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1 SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING

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3

4

5 Held:

6 Thursday, December 14, 2006

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8

9 Time:

10 6:30 p.m.

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12

13 Location:

14 Council Chambers

15 Scranton City Hall

16 340 North Washington Avenue

17 Scranton, Pennsylvania

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22

23 Lisa M. Graff, RMR

24 Court Reporter

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1 CITY OF SCRANTON COUNCIL:

2

3 MS. JUDY GATELLI, COUNCIL PRESIDENT

4

5 MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT, VICE-PRESIDENT

6

7 MS. JANET EVANS

8

9 MS. SHERRY NEALON FANUCCI

10

11 MR. ROBERT MCGOFF

12

13 MR. AMIL MINORA, ESQUIRE, SOLICITOR

14

15 MS. KAY GARVEY, CITY CLERK

16

17 MR. NEIL COOLICAN, ASSISTANT CITY CLERK

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25
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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. NEALON fANUCCI: Here.

8 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff.

9 MR. MCGOFF: Here.

10 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.

11 MR. COURTRIGHT: Here.

12 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.

13 MS. GATELLI: Here. Before we start

14 with the regular meeting for this evening, we have some

15 special guests with us tonight. We have the West

16 Scranton Football Team, and they won the District II

17 AAA Championship, so we're here to honor them this

18 evening.

19 Council and I will go down in front of

20 the dais here and I'll read the proclamation, and then

21 each student can come up and get their proclamation

22 with their coach.

23 Whereas, the Council of the City of

24 Scranton is desirous of honoring the West Scranton

25 Invader football Team for winning the District Two AAA
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1 Championship.

2 The 2006 West Scranton Invader Football

3 Team won the first district championship in the

4 school's history, and were also the first team in the

5 school's history to make it to the PIAA State Playoffs.

6 Whereas, the West Scranton Invader

7 Football Team has brought pride to West Side by their

8 actions in the classroom and in the community.

9 The young men who wear the blue and

10 white are examples of student athletes who conduct

11 themselves with class and discipline. They are

12 dignified in defeat and humble in victory.

13 These Invaders are everything our

14 school and community admire, true representatives of

15 West Scranton High School.

16 Whereas, the West Scranton Invader

17 Football Team wish to express their gratitude to head

18 coach, Michael DeAntona, Assistant Coaches Rick Rosser,

19 Meade Beebe, Bobby Dodd, Bob Gentilezza, Bill Phillips,

20 Dave Rebar, Chad Rebar, Jason Tallo, Larry Regan, Andy

21 Butsko, Sr., Andy Butsko, Jr., trainer Tom Noakowski,

22 equipment manager, Anthony Tippy DeNunzzio, manager

23 Tommy Dodd, Calen Wylam, Pat Gerrity and their

24 families, friends and fans.

25 Whereas, the West Scranton Invader
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1 Football Team members consist of Matt McGloin,

2 Shawn Irving, Chris Gentlilezza, C.J. Passeri,

3 Shawn Bodtmann, Nick Wegielewski, C.J. Rosser,

4 Gabriel Gilgallon, Jon Smerecky, Chase Passeri,

5 Kyle Farro, Dylan Gonzalez, Alex Levens, Mel Eltora,

6 Devin Gonzalez, Mark Strzelecki, Chris Krouchick,

7 Ryan Noone, Justin Collins, Anthony Monacelli,

8 Brian Courtright, Chris Cadugan, Bob Eisenhart,

9 Rick Clifford, Jason Chuff, Michael Gerrity,

10 Jacob Karboski, Matt English, Mark Matis, Brandon Ward,

11 Justin Jones, Eric Shrive, Anthony Snyder,

12 Hubie Graham, Ron Conrad and Dan Salzman.

13 Now, therefore, be it resolved that on

14 Thursday, December 14, 2006, Scranton City Council

15 wishes to congratulate the West Scranton Invader

16 Football Team, their coaches, teachers and parents for

17 their outstanding achievement.

18 Be it further resolved that this

19 proclamation be made a permanent part of the minutes of

20 this Council as a lasting tribute to the West Scranton

21 Invader Football Team. Coach, would you like to say a

22 few words.

23 MR. DEANTONA: Sure. I know these guys

24 are a little tired sometimes of hearing me speak, but

25 I'm extremely proud of these youngsters. They made it
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1 through some diversity this year. We had some tough

2 times. They learned a lot of great lessons that you

3 fight through adversity and you persevere and work hard

4 and good things will happen.

5 And I know you mentioned in the

6 proclamation that they're student athletes, and we take

7 that seriously at West Scranton.

8 More than 80 percent of our football

9 team this year during the first marking period were

10 members of the honor roll at West Scranton High School.

11 So, not only do these kids sacrifice and perform on the

12 football field, but they also perform and sacrifice in

13 the classroom, also. Thank you.

14 MR. COURTRIGHT: If I could just have

15 your attention for one minute. There's several players

16 that aren't here, because they're at basketball

17 practice this evening, and they wanted to thank City

18 Council for giving them this honor. So,

19 congratulations to all. Thanks.

20 MS. GATELLI: Also, before we start the

21 meeting, please, everyone, turn your cell phones off.

22 Thank you. Mrs. Garvey.

23 MS. GARVEY: Third order. 3-A, MINUTES

24 OF THE COMPOSITE PENSION BOARD MEETING HELD ON NOVEMBER

25 15, 2006.
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1 MS. GATELLI: Are there any comments?

2 If not, received and filed.

3 MS. GARVEY: That's all there is for

4 third order.

5 MS. GATELLI: Okay. Before citizens

6 participation, I just have a few announcements. If

7 anyone watches The Office on television, it's based on

8 the City of Scranton, and the star from their, Dwight,

9 will be at the Mall at Steamtown Sunday from one to

10 three.

11 Also, starting this weekend at The

12 Cultural Center is The Producers. It is Friday night

13 at eight, Saturday at two and eight, and Sunday at two

14 and seven. And the number for that is 342-7784.

15 On Saturday evening at the Nay Aug

16 Amphitheater, there will be a free movie called It's a

17 Wonderful Life, and that is at 6:30, and the

18 amphitheater will be heated.

19 New Year's Eve, Scranton Tomorrow will

20 be sponsoring First Night again in our downtown from

21 five to midnight.

22 Mrs. Fanucci brought up last week about

23 Lackawanna College, but we didn't make any motions

24 about having a proclamation for them for winning their

25 bowl game, so I would entertain someone make a motion
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1 that we honor Lackawanna College at our next meeting.

2 MS. NEALON: I make the motion that we

3 send proclamations and have them come in and present

4 them to Lackawanna College for winning their Sun Bowl,

5 I guess it was called.

6 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.

7 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All in

8 favor.

9 MS. EVANS: Aye.

10 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Aye.

11 MR. MCGOFF: Aye.

12 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.

13 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The ayes

14 have it and so moved.

15 I also have another comment, the

16 gentleman that came here last week and spoke about the

17 rats at his house, I got several phone calls about a

18 comment that he made, which I didn't hear, and I'm sure

19 my colleagues didn't hear either, because none of us

20 made a comment about it.

21 It was a racial comment, and it was

22 certainly not acceptable to be made at this meeting. I

23 don't think that he made it intentionally, however, to

24 discredit that particular race, however, I apologize

25 that none of us had heard the comment he made regarding
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1 that. So, I do apologize to anyone that was offended

2 by that comment.

3 Also, the rats that he talked about,

4 Ehrlich was there today baiting the property that he

5 was complaining about. So, Mr. Seitzinger was up there

6 three or four times during the week and got permission

7 to have the property -- an exterminator taken care of.

8 So, that's been taken care of.

9 We got a in lieu of taxes check from

10 The Covenant Presbyterian Church for a thousand

11 dollars, so Council would like to publicly thank them

12 for their contribution. And that's all I have. Do you

13 have the sign-in sheet? The first speaker is

14 Doug Miller.

15 MR. MILLER: Good evening, Council.

16 Doug Miller. I want to again commend the students from

17 West Scranton High School for their wonderful

18 accomplishment. Having a smoking ban passed in this

19 city is just the best thing that can happen.

20 Earlier this week an assembly was held

21 over at West where Mayor Doherty signed the ordinance.

22 It was great to see all of the support that the

23 students received. I know Scranton just got a whole

24 lot cleaner, safer and healthier. So, thank you again

25 West Side.
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1 Also, I'd like to congratulate the West

2 Scranton Football Team on receiving their well deserved

3 proclamations this evening. They had a wonderful

4 season, and we look forward to hopefully being even

5 better next year. And like the old saying goes, West

6 is best. So, congratulations, guys.

7 And lastly tonight I just have an

8 announcement to make, on December 25, which is

9 Christmas Day, the 11th annual Bob Bolus Senior

10 Christmas dinner will take place over at St. Lucy's

11 Church in West Scranton from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., and it

12 is open to the public.

13 It is not a homeless dinner, as stated

14 in the past. It is open to all people. It is a

15 festive occasion for everyone to enjoy, no matter who

16 you are. Just bring your Christmas spirit and your

17 appetite.

18 It's an all you can eat buffet, and

19 everyone is encouraged to also take a takeout dish home

20 with them. This invitation is also extended out to

21 Council, and Mr. Bolus said on Christmas Day, even is

22 equal. There are no politics, just happy bellies,

23 happy faces and happy feet. So, please join us. And

24 if you have any questions, you can call 346-7659.

25 Thank you.
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1 MS. GATELLI: And that's at St. Lucy's

2 Douglas?

3 MR. MILLER: Yes.

4 MS. GATELLI: Okay. Bill Jackowitz.

5 MR. JACKOWITZ: Good evening, Council.

6 Bill Jackowitz, South Side resident, taxpayer, retired

7 United States Air Force.

8 Mrs. Evans, I have a question for you,

9 who elected you to City Council? Please give me the

10 short answer.

11 MS. EVANS: The voters of Scranton.

12 MR. JACKOWITZ: Thank you. Mrs.

13 Fanucci, who pays your salary a Councilperson? Short

14 answer, please.

15 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: The City of

16 Scranton and the voters.

17 MS. GATELLI: Excuse me, Mr. Jackowitz,

18 but the correct procedure is to go through the

19 president to ask a Councilperson a question. They

20 don't have to answer, if they don't feel it necessary.

21 MR. JACKOWITZ: Okay. Madame

22 President, may I ask Co8uncil members questions,

23 please?

24 MS. GATELLI: Yes, you can.

25 MR. JACKOWITZ: Thank you. Mrs.
.

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1 Gatelli, how does Scranton raise revenue and pay their

2 expenses?

3 MS. GATELLI: Through various taxes.

4 MR. JACKOWITZ: Okay. Mr. McGoff, who

5 elected you to City Council?

6 MR. MCGOFF: Good question. I would

7 say it was a vote of two members of Council and the

8 mayor.

9 MR. JACKOWITZ: Okay. I agree with

10 that. Good answer.

11 MR. MCGOFF: Excuse me?

12 MR. JACKOWITZ: I said I agree with

13 that. Good answer.

14 MR. MCGOFF: Do I get a hundred?

15 MR. JACKOWITZ: You get a gold star.

16 Mr. Courtright, does a citizen have a right to

17 challenge or question their elected officials?

18 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.

19 MR. JACKOWITZ: Mrs. Gatelli, should

20 the citizens expect an honest and accurate answer to

21 their questions or expect no answer?

22 MS. GATELLI: A Council member is not

23 obliged to answer a question.

24 MR. JACKOWITZ: Okay. So, if they want

25 to answer it, they can, if they don't want to answer
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1 it, they don't have to, correct?

2 MS. GATELLI: Yes.

3 MR. JACKOWITZ: Okay. Thank you. Mrs.

4 Fanucci, what does a smoking ban and an E-mail have to

5 do with reviewing a proposed budget?

6 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: It doesn't.

7 MR. JACKOWITZ: Then why didn't you go

8 to the meeting on Tuesday? Because what I get out of

9 the newspaper was it was because of the E-mail on the

10 smoking ban.

11 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: I'm glad you

12 asked. The reason I did not attend the meeting on

13 Tuesday, I was not planning on attending in the first

14 place, because I had said that it was my daughter's

15 birthday, so I was not planning on attending.

16 But I was coming out of courtesy. I

17 was going to come and listened. We had already

18 listened to the proposed budget, and if there was

19 anything in it that I felt that I wanted to participate

20 in and amend onto the mayor's budget, I was going to

21 come and participate. There really wasn't.

22 MR. JACKOWITZ: Okay. So, you didn't

23 want to hear Mrs. Evans' budget?

24 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: I already heard

25 the budget. No, I already heard the budget. We had
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1 the proposal the week before. I had already been

2 introduced to the budget, I had a copy of the budget.

3 So, this wasn't really to introduce me to the budget,

4 this was for us -- it was a work session to add, if

5 there was something in the budget, to attach onto

6 Mayor Doherty's budget.

7 MR. JACKOWITZ: Okay. There was just a

8 misunderstanding then that I had and probably a lot of

9 other citizens also did.

10 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Yes. Yeah. No.

11 So, I'm glad you brought that up, because it does shine

12 a lot of light on things. Thank you.

13 MR. JACKOWITZ: Well, I'm glad that

14 you're glad. Approximately $4 million plus of heroin

15 distributed in Scranton area in the last eight months

16 in dollar amount -- in heroin amount rising.

17 Problems on the rise, especially armed

18 robberies, drive-by shooting, Hilltop Manor, $77

19 million budget, borrowed money, 25 percent tax hike,

20 American Water, $800 a day penalty, lawsuit pending,

21 population shrinking, businesses downtown leaving,

22 vacant $16 million building Southern Union, 13 percent

23 drop of population since the year 2000, and that's a

24 fact, four out of five, 80 percent of Council has been

25 asked to resign or stated that they're thinking of
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1 resignation, one resignation, that's not good, possibly

2 illegal ordinance passed and signed into law, the

3 courts will decide that whether the ordinance is legal

4 or not, lower Green Ridge flood victims still looking

5 for help. Where is the DPW and the Council chairperson

6 on that, getting these people help? They need help in

7 lower Green Ridge and all the flood people need help.

8 City Council more concerned about Janet

9 Evans' E-mail, proposed budget ignored, and I'll

10 rephrase that, because Mrs. Fanucci gave her answer,

11 ignored by two elected Councilpersons, but maybe that's

12 not accurate, so I'll refrain from that. It's the

13 economy, stupid. James Carvelle, remember him?

14 Smokers and non-smokers, D.U.I., $7,000

15 to $10,000.

16 MR. MINORA: That's your five minutes.

17 MR. JACKOWITZ: Can I finish?

18 MS. GATELLI: How much more do you

19 have?

20 MR. JACKOWITZ: Oh, about 45 seconds.

21 MS. GATELLI: Go ahead.

22 MR. JACKOWITZ: Higher insurance rates,

23 criminal record, is the risk worth the outcome? Stay

24 home, drink, eat and smoke, or don't smoke in your own

25 house. It's cheaper in the longrun than the D.U.I.
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1 And please, Council, stop the cat

2 fighting. Intelligent citizens see right through the

3 smoke screen. We don't need cat fighting and arguments

4 between Council members. You're here to represent the

5 people. We're all adults. Please let's do that. We

6 have a new year starting in 2007.

7 MS. GATELLI: Mary Ann Wardell.

8 MS. WARDELL: Good evening, Council.

9 I'm Mary Ann Wardell. I would like to first discuss

10 the budget. I realize that the budget is supposed to

11 to be passed and signed by the 15th of December, but I

12 think under the circumstances that an exception should

13 be made, and I think that there are amendments that

14 should be made to that budget before it's passed.

15 The biggest amendment I think is the

16 idea that we're cutting six policemen at a time when

17 homes are being broken into, when people are robbing

18 and neighborhoods, people are so afraid in their

19 neighborhoods, that they're afraid to go out of their

20 houses.

21 We need -- we need more policemen, we

22 don't need less, and we don't -- rather than cut six

23 policemen, I would cut six administrators, because you

24 know what? Bill will know what I talking about. When

25 you talk about value added jobs, policemen are value
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1 added jobs. Administrators are not. They add no value

2 to our city, to our product, to our services. The only

3 ones that add value are the people that are there to do

4 the work.

5 I would also like to say, Mrs. Evans

6 sent an E-mail to a person that she knew. That was a

7 private E-mail. And whether or not it was it

8 published, really is not the point. The point is there

9 was nothing in that E-mail that she hasn't said before.

10 And why anyone would get so upset over

11 that E-mail and make it public, I have no idea, but I

12 would suggest that people that live in glass houses

13 should not throw stones.

14 And before you are willing to say that

15 what she did or what she said was unethical, you better

16 stop and think about anything that you may have written

17 or said in private that was unethical that you would

18 not want anyone to see.

19 That was a private E-mail. That had

20 nothing to do with a budget, that had nothing to do

21 with her doing her job for this city.

22 Mrs. Evans is a good Councilperson.

23 She has been a good Councilperson since she took that

24 seat. It is in the best interest of the residents of

25 the City of Scranton to keep her as a Councilperson,
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1 because we are sure that she is one of you that is

2 really representing us. Thank you.

3 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Lee Morgan.

4 MS. MORGAN: Good evening, Council.

5 The first thing I have here is, I think two weeks --

6 possibly two weeks ago I had a discussion here with

7 Council about introduction of flawed legislation, and I

8 think that this budget points to that.

9 I mean, I know Mrs. Evans has taken a

10 hit for introducing a proposal to Council, and I'm

11 really troubled that two people didn't come, and I do

12 understand it was your daughter's birthday, and I'm not

13 picking on you in any way.

14 I'm just saying that I think that

15 everyone should have met and tried to find some

16 alternatives to the plan that was introduced by the

17 mayor.

18 The plan stinks. When you go to 7-C

19 and D, we're talking about borrowing $14 and a half

20 million dollars. I don't see how that could even be an

21 option.

22 The one really troubling thing I have

23 here, and this isn't a criticism of you, Mrs. Evans,

24 but to be honest, Council has the power of subpoena,

25 and I haven't seen it used.
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1 And I've heard every Councilperson over

2 a decade talk about no information, and you still don't

3 have any. And we're just going blindly forward.

4 Just -- I don't know who we're

5 following here, but it's not leading anywhere. And I

6 think that -- I know Mr. Bolus doesn't come here

7 anymore, I don't have a crying towel for him because he

8 didn't get a chance to get an interview for a Council

9 seat, but I'll say this, this Council has no

10 credibility or no integrity, and those statements he

11 made were true.

12 It's time for this Council to do what

13 needs to be done. This legislation never should have

14 been introduced. There has to be budget cuts made.

15 And, Mrs. Evans, I don't think your cuts go far enough.

16 I think that they're just too minute to count at the

17 end of a long day.

18 I really feel that this Council is

19 going to talk about things that are irrelevant. We

20 still haven't even passed legislation in order to

21 protect people from vicious dogs in this city, We don't

22 have a playground program for children.

23 I think this city is just wandering

24 lost. I think that all these residents and their

25 property are for nothing more than to borrow against.
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1 We have borrowing after borrowing after borrowing, and

2 that's all I see Council do is borrow more money,

3 remove money from one account to another act.

4 But any legislation that's good for the

5 people of this city somehow falls on deaf ears, and

6 it's time for this Council to open its ears and hear

7 the screams of the people begging for help. And that's

8 your job.

9 And my question is, Is there going to

10 be a subpoena? The's have a subpoena now and let's

11 start studying records to the time for the next budget

12 so that our Council is informed.

13 And then when the mayor sends up

14 legislation, don't introduce it. Let Council introduce

15 a budget, a realistic budget absent of politics.

16 That's all I'm going to ask. Thank you.

17 MS. GATELLI: Ozzie Quinn.

18 MR. QUINN: Good evening. I'm Ozzie

19 Quinn, I'm the president of the Scranton and Lackawanna

20 County Taxpayers and Citizens Association,

21 Incorporated.

22 And first of all, I want to apologize

23 to Mrs. Evans for that personal letter that was

24 published by the newspaper, because of the fact that

25 the person who forwarded that letter to the newspaper,
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1 he's not authorized to forward any letter under the

2 name of the Scranton Lackawanna County Taxpayers, okay?

3 The only person who was authorized to

4 do so is myself, the president, only after I concur

5 with our vice president. If we concur, then it's gone,

6 okay, be it an E-mail, a letter or not. So, I would

7 disregard that E-mail as nothing to do with the

8 taxpayers. That is not our thinking.

9 Second of all, in that E-mail, Mrs.

10 Evans did point out about a lawsuit, and there are a

11 lot of people who are out there, as you know, who are

12 against that ban.

13 As a matter of fact, tantamount to what

14 Mrs. Evans said about a lawsuit, we, the taxpayers, are

15 going to at our next meeting discuss the Home Rule

16 Charter in regards to a referendum in the city, not

17 because of right or wrong, but because of the fact that

18 we don't feel a social policy that's so effective among

19 so many people, okay, should be done by just a four to

20 one vote, okay? We don't think that you should have

21 the power to run people's lives like that.

22 Secondly, I accompanied Mrs. Evans, who

23 is the finance chairman, to the mayor's office last

24 Monday with some other taxpayers, and the mayor wasn't

25 in, and the reason we accompanied her was because of
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1 the fact that she as last Council meeting said, did you

2 go to the mayor's office, did you go to the mayor's

3 office, why don't you go to the mayor's office.

4 We went to the mayor's office, and she

5 presented to the secretary there 28 questions, 20,

6 questions, okay, and attached are eleven E-mails that

7 she sent out or letters, memos, to department heads in

8 November, and she didn't get any replies on that. May

9 I ask Mrs. Evans a question?

10 MS. GATELLI: Yes, you may.

11 MR. QUINN: Did you receive any reply

12 from the mayor regarding these questions?

13 MS. EVANS: No, I did not.

14 MR. QUINN: That is totally a shame,

15 because you are the chairman of the finance committee.

16 And my understanding as chairman of the finance

17 committee, you are to guide this Council, and if they

18 don't accept your guidance, well, shame on them.

19 The other thing is this here, I want to

20 know, Mrs. Gatelli, the South Side Complex was conveyed

21 over to the University of Scranton about a week and a

22 half ago, and I want to know -- in advance the mayor

23 got $750,000, okay, the SRA conveyed it, and the mayor

24 spent that money in Nay Aug Park.

25 Now, I want to know, did the mayor plug
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1 in that money, $750,000 -- the remaining $750,000 in

2 this budget?

3 MS. GATELLI: I didn't see it.

4 MS. QUINN: Well, you know what, I

5 would ask him to use it to pay off our debt service.

6 This is a hidden $750,000. He laundered that, and I'm

7 going to say he laundered that through that the SRA,

8 and he used the SRA when they got the $750,000, the

9 initial one, to use the lights, okay, to put up the

10 lights. There's no light downtown, of course, as a

11 matter of fact. They're all up at Nay Aug Park.

12 But the fact is he laundered that

13 money, and shame on him, but we should use that to pay

14 down the debt service that we owe, probably $238

15 million now.

16 Lastly, you know, we all speak about

17 the budget here, but, you know, we're concerned as a

18 taxpayers group school, that we're concerned about the

19 school district, we're concerned about the county that

20 two years ago hit us with a 48 percent increase. Now

21 it's down to 38 percent, but it's still an increase.

22 We're concerned what you're going to do

23 if you pass this budget tonight in regards to the

24 mayor's budget without looking to your finance chairman

25 for her advice on eliminating -- increasing or putting
.

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1 a tax, a property tax, on any of the poor people in the

2 City of Scranton that just can't afford it.

3 Our median income in the City of

4 Scranton is $28,805. That means half are below that

5 $28,000 is not making $28,805.

6 And I think the poverty level of a

7 family of three is $22,000, so we have a lot of people

8 that are homeowners on the poverty level.

9 MR. MINORA: Five minutes.

10 MR. QUINN: Okay. Thank you. And

11 20 percent are elderly. I ask you, I urge you on

12 behalf of the taxpayers, please do not pass this

13 budget, even though the mayor has to come back, and if

14 it's a three to two not passing it, he will come back

15 and it has to pass four to one. I'm sure you will get

16 that vote.

17 But let's show him that -- let's show

18 the people that stand up for these people out there

19 that cannot afford a tax increase and take the guidance

20 of Mrs. Evans. Thank you.

21 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.

22 MS. FRANUS: Fay Franus, Scranton. I'd

23 like to talk about the budget for a second, if I may.

24 Mayor Doherty is going to give us all a big Christmas

25 present 25 tax increase this year, 25 percent next
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1 year, and 25 percent the next year, 75 percent tax

2 increase for three Christmases to come. I'm sure we

3 all want to sit here and say thank you, Mr. Doherty.

4 No.

5 Mr. Doherty has borrowed more money

6 than any other mayor in the history of Scranton. He's

7 borrowed over $100 million. He also has us in debt

8 over $230 million. He has given -- created jobs with

9 high pay or he's forced other people out of the same

10 jobs that did the same work at lower pay.

11 Now, you have to make a tough decision

12 here, but do it. You know, it's not always easy to do

13 the right thing.

14 Mr. McGoff, you questioned -- I mean,

15 you were told that -- we were told that you got chosen

16 as a Councilperson because you were sort of neutral,

17 well, so far I haven't see one thing that you've done

18 that's neutral. So far you've gone right along with

19 Mrs. Gatelli and Mrs. Fanucci. You have a chance to

20 stand on your own and do the right thing for the people

21 that you claim to represent. Let's see.

22 Last week when Mrs. Evans asked you to

23 go to the mayor because you said you have no problem

24 talking with the mayor, whereas she does, he won't

25 speak with her, even though he said he will, he won't,
.

26


1 you had a choice -- Mrs. Evans must have asked you

2 seven times, and you said if you go with me.

3 If you went yourself and got the

4 answers to those questions for the people, we would

5 like to know. You could have done that. You chose not

6 to. You deliberately chose not to do this, so I only

7 assume that you don't care that the answers get

8 answered for the people. Because if you did care, you

9 would have gotten those questions answered.

10 You chose not to do that. That speaks

11 highly, not of you. It should tell the people where

12 you're coming from, as well. And tonight you have a

13 chance to do the right thing. Let's see what you do.

14 Well, this is true.

15 Now, the mayor's budget and Mrs. Evans'

16 budget, now, if you were out there and you weren't

17 politically connected, if you weren't tied to the

18 mayor, how would you vote if you were just one of us?

19 If you had a budget that doesn't

20 include a pay tax increase or one that does, which

21 would you pick? Common sense would tell you you'd take

22 the one without the pay increase.

23 Sure, it's hard to cut people's jobs,

24 but some of these jobs are lawyers jobs. They could

25 work in private practice. They don't need to be
.

27


1 working for the city.

2 Mrs. Evans' budget wasn't even

3 considered. It will never be considered and never was,

4 and it was never intended to be considered, because

5 this is your ball game, pay to play politics as usual.

6 And tonight there will be a vote to

7 give the mayor his budget. So, we talk for nothing.

8 But we want the people to know where you're coming from

9 that you should never, ever, ever be elected again in

10 the City of Scranton, ever, ever.

11 You sold us down the river big time.

12 Mrs. Evans should have a right to have this budget

13 enacted, not just throw her some crumbs and say I will

14 give you a policeman or we'll give you a dog officer.

15 Give her what she asks for. She's the finance

16 chairman. Don't you respect her?

17 Then another thing, Mrs. Gatelli, why

18 didn't you go to that meeting on Tuesday night? We're

19 paying you to go there. Why weren't you there?

20 MS. GATELLI: Personal reasons, I did

21 not go.

22 MS. FRANUS: Personal reasons? And you

23 said last week that you didn't represent me, well, if

24 that's the case, why don't you send me a check for the

25 money I pay you?
.

28


1 And also you said you waved your check

2 for $625 week after week. I think you should leave

3 your check for $12,000, whatever your total paycheck

4 is, and give it back to the city, because you're not

5 representing us at all.

6 Every bit of the money you get from

7 Council should be given back to the taxpayers, and you

8 should be given five percent of your school tax, is

9 what you should be giving.

10 And then another thing --

11 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Does that go for

12 Mrs. Evans, too? Anybody who works anywhere, they

13 should give five percent, Fay? Come on.

14 MS. FRANUS: Point of order, Mrs.

15 Fanucci. A point of order. A point of order.

16 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: You're not my

17 president, Fay.

18 MS. FRANUS: Well, I am a person that I

19 am not speaking with you, and I don't have to be your

20 president. You're out of order.

21 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: I'm certainly not.

22 MS. FRANUS: You certainly are.

23 MS. GATELLI: You can speak, Mrs.

24 Fanucci.

25 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Fay, you do not
.

29


1 come up here and insult people and come -- if you have

2 something to say that is legitimate or has some merit

3 on the City of Scranton, then say it.

4 MS. FRANUS: I am saying it.

5 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Don't come up here

6 and tell people to give their salaries back. Why don't

7 you give yours back?

8 MS. FRANUS: I don't represent the

9 people.

10 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: You're darn right.

11 Thank you for making that point.

12 MS. FRANUS: That's a riot.

13 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: No, it's true.

14 MS. FRANUS: You are just hysterical.

15 MS. GATELLI: Listen, we're going to

16 stop this.

17 MS. FRANUS: No, we're not. I'm not

18 done yet.

19 MS. GATELLI: Yes, we are.

20 MS. FRANUS: Oh, no, we're not. I'm

21 not done yet.

22 MS. GATELLI: It's getting personal and

23 getting --

24 MS. FRANUS: How is it getting

25 personal? You sat there for two weeks --
.

30


1 MS. GATELLI: Officer, would you please

2 --

3 MS. FRANUS: No. I'm not done yet.

4 I'm sorry. You said that --

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

6 MS. FRANUS: That's your opinion.

7 MS. GATELLI: And I'm the president.

8 MS. FRANUS: Wow, again.

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

10 MS. FRANUS: No, I'm not. You are.

11 Mrs. Fanucci is out of order.

12 MS. GATELLI: Officer, take her out of

13 the meeting.

14 MS. FRANUS: Well, I'm not done yet,

15 Judy. I'm not done yet. Go ahead. Try it. Is this

16 on film?

17 MS. GATELLI: No, don't arrest her.

18 Just tell her to get down. She's out of order.

19 MS. FRANUS: What happened to a

20 person's first rights -- first amendment?

21 MS. GATELLI: Listen, if you don't be

22 quiet in the audience, you're going to be removed from

23 the meeting.

24 MS. FRANUS: Mrs. Evans, you're doing a

25 wonderful job.
.

31


1 MS. GATELLI: We'll adjourn the

2 meeting. Now act like adults. You can come up and

3 make your comments in a respectful manner. The next

4 speaker is John Topa.

5 MR. TOPA: Good evening, members of

6 Council. My name is John Topa, I'm a mortgage broker

7 with First Sunrise Mortgage, and I'm here to talk about

8 the proposed budget with the real estate transfer tax

9 that's on the budget. I have -- would I be able to

10 give a handout to Council?

11 MS. GATELLI: Sure.

12 MR. TOPA: First off, I'd like to say

13 that I'm proud to be living in Lackawanna County, and

14 I'm really happy of the things that the City of

15 Scranton has done to help promote real estate ownership

16 in The City of Scranton, the Keystone Opportunity Zone

17 in Tripps Park, the Office of Economic and Community

18 Development helping out first time homebuyers, I

19 believe they're both fantastic programs, and I would

20 like the city to continue to be proactive.

21 I believe that raising the transfer tax

22 for the City of Scranton, which is already higher than

23 every local municipality, would actually be a setback

24 for the City of Scranton.

25 It is already a lower transfer tax rate
.

32


1 at two percent if you buy anywhere outside the City of

2 Scranton locally, and the City of Scranton with their

3 3.4 percent would raise that to 4.9, when you add in

4 the state and the school.

5 I believe that's going to be one more

6 detriment with someone trying to buy a home in the City

7 of Scranton.

8 I noticed in the paper this morning

9 that the mayor said that -- what's an extra $600?

10 Well, I'd like to say that maybe $600 might not be a

11 lot to the mayor, but the $600 is a lot to a first time

12 homebuyer. I see this every day.

13 This money is out of pocket expenses.

14 I see this every day where people are trying to scrape

15 up every last dollar they have to buy a home. And when

16 they have to buy a house in the City of Scranton, they

17 still have to come up with more, and now we want to

18 raise it even higher.

19 These are things that typically cannot

20 be financed into the loan. Now, you can't finance some

21 closing costs, but what I'm seeing more and more of,

22 and I'm sure other mortgage companies are seeing, as

23 well, is more people are getting 100 percent financing,

24 because nowadays they don't have the kind of savings

25 that they used to.
.

33


1 And when you get 100 percent financing,

2 that does not cover all your closing costs, that covers

3 your down payment. Your closing costs are still out of

4 pocket.

5 So, this is just going to be one more

6 reason for someone to second guess if they should buy

7 in the City of Scranton, and I don't feel this would

8 put Scranton ahead of everyone else. I believe this

9 will set Scranton back.

10 And in spite of all the strides that

11 Scranton has made, I feel that this in the proposed

12 budget with transfer tax increase would actually be a

13 detriment.

14 Right now the City of Reading just -- I

15 believe just passed a bill that makes it at five

16 percent, so we would be the second highest transfer tax

17 rate in the whole state above Pittsburgh and above

18 Philadelphia.

19 We don't want to have this type of

20 stigma that we have the second highest transfer tax

21 rate in the whole state.

22 I would like to have Council reconsider

23 the budget that Mayor Doherty had in reference to the

24 transfer tax for the City of Scranton. Thank you.

25 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Lee Redmond.
.

34


1 MR. REDMOND: Good evening. I would

2 opposed the alternate budget that would eliminate two

3 assistant city solicitors and a legal secretary. It

4 would not be in the city's best interest.

5 The city's legal work still has to be

6 done. The work load would justify the present staff.

7 If ordinances are challenged, their defense by the city

8 law department is manpower intensive.

9 And I say these things with the benefit

10 of over 12 and a half years of experience in the city

11 law department as a first assistant and assistant

12 solicitor.

13 I remember 1990, where for seven

14 months, there was only one solicitor and one assistant

15 solicitor, and there were an awful lot of 12 to 16 hour

16 days.

17 I don't think it is fair to expect city

18 personnel to work 12 to 16 hour days on a sustained

19 basis. Moreover, having a well-manned legal staff

20 would save the city money, compared to what is paid to

21 outside attorneys.

22 The present legal secretary is

23 experienced, performs outstanding work and should be

24 retained.

25 Lastly, I would wish Council and
.

35


1 Attorney Minora a Merry Christmas. Thank you.

2 MR. MINORA: Thank you.

3 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Andy

4 Sbaraglia.

5 MR. SBARAGLIA: Good evening, Andy

6 Sbaraglia, citizen of Scranton. Fellow Scrantonians,

7 on Page six of your City of Scranton revenue -- budget

8 revenues, they have a notation in here, Note for

9 $3,557,174 that we're going to get from municipal

10 revenue service. Who knows what the contract is on

11 that?

12 MS. EVANS: Mr. Sbaraglia, I don't

13 think -- well, I'll speak for myself, I don't know what

14 the contract is. I believe you're referring to the

15 sale of delinquent property taxes; is that correct?

16 MR. SBARAGLIA: Well, it doesn't say

17 that there in the budget, it just says what it says.

18 MS. EVANS: Okay.

19 MR. SBARAGLIA: What it actually

20 pertains to you should know because you have to vote on

21 it.

22 MS. EVANS: Well, no. On Page 6, it's

23 under which category?

24 MR. SBARAGLIA: Well, it's on the

25 bottom of notes. Way on the bottom at the note it says
.

36


1 --

2 MS. EVANS: Oh, I see. This is a firm,

3 I believe, out of Erie, Pennsylvania and the mayor has

4 been quoted in other newspapers as saying he's already

5 cut a deal with them, and the city will realize that

6 revenue rather quickly in 2007.

7 Now, as far as I'm aware, this has not

8 come before City Council, any type of contract or

9 agreement, but what I question about it is the fact

10 that when the mayor has gone on record discussing a

11 proposed sale of delinquent taxes, delinquent property

12 taxes, to be specific, he said that I believe it would

13 be sold for somewhere between $2.1 and $2.5, so that's

14 one of my questions, why then in the budget has he

15 plugged in well over a million dollars more than he has

16 indicated publicly?

17 MR. SBARAGLIA: Has he told you the

18 length of the contract at least?

19 MS. EVANS: No.

20 MR. SBARAGLIA: This could be a

21 ten-year contract? Are we going to get harassed like

22 NCC does? Is this what it's going to amount to, more

23 harassment for the taxpayers?

24 MS. EVANS: It's possible they're

25 questions for the mayor.
.

37


1 MR. SBARAGLIA: The simple thing is, if

2 you can't afford to pay your taxes, how can you afford

3 any penalty and harassment on top of your taxes?

4 That's a simple deduction.

5 People who can afford to pay their

6 taxes usually pay their taxes. People in Scranton are

7 good, they pay their taxes, they'll starve to pay their

8 taxes, they will do what they have to pay their taxes.

9 But for some reason or other, we're not

10 getting the taxes paid and we're probably not getting

11 paid in the business district.

12 That brings me to another subject, as

13 you know, in 1990, we used to have a two mill taxes on

14 our business privilege and your other business tax in

15 the city. Now we're down to one percent.

16 And the reason why we're really having

17 trouble paying our bills is because you're not letting

18 the businessmen pay what they're supposed to. We put

19 $80 million into Central City. Let's get something

20 back.

21 There's no reason why that tax can't be

22 put up. The legislation here called from -- in 1990,

23 they set it at 1.9 mills. And before that it was at

24 two mills, so they had a slight reduction, but nowhere

25 did they have 100 percent reduction.
.

38


1 For some reason or other, since this

2 mayor has taken office, we have gotten 100 percent

3 reduction in that tax.

4 Now we got a problem then with that $3

5 million sitting up in the bank in Dunmore. I supposed

6 you all know how much interest they're paying on that

7 note.

8 So, the simple thing with that note, if

9 you're getting less than what we're going to pay to

10 borrow this money, I assume we use it. It does not

11 make sense to borrow money at a higher rate than the

12 rate we're getting for deposits. That makes no

13 economic sense.

14 And with that $3 million, you almost

15 wipe away any tax increase. And they should be able to

16 -- I told you before, that one percent on a million

17 dollars is like $2,000. So, if you do a million

18 dollars worth of business, chances are you don't lie

19 here anyway.

20 MR. MINORA: Five minutes.

21 MR. SBARAGLIA: And it would be $2,000.

22 Okay. Thank you.

23 MS. GATELLI: Mike Dudek.

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

25 Depot Street, Scranton. I live in The Plot. I think I
.

39


1 decided to come up here and have a little fun.

2 About two or three weeks ago, Mrs.

3 Evans brought the idea up of performing a forensic

4 audit on the City of Scranton, and once those words

5 came out, I don't know who raced faster to attack her

6 between some elements of The Scranton Times and some of

7 the people on City Council, but I think I should

8 explain to you what she means by a forensic audit.

9 The word forensic does not mean

10 criminal, not at all. For instance, if an 89-year-old

11 man at The Veterans Center dies overnight, they will

12 perform an autopsy to find out why he died.

13 If when they turn the body over there's

14 a hole in his chest and there's blood on the bed, a

15 forensic autopsy is going to be performed because that

16 is not a normal way for a person to die.

17 And normally we would think, well, a

18 man must have been murdered, but he very well could

19 also have killed himself. If he had a pen and he moved

20 it the wrong way, anything is possible.

21 In Texas last week, an automobile

22 mechanic was found crushed underneath the car jack in

23 his garage. People thought he was murdered under

24 there. A forensic autopsy found out the man died of a

25 heart attack. He leaned against the lever that
.

40


1 operated the lift. He fell under the lift and was

2 crushed.

3 A forensic autopsy was performed

4 because he might have been murdered. As it turned out,

5 it was an accident.

6 The same thing applies with a forensic

7 audit. There are some tumors on this budget that the

8 mayor has, some nice financial tumors, and what Mrs.

9 Evans is looking for is to see whether or not there's

10 something wrong here.

11 Now, somebody was waiving the word

12 criminal, it might be criminal. More than likely my

13 way of looking at it is this budget was very poorly

14 crafted. A forensic audit will determine -- it will

15 let the auditor speak to what is wrong about that

16 audit. That's why we need a forensic audit here.

17 Now, it is very possible, and I can

18 speak from knowing some people who work at the

19 Harrisburg Patriot, there is some thought down in the

20 State Capitol that the office that Mr. Casey is

21 vacating could very well be filled by the governor with

22 our mayor.

23 That would mean that one of the five of

24 you will be the next mayor of the City of Scranton.

25 Well, before you run off a cliff and vote the mayor 's
.

41


1 budget, you better ask yourself this, if you end up

2 being the mayor of the City of Scranton next February,

3 which budget would you rather operate under? Mrs.

4 Evans' budget or the mayor's budget?

5 Once you answer that question honestly

6 and intelligently, you'll know how to vote. Thank you.

7 MS. GATELLI: Jean Suetta.

8 MS. SUETTA: Jean Suetta, lower Green

9 Ridge. You know, we're getting heavy floods in two

10 rains, heavy rains. Did anybody find the winch?

11 MS. GATELLI: Find the what?

12 MS. SUETTA: The winch to close the

13 bridge.

14 MS. GATELLI: Would you like Mr.

15 Courtright to answer?

16 MS. SUETTA: I don't care who answers.

17 Jesus could answer.

18 MR. COURTRIGHT: Mr. Hubbard had

19 questions, and Kay sent them out for me, and I happened

20 to run into the public safety director, and he answered

21 a lot of the questions for me.

22 There is a plan for the county. They

23 do have the equipment, they're telling me, to close the

24 gates. They cannot allow the average everyday citizen

25 to close the gates due to insurance purposes, somebody
.

42


1 got hurt.

2 They're going to take me there and show

3 me how everything operates under flood conditions, and

4 very possibly after that we will set a schedule where

5 the public can come out and see how they operate.

6 And as far as the gates being closed in

7 the last event, I asked why a siren did not go off over

8 in your area, because I was told if, in fact, there was

9 a flood occurring, that the siren would go off in the

10 plot and they would send either a police car or a fire

11 engine over to your area to notify you.

12 The reason they did not send the police

13 car and the fire engine over there to notify you is

14 there was no expectation of the river going over.

15 I asked why did we close the gates

16 then, and I was told it was just a precautionary

17 measure to possibly make the residents feel even

18 better.

19 I asked about paths for you to escape,

20 and they said there were paths for you to get out of

21 there. They were just some of the answers I got. I

22 can't recall them all. I believe they will put them in

23 writing for me.

24 Sometimes they close the gate with

25 maybe a truck from the DPW and they'll push it closed.
.

43


1 Originally I believe some of them were meant to be

2 closed from by pulling them closed, but from the ground

3 settling, rising, whatever the case may be, it binds,

4 so they need equipment.

5 MS. SUETTA: It's brand new.

6 MR. COURTRIGHT: Don't shoot the

7 messenger again.

8 MS. SUETTA: If we get flooded again --

9 MR. COURTRIGHT: Who'll clean my cellar

10 this time? Not me. One, two, three, four, five. I'm

11 here. There's heavy rains in two days. Are you going

12 to see that bridge before the two days?

13 MR. COURTRIGHT: Are we going to see

14 what?

15 MS. SUETTA: We're getting heavy rains

16 the next two days. Are you going to be down there to

17 see how it operates within that two days? Today --

18 Friday and Saturday you got to.

19 MR. COURTRIGHT: I haven't had a date

20 when I'm going to --

21 MS. SUETTA: What do we do then? And

22 what escape routes do we have? You can't go down Nay

23 Aug Avenue, you can't go out Green Ridge Street. Where

24 the hell are we going to go? Just tell me where I'm

25 going to go?
.

44


1 I don't want to -- I have the holiday

2 spirit, too. I'm being good, but, please, jump the

3 balls of beaver shit. Get us help.

4 MR. COURTRIGHT: Right. I'm just

5 trying to give you some answers, Jean, that they gave

6 me. They'll give me all the questions to your

7 questions. I happened to run into them. It wasn't a

8 planned meeting. I was leaving City Hall, he was here,

9 and he grabbed me and asked if I'd like some answers to

10 the questions. You know, I'll get them for you in

11 writing.

12 MS. SUETTA: In writing?

13 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.

14 MS. SUETTA: Just like Janet is waiting

15 for writing. That's what we're getting over there.

16 MR. COURTRIGHT: I understand it. I

17 understand your frustrations. I'm doing the best I

18 could to get you --

19 MS. SUETTA: I know you are. I seen

20 you down on the riverbank.

21 MR. COURTRIGHT: Right. And I just

22 thought, you know, I could give you some of the

23 answers. As far as not knowing where the equipment is,

24 I'm told they know where it is.

25 MS. SUETTA: Well, why don't they bring
.

45


1 it when they come?

2 MR. COURTRIGHT: The winches, you mean?

3 MS. SUETTA: Nobody knew where they

4 were.

5 MR. COURTRIGHT: I'm being told that

6 that's not true, they do know where the equipment is.

7 Now, you know, that's what I'm being told. Again,

8 don't shoot the messenger, Jean. Come on.

9 MS. SUETTA: I'm not shooting the

10 messenger.

11 MS. GATELLI: Jean, I talked to Mr.

12 Garabino from the Army Corps.

13 MS. SUETTA: I talked to him, too.

14 MS. GATELLI: And he told me that the

15 flood gate isn't going to be closed because the levee

16 is lower than the gate.

17 MS. SUETTA: True. And why don't they

18 build the bank up? Why don't they build the banks up a

19 little bit?

20 MS. GATELLI: Well, they are, but, you

21 know, it takes 100 years.

22 MS. SUETTA: Janet, could I talk to

23 Janet?

24 MS. GATELLI: Sure.

25 MS. SUETTA: All right. I want you to
.

46


1 put your big girl pants on and deal with this

2 situation. You can handle it. Merry Christmas,

3 everybody.

4 MS. EVANS: Merry Christmas.

5 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Charlie

6 Newcomb.

7 MR. NEWCOMB, SR.: Good evening,

8 Council. A few comments and a few facts. Just to

9 finish up where I finished last week about our

10 employees about retiring, just so you know that from

11 1993 and up, anybody that was hired after 1993, their

12 health care doesn't go with them when they retire.

13 That's from 1993 and down, so just everybody knows.

14 Now, we just heard a gentleman before

15 talk about the real estate tax, and it was in the

16 paper, I believe yesterday, somebody put in about, you

17 know, they own a home over in Tripps Park, it was a

18 duplex or something, so apparently I believe that

19 they're renting that house out to somebody.

20 And it said he was looking to buy a

21 house for $200 to $250,000 in the city, and the

22 transfer tax on that amount of property, I thought he

23 said, would be, like, $12,000 if the budget goes

24 through the way it was, and somewhere else it would be

25 five.
.

47


1 Well, the question on that is, and I

2 just hope we don't change this because we need the

3 revenue, if -- I think the gentleman spoke about

4 4.9 percent for the real estate transfer tax, well,

5 I'll tell you what, if somebody is buying a $200,000 or

6 $250,000 home in the city, I don't think they worry too

7 much about a few extra dollars.

8 But what they have to look at, that's

9 not the point. The point is if you are going to buy a

10 home in the City of Scranton, you're buying it because

11 you love to be here, the first thing, but the second

12 thing is is this, and I challenge anybody to show me

13 the difference, go to the city, go to Clarks Summit,

14 anywhere up that way and find a $250,000 for what you

15 get and come to the city and buy a $250,000 home. And

16 I'll tell you what, you're going to compare yourself

17 with a palace to a little ranch for $250,000 somewhere

18 else. And that's one point.

19 And you're also going to pay

20 3.4 percent wage tax to live in the City of Scranton

21 compared to, you know, somewhere else where you bought

22 that $250,000 home, you're going to be paying one

23 percent. So, I don't think it's a matter of coming up

24 with the difference in the money. I think the city

25 needs the tax and we should keep it.
.

48


1 As far as it goes, I don't want to take

2 up all my time, but does anybody know what the public

3 safety director's job is? I know Mrs. Evans, that was

4 in the paper about in her budget, but, Mr. Courtright,

5 that's your department. Could I talk to him, Mrs.

6 Gatelli?

7 MS. GATELLI: Certainly.

8 MR. NEWCOMB, SR.: What is his job

9 supposed to be?

10 MR. COURTRIGHT: He's supposed to

11 oversee the police department, the fire department and

12 all the public safety for the city.

13 MR. NEWCOMB, SR.: Okay. Thank you. I

14 just want you to know, if he -- I think I've asked this

15 before. He's been at some different scenes and, you

16 know, some different scenes with the policemen.

17 And, boy, correct me if I'm wrong,

18 because I'm sure if I am, somebody else will be, but as

19 far as I understand, our last public safety director

20 was Jimmy Klee, which Mayor Connors was ordered to take

21 that out. He was a policeman, correct?

22 MR. COURTRIGHT: Correct.

23 MR. NEWCOMB, SR.: He had police -- he

24 could arrest people. He could do whatever he had to

25 do. As far as I know, our public safety director right
.

49


1 now is a civilian.

2 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yeah, I don't believe

3 has any arrest powers.

4 MR. NEWCOMB, SR.: When he goes to

5 these -- like, we're paying him $65,000 a year, but

6 when he goes to these scenes and, you know, if orders

7 policemen to do this and do that, they have the

8 authority to say what is to be done, not him, because

9 he's like you or myself, a civilian. We can't

10 interfere with that. So, just take that into

11 consideration when we're paying public safety to

12 oversee something that they really don't have any

13 control of anyway. And, Mrs. Evans -- could I speak to

14 Mrs. Evans, please?

15 MS. GATELLI: Yes.

16 MR. NEWCOMB, SR.: Just a question, if

17 you can answer it for me, please, if you sent me an

18 E-mail regardless of what it was, what kind of day it

19 was or if anybody sent me an E-mail, as a matter of

20 fact of that, and it came from your computer to my

21 computer, and we were out someplace and I ran into Mr.

22 Courtright, and Mr. Courtright said, I read the E-mail

23 that you sent to Janet Evans or Judy or anybody, well,

24 my question to you is, if you send it to me and it goes

25 from your computer to mine, and somebody else found out
.

50


1 about it, how did they find out?

2 MS. EVANS: Honestly, I don't know. It

3 could be forwarded to individuals. I would think by

4 the recipient. I don't know. Maybe people make copies

5 of it. I don't know.

6 MR. NEWCOMB, SR.: What I'm trying to

7 say is if the only way it's going to get forwarded to

8 anybody is if I forward it to them or you forward it to

9 them or you hand it to them.

10 So, as far as I'm concerned, I think

11 that that E-mail should not have nothing to do with,

12 you know, with the budget.

13 And just remember on sending an E-mail,

14 like somebody talked before, if it smells like a rat,

15 looks like a rat, it's a rat.

16 I know underneath this budget the mayor

17 wants 25, 25 and 25 percent.

18 MR. MINORA: Five minutes.

19 MR. NEWCOMB, SR.: Okay. Your budget,

20 there's no tax increase. I just really wish we would

21 take into consideration on looking at these budgets.

22 We do need six more policemen, and we cannot afford any

23 more taxes. Thank you.

24 MS. GATELLI: Chris Pagula.

25 MR. PAGULA: Hello. My name is
.

51


1 Chris Pagula. This is my first time

2 speaking at City Council, so please bear

3 with me.

4 I'm a Scranton resident and a

5 sophomore at West Scranton High. This idea

6 was brought up in my American History class,

7 and we, the class, almost all agreed that a

8 law banning or restricting the use of

9 handheld cell phones while driving would be

10 a good idea.

11 I am here today addressing Scranton

12 City Council to ask you to considering

13 making a law about this issue.

14 Many studies have been done looking

15 at the amount of crashes caused by the use

16 of cell phones.

17 The majority of these studies show

18 that 80 percent of all crashes and

19 65 percent of near crashes are the result of

20 a driver not paying attention to the road.

21 A study done by the Virginia Tech

22 Transportation Institute and National

23 Highway Traffic Safety Administration found

24 the most common driving distraction is the

25 use of a cell phone.
.

52


1 This study tracked 241 people in 100

2 different vehicles over a period of one year

3 and found that they were involved in 84

4 crashes, 761 near crashes in 8,295 driving

5 incidents.

6 Another survey showed that in 2005,

7 six percent of all drivers used handheld

8 cell phones, which went up one percent from

9 the previous year.

10 The most noticeable jump was between

11 -- from women, which went up two percent

12 from 2004, and in young adults, which

13 increased two percent from 2004, also.

14 According to the National Highway

15 Traffic Safety Administration, nearly three

16 percent of all drivers at any given moment

17 are on a handheld cell phone.

18 The difference of handheld cell

19 phones and hands free phones are a

20 5.2 percent difference, with six percent of

21 all distractions caused by drivers holding

22 the phone to their ears with only .8 of

23 distractions caused by drivers speaking on

24 headsets.

25 Previous states that have put hand
.

53


1 free cell phone use laws into effect include

2 New York, New Jersey, The District of

3 Columbia and Connecticut. The different

4 fines range from $100 to $250.

5 Also, 40 different countries have

6 made law restricting or prohibiting the use

7 of handheld cellphones while driving,

8 including Australia, Germany, Italy, Japan

9 and Spain, while in some countries, the lost

10 of insurance will result.

11 A law banning and restricting

12 handheld cell phone use while driving will

13 drastically lower the amount of accidents

14 and also the amount of fatalities in and

15 around the City of Scranton. I have

16 complete faith in the City Council in

17 getting this law passed.

18 I would also like to thank you for

19 listening to my idea and wish you a Merry

20 Christmas and Happy New Year.

21 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Angelica

22 Campbell. Chris, just before you leave, I

23 do believe that there is a state or a

24 federal law that you can't talk on a cell

25 phone while you're drive, but, you know, we
.

54


1 will investigate that, but I think there

2 already is one, although it's never complied

3 with.

4 MS. CAMPBELL: Hello. My name is

5 Angelica Campbell. I'm a Scranton resident

6 and a sophomore student at West Scranton

7 High School. I want to talk to you today

8 about gang violence.

9 First of all, what is a gang? A

10 gang is a number of individuals band

11 together with two or more people who share a

12 common interest and bond who are recognized

13 by the community as being known for

14 participating in a criminal activity.

15 Normally a gang with have common names,

16 signs or symbols.

17 Gang members are involved in

18 homicide, robbery, assault, burglary and

19 auto theft.

20 Secondly, how do we identify gang

21 members? Gang members are lurking in our

22 schools, increase in problems at home

23 increase gang membership.

24 Typically gang members have a

25 frequent contact with police. Writings with
.

55


1 letters cross out is another indication.

2 Pictures with displaying of gang signs and

3 weapons are frequently indicated, as well.

4 Members may use a nickname that is

5 gang related. Drinking alcohol and the use

6 of drugs is done. Bragging they are tougher

7 than others is common.

8 Why do people join gangs? The

9 interaction with parents is lacking, self

10 respect is lacking, power is lacking,

11 feeling of belonging is non-consistent.

12 Being careful is lacking.

13 Friendships are weak. To be known is a

14 strong desire.

15 Consequences for being in a gang are

16 many. It will cause danger to both gang

17 members and his or her family. Gang members

18 drop out of school and end up in jail.

19 It will have a normal life effect on

20 the child's life. It will be difficult to

21 find a job.

22 Some gangs members suffer from

23 alcohol or drug abuse. Most end up

24 seriously injured or killed.

25 A way to prevent your child from
.

56


1 gang, this should be a balance between love

2 and discipline.

3 Show them that they are wanted.

4 Spend time with them. Listen to your

5 children. Don't put them down. Put them in

6 extracurricular activities. Support your

7 child when he or she accomplishes a goal or

8 a new stage in life.

9 So, find ways to do better in life.

10 Show your parent that you are better than

11 that. Make them proud of you. Become

12 something in life. It will be easy and a

13 successful goal in achieving things in life.

14 Thank you.

15 MS. GATELLI: Thank you very much.

16 Marie Shumaker.

17 MS. SHUMAKER: Good evening. I'd

18 like to brag that my faith in the DPW was

19 well founded. The streets were much better

20 when I went out than when I came in last

21 week.

22 MS. GATELLI: You're lucky.

23 MS. SHUMAKER: First I want to thank

24 Mrs. Evans for having the courage to try to

25 save us from the tyranny of the nanny state
.

57


1 by voting against the smoking ban.

2 Now that Council has chosen to

3 proceed down the slippery slope of

4 protecting us from ourselves all in the name

5 of better health to be sure, what will be

6 next, trans fats?

7 Then what? I'm allergic to several

8 flowers. Will I be able to come here and

9 petition you to pass a ban planting those

10 flowers so I don't suffer an allergic

11 reaction?

12 I would also like to thank Mrs.

13 Evans for taking the time to prepare an

14 alternate budget that spares taxpayers a

15 large increase.

16 It will be most disappointing if you

17 chose to not give this proposed budget

18 serious consideration.

19 I'm also disappointed there have

20 been no other Council members to come

21 forward with so much as a single reduction.

22 You are all aware of the large

23 number of elderly homeowners living on fixed

24 incomes.

25 So, I say to Mrs. Evans, I believe
.

58


1 you're doing the Lord's work and would

2 remind you it was the lord himself who said

3 blessed are you when men shall revow you and

4 persecute you and say all men are of evil

5 against you falsely for my name sake.

6 Their's is the kingdom of heaven.

7 Now, Mrs. Gatelli, last week you

8 were able to tell me the adding Christmas

9 lights at Nay Aug were not in the capital

10 budget, but can you or any other Council

11 colleague tell me what is the mayor's

12 capital budget?

13 Where, for example, is the lighted

14 softball field to replace the Schmidt

15 Complex the mayor gave to The University?

16 Where are the improvements promised to

17 Robinson Park and East Scranton Little

18 League Field in 2003 that were to have been

19 paid with a $72 million bond floated in

20 2002? Where is the $1 million reduction in

21 the budget in 2007 and not replaced in out

22 years promised by the Pennsylvania Economy

23 League rep during the September 14 caucus?

24 Why were positions eliminated at the

25 insistence of The Pennsylvania Economy
.

59


1 League during the Connor years reinstated?

2 On November 11, the mayor said we

3 started a conservancy which alleviates the

4 expenses that come with city parks.

5 The real sign up at Nay Aug says the

6 Nay Aug Park Conservancy thanks Wal-Mart for

7 its generous support of the universally

8 accessible tree house starting this winter

9 and launching at this site.

10 Now, unless there's another

11 conservancy, I guess this is trickle down.

12 Whatever doesn't get spent at Nay Aug, maybe

13 it will trickle down to some of the

14 neighborhood parks. I don't know.

15 The mayor's five-year, that's the

16 2005 through 2009 OECD plan showed as an

17 accomplishment. We restored a greenhouse

18 that plays a key educational role in the

19 Scranton School District Best Program.

20 Clearly and admittedly by OECD, the

21 greenhouse has not been restored. On what

22 was that money spent? Why is OECD housed in

23 a high-rent facility, when there is space

24 available in City Hall? This is a

25 distressed city.
.

60


1 Why is another health inspector not

2 included in the budget when more tasks are

3 being added and the current tasks are not

4 able to be accomplished? Remember I've told

5 you that the City of Wilkes-Barre has three.

6 We have one.

7 And Mr. Seitzinger has -- his latest

8 city job has been billed as an anti-blight

9 czar, yet I keep seeing emphasis on how much

10 money he's bringing into the city. How much

11 revenue is in the budget from the

12 anti-blight efforts? Anybody have any

13 answers to any of those questions?

14 MS. EVANS: I can look that up for

15 you, but I do know that consistently each

16 year the city does list what is earned, you

17 know, or anticipated to be earned in terms

18 of citations and tickets, et cetera, related

19 to blight and parking issues, abandoned or

20 junk vehicles, et cetera.

21 MS SHUMAKER: Was there a big

22 increase from last year to this year to next

23 year, 2006 to 2007?

24 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Actually I have

25 all of the citations and how much to date
.

61


1 since they started, and I will give you a

2 copy of that before you leave.

3 MS. SHUMAKER: And how much is

4 included in the 2007 budget?

5 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: I will show you

6 -- I will tell you as soon as I locate it.

7 I have a lot of papers here. Sorry.

8 MR. MINORA: Five minutes.

9 MS. SHUMAKER: Thank you.

10 MS. GATELLI: David Dodson. Is

11 there anyone else that would like to speak?

12 MS. SCHUMANICH: Madame President

13 and members of Council, my name is Kim

14 Schumanich, and I come to you as a

15 legislative chairperson of the Greater

16 Scranton Board of Realtors and the 700

17 realtor members that we have within our

18 association.

19 I also come to you on behalf of all

20 the homebuyers and home sellers that we

21 currently and have previously and will

22 represent in the future.

23 We've made great progress here in

24 this city with helping to have our clients

25 achieve the dream of home ownership.
.

62


1 The increase that is proposed in

2 this budget, a more than 50 percent increase

3 in the current real estate transfer tax will

4 take us back to the weak market that we all

5 experienced in the 1990s.

6 You may not know, but the real

7 estate transfer tax is a highly volatile

8 tax. It depends on market conditions.

9 And realtors will agree the

10 conditions that we are experiencing now and

11 will experience are downward trending. We

12 don't have the strong market that we have

13 experienced in the past.

14 The projection of a $2 million

15 increase by increasing the city's share of

16 the real estate tax from 2.2 percent to 3.4

17 percent is supposed to be $2 million, and I

18 believe that is based on a number of

19 transactions that were completed in the

20 2005.

21 You may also not know, but the real

22 estate transfer tax, of course, has a very

23 narrow base. It's a tax on a single item.

24 Not everyone is buying or selling real

25 estate.
.

63


1 Lower income households are the ones

2 who are the most affected. They already

3 spend a higher percentage of their income on

4 housing.

5 The upfront costs are the biggest

6 constraints right now to first-time home

7 buyers, and that upfront cost will be

8 largely made up of real estate transfer tax.

9 In the paper today, I used an

10 example in The Scranton Times of a person

11 who is buying a $100,000 house, if they were

12 to buy that $100,000 home in Dickson City,

13 Dunmore, Taylor, Clarks Summit, the real

14 estate transfer tax that that buyer would

15 pay would be $1,000.

16 If they were to buy that same home

17 at that assume price in the City of

18 Scranton, currently the tax would be $1,850.

19 The increase would take that number up to

20 $2,450. It would cost more than twice to

21 buy a home of the same value in the City of

22 Scranton than it would anywhere else here in

23 Lackawanna County.

24 Scranton will also become less

25 competitive for businesses to relocate here.
.

64


1 Businesses, when they're acquiring property,

2 are looking at the costs associated with

3 that, and transfer tax, of course, is an

4 associated cost, not only for the relocation

5 of a building, but also for their employees

6 that they would hope to bring with them.

7 Of course, remember residents here

8 in Scranton will be facing increased utility

9 costs. They've already seen an increase in

10 insurance costs, and, of course, yet again

11 they get to come to the City of Scranton and

12 pay higher wage tax.

13 I ask you to please consider some

14 alternative sources for revenue here in the

15 budget. Perhaps you would begin to enforce

16 more closely the landlord registration

17 ordinance, perhaps enact an amusement tax,

18 something that is a broader based tax for

19 the city.

20 But I please ask you, don't allow

21 the mayor to balance this budget on the

22 backs of home buyers and sellers in the City

23 of Scranton. Thank you.

24 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.

25 MR. GERVASI: Good evening, City
.

65


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

2 taxpayer, a homeowner, and a member -- a

3 proud member of the Scranton Fire

4 Department.

5 I heard a few comments in the

6 beginning of the meeting and I'd like, if

7 it's okay, Mrs. Gatelli, I'd like to ask

8 Mrs. Fanucci a question, if that's okay.

9 Mrs. Fanucci, I believe you said

10 that you didn't refuse to go to the budget

11 meeting, you had prior engagements with your

12 daughter, I believe you said, so, apparently

13 you were misquoted in the paper today.

14 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: I wasn't

15 misquoted. Here's what I said. I said I

16 had already had plans. I had plans, and my

17 colleagues knew I had plans for a week

18 before that, so I was not planning on

19 attending that meeting under any

20 circumstances because of my daughter's

21 birthday.

22 MR. GERVASI: Sure.

23 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: And then when I

24 was asked if I was coming to discuss the

25 budget, I had said that I had already
.

66


1 reviewed the budget, there was nothing that

2 I had found that I was going to discuss,

3 that if we were here to do a work session

4 and if I found something that I wanted to

5 put in the budget, I would have gone through

6 one of my colleagues to put it in.

7 MR. GERVASI: But you didn't flatly

8 refuse to go to that meeting because of an

9 Email?

10 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: No.

11 MR. GERVASI: All right. Thank you.

12 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: They're two

13 separate issues, Dave.

14 MR. GERVASI: I believe so. I

15 believe so. Once again, it seems like The

16 Times is trying to distract everyone with

17 their misquotes and their slanted reporting,

18 because I got the impression that two people

19 were very, very mad over something and

20 refused to go to Mrs. Evans' budget caucus.

21 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Well, Dave, I

22 have to say, I was very, very hurt and very

23 upset about that, but that was a totally

24 separate issue.

25 MR. GERVASI: But that wasn't why
.

67


1 you refused to go --

2 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: No. The budget

3 was a different issue. In fact, when I read

4 Mrs. Evans' comment, I'm, like, well, that's

5 not why I was -- I mean, I was the same way.

6 I think that it was just mixed into one.

7 MR. GERVASI: Okay. Well, thanks.

8 I mean, we all come to an agreement that

9 sometimes you can't believe what you read in

10 the paper.

11 I also have -- I take offense to

12 Attorney Redmond, who was up here before,

13 saying that it would be very unfair to cut

14 some solicitors out of the city's budget,

15 that it would, and I'm paraphrasing, unfair

16 to give -- burden them with additional work.

17 Well, I wonder how he feels about

18 the firefighters who do the same amount or

19 actually more work now with 25 percent less

20 firefighters than we've had, and the police

21 officers, who are probably doing double the

22 work of 1993, with approximately 25 percent

23 less workers, and the clerical workers, who

24 are doing the same amount of work with

25 approximately 40 percent less workers.
.

68


1 I think maybe we should worry about

2 the masses, the people who do the work, that

3 actually answer the phone calls and provide

4 services to the city, and maybe not worry

5 about two lawyers. I think he should be a

6 little more -- set his priorities a little

7 higher.

8 Getting back to the Email, I was

9 wondering why people were -- why The Times

10 was sensationalizing that, where Mrs. Evans,

11 I believe, said about the smoking ban that

12 she thought it would hurt a lot of

13 neighborhood bars, which, by the way, I am

14 in favor of a smoking ban, I think it's a

15 good idea, but I also agree with Mrs. Evans

16 to a point that it's going to hurt some of

17 these businesses.

18 And what happened in Erie, there was

19 a loss. I believe that's all you said. I

20 don't think you were encouraging anyone to

21 sue the city, number one; number two, I

22 don't know why everyone was so appalled,

23 especially The Scranton Times about Mrs.

24 Evans' E-mail stating that PEL, the mayor

25 was PEL's boy.
.

69


1 Well, if I can maybe just refresh

2 everyone's memory out there, isn't PEL the

3 same organization who's been here for 14

4 years being paid by tax dollars to recover

5 us, and they haven't yet? We're actually in

6 worse shape now than we were.

7 Wasn't PEL the same organization

8 that beat up Jimmy Connors for approximately

9 prom little 12 years for spending as little

10 as $100,000 on something they thought was

11 frivolous.

12 But this mayor can borrow 70 -- over

13 $70 million and spend it on no-bid contracts

14 and contracts for his patronage jobs, his

15 bloated work force in City Hall.

16 Where has PEL been since then?

17 Isn't this the same PEL who presented a --

18 did a presentation here a few weeks ago

19 telling this Council that there's no

20 alternative to $44 million in borrowing?

21 Here we are, I think you gave him

22 $10 million. I would say PEL is the mayor's

23 boy, or the mayor's PEL's boy, and I think

24 you were quite accurate in your Email, Mrs.

25 Evans.
.

70


1 In closing, I'd like to talk about

2 this budget, because the mayor's budget is

3 going to raise taxes by 25 percent, 25 next

4 year and 25 the year after that. That's not

5 a 75 percent tax increase.

6 If you add 25 percent to the 25

7 percent increase and 25 percent more to the

8 25 percent increase, it's over a 90 percent

9 tax increase --

10 MR. MINORA: Five minutes.

11 MR. GERVASI: -- that we're going to

12 be burdened with, that we will be burdened

13 with.

14 Mrs. Evans, I read some of your

15 budget. I think that is the way you either

16 have to increase revenue or cut spending,

17 and you cut spending and you increased

18 revenue, and you should not have to burden

19 these people.

20 I have never come here and lied to

21 this Council in all the years I've been

22 coming to Council.

23 I didn't lie to you last week or the

24 week before when I presented you with a

25 financial analysis that said a tax increase
.

71


1 is not necessary because they're fudging the

2 numbers, in my opinion, and everything the

3 mayor and Lenny Kresefski have been saying

4 about the numbers and the deficits in this

5 city was that -- was that they were not

6 accurate and they were -- they did not

7 relate to the numbers that are in the

8 independent audit, and I didn't lie to you,

9 and there is no tax increase necessary, and

10 I think this Council, whoever votes for the

11 mayor's budget, instead of at least an

12 alternative budget, is just as responsible

13 for raising these people taxes, and in the

14 future reducing services in the city than

15 the mayor is himself. Thank you for the

16 opportunity.

17 MR. HUBBARD: Good evening, Council,

18 Daniel Hubbard. First I'd like to apologize

19 if I seem slightly highly aggravated last

20 week. I did kind of go off on Mr. Parker,

21 but unfortunately all roads in this flood

22 control project lead back to the city

23 engineer. Unfortunately that's Mr. Parker,

24 so he's going to be the brunt of the

25 frustration involving this project.
.

72


1 As far as the questions that were

2 given to Director Hayes, one, we were

3 promised a flood alarm in lower Green Ridge.

4 I don't want to have to rely on an alarm

5 that is in a community that is 100 percent

6 protected by levees.

7 The reason the alarm didn't go off

8 is because The Plot wasn't going to get

9 flooded. They have levees.

10 Going back to what Mr. Hayes had

11 said about that, let's go back to June, we

12 got flooded on Tuesday. Tuesday night the

13 river receded. The alarms went off in The

14 Plot. The city, the Army Corps saved The

15 Plot with a temporary levee, but that

16 temporary levee was there when the river

17 came surging back up enormously more than it

18 did the day before on Wednesday.

19 The Plot flood alarm did not go off

20 on Wednesday, because The Plot was protected

21 by its temporary levee.

22 On Wednesday, lower Green Ridge

23 received 16 inches more water the following

24 day than we received on Tuesday. It was the

25 difference between a basement and a first
.

73


1 floor, which in dollars is the difference

2 between a cleanup and a redo of your house.

3 The first floor, you're tearing

4 walls out; basement, you're scooping mud

5 out, replacing your hot water heater and

6 furnace.

7 That's a huge difference, 16 inches

8 of water more than the day before. No alarm

9 went off, no fire truck, no police car.

10 So, as far as Mr. Hayes stating that

11 when the alarm goes off in The Plot, I'm not

12 expecting it to go off, because The Plot's

13 protected. Why would the flood alarm go off

14 in The Plot? They're protected.

15 So, we're to rely on a flood alarm

16 that's going to be in a community that's

17 protected by levees, when we have absolutely

18 no protection. So, where is our alarm? Do

19 you understand the irony in his statement?

20 MR. COURTRIGHT: I understand

21 completely, and I'm going to go out on a

22 limb, and I believe he told me that he

23 doesn't see an alarm coming to your area in

24 the near future. I could be wrong, but I

25 believe that's what he told me.
.

74


1 MR. HUBBARD: I don't doubt it,

2 because we haven't seen anything in any way,

3 shape or form.

4 I mean, why do we not deserve a

5 flood -- The Plot has a flood alarm. Do we

6 not deserve a flood alarm? We have no

7 protection, so we don't even deserve a siren

8 on a pole that makes noise.

9 MS. GATELLI: I don't think that

10 that decision is up to the City of Scranton

11 in totality. I think that they work with

12 the state and the army corps to make any

13 decisions about any flood projects.

14 MR. HUBBARD: An alarm is not a

15 project. It's a siren on a pole. We're

16 residents of the City of Scranton.

17 MS. GATELLI: I don't know that it's

18 just a siren on a pole. I think it's a

19 little more, you know, costly than that.

20 From what I was told that the alarm

21 on Albright Avenue can be heard on your

22 side, also.

23 MR. HUBBARD: The alarm in The Plot

24 can be heard on our side.

25 MS. GATELLI: No, I'm not talking
.

75


1 about The Plot, I'm talking about --

2 MR. HUBBARD: On the other side of

3 the bridge.

4 MS. GATELLI: Yes.

5 MR. HUBBARD: Well, they're

6 protected by a levee, as well, with working

7 flood gates.

8 MS. GATELLI: Yeah, but when the

9 river goes up, it goes off anyway, whether

10 they're protected or not. When it hits a

11 certain level, the alarm goes off.

12 MR. HUBBARD: Three weeks ago the

13 river hit the face of the Albright Avenue

14 bridge. 16 inches more, not even, about a

15 foot more, an increase on the river, would

16 have put it over the riverbank on our side,

17 nowhere else.

18 Everybody else would have been

19 probably, I'm going to say, 10 to 15 feet

20 below the top of their levees where they

21 would be in risk.

22 We're 12 inches, another two hours

23 of rain at that rate would have put the

24 river over the bank in lower Green Ridge.

25 We need a flood alarm. It's not a
.

76


1 lot to ask.

2 We can't get a riverbank, we can't

3 even get the DPW to close the flood gates,

4 we can't even get the streets closed when it

5 does flood, we can't get the city to come

6 down and help us when we are flooded.

7 The Plot was protected, and I'm

8 glad. The Plot has been taking this for

9 years, but now we're the only community left

10 in Scranton that's part of this flood

11 project that's not protected, and we've got

12 nothing.

13 MS. EVANS: Mr. Hubbard, I recall in

14 June, when the severe flooding occurred --

15 MR. HUBBARD: June 28.

16 MS. EVANS: -- one of your issues

17 was, as you're stating tonight, the lack of

18 a siren. Your side of that area of Scranton

19 flooded severely, whereas, the opposite side

20 really incurred very little, and in some

21 cases no flooding.

22 As a result, even though the river

23 had risen to such a point that it caused

24 devastation to numerous homes on your street

25 and those surrounding your street, no siren
.

77


1 went off.

2 As a result, at the flood meeting,

3 which you and I and Mr. Courtright, many

4 Council people attended, a siren was

5 promised.

6 MR. HUBBARD: Yes, it was promised

7 on July 11.

8 MS. EVANS: By the city.

9 MR. HUBBARD: Actually it was

10 promised by Director Hayes personally, not

11 the city, him personally.

12 MS. EVANS: Exactly. And if I

13 recall correctly, the manner in which he

14 stated it seemed to be that it really wasn't

15 going to be that great a problem and that it

16 would be taken care of in the near future.

17 MR. HUBBARD: Well, let's take one

18 from the --

19 MR. MINORA: Five minutes.

20 MR. HUBBARD: -- communities that

21 are protected and put it in ours, because

22 we're not protected.

23 One quick thing, the flood control

24 project, I brought this up before is

25 affecting the realignment of one main avenue
.

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1 with a side street in our neighborhood.

2 I would like to request that the

3 DPW, whoever, the city engineer, whoever

4 within the City of Scranton is responsible

5 for this that a traffic survey be done on

6 that part of our neighborhood, on Nay Aug

7 Avenue, Ross Avenue and Marion Street,

8 because these changes are being implemented

9 into our community without any input from

10 us. We have no -- whatever ear we talk tom

11 it falls on deaf.

12 So, a traffic survey -- before these

13 streets are realigned, a traffic survey

14 should be done. And if it has been done, we

15 would like to see it. If it hasn't been

16 done, I think it should be done before they

17 put undue burden of heavy traffic on a side

18 street in a residential neighborhood.

19 I don't think any one of you would

20 like to have the traffic on your street at

21 home quadrupled or even multiplied by ten on

22 your street at home. I don't think anybody

23 would want that.

24 So, we can't be expected to like it,

25 so I would like a traffic survey to be done
.

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1 for that section.

2 And seriously, this flood alarm is a

3 big issue. Sooner or later, what's going to

4 happen? I mean, how are we going to be

5 notified the next time this happens?

6 MR. COURTRIGHT: Mr. Hubbard, and if

7 I may, Ms. Gatelli.

8 MS. GATELLI: Yes.

9 MR. COURTRIGHT: Two things came

10 back to mind now since Mrs. Suetta was up

11 here, Mr. Hayes said that in the event of

12 heavy rains, he would have police cars

13 stationed in the Green Ridge Shopping

14 Center, in that parking lot, and they'd be

15 monitoring the river and they would send

16 them over to where you live in your area.

17 The other thing I asked, you

18 mentioned that was there a possibility that

19 there was some kind of plan for that area

20 and that's why they weren't taking care of

21 you? Maybe they were going to take over

22 that area and some big project.

23 And he told me he's not aware of

24 anything to that nature. So, they were two

25 of things.
.

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1 We had about a 20, 25 minute

2 conversation. I can't recall every single

3 thing we spoke about.

4 MR. HUBBARD: We've been told there

5 are plans in works for the Laceworks that

6 involve a lot more than the property that

7 the Laceworks is on. It involves parts of

8 lower Green Ridge that's in the future.

9 MR. COURTRIGHT: And I asked him,

10 and he said, to his knowledge, no.

11 MR. HUBBARD: And one quick point on

12 the traffic survey, Green Ridge Shopping

13 Center has been purchased, and they're going

14 to expand, and Fidelity Bank just put a

15 large bank on the corner of Ross and Green

16 Ridge Street.

17 So, the expansion of the shopping

18 center, plus the new bank, will increase the

19 traffic that we already have.

20 So, take that increase and put that

21 on top of the other increases and see what

22 we're going to have to deal with.

23 And please, please, the flood alarm.

24 I don't want to have to clean the river out

25 of my living room again.
.

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1 MS. EVANS: And, Mr. Hubbard, during

2 one of the potential flood events that

3 occurred this fall, I did witness the DPW

4 trucks building up a dirt levee prior to the

5 arrival of the inclimate weather, which --

6 MR. HUBBARD: That was in

7 September.

8 MS. EVANS: -- I believe was very

9 helpful.

10 MR. HUBBARD: Actually if they

11 didn't do that, it would have went over

12 where they put that dirt. It would have

13 went over. Three weeks ago it would have

14 went over the bank right there. So, they

15 did do something.

16 MS. EVANS: So, what they need to do

17 in the event --

18 MR. HUBBARD: Is continue that.

19 MS. EVANS: Yes, Especially, as Mrs.

20 Suetta stated earlier, we're expecting such

21 heavy rains again, I wasn't aware, but in

22 that event, I think the city certainly

23 should be aware and get out there and have

24 the DPW --

25 MR. HUBBARD: If the city's aware.
.

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1 I don't think the city could be any more

2 aware than having one remaining neighborhood

3 within its boundaries that continuously

4 floods every time it rains, it's not a

5 stretch to know where that happens.

6 MS. EVANS: And they're aware, but

7 they need to be aware that they should get

8 out there and heighten those levees.

9 MS. GATELLI: I think they're in the

10 process of doing the flood project.

11 MR. HUBBARD: Sure, the Army Corps

12 is in the process, and over the next two

13 years we have to sweat it every single time

14 it rains.

15 MS. GATELLI: Well, so did The Plot

16 and so did the other side of Albright

17 Avenue.

18 MR. HUBBARD: We're all that's left,

19 so we could use a little help. We shouldn't

20 be expected -- just be expected to sit down

21 --

22 MS. GATELLI: No, I understand that,

23 but it does take time.

24 MR. HUBBARD: I understand that, and

25 the Army Corps's mission is flood control.
.

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1 The city's responsibility is flood

2 prevention. So, any help the city can do to

3 prevent it from happening again until the

4 new levee comes will be greatly appreciated.

5 MS. GATELLI: Okay. Thank you.

6 MS. HUBBARD: Hi, Council.

7 Elizabeth Hubbard, Scranton resident, lower

8 Green Ridge resident.

9 To add something to what my son

10 said, the city never even repaired the parts

11 of the existing riverbank that we have after

12 the June flood where the water did come over

13 and washed away parts of the bank. They

14 were never repaired.

15 So, that's just -- that part is

16 lower. So, I just wanted to comment on

17 that. He forgot or whatever.

18 But it's getting ridiculous that

19 every time it rains or they talk heavy

20 rains, that we have to be in fear of being

21 flooded.

22 I mean, isn't there something the

23 city can do to get the Army Corps moving on

24 our part, because we're taking the brunt of

25 it all, and it's not fun.
.

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1 I still haven't put my oriental

2 carpets back, because I'm afraid if it gets

3 flooded again, they weigh about 2000 pounds

4 apiece wet, and I just didn't care to drag

5 them out and have them cleaned again, so I

6 left them in storage.

7 But that's no way to live, and I'm

8 too old to be putting up with this once or

9 twice a year. Thank you. Have a nice

10 holiday.

11 MR. DAVIS: Assalaam Alaikum. My

12 name is Jim Davis, I'm from Scranton. First

13 of all, I would like to -- I say to Pedro

14 Gonzalez (UNTRANSCRIBABLE), congratulations

15 to what you have done in this very short

16 period of time as far as bringing your

17 people together, bringing our people

18 together and doing something positive and

19 making this city understand that diversity

20 is more than just a name or a word, it's

21 like infusion, and, therefore, you're going

22 to get people that will work together. I

23 congratulate you, and I pray for your future

24 success, also. That's number one.

25 Number two, I think it's time that
.

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1 we have a minority representative. I'm

2 looking for a young person, a minority, and

3 I'm not talking about female or male, I'm

4 talking about minority non-white, if I may

5 say so, and I'm going to say so, but I'm

6 looking for a young person that we can give

7 them all the knowledge that we have

8 gathered.

9 I have watched this City Council for

10 nine years. I've got tapes at home. They

11 go all the way back of what has been said,

12 as long as it has been on Channel 61, and I

13 view them.

14 And I know that for a fact when this

15 young lady came up here the other day and

16 she said, This place sounds worse than when

17 I baby sit. I said to myself, Wow, she hit

18 it right on the head.

19 And then everything that flowed from

20 that point has just gotten worse, gotten

21 worse, and gotten worse, and we're still not

22 -- we're not anywhere near a budget.

23 There's no way in the world that you

24 can vote for a budget tonight. You don't

25 know what she said. She's the financial
.

86


1 director. You made her your financial

2 director, and yet you're not going to take

3 her word for what she's come up with as far

4 as a budget? That's ridiculous. That's

5 ignorant at its highest point.

6 If you make someone a financial

7 director, a financial secretary, or whatever

8 it might be, and they have something that

9 they want to bring to you that's going to

10 enhance the budget of the city, and you

11 refuse to listen to it, that means that you

12 did it for no reason at all. You just put

13 her in a no help situation, a no can do

14 situation, which is horrible, which is the

15 way the minorities feel in Scranton, also.

16 So, I'm looking to find a minority

17 that I can put into the place of City

18 Council. The next time we run for City

19 Council, I want to find a minority person

20 that I can run for. I really -- I'll give

21 them all the possibility, all the knowledge

22 that I can gather out there from a bar, from

23 whomever I can. I will put it in his hands,

24 and I know he will be good, because we need

25 someone. We really need someone.
.

87


1 We have two policemen tonight, that

2 means we're getting -- you're double

3 dutching or what? Mrs. Gatelli --

4 MS. GATELLI: Here we go.

5 MR. DAVIS: If your attitude wasn't

6 so bad, we wouldn't need police here. So, I

7 think this is what the kids said to me, what

8 she needs is an attitude adjustment.

9 So, I don't know that that's -- and

10 that's not offensive, that's just a straight

11 statement. You can take it for what it's

12 worth.

13 The kids have a very strong way of

14 posing things and they really cut to the

15 chase, and I like that about them.

16 The young lady that came up here

17 before and tried to tell us about gang

18 violence, I'm so proud of them.

19 I'm so proud every time I see a

20 minority come to this podium and speak to

21 you, because it's not something that you're

22 used to, and I'm very proud of the fact that

23 they have the guts and the wherewithal to do

24 it and feel respected when they come away

25 from here. And I thank you for showing her
.

88


1 and the gentleman that kind of respect.

2 The last point I had to talk about

3 was, I was sitting in the kitchen the other

4 day washing my dishes, as a matter of fact,

5 and on this channel from WILK. They're

6 saying, Oh --

7 MR. MINORA: Five minutes.

8 MR. DAVIS: Thank you. Mrs. Evans

9 is coming on, this is my last point, too,

10 thank you very much, Mrs. Evans is coming on

11 to tell us about the E-mail, and I said, you

12 mean City Council has gotten on WILK now?

13 We've gotten that famous?

14 You know people are watching this

15 from abroad? They're watching this from all

16 over the city, all over the county, so much

17 so I came to you last week and asked you

18 about giving the citation out to the

19 Lackawanna Junior College, Lackawanna County

20 pulled them up, gave them a citation, just

21 that quick. I never said a word to them,

22 but they heard what was said here and they

23 felt it was necessary to credit our kids

24 with something they can go forward with.

25 So, you don't have to worry about
.

89


1 giving them anything. I thank you. I know

2 last time I asked to give a citation was for

3 Mr. Morgan, and he had to go to the hospital

4 and everything else before he could get it.

5 But it took a long time, but so, therefore,

6 I'm withdrawing my request.

7 MS. GATELLI: Well, we already

8 approved it tonight.

9 MR. DAVIS: You did? Oh, my

10 goodness gracious. Well, thank you. Thank

11 you very much. It's been a pleasure again.

12 But, please, use all of your senses. Don't

13 just use part of your senses when you come

14 here. We need all of you. I'm serious.

15 We're in bad luck. We're in bad shape. We

16 really are.

17 You start looking at 25 percent,

18 plus 25 percent, plus -- one guy did the

19 math, he came up with 90 percent. That's

20 horrendous. I'll never be able to afford a

21 house in Scranton.

22 MS. GATELLI: All right. Thank you,

23 Mr. Davis. Have a nice holiday.

24 MR. DAVIS: You're welcome.

25 MR. NOLE: Good evening. My name is
.

90


1 Gunner Nole. I am a homeowner, a resident,

2 a voter, and I'm an irate taxpayer at the

3 moment.

4 If nothing else tonight, I would

5 request, and I hope that tonight would be

6 the birth of a taxpayer rebellion this

7 evening, if nothing else that will come out

8 of this this evening.

9 So, first let me start off by saying

10 to City Council that I admire your courage

11 and your ambition.

12 By passing and signing this smoking

13 ban into law, you have willingly, knowingly

14 violated a state law, but you didn't have

15 enough courage to let the voting majority

16 decide on the smoking ban, instead you

17 rushed it through and you crammed it down

18 our throats, and the City Council takes

19 longer to put up a stop sign than we all

20 deliberated and debated over this smoking

21 ban.

22 But that said, even if the people

23 were to enact a smoking ban, it still would

24 not withstand the scrutiny and possible

25 legal challenge although I suspect it would
.

91


1 be fought less vigorously. No one would

2 like to go against the will of the people.

3 But just as City Council cannot

4 violate state law, neither can the people.

5 We are a nation of laws. This is not a mob

6 rule.

7 So, Madame President, if you are so

8 confident that you're acting in the best

9 interests of the majority, rescind the ban,

10 avoid a lawsuit and put it to a referendum.

11 Let the people out here decide whether we

12 want a smoking ban.

13 This shouldn't be made by four, five

14 people in a City of 70,000 people. Either

15 way you're going to have to put it on the

16 line.

17 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: You know, I'd

18 like to ask you a question. You're all for

19 people voting and deciding in referendum in

20 the city, is this what this is about?

21 MR. NOLE: That's exactly what I

22 said, yes.

23 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: What is your

24 view on the Recovery Plan?

25 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: That the mayor
.

92


1 had the courage to put that out to the

2 people. First he could have signed it by

3 executive order. City Council insisted that

4 they have a crack at it. They passed it.

5 And that still wasn't good enough, so the

6 mayor let it go to the people.

7 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: And then what?

8 MR. NOLE: And it won overwhelmingly

9 70 to 30 percent.

10 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: And are you for

11 the Recovery Plan?

12 MR. NOLE: I was at the time, but

13 we're not using the Recovery Plan.

14 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: No. I'm asking

15 you about referendum. I know that you're

16 big on putting everything out to the people.

17 MR. NOLE: Yes. Any time the people

18 in the city get to have a voice in their

19 government instead of having your will

20 imposed on them, I'm for that. Whether I

21 come out on the losing side or not, I have

22 to suck it up and go with the majority on

23 that.

24 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: I'm glad you

25 answered that. Thank you so much.
.

93


1 MR. NOLE: Yes, ma'am. But either

2 way on the smoking ban, you're going to have

3 to put it on the line. You're going to have

4 to either put it on a referendum or you're

5 going to have to fight it out in court.

6 Because make no mistake, you will be

7 sued over this. We've already had to sue

8 this Council once before just for the right

9 to speak here.

10 And it seems that it's a repeat

11 occurrences, we have to sue you just to get

12 you to follow the law. We sure as hell

13 can't sue you for money, because you've

14 spent it all.

15 Right now there's about 100 business

16 owners with about half a dozen pro bono

17 lawyers. They're ready to argue this

18 smoking ban.

19 Apparently you've seem to overlook

20 the fact that the business owners are

21 taxpayers, also.

22 So, Attorney Minora, he rendered his

23 opinion on that, so is he going to argue the

24 ban for you in court or are you going to

25 bring in a hired gun for that?
.

94


1 You can answer that after I'm done

2 speaking. He said it will flush. I said

3 let him argue it in court.

4 Okay. Also, I normally don't

5 respond to things that are in the paper,

6 because as we all know, they're not complete

7 or they may not be totally true or

8 deceptive, but the word -- since neither of

9 you contacted me and made comments in the

10 paper, I'll respond to that.

11 You mentioned the word contempt in

12 there, I don't see any contempt. What

13 contempt? Disagreement with a political

14 philosophy or a financial strategy. That's

15 not contempt. That's just sound argument.

16 And if you don't like that, let's call

17 things what they are.

18 Have you ever noticed that the

19 thieves are always trying to hush the

20 watchdogs?

21 So, I realize we're all hypocrites

22 to a certain extent, but some of you may

23 want to go home and rethink your lives and

24 look in the mirror and read up on ethics,

25 since you're the ones that brought it up.
.

95


1 Some of you should be the last ones in this

2 room to bring up ethics.

3 So, and I don't know what happened

4 to everybody's personalities. During the

5 campaigns -- let me make a disclosure here.

6 I voted for Mrs. Evans, Mrs. Fanucci, Mrs.

7 Gatelli and Mr. Courtright. Sir, I never

8 had the opportunity to vote for you.

9 Congratulations on your appointment.

10 I've given money to Mrs. Evans, Mrs.

11 Gatelli, and Mr. Courtright. Sorry I never

12 had time to come to one of your fundraisers,

13 Mrs. Fanucci. But there, I made of

14 disclosure of my affiliations.

15 But at those fundraisers,

16 everybody's personality is so nice, we're

17 going to work together.

18 I don't really care if you get along

19 or anything, but you're going to have to

20 work together and stop being so --

21 MR. MINORA: Five minutes.

22 MR. NOLE: -- vicious. If you'd

23 just indulge me another 30 seconds, sir.

24 MR. MINORA: Ask the president.

25 MR. NOLE: But I want to say hoping
.

96


1 -- hoping is a good thing. All of you hoped

2 you were elected. I hope my taxes won't be

3 raised again, I hope I'll get my $52 back

4 that I've overpaid for the EMS tax, I hope

5 this city avoids bankruptcy.

6 And let me say this, I am the one

7 that hopes you were sued over the smoking

8 ban. You imposed restrictive legislation

9 without the consent of the taxpayers. You

10 were the ones that drew first blood on this.

11 I don't find anything unethical

12 about hoping for an appropriate and deserved

13 response to your illegal smoking ban, and I

14 don't think you'll get what you're hoping

15 for this evening.

16 So, if it bothers you that someone

17 hopes that you get what you deserve, do what

18 you do best, send them a letter. Maybe

19 someone will answer it. Thank you.

20 MR. MACIEJESKI: Good evening. My

21 name is Robert Maciejeski, and I'm a senior

22 at West Scranton High School, and I just

23 wanted to summarize a letter I sent to The

24 Scranton Times about the smoking ban.

25 I'm not in favor of it. I don't
.

97


1 think it's fair. As Mr. Nole stated, it's

2 illegal. And if the city were to be sued

3 over it, it wouldn't be the fault of Mrs.

4 Evans for making a comment about possible

5 litigation, it would be the fault of those

6 who passed it, that it was illegal, it

7 wasn't clearly researched, it was passed too

8 quickly.

9 And I don't fault the students. I

10 think it was very admirable that they could

11 work together and come up with something

12 that they felt passionate about.

13 And as far as not meeting with to

14 discuss finance with the head of the finance

15 proposed budget, I mean, that's -- I think

16 that's a little immature, but I think there

17 would be better ways to get around things.

18 Thank you.

19 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.

20 MR. UNGVARSKY: Good evening, City

21 Council. I'm Tom Ungvarsky. I was going to

22 make a few comments about the budget, but

23 I've kind of changed my mind.

24 I'd like to ask Mrs. Gatelli, did

25 you receive that E-mail intended for Janet
.

98


1 Evans?

2 MS. GATELLI: Did I receive it?

3 MR. UNGVARSKY: Yes, was it sent to

4 you, also?

5 MS. GATELLI: Yes, it was sent to

6 me.

7 MR. UNGVARSY: Was it the full

8 content or was it edited?

9 MS. GATELLI: It was sent to me by

10 Gunner Nole, not by Mrs. Evans.

11 MR. UNGVARSY: Did you receive the

12 whole thing or was it edited?

13 MS. GATELLI: Was it what?

14 MR. UNGVARSKY: Edited. Was part of

15 it cut out?

16 MS. GATELLI: I don't know.

17 MR. UNGVARSKY: Okay. Did you

18 forward it to anyone else besides Mrs.

19 Evans?

20 MS. GATELLI: I didn't forward it to

21 Mrs. Evans.

22 MR. UNGVARSKY: Did you forward it

23 to anyone else besides Mrs. Evans?

24 MS. GATELLI: No.

25 MR. UNGVARSKY: You didn't inform
.

99


1 The Scranton Times?

2 MS. GATELLI: No, I did not.

3 MR. UNGVARSKY: Okay. Thank you.

4 MS. GATELLI: They were on the list.

5 They got it from Gunner Nole, too.

6 MR. UNGVARSKY: Okay. I personally

7 do not think it is as big an issue as what

8 our city budget is, and I did attend the

9 meeting on Tuesday night, I took the time, I

10 sat out there for over an hour until we were

11 allowed to come in. I think that meeting

12 was more important than what that E-mail

13 was. Thank you.

14 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.

15 MS. HUMPHREY: I heard somebody say

16 something beautiful. Hi, how's everybody?

17 MS. GATELLI: Good.

18 MS. EVANS: Hi.

19 MS. HUMPHREY: I kind of wrote

20 everything the best that I could. Being

21 that I'm -- been a victim of multiple crimes

22 and I heard something about the budget, I

23 feel in my heart as a woman, we need

24 protection from our police department, which

25 they do the best that they could with what
.

100


1 they have, and they really do need a lot,

2 especially with the reports.

3 I had an attack a year ago, and I

4 just got the report. I had-- and the

5 report wasn't -- everything was not in the

6 report, because by the time the police were

7 so exhausted, they came to the hospital, he

8 was, like, leaning this way. We need more

9 police. We need more woman police when

10 there's crimes against woman, because it's

11 kind of very traumatic when a policeman is

12 reviewing a woman with an attack.

13 The other thing is, I heard that

14 there was -- I had a theft of a credit card

15 of a few weeks ago, which they stole my

16 medication, and what transpired is because

17 with the report, you got to take that to the

18 drugstore, which a lot of people aren't

19 familiar with, and so if you don't get that

20 report, you're without medication which

21 could be detrimental to your life for, like,

22 two weeks or so.

23 So, therefore, we need someone that

24 could -- maybe we can get some of the City

25 Council here to get some extra jobs down
.

101


1 there typing up the reports. That's just

2 the other thing that I ask.

3 And the other thing is, I heard that

4 there was a computer that when the police do

5 a police report, like, when they're

6 arresting the traffic or whatever that

7 automatically they can do the police report

8 there, which the police reports went from

9 five to $15.00.

10 I don't know where this computer is,

11 if there is a computer, but if there is, we

12 really need one for our police department.

13 I don't know what their security is with

14 their coverings and their investments.

15 So, I'm for justice and I'm for

16 safety and I'm for wanting to protect

17 everybody and do the best I could.

18 The other thing is, I passed

19 personal documents here, religious

20 documents, which we're not supposed to talk

21 about religion, but I have an address that

22 they are going to be honored in Washington,

23 D.C.

24 So, I have the address for the City

25 Council, and I would like them to see and
.

102


1 talk with Bishop Martino, and they're going

2 to be sent to -- the place says Mary Mother

3 of God Church, 777, like the number she gave

4 me. And I have the number, the telephone,

5 and you contact Bishop Martino.

6 Hi out there all you bishops,

7 priests and all the people of the City of

8 Scranton. They've been wondering why I'm

9 not here. They thought I was banned from

10 the place, but I've been in Washington for

11 five or six months living there and I came

12 back here.

13 And when I came back, I seen how

14 nice the City of Scranton is coming up with

15 the new restaurants, Italian restaurant, but

16 the only thing is they got to cut the

17 blanket. Now, 695 for a bowl of soup?

18 And it's just the Italian in me. I

19 think that's the only budget that really has

20 to be cut personally at this time. The

21 soup, the Italians, we love Italian soup,

22 don't get me wrong, and the Polish and

23 whatever, but they got to cut the $6.95 soup

24 deal. There is some beautiful Italian

25 restaurants there.
.

103


1 And the other thing that I want to

2 say is, these businesses that are coming in

3 that they promised that they're going to

4 give people work, but what they do is they

5 bring in their own crews and we're without

6 the people that do want to get jobs.

7 And over the next few weeks I will

8 give the examples of what I've seen. And

9 the police department, if they could come up

10 here.

11 MS. GATELLI: No, we can't do that,

12 Phyllis.

13 MS. HUMPHREY: Could I publicly

14 thank them?

15 MS. GATELLI: Yes, you can.

16 MS. HUMPHREY: I want to publicly

17 thank the Scranton Police Department, the

18 FBI and The State Police and all who tried

19 to assist me in the best way they can.

20 Sometimes we don't get justice in

21 this world, but we get it in a higher state

22 in heaven.

23 But I want to tell everybody, if

24 they have a crime, no matter how much

25 traumatized you are, go straight to the
.

104


1 hospital and you will get a better deal in

2 the justice. I believe in justice, I

3 believe in freedom and I believe in love,

4 and I believe we can --

5 MR. MINORA: Five minutes.

6 MS. HUMPHREY: Five minutes?

7 MR. MINORA: That's it.

8 MS. HUMPHREY: Get some more women

9 policemen and get some policewomen up here.

10 Thank you.

11 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.

12 MS. KRAKE: Good evening, Council.

13 My name is Nancy Krake, and I'm glad Phyllis

14 is back, too. I'm glad everyone gets a

15 chance to speak.

16 Mrs. Evans should not be asked to

17 resign. Any Councilperson who voted to give

18 the mayor a $10 million without knowing what

19 that money was to be used for should be

20 asked to resign.

21 Any Council member who votes for any

22 tax increase when there is a viable option

23 in Mrs. Evans' budget should be asked to

24 resign.

25 Council members who boycotted the
.

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1 budget session that was held to formulate a

2 Council budget without a tax increase showed

3 extremely petty behavior.

4 Personal feelings should be

5 irrelevant when it comes to doing the

6 people's work.

7 And I wonder if Council ever

8 considered that maybe Mrs. Evans puts her

9 personal feelings aside and comes here week

10 after week representing all the people,

11 despite this mayor's lack of cooperation on

12 her many very serious requests for

13 information on budget issues.

14 This Council should be ashamed they

15 did not back Mrs. Evans and her requests

16 from the administration and the mayor.

17 You have allowed personal feelings

18 against Mrs. Evans to spite every taxpayer

19 in this city for refusing to insist on

20 knowing where the mayor is spending our

21 money. You are allowing a 25 percent

22 increase on house taxes or real estate

23 taxes.

24 I know the taxpayers will see that

25 Councilwoman Evans isn't willing to be
.

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1 bought by this mayor, that she is not afraid

2 to ask questions, she does her work for all

3 of the citizens, and not just for political

4 favors.

5 This Council wants everyone on Mayor

6 Doherty's page. We can see the appointment

7 of Mr. McGoff who made it a three member

8 rubber stamp.

9 Heaven help us if Mrs. Evans

10 resigns, then we would have an appointment

11 and have a lovely four member rubber stamp

12 Council.

13 Saddest of all, the average citizens

14 of this city would lose their most valuable

15 ally.

16 And by the way, as far as ethics

17 goes, Mayor Doherty had a consultant and a

18 very, very big campaign contributor, Carl

19 Greco, sue the city.

20 The mayor and the city solicitor did

21 not oppose the lawsuit in any fashion, in

22 facts, they encouraged it.

23 Carl Greco won and was paid $135,000

24 for services and a contract the previous

25 Council never approved. Some kind of
.

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1 ethics. Thank you.

2 MR. SLEDZINSKI: Well, you guys,

3 this is it. Merry Christmas to all you

4 guys. Merry Christmas to you. I didn't

5 forget you either. You know that. I'll

6 never forget you. You know that. Merry

7 Christmas, you guys.

8 MS. FIDATI ADSIT: Good evening.

9 Hi. Annabelle Adsit. I really don't want

10 you to ruin my Christmas by taking on Mayor

11 Doherty's budget.

12 And what I'd like to ask all of you

13 is, well, Janet is missing, in the spirit of

14 Christmas, if everybody, all of you up

15 there, you're all elected officials, and if

16 you could all just shake hands with one

17 another.

18 Be nice. Let's all get along. It's

19 the spirit of Christmas. Let's not harbor

20 all of these things within us, because it

21 does drag you down and make you ill. Let's

22 get rid of all of it. Let's forgive one

23 another, all of our mistakes, and certainly

24 everyone has made one. Everybody has made

25 one. I know I went after Mrs. Fanucci once.
.

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1 But it's, you know, under the rug. It's

2 just not something that's going to be

3 brought up forever.

4 And although there is something else

5 I have to bring up, but we don't hold that

6 grudge. We don't carry it on, and you don't

7 continue with the same old broken record

8 theme.

9 Let's forgive and forget everybody's

10 mistakes and everybody's animosity towards

11 one another. I would like to see that with

12 all of you up there tonight. Can everybody

13 shake hands? Mr. McGoff, can you start

14 shaking hands with Mr. Courtright and so

15 forth and so on?

16 I mean, you're all adults up there.

17 There is no reason why five adults can't get

18 along, and I'd like to see the better budget

19 chosen.

20 I don't want to be saddled with an

21 increase. I can't really afford it. So,

22 I'd like the budget of Mrs. Evans

23 considered. I like the budget, and I hope

24 you would pass that one, and I'd like to see

25 more police on our city streets, and that
.

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1 would be a big help, plus we wouldn't have a

2 big increase in our taxes, plus the

3 3.4 percent the mayor brought up is going to

4 kill the city.

5 As a former realtor, I mean, that

6 goes into all of your costs on one line and

7 that brings the total on top of the property

8 that you purchased, thousands of dollars.

9 We're not talking just pennies here. It's

10 thousands and thousands of dollars here, 3.4

11 percent. So, that's very bad for the city.

12 It won't do a bit of good.

13 There is one thing I wanted to

14 mention to Mrs. Fanucci that I know during

15 your summation, oh, quite a few weeks ago, I

16 know you like me, because you blessed me,

17 and during your speech you addressed me as

18 Mrs. Fidati, well, that would be my mother.

19 I'm Mrs. Adsit. Do you recall that?

20 During your summation you had said,

21 Mrs. Fidati can't even keep it together for

22 my speech, God bless her, so you did bless

23 me. I appreciate that. It's in the

24 minutes.

25 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Are you looking
.

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1 for me to change -- like, what do you want

2 me to say?

3 MS. FIDATI ADSIT: I'm correcting

4 you on my name.

5 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: When was this?

6 MS. FIDATI ADSIT: Mrs. Fidati would

7 be my mother.

8 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: When was this

9 conversation?

10 MS. FIDATI ADSIT: About four weeks

11 ago. You were making your speech and I was

12 sitting in the audience.

13 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Is this how --

14 are we holding hands now and shaking hands

15 and shaking hands and all okay? Yeah, I

16 just wanted to see if we were all on board.

17 Yeah, okay. I'm very sorry for not getting

18 your next name right. Next time I will.

19 I'm sorry.

20 MS. FIDATI ADSIT: I just wanted to

21 make it clear. I'm Mrs. Adsit, the mother

22 of six beautiful children. Okay.

23 And my main theme here is the

24 budget. You know, the mayor has put on so

25 many people in this administration. We
.

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1 can't afford them. He's got a lot of people

2 on board that have been opened up positions.

3 He's made an awful lot of people wealthy in

4 this city that work for the city and we pay

5 their salaries, and some of us would only

6 wish to have a cushy job like that, and

7 they've all been opened up. Mayor Connors

8 didn't have all this.

9 MR. MINORA: Five minutes. Five

10 minutes.

11 MS. FIDATI ADSIT: So, I hope you

12 will in the spirit of Christmas just go with

13 the right budget and do the right thing by

14 the people. Thank you.

15 MR. ANCHERANI: Good evening,

16 Council. I'm Nelson Ancherani, resident,

17 taxpayer, city employee, financial secretary

18 of the FOP exercising my First Amendment

19 rights.

20 I have two questions, one is,

21 Anybody know what a tax anticipation loan

22 is? Is a tax anticipation loan supposed to

23 be used as revenue? Okay. All right.

24 MS. GATELLI: It's revenue just

25 until the taxes come.
.

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1 MR. ANCHERANI: All right. Tonight

2 Council is going to vote on that budget, the

3 mayor's. I have to wonder if anyone up

4 there went over that budget or if they are

5 going to believe, like Mrs. Fanucci, in

6 black and white. It's on paper, so she's

7 going to believe it.

8 But thanks to Mrs. Fanucci, I spent

9 hours going over the budget. It's not black

10 and white. It's gray, very gray.

11 But thank you for inspiring me to go

12 through that. I don't know if I learned a

13 lot, but -- I went over the expenditure pie

14 on Page 7 of the budget.

15 That pie, along with the revenue

16 pie, has different categories, different

17 percentages. I'll take one of them,

18 Workers' Compensation.

19 It's listed as seven percent on the

20 pie. Seven percent of $77 million is

21 $5,418,256. There's only one spot in the

22 expenditure part of the budget that lists

23 Worker's Compensation. That amount listed

24 is $4,100,000, which is 5.3 percent of the

25 budget of that pie.
.

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1 There's a difference of $1,318,256.

2 I'll take the salaries, because that's

3 listed as 34 percent.

4 34 percent of $77,403,659 is

5 $26,317,000. On Page 9 you find the

6 expenditures for eight categories, Page 10

7 you'll find three more categories.

8 For that total it's $22,671,612.

9 There's a difference, $3,645,632. I did

10 that with all the categories, every

11 category.

12 Every category that I did on that

13 pie comes out less than what the pie says.

14 In fact, it comes out -- the budget says

15 $77,403,659, but the amount when you total

16 that up comes out to $62,213,660 for each

17 category, for all the categories combined.

18 That leaves a difference of

19 19.5 percent in the budget. The reason I

20 asked about a tax anticipation loan, and if

21 anybody knew what it is, I believe it's a

22 loan to hold us through until we get enough

23 taxes in to pay back. That's for salaries,

24 bills, whatever.

25 The reason I ask if it could be used
.

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1 in the budget is because it shows up in the

2 budget. It shows up in revenues. There's

3 $14,500,000. It shows up in expenditures as

4 $15,190,000. That should be a part of the

5 pie, because that $15,190,000 is the part

6 that's missing. It's the part that all

7 these differences add up to, the tax

8 anticipation loan.

9 If that tax anticipation loan was

10 not in that budget, our budget would be

11 $62,213,660. So, I wish you'd keep that in

12 mind when you're voting on that budget.

13 Maybe if you would consider it, you

14 would find out that Mrs. Evans would help

15 all the taxpayers.

16 But that tax anticipation loan, I

17 believe, should not show up as revenue, and

18 I don't believe it should show up as

19 expenditures.

20 MR. MINORA: Five minutes.

21 MR. ANCHERANI: And somebody just

22 asked if there was a cellular phone law in

23 PA with restrictions on driving, but there's

24 none that I know of, not yet anyway.

25 MS. EVANS: If I could just
.

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1 piggyback on that. I spoke with their

2 teacher tonight who told me that they had

3 contacted both the State Police and the

4 Scranton Police, and both indicated that

5 there are no laws against driving while

6 talking on a cell phone, but thank you.

7 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else? Mrs.

8 Garvey.

9 MS. GARVEY: 5-A, Motions.

10 MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Evans.

11 MS. EVANS: Good evening. I'd like

12 to wish everyone a Happy Hanukah, a joyous

13 Kwanzaa and a very Merry Christmas.

14 In keeping with the season of

15 giving, I remind you of the denim drop this

16 Saturday, December 16, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

17 at the corner of Wyoming Avenue and Olive

18 Street to benefit the homeless. Winter

19 coats and new or used jeans in all sizes are

20 desperately needed.

21 The Community Intervention Center

22 needs our help to clothe the homeless.

23 Please take time out of your shopping or

24 Christmas decorating. Stop by and drop off

25 those coats and jeans that you no longer
.

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1 wear.

2 I also encourage anyone who for any

3 reason will be alone this Christmas to

4 attend Mr. Bolus' annual Christmas turkey

5 dinner at St. Lucy's Hall. It runs all

6 afternoon, and everyone is always warmly

7 welcomed.

8 I also wish to apologize for my

9 absence from the Keyser Valley flood meeting

10 last week. I know residents had asked for

11 me, but I was working on the budget.

12 At this time I would like to read my

13 budget to the people so that they can judge

14 and select which budget they prefer.

15 I received no assistance from

16 Council and no information from the

17 administration and the mayor.

18 In fact, Council failed to push for

19 the financial information I requested, and

20 only Mr. Courtright supported the effort.

21 I developed two proposals, the first

22 is quite brief. On the revenue side, the

23 proceeds from the sale of the golf course

24 which total $3 million, on the expenditure

25 side, no tax increase, reducing the real
.

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1 estate tax to, which had been, $2.6 million

2 in the mayor's budget, replacing the six

3 police officers who are being cut in the

4 mayor's budget, and I've added six police

5 officer positions for a total of

6 $240,066.06, and the implementation of a

7 quick response service or QRS. The start-up

8 costs for that endeavor totals $71,00 for

9 equipment. There would remain a surplus of

10 $88,933.94, and, again, no tax increase.

11 Proposal two, revenue, again the

12 proceeds from the sale of the golf course,

13 $3 million, an increase in payments in lieu

14 of taxes, $381,750; land payment due from

15 The Ice Box, $600,000; an amusement tax at a

16 rate or surcharge, if you will, of five

17 percent, $200,000; a hotel tax at a rate of

18 three percent, $150,000; a reduction in a

19 budget line item that specifically refers to

20 the payment for the money borrowed last week

21 because it was not $15 million. The

22 required payment in 2007 will not be

23 $1 million, it will be rather decreased by

24 $38,888.89.

25 The Scranton Times rental fee, an
.

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1 annual rental fee for office space at City

2 Hall, $6,000, and also considered under that

3 are fees for the placement of newspaper

4 boxes throughout the City of Scranton.

5 In the department of the mayor,

6 confidential secretary, salary reduction,

7 $3,688; public safety, the elimination of

8 the entire department for a total of

9 $144,110.65; police department, reduce ravel

10 and lodging, and this is strictly for

11 administrators, $2,470; police department,

12 reduce dues and subscriptions strictly for

13 administrators, $1,750; the police

14 department chief of police salary reduction,

15 $1,314; the police department, eliminate

16 assistant grants manager, $13,700.

17 We currently have a grants manager

18 who quite capably, in fact, laudably handles

19 all of the grants for the city. This

20 position was a part-time position, is no

21 longer necessary, since the city has hired

22 within the last year a competent individual.

23 The controller's office,

24 confidential secretary salary reduction,

25 $5,749; the controller's office, deputy
.

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1 controller salary reduction, $5,000;

2 controller's office, performance auditor's

3 salary reduction, $5,000; business

4 administration, BA salary reduction, $3,850;

5 BA, eliminate senior accountant, $34,000;

6 BA, eliminate financial analyst, $34,000;

7 BA, eliminate professional services,

8 $35,000; BA, eliminate three of five flood

9 positions, $125,000.

10 Now, those flood positions are very

11 questionable. One of them is a relocation

12 specialist. I know in The Plot the

13 properties long ago were purchased and

14 demolition should have, as well, been

15 completed long ago.

16 I don't know what that position

17 entails at this point in time. Furthermore,

18 we have a flood control manager who is being

19 paid approximately $18,000, while his

20 assistant is being paid almost double. So,

21 the flood control manager was retained.

22 Human resources, eliminate

23 professional services, $130,000. That is

24 being transferred to the office of the

25 business administrator to oversee. That
.

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1 will include consultant costs specifically

2 for a third party administrator of Workmen's

3 Compensation, as well as the -- there's one

4 other that we have to have, the health care

5 consultant which was court ordered.

6 Human resources, eliminate travel

7 and lodging, $1,000; human resources,

8 eliminate human resources director, $47,500.

9 There had been in the past a

10 director of personnel who held a similar

11 position at a much lower rate of pay, and

12 many of the personnel issues were handled by

13 each department.

14 Human resources, eliminate

15 confidential secretary $29,000; information

16 technology, rather than going through the

17 one, two, three, four, five, six cuts that

18 are made there, including travel and

19 lodging, training and certification, dues

20 and subscriptions, professional services, an

21 assistant, a system manager and an IT

22 manager, that has been condensed into one

23 position, and that one individual will

24 receive a budget in order to properly do his

25 or her job.
.

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1 OECD, eliminate director of finance

2 and compliance; OECD, eliminate two economic

3 development specialists.

4 LIPS, which is our licensing,

5 inspections and permits department,

6 eliminate deputy directory safety and

7 conservation; LIPS, Bureau of building,

8 eliminate four greeters.

9 Law department, eliminate

10 professional services, $200,000, and that

11 barely -- that barely scratches the surface,

12 because we are using numerable outside

13 counsel. For what cases, I am not sure, the

14 number of these attorneys, I am not certain,

15 the amount of money being paid, I am not

16 certain, but I know it's exceeded the figure

17 that's been in prior budgets.

18 Eliminate professional services in

19 the law department, $200,000; law

20 department, eliminate travel and lodging,

21 $2,000; law department, eliminate training

22 and certification, $1500; law department,

23 solicitor's salary reduction, $3700; law

24 department, eliminate first assistant city

25 solicitor, $40,000.
.

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1 That was, and I didn't indicate this

2 as I'm enumerating all of my cuts, but that

3 was, for example, one of the job creations

4 that would have occurred in 2004.

5 Law department, eliminate assistant

6 city solicitor, $32,900; law department,

7 eliminate confidential secretary, $29,000.

8 Traffic maintenance, foreman's

9 salary reduction, $3400; DPW director's

10 salary reduction, $21,950.

11 We have a salary reduction for three

12 foreman within the DPW each at a rate of

13 $3,400. The fleet manager salary reduction,

14 $1,200.

15 The Single Tax Office, tax

16 collector's salary reduction, $4,150; Parks

17 and Recreation, a director's salary

18 reduction, $7,700; Parks and Rec, eliminate

19 travel and lodging, $800; Parks and Rec,

20 eliminate performing arts, $12,500; Parks

21 and Rec., eliminate Parks and Rec

22 specialists. There are two Parks and Rec

23 specialists, each of whom are paid $35,000.

24 The Department of Parks and

25 Recreation unfortunately now for a number of
.

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1 years has employed many more administrators,

2 or let us say management positions than

3 there are actual workers. Parks and Rec,

4 eliminate program manager, $35,000.

5 On the expenditure side, reduce real

6 estate tax income, $2,600,000. Within the

7 department of police, we will reinstate six

8 police.

9 With the amount of crime that has

10 been escalating within the City of Scranton,

11 this situation must occur.

12 Unfortunately grants were not

13 applied for by this administration. Other

14 cities, almost all cities, in fact,

15 throughout the State of Pennsylvania have

16 received additional police, but not

17 Scranton.

18 The costs for reinstating six

19 police, $240,066.06. Implement a QRS

20 System, $71,000. The police department, add

21 one animal control officer at a salary of

22 $24,441.47.

23 In the Department of Licensing

24 Inspection and Permits, add one housing

25 inspector at a cost of $25,639, and add one
.

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1 health inspector, $25,167.

2 The BA's office, add one

3 administrative assistant to at a cost of

4 $25,586. BA, professional services,

5 $130,000. That is the transfer that I

6 earlier alluded to from the human resources

7 department for payment of necessary

8 consultants.

9 BA, professional services $98,000.

10 Human resources, add one administrative

11 assistant to, $25,586.

12 Law department, add one

13 administrative assistant, one, $23,946.

14 City Council, professional services,

15 $125,000.

16 Next, if you will bear with me,

17 please, I'd like to share with you my letter

18 to the editor of The Times-Tribune which was

19 never printed.

20 Editor, I wish to correct

21 misstatements printed recently by The

22 Times-Tribune. To say that my budget does

23 not address revenue is an untruth. To opine

24 that it contains no new sustainable revenues

25 is a deliberate falsehood.
.

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1 On the contrary, revenue sources

2 include the following, Proceeds from the

3 sale of golf course, $3 million; a five

4 percent amusement tax, $200,000; a three

5 percent hotel tax, $150,000; increase in

6 lieu of taxes, $381,750; payment due from

7 The Ice Box, $600,000; annual newspaper

8 rental fee for office space at city hall,

9 $6,000, and 51 budgetary cuts to salaries

10 which return them to a 2001 level,

11 professional services, job creations, travel

12 and lodging and dues and subscriptions, all

13 of which total over $5.7 million. It does

14 not, however, include a commuter tax.

15 According to The Erie Times'

16 November 27, 2006 issue, and I quote,

17 Doherty said he is also considering pushing

18 for an amusement tax in 2007 which would

19 place a surcharge on tickets to concerts,

20 athletic events and other entertainment

21 within city limits.

22 Further, and again I quote, Doherty

23 said he believes an amusement tax could

24 bring in as much as $1 million for Scranton,

25 depending on the surcharge percentage.
.

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1 The only error occurs in my

2 conservative calculation of potential

3 revenue generated by my proposal to levy an

4 amusement tax.

5 I do not note such tax in the

6 mayor's 2007 proposed operating budget. In

7 fact, there are no new sustainable revenue

8 sources in the mayor's budget.

9 He relies solely upon a 25 percent

10 property tax increase and a realty transfer

11 tax increase.

12 In addition, Mr. Doherty is quoted

13 as saying, you're always looking for

14 one-time revenues that will help cover your

15 nut for the year.

16 I believe the golf course proceeds

17 will cover his nut quite well. My budget

18 offers the mayor an extra year during which

19 either the courts or he can settle municipal

20 contracts.

21 While I hope to increase revenue by

22 pursuing payments from non-profits that own

23 more than quarter of the city's property,

24 Mr. Doherty simultaneously states that other

25 than the University of Scranton, and I
.

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1 quote, Our other tax exempt entities just

2 aren't that large and that the city is not

3 actively pursuing them for payment in lieu

4 of taxes, according to The Erie Times News.

5 Curiously, Mr. Doherty also went on

6 record in The Scranton Times insisting that

7 together Mrs. Gatelli and he would actively

8 pursue payments from non-profits; thus, I

9 increased that particular line item from the

10 mayor's $118,000 to $500,000, a difference

11 of $381,750.

12 On the expenditure side of my

13 budget, I proposed to add six police

14 officers to replace six police positions the

15 city will lose as a result of the

16 administration's failure to reapply for a

17 grant that funded the Cops Ahead Program.

18 Rising crime, particularly in drug

19 sales, robberies and gang-related incidents

20 demands the attention and the addition of

21 police officers to our streets.

22 Also, I propose the addition of one

23 housing inspector, one health inspector and

24 one animal control officer, as well as the

25 implementation of a quick response service
.

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1 or QRS which will provide a four-minute

2 response time to every city resident in case

3 of a health emergency without hiring any new

4 employees.

5 As a Councilperson, I learned of at

6 least three deaths that occurred in Scranton

7 which very well might have been prevented if

8 assistance arrived more quickly than the

9 over 20 minutes it required for an ambulance

10 to reach those individuals.

11 I have also replaced four

12 higher-paying positions with one

13 administrative assistant, one, two

14 administrative assistants two, and one

15 clerk.

16 I take umbrage with any statements

17 that I have cut city services or that I have

18 further entrenched union control of the

19 city.

20 Six police officers, two inspectors,

21 one animal control officer and four clerks

22 do not make for union entrenched control,

23 rather, they keep our neighborhoods safe and

24 clean and provide administrative services in

25 a much more cost effective manner.
.

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1 Also, I wish to address the

2 controversy that occurred recently during a

3 City Council meeting and this newspaper's

4 allegation of unsubstantiated claims.

5 At the November 30, 2006 meeting,

6 Mrs. Fanucci spoke the word criminal, not I;

7 in fact, the complete tape of the meeting

8 proves that at no time did I use either that

9 word or any other synonymous term, however,

10 I do raise the following issues concerning

11 the mayor's budget, First, the advance on

12 the sale of delinquent real estate taxes is

13 listed as nearly $3.7 million in revenue,

14 yet the mayor has gone on record at a public

15 caucus meeting in The Times-Tribune and in

16 The Erie Times News stating that this sale

17 would generate $2.1 million. That's a

18 difference of $1.6 million.

19 By the way, he has already, and I'll

20 use his quote, cut a deal with Erie's

21 municipal revenue service, according to The

22 Erie Times News. This is without bidding

23 and without the consent of Council, I might

24 add; however, I acknowledge that the

25 precedent was set by Attorney Greco, who was
.

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1 hired without bidding from 2002 through 2005

2 and continued to work without a contract and

3 the consent of Council.

4 Number two, $10 million has been

5 borrowed through a leaseback agreement with

6 the Scranton Redevelopment Authority. The

7 total debt service is $23,810,611, according

8 to PNC Capital Markets and the SRA, Scranton

9 Redevelopment Authority, yet Council does

10 not know what entity is to be leased,

11 Council does not know the correct dollar

12 amount of the deficit, nor do we know what

13 comprises the deficit.

14 Third, the administration stated the

15 TAN series B of 2006 was in danger of

16 default without $44 million borrowing.

17 According to the most recent

18 controller's report, the TAN series B

19 account contains $9.8 million dollars, the

20 amount of full payment.

21 Fourth, worker's compensation

22 reimbursement to general fund has declined

23 from $400,000 in 2002 to zero in 2007.

24 Although the city isn't on the hook

25 for the total expense, the administration
.

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1 books the total expense in their budget, so

2 they must book the total revenue. I can

3 only assume that the revenue must be going

4 into a different pot.

5 This administration has governed for

6 five years, which potentially equals $2

7 million that fails to appear, yet that

8 $400,000 from 2002 has only been growing as

9 people remain on compensation longer and

10 longer.

11 If nothing else, the people need a

12 clarification of these financial questions.

13 In fact, I visited the mayor's office on

14 Monday, December 11, but he was at a

15 meeting.

16 I left a list of 20 additional

17 financial questions for him, together with

18 several pages of unanswered memos to the

19 department heads.

20 This budget cannot be voted upon by

21 a means of blind trust. The administration

22 must lift the iron curtain of secrecy, not

23 for the chairperson of the finance

24 committee, but for the taxpayers of the City

25 of Scranton.
.

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1 With a 48 percent county tax

2 increase, a 2007 school district tax

3 increase, and a 25 percent city tax increase

4 devouring our incomes, our seniors, our

5 working families and our poor and disabled

6 will be forced to choose among the

7 necessities in life. It is not a matter of

8 politics, it is a matter of survival.

9 Correctly stated, it is a choice

10 between a no tax increase budget and a

11 25 percent tax increase budget.

12 At this time I want to thank all the

13 good people of Scranton who E-mailed and

14 called me and those of you who have stopped

15 me in stores and in cars to voice your

16 support of my budget and your confidence in

17 me as your representative.

18 And I particularly tonight would

19 like to thank the young man in the back, the

20 senior from West Scranton High School, for

21 the wonderful letter to the editor that he

22 wrote. That meant more to me than you will

23 ever know, and I think it's most unfortunate

24 that The Times chose not to print it. Will

25 it? That's wonderful. Hopefully yes.
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1 I sent a private E-mail to a friend

2 in response to an E-mail he had sent to me

3 several days earlier.

4 Somehow, and I'm really not sure

5 how, without my knowledge and consent, the

6 E-mail was sent to the newspaper and two to

7 three Council members.

8 But if anyone would like a copy of

9 the E-mails, I would be happy to provide you

10 with that tonight. I brought it along, and

11 I'll be very happy, as I said to run off

12 those E-mails.

13 And my good friend who posed the

14 question and who may have sent this along

15 did so accidentally.

16 And mistakes often occur, and I'm

17 not angry. And I think, you know, when God

18 can forgive any one of us anything we can

19 do, then what is there to forgive? What

20 would I not forgive?

21 This Council passed an ordinance

22 that violates state law. They did not do so

23 accidentally or without knowledge or without

24 warning. They intentionally violated and

25 broke the law and rolled the dice.
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1 I did not. However, I have always

2 and will always encourage every citizen to

3 petition their government for redress of

4 grievances.

5 And citizens have many ways in which

6 to do so through letters, petitions,

7 referendum and litigation, or they can run

8 for elected office, as I did in 2003,

9 because I was concerned about the problems I

10 saw arising in this city.

11 Now, this sub plot is nothing more

12 than an exercise in pettiness whose purpose

13 is to divert your attention from the

14 borrowing of $10 million and the mayor's

15 budget which contains a 25 percent tax

16 increase.

17 They hope you'll forget the greatest

18 issues that affect your daily lives to

19 concentrate on nonsense.

20 In fact, every city administration

21 tells people to sue them to get their money

22 or a solution to their problem.

23 For example, Mr. Doherty told

24 Attorney Greco to sue for $135,000 for work

25 performed without a contract and without the
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1 approval of Council.

2 Neither Mr. Doherty or City

3 Solicitor Farrell fought this case in court

4 rather, they politely agreed to hand over

5 the money. Should Mayor Doherty resign his

6 office?

7 Friends, my budget is balanced and

8 offers a surplus that can be used to pay

9 debts or money owed to American Water

10 Services.

11 My taxes are levied on entertainment

12 and hotels, not your property. Further, my

13 budget buys the mayor an extra year in which

14 to settle municipal contracts, but most

15 importantly, it gives you, the taxpayers,

16 some relief as you face your county and

17 increase school district taxes.

18 I know that you can't afford a tax

19 increase, I know how hard it is for senior

20 citizens who live on Social Security and

21 contribute to their health care and

22 prescription costs.

23 You are being forced to choose from

24 among the necessities in life. Working

25 families are struggling to pay mortgages,
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1 utilities and to feed their children.

2 It all comes down to this, a no-tax

3 increase budget versus a budget with a

4 25 percent tax increase. That's it.

5 MS. FANUCCI: I have a lot of -- a

6 lot of things to say tonight. I'm going to

7 start on the budget. Obviously this is --

8 this is the hot point for the night.

9 I was hopeful to see a budget from

10 Mrs. Evans that would have been great to

11 have some solutions and an increase in

12 revenue.

13 When I got that budget, that is not

14 how I felt. I felt in my heart that this

15 was a decrease in services.

16 I understand that to cut -- make

17 cuts, make cuts, make cuts sounds like it

18 should be a good idea, it is not always a

19 good idea to function on that level as a

20 city. Now, you don't have to like it,

21 again, this is my deal.

22 The hotel tax, let's take that,

23 sounds like a great idea. We cannot

24 implement a hotel tax. The county has done

25 it and is sanctioned by the state.
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1 We are not allowed to do that. That

2 revenue source is not available to us. That

3 is one thing. So, that would have been

4 great. It would have been great.

5 Now, listen, why wouldn't it make

6 sense for me to jump on the band wagon and

7 say, What a great idea, look like a hero and

8 say, this is wonderful? It would.

9 It doesn't make sense not to do it

10 if I felt it was a good idea. This is not

11 personal. This has nothing to do with

12 personalities up here.

13 If I thought it was great, I would

14 have jumped on that band wagon in four

15 seconds, and I would have thought I looked

16 like a hero, look what we did as a Council.

17 I didn't feel that way.

18 I'm going to tell you some of my

19 reasons. I'm going to take little

20 departments. The IT Department, sounds like

21 not a big deal.

22 Last week there was a comment made

23 that Scranton High School functions with one

24 IT person. Not true. They have five

25 people. They have a director, a programmer,
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1 three technical support and 20 teachers who

2 are able to execute anything that the IT

3 Department tells them, because they are

4 computer people.

5 City Hall alone, our IT Department

6 takes care of the police department and the

7 call logs, DPW, the fire department, and all

8 of the remote locations for the fire

9 department, also Weston Field.

10 They maintain all the PCs'

11 performance, manage the firewalls, the

12 servers, the city controller's office, helps

13 with updating all of their stuff.

14 Three positions we have. All are

15 separate and very specific duties. And if

16 they weren't -- if they can do all of them,

17 they would be at Microsoft. They certainly

18 wouldn't be in the City of Scranton.

19 Let's put it into perspective.

20 Expect one person to run a department is

21 like having one teacher teach all the

22 subjects, plan all the lessons, write and

23 publish the books. It's not realistic.

24 It's not realistic.

25 Our guys in our IT Department, one,
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1 200 extra hours that they did not get paid

2 for. One man alone has spent 200 extra

3 hours this year in the office, another one,

4 600, which is a half year of salary. They

5 don't get overtime, they don't get

6 compensated for that. That's what they do.

7 So, that was one thing. When I

8 talked to them, I felt that that department

9 should be here. So, I didn't feel that

10 eliminating that department was something

11 that we should do.

12 Now I'm going to talk to you about

13 public safety. Now, public safety director

14 oversees a lot of fundamental things. In

15 fact, I remember Terry Osborne had called me

16 months ago when the flood had taken place

17 saying how wonderful it was and how much

18 they felt like they were on board because

19 there was one person as a contact person.

20 And they had said to me, I will come

21 and speak about that if you want me to. And

22 I said, No, it's not necessary. We know it

23 was done well, you know, could always be

24 improved on. We know that there's major

25 problems in the flooding areas.
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1 That's another thing, public safety.

2 So, Mark Seitzinger, I know there was a lot

3 of questions tonight about Mark Seitzinger,

4 and I'm going to give you some of his facts

5 tonight.

6 Ninety-three citations have been

7 issued from this department just walking the

8 neighborhoods, maximum fine of $600 if

9 they're found guilty.

10 Sixty inspection notices issued

11 during their walks on housing violations;

12 nine properties have been condemned during

13 these walks; 17 vacant lots have been

14 cleared by the city DPW; six properties have

15 been demolished; 12 stop work orders have

16 been issued when work was being done without

17 permits; 15 properties have been boarded up

18 and secure property; 13 violations for

19 vehicles being towed that were just parked

20 in various areas.

21 They have fielded over 285 phone

22 calls since they started on this endeavor.

23 To me, I'm sorry, but this department is a

24 vital part of our city.

25 I'm big into blight. Get rid of all
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1 the blight. Make them walk the

2 neighborhoods. Keep our cities as clean and

3 as up to code as we can, because it then

4 puts the pressure and keeps the

5 neighborhoods' value up, and that's

6 important to me.

7 I'm not going to sit here and go

8 through every deal I have for the city. I'm

9 definitely going to vote for the mayor. I

10 mean, you knew that coming in here tonight.

11 I don't think that that's something that --

12 you knew I was voting for that budget before

13 you came in here tonight.

14 MS. GATELLI: Please.

15 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: There are some

16 changes, you know, that I believe in, but,

17 you know, I don't think any of you will be

18 surprised on that.

19 Now the smoking ordinance, I have to

20 say, we totally got off track with the

21 smoking ordinance thing.

22 The smoking ordinance is in effect.

23 We can fight all you want. I mean, send it

24 to court, do what you have to do. I mean,

25 that's what it's about.
.

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1 But, but, the issue on the E-mail

2 was not about the smoking ordinance. It

3 certainly wasn't. I was a little offended,

4 and I'm going to tell you why. It was about

5 encouraging someone to sue us.

6 Now, let's bring that into light.

7 Say the law department is extremely weak now

8 because we cut, what, 70 percent of the law

9 department and make them at a

10 non-functioning level, and then by chance

11 someone is suing, just off the cuff they're

12 going to sue, the city and the taxpayers

13 will be a huge disadvantage and they will

14 insure people that are suing will win.

15 That's something.

16 Listen, I don't buy it. We need the

17 lawyers. We're going to be sued. We need

18 people to defend what we have, and that's a

19 taxpayer's right. You are entitled to

20 services, whether or not you believe that

21 they are in your best interest.

22 Because once the suits are done,

23 you'll find out. That is what we found out

24 tonight. Everyone has a right to sue.

25 I'm going to talk about the quick
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1 response system. Great idea, except for

2 right now it's in total violation of the

3 Recovery Plan. We cannot have more

4 contracts, hire more people under the

5 Recovery Plan right now.

6 I am all for taking this as far as

7 it goes. I think we need to do that,

8 because at this stage to act like anybody is

9 going to give in is so silly.

10 If you think that the unions are

11 going to say, Today's the day, I'm taking

12 it, or if he's going to say, Today's the

13 day, I'm taking it, it's just not realistic.

14 If you want to be realistic about

15 it, it is going to stay in litigation and it

16 is going to be fought out. And after the

17 end of it all, we're going to find out what

18 happens.

19 Is that right or wrong? I don't

20 know, but it's reality. You know by now it

21 would have been taken, all the deals would

22 have been made and we wouldn't have this

23 conversation.

24 For us to settle these arbitrations,

25 right now I think we're up to $6 million
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1 extra in our budget. That is really sad,

2 because we don't have $6 million extra. We

3 don't even have the money to cover what we

4 have.

5 So, that is something that I am very

6 -- you know, I wish we can implement

7 recovery, I wish we can go where we need to

8 go. Right now I don't foresee it happening

9 until the lawsuits are done.

10 I know that it's not right to be

11 candid, because for some reason it doesn't

12 go over very well, but I do know that the

13 people voted for a plan and want the plan,

14 so whatever it takes, and this in no way

15 means that I don't believe that the unions

16 should get what they want or in any way the

17 city should get what they want, it has to

18 play its course, and that's what's going to

19 happen. That's the reality of it.

20 We wish that we can say, you know,

21 give everybody what they want, because at

22 this stage of the game, I would love to say

23 we have tons of money and we can do what we

24 want.

25 This city is a great place to be.
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1 We do -- I think we do really well with our

2 services. I believe DPW is doing a great

3 job, the police, the fire. I mean, I think

4 we're pretty, pretty lucky to be where we

5 are.

6 I know that, you know, the flood

7 people aren't too happy in the back there,

8 because I know that you guys have a lot of

9 problems, and I totally sympathize with

10 that. I really believe that you really need

11 --

12 MR. HUBBARD: The public safety they

13 have --

14 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Wait, wait,

15 wait.

16 MR. HUBBARD: Every time --

17 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Maybe -- no.

18 MR. HUBBARD: Every time --

19 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: I don't know.

20 You got cleaned out. You can't --

21 MR. HUBBARD: We clean ourselves

22 out.

23 MS. GATELLI: Wait. Please. It's

24 our turn, please. Don't answer.

25 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Listen, I
.

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1 understand the frustrations. Everybody is

2 not going to be happy. There's over 70,000

3 people in this city. Everyone's not going

4 to be thrilled.

5 I think we're doing a good job. I

6 stand behind the people who work in this

7 city, I stand for the people who try to do

8 their job every single day and get up just

9 like the rest of you and work very, very

10 hard.

11 We are all in this together. This

12 is not an I or a you, it is an us. That is

13 why I felt offended when I received that

14 personal E-mail.

15 It was not that I felt that we

16 should not have someone with a different

17 view. I have no problem with Mrs. Evans,

18 and she has no problem with me, as far as I

19 know. I mean, maybe now she does.

20 But, you know, we can disagree up

21 here. It is our jobs to disagree. If you

22 want everyone up here to think the same and

23 feel the same way, none of you are going to

24 get anywhere in this city.

25 You want new ideas, you want people
.

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1 who disagree because then that is when you

2 get the best service, that is when you get

3 what you are paying for. If we all decide

4 to think the same way, this city is not

5 going to go anywhere.

6 I stand behind everything that I've

7 said, everything that I feel, I stand by my

8 votes and how I feel about my votes.

9 I am sorry that in this room I am

10 not real popular. That's okay. That's

11 okay. I told you, I don't think the same

12 way as a lot of you think, and that's okay

13 with me.

14 I do have a lot of people that I

15 feel I represent that I do -- that I do

16 think like. That is how I got here.

17 You have your people, and I think

18 that's wonderful, but do not, do not let the

19 rest of us who have different views than you

20 feel that we don't have a place. We do have

21 a place. This is our city also.

22 And it's not always the squeaky

23 wheel gets the grease. I know that you came

24 in here tonight full of your pages and

25 thrilled to death with your ideas and your
.

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1 today we're going to say this, this is just

2 -- this is my new one today, I got it, I got

3 it nailed. It's not what it's about.

4 We had to have somebody removed

5 today, which was so sad because she just

6 can't understand you cannot come up here and

7 insult every member of Council and then

8 wonder why you're not getting your results.

9 We want to help. We want to be here

10 together. I am sorry that I had said what I

11 said about Mrs. Evans and how I feel. It

12 does bother me, it will bother me. Whether

13 or not you feel it's wrong, I would ask you

14 to understand and say to yourself, If this

15 was me, if this was Mrs. Fanucci, how many

16 of you would have been up defending me today

17 in this room? Any hands? No. Oh, I got

18 two. Well, thank you. I appreciate that.

19 The sympathy vote.

20 But I know you wouldn't have been

21 there, and that's okay. Just let us move on

22 in the new year in a new spirit and try to

23 do what's best for the City of Scranton.

24 I know that everybody up here has

25 that in mind, not any different than you.
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1 But that's what I want to do. I want to

2 move on and hope for the new year that we

3 can come in here with a new view of ideas,

4 better exchange than we've had in the past.

5 This last year of exchange has been just --

6 it has been like pulling teeth, as my

7 grandmother would say.

8 We can move on and hope that we can

9 come together and move our city the way we

10 want it to be, but do it together. That's

11 all.

12 MS. EVANS: Mrs. Gatelli, as finance

13 chair, if I could just address in one minute

14 just a few statements.

15 First of all, with regard to the

16 hotel tax, it was a representative of

17 Lackawanna County who stated that

18 Wilkes-Barre and Luzerne County both levy a

19 hotel tax and that all that needs to be done

20 is for the City of Scranton to apply to the

21 State of Pennsylvania to levy that hotel

22 tax, as well, and assistance was offered.

23 Next, I did not say that Scranton

24 High School operates with one IT person. In

25 fact, if anyone who was listening to me at
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1 last week's caucus meeting would admit I

2 said that currently there are quite a number

3 of individuals.

4 We have Mr. Brazil, who oversees

5 many buildings, not only ours. We have a,

6 I'd say, a coordinator for the building.

7 She has two or three -- two, I believe,

8 assistants.

9 However, what I did say was that for

10 many years the entire computer department of

11 Scranton High School, not only the old

12 Scranton High School, but the new one, as

13 well, that contains, I believe, five to

14 seven computer labs each with 30 computers,

15 and every office that's manned with

16 computers, et cetera. One person handled

17 that for several years and did quite a

18 wonderful job.

19 In terms of the QRS System, it is

20 very easy to implement, in that, all that's

21 required is a memorandum of understanding

22 between the union and the administration.

23 The union has already indicated they are

24 willing to sign a memorandum of

25 understanding and put even a time limit on
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1 that in terms of, I believe, perhaps one

2 year.

3 And if at the end of that time

4 period the city finds that it has not been

5 successful or it has run at any additional

6 cost, then they are also very willing to end

7 that memorandum of understanding. It's only

8 the mayor who stands in the way of the quick

9 response system.

10 Also, just a quick last one, Mrs.

11 Fanucci, there really are teachers who teach

12 every subject. They're called elementary

13 teachers.

14 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Yeah, but not

15 all day long every second, every minute.

16 MS. EVANS: Yeah, they do actually.

17 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Do they write

18 the books?

19 MS. EVANS: Do they write the

20 textbooks? Some do. They actually do.

21 They do lesson plans and they make tests.

22 But admittedly, I don't. I have an

23 area of specialization, but if you go into

24 first, second, third grade, you're going to

25 see teachers teaching everything. So,
.

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1 that's it.

2 MS. GATELLI: Multi-tasking. Mr.

3 McGoff.

4 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you. I would

5 like to start by saying that I really

6 believe that this E-mail controversy has

7 gotten out of hand.

8 When I was made aware of it, I was

9 offended and I felt that what took place was

10 wrong, but I do not believe that media --

11 the media is the place to address the issue,

12 I don't believe that Council meetings are

13 the place to address the issue. I believe

14 that what happens between us should be

15 discussed among us.

16 I challenged Mrs. Evans last week to

17 be direct. I believe that we have to take

18 the same challenge that if we are not going

19 to be open and honest with one another and

20 to address each other in an open and honest

21 way and directly, that we are never going to

22 accomplish anything as a counsel.

23 MS. GATELLI: I agree.

24 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you. I don't

25 believe that a call for a resignation was
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1 necessary. I really do believe that the

2 direct way is the best. Mrs. Evans and I

3 talked about the issue, resolved it among --

4 between ourselves, and I felt that we could

5 move onward from there.

6 And I think that in the future --

7 when I took this responsibility, and I know

8 many of you, you know, are going to scoff at

9 what I say, but when I did take on this

10 responsibility, I did so with the belief

11 that I could be open and honest and vote my

12 conscience and listen to what people said

13 and to deal in an honest and fair way.

14 And I think that this was kind of --

15 this has gotten out of hand. And we as a

16 Council need to police our own ranks and we

17 need to start dealing with each other in a

18 better and more equitable way, and that is

19 for everyone on the Council and in the

20 administration of the City of Scranton.

21 On the budget, just very briefly,

22 again, I commend Mrs. Evans for taking my

23 challenge to go to the mayor.

24 I also did go to the mayor. I did

25 also attend the budget meeting that was
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1 scheduled last Tuesday, and we sat and

2 discussed the items that Mrs. Evans had

3 proposed.

4 Some of the changes that were made

5 and that we -- I shouldn't say that we

6 agreed to, but some of the -- because many

7 of the votes were two to one, but at least

8 the ones that were discussed weren't

9 reflected in what was read, and there were

10 numerous changes that we as a three member

11 group did, in fact, you know, discuss and

12 considered.

13 With those changes in, you know, in

14 hand and with the mayor's budget in hand, I

15 did go to the mayor and ask him some of the

16 questions that Mrs. Evans had proposed, and

17 I felt that I had walked out with a

18 reasonable assessment of what we had

19 discussed on Tuesday night and what I had

20 discussed with the mayor and feel that there

21 -- are there changes that could possibly be

22 made to the budget, yes, and I hope that we

23 will make some.

24 But I don't think that it requires

25 the drastic changes that were proposed. And
.

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1 when we get to the discussion on the budget,

2 perhaps those -- I will, in fact, discuss

3 some of that.

4 MS. EVANS: Mr. McGoff, I just

5 wanted to clarify, because I agree with what

6 you're saying, the budget that I read

7 tonight under motions was my original

8 budget.

9 MR. MCGOFF: Correct.

10 MS. EVANS: But this evening under

11 the vote and the mayor's budget, I would

12 intend to read off the list according to all

13 of the changes that were made on Tuesday

14 evening and proposed those as amendments to

15 the budget.

16 MR. MCGOFF: Sorry.

17 MS. EVANS: No, I just wanted to

18 clarify, because I didn't want you to

19 misunderstand that, you know, I wasn't

20 including or considering any of that. That

21 is what will be voted on, not what I read

22 earlier.

23 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you. I believe

24 that's perhaps all. Thank you.

25 MR. COURTRIGHT: I guess I have to
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1 say something about the E-mail. I still

2 haven't seen the E-mail, so I guess you'll

3 have to give me a copy.

4 MS. EVANS: Do you want the E-mail?

5 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yeah, I guess I

6 should read it at some point in time. I

7 don't -- I've heard what it said, and I

8 don't know. I think it overshadowed the

9 budget. Anyway, we'll move on.

10 Commuter tax, it has been brought up

11 here on more than one occasion over the last

12 three years that I've been here, and I spoke

13 to PEL and they faxed me information on a

14 commuter tax. It's too much for me to read,

15 but I'll try to just shorten it up for you a

16 little bit.

17 We're a AA city, and Mr. Serafini

18 changed Act 47 as it pertains to this city

19 some years ago.

20 And my understanding is this, in

21 order for us to implement a commuter tax

22 again, we would have to raise our property

23 tax extremely high, we would have to raise

24 our wage tax extremely high, we would have

25 to take fees such as our garbage fee and
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1 raise them up very high and then go to court

2 and prove that we had done that, and then

3 possibly then they would okay us to have a

4 commuter tax.

5 That doesn't mean I'm going to give

6 up looking into it, but it's a little bleak

7 on the outlook of having a commuter tax so

8 far.

9 Kay, I only have one thing for you

10 this evening. I don't know how many times

11 I've got to say this, Mr. McTiernan said it,

12 I said it, and now last week Mrs. Gatelli

13 said it, 21 Forrest Glen Drive, I don't know

14 why nobody has been up there. That hole is

15 getting worse. And, again, it's not a

16 pothole. There's something wrong with the

17 road.

18 The DPW was up there on Forrest Glen

19 this week patching potholes, but nothing has

20 been done there, to my knowledge. So, if we

21 can just ask Mr. Parker have they gone there

22 and looked at it and I don't know about it

23 or whatever is happening there.

24 My focus has been on the budget.

25 I've got to say one thing first. Whether
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1 you like Mrs. Evans' budget, dislike it or

2 for it or against it, I think she put an

3 awful lot of work into it, you know, so I

4 will give her credit for that, she put a lot

5 of work in that budget. It could not have

6 been easy.

7 I'm sure she had to go to many

8 outside sources to get their information and

9 to get help. So, I commend her for that.

10 What really bothers me, maybe I'm

11 naive, I thought, I really thought, that we

12 were going to be able to take her budget and

13 the mayor's budget and this meeting on

14 Tuesday and try to find some kind of happy

15 ground.

16 We just borrowed $10 million. Now

17 we got at least a 25 percent tax increase

18 coming. So, I, and Mr. McGoff can tell you,

19 I agree with many of the things in Mrs.

20 Evans' budget, and I disagree with many, and

21 I thought all five of us could have done

22 that and come to some kind of an agreement

23 where at least four of us would have agreed

24 on some kind of a budget that the mayor knew

25 we had a strong hold and this is what we
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1 wanted and this, but that just didn't

2 happen, and that just saddens me. So, now

3 the taxpayers are going to pay.

4 One thing that I was really for in

5 the budget was, I had a problem with this

6 greeter thing that we had. It was put in a

7 year or so ago, and for, I guess, legal

8 reasons hasn't been implemented, now we have

9 it in there this year, and I asked for that

10 to be taken out.

11 And I don't know. I'm going to say

12 this, because it has been said to me so many

13 times, and I really hope Mark Seitzinger

14 doesn't take offense to this, he has helped

15 me every single time I ever asked him, I

16 will give him that, you know, except for the

17 man that came with the rats last week, I

18 thought he had taken care of that and he

19 didn't.

20 But I had asked Mrs. Garvey, because

21 Mrs. Fanucci and Mrs. Gatelli weren't there,

22 I asked if she would write down that Bill

23 Courtright begs you to consider this.

24 And what I begged him to consider

25 was many, many police and fire are insulted
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1 by the fact that he holds the title of

2 assistant director of public safety, because

3 they believe that he doesn't have the

4 knowledge to rule over them in the absence

5 of Mr. Hayes.

6 And so, I asked if, in fact, his

7 position remains in the budget, that maybe

8 his title could be changed so that in the

9 event that Mr. Hayes is out of town, that he

10 isn't directing Mr. Elliot and Mr. Davis on

11 how to run their departments.

12 And, Mark, again, I hope you don't

13 take offense to that, but it has been

14 brought up to me on many occasions. So, I

15 don't know if that can be consideration or

16 not.

17 Mrs. Evans put in the six police

18 officers, and I wholeheartedly agree with

19 it, and I wish that we could find the money

20 for it.

21 Even in the last race that I ran,

22 you know, they said that I was the crime

23 czar and that I was always trying to scare

24 the people about crime, well, I hate to say

25 I told you so, but I said there were gangs
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1 here and I said they weren't just local

2 gangs, and I'm not going to give any -- I'm

3 not going to say the names of the high

4 profile big time gangs that are here,

5 because I don't want to give them any

6 credit, but they're here and they're here to

7 stay.

8 And last year we had approximately,

9 I think it was, 63,600 some calls. And when

10 I talk about crime, I could spin numbers one

11 way to make them look in my favor, and I'm

12 sure the administration can spin them their

13 way to make them look in their favor, that's

14 the problem with numbers, but I have always

15 said and I'll hold to the fact, you cannot

16 spin the number of the calls that come out

17 of the Comm Center. It's a hard and fast

18 number and there's no way you can alter that

19 number.

20 And we had, as I said, approximately

21 I think it was 63,600 some calls last year.

22 We're going to beat that by a couple, if

23 not, several thousand calls this year.

24 And I'm not doing it to scare the

25 people. I think the people need to be a
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1 little bit afraid to look out for these

2 gangs and to look out for their activity,

3 because how do you think the police get a

4 lot of their information? From the people.

5 So, I'm very much in favor of -- if

6 at all possible adding those six police

7 officers that Mrs. Evans put in her budget.

8 I know it's been brought up about

9 Mr. Bolus' Christmas dinner that he has,

10 it's from twelve to six on Christmas Day.

11 My daughter and I have been there

12 the last several years to help out, and I

13 think it will make you appreciate Christmas

14 a little bit more if you take a look at it.

15 And the same with Mr. Bolus, some

16 people like him, some people don't, but what

17 he does on that day is a great thing. So, I

18 encourage everybody to support him.

19 Mary Alice Burke has done a

20 tremendous, tremendous amount of work on

21 flooding, especially in the Keyser Valley

22 and West Mountain areas, and she has

23 gathered facts and she has gathered figures

24 to see if we can get some kind of funding

25 from the federal government or on the state
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1 level.

2 And, Kay, I lied, I do have one more

3 thing I would ask you to do, in light of the

4 fact that she's doing all this work, I've

5 got to think that the city, somebody in the

6 city, is looking at compiling some kind of

7 figure, I would hope that they are, so that

8 we can get some state or federal funds.

9 So, I'd say we start with Mr. Parker

10 and ask him if maybe he's doing something to

11 that and he can let us know, and if he is,

12 maybe he can get together with Mary Alice.

13 And she's driven, and I think she's

14 going to do some good for us, and maybe they

15 can get together and put their numbers

16 together.

17 And one last thing, I sound like the

18 speakers, but I did not intend on speaking

19 on this, the QRS, well over a year ago I sat

20 at this table right here, and I think I

21 brought this up once before, with several

22 members of the fire department, EMS

23 personnel, who are supposed to be experts in

24 their field, I can't recall where they were

25 from, maybe even somebody from the Dunmore
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1 area, because I think Dunmore has an QRS,

2 Mr. Hayes, Chief Davis, and myself, and we

3 discussed a QRS, and I think one of the big

4 concerns would have been -- on the

5 administration side, it would have been my

6 concern if I was on the administration side

7 was, would the fire department use the

8 number of calls they would go on to up their

9 stats and say we need more personnel?

10 Well, they agreed from the get-go

11 that they were not going to use -- they were

12 willing to put in writing, they would not

13 use the number of calls they went on to up

14 their stats.

15 And what type of calls were they

16 going to go on? We were having a problem

17 back then, and I don't know exactly if we

18 are still having the same problem now, as

19 Mrs. Evans said, we were having a problem

20 with the ambulance service getting to the

21 calls, and what the police thought and what

22 the residents thought were in a timely

23 fashion.

24 And at that time I asked that we do

25 a thing called posting where they would
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1 station -- you know, the Comm Center could

2 tell if there are no available ambulance

3 service in the City of Scranton, and when

4 they do posting, that would mean the ones

5 that are on the outskirts would be Taylor,

6 Dunmore and the Abingtons, they would come

7 to the border at least in Scranton and maybe

8 be able to get there in a timely fashion.

9 But the type of calls they were

10 going to go on that we discussed anyway was,

11 say, for instance, somebody was having a

12 heart attack on Luzerne Street and engine

13 seven is right there, well, if they were

14 equipped, they could -- and the comm center

15 would know, we do not have an ambulance

16 close by.

17 They can go there, they could

18 administer first aid, use the defibrillator,

19 whatever the case may be, until what time

20 that an ambulance got there, whether it be a

21 basic life support or advanced life support.

22 And all of this was agreed upon.

23 Mrs. Evans talked about $71,000 in their

24 budget from the startup. That was a figure

25 that we talked about, but it was also
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1 figured that we really thought could be paid

2 for by grants and possibly by the hospitals

3 helping us, so maybe there would have been

4 no costs.

5 So, with the wind up was, and,

6 again, I've said this before, I asked Mr.

7 Hayes if he thought the mayor would go along

8 with it, and he said yes, and what the

9 answer was that came back, and it's no big

10 secret, was that the mayor was not willing

11 to do this until what time there is a

12 contract with the fire department.

13 So, I believe that's our holdup. I

14 would still like to see us do this if at all

15 possible. And that's all I have, Mrs.

16 Gatelli. Thank you.

17 MS. GATELLI: Thank you, Mr.

18 Courtright. I just have a few things to say

19 about the budget.

20 And I don't know who it was that got

21 up tonight, but they said that no other

22 Councilperson has done anything. And I also

23 want to commend Mrs. Evans for preparing

24 that budget.

25 Years ago when we were neighborhood
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1 presidents, we always presented our own

2 budget to City Council, so we have worked on

3 them many moons ago.

4 I'd just like to say that the mayor

5 never went after the non-profits, but he did

6 and he's going to.

7 No one wants to acknowledge that we

8 got $1.2 million from The Scranton Housing

9 authority. I really consider that an

10 accomplishment.

11 I asked the mayor, and I did it

12 myself, and I don't mean that anyone else

13 here should do it, so don't take it in the

14 wrong way, but as a gesture, I gave five

15 percent of my salary back. It was a

16 gesture. It wasn't any big deal. I admit

17 that. It wasn't a large amount of money for

18 me, but it was a gesture so that he would

19 get the message.

20 When I got his budget, I thought,

21 Well, he's finally getting the message, he

22 reduced them by five percent. Now, is that

23 enough? I'm not sure, but that was the

24 figure that I came up with at the time.

25 And in Mrs. Evans' budget, she takes
.

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1 them back to the 22001 level, and that's

2 laudable but I would be a hypocrite if I

3 said, Well, yeah, now I don't want your five

4 percent, now I'm taking more. So, I wasn't

5 real comfortable with that. I'm just

6 telling you the reason.

7 Some of the revenues, I'm not sure,

8 are going to come in at those levels. I'm

9 hoping that the in lieu of taxes will come

10 up, but will it come up to $500,000? I'm

11 not sure of that. The money from The Ice

12 Box, I don't think is going to happen.

13 The amusement tax, now, when I

14 looked up in Erie, they had said $600,000,

15 and they ended up to get sixty. So, I'm not

16 sure how much of that we're going to get.

17 The Scranton Times office, which

18 they call it, is really a press office,

19 because any press can use that. Over the

20 years it was strictly The Scranton Times

21 that used it or the other TV stations when

22 they'd be here, but The Scranton Times is no

23 longer here, and I don't think that will be

24 relevant at this time.

25 There are many positions that I
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1 agree should be looked at. I don't think

2 they're necessary. I all week to try to

3 find out exactly what people did in their

4 positions, but in one week's time, it just

5 wasn't possible for me to learn them all.

6 The public safety department, I know

7 that PEL did take that out, and I fought

8 very strongly at the time as a neighborhood

9 leader that that should remain in there.

10 I wanted Jimmy Klee. Jimmy Klee was

11 a very good public safety director. I'm not

12 saying that Mr. Hayes isn't, but I'm trying

13 to make the point that I did at one point in

14 my life fight for that position to be

15 reinstated.

16 If I don't like the person that's in

17 that position now, that's a whole other

18 story, but I did fight to keep that

19 position, and I'm not comfortable totally

20 removing it because of Mr. Seitzinger. He

21 is doing work in the neighborhoods, work

22 that I have begged the mayor that we need

23 someone, that blight is the biggest concern

24 everywhere I go. It needs to be addressed.

25 My neighborhood in South Side became
.

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1 very bad, as you all know, and I wouldn't be

2 comfortable taking that out of the budget.

3 The B.A.'s office, I don't know

4 enough about a lot of those position. I'm

5 sure some of them could be eliminated.

6 The IT Department, I'm going to

7 disagree with Mrs. Fanucci, because I do

8 think it's a little heavy. By how much?

9 I'm not sure, but I think there can be some

10 cuts made there.

11 The OECD department, the director of

12 finance and compliance, I remember when I

13 was there with Mr. Washo, we were fined by

14 HUD because we didn't have a director of

15 finance compliance. So, I think that that

16 position is needed.

17 The positions in OECD aren't

18 affected but the city budget. And there are

19 two economic development specialists that

20 work in that office, one, I don't know if

21 any of you have ever dealt with her, her

22 name is Fania Blackwell, and she does an

23 excellent job. The other girl, I really

24 don't know.

25 The greeters aren't necessary at
.

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1 all. The solicitors, I believe that when I

2 worked there, and I probably would have to

3 defer to Attorney Minora on that, but I

4 think that we had probably just as many,

5 maybe one more is there than was under Mayor

6 Connors, but we had several paralegals and

7 Nancy Barrasse and Jimmy Mulligan and Lee

8 Redmond.

9 And when I called to find out about

10 their professional service, I know that

11 also, and I don't have a budget from back

12 then, but there were numerous attorneys that

13 worked from outside of the law department on

14 certain cases, and some of that professional

15 service is used for retainers for those

16 attorneys and some of it is used for when

17 someone has an accident or they sue the

18 city, there's deductibles, and some

19 deductibles are $25,000 and some are fifty.

20 So, some of that professional service is

21 used for deductibles to pay claims for legal

22 services.

23 So, I'm not sure about that total

24 number. It probably could be reduced, but

25 not totally, because we need to pay those
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1 deductibles.

2 As far as George Parker getting a

3 salary reduction, I said before that I had

4 asked for the 25 percent, and I wouldn't

5 feel comfortable now asking them for more.

6 And Mr. Parker does have two duties.

7 When I worked for Mayor Connors, there was a

8 DPW director and there was a city engineer.

9 I believe this is the first time that the

10 jobs have been combined.

11 The flood, the five people for the

12 flood, I agree that there are too many. I

13 don't think that all those people are

14 necessary.

15 Human resources, well, you really do

16 too, too much there. The Single Tax Office,

17 I'm not sure if we can adjust his salary,

18 can we?

19 MS. EVANS: I based that on my

20 reading of the charter and the

21 administrative code, specifically the one

22 you alluded to concerning the mayor and

23 Council and the controller, the city

24 controller. Those are the only positions

25 named.
.

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1 The city, as you know, pays

2 50 percent of his salary.

3 MS. GATELLI: And the school

4 district pays the other.

5 MS. EVANS: Right. So, I was

6 reducing the city's portion of his pay.

7 MS. GATELLI: Okay. So, there is no

8 obligation of a salary, so that would be all

9 right there.

10 Parks and recreation, of course, the

11 director would be my same five percent that

12 I've allude to. And the other people, I'm

13 not sure what their jobs are.

14 I know Mrs. Obshinski does all of

15 the extra activities, because I've been

16 involved with her on a few projects, and she

17 was helping the children with the skate

18 park.

19 The tax increase and the realty

20 transfer tax, I'm not comfortable with the

21 realty transfer tax whatsoever, and I'm

22 hoping that, you know, we can lower that.

23 We certainly don't want to

24 discourage people from buying homes in

25 Scranton. The wage tax is enough to drive
.

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1 them away.

2 The tax increase, although I don't

3 like the thoughts of it, I think it's a

4 necessity. I think we haven't had a -- I

5 know Connors didn't raise them for 11 years,

6 and I believe Mr. Doherty didn't raise them

7 at all, and I think a small increase is

8 necessary as a permanent revenue to help us

9 get out of the financial hole that we seem

10 to always be in.

11 And although I don't like to burden

12 the taxpayers with that, I see the school

13 district does it every year. They had a

14 meeting last night, and I asked if anyone

15 was there, there wasn't one person up there

16 objecting to their tax increase.

17 So, I almost can't understand why

18 every time the city wants to do something

19 that costs money, everybody is against it.

20 I'm against it. I don't want to see

21 people have to pay more, that's not my

22 point, but my point is, we're the ones

23 providing the services.

24 What does the county provide to you?

25 You pay a library tax, so that's extra, so
.

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1 they don't even provide the library service,

2 and they have a new cultural fee that was

3 added several years ago, and no one went and

4 fought that either.

5 But as soon as the City of Scranton

6 wants to raise something, everybody's

7 screaming. What are we going to do when we

8 settle the arbitrations? Where are we going

9 to get that money from?

10 I wish we can settle them, and I'm

11 going to stay on the mayor about that,

12 because that's a big risk we're taking.

13 Either way, either we're going to lose big

14 time or the unions are going to lose big

15 time. Nobody is going to win that one,

16 nobody.

17 And until we all start working

18 together and try to get us out of this

19 financial hole, one time revenues help,

20 they've been helping for the last couple

21 years, that's why he sold the golf course,

22 that's why he sold the South Side Complex.

23 We don't have anything else to sell, maybe

24 Park Gardens.

25 But we need revenue, and we need to
.

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1 raise the taxes every now and then. Your

2 gas bill went up, your water bill went up,

3 the cable is going up again, the grocery

4 store went up again.

5 I don't want to sound like I like

6 taxes, I don't, but I think that we all need

7 to pay our fair share, we need more police,

8 absolutely, absolutely.

9 I'm in the school every day, and

10 there's problems, problems that the public

11 doesn't know, but they're coming, and

12 they're coming big time, so we do need the

13 police officers.

14 I'm also working for next year on

15 another revenue item that we think can bring

16 in $1.5 million. It's a new rental

17 registration program. We will add

18 inspectors and clerks that will be strictly

19 assigned to this program. They will not be

20 allowed to do anything but the rental

21 registration.

22 When we went to Bethlehem, we

23 learned about that program, and Rob Farrell

24 is getting the ordinance ready as we speak.

25 We've met several times concerning that, and
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1 it won't be long until we get the final

2 document. And I'm - we're hoping that we

3 can bring in at least $1.5 million on that.

4 All properties will be registered,

5 including single family homes that are

6 non-owner occupied. And that's all I have.

7 Thank you. Mrs. Garvey.

8 MS. GARVEY: Fifth order. No

9 business at this time. Sixth order, no

10 business at this time. Seventh order. 7-A,

11 FOR CONSIDERATION BY THE COMMITTEE ON

12 FINANCE - FOR ADOPTION - FILE OF COUNCIL NO.

13 66 --

14 MS. EVANS: Mrs. Garvey, prior to

15 reading 7-A, as chair of the finance

16 committee, I wish to make a motion to amend

17 7-A as follows: Council amendments,

18 revenue, sale of golf course, $3 million;

19 increase in lieu of taxes, $381,750; land

20 payment due from Ice Box, $600,000;

21 amusement tax, $200,000; hotel tax,

22 $150,000; the reduction in the budget line

23 item for the $10 million in borrowing,

24 $38,888; Scranton Times rental fee for

25 office space at City Hall and newspaper
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1 boxes, $6,000; the confidential secretary

2 salary reduction in the office of the mayor,

3 $3,688; public safety, eliminate department,

4 $144,110; the police department, reduce

5 travel and lodging for administration,

6 $2,470; police department, reduce dues and

7 subscriptions strictly for administration,

8 $1750; police department, chief of police

9 salary reduction, $1,314; business

10 administration, BA's salary reduction,

11 $3,850; BA, eliminate senior accountant,

12 $34,000; BA, eliminate financial analyst,

13 $34,000; BA, eliminate professional

14 services, $35,000; BA, eliminate flood

15 positions, three of five for $125,000; human

16 resources, eliminate professional services

17 which were transferred to the B.A. for

18 health care consultant and third party

19 worker's comp., $130,000; human resources,

20 eliminate travel and lodging, $1,000; HR,

21 reduce salary to what it was for the

22 director of personnel, $40,000; human

23 resources, eliminate confidential secretary,

24 replace with administrative assistant two

25 for a savings of $29,000 -- or excuse me, no
.

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1 -- the administrative to -- yes, it is a

2 savings of $29,000, and the administrative

3 two position will pay $25,586; IT, eliminate

4 everything except for one person with a

5 $70,000 budget, that would entail the cuts

6 of one, two, three, four, five, six line

7 items for $47,500; $40,000, $130,718,

8 $1,000; $5,000, and $15,000; OECD, eliminate

9 director of finance and compliance, $46,550;

10 OECD, eliminate two economic development

11 specialists, $64,000; LIPS, eliminate deputy

12 director of safety and conservation,

13 $34,000; the Bureau of Buildings, eliminate

14 four greeters, $20,000; law department,

15 eliminate professional services, $200,000;

16 law department, the following, Eliminate

17 travel and lodging, $2,000; eliminate

18 training and certification, $1500;

19 solicitor's salary reduction, $3700;

20 eliminate first assistant city solicitor,

21 $40,000; eliminate assistant city solicitor,

22 $32,900; eliminate confidential secretary,

23 replace with administrative assistant one at

24 a salary of $23,946, for a savings of

25 $29,000; DPW, director's salary reduction,
.

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1 $21,950; DPW garages, fleet manager salary

2 reduction, $1200; single tax office, tax

3 collector's salary reduction, $4,150; parks

4 and rec., director's salary reduction,

5 $7,700; eliminate parks and rec specialists,

6 two positions, for a total of $70,000; parks

7 and recreation, eliminate program manager

8 $35,000.

9 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.

10 MS. GATELLI: On the question? Roll

11 call.

12 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.

13 MS. EVANS: Yes.

14 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci.

15 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: No.

16 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff.

17 MR. MCGOFF: No.

18 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.

19 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.

20 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.

21 MS. GATELLI: No.

22 MS. GATELLI: The budget with the

23 amendments was defeated by 3-2.

24 MS. GARVEY: 7-A, FOR CONSIDERATION

25 BY THE COMMITTEE ON FINANCE - FOR ADOPTION -
.

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1 FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 66, 2006 - AN ORDINANCE

2 - APPROPRIATING FUNDS FOR THE EXPENSES OF

3 THE CITY GOVERNMENT FOR THE PERIOD

4 COMMENCING ON THE FIRST DAY OF JANUARY 2007

5 TO AND INCLUDING DECEMBER 31, 2007 BY THE

6 ADOPTION OF THE GENERAL CITY OPERATING

7 BUDGET FOR THE YEAR 2007.

8 MR. MCGOFF: I would like to make a

9 motion to amend the mayor's budget, and it

10 would -- the motion would be to use $1.5

11 million of the money from the sale of the

12 golf course to reduce the realty transfer

13 tax to achieve a commensurate amount as

14 revenue, and also a second amendment to take

15 away the greeter positions that were listed

16 in the mayor's budget.

17 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Second.

18 MS. GATELLI: On the question? Roll

19 call.

20 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.

21 MS. EVANS: No.

22 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci.

23 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Yes.

24 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff.

25 MR. MCGOFF: Yes.
.

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1 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.

2 MR. COURTRIGHT: No.

3 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.

4 MS. GATELLI: Yes. The budget with

5 the amendments passed by a vote of 3-2.

6 MS. GARVEY: Okay I have to read it

7 once again as amended.

8 MS. GATELLI: Okay. Go ahead.

9 MS. GARVEY: FOR CONSIDERATION BY

10 THE COMMITTEE ON FINANCE - FOR ADOPTION -

11 FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 66, 2006 - AN ORDINANCE

12 AS AMENDED - APPROPRIATING FUNDS FOR THE

13 EXPENSES OF THE CITY GOVERNMENT FOR THE

14 PERIOD COMMENCING ON THE FIRST DAY OF

15 JANUARY 2007 TO AND INCLUDING DECEMBER 31,

16 2007 BY THE ADOPTION OF THE GENERAL CITY

17 OPERATING BUDGET FOR THE YEAR 2007.

18 MS. GATELLI: What is the

19 recommendation of the chair for the

20 committee on finance?

21 MS. EVANS: As chair for the

22 committee on finance, I do not recommend

23 final passage of Item 7-A as amended.

24 MS. GATELLI: Now, what do the votes

25 mean, Attorney Minora?
.

183


1 MR. MINORA: Exactly.

2 MS. EVANS: It's reversed.

3 MR. MINORA: They're reversed. No

4 means a yes, a yes means a no. So, in order

5 to pass this, it needs three no votes.

6 MS. GATELLI: Neil.

7 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.

8 MS. EVANS: Yes.

9 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci.

10 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: No.

11 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff.

12 MR. MCGOFF: No.

13 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.

14 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.

15 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.

16 MS. GATELLI: No. I hereby declare

17 7-A legally and lawfully adopted as amended.

18 7-B.

19 MS. GARVEY: 7-B, FOR CONSIDERATION

20 BY THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC WORKS - FOR

21 ADOPTION - FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 68, 2006 - AN

22 ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE TRANSFER OF A

23 PARCEL OF LAND ACQUIRED BY THE CITY THROUGH

24 THE FLOOD CONTROL PROJECT TO RONALD F. AND

25 MARY ANN KITLAS AS PARTIAL COMPENSATION FOR
.

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1 THE ACQUISITION OF PROPERTY THEY OWN ON ROSS

2 AVENUE FOR THE LACKAWANNA RIVER FLOOD

3 CONTROL PROJECT.

4 MS. GATELLI: What is the

5 recommendation of the chair on public works?

6 MR. MCGOFF: As chairperson for the

7 committee on public works, I recommend final

8 passage of Item 7-B.

9 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.

10 MS. GATELLI: On the question? Roll

11 call.

12 MS. EVANS: Did we ever determine if

13 such land can be transferred if it were

14 purchased by the state?

15 MS. GATELLI: It was partial

16 compensation. He sold them a property.

17 MS. EVANS: I understand. It's kind

18 of a barter.

19 MS. GATELLI: Yeah. He got less

20 money and got the land, because they didn't

21 want the land. It's only 16 feet wide.

22 MS. EVANS: But can the city

23 actually convey what the state has --

24 MS. GATELLI: Yes, it's part of the

25 agreement with the state and the Army Corps.
.

185


1 MS. EVANS: Oh, that's fine then.

2 MS. GATELLI: Yeah, it's all -- they

3 do those intergovernmental agreements.

4 MS. EVANS: Thank you.

5 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else on the

6 question? Roll call.

7 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.

8 MS. EVANS: Yes.

9 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci.

10 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Yes.

11 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff.

12 MR. MCGOFF: Yes.

13 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.

14 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.

15 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.

16 MS. GATELLI: Yes. I hereby declare

17 7-B legally and lawfully adopted.

18 MS. GARVEY: 7-C, FOR CONSIDERATION

19 BY THE COMMITTEE ON FINANCE - FOR ADOPTION -

20 FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 69, 2006 - AN ORDINANCE

21 - AUTHORIZING THE ISSUANCE AND SALE OF A

22 FIVE MILLION ($5,000,000.00) DOLLARS

23 PRINCIPAL AMOUNT, TAX AND REVENUE

24 ANTICIPATION NOTE OF THE CITY OF SCRANTON

25 KNOWN AS TAN SERIES A, AWARDED TO COMMUNITY
.

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1 BANK AND TRUST COMPANY; DETERMINING THE FORM

2 AND TERM OF SAID NOTE; AWARDING SAID NOTE;

3 AUTHORIZING AND DIRECTING THE FILING OF

4 CERTAIN DOCUMENTS; AND DIRECTING THE PROPER

5 OFFICIALS OF THE CITY OF SCRANTON TO TAKE

6 ANY AND ALL OTHER ACTIONS AS MAY BE REQUIRED

7 IN CONNECTION WITH THE ISSUANCE OF SAID

8 NOTE.

9 MS. GATELLI: What is the

10 recommendation of the chair on finance?

11 MS. EVANS: As chair for the

12 committee on finance, I recommend final

13 passage of Item 7-C.

14 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.

15 MS. GATELLI: On the question? Roll

16 call.

17 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.

18 MS. EVANS: Yes.

19 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci.

20 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Yes.

21 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff.

22 MR. MCGOFF: Yes.

23 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.

24 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.

25 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.
.

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1 MS. GATELLI: Yes. I hereby declare

2 Item 7-C legally and lawfully adopted.

3 MS. GARVEY: 7-D, FOR CONSIDERATION

4 BY THE COMMITTEE ON FINANCE - FOR ADOPTION -

5 FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 70, 2006 - AN ORDINANCE

6 - AUTHORIZING THE ISSUANCE AND SALE OF A

7 NINE AND ONE HALF MILLION ($9,500,000.00)

8 DOLLARS PRINCIPAL AMOUNT, TAX AND REVENUE

9 ANTICIPATION NOTE OF THE CITY OF SCRANTON

10 KNOWN AS TAN SERIES B, AWARDED TO COMMUNITY

11 BANK AND TRUST COMPANY; DETERMINING THE FORM

12 AND TERM OF SAID NOTE; AWARDING SAID NOTE;

13 AUTHORIZING AND DIRECTING THE FILING OF

14 CERTAIN DOCUMENTS; AND DIRECTING THE PROPER

15 OFFICIALS OF THE CITY OF SCRANTON TO TAKE

16 ANY AND ALL OTHER ACTIONS AS MAY BE REQUIRED

17 IN CONNECTION WITH THE ISSUANCE OF SAID

18 NOTE.

19 MS. GATELLI: What is the

20 recommendation of the chair on finance?

21 MS. EVANS: As chair for the

22 committee on finance, I do not recommend

23 final passage of Item 7-D.

24 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.

25 MS. GATELLI: On the question?
.

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1 MR. MINORA: This is a no/yes vote.

2 MS. EVANS: Reverse vote.

3 MS. GATELLI: Roll call.

4 MS. EVANS: Well, the city has

5 borrowed once again, and we all know that,

6 $10 million, and the pay back amount on that

7 is over $23 million that we're adding to our

8 long-term debt.

9 Unfortunately, and despite my best

10 efforts, you're all going to be saddled with

11 a tax increase of 25 percent.

12 I fail to see the need for such a

13 significant amount to be borrowed in TAN

14 Series B.

15 I just wanted the people of the

16 city to know, it is true, the city hasn't

17 raised taxes in a very long time, but that

18 doesn't make it right just because everyone

19 else is.

20 All it means is some one of those

21 three taxing bodies has to consider the

22 people they are jointly taxing.

23 And I'm very, very sorry to all the

24 people that the city, for their reasons,

25 refused to give you that relief. I'm also
.

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1 very sorry that we're not going to get six

2 police officers, I'm very sorry that we're

3 not expanding any public services, I'm very

4 sorry that we will not be levying an

5 amusement tax until the mayor decides that

6 he would like to do so.

7 We've missed the boat on an awful

8 lot. We have so many chiefs, not many

9 Indians, and the Indians really do the work

10 at half to a third of the cost, and that's

11 the way it always was, until five years ago.

12 So, again, I just -- I have respect

13 for all my colleagues, and I do especially

14 want to thank Mr. McGoff and Mr. Courtright

15 for spending nearly three hours of their

16 time on Tuesday evening going through my

17 budget one item at a time and discussing the

18 pros and cons of each. I think they did

19 their due diligence to the people of the

20 city.

21 And, again, I think it really is a

22 shame, and I don't think there is a reason

23 that justifies it. That's it.

24 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else? Roll

25 call.
.

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1 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.

2 MS. EVANS: Yes.

3 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci.

4 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: No.

5 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff.

6 MR. MCGOFF: No.

7 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.

8 MR. COURTRIGHT: No.

9 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.

10 MS. GATELLI: No. I hereby declare

11 7-D legally and lawfully adopted.

12 Before we adjourn, I'd like to say

13 that I am still interested in the amusement

14 tax. I'd still like to do that, so don't --

15 you know, bring it up again and we'll do it

16 on our own, because I'd like to do that. I

17 don't think it has to be in the budget for

18 us to do it.

19 As far as the police officers, you

20 know we increased the community development

21 by $200,000, so there will be more police

22 there.

23 And if there's any way we can put

24 them in the budget somewhere, tell me how to

25 do it and we'll do it somehow, if we have to
.

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1 use UDAG money, because I don't want to

2 appear that I'm not for police officers. I

3 fought for them my whole life, so we will

4 certainly look into that.

5 And some of your other ideas, Mrs.

6 Evans, I don't want them to die, so we'll

7 revive them on our own, if we have to.

8 At this time I'd like someone to

9 entertain a motion that we cancel the next

10 two meetings of December 21 and 28, so that

11 Council members may enjoy their Christmas

12 season with their families. Someone

13 entertain that motion?

14 MR. COURTRIGHT: I'll make a motion

15 that we cancel the meeting on December 21

16 and 28.

17 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Second.

18 MS. GATELLI: On the question?

19 MS. GATELLI: All those in favor.

20 MS. EVANS: Aye.

21 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Aye.

22 MR. MCGOFF: Aye.

23 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.

24 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The

25 ayes have it and so moved.
.

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1 Now, before, I know it's very late,

2 and I'm not one that stays up late, I'd like

3 somebody else to entertain a motion before

4 we go.

5 I had asked for the last six weeks

6 approximately for people to serve on a task

7 force to study the budget for the whole year

8 and work with it, find ways, talk to people,

9 talk to the cabinet members, and they can

10 assist us with the budget, and I got four

11 people that have agreed to serve on this.

12 So, I'd like someone to make a motion, I'll

13 give you the names there, that we do it now

14 so they can start fresh in January. If

15 anyone else wants to join, just let us know

16 and we will put you on there.

17 MR. COURTRIGHT: Sure. The names

18 are Pat Ackourey -- I'll make a motion that

19 we form a budget task force and Pat

20 Ackourey, Mike Genello, Cheryl Murnin and

21 Don Kershner be appointed to that board.

22 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: I'll second

23 that.

24 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All

25 in favor.
.

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1 MS. EVANS: Aye.

2 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Aye.

3 MR. MCGOFF: Aye.

4 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.

5 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The

6 ayes have it and so moved. Now I have one

7 more thing. I know I'm being a pain.

8 A very dear friend of mine writes

9 poetry, and I had asked him if he would

10 write a Christmas poem about Scranton, so

11 I'm going to read it before we go. It's

12 called a Downtown Christmas Memory by Jack

13 McGuigan.

14 My mother bundled me in heavy wollen

15 outerwear for the bus ride downtown when the

16 stores stayed open only on Thursday night.

17 I'm sure the crowded bus bubbled

18 with conversation, but all I remember of the

19 slow jerking ride is the steamy window cold

20 against my hand as I finger painted festive

21 electric snowflakes floating past decorated

22 city streets.

23 But when the door opened with its

24 familiar swish clunk in front of the Globe

25 Store, the poetry and the music of
.

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1 Christmastime turned streets and storefront

2 windows into every child's magic kingdom.

3 A landmark in every child's mind,

4 the households trains carried me through

5 mountains and tunnels and villages of

6 imaginary and mechanical adventures, steam

7 engines billowed smoke, hopers filled up

8 with coal, whistles blew, switchmen moved

9 tracks, trains changed directions in an

10 instant, lights flashed, everything moving,

11 exploding in blurs of colors and sounds.

12 The policeman's whistle harmonized

13 with Santa's little bell and the honking of

14 cars as he directed everyone across

15 Lackawanna.

16 His white glove flurried like a

17 squall of doves hurried us into the Dry

18 Goods for my special treat in the restaurant

19 and the mesmerizing final look from the

20 mezzanine before boarding the bus loaded

21 with passages and dreams.

22 Merry Christmas to everyone, and I

23 hope we have a healthy, peaceful,

24 cooperative new year. Thank you very much.

25 Do we have a motion to adjourn?
.

195


1 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.

2 MR. MCGOFF: Second.

3 MS. GATELLI: All in favor.

4 MS. EVANS: Aye.

5 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Aye.

6 MR. MCGOFF: Aye.

7 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.

8 MS. GATELLI: Aye.

9 MS. EVANS: Just for the people who

10 remain, I just wanted to make one last

11 announcement, I will not be signing the

12 legislation for that budget. I don't know

13 what effect that has, but I won't affix my

14 signature to a tax increase. Thank you.

15

16 (MEETING WAS ADJOURNED.)

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

2

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.

8

9

10
LISA M. GRAFF, RMR
11 Official Court Reporter

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