1 SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING
6 Thursday, March 8, 2007
10 6:30 p.m.
14 Council Chambers
15 Scranton City Hall
16 340 North Washington Avenue
17 Scranton, Pennsylvania
23 Lisa M. Graff, RMR
24 Court Reporter
1 CITY OF SCRANTON COUNCIL:
3 MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT, VICE-PRESIDENT
5 MS. JANET EVANS
7 MS. SHERRY NEALON FANUCCI
9 MR. ROBERT MCGOFF
11 MR. AMIL MINORA, ESQUIRE, SOLICITOR
13 MS. KAY GARVEY, CITY CLERK
15 MR. NEIL COOLICAN, ASSISTANT CITY CLERK
1 MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay. Please stand
2 for the Pledge Of Allegiance. Please remain
3 standing for a moment of reflection. Before
4 we start, Mr. Minora just informed us that
5 Mrs. Gatelli is not going to be here this
6 evening, so we'll be minus one. Kay.
7 MS. GARVEY: Roll call, Neil.
8 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.
9 MS. EVANS: Here.
10 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci.
11 MS. FANUCCI: Here.
12 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff.
13 MR. MCGOFF: Here.
14 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.
15 MR. COURTRIGHT: Here.
16 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.
17 MR. MCGOFF: In the absence of Mrs.
18 Gatelli, I would like to make a motion to
19 appoint Mr. Courtright as the temporary
20 chairman on rules.
21 MS. EVANS: Second.
22 MR. COURTRIGHT: On the question?
23 All in favor.
24 MS. EVANS: Aye.
25 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Aye.
1 MR. MCGOFF: Aye.
2 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye. So ordered.
4 MS. GARVEY: Dispense with the
5 reading of the minutes. Third order. 3-A,
6 MINUTES OF THE POLICE PENSION COMMISSION
7 MEETING HELD ON JANUARY 24, 2007.
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: Are there any
9 comments? If not, received and filed.
10 MS. GARVEY: 3-B, MINUTES OF THE
11 FIREMEN'S PENSION COMMISSION MEETING HELD ON
12 JANUARY 24, 2007.
13 MR. COURTRIGHT: Are there any
14 comments? If not, received and filed.
15 MS. GARVEY: 3-C, APPLICATIONS AND
16 DECISIONS RENDERED BY THE ZONING HEARING
17 BOARD MEETING HELD ON FEBRUARY 28, 2007.
18 MR. COURTRIGHT: Are there any
19 comments? If not, received and filed.
20 MS. GARVEY: 3-D, SCRANTON SCHOOL
21 DISTRICT'S GENERAL FUND BUDGET FOR THE YEAR
23 MR. COURTRIGHT: Are there any
24 comments? If not, received and filed.
25 Fourth order. Citizens participation Part
1 One. I'm assuming this is a joke. Somebody
2 put down Pete Moss, so the first name would
3 be Fay Franus.
4 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: And they don't
5 want me to laugh.
6 MS. FRANUS: That's how stupid I am.
7 I said, Who's Pete Moss, I never heard of
8 him. Stupid. What grade did I go to?
9 Anyway, I just wanted to ask, why is
10 there hardly anything on the agenda anymore
11 for the last couple of weeks of over a
12 month? I mean, there's nothing there any
14 MR. COURTRIGHT: I've been wondering
15 that myself. It's has been four or five
17 MS. FRANUS: There has to be an
18 answer to that.
19 MS. EVANS: Actually I think it's
20 been now longer than that.
21 MS. FRANUS: Right.
22 MS. EVANS: And I began my fourth
23 year as a seated Councilwoman in 2007, and
24 in the three years prior to that, I have
25 experienced quite a full plate in January,
1 February, March, actually every month, so I
2 find this highly unusual, to say the least,
3 very questionable, and I wonder who is
4 running the city.
5 MS. FRANUS: Exactly. It's like
6 we're a ghost town.
7 MS. EVANS: I mean, who's working
8 with whom here?
9 MS. FRANUS: Who's working behind
10 closed doors here. What's getting done
11 behind our back, is my point?
12 I mean, this can't be -- if the city
13 is running with no legislation, nothing
14 coming in front of Council, it makes you
15 wonder, doesn't it?
16 MS. EVANS: Well, it certainly makes
17 me wonder.
18 MS. FRANUS: So, how do we correct
19 something like this? I mean, how do we get
20 to the bottom of this? I mean, this is not
21 a coincidence.
22 MS. EVANS: The Council President is
23 in charge of Council's agenda. Most of the
24 legislation is sent -- actually 99 percent
25 of legislation is sent to Council from the
1 administration, from the mayor's office, and
2 that legislation is drawn up on his request,
3 and then it is provided to the Council
4 President, who peruses it and decides which
5 items, all or some, will make Council's
6 weekly agenda.
7 So, I would assume that it would be
8 the Council President who would need to have
9 the discussion with the mayor as to how the
10 city is apparently operating minus one
11 branch of government.
12 MS. FRANUS: I would think that Mrs.
13 Gatelli should have addressed this a long
14 time ago, and she hasn't said a word about
16 MR. COURTRIGHT: Kay, maybe we can
17 ask Mrs. Gatelli, when you speak to her this
18 week, to call up and find out what's going
19 on, because I'm curious myself. I've never
20 seen this much time go by without any
22 MS. FRANUS: It makes it very
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: Absolutely.
25 MS. FRANUS: And I personally don't
1 think the people are ever going to know the
2 real reason, because there's always going to
3 be a coverup, as usual. We'll never hear
4 the truth, but this has just gone on too
6 MR. COURTRIGHT: Well, we'll ask and
7 see what we hear.
8 MS. FRANUS: But let's try doing
9 that and let's see how much luck you have.
10 MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay.
11 MS. FRANUS: Thank you.
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you. That's
13 it. Is there anyone else?
14 MS. KRAKE: My name is Nancy Krake.
15 I'd like to also say the same thing. I'm
16 very concerned that there hasn't been
17 anything on the agenda.
18 I truly would love to see the fund
19 transfers back on the agenda. I hope
20 Council makes every effort to find out why
21 there isn't any legislation, and I'm also
22 concerned, because it seems to have tied
23 into how our speaking time was changed, and
24 I'm wondering if there's anything behind
1 It's very disheartening to think
2 that certain members of Council do not want
3 to hear what the public has to say. And if
4 this is simply a trick to limit what we have
5 to say, I find that extremely sad. Thank
7 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you. Is
8 there anyone else?
9 MR. JACKOWITZ: Yeah, Bill
10 Jackowitz. I have the same question. I've
11 been coming here for a year and a half, and
12 the agenda used to have as many as 10, 12
13 items on it, now we have one item, and now
14 no items.
15 And I have the same question, is it
16 because speakers are now allowed three
17 minutes to speak on agenda items so the
18 reason to circumvent that is don't put
19 anything on?
20 MR. COURTRIGHT: You know, Mr.
21 Jackowitz, as Mrs. Evans said, 99 percent of
22 the legislation comes from the
23 administration, so I don't think there's
24 anyone sitting here that really knows the
25 answer. And the best we can probably do is
1 ask and hope that we get a reasonable
3 MR. JACKOWITZ: That's all we're
4 asking for is to ask and give us a
5 reasonable answer.
6 And another thing is, I want to know
7 why the subpoena is not on the agenda.
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: We --
9 MS. EVANS: I --
10 MS. EVANS: If you'd rather, Mr.
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: Go ahead.
13 MS. EVANS: I was absent from last
14 week's Council meeting, Mr. Minora was
15 absent the prior week; however, just this
16 evening during our caucus prior to the
17 regular meeting, Mr. Minora gave each of us
18 a copy of the resolutions that, I believe,
19 will be on Council's agenda next week for
20 its first reading.
21 I don't believe that Mrs. Gatelli,
22 because of her absence tonight, was given a
23 copy of this, so certainly she has to have
24 the opportunity to see it as well, and it's
25 my hope that the Council members will
1 provide their input prior to Tuesday, which
2 is when the agenda for next Thursday's
3 meeting must be published for the public,
4 and I'm hoping very much, if I have anything
5 to do with it, it will be on the agenda next
7 MR. JACKOWITZ: Okay. Thank you,
8 Mrs. Evans, for your very informative
9 answer. It's very well appreciated.
10 And also, just some food for
11 thought, a $394,000 snow removal overtime
12 bill, plus contractors?
13 MR. COURTRIGHT: You have to wait
14 until next time.
15 MR. JACKOWITZ: No, I'm just saying.
16 There's a good need for subpoenas.
17 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you. Anyone
18 else? Lee.
19 MR. MORGAN: I'd just like to ask
20 one question, and that question is, I'd like
21 you to tell us who Mr. Robert Shumaker is,
22 and maybe you can explain who he is and what
23 experience and what knowledge he's going to
24 bring to the zoning appeals board in the
25 City of Scranton, because I really
1 appreciate the fact that we have three
2 minutes to ask questions, so maybe somebody
3 will use some of that time to tell us
4 something about this man.
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: He was a gentleman
6 -- basically zoning is the only board that
7 we appoint to, when I say we, I mean City
8 Council, and Mr. Shumaker was an appointment
9 of -- somebody recommended his name and we
10 all voted on it, and I believe he was an
11 alternate and now he's moving into the
12 permanent position because we lost one
14 MS. EVANS: And, Mr. Courtright, do
15 we have any proposals now for the
16 appointment as alternate?
17 MR. COURTRIGHT: We have one
18 alternate there and we need to make an
19 appointment for another alternate, yes, we
21 Actually I have one gentleman that's
22 interested, but Mrs. Gatelli wasn't here
23 this evening, so I didn't bring it up in
25 Most certainly, and I'm sure we'll
1 get flooded when I say this, if anybody is
2 interested in the alternate, if you would
3 just bring your name into Council's office
4 and we'll discuss it, and we have to put
5 somebody on there, so anybody interested,
6 please bring your name in.
7 MS. EVANS: Well, perhaps maybe in
8 addition to their name, a letter of
9 interest, and let's include, not exactly a
10 resume, but perhaps what your experiential
11 background might be, your professional
12 service, your employment, et cetera, so that
13 we can better judge.
14 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes. The one
15 gentleman that I recommended in the past,
16 and he's the alternate now, Mr. Dominguez, I
17 recommended him because of his ability to
18 read blue prints and to understand how
19 structures are supposed to be maintained in
20 the city.
21 I'm not saying that you have to have
22 that kind of experience, but it would help.
23 So, I guess we'll probably have quite a few
24 of those coming in, Kay, I would imagine.
25 Anyone else? No? Okay. Fifth order, Kay.
1 MS. GARVEY: 5-A, motions.
2 MR. COURTRIGHT: Mrs. Evans.
3 MS. EVANS: Good evening. Let's
4 begin with a few announcements. The Upper
5 Hill Ecumenical Committee invites you to
6 Friendly's Restaurant on Tuesday, March 13
7 between five and 8 p.m.
8 All profits will be benefit The
9 Upper Hill Food Pantry, which feeds between
10 50 to 65 families per month.
11 Dress For Success is asking for our
12 help. Please donate one new or nearly new
13 interview-quality suit next week from
14 March 11 through 17th to provide low-income
15 women the chance to enter the workforce.
16 Dress For Success is located at 116
17 North Washington Avenue, Sweet 3-E. Any
18 questions, call 941-0339.
19 I wish to congratulate Mr. Dave
20 Morgan, a West Scranton High School
21 graduate, for winning the Division Three
22 National Wrestling Championship, and I ask
23 Council to recognize him with a
25 On National Women's Day, I wish to
1 congratulate the Scranton High Lady Knights
2 basketball team who won their district
3 championship, and, again, I ask Council to
4 recognize this great team with a
6 On Monday, March 5, the Scranton
7 High School Scholastic Bowl team won first
8 place in the NEIU 19 Scholastic Bowl
9 Competition and earned the right to compete
10 in the state competition at the capital
11 building in Harrisburg in April.
12 Again, I'm proud to recognize my
13 students Lauren Mersch, Mark Cannon, Rachel
14 Fogley, Michael Garzarella and Nathan
16 My thanks to Mr. Jeff Brazil for
17 responding to Mrs. Robertson's idea for the
18 painting of a mural at the Connell Park pool
19 house, and I will have her contact Mr.
20 Brazil to review this site before the actual
21 work begins.
22 I also thank Mr. Wallace for
23 responding in writing to Mr. Curry regarding
24 a car repair business on North Main Avenue.
25 But, Kay, I would ask for a letter,
1 please, to Solicitor Penetar of the zoning
2 board. I would like to know if a variance
3 once granted to the owner of a building and
4 property remains in effect for the duration
5 of that individual's ownership of the
6 property or is there some type of expiration
7 date with regard to variances?
8 Also, Kay, please send the following
9 correspondences: A letter to Mr. Parker
10 advising him of the traffic study conducted
11 by PennDOT at South Main Avenue and
12 Dartmouth Street. Ask him to determine the
13 required distances for South Main Avenue off
14 Dartmouth Street and forward that
15 information to Council A.S.A.P.
16 PennDOT incidentally directed the
17 city over a year ago to do exactly that, and
18 the wording was underlined, that the city
19 must implement these no parking signs, yet
20 for whatever reason, the city has failed to
21 listen to PennDOT.
22 A letter to Mr. Gerald Cross,
23 executive director of PEL, a second request
24 for a copy of the letter sent to Mayor
25 Doherty from PEL that suggests the mayor
1 accept the arbitrator's decision regarding
2 the police department.
3 Their responses to Council has
4 always been timely, but in this case, I
5 request this response for the second time by
6 March 21, 2007.
7 MS. GARVEY: Okay. If I could just
8 interrupt there for one minute.
9 MS. EVANS: Certainly.
10 MS. GARVEY: Mr. Cross did call
11 back, it wasn't this week it may have been
12 last week, I really don't remember the date
13 that he did, and he was wondering if we
14 might be able to help him out a little bit
15 further with some more information as to
16 when that letter -- what it was dated, what
17 was it, so that he would know if he could
18 find it, you can more than --
19 MS. EVANS: I'll try to ascertain
20 that information for him, but, again, I've
21 never seen the letter.
22 MS. GARVEY: Right.
23 MS. EVANS: If I had, I wouldn't be
24 asking him for the copy of the letter, so
25 I'll do my best.
1 MS. GARVEY: Right.
2 MS. EVANS: But in the meantime, I
3 would suggest that he keep looking.
4 MS. GARVEY: Okay.
5 MS. EVANS: Thank you. A second
6 letter to George Parker requesting snow
7 removal expenses. This request was made by
8 A unanimous motion of City Council, and
9 Council, I believe, should receive the
10 information before The Scranton Times.
11 And if we can put a deadline on that
12 of March 19, since Mr. Parker failed to
13 respond to the original deadline, and that,
14 of course, includes all of the contractors'
15 bills, as well, what the city is being
16 billed from them.
17 MS. GARVEY: Okay, just if I
18 interrupt one more time, Mr. Parker talked
19 to me this week about another question that
20 was asked, and I asked him your question
21 once again about that, and he said that he
22 did not have that information at his
23 disposal as of yet.
24 MS. EVANS: Well, I would assume it
25 should be in his hands by then, only because
1 I think that when an individual or a company
2 performs a service, they're not going to
3 wait months to present you with the bill.
4 In fact, in my own experience, if I
5 have a, let's say, a plumber or an
6 electrician, the bill is presented to me
7 immediately and payment is expected
8 immediately. And, so, I would assume that
9 these companies will follow suit.
10 Furthermore, numerous citizens
11 request recycling cans. The DPW tells them
12 that they, the DPW, haven't had them in
13 years, at least since 2003, I believe.
14 Now, the city engages in a recycling
15 program, yet it doesn't make sense to give
16 recycling cans to the residents?
17 So, does the DPW intend to make such
18 a purchase? If so, please have Mr. Parker
19 provide a date.
20 Also, a letter to Comcast requesting
21 a financial report for the first quarter of
22 2007 and a projection for the second
24 A very impressive speaker presented
25 a viable solution to funding issues
1 affecting Channel 61. Mr. Osborne proposed
2 that any surplus beyond the budgeted revenue
3 received from Comcast should be given to
4 Channel 61 to fulfill Council's financial
5 pledge to this television station.
6 After receiving the data from
7 Comcast, I believe Council can amend the
8 2007 operating budget to add an account and
9 line item for support of Channel 61 using a
10 surplus from the cable franchise.
11 A letter to Mr. Fiorini, when will
12 1207 Cedar Avenue, a condemned property, be
14 Last week the mayor delivered his
15 annual State of the City Address, and once
16 again, he did so at the Chamber of Commerce,
17 despite a unanimous motion passed by City
18 Council requesting that he present his
19 address in Council chambers.
20 In his address, the mayor makes a
21 lofty comparison between the state of
22 Scranton in 2007 and the United States in
24 However inspiring the words of FDR
25 are, there is more contrast than comparison
1 when they are applied to the state of
3 Under Mr. Doherty's stewardship, the
4 city's long-term debt has ballooned to
5 roughly a quarter of a billion dollars, and
6 taxes have been increased, unemployment in
7 the region is high, and a quarter of our
8 Scranton citizens live at or below the
9 poverty level. FDR pulled the nation out of
10 the great depression.
11 Furthermore, the mayor borrowing
12 from everyone, including FDR, claims to be
13 helping our poor, despite the fact that he
14 just raised taxes and refuses to allow
15 children to swim for free.
16 He touts accomplishments, such as
17 The Kanjorski Bridge and the tree house at
18 Nay Aug Park. I support these endeavors,
19 but not when The Rockwell Avenue Bridge is
20 unsafe for fire trucks and our citizens'
21 houses continue to be flooded.
22 The road ahead should face flooding
23 issues, infrastructure repairs and paying
24 down the Doherty debt.
25 If the mayor's road includes more
1 borrowing, more tax increases and more
2 cutting of services, we should indeed turn
3 our backs on it.
4 Perhaps Mr. Doherty doesn't want to
5 deliver his address in Council chambers,
6 because he is afraid to face these issues
7 and the real people, senior citizens,
8 working families, taxpayers, who suffer from
9 his gross mismanagement of our city, yet out
10 of the corner of his mouth, he tries to sell
11 us on working together.
12 For example, the mayor claims
13 there's no need for subpoenas, information
14 is available to anyone and can be obtained
15 simply by asking for it, he's in his office
16 until 5:30, yet I have visited his office
17 and department heads several times, and I
18 have received no information.
19 Mr. Doherty's response is not
20 credible, in fact, he sounds like an
21 automated telephone service.
22 The subpoena is necessary because I
23 can't obtain information for the people of
24 this city, and I really can't understand why
25 the subpoena resolution hadn't made
1 Council's agendas prior to this, but more
2 importantly, as was mentioned before, I
3 can't understand why weekly agendas have
4 been so bear in 2007.
5 And as I asked before, who is
6 running this city? Who is working together?
7 If you listen to the mayor his
8 favorite pronouns are, I, me, my, and mine,
9 my city, my downtown.
10 Well, Mr. Mayor, unless you are
11 writing personal checks for downtown
12 projects, KOZs and park improvements,
13 Scranton belongs to all of us.
14 Finally I was unable to attend last
15 week's meeting because of illness, however,
16 I watched the meeting on Channel 61 and
17 heard Mrs. Gatelli's closing apology for
18 having raised taxes, justifying her decision
19 by stating that taxes have been increased
20 only twice in 17 years.
21 Well, just because you haven't
22 robbed someone in many years doesn't make it
23 right to do it again. That, my friends, is
24 faulty logic.
25 If you had examined and approved my
1 budget, Mrs. Gatelli, there wouldn't have
2 been a tax increase.
3 Scranton has the second highest wage
4 tax in Pennsylvania, high mercantile taxes,
5 an EMS Tax, and now raised property taxes.
6 People couldn't afford any more
7 taxes, despite any apologies for having
8 approved the $10 million in borrowing, and
9 the tax increase, and any promise never to
10 do it again. That's it.
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you. Mrs.
13 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: I, too, was
14 concerned about the amounts that the storm
15 actually costed the taxpayers of the city,
16 so I did call DPW.
17 Mr. Parker claims and says that he
18 -- his numbers that he sent to The Scranton
19 Times were inaccurate.
20 So, what he said was $55,000, he did
21 not give me any written material, this was
22 over the phone, so $55,000 was on overtime
23 for DPW, $99,000 was for the rental
24 equipment and for drivers. And that was the
25 total of the storm.
1 When I asked what -- where the
2 figures had come from in the first place, he
3 had said that it was miss -- he misread and
4 miscalculated. So, that was pretty much the
5 answer I received, also. So, I don't know
6 if that helps, but that's what I got
8 He said he's going to send us the
9 exact amount, who, when, where, and I know
10 that we had added -- he had added two people
11 on the list, right, that were working?
12 MS. EVANS: Yes.
13 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Okay. Okay.
14 So, he did clarify that again today. In
15 response to the paper with PEL, they were
16 claiming -- now, today I had done the same
17 thing, I had asked for the same response,
18 what is going on, was this letter written.
19 They had claimed that this letter
20 was not written, but they were going to keep
21 looking. So, that's as far as I got. Yeah,
22 so that's as far as I got with that, also.
23 I want to thank Mark Seitzinger.
24 There was a home in the Hill Section that
25 was leaning, and I want to thank him for his
1 quick response for the children in that yard
2 and some action that he had taken to help
3 out that family and the taxpayers in the
5 Also, I want to thank the policemen
6 for replying to a great fast comment. I had
7 to call them on Sunday. Someone was trying
8 to rip down a home with a backhoe just off
9 the cuff, no permit, nothing, and they did
10 go over and stop them, and I want to thank
11 them, because that could have been really
13 When I went down and saw what was
14 going on, there could have been a lot of
15 people hurt, and they acted fast for me, and
16 I want to thank them for that, also.
17 One more thing I have, I just want
18 to say -- I have to respond. You know, week
19 after week I sit here, and I know that my
20 snickering for some reason seems to be --
21 spending your three minutes talking about my
22 snickering is just unbelievable to me, but
23 it is out of disbelief that I snicker.
24 When I look out there, and I know
25 the cameras at home do not catch everything
1 that's goes on, I see a lot that goes on,
2 and I will snicker and I will disbelieve
3 this is what this forum comes to sometimes.
4 That is not what we're here for. We
5 are not here for the going on and the
6 asking, you know, questions and the
7 high-fiving each other in the back room like
8 you scored at some game.
9 It is hard for me to sit here and
10 not snicker sometimes. Now, does it mean
11 every one of you? Absolutely not. I mean,
12 come on. It is not like that.
13 But I'm also not going to sit here
14 and act like it doesn't happen. I mean, it
15 is -- sometimes it is beyond me that we can
16 sit here. It is like a Jerry springer
17 episode. I watch it and I think to myself,
18 He would walk out.
19 It is -- I know the cameras at home
20 don't see it, and I know that for some
21 reason I'm supposed to not react, but I will
22 react when I disbelieve what is going on,
23 and I will react when I don't believe that
24 the forum and the intent of that forum is
25 being used in the way that it should be.
1 Whether you like it or not, I'm
2 going to start saying it, and I'm going to
3 keep saying it.
4 I, now, I know I'm going to get a
5 lot of flat tires now and all that crazy
6 stuff, which is fun, but this is what
7 happens in this forum.
8 You come up here, you represent
9 yourself, and instead of saying we are for
10 the people, there's so many people in this
11 city, a lot them don't agree with you.
12 A lot of times I don't agree with
13 you. In fact, your agendas are not always
14 in best interests of the people that I hear
16 Now, I'm not looking at you, so
17 stop. I can see the -- your agendas are not
18 always for everyone in this city.
19 You're saying to me, You should be
20 representing me. Well, you are not all that
21 there is. We have tons of people in this
22 city. I'm not going to sit here and say I'm
23 going to cater to one group or another.
24 You know, it's funny how special
25 interest groups get mad if you're not
1 catering to them. The regular people and
2 the taxpayers who are sitting home deserve
3 just as much attention as the people who
4 give their lives to come here every week.
5 Do I believe that if you seriously
6 and honestly set out to do what you intend
7 to do, we would have no problems in this
9 You know, I hear about free swim,
10 free swim is always -- now it's going to
11 come up again, the free swim issue, do you
12 know if you took the money that were spent
13 on your T-shirts and put them towards the
14 kids in this city, we would have had a lot
15 of kids swimming for free. That would have
16 been a good idea, instead of having your --
17 MR. GERVASI: She is out of order.
18 MR. COURTRIGHT: All right. Please,
19 please, Dave, please.
20 MR. GERVASI: I'm sorry.
21 MR. COURTRIGHT: Please, Dave, Dave,
23 MR. COURTRIGHT: Please. Can we
24 just --
25 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Now you're
1 getting upset. On the agenda they write
2 terrible things, people write insulting
3 names instead of -- now, it's not all of
5 Now, am I saying every one of you?
6 I didn't. But you write insulting names and
7 you think that we should sit here and act
8 like it doesn't happen, and then you don't
9 want me to laugh. You don't want me to
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: All right. All
12 right. Could we wrap it up, because this
13 isn't getting us anywhere?
14 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: But I'm not
15 going to stop saying what I need to say,
16 just like you don't stop saying what you
17 need to say.
18 You come up here and say freedom o
19 speech. Freedom of speech works in my
20 direction, also. So, if you want freedom of
21 speech and you want to be able to say what
22 you want to say, you're going to have to
23 listen to me say what I'm going to need to
24 say, also.
25 MR. PILCHESKY: Your three minutes
1 are up.
2 MR. COURTRIGHT: Mr. Pilchesky,
3 please don't yell from the audience, please.
4 Is that it?
5 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Yeah, that is
6 all. Thank you.
