13 Held:
Thursday, October 5, 2006


17 5:30 p.m.



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


Lisa M. Graff, RMR
25 Court Reporter

























1 MS. GATELLI: We'll now open the public

2 hearing. Roll call, Neil.

3 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.

4 MS. EVANS: Here.

5 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci.


7 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McTiernan.


9 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.


11 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.

12 MS. GATELLI: Here.

13 The purpose of the public hearing is to

14 hear testimony and discuss the following:









23 The first speaker is Andy Skrip.

24 MR. SKRIP: Good evening, ladies and

25 gentlemen. My name is Andy Skrip. I'm Vice President


1 of SLIBCO, the Scranton-Lackawanna Industrial Building

2 Company.

3 In case you're not familiar with

4 SLIBCO, we're the industrial development arm of the

5 Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce. We've been in

6 business over 60 years, and over our 60 years, we have

7 developed a lot of buildings, real estate, as well as

8 parks in the City of Scranton, as well as Lackawanna

9 County.

10 In our 60-year history, we built eight

11 buildings that total 1.2 million square feet. Half of

12 our buildings are within the City of Scranton.

13 As an example, the Metro Tech Center

14 where Diversified, the former Globe Store building, we

15 own that building. We lease it to Diversified.

16 The Scranton Enterprise Center where

17 the incubator building is, we own that building. Also,

18 a portion of the Bank of America building, half is in

19 the City of Scranton and our Chamber of Commerce

20 building.

21 We also developed over the years 12

22 different parks, and some of them are in the City of

23 Scranton. The Stafford Avenue Business Park, which I

24 worked on with Mrs. Gatelli a few years ago, a portion

25 of the office park at Montage, a portion of the


1 Glenmaura Corporate Center, and a portion of the

2 Stauffer Industrial Park.

3 We feel there's a need for Class A

4 office sites within the City of Scranton and we would

5 like to do something about that.

6 If I may, I have some pictures that I

7 can share with you and renderings on an easel, as well

8 as I can share with the Council members. The same

9 pictures I'm going to show you.

10 I'm here to talk about the Mt. Pleasant

11 Corporate Center. The area that we're talking about is

12 the Scranton High School's located right here

13 (indicating), the Scranton Expressway coming down to

14 7th Avenue to Linden Street over in here (indicating.

15 This land is presently owned by the

16 Galderi Family, and this is where Keystone Building

17 Block is located. On the picture that you have in

18 front of you right here is the area where Keystone

19 Block has their manufacturing operations, and all this

20 land back here is vacant.

21 We call it the Mt. Pleasant Corporate

22 Center, because that's where the Mt. Pleasant breaker

23 used to be long ago. There was a breaker on this site.

24 We're looking at an area of 23 acres in

25 total. And once we put in the infrastructure, we'll


1 have about 20 acres for sale.

2 We're envisioning making highway

3 improvements at five different intersections. First of

4 all, there will be an entrance right at the existing

5 entrance of Keystone Building Block at the corner of

6 Linden and Seventh Avenue in front of Redner's and down

7 by the high school, the ramp going on the Scranton

8 Expressway.

9 We anticipate having about five

10 different lots available, five different sites, if you

11 will. This will be the main entrance over here

12 (indicating.) This is the corner of Linden and Seventh

13 Avenue, and in the future there will be a traffic light

14 and signals and turning lanes going into the park.

15 The back end of the park we will have

16 two major office buildings. And in the front will be

17 commercial developments, retail commercial, hopefully a

18 bank, a day care, sorts like that.

19 And when it's all said and done, I

20 pulled my map too far down, when it's all said and

21 done, you have in front of you two or three major

22 office buildings with retail commercial development out

23 front.

24 We anticipate when this project is

25 fully developed, we will have created about a 1,000 new


1 jobs, about $27.6 million in new capital investment.

2 At this point we receive a BOS grant,

3 Business on Our Sites Grant, to do all the master

4 planning, engineering studies and infrastructure

5 design.

6 I'm happy to say that the

7 infrastructure design is substantially completed, and

8 our permits and approvals have been submitted to the

9 City and Lackawanna County.

10 We would like to start construction

11 possibly early 2007, hopefully in the first quarter.

12 But with this project it's a total project cost of

13 about $4.3 million just to do the infrastructure. That

14 comes out to over $200,000 an acre in development

15 costs, plus your carry costs. It's a very expensive

16 development.

17 We feel it's important, because this is

18 the gateway of the City of Scranton. We'll be getting

19 rid of an eyesore. The people at Keystone Building

20 Block bought Scranton Building Block and they're going

21 to relocate their facilities to Scranton Building

22 Block.

23 Without the OECD grant, this project is

24 not economically feasible. We need some grant dollars

25 to make it feasible.


1 Some of the targeted industries that

2 we're going to go after are the wall street

3 initiatives, which are financial services, back

4 offices, and medical related facilities.

5 As I mentioned, the total project costs

6 just for the infrastructure alone is $4.3 million. Of

7 that $4.3 million, we have to put in over a million

8 dollars worth of highway improvements at the five

9 intersections that I talked about.

10 The OECD funds that we're requesting

11 will be used primarily used for those highway

12 improvements near the school, so to satisfy the health

13 and safety issues near the school.

14 Your favorable consideration to this

15 request would be very much appreciated. I'm not sure

16 if it's appropriate to ask you if you have any

17 questions, but I will be glad to answer any questions

18 you may have.

19 MS. GATELLI: The only question I have

20 is, if we don't give you the full amount, will you be

21 able to use it the following year or do you need the

22 whole amount?

23 MR. SKRIP: We need it for this coming

24 year. We would like to start construction, as I

25 mentioned, from the first quarter, January and February


1 of 2007. Anything you could afford to give us would be

2 very much appreciated.

3 MS. GATELLI: Thank you .

4 MR. SKRIP: Mr. McTiernan.

5 MR. MCTIERNAN: It's a question I ought

6 to know the answer to, but I'll ask it anyway. KOZ,


8 MR. SKRIP: Good question. I forgot to

9 mention that. Out of the 23 acres, 17 acres are KOZ.

10 The KOZ property are the back end where the major

11 office buildings are located. The front end where the

12 commercial businesses like a bank or a day care can go

13 is not KOZ. And it's KOZ, not KOEZ.

14 MR. MCTIERNAN: Right. So, that asking

15 about projected completion time and occupancy, I think

16 KOZ is done 2010?

17 MR. SKRIP: That's correct, 12/31/2010.

18 MR. MCTIERNAN: So, we don't have a lot

19 of time to not see tax revenue.

20 MR. SKRIP: That's correct.

21 MR. MCTIERNAN: When do you proposes

22 there will be occupancy in the areas that are KOZ?

23 MR. SKRIP: I'm hoping if we're lucky a

24 year for now we can have the site ready for

25 construction of new buildings.


1 MR. MCTIERNAN: So, we'd be looking at

2 somewhere about two years of loss of tax revenues, but

3 we're not getting them now anyway.

4 MR. SKRIP: That's correct.

5 MR. MCTIERNAN: And I'm sure that

6 you've done the studies about prospective clients, do

7 we think we can fill that?

8 MR. SKRIP: Yes.

9 MR. MCTIERNAN: You wouldn't be doing

10 it if you didn't.

11 MR. SKRIP: We already have people

12 interested. It's amazing. This has been talked about

13 for two years. We already have people coming to us

14 saying, When is it going to be ready? What's the

15 price? We don't have that yet.

16 We're in the stage right now where the

17 infrastructure is designed, the permits and approvals

18 are in. Now we're in during the financing stage of it.

19 With the financing wrapped up hopefully November or

20 December this year, we can start early 2007.

21 MR. MCTIERNAN: And just a comment that

22 -- we've noticed that this has -- all the development

23 near the new high school was very beneficial to that

24 area, the foresight of the Scranton School Board, the

25 president past, to develop that site and build it has


1 created a large economic boom in that area. I don't

2 think it's complete. This may very well help. So,

3 that's just a positive comment on a project like that

4 coming into the city.

5 We've seen office developments in

6 Moosic, Dickson City, going up all around us, and

7 putting something here may be actually very beneficial.

8 And we've talked about increasing revenues, and this is

9 just the type of thing that can increase our tax base.

10 I know that in a course that I was in a

11 long time ago with the Chamber of Commerce, we talked

12 about very few areas of usable industrial park

13 facilities or acres of land, that we can do that

14 without raising buildings.

15 So, this fits the bill. And most of

16 the industrial parks are going up around us because we

17 don't have the room, the acreage. Is that still fairly

18 accurate?

19 MR. SKRIP: I couldn't have said it

20 better. You're absolutely right.

21 MR. MCTIERNAN: So, this is one of the

22 remaining spots that's developable -- you can develop

23 as an industrial park or an office park.

24 MR. SKRIP: That's correct. And, in

25 fact, what this project is is an extension of Downtown


1 Scranton.

2 You have a good problem in the City of

3 Scranton, that is there's a lack of good Class A office

4 sites, as well as buildings.

5 We did the Scranton Enterprise Center,

6 and by the time we had the first building up and then

7 the expansion, the building is fully leased.

8 MR. MCTIERNAN: And it's probably

9 reasonable to say with the technology advances we see

10 in modern offices, to retrofit an existing building is

11 difficult compared to a brand new building.

12 MR. SKRIP: It is.

13 MR. MCTIERNAN: And just for -- we're

14 going to assume, since it's on the list, that it meets

15 all the criteria for CDBG money?

16 MR. SKRIP: Yes.

17 MR. MCTIERNAN: Could you just for our

18 edification, can you just talk about what SLIBCO

19 actually is and just a brief outline of your company,

20 besides the fact that you've built? Profit,

21 non-profit, that type of thing.

22 MR. SKRIP: SLIBCO is the industrial

23 development arm of the Greater Scranton Chamber of

24 Commerce. All the stock of SLIBCO is owned by the

25 Scranton Chamber of Commerce. We have our own board of


1 directors. We just met yesterday, and we have our own

2 budgets, and we have developed, as I mentioned, 12

3 different parks.

4 Our latest parks that we just developed

5 is the Jessup Small Business Center in the Valley View

6 Business Park, and we've developed land, and we also do

7 built to suit for companies.

8 Sometimes we take existing buildings,

9 like the Globe Store building and lease it to

10 Diversified, to building brand new buildings like

11 Prudential, JC Penney, the Bank of America building,

12 the Corning Building, General Dynamics building. We

13 own those buildings.

14 MR. MCTIERNAN: I just want to

15 reiterate for the record that SLIBCO is not a private

16 investment company, it's an arm of the Greater Scranton

17 Chamber of Commerce.

18 MR. SKRIP: It's a private non-profit

19 501C3 company -- private 1-C4 company, and we pay real

20 estate taxes and sales taxes.

21 MR. MCTIERNAN: Thank you. Anybody

22 else?

23 MS. EVANS: Yes. You mentioned that

24 you would be making alterations to the roadways in five

25 areas, sites. My greatest interest currently would be


1 in the area of Scranton High School. Would you be able

2 to perhaps briefly outline for us exactly what

3 alterations will occur just in that one site?

4 MR. SKRIP: Over -- this is the main

5 entrance going into Scranton High School (indicating),

6 and at this on ramp going onto the Scranton Expressway,

7 we have to make highway improvements.

8 Right next to the new road where the

9 Scranton High School is building right now, we have to

10 make highway improvements. To tell you exactly are

11 they pork chops or turning lanes, Mrs. Evans, I don't

12 know that, but we do have to make improvements there in

13 accordance to PennDOT standards. That would be here

14 right here on the on ramp going onto the Scranton

15 Expressway.

16 MS. EVANS: Thank you.

17 MS. GATELLI: Okay.

18 MR. SKRIP: Anybody else? If not,

19 thank you for your time, and your favorable

20 consideration would be appreciated.

21 MS. GATELLI: Thank you, Mr. Skrip.

22 Is there anyone else for the public hearing that would

23 like to address Council? If not, I'll call this public

24 hearing adjourned. Thank you.



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


3 I hereby certify that the proceedings and

4 evidence are contained fully and accurately in the

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

6 that this copy is a correct transcript of the same

7 to the best of my ability.



11 Official Court Reporter




















5 Held:

6 Thursday, October 5, 2006



9 Time:

10 6:30 p.m.



13 Location:

14 Council Chambers

15 Scranton City Hall

16 340 North Washington Avenue

17 Scranton, Pennsylvania







24 Lisa M. Graff, RMR

25 Court Reporter




























1 MS. GATELLI: Okay. Please stand for

2 the Pledge Of Allegiance. Please remain standing for a

3 moment of reflection. Roll call.

4 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.

5 MS. EVANS: Here.

6 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci.

7 MS. FANUCCI: Here.

8 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McTiernan.


10 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.


12 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.

13 MS. GATELLI: Here. Mrs. Garvey.

14 MS. GARVEY: Third order. I have no

15 business in third order except for clerk's notes, a few

16 things.

17 We received a response to Mrs. Evans'

18 letter to Brian Kozlanski of Stevens and Lee regarding

19 your questions about a reserve fund and payment

20 default. You asked if he knew of any city in

21 Pennsylvania --

22 MS. GATELLI: Excuse me. Could the

23 audience please be quiet? We can't hear. Thank you.

24 MS. GARVEY: Mrs. Evans asked if he

25 knew of any city in Pennsylvania that had defaulted on


1 a bond payment. His reply was, There has, in fact,

2 occurred a payment default on a Pennsylvania Municipal

3 transaction where the bond insurance policy had been

4 called upon to make a payment to the bond holders.

5 And regarding the reserve fund, he said

6 that the insurance company says whether or not they

7 require a reserve fund, and this commitment did not

8 require one. He also said this was pretty typical, and

9 it's unusual that they would require a reserve fund.

10 The second one was a response from

11 Mr. Brazil at Parks and Rec regarding the Schmidt

12 plaque. He said he would have liked to have been able

13 to supply you with the whereabouts of the plaque, but

14 he does not know where it is and he is not even

15 familiar with its appearance, and that it was his

16 understanding that it has been missing prior to the

17 previous director of Parks and rec, Mr. Scopelliti,

18 taking office.

19 Third, the $60,000 transfer that's on

20 tonight's agenda, several of you have asked for more

21 information regarding what that exactly was for, and I

22 hope I have gotten this correctly. I asked him to

23 respond in an E-mail to me, as well, so I could back it

24 up.

25 Basically I think what he said was it


1 was to replenish the department's professional service

2 account to pay for legal services for several attorneys

3 to get through to the end of the year and possibly into

4 next year.

5 Some of the attorneys mentioned were,

6 some of you asked for names, Attorney Tom Helbig,

7 mostly for, like, slip and fall cases, is what he

8 explained, attorneys from Marshall Dennehey, They are

9 hired through insurance companies and deductibles, also

10 the firm of Dougherty, Leventhal and Price, Attorney

11 Joe O'Brien of Oliver, Price and Rhodes, as well as

12 Attorney Dick Goldberg for labor matters.

13 And there were a few more responses

14 that came in late in the day that I just put in your

15 boxes, so they will be there for your review. That's

16 all I have.

17 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. The Hickory

18 Street Church Boy Scout Troop No. 16 is having their

19 spaghetti dinner on Saturday, October 14 from four to

20 seven. And by the way, Brian Kusick, who is

21 constructing the flag pole, is a member of that troop.

22 On Sunday is the Steamtown marathon.

23 They donate their money to St. Joe's, and the race will

24 finish at approximately ten or 10:30 in front of the

25 federal courthouse. So, as many people that can get


1 there as possible would certainly be appreciative.

2 I would like to apologize. Last week I

3 did not see in the back of the auditorium the community

4 development officer for West Side was also present.

5 Her name is Jill Foley, and she's the West Side beat

6 cop. She came to the meeting, but I didn't know she

7 was standing in the back. So, I'd like to apologize to

8 Jill for not introducing her and thanking her for

9 attending the meeting in her neighborhood.

10 I'd like to congratulate Mayor Wenzel.

11 I'm sure most of you have seen in this morning's paper

12 that he finished his book about the mayors of the City

13 of Scranton. So, I would like to congratulate Mayor

14 Wenzel. He will be on Channel 61 on October 25 with a

15 story about his book.

16 I just have one question. I know that

17 we've got a response from Ken McDowell, and I have it

18 here somewhere, but it's rather lengthy, but we did

19 receive an answer from him on the audit from Mr. Rossi.

20 I just have a few complaints. I'd like

21 to know the status of the catch basin at the corner of

22 Acker and West Locust, 617 Bates Street is having a

23 drainage problem, and the 100 block of North Bromley,

24 I'll give you the address later, Kay, because I don't

25 want to give the address over the air, there is a house


1 that's in very bad condition that we need to address.

2 Before we go on to the speakers, I feel

3 as though I have to answer, and I probably shouldn't

4 give them any credibility, but I'm going to answer The

5 Scranton Times and Commissioner Cordaro.

6 My father always taught me not to get

7 in a contest with a skunk, and I guess we shouldn't do

8 that, but I feel impelled -- compelled to answer.

9 He said that I was grandstanding, and,

10 in fact, at the CMC golf tournament at the Scranton

11 Country Club was where they announced that they were

12 giving $40,000 to the CMC's capital drive.

13 It's not the majority commissioners

14 that are giving the money, it's the taxpayers of

15 Lackawanna County, of which we are members of.

16 Obviously I support the trauma center

17 at the CMC. I am in the medical profession, and it's

18 certainly a necessity, but I also support the heart

19 center at the Mercy, the dialysis unit at the Moses

20 Taylor, and the rehab center at Allied, but it is not

21 up to the government to contribute to their campaign

22 drives, not to mention giving to one and not the other.

23 All I'm asking is for some level of

24 cooperation among the governmental units. The city is

25 asking the hospitals for contributions. The school


1 district years ago sued them, and the county is giving

2 them $40,000?

3 We're struggling because we provide the

4 services, we provide the police, we provide the fire

5 protection, we pave the streets, we pick up the leafs,

6 we fill the potholes.

7 The county has raised our taxes

8 48 percent in the last several years, and they gave

9 $500,000 to a man to make a movie, and thousands of

10 dollars to paint a mural on the highway, and that's our

11 money, too.

12 And the assessments that are reduced on

13 a monthly basis would blow your mind. We're doing a

14 reassessment countywide, and yet every month we're

15 reducing people's assessments, before the reassessment

16 even happens.

17 In my eyes, that's not fair. Wait

18 until the reassessment. But what they're doing is

19 trying to lower them, so that when the reassessment

20 comes and they're raised a little, it looks like they

21 were raised.

22 There's one person that had their

23 assessment lowered from $976,000 to $329,000. That

24 scares me.

25 And I received an answer today from AJ


1 Munchak saying it only costs $19 a citizen for us to

2 give this money to the CMC.

3 Well, there may be all those residents

4 in the county, but they all don't pay taxes. So, he's

5 counting all the residents.

6 It's our tax money, and we are

7 residents of Lackawanna County, and I think that we

8 should have a say in what the county is doing.

9 When they give money away for an art

10 project, you have to submit an application, like we did

11 tonight with the block grant money. You must submit an

12 application. We review it, and we decide who is going

13 to get the funds. No, it wasn't done there. They just

14 arbitrarily gave one hospital $40,000.

15 So, I will stick to how I feel and I

16 will continue to represent the citizens of Scranton,

17 and I think that we need to keep going after the

18 non-profits to help share the pain that we are all

19 suffering in the City of Scranton, and I will stick by

20 my person. Thank you.

21 MS. EVANS: Mrs. Gatelli, can I add

22 something to your remarks, please?

23 MS. GATELLI: Yes, you may.

24 MS. EVANS: I agree with Mrs. Gatelli.

25 It's certainly a worthy endeavor, and there are


1 numerous endeavors throughout the city that are equally

2 as worthy, but I do not believe that it stands within

3 the perimeters of county government to arbitrarily

4 award such funds to any one organization.

5 But what disturbs me even more is

6 contained in Mr. Munchak's letter. He says, as a

7 Scranton property owner, I would like to know how many

8 meetings has Council held with the various entities

9 since 2004 regarding this effort? How much has been

10 collected? I shutter to think that the answers to both

11 are none and none.

12 I would suggest to Mr. Munchak, my

13 honorable colleague of sorts, that these questions are

14 much better directed to the mayor of Scranton. The

15 leader of a city creates the debt, the leader of a city

16 solves the debt, and the leader of a city must be the

17 one to go out to the non-profits and demand that they

18 pay their fair share to enable the fine City of

19 Scranton to have a future. It does not lie within the

20 power of City Council to do so.

21 Again, I'm hoping he will send his

22 suggestions to the mayor and point out to him that

23 despite the fact that he promised that he would

24 negotiate payments in lieu of taxes with the city's

25 non-profits some four, five years ago, he has never


1 kept that promise.

2 How many meetings have there been?

3 None. How much money has been collected? Less than

4 under the Connors Administration. So, let's send the

5 ideas where they belong and where they can be enacted,

6 Mr. Munchak. Thank you.

7 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else? The first

8 speaker is Douglas Miller.

9 MR. MILLER: Good evening, Council.

10 Doug Miller. Last week our Council held our elections

11 for officers for the upcoming year. Doug Miller,

12 re-elected president, Katrina Organ from Bishop Hannon,

13 vice president, from Scranton High School, James

14 Piazza, who has been elected our secretary, Ian Miller

15 from Bishop Hannon was elected our treasurer.

16 Unfortunately Ian was able to attend tonight. He had a

17 prior commitment.

18 Moving along, I would also like to

19 announce to all students interested in the Scranton

20 School District that we do have three seats open for

21 the upcoming school year.

22 The information has been posted on each

23 of the two high schools in the district. The deadline

24 to receive the information is Wednesday, October 11.

25 So, we ask students to please get that information.


1 You are required to submit an essay.

2 Lastly tonight, last week a group of

3 students from West Scranton High School brought up an

4 issue regarding a smoking ban throughout the city. I'd

5 like to say that I think it's a good point. I think

6 it's something we seriously need to look into.

7 I know Council voted to look into

8 ordinances and such, but, you know, I hope we continue

9 to make progress with this and move forward. I really

10 think this is a serious matter, and I commend the kids

11 for being prepared, coming up and the factual

12 information they had. I'd also like to commend their

13 teachers, Mr. Murray and Mr. O'Herne, for preparing

14 these kids. And they put a good presentation together.

15 So, thank you and have a good night.

16 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Next speaker

17 is Reverend Simmons.

18 MS. SIMMONS: Good evening, Council.

19 Good evening, Junior Council. My name is Reverend

20 Kathryn Simmons. I'm a long lifelong Scranton

21 resident.

22 I came tonight wearing several hats,

23 but it ended up today that I came wearing one, and it

24 is to answer a story that I saw in yesterday morning

25 paper.


1 This disturbed me greatly, and I'm very

2 glad that you addressed this issue this evening,

3 President Gatelli.

4 I don't know how much each of you know

5 about the CMC Trauma Center, but I want you to forget

6 about everything else tonight and just focus on the

7 trauma center.

8 The trauma center saves lives. I don't

9 care about anything else. The trauma center is where a

10 family member will go if there's an accident, and it's

11 where the trauma team will step in to save that life.

12 If we don't have a trauma unit in place, we have to go

13 to Geisinger or even further down the line.

14 I don't care about politics. This

15 politic playing, that's great, play it in the baseball

16 fields, in the running in the streets, don't play it in

17 the hospitals.

18 We can't afford to lose lives in

19 hospital hallways because one decides that they don't

20 want to give a donation to keep a unit alive that

21 should never have died out.

22 I don't want to lose one member of my

23 family because a donation wasn't given that should have

24 been given because somebody didn't like somebody else.

25 That isn't worth it.


1 I don't know if you've ever been to a

2 home where a family member has been told that their

3 family member has been lost in an accident, but I've

4 been there more than once. I don't ever want to have

5 to do that again.

6 I will do anything I have to do to make

7 sure that CMC Trauma stays alive and well. I hope you

8 do. I hope you set aside all of the disagreements that

9 you have with the commissioners, put that aside. Keep

10 this unit alive, for that may be your family member who

11 may need this unit next. It may be one of our children

12 who are laying there next.

13 Please, I'm asking you, don't let

14 politics be the next blood money that's yelled out for.

15 If they need money, give it to them. The unit would

16 not ask you for it, if they didn't need it. I know

17 this. I worked there. Thank you.

18 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Les Spindler.

19 MS. EVANS: Mrs. Gatelli, can I just

20 inject for a moment?

21 MS. GATELLI: Yes, you may.

22 MS. EVANS: I don't believe, unless you

23 can correct me, that the CMC has requested any money

24 from the city. But beyond that, it really isn't, at

25 least for me, I'll only speak for myself, it is not a


1 political issue, because I count Mr. Cordaro and Mr.

2 Munchak among my friends, and I'm very -- personally

3 I'm thrilled that the Yankees are coming, but I do know

4 that when I go to the hospital, I have to pay for the

5 services through my insurance, as we all do.

6 People -- our insurance payments pay

7 that hospital and their mission for those who cannot

8 pay is to provide those services regardless, and it's

9 through our insurance monies that that is enabled.

10 So, I don't think anyone here, but,

11 again, I'll only speak for myself, I don't think anyone

12 here is suggesting that the trauma unit should close.

13 To the contrary, we're all very supportive of it, but

14 we're also very supportive of the people who live in

15 the City of Scranton who are going to be severely

16 burdened with tax increases, not only in 2007, but for

17 many years to come. And it's time that everyone pays

18 their fair share.

19 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mr. Spindler.

20 MR. SPINDLER: Good evening, Council.

21 Les Spindler, city resident. First of all, Mrs.

22 Gatelli, I applaud you on your comments. I think if

23 you give to one, you should give to each hospital.

24 It's not fair to just give to one. That's all I have

25 to say on that.


1 On the dangerous dog ordinances again

2 now, I was approached by two people over the weekend

3 that had problems with pit bulls. I asked them to come

4 personally, because I don't like speaking for people,

5 and they said they don't like coming because they're

6 nervous. I said, I will mention it.

7 First a gentleman came up to me and

8 said he lives on the 1000 block of Clay Avenue. He

9 says he has a neighbor that has three pit bulls, and

10 the neighbor constantly intimidates him. He said he

11 goes to his house with the pit bulls and challenge the

12 man to come out of his house with the dog standing

13 right there.

14 He said he's called the police, they've

15 been up there three times, and nothing has been done to

16 stop this man. So, if this gentleman is watching, then

17 maybe he should call Council and maybe he can talk to

18 one of you about this. I'm sure he's watching, because

19 he came up to me in the super market over the weekend.

20 He knew who I was. But --

21 MS. GATELLI: Would you like me to

22 respond?

23 MR. SPINDLER: Okay.

24 MS. GATELLI: We had this discussion in

25 caucus tonight with Attorney Minora, and we do have a


1 proposal from Tom Preambo, he's working on one through

2 the planning commission, and Attorney Minora has been

3 instructed to investigate this immediately, and we're

4 going to be coming up with something very shortly.


6 MS. GATELLI: We didn't forget it. I

7 just want you to know we are working on it.

8 MR. SPINDLER: Well, it's just -- every

9 time I -- it's a big problem.

10 MS. GATELLI: Yes, we realize that.

11 MR. SPINDLER: When I first brought

12 this up, your solicitor said, Well, not enough people

13 have complained, But now it seems like people are

14 coming out of the woodwork complaining.

15 Another thing, Saturday the first

16 person came up to me. Sunday I was walking my dog, now

17 a neighbor of mine came up to me and said he was

18 walking his dog Sunday by Remmick Florist, when a pit

19 bull and a bigger dog, two dogs, attacked his dog, and

20 thank God his dog came out okay.

21 But he said he knows the house they

22 came from, and there were five dogs in that house. And

23 I was under the same understanding that he was. I was

24 always told if you have more than three dogs, you have

25 to get a kennel license.


1 He said he called the animal control

2 officer, couldn't get in touch with him. I called

3 today, couldn't -- he wasn't in. I mean, you're told

4 to call these numbers, and the people are never there.

5 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Mr. Spindler, do

6 you have that address?

7 MR. SPINDLER: No, I don't.

8 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Can you try to get

9 that for us?

10 MR. SPINDLER: If I run into the

11 gentleman. The next thing, I, too, I mean, I mentioned

12 this last week, but the presentation put on by the

13 children from West Scranton last week was tremendous,

14 and there was a letter to the editor in Sunday's paper,

15 a gentleman spoke on Talk Back 16 saying that a smoking

16 ban would be violating their rights.

17 I was thinking, I said, when I went to

18 school, there was a right to peaceful protest, I

19 learned, a right to bear arms, among others. I don't

20 remember a right to smoke.

21 So, I hope Council goes through with

22 this. I think it would be a tremendous thing for the

23 city, and I don't think it would hurt business at all.

24 Like the children said last week, in

25 New York business has probably picked up. So, I hope


1 that you would seriously consider this and go through

2 with it.

3 Lastly, the line painting I've been

4 asking for for about two years now. I know, Mrs.

5 Evans, you asked that a letter be sent a few weeks ago.


7 MS. EVANS: Concerning?

8 MR. SPINDLER: Spruce and Franklin and

9 in front of the Steamtown Mall. Did you hear anything?

10 MS. EVANS: No, I haven't.

11 MR. SPINDLER: It's been two years and

12 I haven't heard anything.

13 MS. EVANS: There are quite a few

14 issues on which I've heard nothing.

15 MR. SPINDLER: Coming down Spruce

16 Street, I go that way every day, I work there, it's

17 three lanes and people going all over.

18 MS. EVANS: Absolutely right.

19 MR. SPINDLER: There's a line painted

20 down the center that's not supposed to be there. It's

21 always been three lanes. And I know that, because as a

22 matter of fact, I was involved in a fender bender there

23 quite a few years ago with a company vehicle.

24 I was in the turning lane. A lady made

25 a right turn from the straight lane. The police came,


1 and he showed the lady the arrow in the turning lane.

2 Oh, well, I didn't see it. People are doing that now.

3 MS. EVANS: I agree.

4 MR. SPINDLER: They're turning from the

5 straight line. And I've brought this up for two years

6 at least now. And I know the first time they said,

7 well, when weather conditions permit it. I think in

8 the last two years we've had good weather.

9 MS. GATELLI: We'll write another

10 letter on that, Mr. Spindler. Give Kay the proper

11 addresses and intersection, Les.

12 MR. SPINDLER: Well, it's the

13 intersection of Spruce and Franklin and the entrance to

14 the Steamtown Mall on Lackawanna Avenue.

15 MS. GATELLI: Right where Boscov's is?

16 MR. SPINDLER: No, on Lackawanan, right

17 in front of the --

18 MS. GATELLI: Where the Grotto Pizza is

19 an all that? Down by the theaters?

20 MR. SPINDLER: No, down past. Down by

21 the bus station

22 MS. GATELLI: Oh, okay.

23 MR. SPINDLER: There's only one

24 entrance on Lackawanna Avenue.

25 MS. GATELLI: All right.


1 MR. SPINDLER: Thank you.

2 MS. GATELLI: Andy Sbaraglia.

3 MR. SBARAGLIA: Andy Sbaraglia, citizen

4 of Scranton. Fellow Scrantonians, as you know the

5 Scranton as we know it today is in deep financial

6 problems. All aspects of it is in deep financial

7 problems.

8 The government presently we have

9 doesn't seems to be working. Maybe it's time for us

10 now to make Council jobs full-time positions, at least

11 three members on it, to oversee the mayor and to have

12 some real political power.

13 Because as it is now, you're part-time.

14 You don't have time to look into all the aspects that's

15 going on in this city. I'm retired and I still don't

16 have all the time to look into it. A lot of the

17 contracts are difficult. A lot of them were blarently

18 bad to the taxpayers.

19 As you know, people wanted the golf

20 course. The golf course was sold. Somebody wanted our

21 South Side Complex, that got sold. All you have to do

22 is be in the right position to want.

23 If we had full-time councilmen, these

24 things wouldn't have happened. You would have enough

25 power to really oversee the mayor, his office and


1 really find out what's happening in the city.

2 I come before you before and told you

3 the Parking Authority isn't on very solid ground, but

4 Council just went along with them building the garages.

5 So, they got their garages, but they're going to have

6 to pay for those garages. And that's where the problem

7 is.

8 You can't give away, what is it, 138

9 spaces or so to a hotel and expect the parking garage

10 to make money. They're not going to make it. They're

11 going to have to draw from everywhere else.

12 They -- what, $6 million they borrowed

13 not too long ago, plus they got another $4 million,

14 some kind of grant that they have to use for certain

15 things? Now you have to oversee the grant.

16 I asked you before how many loans have

17 defaulted that we have to pay back; namely, the loan

18 with the steam heat company, the hotel, even Whistle's.

19 When you've got to sue -- if Whistle's

20 cannot make it in the City of Scranton and has to be

21 sued by the administration, how could you sit there and

22 allow all these other places to get -- for six

23 employees to get $300 or $400,000 or so forth and tell

24 me that's great interest of the city? They're going to

25 go under. And there's a good chance when they go


1 under, the taxpayers have to foot the bill.

2 I mean it's ridiculous. You know what

3 Whistle's was like. And if they have to be sued for a

4 lousy $60,000 loan, things got to be bad. And you just

5 aren't being told how bad they are.

6 We are paying a lot of loans out

7 probably to people who have defaulted. I still don't

8 know why we're paying for Boscov's when it was $100,000

9 out of CommD funds, and then you come around and tell

10 me they can't used CommD funds to pay off debt, but yet

11 there was so much money earmarked for the garage, for

12 the SRA out of the CommD funds.

13 And now they said they were going to

14 use them funds, I think, to fix up the alley, that's

15 center court. This is what I mean.

16 How much of them block funds have been

17 used to pay off loans that may come back to haunt us?

18 The government may come back and say, You've been doing

19 this all along. You've been in violation of our laws.

20 And things like this is going to come to haunt us.

21 And I don't know where we're going to

22 get the money from really. I don't care how much you

23 can bleed out of the non-paying people, to go up there

24 and ask the hospitals and so forth. As you know,

25 they're all bleeding themselves due to the government


1 -- how the government does things, plus the fact is if

2 you ever seen the Medicare payment to a hospital, what

3 they charge and what the government allows, you would

4 understand the problem they're in.

5 I mean, you wouldn't believe it. It's

6 like not even a tenth, and then you feel sorry for the

7 people that have to pay full price.

8 But this is what's happening. And I

9 don't think you're going to get much out of it, but

10 some of the other places maybe you can.

11 A lot of these buildings and things

12 that you KOZ'd, you may be able to get money out of,

13 but some of the big places, I doubt.

14 Because like I said before, when you

15 lay off 90 people, things have got to be getting bad.

16 Of course, they may cut their salaries and hire some of

17 them back. I thank you.

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

19 Pete Bonacuse.

20 MR. BONACUSE: Hello, Council. My name

21 is Peter Bonacuse. I'm a resident and taxpayer of the

22 City of Scranton, and it's my first time here. I felt

23 compelled to come here today, because I think this bond

24 issue is very important for our city.

25 I was reading it here, just got my


1 education on it just now. Authorizing the lease of a

2 certain real property to the Redevelopment Authority of

3 the City of Scranton, so we're authorizing a rental

4 agreement, declaring the guarantee of said authority's

5 guaranteed lease revenue bonds for the benefit of the

6 City of Scranton, Lackawanna County, to be a project of

7 the city for which lease rental debt is to be incurred;

8 stating the realistic estimated useful life of the

9 facilities relating to the bonds; determining to incur

10 lease rental debt in an aggregate principal amount not

11 to exceed $44 million.

12 So, we're going to agree to rent a

13 piece of property to someone tonight and they're going

14 to in turn pay us $44 million over a period of time.

15 And so, we're going to go and borrow this $44 million

16 so we could use it now. That's how I understand it.

17 And there's an insurance company out

18 there that's guaranteeing the payment of this $44

19 million. We're going to be able to buy an insurance

20 policy to guarantee the repayment of this $44 million

21 so we can avoid default.

22 That's a great deal, if I got it right.

23 In my books, that would be fantastic. And I'm a real

24 estate investor, and I love Scranton.

25 And I've been doing it since I was


1 21 years old, and it was really rough during Jimmy

2 Connors, and it's really good during Chris Doherty.

3 And I'm a Republican, you know, so I'm

4 not a Democrat, I'm not -- I think differently than a

5 lot of people I know.

6 And if I'm able to borrow $44 million

7 now and use it to infuse into my city and to put --

8 pave more roads or whatever the mayor's going to do.

9 He's been doing a great job so far.

10 And I have to agree with a lot of stuff

11 that he's done. I mean, Scranton is mentioned every

12 week in a sitcom, you know, on TV. We're out there.

13 People know about the City of Scranton. We're in the

14 list of the most desirable places to live in People

15 Magazine. We've never been there. You know, we've

16 never been mentioned internationally.

17 People are looking -- are coming here

18 to live. You know, people are -- our real estate

19 market has doubled. You know, in the past the values

20 of the shareholders in the city, the property owners;

21 homes, their values of their properties have doubled

22 since Doherty took office.

23 And this is only going to enhance our

24 values. If we vote against this and not have this bond

25 issue, we might just shoot ourselves in the foot.


1 We're taking the tools away from the administration.

2 I hope I'm understanding this right.

3 You know, because we're looking at this like credit

4 card debt or something. This isn't credit card debt.

5 This is good debt.

6 There's two different kinds of debts,

7 there's bad debt and good debt. Bad debt is your

8 credit card debt, the kind of debt you go into when you

9 buy shoes and clothes and happy things, you know?

10 Good debt is debt that's going to make

11 you money. Buying an old piece of property and going

12 into debt fixing it up and renting it out and it pays

13 that debt back and puts money in our pocket. You know,

14 that's good debt. I like that kind of debt, and I

15 think this $44 million is going to be good debt. Thank

16 you.

17 MS. GATELLI: Thank you, Mr. Bonacuse.

18 Mike Dudek.

19 MS. EVANS: Mr. Bonacuse, have you been

20 given by the city and this Council a loan through OECD

21 to improve a building?


23 MS. EVANS: No?


25 MS. EVANS: To construct a beauty


1 salon?

2 MR. BONACUSE: No construction loans,

3 no. That was equipment loan, equipment and materials.

4 MS. EVANS: Oh, but you did receive a

5 loan?


7 MS. EVANS: Yes. Thank you.

8 MR. BONACUSE: Why? What's with that?

9 MS. EVANS: Nothing. I was just

10 wondering if you were the individual to whom the city

11 had loaned the money.

12 MR. BONACUSE: Yeah. Is that a

13 problem?

14 MS. EVANS: I don't think it's a

15 problem. I voted to give it to you.

16 MR. BONACUSE: That's okay. Am I doing

17 something bad by coming up here and voicing my opinion?

18 I thank you very much for that loan, by the way.

19 MS. EVANS: You're welcome.

20 MR. BONACUSE: I could have went to the

21 bank and got it myself, you know, but, I mean, the

22 terms were better with the city.

23 MS. EVANS: Oh, absolutely, absolutely.

24 I'm just wondering, though, about the debt, in that,

25 when you're borrowing four consecutive years and you're


1 borrowing because you're in debt to cover the debt that

2 you're current in.

3 MR. BONACUSE: Well, look at why we

4 were in debt. Look at the property that we inherited.

5 MS. GATELLI: Excuse me. We're not

6 going to get into a debate here, please.

7 MR. BONACUSE: She's engaging me.

8 MS. GATELLI: I know. Mr. Bonacuse,

9 thank you for coming, and we do appreciate your


11 MR. BONACUSE: Okay.

12 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mr. Dudek.

13 MR. DUDEK: My name is Mike Dudek, 608

14 Depot Street, Scranton, PA. I live in The Plot.

15 Whether or not we seem to recognize it, I think that

16 this vote you're going to take on the $44 million debt

17 will be the most important vote ever taken by a

18 Scranton City Council in the history of the City of

19 Scranton since that first City Council met to

20 incorporate this city. It's going to be that

21 important.

22 And as we look at this, too much of

23 this debt has been built on political corruption.

24 Political corruption means money is involved in some

25 way. That's all corruption means.


1 All we have to do is look at the layer

2 upon layer of advisors getting money in this city, just

3 as an example, and I don't think I have to go through

4 the litany of the numbers. I think we've been numbered

5 to death already.

6 I just want to point out something here

7 about what will happen if we have to raise our taxes,

8 and something has been totally missed and totally

9 ignored in this whole process.

10 People think that our taxes could

11 possibly double, our real estate taxes are going to

12 possibly double. They are not going to double. Let me

13 put your mind at ease to that. They are not going to

14 double. They're going to triple.

15 We're all forgetting one thing coming

16 out of the state government, Governor Rendell has made

17 it possible in the future, and it will probably be next

18 year or the year after, for senior citizens to get

19 property rebates.

20 Many senior citizens will get property

21 rebates up to 30 percent, and many property owners will

22 not have to pay a dime in property taxes.

23 When we look at the list of property

24 owners in the City of Scranton and factor in this

25 equation to the tax process, the young people in this


1 town will see their tax bills become rent bills with

2 Christopher Doherty as the landlord.

3 We have to look at it in these terms.

4 When we were discussing all this, nobody ever factored

5 in the fact that senior citizens were going to get

6 these discounts. They are coming. Forget the

7 political advertising that you're seeing. These

8 discounts are coming for senior citizens, and they're

9 going to have a tremendous wallop in this town.

10 So, please consider that before you

11 make a hasty vote on a $44 million boondoggle. Please.

12 This is the most historic vote that you will take in

13 this city since that first Council met just after the

14 civil war. Please, please be considerate of the

15 property owners of this city. Thank you.

16 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Bob Bolus.

17 MR. BOLUS: Good evening, Council. Bob

18 Bolus, Scranton. I would like to congratulate the

19 Junior Council.

20 The paper this week, it was kind of

21 funny to watch some comments made about the Southern

22 Union building. Chris Doherty said there's buildings

23 in the city, that there's vacancies all over, which

24 everybody said. The only thing he failed to mention,

25 Southern Union is still empty. It might be one nice


1 bulling, but it's still empty.

2 It may get filled at some point, but it

3 isn't at the present time. And it's a KOZ and it's

4 there for free.

5 Keep in mind, too, Mr. Doherty has not

6 attempted to make one single cut since he's been in

7 office. He's only escalated our expenses and our debt.

8 He's trying to use a scare tactic.

9 He's had four plus years to make cuts

10 in this city, to demonstrate his ability to make the

11 city solvent, and he's failed miserably. Now he wants

12 $44 million.

13 The Times had an article, and we're

14 quoting The Times a lot tonight, we're not done with

15 them tonight. Doherty plans to move on, which he does,

16 he wants to look good now. Give him $44 million, he

17 looks good. And in a couple months, he may move on and

18 leave the debt for us to worry about.

19 But he has to remember, he controls

20 $70-plus million a year for the last, what, five years,

21 he's had that money in his hand, and he's only gone up,

22 he's never gone down. He hasn't done one thing of that

23 money to bring income into this city.

24 There's no question at CMC we need a

25 trauma center. We need a trauma center in a hospital,


1 not necessarily in CMC.

2 The Scranton Times has come down on

3 Council. I spoke out about it the other day. I don't

4 believe they're entitled to $40,000. They've laid off

5 90 people. They built parking garages. They're KOZs

6 and they're non-profits, yet the people at the top have

7 not taken a dime cut, yet the nurses and the caregivers

8 are slighted every day there.

9 So, we should hand $40,000 to a

10 company, a business that's losing money? No, no way.

11 It should modify its own problems and deal with it

12 internally.

13 We're not their caregivers. I pay a

14 considerable amount of money every month for Blue Cross

15 and Blue Shield, and I could be laying on the stretcher

16 with my arm hanging off and they want to know if I have

17 insurance before I go anywhere. So, let's call a spade

18 a spade around here. There's two other hospitals here,

19 too.

20 Maybe what we need is a whole outside

21 trauma center independently owned by someone, a group

22 of doctors or anyone else just like we have other

23 facilities here.

24 It's unfair just to keep coming out and

25 not do this. But if we're losing $40,000, like they


1 said, let's give $40,000 to all of the businesses that

2 are losing money. I'm sure we can find a lot of them

3 around here that are losing money.

4 You know, The Times has it wrong. We

5 look to City Council as the steward of our money. We

6 look to you to guarantee that you're the watch dogs of

7 what goes on in this city. And we expect you to do

8 that now, especially with $44 million on the table.

9 We're not going to be scared. Let

10 Chris Doherty figure out he's going to manage it. He's

11 had five years to do it. Let The Times maybe write an

12 editorial. Maybe they can come here and tell us how to

13 run the city. Remember, they moved their plant to

14 Waverly. Keep that in mind. So, they didn't put

15 everything they had in the city.

16 We have a right to demand a fee from

17 KOZs and non-profits. We have a demand, we have a

18 right, to tell them that everybody that comes here,

19 that we expect you to pay your fair share, from The

20 University right on down.

21 You're a business. If you can't make

22 it, then you've got to leave. If we're out of

23 business, we have to leave. Nobody in the city's

24 handed us money. No county is handing anybody money.

25 The governor isn't coming and giving anybody money.


1 Then they say we come here and

2 grandstand on 61 with the commissioners. Well, I don't

3 know if we grandstand here, but we get our point

4 across. But does anybody watch the commissioner's

5 meeting on 61? Say, talk about grandstanding. I think

6 people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

7 You know, we've got to stop begging for

8 a small pittance in the city. Insist that the golf

9 course money is put in trust and no more game playing.

10 And more importantly, ask Bob Casey and

11 Rick Santorum, because the gentleman that just left

12 here said we're now known nationally, come here and

13 hold a debate in the City of Scranton.

14 Tell us in the City of Scranton what

15 you're going to do for us, how you're going to cut our

16 taxes, how you're going to help Chris Doherty or a

17 future mayor make this city solvent. Tell us how

18 you're going to bring jobs here, not in Jamestown or

19 other places.

20 If you're going to run for an election

21 and you're going to use Scranton, then use Scranton in

22 the significant part it is, that this is where we need

23 progress, nowhere else, and come here and debate.

24 Thank you.

25 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Fred


1 Budzinski.

2 MR. BUDZINSKI: Last week I was at

3 Gerrity's Grocery Store in the Keyser Oak Shopping

4 Center, and there was an old woman named Theresa. She

5 came over to me when I was sitting down there about

6 twelve o'clock eating with another lady.

7 She came up and me an idea. And her

8 and her friend gave me $2, and their idea is, let the

9 citizens of Scranton pay for the benches, let the

10 seniors, non-seniors, they suggest, send one dollar

11 bill to each one of their Council members that they

12 voted for, send a dollar in.

13 Now, I don't have to push this. I

14 don't know how I even got roped in this. So, 86 people

15 -- between 86 people, I have $97 for benches.

16 One woman gave me $5. I asked her

17 name, she said, No. She didn't want to give me her

18 name. And three gave me $2. And I have $97 which I

19 will hold. Probably at the end of October, I don't

20 know what I'm going to get, $400 or $500. I don't know

21 what's going to be send in for the benches.

22 They've been telling me the city is so

23 broke, that's their idea. They want the people of

24 Scranton to pay for those benches, and they want you to

25 send your dollar to any member of City Council, City


1 Council Room, 340 North Washington Avenue, Scranton,

2 Pennsylvania 18503, and I would like Mrs. Evans to have

3 control of that money.

4 And, also, if them benches don't come,

5 and the money that is turned in, they suggested that

6 that money be turned over to the Saint Joseph's

7 Hospital in Green Ridge. Thank you.

8 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. I believe

9 that a letter was sent about the benches.

10 MS. EVANS: Yes. Actually, all the

11 letters went out this week. And if we don't receive a

12 response to those letters in a timely fashion, then I'm

13 going to visit some of the individuals.

14 Mr. Quinn was kind enough to give me

15 their names and locations, and it was my understanding

16 that Lamar was going to provide those benches very

17 generously free of charge to the city, and all of the

18 locations, the businesses, you know, who are situated

19 in those locations have agreed.

20 And what the holdup is, I really don't

21 understand, but I'm sure we'll get to the bottom of it,

22 and I'm hoping that we won't have to use the citizens'

23 money.

24 MS. GATELLI: Lee Morgan.

25 MR. MORGAN: Good evening, Council.


1 What I'd like to say here is Mr. Cordaro's name has

2 come up tonight about the political grandstanding, and

3 I'd like to say that I think Mr. Cordaro shouldn't be

4 throwing rocks at anybody, in my opinion.

5 Back in 1994, I believe it was 1994, I

6 had a discussion with the county commissioners at the

7 Taylor Municipal Building in regards to the 911 call

8 center, and at that time Commissioner Cordaro and

9 Mr. Munchak promised an independent investigation into

10 a response to a 911 call where my daughter lost her

11 life.

12 And everybody who has researched that,

13 the only -- your solicitor may know this, call centers

14 have immunity, and that call center didn't function at

15 all. And I'd just like to say that that's the major

16 reason why I don't have a daughter at this time.

17 And for Mr. Cordaro to stand here in

18 the press and talk about political grandstanding, he

19 promised an independent investigation with one person

20 of my choosing to sit on this board to review what the

21 911 call center had done. It never happened. And he

22 gave his word on that.

23 He sat here at the tax group, and I

24 will acknowledge that I have a very strong dislike for

25 Mr. Cordaro. There's not a doubt, and I don't want to


1 leave a doubt in anybody's mind about that. But I

2 think his brand of politics has to die.

3 And in regards to that, I'd like to say

4 in regard to the loan that this city is talking about,

5 this loan has to be voted down.

6 This city has to move in a new

7 direction, and borrowing all this money is definitely

8 not the direction to take us anywhere.

9 The debt has reached a point where I

10 think people have to realize people can't fix their

11 homes, they can't pay their taxes. It's come to the

12 point where we're only worried about banks making

13 money, consultants making money, insurance companies

14 making money, and we've lost too much in this city.

15 We talk about how the city population

16 has been hacked since I was a child, well, a little

17 more than since I've been a child, and now we're down

18 below 70,000 people.

19 And I'd just like to say that, I mean,

20 I believe Mr. McTiernan is the finance chairman, is

21 that true, sir? I'd hate to have your job, because I

22 don't see how any of these numbers can match. I don't

23 see how we can fight our way through this.

24 I think the greatest gift we can give

25 to the citizens of this city is to take a hard road.


1 It's easy to borrow money. It's easy to talk about how

2 things are going to change in the future.

3 Things haven't changed in this city's

4 future for the last 50 years, because politics has run

5 this city for that long.

6 Some people may not like to hear that

7 said, but that's what's happened here. But you know

8 something, we've got five people at this Council that

9 can make a change here. And I believe that. And

10 politics can die here. And we can have five statesmen

11 sitting in those seats. They're going to change the

12 direction of this city.

13 And the mayor? I think the mayor is a

14 good father and an honorable man. I just don't agree

15 with his politics, and I don't think he's a good

16 administrator, but that doesn't mean that he can't

17 change his direction lead this city in a new direction.

18 Because I didn't say he wasn't capable.

19 I just question whether he really wants to have the

20 best interests of the people in mind, or the best

21 interest of special interest in mind. And I guess that

22 is the question. Thank you.

23 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Marie

24 Shumaker.

25 MS. SHUMAKER: Hi, Marie Shumaker. I


1 have three quick items tonight. The first is a trip

2 down memory lane going back to July 13. I believe it

3 was Mr. Courtright read a letter about the danger at

4 the intersection of Meadow and River with traffic

5 coming from the gas station and attempting to turn

6 left.

7 Mrs. Fanucci stated the planning

8 commission had addresses this while she was a member,

9 and only right turns are permitted.

10 There was a follow-up two weeks later

11 on July 27. On September 7, there was a motion passed

12 to send a letter, among others things, to Donny king

13 concerning the mini-mart on Meadow Avenue to expedite

14 those signs being placed there because there is going

15 to be tragedy there. And that motion did pass.

16 Now, when that tragedy occurs, I would,

17 number one, since I do that a lot, I hope it's not me

18 or one of my loved ones, and second of all, I would

19 almost guarantee there's going to be a lawsuit that the

20 city can ill-afford because they've been toying with

21 this for several years now in actuality.

22 And the fact that it's not being

23 addressed, I think, makes you liable. And I think it's

24 time that something should be done. And it certainly

25 makes one suspicious that maybe the owner of that is


1 one of the more preferred citizens and doesn't want

2 that turn made, and that's the only conclusion I could

3 come to for the lack of action.

4 My next item is the proposed ordinance

5 again for dealing with swimming pools that are not

6 being properly maintained. I'd like to read it. It's

7 brief.

8 Property owners must drain stagnant

9 water on their properties. Swimming pool owners who do

10 not remove stagnant water are subject to having the

11 work performed by a city hired contractor. The

12 property owner will be billed for the city's expenses,

13 plus $125 administrative fee.

14 If the bill is not paid, a lien will be

15 placed against the property. Legal action is also

16 possible. I think that would either cause people to

17 remove the stagnant water or maybe have them make some

18 money.

19 Then my final item tonight deals again

20 with the loan that's back on the agenda, which is

21 disappointing in and of itself that it even made it as

22 far as the agenda.

23 And I might like to say, I am somewhat

24 distressed that we haven't heard anything from the

25 Junior Council on this. It almost makes me wonder if


1 any of them really plan to stay in Scranton after they

2 graduate from high school and college.

3 Because if I was in high school right

4 now and I was looking at the debt that you people are

5 thinking about incurring, they're the ones who are

6 going to be paying it. And I'm surprised, as I say,

7 they're not forthcoming.

8 And to put it into perspective, if you

9 take the -- the not to exceed debt service schedule

10 that was provided when this was on the agenda the last

11 time, we're talking about 13 years worth of property

12 tax revenue for the city or seven plus years of the

13 wage tax.

14 That's what this -- we're going to have

15 to pay. And I think that helps to put it into

16 perspective. And, so, I would hope that you would not

17 vote in favor of this $44 million loan that the mayor

18 is asking for.

19 And since the worldwide symbol of

20 betrayal is 30 pieces of silver, I would like to

21 provide Neil with 30 pieces of silver. They're, in

22 fact, Hershey Kisses, but they're symbolic to share

23 with those Councilperson who vote in favor of this

24 loan. Thank you very much.

25 MR. COURTRIGHT: Jim Davis.


1 MR. MINORA: Excuse me, Mr. Davis.

2 Excuse me, Mr. Davis. Before you start, would you mind

3 removing your hat, please?

4 MR. DAVIS: Yes.

5 MR. MINORA: Thank you.

6 MR. DAVIS: I'm working.

7 MR. MINORA: Would you mind removing

8 your hat, please? We went through this the last time

9 you were up.

10 MR. DAVIS: No, I didn't.

11 MR. DAVIS: Would you please remove

12 your hat?

13 MR. DAVIS: It's America.

14 MR. MINORA: I'm asking you. Your hat

15 is -- the rules are we're not going to allow speakers

16 to promote individual candidates.

17 Now, I told you that two weeks ago. I

18 explained it to you as nicely and as kindly as I could.

19 The rules apply to you, Mr. Davis, just as they do to

20 everyone else.

21 Mr. DiBileo last year had people take

22 pins off when he was running, his own pins, because he

23 understood the importance of having this be a

24 non-political setting.

25 Now, I'm asking you nicely, please


1 remove your hat, or don't speak or don't speak.

2 MR. DAVIS: Okay. I'm going to speak.

3 MR. MINORA: Then remove your hat.

4 MR. DAVIS: No.

5 MR. MINORA: Then don't speak.

6 MR. DAVIS: I don't have to.

7 MR. COURTRIGHT: Mr. Davis --

8 MR. DAVIS: Yes.

9 MR. COURTRIGHT: If you don't want to

10 remove your hat, take the sticker off.

11 MR. DAVIS: What if I do this?

12 MR. COURTRIGHT: That's fine. Is that

13 all right, Mr. Minora?

14 MR. MINORA: No.


16 MR. MINORA: I don't know whether --

17 the point of this is very simple --

18 MR. DAVIS: It's --

19 MR. COURTRIGHT: Mr. Davis, just hold

20 on for a second. One second, Mr. Davis, one minute.

21 MR. MINORA: The point is very simple.

22 This podium is not to be used to foster or set forth

23 some individual's political agenda.

24 I happen to like the person that he has

25 his hat on for, that's not the point. That's not the


1 point. The point of it is, this is to discuss city

2 business.

3 I explained to Mr. Davis two weeks ago,

4 we're not here to promote the agenda of a political

5 candidate. The rule applies to you, Mr. Davis, just as

6 it does to every other person in this audience.

7 Every other person in this audience has

8 abided by that. Why you can't, I don't know. Why you

9 think you're a privileged character, I don't know, but

10 remove your hat before you speak, or don't speak.

11 MR. DAVIS: Look in the audience.

12 MR. MINORA: Or don't speak.

13 MR. DAVIS: Look in the audience. Do

14 you see another black face in this audience?

15 MR. MINORA: Mr. Davis --

16 MR. COURTRIGHT: Mr. Davis --

17 MR. MINORA: Hat off or don't speak.

18 It's very simple.

19 MR. DAVIS: I stand corrected.

20 MR. MINORA: Hat off or don't speak.

21 MR. DAVIS: I stand corrected, sir.

22 MR. MINORA: If you stand corrected,

23 take your hat off.

24 MR. DAVIS: I turned it around.

25 MR. COURTRIGHT: Take -- Mr. Davis, I'm


1 going to have to ask you to either take that off, take

2 the sticker off or sit down. We're going to --

3 MR. DAVIS: Well, now we're changing.

4 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes, yes. And I will

5 see that if somebody comes up in future, whether Mrs.

6 Gatelli is here or not, that they do not display any

7 political stickers, buttons or whatever.

8 If we make an exception for you, I'm

9 sure next week there's going to be people here with

10 other political stickers on. Please just comply. It's

11 a simple request.

12 MR. DAVIS: This is really an

13 exception.

14 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you.

15 MR. DAVIS: Thank you. It's easily

16 done.

17 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yeah, it was.

18 MR. DAVIS: But it's not THE purpose of

19 it. The reason why I'm doing this, and I'm saying, I

20 came here tonight to talk about civil rights.

21 MR. COURTRIGHT: All right. That's

22 fine. Please talk about it.

23 MR. DAVIS: Because last time I was

24 here, I thought my civil rights were violated. Excuse

25 me?


1 MR. COURTRIGHT: Go ahead, speak on it.

2 MR. DAVIS: It's all right to speak

3 now?

4 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yeah, go right ahead.

5 MR. DAVIS: Could I do that for five

6 minutes? Okay. Thank you.

7 MR. COURTRIGHT: Sorry about. I'm

8 Italian, I talk with my hands.

9 MR. DAVIS: Thank you. Assalaam

10 Alaikum, (UNTRANSCRIBABLE). For my Muslim friends out

11 there or brothers, (UNTRANSCRIBABLE) means peace and

12 blessings during Ramadan. We are celebrating Ramadan

13 during this period of time of the year, and it's a

14 pleasant -- it's something that happens as we

15 congratulate each other to go through this period of

16 time. It's when we bear our burdens to allow it.

17 And I came here tonight to talk about

18 civil rights because I think it's so important. I

19 think it's a course that should be taught in high

20 school. I think it should be a part of your

21 curriculum. It's so important that our kids are not

22 knowledgeable.

23 As a matter of fact, most of our

24 seniors, most of our adults are not knowledgeable.

25 You're not serious.


1 MR. MINORA: That's five minutes.

2 MR. DAVIS: You know, it's a violation

3 of a person's rights to speak in a quorum, in a

4 positive quorum, in a positive --

5 MR. MINORA: Be here next week.

6 MR. DAVIS: Excuse me.

7 MR. MINORA: We'll be here next week.

8 MR. DAVIS: I know you will. Mr.

9 Courtright, what are we going to do about the lines on

10 the bridge on the street out there?

11 MR. COURTRIGHT: I'd be happy to talk

12 with you after the meeting.

13 MR. DAVIS: Oh, no. You can't say

14 anything -- you said that two weeks ago.

15 MR. COURTRIGHT: What did I say two

16 weeks ago?

17 MR. DAVIS: I asked you about the lines

18 on the street up there, you said you're going to have

19 something done about it.

20 MR. COURTRIGHT: On what street?

21 MR. DAVIS: You not only can't see, but

22 you can't hear me.

23 MR. COURTRIGHT: No. I can see and I

24 can hear, both. Are there any other speakers? Mr.

25 Elman.


1 MR. ELMAN: Ronny Elman from North

2 Side. Believe it or not, I didn't come to badmouth

3 anybody tonight, even the newspaper.

4 I was at the mall Saturday. I went to

5 post office, and I'm riding the escalator down, and six

6 or seven people, their peers, got in front of me, these

7 weirdos wearing the black and the funny hair and all

8 the earrings and all. And I was just sitting and

9 looking at them. They're losers.

10 Where are these kids going to go? And

11 I can't understand how their parents or guardians are

12 allowing them to degenerate to this kind of state.

13 And then it occurred to me, they're not

14 going anywhere. You know, they'll be living with their

15 mama ten years from now, but most of these kids,

16 they're not going to be here either. They're going to

17 graduate or go to college or trade school, get married,

18 whatever.

19 These weirdos on the escalator are the

20 ones, even if it's just one or two of them, they're the

21 ones that are the future leaders of this city, and it's

22 a terrible thought for me. I mean, you know, for

23 anybody. I mentioned it to somebody else.

24 It just seems like such a -- here we

25 are just talking about all this money. Last week there


1 was three more positions added onto the city. You

2 know, it doesn't stop with this mayor. And these

3 people aren't even going to be here. I don't know who

4 is going to be left in town to pay taxes. There's

5 5,000 houses and businesses for sale, a real estate

6 lady estimated to me. That was a year ago.

7 Every year there's 500, 600 houses in

8 the sheriff's sale. What's left around here? You

9 know, we've got all these hospitals and everybody. I

10 might be mistaken, but I thought I read in the paper

11 the reason the hospital let 90 people go was financial.

12 I didn't see anything else in there that, you know,

13 that shows up in the paper today.

14 But what are we going to do in the

15 city? You're talking about another loan. This mayor

16 is just incapable of running the city. There's -- it's

17 just getting worse and worse, and you people just seem

18 to be out of touch. You just don't talk to people.

19 Like, I was sitting in the grocery

20 store this week, and three, four people came to me.

21 Everybody is against it. I was at two flea markets,

22 and people were telling me the city is going to pot,

23 the streets are bad.

24 I've had my front end on my car aligned

25 every summer. I have to get it aligned after the


1 winter. You know, Mr. Connors borrowed, what, $18

2 million or something to pave the streets, and this year

3 we're going through all the paving?

4 The cars -- I lost a hubcap that you

5 have to use a screwdriver to pry off on my car. One of

6 them fell off on these potholes. I mean, I don't know

7 how, but I lost one. It just seems, you know, the

8 city's just not being taken care of properly.

9 I think I can praise the sanitation

10 department. They seem to be doing their job, because

11 my street looks nice, you know, when they go by and

12 they do their job, the police and the firemen do, but

13 this building is absolutely full of just a bunch of

14 wasted people.

15 The lesser people in every

16 administration are doing all the work, and still I'm

17 saying, get on the phone and try to get one of these

18 department heads. It's impossible. They're never

19 there. Now we have three more of them added onto the

20 payroll? It's senseless.

21 You know, I don't know -- I wasn't here

22 earlier, but I didn't hear anybody mention the

23 Governor's admiration for our mayor, you know, saying

24 he's doing such a good job, keep him here. I don't

25 know.


1 To me, if you read between the lines,

2 it acts like Mr. Rendell doesn't want him in

3 Harrisburg. Thank you.

4 MS. GATELLI: Than you. Anybody else

5 care to speak?

6 MR. NOLE: My name is Gunner Nole. I'm

7 a Scranton resident, a homeowner and taxpayer and a

8 retired U.S. Army officer.

9 I actually compiled a speech this week.

10 I'm going to read it, if I could beg your indulgence.

11 Feel free to criticize both the style and content after

12 I'm through.

13 Each week as I watch citizens speakers

14 approach the podium, I see democracy in action,

15 although lately it's been more like a cliptocracy.

16 It's like watching five wolves and one sheep voting on

17 what's going to be for dinner.

18 It seems there is absolutely no limit

19 at all to this city government's desire for our money.

20 With every year that passes, the actual taxpayers

21 decrease in number, while the tax takers increase.

22 Lately, some of your discussions of

23 half-baked ideas are causing severe intellectual

24 discomfort to the taxpayers of this city.

25 It's been said he who robs Peter to pay


1 Paul can always count on the support of Paul. Well,

2 I'm tired of being treated like a Peter.

3 Stop looking in other people's pockets

4 for money. You have no business there. Stop ripping

5 us off, and don't put any more debt on the backs of the

6 working class. We are not your beasts of burden.

7 Do not bow to the temptation to use the

8 government as an instrument of plunder. Don't be like

9 the county commissioners.

10 If it is wrong for you to take money

11 from someone who earned it, to take their money by

12 force for your own needs, then it is certainly just as

13 wrong for you to demand the government step forward and

14 do this dirty work for you.

15 Not only the mayor, but we are holding you

16 accountable, as well. The key to accepting

17 responsibility for your actions is to accept the fact

18 that your choices, each and every one of them, are

19 leading you and us inexorably to either success or

20 failure.

21 As taxpayers, we want our elected

22 officials to succeed, but we realize occasionally we

23 must alter some elements of your behavior. We would be

24 doing you no favors by accepting your excuses for your

25 poor judgment and irresponsible financial behavior.


1 All of you can easily be replaced, and some of you

2 surely will.

3 But just imagine for a moment how

4 difficult it would be for us just to find a candidate

5 with the ability to undo the damage caused by your

6 impending buffoonery, and one that is willing to run,

7 yet alone get him or her elected.

8 One of my more liberal friends always

9 says, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. He

10 usually gets upset when I explain it, and it will make

11 perfect sense here once I do. It's an easy concept.

12 The rich keep getting richer because

13 they keep doing the things that make them rich, and the

14 same applies to the poor. The same theory applies to

15 this City Council.

16 Year after year we seem to keep doing

17 the same things that continue to make us even poorer.

18 This City Council is making the city poor.

19 Go ahead, add it up. Show us the

20 balance sheet, assets on one side, liabilities on the

21 other side. What's our net worth? Are we wealthier

22 this year than last year? Tell us. Or better yet,

23 show us.

24 I suspect as individuals, some of you

25 may have outlived your usefulness, some of you no


1 longer offer any utility to the people of this city.

2 As a group, however, as a block of

3 five, one cohesive unit, you can be a powerful force

4 it, a force that can override any external influence,

5 you can fix our current financial problems and prevent

6 future ones from occurring.

7 Do not wait until it is too late to

8 recognize the importance of good decision making. And

9 it should be noted none of you produce anything other

10 than paper or zany regulations. Our beloved garbage

11 are by far more productive than this Council.

12 If you are uncertain if what you are

13 doing is not absolutely the best option or direction

14 for the city, then please do nothing. Do nothing is

15 always an option. And we can live better with a bunch

16 of do nothings, than a bunch of screw-ups. Perhaps you

17 would prefer the title the prophylactics of progress.

18 So, can somebody up there, somebody

19 please give us a few reasons why we, the citizens,

20 should have any confidence, let alone any modicum of

21 hope about the future of Scranton as it is left in your

22 hands.

23 So, come on. Energize me. Pump me up.

24 Send me back home reassured knowing the city will be

25 financially solvent without plundering my family's


1 treasure and we are in good hands. Thank you.

2 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.

3 MS. STULGIS: I brought a little show

4 and tell. My name is Ann Marie Stulgis, and I'm the

5 president of the Scranton/Dunmore Fraternal Order of

6 Police.

7 And before I begin, may I ask, did any

8 of you receive on your check recently a memo from the

9 city controller asking you for proof of your residency?


11 MS. STULGIS: Okay. So did members of

12 our union and the other unions. My concern with that

13 is the security of that information.

14 We all know that we live in an

15 information age, an age where knowing people's Social

16 Security number, dates of birth, can be extremely

17 harmful to them.

18 We all know that there have been of

19 late several government officials throughout the

20 country, including federal officials, who've lost their

21 jobs for failing to be very careful with the

22 dissemination of people's private information.

23 Tied in with that is the fact that our

24 city is in great debt and that everyone wonders whom to

25 blame. Well, might I suggest that the blame falls on


1 the incompetence of the management of this city.

2 And as proof I offer to you these.

3 These are literally hundreds and hundreds and hundreds

4 of index cards. As you can see they're jammed in here,

5 and there's hundreds of them.

6 They were found blown about Dix Court,

7 up and down Dix Court. They were at one time a part of

8 the office of our human resource director Lisa Moran.

9 Instead of shredding them, they were

10 thrown away. It was windy, it was rainy, so these

11 cards blew all over the alley.

12 They contain -- here is a former police

13 officer who's now a state trooper. They contain his

14 name, his address, his city, what he was hired at, his

15 phone number, his date of birth, his date of hire, his

16 starting salary, and his Social Security number.

17 Hundreds of them, hundreds and hundreds.

18 They're from people who were hired in

19 1955 through people who were hired up to 1995. As many

20 as could possibly be gathered up were gathered up,

21 however, how many weren't rescued? How many fell into

22 the wrong hands?

23 Who has your Social Security number and

24 your date of birth? Who now has access to that? You

25 can sell these on the internet. We could get the city


1 out of debt in no time with all these. All I have to

2 do is apply for a couple of credit cards.

3 Look at this. We've got Attorney Nancy

4 Barrasse, we've got Eugene Barrett, we've got former

5 Mayor David Wenzel.

6 MS. GATELLI: I might be in there.

7 MS. STULGIS: As a matter of fact, Mrs.

8 Gatelli, I understand your birthday might be August 18?

9 MS. GATELLI: Yes, it is.

10 MS. STULGIS: Here it is.

11 MS. GATELLI: See, there you go.

12 MS. STULGIS: By tomorrow morning with

13 this card, by tomorrow morning if your utilities are in

14 your name and not your husband's, I could make sure you

15 have no water, no gas, no electric, no phone, and I

16 could go on a charging spree. And that is for

17 hundreds, literally, hundreds, hundreds, hundreds.

18 We've got Paul McGloin, we've got Mayor

19 Connors, we've got Sam Vitras, Sr., Sam Vitras, Jr.,

20 Nancy Krake, I know mine is in here, I know Dave

21 Gervasi's is in here, Dave Schreiber.

22 What I would strongly suggest, and you

23 don't have to do it since your card is accounted for,

24 but what I would strongly suggest is that anyone who

25 has been employed by the City of Scranton, even on a


1 part-time basis, because I know Mr. Gilhooley's is in

2 here, Mr. Hazzouri's is in here, Mr. Pocius, he was

3 born in 1950, I thought he was older than that, there's

4 -- there's -- I'm not kidding you. This is a debacle,

5 to say the least. Federal employees were fired for

6 this, and yet, this is who's running our city.

7 This came from a department where the

8 department had got a $10,000 at one clip pay raise,

9 $10,000 at one clip. You wonder why we're in debt if

10 this is what's running the city? Does anybody wonder?

11 But please, I'm asking anybody, if you

12 know anyone who worked for the City of Scranton ever,

13 to please check their credit, because we don't know

14 whose cards weren't rescued from the garbage and we

15 don't know whose lives can be ruined because of this

16 malfeasance of office.

17 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mrs. Stulgis,

18 what do you intend to do with those cards?

19 AUDIENCE MEMBER: Sell them.

20 MS. STULGIS: I'm going to make sure

21 there's no criminal charges that can be brought for

22 this, and if there are not, the Fraternal Order of

23 Police will shred them.

24 MS. GATELLI: Okay. Thank you very

25 much. And I'm glad you didn't say the year I was born


1 in. Thank you.

2 MS. FRANUS: Fay Franus, Scranton.

3 First I want to address the dog issue. I'm very much

4 against any ban on pit bulls, and I understand you said

5 something about the planning commission and you're

6 working on this, just because a few people come up here

7 with dog bites and stuff like that and pictures, it's

8 not the dogs, and I don't care what anybody says.

9 I was attacked by a dog. My face was

10 scared, I had to get plastic surgery. It was a

11 Doberman. There's no ban on Dobermans, nor should

12 there be. It's not the dogs, it's the owners.

13 And until you people realize this and

14 go after the owners, not the dogs -- I work with dogs

15 all day long, and there's wonderful pit bulls out

16 there. They're the best. You just have to like them,

17 you have to love them and you have to treat them

18 decently.

19 People that own these pit bulls, you

20 should get the names of these people and go after them

21 and take the pit bulls off them and put them in good

22 homes where they will be loved and taken care of, not

23 abused.

24 Anybody's that's abused is going to

25 react like that, whether it be a pit bull or whether it


1 be a little poodle. A little poodle bit my lip one

2 day, a little cute little poodle. I got stiches, you

3 know, but so what.

4 Dogs do things for a reason. They're

5 not nasty dogs, just nasty dogs. They're brought up

6 that way. It's how they're raised. It's what they're

7 -- all I'm telling you is if you go through with this

8 and if you encourage this, I'm going to come after you,

9 because somebody has to stick up for these dogs. It's

10 complete discrimination, complete, absolute

11 discrimination, and it shouldn't. There should be no

12 ban on any dog.

13 You go off the owner and make sure that

14 the people take care of their animals. That's your

15 responsibility as a Council in charge of the animal

16 control, which is a joke around here.

17 The Humane Society officers are

18 wonderful. They have so much work, they can't handle

19 it. And I give them all the credit in the world. They

20 need help.

21 Now I want to talk about this loan.

22 This loan shouldn't even have been on the agenda, but

23 it is, so we can't do anything about it.

24 Mrs. Fanucci, where do I even start

25 here? You're talking about possibly a $20 million.


1 There should be zero, zero. So, I think this was a

2 deal from day one.

3 We'll ask for $44 and we'll give you

4 $20, we'll all look good. We'll look good because we

5 gave you less than what you wanted, so it looks like we

6 care about the taxpayers. Give them nothing.

7 You sat there and said, Mrs. Fanucci,

8 you sat there and said Council is not doing their job.

9 You're part of Council. I don't see any solutions from

10 you. Mrs. Evans come up with, like, 15 different

11 solutions, but you didn't act upon any one of them.

12 Why? I have no idea. Every one of her ideas were

13 excellent.

14 And, Mrs. Gatelli, the same way. I

15 mean, you come up with some wonderful ideas, too, but I

16 don't know. All I know is this, you told me once that

17 it's what you believed.

18 If this dies in Council, it's dead.

19 But I want to know if this dies in Council tonight,

20 could the mayor put this in his budget? Because he's

21 not going to settle for just getting nothing, and

22 that's a scare tactic about these payless paydays.

23 That's a lot of crap.

24 Now, is that true? If this dies

25 tonight, if it does, could he put it in his budget?


1 MS. GATELLI: I don't think so.

2 MS. FRANUS: Mrs. Evans, didn't he also

3 put other loans in -- did he also put other in his

4 budget, loans that he didn't get?

5 MS. EVANS: It could be inserted, I

6 believe, in the budget, but Council will also have to

7 vote on it, and it's my own personal expectation that

8 should tonight's borrowing legislation not be approved,

9 that we will see additional legislation from the

10 administration for a lesser amount of borrowing.

11 MS. FRANUS: There's your deal. Go ask

12 for a lot, give you a little, and everybody thinks that

13 they, you know, they did their job.

14 This is not right. You shouldn't

15 approve anything. If it comes back in the budget,

16 don't approve it. If it comes in front of you for a

17 veto, get four votes against one.

18 If you really want the people to know

19 where you really stand, do the right thing. We've had

20 enough of this politics.

21 Another thing, if somebody's going to

22 speak more than five minutes, Mr. Bolus speaks more

23 than five minutes every week, not a word is said, not a

24 word, but you take people out of here by the police for

25 speaking over.


1 What's good for one is good for

2 everybody. These kids even talk longer than five

3 minutes. Nothing is said.

4 MS. GATELLI: I don't think they do.

5 MS. FRANUS: Oh, I know they do.

6 MS. GATELLI: Do they, Amil?

7 MS. FRANUS: Yes. Do you want me to

8 show you the tapes?

9 MR. MINORA: No. As a matter --

10 MS. GATELLI: I mean, Mr. Bolus

11 finished his sentence.

12 MS. FRANUS: Mr. Bolus finished his

13 paragraphs. All I know is I've seen people taken out

14 of here by the police, which is totally ridiculous.

15 This old man last week, he was reciting The

16 Constitution. I thought it was disgraceful.

17 MS. GATELLI: Well, that's your

18 opinion.

19 MS. FRANUS: Yes, it is.

20 MS. GATELLI: And you're entitled to

21 it.

22 MS. FRANUS: Thank you.

23 MS. GATELLI: You're welcome.

24 MS. FIDATI ADSIT: My name is

25 Annabelle Fidati Adsit. I'm a homeowner. I live in


1 South Scranton. And I regret I have to come here and

2 disagree with Les Spindler, but I do.

3 I just don't think we can ban one breed

4 of animals out there and say that they're called all

5 bad, because they're not.

6 There was a time that the Dobermans

7 were very much feared, and at that time I had a son

8 living out of state and he had two Dobermans. And he

9 called me and said, I'm coming home, Mom. And in came

10 the two Dobermans.

11 Well, I said, My God, I'll have to move

12 out. They're Dobermans. Because that's the mindset.

13 We get this fear of the Doberman, the German Shepard,

14 the police dog, the Rotweillers, but they aren't all

15 the same. Every owner, I believe, is different.

16 Right now there's a person in my family

17 who has a pit bull, and this pit bull was from the

18 pound many years ago. No one wanted him. He's deaf,

19 he can't hear, he doesn't bark, he has a very bad hind

20 leg, and I love him to pieces. He is so wonderful.

21 And the children, no matter what age,

22 they just love him. And for over ten years, he's white

23 , you would never know it by looking at him, but he is

24 a pit bull.

25 But my grandson trained him with such


1 respect for people, children, and the kids love him in

2 his area.

3 So, it's the owner and the

4 responsibility that they have in rearing that dog

5 right. Just like a parent has. You rear the dog the

6 way he should go, you rear the child the way your child

7 should go, and this is what the dog will turn out to

8 be.

9 If you're going to train him to be

10 vicious, he will be. If you train the dog to be

11 loveable and you love that dog.

12 So, we cannot lump them all together

13 and say, Well, we have to ban this certain breed of

14 animals. I don't agree with that, no. It's almost --

15 MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Fidati, I'm just

16 going to interrupt you for a minute. I don't think

17 anyone on this Council has any intention of banning a

18 breed of dog.

19 MS. FIDATI ADSIT: Oh, I hope not.

20 MS. GATELLI: You know, we don't. So,

21 I don't know where that idea is coming from, but it's

22 not our intent to do that. Our intent is to protect

23 the people, and maybe with the animal control, et

24 cetera.



1 MS. GATELLI: And Attorney Minora is

2 investigating that. But, please, disregard that notion

3 of banning, because Amil did tell us that we can't do

4 that, and we have no intention of doing that. We're

5 gong to address it in a different manner.

6 MS. FIDATI ADSIT: Right. You're going

7 to get more information, too, you said, right? Well, I

8 just feel that some of them are so wonderful that, you

9 know, it's -- there's so much talk of them being lumped

10 together, that's my point, and they're not all bad.

11 They just aren't. And I've had personal experience

12 with them.

13 And this little one, the only thing I

14 can say about this guy is he sheds white, and that's

15 all right. I have a dark blue rug. I run a vacuum on

16 it when he comes to see me, but he just puts his head

17 on my lap and wants to lick you.

18 And in ten and a half years, he has

19 been a wonderful, wonderful pet to all children all

20 over the neighborhoods. When he visits me, I just love

21 him.

22 And I never thought I'd ever say that

23 until I got to know this dog ten years ago. So,

24 they're not all bad. And that's all I wanted to say.

25 And thank you very much.


1 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.

2 MR. HEIER: My name is Rich Heier,

3 Scranton taxpayer. In regard to the identity things

4 that were found, mine fortunately was there, but I

5 would like to -- I don't know, Amil, if there's a law

6 broken there or anything, but I think there should be

7 an investigation, and not by a city agency, because we

8 saw what happened on Hollow Avenue, the pictures were

9 all wrong and everybody else was right.

10 MR. MINORA: Rich, if there was to be

11 an investigation, you know, you could bring it to

12 either the AG's Office, to the DA's Office, really the

13 US Attorneys Office. I would guess they would be the

14 other agencies you would bring it to.

15 Frankly off the top of my head, I don't

16 know of a crime that was committed, but I'm certainly

17 not the last word in that. But, you know, it's

18 somewhat appalling.

19 MR. HEIER: And another thing, a little

20 over a week ago I acquired to a high ranking city

21 official because I was unable to get any answers about,

22 I got all these marks on my street, like, for sewer,

23 water, and there's red pins in the middle of the road.

24 I was trying to make an improvement to

25 my property, which would be a driveway, and I can't


1 find out what they're going to do with the street.

2 I called all those agencies, they don't

3 know, and I called the city, and nobody gets back to

4 you.

5 MS. GATELLI: What street, Richie?

6 MR. HEIER: The six of Grace. Like,

7 they put a cul de sac at the end of the road, and that

8 stops right at my property.

9 And like the guy said, like everybody

10 says, now your troubles begin. It's the rest of the

11 city. We are trying to find out. We would like to get

12 the road milled down to where it used to be and the

13 water could run nice.

14 That's half the problem in The Plot.

15 You can't keep paving roads, because they go up over

16 the curbs. You got to cut them back to where they

17 originally where. I understand they got a machine now

18 that they do that.

19 Because, like, just in that block we

20 had a -- a city inspector was there for an hour and a

21 half one day, and my neighbor got a hold of me and

22 watched him for, like, an hour and a half, and he

23 posted all the buildings that were bought by the flood

24 project and actually were city owned.

25 So, he put a notice on the door that


1 the grass needed to be cut, even though the city owned

2 it, the city was tagging it.

3 So, I called them up and he says,

4 You're right. Cut the grass, and they did. But

5 there's no system. I mean, they're a city-owned

6 property and they're posting it against themselves.

7 I'd like to find out what's going to

8 happen with the street so I can make some improvements,

9 but I can't seem to get an answer.

10 MS. GATELLI: We will ask and see if we

11 can get an answer. Thank you.

12 MR. GERVASI: Good evening, City

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

14 and homeowner in the City of Scranton.

15 At the risk of sounding redundant, once

16 again, I've been reading the paper, and I saw some

17 comments in the paper, and I just want to talk about

18 this $44 million once again.

19 I asked each one of these

20 Councilpeople, all five of you last week, if you saw

21 any of the independent audits, if you saw any of the

22 drafts of the coming up budget, and all five of you to

23 my three questions answered in the negative.

24 And, again, at the risk of sounding

25 redundant, are we going to possibly believe the mayor


1 that he needs this money, that the city is broke?

2 Let me just take you back where past

3 Councils have given him five, six, nine million dollars

4 to borrow every year, where we showed right from the

5 independent audits the city had an operating budget

6 surplus that increased from 1999 to 2004.

7 So, my opinion, I mean, I'm no expert

8 at this, but we had experts look at it. The city was

9 not in debt. The reason for the borrowing, in my

10 opinion, was to spend money above and beyond the

11 operating the city.

12 This $44 million, and everyone said in

13 the negative last week that you don't know where the

14 money is going, what infrastructure projects it's going

15 to be put to, and where most of it's going to go.

16 You really need to be conscious and

17 serious about this entire issue. I mean, are we

18 actually going to possibly believe this guy?

19 Just off the top of my head, I jotted

20 down a few things where he said he was going to reduce

21 the wage tax, and he never did, he was going to improve

22 services.

23 Well, look around. He was going to go

24 after parking fees, he didn't. He was going to

25 negotiate contracts with us, he didn't.


1 He said there was going to be no

2 arbitrations. There's more arbitrations now than there

3 were in the past three mayors combined.

4 He was going to bid out contracts when

5 a third Council ago took him to task, he didn't. He

6 said he was going to attend Council meetings, he

7 didn't. He was going to lift the distressed status, he

8 didn't.

9 He said he was going to raise your

10 taxes if the Recovery Plan if you voted against the

11 Recovery Plan. Four years later, he still didn't raise

12 taxes yet. Was he lying to you? You decide.

13 He said he was against the golf course

14 sale than he was before it when he became mayor. He

15 was gong to go after non-profits, negotiate with them

16 for in lieu of taxes payments. He didn't.

17 There's only two ways that you're going

18 to balance this budget if, in fact, we are in a

19 deficit, that is to increase revenue or make cuts.

20 That's the only two way it could possibly be done.

21 Talk to any accountant with a degree in these things.

22 That's the only way you can do it.

23 Borrowing is not going to take care of

24 the city's finances. All borrowing is going to do, in

25 my opinion, is give him more money to spend because he


1 has a pattern of giving no-bid contracts, jobs,

2 patronage jobs, loans to campaign contributors. That's

3 what he's done.

4 It's been the pattern. You cannot deny

5 it. It's all right there. Don't give him any more

6 money.

7 When he said he needed the CRF loans,

8 remember the big emergency, got to get it done, a few

9 unions came here asking for it.

10 Mr. Courtright, I think a few weeks

11 ago, there's about, what, $1.2 million of it spent so

12 far a year later? Had to have that money right off the

13 bat.

14 Or you can listen to PEL who comes here

15 with their little scripted presentations, you know, the

16 same PEL who's been here for 14 years and counting, and

17 we're in worse financial condition, supposedly, than we

18 were that got us distressed in the first place in 1992.

19 So, we're going to listen to them.

20 Well, I wouldn't listen to them. And as a matter of

21 fact, the mayor apparently doesn't think PEL is that

22 credible either, because during our arbitration, he

23 spent $40,000 on a firm called PFM to tell our

24 arbitrator during our arbitration that the city was

25 broke, and we sent them on their way, because they got


1 their information from the city, from the business

2 administrator, from the mayor, just like you're getting

3 your information from the business administrator and

4 the mayor, unlike if you looked at the independent

5 audit.

6 I'm just going to read one thing here

7 that a very famous person here in the City of Scranton

8 said on December 30 of 2003. As mayor, I must live off

9 the city's financial balance sheet and run the city by

10 the numbers.

11 When the time comes to make a decision,

12 the numbers indicate that a certain amount of money is

13 all I can spend, because it is not my money. It

14 belongs to the taxpayers.

15 These limitations are the same for all

16 cities who commit to live within their fiscal means.

17 The author of that was Chris Doherty. He should live

18 by his words. Thank you.

19 MR. ANCHERANI: Good evening, Council.

20 I'm Nelson Ancherani, resident, taxpayer, financial

21 secretary of the FOP. I'm going to exercise my First

22 Amendment rights.

23 The mayor and newspaper and

24 Pennsylvania Economy League have been blaming the

25 unions for the deficits since the current mayor took


1 office in 2002.

2 The mayor's been saying that he needs

3 the recovery plan in place to be able to cut expenses.

4 I believe Len Kresefski said the same thing at the

5 North Scranton Neighborhood Association this past week.

6 All he has to do to stop cut -- or all

7 he has to do to cut expenses is to stop the way he

8 spends money. Cancel the raises he gave out and

9 eliminate the new hires.

10 I went through the budgets, 2001 to

11 2006, and focused on the police wages. In 2001, we had

12 159 officers but it wasn't really broken down between

13 the 140 by contract and 19 federal.

14 So, I will start with 2002, 140

15 officers, $3,600,999, that's the wages. The year

16 after, $3,560,980, it dropped.

17 The year after that, $3,288,657, it

18 dropped again. In 2005, $3,518,810, it went up.

19 In 2006, $3,632,843, it went up again.

20 Why it went up for those two years, 2005 and 2006? I

21 don't know. It should have been the same. And that's

22 for 140 officers. That's their wages, okay? Not too

23 much of a difference there, so basically staying the

24 same.

25 It should be noted that for 2003, four


1 and five, wages for the superintendent of police,

2 police chief, which are $48,169, were deducted from

3 those years' wages. That's because he's not in the

4 bargaining unit. He was removed from that.

5 And federal officers also decreased

6 from 159 -- or from 19 in 2001, 29 in 2002, down to

7 seven in 2005, and ten in 2006.

8 I'm just going to add a little bit more

9 to the wages of the police for us to count in for how

10 much we -- what we're getting, and if it's increased.

11 If hasn't. Longevity is decreased.

12 In 2003, it was $438,000 down to 997

13 down to $363,250. Overtime decreased. Court

14 appearances decreased. Uniforms decreased.

15 What did go up was health insurance and

16 police, but they've got everybody lumped in. They have

17 people that are animal control, your clerks, everybody

18 lumped into that.

19 Sure, they're saying it went up, but

20 they also want us police officers to pay for the

21 retired and they want us to pay for administration.

22 And the increases can be explained,

23 because Mayor Doherty fired the health care consultant.

24 She saved $7 million. He fired her. Why? Because she

25 saved money? I mean, I don't know.


1 I mean, if somebody saved that much

2 money, I think we would want to keep that person.

3 Sure, we have another health care consultant. If

4 they'd give him the information, maybe they could do

5 something.

6 I know my co-pays went down. I know

7 that health -- the original health care consultant

8 saved money. She saved us money.

9 Len Kresefski at the caucus meeting

10 said that it cost the city $76,000, approximately

11 $76,000 per each firemen that the city has on their

12 payroll.

13 I'd like to challenge him and say, Show

14 me where. I would like him to show everybody here

15 where. We're getting the blame. I would like to see

16 where and why we're getting the blame. The figures in

17 the budget don't show why we should be getting the

18 blame. We should not.

19 As for the $44 million, I know when in

20 2004 at the end of the year, Mr. McTiernan knew someone

21 who couldn't afford the job tax, the $52 tax.

22 You voted for it the next year, but now

23 this year, two years later, the city is looking for $44

24 million, and I believe Mr. McTiernan might be for that.

25 I just hope that person, who was a


1 person that couldn't forward it, I hope that person can

2 afford the $44 million, because I don't know if the

3 rest of us could. Thank you.

4 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.

5 MS. KRAKE: Good evening, Council. My

6 name is Nancy Krake. Obviously I don't think we should

7 vote for the $44 million, but I would like to bring

8 your attention to Item 5-B, and I think this brings the

9 reason that we need $44 million, is that this is a very

10 good example of how this money has been ill spent for

11 the past six years.

12 We're asking for a transfer to

13 professional services to cover legal fees. Okay.

14 Apparently the $250,000 in the 2006 budget wasn't

15 enough, and the $214,000 for salaries in that

16 department wasn't enough.

17 So, now we're taking $60,000 from the

18 $150,000 that's in capital expenditures for the IT

19 Department, which, by the way, was $720,000 last year.

20 That's incredible. Over six years, I might add, that's

21 just been ballooning.

22 Not only do they have $150,000 in

23 capital expenditures in the IT department, which we've

24 just depleted now by $60,000, we also have $130,000 in

25 professional services.


1 It's mind boggling. This is just one

2 department interfacing with another department. Can

3 you imagine what you will find when you take a good

4 hard look and come up with your own budget?

5 So, Council, I would also like you to

6 remember that the Pennsylvania Economy League does want

7 us to borrow the money. They'd like us to borrow the

8 money, because the more money we borrow, the more we

9 are in debt. And the longer we are in debt, the longer

10 they keep their jobs, the biggest municipal account in

11 the State of Pennsylvania for a consulting firm, who

12 we're not paying out of the general fund directly.

13 But, once again, as Mrs. Gatelli

14 brought up earlier, we are paying for that through our

15 taxes to the state.

16 And my other favorite topic, another

17 huge amount of money the mayor created, when a contract

18 for the clerical union was negotiated without me, which

19 I did not sign, $670,000 is what the city will be

20 paying for the non-uniform pension for 2007 alone. It

21 used to be $25,000.

22 This amount of money has grown over the

23 past two years from $440,000 to over $500 to now over

24 $600 ,000. I'm floored at this.

25 I thought it was going to be -- it's --


1 as devastating enough as it was at $400,000, I could

2 see it's now $670,000. This is for at least the next

3 20 years while these people are still with us. It's a

4 gift that keeps on giving. Thank you, Mayor Doherty.

5 MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Krake, I just have

6 one question. When is the clerical contract up?

7 MS. KRAKE: Our contract is up at the

8 end of this year.

9 MS. GATELLI: This year?

10 MS. KRAKE: Yes.

11 MS. GATELLI: Okay. Thank you.

12 MS. GARVEY: 5-A, Motions.

13 MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Evans.

14 MS. EVANS: Good evening. I ask for

15 your prayers for the victims of the school shooting,

16 the Amish school in Lancaster tonight and for their

17 families, as well.

18 I'd like to begin by announcing the

19 opening of a new business in Downtown Scranton,

20 Maryann's Closet, at 312 North Washington Avenue. They

21 specialize in gift baskets for all occasion. I wish

22 them great success in their new endeavors.

23 A legislative update on the EMS Tax.

24 On September 13, the House Finance Committee held

25 hearings on the EMS Tax at which the Pennsylvania


1 League of Cities requested that no amendments to the

2 tax would be effected for 2007.

3 However, if there were agreement by the

4 general assembly to make amendments effective the

5 following year, 2008, the following amendments are

6 proposed, a name change to the local services tax, a

7 mandatory $12,000 low income exemption on all sources,

8 a withholding schedule that collects the tax over the

9 first four paychecks of the year, a separate provision

10 for employees who make less than $130-gross per

11 paycheck, and most fortunate of all, particularly for

12 those of us who reside in Scranton, a uniform refund

13 process.

14 Attorney Minora, do you know if a city

15 resident can sue the city in small claims court for

16 reimbursement for repair to property, the destruction

17 of which was caused by the city?

18 MR. MINORA: Well, as you've described

19 it, it sounds like they can. The problem isn't suing

20 the city so much as collecting from the city after

21 you've sued them.

22 MS. EVANS: Well, let us say that you

23 would be seeking damages in the amount of the repair to

24 your property.

25 MR. MINORA: As you've described it


1 where they're responsible for the damage, I would say

2 of course. I don't know the specifics of what you're

3 talking about, but --

4 MS. EVANS: Well --

5 MR. MINORA: Your description sort of

6 answers itself. Where they're responsible, they're

7 responsible, yes.

8 MS. EVANS: If, for example, a road is

9 paved by the city, and in so doing a curb is destroyed

10 in front of a home and never replaced, and now as a

11 result, the property floods during each rain event and

12 the city, though contacted countless times, it refuses

13 to address the situation, is that resident able to seek

14 damages in small claims court?

15 MR. MINORA: You're asking me for my

16 judgment. I think certainly they can seek them.

17 Whether or not they can win -- there's exemptions, as

18 you know, for a municipality from liability in certain

19 situations.

20 Maintaining real estate is not one of

21 those exemptions generally speaking. So, I can only

22 speak in generalities to it. I guess the answer is,

23 try -- you know, file your claim and see what a judge

24 says.

25 MS. EVANS: Thank you. I also wish to


1 thank Mr. Pete Broad and the officers and members of

2 the Sloan Little League Association for donating a

3 check for $110 to Brian Kusick's Eagle Scout project

4 from their recent 50/50 raffle.

5 I'm going to add my check to this, and

6 Mrs. Fanucci has also generously donated to this

7 project, which is erecting a flag pole on East Mountain

8 at the fire station on Veteran's Day. And those checks

9 will be sent to Brian Kusick this weekend.

10 Next, I wish to thank Kay Garvey for

11 sending letters to Governor Rendell and all of our

12 local legislators requesting their support for Senate

13 Bill 1054 on October 2.

14 Council hopes that Pennsylvania will

15 join its 48 sister states in disseminating sex offender

16 information through the Megan's Law website.

17 In addition, we have received the

18 legislation currently under consideration in the

19 Borough of Dunmore, and it is my belief that in the

20 very near future this Council will entertain similar

21 legislation.

22 Next, a few items of housekeeping.

23 First, I inquired at our last meeting about the removal

24 of fliers or posting advertising yard and estate sales

25 following the events.


1 I received the following information,

2 according to the code of the City of Scranton, Article

3 One, bill posting, Section 140, paragraph three, No

4 person shall paint, print, post or in any way affix any

5 picture, bill or advertising matter of any kind upon

6 any post, hydrant, curb, sidewalk or other public

7 improvement in any public ground or street, nor upon

8 any bridge or part of the same, nor upon public

9 building, structures or erections of any kind belonging

10 to the city, nor upon any mast or pole in any street or

11 alley erected or used for supporting or conducting any

12 wire or cable or incidental thereto, nor upon any tree,

13 lamppost or any structure or erection of any kind

14 within the limits of any public street or ground in the

15 city, unless expressed consent shall have been first

16 granted by the director of the Department of Public

17 Safety.

18 So, what I learned from asking the

19 question was that our problem doesn't appear to be so

20 much with the removal of these advertisements, as it is

21 with the posting of the advertisements. It violates

22 the code.

23 Second, I received a response from

24 Mrs. Dixon, the principal of Northeast Intermediate

25 School who handled the after school and off school


1 property situation immediately and according to school

2 policy.

3 A police report was also filed the same

4 day. Mrs. Dixon requests that any further reports of

5 disturbances by students come directly to her to

6 expedite process. I thank Principal Dixon for her

7 prompt and helpful reply.

8 I also have some requests for the week.

9 A letter to the mayor, under the terms of the state

10 guaranteed energy savings act, what are the stated

11 required uses of a municipal rebate, if any?

12 Further, I request a written response

13 by October 18, 2006 in accordance with your public

14 statements at the caucus meeting in September 14, 2006.

15 Another letter to the mayor, on

16 September 14, 2006, Scranton City Council unanimously

17 approved a motion to forward you a letter of request

18 for information from Director of OECD Ms. Hailstone.

19 Ms. Hailstone previously had received

20 two letters of requests for information which she could

21 not supply without your approval.

22 According to your public statements at

23 the caucus meeting of September 14, 2006, you agreed

24 that department heads have your approval to respond to

25 all Councilpersons' requests.


1 With this in mind, Council reminds you

2 to direct Ms. Hailstone to provide written responses t

3 requests for information. And, Kay, if you would

4 please attach the letters of July and August to this

5 particular letter of request.

6 And the questions certain an issue that

7 was raised earlier this evening by one of the speakers.

8 That would be number one, if a business ceases to

9 operate and the business is renting office space within

10 a building in Downtown Scranton, and this particular

11 business has in the past obtained a loan through OECD,

12 who now is responsible for payment of that loan?

13 I also requested a complete list of all

14 of the recipients of loans from the OECD office since

15 the year 2000, I believe, and I would like that to

16 include a list of all of those who are in delinquency

17 or default of payment, yet, even with the mayor's

18 approval, public approval, I've still not received that

19 information.

20 A letter to Mr. Kresefski, following

21 the public caucus of September 14, 2006, you were given

22 a list of questions drafted by citizens and taxpayers

23 of Scranton. I would appreciate a written response to

24 these financial questions so that Council may provide

25 this information to our taxpayers.


1 A letter to Mr. Fiorini, 3244-3248

2 Pittston Avenue, please direct the DPW to board up the

3 bottom floor of this abandoned home. The residents of

4 the block are very fearful, since they've observed

5 strangers entering the house during evening hours. And

6 I was in contact with inspectors about that particular

7 situation.

8 A letter to the pave cut inspector,

9 I've been notified by numerous city residents that pave

10 cuts and other poor road conditions caused by utility

11 companies in the performance of their duties and

12 responsibilities have not been repaired to date.

13 I specifically refer you to the

14 1400-block of Rundle Street, Diamond Avenue off of

15 Providence Road, Foster Street and Euclid Avenue

16 between Dorothy and Bullwer Street.

17 It is my understanding that these

18 streets will be paved and that other pave cuts citywide

19 will be restored to their original condition. I would

20 appreciate your assistance in this matter, and I

21 request a written response.

22 Also reported were Boulevard Avenue,

23 Popular Street by Prep and Cedar Avenue from Brook

24 Street to Breck Street. When will these side streets

25 of South Side be paved?


1 A letter to Mr. Parker, the rear of 610

2 Meadow Avenue, the city paved the court behind this

3 residence without placing a lip on the outer edge.

4 Consequently, rainwater pours into the homeowner's

5 garage. Please finish this as soon as possible.

6 Now, I know just a few moments ago I

7 posed a question to Attorney Minora about just this

8 situation, however, this was not the location to which

9 I was referring. Unfortunately, there are too many

10 locations to even keep track of at this point in time.

11 I also request a response to the

12 installation of curbing and a storm water drain at 1427

13 Birch Street. I have contacted you numerous times

14 since June 2006, and have never received the courtesy

15 of a reply.

16 I left a voice mail asking you to

17 contact the homeowner, to visit the location in

18 July 2006, and you failed to do so. I respectfully

19 request a response to these problems by October 11,

20 2006.

21 And frankly, I have to say, I've grown

22 very weary of waiting.

23 I wish to also correct some unusual

24 statements I've read in this week's newspaper. First,

25 no Councilperson should speak for the Council as a


1 whole to the news media or any gathering of people when

2 outside the presence of Council. Certainly any member

3 can and should speak for himself, but not for the

4 Council as a body.

5 We as a Council haven't been able to

6 come up with a real solution, and the things we've

7 thrown out there wouldn't begin to help.

8 Well, despite what the paper believes,

9 are they not listening? To the contrary, as a

10 Councilperson, I have put forth more than ten measures

11 to be used to decrease the expenditures and debt of our

12 city and to raise revenue.

13 I have outlined how the Doherty debt

14 was born and raised over the last five years. Mrs.

15 Gatelli, in addition, has also suggested numerous good

16 valid ideas for raising revenue and cutting costs.

17 I've presented my plans and suggestions

18 for three years. Before they are, once again, tossed

19 into the trash, in favor of maintaining the status quo,

20 prove that they won't begin to help, because I can

21 prove that they will.

22 Prove to me that you have tried to

23 generate new sources of revenue. Stop apologizing for

24 the non-profits.

25 Prove to me you need to borrow money


1 for the operating budget for the fourth consecutive

2 year and the next three years. Prove it with a final

3 and complete audit and three budgets, those of 2007,

4 2008 and 2009.

5 Mr. Doherty says he hasn't heard from

6 Council. False. I know Mrs. Fanucci states that she

7 has met with him more than once, and I have no doubt

8 that he is fully aware of my position to make

9 discretionary cuts and share the people's pain. The

10 accurate statement of stalemate in this situation is

11 quite simple really.

12 Mr. Doherty acknowledges that only his

13 plan to borrow and spend his way in and out of debt for

14 eight years is workable.

15 Because this mayor has continued to

16 grow his Doherty debt, we will not escape tax increases

17 for many years, and most importantly, we must remember

18 who caused this.

19 Each year that we pay more to this

20 city, remember who charged up the bills, the over $200

21 million of long-term debt, and some of that debt, some

22 of the borrowing that has occurred at this point, I

23 cannot even locate in the audit.

24 And if additional borrowing occurs,

25 particularly to the tune of $44 million, ladies and


1 gentlemen, you will find yourselves over one-quarter of

2 a billion dollars in debt.

3 Now, the bottom line is, and I said it

4 earlier, you must be in charge, you must be in the

5 position of leadership to create a debt and to solve a

6 debt. You can't hand that responsibility solely over

7 to City Council.

8 The best measures this Council can take

9 are to stop the budgetary borrowing. Cut the fat. We

10 don't need consultants and lawyers to help us through

11 these deficits, because they are two reasons, two

12 enormous reasons, for this deficit. And Council should

13 look seriously at generating new sources of revenue.

14 Now, the mayor says we have a

15 responsibility to close this year's gap, and I'm

16 quoting him here, And I will continue to look for

17 long-term solutions, end quote.

18 What he's really saying is, Council has

19 the responsibility to give me more money, and I will

20 continue to spend for the long-term. Sorry, no deal.

21 That's it.

22 MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Fanucci.

23 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: My first -- I want

24 to make a motion, but to give you a little bit of input

25 on what is going on, I have been called by numerous


1 people, and I'm not going to speak for Council, but I'd

2 like to say that I think we've all dealt with this

3 issue where in City Hall people are calling and they

4 are not getting any response at all. The machines are

5 picking up constantly.

6 This has been a constant problem for us

7 here, because what happens, they get on a machine, they

8 leave a message, they do not get called back.

9 Well, the people in the city deserve to

10 have their concerns heard and answered, and they

11 deserve to be attended to. That is what we do. We are

12 a service industry.

13 The departments need to start picking

14 up the phone and stop using the answering machine as

15 part of their daily ritual.

16 At one time I understand it was

17 believed to be a better system. You know, businesses

18 did this, they used their machines, they got back to

19 people later. But there's so many people falling

20 through the holes here and not getting the attention

21 here.

22 So, in the form of a motion, I would

23 like to revisit the old practice of answering the

24 telephones in City Hall. All departments while in the

25 office are designated one person in their department to


1 answer all calls. If that person is on the phone,

2 someone else should answer the phone.

3 All departments are to keep a log of

4 complaints and issues that will be sent to City Council

5 monthly. This is the way we can keep on top of some

6 little problems we have.

7 Sorry, Kay, this has nothing to do with

8 our office.

9 MS. EVANS: We answer the phone.

10 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: You always answer

11 the phone.

12 MS. EVANS: Neil answers the phone, Sue

13 answers the phone.

14 MS. GARVEY: Could we have another

15 worker in our office to do this?

16 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: That might be my

17 next motion. But this is something I can't believe I

18 have to do in the form of a motion, but it needs to be

19 done. We need to have better communication with the

20 people we represent. So, that's is my motion.

21 MS. EVANS: I'll second it.

22 MS. GATELLI: Yeah, we'll all second

23 that.

24 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Okay. That's very

25 nice. Thank you.


1 MS. GATELLI: On the question?

2 MS. EVANS: My only concern is will

3 they adhere to this, because it's an issue by City

4 Council and not the mayor, because City Council holds

5 no ability to hire or fire.

6 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: But we are

7 legislative and we can legislate enough to say this is

8 the legislation.

9 MS. EVANS: Oh, I agree with you.

10 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: So, I mean --

11 MS. EVANS: I'm not opposed to it.

12 MS. GATELLI: We can do a policy for

13 the DPW, we'll do a policy for the phones.

14 MS. EVANS: Oh, absolutely. I agree.

15 But, again, my concern is that people have ignored

16 Council's requests and legislation, and the response is

17 always, I work for the mayor, not Council.

18 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Well, we legislate

19 for the city and we are legislating --

20 MS. GATELLI: They work for the city.

21 MS. EVANS: Oh, I agree. They're paid

22 by the taxpayers.

23 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: I don't know what

24 will happen. We will know by monthly --

25 MS. EVANS: Let's try.


1 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: We'll know by

2 monthly, right, if we start getting information that we

3 requested. And if not, let's just say we call and just

4 find out. Let's just keep calling the departments.

5 So, that is my motion.

6 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else on the

7 question? All in favor.

8 MS. EVANS: Aye.




12 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The ayes

13 have it and so moved. Unanimous, Miss Lisa.

14 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: I want to speak a

15 little bit on the no smoking ban. Last week we had a

16 wonderful presentation, everybody has heard it by now

17 by the students.

18 Well, I've been in contact with Mr.

19 Michael Nutter, who is a former City Council member of

20 Philadelphia. He was instrumental in writing the law

21 and the legislation out there for the no smoking ban.

22 And this is an important ordinance.

23 I'd liked Philadelphia's ordinance, and I had given a

24 copy to our solicitor, and he's looking it over and

25 we're trying to see what provisions we have to make and


1 revisions for our city.

2 This is a great piece of legislation.

3 I like Philly's, as opposed to New York's. It's not as

4 binding and strict. It gives people options.

5 I'm going to give you just a few of the

6 highlights, just so that people understand. Maybe my

7 phone calls will be a little bit less than on the panic

8 side.

9 But what this is is prohibits smoking

10 in work places, galleries, sports facilities,

11 restaurants and most bars. But here is where the

12 exception is.

13 Outdoor cafes, obviously you can smoke

14 it, but private clubs and bars that have 90 percent of

15 the income comes from alcoholic drink sales, they

16 comply for an exemption.

17 Now, this is Philly's law. This is not

18 our law. This is just some of the things we're

19 throwing around.

20 And then if you do have that, you might

21 need to apply for a waiver if you're not a food

22 establishment.

23 So, really what we're looking for and

24 what we're targeting is trying to target food.

25 Now, the fines range from $25 to $300


1 in Philly, so that's something we're looking into. And

2 also, you cannot smoke right outside the building.

3 They want you 20 to 30 feet away. That's another thing

4 from the entrance.

5 So, I mean, we're tossing this around

6 and nothing is written in stone here, and we're just

7 looking into ways to see -- even if this is something

8 that fits for us, but we are doing the research, and I

9 have been in contact with him, and he's been a great

10 help.

11 He also has a strict piece of

12 legislation that he tried to get passed in Philly and

13 had it not really -- didn't really work out for him.

14 So, I actually looked at the later of the two.

15 And I would like to thank James Kane,

16 who's the regional director for the cancer control,

17 he's the director here. I want to thank him for all

18 his information, as well as Tony Dellefante from the

19 American Lung Association. They gave me a lot of help,

20 and they're trying to help direct this whole project.

21 So, I want to thank them again.

22 Okay. Onto the big elephant in the

23 room. The $44 million loan is too much, I said it from

24 day one. That's not saying we don't need to borrow. I

25 wish I could say that.


1 We had a 2006 budget that was sent from

2 the administration and amended by the previous Council

3 four to one. This included an increase in five jobs.

4 It also included to help raise the solicitor's salary,

5 yeah for you, Amil, and it was signed by Council, sent

6 back to the mayor and passed.

7 This also included six and a half

8 million dollar hole. We hate it. We'd like to say it

9 wasn't there. It was there and signed. I know it

10 bothers everyone, and they say that the money is where

11 it's supposed to be, whatever.

12 It was signed. There was a hole in the

13 budget at that time. Whether or not you find it, I

14 would love for you to go out and find that money for

15 us, but that was signed. So, right now we have to pay

16 that money.

17 Now, if we don't, I know that I hear

18 payless workdays is something that we've been talking

19 about in deciding whether that is a good idea or not.

20 I am not for that. I will never be for that. I do not

21 want that to be an issue for us.

22 And I'm going to say that saying no is

23 not enough. I know that we have solutions. I know

24 that we've come together and we've talked about

25 solutions.


1 But for that part of it right now, a

2 budget that was passed, that is an issue, $6 is not

3 there. This is not time to dig or heels in or take a

4 firm stance. I don't believe in that either. It's

5 time to work and compromise.

6 Everybody keeps saying about, You know,

7 Mrs. Franus got up tonight, and I love that, that the

8 mayor did not want $44 million. Yeah, he did. He

9 wants $44 million.

10 To say that we're trying to compromise

11 and come to this big secret thing, it's actually --

12 it's amusing to me, because quite frankly, $44 million

13 was the plan.

14 I will not let us default on the TAN, I

15 won't. It's something I cannot even say is an issue

16 for me, because that will affect our borrowing for the

17 next five years. It is not something that's feasible

18 for our city.

19 I do believe in development. I don't

20 believe that we should all go to the poor house for

21 development, but I believe it is a way to help build

22 our tax base.

23 And I do believe if we lose our bond

24 rating, it will be the worse situation that we could be

25 in.


1 80 percent of our budget goes to our

2 employees in the city, 80 percent. That's not a bad

3 thing. It's reality. Is that bad or good? No, it

4 doesn't matter. It's 80 percent of the money we have

5 in our budget goes to our employees, unionized,

6 non-unionized, whatever.

7 At least 20 percent of our total budget

8 to put into perspective for people out there,

9 20 percent of our budget. That's all we're talking

10 about that's free.

11 That goes -- $4 million goes to

12 Worker's Comp. right now. The rest includes paying our

13 debt service, capital expenditures and utilities.

14 These are the numbers I got. I see Mr.

15 Ancherani desperately trying to make sure I am proved

16 wrong, but these are the numbers I've been working

17 with. And, you know, that's the reality I have in

18 front of me.

19 Whether or not I can say this is a

20 definite, what's a definite? I mean, I hear people

21 come up here, they think they're definite. These are

22 the numbers that are in front of us that we dealt with

23 last year.

24 I'm going to work hard the next, this

25 is my reality, I want to say I want to work hard and


1 committed to find a solution.

2 We want to raise revenue, we want

3 revenue to come into the city, it's something we all

4 want. This is not something that we're trying to

5 dispute.

6 I want to be part of the solution, and

7 I want to sit with the administration, and I'm going to

8 continue to sit with them, but I am definitely for some

9 type of borrowing right now. I'm not going to lie and

10 say I'm not. I believe that that's in the best

11 interest of the taxpayers.

12 If I have to face a tax increase for

13 everyone out there or borrowing, I'm going to go for

14 the borrowing. I know I didn't ride the bus and find

15 out what, you know, listen to the people you listened

16 to, but I do -- people must think I live in a vacuum

17 and I don't get pulled over at the grocery store and

18 everything else.

19 People tell me just the opposite that

20 everyone's hearing, which is not unlikely for the five

21 Council members. We always have opposing views.

22 That's what it's about.

23 That's really all I have. I am not

24 going to vote for $44. I think it's too much. I think

25 it's four years, which is too long for me to decide on


1 saying, well, we're not going to have money in four

2 years. I'd like to find a solution for the next few

3 years that maybe we can try to bring in some revenue.

4 The non-profits is a huge thing that we

5 all discuss all the time. Pittsburgh was huge and

6 instrumental in bringing in a lot of money with their

7 non-profits, but at the end of the day, they actually

8 ended up with less money than they ended up with

9 collecting in the beginning, because the non-profits

10 got mad and sort of just pulled away.

11 So, that is a problem I'm worried

12 about, also. I don't believe in free rides for our

13 city, but I do believe that we are all in this

14 together. And if you're getting a free ride and I'm

15 not, I'm not necessarily going to say that you still

16 aren't impacting what goes on here.

17 I'm also not going to say that we have

18 many people in our city that are helping to bring in

19 revenue and helping to bring in money so that we can

20 all have jobs.

21 We might not have the highest paying

22 jobs, but I do believe that in every place in America,

23 there are people who do small jobs and people who have

24 big jobs. And it doesn't matter. And we all have to

25 be here together, and there's a need for all of them.


1 And that is all I have. Thank you.

2 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mr.

3 McTiernan.

4 MR. MCTIERNAN: I have nothing at this

5 time, Mrs. Gatelli. Thank you.

6 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Courtright.

7 MR. COURTRIGHT: Kay, I don't believe

8 we brought up these potholes yet, and I've -- sorry.

9 And I've gotten several calls about this. This is at

10 Parrot Avenue and Fellows near the West Scranton Middle

11 School. If we can look into that, I'd appreciate it.

12 I asked a couple weeks ago for the --

13 to find out where this golf course money is, and I

14 don't know what the big secret here, and I don't know

15 what the problem is, why they're not telling us.

16 MS. GATELLI: Make a motion.

17 MR. COURTRIGHT: I made a motion. It

18 passed five nothing and it fell on deaf ears. So, I'm

19 really against doing this type of thing, but I'm going

20 to ask Mr. Minora to kind of look into this week and

21 find out what other recourse I have. I'm just asking

22 for some simple information.

23 MS. EVANS: I think maybe the day will

24 soon arrive, Mr. Courtright, where it's going to be

25 necessary to subpoena department heads to get some


1 answers to questions, because I know that, and I'm a

2 very patient woman, I have to be, I teach, and I had

3 four children, however, my patience is worn very, very

4 thin.

5 And frankly, at this point I feel that

6 the people of Scranton who are asking these questions

7 and have these problems, and I as their representative,

8 and everyone else who sits here as their representative

9 who has not been answered, we are all being

10 disrespected, and I'm not accepting that anymore.

11 So, if it takes the law to get you in

12 here to answer some questions, then I really think we

13 should exercise our Council privileges.

14 MR. COURTRIGHT: So, Mr. Minora, I

15 don't know, I lost my train of thought there.

16 MS. EVANS: I'm sorry.

17 MR. COURTRIGHT: That's okay.

18 MS. EVANS: I went on a rant, because I

19 have had it up to here.

20 MS. GATELLI: Well, rant on your own

21 time.

22 MS. EVANS: I can't --

23 MS. GATELLI: You can have motions

24 again. Write the notes down. It is, because you do

25 lose your train of thought.


1 MR. COURTRIGHT: Whatever it is you

2 could find out for me.

3 MR. MINORA: I just received a

4 preliminary audit from Rossi and Company. I presume

5 somewhere in that audit the money is in some account,

6 and what I'll try and do is either call Mr. Kresefski

7 myself, meet with him, or just have him deliver the

8 information to you. It should be in here.

9 MR. COURTRIGHT: And I know people are

10 going to be looking for specific answers, and I don't

11 what the big secret is, to be honest with you. So,

12 hopefully we will get that.

13 MR. MINORA: It's a likely document,

14 and I was thumbing through it as we were talking here,

15 but I, you know, I need a lot more time than just

16 thumbing through it.

17 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yeah, okay. You know,

18 last week Mrs. Gatelli said I live in the worst part of

19 the city, South Side, and I just want to tell her that

20 I think the armed robbers and the people carrying guns

21 don't know where South Side is, because they all ended

22 up in West Side.

23 In the last two weeks we've had --

24 MS. GATELLI: Well, it's just that the

25 crimes in South Side aren't reported.


1 MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay. Five, five

2 armed robberies in West Side in two weeks, PNC Bank,

3 14th Avenue, Lackawanna Avenue, Washburn Street, and

4 last night another armed robbery on Meridian Avenue.

5 So, I don't know what we're going to

6 do, but something needs to be done. Five armed

7 robberies in two weeks is just not acceptable.

8 And, again, they'll probably be saying

9 I'm doing scare tactic, but I don't think the people

10 need me to bring it up to be afraid. I think they're

11 afraid. I think we need to do something about it.

12 I got a cartoon pointed out to me this

13 morning that The Times ran, and I guess it has our

14 heads in a hole in the ground, and I don't normally

15 comment on the paper, but I don't know.

16 It seems like any time something bad

17 happens in this city, it's either this Council or it's

18 the clerical or the DPW or the police or fire unions

19 that caused the problem. We're to blame for

20 everything. If they just get rid of all of us, I guess

21 it will go away.

22 But I've never seen the paper ever,

23 ever blame Mr. Doherty for anything, and I just ask

24 this question here, If such a wonderful job is being

25 done, how come we're borrowing millions and millions of


1 dollar years after year? I just don't think it's fair

2 that we take all the blame.

3 Are we to blame for some of it? Maybe

4 we're to blame for some of it, but not all of it. Come

5 on, let's be honest, a little bit honest at least.

6 And now on a nice note, I got a card

7 from the Downtown Seniors Center, and they sent me a

8 letter, and if you don't mind, I would like to read it.

9 It's short.

10 And it's addressed to me. It says, The

11 Downtown Senior Center would like to thank Mr. Doug

12 Miller and Mr. Lee Morgan for taking time out of their

13 busy schedule to assist the seniors in a project that

14 was very important to the center.

15 Mr. Doug Miller fine is a fine young

16 man that took the time out of his summer vacation to do

17 a great service for the older adults of Scranton.

18 You'll like this, Doug.

19 One day we'd like to see a young man of

20 his caliber on City Council or in politics. It goes on

21 to say that Mr. Morgan is always a gentleman and

22 willing to give a helping hand whenever asked, a man

23 that always goes for the underdog and some of the

24 seniors appreciate.

25 And we consider both men a friend of


1 seniors in Scranton and thank you. And it's signed

2 from Dee, she's the executive director down that the

3 Senior Center, and Joe. Doug, I'll save this and give

4 this to you. I'm sure it's something you'll want.

5 Also, last week, I guess there's a

6 little discussion about the police officer being at the

7 meeting, and that we have one at school board meetings.

8 To the best my knowledge, the one at

9 the school board meeting is an extra duty guy that's

10 being paid for by the school district, that that's the

11 understanding I have. And if I'm incorrect, please

12 correct me on that.

13 The Schmidt plaque, Mrs. Evans brought

14 it up a long time ago, and I brought it up myself, and

15 I talked to Mr. Brazil on more than one occasion about

16 it, and he absolutely has no problem with putting the

17 plaque up.

18 And I was supposed to be getting the

19 information from the family member, they just haven't

20 come forth with the information yet. He said as soon

21 as we get the information, he will be happy to get the

22 plaque made.

23 MS. EVANS: That's wonderful.

24 MR. COURTRIGHT: And one last thing,

25 you would think that we would be happy in this city if


1 we were getting our roads paved, well, they're paving

2 miles of Main Avenue, and I got complaints from two

3 people that they're paving Main Avenue and they're not

4 paving their road.

5 And so, I just want to let it be known,

6 it's not the city paving those roads, it's the utility.

7 They dug them up, so they're paying them. So, maybe

8 you'll have to wait until they dig your road up to get

9 it paved. But it's not the city, it's the utilities.

10 And that's all I have, Mrs. Gatelli. Thank you.

11 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. I'd just like

12 to say that I finally received a response from

13 Mr. Kresefski. I had asked him if we went along with

14 the $44 million loan, what would it cost per taxpayer,

15 not per resident, but per taxpayer?

16 And it would cost property owners an

17 additional $122.75 per year. Now, on my tax bill,

18 that's about a quarter of my city tax, which is a

19 25 percent increase.

20 If the wage tax was increased to

21 generate $3 million, the wage tax would increase from

22 $2.4 to $2.7. So, I know Mr. Quinn was looking for

23 that information, and I will call him tomorrow. If

24 he's not tuned in this evening, and let him know what

25 the ramifications would be if we borrowed $44 million.


1 I have a few more complaints, but I'll

2 give those to Kay tomorrow when I talk to her.

3 I'd just like to say that, as you know,

4 I'm not in favor of the $44 million, I'm not in favor

5 of $20 million, but I have not studied the audit yet,

6 and there are people who I respect greatly that are in

7 accounting services that I want to meet with early next

8 week.

9 I am being told that the last budget

10 was short by $6 million, and it was approved. I don't

11 know how you approve a budget that's not balanced. I

12 didn't think we were allowed to do that. But

13 nonetheless, I want to check into that, why a budget

14 was approved last year that had a $6 million hole in

15 it. Because now the hole is in it this year, and I'm

16 being faced with that decision.

17 Do I want to give any money at all?

18 No, I don't. But I'd like to investigate it further

19 because there's people that are telling me we're going

20 to lose our bond rating, we're going to default on

21 pensions, et cetera.

22 So, I want to make sure that I gave

23 every opportunity and every chance that I know -- other

24 people have been here for years. I'm only here since

25 January. So, I'm not up to speed on some of the things


1 that the other Council members know.

2 So, I'm going to investigate it a

3 little further, but I promise you it will not be $44

4 million, and it will not be $20 million.

5 If I approve anything, which I'm not

6 saying that I'm going to, because I'm not, and I

7 haven't been convinced yet, it will be something that

8 we can do on a short term basis just to carry us

9 through.

10 And I will not even consider it if I

11 don't have a meeting with the mayor and he gives me his

12 total support to go after the non-profits, which I've

13 written letters requesting that.

14 Now, he always said he would support

15 me, but he needs to be out there, he needs to be

16 standing right next to me or I need to be standing next

17 to him. He needs to take the lead on it.

18 They need to suffer like we are, like

19 my mother-in-law is, who doesn't know where her next

20 pill is coming from, because she can't afford her house

21 anymore.

22 So, I'm telling you that I may in the

23 end agree to borrow a little, I'm not going to lie, but

24 I have to be convinced by friends of mine that are

25 accountants and will help me review those audits and


1 tell me what they think, because they are experts, I am

2 not.

3 And, also, I will need some concessions

4 from the mayor, need some cuts, and need him beside me

5 when I go to the non-profits.

6 And I have to tell you, I brought

7 pictures here tonight, and I know it's tacky and you're

8 going to say, She's really whacky, but I have three

9 very important reasons why I care about the City of

10 Scranton and why I care about what happens here, and

11 I'm not going to let us go in the hole, because it

12 can't last forever.

13 And I'm going to show you these three

14 pictures, and I'm going to tell you that these are the

15 three most important things in my life, and nothing

16 will change my mind to make these three people suffer.

17 The first one is Joseph. He will be

18 33 years old if we borrow this money. The second one

19 is Jacob, he will be 32 if we borrow the money, and the

20 third one is my baby girl Amelia. She'll only be 27

21 when the loan is off.

22 So, when I said it was my great

23 grandchildren, I wasn't kidding you. They will

24 definitely have children by that age.

25 So, they will help me make my decision,


1 and I hope that the people of Scranton will have faith

2 in me and support this Council.

3 It not our fault. Every thing that's

4 happened is not our fault. And we are all trying, and

5 we're going to try to do the best for the citizens of

6 our community. Thank you. Kay.







13 ACCOUNT NO. 01.060.00000.4201 (LAW DEPARTMENT



16 MS. GATELLI: At this time I'll

17 entertain a motion that 5-B be introduced.

18 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.


20 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All

21 those in favor --

22 MS. EVANS: I'm sorry. I think Mrs.

23 Krake addresses this earlier. We're transferring funds

24 from IT to cover legal fees in this particular piece of

25 legislation, and --


1 MS. GATELLI: It doesn't specify,

2 though.

3 MS. EVANS: No, it doesn't specify

4 exactly which attorneys we're paying, but I do know, as

5 was stated earlier, $250,000 in professional services

6 are allocated to the law department alone. That would

7 come out to about $31,250 per month.

8 Now, they're looking for $60,000. They

9 ran out of money in September to pay these people. So,

10 you have to figure September, October, November and

11 December, and they're leading us along to believe this

12 may even extend into next year. I'd say we'd be lucky

13 if this winds up paying for September.

14 And this is part of the reason why

15 we're in this trouble. And part of the reason why

16 these budgets are upside down is because they have

17 inflated figures and bogus figures, figures put in for

18 the sale of storm water basins that never occurred.

19 Well, that hole was part of a hole, big hole, for one

20 year.

21 And then we put in TANS and called them

22 revenue. Nothing is revenue that you've got to pay

23 back within 11 months. It's called an expenditure, not

24 a revenue.

25 And when you look at department after


1 department carefully, you will see that the revenues

2 are nothing more than smoke and mirrors.

3 And, Mrs. Gatelli, your poor three

4 grandchildren, even though the $44 million wouldn't be

5 approved tonight, I have news for you, right now we

6 still owe about $210 million without the $44 million,

7 without even $10 more.

8 So, they're still going to be those

9 ages and paying off that amount, rather than a quarter

10 of a billion dollars, but they're still going to pay

11 for it.

12 Now, I haven't heard a word from the

13 mayor or anybody else about how we're going to pay for

14 American Water Services. Does anyone remember that?

15 We owed months ago when the decision was rendered

16 against this city, we owed then over $5.5 million.

17 There's a penalty for not paying this, but nobody's

18 talking about that, and that's not included in this

19 bright picture of the next three years worth of

20 borrowing.

21 But I think the bottom line is just

22 this, you want to borrow, do it, but do it knowing that

23 you're making the bill that much worse. And the only

24 way you're going to get a handle on this is to make it

25 stop.


1 And that will force the mayor to make

2 the cuts that he should have made years ago to do the

3 Workers' Comp. buyouts that he should have ordered

4 years ago.

5 And there are many other issues, but

6 until the day comes when someone will stand up and say,

7 no more money, none of this is going to get better.

8 And you can give him his $8 million to

9 fill his nice hole, and next year you're going to do

10 the same thing again.

11 This monster is going to keep coming

12 back up out of the lake every fall until you cut the

13 head off the monster. I'm sorry. That's it.

14 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else?

15 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes. Kay spent a good

16 part of her day looking into this, and she explained it

17 to me, and I'm going to vote to introduce it, and it's

18 got two more readings, and I don't know how I'll vote

19 in the future, but I've just got to absorb this a

20 little bit better.

21 $60,000, that seems to be a popular

22 figure in this city, $60,000. So, I thank Kay for

23 that. Maybe I'm a little slow understanding it, but

24 I'm going to look into it a little further. And I'll

25 vote to introduce it this evening, but that's as far as


1 I'm going to go with it for now.

2 MS. EVANS: $100,000 is another nice

3 popular figure, too.

4 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else? All in

5 favor.




9 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed?

10 MS. EVANS: No.

11 MS. GATELLI: The ayes have it and so

12 moved with one negative.









21 MS. GATELLI: At this time I'll

22 entertain a motion that 5-C be introduced.

23 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.


25 MS. GATELLI: On the question?


1 MR. COURTRIGHT: On the question, my

2 understanding is, Kay, correct me if I'm wrong, this is

3 coming out of UDAG money, correct?

4 MS. GARVEY: I believe so, yes.

5 MR. COURTRIGHT: And the UDAG money was

6 almost depleted, I believe. And what has happened is

7 when the CRF loans took place, wherever the money came

8 from, it had to be put back into that particular fund.

9 So, there was more money put back into the UDAG, I

10 believe, from the CRF, and so this will be UDAG money.

11 MS. GATELLI: And it's a loan.

12 MR. COURTRIGHT: And it's a loan, five

13 percent, I believe. Thank you.

14 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else on the

15 question? All in favor.

16 MS. EVANS: Aye.




20 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The ayes

21 have it and so moved.




































5 MR. MCTIERNAN: Mrs. Gatelli, I'd like

6 to make a motion to table Item 6-A.


8 MS. GATELLI: On the question?

9 MS. EVANS: Why are we tabling?

10 MR. MCTIERNAN: I am making a motion to

11 table because I believe that we need to have additional

12 discussions with the mayor. I do not believe payless

13 paydays are a reasonable solution to the end of this

14 year's financial distress that we have.

15 However, we still have to make a

16 payment on a TAN. So that folks understand where we

17 are, I do not think payless paydays will happen, nor do

18 I think they should.

19 However, we do have a TAN payment that

20 will be due December 31. And the way I'm being told

21 that this will play out in the end, we will default on

22 a TAN on December 31, and then the new TANS should be

23 in place in the beginning of the year.

24 Some of the proceeds of the new TAN

25 will have to be used to pay off the 2006 tan. That


1 will leave us in a cash negative or a cash shortage

2 position in the first quarter of 2007.

3 So, I think that additional discussions

4 with the administration and the business administrator

5 and the mayor are prudent at this time so that we can

6 make sure that we can take the best possible avenue to

7 get through the remainder of 2006.

8 MS. EVANS: Mr. McTiernan, who provided

9 you with that information?

10 MR. MCTIERNAN: The business

11 administrator yesterday.

12 MS. EVANS: Then it must be true.

13 MR. MCTIERNAN: I take the information

14 I get at face value like I do --

15 MS. EVANS: I know you do.

16 MR. MCTIERNAN: -- like I do everything

17 that comes out of the audience. It's just a matter of

18 the information I'm given. The audit, I'm looking at.

19 So, we can certainly argue about whether it's accurate

20 or not, but that all I have to work with.

21 MS. EVANS: I agree, that's all any of

22 us have to work with, but I guess I'm not as trusting

23 as you.

24 MR. MCTIERNAN: Well, I'm asking for

25 more discussions. I don't know that it's a matter of


1 trust. I'm asking for more communication and

2 discussions.

3 But I'm really not here to argue with

4 you, I'm here to ask for a tabling of this motion.

5 MS. EVANS: Oh, well, I didn't consider

6 it an argument.

7 MS. GATELLI: Well, it's moved and

8 seconded. I'd like it tabled, because I need to meet

9 with my people. That doesn't mean I'm going to vote

10 for it at all.

11 MS. EVANS: It's really, you know, it's

12 not my -- no apology is required to me. If anything,

13 the apology goes to the people of the city.

14 And I think, Mrs. Gatelli, I could give

15 you one suggestion, if you give the mayor nothing, I do

16 believe he'll have to cooperate and give you more than

17 the cuts you're asking for, and he will have to go out

18 and start seeking the non-profits donations, because he

19 finally will have no alternative.

20 MS. GATELLI: Well, that could be true,

21 but I don't trust him. I think he would throw it in

22 our lap, and he would make us have a payless payday and

23 he would make us -- then he could blame us. So, I'm

24 not -- I'm afraid to take a total chance.

25 MS. EVANS: I think he would simply


1 raise taxes by 75 to 90 percent to pay the bills that

2 he created.

3 MS. GATELLI: Yeah, I agree.

4 MS. EVANS: Because we're going to pay

5 one way or the other, so I think it's really a choice

6 of, do you want to pay lump sum that's cheaper, or

7 would you like to drag it out for ten years and pay

8 twice as much?

9 MR. MCTIERNAN: That may be an option.

10 In the discussions I had with the mayor yesterday, we

11 talked about a variety of options and a variety of

12 different way to fund, and that goes anywhere from

13 lower amounts of borrowing to get us through this year

14 to budgets that have reductions through tax increases.

15 So, all of those things are on the

16 table. I had at least two or three meetings with the

17 business administrator and the mayor over the last

18 several weeks, and they are all definitely items that

19 are on the table. So --

20 MS. EVANS: Are there any cuts on the

21 table, other than the fire department?

22 MR. MCTIERNAN: I have not seen the

23 budget yet.

24 MS. EVANS: No, no one has, and that's

25 a key to all of this. How can you even think of that


1 when you haven't seen a budget? And when you haven't

2 seen all of those forthcoming budgets, if you can say I

3 need this much money, and I think any of us know who

4 deal with a budget in any way, whether it's a household

5 budget, a school budget, a city budget, you have a

6 pretty good idea of where you're going, how much you're

7 going to need and what you're going to have to cut to

8 balance those scales.

9 You can't have one side of it without

10 the other. So it's there, but someone just doesn't

11 want to give it, like they won't give any of the other

12 answers.

13 MR. MCTIERNAN: I think I could be

14 clear on this. What we have looking at the cash flow

15 sheets from this year through the end of this year, we

16 still have a deficit to take care of at the end of the

17 year. That has to be paid for, according to the cash

18 flow sheets.

19 I believe a tabling of this motion

20 keeps us out of the quagmire that we had with CRF and

21 it keeps us out of risk, and we can certainly entertain

22 discussions about getting through the end of this year.

23 I didn't say where we would go next

24 year or where the borrowing or the budget would go next

25 year. I think we need to continue to discuss where we


1 fund it, the remainder of this year and pay the bills

2 that we have.

3 MS. EVANS: Well, we might start with

4 some golf course funds. That could certainly trim it

5 down. And in addition to that, I don't know why we're

6 always looking first for payless paydays, because I

7 believe legally that's impossible.

8 MR. MCTIERNAN: In my discussions

9 yesterday with the business manager and the mayor, they

10 indicated the same thing. They did not indicate there

11 would be any reason to do payless paydays, so that's

12 simply rhetoric, and that will not happen.

13 And I am all but assured that there

14 will be no payless paydays, which indicates that we

15 still have a hole that we have to remedy. So, that's

16 inflammatory rhetoric.

17 MS. EVANS: But something may not have

18 to be -- something may not get paid. Something might

19 be insured, though, that can kick in and cover that

20 default.

21 MR. MCTIERNAN: Could be.

22 MS. EVANS: And if our bond rating

23 drops a letter, well, I think in the future, there's

24 always the possibility it could go back up again, but

25 in the meantime, it won't be a weighty concern for me,


1 because I'm really not looking to go out and borrow $20

2 or $40 or $80 or $100 million right now. I think I've

3 reached my borrowing limit.

4 MR. COURTRIGHT: Mrs. Gatelli, I'd just

5 like to say, I'll vote to table it, because I'm voting

6 no on the $44 million anyway, so it doesn't make any

7 difference to me if I vote no this week or next week.

8 But I will ask this, when you go to ask

9 him to make the cuts, if you'd ask him to make the cuts

10 from the top. You know, I think the union people took

11 enough cuts. I think we're top heavy. So, if he's

12 willing to make cuts, I hope he makes them there.

13 Maybe we can even roll back some salaries that have

14 gotten some nice increases.

15 I'm not trying to take money away from

16 anybody, you know, to get a raise, but I just -- I've

17 had a hard time giving somebody ten grand in a raise

18 when I tell 300 workers, Hey, for the last five years,

19 you get nothing.

20 MS. GATELLI: Right. Absolutely.

21 MS. EVANS: And in our district, and in

22 all school districts, everyone's contract, whether it's

23 paraprofessionals, maintenance, the 1206, the teachers

24 union, and the administrators who don't have a

25 contract, but they get the raise, too, it's never


1 awarded to one group and every one else is stripped of

2 an increase.

3 I've never heard of such a thing, nor

4 have I ever heard of anyone going that many years

5 without a raise.

6 Because I said this the other night at

7 a group to whom I spoke, even a youngster of age 15

8 with working papers employed at McDonald's or Wendy's,

9 they're going to get raises, maybe every three months

10 or every six months.

11 There is no adult or child working

12 anywhere, I can think of, other than if they are

13 perhaps illegal immigrants who are being paid under the

14 table. But where else are you going to go and say, I

15 haven't had a pay increase in -- how many years -- five

16 years. That's impossible.

17 And then at the same time you look at

18 other people and say, Oh, you do a splendid job and you

19 are so highly qualified, I'm going to give you an extra

20 $20,000, and then I'm going to hire consultants for you

21 to do your work, and then I'll even get you extra staff

22 to make things even more beneficial for you and the

23 city. None of this really makes sense.

24 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else on the

25 question? All in favor.





4 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed?

5 MS. EVANS: No.

6 MS. GATELLI: The ayes have it and so

7 moved. One negative.










17 MS. GATELLI: You've heard reading by

18 title of Item 6-A, what is your pleasure?

19 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: As chairperson for

20 the economic -- committee on economic development, I so

21 move to -- what, 6-B? 6-A.

22 MS. GARVEY: 6-B.


24 MS. GATELLI: It is --

25 MS. GARVEY: No, 6-B.


1 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Oh, you said 6-A,

2 and then I said 6-B.

3 MS. GATELLI: She said 6-A.

4 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: That's why we're

5 all confused. Sorry.

6 MS. GATELLI: It's 6-B, Lisa.


8 MR. MCTIERNAN: Second.

9 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: I move that 6-B

10 pass reading by title. Okay. Go ahead.

11 MS. GATELLI: Bob seconded it.

12 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: All right.

13 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All

14 those in favor.

15 MS. EVANS: Aye.




19 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The ayes

20 have it and so moved.

21 MS. GARVEY: Seventh order. 7-A, FOR










5 MS. GATELLI: What's the recommendation

6 of the chairperson for the committee on public works?

7 MS. EVANS: As chair for the committee

8 on public works, I recommend final passage of Item 7-A.


10 MS. GATELLI: On the question? Roll

11 call.

12 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.

13 MS. EVANS: Yes.

14 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci.


16 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McTiernan.


18 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.


20 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.

21 MS. GATELLI: Yes. I hereby declare

22 Item 7-A legally and lawfully adopted. Can I have a

23 motion to adjourn?

24 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.

25 MS. EVANS: Second.


1 MS. GATELLI: All in favor.

2 MS. EVANS: Aye.




6 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Meeting adjourned.





















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


3 I hereby certify that the proceedings and

4 evidence are contained fully and accurately in the

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

6 that this copy is a correct transcript of the same

7 to the best of my ability.



11 Official Court Reporter