1


1 SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING

2

3

4

5 HELD:

6

7 Tuesday, November 20, 2007

8

9 LOCATION:

10 Council Chambers

11 Scranton City Hall

12 340 North Washington Avenue

13 Scranton, Pennsylvania

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23
CATHENE S. NARDOZZI- COURT REPORTER
24

25
.

2


1

2 CITY OF SCRANTON COUNCIL:

3

4
MS. JUDY GATELLI, PRESIDENT
5

6 MS. JANET E. EVANS

7
MS. SHERRY FANUCCI
8

9 MR. ROBERT MCGOFF

10
MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT
11

12 MS. KAY GARVEY, CITY CLERK

13
MR. NEIL COOLICAN, ASSISTANT CITY CLERK
14

15 MR. AMIL MINORA, SOLICITOR

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25
.

3


1 (Pledge of Allegiance recited and

2 moment of reflection observed.)

3 MS. GARVEY: Roll call.

4 MS. GATELLI: Roll call.

5 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.

6 MS. EVANS: Here.

7 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci.

8 MS. FANUCCI: Here.

9 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff.

10 MR. MCGOFF: Here.

11 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.

12 MR. COURTRIGHT: Here.

13 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.

14 MS. GATELLI: Here. Dispense with

15 the reading of the minutes.

16 MS. GARVEY: THIRD ORDER. 3-A.

17 AGENDA FOR THE MUNICIPAL PENSION BOARD

18 MEETING HELD ON NOVEMBER 14, 2007.

19 MS. GATELLI: Are there any comments?

20 If not, received and filed.

21 MS. GARVEY: 3-B APPLICATIONS AND

22 DECISIONS RENDERED BY THE ZONING HEARING

23 BOARD MEETING HELD ON NOVEMBER 14, 2007.

24 MS. GATELLI: Are there any comments?

25 If not, received and filed.
.

4


1 MS. GARVEY: 3-C. INDEPENDENT

2 AUDITOR'S REPORT AND FINANCIAL STATEMENTS OF

3 THE SCRANTON PARKING AUTHORITY.

4 MS. GATELLI: Are there any comments?

5 If not, received and filed.

6 MS. GARVEY: 3-D. MINUTES OF THE

7 VACANT PROPERTY REVIEW COMMITTEE MEETING

8 HELD ON SEPTEMBER 18, 2007.

9 MS. GATELLI: Are there any comments?

10 If not, received and filed.

11 MS. GARVEY: That's it for third

12 order.

13 MS. GATELLI: Just a few comments

14 before we get to public participation. The

15 leaf collection will be this week coming up

16 from Monday to Saturday, the 26th of

17 November, through Saturday and there will no

18 paper recycling. I'm happy to announce,

19 where is Chrissy?

20 MR. SLEDZENSKI: Right here, Jude.

21 MS. GATELLI: That the West Scranton

22 football team won the PIAA District II Class

23 3-A championship on Friday evening at Valley

24 View. It was a great game, although, it was

25 a little bit nippy. And they are moving on
.

5


1 this week to Blue Mountain, they play Blue

2 Mountain at Pottsville on Friday and I'd

3 like to wish them luck in their game.

4 I would like to send a letter to Rob

5 Farrell concerning amending the zoning

6 ordinance requiring that new owners of a

7 business have to comply with the

8 former business that they are taking over

9 that they have to comply with the new zoning

10 ordinance at 93. Some of them are

11 grandfathered in and I would like

12 Mr. Farrell to see if we could take that

13 grandfather away and if a business has a new

14 owner they have to comply with the new

15 zoning law. I believe it's done in other

16 places, so if you would have him investigate

17 that for us because some of these businesses

18 are causing quite a hardship in the

19 neighborhoods especially the car lots and

20 mechanics places.

21 I got a call from a Phil Valenti and

22 he works for Representative James in

23 Harrisburg and Ken Smith is also a cosponsor

24 of a resolution, House Resolution No. 418,

25 and it's a resolution that they want to send
.

6


1 to the federal government about foreclosures

2 on homes and it's a called a Homeowners' and

3 Banks' Protection Act. So, I would ask my

4 colleagues if they would agree that we would

5 send a letter in support of this resolution,

6 is that okay with everyone?

7 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.

8 MS. EVANS: I think we all got

9 copies.

10 MS. FANUCCI: Yes, we did.

11 MS. GATELLI: So, Kay, you can send

12 that letter to Mr. Valenti. And also

13 another letter of support for House Bill

14 2018. This was discussed many times at the

15 Pennsylvania League of Cities to help

16 communities that have a large tax exempt

17 base and you probably saw it yesterday in

18 the editorial, it's House Bill 2018, it's to

19 create a program to provide money to cities

20 with large amounts of tax exempt property

21 and they have been using the old Johnstown

22 Flood Tax since 1936 for that purpose. I

23 also got an e-mail from Mr. Gervasi

24 concerning that and I would like us to send

25 a letter also to support that if that's okay
.

7


1 with everyone else? And that's all I have.

2 Does anyone else -- there is a flood

3 meeting --

4 MR. COURTRIGHT: I have just one

5 thing while you look for that, Mrs. Gatelli

6 mentioned about the West Side football game,

7 they play Blue Mountain, it's all the way

8 down in Allentown, so far they have five

9 buses going down. If anybody is looking to

10 go on a bus it's only $11 down and back.

11 You can call 342-4260. 342-4260. That's

12 Boyt's Flower Shop in west side, that's

13 where they are going to be running it out.

14 We are leaving West Scranton High School I

15 believe about 5:15, so it's only $11 if you

16 don't want to drive all the way to Allentown

17 and back, it's a good deal. That's all I

18 have.

19 MS. GATELLI: I don't where I put

20 that other paper, but it was a notice for a

21 flood meeting, Congressman Kanjorski is

22 going to have it on Monday evening at Weston

23 Field at 7:00 and it's concerning the flood

24 project, so if anyone that is interested in

25 attending that, it's 7:00 Monday night, and
.

8


1 that's all I have. The first speaker is Ray

2 Lyman.

3 MR. LYMAN: Raymond Lyman. I want to

4 say one thing about 5-B. I think you guys

5 tabled this for the planning commission,

6 Mrs. Gatelli.

7 MS. GATELLI: Pardon me?

8 MR. LYMAN: 5-B, I thought you tabled

9 this about vacating the 700-block of Forest

10 Court and the 400 block of Pittston and Pine

11 Street.

12 MS. GATELLI: That's 6-B that goes to

13 the planning commission.

14 MR. LYMAN: 6-B I mean.

15 MS. GATELLI: That has to go to the

16 planning commission.

17 MR. LYMAN: Yeah, but it's still on

18 the agenda.

19 MS. GARVEY: It's going to the

20 planning commission. It has to go onto the

21 agenda right now, then it goes to the

22 planning commission and when they give their

23 approval in 30 days we have a public hearing

24 and final passage.

25 MR. LYMAN: Oh, okay. And 6-C, first
.

9


1 thing, are you going to -- are you going to

2 tax city council meetings?

3 MS. GATELLI: That's a good idea.

4 MR. LYMAN: I mean, this is a form of

5 entertainment. I think Stacy Brown put that

6 in the newspaper.

7 MR. COURTRIGHT: We are going to

8 table it, Ray, so don't worry about it. We

9 are going to table that one.

10 MR. LYMAN: I think it would be a

11 good idea. I think we should tax them. I

12 mean, they are a whack pack over here in my

13 opinion waiting to insult me, especially the

14 unions. And that's my opinion. And 5-B,

15 funds for expenses for city government for

16 periods of the first day of January of '08

17 to December 31 of '08 for general operation

18 budget, can you tell me all of it because I

19 didn't get the whole thing about that? I

20 didn't get any of the information on that?

21 MR. COURTRIGHT: It's the budget.

22 MR. LYMAN: Can I have a free copy of

23 it because I didn't get a chance to see it.

24 MS. GATELLI: I believe it's in the

25 library, Ray. I don't know that we give --
.

10


1 MS. GARVEY: Right. It will sent to

2 the library after council does their action

3 tonight, whatever happens tonight then I

4 will be forwarding it to the library

5 tomorrow for all to review and it's always

6 in our office for you to review as well.

7 MR. LYMAN: Oh, you'll have it for

8 tomorrow then?

9 MS. GATELLI: Yeah, you can see it

10 tomorrow.

11 MS. GARVEY: It's in there tonight.

12 It's in the office on the counter.

13 MR. LYMAN: Okay, I'll see it later

14 then.

15 MS. GARVEY: Mr. Sbaraglia.

16 MR. SBARAGLIA: Andy Sbaraglia,

17 citizen of Scranton. Fellow Scrantonians,

18 6-B who was that for, who are you vacating

19 it to?

20 MS. GATELLI: That's Sandone Tire.

21 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yeah.

22 MS. GATELLI: Sandone Tire.

23 MR. SBARAGLIA: Sandone Tire. Okay,

24 6-C, I know you are going to table it, but

25 the swimming sticks in my mind because that
.

11


1 was in there.

2 MS. GATELLI: If it happens in some

3 way, shape or form the swimming will not be

4 in there.

5 MR. SBARAGLIA: No, it's going to be

6 in there because they are going to build a

7 water park, you wouldn't cut that revenue

8 out, there is no way, being that we can tax

9 the sky slope we are going to tax the water

10 park, so there is no doubt in my mind it's

11 going to be in there. The question is --

12 MS. GATELLI: For city swimming.

13 MS. FANUCCI: City swimming.

14 MR. SBARAGLIA: Nonprofits, would you

15 consider the city a nonprofit or up at Nay

16 Aug especially. Do you consider the

17 Scranton Recreational Authority as a

18 nonprofit entity inside of the city?

19 Because you are exempting nonprofits, would

20 you consider that entity as a nonprofit,

21 hence, you will not be taxing the kids that

22 swim up at Nay Aug on top of their fee.

23 MR. MINORA: It doesn't exempt

24 nonprofits.

25 MS. GATELLI: Pardon?
.

12


1 MR. MINORA: It does not exempt

2 nonprofits, in includes nonprofits.

3 MR. SBARAGLIA: Well, you exempt the

4 churches and they run their bingo as a

5 religious --

6 MR. MINORA: Read the ordinance. It

7 doesn't exempt them.

8 MR. SBARAGLIA: I thought when they

9 asked up there they said they would be

10 exempt, the school district would be exempt.

11 MR. MINORA: The school district,

12 yes.

13 MR. SBARAGLIA: Because we don't

14 control the school district properties,

15 correct, they are their own, actually their

16 own government and they own their own land,

17 but the non --well, it's nice to know

18 because I was telling everybody up there

19 earlier at Holy Rosary bingo that they were

20 going to be exempt and now we found out

21 they're not, we should have a public hearing

22 on it so we exactly know exactly what's

23 going on so everybody can put there input

24 in. Thank you.

25 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Quinn.
.

13


1 MR. QUINN: Ozzie Quinn, Taxpayers'

2 Association. I want to speak on 7-A. You

3 are increasing the salaries in the budget

4 roughly $7 million and not raising the taxes

5 leads me to believe that the taxes, the

6 25 percent that the three of you approved

7 last year, is the money for raising these

8 salaries. I think it's really ridiculous

9 because of the fact it's violating the

10 recovery plan, PEL, okay? Let me just

11 explain something, I got this from Secretary

12 Yablonski from the Department of Economic

13 and Community Development statewide, okay,

14 and it's about the city of Pittsburgh, they

15 were under Act 47 designated as a distressed

16 city in 2004, December of 2004, and they are

17 now applying to get undesignated, okay, and

18 they said that the city has reduced the work

19 force by 27 percent, reduced the operating

20 budget by 37 million, reduced health

21 benefits by 17 million, entered into a

22 shared service agreement with the county and

23 another city by Pittsburgh, obtain wage and

24 benefit concessions for bargaining unit

25 representing city employees, initiated a
.

