1 SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING
7 Thursday, April 12, 2006
10 Council Chambers
11 Scranton City Hall
12 340 North Washington Avenue
13 Scranton, Pennsylvania
CATHENE S. NARDOZZI- COURT REPORTER
2 CITY OF SCRANTON COUNCIL:
MS. JUDY GATELLI, PRESIDENT
6 MS. JANET E. EVANS
MS. SHERRY FANUCCI
9 MR. ROBERT MCGOFF
MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT
12 MS. KAY GARVEY, CITY CLERK
MR. NEIL COOLICAN, ASSISTANT CITY CLERK
15 MR. AMIL MINORA, SOLICITOR
1 (Pledge of Allegiance recited and moment of
2 prayer observed.)
3 MS. GATELLI: Roll call, Neil.
4 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.
5 MS. EVANS: Here.
6 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci.
7 MS. FANUCCI: Here.
8 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff.
9 MR. MCGOFF: Here.
10 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: Here.
12 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.
13 MS. GATELLI: Here. Dispense with
14 the reading of the minutes.
15 MS. GARVEY: THIRD ORDER, 3-A,
16 MINUTE OF THE FIREMEN'S PENSION COMMISSION
17 MEETING HELD ON FEBRUARY 28, 2007.
18 MS. GATELLI: Are there any
19 comments? If not, received and filed.
20 MS. GARVEY: 3-B, MINUTES OF THE
21 POLICE PENSION COMMISSION MEETING HELD ON
22 FEBRUARY 28, 2007.
23 MS. GATELLI: Are there any comments?
24 If not, received and filed.
25 MS. GARVEY: That's all I have for
1 the third order.
2 MS. GATELLI: Before we start with
3 the speakers on agenda items I just have a
4 few announcements. First of all, I'd like
5 everyone to wish the chairman of the junior
6 city council a happy birthday. It's
7 Douglas' birthday today. Happy birthday,
9 If anyone saw the paper this week
10 there was a nice article on Katrina Organ,
11 one of other junior council members and she
12 is in the play at her school Footloose
13 tomorrow and Saturday night at 7:00 and also
14 tonight and they did a nice article on her
15 on the students page and we'd like to
16 congratulate her for a job well done.
17 The Tour D'Scranton gave me this
18 poster, I'm going to ask Kay if see would
19 hang it in city hall, and it's a bike race
20 and this year they are also going to have a
21 walking around the Memorial Stadium so if
22 you don't ride a bike you can walk in it.
23 Two very special friends of mine, Tom and
24 Betty Morgan's daughter, had died several
25 years ago from a drug overdose and they
1 wanted to do something positive about that
2 so they started a fund in her memory to help
3 kids that have addictions. So, this is the
4 fourth year for the race. It's on April 22
5 and it starts at Memorial Stadium and goes
6 through Dunmore and I believe all of the
7 information is at city council's office if
8 anyone is interested.
9 Tomorrow evening at Lackawanna
10 Junior College the Scranton School District
11 Special Olympic cocktail party will be held.
12 It benefits the special ed students at the
13 Scranton School District. It starts at 7:00
14 and it's $35.
15 On May 20, 2007, at St. Peter and
16 Paul Church in west side there will be a
17 benefit for a student who happens to be a
18 student at West Scranton High School who was
19 hurt in a bicycle accident that left him
20 paralyzed. His name is Jonathan Clauss and
21 they are accepting donations for baskets.
22 Monetary donations can be made to Citizens
23 Save's Association, 156 South Main Avenue in
24 care of Jonathan Clauss Benefit Fund and
25 anyone who has any donations can contact
1 Mary Ann at 343-8872, and I think that's all
2 I have. Anyone else?
3 MS. EVANS: Yes. The first annual
4 Joe Duffy Hearing Awareness Golf Tournament
5 will be held on Monday, July 23, 2007, so
6 book the date now. Registration opens at
7 12:00 p.m. and the tournament begins at 1:00
8 at Woodlock Pine's Resort, Hawley, PA.
9 Fifty percent of the proceeds will go
10 directly to the Starkey Hearing Foundation
11 and the remaining 50 percent will be used to
12 fit college students and recent graduates
13 with the best hearing aid technology
14 available today.
15 And the event is named for Mr. Duffy
16 who has worked tirelessly on this event. As
17 a child he suffered from cancer and that
18 illness robbed him of 80 percent of his
19 hearing and that is why he has taken up this
20 cause which is so close to his heart and I'm
21 hoping that all of you golfers will please
22 consider this in July.
23 MS. GATELLI: Is that all, Mrs.
25 MS. EVANS: Yes.
1 MR. COURTRIGHT: Mrs. Gatelli, if I
3 MS. GATELLI: Yes.
4 MR. COURTRIGHT: I don't normally
5 mention when somebody passes away and the
6 reason I don't is because I'm fearful that
7 somewhere down the road I would be miss
8 somebody and offend somebody and so that's
9 why I don't do it, but a gentleman, I think
10 that anybody that's run for office in the
11 City of Scranton knows, his name is Frank
12 Giombrone, helpful to many of us up here and
13 I'm sure many before us, his wife passed
14 away this past week so I'd just like to send
15 my condolences to Mr. Giombrone's family and
16 that's all I have.
17 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else? We'll
18 get to the -- Douglas.
19 MR. MILLER: Doug Miller. Mrs.
20 Gatelli, if you don't mind. We do have a
21 problem this evening regarding the junior
22 council. This evening around 5:30 junior
23 council made it's way here to city hall to
24 get ready for it's weekly 5:30 caucus and as
25 we made our way to the door and were just
1 about to walk into the door a police officer
2 told us to step outside and get in the back
3 of the line. I explained to the officer
4 that we are the junior council and we are
5 here weekly to conduct our 5:30 caucus and
6 it was never an issue before. Supposedly
7 Mr. Courtright told the officer to tell us
8 to go back outside. Like I said, there was
9 never an issue with this before so,
10 Mrs. Gatelli, I'd ask what is the protocol
11 for the council?
12 MS. GATELLI: We are going to be
13 addressing that. Council is aware of some
14 problems and we are going to have Attorney
15 Minora look at it.
16 MR. MILLER: Last meeting we were
17 able to get in, there was no problem. All
18 of a sudden tonight now, you know, I don't
19 know if it's, you know, if you don't want us
20 here anymore or what, but I just --
21 MS. GATELLI: No, that's not the
23 MR. MILLER: It's sort of an insult.
24 MS. GATELLI: Okay. Thank you.
25 MR. MILLER: So I think something
1 needs to be done. Thank you.
2 MS. GATELLI: We'll take care of it.
3 Agenda items, Andy Sbaraglia.
4 MR. SBARAGLIA: Andy Sbaraglia,
5 citizen of Scranton, fellow Scrantonians,
6 Agenda Item 5-I authorizing a loan for
7 250,000. Tell me, why is that loan being
8 forgiven after three years with four
9 employees? Is this common for the City to
10 give $250,000 away and then forget about it
11 because the good old boys? I wish you would
12 vote that down or strike that provision out
13 of it. Forgiveness loans should not be
14 anywhere in one of those agreements.
15 Now, let's go to the 6-A. This is
16 the proof and penalty and interest fee
17 schedule. Let me read some of the numbers:
18 A: $25. B: $160. C: $35. D:$175. F:
19 $175. G: $30. H: $275. J: $800. We get
20 down through "I" $175. M: $30. O: $50.
21 P: $25. Q: $400. R: $30. S: $100. T:
22 $50. U: $225. People who go delinquent on
23 their taxes I guess a year and three months
24 and then they could be sold out from
25 underneath them. This I'm telling to all of
1 the elderly in Scranton, people who can't
2 really think they might not be able to make
3 their taxes, go and get a reverse mortgage
4 on your house and then they can't do it.
5 Other than that, you are going to lose your
6 house too fast and you are not going to know
7 what happened.
8 This is a grab all because he needs
9 $2,800,000. He would sell his soul and the
10 people's soul in the city for that type of
11 money. This is wrong. Never in my life
12 have I seen a worse set of agreements. You
13 can't do this to people of Scranton. We
14 have an elderly crowd in this city. They
15 have more trouble paying their bills, never
16 mind adding all of these costs on the
17 mortgages and then to lose your house
18 because you can't pay it for being one year
19 and 3 months late. That's criminal and if
20 you vote for this thing you are just as
21 criminal as the people who drew it up.
22 Thank you.
23 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Spindler.
24 MR. SPINDLER: Les Spindler, city
25 resident, and I also want to talk about F-I,
1 $250,000 loan to Alexander's Day Spa that if
2 they hire four people in three years they
3 don't have to pay the loan back? That's
4 ridiculous. They could hire three family
5 members and not have to pay the city back
6 and the city losses more than $1 million. I
7 mean, it's the most ridiculous thing I ever
8 heard of so I hope you vote this down
9 tonight. Thank you.
10 MS. GATELLI: Sam Patilla.
11 MR. PATILLA: Sam Patilla, city
12 resident, homeowner, taxpayer. I, too, want
13 to comment on 5-I. You know, this is why
14 for the last two or three weeks I have been
15 so vehement about allowing Mayor Doherty to
16 have anything to do with a loan, be it make
17 loans, be it receive loans, all right? This
18 is just as crooked as crooked can be. How
19 can you loan out a quarter of a million
20 dollars when the city is basically broke.
21 You know, it goes right along with 6-A,
22 you know. In the beginning I was for this,
23 but after looking at all of the fees, all
24 right, you are opening the door to take
25 people's homes, you know, people that have
1 lived in these houses for 25, 35, 50, 60,
2 years, you know, it's just not right and
3 that ties in with why I say that he
4 shouldn't be allowed to appoint anybody to
5 an office because sooner or later, you know,
6 the taxpayers, the people will have control
7 of city council. We will have control of
8 the city clerk. We will have control of the
9 treasurer, you know, and you just cannot
10 allow this man to do this to the people of
11 Scranton any longer, you know, that $250,000
12 is criminal, the $150 for the coffee shop is
13 criminal, these hidden feels on the
14 delinquent taxes is criminal.
15 This just it has to stop. Please.
16 Just put an end to it. You tell that man,
17 no. Tell him use his own money. Tell him
18 to go in his own pocket, oh, I forgot, he
19 doesn't have any money because he just
20 borrowed $560,000 from somebody else
21 hisself. All right? He can't use our money
22 anymore. Let him go to one of his friends,
23 Louie, or whoever owns the bank, let him get
24 the money from them. You are just driving
25 deeper and further into this hole and it
1 really has to stop.
2 You know, come back. Come back.
3 You were one of us. Come back on over here,
4 we forgive you, we open our arms, come home.
5 It's okay. Don't let this man do this to us
7 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.
8 MR. HUBBARD: Good evening, Council.
9 Two points on the agenda, first I'd like to
10 address 5-I. I'm sorry, yeah, 5-I. I can't
11 see how Alexander's can't afford to expand
12 the business themselves. It's probably one
13 of the most successful small businesses in
14 downtown Scranton. It's definitely the most
15 expensive spa in the county, they shouldn't
16 need a loan from Scranton. Not to mention
17 the fact that if we go by what the newspaper
18 said that the footprint for the $9 million
19 parking garage that we can't afford either
20 is going to be right where Alexander's is
21 because they said that's going to take up
22 the corner of North Washington and
23 Lackawanna, so the Woolworth building will
24 go and we'll lose the companies that are in
25 there and Alexander's will go because if
1 they give up that space for the parking
2 garage they will move out of the city,
3 probably have to go to Clarks Summit. So we
4 should give them a quarter of a million
5 dollars now and then in two years they can
6 hire four people so they don't have to pay
7 it back and then when the mayor gets all of
8 the parking authority appointees that he
9 needs in there to guarantee that he can get
10 is 5 million to get his new garage,
11 Alexander's will get $250,000 to walk and
12 they'll get the money for the building as
13 well, so I guess they all make out and we
14 lose. I don't think we can afford to give
15 anybody any money period right now.
16 Garages, spas, nobody.
17 I'd like to address also 5-G. Would
18 somebody please explain to me why Director
19 Hayes would act as an agent for the city for
20 emergency disaster relief pursuant to the
21 Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and
22 Emergency Assistance Act, explanation on
23 that? What would his job be? Anybody have
24 an answer?
25 MS. EVANS: No, but perhaps Mr.
1 Courtright would have information.
2 MR. HUBBARD: Because I'd like to
3 know what the Stafford Disaster Relief and
4 Emergency Assistance Act is and then I'd
5 like to know what Mr. Hayes' role would be
6 as an agent for the city during obviously
7 emergency disaster relief since I previously
8 have been the only emergency disaster
9 neighborhood in Scranton I'd like to know
10 what he is going to do when we get flooded.
11 MS. GATELLI: I think, if I'm
12 correct, I think that the city has to have
14 MR. HUBBARD: We don't have one now?
15 MS. GATELLI: To file all of the
16 paperwork with PEMA.
17 MR HUBBARD: Who does it now?
18 MS. GATELLI: I'm not sure.
19 MR. HUBBARD: Who did it before we
20 had the Department of Public Safety?
21 MS. GATELLI: I don't know.
22 MR. HUBBARD: Somebody did? I mean,
23 it's not the first -- I mean, there was
24 years we didn't have the Department of
25 Public Safety when the Plot got flooded and
1 lower Greenridge got flooded when somebody
2 filed that paperwork. So, I mean, we
3 created a new department and now we have to
4 appoint somebody in that department to do
5 the job that somebody else was already
6 doing. It's kind of redundant.
7 Mr. Courtright?
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: Oh, I'm sorry.
9 MR. HUBBARD: That's okay.
10 Everybody seems to think you might have an
11 answer for me in regards to -- -
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: What was the
13 question, I apologize?
14 MR. HUBBARD: 5-G.
15 MR. COURTRIGHT: All right, I was
16 asking Mr. Minora a question.
17 MR. HUBBARD: That's okay. I'd just
18 like to know what the Stafford Disaster
19 Relief Emergency Assistance Act is and what
20 Mr. Hayes role as an agent for the City of
21 Scranton would be involving that Act?
22 MR. COURTRIGHT: I couldn't explain
23 the Act to you, but I know when we have a
24 disaster he is the point person for the City
25 of Scranton.
1 MR. HUBBARD: I know, and somebody
2 said that and I said, well, what did we do
3 before we had the Department of Public
4 Safety, who was the point man?
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: I believe it was
6 either the police chief or the fire chief to
8 MR. HUBBARD: So they handled it well
9 previously to the Greenridge --
10 MR. COURTRIGHT: We had one, then we
11 didn't have one, now we have one again, so
12 in the interim I believe it was Chief Klee
13 that handled everything, if I'm not
15 MS. GATELLI: I think it was.
16 MR. HUBBARD: I'd just like to know.
17 Thank you.
18 MS. GATELLI: Liz Hubbard?
19 MRS. HUBBARD: Good evening, Council,
20 Liz Hubbard, Scranton resident. I also have
21 a question on 5-I on the agenda, it says
22 that the loan is to assist an eligible
23 project. Could anybody tell me what the
24 project is?