7 MR. COURTRIGHT: Mr. McGoff.
8 MR. MCGOFF: Thanks. As a teacher
9 of history for 36 years, I'm not sure that
10 you wanted to reference FDR at that point,
11 Mrs. Evans. He was the first -- he was the
12 first president to engage in deficit
13 spending and the first unbalanced budget,
14 and also took us off the gold standard to
15 create massive inflation for his alphabet
16 programs, so I'm not sure that that was the
17 best reference point, but --
18 MS. EVANS: Well, it was actually
19 Mr. Doherty that referenced him. He was
20 using quotes from FDR to justify moving
21 ahead in the same direction --
22 MR. MCGOFF: That would then be
24 MS. EVANS: -- and for taking care
25 of the poor, so actually I was just -- I
1 think what you've pointed out is that they
2 might have some similarities in that way. I
3 was pointing out their contrasts.
4 MR. MCGOFF: Just for some levity.
5 Just one comment on the -- that people have
6 made about lack of agenda, agenda items. I
7 think part of that is our responsibility, as
8 well, and we should take part of the blame
9 for a lack of agenda.
10 I think that what we need to do as a
11 Council to start to think about things for
12 the future and not be looking backward at
13 things that have taken place.
14 I know I suggested in our brief
15 caucus that we meet to discuss revenue
16 generation for the future, and I think we
17 should also take a look at some of the
18 things that we have all talked about in the
19 past that we need to do as a Council to move
20 the city forward.
21 So, I think in the future, some of
22 the agenda items should be generated from us
23 and not rely completely upon the mayor and
24 the administration to present them to us,
25 and I think that then we take culpability
1 for, you know, the agenda, we take, you
2 know, our responsibility for the agenda and
3 our responsibility as a Council members as
4 legislators. And that's all. Thank you.
5 MS. EVANS: Mr. Courtright, can I
6 just respond? I'm sorry to interrupt you.
7 I know I always do.
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: Go right ahead.
9 MS. EVANS: But you're a gentleman
10 about it.
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you.
12 MS. EVANS: I just wanted to comment
13 on that. Council certainly has the ability,
14 as the legislative body, to develop
15 legislation, and for example subpoenas, the
16 budget that I developed, but I can tell many
17 of you, and I would assume there are some of
18 you who would even remember, that on
19 occasion when Council has developed its own
20 legislation, it was at odds with Mr.
21 Doherty, who claimed Council had no right to
22 write its own resolution -- it's own
23 legislation, and because Council proceeded
24 with that legislation, it was rapidly vetoed
25 by the mayor.
1 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you. First
2 let me apologize. I haven't gotten back to
3 anybody this week on E-mails, letters, phone
4 calls. I was out of town all week. I just
5 got back today.
6 I got to speak on what just happened
7 here. This is the third year, this is going
8 into my fourth year on Council, and the
9 third year on this Council has been a hectic
10 one. I said that before.
11 I wasn't happy on how this Council
12 performed, and I wasn't happy on what came
13 to the podium. I think we're out of
15 But I think people expect us, and we
16 are expected, us up here, to rise to a
17 higher level.
18 I understand people get frustrated
19 at the podium and maybe say things that they
20 shouldn't say, and we need to be pretty
21 thick skinned. I guess you know that coming
22 into this job.
23 And I think a perfect example of
24 being frustrated is -- I don't agree with
25 you calling the audience the Jerry Springer,
1 I'm going to have to tell you, I think that
2 was wrong, but I think you said that out of
4 So, I would ask this, we don't have
5 to agree, we're not always going to agree,
6 but I think we need to treat each other with
7 a little bit more respect.
8 I understand residents need
9 questions answered, and I have always --
10 I'll just speak for myself, I have always
11 tried to answer every question I possibly
12 could. Sometimes I can't get the answer.
13 So, if I can't get it, I can't get it to
15 But this back and forth here, I
16 don't go for you. You know, I don't think
17 we need to be yelling at you people out
18 there, and I certainly don't think you need
19 to be yelling at us.
20 I hope we can try to, on both sides
21 here, conduct ourselves a little bit better
22 in the future.
23 It's a little embarrassing sitting
24 up here when this happens. It makes me
25 wonder, you know, do I want to continue to
1 sit up here sometimes, but I do, and I hope
2 we can move on. I hope we can move on.
3 And I guess it's the onus somewhat
4 is on us. We're supposed to try to rise to
5 a little bit of a higher level, and that's
7 I've been fortunate. You haven't
8 come after me too, too much, I'm sure my
9 time is coming, but I've been fortunate.
10 I am going to leave it at that. You
11 know, I don't think there's any right thing
12 to say on that, and I'll move on to some of
13 the things that I got today. And, again, I
14 apologize. I'll get back to everybody
15 before next weak on the questions that you
16 gave me.
17 I was over with Mrs. Phillips at
18 Kennedy School, and then I was up with my
19 sister, Mrs. Franco, up at John Marshal
20 School. I got a letter from John Marshal
21 School. It says, Mr. Courtright, thank you
22 for reading Joe Joe's Flying Sidekick to us.
23 Thanks, also, for discussing karate and City
24 Council. We can't wait to see -- I promised
25 them I'd bring them karate weapons, so they
1 want to see that. I got a little pin, and I
2 got an award here. Thank you very much.
3 And I got to see a girl I hadn't
4 seen in a lot of years, Barb Washo. I don't
5 think I would have recognized her, it's been
6 so many years.
7 And all the children signed this
8 thing, I can't read off all your names,
9 sorry. Some were pretty creative how they
10 signed it. Even as creative as the people
11 that sign our sign-in sheet here.
12 Kay, I was asked -- I'll try to get
13 this to Jeff Mackey myself, you don't need
14 to send him a letter. We've got 731 and 737
15 Alder Street and 510 Grimes Court in the
16 South Side, abandoned cars. So, I'll give
17 those to Mr. Mackey myself, Lieutenant
18 Mackey. Sir, please, sir, I -- we can hear
19 you up here, if you can hold it down.
20 Mrs. Gatelli, there was a letter
21 sent to Mrs. Gatelli, and she's not here, so
22 I'll read it. It's residents of Lafayette
23 Street and St. Frances Cabrini Avenue. It's
24 in reference to a dangerous situation for
25 students and parents walking down the 300
1 block of Cabrini venue to board a school
3 And it's saying, Today is March 6,
4 2007, 20 days after the snowstorm. A few
5 sidewalks in the 300 blocks have not been
6 touched, and addresses are given here, and
7 I'll turn this over to you, Kay, and you can
8 turn them over to inspection.
9 Also, a person who resides -- they
10 claim there's a person living in a garage
11 that shouldn't be living in there. I think
12 I sent that one down already.
13 We feel we are being placed in a
14 great risk of injury or worse because of the
15 adverse conditions that presently exist.
16 It has become necessary for us to
17 walk in the middle of the slippery heavily
18 roadway/hill to reach the school bus at the
19 bottom of the hill. Many calls have been
20 placed to various responsible departments
21 with negative response. Hopefully you might
22 help in removing this dangerous situation.
23 I don't know, do you have a copy of this,
25 MS. GARVEY: Yes.
1 MR. COURTRIGHT: Could you forward
2 that, please? Again, I wasn't here this
3 week, Kay, and I didn't get a chance to look
4 at my mail. Did we send a letter out about
5 Mr. McGurl, Bernie McGurl, and the river
7 MS. GARVEY: Yes.
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: Did we get a
9 response yet?
10 MS. GARVEY: No, we haven't.
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay. Mrs. Evans
12 spoke about Mr. -- it's Mr. Curry, is it
13 not, Mrs. Evans, the automobile dealership?
14 MS. EVANS: Yes.
15 MR. COURTRIGHT: All right. Mr.
16 Curry, you left me such a lengthy -- I was
17 out of town, he left a message on my machine
18 that it went to the end, to the end of the
19 tape and then the tape snapped, so I
20 couldn't get the whole story in there, so if
21 you want to call me again.
22 MS. EVANS: I can update you on
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: Mrs. Evans will
25 update me on that. I'm only laughing
1 because I got there and the tape was all
3 Last week Mr. DiBileo came here and
4 brought up about the medical school, I
5 believe it was last week, and he asked that
6 we make a motion to send out a letter to our
7 state officials and our county officials,
8 and I believe Mr. Karam, showing our support
9 for a medical school in the Scranton area.
10 So, I'd like to make a motion that
11 we send a letter to the county
12 commissioners, to our state representatives,
13 Mr. Shimkus, I forgot -- I was going to call
14 him Frank Andrews -- Mr. Shimkus and Ken
15 Smith, and to Senator Mellow, and to the
16 governor's office and to Mr. Karam in our
17 support of a medical school in the downtown
19 MR. MCGOFF: Second.
20 MR. COURTRIGHT: On the question?
21 All those in favor.
22 MS. EVANS: Aye.
23 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Aye.
24 MR. MCGOFF: Aye.
25 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye. Opposed? The
1 ayes have it and so ordered. And I believe
2 that's it.
3 MS. EVANS: Oh, Mr. Courtright, I'm
4 sorry again. If I may, I just read
5 something that we got this evening that I
6 think is important to announce to the
7 finance chair.
8 A letter was sent to the law
9 department so they would prepare the
10 necessary legislation for Council's annual
11 independent audit.
12 The company involved, Robert Rossi
13 and Company, just wanted to make sure that
14 Council is aware they will be starting late,
15 and so the audit, which is supposed to be by
16 virtue of The Home Rule Charter prepared for
17 May 2007, is going to be postponed until at
18 least July. They're hoping for July as a
19 presentation date, however, I don't think
20 any one of us would be too surprised, in
21 that, we have not received them in the last
22 three years until September and October
24 But with this late start, I'm just
25 hoping that, you know, it's not going to
1 bump into budget time.
2 And honestly it's through no fault
3 of the auditor, it is simply the difficulty
4 that they experience oftentimes in obtaining
5 the information.
6 MR. COURTRIGHT: And I'd just like
7 to add to that. You know, Council held it
8 up because of the dollar amount that was
9 given to us for other companies, and this
10 company saved us -- it was approximately
11 $100,000. So, it was a good thing that
12 Council got done.
13 So, as you said, it's been late
14 before, so we'll live with that.
15 MS. EVANS: I think we'll adjust.
16 MR. COURTRIGHT: But we're in the
17 plus for $100,000. And sixth order, Kay.
18 MS. GARVEY: Fifth order, no
19 business at this time. Sixth order, no
20 business at this time. Seventh order. 7-A,
21 FOR CONSIDERATION BY THE COMMITTEE ON RULES
22 - FOR ADOPTION - RESOLUTION NO. 130, 2007 -
23 APPOINTING ROBERT SHUMAKER, 702 STAFFORD
24 AVE., SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA, 18505, AS A
25 MEMBER OF THE BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS FOR
1 THE CITY OF SCRANTON. MR. SHUMAKER WILL
2 FILL THE UNEXPIRED TERM OF MARY DUNLEAVY,
3 WHOSE TERM EXPIRES ON JULY 1, 2007.
4 MR. COURTRIGHT: As temporary chair
5 for the committee on rules, I recommend
6 final passage of Item 7-A.
7 MR. MCGOFF: Second.
8 MS. GATELLI: On the question? Roll
10 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.
11 MS. EVANS: Yes.
12 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci.
13 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Yes.
14 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff.
15 MR. MCGOFF: Yes.
16 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.
17 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
18 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.
19 MR. COURTRIGHT: I hereby declare
20 Item 7-A legally and lawfully adopted.
21 That's it. Eighth order.
22 MS. GARVEY: Eighth order.
23 MR. COURTRIGHT: And Fay Franus,
24 first speaker.
25 MS. FRANUS: Fay Franus. Mr.
1 Courtright, I beg to differ with you when
2 you said earlier that people get to the
3 podium and they don't say what they mean.
4 Yes, they do.
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: I didn't mean it --
6 I didn't mean they didn't say what they
7 mean, I said sometimes they speak out of
8 frustration because they're mad because they
9 didn't get the answers they were hoping for.
10 MS. FRANUS: They're mad because
11 they got a tax increase from Mr. McGoff,
12 Mrs. Fanucci and Mrs. Gatelli.
13 They're mad. They're plenty mad,
14 especially when you didn't have to do that,
15 and they had a budget that Mrs. Evans had
16 that wouldn't have raised taxes at all, and
17 yet these people did it, Mrs. Gatelli, Mrs.
18 Fanucci and Mr. McGoff.
19 And Mr. McGoff, October 28, you said
20 that you were not -- you did not have any
21 more political aspirations, and Mrs. Gatelli
22 also said that that's why she appointed you
23 as Council, and that's why she didn't want
24 to vote for Gary DiBileo because he might
1 Now, how do you sit there and run
2 for Council now when you said you were not
3 going to run for Council that's how you sort
4 of got appointed. Liar, liar, pants on
6 MR. MCGOFF: Excuse me. Don't call
7 me names.
8 MS. FRANUS: Well, this is America.
9 You're also forgetting freedom of speech.
10 MR. MCGOFF: That's out of order.
11 Don't call -- name calling is not
13 MS. FRANUS: It's how I feel. If it
14 fits, it fits. If you can't take the heat
15 up there, you're elected officials, then
16 maybe you shouldn't be there.
17 And Mrs. Fanucci, as far as the
18 people with the T-shirts, it's really none
19 of your business how people spend their
21 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Well, it's just
22 a suggestion.
23 MS. FRANUS: Well, it's out of line.
24 I mean, people could spend their money any
25 way they want. It has nothing to do with
1 pool fees. There shouldn't be pool fees for
3 And you mentioned that you speak for
4 the people in the city, not just a few here.
5 I'm sure all the people in the City of
6 Scranton aren't home saying thank you, Mrs.
7 Fanucci, for raising my taxes, some of them
8 are saying now, I can't live here anymore.
9 I'm sure they're sitting home saying, Thank
10 you for raising my taxes, Mrs. Fanucci, and
11 I bet they're clapping. I don't think so.
12 So, I'd like to see these people
13 that you say you're doing things for, other
14 than just a few here. There aren't any.
15 Another thing, how come this has to
16 be on the agenda for a subpoena, when Mr.
17 McGoff was put in here as a motion? That
18 was a pretty serious thing, but nothing had
19 to go on the agenda for him to be a Council
20 member, but it just got through on a motion,
21 so why can't the subpoena go on a motion?
22 MS. EVANS: I can respond to that,
23 Mrs. Franus. We -- actually I made the
24 motion for the subpoenas, and the motion was
25 unanimously passed. The last time subpoenas
1 were issued, that indeed was the way in
2 which the procedure played out, however, at
3 the advice of Council solicitor, I decided
4 to place a resolution for subpoenas of the
5 first five government entities on the
6 agenda, and the reason being that Mr. Minora
7 felt should the administration oppose these
8 subpoenas, in fact, oppose them such that
9 they would take City Council to court, it
10 would strengthen the standing of City
11 Council, at least where the judge would be
12 concerned, that Council would be able to
13 state we did this, not only by motion, but
14 we did this by resolution.
15 In other words, the fear of our
16 attorney is that a judge could ask had
17 Council moved this through resolution, and
18 were we to answer no, we could very possibly
19 be tossed out of that courtroom on that
20 ground alone.
21 And so, I'm trying -- I want this
22 information for all of you very much, but I
23 do believe we have to dot the I's, cross the
24 T's and make sure that there's no judge who
25 is going to be able to say procedurally we
1 are in error.
2 MS. FRANUS: Thank you for that
4 MR. MINORA: That's way past three
6 MS. EVANS: Pardon?
7 MR. MINORA: That's way past three
9 MS. EVANS: That's my fault.
10 MR. COURTRIGHT: Just wrap it up,
11 could you?
12 MS. FRANUS: Just one more thing,
13 when Mrs. Gatelli allows some people to
14 speak longer than three minutes and others
15 not, that's not really right. That's
16 discrimination. I mean, I know she says
17 it's at her discretion, but she can't -- she
18 does not supercede Thomas Jefferson.
19 If you're going to do it for one,
20 you do it for all or you do it for none.
21 You cannot say yes to one and no to another,
22 not matter what. Period. That's the way it
23 is. It's not her law, it's The
24 Constitution. She can't change that.
25 So, all I'm saying anymore is either
1 nobody speaks over three minutes or
2 everybody can. Period. Thank you.
3 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you. Bill
5 MR. JACKOWITZ: Bill Jackowitz,
6 retired United States Air Force. Since I
7 was the originator of The Legion of Doom
8 T-shirts, I now have $300 million in my bank
9 account, according to Ms. Fanucci, because
10 we can balance the budget off the sale of
11 The Legion of Doom T-shirts.
12 I've spoken from this podium for one
13 and a half years and written several letters
14 to the editor asking for six adults to work
15 together and make Scranton, Pennsylvania a
16 better place to live and work and play.
17 I have asked City Council members to
18 work together and forget politics. I have
19 failed, and I was wrong.
20 We have five adults and one
21 adolescent. Looking at the candidates for
22 City Council and school board, politics at
23 play and work. Again, a wise man seeks much
24 counsel, a foolish man listens to all of it.
25 Do not believe everything that you are told,
1 specially from most politicians.
2 Ms. Fanucci, your little statement
3 earlier today, I feel, is your right.
4 You're an American citizen, you have First
5 Amendment rights, just like everybody else
6 does, just like you had the right to leave a
7 meeting and confront Les Spindler out in the
9 I think the citizens who watch this
10 show are not hearing and need to know that,
11 also. You had the right last summer to get
12 up during the summer meetings and leave this
13 Council chambers to go to your state job.
14 You were getting paid from the state, and
15 you were getting paid from the city. You
16 have that right, because you are an American
18 Just like I have the right to come
19 up here and speak every Thursday. I have
20 never been on the Jerry Springer Show, I
21 never plan to be on The Jerry Springer Show.
22 Mrs. Fanucci, I hope you never
23 resign. I do not want you to resign,
24 because you are a very amusing person. So,
25 please stay on City Council. Don't resign.
1 Raise the taxes again this year, next year,
2 just follow whatever Mayor Doherty tells you
3 to do, okay?
4 Because remember, you were the one
5 who forgot that you got a campaign
6 contribution, you were the one who voted for
7 Gary DiBileo and then changed your mind, the
8 almighty oops vote. I can go on, but I'm
9 not going to, because I see no purpose. You
10 started this, hopefully it ends right now.
11 Thank you.
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you. Joe
14 MR. TALAMINI: Joe Talamini. With
15 regards to the subpoenas, I believe that you
16 people voted by motion to have the subpoenas
17 issues. You followed up again with a
18 resolution, Mrs. Evans, if I'm not wrong,
19 but during that time you did ask for all
20 pertinent financial information; did you
22 MS. EVANS: In my motion, yes, I
24 MR. TALAMINI: And that was
25 approved; was it not?
1 MS. EVANS: Unanimously.
2 MR. TALAMINI: All right. Mrs.
3 Gatelli advised me last week that the
4 Council had to take into consideration what
5 they were going to ask for. That was not
6 part of the motion. Am I right or wrong?
7 Asked for all financial records, and Mrs.
8 Gatelli saw last week to tell me that the
9 Council had to sit back and decide what kind
10 of information they wanted.
11 MS. EVANS: Oh, so in other words,
12 the subpoenas were not ready last week.
13 MR. TALAMINI: The subpoenas were
14 not ready last week --
15 MS. EVANS: Well, yes, I would agree
16 with that, because we just received them
18 MR. TALAMINI: Okay. But why did
19 the Council have to sit back after making a
20 motion and passing it, why did they have to
21 sit back and decide what they wanted after
22 the motion was passed to seek all financial
23 records from these agencies?
24 MS. EVANS: Well, I believe the goal
25 is to -- remains to receive all financial
1 information, but in order to make it more
2 manageable and more effective, it will come
3 in waves.
4 The first wave, I believe, should
5 include one authority and three city
6 departments. And once that information has
7 been obtained and reviewed, then the next
8 round of subpoenas will be issued.
9 MR. TALAMINI: Thank you, Mrs.
11 MS. EVANS: You're welcome.
12 MR. TALAMINI: The other item I want
13 to bring up is the smoking ordinance. Now,
14 The Scranton Housing Authority saw it fit
15 this week to go by your ordinance and claim
16 that we can no longer smoke in Scranton
17 Housing Authority buildings, with the
18 exception of our apartments, which means
19 people like myself and several others who
20 have been using our day room can no longer
21 use it because we're not allowed to smoke
22 there, this at the behest of one or two
23 individuals who happen to speak to Mr.
24 Pilakachi and a few others who think they
25 run the buildings.
1 But the point of it is, and I would
2 address this to Mr. Minora, the Erie County
3 judge, I believe he found that the smoking
4 ordinance in Erie County was in violation of
5 Pennsylvania Clear Indoor Air Act of 1988,
6 Section 1235.1, which says, No law may
7 surpass the state law.
8 In other words, according to the
9 state law, only first class cities, such as
10 Pittsburgh and Philadelphia can enact laws
11 opposing the state. Scranton is a second
12 class city.
13 Now, if a judge has ruled on this, I
14 would ask Council to instruct the solicitor
15 to further investigate this and come back
16 with an answer in a very short time as to
17 why this ordinance is not deemed illegal
18 precluding any court action which is pending
19 right now. And I can assure you that court
20 action is pending.
21 MR. MINORA: That's three minutes.
22 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you, Mr.
24 MR. TALAMINI: That may be three
25 minutes, Mr. Minora, but you should be
1 paying attention to what's going on. You're
2 supposed to be a solicitor.
3 MR. MINORA: Don't attack my legal
4 credentials, because you don't know what
5 you're talking about legally.
6 MR. TALAMINI: I'm not attacking
7 your legal credentials, I'm attacking you.
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: Please, Mr.
9 Talamini, please. Andy Sbaraglia.
10 MR. SBARAGLIA: Andy Sbaraglia,
11 citizen of Scranton. Fellow Scrantonians,
12 I'm going to ask again that you consider
13 passing legislation for free swim. I don't
14 care who vetoes it or so forth and so on,
15 but it has to get on the record who is
16 keeping the kids from Scranton from swimming
17 for free.
18 MR. COURTRIGHT: Mr. Sbaraglia, I
19 believe last year we did pass for the
20 schools or the pools, with the exception of
21 Nay Aug Park, because we have no control
22 over Nay Aug Park.
23 MR. SBARAGLIA: I realize that, but
24 you also know it was vetoed by the mayor and
25 vetoed by two members of Council, so it
1 wasn't overridden, so it stood in effect
2 they couldn't swim. I'm asking you to do it
3 again. It's not very hard to do it.
4 MR. COURTRIGHT: I agree with you.
5 I'm in favor of free swimming.
6 MR. SBARAGLIA: It's awful important
7 to the children. The demographics of the
8 city is changing dramatically. We have a
9 lot more people that are disadvantaged in
10 the city today than we had maybe 20 years
12 Things are getting desperate in this
13 city. They cannot afford to have kids swim,
14 or would you rather graffiti? Would you
15 rather Blues or whoever these gangs are to
16 flourish because you don't think the city --
17 the kids deserve some kind of a summer
19 I asked you before to contact the
20 school district and The University and
21 actually have a summer playground. You can
22 do that very easily.
23 MR. COURTRIGHT: I believe Mrs.
24 Evans did do something with the school
25 direct, didn't you?
1 MS. EVANS: Yes. That was probably
2 two to three years ago at Mr. Morgan's
3 request, but the school district, though
4 they found it to be a good idea, they
5 informed us that they offer many, many
6 programs year-around, evenings, weekends,
7 many summer programs, and they felt they
8 were not financially capable at that point
9 of assuming any additional responsibility.
10 MR. SBARAGLIA: The school board
11 just borrowed $60 million. I think they got
12 money available.
13 But let's put it this way back
14 again. I told you this three years ago,
15 when I was a little kid, I do not want to go
16 to school to play. I want to play in the
17 parks and the pools, and you should realize
18 that, too. You were all kids, too. Would
19 you like to go to summer school because
20 that's their summer program?
21 You don't want a program like that.
22 You want a program where you can swim, use
23 teeter totters, and even play a little ball,
24 throw the ball around and so forth and so
25 on. This is what you want. This is what
1 Scranton had.
2 What you're going to do is actually
3 when these kids grow up, you're not going to
4 get people like Karam again and Nardelli and
5 so forth and so on that's going to give a
6 darn about Scranton. All they're going to
7 have is bad memories of this city.
8 Them people have good memories of
9 this city, because they grew up in a city
10 that had these things.
11 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you, Andy.
13 MS. EVANS: Mr. Sbaraglia, just to
14 clarify, when I spoke with the school
15 directors at the time, they weren't
16 referencing summer school as a summer
17 activity, but rather recreational programs
18 that were available during the summer.
19 But beyond that, I do agree with
20 you, and I think this should be done -- if
21 it can't be done this evening, the motion
22 should be made at next week's meeting,
23 because I do recall last summer, and the
24 motion being made very early on, and for
25 whatever reason, Council dragged its feet
1 all summer until such time as the swimming
2 season was just about over, so the veto was
3 almost irrelevant. And I don't want to see
4 that happen again. It's got to happen now.
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you. Mike
7 MR. DUDEK: My name is Mike Dudek,
8 608 Depot Street, Scranton, PA. I live here
9 in The Plot. And I'm here today to make a
10 very open-handed offer to City Council. The
11 city wants to build a medical center. And
12 I'm sitting here already listening to you
13 talking about sending a letter talking about
14 your supporting the construction of a
15 medical center in the Downtown Scranton and
16 so forth.
17 That's fine, that's wonderful, but
18 you have to understand, downtown Scranton
19 has already been defined by the Scranton
20 Redevelopment Authority as Lackawanna
21 Avenue, Mifflin, Olive and Jefferson
22 Streets. That area is circumscribed.
23 Now, does anybody up there know when
24 that happened? 1955. You have a lot of
25 homework to do. I want to see the City of
1 Scranton do this right.
2 Now, as I'm looking at the way the
3 administration is dealing with Buona Pizza,
4 the city administration is doing it the way
5 it has always done urban redevelopment in
6 this city in a very heavy-handed, very
7 mean-spirited fashion. That's not the way
8 to do it. I wrote the book on urban
9 redevelopment in the City of Scranton.
10 Now, I can't tell if Attorney Robert
11 Gownley is still with us or not, I don't
12 know if he's alive or deceased or whatever.
13 He might have been the only person who knows
14 more about this topic than I do.
15 The City of Scranton tried to take
16 his homestead for $10,000. His house was
17 one of these big 14 room typical big
18 Scranton houses that would probably sell for
19 $300,000 today.
20 He took the city over the coals,
21 because the city thought that they were just
22 going to railroad him like everybody else.
23 I can give you a long education about this
25 But what I'd like you to do is have
1 the city administration work professionally,
2 have realtors on both sides. I would like
3 to see this building built taking as few
4 properties as possible, so that instead of
5 the city doing the negotiating, have
6 realtors get involved, have them meet with
7 whatever owners are going to have to give up
8 their properties and meet for fair prices.
9 Take the properties that are needed and
10 build this medical center.
11 This medical center could be a boom
12 for this city. If you take a look at
13 Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University Medical
14 Center, we would have something comparable.
15 University of Scranton with a
16 medical center, even though they're not
17 linked, the financial benefit to Scranton
18 would be similar to what Johns Hopkins does
19 for Baltimore.
20 MR. MINORA: That's three minutes,
21 Mr. Dudek.
22 MR. DUDEK: Thank you.
23 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you. Robert
25 Mr. MACIEJESKI: Robert Maciejeski,
1 resident. This past weekend I read the
2 associated press' report, as well as The
3 Scranton Times' report on Judge John Bosa's
4 ruling regarding the Erie County smoking
6 Now, he ruled the ban to be
7 Unconstitutional because it enacted a more
8 rigorous smoking regulation than The Clean
9 Indoor Act, the smoking regulation of the
11 I'm not a lawyer, but I read the
12 act, and judging by the language, it
13 insinuates that Scranton does not have the
14 authority to enact a smoking ordinance that
15 supercedes this act, only a first class city
17 And the only two in the city, I
18 believe, are Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. I
19 mean, this isn't news. I believe Mrs. Evans
20 said this right when the -- around the
21 inception of the ban.
22 Now, if this Clean Indoor Act
23 applies to the city, then the Erie County
24 ruling should be used as sort of a precedent
25 that could -- it would save the city money
1 if they just got rid of the ban until the --
2 if it's eminent that the state is going to
3 enact a smoking ban, then why not get rid of
5 Because if it goes to court, which I
6 know there's litigation against the ban
7 already, if this goes to court, then it's
8 just going to cost the city money, and it's
9 going to -- they're going to lose, if the
10 judge uses this case in Erie County as a
11 precedent, and if the ban is recognized as
13 All it's does so far is hurt
14 business. I don't see the relation to
15 public health. It seems like the ban was
16 just thought of to take light off the city
18 Now, the businesses affected, which
19 there's a good number, I've talked to a
20 couple business owners in particular who
21 have lost a great deal of business.
22 Now, if they receive some sort of
23 tax breaks or something. I mean, or no
24 one's healthy or safer from this.
25 And all the people who say, Well,
1 follow the law, the city law that you can't
2 smoke, don't smoke 20 feet away or you can't
3 smoke inside, well, the city didn't follow
4 the state law when they enacted this ban, so
5 what makes the citizens susceptible to this
7 Scranton is an independent state and
8 it has to follow the state law, whether the
9 leaders agree with it or not.
10 I mean, if they don't, then it's
11 always available to run for state
12 legislature and change the law if they feel
13 so strongly about it.
14 Now, Mr. Courtright, I read in The
15 Scranton Times that, I don't know if it was
16 a misquote, but that not many business
17 owners have come forward with any ideas.
18 But I thought talked to one in
19 particular, and he didn't know about it, but
20 I think he's sending a letter, but even if
21 you were to go out to someplace like Chick's
22 or My Mother's Table and you saw -- on the
23 weekend or morning and you compared the
24 business to what it was --
25 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.
1 MR. MACIEJESKI: -- a year ago, you
2 would see there's a great difference.
4 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you. Charlie
5 Newcomb, Sr.
6 MR. NEWCOMB, SR.: Good evening,
7 Council. Just a few questions and a few
9 We read in the paper on Sunday about
10 what Dunmore was doing with people that were
11 involved in car accidents where they were
12 getting billed for or their insurance was
13 getting billed for the use of the police and
14 the firemen, non-residents, and I believe it
15 all came from, like, a PEL situation that
16 told them, you know, you're in dire straits,
17 you have to make some money.
18 Well, one thing I give the Council
19 people up in Dunmore credit for is they made
20 a very hard decision, but they did what had
21 to be right.
22 Mr. Bolus came here many times
23 talked about an impact fee, that's exactly
24 what that is.
25 If the City of Scranton enacted such
1 a thing, we have 25,000 people to come
2 through here every day, non-residents, the
3 people that use the services are the ones
4 that should have to pay for this, which
5 means if they're involved in an accident,
6 you know, they get the firemen and the
7 police, they have to pay for it.
8 But my question is to be fair on the
9 other end, it says that we're supplying
10 Dunmore with -- our firefighters are helping
11 fight their fires. Do we get reimbursed
12 from Dunmore? Does anybody know that?
13 MR. COURTRIGHT: I don't think so.
14 I think we just have a reciprocal agreement,
15 they help us, we help them.
16 MR. NEWCOMB, SR.: Well, I don't
17 think they help us, because they only have
18 one fire truck, so I don't think that they
19 help up.
20 But the question of it is, and God
21 forbid, but what happens if one of our
22 firemen are up in Dunmore fighting a fire at
23 a house and they get injured? Do we pay
24 their Comp or is Dunmore responsible for the
1 MR. COURTRIGHT: I'm getting it
2 would be our responsibility, but I'll find
3 it out for you.
4 MR. NEWCOMB, SR.: I think we should
5 look into it. I mean, if they're going to
6 charge fees like that, we should -- they
7 should pay for our fire and police if they
8 need them, instead of the citizens of the
10 And Mr., if I could ask Mr. Minora a
11 question, do you feel very confident in your
12 decision about the smoking ban? Do you feel
13 that it's going to stand?
14 MR. MINORA: I do.
15 MR. NEWCOMB, SR.: Okay. Well, my
16 answer to that is this, I mean, I know a lot
17 of people are for it, some are against it.
18 I definitely am for it. If anybody had any
19 family members that passed away from
20 smoking, you'll -- you can see where this
21 comes from.
22 All I can say is the St. Patty's Day
23 Parade is this weekend, and if Mr. Minora
24 feels as strong about it as he does that
25 we're going to succeed, the mayor was on the
1 radio and said we're going to bring in
2 millions of dollars this weekend hopefully
3 for the city with the parade, they were on
4 22 last night.
5 The people that do the parade said
6 that with the hotels and everything else, it
7 usually brings in a couple million dollars.
8 Well, all I can say if the policemen
9 do their job and anybody else that has to be
10 involved with this smoking ban, I mean, I
11 know we're not supposed to put these things
12 into to make money, but I'll tell you what,
13 we can make a heck of a lot of money this
14 weekend with money in our coffers if the law
15 is followed. Thank you.
16 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you. Lee
18 MR. MORGAN: After the next speaker.
19 MR. COURTRIGHT: Giovanni Piccolino.
20 MR. PICCOLINO: (UNTRANSCRIBABLE,
21 SPOKE IN ITALIAN.) Well, usually when I
22 speak in English, I really don't get many
23 answers, so I thought I'd speak in a
24 different language and it might help out.
25 What I was asking was is there
1 anything with this so-called agreement with
2 the mayor? No?
3 MS. EVANS: We've heard nothing,
4 just like you.
5 MR. PICCOLINO: This article says it
6 good here, if the administration should put
7 the relocation offer in stone, it would help
8 to strike an agreement and prevent a court
10 Redevelopment clearly is in the best
11 interest of the city and might as well
12 benefit the pizzeria as well.
13 So, I would ask City Council to
14 draft this letter to Mayor Doherty that we
15 talked about before that said that you're
16 not going to pass any legal stuff or whatnot
17 for the redevelopment project until and, if
18 not, they include us. So, I say we draft up
19 that letter this week and send it to him.
20 MS. EVANS: Well, I'll make a motion
21 that that letter be drafted.
22 MR. COURTRIGHT: What is the letter
23 going to say now?
24 MS. EVANS: Actually this was my
25 suggestion several weeks ago, that City
1 Council would not entertain any legislation
2 involving any of the projects connected to
3 the 500 block of Lackawanna Avenue project,
4 unless Buona Pizza would be part of that
6 MR. COURTRIGHT: Do you want to do
7 that in the form of a motion?
8 MS. EVANS: Yes. To send him a
9 letter stating that.
10 MR. COURTRIGHT: Am I allowed to
11 second it now that I'm the president
13 MR. MINORA: Yes.
14 MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay. Second. On
15 the question?
16 MS. EVANS: Should we wait for Mrs.
17 Fanucci for the vote?
18 MR. COURTRIGHT: Do we need to, Mr.
19 Minora, or can three of us vote on it?
20 Well, we'd like to get her opinion maybe.
21 MR. MINORA: I think that's a
23 MR. MCGOFF: She is present, and --
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: Right. I'd just
25 say this, can we hold his time for one
1 minute, because I want to say something.
2 Mrs. Evans and myself are the only
3 two that were here when this whole thing
4 started many years ago, and I think the five
5 that were sitting here at the time were of
6 the understanding that anybody on that block
7 that wanted to stay would have their facade
8 renovated. If you did not want to stay,
9 they would buy you out. And I think that's
10 why we agreed to go along with this.
11 MS. EVANS: I absolutely concur with
13 MR. COURTRIGHT: How we've come to
14 where we are now, is beyond me. And I can't
15 stress enough, I just think it's simply
17 I never met you until I came down,
18 you know. I mean, I've been in your place a
19 million times, but I never met you
20 personally. I just think it's wrong, you
22 MR. PICCOLINO: So does the whole
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: I just think it's
25 wrong that a business that's been here for
1 40 years and have suffered through some hard
2 times in this town isn't given a fair shake.
3 MR. PICCOLINO: It doesn't look like
4 there's any businesses that are coming to
5 town that are --
6 MR. MINORA: That's three minutes.
7 MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay. Mr.
8 Piccolino, if you can hold on one second,
9 I'm going to ask Mrs. Evans to restate her
10 motion because Mrs. Fanucci wasn't here.
11 MS. EVANS: I move to send a letter
12 to Mayor Doherty indicating that Scranton
13 City Council as a body will not entertain
14 any legislation involving the 500 block of
15 Lackawanna Avenue, unless Buona Pizza is
16 included in that project.
17 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second. On the
19 MR. MCGOFF: I just want to be clear
20 on what the motion is before I make a
21 decision, that what you are suggesting is
22 that the only legislation that we would not
23 vote on would be any legislation dealing
24 with those properties.
25 MR. COURTRIGHT: Right.
1 MR. MCGOFF: Is that correct?
2 MS. EVANS: Anything dealing with
3 that project. And Council has the ability
4 through the president to keep those items
5 off Council's agenda infinitely.
6 MR. PICCOLINO: All we want is to be
7 included. We're here 41 years, we might as
8 be included now.
9 MR. COURTRIGHT: I think what you're
10 asking is it specific to the 500 block of
11 Lackawanna Avenue.
12 MR. MCGOFF: Yes.
13 MS. EVANS: Yes, it's specific to
14 that redevelopment project.
15 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: The only
16 problem I foresee is that under eminent
17 domain, it doesn't go through us, it goes
18 through the state. It's not -- it wouldn't
19 -- the legislation --
20 MS. EVANS: Well, his particular
21 project is not going through us, but --
22 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Right.
23 MS. EVANS: -- but there will be
24 other legislation undoubtedly that comes
25 from this Council that in some way, shape or
1 form is going to be connected to that
2 project, whether it's other buildings,
3 whether it's loans for businesses who want
4 to locate into that block, et cetera.
5 This can take quite a number of
6 avenues, and what I'm saying is that Council
7 will not entertain any of those items of
8 legislation unless Buona Pizza is allowed to
9 remain and be part of this 500 block of
10 Lackawanna Avenue redevelopment project.
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: Anyone else? Could
12 I ask for a roll call vote; is that all
13 right, Mr. Minora, so we can be perfectly
15 MR. MINORA: Sure.
16 MR. COURTRIGHT: Can I have a roll
17 call, Neil?
18 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.
19 MS. EVANS: Yes.
20 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci.
21 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Yes.
22 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff.
23 MR. MCGOFF: Yes.
24 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.
25 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
1 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli. It's
2 four nothing. It passes. Thank you.
3 MR. PICCOLINO: Thank you, Council.
4 MR. COURTRIGHT: Is Lee down? Lee
5 Morgan. I think that's your name, Lee. I
6 can't read the writing. Were you after
8 MR. MORGAN: Yes.
9 MR. COURTRIGHT: It must be you
10 then. All right.
11 MR. MORGAN: You know, I'd just like
12 to say that I hoped that Mrs. Gatelli was
13 here tonight, because, you know, there's
14 some question -- people on Council, I guess
15 maybe just Mrs. Gatelli, wonders why people
16 come here and seem to only complain to
18 And I don't think that's what's
19 going on here at all. I think that Council
20 has the obligation to interact with all the
21 authorities, I think Council has an
22 obligation to protect the taxpayers at all
23 times, I think that Council has the
24 obligation to question the things the mayor
25 does and any department heads do, I think
1 that you're the one thing that stands
2 between us and every other department in
3 this city, including, I would like to say,
4 the school district.
5 And I just think that people come
6 here looking for help and answers, and I
7 think that too often Council really doesn't
8 live up to its obligations.
9 I think Council didn't spend enough
10 time going over the budget, and I think that
11 the use of the golf course money was wrong
12 no matter why it was used.
13 I just think that everybody's pretty
14 much frustrated with this Council, and I
15 know that Mrs. Fanucci seems a little
16 frustrated, but I think if the Council
17 members were willing to go through the
18 neighborhoods, they're not happy really with
19 the performance of this Council at all.
20 And I just think things really have
21 to change here, and somebody has to realize
22 that this community is under so much stress
23 that it's unbelievable.
24 People are losing their homes, and
25 we're listening to babble up here from
1 Council. And I'm just wondering, are any of
2 you people really thinking about the
3 situation this city finds itself in? I
4 mean, we've borrowed everything we can
6 MS. EVANS: Mr. Morgan, I think
7 about it all the time, but I think, and I
8 work toward that end each day of my life,
9 and I have been most vigilant and active for
10 every day that I've sat in this office,
11 however, I think you're missing the key to
12 the situation, and it's simply this, the
13 mayor, this is a strong mayor form of
14 government --
15 MR. MORGAN: Absolutely.
16 MS. EVANS: -- and the mayor
17 basically dictates what occurs in this city.
18 And unless you are willing to say, yes, sir
19 to the mayor and carry out his agenda, he
20 will not work with you, he will ignore you
21 as if you are nonexistent.
22 MR. MORGAN: I think in all reality,
23 a lot of the things that are brought up to a
24 vote on THE agenda that are introduced here
25 should have never been introduced.
1 MS. EVANS: I would agree, but
2 Council doesn't have that power, only a
3 Council President has that power.
4 MR. MORGAN: That's right, and you
5 know what, then there's something needs to
6 be done with that.
7 And the other thing is this, your
8 solicitor can have any opinion he wants, but
9 those subpoenas should be broad based as
10 possible. All that information should come
11 at one time. We've listened to everybody's
12 opinion. I'm sure that the solicitor in
13 Erie --
14 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.
15 MR. MORGAN: -- said to pass that
16 smoking ban, ad a judge said it wasn't
18 And I think that if you stop
19 worrying about what your solicitor tells you
20 and start telling him what you want him to
21 do --
22 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you, Mr.
24 MR. MORGAN: -- maybe you will get
25 somewhere. Thank you.
1 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you, Mr.
2 Morgan. Brett McCloe.
3 MR. MCCLOE: Good evening. Last
4 Thursday I asked questions pertaining to
5 legality and the lack of insight regarding
6 the smoking ban.
7 It seems the very next day my
8 questions, although not unique, were
9 validated by a judge's ruling in Erie,
11 It seems that others have warned
12 this Council far in advance of the decision
13 to pass the smoking ban.
14 It would seem in an effort to pass
15 an ordinance, that previous existing laws
16 were broken, disregarded or ignored.
17 The financial consequences of this
18 Council's reckless abuse of power has been
19 noted time and time and again. It seems
20 that perceptions of the job regarding the
21 job of being a waiter made it easier for you
22 to pass this smoking ban.
23 The bottom line is, we don't matter.
24 Oh, the phrase, Oh, well, why don't you go
25 to college or the ever so popular --
1 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: It was never
3 MR. MCCLOE: It's not about you.
4 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: But it was
5 never said.
6 MR. MCCLOE: Regardless.
7 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Okay.
8 MR. MCCLOE: We get it every day.
9 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Okay. Well, it
10 wasn't said by me.
11 MR. MCCLOE: Okay. But I'm saying,
12 even if you weren't here, we get this every
13 day. We get the, is this your real job, we
14 get the, relax, you'll get over it.
15 It's a slap in the face to those who
16 serve your food. It stinks of hypocrisy,
17 fascism and the economic bigotry of class
18 warfare. We are your servers, we are not
19 your servants.
20 We do what we do because there's
21 something inside of each us that compels us
22 to cater to the human condition. We do not
23 exist to fulfill anyone's sadistic need to
25 We exist to serve and to somehow
1 have you leave in a better condition than
2 when you came in.
3 We are not the problem. Do not
4 penalize, berate or chastise waiters because
5 of yourself self-imposed, self-inflicted
6 inability to make healthier choices when you
7 go out -- when you go out to dine. Don't
8 bite the hand that literally feeds you.
9 I challenge this Council or anyone
10 who is for this ban to put their money where
11 their mouth is.
12 I challenge you to donate 30 percent
13 of your incomes to the public good, as we
14 have by law, I challenge you to show your
15 concern for the well-being of the public
16 with that donation, I challenge you to show
17 leadership and solidarity with those who
18 have suffered the loss of income due to the
19 smoking ban.
20 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.
21 MR. MCCLOE: The people are
23 MR. COURTRIGHT: David Dodson.
24 MR. DODSON: Good evening, Council.
25 Dave Dodson, resident of Scranton. I'd like
1 to reiterate on my discussion about bus
2 routes, one Council member didn't hear it
3 due to sickness.
4 On snow issues, bus routes should be
5 given heavy priority for clearing.
6 Wintermantle bus finally, I think Monday,
7 started running a route, and that's a tax
8 subsidized entity, and a lot of people
9 depend on it for transportation, and it
10 would be a good alternative for somebody
11 that didn't want to take their car downtown
12 and get stuck. You can walk a block and hop
13 a bus and get to work or whatever, and
14 perhaps not spend $8.00 parking your car
16 I'd also like to express, I'd like
17 to see some support for lower Green Ridge.
18 Mr. McGoff, I think he really said something
19 right a few weeks ago, let's pass an
20 ordinance to fund the siren and let them
21 deal with it, and I think that was
22 definitely in the right direction.
23 Free swimming, I'd like to support
24 that or see some support for that, express
25 my support for it.
1 Definitely if you're going to
2 complain about kids -- I moved out of
3 Scranton in 1976 and returned in 2002, and
4 part of it was the way that people -- it
5 seemed like people had all day and night to
6 come out and argue with you about parking
7 across their driveway at three in the
8 morning to give your girlfriend a smooch and
9 hop out of the car, and as far as the
10 benefits were concerned, I didn't see any.
11 So, for 30 years, I lived out of town.
12 I had the opportunity to move back,
13 and I found that there are some pluses for
14 it, and I really felt that that was the
15 right move, and hopefully it will continue
16 that way. I'm not a total malcontent of any
18 And I'd also like to express
19 congratulations for working with Buona Pizza
20 a little closer. I think it's very
21 important that we continue with businesses
22 that are established in the town instead of
23 encouraging outsiders to come in and put in
24 a big splash and take us over the coals for
25 a couple million dollars on taxes and KOZs
1 or whatever.
2 And for the last smoking ban, I'd
3 like to see a possibility of --
4 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.
5 MR. DODSON: -- bars that offer
6 entertainment, to possibly be able to permit
7 smoking after ten o'clock, even if they
8 serve food. It would be a big boost for
9 local musicians, which I'm one of them, and
10 hopefully it could be given some kind of
11 consideration. So, thank you.
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you. Jane
14 MS. WARD: Hi, Jane Ward, taxpayer,
15 citizen. I'm a little bit nervous. I need
16 to know who owns Hope Place off of Meridian
17 Avenue by Little People's Daycare.
18 MR. COURTRIGHT: What's the name of
20 MS. WARD: Hope Place.
21 MR. COURTRIGHT: Hope Place?
22 MS. WARD: Hope Place.
23 MR. COURTRIGHT: Is that a street or
24 is that a business?
25 MS. WARD: It's a street. You know
1 where Little People's Daycare is on
3 MR. COURTRIGHT: Where the new
5 MS. WARD: Yeah. Who owns that?
6 MR. COURTRIGHT: I think it's a city
8 MS. WARD: I mean, two days after
9 the storm it wasn't even plowed. For some
10 reason I was up on Eynon Street, and from
11 the 700 block to the 900 block, it was
12 completely cleared. I couldn't figure that
14 MR. COURTRIGHT: There's a lot of
15 streets in two days after the storm weren't
16 plowed. There's a lot of streets ten days
17 after the storm weren't plowed.
18 MS. WARD: I mean, Eynon Street was
19 perfect the next day. I couldn't figure
20 that one out.
21 So, in the meantime, I'm coming
22 over, you know where the South Side Complex
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
25 MS. WARD: Okay. The bridge right
2 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
3 MS. WARD: There was a snow plow
4 there by the name of Digit, I don't know who
5 it is, Dig It, is it Dig It, I don't know,
6 throwing the snow in the river. Is that
7 normal or --
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: I don't think
9 they're allowed to put the snow in the
10 river, no.
11 MS. WARD: Well, March 1 at 7:45
13 MR. COURTRIGHT: What was the name
14 of the company?
15 MS. WARD: Digit.
16 MR. HUBBARD: Dig It. It's a
17 landscape company.
18 MR. COURTRIGHT: Maybe we -- Mrs.
19 Garvey, can we ask Mr. Parker if we hired
20 that company?
21 MS. WARD: And about, let me see,
22 about the ban on smoking, my opinion is, why
23 worry about that right now when you should
24 pay these firemen and these police officers?
25 And did you ever hear of Aventi
2 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
3 MS. WARD: Paroby Cigar?
4 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
5 MS. WARD: What is it?
6 MR. COURTRIGHT: It's right on Main
8 MS. WARD: Yeah, and what do they --
9 it's a tobacco place, right?
10 MR. COURTRIGHT: Pardon?
11 MS. WARD: It's a tobacco place?
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes, cigar.
13 MS. WARD: That's what I do for a
14 living. It pays my bills. And I don't need
15 somebody to take it away because they want
16 to ban everything.
17 And if anybody wants to have a nice
18 cigarette and a cup of coffee, go to Terry's
19 Diner in Moosic. You could have a coffee
20 and a cigarette and enjoy it, for people
21 that do smoke. It goes both ways,
22 non-smokers and smokers. And I'm a smoker,
23 and I deal with tobacco every day. Thanks.
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you. Dan
1 MR. COURTRIGHT: Dan Hubbard.
2 MR. HUBBARD: Good evening, Council.
3 Well, I wish Mrs. Gatelli was here, but
4 she's not, and we're going to proceed anyway
5 regardless of whether she's here or not.
6 After watching the replay of Council
7 last weekend, and I was speaking with Ms.
8 Gatelli from under the mezzanine about the
9 tax rebate given to flood victims, well, the
10 operators here at Channel 61 upped the audio
11 sensitivity on the microphone so they were
12 clearly able to hear what I was saying from
13 the back of the room. In the same process,
14 the microphones were all turned up,
15 including Mrs. Gatelli's, which not turned
17 I couldn't believe what she said. I
18 made several calls, several other people
19 heard it, so I also called Channel 61, and
20 they were gracious enough to allow me to
21 come down to the control room and listen to
22 the first quality recording with headphones
24 Ms. Gatelli cupped her microphone
25 when I was done speaking and looks to Mr.
1 Courtright and said, They're not ever going
2 to raise it. Now, if you remember last week
3 I spoke specifically about raising the
4 riverbank for my full three minutes.
5 She said, They're not ever going to
6 raise it. Mr. Courtright said, You don't
7 think so? Mrs. Gatelli said, Uh-uh. Didn't
8 get the letter in your mailbox? Mr.
9 Courtright said, No. From who? Judy said,
10 From somebody. She's not sure.
11 Now, that leads me to believe that
12 this letter was issued to either all of you
13 or Ms. Gatelli personally, and it was issued
14 not recently, let me finish, it was issued
15 not recently, because she didn't remember
16 who sent the letter.
17 I'm not making this up. It is on
18 their copy of the audio from last week's
20 Now, I want this letter. And it she
21 was the only one to receive it, I don't
22 care. I want it. I want to know who wrote
23 it, when it was received and who sent it to
24 Mrs. Gatelli.
25 Now, WNEP and The Scranton Times
1 were notified of this letter in full. Today
2 WNEP, yesterday The Scranton Times. They
3 were both going to call Mrs. Gatelli to
4 verify this letter, and now she's
5 conveniently not here tonight, when she was
6 called today to verify the existence of this
7 letter. She doesn't show tonight. And from
8 what I understand, she didn't call in
10 Now, when is this Council, and if
11 you all are completely on record saying you
12 are unaware of this letter, when do you feel
13 something should be done? How long do you
14 think the residents of lower Green Ridge
15 should have to deal with this flooding?
16 MS. EVANS: Are you talking about
17 building up the dirt?
18 MR. HUBBARD: Yes. I'm talking
19 about --
20 MS. EVANS: That should have been
21 done long ago, because --
22 MR. HUBBARD: -- a temporary -- one
23 second. Just let me finish my three
24 minutes, I'd appreciate it.
25 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yeah. We'll
1 comment after you're done.
2 MR. HUBBARD: We're sticklers for
3 that time.
4 MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay.
5 MR. HUBBARD: When was Council going
6 to let us know that we were not going to
7 receive, or when was Judy, who tells me
8 every week to keep going, keep trying,
9 honey, keep going for it, when was she going
10 to tell me that we were not going to receive
11 any of the help we were promised?
12 We were promised temporary flood
13 protection. Now, in my mind, that means
14 fixing the existing riverbank. Secondly --
15 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.
16 MR. HUBBARD: -- the city and this
17 Council have been displaying an act of gross
18 negligence in regard to the property and
19 residents, and the protection of that
20 property and the residents in lower Green
22 I want the answers to the questions
23 by next week, I want this letter by next
24 week, and I want to know when we can receive
25 temporary flood protection.
1 MR. COURTRIGHT: Mr. Hubbard, let me
2 just say this, before I went out of town, I
3 asked Mrs. Garvey and the staff of our
4 office to look for a letter. They cannot
5 find a letter.
6 I believe we looked in Mr. Parker's
7 file, Mr. Hayes' file, other places, OECD
8 maybe, but we can't find the letter, so I'm
9 going to ask, and I was gone all week, so
10 we're going to have to ask Mrs. Gatelli
11 about the letter.
12 MR. HUBBARD: This is falling under
13 willful negligence. The city understands
14 what's going to happen when it rains.
15 They're fully aware of what will happen to
16 this neighborhood. That is willful
18 And if I do not have the answers to
19 these questions, and this letter, we will be
20 obtaining legal counsel and seeking action
21 against the city and City Council, in full,
22 all members, if we get flooded again.
23 MR. COURTRIGHT: After you step
24 away, Mrs. Evans wants to speak.
25 MS. EVANS: Mr. Hubbard, I do
1 believe that the dirt can be used to build
2 up the banks along the river. I'm sure you
3 remember it was done in the fall when there
4 was a forecast of very strong rainfall that
5 could have caused flooding.
6 The banks were built up along the
7 Scranton Lace.
8 MR. HUBBARD: For a small section,
9 about 100 yards.
10 MS. EVANS: Right, but that was the
11 first time, I believe, that since I've been
12 on Council, that the DPW did so, and they
13 did so at my request, but --
14 MR. HUBBARD: That's -- at the time,
15 that's the only thing that has been done.
16 MS. EVANS: Yes. So, what I'm
17 saying is, when that was done, that would
18 seem to provide evidence that this can be
19 done and, so, Mrs. Fanucci and I were
20 discussing this situation coincidentally
21 before you even came to the podium about
22 building the dirt up on the riverbanks for
23 you, because Mrs. Fanucci had said with the
24 warm weather coming this week, that, you
25 know, there's obviously going to be a great
1 deal of melting occurring, et cetera,
2 putting you at risk once again.
3 And so, I'll make a motion that City
4 Council send a letter to George Parker
5 directing him to -- well, perhaps not
6 directing him, requesting him, I know only
7 the mayor directs him, all the department
8 heads have made that crystal clear to me,
9 requesting that those banks be built up
10 using the dirt that has sat in that area now
11 for longer than my memory serves me.
12 MR. HUBBARD: There was ten feet of
13 water surrounding that pile of dirt last
15 MS. EVANS: Yes. And that that be
16 done immediately.
17 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Second.
18 MR. HUBBARD: Appreciate that.
19 MR. COURTRIGHT: On the question?
20 All those in favor.
21 MS. EVANS: Aye.
22 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Aye.
23 MR. MCGOFF: Aye.
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye. Four-nothing,
25 motion passes. Marie Shumaker.
1 MS. SHUMAKER: Marie Shumaker. I'm
2 disappointed that Mrs. Gatelli is not here,
3 because I've been waiting a whole week to
4 respond to her final guidance to those of us
5 who come here week after week trying to
6 obtain answers, so I will hold that for next
7 week, and hopefully she'll be back.
8 So, I'll bring up a couple of old
9 things. Again, this conservancy that the
10 city has established, earlier I brought this
11 up because the mayor was quoted as saying,
12 and I could bring these, if anybody needs to
13 see them, that there was a parks
14 conservancy, and I questioned whether there
15 was truly a parks conservancy or whether it
16 was Nay Aug conservancy, and this week there
17 was an article in the monopoly newspaper
18 saying, New Nay Aug, and down in that
19 article it said that Mr. Doherty said that
20 he has established a Nay Aug conservancy to
21 continue his legacy after he's gone.
22 Now, I would like to know, is this
23 conservancy for the parks or is it solely
24 for Nay Aug?
25 Also, I would like to know if
1 anybody bothered to get the information I
2 requested last week on the health inspector.
3 Is it true that our health inspector went to
4 that Waffle House to check on the blood
5 situation and then did not have time to go
6 home and change and shower, but went to open
7 several restaurants after having been at The
8 Waffle House?
9 MR. COURTRIGHT: I do not have that
10 answer. I don't know if anybody else on
11 Council did.
12 MS. SHUMAKER: Could somebody please
13 get that? I think that would be highly
15 MR. COURTRIGHT: I think Mrs.
16 Gatelli was looking into, but she's not
18 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Where did you
19 get that information in the first place,
20 because that is not information we've been
21 privy to, so I was wondering how you found
22 that out. I never heard that before.
23 MS. SHUMAKER: I said it last week.
24 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: No, I know
25 after you said it, but before that, I've n
1 ever heard that.
2 MS. SHUMAKER: I heard it from a
3 friend, and I would like to -- like that
4 verified, because I think that would be
5 highly --
6 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: We can probably
7 call Patti, right? We can probably call
8 Patti and find out. I'm sure you --
9 MS. SHUMAKER: Well, I would
10 definitely like to know, and I would like to
11 know if the city condones that.
12 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Actually it
13 would have been her. It would have been
14 Patti who went out and did this.
15 MS. SHUMAKER: I guess she's our
16 only -- that was the other question.
17 MR. COURTRIGHT: She's pretty
19 MS. SHUMAKER: She's our only health
20 -- point of order. I have the floor. I
21 only have three minutes.
22 MR. COURTRIGHT: I'm sorry. All
23 right. Go ahead.
24 MS. SHUMAKER: I, again, would like
25 to know why Wilkes-Barre has three health
1 inspectors and Scranton only has one, when
2 Scranton has 25 percent more restaurants,
3 twice as many skilled nursing and nursing
4 homes requiring inspection, in addition to
5 the whole other things that have to be done
6 by a health inspector.
7 And if our health inspector is going
8 to be going from God knows cockroach
9 infested places, blood spatterings, into
10 restaurants, I'd like to know, because I'll
11 find places to eat outside the city.
12 Again, last week I reported that the
13 light timing project has gone -- has again
14 been delayed.
15 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.
16 MS. SHUMAKER: I'll be back next
18 MR. COURTRIGHT: Is there anyone
20 MR. UNGVARSKY: Good evening, City
21 Council. My name is Tom Ungvarsky. I have
22 a Legion of Doom shirt. It costs less than
23 half the cost of the shirt I'm wearing
24 tonight. I don't think anybody should be
25 ridiculed for wearing a shirt to City
2 This past Tuesday, I called the
3 refuse department and the recycling
4 department, and I got no replies, couldn't
5 even talk to a person there.
6 On Wednesday, I called both of them
7 twice, but on Wednesday I left messages them
8 to call me back. Neither one of them called
9 me back. That was four phone calls.
10 Today I did the same thing. I
11 called the both of them twice, left messages
12 and my phone number each time. I got no
14 Maybe City Council can tell me why
15 we can't get through to someone to speak to
16 when we have a problem there? Anyone?
17 MR. COURTRIGHT: I don't know. I
18 have no answer for that. Does anybody have
19 an answer?
20 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: That's actually
21 a problem we've all had. In fact, we did a
22 motion that actually they had to pick up the
23 phone and answer the phone, and they still
24 haven't been doing that, so I don't know
25 what to tell you.
1 MR. UNGVARSKY: Fortunately it was
2 not an emergency, but just some information
3 I needed about the refuse can that the mayor
4 talked about. Does anyone on City Council
5 know about them?
6 MS. EVANS: No.
7 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: No.
8 MR. UNGVARSKY: These are the blue
9 recycling cans.
10 MR. COURTRIGHT: I know they don't
11 have any available, I can tell you that
12 much. That's all I know.
13 MR. UNGVARSKY: I thought the mayor
14 said they were getting 1800 of them.
15 MS. EVANS: When?
16 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: I don't know.
17 MS. UNGVARSKY: I think in his State
18 of the City Speech he mentioned it.
19 MR. COURTRIGHT: I missed that.
20 MS. EVANS: Well, I did request that
21 information tonight from Mr. Parker, what
22 date we can expect the recycling cans, only
23 because I've received so many complaints
24 from city residents that want to recycle but
25 can't for lack of a can.
1 MR. UNGVARSKY: I thank you.
2 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you. Anyone
4 MS. HUBBARD: Elizabeth Hubbard,
5 Scranton resident. I just have a
6 suggestion, if that's the word I want. I
7 think that you should go back to the
8 five-minute speaking time, because people
9 that come up here and have something to say
10 and a problem that needs help with, I don't
11 think three minutes is enough time to cover
12 most of what people have to say.
13 So, the five minutes seem to work
14 pretty well before. And since you don't
15 have anything on the agenda, there's no
16 citizens participation on the agenda portion
17 of the meeting, so I think you should go
18 back to the five minutes. That's all.
20 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you.
21 MR. GERVASI: Good evening, City
22 Council. My name is Dave Gervasi, I'm a
23 city resident. I -- Mrs. Fanucci, I usually
24 don't comment on your comments, even though
25 sometimes I snicker back there, because some
1 of the things you say are fantasy, I would
2 say, or rhetoric from the Doherty
3 Administration, but tonight I believe you
4 used the word unbelievable, I think tonight
5 -- I think it's unbelievable.
6 And when I look back at debates with
7 prior Councils, especially during the
8 referendum, that were much more heated than
9 this Council has ever seen, and people that
10 I thought were rubber stampers and, well, it
11 seemed to be they were, I mean, heat debates
12 with more and more people coming up here,
13 and no one, none of them, ever insulted
14 anybody, calling a group of citizens,
15 taxpaying citizens, concerned citizens that
16 come here, and relate them to the Jerry
17 Springer Show.
18 You know, you made another comment
19 about The Legion of Doom shirts. I don't
20 know if you realize this, I don't know if
21 you think they're just trying to pick on
22 this City Council.
23 The reason why they're wearing those
24 shirts is because we have a one-newspaper
25 town, who obviously, to everyone, is in bed
1 with our government, and you can't even get
2 real live information, just like Mrs. Evans
3 can't get real live information off this
5 And these people have been called
6 hijackers, malcontents, clowns, jerks,
7 terrorists insurgents, that's why they wore
8 that, because The Legion of Doom, they
9 figured it might make a nice looking shirt,
10 I think that's why Mr. Jackowitz did that.
11 That's a shot not at you, that's a
12 shot at the newspaper, our one newspaper
14 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: I wasn't
15 offended by the shirt as if it was against
16 me. My thought was that they shouldn't --
17 what I was saying was, instead of spending
18 $6 on a shirt, that's six kids that could
19 have swam for free. That's what I was
21 MR. GERVASI: I'm glad you mentioned
22 the swimming free, because I think if
23 someone -- there's a difference here. These
24 people spending $6 on a shirt is their own
25 money, okay? The administration that you
1 support so wholeheartedly is spending our
3 And maybe if the administration
4 didn't screw up on the American Anglican --
5 American Water Company arbitration for $5
6 million or spend a million dollars on all
7 losing battles with the unions, and I just
8 jotted a few things down there before, it
9 comes to $12 million.
10 If your administration that you
11 support all the time, and obviously Mr.
12 McGoff does, too, didn't lose that $12
13 million, just off the top of my head in five
14 minutes, are kids could swim for the next
15 400 years for the amount of money that the
16 city brings in.
17 So, maybe you should not worry about
18 people spending their own personal money on
19 $6 on T-shirts, maybe you should worry about
20 what your administration is doing, not
21 giving raises for six years to people, while
22 they're giving raises to cronies, spending
23 $2.9 million on new hires. For what? We
24 never had those people here before. And
25 they want to knock off 38 firefighters.
1 Maybe you should worry about the
2 money that your administration, it's not my
3 administration, it's your administration --
4 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: It's the city's
5 administration. It's the city's, and it's
6 yours. It's yours, also.
7 MR. GERVASI: Well, I happen to be
8 the other 49 percent that didn't vote for
9 them, okay?
10 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.
11 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: And our kids
12 can swim for 400 years with just the money
13 he wasted or deliberately wasted. Thank
15 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you. Is
16 there anyone else?
17 MS. KRAKE: My name is Nancy Krake.
18 I don't know if Mr. McGoff realizes, but
19 there are many people's families who would
20 have starved if it wasn't for the alphabet
21 programs, particularly the WPA in this area.
22 I'm sorry you feel that that wasn't a
23 worthwhile program. Mrs. Fanucci --
24 MR. MCGOFF: I didn't say that.
25 MS. KRAKE: Oh, I'm sorry. What did
1 you say? Do you recall?
2 MR. MCGOFF: Yes.
3 MS. KRAKE: Would you like to repeat
5 MR. MCGOFF: I said that I didn't
6 think that it was a good analogy for Mrs.
7 Evans to make.
8 MS. KRAKE: No, that wasn't all that
9 you said. I'm sorry. You said a lot before
11 MR. MCGOFF: I know.
12 MS. KRAKE: Oh, would you like to
13 repeat that?
14 MR. MCGOFF: That was the input of
16 MS. KRAKE: No. You made a comment
18 MR. MCGOFF: I never said that the
19 programs weren't worthwhile, I just said
20 that I didn't think that the analogy she was
21 making was --
22 MS. KRAKE: I'm sorry. You didn't
23 just say that. I'm sorry to disagree with
24 you, but you didn't. We'll have it in the
25 minutes next week, I'm sure.
1 Mrs. Fanucci, I certainly hope you
2 keep speaking. Tell us exactly how you
3 feel, because you reveal your true feelings
4 for each and every one of us, so please
5 don't stop.
6 And, in fact, you did make a
7 brilliant move with the smoking ban, because
8 it took the focus off of the tax increase
9 and the budget that Mrs. Evans and Mr.
10 Courtright painstakingly worked on so there
11 would not be a tax increase.
12 There were many, many options that
13 could have been explored in that budget, but
14 instead you chose to do exactly what the
15 mayor wanted you to do, you and Mr. McGoff
16 and Mrs. Gatelli, who, by the way, told us
17 she would never do what anybody else said,
18 she would simply do what she thought was
20 Well, you can take that a couple
21 ways. Apparently she thinks it's right to
22 burden the taxpayers with another
23 25 percent, and to continue to vote with the
24 mayor so that over the next three years, we
25 he will be doubling our taxes.
1 She also told us she wouldn't vote
2 for anyone that would be running. Well, she
3 voted for Mr. McGoff, who is obviously
4 running. So, I don't think Mrs. Gatelli can
5 be trusted. Well, obviously she can be
6 trusted to do what the mayor wants her to
7 do, so I'd like to say that that is
8 something we can always count on from Mrs.
9 Fanucci, Mrs. Gatelli and Mrs. McGoff.
10 This administration, I found out
11 today, the $10 million that they borrowed,
12 $2.25 of that million will be used in 2008.
13 That's incredible to me, how that was
14 allowed to go through.
15 I hope you're losing sleep over
16 that. That, by the way, is just about what
17 the tax increase is for the real estate tax.
18 Oh, and I would also like to say so
19 people can avoid the 25 percent of NCC,
20 which was also brought home by this
21 administration and the Pennsylvania Economy
22 League, that you can pay your taxes. You
23 have 23 more days to pay them in the city
24 treasurer's office.
25 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.
1 MS. KRAKE: I really hope that
2 people can make it in. Thank you.
3 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you.
4 MR. SLEDZINSKI: Hi, Bill.
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: Hi, Chris.
6 MR. SLEDZINSKI: Up or down, Bill?
7 MR. COURTRIGHT: Bring it up, Chris.
8 MR. SLEDZINSKI: Janet, welcome
9 back. I missed you all week. I know you
10 were sick, but I still thought about you.
11 MR. SLEDZINSKI: I know.
12 MS. EVANS: Welcome back, Chris.
13 MR. SLEDZINSKI: Thank you, Chris.
14 I missed you more, and thank you so much for
15 that nice little man that you gave me. I
16 liked that.
17 MR. SLEDZINSKI: You're welcome.
18 MR. COURTRIGHT: Nelson.
19 MR. ANCHERANI: Nelson Ancherani,
20 resident, taxpayer, city employee, financial
21 secretary of the FOP, again, First Amendment
23 Mrs. Fanucci, I'm going to go about
24 the T-shirts. Mine didn't cost me $300
25 million. I paid $12, because I bought two.
1 Mine also, like I said, didn't cost me
2 $24,500,000 in tax anticipation notes, it
3 didn't cost me a 25 percent tax increase
4 with two more coming.
5 Mr. Courtright, you said how can we
6 look forward? But I'm going to say, how can
7 we look forward if we're sinking $300
8 million in debt?
9 If the Titanic captain was able to
10 look forward, they wouldn't have sunk, they
11 would have seen that iceberg.
12 Anyway, Mrs. Gatelli, Mrs. Gatelli
13 isn't here, a lot of this was going to be
14 directed for her.
15 After I left the podium last week,
16 she commented about the raising of our city
17 taxes 25 percent and that she will never
18 vote to raise our taxes again. She also
19 stated that it was only the second tax
20 increase in the city in the last 17 years.
21 Well, Connors was the last mayor to
22 raise taxes in his 12-year term, but it was
23 nowhere near 25 percent, as was this tax
24 increase voted for by Mrs. Fanucci, Mrs.
25 Gatelli, and Mr. McGoff.
1 Connors, when he left office, he
2 left us with a $3 million surplus, no
3 deficit. We have a $300 million long-term
4 debt and deficits every year. We have
5 record budgets, and added to borrowing over
6 the last five years, the total amount of
7 money available to spend in revenue by this
8 mayor again is $500 million. That's a half
9 a billion dollars.
10 For Mrs. Gatelli, it's ludicrous to
11 be in such debt. And for you, Ms. Fanucci,
12 Mr. McGoff, to borrow another $24,500,000
13 and still raise our taxes 25 percent,
14 ludicrous? It's shameful, because there was
15 an alternative to the borrowing and tax
17 There was a budget proposal by Ms.
18 Evans that would have eliminated the
19 borrowing and the tax increase. Look around
20 the room. All these mayors combined did not
21 have a $300 million debt, and I'm sure their
22 budgets all combined were not there.
23 We hear time after time from the
24 mayor and his cabinet, once the recovery
25 plan is implement, the city will realize
1 savings, since the mayor will be able to
2 implement his plan, his management rights in
3 shift staffing schedules in order to save
5 We're so far buried in debt, the $2
6 million per year that they're saying we will
7 save will take 150 years to pay off.
8 Interest will keep accruing, so it will be
9 many years longer than that. We'll all be
10 gone by then. We won't have to worry about
12 Right from the git-go, the mayor
13 violated his Recovery Plan, the one he wrote
14 and the Pennsylvania Economy League gave its
15 blessing to. He violated it by giving
16 raises to favorite persons, cumulatively
17 over $10 million since he came into office.
18 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.
19 MR. ANCHERANI: Thank you.
20 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you, Nelson.
21 MR. CASEY: Hi, Paul Casey, South
22 Side. Mr. McGoff, Mr. Courtright, Mrs.
23 Fanucci, I appreciate your responding to my
24 E-mails. I still don't have a salt truck.
25 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: They didn't
1 come up?
2 MR. CASEY: No.
3 MR. COURTRIGHT: Where is that?
4 MR. CASEY: South Side, the 1400,
5 1500 block of South Irving.
6 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: I called twice
7 on that today, and we were exchanging
8 E-mails today, and they still didn't come
10 MR. CASEY: No.
11 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: All right.
12 MR. CASEY: It is a sheet of ice.
13 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Oh, my gosh,
14 it's awful. The pictures are terrible.
15 MR. CASEY: They're two odd streets
16 in the city. There's a lower level, which
17 covers the even side of the street, and then
18 there's an upper level.
19 We had a plow one time, and I'm sure
20 it was an accident, I'm sure whoever drove
21 up there got yelled at.
22 MR. COURTRIGHT: Is it every event?
23 Has it been going on?
24 MR. CASEY: Every year. We don't
25 get paved, we don't get plowed.
1 Occasionally we get a pretreat, which helps
2 a lot, it really does.
3 I spent the entire five days of that
4 weekend shoveling, and it's kind of hard to
5 do. So, if, you know, the next storm, next
6 snowstorm we get, hopefully they're done
7 this year, but next year if we can get at
8 least some salt.
9 MR. COURTRIGHT: Kay, maybe we can
10 -- I know we've all been calling everything,
11 but maybe we can ask Mr. Parker for a
12 response in writing to why, not this event,
13 but any other event they don't seem to get a
14 plow truck up there.
15 MS. EVANS: There are quite a number
16 of streets in this city for which that's the
17 case, that I know through the years we've
18 received complaints on, but I did want to
19 apologize to you if you had Emailed me, I've
20 been having great difficulty with my
21 computer for quite a while now.
22 Obviously there's someone who
23 happens to be, I would say, quite adept at
24 computers, computer whiz, who is daily
25 toying with my E-mails, and at times sending
1 me hundreds at one time of the same E-mail,
2 and so I do apologize, and to everyone who
3 has been writing to me. I have been having
4 this problem for quite a while now, and
5 there doesn't seem to be any recourse at
6 this point outside of, I guess, changing my
7 carrier, if you will, or perhaps getting a
8 new computer.
9 I don't even know if that can solve
10 it, but someone quite talented is running
11 amuck with my computer from outside my home
13 MR. CASEY: So, I'd appreciate some
14 help. And in the spring, if we can get a
15 pave. I've been up there six years, my
16 grandparents owned the house before me.
17 It's probably been at least ten, 15, maybe
18 20 years since it's been paved. There is a
19 big dip.
20 MR. COURTRIGHT: I'm aware where
21 you're at, yeah.
22 MR. CASEY: And the 1400 block isn't
23 a whole lot better. It's probably worse.
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: We'll do the best
25 we could.
1 MR. CASEY: The two blocks get
2 ignored every winter.
3 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.
4 MR. COURTRIGHT: All right. Sorry
5 about that.
6 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Sorry about
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: Is there anyone
10 MR. DUDEK: Bill --
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: No, no, no, no. I
12 can't let you come back up, Mike.
13 MR. DUDEK: I would ask for special
14 reasons, because of the motion that --
15 MR. COURTRIGHT: You're going to
16 have to hold up to next week, buddy. Let me
17 -- I forgot to do this two weeks ago, and I
18 forgot again this week.
19 Kay, I believe, maybe we need to
20 send this to both Mr. Parker and Mr. Hayes,
21 Hampton Street behind Willard School is a
22 two-way street, and some the people have
23 been asking if we can make it one way
24 heading east, because when they let out
25 school there, it's really jammed up and
1 they're in fear that there's going to be a
2 problem with the children.
3 We couldn't do it on the other
4 street due to Gerrity's Market and that, but
5 if we can ask Mr. Parker and/or Mr. Hayes if
6 they can take a look at it and see if it
7 would be feasible to make that block of
8 Hampton Street behind Willard School a one
10 MS. GARVEY: What block?
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: I don't know. It's
12 eleven maybe. I'm not sure. I'm sorry.
13 And one last thing before we
14 adjourn, I don't know what Mr. Morgan thinks
15 we do, but I spent a lot of time looking at
16 the budget, Mrs. Evans, Mr. McGoff and
17 myself sat in the back room, we went over
18 item for item on that budget, so I did spend
19 time on the budget.
20 And I got to be perfectly honest
21 with you, you can ask my wife, I spend more
22 time on city business than I do my own
23 business, than I do my family.
24 I'm here every single day getting my
25 E-mails and answering them, and I didn't
1 this week, because I was out of town. So, I
2 just take exception to it.
3 I believe he said he doesn't know
4 what we're doing. It's a lot of work, and
5 I'm not complaining, but I put an awful lot
6 of time in, so I just wanted to make that
7 known. And with that said, I'll make a
8 motion to adjourn.
9 MS. EVANS: Second.
10 MR. COURTRIGHT: We're adjourned.
11 (MEETING WAS ADJOURNED.)
1 C E R T I F I C A T E
3 I hereby certify that the proceedings and
4 evidence are contained fully and accurately in the
5 notes taken by me on the hearing of the above cause and
6 that this copy is a correct transcript of the same
7 to the best of my ability.
LISA M. GRAFF, RMR
11 Official Court Reporter