1 SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING
8 Tuesday, October 16, 2007
12 Council Chambers
13 Scranton City Hall
14 340 North Washington Avenue
15 Scranton, Pennsylvania
25 LAURA BOYANOWSKI, RPR
4 CITY OF SCRANTON COUNCIL:
6 MS. JUDY GATELLI, PRESIDENT
7 MS. JANET EVANS
8 MS. SHERRY FANUCCI
9 MR. ROBERT McGOFF
10 MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT
11 MS. NEIL COOLICAN, ASSISTANT CITY CLERK
12 MR. JOHN MINORA, ESQUIRE, SOLICITOR
13 MS. KAY GARVEY, CITY CLERK
1 (Moment of reflection observed.)
2 MS. GATELLI: Roll call.
3 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans?
4 MS. EVANS: Here.
5 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci?
6 MS. FANUCCI: Here.
7 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff?
8 MR. McGOFF: Here.
9 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Minora?
10 MR. MINORA: Here.
11 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. Gatelli?
12 MS. GATELLI: Here. Dispense with
13 the reading of the minutes.
14 MS. GARVEY: THIRD ORDER - 3 A -
15 2006 AUDIT OF THE SCRANTON REDEVELOPMENT
17 MS. GATELLI: Are there any
18 comments? If not, received and filed.
19 MS. GARVEY: 3 B - APPLICATIONS AND
20 DECISIONS RENDERED BY THE ZONING HEARING BOARD
21 MEETING HELD ON OCTOBER 10, 2007.
22 MS. GATELLI: Are there any
23 comments? If not, received and filed.
24 MS. GARVEY: That's all there is in
25 third order.
1 MS. GATELLI: I didn't get the
2 sign-in sheets, Neil. Before we start, I just
3 have one or two comments. We will see if
4 anyone else has any. As you know, I was not
5 here last week -- and I think Mrs. Fanucci told
6 you I wasn't here. Another thing that I would
7 like to mention this evening was that I missed
8 the opportunity to congratulate the West
9 Scranton High School for taking the bell back.
10 I'll congratulate the coach and all
11 of the members of the West Scranton football
12 team and better luck next year. We wanted it
13 this year, we got it, right, Chrissy? And the
14 only other thing I have is that -- it was
15 brought to my attention today there was a bill
16 in the house of representatives. It's house
17 bill 1490, and it's to promote competition with
18 cable companies. And I thought it was rather
19 important and I should bring it to your
20 attention to call your state representatives
21 and encourage them to pass this bill. There
22 are only a few more years left on the cable
23 contract with the City of Scranton.
24 So if this passes, it will open it
25 up for competition and possibly having some
1 lower rates. I encourage you to call Ken Smith
2 or Frank Shimkus. It's house bill 1490.
3 That's all I have. Anyone else have any
4 announcements? The first speaker is Andy
6 MR. SBARAGLIA: Andy Sbaraglia,
7 citizen of Scranton. Fellow Scrantonians, I
8 want to make a little explanation of this. 7
9 D. for adoption, transferring funds from
10 special city accounts, so forth and so on.
11 There's -- they are taking almost 21,000 from
12 our D. P. W. I also noticed in the paper they
13 are putting out bids for tires, gas and the
14 whole bit.
15 How does D. P. W. have 21,000 they
16 don't need? I'm sure they need it at that
17 place because we are -- if they got 21,000
18 extra maybe they can put it on the gas bill or
19 the tire bill or buying anti skid material. If
20 it wasn't that it was going for such a good
21 spot. You know, how can anybody fight police
22 protection? You can't stay against it. I am
23 wondering how they can pull 21,000 from D. P.
24 W. which definitely needs a lot of money to
25 operate. I don't see how they can have 21,000
2 MS. GATELLI: From 1960. The
3 account was from a 1960 account.
4 MR. SBARAGLIA: I realize that.
5 That money is sitting that. We are buying a
6 lot of stuff putting it all on -- certainly if
7 they have that much money on hand, I think they
8 should be able to buy some of the material we
9 will pay for. And actually by doing that, we
10 can save money, and I'm sure everyone in here
11 is interested in saving money to the taxpayer.
12 Now, I understand it's going to a
13 good cause. That I can't argue with. In fact,
14 I would like to go and collect money for that.
15 If you should do anything and keep $20,000 in
16 the D. P. W.s accounts, I'd be glad to go and
17 raise money for police protection for guns and
18 armor vests and so forth and so on. I believe
19 it's needed. I can't argue with that. But I
20 still think that D. P. W. should have that much
21 extra money for running around. Thank you.
22 MS. GATELLI: Ozzie Quinn.
23 MR. QUINN: Ozzie Quinn, president
24 of the local taxpayers association. Last night
25 I attended the school board meeting, and there
1 was a resolution passed for the construction of
2 the new elementary school over in Tripps Park
3 in regards to the construction costs and the
4 price of the land, approximately $29 million.
5 So you have on here tonight a resolution -- I
6 believe it's 7 H., yeah, 7 -- what is it?
7 What, B.? Yeah. And that's a foregone
8 conclusion. This is a prime example of back
9 room politics.
10 They already know they have that
11 land and you're giving the facade up there --
12 pretense that we have something to say about
13 that land when we don't. We don't have
14 anything to say. It's a done deal. It's like
15 the woman -- the reporter from the Scranton
16 Times said, it's corruption. There's no doubt
17 about it the way this has gone about. What
18 you're doing -- as I said last week you are --
19 de facto increasing the taxes of the city
20 residents taxpayers, okay.
21 It's because of the fact that you're
22 allowing them to build that school, and also
23 you're going to increase the budget according
24 what you said last year -- another 25 percent
25 for the mayor. We cannot afford it. I want to
1 explain something. If I don't, I will at the.
2 The principle for the City of Scranton is now
3 $108 million. That's just principle. For the
4 school district 89 and a half million dollars
5 with another $60 million ready to be executed,
6 okay. We have a principle of $362 million.
7 Now, if you buy a car -- a house at $100,000
8 and you have to pay $5,000 for 20 years, you
9 will be a fool if you thought that was what
10 you're going to -- your monthly premium. You
11 have to add in interest. You have to look at
12 the long term indebtedness, which is all over a
13 half a billion dollars the city taxpayers owe
14 without the county tax put in. We got to stop
15 this and stop this back room politics.
16 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Lori
18 MS. GRUDZINSKI: Lori Grudzinski,
19 Scranton, here to speak on the property at
20 Cedar Avenue and Locust Street. Since I left
21 the meeting last week, my lawyer and I have not
22 been able to get an accurate total of what
23 taxes are owed on my property at 1212 Cedar
25 Furthermore, the account at N. C. C.
1 has been frozen by the city, and they will not
2 accept payments. How does a taxpayer pay their
3 taxes if they won't tell you what you owe and
4 will not accept payments? This entire mess is
5 affecting the most important thing to me in the
6 world, my family. My husband and I always paid
7 our own way through college, marriage owning
8 two homes, and our children are very
10 We expect nothing from no one. And
11 up until last week, we were very happy. We
12 will not let a parcel of land ruin our lives.
13 However, I must reiterate the land left to us
14 is for our children for their future. Mr.
15 Brozzetti has several months tied up this. I
16 have 18 years invested and my children. My
17 lawyer wasn't able to attend tonight since this
18 whole issue ballooned in under a week.
19 The research she did obtain thus far
20 shows the property had never been up for tax
21 sale or had a municipal lien from the city
22 placed on it since 1995. It is impermissible
23 to sell my property. I've been receiving the
24 tax bills at my same address all the years I
25 owned it. The deed is filed with the recorder
1 of deeds under my name. I never received any
2 notice of a lien or sale.
3 I have a reputable local businessman
4 who will buy the property from me now. Can
5 anyone here find out for what me what the taxes
6 are owed because I cannot? Until it is clear,
7 I cannot see how you can put this issue to vote
8 unless you vote in my favor. You say it's a
9 legal matter and you cannot decide. I was
10 relieved when you passed it to the law office
11 last week because I thought they represented
12 all of the citizens in Scranton.
13 The law office of the City of
14 Scranton, to quote Ms. Setizinger, calls me the
15 woman trying to get the property from Michael
16 Brozzetti. I was under the impression I was
17 the owner. By voting yes you are voting
18 against my children. Did the law office tell
19 you if I should still pay the liability
20 insurance on the property that I've been
21 paying? There's a lot of unanswered questions.
22 You can stop this in its tracks tonight by
23 voting no or taking it off the agenda.
24 Let it be hashed out by the lawyers.
25 That's all I'm asking you. By voting yes you
1 are voting against my children. Please do not
2 just push this along because in the end it will
3 be coming back. Thank you for your time.
4 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mr.
6 MS. EVANS: Mrs. Grudzinski, we
7 actually did receive information -- I'm sure it
8 had to be today because my mail was picked up
9 yesterday. And I would be happy to give you a
10 copy of this. I think it's all of the
11 information you're looking for.
12 MS. GRUDZINSKI: They won't give it.
13 My lawyer couldn't get it either. They gave
14 her information on properties that my entire
15 family has owned for the last 35 years on all
16 other addresses other than the one pertaining
17 to this issue.
18 MS. EVANS: Well, this does go back
19 -- delinquencies appear to go back to 1982
20 according to the information we received today.
21 But as I said, I would be willing to share this
22 with you.
23 MS. GRUDZINSKI: I would like to
24 have it.
25 MR. MINORA: As a point of
1 information, you can go to the Lackawanna
2 County Tax Claim Bureau. And if a for -- I
3 think it's a five or ten dollar fee -- they
4 will provide you with a tax certificate which
5 shows all delinquent taxes. In fact, generally
6 what is done by title searchers -- it's done
7 that way because they get a certification or an
8 actual -- you know, a form if there's an error
9 in --
10 MS. GRUDZINSKI: Lackawanna County
11 or City of Scranton?
12 MR. MINORA: They will give you both
13 and --
14 MS. GRUDZINSKI: The City of
15 Scranton said they operate separately from
16 Lackawanna County.
17 MR. MINORA: You would get the City
18 of Scranton also. And definitely -- in fact,
19 that's what most abstractors would do.
20 MS. GRUDZINSKI: Why would someone
21 not tell me that in the law offices?
22 MR. MINORA: I don't know. You can
23 go to the city treasurer's office as well,
24 either way. But if you pay a fee at the
25 Lackawanna County tax --
1 MS. GATELLI: Did your lawyer try?
2 MS. GRUDZINSKI: Yes. N. C. C. said
3 to call the city.
4 MR. MINORA: You can get it at the
5 Lackawanna Tax Claim Bureau. Actually that
6 will be better for you because that would also
7 include any county taxes as well.
8 MS. GRUDZINSKI: Thank you.
9 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Dobson was next.
10 MS. KRAKE: He allowed me to go
11 ahead of him. Thank you. Actually this
12 property, you can't get that information from
13 the county. Only the city has those records,
14 and only N. C. C. has those records for the
15 city. And I was contacted as the tax clerk for
16 that information from the title company, and I
17 directed them to N. C. C. They did not give
18 her the information.
19 I am very glad Mrs. Evans had that
20 there to give to them. That's very, very
21 important. Everyone is entitled to that
22 information. The only way you get it is N. C.
23 C. The tax claim bureau only has county taxes.
24 MR. MINORA: I've gotten tax
25 certificates with city taxes --
1 MS. KRAKE: A tax certificate, we do
2 not certify. We never have. The tax claim
3 bureau only certifies the county, school and
4 library portion.
5 MR. MINORA: And I think the city.
6 MS. KRAKE: Absolutely not.
7 MR. MINORA: In any event, that
8 would indicate delinquent taxes on the county
9 portion, which you don't have, correct?
10 MS. KRAKE: The city turns it over
11 April 1st every year to N. C. C.
12 MR. MINORA: You wouldn't have the
13 county portion of it.
14 MS. KRAKE: Not the county. What
15 she's looking for what is sold from quiet title
16 is the city's portion only.
17 MR. MINORA: If you're looking at
18 the delinquent tax picture, you need to look at
19 it all.
20 MS. KRAKE: She needs to pay all
21 portions of her taxes, but when you're talking
22 about the Pittsburgh plan and quiet title,
23 she's distinctly interested in what the city is
24 owed and if it ever through tax sale, which
25 would have been only city taxes, nothing else.
1 MR. MINORA: If the city tax was
2 paid and the county tax wasn't, the county has
3 the same right to go through tax sale, correct?
4 MS. KRAKE: Not with the property in
5 the city.
6 MR. MINORA: Is the county tax is
7 unpaid and the city is, they do.
8 MS. KRAKE: Not with a property in
9 the city for the Pittsburgh plan. That's what
10 she talking about.
11 MR. MINORA: I understand if the
12 city taxes and it's a city sale. The county
13 has a right to collect their tax es in the same
15 MS. KRAKE: They collect their
16 taxes. I am very glad that counsel is willing
17 to help this woman because no one else has. I
18 absolutely -- and I think Mrs. Gatelli was here
19 when we sold a playground previously. The city
20 sold a playground under the Connor's
22 So I think it's very, very important
23 to keep this off the agenda and make sure all
24 of the avenues are looked at before anyone
25 votes on it.
1 MR. MINORA: I will note for the
2 record that the information that I received
3 from the law department, they do have
4 transcripts of conversations between the woman
5 that just spoke and N. C. C. So apparently --
6 at least from the information that we received
7 from N. C. C. she was aware going back as far
8 as 2004 that there was some --
9 MS. KRAKE: Except she couldn't get
10 a breakdown.
11 MR. MINORA: In 2004?
12 MS. KRAKE: The abstract company
13 just requested this last week. So unless maybe
14 it's a new abstract company, which is a
16 MR. MINORA: All I'm pointing out is
17 there was some awareness of this going back
18 several years. That's what the records
20 MS. KRAKE: I am sure there are, but
21 I think you can ask that for information every
22 day of the week and by law they have to give it
23 to you every day of the week. So thank you.
24 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Dobson?
25 MR. DOBSON: Good evening, counsel,
1 Dave Dobson. I would like to just remark on
2 Ozzie Quinn's statements that deficits have
3 been piling up in virtually all levels of
4 government from local to federal. Six or seven
5 years ago the Euro was valued at about 75
6 cents. Its current value is a dollar forty
8 I think that it certainly would be a
9 help to the American public if all governing
10 bodies would begin to look at the deficits and
11 start to realize that they may be a problem in
12 the future. A $40,000 loan on a house is
13 $102,000 if it's paid back in 30 years. So
14 that's something to consider and hopefully --
15 hopefully we can straighten it out and have a
16 town 20 years from now. Thank you.
17 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Julie
19 MS. JONES: Julie Jones, south side
20 resident. I am here to speak this evening on
21 item 7 A., which Mrs. Grudzinski was already
22 speaking about. Before I start, as she said,
23 there is nothing more important to her and her
24 husband than her family. All I can tell the
25 five of you is last Friday -- and, yes, this is
1 personal -- all I know as I picked up a 12th
2 grader at the Grudzinski home Friday morning in
3 hysterics, hysterics. I picked my son up after
4 school. I said, where's Katie. That child was
5 so upset by what this council is doing the
6 teacher had to send her home. She couldn't
7 even stay in school that day. You have five
8 children's lives in your hands right now.
9 Think about it if it was your kids. Think and
10 think hard.
11 I would like to know what you as
12 council has to lose. I would like to know what
13 you as council have to lose by voting no to
14 this. Mr. Courtright and Mr. McGoff, you are
15 -- you are up for election here. Are you going
16 to stick up for the little guy here? Are you
17 going to turn your back? Mrs. /TKPWA Gatelli,
18 you're big with the S. S. R. A. Are you going
19 to turn your back on one of our own? I know
20 both of these people are from south side.
21 If you had to choose which one you
22 would pick, I'm sure you would pick Mr.
23 Brozzetti. Please don't call me out of order
24 while -- for what I'm about to say. I have one
25 sentence to say. But the original -- the
1 original owner was Joe Scott, which was Mrs.
2 Grudzinski's father, and you could not stand
3 the man which you told me. So I have to wonder
4 if this possibly can be a conflict of interest
5 which means you should abstain from your vote.
6 MS. GATELLI: I will not abstain.
7 Your time is up. Your time is up. Would
8 anyone else care to speak? Dan?
9 MR. HUBBARD: What's the hurry on
10 this issue with Cedar Avenue? How is this
11 linked to the Cedar Avenue project? I mean,
12 this is being pushed through pretty quick.
13 MS. FANUCCI: It's not.
14 MR. HUBBARD: It's not?
15 MS. FANUCCI: It's not.
16 MR. HUBBARD: It's not?
17 MS. FANUCCI: It was going on since
18 -- when was the last tax payment we had? 1980
19 something. So I don't think that's quick,
21 MR. HUBBARD: You mean this recent
22 issue with the city condemning this property
23 and trying to take this property?
24 MS. FANUCCI: It's since 1982. And
25 actually now is when there's a problem. So,
1 Daniel, if you consider since 1982 quick, then
2 I guess it is.
3 MR. HUBBARD: Why was this property
4 -- if this has been in question since 1982, why
5 did Mr. Setizinger just recently condemn it
7 MS. FANUCCI: Have you seen the
9 MR. HUBBARD: Recently. I didn't
10 ask that. I asked recently.
11 MS. FANUCCI: Have you seen the
13 MR. HUBBARD: I didn't ask that. I
14 asked recently.
15 MS. FANUCCI: I asked you if seen
16 the property.
17 MR. HUBBARD: Why the rush? This is
18 one of your quote, unquote people, Judy. This
19 is one of the people that you represented.
20 MS. GATELLI: Yes, and the people
21 that come to the south side neighborhood have
22 been complaining about that property for 20
23 years, Mr. Hubbard. Thank you very much for
24 your time. Take a ride down there and look at
25 it. Tell me what they all think about it.
1 Next speaker.
2 MR. JACOWITZ: Bill Jacowitz, south
3 Scranton resident. I drive by the property
4 every day, and you're right, it is a mess, but
5 I still think that cool heads should prevail
6 and the right decision should be made. Okay.
7 We are not building a school. What we're doing
8 is -- I am going to talk on 7 B. We are
9 building a school. What we are doing is
10 conveying land for development.
11 Yes, Mr. McGoff, the school board
12 will develop a new school which in turn will
13 convey higher taxes and larger debt on to the
14 backs of the already overburdened taxpayers of
15 Scranton all this for a one dollar price for
16 land in Scranton. The only way Scranton has to
17 raise revenues is taxes and fees.
18 So the solution, give the land away
19 for one dollar and collect no taxes. So city
20 council members, do you want to raise taxes?
21 Vote yes. You want to help the taxpayers?
22 Vote no on the new school and giving the land
23 to the new school. Buildings do not educate
24 children. Teachers do. The number of Scranton
25 taxpayers is shrinking. The amount they pay is
1 rising. The city will raise taxes, so will the
2 school board, result, more taxpayers vacating
3 the city. You milk cows, not taxpayers. They
4 are dry. The taxpayers of Scranton are dry.
5 Vote no one, for the taxpayers. Mr. McGoff,
6 your idea to improve housing and jobs for
7 imgrants, great idea, one exception
8 non-documented illegals do not pay taxes. Most
9 of their money is sent back to their home
10 country. So again, the taxpayers will take it
11 in the shorts, we will get a new school that we
12 don't need. We will give them the land for
13 free for one dollar and we will lose tax
14 revenue off that land. Think about it for
15 once. Think about the taxpayers, please.
16 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Anyone
18 MS. SCHUMACHER: Marie Schumacher.
19 I'm here also to speak against 7 B., I think
20 that a swap should be made of anything that the
21 city -- that the school board has. If they
22 really want this property, the property that is
23 adjacent to the administration building would
24 make a lovely parking lot for the Scranton
25 library and would reduce the need for the mayor
1 to go ahead with his grandiose plans to take
2 away our beautiful and useful structure and
3 transfer it someone else for a cigar box some
4 place probably in south side. So also the --
5 the independent -- perhaps the property that
6 they want to sell at the independent -- or the
7 intermediate school up in the hill section,
8 take that and the city would at least have
9 something. Why give it away? It should be a
10 -- it should be a transfer of assets. Thank
12 MS. FANUCCI: Mrs. Schumacher, I
13 want to say something on the library since that
14 was brought up a few weeks ago. There was no
15 plans on selling the library. The library will
16 remain open as a city branch of the library.
17 They are planning on eventually -- on putting a
18 library also in south side. But this library
19 is not going anywhere, and nor can anyone sell
20 it. So that is -- that is not a plan. So I
21 don't know where that rumor started, but it
22 certainly is false.
23 MS. EVANS: Mrs. Schumacher, I might
24 add though, I don't know that it can be sold,
25 but it certainly can be transferred.
1 MS. FANUCCI: The plans are not to
2 transfer it at all.
3 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else? Okay.
4 MS. GARVEY: 5 A. motions.
5 MS. EVANS: Tonight I ask for your
6 prayers for a very kind gentleman, Mr.
7 Loughtney, who underwent serious surgery
8 yesterday. I wish him a speedy recovery,
9 particularly so that he can return to his
10 family and his boy scout troop. I ask that you
11 would remember Mr. Joseph George of north
12 Scranton and Mr. Angelo Gervasi in your prayers
13 this week.
14 Both were wonderful husbands and
15 fathers and will be missed by their family and
16 friends. During my travels last week I was
17 asked by a fine gentleman, a senior citizen, to
18 make a request of council speakers. Could each
19 person who addresses council please adjust the
20 microphone appropriately to your height and
21 speak into the microphone. Television viewers
22 cannot hear all of the speakers. The 2006
23 audit of the Scranton Redevelopment Authority
24 was received by city council on October 10th.
25 And to my knowledge, I did not yet receive the
1 weekly update from the Rossi auditoring firm on
2 the independent audit of 2006 for the City of
3 Scranton. According to a letter received from
4 C. Elizabeth Sterner, senior director of the
5 government and community affairs, Comcast will
6 be adjusting some of its service installation
7 and equipment prices effective November 7th or
8 with the first billing statement after that
10 For example, you will see an
11 increase in all monthly packages. The Scranton
12 Police Department will be enforcing a 2001 city
13 ordinance requiring all homes to display
14 address numbers for the purposes of public
15 health and safety.
16 Police officers, ambulances and fire
17 fighters increase response time when they
18 cannot readily locate an address. I raised
19 this issue in the spring of 2006 in response to
20 city residents' requests, but rather than
21 police, inspectors were told to enforce the
22 ordinance. So they mailed citations to
23 taxpayers and those who were cited were told
24 that I was responsible for their problems when,
25 in fact, I was not responsible, the ordinance
1 was created and passed years before I took my
2 seat on council.
3 On a somewhat related topic, the
4 union news reports that six fire fighters
5 candidates have successfully passed the written
6 exam and must next undergo testing in the
7 physical aspects of their training. If they
8 pass, they will immediately become fire
9 fighters and will be assigned to one of the
10 city's eight fire stations. In response to a
11 citizen's request, a city inspector spoke to
12 the owner of the old Atlas Glass a week ago.
13 The owner will clear his property as soon as
14 possible, but he is currently experiencing
15 health problems.
16 Also the curb at Snook Street and
17 Seymour Avenue was completed and the potholes
18 on Von Storch were prepared, my thanks to Mr.
19 Brazil and the D. P. W. workers. Finally, just
20 a few citizens' requests, a memo to the
21 inspector's office, Smith Place on the Watson
22 Street side, residents of the neighborhood
23 report that trash and trash containers are left
24 out seven days per week, trees and shrubs are
25 overgrown, cinder blocks are piled up and can
1 possibly fall into the roadway. And one
2 property's fence is held up by sticks and
3 stones. Please investigate these complaints.
4 In addition, the residents of Sloan Street
5 report the constant placement of a dumpster at
6 1147 Sloan. A memo to Mr. Brazil, city
7 residents request the use of the street sweeper
8 following garbage pickup in various sections of
9 the city.
10 Also they report broken glass in the
11 streets following recycling collections.
12 Residents also request a reminder regarding
13 delayed collection because of holidays. It
14 appears that many place garbage curbside for 48
15 hours since they are unsure whether or not the
16 D. P. W. had a scheduled holiday. So I -- I
17 know from time to time in the newspaper we will
18 see very small announcements of trash
19 collections with regard to a holiday. But it
20 doesn't appear that it occurs each time, and
21 perhaps Mr. Brazil could come up with a policy
22 that would regularly notify our city residents.
23 And that's it.
24 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mrs.
1 MS. FANUCCI: I'm just going to
2 speak on the Cedar Avenue. We last week did
3 table this until we found out the information
4 we needed. This is not to be heard here. This
5 is not us to say let -- you know, we're going
6 to stop it, take a side or decide who is right
7 or who is wrong in this department. We had
8 spoken to our attorneys to try to figure out
9 what our role is in this. Our role is not to
10 pick a side. Our role is to do our duty and
11 legislate. I am planning on voting yes, let it
12 go through, let it be battled out where it
13 needs to be in the system.
14 When you look at the information
15 that has been provided -- and, in fact, I
16 worked during the week. I went down to the
17 county to find out about the taxes and called
18 about the taxes here. When you look at what
19 has taken place, it is not easy to figure out
20 for us at least -- as far as I was concerned
21 what she was saying last week that she had paid
22 the taxes. That was my concern that we were --
23 we were all violating something that she had
24 already paid.
25 That was not the case when we found
1 out the county was paid but the city was not.
2 That was the problem. So I will be voting yes,
3 and believe that if it does go litigation it
4 should. As to speak on -- people talking about
5 children, I -- I feel bad for the children. It
6 makes me very sad. But I will tell you I feel
7 bad for everyone. I feel bad for people who
8 would have liked tax moneys since 1980. I feel
9 bad for everyone in this case, but this is not
10 something -- not a court law. A lot of times
11 we believe it is and use that forum for -- its
12 not intended use. So I definitely will be
13 voting for that to continue and to go through.
14 And what happens from there is certainly in
15 someone else's hands.
16 I also want to say something about
17 our downtown. For the first time -- Ozzie,
18 come on, just go with it. You'll be okay. For
19 the first time in years our downtown does not
20 have one store front property available. And
21 for someone who said that -- I've heard months
22 and months we are not doing well. I walked
23 around today and looked around -- I would like
24 to say come downtown because we are doing very
25 well. I'm happy for all the new businesses and
1 for all the creativity definitely for the arts.
2 A lot of people are really starting to invest
3 in us, and I just want to thank you. And all
4 the people I have spoken to down there and also
5 in the -- in all the neighborhoods -- all the
6 small businesses are popping up. And it seems
7 like my generation is starting to say we're
8 here, we're not going anywhere, we want to live
9 here. And no different than people buying new
10 properties and trying to put businesses up.
11 This is where we should be, and I just want to
12 say that. Also I want to say hello to one of
13 my friends Roxy who had her knee operated on.
14 And I hope she has a speedy recovery. I am
15 sure she won't be too happy about that.
16 MS. GATELLI: Mr. McGoff?
17 MR. McGOFF: Yes, just one very
18 quickly, last Wednesday I spoke to Mr. Brazil
19 regarding the signs. I believe it was on Emily
20 and Hawthorn -- I didn't write it down. And he
21 assured me that the D. P. W. was at that time
22 working on resolving the issue for Mr. Rickard.
23 I called Mrs. Rickard on Thursday, spoke to her
24 husband and then to Mrs. Rickard. And, in
25 fact, the signs that she requested were put in
1 place by the D. P. W., some tree branches
2 removed so that the signs could be seen. And
3 she seemed pleased that the situation had been
4 resolved. That's all. Thank you.
5 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Courtright?
6 MR. COURTRIGHT: Just two items --
7 one is last week Mr. Sbaraglia asked about
8 payment for that project up on Keyser Valley.
9 75 percent -- it was back -- you and I both
10 must have missed it. 75 percent was going from
11 the federal government, I believe 25 from the
12 state according to the paper here -- I will
13 give it to you if you would like. The city is
14 not paying for any of that. I was going to
15 wait until we got on the question, but Mrs.
16 Fanucci opened the door for me. I have to be
17 perfectly honest. I don't know either party.
18 It seem almost daily we are getting information
19 this week on it.
20 And I have to -- decide one way or
21 other a couple different times this week as
22 information keeps coming in. I keep changing
23 my mind to what should be done here. I spoke
24 to Mr. Minora before the meeting and asked him
25 some questions, and it his belief -- I will ask
1 him to explain after I get speaking of the
2 process he explained to me -- I don't know if I
3 can do a good enough job because he's the
4 attorney. I will ask one question of Mr.
5 Minora I did not ask you. Maybe you can
6 explain what you explained to me. I am torn
7 here. I -- I don't know what to do.
8 What would become of if this we were
9 to vote this down this evening? What becomes
10 of this land, and what would the process be if
11 we were to vote it down?
12 MR. MINORA: The sale would not
14 MR. COURTRIGHT: What would be the
15 steps -- what would become of this property?
16 MR. MINORA: Well, you know, it
17 would remain as remained for the last 20 years
18 there without -- unless the taxes are paid.
19 MR. COURTRIGHT: If this woman
20 didn't pay the taxes, the city couldn't take
21 the land from her or they could?
22 MR. MINORA: Well, it should be done
23 subsequently if that's what you're asking.
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: She claimed here --
25 I'm sorry to interrupt you. She claimed here I
1 believe last week that if, in fact, she had to
2 she would go and take a loan -- I am not saying
3 she would or telling the truth or she's lying
4 -- that she would take a loan and pay off the
5 taxes on this property.
6 If, in fact, she did not -- if we
7 didn't pass this legislation this evening and
8 she did not pay these taxes, would the city be
9 able to take that property from her?
10 MR. MINORA: And proceed -- proceed
11 with the sale precisely as they are doing now,
12 is that your question?
13 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yeah.
14 MR. MINORA: Yes, yes. I mean they
15 can do it subsequently if -- if, in fact, that
16 was done. However, I would tell you that from
17 the standpoint of the process, okay, council is
18 a legislative body not adjudicatory body. I
19 think -- if I could, please -- I think you're
20 being asked in some respects to judge the
21 merits of whether or not the sale is proper.
22 And there's a process to file objections to the
23 process, you know, in court.
24 That's -- that's why -- you know,
25 the legislation that's passed today doesn't
1 transfer the property to Mr. Brozzetti. It has
2 to be approved by a judge or judges.
3 So that -- all you're doing is
4 moving the process along. And those things
5 that you discuss really with all due respect
6 are more properly discussed with a judge.
7 MS. EVANS: Can I pose a question?
8 MS. GATELLI: It's Mr. Courtright's
10 MS. EVANS: Can I pose a question,
11 Mr. Courtright?
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yeah.
13 MS. EVANS: Thank you for your kind
14 indulgence. Now, Mr. Minora, what would happen
15 if this were tabled?
16 MR. MINORA: Well, I think --
17 MS. EVANS: If it was voted down --
18 MS. GATELLI: Settle down.
19 THE AUDIENCE: We can't hear.
20 MR. MINORA: If it was tabled, you
21 know, it will continue as it has existed for
22 the last 20 years. I don't know if it would be
23 paid or not, but it hasn't been paid since 1982
24 in looking at the records. So in answer to
25 your question, I think it's the same question
1 or similar to the one Mr. Courtright asked
2 which is that, in fact -- if it wasn't paid I
3 guess at some point someone can come and bid on
4 it again and go through the same process. But
5 I think that -- again -- and again, with all
6 due respect to council, you know, and the three
7 branches of government, legislative versus
8 adjudicatory, a judge would determine whether
9 or not the sale was proper and legal, and if it
10 wasn't, they wouldn't approve it. They have an
11 opportunity to present objections and so on.
12 MS. EVANS: I agree with you. I
13 don't think it is our job to weigh the merits.
14 However, as simply an individual who can read,
15 I'm finding discrepancies between -- in two
16 reports sent by N. C. C.
17 One is dated September 21st, 2007,
18 and the amount cited is $18,923. And this
19 particular letter nowhere appears in the log of
20 telephone calls and written correspondences
21 between N. C. C. and the delinquent taxpayer.
22 It -- it simply skips that date.
23 There's nothing listed September 21,
24 2007. However, another letter from N. C. C.
25 indicates on October 11th the total is now
1 $117,185. So I just have to say as -- as a
2 literate individual I'm very confused with the
3 paperwork that I received, and the only thing
4 -- you know, on the one hand, of course, I
5 don't to see that property remain as it is
6 either. Frankly, it's an eyesore, and it
7 shouldn't continue along as it has been for any
8 amount of time more than, you know, everyone
9 suffered with it to this point. But on the
10 other hand, I have to think what if this were
11 me, what if this were any one of you. And I do
12 pay my taxes. But the point is, I have to
13 question N. C. C. send out contradictory
14 letters and then apparently skipping some of
15 those letters in what they list as a complete
16 log, you know.
17 I mean -- I'm sorry, I really can't
18 address the audience. I'm just saying that I
19 guess I have a real concern here about N. C. C.
20 and that what I'm seeing before me here could
21 easily happen to any one of us, and it's a --
22 you know, it's a -- it's not a pretty
23 situation. Yes, I do I allow people to talk,
24 Mrs. Gatelli.
25 MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Evans, you're --
1 you're monopolizing, Mr. Minora wants to give
2 his legal opinion.
3 MS. EVANS: And he should when I
4 stop speaking rather than being interrupted by
5 either one of you. I am an elected council
6 person as well. Mr. Minora is not elected. I
7 asked Mr. Courtright's permission, and that was
8 given. So I would ask you please not to
9 interrupt me. Mr. Minora?
10 MR. MINORA: Yes. I thought you
11 were finished. I didn't mean to interrupt you.
12 That was the only reason -- the only thing I
13 will tell you is if there are discrepancies
14 that's the purpose of the adjudicatory body.
15 That's why -- that's why the statue was written
16 that way. That is why there was a period of
17 time within in which to file objections.
18 That's why a judge either approves or
19 disapproves the sale for precisely these
21 That's why once this begins there's
22 a process, and I think that sometimes you can
23 lose sight of the fact that -- that, you know,
24 one body is not adjudicatory and another is.
25 MS. EVANS: Yeah.
1 MR. MINORA: The only thing I will
2 tell -- you may be correct, Mrs. Evans. I'm
3 not -- I'm not judging the merits of it. I
4 don't think that's -- that's the process. But
5 the law department recommended proceeding with
6 it. And if you're asking me, I think the
7 purpose of the Pittsburgh Plant and quiet title
8 action at that point to file any objections you
9 may have. And if there are legitimate, she'll
10 have her day in court. She will have her day
11 in court. She may end up with the opportunity
12 to pay whatever the delinquency is if there's a
13 discrepancy and to proceed -- and to continue
14 to own the property, but I think we have to get
15 to that -- that point.
16 MS. EVANS: Believe me I am in no I
17 pleading her case. I'm -- I am simply making
18 an observation about discrepancies that I
19 observed in just a matter of 20 minutes. But
20 it seems no wonder the courts are so
21 overburdened and backed up when, you know, it
22 would appear more prudent to straighten
23 situations out properly, you know, before
24 conducting sales rather than to -- I think back
25 things up in a legal system unnecessarily. But
1 I do understand what you're saying. Thank you.
2 MR. MINORA: Okay.
3 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Minora, don't all
4 tax sales go to quiet title?
5 MR. MINORA: They go through the
6 Pittsburgh Plan.
7 MS. GATELLI: So you have to go to
9 MR. MINORA: You have to go to
10 court. There's a petition, and there's either
11 service by publication or personal service on
12 the property owner. And then there's a period
13 of time within which to file objections to go
14 into court and so on. So that -- so that, you
15 know, this process today doesn't digest this
16 woman of her property. There's a whole court
17 approval process. She will have her day in
18 court, and she will have an opportunity to be
19 heard and to file these objections to have a
20 hearing so on and so forth. And so I think
21 maybe we are putting the cart before the horse
22 a little bit. She will have a full opportunity
23 to be heard in court. That's -- that's the
24 only point to make today.
25 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Courtright?
1 MR. COURTRIGHT: All right. The --
2 as far as tabling, I -- the reason -- I spent
3 some time this week -- I spoke with some people
4 from the law office and Mrs. Garvey spoke to
5 Mr. Farrell for me. And we asked some
6 questions. And, you know, I'm -- we are
7 getting information from both sides, and they
8 are conflicting. And I think if we were to
9 table it, we will continue to get information
10 from both sides that probably would be
11 conflicting. So I am thinking somebody needs
12 to gather all this information and decide what
13 is true and what is false, and I don't -- I
14 just don't know if that's us.
15 And I -- I am listening to you and
16 hearing you say when I asked you before and now
17 that if it were to pass through here this woman
18 -- I forgot her name -- she would be able to go
19 to court. She has a lawyer now. And she will
20 be able to go to court. And at that point in
21 time then all information would be -- would
22 have to be given to her, whatever information
23 she's not being handed over now I would imagine
24 would have to be given to her at that time. I
25 actually have -- we all have the information
1 Mrs. Evans had in her hand. I certainly,
2 certainly am not looking to hurt anybody's
3 children. I don't know why we went down that
4 road. I don't think that's anybody's
5 intention. It's a tough decision. It's very
6 tough decision, and that's all I will say. We
7 will have our vote and see what happens.
8 MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Garvey?
9 MS. GARVEY: FIFTH ORDER - no
10 business at this time. SIXTH ORDER - 6 A -
11 READING BY TITLE - FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 133,
12 2007 - AN ORDINANCE - ESTABLISHING A NO PARKING
13 ZONE IN THE 1000 BLOCK OF WYOMING AVENUE (SR
14 3025) ON THE EASTERN MOST SIDE OF SAID STREET
15 PURSUANT TO THE HIGHWAY OCCUPANCY PERMIT
16 APPLICATION OF SCRANTON PREPARATORY SCHOOL AND
17 THE ALTERATION OF TRAFFIC PATTERNS AT THAT
19 MS. GATELLI: You've heard reading
20 by title of item 6 A. What is your pleasure?
21 MR. COURTRIGHT: I move that item 6
22 A. Pass reading by title.
23 MS. EVANS: Second?
24 MS. GATELLI: On the question? I
25 believe there was a request done on this to
1 move -- suspend the rules.
2 MS. GARVEY: Yes, after we --
3 MS. GATELLI: All those in favor?
4 MS. EVANS: Aye.
5 MR. McGOFF: Aye.
6 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
7 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
8 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The
9 ayes have it and so moved.
10 MR. McGOFF: At this time I would
11 like to make a motion to move 6 A. into 7th
12 order for a final passage.
13 MS. EVANS: Second.
14 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All
15 those in favor?
16 MS. EVANS: Aye.
17 MR. McGOFF: Aye.
18 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
19 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
20 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The
21 ayes have it and so moved.
22 MS. GARVEY: 7TH ORDER - 7 A -
23 CONSIDERATION BY THE COMMITTEE ON FINANCE - FOR
24 ADOPTION - FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 121, 2007, SALE
25 OF TAX DELINQUENT PROPERTY AT CEDAR AVENUE AND
1 LOCUST STREET, SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA, TO
2 MICHAEL BROZZETTI, 407 PALM STREET, SCRANTON,
3 PENNSYLVANIA, 18505, FOR THE SUM OF $28,000.
4 MS. GATELLI: What is the
5 recommendation for the committee on finance?
6 MS. EVANS: As chair for the
7 committee of finance, I recommend final passage
8 of item 7 A.
9 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
10 MS. GATELLI: On the question?
11 MS. EVANS: Yes, if the only way, in
12 fact, this can be settled fairly -- and I would
13 think that if Mr. Brozzetti receives the
14 property he's going to do a wonderful job and I
15 think add something to south side that south
16 side is lacking. On the other hand, I believe
17 if an individual has been paying delinquencies
18 in any way that was improper or inappropriate,
19 you know, while an agency knew at the same time
20 that a property was being sold, it's my hope
21 that money would be refunded. But again, I'm
22 not the judge. I'm not a member of the jury.
23 And I think particularly in light of the fact
24 that you can't even receive information -- and
25 I do empathize with you on that level --
1 believe me -- the best thing you can do is go
2 to court and let the judge decide. So I will
3 be voting in favor of it.
4 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else on the
6 MS. FANUCCI: Yes. It says here in
7 October -- October 29th in 2004 that Mrs. Krake
8 made a -- with the client made need for tax
9 search. So it is in the records that there was
10 a tax search done in 2004. And they wrote back
11 -- on the date of 11/1 is when they gave the
12 information of what that tax search showed. So
13 there was a reach out to find out what the
14 taxes were, and they did respond. So there's
16 I know Nancy was having a question
17 about that just so she knows that's it's on
18 record there was a request made then. That's
19 all I have.
20 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else? Roll
22 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans?
23 MS. EVANS: Yes.
24 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. Fanucci?
25 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.
1 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff?
2 MR. McGOFF: Yes.
3 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright?
4 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
5 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. Gatelli?
6 MS. GATELLI: Yes. I hereby declare
7 7 A. legally and lawfully adopted.
8 MS. GARVEY: 7 B - FOR CONSIDERATION
9 BY THE COMMITTEE ON RULES - FOR ADOPTION - FILE
10 OF COUNCIL NO. 125, 2007 - AUTHORIZING THE
11 TRANSFER OF CITY-OWNED LAND TO THE SCRANTON
12 SCHOOL DISTRICT FOR CONSTRUCTION OF THE NEW
13 WEST ELEMENTARY SCHOOL; SAID PARCEL LOCATED AT
14 THE WESTERLY END OF BULWER STREET AND
15 CONSISTING OF 3.7 ACRES OF LAND MORE OR LESS.
16 MS. GATELLI: As chair for the
17 committee on rules, I recommend final passage
18 of 7 B.
19 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
20 MS. GATELLI: On the question?
21 MR. COURTRIGHT: On the question,
22 Mrs. Gatelli, I -- there's -- I did a lot of
23 research. I spoke with the solicitor for the
24 school, Mr. McGrath, spoke with the city people
25 on this and spoke with Mr. Florshack. He told
1 me that Mr. McGrath had met with him or at
2 least spoke with him and discussed his
3 questions. This project -- land they were
4 looking to acquire -- project 70 land -- I will
5 read you quickly what it says. It permits the
6 state to issue bonds for purchase of lands for
7 public parks, reservoirs and other
8 conservation, recreation and historical
9 preservation purposes and to coordinate those
10 purposes with local governments.
11 The act also permits acquisition of
12 land by eminent domain. So it's project 70
13 land which will make it extremely difficult for
14 those people to obtain that. I guess that is
15 why Mr. Brozzetti was having trouble for the
16 last six years trying to obtain this land. But
17 it appeared to me by my conversation with Mr.
18 Florshack that Mr. McGrath satisfied his
19 questions, and he understands as -- it's an
20 emergency access road and trees they had in
21 question will not be taken down, it will be a
22 nice buffer zone in between. I just wanted to
23 put that information out there for anybody that
24 had any question on any of that. That's all I
1 MS. EVANS: I, too, have spoken with
2 all of those parties with the exception of Mr.
3 McGrath. I -- I never had a phone call
4 returned from him.
5 But I have spoken to the property
6 owners several times over the last week, and I
7 have the same information as you regarding
8 project 70 land, but I do have one request, and
9 that would be that the school district would
10 provide to city council a copy of the deed so
11 that we can see that language was included in
12 that deed, and this was indicated according to
13 the neighbors or the gentleman who had met with
14 Mr. McGrath and the developer, I believe, or
15 the architect, and they indicated that they --
16 the school district would be happy to include
17 language in the deed stating that those project
18 70 lands will not be developed by the district.
19 So I would make a motion that city
20 council would receive a copy of that from the
21 school district at such time as it's drawn up
22 so that we can review it for that language
23 that's been promised.
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: Do we need to --
25 MS. EVANS: It's a motion.
1 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
2 MR. COURTRIGHT: You need to vote on
3 the legislation first before we can do her
4 motion or no?
5 MR. MINORA: Motion first.
6 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
7 MS. GATELLI: All in favor?
8 MS. EVANS: Aye.
9 MR. McGOFF: Aye.
10 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
12 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Anyone else on
13 the question?
14 MS. FANUCCI: We have a very
15 competent and good planning commission and also
16 zoning which makes sure that our buffer zones
17 are very intact, which is something that is
18 pretty much part of our normal procedure. They
19 make sure we have enough buffer zone between
20 properties and that the zones themselves are
21 taken care of. That's something we need to
22 reiterate. Once it goes past here, this has to
23 go to three other stages before it's actually
24 decided upon, and I just want to say that I
25 know that being on the planning commission and
1 also knowing that our great zoning people are
2 on it, it will be something that we can all be
3 proud of. And I'm sure the neighbors will be
4 happy when this is all done. That's all.
5 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else on the
7 MS. EVANS: Yes, I agree with what
8 you said, and I'm -- I'm believing in the
9 school district they are going to keep their
10 word because I do know they are highly
11 overcrowded in their current facilities and
12 something has to be done. On the other hand
13 though I am -- I do have my concerns in that
14 for example, there really is no buffer zone on
15 Dickson Avenue between Daron Northeast and the
16 houses on that street.
17 There exists no buffer zone. There
18 simply is a chain link fence, which is in
19 violation of sections of the zoning codes. So
20 as I said, I'm going to put my faith and trust
21 in the school district because I'm sure that
22 they want to be good neighbors and that they
23 want to create an aesthetic appealing property
24 as well, not to mention the fact that when you
25 eliminate green space, you're asking for
1 flooding problems.
2 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else? Roll
4 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans?
5 MS. EVANS: Yes.
6 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. Fanucci?
7 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.
8 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff?
9 MR. McGOFF: Yes.
10 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright?
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
12 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. Gatelli?
13 MS. GATELLI: Yes. I hereby declare
14 7 A. legally and lawfully adopted -- 7 B.
16 MS. GARVEY: 7 C - FOR CONSIDERATION
17 BY THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY - FOR
18 ADOPTION - FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 126, 2007 -
19 AMENDING FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 22, 2003, AN
20 ORDINANCE "SECURING THE PUBLIC PEACE, HEALTH,
21 SAFETY, WELFARE AND PROTECTION OF THE
22 ENVIRONMENT OF AND FOR THE RESIDENTS AND
23 PROPERTY OWNERS OF THE CITY OF SCRANTON, BY
24 REGULATION OF THE OUTDOOR PARKING AND STORAGE
25 OF ABANDONED AND/OR JUNK VEHICLES, WITHIN THE
1 CITY OF SCRANTON AND TO PROVIDE REMEDIES FOR
2 THE VIOLATION OF THE ORDINANCE" BY CHANGING THE
3 PENALTIES AND DEFENSES FOR VIOLATIONS.
4 MS. GATELLI: What is the
5 recommendation of the chair on public safety?
6 MR. COURTRIGHT: As chairperson for
7 the committee on public safety I recommend
8 final passage of item 7 C.
9 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
10 MS. GATELLI: On the question? Roll
12 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans?
13 MS. EVANS: Yes.
14 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. Fanucci?
15 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.
16 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff?
17 MR. McGOFF: Yes.
18 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright?
19 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
20 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. Gatelli?
21 MS. GATELLI: Yes. I hereby declare
22 7 C legally and lawfully adopted.
23 MS. GARVEY: 7 D - FOR CONSIDERATION
24 BY THE COMMITTEE ON FINANCE - FOR ADOPTION -
25 FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 127, 2007 - TRANSFERRING
1 THE FUNDS FROM FUND 02 SPECIAL CITY ACCOUNTS
2 WHICH FUNDS AND ACCOUNTS ARE NO LONGER NEEDED
3 FOR THE CONDUCT OF CITY BUSINESS, AND
4 ABOLISHING AND CLOSING SAID ACCOUNTS AND
5 TRANSFERRING THE FUNDS REMAINING IN THESE
6 ACCOUNTS TO THE ACCOUNT NUMBERS LISTED BELOW.
7 MS. GATELLI: What is the
8 recommendation of the chair on finance?
9 MS. EVANS: As chair for the
10 committee on finance, I recommend final passage
11 of item 7 D.
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
13 MS. GATELLI: On the question?
14 MS. EVANS: Yes, I had posed a
15 question last week to Solicitor Minora about
16 this particular piece of legislation. I had
17 inquired if these transfers were in compliance
18 with the terms of the original grants and
19 agreements, and he indicated that he would
20 contact Attorney Farrell, city solicitor, for a
21 response, which we did receive and I'll read
22 that. Dear Attorney Minora, the account
23 specified in the ordinance pending before
24 council may be closed and balances transferred.
25 With regard to most of the accounts, there's no
1 granting agency. The funds represent balances
2 from old programs which have been closed out
3 but the funds remain. Other accounts which may
4 have been related to grants consist of the city
5 portion of matching funds for city matching
6 dollars were parked in a fund 02 account. One
7 account PEMA has -- should have been closed in
8 2003 but remains open. It has a balance of two
9 tenths of a cent. Please let me know if you
10 need anything further. So we do have that
11 coverage from the legal department, and I just
12 wanted to provide that update.
13 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else on the
14 question? Roll call.
15 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans?
16 MS. EVANS: Yes.
17 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. Fanucci?
18 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.
19 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff?
20 MR. McGOFF: Yes.
21 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright?
22 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
23 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. Gatelli?
24 MS. GATELLI: Yes. I hereby declare
25 7 D legally and lawfully adopted.
1 MS. GARVEY: 7 E - FOR CONSIDERATION
2 BY THE COMMITTEE ON FINANCE - FOR ADOPTION -
3 FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 128, 2007 - SALE OF TAX
4 DELINQUENT PROPERTY AT 436-436 1/2 RAILROAD
5 AVENUE, SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA, TO DENNIS AND
6 THERESA EDWARDS, 441 RAILROAD AVENUE, SCRANTON,
7 PENNSYLVANIA, 18504, FOR THE SUM OF $2,000.
8 MS. GATELLI: What is the
9 recommendation of the chair on finance?
10 MS. EVANS: As chair for the
11 committee on finance, I recommend final passage
12 of item 7 E.
13 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
14 MS. GATELLI: On the question? Roll
16 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans?
17 MS. EVANS: Yes.
18 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. Fanucci?
19 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.
20 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff?
21 MR. McGOFF: Yes.
22 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright?
23 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
24 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. Gatelli?
25 MS. GATELLI: Yes. I hereby declare
1 7 E legally and lawfully adopted.
2 MS. GARVEY: 7 F - FOR CONSIDERATION
3 BY THE COMMITTEE ON FINANCE - FOR ADOPTION -
4 FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 129, 2007 - SALE OF TAX
5 DELINQUENT PROPERTY AT 2200 BLOCK OF ROCKWELL
6 AVENUE, SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA, TO LEONARD F.
7 AND BARBARA A. FISHER, 2221 LEACH AVENUE,
8 SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA, 18508 FOR THE SUM OF
10 MS. GATELLI: What is the
11 recommendation from the chair on finance?
12 MS. EVANS: As chair for the
13 committee on finance, I recommend final passage
14 of item 7 F.
15 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
16 MS. GATELLI: On the question? Roll
18 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans?
19 MS. EVANS: Yes.
20 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. Fanucci?
21 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.
22 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff?
23 MR. McGOFF: Yes.
24 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright?
25 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
1 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. Gatelli?
2 MS. GATELLI: Yes. I hereby declare
3 7 F legally and lawfully adopted.
4 MS. GARVEY: 7 G - FOR CONSIDERATION
5 BY THE COMMITTEE ON FINANCE - FOR ADOPTION -
6 FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 130, 2007 - SALE OF TAX
7 DELINQUENT PROPERTY AT 439-441 10TH AVENUE,
8 SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA, TO JOSEPH G. AND
9 MICHELLE KEEGAN, 102 ARLINGTON WAY, SCRANTON,
10 PENNSYLVANIA, 18504, FOR THE SUM OF $3,500.00.
11 MS. GATELLI: What is the
12 recommendation from the chair on finance?
13 MS. EVANS: As chair for the
14 committee on finance, I recommend final passage
15 of item 7 G.
16 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
17 MS. GATELLI: On the question? Roll
19 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans?
20 MS. EVANS: Yes.
21 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. Fanucci?
22 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.
23 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff?
24 MR. McGOFF: Yes.
25 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright?
1 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
2 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. Gatelli?
3 MS. GATELLI: Yes. I hereby declare
4 7 G legally and lawfully adopted.
5 MS. GARVEY: 7 H - FOR CONSIDERATION
6 BY THE COMMITTEE ON FINANCE - FOR ADOPTION -
7 FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 131, 2007 - SALE OF TAX
8 DELINQUENT PROPERTY AT GRAND AVENUE/BATLUCK
9 STREET, ALSO DESCRIBED AS LOT NO. 134,
10 SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA, TO KEVIN AND FRANCINE
11 FITZGERALD, 309 BATLUCK STREET, SCRANTON,
12 PENNSYLVANIA, 18505, FOR THE SUM OF $1,357.00.
13 MS. GATELLI: What is the
14 recommendation from the chair on finance?
15 MS. EVANS: As chair for the
16 committee on finance, I recommend final passage
17 of item 7 H.
18 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
19 MS. GATELLI: On the question? Roll
21 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans?
22 MS. EVANS: Yes.
23 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. Fanucci?
24 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.
25 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff?
1 MR. McGOFF: Yes.
2 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright?
3 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
4 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. Gatelli?
5 MS. GATELLI: Yes. I hereby declare
6 7 H legally and lawfully adopted.
7 MS. GARVEY: 7 I - FOR CONSIDERATION
8 BY THE COMMITTEE ON FINANCE - FOR ADOPTION -
9 FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 132, 2007 - SALE OF TAX
10 DELINQUENT PROPERTY AT GRAND AVENUE/BATLUCK
11 STREET, ALSO DESCRIBED AS LOT NO. 154,
12 SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA, TO KEVIN AND FRANCINE
13 FITZGERALD, 309 BATLUCK STREET, SCRANTON,
14 PENNSYLVANIA, 18505 FOR THE SUM OF $1,357.00.
15 MS. GATELLI: What is the
16 recommendation from the chair on finance?
17 MS. EVANS: As chair for the
18 committee on finance, I recommend final passage
19 of item 7 I.
20 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
21 MS. GATELLI: On the question? Roll
23 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans?
24 MS. EVANS: Yes.
25 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. Fanucci?
1 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.
2 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff?
3 MR. McGOFF: Yes.
4 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright?
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
6 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. Gatelli?
7 MS. GATELLI: Yes. I hereby declare
8 7 I legally and lawfully adopted.
9 MS. GARVEY: 7 J - FOR CONSIDERATION
10 BY THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC WORKS - FOR ADOPTION
11 - RESOLUTION NO. 177, 2007 - AUTHORIZING THE
12 MAYOR AND OTHER APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS TO
13 EXECUTE AND ENTER INTO A PROJECT AGREEMENT
14 BETWEEN THE CITY OF SCRANTON AND THE NATURAL
15 RESOURCES CONSERVATION SERVICE, UNITED STATES
16 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, PERTAINING TO
17 STREAMBANK STABILIZATION AT THE END OF CULVERT
18 UNDER NEWTON ROAD IN OR AROUND 22 NEWTON ROAD
19 AND ON PROPERTY AT 2711 FRINK STREET.
20 MS. GATELLI: What is the
21 recommendation from the chair on public works?
22 MR. McGOFF: As chairman for the
23 committee on public works, I recommend final
24 passage of item 7 J.
25 MS. GATELLI: On the question? Roll
2 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans?
3 MS. EVANS: Yes.
4 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. Fanucci?
5 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.
6 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff?
7 MR. McGOFF: Yes.
8 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright?
9 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
10 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. Gatelli?
11 MS. GATELLI: Yes. I hereby declare
12 7 J legally and lawfully adopted.
13 MS. GARVEY: 7 K. tonight we're
14 moving from 6 A., so there may be some people
15 in the public that would wish to speak on it
16 for one more opportunity.
17 THE COURT: Anyone wish to speak on
18 item 7 K.?
19 MS. GARVEY: Formerly 6 A.
20 MS. GATELLI: It was 6 A., parking
21 on Wyoming Avenue. Let the record reflect
22 there's no speakers. 7 K. FORMERLY 6 A - FOR
23 CONSIDERATION BY THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY
24 - FOR ADOPTION - FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 1333, 2007
25 - ESTABLISHING A NO PARKING ZONE IN THE 1000
1 BLOCK OF WYOMING AVENUE, SR 3025 ON THE EASTERN
2 MOST SIDE OF SAID STREET PURSUANT TO THE
3 HIGHWAY OCCUPANCY PERMIT APPLICATION OF
4 SCRANTON PREPARATORY SCHOOL AND THE ALTERATION
5 OF TRAFFIC PATTERNS AT THAT SITE.
6 MS. GATELLI: You've heard reading
7 of item 7 K. What is the recommendation of the
8 chair on public safety?
9 MR. COURTRIGHT: A chairperson for
10 the committee on public safety, I recommend
11 final passage of item 7 K.
12 MS. EVANS: Second.
13 MS. GATELLI: On the question? Roll
15 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans?
16 MS. EVANS: Yes.
17 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. Fanucci?
18 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.
19 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff?
20 MR. McGOFF: Yes.
21 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright?
22 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
23 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. Gatelli?
24 MS. GATELLI: Yes. I hereby declare
25 7 K legally and lawfully adopted.
1 MS. GARVEY: 8TH ORDER- CITIZEN'S
2 PARTICIPATION TWO.
3 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Miller.
4 MR. MILLER: Good evening, council.
5 Doug Miller. I would like to begin by
6 commenting on what Mrs. Fanucci stated earlier.
7 It kind of ties in with what I will be
8 addressing tonight. Ms. Fanucci stated the
9 progress in downtown. I couldn't agree with
10 her more.
11 You go downtown, and you see two
12 things, businesses and you see people. You
13 couldn't ask for more. People -- you ask why
14 because people see the progress in Scranton.
15 They want to come and invest in our city. We
16 hope continue to do so. During the past week I
17 had been doing some research on how to improve
18 city neighborhoods. While doing my research, I
19 came across the City of Wilkes-Barre's web
20 site. While on the web site I came across
21 information regarding annual contests that the
22 City of Wilkes-Barre conducts each summer. The
23 contest requires any interested Wilkes-Barre
24 resident to show off their yard by making any
25 necessary home improvements. Examples include
1 mowing your lawn, trimming bushes, weeding,
2 planting flowers as well as the overall
3 appearance of your home. The contest is aimed
4 at trying to get Wilkes-Barre residents to take
5 pride in their neighborhood. The title of the
6 contest is, I believe in beautifying my
7 neighborhood. The contest runs during the
8 months of July, August and September.
9 Residents who take part in the
10 contest have the improvements made to their
11 home judged, and one winner is selected each
12 month. Those who win the contest receive gift
13 certificates to local hardware stores. They
14 are also given a proclamation from the city as
15 well as a sign that reads, yard of the month
16 which is placed in the winner's yard. I
17 commend Wilkes-Barre for taking action against
18 blight in neighborhood. I know Mayor Leighton
19 is doing his best to flight blight.
20 I share this with you tonight
21 because I believe this would be a wonderful
22 project in the City of Scranton. We're working
23 hard to restore pride in our neighborhoods.
24 This would be a great way to continue that
25 process. A project like this will become
1 enjoyable for our residents. Neighbors will
2 complete against each other to see who can have
3 a better yard. It would be something positive
4 and fun. This kind of reminds of at Christmas
5 time when your neighbor puts more Christmas
6 lights than you and you go out and buy more so
7 you keep up with your neighbor. It becomes a
8 friendly competition.
9 Many residents would take part in
10 this contest. This will encourage residents to
11 take pride in neighborhoods and fight all
12 blight in the city. Our neighborhood will
13 become a lot stronger if we began just a
14 contest. Tonight I ask council to look at this
15 proposal from junior council. We will continue
16 to do our best to help improve our city as
17 we've done while we've been here over the last
18 year and a half. I ask council tonight to
19 review this plan and make a motion next week to
20 approve this proposal so we can begin planning
21 stages for this project that will begin next
22 summer. Let's join Wilkes-Barre and work hard
23 to improve our quality of life and improve our
24 city neighborhoods. Thank you.
25 MS. GATELLI: Mike Dudek.
1 MR. DUDEK: I am Mike Dudek, 608
2 Depot Street, Scranton, PA. I live in the
3 plot. I'm going to start with what Ms. Fanucci
4 was saying because I have some areas of
5 disagreement. Personal observation in the 100
6 block of Wyoming Avenue in the Semian Gress
7 Building right around the corner from the 100
8 block is a sign over a restaurant that says
9 grand opening. That restaurant opened in March
10 and closed in July and the grand opening sign
11 is still there. That space is vacant. That's
13 Another vacant space in downtown
14 Scranton is Mayor Doherty's old campaign
15 headquarters in the Ritz building in the old
16 Ritz theater. You look in the window. You
17 will see still see some of his old campaign
18 signs, restoring the pride signs, collecting
19 dust. Now, when the guys at Semian Gress want
20 to get a hoagie, they go up Subway on Wyoming
21 Avenue, the 200. The space right next to
22 subway is vacancy.
23 MS. FANUCCI: Not anymore. There is
24 a new store coming in.
25 MR. DUDEK: Thank you. I stand
1 corrected on one. We have this Southern Union
2 building four floors looking for people.
3 MS. FANUCCI: I am talking store
4 fronts. I said store front properties.
5 MR. DUDEK: Well, in the sense I
6 will look at this as store fronts. If you go
7 up in the Steamtown Mall into the food court,
8 you will find four boarded up restaurants there
9 that have been boarded up since at least
10 January. So we have some work to do. We also
11 have 350 houses for sale in this city which is
12 a huge housing market for sale.
13 This town is too small to have 350
14 housing units for sale, to have 350 residential
15 homes for sale. You should be thinking about
16 the size of Cincinnati, not Scranton. All you
17 have to do is check with the realtors. They
18 are putting the books out for free to tell you
19 about these 350 properties for sale here in the
20 city. All you have to do is start gathering
21 them, okay.
22 The real reason why I came here
23 today was to ask Mrs. Gatelli please reconsider
24 the lawsuit that she has against Mr. Pilchesky.
25 I will give you a quick reason why you should
2 MS. FANUCCI: I am going to ask our
3 attorney please go in on this one. This is not
4 city business, and I certainly don't believe
5 this should be discussed here. So can I have a
6 legal opinion?
7 MR. DUDEK: This is city business.
8 This as to do with Ms. Gatelli acting as city
9 council president.
10 MS. FANUCCI: I will ask the
11 attorney for a legal opinion, please.
12 MR. MINORA: I don't believe any
13 litigation -- I don't believe that any pending
14 litigation should be discussed in a public
15 forum. I don't think it's proper and
16 appropriate at this time.
17 MS. FANUCCI: Thank you. Continue
18 on with something else, please.
19 MR. DUDEK: So she loses her house
20 because Mr. Pilchesky --
21 MS. FANUCCI: Continue with
22 something else.
23 MR. DUDEK: So she can lose her
24 house in a rebuttal suit. Thank you.
25 MS. GATELLI: Reverend Simmons.
1 MS. SIMMONS: Reverend Kathryn
2 Simmons, Florence Midtown Crime Watch, I came
3 tonight to read the following press release.
4 Malik Azzis, the C. E. O. of the highly
5 applauded Exodus Tour the only way out, and
6 more recently on tour with Dr. Bill Cosby with
7 the save our children tour will be in Scranton
8 on Thursday, October 18th at Bethel A. M. E.
9 church. The town hall meeting will begin at 3
10 p.m. and end at 5 p.m. Topics will include
11 gang prevention and intervention.
12 The count me out and let me out gang
13 intervention program rededemption for gangsters
14 and exodus the only way out deals with getting
15 out of the gang and staying out. Community
16 interventions and educational programs will be
17 explained and presented by the exodus tour
18 panel which includes several renowned experts
19 on gang intervention and community solutions to
20 gangs. The exodus tour panel will also meet
21 with law enforcement officials, county
22 correctional officials, hospital and school
23 security officials, educational officials and
24 local clergy. Special invited guests include
25 Ray Hayes, director of public safety, Warden
1 Donati of the Lackawanna County prison, Mike
2 Sheraton, administrator of the public schools
3 in Scranton. Lackawanna County as well as many
4 other counties and cities in Pennsylvania are
5 experiencing an upsurge in youth involved gang
7 This unique conversation with
8 community, city and experts in gang prevention
9 and intervention is the first in this area.
10 The early meeting in the morning is not open to
11 the public, but the town hall meeting at 3:00
12 is open to the public. And I hope we have a
13 great number in attendance.
14 The second thing that I came here
15 tonight to talk about is the support of our
16 police and firemen's union. These men and
17 women are the elite members of this city's
18 public service. Why are so many of us so
19 negative to support these magnificent souls who
20 every day set their lives at risk to protect
21 us? I am asking you as city council members to
22 please support these men and women and let them
23 know that they are blessed with safety and
24 protection from those of us entitled citizens
25 of Scranton. Thank you.
1 MS. COOK: Helen Cook.
2 MS. COOK: Good evening, city
3 council, Helen Cook, Scranton resident. I have
4 some pictures I would like to show you if I can
5 approach council. I will leave them with Mr.
6 McGoff. Friday evening down on Center Street
7 between Washington Avenue and Adams Avenue
8 there was a program put on, and the street was
9 closed. I don't know if you know -- Center
10 Street actually is a street. It's not a court.
11 It's not a place. It's not an alley. I am
12 wondering who gave the authority to close that
13 street because as of today it's still closed.
14 It never came before city council to close, and
15 I thought they were the governing body on
16 closing streets or courts as they always have
17 for the University of Scranton.
18 The extensions that they put up
19 there is blocking Center Street from Washington
20 Avenue to Adams Avenue, which puts a lot of
21 traffic into Lee Court and to Dicks Court with
22 nowhere to go. You can't get out of those
23 courts once you're in there unless you're going
24 the wrong direction.
25 Courts in the city particularly in
1 central city all go northbound. Well, the way
2 this is working now, they can't actually go
3 either way because of the street -- Center
4 Street being closed. So I am just wondering
5 who gave permission to whoever put that program
6 on to close that street. I know if we need a
7 street closed for anything in the city for
8 going on, it's only done for a certain period
9 of time particularly that evening, not a whole
11 MS. FANUCCI: I think we vacated
12 that street.
13 MS. COOK: Thank you. I will
14 collect my pictures after a while.
15 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Spindler.
16 MR. SPINDLER: Good evening,
17 council, Les Spindler. I want to continue on
18 the empty store fronts with Mrs. Fanucci. I
19 don't know where you walk downtown. It must
20 have been one block. Off the top of my head,
21 there's three businesses -- I think the 200
22 block of Wyoming Avenue, the Roth old furniture
23 building is empty, near that is the old Abe's
24 Delicatessen. Next to that the old Creedon's
25 florist empty.
1 MS. FANUCCI: Did we get any new
2 business, Les, downtown --
3 MR. SPINDLER: I am talking empty
4 storefronts. Don't interrupt me. And also on
5 the corner of where -- Bewitching used to be,
6 that building has been empty for years. I
7 don't know where you're walking downtown.
8 Okay. The next thing I have to comment on
9 council reneging on its agreement to give
10 $25,000 to channel 61. I was always taught
11 growing up you shouldn't make a promise if you
12 can't keep it. Mrs. Gatelli, you as council
13 president, you should go to the mayor and ask
14 for this money since this city seems to have so
15 much money.
16 We give hundreds of thousands of
17 dollars to high priced consultants, we give
18 $100,000 to Carl Greco. And we pay about a
19 million dollars to fight arbitration appeals
20 that the mayor keeps losing. So we must have
21 $25,000 to give to channel 61. Mr. McGoff,
22 what you had to say in that article, giving
23 them money could open the door for other groups
24 such as W. V. I. A., the local P. B. S.
25 affiliate to seek funds from city council.
1 That might be the dumbest thing you said since
2 you've been on council. W. V. I. A. is not
3 located in the City of Scranton so they
4 couldn't come to city council to ask for money.
5 That would be like me going to Wilkes-Barre
6 city council asking them for help. Although I
7 might get more satisfaction from them than I do
8 with this council. Your silence speaks
9 volumes, Mr. McGoff. Now I will say --
10 MR. McGOFF: Was I supposed to
11 respond to that in some way?
12 MR. SPINDLER: No, maybe your
13 comment was hypothetical. I don't know.
14 MR. McGOFF: I didn't know it was a
15 question. You mentioned my silence. I thought
16 I was supposed to speak.
17 MR. SPINDLER: I will say a couple
18 productive things, Mrs. Fanucci. Maybe you
19 won't laugh about it. Again, on this --
20 MS. FANUCCI: No, I'll laugh.
21 MR. SPINDLER: -- I think a ban on
22 minors for smoking in public places should be
23 looked into by city council and also a ban on
24 cell phones while driving because my wife had a
25 year miss today when a young lady driving
1 talking on a cell phone almost ran into my
2 wife. I think if there is somebody seriously
3 hurt or killed by a cell phone -- somebody
4 driving with a cell phone it will be on this
5 council. Lastly, Mr. Courtright, last week
6 I've brought up maybe putting a sign up on Main
7 Avenue for that railroad bridge. Did you hear
8 anything about that?
9 MR. COURTRIGHT: I have to contact
10 Lieutenant Mackey on that. I didn't get an
11 opportunity. I will get to it.
12 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Sbaraglia.
13 MR. SBARAGLIA: Andy Sbaraglia ,
14 City of Scranton. Fellow Scrantonians, I am
15 glad the city got the audit from the Scranton
16 Redevelopment Authority. But we're still
17 missing the Parking Authority audit. And
18 believe me, I'm going to compare the two to
19 find out why that garage was transferred so
20 many times -- actually once. But there's got
21 to be something going on there and it doesn't
22 smell too good.
23 Now, you point out that the land
24 that you transferred to the school came from
25 project 70. Do you know if the state signed
1 off on it?
2 MS. EVANS: Not to my knowledge.
3 MR. SBARAGLIA: They still have to
4 go through the state. They have to supply
5 another parcel of land equal to the one they
6 are taking. Are they planning to do that?
7 MR. COURTRIGHT: I imagine they are
8 meeting all the qualifications or the state
9 will not allow them to do it.
10 MR. SBARAGLIA: I remember what
11 happened with the south side complex. You know
12 what I mean. You saw they hired all kinds of
13 people down there to talk to the -- state
14 legislature and all kind of stories about a
15 runed down piece of trash but it wasn't. But
16 you can tell all kinds of stories when you're a
18 It's just hard to tell the truth. I
19 don't know it's so hard to say. Now, through
20 -- we can look at the truth a lot of different
21 ways. Somebody can look at the truth black and
22 white. Other people look at the truth very
23 colorful. They love to color the truth. Them
24 are the people you got to watch. When a person
25 comes up to you and speaks what they think
1 forthright to you, they may be wrong, they may
2 be right. But at least they are honest. When
3 people make into question behind their back --
4 or say things that you didn't say or color this
5 or color that or say this is good for the city
6 or that's good for the city, no, them are
7 people you got to watch. Things that are good
8 for the city is good paying jobs, and they are
9 lacking. Nobody seems to want to bring them
10 in. I told you about we are heading toward a
11 college town where nothing but people saying
12 yes, sir, hot dogs, hamburgers and so forth and
13 so on, but you ain't going to have people
14 living here because they can't afford the
16 Mrs. Gatelli pointed out that they
17 raised our taxes on our properties just once in
18 so many years, but she neglected to tell you
19 that we had the highest wage tax. That was the
20 whole idea of the high paying wage tax so that
21 elderly in this town wouldn't have to pay -- in
22 other words, if you made money you paid it, if
23 you didn't make money, you to didn't pay it.
24 And this city is going down hill since.
25 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Quinn.
1 MR. QUINN: Ozzie Quinn. Mrs. Cook,
2 you should know by now that's not the way the
3 city goes. It doesn't follow procedures. It
4 goes how the mayor wants it and that's it.
5 They vote. I'm sorry, but that's the facts.
6 As a matter of fact, that project 70 land, if
7 you go back to the archives -- where's she
8 going? She knows she's going to be on the hot
9 seat today.
10 This project 70 Andy speaks of, I
11 know several pieces of land that were conveyed
12 to developers whereby the city had to
13 substitute land for selling it to a private
14 developer, so that should have been researched
15 before you even said approval of that
16 resolution tonight, which by de facto you are
17 giving us an increase in school taxes and also
18 in the budget you're going to increase our
19 taxes again. There's no way you can put a spin
20 on it. There's no way to explain it. You are
21 taxing us by giving them that school which we
22 do not need.
23 Now, the library -- Mrs. Fanucci,
24 first I want to say about downtown, 24-hour
25 city, if you go downtown in the daytime, it's
1 crowded, no doubt about it. Go to Harrisburg
2 you think you're in a big metropolitan area.
3 At night it looks like somebody pulled the
4 shades down. I went to a movie with my wife I
5 explained to you -- right -- they turned on the
6 camera. My wife and I were the only patrons.
7 They played the whole movie. I come out and
8 you could have shot a gun and you wouldn't have
9 hit nobody. I don't know what movie she's
11 Anyway -- regarding the library as a
12 wish list, okay, and that it's not moving, if
13 you read the south side study -- and, Judy, you
14 can support this here, the fact is that in the
15 south side study it says they are going to take
16 the Albright library, which has lost its use
17 because of the high tech and they are going to
18 put it over -- new library over in south side
19 and even go on to explain how libraries are the
20 thing that's going on in the city -- new
21 libraries because of high tech.
22 Even they quote in there that the
23 cost for libraries in five cities run from 7
24 million -- get this -- to 50 million dollars.
25 So that's what we are looking at for south
1 side. That's the same as the plan that -- from
2 the old post office to put a park in. That's
3 part of the south side study. Mr. McGoff knows
4 that. Mr. McGoff knows that that's going over
5 there. He's going to vote on that. There's no
6 doubt about it because he votes on everything
7 the mayor says, and he -- he said he wasn't
8 going to run for mayor if he was appointed.
9 That wasn't one of his desires in life, but he
10 is. So I am very concerned about this. And I
11 hope that we start looking at the sale of the
12 land -- over to the school board, too. We
13 violated again. We didn't go to the C. P. C.
14 for that development. Come on. Let's stop
15 being corrupt.
16 MS. GRUDZINSKI: Do I have to state
17 my name again? Lori Grudzinski, property on
18 Cedar and Locust. First of all, you read the
19 taxes reiterating what is on the N. C. C.
20 report that you all received, I did not own the
21 property since 1982.
22 So why that is an issue against me I
23 don't know. Mr. Brozzetti did not want it then
24 either. Mrs. Gatelli, you know my father had
25 control, he was tough and he had control of
1 everything that was in his name or my name or
2 anyone else in the family for that matter.
3 It's not any news to anyone in all of south
4 side that Mrs. Gatelli and my father did not
5 hit it off, they were not good friends at all.
6 However, I did not plan on him dieing last
7 year. He had his wishes for me to take control
8 of that property.
9 At the time that he died, he said
10 that's what he wanted for me to have for my
11 children. I tried to make good. I immediately
12 went to the treasurer's office, spoke with
13 Mayor Doherty and tried to get an accurate
14 amount of what was owed on the property so I
15 can move forward and empty the building out,
16 clean up everything down there and get it
17 looking nice in south side.
18 Nothing would make my father prouder
19 for me to finally see through something and
20 make it look good. But all I do is hit
21 barricades. No one will give me an accurate
22 amount. My lawyer cannot get the totals. I
23 only looked over these papers -- I got a copy
24 now. Thank you. It's not even -- I mean, I
25 can't begin to say that -- what is wrong on
1 here. First of all, the taxes on here that
2 total that astronomical figure $118,000 go back
3 as far as 1960. If you want to look back at
4 that in the dates, I wasn't even born in 1960.
5 Come on. Where does this end? This is
6 ridiculous. It says right here this is -- law
7 offices downtown -- downstairs is supposed to
8 represent all of us. It says prior owner,
9 Brian Scott. This is what you asked for
10 information on back taxes from Brian Scott, the
11 father of Lori Ann Grudzinski. That's my
12 father's name. Get it straight. There's a lot
13 of problems in this. A lot of these taxes
14 aren't true like I said.
15 I know for a fact there's other
16 people listed in here that paid taxes on it
17 over the years. I know they didn't pay a penny
18 on them. I don't know where they got that
19 from. A couple questions I have -- why did
20 they wait until the day after if came to
21 council last week to the condemn property and
22 building? It's been a mess along time.
23 Everyone can see that. We're not stupid.
24 We're not blind. But, yes, I want to make good
25 for it. Now they are going to condemn it
1 because I am trying to make good for it. What
2 sections under the property maintenance code
3 was this condemned for? I didn't get anything
4 -- I had no information on the condemnation of
5 the property. I got a letter this weekend also
6 indicating that I don't have proper permits to
7 operate a flee market which they noticed me
8 operating on the property. I don't have a flee
9 market going on there. The City of Scranton
10 does not have permits for flee markets anyway.
11 Am I being harassed now? Where does it end?
12 You know, there is a lot of
13 omissions on here of telephone calls that went
14 on between me and N. C. C. But Mr. Dubeck, my
15 representative at N. C. C. now says their notes
16 can only be seen by them and the city. So I'm
17 not ever going to get those notes. Neither is
18 anyone else who doesn't want to show you what
19 was going on all this time. Thank you for your
21 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mr.
23 MR. DOBSON: Good evening, council.
24 Dave Dobson, resident of Scranton. Last week I
25 decided to comment on an article from the
1 Scranton Times about Paul Kanjorski getting $20
2 million for overflows -- stem overflows with
3 local municipalities. Now, our bill is more
4 like $150 million to correct this.
5 And I also cited an editorial with
6 the Scranton Times. People are well aware of
7 that in the area. Not everybody understands
8 it. I have here an article that states that
9 half of the major water treatment plants and
10 industrial facilities in the state discharge
11 more pollutants in the waterways than allowed
12 under the clean water act permits according to
13 a new report.
14 What I'm -- my objective is in
15 discussing this with you is in the future $150
16 million is a lot of money. And if the federal
17 government is going to help other communities,
18 I don't see why they are not offering to help
19 us. And if they don't offer to help us, I feel
20 they can use a little stinging criticism. So
21 if you want to campaign slogan or two or angle,
22 go for it.
23 And so -- just in the future, it
24 would be -- I would recommend that -- that we
25 start to go after these people. I'm going to
1 read a little excerpt of a book I recently read
2 on the federal government. In 1995 a spill
3 from one of those hog farm lagoons, a billion
4 fish in the Noose River in North Carolina --
5 every year since dead fish has continued to
6 wash up on shore by the tens of millions. They
7 are not dieing from the smell. No, these fish
8 are falling prey from a previously unknown life
9 form spawn and pig feces basins carried into
10 the rivers and waterways.
11 The -- the pisteria pieta, this
12 dinoplantiod is a microscopic free swimming
13 single cell organism that can mutate into at
14 least 24 different forms. Depending on its
15 pray, it attacks fish stunning with toxins and
16 then liquifying their flesh with another. I
17 will continue next week.
18 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mr.
20 MR. DOBSON: This has gone
21 unpunished even though we are being asked to
22 spend $150 million on sewage overflow.
23 MR. STUCKER: On Market Street right
24 there by coming down the laundry mat -- coming
25 up Market Street from the parking lot out, what
1 happens they have a bunch of cars always parked
2 there. Right where you come out of the laundry
3 mat out in the road there's no sign there no
4 parking. They still park there. A white guy
5 -- I don't know who he -- was he had his blue
6 blazer parked out there today, like, for 20
7 minutes, 10, 15 minutes. Maybe one of yous can
8 put a sign up that says no parking there.
9 MR. COURTRIGHT: We have to look at
10 that. They can't just throw up a sign, okay.
11 MR. STUCKER: They told me yesterday
12 or today -- yesterday -- he says, can you look
13 at them lights up there on Market Street they
14 are all out by the shop all the way to the
15 beauty shop on Market.
16 MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay.
17 MR. STUCKER: And where the -- where
18 the barber shop is next to the bar, they didn't
19 cut that grass again, that empty lot down
20 there. They didn't cut that. That means we
21 had a guy yesterday volunteer clean up the
22 square. We had a guy clean it yesterday good.
23 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you, Jim.
24 MR. STUCKER: What about that light
25 on Church Avenue? Are you still going to get
1 that light put up?
2 MR. COURTRIGHT: You just brought it
3 up last week. It takes some time. Church and
4 Oak, right?
5 MR. STUCKER: Can you still get the
6 blinker put up on Providence Square?
7 MR. COURTRIGHT: They have a traffic
8 light there.
9 MR. STUCKER: They go right through
10 the red light. I seen them today. The light
11 turns so fast they go right through it.
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: All right, Jim.
13 MR. STUCKER: Where were you going
14 that day I seen you going down --
15 MS. GATELLI: I was trying to get
16 your new scooter, Jim.
17 MR. COURTRIGHT: I was looking for
18 you. I was going to Church and Oak to see what
19 you wanted there.
20 MR. STUCKER: All right.
21 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thanks.
22 MR. STUCKER: I am going to vote for
23 you and vote for Janet.
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thanks, Jim.
25 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else?
1 MR. PATILLA: Sam Patilla, Scranton
2 resident, homeowner, taxpayer. I was going to
3 talk about the council reneging on their word
4 as far as the $25,000 to channel 61. I said
5 you were going to do it that way. That's
6 nothing new. What caught my call is 7 A.,
7 $28,000 for three parcels of land. Maybe it's
8 time for the citizens of this city to come
9 together and form their own coalition so we can
10 stop this money grab.
11 Maybe we can find out which
12 properties are delinquent, pay off those taxes
13 and then have the homeowner reimburse that
14 organization because we cannot look for council
15 as a whole to watch our back because three of
16 you have shown you don't have our best interest
17 at heart.
18 You are only concerned about
19 yourselves and that mayor. It is a land grab
20 going on in this city. We know it. We can all
21 see it. All right. I don't know if the lady
22 was making payments on her taxes or not. I do
23 know if they were accepting a payment from her
24 be it one penny that that delinquent period
25 stop right there when they accepted that money
1 and it began anew. I do also know that there
2 is a statute of limitations on how far they can
3 go back. I knew this was going to happen with
4 N. C. C. Just like I said, you're going to
5 allow people to come take these senior
6 citizen's homes.
7 The only way we will stop this is to
8 vote you out of office. That's the only way we
9 are going to stop this because when that
10 council becomes three to two for the people
11 instead of three to two against the people,
12 it's the only way we are going to get any
13 regress. It's the only way we will get any
14 relief. We know there's a 25 percent property
15 tax coming. We know it. We know that you're
16 selling everything the taxpayers own in this
17 city. You're giving it away. You're not
18 selling it. You're giving it away. Maybe we
19 should also form a coalition so when you try to
20 give our land away to somebody we can outbid
21 them and put a stop to that behind closed door
22 scenes that's going on taking our property.
23 We also know that you're talking
24 about getting rid of blight. You knock down a
25 building but you don't maintain it. Six months
1 later the weeds are 7 feet, 8 feet high. So
2 you're not getting rid of blight, you're
3 creasing blight. I'm not going to ask you to
4 change your vote. I'm not going to ask you to
5 look out for the citizens in this city. I know
6 in the bottom of my heart you're not going to
7 do it. Just like I explained to these people
8 year after year and day after day, the only way
9 they are going to make change is to stand up
10 and be recognized and do it themselves by
11 voting those of you who are against the
12 taxpayers out of office.
13 You -- you lie one and lie twice.
14 You vote on issues that you don't have backup
15 for. You still pass it by. And time and time
16 again, people come to this podium and they
17 explain to you that you have the wrong
18 information or you're lacking information and
19 you still pass these things.
20 MS. GATELLI: Thank you, Mr.
22 MR. HUBBARD: Good evening, council,
23 Daniel Hubbard. After reading the article in
24 today's paper, Mr. McGoff, I think it was funny
25 after you voted for a 25 percent tax increase
1 that now you seem to think three weeks before
2 an election we're able to make cuts in the city
3 and streamline our city employees. You stated
4 you have to look where we are top heavy and get
5 away with two people instead of four. I can
6 start with two departments right off the bat,
7 public safety and the flood control office. We
8 didn't need the office before. We certainly
9 don't need Mr. Setizinger, Mr. Mitchell, Mr.
10 Hayes and their adjoining secretaries. We also
11 don't need the flood office because there's
12 pretty much no buyouts left for the flood
13 project. That office can be disbanded right
14 off the bat.
15 You also stated you dispelled the
16 long held belief in Scranton that those seeking
17 office must not seek -- you don't need the
18 union votes. Are you saying the city doesn't
19 need the unions, that they are not important?
20 I mean, this article is -- is -- everything in
21 this article is slated towards an election yet
22 you voted for a 25 percent increase. Now
23 you're willing to make cuts. You want to look
24 where we're top heavy. Ten million in new
25 hires and consultants and educate them and do
1 their jobs and after you vote in a 25 percent
2 tax increase on the residents of the city,
3 three weeks before an election you're willing
4 to make cuts. Those cuts could have been made
5 long before that tax increase was voted for.
6 You could have been easily streamlined this
7 city without making a 25 percent tax increase.
8 You certainly didn't have to vote
9 for the increase. You could have made
10 suggestions to streamline the city then. You
11 could have made suggestions to cutting our top
12 heavy management in the city that's chock full
13 of uneducated, unqualified new hires that the
14 residents are breaking their backs to pay the
15 taxes to cover their asses, excuse my language,
16 buts it's true. Ten million new hires,
17 millions of dollars in consultants to give them
18 an education in their jobs they had nothing and
19 no idea what to do when they got them. Yet you
20 slam us with a 25 percent tax increase and now
21 before an election you're saying you're willing
22 to streamline the city and make cuts.
23 It just -- it just shows you really
24 don't care for the residents because when you
25 should have cared for the residents you voted
1 for a tax increase instead of not voting for a
2 tax increase. You could have voted to
3 streamline and made cuts like everybody came to
4 this podium ask -- make cuts. There's cuts to
5 be made. There's places cuts can be made. No.
6 Instead you voted to increase. Now, you're
7 running for an office you said you would not
8 run for if you were appointed -- you decided
9 it's okay to start making cuts within the city.
10 I think if you make cuts you start with
11 management, and let's cut down some of that ten
12 million in unqualified people that we have
13 running this city that are making illegal
14 condemnations all over the city.
15 You're talking about bringing
16 immigrants here and welcome them with open
17 arms. Right now there is a demolition
18 initiative in the city instead of a rehab
19 initiative. You're tearing down every house
20 you can. Where are these people going to live?
21 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mr. Rogan?
22 MR. ROGAN: Pat Rogan, West Scranton
23 resident. Mr. McGoff, in today's paper you
24 stated we should welcome imgrants with open
25 arms. Were you referring to legal imgrants or
1 illegal imgrants or both?
2 MR. McGOFF: Mr. Rogan, I am not
3 going to engage in a debate tonight. This is
4 -- this is not the venue for it.
5 MR. ROGAN: Are you saying you
6 support illegal immigrants in our
8 MR. McGOFF: Mr. Rogan, this is not
9 the venue.
10 MR. ROGAN: I am a citizen. I am
11 just asking you a question.
12 MS. GATELLI: Excuse me, but this is
13 out of order. You're a candidate.
14 MR. ROGAN: I am just asking
16 MS. GATELLI: You're asking it of
17 your opponent, and this is not a political
19 MR. ROGAN: Moving on, if you do
20 support illegal immigrants, which you won't
21 take a stance on, I cannot understand why you
22 would want to get jobs for illegal immigrants
23 when Scrantonians or hard working Americans
24 can't get job in this area. Scranton has
25 become a service industry service city. That's
1 not a good thing. We need manufacturing jobs
2 in this area for people. Our union workers in
3 this city have been taken advantage of by this
4 administration. We need to embrace them. They
5 are good hard working people by and large. You
6 stated we need to make cuts. You're right.
7 Cuts need to start from the top down. We need
8 more police in our neighbors, and we need to
9 get rid of illegal immigrants, not embrace
10 them. Thank you.
11 MR. DAVIS: Salaam aleikam. I
12 complained to Sam who was here before about my
13 making a statement about not voting to the
14 minorities out there. It was a mistake I made.
15 I've been fighting for voting rights for 40
16 years. I started fighting for voting rights
17 back in the 60s. I fought to get people to
18 register to vote. I fought to get people down
19 to the polls. And now for me to come here and
20 say you shouldn't vote, I must have been very
21 disappointed. Because of the results, I voted
22 for this group of people that are on this right
23 now except for Mr. McGoff. And other people I
24 voted for, only one still remains. I only
25 voted for two. And the ones that remain are a
1 tremendous disappointment in my eyesight. But
2 Scranton has known many, many politicians to
3 come through here. They've allowed us to vote
4 for all these people, and they very seldom ever
5 do the job you hope for them to do. We have
6 western -- Washington West, a development that
7 has been closed down for reasons you never
9 You never actually took part in
10 discussion. The only one was Ms. Evans.
11 Everybody else -- nobody else ever said
12 anything about it here at council nor in the
13 street nor in your interviews with different
14 people. And I don't -- here's a part of the
15 city -- that's right. This is a poor part of
16 the city. This is a city of the -- of those
17 that are on -- delinquent or those that are
18 compensation or whatever means, Social Security
19 or whatever. But you never said anything about
20 them reopening that place up. You crowded them
21 into all the other places. But you never
22 opened this place up for them to be moved back.
23 Eviction plays a tremendous role on the kids.
24 It really does. You don't believe it, but the
25 -- if you go through, those kids that were in
1 that -- in the development prior to your --
2 prior to them being evicted and find out what
3 has happened to them since then, you will find
4 that the -- you say you care about kids. You
5 find out their averages have dropped. You find
6 out they have more problems with the police.
7 You find out -- this is dangerous --
8 dangerous for the community. So if you -- if
9 you would, please, have a heart and do
10 something that's going to help the city instead
11 of yourselves because I see -- I see too much
12 selfishness after all these years. And I am
13 glad. Please go out and vote.
14 MR. JACOWITZ: Bill Jacowicz, south
15 Scranton resident. When Mrs. Fanucci was
16 stating there was no empty store fronts in the
17 downtown Scranton, I don't know if she was
18 talking about Scranton, North Carolina,
19 Scranton North Dakota or Scranton, New Mexico
20 because there are numerous empty store fronts
21 including the Southern Union building. Please
22 do not interrupt me. Council members making
23 votes without any knowledge on what they are
24 voting on -- Mr. Courtright stated this past
25 week, I thought we had the money, you mean that
1 you do not know for sure that we had the 25
2 thousand. It must have been too much research
3 on that. Mr. McGoff stated, giving them the
4 money could open door for other groups such as
5 W. V. I. A., the local P. B.S. affiliates to
6 seek funds from city council. You stated
7 publically you do not deal with hypothetical
8 questions. Then why do you use hypothetical
9 examples to explain the reason for reneging on
10 your commitment of 25,000 for channel 61? Or
11 were you also unaware of the fact that the City
12 of Scranton is broke? Too broke, two broken
13 promises on one votes in month.
14 Mr. Courtright, you used as
15 justification for not giving the 25,000 to
16 channel 61 that we cannot pay our bills. It
17 has been suggest that the city file bankruptcy.
18 This is the normal procedures when you cannot
19 pay your bills. 16 years distressed city, no
20 contracts police or fire or clerical. The city
21 situation has worsened as time goes on.
22 Somebody in Scranton government must sell
23 leadership not loyalty. Mr. McGoff, are you
24 aware of any service industry jobs that are
25 family sustaining? And what is family
1 sustaining? To me it's $40,000 plus net, not
2 gross. I know of no service jobs. Hopefully
3 when I am finished, Mr. McGoff, you can tell me
4 what service jobs you know that will pay that
5 money along with benefits.
6 Finally, illegal immigrants in
7 Scranton can get jobs. Scranton cannot find
8 ways for American citizens to get jobs. 5.1
9 percent unemployment. Scranton has had the
10 highest unemployment, lowest hourly wage,
11 lowest per capita income in the state for years
12 and years and years. Mr. McGoff, are you
13 speaking about real solutions or hypothetical
15 Mr. McGoff, instead of hypothetical
16 maybe, you mean hysterical. Definition of
17 hypothetical, highly conjectural, not well
18 supported by available evidence -- sounds like
19 hypothetical to me when service jobs are going
20 to be family sustaining, maybe a family of one.
21 MR. McGOFF: I will clarify. I was
22 not here when the vote to give money to channel
23 61 was made.
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: If I may, I -- I
25 don't think there's anybody sitting up here
1 that is supporting channel 61 more than me. I
2 suggest you go and ask Mr. Finnerty who is
3 running channel 61 at the time I tried my very
4 best. I sent a letter to the mayor asking for
5 $25,000 in UDAG money. We didn't get it. So I
6 don't know what you're thinking when you say I
7 don't support channel 61, I -- I believe you
8 couldn't be more wrong if you tried. Thank
10 MS. GATELLI: Come on up, Phyllis.
11 MS. HUMPHREY: I will cheer everyone
12 up. I want to say hello to everyone, my
13 bishops, my priest, all the military that are
14 serving, all my council women and councilmen.
15 No matter what goes on and how mad you get,
16 just put springs in your rear end pop right up
17 and we're going to be okay. Saint Rosalie
18 church had a 175th anniversary few months ago.
19 I got this book yesterday, and I want to salute
20 Monsignor Quinn and our forefathers and
21 predecessors but also our military that's in
22 this book general -- Aloicious Casey, General
23 Jerome O'Malley, but somebody very special to
24 my heart, John F. Malone. I have ties with his
25 family in a very special way. When you look
1 all the way around here in presidents of the
2 history in the City of Scranton, everybody is
3 kind of knocking but they are not in their
4 shoes. They got to look and back and see what
5 happened past that brought us to the present.
6 And they can't be battling and
7 verbally abusing the way they are. They got to
8 sit down in a private place before we come on
9 and discuss everything. I give my heart and my
10 love to channel 61 because without channel 61 I
11 would never be able to express my faith, my
12 love or my concerns for this city. The mayor
13 or whoever is holding -- I think it's not him
14 -- whoever is holding the money back -- and I
15 know somewhere we're going to be blessed --
16 cough up the money, scrape it up, get on your
17 knees and pray because we are going to turn
18 this place around.
19 Right now I have -- I am working on
20 something. And what is holding me back is my
21 financial. I will say it. I am not ashamed to
22 say it. This is kind of a message to the whole
23 world no matter how much you're going to try to
24 destroy us, we're going to come back and we're
25 going to build bigger, better with a strong
1 message. I love everyone of yous, and I hope
2 to God that peace comes to this world. And
3 about the immigration, we all came over here.
4 The true people is God and the American
5 Indians. And in a special way, I am a Cherokee
6 Indian. We have room for the people here, but
7 we have to make sure that we really check them
8 out. And the people that are here that are
9 doing crimes, I think we should send them back
10 on the boat and teach them a lesson. God bless
12 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else?
13 MS. HUBBARD: Elizabeth Hubbard,
14 Scranton resident, taxpayer. I have to pick up
15 where she left off about the $25,000. I think
16 it's apalling this city council and city cannot
17 come up with $25,000 for channel 61. We have
18 money for everything else for all kind of pie
19 in the sky businesses, coffee shops and
20 whatever. We couldn't come up with $25,000.
21 That's a disgrace. Second issue, one of my
22 neighbors Jean asked me to mention this when
23 you come down the Albright Avenue bridge, you
24 go around the corner, you know, stay on
25 Albright, that lace company lot there, I know
1 they are not going to do anything with the lace
2 company until the flood situation is resolved,
3 but there's all kind of bushes and brush
4 growing all over. It's not nice looking. It
5 also impedes your view because there's a stop
6 sign there when you come off the bridge that
7 you can't see around to see if there's anybody
8 coming down Albright. If you can get whoever
9 to clean that up.
10 And I also read the article in the
11 morning paper, Mr. McGoff. And I was a little
12 bit puzzled by the imgrant issue. Do you mean
13 legal or illegal immigrants that we should
15 MR. McGOFF: I think we should
16 embrace anyone who is living in this city.
17 MS. HUBBARD: Even though they don't
18 pay taxes and take advantage of social programs
19 that I finance, you finance, everybody
20 finances, and you think we should embrace
21 illegal immigrants? Is that what you're
23 MR. McGOFF: I don't want to turn
24 this into a campaign --
25 MS. HUBBARD: I'm not running for
2 MR. McGOFF: But I am, and you're
3 referring to an article that had to do with
4 things that I said concerning the election
6 MS. HUBBARD: I'm a voter, too. I
7 mean --
8 MR. McGOFF: Understood.
9 MS. HUBBARD: So by your silence
10 you're telling me you embrace illegal
12 MR. McGOFF: No. What I'm trying to
13 say is I avoided trying to make campaign
14 speeches or trying to avoid -- trying to say
15 things that would appear to be campaign
16 related. You're asking me to do that.
17 MS. HUBBARD: To clarify a statement
18 you made in the newspaper.
19 MR. McGOFF: Yes. It has to do with
20 the campaign, and I guess in this venue I feel
22 MS. HUBBARD: What if I saw you on
23 the street and asked you the same question?
24 MR. McGOFF: Then I would answer
1 MS. HUBBARD: I will see in the hall
3 MR. McGOFF: Thank you. Have a good
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: Anyone else ?
6 MS. SCHUMACHER: Marie Schumacher,
7 resident. I come tonight because I'm very
8 frustrated. I have written four right to know
9 letters to the law department and -- as
10 directed by the business administration office.
11 I have written one letter -- two of those
12 letters are eight weeks old and with no
13 response. Two are six weeks old with no
14 response, and I have written a follow-up letter
15 that is now two weeks old.
16 They are questions I asked of you.
17 Mr. Courtright and Mrs. Evans, you can take a
18 three minute siesta because I am directing
19 these to these -- the rest of my comments to
20 Mrs. Fanucci and Mr. McGoff and the missing
21 Judy Gatelli.
22 Tomorrow morning I'm going to drop
23 off copies of these letters to the three of you
24 to your in baskets because you have said you
25 can get answers from the mayor, and I want to
1 know if it's really true. I am sending copies
2 to Mr. Smith and Mr. Andrew Shimkus to let them
3 know why we need stronger right to know laws,
4 and I am sending a letter to the governor's
5 office for that same reason. And if necessary,
6 I will go to court to get my answers. The
7 answers are simple.
8 They are related predominantly to
9 the operating budget. But I will finish with
10 the rest of me three minutes by reading some of
11 them. Regarding the wage tax, what accounts
12 for the $220,000 reduction from the 2007
13 operating budget?
14 What percentage of the 19.5 million
15 is collected from city residents working
16 outside the city? The 2007 revenue budgeted
17 for the emergency and municipal service tax is
18 $191,385 lower than the previous year's budget.
19 Why are 3,680 wage earners not paying the tax
20 in 2007 that paid in 2006?
21 Why are capital costs, parking
22 meters, comingled in the Scranton Parking
23 Authority citation issuers account with wages
24 and fringe benefits? Real estate tax revenue
25 in the 2007 budget increased 6 percent over the
1 2006 amount.
2 But the taxes were raised 25
3 percent. Why isn't the 2007 budgeted revenue
4 125 percent of 2006? Why has revenue from the
5 theater licenses gone from $3,000 in 2006 to
6 zero in 2007? What accounts for the budgeted
7 interest earnings increase of $286,601 over
8 2006? In what accounts and in what amounts and
9 at what interest rate is the principle amounts
10 which produces the $436,601 interest? Does the
11 City of Scranton have a revenue manual that
12 documents each source of revenues, its legal
13 basis and limitations in history?
14 If so, if a copy available at the
15 Albright library? If not available at the
16 library, what would be the cost for
17 reproduction? There's one more I will read
18 next week, and I will explain where they came
19 from, which is another travesty. Thank you for
20 your time.
21 MR. ANCHERANI: Good evening, Nelson
22 Ancherani, resident and taxpayer, city
23 employee, financial secretary of the FOP, First
24 Amendment rights . Ms. Fanucci, I left the
25 house right after you spoke. I drove
1 Lackawanna Avenue in the 100 and 300 of the
2 avenues, Adams, Wyoming, et cetera. There are
3 no less than ten empty store fronts that I can
4 see in the dark, the most prominent being the
5 southern union building.
6 Now, the budget, in four weeks the
7 mayor will present his budget. I am betting it
8 will be more than 78 million. The county will
9 have a 2008 budget with approximately 87
10 million, the difference 9 million more for the
11 county and the population of the county is
12 higher than the city. I'm still going to say
13 that Ms. Gatelli, Ms. Fanucci and Mr. McGoff
14 will vote for a tax increase and -- and budget.
15 MS. GATELLI: Nelson.
16 MR. ANCHERANI: Can I speak?
17 MS. GATELLI: I will give you your
18 time back. I just want to make a little bet
19 with you. We bet lunch on that?
20 MR. ANCHERANI: Okay.
21 MS. GATELLI: It's a deal.
22 MR. ANCHERANI: We'll see. How
23 about the Times? They advocate in their
24 editorials stronger right to know laws in
25 Pennsylvania. Where are their complaints
1 against the parties who don't give Ms. Evans
2 the information she requested from the S. R. A.
3 and O. E. C. D.? Where is the newspaper
4 complaining when we don't get answers to the
5 questions we ask every week like answers to Ms.
6 Schumacher's questions?
7 Newspapers are hypocritical. How
8 about council's vote to give channel 61 $25,000
9 and then channel 61 gets nothing? Did you
10 forget that council can write its own
11 legislation? It was the unanimous vote of
12 council. Wright in your legislation. Use your
13 solicitor to do it, pass it, and you'll be able
14 to sustain a veto. Show some fortitude here.
15 After all, look at the amount of money
16 involved, 25,000. Evidently we forgot the city
17 collected 500 million or will collect 500
18 million by the end of this year. That's a half
19 a billion dollars.
20 The city took in revenues from 2002
21 to 2006, and that does not include federal and
22 state grants. We're paying over 100,000 a year
23 for public safety office that PEL didn't
24 approve, went against the recovery plan. I am
25 sure we can come up with the money if they want
2 Mr. McGoff, you have the mayor's
3 ear. I am sure would you like to see channel
4 61 stay on the air although you're the one that
5 introduced the legislation or the motions to
6 limit our time -- our speaking time. See if
7 you can get that money. Thank you.
8 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.
9 MS. JONES: Julie Jones, Scranton
10 resident. I have to agree with some of the
11 other speakers. We tear down blight as far as
12 houses go and up grows the grass. There's --
13 there's a house in the 500 block of Genet
14 Street. The grass is probably higher than the
15 convenient store. Maybe we should sell that
16 property because it's not taken care of. Let's
17 do some back tax sale on that. There's a
18 property on the top of Pittston Avenue, went
19 before zoning, got turned down. Now it's
20 blight. Mr. Brazil owns it, interesting.
21 Mr. Courtright knows that, E. mailed
22 him. I will say the property was taken care
23 of. There's so many properties out there that
24 are so overgrown that can be taken care of.
25 There's revenue right there for the city, fine
1 these people, give them their allotted amount
2 of days to clean it up, collect the fees. Now,
3 Mrs. Gatelli and Ms. Fanucci, there's been
4 times in council that different things will
5 come up and you have the right to say, I wasn't
6 here when that was passed, which is true.
7 Somebody might complain about something and you
8 will say, I wasn't on council then so don't
9 blame me for it.
10 Well, don't blame Mrs. Grudzinski
11 for 18 to 20 years. She didn't have the house
12 for 18 to 20 years. I know it's blighted.
13 It's an eyesore. I will not disagree with
14 that. But they were trying to clean it up.
15 But you can't blame them for 18 to 20 years. I
16 felt bad once she came up and spoke because the
17 stuff she said it seemed like you guys didn't
18 know about, and you already voted -- like,
19 Brian Scott listed as her father. That's not
20 her father.
21 Do we have our facts straight before
22 we vote? If you guys legally can't do anything
23 about that and you pass it to go to the next
24 department and battle it out with the courts,
25 why does it come before you then? If there's
1 nothing you can do about it, why does it come
2 before you? Why doesn't it go directly to a
3 legal department?
4 I don't understand. I don't know
5 why it comes to you if you guys can't do
6 anything about it. It's a waste of your time,
7 which I'm sure you know. And it's a waste of
8 the people's time.
9 MS. FANUCCI: It came here from the
10 legal department. It goes to the legal
11 department first. I want you understand the
12 procedure. It goes to the legal department.
13 They are the ones who sent up the legislation,
14 and then it comes here. So it does go to the
15 legal department first.
16 MS. JONES: I guess what I'm saying
17 is I would just hope in the future facts are
18 really straight before you hurt somebody. And
19 one very quick thing, did you hear there's a
20 new saying in town? It's not called pass the
21 buck anymore in the City of Scranton, it's
22 called pass the lawsuit.
23 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else?
24 MS. KRAKE: Evening council, my name
25 is Nancy Krake. This November we have a chance
1 to restore the checks and balances to council
2 that should have happen a year ago. I'm sorry
3 -- I thought someone else was speaking. We
4 have a chance to restore checks and balances
5 that should have happened last week -- I would
6 like to say that is the volunteer from channel
7 61. She's here all of the time. She's a very
8 lovely person. I hope whatever happened is
9 okay for her family, okay. Would you mind if
10 my time started over again?
11 MR. McGOFF: Go ahead.
12 MS. KRAKE: Thank you very much. We
13 have a chance to restore checks and balances.
14 Last year this council appointed Mr. McGoff
15 with the blessing of the mayor, basically was
16 the mayor's decision in the final -- and it was
17 done so because Mr. McGoff said he would not
18 run for office again. Obviously, he's doing
20 And I would like to say that he
21 feels to me as if Chris Doherty is running for
22 office again. People out there really feel
23 that they want another four years of a Chris
24 Doherty council, then that's the person they
25 should vote for. He has agreed with
1 everything, all of the legislation that came
2 down. I researched every single vote, and he's
3 been stellar on supporting the mayor. His
4 article in the newspaper I think drove all that
5 home, and he's proud of it. So if you're happy
6 with your tax increase and you're happy with
7 the way your city is going, absolutely vote for
8 Mr. McGoff.
9 And as far as -- I have to make one
10 comment about his newspaper article. As far as
11 cutting costs, the only thing this
12 administration knows how to cut is jobs, and
13 they don't cut costs when they cut jobs. They
14 give it back to themselves. We've seen that
15 over the past six years. They give it to
16 themselves in additional jobs, additional
17 raises and every sort of perk you can imagine.
18 If you took a look at Mrs. Evans' budget you
19 would have seen what true cuts were. Mr.
20 Courtright voted for that budget. You had an
21 opportunity to support that, and you
22 disappointed all of us as did other two council
23 people who did not bother to work on it with
25 Once again, I just want everyone to
1 realize who is really running for reelection is
2 Mr. Doherty.
3 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Anyone
4 else? Motion to adjourn?
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
6 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
7 MS. GATELLI: See you next Tuesday.
2 C E R T I F I C A T E
4 I hereby certify that the proceedings and
5 evidence are contained fully and accurately in the
6 council meeting taken by me on the hearing of the above
7 cause and that this copy is a correct transcript of the
Laura Boyanowski, RPR
13 Official Court Reporter