1 SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING
7 Tuesday, November 20, 2007
10 Council Chambers
11 Scranton City Hall
12 340 North Washington Avenue
13 Scranton, Pennsylvania
CATHENE S. NARDOZZI- COURT REPORTER
2 CITY OF SCRANTON COUNCIL:
MS. JUDY GATELLI, PRESIDENT
6 MS. JANET E. EVANS
MS. SHERRY FANUCCI
9 MR. ROBERT MCGOFF
MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT
12 MS. KAY GARVEY, CITY CLERK
MR. NEIL COOLICAN, ASSISTANT CITY CLERK
15 MR. AMIL MINORA, SOLICITOR
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
1 that's all I have. The first speaker is Ray
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
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
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 --
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
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
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
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
25 MS. GATELLI: Pardon?
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,
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
1 of Gibson and Pine Street, to whom are you
2 vacating this area to? Who is it to, Mercy
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.
1 MR. DAVIS: I thought that was the
2 budget though. Don't --
3 MR. COURTRIGHT: We are on the
5 MR. DAVIS: Doesn't DPW get a
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
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.
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
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
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
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
25 Recently, I met a wonderful
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
24 MS. FANUCCI: As Chairperson for the
25 Committee on Community Development, I
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
25 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.
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
24 MS. FANUCCI: As Chair for the
25 Committee on Community Development, I
1 recommend final passage of 7-F.
2 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
3 MS. GATELLI: On the question? Roll
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
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
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
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
24 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Lyman.
25 MR. LYMAN: Raymond Lyman.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
14 MS. EVANS: Yes, and so I think
15 that's part of their justification.
16 MR. SBARAGLIA: Yes, but it's very
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
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,
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
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
22 MR. QUINN: Okay, thank you and
23 please consider that freeze on the wages.
24 Thank you.
25 MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Franus.
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
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
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
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
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,
1 "Hey, Wyo, is that guy's name short for
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
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
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
15 This 2018 I have a question on that,
16 do you need people to petition the local
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?
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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,
23 MR. STUCKER: For doing the hedges.
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: For cutting his
25 hedges? He wants me to pay because you cut
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
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
24 MR. STUCKER: All right. Thank you.
25 Have a good Thanksgiving.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
13 MR. GERVASI: PEL is not the plan
14 coordinator, Best Made Financial Management
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.)
1 C E R T I F I C A T E
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
CATHENE S. NARDOZZI
12 OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER