2 SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING
9 Tuesday, October 2, 2007
13 Council Chambers
14 Scranton City Hall
15 340 North Washington Avenue
16 Scranton, Pennsylvania
25 LAURA BOYANOWSKI, RPR
4 CITY OF SCRANTON COUNCIL:
6 MS. JUDY GATELLI, PRESIDENT
7 MS. JANET EVANS
8 MS. SHERRY FANUCCI
9 MR. ROBERT McGOFF
10 MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT
11 MS. NEIL COOLICAN, ASSISTANT CITY CLERK
12 MR. AMIL MINORA, ESQUIRE, SOLICITOR
13 MS. KAY GARVEY, CITY CLERK
1 MS. GATELLI: Please stand for the
2 pledge of allegiance.
3 (A pledge of allegience and moment
4 of reflection observed.
5 MS. GATELLI: Roll call, Neil.
6 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans?
7 MS. EVANS: Here.
8 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. Fanucci?
9 MS. FANUCCI: Here.
10 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff?
11 MR. McGOFF: Here.
12 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright?
13 MR. COURTRIGHT: Here.
14 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. Gatelli?
15 MS. GATELLI: Here. Dispense with
16 reading of the minutes.
17 MS. GARVEY: THIRD ORDER - 3-A -
18 MINUTES OF THE SCRANTON-LACKAWANNA HEALTH &
19 WELFARE AUTHORITY REGULAR BOARD MEETING HELD ON
20 AUGUST 16, 2007.
21 MS. GATELLI: Are there any
22 comments? If not, received and filed.
23 MS. GARVEY: 3 B - MINUTES OF THE
24 COMPOSITE PENSION BOARD MEETING HELD ON AUGUST
25 22, 2007.
1 MS. GATELLI: Any comments? If not,
2 received and filed.
3 MS. GARVEY: 3 C - MINUTES OF THE
4 NON-UNIFORM MUNICIPAL PENSION BOARD MEETING
5 HELD ON AUGUST 22, 2007.
6 MS. GATELLI: Are there any
7 comments? If not, received and filed.
8 MS. GARVEY: 3 D - MINUTES OF THE
9 FIREMEN'S PENSION COMMISSION MEETING HELD ON
10 AUGUST 22, 2007.
11 MS. GATELLI: Are there any
12 comments? If not, received and filed.
13 MS. GARVEY: 3 E - MINUTES OF THE
14 SCRANTON POLICE PENSION COMMISSION MEETING HELD
15 ON AUGUST 22, 2007.
16 MS. GATELLI: Are there any
17 comments? If not received and filed.
18 MS. GARVEY: 3 F - AGENDA FOR THE
19 NONUNIFORM MUNICIPAL PENSION COMMISSION MEETING
20 HELD ON SEPTEMBER 26, 2007.
21 MS. GATELLI: Are there any
22 comments? If not, received and filed.
23 MS. GARVEY: That's it for third
25 MS. GATELLI: I just have one
1 announcement. On next Monday, October 8th from
2 5 to 7:30 my parish, Saint Francis of Asissi is
3 having their annual pasta dinner, homemade
4 meatballs, salad and canolis. And the sauce is
5 truly the best.
6 So please try to make it over. It's
7 on Monday and Wednesday from 5 to 7:30. And on
8 Tuesday, there's takeouts only from 4 to 7.
9 I'm sure everyone up here has been --
10 MS. EVANS: Oh, yes.
11 MS. GATELLI: -- to Saint Francis.
12 That is my only comment for this evening. I
13 know, Janet, you have something.
14 MS. EVANS: Yes, Saints Peter and
15 Paul church located at 1309 West Locust Street
16 in Scranton will sponsor their annual fall
17 festival and bizarre this Sunday, October 7th
18 from 12 until 5. Takeouts are available from
19 11:30 to 2 p.m. only, and it's wonderful,
20 wonderful homemade food. I'm hoping all of you
21 get out and support this church.
22 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else? I just
23 have some information also if anyone would care
24 to look at it. I got a letter from Mike Hanley
25 from United Neighbor Centers, and he watches
1 the meetings, and he sees a lot of things being
2 discussed like housing and different projects
3 that people address here at the podium.
4 And he wanted the community to be
5 aware of all the programs that United
6 Neighborhood Services provides in this
7 community. I have some brochures here. They
8 have child care, after care programs, housing
9 programs, crisis intervention, homeless,
10 criminal justice programs, H. I. V. and A.I.D.S
11 prevention programs, older programs for older
12 adults, advocacy programs and youth programs.
13 He wanted the community to be aware
14 that they are involved in many, many programs,
15 and they didn't want to be unnoticed. So I
16 would like to leave these with Neil in the
17 office. There are some people in the audience
18 that are very active at United Neighborhood
19 Center so they know exactly what services are
20 provided. We are happy to have them in south
21 Scranton in Alder Street -- is where the main
22 office is located where there once was a
23 nuisance bar.
24 So we are happy to have them there
25 in community of south Scranton. The
1 information will be here for anyone that cares
2 to look at it. I will leave it with Neil. All
3 right. Now, we will get to the agenda. And
4 the first speaker is Mr. Sbaraglia.
5 MR. SBARAGLIA: Andy Sbaraglia,
6 citizen of Scranton. Fellow Scrantonians, 7 A.
7 for consideration for the committee for
8 community development for adoption -- in there
9 there's a little article by transferring
10 $239,156.45 from clearing banks and streams to
11 the commercial loan program. Now, Mr. Lasky
12 came before you, oh, maybe about two months ago
13 and was discussing some stream work he wanted
15 Now, here is money that can be used
16 since it's no longer used for this project.
17 Maybe it could be used for his project. I
18 mean, to take it and put it into another loan I
19 don't think we need another bake shop or
20 another beauty parlor or another place to trim
21 the dogs. But we need things that -- flooding.
22 I remember one man. I hope something was done
23 about it. I think he used to get flooded and
24 everything else. I guess it was behind his
25 backyard, but there's quite a lot of people
1 that came before this council looking for money
2 to fix up the streams beyond their homes.
3 Surely you should look into it before you
4 transfer it instead of doing it carte blanche.
5 Let's go to the 5 I., authorizing the mayor and
6 other appropriate city officials to enter a
7 lease agreement with First Source Bank for the
8 purchase of the -- the backhoes I guess they
9 are, little vehicles.
10 Anybody know a little something
11 about it, what it's going to cost to lease
12 these vehicles and the length of the lease?
13 You know, these -- them are garbage trucks I
14 believe. In fact, I think the bank I think
15 gave us some or leasing from a different bank.
16 MS. GATELLI: I did get a call from
17 the union president down there. He encouraged
18 us to pass that. They need some new pack
19 masters. Mr. Quinn. It's a five-year period,
20 Mr. Sbaraglia.
21 MR. QUINN: I want to know about 6
22 A., $28,000 for the sale of the land to --
23 what's that going to be used for? Is it going
24 to be taxable?
25 MS. GATELLI: Yes, it's a private
1 person that's buying tax delinquent properties,
2 very large parcel on the corner of Cedar and
4 MR. QUINN: Is that across from the
5 Creedon's flower shop -- or McCarthy flower
7 MR. COURTRIGHT: No, it's --
8 MS. GATELLI: A block down from
9 Smith's Restaurant.
10 MR. QUINN: That was one sold for
11 another developer, right? It was sold for a
12 developer who was supposed to put a parking
14 MS. GATELLI: The other one?
15 MR. QUINN: Yeah.
16 MS. GATELLI: I don't know.
17 MR. QUINN: I'm pretty sure.
18 MS. GATELLI: This one will be
19 businesses. It is a big parcel, Ozzie.
20 MR. QUINN: Transferring -- 6 B.
21 that's transferring property over on Tripps
22 Park to the school district. Does that mean
23 that you support an $80 million school? Does
24 that --
25 MS. GATELLI: I don't know it would
1 mean that.
2 MR. QUINN: It's going to cost $80
3 million. They already owe $200 million.
4 MS. GATELLI: You need to go to the
5 school board to address that.
6 MR. QUINN: You're giving the land
7 to them. Are you giving it to them?
8 MS. GATELLI: If we vote for it,
10 MR. QUINN: If you vote for it, then
11 obviously you're supporting a $80 million
12 program the taxpayers can't afford. Think
13 about that. Think deep about what you're
14 doing. Also the consideration on community
15 development for $70,000 -- you know, that's a
16 mega million dollar corporation. What are we
17 looking for $70,000 for?
18 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.
19 MR. QUINN: That's -- that's weird.
20 Something is wrong someplace.
21 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Jacowitz.
22 MR. QUINN: Did you count my time
23 that she talked?
24 MS. GATELLI: You wanted the answer.
25 It's part of your time, Mr. Quinn.
1 MR. MINORA: Read the rules. It's
2 part of your time.
3 MR. QUINN: Are you kidding me?
4 You're calling the next person?
5 MS. GATELLI: Yes, I am.
6 MR. QUINN: Boy, oh, boy.
7 MS. GATELLI: Everyone does it every
8 week. They ask if you want the answer. Then
9 you're at the end of your time. That's nothing
11 MR. JACOWITZ: Bill Jacowitz, south
12 side. I want to talk about the secure county
13 communication compliance archive services, 7 B.
14 I gave you a handout. This is going up for
15 final vote today. E-mail -- it's an e-mail
16 compliance archive system to fulfill legal
17 requirements for the archiving of electronic
18 mail. I did some research on page two.
19 You will see that it's not a member
20 of the business -- better business bureau for
21 New York. On Page 3 it is also not a member of
22 the better business bureau for the national. I
23 found that a little surprising. May 7th, 2007
24 it was announced that they were building a
25 center in Scranton. We are pleased to formally
1 announce our presence in Pennsylvania and our
2 plans to locate a data operation center in the
3 City of Scranton. That was from the president
4 Daniel Summa. April 23, 2007, it was also
5 announced that they made their decision and
6 that Scranton had gotten a deal -- Page 9 --
7 it's -- it's Wall Street West gets Scranton
8 center, again this goes back to April and May
9 of 2007.
10 On Page 1 we have some job
11 announcements from the company for their
12 Manhattan office. As you can see, they are
13 full-time positions. Look at the salary,
14 commensurate with experience. For an admin
15 position, commensurate with experience. We
16 know what that means, entry level positions.
17 Financial sales, look at the salary, draw, plus
18 commission. That's on Page 13, draw plus
19 commission. And on page 15 you will see a
20 picture of Mayor Doherty and Austin Burke
21 presenting his company with a check.
22 This was in June of 2007. So why is
23 it coming up to council in September with a
24 final vote in October? They were given the
25 check in October 2007. Look at the picture on
1 Page 15.
2 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.
3 MR. HUBBARD: Good evening, Daniel
4 Hubbard. A couple quick things on SECAS, you
5 know, they are not actually part of the Wall
6 Street West Initiate. The Wall Street West
7 Initiative is stopping in Stroudsburg and
8 Easton. It will not it to make Scranton. We
9 do not have the fiber optic capabilities in
10 this area. We won't for many, many years
11 possibly 2012 but nothing beforehand.
12 Right now the cables that are strung
13 between New York and eastern Pennsylvania are
14 at their maximum for data transfer for real
15 time data transfer. Also this company is not
16 necessarily dealing with financial data. The
17 office in Scranton is actually going to be
18 there to save corporate client e-mails and
19 instant messages in case the client company is
21 So basically it's just a data
22 transfer facility like Cigna, Prudential have
23 up on Montage with only employing ten people.
24 For the ten people we're going to give them
25 $70,000. So we are paying them $70,000 to give
1 us ten jobs which we're not guaranteed because
2 let's face it, if they take a hit, they will
3 lay people off like every other company in the
4 area has. It's been said -- this is an article
5 from the Scranton Times actually August 5th of
6 this year that these facilities are hard to lay
7 out cash but does not generate return for the
9 So they are really not too quick to
10 make the decisions to expand these companies.
11 The Wall Street West Initiative, it's not
12 coming here. That's not hearsay. That's a
13 fact. We don't have the speed capabilities for
14 fiberoptic to transfer the data as quick as
15 Wall Street would like it. So it's not
16 happening here.
17 This is directly from the director
18 of the Wall Street West Initiative where she
19 says that the -- the work will begin soon to
20 lay faster fiberoptic connections from New York
21 City and Pennsylvania but those improvements
22 end in Stroudsburg and Easton. Scranton is not
23 what we will -- we will be considered second
24 rung for companies who need direct data
25 transfer centers similar to what we have on
1 Montage. Regardless of what they are telling
2 you, the capabilities of this company aren't
3 there for high speed data backup. This office
4 in Scranton is really only going to be a
5 glorified Diversified records keeping e-mails
6 and instant messages for lawsuits.
7 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Anyone
9 MS. KRAKE: I would like to talk
10 about the composite pension board, which is
11 part of the agenda in the meeting and reading
12 of the minutes. At the composite pension board
13 meeting, I'm sure if you read your minutes, you
14 will see the city is going to not have to pay
15 $1.1 million next year. It's a savings in the
16 budget. I know council I'm sure is working on
17 the budget now, so they've already seen that.
18 The reason it went down from the firemen is
19 because they haven't had a raise in five years.
20 They've also had 18 deaths. The
21 police cost will go down $520,000. They also
22 have not had a raise in five years and also had
23 18 deaths. This is an extremely sad thing that
24 happens when you're part of Act 47 for 15 years
25 and especially under this administration.
1 We haven't had a raise in five years
2 either but we have middle management in our
3 union. So they base our actuary on loaded
4 salaries from people that do not even collect a
5 pension in the end.
6 They also -- this administration and
7 not through my negotiations passed a double
8 pension. They gave a whole group of people who
9 went out the door a double pension that was not
10 negotiated by the union president. Thank you.
11 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else?
12 MR. MORGAN: Good evening, my is
13 name Lee Morgan. The first thing I will talk
14 to is 7 A. I would like to say that Mr.
15 Sbaraglia is absolutely correct about 7 A., and
16 I think that that should be tabled. Taking
17 $239,000 and diverting it anywhere else other
18 than cleaning out the streams or doing work on
19 the streams is definitely wrong.
20 I mean, I don't know why we did all
21 these flood prevention projects if we're going
22 to loot this fund. The other thing is -- on 5
23 I., don't we have an agreement with the
24 landfill -- DeNaples landfill they will give us
25 $100,000 a year when we did the tipping fee
1 with them? If that's so, where is that money
2 going to? Didn't the mayor say that money was
3 going to be implemented to buy pack masters. I
4 am wondering why are we considering this in
5 light of that agreement? The other thing is 5
6 B., we're going to -- we're going to -- how are
7 we going to determine if it's an abandoned or a
8 junk vehicle? Are we going to tell people they
9 can't take their car off the road and park it
10 on their own private property?
11 I would like council to really look
12 at that and explain to all the people in the
13 city -- I mean, the questions that I've asked.
14 The other one I have is 6 B., when you look at
15 what the school district wants to do and that
16 council will give them 3.7 acres, the McKissick
17 report has already been undermined because now
18 we find out that contributions for the
19 campaigns to candidates was mingled in and they
20 were promised contracts and all kinds of
21 things. That report is seriously flawed due to
22 political corruption inside the city, and I
23 don't think in my own opinion that the city
24 should vote to give them any land to build any
25 project because the study itself is flawed.
1 Until we have a realistic study
2 without graph tied to it and without school
3 board members taking money, I think we've got a
4 serious problem.
5 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Morgan, please
6 refrain from saying those comments unless you
8 MR. MORGAN: They acknowledged they
9 took money against ethical codes. That's their
10 own acknowledgment.
11 MS. GATELLI: Go to the school board
12 with that. This is city council.
13 MR. MORGAN: You're voting on that
14 and you're empowering them to build schools
15 even though they used a flawed design to come
16 up with the things they want. And the --
17 MS. GATELLI: Your time is up, Mr.
18 Morgan. Thank you. Anyone else?
19 MR. DOBSON: Dave Dobson, resident
20 of Scranton. On 5 B. I would tend to agree. I
21 would be concerned about getting those fines
22 excessive because all you -- unless somebody
23 scoffs at the situation and refuses to move an
24 absolutely ridiculous vehicle.
25 However, I've been noticing that
1 there's a lot of residences in this town
2 lacking adequate garbage buckets or trash
3 barrels. A few weeks ago somebody mentioned
4 about skunks. Whenever I take my dog out in
5 the yard in the evening I am using a flashlight
6 nowadays, and I see -- I walk him through the
7 courts, and I do see quite a few people that
8 are just depositing bags on Wednesday night or
9 whatever. And Thursday morning is trash pickup
10 or Friday -- I think it's -- yeah, Friday. And
11 here these bags are sitting for two days. It's
12 a skunk restaurant. It's a skunk restaurant.
13 They just -- it just attracts them. So if we
14 are going to have a staunch cleanup, let's
15 start with some regulation trash barrels and so
16 forth so these animals can't get in there.
17 If they can't get the food, they
18 will find somewhere else to go. They will go
19 back up in the woods where they belong. Thank
20 you, and have a good night.
21 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else?
22 MS. EVANS: Good evening. Last
23 Tuesday, September 25th, each council member
24 received a packet of documents pertaining to
25 the 500 block of Lackawanna Avenue project.
1 Having reviewed this information, particularly
2 the cooperation agreement, I can state
3 unequivocally that if I were the owner of Coney
4 Island, I, too, would refuse to sign.
5 This document in my opinion
6 significantly benefits and protects the
7 developer, not the business owners. The
8 apparent secrecy and dishonesty with which this
9 project has proceeded is shameful. I do
10 believe that our council solicitor is going to
11 attempt to speak to the parties involved and
12 bring that information back to council. And at
13 that point I am hoping very much that a meeting
14 among all the parties, city council, O. E. C.
15 D., developer, business owners and respective
16 attorneys will take place because I do believe
17 it is the job of an elected official to protect
18 businesses in this city, especially those that
19 have existed for decades and have supported
20 this city without question.
21 It is, indeed, unfortunate that the
22 -- in Scranton is blinded by mayors and its own
23 grandiose vision. Scranton is not a college
24 town, and the University of Scranton is not the
25 biggest economic engine in our city. Rather,
1 it's the taxpayers and business owners who are
2 the biggest economic engine by means of the
3 oppressive taxes that we're all forced to pay.
4 I believe there's only one test, one question,
5 in fact, to determine the benefit of the
6 university six block street scape project for
7 their campus.
8 Does it make your life easier or
9 better? Put it this way. Let's say you live
10 in North Scranton and your paycheck isn't
11 keeping pace with your mortgage and your bills
12 and your taxes any longer. Across down in
13 south Scranton your friend puts in new
14 sidewalks and new landscaping at his house.
15 Does that pay your bills? Does that save your
16 home from foreclosure? I think not. It's a
17 wonderful improvement for your friend and his
18 neighbors in the block. But your friend can
19 afford it, and it is his property. But what
20 does it do for you and your financial jeopardy?
22 I also have the latest report on the
23 independent audit. The auditors still need
24 responses to the following memos, again a
25 general fund bank reconciliation from June,
1 special city's cash accounts, FEMA flood
2 protection, summer and November 2006 flooding,
3 special city's east mountain road, special
4 city's receivables and payables, special city's
5 journal entries. And once again as of last
6 week they do not have a copy of the Scranton
7 Parking Authority's 2006 audit report. And,
8 No. 3, they are still awaiting responses from
9 three confirmation letters from attorneys, so
10 it appears there's been very little progress
11 since last week on the financial front as well.
12 The 2007 Commonwealth allocation of
13 general municipal pension systems state paid in
14 the amount of 2,760,702.73 was received on
15 September 27th, 2007, by the city treasurer.
16 Finally, the officers of Channel 61 have been
17 asking for a meeting with council since we
18 reconvened on September 11th.
19 Meanwhile I'm sure we all are aware
20 that Comcast has significantly increased our
21 rates and should be coming up for a contract
22 renewal sometime in the future. I had asked my
23 honorable colleagues to consider allocating any
24 excess above what is listed in the 2007
25 operating budget for cable T.V. revenue to
1 Channel 61 last spring. I am going to ask them
2 to consider this again and to meet with channel
3 61 officers to hear their suggestions for
4 possible funding.
5 And I do have a report on the moneys
6 received from Comcast and formerly Adelphia for
7 2006 and 2007. We're still awaiting the
8 payment for 7/1/07 through 9/30/07, and their
9 final payment for calender year or budget year
10 is not received until the first financial
11 quarter of the following year.
12 So that's available for anyone to
13 take a look at. And that's it.
14 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mrs.
16 MS. FANUCCI: Last week there was
17 some conversation on the Sloan field not
18 getting block grant funding. I did want to
19 check on that. The reason they did not receive
20 the money is they did not qualify for low to
21 moderate income. I believe their percentage
22 was 46 percent, which is the figures they sent
23 to O. E. C. D. That's not what we do. They
24 send that in and submit it. You need to be 52
25 percent to qualify for the money. That's why
1 they didn't receive the money.
2 So I'm -- I just wanted to say that,
3 you know, it wasn't that it was being kept
4 somewhere, it was they did not qualify. Also,
5 I want to -- I had a phone call from a business
6 owner downtown -- misinformation was put out in
7 this forum -- Poochie is the -- the owner of
8 the business downtown. They are open, and they
9 are going to stay open. They are not closing.
10 They were a little upset because from here
11 someone --a regular speaker had gotten up and
12 said they were closing their doors. And they
13 had lot of fashion shows and things like that
14 set up, and people were calling very upset. I
15 do want to say go down to Poochie and get
16 yourself -- if you have a dog or cat -- get
17 some fun and functional stuff. Go down there
18 and support our businesses downtown. I'm sorry
19 that has happened from this forum. That's all
20 I have. Thank you.
21 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mr.
23 MR. McGOFF: I would like to mention
24 this Sunday is the Steamtown Marathon. There
25 is still time to register if anyone would like
1 to participate, and they are also willing to
2 take volunteers. It's the -- a really good
3 day. I do want to respond to Mr. Jacowitz who
4 asked me two questions last week, one
5 pertaining to an asphalt machine and one to a
6 pothole machine.
7 I'm assuming that the asphalt
8 machine that was a paving machine you were
9 asking about. And I was told that, yes, it is
10 -- it is used and it is in the possession of
11 the D. P. W. and the pothole machine is also in
12 the possession of the Department of Public
13 Works and it is used infrequently I'm told
14 simply because of some issues they have with
16 But both machines are still in --
17 owned by the city and operational. The
18 question on the pack masters, somebody asked
19 about, was it Mr. Sbaraglia? I'm not sure.
20 The pack masters are five installments of
21 $84,539 -- five annual of installments $84,539
22 for a total payment of $422,695, and that's
24 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Courtright?
25 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you, Mr.
1 McGoff. If I can add a little -- I think the
2 pack masters -- I think they were purchased at
3 the state -- at the state purchase price, which
4 was a good thing. The pothole machine for me
5 is a sore spot. I thought -- I went out and
6 watched them when they first purchased it. It
7 was really cumbersome. It was taking a lot of
8 time -- it did a better job but it took a lot
9 of time to get a pothole filled.
10 I don't know if things are changed.
11 But the last time I went down and looked at it,
12 I think it's broke. I think what happened is
13 they let it sit with some of the material in
14 there and it's not functional. If I'm
15 incorrect, please -- somebody from D. P. W.
16 correct me on that.
17 People talking about 5 B., just
18 quickly what happened -- sometimes if there's a
19 junk -- a vehicle that's tagged on the street
20 by the police department, what happens is
21 people -- what they will to is take that
22 vehicle and move it two blocks down playing a
23 games with the police officer. If I tag a car
24 out here on Washington Avenue -- and I am a
25 police officer -- and you move over to Linden
1 Street, you are still going to get your vehicle
2 towed. What they are doing in order to avoid
3 being towed is move the vehicle from where it's
4 sitting just a block or two away -- a cat and
5 mouse game. They are trying to get more teeth
6 to the police department to get their job done
7 for those of you questioning about that.
8 On a very good note -- a couple
9 months back I had gotten a call from a
10 gentleman whose family members from south
11 Scranton -- there are two senior citizens who
12 lost their German Shepard, and that dog -- they
13 depended on that dog.
14 I saw the family member this Sunday.
15 He told me that when the dog ran away he was
16 106 pounds and they found him after 50 some
17 days in the woods. He was 60 some pounds.
18 They are nursing him back to health now. He's
19 doing fine. Evidently they found rocks in his
20 its stomach. He was looking for something to
21 eat, but the family is very happy they got the
22 dog back. And I just thought maybe you'd want
23 to hear that. One other thing, I just -- Kay,
24 if we can -- I believe it would be the D. P. W.
25 -- 700 block of Hickory Street I asked more
1 than one time about a catch basin there if they
2 can take a look at that. That's all I have.
3 Thank you.
4 MS. GATELLI: Thank you, Mr.
5 Courtright. I just have comment I forgot. The
6 property on Gordon Avenue was demolished this
7 week, so I'm happy for the people on that
8 avenue. And that's all I have. Mrs. Garvey?
9 MS. GARVEY: 5 B - FOR INTRODUCTION
10 - AN ORDINANCE - AMENDING FILE OF COUNCIL NO.
11 222, 2003, AN ORDINANCE, SECURING THE PUBLIC
12 PEACE, HEALTH, SAFETY, WELFARE AND PROTECTION
13 OF THE ENVIRONMENT OF AND FOR THE RESIDENTS AND
14 PROPERTY OWNERS OF THE CITY OF SCRANTON, BY
15 REGULATION OF THE OUTDOOR PARKING AND STORAGE
16 OF ABANDONED AND/OR JUNK VEHICLES, WITHIN THE
17 CITY OF SCRANTON AND TO PROVIDE REMEDIES FOR
18 THE VIOLATION OF THIS ORDINANCE BY CHANGING THE
19 PENALTIES AND DEFENSES FOR VIOLATIONS.
20 MS. GATELLI: At this time, I will
21 entertain a motion that 5 B. be introduced.
22 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
23 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
24 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All
25 in favor?
1 MS. EVANS: Aye.
2 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
3 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
4 MR. McGOFF: Aye.
5 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The
6 ayes have it and so moved.
7 MS. GARVEY: 5 C - FOR INTRODUCTION
8 - AN ORDINANCE - TRANSFERRING THE FUNDS FROM
9 FUND 02 SPECIAL CITY ACCOUNTS WHICH FUNDS AND
10 ACCOUNTS ARE NO LONGER NEEDED FOR THE CONDUCT
11 OF CITY BUSINESS, AND ABOLISHING AND CLOSING
12 SAID ACCOUNTS AND TRANSFERRING THE FUNDS
13 REMAINING IN THESE ACCOUNTS TO THE ACCOUNT
14 NUMBERS LISTED BELOW.
15 MS. GATELLI: At this time, I will
16 entertain a motion that 5 C. be introduced.
17 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
18 MR. McGOFF: Second.
19 MS. GATELLI: On the question?
20 MS. EVANS: Yes, I will vote to
21 introduce this. I quickly perused the accounts
22 into which the moneys will be transferred, but
23 I would like to check all of this against the
24 budget more closely.
25 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else? All in
2 MS. EVANS: Aye.
3 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
4 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
5 MR. McGOFF: Aye.
6 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The
7 ayes have it and so moved.
8 MS. GARVEY: 5 D - FOR INTRODUCTION
9 - AN ORDINANCE - SALE OF TAX DELINQUENT
10 PROPERTY AT 436-436 1/2 RAILROAD AVENUE,
11 SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA, TO DENNIS AND THERESA
12 EDWARDS, 441 RAILROAD AVENUE, SCRANTON,
13 PENNSYLVANIA, 18504, FOR THE SUM OF $2,000.
14 MS. GATELLI: At this time, I will
15 entertain a motion that 5 D be introduced.
16 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
17 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
18 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All
19 those in favor?
20 MS. EVANS: Aye.
21 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
22 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
23 MR. McGOFF: Aye.
24 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The
25 ayes have it and so moved.
1 MS. GARVEY: 5 E - FOR INTRODUCTION
2 - AN ORDINANCE - SALE OF TAX DELINQUENT
3 PROPERTY AT 2200 BLOCK OF ROCKWELL AVENUE,
4 SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA, TO LEONARD F. AND
5 BARBARA A. FISHER, 2221 LEACH AVENUE, SCRANTON,
6 PENNSYLVANIA, 18508, FOR THE SUM OF $1,250.00.
7 MS. GATELLI: At this time I'll
8 entertain a motion that 5 E. be introduced.
9 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
10 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
11 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All
12 those in favor?
13 MS. EVANS: Aye.
14 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
15 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
16 MR. McGOFF: Aye.
17 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The
18 ayes have it and so moved.
19 MS. GARVEY: 5 F - FOR INTRODUCTION
20 - AN ORDINANCE - SALE OF DELINQUENT PROPERTY AT
21 439-441 10TH AVENUE, SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA, TO
22 JOSEPH G. AND MICHELLE KEEGAN, 102 ARLINGTON
23 WAY, SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA, 18504 FOR THE SUM
24 OF $3,500.00.
25 MS. GATELLI: At this time, I'll
1 entertain a motion that 5 F. be introduced.
2 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
3 MR. McGOFF: Second.
4 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All
5 those in favor?
6 MS. EVANS: Aye.
7 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
9 MR. McGOFF: Aye.
10 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The
11 ayes have it and so moved.
12 MS. GARVEY: 5 G - FOR INTRODUCTION
13 - AN ORDINANCE - SALE OF TAX DELINQUENT
14 PROPERTY AT GRAND AVENUE/BATLUCK STREET, ALSO
15 DESCRIBED AS LOT NO. 134, SCRANTON,
16 PENNSYLVANIA, TO KEVIN AND FRANCINE FITZGERALD,
17 309 BATLUCK STREET, SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA,
18 18505, FOR THE SUM OF $1,357.00.
19 MS. GATELLI: At this time, I'll
20 entertain a motion that 5 G. be introduced.
21 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
22 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
23 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All
24 those in favor?
25 MS. EVANS: Aye.
1 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
2 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
3 MR. McGOFF: Aye.
4 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The
5 ayes have it and so moved.
6 MS. GARVEY: 5 H - FOR INTRODUCTION
7 - AN ORDINANCE - SALE OF TAX DELINQUENT
8 PROPERTY AT GRAND AVENUE/BATLUCK STREET, ALSO
9 DESCRIBED AS LOT NO. 154, SCRANTON,
10 PENNSYLVANIA TO KEVIN AND FRANCINE FITZGERALD,
11 309 BATLUCK STREET, SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA,
12 18505, FOR THE SUM OF $1,357.00.
13 MS. GATELLI: At this time I'll
14 entertain a motion that 5 H. be introduced.
15 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
16 MR. McGOFF: Second.
17 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All
18 those in favor?
19 MS. EVANS: Aye.
20 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
21 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
22 MR. McGOFF: Aye.
23 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The
24 ayes have it and so moved.
25 MS. GARVEY: 5 I - FOR INTRODUCTION
1 - A RESOLUTION - AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND
2 OTHER APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS TO ENTER INTO
3 A LEASE AGREEMENT WITH FIRST SOURCE BANK FOR
4 THE LEASE PURCHASE OF THREE NEW 25 YARD
5 REAR-LOAD PACKERS FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC
7 MS. GATELLI: At this, time I'll
8 entertain a motion that 5 I. be introduced.
9 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
10 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
11 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All
12 those in favor?
13 MS. EVANS: Aye.
14 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
15 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
16 MR. McGOFF: Aye.
17 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The
18 ayes have it and so moved.
19 MS. GARVEY: 6TH ORDER - 6
20 A - READING BY TITLE - FILE OF COUNCIL - NO.
21 121, 2007 - AN ORDINANCE - SALE OF TAX
22 DELINQUENT PROPERTY AT CEDAR AVENUE AND LOCUST
23 STREET, SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA, TO MICHAEL
24 BROZZETTI, 407 PALM STREET, SCRANTON,
25 PENNSYLVANIA, 18505, FOR THE SUM OF $28,000.
1 MS. GATELLI: You've heard reading
2 by title of item 6 A. What is your pleasure?
3 MR. COURTRIGHT: I move that Item 6
4 A pass reading by title.
5 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
6 MS. GATELLI: On the question? I'd
7 just like to say that I hope Mr. Brozzetti is
8 here this evening. And I hope he does a
9 wonderful -- I am sure he will -- do a
10 wonderful project on a very, very blighted
11 piece of property that the neighbors down there
12 are complaining about for the last 20 years.
13 So I would like to wish him a lot of luck.
14 Anyone else? All in favor signify by saying
16 MS. EVANS: Aye.
17 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
18 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
19 MR. McGOFF: Aye.
20 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The
21 ayes have it and so moved.
22 MS. GARVEY: 6 B - READING BY TITLE
23 - FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 125, 2007 - AN ORDINANCE
24 - AUTHORIZING THE TRANSFER OF CITY OWNED LAND
25 TO THE SCRANTON SCHOOL DISTRICT FOR THE
1 CONSTRUCTION OF THE NEW WEST ELEMENTARY SCHOOL;
2 SAID PARCEL LOCATED AT THE WESTERLY END OF
3 BULWER STREET AND CONSISTING OF 3.7 ACRES OF
4 LAND MORE OR LESS.
5 MS. GATELLI: You've heard reading
6 by title of 6 B. What is your pleasure?
7 MR. COURTRIGHT: I move that Item 6
8 B pass reading by title.
9 MR. McGOFF: Second.
10 MS. GATELLI: On the question?
11 MS. EVANS: Yes. I was informed
12 that this issue is going to come before the
13 zoning board a week tomorrow. I believe that
14 would be October 10th, and I believe it would
15 be wise for council to table this legislation
16 until such time as that meeting is conducted so
17 that we can hear the decision of the zoning
18 board and we can also hear if, indeed, there is
19 any -- the input of the neighbors of that area.
20 So I will make a motion to table item 6 B.
21 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else on the
22 question? All those in favor?
23 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
25 MR. McGOFF: Aye.
1 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed?
2 MS. EVANS: No.
3 MS. GATELLI: The ayes have it and
4 so moved.
5 MS. GARVEY: 7TH ORDER - 7 A - FOR
6 CONSIDERATION BY THE COMMITTEE ON COMMUNITY
7 DEVELOPMENT - FOR ADOPTION - FILE OF COUNCIL
8 NO. 124, 2007 - AN ORDINANCE - AMENDING FILE OF
9 COUNCIL NO. 33 OF 2000, ENTITLED "AN ORDINANCE
10 AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND OTHER APPROPRIATE
11 OFFICIALS IN THE CITY OF SCRANTON TO TAKE ALL
12 NECESSARY ACTIONS TO IMPLEMENT THE CONSOLIDATED
13 SUBMISSION FOR COMMUNITY PLANNING AND
14 DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS (AS AMENDED) TO BE FUNDED
15 UNDER THE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT
16 (CDBG) PROGRAM, HOME INVESTMENT PARTNERSHIP
17 (HOME) PROGRAM AND EMERGENCY SHELTER GRANT
18 (ESG) PROGRAMS", BY TRANSFERRING $239,156.45,
19 FROM PROJECT NO. 95-33 CLEARING OF BANKS AND
20 STREAMS AND $10,843.55 FROM PROJECT NO. 00-121
21 COMPUTERIZED MAPPING FOR A TOTAL OF $250,000.00
22 TO PROJECT NO. 07-150.13 COMMERCIAL INDUSTRIAL
23 LOAN PROGRAM.
24 MS. GATELLI: What is the
25 recommendation of the chair on community
2 MS. FANUCCI: As chair for the
3 committee on community development, I recommend
4 final passage of Item 7 A.
5 MS. GATELLI: On the question?
6 MS. EVANS: Yes. After further
7 consideration on this matter, I think that
8 there are better ways in which this money can
9 be utilized that will directly benefit the
10 citizens of Scranton. So as much as, you know
11 -- I don't want to lose that money. But Mrs.
12 Fanucci informed me last week it can be used in
13 ways other than a provision as a commercial
14 industrial loan. And I would prefer to see, as
15 I said, something more directly beneficial used
16 with those funds. So I will be voting no.
17 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else on the
18 question? Roll call.
19 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans?
20 MS. EVANS: No.
21 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. Fanucci?
22 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.
23 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff?
24 MR. McGOFF: Yes.
25 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright?
1 MR. COURTRIGHT: No.
2 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. Gatelli?
3 MS. GATELLI: No. I hereby declare
4 7 A. not legally and lawfully adopted.
5 MS. GARVEY: 7 B - FOR CONSIDERATION
6 BY THE COMMITTEE ON COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT - FOR
7 ADOPTION - RESOLUTION NO. 175, 2007 -
8 AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND OTHER APPROPRIATE
9 CITY OFFICIALS FOR THE CITY OF SCRANTON TO
10 ENTER INTO A LOAN AGREEMENT AND MAKE A LOAN
11 FROM THE COMMERCIAL INDUSTRIAL REVOLVING LOAN
12 PROGRAM, PROJECT NO. 150.14 IN AN AMOUNT NOT TO
13 EXCEED $70,000 TO SECCAS, LLC TO ASSIST AN
14 ELIGIBLE PROJECT.
15 MS. GATELLI: What is the
16 recommendation of the chair on community
18 MS. FANUCCI: As chairperson for the
19 committee on community development, I recommend
20 final passage of item 7 B.
21 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
22 MS. GATELLI: On the question?
23 MS. EVANS: Yes, I believe the
24 language of the ordinance is very misleading
25 because, in fact, this is a grant, not a loan.
1 And I believe when we're dealing with any
2 amount of money you should be going through the
3 front door, not the back door to do it. And so
4 -- though I'm sure this is a very good project,
5 I don't think that it has been properly
6 represented and presented, so I'll be voting
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: On the question, I
9 have to agree with that, you know. If you read
10 it carefully, the beginning would say it's a
11 loan. And then it continues to say --
12 basically what it is a loan until after three
13 years they meet the qualifications then the
14 loan is forgiven. So ultimately it becomes a
15 grant. And I knew that last -- I mentioned
16 that last week. One of the reasons I'd vote no
17 would be if there were some decent paying jobs
18 involved in this -- I believe at 70,000 they
19 make two jobs. And they are going with ten,
20 but I wasn't satisfied with ten jobs and
21 $15,000 a year or whatever. So I spoke to
22 Laura Reed at O. E. C. D. There's some jobs
23 between 60 and 65,000 a year, and there's sales
24 -- sales will be paying $60,000 a year with a
25 potential for increase. So that's really good
1 money in my eyes in this town. I said last
2 week if there were some substantial jobs, I
3 would vote for it. There appears to be, so I
4 will vote yes.
5 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else on the
7 MS. EVANS: I think I'm very pleased
8 to hear those salaries, too. But I don't know
9 there's any guarantee they are going to go to
10 Scranton residents. Of course, they have to go
11 to the best qualified, and those could be, you
12 know, Lackawanna County or Luzerne County
13 residents. We're really, you know, not the
14 ones to decide those issues.
15 MR. COURTRIGHT: I agree. I hope
16 they go to Scranton residents or out of town
17 residents that hopefully will move to Scranton.
18 MS. GATELLI: They will pay the wage
19 tax. Anyone else? Roll call.
20 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans?
21 MS. EVANS: No.
22 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci?
23 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.
24 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff?
25 MR. McGOFF: Yes.
1 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright?
2 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
3 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. Gatelli?
4 MS. GATELLI: No. I hereby declare
5 7 B. legally and lawfully adopted.
6 MS. GARVEY: 8TH ORDER - CITIZENS'
7 PARTICIPATION 2.
8 MS. GATELLI: Douglas.
9 MR. MILLER: Good evening council,
10 Doug Miller, president of junior council.
11 Today was the last day for junior city council
12 to accept any more applications for any
13 students interested in serving our council. We
14 had five seats available. Applications were at
15 Scranton High and West Scranton high. We
16 appreciate those that did apply. We look
17 forward to reviewing those applications. Last
18 week I announced that the junior city council
19 will be raising funds to purchase Christmas
20 lights to decorate Connell park.
21 Unfortunately, due to the
22 renovations at Connell park, we cannot decorate
23 the park. However, I am pleased to announce
24 that we have moved the project to the South
25 Side Renaissance Center, 705 Pittston Avenue.
1 Our theme for the project is Light Up the Town.
2 We're accepting donations to decorate the
3 building with Christmas lights.
4 We're proud to work with the South
5 Side Neighborhood Association to help
6 revitalize south Scranton. We ask those
7 interested in making a donation send them to
8 city hall, 340 North Washington Avenue, 18503.
9 In response to the article in the Sunday's
10 newspaper regarding the snow storm plan, I have
11 to say I'm pleased to hear that the city and
12 city -- the city and officials are working
13 together to establish a plan that will ease
14 concerns in case of any major snow storm.
15 I understand Mr. McGoff, the chair
16 of D. P. W., has been working hard to make sure
17 that the Scranton residents don't have to
18 experience another Valentine's day snow storm
19 massacre. This is a serious issue. I'm glad
20 it's being addressed. We need to put the
21 health and safety of our citizens first. I'm
22 looking forward to hearing more about this plan
23 when it is completed.
24 I was pleased to read in today's
25 paper that the south side neighborhood leaders
1 and city officials are working together to
2 develop a new park in the 500 block of Orchard
3 Street. This location was formerly a post
4 office. On behalf of junior council, I would
5 like to thank state representative Ken Smith
6 for providing the funding needed to move this
7 project forward.
8 Junior council believes that having
9 strong parks will attract people into our city.
10 This project will take south Scranton to the
11 next level and will make it one of the many
12 jewels we have in our city. Thank you.
13 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mr.
15 MR. SBARAGLIA: Andy Sbaraglia,
16 citizen of Scranton. I don't know if I should
17 voice that. I guess you're used to me. I was
18 reading the state -- they have a S. C. H. I.
19 P., it has to do with children's health. They
20 were thinking about the people -- family of
21 four income of 60,000 would be eligible. Who
22 knows what is the criteria for low or moderate
23 income, 60,000? Is it 60 -- you don't know.
24 But when they tell you that, you believe it.
25 You shouldn't believe anything that they tell
1 you without checking.
2 That's easy enough to check. You
3 know what low to moderate. I don't think
4 there's any section of the city, namely the
5 upper hill that may fall out of that category.
6 But I think the whole other part of the city
7 definitely is low to moderate income. That
8 means all the money that they have been wasting
9 for investing in the different projects could
10 have been used for the infrastructure of the
12 That's what's wrong with the city.
13 We need parks. We also need roads and
14 sidewalks. We need a lot of the infrastructure
15 to fix. Our bridges are falling apart.
16 Everything is falling apart. But still we're
17 committing to these few jobs, and now like you
18 say a gift. And through -- Mr. Courtright is
19 right that people can be in New York. They can
20 live in New York. They can commute here once a
21 week, and really you're not going to get any
22 wage tax. You will get the $52. Is that worth
23 70,000? God knows how long it will take us to
24 get back to that 70,000. You don't look at
25 payback. You got to look at payback. If you
1 ever want to get out of the hole, you can't
2 figure on projects that will go 20 years into
3 the future. They just don't help us at the
4 point of time we're in now. We're in deep
5 financial trouble.
6 We're getting deeper and deeper and
7 deeper. Mr. McGoff, you weren't here. But
8 part of the pack masters that were used were
9 leased from the P.N.C. bank. That was done.
10 Now we're going to lease more equipment. Do
11 you realize how much equipment in the city we
12 have to lease now?
13 We can't afford to buy any more.
14 You will have the firemen bring in their own
15 fire engine, you know what, because the
16 policeman have their cars. The firemen may be
17 to buy their fire engines. We can move this
18 thing forward. But this is what is going on.
19 We're not using the money -- the money that
20 could have been used for equipment and
21 infrastructure is being -- is put away on
22 different projects, same with this thing about
23 the banks.
24 I wish Mr. Lasky was here and
25 realized that the money he cried for -- it was
1 available. Thank you.
2 MS. GATELLI: Thank you Mr. Quinn.
3 MR. QUINN: Ozzie Quinn, taxpayer.
4 Again, I want to emphasize the fact that what
5 you're doing with the conveying the land for
6 the Scranton School District to build an $80
7 million school, which obviously would be near
8 almost $200 million with the interest, you are
9 hurting the taxpayers of the City of Scranton.
10 Look into this, please.
11 I just want to mention that the
12 Times did a big thing on what happens with the
13 school board. I just hope the Scranton Times
14 will look at something in regards to the $400
15 million indebtedness that we owe in the City of
16 Scranton. We have a B. B. rating, 25 percent
17 tax increase last year. Mr. McGoff will raise
18 it again this year. We have police and fire
19 that haven't been paid for five years, and we
20 just have a big fiasco that's going on with
21 cronyism, okay. I want to read this letter to
22 Mr. Rossi -- Robert Rossi and company about the
23 City of Scranton 2006 audit.
24 Dear Mr. Rossi, I am writing you
25 concerning the 2006 audit of the City of
1 Scranton that the Rossi and Company CPA firm is
2 presently performing on the contract using city
3 administration funds, i.e., taxpayers' money.
4 As you are aware, state and municipal law
5 permits the taxpayers to ask the city auditor
6 to investigate or impose a surcharge on public
7 officials or employees. The taxpayers
8 association mission is to be watchdog of local
9 government spending under the municipal law.
10 Therefore, if the annual audit is
11 considered a crucial event. Audit is a power
12 tool to insure the accountability of elected or
13 appointed municipal personnel. We the
14 taxpayers must rely on the audit to protect the
15 public coffers to carry out the taxpayers
16 association mission. The public officials have
17 to go into their pockets whenever they are
18 responsible for a financial loss suffered by
19 the municipality, adds an essential level of
20 accountability to the City of Scranton's
22 Typically whether an official or
23 employee wilfully or intentionally caused an
24 unlawful loss to the city is -- is not
25 determined -- chief inquiry is whether the City
1 of Scranton suffered a financial loss as a
2 result of this -- the conduct or mismanagement
3 of any official or employee.
4 Also the financial loss by the city
5 need not have been one that benefitted. The
6 official the bottom line is the city may have a
7 financial loss to the extent that it exceeds
8 the cost that would have occurred had the
9 proper procedures been followed. Therefore, a
10 loss of taxpayers money is provided to run
11 government officially and with integrity. In
12 conclusion, the taxpayers association by
13 municipal law requests -- may I continue to
14 finish this paragraph?
15 MS. GATELLI: Continue your
17 MR. QUINN: -- to request the Rossi
18 firm to investigate and impose the surcharge if
19 the completed audit -- audit indicates
20 mismanagement or lacking accountability of
21 taxpayers money.
22 It is our professional -- it is your
23 professional opinion if you determine that all
24 is well in Scranton government, so be it on
25 your behalf. Also Scranton officials allege
1 that municipal authorities indebtedness is not
2 the responsibility of the city administration,
3 the taxpayers. The same officials indicate
4 that principle should not be calculated along
5 with the indebtedness not -- not the interest,
7 We would like your firm's opinion
8 regarding the debt being incurred by city
9 authorities and commissions including the long
10 term interest. Ultimately it's the city
11 taxpayers responsible for any debt incurred by
12 the city administration or authorities. It is
13 common ground that when an individual or entity
14 borrows money they should be considered foolish
15 to calculate their repayments by principle
17 The recipient of the loan will be
18 deceiving himself and the taxpayers. Also if
19 an individual or entity uses one credit card to
20 balance -- to pay off the balance of a second
21 credit card, they are deceiving themselves and
22 their taxpayers.
23 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.
24 MR. QUINN: -- tantamount to what
25 city administration is doing with the bonds and
1 loan indebtedness.
2 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.
3 MR. QUINN: We got to stop this. It
4 is too much down the road. Thank you.
5 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Spindler.
6 MR. SPINDLER: Good evening,
7 council, Les Spindler. Mrs. Fanucci, last week
8 you told me to say something productive. Week
9 after week people come to this podium and say
10 productive things and it goes in one ear and
11 out the other with you and your fellow rubber
12 stamps. Two weeks ago I gave two good ideas
13 here and nobody said a word. I said the
14 council should consider a public smoking ban
15 for minors in public places I mean and also to
16 ban cell phones while driving a vehicle.
17 Nobody said a word about that.
18 One is a safety issue. One is a
19 health issue. Those are productive things.
20 Nobody said a word about them. Why should we
21 waste our time? On talk radio, Mrs. Fanucci,
22 you said that people lie on the web site. Talk
23 about the pot calling the kettle black. You
24 lied about the 500 block of Lackawanna Avenue
25 when you voted to pass it without Bouna Pizza
1 being involved in it. That's funny.
2 The gentleman on the radio this
3 morning had a great idea that the elected
4 officials have to sign a waiver that they
5 understand and read all the legislation that
6 comes before them before they vote on it. I
7 firmly believe that's true because people on
8 city council don't even know what they are
9 voting on when they vote such as Mr. McGoff
10 voting for the 500 block of Lackawanna Avenue
11 project when he knew nothing about it, didn't
12 know who paid for the sidewalks, didn't know
13 what offer was made to Bouna Pizza. People
14 just vote because Chris Doherty wants them to
15 vote that way.
16 Lastly, I read in the paper last
17 week, Mrs. Gatelli, that you had a mental
18 breakdown and you're on medication. If this is
19 true, I don't think you should be up there
20 serving the people. You make decisions that
21 can cost the taxpayers thousands of dollars. I
22 think you should step down immediately.
23 MS. GATELLI: Thank you, Mr.
25 MS. FANUCCI: I think you should try
1 that medication.
2 MS. GATELLI: Reverend Simmons.
3 MS. SIMMONS: Reverend Kathryn
4 Simmons, Florence Midtown Crime Watch. I come
5 here this evening to take you on a little tour
6 of history. Ten years ago, Esther Phillips and
7 myself as part of Downtown Crime Watch and
8 Florence Midtown Crime Watch started to talk
9 about gangs in the city and in the area.
10 Of course, no one listened to us.
11 And it was just we were told on many occasions
12 that we were just middle aged housewives who
13 should go home and find something better for
14 ourselves to do.
15 As of today, there are 76 gangs in
16 this area. I don't know how you rectify that
17 with we didn't know what we were talking about.
18 We're not going to give up what we're doing
19 because we're not going to see any more of your
20 children lost. On October 18th at 3:00 at
21 Bethel A. M. E. church we are bringing in the
22 Exodus Tour. They come out of Philadelphia,
23 and they're coming in to talk to the citizens
24 of Scranton about gangs and gang activity, gang
25 identification and what we can do to help our
1 children to avoid the problems that they are
2 now facing.
3 I hope -- this is open to the public
4 -- and I hope that they will get a good turnout
5 that day because our children need to know that
6 mom and dad are concerned. Now, on to 9/11, on
7 9/11 we heard all around the city where there
8 were prayer vigils and people were remembering
9 what happened so many years ago. But the
10 people that they don't seem to remember are the
11 firemen and the policeman. They taught us that
12 day the need for these heroic men and women.
13 I don't know why we won't give them
14 a raise. I don't know -- I don't understand
15 the specifics, but I do know that if anyone
16 should be given a raise in this city it should
17 be firemen and policemen. We have General
18 Dynamics located in the middle of central city.
19 If someone should ever decide to do something
20 to that plant, who would be looking to save our
21 souls but our firemen and our policemen. Thank
23 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Lee
25 MR. MORGAN: Good evening, council.
1 The first thing I have here is Mrs. Gatelli
2 talked about United Neighborhood Centers, and
3 there has been some discussion here in the last
4 two weeks about help for the poor in the city
5 and what programs actually exist. We are
6 talking about supposed programs that really
7 exist here, and I just like to say that you
8 know, I -- I took a person to a lot of these
9 places for help this week. Friends of the Poor
10 gave this individual a small bag of food.
11 Catholic Social Services gave this person $36.
12 United Neighborhood Centers gave this person a
13 small bag of food. There was no real help for
14 utilities, no real help for rent, no real
15 infrastructure to help everybody. It's time
16 for council to realize the kind of pain the
17 city is in and stop living in a mirage that you
18 created for yourself.
19 I had the opportunity to talk to a
20 gentleman who had to refinance his house
21 because he's afraid the city is going to
22 penalize him for paying his property taxes
23 late. He said, Lee, I took a mortgage against
24 my house so I won't get penalized $2,600.
25 That's not the only person that spoke to me
1 about that. There have been quite a few. I
2 think it's time to realize this city has been
3 thoroughly looted by this mayor, and it has to
4 stop and this council has to stop it. You're
5 not -- you're not supposed to be politicians in
6 those seats. We aren't playing games. We're
7 passing legislation that's important for the
9 I think 6 B. really brings it home
10 because, you know, during the election for
11 council Mr. Hartman said this was a circus.
12 He's on the school board. This is really a
13 circus because when you look at the Times
14 report on what happened with McKissick who gave
15 donations to the majority of the school board
16 supposedly for an agreement that they get
17 contracts later on down the road and council
18 just passed this 3.7 acres. My question is
19 does anybody care about the residents and what
20 they can or can't afford. I seem to think they
21 don't because if you read the Scranton Times
22 you know that that was a tainted report.
23 Can we believe anything that they
24 recommended and realigned with the Scranton
25 School District considering they were looking
1 for contracts? Can we believe anything that
2 was said here? My question is, how can council
3 pass that legislation? We have problems with
4 all the authorities. We've had council skirt
5 the subpoena issue.
6 We raised fees and everything else
7 we can raise. We watched a mass exodus from
8 the city. We have tons of property on the
9 market that can't be sold. We moved one over
10 $1 million from the sale of the golf course to
11 a realty transfer tax reduction to try to bring
12 about sale of city owned properties, and we're
13 still talking about creating jobs. And you
14 know what? Government doesn't create jobs.
15 Thank you.
16 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Jacowitz.
17 MR. JACOWITZ: Bill Jacowitz, south
18 Scranton resident, $125 million project
19 bringing in 1,300 on high end jobs with an
20 average salary of $50,000. Where? Smithfield
21 Township, Monroe County. Who is bringing in
22 these jobs? Wall Street West. Projects will
23 be built on 14.6 acres of land, could lead to
24 more than $400 million a year in local revenue.
25 Smith Field Township stands to benefit $400
1 million dollars, Scranton city, $400 million in
2 long term debt. So I ask Mr. Austin Burke,
3 Mayor Doherty and councilwoman Fanucci -- I
4 will tell you they are concentrating on low
5 paying jobs and giving loans to their friends
6 and contributors while the citizens of Scranton
8 Example, metro jobless rate
9 climbing, unemployment rate of Scranton has
10 marched steadily upward currently 5.1 percent,
11 still one of the highest in the state. It
12 always has been and always will be. Don't
13 worry. Help is on the way, ten high paying
14 jobs coming from Wall street West, only 1,290
15 jobs short of the Smithfield Township program.
16 Scranton has shown an income -- increase in
17 food and drink establishments, approximately 8
18 hundred more workers, $2.85 an hour. Also back
19 to -- back to school jobs and holiday jobs will
20 help temporarily. Way to go, Mayor Doherty and
21 Mr. Austin Burke, build some more parks. The
22 unemployed and underpaid need somewhere to go
23 since they have no money.
24 The national unemployment rate, 4.6
25 percent, Pennsylvania rate 4.5 percent,
1 Scranton rate 5.1 percent, population decrease
2 to 60,500 residents, higher unemployment rates
3 indicate a stagnant economy with little
4 pressure to hire workers or rais their pay.
5 Thirty-fours years with high unemployment, high
6 unemployment in Scranton, Mr. Burke, 27 years
7 ass chamber -- on chamber of commerce. Good
8 luck with the new book store. They will need
9 it in downtown Scranton. And, Mr. Courtright,
10 again on page 14 of the handout I gave you,
11 financial sales jobs from SECAS, full-time
12 position, salary draw plus commission. Do you
13 think they are going to pay 60,000 or 65,000 in
14 Scranton when they are not even paying that in
16 When you ask the administration for
17 an answer, it's like asking O.J. Simpson for
18 marital advice.
19 MR. McCLOE: My name is Bret McCloe,
20 Scranton taxpayer, homeowner. Last week I had
21 questioned why the City of Scranton neglected
22 to buy properties along the northern side of
23 Mulberry Street to build city owned dorms and
24 used them as a revenue generating asset for the
25 city. Then it occurred to me that decision
1 would have had to have been made 13 years ago.
2 I began to do some simple math. If in 1994 the
3 city limited the expansion of the university,
4 built its own dorms, charged rents comparable
5 or less than what they pay through tuition or
6 off campus, the initial investment would have
7 been paid off by now.
8 1,000 students at $300 per month,
9 $300,000 and $3 million a year to pay off those
10 buildings and an additional $600,000 to dump
11 into the city's coffers. Today we might have
12 been able to have seen a $5 million a year
13 positive cash flow for the city and save much
14 of the hill section for families.
15 It's not about dorms or my faulty
16 math. It's about missed opportunities that
17 could have benefitted the people of Scranton.
18 I said it before, Taylor has a landfill that
19 eliminates much of their taxes while others
20 have casinos.
21 All we get is a poverty sustaining
22 policy that will generate ten $8 an hour jobs
23 for every moderate to high income earner at the
24 same time raise taxes and rents by sacrificing
25 valuable city assets to N. G. O.s and K. O. Z.s
1 in the name of progress. It is been proven
2 that creative class cities are chronic under
3 performers. It's a shame effected officials,
4 business leaders and so called ethical academia
5 are selling us out for latte few poverty
6 sustaining policy where new forms of economic
7 racism and class distinction are hidden behind
8 every diversity celebration and roof top party.
9 Beware of those who lead the way
10 into this $8 an hour utopia. Call me cynical
11 but prove me wrong. Scranton's real future
12 depends on it. Thank you.
13 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Nancy.
14 MS. KRAKE: I have two comments.
15 The first is the fact that the audit is not yet
16 ready. I don't know if anyone remembers, but
17 that was one of the things that Mayor Doherty
18 was so upset with the Connors' administration
19 about, and this is hardly the professional
20 audit performance that he guaranteed us when he
21 first entered office five years ago. I think
22 it's been consistently every year it's been a
24 And also the fact that people may be
25 paying wage attach here if you -- council
1 recalls, we told you there's no way for the
2 single tax office to track and/or enforce the
3 collection of wage tax. So, therefore, there
4 are millions left uncollected, and I think
5 that's something council should be looking into
7 I would like to ask each council
8 member if they would vote for a budget which
9 included job cuts for city employees and
10 especially for bargaining union employees.
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: Do you want me to
12 go first?
13 MS. EVANS: By city employees do you
14 mean management?
15 MS. KRAKE: Yes, I do. So I am
16 saying and/or.
17 MS. EVANS: Oh, I am very much in
18 favor of downsizing management and unnecessary
19 positions that were politically created.
20 MR. COURTRIGHT: I misunderstood
21 you. Management positions.
22 MS. KRAKE: And also would you vote
23 for a budget that would cut bargaining union
25 MR. COURTRIGHT: Those I wouldn't.
1 The managing ones I would.
2 MS. FANUCCI: No.
3 MS. KRAKE: Mr. McGoff, are you
4 going to answer?
5 MR. McGOFF: I would say
6 hypothetically no.
7 MS. KRAKE: Would council vote --
8 would anyone on council vote for a budget that
9 includes cost of living raises for bargaining
10 union employees since we haven't received them
11 except for D. W. P. who wholeheartedly I feel
12 deserves them but apparently D. P. W. isn't
13 distressed and the rest of the city is -- I
14 don't know why else we would have received cost
15 of living raises in five years. But my
16 question is, would anyone on council vote for a
17 budget to include cost of living raises for
18 bargaining union employees?
19 MS. EVANS: Yes.
20 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.
21 MS. GATELLI: Yes.
22 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
23 MR. McGOFF: I said -- you're
24 dealing --
25 MS. GATELLI: It's all hypothetical.
1 MR. McGOFF: You're dealing in
2 hypotheticals. There's no way you can make a
3 decision on something you can't see.
4 MS. KRAKE: I do feel it's a fair
5 question to ask. It's up to if you want to
6 answer or not. I don't think that's a
7 legitimate argument. Thank you.
8 MS. MAYER: Good evening. I'm
9 Sharon Mayer, the executive director of E. O.
10 T. C., equal opportunity and training center.
11 And what I would like to do this evening is
12 just bring council's attention to the proposal
13 that O. E. T. C. has committed for community
14 development block grant funds.
15 This is the fourth year that we have
16 submitted a proposal for funds that will go to
17 the renovation of our 7th Avenue center which
18 may be familiar, some of you, as the former
19 Louis and Reiner electrical warehouse. This is
20 the first year that Mayor Doherty has sent it
21 to the council.
22 So we'd like to bring your attention
23 to it. The whole project is a $1.2 million
24 project. It is an economic development project
25 and the neighborhood revitalization project.
1 It will be a 20,000 square foot property. It
2 will house three of our city's non-profit
3 organizations, 50 employees, and it will bring
4 probably the -- we serve more than 2,000
5 families and about 90 percent of those come
6 from the City of Scranton.
7 We are trying to get a facility that
8 is in downtown Scranton that is accessible by
9 one bus route and it is in close proximity to
10 some of the other programs that our
11 participants and families will have to access.
12 What I would like to do is -- I know that Ms.
13 Gatelli and Mr. McGoff have been to see our
14 property, and I would invite Ms. Evans, Ms.
15 Fanucci and Mr. Courtright to do the same if
16 you have an opportunity to do that and just to
17 thank you for the consideration of the
19 We have submitted a request of
20 $150,000. I am not sure what the final
21 determination will be, but it would be very
22 helpful for us if you can consider it to the
23 greatest amount possible. Thank you -- and
24 unless you have any questions. Thanks. I
25 appreciate your time.
1 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Piccolino.
2 MR. PICCOLINO: Giovanni Piccolino,
3 taxpayer and concerned citizen of Scranton.
4 This past week I had the pleasure of going
5 around the wonderful City of Scranton, and I
6 got to meet a lot of people. And one of the
7 main things -- the majority of the people in
8 the city are worried about is an ordinance, a
9 certain ordinance that --the only word I can
10 think of is absolute grotesque. The approving
11 the penalty and interest and fee schedule for
12 collection of delinquent real estate taxes. I
13 just posed this -- I have three questions.
14 Maybe you can answer them next week, Mrs.
15 Fanucci, Mrs. Gatelli and Mr. McGoff since you
16 are the ones that passed this.
17 How do you think this ordinance is a
18 positive thing for our city? That's question
19 No. 2. What kind of loyalty is this to people
20 that have paid their taxes 20, 25 years when
21 they had the ability to work, now they are
22 elderly and on a fixed income and you guys hit
23 them with these taxes and fees? No. 3, is
24 there any way to amend this ordinance that
25 possibly we can help our senior citizens who
1 own their real estate since they are on fixed
2 incomes? Now, so the minutes of last year's
3 voting on the 2007 budget.
4 This is a quote from Mrs. Evans. It
5 remains that the mayor has said a 25 percent
6 tax increase in 2007, which we already got,
7 that we had a 25 percent tax increase in 2008,
8 which you know it's probably going to be again
9 a three to two vote if Mr. McGoff is eventually
10 elected -- in 2009 a 25 percent tax increase
11 looming. Where do you think we're going to get
13 And another quote from Mrs. Evans
14 had -- I thought was very good -- the mayor
15 fared very well tonight because his original
16 legislation for borrowing, which I think came
17 down right before Mr. McGoff took his seat, was
18 for $6.9 million for his deficit and he ended
19 up with 10 million. So he's gotten above and
20 beyond what he wanted ever since Mr. McGoff was
21 appointed. Thank you.
22 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Hubbard.
23 MR. HUBBARD: Good evening, council.
24 A quick question and you don't have to reply
25 now. Did somebody find out how much OECD is
1 paying rent in the Scranton Life building for
2 me? I just realized the basement is a ghost
3 down and the fourth floor is a ghost town.
4 We're paying for OECD to be Scranton Life when
5 we have two floors of this building, one of
6 which they did occupy, are empty.
7 So if you're looking to save money,
8 that's probably a really good place to start.
9 We're paying money for space we don't need in
10 the Scranton Life building. Two weeks ago I
11 asked you guys three questions involving the
12 environmental protection statutes in the city.
13 Any chance you have answers for me on that? Do
14 we have them in place? Do you feel they are
15 adequate, and do you feel they measure up to
16 the state and federal laws? I gave you two
17 weeks. I asked for one. I gave you two. Come
19 MS. FANUCCI: I'm not going to
20 answer that question because I really feel
21 where you're going with that is something I'm
22 certainly not going to get involved in whether
23 I believe the state is adequate or not
24 adequate. That's not -- that's not something I
25 think as a city council person I can legislate
1 my way through.
2 MR. HUBBARD: You are introducing an
3 ordinance for the health, safety and welfare,
4 protection of the environment of and for the
5 residents and property owners of the City of
7 So obviously, if you're introducing
8 an ordinance tonight that involves the
9 environmental protection of the property in the
10 city with junk cars, then I would hope you
11 would be aware of the environmental statutes in
12 the city.
13 MS. FANUCCI: I am certainly aware,
14 but I think it's a stretch you're going where
15 you're going.
16 MR. HUBBARD: It's a stretch?
17 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.
18 MR. HUBBARD: Do you feel our
19 environmental ordinances in the city are
20 adequate? Yes or no. It's a simple question,
21 yes or no. Do you feel that the ordinances is
22 in this city are adequate?
23 MS. FANUCCI: I said I'm not going
24 to answer.
25 MR. HUBBARD: Your silence speaks
1 volumes. I mean, you feel that --
2 MS. FANUCCI: I said I'm not
3 answering. I am not silent. I said I refused
4 to answer.
5 MR. HUBBARD: Everybody else's
6 silence speaks volumes. In regards to Daron
7 Industries the -- the Department of
8 Environmental Protection found it within their
9 authority to cite them for dust for leaving
10 their property. So obviously if the D. E. P.
11 felt that they should cite this company, don't
12 you think our own zoning should have in --
13 right along with the D. E. P. followed their
14 own rules? It's a simple question about the
15 ordinance. You're introducing an ordinance
16 tonight that seriously involves for the
17 property -- the environmental protection of the
18 property of the residents the City of Scranton
19 for junk cars.
20 So, you know, if the -- the city
21 police department stickers a car on the street,
22 they have 45 days to get it off there, 30 days
23 for the state law and usually about two weeks
24 of paperwork after that, and yet you're going
25 to pass an ordinance that gives licensing and
1 inspections the authority to tell somebody they
2 have to remove their own personal property
3 within 48 hours.
4 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.
5 MS. EVANS: Mr. Hubbard, I wanted to
6 respond to a few issues. The location of O. E.
7 C. D., that was something that council had
8 examined a year ago in the hopes saving that
9 money as you mentioned. However, O. E. C. D.
10 renewed their lease agreement without the
11 knowledge or consent of city council, I
12 believe, that would have been the summer of
13 June of 2006 -- either 2005 or 2006.
14 And in addition to that, the new
15 lease includes language for an increase in the
16 monthly rent that O. E. C. D. is paying. So
17 obviously the only way out of that situation is
18 to break the lease and that, of course, would
19 involve ourselves in yet another lawsuit. But
20 again I emphasize the fact this was done
21 without the knowledge or consent of city
23 In addition, when you asked about
24 environmental ordinances, I am aware that D. E.
25 P. has cited Daron Northeast on more than one
1 occasion. I am aware that we have ordinances
2 within the city pertaining to a variety of
3 environmental issues. The key to those would
4 be enforcement -- effective enforcement, and I
5 think you can compose, draft, all of the
6 ordinances that cover just about every
7 situation that is detrimental to the people of
8 this city. But if you don't have individuals
9 who are willing to objectively enforce those,
10 then I really don't know where you're going.
11 So I guess my point is simply this.
12 You can have it on paper, but you have to have
13 the people who are going to follow the law
14 rather than follow the orders of a person above
15 them to keep hands off this situation or that
16 situation where zoning is concerned or an
17 environmental issue is concerned, and I think
18 we all know much of that goes on in this city
20 MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Hubbard.
21 MS. HUBBARD: Good evening, council.
22 Liz Hubbard, Scranton resident, taxpayer,
23 whatever. I would like to know if council or
24 their solicitor has the answer to my question
25 of two weeks ago regarding why zoning is not
1 answering the questions that they said -- told
2 Mr. Hubbard to give him in writing and they
3 would answer. And I believe Mr. Minora was
4 going to speak with Mr. Butler to find out why
5 they are not answering them.
6 MR. MINORA: Haven't been able to
7 speak with them yet.
8 MS. HUBBARD: In two weeks?
9 MR. MINORA: In two weeks.
10 MS. HUBBARD: Okay. Well,
11 hypothetically speaking, don't you think that
12 if Mr. Hubbard was wrong with the questions
13 that he posed to them that they would have
14 answered them immediately? When do you tend to
15 get Mr. Butler? I would really like an answer
16 to that question.
17 MR. MINORA: I'm sorry? Were you
18 directing that question to me. I thought you
19 were directing it to council. What was the
21 MS. HUBBARD: I want to know when
22 you are going to get a hold of Mr. Butler
23 because I would really like an answer to any
24 question s. They are --
25 MR. MINORA: I can't -- if I can
1 predict when somebody -- when I can get to
2 somebody, I would tell you, but I can't
3 possibly predict that. People have other jobs
4 and other commitments, and we haven't talked.
5 So you're asking me for something I can't
6 possibly --
7 MS. HUBBARD: Can you put it on your
8 to do list for this week maybe?
9 MR. MINORA: I will put it on my to
10 do list again.
11 MS. HUBBARD: Thanks, council.
12 That's about it for now.
13 MS. HUMPHREY: Good evening, all of
14 council. The Diocese of Scranton is having for
15 the bishops appeal, so I would ask everybody to
16 support his appeal and --
17 MR. COURTRIGHT: Can I interrupt you
18 for one second, please? In the past we asked
19 people not to wear any political -- just turn
20 it around or something just -- just people were
21 coming up supporting --
22 MS. HUMPHREY: Isn't it freedom of
23 expression. I'll put it here in my Dolly
24 Parton's treasures. I want to say hello to all
25 my military in the United States and all over
1 the world. We in the City of Scranton and the
2 Diocese of Scranton -- we love you. We're
3 proud of you, and we truly would love you to be
4 home with us. But due to the circumstances and
5 our president, he is doing the best that he
6 could. His mission is for justice, liberty and
7 freedom to all who are battered, beaten,
8 abused, burnt, beheaded, you name it, in other
9 countries. But also in our country we need
11 We need help in the City of
12 Scranton. This is truly not a ghost town. We
13 are good people. We have our
14 misunderstandings. My Father said to me if you
15 have something to say, do not say it in public,
16 try as being peacemaker to get them in a huddle
17 and talk to them. And I really want to talk
18 not for you to hear with your hearts. I love
19 everyone of you's very much even in your
20 mistakes and all. We are all human. I want to
21 make this a better town. I have a holy statue
22 that's going to be put in front of the White
23 House, and there's four flags that last week
24 when I came here -- I know you cannot
25 comprehend when I says as a -- being dignified
1 being a diplomat we have to extend our hands to
3 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you, Phyllis.
4 MS. HUMPHREY: That's all I have to
5 say. God bless you. May you all have a
6 peaceful weekend. Work things out and try to
7 do the best, but I got this. We'll be back.
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: All right. Anyone
9 else? Come on up, Mr. Davis.
10 MR. DAVIS: Salaam aleikam. My name
11 is Jim Davis. Congratulations. I met this
12 young lady ten years ago at Chick's Diner, and
13 now she's a stenographer. Congratulations.
14 Scranton as a lot of good success stories. I
15 am afraid that bypassed minorities and bypassed
16 the poor people and it doesn't seem like it's
17 ever going to go that way again from the way
18 we've been passing bills and the way we've been
19 passing jobs around here. I haven't seen where
20 the employment rate for non-whites has
21 decreased itself in Lackawanna County one iota.
22 As a matter of fact, it increased to 14
24 But if you -- again, these are all
25 statistics right there in Pennsylvania. I am
1 saying to you like this, we have been bypassed
2 in a lot of ways. I think maybe this election
3 -- maybe all minorities and all the poor people
4 maybe we shouldn't vote. That's an idea. If
5 we don't vote perhaps we can get some things
6 changed like on your registration form, your
7 race no longer optional, put down your race so
8 you can be counted for.
9 That's the only way we can plan for
10 the future, and that -- that is -- that's my
11 main thing I wanted to say tonight, yeah, let's
12 not vote. This election -- let's not vote and
13 we'll find out just what difference that makes.
14 You say we don't vote. You say we're not
15 participatory. I agree with you.
16 I can look at this crowd here and
17 tell you the same thing. But they asked me,
18 Jim, why do you keep going down there and
19 talking to them? Why do you keep asking them
20 for things? I keep saying, I don't ask for
21 anything, I'm just leaving the door open for
22 someone that wants to ask for something to come
23 in here and do so. I just don't want them to
24 be surprised when the person might be either
25 poor or non-white. So I think you ought to --
1 you know, I say salaam aleikam every time I
2 start. That means peace and blessings of the
3 law be with you because I mean it. I have to
4 say my prayers before I come here, and I have
5 to say my prayers before I get up to the stand
6 to speak to you.
7 Now, what does that mean? Why
8 should an educated black man have fear of
9 speaking to anyone or a bell? I guess that's
10 what life is.
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you. Anyone
13 MR. ROGAN: Pat Rogan, West Scranton
14 resident. Each day I watch the 5:00 news and
15 see more and more stories about crime. A large
16 percentage of these stories are coming from
17 Wilkes-Barre. Although crime has been on the
18 rise in Scranton, we've not been affected by
19 the problems as much as Wilkes-Barre has.
20 Crime in the region is on the rise and the time
21 to deal with the growing problem is now before
22 it gets out of control. The city of Scranton
23 needs to increase beat and bicycle police in
24 our neighborhoods. These neighborhood patrols
25 will not only make residents feel safer, they
1 will prevent crime. Criminals are less likely
2 to commit a crime if they know there will be a
3 police officer in the neighborhood.
4 This is just common sense. One
5 reason why residents have stayed in Scranton is
6 because we have relatively safe neighborhoods.
7 As Scranton crime rate continues to rise, many
8 more people will pack their bags and ship out
9 of town. Currently we're not spending enough
10 money, time or effort to keeping our city safe.
11 Public safety is not something that
12 should be taken for granted. We must be
13 proactive by staying ahead of the criminals.
14 If we continue to skirt public safety, drug
15 dealers and gang members will replace law
16 abiding tax paying residents.
17 Once again, I hope that council will
18 consider bringing back more bike and -- more
19 bike patrols and more beat cops. Thank you.
20 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you. Anyone
22 MR. SLEDENZSKI: Janet, this is a
23 big one this week, honey. We're going to beat
24 him badly this week, right, Billy?
25 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yeah. Thank you.
1 MR. DOBSON: In the past few weeks
3 MR. COURTRIGHT: State your name for
4 the record.
5 MR. DOBSON: Dave Dobson, Scranton
6 city resident. In the past few weeks we've had
7 a lot of comments passed about the Bouna Pizza
8 deal down on Lackawanna Avenue. Well, one
9 final thing if nothing else, the contractors
10 and police should stop parking the vehicles in
11 front of Bouna Pizza and let him conduct
12 business. If he's not going to be included in
13 on a program I -- I was down there last week,
14 and there's no place to park, no place to park.
15 And the other two-thirds of the block is empty
16 and all of the construction vehicles are backed
17 down towards Bouna Pizza, and they must -- they
18 must be pizza fans. Thank you and have a good
20 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Anyone
21 else? Ms. Schumaker.
22 MS. SCHUMACHER: Marie Schumacher,
23 resident. First I would like to start by
24 saying how disappointed I was in the three --
25 and I am not sure which three because I had to
1 leave last week early -- that voted in favor of
2 the capital budget.
3 It's one thing to vote against the
4 capital budget or vote for the capital budget
5 when you are aware of deficiencies. But I
6 certainly made you aware of serious
7 deficiencies in that budget, not just Section
8 904 of crossing and Ts and dotting the I.s but
9 serious things that were left out of that
10 budget. And to vote for that I will never,
11 ever -- once I find out who the three of you
12 are will never trust you again.
13 I a couple weeks ago -- or maybe it
14 was last week -- I asked and I will ask you
15 again tonight -- I will wait for an answer.
16 Who is the city engineer?
17 MS. EVANS: I can answer that. At
18 this time the city has no engineer in its
19 employ. It was put out to bid. I really don't
20 know what happened with that bid. I do know
21 that there was at least one response to it and
22 that was quite a while back now, but we still
23 have not officially hired anyone. I hear that
24 we're in the process. Meanwhile, I've been
25 told that Mr. Parker is continuing to serve the
1 city on as needed basis and that he's providing
2 those services at no charge.
3 MS. SCHUMACHER: Thank you. But
4 nobody from that office returns phone calls I
5 can tell you. The mayor said he runs the city
6 like a business. I never seen a business that
7 didn't have a short range plan and a long range
8 plan. But what our mayor does is sort of
9 sticks his stockholders who were the taxpayers
10 in the eye with a sharp stick. He makes
11 promises in all of the capital budget. I again
12 -- I gave you a litany of promises the mayor
13 made going back to 2002, and those promises are
14 not in his capital budget, therefore, they are
15 not being fulfilled.
16 Businesses usually pay their debts.
17 I read in the paper this week of the Scranton
18 Abington Planning Association Scranton has not
19 paid $11,603 in member fees the city owes the
20 association for 2007. He says the city has
21 owed the money since August. The city is out
22 soliciting for sand and all kind of things for
23 the coming winter. In the paper today there's
24 a -- there was a picture of the county -- roads
25 and bridges department -- did Mrs. Evans' time
1 go against me?
2 MS. GATELLI: Yes.
3 MS. EVANS: I apologize.
4 MS. SCHUMACHER: I'll be back next
5 week. I will learn.
6 MS. GATELLI: Do you have a lot
7 more? If you can finish up in a minute, I will
8 let you finish it up.
9 MS. SCHUMACHER: Well, the city
10 again -- the city was not -- did not
11 participate in this. Apparently we're too
12 proud to go and get something from the county.
13 I don't know why these taxpayers have to pay.
14 It may only be a small amount but it's still
15 something we wouldn't have to pay for. Again
16 another clipping, Carbondale -- I don't know,
17 Mrs. Gatelli. You were going to have Mr.
18 Minora investigate liens. Let me read to you
19 what another entity does.
20 It's a disaster, a criminal charge
21 can get people's attention. The city can also
22 place a lien on the property. This was a
23 condemned property. An action normally taken
24 to secure payment of a debt or satisfying an
25 obligation -- a similar situation occurred
1 early last month when a former owner of the
2 Masonic lodge was sentenced to six months in
3 Lackawanna County Prison for violating a Court
4 order. He was to apply for permits and begin
5 demolition of the properties condemned, and it
6 gives the date. What does Scranton do? We go
7 out and do it for them and give it to them.
8 Who pays? Our poor old folks who are on fixed
9 incomes and having their houses taken away.
10 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Anyone
11 else care to speak?
12 MR. ANCHERANI: Good evening, Nelson
13 Ancherani, resident, taxpayer, city employee,
14 financial secretary of the F. O. P., First
15 Amendment rights, on 8/19/07 in an article in
16 the Times by Stacy Brown, titled to invest near
17 deal on payments. Ms. Gatelli said having
18 unsettled police and firefighters union
19 contracts that can total more than ten million.
20 How much more are we going to spend as
21 taxpayers to fight the unions when this could
22 have been settled years ago just by
23 negotiations and nowhere near ten million?
24 Wow, does my wallet hurt and yours should, too.
25 Last week after I finished speaking Ms. Evans
1 questioned whether the 2006 audit results had
2 to be used to secure the 35 million loan for
3 the Scranton Parking Authority.
4 If it had to be used and it wasn't,
5 why wasn't it? The audit could possibly have
6 been negative toward obtaining the loan. As of
7 August 28th, 2007, according to the Times by
8 Stacy Brown, staff writer, in the article the
9 city is still awaiting the annual audit reads a
10 long overdue audit is preventing Scranton from
11 receiving a new bond rating and has placed
12 potential borrowing plans by two city
13 authorities in jeopardy officials said Monday.
14 Without the audit which was due in
15 May, the insurance rates may also rise because
16 companies cannot ascertain an accurate
17 financial picture of the city business
18 administrator Leonard Kresefski said. While
19 the city doesn't plan to borrow money to
20 balance the 2008 budget, it does plan to use
21 tax anticipation notes for the operating
22 expenses at the beginning of 2008 and that
23 yearly practice also requires banks to view
24 financial records. By the way, that's one of
25 my predictions, the tax anticipation notes.
1 Without the audit, the city's credit rating can
2 suffer. Plans by the sewer and parking
3 authorities can be jeopardized. So did we get
4 the loan without the audit?
5 We must remember it is the taxpayers
6 who are going to be stuck with the bill if the
7 Scranton Parking Authority defaults on the
8 loan. How good could the Scranton Parking
9 Authority be doing if the city had to give them
10 $725,000 this year? Shouldn't they be paying
11 their own bills and not relying on the city? I
12 said last week that the population of the city
13 is 70,000. I stand corrected, 60,500. That
14 means that the taxpayers who are paying the
15 bills have to make up the taxes for the ten
16 thousand less people.
17 Thanks again, Ms. Gatelli, Ms.
18 Fanucci and Mr. McGoff for the first 25 percent
19 tax increase, and at least two more coming. If
20 -- what about our soldiers that served in Iraq?
21 Isn't it a shame that we treat those protectors
22 of America the way we do? Thank you.
23 MS. GATELLI: Can I have a motion to
25 MS. EVANS: Motion to adjourn.
1 MS. GATELLI: See you next Tuesday.