25 MS. FANUCCI: I actually have the
1 whole entire explanation, but I was going to
2 wit until motions, but I will give it to
3 you, it's pretty long and what they're going
4 to do and what's going to happen.
5 MRS. HUBBARD: Well, if you were
6 going to do it in motions you don't need to
7 do it now.
8 MS. FANUCCI: That's what I'm
10 MRS. HUBBARD: I can wait. Thanks.
11 That was all.
12 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Nancy
14 MS. KRAKE: I listened to the
15 presentation from municipal claims and
16 municipal revenue services that is that
17 interested in giving us money up front for
18 something that we already do and we do it in
19 a way that was meant to save people's homes.
20 It's called the Pittsburg Plan. I would
21 hope that each and every councilperson would
22 familiarize themselves with it before they
23 inflict these fees which just a quick
24 calculation right now, an average tax of
25 $650 would turn into a minimum of $3,150
1 after all of these fees were applied.
2 This is simply another scheme, money
3 scheme. The mayor has already had two that
4 crashed and burned. To recall Mayor
5 Ganakan, "We are about to pay through the
6 nose for that."
7 Pension managers that were brought
8 in gave us money upfront, we will be paying
9 for that for a long time and now municipal
10 revenue services. There is no way that
11 anyone in this community can afford this.
12 If the mayor wants to impose this on someone
13 and truly wants to redevelop something why
14 doesn't he turn it back on his businessman
15 friends? Why don't you take a good look at
16 their contract and a good hard look at these
17 fees and do something about the downtown
18 that he is always screaming about. You want
19 to do something for the homeowners? Offer
20 them amnesty. The city will still be taking
21 in the same amount of money. I think anyone
22 that votes for this should truly be ashamed
23 of themselves. Thank you.
24 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Jacowitz?
25 MR. JACOWITZ: Bill Jacowitz, South
1 Scranton resident, speaking on agenda items
2 for 12 April '07 from the citizens' hall of
3 Scranton, Pennsylvania, this is the
4 citizens' hall.
5 First of all I'd like to make
6 mention that City Council table all of the
7 agenda items this evening until they can
8 answer the questions that are being asked by
9 the citizens because I'm not sure if you are
10 aware of everything that's on the agenda
11 tonight because so far no questions have
12 been answered.
13 Okay, the Electric City Roasting
14 Company, $150,000, I still do not see where
15 this loan will Benefit the taxpaying
16 citizens of the Scranton. What I see is a
17 great benefit to the owners of the company.
18 According to Councilperson Fanucci, they
19 already have a very large client list in the
20 city and outside of the City of Scranton.
21 Five employees in my opinion is not
22 justification for a $150,000. A commercial
23 loan or a business loan would be more
24 beneficial to the taxpayers, that's what
25 most companies do when they need money, they
1 go and get a commercial or business loan.
2 They don't borrow the money from the
3 taxpayers in the city they work at. The
4 Scranton Today Plan has failed. I speak
5 about that every week. It has failed,
6 failed, failed. The Alexander's Beauty
7 Salon is hot. Where in Scranton is this
8 business currently located? It's located in
9 the same area where you are going to build a
10 new parking garage, so why are we going to
11 give these people $250,000 and all they have
12 to do is higher four employees in two years
13 or three years and then the loan is
14 terminated. They don't have to pay it back.
15 Why? Can you loan me $250,000 and tell me
16 that I can sell five Legion of Doom shirts
17 and I don't have to pay it back? Can you do
18 that for me, city council, please because
19 you are doing it for everybody else in the
21 MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Shumaker.
22 MS. SHUMAKER: Marie Shumaker. I'd
23 like to ask questions on two items, the
24 first again is 5-I. There have been a lot
25 of loans made recently from this commercial
1 industrial revolving loan program, can
2 anybody tell me what the balance will be
3 left in this account for other eligible
4 projects after this is -- if this loan is
5 approved? I take the silence as a, no.
6 And also 6-A, I was just made away
7 of it when I came in tonight and I agree, I
8 think it's totally immoral and I'm
9 wondering, because I didn't have a chance to
10 read through the entire ordinance, is there
11 any provision in there for credit counseling
12 for the affected homeowners? Does anybody
13 know or have an answer for that? I would
14 like answers to those questions. That's all
15 I have.
16 MS. GATELLI: I answered that last
17 one. I said, I don't believe so.
18 MS. SHUMAKER: Oh, I'm sorry. I
19 didn't hear you.
20 MS. GATELLI: I don't think there is.
21 MS. SHUMAKER: Well, I certainly
22 think that there should be some -- first of
23 all, I don't think you should go along with
24 it at all, but if there is ever anything of
25 this nature I think the homeowners are going
1 to pay taxes for a long time and have a
2 problem there should certainly be a
3 provision for credit counseling in there.
4 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Lee Morgan.
5 MR. MORGAN: Good evening, Council.
6 I only want to speak on the one issue here
7 that's probably vital to most residents in
8 this city and council probably knows that
9 that happens to be 6-A, and I think it's
10 important for all of the residents in the
11 city to realize that this council has an
12 obligation to protect homeowners, not sell
13 their properties out from underneath them.
14 When you start looking at this you got a 10
15 percent fee per annum, you've got massive
16 fees everywhere for consultants, for filing,
17 for review, I think that the residents of
18 this city have to do themselves a favor and
19 realize that, you know, council has no
20 answers and this mayor is just leading a
21 agenda of complete destruction of the city.
22 I mean, Nancy Krake spoke about a couple of
23 things about the pension plan, about the
24 sewer authority deal, about, you know, all
25 of this stuff that's going on and, you know,
1 it's a shame that we borrow money through
2 the sewer authority and now we are going to
3 borrow $8 million more and I just find that
4 the residents and the property owners get
5 exactly what they deserve, okay? They have
6 all stayed home, they have all allowed you
7 politicians to play your games and now it's
8 come home to roost so there is nobody else
9 to go after for money because it's all gone.
10 You have borrowed all of can borrow, you
11 sold everything you can sell including a
12 city park and now the plan is, well, we are
13 going to condemn as many houses as we can
14 and we are going to rip them down and bring
15 the population base in line with the housing
16 stock and now we are going to go and we're
17 going to put fees on everybody houses that
18 can't pay their taxes and why? Because this
19 city's government has been mismanaged for
20 about 50 hours years, no employers want to
21 come here. You know, Mr. Popil who spoke at
22 the taxpayers group recently and he made a
23 statement where, well, we know people
24 haven't moved very far, they have moved to
25 Dunmore and they've moved to Moosic and they
1 have moved to Dickson City, of course they
2 have, and now what we got left here is all
3 of the people who couldn't sell their homes
4 who are stakeholders in this community and
5 bought homes and invested here and they
6 can't sell them and get their money out so
7 now they are stuck here. They are either at
8 low wage jobs or social security or
9 disability and now what we are going to do
10 is we're going to leverage their property
11 with fees and we're going to either sell it
12 or whatever. I mean, I don't know what the
13 plan is concerning that we have so many
14 vacant units in this city, but, you know, we
15 had no problem with closing council chambers
16 for that, we had no problems with removing
17 the cameras, we had no problems with a lot
18 of things and I just think this, anybody who
19 votes on this council for this, two are up
20 of this year, they should be voted out no
21 matter what happens, okay, because you don't
22 keep penalizing the people that are
23 investors here that are living here and
24 doing the right thing and the next election
25 remove anyone of the other three that vote
1 for this, that's what I think needs to be
3 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else here to
4 speak on agenda items? Mr. Ancherani?
5 MR. ANCHERANI: Nelson Ancherani. I
6 wasn't really going to speak on anything
7 here about the agenda, but seeing 6-A I just
8 want to remind everybody that we have
9 25 percent tax increase this year, we are
10 going to get two more in the next two years,
11 we have a 56.5 percent rate increase from
12 the Sewer Authority, and more coming, and we
13 are going to have -- we have a $300 million
14 debt. People aren't going to be able to
15 keep their homes, they are going to end up
16 losing them to taxes. People are going to
17 be eating dog food or cat food. I think you
18 should think about this before you vote on
19 it. Thank you.
20 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else?
21 MS. FRANAS: Fay Franas. I'd simply
22 just like to say the same thing Nelson is
23 saying and Nancy and everybody that the 6-AA
24 thing, if people are having trouble paying
25 their taxes I wouldn't think you would want
1 to punish them by giving them all of these
2 fees that they wouldn't be able to -- if
3 they can't pay their taxes how could they
4 possibly pay these fees? If anything you
5 should be trying to help them with their
6 taxes not make it worse so that they
7 definitely would lose their homes, so I
8 would just hope that you would not even
9 consider it because -- I can't even
10 comprehend how come it's even on here. How
11 would any rationale person say that they
12 want to fine all of people that don't pay
13 their taxes. You think you would want to be
14 giving them a hand to help them not say you
15 have to pay this, this and this and make it
16 worse for them. I mean, any senior citizen
17 or even a young person with a family, when
18 they say they can't pay their taxes they are
19 upset as it is and then burden them with
20 this. Please don't do this.
21 See my hat, "Dogs Rule."
22 I think that's better than what Mayor
23 Doherty is doing. Please think about this
24 and don't vote for it, okay. Thank you.
25 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else?
1 MS. GARVEY: 5-A, motions.
2 MS. EVANS: Good evening. The last
3 several days have seen the passing of three
4 wonderful people and I, too, ask your
5 prayers for them and for their dear
6 families. Mrs. Rose Giombroni, Mrs.
7 Katherine Dickerson and Mr. Paul Turrey.
8 Over the last two weeks I have
9 received countless e-mails and numerous at
10 my home much who are extremely upset by the
11 Draconian measures instituted for public
12 attendance at city council. Ladies and
13 gentlemen, each and everyday hundreds of
14 people enter city hall through the front
15 doors, they are not screened by metal
16 detectors or supervised by police officers.
17 I firmly believe that making citizens,
18 especially senior citizens and the disabled,
19 stand in line for hours in an alley and
20 screening them with metal detectors is an
21 attempt to discourage them from attending
22 council meetings. In effect, it's a form of
23 intimidation. This situation has become so
24 petty that the taxpayers' organization was
25 not allowed to conduct their meetings in
1 council chambers. Consequently, I move that
2 metal detectors and outdoor lines for
3 admission to city council meetings be
4 eliminate effective Monday, April 16, 2007.
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: I'll second that.
6 MS. GATELLI: On the question?
7 MR. COURTRIGHT: On the question,
8 I'm not -- it's not that I'm not in favor of
9 security in this building I certainly am,
10 but I think until the time that we could put
11 a security system in the front of the
12 building where everybody comes in and out or
13 at the very least, the very least that every
14 meeting, planning commission or planning,
15 zoning, that those people also lose their
16 security because I just think it looks like
17 we are selectively scanning people and I
18 don't think that's right. Am I in favor of
19 putting a security system in this building,
20 I absolutely am. I mean, every building has
21 it anymore, but I think we shot from the hip
22 on this one. I think we've got to take a
23 step back and take a look at what kind of
24 security measures we are going to do and if
25 we are going to impose security not just on
1 this meeting, whatever other meetings there
2 are, and I had asked, it goes hand-in-hand
3 with this, I had asked our solicitor to look
4 and see if could find in writing for me who
5 actually controls this room here, the
6 council chambers. I'm pretty sure that the
7 mayor controls the building, but I'm not
8 sure who controls the council chambers and
9 he's going to try to get that in writing for
10 me. So, again, I'm certainly in favor of
11 some type of security here, but not
12 selective security.
13 MS. EVANS: If I might add to what
14 Mr. Courtright said, I, too, agree with
15 security in public buildings, and it is my
16 understanding that at some point in the
17 future metal detectors will be purchased by
18 the city for placement in city hall and it's
19 my hope that those detectors are placed
20 inside of the front doors of this building
21 and are in operation from the moment the
22 building opens in the morning until it
23 closes in the afternoon. But I also wanted
24 to add that the mayor has gone on record
25 stating that he abides by the will of
1 council, so this council has only to pass
2 this motion in order to once again
3 accommodate the people of Scranton,
4 particularly the elderly and the disabled.
5 I also feel that the motion will help
6 to restore order and mollify bad feelings in
8 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else?
9 MR. MCGOFF: The mayor has also said
10 that -- he's said the opposite as well, and
11 to vote on a motion over which we have no
12 authority if it is, in fact, the mayor's
13 building to allow people in and out and what
14 security measures are taken, then no matter
15 what measures we take are moot. They, you
16 know, they have no effect, so voting on the
17 motion really if we do not have authority --
18 the authority to allow people in and out of
19 the building then we have no reason to vote
20 on the motion. It has no -- it's going to
21 have no effect.
22 I would prefer to find out from
23 Attorney Minora or whoever, you know, where
24 the authority lies and, in fact, we do have
25 authority to do that then we will change it.
1 If we don't, then perhaps we need to find
2 some other venue through the mayor's office
3 through the administration to make that
5 MS. EVANS: Well, I can certainly
6 understand and respect what by colleague is
7 saying, however, I am taking the mayor at
8 his word, after all, it appears that on his
9 word cameras were removed, on his word
10 cameras were returned, and all in order to
11 comply with the will of city council. After
12 all, a motion was passed at the last meeting
13 concerning the cameras and the mayor did,
14 indeed, acquiesce and just as my colleague
15 was very anxious to pursue a motion to
16 provide a much needed siren for Lower
17 Greenridge without knowing how the funding
18 could be obtained, if indeed there were any
19 funding available at the time, I do believe
20 the wisest, most prudent course of action
21 right now is for us to take the steps and
22 let the mayor know this is the feeling of
23 city council and then we shall see, indeed,
24 if he will keep his word.
25 MR. COURTRIGHT: I've got to jump in
1 again, I'm sorry. If I'm incorrect in
2 saying this I would ask Mrs. Fanucci and
3 Mrs. Gatelli to correct me, I believe that
4 maybe Mrs. Gatelli and possibly Mrs. Fanucci
5 don't feel safe, and if that's the case I
6 don't want anybody not to feel safe, but I
7 would say this, until what time that we can
8 do this across the board fair for all
9 concerned is that we have been having two
10 and three police officers here, maybe and I
11 would ask the public not to chastise you for
12 this, maybe you could be escorted in and
13 escorted out to make you feel safe until
14 what time we were to get an apparatus in the
15 front of the building and everybody would go
16 through and get scanned. I just -- I don't
17 even want to say that I'm profiling, but I
18 think we are selectively scrutinizing people
19 and it just seems to be at this meeting and
20 I think it's created for bad blood, all
21 right? And now you've got people I think
22 coming to this meeting just because they are
23 mad about what's happening. I'm just trying
24 to come up with a solution that I think will
25 be fair to all and will stop some of the
1 controversy that we have having here at this
2 meeting. I don't know if that's a viable
3 solution or not just a suggestion.
4 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else?
5 MR. MCGOFF: I'll jump back in. I
6 would like -- I personally would like to see
7 the security measures stay in place. What I
8 would like to see is a uniform policy
9 established so that everyone knows what that
10 policy is going to be, you know, when the
11 doors will be open, at what point in time
12 people can enter the building, what exactly
13 will be -- what security will be taken at
14 that point in time and I think if that's
15 done, if there is a uniform policy for the
16 meeting, you know for entry for meetings I
17 think that that should be, you know, that
18 that should be established.
19 MS. EVANS: If I might just add
20 though or perhaps ask, Mr. McGoff, do you
21 believe we can set that or are we asking the
22 mayor to set that policy?
23 MR. MCGOFF: Again, I don't know. I
24 think until we -- until there is some
25 determination as to when who has the
1 authority to act, or let's put it this way,
2 we need to find out who has the authority to
3 act before action is taken and I think that
4 should be done prior to the next meeting.
5 It should be done in time to alert people as
6 to what actions will be taken, whether if we
7 will go back to the former policy or whether
8 we are going to continue with the current
9 policy or whether there is going to be an
10 alteration in the policy, but I think we
11 need to do that prior to the next meeting.
12 MS. EVANS: I would agree with you,
13 but if I might add, I don't believe there is
14 a policy at this point. I don't believe
15 there exists any policy that covers what's
16 being done to the citizens of Scranton and I
17 know just from my own point of view I was
18 very disturbed coming in this evening and
19 seeing all of these individuals standing in
20 line in the cold outside and I'm given
21 privilege to pass by each and every one of
22 you and enter the building.
23 I asked, as the officer can attest,
24 I volunteered to be examined by a metal
25 detector because I don't feel what's being
1 done to you shouldn't be done to me, too.
2 This really is most improper and if nothing
3 else I think, you know, from a humanistic or
4 a moral standpoint I think council should
5 show it's respect to the people it serves
6 and pass this motion.
7 MS. GATELLI: All in favor?
8 MS. EVANS: Aye.
9 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
10 MS. GATELLI: Opposed?
11 MR. MCGOFF: No.
12 MS. FANUCCI: No.
13 MS. GATELLI: No?
14 MS. EVANS: I'm not finished. Thank
15 you. I further move that Scranton City
16 Council allow the Taxpayers' Association to
17 continue to conduct it's meetings in council
19 MR. COUTRIGTH: I'll second it.
20 MS. GATELLI: On the question?
21 MR. COURTRIGHT: On the question,
22 I'll second it, but I have to go back to
23 what Mr. McGoff said on the other issue, do
24 we have the authority. I think that's what
25 we got to find out. What authority do we
1 have or do we not have over this room.
2 MS. EVANS: I think we do we have
3 the authority though to express our opinion
4 to the mayor that this is where we stand on
5 this, this is our will and is he going to
6 abide by his statements and respect that.
7 MR. COURTRIGHT: I absolutely agree
8 that we have the right to express our
9 opinion. I hope very expeditiously we find
10 out where we stand as far as this room goes
11 so we can put this aside and find out do we
12 or do we not have say what goes on in this
13 room and I say "we", I mean, city council,
14 or does the mayor, and take it from there.
15 MS. FANUCCI: I did inquire today and
16 the response I received was that it is the
17 mayor's call and that the mayor said that
18 they will not be in this room. That
19 was what I received today.
20 MR. COURTRIGHT: And if that's the
21 case, again, I asked our solicitor to do
22 that before, to get that for me in writing
23 and if that's the rule then I abide by the
24 rules, and I'd like to see it in writing.
25 MS. FANUCCI: Bill, I did ask one
1 step further and I said, "Why? What is the
2 reasoning," and he said everyone else who
3 meets in this room are appointed or elected.
4 They are not appointed nor elected. Either
5 we have agreed to appoint someone or they
6 are elected to office and that's who can use
7 the meetings in this room. That was the
8 answer I received today.
9 MS. EVANS: That's a good answer, but
10 the problem is not all of the these
11 authorities and boards and commissions
12 indeed hold their meetings in this room and
13 that needs correction because it was my
14 understanding that that was to be the case
15 and yet many do not. I know zoning does, I
16 know planning does, pension, but recreation
17 authority does not, for example. The
18 redevelopment authority I don't believe.
19 MS. FANUCCI: Well, I didn't ask him
20 who was supposed to be here, so I don't know
21 who is supposed to be here --
22 MS. EVANS: Well, I can understand
23 why --
24 MS. FANUCCI: But he said that they
25 were not an elected body or appointed so
1 that was the only answer I received. That's
2 all I know.
3 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else? All in
5 MS. EVANS: Aye.
6 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
7 MR. MCGOFF: No.
8 MS. FANUCCI: No.
9 MS. GATELLI: No.
10 MS. EVANS: Council is currently in
11 the process of developing new revenue
12 sources some of which were originally
13 contained in My 2007 budget. One item is an
14 amusement tax and I believe it is crucial
15 that council jointly and meticulously
16 examine the language of such an ordinance in
17 order to be specific about what is being
18 taxed and who will oversee it's collections
19 and delinquencies, therefore, Scranton City
20 Council will conduct a public caucus on
21 Thursday, April 19 at 5:45 to develop an
22 appropriate legislation for an amusement
24 I'm also currently researching the
25 feasibility of a hotel tax in Scranton. The
1 purpose of generating several new sources of
2 revenue is to prevent future property tax
3 increases and to try to stop the financial
4 bleeding caused by fiscal mismanagement and
5 the Doherty debt.
6 On April 10 I received responses to
7 two financial questions moved by council and
8 I will report the responses received. In
9 response to question one, there is
10 $19,8550,287.59 in the reserve account trust
11 as of March 30, 2007.
12 In response to Question five, the
13 realty transfer tax for the sale of Montage
14 sky resort to Sno Mountain was received in
15 November 2006. The city's share was
17 We have received the responses to
18 two more questions today and I await the
19 remainder by our next meeting. At this time
20 I move that the administration respond to
21 the following questions on or about May 2,
22 2007: Is the reserve fund overfunded or
23 underfunded, what is the dollar amount of
24 the overfunding or underfunding.
25 MS. FANUCCI: I'll second that.
1 MS. GATELLI: All in favor?
2 MS. EVANS: Aye.
3 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
4 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
5 MR. MCGOFF: Aye.
6 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The
7 ayes have it and so moved.
8 MS. EVANS: I further move that the
9 administration provide revenues and
10 reimbursement on company letterheads for all
11 sources of other revenue listed in the 2006
12 and 2007 operating budgets on or about May
13 2, 2007.
14 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
15 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All
16 in favor? Aye.
17 MS. EVANS: Aye.
18 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
19 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
20 MR. MCGOFF: Aye.
21 MS. GATELLI: The ayes have it and so
23 MS. EVANS: I further move that the
24 administration provide the following
25 information on or before May 2, 2007: The
1 names, costs and duties and responsibilities
2 of all consultants currently employed by the
3 City of Scranton, provide expenses and
4 revenues on company letter heads for each
5 consultant hired and currently employed by
6 the City of Scranton.
7 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
8 MS. GATELLI: On the question?
9 MR. MCGOFF: Are you asking -- I
10 just -- maybe I misunderstood, are you
11 asking the consultants to provide that or
12 the City to provide that?
13 MS. EVANS: The city can provide it,
14 but I would like the figures on company
15 letterhead each firm that the consultant is
16 employed by and representing.
17 MS. GATELLI: I just have one
18 question, can we get any of that from
19 Roseanne's office, any of that information?
20 MS. EVANS: I don't believe all of it
21 is possible.
22 MS. FANUCCI: She has to pay them.
23 MS. GATELLI: Yeah, she has to pay
24 them all.
25 MS. EVANS: Well, actually, no she
1 wouldn't be paying OECD.
2 MS. GATELLI: Yeah, she approves
3 those vouchers, too.
4 MS. EVANS: We were told she
6 MS. GATELLI: She did when I was
7 here. She approved all of them. Amil, do
8 you know?
9 MR. MINORA: Beg your pardon?
10 MS. GATELLI: Do you know that, if
11 Roseanne approves OECD's bills?
12 MR. MINORA: I believe she approves
13 all bills and signs all of the checks.
14 MS. EVANS: Well, I would -- I'm not
15 withdrawing the motion.
16 MS. GATELLI: All in favor?
17 MR. COURTRIGHT: Ayes.
18 MS. EVANS: Aye.
19 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
20 MR. MCGOFF: Aye.
21 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The
22 ayes have it and so moved.
23 MS. EVANS: Finally, I move that the
24 administration show the numbers for all
25 insurance premiums on or before May 2, 2007.
1 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
2 MS. GATELLI: On the question?
3 MS. EVANS: Yes. The responses to
4 these questions will certainly shed light on
5 the numbers inserted into the
6 administration's record $77 million
7 operating budget.
8 The location of the much anticipated
9 medical school has been raised once again.
10 This school would provide a significant
11 economic boom for our city particularly in
12 light of Scranton's bleak financial state.
13 The mayor is fighting the good fight in this
14 front and even critics of the mayor need to
15 support his efforts. The hardworking people
16 of Scranton don't need to be teased.
17 MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Evans, I don't
18 mean to interrupt you, but we didn't vote on
19 the motion.
20 MS. EVANS: Oh, I'm sorry.
21 MS. GATELLI: I thought this was
22 going to be like part of your --
23 MS. EVANS: I'm so sorry.
24 MS. GATELLI: I think we moved it and
25 we seconded it and we were on the question
1 and anyone else on the question? All in
3 MS. EVANS: Aye.
4 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
6 MR. MCGOFF: Aye.
7 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The
8 ayes have it and so moved. I'm sorry for
9 interrupting you.
10 MS. EVANS: No, thank you. I'll just
11 pick up where I left off. The hardworking
12 people of Scranton don't need to be teased,
13 they need to be helped by our state
14 officials, therefore, I encourage everyone
15 to call Senator Mellow's office at 346-5721
16 and let him know that you want this medical
17 school in Scranton and that by virtue of our
18 three hospitals, one preeminent in the
19 treatment of heart disease, another who
20 offers a trauma center, three colleges and a
21 central location between New York and
22 Philadelphia, Scranton is the best, the most
23 logical location for this great institution.
24 I wish to applaud Mr. Howard Ufberg for
25 his letter to council and to the editor of
1 the Times Tribune. I agree with his
2 statements and support his solutions for
3 downtown development particularly as we face
4 the development of the Shoppes at Montage
5 and the expansion at the Viewmont Mall and
6 the Crossings.
7 I also wish to thank Ms. Krechfer
8 for notifying me about a problem in Morth
9 Scranton and I'm very pleased that the house
10 has been demolished for the benefit of all
11 of it's neighbors.
12 I have also received several calls
13 from struggling senior citizens who have
14 been unfairly hit by the EMS tax. In
15 addition, I am aware that Mr. Munchak has
16 received similar calls for help.
17 Mr. Munchak has forwarded letters to all of
18 our state representatives and Senator Mellow
19 requesting that the language of this state
20 law be amended to state: "W-2 income only."
21 In response to the seniors who have
22 contacted me I vigorously support a change
23 in the law and this council in the past had
24 already sent letters to the state requesting
25 such changes. The governor and the state
1 legislature has pledged to make changes in
2 2007 that will take effect in January 2008.
3 I know that doesn't nothing for you at this
4 time, but I believe if we continue to hold
5 the state's feet to the fire we will see a
6 change for next year.
7 Although I have not received a
8 response from Comcast, I have learned that
9 Comcast pays Scranton a franchise fee of
10 approximately $600,000. I'm asking council
11 to consider dedicating $25,000 annually to
12 Channel 61 Scranton Today. Council has the
13 power to amend the operating budget to
14 include a line item expenditure for this
15 purpose in order to guarantee uncensored
16 public broadcasting of all the local
17 government meetings and election services
18 provided by the League of Women Voters, I
19 ask my honorable colleagues to consider
20 supporting this idea. I also hope that my
21 colleagues will respect and reward Scranton
22 Today for their dedicated and generous
23 service to our community by supporting their
24 continued management of Channel 61. That's
1 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.
2 Mrs. Fanucci?
3 MS. FANUCCI: I talked to Lori Reed
4 in OECD about Alexander's Salon and Day Spa.
5 They currently staff 50 employees and they
6 offer a full spa and salon service to both
7 men and women. Their loan is to purchase
8 new machinery and equipment. It's a
9 commercial industrial loan for $250,000 for
10 20 years. The required number of employees
11 is not set by the city, it is eight
12 full-time equivalent positions created and
13 that's set through HUD. These will include
14 customer service reps, stylists, nail techs,
15 fitness trainers, aestheticians and massage
16 therapists. But they claim, and here's
17 what's happening, they are actually
18 expanding to two floors, the first and
19 second floor and the third floor. They
20 believe a more realistic number of positions
21 that will be created will be 15 and that
22 would be in the first year. These positions
23 will result in additional professionals,
24 staff meetings -- I'm sorry, needed for a
25 medical spa. What they are going to do the
1 first floor will be the salon, second floor
2 will be a new fitness center, third floor is
3 going to be a medical spa. They are going
4 to have doctors, nurses, and also they are
5 putting in an outdoor seating cafe on the
6 first floor.
7 All of their collateral will be the
8 new equipment. The new equipment costs an
9 absolute fortune, I guess the list when they
10 read it to me was a lot of money and that
11 would be the collateral for the city, so
12 they are going to be employing a lot more
13 people. They, again, are going to put in a
14 wellness center and a medical spa and also
15 have physicians on staff. There is a
16 physician moving back to the area to run the
17 third floor.
18 They wanted everyone to know that
19 there is going to be steam rooms, pools,
20 relaxation rooms and things of that nature
21 to make them a full service spa and they
22 also want everyone to know that during this
23 time they are going to maintain still
24 working and still having their regular salon
25 running during the renovation period, and
1 that is all I have on that.
2 I'm going to speak for about four
3 seconds on the reason that I voted no for
4 the fact that I -- about people being waived
5 and the wands being given outside to help
6 with the safety. I don't believe that
7 safety is a bad issue under any
8 circumstances, it doesn't matter. I mean,
9 to me why would that hurt anyone. You are
10 as safe as everyone else is safe in here.
