3 SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING
10 Tuesday, October 30, 2007
14 Council Chambers
15 Scranton City Hall
16 340 North Washington Avenue
17 Scranton, Pennsylvania
24 LAURA BOYANOWSKI, RPR
3 CITY OF SCRANTON COUNCIL:
5 MS. JUDY GATELLI, PRESIDENT
6 MS. JANET EVANS
7 MS. SHERRY NEALON-FANUCCI
8 MR. ROBERT McGOFF
9 MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT
10 MS. NEIL COOLICAN, ASSISTANT CITY CLERK
11 MR. AMIL MINORA, ESQUIRE, SOLICITOR
12 MS. KAY GARVEY, CITY CLERK
1 (Pledge of allegiance and a moment
2 of reflection observed.)
3 MS. GATELLI: Roll call.
4 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans?
5 MS. EVANS: Here.
6 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci?
7 MS. FANUCCI: Here.
8 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff?
9 MR. McGOFF: Here.
10 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright?
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: Here.
12 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Minora?
13 MR. MINORA: Here.
14 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. Gatelli?
15 MS. GATELLI: Here. Dispense with
16 the reading of the minutes.
17 MS. GARVEY: REPORTS AND
18 COMMUNICATIONS FROM MAYOR AND HEADS OF
19 DEPARTMENTS AND INTERESTED PARTIES AND CITY
20 CLERK'S NOTES: 3 A - MINUTES OF THE FIREMAN'S
21 PENSION COMMISSION MEETING HELD ON SEPTEMBER
22 26, 2007.
23 MS. GATELLI: Are there any
24 comments? If not, received and filed?
25 MS. GARVEY: 3 B - MINUTES OF THE
1 NON-UNIFORM MUNICIPAL PENSION BOARD MEETING
2 HELD ON SEPTEMBER 26, 2007.
3 MS. GATELLI: Are there any
4 comments? If not received and filed.
5 MS. GARVEY: 3 C - MINUTES OF THE
6 POLICE PENSION COMMISSION MEETING HELD ON
7 SEPTEMBER 26, 2007.
8 MS. GATELLI: Are there any
9 comments? If not, received and filed.
10 MS. GARVEY: 3 D - MINUTES OF THE
11 COMPOSITE PENSION BOARD MEETING HELD ON
12 SEPTEMBER 26, 2007.
13 MS. GATELLI: Are there any
14 comments? If not, received and filed.
15 MS. GARVEY: 3 E - INTRODUCTION OF
16 ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS, APPOINTMENTS AND/OR
17 RE-APPOINTMENTS TO BOARDS & COMMISSIONS.
18 MOTIONS & REPORTS OF COMMITTEES:
19 MS. GATELLI: Are there any
20 comments? If not, received and filed.
21 MS. GARVEY: That's all there is in
22 third order. 4 A - MOTIONS.
23 MS. GATELLI: We will have our usual
24 announcements before we have our citizen's
25 participation. Today we'd like to say happy
1 birthday to one of our clerks in our office,
2 Sue Magnotta. Neil said she's 50, but I don't
3 think she is. He's just teasing. On Saturday,
4 November 3rd from 4 to 7 at the Elm Park Church
5 the Youth Group is having their spaghetti
6 dinner. It's $6 for adults and $3 for
7 children. Also in Saturday from 6 to 10 at the
8 Melting Pot on Washburn Street Francis Willard
9 PTA is having a silent auction. It's $10 in
10 advance and $15 at the door. Street light
11 problems, someone e-mailed me this week about
12 streetlights. If you have a streetlight that
13 is out, you can call 1-877-207-3861. Or on
14 your computer you can punch in www.slout.com.
15 The SL stands for streetlight.
16 When you do that they are going to
17 ask you for the numbers on the pole where the
18 light is out. There is two rows of numbers on
19 aluminum plates. Copy those numbers down
20 before you make a call or enter it into a
21 computer. They are usually there within 48
22 hours. Maybe we can ask that they put that on
23 the channel 61 where they have the line of
24 potholes and blight. Maybe we can put this on,
1 Scranton High Drama Club is having a
2 play this Saturday. There will be a
3 performance at 2 and a performance at 7. It is
4 a family comedy called, Wooing Wed Whitinghood.
5 It's $3 for all tickets. The Doitch Institute
6 is having their celebrity luncheon November
7 11th at St. Mary's Center from 9 to 1. We'd
8 like to thank Lutherwood. Once again they have
9 stepped up to the plate and gave a contribution
10 to the city in the amount of $6,000. So we are
11 very happy, and we'd like to publically thank
12 Lutherwood for their contributions every year.
13 They are one of the very few that gives us
14 money in lieu of taxes.
15 I spoke to Linda Abley this week
16 about Mr. Neveroski's problem with his money in
17 the hill section. So she is reviewing the
18 file. I talked to Bob, Ozzie, and we are going
19 to set up a meeting to see what's up with the
20 money. The friendship house -- Mr. Sbaraglia
21 asked a question. That money is being
22 transferred from a Friendship House account for
23 a different purpose into one for heating and
24 new steel doors, et cetera. So it's Friendship
25 House money just being used in a different
1 manner. I was also told that they had three
2 hundred and $2,000 I believe, and it's been
3 several years and they hadn't used the money.
4 So I asked if they could get an accounting for
5 us projects that haven't gone forward because
6 in two to three years, the projects should be
7 moving and if they haven't, we can possibly use
8 the money. And if these projects move forward
9 at a later time, they can always reapply for
10 the money. So they are going to get me a list
11 of how much money there is in old projects, and
12 I told them that we are very interested in
13 paving. So when I get that, I will share it
14 with the rest of council, and we can decide and
15 hopefully by the spring have a nice paving
16 project for the low to moderate income
18 I spoke to Michael Wallace this
19 week. This is an empty plant on the corner of
20 Pittston Avenue and Warner Street, and they are
21 trying to open a recycling center in there. So
22 Michael has already cited them so that the
23 people back there know that the problem is
24 being addressed.
25 1013 South Webster Avenue, I talked
1 to the contractor to, Mr. Sparrow. And he said
2 he would be there within the next two weeks.
3 It is being demolished by the owner. And it's
4 been a long time that the place has been
5 abandoned. And he said he already has the
6 permits and within two weeks the property
7 should be coming down. Mr. Wallace also went
8 to the south side shopping center and sent them
9 a letter to cease and desist.
10 They are always having cars for sale
11 in the south side shopping center. I am sure
12 if any of you go by you see them. When he
13 calls them, they get rid of them and in three
14 days they are back. So I told Michael that I
15 think we need to cite them. They are out of
16 town. They don't have a manager in town, and
17 they are creating a lot of blight. It's rather
18 nice down there now, and I don't like to see
19 that happening.
20 Then it also hurts the people that
21 are trying to sell cars legitimately. Also he
22 sent a letter to Paul's Auto up on Jackson
23 Street on October 17th, and he's giving them
24 ten days to get the trucks off the road. And I
25 think there might have been one more. They are
1 all for Paul's Auto. I did talk to Paul's Auto
2 several times. I talked to him today on the
3 phone, and he said that he would cooperate and
4 keep the cars off the road.
5 So he seems like he's going to try
6 to be a nice neighbor. Does anyone else have
7 any announcements?
8 MR. McGOFF: I would like to
9 announce again the Turkey Chase Race five K.
10 run and walk to benefit Ebony Young and family,
11 it's being conducted by two students at West
12 Scranton High School. It's going to be held at
13 McDade Park on November 4th at 10 a.m.
14 Registration is being accepted from 9 to 9:45
15 in the pavilion area at McDade Park.
16 If you want more information, the
17 two students are Caitlin Farrell and Matt
18 Fabre. I would assume that you can contact
19 them at West Scranton High School. I believe
20 they are doing this as part of their senior
21 project to raise funds for this fellow student
22 and family.
23 MS. GATELLI: The first speaker is
24 Mr. Sbaraglia.
25 MR. SBARAGLIA: Andy Sbaraglia,
1 citizen of Scranton. Fellow Scrantonians, 5
2 B., you're transferring 13,000 from account
3 such and such contingency to account there -- a
4 city counsel professional service. I was told
5 that's for channel 61. Well, it's nice that
6 they -- you can do that, but if it falls
7 through, I would gladly loan 61 that 13,000
8 with no interest. If it falls through and they
9 don't need it, fine. But if they do need it,
10 the importance of this channel to this city is
11 paramount and it should be. Anything we can do
12 to keep it going, we should do. I am having
13 canisters made up for donations.
14 Let's move on to your 6 A. The
15 question I asked on 6 A. was what was account
16 number -- from project No. 05-154 originally
18 MS. GATELLI: A new residence.
19 MR. SBARAGLIA: That's what it was
20 for. They were going to build something?
21 MS. GATELLI: A new residence.
22 MR. SBARAGLIA: For 86,000.
23 MS. GATELLI: That was only part of
24 the funding.
25 MR. SBARAGLIA: Okay. 7 A., you're
1 going to put into this block grant for home
2 shelter partnership, home program, emergency
3 shelter grant, such and such and thus. How
4 much are they asking -- how many are they
5 trying to get this grant for? It's 7 A. You
6 are voting on it today for adoption. So the
7 dollar amount --
8 MS. FANUCCI: I didn't hear the
10 MR. SBARAGLIA: What is the dollar
12 MS. FANUCCI: What is the dollar
13 amount because --
14 MS. GATELLI: It's for the block
15 grant for this coming year. I don't remember
16 how much it was.
17 MR. SBARAGLIA: Because --
18 MS. GATELLI: It was in the original
19 amount --
20 MR. SBARAGLIA: This thing is sort
21 of like a slush fund because I notice through
22 the year now they will be drawing money out of
23 this fund and transferring it to other things.
24 And it could be for any kind of a thing, and if
25 you -- if you look through your legislature,
1 you'll find it, they do do that.
2 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Quinn.
3 MR. QUINN: Ozzie Quinn, Scranton
4 taxpayer. Judy, thanks for following up for on
5 that hill neighborhood association problem and
6 also for following up on the money that's
7 collecting dust in O. E. C. D. for a number of
8 years. I want to know about 7 A. Wasn't that
10 MS. FANUCCI: It's up for tonight.
11 MS. GATELLI: The 30-day waiting
13 MR. QUINN: Are any of the projects
14 in there? Nobody knows what the projects are.
15 MS. FANUCCI: They are going to be
16 making their amendments tonight.
17 MR. QUINN: Thank you so much.
18 MS. GATELLI: You're welcome. Mr.
20 MR. PICCOLINO: Giovanni Piccolino.
21 I would like to comment on 5 B. also. I really
22 hope also that that money goes through and
23 doesn't get lost like the other 25,000 that was
24 promised. Channel 61 is a very, very good
25 thing for the City of Scranton. And as Mr.
1 Sbaraglia did -- if that somehow falls by the
2 wayside I would like to offer any kind of help
3 I can help to channel 61 also.
4 On 7 A., I kind of agreed with Mr.
5 Sbaraglia again, you don't even have any dollar
6 amounts or anything. Do you go and buy a home
7 and look at three or four rooms and purchase
8 the whole home? You guys vote on things and
9 don't know the exact dollar amounts of things.
10 These decisions are affecting thousands and
11 thousands of people on a daily basis. You
12 should have all the information before you
13 consider things. Thank you.
14 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Go ahead.
15 MS. FANUCCI: Mr. Piccolino, I am
16 not sure you understand what this legislation
17 is. I am going to help you out a little bit.
18 This is individual projects. The money -- we
19 do know how much money each project is
21 That was not the questions he was
22 asking. What he was asking was the final
23 amount of the projects. So we do have a list
24 with all of the projects, what the projects are
25 and how much money they will be receiving. I
1 don't know why you don't have the list. You
2 will be hearing it tonight. I'm not sure why
3 you didn't receive one.
4 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Dobson.
5 MS. GARVEY: Mrs. Gatelli, as far as
6 the block grant issue goes, it was introduced
7 approximately a month ago because we had the
8 30-day wait period. At that time it was on the
9 agenda in its full and it showed all of the
10 projects that were proposed to be funded until
11 tonight when you're going to be making whatever
12 amendments you have to make to that. So that
13 was available to everyone at that time about a
14 month ago.
15 MS. GATELLI: Some of them in that
16 one section is shelter grant money.
17 MS. GARVEY: Yes -- right, right.
18 MS. GATELLI: Although it's separate
20 MS. GARVEY: Yes.
21 MS. GATELLI: Homeless money and
22 things of that nature?
23 MS. GARVEY: Right.
24 MS. GATELLI: Is Mr. Dobson here?
25 Pass, okay. Mr. Porter. Is Mr. Porter here?
1 How about Mrs. Schumacher?
2 MS. SCHUMACHER: Marie Schumacher.
3 I would like to also hope that you would vote
4 in favor of 5 B. and that the insufficient
5 quantity to over ride the mayor's assumed veto.
6 I would also like to speak to 7 B. Could
7 somebody tell me where that is in the capital
8 budget? We received the capital budget just
9 slightly over 60 days ago, and I don't know how
10 this popped out of the woodwork since then. I
11 can't find it in the capital budget. I would
12 also like to know why 7 C. is authorizing a
13 grant program for one pool, that being the -- I
14 believe this one is the Novembrino pool in the
15 mayor's capital budget.
16 There are similar requirements at
17 Weston Field, Weston Park, Connell Park,
18 Capouse Avenue, Nay Aug Park and Novembrino.
19 Why is there not a -- if there's grant money
20 available, why is there not a grant for each of
22 MS. GATELLI: I did see one for
23 Connell Park, too.
24 MS. SCHUMACHER: I didn't.
25 MS. GATELLI: I did. They don't
1 necessarily have to be all done at once. And
2 what did she ask about 7 A? That's the Crisp
3 Avenue culvert. That's a flood project. The
4 flood --
5 MS. SCHUMACHER: It's not a capital
7 MS. GATELLI: No, I believe FEMA
8 will be paying for that. That will be state
9 and federal money. We might have a small
10 match, but that's -- that's a flood project
11 through FEMA.
12 MS. SCHUMACHER: Why do you have to
13 approve it if --
14 MS. GATELLI: We have to approve any
15 money that comes through the city, federal or
16 state has to go through the municipality.
17 MS. SCHUMACHER: No answer on 7 C.,
19 MS. GATELLI: Let's see.
20 MR. PORTER: Good evening, city
21 council. My name is Andrew Porter. I've been
22 a resident of Scranton for seven and a half
23 years. I've been coming to these meetings
24 approximately five years.
25 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Porter, excuse me
1 for a moment. But are you speaking on agenda
2 items or regular business?
3 MR. PORTER: Business and agenda.
4 MS. GATELLI: This is agenda only.
5 This portion of public comment is --
6 MR. PORTER: Agenda, okay. Okay. I
7 will reserve.
8 MS. GATELLI: Okay, thank you.
9 Anyone else for items on the agenda?
10 MS. HUBBARD: Elizabeth Hubbard,
11 Scranton resident. I just have a question.
12 Where is Sturgis Park?
13 MS. GATELLI: I believe it's on
14 Electric Street.
15 MS. HUBBARD: Would that be Pretzel
17 MS. EVANS: Pretzel Park.
18 MS. HUBBARD: How you come they are
19 spending more money to improve that than they
20 are the Novembrino Swimming Complex. Pretzel
21 Park looks pretty good to me. I don't know
22 what kind of basic improvements it needs. I
23 just wondered. Anybody have an answer to that?
24 MS. GATELLI: I think receptacles
25 and benches, things of that nature. It's a
2 MS. HUBBARD: I know, but ten
3 thousand dollars.
4 MS. GATELLI: Ten thousand dollars
5 isn't much at all. We have a dog park for
7 MS. HUBBARD: You can probably
8 repave a block somewhere. There isn't any
9 there now? Now they are going to do more?
10 MR. COURTRIGHT: It said lights,
11 garbage cans, benches.
12 MS. HUBBARD: It must be nice.
13 That's right across from the mayor's house,
14 isn't it? Nice. Thank you.
15 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Morgan.
16 MR. MORGAN: Good afternoon,
17 council. I would like to state that I hope
18 that 5 B. passes council unanimously so there's
19 no chance for a mayor's veto. I have question
20 here on 7 B. Did council just say that that's
21 federal moneys and that's why there's no dollar
22 figure listed on that service?
23 MS. FANUCCI: Uh-huh.
24 MS. GATELLI: I believe it was put
25 out to bid. Is that the culvert that he's
1 talking about again?
2 MR. MORGAN: That was federal? Was
3 that federal money?
4 MS. GATELLI: FEMA money and
5 probably PEMA. But it was put to bid because I
6 saw the bids in our mailbox. The bids were
8 MR. MORGAN: I just think it's
9 really important -- I'm not picking a position
10 for council. I'm just saying that no matter
11 whose funding any project, I think it's
12 important that the money is wisely spent no
13 matter who furnishes the dollars to the city.
14 MS. GATELLI: The culvert is washed
15 out. There is no -- those people can't get
16 across that mountain.
17 MR. MORGAN: I am not debating that
18 issue. What I am saying to you is we should
19 pay attention to the dollars and cents no
20 matter where the revenues --
21 MS. GATELLI: It was bid. That's
22 the only recourse we have to is bid something.
23 MR. MORGAN: Absolutely.
24 MS. GATELLI: So it was bid.
25 MR. MORGAN: That's why I asked --
1 MS. GATELLI: You have to bid
2 federal projects.
3 MR. MORGAN: That's why I asked for
4 clarification. I thought that council had said
5 in unison that it was federal money. So --
6 MS. GATELLI: It's probably federal
7 and state. We may have to put in some. I'm
8 not sure.
9 MR. MORGAN: I think that we should
10 pay attention to the money no matter where it
11 comes from and safeguard the money and make
12 sure it's wisely spent no matter what --
13 MS. GATELLI: I'm telling you it's
14 been bid. I mean, I don't know what else --
15 MR. MORGAN: It's not whether or not
16 it's been bid or not. The debate is wither
17 council is watching the dollars and cents no
18 matter where the revenue comes from. It's not
19 important whether the project's been bid. What
20 is important is, are you paying attention to
21 the -- to the money even regardless of what the
22 revenue stream is? That's my point. You
23 understand that, right?
24 MS. GATELLI: No, I really don't.
25 All I know is the people on the west mountain
1 can't get from one side to the other. So it
2 was bid, you know. There were sealed bids so
3 -- I don't know what else you can do besides
4 bidding it out, and the federal government
5 requires that. Kay, I think we do have copies
6 of the bids. I think they have been opened.
7 So if anybody wants to see the bids -- or
8 Roseanne would have them. I know I saw them.
9 I can't recall what they were.
10 MR. HIBBARD: Daniel Hubbard. In
11 regards to the upgrades for Sturgis Park,
12 didn't that park just receive new sidewalks all
13 around it?
14 MS. GATELLI: Yes.
15 MR. HUBBARD: And the police
16 department pretty much chases the kids out of
17 that park every single night at dark. So why
18 are we putting lights? And does it have
19 anything to do with the park being right across
20 the street from the mayor's house?
21 MS. FANUCCI: Maybe he wants to hang
22 out there more, Daniel.
23 MR. HUBBARD: They chase the kids
24 every night at dark. I don't see any reason
25 why we need to approve it. I think
1 specifically --
2 MS. FANUCCI: Safety for the
3 children it would be nice to have lighting
4 regardless if they are being -- I mean, I
5 wouldn't want to walk around that corner at
6 dark anyway or have my daughter walk around in
7 that corner in the dark.
8 MR. HUBBARD: It's been dark for as
9 long as I can remember.
10 MS. GATELLI: That was where that
11 kid was beat up.
12 MR. HUBBARD: It was dark as long as
13 I can remember.
14 MS. FANUCCI: Maybe your children
15 won't say the same. That will be good.
16 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else? Mrs.
18 MS. EVANS: Good evening. Please
19 remember Patricia Kowalik who passed away last
20 week in your prayers. She was a great lady,
21 active in a leadership position in numerous
22 community activities, most notably past
23 president of the ladies auxiliary to the
24 Scranton chapter of Fraternal Order of Police.
25 She is missed but never forgotten by her
1 devoted family and friends.
2 She did reside across the street
3 from Daron Northeast. Since last week's
4 council meeting, I spoke with the majority
5 commissioners, and they have very generously
6 agreed to donate funds to cover costs incurred
7 by channel 61 in both the short and long-term.
8 Our gratitude to Mr. Cordaro and Mr. Munchak
9 for continued live coverage of open government.
10 These funds would be in addition to those
11 distributed by city council on tonight's agenda
12 thereby hopefully providing an approximate
13 total of $25,000 that was promised previously
14 by council.
15 Regarding city's conflict with the
16 municipal unions, I never suggested the city
17 settle contracts on the union's terms. Rather,
18 I believed then as now that all workers -- all
19 workers are entitled to a fair living wage.
20 Our city workers have had no raise in six years
21 while gasoline prices, utility bills and taxes
22 have increased.
23 I think all people would agree that
24 all workers both union and management deserve
25 fair treatment and decent wages. Finally, I
1 stated at last week's meeting that the city's
2 elected officials should eject the Pennsylvania
3 Economy League and resume control of city
4 finances. Now, we're told only PEL can amend
5 the recovery plan. Thus, it seems that the
6 city ultimately is not in control. Rather, it
7 is PEL who cooperates with Mr. Doherty in
8 violating the recovery plan through job
9 creations and exceeding the financial
10 projections of the 2002 recovery plan.
11 Mr. Doherty has out borrowed and
12 outspent every mayor in the history of Scranton
13 with PEL's blessing. Who is really in control,
14 PEL or the mayor? Both are poor financial
15 managers. Lastly, I do have citizen's requests
16 for the week.
17 Memo to Mr. Brazil, please direct D.
18 P. W. workers to collect the garbage from the
19 four houses in the blocked off area of Green
20 Ridge Street and Capouse Avenue. Garbage and
21 recyclables were not picked up on Wednesday,
22 October 24th. Also for Mr. Brazil, please
23 repair the following potholes, corner of the
24 1100 block of Hampton Street and South Main at
25 the Hampton Street side, the 500 block of 12th
1 Avenue, the bottom of 12th Avenue just past the
2 stop sign on the corner as one turns up 12th
3 near the top of the hill parallel to the West
4 Scranton softball field, cluster of potholes
5 that vehicles try to avoid by driving into the
6 oncoming lane need to be filled as soon as
8 Also we received -- each of my
9 colleagues and myself -- a packet of requests
10 from the neighbors of Sloan and Wattson Streets
11 regarding problems in Smith Place. This report
12 includes a number of photographs of all of the
13 problems that have been enumerated in the
14 report, and I'm going to give you, Kay, my
15 report so you can just forward that to Mr.
16 Brazil. And please send a letter to the
17 manager of a private development regarding
18 garbage dumpsters. The lids must be placed on
19 dumpsters at all times in order to prevent
20 rodent and insect attraction and odors.
21 And one last thing, we did receive
22 the latest report on the independent audit of
23 council. Matters remain fairly stationary with
24 the exception of the information for the flood
1 Partial information has been
2 received, and the remaining information
3 obviously will be forthcoming from Mr. Luciani.
4 There have been a number of meetings
5 rescheduled, but it's my hope that by the next
6 time council meets we will hear that at least
7 the FEMA flood protection summer and November
8 flooding documentation will have been received
9 by Robert Rossi and Company. That's it.
10 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mrs.
12 MS. FANUCCI: I have one motion to
13 tonight. I would like to make a motion for
14 next week in light of election day that we
15 postpone the meeting or cancel the meeting.
16 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
17 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All
18 in favor?
19 MS. EVANS: Aye.
20 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
21 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
22 MR. McGOFF: Aye.
23 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
24 MS. GATELLI: Opposed? The ayes
25 have it and so moved. Kay, you can advertise
1 that, please. Mr. McGoff.
2 MR. McGOFF: I would like to make
3 mention of Saturday evening. I attended the
4 announcement of the William J. Gerrity
5 scholarship. It's named in honor of Mr.
6 Gerrity, who was a long time teacher and coach
7 in the Scranton School District, also served on
8 city council and also a humanitarian in the
9 city working with the Little Sisters of the
10 Poor and especially has for years been an
11 advocate of the Doitch Institute. The
12 scholarship is for students working in the
13 special needs area.
14 It's going to be given to a student
15 at the University of Scranton. I am told that
16 contributions are still being accepted, that if
17 anyone would like to help honor Mr. Gerrity
18 through this scholarship that they can contact
19 the University of Scranton. Thank you.
20 MS. GATELLI: Excuse me. But does
21 anybody know what that is noise is? Is it the
22 microphone? Thank you. Mr. Courtright.
23 MR. COURTRIGHT: Just two items.
24 Scranton is losing two more police officers.
25 Somebody might have read about Sergeant Guy
1 Salerno. He's leaving. Guy was a terrific
2 officer sergeant. He was on the job for maybe
3 -- I think approximately eight years as a bomb
4 specialist. So we are losing a good officer,
5 and we are also losing Corporal Casey Newcomb,
6 another good officer. I hate to see them
7 leave, and that's why I would like to see these
8 contracts get settled.
9 One other thing, I was notified of
10 paving being done off Keyser Avenue. And I
11 went back and took a look, and there's a -- I
12 don't know if there's a name to the road. I'm
13 not quite sure, but in it's between, which was
14 a Mobile station -- I forget the name of it now
15 -- and a car wash right off Keyser Avenue close
16 to my home.
17 And I don't think people are
18 complaining because the road is being paved. I
19 think they are complaining because there's many
20 roads that need to be paved, and they asked how
21 do we chose that one particular road when
22 there's not a great deal of traffic on it.
23 There are no homes on it. So I will -- I will
24 send an e-mail to Mr. Brazil and ask him how we
25 choose that one particular road because it was
1 our DPW paving the road. I will ask him what
2 the criteria is forgetting roads paved because
3 it's offended some people. That's all I have.
4 MS. FANUCCI: I have the same
5 question this week, and I called. What they
6 told me was that every seven years they can
7 only pave a road that is in a low to moderate
8 income, so the problem is that -- you can't
9 pave a road if you were not paved seven years
10 before. I didn't know that. I thought you can
11 pave a road anytime you wanted. That's not the
12 case if it's being paid for by, like, CDBG or
13 whatever funds. So it might depend on the --
14 MR. COURTRIGHT: That's not low to
15 moderate there.
16 MS. FANUCCI: I am wondering if it's
17 the funding.
18 MR. COURTRIGHT: It was our DPW
19 doing the paving. We will ask Mr. Brazil.
20 MS. EVANS: Mr. Courtright, I just
21 wanted to piggyback on something you said about
22 the officers we are losing.
23 I am not going to name any names,
24 but I have had in the last few months private
25 conversations with two gentlemen on the police
1 force who are going to be leaving. And I can
2 tell you it's the last thing they want to do.
3 They love Scranton, and they want to stay here
4 more than anything. It was always their
5 greatest hope to serve in their hometown. But
6 they have no choice left but to take a
7 different position because, as I said earlier,
8 they hadn't had a raise in six years and they
9 have families and they need to be able to
10 support their families.
11 They are not anxious to move
12 elsewhere or put themselves on the road far
13 away from home for a number of years. But this
14 is what the situation has deteriorated into.
15 And not only are these officers losing, but
16 this is a tremendous loss for all the people of
17 the city. It's not just -- I don't mean to
18 minimize this. It is not just their personal
19 loss. We're all losing in this situation.
20 MR. COURTRIGHT: These are
21 experienced officers. I think you will see
22 another four go within the next six months.
23 MS. GATELLI: Hopefully we will have
24 a contract by then. Jeez, I hope the mayor
25 would sit down now with the unions and try to
1 work something out. It behooves everyone for a
2 settlement to occur.
3 MS. EVANS: I agree. I would love
4 to see that happen. But again, negotiations
5 mean give and take on two sides.
6 MS. GATELLI: Absolutely.
7 MS. EVANS: Not one side telling one
8 side take it or leave it.
9 MS. GATELLI: We know. We will be
10 having ours pretty soon, too.
11 MS. EVANS: There should be fairness
12 and respect in those negotiations, fairness for
13 all the taxpayers and fairness for all of the
14 city workers and -- I think if they would just
15 keep that in mind, I can't imagine any
16 reasonable adult not wanting to sit down and
17 iron that out.
18 MS. GATELLI: Yes. I agree. I have
19 to say though I was pleased about an article I
20 read where they are reaching out to the
21 minorities to be police officers. I read that
22 in the paper this week we have no Hispanic
23 police officers, and I believe we only have one
24 African-American. And they were doing an
25 outreach program, and it is time that they are
1 on the force.
2 So I was glad to see that the city
3 is moving in that direction. It will help
4 because there are a lot of Hispanics in this
6 MS. EVANS: I am wondering though
7 where the city going to get the money to
8 educate all the officers when the city has not
9 got enough money to pays the officers.
10 MR. COURTRIGHT: What happened was
11 Scranton did it a little while back. I don't
12 know why they stopped. Wilkes-Barre does it
13 all the time. I happen to teach the police
14 academy. They -- they are paid maybe 80 some
15 percent, if not more, by a government agency.
16 So if they send a police officer there, they
17 get reimbursed for it. I believe they have to
18 pass though.
19 If they fail two classes, two tests,
20 in the police academy, they are out. So I
21 don't know what happened -- I know what happens
22 if they send somebody and fails -- it the
23 burden is on that person to pay for it. I'm
24 not sure what happens there.
25 MS. EVANS: It would appear just
1 from what we read -- you have to read with
2 caution -- that the city is going to be
4 MR. COURTRIGHT: So hopefully they
5 will people intelligent enough to pass.
6 MS. EVANS: I know from having had
7 some discussions with other colleagues, they
8 had said, wouldn't it have been nice though if,
9 let's say, all teachers, anyone who wanted to
10 be a teacher in high school we can be told, you
11 have a job waiting for you in the district and
12 we will send you to college for nothing.
13 MR. COURTRIGHT: That would be
15 MS. EVANS: Wouldn't it if all our
16 children could do that?
17 MS. GATELLI: Well, I think it's
18 necessary at some point. A lot of these people
19 can't afford to go to school, and they probably
20 have the motivation and they just don't have
21 the wherewith all, you know, even to --
22 probably to get loans. So it's an opportunity.
23 MR. COURTRIGHT: Just so they know,
24 minorities, there are grants -- they can get
25 assistance. If you're a minority and you want
1 to be a police officer, you can certainly get
2 assistance to go to Act 120. You get
3 assistance to go a regular college. Those
4 credits they get would go towards a college
5 degree also. So there are programs out there
6 if you're looking -- I believe, I sat on Bethel
7 A. M. E. church one Sunday about five years ago
8 and explained it to as many people as I could
9 there. There are grants for you. If you're a
10 minority and looking to be a police officer,
11 there are certainly grants for you. Just go
12 over and speak with Gene Baitis over at
13 Lackawanna College, and I am sure he would be
14 more than happy to help you out.
15 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else? All
16 right. Mrs. Garvey?
17 MS. GARVEY: 5 B - FOR INTRODUCTION
18 - AN ORDINANCE - AMENDING FILE OF COUNCIL NO.
19 66, 2006, AN ORDINANCE ENTITLED "APPROPRIATING
20 FUNDS FOR THE EXPENSES OF THE CITY GOVERNMENT
21 FOR THE PERIOD COMMENCING ON THE FIRST DAY OF
22 JANUARY, 2007 TO AND INCLUDING DECEMBER 31, 207
23 BY ADOPTION OF THE GENERAL CITY OPERATING
24 BUDGET FOR THE YEAR 2007" BY TRANSFERRING
25 $13,000.00 FROM ACCOUNT NO. 01.401.13090.4299
1 (CONTINGENCY) TO ACCOUNT NO. 01.020.00000.4201
2 (CITY COUNCIL - PROFESSIONAL SERVICES).
3 MS. GATELLI: At this time, I will
4 entertain a motion that 5 B. be introduced.
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
6 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
7 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All
8 those in favor?
9 MS. EVANS: Aye.
10 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
12 MR. McGOFF: Aye.
13 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
14 MS. GATELLI: Opposed? The ayes
15 have it and so moved.
16 MS. GARVEY: 5 C - FOR INTRODUCTION
17 - A RESOLUTION - IN SUPPORT OF THE FREE CHOICE
18 ACT (S1041) WHICH WOULD AUTHORIZE THE NATIONAL
19 LABOR RELATIONS BOARD TO CERTIFY A UNION AS THE
20 BARGAINING REPRESENTATIVE WHEN A MAJORITY OF
21 EMPLOYEES VOLUNTARILY SIGN AUTHORIZATIONS
22 DESIGNATING THAT UNION TO REPRESENT THEM;
23 PROVIDE FOR FIRST CONTRACT MEDIATION AND
24 ARBITRATION; AND ESTABLISH MEANINGFUL PENALTIES
25 FOR VIOLATIONS OF A WORKERS' FREEDOM TO CHOOSE
1 A UNION.
2 MS. GATELLI: At this time, I will
3 entertain a motion that 5 C. be introduced.
4 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
5 MS. GATELLI: On the question?
6 MS. EVANS: Yes. What union is
8 MS. GATELLI: Amil, would you
9 explain this, please? It's a federal --
10 MS. EVANS: What bearing does it
11 have on the municipal unions?
12 MR. MINORA: Directly I don't
13 believe it does. I don't --
14 MR. COURTRIGHT: It's act in down in
15 Harrisburg Representative Smith is in favor of,
16 and local unions here all signed the letter.
17 It just enables them to -- to be able to form a
19 MS. GATELLI: For other workers to
20 be able to --
21 MR. COURTRIGHT: Anyone that would
22 like to be.
23 MS. GATELLI: Like the nurses just
24 did at CMC. Anyone else? All in favor?
25 MS. EVANS: Aye.
1 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
2 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
3 MR. McGOFF: Aye.
4 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
5 MS. GATELLI: Opposed? The ayes
6 have it and so moved.
7 MS. GARVEY: SIXTH ORDER - 6 A -
8 READING BY TITLE - FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 134,
9 2007 - AN ORDINANCE - AMENDING FILE OF COUNCIL
10 NO. 68, 2004, ENTITLED, "AN ORDINANCE
11 AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND OTHER APPROPRIATE
12 OFFICIALS OF THE CITY OF SCRANTON TO TAKE ALL
13 NECESSARY ACTIONS TO IMPLEMENT THE CONSOLIDATED
14 SUBMISSION FOR COMMUNITY PLANNING AND
15 DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS (AS AMENDED) TO BE FUNDED
16 UNDER THE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT
17 (CDBG) PROGRAM, HOME INVESTMENT PARTNERSHIP
18 (HOME) PROGRAM AND EMERGENCY SHELTER GRANT
19 (ESG) PROGRAM", BY TRANSFERRING $86,000, FROM
20 PROJECT NO. 05-154 FRIENDSHIP HOUSE TO PROJECT
21 NO. 01-154.1 FRIENDSHIP HOUSE ENERGY FACILITIES
23 MS. GATELLI: You've heard reading
24 by title of 6 A. What is your pleasure?
25 MR. COURTRIGHT: I move that item 6
1 A. Pass reading by title.
2 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
3 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All
4 those in favor?
5 MS. EVANS: Aye.
6 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
7 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
8 MR. McGOFF: Aye.
9 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
10 MS. GATELLI: Opposed? The ayes
11 have it and so moved.
12 MS. GARVEY: 6 B - READING BY TILE -
13 FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 135, 2007 - AN ORDINANCE -
14 AMENDING FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 155, 2005 -
15 ENTITLED - "AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR
16 AND OTHER APPROPRIATE OFFICIALS OF THE CITY OF
17 SCRANTON TO TAKE ALL NECESSARY ACTIONS TO
18 IMPLEMENT THE CONSOLIDATED SUBMISSION FOR
19 COMMUNITY PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS (AS
20 AMENDED) TO BE FUNDED UNDER THE COMMUNITY
21 DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT (CDBG) PROGRAM, HOME
22 INVESTMENT PARTNERSHIP (HOME) PROGRAM AND
23 EMERGENCY SHELTER GRANT (ESG) PROGRAM, BY
24 TRANSFERRING $40,000 FROM PROJECT NO. 00-212
25 COMPUTERIZED MAPPING CAPACITY BUILDING TO
1 PROJECT NO. 06-229.5 UNTITED NEIGHBORHOOD
2 CENTERS TRANSITIONAL HOUSING.
3 MS. GATELLI: You've heard reading
4 by title of item 6 B. What is your pleasure?
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: I move that item 6
6 B. pass reading by title.
7 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
8 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All
9 those in favor?
10 MS. EVANS: Aye.
11 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
13 MR. McGOFF: Aye.
14 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
15 MS. GATELLI: Opposed? The ayes
16 have it and so moved.
17 MR. COURTRIGHT: Kay, before you
18 read 7 A., I will a make motion to have our
19 solicitor read the amendments to the CDBG block
20 grant program.
21 MS. EVANS: Second.
22 MS. GATELLI: All in favor?
23 MS. EVANS: Aye.
24 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
25 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
1 MR. McGOFF: Aye.
2 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
3 MS. GATELLI: Opposed? The ayes
4 have it and so moved.
5 MR. MINORA: The amendments are as
6 follows: The City of Scranton licensing, and
7 inspections and permits blighted properties
8 from $350,000 to $300,000, City of Scranton
9 OECD, economic development from $400,000 to
10 $300,000, City of Scranton OECD contingency
11 fund from $100,000 to $75,000, employment
12 opportunity and training center, EOTC of
13 Northeastern Pennsylvania, the EOTC, 7th Avenue
14 Family Resource Center from $5,000 to $40,000,
15 Hyde Park Baseball, the Battaglia Field
16 restoration from 0 to $50,000, Weston Park
17 senior little league, field lighting and
18 improvements program from 0 to $25,000, West
19 Scranton Little League field replacement,
20 parking lot paving and safety barrier from 0 to
21 $40,000, Women's Resource Center Safe House
22 Preservation and Carriage House Project from
23 $150,000 to $175,000.
24 MS. GATELLI: What is the
25 recommendation of the chair on community
2 MS. FANUCCI: As chairperson for the
3 committee on community development, I recommend
4 final passage of item 7 A.
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second?
6 MS. GATELLI: On the question?
7 MS. EVANS: Yes, it's nice to see a
8 number of additions or -- I do --
9 MR. MINORA: Excuse me. Kay has to
10 read it as amended.
11 MS. GARVEY: He just read the
12 amendments. I didn't read the title.
13 MR. MINORA: I didn't mean to cut
14 anybody off.
15 MS. GARVEY: 7 A. - FOR
16 CONSIDERATION BY THE COMMITTEE ON COMMUNITY
17 DEVELOPMENT - FOR ADOPTION - FILE OF COUNCIL
18 NO. 123, 2007 - AS AMENDED - AUTHORIZING THE
19 MAYOR AND OTHER APPROPRIATE OFFICIALS OF THE
20 CITY OF SCRANTON TO TAKE ALL NECESSARY ACTIONS
21 TO IMPLEMENT THE CONSOLIDATED SUBMISSION FOR
22 COMMUNITY PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS TO
23 BE FUNDED UNDER THE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK
24 GRANT (CDBG) PROGRAM, HOME INVESTMENT
25 PARTNERSHIP (HOME) PROGRAM AND EMERGENCY
1 SHELTER GRANT (ESG) PROGRAM.
2 MS. GATELLI: What is the
3 recommendation of the chair on community
5 MS. FANUCCI: As chairperson for the
6 committee on community development, I recommend
7 final passage of item 7 A.
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
9 MS. GATELLI: On the question?
10 MS. EVANS: Yes. As I was saying,
11 there are very good additions on the part of
12 council for those agencies that received
13 nothing, particularly any that -- or any for
14 whom I advocated my apologies, my sincere
15 apologies. I wish I can do more. I would also
16 ask Mrs. Abley would take a look at the funding
17 for Sloan Little League because it was the
18 office of OECD that approved that allocation,
19 submitted it to council for its vote.
20 It was approved by city council, and
21 a year or two later suddenly they are no longer
22 eligible. And I know that Mrs. Fanucci
23 enumerated the numbers and the low to moderate
24 income families it must serve. But it most
25 certainly does, and it just seems that through
1 the years there has been a game of cat and
2 mouse occurring with the allocation for Sloan
3 Little League. And it's my hope that finally
4 maybe Mrs. Abley can take a look at this and
5 the right thing would be done.
6 Certainly there's always the chance
7 that numbers might have changed over a period
8 of two years. I wouldn't dispute that if,
9 indeed, that's the case. However, the money
10 was withheld for so long against the requests
11 of Sloan.
12 It seems the onus would fall on the
13 shoulders of OECD. So I am hoping like the
14 Hill Neighborhood Association this can be
15 another matter that is satisfactorily cleared
17 MS. FANUCCI: The only problem was
18 that Sloan was the one who filled out the
19 forms. They sent forms home to all the
20 families of the children who were participating
21 there. They or the people who filled out what
22 their income was, how many people in a median
23 household, all of the information -- when that
24 came back to OECD and they sent it out, they
25 did not meet the qualifications. So the
1 paperwork that was done -- I know you want to
2 say it was a cat and mouse -- it was not a cat
3 and mouse because it was provided by the
4 families of Sloan.
5 Maybe now things have changed which
6 means reapply and go through the whole routing
7 system again. That's the only way it can
8 happen because the information -- I saw the
9 paperwork from each family. They didn't
10 qualify. And, unfortunately, these situations
11 are overlooked not just by the city but by the
12 state. And there are so many rules, and they
13 did miss it. And I believe it was by 6 points
14 or 6 percentage points of -- to be a low mod.
15 MS. EVANS: I won't dispute that.
16 That would have been the most current figures.
17 That money was awarded years ago.
18 MS. FANUCCI: This was the for the
19 file of that money. This file was from then,
20 yeah. We can get you a copy.
21 MS. GATELLI: Do you want me to get
22 the file?
23 MS. EVANS: Yes, because in the
24 meantime --
25 MS. GATELLI: We used to do ones
1 like that for street paving. If you thought
2 your neighborhood was low to mod, sometimes it
3 doesn't come up on the census map because that
4 is 10 years old and things change in 10 years.
5 If you do an income survey in your neighborhood
6 -- I know Joan Malino used to do them al the
7 time. And if 51 percent of the block is low
8 mod, then you can get your street paved. You
9 have to do the foot work.
10 MS. EVANS: They have been working
11 on that over the last at least two years. I
12 think Mr. Courtright knows -- and, in fact,
13 they met with Mr. D'Angelo who had told them
14 they were to go and get estimates and so bids
15 so the work can again. So they've actually
16 been led to believe on more than one occasion
17 by that office that the money was forthcoming
18 and then, ironically in the last, say, six
19 months, they received a visit from a city
20 department head and inquiring to see the
21 insurance that they have on this field. And
22 they were told that all leagues, all fields
23 would be visited but, in fact, no others were
24 just them.
25 MS. GATELLI: I just want to piggy
1 back on that for a minute. All the little --
2 all of the little leagues are supposed to
3 provide insurance every year with the leases.
4 MS. EVANS: They had, yes.
5 MS. GATELLI: So I mean if you're
6 saying there are some that aren't, they are
7 supposed to.
8 MS. EVANS: I am not saying there
9 are any who aren't. I know they must.
10 MS. GATELLI: Every year they must
11 provide insurance.
12 MS. EVANS: Exactly. What I am
13 saying is that, you know, it just seemed a bit
14 unusual to have someone coming out and checking
15 on only one field and saying all fields would
16 be checked when, in fact, no others were. So,
17 you know, in a way it seems like they could be
18 pigeonholed there. I am just hoping that once
19 and for all we can get this straighten out for
20 them because they are serving children in West
21 Scranton and they have been for many, many,
22 many, many years and these -- this is not a
23 wealthy area.
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: Could I just -- one
25 more thing. I just thought the census they
1 gave of two years ago they had been told they
2 were good to go and then -- I don't know what
3 census you're looking at now. Was it the from
4 one from two years ago?
5 MS. GATELLI: They did their own
6 income survey.
7 MR. COURTRIGHT: Two years ago -- I
8 was under the impression they were told two
9 years ago you were okay to qualify.
10 MS. FANUCCI: The census for the
11 mapping it was okay, and then when they sent
12 them to the parents and everybody filled it out
13 and it came back, that's where the problem --
14 MR. COURTRIGHT: My question is the
15 one that you saw was it one that was done two
16 years ago or a recent one?
17 MS. FANUCCI: Two years ago, but it
18 was the paperwork that the parents sent back.
19 MS. GATELLI: I know because Cathy
20 that works in my office she had to fill it out
21 because her son played there.
22 MR. COURTRIGHT: Maybe we can take a
23 look at the file.
24 MS. GATELLI: I will get it from --
25 if we can, maybe they can do another one.
1 MS. FANUCCI: Apply again.
2 MS. GATELLI: It's two years later.
3 Things might have changed. We went right off
4 the track here. Sorry. Roll call.
5 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans?
6 MS. EVANS: Yes.
7 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci?
8 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.
9 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff?
10 MR. McGOFF: Yes.
11 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright?
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
13 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. Gatelli?
14 MS. GATELLI: Yes. I hereby declare
15 7 A. legally and lawfully adopted.
16 MS. GARVEY: 7 B - FOR CONSIDERATION
17 BY THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC WORKS - FOR ADOPTION
18 - RESOLUTION NO. 178, 2007 - AUTHORIZING THE
19 MAYOR AND OTHER APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS TO
20 EXECUTE AND ENTER INTO A PROFESSIONAL SERVICES
21 CONTRACT WITH GREENMAN-PEDERSEN, INC. FOR
22 PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERING SERVICES FOR DESIGN OF
23 CRISP AVENUE CULVERT REPLACEMENT.
24 MS. GATELLI: What is the
25 recommendation of the chair on public works?
1 MR. McGOFF: As chair for the
2 committee on public works, I recommend final
3 passage of item 7 B.
4 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
5 MS. GATELLI: On the question? Roll
7 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans?
8 MS. EVANS: Yes.
9 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci?
10 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.
11 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff?
12 MR. McGOFF: Yes.
13 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright?
14 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
15 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. Gatelli?
16 MS. GATELLI: Yes. I hereby declare
17 7 B. legally and lawfully adopted.
18 MS. GARVEY: 7 C - FOR CONSIDERATION
19 BY THE COMMITTEE ON COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT - FOR
20 ADOPTION - RESOLUTION NO. 179, 2007 -
21 AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND OTHER APPROPRIATE
22 CITY OFFICIALS TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH
23 COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF
24 COMMUNITY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (DCED) FOR
25 ITS URBAN DEVELOPMENT GRANT PROGRAM TO RECEIVE
1 $5,000 GRANT FOR POOL IMPROVEMENTS TO THE
2 NOVEMBRINO SWIMMING COMPLEX.
3 MS. GATELLI: What is the
4 recommendation of the chair on community
6 MS. FANUCCI: As chairperson for the
7 committee on community development, I recommend
8 final passage of item 7 C.
9 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
10 MS. GATELLI: On the question? Roll
12 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans?
13 MS. EVANS: Yes.
14 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. 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 COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT FOR
25 ADOPTION - RESOLUTION NO. 180, 2007 -
1 AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND OTHER APPROPRIATE
2 CITY OFFICIALS TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH
3 THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF
4 COMMUNITY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (DCED) FOR
5 ITS URBAN DEVELOPMENT GRANT PROGRAM TO RECEIVE
6 A $10,000 GRANT FOR SITE IMPROVEMENTS TO
7 STURGIS PARK.
8 MS. GATELLI: What is the
9 recommendation of the chair on community
11 MS. FANUCCI: As chairperson for the
12 committee on community development, I recommend
13 final passage of item 7 D.
14 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
15 MS. GATELLI: On the question? Roll
17 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans?
18 MS. EVANS: Yes.
19 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci?
20 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.
21 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff?
22 MR. McGOFF: Yes.
23 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright?
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
25 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. Gatelli?
1 MS. GATELLI: Yes. I hereby declare
2 7 D. legally and lawfully adopted.
3 MS. GARVEY: 7 E - FOR CONSIDERATION
4 BY THE COMMITTEE ON RULES - FOR ADOPTION -
5 RESOLUTION NO. 181, 2007 - APPOINTMENT OF
6 ANTHONY P. TROZZOLILLO, 115 EMILY AVENUE,
7 SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA, 18504, TO THE CIVIL
8 SERVICE COMMISSION EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 5, 2007.
9 MR. TROZZOLILLO WILL BE REPLACE ANDREW E.
10 BUBSER, WHO RESIGNED EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 12,
11 2007. MR. TROZZOLLILO'S TERM WILL EXPIRE WILL
12 THE TERM OF MAYOR CHRISTOPHER A. DOHERTY.
13 MS. GATELLI: As chair for the
14 committee on rules, I recommend final passage
15 of 7 E.
16 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
17 MS. GATELLI: On the question? Roll
19 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans?
20 MS. EVANS: Yes.
21 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. 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 E. legally and lawfully adopted.
5 MS. GARVEY: 8TH ORDER - CITIZEN'S
6 PARTICIPATION II.
7 MS. GATELLI: Douglas Miller.
8 MR. MILLER: Good evening, council,
9 Doug Miller, president of junior council. I
10 would like to begin tonight with a few comments
11 that were made earlier regarding the
12 improvements that are going to be made to
13 Sturgis Park. The $10,000 grant will be used
14 to add lighting to the park. Of course, we
15 know the park has been dark for many years and
16 the park has become an area for mischief.
17 The improvements being made to this
18 park have absolutely nothing to do with the
19 park being near Mayor Doherty's house. This is
20 about protecting our residents which is a top
22 There ain't no party like a Scranton
23 party because a Scranton party doesn't stop.
24 Those are the words that echoed throughout our
25 city over the weekend beginning Friday morning
1 on the Today Show with Al Roker as Scranton
2 hosted the first annual office convention.
3 MS. GATELLI: I just want to
4 interrupt you for a minute. The Al Roker
5 look-alike --
6 MR. MILLER: The convention
7 attracted thousands of people all over the
8 country and also attracted major television
9 networks including N. B. C. As a Scrantonian,
10 I was very proud to have had people from all
11 over the country here in our city because it
12 gave them the opportunity to learn more about
13 our city and see what we have to offer.
14 Over the three-day convention, fans
15 traveled from restaurant to restaurant and
16 businesses in the downtown saw a dramatic
17 increase in sales. To me that is progress and
18 will certainly improve our downtown.
19 Thousands of people packed the
20 streets of the downtown even in the pouring
21 rain. I commend all the convention organizers
22 for planning such a wonderful weekend full of
23 activities for everyone. We should realize it
24 was a privilege to been able to hold such a
1 Scranton was chosen by the producers
2 of the Office because they saw the progress
3 being made in our city and they also saw what
4 we had to offer. The success of this year's
5 convention should be enough to begin planning
6 the second annual Office convention in
8 The Scranton Junior City Council is
9 raising funds to purchase Christmas lights to
10 decorate the South Scranton Renaissance Center
11 for the holiday season. The theme for our
12 project is light up the town. I am asking all
13 resident and businesses to please support our
14 project by making a donation. We ask that
15 donations be sent here to city hall, 340 North
16 Washington Avenue. For more information please
17 visit our web page at, www.scrantonpa.gov.
18 Lastly tonight on behalf of junior
19 council, I'd like to ask all registered voters
20 in the city to get out and vote on Tuesday,
21 November 6th. There are many key races in our
22 area. Your vote will have an influence on each
23 of those races. I'd like to wish Mr. McGoff
24 and Mr. Courtright the best of luck. Thank
1 MS. GATELLI: Thank you, Douglas.
2 Reverend Simmons.
3 MS. SIMMONS: Good evening, council
4 members and youth council. My name is Reverend
5 Kathryn Simmons, Florence Midtown Crime Watch.
6 I come here tonight to talk to you about a
7 group of people that this city should be very
8 proud of.
9 One of the reasons that the success
10 of this past weekend was so great is because
11 these people were present and doing their job.
12 We should be so proud that these people are
13 here and active. Maybe we should come to the
14 understanding that that's why this is called
15 the Electric City because we have people such
16 as these.
17 911, Hurricane Katrina and recently
18 the fires in California are exhibits to us
19 about how important and how perilless these
20 people's lives are each day and how at risk our
21 own would be without them. These men and women
22 are such heroic souls. We should bless each of
23 them every year with aid to them and their
25 I believe a hand has been extended
1 to each side of the table, administration and
2 union. Maybe now they can sit down together
3 and settle the backlog of problems this city
4 has watched developed over these past six
5 years. The unions will never die. The heroes
6 of the world will never let them die. You can
7 kill off their spokesperson, but another one is
8 waiting in the wings. Too many lives have been
9 shed over the decades to allow the fall of the
10 unions and their members. So if that's what
11 people are waiting for, it's not going to
13 Stop this endless battle and draw
14 together into one united city. Honor our
15 firemen and our policeman as they should be.
16 Don't wait until some catastrophe occurs making
17 realize that the video camera and the paper
18 graphs don't walk the streets. They don't
19 enter into a house engulfed in flames. Be
20 proud of our men and women as we should be.
21 Honor them.
22 The second thing I came here tonight
23 to talk about was a letter that I received the
24 week before last. It's from some tenants in
25 one of Scranton's projects, and they asked me
1 to step in and intervene, take up their banner.
2 Well, I don't have any problem taking up a
3 banner, but I'm here to tell you tonight that I
4 won't attack personalities. That's not what
5 I'm here for. That's not what my God has left
6 me here for. If that's what people are
7 watching for me, ain't going to happen.
8 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mr.
10 MR. SPINDLER: Good evening,
11 council, Les Spindler, city resident. Well, as
12 everyone knows I'm sure the judge overturned
13 the arbitrator's decision with the police and
14 firemen's union stating that it violates the
15 city's recovery plan. Well, Chris Doherty
16 violated his own recovery plan by giving huge
17 pay raises and creating new positions.
18 How could the judge say one thing
19 and let mayor get away with the same thing?
20 That's how politics in this area get -- to get
21 a judge from non-union county. I am sure when
22 this is appealed by the unions -- I am sure it
23 will be and it goes to an impartial area, it
24 will be overturned and the unions will get
25 their contract.
1 Mr. McGoff, you were quoted as
2 saying in the paper from last week's debate
3 arbitration costs have been detrimental to the
4 city. Well, if the mayor sat down right in the
5 beginning when he took office and negotiated
6 the contracts with the unions we wouldn't have
7 any arbitrations. It's one person's fault, and
8 it's Chris Doherty. Mr. McGoff, do you think
9 the unions deserve a raise after six years of
10 not getting one?
11 MR. McGOFF: Do you want a response?
12 I believe the unions should have contracts,
14 MR. SPINDLER: Thank you. You know,
15 teachers can go on strike as you were a teacher
16 and you know that. Fire fighters and policeman
17 by law cannot go on strike, so they have to go
18 to arbitration if they are not negotiated with.
19 Since the reason you're up there Mr. McGoff is
20 that Chris Doherty put you there, I'm asking
21 you to go to the mayor and ask him to sit down
22 with these unions and negotiate a fair
24 These people have families like
25 everybody else. They have to support their
1 families, and the mayor should sit down with
2 them and negotiate a new contract. Next thing,
3 this isn't only a city issue, something to do
4 with the school board also.
5 The next school board meeting is
6 November 12th, but that's only to speak on
7 school issues. I called and asked when the
8 meeting is, November 19th. Anybody from the
9 city can go and speak on any school board
10 issue. Being a father of a student at West
11 Scranton High School, I am asking every parent
12 out there that is a parent of a student in West
13 Scranton to go to the next meeting on the 19th
14 where you can speak on any issue and ask that
15 the school board does not let that student who
16 had been suspended back at that school ever
17 because a possible tragedy was averted last
18 week and the student should not be allowed back
19 in that school. Thank you.
20 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Sbaraglia.
21 MR. SBARAGLIA: Andy Sbaraglia,
22 citizen of Scranton, fellow Scrantonians, I
23 will bring up a very old subject -- it's not
24 really, really old but one that is dear to my
25 heart. This is the delinquent tax sale. I was
1 watching the debates, and somebody referred to
2 that piece of legislation as a nudge.
3 Well, I will tell you what a nudge
4 is. The 10 percent that they tax on from being
5 late was a nudge. The 25 percent that N. C. C.
6 tacked on was a push. But this 3,000 penalty,
7 that's a shove over the cliff. People can't
8 come back from that. They may have came back
9 from N. C. C. and maybe from ten percent but
10 never from the 3,000. I don't know how in the
11 world you would allow that to pass. I really
13 To me -- I hope we can get out there
14 and get some legislation to abolish penalties
15 like this. It's much, much too severe for what
16 actually was owed.
17 I mean, a 10 percent and a 25
18 percent is 35 percent. That should have been
19 enough of a penalty to have people go out and
20 pay their taxes. 3,000 is more like a land
21 grab. That's the way I look at this. This is
22 a land grab. You're after your grandmother's
23 house. That's who they are after. They are
24 after the poor people who are on a fixed
25 income, and they are trying to grab their
1 properties at a steal. You helped them. You
2 voted for that piece of legislation that nobody
3 had any kind of a heart or any feeling from the
4 city could vote it. No one.
5 I don't believe our old council --
6 that was really pro Doherty -- would ever vote
7 for that piece of legislation. I think we
8 should ask them what they think of it, they
9 would say it's probably one of the worst pieces
10 of legislation that ever came before council
11 because it affects the little people, the
12 little people you keep mentioning that are
13 making too much money to get this or that
14 because they are not low enough income.
15 But believe me they are low enough
16 income. If you look at what is happening in
17 the country today, you see that any them
18 figures they are giving you which we were never
19 given actually know what is low and moderate
20 income. Nobody really knows. The average pay
21 in this -- in this area is 26,000. That should
22 be moderate. Low probably is toward poverty.
23 Well, all I can say is vote.
24 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Quinn? Mrs.
25 Garvey, for the next meeting, would you please
1 get a copy of the low to moderate income
2 guidelines that OECD uses, and we can give them
3 to Mr. Sbaraglia?
4 MR. QUINN: Mr. Quinn, taxpayer, I
5 want to thank Mrs. Evans. I want to thank my
6 colleague Andy Sbaraglia for the generous offer
7 he made to Channel 61. In regards to the --
8 earlier on we spoke about the money that is
9 collecting dust at OECD. Judy, would you
10 please look into the UDAG fund and see how much
11 is there? And if there's enough there, try to
12 give some of that to the Sloan Little League.
13 Why should they be denied funds when someone on
14 the other side of town is getting their
15 improvements at ball parks and whatnot, you
17 There must be a lot of UDAG funds
18 available. Last week I spoke about city
19 residents going paycheck to paycheck because of
20 $30,000 is enough to make or break a person,
21 okay. And I noted that the median income is
22 $31,090. In the state it's $40,184. Our
23 elderly population is 18 percent while the
24 elderly in the state is 15. Per capita in the
25 city is 17,187 while in the state it's 20,888.
1 Poverty in the city is 17.2 percent. The state
2 is 11.9 percent.
3 We cannot afford to continue with
4 this kind of socioeconomic data and continue to
5 raise our taxes. I want to point out that
6 we're wasting a lot of money as Dennis
7 Yemblosky who is the secretary for economic
8 development for the state noted in a associated
9 press survey last week -- the associated press
10 -- I am quoting -- review records for 56
11 businesses that were awarded a total of 44
12 million in incentives in 2003 and 2004 that
13 were subject to state compliance audits. Only
14 25 or fewer than half had hired the number of
15 workers they promised.
16 I ask you as I did back in January
17 which I got a spin on the questions that I
18 asked that Kay sent over -- audit please those
19 people who are getting this money from our
20 OECD. You said earlier you can use this money
21 maybe in some projects that might help people
22 if they are not doing what they promised and
23 get them the heck out of there and get that
24 money back from them.
25 Also the -- from Yamblonski's
1 economists and academics questioned whether
2 such spending does much to bolster economic
3 growth, benefit taxpayers or revive the
4 depressed areas. Business executives and
5 development sector officials say companies
6 decide where to typically put more weight on
7 factors like the quality of the work force and
8 access to customers or supply chains rather
9 than incentives. I think these incentives
10 we're giving these people and they don't need
12 They will be able to come to the
13 city without these incentives because they are
14 eligible by banks, they qualify for banks for
15 this money. So please look into that UDAG, and
16 look into that in regards to the number of jobs
17 if we can audit these jobs. Thank you.
18 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Talimini.
19 MR. TALIMINI: Good evening,
20 council, Joe Talimini, citizen of Scranton.
21 You know, week after week I hear the same thing
22 over and over again. I don't think anybody on
23 that is making less than 40 or 50,000 a year
24 probably in addition to what you're getting for
25 being on the city council. That's probably ten
1 times what I make in the course of a year's
3 Unfortunately, I pay the same price
4 for the local bread that you. I pay then same
5 for a gallon of gas that you do. I pay the
6 same for just about everything you purchase.
7 We also pay taxes as well. I never hear
8 anything about our plight. To give you an
9 example, we will get a 2.3 percent rise in our
10 salaries this year which amounts in my case to
11 $21 a month.
12 $17 of that will go to my Medicare
13 part B. payment, in addition to which when I
14 come for recertification, I will be paying an
15 extra $6. That means that's $23 a month more.
16 I am getting a $21 raise. Now, is politics in
17 the United States. I say the same thing here
18 in Scranton. You people pay no attention to
19 what is going on to the people -- real people
20 out there. I would love to see you get off
21 your duff and get out and communicate with the
22 people in my position who need help.
23 There are a lot of people out here
24 who are property owners. They pay through the
25 nose on their taxes. They are getting burned,
1 too. But you don't pay to attention the people
2 out there who need the help. Now, you went out
3 to West Scranton High School several months ago
4 and you had a council meeting out there. You
5 know, I see these people across the street at
6 democratic headquarters. I see them down the
7 street at republican headquarters. I don't see
8 any of them out there who are making 10, 15,
9 20,000 a year. Let's stop diluting ourselves.
10 This is an 8 to 10 dollar an hour town. We
11 don't need boutiques, we don't need high rise
12 buildings which aren't occupied. We don't need
13 revitalization of the community which can't
14 exist on its own right now. What we need in
15 this town is we need jobs and we need real
16 people who are addressing real needs. I hope
17 that this council will have a moratorium on
18 spending and on borrowing and going against the
19 will of the people and the people who really
20 need your help. Thank you.
21 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.
22 MS. GATELLI: Mr. McCloe.
23 MR. McCLOE: Good evening, my name
24 is Brett McCloe, Scranton taxpayer. Tonight I
25 wanted to talk about the importance of city
1 participation in the voting process and the
2 responsibility and maintenance of free speech.
3 Months ago I made a statement that America
4 starts here.
5 I made that statement because I
6 believe in the ability of the people of
7 Scranton and all of northeastern Pennsylvania
8 to vote, stand up and speak out. I said it
9 before, but for many years we have been kept
10 silent by business leaders, clergy and told
11 what to think by media outlets.
12 Next Tuesday most who vote will
13 continue this policy of silence by casting
14 their vote and walking away and demanding
15 nothing from the people they elect. Your civic
16 duty and your voice should not begin and end at
17 the voting booth.
18 That's why I think channel 61 is
19 more than just a means of showcasing the arts
20 and culture of northeastern Pennsylvania. In
21 my opinion it's a public utility and a conduit
22 to open and honest government. I want to thank
23 Ms. Evans for showing some uncommon leadership
24 on this issue.
25 We need uncommon leaders who value
1 free speech and freedom of expressions more
2 than their political careers. The bottom line
3 is it's mind over matter. Without channel 61,
4 without voter participation, without people
5 actually being able to say what they want to
6 say responsibly, of course, most in power will
7 pay you no mind. And after election day you
8 will no longer matter. So please everyone who
9 -- next Tuesday get out there and vote, and do
10 more than just go out and vote. Speak up and
11 say your mind.
12 Everything rides on what comes out
13 of your mouth more than the button you push or
14 the -- the hole you poke in the elector. Thank
16 MS. GATELLI: Mike Dudek.
17 MR. DUDEK: Mike Dudek, 608 Depot
18 Street, Scranton, I live in the plot. Two
19 quick things I will bring attention to city
20 council. The last time I suggested a piece of
21 legislation at this microphone you passed it.
22 That was the apartment inspection law that we
23 now have in the city.
24 I will give you two more no brainers
25 to pass. Given the plight of our city firemen,
1 city policemen and also given that rather
2 onerous law that says anybody who is a fireman
3 or policeman has to live in the City of
4 Scranton period, I would like to see you pass a
5 law suspending the real estate property tax --
6 the R. E. I. T. for any person who becomes a
7 city fireman or policeman who buys a house in
8 the City of Scranton.
9 That I think would be a help to
10 them. That's a no brainer. You can have that
11 done -- cranked out by Thanksgiving. Any
12 person becoming a cop or fireman in the city
13 who buys a house in the city wouldn't have to
14 pay the real estate transfer tax.
15 That's the first one I would like
16 you consider, pass, have it done by
17 Thanksgiving. The second one would take a
18 little bit longer. If you saw the booklet that
19 everybody got who participated in the Office,
20 okay, I got an idea from that booklet. Have
21 somebody in the OECD approach every person who
22 takes a job in the City of Scranton -- for
23 instance, from the University of Scranton or
24 the Scranton Times or Marywood or the hospitals
25 or whatever anybody that those -- that is hired
1 in this city, whether it's a law firm or bank
2 firm who has to move here who is considering
3 buying, say, in Clarks Summit or Dunmore or
4 Throop or whatever, have the OECD give them a
5 book showing all of the real estate available
6 in the city, have special coupons in that book
7 giving them free meals in the better
8 restaurants in the city, put other little
9 things in that book but severely limit the
10 number of books. Only give out a book to a
11 person who moves into the city or buys a house
12 in this city.
13 And also give them a three-year wage
14 tax -- wage tax freeze. Now, the Scranton
15 Times just hired a man. He moved his family to
16 616 Depot Street. He is an editor -- economics
17 editor. They hired him from St. Louis. It's
18 people like this who come to this city who buy
19 a house in the city who should get a three year
20 suspension of paying the wage taxes to -- to
21 encourage them to come to the city. When
22 you're buying a house, you are going to have a
23 lot of other expenses. They are going to have
24 moving expenses and whatever it's going to take
25 for him to move his family from St. Louis to
2 I think people like this should get
3 that kind of a break, okay. And as for one
4 other little item, I did a walk like Mrs.
5 Fanucci did last week. I went down Spruce
6 Street and went down Washington. I found nine
7 other vacant store fronts. There are four
8 vacant store fronts on Spruce Street. There
9 are directly across the street from the city
10 administration building -- long red building
11 four of them right in a row all vacant. And on
12 North Washington Avenue the 100 block -- 119,
13 121, 123, 125 and 127, store fronts for rent.
14 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mr.
16 MR. PICCOLINO: Giovanni Piccolino.
17 I would like to thank you, Ms. Fanucci, for yet
18 another unprofessional and off colored remark
19 you made to a citizen again which just so
20 happened to be me tonight. I do understand
21 what I talk about.
22 Personally, I don't think you
23 understand any of the legislation that is
24 placed in front of you. And regardless if you
25 did or didn't, you'd vote yes as long as mayor
1 Doherty told you to. I also understand --
2 MS. FANUCCI: I don't get you a lot
3 of votes, Pic. Good luck on that one.
4 MR. PICCOLINO: I would also -- I
5 understand you made the comment there are no
6 empty store fronts in Scranton. How about
7 Creedon's Floral and Abe's Deli on Wyoming
8 Avenue? How about Bunches on Spruce Street in
9 the life building? How about the whole Connell
10 Building on North Washington Avenue? How about
11 Bewitching? How about the three buildings next
12 to Bewitching? How about the former Kentucky
13 Fried Chicken building? How about the former
14 Rite Aide and the South Side Complex down
16 I also understand how difficult your
17 constant yes votes makes it to be a businessman
18 in the City of Scranton. There's a few
19 examples, the Price Chopper on Luzerne Street
20 moved to Taylor because of our ridiculous taxes
21 that basically you and your other two comrades
22 up there with your yes votes? How about the
23 Shoppes at Montage? Half of those were in the
24 Steamtown Mall. They moved up there for
25 greener pastures and cheaper taxes.
1 Now our two newest ones moving out
2 of the city the McCann School of Business and
3 Geisinger Lake Scranton moving right out of
4 town because of you, Mrs. Gatelli and Mr.
5 McGoff, yes, yes, yes votes and our constant
6 raise in taxes. Thank you.
7 MS. FANUCCI: I will dually note Mr.
8 Piccolino has a wonderful outview on our city.
9 I hope all the citizen are there hoping to have
10 that wonderful, wonderful aspect and hope for
11 our city as he does. That's all.
12 Also I would like to say one more
13 thing. He was absolutely incorrect about me
14 stating -- you did not understand what you were
15 speaking of, or you made a mistake. Maybe you
16 should replay the tape. That might help you
17 out also.
18 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Dobson.
19 MR. DOBSON: Good evening, council.
20 This week I would like to talk about the issues
21 with our sewer authority. And to repeat,
22 Senator Kanjorski secured 20 million for
23 overflow prevention projects. Scranton needs
24 150 million for the same type of project.
25 And this was applauded by
1 organizations and agencies involved all the way
2 to the Chesapeake Bay as they gave it a thumbs
3 up, but 20 million doesn't cut it for us
5 And in addition to sewer storm water
6 mix, $4,600 miles of P. A. streams are
7 contaminated with acid mine water and very
8 little concern from the federal government in
9 spite of the fact that -- of the mining
10 reclamation act which taxes coal at $1 a ton.
11 Very little of this being spent in P. A. I'm
12 asking everyone to please contact state and
13 federal congress people to provide funds.
14 $150 million can cripple our city
15 with huge sewer fees. Another Times article,
16 in addition, too, estimates that 51 percent of
17 P. A. municipal sewers are in violation of this
18 act. So it's pretty much everybody or -- a
19 very large portion of it. So once again I'm
20 asking to please -- you people start from the
21 grass roots. That's where everything starts --
22 start contacting congress and try to get us
23 something for this because it's -- $150 million
24 is -- if you put the long term value on that
25 you're probably talking $300 million. And to
1 the voters, please get out and vote on Tuesday.
2 Thank you.
3 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mr.
5 MR. PORTER: Good evening again,
6 Andrew Porter, citizen of Scranton, veteran. I
7 got to make it here more often because only one
8 list out there when I was here last and now
9 there's two. I am here mainly -- I've been
10 coming here for five years. The city will
11 never be as great as you say it is to be as
12 we'd like it to be unless it's inclusive of all
14 Bill talked briefly about grants. I
15 went through that grant process thing to find
16 out that when grants were initially written for
17 -- the idea of a grant has gone 360 degrees.
18 Actually I am pretty upset and I ask God to
19 just step in here because of what had
20 transpired with me this weekend. I am trying
21 to open up a restaurant Momma's Soul Food
22 Restaurant. I am registered with the state
23 license and have an employee tax number as well
24 as a number of other things from the state.
25 Now, it rained Friday all just about
1 and then on Saturday continued to rain. And I
2 had to set up -- this Office Convention was one
3 that I was at -- everybody knows Al Roker. I
4 think you would know him not to come to the
5 convention not just to see him because he's
6 black but because he is a well known prominent
7 American citizen.
8 I would like to be known to be a
9 well known prominent citizen of Scranton as
10 well as this country also, but I'm trying to
11 put a business if place and moneys I thought
12 was available to me was not available to me.
13 So I have tried every way that I can to raise
14 money to start this business.
15 This business will create jobs for
16 the City of Scranton as well. Everyone knows
17 that I am cleaner than Mr. Clean and that I am
18 a very organized person as well. Now, it
19 rained hard. It took us -- took me quite some
20 time -- I only had the assistance of a member
21 of my church help me to bring things over there
22 to the downtown area. We were set up well. I
23 had my pop there.
24 He counted the money and stuff like
25 that, but I wasn't set up as we was supposed to
1 be set up at ten. I wasn't set up until about
2 12:00. Now, the position where I was located I
3 mean, you know, I was on Spruce Street where
4 most of the action took place around Linden
5 Street. I was pretty much a block away from
6 everything. I am sure Al Roker didn't know he
7 had some soul food there, but if he would have
8 like other people, maybe they would have come
9 over and had. But the persons that did have it
10 enjoyed it.
11 I have a problem with the city
12 inspector. I will tell you I was at the Unity
13 Festival that -- it required -- you can check
14 on it for me -- the city inspector to be there
15 to inspect food, so on and so forth. I was
16 also at Scranton night out and a few other
17 things. The bottom line is what happened to me
18 was that she came over to my stand. When
19 finally people came over after the rain had
20 dissipated and asked me a lot of questions, and
21 she was very rude and ran people away from me.
22 She actually said, I've been looking for you as
23 if I was on the F.B.I.'s most wanted list. And
24 I asked for I. D. She didn't have I. D.
25 That's my question to you. Would a city
1 employee like that -- should they have I. D?
2 MS. GATELLI: Absolutely.
3 MR. PORTER: That person did not
4 have I. D., as a matter of fact continued
5 harassing me by coming over to my house
6 yesterday. I told her I was on a business
7 call. Now, I have -- she said she's been
8 looking for me because she seen menus and
9 announcements -- and I know that I am over the
10 limit. It's very important I read this.
11 Momma's Soul Food Restaurant will specialize in
12 providing a unique blend of southern style
13 cooking but this restaurant is unique in that
14 it will be the first and only full service soul
15 food restaurant in the region. All right.
16 In addition, it will feature some
17 Latin American cusine so on and so forth. I
18 asked her because there was so many people
19 there if she can come back and, you know, show
20 me her I. D. or whatever. I didn't know who
21 she was. Well, she hung around with me for
22 quite some time. She came back a number of
23 times, bottom line she hassled me. Here is a
24 man trying to create business -- legitimate
25 business in Scranton and I am hassled by a city
1 employee -- I think a city employee. This is
2 not a good thing and not a right thing. I know
3 my time is up. I will be here --
4 MS. GATELLI: If you can stay after,
5 we will get more information. I apologize if
6 you were treated rudely. Mrs. Schumacher.
7 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Porter, I will
8 speak to you after the meeting because there's
9 quite a few people waiting.
10 MR. PORTER: Not a problem. I was
11 finally given a permit.
12 MS. GATELLI: Just keep it all
13 there. If you want to go now and Neil can make
14 some copies for us. Neil, can you make some
15 copies of some of his items? Mr. Porter, would
16 you go over to the office, please? Neil will
17 make some of these copies for us.
18 MS. SCHUMACHER: Marie Schumacher,
19 resident and member of the Scranton and
20 Lackawanna County Taxpayers and Citizen's
21 Association. I would like to continue
22 following up on some of the questions that I
23 was seeking answers for that I have asked over
24 the months and never received answers.
25 And I will try to be brief so
1 there's time within my three minutes for you to
2 respond. Mrs. Gatelli many, many moons ago you
3 said you were going to have the solicitor
4 research the requirement to place liens on
5 properties where demolition has occurred and
6 the property is still in private hands. I
7 would like a report on that. Mr. McGoff has
8 left. Interesting. Well, I have several for
10 I will note them for the record
11 because he is the liaison with D. P. W.,
12 correct? In this very room back at least a
13 month ago the bids were open for the doggie
14 park at Connell Park. Mr. Brazil stated the
15 week of September 24th there would be a bid in
16 the -- request for bids in the paper for the
17 East Elm Street storm water project. I still
18 haven't seen that. Mr. Brazil still doesn't
19 answer phones.
20 He doesn't return telephone calls.
21 And there is -- there are several questions on
22 that. I would like to from Mr. McGoff --
23 months ago he promised flood sirens for lower
24 Green Ridge. I would like to know when that
25 flood siren was installed. I would like to
1 know the status of the hiring of an engineer
2 for the City of Scranton.
3 And I would like to know precisely
4 how much the arbitrations for the police and
5 fire have cost the city to date. so answers?
6 MS. GATELLI: The only answer I have
7 for you about the liens is the mayor uses it as
8 an economic development tool and does not place
9 liens on some demolitions. I don't know if
10 council has the authority to place those liens
11 on their own.
12 We can have Attorney Minora do that,
13 but generally it is the law department that
14 prepares the lien for a demolition property.
15 MS. SCHUMACHER: That seems to be a
16 grounds for discrimination if the mayor grants
17 gifts to some residents and not to others,
18 others he charges. So I think that's a serious
19 pending legal issue. Now, since Mr. McGoff is
20 back I will ask him.
21 MS. GATELLI: I don't want you to
22 interpret that as that I agree with that
23 because I don't agree with that either. I
24 think people should pay when they have
25 demolition on their property.
1 MS. SCHUMACHER: Mr. McGoff, when
2 was the flood siren installed that you promised
3 the residents of lower Green Ridge?
4 MR. McGOFF: I don't think I ever
5 promised that I would install a siren.
6 MS. SCHUMACHER: Not you personally.
7 MR. McGOFF: I said I would look
8 into it for them. There's not been one placed
10 MS. SCHUMACHER: Several things for
11 the department of public works, when will the
12 East Elm Street storm water project be put out
13 for bid? Mr. Brazil said it would be the week
14 of the 24th September.
15 MR. McGOFF: I don't have a date on
16 it. I don't know.
17 MS. SCHUMACHER: What is the status
18 of the hiring of an engineer for the City of
20 MS. GATELLI: I know there is a part
21 time engineer.
22 MS. SCHUMACHER: Should who also
23 works for -- as I understand if it's -- if it's
24 Mike Luciani, he also works for the one of the
25 contractors. I think there is a conflict of
1 interest there but --
2 MS. GATELLI: I would say only if he
3 worked on his own project.
4 MS. SCHUMACHER: He doesn't return
5 calls either. Exactly how much, Mr. McGoff,
6 have the arbitrations on the police and fire
7 contracts cost the city to date?
8 MR. McGOFF: I do not know.
9 MS. SCHUMACHER: Okay. Thank you.
10 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Stucker.
11 MR. STUCKER: We need a light on
12 Mulberry by that -- where the -- when you down
13 Capouse down -- right where that -- there's no
14 light there.
15 MS. GATELLI: I think Mr. Courtright
16 said he was going to look into that for you.
17 MR. COURTRIGHT: We will take care
18 of that, Jim. What about the -- the drains,
19 they are all full of leaves? Do you want to
20 get city out there like last year with the
21 blower to pick up the leaves? I went by that
22 -- the -- that bar. I went by. The grass is
23 still up yet. You never got down there to cut
24 that. And the laundry -- the city owns the
25 laundry parking lot, that's all filled with
1 weeds around that middle thing in the middle of
2 the road, the little parking lot.
3 MS. GATELLI: Okay. We will report
4 that, Jim.
5 MR. STUCKER: They are walking down
6 the street around the corner -- there's people.
7 I don't want to mention their names right next
8 to the bar, they've been harassing me a lot
9 --the barber shop next to Murphy's bar. They
10 keep harassing me every time I go up and down
11 that sidewalk. I told the cops about it. I
12 want somebody out there tell them just leave me
13 alone. They are blaming me for breaking a
14 window, and I didn't break it. I want some
15 chief or somebody go out there and tell them
16 leave me alone.
17 MS. GATELLI: Walk on the other side
18 of the street, Jim. Don't go near them.
19 MR. STUCKER: I don't go by them. I
20 just walk.
21 MS. GATELLI: Go the other way so
22 they don't bother you.
23 MR. STUCKER: All right, okay. What
24 about Parrot Avenue? Are you still going to
25 get the holes there fixed by Judge's Lumber?
1 MS. GATELLI: Yeah, we'll send them
2 up, okay.
3 MR. STUCKER: Okay. I hope you have
4 a good Halloween.
5 MS. GATELLI: Thanks, Jim. Thank
6 you. Have a good night. Anyone else?
7 MR. LAVARSKY: Tom Lavarsky, city
8 council. I am Tom Lavarsky, also a member of
9 the Scranton Lackawanna County Taxpayers.
10 Several weeks ago I came to this podium and
11 asked city council to see if there was some
12 alternative to tearing down the post office
13 building in south side.
14 Since then several people have
15 approached me with suggestions. One of them
16 was for the Book Mobile to be located down
17 there seeing as they need space. Another was
18 to have something like the Weston Field house
19 where there's game rooms, et cetera, for the
20 kids, pool tables, ping-pong tables, things of
21 that nature.
22 Another one and probably the best
23 one was to locate the branch office or the
24 branch for the library in that building. And
25 another suggestion was to use it as a studio
1 for channel 61 all of which I think are good
2 suggestions, and I would suggest that city
3 council look in -- instead of our fixation with
4 tearing down buildings to put this building to
5 use. Thank you.
6 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.
7 MR. MORGAN: Good evening, council.
8 I'm also a member of the tax group, and I -- I
9 would like to thank Mr. Rogan and Mr. Piccolino
10 for coming to the tax group and discussing in
11 front of the group and in front of the
12 residents of Scranton some of the issues that
13 are hopefully very important to them. And I
14 would also like to thank Jim Minicozzi and Mrs.
15 Orleski for coming and answering questions.
16 And, you know, you can't tell people who to
17 vote for because that's not right. But you
18 know something, at least they showed up and
19 they took part in the forum and they didn't
20 duck, bob or weave, okay. And I think that was
21 really important, and it showed leadership
22 ability in my opinion.
23 The other thing is Mr. Dudek got up
24 and spoke about a couple things. You know
25 what? I think he's somewhat on the mark. I
1 would like to say I think Mr. Joe Talimini has
2 been really listening to the people of this
3 city or maybe his appearances at the tax group
4 writing some of his articles from there -- he's
5 really learned a lot about the real situation
6 of this city that I think council and just --
7 in some degree has missed. This city is on its
8 -- absolutely on its knees, and I think that
9 Mr. Dudek had some of it right. I think the
10 transfer fee for transferring realty needs to
11 be abolished.
12 There's so many homes in the city
13 for sale it's mind boggling. You see signs
14 where somebody is trying to sell their home and
15 underneath it they have for sale by owner signs
16 also. I mean, you go through neighborhoods and
17 there's three or four houses for sale on the
18 block. Even the Scranton Times has finally
19 caught on to the fact that we're innidiated
20 with property here for sale. The other thing
21 is the wage tax, 2.4 percent.
22 That should be abolished. It should
23 go to zero. Then maybe some of the people who
24 fled the city from overtaxation maybe they will
25 come back. Maybe we have to live within our
1 means and cut our budget to into the ability of
2 the residents to pay it, and maybe that's why
3 our middle class has fled the city because they
4 had the ability to leave. I think that's a
5 real problem. I really do.
6 I find it so troubling that council
7 has so few answers to the legislation that
8 passes before you. And when you're asked a
9 question you say, well, I don't know the answer
10 to that. Well, we had it last week. I think
11 that when you're dealing with things as
12 important as this budget or any other city
13 business that's enacted by this council, you
14 should have all the facts and you should know
15 them. You should own that. That should be in
16 your mind.
17 You shouldn't have to go back and
18 look for sources of information. You should
19 control that information. You should have read
20 it all. And I really think that's a serious
21 problem. Or when you come and you take a look
22 at how you asked for information on something
23 after it's been passed, that time was before
24 that. Thank you.
25 MS. FRANUS: Fay Franus, Scranton.
1 When Mayor Doherty took office many years ago
2 when he hired his administration and since then
3 since he's become mayor, he has given his
4 administration staff 40 to 60 percent pay
6 Well, that's illegal and in complete
7 violation of the recovery plan, his recovery
8 plan that he picks and chooses when he wants to
9 use it. I would like to ask you, Mr. McGoff,
10 what have you done to ensure that there is no
11 way to cut back on mayor Doherty's spending
12 before you granted and burdened the taxpayers
13 with your 25 percent tax increase? What have
14 you done?
15 Have you asked the mayor to tighten
16 his belt before you gave him this money before
17 you allowed him to spend this money for his
18 administration staff, for consultants and
19 lawyers and maybe more consultants for people
20 that -- should just hired one person to do the
21 job instead of hiring four consultants to help
22 them? What have you questioned him on this?
23 MR. McGOFF: I don't think you
24 really want a response.
25 MS. FRANUS: Yes, I do. I would
1 like to know what you have said to Mayor
2 Doherty when he gave all these raises to the
3 administrators? What did you do because -- you
4 didn't get elected. You got appointed by Ms.
5 Gatelli and Ms. Fanucci and the mayor. You
6 took and oath of office to represent the
7 people, and you haven't done that. You owe
8 them -- the people that you swore to represent
9 -- you owed them the right to go to the mayor
10 and deny him that tax increase and deny him all
11 his spending but you didn't do that. I am
12 asking what have you done? What did you do?
13 MR. McGOFF: You're trying to answer
14 your own question.
15 MS. FRANUS: I want you to answer
17 MR. McGOFF: Is the question what
18 have I done to prevent the mayor from passing a
20 MS. FRANUS: What did you do to stop
21 the mayor from spending all that money when he
22 gave all those raises? Did you not question
23 him? Why did you give the tax increase? That
24 money -- wouldn't need the tax increase if you
25 stopped Mayor Doherty from giving all those
1 raises, which was illegal in the first place.
2 MR. McGOFF: What raises are they?
3 MS. FRANUS: For all his
4 administration staff, example, Bill Fiorini, he
5 35,000. When the mayor took over he got
7 MR. McGOFF: Was I here when --
8 MS. FRANUS: No, he's done it all
9 along. Why did you --
10 MR. McGOFF: I wasn't here when they
11 were approved.
12 MS. FRANUS: You were here when
13 other people have gotten raises. You've been
14 here when other people have gotten hired. You
15 said you've never been here since he hired
16 people? You have been. Why would you allow
17 him to hire people that weren't necessary? I
18 want an answer.
19 MR. McGOFF: I am trying to, but --
20 I did answer you. I don't think I was here
21 when those raises were -- okay.
22 MS. FRANUS: You were here -- he
23 hired --
24 MR. McGOFF: I answered your
25 question. You don't want the answer. So
1 accept the answer.
2 MS. FRANUS: You betrayed the trust
3 of the people. You breached the obligation to
4 the people in favor of the mayor.
5 MS. GATELLI: Thank you, Mrs.
7 MS. FRANUS: I would like to say
8 something else if I may.
9 MS. GATELLI: Your time is up.
10 MS. FRANUS: Wait a minute. Wait a
12 MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Franus -- Mrs.
13 Franus, your time is up.
14 MS. FRANUS: I would like to --
15 MS. GATELLI: You're out of order.
16 MS. FRANUS: Why were two other
17 people allowed to speak at least three minutes
18 over their time just before me?
19 MS. GATELLI: It is at the
20 discretion of the president to allow people to
21 go over their time.
22 MS. FRANUS: What makes you decide
23 -- what makes you --
24 MS. GATELLI: I decide on my
1 MS. FRANUS: I have more thing to
3 MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Franus, please.
4 MS. FRANUS: What is one for one is
5 right for others. I just hope when the
6 reorganization meeting comes along, Mr. McGoff,
7 that if --
8 MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Franus --
9 MS. FRANUS: -- that you won't go
10 along with --
11 MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Franus --
12 MS. FRANUS: And it's your
13 obligation to represent the taxpayer.
14 MS. GATELLI: I will ask you one
15 more time to please sit down. Your time is up.
16 MS. FRANUS: I will. I would like
17 you to be fair to everybody and not pick and
19 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Thank you.
20 Everyone has had time to go over at one time or
21 another. Anyone else?
22 MR. ROGAN: Pat Rogan, West Scranton
23 resident. I read in today's paper about the
24 municipal contracts. I believe the
25 administration has to stay open minded when
1 comes to these contracts. That means city
2 workers deserve a fair days work for a fair
3 days pay. I belive public officials should be
4 making decisions not PEL. Another issue that
5 was in the paper this week, there was an
6 illegal immigration raid in the City of
7 Scranton. Many on council have said the
8 federal government is not going to come to
9 conduct raids and they have. Also some on
10 council said illegal immigration is a social
11 issue. I disagree. It's an economic issue.
12 If these 50 some illegal immigrants
13 weren't there, who would be working in those
14 jobs? Hard working American Scrantonian
15 taxpayers. They would getting paid a lot more
16 than $8 an hour.
17 Finally, I believe people deserve
18 better services for their taxes. After this 25
19 percent tax increase, working families and
20 senior citizens deserve much better. Come
21 Tuesday there will be a change. Anyone else?
22 MR. HUBBARD: Good evening, council
23 Daniel Hubbard, lower Green Ridge neighborhood
24 association. Mr. McGoff, you felt that flood
25 siren was important enough to put a motion
1 forth before council to get us the siren.
2 When you were questioned by Mrs.
3 Evans of whether or not you should wait on
4 putting the motion forth to see if the funding
5 was in place, you were quoted as saying, let
6 them find the funding.
7 So it is a little bit more than your
8 suggestion that you will look into a siren when
9 you did put a motion forth for the siren and
10 then also stated that OECD should find the
11 funding for it. So please do not try to pass
12 it off as something you said you would look
13 into when you felt strongly enough about it at
14 the time to put a motion before council which
15 was voted unanimously to provide us with the
16 flood siren. Then did you say, let them find
17 the funding. So it's in the minutes, so it was
18 more than just something you said you would
19 look into. It was actually something you were
20 willing to go forth with to get for us. Yet
21 you dropped the ball along the way.
22 MR. McGOFF: Do you want me to
24 MR. HUBBARD: When I'm finished.
25 You also said we need to balance the cost of
1 our police and fire services with the money
2 that we have available. Don't you think if we
3 didn't spend over ten million in new hires,
4 raises and consultants that we'd be in a better
5 financial situation to cover the cost of these
6 services that the residents deserve and
7 require? Or do you feel that we should -- a
8 few more tax increases to cover the cost of
9 these services?
10 Mrs. Gatelli, you seem to have Mr.
11 Wallace chasing blight around south side for
12 you and your neighborhood association. Don't
13 you think he can take a break from his busy
14 election year blight schedule to get the
15 answers for me that are only three and a half
16 months old that you said I would have in
17 writing if I submitted those questions in
19 MS. GATELLI: You're not going to
20 get those answers, Mr. Hubbard.
21 MR. HUBBARD: That's obvious.
22 MS. GATELLI: Because there's a
23 lawsuit. The city is involved and so is the
24 zoning board.
25 MR. HUBBARD: No, it's not. How is
1 the city involved with the lawsuit with Daron
2 Northeast? Just explain to me how the City of
3 Scranton is participating in a lawsuit
4 involving Daron Northeast?
5 MS. GATELLI: That is the reason we
6 are getting for not getting you the
8 MR. HUBBARD: You --
9 MS. GATELLI: I don't have the
10 answer. I'm not an attorney.
11 MR. HUBBARD: Is the city involved
12 in the lawsuit? Is the city in collusion with
13 Daron to sue me? Because that would be the
14 only way they are involved. They are not named
15 as a plaintiff attorney in the case.
16 MS. GATELLI: Attorney Minora, do
17 you have any response to this?
18 MR. MINORA: There is a lawsuit
19 pending. Why would a public body involve
20 itself in a private lawsuit? It's very simple.
21 Why would they involve themselves in --
22 MR. HUBBARD: These questions were
23 submitted before this was ever an issue.
24 MS. GATELLI: We are getting advice
25 from attorneys on the contract.
1 MR. HUBBARD: The same one that
2 thought the smoking ban was legal?
3 MR. JACOWICZ: Bill Jacowicz, south
4 Scranton resident. Mr. McGoff, when I get
5 finished speaking tonight, can you please
6 explain to us what family sustaining jobs are
7 and wages because I believe each family is
8 different? So I hope to get an explanation on
9 that. A few weeks ago congress -- councilwoman
10 Fanucci stated that there are no vacant store
11 fronts in our downtown Scranton.
12 Well, we have an empty one -- gas
13 station, Sunoco gas station on Mulberry, the
14 old Warhorse motorcycle place on Mulberry, P.
15 D. Q. building space for lease, one space in
16 the 500 block of Mulberry, three spaces 400
17 block of Mulberry, one space above Curry
18 Doughnuts 100 block of Wyoming, Creedon's
19 Floral 200 block of Wyoming, old Abe's 200
20 block of Wyoming, 320-322 Adams, Soupman place,
21 Quint's is getting ready to leave on Lackawanna
22 Avenue, the McCann school is getting ready to
23 leave in Dickson City, once space in the 100
24 block of Adams, Washo O'Brien headquarters
25 across the street, dental office corner of
1 Spruce and Jefferson, Bewitching building,
2 620-618 Spruce, 610 Spruce, 310 Spruce Toy
3 Globe left, 119 Penn Legion Hall, three empty
4 spaces along side Bewitching, nine empty spaces
5 in the 500 block of Lackawanna Avenue, Southern
6 Union, first floor Oppenheim building, one in
7 the 300 block of Lackawanna, six store fronts
8 in the Connell Building, former Penguin Lounge
9 300 hundred block of Penn, former Pub Charles,
10 adjoining diner closed -- that's about 50 right
11 there. Please do not interrupt me until I'm
13 So really what I think -- when you
14 make a statement, Ms. Fanucci, it should be
15 followed by a disclaimer, for amusement only,
16 because that's all it is. It's amusement,
18 So we really need take this serious.
19 This is serious business we are talking about.
20 When you mislead the citizens by stating there
21 are no empty store fronts in the downtown
22 Scranton --
23 MS. FANUCCI: I said we --
24 MR. JACOWICZ: Do not interrupt me.
25 You can talk when I'm done. You can say
1 anything you want, but make it truthful. And
2 quit laughing because all you do -- I told you
3 before, don't ever resign because all you do is
4 bring amusement. And this is not amusing.
5 This is serious city business. That is why we
6 have been distressed for 15 years. That's why
7 we will remain distressed because our elected
8 officials do not take it serious. They mislead
9 us and make false statements -- and again for
10 amusement only. Thank you.
11 MS. FANUCCI: This is all from the
12 guy in a Legion of Doom shirt. But when I made
13 the statement -- and I will say it again as I
14 said it last week when I made the statement, we
15 do not have any store fronts available. All of
16 our garages are booked, meaning the city
17 buildings that are from us, parking
18 authorities, buildings, our buildings not --
19 I'm sorry Southern Union is not rented. So
20 when I made the statement, it was accurate
21 although you did do a very good job on your
22 research. And I am very happy that you have a
23 lot of time to do that. But that is not what I
24 meant. I'm sorry you need a disclaimer, but
25 maybe you need to listen more. And as amusing
1 as I am, believe me I could never, ever be as
2 amusing as watching this, but thank you.
3 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.
4 MR. SLEDENZSKI: Judy, this is the
5 last game this week. This is it. What do you
6 think, Jude?
7 MS. GATELLI: We are going to make
8 it, Chrissy.
9 MR. SLEDENZSKI: I hope we do.
10 Billy, good luck to you on Tuesday, McGoff, you
11 too, both of yous good luck.
12 MS. EVANS: Chris, you got a winning
13 hat on there. That's right.
14 MS. HUBBARD: Good evening, council.
15 Liz Hubbard, resident, taxpayer of the City of
16 Scranton. Mrs. Gatelli, I have to ask you
17 again about those questions that went to
18 zoning. Those --
19 MS. GATELLI: I wasn't here that
20 night. Mr. Courtright sent them to zoning. So
21 I don't know why I am getting all the
23 MS. HUBBARD: You were the one that
24 answered before about it being --
25 MS. GATELLI: Ask Mr. Courtright.
1 MS. HUBBARD: They were sent to
2 zoning before there was a lawsuit. It seems
3 very odd to me once they went to zoning and
4 they never answered them all of sudden there's
5 a lawsuit.
6 Now if the city is not involved with
7 litigation with Daron then I don't see why they
8 can't answer the questions that were asked by a
9 taxpayer to a public body, the zoning. And I
10 mean you can say litigation all you want. It
11 doesn't -- it just doesn't sit right. Is the
12 city working Daron in this lawsuit? Is that
13 why they are refusing to answer? Or is it
14 because maybe if they did answer the questions
15 truthfully that it would point out that there
16 had been violations that the city has
17 overlooked? So I mean, what is so hard about
18 them answering these questions?
19 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Courtright, do you
20 have any answers from that?
21 MR. COURTRIGHT: Would you like me
22 to answer now? It's up to you.
23 MS. HUBBARD: I don't know what else
24 I can say. It's just so blatantly obvious
25 what's going on.
1 MR. COURTRIGHT: All right. I will
2 run down for everybody exactly what happened
3 for those that weren't in the back room when we
4 did this. Mr. Wallace, I believe, Mr. Butler
5 -- I can't recall anybody recall who else was
6 in the back room there? Mr. Fiorini was there,
7 I believe. There's several city officials from
8 -- right. And what I said is -- if I am
9 incorrect maybe Kay or Mrs. Evans or Mr.
10 McGoff, you can correct me. I said each and
11 every week Mr. Hubbard comes with a folder or
12 binder and with all these yellow stickie notes
13 sticking on them. He's saying they are all
14 violations. I said whether he's correct or
15 incorrect, the perception is by the public that
16 we have all these violations.
17 If, in fact, we do not, could you
18 please answer whatever questions he has so we
19 can put it to rest -- either he has legitimate
20 concerns or he doesn't. They told me they
21 would answer them. And I asked Mr. Hubbard to
22 give them to me in writing. He submitted them
23 in writing. I gave them to them. They have
24 not come forward with the answers.
25 MS. HUBBARD: Their answer to all
1 this was that Mr. Hubbard got hit with a slap
2 suit. They don't want to answer them. That's
3 wrong because the suit isn't with -- the
4 litigation is not --
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: How about we do
7 MS. HUBBARD: It's with Daron and a
8 private individual.
9 MR. COURTRIGHT: If the rest of
10 council agrees with me, why don't we ask them
11 for a written response?
12 MS. HUBBARD: Mr. Minora was
13 supposed to do that a month ago. We kind of --
14 what did Mr. Butler say when I asked you put it
15 on your to do list and you said --
16 MR. MINORA: I just explained that
17 to Daniel about two minutes ago. The position
18 is they do not want to involve themselves on
19 one side or other of a private lawsuit.
20 MS. HUBBARD: They are not involving
21 themselves in a lawsuit. They are answering
22 questions that were --
23 MR. MINORA: I got the answer. You
24 want to argue with the answer I got for you. I
25 will take that argument back to them. How's
2 MS. HUBBARD: That's not right
3 unless they are in cahoots -- it's not right.
4 MR. COURTRIGHT: I don't know if
5 there's any way for us meaning council to force
6 them to answer. I don't know. I don't know.
7 I don't know how we can make --
8 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Ancherani.
9 MR. COURTRIGHT: I wish they would
11 MR. ANCHERANI: Good evening, Nelson
12 Ancherani, resident and taxpayer, city employee
13 and financial secretary of the FOP, first
14 amendment rights, within the last two days
15 there were a couple of tabloid articles
16 addressing the union's award. The one in this
17 morning's tabloid, union's award tossed by
18 Stacy Brown, staff writer for the tabloid
19 quotes the mayor. Evidently I did not violate
20 the recovery plan.
21 He evidently has a memory lapse.
22 Did he forget conveniently that he gave raises,
23 Mr. McGoff, to his favorite and hired new
24 employees in newly created positions to the
25 tune of more than 11 and a half million dollars
1 and cumulatively will be close to 20 million
2 once the 2008 budget is presented.
3 The budget that I predict will
4 contain a 25 percent tax increase that I
5 predict will be passed by our council three,
6 Ms. Gatelli, Mr. McGoff and Ms. Fanucci. The
7 mayor said again, we could have had this
8 resolved four years ago. We could have
9 resolved this five years ago if the mayor would
10 have sat down with the unions respectfully and
11 bargained in good faith and not take it or
12 leave it.
13 We could have settled the contracts
14 without the spending the tons of money spent on
15 attorneys and arbitrators over the years and
16 the tons of money that will be spent on our
17 attorneys and arbitrators to bring the vacated
18 award to the next court. Len Kresefski said,
19 the awards potentially could have cost the city
20 more than ten million if the judge favored the
22 This came from a man who is making
23 80,000 a year and who started out with a raise
24 from the beginning. The opinion by senior
25 judge Harold A. Thompson from Pike County
1 vacates the appeal. It no way stops the appeal
2 process. We will confer with our attorney and
3 my bet is we will appeal the judge's opinion to
4 a higher court. The city is claiming victory,
5 but the opinion was expected and predicted to
6 go against the unions in local court.
7 We have been fighting with the city
8 since they would not is sit down at the
9 bargaining table with us. This is a setback
10 but nowhere near defeat for the unions. The
11 mayor again said, if the unions appeal the
12 decision they would now have to pick up the
13 legal bills. The mayor has to remember a
14 pleasantly plum couple has been singing but
15 it's not over until it's over.
16 He has tried to break the unions,
17 hasn't worked. Morale in the police
18 department, probably the other departments,
19 nonexistent. Grumblings of highly experienced
20 officers about leaving for jobs where they will
21 be respected and more money is echoing down the
22 hallways of the police department. Could I
23 finished this?
24 MS. GATELLI: Yes.
25 MR. ANCHERANI: It's been 32 years
1 since I started working for the police
2 department. And no matter what is said by city
3 officials, I have never before seen anything
4 like the exodus from the police department like
5 I see now. As I said last week, the exodus has
6 begun, wasted experience, wasted money for
7 every police officer that leaves. And there's
8 many good officers that are going to leave.
9 Thank you.
10 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.
11 MR. GERVASI: Dave Gervasi. I am a
12 tax payer and resident and vice president of
13 the fire fighters union. We wanted to get
14 here. Of course, I want make a comment about
15 the newspaper today on this award. It was a --
16 actually quite amusing since it hit the front
17 page, page 8 and editorial, second editorial
18 and a cartoon.
19 Well, this disgrace of a newspaper
20 knows full well this court case means nothing.
21 The city officials and the city attorneys know
22 this court case means nothing as well as the
23 unions know this court case means nothing. As
24 a matter of fact, the city officials because of
25 the wording of the award -- everybody
1 scratching their head at this point -- what
2 happens next. We know what happens next.
3 We knew two years ago what was going
4 to happen. The mayor knows it, and the city
5 attorneys know it. Nothing is going to be
6 settled until this hits the Supreme Court of
7 Pennsylvania. This has nothing to do with
9 This is nothing but a fluff piece
10 once again on behalf of the mayor and the
11 administration. What I found probably the most
12 honest part of all of this fluff was the
13 cartoon. I know a lot of people don't get the
14 newspaper. So I will explain what it says.
15 It's the mayor, a policeman and a fire fighter
16 walking out of the courthouse, just got down
17 trick or treating. And the mayor says, score,
18 I got some whoppers, couple of snickers, a
19 bunch of candy corn, pop rocks. But of course
20 the cop and the fireman says, I got a rock.
21 Well, this is actually pretty good because I
22 guess the whoppers that the mayor got were the
23 no bid contracts. I guess the couple of
24 snickers was the cumulative ten million dollars
25 worth of new hires patronus jobs he got because
1 of Act 47. I guess the candy corn was the
2 raises all the middle management and all of his
3 department heads received. Pop rocks, tens of
4 millions of no bid contracts and the cops and
5 firemen got a rock. That's the only part that
6 isn't inaccurate. We didn't get anything.
7 Their budges went up over $22 million since the
8 mayor took office. And you know who was to
9 blame for that? Not us. We didn't get
10 anything. We didn't even get a rock. So was
11 it trick or treat on the newspaper's part? I
12 would say treat. Happy Halloween. See you in
13 Commonwealth court.
14 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else?
15 MS. KRAKE: Good evening, council.
16 The mayor is saying that he did not violate the
17 recovery plan. Well, he has violated his own
18 recovery plan. He's violated everything from
19 the day he walked in the door. He's violated
20 the intent of Act 47 which was strictly
21 economic recovery. And, in fact, I would like
22 to go even before that. We were not
23 distressed. Mayor Connors had brought us out
24 of distressed status.
25 We had all received cost of living
1 raises. There was absolutely no reason for us
2 to pick up with another recovery plan except to
3 get rid of unionized employees in the city.
4 Excuse me. I am out of breath. From the
5 beginning, the mayor has violated the trust of
6 every citizen in the city. He violated it with
7 his recovery plan. He blamed the employees for
8 something that was not true that we were
9 distressed, which we were not.
10 He has raised your taxes and not
11 because he gave increases to unionized
12 employees but because of the increases to his
13 administration people and his job increases. I
14 am sure he's planning another budget with the
15 same because he promised us that. If you
16 recall, Mrs. Gatelli -- I know -- I was very
17 pleased to see you and Mr. McGoff shaking your
18 head to any more tax increase, but you know
19 he's coming back at it because he promised it.
20 He promised to double your taxes.
21 So I hope this year we can truly
22 work on a legitimate budget. And how about
23 beyond that? Let's work on our own recovery
24 plan. Let's really get the citizens and this
25 entire city back on track. Thank you.
1 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else?
2 MS. STULGIS: Ann Marie Stulgis. I
3 am a resident of the City of Scranton. I
4 really hadn't planned on speaking this evening,
5 but bear with me. I did notice the article in
6 the paper as I passed a machine because I won't
7 bother buying it. I thought it was rather
8 ironic how the mayor is telling what a
9 wonderful thing this is for the city, it's
11 Well, what about the 300 families
12 who hadn't got a cost of living pay raise since
13 2001? Does anybody care about them? Because
14 they care about everybody else because they are
15 the ones that are providing the public safety
16 protection for the residents of the city. They
17 own homes. The property taxes went up in the
18 county. The city raised them 25 percent. The
19 cost of the heating their homes have doubled.
20 Inflation has gone up.
21 Do you know what this decision did?
22 This decision caused every fire fighter and
23 every police officer a 26.2 percent pay
24 deduction -- pay reduction from what they were
25 earning in 2002 because of the way costs have
1 gone up in the city. Do any of you really
2 think that's something good for the city? Do
3 you really think as that rag would have you
4 think that it benefits anybody in this city to
5 do that to people who every day risks their
6 lives for each and everyone one of us? Is it
7 really a good day for the city, or is it a day
8 when everybody ought to hang their heads and
9 say we are not going to take it, stand up and
10 do something because this is just wrong. Thank
12 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Anyone
13 else? Can I have a motion to adjourn.
14 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
15 MR. McGOFF: Second.
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