purchasing. So, it's


1 obligations that we've, including health care.

2 MR. GERVASI: Do you know our minimum

3 municipal obligations have risen because of the mayor's

4 actions and not ours?

5 I'm not just, you know, I'm not just

6 choosing just to speak to you. I just want to make you

7 aware of what's coming down the pike really soon.

8 And, again, I said this last year, we

9 are going to pay for all of his mistakes. And it's not

10 just us that's going to pay, it's the citizens, because

11 we're the ones when you call on the phone, we're the

12 ones that come and help.

13 All of the suits that he hired here in

14 City Hall and all the money that he, frankly, blew on

15 his actions with the pensions, on his actions with no

16 bid contracts, the people are going to pay for it.

17 They're going to have the same amount of taxes for less

18 services, and they're not getting anything out of it.

19 MS. EVANS: Mr. Gervasi, just to jump

20 back briefly. The MMO increased in good portion, I

21 believe, because of the nearly 100 forced retirements

22 under this administration.

23 MR. GERVASI: That's correct.

24 MS. EVANS: So, the debt, which is

25 undeniable that is being discussed today, was almost


1 completely created by this administration.

2 Now, I agree you can't get blood from a

3 stone, financially speaking. I also agree that it is

4 very unfair that some unions receive absolutely no

5 salary increases, while administrative raises are

6 awarded annually and contracts were negotiated with

7 another city union.

8 That being said, I think it behoves

9 this administration to sit down and cut its costs to

10 the bare bones.

11 Now, I'm sure that they would have

12 responded that has already been done, but I know from

13 having sat in this seat for the last two and a half

14 years, that that has not been done; in fact, their

15 costs -- their expenditures continually increase. Some

16 are necessary, some are completely unnecessary.

17 MR. GERVASI: Patronage, it's called.

18 MS. EVANS: Among others. But this

19 Council, I believe it was in 2004, presented the

20 administration with $4 million in cuts that could have

21 been made, and that was scoffed at.

22 Now, until the administration does what

23 it needs to do, and that means tightening its financial

24 belt from the top down, there isn't going to be, in my

25 opinion anyway, there isn't going to be any more


1 borrowing. And I don't know how they're going to pay

2 the Sewer Authority and the contracts and everything

3 else.

4 But I don't believe there should be any

5 movement from this side of the desk until that

6 administration cuts all its unnecessary costs, and

7 among those are the items you mentioned today, plus

8 many, many more.

9 And, there's been no generation of new

10 revenue outside of the EMS Tax. There's been nothing

11 in all these many years. I don't even see any

12 aggressive collection of delinquent taxes in terms of

13 those who owe significant sums of money to this city.

14 And keeping in mind the financial abyss

15 that we find ourselves in, they should be looking for

16 every possible avenue to collect and bring new revenue

17 into this city so that we can make ends meet.

18 MR. GERVASI: Well, I'll tell you what

19 their intention is. Their intention is not to go after

20 delinquencies, their intention is not to bid out

21 contracts, unless Mrs. Gatelli and the rest of Council

22 forces them to, and I've got to give you a hands-up for

23 that.

24 What their intention is is to knock off

25 the fire department again like they did in 1992. So,


1 that's their intention.

2 So, I would hope that all five

3 Councilmen would maybe support us when the axe starts

4 falling, because you know we haven't received anything.

5 We didn't put them in debt.

6 We got nothing from this administration

7 since they took office, but they want us to pay for all

8 his bills.

9 MS. EVANS: You're probably -- you and

10 the police department would probably be the two

11 branches of personnel that haven't created debt in all

12 these many years.

13 MR. GERVASI: Actually both of our

14 budgets are down.

15 MS. EVANS: Oh, yes. But I do believe,

16 for example, overtime for the DPW has sharply risen,

17 especially in 2005.

18 MR. GERVASI: Well, I can't complain

19 about that too much, because I've said right from the

20 beginning instead of contracting all these jobs out to

21 people who contribute to his campaign, he should be

22 using the talented people at DPW, and he did in some

23 instances, and I didn't think that was a bad thing.

24 MS. EVANS: Well, my one concern in

25 particular which was reported to me by a Parks and Rec


1 worker, was that there were more members of Parks and

2 Rec Administration than there were actually Parks and

3 Reck workers. Now, that's upside down. Who are these

4 people overseeing? Well, thank you.

5 MR. GERVASI: Thank you.

6 MS. GATELLI: Thank you, Mr. Gervasi.

7 We'll have to bring out that big board with all those

8 signatures on it from Engine 2. Is there anyone else?

9 MR. MILLER: Good afternoon, Council.

10 Doug Miller. Earlier this week I received a phone call

11 from a resident in West Scranton who informed me that

12 the Children At Play sign was installed at the end of

13 West Locust. They've been looking for this sign for

14 quite a while, and they really appreciate it. Yes,

15 it's there, and we're glad to see it there. And they

16 just wanted me to thank DPW for them and they

17 appreciate it very much. Thank you.

18 And at this time I would like to

19 introduce Jackson Lockhead, who has an exciting

20 announcement to make. Thank you.

21 MR. LOCKHEAD: Good afternoon. This

22 morning me and Doug, we met with Mr. Brazil who is now

23 probably going to be head of park and recreation.

24 He did give us the green light to

25 fundraise. He also had a very nice lady in his office


1 by the name of Sandy begin filling out the grant

2 application for the Tony Hawk Foundation. And that's

3 really good.

4 And there will be a lot of upcoming

5 events, fundraisers for the skate park, so I would wish

6 that everybody of all ages would look for those. And I

7 would like to thank City Council for supporting me, and

8 it is my hope that next year in '07, late spring early

9 summer that there will be a skate park in the City of

10 Scranton. Thank you very much.

11 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Did he say if

12 it would be at Connell Park?

13 MR. LOCKHEAD: We haven't decided on

14 that.

15 MS. GATELLI: Okay.

16 MS. GARVEY: 5-A, motions.

17 MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Evans.

18 MS. EVANS: Good afternoon. Last

19 Thursday my Council colleagues passed a motion to

20 donate $10,000 from City Council's budget to Project

21 Hope. I commend them for taking action, and had I been

22 present, I certainly would have added may approval.

23 Mr. McTiernan and I attended the

24 Scranton High School graduation, and as a teacher of

25 your children and grandchildren, I've never missed a


1 graduation ceremony.

2 And as I think of the thousands of

3 students I've taught, I realized their many needs and

4 problems and financial circumstances; thus, I am very

5 proud of Council's actions to fund Project Hope and

6 provide free swimming at neighborhood pools.

7 And I would suggest that an ordinance

8 be ready for next week's meeting, and furthermore, that

9 a special meeting of Council be conducted for the

10 purpose of finalizing that ordinance and using by

11 motion the ability to move such legislation from sixth

12 to seventh order.

13 I don't think we can afford to allow

14 this to drag into mid or early July. The kids should

15 be swimming now. I see we have a letter that was sent

16 to the mayor June 5, and there's still no reply.

17 In my opinion, though, it requires no

18 reply, because Council voted to have this action taken.

19 And because of the lack of reply, I'm going to assume

20 that's a yes, and I'd like that ordinance ready to go.

21 Now, turning to financial matters, the

22 Scranton Parking Authority will operate a number of

23 city parking garages and has borrowed significant sums

24 of money to facilitate these endeavors.

25 Recently we learned that the SPA had


1 finally paid its delinquent taxes, although I've seen

2 no evidence to that effect in black and white.

3 If the Scranton Parking Authority were

4 to default on any financial agreements, the people of

5 Scranton are responsible to make those payments;

6 therefore, it behoves City Council to keep a very close

7 watch on the SPA's finances on behalf of the people.

8 I move that the Scranton Parking

9 Authority send a monthly financial statement to Council

10 for all garages, including the Medallion Garage at such

11 time of completion.

12 The report must also include the

13 transfer of parking spaces from the Casey to the

14 Medallion Garages for use by the Hilton Hotel, and the

15 total number of parking spaces in every city-owned

16 garage, the rate per space, and an individual report of

17 the income for each city-owned garage on a monthly

18 basis.

19 MS. GATELLI: I'll second that motion.

20 On the question? All in favor.

21 MS. EVANS: Aye.



24 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The ayes

25 have it and so moved.


1 MS. EVANS: Thank you. I understand

2 that requests for proposals will be accepted for the

3 purchase of video cameras, according to the mayor; is

4 that correct?


6 MS. EVANS: That certainly is

7 preferable, however, why is the city not utilizing

8 sealed bids for a $250,000 purchase?

9 MS. GATELLI: I can find out.

10 MS. EVANS: I don't believe this is

11 merely an overture to Council to avoid a fight, rather

12 legal procedures must be followed to insure the lowest

13 responsible bidder in order to save the people's money

14 in these desperate financial times.

15 So, Mrs. Gatelli, I really would

16 appreciate that. There is a distinct difference

17 between an RFP and a sealed bid.

