1 SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING
7 Thursday, February 1, 2007
10 Council Chambers
11 Scranton City Hall
12 340 North Washington Avenue
13 Scranton, Pennsylvania
CATHENE S. NARDOZZI- COURT REPORTER
2 CITY OF SCRANTON COUNCIL:
MS. JUDY GATELLI, PRESIDENT
6 MS. JANET E. EVANS
MS. SHERRY FANUCCI
9 MR. ROBERT MCGOFF
MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT
12 MS. KAY GARVEY, CITY CLERK
MS. SUE MAGNOTTA, ASSISTANT CITY CLERK
15 MR. AMIL MINORA, SOLICITOR
1 (Pledge of Allegiance recited.)
2 MS. GATELLI: Please remain standing
3 for a moment to remember our service men and
5 (Moment of silence observed.)
6 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Roll call.
7 MS. MAGNOTTA: Mrs. Evans.
8 MS. EVANS: Here.
9 MS. MAGNOTTA: Mrs. Fanucci.
10 MS. FANUCCI: Here.
11 MS. MAGNOTTA: Mr. McGoff.
12 MR. MCGOFF: Here.
13 MS. MAGNOTTA: Mr. Courtright.
14 MR. COURTRIGHT: Here.
15 MS. MAGNOTTA: Mrs. Gatelli.
16 MS. GATELLI: Here. We are going to
17 dispense with the reading of the minutes,
18 but before we start the regular business we
19 have a proclamation this evening and we
20 would like to ask Mr. Gary Francis to please
21 come forward.
22 (Mr. Francis comes forward.)
23 MS. GATELLI: WHEREAS, the COUNCIL
24 OF THE CITY OF SCRANTON, is desirous of
25 honoring "GARY FRANCIS", CITY OF SCRANTON
1 EMPLOYEE, for his quick response during a
2 fire on December 16, 2006 in a trailer home
3 in Taylor, Pa.; and.
4 WHEREAS, "MR. FRANCIS" was at the
5 Taylor Neighborhood Tukey Hill Store when he
6 noticed flames coming from the home; and.
7 WHEREAS, "MR. FRANCIS" approached
8 the burning home calling back for the Turkey
9 Hill employee to call 911; and.
10 WHEREAS, seeing the front door was
11 in flames "GARY" proceeded to the back door
12 to gain entrance into the home which was
13 engulfed in flames, waking Mr. And Mrs.
14 Thomas Morais, their four children and a
15 family friend; and.
16 WHEREAS, "GARY FRANCIS" carried to
17 safety two of the children before going back
18 into the burning home to rescue the other
19 two children bringing them to safety; and.
20 WHEREAS, "GARY FRANCIS'" quick
21 decision to react to this dire situation
22 until emergency personnel arrived, showed
23 much bravery as he took the initiative to
24 maintain a calming force during what
25 otherwise could have been a catastrophic
1 event; and.
2 WHEREAS, Scranton City Council is
3 very proud and grateful for "MR. GARY
4 FRANCIS'" unselfish act of courage.
5 NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that
6 on Thursday, February 1, 2007, Scranton City
7 council wishes to honor "MR. GARY FRANCIS"
8 for his bravery and heroic actions during
9 this life threatening event.
10 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this
11 Proclamation be made a permanent part of the
12 Minutes of this Council, as lasting tribute
13 to "GARY FRANCIS."
14 MS. GARVEY: THIRD ORDER, 3-A, CITY
15 OF SCRANTON ANNUAL FINANCIAL REPORT FOR THE
16 YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2005.
17 MS. GATELLI: Any comments? If not,
18 received and filed.
19 MS. GARVEY: 3-B. AGENDA FOR THE
20 ZONING HEARING BOARD MEETING TO BE HELD ON
21 FEBRUARY 14, 2007.
22 MS. GATELLI: Are there any comments?
23 If not, received and filed.
24 MS. GARVEY: And only have one thing
25 for clerk's notes tonight, the Comcast, they
1 responded to council's letter regarding the
2 senior citizen discount that the citizen
3 asked about so I will read that letter in
4 response to that request. "Dear Ms. Garvey,
5 I am writing to response to your January 9
6 letter seeking information about discount
7 cable service for senior citizens. I am
8 sorry to hear that a resident was told that
9 a senior discount was possible upon city
10 council's request. That is not the case.
11 Comcast does not offer senior citizen
12 discounts, instead, Comcast makes a low cost
13 lifeline level of service basic available to
14 all customers regardless of age who need an
15 inexpensive alternative for television
16 entertainment. Our basic service is $12.05
17 per month and includes 19 broadcasts and
18 local channels as well as PCN and Home
19 Shopping. While this level was designed
20 with seniors in mind, it recognizes that the
21 ability to pay for cable service is a factor
22 of income and not age. If Councilwoman
23 Gatelli or other members of council have
24 additional questions or need more
25 information please give me a call," and she
1 lists her number, "I would be happy to
2 attend a future council meeting to respond
3 to any of your concerns."
4 And that was signed by Elizabeth
6 MS. GATELLI: Thank you, Ms. Garvey.
7 I just have a few items, tomorrow evening is
8 the first Friday art walk. The trolly
9 visits all of the art galleries in the
10 downtown and you can call 842-4133.
11 614 River Street is a burned out
12 house that has been a problem for quite
13 sometime. Lackawanna Neighbors have called
14 and they going to rehabilitate the
15 structure. They are also doing another home
16 on Pittston Avenue that is coming along very
17 nicely. The director there, Jody Bayman,
18 used to be an OECD employee with Mayor
19 Connors and she is doing a wonderful job
20 with Lackawanna Neighbors.
21 I reported a house at West Parker
22 Street for Mr. Parker, it has fire damage
23 and is 43 years. 228 Pittston Avenue that's
24 been sold and it will be rehabilitated.
25 There were several houses within the
1 last week that have been demolished: 2314
2 Pittston Avenue, 105-107 S. Garfield, 1021
3 1/2 Acker. 913-915 Greenridge Street. And
4 also, Kay, if you can send a letter I got
5 several phone calls this week on a house at
6 2519 North Main Avenue, it was the old
7 habitat for humanity house and it's been in
8 deplorable condition for several years so
9 see if they can't get that demolished.
10 MS. KAY: Okay.
11 MS. GATELLI: Potholes were repaired
12 on Hollow Avenue, 600 of Moore Court, 9 and
13 10 of Clay, 1800 of Pawnee, 1,000 South
14 Webster, 2300 Hamm Court, Quay Avenue, 500
15 of Briggs, 400 of South Edwards, 9th Street
16 and Meridian, the one, two, three of
17 Jefferson and 200 of Franklin, 300 of
18 Robert's Court, the 400 of Lackawanna and
19 the one, two three of Penn. There were some
20 trees trimmed up on Elmhurst Boulevard and
21 we had some snow removal on the 25th and the
22 26th of January.
23 One-hundred and twenty feet of drain
24 pipe was replaced on West Mountain Road and
25 they repaired drainage off of Fawnwood Drive
1 and Newton Road.
2 OECD loans, someone had asked that
3 question last week, who monitors the loans
4 and they are monitored by Lori Reed of the
5 OECD office, she monitors them on a
6 quarterly basis and also HUD does their
7 annual audits on all of the loans.
8 I saw an article in the paper and
9 I'd just like to congratulate Nicole Capozie
10 of the Lavish Skin Care. We did give a loan
11 to her and apparently she was recognized in
12 House Beautiful magazine for her store.
13 Someone went there anonymously without her
14 knowing and gave her an award in this
15 magazine and there was some pretty nice
16 locales that had the awards too, Honolulu,
17 Palm Beach, Florida, Scottsdale, Arizona,
18 New York City and Los Angeles so we are very
19 happy for Lavish. I haven't been there, but
20 I understand it's a very nice store and we
21 are happy that they have gotten an award.
22 And that's all I have.
23 MS. EVANS: Mrs. Gatelli, may I make
24 one announcement?
25 MS. GATELLI: Sure. Absolutely.
1 MS. EVANS: Thank you. The Scranton
2 Firefighters Auxiliary is sponsoring a
3 dinner dance to benefit the American Red
4 Cross on Saturday, February 10 from 6:00 to
5 11:00 p.m. at St. Joseph's Parish Hall in
6 Minooka. The cost is $25 and includes
7 cocktails, dinner and entertainment. Please
8 support this very worthy cause. The Red
9 Cross steps up to the plate whenever a
10 family is displaced by fire and whenever our
11 city residents suffer from flooding
12 conditions, so, again, I urge you, please
13 help the firefighters auxiliary, help the
14 American Chapter of the Red Cross.
15 MS. GATELLI: What time is that
16 again the 10th?
17 MS. EVANS: Six to eleven.
18 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.
19 MS. EVANS: You're welcome.
20 MS. GATELLI: Does anyone else have
21 anything? First speaker is Andy Sbaraglia.
22 MR. SBARAGLIA: Andy Sbaraglia,
23 citizen of Scranton, fellow Scrantonians.
24 On the agenda 7-A, this $250,000 does
25 anybody know who the Parkers are? The
1 mayor? Could the mayor be a partner?
2 MS. GATELLI: No, he is not. I
3 heard from the owner of the property that's
4 selling it and she said that Mayor Doherty
5 was not involved in that.
6 MR. SBARAGLIA: I heard it was
7 something to do with church wine.
8 MS. GATELLI: Sacramento Wine.
9 MR. SBARAGLIA: Is that true?
10 MS. GATELLI: Yes.
11 MR. SBARAGLIA: Well, that's all just
12 that the mayor seems to be interested in
13 that type of line of business, it just made
14 me wonder because it's a limited partnership
15 so you have to know all of the partners,
16 some silent, some vocal, I wish you had
17 asked. The 5 percent is fine, the loan was
18 at 5 percent interest which is in line with
19 what's happening in the market today, just
20 that's too bad we couldn't borrow for the
21 city at that rate. It's too bad we can lend
22 it at 5 percent and borrow it at 8 percent.
23 If you ever -- I wish you would
24 sometime get around to get a hold of them --
25 well, I'm not going to get --that's getting
1 off of it. That's all I wondered who the
2 partners in this enterprise and so forth and
3 so on. If you don't know okay.
4 MR. GATELLI: Thank you. Mr. Quinn.
5 MR. QUINN: Robert Ozzie Quinn,
6 president of Scranton and the Lackawanna
7 County Taxpayers Citizens Association, Inc.
8 I'm here today to speak on the agenda on 7-A
9 also, I want to pick up from last week, it
10 was my understanding that a letter was going
11 to go to OECD in regards to not just who
12 does the monitoring about the jobs, what
13 kind of jobs and etcetera, etcetera, okay,
14 and what this woman is telling you if that's
15 hearsay and that's all the more that's why
16 we should have a subpoena in regard to
17 what's going on with our money. Now, I
18 don't know if this lady has the credentials
19 for underwriting, you know? I haven't seen
20 the monitoring review and you know yourself,
21 Judy, when you were there they were always
22 opened and actually they were in the paper
23 and I haven't seen one in four years and how
24 do I know what's going on, the taxpayers
25 don't know what's going on with that money
1 and it is taxpayers' money.
2 And the only way we are going to get
3 to the root of it is to subpoena these
4 authorities and OECD and find out what the
5 heck is going on and, I mean, I would be
6 glad to volunteer to look at it, I have a
7 little bit of knowledge on OECD, on
8 regulations. I know the $20,000 both at a
9 job so there should be 12 jobs created by
10 this loan tonight. Now, created when? And
11 are they actually going to be created, are
12 they going to be like minimum wage, are they
13 going to be like 30 hours a week or whatnot?
14 But I'm all for that subpoena and I'm hope
15 that we go along with that and council goes
17 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.
18 MR. QUINN: Thank you very much.
19 MS. GARVEY: Mrs. Gatelli, mya I
20 just respond? That letter that Ozzie is
21 speaking to that letter did go out this week
22 but not until I think maybe yesterday, so it
23 did go to Sara Hailstone asking all of those
24 questions that were asked last week.
25 MS. GATELLI: Thank you, Mrs. Garvey.
1 Mr. Talamini?
2 MR. TALAMINI: Joe Talamini, resident
3 and taxpayer in the City of Scranton.
4 Again, going back to what we are talking
5 about the financial items I would like to
6 first of all clarify something, I believe it
7 was at my request during the council meeting
8 last week that the finance chairman, it
9 happens to be Mrs. Evans, asked for the
10 financial records of the city. I quoted
11 from Section 312 --
12 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Talamini, is this
13 on the agenda?
14 MR. TALAMINI: The agenda involves
15 financial matters, does it not?
16 MS. GATELLI: I don't think it's on
17 the agenda. I think you would have to wait
18 until the second participation. You have to
19 speak on either 7-A -- -
20 MR. TALAMINI: Well, 7-A refers to
21 financial matters and this what I was
22 proposing last week.
23 MS. GATELLI: Well, it's a loan, so
24 you would have to speak in regards to that
1 MR. TALAMINI: Okay. Well, I'd like
2 to know more about the loan that's another
3 thing. I agree with Mr. Sbaraglia, you
4 know, we are giving out $250,000, we are
5 paying more money to borrow it than we are
6 to get it back if we get it back and I'd
7 also like clarification as to just who LLC
8 is, who it involves. Thank you. We'll be
10 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Ms.
12 MS. SHOEMAKER: I, too, would like
13 to speak on 7-A this evening. Last week it
14 may be faulty memory and the minutes aren't
15 on line yet so I couldn't check my memory,
16 but I'm quite sure that someone said here
17 last week that this 408 Cedar Avenue LLC has
18 been in business for quite sometime serving
19 the northeast and now they wanted to expand
20 to the southeast. I went to the Secretary
21 of State's website and that entity was
22 created on January 17, 2007. It is less
23 than several weeks old.
24 Also, I looked at the guidelines,
25 the state guidelines, for enterprise zones
1 which is a funding this effort and they are
2 only designated for a period of seven years,
3 so it -- and I did put a call into OECD and
4 no call back yet on this so I thought make
5 you could answer since you worked at OECD,
6 how can you give a 25 year loan for a
7 program that only lasts seven years?
8 Enterprise zones are only good for 7 years
9 or are we to believe that for the next 25
10 years we are going to be depressed and
11 therefore we'll keep requalifying every
12 seven years.
13 Also, the guidelines say that
14 requested easy funding should not exceed
15 30 percent of the total project costs. So,
16 therefore, is the total cost of this project
17 8.3 million dollars? Anybody have any
18 answers or do we just not follow the
20 MS. FANUCCI: I actually can answer a
21 few of your questions. The purchasing
22 company is not the company that has been in
23 business. The company they are purchasing
24 the Nonan Wine Company they were the ones
25 who were in business for years so they are
1 purchasing an existing company that was in
2 business, so this new business is -- this
3 new company has been recently formed, but
4 what they were saying is they were
5 purchasing an already formed company.
6 That's what the mix up was there so it's not
7 them that has been in business for all of
8 those years it is the company that they are
9 purchasing that has been in business for all
10 of those years.
11 MS. SHOEMAKER: And what's the name
12 of the company?
13 MS. FANUCCI: I think it's Nonon,
14 N-O-N-0-N or --
15 MS. GATELLI: A-N.
16 MS. FANUCCI: Yes, Nonan Wine, Nonan
17 Altar Wines or something.
18 MS. SHOEMAKER: What about the terms
19 of the loan?
20 MS. FANUCCI: The terms of the loan,
21 and I agree and, in fact, I had just spoke
22 to Mrs. Evans before you guys all got up
23 here tonight that I believe I'm going to
24 table this tonight because I was not here
25 last week and I do want to check more into
1 this to be able to get you facts that I do
2 not have tonight, so I am considering if I
3 can get a second on that tabling this.
4 MS. SHOEMAKER: And I would also
5 like to know if that quarter of a million
6 dollars is actually 30 percent or less of
7 the total project costs.
8 MS. FANUCCI: Right.
9 MS. SHOEMAKER: Look forward to the
10 answer next week. Thank you.
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: Mrs. Gatelli, if I
13 MS. GATELLI: Sure.
14 MR. COURTRIGHT: I would like to make
15 suggestion because almost every time when we
16 have one of these loans come down everybody,
17 including myself, is interested in who the
18 people are that are getting the loans not
19 just the company, so maybe we can ask, Kay,
20 if, you could ask OECD to send the
21 individuals that are the owners of that
22 company in the backup, you know, in the
23 backup loan so every time somebody comes for
24 a loan if it's Bill Courtright that's
25 getting the loan put Bill Courtright's name
1 on there because I want to know myself and
2 this way here there won't be any reason to--
3 any impropriety happening so if they could
4 do that we might head of the crowd. Thank
6 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Jacowicz.
7 MR. JACOWICZ: Bill Jacowicz, South
8 Scranton resident. I also want to talk
9 about 7-A, this Nonan Altar Wine Company
10 they have been in 70 years I believe. The
11 Bowen family owned it and I guess they are
12 the ones who are selling it. Have they ever
13 asked for a loan during their 70 years and
14 have they ever received a loan from the City
15 of Scranton?
16 MS. GATELLI: Not that I'm aware of.
17 MR. JACOWICZ: Pardon me? I can't
18 hear you.
19 MS. GATELLI: Not that I'm aware of.
20 MR. JACOWICZ: Also, isn't this
21 located in the 400 block of Cedar Avenue?
22 MS. GATELLI: Yes.
23 MR. JACOWICZ: Is that not being
24 redeveloped and isn't that part of the South
25 Side project that we have already have
1 federal and state money being poured into
2 that area to remodel those buildings? Is
3 that building not going to be one of the
4 buildings that is going to be remodeled?
5 MS. GATELLI: Not necessarily. It is
6 part of the Elm Street Project.
7 MR. JACOWICZ: Can you find out for
8 me by next week whether that building is
9 part of the projects and whether or not it
10 already has money allocated to it to be
11 remodeled because we don't want to give them
12 more money and I guess that's about it. Oh,
13 in today's paper I see that Mrs. Fanucci,
14 Mrs. Gatelli and Mr. McGoff get answers from
15 that mayor so that means from now on I guess
16 we're going to getting a lot of answers from
17 these three people because in today's paper
18 you stated that you have no problems --
19 MS. GATELLI: That's not on the
20 agenda, Mr. Jacowicz.
21 MR. JACOWICZ: I understand. That's
23 MS. GATELLI: Ann Marie Stulgis.
24 MS. STULGIS: I'm Ann Marie Stulgis.
25 I see on the agenda tonight that the city's
1 annual financial report for the year ending
2 December 31, '05, might I assume that's a
3 typo and it's '06 because it's '07 now?
4 MS. EVANS: I'm assuming it's a typo,
5 but mine, too, states 2005 on the cover and
6 for the information which is dated within
8 MS. STULGIS: So it's '05 that we are
9 getting in '07?
10 MS. EVANS: I don't know.
11 MS. GATELLI: This is from the city
13 MS. STULGIS: Okay.
14 MS. GATELLI: This is a city
15 controller's report.
16 MS. STULGIS: I don't know if any of
17 you have had a chance to review it yet, I
18 know it's probably quite lengthy, but I do
19 have some questions concerning it. One
20 would be particularly if it is in 2005
21 because 2005 is when the city unions were
22 involved in binding arbitrations which we
23 have all learned the mayor doesn't know it's
24 binding and quite a bit of city money was
25 spent on attorneys to fight these unions and
1 I'm wondering if we could have a total maybe
2 next week or the week after on how much
3 money was actually spent by the city on
4 lawyers particularly to fight the city
5 unions, that would be the fire department
6 and the police department because those are
7 the two that have been involved in this
8 arbitration from '04 through the current
10 Also, I'm wondering if it would be
11 possible to know that the amount of money
12 that we have spent to settle lawsuits with
13 individuals who have sued the city for
14 injuries on the slide at Nay Aug. I know
15 that there are many cases involved in that
16 and that there are --
17 MS. GATELLI: The water slide?
18 MS. STULGIS: On the water slide,
19 yes, there are several cases involved there
20 where the city was sued for injuries on the
21 slide and I know that each one was thousands
22 of dollars and I'm wondering if we could
23 have a total on that, also.
24 Then I'm asking that you look at
25 workmen's comp because we have heard for a
1 long time how expensive worker's comp is.
2 What I did discover, and I don't know if you
3 are able to get me a breakdown, is that
4 workmen's comp isn't exactly just the amount
5 of money we pay into the workmen's comp
6 fund, but it also includes an amount of
7 money that we pay a law firm in the city. I
8 don't know the name of the law firm, I do
9 know that it's the mayor's brothers firm,
10 but I don't know what the name of it is and
11 I'm wondering exactly how many money we pay
12 this law firm to oversee these workmen's
13 comp cases.
14 MS. GATELLI: Would that be in that
15 financial report?
16 MS. STULGIS: It should be, yes, in
17 the workman's comp should be broken down
18 into that and also included in that is
19 Pennsylvania Advocates, that's a company
20 from Clarks Summit that was hired by this
21 administration --
22 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.
23 MS. STULGIS: Thank you.
24 MS. GATELLI: If you can't stay,
25 Mrs. Stulgis, you can write it down and give
1 it to me later. Anyone else?
2 MR. MORGAN: I'll be really brief
3 and just say that I think that council
4 should take a recommendation from Mrs.
5 Fanucci and table this because there is just
6 too many questions and no answers and I just
7 hope that all of council will vote to do
8 that so that we'll get an opportunity, the
9 people that have interest, to read all of
10 this information and I just think that that
11 also proves just how important that this
12 council moves forward with their vote from
13 last week for the subpoena because we are
14 being mislead too much here. Thank you.
15 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else?
16 MS. KRAKE: My name is Nancy Krake
17 and I'd like to finish Mrs. Stulgis' last
18 remark. She would also like to know how
19 much we are spending on Pennsylvania
20 Advocates. Apparently there is relative of
21 the mayors in this company and these figures
22 should be somewhere in the comp total, but
23 she would like that all broken down.
24 I'd like to ask tonight about 7-A.
25 Last week I asked if this company had
1 anything at all to do with the James A.
2 Doherty Company? So we don't have an answer
3 for that?
4 MS. GATELLI: I was told, no.
5 MS. KRAKE: And whom did you ask?
6 MS. GATELLI: I talked to the Bowens
7 that are selling it. They contacted me.
8 MS. KRAKE: So its' the people that
9 are selling it that said, no. Okay. I
10 would like to ask the administration since
11 they are authorizing this loan if they or
12 anyone in the administration has anything at
13 all to do with this company. And I hope,
14 and I think you are aware of these
15 processes, Mrs. Gatelli, who is monitoring
16 how many jobs are created with these loans.
17 MS. GATELLI: Lori Reed.
18 MS. KRAKE: Can we have a breakdown
19 of all of them since this administration
21 MS. GATELLI: We asked for that.
22 MS. KRAKE: We did ask for that?
23 MS. GATELLI: Yes.
24 MS. KRAKE: And when did we ask for
1 MS. GATELLI: I don't know, a day or
2 two ago, Mrs. Garvey got a letter out.
3 MS. KRAKE: I believe that was asked
4 for in the past and we never got it.
5 MS. GATELLI: Well, we'll see.
6 MS. KRAKE: And I understand that,
7 but that's part of the reason that Mrs.
8 Evans is asking for all information. I
9 would like the names of all people involved
10 in this company, what are terms of the loan
11 and who is responsible if they default.
12 And, actually, I'd like to broaden that and
13 make it for every loan that's been issued by
14 this administration or been approved.
15 MR. MINORA: The loan documents are
17 MS. GATELLI: Yes, they are.
18 MR. MINORA: And they're guaranteed
19 by a fellow named Timothy Lavelle.
20 MS. KRAKE: Wasn't that one of the
21 names of the people in this company?
22 MS. GATELLI: Yeah, Timothy Lavelle,
23 that was the name.
24 MS. KRAKE: That's not the person
25 guaranteeing the loan?
1 MR. MINORA: According to the
2 documents it is.
3 MS. KRAKE: The person requesting the
4 loan is the person guaranteeing the loan?
5 MR. MINORA: I presume they are
6 asking for a personal guarantee from Timothy
7 Lavelle to I would assume to be a principal
8 in the LLC, otherwise why would he guarantee
9 somebody else's loan.
10 MS. KRAKE: And naturally we checked
11 that all out.
12 MR. MINORA: The documents are there
13 to look at. I looked at them.
14 MS. KRAKE: And I'm assuming everyone
15 on council checked that out and everyone in
16 OECD verified it before we give out
17 $250,000. And before I leave this podium I
18 I'd just like to remind everyone that the
19 three council people that voted for the
20 mayor's budget which included a 25 percent
21 tax increase --
22 MS. GATELLI: That's not on the
23 agenda, Mrs. Krake.
24 MS. KRAKE: Yes, but it has been on
25 the agenda in the past.
1 MS. GATELLI: No, you have to go
2 with what's on the agenda tonight.
3 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.
4 MS. KRAKE: Well, I'd like you to
5 take a look at the motion you made because
6 it does not specify which agenda.
7 MS. GATELLI: Is that all?
8 MS. GARVEY: 5-A motions.
9 MS. EVANS: Good evening. As was
10 mentioned earlier, three of my honorable
11 colleagues have not experienced any problem
12 with requests for information, so it's my
13 hope that they would please share with all
14 of us the financial information you have
15 received and the supporting documentation
16 for each item.
17 Of himself and his department heads,
18 the mayor has stated for the fourth time
19 since I have been seated on this council,
20 "We will be happy to provide them with
21 whatever they need," yet I continue to wait
22 for answers to countless questions, some for
23 three years. For example, where are the
24 replacement fields for the south side
25 complex and where is the breakdown of all
1 professional services in each of the city's
2 departments? Some I have waited two years
3 for. For example, how does the mayor intend
4 to make the $5.6 million payment due to
5 American Water Services?
6 For the last six months I have
7 requested a list of all billings and
8 individuals who have received loans through
9 OECD since 2002, the terms and duration of
10 the loans and the delinquencies. Also, I
11 have asked OECD who is a responsible to
12 repay OECD loans when a business not a
13 property is sold and approximately 30 items
14 related to the 2007 operating budget which
15 were requested in November and
16 December 2006.
17 In addition, we are still waiting to
18 hear the truth about Hollowgate. Mr.
19 Parker, who was scheduled to appear before
20 city council in September with the mayor's
21 blessing, failed to appear, but he did
22 conduct an investigation himself and his
23 department and he passed himself with flying
24 colors. Meanwhile, Mr. Parker failed to
25 attend the Keyser Valley flood meetings to
1 answer questions posed from city residents
2 who suffered during recent flooding. A
3 state of the city address is annually
4 presented by the mayor at the Chamber of
5 Commerce to a group of select business
6 people by private invitation only.
7 Consequently, I would say that the mayor
8 treats some of the council like most of the
9 taxpaying citizens and that is with total
10 disrespect. Try contacting the mayor and
11 most department heads, see if they speak
12 with you, I imagine if you have the correct
13 last name they will, otherwise, we are all
14 out of luck.
15 As for the reckless comments
16 contained in today's newspaper I have to
17 ask, why the lies and the belligerence?
18 What is this administration and it's
19 obsequious loyalists hiding? Just answer
20 the questions. However, a motion was passed
21 at last week's council meeting three to one
22 and I do expect subpoenas to be issued. The
23 people have the right to know where their
24 money is going and because of the 25 percent
25 tax increase many citizens have requested
1 these subpoenas, not only Mr. Talamini, and
2 I listened to the people, this is not a
3 witch hunt. This is a checks and balances.
4 This is accountability.
5 With regard to the subpoena of 2005
6 council was able to examine all agreements
7 between the city and hotel developers.
8 Council examined the bills and payments from
9 the former Casey garage renovations.
10 Because of the knowledge I gained I could
11 not support the agreement which was
12 finalized in the Fall of 2005. The city
13 lost millions of dollars on that fiasco and
14 a majority of the council at that time
15 agreed with Mr. Doherty and so the deal
16 passed. It was a bad deal for the taxpayers
17 and the documents provided all of the
18 background information, but because of the
19 thousands of nonessential documents that
20 OECD had copied and delivered to council I
21 also learned that the mayor's sister,
22 Virginia MacGregor, was given government
23 information that also was appropriately
24 given to Attorney Greco. I would think
25 department heads and solicitors were the
1 proper recipients, but their names did not
2 appear on the documents, just Virginia
3 MacGregor and Attorney Carl Greco.
4 Was the subpoena effective? Yes.
5 We gained the pieces of the Hilton financial
6 puzzle, however, was it successful? The
7 information was not properly applied in the
8 negotiations that occurred and Mr. Doherty
9 and council both should have better
10 protected our taxpayers and insisted on an
11 agreement that benefited both the hotel
12 owners and our citizens. As a result, I
13 don't believe the city will ever see it's
14 3 million dollars and that is because
15 according to the agreement that 3 million
16 dollars cannot be recouped until the hotel
17 is sold and the hotel sale price is
18 astronomical. In fact, it is higher than
19 what the Algonquin Hotel in Manhattan went
20 for, so I don't think we should hold our
21 breath waiting for the return on our money.
22 I also noticed recently in the
23 newspaper an ad for property for sale in the
24 500 block of Lackawanna Avenue. How ironic
25 that we have an empty building, but a few
1 yards away Buono Pizza must be removed.
2 Such nonsense. A vacant building seeking a
3 purchaser and multiple tenants and a viable
4 taxpaying business must be shut down? I can
5 only speak as one council person, but I will
6 not approve any legislation connected to the
7 500 block of Lackawanna Avenue development
8 project unless this project includes Buono
10 I have heard of the dissatisfaction
11 as well of some police officers with the
12 removal of their traditional badges and
13 their replacement by a cloth badge. They
14 tell me this change was made in an effort to
15 make all officers look the same and to
16 prevent their identification during the
17 evening hours. Though the consideration for
18 their safety is commendable, some officers
19 feel a loss of dignity and authority through
20 the loss of their badges. Could we send a
21 letter please to Chief Elliott and ask him
22 to reconsider returning the traditional
23 badges to all of the police officers?
24 And, finally, I have some citizens
25 requests for the week, but I'd like to first
1 apologize for any e-mails to which I have
2 not responded, my computer is down and will
3 be for the near future. The street sign for
4 Buonzelli Court is missing and needs to be
5 replaced. This court is located between the
6 1,000 block of Taylor Avenue and North
7 Irving and borders St. Peter's Lutheran
8 Church lot. Residents complain about signs
9 and advertisements placed at the top of
10 Meadow Avenue. They report near accidents
11 which occur at this location as drivers are
12 distracted by these signs. They also feel
13 the area presents an image of squalor.
14 Please include the 200 block of North Dewey
15 Avenue on the 2007 paving list. This is one
16 of the very few dirt roads that remain in
17 existence within Scranton.
18 Residents of the area of Price
19 Street and North Merrifield Avenue again
20 request the installation of additional stop
21 signs at this intersection. Little league
22 season is fast approaching and neighbors
23 fear for the safety of children. They
24 report that stop signs facing north and
25 south are often ignored. The corner of West
1 Market Street and Seneca Avenue a severe
2 icing condition exists on the easterly side.
3 Neighbors report that a pipe located under
4 the curb at 1011 West Market spills water
5 into the street. Please send the
6 engineering department to investigate this
7 problem and provide a solution. I was also
8 informed that PennDOT has already examined
9 the area in the past.
10 The corner of Muncy Avenue and Larch
11 Street there is an area that resembles a
12 private driveway but is actually a city
13 street, DPW measured it at one time and
14 filled potholes with stones. Several
15 businesses border this area, for example,
16 Jerry's Floral, Muldoon Aluminum Siding, I
17 think Krispe Kreme's corporate office, and
18 it is my hope that the city will include
19 this small area on their paving list, and
20 that's it.
21 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mrs.
23 MS. FANUCCI: I have one issue to
24 speak on tonight which is the loan. I do
25 believe that we need no table this loan
1 because of the information that has not been
2 provided. Also, the fact that I want to
3 apologize to the sellers, I know that when
4 you are selling a business it's very
5 difficult, you are depending on the money
6 and you are depending on it going through
7 and you are trying to keep the business
8 going for the sale price to be, you know,
9 what it's supposed to be. I do think we
10 need to provide the information and find out
11 exactly what is going on with this loan, so
12 I will be asking to table this loan tonight
13 and that is actually all I have. Thank you.
14 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mr.
16 MR. MCGOFF: At a recent meeting at
17 the courthouse annex I had an opportunity to
18 speak with Mr. Parker and Mr. Hayes and they
19 informed me that the siren project for lower
20 Greendridge was begun. That they have
21 contacted and made contact with the company
22 that installed the other two sirens and that
23 they are asking that company to review sites
24 in the lower Greenridge area that would be
25 appropriate to the placement of the siren.
1 They also said that they were in receipt of
2 a request from Mr. Hubbard through the, and
3 I'm not sure of the name, the Lower
4 Greenridge Residents Association or
5 whatever, and that they were looking to move
6 on that request.
7 I have also talked to Ms. Hailstone
8 at OECD and she said that the funding is
9 available. I have said that I thought that
10 be it would be in the best interest of all
11 if that project could be moved along as
12 quickly and possible. Hopefully before any
13 spring -- before the spring time when, you
14 know, flooding would possibly occur again
15 and they, Mr. Hayes and Mr. Parker, agreed
16 that would probably be in the best interest
17 of everyone so that the project is moving
18 forward. I will continue to be in contact
19 with them and hopefully it will be in place
20 and, you know, be a step towards insuring at
21 least some warning for the people of that
23 Secondly, I would like to say I
24 think that we as a council should start to
25 live up to the promises that we made at the
1 end of last year and start examining revenue
2 sources for the coming year to add revenue
3 sources that would help us to defray the
4 debt that we have incurred and hopefully
5 provide for a balanced budget in the future.
6 We have spoken I know about, and I came late
7 to the talks on the entertainment tax, I
8 think that we should start to examine that.
9 I think that we should also it was
10 mentioned perhaps a fee attached to students
11 out-of-state or out-of-city students
12 attending you the University of Scranton and
13 other schools within the city. I think that
14 maybe we should pursue that and any other
15 revenue sources that become available. We
16 all I think agreed that that was what needed
17 to be done. I think it's time that we start
18 to do that and that is all. Thank you.
19 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.
20 Mr. Courtright?
21 MS. EVANS: Mr. Courtright, before
22 you speak can I just add something, two
23 things to what Mr. McGoff said? I was also
24 present at that flood meeting that was held
25 Monday evening and I wanted the residents of
1 Keyser Valley and lower Greenridge to know
2 that I provided the consultants and the
3 contractors with the lists that were
4 developed by Mary Alice Burke of the problem
5 areas in the Keyser Valley section of the
6 city and I added to that the streets in
7 lower Greenridge and, as I said, that
8 information was given to them, they were
9 most appreciative. That was the type of
10 information that they were seeking from the
11 participants that evening following the
12 presentation and as Mr. McGoff mentioned,
13 revenue sources, I do agree, well, naturally
14 because it was a staple of my budget that an
15 amusement tax should be pursued, but I was
16 very interested to note in the PEL summaries
17 that PEL appears to be opposed to such a
18 tax. They don't feel it will produce a
19 significant amount of revenue and, in fact,
20 they said when the initial recovery plan was
21 drafted they eliminated any possibility of
22 such a tax, however, I don't intend to allow
23 that to stand in our way and I agree 1,000
24 percent with Mr. McGoff we've got to move
1 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Just for
2 the record, Attorney Minora is working on an
3 ordinance for an amusement tax.
4 MR. MINORA: I am.
5 MS. FANUCCI: And also picking up
6 where Mrs. Evans left off, Sno Mountain is
7 here and that is something that I think we
8 can really start picking up on. That is
9 something that's a big revenue and whether
10 PEL agrees or not I would agree.
11 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Courtright.
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: All clear? Mrs.
13 Gatelli brought up, I too went and looked at
14 the lot on West Parker Street and hope they
15 hustle that up because that's a safety
16 hazard and it's physical right from Main
17 Avenue as soon you look out West Parker.
18 Last week I asked Kay to send a letter to
19 Mr. Parker about Davis Street where crossing
20 from St. Joe's parking lot to the church and
21 I did find one of those signs in the City of
22 Scranton so we know what they are. There is
23 one down near Scranton high school so if you
24 could tell Mr. Parker that's the type of
1 MS. GATELLI: I want to know what
2 you are talking about?
3 MR. COURTRIGHT: There is a -- in
4 crosswalks they have a sign that's square on
5 the bottom and black and blue and it's a
6 sign that's attached to it and it says,
7 "Yield to Pedestrians," and --
8 MS. GATELLI: It's in the street?
9 MR. COURTRIGHT: In the islands. I
10 believe it's right in the island down near
11 Scranton High, but sometimes they will put
12 it in the center the road with a line in
13 front of it in the center of the road in the
14 crosswalks so if somebody is crossing the
15 street the vehicle has to stop and give the
16 pedestrian the right-of-way.
17 MS. GATELLI: Because I travel there
18 frequently and there is a sign on the side
19 going east and west, oh, it's got to be six
20 feet high at least and it has a pedestrian
21 on it and it's flashing.
22 MR. COURTRIGHT: Right.
23 MS. GATELLI: So the traffic knows
24 those are crosswalks there, so that's why I
25 wondered --
1 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yeah, this goes
2 right in the middle of the road. There is
3 one down at Scranton High. I tried to look
4 throughout the entire city and I did find
6 This issue has come up a couple of
7 times since I have been on council, a
8 handicapped parking spaces I know since
9 Mrs. Gatelli has been here she has brought
10 it up one time, and we didn't a make a
11 motion but we sent a letter to Dave Elliott
12 asking him to take a look at if an
13 individual is handicapped in the past and
14 they had a garage or a driveway they weren't
15 allowed to have a handicapped parking space
16 in front of their home and Dave Elliott sent
17 a letter back to us saying that they would
18 take a look at it and they did and they
19 changed their policy that it would be done
20 on individual basis. The traffic division
21 would go out and take a look and see if, in
22 fact, the individual maybe they have a
23 garage but it was in the backyard somewhere
24 and they were too handicapped to get there
25 in the winter if they could have a parking
1 space, but I would ask Mr. Minora, so I
2 think we can make it 100 percent correct I
3 think we need to amend the ordinance for
4 handicap parking signs, if we could take a
5 look at that stating that it would be done
6 on individual basis because the way it reads
7 now if you have a driveway or a garage you
8 are not entitled to a handicapped parking
10 MR. MINORA: I'll have to look, I
11 don't know off the top of my head.
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: Right, if you could
13 take a look at that. And while you are
14 looking at the other thing I believe the
15 gentleman passed away now, Mr. Romano, he
16 lived on Washburn Street he was also asking
17 me about this and I was asked again today, a
18 police officer asked me, that when we issue
19 a handicap parking space to someone that
20 doesn't necessarily mean that individual who
21 lives in the home out in front of the space
22 gets to park there. Anybody with a
23 handicapped parking placard or plate can
24 park in that spot, and it was asked to me
25 could it be made that if a handicapped
1 parking space is issued just that individual
2 in that home is allowed to park in that
3 space, I don't know if that's possible or
4 not. Probably not, but I was asked so I'm
5 asking you.
6 MR. MINORA: On the street?
7 MR. COURTRIGHT: Pardon?
8 MR. MINORA: Public street?
9 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yeah. Probably
10 not, right?
11 MR. MINORA: Private parking on a
12 public street.
13 MR. COURTRIGHT: All right. They
14 were talking about getting information and I
15 have been trying for quite awhile to get
16 information on this project that we want to
17 get done on Main Avenue in West Scranton,
18 several letters went out so much so I think
19 even Mrs. Fanucci suggested we make a motion
20 and we did make a motion and it passed five
21 nothing and no response. I went to the
22 mayor's office about two weeks ago but he
23 wasn't in, I believe he was at the
24 governor's swearing in and I asked the
25 secretary if she would ask him for me and
1 I'm sure she did, but still no response. I
2 was going to go this morning and was told by
3 one of the workers at city hall who told me
4 he is out of town, so I guess I'll just keep
5 going down until I get ahold of him. If he
6 has changed his mind and doesn't want to do
7 the project then he has changed his mind I
8 would just like some kind of answer.
9 Mary Alice Burke, I spoke to her.
10 She met with individuals from the state
11 about the flooding on Monday and I believe,
12 I'm not 100 percent sure, but I believe she
13 met again today, I haven't talked to her
14 today so I think that's proceeding at a
15 rapid pace now, I think we are going to see
16 something done.
17 And I guess I'm the lucky one, I
18 haven't gotten as many calls about the
19 smoking ban as I was getting. I seem to be
20 getting more than most of you. I did get
21 one good call this week, one person that's
22 in favor of it, but now the only calls I'm
23 really getting now are from business owners,
24 and one guy told me that in December his
25 business was always really good and he saves
1 up his money and in the summer months when
2 his business isn't as good he uses that
3 money and said that he's used it up already
4 and another guy told me that compared to
5 last year of January and this year he is
6 13 percent off and then I was told I didn't
7 see Mr. Cosgrove on TV saying he lost
8 30 percent or so, and I think most of them
9 realize that, you know, I'm not saying I'm
10 not in favor of the smoking ban, I voted for
11 it, I think the smoking ban is good, I think
12 we did it for good reasons, for health
13 reasons, but I think that maybe we could
14 have taken a little bit more time and there
15 are some concerns now for people and
16 legitimate concerns because although we want
17 everybody to be healthier, I don't think any
18 of us want to put anybody out of business
19 and so I know we modeled this after
20 Philadelphia, so I called down to
21 Philadelphia City Council and I spoke to
22 them and I asked them, I said, you know, we
23 are having a little bit of a problem here
24 and she -- the woman I spoke to said they
25 have had problems also and I just asked
1 about amendments, and I don't know if you
2 have this, Mr. Minora, or not what
3 amendments they made and she faxed the ahold
4 one to me and she faxed the new one to me
5 and I'm just going to -- there is just two
6 in there and I'll turn this over to you,
7 Mr. Minora, if you don't have it? Do you
8 the amendments from Philly?
9 MR. MINORA: I think our draft was
10 on the most recent amendment that was under
11 consideration and just passed.
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: All right, because
13 this here, and I didn't think it was,
14 because this one here says, "The maximum
15 percentage of food and nonalcoholic
16 beverages and sales necessary to qualify for
17 a waiver is increased from 10 percent to
18 20 percent."
19 I don't know if that was an
20 amendment from Philadelphia.
21 MR. MINORA: They may have amended
22 that further.
23 MR. COURTRIGHT: And I'll give this
24 to you and I didn't know if we had it or not
25 and another one was, "Any waivers granted to
1 a drinking establishment would be permanent,
2 not one year."
3 We didn't have a permanent. We had
4 one year and that was just some, and then I
5 would ask if you look at this and --
6 MR. MCGOFF: Excuse me, I thought
7 the exemptions were for a year, the waivers
8 were permanent because waivers were for --
9 waivers were for private clubs, that's what
10 I remember specifically that these private
11 clubs because I looked it up for someone,
12 waivers and exemptions were different.
13 MR. COURTRIGHT: All right, I'll hand
14 this over to you, Mr. Minora, and you can
15 take a look at it and the reason I bring it
16 up is because it was pointed out to me today
17 that it did pass in the senate in the
18 committee but then it was mentioned that
19 they don't anticipate any kind of a vote in
20 the near future and in speaking to some of
21 these people I can't hold off or four months
22 or whatever and I don't know, if I thought
23 it was going to pass very quickly I wouldn't
24 be bringing it up, but it appears that it's
25 going to be some time before the state
1 enacts it if, in fact, it does pass, so
2 that's why I say we take a look at this and
3 maybe I'll get some suggestions from some
4 more business owners and I don't think
5 anybody does anything perfect the first
6 time, so maybe we need to make some changes.
7 Hopefully, it will pass and I'm just looking
8 for a level playing ground for all
9 businesses because I think now we don't have
10 a level playing ground and I don't know, do
11 we know that our legislators in this area
12 are for the smoking ban, I haven't asked
13 them, do you know?
14 MS. EVANS: If you recall though
15 during the state representative debates I
16 believe that their answer was affirmative,
17 and I just wanted to add that I, too, have
18 been inundated though I haven't addressed it
19 at council with calls from businesses who
20 are suffering and that also includes in
21 addition to the small bars diners, a
22 doughnut shop, it seems that, you know, they
23 are experiencing quite a drop in their
24 profits right now and I'm very anxious to
25 entertain an amendment but I believe rather
1 than a permanent exemption it could be an
2 exemption until such time as the state
3 passes the smoking ban because that, you
4 know, I think that --
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: That supercedes.
6 MS. EVANS: -- is going to solve all
7 of the issues and then, indeed, create as
8 level playing field, but right now it is
9 very difficult. In fact, one of the
10 businesses even told me that a friend of his
11 who owns a similar business right over the
12 city limit has come and good naturedly
13 teased him about the fact that all of his
14 former customers are now down with him and
15 so, you know, as I said when the issue first
16 arose, my concern was a level playing field
17 for all of our businesses and that until
18 such time I believe I said it then as either
19 a countywide or statewide ban were passed I
20 was looking for an exemption for those
21 businesses and I think it's only fair to
22 them and I do believe, you know, like
23 Mr. Courtright I'm not going to dispute the
24 fact that it may not be tomorrow, but I do
25 believe a ban is coming down the pike, you
1 know, New York state exercises such, New
2 Jersey, and they're are neighbors and it's
3 more than possible, but until such time I
4 don't think we can financially cripple the
5 businesses within our city.
6 MR. COURTRIGHT: I think if we are
7 going to, and it appears that it's going to
8 be a long time before the state, in fact,
9 does pass it and we are going to look at any
10 kind of amendments, I really think before we
11 do any amending that we talk to these people
12 that have the concerns and get their
13 suggestions and what would make it palatable
14 for their businesses and still keep the
15 citizens of this city healthy because the
16 intent I think was a very good intent, I
17 just don't think -- I know I personally
18 didn't foresee a lot of the problems that
19 I'm hearing about and that's -- I guess
20 that's with anything, you know, you are not
21 going to be perfect the first time out of
22 the shoot so we will take a look at that.
23 And one last thing, Kay, if we
24 could-- if I'm here tomorrow I'll call but
25 if not maybe you could drop a note to Mr.
1 Hayes, I guess Engine 9 on North Main Avenue
2 has been without a phone service for about
3 four days, I don't know what the problem is
4 down there, I believe he is aware of it but
5 if we could try to expedite there and put
6 their phone service back in order and that's
7 all I have. Thank you.
8 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Miss
10 MS. GARVEY: Fifth order. No
11 business at this time. Sixth order. 6-A.
12 READING BY TITLE - FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 70,
13 2007 - AN ORDINANCE - AMENDING FILE OF
14 COUNCIL NO. 38 OF 2001, PROVIDING FOR AN
15 INCREASE IN THE VARIOUS PENSION BOARD
16 SECRETARIES SALARIES AS FOLLOWS: SECRETARY
17 TO THE NON-UNIFORM PENSION BOARD, FORM THREE
18 THOUSAND DOLLARS ($3,000.00) PER YEAR TO
19 FOUR THOUSAND DOLLARS ($4,000.00) PER YEAR;
20 SECRETARY TO THE COMPOSITE PENSION BOARD,
21 FROM THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS ($3,000.00) PER
22 YEAR TO FOUR THOUSAND DOLLARS ($4,000.00)
23 PER YEAR; SECRETARY TO THE FIRST PENSION
24 BOARD, FROM THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS
25 ($3,000.00) PER YEAR TO FOUR THOUSAND
1 DOLLARS PER YEAR ($4,000.00) PER YEAR; AND
2 SECRETARY TO THE POLICE PENSION BOARD, FORM
3 THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS ($3,000.00) PER YEAR
4 TO FOUR THOUSAND DOLLARS ($4,000.00) PER
5 YEAR, SAID RAISES TO BE EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1,
7 MS. GATELLI: You have heard Reading
8 by Title of Item 6-A, what is your pleasure?
9 MR. COURTRIGHT: Move that Item 6-A
10 pass reading by title.
11 MS. EVANS: Second.
12 MS. GATELLI: Will this be going
13 into seventh order next week?
14 MS. KAY: Next week.
15 MS. GATELLI: On the question? I'd
16 just like for you to invite someone from the
17 pension board to come to the caucus next
18 week. My only concern is I have received
19 numerous phone calls this week from some
20 firemen that are retired and they are very
21 concerned that we are giving a 33 percent
22 increase to people when they have not
23 received an increase since 1999 and I'd just
24 like to hear from some of them before we,
25 you know, move on with this next week.
1 MS. KAY: Okay, who would you like
2 to come in from what pension board? Do you
3 want to --
4 MS. GATELLI: I'll talk to you
6 MS. GARVEY: Okay.
7 MS. GATELLI: And you can tell me
8 whose on it and we'll see who is interested.
9 Anyone else on the question? All those in
10 favor? Aye.
11 MS. EVANS: Aye.
12 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
13 MR. MCGOFF: Aye.
14 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
15 MS. GATELLI: Opposed? The ayes have
16 it and so moved.
17 MS. GARVEY: Seventh order, 7-A.
18 MS. FANUCCI: I'm going to ask that
19 we table 7-A if we can? I'd like to make a
20 motion that we table 7-A.
21 MS. EVANS: Second.
22 MS. GATELLI: On the question. All
23 those in favor? Aye?
24 MS. EVANS: Aye.
25 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
1 MR. MCGOFF: Aye.
2 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
3 MS. GATELLI: Opposed? The ayes have
4 it and so moved. Doug Miller?
5 MR. MILLER: Good evening, Council.
6 Doug Miller, president of Scranton Junior
7 City Council. On behalf of the junior
8 council I would like to invite everyone to
9 attend next week's meeting to celebrate with
10 us our one year anniversary. There will be
11 coffee and refreshments in the hall, so we
12 hope to see everyone there next week to
13 Honor this historic night. Thank you.
14 MS. GATELLI: Mario Picollino. How
15 about Giovanni? They are in the hallway?
16 We can come back to them if they come in.
17 Andy Sbaraglia.
18 MR. SBARAGLIA: Andy Sbaraglia,
19 citizen of Scranton. Fellow Scrantonians, I
20 brought up the Lackawanna bridge, does
21 anybody have any information as to why that
22 cost has ballooned so much?
23 MS. EVANS: Kay?
24 MS. GARVEY: Yes.
25 MS. GATELLI: She did send a letter
1 about that on the bridge.
2 MS. GARVEY: No, we didn't hear yet.
3 MR. SBARAGLIA: You realize, of
4 course, that say the bridge costs a million
5 dollars in repairs, it's a little over a
6 million, our costs would have been $50,000.
7 At seven point some million are costs are
8 like $350,000, that's a huge jump, and if
9 it's only cosmetics it's not worth it.
10 We've spent too much money on
11 cosmetics. I mean, if you look at even --
12 you brought up this point about North
13 Scranton, well, I live in North Scranton,
14 all we got is fancy lights, that's all. I
15 mean, he has put a lot of money into
16 cosmetics. Thousands and thousands of
17 dollars into cosmetics. It's not worth it.
18 It really isn't. We don't have the money to
19 do that now. You've got to hold everything
20 down to the bear minimum what you actually
21 need and cut out these cosmetics. All the
22 cosmetics does is make the architect richer,
23 the contractors richer and the citizens
24 poorer. That's what it really amounts to.
25 I mean, you can come up with anything.
1 I mean, the mayor said you cut a
2 million dollars off the city I guess our
3 wish list, that didn't mean nothing either.
4 A wish list is a wish list. I mean, for
5 cutting a million dollars out of it you
6 really didn't make much sense because we
7 didn't have the money to fund it anywhere
8 and this is how it's always been with the
9 capital improvements, they are wish lists so
10 it's easy to cut a million dollars out of
11 it, I mean, if you have got a wish list of
12 building a dam across on the north to west
13 mountain, I mean, the south to west and then
14 cut it out you saved millions and millions
15 of dollars, but as far as the citizens
16 involved in those things it doesn't mean
18 I mean, you look for more oppressive
19 taxes on the people even with the smoking.
20 Now, I don't smoke, I believe in the ban,
21 but when he come up and said that a judge
22 said we are going to hold it for four months
23 on the line there I didn't hear any of you
24 say, "Let's hold it four months here, too."
25 If that judge said he wanted to hold
1 this thing up for four months it would have
2 been more prudent for us to do the same, but
3 we didn't. We just keep going and going and
4 going and oppressing people that pay the
5 taxes. Like I say, I don't smoke, I'm in
6 favor of the ban 101 percent, but I believe
7 it should be a ban that's fair to everyone.
8 We are in such dire straights that we can't
9 oppress anybody either way either with
10 higher taxes or laws. It's not in the best
11 interest of the city.
12 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.
13 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mr. Quinn?
14 MR. QUINN: Thank you. Last week
15 when I spoke here you said that you were
16 going to direct Attorney Minora to get an
17 opinion in regard to the sale of the
18 municipal golf course proceeds that -- I
19 said that they inadvertently might have been
20 misappropriated into the real estate line
21 item when they should have been in the
22 recreation line item and I feel that's
23 hurting the taxpayers because of the fact
24 that this money is for the taxpayers to have
25 recreation in the city. Is that opinion --
1 did you ask the gentleman?
2 MS. GATELLI: Would you like him to
3 tell you now?
4 MR. QUINN: Sure. This is your time
6 MR. MINORA: I'm sorry?
7 MR. QUINN: This is his time?
8 MR. MINORA: My time?
9 MR QUINN: Yeah.
10 MR. MINORA: I didn't ask this
12 MR. QUINN: Let's capsulize it then,
13 okay? I know you lawyers can, you know.
14 MR. MINORA: Would you like me to
15 answer your question?
16 MR. QUINN: No, send me a letter
17 please, okay? Thank you. Also, you know, I
18 looked at the Auditor General's audit today
19 of Scranton School Board, okay, I read it
20 last week as a matter of fact and then I
21 went over and looked at the independent
22 audit that was also over there, but the
23 Auditor General's audit was never made
24 public, all right, and if you read that
25 they're all over the findings, it's 28 pages
1 long and for overspending and overspending.
2 Now, that money is coming back to boot
3 us the taxpayers, there is no doubt about it
4 because on certain programs they are going
5 to take it from this year and future years
6 what they overspent on certain elements in
7 the state. I don't know what the federal
8 government is, but there is overspending
9 there of over $500,000. The fact is that
10 the school board, the city's indebtedness
11 and the county's indebtedness with
12 Mr. Cordaro and Mr. Munchak going ahead and
13 building these Taj Mahals which I don't
14 think we need like Andy said, we got to do
15 something. We've got to stop and really cut
16 this cosmetic stuff out, okay?
17 And I think that the mayor got and
18 received over there and talked to that
19 school board, he is the chief executive
20 officer of the city and he says he has a
21 good rapport with the school board so I
22 think he should really discuss these things
23 because we are really going down the tubes.
24 And the last thing I want to ask you,
25 Judy, is about that task force. We sent a
1 resume in asking to be on the task force and
2 you said that the task force was already
3 formed and I want to know who is on the task
4 force and when was it passed by council?
5 MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Garvey will give
6 you that information.
7 MR. QUINN: Give me. Oh, she is
8 going to write me a letter?
9 MS. GATELLI: She will give it to
11 MR. QUINN: Okay. Thank you.
12 MR. MCGOFF: May I respond to one
14 MS. GATELLI: Sure.
15 MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Quinn, I read
16 through the documents pertaining to the sale
17 of the golf course, I read through the
18 meeting, the minutes of those meetings and
19 there is nothing in the ordinance or in the
20 agreement that states that the funds will be
21 used exclusively for parks and recreation.
22 There is no -- nothing binding anywhere for
23 the use of those funds.
24 MR. QUINN: Is that your legal
1 MR. MCGOFF: Excuse me?
2 MR. QUINN: Is that your legal
4 MR. MCGOFF: I'm saying what's in
5 the ordinance.
6 MR. QUINN: Well, I'm asking for a
7 legal opinion, I'm not trying to be --
8 MR. MCGOFF: Well, it's not a legal
9 opinion, I'm just stating what's there.
10 MR. QUINN: I know --
11 MR. MCGOFF: There is nothing in the
12 ordinance --
13 MR. QUINN: I don't want, you know --
14 MR. MCGOFF: There is nothing in the
15 ordinance that -- -
16 MR. QUINN: God bless you. I don't
17 want a layman's opinion.
18 MR. MCGOFF: --states the use of the
20 MR. QUINN: I don't want a laymen's
21 opinion, okay? I'm asking for the solicitor
22 because I'm saying that it was
24 MR. MINORA: I agree with
25 Mr. McGoff.
1 MR. QUINN: Pardon?
2 MR. MINORA: I agree with
3 Mr. McGoff.
4 MR. QUINN: Okay. I'm sure you
6 MR. MINORA: There is your opinion.
7 MR. MCGOFF: You asked for an opinion
8 and --
9 MR. QUINN: Give it to me in writing.
10 Give it to me in writing.
11 MR. MCGOFF: I'm trying to give you
12 something, Mr. Quinn, and now you are going
13 to argue --
14 MR. QUINN: I'm not arguing.
15 MR. MCGOFF: -- that you don't want
17 MR. QUINN: You're the one that
18 brought it -- you are bringing it up.
19 MR. MCGOFF: I'm sorry. Thank you.
20 MR. QUINN: You brought it up.
21 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.
22 Mr. Jacowicz. The Picollinos, would you
23 like to speak?
24 MR. PICCOLINO: I'm Mario Piccolio
25 from wonderful Buono Pizza downtown in
1 Scranton for 40 years. I'm a taxpayer and
2 have a business in Scranton for 40 years. I
3 want to know why he has threatened me to
4 throw me out from my own place. I want to
5 know why?
6 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Piccolino, I don't
7 feel that I as a council person, and I can't
8 speak for anybody else, but I was involved
9 with the SRA when we acquired all of the
10 properties for the Steamtown Mall and we had
11 to relocate and put out of business 35
12 businesses and I know it wasn't pleasant and
13 when we did that we were not allowed to
14 discuss it in public, so I do feel for you.
15 I know you some of your children because
16 they went to school with my daughters and I
17 know you have a wonderful business, but I
18 cannot respond to you at this time because
19 it is in litigation. I don't know if anyone
20 else cares to, but my solicitor advised me
21 not to comment on the case.
22 MR. PICCOLINO: That's the only thing
23 I figured I was here, I come in Scranton
24 1966, I'm taxpayer. Everything is paid for.
25 I have three other people who have not done
1 nothing wrong to anybody and I know why I'm
2 this over this now people say you got to get
3 out, taking my place, throwing me out and
4 build another building there and put another
5 restaurant and I have been here for 40
7 MS. FANUCCI: Were you offered to
8 stay at all under any circumstance?
9 MR. PICCOLINO: I want to stay.
10 MS. FANUCCI: No, were you offered
11 by anyone to stay in your building at all?
12 Did anyone say to you: "You can stay and we
13 will do this for you or do that for you,"
14 that is the question I have.
15 MR. PICCOLINO: Nobody ever said
17 MS. FANUCCI: Nobody ever said you
18 could stay there. Did they say that they
19 would relocate you to the same, like, the
20 same 500 block?
21 MR. PICCOLINO: No.
22 MS. FANUCCI: Nothing was ever
24 MR. PICCOLINO: Nobody ever said
1 MS. FANUCCI: That's something I
2 wanted to know. Thank you for answering
4 MS. EVANS: So there is then
5 obviously either a lot of either
6 miscommunication or double talk going on in
7 this situation because as I said last week
8 to your nephew I remember the origins of
9 this project and I remember quite well the
10 statements that were made that no business
11 would be put out, that each individual
12 business owner would have the opportunity to
13 stay, to join this project, to renovate
14 properties or to leave, but now it appears
15 the city is strong arming you and that's why
16 I have gone on record saying that I will not
17 vote in favor of any legislation for that
18 particular project until that project
19 includes your business and it's my hope, as
20 I suggested at last week's council meeting,
21 that my honorable colleagues would join me
22 in that stand because in many events without
23 approval of city council something can't
24 move forward and with five votes that leaves
25 the impossibility of a mayor's veto, so at
1 this point in time I think that is probably
2 the strongest option city council can offer
3 you and I do promise you that I will do that
4 for you and I do hope, as I said, that my
5 colleagues will stand with you as well
6 because you have stood with this city for a
7 very, very long time and we are all very
8 grateful to these landmark businesses that
9 have with stood the test of time and paid
10 their taxes year after year after year.
11 Thank you for that.
12 MR. PICCOLINO: Thank you.
13 MR. COURTRIGHT: Could you just give
14 me one second. Mr. Minora, I understand
15 that there is litigation going on, but do we
16 have the right to at least ask OECD or
17 whoever we need to ask to give us what has
18 been given to this business in writing, what
19 offers have been made to them, do we -- are
20 we allowed to do that?
21 MR. MINORA: Certainly you are
22 entitled to ask, I just don't know -- I
23 don't know the procedural area that it's at
24 right now. I know there has been a notice
25 of taking so that there is an imminent
1 domain taking in action. Now, a lot can
2 happen after that, they are negotiations,
3 there is obviously a lot of litigation that
4 can go and once you give notice of a taking
5 that is how you begin an imminent taking
6 which is litigation. The negotiations, I
7 don't know that outside of the parties that
8 anyone could be offered that information.
9 MR. COURTRIGHT: Hasn't there been
10 statements in the paper though saying--
11 MR. MINORA: There have.
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: Saying that they
13 have been made offers and they have come
14 here and said they haven't been made any
15 offers, I'd just like if there has been an
16 offer made am I entitled to see it, that
17 would be my question. If there has been an
18 offer made to this --
19 MR. MINORA: I think the way I would
20 answer it is you can certainly ask, but as
21 far as a negotiations is concerned if I were
22 one party or the other I'm not so sure I
23 would want that as a public debate.
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: Would you ask that
25 question for me?
1 MR. MINORA: Pardon?
2 MR. COURTRIGHT: Would you ask that
3 question for me? I think if it comes from
4 you, you might get a response.
5 MR. MINORA: I'll be glad to ask the
6 question for you.
7 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you.
8 MR. PICCOLINO: Giovanni Piccolino.
9 We wre discussing last week that the whole
10 block is considered blight, correct? Okay,
11 well, do you guys know that we were never
12 served a notice of our building being
13 blight? And if we are to be served a notice
14 of that then we have the opportunity to
15 possibly fix what's wrong with our building
16 for this blight issue.
17 Also, I don't know if you guys know
18 they did nothing required procedurally to
19 condemn us as at all. Between our business
20 and my uncle they committed 93 acts of
21 fraud, deception, bad faith, and civil
22 rights violations. The condemnor violated
23 the civil rights of the condemnees contrary
24 to 42 USCA Section 1983 that are denied
25 under the color of law to the condemnees the
1 benefits of due process as guaranteed by the
2 5th and 14th Amendments of the United States
3 Constitution. It discriminated against the
4 condemnees and the property in favor of
5 another private favored group. The
6 developer in violation of the aforesaid laws
7 in the United States Constitution.
8 With that said, and this has nothing
9 to do with city council, we are seeking
10 justice through the federal government and
11 we are filing a lawsuit on Mayor Christopher
12 Doherty and the city solicitor, Carl Greco.
13 It has nothing do with city council, we are
14 proceeding to move this way. It's quite a
15 shock that Doherty is not here as I asked
16 him to bring this to the table, this thing
17 he keeps telling us, and if you would like
18 to see our preliminary objections with the
19 93 actions against us I did bring copies for
20 you, two copies. And when you read through
21 those you will see why they are trying to
22 get rid of our attorney off of this. That's
23 all I have to say. Thank you very much.
24 MS. GATELLI: Just for the record,
25 this council did not approve this project.
1 It was a previous council that approved the
2 redevelopment of he 500 block of Lackawanna
3 County. It was not this city council.
4 MR. JACOWICZ: Bill Jacowicz, South
5 Scranton resident and taxpayers, retired
6 United States Air Force and I am not suing
7 the city, it seems like everybody else. The
8 person who stands for nothing will fall for
9 anything. One man is not always correct,
10 neither is one woman. The major problem in
11 Scranton, Pennsylvania, is the lack of
12 strong leadership. As a matter of fact, in
13 my opinion there is no type of leadership at
14 all. We only have politics, nepotism and
15 the gold old boys and girls network. This
16 is a plan for failure, examples, 16 years
17 distressed city, no city contracts
18 negotiated. Failure of the city department
19 heads to answer questions or appear before
20 the council. A continuous borrowing plan
21 but no revenues generated plan. Exception,
22 to find money collected by smokers. Failure
23 of the mayor and city council to sit down as
24 adults and talk. Six adults unable to
25 communicate with each other but yet they
1 call themselves leaders. Speaker after
2 speaker have appeared before council, made
3 recommendations, suggestions and offered
4 help and solutions only to be ignored,
5 laughed at in the some cases insulted and
7 Mrs. Fanucci was laughing today when
8 Mr. Quinn was talking, but yet city council
9 has not accomplished anything in years.
10 Taxes have gone up, city debt has gone up,
11 and arguing and bickering has gone up, crime
12 has gone up, thank God no homicide,
13 Scrantonians leaving the city has gone up,
14 potholes are still here. The budget has
15 gone up, services have gone down. I could
16 go on, but my time limit has also gone down.
17 Mr. Mayor, I have spoken with you, sent
18 you letters and still I have only had one
19 question answered, using the mayor's own
20 words, "I realize I'm not part of the real
21 people of Scranton. I'm just a taxpayer
23 Again, I say a person who stands for
24 nothing will fall for anything. Mr. McGoff,
25 Mrs. Fanucci, Mrs. Gatelli, share the
1 information that you receive from the
2 administration and the mayor. This is --
3 that is if you stand for the citizens of
4 Scranton. If you have the information give
5 it to the citizens, so I will be directing
6 my questions to Mrs. Fanucci, Mrs. Gatelli
7 and Mr. McGoff from now on because they are
8 the ones who have the open door policy with
9 the mayor. Those were your words if that
10 quote was accurate in today's paper. Thank
11 you, Veterans, for allowing me to speak.
12 MS. GATELLI: Les Spindler.
13 MR. SPINDLER: Good evening, Council,
14 Les Spindler, Scranton resident. I, too,
15 want to say something about Buono Pizza, I
16 think the rest of council should take
17 Mrs. Evans' lead and if they do not allow
18 Buono Pizza to stay where they have already
19 been for 40 years that if any project comes
20 down or if any money comes down needed for
21 that project it should be voted down by this
22 council. Mayor Doherty can't get any
23 businesses to come into the city why would
24 he want to chase one out that's been
25 established here for 40 years? There is
1 something wrong with this picture.
2 Last week there was a speaker here
3 and she talked about how this city has grown
4 under Mayor Doherty. The only thing that's
5 grown under Mayor Doherty is our long-term
6 debt which now stands at approximately
7 $300 million when he was left with a 3
8 million dollar surplus by Mayor Connors.
9 And then though talked about how nice Nay
10 Aug Park is, well, for the million dollars
11 that it was put into it it doesn't look like
12 anything to me. When I was a child I went
13 up Nay Aug Park and it was 100 percent
14 better then than it is now. There was a
15 adult pool in the front that wasn't green,
16 the zoo was much nicer than the one they
17 have now with better attractions.
18 There was Tilly the elephant that
19 was a huge attraction. They had a petting
20 zoo down the hill. They had rides which
21 were much better than the ones -- they don't
22 have any rides there now they are just junk.
23 They have nickle day on Wednesday, there
24 were kids there all the time. There was an
25 arcade where there were with machines that
1 the kids played. And last but not least,
2 there was Lake Lincoln where we swam for
3 free, so how anyone could say the park is
4 better now than it was years ago I think
5 they should have their heads examined.
6 Mrs. Fanucci, you were quoted today
7 in the paper saying that you don't know why
8 we need subpoenas, well, at what's there to
9 hide? If there is nothing to hide then why
10 wouldn't you be for a subpoena? The
11 subpoena are to get the truth out of all of
12 the records and it seems that's the only way
13 we will get questions answered is through
14 the subpoena because obviously I'm not going
15 to get my question answered about PEL
16 letting Mayor Doherty have a public safety
18 MS. GATELLI: We sent that letter,
19 Mr. Spindler.
20 MR. SPINDLER: Okay, thank you.
21 MS. FANUCCI: Mr. Spindler, would you
22 like me to answer that question about PEL?
23 MR. SPINDLER: Yes, would you?
24 MS. FANUCCI: I know that you have a
25 personal relationship with Mr. Connors, with
1 Mayor Connors, and I find it offensive that
2 you come here every week and ask that, you
3 know, I know that you are friends with him,
4 why don't you ask him. If bothers me that
5 you come up and bring something up for a
6 person who has served our city for many,
7 many years, has done a lot of public
8 service, and yet you are dragging those
9 things back out and I know that those are
10 very difficult times for him, so why don't
11 you ask him those questions and then when
12 you get your answers if you are not
13 satisfied with those then we can proceed
14 from there.
15 MR. SPINDLER: He is an acquaintance
16 of mine, I speak to him once in awhile --
17 MS. FANUCCI: Exactly.
18 MR. SPINDLER: He doesn't have the
19 answer why they are letting Mayor Doherty
20 have --
21 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.
22 MS. FANUCCI: He does know.
23 MR. SPINDLER: He doesn't have the
24 answers. He is not an officer, he doesn't
25 have -- all he knows is they wouldn't allow
1 him to have one and now they are allowing
2 Mayor Doherty so something is wrong.
3 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.
4 Mr. Talamini.
5 MR. TALAMINI: I'll reintroduce
6 myself, my name is Joe Talamini. One of
7 the-- I'm sorry, Mrs. Fanucci, if I implied
8 before that I was solely responsible for
9 this, but I did bring it back last week and
10 thankfully you made the motion and it passed
11 three to one and I want to commend you,
12 Mr. Courtright and Mrs. Gatelli for voting
13 for it. Mr. McGoff, I don't know where you
14 are but we will figure that out later on.
15 I would also like to quote your
16 Bible, and this is the thing you adhere to,
17 your Home Rule Charter under Section 312,
18 once again, you have subpoena powers. I
19 don't know why you are hemming and hawing
20 about it. You do have subpoena powers, the
21 citizens are asking for this information,
22 you can't provide it, get it.
23 You also have the power under
24 Section 313, again, your Bible to get an
25 auditor in here who is independent, has no
1 affiliation with the City of Scranton,
2 certainly is not with the mayor and we need
3 somebody in here to know because we are the
4 people who are paying your salary whether
5 you like it or not. If it wasn't for us you
6 wouldn't be getting $12,500 a year. Now,
7 that's enough on that subject.
8 Number two, I imagine that you
9 people control the authorities in this city
10 even though the mayor has the final say in
11 it, Mr. McGoff, I believe your department is
12 the Department of Public Works, is it not?
13 MR. MCGOFF: Yes.
14 MR. TALAMINI: I have several senior
15 citizens who have been asking me questions
16 they petitioned me to ask for council
17 members to come down and visit them, that
18 request was denied because the housing
19 authority would not approve it until the
20 council members went through the housing
21 authority. I would not subject them to that
22 ridicule, so I took it on my own, these
23 people have talked to me, there are broken
24 axles on these motorized carts from
25 handicapped people because of potholes on
1 Adams Street, and then the whole hosing
3 Now, I don't know if you are
4 familiar with it, I don't know if you are
5 familiar with it or not but these people
6 have got to pay for those repairs
7 themselves, okay? Two in last month broken
8 axles because they could not get through the
9 potholes. A lot of these people travel
10 between Adams Street and Washington, okay?
11 They have direct concerns, unfortunately,
12 the council is not allowed to come down and
13 talk to them. They can't come down here.
14 They rely on Channel 61. They are
15 handicapped people with questions. These
16 are things that these people want to know
18 And, thirdly, I just like to know if
19 you do represent the citizens of Scranton
20 when you are going to start to show it? Now
21 your mayor, I have heard you say you have an
22 open door policy with him, I have been down
23 there five times to see him. This man is
24 making $50,000 a year plus whatever. He was
25 in Washington D.C. He was in Las Vegas. He
1 was in Harrisburg, I haven't seen him here
2 and yet the Times Leader gets to him every
3 time they want to and you people apparently
4 have cart blanch, what the hell am I? I pay
5 $1.35 a pack of cigarettes, okay, that's tax
7 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.
8 MR. TALAMINI: I'm sure you are
9 pretty familiar with that.
10 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Talamini, just
11 before you leave I was in contact with Keith
12 Williams for the Center for Independent
13 living and he went to those potholes and
14 prepared a list and we have sent it to
15 Mr. Parker and they will be repaired.
16 MR. TALAMINI: At least I can go back
17 and tell those people that they are going to
18 be repaired because they can't get back and
20 MS. GATELLI: There was a gentleman
21 that sent an e-mail, but everytime I called
22 him I couldn't get an answer so I called
24 MR. TALAMINI: Well, we can thank
25 Comcast who a lot of us are hooked up that
2 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Daniel
4 MR. HUBBARD: Good evening, Council,
5 Daniel Hubbard, lower Greenridge
6 Neighborhood Association. First, I'd like
7 to thank you for at least getting the start
8 of this flood center. I would definitely
9 like to see this up before the spring. It
10 would be nice that when it rains that we
11 know we have some protection. The flood
12 siren is a good start, it is by far the tip
13 of the iceberg. We have problems popping up
14 left and right in the neighborhood.
15 Currently, a significant amount on
16 residents on Gardner Avenue or having sewer
17 line problems. The new sewer line and storm
18 drain lines were put it in from Nay Aug
19 Avenue to Greenridge Street in June. They
20 were not completely finished to Greenridge
21 Street when the flood hit, although, some of
22 it was finished not all of it was finished
23 and this is put in with modified and gravel
24 and dirt that will settle over time.
25 Obviously, when you inundate that with
1 three feet of water for two days in a row
2 the ground is going to settle around the
3 structures quicker than expected I guess,
4 and what's happening is where the houses tie
5 into the main sewer lines, the main sewer
6 lines are starting to settle and the sewer
7 lines from the houses are starting to either
8 break or bend or get clogged up. My
9 neighbor just had their whole yard dug up to
10 have their sewer line replaced in their
11 front yard.
12 We have two residents, two other
13 houses on Gardener Avenue right now that
14 half blockages and the one is about a
15 quarter blockage. It's continuing to get
16 worse because the ground is settling faster.
17 They took this ground and basically
18 saturated it with thousands and thousands of
19 gallons of water over two days, so problems
20 are popping up left and right because of
22 I also would like to address the
23 fact that July 11 Mr. Hayes promised us
24 temporary flood protection until the Army
25 Corp project was completed at the end of
1 2008. Two years is a long time for the
2 residents of lower Greenridge, given
3 historically we are going to get flooded
4 this summer, it's every year. Every year
5 and so many months it happens at this rate.
6 Every time it happens the water is deeper
7 than was the last time, so as the projects
8 are completed upstream from us, the Plot is
9 finished, there is temporary protection in
10 place behind the Cottone building at Market
11 Street behind McMullen's, we have nothing
12 and the river bank that we do have is
13 damaged severely. The entire length of is
14 from Greenridge Street all the way past the
15 Albright Avenue bridge is severely damaged.
16 The siren is great, we would like to
17 know when the river is come up, but I
18 certainly would rather it not come over the
19 bank. Two-foot increase on this river bank
20 could make a difference. It seriously can
21 make the difference between people actually
22 getting in their houses or other first
23 floors which believe it or not the first
24 floor is a huge difference, a basement
25 flooded, hot water heater, furnace,
1 electrical panel. First floor, you are
2 tearing out all your walls and you are
3 ripping all your hardwoods. The cost alone
4 it's exponentially ridiculous. You are
5 looking at $30,000 to redo an entire first
6 floor of a house taking into account all of
7 the services that we have already replaced,
8 hot water heaters, furnaces, electrical
9 panels, I'm getting sick of replacing them.
10 MS. GARVEY: That's three.
11 MR. HUBBARD: Sorry, Kay, one second.
12 We do have one house in question in the
13 neighborhood is 1419 Gardner, I have
14 actually spoke to Judy about this house in
15 the past, the gas company has physically
16 removed the meter, not locked it, it's
17 removed. The electrical service has been
18 cut, water has been cut. There has been
19 stop work orders issued on this house last
20 year before the flood, it was condemned
21 after the flood, nothing has been done, the
22 carport on the side of the house has already
23 collapsed and it has not been cleaned.
24 Right across the street from this house
25 resides a family with a child, right behind
1 this house resides a family with two
2 children and right next to this house
3 resides a family with another side, the
4 house is full of mold.
5 MS. GATELLI: Okay, I'll report it
6 again, Dan. Thank you.
7 MR. HUBBARD: Thank you.
8 MS. GATELLI: Tom Lavarski.
9 MR. LAVARSKI: Good evening, city
10 council, I'm Tom Lavarski. I'd like to
11 continue what I brought up last week about
12 the EMF refund that people are supposed to
13 get. I have here the application for the
14 refund. It states, "Other income: Social
15 security, unemployment compensation,
16 pensions, dividends, interest, workmen's
17 compensation, disability income, lottery
18 winnings, etcetera. Proof of income must be
19 attached to the form, i.e., copies of all
20 W-2's, 1099's, income tax forms and/or PA
21 Department of Revenue."
22 During the week I contacted
23 representative Michael Andrew Shimkus who in
24 turn put me in touch with one of his office
25 staff. One of the replies I got was, I
1 checked with various departments, they have
2 not heard or do they know anything about
3 including workmen's compensation or other
4 monies like that. People who work and make
5 under $12,000 are relieved from paying the
6 $52 occupational tax. There is no
7 indication that the state will increase this
8 to $20,000. You must work and receive a W-2
9 form to be responsible for paying this tax.
10 Note they say nothing about a 1099 form.
11 Since council passed this act make you can
12 tell me how all of these other things got
13 involved in it? Anyone? You passed this
15 MS. GATELLI: They are involved
16 through the state.
17 MR. LAVARSKI: It was supposed to be
18 anyone working and earning less than $12,000
19 would get their $52 back. Now it turns out
20 you are including social security, lottery
21 winnings, etcetera, can someone tell me how
22 it got in here?
23 MS. GATELLI: Because that is what
24 the state --
25 MR. LAVARSKI: The state did not put
1 that in there. The state specifically says
2 that it's a W-2 form that has to be
4 MS. GATELLI: Attorney Minora, would
5 you investigate that for us, please?
6 MR. MINORA: I will, but my
7 understanding is that it's income that the
8 state would find similar to what you pay
9 income taxes on which includes all of those
10 things that you have enumerated, so I'm not
11 saying you don't have a legitimate
12 complaint, I'm just saying you are bringing
13 it to the wrong place.
14 MR. LAVARSKI: Well, this doesn't
15 affect me, I will not -- I have no money
16 coming back, but there is lot of people on
17 social security that depend on little things
18 like this to help them out.
19 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.
20 MR. LAVARSKI: In case you are
21 interested the $1 per week has been rejected
22 by the governor because some people do not
23 work a full year. Thank you.
24 MS. GATELLI: Just so you are aware,
25 the state when it came here was $1,000 you
1 are allowed to tax someone if they make
2 $1,000 and council made it $12,000. This
3 week I sent a letter to all of our
4 representatives and the governor that we
5 would encourage them to raise it to $20,000
6 and to have the payments come in a quarterly
7 manner rather than all at once, so we will
8 wait to hear from them and I would encourage
9 everyone to call your representative and
10 tell them how you feel about it. We do have
11 two new representatives in Scranton and I'm
12 sure they are eager to hear your concerns so
13 make sure you ring their phones. Thank you.
14 Ms. Franas.
15 MS. FRANAS: Fay Franas. Mrs.
16 Fanucci, I'd like to ask you, if it comes to
17 a vote or anything for Buono Pizza will vote
18 you favor of Buono Pizza, under any
19 circumstances like Mrs. Evans said she won't
21 MS. FANUCCI: I don't know if I can
22 answer that and just say -- it depends on
23 the situation. It depends on --
24 MS. FRANAS: Well, you know the
1 MS. FANUCCI: It depends on if
2 they're offered to stay -- no, no, that's
3 not true.
4 MS. FRANAS: Okay, okay, I understand
5 what you are saying, if they are offered to.
6 MS. FANUCCI: If they are offered to
7 stay and pay, you know, 15 percent of the
8 improvement or if they are offered -- it
9 depends on the situation, I can't answer
10 that question.
11 MS. FRANAS: Well, no, here's what--
12 I guess I better reword my question.
13 Suppose they were made to leave and had to
14 come in front of council to vote for it
15 would you vote for that?
16 MS. FANUCCI: Well, if they were made
17 to leave and instead of paying them, say
18 they come up with some -- say they said,
19 "Okay, we'll stay -- or we'll leave -- or
20 we'll stay, but you need to pay like 1
21 million dollars of 2 million dollars," that
22 I would have to consider. It depends on the
23 circumstances. I certainly can't answer
24 that question until it's all before me.
25 MS. FRANAS: How come Mrs. Evans can?
1 MS. FANUCCI: I have no idea, I'm not
2 Mrs. Evans. You can ask her the question.
3 MS. FRANAS: I don't have to ask her
4 the question.
5 MS. FANUCCI: Well, I can't answer
6 what Mrs. Evans is going to do, you asked me
7 and I can answer that. When it's before me
8 I will answer that, I'm not going to answer
9 a hypothetical situation until it's before
11 MS. FRANAS: That's all.
12 MS. FANUCCI: Well, don't ask me a
13 question if you don't want my question. I
14 don't know what else to tell you. You asked
15 me a question, I gave you what I could tell
17 MS. FRANAS: But, you skirted the
18 issue again.
19 MS. FANUCCI: I'm not skirting the
20 issue. Skirting the issue would be saying,
21 "Ah, I'm don't know."
22 I'm telling you the answer is, no, I
23 will not answer the question until it's
24 before me, so I'm actually saying, no, I
25 will not answer the question. It's not
1 skirting it. I'm saying, no, I won't answer
2 it until I know all of the facts.
3 MS. FRANAS: Typical. Mrs. Gatelli,
4 I asked you last week and I'll ask you again
5 about the -- two weeks ago rather about the
6 $10 million that you gave Mr. Doherty, Mrs.
7 Fanucci, Mrs. Gatelli and Mr. McGoff sold us
8 down the river, now I'm asking you said the
9 money was for the TANS, well, that's not a
10 good answer, I'm asking what is this money
11 for? You have it in writing to back this up
12 when this money is for and if it is where is
13 it? Where is this money for? What's is it
14 for, in writing?
15 MS. GATELLI: I'll get it for you,
16 Mrs. Franas.
17 MS. FRANAS: You don't know?
18 MS. GATELLI: I'll get it for you?
19 MS. FRANAS: No, no, that's not my
20 question. I said do you know what it's for?
21 MS. GATELLI: It's been asked and
22 answered every week since December.
23 MS. FRANAS: I'm going to ask it
24 again. I said, do you know what it's --
25 MS. GATELLI: You can ask until the
1 cows come home.
2 MS. FRANAS: Boy, those cows have a
3 long way to get home.
4 MS. GATELLI: Just go right ahead.
5 MS. FRANAS: I'm going to ask you
6 again, do you know what the money is for?
7 MS. GATELLI: Yes, and it's been
9 MS. FRANAS: I didn't hear it, what
10 was the answer?
11 MS. GATELLI: It's been answered
13 MS. FRANAS: What was the answer,
14 you said it was for the TANS, what is it
15 for? You are not going to answer me again?
16 MS. GATELLI: Don't you know what
17 TANS are for?
18 MS. FRANAS: I want to know if you
19 have it in writing the list of things what
20 it's for.
21 MS. GATELLI: Yes, I do.
22 MS. FRANAS: Then why can't you state
23 some of those reasons.
24 MS. GATELLI: I don't have it with me
25 and I have answered it before.
1 MS. FRANAS: Oh, no, you haven't.
2 MS. GATELLI: Oh, yes, I have.
3 MS. FRANAS: Well, why would I be
4 here to ask if I heard it before?
5 MS. GATELLI: Because you come here
6 every week, Mrs. Franas, to provoke me,
7 that's why. You have a meeting every week
8 to discuss what you are going to come up
9 here and provoke me about.
10 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.
11 MS. FRANAS: That is not true.
12 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Your time
13 is up.
14 MS. FRANAS: Again, Mrs. Gatelli--
15 MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Shoemaker.
16 MS. FRANAS: -- failed the citizens
17 of the City of Scranton.
18 MS. SHOEMAKER: Yes, again tonight I
19 have a little bit of mixed bag, mostly
20 budget questions though. I would like to
21 know whether there are any answers to the
22 budget questions I raised three weeks ago
23 and subsequently e-mailed to you all after
24 the meeting? I would like to know if a lien
25 has been placed on the former Granito
1 property for the demolition of the private
2 property? I understand that is a
3 requirement when it's done for a private
5 Then back to the budget. Why in the
6 budget is there an increase of 54 percent or
7 2,005 -- $253,049 for parking authority
8 citation issuers while the revenues from
9 parking meters despite having added
10 241 meters around Moses Taylor and Mercy
11 Hospitals the revenue has only increased a
12 $120,000, a cost benefit logic says this is
13 a bad deal. You spent $253,049 to gain
14 $120,000? That's a losing proposition, I'd
15 like to know more about that.
16 The DPW capital budget has been
17 reduced to zero, does this mean there will
18 be no street repairing other than those done
19 by the utilities or repaving this year?
20 And then the recent activity on the
21 Clubhouse and after the condemnation on the
22 29th raises questions again as a consumer
23 and a person who goes out to restaurants
24 frequently, unfortunately, I show it, the
25 fact that we have a single health inspector
1 who can go to a building that is roach
2 infested and all kinds of things of that
3 nature and then that same health inspector,
4 since there is only one, could be required
5 to go to a restaurant for any reason just
6 repels me. The fact that a restaurant may
7 be clean and may not be clean after the
8 health inspector comes is certainly not out
9 of the question when they can go from one
10 place to the other.
11 I would certainly like for you all
12 to revisit the budget and add at least one
13 more health inspector so the dirty work can
14 be contained to a single person or at least
15 in a single day, I don't can't how it's
16 worked out so they can switch some days
17 maybe, so we don't have a person going to
18 condemn places that are terrible and then
19 going into restaurants and bars and health
20 care facilities. I think we may be creating
21 more problems than we are solving.
22 And, now, are there any answers to
23 my questions from three weeks ago?
24 MS. GATELLI: Did we send that, Kay?
25 MS. GARVEY: Yes, we did.
1 MS. SHOEMAKER: Maybe next week.
2 MS. GATELLI: I'll look at it and
4 MS. SHOEMAKER: I appreciate it.
5 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.
6 MS. SHOEMAKER: And also the ones on
7 tonight I just don't understand why you
8 would spend $253,000 to gain 120 when it
9 should be more if you are adding 200.
10 MS. GATELLI: Well, I have that whole
11 answer but I don't want to take up the time.
12 I'll talk to you after the meeting.
13 MS. SHOEMAKER: Okay. Thank you.
14 MS. FANUCCI: And as far the health
15 inspectors, I think we should look into it.
16 I think we should get a log of what goes on,
17 there is one health inspector, maybe we
18 should get a log of how often they go out,
19 what the day entails, what goes on daily for
20 that health inspector and then after we get
21 that we can look into maybe adding more
22 people to the staff, you know, so maybe it
23 would be go good idea if we could get some
25 MS. SHOEMAKER: I think that would be
1 appropriate. Well, just the fact that you
2 can go from one place that's had roach eggs
3 to --
4 MS. FANUCCI: Right.
5 MS. GATELLI: Lee Morgan,.
6 MR. MORGAN: Good evening, Council.
7 The first thing I want to say is this
8 council shouldn't turn it's back on the
9 subpoena. The subpoena must be very, very
10 broad in scope. In my opinion there has
11 been a lot of mistakes made and I think that
12 the biggest mistake if all was not using the
13 Home Rule Charter, as weak as it may be, to
14 help change the course of this city and
15 anybody who has any opinion that's on this
16 council that comes to the conclusion that a
17 subpoena isn't necessary I hate to say this
18 but you are not doing your job and maybe you
19 should just resign because the amount of--
20 just the amount of legislation that's come
21 through this council with nothing with it,
22 the last second, all of the maneuvering, all
23 of the politics, it's just absolutely put
24 this city on the floor and the residents are
25 tired of it and they want the council to
1 address the problem. And I don't know who
2 is deciding that maybe we don't need a
3 subpoena, I don't know if it's your
4 solicitor, I don't know who it is, but
5 whoever it is it's in the Home Rule Charter
6 for a reason and you voted last week to use
7 it, and I just say let's not retreat from
8 that and let's really do something for once.
9 Now, I have asked about Mr. Mark
10 Seitzinger's qualifications, I gave a letter
11 to council, I haven't received anything on
12 that and the one thing I would like to know
13 is since Mr. Seitzinger has been working for
14 the city I asked about his qualifications,
15 the amount of tests he's taken, all of these
16 other things, I would like to know how many
17 lawsuits have been initiated against the
18 city because his actions?
19 MS. FANUCCI: Besides yours?
20 MR. MORGAN: What?
21 MS. FANUCCI: Besides the ones you --
22 MR. MORGAN: No, I'm curious -- this
23 is an expansion of that question.
24 MS. FANUCCI: Oh, okay, I'm sorry.
25 MR. MORGAN: And the expansion of
1 that question is how many lawsuits have been
2 entered against the city because of the
3 actions of Mr. Seitzinger, okay? How much
4 were the legal fees and how much did the
5 City settle with the people who litigated
6 against the city and I'd like to have that
7 figure because I think it's going to be mind
8 boggling to be honest with you because I
9 don't think this gentleman is qualified to
10 really do much of anything for the city it's
11 not just a personal thing. I think that --
12 I think the mayor has misused people to be
13 his prophesy and I find it to be a terrible
14 thing and I think it has to end. And my
15 other thing is has anybody on council joined
16 the owners of Buonos in their lawsuit?
17 MS. EVANS: No.
18 MR. MORGAN: Now, last week I also
19 asked or stated about the golf course money
20 that it shouldn't have been included in the
21 budget and I was just curious the question I
22 asked council did your solicitor ever
23 respond to what the penalty is for misusing
24 a trust or --
25 MS. GATELLI: Yes, he did.
1 MR. MORGAN: Okay. I just think it's
2 really important for everybody to really
3 take a good look at the city and a very wide
4 field of vision --
5 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.
6 MR. MORGAN: -- to see. Thank you.
7 MS. GATELLI: Is there anyone else?
8 MR. DAVIS: Salem Aleikum. My name
9 is Jim Davis, I'm from Scranton. I first
10 want to say last Friday or -- last Friday
11 there was a funeral and Scranton continues
12 to amaze me. Scranton is a beautiful city
13 and lot of us have our roots here, a lot of
14 us have grown up here, but the showing that
15 was given to James Williams I come and I
16 thank you from his family personally. I'm
17 amazed as they were. They took it in stride
18 and they are doing well, that's number one.
19 Number two, I was at Cooper's having a
20 birthday bash dinner and the waitresses came
21 to me and said, "Do you realize how much
22 money we have lost since they have
23 instituted that no smoking ban?"
24 I said, "No, nobody ever complains
25 from your side of the story, how much money
1 is being lost?"
2 She said, "Well, look at this room,
3 this is a Sunday evening, this place is
4 usually packed. The number of people we
5 have here right now is a small fragment of
6 what we used to have."
7 And I said, "Well, why don't you get
8 together with other waitresses from the area
9 who are having the same problems and come
10 down to city council and tell them that, but
11 have you to show them in mass or in form or
12 something in order for them to understand."
13 Them I heard Mr. Courtright today
14 say that he has been receiving complaints.
15 I don't go out that often to eat, I like
16 eating at home, but when I go out and
17 someone brings me a dish like that I have to
18 come to you and I thank for your response
19 which is literally the same, they have lost
20 a great deal and these are the people that
21 work on the tables. These are people that
22 work for a living, I'm not taking about the
23 people who have 401-K'3's or whatever they
24 call me or 401, anything like that, I'm
25 talking about people that have to work
1 everyday and they depend on their tips in
2 order to survive and they are hurting, they
3 are hurting very badly, so before you put in
4 this ordinance for no smoking as much as you
5 may like it or dislike it remember the
6 numbers that you are hurting is slowly
7 escalating and you are going to get feedback
8 from them, I'm quite sure of it, because a
9 lot of people that even work at Cooper's say
10 in order for them to eat they go outside of
11 town, they go to Dunmore, they go to
12 different places to eat where they can
13 smoke, so this has got to reverberate
14 itself, but we have got to do something
15 about it. I don't think it's too late, I
16 think you have the ability to stop whatever
17 you started or you have the ability to
18 correct that which was done. 20 percent,
20 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.
21 MR. DAVIS: The other thing is she's
22 saying if they have places within the
23 restaurant where people can smoke versus
24 places where they cannot smoke should that
25 change the dictum for the place and so far
1 that's not been said. It's all no smoking,
2 one way or the other, well, this is not fair
3 so we are losing business. Last point --
4 MS. GATELLI: Thank you, Mr. Davis.
5 MR. DAVIS: I have one point.
6 MS. GATELLI: Your time is up,
7 Mr. Davis. Thank you very much. Serene.
8 MR. DAVIS: Yeah, okay. Was that
9 important? Yeah.
10 MS. O'MALLEY-STOKER: Good evening,
11 Council. Hi, I'm back and I'm back because
12 I'm paying my 13th year on taxes on land I
13 cannot use and I think this is ridiculous.
14 I just -- and I can't fathom beyond words
15 why no one can come up with a solution to
16 this problem, not one. I have been told
17 that my neighbors don't want this done, they
18 don't want this road open, I spoke to all of
19 them. That is not their problem. Their
20 problem is they do not want to be drowned.
21 They are already being drowned and they are
22 afraid it's just going to be worse, that's
23 their problem, and I understand that. In
24 December the poor Lowe's, the water ran down
25 Wintermantle Avenue, down Maple Street and
1 right into this family's living room,
2 kitchen down into their family room and I'm
3 talking a lot of water.
4 This is ridiculous. My
5 extraordinary thing that I want done when
6 they open this street is I don't want my
7 neighbors to be drowned. I want it done
8 properly. I don't want the water runoff on
9 the mountain that comes down the mountain to
10 be worse. I want it better for them not
12 Now, East Mountain Road is
13 beautiful. What about the other side of the
14 mountain? We are being left out. That is
15 part of the east mountain, why isn't that
16 part of the east mountain project? Nobody
17 was thought about this. The mayor is a
18 businessman, this is a business deal. Why
19 can't he go to the federal government and
20 get help this way and stop putting the money
21 into businesses that are falling down and
22 put into what we really -- like, I need help
23 with this. They need to come up with --
24 somebody needs to come up with a solution.
25 This man claims quote/unquote I'm a
1 businessman. Well, Mr. Businessman, figure
2 out a way to fix this. Period. I don't
3 know what else to say.
4 My other question is maybe while
5 this is being straightened out if maybe you
6 could help me find a way maybe to KOZ this
7 land so I don't have to be paying taxes on
8 this land that I can't use, why not,
9 everybody else in the town seemed to be
10 KOZ's, why shouldn't I? I don't know, maybe
11 I'm asking for too much, but, you know, I'm
12 tired of paying taxes on land I can't use.
13 I really am. I don't what else to do. I'm
14 frustrated, I'm annoyed. Everybody I speak
15 to whether it was over Christmas or any time
16 has said to me, "Did you ever get this
17 matter straightened out."
19 Judy, you have called me, you have
20 answered all of my phone calls every time, I
21 truly appreciate that, and I know that you
22 are there for me, I know council is there
23 for me, but maybe somebody out there can
24 hear and come up with a way to solve this.
25 There has to be an engineer out there that
1 can figure out how to do this without my
2 neighbors being drowned and gain me access
3 to what I'm rightfully entitled to. I know
4 that --
5 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.
6 MS. O'MALLEY-STOKER: Mr. Farrell
7 went and looked and saw that there was a
8 house there in 1971, so this is -- this
9 isn't a land locked area, this isn't a
10 situation like that, this is different.
11 MS. GATELLI: We'll be in touch,
13 MS. O'MALLEY-STOKER: Thank you
14 very, very much.
15 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else?
16 MS. KRAKE: My name is Nancy Krake
17 and before I was so tersely and incorrectly
18 interrupted earlier by one of the people who
19 raised your house taxes 25 percent by voting
20 for the mayor's budget, that would be Mrs.
21 Gatelli, also Mrs. Fanucci and Mr. McGoff
22 who gladly used the money from the golf
23 course that Mrs. Evans and Mr. Courtright
24 proposed so there wouldn't be a tax increase
25 and gave it to people who would benefit from
1 it, business people. They were here to
2 complain, they had no problem turning that
3 money over to them.
4 I have a question for council, when
5 will the subpoenas be issued?
6 MS. EVANS: Would you like a
7 response now or after you finish?
8 MS. KRAKE: After I guess would be
9 more appropriate since we are so limited in
10 our time.
11 MS. EVANS: Okay.
12 MS. KRAKE: Thank you. I'd also like
13 to say that had anyone looked at Mr. Evans'
14 budget she had an additional health
15 inspector and she also researched all of the
16 things that Mrs. Fanucci just mentioned. I
17 know because she actually took the time to
18 ask and work with people and there are logs
19 that say where all of the inspectors go and
20 all of the work that they do.
21 MS. FANUCCI: I just want --
22 MS. KRAKE: So perhaps you would like
23 to just turn to the side and ask her. I
24 sincerely hope council will ask for all of
25 the records since the games that this
1 administration plays are games of semantics.
2 If you don't ask the specific question you
3 will not get the information, that's why you
4 need to ask for all of it. They do not
5 cooperate. They will play the game that you
6 didn't ask for the blue chip so we are not
7 going to tell you about the blue chip. It's
8 very simple and they have been doing it for
9 a long time so it should be very clear to
11 Oh, and I'd also like to mention
12 somebody brought up earlier that the police
13 officers now having cloth badges, I know for
14 a fact that Mr. Seitzinger and Mr. Dougher
15 have gold badges. Very interesting.
16 And as far as this being a witch
17 hunt, they must be awfully afraid if it's
18 taking them this long to give them any
19 answers, to give out any answers at all, I
20 should say, and as far as people laughing
21 and smiling I don't know why they find these
22 things amusing because it does effect a lot
23 of people.
24 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.
25 MS. KRAKE: Thank you.
1 MS. STULGIS: I'm Ann Marie Stulgis
2 and before I begin, Mrs. Evans, I do have
3 something to say to you, you mentioned about
4 PEL opposing an amusement tax, but quite
5 honestly, I wouldn't worry too much about
6 what PEL opposes because PEL opposes a
7 public safety director and we now have a
8 public safety director, a deputy public
9 safety director, and two secretaries for the
10 public safety director, so I really wouldn't
11 worry too much about what they oppose.
12 Also, there has been quite a bit of
13 controversy about the crime statistics in
14 the city. I believe we saw that there were
15 28 rapes in the city except one detective
16 handled 28 so I guess the rest of the police
17 department didn't handle any, so I'd like to
18 fill you in a little bit on exactly what
19 UCR's are. A UCR is a uniform crime report
20 governed by the FBI. The purpose of them is
21 quite simple, law enforcement officials use
22 this data for their designated purposes.
23 The public relies on the data for
24 information on fluctuations of the levels of
25 crime from year to year, criminologists use
1 them, sociologists use them, legislators use
2 them, city planners use them and there is a
3 specific criteria that you have to follow,
4 it mainly deals with serious crime, murder,
5 rape, assault, that type of thing.
6 Now, I understand that the city has
7 decided that certain crimes, be they major
8 or minor, will not be listed as those
9 specific crimes, but that the officers are
10 ordered to put in the code for -- there is a
11 little code on your -- a little square on
12 your report where you put in exactly what
13 the UCR is. Anything that can be tied into
14 a domestic dispute must be coded as a
15 domestic dispute. As we all know, since we
16 either have brothers, sisters, parents or
17 spouses or kids, domestic disputes are not
18 against the law or we would all be in jail.
19 The bottom line is this, you can
20 classify darn near anything as a domestic
21 dispute. Date rape? Oh, no, domestic.
22 Wife murders her husband, murder? No, the
23 police officers are ordered to classify it
24 as domestic dispute. A father molests his
25 child, that's not a molestation that's a
1 domestic dispute. A husband stabs his wife,
2 that's not an aggravated assault, it's a
3 domestic dispute. That's why Scranton is
4 one of the safest cities because we are
5 lying about what's really happening in
7 Now, here is my question, why is
8 this being done? It certainly can't help us
9 because crime stats are used to get grants.
10 Oh, wait a minute, I forgot, the recovery
11 plan says no grants for cops, I forgot about
13 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.
14 MS. STULGIS: So, it doesn't matter.
15 Could it be that this year the police
16 department is once again negotiating a
17 contract? Mind you, the last one that we
18 negotiated four years ago, five years ago,
19 it hasn't gone into effect yet because we
20 have a serial suer and we just keeping suing
21 and appealing and appealing and appealing
22 everything. I mean, this is absolutely
24 MR. MINORA: Three and a half
1 MS. STULGIS: We are now going to
2 negotiate a contract and we haven't even had
3 the last one in and they are going to use
4 these fake crime statistics against us and I
5 don't know what other reason they are using
6 them for.
7 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Ancherani?
8 MS. STULGIS: Excuse me,
9 Mr. Courtright, as public safety would you
10 check on that for me?
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: Absolutely.
12 MS. STULGIS: Thank you.
13 MR. COURTRIGHT: You're welcome.
14 MR. SLEDENZSKI: Hello, Jude.
15 MS. GATELLI: Hi, Chrissy.
16 MR. SLEDENZSKI: Hi, Bill.
17 MR. COURTRIGHT: How are you doing,
19 MR. SLEDENZSKI: Well, Bill, it's
20 picking up tonight for a change. Well,
21 Bill, I can tell you right now, I'm proud of
22 him, you know that, Bill, I'm really proud
23 of that kid, I really am. Thank you.
24 MS. GATELLI: Thanks, Chrissy.
25 MR. ANCHERANI: Good evening,
1 Council. I'm Nelson Ancherani, resident,
2 taxpayer, city employee, financial secretary
3 of the FOP exercising my First Amendment
4 rights. Since 2002 raises and new hires
5 about be will be costing the city around 9
6 million cumulatively by the end of this
7 year. That is raises to certain employees
8 and creating new positions for new hires.
9 The unions haven't had contacts since then.
10 The unions are in their sixth year without a
11 raise, you can say that city union workers
12 are on fixed incomes at 2002 rates. The
13 city instituted the raises, some as high as
14 $20,000 and hired new employees at higher
15 wages than the positions that were
16 eliminated. The recovery plan was written
17 by the current administration who has
18 violated from the very beginning by the
19 raises and the new hires with new raises by
20 the end of this year will cost the city,
21 like I said, around 9 million, but it should
22 be remembered that the unions are not
23 included in this 9 million yet the city has
24 faced what the city has called deficits and
25 blamed the unions for them. The city has
1 said that it needs the recovery plan in
2 place to get to a handle on it's finances
3 and to get us out of the city's dire
4 financial straights. The unions didn't put
5 the city in it's dire financial straights
6 the city did with it's reckless spending and
7 even worst reckless borrowing. We are now
8 facing $300 million in long-term debt for
9 the next 28 years or more.
10 Last week I spoke about the city's
11 25 percent real estate tax increase that was
12 voted on by three members of the council the
13 previous week and how the next two years the
14 25 percent increases will bring the total
15 percent to very close to 100 percent in the
16 next three years. This is based on the high
17 end of the commercial residence average that
18 was printed in the daily tabloid. The
19 amount used was 128 and this would be based
20 on a $512 city tax bill for 2006. The tax
21 bill at this rate for 2007 would be $640.
22 At the end of the three years the $512 tax
23 bill would be $1,000 thousand dollars, be
24 $24 short of 100 percent increase.
25 After I spoke there was a remark
1 from council something to the effect that
2 the next two years of taxes weren't voted on
3 yet or passed by council and I believe it
4 was also questioned where the that
5 25 percent tax figure came from. The
6 25 percent tax figure, increase figure came
7 from PEL during the caucus meeting in
8 October or November of 2006. The city was
9 trying to justify a 44 million dollar loan
10 that the city administration desperately
11 needed. One excuse given was that the money
12 was needed to pay off TANS or they could be
13 defaulted. But, yet the city settled on $10
14 million loan and don't forget the 14 and
15 half million tax anticipation note. That's
16 where the 25 percent tax increase came. No
17 one disputed the figures and it was
18 acknowledged in different articles in the
19 daily tabloid and --
20 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.
21 MR. ANCHERANI: -- large tax
22 increases were coming and next week I'll
23 finish. Thank you.
24 MS. GATELLI: Is there anyone else?
25 I make a motion to adjourn.
1 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
2 MS. GATELLI: All in favor?
3 MS. EVANS: Aye.
4 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
5 MR. MCGOFF: Aye.
6 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
7 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.
1 C E R T I F I C A T E
3 I hereby certify that the proceedings and
4 evidence are contained fully and accurately in the
5 notes of testimony taken by me at the hearing of the
6 above-captioned matter and that the foregoing is a true
7 and correct transcript of the same to the best of my
CATHENE S. NARDOZZI
12 OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER