1 SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING
6 Thursday, June 7, 2007
10 6:30 p.m.
14 Council Chambers
15 Scranton City Hall
16 340 North Washington Avenue
17 Scranton, Pennsylvania
24 Lisa M. Graff, RMR
25 Court Reporter
1 CITY OF SCRANTON COUNCIL:
3 MS. JUDY GATELLI, COUNCIL PRESIDENT (left where noted.)
5 MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT, VICE-PRESIDENT
7 MS. JANET EVANS (arrived where noted.)
9 MS. SHERRY NEALON FANUCCI
11 MR. ROBERT MCGOFF
13 MR. AMIL MINORA, ESQUIRE, SOLICITOR
15 MS. KAY GARVEY, CITY CLERK
17 MR. NEIL COOLICAN, ASSISTANT CITY CLERK
1 MS. GATELLI: Okay. Please stand
2 for the Pledge Of Allegiance. Please remain
3 standing for a moment of reflection. Roll
5 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans. Mrs.
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 AGENDA FOR THE ZONING HEARING BOARD MEETING
17 TO BE HELD ON JUNE 20,2007.
18 MS. GATELLI: Are there any
19 comments? If not, received and filed.
20 MS. GARVEY: That's it for third
22 MS. GATELLI: I just have a few
23 announcements. On Saturday from ten to two
24 at Nay Aug there will be the Lackawanna
25 County Medical Society Health Fair.
1 Tomorrow evening from 5:30 to eight at The
2 Cultural Center will be cocktails in the
3 city to benefit The Cultural Center.
4 (WHEREUPON, Janet entered meeting.)
5 MS. GATELLI: On Saturday from four
6 to eight at the Dante Club at 1916 Prospect
7 Avenue, there will be a fundraiser Russ
8 Heckman. He's a cancer patient. The
9 proceeds will go to benefit his treatments.
10 Tonight through June 9, there is a
11 Greek Food Festival at North Washington
12 Avenue and Vine Street from eleven to eight.
13 And Friday and Saturday evening at
14 St. Mary's in South Side at 430 Pittston
15 Avenue, they are having their annual picnic.
16 Friday is from six to 11:30, and Saturday
17 from five to 11:30.
18 I would also like to announce that a
19 student from West Scranton High School
20 received Comcast leader and achievement
21 scholarship award. His name is Joseph
22 Kinsell, and he will receive a thousand
23 dollar scholarship, and we would like to
24 wish Joseph all the best. I will be seeing
25 him this evening at graduation. The meeting
1 is early because I have to work at West
2 Scranton's graduation, so the order of the
3 meeting will be a little different this
4 evening, and I sincerely apologize, but I
5 have to work at the graduation. So, that's
6 why the meeting is early, and I beg your
7 excuses on that. Does anyone else have
9 MR. COURTRIGHT: I just have an
10 announcement. The annual Ice Cream Social
11 sponsored by the Upper Hill Ecumenical
12 Committee Wednesday, June 13 at 7 p.m. at
13 St. Peter's Lutheran Church in the social
14 hall, and it is handicap accessible. It's
15 on the corner of Ash Street and Taylor
16 Avenue in the Petersburg Section, and I've
17 seen Father Luke's magic show before, and
18 they have ice cream sundaes by Friendly's in
20 St. Peter's Lutheran Church and the
21 methodist church and Immaculate Conception
22 Church will be celebrating their 30-year
23 anniversary. There will also be recognition
24 to make a difference award the committee
25 received in April, one of 500 national
1 awards given.
2 The social will benefit the Upper
3 Hill Food Pantry and each person attending
4 is requesting to bring a non-perishable item
5 to help keep the shelves stocked.
6 The tickets are $3.00 for adults,
7 and children 12 and under is 50 cents. Any
8 further information, you can call Jean Marie
9 Warpus at 346-9394. Thank you.
10 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mrs.
12 MS. EVANS: Well, Mr. Courtright
13 covered my first one, so this is the second.
14 On Sunday, June 17, 2007, which is Father's
15 Day, there will be a free swim plus free
16 waterside at Nay Aug Park, plus tokens for a
17 dollar off school uniform items from Starr
18 Uniforms in South Scranton will be given
20 This is sponsored by
21 Scranton-Lackawanna Taxpayers Association
22 and Starr Uniforms. Those children who are
23 15 years of age or younger will be admitted
24 free of charge, and there will be a minimal
25 charge for adults.
1 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Does
2 anyone else have anything? I'd like to make
3 a motion that we suspend the rules and go to
4 item 4-B.
5 MR. MCGOFF: Second.
6 MS. GATELLI: All in favor.
7 MS. EVANS: Aye.
8 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Aye.
9 MR. MCGOFF: Aye.
10 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
11 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Mrs. Garvey.
12 MS. GARVEY: 4-B, FOR INTRODUCTION -
13 AN ORDINANCE - CREATING AND ESTABLISHING
14 SPECIAL CITY ACCOUNT NO. 02.229586 ENTITLED
15 SCRANTON POLICE CRIME SCENE UNIT
16 INVESTIGATION TO RECEIVE AND DISBURSE FUNDS
17 FROM AND FOR THE CRIME SCENE UNIT OF THE
18 SCRANTON POLICE DEPARTMENT.
19 MS. GATELLI: At this time I'll
20 entertain a motion that Item 4-B be
22 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
23 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Second.
24 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All
25 in favor.
1 MS. EVANS: Aye.
2 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Aye.
3 MR. MCGOFF: Aye.
4 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
5 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The
6 ayes have it and so moved.
7 MS. GARVEY: 4-C, FOR INTRODUCTION -
8 AN ORDINANCE - CREATING AND ESTABLISHING
9 SPECIAL CITY ACCOUNT NO. 02.229587 ENTITLED
10 SCRANTON POLICE DEPARTMENT ATHLETIC LEAGUE
11 TO RECEIVE AND DISBURSE FUNDS FOR AFTER
12 SCHOOL PROGRAMS FOR CITY RESIDENTS AND
13 PURCHASING EQUIPMENT NEEDED FOR SUCH
15 MS. GATELLI: At this time I'll
16 entertain a motion that Item 4-C be
18 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
19 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Second.
20 MS. GATELLI: On the question? I
21 just have one question on this. This
22 athletic league, maybe, Bill, you can find
23 out, but I think they're going to use a
24 portion of the West Side Crime Watch.
25 MR. COURTRIGHT: That was the
1 intention. I don't know if they still
2 intend to do that or not.
3 MS. GATELLI: If that's the
4 intention, I would ask that you tell them
5 that we still want the crime watch there
6 with the skate park, so to keep that in
7 their plans.
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: I'll speak with
10 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Anyone
11 else on the question? All those in favor.
12 MS. EVANS: Aye.
13 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Aye.
14 MR. MCGOFF: Aye.
15 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
16 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The
17 ayes have it and so moved.
18 MS. GARVEY: 4-D, FOR INTRODUCTION -
19 A RESOLUTION - AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND
20 OTHER APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS FOR THE
21 CITY OF SCRANTON TO ENTER INTO A LOAN
22 AGREEMENT AND MAKE A LOAN FROM THE COMMUNITY
23 DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT PROGRAM, PROJECT NO.
24 150.10 IN AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED
25 $120,000.00 TO VIDA TAPAS BAR & GRILL, INC.
1 TO ASSIST AN ELIGIBLE PROJECT.
2 MS. GATELLI: At this time I'll
3 entertain a motion that 4-D be introduced.
4 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
5 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Second.
6 MS. GATELLI: On the question?
7 MS. EVANS: This is the first I've
8 seen this. I've had no opportunity to read
9 the backup. I will vote to introduce it,
10 however, I do not know until I've read the
11 backup whether or not the project will be
13 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else? All
14 those in favor.
15 MS. EVANS: Aye.
16 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Aye.
17 MR. MCGOFF: Aye.
18 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
19 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The
20 ayes have it and so moved.
21 MR. COURTRIGHT: Kay, before you
22 read 5-A, I would like to make a motion to
23 amend 5-A to read, It shall be the
24 responsibility of the parties serve in
25 non-conformity to provide evidence that the
1 non-conformity was lawfully created and was
2 in compliance with all city laws,
3 regulations and codes in effect at the time
4 it was created.
5 With respect to non-conforming
6 dwelling units, in addition to the above
7 requirements, evidence must be provided to
8 show the use is in compliance with the
9 rental registration ordinance. File of
10 Council No. 88, 2001 or any successful
11 ordinance and the dwelling units are in
12 compliance with all building codes.
13 Failure to properly register the
14 property in accordance with the said
15 registration ordinance or any successor
16 ordinance or failure to maintain such
17 registration or maintain the premises in
18 compliance with all building codes shall be
19 considered both an intent to abandon.
20 Non-conforming use is an actual abandonment
21 of such non-conforming use and shall make
22 any such non-conforming use illegal.
23 MS. GATELLI: You've heard reading
24 by title of Item 5-A as amended, what is
25 your pleasure?
1 MR. COURTRIGHT: I move that Item
2 5-A pass reading by title.
3 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Second.
4 MS. GATELLI: On the question?
5 MS. GARVEY: I need to read it into
6 the record again. I need to read it into
7 the record again. Okay?
8 MS. GATELLI: Go ahead, Mrs. Garvey.
9 MS. GARVEY: READING BY TITLE - FILE
10 OF COUNCIL NO. 92, 2007 - AN ORDINANCE -
11 AMENDING FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 74, 1993 (AS
12 AMENDED), ENTITLED THE ZONING ORDINANCE FOR
13 THE CITY OF SCRANTON BY CHANGING CERTAIN
14 SECTIONS TO ALLOW FOR THE IMPROVED
15 ADMINISTRATION OF THE ORDINANCE,
16 SPECIFICALLY SECTIONS 806.B.1 AND SECTIONS
17 806.E.1 AND 806.E.3.
18 MS. GATELLI: You've heard reading
19 by title of Item 5-A, what is your pleasure?
20 MR. COURTRIGHT: I move that Item
21 5-A pass reading by title.
22 MS. GATELLI: Second. On the
23 question? All those in favor.
24 MS. EVANS: Aye.
25 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Aye.
1 MR. MCGOFF: Aye.
2 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
3 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The
4 ayes have it and so moved.
5 MS. GARVEY: You will have to call
6 for a public hearing on this, as well. I
7 need someone to make a motion to that effect
8 to have me make the necessary arrangements.
9 We have to wait 30 days.
10 MR. COURTRIGHT: I make a motion
11 that a public hearing be held on Item 5-A to
12 make the arrangements with Mrs. Garvey.
13 MS. EVANS: Second.
14 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All
15 those in favor.
16 MS. EVANS: Aye.
17 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Aye.
18 MR. MCGOFF: Aye.
19 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
20 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The
21 ayes have it and so moved.
22 MS. GARVEY: Sixth order. 6-A, FOR
23 CONSIDERATION BY THE COMMITTEE ON FINANCE -
24 FOR ADOPTION - FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 82, 2007
25 - AN ORDINANCE - APPROVING PENALTY, INTEREST
1 AND FEE SCHEDULE FOR COLLECTION OF
2 DELINQUENT REAL ESTATE TAXES.
3 MS. GATELLI: What's the
4 recommendation of the chair on finance?
5 MS. EVANS: As chair for the
6 committee on finance, I recommend final
7 passage of Item 6-A.
8 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Second.
9 MS. EVANS: I clarified last week my
10 stand on this particular piece of
11 legislation, so that's enough said.
12 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else on the
13 question? Roll call.
14 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.
15 MS. EVANS: No.
16 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci.
17 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Yes.
18 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff.
19 MR. MCGOFF: Yes.
20 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.
21 MR. COURTRIGHT: No.
22 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.
23 MS. GATELLI: Yes. Hereby declare
24 6-A legally and lawfully adopted.
25 MS. GARVEY: 6-B, FOR CONSIDERATION
1 BY THE COMMITTEE ON COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT -
2 FOR ADOPTION - RESOLUTION NO. 149, 2007 -
3 ACCEPTING THE RECOMMENDATION OF THE
4 HISTORICAL ARCHITECTURE REVIEW BOARD (HARB)
5 AND APPROVING THE CERTIFICATE OF
6 APPROPRIATENESS FOR HARTLEY & ESGRO
7 WATERPROOFING CO., INC., 312 S. SHERMAN
8 AVENUE, SCRANTON, PA 18504 FOR MASONRY
9 REPAIR ON THE SCRANTON PUBLIC LIBRARY
10 ANNEX-CHILDREN'S LIBRARY LOCATED AT 520 VINE
11 STREET, SCRANTON, PA 18503.
12 MS. GATELLI: What's the
13 recommendation of the chair on community
15 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: As chairperson
16 for the committee on community development,
17 I recommend final passage of Item 6-B.
18 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
19 MS. GATELLI: On the question? Roll
21 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.
22 MS. EVANS: Yes.
23 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci.
24 MS. NEALON 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 declare
6 Item 6-B legally and lawfully adopted.
7 MS. GARVEY: We're going back to 4-A
9 MS. GATELLI: Just for the record,
10 next week the meeting will begin at one
11 o'clock. Thank you.
12 (WHEREUPON, Mrs. Gatelli left the meeting.)
13 MR. COURTRIGHT: Mrs. Evans.
14 MS. EVANS: Good evening. First I'd
15 like to congratulate all the graduates of
16 our city high schools and wish them a safe
17 and enjoyable summer and great success in
18 the future.
19 I also ask for your prayers for
20 Pauline Allegrucci and her family that she
21 leaves behind.
22 Last week the city controller
23 provided all the information to Council that
24 remains in her office. Some of the copies
25 of vouchers and contracts have been stored,
1 and the controller's office does not keep
2 any invoices as they are returned with the
3 original voucher.
4 Each voucher and purchase order is
5 checked twice before they are returned to
6 the business administrator's office, thus,
7 the business administrator directed me to
8 Mrs. Novembrino in error.
9 It appears that the business
10 administrator oversees all invoices, even
11 those that are stored. So, Kay, if we could
12 please redirect the request to Mr.
14 I have citizens' requests for the
15 week. First, a letter to DPW, please repair
16 potholes in all blocks of Watson Street.
17 Add the 2100 block of Ballau Avenue to the
18 paving list, please. Residents report that
19 it is in desperate need of attention.
20 These same residents requested
21 paving of Rockwell Avenue, however, the K
22 Route program will pave Rockwell Avenue,
23 Charles Street and Martin Avenue from West
24 Market to North Main Avenue this year.
25 Thus, we are assured Rockwell would be
1 paved. Also, pave the 300 block of Evans
2 Court and Mifflin Avenue by Penn Paper.
3 A letter to Mr. Santolli, if you
4 have not already done so, please check three
5 trees at the corner of 402 Luzerne Street.
6 The trees are on the Fourth Street side and
7 the homeowner reports that they were told
8 the trees would be cut down previously, but
9 no action was ever taken.
10 Also, when will the tree on North
11 Washington Avenue at Andy Gavin's be cut?
12 To the residents of the area
13 adjoining Store Away, I received a response
14 from Mr. Eric Helecko, who states that he
15 would be more than happy to meet with any
16 adjoining neighbors who have complaints
17 about his business.
18 You can call Council's office at
19 348-4113 to obtain Mr. Helecko's phone
20 number. And when you schedule your meeting,
21 please contact me either by E-mail or
22 through Council's office.
23 Finally, I'm going to cut my time
24 short this week in order to offer speakers
25 more time who were denied the opportunity to
1 address Council last Thursday. Thank you.
2 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: There's only
3 one thing on the agenda that I have to
4 address, it's the Vida Tapas loan.
5 This is a restaurant downtown that's
6 been existing for one year. They are
7 loaning -- the city is loaning them $120,000
8 from the block grant fund.
9 It's going to be five percent
10 interest for a term of 15 years, and it
11 results in creating four full-time
12 equivalent employment positions. They will
13 be sous chefs, dining room managers and line
15 If you recall, this was a business
16 that was About Thyme owned this business.
17 They also had a loan that was for $35,000,
18 but when they sold the business, they paid
19 the loan back to the city.
20 So, there is not an existing loan on
21 the building at all. And that is all I
22 have. Thank you.
23 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you.
24 Mr. McGoff.
25 MR. MCGOFF: As I said last week,
1 I'm not sure that we need to do this in a
2 motion or whether we should do it in a
3 motion, but I would like a letter to be sent
4 to the Recreation Authority requesting that
5 the swimming fee be waived at Nay Aug pool
6 for children under the age of --
7 MR. COURTRIGHT: I think you should
8 do it --
9 MS. EVANS: I think you should make
10 a motion and have Council's full support
11 behind you.
12 MR. MCGOFF: Okay. I need to
13 formulate a motion here for a moment. I
14 move that a letter be sent to the Recreation
15 Authority requesting that the swimming fee
16 be waived for children under the age of 13
17 at Nay Aug Pool.
18 MS. EVANS: Second.
19 MR. COURTRIGHT: On the question?
20 All those in favor.
21 MS. EVANS: Aye.
22 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Aye.
23 MR. MCGOFF: Aye.
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye. Opposed? The
25 ayes have it and so moved.
1 MR. MCGOFF: That's all.
2 MR. COURTRIGHT: I got to ask you if
3 you'd be -- we got a lot of people tonight.
4 If you talk, I can't hear, so please do not
5 talk when we are here, and obviously when
6 somebody is at the podium. All right.
7 Mrs. Franus, Fay, if I address somebody by a
8 first name, I hope that doesn't offend
9 anybody. I've been seeing somebody here for
10 four years, I feel like I know you.
11 I pulled the ordinance for the
12 trucks, all right, and it is -- you are
13 correct about what you said with the trucks.
14 I spoke with the police department, I spoke
15 with the DPW. Some of the signage is up.
16 There's not all the signage up necessary to
17 actually fine someone.
18 MS. FRANUS: Excuse me. What do you
19 mean by that? I don't know --
20 MR. COURTRIGHT: In order for a
21 police officer to fine a vehicle that is
22 traveling, there needs to be proper signage,
23 all right, and it needs to be so many feet.
24 If by some chance they fine an
25 individual and takes them to the magistrate,
1 the magistrate says the signage is improper,
2 then the police officer, you know, doesn't
3 win the case.
4 Okay. Hang on. I'm going to
5 continue. There may be some signs were
6 posted, maybe some signs were torn down, but
7 they did a check and they're going to go
8 back on Monday and do a check, and then the
9 police department will get together with the
10 DPW and they will get whatever signs aren't
11 there up.
12 Have they checked in the past? They
13 told me, yes, but they can't check
14 constantly because they are busy, but they
15 will pay attention to it as much as they
17 There is local traffic, which I know
18 you're aware of, that is allowed on Railroad
19 Avenue, but you are correct. There's no
20 need for them to go under the bridge,
21 because they cannot go right, left or
23 But I believe heading in a southerly
24 or westerly or easterly direction, there is
25 not enough signage to fine someone.
1 MS. FRANUS: May I say something?
2 MR. COURTRIGHT: When you come up to
3 speak. I can't let you speak from the
4 audience, if you don't mind, all right?
5 As soon as you come up, you're
6 welcome to ask me anything you want, or if
7 you want to wait until after, I will be
8 happy to speak with you.
9 MS. EVANS: Mr. Courtright, if I
10 could add something to that. It was about a
11 year and a half ago that I met with
12 Mr. Chomko, Chief Elliott Mrs. Franus in the
13 chief's office about this situation with the
14 truck travel on that street, and even at
15 that time signs were missing, so new signs
16 were erected and the police were then
17 empowered to by law do as you prescribed,
18 but obviously in this year, those signs must
19 have come down again.
20 MR. COURTRIGHT: I believe the ones,
21 and I don't know -- I believe the ones
22 where, I think I know where Fay's house is,
23 where Fay's house is, I believe they're in
24 tact there.
25 I think it's when you take either a
1 right or go straight that they're not 100
2 percent up to snuff.
3 All right. And I'll -- as I get
4 more information, I'll -- but we are aware
5 of it. They were very helpful both
6 departments, and hopefully we can satisfy
7 you with that.
8 MS. EVANS: And I think it's going
9 to be a big issue of enforcement.
10 MR. COURTRIGHT: We need more cops
11 is the bottom line.
12 MS. EVANS: Yes, we do.
13 MR. COURTRIGHT: I don't know what
14 else to say. You know, Mrs. Evans brought
15 up about Watson Street, and I think since
16 Mrs. Evans has been on this Council and I've
17 been on this Council, that particular part
18 has been neglected.
19 The street was paved many years ago,
20 but the water lays there at the corner of
21 Watson and Main and erodes the street, and
22 also the alley that runs behind the 1100 of
24 So, I did send another letter this
25 week, but I'd just like to clarify for some
1 people, sometimes people, and I'll speak
2 just for myself, I'm sure this is the same
3 instance with everybody on this Council,
4 people will call me or see me somewhere and
5 ask for a particular problem to be, you
6 know, looked into, and I assure you just
7 because I don't say it on the air here
8 doesn't mean I don't anything with it.
9 The only time I usually bring it up
10 on the air is if I didn't get a chance to
11 tell Kay about it during the week or it's in
12 a letter out during the week, then I ask to
13 do it then.
14 If every one of us brought up every
15 complaint we had, you wouldn't get a chance
16 to speak, we'd be here all night long.
17 So, I assure you that your problems
18 aren't falling on deaf ears. I'm certainly
19 doing whatever I could, it's just that I
20 don't bring up every single request I get on
21 the air. And that's all I have. Kay.
22 MS. GARVEY: Citizens participation.
23 MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay. I got a name
24 crossed out here. I'm sorry. Doug Miller.
25 MR. MILLER: Good evening, Council.
1 Doug Miller, Scranton Junior City Council.
2 Just an announcement to begin here, the
3 Junior Council will conduct a park cleanup
4 this Saturday at the Dorothy Street
5 playground at 9 a.m.
6 On behalf of the Junior Council, I
7 would like to invite Council, the mayor, and
8 all residents of Scranton to attend and show
9 your support.
10 Regarding our swingset project, I'd
11 like to thank everyone who has donated up to
12 this point. We appreciate your support, and
13 we continue to ask for your support so we
14 could reach our goal.
15 We'd appreciate if you could send
16 your contributions here to City Hall, and
17 the address is 340 North Washington Avenue,
18 Scranton, PA 18503. We would really
19 appreciate it.
20 Now I would like to -- just to
21 clarify, I would like to address a few
22 issues that are my beliefs and not the
23 beliefs of others.
24 I would like to thank Council for
25 supporting free swimming, which you voted on
1 last week. The children of our city deserve
2 the opportunity to swim for free, and I'd
3 like to thank you, Mr. McGoff, for showing
4 your concern and stepping up.
5 I hope the mayor doesn't veto this
6 legislation, and if he does, I hope Council
7 can put the votes together to override his
8 possible veto.
9 I'd like to congratulate all the
10 graduates of Scranton, West Scranton High
11 School and Scranton High School, and I'd
12 like -- I wish you the best of luck in your
14 Last week I did mention this, but,
15 again, Reverend Simmons is present this
16 evening, she wasn't here last week, I would
17 again like to thank you for honoring us last
18 week. It was really appreciated, it was a
19 special night, and it's one we will never
20 forget. So, thank you.
21 MR. COURTRIGHT: Doug, can you do me
22 favor? Would you tap that mic? Is that on?
23 It's on. Okay.
24 MR. MILLER: Would you like me to
25 start again?
1 MR. COURTRIGHT: If you'd like to,
2 you're welcome to. It was hard for me to
3 hear you.
4 MR. MILLER: Well, let me just for
5 the swingset, just so people could hear it
6 out there.
7 MR. COURTRIGHT: Sure. Go right
9 MR. MILLER: Again, we would
10 appreciate your contributions towards our
11 swingset project. You can send your
12 contributions to 340 North Washington
13 Avenue, Scranton, PA 18503. Thank you.
14 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you.
15 Fay Franus.
16 MS. FRANUS: Fay Franus, Scranton.
17 First I want to address an issue about
18 Council, what it's been and what it is now.
19 Before this Council, a couple years
20 back in 2004, 2005, only one meeting was
22 It was announced the July 7th
23 meeting will be held at noon. A few
24 Councilpersons could attend, and they had to
25 cancel it. That's the reason.
1 But now in contrast, in 2006,
2 January 5 no meeting; March 2, meeting
3 cancelled; April 13, meeting cancelled; May
4 11, meeting cancelled; June 22, meeting
5 cancelled; month of August, no meetings,
7 In 2007, February 15 meeting
8 cancelled; March 8, Council President
9 Gatelli absent from meeting; March 15,
10 President Gatelli adjourned the meeting
11 abruptly because Council speaker out of
12 order; March 22 meeting cancelled; April 5
13 meeting cancelled; May 24, Judy Gatelli
14 sick; May 31, President Gatelli again
15 adjourned the meeting abruptly.
16 I just have to say this is just
17 outrageous, and it's totally uncalled for.
18 The words I just spoke speak for themselves.
19 And I'd like to start off by saying
20 this, last week's meeting was adjourned not
21 because of Mr. Sam Patilla, it was adjourned
22 because of Charlie Newcomb.
23 And let me set up the scenario here.
24 Sam Patilla was told he was out of order by
25 Mrs. Gatelli, and then he didn't step down,
1 so they said he was out of order.
2 So, then I think it was Mrs. Fanucci
3 that said adjourn the meeting, and then Mrs.
4 Evans said, I think maybe we should recess
5 it, and then Judy said, Yes, let's take a
6 motion to recess.
7 And then before there was any motion
8 taken, Charlie Newcomb called Sam Patilla an
9 idiot, and then they went, you know, then
10 you, Mr. Courtright, said, Whoa, Whoa, and
11 then they adjourned the meeting.
12 So, just to get the record straight,
13 Charlie Newcomb, the meeting was still going
14 on when Charlie Newcomb called Sam Patilla a
15 name. The meeting was not adjourned yet, it
16 was still in progress, just to get the
17 record straight.
18 And Sam Patilla was cited for out of
19 order, which he may have been, that's up to
20 the courts to decide, but Charlie Newcomb,
21 this meeting was still in order, Charlie
22 Newcomb was not cited. So, there's a
23 blatant, again, more discrimination.
24 And I also want to say, the new
25 rules I heard Chief Elliott on the radio
1 today saying that if someone is told they're
2 out of order by Mrs. Gatelli and they dont'
3 step down, they're out of order, that's one
4 step, the second one, step down. If you
5 don't step down, the police officers is
6 going to come up and say, Step down. And if
7 you don't, you are going to have criminal
9 Well, I have to beg to differ. Just
10 because Chief Elliott says it and just
11 because Judy Gatelli says it, doesn't mean
12 the person is out of order or doesn't mean
13 they should step down. There has been many
14 times when Judy Gatelli has said someone is
15 out of order. That's just her opinion.
16 And I would really say citizens have
17 a right to say what they want, they have a
18 right to address their government.
19 And I want to quote something from
20 Justice Brennan. He wrote in the New York
21 Times versus Sullivan in 1964, anyone is
22 welcome to look this up if they have a
23 computer, New York Times versus Sullivan,
24 1964, The First Amendment provides that
25 debate on public issues should be
1 uninhibited, robust and wide open.
2 Well, I see here by Mrs. Gatelli is
3 an out and out form of trying to silence the
4 speakers and anybody that she doesn't like
5 what they're saying, she'll say they're out
6 of order. And certain people are targeted
7 here, myself being one, Sam Patilla being
8 another, Mary Ann Wardell being another, and
9 a gentleman who was threatened to have his
10 house burned down.
11 I mean, they pick the ones that they
12 don't want. You can me. I told you
13 somebody came and plowed my driveway at
14 three o'clock in the morning.
15 Anyway, and I'd like to ask since
16 Mrs. Gatelli isn't here, I'm still going to
17 ask, who's paying? Because if this is
18 indeed the taxpayers are going to pay for
19 her lawsuit, we do have a right to know.
20 And I would ask you, Mrs. Evans,
21 Mrs. Fanucci, Mr. Courtright or Mr. McGoff
22 to please find out, because as a City
23 Councilperson, she's suing as a City
24 Councilperson, and that is the taxpayers.
25 This is a very, very expensive lawsuit, and
1 we should not be paying for her lawsuit.
2 MR. COURTRIGHT: I have no idea,
4 MS. FRANUS: I know you don't. Is
5 there any way since she won't answer me,
7 MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay. I don't know
8 if we have the right to know that or not.
9 MS. FRANUS: I have a right to know.
10 MR. COURTRIGHT: I understand you
11 believe that, and I will ask. I will ask.
12 MS. FRANUS: You will ask who?
13 MR. COURTRIGHT: I will ask our
15 MS. FRANUS: I don't have much faith
16 in him.
17 MR. COURTRIGHT: I know, Fay, you
18 don't have much faith in our solicitor, but
19 he is our solicitor, and that's why I ask
21 MS. FRANUS: But I've been there.
22 Mr. Minora has said one thing one day and
23 the next day he changes his mind, so I can't
24 go by him.
25 Mr. Minora said that when Doug
1 Miller asked him if he could speak first,
2 Mr. Minora said to him, you have to obey the
3 rules just like everybody else on Council.
4 You have to follow the rules, the same as
5 everybody else following citizens
6 participation. There no exceptions.
7 MR. MINORA: Five minutes.
8 MS. FRANUS: Now he's saying do what
9 Judy says. The law is the law is the law.
10 MR. COURTRIGHT: All right. All
11 right. Thank you, Fay.
12 MS. FRANUS: And thank you for the
13 truck information.
14 MR. COURTRIGHT: We don't have the
15 bell now or no?
16 MS. FRANUS: And that's another
17 thing. One week yes, one week no.
18 MR. COURTRIGHT: All right.
19 MS. FRANUS: One week a bell, one
20 week no bell.
21 MR. COURTRIGHT: I like to have the
22 bell myself. Okay. Andy Sbaraglia. I'm a
23 fan of the bell.
24 MR. SBARAGLIA: Andy Sbaraglia,
25 citizen of Scranton. Fellow Scrantonians,
1 when the meeting was adjourned last week, I
2 was denied to speak on this legislation,
3 what I'm referring to is 6-A, before you
4 voted on it.
5 But I guess that's a common practice
6 with this Council. Why should you listen to
7 people speak before you vote on things?
8 That's stupid. Actually I guess you
9 consider the citizens of being stupid. They
10 don't have anything relative to say on these
11 things, they've just got to pay it.
12 When you're sheering sheep, that's
13 the way you treat them, like sheep. So, the
14 citizens of Scranton have become sheep to
15 Mr. Doherty.
16 But anyway, we had a 35 percent
17 penalty fee on 6-A already. If you're three
18 months delinquent of your taxes, you are
19 assessed 35 percent.
20 Now you upped it up to 200 and some
21 percent. There was no justification for it.
22 I told you this piece of legislation was
23 immoral. Even to vote for it was immoral,
24 but I guess morality is no longer something
25 we can say about Scranton. We became an
1 immoral place, anything goes.
2 The sheep has to be treated like
3 sheep, and if they are not very good, we'll
4 tip them. That's what the citizens of
5 Scranton have became. Scranton cares little
6 or nothing. The charter means nothing.
7 When it came before you and when --
8 well, when Les came up and said that you
9 were violating the city charter by not
10 allowing people to speak before you voted
11 did Mr. Minora advise you it was a violation
12 of the charter, that you're violating your
13 oath of office by doing that?
14 If you don't follow the charter,
15 you're in violation of your oath of office,
16 and Mr. Minora should advise you of that.
17 Either you're in violation of your
18 oath of office, or you're not. The charter
19 is relative or is no longer relative.
20 Now let's take a look at the Sewer
21 Authority, being we're all going to get hit
22 with it. I'm not going to bring up the 42
23 percent, then the mayor cried, that was
24 stupid. We didn't really have to buy it
25 because of the 42 percent increase.
1 We bought it because of the $150
2 million dollars the mayor is going to get
3 his hands on to spend. We all know this.
4 People are not as dumb as you think we are.
5 But anyway, these things have been done.
6 Now, City Council has always okayed
7 the loans of the Sewer Authority. We have
8 always set up the rates of the Sewer
9 Authority. How did the mayor bypass Council
10 and said that you're no longer relative when
11 it comes to the Sewer Authority?
12 You are the legislation branch. If
13 you haven't saw any of the legislation on
14 this, then it's illegal. You are the people
15 that says you can do this or you can do
17 The mayor does not have an
18 autonomous in his mayor's office to do
19 whatever he wants with these authorities.
20 They have to come before you. You cannot
21 give up your right. If you give up your
22 right, then you become redundant. We don't
23 need you. We can put monkeys up there or
24 anything we want up there, because it won't
25 matter, carpet figures, I guess, is a better
1 way to put it. Because you have to keep the
2 mayor in check. That's what your job is.
3 Your job isn't to stay up there and
4 sit up there and say to the mayor whatever
5 he does is right. The mayor is not God
6 Almighty. Your job is to protect the
7 citizens of Scranton. That's your primary
9 Whatever the mayor does, you have to
10 okay it. That's the reason why we have the
11 legislative branch and the executive branch.
12 If you don't care to do it, then you
13 should all just say we don't need it. Let's
14 change the Home Rule Charter and let the
15 mayor just do everything like he wants to
17 You cannot have the fox supervising
18 the chicken coop, and that's what you have.
19 The mayor's appointees are running the Sewer
20 Authority or the sewer utility, whatever you
21 want to say it is now, because it's no
22 longer an authority, it becomes a utility.
23 And somebody has to supervise that
24 utility. Either if you don't want to do it,
25 the mayor doesn't want to do it, then we
1 should request the PUC to do it, because
2 they're setting up borrowing without you,
3 they're setting up rates without you; hence,
4 we don't have an authority, we have a
5 utility. And you should do something about
7 You've got to stick up for your
8 rights or we will have no rights. We've got
9 very little rights now when it comes to
10 speaking. And that's very bad.
11 I don't think any of you were in the
12 service, you never had the opportunity to
13 serve our country, but that doesn't matter.
14 The main thing is that you believe in
15 democracy and you believe in the people's
16 right to speak, and you believe in the
17 people's right to speak before you take a
18 vote on any ordinance or resolution or so
19 forth and so on.
20 We were denied speaking on this last
21 week when the meeting was adjourned. So,
22 hence, before you brought it up for a vote,
23 you should have asked if anybody wanted to
24 speak on that legislation, and then you can
25 do it.
1 Same thing when you move something
2 from one order to another order, a person
3 should have the right to speak on that
4 before it's -- when it's moved before you
5 vote on it. But that's all thrown out in
6 this Council. This Council cares little or
7 nothing about the Constitution of the United
8 States, The Constitution, The Sunshine Laws
9 or the Home Rule Charter. You make up your
10 own laws.
11 You've got a lawyer that's supposed
12 to tell you these things. Mr. Bolus won
13 with the Sunshine Act because they put Mr.
14 -- they voted a Councilman during retirement
15 and he came up there, I won't mention his
16 name because it really doesn't matter that
17 much now, Mr. Pocius actually.
18 They voted him in, and then they
19 adjourned the meeting without voting him in.
20 You got to ask people the right to speak.
21 They just said, It's done, we're adjourned,
22 and go out the door.
23 That went to court, and Mr. Bolus
24 won that case. But we're heading to that
25 place now where everything has to go to
2 You've got to remember it's either
3 the court or the gun. That's the only
4 solution to a problem, either The
5 Constitution says you have the right to
6 actually change the government if you so
7 desire when it becomes so oppressive.
8 MR. MINORA: Time.
9 MR. SBARAGLIA: I thank you.
10 MS. EVANS: Mr. Sbaraglia, just to
11 comment on the sewer authority, I had the
12 same concerns as you, in that, the mayor
13 made a deal without the knowledge or
14 approval of City Council, and I had a letter
15 sent to Mr. Barrett regarding that
16 situation. He answered some of my
17 questions, but he did not address that
18 situation, hence, I've been requesting for
19 weeks now a public caucus between City
20 Council and the Scranton Sewer Authority,
21 even if only Mr. Barrett and their attorneys
22 are represented, because not only have we --
23 have we suffered this rate increase without
24 any approval from City Council, he further
25 states that in the not too distant future,
1 there very likely is going to be another
3 And before that happens, I
4 personally am upset that though I've
5 requested week after week after week now,
6 and anyone on Council can verify that, a
7 public caucus with the Sewer Authority, my
8 urgency was that we would speak to them
9 before they passed this increase, but it
10 happened this week without our having had
11 that opportunity to voice our opposition to
13 But I still want them in, because I
14 still want to know how it's possible for a
15 deal to occur without the involvement of the
16 legislative branch.
17 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you.
18 Bob Bolus.
19 MR. BOLUS: Good evening, Council.
20 Bob Bolus, Scranton. One thing I'd like to
21 bring up, on tonight's agenda, I didn't get
22 the opportunity in the last couple of
23 readings speaking as far as the penalties
24 and everything on the interest on the loans
25 and default loans, I think that's wrong that
1 we're not allowed to speak on it.
2 You may have three readings on it,
3 however, those of us that don't have to show
4 up or didn't show up for your other two
5 readings should not be denied prior to you
6 voting on it the opportunity to address the
7 issue before you speak on it.
8 I believe it's a violation of the
9 Sunshine Act, and I think it's got to be
10 pursued. I don't believe anybody here in
11 this chamber has the legal right to deny any
12 citizen to speak on something, whether it's
13 been read one, two times before, come to a
14 meeting and then not be able to speak on it
15 because the way you have your agenda set up.
16 So, I believe that has to be
17 revised. I know what the legal opinions are
18 on it. I've researched it, so I know what
19 I'm talking about. And it's not to
20 challenge Mr. Minora or anybody else, but we
21 should be allowed to speak prior to you
22 voting on it, no matter who we are and
23 whether we were here before or late.
24 Now, regarding some of the things
25 that have been brought up. I have a letter
1 from OECD. I asked Doug Miller, I was away,
2 and I asked Doug to come in because there
3 was a question about whether city funds had
4 been used at the Latino Festival at Nay Aug
5 Park, at my request, and I asked him to
6 quote me, apparently it's all taken out of
7 context that Mr. Miller speaks for me or he
8 was out of line because I made him come here
9 and read what I had here.
10 Well, I received a letter back from
11 Sara Hailstone, and my comments were, if you
12 ask in a right way, possibly you get what
13 you want. I've never had a problem getting
14 information in this city, but he was
15 challenged that it was a personal attack to
16 Mrs. Evans or anyone else.
17 I made no personal attack to anyone.
18 I simply put forward that it's how you go
19 about doing business in this city if you
20 want to get answers.
21 I've been coming here a long, long
22 time. But what the I found amusing is he
23 gets chastised or I get chastised about it.
24 We've come before this Council how many
25 times and we've asked you questions and
1 never have received answers.
2 What changes the difference between
3 this Council, the administration or people
4 that work elsewhere when they don't get
5 responses? And we don't have those
6 responses here.
7 We had a situation last week here, I
8 got to review part of it on TV, and I found
9 it appalling that this city has come to what
10 it is today.
11 People come here and speak, you have
12 decorum. We have a right to address you and
13 debate you, that's what our government is
15 I thought it got out of hand here
16 last week. There should be no name calling
17 of anybody that speaks here against other
18 people that speak here, because they have
19 that democracy, they have that right to
21 If they're out of order, it's up to
22 the police officer here to take charge. My
23 recommendation would be that no one stands
24 in the back here in view of these cameras,
25 other than the police officer standing at
1 this gate is what it should be, and only he
2 should make a determination if an individual
3 is out of order.
4 It's not up to Council to determine
5 that, it's up to the officer, and I believe
6 our officers are more than capable of making
7 that judgment.
8 We embarrassed the city last week,
9 those that have spoken here, those that were
10 here last week, from the people in this
11 audience, as well as this Council, and it's
12 got to stop, and it's got to stop here once
13 and for all.
14 People got to start being adults,
15 but you've got to start answering questions.
16 I asked this Council on the $3 million that
17 you wanted to put in from the golf course
18 money that each and everyone of you knew
19 should never have been spent in this budget
20 was earmarked to be put in trust for the
21 kids growing up in the future, when none of
22 you are at this Council or none of us are
23 even here and the interest was to be used
24 for Parks and Recreation.
25 But you failed to realize that. You
1 ignored it, rather than take an eraser to
2 the mayor's budget and take a million and a
3 half dollars off, Mr. McGoff puts it on the
4 agenda, and you all vote for it, and you
5 took what did not belong to you.
6 I asked you to put the other million
7 and a half dollars that's sitting there in a
8 perpetual account right now, that it's out
9 of the way, that you can never touch it
10 again, yet you have not done that.
11 Are you now going to give him the
12 other million and a half dollars for
13 something stupid in this city? Are you
14 going to find a way to get the other million
15 and a half dollars and put it back so it
16 goes back to the $3 million and the interest
17 used here?
18 That's your responsibility, and what
19 you did was totally wrong, but you never
20 answered my question. So, don't ever
21 challenge me or anybody else that comes up
22 and says we can get answers from other
23 people in this administration in this city
24 if you go about it the right way.
25 Now we've done it the right way. Is
1 it going to take legal action to force you
2 people to put back what belongs to the
3 people of the city? Because what you did
4 was totally wrong, and you knew it, yet you
5 did nothing about it.
6 You ignore a lot of people that come
7 up here and speak and talk about them later.
8 It's wrong.
9 People out here have to pay
10 attention. I'm tired of hearing about we're
11 minorities and minorities should come in
12 here and be given jobs. That's not the
13 issue of the City Council, that's the
14 administration's job. So, if you have a
15 problem with minority jobs, go see the
16 mayor, that's where you belong. It's not at
17 this forum, and I don't think we should make
18 this a forum that becomes that political.
19 MR. MINORA: Perhaps you didn't hear
20 me. Time was a minute ago.
21 MR. BOLUS: Pardon?
22 MR. MINORA: Perhaps you didn't hear
23 me. Time was a minute ago.
24 MR. BOLUS: I never heard you say
1 MR. COURTRIGHT: I'm sorry. I
2 didn't hear you. Sorry. Thank you.
3 MR. BOLUS: Okay. And I would
4 appreciate it then that we all get in line
5 and let's start being adults and run the
6 city the way it's supposed to be, but answer
7 questions. Thank you.
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you. Julie
9 Jones. Sorry about that.
10 MS. JONES: Julie Jones, Scranton
11 resident. I don't know about anybody else,
12 but I think we're all adults. Good evening,
13 City Council. I felt the need to come this
14 week after last week's very upsetting
16 After watching the rebroadcast of
17 the meeting, which, by the way, was edited
18 nicely in favor of Council, it was clear
19 that Mr. Patilla was behaving just as
20 numerous other speakers that come here to
22 Mr. Patilla became upset after
23 Council President Gatelli started yelling at
24 him from her seat.
25 It is a shame that the replay was
1 edited and did not show Mr. Patilla leaving
2 the podium and exiting Council chambers.
3 I have to side with Mr. Patilla in
4 regards to the bike cop circling his
6 I have lived in that intersection
7 for 12 years and have never ever once seen a
8 bike cop watching speeders.
9 It is very hard to come to these
10 meetings and stay calm when you have two
11 Council members yelling back at you and
12 egging the citizens on. It is a disgrace.
13 I would also like to congratulate
14 James Piazza for his fine job on Junior
15 Council. James graduated last night from
16 Scranton High and was not mentioned at last
17 week's meeting.
18 I was verify disappointed last week
19 regarding the way the city is going to
20 collect taxes that are overdue. You four
21 should be ashamed of yourselves.
22 I work 100 hours a week and my
23 husband works three jobs and we have to live
24 penny to penny.
25 Yesterday I to had to make the
1 hardest decision of my life. One of my dogs
2 was very ill, near death, and to anybody who
3 has animals, they're like children to you,
4 they are part of the family.
5 I had to decide, do I use my money
6 to save my dog's life or do I tend to a bill
7 at my house that would impose serious
8 consequences to me and my family?
9 I chose to save my dog's life. Now
10 I will face the consequences. I pay a lot
11 to live in this city and work my butt off
12 and should not have to face that kind of an
14 How much more do you think you
15 people can soak us for? Every week we get
16 soaked for something.
17 My son has one more year at Scranton
18 High and my husband wants to sell our home
19 and move. I was raised here in the city,
20 and that's the furthest thing from my mind
21 is to have to move.
22 We cannot afford to live in this
23 city anymore, and it is a darn shame, and we
24 are not the only ones.
25 To all -- I work with the elderly in
1 their homes, the sick and ailing elderly.
2 You don't know how many complaints I get
3 when I go into these people's homes that are
4 laying in hospital beds just waiting for
5 their last breath and I hear, I might have
6 to go rent because they're going to take my
8 Now, these people, these are their
9 homesteads. And since you guys decided to
10 collect back taxes this way, perhaps their
11 taxes aren't paid because of their medical
12 problems. And that's the furthest thing
13 they should have to worry about is losing
14 their home when they're dying.
15 Put yourself in their shoes. You
16 should be ashamed of yourselves. What if
17 that was your mother, your father, your
18 grandparent? Would you like that to happen
19 to them?
20 My heart aches for these people. I
21 tell them, If I could take you in my home, I
22 would. I don't want you to have to go rent
23 after living in this home for maybe 60, 70,
24 80 years.
25 They watch these meetings and they
1 get so upset. Some Thursdays I work, we
2 watch them. Last week, my client went into
3 an asthma attack because she was so upset
4 when that was passed. She said, What am I
5 going to do?
6 I don't know what to tell these
7 people, but to sit there and be their
8 friend, and that's what you need to do is be
9 the citizens' friends instead of their
10 enemies, and that's what you're all doing by
11 voting all of this stuff in, increase after
12 increase, water increase, gas increase,
13 sewer increase.
14 MR. MINORA: That's five minutes.
15 MS. JONES: Okay. I'm just going to
16 say one more thing since everybody else got
17 seven minutes.
18 MR. COURTRIGHT: That was my fault.
19 MR. JONES: To all the viewers of
20 this meeting, please, please, if you're even
21 considering to purchase a home in the City
22 of Scranton, I would have one thing to say
23 and one thing only, please take a hard good
24 look at all aspects of the city before you
25 think of moving into this politically
1 corrupt and financially soaking city. Thank
3 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you. Ozzie
5 MR. QUINN: Ozzy Quinn, president of
6 the Scranton-Lackawanna County taxpayers and
7 Citizens Association, Incorporated.
8 I support what you said, Julie, and
9 I spoke here many times about the median
10 income in the city being $28,282 and how
11 could you vote.
12 I appreciated Janet and Bill for not
13 voting, but how can you vote against the
14 financial plight that some people are under?
15 And they're losing their homes, as we said.
16 It's not just taxes, it's trying to live
17 these days under the different utility costs
18 and health costs and what have you. To vote
19 against that is really unethical in my eyes.
20 I also want to ask something, did
21 you make a motion to change the times of the
22 meeting tonight and the other night or was
23 it incontinuity from last year?
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: I'm sorry. For
25 tonight's meetings you mean?
1 MR. QUINN: Well, you changed the
2 meeting for tonight to 5:15, and you changed
3 the schedule to one o'clock every other
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: We advertised for
7 MR. QUINN: Yeah, did you make a
9 MR. COURTRIGHT: Not for tonight we
10 didn't, no.
11 MR. QUINN: Well, all right. How
12 can you just change a meeting and advertise
13 it without going through the legal process?
14 MR. COURTRIGHT: We consulted with
15 our attorney and he said it's all right. We
16 did make a motion, did we not, to change in
17 the summer months previous to this.
18 MR. QUINN: When? You did it last
20 MR. COURTRIGHT: I believe -- I
21 think we did it when we did the rules of
22 Council, did we not? When we did the rules
23 of Council.
24 MR. QUINN: When, though?
25 MR. COURTRIGHT: When we set up the
1 rules of Council each year, I believe that's
2 what we did for the summertime meetings, all
3 right, but for tonight, I don't believe we
4 did a motion. I believe we just advertised.
5 MR. QUINN: And I just want to say
6 that Nelson Ancherani, Andy Sbaraglia, Nancy
7 Krake, they get up here and speak every
8 night, every meeting, and nobody listens to
9 them, and they're very conscientious about
10 the city and they're very competitive and
11 knowledgeable about the city, and nobody
13 And when Andy was speaking tonight,
14 you know, thanks, Janet, for trying to set
15 that meeting up. You shouldn't have to wait
16 and wait and wait for these types of tings.
17 You're elected, they're not. They're
18 appointed by the mayor.
19 Okay. I just want to make a point
20 also of the fact that I asked last week for
21 the minutes of the zoning board and the
22 planning commission and in reference to the
23 approval of Daron Industries in the 1700
24 block of Dickson Avenue, and I thought I was
25 going to -- and Kay E-mailed me back and
1 said Council has not made a request at least
2 not to you, right, Kay?
3 MS. GARVEY: Right. You asked me if
4 I had made that request on their behalf.
5 MR. QUINN: Yeah. Mr. Courtright,
6 would you please ask the city planning
7 commission that I would like the minutes of
8 when they approved the development plan for
9 the light industrial plant down there, okay?
10 MR. COURTRIGHT: The planning
12 MR. QUINN: Daron Industries.
13 MR. COURTRIGHT: The planning
14 commission you're asking for?
15 MR. QUINN: Yeah, the city planning
17 MR. COURTRIGHT: I don't know what
18 their policies are. Did they say it was all
19 right? Do they charge you? I'll ask them.
20 They might charge you.
21 MR. QUINN: Yeah, okay. And also
22 the zoning board. If they charge us, that's
23 all right. I want to see how they approved
24 that development plan next to a residential
1 MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay.
2 MR. QUINN: The other thing is this
3 here, I have with me a spread sheet, and
4 since the mayor took over, okay, we're at
5 this year's budget $77,500,000, okay?
6 Since the mayor took over in 2002,
7 he's created 52 new jobs and he's given
8 raises to a chosen few, 65, for a total over
9 those four years, five years, of a grand
10 total, roll the drum, please, it is
11 $10,948,111 without any benefits included,
12 health and otherwise.
13 That's a lot of money. That's a lot
14 of taxpayers' money. New created jobs and
15 raises for the chosen few. And this does
16 not include attorneys fees or costs where,
17 you know, for consultants and so on.
18 So, Janet, I'm going to give you a
19 copy of this, okay, because I really
20 appreciate it if you would start looking at
21 this, you're the finance chair, to start
22 looking at this, because this is utterly
23 ridiculous, $11 million that we're paying
24 out of our pockets for cronyism.
25 I can't blame those people, you know
1 why, because the economic development in
2 this area is terrible, and these people
3 cannot get good jobs with good benefits.
4 And as Mrs. Fanucci up there says,
5 they're going to create four new jobs, let
6 me know what the income, what's going to be
7 the hourly income and the benefits, please.
8 Can you tell me? No, because you danced
9 around that issue two weeks ago when I asked
10 for that letter.
11 MR. MINORA: Five minutes.
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you.
13 MR. QUINN: What happened to the
15 MR. COURTRIGHT: I'm sorry. I
16 didn't hear you.
17 MR. QUINN: Can he arbitrarily do
18 that without the bell?
19 MR. COURTRIGHT: I don't know what
20 happened to the bell. I asked for it --
21 MR. QUINN: Well, I mean, he's right
23 MR. COURTRIGHT: Pardon?
24 MR. QUINN: He's right there.
25 MR. COURTRIGHT: The bell is not
1 there. It's not here this week. I'll find
2 out what happened to the bell.
3 Bill Jackowitz.
4 MR. JACKOWITZ: Bill Jackowitz,
5 South Scranton resident, retired United
6 States Air Force. To stop any more
7 controversy, bring back the bell. It works,
8 it really does.
9 Okay. At this time I would like to
10 thank all five Councilpersons for voting
11 unanimously for the free swimming. All
12 pools in the city are free, with the
13 exception of Nay Aug Park. They have
14 reduced their prices from last at Nay Aug
16 Last year it was $3 to swim, $3 for
17 the slide, which was a total of $6 a day.
18 This year the pool fee has been reduced to
19 $3. This year you could swim and slide at
20 the pool for $3.
21 That's still is too much money.
22 That is a public pool. Not only is it a
23 public pool, it is the Hill Section's pool.
24 It belongs to the people of the Hill
1 It's a public pool paid for by
2 public taxpayers' money and public money,
3 not private money. The salaries are paid by
4 taxpayers, the maintenance is paid by
5 taxpayers, just like the taxpayers are going
6 to pay for the treehouse and the bridge to
8 We're going to pay the maintenance
9 on those, too. There's no fees charged to
10 use those facilities.
11 So, again, I solicit the support of
12 City Council. I appreciate Mr. McGoff's
13 motion earlier, and I hope we get it
14 through, but I believe that pool should be
15 free, simple as that.
16 Also, The Scranton Times and WNEP TV
17 needs to do another article on the free
18 swimming. Yesterday they presented
19 Mr. Brazil like he was the one who got the
20 free swimming. Mr. Brazil did not get the
21 free swimming. He was against the free
22 swimming, along with the mayor.
23 It was the Scranton Taxpayers
24 Association and all the generous
25 contributors who contributed to the fund,
1 including all five Council members.
2 They are the ones that need to get
3 the credit, not Mr. Brazil and not Mayor
4 Doherty, because they fought tooth and nail
5 against it.
6 And we're having a charity fair on
7 June 17. I talked with Mr. Brazil, and he's
8 giving us a wonderful deal, the first 250
9 kids that come in, we pay $3, the 251st kid
10 is going to be reduced to $2 dollars.
11 If that's what we have to do, then
12 that's what we'll do, because that's what we
13 raised the money for.
14 But, again, I solicit the support of
15 Scranton City Council to rectify this
16 problem. I believe it to be a problem. And
17 Mr. Brazil and Mayor Doherty should not get
18 credit, I repeat, no credit whatsoever for
19 the free swimming in Scranton.
20 Okay. Last week's meeting was a
21 perfect example of poor leadership or should
22 I say lack of leadership?
23 The images of President Gatelli and
24 Ms. Fanucci standing up yelling, Officer,
25 Officer, Officer, will be a permanent image
1 in my mind for life.
2 The fact that Mrs. Fanucci called
3 for an adjournment as Mr. Patilla was
4 concluding his talk and President Gatelli
5 asking for a second, then Mrs. Evans was
6 calm, cool and showing leadership ability
7 called for a motion to recess, which, again,
8 President Gatelli called for and a second
9 and received a second from Mr. Courtright.
10 Everyone, and myself included, thought the
11 meeting was in recess.
12 All of this commotion because a
13 speaker who has been loud and forceful every
14 time he has spoken to City Council did it
16 The motion was made at the end of
17 Mr. Patilla's presentation, not the
18 beginning or middle, but the end. Poor
19 judgment again, unless it was the intent
20 from the beginning.
21 Last week Mrs. Gatelli asked me for
22 my help in controlling citizens after the
23 meeting. Also, it stated in the paper that
24 Mrs. Fanucci and Mrs. Gatelli left in tears.
25 I was standing there when they left. I
1 spoke -- I spoke with Mrs. Gatelli, and Mrs.
2 Fanucci was standing in the elevator. I saw
3 no tears. It was in the paper, it said they
4 left in tears. They did not leave in tears.
5 Mrs. Gatelli asked me to help her to
6 try to calm citizens, so citizens, please
7 calm down, present yourself professionally
8 up here. I ask the same thing from Council
10 Mrs. Fanucci, quit interrupting
11 speakers while they are speaking. That is
12 not your right. If we're going to be cited
13 for being out of order, then you should be
14 cited for being out of order for
15 interrupting us. Wait until we are
16 finished, then you can say whatever you want
17 to say, because you have no time limit, we
18 do. So, please, that's my suggestion.
19 My second suggestion is that
20 Mrs. Gatelli step down as president of the
21 City Council because she has proven over and
22 over and over again that she cannot handle a
23 meeting. We are embattled in lawsuits after
24 lawsuits after lawsuits after lawsuits, and
25 it has to stop.
1 So, again, that is my advice to
2 Mrs. Gatelli.
3 MR. MINORA: Time.
4 MR. JACKOWITZ: And E-mail, if
5 you're listening, I hope I answered your
7 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you. Mary
8 Ann Wardell .
9 MS. WARDELL: Good evening, Council.
10 My name is Mary Ann Wardell, I'm a resident
11 of Scranton. I was out of town last week
12 and I missed this exciting meeting that was
13 here, however, did I find time to watch it
14 on television.
15 Let me say for probably the second
16 time in my life, I was embarrassed to say I
17 was a resident of this city.
18 The actions by both this Council and
19 some of the audience were despicable and
21 And you know what, we should all be
22 ashamed of ourselves that we have allowed
23 our city government to come to this kind of
25 I have been to many, many Council
1 meeting, way before 61 came, and I would
2 like to say to the residents and those who
3 think that we come here and complain and we
4 are legions of doom and we are not
5 intelligent and we are many different
6 things, we come here because we care about
7 this city and we care about what goes on.
8 And for those who watch this on TV
9 and only see us at the podium, they do not
10 see people snickering and laughing at us,
11 they do not see Councilpersons conducting
12 conversations with one another or getting up
13 and leaving the room while we're trying to
14 make a point or getting up and talking to
15 Mr. Minora or somebody else.
16 And speaking to Mr. Minora, can
17 someone tell me, didn't anyone inform him
18 when he was not here that week that we were
19 now using a bell to time people and that we
20 had agreed, Council had agreed, that we
21 would be using the bell from now on?
22 MR. COURTRIGHT: What happened, Mary
23 Ann, is in the back room, I don't know how
24 the subject came up, I think somebody gave
25 Kay time cards, 30 seconds, that thing and
1 we were joking about it, and I asked, Where
2 is the bell? I thought it was gone. I
3 thought it broke or got lost or whatever.
4 And she said, It's right here, so I asked to
5 bring it out. So, we brought it out and we
6 used it that week.
7 And I asked at Council, I said, I
8 hope that the other Council members would
9 agree that we would continue to use it. We
10 never took a vote on it, we never discussed
11 it any further, so, therefore, I guess,
12 that's why it's not here. So --
13 MS. WARDELL: Then let me suggest
14 maybe that you should take a vote and
15 decide. That's very rude to interrupt
16 somebody like that when you're in the middle
17 of a sentence.
18 MR. COURTRIGHT: Well --
19 MS. WARDELL: And, again, I'm doing
20 it now to you because I don't want to lose
21 my time, Bill, so just be quiet until I'm
23 MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay. All right.
24 Go ahead.
25 MS. WARDELL: And as far as changing
1 the agenda on this meeting, to have people
2 speak in last order is extremely unfair to
3 the residents that come here and that do
4 care about this city, and we do care about
5 what's on the agenda, and we do care about
6 what's on the agenda, and we do care about
7 how Council is voting on this agenda.
8 I believe that citizens
9 participation should be moved to an area
10 that we would be allowed to speak on agenda
11 items and anything else we care to before
12 you are taking a vote.
13 Don't give me the excuse that this
14 is on here for three times. I may not be
15 able to come here for three times, and it
16 might be something that's very interesting
17 to me.
18 I believe, according to the Home
19 Rule Charter, that citizens have a right to
20 speak on agenda items before a vote is
22 Now, you can go by assumption and
23 say, well, that could be because you have
24 three weeks to speak on.
25 Well, you know what, do you guys
1 remember last week what some of these people
2 said to you? Do you remember how they felt
3 about some of the items that were on this
4 agenda that you voted on tonight?
5 A 25 percent penalty is given to
6 residents when they don't pay their taxes on
7 time, and now we have socked our citizens
8 for more.
9 Are we doing this because we are so
10 desperate for revenue that we have to do
11 this to people that probably for the
12 majority are not paying their taxes, not
13 because they don't want to, but because they
14 cannot afford them.
15 And for you up there who make 40 or
16 50 or $60,000 or more a year, maybe that
17 couple hundred dollars doesn't mean
18 anything, but you know what, I'm on a fixed
19 income. I know what it means to count
21 And guess what? These taxes are
22 going to kill me, and they're going to kill
23 a lot of people.
24 And I'm going to decide now -- now
25 we've got this Sewer Authority mess and have
1 this increase, now we're going to worry
2 about, Gee, how are we going to pay the
3 sewer bill? Are they going to come and shut
4 our sewer off or are they going to shut our
5 water off?
6 You people have to think about --
7 you have to think about us in terms of what
8 most of us make, not what you guys make,
9 what most of us make.
10 And we don't make -- most of us
11 don't make anywhere near 50 or $60,000 a
12 year, I guarantee you that. And the ones
13 that do, they don't have to worry about
14 these taxes. And guess what? They don't
15 come to the meetings either, because they
16 don't worry about them.
17 We are the ones that have to worry
18 about them and we are the ones that care
19 about them.
20 MR. MINORA: Five minutes.
21 MS. WARDELL: And we are the ones
22 that care what goes on in this city and how
23 this city is portrayed and what we look like
24 to residents that -- to people that do not
25 live in this city. We look like a bunch of
1 jerks. We look like people that don't give
2 a damn what goes on in this city. Thank
4 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you. Before
5 I call up the next speaker, I would just ask
6 the members of Council here to consider this
7 for next week, possibly we can talk about it
8 in caucus, and I will ask Mrs. Gatelli at
9 that time, unless I see her before hand,
10 that if you would consider if we want to
11 bring the bell back, if the majority of us
12 are in favor of that, then we can have the
13 bell back next week.
14 So, if everyone here will consider
15 that, and then hopefully next week we'll all
16 be in favor and we will have it back.
17 MS. WARDELL: Thank you.
18 MR. COURTRIGHT: You're welcome.
19 MS. EVANS: Mr. Courtright, maybe
20 while we are considering the bell, we should
21 also consider changing at arrangement of
22 citizens participation.
23 MR. COURTRIGHT: We can also do
24 that. So, maybe we can discuss it next week
25 in caucus.
1 MS. EVANS: Yes, returning to its
2 original format.
3 MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay. Les
5 MR. SPINDLER: Les Spindler,
6 Scranton resident. Mrs. Evans, you stole a
7 little bit of my thunder, because that's
8 what I'm going to talk about right now,
9 because as you know, three weeks ago I had
10 The Home Rule Charter, and here it is again,
11 I read from it, that even though your
12 solicitor disagrees, it says in black and
13 white here that citizens have to speak on
14 agenda items before they're voted on.
15 And your solicitor says we're wrong,
16 but it's the same solicitor that said the
17 smoking ban was legal, too.
18 Now, and that's one of the reasons
19 why these meetings are aren't orderly,
20 because the Council -- the majority of this
21 Council doesn't run it right, and it stops
22 right at the top.
23 The mayor violates his recovery
24 plan, and then PEL looks the other way.
25 This Council, the majority of Council,
1 violates the Home Rule Charter, along with
2 the solicitor, and that's why these meetings
3 are out of order sometimes, because
4 everybody is frustrated because these
5 meetings are not run correctly, it's all
6 political, and there's three people up there
7 that's just rubber stamps, and that's why
8 these meetings are out of order. It's not
9 the citizens, it's the majority of the
11 The next thing, Mr. Courtright, I
12 don't know if you have the answer to this, I
13 think it would be a good idea if there could
14 be an amendment made to The Home Rule
15 Charter, when a newly-elected Councilperson
16 is elected or coming on Council, that they
17 cannot serve as president, because it was
18 evident from day one, and it's more evident
19 now, that Mrs. Gatelli does not know how to
20 control these meetings.
21 When Mr. DiBileo was president,
22 these meetings were orderly, there was never
23 a policeman here, no one was ever escorted
24 out, and Mr. DiBileo took verbal abuse every
25 week, and his family was even abused, and he
1 sat there and took it like a man.
2 I think you as Council should look
3 into making that a rule, that you should
4 have at least one year experience to be
5 Council President.
6 Next thing, Daron Northeast, I think
7 someone should make a motion to bring Mr.
8 Wallace in here for a public caucus to have
9 the public ask him questions about all the
10 zoning violations that's going on down
12 Next thing, I would like an update
13 on a lot of the mayor's pet projects that
14 are going to bring the people into the city.
15 St. Peter's Square, does anybody know where
16 that stands?
17 MR. COURTRIGHT: I haven't heard
18 anything about that recently, Les.
19 MR. SPINDLER: The Bewitching
20 building, it used to be the old Martz
21 Trailways across from The Radisson, that was
22 another pet project that's sitting there
23 empty, along with Southern Union.
24 Another thing, during the election
25 in the summer of the mayoral election, there
1 was all kinds of commercials, billboards
2 advertising Summer in the City, all the
3 things to do in Scranton, Summer in the
4 City. How come we don't have those
5 commercial or billboards anymore? I think
6 it was just a political thing, I guess,
7 unless there's nothing else to do in
8 Scranton in the summertime now.
9 Another thing, I think this Council
10 should do what the town of Olyphant did the
11 other night and enforce a skateboard
13 I was driving through town tonight,
14 I was at the traffic light at Linden and
15 Washington, the light turned green, I was
16 two cars from the light, four kids on
17 skateboards went flying right out in front
18 of the cars that had the green light, and
19 they thought it was funny. They were
20 laughing as they were going by. I think
21 it's a dangerous situation and something
22 should be done.
23 Two weeks ago, Mrs. Fanucci, you
24 said for people to get up here and rant and
25 rave is non-productive. What's
1 non-productive is for you to be up there
2 doing whatever Mayor Doherty wants you to
4 You also said for people to act
5 intelligent and educated. Well, you smiling
6 and giggling up there, I don't think that's
7 acting educated and intelligent either.
8 And you also said you might just
9 hang around here for four more years to
10 aggravate everybody, well, that's a real
11 bright statement to say. That just shows
12 that you're here for one reason and one
13 reason only, for Mr. Doherty's vote. You're
15 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you, Les.
16 Let's try not to have any name calling,
17 please. Ron Elman.
18 MR. ELMAN: They might hear us
19 outside. I think I broke a wing yesterday
20 playing on my motorcycle. I can't make my
21 hand work.
22 Before I start, I've had some people
23 ask me what in the world. I saw my friend
24 -- one of my son's friends with his little
25 girl walking down the street, and I put this
1 on and chased it to give it to him, and she
2 went nuts, you know, she didn't like it, but
3 I was too far from my car to go back. So --
4 MR. COURTRIGHT: Don't put it on,
6 MR. ELMAN: I'm trying to hide it.
7 Somebody thought I had a gun or something.
8 Well, two weeks ago I stood here stating
9 that the meetings just must become
10 civilized, and many of us could see that
11 last week's unfortunate episode was coming,
12 the handwriting was on the wall this was
13 going to occur again.
14 But what many of you out there fail
15 to understand is no one here speaks for
16 anyone else. I stand alone. I think all of
17 us stand alone.
18 We might say things that the other
19 people agree on, but we -- you can't blame
20 one person or two people for statements that
21 are made up here.
22 And these people out here, I've had
23 20 or 30 people in the last couple weeks
24 talk about how bad the meeting was, but they
25 don't participate, they don't vote, and I
1 don't think they don't have any business,
2 you know, complaining.
3 I speak for myself up here, and my
4 God, I have a lot of people come and
5 disagree with me that are, you know, about
6 my tactics and the way I say things and all,
7 so, you know, that's just how I feel.
8 I have a dislike for the mayor and
9 his administration and I have a distrust in
10 him, and I think that he just keeps showing
11 me that I'm right. And there's those out
12 here that completely disagree with what I
14 And, you know, it's just that people
15 out there, like was said a few minutes ago,
16 they don't see or hear anything that's going
17 on. Democracy is disappearing in Scranton.
18 This is getting to be a totalitarian regime,
19 it is.
20 Our esteem mayor controls about half
21 of the people, and it seems he just wants to
22 control over everybody around here.
23 Have you people -- you know how
24 things -- how a totalitarian regime becomes
25 so powerful? First they take away the
1 people's free speech, which our mayor is
2 trying to take Channel 61 away from us
4 Next they control what is said in
5 the newspapers. All through history, that's
6 what happened. And thirdly, they take away
7 guns. I don't believe he has any intentions
8 of doing that. I don't know.
9 You got to remember that everything
10 is backwards and I have to straighten it out
11 here. See, I went all through school for 20
12 more years and nobody knew I was dyslexic.
13 Now I see in the paper once in a
14 while where they have classes and tests or
15 something for people. I thought everybody
16 in the world was going through with this
17 mess I was, and it's very difficult. It
18 still affects me.
19 You know, I got some things here I
20 won't even say, but we have a new barbarian
21 invasion against or rights in this city.
22 We're being bombarded not to say things.
23 And, you know, the newspaper doesn't
24 tell half truths most of the time. We've
25 got such a pathetic newspaper in this town.
1 I read about in The Times Leader what's
2 going on in Scranton sometimes. That seems
3 to be a lot better newspaper. You know --
4 MR. MINORA: Time.
5 MR. ELMAN: -- a couple nights ago
6 at The Taurus Club, a fellow come up to me
7 and asked what I was going to say against
8 everything tonight, you know, and I was
9 thinking inside, maybe he's right. We have
10 a good city. You know, Mr. Snedeker rides
11 his bicycle all summer --
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: Your time is up
13 there, Mr. Elman. I have to ask you to come
14 back next week, Buddy.
15 MR. ELMAN: Do you want to see my
16 hat on me?
17 MR. COURTRIGHT: No. Please don't
18 put it on to scare us. Thanks.
19 Brett McCloe.
20 MR. MCCLOE: Good evening. My name
21 is Brett McCloe, I'm a Scranton resident,
22 taxpayer. It's become ever so evident about
23 some of the things that people say this
24 evening and a lot of things that I hear at
25 my tables. I get a full view of different
1 points of view about things that happened
2 last week or things that happen within the
3 walls of this Council.
4 I get to hear from people from
5 outside boroughs -- I mean outside of the
6 city in the boroughs. I hear from wealthy
7 people, poor people, those in the middle, I
8 get to talk to them.
9 And I wrote something four months
10 ago, and it seems to fit into what just
11 happened -- what happened last week, so here
12 it goes.
13 I see this city as a living,
14 breathing organism. The angry rants of the
15 people who may speak at the City Council are
16 no different than what a cough is to a bad
17 chest cold. The hooping cough of discontent
18 is a reactionary symptom to a political
20 Something has infected the body
21 politic. Is it something within the genetic
22 material of the city organism that it preys
23 upon large segments of the public like a
24 cancer causing political apathy and malaise.
25 It because great minds somehow
1 convince the city organism to walk out into
2 a rainstorm of debt without sufficient
3 protection from the financial elements.
4 Cronyism and nepotism scratch the
5 throat, financial mismanagement and
6 legislative impropriety fill the lungs with
7 the vial fluid of piety and self-righteous
8 indignation, all the while convincing the
9 body that all is well while the virus hides
10 within the cells.
11 The wheezing and coughing of
12 discontent are not to blame, they are simply
13 a symptom of a much larger problem.
14 I wrote that about four months ago,
15 like I said, when I had a bad chest cold,
16 and it just reminded me of the state of the
18 And I realized I refused to do what
19 it took to keep my body healthy, so I had to
20 suffer the consequences.
21 I'm not talking doom and gloom, I'm
22 talking about cause and effect. We are a
23 people just beginning to wake up out of a
24 long slumber, 40, 50, 60 years of letting
25 other controls the information that we
2 Decades of bowing down and accepting
3 the so-called wisdom of family names, those
4 who have traded in their humanity for a
5 prefix or a suffix, they who control our
6 financial well being and those who claim the
7 gates of heaven.
8 It's time for the sleepers in this
9 city to awaken, it's time for us to stumble
10 out of the darkness into a brighter future.
11 I'm going to leave it there. I see
12 great hope for our city, I see great hope
13 with the people here. I just hope that we
14 all just start to turn on the lights a
15 little bit and maybe start to fill up some
16 of these balconies with people who refuse to
17 come down here, but yet make comments.
18 I hope those nice homes you built up
19 there are good enough for you, and if you
20 can't pay your taxes, someone is going to
21 take them away from you. That's all I have
22 to say.
23 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you.
24 Dan Hubbard.
25 MR. HUBBARD: Good evening, Council.
1 My name is Daniel Hubbard, and I am the
2 President of the Lower Green Ridge
3 Neighborhood Association. I would like to
4 correct The Scranton Times on that. I am
5 not a resident of the neighborhood, I am the
6 President of the neighborhood association,
7 and that was changed in the paper due to
8 somebody's comment in this building.
9 So, I don't appreciate that. I was
10 elected to that position, and I don't care
11 if anybody else but my neighbors recognize
12 me in that capacity.
13 Now, I would like to talk about what
14 has this City Council done to help the
15 residents of lower Green Ridge since we are
16 coming up on our one year anniversary of the
17 flood. Nothing has been done.
18 I walked the riverbank with
19 Mr. Parker for close to two hours in the
20 snow. He spray painted and put ribbons on
21 areas of the levee that he said would he
22 fix. Nothing has been fixed, nothing has
23 been done.
24 So, I guess we're just going to have
25 to have fearful and tiresome days throughout
1 the rest of this summer worrying about
2 whether or not what little of our riverbank
3 is left will be able to hold back the waters
4 from any of the storms that we're supposed
5 to receive this year.
6 This year the season is supposed to
7 be bigger than last year, but yet nothing
8 has been done, which is, I guess, typical of
9 the Council majority that sits before us.
10 Mrs. Fanucci, can you give me a
11 reason why you didn't return my call this
12 week when I talked to you? I left you a
13 voice mail, I think it was Monday afternoon.
14 It was a fairly important issue.
15 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: You left the
16 issue on the phone, and what I did was I
17 talked to DEP, and I also talked to -- they
18 got the report --
19 MR. HUBBARD: Okay. The voice mail
20 I left you was about Daron Northeast
21 operating well into the night. I mean, they
22 were running --
23 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Right. And I
24 did call and file a complaint and let the
25 people know. Yeah, I took care of the issue
1 on my own.
2 MR. HUBBARD: Just for future
3 reference, just give me a call back and let
4 me know, that way I don't have to come to
5 the podium and be a little aggravated that
6 you didn't return my call.
7 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Why don't you
8 tell them how I'm the one who made the
9 connection for you to help you to with the
10 going to talk to George Parker in the
11 beginning? That would be nice.
12 MR. HUBBARD: No, you did, and I
13 thanked you for that in the past, I have,
14 but it's beyond me now. Mr. Parker, it's in
15 his hands and he's continuing to do nothing.
16 Daron Northeast, let's discuss this
17 a little bit. The City of Scranton lost
18 $650,000 on the purchase of that property
19 because we forgave $776,000 in back property
21 Casey Realty purchased the land, and
22 then he turned around and leased the land to
23 themselves, which then we designated a KOZ.
24 So, since the City of Scranton in
25 itself isn't benefitting in any way, shape
1 or form in regards to Daron financially, who
2 is benefiting financially from Daron
3 Northeast, that they are receiving an
4 umbrella of protection that they do get from
5 this city?
6 And also, I'm a little rattled, just
7 bear with me. Mr. Fiorini was fielding
8 calls from you guys, and of course there are
9 no building code violations, because I
10 obviously can't get on the grounds of Daron
11 to say that there's building codes
12 violations. There are zoning violations.
13 Mr. Fiorini is not a zoning officer,
14 that would be Mr. Wallace. So, any
15 questions you need in regards to the 30-some
16 zoning violations I have should go to Mr.
18 I also think Mr. Wallace should come
19 before the residents and explain why Daron
20 Northeast was allowed to operate without a
21 variance and without a public hearing, as
22 well as a site plan review from the planning
24 They are the two most important
25 things that a business has to go through
1 before they could open in this city.
2 I mean, that is really one of the
3 two biggest steps when you open a business
4 in the City of Scranton, you have to apply
5 for variances and permits, and you have to
6 have a site plan review that goes before the
7 planning commission, and it has to be
8 approved before a business can open.
9 Neither one of those two actions
10 were ever taken, and this business is
11 allowed to operate, yet they do receive an
12 umbrella of protection from the City of
13 Scranton from somewhere within this city.
14 On that, I'd like to point out, I'd
15 like to thank the motor carrier division of
16 the Scranton Police Department and the
17 Scranton Police Department, because they
18 were on Dickson Avenue yesterday and I think
19 the day before doing DOT spot checks on some
20 of the trucks, so I do appreciate that
21 something is being done to put pressure on
22 Daron Northeast, but yet nothing is being
23 done to correct the mistakes that company
24 has made since they opened.
25 You know, they have been cited by
1 OSHA repeatedly for not enforcing the
2 required mandate respirators that their
3 employees are supposed to wear while at
5 Well, why would you make your
6 employees wear respirators when they're
7 running around in front of the public eye
8 watching your facility, when you're claiming
9 it's not hazardous?
10 OSHA requires their employees to
11 wear respirators. They require their
12 employees to not wear them outside of the
13 building. Why?
14 If the federal government says you
15 have to wear them, who the hell are they to
16 tell their employees that they don't have to
17 wear them? They don't want the people
18 taking pictures, they don't want the
19 sightseers and the drive-bys and the people
20 to see their employees wearing respirators,
21 because then that would just justify
22 everything that I have said in regards to
23 the dust and the quartz crystaline silica
24 that is airborne in that neighborhood.
25 A resident on Dickson Avenue just
1 got back from her pulmonologist. She's
2 never smoked a cigarette a day in her life.
3 She has 43 percent less breathing capacity
4 in --
5 MR. MINORA: Time.
6 MR. HUBBARD: -- her lungs. So, we
7 need to get on this. This needs to be taken
8 care of.
9 And from what I've heard, you know,
10 you guys received quite a firm letter from
11 Daron. Well, now I guess the City of
12 Scranton is on the intimidation of Daron
13 Northeast, as well as the residents.
14 So, let's just see how this city
15 steps up to the plate and handles this
16 company and protects the people that pay
17 their taxes, that vote, that support this
18 city. They are the backbone of Scranton.
19 Thank you.
20 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you. If I
21 could one more time before the next speaker
22 comes up, whether it be Mrs. Evans or
23 Mrs. Fanucci, Mrs. Gatelli or myself, I
24 believe that there's a problem that may be,
25 and I've asked this in the past that you go
1 to the department where the problem might
2 come from, and I understand that many of you
3 just say, Oh, I'm not doing that, they don't
4 answer the phone, but I would think that
5 would be your first line.
6 If then, in fact, you come to us, we
7 make requests. Understand, we all do. We
8 make requests. We don't have any power. I
9 can't tell Mr. Parker to do anything, I
10 can't tell Mr. Hayes to do anything. We can
11 all request.
12 Every time you hear us say, look, we
13 would like to have this road paved, we'd
14 like to have that pothole fixed, they're
16 And I hear people say, Well, you
17 know, you said my road is getting paved.
18 No, we didn't say it was getting paved, we
19 asked to have it put on the list, we asked
20 to have it paved.
21 Ask to problem rectified that's all
22 we can do is ask. Believe me, I think each
23 one of us are trying our best to help, but
24 sometimes we're powerless. It's not that we
25 don't want to help you. I think all of us
1 want to help you. So, I just want to get
2 that out there before the next speaker came
3 up, and that would be Elizabeth Hubbard.
4 MS. HUBBARD: Elizabeth Hubbard,
5 Scranton resident and taxpayer. As I have
6 said before, Daniel is a hard act to follow.
7 With what you just said about you
8 can't get anything done, why doesn't the
9 mayor hold a public meeting that people can
10 address and ask for things and address their
12 Since you say you have no power,
13 he's got all the power, then he should have
14 to answer to the people.
15 MR. COURTRIGHT: I asked that in the
16 past, and I know Mayor Connors had a couple
17 of them, and also I know he had some times
18 where you could -- nighttime hours when he
19 was in his office, I believe it was, but
20 that's his choice. You'd have to ask him
21 that question.
22 MS. HUBBARD: Okay. I'm going to
23 start off with a question that Fay Franus
24 asked Judy last week about the legal fees on
25 that countersuit.
1 Now, are the taxpayers paying for
2 that? And I think you all are taxpayers, we
3 all have a right to know, if we're paying
4 her legal fees. Could you find that out?
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: Like I said, I will
6 speak with Mr. Minora after the meeting to
7 see if we have the right to know this as
8 citizens, not just Council people, as
10 MS. HUBBARD: As citizens.
11 Question, another question, I see in the
12 newspaper where the Northern Lights Coffee
13 Shop was sold. Now, they had a loan in '03
14 for $125,000, had another one in February of
15 '06 for $25,000.
16 The business was sold for less than
17 $130,000, according to the newspaper, and
18 what I want to know, are there balances left
19 on those loans, and if there are, who is
20 responsible to pay them?
21 MR. COURTRIGHT: Mrs. Fanucci might
22 have the answer for you.
23 MS. HUBBARD: Because I understand
24 that he had a bunch of tax liens on them.
25 MR. COURTRIGHT: Would you like for
1 me to answer that for you?
2 MS. HUBBARD: Could you wait until I
3 get done?
4 MR. COURTRIGHT: Sure, absolutely.
5 MS. HUBBARD: As far as Junior
6 Council goes, I really resent the newspaper
7 printing that Mr. Miller referred to the
8 speakers at Council as animals.
9 I would like him to differentiate
10 who's an animal and who isn't. I really
11 talk offense to that.
12 And as far as I'm concerned, Jim
13 Piazza graduated, he's off Junior Council, I
14 don't know this young gentleman, did you
16 MR. MILLER: No.
17 MR. COURTRIGHT: That's Ian.
18 MS. HUBBARD: Okay. There's two
19 people on Junior Council. I think it should
20 be disbanded.
21 Fay Franus comes in here to sign her
22 name to be number one speaker, and Doug
23 Miller comes in and signs his name above
24 her. I don't think that's right.
25 You take the time to come into City
1 Hall so you can speak, number one, and he
2 just comes in here and goes ahead of you.
3 I remember a meeting where
4 Mr. Minora said that Junior Council had to
5 go by the rules of everybody else on
6 citizens participation. Okay. Enough on
7 that subject.
8 I have to tell you this, I went up
9 to the park the night before last to see the
10 tree house and the new bridge. I had my
11 daughter-in-law and her little boy and his
12 friend, eight-year-old.
13 So, we saw the tree house. The best
14 thing to view from that tree house is the
15 traffic on 81. You can't see the falls at
16 all. Other than that, it's really a pretty
18 Anyway, we went down to the bridge.
19 We came back up and the little boys wanted
20 to play at the playground. So, we sat on
21 the bench and we were having a cigarette and
22 relaxing, and one of the little guys come
23 over and said, There's people over there in
24 the tunnel, they have like a play tunnel you
25 crawl through, and I couldn't think of
1 anything other than maybe it was a bum or
2 just somebody whatever. He come back and he
3 said, He's laying on top of her.
4 MR. COURTRIGHT: Oh, jeez, don't.
5 Let's not go there, all right, please?
6 MS. HUBBARD: Wait a minute. I went
7 over and routed them out. I don't think
8 there was anything going on. Anyway I
9 routed them out of there.
10 I just want to know, who monitors
11 the teenagers at the park? Because they
12 were swarming all over the bridge when we
13 were there, and there's liter everywhere.
14 So, do they have people monitoring this?
15 MR. COURTRIGHT: We will have to ask
16 Mr. Brazil.
17 MS. HUBBARD: The police or
18 security? I just thought -- on a children's
19 playground, to me, that was disgusting. I
20 don't need those little boys seeing that
21 stuff. That's way out of line.
22 MR. COURTRIGHT: Let's move on from
23 that one.
24 MS. HUBBARD: What? I didn't hear
25 what you said.
1 MR. COURTRIGHT: I said let's move
2 on from that particular subject.
3 MS. HUBBARD: Bill, it's --
4 MR. COURTRIGHT: I hear you. We
5 will look into it.
6 MS. HUBBARD: And another thing
7 regarding Mrs. Gatelli, I think she should
8 be, any of you, should be docked for missed
9 meetings, and if you have early dismissals,
10 meaning if you take off early or you adjourn
11 the meeting early or whatever, I think you
12 should all be docked your pay.
13 MR. MINORA: Time.
14 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you.
15 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: I want to
16 address your question. The person who is --
17 who takes out the loan is responsible. The
18 loan does not go with the sale of the
20 So, the gentleman who sold the
21 building is responsible for the loan. He
22 has to pay it back himself. He has to pay
23 it back. The guy who got the money who
24 owned the original business who was the one
25 who applied for the loan, he's in charge of
1 paying back that loan.
2 And the liens and the fines, if he
3 does not, are personal guarantees, so they
4 can go after his home or whatever it is else
5 that --
6 MS. HUBBARD: Did he put up his
7 home, etc.?
8 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: He has to. He
9 has to put up a personal guarantee, so there
10 is adequate -- whether it's equipment or
11 whatever, it is -- there's adequate stuff.
12 MS. HUBBARD: I just wondered,
13 because I remembered reading about the tax
14 liens and the fact that now it's sold.
15 MR. COURTRIGHT: Maybe you can ask
16 Ms. Fanucci if --
17 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Yeah, I can
18 find out, too, what was already paid back
19 and what wasn't paid back for next week.
20 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thanks. Sam
22 MR. PATILLA: Sam Patilla,
23 homeowner, taxpayer. Ms. Evans,
24 Mr. Courtright, taxpayers, citizens of
25 Scranton, Mother Scranton herself, I
1 apologize for my actions last week.
2 With that being said, strong
3 leadership is vital to the success of a
4 city, a region, a state, a nation and its
5 economical, social and environment well
7 And with that leadership comes clear
8 accountability so the citizens and Council
9 taxpayers know whom to praise and whom to
11 All right. One of my biggest issues
12 right now is those subordination agreement
13 and the delinquent taxes, the fees on those
15 All right. I'll take Mr. Ozzie
16 Quinn's statement about amnesty a step
17 further. All right. If you don't want to
18 offer amnesty to all illegals, why don't you
19 offer it to the actual residents of the city
20 of Scranton?
21 You can go after your absentee
22 landlords, because like I stated last week,
23 Miss Evans, we have a list, and we can
24 compare that list of who actually owes that
25 money. The majority of the money would
1 probably be absentee landlords.
2 And you can go after them people,
3 you know, because actually, you know, it's
4 about time that this administration, this
5 Council and the administration, actually did
6 something for the people of Scranton, the
7 backbone of Scranton, her taxpayers.
8 You know, it's not that you can
9 continue to go to the well and look to be
10 bailed out, all right?
11 The taxpayers come here to get
12 bailed out themselves from the oppressive
13 government that we are under right now, you
15 I really think that the majority of
16 the Council members up there have lost their
17 way. You know, you forgotten that you are
18 the representatives of the citizens of
19 Scranton, you aren't the representative of
20 the mayor, you aren't the representative of
21 your contributors, you're the representative
22 to these people here.
23 Many of these are intelligent
24 people. When they come here, they come here
25 knowledgeable, they come here with facts.
1 There's not things they're guessing at,
2 there's not things they're surmising.
3 It's a fact. You know, it's a fact
4 that the mayor has violated The Home Rule
5 Charter almost from its inception, and you
6 should have went after ways of finding ways
7 to sanction him.
8 You know, don't try to silence your
9 people, you know, because The Constitution
10 and The Amendments, they give us the right
11 to speak, they give us the right to address
12 our elected officials.
13 You know, if they don't like what we
14 have to say, then they should find another
16 Because I had spoke to my cousin
17 recently. He owns a property in
18 Plainsfield, New Jersey, and I told him, I
19 said, You know, we are facing a 25 percent
20 property tax increase for each of the next
21 three years.
22 He said, Oh, 25 percent for three
23 years, that's not bad. I said, No, you
24 didn't hear what I said. I said each year
25 of the next three years.
1 He says, Well, what about the sewer,
2 the water, the electricity? All of those
3 are going up, too. And he told me, he said,
4 Sam, ain't nobody afford that. I said,
5 You're absolutely right.
6 So, when you're piling all of this
7 on and you're letting the mayor run around
8 city business through the sewer
9 administration authority or anyplace else,
10 other than our body, our City Council, then
11 you're doing us a great disservice, and that
12 is aggravating, that is frustrating, you
14 And like I said, you know, I will
15 not run from a dishonest government. My
16 whole thing, I don't speak for anybody but
17 myself, and I will go to my grave for open
18 and honest government. And I mean that from
19 the bottom of my heart, all right?
20 In regards to what Mr. Bolus said
21 earlier, all right, I don't know who he's
22 talking to, because every minority that I
23 known, we don't want anybody giving us
24 anything. We want equality. We pay our
25 taxes, we're homeowners, we work, all right?
1 All we want is the same opportunities as
2 everybody else.
3 So, all this giving us, you haven't
4 given us anything. We've earned our way
5 from the Revolutionary War to the first one
6 of us to get off a slave ship. We've earned
7 ours, and all we want is that respect, okay?
8 Now, I would like to commend a young
9 man from up at Valley View who works at the
10 McDonald's down at Cedar. He, like many of
11 our kids, went out, got a girl pregnant, now
12 he's a dad, but unlike many of them, this
13 young man works and goes to school each and
14 every day, and I think that's commendable.
15 Even though I don't agree with him
16 becoming a parent so early, I'd like to
17 commend that young man for getting his head
18 on straight and going down the right way.
19 And that's the type of leadership,
20 that's the type of guidance that this city
21 needs. We need people to step up to the
22 plate and say, Okay, this is wrong. I'm not
23 going to do. I'm not going to agree with
24 the mayor because I know it's wrong, I'm not
25 going to agree with that person because I
1 know it's wrong.
2 MR. MINORA: Five minutes.
3 MR. PATILLA: I'm going to do what's
4 best for the city. Thank you.
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you, sir.
6 Lee Morgan.
7 MR. MORGAN: Good evening, Council.
8 I'd just like to make three comments, and
9 then I'd like to read a little thing out of
10 this book.
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: Lee, could you say
12 your name for the record, please?
13 MR. MORGAN: Yes. My name is Lee
14 Morgan. And the one thing I'd like to say
15 is, Mr. Courtright, you know, you talk about
16 how you request things, and I'd just like to
17 say that this Council itself is always
18 powerless because you never use the power
19 you have for the benefit of the people,
21 And people here talk about that
22 there's an agenda on this side, well,
23 there's an agenda on that side. There's a
24 personality on this side, there really is.
25 There's real problems here and they need to
1 be addressed.
2 The other thing is Daron Block, why
3 are we discussing that? The lady was
4 outside here today crying, she showed up
5 here before the meeting. She was afraid to
6 come in.
7 Now, I'm going to tell you
8 something, I'm going to be very blunt, okay,
9 that woman had a lot of problems years ago
10 with people in her family that could have
11 lost their life if something wasn't done,
12 you know, something still hasn't been done,
13 and now she's lost a major part of her
14 respiratory ability, and this Council just
15 blabs and blabs and blabs, and the mayor and
16 is spinning his agenda, fiscal destruction
17 of this city, and this Council hasn't
18 stepped up to the plate to protect these
19 people and these individuals near that
21 We know from what Mr. Hubbard said,
22 and there's others here who know what's
23 going on, myself, Mr. Sbaraglia, Mr. Quinn,
24 people who've come here for years and years.
25 We don't come here and talk about the same
1 issue all the time. It doesn't mean that
2 we're not informed and we don't know.
3 But, you know, you can't beat a dead
4 horse to death before you realize that this
5 Council has failed this city, this
6 administration is only hell bent on
7 borrowing as much money as they can.
8 And in regards to the thing you
9 passed on the agenda tonight about all these
10 fees, I tell everybody you borrow as much
11 money against your house as you possible
12 can, and in 15 months, let the city have it.
13 Because, I mean, this is absolutely
14 asinine that this city has reached the point
15 it has. The Scranton Sewer Authority has
16 Mr. Barrett and Mr. Scopelliti. Neither one
17 of them know what they're doing, okay? I
18 mean, let's be honest here.
19 This city is being looted in every
20 single direction you can loot it in, and
21 this Council is just talking and talking and
22 talking. There's more houses for sale in
23 this city than ever before, and the people
24 aren't concerned about their neighbors
25 selling their house because they know it's
1 probably not going to happen.
2 And every once in a while somebody
3 will put an article in and say, Well,
4 property values are going up because some
5 guy from New York and New Jersey just came
6 in and paid $189,000 for a house that's only
7 one 60 grand a year because he doesn't know
8 the market and he doesn't know this city,
9 and that's the problem.
10 And when this Council doesn't
11 exercise its obligation to the residents to
12 do their job and to hold the mayor
13 accountable, that's where our problem is.
14 And when you fail to respect the
15 Home Rule Charter, that's another problem.
16 That's why I think the whole Home Rule
17 Charter needs to be abolished, because it
18 serves no useful purpose at all. It's just
19 a tool for this Council to beat the
20 residents over the head with and to give you
21 the opportunity to levy more fees on us and
22 do all the corrupt things that this Council
23 has done.
24 Because when you don't step forward
25 to protect the residents, then I don't know
1 how you can say that's anything less than
2 corruption, okay?
3 And I'm not -- you know, next week
4 I'll come in and I'll read what
5 Mr. Jefferson said in 1779 when he decided
6 to educate people.
7 Now, I don't know -- some of you
8 people are teachers, some of you are fairly
9 intelligent, maybe you should read some of
10 the writings of Jefferson and some of the
11 other people that formed this country so
12 that you can get a better opinion on what
13 you should be doing, okay?
14 It really -- really cuts here,
15 because what it basically says, and I'll
16 just quote -- I'll just make it very brief,
17 is that the reason for public education was
18 so that as many enlightened educated people
19 would be able to take posts of public office
20 to serve the people.
21 And, you know what, all the public
22 education we have, it hasn't helped us,
23 because everybody in government sold their
24 vote to somebody, and the weak and the
25 powerless are the people over here. They
1 have no rights, they have no rights at all.
2 I mean, you've increased levies,
3 taxes, everything, and your excuse is the
4 city needs revenue.
5 No, the city needs a legitimate
6 government that's going to cut the budget,
7 that's going to do something for the people.
8 The rich are doing well, KOZs, all
9 these loans to people. I mean, let's be
10 honest here. Where's the redevelopment in
11 the neighborhoods? We're just tearing
12 houses down.
13 In 15 months, we're going to be
14 selling everybody's house that can't pay,
15 and all the people that can't sell their
16 houses, people outside this city aren't
17 stupid enough to come in here and buy a
18 house because they know what's going on, but
19 the people in New York and New Jersey,
20 they're stupid enough because they're not
21 informed. Thank you.
22 MR. COURTRIGHT: I'm just going to
23 make a comment right now. I'm going to
24 speak for myself, and anybody else who wants
25 to speak after I'm done, you're more than
2 I have not done nothing, Mr. Morgan,
3 and I take offense to that. I have been
4 down there probably more times than you ever
5 have been, and I've done everything I could,
6 and so I take offense of you accusing me of
7 doing something I didn't do.
8 I went down there and I spoke to
9 those people. I was down there when the
10 police were down there, I spoke to
11 Mr. Fiorini, I've done everything I possibly
12 could. So for you --
13 MR. MORGAN: I --
14 MR. COURTRIGHT: Don't. I let you
15 speak, you let me speak. For you to say
16 that I've done nothing is a lie.
17 MR. MORGAN: I --
18 MR. COURTRIGHT: And you can't speak
19 from the audience. I let you talk. Don't
20 say anything. I let you speak your time now
21 I'm speaking. So, what you're saying is a
23 MR. MORGAN: I --
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: Mr. Morgan, I am
25 not going to allow you to speak from the
2 MR. MORGAN: Well, then, you know,
3 don't say anything if I can't defend --
4 MR. COURTRIGHT: You're out of
5 order, Mr. Morgan. I'm not going to allow
6 you to speak from the audience. You had
7 your time, now it's my time.
8 I have gone down there, I've done
9 everything I could for those people, and
10 you're making it look like I didn't, and I
11 take offense to that.
12 MR. MORGAN: Are they --
13 MR. COURTRIGHT: You're not allowed
14 to speak from the audience, Mr. Morgan.
15 Anyone else?
16 MS. EVANS: I agree with what you're
17 saying, Mr. Courtright. There's much that's
18 been done, and not only in that case, but in
19 many, many cases that have been cited, you
20 know, during presentations that you made,
21 and I, too, often take umbrage, because I
22 know the work that I've done, and I know the
23 votes that I've cast, and I've often been
24 lumped in with people who have voted in a
25 manner opposite from my votes.
1 And to say that this is true of all
2 people is inaccurate. I can't say that
3 about any group of people even seated here
4 tonight, that all people are this and such.
5 There are differences, there are
6 exceptions, and I work very hard at what I
7 do seven days a week, and I may not get back
8 to everybody immediately, and I know there
9 are a lot of people who want to talk to me
10 who are upset that they aren't called
11 regularly, but I am doing my level best to
12 work for the people, because I do
13 understand, I always have. You're my boss,
14 not the mayor, people are my boss, because
15 the people voted for me, and the people pay
16 me, and that's why I work so hard for them.
17 And I'm not complaining about that.
18 I consider that a privilege. But please
19 don't say that I do nothing, because that's
20 very far from the case.
21 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you.
22 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: I just want to
23 say that I believe that you think that the
24 meeting is a job. You know, people get up
25 here and say you should be docked for the
1 meeting if you're not here.
2 The meeting is just to do business.
3 This is not even a tiny bit of the job. If
4 you think all week long this is the job,
5 this is not it. The job happens from the
6 time we leave here until we return again.
7 This is just to do our city business, listen
8 to what you have to say and move on.
9 But our job goes on and on all week
10 long, the calls, the helping, the trying to
11 make the connections, to try to make the
12 citizens happy, to try to resolve their
13 problems. That's the job. This is just our
14 meeting to do our business.
15 And I do take offense. I take
16 offense when you say that I'm -- criminal
17 acts. That might be your opinion, but until
18 you can prove I'm criminal, I don't
19 appreciate it. That's not true.
20 I have never given special, because
21 of contributions, as we knew, I didn't even
22 know the person contributed to me, and all
23 of a sudden that was a big deal.
24 For some reason people believe, and
25 I know you don't want to hear, people
1 believe what they want to believe. You come
2 in here with your agenda.
3 I ran on the fact I liked what was
4 happening in the City of Scranton. I didn't
5 change when I got here. You might not like
6 it, but it's okay, but that's what I ran on.
7 I didn't change.
8 So, when you come here and say,
9 well, you're a rubber stamper or you decide
10 -- I make a decision on what's based on what
11 I feel and what people who put me here feel.
12 And I know a lot of you didn't put
13 me here, and that's okay, but we work very
14 hard, all of us.
15 Whether or not you agree with Mrs.
16 Evans' position, my position, Mr.
17 Courtright, we all have our own people. We
18 all have. It's not -- you can't say you
19 work for the people of the city. Why,
20 because there's all different views out
21 there, there's all different people with all
22 different ideas. You work for the people
23 that you felt the idea was the same as
24 yours, and that's what you're here for.
25 And that's all I have to say. But
1 don't come up here and say we don't work.
2 You have no clue. I know you tried, but you
3 have no clue until you're in this position
4 what really goes on in this job.
5 MS. EVANS: And one more thing I
6 wanted to agree with you on, Mr. Courtright,
7 we do our jobs, we make the requests, we ask
8 the questions.
9 I've gone in person asking
10 questions. Sometimes I get answers,
11 sometimes I receive flipped answers,
12 sometimes I receive lip service. I send
13 letter after letter. I do everything within
14 my power.
15 And I'm sure all of you could agree
16 that I never make a request in an
17 inappropriate manner and I never make an
18 idle request either.
19 But for some reason, many, many of
20 those questions remain unanswered. And I am
21 powerless to enforce an answer from those
22 individuals because I am not mayor and I do
23 not hold the power of hiring and firing
25 I can only tell you that if it were
1 in my power, yes, these many issues that you
2 have would be taken care of, because you are
3 the city, you own the city, you own this
5 And it is the neighborhoods that
6 have kept Scranton alive, not the downtown.
7 Downtowns throughout the United States have
8 changed rapidly, and they've gone out
9 sprawling out beyond downtowns, but it's the
10 people in their homes. They are the city,
11 whether it's Scranton, Wilkes-Barre,
12 Allentown, Pittsburgh, or Morristown, New
14 So, please, to say that we don't
15 try, yes, we do, all the time, and it's very
16 difficult to have door after door after door
17 slammed in your face.
18 And like I said, if any one of us
19 here, I'm sure, had the ability, had the
20 power to solve these things for you, I
21 wouldn't see people telling you no, I
22 wouldn't see people saying I will pave your
23 street and I won't fix the flooding in your
24 neighborhood and I won't build up that dirt
25 wall, and I won't put more police on the
1 street. Those are things that should be
3 They're not being done, but there's
4 no one here, even all of us put together,
5 with the majority, the super majority vote,
6 we cannot make those things happen, because
7 we don't hold that power, only the office of
8 the mayor does.
9 It is a strong mayor form of
10 government. And, yes, we override what
11 comes to our desk, but when it comes to
12 making people do their jobs, there's only
13 one person, and that's the person who
14 occupies the office of mayor who has that
15 ability to make those people do their jobs
16 for you.
17 And anyone who steps out of line
18 isn't going to have a job, or else they're
19 going to see retaliation, and that's the way
20 it is.
21 So, I would ask everyone who comes
22 to Council, please understand that the
23 background behind all the requests and all
24 the problems. I can assure you, you are not
25 being ignored. No one in the city, rich,
1 poor, of any ethnicity or race, are not
2 ignored, and Council represents everyone but
3 there's only so much we can do. And I wish
4 it weren't that way, but for now, that's the
5 way it is.
6 MR. COURTRIGHT: Mrs. Shumaker, I
7 apologize for the wait.
8 MS. EVANS: And I do, too.
9 MS. SHUMAKER: Marie Shumaker, East
10 Mountain. First I'd like to verify what
11 Fay Franus said, her version of last week.
12 I was sitting one empty seat way from
13 Mr. Newcomb, and he had been calling
14 Mr. Patilla an idiot for quite some time,
15 and when he jumped up and demanded that he
16 leave because he was an idiot, I don't
17 believe you were in your adjournment yet.
18 A couple of comments on a past vote
19 agenda items, on the Pisano loan, I was very
20 disappointed, because I don't believe that
21 lien has still been placed against that
22 property on Moosic Street for the
23 demolition. And also with the particular
24 action, I had two words, and that was Hilton
1 On the sale of the tax
2 delinquencies, I understand the revenues may
3 have been in the budget, but the owner's
4 fees weren't. I really think you need to
5 have rethought that action. I think it's
7 I have asked you in the past to ask
8 the governor to get rid of PEL, and tonight
9 I asked Neil to pass out some items, and I
10 think on the bottom was a copy of this
11 newspaper article, and it is -- I would like
12 you to ask -- do as has been done with the
13 Philly mess, that I think the government
14 created, if I'm not mistaken, and that is to
15 establish an intergovernmental cooperative
17 I have also provided you with a copy
18 of the fiscal feasibility section of the
19 report on the medical college, because I
20 don't believe -- several weeks ago when I
21 asked if any of you had read the report.
22 From the Doherty Deceit Website,
23 somebody did post a URL that goes through to
24 the Chamber of Commerce, so the entire
25 report is available online.
1 The concerns I have about the
2 medical college are the underlying
3 assumptions. They seem to have a rather
4 large tin cup.
5 The expectation -- there is an
6 expectation for city and county
7 contributions. And what I would like to ask
8 of you is that you find out what that --
9 specifically what those city contributions
10 are. I strongly feel this city is tapped
11 out and we can't afford any more
13 But if you look, they have both
14 capital revenues, they have significant
15 community and individual donations in which
16 they have lumped the city and county
18 So, it's hard to tell, and I would
19 ask that you specifically find out how much
20 they're expecting from the taxpayers.
21 Several other underlying assumptions
22 that bother me, and one is, are the outcomes
23 worth the price? The report estimates the
24 22 graduates will remain in the area
25 annually beginning in 2018, and that hardly
1 makes a dent in the need for the identified
2 145 to 260 new physicians.
3 And then on one hand, they report
4 that the medical college is needed because
5 we have a physicians shortage, and then they
6 go on to list at least three specific
7 instances where they hoped to engage the
8 current physicians.
9 Well, where does this leave patient
10 care and physician burnout if they're
11 planning to use our current ones, and when
12 do we get to see our physicians?
13 And then the quality and quantity of
14 jobs. Once again, it appears the region
15 benefits, but the city pays. The
16 construction related impacts on the state
17 and region impact the state business volume
18 and $140.2 million and the region at $82.3.
19 Regarding quality, Page 34 notes,
20 and I quote, Medical college is located in
21 downtown areas tend to generate more
22 business from eating and convenient store
24 I think we need better job creation
25 than more low level -- low income level
1 service jobs. Any job has dignity. I don't
2 mean to imply that that is not dignified
4 But the bottom line, I think we need
5 a lot more light shed on the medical
6 college, and they need to be told and know
7 that Scranton is tapped out.
8 MR. MINORA: Time.
9 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you. Is
10 there anyone else who would like to speak?
11 MS. SIMMONS: Good evening, Council
12 members, and Junior Council members. My
13 name is Kathryn Simmons, Florence Midtown
14 Crime Watch.
15 I had a discussion with a good
16 friend of mine the other night, and I asked
17 him a rather specific question, why did he
18 think this city was chosen to be built on
19 the site where it was built?
20 Well, he said, and I quote, This
21 city was built by a river, and just like the
22 river, it's been running ever since.
23 Those who have watched this city
24 running and flowing for so many years are
25 now in a place where they know what's beyond
1 the sky, but those of us left along the side
2 of the banks of this historic and majestic
3 river are watching it now head for a
4 turbulent waterfall.
5 There is so much potential here, so
6 much we can do, but it has to be done
7 together by the joining of hands and the
8 washing away of all of this hatred.
9 This is why my father God placed
10 this city along the river so we could
11 continue to wash the sorrows own strife away
12 on a daily basis. He knew that we would
13 have to do it on a daily basis.
14 This chamber is so full of history,
15 so full of what they wanted us to be, what
16 we could have been, what we could be.
17 I ask you to take a moment tonight
18 and remember the spirits that filled this
19 room of those who sat here in the beginning
20 wanting so much for this city to be. We
21 have come so far, and yet not flowed far
23 Remember them and know that their
24 spirit is alive and riding the rapids of the
25 river shouting that change indeed is going
1 to come.
2 I love this city, but change must
3 come if we are to survive in a time when all
4 we hear on Thursday night is civil deafness
5 instead of leadership, and from this side,
6 consistent shouts of hatred.
7 I am asking you tonight, City
8 Council members, to do what this city has
9 all done, run with change.
10 Mrs. Gatelli, you did your best.
11 I'm not going to insult anybody tonight, I'm
12 not going to throw barbs out there at
13 anybody, but the sign of true leadership is
14 to know when to step aside, when to say,
15 I've done my best, I can't do any more.
16 Let someone else try to raise some
17 assemblance of peace and order to these
18 historic chamber walls.
19 Please let Mr. William Courtright
20 take over and let us get back to the
21 business we are sent here to present each
22 and every Thursday. That is the business of
23 the city.
24 We're headed for floods. We can't
25 stand any more floods. So, I ask you
1 tonight, usually voting takes place when
2 someone -- well, I know this happens at
3 crime watch, when one of us leaves and goes
4 to the ladies room. Pretend she's gone to
5 the ladies room. Vote.
6 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you. Is
7 there anyone else?
8 MR. DUDEK: My name is Mike Dudek,
9 608 Depot Street, Scranton, PA. I live in
10 The Plot, and I'm going to reinforce what
11 Mrs. Jones had said a little earlier about a
12 little bit of digging I've done.
13 I've been looking for work, and
14 there is a company out there called that's a
15 stock market analyzing company. They don't
16 sell anything, they just gather information
17 at their New York headquarters and stick it
18 to the big mainframe computer and they
19 provide it to a big client list of theirs.
20 Well, they're beginning to go out to
21 different parts of the country, and they're
22 looking to buy houses in different cities,
23 including Scranton or the Lackawanna County
25 I happened to find out, and I
1 applied. The job itself is a nice job.
2 It's a part-time job that pays 60 grand a
3 year. You work from twelve until 4:30 at a
4 computer analyzing stocks, sending out
5 information to this company on the internet,
6 and at 4:30 you stop. You work 22 and a
7 half hours a day for $60,000.
8 The company buys a house. They buy
9 it. The specifications for the house are
10 very simple. Three rooms, three bedroom
11 house or two bedrooms and an office,
12 finished basement, no exterior needs, in
13 other words, roofing done, siding done, two
14 car garage.
15 The unusual thing about it is if the
16 house is going to be bought outside of
17 Scranton in Lackawanna County, the company
18 will spend not a penny more than $125,000
19 for it.
20 If it's to be bought in the City of
21 Scranton, they will not spend a penny more
22 than $95,000.
23 The difference is the way they
24 explained it to me, and this is their
25 analysis of the city is that Scranton's a
1 financial mess.
2 The city's $95,000 house in the next
3 ten years will generate an extra $30,000 in
4 paid taxes that the same house outside the
5 city will generate. That's how bad the
6 city's financial situation is.
7 And they're telling me that -- they
8 said if I get the job, well, maybe you can
9 drive a real hard bargain with some senior
10 citizen anxious to sell their property
11 before they really get hit hard.
12 You know, this is how outsiders are
13 seeing this town. What is going on here?
14 And I don't want to be thrown out of here
15 simply because I'm angry. I'm angry for a
16 reason. We have municipal malfeasance going
17 on here. When is it going to stop? Think
18 about it. Thank you.
19 MR. COURTRIGHT: Is there anyone
21 MS. SUETTA: Whoa, is that a tough
22 act to follow. My name is Jean Suetta,
23 Scranton resident. Peace be with you.
24 Peace be with you. Peace be with you, peace
25 be with you, peace be with you, Amil.
1 Mr. McGoff, how is our siren coming?
2 MR. MCGOFF: I haven't heard a word.
3 MS. SUETTA: Why? Who can I call?
4 I mean, you know, it's going to start
5 raining, and the cruisers ain't going to go
6 woo, woo, woo, and I'm going to get flooded.
7 But I really don't care if I get
8 flooded, because I know where each and every
9 one of you live. And if I get flooded, I
10 will come to your house, I will come to your
11 house, I will come to Judy Gatelli,
12 Sherry Fanucci and Janet Evans, me, my three
13 dogs and two cats and clean underwear and
14 that's it.
15 I want to know about the Scranton
16 High band in the Veteran's Day Parade.
17 MR. COURTRIGHT: Mrs. Evans left. I
18 don't know if she checked that out for you
19 or not.
20 MS. SUETTA: She's gone potty. Now
21 I got to sit here and wait. Don't shut me
22 off here.
23 MR. COURTRIGHT: You can ask her
25 MS. SUETTA: No, I want to know. I
1 still have minutes coming, Amil.
2 MR. MINORA: You have lots of time.
3 MS. SUETTA: That's all I want to
4 know about Scranton High.
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: When she comes back
6 in, I'll --
7 MS. SUETTA: What about Daron?
8 Bill, you got to do something. I know
9 you're working hard. You got to come and
10 sit on my porch.
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: I know. I know the
12 police were down there. They're doing their
14 MS. SUETTA: I know. The police are
15 doing good.
16 MR. COURTRIGHT: And they're well
17 aware of the fact that the neighbors are
18 saying that they're hours they're not
19 supposed to be.
20 MS. SUETTA: I mean, that poor lady
21 across the street.
22 MR. COURTRIGHT: I know. I
23 certainly feel for her.
24 MS. SUETTA: Yeah.
25 MR. COURTRIGHT: The entire
1 neighborhood for that matter.
2 MS. SUETTA: Sherry, what about
3 those bids for The Radisson? That went by
4 the wayside?
5 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: No, it didn't.
6 They did not contract out yet.
7 MS. SUETTA: They did not contract
9 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: No, it did not,
10 not that I --
11 MS. SUETTA: Can you find out?
12 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: I will. I
13 mean, not that I'm aware of, I want to say
14 that. So, I will find out.
15 MS. SUETTA: And I'm glad you
16 contacted Mr. Parker for Daniel Hubbard and
17 threw me out the back door.
18 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: I didn't throw
19 you out the back door.
20 MS. SUETTA: Well, I wasn't
21 contacted to go to that meeting. You know,
22 I am a Polish American.
23 MR. COURTRIGHT: We know that, Jean.
24 MS. SUETTA: I know. All right.
25 That's all. Stop my minutes. And you know,
1 Amil, you're a strong man. You can unstick
2 that. You know, they froze me in the
3 winter, I froze outside in the winter, and
4 now I'm cooking my, I can't say that, my
5 (UNTRANSCRIBABLE) off.
6 MR. COURTRIGHT: Is there anyone
8 MR. DOBRZYN: I would like to thank
9 everybody that attended the fundraiser for
10 the free swimming, and hopefully things will
11 work out with it, that our young kids won't
12 be swimming down the gorge or something.
13 If anything could be done in 6-A for
14 people that absolutely don't have to pay,
15 perhaps they would be willing to open up
16 their books or something, if they're not
17 just some miser sitting on a $500,000 bank
18 note that they don't want to cash in, a
19 certificate of deposit or something, but
20 some kind of review possibly could be done
21 so that people that are unable to pay their
22 taxes, could be helped maybe with a reverse
23 mortgage or something like that, anything to
24 keep them in their houses.
25 Attending these meetings, I've
1 realized that some of the problems in our
2 city are basically from outside or unfunded
4 The Sewer Authority has to spend,
5 what, $175 million to update our sewers.
6 It's a federal mandate, and it's not
7 anything that developed within the city due
8 to fiscal irresponsibility.
9 And what I think we need is some
10 kind of grassroots movement to start
11 lobbying these Congressmen, especially
13 This affects the sewer discharges,
14 it affects everybody right down to the
15 Chesapeake Bay, and so everybody would
16 benefit from Carbondale on down if the river
17 was cleaned up, and yet a lot of the
18 responsibility is falling on these local
19 communities to provide all of these services
20 and additional sewage treatment to clean up
21 the bay.
22 And in reality, it's an unfunded
23 mandate, and I think it's time that maybe
24 with all of this activism, perhaps a
25 suggestion for City Council would be to
1 harness it and turn it loose on the people
2 that are responsible for it, instead of
3 listening week in and week out to complaints
4 and accusations against them, which is
5 really not their fault.
6 And a lot of Deregulation, from what
7 I can see with the PUC and lack of
8 regulation and the electric rates and so
9 forth, we're about to get Enroned, we're
10 about to get Enroned.
11 And it's really unfortunate. But a
12 law is made, and a law could be changed.
13 And I think it's time that we start to try
14 to change these laws back.
15 The utility laws existed because of
16 a monopoly, and it was a regulated monopoly,
17 and now all of a sudden it seems like it's
18 okay to deregulate the monopoly and let them
19 do whatever they want.
20 It's really sad, because prices are
21 just going out the window astronomically,
22 and people can't keep up. You can't go to
23 an employer and say, Jee, my electric rate
24 went up, this went up, that went up, I need
25 a 25 percent raise. They will say, Well,
1 you might find it out that door, and that's
2 the way it is.
3 And employers do have their
4 problems. They can't always just raise the
5 prices of their product. A lot of products
6 are consumer products.
7 We've lost a lot of manufacturing
8 jobs to foreign countries, and personally if
9 anybody is out there, watch who votes for
10 trade packs and so forth, and my advice is
11 send them packing, because that's how I
12 voted the last time, the last election.
13 Anybody, anybody that voted for
14 trade packs, CAFTA, NAFTA and so forth,
15 well, they just didn't get my vote. So, at
16 that, I'll thank you and have a good night.
17 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you. Is
18 there anyone else?
19 MS. KRAKE: Good evening, Council.
20 My name is Nancy Krake. This evening, first
21 I'd like to say that Channel 61 does not
22 edit anything that they do.
23 My husband volunteered for them for
24 over a year, and I know they are looking for
25 another volunteer, and if you were to do
1 that, you would see exactly how it works.
2 Their format is to simply film the Council
3 meeting as it unfolds, nothing more nothing
5 I would like to go over 6-A, which
6 unfortunately this Council passed tonight
7 without myself having a chance to speak on
8 it and many other people last week, so I
9 would like to formally protest that. I do
10 believe it's illegal. I don't have the
11 resources to take that to court, but I'm
12 sure it's not right.
13 What you did was approve something
14 that was shameful. I am going to go through
15 it line by line as much time as I have.
16 If for example you have a $500 tax
17 bill for the City of Scranton, which many
18 people do, and if they find that hard to
19 pay, the first fee you will incur is a 30
20 percent penalty. That's $15.
21 Next we have review and confirmation
22 that's $25. Oh, by the way, none of these
23 exist now. $160 for opening and review by
24 third party collector. We do that in our
25 office now for nothing. Oh, they're also
1 going to prepare and mail it. We used to
2 have high school kids come in and do that in
3 the summer.
4 $35 for preparation and mailing of
5 any second and subsequent notice. $157 for
6 the cost to repairing filing a lien.
7 Normally we just walk down there, mostly on
8 our lunch.
9 $30, and I'm skipping all the ones
10 that possibly wouldn't apply to everybody,
11 I'm simply naming the ones that I know for a
12 fact, since I worked many tax sales, would
14 $30 for preparation and mailing of
15 any correspondence or notice required by
16 Rule 237.1 of the Pennsylvania Rules of
17 Civil Procedure. I'm skipping over the
18 sheriff's sale fees. We will come back to
20 $175 for preparation and filing and
21 conduct of proceedings to effect service of
22 process. I'm not sure what that means. It
23 sounds just like simple desk work, but
24 they're getting a lot of money for it.
25 $30 for costs incurred in
1 connections with the reissuance of rates.
2 $50 for bookkeeping associated with
3 administering payment plans. We wait on the
4 counter all day long. I don't know what
5 that's about.
6 And in actual costs, this is very
7 curious, you approved things that have tons
8 and tons of repercussions, I know you don't
9 know that, but the actual cost incurred for
10 necessary title searches, NCC does that now.
11 There's no cost, so that's not -- okay, that
12 comes to, we started out with $500, that
13 comes to $1,620.
14 How could anyone who couldn't pay
15 $500, now pay that much money? That's
16 without NCC's fee on top of it. They're
17 allowed to charge 25 percent. That's $405.
18 Now you're over $2,000. If you add
19 the sherif's sale, insult to injury for
20 persons that have been through this sale and
21 also went to a sheriff's sale, that's
22 another $1200, and then NCC can add another
23 $400 to that.
24 I don't know why you did this.
25 There's no need at all for this. It's a
1 loan. That's all that it is. It's nothing
2 more, nothing less.
3 The city has sales all the time.
4 They're giving us money upfront for taxes.
5 You could have an amnesty, and that money
6 would roll in the door.
7 It truly was shameful what you did.
8 You know, when I'm waiting on people, I'll
9 make sure I mention exactly who did this to
10 him. I hope it's no one in your families,
11 but if it is, double shame on you.
12 Oh, Mr. Morgan mentioned something
13 very curious really also, he was talking
14 about Thomas Jefferson. Just remember that
15 what sparked revolution --
16 MR. MINORA: Five minutes.
17 MS. KRAKE: -- was excessive tax
18 burdens. Thank you.
19 MR. STUCKER: I have a friend named
21 MR. COURTRIGHT: You've got to speak
22 up, Jimmy.
23 MR. STUCKER: All right.
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: Say your name, Jim,
25 for the record.
1 MR. STUCKER: Huh?
2 MR. STUCKER: Jim Stucker.
3 MR. COURTRIGHT: All right.
4 MR. STUCKER: I'm from Providence
5 Square, Market Street. And I have a friend
6 named Pat. He's has kids up there in the
7 play yard, and the cars are going down
8 pretty fast down through there.
9 MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay, Jim.
10 MR. STUCKER: And they won't stop.
11 Right by the school there's a one way. They
12 make a turn, some people do it, and there
13 are cars coming out, and I'm afraid their
14 car's going to get hit.
15 MR. COURTRIGHT: All right. We'll
16 try to help you out with that.
17 MR. STUCKER: Okay. What about
18 Church Avenue right off where I live?
19 MR. COURTRIGHT: What about it, Jim?
20 MR. STUCKER: Well, they took the
21 sign down, the city did, the rusty sign that
22 says no parking. They had no reason.
23 My buddy Joe, a guy I work with,
24 John Massa, so he -- the city went and took
25 the sign down. Do they have a right to come
1 over and take the sign down?
2 MR. COURTRIGHT: The city did it,
4 MR. STUCKER: Yeah, the city come
5 over and took the sign down. They said --
6 Jimmy, has a restaurant --
7 MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay.
8 MR. STUCKER: -- and he called the
9 police, and he called the city to come over
10 and take the sign down.
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: Where on Church
12 Avenue, Jim? What's the address?
13 MR. STUCKER: Oak Street and Market
14 Street, it's a one way street. You can't go
15 north and you can't come up.
16 MR. COURTRIGHT: You know what
17 you're going to have to do for me, Jim,
18 you're going to have to -- Oak and Market
19 and Church, they're at different situation
20 over there.
21 MR. STUCKER: I had the paper once
22 before Joe gave it to me.
23 MR. COURTRIGHT: Oh, okay. How
24 about getting us the address and we will
25 take care of it for you, all right?
1 MR. STUCKER: All right. All right.
2 Okay. And I got a new scooter. Yeah, I got
3 another one. So, I have to buy a battery
4 for it.
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: Jim, don't ride it
6 on the road, all right? You can't ride it
7 on the road.
8 MR. STUCKER: Guess who I ran into
10 MR. COURTRIGHT: Who?
11 MR. STUCKER: -- at Stirna's? Mayor
13 MR. COURTRIGHT: You did? Did he
14 pay you?
15 MR. STUCKER: I asked him for the
16 money he promised. He said you have it.
17 MR. COURTRIGHT: I have it? I don't
18 have it, Buddy. I'm sorry.
19 MR. STUCKER: Okay.
20 MR. COURTRIGHT: Is that it, Jim?
21 MR. STUCKER: Okay. Is there anyone
23 MR. ANCHERANI: Good evening.
24 Nelson Ancherani, resident, taxpayer, city
25 employee, financial secretary of the FOP.
1 I just want to correct something
2 right off. That first penalty that
3 Mrs. Krake read off, she said 30 percent,
4 $500, it's not $15, it's $150.
5 This evening is the last evening
6 meeting until September. I want to thank
7 Channel 61 in advance for them
8 rebroadcasting the meetings that will be
9 held at 1 p.m. on Thursdays.
10 That said, I want to just read
11 something about the meeting for 7:30 --
12 seven o'clock. I'm sorry.
13 Mrs. Nealon Fanucci, this is from
14 the meeting -- the minutes on the 1/4/07
15 meeting, I might go for that if we decide
16 that everyone has to sign in. No more this.
17 We're going to conduct it like normal
18 meetings, the school board, the county. If
19 you're not signed it, you can't -- I mean,
20 you don't speak. That's what it is. It's
21 about getting here, signing in and
22 conducting proper business.
23 So, I would be willing to do that,
24 and I have no problem in that, and next year
25 we will obviously -- we will be having our
1 meetings at seven o'clock again during the
2 summer. But Mrs. Evans said, That's fine.
3 And Mrs. Nealon Fanucci says, I know.
4 So, I guess we're having them at one
5 o'clock, no seven o'clock meetings.
6 MR. COURTRIGHT: Nelson, I want to
7 say something, do you want me to wait until
8 you're done speaking?
9 MR. ANCHERANI: Yeah.
10 MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay. I'll wait.
11 MR. ANCHERANI: When Council
12 meetings return in September, we will be
13 close to budget time. The mayor will be
14 preparing his budget to present it to City
15 Council by November 15.
16 We taxpayers already know that the
17 second 25 percent tax increase will be in
18 that budget, and that 25 percent tax
19 increase is supported by the mayor and PEL.
20 Ms. Gatelli at a previous meeting
21 when I mentioned that I believed that
22 Mrs. Gatelli, Mrs. Fanucci and Mr. McGoff,
23 who voted on the first 25 percent tax
24 increase, would also vote for the second and
25 third 25 percent tax increases, thought that
1 that was ludicrous to think that she would
2 vote for the next 25 percent tax increases.
3 She said she wouldn't vote for any more tax
4 increases. I know she's not here, but I
5 prepared that from when she was. I hope
6 that's not the case, but we will see.
7 My prediction is that the new record
8 $80 million city budget will be presented to
9 City Council, along with the second 25
10 percent tax increase.
11 I predict that the city or mayor
12 will present multi-million loan requests and
13 double digit TANS. My prediction is that
14 Ms. Gatelli, Ms. Fanucci and Mr. McGoff will
15 vote in favor of all of those items. I
16 believe then on December 16, I will be able
17 to say I told you so.
18 I believe the mayor will say we had
19 a deficit approximately $8 million at the
20 end of the year, and we will need the
21 recovery plan implemented so we can save one
22 to two million a year after penalizing the
23 employees the way the recovery plan
24 penalizes them.
25 I can see it now. Even with
1 $2 million savings, a year at that rate, it
2 will take us 150 years to pay off the
3 approximately $300 long-term debt. I say,
4 Don't take the bait.
5 I wouldn't be able to make the
6 afternoon meetings, so I hope you don't
7 forget the issues, the budget, a new record
8 budget, the 25 percent tax increase, the
9 second, the multi-million loan request and
10 approval by City Council, the multi-million
11 TAN request and approval by City Council,
12 the 56 and a half percent Scranton Sewer
13 Authority rate increase.
14 We must remember that this 56 and a
15 half percent increase is for the salaries of
16 all the new Sewer Authority employees and
17 for the 5.5 arbitration loss to American
19 The Sewer Authority borrowed
20 $8 million and bailed out the city. The
21 taxpayers are stuck with the payback of the
22 $5.5 million.
23 We must remember that that rate
24 increase is not from the required
25 infrastructure improvements. Those rates
1 are yet to come. God help us.
2 The capital budget, the five-minute
3 time limit for speakers not being able to
4 speak on the final vote on agenda items
5 before the final vote like tonight, an
6 undersized bath house, a green fish pond,
7 broken contracts by the mayor leading to
8 arbitration losses, consultants, $11 and a
9 million in new hires and raises to certain
10 people, $725,000 for the Scranton Parking
11 Authority citation issuers, four flood
12 relocation specialists.
13 MR. MINORA: Five minutes.
14 MR. ANCHERANI: Thank you.
15 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you, Nelson.
16 And in anticipation of somebody questioning
17 the afternoon hours of the summer, I wanted
18 to say this, when I first got on this
19 Council, it was customary before I got here
20 that in the summertime they would go to
21 afternoon meetings, and I didn't know much
22 about that, so I asked around, and there was
23 a lot of people that work second shift or
24 third shift that like the afternoon meetings
25 because they would be able to come and see
1 it firsthand or be able to watch it live
2 when they weren't afforded that chance, so I
3 always supported it.
4 When we were discussing it for this
5 year, Mrs. Fanucci said she wouldn't be able
6 to do it because she could only have an hour
7 for lunch and didn't want to get up and have
8 to leave.
9 And I asked her would she be willing
10 to ask her boss if she could use vacation
11 time so that she would be able to stay, and
12 she said yes.
13 So, that's how it transpired. I
14 know for some it's inconvenient, but I
15 believe it's six weeks, and for those six
16 weeks, people that weren't afforded the
17 opportunity to come here for the rest of the
18 year might be able to come here or for those
19 that want to view it live, some people much
20 prefer watching this live than on reruns,
21 they have the opportunity.
22 It's only approximately six weeks,
23 and I think it gives them an opportunity, so
24 I just wanted to explain that. Is there
25 anyone else that would like to speak?
1 Chris, do you want to speak? I saw you,
3 MR. SLEDZINSKI: Yeah, I saw, you
4 too, Bill. Bring it up a little?
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: Bring it up, Buddy.
6 MR. SLEDZINSKI: Mrs. Fanucci, I
7 want to thank you for the kids up at Nay
8 Aug, I want to thank you for what you did
9 for the kids up Nay Aug. Thank you.
10 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you.
11 MS. EVANS: Chris, thank for your
12 note today.
13 MR. COURTRIGHT: Motion adjourn?
14 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: So moved.
15 MR. COURTRIGHT: We're adjourned.
16 Thank you.
1 C E R T I F I C A T E
3 I hereby certify that the proceedings and
4 evidence are contained fully and accurately in the
5 notes taken by me on the hearing of the above cause and
6 that this copy is a correct transcript of the same
7 to the best of my ability.
LISA M. GRAFF, RMR
11 Official Court Reporter
16 (The foregoing certificate of this transcript does not
17 apply to any reproduction of the same by any means
18 unless under the direct control and/or supervision of
19 the certifying reporter.)