11 It shouldn't matter what the problem is as
12 long as we know that once people come in
13 here they are in a safe environment. The
14 first day when we made the decision, when
15 the decision was made to have security, we
16 were supposed to have I believe 15 seniors
17 from the high school here. At that time
18 there was a lot of strange accusations going
19 on and we have had a number of kids going to
20 be in this room. Whether or not you like it
21 or don't like it, there is no way to argue
22 with more safety. You can't. You can be
23 upset about it, maybe it's a little bit
24 inconvenient, but in the long run it can
25 only help.
1 I'm sorry that people feel offended,
2 but I don't understand how safety should
3 make anyone offended. I do agree with the
4 waiting outside that that's a problem. I
5 don't like the fact that people have to
6 stand out there to wait to get in the
7 meeting, so I definitely agree that that is
8 something we need to look into. I do
9 believe until we have the right equipment
10 here for everyone I believe this whole
11 entire building should be safe and I do
12 agree with that, also. I do believe that
13 the other meetings maybe they should be
14 worried about safety also, I don't know, but
15 at this rate and this time of our lives I
16 don't believe this is something that we can
17 fool around with. And the good thing is
18 that you don't have to feel threatened when
19 you walk in here. You don't have to feel
20 like it bothers you or upset or offended and
21 neither do we. We are just here to conduct
22 a meeting and if a little bit more safety
23 has to be given then so be it. It's not
24 going to stop us from conducting business
25 and it's certainly not going to stop us from
1 listening to the citizens and it's not going
2 to stop us from doing our jobs so,
3 therefore, I don't see how it can inhibit
4 anyone from wanting to come here. In fact,
5 I believe that it might make people want to
6 come here more so now you don't have to
8 I also want to speak on the medical
9 school. Obviously, I mean, nobody disagrees
10 with Mrs. Evans on the medical school. It
11 is something that we had actually sent a
12 letter months ago claiming that this is
13 something we need to do. This is something
14 as a city we need to pull together and make
15 sure that we are where this medical school
16 lands. A thousand medical jobs, hundreds of
17 new opportunities, this is what we need.
18 This is how we can actually get ourselves
19 back where we need to be, so it is something
20 that everyone needs to work together on and
21 I just want to say I lend my support on
22 everything that Mrs. Evans had said tonight
23 and do go out and make sure your voice is
24 heard on this matter because this is
25 probably the most important thing that we
1 have going on at this moment, and that is
3 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mr. McGoff?
4 MR. MCGOFF: I'd just like to comment
5 on what Mrs. Fanucci just said about the
6 security measures. While I do advocate
7 security measures I really do think that
8 they have been implemented poorly. There
9 has been no direction, no unified direction
10 for how they are going to be implemented,
11 how it's going to be done, what procedures
12 are going to be used. If, in fact, the
13 mayor does have authority over this building
14 then I think it's incumbent upon the mayor
15 or someone in public safety or whoever is in
16 charge of implementing the security measures
17 to delineate what that process is going to
18 be, make it public so that people do know
19 what they need to do in order to gain access
20 to the building.
21 The waiting outside is really an
22 unnecessary inconvenience. If there were
23 some plan in place that people knew about
24 then that would not occur because people
25 would not need to, you know, come before a
1 time that the doors would be open, so I
2 think that what we really need to do is
3 request from the mayor what his procedures
4 are going to be for the entrance to the
5 building and make those public prior to the
6 next meeting.
7 Also, the question of use of council
8 chambers, I'm not opposed to any group using
9 council chambers, but if it's not within our
10 authority to grant the privilege to use it
11 then I think it's, again, the groups that
12 request to use it need to go to the mayor
13 and petition the mayor and the
14 administration for it's use and find out why
15 perhaps they are not being allowed to use
16 it, perhaps find out what measures could be
17 taken to allow groups to use council
18 chambers if there are things that they need
19 to do in order to use the building.
20 If it is within our purview then I
21 would be more than happy to entertain a
22 request of any group to use it if proper
23 measures are followed to, you know, for the
24 utilization of the building, and that's all.
25 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.
1 Mr. Courtright?
2 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes. I'd just like
3 to say that the residents over in West
4 Scranton are very pleased that Joe Foley is
5 back on our beat over there and pretty soon
6 Melissa is going to be back, they were
7 missed and their presence, when we are
8 talking about safety, really makes the
9 residents over there feel safe so we are
10 happy to see Joe back and we are waiting to
11 see Melissa.
12 I need to thank Officer Tom Lee
13 again. We got the major depression we had
14 in the road repaired on Forest Glen and in
15 the way there is a huge, huge pothole if
16 that's what you want to call it on that
17 road, he said they are supposedly going to
18 fix sooner.
19 Just one last item, when I came into
20 the building this evening I was alerted that
21 the gentlemen that were supposed to come to
22 the caucuses weren't being allowed into the
23 building, so when I walked inside the police
24 officers let me in and when I walked inside
25 I had asked the sergeant there if you could
1 let the two people in because we needed them
2 to come in for the caucus, he did not not
3 want to let the junior council in, that's
4 total incorrect. He thought Mr. Miller was
5 one of the guys that were coming into our
6 caucus, I said, "No, he is not one of those
8 The reason I was told they weren't
9 allowing them in is because we needed to
10 have someone from the fire department here,
11 they were doing the headcount, so that's
12 what happened there and Mr. Miller had a
13 suit on and I said the two guys with the
14 suits, the officer thought Mr. Miller was
15 one of the guys that were coming into our
16 caucus, so a misunderstanding due to and do
17 tore as Mr. McGoff said, and that's all I
18 have. Thank you.
19 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mrs.
21 MS. GARVEY: 5-B. FOR INTRODUCTION -
22 AN ORDINANCE - ACCEPTING OWNERSHIP AND
23 MAINTENANCE RESPONSIBILITY FOR A TRAFFIC
24 SIGNAL DEVICE AT STATE ROUTE 3011 (KEYSER
25 AVENUE) AS REQUIRED BY THE COMMONWEALTH,
1 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION FOR THE HIGHWAY
2 OCCUPANCY PERMIT OF THE KEYSER TERRACE
4 MS. GATELLI: At this time I'll
5 entertain a motion that 5-B be introduced.
6 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
7 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
8 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All
9 those in favor? Aye.
10 MS. EVANS: Aye.
11 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
12 MR. MCGOFF: Aye.
13 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
14 MS. GATELLI: Opposed? The ayes have
15 it and so moved.
16 MS. GARVEY: 5-C - FOR INTRODUCTION
17 - AN ORDINANCE - RESTRICTING PARKING ON THE
18 WESTERN SIDE OF THE 1100 BLOCK OF LUZERNE
19 STREET AND THE NORTHERN SIDE OF THE 400
20 BLOCK OF SOUTH MAIN AVENUE TO COMPLY WITH
21 THE HIGHWAY OCCUPANCY PERMIT RESTRICTIONS OF
22 THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT
23 OF TRANSPORTATION FOR THE INSTALLATION OF A
24 BANK BRANCH AT THAT INTERSECTION.
25 MS. GATELLI: At this time I'll
1 entertain a motion that 5-C be introduced.
2 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
3 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
4 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All
5 those in favor? Aye.
6 MS. EVANS: Aye.
7 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
8 MR. MCGOFF: Aye.
9 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
10 MS. GATELLI: Opposed? The ayes have
11 it and so moved.
12 MR. MINORA: Before Mrs. Garvey reads
13 5-D and E I'd like to suggest that you
14 consider tabling that. I received a phone
15 call from Attorney Mike Savitsky, counsel
16 for the pension board, and he called me
17 after our agenda was prepared to tell me
18 that both police and firemen, both
19 firehouses, I'm sorry, there needs to be a
20 consideration by the firefighters themselves
21 for appointments, that didn't happen yet and
22 so we ought to table this until that's done
23 and then he'll inform us when we have it
24 headed back. He had no problem with the
25 individuals themselves, but the procedure
1 hadn't be followed properly.
2 MS. EVANS: I move to table Items 5-D
3 and 5-E.
4 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
5 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All
6 those in favor? Aye.
7 MS. EVANS: Aye.
8 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
9 MR. MCGOFF: Aye.
10 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
11 MS. GATELLI: Opposed? The ayes have
12 it and so moved.
13 MS. GARVEY: 5-F - FOR INTRODUCTION -
14 A RESOLUTION - APPOINTMENT OF DOUGLAS HEIN,
15 1204 MOLTKE AVENUE, SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA,
16 18505, TO THE POSITION OF CITY TREASURER FOR
17 THE CITY OF SCRANTON. MR. HEIN WILL BE
18 REPLACING KATHY RUANE WHO RESIGNED.
19 MS. GATELLI: At this time I'll
20 entertain a motion that 5-F be introduced.
21 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
22 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
23 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All
24 those in favor? Aye.
25 MS. EVANS: Aye.
1 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
2 MR. MCGOFF: Aye.
3 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
4 MS. GATELLI: Opposed? The ayes have
5 it and so moved.
6 MS. GARVEY: 5-G. FOR INTRODUCTION -
7 A RESOLUTION - AUTHORIZING THE DIRECTOR OF
8 PUBLIC SAFETY TO ACT AS AGENT FOR THE CITY
9 OF SCRANTON FOR EMERGENCY AND DISASTER
10 RELIEF PURSUANT TO THE ROBERT T. STAFFORD
11 DISASTER RELIEF AND EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE
13 MS. GATELLI: At this time I'll
14 entertain a motion that 5-G be introduced.
15 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
16 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
17 MS. GATELLI: On the question?
18 MS. EVANS: Would passage of this
19 automatically tie this title to the position
20 of public safety director? In other words,
21 if at some future point the city wished to
22 eliminate that particular position would
23 this cause a problem?
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: I would think if
25 they eliminated the position we would have
1 to reappoint someone else.
2 MS. EVANS: Well, obviously, yes,
3 but what I'm saying is would that be in any
4 way grounds for retaining a public safety
6 MR. COURTRIGHT: I don't know, we'd
7 have to ask Mr. Minora that one.
8 MS. EVANS: Can we perhaps get an
9 answer to that? We are not tabling it, just
10 to get an answer.
11 MR. MINORA: I'm not -- this is on
13 MS. EVANS: "G."
14 MR. MINORA: I'm sorry, I was
15 writing something else when you were asking
16 that question.
17 MS. EVANS: I'll tell you after the
19 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else on the
20 question? All in favor? Aye.
21 MS. EVANS: Aye.
22 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
23 MR. MCGOFF: Aye.
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
25 MS. GATELLI: Opposed? The ayes have
1 it and so moved.
2 MS. GARVEY: 5-H. FOR INTRODUCTION -
3 A RESOLUTION - AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND
4 OTHER APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS TO
5 DESIGNATE GREENMAN-PEDERSEN, INC. TO
6 CONTINUE AS CITY BRIDGE ENGINEER FOR THE
7 BRIDGE INSPECTION CYCLE OF 207 THROUGH 2009.
8 MS. GATELLI: At this time I'LL
9 entertain a motion that 5-H be introduced.
10 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
11 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
12 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All
13 those in favor? Aye.
14 MS. EVANS: Aye.
15 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
16 MR. MCGOFF: Aye.
17 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
18 MS. GATELLI: Opposed? The ayes have
19 it and so moved.
20 MS. GARVEY: 5-I. FOR INTRODUCTION -
21 A RESOLUTION - AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND
22 OTHER APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS FOR THE
23 CITY OF SCRANTON TO ENTER INTO A LOAN
24 AGREEMENT AND MAKE A LOAN FROM THE
25 COMMERCIAL INDUSTRIAL REVOLVING LOAN PROGRAM
1 PROJECT NO. 150.9 IN AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED
2 $250,000 TO ALEXANDER'S SALON & SPA, INC. TO
3 ASSIST IN ELIGIBLE PROJECT.
4 MS. GATELLI: At this time I'll
5 entertain a motion that 5-I be introduced.
6 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
7 MR. MCGOFF: Second.
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: On the question,
9 I'm going to be voting, no, on this and one
10 of the reasons that I am is because it
11 appears, and I asked, earlier on I asked
12 Mr. Minora if he would look into it further,
13 it appears that the loan is forgiven after
14 three years if they meet the requirements
15 and --
16 MR. MINORA: I'd like to read that
17 more carefully, but it does seem to say that
18 on it's face.
19 MR. COURTRIGHT: Right, and I don't
20 agree with that, so I'll be voting, no, on
21 this for that reason.
22 MR. MINORA: And I think I'd like to
23 find out if that was a misprint. On it's
24 face, it does say that.
25 MR. COURTRIGHT: That's what I was
1 asking when Mr. Hubbard was --
2 MS. EVANS: Might we table this until
3 we get your opinion?
4 MR. MINORA: That wouldn't be a bad
6 MS. GARVEY: There's already a
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: I make a motion that
9 we --
10 MS. GATELLI: Withdraw that motion
11 and second it.
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: Withdrawn.
13 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
14 MR. COURTRIGHT: I make a motion that
15 we table 5-I.
16 MS. EVANS: Second.
17 MS. GARVEY: On the question? All
18 in favor. Aye.
19 MS. EVANS: Aye.
20 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
21 MR. MCGOFF: Aye.
22 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
23 MS. GATELLI: Opposed? The ayes have
24 it and so moved.
25 MS. GARVEY: 5-J. FOR INTRODUCTION -
1 A RESOLUTION - AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND
2 OTHER APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS TO EXECUTE
3 AND ENTER INTO A CONTRACT FOR PROFESSIONAL
4 SERVICES WITH EXCALIBUR INSURANCE MANAGEMENT
5 SERVICES, INC. FOR THE THIRD PARTY
6 ADMINISTRATION OF THE CITY'S WORKERS'
7 COMPENSATION CLAIMS.
8 MS. GATELLI: At this time I'll
9 entertain a motion that 5-J be introduced.
10 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
11 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
12 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All
13 those in favor? Aye.
14 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
15 MR. MCGOFF: Aye.
16 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
17 MS. GATELLI: Opposed?
18 MS. EVANS: No.
19 MS. GATELLI: The ayes have it and so
20 moved with one negative.
21 MS. GARVEY: SIXTH ORDER. 6-A.
22 READING BY TITLE - FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 82,
23 2007 - AN ORDINANCE - APPROVING PENALTY,
24 INTEREST AND FEE SCHEDULE FOR COLLECTION OF
25 DELINQUENT REAL ESTATE TAXES.
1 MS. GATELLI: For reading of Item 6-A
2 what is your pleasure?
3 MR. COURTRIGHT: I move that Item 6-A
4 pass reading by title.
5 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
6 MR. MCGOFF: Second.
7 MS. GATELLI: On the question?
8 MS. EVANS: I am very concerned about
9 the cost and the fees and the penalties that
10 will be attached to the dollar amount owed
11 by the delinquent taxpayer to particularly
12 NCC. I certainly do want the city to
13 collect it's delinquencies, but I don't
14 believe that we need to so harshly punish
15 those individuals who were financially
16 unable to meet their commitments and in so
17 doing prevent them from meeting their
18 commitments. If, indeed, you were unable to
19 make a $600 payment how then are you able to
20 make a $3,000 payment?
21 And senior citizens are on fixed
22 income, more and more companies in this
23 region are closing and another today laid
24 off how many workers, the unemployment rate
25 in the region is most high, so I don't think
1 that this is the appropriate step to take
2 after all we are looking at fees and costs
3 that include letters "A" through "V".
4 That's quite a hefty penalty and that's in
5 addition to the 25 percent penalty that's
6 already charged by NCC, so I think one of
7 the audience members earlier tonight
8 mentioned something that I am quite
9 interested in, amnesty. The city just needs
10 the money owed. I don't think the city
11 needs to make any collection agencies
12 wealthy on the back of our taxpayers, so I
13 will be voting, no.
14 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else on the
16 MR. MCGOFF: I think that the
17 legislation just has so many questions that
18 need to be answered, obviously we need to
19 collect taxes and delinquent taxes, but what
20 I would like to find out is what are the
21 current penalties and what changes that "A"
22 through, I forget what letter it was --
23 MS. EVANS: "V."
24 MR. MCGOFF: How those are different
25 from what the current penalties are before I
1 can evaluate whether it's going to, you
2 know, how it's going to be different I would
3 like to find out what the current, you know,
4 situation is. With that and with other
5 questions involved, I would make a motion
6 that we table this as well until the
7 questions can be answered.
8 MS. GATELLI: Will the person
9 withdraw the motion, the original motion?
10 MR. COURTRIGHT: I'll withdraw it.
11 MS. GATELLI: Okay.
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: And I'll second
13 Mr. McGoff's.
14 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All
15 in favor? Aye.
16 MS. EVANS: Aye.
17 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
18 MR. MCGOFF: Aye.
19 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
20 MS. GATELLI: Opposed? The ayes
21 have it and so moved.
22 MS. FANUCCI: I do want to say one
23 thing, I hope we can also get some
24 comparisons, I know the school board did
25 this, you know, because they had already
1 implemented this program for the people in
2 the city. You have already been through
3 this program as far as taxpayers are
4 concerned in the City of Scranton you have
5 just done it on the school board end and I
6 would like to see exactly how this compares
7 to what the school board did to see if it's
8 the exact same contract, if there is
9 different fees and those things.
10 MS. EVANS: I think what you will
11 need to do to make a better comparison would
12 be to examine the paperwork for municipality
13 rather than a school district, and the
14 school district, in fact, cannot take quiet
15 title to properties whereas a municipality
16 can, so I think the more appropriate
17 comparison contrast has to come from one of
18 the cities they are representing.
19 MS. FANUCCI: Then there was five
20 other cities that they have done this in,
21 but my comparison and what I would like to
22 see is the school board collects a lot more
23 money than we do, what is that they were
24 using as collateral if they were not getting
25 their fees from theses people then what?
1 Then what were they done, maybe it's another
2 option for us instead of taking someone's
3 property maybe this is another option that
4 we can look into, so I'd like to see what
5 they are doing.
6 MS. GATELLI: And I will have Mrs.
7 Garvey or Sue contact some of those cities
8 and get some information for us within the
9 next two weeks so we can peruse that and see
10 what the other municipalities are doing.
11 Mrs. Garvey?
12 MS. GARVEY: SEVENTH ORDER. 7-A.
13 FOR CONSIDERATION BY THE COMMITTEE ON
14 FINANCE - FOR ADOPTION - FILE OF COUNCIL NO.
15 80, 2007 - CREATING AND ESTABLISHING SPECIAL
16 CITY ACCOUNT NO. 02.229584 ENTITLED
17 "SCRANTON POLICE M OTOR CARRIER ENFORCEMENT
18 DETAIL ACCOUNT" TO RECEIVE AND DISBURSE
19 FUNDS FROM AND FOR THE MOTOR CARRIER
20 ENFORCEMENT DETAILS OF THE SCRANTON POLICE
22 MS. GATELLI: What is the
23 recommendation of the Chair on Finances?
24 MS. EVANS: As Chair for the
25 Committee on Finances I recommend final
1 passage of Item 7-A.
2 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
3 MS. GATELLI: On the question?
4 MS. EVANS: Yes. Kay, could we send
5 a letter, please, to Chief Elliott
6 requesting specifically what equipment he
7 hopes to purchase for the police department?
8 MS. GARVEY: Okay.
9 MS. EVANS: Thank you.
10 MS. GATELLI: Roll call?
11 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.
12 MS. EVANS: Yes.
13 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci.
14 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.
15 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff.
16 MR. MCGOFF: Yes.
17 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.
18 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
19 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.
20 MS. GATELLI: Yes. I hereby,
21 declare 7-A legally and lawfully adopted.
22 MS. GARVEY: 7-B FOR CONSIDERATION BY
23 THE COMMITTEE ON RULES - FOR ADOPTION - FILE
24 OF COUNCIL NO. 81, 2007 - AS AMENDED -
25 AMENDING SECTION 6-14 OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE
1 CODE OF THE CITY OF SCRANTON TO ALLOW FOR
2 THE PURCHASE OF USED POLICE VEHICLES,
3 CRUISERS AND/OR DETECTIVE CARS AND
4 ACCESSORIES THERETO VIA DIRECT NEGOTIATION
5 WITH THE VENDOR IN AN AMOUNT UP TO $10,000
6 AS A UNIT PRICE PER VEHICLE.
7 MS. GATELLI: As Chair for the
8 Committee on Rules I recommend final passage
9 of 7-B.
10 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
11 MS. GATELLI: On the question? Roll
13 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.
14 MS. EVANS: Yes.
15 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci.
16 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.
17 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff.
18 MR. MCGOFF: Yes.
19 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.
20 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
21 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.
22 MS. GATELLI: Yes. I hereby,
23 declare 7-B legally and lawfully adopted.
24 MS. GARVEY: 7-C. FOR CONSIDERATION
25 BY THE COMMITTEE ON RULES - FOR ADOPTION -
1 RESOLUTION NO. 135, 2007 - APPOINTMENT OF
2 FRANK J. TUNIS, JR., 101 KELLY WAY,
3 SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA, AS A MEMBER OF THE
4 SCRANTON PARKING AUTHORITY EFFECTIVE MARCH
5 19, 2007. MR. TUNIS WILL BE REPLACING JAMES
6 MORELL WHO RESIGNED ON FEBRUARY 28, 2007.
7 MR. TUNIS' TERM WILL EXPIRE ON JUNE 1, 2007.
8 MS. GATELLI: As Chair or the
9 Committee on Rules I recommend final passage
10 of 7-C.
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
12 MS. GATELLI: On the question? Just
13 on the question, I happen to know Mr. Morell
14 quite well and he did serve the Parking
15 Authority well and he recently had surgery
16 and he is well on the road to recovery and
17 as a council we would like to wish him the
18 best of good health and thank him for his
19 service to the parking authorities. Roll
21 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.
22 MS. EVANS: Yes.
23 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci.
24 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.
25 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff.
1 MR. MCGOFF: Yes.
2 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.
3 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
4 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.
5 MS. GATELLI: Yes. I hereby,
6 declare 7-C legally and lawfully adopted.
7 MS. GARVEY: 7-D. FOR CONSIDERATION
8 BY THE COMMITTEE ON RULES - FOR ADOPTION -
9 RESOLUTION NO. 136-2007 - APPOINTMENT OF
10 MICHAEL C. SALERNO, JR., 12-- BRYN MAWR
11 STREET, SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA, 18504 AS A
12 MEMBER OF THE SCRANTON PARKING AUTHORITY.
13 MR. SALERNO WILL BE REPLACING J0SEOPH
14 MATYJEVICH WHO RESIGNED ON MARCH 2, 2007.
15 MR. SALERNO'S TERM WILL EXPIRE ON JUNE 1,
17 MS. GATELLI: As Chair for the
18 Committee on Rules I recommend final passage
19 of 7-D.
20 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
21 MS. GATELLI: On the question? Roll
23 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.
24 MS. EVANS: Yes.
25 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci.
1 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.
2 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff.
3 MR. MCGOFF: Yes.
4 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
6 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.
7 MS. GATELLI: Yes. I hereby declare
8 7-D legally and lawfully adopted.
9 MS. GARVEY: 7-E. FOR CONSIDERATION
10 BY THE COMMITTEE ON RULES - FOR ADOPTION -
11 RESOLUTION NO. 137, 2007 - AUTHORIZING THE
12 MAYOR AND OTHER APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS
13 TO EXECUTE A CONTRACT WITH ROBERT ROSSI &
14 COMPANY TO PERFORM THE CITY OF SCRANTON'S
15 ANNUAL INDEPENDENT POST AUDIT FOR THE YEARS
16 ENDING DECEMBER 31, 2006; DECEMBER 31, 2007;
17 DECEMBER 31, 2008; AND DECEMBER 31, 2009.
18 MS. GATELLI: As Chair for the
19 Committee on Rules I recommend final passage
20 of 7-E.
21 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
22 MS. GATELLI: On the question? Roll
24 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.
25 MS. EVANS: Yes.
1 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci.
2 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.
3 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff.
4 MR. MCGOFF: Yes.
5 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.
6 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
7 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.
8 MS. GATELLI: Yes. I hereby,
9 declare 7-E legally and lawfully adopted.
10 MS. GARVEY: 7-F. FOR CONSIDERATION
11 BY THE COMMITTEE ON COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT -
12 FOR ADOPTION - RESOLUTION NO. 138, 2007 -
13 AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND OTHER APPROPRIATE
14 CITY OFFICIALS FOR THE CITY OF SCRANTON TO
15 ENTER INTO A LOAN AGREEMENT AND MAKE A LOAN
16 FROM THE COMMERCIAL INDUSTRIAL REVOLVING
17 LOAN PROGRAM, PROJECT NO. 150.8 IN AN AMOUNT
18 NOT TO EXCEED $150,000 TO ELECTRIC CITY
19 ROASTING COMPANY TO ASSIST AN ELIGIBLE
21 MS. GATELLI: What is the
22 recommendation of the Chair for Community
24 MS. FANUCCI: As Chairperson for the
25 Committee on Community Development, I
1 recommend final passage of Item 7-F.
2 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
3 MS. GATELLI: On the question?
4 MR. MCGOFF: Yes. I --
5 MS. EVANS: I --
6 MR. MCGOFF: I'm sorry. I would, I'm
7 not sure who it was before, maybe
8 Mr. Sbaraglia asked the question what the
9 balance was in that loan program, I think
10 that's a legitimate question and maybe in
11 the future will help us to evaluate and
12 prioritize loans that we are making through
13 than program knowing what the balance is and
14 what funds are available.
15 MS. EVANS: Ditto, but, Mrs. Fanucci,
16 yes, please. Thank you.
17 MS. GATELLI: Roll call.
18 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.
19 MS. EVANS: Yes.
20 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci.
21 MS. 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.
2 MS. GATELLI: Yes. I hereby,
3 declare 7-F legally and lawfully adopted.
4 MS. GARVEY: EIGHTH ORDER - CITIZEN
5 PARTICIPATION II - GENERAL CITY ISSUES.
6 MR. MILLER: Good evening, Council.
7 Doug Miller, president of Scranton Junior
8 City Council, and I'd just like to start off
9 by again letting everyone know that junior
10 council is still working on our handicap
11 swingset project, as I have stated before,
12 and we are raising funds to purchase a
13 children's handicap accessible swingset in
14 Nay Aug Park and we are all asking citizens,
15 businesses of Scranton to support this
16 project by making a contribution and we ask
17 that you send your donations here to city
18 hall, 340 North Washington Avenue, Scranton,
19 PA, 18503. With your support we will help
20 make this project a huge success.
21 Just regarding some issues that were
22 raised earlier about who has control of this
23 room and the building, my understanding this
24 is council's room and this is not the
25 mayor's building, it's the hardworking
1 residents of Scranton's building.
2 Regarding the balcony, I'm pleased
3 to see that the balcony has opened up again.
4 In my opinion I don't believe it ever should
5 have been closed. I feel every resident in
6 the city has the right to come here and
7 participate in government and I don't feel
8 they should be stifled.
9 Regarding the security measures that
10 have been taking place, Mrs. Fanucci, you
11 gave the reasons that a high school football
12 team was going to be given a proclamation
13 and you feared that kids could be
14 threatened, we have a junior council here
15 every week, we are students.
16 I'd like to also lastly tonight
17 encourage young adults who have just turned
18 18 or older, those who are old enough to
19 vote if you haven't already please register
20 to vote for the May 15 primary. You know,
21 you can make a difference and I would
22 strongly encourage you to vote. We need
23 more people to become involved in our city
24 government and now is the time to step up
25 and do so.
1 And I apologize, I do have one last
2 thing, Mrs. Gatelli, earlier in the meeting
3 you congratulated Katrina Organ on her play,
4 we, too, on behalf of council would like to
5 wish her the best of luck. Thank you very
7 MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Franas.
8 MS. FRANAS: Fay Franas, Scranton.
9 Mrs. Fanucci, you said earlier that you
10 wanted security in this building, well, I
11 agree with that, but I say if we do it for
12 one you do it for all. The zoning meeting
13 met here last night and nobody was scanned
14 and it is not like profiling, Mr.
15 Courtright, it is profiling. I'm not a
16 terrorist and nobody in this room is a
17 terrorist. Nobody in this room has ever
18 threatened anybody on this council and I say
19 to you, Mrs. Gatelli, if you feel that we
20 are being outside and have to be scanned,
21 only us, only the people on council, I could
22 have come to this meeting last night and so
23 could have everybody else going to the
24 zoning meeting, the same exact people, but
25 we wouldn't have gotten scanned last night,
1 but tonight we had to.
2 So, I say to you, Mrs. Gatelli, I
3 asked you last week all along if this was
4 going to continue, I asked Ray Hayes, and he
5 didn't know, he said it was up to council.
6 Ray Hayes also told me the reason that the
7 people on zoning weren't scanned is because
8 they weren't threatened, you were, so,
9 therefore, I say to you either you prove the
10 threats, you've had it long enough, if you
11 have threats, Mrs. Fanucci or yourself,
12 prove it or stop the scanning because you
13 either scan everybody or you scan no one.
14 Now, this is just ridiculous. It's
15 blatant discrimination. You're like the
16 queen of the hop up there, Mrs. Gatelli, and
17 the mayor is the King and, Mr. McGoff, you
18 are like daddy's little boy. You danced
19 around that thing with Mrs. Evans when she
20 wanted to vote to have the scanning stopped.
21 You said you had to find out what the mayor
22 wanted. You could have taken the stand on
23 getting another person and stood up for the
24 people when you had a chance. Your election
25 just went down the tubes. You had to stick
1 up for the mayor again as usual, not for the
2 people that elected you -- appointed, we
3 didn't do anything with you. You are just
4 here because we don't even want you here,
5 but, anyway.
6 I say to you, Mrs. Gatelli, this
7 lawsuit with Mr. Pilchesky against you now,
8 can I ask you this, how do you we find out
9 if the taxpayers are going to have pay for
10 this? You know, I'm going to ask for a
11 refund on my taxes, Mrs. Gatelli, because I
12 pay your salary and this is just blatant.
13 You don't represent the people in the City
14 of Scranton unless you don't think I'm a
15 person in the City of Scranton.
16 And, Mrs. Fanucci, you mentioned
17 about threats, you feel threatened, you walk
18 through the front door, how about you come
19 in and get scanned, too, maybe I feel
20 threatened by you. And, Mrs. Gatelli, and
21 Mr. McGoff, my driveway was plowed in the
22 last snowstorm right up to my car about
23 seven feet in my driveway, huge. Took me
24 five hours to shovel it out. At 3:00 in the
25 morning someone came and did this and I get
1 rotten letters in the mail and somebody else
2 got a letter in the mail saying they were
3 going to get their house burned down. Mary
4 Ann Wardell was told she'd lose her job if
5 she came back. You talk about you're
6 threatened, we are threatened by you. So,
7 possibly maybe you should be getting
8 scanned, too, to protect us. What gives you
9 the right not to be scanned but we have to
10 be. This has to stop and it has to stop
11 now. Scan everybody or scan no one, and
12 until you start scanning everyone at this
13 city hall no one should be scanned. This is
14 your council and take a stand. Mrs.
15 Gatelli, you are supposed to be the
16 president. Stand up for what you think is
17 right. Don't you have any rules here.
18 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.
19 MS. FRANAS: Thank you.
20 MS. GATELLI: Andy Sbaraglia.
21 MR. SBARAGLIA: Andy Sbaraglia,
22 citizen of Scranton, fellow Scrantonians.
23 The SRA is taking bids to fix Center Court,
24 Center Street we'll call, but it's a little
25 court, but the priority of this mayor is
1 that Center Court is more important than a
2 flood control project down there in lower
3 Greenridge and it behooves me why one of you
4 council members couldn't have contacted our
5 Congressional representatives and ask them
6 to ask HUD to do a reevaluation of lower
7 Greenridge. No way does lower Greenridge
8 compare with upper Greenridge. You got to
9 be mad to think that there are the same or
10 even in the same league, but yet they need
11 help. Since we don't want to help them
12 maybe our Congressman can. I informed the
13 gentleman that's probably a better approach
14 because this mayor is not interested in
15 lower Greenridge. In fact, he is not
16 interested in any part of the city except
17 central city or he wouldn't be so hip on
18 doing Center Street. I guess you are
19 familiar with Center Street, it's a little
20 alley behind the garage. It was an alley,
21 it wasn't much, the only person that ever
22 used it was Bell Telephone mainly and when
23 Ufburg was there we used to come that way
24 into work on his elevator, but all it is is
25 a court and we are going to spend thousands
1 and thousands of dollars to fix that up and
2 yet other citizens are in peril of damage to
3 their homes, maybe even their lives, if that
4 flood should come down that way, so I wish
5 somebody on that council would take the
6 initiative to contact our Congressman and
7 ask them to reevaluate, ask them to
8 reevaluate lower Greenridge from upper
9 Greenridge and maybe then they can get some
10 help. I thank you.
11 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.
12 Mr. Talimini.
13 MR. TALIMINI: My name is a Joe
14 Talimini. I originally came here tonight to
15 speak on behalf of Mr. Quinn who was ill and
16 couldn't make it with regards to the
17 Taxpayers' Association be booted out of the
18 building on Tuesday at the last minute. I
19 think it's paradoxical, Mr. McGoff was
20 there, Mr. Courtright begged off because he
21 had to work, six council candidates were
22 there at the meeting which was held in
23 Keyser Avenue Community Center because we
24 are ousted from this these chambers at the
25 last minute by our mayor. I question
1 whether he is the mayor of Scranton or the
2 Mayor of Dublin, Ireland, but I'd wish the
3 hell he would go there and leave Scranton
4 alone because he can't make up his mind what
5 he is doing and apparently council can't
7 Now, we've got well over $150,000 in
8 taxpayers' money sitting in west Greenrdige
9 and nobody seems to be able to make a
10 decision on anything. These chambers and
11 this building belongs to the taxpayers of
12 the city, not to you as individuals, not to
13 this guy whose Friendly Sons of Ireland is
14 much more important to him than the city is
15 and, quite frankly, I'm up to here with it
16 and a lot of other people are, too. Now, we
17 want to know who runs this building. Either
18 the council does or the mayor does and if
19 the council doesn't then the council is
20 absolutely useless and we could save a lot
21 of money by getting rid of this council and
22 letting Chris Doherty run this town, period,
23 because you people can't seem to do
25 You talk about security and
1 intimidation, you know, I look at two of
2 you, you work at schools, Mr. Courtright you
3 have your own business, Mr. McGoff you go to
4 Pocono, Mrs. Fanucci you are down on
5 Lackawanna Avenue and downtown everyday, I
6 don't think you are intimidated by any of
7 this in the city. Our mayor says there is
8 no crime in this city so why the hell do we
9 have to go through this procedure down here.
10 It's absolutely ridiculous.
11 And another thing, and it really
12 galls me, you people have the nerve to put
13 us through these motions down here are you
14 aware of the fire code? We only have one
15 exit and one entrance here. Now, if you
16 really want to do something, close the damn
17 building, you've only got one door and you
18 got a solicitor who should have known that.
19 Thank you.
20 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Jackowitz.
21 MR. JACKOWITZ: Bill Jackowitz,
22 South Scranton resident. I want to thank
23 city council for tabling some of those
24 agenda items today, that showed real good
25 courage and common sense on your part since
1 you weren't aware of what was really going
2 on with some of those agenda items. So this
3 week I hope you spend the extra time to
4 research it, found out what it's about
5 because we are coming with the questions
6 next week so I hope you all have the
8 Mr. McGoff, I beg to different with
9 you, this is not Mayor Doherty's building, I
10 repeat, not Mayor Doherty's building. This
11 is the citizens of Scranton's building. We
12 pay all the utility bills, we pay the
13 salaries for everyone who works in this
14 building, and you are wrong, this belongs to
15 us, we should be the ones making the
16 decisions. All he is is a caretaker, city
17 council is nothing more than the caretakers
18 to this building so let's get out our act
19 together. I spent 20 years in the military
20 and I thank God that I had none of you
21 people on city council or the mayor ever
22 have to serve with me because you know
23 something, I might be here to be taking
24 right now because you would not have covered
25 my back.
1 I spoke six weeks about our
2 leadership and it's shown over and over and
3 over and by city council and by the mayor,
4 and, Mrs. Gatelli, I don't think what you
5 have been writing all night but I hope it's
6 a novel because you haven't paid attention
7 all night, you have been writing all night
9 Okay, Austin Burke and Southern
10 Union, where are they, Mrs. Fanucci? Austin
11 Burke is going to be here in September, in
12 May you told us two taxpaying businesses in
13 two weeks, May of '06, where are they? I'm
14 still waiting for them. When are they going
15 to come? When is Austin going to come here
16 and tell us why this area has lost 60,000
17 people since the Year 2000.
18 There's an Associated Press Article
19 that was just written, Scranton is ranked
20 fifth in the midwest, in the northeast in
21 loss of population. Loss of population. We
22 are behind Cleveland, Buffalo, Youngstown
23 and Pittsburg. Where is Mr. Austin Burke?
24 Why isn't he here to tell us why the
25 Southern Union building is still vacant.
1 Mrs. Fanucci, where are the two businesses
2 you promised the citizens in May of '06?
3 I'm waiting for them. Who is it, Casper the
4 Ghost, International and misfits or
5 somebody, where are they? The building is
6 still vacant. No one is there. Empty,
7 empty, $16 million. Empty. It's time to be
8 honest and straight forward with the
9 citizens of the Scranton. That's all I ask
10 for, honesty and straight forwardness, not
11 dreams and visions and so on and so forth.
12 The city can no longer tolerate it. We are
13 losing population. McKinney Corporation is
14 leaving, more jobs, maybe Alexander's Spa
15 could hire all of this people, and since we
16 are going to pay for Alexander's Spa's
17 equipment and remodeling, maybe every
18 citizen in the City of Scranton should be
19 able to use the equipment for free since we
20 are paying for it. All we have to do is
21 show our driver's license that we are
22 citizens of Scranton --
23 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.
24 MR. JACKOWITZ: -- and we should be
25 able to use that equipment for free because
1 we paid for it, Mrs. Fanucci.
2 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Spindler.
3 MR. SPINDLER: Good evening,
4 Council, Les Spindler, city resident.
5 Mrs. Gatelli who adjourned one meeting,
6 cancelled the next one and you said you did
7 it for the safety of everyone, please don't
8 insult the people's intelligence by saying
9 you did it for everyone's safety. If you
10 actually cared about everyone you wouldn't
11 have locked out dozens of people, including
12 myself, at the last meeting and denied us
13 our right -- our First Amendment Right of
14 freedom of speech. You care about one
15 person and one person only and that's Judy
17 It's a shame that people have to be
18 inconvenienced by showing up hours before
19 the meeting starts to make sure they can get
20 in because you and Mrs. Fanucci are paranoid
21 about a few amateurs on the website. I feel
22 safe in saying that these so-called threats
23 will be proven to be nothing and just
24 another attempt by you, Mrs. Gatelli, and
25 this administration from preventing the
1 public from hearing the truth. I thought
2 communism ended when the Berlin wall came
3 down, but I guess not. Being made to come
4 in the back door and being wanded while
5 during the day everyone comes and goes
6 freely in the front entrance is
7 discrimination. Mayor Doherty said the
8 courthouse and other county buildings have
9 metal detectors, that's true, but in those
10 buildings everyone passes through the metal
11 detectors, not like the discriminatory act
12 Mrs. Gatelli and Mr. Doherty are using.
13 Okay, next thing, Mrs. Gatelli, you
14 said on the Sue Henry show Mr. Doherty
15 pulled the cameras out, well, two days later
16 in the paper Mayor Doherty said, "It was at
17 the request of council president that I
18 ordered them out."
19 Who is telling the truth, you or the
21 MS. GATELLI: I wasn't on the Sue
22 Henry show.
23 UNKNOWN AUDIENCE MEMBERS: Yes, you
25 MR. SPINDLER: She interviewed you
1 here --
2 MS. GATELLI: No, I wasn't.
3 MR. SPINDLER: --and played it on the
5 MS. GATELLI: Oh, but I never went on
6 the show.
7 MR. SPINDLER: Well, who is telling
8 the truth. You said the mayor took them
9 out --
10 MS. GATELLI: I'm not going to get
11 into this debate again.
12 MR. SPINDLER: Well, I guess --
13 MS. GATELLI: I did not --
14 MR. SPINDLER: By not answering
15 you're --
16 MS. GATELLI: I do not run the
17 chambers, that has been obvious.
18 MR. SPINDLER: That's wrong. The
19 mayor was on WILK two Mondays ago and when
20 you voted 3 to 2 to put the cameras back he
21 said, "That's council's chambers, they run
22 them and I'll do what council wants to do."
23 So, I said you people up there don't
24 even know who runs these chambers, it's you
25 that runs it and the mayor said it.
1 Okay, next thing. When Mr. DiBileo
2 was president of council we never had a
3 policeman here, the meetings were orderly.
4 Now, first we had one policeman, then we had
5 two, now tonight we have three. What's
6 next, calling in the National Guard?
7 Lastly, Mrs. Fanucci, Mrs. Gatelli and
8 Mr. McGoff, besides a huge tax hike and
9 doing whatever else Mayor Doherty wants you
10 to do, what have you done for the people of
11 this city? Just what I thought. Nothing.
12 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.
13 MS. GATELLI: Mr. McClough.
14 MR. MCCLOUGH: Good evening. Excuse
15 my voice. Two weeks ago I made a statement
16 that I was definitely not a model citizen in
17 order to segway to the most important word
18 in American history. The word is not
19 freedom, the word is not liberty, the word
20 is not justice, the word is not justice, the
21 word is more.
22 MR. MINORA: Excuse me, would you
23 state your name for the record?
24 MR. MCCLOUGH: Oh, Brad McClough.
25 Thank you. We the people in order to form a
1 more perfect union, I emphasize the word
2 more to highlight the wisdom of our
3 forefathers. It doesn't say, "We the people
4 in order to form a perfect union," for a
5 reason. They knew that to form a perfect
6 union would mean that there was a beginning
7 and an end to the formation process. They
8 knew that there was no such thing as perfect
9 people, therefore, there is no way there
10 could ever be a perfect union.
11 Back in 17th and 18th century
12 England, Americans were considered to be the
13 undesirables, the misfits, the thugs, drug
14 addicts, and political malcontents. Dare I
15 say if those forefathers were alive today we
16 would probably find them down at the
17 Lackawanna County Jail, federal penitentiary
18 or the seventh floor for the enslavement of
19 people genocide of the native population
20 right down to a public drunkenness or drug
21 possession charge because we all know what
22 was inside of those little snuff boxes.
23 So, I would encourage everyone to be
24 careful of who we deem to be undesirable
25 because the founders knew that generations
1 of founding forefathers would need to be
2 born everyday for decades, for centuries and
3 far into this Millineum in order to evolve
4 more union between the people and it's
5 government, more justice, more provisions
6 for the common defense, defense of not just
7 the body but of a flooding property. More
8 promotion of the general welfare of it's
9 citizens, more security for the blessings of
10 liberty, and if we continue to ask for more
11 this will ensure domestic tranquility. We
12 the people are engaged by a higher power,
13 higher than this city council or even the
14 president of the United States. We the
15 people are ordained to ask for more. Thank
17 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mr.
19 MR. PATILLA: Three weeks ago as I
20 was leaving a gentleman stopped me and he
21 said, you know, you make a lot of good
22 points, but could you table the passion and,
23 you know, it's kind of hard because three of
24 guys up here really make it hard, you really
25 truly make it hard.
