1 SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING
7 Thursday, April 19, 2006
10 Council Chambers
11 Scranton City Hall
12 340 North Washington Avenue
13 Scranton, Pennsylvania
CATHENE S. NARDOZZI- COURT REPORTER
CITY OF SCRANTON COUNCIL:
5 MS. JUDY GATELLI, PRESIDENT
MS. JANET E. EVANS
8 MS. SHERRY FANUCCI (Not present.)
MR. ROBERT MCGOFF
11 MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT
MS. KAY GARVEY, CITY CLERK
14 MR. COOLICAN, ASSISTANT CITY CLERK
MR. AMIL MINORA, SOLICITOR
(Pledge of Allegiance and moment of reflection
3 MS. GATELLI: Roll call.
4 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.
5 MS. EVANS: Here.
6 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci. Mr.
8 MR. MCGOFF: Here.
9 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.
10 MR. COURTRIGHT: Here.
11 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.
12 MS. GATELLI: Here. Dispense with
13 the reading of the minutes.
14 MS. GARVEY: THIRD ORDER. 3-A.
15 CONTROLLER'S REPORT FOR THE MONTH ENDING MARCH
16 31, 2007.
17 MS. GATELLI: Are there any comments?
18 If not, received and filed.
19 MS. GARVEY: That's all there is for
20 Third Order.
21 MS. GATELLI: I just have a few
22 announcements before we start the meeting. I'd
23 like to offer condolences to my next door
24 neighbor's mom who had passed away, Edith
25 Caviston, and also south side great who has
1 played ball with my uncles, I certainly wasn't
2 familiar with him because I wasn't even born
3 yet, but my uncles talked about Jean Marlow,
4 I'm sure many of you saw the article in the
5 paper. She was a professional baseball player
6 and she was a south side person and she passed
7 away as well. And we also have another
8 birthday this week, our assistant city clerk,
9 Neil. Happy birthday, Neil.
10 This Saturday from 5 to 7 at the
11 Dante Club at 1916 Prospect Avenue they are
12 having their rigatoni and meatball dinner.
13 Tomorrow morning the Lackawanna County
14 Committee on Women is having their breakfast
15 symposium. It's at the Parish Center in
16 Dunmore from 8:30 to 10:30 and they have a
17 panel of four different speakers.
18 On the 25th of April the Upper Hill
19 Economic League will be conducting a family
20 night at Friendly's in Dunmore and that
21 benefits the Upper Hill Pantry.
22 The 500-block of Newton Road. I
23 received a call last night and there is a
24 severe flooding problem up there. Apparently
25 there was a catch basin or a pipe under the
1 road that's blocked and the city has been up
2 there trying to correct it, but they put
3 sandbags and it was diverting water into all of
4 the people's properties. It was like my Niagra
5 Falls and it's right at the entrance of
6 Fawnwood where the basin is blocked so I
7 reached George Parker this morning and he said
8 that it is going to be repaired but they have
9 to contact the utilities first before they dig
10 in there because there are gas and water and
11 electrical lines and it's really a severe
12 problem, so if we can send a letter, Kay, on
13 that. I talked to George, but, you know, if
14 you can send a letter also to expedite that
15 situation. It's just horrible.
16 Also, at 1909 Prospect Avenue there
17 was a fire there and that was never boarded up,
18 and 1917 Prospect was abandoned several years
19 ago and nothing was done there.
20 The "No Parking" sign on East
21 Mountain Road where the firehouse is gone, and
22 on Meadow Avenue and River Street we will be
23 introducing tonight an agreement to put the
24 streetlight there because it's desperately
25 needed, however, there is still going to be a
1 problem with the people pulling out onto Meadow
2 Avenue from the gas station so if we can have
3 George Parker look into that or some type of a
4 traffic engineer from PennDOT to see what can
5 be done to prevent that traffic from turning
6 left there. We are happy the light is finally
7 coming, but there is still going to be the
8 problem of the gas station.
9 And the last thing I have is I would
10 encourage all groups, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts,
11 neighborhood associations to please setup some
12 litter pickup projects, I know the south side
13 neighborhood is planning one in early May. I
14 can give you the date after tonight's meeting,
15 but I know a lot of the Boy Scouts did it last
16 year and maybe the Junior Council can do some
17 of them for places that there are people to
18 clean it up. Once the snow is gone the city
19 really looks terrible. There is litter
20 everywhere. So if we can get some people to
21 clean it up and if you would like call us and
22 we will announce your group and give you credit
23 for cleaning up the area. And that's all I
24 have. Janet?
25 MS. EVANS: On Saturday, April 21, a
1 pasta dinner will be conducted at the 20th Ward
2 Club from 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. to benefit
3 the family of Matthew Grendel, the young man
4 who has been missing since March 10, 2007.
5 Admission is $10. I attended a prayer service
6 for Matt and his family at St. Joe's Church in
7 Minooka several weeks ago and it was extremely
8 well attended. Not a seat remained vacant and
9 many people stood along the sides of the
10 church. I hope that everyone will attend this
11 spaghetti dinner and support the Grendel family
12 once again.
13 Also, on Saturday evening, April 21,
14 the friends of the Scranton Knights Football
15 Team will sponsor a night at the races at Holy
16 Rosary Church Hall from 6 to 11. Tickets cost
17 $10 and can be purchased at the door. Proceeds
18 from this fundraiser will be used to send the
19 players to training camp and to purchase much
20 needed equipment. Please join us at this
21 fun-filled evening of good food, good friends
22 and the chance to win cash all night.
23 MR. COURTRIGHT: I have two, if you
24 don't mind. This Sunday, April 22, there is
25 going to be a fundraiser at the Keyser Valley
1 Community Center from 1 until 5 p.m. and it's
2 for Joanne McCarey Quinn. Joanne is very good
3 friend of mine and my wife's who has been
4 diagnosed with a neuromuscular disease called
5 PLS. This fundraiser is being held to help her
6 cope with the disease and the donation will $10
7 at the door and I'd like to see everybody
8 possible come out and support Joanne.
9 The 2007 Lackawanna County
10 Armed Forces Veteran's Parade is on Saturday,
11 May 19, at 10:30 p.m. to honor those men and
12 women who have served our Commonwealth and our
13 country during times of conflict and paying
14 special tribute to the latest group of
15 soldiers, marines, sailors and airmen who
16 recently returned from deployment supporting
17 the global war on terrorisum. The parade will
18 feature military units from all branches of the
19 service including Scranton's own 55th Brigade,
20 military and Veteran's organizations. The
21 Black Diamond bagpipe band, high school
22 marching bands, vintage military vehicles,
23 local service and civic organizations as well
24 as fire and police. Line the streets
25 to recognize those who have served our country
1 to protect our freedoms. So, I'd like to see
2 this here in my opinion is never attended as
3 much as it should be so, again, it's Saturday,
4 May 19, at 10:30. Please go out and support
5 the men and woman that protect us. And that's
6 all I have. Thank you.
7 MS. GATELLI: Mr. McGoff, anything?
8 MR. MCGOFF: No.
9 MS. GATELLI: Just one more thing
10 that I forgot. I received a notice from Stu
11 Renda in OECD because someone asked last week
12 about the balances in the loan accounts. There
13 is $283,000 in the revolving loan fund as of
14 April 17 and they receive approximately $13,000
15 in monthly repayments. There is also the CBDG
16 revolving loan fund, that has $260,000 in it
17 and so in total OECD has $543,000 eligible for
18 Economic Development activities, and with
19 approximately $13,000 each month coming back in
20 for reuse. So, I hope that's helpful for the
21 person that requested that information. The
22 first speaker is Andy Sbaraglia.
23 MR. SBARAGLIA: Andy Sbaraglia,
24 citizen of Scranton, fellow Scrantonions. A
25 question on number 6-B, that's the researching
1 for the bank, have anybody notified the people
2 that live across the street that they are going
3 to lose their parking. I was going to buy a
4 house there, there is no parking there. There
5 used to be parking, but when you made it two
6 lanes on that side of the street that took away
7 the parking that was there so they were forced
8 to park across the street. I think you should
9 talk to the bank and see if a little parking
10 can be made available for these people being
11 they are going to take away that whole side of
12 that street, off street parking, because them
13 people are going to be in trouble.
14 MR. COURTRIGHT: Andy, the parking
15 you are talking about would just be the Main
16 Avenue parking, correct, because they are not
17 allowed to park on Luzerne?
18 MR. SBARAGLIA: Luzerne I ain't
19 worried about. Luzerne -- because at the cross
20 street and Luzerne is the drugstore.
21 MR. COURTRIGHT: Right, but on the
22 other side you are not allowed to park.
23 MR. SBARAGLIA: But on the other side
24 of the street, because I was going to buy a
25 home and there, and I know there was no parking
2 MR. COURTRIGHT: The westerly side
3 of Main Avenue.
4 MR. SBARAGLIA: Right, but at that
5 time I couldn't park because it wasn't two
6 lanes like it is now. It was just the one lane
7 so you could park there and the cars could have
8 been went by, but now that they made that area
9 two lane they have to park across the street.
10 So, hence, if you are taking away their parking
11 across the street them people are going to have
12 to find another place to park.
13 MR. COURTRIGHT: I think it takes
14 maybe about six spots.
15 MR. SBARAGLIA: Something like that.
16 I recall the homes there.
17 MS. GATELLI: On Main Street?
18 MR. SBARAGLIA: Yeah, I was just
19 interested in the one because, like I said, I
20 was going to buy a house there and I remember
21 what it was at that time.
22 MS. GATELLI: I never see anybody
23 park there.
24 MR. SBARAGLIA: Oh, yeah.
25 MS. GATELLI: You do?
1 MR. COURTRIGHT: They park there.
2 MS. GATELLI: You do? Because I go
3 that way every morning and there is never any
4 cars parked on Main Avenue on that -- on the
5 side where that bank is.
6 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yeah, they are
7 probably there right now as we speak.
8 MS. GATELLI: Maybe in the evening,
9 but in the morning --
10 MR. SBARAGLIA: Yeah, they are there.
11 They're there. I go by there all of the time,
13 MR. COURTRIGHT: It used to be where
14 the bakery was.
15 MR. SBARAGLIA: Right. Well, that
16 whole area there where the church and the
17 bakery was. Okay, and then your 5-D I guess we
18 are transferring money for the snow removal.
19 It was coming out of the debt service, is that
20 going to put a hole in the debt service?
21 Because somewhere along the line we have to
22 come up with $325,000, if not more, and as you
23 know we have trouble paying our debt as it is
24 now, so maybe you can look into it because I
25 don't exactly now how much we are going to pay
1 on all of these snow removal. That's probably
2 close to what it costs if not a little more.
3 Thank you.
4 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.
5 Mr. Patilla?
6 MR. PATILLA: Mrs. Evans and
7 Mr. Courtright, I'm not familiar with who is
8 going to purchase that land -- I'm not familiar
9 with who is going to purchase that land on
10 Shawnee and Depot. Do you know who the
11 business is or who the individual is that are
12 planning on selling that parcel of land to? Do
13 you know? Could you find that out for me?
14 MR. COURTRIGHT: Sure.
15 MR. PATILLA: Secondly, all right, as
16 far as this $325,000 that's going to be
17 transferred, all right, we got to stop bailing
18 the DPW out. If that agency is not being run
19 correctly then whoever is in charge of it has
20 to be replaced. You know, every time you turn
21 around money is being sent over to DPW or to
22 the Housing Authority or to this authority, if
23 they are not being run the way they should be
24 run correctly then whoever is in charge has to
25 go. You know, you shouldn't have to -- you are
1 borrowing from Peter to pay Paul and then you
2 have to borrow from Mary to pay Peter, then you
3 have to borrow from Louie to pay Mary. That
4 has to stop. You can't -- you can't continue
5 stealing from one account to pay off another
6 account, that's ludicrous.
7 MS. EVANS: Mr. Patilla --
8 MR. PATILLA: Yes, ma'am.
9 MS. EVANS: -- if I must just
11 MR. PATILLA: Yes, ma'am.
12 MS. EVANS: -- to what you said. The
13 costs were incurred during the Valentine's Day
14 snowstorm and the money is to pay the
15 additional contractors hired by the City of
16 Scranton. It's not --
17 MR. PATILLA: Miss Evans?
18 MS. EVANS: Yes.
19 MR. PATILLA: I'm outside every
20 morning from about three to 8:00. I was out
21 there snow, rain, sleet, so it makes no
22 difference to me. All right, from downtown
23 Scranton all of over south Scranton. They
24 weren't out there, you know, I personally would
25 like to see the bills. I personally would like
1 to see the invoices because they weren't out
2 there, you know. If you put it to me all of
3 those invoices and reconcile those funds, fine
4 and dandy, I can go with it, but just throw a
5 fee out there, which basically that's all it is
6 to me, you are a throwing a number out there to
7 me and there is nothing to back that up and,
8 like I said, I'm out there and I didn't see
9 them. I was out there two days ago, I don't
10 see them. You know, I see them two or
11 three days later when the sun or the humidity
12 had melted most of it away, they're not there.
13 MS. EVANS: Well, I know that where
14 that particular storm is concerned the
15 contractors were hired by the city for more
16 than one or two days because, as you recall, it
17 was quite a debacle with all that snow --
18 MR. PATILLA: Like I said, I was out
19 there everyday.
20 MS. EVANS: We still had quite an
21 amount of snow even ten days later, but that
22 money would not have been in the budget for the
23 DPW because this would have been an foreseen
24 event, and it's not paying -- I know what you
25 are going to say, snow falls are not unforeseen
1 events, but this one was --
2 MR. PATILLA: That's right.
3 MS. EVANS: -- particularly severe
4 and as a result necessitated the hiring of
5 additional contractors because the workload was
6 beyond what the DPW could perform --
7 MR. PATILLA: By themselves; right.
8 MS. EVANS: --single-handedly.
9 MR. PATILLA: Right. I understand
10 that, so here's another suggestion --
11 MR. MINORA: That's three minutes.
12 MR. PATILLA: Why don't we fire some
13 of that top heavy management --
14 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.
15 MS. GATELLI: Thank you, sir.
16 MR. PATILLA: I was listening talking
17 to her, I have about three minutes --
18 MS. GATELLI: Excuse me, your three
19 minutes are up, sir.
20 MR. PATILLA: I was responding to
22 MS. GATELLI: Thank you very much.
23 Mr. Jacowitz.
24 MS. EVANS: I agree.
25 MR. PATILLA: No problem, ma'am. No
1 problem. I'll get you in the third -- in the
2 half hour or so.
3 MS. GATELLI: Excuse me?
4 MR. PATILLA: No, excuse me. She is
5 sitting there talking and you got a problem
6 with talking too long.
7 MS. GATELLI: No, I didn't stop her
8 from talking.
9 MR. PATILLA: Mrs. Evans was talking.
10 That's my three minutes.
11 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Jakowitz.
12 MR. PATILLA: Don't play with me.
13 You got the wrong one. Pull your sleeves and
14 roll it up. It's on.
15 MR. JACKOWITZ: Bill Jacowitz, South
16 Scranton resident. About six weeks or so I
17 made a recommendation or suggestion that on the
18 agenda items that we hold back for a week and
19 last week we had a lot of agenda items that
20 were tabled and I see that they are still
21 tabled for this week so I would hope that maybe
22 you would take into consideration my
23 suggestions and recommendations and hold back
24 on all of the agenda items in the future for
25 one week so we cannot have the embarrassment
1 that we had last week, and it's just a
2 suggestion, nothing more.
3 On this snow removal on this what is
4 it 5-D, transferring $325,000 for snow removal.
5 Now, Mrs. Evans was talking about the St.
6 Valentine's Day snow storm. The original
7 account came out $394,000 in overtime according
8 to Mr. Parker which eventually was revised to
9 be only $53,000. Now, I have not seen or heard
10 of any figures as far as what it's costs us for
11 contractors, can we please get that money,
12 Mr. McGoff, you are DPW.
13 MR. MCGOFF: We received that. I
14 don't have it with me. We did recieve an
16 MS. EVANS: Yes.
17 MR. JACKOWITZ: Okay, can you bring
18 it in and we can total that up to see exactly
19 what the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, I mean,
20 snowstorm cost us. Okay? And the snow was
21 never removed. I mean, nature put the snow
22 there and nature took the snow away, I mean,
23 that's the bottom line, and I'm not trying to
24 be a wiseguy but that's exactly what happened.
25 The snow was there forever. I mean, there was
1 intersections and turning lanes blocked for two
2 weeks, so the snow was never removed, we are
3 not fooling anybody. So, what we need to do is
4 find out exactly what it cost us because we are
5 transferring a lot of money here and $325,000
6 is lot of money. So, you know, I think we all
7 need find out where that DPW money is going to
8 because hopefully we don't have anymore snow
9 until October or November or December and we
10 may not even get any then because we didn't get
11 any this year, so we need to find out, I guess
12 basically that's all I'm trying to say.
13 And, again, I want to thank you all
14 for tabling those items last week. I think
15 that was very, very nice of you to do that and
16 I hope we take the time to actually research
17 the agenda items in the future. We'll save a
18 lot of problems. Thank you.
19 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Hubbard?
20 MR. HUBBARD: Good evening, Council.
21 On the agenda, well, I guess the $325,000 since
22 we really didn't get any storms during the
23 winter until Valentine's Day, there really
24 probably wasn't that much of an expenditure for
25 snow removal, so it does seem kind of
1 excessive, the $325,000, it's one storm is
2 going to cost us, almost a half a million.
3 Thank God we didn't get two, we might have to
4 borrow more money.
5 The 7-D, we have a Human Resources
6 Department here in Scranton, right? The city
7 has an HR Department.
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
9 MR. HUBBARD: Does the city have an
10 HR director?
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
12 MR. HUBBARD: Do people work for the
13 HR director?
14 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
15 MR. HUBBARD: Then why do we need to
16 broker out our workmens' comp claims to a third
17 party? Is the HR Department or the HR director
18 qualified to do his or her job or are they
19 unqualified that we need to hire or broker out
20 to a consulting firm to do this for third
21 party? As far as I know, the only reason we
22 would need a third party to handle our
23 workmens' comp claim is if our HR Department
24 isn't capable of the handling the work that
25 it's actually there to do. It seems to me that
1 that's another added expense on the city that
2 we don't need. I don't think we should be
3 paying another firm to do the job of our Human
4 Resource Department here in the city that we
5 already pay people in that department to do,
6 and if they unqualified to do it and you have
7 to put this out to consultants like we have to
8 do with several other positions in the city on
9 a regular basis then maybe we should think
10 about whoever is running the HR Department
11 should be replaced with a more capable person
12 that can handle the city business so that we
13 don't have to continue to pay third party or
14 second party consultants or firms to do the job
15 of our city employees that already get paid a
16 salary to do it. It just makes sense.
17 You are trying to save money, the
18 mayor has got to pay a five million dollra bill
19 we got all of this debt and we are just going
20 to keep handing stuff out to third party groups
21 and second party groups to do the jobs of the
22 departments that we have here. OECD is a
23 perfect example. How many thousands, hundreds
24 of thousands of dollars were spent on
25 consultants for that department to effectively
1 run when up until this current administration
2 that department seemed to run fine with the
3 director that worked at half the salary that
4 the present director works at. It seems we got
5 a lot of new hires, a lot of department heads
6 that don't know what they are doing and the
7 taxpayers are footing the bill so they get a
8 secondary education through the city's
9 consultants. It's a lot of money, workmen's
10 comp claims there is a lot of them in the city
11 I'm sure, a lot of employees, the HR Department
12 should be able to handle this. If not, expand
13 the department or change the director. Thank
15 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Lee Morgan.
16 MR. MORGAN: Okay. The first thing I
17 have here is 7-A, Mr. Hein, political
18 contributions to the mayor, okay? The last
19 person that spoke about 7-D, politics as
20 usually. 7-A, politics as usual. This city is
21 just in my own opinion so corrupt, I mean, how
22 can we keep going like this and we got a
23 council that sits there and I just can't
24 understand the whole thing at all. Three
25 hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars, it's
1 "D" here. You are going to move $325,000 for
2 snow removal and what I'd like to know is what
3 equipment was used, what contractors were hired
4 because to be bluntly honest with you I think
5 this is just a travesty. I mean, you know, we
6 had legislation last week to sell tax
7 delinquent debt or realty, you know, I just --I
8 just wonder when the people in this city are
9 going to wake up and understand that this
10 council is a major part of our problem and I
11 mean that. I mean, because you people empower
12 this mayor to loot this city. Two weeks ago we
13 had the cameras removed, we have all of the
14 "BS" going on continually. The mayor can't
15 defend himself. The mayor can't defend all of
16 the money we have borrowed. We have people on
17 council talking about, I don't really to be
18 bluntly honest, what you are talking about
19 because you didn't even read the budget and you
20 passed it and then I came here --
21 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Morgan -- -
22 MR. MORGAN: And I said to council --
23 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Morgan --
24 MR. MORGAN: Okay, let me finish and
25 then you can respond --
1 MS. GATELLI: No, I just want to tell
2 you that you need to stick to the agenda items.
3 MR. MORGAN: This is the agenda.
4 This is agenda. We are going to spend $325,000
5 we can't even make our debt service, okay, and
6 we are talking about a storm clean up and what
7 I'm saying to you is what equipment was used,
8 who were the contractors, let's have a list. I
9 looked at the sheet in there in your office
10 there is no names there, there is no figures,
11 and I went to Mrs. Novembrino's office, I asked
12 for information on that, it wasn't complied
13 yet. I went down to the mayor's secretary she
14 thought it was $50,000. We had a councilperson
15 get up here and say they thought it was $53,000
16 or $50,000, it might have been Mrs. Fanucci,
17 and what I'm saying here is that it's
18 ridiculous. It's just plain corruption and
19 when you go to "E" what exactly are we trying
20 to do with the sewer system? Are we trying to
21 increase the tonnage or the gallons or reduce?
22 That's not even here. I mean, I just find this
23 council voting on things they don't have a clue
24 about what they are voting on, somebody tells
25 you what you are going to do and you do it and
1 we all pay for it. Thank you.
2 MS. EVANS: I just wanted to respond
3 quickly. I do have a list, for example, of the
4 towers that were hired by the city for the
5 Valentine's Day storm for all of the cars that
6 were stuck in intersections and I'd be happy to
7 share that with you. I can tell you that the
8 contractors hired are numerous. In fact, I
9 have the names here and there are at least 28
10 of them.
11 MR. MORGAN: Do we have a DPW?
12 MS. EVANS: Yes, we have a DPW, but I
13 did not hire the contractors. I'm merely
14 attempting to answer your questions and if you
15 would like a copy of the towers and the
16 companies I would be happy to make that
17 available to you.
18 MR. MORGAN: Thank you.
19 MS. GATELLI: Is there anyone else?
20 MR. LYMAN: Yeah, 5-E, Mrs. Gatelli,
21 what was the prior ordinance on 5-E?
22 MS. GATELLI: I don't have that with
24 MR. LYMAN: Well, then give it to me
25 next week or table this. Table this for until
1 we can find out the full information on this.
2 And in 5-D you are saying this is $325,000.
3 Since the DPW wasn't out there piling the snow
4 where I lived the snow was never plowed and an
5 ambulance was trapped on my street and people
6 had to push the ambulance because a lady had a
7 heart attack, so I don't think this should be
8 paid. This should be tabled and I want to know
9 what kind of rental vehicles these were, that's
10 kind of suspicious. I want to know what that
11 is. The only vehicles I saw after the
12 Valentine's snowstorm was the small DPW plows
13 that we have. I didn't anything else. I
14 didn't see the big ones like PennDOT has. The
15 only ones I saw were the ones that Sam Vitras
16 drives, so we should get George Parker down
17 here and let the people ask him questions and I
18 want all information from not just this bill
19 but other bills and I want to see who are these
20 rented vehicles equipment because there was no
21 other DPW equipment, only our equipment was out
22 and they never plowed my street. Only the guy
23 who -- the plow guy from where I -- the
24 printer, he plowed our street and it wasn't the
1 Now, 6-B about that bank, is he
2 going to pay the city to take that whole street
3 and the other part of that block or are we
4 given that away like we are giving everything
5 else away? I mean, banks are worst millions of
6 dollars. I mean, that's kind of ridiculous
7 giving one whole part of a street away and the
8 other block away, we should get paid a couple
9 of million dollars. I mean, a bank is worth
10 millions. I mean, land is worth millions of
11 dollars in my opinion. You don't give
12 something away. We gave more than a part of
13 land $1 away for 98 years, kind of ridiculous.
14 This should be tabled, 6-B, that should be
15 tabled. I mean, people are losing their
16 parking spaces. I saw a zoning meeting and
17 people are crying about parking.
18 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.
19 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.
20 MR. LYMAN: But this should be
21 tabled, and I want to see you, Mr. Courtright,
22 table this. Don't back down like you did --
23 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.
24 MR. LYMAN: -- at secret meetings.
25 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Spindler.
1 MR. SPINDLER: Les Spindler, city
2 resident. I wasn't going to speak on this, but
3 when I heard Mrs. Evans say 28 different
4 contractors, that's a little unbelievable. I
5 mean, this is Scranton, Pennsylvania, not New
6 York City. What are they using dump trucks or
7 pickup trucks? I mean, don't we have DPW
8 Department here that can clean the streets? I
9 mean, under Jimmy Connors we had big storms and
10 I don't think we had to get 28 different
11 contractors. And, Mrs. Evans, would it be too
12 much to ask if any of those contractors were
13 contributors to the mayor's campaign?
14 MS. EVANS: Would I look into that?
15 UNKNOWN AUDIENCE MEMBER: For his
17 MS. EVANS: I'll certainly try to.
18 MR. SPINDLER: Thank you. That's
20 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Anyone
22 MS. KRAKE: My name is Nancy Krake.
23 My first remarks are on 5-D. Everyone has been
24 remarking about for the snowstorm bills.
25 First, I'd like to say that the account you are
1 taking it out of in case anyone hasn't looked
2 at it in the budget it's not simply debt
3 service operating expenses, it's the operating
4 transfer debt for the 2006 bond, so how will we
5 will be making up that deficiency? Okay. I
6 think probably that would be something I would
7 look into before I vote on that.
8 I'd also like to think after all of
9 the excellent remarks that speakers make at the
10 podium perhaps we could research and find out
11 the type of vehicles that were used, where they
12 plowed, when they plowed and for how long. All
13 of that should be itemized on every single
14 invoice and, in fact, maybe those invoices
15 could be made public either in the newspaper or
16 -- that won't happen which as we know the Times
17 doesn't like to do things, perhaps they could
18 be read out loud at council.
19 I'd also like to comment on 7-D
20 which is professional services and a speaker
21 earlier made an excellent point that we have a
22 human resources department which I believe in
23 Mrs. Evans' budget she was going to make some
24 cuts to because we are truly not sure exactly
25 what functions they have, so if this company is
1 doing the same functions as our human resources
2 department is supposed to do and redundant we
3 should not be hiring them. If they are doing
4 something that we should be doing, that speaks
5 for itself.
6 We have already outsourced the
7 payroll department where we use to print it
8 in-house. That costs us $6,000 a pay. It's
9 utterly ridiculous. Thank you.
10 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Anyone
12 MR. ANCHERANI: Nelson Ancherani.
13 5-D I guess we are all speaking on that, my
14 question is wasn't there enough money put aside
15 for snow removal? I thought we had that in the
16 budget already and we really didn't have that
17 much snow, we had one storm. That covered one
18 storm $325,000? Okay, and 7-D, is that
19 Excalibur replacing PMA, anybody know? Are
20 they replacing PMA? How much are we paying
21 them, and if they are not replacing PMA are we
22 going to keep both of them, hiring both of
23 them? Some questions, just maybe you should
24 hold off on that one at least for a week or so
25 and find out those questions, those answers,
1 and that's basically what I have on the agenda.
2 Thank you.
3 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Anyone
5 MS. GARVEY: 5-A. Motions.
6 MS. EVANS: Good evening. Our city
7 lost a great lady on Monday, a pitcher and
8 outfielder for the All-American Girls
9 Professional Baseball League, a role model for
10 young women and an inspiration to each of us to
11 be all that we can be. Please keep Jean Marlow
12 in your prayers, and I also ask you to remember
13 Edith Caviston who passed away yesterday and
14 her dear family members in your prayers.