18 Finally I have a few citizens' requests

19 for the week. Residents of East Mountain have reported

20 the following problems, Vehicles ignore stop signs

21 throughout East Mountain and speeding occurs throughout

22 the neighborhoods. A.T.V.s travel at high speeds and

23 do tricks. Vandalism, particularly to the bathrooms,

24 has occurred at Robinson Park.

25 Ponding of water continues to occur on


1 North Cameron Avenue. I request a report on this

2 problem in writing, who is responsible and what remedy

3 is necessary.

4 I have not received a report on Doug

5 Walsh's sink hole on Fisk Street from Attorney Farrell,

6 so I would like a second request and a response must be

7 forwarded to me by June 28.

8 Also, a letter to Mr. Parker. I

9 request a complete itemized report of all work

10 performed by the DPW at the property in question on

11 Hollow Avenue by June 28.

12 A letter to Mr. Santolli, can trees be

13 trimmed in the 400 block of Phelps Street? 623 Colfax

14 Avenue, please clear abandoned overgrown lot. 1048

15 Mohawk Avenue, caved-in road is causing resident's

16 basement to flood. Please check that out.

17 And if this is possible, I see that

18 there are portions included in the paving report we

19 received today from Mr. Parker, or maybe it was last

20 week, but I just received it today, River Street from

21 I-81 to Stafford and Meadow Avenue between Meadow and

22 River Street, residents report it's desperately in need

23 of paving.

24 And I also have on a much brighter note

25 an E-mail I recently received that I would like to


1 read.

2 I would like to mention all of the

3 media coverage this week about the efforts to clean up

4 the blight in South Side, and I'm just going to

5 intervene here and say, I received this prior to last

6 Thursday's meeting, but obviously was unable to read it

7 at that time.

8 The articles I have read and the

9 television coverage on this topic credit the cleaning

10 up of South Side with a decline in crime.

11 While I applaud the cleanup efforts

12 being made, I believe some credit must go to the beat

13 cops and the Scranton Police Department.

14 I have lived in South Side my whole

15 life and know that the police patrols have made a big

16 difference.

17 Of course the newspaper only remembers

18 their arbitration awards. I believe the police have

19 been the catalyst to a safer South Side, and I applaud

20 all of their efforts. And the author of that E-mail

21 has asked not to be identified. And I believe that's

22 it.

23 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mr.

24 McTiernan.

25 MR. MCTIERNAN: Thank you, Mrs.


1 Gatelli. Two things. First of all, I would

2 respectfully ask my colleagues who voted in the

3 negative regarding the little league leases to

4 reintroduce that in the near future so we can get that

5 cleared up.

6 And the second thing is I'd like to

7 make a motion to create legislation to lease the Sloan

8 teener field to the Scranton School District for a

9 period of 99 years, and if we could include in that

10 language language that specifically allows for the

11 Sloan Little League Association to have full access to

12 the little league and the farm league fields.

13 My position on reintroducing this or

14 introducing this is so that we can hear input from the

15 public and a final decision can be made as to whether

16 or not an agreement will go forth between the school

17 district and the city and the little league

18 association.

19 We need to put it to rest. We know

20 that extensive renovations may need to be done on the

21 teener league field, and that will take time. Grass

22 does take a little while to grow before a field is

23 useable. It usually takes about a year for a field to

24 be playable. So, some of that needs to start fairly

25 soon. I so move.


1 MR. COURTRIGHT: I'll second that.

2 MS. GATELLI: On the question?

3 MS. EVANS: Yes. I think before we go

4 ahead with any of that -- well, I couldn't vote in

5 favor of that until I'm able to speak with the board

6 members of Sloan Little League. I really don't like

7 taking action without their having told me that they're

8 in agreement with this proposal.

9 Also, I noticed in a response I

10 received from Sara Hailstone regarding the allocations

11 to little leagues throughout West Scranton from 1999

12 through 2006, I do not see Sloan Little League listed,

13 yet Sloan Little League was given $5,000 through OECD

14 in, I believe it was, 2004 or 2005, plus an additional

15 significant sum of CDBG grants in the last round of

16 grant applications, and, yet, I see no acknowledgment

17 of that.

18 Sloan isn't listed in any year from '99

19 through 2006, as I stated. And I have concerns about

20 why that money has been withheld.

21 So, before -- I'm not opposed to Mr.

22 McTiernan's concept or his desire to move this along,

23 but as a representative of the people of this city, in

24 good conscience, I cannot approve such motion. I think

25 Council needs to speak with, or maybe I shouldn't speak


1 for Council, Janet Evans needs to speak with Sloan

2 Little League before this goes any further.

3 MR. COURTRIGHT: Mrs. Gatelli, if I

4 may. I think Mrs. Evans and Mr. McTiernan will attest

5 to the fact the last Council and this Council, I was

6 never in favor of passing motions that somebody didn't

7 discuss with me either in caucus or prior so that I

8 knew what I was voting on.

9 And Mr. McTiernan brought it up in

10 caucus earlier today, and I told him that I would be in

11 favor of this motion, because it's just for

12 introduction and that we would be seek out the approval

13 of the Sloan Little League.

14 If they do not approve it, I would vote

15 in the negative next week. So, we will wait for this

16 week and speak. And if they agree with Mr. McTiernan's

17 motion, because it is just for the teener league, then

18 I will vote in the affirmative.

19 If the Little League Association does

20 not approve of Mr. McTiernan's motion, I will vote in

21 the negative. I'm going to vote in the positive today

22 to try to move it along. And if they think it's

23 something they could live with, I'll vote yes next

24 week. If not, I will be voting in the negative next

25 week. So, basically I put the ball in their court.


1 Maybe this will move it along a little bit.

2 MR. MCTIERNAN: I think it's time, Mr.

3 Courtright, that I think that's the purpose, just to

4 move it along and have a decision made one way or

5 another.

6 If it's not going to be a situation

7 that would be agreeable to little league, then so be it

8 and then we can move on and other arrangements can be

9 made.

10 And some of the folks from Sloan said

11 they were interested in doing improvements themselves.

12 So, if this is not going to happen, then they can get

13 along with their improvements, as well.

14 So, I look forward to input from the

15 Sloan Association, as well as other members of Council.

16 Thank you.

17 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else?

18 MS. EVANS: I just, again, I feel this

19 is putting the cart before the horse. And we're

20 talking about fields that this little league has used

21 for many, many years, they've maintained

22 single-handily, conducted their own fundraisers, put

23 their own sweat into the upkeep of this area, and for

24 Council to begin moving a process along is akin to

25 maybe my neighbor wanting my property and starting to


1 move that along before I've decided whether I really

2 want to sell it or not. That's it.

3 MS. GATELLI: Okay. Anyone else? All

4 in favor, say aye.



7 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed?

8 MS. EVANS: No.

9 MS. GATELLI: By a vote of 3-1, the

10 motion passed.

11 MR. MCTIERNAN: Nothing else, Mrs.

12 Gatelli.

13 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mr.

14 Courtright.

15 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes. I would like to

16 thank Mr. Fiorini. We had a problem down on 9th

17 Street, and he went down and checked it out, and he

18 said it would be taken care of.

19 And as I came in today, I guess there

20 was a list of houses down in that area that the

21 inspectors has been looking at, and I don't know what I

22 did with the list, but evidently they're on top of

23 that, and so we thank them for that.

24 When you go down Luzerne Street past

25 Meridian Avenue, there's a bridge, it's a railroad


1 bridge, and there's sidewalks on both sides of the

2 street, and I got a call from an individual that's in a

3 wheelchair, and they can't get back and forth because

4 of weeds and everything overgrown and dirt just has

5 taken over the sidewalk there.

6 So, Kay, maybe we can ask the DPW if

7 they can clear it up. It's at Meridian and Luzerne.

8 There's a railroad bridge.

9 The dirt bike, I found out it's down in

10 the Sally port, the dirt bike that was up on the East

11 Mountain. After last meeting I got a couple of calls

12 about that. They certainly want that bike back up on

13 East Mountain, and so do I.

14 The bike is down at the sally port at

15 the police station. I went to see Dave Elliott one

16 day, but he wasn't in. I think he might have been out

17 of town, so I'll try to get a hold of him again. But

18 the bike is down at the sally port.

19 Pike Street, we tried to get it on the

20 paving list and it didn't make it. So, Kay, maybe the

21 DPW can see about patching Pike Street, because it

22 didn't make the paving list.

23 And while I'm talking about paving, you

24 know, they sent us a list, and I've been telling some

25 people whose streets are on the list and whose aren't.


1 And, say, we have South Webster Avenue

2 on the list from Birch Street, Genet Street to Maple

3 Street, Duncan Street, and some people are saying, You

4 know, why is that on and my street's not on?

5 I believe the answer is because the

6 streets that you'll see on the list, not the courts and

7 the allies, but the streets are K roads. So, the city

8 is not really paying much to pave them. It's

9 80 percent federal funds and 20 percent city funds.

10 I'm assuming, and maybe I shouldn't

11 assume, but I'm assuming that's how they arrived at

12 paving those streets, because we're not footing the

13 bill on them. And the rest of them that I see on here

14 are courts and allies.

15 And, again, I'm assuming, and maybe I

16 shouldn't. I'm assuming we're going to do that

17 ourselves. I don't know, and I will have to ask Mr.

18 Parker that.

19 But I think that's why some streets are

20 getting paved and others aren't, because we're not

21 paying the full bill on it.

22 And that brings me to a young lady last

23 week. I believe she was asking about the 300 block of

24 North Decker Court. That is on the paving list, the

25 girl that asked last week.


1 Dale Avenue, Kay, I guess I got to send

2 a second or third request. Dale Avenue and Luzerne

3 Street, they still have not fixed the potholes on Dale

4 and Luzerne, if we can ask the DPW what the holdup is

5 there.

6 I went out to look at the hole that Mr.

7 Dudek brings up every week down near the Albright

8 Avenue Bridge there. There is a recycling can in

9 there, a blue recycling can. And it's filled with

10 water now. Now people are filling it with wood.

11 It's not in the road, but it's off to

12 the side of the road. So maybe, I don't know who the

13 heck it comes under, probably Mr. Parker again. Can

14 they take a look at that? It's kind of getting out of

15 control down there. Now they're filling it up with

16 wood. Next they'll be setting it on fire.

17 And I went down to see where the

18 pothole machine is. It is down at the DPW complex. I

19 don't anticipate it getting used any time in the near

20 future, because it's being blocked in by a vehicle, so

21 it's -- if anybody's wondering, that's where it is.

22 It's down at the DPW complex.

23 I still think we should sell it and try

24 to get some money for it because it turns into rust and

25 we junk it and we get nothing for it, because it


1 doesn't appear that we've been using it or we're going

2 to be using it. I'll discuss that -- maybe I will.

3 Mrs. Gatelli said make a motion. I'm

4 going to discuss that in caucus next week and see if

5 everybody is agreeable to make a motion to sell it,

6 because it's just sitting there.

7 I'm not quite sure how much we paid for

8 it, does anybody remember? But it was a considerable

9 amount of money. So, next week I'll discuss that in

10 caucus. If we want to make a motion to go and sell it,

11 I certainly will make that motion, rather than let it

12 sit down there rusting.

13 And Mr. Narsavage brought up about the

14 CRF. They did send a letter saying that that is -- it

15 is complete. The CRF loan stuff is all done, finished.

16 So, it's underway.

17 And one last thing. I called Gene

18 Barrett last week, this is before I knew he was getting

19 that position that he got, he was the head of the Sewer

20 Authority board, I believe at that time, now I don't

21 know what he's -- he's the executive director, all

22 right.

23 Well, when I spoke to him, he wasn't

24 the executive director yet. But I asked him, I said,

25 you know, Mr. Barrett, would you be willing to put it


1 before your board about putting out the bids to see

2 about bringing a private company in to administer the

3 Sewer Authority and seeing if we couldn't get a lump

4 sum of money that we did previous to help pay off what

5 we owe now and maybe help us with some future bills.

6 I asked him if he would be willing to

7 bring it before the board, and he said yes. And I

8 asked him if he thought that was a feasible idea. And

9 he said there could be some good points to it.

10 So, I guess he has a little bit more

11 hammer, a little bit more clout now that he's the boss.

12 So, I will call him again and see if he's brought that

13 before his board, and if he did, how they feel about

14 it. And that's it. Thank you.

15 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Fifth order.







22 MS. GATELLI: At this time I'll

23 entertain a motion that 5-B be introduced.

24 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.

25 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All


1 those in favor.

2 MS. EVANS: Aye.



5 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The ayes

6 have it and so moved.

7 MS. GARVEY: Sixth order. No business

8 at this time.

9 Seventh order. 7-A - FOR CONSIDERATION







16 JUNE 16, 2006.

17 MS. GATELLI: As chairperson for the

18 committee on rules, I recommend final passage of Item

19 7-A.

20 MR. COURTRIGHT: Seconded.

21 MS. GATELLI: On the question? Roll

22 call.

23 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.

24 MS. EVANS: Yes.

25 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci.


1 Mr. McTiernan.


3 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.


5 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.

6 MS. GATELLI: Yes. I hereby declare

7 Item 7-A legally and lawfully adopted. Do I have a

8 motion to adjourn?

9 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.

10 MS. EVANS: Second.

11 MS. GATELLI: All in favor.

12 MS. EVANS: Aye.



15 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Thank you very much

16 and have a nice afternoon.







23 C E R T I F I C A T E


25 I hereby certify that the proceedings and


1 evidence are contained fully and accurately in the

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

3 that this copy is a correct transcript of the same

4 to the best of my ability.



8 Official Court Reporter