1 You know, when I joined the Marine
2 Corp I took an oath to guard America against
3 all of her enemies, domestic and foreign,
4 all right? I see three enemies, at least
5 three, in front of me now, all right? These
6 are good people, hard working people, honest
7 people, okay. The only threat I see in this
8 place are three people in front of me, at
9 least three, okay? I have filed notices,
10 civil rights notices upon the state, on the
11 federal and in the private sector because I
12 feel threatened as a black man by you
13 removing those cameras. Those are my
14 protection. That allows me the opportunity
15 to come in here to voice my opinion, to be
16 heard, to guarantee my right of free speech
17 without persecution, all right?
18 You guys intimidate people from
19 coming in here and speaking their mind
20 indirectly and directly, okay, because like
21 I told you when I first came in here, the
22 only thing Doherty owns in this city is you,
23 you, you, all right? That's the only thing
24 he owns in this building. Taxpayers own
25 this building and this city, all right, and
1 I'm serious. I will file civil rights
2 charges because having a guy search me, and
3 I feel he is just doing this because this is
4 one of the few forums that people of color
5 actually speak, you do it because people of
6 color are coming in here.
7 I have read an article in your rags
8 about how you want to chase people of color
9 out of this city, your undesirables. I own
10 my home. I don't do drugs. I don't drink
11 alcohol, all right? I'm an honest man and I
12 want to be treated as such. Now, either you
13 show cause, and I'm go to argue, either you
14 two show cause for having that man search me
15 every Thursday or you are going to stop that
16 BS right now. I'm not playing games with
17 you, all right? I don't come from the
18 ghetto, all right? You want to play in the
19 big boy world we will play in the big boy
20 world. Roll your sleeves up, unbutton your
21 buttons and we get down and we get dirty,
22 all right? Doherty is on his way out. You
23 are gone. That vote today, you are out of
24 here, buddy. You are out of here, no and's,
25 if's or but's about it. I told you before,
1 you have to represent the citizens of
2 Scranton, not Doherty, not your personal
3 interests. It's us that you have to
4 represent, it's us that put your butt in
5 that seat, I don't want a reply from you --
6 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.
7 MR. PATILLA: I'm not here for a
9 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Hubbard.
10 MR. HUBBARD: Daniel Hubbard, lower
11 Greenridge. Wow, how do you follow that?
12 He is right. I feel a little insulted, I
13 really do. There is no security or metal
14 detector at my house, crap, I get hate mail
15 every week. You don't hear my crying about
16 it, do you? I got an eight year old who is
17 excited when the mail comes. Is it going to
18 be good or is it going to be bad this week.
19 Do you hear me bitching about it? Come on.
20 Show the threats and we'll be okay with the
21 security. I have no problem with security,
22 I'm fine. Show the reason and we'll accept
23 the cause. It's just that easy.
24 I'm really not go to talk about the
25 flood tonight because it's pretty much
1 useless, it's like knocking my head off the
2 wall and starting to get a headache. Same
3 blank stares, same empty answers every week.
4 I'd like to know, are these chambers
5 searched every Thursday previous to your
6 meeting? No? So then who is to say that
7 your so-called threat didn't come in last
8 night and plant a device of threatening use
9 and is going to pull it out during the
10 meeting now.
11 Well, those measures at the door
12 downstairs tonight would be kind of
13 redundant, wouldn't they, useless,
14 considering anybody can come into these
15 chambers at any given time, at any given day
16 except for Thursday and not be scanned and
17 do whatever they want in here and nobody
18 would know any different. The chambers
19 aren't searched. This is not security. I
20 lived in Israel, I can tell you what
21 security is. Security is not searching the
22 people when they come in the back doors,
23 security is locking the building down and
24 searching everybody that comes inside of the
25 building. Period. You can't even enter a
1 shopping mall in Israel without getting your
2 bag searched and wanded with metal
3 detectors. That's security, not letting
4 into the building at all, period, without
5 searching them is security. Because anybody
6 can come into these chambers at any given
7 time other than Thursday night, they could
8 have came in here at 3:30 this afternoon and
9 did whatever they wanted in these chambers
10 and you would never know the difference.
11 You feel safe because they wanded us at the
12 door? Do you really think your threat is in
13 this audience? It's the same audience. I
14 have been coming here eight months there has
15 not been one member of this audience that I
16 would perceive as a threat once, not once in
17 eight months. Yet now it's suddenly you
18 feel threatened.
19 Now, you voted to put the cameras
20 back, the mayor followed the will of city
21 council. He's been quoted in the paper
22 saying that a million and one times. That's
23 his way out that's, that's his back door. "I
24 follow the will of council."
25 Well, you could have just, you know,
1 been respectful to the citizens, been
2 respectful to the residents and done away
3 with this until there are correct and proper
4 security measures can be put in place for
5 all city employees and all people that work
6 in this building so that everybody is
7 equally protected and equally as safe as you
8 are. I feel threatened every time it rains.
9 Have you done a damn thing for me? Every
10 single time it clouds over I feel
11 threatened. My eight year old feels
12 threatened, my neighbors feel threatened.
13 My home, I feel threatened every time it
14 rains, what have you done for me? You see a
15 little thing on the Internet, a perceived
16 threat and you lock us down and search us
17 and wand us. I don't have a perceived
18 threat, my threat is real. It's what's
19 called a real threat.
20 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.
21 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.
22 MS. FANUCCI: Daniel, are you
23 meeting with Detective Hayes and everyone
24 tomorrow, aren't they coming to meet?
25 MR. HUBBARD: No.
1 MS. FANUCCI: Well, they called me
2 and they said that you were supposed to --
3 MR. HUBBARD: No, Mr. Parker called
4 me today and asked me to give him a time and
5 a place --
6 MS. FANUCCI: To meet on the bank?
7 MR. HUBBARD: I already met with
8 Mr. Parker on the bank, that was last week.
9 The meeting with Mr. Parker and emergency
10 management is, like I said, I didn't want to
11 talk to about the flood because they --
12 MS. FANUCCI: I know, but I wanted
13 to know --
14 MR. HUBBARD: The meeting with them
15 is they are going to do a test of the sirens
16 on Middle Street and Shawnee Avenue to see
17 if the residents of lower Greenridge can
18 hear them so that when wer are all standing
19 on the street with Mr. Hayes and Mr. Parker
20 and they sound those signs we'll be able to
21 say, "Yes, we can hear them," but when we
22 are sound asleep in our beds at 1:00 in the
23 morning and the river is coming over the
24 bank, we won't be able to hear them.
25 MS. FANUCCI: I believe it was for
1 placement of the new -- of the other siren,
2 correct, wasn't it?
3 MR. HUBBARD: No. No, this meeting
4 with Mr. Parker coming up, and I can give
5 you a date next week, is so that we will be
6 able to -- they can assess whether or not we
7 can hear the sirens in the adjoining
9 MS. FANUCCI: All right.
10 MR. HUBBARD: So obviously our siren
11 is where?
12 MS. FANUCCI: I'll look into it
13 because they called today and that's why I
14 wanted to ask you.
15 MR. HUBBARD: Oh, I talked to
16 Mr. Parker today and it's in regard to
17 whether or not we'd be able to hear the
18 sirens when they test them and I'm sure
19 they're going to do that as a reason to say
20 "Well, you know what, we heard it, so why do
21 you need one?"
22 Again, an empty promise, an empty
24 MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Hubbard?
25 MRS. HUBBARD: He's a hard act to
1 follow. Liz Hubbard, Scranton resident. I
2 guess I just want to offer my comments on
3 the security and I, again, will say,
4 somebody could come in here and last night
5 and put a bomb under somebody's chair and
6 set it to go off at 8:00 and you wouldn't
7 know that because you don't searching the
8 room yet we all get searched and people that
9 come in for the zoning meetings or any other
10 meeting they don't get searched. I feel
11 like I'm being discriminated against like
12 I'm a terrorist, a second class citizen or
13 something, profiled would be a good word. I
14 just think it's appalling.
15 Anyway, Mr. McGoff, I think Daniel
16 at the end of the last meeting asked you
17 what the status was on our flood siren, do
18 you have anything to add?
19 MR. MCGOFF: What I did was I called
20 and the answer I received was that they were
21 going to contact your son and setup a
22 meeting, that was what was told to me.
23 MRS. HUBBARD: Who would that be,
24 Mr. Parker?
25 MR. MCGOFF: Actually, I talked to
1 Mr. Hayes.
2 MRS. HUBBARD: Okay. Well, Mr. Hayes
3 didn't contact Daniel, Mr. Parker did, but
4 and another thing, he said he would be bring
5 it to the association and get their
6 consensus on when and where the test should
7 be -- or not when and where, but when, so I
8 guess we'll take it from there. Sherry, I'd
9 like to talk to you a later or whatever.
10 MS. FANUCCI: Okay.
11 MS. GATELLI: Nancy Krake.
12 MS. KRAKE: I was glad to hear
13 council table the selling of our taxes and I
14 truly hope that everyone does their
15 homework. I can give you a little
16 background right now. Right now we charge
17 $54 maximum in fines, that's an ordinance,
18 it maybe a little higher now because it's
19 been a couple of years since we had a sale,
20 so some of these fees may have gone up, the
21 filing fees, but they are nowhere near the
22 thousands that we just heard from that
23 company. We charge 10 percent penalty once
24 property becomes delinquent and then half a
25 percentage point is added onto that every
1 month until it reaches 100 percent, so you
2 are never going to pay more than double the
3 amount of the face value of your taxes.
4 I think the way Mrs. Evans described
5 that company or actually I think you were
6 describing the security measures, but it
7 fits the company, Draconian. It also fits
8 the mayor's recovery plan, so I think that's
9 pretty much the adjective for this entire
10 administration is policies.
11 As far as if anyone is concerned
12 about replacing that money in the budget,
13 first of all, it falls far short of what
14 they claim we are going to get for the
15 budget. They said here tonight I believe
16 $2.3 million and the budget says three, so
17 if you take a look at the letter
18 Mr. Krushefski sent saying that 2.25 from
19 that two million dollars is just hanging
20 around in an account somewhere which is
21 probably extremely illegal, but I don't know
22 that anyone has checked into that, since I
23 don't know how we have money floating around
24 where it's not in an assigned account. And
25 it says, "Look at use in 2008 or future
2 Well, it looks like we could use it
3 in the 2007 budget or we can increase
4 revenue as some of the proposals in
5 Mr. Evans' budget suggested or you could use
6 the other half of the golf course money and
7 the list goes on and on. There is no way
8 that the mayor should railroad anyone on
9 this council to accept the fact that he
10 feels the need to further rape the taxpayers
11 of this city and provide no more services.
12 In fact, he is really bent on reducing them.
13 He has promised to reduce their fire
14 protection. He is not saying anything about
15 the police but I'm sure he would do that
17 The other thing I would like to say
18 is that I was really glad council passed
19 some of the motions --
20 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.
21 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.
22 MS. KRAKE: Thank you.
23 MS. GATELLI: Mike Dudek.
24 MR. DUDEK: My name is Mike Dudek,
25 608 Depot Street, Scranton, PA. I live here
1 in the Plot. This coming Tuesday, April 17,
2 there is going to be a summit meeting at the
3 Hilton Hotel and I'm sure that council, I
4 hope you are aware of it, it has to do with
5 the new medical center. A symposium is
6 going to be held, the mayor is going to be
7 there, our state representatives are going
8 to be there, that's Mr. Smith, Mr. Shimkus,
9 experts from Marywood College are going to
10 be there. The medical profession is going
11 to be represented. Different aspects of
12 state government are going to be there. One
13 group that declined to participate is the
14 Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, they
15 will not be there, and the surprising person
16 that will not be there will be Senator
17 Mellow, he will not be there.
18 Now, I'm kind of surprised that we
19 haven't mentioned the hospital first here
20 tonight because that's the next big issue
21 for this city. This city needs this medical
22 center, this teaching facility here in the
23 City of Scranton. How many here have ever
24 gone to John's Hopkins Medical Center,
25 anybody in this room just put your hand up?
1 Okay. University of Southern California
2 Medical Center or UCLA Medical Center,
3 Stafford Medical Center, Mayo Clinic, what
4 they all have in common is that the medical
5 hospital teaching facility works hand in
6 hand with the hospital itself. They are in
7 together. If you go down just to Milton
8 Hershey it is a combination teaching
9 hospital and a hospital. You don't put the
10 hospital across from Valley View High
11 School-- or the medical school. That's
12 ridiculous. That medical school belongs as
13 close as we could get it physically to the
14 hospitals it is going to serve. It has to
15 be done that way because otherwise then it's
16 a joke. It's an absolute positive joke and
17 if ever you want to make Northeastern
18 Pennsylvania look like a joke put that
19 medical teaching school across from Valley
20 View High School and say, well, there are
21 schools. Come on now, let's work together.
22 We have to work with the mayor to do what
23 the mayor wants on this project. I know
24 that there are people here who hate Mayor
25 Doherty, but Mayor Doherty is our best hope
1 to get this school built in this city. I
2 know some of you are more green and you
3 might not like it --
4 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.
5 MR. DUDEK: I have stood here and I
6 have blasted Mayor Doherty --
7 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.
8 MR. DUDEK: -- on many of an
9 occasion, but we must work with this man to
10 get to this done right.
11 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Pat Rogan.
12 MR. ROGAN: Pat Rogan, West Scranton
13 resident. Last week in Virginia Beach
14 17 year old Allison Cookheart and 16 year
15 old Tessa Tranchill were killed by an
16 illegal alien drunk driver. The man, a
17 22 year old Alfredo Ramos from Mexico had
18 three previous alcohol-related convictions
19 and an identity theft conviction. This
20 criminal was never sentenced to prison,
21 never sent back to Mexico.
22 Scranton, too, has a problem with
23 illegal immigrants. I hope that it doesn't
24 take the loss of innocent life before
25 something is done about it. It's
1 unfortunate that the federal government is
2 doing very little to stop these criminals
3 from entering the country in the first
4 place, that being said, if falls upon local
5 government to keep these criminals out of
6 our neighborhoods. Once again, I would ask
7 council to consider passing a protection
8 from illegal immigrants act before something
9 tragic happens in Scranton.
10 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Marie
12 MS. SHUMAKER: Marie Shumaker. I
13 barely know where to start, but maybe in the
14 words of our solicitor it's because I'm not
15 wrapped too tight. I guess I'll start off
16 with a tax lien issue and gifts to certain
17 private individuals. Last year I brought
18 this up before a WYOU Law and You segment
19 stated it was incumbent upon municipalities
20 to place a lien on properties if the
21 structure was demolished at taxpayers'
22 expense on private property. I was told
23 where to go to find out whether a lien had
24 been put on a property. I went to the
25 judicial records and it revealed there has
1 been no lien placed on a Moosic Street
2 property, the former Granito's property,
3 where the city demolished a building and
4 cleared away trees. How many other
5 properties have been demolished by the City
6 without a lien being placed on that
7 property? Would council please obtain a
8 list by address. I don't know think we are
9 in a position financial where we can gift
10 such services to some individuals and not
11 make it to all.
12 Next, I would like to thank you for
13 tabling some of those issues until more
14 information is available, and then I would
15 like to talk on the medical school because I
16 am the eternal skeptic. I'd like to know
17 what the expected city contribution might be
18 on this property. I'd like to see that you
19 see you folks have a hearing on the cost
20 benefit analysis and let citizens question
21 the underlying assumptions of those costs
22 and benefits to the city. I'm not totally
23 convinced yet, I would like to be, that it
24 really is a good deal, and then I guess
25 finally for tonight because I'm sure my time
1 is about to expire, I would like to jump on
2 Nancy Krake's bandwagon and talk about
3 budget transfers. Administrative Code 601
4 (b) states in part, "The mayor must file
5 with the controller and the city council a
6 copy of each department bureau's allotment,"
7 that is budget allotment, "and modifications
9 Last year there were 140 separate
10 budget transfers. One in the amount of
11 $120,000; 25 over $10,000 and some well over
12 that. Now, I'm assuming that you all get
13 these copies of these transfers for a reason
14 and I would humbly ask you that bring those,
15 say those over maybe $1,000 or $500 even,
16 put them on the agenda and let us taxpayers
17 know why these transfers are required and
18 when they are being made so we have some
19 visibility into all of these transfers that
20 are occurring to the budget. And since I
21 have a few more minutes, I --
22 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.
23 MS. SHUMAKER: Next time. Thank
25 MS. GATELLI: Lee Morgan.
1 MR. MORGAN: Good evening, Council.
2 I'd like to make a fast comment on something
3 Mr. Dudek said and I'd like to say that I
4 think it's vitally important that, and this
5 has nothing to do with the mayor, I think
6 it's vitally important that this medical
7 school be built inside of the city
8 parameters and the reason I'm saying that is
9 I have lost a daughter to medical
10 malpractice and I think it's important to
11 have a medical teaching hospital here
12 because they see so many different
13 situations that they would be so -- they
14 would be able to make prognosis so much
15 better because they see so many different
16 things and they follow leads that a lot of
17 doctors, I have to be honest and tell you,
18 that some doctors shouldn't be practicing
19 medicine here and they are killing a lot of
20 people and I just think that a teaching
21 hospital would definitely help the people in
22 this community and I think that it's time
23 for the mayor to stand up and actually fight
24 for once before the people in this community
25 and if necessary to take Mr. Mellow to task,
1 because at times you would have to
2 acknowledge when somebody is in the right
3 and some people may disagree with me on this
4 issue, but I have a personal stake in this
5 and I just think that we have to be
6 concerned of everybody's access to quality
7 health care and a teaching hospital will
8 broaden the medical care available here and
9 I think it's vitally important that that
10 move forward and I think it's vitally
11 important for this council, all elected
12 officials and small towns and communities
13 that surround this city to get on the
14 bandwagon and that medical hospital does not
15 belong in Peckville. And I'll tell you my
16 personal opinion is that medical hospital
17 belongs adjacent to Mercy Hospital and why
18 because there is lot of land there where it
19 could expand and be close to a state route,
20 you can't take it up by Nay Aug park, we
21 would lose the park. You can't take it by
22 Moses Taylor, but we can take it by Mercy.
23 Now, I'd like to change the subject and
24 say this, the taxpayers' group has been
25 removed from this area of council. The
1 mayor has no control over this chambers,
2 only council does. We should be able to
3 meet here as we always have. Now, the mayor
4 may say that he is in control of this
5 building, but I think that everyone who uses
6 this chamber has an easement through this
7 building. The mayor can't block people
8 access to this building because they have
9 authorization to use this chamber. The
10 mayor has no control over this chamber
11 whatsoever, no one drop, council does.
12 There has been some very serious errors made
13 by this council. I was here long before
14 these cameras and I know quite a
15 considerable amount about this council and
16 I'm going to tell you that this badgering
17 back and forth about who did what and how it
18 got done it goes to council. Channel 61 has
19 access here. The taxgroup needs to meet
20 here as it always has. Some people may not
21 care for what we have to say, but the
22 residents are fairly disgusted, we haven't
23 spoken anything but the truth there.
24 Mrs. Gatelli, at once you were a member
25 there. We have never denied you access to
1 our meetings. We have invited you. We have
2 invited all of council.
3 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.
4 MR. MORGAN: It needs to come back.
5 MS. GATELLI: David Dobson.
6 MR. DOBSON: Good evening, Council.
7 My name is David Dobson, resident of the
8 Scranton. I would like to -- you have it
9 right on that, we really should be allowed
10 to vote or meet at council chambers for the
11 Taxpayers' Association and that's all I have
12 to say on the matter.
13 On 6-A I'd like to compliment you on
14 putting that on hold for tonight. In 2002,
15 March of 2002, I purchased a house in
16 Scranton and my attorney told me that
17 everything would be taken care of as far as
18 the closing and taxes and so forth. Well,
19 as it turned out I found out in 2004 that
20 the trash collection fee hadn't been paid
21 and my name was -- or the fact was giving me
22 bad credit, it had been reported to a credit
23 agency. Well, I came downtown and found out
24 that NCC was in charge and from what I
25 understand of this it's somebody is being
1 piggybacked on top of NCC and when I
2 contacted NCC to pay up the debt they
3 increased to roughly 200 percent of what was
4 originally owed, and on top of that I
5 received an excuse that they sent notice to
6 my prior address that they had a listing,
7 never thinking that if they had possibly
8 sent it to the address that was concerned
9 with the trash collection bill somebody
10 might have turned it over to a landlord or
11 opened up a letter and read it and,
12 unfortunately, as a result I wound up paying
13 double and certainly hope that we don't
14 support that type of nuisance conduct in the
15 future by okaying these people to collect
16 taxes. There is no reason to beat some poor
17 old lady half to death over a couple of
18 dollars that are owed. It should be
19 collected, everybody should pay their taxes,
20 but, you know, which we all have to do or
21 society would collapse, but we really don't
22 need an irresponsible agency like NCC --
23 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.
24 MR. DOBSON: Whoever else they get
25 involved with to make a bill 300 or 400
1 percent or 500 percent higher than what it
2 should be. We are not going to get anymore
3 money for it, so why should we do it. Thank
4 you. Have a good night.
5 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else?
6 MR. SLEDENZSKI: Hi, Jude.
7 MS. GATELLI: Hey, Chrissy.
8 MR. SLEDENZSKI: Hi, Bill.
9 MR. COURTRIGHT: Hi, Chris.
10 MR. SLEDENZSKI: Up a little bit,
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yeah, bring it up.
13 MS. GATELLI: You have your Yankee
14 hat on?
15 MR. SLEDENZSKI: That's right, I do
16 tonight. I'll tell you, they better win
17 tonight up there, Jude.
18 MS. GATELLI: Yeah, you're right.
19 MR. SLEDENZSKI: That thing that for
20 done there for me next to my house, that big
21 pothole, thank you for that, Janet, and you,
22 too, Billy, for that.
23 MR. COURTRIGHT: You're welcome.
24 MR. SLEDENZSKI: Thanks, Bill.
25 MR. LITWINSKY: Good evening,
1 Council, John Litwinsky, city resident. I
2 just have a question on 6-A, can somebody
3 explain who made up all of these line items,
4 was it "A" through "V" like all of these
5 charges? Is that something that Northeast
6 Credit did or --
7 MS. EVANS: No, but according to
8 information we received this evening during
9 a public caucus meeting with municipal
10 revenue services many of those costs will be
11 attached by NCC.
12 MR. LITWISNKY: Okay, I just -- you
13 know, it just breaks my heart, I'm a real
14 estate agent and a lot of people go to see
15 and show their houses and when they are
16 going to sell their house, "Why are you
17 selling it?"
18 "Well, I had got hurt and work,
19 fixed income, can't afford the taxes, can't
20 afford anything," and it's just this is
21 something we still have to vote on, right?
22 Is that correct?
23 MS. GATELLI: Yes.
24 MS. EVANS: It was tabled.
25 MR. LITWINSKY: Thank you. The other
1 question I had was did anybody find out any
2 information pertaining to the rescue
3 mission, the drug and alcohol --
4 MS. EVANS: I have it all here for
6 MR. LITWINSKY: Okay, so at this
7 point it's --
8 MS. EVANS: Well, I would say the
9 last measure that was taken was a letter
10 drafted by Mr. Fiorini to the owner of the
11 rescue mission indicating that the owner had
12 30 days in which to apply for permits from
13 the city to make repairs in order to bring
14 the building up to code and, you know, to
15 make those adjustments that were indicated
16 in the last inspection, and I have in here
17 for you the date of that letter so that you,
18 too, can keep track of the 30-day period.
19 MR. LITWINSKY: Okay. Thank you
20 much. And is there any chance, what are the
21 possibilities I can get somebody here to get
22 me a copy, I'd like to see the language used
23 in that grant, that $281,000 grant that was
24 now given to East Mountain?
25 MS. EVANS: For flood control?
1 MR. LITWINSKY: Yeah, as far as --
2 MS. EVANS: Flood relief?
3 MR. LITWINSKY: Yeah.
4 MS. EVANS: From the CDBG.
5 MR. LITWINSKY: I here it was--
6 MS. GATELLI: That wasn't given to
7 East Mountain.
8 MR. LITWINSKY: Okay, and the status
9 of that grant now is?
10 MS. EVANS: The money has been given
11 to -- well, we haven't voted on it actually.
12 MS. GATELLI: It's still there.
13 MS. EVANS: It's been tabled, so it
14 sits there, but the money has been allocated
15 to other projects selected I would say by
16 the mayor and the Office of Economic and
17 Community Development.
18 MR. LITWINSKY: So, for the residents
19 of Gordan Avenue to be qualified to be able
20 to get involved with that or possibly get a
21 piece of the action of that how do we go
22 about that?
23 MS. GATELLI: You have to apply for
24 the --
25 MS. EVANS: For the grant, and the
1 applications will be forthcoming this
2 summer, there is a deadline attached, and I
3 believe you will meet with greater success
4 if the application comes from an
5 organization, for example, a neighborhood
6 association than from yourself as an
8 MR. LITWINSKY: So that's $281,000 is
9 back but there is more available then, also?
10 MS. EVANS: Oh, yes, each year.
11 MR. LITWINSKY: Thank you.
12 MR. BARRETT: Good evening, Council.
13 My name is Tom Barrett and I'm a lifetime
14 resident and a businessowner in the City of
15 Scranton and I'm only here this evening
16 because I just want to say thank you. Last
17 Saturday evening we had almost a very
18 serious situation at our business, we had a
19 malfunction on equipment in our business and
20 the quick response of the dispatchers at 911
21 and their professionalism and the response
22 of the Scranton Fire Department and the
23 Scranton Police Department the situation was
24 under control very quickly and I just want
25 to say thank you and on behalf of my wife,
1 Terri, and I and how safe we feel in the
2 City of Scranton with the fire department
3 and police department that we have.
4 And also I'd like to thank Ed
5 Gallagher, who is my brother-in-law and Al
6 Lucas who is a neighbor of ours who were
7 off-duty firemen and who were at the scene
8 very quick, and I just want to say that
9 sometimes we do take them for granted, a lot
10 of people do, but when you do need them they
11 are the ones that are going into the
12 building and they are the people that are
13 there and I just wanted to thank you for the
14 opportunity and I did listen to you earlier
15 and you did ask about vouchers for the
16 controller, Mrs. Novembrino signs off on all
17 of the vouchers, OECD and general city
19 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.
20 MR. BARRETT: Thank you.
21 MS. GATELLI: Are you sure,
22 Mr. Ancherani?
23 MR. ANCHERANI: My kids call me the
24 finisher, so I guess so. Good evening.
25 Nelson Ancherani, resident and taxpayer,
1 city employee and financial secretary of the
2 FOP. I'm exercising my right to free
3 speech. Mrs. Evans, Mr. Courtright, thank
4 you for attempting to get equal treatment
5 for council meeting attendees. For council
6 attendees to be treated differently than
7 other meeting attendees, attendees for
8 visitors to city hall is despicable and
9 unacceptable. This is discrimination at
10 it's finest. Equal treatment for all, but
11 that's equality that this city is totally
12 lacking. If you treat council attendees
13 like fourth class citizens it's a disgrace.
14 The animals at the zoo get treated better.
15 I don't expect equal treatment as is
16 evidenced by the mayor's treatment of three
17 city unions.
18 Since 2002, when this mayor took
19 over, he immediately began treating these
20 unions differently and with disrespect with
21 the ultimate goal of breaking the unions and
22 putting them on their knees. From the
23 beginning, this mayor wanted a six-year wage
24 increase for the freeze of these unions, we
25 are now in the sixth year. Equal
1 treatment. This has escaped this mayor when
2 he violated the recovery plan that he wrote
3 and he doesn't call for raises for any city
4 employees. This was 2002 and since then he
5 has given out raises and funded new hires to
6 the tune of well over $11 million and now
7 while they are saying they can't afford the
8 record union arbitration wins coming down
9 the pike.
10 Equal treatment if he didn't give
11 out one raise and hire new hires to the 11
12 million plus there would be no need for this
13 equal treatment now. There would be no
14 union or city fighting. We would have had
15 negotiations and we would have had contracts
16 and no fighting.
17 I got off track a bit and I had
18 something else to say, but I since I had a
19 stray I'll have to condense what I have to
20 say now. Just remember, everyone, we have a
21 300 million dollar debt, we are facing a
22 75 percent real estate tax with the first
23 already voted on by Ms. Gatelli, Ms. Fanucci
24 and Mr. McGoff. Don't forget we are also
25 facing a 66.5 to Scranton Sewer Authority
1 rate increase because the mayor violated the
2 American Anglican contract as he violated
3 union contracts. We also have two union
4 arbitrations totalling well over $2 million.
5 The mayor said it best, the money has to
6 come from somebody, that's us taxpayers so
7 we might as well get ready. Thank you.
8 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Motion to
10 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
11 MS. GATELLI: Second. All in favor?
13 MS. EVANS: Aye.
14 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
15 MR. MCGOFF: Aye.
16 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
2 C E R T I F I C A T E
4 I hereby certify that the proceedings and
5 evidence are contained fully and accurately in the
6 notes of testimony taken by me at the hearing of the
7 above-captioned matter and that the foregoing is a true
8 and correct transcript of the same to the best of my
CATHENE S. NARDOZZI
15 OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER