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2 SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING

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6 HELD:

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9 Tuesday, October 2, 2007

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11 LOCATION:

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13 Council Chambers

14 Scranton City Hall

15 340 North Washington Avenue

16 Scranton, Pennsylvania

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25 LAURA BOYANOWSKI, RPR
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4 CITY OF SCRANTON COUNCIL:

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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

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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.
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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

24 order.

25 MS. GATELLI: I just have one
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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
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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
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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

14 done.

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
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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
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1 person that's buying tax delinquent properties,

2 very large parcel on the corner of Cedar and

3 Locust.

4 MR. QUINN: Is that across from the

5 Creedon's flower shop -- or McCarthy flower

6 shop?

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

13 lot?

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
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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,

9 yes.

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.
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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

10 new.

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
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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
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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

20 sued.

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
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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

8 company.

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
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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

8 else?

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.
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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
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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.
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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

7 --

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
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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.
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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,
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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?

21 Zero.

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,
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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
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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.

15 Fanucci?

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
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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.

22 McGoff?

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
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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

15 it.

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

23 all.

24 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Courtright?

25 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you, Mr.
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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
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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
.

28


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?
.

29


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
.

30


1 favor?

2 MS. EVANS: Aye.

3 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.

4 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.

5 MR. McGOFF: Aye.

6 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The

7 ayes have it and so moved.

8 MS. 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.
.

31


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
.

32


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.
.

33


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
.

34


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

6 WORKS.

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.
.

35


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

15 aye.

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
.

36


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.
.

37


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
.

38


1 development?

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?
.

39


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

17 development?

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.
.

40


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

7 no.

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
.

41


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

6 question?

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.
.

42


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.
.

43


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
.

44


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.

14 Sbaraglia?

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
.

45


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

11 city.

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
.

46


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
.

47


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
.

48


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

21 government.

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
.

49


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

16 sentence.

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
.

50


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,

6 okay.

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

16 only.

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
.

51


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
.

52


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.

24 Spindler.

25 MS. FANUCCI: I think you should try
.

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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
.

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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

22 you.

23 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Lee

24 Morgan.

25 MR. MORGAN: Good evening, council.
.

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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
.

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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

8 people.

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
.

57


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
.

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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

7 suffer.

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,
.

59


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

15 Manhattan?

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
.

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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
.

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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

23 disaster.

24 And also the fact that people may be

25 paying wage attach here if you -- council
.

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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

6 also.

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

24 employees?

25 MR. COURTRIGHT: Those I wouldn't.
.

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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.
.

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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.
.

65


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

18 proposal.

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.
.

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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
.

67


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

12 this?

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
.

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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

18 on.

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
.

69


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

6 Scranton.

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
.

70


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
.

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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

22 council.

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
.

72


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

19 unfortunately.

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
.

73


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

20 question?

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
.

74


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
.

75


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

10 help.

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
.

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1 being a diplomat we have to extend our hands to

2 everyone.

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

23 percent.

24 But if you -- again, these are all

25 statistics right there in Pennsylvania. I am
.

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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 --
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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

12 else?

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
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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

21 else?

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.
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1 MR. DOBSON: In the past few weeks

2 --

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

19 night.

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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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.
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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

24 adjourn?

25 MS. EVANS: Motion to adjourn.
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1 MS. GATELLI: See you next Tuesday.

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