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1 SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING

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5 HELD:

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7 Thursday, February 1, 2007

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9 LOCATION:

10 Council Chambers

11 Scranton City Hall

12 340 North Washington Avenue

13 Scranton, Pennsylvania

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CATHENE S. NARDOZZI- COURT REPORTER
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2 CITY OF SCRANTON COUNCIL:

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MS. JUDY GATELLI, PRESIDENT
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6 MS. JANET E. EVANS

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MS. SHERRY FANUCCI
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9 MR. ROBERT MCGOFF

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MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT
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12 MS. KAY GARVEY, CITY CLERK

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MS. SUE MAGNOTTA, ASSISTANT CITY CLERK
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15 MR. AMIL MINORA, SOLICITOR

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1 (Pledge of Allegiance recited.)

2 MS. GATELLI: Please remain standing

3 for a moment to remember our service men and

4 women.

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
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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
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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
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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
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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

5 Sterna.

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
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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
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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.
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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
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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
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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
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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

16 along.

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.
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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

25 loan.
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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

9 back.

10 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Ms.

11 Shoemaker.

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
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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

19 guidelines.

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
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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
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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

12 may?

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
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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

5 you.

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
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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

22 fine.

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
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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

7 2005.

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

12 controller.

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
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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

9 date.

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
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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
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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
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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

20 started.

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

25 that?
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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

16 attached.

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?
.

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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.
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28


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
.

29


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
.

30


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
.

31


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
.

32


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
.

33


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

9 Pizza.

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
.

34


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
.

35


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.

22 Fanucci?

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
.

36


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.

15 McGoff?

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.
.

37


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

22 area.

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
.

38


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
.

39


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

25 ahead.
.

40


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

25 sign.
.

41


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 --
.

42


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

5 one.

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
.

43


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

9 space.

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
.

44


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
.

45


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
.

46


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
.

47


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
.

48


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
.

49


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
.

50


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
.

51


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.
.

52


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

9 Garvey?

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
.

53


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,

6 2007.

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.
.

54


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

5 tomorrow.

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.
.

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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
.

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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.
.

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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

17 anything.

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
.

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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 --
.

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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

5 now?

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

11 question.

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
.

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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
.

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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

10 you.

11 MR. QUINN: Okay. Thank you.

12 MR. MCGOFF: May I respond to one

13 item?

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

25 opinion?
.

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1 MR. MCGOFF: Excuse me?

2 MR. QUINN: Is that your legal

3 opinion?

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

19 funds.

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

23 misappropriated.

24 MR. MINORA: I agree with

25 Mr. McGoff.
.

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1 MR. QUINN: Pardon?

2 MR. MINORA: I agree with

3 Mr. McGoff.

4 MR. QUINN: Okay. I'm sure you

5 would.

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

16 it.

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
.

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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
.

65


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

6 years.

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

16 that.

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

23 stated?

24 MR. PICCOLINO: Nobody ever said

25 nothing.
.

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1 MS. FANUCCI: That's something I

2 wanted to know. Thank you for answering

3 that.

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
.

67


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
.

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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?
.

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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
.

70


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.
.

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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
.

72


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

6 embarrassed.

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

22 citizen."

23 Again, I say a person who stands for

24 nothing will fall for anything. Mr. McGoff,

25 Mrs. Fanucci, Mrs. Gatelli, share the
.

73


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
.

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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
.

75


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

17 director.

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
.

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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
.

77


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
.

78


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
.

79


1 Adams Street, and then the whole hosing

2 area.

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

17 about.

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
.

80


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

6 money.

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

19 forth.

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

23 Keith.

24 MR. TALAMINI: Well, we can thank

25 Comcast who a lot of us are hooked up that
.

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1 way.

2 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Daniel

3 Hubbard.

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
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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

21 this.

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
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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,
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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
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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
.

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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

14 Act.

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
.

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1 that in there. The state specifically says

2 that it's a W-2 form that has to be

3 submitted.

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
.

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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

20 vote.

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

25 situation.
.

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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?
.

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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

10 me.

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

16 you.

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
.

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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
.

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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

8 answered.

9 MS. FRANAS: I didn't hear it, what

10 was the answer?

11 MS. GATELLI: It's been answered

12 previously.

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.
.

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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
.

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1 property for the demolition of the private

2 property? I understand that is a

3 requirement when it's done for a private

4 individual.

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
.

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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.
.

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1 MS. SHOEMAKER: Maybe next week.

2 MS. GATELLI: I'll look at it and

3 see.

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

24 records.

25 MS. SHOEMAKER: I think that would be
.

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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
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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
.

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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.
.

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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
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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
.

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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,

19 fine.

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
.

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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
.

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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

11 worst.

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
.

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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."

18 "No."

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
.

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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,

12 Serena.

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
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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
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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

10 everyone.

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.
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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
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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
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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

6 Scranton.

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

12 that.

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

23 outrageous.

24 MR. MINORA: Three and a half

25 minutes.
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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,

18 Chris?

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,
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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
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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
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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.
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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.

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

2

3 I hereby certify that the proceedings and

4 evidence are contained fully and accurately in the

5 notes 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

8 ability.

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CATHENE S. NARDOZZI
12 OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER

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