1


1 SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL

2 SPECIAL MEETING OF COUNCIL

3

4

5

6 Held:

7 Saturday, October 28, 2006

8

9

10 Time:

11 11:00 a.m.

12

13

14 Location:

15 Council Chambers

16 Scranton City Hall

17 340 North Washington Avenue

18 Scranton, Pennsylvania

19

20

21 IN RE: INTERVIEWS FOR VACANT CITY COUNCIL SEAT.

22

23

24 Lisa M. Graff, RMR

25 Court Reporter
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1 CITY OF SCRANTON COUNCIL:

2

3 MS. JUDY GATELLI, COUNCIL PRESIDENT

4

5 MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT, VICE-PRESIDENT

6

7 MS. JANET EVANS

8

9 MS. SHERRY NEALON FANUCCI

10

11 MR. AMIL MINORA, ESQUIRE, SOLICITOR

12

13 MR. NEIL COOLICAN, ASSISTANT CITY CLERK

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15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25
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1 MS. GATELLI: Please stand for the

2 Pledge of Allegiance. Roll call.

3 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.

4 MS. EVANS: Here.

5 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci.

6 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Here.

7 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.

8 MR. COURTRIGHT: Here.

9 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.

10 MS. GATELLI: Here. Dispense with the

11 reading of the minutes. We have called this special

12 meeting to order to conduct interviews for the vacant

13 City Council seat. Each person that is called up will

14 be asked by one -- asked one question by each Council

15 member. They will be given two minutes in which to

16 respond. Attorney Minora will say time when the two

17 minutes is up so that we don't interrupt anyone in the

18 middle of their thoughts.

19 At the end of the questioning period,

20 they will be given two minutes for a closing statement.

21 And the first candidate is Chris Barnes.

22 MR. BOLUS: Mrs. Gatelli, I'd like to

23 address Council for a moment, please.

24 MS. GATELLI: There's no public comment

25 at the meeting, Mr. Bolus.
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1 MR. BOLUS: I understand. We have

2 submitted an application to here, and I would like to

3 ask one simple question, I submitted a resume and I was

4 denied coming here.

5 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Bolus, Mr. Bolus,

6 there is -- you're out of order and there's no --

7 MR. BOLUS: Now, I'd like to know the

8 reason I was denied an interview here, the purpose of

9 it.

10 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Bolus, we're

11 conducting interviews.

12 MR. BOLUS: I understand. And we

13 submitted, as your request, to have an interview before

14 Council, and I'd like to know the reason I was denied

15 that interview whether you accepted it or not.

16 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Barnes, could you

17 step up to the podium, please?

18 MR. MORGAN: I agree.

19 MR. BOLUS: Mrs. Gatelli, could I have

20 that answer?

21 MR. MINORA: Out of order.

22 MR. MORGAN: I agree 100 percent with

23 Mr. Bolus.

24 MS. GATELLI: You're out of order.

25 MR. BOLUS: Okay. So, you won't answer
.

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1 whether --

2 MS. GATELLI: You're out of order. Mr.

3 Barnes --

4 MR. MORGAN: I think the people that

5 applied --

6 MS. GATELLI: Officer, could you please

7 tell them they're out of order?

8 MR. MINORA: Out of order.

9 MR. BOLUS: We're only asking a simple

10 answer, and I don't think anybody on this Council

11 should deny us that reason, whether it's the solicitor

12 --

13 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Barnes, we'd like to

14 welcome you to City Council chambers.

15 MR. BARNES: Thank you, Council.

16 MS. GATELLI: And the first question

17 is, What problems do you see in the neighborhoods and

18 how would you address them?

19 MR. BARNES: The problems that I see in

20 the neighborhoods is basically I think that there's

21 blight, I think that there's -- I think that's really

22 what I see is more an emphasis of blight and of decay

23 physically.

24 I mean, if that's what we're talking

25 about. Are we talking about physically what do I see?
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1 I see a little bit of decay in areas and stuff like

2 that.

3 What I really is families, and what I

4 really see is children, and I think that the blight

5 next to that is what's the most uncomfortable to me,

6 and I think that we -- you know, I think that just

7 looking more into what we can do physically for the

8 neighborhoods I think will help the way our children

9 and our families feel in those neighborhoods.

10 But that's what I see. I just see a

11 little bit of blight a little bit of destruction,

12 erosion, you know, but that's what I see.

13 But what I really see is I see

14 families, I see husbands, wives and children in the

15 neighborhoods, which is something I haven't seen in a

16 long time.

17 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mr.

18 Courtright.

19 MR. COURTRIGHT: What best qualifies

20 you for this position?

21 MR. BARNES: Mr. Courtright, I think

22 what best qualifies me for this position is that

23 whatever I've done with my life, the principles that

24 I've used in all of the fields that I've worked in is

25 to -- what I've been trained to do is to find the most
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1 educated and well-versed people on the subject, take

2 the time to sit down with those people and review and

3 research and basically suck the wisdom out of them of

4 what they know, their experience and their strength in

5 that area.

6 I've been able to develop the ability

7 to when asked a question to pause, reflect, and before

8 I answer say, Let me get back to you on that and let me

9 go do the research and then I can come back with what

10 an expert says, what somebody in the community says or

11 in the field says, and then I can make my choice based

12 on that before I respond without the correct

13 information, you know, before I say what I think.

14 Because what I think and what really is

15 are going to be two different things, and what I need

16 to do is ask somebody who knows it, and sit down, take

17 the time and really research it and then come back with

18 a solid answer that I feel comfortable with, that I

19 know I can stand behind. Whether it's right or wrong,

20 I can stand behind it, and whether it's the lesser of

21 two evils. This is why I say this. I want to be able

22 to explain why I made the decision I made, why I made

23 the choice I've made, and that's what I've always done

24 with every area of my life.

25 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you.
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1 MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Evans.

2 MS. EVANS: Yes. The mayor has

3 borrowed $208 million in long-term debt, he has

4 continued to borrow money each year beginning in 2003,

5 he has increased his annual deficit to currently $7

6 million, do you support such about borrowing, why or

7 why not, what cuts would you proposed to the city's

8 operating budget and what new revenue sources would you

9 recommend?

10 MR. BARNES: Do I support the mayor's

11 choices? Well, again, first of all, based on what I

12 just said, what I would do is look at what everything

13 is there.

14 I mean, obviously from what I read,

15 there's a $7 million and a there's a $5 million

16 problem, and there's no money.

17 And while you're going to make cuts,

18 which I think is appropriate, there's still the problem

19 with no money. So, I think that the solution is going

20 to be two-fold, it's going to be cuts and there's going

21 to have to be a borrow. There's going to have to be a

22 borrow while the cuts are being made, because while the

23 cuts are being made, that still means there's no money

24 coming in.

25 And, you know, I have businesses. I
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1 mean, when there's no money coming in and I'm making

2 cuts, I'm still not paying my rent. You know, so

3 there's going to have to be some kind of -- I do

4 believe that minimal borrowing to cover what's owed,

5 minimal borrowing of what can hold you while you make

6 cuts is a very good idea, especially if it's a good

7 loan, it's a good -- it's bonded, it's insured.

8 But I don't think that -- I don't think

9 I would -- I certainly wouldn't borrow $44 million. I

10 would look at that seven and that five and I'd take

11 care of that first and then I'd look for a little more

12 while you're taking the loan for money to cover some of

13 the expenses that reoccur while severe cuts are being

14 made.

15 It's the scales of justice. You have

16 to take -- you have to take a way. You have to borrow

17 and you have to cut. And eventually that's going to

18 come up, you're going to break even, especially with

19 the emphasis --

20 MR. MINORA: Time. We are giving two

21 minutes. I'm sorry. That was two minutes.

22 MR. BARNES: Thank you.

23 MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Fanucci.

24 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: My question's,

25 Describe the City of Scranton to someone from out of
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1 town.

2 MR. BARNES: Easy. The City of

3 Scranton is one of the last cities in America where

4 families stay together, where a spiritual aspect is

5 inbred in our children, Scranton is a city where my

6 parents are buried, Scranton is a city of hope,

7 Scranton is a city that's an example to the rest of the

8 cities of this country of how we can come back. We're

9 old school. We're salt to the earth. It's a great

10 city. I love it, and that's why I moved back here.

11 I moved back here because this is where

12 I want to marry, this is where I want to raise my

13 children, because this is a city that's based on

14 community, and I want to be part of that community and

15 I want to see this community grow, and I know it will.

16 I have all the faith in the world that

17 it will, because I love this city. It's a great city,

18 it's a fun city, and we're the best people in the

19 world. I know, I've been around.

20 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. You have two

21 minutes to present a closing argument.

22 MR. BARNES: All I'd like to say is

23 that, you know, I came back here to the city, and

24 people were coming to me and saying, What do you think?

25 I said, I think it's great. You think we're going to
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1 make it? I said, I know we're going to make it, you

2 know.

3 And there's a situation here where

4 there's a seat vacant. I'm not a politician, I don't

5 want to be a politician. I have no political ties

6 absolutely none whatsoever. I want to be of maximum

7 service wherever I go in all areas of my life.

8 And if right now this city needs

9 somebody, a civil servant, needs somebody to come in

10 here and address the needs that this city has right

11 now, I'm here for that, I have the time, you know. I

12 have the time and I have the commitment, and I'll do

13 what's needed and what's right.

14 You know, I'm not here for a future in

15 politics, I'm not here to support anybody's agenda.

16 I'm here to help you four move forward with what's

17 pressing this city right now objectively, intelligently

18 and spiritually. What do we need to do? Let's just do

19 it.

20 All I offer is solution. That's what I

21 base my life on. Here's the problem, let's find the

22 solution. What's the solution? The next right thing.

23 And then what? The next right thing. And then what?

24 The next right thing.

25 And if you people want help with that,
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1 I'll be the first one in and the last one to leave.

2 That's all I have to say. Thank you for your time.

3 MS. GATELLI: Thank you very much.

4 George Burns.

5 MR. BOLUS: Mrs. Gatelli, I'd like to

6 make one statement, and I'm going to leave your forum

7 here.

8 MS. GATELLI: You're out of order.

9 You're out of order. You're out of order. These are

10 Interviews. There's no public comment.

11 MR. BOLUS: We submitted a resume --

12 okay. Thank you. But you violated my civil rights and

13 I want to make that an issue and put it on record.

14 Thank you.

15 MS. GATELLI: Step up, Mr. Burns.

16 MR. MORGAN: I would like to second

17 that, Mrs. Gatelli. You know something, I did a letter

18 for consideration, and I would like --

19 MS. GATELLI: Come up, Mr. Burns. Mr.

20 Morgan, you're out of order. Thank you, Mr. Burns.

21 The first question will be -- Mr. Morgan, you're out of

22 order.

23 MR. MORGAN: Everybody's out of order

24 here.

25 MS. GATELLI: Yes, they are, and they
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1 usually are. Officer, could you please? We're trying

2 to conduct professional interviews. This is a very

3 serious day for the city. Mr. Burns, welcome.

4 MR. BURNS: Good morning.

5 MR. MINORA: If I may, because I didn't

6 tell -- I sort of caught Mr. Barnes off guard. You're

7 going to get two minutes for each question and two

8 minutes to close, have a closing statement.

9 At the end of two minutes, I'm just

10 going to say time, and I don't want to appear rude, so

11 I just want to let you know.

12 MR. BURNS: Understood. Thank you.

13 MS. GATELLI: Okay, Mr. Burns? The

14 first question is, What problems do you see in the

15 neighborhoods and how would you address them?

16 MR. BURNS: What I see basically in the

17 majority of the neighborhoods is a lack of

18 communications within the neighborhoods. I don't

19 believe that the people there actually know where to go

20 or have a place to go when they have problems,

21 especially someone they can trust.

22 I think that needs to be

23 established within the neighborhoods, a place where the

24 people can go, like the old neighborhood associations,

25 to go there and voice their opinions and then have that
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1 opinion brought to the city.

2 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mr.

3 Courtright.

4 MR. COURTRIGHT: What best qualifies

5 you for this position?

6 MR. BURNS: I don't have any of the

7 qualifications that some of the other gentlemen that

8 are applying for this position do, but what I do have

9 is that I'm a concerned citizen of the city. I've been

10 here for 51 years, which is quite a long time. I've

11 seen a lot of things happen in the city, a lot of good

12 things, a lot of bad things.

13 What qualifies me is the fact that I'm

14 concerned. I'm not owned by anyone. People that know

15 me know that I'm a man of my word, and I don't go back

16 on my word. I do the things that I need to do for

17 myself and the people who I'm concerned about.

18 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you.

19 MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Evans.

20 MS. EVANS: The mayor has borrowed $208

21 million in long-term debt, he has continued to borrow

22 money each year beginning in 2003, he has increased his

23 annual deficit to currently $7 million, do you support

24 such borrowing, why or why not, what cuts would you

25 proposed to the city's operating budget and what new
.

15


1 revenue sources would you recommend?

2 MR. BURNS: That's a difficult

3 question. Do I support more borrowing? No. Why? We

4 can't afford it. There's not one person here that's

5 going to be here for a long period of time that's going

6 to be able to support that stress. We don't have the

7 tax structure or the tax base for it.

8 There are no businesses here to support

9 it with -- not only that, the individuals who need to

10 help pay this bill don't have the jobs to do it with.

11 It just cannot be done, in my opinion, at this

12 particular time.

13 There has to be another way, and I'm

14 sure that there is. This isn't the only city that's

15 ever been in trouble like this before. There are other

16 processes that can be done, and we need to take efforts

17 to find it.

18 What budgets would I cut? I'd have to

19 take a very serious look at that, because there are

20 lives that are going to be affected when that happens.

21 If the people of this city can afford

22 that stress, then that's what we need to do, but if

23 not, then we have to find other ways.

24 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mrs. Fanucci.

25 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: I'd like you to
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1 describe the City of Scranton to someone from out of

2 town.

3 MR. BURNS: That would be kind of

4 biased. I know a lot of people that have left here and

5 they've left because they say there's nothing here and

6 there's nothing to do, the place is falling apart,

7 those kinds of things.

8 But if I was to tell somebody

9 something, one of the things I would say to them is

10 that, in my experience, you can walk down the streets

11 of this city, and in most cases, I don't care what

12 color you are, what you look like, people, if they look

13 you eye to eye, will say good morning to you. That's a

14 fact. If you don't believe it, just go out and try it.

15 There's a lot of potential here. There

16 are a lot of good hardworking people here. In the 51

17 years I've been here, I know that. There's potential

18 here. There are good people here, there are good

19 processes here. The things we need to do is to make

20 those things come out.

21 What would I say to them? I'd say,

22 Come here and try it. Make your own and do your own

23 opinion. Do your own research. Don't let anyone force

24 you to understand what the city is about.

25 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Now you have
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1 two minutes for closing statements.

2 MR. BURNS: This was a last-minute

3 decision for me. I've sat and I've watched Channel 61

4 and I've seen what you gentlemen and ladies do, I've

5 talked to some people who sat in those seats. What in

6 my right mind would I want to do that for? Because you

7 have to make the sacrifices that are needed to patch

8 the holes and stop the bleeding in this city.

9 There are people who are sitting up

10 there right now who I believe are really concerned.

11 There are people out here in this audience who I know

12 are concerned about what's going to happen in this

13 city.

14 It doesn't matter whether you sit there

15 or whether you sit here. Everyone is concerned. The

16 fact of the matter is is that you have to put heads in

17 positions to make the tough decisions to make things

18 happen, to do the right things.

19 I think that I have the opportunity and

20 the ability to do just that. Not having the experience

21 that some of the other gentlemen and ladies that sit on

22 that and behind that desk right now have? No, I don't

23 have it, but then again, I don't believe any one of you

24 did when you first started either. It's a learning

25 process.
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1 And that's why I want to sit there.

2 That's why I want to get that seat. I believe I can do

3 the same things that you guys are trying to do and make

4 a difference in this city.

5 MS. GATELLI: Thank you very much.

6 Joseph Cardamone.

7 MR. CARDAMONE: Good morning.

8 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Cardamone, I'd like

9 to explain the format to you. Each Council member will

10 ask you a question, you'll have two minutes to answer,

11 and then at the end you'll have two minutes to give

12 some closing statements.

13 The first question is, What problems do

14 you see in the neighborhoods and how would you address

15 them?

16 MR. CARDAMONE: It appears in the past

17 few years crime is up in certain sections of the

18 neighborhoods. I think every neighborhood is affected

19 to a certain extent.

20 I do believe that it has to do with the

21 fact that there's a limited amount of law enforcement

22 there, that we need -- we need to take a better look at

23 exactly where and how the police department is

24 deploying the officers and at what times they are being

25 deployed.
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1 I think on the negative side, that's my

2 biggest concern. On the positive side in the

3 neighborhoods, I have seen in the past 15 years just in

4 the section that I live in in The Plot in Green Ridge,

5 I've seen some really positive things happening as far

6 as people putting money back into their property,

7 properties not being on the market for a long period of

8 time and reinvesting families, reinvesting in the

9 neighborhood. So, on the positive and the negative,

10 those are the two things I see.

11 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mr.

12 Courtright.

13 MR. COURTRIGHT: Joe, what best

14 qualifies you for this position?

15 MR. CARDAMONE: I have to look at -- I

16 have to put out there for you to review is my

17 experience in government.

18 I have been a town manager for the

19 Borough of Olyphant for the Township of Scott and for

20 the Township of Coolbaugh, along with during the

21 Connor's Administration, I was the Director of

22 Community Development, and I think -- I really believe

23 that this position that you're looking to fill,

24 although it's not rocket science, as I've learned in

25 government, I do really strongly believe, just like if
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1 you were looking to fill a position for somebody that

2 was a doctor or a CPA, that you need to look at someone

3 that has an education in public administration with a

4 political science background with also a minor in

5 education and the experience of five years in public

6 service as a town manager and as a director, and that's

7 what brings me here.

8 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you, Joe.

9 MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Evans.

10 MS. EVANS: The mayor has borrowed $208

11 million in long-term debt, he has continued to borrow

12 money each year beginning in 2003, he has increased his

13 annual deficit to currently $7 million, do you support

14 such borrowing, why or why not, what cuts would you

15 propose to the city's operating budget, and what new

16 revenue sources would you recommend?

17 MR. CARDAMONE: There's no doubt the

18 financial condition of the city is in dire straits.

19 Some drastic measures have to be made, and I will just

20 simply say for the fact that there's been so much

21 talked about, that this city at this point in time and

22 this budget that's coming up right now, one major thing

23 needs to happen, and it has to start with the employees

24 of the city.

25 The employees, they're exempt and
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1 non-exempt according to the Home Rule Charter. I want

2 to just address the non -- I want to address the exempt

3 employees, political appointments of the

4 administration, that this budget -- those positions and

5 those salaries need to be cut in half, they need to be

6 cut in half.

7 You have to put a budget out there for

8 the public to review. If the mayor doesn't do it and

9 you reject his budget, the budget you put there, I

10 really strongly recommend that that's what has to

11 happen on the non-exempt side.

12 The exempt side, which are the unions,

13 it's a different story. Last but not least, Council,

14 if you are taking that position to do that, you have to

15 carry the load and you have to zero your line out on

16 your budget, no pay for City Council. You have to take

17 the point. And the reason I say that is I --

18 MR. MINORA: I'm sorry, Mr. Cardamone.

19 MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Fanucci.

20 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: I'd like you to

21 describe the City of Scranton to someone from out of

22 town.

23 MR. CARDAMONE: Has been, is now and I

24 hope in the future a growing cultural diverse

25 community. Diversity has changed the scope of the --
.

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1 the landscape has changed on the diversity, but the

2 reason they -- that we are that type of community and

3 have been going back from when the city was founded in

4 1842, is that we are in a great location. We are on

5 the outskirts of the Poconos and we're very close to

6 two of the best cities in the country, New York and

7 Philadelphia.

8 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Now you can

9 have your two minutes.

10 MR. CARDAMONE: I first want to thank

11 you for allowing me to come here with the amount of

12 resumes that you received, and just on the list of

13 people that you're interviewing today, I feel honored

14 to be a part of it, and I really appreciate that.

15 I would simply say that if you -- if

16 I'm fortunate to be chosen and sit in that, as what's

17 become known as the breezeway in that seat, I have no

18 desire, and I'll make that statement right now, at the

19 end of next year to carry on any further in political

20 office. Guaranteed, I will not run for office. That's

21 not why I'm here.

22 I'm here to bring my experience, my

23 education and my community service to you and to be

24 someone that will be able -- you will be able to bounce

25 things off of me and hopefully I will be able to be a
.

23


1 positive effect for you on it.

2 So, I have no desire. And I think, and

3 I stand here in closing that by bringing that there, I

4 really don't think any of you four can make that

5 statement right now.

6 I think you might be able to say you

7 want to leave the door open, you don't want to -- your

8 options are wide open, whether you're going to run

9 again or not, if you're asked that, I think that's what

10 your position will be right now today, that you're not

11 closing any doors on your political future. There's no

12 political future here.

13 I do not need this position long-term,

14 but I'm here today to offer what I think will be a

15 positive quality decision making problem solving

16 person.

17 MS. GATELLI: Thank you very much.

18 MR. CARDAMONE: Thank you.

19 MS. GATELLI: Mr. DiBileo, welcome.

20 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you. Thanks for

21 the opportunity to be here.

22 MS. GATELLI: The format today will be

23 each Council member will ask one question. You will be

24 given two minutes in which to answer. Attorney Minora

25 will say times up when the two minutes is up.
.

24


1 MR. DIBILEO: Okay.

2 MS. GATELLI: And then you'll have two

3 minutes to have some closing remarks.

4 The first question is, What problems do

5 you see in the neighborhoods and how would you address

6 them?

7 MR. DIBILEO: Well, neighborhoods is

8 what makes up our great city, and I think that we need

9 to have good neighborhoods so that we can attract

10 people new to our city, because they live in the

11 neighborhoods. Downtown is very important, also, but

12 neighborhoods are just as important, I think, as the

13 downtown.

14 What we see now is blight situations,

15 we see some crime n our neighborhoods. I think we need

16 to crack down on crime as best we can to combat blight

17 as best we can, make the neighborhoods invest money in

18 the neighborhoods so that they are as liveable as

19 possible to be able to attract people to our city and

20 enjoy the downtown, along with the neighborhood they

21 live in.

22 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mr.

23 Courtright.

24 MR. COURTRIGHT: What best qualifies

25 you for this position?
.

25


1 MR. DIBILEO: Well, I hate saying I'm

2 experienced, but I have sat here before, and I think

3 that there wouldn't really be much of a learning curve

4 with my taking the open seat.

5 I was Vice President of City Council

6 for two years, I was President of City Council for two

7 years, I understand the financial difficulties that

8 we're experiencing, I have experience with budgets and

9 knowledge of the expenses in the various departments

10 within those budgets.

11 And because I think our financial

12 situation is probably in the forefront right now, I

13 believe that I can delve right into that.

14 I have experience at amending budgets

15 and working on budgets, and I think that I'll be able

16 to help in that area.

17 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you.

18 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mrs. Evans.

19 MS. EVANS: The mayor has borrowed $208

20 million in long-term debt, he has continued to borrow

21 money each year beginning in 2003, he has increased his

22 annual deficit to currently $7 million, do you support

23 such borrowing, why or why not, what cuts would you

24 propose to the city's operating budget, and what new

25 revenue sources would you recommend?
.

26


1 MR. DIBILEO: Well, I think that any

2 time you borrow money to balance future budgets, it's

3 not a good idea and not realistic. Was your question,

4 Mrs. Evans, would I have supported the $44 million

5 request?

6 MS. EVANS: Yes. Do you support such

7 borrowing, why or why not?

8 MR. DIBILEO: I would not support

9 borrowing to pay future -- to balance future budgets.

10 I just think that that does not allow for someone to

11 need to tighten their belt, it doesn't help in that

12 area.

13 So, I think that without question, we

14 need to reduce expenses in the city, and, you know, we

15 need to borrow as little as possible.

16 Obviously, you know, we can't go

17 bankrupt, but we want to do the best we can with

18 reducing expenses, bringing in new sources of revenue.

19 On that question, I would say that we

20 need to investigate the commuter tax which was in force

21 for a short period of time many years ago. We're all

22 in this together. We need to look at that.

23 I think that we need to look at the

24 possibility of an entertainment tax. I think we need

25 to look at the possibility and see how financially
.

27


1 sound an ambulance service could be.

2 Now, one way to help determine that, I

3 think, is to look at the quick response system,

4 something that came up while I was a member of City

5 Council, and that was going to be a free of charge

6 service by the fire department to be called when a 911

7 emergency call went into the Comm Center.

8 So, I think that we can look at that

9 and see how effective that can be. I think that can

10 literally save lives. But if an ambulance service

11 could earn --

12 MR. MINORA: Excuse me. That's two

13 minutes.

14 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you.

15 MS. EVANS: Thank you.

16 MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Fanucci.

17 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: I'd like you to

18 describe the City of Scranton to someone from out of

19 town.

20 MR. DIBILEO: The City of Scranton, I

21 would say, you know, is my home. I've only lived away

22 from the City of Scranton while I was away at college.

23 And I love the city. I think the city is full of

24 people that have heart and that care about each other

25 and that know each other, and a city that is never
.

28


1 going to give up fighting.

2 And, yes, we have our troubles, but

3 you'll never find a Scrantonian that is willing to give

4 up. We're going to fight, and you represent the people

5 in this city. And just like you, people at home care

6 about their city, and we're always going to maintain

7 the ability to survive, no matter what our financial

8 woes might be.

9 But I think it's a city that people

10 have to experience and live here, and I think it's

11 unlike anywhere else in the United States.

12 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Now you have

13 two minutes.

14 MR. DIBILEO: Well, again, I appreciate

15 opportunity to be here. I would appreciate any

16 consideration that you can give me for filling the open

17 seat.

18 And as you might know, I was here for

19 four years and I gave up my seat to make a run for the

20 mayor's job, and I was proud to have received over

21 11,000 votes, grateful for the fact that three of you

22 actually endorsed my candidacy, but, again, I

23 understand the financial problems that we're

24 experiencing, and I have knowledge of the various

25 expenses within the budget, and I just think that the
.

29


1 first course of business, and it happens to be budget

2 season, would be to delve right into that budget and to

3 try to cut back on expenses as best we can and explore

4 as many opportunities for new revenue that we can.

5 I just would like you to know that I

6 have no personal or political vendettas or issues. I

7 will approach every issue with an open mind, and I'll

8 always do what I feel is best for our great city and

9 its citizens, and I'll do that along with you.

10 I realize that communication is very,

11 very important. And during my time on Council,

12 everyone communicated, everyone knew where to go for

13 answers, and we always did what's best for the city,

14 and I'll continue to always do what's best for this

15 great city and its citizens.

16 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.

17 MR. DIBILEO: Thank you very much. I

18 appreciate it.

19 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Lynott.

20 MR. LYNOTT: Yes, good morning, members

21 of Council.

22 MS. GATELLI: The format will be each

23 Council member will ask one question, you'll have two

24 minutes in which to respond, Attorney Minora will tell

25 you when the two minutes are up, and then you will have
.

30


1 two minutes at the end for your closing statements.

2 The first question is, What problems do

3 you see in the neighborhoods and how would you address

4 them?

5 MR. LYNOTT: The problems in the

6 neighborhood that I see personally and professionally,

7 because I'm with the District Attorney's Office, are

8 obviously crime, litter or abandonment of furniture,

9 appliance issue, blight.

10 I still see burnt out properties in

11 North Scranton, as well as South Scranton. There's a

12 burnt out property on River Street that has a for sale

13 sign on it. I don't believe that should even occur.

14 It should be torn down within 30 days of the fire, or

15 if it's being investigated for some reason, it could

16 remain standing.

17 But once an investigation or whatever

18 is over, it should be torn down. But some of these

19 properties are standing for months, if not years, and

20 that's a major safety concern for the neighbors,

21 children, and the overall property value of everybody

22 in that area.

23 Litter throughout the city, as well as

24 the neighborhoods I feel, it's a pet peeve of mine, is

25 a major problem. And how you address that? I don't
.

31


1 know. Can you cite everybody that you find? You can

2 attempt, but, again, enforcing all these ordinances

3 that do exist is difficult, and catching the people

4 that do it is difficult, but complaints from neighbors

5 and so forth should be addressed. Those are the major

6 concerns of myself that I see in the neighborhoods.

7 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mr.

8 Courtright.

9 MR. COURTRIGHT: What best qualifies

10 you for this position?

11 MR. LYNOTT: What best qualifies me?

12 I'm hardworking, I'll be honest, I'll be fair, and I

13 don't know about the rest of the candidates, I have no

14 interest in running again.

15 I will serve out the 14 months that are

16 left on this position, I will work hard at it. There's

17 tough decisions to be made, but I will not run again

18 next May, when the election comes up. I will serve to

19 December, if selected.

20 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mrs. Evans.

21 MS. EVANS: The mayor has borrowed $208

22 million in long-term debt, he has continued to borrow

23 money each year beginning in 2003, he has increased his

24 annual deficit to currently $7 million, do you support

25 such borrowing, why or why not, what cuts would you
.

32


1 propose to the city's operating budget and what new

2 revenue sources would you recommend?

3 MR. LYNOTT: First of all, I do not

4 support the massive amount of borrowing, however, we do

5 need alternatives.

6 My solutions or recommendations would

7 be, A, to increase revenue, implement some type of tax

8 on commuters. Now, I was warned by my wife not to

9 mention that, it could be a dangerous topic, but I

10 don't know where else you're going to find revenue.

11 You can try other options, but you

12 cannot tax the residents of Scranton any more. There's

13 enough on their backs as it is, the wage tax, and other

14 property taxes, I don't see that as an option for this

15 Council or for the mayor. I think in that regard, the

16 city government has failed the people of Scranton.

17 On the other end, if you're not

18 interested in raising revenue that way, obviously you

19 have to cut spending. What that entails, I don't know

20 what the budgets are for the different departments and

21 what's involved, but you're going to have to take a

22 hard look and a hard stance and you're going to have to

23 make across the board cuts to save that money, whatever

24 the figure is you have to get to, and that's my

25 position.
.

33


1 You can either raise revenue or cut

2 spending, but otherwise based upon the actions of

3 Thursday night, borrowing is not an option at that

4 amount. You have to move forward, and as part of the

5 Council, I would be involved in that, and that's where

6 I would stand.

7 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mrs. Fanucci.

8 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: I'd like you to

9 describe the City of Scranton to someone from out of

10 town.

11 MR. LYNOTT: The City of Scranton, and

12 I thought about this last evening, is somewhere where

13 you can go to anywhere in the country and run into

14 somebody else who knows of Scranton and who thinks

15 highly of Scranton.

16 There isn't anywhere I've ever gone on

17 vacation or business or whatever that I haven't run

18 into somebody or when I was away at school, and it's

19 just a down-home-type of community, it's hardworking,

20 it's a little political, but it's a great place to

21 live.

22 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Now you have

23 two minutes.

24 MR. LYNOTT: Thank you, Council. And,

25 again, thank you for having me this morning along with
.

34


1 the other candidates. It's been interesting to meet

2 everybody, and I think you have a great set of options

3 to chose from.

4 MS. GATELLI: Karl, wait until someone

5 finds their cell phone. I'm sorry. You can start

6 over. Is it off? Go ahead. Sorry, Honey. Start

7 over.

8 MR. LYNOTT: Again, I just want --

9 MS. GATELLI: Can everyone please turn

10 off their cell phones? Thank you. I'm very sorry.

11 MR. LYNOTT: That's quite all right.

12 The candidates, again, are very qualified to me it

13 appears. I just hope you do a fair job in the

14 selection process, which I know you will. And it's a

15 hard position that somebody is going to be coming into.

16 For myself, I would say don't pick me

17 if you think I'm going to go one or another, if I'm

18 going to swing the majority one way or another. I'm

19 going to vote what I feel is right. I've told you

20 pretty much where I stand on a couple of issues. So,

21 if that's why you're selecting me, please do not.

22 Select me because I'll do the job for

23 14 months, I'll make some tough decisions for you, and

24 I have a vested interest because my family is here, my

25 wife and children live here, my mom and dad still live
.

35


1 here, I have a couple brothers that still live here, my

2 in-laws are here.

3 Scranton is a great place to live, but

4 unfortunately many people of my age group have left.

5 Many members of my family have left. I don't want to

6 see that happen. That's why I stayed, and that's why

7 I'm here today.

8 Again, I have no interest in running

9 again. I want to try and help out the city as best I

10 can. This seems to be a great opportunity. It's a hot

11 seat that I'm walking into, if I'm selected, but I feel

12 I'm ready to serve. Thank you.

13 MS. GATELLI: Thank you very much. Mr.

14 McCafferty, the format for today is each Council member

15 will ask you a question, you will have two minutes in

16 which to answer, Attorney Minora will tell you when the

17 time is up, and afterwards you will have two minutes

18 for some closing statements.

19 And the first question is, What

20 problems do you see in the neighborhoods and how would

21 you address them?

22 MR. MCCAFFERTY: I think our first

23 problems in the neighborhood and the concerns we're

24 dealing with in my neighborhood as it is is blight. We

25 had some problems with some residents that just aren't
.

36


1 keeping their properties up. It's decreasing the value

2 of our homes, and it's making it unsafe for some of our

3 neighbors.

4 I live in a primarily elderly

5 neighborhood, and, you know, they're unsure to sit on

6 their porch at night, they're unsure coming back and

7 forth to the store, so I think we need to, you know, an

8 increase in some bike cops and some beat cops that

9 would help the situation.

10 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mr.

11 Courtright.

12 MR. COURTRIGHT: What best qualifies

13 you for this position?

14 MR. MCCAFFERTY: In my job, I work

15 service work for a company here in the city, I work

16 every part of the city I deal with residents, I deal

17 with landlords, business owners, professional people,

18 and I get to talk to them on a daily basis, I hear

19 their problems, I hear their gripes, I hear them saying

20 what is best for the city and where we should go and

21 what's wrong with the city, so I think just in my

22 experience of being able on a daily basis to talk with

23 the residents of this city, I think that is a plus for

24 myself.

25 As far as doing this job for the City
.

37


1 of Scranton, I think I am a person who is capable of

2 working with anybody, Council members, the

3 administration, I'm able to agree with some of you one

4 minute, disagree with you the next minute, and walk

5 away friends. I think that's a personality that I

6 have, and I think that would be a great asset to this

7 seat on Council.

8 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you.

9 MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Evans.

10 MS. EVANS: The mayor has borrowed $208

11 million in long-term debt, he has continued to borrow

12 money each year beginning in 2003, he has increased his

13 annual deficit to currently $7 million, do you support

14 such borrowing, why or why not, what cuts would you

15 propose to the city's operating budget, and what new

16 revenue sources would you recommend?

17 MR. COURTRIGHT: I do not support any

18 more borrowing for the city. I think we need to put a

19 stop to it, and I realize we do have a problem this

20 year that you're going to have to fill a gap, and that

21 may be done with some borrowing, so through that point

22 I think we would have to look at it to get through this

23 year.

24 And as for a budget for next year, I

25 believe we have to take a stance and start making some
.

38


1 cuts, some cuts right off the bat.

2 I agree with the mayor at one point, I

3 think some of the increased salaries that he had, he

4 had to increase them to bring in some people that are

5 well qualified for the jobs.

6 What I don't disagree is giving them an

7 increase in pay and then bringing in consulting firms

8 to do their jobs for them. I think we either have to

9 cut one, start cutting their pay back or cutting down

10 on the consulting companies that are dealing with the

11 city.

12 Some other revenues items that we need,

13 again, what's been talked about here, we need to, I

14 think, approach -- I think at administration should

15 take the lead and approach the non-profit and the KOZs

16 to start bringing some money back into the city.

17 MS. EVANS: Thank you.

18 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mrs. Fanucci.

19 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: I would like you

20 to describe the City of Scranton to someone from out of

21 town.

22 MR. MCCAFFERTY: It's a growing city.

23 It's a city that I see that it has a great future. It

24 starts with our park system, our school system, I think

25 are second to none.
.

39


1 We have to take a look at the growing

2 -- what is happening here in the city, businesses that

3 are looking to come into our city and to our

4 neighborhoods.

5 North Scranton Neighborhood just had

6 some great work done on Providence Square, I would like

7 to see that taking place over in South Scranton to see

8 our areas built up there.

9 Some other things that need to be

10 addressed if you're coming into the city is just future

11 growth. I think we have a big announcement coming next

12 week of some growth coming into the city. I think

13 we're heading in the right direction as far as we're

14 going. I think we just have to curtail our finances a

15 little bit and get a little bit better on that.

16 MS. GATELLI: And now you have two

17 minutes.

18 MR. MCCAFFERTY: I want to thank you

19 for the opportunity to come here today. I think it's a

20 privilege to even be entertained here today for an open

21 seat on City Council.

22 I think what we're looking for today on

23 City Council is someone who can work both ways here.

24 You are going to need someone that's going to work with

25 City Council, work with the administration.
.

40


1 I don't -- as some of you know, I ran

2 as an independent candidate a few years ago, because I

3 didn't care for what was happening when a vacant seat

4 was empty. I had no problems with the person they gave

5 it to, I just didn't care for the way it went about.

6 This is a more Democratic process. I

7 like to see the people coming in and being interviewed

8 for the position.

9 But as far as I'm concerned, I think I

10 can work with each and every one of you, I can work

11 with the administration. I have, again, like I said

12 before, an uncanny way of working with you one minute

13 and disagreeing with you and turning around and working

14 with you the next minute on another project.

15 So, I appreciate your time today. I

16 thank you very much. And good luck in choosing whoever

17 you choose. Thank you very much.

18 MS. GATELLI: Thank you very much.

19 We're halfway through the list of candidates, and we're

20 going to take a five-minute recess.

21 (RECESS WAS TAKEN.)

22 MS. GATELLI: We'll resume the meeting

23 at this time. Mr. McGoff, the format for today is each

24 Council member will ask you a question, you'll have two

25 minutes in which to respond, and then afterwards you
.

41


1 can have two minutes for some closing remarks.

2 The first question is, What problems do

3 you see in the neighborhoods and how would you address

4 them?

5 MR. MCGOFF: I think that it's maybe a

6 complex problem, it's not a single one, but I think the

7 biggest problem that I see is the urban blight that

8 exists.

9 So many houses that have been in

10 disrepair, left abandoned throughout, you know, at

11 least my neighborhood, and I think we need to do

12 something to re-establish neighborhoods and put people

13 into these houses that will have respect for the

14 property, respect for the neighborhood and help rebuild

15 the community.

16 I, as I said, I think that it's kind of

17 a multitude of problems involved there. I think one

18 thing that maybe we can look at, and I don't know if

19 it's feasible, but I think maybe the city should take

20 on some responsibility of buying or taking over some of

21 these properties, refurbishing through the Scranton,

22 you know, through The Housing Authority with local

23 contractors to do the refurbishing and then offer these

24 houses, once they're done, put them in the hands of the

25 Housing Authority for resale under, you know, whatever
.

42


1 guidelines would be established for first-time buyers,

2 for, you know, people looking to purchase a property.

3 I think it also helps with the problem

4 of kind of absentee landlords, which I think is also

5 involved in that, take the properties out of their

6 hands and put them in the hands of the city.

7 And once these properties are then put

8 in the hands of people who have the opportunity to buy

9 them, rent with an opportunity to buy, that perhaps --

10 that perhaps they would have respect for these

11 properties, they would look to keep them up and that

12 the neighborhoods would, you know, profit from it, and

13 on top of that, maybe take the neighborhood

14 associations and make them kind of the watchdog of

15 these properties, give them some kind of say, not say

16 in who gets them, but at least once they're -- somebody

17 is living in them, you know, have the neighborhood

18 associations as a way of monitoring.

19 MR. MINORA: Excuse me, Mr. McGoff.

20 I'm sorry. We didn't tell you. My fault. We didn't

21 tell you the format, but at two minutes, I'm going to

22 call your time for each question, and then you'll have

23 two at the end, and I apologize.

24 MR. MCGOFF: I was done.

25 MR. MINORA: I don't want to appear
.

43


1 rude, I just wanted to explain.

2 MR. MCGOFF: Okay. I'm done.

3 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mr.

4 Courtright.

5 MR. COURTRIGHT: What best qualifies

6 you for this position?

7 MR. MCGOFF: I think what best

8 qualifies me, I'm a lifelong resident of the City of

9 Scranton, I have a stake in the City of Scranton, I was

10 raised here, my family's been raised here, and I would

11 like to see the city continue to progress, I would like

12 it to be a place for my children and grandchildren to

13 live in the same way in which I did.

14 I think I have a stake, and if that

15 qualifies me, I think that does qualify anybody who has

16 a real legitimate concern for the welfare of the city.

17 I have no political aspirations, I have no real

18 political affiliations.

19 My concern is that the City of Scranton

20 continue to be the city that I knew it to be, and I

21 think that by being somewhat non-partisan, that I can

22 fulfill that role, if only for a year, at least I can,

23 you know, do something to get out of the politics of

24 the city and look out for the, rather than a

25 constituency or anything else, look for the welfare,
.

44


1 you know, of all the citizens of the City of Scranton.

2 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you.

3 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mrs. Evans.

4 MS. EVANS: The mayor has borrowed $208

5 million dollars in long-term debt, he has continued to

6 borrow money each year beginning in 2003, he has

7 increased his annual deficit to currently $7 million,

8 do you support such borrowing, why or why not, what

9 cuts would you propose to the city's operating budget

10 and what new revenue sources would you recommend?

11 MR. MCGOFF: I get two minutes to

12 answer that? I think that borrowing money, just from a

13 house owner, you know, in raising a family, I think

14 borrowing money becomes a necessity, if, if you have

15 the ability to pay back.

16 Borrowing money and then incurring new

17 debt is something that, you know, it's like getting a

18 bill consolidation loan and then, you know, trying to

19 pay that while you're also incurring new debt, it just

20 doesn't work.

21 And I think a lot of, you know, maybe

22 some of the things that have taken place is of that

23 nature.

24 As far as what you can do to stop the

25 borrowing and, you know, new revenue sources, I think
.

45


1 one of the things that maybe, and, again, it's kind of

2 a complex thing related to some others, is start to

3 take a look at, you know, property taxes in the city,

4 you know, these un -- you know, it's kind of going back

5 to the urban blight. Let's start looking at the

6 properties in the city and can we -- are there some

7 ways in which we can make money from those properties.

8 Can we look at people and put people in

9 jobs where their wages are being recorded so that we

10 are getting a wage tax? Because I think we all know

11 that there are, you know, any numbers of people working

12 for, you know, salaries -- undocumented salaries. You

13 know, I don't know if that's possible, but certainly I

14 think it's something to look into.

15 I think also the collection of taxes,

16 maybe a little bit more stringent format for the

17 collection of taxes.

18 But I will say that not being overly

19 familiar with the budget and expenditures of the City

20 of Scranton, other than what I see in the paper --

21 MR. MINORA: Excuse me, Mr. McGoff.

22 That's two minutes.

23 MS. EVANS: Thank you.

24 MR. MCGOFF: Save me.

25 MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Fanucci.
.

46


1 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: I would like you

2 to describe the City of Scranton to someone from out of

3 town.

4 MR. MCGOFF: Nestled in -- no. I think

5 the City of Scranton to me is a city of neighborhoods.

6 It's a place where people kind of grow up, raise their

7 families, and have a stake in the city and in their

8 little part of the city.

9 It's a comfortable place to educate

10 your family, it's a comfortable place in which to, you

11 know, have your children grow and prosper.

12 I think it's a city with opportunity.

13 I love Scranton. I always have. And I think it's just

14 when people ask me, you know, why do you live there?

15 And when I went away to college, you know, it was kind

16 of the same question, What is Scranton like? I said,

17 It's just friendly people.

18 And I think that that's what we need to

19 continue to do, is to keep Scranton a friendly place.

20 It is a friendly place. And, you know, go run around

21 the lake and say hello to everybody that you see. Walk

22 the city, you know, walk the mall and, you know, people

23 say hello to you. And that's the city that I would

24 describe, one that's friendly, accommodating, and a

25 place to raise your family and a place to live your
.

47


1 life.

2 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Now you have

3 two minutes to close up.

4 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you. When I first

5 saw that Mr. McTiernan had resigned, I immediately

6 started to think about the, you know, who the possible

7 replacements would be, and obviously it came to mind

8 of, you know, former, you know, or politicos of the

9 City of Scranton.

10 And the more I thought about it and

11 talking with some friends, I said, You know, maybe this

12 is an opportunity for the city. It's -- this is an

13 opportunity for City Council to go and find somebody

14 that is not -- has not been corrupted, and I use that

15 not in a criminal way, but has not been corrupted by

16 the political process, somebody who doesn't have an

17 affiliation, a constituency, a, you know, something

18 holding them, I said, somebody who's going to look at

19 the city and want to benefit the city, you know, in

20 that one year that they have.

21 And a friend of mine said, Well, you

22 know, you're kind of describing yourself. Why don't

23 you look into it?

24 And very late in the process I said,

25 Well, you know what, maybe it is. And it's not one of
.

48


1 these give backs to the city type, you know, trite

2 things, but from talking with friends, they said, You

3 know what? You're the type of person that you

4 described, you're the type of person that, you know,

5 has no real political affiliations, no political past,

6 and if you look at it and -- I don't know if I'm the

7 right man, I don't know if I'm the best candidate to

8 fulfill that, but I certainly think I'm one of them,

9 and I think that you have an opportunity to pick

10 somebody without the political affiliations and

11 somebody who's only interest is the City of Scranton.

12 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.

13 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.

14 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Nardella, the format

15 today is that each Council member will ask you a

16 question, you will have two minutes to respond,

17 Attorney Minora will tell you when your time is up, and

18 after that, you can have two minutes for closing

19 arguments.

20 MR. NARDELLA: Okay.

21 MS. GATELLI: The first question is,

22 what problems do you see in the neighborhoods and how

23 would you address them?

24 MR. NARDELLA: Well, I think the

25 neighborhoods are the key to the success of the city.
.

49


1 I know my fondest memories is my neighborhood, and I

2 think we have to do everything to preserve our

3 neighborhoods by infusing some dollars into them,

4 whether we're talking about block grant money to

5 provide some recreation for kids, whether we're talking

6 about better schools or whether we're talking about

7 more community-type things to keep some of the families

8 from moving out of the neighborhoods and into the

9 suburbs or even out of town.

10 So, I really believe that we have to do

11 everything we can with resources to preserve our

12 neighborhoods. And the other thing, too, is to provide

13 safety. I mean, I think that starts there. You have

14 to provide safe neighborhoods, and that's what will

15 keep people in them.

16 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mr.

17 Courtright.

18 MR. COURTRIGHT: What best qualifies

19 you for this position?

20 MR. NARDELLA: Well, a couple of

21 things. I believe I'm open-minded, I'm totally neutral

22 in terms of my candidacy, and I really want to

23 represent the people in terms of providing advocacy and

24 be that liaison to the community.

25 I think Council has an awesome
.

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1 responsibility and what their thrust is, and I think to

2 be a member of that is something that you should be --

3 take pride in, whether -- and I'm talking about civic

4 pride here.

5 I think it's a responsibility for

6 somebody to want to come forward and say, I want to

7 advocate for the citizens, these are tough times right

8 now, and I'm willing to take on that challenge. I have

9 problem solving skills, I have financial experience in

10 terms of budgets, and I'm somebody that had been out of

11 area for 30 years in New England, and now I've recently

12 returned, and in my past three years home, and I am

13 home, I've seen some things in working with planning

14 boards out in New England in community development and

15 zoning boards that I can bring back to the

16 neighborhood. It's a fresh perspective.

17 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you.

18 MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Evans.

19 MS. EVANS: The mayor has borrowed $208

20 million in long-term debt, he has continued to borrow

21 money each year beginning in 2003, he has increased his

22 annual deficit to currently $7 million, do you support

23 such borrowing, why or why not, what cuts would you

24 propose to the city's operating budget and what new

25 revenue sources would you recommend?
.

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1 MR. NARDELLA: Well, I think for the

2 first part of your question do I support borrowing

3 money, and I don't. Now, realize I'm basing my answer

4 only on what I've read in the paper, and I don't have

5 all the information in front of me, but I think what

6 you realize is any time you borrow any significant

7 amount of money, is that's an added expense you're

8 putting on the community and the city.

9 So, if we're trying to cut expenses,

10 and I think the way you cut dollars is that you've got

11 to decrease spending and increase revenue, but if

12 you're talking about loaning, you're increasing

13 expenses, because that's an added expense that

14 ultimately has to get paid back. That just doesn't

15 make a lot of economical or financial sense to me.

16 What I would look at that in terms of

17 working with that is two things, I think that you have

18 to come and have a strategic plan, and not just a

19 reaction of saying I want to borrow this amount of

20 money and that's what will help us right now. You've

21 got to have a two-year plan, a five-year plan. We're

22 talking about the future of the city.

23 I think that's the first thing. The

24 second thing is what I would do is to -- I would talk

25 to the employees.
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1 So far you've talked to administrators,

2 at least what I can see. I'd talk to the frontline

3 people and see what their solutions are, see what their

4 ideas are, because they're the folks that are going to

5 be most impacted by any decisions. This is about hard

6 choices when it comes to this point, and it could

7 affect personnel and it could affect benefits. And

8 when you're talking about people, then you've got to

9 talk to them.

10 I would also look to restructure or

11 consolidate. There's probably, if you really looked

12 hard, some duplication of services going on that by a

13 restructuring or reorganization can really take care of

14 some of that and you can consolidate some services and

15 save some income that way.

16 Finally one thing, and this is just an

17 example, I might want to revisit looking at ambulances

18 and putting them back in the fire department as a

19 revenue generating system where we can charge the third

20 party billers. I think that's something that I would

21 be interested in sort of relooking at a little bit.

22 MR. MINORA: Mr. Nardella, that's your

23 time.

24 MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Fanucci.

25 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: I'd like you to
.

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1 describe the City of Scranton to someone from out of

2 town.

3 MR. NARDELLA: Well, I'll tell you, if

4 you want good family values and you want a place that

5 changes with the times, except it keeps intact a sense

6 of community, a sense of belonging, and a sense of

7 home, then Scranton is the place.

8 I think that when you talk about the

9 city, you're talking about the location is centralized.

10 You are an hour and a half to Philadelphia, you're an

11 hour and a half to New York City, you have everything

12 at your fingertips with not the cost of those cities to

13 live in.

14 I think it's an opportunity to really

15 do our marketing plan and really bring Scranton back.

16 This is a great, great place, and we are on the

17 threshold of greatness.

18 We need to go full steam with marketing

19 and public relations and really take a look at that,

20 because this is the place.

21 You know, I can still go to my church

22 and I see kids in church. Now, I'll tell you being

23 from New England, not from New England, but being in

24 New England for a long time, I don't see a lot of young

25 people in their churches.
.

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1 You still have the values here and that

2 sense of belonging here in Scranton. I think that's

3 great, because that hasn't -- that hasn't sort of

4 changed with times, and I think that's significant.

5 And if I was raising a family again, I

6 wouldn't want to raise them anywhere else than this

7 city.

8 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Now you have

9 two minutes.

10 MR. NARDELLA: You know, I realize that

11 my resume isn't full of political experience, that's

12 not really who I am. I'm a person who has been in the

13 helping profession for all my life, and I've worked

14 with budgets, I've worked with people, and I've been

15 providing advocacy for children.

16 My experience from New England makes me

17 an objective person and brings me not as a person who

18 is more than one dimensional. I see things from a

19 different perspective because I can draw on resources

20 that I've worked with when I had the fortunate thing of

21 learning from the outside.

22 Now that I'm home, I want to contribute

23 and I want to give back to the community, and I just

24 think this is a good place to start.

25 My problem solving skills, my
.

55


1 objectivity and my willingness to roll up my sleeves

2 and work and make hard choices and work with people and

3 for people is what I'm about.

4 So, I do appreciate the opportunity

5 just to be interviewed, I think that's an honor, and

6 thank you for listening.

7 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Welcome.

8 MR. PHILLIPS: Good morning, Council.

9 Thank you, President Gatelli.

10 MS. GATELLI: We're going to ask --

11 each Council member will ask you a question, you will

12 have two minutes to respond, and afterwards you'll have

13 two minutes for some closing remarks.

14 MR PHILLIPS: Okay. Thank you.

15 MS. GATELLI: And the first question

16 is, What problems do you see in the neighborhoods and

17 how would you address them?

18 MR. PHILLIPS: Well, I see a number of

19 problems in the neighborhoods, number one are drugs,

20 number two are a lack of police presence.

21 I saw issues in South Side when my wife

22 and my family and I lived there, and that was one of

23 the reasons quite frankly that we left. We left the

24 South Side area because we didn't feel safe there and

25 we're back in Minooka now.
.

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1 What I would do to address it, I'd like

2 to see some more community activism, maybe some watch

3 groups activated, up and running again. I know that

4 used to be a successful program, I know in some areas

5 it still is.

6 I think we need more of a police

7 presence. I think we need to target certain areas on,

8 you know, a more regular basis. I think that we need

9 to involve youth more in different groups, different

10 type of activities.

11 I know the skateboard park is a

12 wonderful idea. I think some of the things with regard

13 to the playgrounds, maybe reinvesting some money in our

14 playgrounds to get them into better condition. And I

15 know some of that has happened in recent years, but I

16 think we could still do more.

17 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mr.

18 Courtright.

19 MR. PHILLIPS: You're welcome.

20 MR. COURTRIGHT: What best qualifies

21 you for this position?

22 MR. PHILLIPS: I think -- you know, I

23 was thinking why am I here? And I'm here because I

24 believe in this city and I believe in the people of

25 this city, and I believe that this city right now is in
.

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1 a very critical time, and I think that we're going to

2 do one of two things, I think we're either going to

3 emerge and come out and become a much better city or

4 we're going to fall back into the financial abyss that

5 we've been into.

6 And I think that my passion for this

7 city, the love that I have for the city and its

8 residents and the fact that we chose to stay in this

9 city, I want things to be better in the city, and

10 that's why I want to be a City Councilperson, because I

11 will work to that end.

12 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mrs. Evans.

13 MS. EVANS: The mayor has borrowed $208

14 million in long-term debt, he has continued to borrow

15 money each year beginning in 2003, he has increased his

16 annual deficit to currently $7 million, do you support

17 such borrowing, why or why not, what cuts would you

18 proposes to the city's operating budget and what new

19 revenue sources would you recommend?

20 MR. PHILLIPS: Wow, that's a lot, Mrs.

21 Evans. I'll do my best. When I ran for City Council,

22 I said that I would support borrowing as a last resort,

23 and I don't think we've come to that last resort yet.

24 I certainly would not support borrowing

25 $44 million, and I was pleased to see that this Council
.

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1 voted that down. There are certain implications,

2 though, if we don't borrow any money, but I think we

3 need to exhaust all of our avenues first.

4 I know, Mrs. Evans, you mentioned the

5 golf course money, I think that golf course money needs

6 to be used. I think that we need to start looking at a

7 top-heavy administration that maybe we need to trim

8 some fat off of, and I think that there are other

9 sources of revenue, and I know, Mrs. Gatelli, you

10 pushed for the payments from the non-profits, and I

11 think that's a tremendous idea, and I know you and I

12 had spoken about it when we were campaigning last time,

13 and I think that's something that needs to be pursued.

14 There are cities across the country

15 that have instituted programs with the non-profits.

16 And by non-profit, I'm not saying every non-profit. I

17 know I was appointed by this Council to the Scranton

18 Lackawanna Human Development Agency, and obviously I

19 don't want to see them making a contribution, because

20 they're not the type of institution that we should be

21 looking at.

22 We should be looking at an institution

23 that is generating revenue that has large endowment

24 funds, that has, you know, a lot of different resources

25 and we need to see exactly what the impact is.
.

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1 So, the first thing I would advocate

2 would be a study. I think we hear a lot back and forth

3 about the impact of non-profits. We don't truly know

4 what the impact is. We really don't know.

5 I mean, we can sit here and argue about

6 it, talk about it until we're blue in the face, but we

7 don't actually know what the financial impact is.

8 And I think that would be one of the

9 first things that I would love to see happen is that an

10 independent study done to address the impact of the

11 non-profits.

12 And I think from there, then we can

13 determine what's a remedy, if there's a remedy, you

14 know, indeed necessary, what is the remedy, how do we

15 do it?

16 I mean, some communities have gotten

17 large upfront payments and then continual payments from

18 when properties are removed from the tax rolls, they've

19 also had impact fees, and those are things that we need

20 to look at. The golf course money definitely, as I

21 said, I think that needs to be used.

22 MR. MINORA: Excuse me, Mr. Phillips.

23 That's your two minutes.

24 MR. PHILLIPS: Thank you, Mr. Minora.

25 I apologize.
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1 MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Fanucci.

2 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: I would like you

3 to describe the City of Scranton to someone from out of

4 town.

5 MR. PHILLIPS: A city on the verge of

6 making a comeback. I think we've made a lot of strides

7 in the few -- in the last few years, but I think that

8 we've also done some things wrong.

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

10 that we've considered everyone, I don't think that

11 we've had as a government, and I'm not saying Council

12 specifically, I'm just saying perhaps the

13 administration did not take into consideration

14 everyone, and I think that we need to be considerate of

15 everyone. I think we need to share ideas. I think we

16 need to work together and we need to cooperate.

17 I think we're on the verge right now.

18 I think we can really make a comeback. I think there

19 are great things in store if we go down the right path.

20 I truly believe that.

21 As I said, I believe in this city and I

22 believe in the residents, and I believe that we can be

23 better.

24 I think that, you know, there's a lot

25 of things on the horizon, the train coming to the city,
.

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1 that's a wonderful idea, but, again, I think that comes

2 down to we have to do it right.

3 We're talking about bringing a train

4 into the city, and people have this concept we're going

5 to commute to New York City, but the frank reality of

6 that is you're looking at a three and a half to a four

7 hour commute to get into New York City with the way

8 they're trying to do it right now, but they have high

9 speed technology available, and that's something that I

10 think as a Councilperson, maybe someone should be

11 communicating with the state and federal government

12 who's funding this program and saying, Hey, if you got

13 the opportunity to put high speed service in here and

14 make this city a place where people can commute from to

15 work, say, you know, in the Poconos or even the city.

16 Albany is a city that's similarly close

17 to New York City as we are. It's an hour and a half, I

18 believe, to commute by train because they went with

19 high speed service, and that's something that we should

20 be looking at.

21 So, I think, Ms. Fanucci, to answer

22 your question, I think that we're on the verge, and I

23 think that we've done a lot of good things in the last

24 few years, and I think we're very close, and I think we

25 need to come together and we need to cooperate, and I
.

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1 think that we can get through this and we can make this

2 city a place where people want to come.

3 That's the key. You want to make

4 people want to come to Scranton. To do that, what do

5 we need to do? We need to lower wage taxes, we need to

6 do other things. And I see Mr. Minora getting ready to

7 cut me off, and I'll stop right there. But that's the

8 best I can do to answer your question.

9 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. And you have

10 two minutes.

11 MR. PHILLIPS: Thank you, Mrs. Gatelli.

12 Again, I'll go back to what I said about believing in

13 the city. I believe in the city and I believe in its

14 people, and I believe that we're on the verge of making

15 a comeback, making a renaissance, but we need to be

16 considerate of all different people and all different

17 parties.

18 You know, a perfect example, Ms.

19 Gatelli, about the immigration laws, we need to work

20 through those issues. And I think that the influx of

21 diverse people into our city is important, and I think

22 that we need to work through all those issues and we

23 need to be considerate and we need to take everybody's

24 opinion and we need to let everyone know that they

25 matter, and I think that's very important.
.

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1 I believe the government needs to

2 cooperate, and I'd like to be apart of a cooperative

3 government, a government that works together, a

4 government where everybody knows what everyone else is

5 doing, where Council knows what the mayor is doing,

6 where the mayor knows what Council is doing so they're

7 all on the same page and that -- you know, if i were to

8 get this appointment, I will tell you the first thing I

9 would do, I would sit down with each one of you and

10 then I would go and I would sit down with the mayor and

11 I would try to get on the same page and say, Look we

12 all want a better city. Let's have a better city.

13 How are we going to have a better city?

14 We need to put our political differences aside, we need

15 to put our political agendas aside, we need to put our

16 political futures aside and we need to do what's best

17 for the residents of the city, and that's, quite

18 frankly, is the only way that you're going to do it.

19 I think that my experience in business

20 and I think my educational background and I think that

21 certain training that I've had in conflict management

22 would be an asset to this Council, and I certainly

23 would do my best to follow through and make sure that

24 this city becomes a better place. That's all I have.

25 MS. GATELLI: Thank you very much.
.

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1 MR. PHILLIPS: Thank you for your time,

2 Council.

3 MS. EVANS: Thank you.

4 MS. GATELLI: Good morning. Good

5 afternoon. I'm sorry.

6 MR. PUGLIESE: Yeah, good afternoon.

7 Hi.

8 MS. GATELLI: The format today will be

9 each Council member will ask you one question, you will

10 have two minutes to answer, Attorney Minora will tell

11 you when your time is up, and afterwards you can have

12 two minutes for some closing remarks.

13 MR. PUGLIESE: Okay. Thank you.

14 MS. GATELLI: The first question is,

15 What problems do you see in the neighborhoods and how

16 would you address them?

17 MR. PUGLIESE: Well, first of all, I

18 think the neighborhoods in Scranton are one of our

19 strongest attributes as a city, and there, of course,

20 is blight and there are some infrastructure problems in

21 terms of maybe sidewalks or roads or sewage

22 difficulties.

23 I see them as a focal point for

24 communal interaction. Still I see a lot of business

25 districts that are coming back to a healthy point, such
.

65


1 as Providence Corners, and I'd like to see that

2 continue, I would like to help the neighborhoods

3 continue in that direction, because as you guys well

4 know in the U.S., many neighborhoods are being sort of

5 gutted in that regard, you know, big box mentality is

6 taking small business out of the picture.

7 So, that is one of the main problems,

8 that sort of the losing of the soul of a small

9 neighborhood. We have to focus on that and try to find

10 grant money, try to help community groups in those

11 areas feel motivated like they have access to City

12 Council so we can help them stay a unique entity in the

13 city.

14 Otherwise I don't look at -- I look at

15 it as a positive. I think the neighborhoods are the

16 best thing about this city, but they face the same

17 challenges every other small city in this country.

18 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mr.

19 Courtright.

20 MR. COURTRIGHT: What best qualifies

21 you for this position?

22 MR. PUGLIESE: I guess patience. I

23 have patience. Formal education is, I think, pretty

24 decent giving me some theoretical references to use

25 when dealing with complicated issues in terms of
.

66


1 methodologies. You know, I teach critical thinking,

2 communication, social problems, mathematics,

3 multiculturalism, environmental studies.

4 So, theoretically I can refer to models

5 and ideas and case studies, and also my experience as a

6 citizen here in the city.

7 I've travelled a bit throughout this

8 country and throughout the world, I've garnered sort of

9 a broad world view, open minded, and I love to hear

10 different per perspectives. I enjoy that. I'm

11 stimulated by that.

12 I love to dialogue, but at the same

13 time I know at some point you have to make a decision,

14 and I think I have a the courage of my convictions, and

15 sometimes you have to make a decision that's not that

16 popular.

17 And if you believe wholeheartedly after

18 analysis, dialogue, research that that's the best

19 decision, then that's the decision you have to make and

20 you have to explain to the constituency why you made

21 that decision, and sometimes they'll educate you, but

22 sometimes you have to educate them, without arrogance,

23 of course, with humility.

24 MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Evans.

25 MS. EVANS: The mayor has borrowed $208
.

67


1 million in long-term debt, he has continued to borrow

2 money each year beginning in 2003, he has increased his

3 annual deficit to currently $7 million, do you support

4 such borrowing, why or why not, what cuts would you

5 propose to the city's operating budget and what new

6 revenue sources would you recommend?

7 MR. PUGLIESE: Well, at present

8 obviously that's the most challenging issue we face,

9 and I do not have a clearcut plan in my head at the

10 moment, because I don't have all the facts.

11 I'd have to sit down with my

12 colleagues, if I was honored with the seat, and have

13 them detail for me what they think, what they've

14 learned, I would look at all the minutes, as I have

15 been doing, to try to get myself up to speed.

16 I do believe, though, at times you do

17 have to borrow to a certain extent. Cuts, when they're

18 made, that's the most difficult decision, I would say,

19 because taxpayers deserve services, they deserve their

20 garbage picked up, they deserve to feel comfortable i

21 the thought that there's a firehouse in the

22 neighborhood, that they're ample number of police, but

23 at the same time, you don't want to be passing on a

24 huge debt to your kids and grandkids.

25 And I don't want to sound like I'm
.

68


1 talking out of both sides of my mouth, it's just a very

2 complicated issue.

3 Even in terms of a business mindset, if

4 you want to attract a company to this area, you have to

5 present that company with a city that is vibrant, and a

6 vibrant city has a strong infrastructure, a vibrant

7 city has good communication devices such as that, a

8 vibrant city has cultural and artistic institutions.

9 And only if you are able to take care

10 of all those many aspects of what I think a company

11 would look for to relocate employees and to invest much

12 money, you're not going to relocate those companies

13 here.

14 So, sometimes you have to -- I guess

15 what I'm trying to say in short --

16 MR. MINORA: Mr. Pugliese, that's two

17 minutes.

18 MR. PUGLIESE: Two minutes. Can I

19 finish this one line?

20 MS. GATELLI: No.

21 MR. PUGLIESE: You have to sometimes

22 invest money.

23 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Pugliese, you can

24 finish when you have your closing remarks.

25 MR. PUGLIESE: Thank you. I'm sorry.
.

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1 MS. GATELLI: Sorry to distract your

2 thoughts.

3 MR. PUGLIESE: I'm sorry.

4 MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Fanucci.

5 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: I would like you

6 to describe the City of Scranton to someone from out of

7 town.

8 MR. PUGLIESE: The City of Scranton is

9 a city that was at the forefront of the industrial

10 revolution, it fueled much of that revolution here in

11 the United States and also in Europe through its coal

12 industry.

13 Many people came here for a new life

14 from all parts of Europe. The Underground Railroad

15 came through this area, as well, so we've been a

16 diversed society since the beginning. A lot of people

17 lost their lives, suffered difficult existence because

18 of that coal mining past.

19 But also myself, I'm a perfect example

20 of what kind of benefit comes from a city such as this.

21 My grandfather on my mother's side was killed in the

22 coal mines, and my father is an immigrant from Italy,

23 and he put all three of his kids through college.

24 So, I mean, the tragedy and the glory

25 of the United States and Scranton are depicted right
.

70


1 there in my only personal story. And I would say to

2 people, that's what Scranton is about, and it's still

3 about that, it's still about opportunity, it's still

4 about openness, it's still about character and it

5 really believes in itself and believes in its teacher.

6 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Now you have

7 two minutes, Mr. Pugliese.

8 MR. PUGLIESE: Thank you, Ms. Gatelli.

9 Basically I'm here -- I'm a relatively, I guess, young,

10 if you tell my kids that, they'd laugh, man who is

11 trying to establish himself as a professional, as a

12 father, as a community activist, and I think this is a

13 great opportunity.

14 I don't have a lot of money to put into

15 a campaign, and I have a lot of ideas, and as I've

16 said, a lot of formal and experiential knowledge that I

17 could maybe help with making the city a great place for

18 me to live and my kids live and my neighbors live as

19 professionals, as family people, as artists and the

20 like.

21 I'm excited about the prospect. I like

22 a good challenge. As I said earlier, I love to

23 communicate with folks, I love to argue in a healthy

24 manner, not fight and debate so that we can get to a

25 broader perspective, so at that point we can come
.

71


1 together as the premiere community group in the city

2 and hopefully solve some of the challenges we face as a

3 city and bring us into a great, great new chapter, new

4 phase of this Scranton's lifetime for many, many years.

5 You know, I'd like to have people look

6 back and say, Your grandfather was part of a Council

7 that made some tough decisions and in some small part,

8 he brought Scranton to where it is today, you know,

9 this thriving metropolis that people can't wait to buy

10 houses in and can't wait to find jobs and spend time.

11 It's a great opportunity.

12 MS. GATELLI: Thank you very much.

13 MR. PUGLIESE: Thank you for the

14 opportunity.

15 MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Wardell, welcome.

16 MS. WARDELL: Thank you. You're almost

17 done.

18 MS. GATELLI: The format for today is

19 each Council member will ask you a question, you will

20 have two minutes to respond.

21 MS. WARDELL: Okay.

22 MS. GATELLI: Attorney Minora will tell

23 you when your time is up, and after that, you will have

24 two minutes for closing remarks.

25 MS. WARDELL: Okay. Fine.
.

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1 MS. GATELLI: The first question is,

2 What problems do you see in the neighborhoods and how

3 would you address them?

4 MS. WARDELL: I think one of the

5 biggest problems in the neighborhood are absentee

6 landlords. I think we're seeing more and more of them.

7 I'm also seeing a lot of zoning changes in the paper

8 that people are converting homes now from single homes

9 to apartments.

10 I think we need -- I know we have

11 ordinances on the books now to address absentee

12 landlords, but I think they need to be maybe more

13 strict. I think maybe they need to have stiffer fines.

14 I also think that we need to work with the neighborhood

15 associations.

16 The people that live there are the ones

17 that can tell you best what is actually going on in the

18 neighborhood and what kind of problems they're having.

19 I also would like to see more policemen

20 in the neighborhoods. I think by patrol and foot

21 patrol, I think is a big deterrent, especially when it

22 comes to maybe vandalism and crimes that juveniles,

23 let's say, juveniles do. I think that more policemen

24 are definitely a deterrent to that.

25 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.
.

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1 Mr. Courtright.

2 MR. COURTRIGHT: What best qualifies

3 you for this position?

4 MS. WARDELL: Well, I was born and

5 raised in South Side, I've lived in this city all my

6 life, I have a vested interest in the conditions of

7 this city financial and otherwise.

8 People consider me a pretty honest

9 person, and I am pretty outspoken. I think all those

10 things qualify me for this. I am certainly up on The

11 Home Rule Charter and the administrative code and how

12 this city government is supposed to work.

13 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mrs. Evans.

14 MS. EVANS: The mayor has borrowed $208

15 million in long-term debt, he has continued to borrow

16 money each year beginning in 2003, he has increased his

17 annual deficit to currently $7 million, do you support

18 such borrowing, why or why not, what cuts would you

19 propose to the city's operating budget and what new

20 revenue sources would you recommend?

21 MS. WARDELL: And that's all one

22 question, Janet?

23 MS. EVANS: Yes.

24 MS. WARDELL: Well, I would not approve

25 of the mayor's borrowing of any more money, because you
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1 can't borrow yourself out of debt. I think you have to

2 decrease your expenses and increase your revenue, and

3 having attended several Council meetings since this

4 $44 million loan came up, I have heard a lot of

5 suggestions from Council members on how to increase

6 revenue. I think they're all viable, and I think they

7 all need to be looked into.

8 If you're in a business and you're

9 finding that you're in a financial crunch, you start

10 cutting, and you cut from the top.

11 Most companies will cut their

12 management first. They don't usually start at the

13 bottom and work their way up, because the biggest

14 savings is when you cut from the top down.

15 If you're going to cut and make -- and

16 make these changes, everybody has to feel the pain.

17 You cannot put it all on clerks and lower echelon

18 employees. Everybody has to feel it.

19 I just -- I don't believe in borrowing

20 any more money. I think we have overborrowed and I

21 think we've overspent, and I think now is the time --

22 and I don't fully blame the administration. I will

23 blame Council, also, because Council has approved these

24 loans year after year after year after year.

25 So, you can't just blame the
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1 administration for this, however, I do believe that

2 Council as a body needs to work together to come up

3 with solutions to take care of these problems.

4 I would also foresee whether or not

5 there's any loan, a tax increase. And I know people

6 don't like to hear that, but that is something that at

7 this point is necessary.

8 MR. MINORA: Mrs. Wardell, that's two

9 minutes.

10 MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Fanucci.

11 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: I'd like to just

12 ask you to describe the City of Scranton to someone

13 from out of town.

14 MS. WARDELL: Oh, well, that's

15 interesting. The City of Scranton to an out of towner

16 -- first of all, I would have to talk about the people

17 of the city. People in Scranton have a wonderful work

18 ethic, they have a wonderful sense of community, and I

19 think most people are extremely interested in their

20 city and seeing their city better.

21 An example of that is the neighborhood

22 associations and how much neighborhood associations

23 have done for their own areas.

24 If you look at South Side, if you look

25 at The Plot, The Plot is the one that got that flood
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1 project started.

2 If you look at South Side, they've got

3 that Renaissance Center. Some -- East Mountain got

4 their roads done up there. This is how you have to

5 look at the people and how you have to look at this

6 city. We are certainly capable of being 100 percent

7 better than we are. We just need the help to do so.

8 MS. GATELLI: Thank. You have two

9 minutes, Mrs. Wardell.

10 MS. WARDELL: Well, the only thing I

11 would like to say is, I would like to be part of the

12 solution, rather than part of the problem.

13 I am very interested in that seat, and

14 I have run for Council before, and I think I would be

15 an asset to not only the Council, but to the city as a

16 whole.

17 I know a lot of things, I have a lot of

18 knowledge. I deal very well people, and I think when

19 you're in a Council seat, you're priority is to deal

20 well with people, because not only are you representing

21 people, you are representing their values and what they

22 think, and I think I can do that.

23 MS. GATELLI: Thank you very much.

24 MS. WARDELL: Thank you.

25 MR. WELBY: Good afternoon. My name is
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1 Thom Welby, and I thank you for the opportunity to be

2 here before you today and thank you so much for being

3 considered.

4 I'm so proud to be one of the 30-plus

5 people that have offered themselves up to be a

6 contributing member of City Council, and I think that's

7 pretty exciting.

8 I think the city is on a positive move

9 forward. I think we have turned the corner on the

10 economic deterioration that this city has experienced

11 since 1920, and at one point, I'm sure you all know,

12 the city's population was 135,000 people, just a

13 wonderful --

14 MS. GATELLI: Excuse me, Mr. Welby.

15 MR. WELBY: We're a terrific city, and

16 I think that we're on a --

17 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Welby.

18 MR. WELBY: Yes, ma'am.

19 MS. GATELLI: The format for the

20 questioning is that the Council member -- each Council

21 member will ask you a question, to which you will have

22 two minutes to respond.

23 MR. WELBY: Yes, ma'am.

24 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Minora will tell you

25 when your time is up, and then at the end you will have
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1 two minutes to conclude.

2 MR. WELBY: I appreciate that, Mrs.

3 Gatelli, thank you. But before we begin, I would just

4 like to say that --

5 MS. GATELLI: Please, please.

6 MR. WELBY: -- that I would like to

7 discuss with you the things that I would like to see

8 changed or improved in our city, but some things have

9 come up in the last 24 hours that I'd like to withdraw

10 my name from consideration for the vacant seat on City

11 Council, and I do that -- I don't want to do that, I

12 feel compelled to do that.

13 I want to be a part of the positive

14 growth that we're experiencing here. I want to be part

15 of the positive that is going on and make the good

16 suggestions that you all have been making that other

17 people that come up to this podium have made, but

18 unfortunately I think that the negativity that exists

19 at these Council meetings, I don't want to subject

20 myself to it, and I don't want to subject members of my

21 family to it.

22 I have a 15-year-old daughter at

23 Scranton High School and other members of my family.

24 It just -- it's too negative. I think it's a venomous

25 poison that I see at this podium too often, and quite
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1 frankly, I don't think that I could put up with it.

2 God Bless you all for putting up with

3 it and everybody's that's involved here. I think it's

4 terrific that you do. And those people that are a

5 positive influence, I think that's terrific, too.

6 I know that a lot of the people that

7 come up here, they started years and years ago against

8 Jimmy Connors, and a lot of them came up with positive

9 comments, but over the years it turned into nothing but

10 poison and negativity.

11 And at first it was against Jimmy

12 Connors, and then when Mr. Doherty took over, then it

13 was against Mr. Doherty. And I think with a lot of

14 them, while they started with good intentions offering

15 constructive criticism, it turned into just a venomous

16 cancer within them, and all it is is negativity.

17 And I think no matter who is in the

18 seat of the mayor or no matter who is on Council, that

19 negativity is going to continue, and I don't want to

20 subject myself or any family to that. Again, I --

21 MS. GATELLI: I'm very sorry that

22 you're withdrawing your name.

23 MR. WELBY: Thank you for considering

24 me.

25 MS. GATELLI: And please come to
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1 Council, because you had some wonderful ideas.

2 MR. WELBY: I would like to, but

3 hopefully not too frequently. Thank you for

4 considering me.

5 MS. GATELLI: Thank you for coming.

6 That concludes the list of candidates for today. And

7 may I have a motion to adjourn the meeting?

8 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.

9 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Second.

10 MS. GATELLI: All in favor.

11 MS. EVANS: Aye.

12 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Aye.

13 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.

14 MS. GATELLI: Aye.

15

16

17 (MEETING WAS ADJOURNED.)

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23 C E R T I F I C A T E

24

25 I hereby certify that the proceedings and
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1 evidence are contained fully and accurately in the

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

3 that this copy is a correct transcript of the same

4 to the best of my ability.

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LISA M. GRAFF, RMR
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