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1 SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING

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5 HELD:

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7 Thursday, April 19, 2006

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9 LOCATION:

10 Council Chambers

11 Scranton City Hall

12 340 North Washington Avenue

13 Scranton, Pennsylvania

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CATHENE S. NARDOZZI- COURT REPORTER
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CITY OF SCRANTON COUNCIL:
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5 MS. JUDY GATELLI, PRESIDENT

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MS. JANET E. EVANS
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8 MS. SHERRY FANUCCI (Not present.)

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MR. ROBERT MCGOFF
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11 MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT

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MS. KAY GARVEY, CITY CLERK
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14 MR. COOLICAN, ASSISTANT CITY CLERK

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MR. AMIL MINORA, SOLICITOR
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1
(Pledge of Allegiance and moment of reflection
2 observed.

3 MS. GATELLI: Roll call.

4 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.

5 MS. EVANS: Here.

6 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci. Mr.

7 McGoff.

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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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1 --

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?
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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,

12 too.

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
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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
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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

10 respond--

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
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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
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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

21 her.

22 MS. GATELLI: Thank you very much.

23 Mr. Jacowitz.

24 MS. EVANS: I agree.

25 MR. PATILLA: No problem, ma'am. No
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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
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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

15 accounting.

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
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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
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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
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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
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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

14 you.

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
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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 --
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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
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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

23 me.

24 MR. LYMAN: Well, then give it to me

25 next week or table this. Table this for until
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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

25 city.
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27


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.
.

28


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

16 question.

17 MS. EVANS: I'll certainly try to.

18 MR. SPINDLER: Thank you. That's

19 all.

20 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Anyone

21 else?

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
.

29


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
.

30


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

11 else?

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,
.

31


1 and that's basically what I have on the agenda.

2 Thank you.

3 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Anyone

4 else?

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
.

32


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
.

33


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,

6 2007.

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
.

34


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.
.

35


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,

10 2007.

11 MS. GATELLI: Second. On the

12 question?

13 MS. EVANS: The garnering of the --

14 MS. COURTRIGHT: We didn't vote.

15 MS. EVANS: I'm talking on the

16 question.

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?
.

36


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

10 budget.

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
.

37


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
.

38


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
.

39


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

6 justice.

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
.

40


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

23 Street.

24 And, finally, in response to many of

25 the statements made this evening about the snow
.

41


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

25 consideration.
.

42


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
.

43


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

7 week.

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
.

44


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

16 go.

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
.

45


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
.

46


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 --
.

47


1 MR. COURTRIGHT: You are absolutely

2 right.

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

14 professions.

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
.

48


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.
.

49


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
.

50


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
.

51


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
.

52


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.

17 Garvey.

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
.

53


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

18 favor?

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
.

54


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

25 COSTS.
.

55


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

8 information?

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

13 requested.

14 MS. GATELLI: If not we will table

15 it.

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
.

56


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.
.

57


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

16 money.

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
.

58


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.
.

59


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
.

60


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

25 INTERSECTION.
.

61


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
.

62


1 call.

2 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.

3 MS. EVANS: Yes.

4 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci. Mr.

5 McGoff.

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
.

63


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

24 position.

25 MS. GATELLI: Attorney Minora?
.

64


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

14 monies.

15 MS. EVANS: Is there any time line

16 involved?

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.
.

65


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
.

66


1 higher management obviously, Director of Public

2 Safety.

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

13 question?

14 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.

15 MS. EVANS: Yes.

16 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci. Mr.

17 McGoff.

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
.

67


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.

16 McGoff.

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
.

68


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

21 received.

22 MS. EVANS: So RFB's.

23 MR. MCGOFF: Yes.

24 MS. GATELLI: But there is no prices

25 there.
.

69


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
.

70


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
.

71


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
.

72


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
.

73


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

5 hall.

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

11 scared.

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
.

74


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

10 Sbaraglia.

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
.

75


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
.

76


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.
.

77


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

17 Dunmore.

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
.

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1 how much money we are going to get back from

2 them?

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

8 okay.

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
.

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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
.

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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
.

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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

24 Thursday?

25 MS. GATELLI: I cancelled it with
.

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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

7 meeting.

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
.

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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

16 understanding.

17 MR. SPINDLER: I go over that

18 everyday and it's getting worse by the day.

19 MS. GATELLI: They said June or

20 July.

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
.

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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
.

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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,
.

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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
.

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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,
.

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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

23 leave?

24 MS. GARVEY: As far as I know she is

25 still there.
.

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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
.

90


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
.

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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

18 school?

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
.

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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.

15 Right?

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

21 coming.

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
.

93


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
.

94


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.
.

95


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

25 you.
.

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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

17 commitment.

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
.

97


1 Chamber is nonprofit or not, but the next ones

2 that we are going to approach will be the

3 schools.

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

19 be.

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
.

98


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

16 recall?

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
.

99


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.

20 Thanks.

21 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Lee

22 Morgan.

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
.

100


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
.

101


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
.

102


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

9 direction.

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
.

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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
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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

22 taxes."

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
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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
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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
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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

5 else?

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
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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?
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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.
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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

10 thoughts?

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
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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

8 you.

9 MR. GERVASI: Absolutely.

10 MS. EVANS: With all of the parties

11 involved.

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
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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
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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

11 services."

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,
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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

10 anyway.

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.
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1 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.

2 MR. ANCHERANI: Tell him to put his

3 pride aside and negotiate in good faith. Thank

4 you.

5 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Anyone

6 else? Make a motion to adjourn.

7 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.

8 MS. EVANS: Second.

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1

2 C E R T I F I C A T E

3

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

9 ability.

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CATHENE S. NARDOZZI
15 OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER

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