1 SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING
7 Thursday, May 10, 2007
10 Council Chambers
11 Scranton City Hall
12 340 North Washington Avenue
13 Scranton, Pennsylvania
CATHENE S. NARDOZZI- COURT REPORTER
2 CITY OF SCRANTON COUNCIL:
MS. JUDY GATELLI, PRESIDENT
6 MS. JANET E. EVANS
MS. SHERRY FANUCCI
9 MR. ROBERT MCGOFF
MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT
12 MS. KAY GARVEY, CITY CLERK
MR. NEIL COOLICAN, ASSISTANT CITY CLERK
15 MR. AMIL MINORA, SOLICITOR
1 (Pledge of Allegiance and moment of
2 reflection observed.)
3 MS. GATELLI: Roll call.
4 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.
5 MRS. EVANS: Here.
6 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci.
7 MS. FANUCCI: Here.
8 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff.
9 MR. MCGOFF: Here.
10 Mr. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: Here.
12 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.
13 MS. GATELLI: Here. Dispense with
14 the reading of the minutes.
15 MS. GARVEY: THIRD ORDER, 3-A,
16 PETITION FOR PERMIT PARKING IN THE 700 BLOCK
17 OF EAST GIBSON STREET.
18 MS. GATELLI: Are there any
19 comments? If not, received and filed.
20 MS. GARVEY: That's all there is in
21 third order.
22 MS. GATELLI: I'd just like to make
23 a few announcements. If we could possibly
24 do a proclamation there is a West Scranton
25 graduate from the 2004 class at West
1 Scranton High School who now goes to King's
2 College and he is a wrestler and he recently
3 won the division three national
4 championships, so I'm going to make
5 arrangements so that we get him a
6 proclamation and his name is Dave Morgan and
7 we are very, very proud of him. He also was
8 a very excellent wrestler when he was at
9 West Scranton.
10 The Lackawanna Historical Society is
11 going to have their historic house tour in
12 the Hill on Sunday, June 3, from 11 to 4.
13 For any additional information or to
14 purchase tickets call the historical society
15 at 344-3841. Mr. Mark Kruciani.
16 Mike Wallace, the zoning officer,
17 has sent a second posting to the Scranton
18 Rescue Mission. He states in his letter
19 that on March 7 the Commonwealth Court voted
20 down the rescue mission. It is not to be a
21 place of worship and he is ordering the
22 immediate cessation of any rescue mission
23 business at the Olive Street property, so
24 they have been sent a second notice.
25 On Friday, May 18, there will be a
1 fund raiser for Matt Grendel at the 20th
2 Ward Club at 2028 Pittston Avenue from 7 to
3 11. On May 20, Sunday, from 12 to 3 at St.
4 Peter and Paul Church there will be a
5 fundraiser for Jonathan Clauss, one of our
6 students at West Scranton High School who
7 was in a bike accident. If anyone needs
8 tickets to that they can see Douglas or
9 myself and we will get tickets for you,
10 otherwise, you can get them at the door.
11 And tomorrow evening May 11 from 6 to 8, one
12 of our teachers at West Scranton High School
13 has written a book of short stories. His
14 name is Frank Esposito, he is also a West
15 Scranton resident and a special ed teacher.
16 He has written a book that was edited by one
17 of our English teachers, Elizabeth D'
18 Francesco, and he is going to have a book
19 signing tomorrow evening 6 to 8 at the Affa
20 Gallery, the Aret Gallery, 514 Lackawanna
22 The next thing, I talked to Mark
23 Setizinger on 1013 South Webster Avenue and
24 the owner of the property has signed a
25 contract with a demolition company and she
1 will be demolishing it within the next
3 619 S. Irving, I sent one notice on
4 this. This was a property that had the West
5 Nile's virus last year where the woman
6 passed away and it has been abandoned since
7 then and is in dire need of cleaning so if
8 you could send that again to Mark and
9 Mr. Fiorini, I'm not sure who is who up
10 there, but one of them should take of it.
11 I talked to Mr. Fiorini about Daron
12 Enterprises and he has a meeting scheduled
13 with them tomorrow and then he will get back
14 to council.
15 I also received a document that's a
16 cooperation agreement with one of the
17 properties on 500 block of Lackawanna
18 Avenue. From what I understand, the owners
19 of those properties have been given this
20 agreement. I'm going to have attorney
21 Minora look over this agreement and I spoke
22 with Jimmy Connors, Mayor Connors, and I
23 asked him to contact the Governor and see if
24 we can't get some kind of a meeting so that
25 we know what's going on down there. From
1 what I have been able to find out no one has
2 signed these agreements, so Mr. Piccolino
3 comes here and, you know, discusses about
4 his property, but from what I can gather no
5 one has signed anything, so I'm not sure if
6 we even have a project down there, you know,
7 so I told Mr. Connors that I thought that he
8 should intercede with the governor and find
9 out exactly what's what with that project.
10 So, I will pass this onto Attorney Minora.
11 As far as the loan, the tax liens that
12 we are going to sell to that company, I know
13 there was an article in the paper today, but
14 we discussed it tonight in caucus because we
15 don't have all of the answers on that issue.
16 It seemed to be that it's two different
17 pieces of legislation although, they came
18 down together. One is to sell the liens,
19 the other one was the "A" to "V" where all
20 of the fees were, those exorbitant fees.
21 Mrs. Evans is going to investigate that a
22 little further for us as the finance chair
23 and some of us seem comfortable going with
24 the MRS and not going with the fee, but I
25 still think they are tied together somehow
1 and we are not, you know, too clear on that
2 yet, so we are going to do a little more
3 investigating on that this week and see if
4 we can't come up with something on that, and
5 that's all I have. Anyone else?
6 MS. EVANS: Yes. The third annual
7 Scranton School Resource Officer Golf
8 Tournament will be held on Sunday, June 10,
9 2007. There is 12 noon shotgun start.
10 Captain and crew, $300 per team at Pine
11 Hill's Golf Course. Checks can be made
12 payable to Scranton SRO Association and
13 mailed to Scranton High School School, care
14 of Officer John Burgette. Proceeds benefit
15 the Scranton School Resource Officer
17 Again, I draw attention to Scranton
18 and surrounding area veterans of the Korean
19 and Vietnam wars. Interviews will be
20 conducted for the Veteran's history project
21 on May 19, 2007, which is Armed Forces Day
22 at Scranton High School from 9:00 a.m. to
23 4:00 p.m.
24 Also, the Scranton and Lackawanna
25 County Taxpayers and Citizens' Association
1 is holding a car wash on Saturday, May 12,
2 from 9 to 4 at Scooter's Restaurant on the
3 O'Neill Highway in Dunmore and the proceeds
4 will be used to defray costs for
5 underprivileged youths to have a free swim
6 this summer at Scranton pools.
7 Also, a second fundraiser for the
8 same cause will be held at Flashbacks in
9 downtown Scranton, Sunday, May 27, starting
10 at 8 p.m. There will be a $5 donation at
11 the door and for that amount of money there
12 will be food, dancing and refreshments, and,
13 once again, both are to benefit a free swim
14 program this summer for the children of
15 Scranton. That's all.
16 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Anyone
17 else? The first speaker is Fay Franas.
18 MS. FRANAS: Fay Franas.
19 Mrs. Gatelli, it's Franas, not Franas or I
20 could say Mrs. Gatelli. Okay. 6-A, what
21 are you deleting and what are you adding?
22 You mentioned in 6-A that are you deleting
23 certain projects and you are adding, but you
24 don't say what they are. It just makes me
25 wonder what you are voting on.
1 MS. EVANS: Mrs. Franas, I'll jump
2 in, I don't have the information I believe,
3 I'll like through my briefcase, but I have
4 gone through the information very, very
5 carefully, projects deleted and the projects
6 added and they all met with my satisfaction.
7 I don't feel that any state or federal tax
8 dollars are going to be wasted and I can
9 tell you that the flood relief moneys that
10 had originally been deleted are no longer
11 part of that list for a deletion or an
12 addition so evidently they are still
13 available for use for a similar project.
14 MS. FRANAS: Good, and thank you very
15 much. Mrs. Gatelli, I just wanted to say
16 one more thing tonight, in your motions I
17 hope you make a motion like you said last
18 week to extend the speaking for five
19 minutes. Thank you.
20 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Sbaraglia.
21 MR. SBARAGLIA: Andy Sbaraglia,
22 citizen of Scranton, fellow Scrantonians. A
23 little information on this I guess it's
24 about 6-A, reading by title such and such,
25 an order amending file for this program that
1 is being deleting or added on to it, now,
2 they are deleting I think home buying
3 consulting, they are also deleting
4 historical structures, cleaning or whatever
5 they were under that project. The Everhart
6 Museum lost $32,000. We lost a comfort
7 station at Nay Aug, but over here gross
8 Scranton fund, a half a million dollars, is
9 that where the emergency shelter program was
10 located? I can't find anything about the
11 emergency shelter either being added or
12 deleted. I just wondered if that emergency
13 shelter program was listed under this 500,
14 half a million Scranton Road tomorrow,
15 whatever it was?
16 MS. FANUCCI: No.
17 MS. EVANS: No.
18 MR. SBARAGLIA: Does anybody know
19 what that program did include, because it's
20 quite a -- a half a million dollars is quite
21 a bit and then you come to the other amount
22 Connell Park got 300,000. Citywide
23 infrastructure, I don't know what that is, d
24 that was 200,000. Traditional housing,
25 50,000. Permanent housing, 30,000.
1 Catholic Social Service, 26,000. Deutsch
2 Institute got 5,226 but no where do I see
3 anything about this emergency shelter
4 program. Exactly where was that money
5 included or is it just a title? Again, I
6 find it listed, either taken away from or
7 given too.
8 MR. GATELLI: It's still there.
9 MR. COURTRIGHT: It might have been
10 left alone. It might have not have been
11 touched. There are many projects that
12 haven't been touched.
13 MR. SBARAGLIA: I realize that, but
14 I also know that that paperwork for that
15 Bethel AM was taken away from them. Surely
16 if that money was still there they could
17 have resubmitted their paperwork and got it
18 because they really took a hit down there.
19 I mean, they came to the Taxpayers'
20 Association which you know is very limited
21 in funds to look for funding for them
23 MS. GATELLI: I believe,
24 Mr. Sbaraglia, that they did get those
1 MR. SBARAGLIA: They got their full
2 funding, that $175,000.
3 MS. GATELLI: I believe so.
4 MR. SBARAGLIA: Recently?
5 MS. GATELLI: Yes, but I'll find out
6 for sure.
7 MR. SBARAGLIA: Okay. Well, the
8 reverend is here and she could probably
9 explain it. Thank you very much.
10 MS. GATELLI: And the $300,000 for
11 Connell Park that's for the dog park. Sam
13 MR. PATILLA: Sam Patilla, Scranton
14 resident, taxpayer. I, too, have questions
15 about 6-A but seeing how Mr. Sbaraglia has
16 more information on that I'll succeed my
17 three minutes to him.
18 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Patilla? Okay?
19 Ron Hellman.
20 MR. HELLMAN: Hello, Council. I was
21 just going to ask almost the same thing Andy
22 got into, but I can ask one other question,
23 there is no sense, how do you get something
24 on the agenda? I have heard people ask
25 this, but does it have to be submitted in
1 writing or something to you guys?
2 MS. GATELLI: (Nodding head.)
3 MR. HELLMAN: Okay. I got a question
4 for Mr. McGoff real quick, I was told
5 outside before that that's when our time
6 begins when I sign that sheet, is there any
7 truth in that?
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: No.
9 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Hubbard.
10 MR. HUBBARD: That's an awfully
11 expensive dog park. I'm all for a dog park,
12 but $300,00, that's an expensive dog park.
13 MS. GATELLI: It's going to be large.
14 MR. HUBBARD: Anybody, I know you
15 just spoke on that, but really I was just
16 wondering if anybody was any able to even
17 track down that $281,000 that came in out of
18 one project to another project into, but
19 none of it's intended for and advantaged, so
20 there's $281,000 that's designated for a
21 hole in the ground in the East mountain then
22 vanished, so has anybody bothered to track
23 down where it was or --
24 MS. FANUCCI: I called and what they
25 were saying is that they added it into the
1 East Mountain Project, supposedly that is
2 the same funding, so it is still part of the
3 new East Mountain project which is the other
5 MR. HUBBARD: Then why did it come
6 before you guys to combine --
7 MS. FANUCCI: I had to come before
9 MR. HUBBARD: It did come to combine
10 before you guys to combine it back into the
11 general fund.
12 MS. FANUCCI: Right. It has to come
13 before us so that when they end the program
14 date, it has to be two years or something
15 from the date of the original intent of the
16 money, has to come before us, so that we can
17 reissue it and they can reallocate the
18 money. They cannot do that unless it comes
19 before us.
20 MR. HUBBARD: And then they can
21 reallocate it to the same project even
22 thought they didn't use it, they designated
23 the time they had it.
24 MS. FANUCCI: Right.
25 MR. HUBBARD: And it wasn't
1 originally designated for that project.
2 MS. FANUCCI: It wasn't.
3 MR. HUBBARD: It was actually what
4 was left over from the $400,000 used to fill
5 the hole on Pittston Avenue, that was the
6 money --
7 MS. FANUCCI: Right.
8 MR. HUBBARD: -- the mayor put up to
10 MS. FANUCCI: When he called he
11 thought it was being used, we thought it had
12 a match when he did not have a match.
13 MR. HUBBARD: But it was originally
14 designated as matching funds for a project
15 on Pittston Avenue. It was never originally
16 allocated for East Mountain so when did it
17 suddenly go from Pittston Avenue to East
18 Mountain without coming before you to be
20 MS. FANUCCI: I don't believe that we
21 reallocated every penny. They can do that,
22 I believe it was the last legislation,
23 wasn't it, that we did when we had three
24 different projects? That was part of that
1 MR. HUBBARD: That was actually part
2 of the Pittston Avenue money. What I'm
3 trying to find out is how did the money go
4 from being designated for Pittston Avenue
5 specifically to being designated suddenly
6 for East Mountain?
7 MS. FANUCCI: Once it's freed up I
8 believe they can use it anywhere you want to
9 use it.
10 MR. HUBBARD: But then you told me
11 originally, when this first came up months
12 ago, originally I was told that the money
13 was originally designated for East Mountain.
14 MS. FANUCCI: Well, that was the
15 second --
16 MR. HUBBARD: It was supposed to be
17 used -- -
18 MS. FANUCCI: -- phase of the money.
19 MR. HUBBARD: It was supposed to be
20 used in an allotted amount of time for an
21 emergency flood repair project and then it
22 didn't get used. You tabled it and then it
23 vanished, so it's just sitting there or did
24 they did they do this kind of behind the
25 door transfer to another project that we
1 don't know. See, there's a lot of I don't
2 know. There's a lot of misinformation going
3 on with this $281,000.
4 MR. COURTRIGHT: Dan, I got to be
5 honest with you, I think what you are saying
6 is correct. I don't think they could have
7 just put it in the East Mountain project
8 without coming before us, so I don't
9 believe, maybe that's their intention, but I
10 don't believe it's sitting in the East
11 Mountain project right now. I could be
13 MR. HUBBARD: It's that easy for
14 them to say, "Oh, no, we didn't use the
15 $281,000 so we --"
16 MS. GATELLI: You can't go from one
17 place to the other.
18 MR. COURTRIGHT: I don't think they
19 could do that.
20 MR. HUBBARD: So that's what I'm
21 saying, so how did --
22 MS. GATELLI: It is somewhere.
23 MR. HUBBARD: Where did this --
24 MS. GATELLI: It's just no here --
25 MR. HUBBARD: Originally he
1 designated for the Pittston Avenue hole.
2 MR. MINORA: That's three minutes.
3 MR. HUBBARD: If they can't just move
4 it around on their own then who said it was
5 East Mountain?
6 MS. GATELLI: I'll find out for you
7 by next week.
8 MR. HUBBARD: That's all. Just
9 accountability on where the money came from
10 and where it's going. Thank you.
11 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else?
12 MR. JACKOWITZ: Bill Jackowitz, South
13 Scranton. I just have one question on 6-A,
14 Connell Park, the dog park, I'm in favor of
15 it, I want to make that perfectly clear, my
16 question is, and I have been asked this
17 question by several citizens, I don't know
18 why they are asking me I'm not an elected
19 official, but anyway, they want to know
20 would they be able to walk their dogs in
21 other parks in the City of Scranton because
22 there has been no publicity put out on is
23 con he will park going to be the only park
24 where dogs will be allowed to be walked? If
25 they are going to be allowed to be walked in
1 other parks then we need to get that
2 publicity out because people do have that
3 question and still walk their dogs at Nay
4 Aug park and West Scranton.
5 MS. GATELLI: The dog park is
6 different than walking your dogs.
7 MS. EVANS: Yes. The dogs are
8 allowed, it's a fenced in area, and I
9 believe that will be two separate areas, one
10 for small dogs and one more larger dogs, and
11 you remove the -- once you go inside you
12 remove the leash from your dogs so that the
13 dog is able to run about in this enclosed
14 area safely and also out of the way of those
15 who are afraid of dogs.
16 Now, I think in all of our park
17 though, as long as your dog is on a leash
18 you are able to walk your dog. I have never
19 heard anything to the contrary.
20 MR. JACKOWITZ: Okay. Can we get
21 that out publically, like maybe in the
22 newspaper or something else so that the dog
23 lovers who would like to go and walk their
24 dogs will know that that, that they can go
25 to the other parks because, like I said, I
1 don't know how many people ask me that. I
2 didn't have an answer for them.
3 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Marie
5 MS. SHUMAKER: Marie Shumaker. I
6 have a question on the Nay Aug comfort
7 station. I started coming here largely
8 because of that comfort station several
9 years ago and over the past 6 years, tens of
10 thousands of taxpayer dollars have been
11 invested in that comfort station and I'm
12 questioning why that is being deleted now.
13 Is it because it's finished and those funds
14 are no longer required?
15 MS. GATELLI: Yes.
16 MS. SHUMAKER: It is open now and
18 MS. GATELLI: This was over the
20 MS. SHUMAKER: So that's a completed
21 project and that was over the amount.
22 MS. GATELLI: I believe so.
23 MS. SHUMAKER: Could you verify that
24 by next week?
25 MS. GATELLI: It's either that or the
1 money wasn't used in the time frame. Are
2 you up there? Have you gone up there?
3 MS. SHUMAKER: Not yet this year.
4 I'm a little busy with yard work, but I plan
5 to go. Thank you.
6 MS. EVANS: Mrs. Shumaker, while you
7 are here, at a prior meeting, I don't recall
8 how long ago now, but you had made a request
9 to see the budget transfers.
10 MS. SHUMAKER: Yes.
11 MS. EVANS: And I accumulated for you
12 all of those that I have received since the
13 beginning of this new budget year. You will
14 notice there are many, many more that occur
15 from the 2006 budget. In other words,
16 monies within that budget were still being
17 transferred from area to area, line item to
18 line item, throughout 2007. In fact, right
19 until the end of March 2007, and then I have
20 also included those transfers that involved
21 the 2007 budget so if you could like to see
23 MS. SHUMAKER: Oh, thank you. I
24 would like to get some. Yes.