14


1 four-year wage freeze, wage freeze. Yet, he

2 is going to increase these salaries for

3 these people. The man does not want to get

4 away from being a distressed city, it's

5 obvious right here. The submitted three

6 positive operating budgets and raised bond

7 rating, reduced debt service and provided

8 cash either projected to be close to one

9 million at the end of the fiscal year.

10 So, these raises put into this

11 budget, again, repeat myself this is

12 certainly he is going the way the opposite

13 that PEL told him to do, you know, and it's

14 got to stop because we just cannot afford

15 him in the city and we should -- we should

16 be looking for getting un designated, all

17 right, instead of this man keeping us in

18 this position. He is a tyrant.

19 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mrs.

20 Franus.

21 MS. FRANUS: Fay Franus. I just want

22 to address a couple of items on the budget.

23 Mrs. Gatelli, you mentioned that weren't

24 going to raise taxes this year, the coming

25 year, I guess, but I sincerely believe if
.

15


1 you would give the mayor these raises in the

2 administration it's the same thing as

3 raising taxes in my mind and giving

4 Mr. Minora a $10,000 raise is totally

5 unjustified. When Mark Walsh was here he

6 was an excellent solicitor and Mayor Doherty

7 cut his salary in half and now he wants to

8 raise his, that should really be taken off.

9 And all of these raises, George Parker is

10 going to get more money -- not George

11 Parker, Brazil is going to get more money

12 than when George Parker was here and he is

13 not even an engineer, make since of that.

14 You just have to stop doing this, I mean, I

15 don't know what you are going to do, but I

16 hope, I hope, that you are not giving these

17 raises. These firemen and policemen they

18 haven't gotten a raise in six years and why

19 -- another item, the Skyview apartments, why

20 is everything going to south side?

21 Everything, all of the money in the city

22 goes to one neighborhood, south side. I

23 live in Bellevue, we haven't gotten one

24 thing in 30 some years. Nothing. Not a

25 sidewalk, not a curb, not a tree, not
.

16


1 anything. It's just not right, I mean, I

2 don't understand this giving Skyview money,

3 I mean, I think myself I think the project

4 should be torn down and they should have

5 individual apartments. Every time I go by

6 there all I see is police cars. That's all.

7 Thank you.

8 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Pat

9 Desarno.

10 MR. DESARNO: Pat Desarno, city

11 taxpayer. Just a couple of comments and

12 maybe some food for thought on the adoption

13 of the budget. This is I guess a summation

14 of the departmental operating budgets and 16

15 out of 21 budget their expenses have gone

16 up, the five that aren't are the treasury,

17 the Bureau of Highways, well, the mayor went

18 down $1,100 but it could have been $9,100

19 because $8,000 in raises in the mayor's

20 department and despite what the Times

21 Shamrock Empire would have you believe the

22 police and fire budgets are down, they are

23 in the negatives. The only budget safety

24 related budget that is up is in the often

25 eliminated, newly recycled and never
.

17


1 redundant public safety director office and

2 that's up $6,500, but it could have been

3 negative $2,000 if there wasn't $8,600 in

4 raises in this department. So, just before

5 you consider this consider what's being done

6 here and consider all of these raises and I

7 guess that's all I have to say, thank you.

8 Oh, Mr. Minora, I disagree with Mrs. Franus,

9 your time keeping prowess alone you deserve

10 that $10,000.

11 MS. GATELLI: Chris Pisano.

12 MR. PISANO: How are you doing? I'm

13 here on the amusement tax, I guess it's 6-C.

14 As I child growing up in Scranton in the

15 70's and 80.

16 MS. GATELLI: You have to state your

17 name.

18 MR. PISANO: Chris Pisano. As a

19 child growing up in the 70's and 80's in the

20 City of Scranton we didn't have any

21 entertainment. We didn't have Sno Mountain,

22 we didn't have a movie theater downtown, we

23 didn't have any of these things. People

24 took a chance, went in business to bring

25 things to our community. Scranton became an
.

18


1 entertainment hub, so for it they are going

2 to be penalized 10 percent, they can't

3 afford it. We can't afford it. I mean,

4 it's got to end somewhere. You have the

5 arcade machines I saw and the reason why I'm

6 here tonight is on Channel 16 I'm watching

7 the news the other morning and I see them

8 showing the Ice Box, they are showing the

9 arcade and they want to charge them 10

10 percent. That means you want 10 percent of

11 the gross income, is that correct, or from

12 the arcade?

13 MS. GATELLI: Attorney Minora will be

14 able to address that.

15 MR. MINORA: Ten percent on top of

16 the fee being charged for the amusement.

17 MR. PISANO: Ten percent on top of

18 the fee, which fee, you have two?

19 MR. MINORA: Well, I'm sure what you

20 are referring to.

21 MR. PISANO: You said 10 percent on

22 top of the fee being charged for the

23 amusement, so if a video game is on 50 cents

24 you want a nickle?

25 MR. MINORA: That would be 10 ten
.

19


1 percent.

2 MR. PISANO: So how are we supposed

3 to charge 55 cents? The game takes

4 quarters. I mean, how would it happen? So,

5 we got to back up it up and we only get 45

6 cents.

7 MR. MINORA: It would be ordinarily

8 on top of. Now, I don't know how your

9 machines work.

10 MR. PISANO: Well, this what I'm

11 saying, for you to pass a law you should

12 know how the industry works to charge 10

13 percent. I mean, you know, to stick 10

14 percent on top of a machine and not know how

15 it works it just -- I think you need to sit

16 down with us maybe and talk to us.

17 MS. GATELLI: We plan on tabling this

18 this evening.

19 MR. PISANO: Right, but it's going to

20 be tabled now and then what happens to it?

21 MS. FANUCCI: We don't know.

22 MS. GATELLI: Well, we are going to

23 discuss it with council. I mean, I made

24 copies of the plan from Pittsburgh for them

25 to look at where most of this came from.
.

20


1 MR. PISANO: At some point --

2 MS. GATELLI: We already decided that

3 if we do anything it's going to be 5

4 percent, we thought 10 percent was a little

5 too high.

6 MR. PISANO: Even 5 percent, and I'm

7 speaking with my business we have video

8 arcade, coin operated amusements, I mean, 5

9 percent you already get a permit fee,

10 license fee every year which is $50 a

11 machine that's billed to us, the operator.

12 Billed to the customer they have to have an

13 arcade license, that's two taxes. Now, you

14 want to throw a 5 percent tax on there and

15 have three. I mean, at what point does it

16 end? It has to end somewhere. I mean, we

17 can't afford to do it.

18 MS. GATELLI: Thank you for your

19 comments. Mr. Dobson.

20 MR. DOBSON: Dave Dobson, resident of

21 the Scranton Taxpayers' Association

22 Associate. The only reason I came up

23 tonight is on 5-B to encourage council and

24 all public officials to attempt to make ends

25 meet on budgets and not engage in any heavy
.

21


1 deficit spending. A few weeks ago I

2 mentioned, and it's in the paper today, the

3 OPEC is fighting, there are certain members

4 of OPEC that are fighting to take the dollar

5 as a purchasing medium off -- as a

6 purchasing medium for oil. If that happens

7 we would have to by euros to buy oil, and

8 every level of our government is over budget

9 at this time, all five taxing bodies so,

10 please, try to make ends meet and that's all

11 I have to say. Thank you and have a good

12 night.

13 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Was there

14 anyone else because that's all the names on

15 the sign-in sheet.

16 MS. KRAKE: Good evening, Council,

17 Nancy Krake. I would just like to say that

18 it truly is because of Scranton Today that

19 we have this building to ask about the

20 budget because the Scranton Times has

21 portrayed it incorrectly in many instances

22 already.

23 The clerical union did not negotiate

24 a $900 bonus and a quick estimation that

25 would only be around $65,000, no where near
.

22


1 the million that's in there. We haven't had

2 negotiations in over a year. Our human

3 resources director was in charge of our

4 negotiations apparently was off on her third

5 maternity leave, which she made me grieve

6 and win an arbitration spending much of the

7 city's money and then she turned around and

8 said, it's okay, it's the only one they

9 didn't appeal and applied it to herself

10 twice retroactively and just took the third

11 one. You don't see that in the Scranton

12 Times.

13 I'd also like to say that so far if

14 you have looked at the controller's report

15 we have actually collected $627,000 over

16 what was estimated for real estate taxes in

17 2007. That's a lot of money. I don't know

18 what council is planning to use in their

19 budgetary application, but I think everyone

20 should be aware of that. Maybe there could

21 be some sort of tax decrease, the wage or

22 real estate tax, you might want to think

23 about that. Apparently, we have the ability

24 to collect all of the taxes we need without

25 MRS, also.
.

23


1 I'd also like to say I'm sure it's

2 going to be a very difficult process when

3 you are doing the budget since we don't have

4 an audit. That should be very terrifying to

5 everyone to not know if I was able to just

6 pick out that $627,000 can you imagine what

7 an audit would tell? Thank you.

8 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.

9 MR. GERVASI: Good evening, City

10 council, my name is Dave Gervasi,

11 firefighter. I want to speak about the

12 budget briefly. I'm going to say the same

13 thing I said last year because, frankly,

14 Council didn't take any time to look at any

15 alternative budgets, didn't look at any

16 other alternative ideas, just basically

17 rubber-stamped the mayor's budget last year

18 and you saw what it got us, 25 percent tax

19 increase. I'm going to say what I said last

20 year that if I was this council, I

21 understand if you introduce it, I wouldn't

22 let it go any time past the second reading

23 since, once again, which I feel on purpose

24 the mayor hasn't released the independent

25 audit so how can you possibly vote for a
.

24


1 budget when you don't even know where you

2 are. Until the audit comes out, until you

3 find out the condition of the city for the

4 end of the 2006 how could you possibly

5 budget anything for next year not knowing

6 where you?

7 I have heard a lot of these council

8 members, as a matter of fact, all five of

9 you in public and in person you say to me,

10 "It's not right, it's not fair," for six

11 years we haven't had a raise city employees,

12 but this council continues to pass

13 ordinances for the mayor's borrowing and

14 spending. Last year they passed the budget

15 -- by the way, I don't want to get off track

16 here, but by the way, do you remember a few

17 months back when the Pennsylvania Economy

18 League sat right here and they put on their

19 big dissertation about how the city had to

20 borrow $44 million, there was no other way

21 to do it, and they said that and we have the

22 minutes of it; and then they said if you

23 don't there is going to be three 25 percent

24 tax increases. Well, what happened? How

25 come this year there so much money that the
.

25


1 mayor could slap all of the employees in the

2 face and give more raises to management and

3 department heads because there is surplus of

4 money apparently, what happened? What

5 happened to the deficit? What happened to

6 the $6 million lie every year. It's all

7 been a lie and I would seriously get

8 together and look at this budget and get

9 alternatives and we have some suggestions

10 for you and please don't pass this budget.

11 Please don't pass this budget. Thank you.

12 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.

13 MR. ANCHERANI: Nelson Ancherani.

14 Agenda items, right? Okay, the budget,

15 $84,558,875. Mr. McGoff, a record? Okay.

16 Again, the TANS are included in the budget

17 when it clearly says, "Excluding the tax

18 anticipation notes."

19 There is Scranton Parking Authority

20 citation issuers, it's now up to $803,680.

21 That's a $478,680 increase since 2002. They

22 just got $35 million, what do they need

23 803,000 for? $50,000 in Genesis Wildlife,

24 that's great, they should have it, but we

25 can't give $20,000 to our returning
.

26


1 soldiers. No tax increase, and it's

2 interesting that PEL and the mayor last year

3 forewarned the taxpayers of at least two

4 more. You now have the opportunity to pair

5 this budget right down to last year's

6 budget, I predict you won't and I predict

7 the 3 to 2 vote for this record budget, Ms.

8 Gatelli, Ms. Fanucci and Mr. McGoff. From

9 now until December 15 when the final budget

10 is voted on I won't mention names. You have

11 a chance to redeem yourselves and trim this

12 budget.

13 Remember, too, that the unions were

14 against the loans and the tax increases and

15 it's a miracle that we don't need a tax

16 increase this year, especially since PEL and

17 the mayor said that we were in dire

18 straights until 2012, so it's a miracle.

19 Thank you.

20 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Anyone

21 else? Mrs. Evans? Oh, I'm sorry.

22 MR. DAVIS: On the budget, 6-B,

23 authorizing the vacation of a portion of the

24 right-of-way known as the 700 block of

25 Forest Court located between the 400 block
.

27


1 of Gibson and Pine Street, to whom are you

2 vacating this area to? Who is it to, Mercy

3 Hospital?

4 MS. GATELLI: Sandone Tire.

5 MR. DAVIS: Sandone Tire?

6 MS. GATELLI: I believe that's what

7 was on it.

8 MR. DAVIS: Way up there? Why? Did

9 they give you a reason?

10 MS. GATELLI: They requested to

11 vacate the Court.

12 MR. DAVIS: In the budget was there

13 anything put in there, Mr. Courtright, for

14 the painting of the lines, it's two years

15 old. Can you steal a little money out of

16 them? You think you can put you must paint

17 the line in Central city?

18 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yeah, it's like

19 banking my head against the wall. I'm not

20 getting anywhere with it.

21 MR. DAVIS: What do we have to do?

22 MR. COURTRIGHT: I don't know. You

23 have to stay to the agenda though. You can

24 ask me that -- I can only answer your agenda

25 items right now.
.

28


1 MR. DAVIS: I thought that was the

2 budget though. Don't --

3 MR. COURTRIGHT: We are on the

4 budget.

5 MR. DAVIS: Doesn't DPW get a

6 budget?

7 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes, they do.

8 MR. DAVIS: And don't you recommend

9 what should go in that budget and shouldn't

10 go in that budget?

11 MR. COURTRIGHT: We try to.

12 MR. DAVIS: Can't you place in that

13 budget the need for the lines, the safety

14 lines.

15 MR. COURTRIGHT: I believe they have

16 money allocated for it. Why they are not

17 painting them, I don't know. I have asked

18 many times.

19 MR. DAVIS: I know you do. I figured

20 that was two years ago, maybe it's time to

21 go back.

22 MR. COURTRIGHT: The one year the

23 school district came and did all of the ones

24 around the school, they used their labor to

25 do it, I don't know what happened this year.
.

29


1 MR. DAVIS: They did all of the west

2 side, all around the school in west side.

3 Okay. So, therefore, no; right? We are

4 back to square one?

5 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else?

6 MR. BRAZIL: Good evening, Council.

7 Mike Bruzetti, Hugo's Amusements, just in

8 reference to 6-B, imposing a tax, I

9 understand you guys are going to table this

10 for evening and bring it down to 5 percent,

11 and I'm going to continue out with what

12 Chris Pisano was saying. He's actually a

13 competitor of mine, but when things like

14 this happen we try to figure out what the

15 best is obviously for the city as well as

16 for our businesses. I wrote you guys an

17 e-mail, I'm not sure if you guys received it

18 or not, but we are already paying fees for

19 each machine they are renting in every

20 location. On top of that, we are paying

21 location wise is paying so called

22 quote/unquote arcade fee. You guys, I

23 believe, dictated three machines as an

24 arcade fee. I'm not quite sure we stand,

25 we're going to look into that, but I think
.

30


1 that's a little low especially with the way

2 the machines are out there today. You know,

3 particular restaurants, taverns, etcetera, I

4 mean, the revenue you are generating isn't

5 sufficient on two machines. I mean, juke

6 boxes are $6,000, MegaTouches are $5,000.

7 The equipment is extremely expensive. I

8 mean, the equipment at the Ice Box if there

9 not a half a million dollars in their

10 equipment there is not $10, so I think when

11 you guys do something like this you should

12 sit down, talk to us, get a better

13 understanding of kind of how it works and

14 together we have no problem working

15 something out to make it reasonable for

16 everybody. I mean, it's easy to put 10

17 percent on a movie tickets, movie tickets

18 are $7 or whatever. In our industry, we

19 have different splits with different type of

20 machines, high fees going into music people,

21 fees going here, fees going there, that's

22 it's not really like a regular-type

23 industry. It's a little bit more difficult

24 to understand than just taxing 10 percent,

25 you know, on a movie ticket or 2 percent or
.

31


1 whatever on a glass of beer.

2 So if you guys want to involve us, I

3 have no problem with that, and I'll shoot

4 you an e-mail with my contact or whatnot,

5 but hopefully we can somehow resolve it, but

6 try to avoid the triple taxation. It just

7 seems like, you know, one thing could be

8 called a fee, but is it a fee? I mean, the

9 city collects it so to us it's a tax and it,

10 you know, ranges from machine to machine and

11 like I said the locations are bearing the

12 burden as well. So, just accept that and I

13 guess take that into consideration when you

14 are doing this after it comes off the table.

15 Thank you.

16 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.

17 MR. COURTRIGHT: Jim, this is for

18 agenda items, you have to wait, okay, Buddy?

19 MS. EVANS: Good evening. Last week

20 Representative Bob Freeman of North Hampton

21 announced House Bill 2018, legislation that

22 will establish the Tax Exempt Property

23 Municipal Assistance Fund to provide

24 assistant to municipalities with tax exempt

25 property amounting to more than 17 percent
.

32


1 of the assessed value. Thirteen of 17 Act

2 47 communities have tax exempt property

3 levels of 18 percent or more, but to my

4 surprise Scranton was the only Act 47

5 community without any data provided to the

6 Commonwealth of Pennsylvania regarding

7 percentage of tax exempt properties among

8 the 17 Act 47 communities.

9 And I'm sure no one out there can

10 see this chart that was provided by that

11 state representative, but you will notice

12 there are figures provided by 16 communities

13 and when we come to the City of Scranton,

14 County Lackawanna, no data. That seems

15 highly unusual particularly in light of the

16 fact that the county seat is located within

17 the City of Scranton as well as a number of

18 institutions of higher education.

19 As Mrs. Gatelli mentioned earlier, I

20 do believe letters need to be sent, letters

21 to Representative Shimkus and Smith, Senator

22 Mellow and Governor Rendell himself

23 requesting their full support of House Bill

24 2018.

25 Recently, I met a wonderful
.

33


1 gentleman, a city resident who is a veteran

2 of the Vietnam War and he explained to me

3 that he is considered 100 percent disabled

4 and as a result he was granted exemption

5 from his county, city and school district

6 property taxes by the Pennsylvania State

7 Veterans' Commission. He wished that more

8 veterans were aware of this exemption for,

9 as I said, those who are 100 percent

10 disabled. I offer to provide this

11 information on television for the benefit of

12 all qualified vets. Please call the

13 Lackawanna County Veterans Affairs Office at

14 570-963-6778, extension 1892. Ask for real

15 property tax exempt application. It

16 certainly is worth a phone call.

17 And I did want to address the issue

18 of the amusement tax, I had intended to do

19 so on the vote, but as Mrs. Gatelli

20 indicated that piece of legislation is

21 tabled. I wanted to make clear first of all

22 that I had never proposed a 10 percent

23 amusement tax, rather, I had proposed a 5

24 percent amusement tax in December of 2006

25 and my purpose was to help avert a property
.

34


1 tax increase. The mayor's budget proposed a

2 25.6 percent property tax increase. As a

3 result, I created a budget that included not

4 only cuts, but sources of new revenue one of

5 which was a proposed amusement tax. Now,

6 I'm sure you are all aware my budget was not

7 passed nor were any portions of that budget

8 passed, but in light of the fact that that

9 25.6 percent tax increase went forward in

10 2007, in light of the fact that there is no

11 proposed property tax increase this year, I

12 do not find it necessary any longer to

13 exercise an amusement tax within the City of

14 Scranton.

15 As I said, and I wanted this to be

16 perfectly clear, that was part of a budget

17 that was trying to save taxpayers on their

18 property taxes last year. It's a different

19 situation this year, we have all had to pay

20 that tax increase, so I think the last thing

21 anyone needs at this point in time is

22 another tax and so it is just my opinion

23 that the amusement tax should be set aside.

24 Of course, as I said, it will be tabled, but

25 I don't personally have any further interest
.

35


1 in pursuing it.

2 As I reviewed the 2008 proposed

3 budget, I had several questions to which I

4 would like responses before I can render an

5 informed decision on this legislation,

6 therefore, I move that letters be sent to

7 the mayor and Stu Renda, business

8 administrator, requesting responses to

9 financial questions on or about Tuesday,

10 November 27.

11 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.

12 MS. GATELLI: On the question?

13 MR. COURTRIGHT: What questions?

14 Oh, okay. All right.

15 MS. EVANS: You can see them.

16 MR. COURTRIGHT: I'll read it later.

17 There is too many right now.

18 MS. GATELLI: And if you can get that

19 to him by tomorrow, Kay, because Mr. Renda

20 will be here next week to answer any

21 questions.

22 MS. EVANS: Yes, I gave you a copy

23 earlier of these questions.

24 MS. GARVEY: Right, you did.

25 MS. GATELLI: And if any other
.

36


1 council members have any additional

2 questions please get them to Mrs. Garvey,

3 you know, by tomorrow because of

4 Thanksgiving and she can get them to

5 Mr. Renda, okay? Anyone else have anything?

6 All in favor?

7 MS. EVANS: Aye.

8 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.

9 MR. MCGOFF: Aye.

10 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.

11 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The

12 ayes have it and so moved.

13 MS. EVANS: I'm in the process of

14 carefully reviewing the mayor's proposed

15 budget and developing an alternative budget.

16 The Scranton Parking Authority audit was

17 received by council late last week, so it

18 does appear that the independent audit of

19 council should be complete in the very near

20 future because I would agree with the

21 comments of speakers earlier this evening,

22 it is very difficult to move ahead without

23 benefit of all of the information contained

24 in that audit.

25 I also want to wish everyone a very
.

37


1 happy, safe and blessed Thanksgiving, and

2 let's think about over these several days

3 all of the many blessings that we do have to

4 be grateful for. That's it.

5 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.

6 Mrs. Fanucci?

7 MS. FANUCCI: Yes. I don't have

8 much tonight, I just want to welcome three

9 new businesses to our downtown that opened

10 up this week: Nada and Company has moved in

11 on Wyoming Avenue to where the old Globe

12 store men's department was and it's a

13 clothing store that relocated from the

14 Summit, so I'd like to welcome her; also,

15 Courtside Documents, it's located on Spruce

16 Street, and Aroma Cafe is under new

17 ownership and new managements, so we just

18 want to welcome them. And another thing,

19 just go up to Nay Aug, the light show starts

20 on Friday, so everyone go up and see the new

21 light show at Nay Aug and enjoy the holiday.

22 That's all I have.

23 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mr. McGoff?

24 MR. MCGOFF: Just very quickly, a

25 thank you to the people that came and spoke
.

38


1 on the amusement tax. It is for the reasons

2 that, you know, many of you mentioned that

3 we are putting this -- probably going to

4 table this legislation. Again the attempt

5 to initiate an amusement tax I think was an

6 attempt to try and provide some revenue

7 without placing further burden on the

8 residents of the City of Scranton. An

9 amusement tax would not necessarily target

10 just residents of the City of Scranton, but

11 would possibly also bring in revenue for

12 people that, you know, were visiting the

13 city for whatever reason. However, since it

14 has been proposed there have been numerous

15 people that have mentioned problems that,

16 you know, exist within the framework of an

17 amusement tax and certainly those are worry

18 considerations and we would --and we do

19 welcome the comments of all people that, you

20 know, wish to speak on this and before it

21 would, you know, come before us again.

22 As far as, what is it House Bill

23 2018, was that the number?

24 MS. GATELLI: Yes.

25 MR. MCGOFF: Again, that is
.

39


1 something that had been, you know, mentioned

2 before and not necessarily under House Bill

3 2018, but I really think that is something

4 that, you know, we as a city, we as a city

5 council, we as a municipality should not

6 only write letters, but we should do our

7 very best to try and push that forward in

8 whatever way we can. It is something that

9 provides some equity in tax dollars to

10 municipalities that, you know, suffer from

11 the fact that they provide services for, you

12 know, a greater area than just the city

13 itself.

14 We made mention or I made mention of

15 the fact that we have revenue now from, you

16 know, gaming interests throughout the state,

17 a place like Plain's Township with an annual

18 budget of $600,000 received somewhere around

19 $8 million from Mohegan Sun, that seems to

20 be a little bit unjust that there should be

21 ways in which municipalities, communities

22 like Scranton, county seats, that service

23 the rest of the state, the rest of their

24 communities should profit in some way from

25 these state taxes that are being levied; and
.

40


1 so, again, I think it's good that we are

2 pursuing it and I think we should continue

3 to pursue, you know, in whatever way we can

4 the completion of House Bill 2018; and

5 lastly, again, Happy Thanksgiving to

6 everyone, enjoy the week and success to West

7 Scranton football and that's all. Thank

8 you.

9 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.

10 Mr. Courtright?

11 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes, again, on the

12 budget I had given Kay some questions on

13 Friday and then I think what I will do is

14 I'll take a look at the questions Mrs. Evans

15 asked so that I don't duplicate the same

16 questions, and I'm sure that there is some

17 in the same.

18 One last note about the West

19 Scranton football, I just want to make a

20 note that the Lackawanna Football Conference

21 which are Division I champions, and this is

22 the second year they got back to back

23 District II AAA football championships, 2006

24 and 2007, and it's my hope that at some

25 point when they win a state championship
.

41


1 they we'll have them in here.

2 MS. EVANS: Yes.

3 MR. COURTRIGHT: And that's all I

4 have. Thank you.

5 MS. GATELLI: And Tippy, too.

6 MR. COURTRIGHT: And Tippy, also and

7 Chrissy, and that's all I have. Thank you.

8 MS. EVANS: Mrs. Gatelli, can I just

9 add something to what --

10 MS. GATELLI: Sure, absolutely.

11 MS. EVANS: -- Mr. McGoff was

12 discussing with regard to that house bill,

13 there are projected grant amounts for

14 qualifying communities, I can't cite any

15 figures for the City of Scranton because as

16 I previously indicated Scranton submitted no

17 data, but, for example, the City of

18 Harrisburg could realize $11,452,720 in a

19 state grant. The city of Pittsburgh, 24

20 million. The City of Easton, $970,537.

21 Now, this is money, as we all know, that

22 Scranton desperately needs and deserves.

23 Now, in addition to what Mr. McGoff said, I

24 also recognize, as do all of you, that

25 through our state taxes we are paying for
.

42


1 distressed cities, we are paying for the

2 oversight of the Pennsylvania Economy League

3 each year when we are paying our state taxes

4 and I think that money is better served

5 enabling municipalities to free themselves

6 from distress status with the help of the

7 State of Pennsylvania, and I think that's

8 one avenue of revenue that the state can be

9 looking at to plug the hole that they are so

10 concerned about, and I think, and we

11 discussed this in council earlier, I think

12 any one of you could come up with

13 suggestions as well. We know that we have

14 an oversized, bloated legislature that

15 refuses to downsize itself, legislators with

16 fully paid benefit packages, with additional

17 pays just for appearing to do their jobs

18 each day, with walking around money and

19 budgets loaded with pork, and I'm certain if

20 they were truly concerned about these 17

21 communities they can find the way to put

22 their money where their mouth is, get

23 themselves behind this legislation and get

24 these Pennsylvania cities back on their

25 feet.
.

43


1 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. It is very

2 serious, and like I said the League of

3 Cities has been working on that for several

4 years, it's one of their main concerns all

5 across the State of Pennsylvania and all

6 municipalities and boroughs. It's really

7 become a problem. Mrs. Garvey?

8 MS. GARVEY: 5-B. FOR INTRODUCTION -

9 AN ORDINANCE - APPROPRIATING FUNDS FOR TH

10 EXPENSES OF THE CITY GOVERNMENT FOR THE

11 PERIOD COMMENCING ON THE FIRST DAY OF

12 JANUARY 2008 TO AND INCLUDING DECEMBER 31,

13 2008 BY THE ADOPTION OF THE GENERAL CITY

14 OPERATING BUDGET FOR THE YEAR 2008.

15 MS. GATELLI: At this time I'll

16 entertain a motion that 5-B be introduced.

17 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.

18 MS. FANUCCI: Second.

19 MS. GATELLI: On the question?

20 MS. EVANS: Yes. I will vote to

21 introduce this legislation in order to begin

22 the process, nothing more, nothing less.

23 You know, the vote is to be considered in no

24 way an indicator of future votes.

25 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else? All those
.

44


1 in favor.

2 MS. EVANS: Aye.

3 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.

4 MR. MCGOFF: Aye.

5 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed?

6 MR. COURTRGHT: No.

7 MS. GATELLI: The ayes have it and so

8 moved.

9 MS. GARVEY: I think we need a motion

10 to hold a public hearing.

11 MS. GATELLI: Would someone make a

12 motion to hold a public hearing next week at

13 6:00.

14 MR. MCGOFF: I'd like to make a

15 motion that we schedule a public hearing on

16 the budget for next Tuesday, November 27,

17 2007, at 5:45 p.m.

18 MS. EVANS: Second.

19 MS. GATELLI: All in favor?

20 MS. EVANS: Aye.

21 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.

22 MR. MCGOFF: Aye.

23 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.

24 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The

25 ayes have it and so moved. So there will be
.

45


1 a public hearing next week at 5:45 for the

2 budget. Mrs. Garvey?

3 MS. GARVEY: 5-C FOR INTRODUCTION -

4 AN ORDINANCE - AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND

5 OTHER APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS TO EXECUTE

6 AND ENTER INTO A LEASE AGREEMENT WITH GAR

7 MEMORIAL ASSOCIATION ("GAR") FOR A PORTION

8 OF THE UNUSED SPACE INT HE BASEMENT OF CITY

9 HALL TO BE USED AS EXHIBIT AND MEETING SPACE

10 FOR A TERM OF TEN (10) YEARS.

11 MS. GATELLI: At this time I'll

12 entertain a motion that 5-C be introduced.

13 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.

14 MS. FANUCCI: Second.

15 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All

16 those in favor?

17 MS. EVANS: Aye.

18 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.

19 MR. MCGOFF: Aye.

20 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.

21 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The

22 ayes have it and so moved.

23 MS. GARVEY: 6-A. READING BY TITLE -

24 FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 137, 2007 - AN ORDINANCE

25 - AMENDING FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 66, 2006 AN
.

46


1 ORDINANCE "ENTITLED GENERAL CITY OPERATING

2 BUDGET 2007 BY TRANSFERRING $5,000.00 to

3 account no. 01.401.15311.4299 (SALE

4 LEASEBACK-2004 SERIES) AND $6,000.00 TO

5 ACCOUNT NO. 01.401.15312.4299 (SALE

6 LEASEBACK-2005 SERIES) TO PROVIDE FUNDING TO

7 COVER THE PRINCIPAL AND INTEREST PAYMENTS ON

8 SERIES OF 2004, $4,000,000.00 SALE LEASEBACK

9 OF DPW AND SERIES OF 2005, $5,500,000.00

10 SEWER AUTHORITY GUARANTEED LEASE REVENUE FOR

11 A TOTAL TRANSFER OF $11,000.00 FROM ACCOUNT

12 NO. 01.401.13090.43299 (CONTINGENCY.)

13 MS. GATELLI: You have heard reading

14 by title of 6-A, what is your pleasure?

15 MR. COURTRIGHT: I move that Item

16 6-A pass reading by title.

17 MS. FANUCCI: Second.

18 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All

19 those in favor?

20 MS. EVANS: Aye.

21 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.

22 MR. MCGOFF: Aye.

23 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.

24 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The

25 ayes have it and so moved.
.

47


1 MS. GARVEY: 6-B. READING BY TITLE -

2 FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 138, 2007 - AN ORDINANCE

3 - AUTHORIZING THE VACATION OF A PORTION OF

4 THE RIGHT OF WAY KNOWN AS THE 700 BLOCK OF

5 FOREST COURT LOCATED BETWEEN THE 4-00 BLOCKS

6 OF GIBSON STREET AND PINE STREET.

7 MS. GATELLI: You have reading by

8 title of 6-B, what is your pleasure?

9 MR. COURTRIGHT: I move that Item 6-B

10 pass reading by title.

11 MS. FANUCCI: Second.

12 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All

13 those in favor?

14 MS. EVANS: Aye.

15 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.

16 MR. MCGOFF: Aye.

17 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.

18 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The

19 ayes have it and so moved.

20 MR. COURTRIGHT: Mrs. Gatelli, before

21 Mrs. Garvey reads in 6-C I make a motion

22 that we table Item 6-C.

23 MS. GATELLI: Second. On the

24 question? All those in favor?

25 MS. EVANS: Aye.
.

48


1 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.

2 MR. MCGOFF: Aye.

3 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.

4 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The

5 ayes have it and so moved.

6 MS. GARVEY: SEVENTH ORDER - 7-A. FOR

7 CONSIDERATION BY THE COMMITTEE ON RULES -

8 FOR ADOPTION - RESOLUTION NO. 183, 2007 0-

9 APPOINTMENT OF STUART RENDA, 11123 WOODLAWN

10 STREET, SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA, 18509, TO

11 THE POSITION OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATOR. MR.

12 RENDA WILL BE REPLACING LEONARD KRESEFSKI,

13 WHO RESIGNED EFFECTIVE, OCTOBER 26, 2007.

14 MS. GATELLI: As Chair for the

15 Committee on Rules I recommend final of

16 passage of 7-A.

17 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.

18 MS. GATELLI: On the question? Roll

19 call.

20 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.

21 MS. EVANS: Yes.

22 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci.

23 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.

24 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff.

25 MR. MCGOFF: Yes.
.

49


1 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.

2 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.

3 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.

4 MS. GATELLI: Yes. I hereby declare

5 Item 7-A legally and lawfully adopted.

6 MS. GARVEY: 7-B. FOR CONSIDERATION

7 BY THE COMMITTEE ON RULES - FOR ADOPTION -

8 RESOLUTION NO. 184, 2007 - APPOINTMENT OF

9 LINDA AEBLI, 906 SKYVIEW DRIVE, SCRANTON,

10 PENNSYLVANIA, 18505, TO THE POSITION OF

11 EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF ECONOMIC AND

12 COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT. MS. AEBLI WILL BE

13 REPLACING SARA HAILSTONE, WHO RESIGNED

14 EFFECTIVE, NOVEMBER 2, 2007.

15 MS. GATELLI: As Chair for the

16 Committee on Rules, I recommend final

17 passage of Item 7-B.

18 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.

19 S MS. GATELLI: On the question?

20 Roll call.

21 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.

22 MS. EVANS: Yes.

23 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci.

24 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.

25 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff.
.

50


1 MR. MCGOFF: Yes.

2 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.

3 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.

4 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.

5 MS. GATELLI: Yes. I hereby declare

6 Item 7-B legally and lawfully adopted.

7 MS. GARVEY: 7-C. FOR CONSIDERATION

8 BY THE COMMITTEE ON COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT -

9 FOR ADOPTION - RESOLUTION NO. 185, 2007 -

10 AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND OTHER APPROPRIATE

11 CITY OFFICIALS OT EXECUTE AND APPLY FOR A

12 GRANT FOR HOUSING AND REDEVELOPMENT

13 ASSISTANCE THROUGH THE COMMONWEALTH OF

14 PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY AND

15 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (DCED); ACCEPTING THE

16 GRANT IF THE APPLICATION IS SUCCESSFUL, AND

17 COORDINATING THE USE OF THE GRANT FUNDS FOR

18 THE PROJECT TO BE NAMED AS "SKYVIEW PARK

19 APARTMENTS" WITH THE NATIONAL HOUSING TRUST

20 (NHT) - ENTERPRISE PRESERVATION CORPORATION.

21 MS. GATELLI: What is the

22 recommendation of the Chair on Community

23 Development?

24 MS. FANUCCI: As Chairperson for the

25 Committee on Community Development, I
.

51


1 recommend final passage of Item 7-C.

2 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.

3 MS. GATELLI: On the question? I

4 just have a comment to make, the National

5 Housing Trust is going to be involved in

6 this project of redoing the apartments at

7 Skyview which is located in South Scranton,

8 as you know. The National Housing Trust has

9 managed projects throughout the country,

10 they are very strict with their housing

11 projects and I think that this would be a

12 benefit to the project in that particular

13 area to have them manage this property, and

14 it would be grants. It is in desperate need

15 of rehabilitation, and that's all I have.

16 Anyone else? Roll call.

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: Mrs. Gatelli.
.

52


1 MS. GATELLI: Yes. I hereby declare

2 Item 7-C legally and lawfully adopted.

3 MS. GARVEY: 7-D. FOR CONSIDERATION

4 BY THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC WORKS -FOR

5 ADOPTION - RESOLUTION NO. 186, 2007 0-

6 AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND OTHER APPROPRI8ATE

7 CITY OFFICIALS TO EXECUTE AND ENTER INTO A

8 MASTER LEASE-PURCHASE AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE

9 CITY OF SCRANTON AND JOHN DEERE CREDIT, INC

10 FOR THE PURCHASE OF 2007 JOHN DEERE

11 LOADER/BACKHOE.

12 MS. GATELLI: What is the

13 recommendation of the Chair of Public Works?

14 MR. MCGOFF: As Chair for the

15 Committee on Public Works, I hereby final

16 passage of Item 7-D.

17 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.

18 MS. GATELLI: On the question? Roll

19 call.

20 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.

21 MS. EVANS: Yes.

22 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci.

23 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.

24 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff.

25 MR. MCGOFF: Yes.
.

53


1 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.

2 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.

3 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.

4 MS. GATELLI: Yes. I hereby declare

5 Item 7-D legally and lawfully adopted.

6 MS. GARVEY: 7-E. FOR CONSIDERATION

7 BY THE COMMITTEE ON COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT -

8 FOR ADOPTION - RESOLUTION NO. 187, 2007 -

9 ACCEPTING THE RECOMMENDATION OF THE

10 HISTORICAL ARCHITECTURE REVIEW BOARD

11 ("HARB") AND APPROVING THE CERTIFICATE OF

12 APPROPRIATENESS FOR COURTSIDE DOCUMENT

13 SERVICES, INC., 410-412 SPRUCE STREET,

14 SCRANTON FOR STREET-LEVEL ALUMINUM SIGNAGE

15 AT 410-412 SPRUCE STREET.

16 MS. GATELLI: What is the

17 recommendation of the Chair on Community

18 Development?

19 MS. FANUCCI: As Chairperson for the

20 Committee on Community Development, I

21 recommend final passage of Item 7-E.

22 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.

23 MS. GATELLI: On the question? Roll

24 call.

25 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.
.

54


1 MS. EVANS: Yes.

2 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci.

3 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.

4 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff.

5 MR. MCGOFF: Yes.

6 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.

7 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.

8 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.

9 MS. GATELLI: Yes. I hereby declare

10 Item 7-E legally and lawfully adopted.

11 MS. GARVEY: 7-F. FOR CONSIDERATION

12 BY THE COMMITTEE ON COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT -

13 FOR ADOPTION - RESOLUTION NO. 188, 2007 -

14 ACCEPTING THE RECOMMENDATION OF THE

15 HISTORICAL ARCHITECTURE REVIEW BOARD

16 ("HARB") AND APPROVING THE CERTIFICATE OF

17 APPROPRIATENESS FOR REEVES AWNINGS, 623

18 LINCOLN AVENUE, JERMYN PA FOR THE

19 INSTALLATION OF AN ALUMINUM FRAME AWNING AT

20 137 WYOMING AVENUE.

21 MS. GATELLI: What is the

22 recommendation of the Chair on Community

23 Development?

24 MS. FANUCCI: As Chair for the

25 Committee on Community Development, I
.

55


1 recommend final passage of 7-F.

2 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.

3 MS. GATELLI: On the question? Roll

4 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: Mrs. Gatelli.

14 MS. GATELLI: Yes. I hearby declare

15 Item 7-F legally and lawfully adopted.

16 MS. GARVEY: EIGHTH ORDER. CITIZENS

17 PARTICIPATION II.

18 MS. GATELLI: Douglas Miller.

19 MR. MILLER: Good evening, Council,

20 Doug Miller, President of Junior Council.

21 On behalf the Junior Council I would like to

22 congratulate the West Scranton High School

23 football team on winning the District II AAA

24 Championship. We would like to wish the

25 football team the best of luck on Friday and
.

56


1 we want them to know that they are

2 representing our city very well. As the old

3 saying goes, West is best.

4 The Scranton Junior City Council is

5 selling Christmas wreathes for the holiday

6 season. Each wreath is 24 inches and is

7 made with fresh mixed pine and is finished

8 with a red bow. Wreaths are $15 each and

9 all proceeds benefit future Junior Council

10 projects. If anyone is interested in

11 purchasing a wreath, please call

12 570-237-0690, and there is an order form in

13 the hallway here tonight, so if anybody here

14 is interested you can file out the form.

15 All orders can be picked up on Saturday,

16 December 8, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the

17 Nay Aug Park concession stand and I would

18 like to thank everyone who has purchased the

19 Christmas wreath, we appreciate your

20 support.

21 This past weekend the City of

22 Scranton and South Side Neighborhood

23 Association announced a project that

24 involves purchasing 1,000 trees that will be

25 planted in the neighborhoods of South
.

57


1 Scranton. This is by far the biggest

2 project to hit South Side in many years.

3 Over the next few weeks neighborhood

4 association members will knock on doors of

5 residents to see if they are interested in a

6 tree. This past week Scranton Junior City

7 Council was asked to participate in this

8 wonderful project. We will join the

9 neighborhood association and knock on doors.

10 Speaking on behalf of Junior Council, we

11 have accepted the neighborhood associations'

12 request and we are proud to be part of such

13 a wonderful project not only for South Side

14 but for the entire city. I commend the City

15 of Scranton, the neighborhood associates and

16 their leader, Mr. Wayne Evans. They have

17 once again shown that when everyone works

18 together on a beautification project we

19 restore pride and I hope everyone was just

20 as thrilled as we are, and with that said on

21 behalf of Junior Council I would like to

22 wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving. Thank

23 you.

24 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Lyman.

25 MR. LYMAN: Raymond Lyman.
.

58


1 Mrs. Gatelli, you look lovely tonight,

2 Mrs. Fanucci, Mrs. Evans, Mr. Courtright,

3 you look handsome today.

4 MS. GATELLI: Ray, this is Council,

5 not American's Top Model.

6 MR. LYMAN: I always like to say

7 that.

8 MS. GATELLI: I know. I had to add a

9 little humor at least.

10 MR. LYMAN: Every week I hear the

11 unions say they never get a contract. My

12 friend who heard this from a friend of the

13 mayor, I'm not going to mention his name but

14 he is his lawyer, back in '02 Mayor Doherty

15 offered a contract to the union leaders,

16 Mrs. Krake, Mr. Gervasi, and Miss Sturgis, a

17 5 percent pay raise, full benefits and a

18 $500 sign-on bonus. The union leaders

19 rejected it without telling their, you know,

20 their workers, so I'm sick and tired of them

21 pardon my words bitching and moaning of them

22 saying that they don't have a contract, so

23 I'm sick and tired of them coming up here

24 week after week, they didn't get paid, they

25 didn't get a contract, so Mrs. Krake keeps
.

59


1 crying and crying this and that, and we are

2 always these arbitration Court cases, it's

3 not the mayor's fault, it's their fault, so

4 that's enough with those yahoos.

5 MS. GATELLI: Please refrain from

6 calling anyone names, Ray.

7 MR. LYMAN: Well, they fought with

8 me in the hall.

9 MS. GATELLI: Please.

10 MR. LYMAN: I know, I know, sticks

11 and stones. Now, we are going to talk about

12 Mr. Pilcheski. Can we do something with

13 Mr. Pilcheski and his ridiculous website?

14 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Lyman, please don't

15 talk about someone who is not here. He is

16 not a public official and --

17 MR. LYMAN: I know.

18 MS. GATELLI: -- I'm not going to

19 allow you to talk about him.

20 MR. LYMAN: I know, but he does say

21 slanderous things about city council and

22 people who are here and we can't defend

23 ourselves, but they can slander us, but

24 can't we not do something legally? Do

25 slanderous lies, say stuff about us that's
.

60


1 not true --

2 MS. GATELLI: You will have to ask an

3 attorney that, I don't know, Mr. Lyman.

4 MR. LYMAN: I had a lawyer to this

5 idiot, he says it's freedom of speech.

6 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Lyman, please.

7 MR. LYMAN: I know, Ms. Gatelli, and

8 he said it's freedom of speech. My lawyer

9 says it's not freedom of speech. Now, I

10 don't think it's right, this guy, his wife

11 committed a crime --

12 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Lyman, I'm going to

13 call you out of order.

14 MR. LYMAN: Okay, I know,

15 Mrs. Gatelli.

16 MS. GATELLI: Please. Mr. Sbaraglia.

17 MR. LYMAN: Thank you.

18 MR. SBARAGLIA: Andy Sbaraglia,

19 citizen of Scranton. Fellow Scrantonians,

20 5-C, that's the GAR you might as well say a

21 museum, have you all saw it?

22 MS. GATELLI: No.

23 MR. SBARAGLIA: Do you know what the

24 collection consists of? That thing belongs

25 maybe up at the Everhart Museum better than
.

61


1 in the basement of the city hall and that

2 would be a win-win situation. They have a

3 lot of relics left over from, of course, you

4 know the GAR is the Grand Army Republic and

5 lot of their exhibits that they have there

6 are actually authentic civil war pieces. I

7 mean, they have guns, uniforms, so forth and

8 so on. I saw it many years and I don't

9 think it changed too much since, and they

10 have their own organization, but I think

11 this would be a win-win situation to see it

12 arrangements could be made to have that --

13 if they want to move it out of that

14 building, the GAR building has been their

15 home for God knows how many years, but all

16 the veterans are dead now and a lot of the

17 other veterans that probably support it are

18 gone, too, but if that collection can be

19 moved into the museum I think it would

20 actually help them out financially, greatly,

21 because it's a beautiful collection. I

22 happened to put the elevator in that

23 building and I saw it and it's, like I say,

24 it's a wonderful collection and it should be

25 more than relegated to a basement inside of
.

62


1 city hall. Them are museum pieces. To

2 place it in a museum, the glass work even in

3 that place is beautiful beyond compare, I

4 mean, it's better than what we have here and

5 we've got beautiful windows in city hall, so

6 I think maybe before you really push it to

7 that, you can ask the museum up there --

8 well, the GAR committee and the Everhart

9 Museum Committee if they can come to terms

10 to have that collection instead of placed

11 into city hall basement it could be placed

12 where people to could see it. I mean, it's

13 a beautiful collection and it deserves

14 viewing as much as possible and it's worth a

15 fortune. You don't realize how much them

16 pieces are worth to collector that would buy

17 them pieces and the museum I think has,

18 well, maybe they beefed up the security

19 since the paintings disappeared, I hope they

20 did anyway, but I do believe the best place

21 for that collection would be up at that

22 museum. So I wish you could even, you know,

23 push it on and ask the question as to why

24 city hall would the repository for it

25 instead of the museum which I know they need
.

63


1 the income and that would be one of the

2 draws to that museum. I mean, you could

3 actually advertise that. How many people

4 can troop through city hall. Thank you.

5 MS. EVANS: Mr. Sbaraglia, I believe

6 that part of the reason was that long, long

7 ago one of the GAR's most influential

8 members was a former mayor, well, was a

9 mayor of the City of Scranton and, Kay, was

10 he instrumental in initiating the

11 construction of city hall?

12 MS. GARVEY: That's what I have been

13 told.

14 MS. EVANS: Yes, and so I think

15 that's part of their justification.

16 MR. SBARAGLIA: Yes, but it's very

17 erroneous.

18 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Quinn.

19 MR. QUINN: Thank you. Last week I

20 spoke about the rebate for property owners,

21 school tax rebate. They can apply by

22 contacting their local legislators and

23 getting the necessary forms to fill out and

24 it's almost like when you gave, Judy,

25 moderate income, the HUD guidelines, you
.

64


1 know, people qualify for that property tax

2 rebate and the fact is also that tenants can

3 apply also and get the rental.

4 MS. GATELLI: Rental.

5 MR. QUINN: On Monday, this coming

6 Monday, November 26, the Taxpayers'

7 Association is meeting here in city council

8 chambers and we are going to have a

9 presentation by a certified HUD counselor on

10 the reverse mortgage. It's an instrument

11 whereby it can help people who have paid

12 their mortgage and are living there and are

13 having a tough time making ends meet and

14 it's not really happening in this area, but

15 it's been happening throughout the country,

16 okay?

17 Also, I would like to recommend from

18 the Taxpayers' Association that we put a

19 freeze on all raises in the budget and that

20 amount of money for the raises be to reduce

21 property only taxes or to downsize the debt

22 property -- the debt service of the city

23 which is very, very high.

24 Now, fourthly in regards to that, I

25 ask, Judy, for the UDAG surplus funds and
.

65


1 the CDBG funds for the possibility of

2 applying that to the budget and possibly we

3 can use the some of that money to offset

4 some of the budget costs for infrastructure.

5 You know, a case in point for

6 economic development, Lackawanna Avenue

7 where the mall is, there should be some kind

8 of a middle strip going down Lackawanna

9 Avenue because I think a lot of people would

10 come across from the mall and do some

11 shopping in the other areas, but they are

12 afraid of crossing that sheet, it's very

13 dangerous and, of course, some people have

14 been hit with cars down there, so we should

15 be a little bit innovative on this year. Do

16 you have that list?

17 MS. GATELLI: I don't receive that

18 yet, Mr. Quinn, but I will call again

19 tomorrow. She is preparing it, but I want

20 to give her a little slack because she just

21 started.

22 MR. QUINN: Okay, thank you and

23 please consider that freeze on the wages.

24 Thank you.

25 MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Franus.
.

66


1 MS. FRANUS: Fay Franus, Scranton.

2 Last week when I watched the meeting, I

3 replayed the meeting back and I listened to

4 what you said at the end, Mrs. Gatelli, and

5 I almost had to have oxygen, I couldn't

6 believe the words coming out of your mouth

7 when you said some speakers are nasty and

8 that things were good because everybody was

9 nice last week, then you said, "Let's bury

10 the hatchet."

11 You've buried the hatchet right in

12 people's backs with the tax increase you are

13 bleeding them. You want to bury the

14 hatchet. All last year you expect people,

15 you expect people to just take everything

16 you have dished out, standing in the

17 hallway, standing outside in the cold,

18 allowing some people to speak, not allowing

19 some people to speak, when people say

20 something you don't like you bang them out

21 of order, but yet you think we're the nasty

22 speakers.

23 You have caused all the dissension

24 in here. You are the president of council,

25 you call people names. I don't even know
.

67


1 where to begin, you trample the constitution

2 constantly. Your conduct should be

3 continually exposed for the way you act. It

4 appears to me in my opinion, and this is

5 just my opinion, and I'm very serious about

6 this, you are supposed to be representing

7 the people in the city and I haven't seen

8 once thing you have done yet to represent

9 the people.

10 What I have seen is this, I have

11 seen you work up there in council as a

12 stepping-stone not for the people, but to

13 benefit your family in getting them jobs.

14 One has to wonder, I know I wonder. Your

15 daughter got a job as a teacher this year,

16 she was very low on the list. Your

17 son-in-law got a promotion in the Scranton

18 Sewer Authority and from what I understand,

19 what I understand and what I hear is that

20 your husband may get a job with Mike Washo,

21 no wonder you were thrilled that he got

22 elected. Well, we'll see come January.

23 Mrs. Fanucci, you laugh, I understand you

24 want to be tax collector and leaving your

25 term.
.

68


1 MS. FANUCCI: Oh, really?

2 MS. FRANUS: We'll see.

3 MS. FANUCCI: Yeah, we will see.

4 That's hysterical.

5 MS. FRANUS: We'll see if you fulfill

6 your term.

7 MS. FANUCCI: We will see if we

8 will. I will definitely be here and I'm can

9 tell you I'm not going to be tax collector.

10 MS. FRANUS: Well, I hope you are

11 going to stay here and do your job.

12 MS. FANUCCI: Well, I'm staying here

13 for you because there is no way --

14 MS. FRANUS: But, I absolutely think,

15 Judy, you have to have come down a few pegs

16 here. You really do. You just can't keep

17 treating people the way you do and keeping

18 on passing things up there, you can't do it.

19 You say you are for the people, well, when

20 you got sworn in that was the last time we

21 ever heard that. You always try to take our

22 rights away from us and they have those

23 rights and you seem to forget it. You know,

24 that Pledge of Allegiance to the flag, I

25 think you are forgetting what the rights of
.

69


1 the people are. That's all.

2 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Desarno.

3 MR. D'ARION: Good evening, once

4 again. I was training my new puppy the

5 other day when this caught my eye. It's a

6 story about a city is insulting the galling

7 manifesto, otherwise proposed as the 2008

8 city budget, to me the evil and insults were

9 delivered by via the glut of generous across

10 the board administrative raises, three of

11 which to me are particularly appalling. The

12 easiest to swallow of the three, it's kind

13 of like swallowing glass instead of razor

14 blades, is the $3,250 bump for the position

15 of public safety director. The razor blades

16 are the ridiculous $12,831 rewards given to

17 the Chief of Police and the Superintendent

18 of Fire. The gaul was provided by our new

19 business administrator who received a $4,250

20 raise, he offered this clueless quote:

21 "It's a very generous budget and we thought

22 that all employees deserved at least a cost

23 of living increase."

24 I'll tell you, if my dear Nono were

25 alive today, he would sure call me and say,
.

70


1 "Hey, Wyo, is that guy's name short for

2 stunad?"

3 In essence, I'm directing the

4 following appeal to you, Mrs. Gatelli, and

5 to you Mr. McGoff, I would like to think I

6 know where Mrs. Evans and Mr. Courtright

7 stand and I firmly believe that I don't

8 think Mrs. Fanucci will be swayed by

9 anything that I'm about to offer, I dug up

10 this clipping it's from May of 1989, 18 1/2

11 years ago. It's a little unremarkable piece

12 announcing that myself and another formerly

13 young man were sworn in as Scranton firemen.

14 Our salaries would be $25,283. This is our

15 last contract, it runs through December of

16 2002. On January 1 of that year, five years

17 and 11 months ago, the members of the

18 Scranton Fire Department were given a

19 whopping $900 raise bringing the full- time

20 rate of a private to $37,737. If we fast

21 forward through those nearly six years we

22 stand here today no contract and, therefore,

23 no change in that number. This is due

24 solely to the petulance and vindictiveness

25 of Chris Doherty who, by the way, gave
.

71


1 himself an extra $5,000 in his pay. To me,

2 the math is shocking, that's less than a

3 $12,500 raise in salary in over 18 1/2 years

4 that I been in the department fr the rank

5 and file, those of us actually doing the

6 job, compared to almost $13,000 in one year

7 for those in the inner circle.

8 If you are somehow able to reconcile

9 these injustices and opt to approve this

10 budget, rather than summon the courage to

11 finally stand up, form and unbeatable

12 alliance and say, "No more, Chris," then if

13 you can't do that then I'll have to have no

14 choice but to finally believe that you have

15 all forsaken your sense of right and wrong

16 and your moral compasses have been rendered

17 irreparable. Thank you. And you are still

18 the best at time, Mr. Minora. Thank you

19 very much.

20 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Dobson.

21 MR. DOBSON: Dave Dobson, taxpayer of

22 Scranton. I also would like to also mention

23 on the Taxpayers' Association on Monday,

24 part of our motivation for this reverse

25 mortgage process is to educate people that
.

72


1 back taxes would be paid on reverse

2 mortgage, so if you owe back taxes please

3 tune in because it could be a big help and

4 save your house.

5 Also, tonight, this public employee

6 contract I feel has gone on to long and

7 whatever council can do to help out and to

8 get this settled, please, try as best you

9 can and maybe somebody that's not involved

10 in day-to-day animosities and confrontations

11 might be a help if you people could get

12 involved. You certainly can't sign a

13 contract, but you could help facilitate one

14 hopefully.

15 This 2018 I have a question on that,

16 do you need people to petition the local

17 legislators?

18 MS. EVANS: Yes. That would be very

19 helpful as many calls and letters would be.

20 MR. DOBSON: Everyone from Scranton

21 can call into Ken Smith?

22 MS. EVANS: Yes. Mr. Shimkus,

23 Senator Mellow's office.

24 MR. DOBSON: Right. Okay, and that

25 is we haven't produced information on that?
.

73


1 MS. EVANS: Pardon?

2 MR. DOBSON: We haven't produced our

3 end of the information on that, the

4 administration hasn't, is that what I'm to

5 understand?

6 MS. EVANS: The administration has

7 that information?

8 MR. DOBSON: No, no, they haven't

9 produced information on the --

10 MR. MCGOFF: They didn't provide it.

11 MS. EVANS: No, no.

12 MR. DOBSON: The tax exempt

13 properties, they haven't even done their,

14 so, please --

15 MS. EVANS: That's correct. Nothing

16 was submitted to the Commonwealth which, as

17 I said, is --

18 MR. DOBSON: If we give them nothing

19 we will get nothing.

20 MS. EVANS: Exactly.

21 MR. DOBSON: And it could be 5 or

22 10 million dollars or whatever so it will

23 awful nice if they would try and get that

24 information in.

25 MS. EVANS: Absolutely.
.

74


1 MS. GATELLI: I think you can get

2 that information from the Assessor's Office.

3 Actually, I think it's in the county --

4 MR. DOBSON: I mean, for the mayor's

5 administration.

6 MS. GATELLI: Well, I think the

7 county can do that through the Assessor's

8 Office. He has a list of all of the taxes

9 and the properties.

10 MR. DOBSON: Because any help we can

11 get I have been talking here for quite some

12 time about how the city takes up you don't

13 drive through Factoryville if you need

14 medical attention or college education while

15 we have improved most of our colleges and so

16 forth are all here, tax exempt properties,

17 nonprofits and so forth, and we have quite a

18 few of them and that is why this legislation

19 will be passed and hopefully we can get some

20 help with it.

21 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.

22 MR. DOBSON: Other towns don't have

23 these liabilities on their tax rolls, so

24 they just collect their taxes and a lot of

25 times they are lower, their wage taxes are
.

75


1 lower and so are their property taxes and

2 they are actually living off of us somewhat.

3 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.

4 MR. DOBSON: It would be nice if we

5 got a perk.

6 MS. GATELLI: There is no one else

7 on the list.

8 MS. HUMPHREY: Good evening, City

9 Council, happy Thanksgiving. A salaam

10 aleikum, shalom, patcha feda. Hello to all

11 my priests, the military, all serving in the

12 service right now and their families and I

13 extend my love to the people that died

14 September 11. God bless you's all, my heart

15 is with you. What constitutes a lady? I

16 seen in the paper where they had

17 Mrs. Doherty and her husband

18 congratulations. Mr. Doherty flew away from

19 me a few times and hid in his office when I

20 wanted to speak to him. I caught him once,

21 he didn't know what to say, but another time

22 I went to him for documents and he hid in

23 office again and I was given a little flag

24 to pin on the statute of the blessed virgin

25 mother that will be going to the World Trade
.

76


1 Center -- excuse me, not the World Trade

2 Center up to the people in New York City in

3 Washington D.C. I declined on that flag, I

4 love my country, but that particular pin

5 will not go on. The pin that will go on

6 that I have been trying to get, Mr. West, I

7 gave him part of the flag, part of the

8 September 11 to tell him to remove the

9 people from the building, that is the piece

10 of flag that I want it put on the statute

11 for the blessed virgin mother. What

12 constitutes a woman, a lady? The first lady

13 I would say is the blessed virgin Mary,

14 right now there has been dedicated a

15 beautiful statute, the mother of the

16 streets, the Madonna Estrada of the streets,

17 she is there for everybody to Honor her and

18 peace. I put a St. Francis of Assisi

19 statute in the grato, but somebody had

20 removed it and moved it, we don't know if

21 they stole it.

22 Tomorrow will be two years that I

23 was attacked, my medical showed it.

24 Mr. Elliott, the chief of police, I'm asking

25 you to properly do your job. Detective Zuri
.

77


1 and Mr. Stufurski to do properly your jobs.

2 If not, I think everybody should just step

3 down and get the people in there. What

4 constitutes a lady? Mrs. Evans, you are a

5 lady. I seen you at St. Ann's Basilica and

6 my heart went out to you. You have been

7 keeping documents, I know it's to protect me

8 in a way, but I truly need them at this

9 point. I love everybody.

10 Mrs. Gatelli, I know you had a nurse

11 and I know you know what posttraumatic

12 stress is and syndrome especially what I am

13 dealing with between the multiple rapes,

14 attacks, the pillaging and the sexual

15 harassment. I am a victim, not a predator.

16 I will go lobby for Phyllis's law, just like

17 Megan's law, and expose everybody and Jake

18 O'Heim, I think that you should sit down

19 with your wife Thanksgiving and tell her

20 what you did to me and let her get a test,

21 please. God bless you.

22 MS. GATELLI: Thank you, Phyllis.

23 MS. HUMPHREY: Thank you, everybody.

24 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else? Come up,

25 Mr. Stucker.
.

78


1 MR. STUCKER: I had a good party

2 last -- we had a good dinner last night, at

3 we dinner we got I had a good time. I

4 talked to Mayor Doherty, he called Duke

5 Penny the other day at the building,

6 apparently there is a girl named Karen, her

7 name is Karen, she told me Mayor Doherty

8 called and he talked to me and he said, "Is

9 your name Jimmy Stucker?"

10 I said, "Yeah," and he said,

11 "Courtright --Courtright has got my money."

12 MS. GATELLI: Would you give him the

13 money, Bill.

14 MR. STUCKER: Said that Courtright --

15 MS. GATELLI: I think he spent it

16 already, Jim.

17 MR. STUCKER: The mayor told me

18 that, Mayor Doherty said you have the money,

19 he told me to come over and get it off of

20 him where I did the hedges for him.

21 MR. COURTRIGHT: Money for what,

22 Jim?

23 MR. STUCKER: For doing the hedges.

24 MR. COURTRIGHT: For cutting his

25 hedges? He wants me to pay because you cut
.

79


1 his hedges.

2 MR. STUCKER: Yeah, he told me he

3 would give it to you to give me.

4 MR. COURTRIGHT: He's going to give

5 to me. Okay, as soon as he gives it to me,

6 I will give it to you. All right?

7 MR. STUCKER: Yeah.

8 MS. GATELLI: Have a nice

9 Thanksgiving.

10 MR. STUCKER: We have a little

11 problem with leaves in the drains.

12 Everywhere I walk, Mercy Hospital, we have

13 leaves always in them drains with the grids

14 on top, we have a problem with that, the

15 water won't go down. I went to the city

16 cops and told them about it, and I told them

17 about it.

18 MS. GATELLI: Okay. Thank you,

19 Mr. Stucker.

20 MR. STUCKER: And the drains with the

21 leaves on top?

22 MS. GATELLI: Yeah, we will get them

23 cleaned.

24 MR. STUCKER: All right. Thank you.

25 Have a good Thanksgiving.
.

80


1 MR. GATELLI: You, too. I'll make

2 sure Courtright gets that money for you.

3 MR. DAVIS: Salaam aleikum, I like to

4 be called old. I really like being called

5 old especially by people like that. Okay, I

6 encountered this young man in the grocery

7 store and he wrote out this complaint which

8 I'm going to give to you. Mr. Courtright,

9 are you still handling the police problems

10 since you are friends with them.

11 MR. COURTRIGHT: That's my committee,

12 but I don't know the nature of the problems,

13 what could for you?

14 MR. DAVIS: Mr. Robert Weekly was

15 assaulted on Halloween.

16 MR. COURTRIGHT: Oh, I can't get

17 involved in that.

18 MR. DAVIS: 10-31-07.

19 MR. COURTRIGHT: You need to talk to

20 the chief on that.

21 MR. DAVIS: AT Hilltop Manor.

22 MR. COURTRIGHT: You need to talk to

23 Dave Elliott on that one.

24 MR. DAVIS: He has spoken -- he has

25 spoken to Officer Dembrosky, he has talked
.

81


1 to the D.A on this, he has talked to

2 everybody that he possibly could. I was

3 just wondering if you could just find out

4 why they haven't responded to him.

5 MR. COURTRIGHT: I would imagine

6 that's confidential information and they are

7 not going to release that to me.

8 MR. DAVIS: Okay, because I have all

9 of the information here that occurred.

10 MR. COURTRIGHT: Talk to the police

11 chief or the D.A himself maybe.

12 MR. DAVIS: I went down to the

13 mayor's office and spoke it his secretary so

14 I assume that if it's going to go that way

15 then it will go that way, but he took -- so

16 you don't want this then?

17 MR. COURTRIGHT: I don't think I can

18 be any help to you on that to be honest with

19 you. They don't give me confidential

20 information like that.

21 MR. DAVIS: Yeah, he has called --

22 well, he has had three times of calling them

23 and he has gotten no response from them, so

24 he is listening tonight so he will hear us.

25 The second thing I have here is the
.

82


1 results of the election. Congratulations,

2 you and Mr. McGoff.

3 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you.

4 MR. DAVIS: We had -- we had 12,000

5 people that voted or 14,000 people who

6 actually voted, 14,215. Of that, you

7 received 21 percent of the vote and

8 Mr. McGoff -- no, you received 37 percent of

9 the vote and Mr. McGoff received 27 percent

10 of the vote, so I congratulate that, I

11 congratulate you on that, but the thing is

12 we still have less than 2,000 people that

13 are voting in the City of Scranton.

14 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.

15 MR. DAVIS: This is just for

16 municipal.

17 MR. GATELLI: Thank you.

18 MR. DAVIS: 2,000 people, why? Why

19 aren't there more people voting? Have you

20 decided to maybe inquire as to what stops

21 people from voting or it doesn't matter to

22 you? Who are you representing, the City of

23 Scranton or South Side?

24 MS. GATELLI: Your time is it up, Mr.

25 Davis.
.

83


1 MR. DAVIS: Oh, it's up?

2 MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Schumacher, come

3 up. We will recess for five minutes,

4 please, but everyone stay in here.

5 (A brief recess was taken.)

6 MS. GATELLI: I'm sorry for the

7 little disruption here. Go ahead, Mrs.

8 Schumacher.

9 MS. SCHUMACHER: Marie Schumacher,

10 Scranton citizen and member of the

11 Taxpayers' Association. Primarily I came

12 tonight to see if there are answers to the

13 questions that you took last week that you

14 said you would try to get --

15 MR. GATELLI: Mrs. Garvey did send

16 the letters.

17 MS. SCHUMACHER: No responses yet

18 though I take it.

19 MS. GARVEY: No.

20 MS. SCHUMACHER: As long as I'm

21 here, I wonder if anyone is keeping track of

22 the crime in the areas where we have camera

23 surveillance so we don't make any further

24 unwise investments? I noticed in Monday's

25 paper there was an 18-year-old West Scranton
.

84


1 man robbed and assaulted outside of the mall

2 at Steamtown on Saturday night and I recall

3 seeing surveillance cameras being installed

4 at this location earlier. I have attended

5 several Scranton Sewer Authority meetings

6 and Mr. Scopelliti told me of their

7 surveillance, they have got cameras, they

8 have got locks, yet two incidents this year,

9 first the large piece of their own equipment

10 that was driven into the building and the

11 theft of some metal pipes and the Scranton

12 -- you get no information from Scranton

13 Sewer Authority because they say it's under

14 investigation and with all of this

15 surveillance and no arrests, I'm wondering

16 what good are surveillance cameras and I'm

17 thinking they are probably as good as they

18 found in Baltimore and was known before we

19 spent a lot of money on surveillance cameras

20 which is little to no effectiveness in

21 actually making arrests, so I would hope

22 that somebody is keeping track of crime in

23 those areas and so we know precisely whether

24 they are effective or not. Is anybody doing

25 that? Mr. Courtright, do you know if that's
.

85


1 being done?

2 MR. COURTRIGHT: I don't believe

3 there is any cameras that are operable right

4 now. I think there was some problems with

5 the ones they put in, I don't know for a

6 fact, but I do know there was one that I

7 thought was in operation and it wasn't,

8 there has been some kind of a problem, I'll

9 find out exactly how many are up and if any

10 of them are operating. I don't believe they

11 are as of yet. I could be wrong, but I

12 don't think I am. I'll find out next week

13 for you.

14 MS. SCHUMACHER: And I hope you all

15 set to go home and have your turkey dinner

16 and then study the budget so next week when

17 we ask questions on why there are changes

18 you will be able to answer the questions?

19 MR. COURTRIGHT: Absolutely.

20 MS. SCHUMACHER: Thank you.

21 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you.

22 MS. SCHUMACHER: Happy Thanksgiving.

23 MR. SLEDENZSKI: Bill, I hope when I

24 talk you can hear me.

25 MS. GATELLI: Where did you get that
.

86


1 nice hat?

2 MR. SLEDENZSKI: Oh, I bought it,

3 Jude. There it is, baby. There it is.

4 Right on the front page, Billy baby, that's

5 where it's staying.

6 MR. COURTRIGHT: That's right.

7 MR. SLEDENZSKI: That's where it's

8 staying. Should I say it?

9 MR. COURTRIGHT: Go ahead.

10 MR. SLEDENZSKI: Ray Colt, you

11 moocher. Did I say it right this time,

12 Bill? Good luck Friday, boys, let's win.

13 All the way, Jude.

14 MR. UNGVARSKY: Good evening, City

15 Council, I'm Tom Ungvarsky. I'm also a

16 member of the Scranton Lackawanna County

17 Taxpayers. Last week I came to city hall

18 trying to get some information. They told

19 me that to get the information I would have

20 to send a letter in and fill out a Right to

21 Know request. Each week members of our

22 group come before you asking questions and

23 seldom getting any answers. Sometimes the

24 covering up or the failing to answer makes

25 it look bad for everyone. Our group has
.

87


1 asked you for the last four or five weeks to

2 set aside a new order where you would answer

3 the questions that were asked the previous

4 week. Mrs. Evans, would you be in favor of

5 that?

6 MS. EVANS: That's actually almost a

7 double-edged sword because as much as I am

8 in favor of that, I know that I for one

9 would have great difficulty getting those

10 answers for you. I have for four years had

11 a terrible time getting answers. There are

12 some department heads, well, actually some

13 of them are gone, but there were one or two

14 that were cooperative and forthcoming and

15 the others it's like pulling teeth, you

16 know, I think it depends on what side of the

17 fence you are on whether or not you are

18 going to get an answer.

19 MR. UNGVARSKY: Well, I won't poll

20 the rest of you, but I would like to see you

21 put it to an up or down vote, Mrs. Gatelli,

22 if you would please. Thank you.

23 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else? Is there

24 anyone else?

25 MS. KRAKE: Nancy Krake. I would
.

88


1 like to know if anyone on council has asked

2 the mayor what has he done to accomplish

3 this huge change in our budget since last

4 year? No has asked the mayor how he

5 accomplished this wonderful feat of almost

6 magical proportions? We no longer need the

7 44 million, we no longer need the 75 percent

8 tax increase, and I think if I were on

9 council I would want to know what has

10 changed.

11 I would like to quote again from the

12 article of Stacy Brown did last year when

13 the mayor was there with the Pennsylvania

14 Economy League, the mayor's statement,

15 "There is probably a number that we can live

16 with for now and help the city move forward,

17 Mr. Doherty said Wednesday, but we did lie

18 when we explained our situation to council

19 last week."

20 If he didn't lie, then what did he

21 do? What did he do then and what has he

22 done in the past 12 months for this to have

23 changed? And to add insult to injury he

24 gave huge raises to administrative people.

25 I think it's safe of me to say that everyone
.

89


1 on council, seeing that you have jobs with

2 different government entities or had the,

3 except for Mr. Courtright because he is

4 self-employed and I know what's that like, I

5 would assume that none of you have gone for

6 six years without a raise and you are all

7 paid with tax dollars as are we. I think

8 it's extremely insulting that the mayor did

9 that in his budget, gave raises and raises

10 and raises while not giving anything to the

11 people who did the work. Mrs. Gatelli was

12 here and worked side by side with us. We

13 are the people that do the work when the

14 administration leaves. They don't shut city

15 hall or retrain everybody, the bosses walk

16 in and we train them. We are glad to have

17 them, we are glad to have their guidance and

18 their knowledge, but we keep it running, and

19 for a lot less money and without a raise for

20 six years. Thank you.

21 MR. GERVASI: I think to -- I'm

22 sorry, Dave Gervasi, hello again. I think

23 to find answers to some of these budget

24 questions you need to just look back a few

25 years at the union reps that were up here
.

90


1 speaking. We told you what was going to

2 happen, we told you that we are no longer

3 distressed, we told you that there was no

4 need for tax increases, we told you the

5 problems that we were having with this

6 administration. You read the paper that

7 health care is up, well, this administration

8 has cooperated with us in five years to keep

9 health care down, but they complain about

10 it. I think all of the questions that you

11 need answered just read back in some of the

12 minutes and we kind of predicted all of this

13 would happen. And, again, I would like to

14 ask the same question, what so miraculously

15 happened this year that we don't need it to

16 actually -- we don't need any borrowing and

17 by the way, the budget went up $7 million

18 from last year, too, besides, so I think we

19 were taxed a little too much, it's obvious,

20 the paper doesn't lie, the numbers don't

21 lie.

22 As far as what guides our city and

23 what we do from our budgets, I think we have

24 to take a real hard look at the Pennsylvania

25 Economy League. I have been up here and I
.

91


1 have said they are incompetent, and I have

2 said it over and over and, frankly, I agree.

3 Now, I'll say they're liars. It's a hard

4 word to say, but I'm going to say they are

5 liars. I had the opportunity to be in

6 Allentown on an Act 47 Senate hearing a

7 month and a half ago and I saw Gerald Cross

8 and Harry Miller, our two planned

9 coordinators, who by the way every one of

10 their projections were wrong when they were

11 putting the recovery plan together, and

12 their last set of projections were

13 completely wrong again, they're consistently

14 wrong all of the time, and I sat there and

15 Senator Pippi, you can watch it for

16 yourself, Senator Pippi.com, and they sat at

17 the table in front of Senator Pippi and he

18 said, "Why are some municipalities getting

19 recovered and why are some languishing so

20 long and why is all of the money in savings

21 from concessions from labor are not being

22 put into paying debt like Allentown did and

23 like many other municipalities did?"

24 And I sat there and I watched Gerald

25 Cross talk about leaseback agreements, you
.

92


1 know, like the DPW and the sewer authority,

2 they were mortified by leaseback agreements,

3 mortified, and you can watch it on Senator

4 Pippi's website and then they are frightened

5 about borrowing, frightened, that was the

6 word they used. They are frightened about

7 the borrowing in Scranton, but they will

8 come here because the mayor is connected

9 with the governor and he they will come here

10 on behalf of DCED whose only boss is the

11 governor and they will tell you you need

12 borrow 44 million dollars or we will have to

13 raise taxes 75 percent. They are liars.

14 Plan and simple, they are liars.

15 So, what I would frankly do is I

16 would do what Pittsburgh is doing,

17 aggressive city council. They have been

18 distressed for two years. They are already

19 telling the state, unanimously they are

20 telling the state, "We want benchmarks and

21 we want you out of here. We want a

22 benchmarks to reach financially," you are

23 not go to languish for ten years with their

24 planned coordinators making money hand over

25 fist with administration people living fat
.

93


1 off the hog while all the workers in the

2 city are being laid off, not given raises,

3 having their health care cut, having other

4 benefits cut, they are saying we want

5 benchmarks and we went them now, and as soon

6 as we reach the benchmarks we want you out

7 of here, and I would suggest this council do

8 the same. Thank you.

9 MS. EVANS: Mr. Gervasi, who will

10 draft the bench marks? Is the Pittsburgh

11 council requesting than PEL create the bench

12 marks?

13 MR. GERVASI: PEL is not the plan

14 coordinator, Best Made Financial Management

15 is.

16 MS. EVANS: That manager, that

17 financial manager?

18 MR. GERVASI: You know what, I'm not

19 sure, Mrs. Evans. I do know they are asking

20 for bench marks, if they are come up with

21 them themselves or who they are going to go

22 to for that advice I'm not sure.

23 MS. EVANS: I would think at least in

24 our case where the City of Scranton was

25 concerned might be more beneficial to have
.

94


1 even council create bench marks as opposed

2 to PEL.

3 MS. FANUCCI: We cannot do that. We

4 cannot create our own bench marks, it's up

5 to the state to create the guidelines.

6 MS. GERVASI: That's correct, Mrs.

7 Fanucci. The state ultimately, the

8 secretary of DCED ultimately decides whether

9 you distressed or whether you are not.

10 MS. FANUCCI: Right.

11 MR. GERVASI: And, unfortunately,

12 the Pennsylvania Economy, PFM, and all of

13 the principals from those companies that are

14 making billions of dollars off of state

15 money are giving tons of money to Mayor

16 Doherty and to Governor Rendell, so for them

17 to recover Scranton they lose their biggest

18 contract, especially PEL.

19 MS. FANUCCI: You should also know,

20 Dave, that we cannot recover until you guys

21 all settle on a contract.

22 MR. GERVASI: No, no, no.

23 MS. FANUCCI: Unless everyone sits

24 down together we cannot recover.

25 MR. GERVASI: Ms. Fanucci, I don't
.

95


1 want to be argumentative, I would suggest

2 you go to Senator Pippi.com to watch that

3 hearing because when Gerald Cross was saying

4 what he was saying about the terrible things

5 going on here in Scranton, Harry Miller I

6 thought he was going to reach over and cut

7 his throat --

8 MS. FANUCCI: Yeah, I'll watch that.

9 MR. GERVASI: -- to try to stop him

10 from saying what he was saying, and then the

11 first thing Harry Miller said was, "It's the

12 unions fault."

13 It's not the unions fault. The

14 budget went up $22 million since Chris

15 Doherty took office, he raised taxes

16 25 percent and the workers got zero. It's

17 not our fault. Thank you.

18 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. I hope

19 Mr. Ancherani is.

20 MR. ANCHERANI: Good evening, Nelson

21 Ancherani. The budget has now been

22 presented to council, a record budget, I

23 predicted an $80 million budget, but as I

24 said it's 84, and I'm sure Mrs. Evans can

25 come up with a 77 1/ 2 million budget that
.

96


1 equals this years. You and the others can

2 take lessons from that, so maybe we could

3 come up with something.

4 Mrs. Fanucci, three new businesses

5 in Scranton, that's great, it is good, I

6 like that, there is only 47 more to go, we

7 are all right.

8 I just want to say in this record

9 budget there are three flood control

10 relocation specialists, one flood control

11 project coordinator, one assistant flood

12 control project coordinator and one flood

13 engineer, I don't know where they are but I

14 guess we have them, they are in the budget.

15 I have been predicting that record budget

16 multi-million dollar loan, 25 percent tax

17 increase, Mrs. Gatelli, vowed not to raise

18 the taxes this year, we are going to have

19 two wins for the taxpayer or at least one,

20 no tax increase.

21 MS. GATELLI: You are not going to

22 get ought of that lunch, Mr. Ancherani.

23 MR. ANCHERANI: Oh, I'm not trying

24 to, but at least the taxpayers win. I would

25 rather pay for a lunch than a tax increase.
.

97


1 So it's Stormin Carmen, whoever is out

2 there, that's Stormin Carmen that's

3 incredible and amazing, don't you think?

4 Budget contains 12,803 raises for

5 the police and fire chiefs, multiple raises

6 for nonunion personnel, but excluded are

7 three unions and union personnel or peons,

8 the lowly. The mayor says the police

9 officers are averaging 57,000 a year, where?

10 Dunmore, Taylor, Dickson City, South

11 Abington, the state police, Pocono Regional,

12 but not Scranton. Stu Renda had a quote,

13 "It's a very generous budget and we thought

14 that all of the employees deserved at least

15 a cost of living increase."

16 Hey, Stu, what are the police and

17 fire and clerical employees, nobodies? Stu,

18 we said that the long-term debt is about 108

19 million, triple that we have a long-term

20 debt of 28 years and 316 million, add the

21 Scranton Parking Authority new loan we have

22 410 million long-term debt.

23 I have here the increases in the

24 raises and new hires, I previously said it

25 would be 20 million at the end of next, I
.

98


1 was wrong, I'm sorry, 15 million

2 cumulatively, 15 million, that's not the

3 police and fire fault, these are the other

4 raises, so -- okay, that will be it.

5 MS. EVANS: Mr. Ancherani, just for

6 your information it appears according to the

7 audit of the Parking Authority that the

8 total principle debt is $65,370,000 and this

9 is including the 2007 bond issue and the

10 total long-term debt is over 130 million

11 dollars for the Scranton Parking Authority

12 alone.

13 MR. ANCHERANI: So that's 450

14 million. Okay.

15 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Anyone

16 else? If not we would like to adjourn an

17 wish everyone a very, very happy

18 Thanksgiving. We'll see you next Tuesday.

19 (Meeting adjourned.)

20

21

22

23

24

25
. ####

99


1 C E R T I F I C A T E

2

3 I hereby certify that the proceedings and

4 evidence are contained fully and accurately in the

5 notes of testimony taken by me at the hearing of the

6 above-captioned matter and that the foregoing is a true

7 and correct transcript of the same to the best of my

8 ability.

9

10

11
CATHENE S. NARDOZZI
12 OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25