15 Prior to the meeting this evening
16 council did meet in caucus to discuss details
17 of the amusement tax and a billboard tax and we
18 are still discussing many of the fine points.
19 It is our decision to work out all of the
20 glitches that we can perceive in advance and to
21 craft the ordinance very carefully so as to
22 avoid any of the problems, for example, that
23 have been experienced with the passage of the
24 smoking ban.
25 On April 12 council received the
1 worker's compensation payments form reflecting
2 total payments and net payments for calendar
3 years 2002 through 2006. Calendar year 2007
4 reflects payments made through April 1, 2007.
5 This material was forwarded in response to a
6 request moved by council on March 29.
7 In response to a third request moved
8 by council on the same date incomplete
9 information was provided. Mr. Krushefski
10 apparently responds that workers' comp
11 reimbursements go into a special account and in
12 October or November of each year it goes into
13 the general fund. In order to obtain a more
14 specific and complete response I move that the
15 administration provide a copy of the deposits
16 for 2006 and 2007 to date for that special city
17 account and including the account number which
18 shows the workers' comp reimbursements on or
19 about May 9, 2007.
20 MS. GATELLI: I'll second that. On
21 the question? All those in favor.
22 MS. EVANS: Aye.
23 MR. MCGOFF: Aye.
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
25 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The
1 ayes have it and so moved.
2 MS. EVANS: I move that the
3 administration provide a line item in the
4 operating budget in which these annual
5 reimbursements are placed on or before May 9,
7 MS. GATELLI: Second. On the
8 question? All those in favor?
9 MS. EVANS: Aye.
10 MR. MCGOFF: Aye.
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
12 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The
13 ayes have it and so moved.
14 MS. EVANS: I move that the
15 administration provide an explanation for the
16 inflated figure contained in the 2007 operating
17 budget Account No. 01.380.38800 advance on
18 delinquent real estate taxes. Municipal
19 Revenue Services states that 2.8 million will
20 be received by the city in 2007 immediately
21 upon the sale of the delinquent real estate
22 taxes. Municipal Revenue Services further
23 states that this deal has been in the making
24 for 18 months, yet the 2000 operating budget
25 lists revenues of $3,657,1074. Why was the
1 figure inflated? From what source will you
2 supplement this budget line item? Provided
3 responses on or about before May 9, 2007.
4 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
5 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All
6 in favor?
7 MS. EVANS: Aye.
8 MR. MCGOFF: Aye.
9 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
10 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The
11 ayes have it and so moved.
12 MS. EVANS: I further move that the
13 administration inform council if the
14 $1.2 million advance from the Scranton housing
15 authority has been received. If not, when does
16 the administration expect receipt of the
17 advance, has the Scranton Housing Authority
18 borrowed money in order to provide this advance
19 to the city? Provide responses on or before
20 May 9, 2007.
21 MS. GATELLI: Second. On the
22 question? All those in favor.
23 MS. EVANS: Aye.
24 MR. MCGOFF: Aye.
25 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
1 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The
2 ayes have it and so moved.
3 MS. EVANS: I further move that the
4 administration explain the negative $364,360.69
5 change in portfolio value of the funding
6 account trust contained in the PNC
7 relationships summary for March 1 through
8 March 30, 2007, for what specific purpose was
9 the money used. Provide responses by May 9,
11 MS. GATELLI: Second. On the
13 MS. EVANS: The garnering of the --
14 MS. COURTRIGHT: We didn't vote.
15 MS. EVANS: I'm talking on the
17 MS. GATELLI: Oh, okay.
18 MS. EVANS: The garnering of this
19 information --
20 MS. GATELLLI: Sorry.
21 MS. EVANS: That's okay, will help
22 to explain figures placed in the 2007 operate
23 being budget and to track taxpayers' dollars.
24 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else on the
25 question? All in favor?
1 MS. EVANS: Aye.
2 MR. MCGOFF: Aye.
3 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
4 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The
5 ayes have it and so moved.
6 MS. EVANS: I thank my honorable
7 colleagues for their patience and cooperation
8 as I seek to shed light on the numbers placed
9 in the record $77 million city operating
11 I am and have been aware that the
12 current Pennsylvania institution precludes
13 recall elections. My friends, recall of
14 elected officials provides much needed recourse
15 for citizens to protect themselves from actions
16 of an elected officials that fail to have
17 promote the safety and welfare of the citizens.
18 It protects citizens from elected officials who
19 fail to work as trustees of the people and to
20 respond to basic rights and human needs. Our
21 own Home Rule Charter provides for initiative
22 and referendum by the qualified voters of the
23 city provided that it shall not extend to the
24 budget or capital program or any ordinance
25 relating to appropriate, of money, levy of
1 taxes or salaries. If the question of recall
2 were placed on the ballot for city voters then
3 the results could be presented to the state
4 government since recall elections are currently
5 not permitted in Pennsylvania. I believe the
6 Pennsylvania legislature needs to make some
7 changes. Pennsylvania lags woefully behind
8 other states in the union in lobbying
9 disclosure, in public disclosure of records
10 and, yes, in lack of recall of elected
11 officials. As municipalities across
12 Pennsylvania pass legislation regarding pay to
13 play contributions and secondhand smoke, they
14 are challenging the state government and in
15 some cases they have won. Unless efforts are
16 made by people to protect themselves and change
17 state government then the status quo remains
18 and the average taxpayers continues to suffer.
19 I also feel compelled to tell my
20 colleagues, Mrs. Gatelli and Mrs. Fanucci, who
21 is absent this evening, that I never mentioned
22 either of you by name in relation to placing
23 the question of recall on the ballot nor did I
24 ever mention Mr. Doherty. Neither did I
25 decline to discuss the issue during our last
1 council meeting, since the topic was not raised
2 by anyone and no questions were posed. The
3 information contained in the article that
4 appeared in the Scranton Times on April 13 is,
5 therefore, false.
6 I didn't have this prepared for this
7 evening, but I heard something quiet disturbing
8 prior to my arrival this night at city council,
9 and that is that we the citizens of the
10 Scranton are losing the best and the brightest
11 public servants in our police department and
12 fire department. We are losing a 17-year
13 veteran of our fire department who is taking an
14 unrelated job elsewhere. We are losing two of
15 our outstanding police officers who are in
16 supervisory positions, both of whom have been
17 employed by this city in this capacity for over
18 eight years, and more troubling I'm learning
19 that there are many additional police officers
20 who are considering the same move. Why?
21 Because they haven't had a pay raise in five
22 years because they are looking at increased
23 costs of health care, because our police
24 department is one of the lowest paid in the
25 State of Pennsylvania and we are not talking
1 about newly hired individuals we are talking
2 about individuals who have years and years of
3 service to this city, individuals who are
4 veterans of the US Navy and individuals who are
5 degreed, who hold bachelors degrees in criminal
7 I think we have reached a very
8 serious plateau when we are looking at
9 depleting our police department and our fire
10 department of the best and the brightest
11 because contracts just couldn't be settled all
12 these years and still it goes on in the Court
13 system costing the taxpayers money and now I
14 fear placing our safety in the future in great
15 jeopardy. Will the mayor choose to replace
16 those positions? I say that We can't venture
17 to guess. I do know that his goal has been the
18 downsizing of departments, I know that as I sat
19 on this council over the past several years I
20 have seen the downsizing of the police
21 department. Certainly there has to be a cut
22 off but, of course, those individuals who will
23 be hired as their replacements very likely are
24 going to be rookies, and that is not to
25 denigrate rookies, but the bottom line is we
1 are losing very good, very talented people,
2 special people who protect us everyday and we
3 stand to lose many more and it is my hope that
4 the mayor will take this into very serious
5 consideration. Sit down with these unions and
6 work out a solution that is fair to the
7 taxpayers and fair to the city employees. We
8 need that.
9 Finally, I have a few citizens
10 requests for the week. A letter to George
11 Parker regarding a citizen complaint and I'm
12 not going to announce that complaint, but, Kay,
13 I do have a copy of it for you that I would
14 like you to attach to the letter.
15 A letter to the Mr. Shane, Executive
16 Director of the Scranton Redevelopment
17 Authority requesting a complete list of liens
18 placed on city properties to date. A letter to
19 Mr. Gene Barrett, executive director of the
20 Scranton Sewer Authority and an additional
21 letter to Mr. Luciani, please repair a sewer
22 drain located in a front of the 634 Genet
24 And, finally, in response to many of
25 the statements made this evening about the snow
1 removal, I can tell all of you that I had,
2 indeed, requested those bills, those invoices,
3 not simply the total dollar amount for snow
4 removal within the DPW and for outsourcing. So
5 once again, Kay, I will ask specifically to see
6 the bills that have been submitted by the
7 contractors and if in the invoice the type of
8 equipment utilized is not contained then I
9 would ask that Mr. Parker provide that
10 information for council, and that's it.
11 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mr. McGoff.
12 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you. I'll be very
13 brief. I would agree with you that there must
14 be -- we need to have some movement toward
15 settlement and/or some movement toward
16 negotiations of union contracts in the city. I
17 don't think that there can be any progress made
18 until there is some meaningful dialogue between
19 the unions and management, the administration.
20 I'm not sure what we can do to encourage that.
21 If there is anything that we can do I certainly
22 would support any type of motion or any
23 encouragement that we could give them. I
24 really do think that that's an important
1 I just -- didn't we receive
2 something or you wanted the invoices for the
3 snow removal, but we did receive --
4 MS. EVANS: Totals.
5 MR. MCGOFF: Totals and a listing of
6 all -- I thought we did, but you would like to
7 have the itemized --
8 MS. EVANS: Or actually it's as easy
9 as simply providing copies of invoices for us
10 from each of the contractors.
11 MR. MCGOFF: Okay. One of the items
12 on the agenda, maybe I should wait until it's
13 brought up, but I do want to -- one of the
14 concerns that I have with Item 5-B is I'm not
15 sure exactly where this light is going to be
16 placed. It does not mention Meadow Avenue at
17 any point in the ordinance and it says River
18 Street and East Mountain Road. Being a
19 resident of South Scranton all my life or most
20 of my life, to me that's further up and at the
21 exit, at the 81 exit, and the entrance that's
22 closer to East Mountain Road. I'm not sure
23 where that's where that light is going to be
24 placed or whether it is going to be placed at
25 Meadow Avenue and River Street which to me is
1 the more dangerous and more needy of sites, so
2 I tried reading through the backup to see, but
3 everything that's mentioned is SR0081, Ramp H,
4 and I'm not sure where that is. I'm not sure
5 what ramp it refers to, so --
6 MS. GATELLI: I'll find out next
8 MR. MCGOFF: We really need to do
9 that. I think the serious--
10 MS. GATELLI: I can't imagine putting
11 a light at the ramp there.
12 MR. MCGOFF: Well, the only reason I
13 can see them putting a light up at the ramp is
14 that 5:00 in the afternoon or somewhere around
15 there traffic does backup onto 81 and it's
16 difficult getting off of there, and I'm sure
17 they are looking at the possibility that they
18 could alleviate some of that by putting a light
19 in --
20 MS. GATELLI: I don't think so.
21 MR. MCGOFF: Or maybe I'm misreading
22 the ordinance.
23 MS. GATELLI: We'll find out.
24 MR. MCGOFF: But, again, I would
25 really like to find that out before proceeding
1 much further with it, and that's all I have.
2 Thank you.
3 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.
4 Mr. Courtright.
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: I'll speak about
6 what two of my fellow council members spoke
7 about tonight and I was actually with the two
8 police officers today that are going to be
9 leaving, Sergeant Paul Duffy and Sergeant
10 Jessie Romanchick and I'd like to say this
11 first, these two guys I spent a lot of time
12 with since they have been on the job and they
13 did their job very well and still remembered
14 that their job was to help people. They were
15 really helpful and I really hate to see them
17 I was referencing one of them and
18 the state police called me and asked me a bunch
19 of questions and they asked me if I thought
20 they would make a good state trooper, and
21 that's where they are going to the state police
22 department, and I said, "I would like to lie to
23 you and tell you, no, because I don't want to
24 loss them here," but they are young and they
25 have families and they want to start families
1 and as Mr. Evans said six years without a raise
2 they just simply can't do it. They did not
3 want to leave. They were really torn, but when
4 the salary is so much more and the benefits are
5 so much better they basically had no choice.
6 And Mr. McGoff said, you know, about
7 settling the contracts, I think those of us
8 that have been here for three and a half years
9 and know from that from the beginning, my
10 opinion was this, that this administration had
11 a golden opportunity when they first took over
12 to negotiate a very good contract. I believe
13 all of the unions, the four of them, DPW, the
14 clerical and the police and the fire, I believe
15 they all knew the city attorney and I believe
16 they are all willing to make concessions as
17 they have in the past. I think there is only a
18 few items in this recovery plan that they
19 weren't agreeable to and I think, and I'll
20 stand corrected if I'm wrong, I think most of
21 the items were management rights and it's been
22 a long time since I read the recovery plan but
23 I wasn't on council, I don't know if I might
24 have been elected at the time, but all I know I
25 was on vacation and my wife thought I was nuts
1 I was sitting on the beach reading it and some
2 of the things in there that they had in the
3 recovery plan in my opinion that the
4 administration wanted I was asking myself,
5 well, why don't you just tell them to give up
6 their union because there was no right to have
7 grievances, things to that affect, and although
8 I don't know how agreeable after all these
9 years of being pushed around the unions would
10 be sit down, I think they would sit down, and I
11 think they would still be willing to make some
12 concessions and I think we need to do it really
13 soon. Let's face it, we are losing all of
14 these arbitrations, we are going to pay.
15 MS. EVANS: Well, Mr. Courtright, do
16 you recall or, Mrs. Gatelli, you would have
17 been here at the time, also, the last court
18 decision on the police officers contract it
19 appeared that the city received quite a good
20 deal in that decision and I believe the judge
21 perhaps indicated that this was, indeed, a very
22 fair deal for everyone involved because it was
23 not a one-sided agreement. There was give and
24 take on both sides, but still no movement and I
25 believe what, they returned to --
1 MR. COURTRIGHT: You are absolutely
3 MS. EVANS: Appealing again, wasting
4 taxpayers' money. I can't understand when it
5 is unacceptable when two sides are giving and
6 taking. That is negotiation. Not one side
7 gives and one side takes, that's not
8 negotiation and if that's the way it stands
9 then I think we are in and an interminable
10 stalemate and in the meantime the sad fact of
11 the matter is exactly what you said, we are
12 losing our workers to other cities, other
13 police forces, other fire departments and other
15 MR. COURTRIGHT: Well, I think, too,
16 as we lose these people they don't have to live
17 in the city any longer, they can move if they
18 choose to. I think the city kind of got the
19 fire department a little bit because there is
20 not too many paid fire departments around here,
21 but I, too, Mr. McGoff said and Mrs. Evans said
22 and I'm sure Mrs. Gatelli and Mrs. Fanucci go
23 along, I would be willing to do anything we
24 need to do to try to get this settled. I think
25 if these contracts were settled it would reduce
1 a lot of bad blood we got in the city, there's
2 a lot of bad blood here and how do you keep
3 morale in any of these departments when this
4 has been going on for this long? How do you
5 ask someone and they still do they still go to
6 work everyday and they still do their job if
7 your house is burning, as we have seen, they
8 are going to come there and do their best. If
9 they receive a call to your house, the police,
10 they are going to come there and do their best,
11 but that's difficult to ask them to do.
12 I mean, any of you out there
13 watching or any in the audience here if you did
14 not receive a raise in that many years or some
15 kind of compensation I think your morale would
16 be little bit low, too, and let's face it,
17 everything goes up, all our bills are going up,
18 and I won't dwell on it any longer, but I just
19 want to say these two officers will be sorely
20 missed by the city and by myself and I think by
21 their peers. I think they are both extremely
22 respected by their peers and I think that's the
23 greatest compliment you can receive as when
24 your peers respect you the way this two
25 gentlemen are respected, and I'll move on now.
1 Mrs. Gatelli, you brought up and I
2 know she talked to Mr. Parker about the water
3 problem on Fawnwood Road there and I also spoke
4 to Mr. Parker this morning, the DPW did go up
5 there and try to do something over the weekend
6 and they diverted the water which went down
7 Newton Road, but once they diverted it going
8 down Newton Road then it was going in other
9 people's yards, so Mr. Parker said they would
10 be up there again today. One of the problems
11 is there is boulders inside of the drainage
12 pipes and even the Sewer Authority equipment
13 can't flush it out, then we have crushed pipes
14 and as Mrs. Gatelli said they can't dig, they
15 have to replace the pipe, they cannot dig down
16 until they make sure all of the underground
17 utilities they get that all squared away.
18 There is one gentleman that's up there he is
19 taking a beating with this and now that they've
20 redirected it other people are starting to get
21 hit so I hope we get that done as quickly as
22 quickly as possible.
23 And just on a personal note, there
24 is a gentleman that watches every one of these
25 meetings and I met with him this weekend and I
1 just want to say hi to Barry, Barry Pierce, he
2 is a very nice guy and he watches all of these
3 meetings and, Barry, hello, buddy, I hope you
4 are still watching and that's all I have.
5 Thank you.
6 MS. GATELLI: I usually don't comment
7 because my comments are earlier in the meeting,
8 but as everyone brought up the fact of the
9 arbitrations maybe now is the time I should
10 tell you that I have been meeting with Tom
11 Jennings regarding the negotiations with the
12 police and fire. He has forwarded the
13 information to me, Attorney Minora is reviewing
14 it, and someone had told me that we don't need
15 the mayor to negotiate a contract, that years
16 ago a group, and I believe it was a school
17 board, negotiated a contract without the
18 administration, but you have to have a
19 supermajority in which to do that, so I think
20 that it is a possibility, I think that it may
21 happen, and I don't want to say too much on it
22 because I don't want to jeopardize it, but I
23 know at least the four people, I can't speak
24 for Mrs. Fanucci because she is not here, but
25 you heard the four people up here state their
1 comments about the negotiations. I know that
2 at least two of us and probably Mr. McGoff is
3 in a teacher's union, but I know that for sure
4 Janet and I are, and we certainly know
5 firsthand what negotiations are about and what
6 happens when you don't get a good contract
7 because the last contract we got was not a good
8 one, so we can sympathize, empathize with the
9 police and fire and also the clerical because
10 they don't have one yet either.
11 So please be aware that we are
12 working on it and hopefully we can come to some
13 agreement and then we will have either the
14 ability to do it on our own with the
15 supermajority or that we will have enough clout
16 that we can go to the mayor and insist that
17 this be done. It doesn't behoove any of us to
18 let the Courts decide this because somebody is
19 going to win and somebody is going to lose and,
20 you know, we can toss the quarter in my pocket
21 and it can be heads or tails. Nobody knows the
22 answer of what's going to happen with those
23 negotiations, but in the end I think the people
24 are all going to lose either way, so I don't
25 think that we should take a chance. I think
1 that it is hurting our city and it is causing a
2 lot of tension with people that shouldn't be
3 there. We should all be working on the same
4 goals and ideas for our community and we can't
5 do that when we are in separate places, so just
6 you are aware that we are meeting with Tom
7 Jennings, Amil is reviewing all of the
8 negotiations and when he is done we will be
9 meeting with Mr. Jennings again and I would
10 keep my colleagues posted on the results.
11 That's all I have. Thank you.
12 MR. MCGOFF: One point of
13 clarification, I don't want to -- I am not a
14 member of the union at Pocono Mountain. I
15 don't want to mislead anyone.
16 MS. GATELLI: Okay. Thank you. Mrs.
18 MS. GARVEY: 5-B. FOR INTRODUCTION -
19 AN ORDINANCE - ACCEPTING OWNERSHIP AND
20 MAINTENANCE RESPONSIBILITY FOR A TRAFFIC SIGNAL
21 DEVICE AT STATE ROUTE 8-39 (S.R. 0081 RAMP H)
22 AND RIVER STREET AND EAST MOUNTAIN ROAD AND
23 ACCEPTING THE TRAFFIC SIGNAL MAINTENANCE
24 AGREEMENT THAT PERTAINS THERETO WITH THE
25 COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF
1 TRANSPORTATION AS PART OF A ROADWAY
2 CONSTRUCTION PROJECT.
3 MS. GATELLI: At this time, I'll
4 entertain a motion that Item 5-B be introduced.
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
6 MS. GATELLI: Second.
7 MS. EVANS: Second.
8 MS. GATELLI: On the question. Just
9 that we are going to have Kay if you would call
10 Mr. Parker and ask him if this is the Meadow
11 Avenue light, you know, and we can have the
12 answer before next week.
13 MR. MCGOFF: I was going to say that
14 I would probably vote for this, but with
15 clarification and if it's not in the proper
16 place I would hope that we can change it.
17 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else? All in
19 MS. EVANS: Aye.
20 MR. MCGOFF: Aye.
21 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
22 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The
23 ayes have it and so moved.
24 MS. GARVEY: 5-C. FOR INTRODUCTION -
25 AN ORDINANCE - AUTHORIZING THE CONVEYANCE BY
1 PRIVATE SALE OF ONE PARCEL OF LAND IN SCRANTON
2 ACQUIRED PURSUANT TO THE LACKAWANNA RIVER FLOOD
3 CONTROL PROJECT NEAR THE INTERSECTION OF
4 SHAWNEE AVENUE AND DEPOT STREET, AS MORE
5 PARTICULARLY DESCRIBED ON THE ATTACHED MAP.
6 MS. GATELLI: At this time I'll move
7 to entertain a motion that 5-C be introduced.
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
9 MS. EVANS: Second.
10 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All
11 those in favor?
12 MS. EVANS: Aye.
13 MR. MCGOFF: Aye.
14 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
15 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The
16 ayes have it and so moved.
17 MS. GARVEY: 5-D. FOR INTRODUCTION -
18 AN ORDINANCE - AMENDING FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 66,
19 2006, AN ORDINANCE "ENTITLED GENERAL CITY
20 OPERATING BUDGET 2007" BY TRANSFERRING $325,000
21 FROM ACCOUNT NO. 01.401.15313.4299 (DEBT
22 SERVICE OPERATING EXPENSES) TO ACCOUNT NO.
23 01.080.00083.4260 (RENTAL VEHICLES & EQUIPMENT)
24 TO PROVIDE FUNDING TO COVER SNOW STORM CLEANUP
1 MS. GATELLI: At this time I'll
2 entertain a motion that 5-D be introduced.
3 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
4 MR. MCGOFF: Second.
5 MS. GATELLI: On the question?
6 MS. EVANS: Might we be able to
7 table this until we obtain that additional
9 MR. MCGOFF: Well, I would say is it
10 possible to just vote to move it along? We
11 will vote on it two other times and by next
12 week we should have the information that's
14 MS. GATELLI: If not we will table
16 MS. EVANS: That's fine.
17 MS. GATELLI: All in favor?
18 MS. EVANS: Aye.
19 MR. MCGOFF: Aye.
20 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
21 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The
22 ayes have it and so moved.
23 MS. GARVEY: 5-E. FOR INTRODUCTION -
24 AN ORDINANCE - ESTABLISHING LOCAL LIMITS FOR
25 THE DISCHARGE OF POLLUTANTS FROM INDUSTRIAL
1 USERS TO THE SEWER SYSTEM AND REPEALING THOSE
2 LOCAL LIMITS ADOPTED BY PRIOR ORDINANCE.
3 MS. GATELLI: At this time I'll
4 entertain a motion that 5-E be introduced.
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
6 MR. MCGOFF: Second.
7 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All
8 those in favor?
9 MS. EVANS: Aye.
10 MR. MCGOFF: Aye.
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
12 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The
13 ayes have it and so moved.
14 MS. GARVEY: 5-F. FOR INTRODUCTION -
15 AN ORDINANCE - CREATING AND ESTABLISHING
16 SPECIAL CITY ACCOUNT NO. 02.229585 ENTITLED
17 "SCRANTON POLICE MUNICIPAL POLICE OFFICERS
18 EDUCATION AND TRAINING ACCOUNT" FOR THE RECEIPT
19 AN DISBURSEMENT OF GRANT FUNDS FROM THE
20 MUNICIPAL POLICE OFFICERS EDUCTION AND TRAINING
21 COMMISSION FOR SCRANTON POLICE LAW ENFORCEMENT
22 TRAINING PROGRAM.
23 MS. GATELLI: At this time I'll
24 entertain a motion that 5-F be introduced.
25 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
1 MR. MCGOFF: Second.
2 MS. GATELLI: On the question?
3 MR. COURTRIGHT: On the question, I'd
4 just like to make a brief explanation, this
5 pertains to 5-F and G, we have to open up this
6 account so that hopefully 5-G will be passed.
7 We are going to get money from Mopeck for
8 training for our officers. I think it's the
9 first time since I have been here we are going
10 to get it and hopefully we will continue to get
11 more money, so the account will be opened and
12 then hopefully 5-G will be passed and then the
13 money we need that to accept the money for the
14 Mopeck condition and our officers will be get
15 training free of charge, it won't cost us any
17 MS. EVANS: Mr. Courtright, I'm very
18 pleased to hear this and very much in
19 agreement, but does that not violate the
20 Recovery Plan?
21 MR. COURTRIGHT: That is one question
22 I can't answer. I hope not.
23 MS. GATELLI: We can violate it when
24 we want to.
25 MS. EVANS: I have seen that happen
1 many times, yes.
2 MR. COURTRIGHT: I wasn't going to
3 say anything, but I sit on this commission and
4 in the years that I have been on it I have
5 never seen Scranton get any money, and so I
6 went to our police department and said, "Look,
7 I'm sitting there and the only reason I ask to
8 put on this commission was so that I could send
9 some money our way," and I hope it doesn't
10 violate it, I hope it doesn't stop it because
11 then our commission if it's anything under
12 $3,000 it doesn't really come up for a vote
13 before our board. If it's over $3,000 then it
14 does. I sincerely hope that doesn't happen,
15 but I think we have seen that Recovery Plan
16 voted over and over and again.
17 MS. EVANS: Yes. I think the
18 precedent was set long, long ago and continued
19 through the years.
20 MR. COURTRIGHT: Point taken.
21 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else on the
22 question? All in favor.
23 MS. EVANS: Aye.
24 MR. MCGOFF: Aye.
25 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
1 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The
2 ayes have it and so moved.
3 MS. GARVEY: 5-G. FOR INTRODUCTION --
4 A RESOLUTION - AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND OTHER
5 APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS TO APPLY FOR AND
6 EXECUTE A GRANT APPLICATION AND IF SUCCESSFUL A
7 GRANT AGREEMENT AND ACCEPT THE FUNDS RELATED
8 THERETO FROM THE MUNICIPAL POLICE OFFICERS
9 EDUCATION TRAINING COMMISSION.
10 MS. GATELLI: At this time I'll
11 entertain a motion that 5-G be introduced.
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
13 MR. MCGOFF: Second.
14 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All
15 in favor?
16 MS. EVANS: Aye.
17 MR. MCGOFF: Aye.
18 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
19 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The
20 ayes have it and so moved.
21 MS. GARVEY: SIXTH ORDER. 6-A.
22 READING BY TITLE - FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 83, 2007
23 - AN ORDINANCE - ACCEPTING OWNERSHIP AND
24 MAINTENANCE RESPONSIBILITY FOR A TRAFFIC SIGNAL
25 DEVICE AT STATE ROUTE 3011 (KEYSER AVENUE) AS
1 REQUIRED BY THE COMMONWEALTH, DEPARTMENT OF
2 TRANSPORTATION FOR THE HIGHWAY OCCUPANCY PERMIT
3 OF THE KEYSER TERRACE SUBDIVISION.
4 MS. GATELLI: You have heard reading
5 by Title of Item 6-A, what is your pleasure?
6 MR. COURTRIGHT: I move that Item 6-A
7 pass reading by title.
8 MS. EVANS: Second.
9 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All
10 in favor?
11 MS. EVANS: Aye.
12 MR. MCGOFF: Aye.
13 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
14 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The
15 ayes have it and so moved.
16 MS. GARVEY: 6-B. READING BY TITLE -
17 FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 84, 2007 - AN ORDINANCE -
18 RESTRICTING PARKING ON THE WESTERN SIDE OF THE
19 100 BLOCK OF LUZERNE STREET AND THE NORTHERN
20 SIDE OF THE 400 BLOCK OF SOUTH MAIN AVENUE TO
21 COMPLY WITH THE HIGHWAY OCCUPANCY PERMIT
22 RESTRICTIONS OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF
23 PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION FOR
24 THE INSTALLATION OF A BANK BRANCH AT THAT
1 MS. GATELLI: You have heard reading
2 by title of 6-B, what is your pleasure?
3 MR. COURTRIGHT: I move that Item 6-B
4 pass reading by title.
5 MR. MCGOFF: Second.
6 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All
7 those in favor?
8 MS. EVANS: Aye.
9 MR. MCGOFF: Aye.
10 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
11 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The
12 ayes have it and so moved.
13 MS. GARVEY: SEVENTH ORDER. 7-A. FOR
14 CONSIDERATION BY THE COMMITTEE ON RULES - FOR
15 ADOPTION - RESOLUTION NO. 139, 2007 -
16 APPOINTMENT OF DOUGLAS HEIN, 1204 MOLTKE
17 AVENUE, SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA, 18505, TO THE
18 POSITION OF CITY TREASURER FOR THE CTIY OF
19 SCRANTON. MR. HEIN WILL BE REPLACING KATHY
20 RUANE WHO RESIGNED.
21 MS. GATELLI: As Chair for the
22 Committee on Rules, I recommend final passage
23 of 7-A.
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
25 MS. GATELLI: On the question? Roll
2 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.
3 MS. EVANS: Yes.
4 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci. Mr.
6 MR. MCGOFF: Yes.
7 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
9 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.
10 MS. GATELLI: Yes. I hereby declare
11 7-A legally and lawfully adopted.
12 MS. GARVEY: 7-B. FOR CONSIDERATION
13 BY THE COMMITTEE ON RULES - FOR ADOPTION -
14 RESOLUTION NO. 140, 2007 - AUTHORIZING THE
15 DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC SAFETY TO ACT AS AGENT FOR
16 THE CITY OF SCRANTON FOR EMERGENCY AND DISASTER
17 RELIEF PURSUANT TO THE ROBERT T. STAFFORD
18 DISASTER RELIEF AND EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE ACT.
19 MS. GATELLI: As Chair for the
20 Committee on Rules, I recommend final passage
21 of 7-B.
22 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
23 MS. GATELLI: On the question?
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: On the question, I
25 have questions about this that made me not want
1 to vote for this. I asked our solicitor, he
2 assured me that my concerns were false, so I'm
3 going to defer to his judgment and I pray that
4 he is right.
5 MS. EVANS: I understand your
6 concerns. My concern from the previous reading
7 was the inclusion of that specific position as
8 well in that in the future in the hopes of
9 cutting the fat, downsizing management, that
10 position would be eliminated are we then in
11 jeopardy with this particular act and that I
12 didn't receive a response for.
13 MR. MCGOFF: I would assume that all
14 you would have to do is appoint someone else.
15 If the Director of Public Safety were to be
16 removed as a position, then I would assume that
17 all we would have to do or all that council
18 would have to do would be to appoint basically
19 another person or another position.
20 MS. GATELLI: Remuneration.
21 MS. EVANS: Yes, and I would assume
22 that you are right. My concern is does it
23 provide justification for maintaining that
25 MS. GATELLI: Attorney Minora?
1 MR. MINORA: Changing a name, it's
2 merely a form. As we looked at the backup
3 material in chambers it's a form generated by
4 PEMA. They just want a designee. I don't
5 think they care who the designee is and if the
6 designee dies or retires or gets a better job
7 and leaves then we would file a new form with
8 them with the new name of the person and if it
9 was a new position we would have the right to
10 do that, too. It doesn't seem to bind us to
11 anything, they just want a point person for
12 emergency relief monies and a person to talk
13 with about the funnel through of emergency
15 MS. EVANS: Is there any time line
17 MR. MINORA: There appears to be
18 nothing on the form. In other words, we could
19 change somebody next week as far as I can see
20 it. I have see no reason why we couldn't.
21 They just want a name. They are not binding us
22 to keep that name forever or for a week or for
23 a month, they just want a name and that's
24 required by their statute.
25 MS. EVANS: Yes, I understand that.
1 It's just that we were only provided with that
2 additional backup this evening which obviously
3 wasn't sufficient time in which to -- at least
4 for myself to read it and make an educated
5 decision which is why I'm deferring to you
6 having hoped that you would have read it.
7 MR. MINORA: Well, I did read all of
8 the backup on it and I looked into the form, I
9 haven't read the PEMA statute, no, but from the
10 backup it was fairly clear that they are just
11 looking for somebody. They don't care who it
12 is and nor are they binding us to keep that
13 person that way, all we would need is it to
14 change it and request another form or change it
15 at our will. I mean, clearly if somebody
16 passes away we would not have no person, we'd
17 be no longer eligible for PEMA funds. I mean,
18 if you follow the logic --
19 MS. EVANS: No, I am following the
20 logic in that, for example, Mr. Courtright
21 indicated at one of our prior meetings that in
22 the past either the fire chief or police chief
23 would have served in that capacity. And so,
24 again, it would seem as though they would be
25 suitable, but, of course, this is going to
1 higher management obviously, Director of Public
3 MR. MINORA: Right. I understand the
4 question. I guess the point I was trying to
5 make is that they are perfectly suitable, the
6 fire chief or the police chief and would be
7 tomorrow if the change were made in that
8 direction. I think that what I'm trying to get
9 across is this is not carved in stone. It's
10 written on a form that's all. It could be
11 changed. Okay?
12 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else on the
14 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.
15 MS. EVANS: Yes.
16 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci. Mr.
18 MR. MCGOFF: Yes.
19 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.
20 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
21 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.
22 MS. GATELLI: Yes. I hereby declare
23 7-B legally and lawfully adopted.
24 MS. GARVEY: 7-C. FOR CONSIDERATION
25 BY THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC WORKS - FOR ADOPTION
1 - RESOLUTION NO. 141, 2007 - AUTHORIZING THE
2 MAYOR AND OTHER APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS TO
3 DESIGNATE GREENMAN-PEDERSEN, INC. TO CONTINUE
4 AS CITY BRIDGE ENGINEER FOR THE BRIDGE
5 INSPECTION CYCLE OF 2007 THROUGH 2009.
6 MS. GATELLI: What is the
7 recommendation of the Chair on Public Works?
8 MR. MCGOFF: As Chair for the
9 Committee on Public Works, I recommend final
10 passage of Item 7-C.
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
12 MS. GATELLI: Roll call.
13 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.
14 MS. EVANS: Yes.
15 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci. Mr.
17 MR. MCGOFF: Yes.
18 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.
19 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
20 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.
21 MS. GATELLI: Yes. I hereby declare
22 7-C legally and unlawfully adopted.
23 MS. GARVEY: 7-D.
24 MS. GATELLI: Before you read the
25 next one, Mrs. Garvey, I'd like to make a
1 motion that we table this. I have some
2 questions concerning this that were brought to
3 my attention and I would read the questions
4 that I'd like written to the mayor concerning
5 these, would you like me to read them before we
6 table it? I want to know if this was bid. Was
7 this person the low bidder? Will there be any
8 additional charges above the bid price? When
9 did we outsource workmens' comp insurance? And
10 are we still paying PMA? Those are my
11 questions that I would like answered before we
12 consider this for final passage.
13 MS. EVANS: I would agree with what
14 you're requesting. I might venture a guess
15 though concerning the bidding process, since it
16 is considered professional services very likely
17 this was never put out to bid.
18 MR. COURTRIGHT: It's in the backup.
19 MR. MCGOFF: In the backup it says
20 proposals were sought and two responses were
22 MS. EVANS: So RFB's.
23 MR. MCGOFF: Yes.
24 MS. GATELLI: But there is no prices
1 MR. MCGOFF: No.
2 MS. GATELLI: I'd just like some of
3 THOSE questions answered and someone did bring
4 it to my attention so I'd like to make a motion
5 to table it.
6 MS. EVANS: Second.
7 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else on the
8 question? All in favor?
9 MS. EVANS: Aye.
10 MR. MCGOFF: Aye.
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
12 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The
13 ayes have it and so moved. Kay, I'll talk to
14 you tomorrow about what I want in the letter.
15 MS. GARVEY: Okay. EIGHTH ORDER.
16 CITIZEN PARTICIPATION II - GENERAL CITY ISSUES.
17 MS. GATELLI: Douglas Miller.
18 MR. MILLER: Good evening, Council.
19 Doug Miller, president of Scranton of Scranton
20 Junior City Council. Just to start off tonight
21 on behalf of the entire Scranton Junior City
22 Council I would like to thank the following the
23 recently made generous donations towards our
24 children's handicapped accessible swingset
25 project in Nay Aug Park. The Scranton Kiwana's
1 Club. The ARC of Northeastern Pennsylvania,
2 and Mr. Wayne Evans. We greatly appreciate
3 your support and generous donations. Your
4 support will help make our project a huge
5 success. We continue to seek donations from
6 those out there in the city and we ask that you
7 send your contributions to city hall, 340 N.
8 Washington Avenue, Scranton, PA, 18503.
9 An issue that here that I want to
10 bring up tonight, recently I noticed candidates
11 running for office in the city a few are
12 putting stickers on stop signs and other
13 traffic signs in the city, I believe this is
14 from what I understand it's illegal and I would
15 ask that any candidate who is doing this to be
16 please stop. I feel this is a form of
17 vandalism and I feel if anyone is caught they
18 should be fined.
19 I have an announcement tonight,
20 lastly I'd like to make. There will be a
21 benefit for Jonathan Clauss, a West Scranton
22 High School student who injured himself on a
23 bicycle accident a few years ago and it will be
24 a pasta dinner for him at St. Peter and Paul
25 Church, that is 12 West Locust Street in West
1 Scranton and it is on Sunday, May 20, 2007,
2 from 12 until 3 p.m. Admission is adults, $8,
3 children $4 and for tickets or anymore
4 information regarding this you can call
5 343-8872 and a note here the hall is handicap
6 accessible, so I'm asking everyone out there to
7 support Jonathan and his cause here and thank
8 you very much.
9 MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Franas.
10 MS. FRANAS: Fay Franas. I want to
11 read a couple of articles from the newspaper
12 from March 22. "Police officers will be
13 assigned to the next council meeting as council
14 president, Judy Gatelli, seeks to restore
15 order. If that doesn't work, Mrs. Gatelli said
16 her next move would be to eliminate live
17 coverage and broadcasts at meetings of public
18 access Channel 61. If we do away with the
19 cameras everything will probably change,
20 Mrs. Gatelli said."
21 From March 23, "Faced with what she
22 called threats posted on the website, Council
23 President Judy Gatelli cancelled Thursday's
24 meeting and ordered public access television
25 cameras removed from council chambers. Mayor
1 Doherty said on the same day, "The cameras
2 could be removed as early as this morning.
3 Mayor Chris Doherty said, he added, that he is
4 acting at the direction of council president
5 Gatelli. I'm only being cooperative as I've
6 always been with the wishes of council."
7 On March 24th, "President Judy
8 Gatelli cancelled Thursday's meeting and then
9 announced that future meetings will not be
10 aired on Channel 61."
11 On March 30 Mayor Doherty said,
12 "Cameras will be allowed back in city hall
13 immediately. I had them removed at the request
14 of council and now that the majority has voted
15 to have them returned I will follow in their
16 direction. It's council's room and if they
17 want cameras they will receive them, Mayor
18 Doherty said."
19 Now, I'd like to play this to get
20 the facts out and I just want to clarify some
21 facts here. This is an interview with Sue
22 Henry and Judy Gatelli.
23 (Audio tape played as follows:
24 MS. GATELLI: Technically, I didn't
25 remove the cameras, although everyone is saying
1 I did.
2 MS. HENRY: Well, the mayor said --
3 MS. GATELLI: The mayor ordered them
4 removed. I don't boss anybody around city
6 MS. HENRY: Did you request that
7 they be removed?
8 MS. GATELLI: He called me and said,
9 "I'd like to remove the cameras after all of
10 those threats from last week," because I was
12 MS. HENRY: Will you talk to him and
13 encourage him to let the cameras back in so
14 this could be broadcast live?
15 MS. GATELLI: Absolutely. If that's
16 a request of council, absolutely, but I want it
17 clear that he ordered them out, not me. I went
18 along with it, yes. Yes, I did. That part
19 I'll admit to, but he called whoever, whether
20 it's Gary Francis or whoever does the work here
21 and he told them to get the cameras out, not
22 Judy Gatelli.
23 MS. HENRY: You don't care that they
24 come back?
25 MS. GATELLI: No, I don't care and I
1 didn't care that they were in the back there."
2 (Audiotape concluded.)
3 That's basically all I wanted to
4 play. Now, I'd like to ask you, Mrs. Gatelli,
5 who is telling the truth here, Mayor Doherty or
6 yourself? Mrs. Gatelli, would you please
7 answer my question.
8 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.
9 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Andy
11 MR. SBARAGLIA: Andy Sbaraglia,
12 citizen of Scranton, retired but still here.
13 You made a disturbing statement a little while
14 ago, we sold our loan for $5 million, our
15 revolving loans, you quoted the price of like a
16 little over a half a million left? Don't you
17 realize you can't give this man any money? He
18 runs through it like it was water through a
19 sive. He has no fiscal responsibility at all.
20 All he does is run through money. Money,
21 money, money. For him to run through four and
22 a half million dollars in not even nine months
23 if it's even that long since they were sold,
24 shows he has no fiscal responsibility and what
25 did he waste it on? Well, I wouldn't say a
1 waste, he got 4 or 5 jobs, maybe 20 jobs, but
2 he was given a lot of money away, too.
3 That $250,000 was not the first time
4 he gave money away. That's just one, I brought
5 that up a couple of times before, but this is
6 one time where you sort of stopped it because
7 you are going to push a heck of a debt out on
8 the people of Scranton. You got to stop. I
9 told you a long time ago you watch the pennies
10 and the dollars will follow, but nobody does
11 that. He wants to give away hundreds and
12 hundreds of thousands of dollars caring little
13 or nothing about what's left of the city. We
14 used to a have a lot before he came in office.
15 We used to have a golf course. We had a DPW
16 site that we owned even though it might have
17 been run down. We had a south side complex.
18 We had a lot of things, but we don't have them
19 anymore and we are getting less and less. Now
20 you mortgage our lives almost, our life blood,
21 already with this NCC deal, 25 percent is a lot
22 of money to be paying and penalized plus you
23 want to add another what, and they mentioned
24 the school board and if the school board signs
25 sort of a contract like you are thinking of
1 signing or will sign it or whatever what would
2 that really do the taxpayers of Scranton? You
3 know, what happens here in Scranton in my age
4 group we either lose a loved one or one of us
5 goes to a nursing home, but each of them they
6 are things that happen reduces the amount of
7 income and drastically. If you lose a husband
8 or you lose a wife you lose thousands of
9 dollars over the years. If one of your -- if
10 you go to the nursing home or your spouse goes
11 to the nurse home or whatever you want to say,
12 you lose a lot of money there, too, and if you
13 read why people file for bankruptcy--
14 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.
15 MR. SBARAGLIA: -- it's medical. I
16 thank you.
17 MS. GATELLI: Ray Lyman.
18 MR. LYMAN: Raymond Lyman. In the
19 United States all people are created equal, but
20 not in the city of Scranton. Scranton is like
21 Berlin under Hitler. The mayor and city
22 council do not answer the people's questions.
23 City council fights and laughs at us, Scranton
24 Times calls us names, but the mayor and city
25 council do not allow children to swim for free.
1 I believe all people and religion and freedom
2 and justice for all. I have a question for
3 those Scranton firefighters, now that the
4 Dunmore fire truck is crashed and damaged are
5 the Scranton firemen getting paid to go up
6 there now because of the fires that they are
7 having up -- well, you know, the fires they are
8 going to have up there in Dunmore. Are we
9 going to get paid for that, the Scranton Fire
10 Department since they have a fire department up
11 there in Dunmore since they've got two
12 firetrucks? That's a question, Mrs. Gatelli.
13 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Courtright, do you
14 know that answer?
15 MR. COURTRIGHT: I believe, Ray, we
16 made a reciprocal agreement with the Borough of
18 MR. LYMAN: Oh, I know that because I
19 tried to talk to the chief, he won't give me an
20 answer, maybe Dave Gervasi can answer it since
21 he is here.
22 MR. COURTRIGHT: I just gave you the
23 answer, I believe we have a reciprocal
24 agreement with the Borough of Dunmore.
25 MR. LYMAN: Yeah, but I want to know
1 how much money we are going to get back from
3 MR. COURTRIGHT: I don't know how to
4 explain it to you, Ray. How about this, if we
5 have a problem in the City of Scranton when we
6 run short if there is --
7 MR. LYMAN: Oh, okay, I understand
9 MR. COURTRIGHT: All right.
10 MR. LYMAN: Now I have one more
11 thing. Now that if the people come up here for
12 rights and our rights get violated and we are
13 being treated like fools maybe the city council
14 should go to anger management because we are
15 not the ones that are angry on this side it's
16 you guys. You should learn that we elect you,
17 you don't elect us and we could vote you out
18 and the same way with this mayor. I mean,
19 giving him another million dollars is like
20 giving a cocaine addict. I mean, this mayor
21 doesn't know how to run anything. I mean, I
22 wouldn't trust Chris Doherty with a $5 bill. I
23 wouldn't give him a dime and that might be my
24 opinion and everybody has opinion. I mean,
25 that's just true to my eyes. I wouldn't trust
1 Chris Doherty with a dime. Thank you.
2 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mike Dudek.
3 MR. DUDEK: My name is a Mike Dudek,
4 608 Depot Street, Scranton, PA. I'm proud to
5 live in the Plot. Just two points I want to
6 make. So far everybody has been very angry
7 tonight over the budget but, nevertheless,
8 there are two items or two issues out there
9 that haven't been addressed where the mayor
10 needs support: Number one, the medical school;
11 and number two, the one you never read about,
12 the one I pointed out here a couple of weeks
13 ago, where to locate a movie studio. I'm
14 asking that city council approach the mayor and
15 tell the mayor that you will back him to the
16 hilt on both projects, getting the medical
17 school and getting Paul Sorvino's movie studio
18 located with the corporate limits of this city.
19 I think it would be wonderful to have a factory
20 move in rather than move out.
21 And on the item of moving out, if
22 you subscribe to something called the Scranton
23 Times-Tribune you didn't read it in their paper
24 on Saturday, you had to read this in the
25 Saturday issue of the Times Leader. The city
1 of Scranton lost yet another corporate
2 headquarters and it landed on page one of the
3 Wilkes-Barre Times Leader, never to be
4 addressed in something called the Scranton
5 Times. The headquarters that we lost were the
6 headquarters of Shamrock Communications, the
7 Scranton Times moved out of the City of
8 Scranton and are now headquartered in the
9 Citizens Voice in Wilkes-Barre. I'm going to
10 read this to you so that you don't think I'm
11 making this up out of whole cloth. This is the
12 front page of the Times Leader: "Long
13 associated with Scranton, now the Times
14 Shamrock newspapers call Wilkes-Barre their
15 home. The Times-Tribune and Citizen's Voice
16 became additions of the Times Shamrock at the
17 beginning of the year resulting in a single
18 circulation number for the daily newspaper
19 published in separate cities in neighboring
20 Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties."
21 Here's the reason, the city's
22 newspaper has been losing circulation, losing,
23 no, hemorrhaging it. People have simply been
24 canceling their subscriptions, something like
25 5,000 or more in the past year. The Times is
1 under the obligation to report their
2 circulation numbers to the audit borough of
3 circulation. This affects their advertising
4 rates, so when the Times says, "You won't see a
5 difference in the paper that we produce,"
6 that's true, but the person who sees the
7 difference owns Kelly Volkswagen --
8 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.
9 MR. DUDEK: -- Or maybe owns
10 Boscov's. It is done to inflate advertising
11 rates. I think this is despicable. I do not
12 question the integrity of the people who are in
13 the Scranton Times because they don't have any
14 integrity worth questioning.
15 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.
16 Mr. Spindler.
17 MR. SPINDLER: Les Spindler, city
18 resident. Mrs. Gatelli, not long after you
19 took that position as council president you
20 said you are not going to say a prayer in the
21 beginning because you believe it's separation
22 of church and state, well then how did you
23 explain cancelling the council meeting for Holy
25 MS. GATELLI: I cancelled it with
1 the approval of three other council members.
2 MR. SPINDLER: I think two other
3 council members.
4 MS. GATELLI: Two others.
5 MR. SPINDLER: Mr. Courtright and
6 Mrs. Evans said they would have come to the
8 MS. GATELLI: Three total.
9 MR. SPINDLER: But you said you
10 believe in separation of church and state so
11 why didn't we have a meeting that night? You
12 are being hypothetical.
13 MS. GATELLI: No, I'm not,
14 Mr. Spindler, that's my religion and that's a
15 Holy Day.
16 MR. SPINDLER: Well, then why can't
17 you say a prayer in the beginning? It's the
18 same thing. Moving on, I have been here for
19 two years asking for lines to be painted in two
20 different spaces, on Spruce going into Franklin
21 and the entrance of Lackawanna to the Steamtown
22 Mall and so far nothing has been done and
23 George Parker was quoted in the paper a few
24 weeks ago saying when he gets letters, he says,
25 "I read everything that comes to me," said
1 Mr. Parker, a regular recipient of requests
2 from council. "If something is a safety issue
3 I immediately look at it."
4 Well, I think those two spots are
5 safety issues, and has it taken him two years
6 to look at it, but they make damn sure they get
7 that green line painted for the St. Patrick's
8 Day parade.
9 Next thing, the Lackawanna Avenue
10 bridge, is that thing ever going to get fixed,
11 does anybody know?
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: I believe we are
13 going to see some movement on that this summer.
14 MR. SPINDLER: This summer.
15 MR. COURTRIGHT: That's my
17 MR. SPINDLER: I go over that
18 everyday and it's getting worse by the day.
19 MS. GATELLI: They said June or
21 MR. COURTRIGHT: It's terrible, no
22 two ways about it.
23 MR. SPINDLER: Okay, the last thing.
24 I don't know if everybody saw the Doherty
25 newsletter yesterday and the article in there
1 saying that the city made a deal with Buono
2 Pizza, but it's funny the only ones that didn't
3 know about it were Buono Pizza. Giovanni
4 Piccolino called up WILK and he didn't know
5 anything until he read the newspaper, so this
6 is just more lies and deceit by the newspaper
7 and this administration. Mr. Piccolino knew
8 nothing about this until he read the paper.
9 When is this stuff going to stop in this city?
10 I mean, they deserve the truth and all they are
11 getting is lies. This stuff has to stop. It's
12 a business for 40 years in this city and they
13 are getting the run around. Now, how could the
14 Times print something that is totally false and
15 they even had quotes from Mr. Piccolino in
16 there which he never said. Now, I'm not an
17 attorney, but I think that's even illegal to
18 quote somebody to things they never said, but
19 this is just out of control. That's all I
20 have. Thank you.
21 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you, Les.
22 Kay, if I could, I apologize to the speaker,
23 I'll call you up in a minute, when Mr. Spindler
24 brought about the bridge it reminded of
25 something that I neglected to ask you if could
1 do for me, the two and 300 block of Wales, it's
2 got to be two of the worst blocks on the City
3 of Scranton as far as holes. Could we ask
4 Mr. Parker, I know now that the blacktops
5 plants are open if we could do something there,
6 it's just really, really bad, and I apologize
7 to the next speaker. Sam Patilla.
8 MR. PATILLA: All right,
9 Mr. Courtright and Mrs. Evans, I got to do this
10 kind of quick --
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: Can you say your
12 name for the record, please?
13 MR. PATILLA: Sam Patilla, city
14 resident, taxpayer, current taxpayer, all my
15 taxes are paid, all my fees are paid. Real
16 quickly here, considering how Mrs. Gatelli and
17 the city solicitor just violated not only my
18 civil rights but my rights afforded to me under
19 the Declaration of Independence to specifically
20 one, two, eight and 20, all right, I need to
21 know the number of employees, people of color
22 at the city hall, Scranton Sewer Authority,
23 Scranton Housing Authority, the DPW, the police
24 and the fire department. I also need to know
25 how many are associated with the zoning board,
1 the school board. I need to know seeing that
2 we have state and federal money coming into
3 this city how much of that money is set aside
4 for minorities? And if I also could get you to
5 find out if any OECD funds have been to use to
6 market this city instead the poor people
7 reinvest in their homes, all right, because
8 like I said, you are getting farm out the
9 delinquent tax bills to third parties, it's
10 going to cost Scranton more money than we are
11 going to get anyway, and I need to know where
12 our money is going, okay? I need to know if
13 there are monies set aside for minorities, for
14 the redevelopment project, okay, because like I
15 said last week, I'm ready to stick my
16 proverbial civil rights foot so far up
17 Doherty's rear end he is going to have to go to
18 the zoning board to get a variance to expand
19 it. I'm not playing no games with you. I
20 don't like nobody taking my money.
21 That woman left out of here because
22 she knew I was going to get her. When she
23 comes back can you ask her when she plans on
24 going after the nonprofit, that was part of her
25 platform. I also want to know when she is
1 going to find that letter that she spoke to you
2 about in Greenridge.
3 MR. COURTRIGHT: I didn't hear the
4 last thing you said.
5 MR. PATILLA: The letter for
6 Greenridge, the letter that supposedly
7 disappeared into thin air that she is supposed
8 to --
9 MR. COURTRIGHT: Mr. Hubbard.
10 MR. PATILLA: Right.
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay.
12 MR. PATILLA: Mr. Hubbard's letter.
13 MR. COURTRIGHT: I'll ask her.
14 MR. PATILLA: And when she's going to
15 go after nonprofits? We need to find out when
16 they are going to start putting impact fees on
17 KOZ's and/or reduce the status of the KOZ's,
18 okay? There is too much money, too much
19 property being given away, the city doesn't
20 have any revenue, okay? You can't continue to
21 force these senior citizens out of their homes,
22 buy them for dirt cheap and then turn them into
23 some slum lots that you think some yuppies are
24 going to come in here and buy, it's not to at
25 that happen. Nobody is moving into this city,
1 we are broke. If people have money they are
2 going to go to New York or Jersey or wherever,
3 Connecticut or wherever. They are going to go
4 someplace where they have something to spend
5 their money on. They are not going to come
6 here and get robbed like we are and I
7 appreciate very much if the two of you could
8 get that information on the minority hires in
9 the city. I stopped running from racism when I
10 was 11 years old and I'm too old to stop now.
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: We'll have to ask
12 the administration.
13 MR. PATILLA: Well, I'll file a
14 right to know. I will file a letter.
15 MR. COURTRIGHT: We will ask.
16 MR. PATILLA: Okay, but I appreciate
17 it, that's why I ask you two --
18 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.
19 MR. PATILLA: -- that got a spine.
20 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you.
21 MS. EVANS: Kay, could we ask is,
22 Mrs. Moran still in her office or is she on
24 MS. GARVEY: As far as I know she is
25 still there.
1 MS. EVANS: Maybe if we could ask her
2 for the numbers of minority employees within
3 each of the departments and perhaps even the
4 statistics on minority appointments to boards
5 and commissions and then, Mr. Patilla -- oh, I
6 guess he left, when we receive that information
7 we will make sure that he gets that.
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: Bill Jackowitz.
9 MR. JACKOWITZ: Bill Jackowitz, South
10 Scranton resident. I hope we get a lot of
11 information on those 28 contractors for the
12 snow removal because that's an awful lot of
13 money and, like I said, nature put it there and
14 nature took the snow away, so I hope Mrs. Evans
15 and Mr. McGoff work hand-in-hand and come up
16 with some valuable and informative information
17 for the citizens of Scranton.
18 Mayor Doherty and certain members of
19 Scranton City Council past and present and
20 cabinet members, attorneys, accountants and
21 other political appointees have placed the City
22 of Scranton and the residents of the city into
23 a financial ruin and distressed situation. Now
24 every taxpayer in the City of Scranton must pay
25 for the mistakes of the elitist few who made
1 the wrong decisions and refused to listen to
2 the concerned citizens of Scranton. Politics,
3 friendships and nepotisms must end immediately.
4 The City of Scranton is doomed for many years
5 to come and it is not because of the Legion of
6 Doom. By the way, four dozen of the t-shirts
7 last week alone.
8 According to the Associated Press
9 news article dated 5, April, '07, published in
10 newspapers throughout the United States, the
11 Scranton region was fit for population loss in
12 the northeast and midwest regions of the
13 nation. Since 2000, Scranton trailed only
14 Pittsburg, Cleveland, Buffalo and Youngstown.
15 The article states that many demographers
16 associate a straining population with the
17 economic problems, typically poor job market.
18 This statement was left out of the
19 Times-Tribune article. Remember, this all
20 happened on Mayor Doherty's watch as the mayor
21 of Scranton and Mr. Austin Burke as the Chamber
22 of Commerce president. Where have they been,
23 maybe watching Channel 61 council meetings,
24 just an observation.
25 Tuesday, 10 April '07, Times-Tribune
1 article, Mayor Doherty stated, "The population
2 is growing in the country --" excuse me, "In
3 the county."
4 He also went onto say because of his
5 growing in the city, what city was he talking
6 about, it couldn't have been Scranton. I guess
7 the US Census Bureau and the Associated Press
8 are wrong and the Times-Tribune and Mayor
9 Doherty are correct. I find that hard to
10 accept. He also stated that the city has
11 become a 24-hour town because of a new parking
12 garage or will become a 24-hour a day because
13 of a parking garage. Walk the streets at night
14 and on the weekends, especially Sunday, any
15 time, the city is dead as dead can be. What am
16 I missing? Somebody, please help me out.
17 Mrs. Gatelli, on Holy Thursday was there
19 MS. GATELLI: Yes.
20 MR. JACKOWITZ: Pardon me, I can't
21 hear you?
22 MS. GATELLI: Yes.
23 MR. JACKOWITZ: Did you work?
24 MS. GATELLI: Yes, I did.
25 MR. JACKOWITZ: But yet you couldn't
1 come to the city council meeting on Thursday,
2 you mixed politics and religion?
3 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Jacowtiz, the
4 services at my church are in the evening.
5 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.
6 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.
7 MR. JACKOWITZ: So you mixed politics
8 and religion.
9 MS. GATELLI: I am allowed to miss a
10 council meeting for any reason. Sherry is
11 absent tonight. Other people have missed
12 council meetings.
13 MR. HUBBARD: But you didn't cancel
14 tonight's meeting because Sherry wasn't there.
16 MS. GATELLI: What?
17 MR. HUBBARD: You didn't cancel
18 tonight's meeting because she didn't come,
19 right, but you cancelled Holy Thursday.
20 MS. GATELLI: Three people weren't
22 MR. HUBBARD: I don't care. Judy,
23 during the March 1 council meeting you alluded
24 to Mr. Courtright about that letter, the
25 mysterious letter. Don't. Don't. You want to
1 hear it?
2 UNKNOWN AUDIENCE MEMBERS: Yes.
3 MR. HUBBARD: Do you want to hear it?
4 I'll play it as soon as I'm done saying what I
5 want to say I'll play March 1 council meeting
6 where you can be heard talking about not
7 raising the river banks and in regards to the
8 letter you received in your mailbox to
9 Mr. Courtright.
10 Now, recently, I also heard -- well,
11 first, I'd like to know does this letter have
12 anything to the do with the city allowing lower
13 Greenridge to flood? Is the city allowing
14 lower Greenridge to flood so that the residents
15 are ripe for a buyout? Then why has the
16 Mandalay Corporation been contacting the larger
17 property owners in lower Greenridge recently?
18 MS. GATELLI: I don't know.
19 MR. HUBBARD: Now, this last storm
20 hit New Jersey and there's sections of New
21 Jersey that got flooded, smaller towns than
22 Scranton, and I watched on the news fire
23 departments and police departments with boats
24 and canoes and rowboats and diving suits and
25 wet-suits and helmets, everything they needed
1 to go in and help these people out of the
2 neighborhoods, everything we never saw. Never.
3 No assistance. No help. The siren is being
4 tossed around like a racquetball at a game.
5 The river bank is not getting repaired, nothing
6 has been done. There has to be reason why.
7 Yet we have a large company that just purchased
8 a Triple A baseball team in the area who is
9 known for buying teams, moving their stadiums
10 outside -- from outside of the city limits to
11 within the city that is adjoining to their team
12 and now the Mandalay Corporation is asking
13 certain individuals who own large tracts of
14 property in lower Greenridge about buyouts.
15 Now, do you still want to deny the existence
16 of the letter? You can either admit it or deny
17 it. You can be either be a liar --
18 MS. GATELLI: There was no --
19 MR. HUBBARD: You can either be a
20 liar --
21 MS. GATELLI: I never received a
22 letter about the letter.
23 MR. HUBBARD: What was the letter --
24 MS. GATELLI: I never received a
25 letter about the flood.
1 MR. HUBBARD: What was the letter
2 you were referring to when you said, "They are
3 not ever going to raise the river --" they are
4 not ever going to raise it, when I was talking
5 about the bank you said to Mr. Courtright,
6 "They are not ever going to raise it."
7 And Mr. Courtright said, "No?"
8 And you said, "No. Didn't you get
9 the letter in your mailbox?"
10 MS. GATELLI: I don't know what
11 letter you are talking about because there is
12 no letter about raising the levies.
13 MR. HUBBARD: Okay.
14 (Audiotape played).
15 MR. HUBBARD: I can rewind it.
16 MS. GATELLI: All it is did you get
17 the letter in your mailbox.
18 MR. HUBBARD: No, you said that.
19 You said it.
20 MS. GATELLI: It doesn't say what
21 the letter refers to.
22 MR. HUBBARD: Shh.
23 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.
24 MS. GATELLI: Three minutes. Thank
1 MR. HUBBARD: Oh, that's convenient.
2 Boy, that's convenient. That's convenient.
3 MS. GATELLI: You are out of order.
4 MR. HUBBARD: I'm not making this up,
5 Judy. This is from Channel 61. I bought and
6 paid for this puppy. Worth every penny.
7 MS. GATELLI: Liz Hubbard. Good
8 evening, Council. Liz Hubbard, Scranton
9 resident, taxpayer or whatever. Judy, when you
10 were first elected and started on city council
11 you said that you were going to go after the
12 nonprofits and you are going to get the mayor
13 to go with you and sit down and talk to these
14 people, have you done anything about that?
15 MS. GATELLI: Yes, we've already got
16 1.2 million from the Housing Authority, a
18 MS. HUBBARD: Yeah, but that's not
19 the only --
20 MS. GATELLI: Oh, I know, I
21 understand that, but I thought that was a
22 significant amount.
23 MS. HUBBARD: And is the Chamber of
24 Commerce nonprofit?
25 MS. GATELLI: I'm not sure if the
1 Chamber is nonprofit or not, but the next ones
2 that we are going to approach will be the
4 MS. HUBBARD: Well, that's a whole
5 year past, I mean, and you didn't talk to the
6 schools at all?
7 MS. GATELLI: No, not yet.
8 MS. HUBBARD: I'm not sure if this
9 is -- if the city is collecting delinquent
10 taxes is there a legal cap on what they can
11 charge for interest on the delinquent taxes?
12 Do you know is there like a top limit that the
13 city if they did it themselves they could only
14 charge --
15 MS. GATELLI: Do you know,
16 Mr. McGoff?
17 MR. MCGOFF: I believe, I believe it
18 is whatever we determine that that amount will
20 MS. HUBBARD: Okay. So it's 25 --
21 MR. MCGOFF: Then it's us that we
22 have the right to vote on that which is what
23 last week's one proposal was.
24 MS. HUBBARD: But that NCC with that
25 list of fees and whatever they were, if you
1 should go that route the city wouldn't get any
2 part of that fee money, am I correct, it would
3 just be NCC that would get it so all the city
4 would be getting would be their tax money?
5 MS. EVANS: Mrs. Hubbard, according
6 to what we heard at last week's caucus from the
7 representatives of MRS that would be correct.
8 MS. HUBBARD: Oh, okay.
9 MS. EVANS: And I'm assuming that's
10 on top of the 25 percent already charged by NCC
11 for delinquencies.
12 MS. HUBBARD: Okay. Then my next
13 question, you mentioned initiative and
14 referendum, can the citizens of Scranton get
15 petitions to get a referendum on the ballot for
17 MS. EVANS: Yes.
18 MS. HUBBARD: You have to have so
19 many signatures.
20 MS. EVANS: You can pursue this
21 through initiative or referendum, initiative
22 very likely provides you with a longer time
23 line, but just so you understand --
24 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.
25 MS. EVANS: -- where I was headed in
1 this is not to place the name of an individual
2 on a ballot that cannot be done, it is to place
3 the question on the ballot of recall.
4 MS. HUBBARD: Right.
5 MS. EVANS: Then depending on the
6 outcome of that question, if it is the will of
7 the people that they would like to see recall
8 elections as are conducted in other states,
9 then that would be --
10 MS. HUBBARD: Well, I went through
11 this --
12 MS. EVANS: And that could be
13 presented to the state legislature.
14 MS. HUBBARD: All right. Well, that
15 was all I wanted except I want to thank Janet
16 and Bill for calling last week to see how we
17 all were making out with all of the rain and
18 snow and whatever else was falling, we
19 appreciate that, the whole neighborhood does.
21 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Lee
23 MR. MORGAN: Hello, Council. The
24 first thing I have is, you know, in order for
25 this city to thrive again it has to control
1 it's past because any city that can't control
2 it's past has no control over it's future and
3 the City of Scranton truly is a city with no
4 future at this point. Politics, as some people
5 have come up here they have played tapes, they
6 have had discussions about the cameras, about
7 Mrs. Gatelli's comments, about many other
8 different things, but it just totally proves
9 that there is a lack of leadership here. The
10 election hopefully will begin to address that
11 problem, but the election will not be able to
12 address the city's long-term debt. The only
13 way in my opinion to address that is for this
14 city to file bankruptcy because we have elected
15 political hacks to positions of power in this
16 city for a long time.
17 And I really have to say that in all
18 honestly, Mrs. Gatelli, that when you were
19 elected I stood here and I said, "You know
20 what, there are three people, it was women's
21 night at council, some agenda started to spin a
22 playground program, about a future for this
23 city, about an agenda of change, an agenda of
24 empowerment to the voters and the people and
25 what's actually happened is the direct
1 opposite. We are in debt further than ever
2 before and now we are talking about basically
3 putting so many fees on delinquent property
4 owners and then we come up with some of the
5 things we see in the paper about, well, they
6 are absentee landlords. Well, absentee
7 landlords happen to be low level investors in
8 this city that don't have a lot of money and
9 they have borrowed money and invested in our
10 neighborhoods, but the way wage base is so low
11 and the amount of available employment that is
12 a job which can -- a wage that that can sustain
13 a family those jobs don't exist here.
14 We have to look at Austin Burke and
15 the people we are have elected to council and
16 the gentleman we have put in the mayor's
17 office. You know, the mayor has glass on his
18 door which is glazed because he doesn't want to
19 see the pain and suffering he has served and
20 causing this community. And a previous
21 council, Mr. Gilhooley, stated that certain
22 individuals in this administration have an eye
23 to this city's future which is vastly different
24 than ever before and you know something? He
25 was absolutely right. We have borrowed and
1 sold every asset we have ever owned, and that's
2 the problem here.
3 And I'd like to say to you,
4 Mrs. Gatelli, that it's not too late to change
5 your direction and try to lead this city in a
6 new direction. And what I'm saying to you
7 tonight is stop playing politics and become a
8 statesman and help to lead this city in a new
10 MS. GATELLI: David Dobson.
11 MR. DOBSON: Good evening, Council.
12 Dave Dobson, resident of Scranton. On our
13 medical school, I'd like to hear the number to
14 petition Senator Mellow once again. I called
15 on my own behalf and so other people within
16 Scranton borders can call and petition him to
17 stop trying to move this up valley. We have
18 supported for years three hospitals, they are
19 fairly good hospitals. Most people when they
20 are sick do come to Scranton and it would be a
21 great assets for the city and I think it's very
22 important that we try to at all costs to keep
23 the medical school site within the Scranton
24 borders and support Mayor Doherty on that.
25 Now, we have talked about taxes and there
1 was delinquent taxes and there was an article
2 in the paper this morning and if any kind of an
3 effort could be made to help older people pay
4 their taxes or at least give them some time or
5 amnesty and not file on all of these late
6 charges it sure would help because I have here
7 a credit report on myself and the only negative
8 thing on it was Northeast Credit Collections
9 the year I bought my house they failed to mail
10 a bill for two years, it wasn't handled
11 properly in closing, just something that was
12 missed, and instead smerged my credit rating
13 and it's the only black mark. I would have a
14 Triple A credit rating and the bill was paid as
15 soon as I became aware of it, but it was paid
16 at double the rate of what -- so it was just a
17 mistake, but you know, now I'm being penalized
18 for the mistake down the road. That type of
19 competency, I mean, we can't approve of it. It
20 really shouldn't happen. For two years they
21 mailed the bill to the incorrect address, my
22 former address, never once mailing it to the
23 address that it was involved with, the bill,
24 and it's really a shame that I'll show this to
25 anybody that's interested, if you are
1 interested I'll call for whatever.
2 I had an idea for a grass roots --
3 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.
4 MR. DOBSON: I'll handle that next
5 week. Thank you.
6 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.
7 MR. DOBSON: Have a good night.
8 MS. GATELLI: You, too. Anyone else?
9 MS. KRAKE: My name is Nancy Krake.
10 I have a copy of a Court case that council may
11 be interested in. It's about -- actually it
12 took place in Monroe County and they won. It
13 was a group of people, in fact, all individuals
14 and a title company and abstract company that
15 brought a case against the school district for
16 hiring a company just like the one you are
17 considering, and it was won hands down in that
18 Court, and I believe there is one statement in
19 here that's quite poignant: "The goal of real
20 estate tax sale law is not to strip the
21 taxpayer of his property, but rather to collect
23 If you can't afford to pay your
24 taxes at what they are and you become
25 delinquent for whatever reason, illness or
1 whatever happens in your life, how in the world
2 can you possibly afford to pay 500 percent
3 more? Thousands and thousands of dollars in
4 addition to your property tax? That could only
5 make me believe that this mayor and any person
6 on this council who votes in favor of this
7 legislation of hiring that company wants to
8 take your home away. There can be no other
9 conclusion but that. It's simple, it's going
10 right back to the Robert Gannon days of coal
11 company, and that's just where this man has
12 been leading us for the past six years.
13 I would really wish we you would
14 consider amnesty. The mayor does it now for
15 certain few and if this continues to go I'm
16 sure all of those records will be made
17 available as they are public. Many people have
18 been allowed to not go to NCC. That was the
19 choice of the mayor. He calls the shots.
20 Well, I certainly hope since you are the people
21 with knowledge of the system and power over the
22 system that for a change you can be an advocate
23 for the people of this city. Thank you.
24 MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Krake, I just have
25 one question, did the city ever have an amnesty
1 before? I know we had tax sales before?
2 MS. KRAKE: We had amnesty for the
3 refuse sale and, if I may, a couple of the
4 remarks were made in the newspaper, I don't
5 know if they quoted you correctly?
6 MS. GATELLI: Well, they don't always
7 do that, we know that.
8 MS. KRAKE: Exactly. Right. We
9 haven't -- we are able to have tax sales all
10 the time, we haven't had one since NCC came on
11 board because they do not return the records to
12 us correctly, for the past year we have been
13 working with a company named Burkheimer and
14 trying to bring the records up to snuff so we
15 can have a sale, which is exactly what this
16 company is doing, and I don't know why -- it's
17 just another loan. Simple, it's just another
18 loan. Amnesty would be the best thing to do if
19 he is looking for money quickly and it would
20 also be very fair to the people. You are also
21 talking about huge fees on people that are not
22 delinquent for many years. You are talking
23 2004, 5 and 6 because legally those are the
24 only years he can lien or bring into a sale.
25 You are not talking about going after people
1 who have been delinquent for years and years.
2 You are facing huge fines on people only a year
3 or two delinquent.
4 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Anyone
6 MS. STULGIS: I'm Ann Marie Stulgis
7 and I live in the city. About, I don't know, a
8 year or two going ago, there was some type of
9 pipe underground that collapsed in the
10 700-block of Olive Street, the city closed the
11 street and about two months later the neighbors
12 just moved the barricades because nobody did
13 anything. Well, it collapsed again and we are
14 over a month and nobody has done anything, so
15 the neighbors are going to be moving the
16 barricades again because I don't know why the
17 city closes -- one half of Olive Street is
18 closed and it's, like I said, it's been closed
19 for over a month and nothing has been done,
20 nobody is there, and I live right there so I
21 would know if someone were there working.
22 Secondly -- -
23 MS. GATELLI: I did see the
24 barricades there.
25 MS. STULGIS: Yeah, and they just
1 close the street and pretend it's not down
2 there. I don't know, who am I to say. Also, I
3 want to comment on the fact that I understand
4 that it was brought up earlier, but I want to
5 reiterate on the fact that we have lost two --
6 are in the process of losing two more of our
7 police officers. These aren't under this
8 administration, these are far from the first
9 two to go. We have lost many, and you really
10 can't blame them for leaving because where they
11 are going they are going to get a 50 percent
12 pay increase right away. That's quite a bit
13 considering they haven't had a pay raise in six
14 years. They are also going to get the same
15 retirement benefits that our public safety
16 director gets. They are going to get health
17 care. Our police officers don't have health
18 care. Consequently, under the current system
19 our police officers since they don't get social
20 security will be working until they are at
21 least 65, probably 70.
22 Now, I don't know about you, but
23 most of our police force is relatively young.
24 Do you really want the majority of police
25 officers on the street to be over 65 years old?
1 Do you really think that that's satisfies the
2 need that we have for police officers, because
3 I don't think too many 65 year olds are going
4 to chase down an armed robber and a rapist. I
5 don't see it happening, and yet we can't say
6 you don't I understand why these young men feel
7 they have to leave. There are two more going
8 to be leaving soon I believe and then there are
9 at least 15 going elsewhere. Part of our
10 problem is they can go to Dunmore and get paid
11 $7,000 more than they get paid here, take fewer
12 calls, and be treated better. They can go to
13 Taylor, same thing. They can go to Abingtons,
14 same thing. We have the lowest paid full-time
15 police department in the state, the lowest
16 paid, and yet under this administration our
17 calls have gone up between 20 and 25 percent
18 and we have lost police officers. I think it's
19 very serious and I think we really have to take
20 a look at it. Thank you.
21 MR. PIAZZA: James Piazza, Scranton
22 High School. I want to talk on that medical
23 school. I believe that the medical school
24 would be a great for the city and surrounding
25 areas and it's what we need. The medical
1 school would be great, a great asset to the
2 city because it would improve the medical care
3 for the residents inside and outside of the
4 city. It should be placed in the city for
5 economic and educational purposes. It would
6 bring high paying jobs to the city and such as
7 more doctors, nurses and lab technicians that
8 are critical for making a person get better
9 from their illness and, in addition, the
10 medical school would give college students a
11 reason to stay in the city instead of leaving
12 because they don't have any reason to stay now.
13 And also, it my encourage people
14 from outside of the area to come to Scranton
15 because of the medical school because the
16 University of Scranton is -- they do a good job
17 in premed so that would give the people that go
18 there, an interest to stay here and have the
19 medical school to learn from, learn better
20 information than the medical field. Thank you.
21 MS. GATELLI: James?
22 MR. PIAZZA: Yes?
23 MS. EVANS: I couldn't agree with you
24 more and, I'm sorry, Mr. Gervasi, one of my
25 colleagues at Scranton High School Today told
1 me about a letter to the editor in today's
2 newspaper penned by a local physician who
3 stated that it would be in his own experience
4 very, very foolhearted to place a medical
5 school outside of the city where the -- I guess
6 I'm paraphrasing here, where the proximity
7 would be to the Archbald pothole not to a local
8 hospital. So I, again, commend you. I agree
9 1,000 percent and once more I'm going to ask
10 everyone to call Senator Mellow's office and
11 tell him that we want this school in Scranton.
12 Right, James?
13 MR. PIAZZA: Yes.
14 MR. GERVASI: Hi, everybody. My name
15 is Dave Gervasi, I'm a firefighter, homeowner
16 and taxpayer in the City of Scranton. I just
17 want to make a comment on some of the things
18 this were said during motions. I was slightly
19 surprised that we would actually have council
20 be a part of the negotiations. I just talked
21 to our union president, my president, Dave
22 Shriber, and I was -- we are very happy if the
23 supermajority of this council would actually
24 want to get involved and learn everything that
25 has been going on over the last five years and
1 we want to give you our full cooperation and
2 let you know everything that's going on. I
3 know, Mrs. Gatelli, you asked a few months ago
4 Mr. Shriber, you know, where we are and what
5 the situation is, and I know he had our
6 attorney send you some information because
7 there is a lot of legal issues involved at this
8 point because we are so deep into this quagmire
9 at this point, but I just -- if this council is
10 actually willing to sit down and even moderate
11 between us and the mayor we would be more than
12 willing. I think this is great news and I
13 think it's something that should be done, but I
14 do want you to know and to answer
15 Mr. Courtright when he said it seems like this
16 is just a stalemate, one side is not budging an
17 inch, I do want you to know truthfully that
18 when I was the president of this union I spoke
19 with Mayor Doherty probably nine different
20 times and we tried negotiating and we got
21 caught on a couple of subjects and we weren't
22 far from a deal. It's very complicated on why
23 we actually didn't settle the thing and a lot
24 of it had to do with health care and the city's
25 noncooperation with us and our health care
1 committee. At that point, things did --
2 negotiations did stop at that point, but we
3 didn't talk for awhile, and then I heard every
4 time the mayor would say in the newspaper that
5 we are always willing to negotiate and my door
6 is open, every single time he said that, I
7 think that was three or four times in the
8 paper, I went down the next day and he wasn't
9 in his office, but I told his secretary that
10 have him call me, here is my cell phone number,
11 here is my phone number and if he is actually
12 willing to talk we will do it.
13 When things were at the point where
14 we heard statements being made that the mayor
15 was saying he will do nothing but bring us to
16 our knees, even at th at point we had people
17 going in there talking and it wasn't just me.
18 When Dave Shriber, Captain Shriber took over as
19 the president of our union, I'm now
20 vice-president, I know as a fact he has been --
21 he talked to Mayor Doherty six different times
22 over the last year and we just haven't gotten
23 anywhere, so I just want everyone to know who
24 is listening and especially this council who
25 might be willing to help out in this situation.
1 That it has not been us who has been unwilling
2 to talk. When you are throwing a Recovery Plan
3 and you are not willing to change one word or
4 the Recovery Plan where, again, he's said time
5 and time again much of it is unworkable, some
6 of it is illegal, and it's a fluid document
7 at --
8 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.
9 MR. GERVASI: May I just finish my
11 MS. GATELLI: Yes.
12 MR. GERBASI: Act 47 gives recovery
13 plans fluidity where it is a recommendation and
14 you negotiate and try to stay within the
15 parameters of that recovery plan. The mayor
16 has been unwilling to change that and we have
17 been willing to meet him somewhere in the
18 middle and we offered those things.
19 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.
20 MR. GERVASI: I have offered those
21 things years ago and I know President Shriber
22 has also, so we really, really welcome having
23 this council, if you guys want to get involved
24 in this thing you have our full cooperation,
25 our full truthfulness of what happened in the
1 past and what is happening now and where we
2 would be willing to go with it.
3 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.
4 MR. GERBASI: I thank you for that.
5 MS. EVANS: Mr. Gervasi, for the
6 record, I have always been and I still am very
7 willing to sit down at the table with all of
9 MR. GERVASI: Absolutely.
10 MS. EVANS: With all of the parties
12 MR. GERVASI: We have talked numerous
13 times --
14 MS. EVANS: Yes.
15 MR. GERVASI: --on where we were and
16 I have kept you, Mr. Courtright, also. I have
17 talked to Mrs. Gatelli a few times myself and
18 maybe it will work, you never know. You know,
19 if you guys force the issue maybe he would be
20 willing to talk. Thank you.
21 MS. ADSIT: Annabell Adsit, Scranton
22 taxpayer. I just sent a big fat check to the
23 Collector of Taxes and the mayor said in the
24 newspaper we do deserve services. Coming
25 through the alley is not a service when I went
1 to get into city hall. I think it's a disgrace
2 and I'd also like to say since Mr. McGoff
3 became the new appointed person on this council
4 he has consistently voted for every issue the
5 mayor asked. He also is the brain child of a
6 taxpayer speaking less than five minutes. He
7 very unfairly suggested two and a half minutes
8 or each speaker, two and a half on the agenda
9 and two and a half on their issues, then they
10 agreed to three minutes.
11 According to an authority on the
12 issue of time, it is very much at the low end
13 and unreasonable. I recommend you give the
14 taxpayers back their five lousy minutes and
15 that you make the motion, Mr. McGoff. You have
16 taken away their freedoms and I resent it and
17 you should vote on this. Give the people back
18 what they have deserve.
19 I also watch the candidates for city
20 council on the taxpayers' association meeting.
21 I graded them all and, Mr. McGoff, as usual,
22 it's no surprise, you failed miserably. Thank
23 you very much.
24 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else?
25 MR. ANCHERANI: Good evening. Nelson
1 Ancherani, resident, taxpayer, city employee,
2 financial secretary of the FOP exercising my
3 First Amendment rights. How about this from
4 the slimes, "Past due taxpayers targeted,"
5 that's by Stacy Brown, staff writer, 4-19-07,
6 "You have to pay your taxes and this policy is
7 just an effort on our part to collect the
8 taxes," Mr. Doherty said. "We have to pay the
9 police and firefighters, we have to pay public
10 works and others. Taxes pay for all of these
12 For him to say we have to pay
13 police, firefighters and other, taxes paid for
14 all of these services, he is throwing up smoke
15 screens. He is throwing up the smoke screens
16 and will blame the police, firefighters and
17 others for the policy on collecting taxes, past
18 due taxes. He is attempting to blame the
19 police and firefighters and the others when the
20 police and others, firefighters, are in the
21 sixth year, and I repeat the sixth year, of a
22 six-year wage freeze. The smoke screen is an
23 attempt to divert attention from the 300
24 million long-term debt and 77.5 million record
25 budget for this year, 14 1/2 million in TANS,
1 10 million loan, 6.6 American Anglican
2 arbitration loss, 5.5 of that is ours.
3 56.5 percent sewer rate hike. The FOP sick
4 clerk arbitration loss, that's a million and a
5 half to two million. Twenty-seven pay period
6 firemen arbitration loss, that will be a little
7 less than a million. The 25 percent tax
8 increase voted on by Mrs. Gatelli, Mrs.
9 Fanucci, and Mr. McGoff. Enough of that
11 So another quote, "Don't take the
12 bait." The mayor -- "Money has to come from
13 somebody Mayor Doherty said."
14 As for the police building, the new
15 police building, I've always been saying that
16 it was too small. We are not there, the
17 juvenile, neither is the training, but there is
18 a crack in the wall already. There is tiles in
19 the floor there are separated. We know why
20 that is. They said it. The mayor said it,
21 cost constraints. Cost constraints.
22 Mr. McGoff, you want to do something
23 to help the labor system work, talk to the
24 mayor to negotiate with the unions. I had this
25 written before Mr. Gervasi was here.
1 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.
2 MR. ANCHERANI: Tell him to put his
3 pride aside and negotiate in good faith. Thank
5 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Anyone
6 else? Make a motion to adjourn.
7 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
8 MS. EVANS: Second.
2 C E R T I F I C A T E
4 I hereby certify that the proceedings and
5 evidence are contained fully and accurately in the
6 notes of testimony taken by me at the hearing of the
7 above-captioned matter and that the foregoing is a true
8 and correct transcript of the same to the best of my
CATHENE S. NARDOZZI
15 OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER