5 Held:

6 Thursday, February 8, 2007



9 Time:

10 6:30 p.m.



13 Location:

14 Council Chambers

15 Scranton City Hall

16 340 North Washington Avenue

17 Scranton, Pennsylvania






23 Lisa M. Graff, RMR

24 Court Reporter





























1 MS. GATELLI: Okay. Please stand

2 for the Pledge Of Allegiance. Please remain

3 standing for a moment to remember our

4 servicemen. Thank you. 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.


13 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.

14 MS. GATELLI: Here. Dispense with

15 the reading of the minutes.

16 MS. GARVEY: Third order. 3-A,






22 MS. GATELLI: Are there any

23 comments? We would just like to thank Mr.

24 Sands for his contribution, and the fire

25 department responded to a carbon monoxide


1 call at his home, and they did an excellent

2 job, as they always do, and we thank them

3 for their service to the city and we thank

4 Mr. Sands for his contribution. Any other

5 comments? Received and filed.

6 MS. GARVEY: Just one thing in

7 clerk's notes that I was asked to discuss

8 tonight. Some people forms that they've

9 been receiving in the mail this week that

10 say school tax bill is enclosed, but when

11 they open it, that's not what's inside.

12 So, I was asked to call the single

13 tax office inside and I spoke to someone

14 there and they said that they don't send out

15 these forms any more, that it's been

16 outsourced to a company that does it now,

17 and evidently this company stuffed the wrong

18 envelopes and sent out the 2006 wage tax

19 forms.

20 I was asked by Mr. Courtright then

21 to pass this information onto the public so

22 it would help with any confusion they might

23 have. So, anybody that is employed should

24 be receiving this form to do their taxes, so

25 don't disregarded it. It has nothing to do


1 with their school taxes. And that's it.

2 MS. GATELLI: Thank you, Mrs.

3 Garvey. I just have a few things. Saturday

4 evening at eight o'clock at the Providence

5 Playhouse at 1256 Providence Road there will

6 be a play call Lovers And Other Strangers,

7 as that's for Valentine's Day.

8 On Friday, tomorrow evening at eight

9 o'clock at the Northeast Theater at the

10 Hotel Jermyn will be the Vagina Monologues

11 in honor of V-Day.

12 Also, tomorrow evening from 5:30 to

13 eight will be the Electric City Trolley

14 Museum Winter in the City party, 5:30 to

15 eight, benefiting Scranton Tomorrow.

16 Saturday starting at four o'clock at

17 the Asberry United Methodist Church there

18 will be a beef dinner. That's at 720

19 Delaware Street.

20 Saturday day from five to seven,

21 there will be a pork and sauerkraut supper

22 at the Court Street United Methodist Church.

23 Friday eleven in the morning to

24 seven at night, the new State Representative

25 Frank Shimkus will be holding an open house


1 in his office at 117 North Main Avenue, and

2 he asks everyone to please stop by.

3 We received an answer from George

4 Parker about the curb cuts on Mulberry and

5 Adams, and he responded that that is under

6 the jurisdiction of the Pennsylvania

7 Department of Transportation, so, Kay, we

8 will forward all that Keith Williams

9 information to PennDOT and see if they can't

10 make those repairs expeditiously.

11 I asked about the Rockwell Avenue

12 bridge, and it is in need of replacement,

13 and a new structure is being designed

14 presently. The bridge is on the

15 Pennsylvania Department of Transportation

16 improvement plan and is funded for design

17 and construction, with 80 percent federal

18 funds and 20 percent state funds.

19 A public meeting regarding the

20 design alternatives was held in North

21 Scranton on November 25, '03, where citizens

22 had the opportunity to give comments. The

23 project is scheduled for opening of bids in

24 June of '08. So, that's for the people that

25 were inquiring about the Rockwell Avenue


1 bridge.

2 We also received an answer from

3 Jerry Cross from the Pennsylvania Economy

4 League concerning the director of public

5 safety. People asked why it was not in the

6 Recovery Plan and why there is such a person

7 serving in that function.

8 His answer was that the 1992 and

9 1996 recovery plans eliminated the separate

10 position of director of public safety.

11 The 2002 Recovery Plan, as adopted

12 by the city and approved by the voters at a

13 public referendum, did provide budgeting for

14 such a position. I hope that this explains

15 Act 47 background. So, that was his answer

16 to that.

17 I talked to Mark Seitzinger

18 regarding the property at 2519 North Main,

19 the Habitat For Humanity house. It is down

20 at the state being evaluated for historic

21 preservations reasons, which is just part of

22 procedure for demolition, and when -- as

23 soon as they get the okay, it will be placed

24 on the demolition list. It is in very

25 hazardous condition.


1 I also talked to Mark about the

2 property on Parker Street that Mr. Elman

3 talked about, and he said that he talked to

4 the owners and they were supposed to have it

5 down within 60 days, and he was going to

6 call them again. They have agreed to take

7 it down themselves.

8 Potholes were repaired on Dix Court,

9 1300 North Washington, 1600 of Muncy, nine

10 and ten of Clay, West Pass Avenue, 140-150

11 Dixon, 1300 of Sanderson, 200 of Cherry, one

12 and two of Popular, Greer Place, 200 of Vine

13 and Greenburn.

14 Inlets were repaired at Palm and

15 Pittston, 1612 Bullwer. A house was boarded

16 up at 1221 Linden.

17 We had snow events on Tuesday,

18 January 20 and Friday, February 2, and a

19 sink hole was repaired at 533 North Filmore,

20 and trees were trimmed -- were removed at

21 Connell Park and Nay Aug Park.

22 I also reported a property on

23 Wyoming Avenue that is sinking because of

24 the Meadow Brook Creek. It is 1713 Wyoming

25 Avenue, and Mr. Matthews is going to take a


1 look at that.

2 And the last thing I have is just to

3 wish my daughter happy birthday. I'm not

4 going to tell you how old she is, but Mrs.

5 Krake knows. And anyone else?

6 MS. EVANS: Yes.

7 MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Evans.

8 MS. EVANS: Just three

9 announcements. On February 10, there will

10 be a breakfast from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.

11 conducted at Saint Peters Lutheran Church

12 Social Hall located at the corner of Taylor

13 Avenue and Ash Street, that is close to

14 Petersburg Corners, benefitting Ginger

15 Dobenhauser, who underwent successful spinal

16 cord surgery but has incurred many medical

17 bills. For further information, please

18 contact Saint Peter's Lutheran at 344-2701.

19 Tickets are very reasonable, $5 for adults

20 and $3 for children under ten. There will

21 also be candy and bake goods for sale.

22 Last year at this time I asked for

23 your financial support of a West Scranton

24 student who wished to participate in the

25 People to People Leadership Program which


1 was conducted last summer in Europe, and

2 thanks to the generosity of so many people,

3 he was able to make this dream a reality,

4 and, in fact, he gave me a lovely photo

5 album of his travels for Christmas.

6 This summer Ryan McClaughlin, who is

7 a ninth grade student at Scranton High

8 School, hopes to attend the People to People

9 Leadership Summit in china.

10 He will attend educational workshops

11 and learn about China's government, history

12 and religions. It's an honor to be selected

13 for this program. And upon his return, Ryan

14 will share his experiences with schools and

15 civic clubs throughout our community.

16 His tuition is $5300, and I hope

17 that some of you who are able will

18 contribute toward Ryan's tuition with any

19 dollar amount that you can spare.

20 Please make all checks payable to

21 People to People, care of Ryan McClaughlin.

22 Checks or cash can be mailed to Ryan

23 McClaughlin, 933 Ferdinand Street, Scranton,

24 PA, 18508. I hope you can help.

25 And, once again, as I announced last


1 week, the Cross Your Heart We'll Have a Ball

2 sponsored by the Scranton Firefighters

3 Auxiliary on Saturday, February 10 from six

4 to 11 p.m. at Saint Joe's Center in Minooka.

5 Proceeds benefit the Scranton Chapter of the

6 American Red Cross. There will be

7 entertainment and a D.J. Tickets are $25.

8 And for ticket information, please call

9 Christine DeStefano at 344-0944.

10 There will also be raffles and a

11 special appearance by Scranton Rehab Two.

12 I'm not quite sure what that is, but I'm

13 looking forward to finding out. Thank you.

14 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else?

15 MR. COURTRIGHT: I just have one

16 thing. The West Side Crime Watch asked me

17 to announce they're going to have a meeting

18 this Monday at seven o'clock, the 12th, at

19 the crime watch building on Bromley Avenue

20 and Jackson Street, and there's going to be

21 a speaker there from the D.A.'s office

22 talking about sexual offenders. So, they're

23 inviting everyone to that meeting. That's

24 this Monday, the 12th, at 7 p.m. that's all

25 I have. Thanks.


1 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else? The

2 first speaker is Andy Sbaraglia.

3 MR. SBARAGLIA: Andy Sbaraglia,

4 citizen of Scranton. Fellow Scrantonians,

5 your 7-A that came back -- that actually

6 came down from the mayor's office, right? I

7 don't think any of you had anything to do

8 with that.

9 Well, I asked around about it, and

10 somebody said this -- they've been there

11 from, I think, at that pay raise since '99,

12 so I guess I find nothing wrong with it.

13 The mayor seems to think it's okay, and I

14 think it's okay, too.

15 How about your number three here,

16 reports and communication from the mayor,

17 what did he actually report to you?

18 MS. GATELLI: Just the things that I

19 read from the various cabinet officials.

20 MR. SBARAGLIA: Anything specific?

21 MS. GATELLI: The reports I just

22 gave about the Rockwell Street bridge.

23 MR. SBARAGLIA: That's all he gave?

24 Nothing -- nothing about the financial

25 stability of the city, our BB negative bond


1 issue or anything like that?

2 Well, I think maybe you should query

3 him on the financial stability of the city.

4 Most of the people got their raises in their

5 taxes and they want to know what they're

6 getting for their raises in taxes. I think

7 they're getting a snow job for the raise in

8 taxes, but that's my opinion.

9 Things that are going on in this

10 city should never have been done. This city

11 doesn't have the financial backing to do all

12 the things he wanted to do.

13 There used to be a little story, a

14 movie, I guess, long time ago saying one

15 bridge at a time. Where they tried to go

16 too far, you got clobbered.

17 Well, we're in that position now.

18 He tried to go too far, and we got

19 clobbered, and we're going to get clobbered.

20 I would assume -- you should query

21 him again about the Parking Authority. He's

22 already thinking of two new garages, and I

23 find it real hard to figure how he's going

24 to get the money to pay for these garages.

25 We're already -- I'm going to query --


1 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Sbaraglia, could

2 you please stick to the agenda?

3 MR. SBARAGLIA: Well, that was the

4 reports, okay. I was just on the reports.

5 I just got a little carried away on the

6 report.

7 I would assume that you had that

8 financial report and I have no reason to

9 assume that you wouldn't get something like

10 that in your report from the city. In fact,

11 I find it very --

12 MS. GATELLI: No, it's just weekly

13 communication that comes down from cabinet

14 members or --

15 MR. SBARAGLIA: Wouldn't it be wise

16 to get --


18 MR. SBARAGLIA: -- exactly how this

19 city is doing financially as we progress

20 weekly at a time?

21 MS. GATELLI: I don't know that

22 they've ever given a weekly report, not that

23 I was ever aware of.

24 MR. SBARAGLIA: Well, somebody

25 should look into it a little more closer.


1 MS. GATELLI: I know Roseann gives a

2 monthly report.

3 MR. SBARAGLIA: I know she does, but

4 I assume maybe we should try to get a little

5 more along the financial line from the

6 reports from the different departments as

7 they keep the budget, so forth and so on.

8 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.

9 MR. SBARAGLIA: That would be the

10 wise thing to do. Thank you.

11 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Bill

12 Jackowitz.

13 MR. JACKOWITZ: Bill Jackowitz,

14 South Scranton resident. I also would like

15 to talk about number three, reports,

16 communication from mayor, heads of

17 department and interested parties and city

18 clerk's notes.

19 You read two responses from Mr.

20 Parker in regards to blighted buildings that

21 are going to be tore down; is that correct?

22 With all the letters, all the

23 E-mails, all the phone calls, all the visits

24 that have been made to the mayor and to all

25 these heads, requests for them to appear at


1 meetings and answer these questions, those

2 are the only two responses that we received;

3 is that correct?

4 MS. GATELLI: I believe I read more

5 than two responses.

6 MR. JACKOWITZ: There was two about

7 the buildings and then there was one about

8 the bridge, so maybe there was three. I

9 could have been off by one.

10 You know, this would be a good time

11 now to probably start issuing the subpoenas

12 if they're not responding.

13 MS. GATELLI: We are pursuing that,

14 Mr. Jackowitz.

15 MR. JACKOWITZ: I'm just saying,

16 it'd probably be a good time to start,

17 because there's a lot of letters that have

18 been sent.

19 I mean, we keep the post office in

20 business with all the letters that we send

21 to the mayor's office, to all the department

22 heads, so on and so forth, and we don't ever

23 get any responses.

24 And then today, I mean, I was

25 shocked, only two or three responses about


1 blighted buildings. What about the budget?

2 What about the $13, $15, $10 million that

3 has been missing? We still don't have an

4 answer on that one. I don't care what

5 anybody says.

6 These are the questions we need to

7 be answered. Why were our taxes raised?

8 These are questions that -- these are

9 questions that have been sent to the mayor

10 and to the department heads. What about the

11 potholes and all this? You know, everything

12 that's going on in this city.

13 MS. GATELLI: I read an array of

14 potholes that were filled.

15 MR. JACKOWITZ: Right, and there's

16 an array of more of them that still that --

17 MS. GATELLI: Well, yeah, they're

18 there all the time, we know that.

19 MR. JACKOWITZ: I mean, there's just

20 letter after letter after letter sent. You

21 know, what about the money for the soldiers?

22 Have we ever got an answer to that one?

23 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Minora, I think

24 they're going way off the agenda items.

25 MR. MINORA: I agree, I agree.


1 MS. GATELLI: Please, stick to the

2 agenda.

3 MR. JACKOWITZ: I am sticking to the

4 reports.

5 MS. GATELLI: No, there are no

6 reports on there for you to address.

7 MR. JACKOWITZ: What I'm asking,

8 though, is for City Council to get the

9 reports.

10 MS. GATELLI: You ask that at public

11 participation at the end of the meeting.

12 MR. JACKOWITZ: You know, we need to

13 get the reports. That's what the reports

14 are about.

15 MS. GATELLI: No, it's not. That's

16 to review any reports that are here.

17 MR. JACKOWITZ: Right. And I'm

18 saying that maybe it's time to subpoena to

19 start issuing --

20 MS. GATELLI: Well, we are working

21 on that. I said that once already.

22 MR. JACKOWITZ: I understand that.

23 It doesn't take long to send a subpoena out.

24 MS. GATELLI: Oh, it certainly does,

25 Mr. Jackowitz.


1 MR. JACKOWITZ: No, it doesn't. It

2 doesn't take long at all. All it takes is a

3 little ingenuity and ambition, that's all it

4 takes. Thank you.

5 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Talamini.

6 MR. TALERICO: I have nothing on the

7 agenda.

8 MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Garvey. Oh, I'm

9 sorry.

10 MR. GERVASI: Thanks, Mrs. Gatelli.

11 When you were reading the reports, you read

12 a letter from Gerald Cross from the

13 Pennsylvania Economy League, I don't want to

14 go off track here, but I believe it just

15 said simply that there's a public safety

16 department now because it was budgeted; is

17 that actually what he said?

18 MS. GATELLI: Basically, yeah. I

19 didn't read the whole thing in total, but

20 you can have it if you'd like.

21 MR. GERVASI: In my opinion, the

22 Pennsylvania Economy League is either --

23 their incompetence is staggering or they're

24 not going to give you a straight answer.

25 Just to educate you a little bit if


1 you don't know, the Pennsylvania Economy

2 League is hired by who? Does anyone know?

3 By the Department of Economic and Community

4 Development with the state, DCED. And

5 that's totally controlled by the secretary

6 of DCED, who is totally controlled by the

7 governor.

8 There is no legislative oversight to

9 anything PEL does or DCED does. They're

10 solely controlled by the governor. So, when

11 you ask a question of Mr. Cross from the

12 PEL, he needs permission from the

13 department's secretary, whose boss is the

14 governor. There is no oversight, there's no

15 one else to tell, there's no one else to

16 complain to.

17 And maybe you should send another

18 letter to him saying why was it okay to have

19 a public safety department created under the

20 Doherty Administration, when it wasn't okay

21 to do it under the Connors Administration?

22 Maybe you should ask him specifically what

23 changed to make that happen.

24 That might be a better solution,

25 because, and I don't want to get off track


1 here, but these are the same people who

2 wrote this letter that sat here weeks ago

3 and said there is no alternative instead of

4 -- there is no other alternative than to

5 borrow $44 million to keep the city afloat,

6 when it was you, Mrs. Gatelli, who asked one

7 simple question of the mayor, how much do

8 you really need?

9 And I think you knocked it down to

10 $19 million from $44 million, and I believe

11 it ended up $10 million.

12 I wonder what Gerald Cross from the

13 Pennsylvania Economy League thinks if he

14 made and a $33 million error on one-year's

15 budget. So, I wouldn't take any of his

16 letters with too much credence, and I would

17 probably send another letter to follow up

18 with a little detailed information why it

19 was okay for Mayor Doherty and not Mayor

20 Connors.

21 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.

22 MS. EVANS: Mr. Gervasi, if I could

23 just respond quickly. First to the last

24 point that you made, actually PEL was aware

25 that it was only going to be $10 million in


1 borrowing early in December before the

2 motion was ever made here at Council. It's

3 contained in the PEL summary notes of their

4 weekly meetings.

5 MR. GERVASI: Really?

6 MS. EVANS: Yes. But just to go

7 back to the point about the public safety

8 director, it does say in '92 and '96, the

9 recovery plans as adopted by the city

10 eliminated the position.

11 These provisions were initiated to

12 reduce expenditures during the period of

13 time covered by those specific recovery

14 plans.

15 I, you know, I'm just adding my own

16 thoughts at this point, but it appears that

17 we are in far worse financial straits today

18 than we were in those years, yet we maintain

19 the position.

20 But he then goes on to elaborate,

21 the 2002 Recovery Plan as adopted by the

22 city and approved by the voters at a public

23 referendum providing -- or provided for the

24 budgeting of such a position.

25 Again, I'm just going to inject, I


1 recall perusing the Recovery Plan, but I

2 must admit, I myself as a citizen, I don't

3 recall recalling that exact line, that this

4 was an addition. I think we were all too

5 concerned at that time about a potential tax

6 increase, because we were told Recovery

7 Plan, yes, or tax increase.

8 MR. GERVASI: Right.

9 MS. EVANS: And I know that's what

10 was looming in many people's minds. But

11 setting that aside, administration

12 difficulties in the operation of the city's

13 police and fire bureaus during the

14 implementation of the '92 and '96 recovery

15 plans were a factor in the funding of the

16 director of public safety position in the

17 2002 Recovery Plan.

18 I am questioning if they're implying

19 that there were great problems within the

20 departments during those years or that -- in

21 fact, was there not a public safety director

22 in the nineties?

23 MR. GERVASI: Yes, there was.

24 MS. GATELLI: Yeah, it was Jimmy

25 Klee.




3 MS. EVANS: Yes, and then he was

4 removed.


6 MS. EVANS: Correct?

7 MS. GATELLI: The position was

8 eliminated.

9 MS. EVANS: According to the

10 Recovery Plan.


12 MS. EVANS: Because --

13 MR. GERVASI: It was called

14 redundant.

15 MS. EVANS: -- because they were

16 trying to reduce expenditures, and

17 apparently because you had administrative

18 difficulties in the nineties. I don't know

19 if that's true or not.

20 MR. GERVASI: I don't recall.

21 MS. EVANS: But that's the entire

22 justification for the insertion of the

23 position.

24 MS. GATELLI: You're welcome.

25 Anyone else?


1 MS. KRAKE: My name is Nancy Krake.

2 And just finishing up on the last remarks

3 that were made here, when the Pennsylvania

4 Economy League came to speak to Council,

5 Harry Miller told myself and Ann Marie

6 Stulgis out in the hall that he did not want

7 a public safety director because he didn't

8 like Jimmy Klee. He told us flat out. And

9 there were several people there.

10 So, that just proves how political

11 they are, and it has nothing to do with

12 economics, sorry to say.

13 I'd like to speak a little bit about

14 7-A. It's the only thing on the agenda,

15 because apparently everything else is

16 perfect in this city.

17 This is a raise for the secretaries

18 for all of our pension boards. They haven't

19 had a raise in over five years. It is a

20 substantial amount, compared to what they

21 already receive, but it is well deserved.

22 I can't even tell you how much value

23 it is to have correct records, accurate

24 records, up-to-date records, and dependable

25 people to do this.


1 The city just recently lost two

2 lawsuits concerning the non-uniformed

3 pension, and I guarantee that they

4 absolutely had something to do, their

5 losing, that is, with the -- how those

6 records were kept and how the rules are made

7 available or not made available. In fact,

8 I'm sure some of them -- or one of them will

9 be appealed.

10 This is a continuing process. They

11 constantly need to be updated. And I think

12 that Council should vote yes for these

13 raises. Thank you.

14 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Anyone

15 else? Mrs. Garvey.

16 MS. GARVEY: 5-A, motions.

17 MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Evans.

18 MS. EVANS: Thank you. Good

19 evening, and Happen Valentine's Day to

20 everyone, and particularly to all of us

21 girls.

22 February also marks the annual

23 celebration of Black History Month. At

24 Scranton High School, students have created

25 beautiful ribbon pins under the direction of


1 their art teacher, Ms. Ruddy. And, in fact,

2 I'm wearing one of those pins this evening.

3 We proudly wear these pins as a show

4 of support and respect for our black

5 community and leaders, among other school

6 activities.

7 Now, with each shared celebration, I

8 hope we continue to grow in understanding,

9 respect and unity.

10 I received a timely response from

11 Chief Elliott regarding dangerous driving

12 around the area of Boulevard Avenue that I

13 would like to read.

14 Please be advised that my office has

15 received a letter from Councilwoman Janet

16 Evans concerning dangerous driving

17 conditions around Boulevard Avenue from

18 Parker Street to the Throop line.

19 She has stated that citizens have

20 complained of drunk drivers and speeding

21 vehicles in this area. Please increase

22 traffic enforcement in this area. If you

23 have any questions, please contact my

24 office.

25 And so, I with to thank Chief


1 Elliott and Lieutenants Mackey, Thomas, Arby

2 and Crofton for their attention to this

3 problem.

4 Council also received two prompt

5 responses from Mr. Parker. First, as was

6 mentioned a few moments ago, the handicapped

7 curb cuts in Downtown Scranton, and Mr.

8 Parker's second response involves a repeat

9 of his prior decision regarding parking at

10 the intersection of South Main Avenue and

11 Dartmouth Street.

12 He continues to view this as a

13 police enforcement issue, when no parking

14 signs would simply solve these never-ending

15 problems.

16 You see, a business opened a few

17 years ago at this location, and Council was

18 informed about two years ago, perhaps a

19 little more, that this new business did not

20 appear before the zoning board and did not

21 have adequate parking for employees and

22 customers as a result.

23 Since the administration turned a

24 blind eye for this business, the

25 administration should provide relief for the


1 parking problems caused by the business by

2 placing no parking signs on South Main

3 Avenue and Dartmouth Street.

4 And, Kay, would you please look up

5 the traffic study of that vicinity that was

6 conducted by the state ?

7 Over the last few months, I've

8 maintained an open mind in relation to

9 obtaining financial information from this

10 administration. I visited the mayor's

11 office, and last Friday, I stopped into

12 OECD. I've requested information by motion,

13 through written correspondence, and in

14 person.

15 This pattern of unanswered requests

16 is now into its fourth year. In fact, when

17 I spoke to Ms. Hailstone on February 2, she

18 was unaware of my requests and stated that

19 she could not provide any information

20 without the approval of her boss. I

21 explained that her boss had given his

22 approval on television at a September 2006

23 public caucus meeting.

24 Eight months after the initial

25 request and five months after the mayor went


1 on record publically agreeing to provide

2 information, the iron curtain still stands.

3 Meanwhile, our tax bills arrived

4 this week, and I've heard numerous

5 complaints from my fellow Scrantonians who

6 can't forward this tax increase. Their

7 income simply are not keeping pace with

8 their taxes.

9 They're trying to decide which of

10 their necessary bills to pay and on which

11 ones to risk penalties and fees.

12 I am very, very sorry to all of you.

13 I tried to help you with a no tax increase

14 budget, but a majority of Council did not

15 agree.

16 Because of these tax hikes,

17 exorbitant tax anticipation notes and

18 continued borrowing, I've attempted over and

19 over to see the city's finances. I've asked

20 your questions to no avail.

21 This history of lack of information,

22 coupled with a borrow and spend policy

23 buttresses the need for subpoenas.

24 Because it appears quite possible

25 that the administration may oppose


1 subpoenas, I believe Council must pay

2 meticulous attention to each detail and

3 place itself on firm legal ground.

4 Therefore, Attorney Minora will

5 prepare a resolution for next week's Council

6 meeting of February 15, 2007 to subpoena all

7 financial documents from 2002 through the

8 present from a select number of municipal

9 authorities and departments.

10 And as these investigations

11 conclude, another wave of subpoenas will

12 follow for the remaining authorities and

13 additional departments.

14 In this way, we hope to establish

15 proceedings to strengthen our case in court,

16 if necessary, and to receive information in

17 an orderly, manageable manner.

18 And finally, I have citizens'

19 requests for the week. Place a stop sign at

20 the end of Mulberry Street at the dead end

21 passed the CMC at Nay Aug Park. A city

22 resident who very nearly has been struck by

23 a car twice while walking at Nay Aug has

24 already written to Public Safety Director

25 Ray Hayes and has received no results.


1 CMC employees apparently exit this

2 parking lot very quickly, and on February 2,

3 2007, this gentleman was nearly hit again.

4 Please address this safety hazard as soon as

5 possible.

6 Add Ward Place to the paving list.

7 This would be, I believe, my third year of

8 making that very same request. Meanwhile,

9 all the streets and allies surrounding Ward

10 Place were paved, but for some reason, and I

11 really can't provide the reason, I don't

12 know, this short stretch of street has

13 always been ignored. So, I'm hoping this

14 may be the year.

15 Christmas trees still remain on the

16 curbs in some areas of Scranton, including

17 East Mountain. Please add the 100 and 200

18 blocks of Mary Lane and Cross Drive to the

19 paving list per residents' requests.

20 A letter to Ms. Hailstone and Mr.

21 Kresefski, are there UDAG funds or other

22 funds available in the operating budget for

23 the purchase of a steam cleaner and

24 solutions which will be used to clean

25 graffiti from both city-owned and


1 privately-owned buildings?

2 According to code, building owners

3 have 30 days in which to clean graffiti,

4 and, of course, during the winter that time

5 period is extended, because it's very

6 difficult to do the work under inclimate

7 conditions.

8 And I do know, as I'm sure my

9 colleagues do, that Mr. Lomma sent Council a

10 letter inquiring about the initiation of an

11 ordinance whereby property owners would be

12 forced within a 30-day period to remove

13 graffiti. But as I said, we already have

14 this on the books. So, it's my hope that

15 the city would purchase this equipment.

16 And, in fact, thanks to some of our

17 city inspectors, I have a number of

18 companies here with the appropriate

19 equipment and solutions that are needed that

20 the city can look at and price out to

21 certainly get the best cost for this.

22 And what I'm hoping we can do is

23 loan this equipment to the victims of

24 graffiti. People who have had their

25 buildings covered with this type of tagging


1 are certainly victims, not perpetrators, and

2 it's a very, very costly endeavor to have

3 your building repainted.

4 And so, again, I would like to see

5 the city make this purchase and then loan

6 the equipment to the victims so that they

7 can remove graffiti from their property in a

8 timely and cost effective manner.

9 Citizens wishing to use the

10 equipment could provide a security deposit

11 which would be returned to them at such time

12 as they return the equipment to the city.

13 Also, residents of South Side are

14 concerned about the lack of removal of

15 illegal vehicles in their area. They report

16 that other sections of the city have

17 benefitted from this service, which appears

18 to be deficient in South Side.

19 A letter to Mr. Seitzinger, 1419

20 Gardner Avenue, this is a condemned house

21 where a carport has already collapsed. When

22 will it be demolished?

23 And I have just one last item. I

24 don't believe, although I'll be frank with

25 you, I haven't seen a newspaper in probably


1 close to two weeks now, so if I'm in error,

2 I would appreciate the correction.

3 If the mayor has not as yet

4 presented his state of the city address, is

5 anyone aware that he has? No?

6 MS. GATELLI: I didn't hear

7 anything.

8 MS. EVANS: Then I would move that

9 City Council send a letter to the mayor

10 requesting that the state of the city

11 address be presented here in City Council

12 chambers in the evening, perhaps at seven or

13 7:30 for all of the citizens of Scranton, an

14 open invitation to all the shareholders of

15 our city. That was a motion.

16 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.

17 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All

18 in favor.

19 MS. EVANS: Aye.


21 MR. MCGOFF: Aye.


23 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The

24 ayes have it and so moved.

25 MS. EVANS: Thank you. And that's


1 it.

2 MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Fanucci.

3 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: I'm going to

4 answer a few questions from last week. I

5 was -- actually sat down and talked to some

6 of the people from OECD after last week's

7 meeting trying to find out some of the

8 answers which we were looking for.

9 One of the questions that was --

10 came up last week was how many people have

11 defaulted on our loans that we've given

12 through the city.

13 There's been four total. I'm going

14 to give you exactly who they were. They

15 were Hackett's Bar, and three of the four

16 partners have paid the city. The final

17 person is meeting this month to settle up

18 with the city on that.

19 Preferred Produce is another one.

20 They have a small loan with the city and

21 they are in talks about options. I don't

22 know if that would be refinancing or paying

23 out, I don't know what those options are

24 right now.

25 K & A Imports was another one, and


1 they are working on an agreement and have

2 said that they are settling up.

3 And last is Whistles. They are in

4 litigation with the city now. The loan was

5 given in the 1990s. They had trouble making

6 payments in the nineties. And, like, around

7 I'm going to say the last election, they

8 were looking to extend the terms of the

9 loan.

10 It was sent to Council and approved,

11 and then they never showed up and signed.

12 So, they have not done anything with that.

13 The terms were extended. They never showed

14 up, signed the papers, and they have not

15 paid any money in 2004, 2005 or 2006, and

16 they are headed towards a sheriff's sale,

17 from what they had said.

18 Now, we were talking last week and

19 asked questions about what is the benefit of

20 having people sign for themselves if they

21 are in a loan agreement.

22 Well, the benefit is that when they

23 do default or if they do default, which we

24 do not like them to do, they secure the loan

25 and then allows us to get their personal


1 assets.

2 We want to go into -- that allows us

3 to go into their homes, take their homes or

4 property. That entitles us to retrieve the

5 same amount of the loan.

6 And believe me, I do not want that

7 to ever happen to anybody. I'd rather

8 everyone be very successful and pay up.

9 I also want to note that both -- all

10 four of these, two were in the last

11 administration and two were in this one, so

12 I wanted to make that clear.

13 As far as the loan from last week,

14 the new ones, this was a primary loan. This

15 was not a secondary loan. So, that is

16 something that we were not aware of at the

17 time.

18 The mayor has no ties to this

19 company, are not involved in any way. And

20 if he were to be, he would have to comply

21 with the Home Rule Charter and make sure

22 that he told us right up and disclosed that

23 right from the beginning.

24 The job creation is not minimum

25 wage. These job are sales positions and


1 positions of stocking and showroom

2 positions. They were not -- the are not

3 small baseline positions.

4 The city gets the building if they

5 default. That is in the underwriting, we

6 will get the building, and all of the

7 equipment. Also that is in the loan.

8 Mrs. Shumaker had asked about

9 personal financial requirements. What I was

10 told is it is all in the underwriting and

11 has to be in the underwriting. They could

12 not qualify for the loan without doing that,

13 but they could not give the personal

14 information out because it is personal

15 information.

16 But they wanted everyone to know

17 that every loan and project has to comply

18 with HUD. HUD takes care of looking and

19 overseeing all of these.

20 So, not only do they have to go

21 through their own regiment, but HUD has to

22 approve it.

23 There is no connection to the Elm

24 Street project. We were talking about that

25 last week. That is the Scranton Tomorrow's


1 project where I believe they're putting

2 money into South Side and redoing the

3 streetscape. That project is not even

4 designated where the money is going or how

5 it's --

6 MS. GATELLI: Excuse me, Mrs.

7 Fanucci. Whoever has the cell phone, could

8 you please turn it off?

9 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Or tell them

10 I'll call them back.

11 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.


13 MS. GATELLI: I'm sorry.

14 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: That's all

15 right. Scranton Tomorrow has no involvement

16 in this project. And what they said to me

17 was we cannot guarantee that we won't do a

18 streetscape in front of their or maybe put a

19 light up.

20 But as of right now, no monies are

21 designated for that loan that we were

22 talking about regarding the loan from last

23 week.

24 I do want to say something, and this

25 is just -- I want to apologize to the


1 families of the people who are seeking these

2 loans and the seller.

3 The Noonan family was part of our

4 community for, you know, 80 years. They're

5 a wonderful company. And when people get

6 up, and I don't know if it's -- I don't want

7 to say it's intentional.

8 But when you get up and you accuse

9 someone of being tied into -- you know, I

10 know we want to get the mayor at all costs

11 and try to tie him into everything, but when

12 you do that, you accuse other people of

13 doing wrong things.

14 So, we offended not only the people

15 who are selling the property, but we were

16 offending the people who were buying the

17 property, also.

18 And I want to apologize from this

19 forum, and I'm also going to ask that we

20 stick to Council's rules when it comes to

21 speaking about others in this forum.

22 We cannot insult and accuse people.

23 You know, they're good people in this city

24 and they're looking to spend money here and

25 put their faith and their businesses here,


1 and that is something that I believe that we

2 should stand by.

3 And we can have questions, but we

4 don't have to accuse them of being a part

5 of, like, the bigger scheme of life and all

6 that silly stuff.

7 So, I'm going to ask that we stick

8 to rules of Council and stop defaming

9 people, like, from the podium, and I think

10 that's a pretty good thing to ask for.

11 The smoking ban. How about me?

12 Yeah, I'm starting with the smoking ban.

13 There was a statewide poll that was

14 conducted in Pennsylvania. Sixty percent of

15 the people were in favor of the smoking ban

16 to 37 percent who were not.

17 Now, I'm going to tell you, 64

18 percent to 35 percent women, 56 percent to

19 40 percent. The men weren't too quick to

20 jump on board, I'm going to assume the cigar

21 smokers, but don't quote me on that.

22 I'm going to say this, it's a

23 wonderful place -- it's wonderful to be

24 pretty progressive. We are on the cutting

25 edge, and I'm pretty happy to say, you know,


1 we were ahead of the curve on this. This is

2 what legislation is about.

3 I had someone ask me and say, why

4 didn't you start off at the state level?

5 You should have started off at the state

6 level. That is not what we are about.

7 Legislation to start off at a City Council

8 level.

9 The city speaks, the state listens,

10 and then, you know, they respond to it, and

11 that's what this is all about. This is what

12 we're here for.

13 So, I want to say thanks for coming

14 out. And the people who are supporting

15 this, and the people who aren't, take a

16 breath and relax, because I think it's going

17 to be here to stay. So, I just hope that we

18 can all get together and realize that this

19 is for the health of our residents. And I

20 want to say thank you. And that is all I

21 have.

22 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mr.

23 McGoff.

24 MR. MCGOFF: I --

25 MS. EVANS: Mrs. Gatelli, I'm so


1 sorry. Can I just ask you a question,

2 though, before we go on? I, first of all,

3 want to say, I'm thrilled that you got the

4 information about the defaulted loans.


6 MS. EVANS: Did they provide you,

7 though, with the actual paperwork, the

8 backup on all this?

9 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: They won't give

10 us the underwriting on anything, because

11 that is people's personal financial

12 information, and they said there is no way

13 -- HUD has to take it, but we are not

14 entitled to that because people have to

15 write out their bank accounts and what --

16 you know, their personal -- you know, that

17 is not information we get.

18 But they said in our backup and

19 everything that is available through HUD we

20 can get outside of having the underwriting.

21 So, if we need to get that, it will

22 be. But nobody really is in any litigation.

23 There's only one person we've ever had to

24 take to court to get the money. Everyone

25 else has really complied and stepped up and


1 paid.

2 MS. EVANS: Well, like I said, I'm

3 very glad that you were able to get that.

4 It's a piece, a large piece, of what I was

5 looking for from OECD since July.

6 There's a little bit more, maybe

7 you'd be able to get that for me, as well,

8 but I do have to say, I have such a question

9 in my mind now.

10 You know, I was there last Friday

11 the day after our Council meeting hoping to

12 obtain this information so that perhaps we

13 could avoid a subpoena with OECD, and Ms.

14 Hailstone tells me she doesn't know what I'm

15 talking about.

16 I enumerated everything I had been

17 asking for for eight months, and then --

18 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: I actually

19 didn't speak to Ms. Hailstone.

20 MS. EVANS: Well, when I was there,

21 there was only -- it was Ms. Hailstone and I

22 think one other employee, and then she, as I

23 said, did say, which I can understand,

24 because I don't want anyone in any type of

25 jeopardy or difficulty.



2 MS. EVANS: But she did insist that

3 she had to ask her boss' permission. And I

4 respect that, because as I said, I don't

5 want to place any employee in jeopardy.

6 But, again, this just doesn't seem

7 to fit together. You know, Ms. Hailstone

8 says she needs the permission of her boss to

9 release this information, and then I'm very

10 grateful that you got some of it, and I'm

11 hoping you'll find a way to get more of it,

12 but do you see what I'm saying? It's --

13 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: I think it

14 might be the rapport that I have because I

15 am -- that is my committee, and I do try to

16 meet with them at least every other week, if

17 I can. I try to do phone conferences with

18 them.

19 So, maybe that's what it was. We

20 were all on a conference call and maybe

21 that's why it was easier.

22 But, yeah, definitely I can get any

23 information hopefully. I'd be willing to

24 get it. I do believe it's a lot easier to

25 ask in person than it is to write them a


1 letter, because, as you know, you know --

2 MS. EVANS: Exactly. That's why I

3 made the trip after work, but I don't know.

4 I just -- I can't seem to find a credible,

5 plausible explanation for why I can't get

6 any answers. I'm glad someone is though.

7 MS. GATELLI: Mr. McGoff.

8 MR. MCGOFF: I'll concede my time to

9 Mrs. Fanucci and Mrs. Evans. Nothing at

10 this time.

11 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Courtright.

12 MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay. All right.

13 I'm trying to get my composure. Okay. Kay,

14 I know a while back we asked -- maybe I

15 should ask Mrs. Fanucci to do this --

16 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Maybe you

17 should.

18 MR. COURTRIGHT: -- OECD about

19 getting this UDAG funds, it was $25,000 for

20 Channel 61, and I don't think we got any

21 kind of answer, did we?

22 MS. GARVEY: No.

23 MR. COURTRIGHT: Maybe you can send

24 a letter, and maybe, Mrs. Fanucci, you can

25 shoot down there and ask them personally.


1 Because I know they sorely need it,

2 and we all agreed on asking for that $25,000

3 for 61. So, if we can ask that question.

4 Last week I brought up about

5 handicapped parking for people that have

6 driveways and for people that have garages,

7 and I also brought up about people that were

8 allowed to park in a handicapped space out

9 in front of an individual's house, and a

10 retired state trooper sergeant Jerry Tallo,

11 he was the head of the traffic division for

12 the state police and taught for many, many

13 years at the police academy the vehicle

14 code, he sent me information on all the

15 questions that I had.

16 I showed it to Mr. Minora. He's

17 going to look at it closely. And I sent it

18 down to the police department for them to

19 scrutinize and see if, in fact, there's

20 something we need to do or something we

21 could do with that. So, I want to thank Mr.

22 Tallo for the information.

23 After last week's meeting, because I

24 brought up about people calling me about the

25 smoking ban, I got a couple more calls,


1 three, to be exact, and they had suggestions

2 of things that maybe we might -- amendments

3 that we might be able to make if we're

4 willing to make any amendments.

5 And what I asked him were -- one

6 guy, I was in my car when he called, so I

7 couldn't write it down, and I asked the

8 other two people if there are any business

9 owners that have suggestions, that they

10 think we might want to entertain for

11 amendments, if you would E-mail it to me or

12 send it to me in writing, then I can compile

13 something and maybe show it to everybody on

14 this Council and see if members on this

15 Council are willing to make any amendments.

16 I spoke to one girl today in the

17 post office and she was really happy about

18 the smoking ban. She went somewhere to eat

19 and she said it was much more enjoyable, but

20 she agreed that she wouldn't have a problem,

21 this seems to be one of the big problems,

22 and I don't know if there's anything we're

23 going to be willing to do about it, but

24 restaurants that have bars in the

25 restaurant, some of the people while waiting


1 to be seated at their table, they'll go to

2 the bar and have a drink and maybe they want

3 to smoke, some people after they're done

4 eating will go back to the bar.

5 And she kind of gave me the idea,

6 and other business owners ask that, you

7 know, would it be possible -- would we

8 consider an amendment where if it was a

9 restaurant that had a bar, if they kept it

10 separate with either walls or a door and

11 proper ventilation, if we would consider

12 making an amendment to that smoking ban for

13 that particular area.

14 And I said I didn't know, I didn't

15 know the answer to that, I can't answer for

16 anybody else, but I asked for them to put it

17 in writing for me.

18 So, any of you business owners that

19 are feeling some pain with this that want to

20 send it, if you'd just please E-mail it to

21 me or send it to me in writing, and then

22 when I compile the, altogether, we can

23 discuss it in caucus. And if there's

24 anybody here --

25 MS. EVANS: Can I give you my


1 amendment?

2 MR. COURTRIGHT: Go right ahead.

3 Oh, I thought you were going to give it to

4 me now.

5 MS. EVANS: Not now. When my

6 computer is back up, I will E-mail you.

7 MR. COURTRIGHT: All right. So, I

8 mean, there might be -- I know there's some

9 people that think that there's one or two

10 people on this Council that won't budge the

11 least little bit on this smoking ban.

12 And I don't know. I think if it's a

13 reasonable request, I think we'll all

14 consider it. So, if you want to send them

15 to me, I'll be happy to take them and

16 compile a list and I'll put it before this

17 Council. And if it's something this Council

18 thinks is doable, then maybe we can make an

19 amendment. That's about the best I can do

20 for that. And I thank you. That's all I

21 have.

22 MS. GATELLI: Thanks, Mr.

23 Courtright. Mrs. Garvey.

24 MS. GARVEY: Fifth order, no

25 business at this time. Sixth order, no


1 business at this time. Seventh order. 7-A,





















22 MS. GATELLI: As chairperson for the

23 committee on rules, I recommend final

24 passage of Item 7-A.

25 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.


1 MS. GATELLI: On the question?

2 MS. EVANS: Yes. We had a brief

3 caucus meeting earlier this evening

4 regarding this particular piece of

5 legislation.

6 And though it isn't palatable in all

7 ways to provide pay increases to employees

8 when the city is so direly distressed, on

9 the other hand, I listened to -- well,

10 actually I listened to presentations on both

11 sides of this issue, and I found the

12 arguments of those in favor to be very

13 compelling, particularly because I was

14 informed tonight that the city was involved

15 in two lawsuits because some of these

16 pensions were improperly handled and the

17 city lost both of those cases, and those are

18 very costly endeavors; however, it appears

19 that the -- all of these boards are well on

20 their way to becoming orderly, effective,

21 and I think handling their duties and

22 responsibilities in a very competent

23 fashion.

24 I had requested if a pension

25 administrator might be able to assist in


1 performing these extra duties, and it

2 appears that the pension manager himself has

3 requested this almost constant assistance of

4 these secretaries.

5 And, so, because of these situations

6 involving litigation and making sure that

7 our retirees receive the proper amount of

8 pension reimbursements, I'm going to be

9 voting in favor of this. And I think

10 probably the last item I learned this

11 evening was that these individuals had not

12 received a raise since 1999.

13 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else on the

14 question? Roll call.

15 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.

16 MS. EVANS: Yes.

17 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci.


19 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff.

20 MR. MCGOFF: Yes.

21 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.


23 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.

24 MS. GATELLI: Yes. I hereby declare

25 7-A legally and lawfully adopted.


1 MS. GARVEY: Eighth order.

2 MS. GATELLI: Douglas Miller.

3 MR. MILLER: Good evening, Council.

4 Doug Miller, President of Scranton Junior

5 City Council. I'd like to start off tonight

6 by wishing West Scranton High School

7 principal Mr. Kevin Rogan the best of luck.

8 He is retiring, and I hope he does enjoy his

9 retirement.

10 He served his time. He was a

11 wonderful educator and administrator.

12 MS. EVANS Wonderful man.

13 MR. MILLER: And he will be missed

14 by the faculty, staff and students of West

15 Scranton High School.

16 I'd like to address the smoking ban

17 tonight. I'd like to clear something up

18 once and for all. The Junior Council

19 continues to get criticized regarding this

20 issue. People continue to come up here and

21 say that we were the ones that pushed for

22 this ban.

23 And you can go back in The Scranton

24 Times archives and pull up articles, and

25 you'll see that it was the tenth grade


1 students of West Scranton High School.

2 So, I suggest to anyone before they

3 come up here and accuse us of anything, you

4 know, do your homework. It's really

5 starting to get frustrating.

6 You know, Mrs. Evans raised the

7 issue tonight, which I thought was a great

8 idea regarding the state of the city address

9 where the mayor should come here.

10 As far as I'm concerned, I know now

11 special invitations are sent out to certain

12 special businessmen in the city.

13 MS. EVANS: Yes.

14 MR. MILLER: And, you know, I agree

15 with you 100 percent. I think it should be

16 here. You know, these are the taxpayers,

17 you know, these are the ones that, you know,

18 work hard every day, and, you know, I agree

19 that, you know, it should be held here, so

20 hopefully he will consider that.

21 Tonight is the Junior Council's one

22 year anniversary, and I would like to

23 highlight our first year.

24 Since our inception we have

25 completed numerous community service


1 activities. During this past summer, we

2 completed five city park cleanups, and we

3 are planning to clean more city parks this

4 summer.

5 Our other completed projects include

6 purchasing and installing American flags for

7 a few of our city parks, we've also

8 purchased recreation tables for a few of our

9 city parks, and we have raised $640 for

10 Channel 61 by co-sponsoring a breakfast with

11 Santa at Scooter's Hot Dog Hut in Dunmore.

12 We have also instructed senior

13 citizens how to use the new electronic

14 voting machines, which took place at the

15 Steamtown Mall, and we also continue to

16 assist city residents with any help they

17 need in their community.

18 On Thursday, April 20, 2006, we

19 received a proclamation from Scranton City

20 Council for our service to the community.

21 Our current projects for this year

22 include raising funds to purchase a

23 children's handicapped accessible swingset

24 for Nay Aug Park.

25 We have also applied for a grant


1 from the Tony Hawk Foundation for a skate

2 park for our city.

3 There are many more projects

4 currently in discussion that we will

5 announce throughout the year.

6 We have had a lot of interest from

7 other communities regarding our Junior

8 Council. Recently the City of Wilkes-Barre

9 contacted us regarding the formation of a

10 Junior Council of their own, and our message

11 to them was that we will reach out and

12 support them in any way we can.

13 In this past year, I have learned so

14 much about our city government and its

15 citizens. I would encourage more young

16 adults in the city to become involved,

17 because we are the future of this city, and

18 the decisions made today are the ones that

19 will affect us tomorrow.

20 And we as the Junior Council will

21 continue to carry our message. The future

22 starts now.

23 After this Junior Council was

24 formed, we did receive criticism from just

25 about everyone. They said that this wasn't


1 our place to be. But as I stand here

2 tonight one year later --

3 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.

4 MS. MILLER: -- I think we have shown

5 these critics what we can do. We have

6 accomplished a lot and we will continue to

7 work hard to make our city a better place.

8 I would like to thank all those who

9 have supported us over our first year, and

10 we appreciate your support and assistance

11 and we look forward to continue our success

12 together. Thank you.

13 MS. GATELLI: Thank you, Douglas.

14 MR. MILLER: And at this time I'd

15 like to bring Jimmy Piazza, Scranton Junior

16 City Council member who would like to

17 address Council, thank you.

18 MS. GATELLI: Bill Jackowitz. He

19 said he'll do it later. Mr. Jackowitz.

20 MS. EVANS: Congratulations, Junior

21 City Council. And you had lovely, lovely --

22 MR. JACKOWITZ: Bill Jackowitz,

23 South Scranton resident --

24 MS. EVANS: -- party down there

25 tonight. I'm sorry.


1 MR. JACKOWITZ: I hope my time

2 hasn't started.

3 MR. MINORA: I stopped it.

4 MR. JACKOWITZ: Thank you. Bill

5 Jackowitz, South Scranton resident,

6 taxpayer, retired United States Air Force.

7 Believe it or not, Scranton,

8 Pennsylvania has low income to moderate

9 income people residing in the City of

10 Scranton.

11 There are homeless people residing

12 in the City of Scranton, also. Some of

13 these homeless people actually work, which

14 means that they pay Scranton, Pennsylvania

15 wage taxes, which, by the way, is one of the

16 highest in the United States.

17 Some may say that this is not their

18 problem, others may say that the poor and

19 the homeless are this way because of their

20 own choosing.

21 In some instances, they are correct,

22 but not all. My belief is that the major

23 problem in Scranton, Pennsylvania and the

24 surrounding area is lack of employment, but

25 more importantly, the lack of family and


1 individual sustaining wages and benefits.

2 I personally find it appalling when

3 City Council announces new jobs and

4 companies moving into the city paying low to

5 moderate wages, but more appalling is the

6 fact that some of these business are being

7 rewarded with low interest loans or no

8 interest loans to start or to refinance

9 their business with taxpayers' money.

10 Whether federal, state, county or

11 city, this is not government money, this is

12 citizens' money. The government has no

13 money. The Scranton Plan has not worked.

14 Where has the plan taken Scranton?

15 Look around. Visit with the low income and

16 moderate income families.

17 Ask the Pennsylvania Economy League,

18 the Scranton Chamber of Commerce, past and

19 present mayors or mayor, City Council

20 members, do you live in low income housing

21 or work at low income or moderate income

22 jobs?

23 Some Scranton Chamber members reside

24 outside Scranton City limits. They pay no

25 Scranton taxes, but yet the chamber was not


1 in favor of the minimum wage increase.

2 The Elm Street Project and the South

3 Side Project has been publicized as a way

4 for low income and moderate income families

5 to purchase their own homes.

6 Mrs. Fanucci, Mr. McGoff and Mrs.

7 Gatelli just made that dream more difficult

8 by voting to raise homeowners' taxes. Which

9 will it be, more homeowners or more homes

10 for sale and vacant or more people renting?

11 Scranton and the surrounding area

12 again this quarter, last in per capita

13 income and wages. Austin Burke, September

14 has gone and went. Austin Burke was going

15 to be here in September. Where is he? He's

16 still not here. And also, where is the

17 mayor to address these questions?

18 Again, we got the lowest hourly wage

19 of the fourteen metro areas in Pennsylvania.

20 This has been going on for over 30 years.

21 Low wages means low taxes.

22 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.

23 MR. JACKOWITZ: People don't have

24 tax money. So, you know, let's get it

25 together, people.


1 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mr.

2 Sbaraglia.

3 MR. JACKOWITZ: Thank you, Veterans,

4 for allowing me to speak.

5 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Sbaraglia.

6 MR. SBARAGLIA: Andy Sbaraglia,

7 citizen of Scranton. Fellow Scrantonians,

8 I'm glad we got a little information on our

9 default loans, but was there a dollar amount

10 attached to these loans? How much were

11 they?


13 different cases. The problem is that, you

14 know, for what the loan was taken out at, a

15 lot of times if three of the partners paid

16 or two of the partners paid what is left,

17 you know, is not, so you might have, like, a

18 $15,000 loan that was originally, like,

19 $120,000, or so -- total -- the highest one

20 was the Whistles loan, the highest one, and

21 that's probably why that's in litigation.

22 The rest, I believe, were all under.

23 One was thirty, and the other one, let me

24 see here, the other one was, like, 27.

25 MR. SBARAGLIA: What's wrong with


1 The Hilton? We forgot about that?


3 telling you what was defaulted from our


5 MR. SBARAGLIA: They should have

6 told you we lost, like, three and a half to

7 $4 million on The Hilton.

8 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Do you want me

9 to get information on that for you?

10 MR. SBARAGLIA: No, I already have

11 the information, it's just that they should

12 have gave it to you, unless you want to

13 request it for the last month or something.

14 I assume you requested it back for,

15 you know, a time period or all default

16 loans. But the Hilton was a big default,

17 and it should have been reported to you.

18 And what you should request is are

19 they paying off any loans to prevent them

20 from being in default like they did with The

21 Hilton. You know, we were paying off their

22 loan long before they went default, and that

23 was a sad, sad state of affairs. So, God

24 knows what else is going on in that office.

25 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: These are


1 personal loans, though, so I think that this

2 is a little different than The Hilton -- the

3 whole legislation for The Hilton. Amil,

4 would that be a separate type of -- when

5 you're dealing with big corporation like The

6 Hilton, I image that the loan was not the

7 same type of loan as these small personal

8 loans that we are giving out through OECD.

9 MS. EVANS: We were --

10 MR. MINORA: You're not --

11 MS. EVANS: If I may, we were making

12 payments on a Section 108 loan for The

13 Hilton.

14 MR. MINORA: The city was. Yeah, I

15 --

16 MS. GATELLI: Well, we did that for

17 The Globe Store, too.

18 MR. MINORA: Yeah.

19 MS. GATELLI: You know, there's

20 things you have to do to try to keep

21 something in your community.

22 MR. MINORA: In larger developments,

23 it's tough -- it's obvious a person can't --

24 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: That's why they

25 probably did not give me that information.


1 MR. MINORA: Yeah, they didn't have

2 personal guarantees.


4 wasn't a personal guarantee loan. That's

5 what I did ask for was the loan request from

6 last week.

7 MR. SBARAGLIA: Yeah. Well, we

8 requested all the loans, including the LLC

9 loans.

10 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: I didn't ask

11 for LLC.

12 MR. SBARAGLIA: I mean, personal

13 loans is one thing, but limited partnership

14 loans are more liable to be what's there.

15 And when a -- limited partnership

16 loans, they're only limited to what their

17 liability was. Them are the loans that are

18 important.

19 I mean, you took the smallest

20 amount, but it's important that you find out

21 actually the status of this loan, all loans,

22 and find out how much is left from the loans

23 we did sell, how much money is still in the

24 kitty from that.



1 MR. SBARAGLIA: That's important,

2 too.

3 MS. EVANS: Uh-huh.

4 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: You know, Andy,

5 I did ask for those, because they seem to be

6 the ones every week that seem to be

7 scrutinized the most. And we give away the

8 little small loans seems to be a very big

9 issue here, so that is why I asked for that

10 information. It might have been my fault

11 for the way I directed the question.

12 MR. SBARAGLIA: Yeah, we wanted a

13 total picture, not a limited picture.

14 MR. MINORA: That's three minutes.

15 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: I'll work on

16 that for you.

17 MS. EVANS: We sold our best loans

18 in the CRF deal --

19 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Well, that was

20 a different -- that's a different ball game,

21 though.

22 MS. EVANS: -- and so we -- the

23 loans that are remaining are those that

24 would be not as palatable -- you know, I

25 don't want to --


1 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: I know what you

2 mean.

3 MS. EVANS: -- but those that were

4 always paid in a timely fashion and, you

5 know, were really what constituted a strong

6 loan portfolio for the city loan, those were

7 sold.

8 MS. GATELLI: Yeah, we couldn't sell

9 the Whistles', because they were already

10 defaulted.

11 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: They didn't

12 want them?

13 MS. GATELLI: You wouldn't buy a

14 defaulted loan.

15 MS. EVANS: CRF basically selected,

16 I think, the loans that they wished to

17 purchase, so they took our very best.


19 MS. GATELLI: Angelica.

20 MS. CAMPBELL: Good evening,

21 Council. My name is Angelica Campbell. I'm

22 a Scranton resident and a sophomore at West

23 Scranton High School. I'm here this evening

24 to speak about a grave issue of public

25 importance, the use of handheld cell phones


1 while operating a motor vehicle.

2 Some of you may be wondering what is

3 so dangerous about talking on a cell phone

4 while I'm driving a car.

5 The danger begins before the

6 conversation is even started. In order to

7 dial a phone number, the driver must take

8 his or her eyes off the road.

9 Receiving a call may startle a

10 driver who might then need to search and

11 reach for the phone causing further

12 destruction.

13 Holding a cell phone up to your head

14 severely limits the driver's vision and

15 completely occupies one arm.

16 Numerous other cities and towns have

17 already been use of handheld cell phones --

18 MS. GATELLI: Excuse me. Could the

19 audience please stop talking, because we

20 can't hear.

21 MS. CAMPBELL: -- cell phones --

22 MS. GATELLI: Please. If you want

23 to talk, go out in the hallway. We can't

24 hear her at all. Start again, honey.

25 MS. CAMPBELL: Over?


1 MS. GATELLI: No, that's not what I

2 heard, Mr. Hubbard. Thank you for telling

3 me that, though.

4 MS. CAMPBELL: Numerous other cities

5 and towns have already banned the use of

6 handheld cell phones while driving.

7 Among the most recent is Brooklyn,

8 Ohio. Carbondale, Pennsylvania is also

9 considering such a law.

10 The State of New York and New

11 Jersey, among many others, have outlawed the

12 dangerous practice, as well.

13 It is time for this Council to

14 consider an ordinance that will not hurt

15 city business and will, in fact, make

16 everyone much safer on roads.

17 A study conducted by the United

18 States Department of Transportation and

19 released last April reports that nearly

20 eighty percent of vehicle crashes involve

21 forms of cell phone usage.

22 Furthermore, drivers who are using

23 cell phones are four times as likely to be

24 seriously injured in a crash.

25 For all these reasons, I'm asking


1 Council to make a motion to ban the use of

2 handheld cell phones while driving. Thank

3 you for allowing me to evoke my right of

4 free speech as guaranteed by the First

5 Amendment of the United States Constitution.

6 Thank you.

7 MS. GATELLI: Thank you very much.

8 Attorney Minora, I have a lot of information

9 on the cell phone bans. I looked it up on

10 the internet on all the states that have

11 banned, and I'll forward that to you to look

12 at it.

13 MR. MINORA: Thank you.

14 MS. GATELLI: The Piccolinos, are

15 they here?

16 MR. PICCOLINO: I hope you guys

17 aren't getting tired of seeing me.

18 MR. COURTRIGHT: Bring pizza next

19 time.

20 MR. PICCOLINO: I just have two

21 quick questions. Did you find out anything

22 from the OECD, Mrs. Fanucci, when you talked

23 to them at all?


25 found out is that you are -- they are in


1 some type of discussions, but I do not know

2 what is going on with that block or how it's

3 progressing.

4 It seems to be right now they are in

5 litigation, so there's nothing that OECD can

6 tell me. I think it's in the hands of the

7 courts right now, from what I understand.

8 MR. PICCOLINO: Right. Discussions

9 with?

10 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: I imagine

11 attorneys. It's all attorney discussions

12 right now.

13 MR. PICCOLINO: Definitely not with

14 ours, so --


16 well, I don't know that. All I know is that

17 it's in the hands of the courts right now.

18 And as far as OECD is concerned, it's in the

19 hands of the attorneys.

20 MR. PICCOLINO: Okay. What about

21 all the legal fees pertaining to, like, the

22 eminent domain and this lawsuit, do all the

23 taxpayers and us take care of this with the

24 city or --

25 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: I'm not sure on


1 how that -- I think maybe Attorney Minora is

2 best to answer that. I'm not sure who pays

3 for eminent domain. I do believe it's part

4 of the state.

5 MS. GATELLI: I think I know.

6 MR. PICCOLINO: I know what we pay,

7 and if it comes --

8 MS. GATELLI: I'm not sure, but I

9 believe when this Council -- when I first

10 came on this Council, that was one of the

11 first pieces of legislation that we passed

12 was $250,000 for eminent domain.

13 MR. MINORA: That's true.

14 MS. GATELLI: And I believe the vote

15 was 5-0. I could have Mrs. Garvey look it

16 up, but I'm sure that we voted for the

17 eminent domain money.

18 MR. PICCOLINO: Okay. In regards to

19 a petition, would that help us in any cause?

20 Because right now we have a ridiculous

21 amount of names, and they are registered

22 voters in Scranton. Does that help at all?

23 MS. GATELLI: Why don't you ask --

24 your attorney would be the best one to ask

25 that.


1 MR. PICCOLINO: Okay. That's it.

2 MS. GATELLI: Boyd is an expert in

3 redevelopment.

4 MR. PICCOLINO: That's why they're

5 trying to get rid of him.

6 MS. GATELLI: He was our lawyer for

7 the Steamtown Mall.

8 MR. PICCOLINO: Okay. That's it.

9 Thank you very much.

10 MS. GATELLI: You're welcome.

11 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Did they do

12 eminent domain at the Steamtown?

13 MS. GATELLI: Absolutely.

14 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Yeah, so there

15 was eminent domain at the Steamtown Mall,

16 too, so Boyd probably can help you.

17 MS. GATELLI: I hope I help your

18 business, Boyd. Ron Elman is next.

19 MR. ELMAN: You sneaked up on me.

20 You know, every time I don't show up here,

21 somebody says where were you Thursday, like

22 I'm missing family dinner or something.

23 MS. GATELLI: We were the first ones

24 to ask where you were.

25 MR. ELMAN: I was at the Taurus


1 Club, to be truthful.

2 MS. GATELLI: I hope you were having

3 a burger.

4 MR. ELMAN: No, they didn't pick me

5 up and put me outside, like they usually do.

6 You know, I don't want to get anybody mad at

7 me, I'm not a crusader or anything.

8 This is a very important issue, what

9 I'm going to bring up here. It's about the

10 factory on Dixon Street that people -- some

11 people came last year about all the lime

12 dust in the air, and it was just put under

13 the carpet.

14 This is serious. I've been down

15 that street, and your car creates huge

16 clouds of fine dust, and it's lime dust.

17 You know, it's terrible for you.

18 The grass is dead. There's a bunch

19 of vacant houses up and down the street that

20 people have abandoned, it attacks the paint

21 on the car.

22 And it's not in that area, it's over

23 the whole city. If you leave a car for a

24 few hours at The Giant parking lot, you'll

25 see it in the summertime. It's just fine


1 dust on your windshield.

2 And I allege it's coming from that

3 plant. You know, I'm not naive enough to

4 think the plant is going to close, but

5 that's KOZ.

6 And I was told by an employee,

7 there's not a -- there's not even as many

8 people working there now as when they

9 opened.

10 I don't know how true this is, but

11 I'd like to know when that plant was -- when

12 they bought the property and when the KOZ

13 was given, because I was told it happened

14 afterwards.

15 You know, I just -- I'm not -- I

16 don't know the facts and I can't find them

17 out. I've tried. I had somebody on the

18 computer trying to find out. You can't find

19 out nothing.

20 They got a half dozen different

21 names which should ring a bell about their

22 credibility right there.

23 But I really got started in this

24 because I was told about the KOZ status.

25 There's 15 acres of concrete blocks or


1 whatever they're manufacturing, they should

2 be Saran wrapped or in boxes. That's where

3 all the dust is coming from.

4 I don't know. You know, a high

5 school kid can go down there and take a

6 sampling and see this stuff isn't healthy.

7 It's over the whole city, this area. And I

8 just think it's past time.

9 It was shoved under the carpet last

10 year, and it needs to be brought up and

11 taken care of.

12 You know, there's strength in

13 numbers, and it looks like it's just time

14 for the people and for you people up there

15 to get together and quit politics.

16 Everything is politics around here. It

17 doesn't stop.

18 I was watching Ms. Fanucci and Ms.

19 Evans talking to each other and it looked

20 like a glimmer of hope there would be

21 something started here instead of the

22 indifference that, you know --

23 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.

24 MR. ELMAN: -- that we see up there

25 all the time. You know, like I said, I'm


1 not trying to alienate myself with the

2 Council.

3 And I want to thank you for finding

4 out about that house, because I can't

5 understand the way Mr. Minora explained it

6 to me, there's a loophole in the law where

7 people walk away from the property with the

8 money and let the taxpayers tear it down,

9 and that's not right.

10 MS. GATELLI: Thank you, Mr. Elman.

11 MR. ELMAN: Yeah. You know, we

12 shouldn't do that.

13 MS. GATELLI: Charlie Newcomb.

14 MR. ELMAN: Can I just say one other

15 thing?

16 MS. GATELLI: Go ahead. Finish up.

17 Your time has been up.

18 MR. ELMAN: The bartender one time

19 at The Taurus Club come up to me one time

20 and gave me two chips. I said, Boy, I got a

21 lot of friends out here. She said, No, they

22 give you the chips to keep you in your seat

23 so you leave them alone.

24 And sometimes I get the feeling when

25 I look at you, you wish it was over with and


1 I'd sit down again. Thank you.

2 MS. GATELLI: Charlie Newcomb.

3 MR. NEWCOMB, SR.: Good evening,

4 Council. I haven't been here in a while. I

5 was recovering from some surgery, and it's

6 been a tough road and still recovering, but

7 I felt like I had to come here tonight to

8 mention a few things.

9 Right here I got my property taxes,

10 and I've been hearing a lot of complaints

11 about the taxes, but I just want to -- I

12 think you did increase the 25 percent with

13 the budget, but I don't think a lot of the

14 direction is where it should be.

15 I just got mine alone, but, again,

16 Lackawanna County reassessment they were at

17 my door last week, so the reassessment

18 people are out. They were in West Side last

19 week.

20 But anyway, my real estate taxes for

21 2006, my bill was $1939 for the whole year

22 for all three of them. This year it's

23 $2044, which is an increase of $105.

24 Well, total city taxes for 2006 was

25 $368.55. The total for 2007 is $462.


1 They come out to about -- that's $94

2 increase, roughly about $38.75 a month.

3 We're trying to run, now, this is just

4 myself, but we're trying to run the city on

5 $462.90 for full police, full firemen, full

6 DPW.

7 School tax, 2006 was $1105.80, and

8 2007 was an $1154.16, $48.35 increase. The

9 county tax for 2006 was $492.33. We had a

10 decrease this year, which was $467.80. It's

11 about $35 a month.

12 I bought my home in 1999. My total

13 taxes were $1250. As of right now, I just

14 spoke, they're $2044. Ninety-four and a

15 half percent of that was the school

16 district's budget. The rest for was from

17 the City of Scranton.

18 So, and I don't appreciate a

19 25 percent tax increase either, because this

20 all includes -- I have to pay 2.4 percent

21 more of my wage tax because my employer only

22 took out one percent.

23 Now, $2,000 for myself and my wife

24 it's not really, knock on wood, fortunately

25 a problem, because that's less than one pay


1 period's worth of money, but my point of it

2 is is in Duryea, I pulled some records with

3 Century 21, my home was built in 1982, to

4 buy a home right now for this amount of

5 money with these taxes, I pulled a home in

6 Duryea, you know what their total taxes

7 would be?

8 I understand it's not -- they don't

9 have full fire, full police and everything

10 else, but that same home that's valued at

11 the same amount of money as mine with the

12 new Luzerne County reassessment for all

13 three of them, $685.30. Now, where do you

14 think people are going to go live?

15 So, my point of it is, I think a lot

16 should be directed at the school board. The

17 city of Scranton, we don't make a lot of

18 money on our taxes for what we have to pay.

19 But there is a majority -- I mean,

20 my children are grown, raised, they're out

21 of school, and I understand we all have to

22 pay school taxes, but I think the direction

23 shouldn't be here, it should be more with

24 the school district.

25 And one more thing about the smoking


1 ban --

2 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.

3 MR. NEWCOMB, SR.: Okay. I guess

4 I'll come back next week. Thank you.

5 MS. GATELLI: Thanks, Mr. Newcomb.

6 Mrs. Shumaker.

7 MS. SHUMAKER: Marie Shumaker.

8 First I'd like to wish the Junior Council a

9 happy first anniversary, and then I'd like

10 to follow that by saying I'm disappointed

11 that there's still no answers from the

12 budget questions that I raised and

13 subsequently submitted in writing a month

14 ago, and I hope that those will be

15 forthcoming maybe as early as next week.

16 I would like to ask Mrs. Fanucci on

17 that 408 Cedar Avenue, LLC, if you address

18 the issue of how a program that only exists

19 for seven years, which is The Enterprise

20 Zone Program, is able to give a loan for

21 25 years. Could you maybe get that answer

22 for next week? Thank you.

23 I'd like to follow up, last week

24 Mrs. Gatelli told me she had an answer to my

25 question on why we are paying an increase of


1 $253,049 for parking authority citation

2 issuers, meter maids, and only getting

3 $120,000 increase in revenue, and that

4 includes -- that would include the addition

5 of the 241 meters around the Moses Taylor

6 and Mercy Hospitals. It was --

7 MS. GATELLI: The transfer was only

8 $52,000. Where did you get the $252,000

9 from?

10 MS. SHUMAKER: The budget.

11 MS. GATELLI: Oh. Well, the

12 transfer was only $52,000.

13 MS. SHUMAKER: No, the budget.

14 MS. GATELLI: I don't have it with

15 me.

16 MS. SHUMAKER: But it was explained

17 to me that the city operating budget pays

18 100 percent for the citation issuers,

19 50 percent for SPA's administrative costs,

20 and we had to buy new parking meters.

21 Well the new, parking meters would

22 come out of a capital budget, and so the

23 question still remains, why would we pay an

24 increase of twice what we expect in increase

25 revenue? So, I'd also like an answer to


1 that.

2 Nothing has been done about the

3 erosion on -- just south of the Route 81

4 South entrance to -- from River Street onto

5 81.

6 After the last snowstorm I noticed

7 that there were tire tracks and somebody had

8 missed that had four-foot drop by less than

9 a foot, and we're going to -- if somebody

10 doesn't put a horse up there or do something

11 soon, we're going to have an automobile in

12 there and maybe someone injured, and that

13 really needs to be addressed. It's a true

14 safety issue. I took a picture, but it

15 doesn't show the depth, so I didn't bring

16 it.

17 Next I'd like to quote from an

18 article that was in the paper called City

19 Hall Monitor several days ago. I'd like to

20 read a quote from the chairman of the

21 Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation

22 Authority.

23 It says, Taxpayers deserve to know

24 how Philadelphia spends its $3.7 billion

25 budget. We are the voice of reason. We're


1 there to make sure what comes out of the

2 budget process is balanced, fair and

3 fiscally responsible.

4 I think, and the --

5 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.

6 MS. SHUMAKER: I'll be back next

7 week.

8 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.

9 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: I just want to

10 say thank you for giving my cousin that nice

11 plug. Lori Kavulitch is my cousin.

12 MS. SHUMAKER: Well, we will be back

13 next week.

14 MS. GATELLI: Jim Davis.

15 MR. DAVIS: Assalaam Alaikum. My

16 name is Jim Davis, and I first start by

17 saying Happy African American Month, and I

18 really wanted to talk about the history that

19 we have and where we've come from and why

20 we're here.

21 I don't think that many of you know

22 that the African American has been here in

23 Scranton for almost as long as the city has

24 been in existence, number one; number two,

25 in the roaring twenties we were here as coal


1 miners, we were here as butlers or as

2 waiters and et cetera, and we're still here

3 as the same thing.

4 But the thing is, our rights never

5 caught up. It seem as though our chance for

6 advancement are not as lucrative, are not as

7 available as they are for the rest of the

8 population.

9 Now, you don't have to agree with me

10 on this, but, Mr. Courtright, the lines on

11 the street outside, you thought I forgot

12 about you, right? No. But you did such a

13 great job over in West Side. I figured we

14 can do the same thing in Central City.

15 But let's see if we can spread some

16 of that wealth around just a little bit.

17 I've talked to several people on the police

18 force who are supposed to be in charge of

19 the lines and stuff like that, but nothing

20 can happen, for some reason or another. I

21 don't know why. Please, see if you can

22 intercede for me.

23 MR. COURTRIGHT: It's the DPW, and

24 they're not going to do it now because of

25 the weather. But I've asked, Mr. Davis,


1 more than one time.

2 MR. DAVIS: We've had some good

3 weather, too.

4 MR. COURTRIGHT: I don't dispute

5 that.

6 MR. DAVIS: Okay. This is primarily

7 for the kids that we have out there. I want

8 the kids to feel free to talk, to ask, to

9 study, to do the very best that they can.

10 You're not going to always get the

11 credit as due you, but I say to you like

12 this, if we can help as your mentors, we

13 will be glad to do so.

14 There are five minority-owned

15 churches in Scranton, all of which are set

16 up to help you as mentors through their

17 Sunday school and through the churches.

18 You mothers and fathers, get your

19 kids to church. That's where we learned our

20 black history. We didn't wait for the

21 school to teach us our black history. It

22 was a part of our education and our

23 religious education.

24 And I feel very proud of that, and

25 it's allowed me to be able to stand here


1 today, because I learned public speaking at

2 Sunday school, not in Tech High School.

3 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.

4 MR. DAVIS: I thank you for your

5 time. Will you do something? Put a fire

6 under them, please, before some kids get

7 killed up there.

8 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.

9 MR. TALAMINI: Joe Talamini, citizen

10 of Scranton. I had a couple of questions,

11 Mrs. Evans, if I could beg your indulgence

12 after the meeting. I don't want to take up

13 my time asking, so if you don't mind.

14 Number one, Mrs. Gatelli, last week

15 I mentioned the potholes and the complaints

16 of the senior citizens and those who are

17 handicapped.

18 You said you would -- you had talked

19 to them about it. Apparently somebody

20 didn't get the message, because one of

21 ladies got stuck in a pothole at four

22 degrees on Wednesday morning. She was stuck

23 there for ten minutes until a police officer

24 came along and helped pushed her wheelchair

25 out of there. I'd just like to mention


1 that. I don't know what DPW's doing, or

2 whoever it is.

3 MS. GATELLI: It's not the DPW, it's

4 PennDOT.

5 MR. TALAMINI: PennDOT, okay.

6 MS. GATELLI: And Mrs. Garvey will

7 call them tomorrow.

8 MR. TALAMINI: Would you please,

9 Mrs. Garvey? Because this woman is severely

10 handicapped, she can't get out of her

11 wheelchair. She sat there in a rut for ten

12 minutes until a police officer came along,

13 got out of his car and helped push her out

14 of that rut.

15 I mean, it's a very serious

16 situation when you -- someone like us, we're

17 not handicapped, we're not disabled, we can

18 move, but she couldn't.

19 It's just another incident, and, I

20 don't know, maybe the Council can join me.

21 I don't want to bring religion in this,

22 maybe the Council can join me, we'll write a

23 letter to the pope and see if we can get a

24 dispensation to have something done in this

25 town, because it seems to be the only way


1 we're going to get anything done.

2 Another item I had, and this refers

3 to, again, the subpoenas. This I'll ask you

4 again afterwards. You mentioned something

5 and I missed out on it.

6 I would like to suggest that the

7 young lady who was here, I didn't get her

8 name, she suggested the cell phone ban, I

9 couldn't agree with her more.

10 I almost got hit by a young lady

11 coming up Mulberry Street the other day who

12 made a left turn on Wyoming Avenue with a

13 cell phone in her ear, and she completely

14 ignored the traffic light, she completely

15 ignored me walking across the street, and

16 then proceeded to blow me of with a signal.

17 I thought it was very nice.

18 If I had gotten her license number,

19 believe me, I would have reported her. If I

20 had a brick, I would have thrown it through

21 her windshield. It was that nice.

22 The other thing I'd like to mention,

23 and, again, I'd like to commend the Junior

24 Council on one year and for the fact that

25 they supplied us with coffee tonight, which


1 was the first time since I've been coming

2 here that I've gotten anything out of this

3 city, so I appreciate it very much. Thank

4 very much.

5 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. There's no

6 one else on the list, so if you would like

7 to speak, come up.

8 MR. MATIJEWSKI: Good evening.

9 Robert Matijewski, resident. At last week's

10 meeting I took a tally of how many speakers

11 ran out of time during both segments of the

12 citizens participation.

13 I found that during the first part,

14 only one person ran out, but during the

15 second part, 13 people ran out of time, out

16 of maybe, I'd say, 20-some speakers, which

17 is close to a majority, if not, you know,

18 beyond that.

19 But I think some were allowed to

20 finish what they had to say, but some were

21 forced to sit down, but I don't think that's

22 a fair or efficient way to run the meetings.

23 I mean, there's a difference between

24 being efficient and then also, you know,

25 cutting out information that the people want


1 to say and get across to the law makers.

2 So, maybe an amendment to extend the

3 second part of the citizens participation

4 for three minutes to five minutes would be

5 appropriate just to consider. I don't know

6 if it would pass, but -- also in regards to

7 the smoking ban, I saw a couple articles in

8 The Scranton Times about My Mother's Table

9 who have been hurt -- their business has

10 been hurt by the ordinance.

11 And what I find ironic about this is

12 that the owner had a partial smoking ban in

13 effect, and he didn't lose any business, but

14 now he's lost business from even longtime

15 customers.

16 And I thinks it's an example of what

17 a citywide ban is doing, which is smokers

18 are not smoking, and these non-smokers

19 aren't coming out and replacing their

20 patronage.

21 I mean, if this ordinance isn't

22 erased, suspended or at least revised, then

23 I don't foresee a very prosperous future for

24 for these hurting establishments.

25 It's like vegetarians trying to ban


1 meat. You know, if you have a personal

2 opinion on a choice like that, I mean, I

3 don't know about forcing that into law. You

4 know, you don't have to support a business

5 because of policy.

6 I hope it doesn't come down to

7 Veteran businesses leaving the city and just

8 have all tax free establishments, because

9 there's no revenue there, and because half

10 of them won't last as long as the exile

11 businesses did.

12 I hope that you could try to

13 consider what will be best for everyone and

14 not just a select group. Thank you.

15 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.

16 MR. SPINDLER: Good evening,

17 Council. Les Spindler, city resident. Last

18 week Mrs. Fanucci said it was an insult that

19 I dragged Jim Connors into this.

20 Actually all I did was ask a

21 legitimate question why PEL wouldn't allow

22 Mayor Connors to have a public safety

23 director, but they let Mayor Doherty have a

24 public safety director, an assistant public

25 safety director and two secretaries.


1 The only insult here is to the

2 taxpayers of this city that you refuse to do

3 your job as a Councilperson and get the

4 answer to the question I asked well over a

5 month ago.

6 Mr. Connors no longer works for the

7 taxpayers of this city, you do. And being

8 that you meet with PEL, you would be the

9 logical person to get the answer.

10 You don't want to get the answer,

11 because you know, as well as I do, that it

12 is wrong and it's just another example of

13 the corruption in the Doherty

14 Administration.

15 Mayor Doherty continues to violate

16 his own Recovery Plan by making new hires,

17 and PEL looks the other way.

18 Just as Buona Pizza is filing a

19 lawsuit in federal court, I think it's time

20 for the taxpayers to also get the federal

21 government involved to see if we can get our

22 questions answers, because asking City

23 Council doesn't seem to be working.

24 Mr. Courtright, you brought up about

25 these signs and the crosswalks. Well, I've


1 seen them in Dunmore and in Wilkes-Barre,

2 and what they say is they say state law,

3 yield to pedestrians in crosswalk.


5 MR. SPINDLER: And I don't see any

6 reason why we couldn't get them here. I

7 don't know how we go about it, but --

8 MR. COURTRIGHT: Well, we have one

9 that I found, one down near Scranton High

10 School, so I'm waiting to hear from Mr.

11 Parker.

12 MR. SPINDLER: I think we can use a

13 lot more. Okay. In the paper this week we

14 had three close calls with potential

15 abductions the Hill Section, and I see we

16 still have a policeman in here. Maybe if we

17 had more policemen on the street, these

18 things could be prevented.

19 They're just wasting their time in

20 here, and we almost had three tragedies. I

21 think we should try to avert them instead of

22 having police here. They don't even want to

23 be here and they're not needed here. Thank

24 you.

25 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Mr. Spindler, I


1 have a question for you. Mr. Spindler, also

2 working for the taxpayer, I need to know,

3 did you write that first part of that

4 speech? Because I was told --

5 MR. SPINDLER: I write everything.

6 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Okay. Let me

7 just ask you, I'm just asking you --

8 MR. SPINDLER: I write everything.

9 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: I was told that

10 when you put your glasses on, that that was

11 a que that it was for someone else.

12 MR. SPINDLER: Well, you're getting

13 false information. Maybe you're gullible

14 and believe everything.

15 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Well, see, now,

16 this is what I'm trying to say. False

17 information is not good from this podium.

18 I'm glad we can clear that up. Thank you.

19 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Hubbard.

20 MR. HUBBARD: There's nothing false

21 about my information.

22 MS. GATELLI: Oh, we would never say

23 that about you.

24 MR. HUBBARD: Regardless, seven

25 months I've been coming here. I'm getting


1 sick of coming here. I'm almost also

2 getting sick of the fact that in three

3 minutes I can't cover what I need to cover

4 for an entire neighborhood association in

5 three minutes. I can't do it.

6 So, every week I'm put off on three

7 minutes to come back, is another week we

8 don't have what we need in lower Green

9 Ridge. So, you definitely should think

10 about amending the three minutes, because

11 it's not enough time to cover issues.

12 Those pictures, there's two

13 photographs in there of the riverbank

14 completely under water, then there's

15 pictures of the riverbank damaged after the

16 water receded.

17 There's also a picture of a manhole

18 cover at the intersection of Nay Aug and

19 Albright Avenue that was destroyed during

20 the flood.

21 Somebody stuck a blue plastic

22 55-gallon drum in that hole. Then the city

23 came by and put up a sawhorse over the top

24 of the hole. It's not a pothole, it's a

25 manhole. Sorry, mom, but it is.


1 MS. GATELLI: Don't answer your

2 mother.

3 MR. HUBBARD: Well, it's a manhole

4 cover. It's full of dirt and mud. There's

5 a plastic oil drum buried inside this

6 manhole cover.

7 Now, there's also another picture of

8 the riverbank that's damaged, and 20 feet

9 from that riverbank is a two-story high pile

10 of modified dirt.

11 The entire block of Glenn Street by

12 the Laceworks is full of dump truck loads,

13 tri axle loads of dirt, probably 20 piles of

14 dirt within the one block of Glenn Street

15 right there.

16 The whole street's blocked with

17 dirt. They barricaded it right off and

18 filled it with dirt.

19 Pretty ironic that we have a

20 riverbank that's damaged, eroded, half worn

21 down, but 25 feet from that riverbank, a

22 block and a half away from the DPW facility

23 sits several large piles of dirt and a

24 mountain of modified.

25 Now, I was told that that dirt is


1 there -- they're storing the materials they

2 need to build the levee in our neighborhood.

3 Well, that's great. We get to look

4 at the stuff sitting in our neighborhood

5 every day as we drive by, knowing full well

6 that it's getting trucked out of our

7 neighborhood and put into other

8 neighborhoods.

9 The Army Corps of Engineers came in

10 and put a temporary levee system behind the

11 Cottone Building on Market Street. Well,

12 the entire 1700 block and 1600 block of Nay

13 Aug Avenue by the CK Salon and this Cottone

14 Building and Phillips' Auto Body and The

15 Giant have absolutely no riverbank at all,

16 nothing. It's perfectly flat.

17 So, whatever they put upstream as a

18 temporary measure, the water is just going

19 to come over the bank at the 1700 block of

20 Nay Aug, it's going to go right up Market

21 Street, flood Mr. Walker's antique cars

22 again, get McMullen's.

23 You know, it's quick. It's amazing

24 how quickly when you have contributors in

25 the area to the mayor that there's a


1 temporary measure put up four blocks from a

2 neighborhood that was under ten feet of

3 water.

4 The picture -- there's a Suburban in

5 that one photograph. There's also a picture

6 taken from me sitting in a kayak. That

7 Suburban would have bee under 3 feet of

8 water if it was there when I was sitting in

9 my kayak taking that photograph. Seven

10 months. On July 11, Mr. Hayes promised us

11 temporary flood protection.

12 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.

13 MR. HUBBARD: We have seen nothing,

14 nothing. The dirt is sitting there. We're

15 -- and I'm past my three, but you know what,

16 next week is one more week longer, one more

17 week closer to --

18 MS. GATELLI: I'll call the

19 gentleman from the flood -- the Army Corps

20 and see what --

21 MR. HUBBARD: I've spoken to Mr.

22 Garabino. I'm waiting for a date.

23 MS. GATELLI: -- the status is.

24 MR. HUBBARD: The meeting is coming

25 up. He's got a new man on the project in


1 Wilkes-Barre, I think, and they're trying to

2 get him up to speed, and then they're going

3 to give me the date for the quarterly

4 meeting.

5 He's going to tell you what he tells

6 me. The Army Corps' mission statement is

7 flood control. The responsibility of flood

8 protection falls on the City of Scranton.

9 That riverbank is still the city's

10 problem. It's not the Army Corps, because

11 they haven't even put it out to bid for the

12 work in that neighborhood yet. It's two

13 years away.

14 It's still the city's problem. It's

15 got to get taken care of. If lower Green

16 Ridge gets flooded again this year, I mean,

17 it's getting to be ridiculous.

18 This need to be taken care of. I'm

19 tired of coming before you guys, only to

20 find out that nothing is getting done.

21 I mean, the floor flood siren is a

22 step. I'm glad they're going to notify me

23 when the river is coming over the bank. I

24 would rather not have the river come over

25 the bank.


1 MS. GATELLI: Okay. Thanks, Dan.

2 MR. HUBBARD: The city needs to be

3 held accountable.

4 MR. MCCLOE: Good evening. My name

5 is Brett McCloe, and I want to talk a little

6 bit about the smoking ban. I've been a

7 waiter in this city for almost 20 years, and

8 I have a unique perspective on what exactly

9 is happening here.

10 And as we come to the sixth week of

11 this smoking ban, I think it's about six

12 weeks now, I'm sort of left with an uneasy

13 feeling, sort of like a crisis, a political

14 disease, an involuntary, yet voluntary

15 capitulation of privilege.

16 I use the two words together to

17 describe the duality of the American public

18 and its fickle nature.

19 We involuntary give up our right to

20 choose every time we voluntary lay down our

21 privileges and allow ourselves to be herded

22 around like sheep.

23 These sheep, better yet sheeple,

24 blindly follow elected shepherds to lead us

25 to a PC promise land.


1 This PC promise land has a high

2 price tag, both real and intangible. This

3 price tag will benefit those businesses and

4 municipalities who have not yet bowed down

5 to the will of, not the people, but the

6 politically correct moment.

7 This smoking ban was instituted and

8 won by default, not by the people. This

9 politically correct moment was never

10 intended to include the people.

11 For some reason we, the people, both

12 smokers and non-smokers, have given up our

13 right to choose and put it in the hands of a

14 few people.

15 Some of these shepherds had no

16 competence in our ability to make the

17 decisions whether to use our legs to walk

18 into a restaurant that has a smoking section

19 or to walk away from the restaurant that has

20 a smoking section.

21 Apparently these shepherds have no

22 confidence that the market could support and

23 adapt to maybe just a few restaurants having

24 no smoking.

25 Politics has decided what the shape


1 of the market will look like. The obsolete

2 concept of a free market society has eroded

3 -- has been eroded by political correctness

4 and the unwillingness to seek alternatives.

5 They have taken away not just the

6 smoker's but also the non-smoker's right to

7 choose.

8 Just because a non-smoker agrees

9 with the smoking ban, doesn't mean that they

10 haven't lost bits and pieces of a God given

11 right to choose.

12 Let the market decide. Allow the

13 businesses -- the businesses to either pass

14 or fail the test of hospitality. It's all

15 about hospitality, privilege and choice.

16 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.

17 MR. MCCLOE: I will probably finish

18 this up next week. I have a lot more to

19 say.

20 MS. GATELLI: Thanks, Mr. McCloe.

21 MR. GORDON: Good evening, Council.

22 Pat Gordon, Scranton taxpayer, homeowner.

23 I'm here because I'm -- I know everyone's

24 been talking about the tax increase.

25 I got my letter in the mail this


1 week, too, and the majority of the Council

2 sees fit that we have the tax increase, now

3 I would like some things done.

4 When Mrs. Evans was the contact

5 person for the DPW, I'm the one that put in

6 the constant complaints of the conditions on

7 Cooper Avenue and Ward Place.

8 Diamond Avenue runs parallel with

9 Cooper. It's like an ice skating rink it's

10 so smooth.

11 I know Mr. Courtright also knows

12 where I'm talking about, because I saw him

13 this past weekend at Tell's Market.

14 All I want -- I'm not complaining

15 about the taxes, that's what you voted on,

16 that's what I'm stuck with.

17 I would like something to be done.

18 I rebuilt. If you -- any of you drive down

19 there, I had the curbs. I had water coming

20 onto my property. I had the curbs rebuilt

21 myself. Who paid? I paid. Who bought the

22 material? I did. I don't know. I don't

23 know how to pave a street.

24 You at Mrs. Evans' request came and

25 what they call cold patched these potholes


1 on Ward Place. It's less than the size of a

2 football field that leads from Cooper to

3 Diamond Avenue. These cold patches break up

4 in a matter of a month and a half.

5 So, before I get all excited here,

6 all I'm going to do is request that the

7 Council look into something being done.

8 But the DPW sees it. They pick up

9 my garbage every Tuesday morning. They have

10 to drive over it, so I'm sure they're aware

11 of it, as I am. Thank you, Council.

12 MS. GATELLI: Thank you very much.

13 MS. FRANUS: Fay Franus. Mrs.

14 Gatelli, I'd like to see some documentation,

15 if it's possible, for the 2006 TAN series B

16 plan. How would I get that? Could you get

17 that for me? I also want to know do you

18 have documentation as to when that was paid?

19 MS. GATELLI: I'll get it for you.

20 MS. FRANUS: Do you have

21 documentation?

22 MS. GATELLI: Not with me tonight.

23 MS. FRANUS: Okay. How about where

24 was the remainder of that money spent, the

25 $9.5 million, where was the remainder of the


1 $10 million spent? How was it spent? That

2 was a question.

3 MS. GATELLI: I know it was a

4 question.

5 MS. FRANUS: Well, I'm waiting for

6 an answer. My time -- i only get three

7 minutes, you know, I --

8 MS. GATELLI: Well, you better use

9 it wisely, Mrs. Franus.

10 MS. FRANUS: Well, I'm going to ask

11 you again. How was the remainder of that

12 money spent?

13 MS. GATELLI: This is -- Council is

14 not a question and answer period.

15 MS. FRANUS: It certainly is.

16 MS. GATELLI: No, it isn't.

17 MS. FRANUS: What is it, to come

18 here and just sit and make statements and

19 walk away? I come here to get information

20 that we need to know that we don't have, and

21 it's your obligation to me and to everybody

22 in the City of Scranton to answer my

23 questions, since I'm paying your salary and

24 everybody else in the City of Scranton is

25 paying your salary.


1 MS. GATELLI: And who pays your

2 salary, Mrs. Franus?

3 MS. FRANUS: Who pays it? The

4 company I work for.

5 MS. GATELLI: Yeah, who do you work

6 for?

7 MS. FRANUS: Oh, you have to be

8 kidding.

9 MS. GATELLI: Who do you work for,

10 Mrs. Franus?

11 MS. FRANUS: My paycheck -- my pay

12 is not coming out of the taxes of the people

13 of Scranton.

14 MS. GATELLI: It's a utility.

15 MS. FRANUS: Well, let's put it this

16 way, but I do a good job.

17 MS. GATELLI: Isn't it? So, I pay

18 your salary, too, when I pay my water bill.

19 MS. FRANUS: And that's right, you

20 do. But you know what, when I go to work, I

21 do my job correctly.

22 MS. GATELLI: And when I go to work,

23 I do my job, too.

24 MS. FRANUS: You don't represent the

25 people like I do.


1 MS. GATELLI: I don't represent you,

2 Mrs. Franus. No, I don't.

3 MS. FRANUS: I can't believe you

4 even say such a statement. And why wouldn't

5 you represent me? I pay your salary.

6 MS. GATELLI: Because you don't

7 think I represent you. That's why.

8 MS. FRANUS: You said it, I didn't.

9 I know you don't, because you raised our

10 taxes 25 percent. Mrs. Gatelli, Mrs.

11 Fanucci, and Mr. McGoff very nicely raised

12 our taxes 25 percent.

13 Do you realize the position you're

14 putting these people in that won't have

15 homes, that cry at night because they don't

16 know how they're going to pay their bills,

17 thanks to you, Mrs. Gatelli, Mrs. Fanucci

18 and Mr. McGoff?

19 Do you realize how they feel at

20 night? What are they going to do? Thank

21 God I have a job. What about these people

22 that can't afford this? What are they to

23 do?

24 Maybe they should come to 709

25 Connell Street and knock on your door, since


1 you have all the money in the world and

2 don't seem to worry about it. And, yes, you

3 do represent the people. Unbelievable.

4 And last week you made a statement

5 about me saying that I meet with people to

6 tell me what to say.

7 First of all, what I do is my

8 business, not yours. But what you do is my

9 business, because you're putting your hands

10 in my pockets taking my money out. There's

11 the difference.

12 What you do is my business. What I

13 do is not your business. It never will be.

14 I go to work and I come home and mind my own

15 business.

16 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.

17 MS. FRANUS: I don't take money out

18 of other people's pockets like you.

19 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.

20 MR. MORGAN: Good evening, Council.

21 The first thing I'd like to say is in

22 representative government, this Council

23 represents everyone, whether they voted for

24 you or whether they didn't, and I really

25 think that everybody really needs to


1 consider that in elective office.

2 I asked a couple times about Mark

3 Seitzinger's qualifications, and I've asked

4 for them in writing, but I haven't received

5 any information whatsoever, none, and I

6 would like to have some, if I could,

7 possibly by tomorrow or Monday. Is that

8 possible, President Gatelli?

9 MS. GATELLI: I don't know that we

10 can get that information, Mr. Minora, from

11 personnel. I said that before.

12 MR. MINORA: I'm not sure that

13 personal information is available, you know

14 --

15 MR. MORGAN: I'm not talking about

16 --

17 MR. MINORA: -- which may include

18 addresses and things like that.

19 MR. MORGAN: I'm not talking about

20 personal information, I'm talking about

21 qualifications. I'm not asking you where

22 this man lives, I'm not asking you any of

23 those questions.

24 My questions were to the point and

25 they were asked in writing, and I would like


1 a response.

2 And if you do not intend to furnish

3 me with that information, then I will

4 proceed forward in another venue. But I

5 think --

6 MS. GATELLI: I think you should ask

7 the personnel department.

8 MR. MORGAN: Possibly, but I started

9 here. And if you have no intentions of

10 answering my question, then I think then in

11 writing you should tell me so, since I

12 requested that information from you in

13 writing.

14 The other question I have is,

15 there's been some statements here in regards

16 to the city and finances and a lot of other

17 things, and I think that the major problem

18 we have in this city is we have duplication

19 and we have cronyism.

20 We have Mr. Hayes, who has an

21 assistant, Mark Seitzinger. I can't

22 understand why he needs an assistant. We're

23 a city of 67,000 people. That position

24 didn't exist until the mayor created it.

25 Now we're looking at the Scranton


1 Sewer authority, where we have Mr. Barrett

2 running that and a consultant telling him

3 how to run it, and then we've brought Mr.

4 Scopelliti from Parks and Recreation to help

5 Mr. Barrett.

6 I think what we did is we've created

7 a ton of jobs for a ton of political

8 operatives throughout this city's

9 administration, and this administration and

10 previous administrations.

11 Now we have where Council has voted

12 and decided to follow a course of action

13 calling for a subpoena.

14 And from what I've been led to

15 believe outside this chamber is that your

16 solicitor doesn't feel that's prudent.

17 And I don't think that that's a

18 decision for him to make at all. I think

19 that was voted by Council, and I think those

20 subpoenas need to be pursued, as broad as

21 the motion was and the vote.

22 I think that for once and all, for

23 once and -- for once and all, the people in

24 this city have to hold elected officials

25 accountable.


1 And another question I have is, how

2 many employees work for the Scranton Sewer

3 Authority?

4 And another question I have is, was

5 there a $10 million loan that came through

6 Council for Preferred Produce?

7 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.

8 MR. MORGAN: And I'd like to have an

9 answer to that question at the next Council

10 meeting, considering that that business

11 filed bankruptcy and is gone.

12 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Right. They

13 were the one who defaulted.

14 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.

15 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: It wasn't $10

16 million. Mr. Morgan, I do want to ask --

17 say one thing about what you were

18 addressing.

19 As far as Mr. Seitzinger, I don't

20 believe that the mayor was the one who

21 created the job. Actually it was a group of

22 people in the Hill Section meeting with

23 President Gatelli and myself who decided

24 that it would be a great idea to have the

25 blight task force.


1 We actually decided as a group that

2 it would be a wonderful thing. This was not

3 to assist Director Hayes, it was to start a

4 whole new program.

5 MR. MORGAN: My question was to his

6 qualifications, and my questions --


8 tell you right now, to look at a bad house,

9 you don't need many -- I can spot it a mile

10 away.

11 MR. MORGAN: You most certainly do.

12 You most certainly do have to be qualified

13 for any job you hold.

14 And my questions were very specific

15 and to the point, and those are the

16 questions I would like answered.

17 And your opinion is directly yours,

18 okay? But whether he's qualified or not,

19 that's another matter to be decided by his

20 qualifications. Thank you.

21 MS. KRAKE: To continue that

22 conversation, I remember when Mrs. Gatelli

23 had a task force of current employees from

24 the -- all of the people that were in

25 license and inspections and that were all


1 qualified and that are still qualified.

2 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: I don't think

3 he's not qualified. Did somebody come out

4 and say he was --

5 MS. KRAKE: I don't think anybody

6 said that. I think you're jumping to that

7 conclusion, and I'm sorry that you feel that

8 way.

9 MS. GATELLI: My goodness.

10 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: First of all,

11 that's not -- I was answering a question

12 from him. I didn't jump to any conclusion.

13 He said that the mayor appointed him. I

14 said that it wasn't the mayor. We decided

15 as a group --

16 MS. KRAKE: This is my time to

17 speak. Thank you.

18 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: No, go ahead.

19 MS. KRAKE: And since you have

20 reported to OECD, Mrs. Fanucci, perhaps you

21 can let Ms. Hailstone know that before she

22 does a loan, she may want to have all the

23 information so we won't need to ask the

24 questions that apparently offended people.

25 They were simple questions and they


1 should not have been offended by them. If

2 they're legitimate, no one should be

3 offended by the truth.

4 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: It was the

5 assumption --

6 MS. KRAKE: Excuse me.

7 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: Hold her time

8 for a second and let me finish this. It was

9 not that they were offended by the

10 questions, they were offending that you were

11 assuming and people were acting as if the

12 mayor had some part in this.

13 And they were not acting, they were

14 acting alone, and --

15 MS. KRAKE: Once again, those are

16 feelings. That is not what was said here.

17 MS. NEALON FANUCCI: That's exactly

18 what was said here last wee. That's exactly

19 what was said here last week. Continue your

20 time.

21 MS. KRAKE: Mrs. Evans, you said you

22 went to speak to Mrs. Hailstone --

23 MS. EVANS: Yes.

24 MS. KRAKE: -- and she told you that

25 she had to ask her boss, the mayor?


1 MS. EVANS: Yes.

2 MS. KRAKE: But Mrs. Fanucci said

3 she's able to get much information from Ms.

4 Hailstone, so it seems to me that the mayor

5 must have said it's okay to give the

6 information to Mrs. Fanucci, but not to Mrs.

7 Evans.

8 Once again, this is another example

9 of why we need a subpoena. You've been

10 asking these questions for many years now,

11 and you have -- if you had been provided the

12 answers to your requests, we would not be in

13 the position now that we need to get loud

14 with each other, that there are accusations.

15 Simple answers to simple questions

16 are not hard, unless people are hiding

17 something. And I'm very sorry that people

18 get hard feelings over these things. Thank

19 you.

20 MS. EVANS: I think it might be

21 interesting, I'm sorry to interrupt, I think

22 it might be very interesting if I had the

23 time or we would find some who had the time

24 to peruse all of the meetings of the minutes

25 since I was initially seated in January of


1 2004, to ascertain the number of times that

2 I have requested information and been

3 denied. I think it would be astounding.

4 MS. STULGIS: I have a couple of

5 things regarding PEL and the public safety

6 department.

7 I was at home when the first three

8 minute time period was, and Mrs. Krake

9 mentioned the conversation that we had with

10 Harry Miller in the hall. It was quite

11 uncomfortable for him, because he didn't

12 want to answer any questions, he didn't feel

13 he had to.

14 He did tell us that they didn't like

15 Jimmy Klee, and so they decided to get rid

16 of the public safety department.

17 He also said that they got rid of

18 the public safety department, a director,

19 because they felt that the police union was

20 winning too many arbitrations.

21 Now, that's rather ironic, since

22 we've never won arbitrations like we've won

23 them in the last couple of years.

24 We've won enough that the city is up

25 to about one million in legal fees fighting


1 us, and we still continue to win.

2 One of our latest wins was an en

3 banc hearing in Commonwealth Court and en

4 banc means in front of the entire penal of

5 Commonwealth Court judges.

6 And by the way, not only did we win,

7 but it was a unanimous decision. There was

8 no descenting votes. All Commonwealth

9 judges voted in our favor.

10 So, if we're winning arbitrations,

11 either the city is wrong, or the unions are

12 wrong, the arbitrators are wrong, the county

13 judges are wrong, the Commonwealth judges

14 are wrong, I guess the whole world is wrong.

15 Also, I learned something rather

16 interesting last evening. I understand that

17 there is a letter that was sent to the mayor

18 from PEL, and that letter was sent shortly

19 after the results of the results of the

20 binding arbitration came down for the police

21 department.

22 In that letter, PEL suggested to the

23 mayor that he accept the arbitrator's

24 decision and not appeal, because no one

25 really won. Everyone made sacrifices.


1 I'm wondering if one of you would be

2 able to get that letter, since it certainly

3 would be extremely interesting, because it's

4 costing us as taxpayers a whole lot of money

5 in more arbitrations and more court cases.

6 In fact, I just read our latest

7 brief, because we're in county court right

8 now, on this same subject, and if PEL

9 recommended it be accepted, I'd like to know

10 why, why it could happen that it would be

11 appealed?

12 MS. EVANS: Mrs. Stulgis, do you

13 have the proximate date when that occurred?

14 MS. STULGIS: No, but I will get it

15 for you.

16 MS. EVANS: That would be very

17 helpful. And then, Kay, if we could send a

18 letter to PEL requesting a copy of that

19 letter.

20 MS. STULGIS: Thank you very much.

21 I'd really appreciate that.

22 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.

23 MS. STULGIS: Quite enlightening.

24 Real quick, has anybody found out who's

25 responsible for paying back the money that


1 we gave It's About Thyme to start up and

2 then they sold?

3 MS. EVANS: I don't have that

4 information. That was part of what I was

5 seeking, since it was a business located

6 within, I believe, the Kane Building, which,

7 of course, About Thyme did not own, so I was

8 trying to ascertain who would have repaid

9 that loan, if it has been repaid, if not,

10 who's making the payments or was it a

11 default.

12 MS. STULGIS: Thanks.

13 MR. ANCHERANI: Good evening,

14 Council. I'm Nelson Ancherani, resident,

15 taxpayer, city employee, and financial

16 secretary of the FOP exercising my First

17 Amendment Rights.

18 Money has to come from somebody.

19 Does everyone remember those words? They're

20 the famous words of our mayor within the

21 last two years he said that.

22 Since 2002, I've been coming to

23 Council saying that we would pay down the

24 road with a huge tax increase. That time is

25 upon us.


1 Tax bills are arriving in the mail,

2 and they aren't pretty. Complaints are

3 coming in already. We all know who to thank

4 for these bills, the mayor and his B.S.

5 fiscal manager, borrowing and spending, and

6 three Councilpersons, Mrs. Gatelli, Ms.

7 Fanucci and Mr. McGoff.

8 Two weeks ago I spoke about our

9 taxes being raised 25 percent in the next

10 three years and how that equates into an

11 almost 100 percent increase in those three

12 years.

13 There was a remark at the end that

14 -- at that meeting that 2008 and 2009 taxes

15 weren't voted on yet.

16 Getting to that remark about the

17 25 percent increases not being voted on, the

18 three Council members, Mrs. Gatelli, Ms.

19 Fanucci and Mr. McGoff, who voted for the

20 tax hike, and the $10 million loan, and the

21 $14,500,000 tax anticipation notes, have

22 shown to me that the concerns of the

23 taxpayers who pay the bills were ignored.

24 The three Council members that voted

25 for the tax increase and loans and TANS had


1 an opportunity to pass a budget that would

2 have eliminated the need for the tax hike

3 and the $10 million loan.

4 We are now facing a $300 million

5 long-term debt that will stifle our

6 grandchildren for the next 28 years or more.

7 The administration from the last

8 five years has been blaming the unions for

9 the financial situation we are in.

10 Union people have been coming here

11 addressing the requests for the $44 million

12 down to $10 million saying not to give the

13 city the loans, and you turned deaf ears to

14 them, but yet the unions will get the blame.

15 You were given the opportunity to

16 enact more revenue-producing ideas to help

17 out our financial situation, but yet the

18 ideas were ignored, and a record $77 million

19 budget was passed for this year.

20 The raises and new hires wages that

21 the mayor put into the budgets have

22 increased from the $6 million last year to

23 around $9 million cumulatively this year.

24 The above figures could have been

25 reduced substantially, if the budget Mrs.


1 Evans produced was enacted and there would

2 have been no need for a tax increase if the

3 cuts and revenue areas were enacted.

4 Therefore, based on past actions

5 taken by Mayor Doherty --

6 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.

7 MR. ANCHERANI: -- Ms. Gatelli, Ms.

8 Fanucci and Mr. McGoff, I have no choice but

9 to believe that come budget time in November

10 and December of this year, a 25 percent tax

11 increase will be enacted for each year, and

12 I predict record budgets totalling $80

13 million and $85 million for 2009.

14 Again, I'm sure that it will be

15 blamed on the unions instead of the fiscal

16 mismanagement that this city practices.

17 Money has to come from somebody.

18 Now we know from who. Taxpayers beware.

19 The tax man cometh with this 100 percent

20 increase. Thank you.

21 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Hi,

22 Chrissy. Close your eyes, you can't see th

23 is. Don't let her see it, Bill.

24 MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay, Chris.

25 MR. SLEDZINSKI: Don't look. Don't


1 look.

2 MR. COURTRIGHT: That's nice.

3 MS. GATELLI: Oh, thank you,

4 Chrissy. I'll use it tomorrow. I'll show

5 Mr. Rogan. It's his last day.

6 MR. SLEDZINSKI: Billy, I got a

7 question for you. We need more cops on the

8 street, Bill. Will you look into that for

9 me tomorrow for me or what?

10 MR. COURTRIGHT: I'll see if they

11 can get up there, Chris.

12 MR. SLEDZINSKI: All right. Thanks,

13 Bill.

14 MR. DODSON: Dave Dobson, resident

15 of Scranton. I'd like to express some

16 support on this cell phone issue.

17 A few months ago, and I don't have

18 the article, but it was determined that a

19 person operating a cell phone and a motor

20 vehicle is the equivalent, at the very

21 least, of .10 consumption of alcohol.

22 So, it's a very serious safety risk,

23 and they are virtually -- this was a

24 scientific study that determined that people

25 that are operating cell phones while driving


1 are operating the same as if they were

2 clinically drunk or illegally drunk.

3 And the only thing I'd like to say

4 on the smoking ban, I got tired of being

5 redundant, I didn't say anything for weeks

6 now, when majority versus minority, it's

7 he's easy to cite that a lot of people are

8 against it and a few people are for it or

9 it's 60/40 or 70/30, but what do we do with

10 that type of reasoning if a portion --

11 75 percent of the population determines that

12 25 percent are vermin and they need to be

13 disposed of?

14 That type of reasoning is just --

15 I'm not trying to vilify anybody, but that

16 type of reasoning doesn't have -- it's not

17 entirely based in sound political and

18 constitutional law.

19 So, I'd appreciate it if it was just

20 modified someday. I don't want to pick on

21 anybody or offend anybody's sensibilities,

22 but the majority doesn't always rule in a

23 constitutional democracy.

24 Democracy -- the Greek side of

25 democracy, women didn't have a right to


1 vote, they had slaves and so forth.

2 So, I would appreciate if we would

3 quote the polls a little less as if they

4 were sent down from up higher power or

5 something. Thank you. Have a good night.

6 MS. GATELLI: Thank you very much.

7 James.

8 MR. PIAZZA: Good evening, Council,

9 I'm James Piazza, Scranton High School. One

10 year ago I was appointed to be on the Junior

11 City Council, which I will never forget.

12 This was a great experience for me,

13 because I was able to get give back to the

14 community in many ways, and also I had the

15 opportunity to learn about how local

16 government operates.

17 The way that I gave back to the

18 community was by helping out with projects

19 that the Junior City Council took part in.

20 The projects included the park cleanups, the

21 Woodlawn project and the Santa breakfast.

22 I learned that everyone needs to

23 work together to get the job done, which is

24 why our projects are successful.

25 On the other hand, our project could


1 not be successful if there is disarray among

2 people in a group.

3 I was very proud to receive a

4 proclamation from the Scranton City Council.

5 The park cleanups were meant to make the

6 city look more attractive.

7 All of our projects were meant to

8 show the residents of the city that we care

9 about the city and want young people to get

10 involved.

11 I urge young people to become

12 leaders in their community and take part in

13 local government.

14 After reflecting on the past year, I

15 enjoyed taking part in the Junior City

16 Council meeting at Scranton High school.

17 This meeting was very informational,

18 because we got to hear what issues students

19 in high school have about the city. As a

20 result, we should have more meetings in high

21 schools in the future.

22 Finally, it was nice to spend our

23 anniversary with Council. Thank you.

24 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else? Motion

25 to adjourn.


1 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.


























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 taken by me on the hearing of the above cause and

6 that this copy is a correct transcript of the same

7 to the best of my ability.



11 Official Court Reporter