1 SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING
6 Thursday, July 6, 2006
10 12:00 p.m.
14 Council Chambers
15 Scranton City Hall
16 340 North Washington Avenue
17 Scranton, Pennsylvania
23 Lisa M. Graff, RMR
24 Court Reporter
1 CITY OF SCRANTON COUNCIL:
3 MS. JUDY GATELLI, COUNCIL PRESIDENT
5 MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT, VICE-PRESIDENT
7 MS. JANET EVANS
9 MS. SHERRY NEALON FANUCCI (Left meeting where noted.)
11 MR. ROBERT McTIERNAN
13 MR. AMIL MINORA, ESQUIRE, SOLICITOR
15 MS. KAY GARVEY, CITY CLERK
17 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. Thank you. Roll call.
4 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.
5 MS. EVANS: Here.
6 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci.
7 MS. FANUCCI: Here.
8 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McTiernan.
9 MR. MCTIERNAN: Here.
10 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: Here.
12 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.
13 MS. GATELLI: Here. Dispense with the
14 reading of the minutes.
15 MS. GARVEY: Third order. 3-A, MINUTES
16 OF THE SCRANTON POLICE PENSION COMMISSION MEETING HELD
17 ON MAY 24, 2006.
18 MS. GATELLI: Are there any comments?
19 If not, received and filed.
20 MS. GARVEY: 3-B, MINUTES OF THE
21 SCRANTON POLICE PENSION COMMISSION EXECUTIVE BOARD
22 MEETING HELD ON MAY 31, 2006.
23 MS. GATELLI: Are there any comments?
24 If not, received and filed.
25 MS. GARVEY: I have no clerk's notes at
1 this time. Are we moving to 4-A motions at this time,
2 Mrs. Gatelli?
3 MS. GATELLI: Okay. Before we go into
4 motions, I just have a few comments to make. This
5 morning the Mayor was with PEMA, FEMA and the small
6 business administration with Director Hayes. They
7 travelled to the flooded areas to do some more
9 We're trying desperately to have the
10 City of Scranton also in the declaration of disaster.
11 So, they are working on that as we speak. Don't give
12 up hope, because we're still trying.
13 Also on Tuesday, July 11, this Tuesday
14 coming, there will be a meeting with the Army Corps of
15 Engineers at four o'clock at Scranton High School.
16 Mr. McTiernan offered to let us use his building for
17 that meeting, so -- the building where he's the
18 principal. You know, we're not into semantics here.
19 And, please, we don't need any comments from the
20 audience. There's a public participation to comment.
21 Don't comment while you're there. It's very
23 But at four o'clock at Scranton High
24 School on Tuesday, July 11, this Tuesday coming, there
25 will be a meeting with the Army Corps of Engineers for
1 anyone that's interested in coming.
2 Also, I have scheduled a meeting on
3 Tuesday, July 25 at seven o'clock in Council chambers
4 for all the neighborhood leaders, and that will be at
5 seven o'clock to go any problems that they have and
6 discuss the block grant applications.
7 MR. COURTRIGHT: Mrs. Gatelli, if I
8 could, being that you were talking about the flooded
10 MS. GATELLI: Sure.
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: I had been contacted
12 by a couple of the members of the SOG Team. They had
13 gone down there during the flood on their own.
14 They weren't paid by the city. They
15 just all went down on their own and they did some work
16 down there trying to help the people out, and I guess
17 many of the people thought they were National Guard,
18 and it was our SOG Team, and then later on we received
19 a letter from Dave Elliott, you know, clarifying that
20 it was our SOG Team.
21 So, we just wanted to thank them for
22 volunteering their time. They did not get paid. They
23 did it on their own time. But they were dressed in
24 what would appear to be a military-type uniform,
25 because that's what they wear when they're on the SOG
1 Team. So, we just want to thank them and clarify that
2 it was our SOG Team down there volunteering their time.
3 Thank you.
4 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mrs. Evans.
5 MS. EVANS: Good afternoon. I ask for
6 your prayers today for a good friend, a great man, and
7 a valiant union leader whose greatest concern was
8 always the working man, woman and their families,
9 Jim Burns. He will be deeply missed by all of us who
10 knew him, and his legacy will live long, long after its
12 Last week I addressed OECD loans to
13 businesses and individuals who incur federal and/or
14 state tax liens or local tax delinquencies. I stated
15 the importance of daily checking Court Notes in The
16 Scranton Times newspaper to track such liens.
17 On July 3, I read of a second lien
18 placed against a city business to whom OECD had already
19 provided a loan. Consequently, there are at least two
20 businesses who have received OECD loans and who had tax
21 liens at the time during which OECD loans were
22 provided. Particularly, as the city bleeds with over
23 $240 million in long-term debt, financially struggling
24 garages, a $5.5 million award, plus interest owed to
25 American Water Services, millions in arbitration awards
1 owed to municipal unions, every department in this
2 administration should guard the people's money and
3 exercise fiscal prudence and conservatism.
4 I hope that OECD will review and revise
5 its selection process for loan applicants and restrain
6 the awarding of interest free loans.
7 Kay, could we send a letter, please, to
8 Miss Hailstone, OECD Director requesting a response to
9 the following question: If a business located in
10 Scranton has received a loan through OECD and such
11 business fails thereby terminating its operation and
12 going out of business before the loan is repaid, how is
13 the loan satisfied? Who is responsible to satisfactory
14 the loan? The business incidentally leased space, it
15 did not own the building in which it was located.
16 As residents of Scranton languish under
17 the financial and emotional burdens of recent blooding,
18 they're occupied understandably with recovery, although
19 Lackawanna County has not yet been designated a
20 disaster area.
21 The Scranton Sewer Authority board has
22 agreed to provide an adjustments to sewer bills for
23 flood victims. I hope this helps a bit to ease your
24 suffering, however, I adamantly believe that the city,
25 the Army Corps of Engineers and the Sewer Authority
1 must develop a plan now for all flood prone areas of
2 our city in the event of future flooding.
3 We're not even halfway into hurricane
4 season. So, the possibility remains real. We need to
5 decide upon a procedure for every flood prone section
6 and stand prepared for immediate implementation in case
7 of emergency.
8 This recovery must comprise more than a
9 cleanup. We must prepare to protect and assist all
10 areas of Scranton until such time as all flood projects
11 are completed.
12 The reality is, there very likely will
13 be a next time, so, please, all flood victims attend
14 the meeting on July 11 at Scranton High School.
15 Also, as a result of a discussion held
16 prior to today's Council meeting, I would like to make
17 a motion that Council solicitor draft legislation to
18 implement an entertainment tax, a hotel tax, and also
19 investigate the proper drafting of legislation to
20 substitute a commuter tax and an impact fee.
21 MS. GATELLI: I'll second that motion.
22 On the question?
23 MS. EVANS: This is being done, as I'm
24 sure all of you are well aware, because of the city's
25 financial straits. We are deeply, deeply in debt. And
1 I mentioned a figure of over $240 million in long-term
2 debt over the next 28 years.
3 Well, I'm sure that if -- the accurate
4 figure exceeds even that at this point in time, and we
5 can't afford to sit by and continue to say that
6 borrowing money or leasing buildings, pursuing one time
7 revenue sources are going to be the solution to this
8 debacle that will continue to be a debacle for the next
9 28 years.
10 The future of your children and
11 grandchildren has been mortgaged. I've said that
12 before, and I frankly had to say it to you once again.
13 Those are the cold hard facts.
14 So, we have to institute any possible
15 revenue generating measures that Council can pursue in
16 order to help the taxpayers of Scranton dig out from
17 underneath this burden.
18 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else on the
19 question? All in favor?
20 MS. EVANS: Aye.
21 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Aye.
22 MR. MCTIERNAN: Aye.
23 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
24 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The ayes
25 have it and so ordered. Kay, it was a unanimous vote.
1 MS. EVANS: Also, I have an update on
2 the trees on Phelps Street in the Pine Brook area. I
3 spoke with Mr. Santoli this week, and he described to
4 me the trees are currently in, I guess, a mode of
5 building up their food over the summer months, and so
6 trees really should not be cut or trimmed until the
7 spring of each year, and that allows them to build this
8 food over the summer months.
9 So, he has indicated that the trees on
10 Phelps Street will be trimmed, but not until next March
11 or April, and he will be sure to set aside a $1,000
12 from his budget for just that purpose.
13 Also on today's agenda is legislation
14 concerning a $600,000 payment from The Icebox for
15 property on Providence Road, I believe, and I
16 personally feel that the offer that has been made, that
17 is payment of the $600,000 of over a period of, I
18 believe, 30 years interest free is unacceptable and it
19 violates the original agreement that was made between
20 the city and this developer.
21 And, again, keeping in mind the straits
22 that we are in, we can't afford to be handing out such
23 handsome favors.
24 That land was appraised at $1.1
25 million. I'm sure there are many people who would be
1 very interested in having such property.
2 And, so, I believe that the developer
3 needs to negotiate in good faith with the city and keep
4 to its original agreement and provide the $600,000,
5 which I might also add is already many, many months
7 And I have a few citizen requests for
8 the week. Pave the alley in the 200 block of North
9 Dewey Avenue. It's a dirt alley and residents have
10 requested this numerous times through the years.
11 Washington West, please paint the
12 crosswalks. The mayor had promised to do so during his
13 re-election campaign, but it never occurred.
14 In addition, when City Hall renovations
15 occur, will they include handicapped accessibility?
16 And I would certainly expect so, in that, it would be
17 required by code. And will OECD be returned to City
18 Hall, again, saving the taxpayers the monthly payments
19 as they occupy another building within the City of
21 Patch the lower end of Kane Street.
22 It's very difficult for funeral cars on route to
23 cemeteries to maneuver over and around numerous deep
24 potholes. Please address A.S.A.P.
25 Fill enormous pothole located in the
1 3200 block of Agusta Avenue and Gaston Place, and this
2 is a third request from Council.
3 1725 Hawthorne Street, there is a large
4 depression in the road which is marked off by a cone.
5 The water company was called out.
6 They examined the area and indicated it
7 is not a problem with water pipes, hence, the Sewer
8 Authority was called in.
9 They examined the depression by
10 lowering a camera into the area. And they have
11 indicated, as well, it is not a problem with the sewer
12 pipes. It's a city problem.
13 The road is caving in. I believe the
14 DPW is aware of this situation, but I am hoping that
15 they are going to address this immediately before we
16 see an accident or a perhaps we see a car going into a
18 Kay, did I receive a report of all of
19 the work performed by the DPW on Hollow Avenue from
20 Mr. Parker yet? I didn't have a chance to look at the
22 MS. GARVEY: I don't believe there's
23 any in there, no.
24 MS. EVANS: Okay. Would you please
25 send one last memo? Remind him that the first date for
1 a response passed, likely due to flood emergencies, and
2 I also wish to know why the DPW cleared a right of way,
3 when it declined to do so for several residents of the
4 East Mountain area who either owned property previously
5 or were looking to purchase property and build a home
6 and needed a right of way and that was not provided.
7 And that's it.
8 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mrs. Fanucci.
9 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: I only have two
10 things at this time. I had a few complaints about
11 firefighters supposedly during the flood not coming out
12 when they were called. And I had checked into this,
13 and what had happened, people were calling with
14 complaints of water in their basement. They were not
15 responding until all of the rainfall had stopped, so
16 that is -- that was the problem.
17 They were told not to go until the
18 rainfall had stopped. So, that is the information I
19 received on that. And I know that, because I saw them
20 out. They were just doing other things, but I did see
21 them out.
22 Also, I wanted to say again about the
23 Arts in the Park project that's coming up on July 10
24 and 14 from nine to twelve. It will start at Nay Aug
25 this week, this Monday. And we want you to call if you
1 want your children to come, which is going to be a
2 great program, 961-2743, to call to sign up for the
3 first part of this program and the second and the
4 third, Connell Park and also Weston Field.
5 So, I just want to remind everybody to
6 join in. This is something that was requested from the
7 public, and we are very proud to be able to bring it to
8 you and have somewhere for your children to go and be
9 together during the summer. So, that is all that I
10 have at this time. Thank you.
11 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mr.
13 MR. MCTIERNAN: Thank you, Mrs.
14 Gatelli. Very briefly. There was a complaint last
15 week regarding 911 dispatches, a miscommunication. We
16 have some communications here from the Department of
17 Emergency Services, 911, and they've submitted a
18 detailed computer printout of the call that was taken
19 that day where there was some alleged
21 Apparently the 911 dispatcher did
22 follow procedures, and we just want to say that it
23 appears as though they did a good job with that, and I
24 do think it was a matter of miscommunication rather
25 than anybody being hung up on. And that's all I have,
1 Mrs. Gatelli. Thank you.
2 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Courtright.
3 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes. I received a
4 letter from a woman in the Hill Section. I'm going to
5 read it briefly. It's a brief letter. A Hill Section
6 woman called with the desire to make Council aware that
7 children are swimming at Nay Aug for free of charge.
8 She approached children walking to the
9 pool and asked how much they were paying to swim. The
10 children told her they did not have to pay because they
11 received passes from Weston Field.
12 She advised a neighbor about this and
13 the neighbor brought her children to Weston Field and
14 also received passes to swim for free. The woman felt
15 that Council should be aware of this benefit that was
16 offered to children.
17 So, someone from the office, I don't
18 know if it was Kay or Sue or Neil called and spoke with
19 Mr. Brazil, and according to Jeff, there's been no
20 passes given out. There have been family passes sold
21 for $75 to local organizations to use for area
22 children. Now, this might all be a moot point after we
23 voted today, but I just wanted to bring that up.
24 And if I could just expand just a
25 little bit on what Mr. McTiernan said. I called over
1 to Mr. Dubas over at the Comm Center, and he was
2 already on top of the situation about the phone call.
3 He had told me about it the afternoon. I called the
4 next morning. He said by the afternoon we would all
5 have in our box a packet with a CD of the phone call
6 and a transcript.
7 And he also indicated that he turned it
8 over to the director of public safety, because there
9 was a call to the Comm Center that was then turned over
10 to our police desk.
11 So, right now it will be in the
12 Director of Public Safety hands, and it's probably an
13 internal thing that we cannot do anything with.
14 I also called Jean, the lady that came
15 here last week and I explained to her what the tape
16 said and what Mr. Dubas said.
17 So, I think if she needs any more
18 information, she needs to direct it to the Director of
19 Public Safety. I don't think Council could have any
20 involvement in it right now. And that's all I have.
21 Thank you.
22 MS. GATELLI: Thank you, Mr.
23 Courtright. I just have a few things. The tree
24 trimmers were out the week before last and they trimmed
25 trees that Mr. Miller and Mr. Bolus complained about
1 last week on Blucher Avenue and East Elm, also at the
2 East Scranton Little League, North Merrifield, the
3 trees on Frink that were complained about, the seven
4 and eight of North Rebecca, the five of Mary Street,
5 the eleven of Amherst, the intersection of Harrison and
6 Mulberry, and the intersection of North Main and Tripp.
7 And that's all I have. Mrs. Garvey.
8 MS. GARVEY: 4-B, FOR INTRODUCTION - AN
9 ORDINANCE - CREATING AND ESTABLISHING SPECIAL CITY
10 ACCOUNT NO. 02.229581 ENTITLED PAVING-K ROUTE ROADS FOR
11 RECEIPT AND DISBURSEMENT OF MONIES RECEIVED FROM THE
12 COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA FOR THE STATE SHARE (80%)
13 OF COST OF PAVING K ROUTE ROADS IN THE CITY OF
15 MS. GATELLI: At this time I'll
16 entertain a motion that 4-B be introduced.
17 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
18 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Second.
19 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All
20 those in favor.
21 MS. EVANS: Aye.
22 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Aye.
23 MR. MCTIERNAN: Aye.
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
25 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The ayes
1 have it, so moved.
2 MS. GARVEY: 4-C, FOR INTRODUCTION - A
3 RESOLUTION - AUTHORIZING THE REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY OF
4 THE CITY OF SCRANTON TO EXECUTE AND ENTER INTO AN
5 AGREEMENT WITH THE REDEVELOPER BRT ICE, L.P. FOR
6 REDEVELOPMENT OF THE 800 BLOCK OF PROVIDENCE ROAD
7 FORMERLY KNOWN AS THE CITY OF SCRANTON, DEPARTMENT OF
8 PUBLIC WORKS PROPERTY.
9 MS. GATELLI: At this time I'll
10 entertain a motion that 4-C be introduced.
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
12 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Second.
13 MS. GATELLI: On the question?
14 MS. EVANS: Yes, just one other item I
15 wanted to add to the comments I made previously. This
16 particular developer, BRT Ice was also awarded a
17 $250,000 no interest loan from the city, so I think the
18 city has treated them quite well.
19 We appreciate all of their development
20 endeavors, but I think now BRT Ice needs to reciprocate
21 and abide by their original agreement, so I'll be
22 voting no.
23 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else on the
25 MS. GATELLI: All those in favor. Let
1 the record reflect that no one voted in favor. All
2 those opposed.
3 MS. EVANS: No.
4 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: No.
5 MR. MCTIERNAN: No.
6 MR. COURTRIGHT: No.
7 MS. GATELLI: No. Unanimous no, Mrs.
9 MS. GARVEY: Fifth order. 5-A, READING
10 BY TITLE - FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 39, 2006 - AN ORDINANCE
11 - AMENDING FILE OF THE COUNCIL NO. 252, 2003, THEREBY
12 AMENDING FILE OF THE COUNCIL NOS. 188 OF 1994 AND 103
13 OF 1995 AS SET FORTH IN THE SCRANTON CODIFIED CODE AT
14 SECTION 332-20 PERTAINING TO FEES FOR USE OF
15 FACILITIES, TO AMEND THE FEES FOR THE USE OF OUTDOOR
16 CITY POOLS OTHER THAN NAY AUG PARK.
17 MS. GATELLI: You've heard reading by
18 title of 5-a., what is your pleasure?
19 MR. COURTRIGHT: I move that Item 5-A
20 pass reading by title.
21 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
22 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All
23 those in favor.
24 MS. EVANS: Aye.
25 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Aye.
1 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
2 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed?
3 MR. MCTIERNAN: No.
4 MS. GATELLI: The ayes have it and so
6 MS. EVANS: Will we be suspending the
7 rules to move that into sixth order?
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes, I believe that --
9 MR. MCTIERNAN: Somebody needs to make
10 a motion.
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: Mr. Minora, should we
12 make the motion right now? Okay. I'll make a motion
13 that we suspend the rules and move it into sixth order,
14 Item 5-A.
15 MS. EVANS: Second.
16 MS. GATELLI: All in favor?
17 MS. EVANS: Aye.
18 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Aye.
19 MR. MCTIERNAN: Aye.
20 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
21 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The ayes
22 have it and so ordered.
23 MS. GARVEY: Sixth order. 6-A, FOR
24 CONSIDERATION BY THE COMMITTEE ON RULES - FOR ADOPTION
25 - FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 37, 2006 - VACATING A PORTION OF
1 FIELD COURT/STREET BEGINNING AT THE RIGHT OF WAY LINE
2 OF THE 400 BLOCK OF NORTH CAMERON AVENUE AND EXTENDING
3 100 FEET IN A SOUTHEASTERLY DIRECTION WITH A WIDTH OF
4 20 FEET.
5 MS. GATELLI: As chairperson for the
6 committee on rules, I recommend final passage of 6-A.
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 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Yes.
14 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McTiernan.
15 MR. MCTIERNAN: Yes.
16 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.
17 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
18 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.
19 MS. GATELLI: Yes. I hereby declare
20 6-A legally and lawfully adopted.
21 MS. GARVEY: 6-B, FOR CONSIDERATION BY
22 THE COMMITTEE ON RULES - FOR ADOPTION - RESOLUTION NO.
23 63, 2006 - IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PENNSYLVANIA
24 MUNICIPALITIES PLANNING CODE, ARTICLE 9, SECTION 903,
25 ACT 247 OF 1968 AS AMENDED BY ACT 93 OF 1972 AND ACT
1 NO. 249 OF 1978 AND ACT 170 OF 1998, IT IS THE DESIRE
2 OF THE SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL TO APPOINT NANCY REEDY,
3 2026 PROSPECT AVENUE, SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA, AS A
4 MEMBER OF THE BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS. MRS. REEDY'S
5 TERM WILL BEGIN JULY 1, 2006 AND EXPIRE ON
6 JUNE 30, 2011. MRS. REEDY WILL BE REPLACING
7 MR. JOSEPH A. WECHSLER, WHOSE TERM EXPIRES ON
8 JUNE 30, 2006.
9 MS. GATELLI: As chairperson for the
10 committee on rules, I recommend final passage of 6-B.
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
12 MS. GATELLI: On the question? Roll
14 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.
15 MS. EVANS: Yes.
16 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci.
17 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Yes.
18 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McTiernan.
19 MR. MCTIERNAN: Yes.
20 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.
21 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
22 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.
23 MS. GATELLI: Yes. I hereby declare
24 6-B legally and lawfully adopted.
25 MS. GARVEY: 6-C, FOR CONSIDERATION BY
1 THE COMMITTEE ON RULES - FOR ADOPTION - RESOLUTION NO.
2 64, 2006 - REAPPOINTMENT OF SAM CHERRA, JR., 1410
3 DOROTHY STREET, SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA 18504 TO THE
4 BOARD OF SCRANTON RECREATION AUTHORITY. MR. CHERRA'S
5 CURRENT TERM EXPIRES ON JUNE 17, 2006 AND HIS NEW TERM
6 WILL EXPIRE ON JUNE 17, 2011.
7 MS. GATELLI: As chairperson for the
8 committee on rules, I recommend final passage of 6-C.
9 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
10 MS. GATELLI: On the question? Roll
12 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.
13 MS. EVANS: Yes.
14 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci.
15 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Yes.
16 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McTiernan.
17 MR. MCTIERNAN: Yes.
18 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.
19 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
20 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.
21 MS. GATELLI: Yes. I hereby declare
22 Item 7-C legally and lawfully adopted.
23 MS. GARVEY: 6-D, FOR CONSIDERATION BY
24 THE COMMITTEE ON RULES - FOR ADOPTION - RESOLUTION NO.
25 65, 2006 - RE-APPOINTMENT OF ALOYSIUS R. MUNLEY, 842
1 TAYLOR AVENUE, SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA, 18510 TO THE
2 BOARD OF THE SCRANTON RECREATION AUTHORITY.
3 MR. MUNLEY'S CURRENT TERM EXPIRES ON JUNE 17, 2006 AND
4 HIS NEW TERM WILL EXPIRE ON JUNE 17, 2011.
5 MS. GATELLI: As chairperson for the
6 committee on rules, I recommend final passage of 6-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 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Yes.
14 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McTiernan.
15 MR. MCTIERNAN: Yes.
16 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.
17 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
18 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.
19 MS. GATELLI: Yes. I hereby declare
20 6-D legally and lawfully adopted.
21 MS. GARVEY: 6-E, FOR CONSIDERATION BY
22 THE COMMITTEE ON RULES - FOR ADOPTION - RESOLUTION NO.
23 66, 2006 - RE-APPOINTMENT OF WAYNE HILLER, 303 SEYMOUR
24 AVENUE, SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA 18505 TO THE BOARD OF
25 THE SCRANTON PARKING AUTHORITY. MR. HILLER'S CURRENT
1 TERM EXPIRED ON JUNE 1, 2006 AND HIS NEW TERM WILL
2 EXPIRE ON JUNE 1, 2011.
3 MS. GATELLI: As chairperson for the
4 committee on rules, I recommend final passage of 6-E.
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 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Yes.
12 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McTiernan.
13 MR. MCTIERNAN: Yes.
14 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.
15 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
16 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.
17 MS. GATELLI: Yes. I hereby declare
18 6-E legally and lawfully adopted.
19 MS. GARVEY: 6-F, FOR CONSIDERATION BY
20 THE COMMITTEE ON COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT - FOR ADOPTION -
21 RESOLUTION NO. 67, 2006 - AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND
22 OTHER APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS FOR THE CITY OF
23 SCRANTON TO ENTER INTO A LOAN AGREEMENT AND MAKE A LOAN
24 FROM THE COMMERCIAL INDUSTRIAL REVOLVING LOAN PROGRAM,
25 PROJECT NO. 03-150.2 IN AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED
1 $250,000 TO EDMUND AND CHRIS PISANO PARTNERSHIP TO
2 ASSIST AN ELIGIBLE PROJECT.
3 MS. GATELLI: What's the recommendation
4 of the chairperson for the committee on community
6 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: As chairperson for
7 the committee on community development, I recommend
8 final passage of Item 6-F.
9 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
10 MS. GATELLI: On the question? Roll
12 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.
13 MS. EVANS: Yes.
14 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci.
15 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Yes.
16 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McTiernan.
17 MR. MCTIERNAN: Yes.
18 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.
19 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
20 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.
21 MS. GATELLI: Yes. I hereby declare
22 6-F legally and lawfully adopted.
23 MS. GARVEY: 6-G, FOR CONSIDERATION BY
24 THE COMMITTEE ON COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT - FOR ADOPTION -
25 RESOLUTION NO. 69, 2006 - AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND
1 OTHER APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS FOR THE CITY OF
2 SCRANTON TO ENTER INTO A LOAN AGREEMENT TO MAKE A LOAN
3 FROM THE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT LOAN
4 PROGRAM, PROJECT NO. 03-150.C IN AN AMOUNT NOT TO
5 EXCEED $200,000 TO SCRANTON-DUNLOP, INCORPORATED TO
6 ASSIST IN ELIGIBLE PROJECT.
7 MS. GATELLI: What's the recommendation
8 of the chairperson on community development?
9 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: As chairperson for
10 the committee on community development, I recommend
11 final passage of Item 6-G.
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
13 MS. GATELLI: On the question? Roll
15 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.
16 MS. EVANS: Yes.
17 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci.
18 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Yes.
19 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McTiernan.
20 MR. MCTIERNAN: Yes.
21 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.
22 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
23 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.
24 MS. GATELLI: Yes. I hereby declare
25 6-G legally and lawfully adopted.
1 MS. GARVEY: 6-H, FORMERLY 5-A, FOR
2 CONSIDERATION BY THE COMMITTEE ON FINANCE -- FOR
3 ADOPTION - FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 39, 2006 - AMENDING FILE
4 OF THE COUNCIL NO. 252, 2003, THEREBY AMENDING FILE OF
5 THE COUNCIL NOS. 188 OF 1994 AND 103 OF 1995 AS SET
6 FORTH IN THE SCRANTON CODIFIED CODE AT SECTION 332-20
7 PERTAINING TO FEES FOR USE OF FACILITIES, TO AMEND THE
8 FEES FOR THE USE OF OUTDOOR CITY POOLS OTHER THAN NAY
9 AUG PARK.
10 MS. GATELLI: What is the
11 recommendation of the chairperson on finance?
12 MR. MCTIERNAN: As chair for the
13 committee on finance, I recommend final passage of Item
15 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
16 MS. GATELLI: On the question? Roll
18 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.
19 MS. EVANS: Yes.
20 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci.
21 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Yes.
22 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McTiernan.
23 MR. MCTIERNAN: No.
24 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.
25 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
1 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.
2 MS. GATELLI: Yes. I hereby declare
3 6-H legally and lawfully adopted. And the first
4 speaker is Mr. Bolus.
5 MR. BOLUS: Good afternoon. Bob Bolus,
6 Scranton. Now, I believe Council serves at the
7 pleasure of the people and to have citizen
8 participation after you have voted on something which
9 we have not been allowed to address prior I think is a
10 little out of order for us.
11 We come here to comment on issues, to
12 possibly help Council in the direction by public
13 comment. That's what it's there for. And if we can't
14 make our comments until afterward, what's the point of
15 having a public meeting or even having comments?
16 I see no reason for it. I believe
17 citizens participation should definitely be before
18 anything's voted on. Quite frankly, it could even be a
19 violation possibly of The Sunshine Act here that
20 something's voted on before it's addressed by the
22 So, I think Council needs to readdress
23 that issue. I mean, I mean, some members change this
24 because they may have to go to work to do something. I
25 have companies I operate. I take my time.
1 There's people here that have taken
2 their time. We're not compensated, Council is. So,
3 therefore, I believe Council should either reconsider
4 going back to the evening where you don't have your job
5 interference or other commitments and allow more people
6 to participate here than trying to isolate what we're
7 doing here.
8 If it wasn't that Ray Lyman allowed me
9 to go first today, I would not be able to address
10 Council today because of my commitments to my
11 companies. So, I believe we really need to turn and
12 work at that.
13 The other day I was at the flag
14 ceremony on the Fourth of July. I thought it was a
15 very moving ceremony. The participation of the people
16 was great. And I was honored by the fact that I was
17 allowed to speak and bring into public focus again the
18 mission I have on the individual Sergeant Genaust, who
19 actually filmed the flag raising on Mount Suribachi on
20 Iwo Jima and then died later on in a cave when he was
21 killed by the Japanese. And he's the one who gave us
22 that flag raising, and I was glad that I was allowed to
23 do it.
24 I read a letter from our ambassador to
25 Japan that is supporting the mission that I'm on here
1 with full support of our government.
2 In the city here we have I think a big
3 issue, and I've talked to a lot of people about it.
4 When a city wants to sell tax delinquent land or
5 abandoned land or something like that, we have one
6 realtor here, Nasser. You have to wait until this guy
7 gets around doing an appraisal, and it takes forever
8 and ever to do it.
9 And people have complained that, you
10 know, how could we go about buying property in the City
11 of Scranton when it takes forever for this one
12 individual to get something done?
13 And they just get disgusted and they
14 walk away. So, we're not able to do what we need to do
15 to bring income back into this city.
16 So, I think Council needs to readdress
17 this issue of having maybe more than one person do the
18 appraisal, because actually my understanding is that he
19 sets the value on what the land should be sold for, not
20 what the bids are. And it takes forever for him to do
22 So, we're actually beating ourselves up
23 by allowing one person to do this. So, I think we need
24 to look at other people to do this job, to expedite it,
25 and take some of this vacant land and other lands here
1 in the city, abandoned or whatever it may be, and get
2 it back on the tax rolls in a much quicker method than
3 I believe Nasser is doing right now. So, that
4 definitely be addressed.
5 If we turn around and look, and Mrs.
6 Evans raised an issue here in her one motion, but I
7 didn't hear anything mentioned about adding KOZs and
8 non-profits to that motion in the fee. The fee needs a
9 name. It can't just be an impact fee or a general fee.
10 It's got to be a fee, and we discussed
11 this last week in caucus, that's a general fee that
12 could be used from the general fund for multi purposes.
13 It cannot just be a specific fee or maintenance fee or
14 whatever we call it.
15 It has to be a fee that passes through
16 everyone, the citizens, as well as the KOZs and
17 non-profits. So, that has to be readdressed in your
18 motion to clarify what we're doing with that.
19 MS. EVANS: Mr. Bolus, actually that's
20 why in the motion I included the language that the
21 solicitor should investigate and then draft the
22 legislation concerning the impact fees and such,
23 because we're relying on his expertise after the
24 research to properly draft the legislation that will be
25 all inclusive.
1 MR. BOLUS: Right. Well, I think that
2 needs to be there explaining what all inclusive is,
3 that it includes them, because generally impact fees or
4 any fees miss KOZs and non-profits.
5 So, unless they're incorporated in, I
6 don't know if the fee could actually be passed against
7 just us as citizens and exclude the KOZs and
9 MS. EVANS: That wasn't the intent.
10 The intent as of today's discussion was to address
11 specifically the non-profits.
12 MR. BOLUS: I understand. But in this
13 city, what we say and put on paper are two different
14 things. So, I would like to see that included in your
15 motion, that it does include KOZs and non-profits, and
16 not only an impact fee, but a generalized fee that
17 covers everything in a city that could be used in a
18 general sense of the word to cover everything in this
19 city, not just used for, say, education or fix a road.
20 So, you have to be very careful on that
21 and how it's worded, and that's why I gave you the
22 information. But, I think it should be included.
23 Thank you.
24 (WHEREUPON, Ms. Nealon Fanucci left the meeting.)
25 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mrs. Franus.
1 MS. FRANUS: Fay Franus. I'd like to
2 address the swimming fee here, if I may. I want to
3 read this, the motions, the way things happened, if
4 you'd please allow me to.
5 June 1, Mrs. Gatelli made a motion for
6 free swimming in neighborhood pools. June 5, a letter
7 was sent to Mayor Doherty advising him of Council's
8 motion about free swimming.
9 I'm just trying to set a pattern here
10 just so people will know what took place in the time
11 period, if you'd bear with me.
12 June 15, speakers stated that children
13 were still being charged at neighborhood pools.
14 Mr. Minora was to write legislation for free swimming
15 for June 22 meeting.
16 On June 22, there is no meeting.
17 Mrs. Gatelli was in Pittsburgh. Mrs. Gatelli, you knew
18 you were going to be there ahead of time right? Okay.
19 So, Mrs. Gatelli knew the week before she would not be
20 present at this meeting on June 22, and thus there was
21 no meeting, and, of course, Mrs. Fanucci and Mr.
22 McTiernan couldn't make it either.
23 June 29, free swimming legislation is
24 introduced into fifth order. Mrs. Evans asked for a
25 special meeting on Monday, July 3 to pass legislation
1 from six to seventh order. Only Mr. Courtright agreed
2 to attend.
3 Mrs. Gatelli said no because it was the
4 Fourth of July weekend, but I personally don't
5 understand that, because Monday it would have taken a
6 half an hour, so to me there was no excuse for that.
7 MS. GATELLI: I wasn't in town,
8 Mrs. Franus. I wasn't here.
9 MS. FRANUS: You weren't here --
10 MS. GATELLI: If you're questioning why
11 I couldn't make it Monday, I wasn't here.
12 MS. FRANUS: And there was no other
13 time on Saturday, Sunday, any time before the Fourth to
14 do this?
15 MS. GATELLI: I don't think you can
16 have a meeting on Saturday or Sunday.
17 MS. FRANUS: Is that a law that says
18 you can't?
19 MS. GATELLI: Not a weekend.
20 MS. FRANUS: Mrs. Fanucci said nothing.
21 Mr. McTiernan said why he would not vote in favor of
22 free swimming.
23 July 6, today, legislation will be in
24 sixth order moved into seventh by suspending the rules.
25 Because this legislation comes from Council, not the
1 mayor, this legislation must be sent to the mayor for
2 approval or a veto. The mayor has ten days to address
3 this to decide.
4 So, from June 1 to July 20, which it
5 may be by the time we get back from his recommendation
6 with a yes or a no, it's going to be 50 days, 50 days.
7 Then the mayor sends the legislation
8 back to Council. If it's vetoed, Council must vote on
9 it again. That takes the legislation very likely to
10 the end of July. Council does not meet in August.
11 Either kids very likely won't swim free until August or
12 possibly not at all.
13 So, this was, like, as far as my
14 estimation, this was nothing more than grandstanding,
15 if you ask me, but that's just my opinion.
16 Mrs. Fanucci would have been at work on
17 Monday I would think, so why could she not attend a ten
18 or 20-minute meeting with one item on the agenda and
19 one vote? I mean, if you weren't here, Mrs. Gatelli,
20 I'm sure the other ones might have been, but there was
21 just nobody wanted to do it.
22 So, I don't think it's enough to make
23 motions. If you were sincere about it, I think the
24 children will be swimming now, but I don't think -- I
25 just don't, my personal opinion, I don't think anybody
1 was sincere enough about it, not anybody, I shouldn't
2 say, some members of Council were not sincere enough
3 about it, because I think the kids would be swimming
4 now. What's the point of passing swimming the end of
5 August? And that's basically all I'm saying. Thank
6 you very much.
7 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Reverend
9 MS. SIMMONS: Good afternoon, Council
10 members. Good afternoon, Youth Council. My name is
11 Reverend Kathryn Simmons, Florence Midtown Crime Watch,
13 I come this afternoon to praise all of
14 Scranton's firefighters and law enforcement for the
15 work done during Mother Nature's past flooding. These
16 men and women are such a true pride to this community.
17 They worked themselves beyond belief, not for
18 themselves, but for their neighbors, and not because it
19 was, quote, their job, but because they were needed.
20 Fires, flooded basements, traffic
21 control, non-lewding of neighborhoods and just pure
22 calming of residents was watched by those of us who
23 were walking through the neighborhoods.
24 We have come to love and respect all
25 areas of their responsibilities. These men and women
1 should be given great pride by their community.
2 I know that sometimes during great
3 moments of turmoil and calamity, catastrophe, sometimes
4 our patience and our tolerance wears out or wears thin,
5 but we don't need to write letters about those that are
6 giving us a helping hand. We need to sit down and
7 thank God that these people are there to help us out.
8 Letters and fliers have been sent out
9 pertaining to a dinner on July the 28th honoring all
10 aspects of law enforcement in this city. Yes, to some
11 it's just a fundraiser for a crime watch group, but
12 that's not why the dinner is being put on.
13 We can raise funds anywhere. We can
14 come and beg from City Council. We can go downstairs
15 and annoy the mayor, but we don't want to do that. We
16 want to honor those who are deserving to be honored.
17 And that hall at St. Mary's Center that
18 night should be filled to the limit by people who say
19 to those that night, thank you for all that you do and
20 all that you are doing.
21 As part of crime watch, and as a
22 minister of the AME Church, I say a prayer every night
23 just before I walk, and part of that prayer are these
24 words, Let the spirit flourish and grow so that we will
25 never tire of the struggle. Let us remember those who
1 have died for justice, for they have given us life.
2 Help us love even those who hate us, so we can change
3 the world. Amen.
4 I hope we instill those words in our
5 heart at all times, because I know my brothers and
6 sisters entitled firemen and law enforcement do. Thank
8 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Stan
10 MR. NARSAVAGE: Good afternoon,
11 Council. Stan Narsavage, City of Scranton. I have a
12 couple articles out of the paper I'd like to refer to.
13 One is City Auditing Workers Residency.
14 There's a paragraph in here that says
15 that department -- there are department heads who get
16 waivers from the mayor, but other employees must live
17 in the city within six months of their hire, Mrs.
18 Novembrino said.
19 I would like to have a copy of the law,
20 order, legislation, amendment, whatever it is, that
21 states the waiver rule and how you qualify to get a
22 waiver. Is that possible? Okay.
23 And the other article is about Council
24 moves comments to end meeting, and we're missing one
25 Council member, that I wanted to address; however, I
1 find it admirable that Mrs. Fanucci is able to be the
2 manager of the office that houses Governor Ed Rendell's
3 Northeastern Pennsylvania regional office, the
4 governor's action team and state conservation and
5 natural resources and community economic development
7 Her normal work hours are from 8:30
8 a.m. to five daily with an hour lunch. I think she
9 should be commended for being able to handle all those
10 duties, however, she's not here at Council for me to
11 let her know that. Thank you.
12 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Tom Umvarski.
13 MR. UMVARSKI: Good afternoon, City
14 Council. My name is Tom Umvarski. I'm a lifelong
15 resident of the City of Scranton. I would like to also
16 voice my disapproval of the order change. Thank you.
17 Several months ago a Council member
18 said something about wanting to have it all, well, I
19 too, would like to have it all, but over the last few
20 years, I found it harder and harder to hold on to what
21 I already have.
22 I look up at Tripps Park and I see all
23 those nice new homes all tax free. I hear talk about
24 your KOZs with the tax breaks they're getting. I've
25 owned a home in this City of Scranton for over
1 40 years, and for each of those 40 years, I've had to
2 pay taxes.
3 I have never gotten a break, no one has
4 ever given me anything when I had to have my home
5 resided or when I had to have a new roof put on. I
6 believe that the City Council does not listen to what
7 the people are saying.
8 We're tired of you people giving away
9 all these free benefits to we will think developers. I
10 think it's time for a change.
11 And as far as speakers getting up here,
12 I'm glad to see them get up here, because I can
13 remember back in October -- well, September and October
14 of last year and hearing some of those people who were
15 only self-interested. And that's it.
16 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Andy
18 MR. SBARAGLIA: Andy Sbaraglia, citizen
19 of Scranton. Fellow Scrantonians, I saw you brought up
20 my favorite subject again, The Icebox.
21 MS. EVANS: Mine, too.
22 MR. SBARAGLIA: Well, as you know, in
23 that contract there's a kicker. The SRA must make an
24 agreement with The Icebox before you can get that
25 $600,000, and that's in there.
1 That kicker was put in there for
2 specific reasons, because they were hoping to get more
3 benefits from the Scranton Redevelopment Authority,
4 possibly even more than the $600,000 they were going
5 pay for the lot. But this goes on in the city all the
7 Millions and millions of dollars have
8 been wasted in projects that have no real value to the
9 city. I mean, the perks were there because people gave
10 money. The state gave money for this, the state gave
11 money for that, and they wanted the use of the money.
12 But in the end, the taxpayers end up
13 holding the bag, the hotel specially. We're stuck. We
14 have to pay that money back. And that's millions of
15 dollars there.
16 We have to pay back whatever Mr. Boscov
17 borrowed, which was quite large, and we have to pay
18 that back. I assume it was for the theater, but I'm
19 not even quite sure what that money was for, but it's
20 quite substantial. You know, it costs a lot.
21 And we have all these things and we
22 have continued to run down this path for the last four
23 years, and this path has lead us to the point where we
24 are now. We're looking to shake whoever we can shake
25 down for money.
1 We're going to turn to this person,
2 that person, and in the end people is going to say,
3 What has the administration did to curtail spending?
4 And the truth is, they have done nothing. They have
5 added, added and added.
6 Now, some of this money, of course, you
7 already voted on it, it's already passed, but I would
8 like some information on it anyway.
9 6-F, the commercial industrial fund.
10 Where does that money come from? Revolving loan
11 program, where does that money come from? It has to
12 come from somewhere.
13 MS. EVANS: The start-up money you
15 MR. SBARAGLIA: No. Yeah, where did
16 the money come from originally? How much money do we
17 have there? And are we paying any interest on this
18 money that we're obligated for? That's the important
20 Any money you loan out or give away or
21 grab away or tell people if they hired six relatives,
22 they get the $200,000 free. You have to know where
23 that money is coming from, and you have to know exactly
24 what it's going to be used for.
25 And if it doesn't pay back in five
1 years, the project is no good. We cannot go on like
2 we're going. We can't go ten years, 20 years, 30 years
3 into the future, because there will be no city.
4 MS. EVANS: I agree.
5 MR. SBARAGLIA: We will be in such
6 terrible straits, people will leave. It will look like
7 Detroit did after everyone left from there. It was a
8 wreck. They burned it down half way. And that's where
9 we're heading here, Scranton.
10 Scranton is really heading down a bleak
11 alley. And there's no reason for it. It's a beautiful
12 city. It always was a beautiful city. We have all
13 kinds of perks here that nowhere else -- our mountains
14 are a gold mine.
15 It's just too bad that when we come to
16 the city, we seem to forget all these things. We're
17 more interested in contracts and patronage, and that's
18 the road we're following, and it's the political
19 parties that are doing it.
20 These things ain't done just because
21 they like to have them done. They're done for favors,
22 and we're giving too many favors out, and we're not
23 getting any notes to call back in, and that's the sad
25 I don't know a lot of things we can do,
1 but I know one thing, every loan you make, you should
2 see where the money originally came from, see what our
3 problems are with the money if it's not paid, and also,
4 will it pay back in five years?
5 Because you're giving away money that
6 may be coming -- well, first the loans are so far, it's
7 beyond comprehension. Even the bank wouldn't give you
8 a loan like that unless you were really something, like
9 15-year loans, not 30-year loans.
10 But that's to keep their payments at a
11 minimum so they're not making big investments. In
12 fact, probably most investments they're putting into
13 these buildings is our money, and that's where I find
14 the fault. They should put most of their own money in
15 it and then we help them. I thank you.
16 MS. EVANS: Mr. Sbaraglia, I agree with
17 you. I think most of these funds are government funds,
18 which, in fact, is taxpayer money, be it state taxes,
19 federal taxes, so you're absolutely right.
20 Kay, if you could please write a letter
21 to -- or you can include it, rather, in the letter that
22 I requested for Miss Hailstone, if you could please
23 include Mr. Sbaraglia's questions in that, as well.
24 And Mr. Sbaraglia, just for the record,
25 in addition to these revenue generating avenues, I do
1 agree with you. We have to cut costs, as well, and
2 that's something that Council tried to do two years
3 ago. It was rejected by the mayor. There was no
4 attempt last year, because Council felt it would again
5 be rejected by the mayor, since he makes no cuts in the
6 budgets that he presents to Council.
7 But I can assure you that Council will
8 again look again to make those cuts. So, it's a
9 two-prong process. I think it's, you know, cutting
10 yourself down to bare bones, but in addition to that,
11 it has to be new revenue coming into the city because
12 absolutely nothing outside of the EMS Tax has ever
13 occurred in the last five years.
14 MR. SBARAGLIA: Thank you.
15 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Kerry
17 MS. HENDERSON: My name is Kerry
18 Henderson, and I'm a resident of 1455 Albright Avenue,
19 which, as you would know, is located in what is
20 referred to as lower Green Ridge.
21 I'm speaking on behalf of the whole
22 neighborhood, and we would just like to make a few
23 topics aware to all of the Council members that we had
24 to deal with when we were flooded.
25 The first issue would be the flood
1 gate. The flood gates were put in place, and a lot of
2 money was invested into the flood gates, and we all
3 know that, and it's come from many areas, but we were
4 flooded twice in one day.
5 And in the day -- the two days that we
6 were flooded, the flood gate was opened and closed and
7 opened and closed. Everyone said that, Well, what's a
8 little bit more water mean? Well, a little bit more
9 water meant the difference between some people getting
10 water in their basements and their first floors, and
11 that's a big difference when you're dealing with a
13 So, we feel that the flood gates should
14 have been closed the whole time. It may have given
15 more people time to move their belongings, get out
16 whatever they could to save. It also may have made the
17 water levels lower.
18 Another big concern is we don't have an
19 alarm, a flood alarm, in our neighborhood. There's one
20 in The Plot, which a lot of the residents in our
21 neighborhood can't hear, and The Plot is a little bit
22 more under control right now with their water
23 situation. So, maybe it didn't go off in time.
24 Also there's one in the Farmer's
25 Market, but that one didn't go off because they didn't
1 have any water over there that would have made it go
3 So, that's one of our main requests,
4 because there was two stages of flooding. One
5 happened, and the residents managed to clear their
6 basements out, and a lot of people came home with their
7 kids, their cars and a lot of their personal belongings
8 and then didn't have any warning, and the water came
9 back up -- within three hours, the water was back up
10 higher than it was before.
11 So, a flood siren is definitely
12 necessary in our neighborhood, because a lot of people
13 lost their cars and a lot of other property that could
14 have been saved because we weren't warned at all.
15 I mean, if you were in a flood
16 situation, you would know how stressful it is. And
17 once you pump the water out and you have the energy to
18 get all the stuff cleaned out, you don't expect it to
19 come back in a few hours later. So, that's another
20 concern of ours.
21 Where did the water come from and why
22 did it come so fast? Why was our area flooded with
23 everybody else's runoff?
24 Also another issue that we'd like to
25 bring up, there were firemen that were helping in
1 areas, but they were also pumping water back onto our
2 side, when our side was affected the most severely.
3 The other side only had maybe a few inches, and they
4 were pumping it all onto our side, which that added to
5 our level. And that's really not fair, because, like I
6 said, a couple inches makes a dig difference when you
7 have to take care of your house in the aftermath.
8 And when the fire trucks were available
9 to our side, they had only electric pumps, and our
10 electricity was shut off a lot of it. So, that's
11 another issue.
12 Because during Ivan when they helped
13 us, they had gas pumps which work a lot better, and
14 obviously they don't need the electricity. So, we
15 would also like to know why they had the electric
17 And there should be some system of
18 communication between the gas company and the firemen
19 and DPW and all the other companies that affect our
20 means of making our houses the best that we can make
22 As far as the flood control, there's
23 also a lot of people that don't even live in the
24 neighborhood that come in just to be noisy. They come
25 in and they want to know what's going on. They're in
1 the way, and it needs to be maintained. There needs to
2 be someone there, but also we don't want us not to be
3 allowed back in, because when you're house is being
4 flood and all your possessions are just getting washed
5 away, you want to be able to have access to that. You
6 don't want to be pushed away, but you also don't want
7 people coming in from out of the area just to see
8 what's is up.
9 It's like an accident on the highway.
10 When one person turns their head, then everybody behind
11 them turns their head and then there's a big commotion,
12 and then the people that need to help us can't get to
13 us. And it's just not -- it needs to be taken care of
15 But like I said, the alarm is a major
16 priority. And the river bank near the Albright Avenue
17 bridge is nonexistent. They scooped that away so bad,
18 we don't even have a chance. If it rains any more,
19 we're definitely going to get flooded again.
20 And I'm just going to pass it on to one
21 of or neighbors, and I hope that you will take this all
22 with sincerity and open hearts and think about you and
23 your own families and if you would like to keep dealing
24 with this every year.
25 MS. GATELLI: And make sure you come
1 Tuesday. Will you be able to come on Tuesday and
3 MS. HENDERSON: Yes.
4 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Liz Hubbard.
5 MS. HUBBARD: Hi. My name is Elizabeth
6 Hubbard. I live at 1507 Gardner Avenue in the city and
7 was flooded twice in two days, I think I mentioned that
8 last week.
9 There has to be something that the city
10 can do for us, not -- I mean, the Army Corps, they have
11 their schedules, unless you can get them to build it
12 up. But who is in charge of notifying the Red Cross,
13 do you have any idea, when there's a disaster?
14 MS. GATELLI: I would -- when the flood
15 happened when Jimmy Connors was in office in the
16 winter, I think, of --
17 MS. HUBBARD: '96.
18 MS. GATELLI: '96, it was the Emergency
19 Management Agency that notified the Red Cross.
20 MS. HUBBARD: Well, they apparently
21 never notified the Red Cross that lower Green Ridge was
22 flooded. They didn't come until 24 hours later.
23 And, I mean, they were great. I'm not
24 complaining about the Red Cross. God Bless them. But
25 apparently they weren't notified we were flooded.
1 Nobody knew lower green ridge was flooded, which, to
2 me, is insane, because we're the ones that got
4 Anyway, and the fire trucks, why --
5 could somebody tell me why the fire department did not
6 come out on Tuesday night to our area to pump? Whose
7 decision was that?
8 And you have to call to get on a list?
9 People didn't know that. A lot of people, their power
10 was out, no telephones. How were you going to call to
11 get on a list? Not everybody has a cell phone. So,
12 that was another point we had.
13 And about keeping the non-residents out
14 of the flooded area, I mean, we're talking potential
15 looters, garbage pickers and just sightseers who -- one
16 big truck went flying through and made waves. I
17 thought I was on the beach. And it was lapping up onto
18 my porch. I mean, it's crazy.
19 And it's not, like the Reverend Simmons
20 said, this is not a natural disaster, it's a manmade
21 disaster, and we really need some help. Appreciate
23 Now I have a couple other issues.
24 About three weeks ago someone got up to pray, Reverend
25 Simmons, and you allowed her to pray at a Council
1 meeting. Now, there's other people that get up here to
2 pray and you gavel them down. If you're going to gavel
3 one, you have to gavel all. Praying has no place in a
4 City Council meeting.
5 MS. GATELLI: I agree with you.
6 MS. HUBBARD: I mean, with the church
7 and state --
8 MS. GATELLI: I didn't realize it.
9 MS. HUBBARD: She just kept right on
11 MS. GATELLI: She said something today,
12 too, but I didn't hear her. It was like a poem and it
13 didn't really have any relationship to God today, I
14 didn't think so.
15 MS. HUBBARD: Well, there should be no
16 praying, I'm sorry, by anybody, but if you're going to
17 let one do it, you have to let the others do it.
18 Another thing, if Mrs. Fanucci can't be
19 here to hear public comment at meetings, then she
20 should either resign or you guys should move the
21 meetings back to seven o'clock.
22 I mean, she works for the governor's
23 office. You'd think she'd want to hear our problems
24 with the flooding, since apparently we're not getting
25 any FEMA help. They did a drive-by this morning. They
1 didn't stop to talk to anybody.
2 And we're already pretty well cleaned
3 up, because the DPW, they were fabulous. I mean, I
4 have to give those guys a lot of credit.
5 But they should have come when we had
6 mounds of garbage everywhere, and nobody showed up
7 until today. Now, we've already had four garbage
8 collections, so most of the stuff is gone. The people
9 had dumpsters and the water heaters all over. So, I
10 mean, we need some help over there. I don't know where
11 we're going to get it.
12 MS. GATELLI: Please come Tuesday.
13 MS. HUBBARD: Oh, with bells on.
14 MS. EVANS: Did you take photos, Mrs.
16 MS. HUBBARD: I didn't, because I
17 couldn't find my camera, but we have plenty of photos
18 and we have video.
19 MS. GATELLI: The TV was there, too.
20 MS. HUBBARD: My son and
21 daughter-in-law were out in the boat getting pictures
22 of everywhere down by the bridge, so we have all them.
23 We'll bring them.
24 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mario
1 MR. SACHETTI: Good afternoon, Council.
2 MS. GATELLI: Good afternoon.
3 MR. SACHETTI: The lower Green Ridge
4 Section has been through many floods, and it's the same
5 issues that keep coming up.
6 These issues can be addressed to save
7 some of the homes in the lower Green Ridge Section.
8 The river bank behind Laminations, there is no river
9 bank, no river bank at all, and it has been brought up
10 before, but nobody ever fixed it, not even temporarily.
11 The breeze that collects around the
12 Albright Avenue Bridge gets, you know, that never gets
13 cleaned up. There's debris down there now. There's
14 trees, there's -- you can't even walk under that
15 bridge. It's that low, you know?
16 You know, the water backs up. If we
17 get rain again, it's going to back up there. It's our
18 understanding the money was set aside for two pump
19 houses, one on Nay Aug, the one on Court Street that
20 was transferred to the Bon-Ton Department store back
21 when Jimmy Connors was in office. And what are our
22 plans to replace this money so that we can get those?
23 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Sachetti, I think
24 those are all good questions that we can ask on Tuesday
1 MR. SACHETTI: Yeah.
2 MS. GATELLI: -- and, you know, see if
3 the Army Corps still recommends those items, and then
4 we'll, you know, we'll have to look for the money
6 MR. SACHETTI: As far as the Army Corps
7 of Engineers are concerned, like, they're on a
8 schedule. I don't think they can help us out right
10 MS. GATELLI: Well, they'll have to
11 move the schedule up.
12 MR. SACHETTI: Isn't there something
13 that the city can do just to put a temporary riverbank
15 MS. GATELLI: We'll see what they say.
16 You know, I think you have to do what the Army Corps
18 MS. EVANS: I would hope, though,
19 Mrs. Gatelli, that Mr. Parker will be present at this
20 meeting and representatives of the Sewer Authority.
21 MS. GATELLI: Yes.
22 MS. EVANS: And if I could just jump in
23 a second and ask you one question, when you were
24 describing the debris in the river in the area of the
25 bridge, are you speaking of that large tree that was
1 stuck under the bridge?
2 MR. SACHETTI: Yeah, plus there's,
3 like, mud and stone under there, too.
4 MS. EVANS: Is the tree still there?
5 MR. SACHETTI: As far as I know. I
6 haven't walked down there lately. It's a huge tree.
7 MS. EVANS: Yes, yes, it's huge. But I
8 think that's something we should -- can get working on
9 right away to clear the debris.
10 MR. SACHETTI: Absolutely, and maybe
11 even dig out some of that stone and -- I think the city
12 might be responsible for 50 feet on each side of that
13 bridge to clear that out. That's what I was told.
14 Don't quote me on that.
15 MS. GATELLI: Is there anybody here
16 from the East Market Street section?
17 MR. SACHETTI: They got hit pretty
18 hard, too.
19 MS. GATELLI: No, I know. You're up on
20 the Gardner, but do you know where I'm talking about,
21 where you go down from North Scranton Junior High
22 School? That's where you are.
23 MR. SACHETTI: Yeah. We're behind CVS.
24 MS. GATELLI: Up further.
25 MS. EVANS: They're on the side where
1 CVS is Gardner, Ross.
2 MS. GATELLI: Right there by Mrs.
3 Sachetti's house. But is there anybody here from
4 further up on Market Street, by the Market Street
5 bridge, like Mr. Cottone or Mrs. Bryseckia? No?
6 Because they all got flooded, too. And it was hitting
7 the bridge there, too.
8 MS. EVANS: Right.
9 MS. GATELLI: Pardon? Yeah, we'll have
10 to talk about the East Market Street Bridge, too, at
11 the meeting.
12 MR. SACHETTI: You know what's another
13 big concern is mine gas. Apparently somebody passed
14 away from this last flood. A man passed away in his
15 basement, and we don't have any kind of meter to detect
17 You go down your basement and you start
18 cleaning up, and the next thing you know you're
19 choking, and if you're lucky enough to make it out of
20 that basement. You know, this guy passed away right on
21 his basement steps trying to get out.
22 I think that the city might have one
23 meter, that's what I heard. Maybe we need to address
24 that, because mine gas could be a real serious, you
25 know that.
1 FEMA drove through today. They just
2 drove through about 30 miles an hour, didn't stop,
3 didn't ask no questions. We got -- like, most of our
4 outside of our homes are all cleaned up. You can't
5 really tell just by driving through. You need to stop,
6 ask residents, you know, maybe go in some houses, you
7 know? Because I think they drove by today, I think
8 they're going to say, Oh, this ain't too bad.
9 MS. GATELLI: They did drive by just to
10 see the percentages of homes that were affected.
11 MR. SACHETTI: Okay.
12 MS. GATELLI: You know, that's part of
13 how they make their determination.
14 MR. SACHETTI: Okay. Then just one
15 other thing, if you redirect the water, it's your
16 responsibility. If you're pumping out your basement
17 and it's going into the next person's property, you're
18 responsible for those people. You know, people need to
19 know that, okay?
20 And I think that, like, with this flood
21 project, I don't think they're getting the lower areas
22 first. You know, maybe they should have concentrated
23 on the lower areas first, the Army Corps of Engineers.
24 Thank you.
25 MS. GATELLI: Thank you very much.
1 Daniel Hubbard.
2 MR. HUBBARD: Good afternoon, Council.
3 My name is Daniel Hubbard, 1515 Gardner Avenue. We're
4 all basically here as a group.
5 The damage assessment today, the
6 drive-by was really -- I mean, the street cleaners
7 cleaned the streets a dozen times, the water buffalos
8 have come through and washed everything off.
9 Other than a couple water heaters in
10 front of our houses, you can't tell the neighborhood
11 was flooded unless you look at the water lines on the
12 houses. That was kind of unnecessary. I think they
13 should have stopped.
14 The issues that we're all putting
15 before you, if one of these issues are addressed, it's
16 not going to help us. You know, we need to have all of
17 these issues addressed. You know, the city needs to
18 act on our behalf to push up the completion date for
19 the levy project to the Army Corps.
20 I think that -- we were told by the
21 city the gentlemen that were already down there from
22 the city cleared some of the debris from behind the
23 bridge. They wanted to wait until th e river went down
24 in order to get down in there and clear the debris
25 because of the fence on the bridge.
1 The fence on the bridge is half torn
2 off because of the flood. Each fence post is bolted
3 down with four bolts. Any 15-year-old with a ratchet
4 set could take that fence off so that they could get in
5 there with an excavator and pull the debris out, but
6 instead they just reached over the bank, got what they
7 could and moved their machines away and left it there.
8 The river's still up. It's at four and
9 a half feet. It's pushing about a 1,000 cubic feet per
10 second. We get any heavy rains, it's going to come
11 right back up.
12 In three hours it was in my first
13 floor. On Tuesday it came up to the same level as
14 Ivan. On Wednesday it was 18 inches higher on
15 Wednesday, and it came up from 6 a.m., started up
16 Gardner Avenue. By 7:30, it was in the first floor.
17 That's how fast it came up.
18 The field by the Laceworks has trees,
19 enormous trees that were cut down. They floated up the
20 street with the current.
21 So, this definitely needs to be taken
22 care of. I mean, the riverbank is damaged severely
23 right now. It's in a total state of deterioration from
24 this flood.
25 The lack of riverbank below the
1 Albright Avenue Bridge on our side, even if it didn't
2 come over the riverbank, Tuesday it didn't come over
3 the riverbank, it back filled. It went past the bridge
4 right over where there is no riverbank, came right up
5 Albright, Nay Aug and Gardner Avenue with nothing to
6 stop it.
7 Is the city going to temporarily fix
8 this? I mean, I know the Army Corps has a project, but
9 they didn't mind putting up temporary levees at
10 two o'clock in the morning at The Plot during the
11 flood. All we're asking for is some temporary repairs
12 or some temporary modified to be put in by Laminations
13 until the Army Corps can get to our phase of the
15 I don't want to do this two more times
16 this summer. I certainly don't want to do it a year
17 and ten months from now like I did a year and ten
18 months ago. It gets to be expensive, extremely
20 Furnaces, hot water heaters, electric
21 panels, just general cleanup, loss of items, loss of
22 personal belongings. I mean, for some reason Tuesday
23 night I felt I should keep my trucks where they were on
24 high ground. Thank God. I can't afford to replace a
25 Suburban, a Tahoe and a crew cab. And who's going to
1 pay the bill?
2 These issues have been to be taken care
3 of. The city needs to push the Army Corps to get this
4 completion date moving.
5 If they're not going to work on our
6 side now, then the city needs to take the
7 responsibility, fix what's damaged and put something
8 temporary where there is nothing.
9 Because as a neighborhood, it's getting
10 to be -- it's sad. It's sad. There was no police
11 presence at all.
12 When Ivan hit, we had city officials
13 come in with trucks to help people out before the water
14 got high, we had the police coming down the street with
15 their sirens on and their megaphones telling everybody
16 to leave.
17 Nothing, not a thing on Wednesday.
18 There was no police to control the crowd. I don't know
19 what -- the Reverend said she saw police doing crowd
20 control. That was not our neighborhood. They weren't
22 The SOG team was there. Three of them
23 in one canoe paddling up to porches to ask people if
24 they want to be taken out. We understand they were
25 there to help, but where are you going to put somebody
1 in a canoe when there's three police officers in it?
2 They had to borrow the canoes from us.
3 MR. COURTRIGHT: They were there on the
5 MR. SACHETTI: I know, but they had to
6 borrow boats and canoes from us. We had our kyaks, we
7 had boats out. We already had taken care of ourselves
8 and our neighbors to get them out of the neighborhood.
9 MR. COURTRIGHT: The one question I've
10 asked before and never got an answer and I'm going to
11 ask again is why we don't have our own boats. I think
12 we have one.
13 MR. SACHETTI: The fire department has
14 one, I was told. And when I asked the gentleman from
15 the SOG department, Where's your boat, because he was
16 asking me if he could commandeer my kyak. I said, What
17 good is a kyak going to do? It's only for one person.
18 He said that -- I said, Well, where's
19 the boat? He said, Well, the fire department has a
20 boat. And his comment to me was, Well, they're up at
21 Lake Scranton playing in it, I guess. I didn't find it
22 amusing. I certainly didn't find it amusing when there
23 was six inches of water on my first floor and my father
24 was taken to the hospital the night before, my mother
25 is in her house with water on her first floor. It
1 wasn't amusing.
2 I mean, we find none of this is funny
3 for us. None of it is even remotely -- it's starting
4 to become taxing, financially, stressful.
5 People have to take -- I mean, my wife
6 had to take a week of work off just to get the cleanup
8 The city needs to address these issues
9 as far as preventative maintenance on the bridge. I
10 mean, I'll take the fence down with a ratchet set, if
11 they want me to. If the city can't find a mechanic or
12 somebody to turn the nuts to take the fence down to
13 clean the debris, we'll do it ourselves, if we have to,
14 but the city can do this. These are all things that
15 the city is capable of doing.
16 The city has dump trucks, you have
17 machines. The DPW building is right over the bridge.
18 They can easily put modified dirt and build a temporary
20 If you can do it in The Plot, you can
21 do it for us. We saw nobody from the city, no police.
22 The fire department finally showed up Wednesday
23 afternoon. It's just -- it's appalling. And these
24 things need to be addressed, and that's why we finally
25 decided as a whole neighborhood to get together to form
1 an association so our voice will be heard, not as just
2 one resident complaining or another resident
3 complaining, but as an entire community.
4 But right now I can't press enough that
5 the riverbank needs to be repaired and a temporary
6 levee or something has to be put up by laminations,
7 because we're not even -- we haven't even had a
8 hurricane yet, not one.
9 So, what do we have to expect for the
10 rest of the summer? Should I have not put my hot water
11 heater in and my new electrical panel? Am I going to
12 have to do it two more times this summer? And who's
13 going to pay for it? Does it have to keep coming out
14 of our pockets?
15 I mean, the assistance was there today.
16 They didn't even ask, How'd you get flooded? How much
17 did it cost? What did you loose? Nothing. They drove
18 right through 30 miles an hour, WBRE in tow taking
19 video and The Times-Tribune car in tow taking notes.
20 They never stopped, not once. So, how can you assess
21 damage from the front seat of a car driving down a
23 And as far as percentage of homes that
24 were damaged, the entire neighborhood was damaged. The
25 entire length of Albright Avenue was flooded, the
1 entire length of Gardner Avenue was flooded, the entire
2 length of Nay Aug Avenue was flooded, Ross Avenue and
3 the Red Door Company was flooded. The only houses that
4 didn't get flooded were the ones they tore down.
5 So, we were -- the percentage is
6 100 percent of that neighborhood was affected by this
7 flood, and nobody bothered to ask how much damage we
9 So, how are they going to assess our
10 damage in order to push this as a disaster area so we
11 can get some relief? I mean, I can give them an
12 itemized list of the cost, if they ask. They didn't
13 bother to stop and ask.
14 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.
15 MR. SACHETTI: Thank you.
16 MS. GATELLI: William Needham.
17 MR. NEEDHAM: Good afternoon, Council.
18 My name is Bill Needham. I come today -- before I
19 forget, I meant to say this the last time. I don't
20 want the city to forget that we're a distressed city,
21 and I'd like to see this Recovery Plan come in, stay in
22 because it was the people's mandate. I mean, if you
23 want stuff, you have to pay for it. Everybody wants
24 free swimming, this and that.
25 But my main objective that I'm here
1 today for is the same --
2 MS. GATELLI: Excuse me, Mr. Needham.
3 If you're going to leave -- wait a minute until some of
4 these people leave, because we can't hear you. That
5 door makes a lot of noise back there when it opens.
6 Okay. Go ahead, Mr. Needham.
7 MR. NEEDHAM: I have the same problem
8 that I've had from day one. I'm trying to put a
9 problem, a city problem, to sleep. It happened in
10 1994. I'm not going to continue to have this happen in
11 front of my home.
12 The last time I came, and I'd like to
13 compliment Mr. McTiernan for changing the course of the
14 meeting, because last time we talked about everything
15 but city business. There was affirmative action, there
16 was housing, so this way you get to the problem that
17 you want to talk about.
18 I don't know what recourse to take.
19 All I'm looking for is an ordinance to cover something
20 that's already implemented by Scranton City Council in
22 Like I said last time, I reject to be
23 going out playing policeman and my wife playing
24 policewoman every time these trucks come down and do
25 the damage in front of my home.
1 And to call the police, I don't know if
2 we had three cars in South Scranton, but it's almost
3 impossible to get them there.
4 And then you get static, and then you
5 get this. The one policeman told me, You have to take
6 this up with a magistrate. I immediately followed his
7 directive. Went to the magistrate, the form I have
8 here states right on here I need the ordinance number
9 covering what transpired.
10 There's no ordinance on the book. I
11 left it with City Council Clerk. They checked it for
12 two weeks. It's not on there. I left with the mayor's
13 office a copy of this to send up to the solicitor's
14 office. How long do I have to wait to implement civil
15 action because someone didn't put an ordinance in for
16 something that's been annoying me for the last
17 40 years?
18 I have the feasibility study done by
19 Bogart Industry, they come out. And if you come out to
20 the area and see, you can't fit one car going east and
21 one car going west without causing an accident.
22 Tractor-trailers are trying to go up
23 there. What happens, they go up, the street's narrow,
24 they wind up in my front yard. They've knocked the
25 fence down, they broke sidewalks. And to get the
1 police to respond -- south cars, we have one, two and
2 three, it's a public safety ordinance. I think
3 something should be done.
4 I just want to know what avenue do I
5 take? Where do I go? I can't even implement legal
6 action without the ordinance. It was never sent
7 through. Who do I look to? Where?
8 MS. GATELLI: Is there a sign on that
9 street that says no --
10 MR. NEEDHAM: The street is signed.
11 It's completely signed. The outline is there. Council
12 has it. It's a diagram, the way they wanted it.
13 Bogart Industry did the safety feasibility study, but
14 the trucks just ignore it. They ignore it.
15 I had one officer come down there,
16 Sergeant McLane, he's the only time one that ever did
17 anything about it. He cited the driver, which should
18 be done.
19 But now you can't do that, because in
20 order to break a law, you have to break an ordinance.
21 There's no ordinance on it. How do I get the ordinance
22 attached to the work that was done in 1994?
23 MS. GATELLI: We'll look for that
24 ordinance. I'm sure there's an ordinance about trucks
25 in residential neighbors. I'm positive. So, we will
1 get you that ordinance.
2 MR. NEEDHAM: It has to correspond with
3 the write-up and the way it was done.
4 MS. GATELLI: We'll get it for you.
5 MR. NEEDHAM: Okay. Thank you.
6 MS. GATELLI: John Litwinski. Oh, I'm
7 sorry. Are you finished?
8 MR. NEEDHAM: Yes.
9 MS. GATELLI: John Litwinski.
10 MR. LITWINSKI: Good afternoon, City
11 Council. I think everybody's probably tired of hearing
12 this, but this is concerning the flooding, also.
13 First I'd like to give thanks I believe
14 where thanks is due. I'd like to thank Waste
15 Management Landfill in Taylor. There was two gentlemen
16 from there. Jim, he was a supervisor. I do not know
17 his last name, and Dave was a mechanic. I do not know
18 his last name either who supplied us with our first 6
19 inch pump and all their time.
20 I'd also like to thank Dennis Hill,
21 Joey Cordaro for all their pumps, equipment and their
22 time, plus all the neighbors that helped and our
24 I'd also like to thank the Scranton
25 Sewer Authority who was there the following day after
1 our two days of flooding to do the cleanup and clean
2 out the catch basins. Even Oggie was working hard that
3 day. And that's something that we've always had to
4 take care of ourselves, was the cleanup. I mean, the
5 streets are 4 inches of mud, you know, besides
6 shoveling our houses out.
7 I'd also like to thank Judy Gatelli,
8 who for the first time ever a city official has been to
9 our neighborhood to see our flooding, and that's on
10 Gordon Avenue, again.
11 And, Judy, I don't know if it was the
12 result of your visit there, but about a half hour later
13 we did receive another six-inch pump from the City of
14 Scranton which --
15 MS. GATELLI: That was from Mr. Parker,
16 because he was there, too.
17 MR. LITWINSKI: Well, that was the very
18 first time that any official has been there. You know,
19 if we had that other 6 inch pump the first day, we
20 probably -- it probably would have saved our first
22 Well, Judy, since you've seen -- have
23 seen how we got flooded there, the river does not come
24 over the bank. That -- you know, that six-foot
25 diameter tunnel that runs down, carries all the storm
1 water and it goes into that rectangular concrete box,
2 which the Sewer Authority calls a regulator.
3 That regulator has four steel lids.
4 They weigh approximately 100 pounds each. So, what
5 we've always done -- and this is our seventh time that
6 we've been flooded.
7 So, what we've done in our frantic
8 beliefs in saving our homes was to pile rocks on top of
9 these lids. And we -- actually the neighbors and I,
10 we've also purchased many of our own pumps and pumped
11 the water back over the bank.
12 We 0had those stones piled probably
13 chest high. It looks like Stonehenge across from our
14 house. And the water was still lifting these lids.
15 And our thoughts, if we stood on them
16 also that would keep them down, not realizing the
17 amount of force. And on that first day of flooding
18 when we jumped, it literally exploded.
19 So, this massive amount of water that's
20 coming down into this regulator box has some kind of
21 regulators where it prevents river water from backing
22 up but prevents this from going out.
23 So, this tunnel goes through my
24 backyard, carries storm water from as far away as
25 Dunmore, and this is the second time that this tunnel,
1 I believe, has weakened. It was pushing water up out
2 of my backyard again.
3 Like I said, this is our seventh time
4 since 1985. It affects approximately nine families.
5 We got flooded twice in 1985, January of '96,
6 September '03, September '04, April '05 and June of
7 '06, plus many close calls where the water started
8 rising, I went out and I ripped the sanitary lids off
9 on the street and that's what saved us those other
10 times, because nobody else has ever had a concern to
11 come down and visit us.
12 As far as all the E-mails I sent out,
13 all the phone calls -- you know, everybody knows it's
14 sickening, everybody that's been through it, but yet --
15 and nobody has any idea until it hits you and your
17 You can drive by, Oh, that's really
18 bad, but -- I try to find a little humor in all of
19 this. I have a double house. You've seen the house,
20 Judy. So, you go to Home Depot, it's two electrical
21 boxes, it's two furnaces, then the guy asks you -- you
22 get two hot water heaters, do you want a ten-year
23 warranty or a 12-year warranty? No, just one. One
24 year is good. That's all I need it for, because we're
25 going to get it again.
1 And my heart really goes out to the
2 elderly, the disabled people who were flooded, the
3 people without flood insurance.
4 But even the people with flood
5 insurance, if you've only been flooded once before,
6 you're in for a rude awakening, because you're not
7 going to get a dime from your flood insurance until you
8 provide receipts of your previous losses that were
10 The DEP was at my house approximately
11 two months ago, looked at the sewer system, came up
12 with some simple ideas and remedies, not including a
13 pump station that could save us there.
14 September of '03, there was a bore hole
15 that opened up in my front yard. September '04,
16 another bore hole. Office of Surface Mining was there
18 It's just so physically, mentally,
19 emotionally and financially exhausting. People just
20 don't -- don't understand unless you've been through
22 The only other thing I can say is,
23 thank God that I'm still physically able to rebuild
24 after all these times.
25 As far as the Army Corps, I have been
1 on top of them, also. I spoke with Steve Garborino
2 from Baltimore, Maryland. He stated that the east side
3 of the river is going to be repaired as far as the
4 levees, the dike system, only down to Popular Street.
5 As far as where our neighborhood is, there's no funding
6 even designated for us.
7 I was told from many people we have to
8 get Kanjorski who has to go to Congress to get funding.
9 And by the time that happens, if he does get the
10 funding, then it would be another year to do a study,
11 then another year for bids, and so on and so forth.
12 Right now the only thing that we can do
13 is have two six-inch pumps readily available to
14 possibly save our first floors.
15 So, I just want to thank, you know, the
16 people that did supply all the equipment and Mr. George
17 Parker, who I've never met before, for the quick
18 response. Because after you were there, the pump was
19 there within a half an hour.
20 But like I said, Judy, if we had those
21 two pumps on the first day -- and we were up for those
22 two days continuously around the clock, you know,
23 running those pumps. But if we had them on the very
24 first day, then we would have been able to save our
25 first floors.
1 As far as the next time that we get
2 flooded, I'm just curious if there's a direct phone
3 number we can call to possibly get those pumps
5 MS. GATELLI: I would call the Sewer
6 Authority's emergency number. They have an emergency
7 number in the phone book.
8 MR. LITWINSKI: Like I said, the two
9 6-inch pumps would be what we would need to -- and,
10 also, I have another letter from my Allstate.
11 Due to repetitive flood loss claims,
12 due to FEMA's actions, this flood policy will be
13 renewed only through the NFIP's Special Direct Facility
14 Program for now. After that, that may mean, what, I
15 can't get flood insurance? I don't know. So, when is
16 the meeting, Judy?
17 MS. GATELLI: Tuesday at seven -- or
18 Tuesday the 11th at four o'clock.
19 MR. LITWINSKI: Okay. All right.
20 Thank you. And like I said, the only thing Steve has
21 told me was the fact that we need to get money, because
22 there is no money designated or allocated four our area
23 through Kanjorski's office. Thank you.
24 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mike Dudek.
25 MR. LITWINSKI: Judy, can I just cut in
1 for one second? Judy, that machine shop that's right
2 there, when we get flooded, it's not just the river
3 water, it's the sanitary lines and it's that machine
4 shops were oils flow out of it and fill our homes.
5 MS. GATELLI: I already sent a letter
6 on that.
7 MR. LITWINSKI: All right. Thank you.
8 MS. GATELLI: You're welcome.
9 MR. DUDEK: My name is Mike Dudek,
10 608 Depot Street, Scranton, PA. With all the issues
11 dealing with the flood, there is another big story
12 coming through the City of Scranton, and it amazes me
13 that neither City Council had any part in it, nor the
14 University of Scranton had any part in it.
15 We're reading an awful lot about a new
16 medical school that's supposed to be coming here to the
17 City of Scranton. And believe me, we need it. And I'm
18 a thousand and a half percent behind an institution
19 like this.
20 But, Mrs. Gatelli, to the best of my
21 knowledge, I don't know if City Council is invited to
22 participate in this. Has anybody been approached on
23 City Council to become part of the planning?
24 MS. GATELLI: No, not to my knowledge.
25 MR. DUDEK: That's my first problem
1 with this. My second problem with this is that I read
2 an awful lot about Lackawanna College having a part in
3 this. Mr. Angelli, the President of Lackawanna College
4 is there. Well, silting up on the hill is a rather
5 large educational institution that has master degree
6 programs and has a $98 million endowment and has the
7 capability of providing an awful lot to a new medical
9 I'm kind of surprised the University of
10 Scranton is not at all involved in this. I think if
11 we're going to have a medical school in the City of
12 Scranton, I -- in the City of Scranton I think that the
13 proper participants ought to be involved in it.
14 I think City Council or the city has to
15 have a hand in this. If somebody is going to plan
16 something as major as a new school in the corporate
17 limites of this city, I think that City Council should
18 be represented on that committee or on that board or on
19 that planning, or if nothing else, the director of OECD
20 would probably be the best person to represent the city
21 in some sort of an endeavor like this.
22 For instance, one of the comments I
23 read was that the best possible place to build a
24 medical school would be in Downtown Scranton, in
25 Downtown Scranton. And I couldn't disagree more.
1 The best possible place to build a
2 medical school is on the grounds of an existing
3 hospital, because those doctors that are taking classes
4 are eventually going to have to come in contact with
5 patients, and I don't think city traffic should have to
6 interfere with them going six blocks from the City of
7 Scranton to downtown, say, to Moses Taylor or to CMC or
8 to Mercy. You see what I'm saying?
9 There's an awful lot of shotgun
10 planning going on about this without a whole lot of
11 proper thought going into it. And I think the reason
12 why this is happening is that not enough of our
13 community has been invited to take part in the planning
14 of this process.
15 And this is the proper time for us to
16 get involved in the process. Now, I don't know whether
17 or not the University of Scranton would want to be
18 interested in it or not, but I think they should be
19 dragged into it.
20 They are -- the University is our
21 largest educational institution in this city. It
22 already has a business school. It already runs for the
23 Republic of Slovakia, its health insurance program. It
24 graduates a number of hospital administrators.
25 So, they already have an interest on
1 the graduate level in coming into -- they have many
2 different programs there having to do with hospitals,
3 having to do with the infrastructure of a hospital.
4 I think the University needs to
5 participate in this process. I've seen nothing
6 whatsoever about the University participation in this
7 process and nothing at all about the city's
8 participation in it.
9 I don't think that Senator Mellow and
10 Ray Angelli are just the two people that are going to
11 be doing this. I think we need a community effort to
12 make this hospital a reality.
13 I do agree, a medical school in this
14 city would be a wonderful new employer to have here,
15 but I think it should be done the right way and I think
16 inquiries ought to be made on behalf of the city in
17 His process. Thank you.
18 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Phyllis
20 MS. HUMPHREY: Hi, City Council. I was
21 away. I seen your pictures, and it was so nice to see
22 that you're out there associating with the people that
23 have been victimized by this flood.
24 I have something to say to make
25 everybody happy. I address this to the City of
1 Scranton, I address this to all nations, I address this
2 to Bishop Martino and all my priests and my Pope.
3 I had told you my mission was for
4 peace, and I felt that we needed a symbol here of
5 peace. I know you don't want us to say anything about
6 prayer, but prayer does move mountains.
7 I took it upon myself and I bought a
8 beautiful Saint Francis of Assisi Statue --
9 MS. GATELLI: Phyllis, excuse me. I
10 was criticized today for letting someone else say a
11 prayer and --
12 MS. HUMPHREY: I'm not praying. I'm --
13 MS. GATELLI: I know, but you're
14 referring to God and priests, and we're not allowed to
15 do that at City Council.
16 MS. HUMPHREY: Well, George Washington
17 and our country and the United States and our liberty
18 and our flag represents our country, freedom, liberty
19 and justice for all.
20 Now, I have something to say, and I
21 don't want to say nothing negative. I'm trying to say
22 something positive for my country and my city. Down at
23 Saint Peter's Cathedral, there's a statue there. It
24 represents our military.
25 MS. GATELLI: Phyllis, Phyllis --
1 MS. HUMPHREY: Excuse me. It
2 represents our military that are being killed.
3 MS. GATELLI: You're out of order.
4 MS. HUMPHREY: Our military?
5 MS. GATELLI: You're out of order.
6 Attorney Minora, would you -- is he there?
7 MS. HUMPHREY: Excuse me. This
8 represents our military that are being killed.
9 MS. GATELLI: Phyllis, you can't talk
10 about statues or saints.
11 MS. HUMPHREY: I'm talking about peace,
12 a symbol of peace.
13 MS. GATELLI: Well, talk about peace
15 MS. HUMPHREY: That's what I'm telling
16 you. This symbol is of peace. The people that died
17 September 11, when infiltrators come in and massacred
18 our country, I am not going to stand and watch my
19 country go down. I want to bring my country up.
20 So, therefore, if anybody, whether
21 you're Japanese, Chinese, American, Chinese, whatever
22 you are, if you would like to do homage there, you're
23 more than welcome. That's number one.
24 Number two, the fire department, I am
25 going to try to go through this really fast. The fire
1 department, I had a call and somebody had says to me,
2 which I have a lot of derogatory things in life I have
3 to check myself, about the fire department, their fire
4 ladders. They were told that they were afraid that
5 there wasn't enough ladders to go up above the top of
6 Mulberry Tower.
7 The fire department, it's beautiful, I
8 love the fire department, but just to be safe and to
9 make people more at ease, if some day they could make a
10 date and have the fire department go over and show a
11 demonstration with all the ladders, I think that would
12 be wonderful to ease the people.
13 The other thing is that I have to
14 address FedEx. This is for the elderly. I had a lot
15 of wonderful times with FedEx coming to my house
16 picking up things, but I came in contact with a man
17 that tried to extricate a lot of money out of me.
18 And what happened is, everybody gets
19 theirs, too. So, because it's like FedEx and for the
20 federal bureau, I'm going to ask them publicly to
21 remove that off, because I love my federal bureau and
22 American people. He tried to extricate a lot of money
23 out of me. He took the money, but he dealt with the
24 wrong person.
25 So, I found out the post office now, he
1 was trying to charge me $49. I got him down to $39.
2 Three pounds at the United States Post Office in
3 Scranton is very cheap. It's only, like, $18 to go to
5 So, I ask all the elderly and the
6 people here, especially the poor people, to support the
7 post offices here and to remove themself.
8 And it's a terrible thing to say, but
9 my protection is for the poor, the desolate, being
10 people being ripped off.
11 And, so, I'm asking to -- I have some
12 documents, I'll bring them next week to show you what's
13 going on. Because the elderly, we live on limited
14 incomes, and for them to do that -- and the post office
15 is doing such a wonderful job, you know? That's the
16 other thing that I have to say.
17 I want to tell you I went on an
18 international tour. I was in many countries. I went
19 through all the United States, and we are a country of
20 love, we are a country of peace, we are a country that
21 wants democracy in every country, but we also want
22 democracy in our country.
23 When you go to the bank on your dollar
24 bills, you know what it says . So, in order to want a
25 lot of money for our town, we got to start saying
1 Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
2 MS. GATELLI: Thank you, Phyllis.
3 MS. HUMPHREY: God bless you.
4 MS. GATELLI: Ron Elman.
5 MR. ELMAN: Hard act to follow. I just
6 have a couple things. Miss Judy, I got to back pedal
7 on a statement I made last year. I had occasion this
8 week -- well, let me just explain.
9 I had an old pickup truck I used to
10 flea market that got vandalized and I wasn't happy with
11 the police report. I came down to see Mr. Elliott, who
12 was in a meeting with Mr. Hayes, and I know it had to
13 be important, but I'd like to say that he came out
14 immediately to talk to me, which was a great surprise.
15 And he calmed me down, and he just couldn't have been
16 more courteous and professional. He had a note pad,
17 and just everything he did was right. It made me feel
19 He said he'd talk to me later on in the
20 day, which he did, you know, he told me how he was
21 going to handle it, and I'd like to say that I think
22 this is the kind of representatives Scranton needs
23 between the city and the people out there. He just
24 couldn't have been more professional in everything he
25 did for me. That's the first time I ever met the man.
1 That's enough schmutz (phonetic).
2 Last week you said something about
3 cutting the trees down. I notice Scranton Prep has
4 been knocking them off left and right down the street
5 between the sidewalk and the street. They got the tree
6 stumps sitting there, you know.
7 And while I'm on Scranton Prep's case,
8 this city, traffic is just like an obstacle course that
9 would test the best of drivers.
10 Yesterday I was parked in front of the
11 bank on Spruce in front of the Murray Building where
12 there were four illegally parked cars in the right turn
13 lane, and they were there for, I don't know, ten or
14 15 minutes while I was in the bank. Nobody got a
15 ticket, but I saw the meter maid walking around.
16 Cars are double parked in the worse
17 time it seems like, the four o'clock, five o'clock when
18 the traffic is at its worse, you can't get through
19 town. You know, that's when I was downtown yesterday.
20 But I've seen in front of Bishop Hannon
21 and Scranton Prep, not only cars double parked, I've
22 seen them waiting in the lane out here for children.
23 It's not my concern whether people are
24 supposed to pick up their kids. That's the school's
25 business. But they shouldn't be allowed to block a
1 main artery like Wyoming Boulevard, which is done every
2 day during the school system.
3 I'm just wondering if any of you people
4 solved the problem of $700 or $800 million going out
5 and $150 coming in during the week. No? Well, I guess
6 that's our legacy to you, thanks to some of the
7 politicians around here. Yeah, thank you.
8 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Ray Lyman.
9 MR. LYMAN: Raymond Lyman. Mrs. Evans,
10 you remember the 300 block of Phelps Street, that it
11 was I that asked City Council to have the trees cut,
12 not Mary Chilipko.
13 MS. EVANS: Well, I didn't speak to
14 Mary to Mary about any of this. Like I said earlier, I
15 only spoke to Mr. Santolli, and that's -- he said it
16 will be done, it will be done.
17 MR. LYMAN: I know, but last week she
18 sent a letter here claiming credit for that, and it was
19 I that came here that asked for it, because Mary
20 Chilipko said that it is your --
21 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Lyman, wait a minute.
22 Hold it. I'm going to interrupt you there and say that
23 I think that you should talk about what you're doing
24 and don't discredit anyone else.
25 MR. LYMAN: Yeah, but I didn't get
1 credit for that and that was my credit.
2 MS. GATELLI: Well, that's okay. It's
3 not about getting credit, it's about a job getting
4 done. And it really shouldn't matter who did it, why
5 they did it, when they did it, but that something got
6 done. That's --
7 MR. LYMAN: Yeah, but, Miss Gatelli,
8 I'm tired of her getting credit for something I did.
9 MS. GATELLI: Don't be fighting like
10 that, and we're not going to let you use this
11 microphone to discredit another neighborhood person.
12 MR. LYMAN: I'm not discrediting
13 nobody, but I'm tired of her getting something and then
14 she gets a plaque for something I did.
15 MS. GATELLI: Well, we can't help that.
16 We didn't give any plagues.
17 MR. LYMAN: I know that, but she'll
18 claim that down in the neighborhood.
19 MS. GATELLI: Do what you're doing in
20 helping your neighborhood.
21 MR. LYMAN: Okay.
22 MS. GATELLI: And that's the right
23 thing to do.
24 MR. LYMAN: Okay. I just wanted to set
25 it straight. Okay. Now, I just want to talk -- oh,
1 can I have those minutes back, because you interrupted?
2 Now, citizens participation, now, I
3 think it's kind of unconstitutional to have it at
4 seven. I think that we should have it back at four,
5 because what if we had something on the agenda that
6 people wanted to speak? I think that's
8 I asked a friend of mine who's a -- I
9 should say he's a professor of constitutional law, and
10 he told me it is unconstitutional. What if we had
11 something that -- let's say if the mayor had the budget
12 and you guys had that on seven participation and you
13 guys were going to vote on it and we didn't have a
14 chance to speak and we wanted to speak and we couldn't
15 do it because you already voted on it, and I think
16 that's wrong.
17 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Lyman, we don't vote
18 on anything when we first bring it up. All we do is
19 introduce it.
20 MR. LYMAN: I know, but still --
21 MS. GATELLI: So, you have the
22 opportunity after it's introduced to make your
24 MR. LYMAN: Still, I think --
25 MS. GATELLI: We don't vote on it until
1 the next week or the following week, depending on if
2 it's an ordinance or a resolution.
3 MR. LYMAN: But still, I think we
4 should have it back on number four. And now that you
5 passed swimming fees, I have a little something else to
6 add to it.
7 What if some future Council comes along
8 and wants to stop this? I want to put into it that no
9 other Council can come along and take it out, that it
10 could be free forever. Can you do that?
11 MS. GATELLI: Attorney Minora, can we
12 do that?
13 MR. MINORA: No.
14 MS. GATELLI: If we can, there's a
15 couple more things I'd like to do.
16 MR. LYMAN: You can't put that in an
17 ordinance? I know the Congress and Senate can do that.
18 MR. MINORA: The only thing I know that
19 for sure is forever is death.
20 MR. LYMAN: No. I mean, if you can put
21 that into, like, every year that could be initialed.
22 MS. GATELLI: If there's a new Council
23 and they have the votes to reinstate the fees, they
24 will be reinstated.
25 MR. LYMAN: But you can have this kept
1 in for next year.
2 MS. GATELLI: Yes, this is for next
3 year, sure.
4 MR. LYMAN: Okay. Okay. That's what I
5 wanted to know. Now, what about the catch basin on the
6 300 block of Phelps Street? That's what caused the
7 flooding in ten other houses where I live.
8 MS. GATELLI: What's wrong with the
9 catch basin?
10 MR. LYMAN: I told for eight years it's
11 cracked, the hole is like this (indicating), it's
12 damaged, a little child could fall through it. I've
13 been telling the Council for years.
14 MS. GATELLI: Where is it locate?
15 MR. LYMAN: It's on the 300 block of
16 Phelps Street in Lourdes Court. I talked to the Sewer
17 Authority, I talked to almost three Councils, and it's
18 coming up to eight years now. This has to be fixed.
19 MS. GATELLI: We'll send somebody down
20 to look at it.
21 MR. LYMAN: I talked to federal
22 officials about this. They said it is the city's
23 responsibility, that's why it caused the flooding, the
24 damage to my wall.
25 MS. GATELLI: Okay.
1 MR. LYMAN: And if these people who had
2 the flooding there, the mayor -- and I have one more
3 question. Now, I heard that Mayor Doherty went away to
5 MS. GATELLI: Yes, he was on vacation.
6 MR. LYMAN: And I want to know did our
7 tax dollars pay for that?
8 MS. GATELLI: I don't think so. I hope
9 you don't say that when I go on any my vacation this
11 MR. LYMAN: He did spend our tax
12 dollars to go to Europe one time for a trip --
13 MS. GATELLI: I don't think so. I
14 think you're wrong, Ray.
15 MR. LYMAN: -- for a business deal,
16 so-called business deal.
17 MS. GATELLI: You're not allowed to use
18 city funds for your personal vacation.
19 MR. LYMAN: I want to know if he used
20 our tax dollars for this trip.
21 MS. GATELLI: No, he didn't.
22 Mr. Johnson.
23 MR. JOHNSON: Good afternoon, City
24 Council and staff. Erik Johnson, a long time resident
25 and taxpayer of Scranton, PA. I want to speak about an
1 issue here right now that was mentioned about prayer.
2 Prayer has its place, but not out of order in public
3 affairs or in our society, like the start of a City
4 Council session, I think that's an appropriate way to
5 use prayer, but not at the podium.
6 We must not take God completely out of
7 our public affairs. Prayer is a source for God of
8 asking for help, protection and thanks and gratitude
9 for our military and all our American way of life and
10 our country. Our forefathers prayed at their events,
11 but it was done properly.
12 My heart and prayers goes out for all
13 the flood victims for their losses, and I hope our
14 federal government comes to their immediate aid for
15 their lost property and belongings.
16 Whenever there is a disaster overseas,
17 the United States is always the frontrunner helping
18 them in huge amounts of money and manpower. It's time
19 our government helps the Lackawanna County and
20 surrounding areas of our State of Pennsylvania
21 governments. It's American taxpayers' money, not
23 I also want to thank the police and
24 firemen for their usual excellent response and services
25 for our flood crisis.
1 I want to also thank Bill Courtright
2 for assisting me in direct contact with the Housing
3 Authority head management, which led to a productive
4 meeting concerning eligibility of low income housing
5 for myself. Thank you, Bill.
6 Attorney Paul Kelly is in the process
7 of a possible action taken regarding a huge problem
8 concerning losing most of my belongings in a rented
9 storage garage, which the owner sold under my feet that
10 was already condemned and a sale of this property was
11 already in the process to the University of Scranton
12 two months ago when I rented the storage property
13 without knowing its destination was that the property
14 would be demolished, but the shocker is the deadline is
15 of August the 1st for the eviction of all of my
16 belongings, which I will not have any source of help
17 for the removal or demolishing of my belongings due to
18 the greed of two months of temporary rent at the
19 expense and loss, which is not to my fault of not
20 knowing a sale was in the process and the condemned
21 property would soon be demolished.
22 My property consists of an expensive
23 antique hutch, tables, chairs and record collection of
24 3000, and a number of family heirlooms which are all to
25 be lost, due to not the fault of the University, it's
1 not the University of Scranton's fault, or myself, but
2 to the past landlord, who knowingly knew the motive of
3 what was to become for me.
4 I had no idea renters were moving their
5 stuff out, their belongings out, while I was moving my
6 stuff in.
7 MS. GATELLI: Excuse me a minute, Mr.
8 Johnson. Can you please refrain from talking in the
9 audience? It's very disruptive and we can't hear the
10 speakers up here. Thank you. Go ahead, Mr. Johnson.
11 MR. JOHNSON: Well, while I was moving
12 mine in for just for the just two months. I've been
13 shafted. That's how the majority of the incidents have
14 been happening to my past family and myself.
15 Relatives say it's a form of
16 persecution that has been happening to me and my family
17 since we moved here July 1982 from Colorado.
18 People in high places know very well
19 about what has been happening to myself and my family.
20 Thank you for letting me speak.
21 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mr. Davis.
22 MR. DAVIS: Mrs. Gatelli, you left.
23 Thank you. Assalaam Alaikum. I'm here this evening
24 because we just finished a Memorial Day, and in the
25 minority community we've lost several fantastic people,
1 several leaders.
2 I start with Joe Giles, Morris Jackson
3 and others that you may not know as well because they
4 sort of dealt with the kids, they dealt with the
5 community from another level. They would make sure
6 they would buy their dinners from the churches when
7 they had their weekly church dinners and things like
8 that and they kept the community going, they kept the
9 churches going. They weren't like me out here in the
10 front of the public.
11 But we've lost them, and they were our
12 leaders. And I think it was -- I think it was a way of
13 sort of telling us that we're behind the eight ball.
14 We're not bringing our leaders on fast enough. We're
15 not training our young to be leaders.
16 So, James Williams from down at the
17 Progressive Center and Lloyd Blackwell from down at the
18 Boys Club, we've decided to do as much as we possibly
19 can without the city's help to have a leadership and
20 training that is going to help the kids move from one
21 stage of life to the next.
22 Many of our kids do not have fathers,
23 many of them do not have, as they say, the proverbial
24 or the general family size and things like that. And
25 we have to become a community of families, which is
1 what we're trying to do now.
2 And hopefully with the leadership that
3 we have now, we'll form leadership for the future and
4 hopefully this leadership will be worth Scranton's own
5 to maybe take places here as City Council members or
6 maybe even as Junior Council members.
7 I hope to come to your meeting on the
8 10th, I think it is. I'd like to hear what you have to
9 say. You do have a meeting on the 10th, right? I
10 would like to come and listen to this.
11 I thank you for your -- there's a
12 building that was sent -- that was owned by the steam
13 company and it was now given back to the school board,
14 and it's located in the -- I think it's Lee Court in
16 And at one time it was the Bethel AME
17 church. It was -- the origin of Bethel AME Church was
18 right there in that particular building. I would like
19 to ask that the city ask them to return it, because
20 Mr. Barrett and I had talked back in 1980, 1982, about
21 returning it to the community to use as -- we had two
22 bathrooms in there where the people from the community
23 can use the bathroom, and we also had a storage place
24 for their baseball equipment and things like that.
25 We'd like to have that returned back to
1 the community. Now, who do I talk to about that?
2 Since that property was bought by the steam, P & E
3 Energy, whoever it was, and now it's being returned to
4 the school board, whose property is this?
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: If they gave it back
6 to the school board, you need to talk to the school
7 board then.
8 MR. DAVIS: Has it transpired?
9 MR. COURTRIGHT: I don't know. You're
10 telling me. I didn't know anything about that, to be
11 honest with you.
12 MS. EVANS: No. I don't know anything
13 about that. I would assume that Mr. Barrett owns that.
14 MR. COURTRIGHT: He's saying Mr.
15 Barrett gave it back to the school board.
16 MS. EVANS: I don't know anything --
17 MR. COURTRIGHT: You know more than we
18 do, Mr. Davis.
19 MR. DAVIS: I talked to Mr. Barrett two
20 days ago, and he said that it was --
21 MS. EVANS: He returned it --
22 MR. DAVIS: Yeah. He said the whole
23 thing --
24 MS. EVANS: -- or is he selling it to
1 MR. DAVIS: It's in lieu of. I assume
2 that it's going to be sold back. I don't know if it's
3 being sold back to the school board or what, because no
4 money was ever transpired, that I know of.
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: Maybe you can ask
6 Mr. Barrett then, if he's the one telling you.
7 MR. DAVIS: I will. I will. I asked
8 him if he would come here and tell you personally, and
9 that's because I've heard so many bad statements about
10 him last week when I was here, I thought maybe you
11 should bring him before you since you questioned his
12 ability to run the Sewer Authority or whatever.
13 MR. COURTRIGHT: I don't think any of
14 us questioned his ability to run the Sewer Authority,
15 as far as I know.
16 MS. EVANS: No.
17 MR. DAVIS: Okay. Wrong thing.
18 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you.
19 MR. DAVIS: Thank you.
20 MS. GATELLI: Marie Shumaker.
21 MS. SHUMAKER: Hi, Marie Shumaker,
22 Scranton. I'm here today for three items. First and
23 foremost, I was here three weeks ago, as you may
24 recall, after waiting five months for the list of the
25 breakdown of the parks and recreation capital projects.
1 I received a letter saying, Gee, their research
2 couldn't turn anything up, not one single item.
3 You said you'd look into it. I gave
4 the information to Kay and you thought you'd have a
5 response in one or two weeks. It's been three. I
6 wonder if you have that. That's my first item.
7 MS. GARVEY: The response is here. It
8 was in the Councilperson's boxes from Attorney Farrell.
9 I have a copy, if you want it.
10 MS. SHUMAKER: Thank you. Does it have
11 a list?
12 MS. GARVEY: No, it doesn't.
13 MS. SHUMAKER: Okay. That mystifies me
14 as to how you people could pass budgets and not have
15 backup for what capital projects are in.
16 As I say, some capital projects reduce
17 need for maintenance, some add maintenance. How do you
18 know what you're doing if you don't have a list of
19 supporting capital projects?
20 You just see a lump sum and say, Oh,
21 yeah, that's beautiful and sprinkle holy water on that?
22 I don't understand that, but --
23 MS. EVANS: Ms. Shumaker, I might be
24 able to shed a bit of light. I believe when the last
25 capital budget came before City Council, which would
1 have been in 2005, I believe, it was never really
2 approved by City Council.
3 I had found problems with the capital
4 budget, very similar to those that you are stating and
5 I wanted all of that information included that is
6 required by law, and that never occurred.
7 The administration ignored that, and
8 consequently, I believe the date might have been, and I
9 could be wrong, but I'll just throw it out there, let's
10 say November 15, and if by that date Council had not
11 approved or denied that capital budget, it would
12 automatically take effect, and that is what occurred.
13 MS. SHUMAKER: Well, I hope you're
14 attune for the coming capital budget, because I think
15 it's sad that taxpayers and you all don't know what
16 you're -- what's being approved.
17 MS. EVANS: Exactly. That's why I
18 would not approve it.
19 MS. SHUMAKER: So, I mean, I really do.
20 But in that vein, and I'm sorry Mrs. Fanucci is no
21 longer with us, because I am now a month into, and
22 Mr. Courtright is familiar with this, because I have
23 been copying him, he responded to an E-mail I sent to,
24 I believe, all of you, I'm not sure if it reached all
25 of you, and I think it pertains to your item 6-F today.
1 I believe the $250,000 loan that is --
2 was given today to the Pisano Brothers was the second
3 gift from the city --
4 MS. EVANS: Uh-huh.
5 MS. SHUMAKER: -- because there were
6 properties. If this is the old Granito's property that
7 this money is going to be used, the city already tore
8 down buildings, they took out trees, including stumps,
9 on private property.
10 I asked for a copy of the cost benefit
11 statement, and it has been a month. I have sent a
12 follow-up, and I hear nothing from OECD. It's -- and I
13 know they have it, because I sent it certified return
14 receipt request, and they just totally ignore me, and I
15 think that is sad.
16 And then finally in my last minute, I
18 MS. EVANS: Just one second. I'm sorry
19 again. Going back to what you were just saying about
20 those -- THE demolition of those buildings, that was
21 not paid through OECD funds, which is why I believe
22 you're not receiving a response. That was paid by the
23 city, so I'm assuming through the city's operating
25 I have a request in to Mr. Fiorini to
1 learn exactly, you know, what the cost was, where in
2 the budget this is being drawn from, for example, is it
3 going to come from his department. I'd like to know
4 what account number, what line item. And as soon as I
5 get that, I will be very happy to share it with you.
6 I'm sure I would have had it last week, but for the
7 flooding situation, I know he's been inundated. But
8 I'm awaiting that, and I think this is where we're
9 going to find our answer.
10 MS. SHUMAKER: Okay. But, again, if
11 they didn't pay it, a simple letter saying it didn't
12 come out of our budget would have been nice.
13 MS. EVANS: I agree.
14 MS. SHUMAKER: I don't understand that
15 at all.
16 MR. COURTRIGHT: She sent us a letter
17 explaining to us why they got the money. She didn't --
18 it didn't state in there, I don't believe, that they
19 tore it down, that the city tore it down.
20 MS. GARVEY: I don't recall what the
21 letter said.
22 MS. SHUMAKER: I mean, DPW --
23 MR. COURTRIGHT: She explained to us
24 why the city paid for the tear down and removal of the
1 MS. SHUMAKER: And in my final minute
2 I'd like to, because it deals with Mr. Fiorini's
3 department, is I have one simple and one a little more
4 technical, if you would, proposed ordinances that I
5 would like Council to consider for swimming pools.
6 As it currently is, the health
7 inspector at Mr. Fiorini's instruction, I believe, will
8 only go out to inspect a swimming pool that's not being
9 properly maintained if the water level is at a certain
10 level, because apparently it ties to mosquito breeding
11 and it has to be at a certain level.
12 But certainly stagnant water where
13 there's no pump going and no chemicals being added is,
14 to me, it's a health issue. So, I think if -- it would
15 -- an ordinance would give the health inspector a
16 reason to go out.
17 The current ordinances dealing with
18 swimming pools do not speak to maintenance, and I think
19 with all the additions of all these above ground pools
20 and spas and things is required, and I will turn this
21 over to Kay for whatever. Oh, I'm sorry. And that
22 concludes. Thank you for your indulgence, and I look
23 forward to anything in the future.
24 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.
25 MR. LASKE: How do you do? I'm
1 Dick Laske, North Scranton. I come here with a problem
2 that you people have known about for quite a while, it
3 is about Hollow Avenue.
4 Now, this is what I would like from
5 City Council today and the solicitor. I would like you
6 people to be unanimous in this decision to help me
7 solve this problem. I cannot do it alone.
8 I would like you five people, although
9 there is one that isn't there because she's gone to her
10 place of employment, but I would like you to draft
11 legislation and vote on it today in front of the people
12 for the good of the 70,000 people of this city.
13 You're being taken. I don't like it.
14 You people shouldn't like it. And I want your support.
15 Will you four people support me and pass legislation to
16 go after this money? This is taxpayers' money that
17 this man spent. I want him to pay the bill.
18 When I get a sewer bill, I write a
19 check. When my taxes come, I pay them. I think
20 everybody in this city is equal. Do I have your
21 support or don't I?
22 MS. GATELLI: We did receive a response
23 from Attorney Farrell, and I have Attorney Minora, who
24 is going to pursue his own investigation of the --
25 MR. LASKE: I would like this to go
1 into the District Attorney's Office. Amil, you have
2 the photos I gave you?
3 MR. MINORA: I do.
4 MR. LASKE: Can I have them back or do
5 you want to keep them?
6 MR. MINORA: I'd like to keep them just
7 a little longer, if you don't mind.
8 MR. LASKE: You can keep them longer.
9 I'm not trying to be a smart guy, a wise guy, but I'm
10 really offended to think as a taxpayer a guy sends --
11 gets work done as a political favor, and the same
12 department of public works won't go up to Weston Park
13 to take down trees. There's kids playing in that park.
14 Now, what should have precedent, a
15 political favor or children of this city playing in a
16 park? Let's start getting real here. Let's stand up
17 and be counted. You people were elected to do a job.
18 I'm asking and I'm begging for your support.
19 If you want to give it to me, fine, if
20 you don't, we're dead in the water. But I'll tell you
21 what, I would like to have the power to get enough
22 people behind me to say, Good, we won't pay our taxes,
23 now you run the show. Where is he going? He's dead in
24 the water without our tax dollars, okay?
25 And another thing, I'll come and wire
1 an ejection stand here when Ava Maria comes in. Send
2 her over to Iraq. What the hell is she praying here
3 for? She's not going any good. I don't know what else
4 to say. I don't know what else to do.
5 I'm going to give Mr. Minora something
6 here. This is a state law. And I'm sure we should
7 obey state law. And thank you very much for your time.
8 I'd like to call my friend Bill Moran
9 up. He's the guy that we were accused of taking bad
10 pictures and we don't know what you're doing. We'll
11 send Mr. Parker up with his transit and Mr. Farrell
12 with his knowledge, his law degree that backed him, and
13 I will dispute them in the middle of Hollow Avenue any
14 time, any day or anybody else who wants to come.
16 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.
17 MR. MORAN: Good afternoon, Council.
18 My name is Bill Moran. I've been a resident of
19 Scranton for many years, been speaking on this subject
20 on many occasions.
21 Let me just go over some of the finer
22 points of this issue. First off, there has been some
23 question as to whether it was a private property or
24 right of way. It was a right of way.
25 When I went to the city and I said to
1 several people within the city, Do you clear right of
2 ways? I was told, No.
3 Several people have come to me from
4 East Mountain, and I'm quite willing to have them come
5 speak to you, they said, We'd like to have our right of
6 way cleared so that we can build a house.
7 They were told in order to get a
8 building permit in this city, you must clear your own
9 right of way, pave the road.
10 If your neighbor has sidewalks, you are
11 to put sidewalks in and you are also to put storm
12 sewers in. At that point you will get a building
13 permit. That did not happen here, okay?
14 This person -- I am not complaining
15 about the homeowners by any means, I'm complaining
16 about a Democratic committee man who said to our face,
17 I snap my fingers and things happen. This is where
18 this comes from, and we all laughed at him. A couple
19 days later, there was a city truck.
20 You have within the minutes of the
21 September 22, I believe it was, meeting here where
22 Mr. Parker stated that, yes, they did clear
23 7,000 square feet of right of way. It was in order to
24 get materials into the house.
25 The house was a modular. That means
1 they brought a crane in, they moved two boxes each
2 measuring approximately 12-by-50 foot around that huge
3 crane and into place.
4 The pictures clearly show the house in
5 place. There is no need to get anything else in there.
6 This land that was cleared by the city, is outside of
7 his property, it's on the right of way, it had nothing
8 to do with any construction.
9 What I'm saying here today is
10 Mr. Parker allowed or sent those people up there to cut
11 those trees in a right of way. It's a service that is
12 not available to every other citizen in the city.
13 And like I said, there are other people
14 who have come to Council and asked for right of ways to
15 be cleared month upon month upon month and not been
17 That is diversion of services. That is
18 against the law. I believe it's a misdemeanor first
19 class. If I'm incorrect on that, please correct me.
20 It's wrong, it's illegal. He needs to be called on the
21 carpet for it.
22 Alternately what I'd like to see is a
23 procedure by which every person who needs their right
24 of way cleared is given a place in line and they're
25 taken care of within the same time frames as this house
1 was taken care of.
2 Hey, if it's available for one, it's
3 available for all, or it is violation of the law. It
4 is diversion of services.
5 We're asking for what is right. We're
6 not against the homeowners. I wish them luck with
7 their house. What I'm against is somebody getting
8 something as a payoff.
9 If I say to you, I'm a buddy with the
10 mayor, I can get something done, you vote for him, I'll
11 take care of you, that's not right. It happens here
12 every day, I'm sure. Somewhere we have to draw the
14 It just aggravates me. We see people
15 jumping across the line every day. All four of you
16 people are here now, you're being paid to be here now.
17 One of your people is not here. Why? Well, she has
18 another job.
19 You know what she said to you, she said
20 to all of us, she said, My other job is more important
21 than the job I was elected to do. That's wrong.
22 That's another favor. These things can't happen. If
23 it's good for one, it's good for all of us.
24 Mr. Parker, he should be brought up on
25 charges. Mrs. Fan -- excuse me for not pronouncing her
1 name properly, this Councilwoman, should be here right
3 We need to draw a line and say the city
4 is going to be run a certain way. We need to have the
5 pride that's supposed to have been restored.
6 That's what I'm asking for. I'm asking
7 that things are done right for a change. She should be
8 here, Parker should be under charges. That's what
9 we're asking for.
10 Does it sound like I'm asking for
11 something over and over again that's not right? If I
12 am, please tell me to sit down. I think we all know
13 what's right and we know what has to be done.
14 MR. MINORA: Can I ask you a question?
15 MR. MORAN: Yes, sir.
16 MR. MINORA: The issue you're raising,
17 it's not that trees were cut on private property.
18 MR. MORAN: Yes, sir.
19 MR. MINORA: You agree that they were
20 cut in a right of way, because that gives me a
21 different place to look, a different question to ask.
22 MR. MORAN: Yes, I -- I agree.
23 MR. MINORA: Okay.
24 MR. MORAN: And Mr. Parker also agrees
25 to that. You will read in his, I believe, September 22
1 comments to Council in which he referred to those of us
2 who are complaining as deceivers and liars.
3 MR. MINORA: So, the issue you're
4 raising is whether or not this is available to
5 everybody, whether or not it's done on a routine or
6 regular basis.
7 MR. MORAN: Exactly, exactly.
8 MR. MINORA: All right.
9 MR. MORAN: And what I get from that
10 is, the people of East Mountain, there was another
11 woman who was coming here monthly saying, Look, if
12 you're not going to cut my right of way, let's cut my
14 Hey, that's fair. If you can't use the
15 land, you should have your taxes cut. I don't know how
16 that ended up, but I do know for a fact that she came
17 here month after month after month.
18 The people in East Scranton, they're
19 not going to be here any more. They're selling their
20 land, they're moving to Throop. Win/win? Something
21 needs to be done.
22 We're dropping -- what do we drop?
23 Every year we drop a couple thousand people? Now you
24 know why. Thank you.
25 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Anyone else?
1 MS. SACHETTI: Connie Sachetti,
2 Scranton, Pennsylvania, here to back up everything that
3 everyone else is saying, okay?
4 We've been putting up with this
5 problem. The river is the most important part of this
6 problem. We've had storm drainage problems in our
7 area. This is the river. This is extremely serious.
8 Now, I have been involved with this
9 right from the '04 flood. We were flooded in our area
10 in '96, as well. The only thing is our homes on the
11 corner got the brunt of it.
12 The rest of the people didn't get it.
13 And that was because they tore down Barber Rug, had the
14 embankment lowered there, and the water found a way to
15 come in and flood it. And try to get after anyone to
16 fill that up and bring it back up to the level.
17 The engineers at the last meeting that
18 we had, I got expressed the importance of building that
19 up again and the importance of building up alongside
20 the gate.
21 They said to me, It will only get
22 washed away. I said, But look, at least it will hold
23 some of it back, which they did do, however, by the
24 bridge never got really restored.
25 Now, this project, as far as the
1 engineers are concerned, they designed a wonderful
2 project. As far as a contractor is concerned, it is
4 And I think that the city, as well as
5 we people that have been affected, have to stand behind
6 what has been done with the engineers who get after the
7 contractor. He is responsible. He's the one that has
8 the orders to do this job. And to be that negligent to
9 allow it to happen, what we had, is disgraceful.
10 Now, we have storm drainage problems,
11 as I explained to you. At one time the city had
12 maintenance. They'd come in, they clean out the storm
13 drains and made sure that they flushed them out with
14 the hydrants. It hasn't been done in years.
15 Well, Tuesday night all night long into
16 Wednesday, they were there with machinery cleaning the
17 storm drains, which I hope if the river comes up again,
18 at least they're going to adequately handle the water
19 that has come down.
20 It is a disaster waiting to happen. We
21 have been affected terribly. My grandsons, my
22 neighbors. I'm in there 51 years, never saw this
23 devastation with the river. It has to be addressed,
24 and the city has to get behind us to do it.
25 Now, if there's anything you want to
1 know and I can answer, I'd be only too happy to. But I
2 have to stress the importance, you guys have to get
3 behind us. What do you think?
4 MS. GATELLI: I think we're all behind
5 you, Connie.
6 MS. SACHETTI: Yes. But the thing is,
7 at this meeting, and believe me, I will be very vocal
8 at the meeting, I was vocal at all the meetings when we
9 had them, and that's one thing I have stressed. Do
10 your job.
11 Nature does things, things do happen
12 beyond our control, but when it is negligence, and at
13 this point willful negligence after the first time we
14 were flooded two years ago and not to adequately
15 present the problem, sandbags, anything at all,
16 nothing, nothing, never in our area.
17 As I said before many times, it was the
18 forgotten section of the city. The last time we were
19 flooded it took a week for the mayor to realize we were
20 flooded there and they had their what you call it there
21 on the corner of Court Street and Albright Avenue on
22 the other side of the bridge. Never realized we were
23 flooded. Nobody did. They referred to our areas as
24 The Plot area.
25 It is not The Plot area. We're not
1 part of The Plot. It's a difficult thing to get
2 through -- my own relatives figured we went unscathed,
3 because The Plot wasn't flooded, never realizing how
4 badly we were hit. So, okay. See you Tuesday, right?
5 Okay. Thank you.
6 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Anyone else?
7 Go ahead.
8 MS. SACHETTI: Our place of business,
9 our store, our shop, we don't do business out of it,
10 but it was burglarized five times in one week. Six
11 times it was foiled, and then about a week ago -- about
12 ten days later, an attempted break-in. Fortunately we
13 got the alarm system put up on second floor. You talk
14 about Green Ridge being so safe? Come on, guys you
15 better start looking into that stuff. Thank you.
16 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mr. Stucker.
17 MR. STUCKER: I live on Providence
18 Square, top of the hill. John Mazda's place, okay, I
19 was a guard down across from the bank with the
20 barricades, and people was going up and down the road
21 when it was flooded, the bridge.
22 A lot of people went down that way, and
23 I went down -- when they had the river, right by two
24 rivers is -- - the leafs and stuff, the brush and
25 stuff, is still in the river underneath the bridge.
1 And they were over by -- they're over
2 by the Lace Company, the workers. So, what happens,
3 they cleaned up the bridge and water and stuff is still
4 there. The Green Ridge bridge and the bridge on --
5 down by that -- what do you call that down by The
6 Flats? Down there there's still brush underneath the
7 bridge, a lot of big trees I've seen, and on Green
8 Ridge, too.
9 And another thing, I cut the grass
10 across the street from me. The grass is pretty high.
11 The city is supposed to do it, so I did it, and I cut
12 between Murphy's Bar on that -- there's a chain link
13 fence. So, I cut the grass on the other side with the
14 weed whacker. The city is supposed to do that and they
15 never did.
16 MS. EVANS: Thank you for doing that.
17 Actually, you know, Jim, a lot of residents of Scranton
18 with whom I speak tell me the same thing, that the city
19 doesn't come out and clear these overgrown abandoned
20 lots and they're taking care of them themselves, and
21 now, you know, they'd like to purchase them since
22 they're maintaining them, and they're having problems
23 with that. So, you had a lot of company. And thank
24 goodness for wonderful citizens like all of you.
25 MR. STUCKER: Well, I'd like to get a
1 few bucks, I don't care what it is. I would. I'm not
2 -- because I've got to pay a dollar's worth of gas.
3 MS. EVANS: I know, I know, but I don't
4 think the city has ever paid the citizens to maintain
5 the abandoned lots. It's kind -- it's done out of the
6 goodness of your heart, Jim.
7 MR. STUCKER: Yeah.
8 MS. GATELLI: There will be a reward
9 for you --
10 MS. EVANS: In heaven.
11 MR. STUCKER: Yeah, yeah. So, the
12 building I live in is pretty good. It's quiet. Right
13 down the street from me next to Murphy's Bar we have a
14 guy down there, he's a color guy, he's smoking pot. I
15 can smell it. I'm not lying. I'm not lying. I can
16 smell it, yeah. I'm not lying. I can -- when I ride
17 my bike up and down --
18 MS. EVANS: Mr. Courtright.
19 MR. STUCKER: I'm not lying. They are.
20 MR. COURTRIGHT: We will tell the
21 police, Jim.
22 MR. STUCKER: I went to the police
23 about it.
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: All right. What did
25 they say?
1 MR. STUCKER: They said they're going
2 to have somebody come over.
3 MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay. Good.
4 MR. STUCKER: All right. Okay.
5 MS. GATELLI: Thanks, Mr. Stucker.
6 Thank you.
7 MR. STUCKER: I got myself a new bike.
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: Oh, that's good, Jim.
9 MR. STUCKER: Yeah, I didn't get my
10 scooter back.
11 MS. EVANS: Oh, you got your scooter?
12 MR. STUCKER: No, no. They told me --
13 the cops told me Gary -- Courtright's got it,
14 Courtright and Pocius.
15 MS. EVANS: Bill, would you give that
16 back, please?
17 MR. STUCKER: Courtright and Pocius got
19 MS. GATELLI: And Pocius?
20 MR. COURTRIGHT: Pocius might. I
22 MR. STUCKER: Yeah. The police is
23 asking me about it again. Bill Courtright has got it.
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: It's gone, Jim. The
25 lady stole it from you, remember?
1 MR. STUCKER: Yeah.
2 MR. COURTRIGHT: You got a bike now.
3 You're good to go. All right.
4 MR. STUCKER: Yeah. All right. Thank
6 MS. GATELLI: Thanks, Mr. Stucker.
7 Anyone else care to speak?
8 MR. SLEDZINSKI: Hi, Jude.
9 MS. GATELLI: Hi. Do we have a
10 trainer? No? I might have to come over?
11 MR. SLEDZINSKI: Bill, can I bring it
12 down, Bud?
13 MR. COURTRIGHT: Go ahead, Chris.
14 MR. SLEDZINSKI: Billy, I got a problem
15 just for you, Bill, no one else. Hyde Park Teener
16 League, their parking lot needs to be paved, Bill.
17 There's big potholes there. Somebody is going to get a
18 flat tire walking down there one night.
19 MR. COURTRIGHT: Who does?
20 MR. SLEDZINSKI: Hyde Park Teener
21 League. They want it paved down there. Will you take
22 care of that for me, Bill?
23 MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay, Chris. You're
25 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Next.
1 MS. KRAKE: Good afternoon, Council.
2 Much earlier we had a caucus about revenue, which is
3 very, very important part of our upcoming budget, and I
4 believe a lot of good issues were raised, and I know
5 Mrs. Gatelli wants to continue it for next week; am I
7 MS. GATELLI: Yes.
8 MS. KRAKE: And we are going to
9 continue talking about how The Single Tax Office could
10 better perform its functions. Well, would you kindly
11 invite Ken McDowell, the tax collector?
12 MS. GATELLI: Sure. Mrs. Garvey, would
13 you do that, please?
14 MS. GARVEY: I will have someone in the
15 office do it, because I won't be here.
16 MS. GATELLI: Oh, okay. Thank you.
17 MS. KRAKE: I'd just would like to
18 mention one thing that we brought up since we had the
19 caucus, but one thing that came up at this caucus is an
20 example of something that's lacking at The Single Tax
21 Office, that no delinquent wage tax has been billed for
22 since 2003.
23 If this is illegal, it's a gross
24 injustice for the people that are paying their wage tax
25 every week.
1 Mr. Narsavage actually also brought up
2 a very good point. When you brought up the fact that
3 you wanted to approach, Mrs. Gatelli and Attorney
4 Minora, the non-profits, he felt that they should come
5 to us.
6 Well, I'd like to take that a step
7 further and say that it should be public, whatever goes
8 -- discourse goes between you and any of the
9 non-profits, I would recommend that that be in a public
11 Obviously however you would have it,
12 there wouldn't necessarily have to be input from the
13 public at large at that time, but I really do recommend
14 it being out in the open.
15 I do have a very big problem with the
16 public speakers being at the end of the meeting. I
17 feel that it simply is wrong.
18 I would hope that what we have to say
19 affects how a Councilperson may vote, or in the example
20 Mr. Laske even just brought up now, perhaps make
21 motions in a timely fashion, and that would be in
22 response to any issues that are raised at this podium.
23 I feel it's chipping away at our rights
24 to not be allowed to speak before anything is voted on
25 or motions may be made.
1 Unfortunately, Mrs. Fanucci has shown
2 by her absence that she does not need to hear what the
3 citizens of Scranton have to say either before she
4 votes or at all, since she hasn't been here for any of
5 this. Thank you.
6 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.
7 MR. GERVASI: Good afternoon, City
8 Council. My name is Dave Gervasi, Scranton
9 Firefighter, homeowner, taxpayer.
10 Just on a light note, what Chris passed
11 out to you obviously is the West Scranton football
12 schedule. He got mad at me before. I put a little L
13 next to when they meet with Scranton High School, so he
14 got a little mad at me there for a moment. I just want
15 to be very brief.
16 MS. GATELLI: We're keeping that bell.
17 Don't even think about it.
18 MR. SLEDZINSKI: That's right.
19 MS. GATELLI: Right, Chrissy?
20 MR. SLEDZINSKI: It's staying where it
21 is, right, Judge.
22 MS. EVANS: No. Mr. McTiernan and I
23 beg to differ about that.
24 MR. GERVASI: Just a brief comment. I
25 heard some of the frustrations of some of the flood
1 victims, and I can't get into any detail. I was on
2 duty that day, actually the two days when everything
4 What I could say, I wasn't at the
5 command center, I don't know how decisions were made.
6 I'm not going to be critical of the city on some of the
7 decisions they made, because I wasn't privy to all the
8 information that was coming in and there might have
9 been a very good reason why the fire department was
10 used the way it was used.
11 All I will say is that from two years
12 ago, our assistant chief, which is our shift commander
13 had a lot of leeway to make decisions, because they
14 were there on the street in the areas that were
15 flooded, at that time especially in The Plot Section,
16 and they had a lot of say.
17 This time it was quite different. We
18 were sent on certain calls, we were told not to go on
19 certain calls, we were told to get back to the fire
20 house in a timely manner.
21 Again, there could be legitimate
22 reasons for that. I'm not sure about it, but what I do
23 know is there were many, many, many frustrated
24 firefighters that were in the firehouses and thought
25 they may be able to do more than we did.
1 MS. EVANS: And, Mr. Gervasi, I can add
2 there were many, many, many frustrated flood victims
3 who were looking for you. They appreciated everything
4 you had done in the past. They've learned to rely on
5 the fire company, because you are the first line of
6 defense where they're concerned in a flood emergency.
7 And I can't tell you how many calls and
8 E-mails I've received asking me this question, Where
9 were our firemen? And I've told them, I knew you
10 wanted to be there, and I don't know what the holdup
12 I did hear earlier, Well, we're not
13 going to do anything until it stops raining, but I know
14 there were things occurring during the rain.
15 And it was a terrible disservice to a
16 lot of people, and I'm not chastising you by any means
17 or any member of the fire department, because I do
18 recognize each and every one of you stood ready to be
19 called out and help people. You just didn't get that
21 MR. GERVASI: Until the second day.
22 MS. EVANS: Uh-huh.
23 MR. GERVASI: Again, I don't want to
24 say what I think happened, but -- because I can't. I
25 don't qualify to say that.
1 All I'm saying to the people is is that
2 -- because I represent the individual firefighters, I
3 know we don't run the fire department and we don't make
4 orders for the fire department, I just want the people
5 to know that if anybody was frustrated on our response,
6 just to assure them that we were ready to go.
7 We don't dispatch ourselves. We cannot
8 dispatch ourselves and we do not run the fire
9 department. We are just the workers, and we felt a
10 little frustrated ourselves.
11 But, again, there could have been a
12 legitimate reason why. We have different ideas, but
13 that's all I want to say. Please don't blame the
14 individual firefighters, because we don't dispatch
15 ourselves. We can only respond to what we're
16 dispatched to.
17 MS. EVANS: Has anyone learned the
18 possibly legitimate reason why? It's over a week now
19 that has transpired, and I still haven't received any
21 MR. GERVASI: Mrs. Evans, I hate to tie
22 this into everything else that's going on between us
23 and this administration. It seems obvious. I mean,
24 you know, there's a lot of conjecture. The same
25 reasons why we're not doing QRS, because why have the
1 firefighters out in public doing good things for people
2 when they're trying to ridicule us every day?
3 Could that be possible? I think so.
4 Can you prove it? No. Do I qualify or I know exactly
5 what happened at the command center and why things were
6 a little different now than they were during the Ivan
7 dispatch? I don't know. I dont know. I can't prove
8 it, so I'm not going to get into any details.
9 I'm just saying as a representative of
10 the individual firefighters, we cannot go unless we're
12 MS. EVANS: Yes. I understand that.
13 MR. GERVASI: Thank you for the
15 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Anyone else?
16 Can I have a motion to adjourn?
17 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
18 MS. EVANS: Second.
19 MS. GATELLI: All in favor?
20 MS. EVANS: Aye.
21 MR. MCTIERNAN: Aye.
22 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
23 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Meeting adjourned.
25 (MEETING WAS ADJOURNED.)
2 C E R T I F I C A T E
4 I hereby certify that the proceedings and
5 evidence are contained fully and accurately in the
6 notes taken by me on the hearing of the above cause and
7 that this copy is a correct transcript of the same
8 to the best of my ability.
LISA M. GRAFF, RMR
12 Official Court Reporter