25 MS. GATELLI: Is that it?
1 MS. KRAKE: Good evening, Council.
2 My name is Nancy Krake. My question is on
3 the agenda tonight. First of all, there is
4 money being appropriated for a used fire
5 truck. While I think it's nice that we are
6 getting another vehicle, I don't know why we
7 have to get a used fire truck. The mayor is
8 on his second brand new vehicle and it does
9 have some body damage to it, I really don't
10 know what happened, but I did notice that,
11 and I know that there are several
12 supervisors that have brand new trucks, and
13 that's fine that they have vehicles, but I
14 really think we should be paying a little
15 bit more attention to public safety.
16 My next question is, I think I read
17 pretty well, I really do not understand at
18 all what 6-A says. If anyone would like to
19 explain that I would be very, very grateful
20 or how you feel it reads, anyone on council.
21 MS. GATELLI: The block grant?
22 MS. KRAKE: Yes.
23 MS. GATELLI: And what did you want
24 to know?
25 MS. KRAKE: I do know what it means.
1 I do not know what each phrase and sentence
2 means. I don't know what the projects are
3 they are deleting. I don't know what
4 projects they are adding. I don't know why
5 we are doing it. I simply would like to
6 know exactly what it is, and before anyone
7 votes on it I'm assuming everyone would have
8 to understand.
9 MS. GATELLI: We did. We met with
10 Mr. Renna was here and explained it. When
11 they have an OECD project you can only -- if
12 doesn't happen within a certain time period
13 you can't spend the money, so you have to
14 transfer it out.
15 MS. KRAKE: Are they explaining why
16 things didn't happen that they need to?
17 MS. GATELLI: No, there is many
18 reasons why projects don't happen. The
19 people don't do them. They don't provide
20 the proper information.
21 MS. KRAKE: Right.
22 MS. GATELLI: Some of them maybe were
23 overfunded and this is excess money that has
24 to be transferred maybe into a project that
25 needs funding.
1 MS. KRAKE: Can we make all of --
2 MS. GATELLI: There is a lot of
4 MS. KRAKE: And I can appreciate
5 that. Can we make all of that public to
6 know exactly --
7 MS. GATELLI: The caucus was public.
8 We did have a public caucus with Mr. Renda.
9 MS. KRAKE: Each one --
10 MS. GATELLI: Yes, he did explain
11 each one.
12 MS. KRAKE: And then the projects
13 that are added?
14 MS. GATELLI: The projects that are
15 added are projects that already exist that
16 needed extra funding or were underfunded at
17 the time. They are not new, as you are
18 speaking, like just new out of the sky.
19 MS. KRAKE: Right.
20 MS. GATELLI: You have to have
21 applied for the money to ever get so it, so
22 they are not projects that weren't ever
23 funded, they were just either underfunded or
24 something of that nature, but they all would
25 have projects in OECD ongoing.
1 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.
2 MS. KRAKE: Okay. Thank you.
3 MS. GATELLI: You're welcome.
4 MS. EVANS: While we are on that
5 discussion though, aren't we having -- I'm
7 MS. GATELLI: Bill wanted to talk.
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: I just want to say
9 this, somebody asked last week, Mrs. Krake,
10 about the fire engine, so Neil graciously
11 went down to the Director of Public Safety
12 and got all of the information on the fire
13 engine they are getting. I have it here, I
14 have all of the specifications, there is
15 pictures, and what I'll do is I'll leave it
16 in the office and anybody that would like to
17 see Kay and Neal can ask about it. I can't
18 recall who asked about it last week, but
19 somebody did ask, maybe it was some of the
20 firefighters they are here, now you can see
21 what the truck is going to look like that
22 you are getting, but there is pictures of it
24 MS. FANUCCI: And I could also add
25 that is a reserve truck. It's not going to
1 be the official used truck, it's just on
2 reserve and it's for extra water and to go
3 to the scene and I believe there is only
4 10,000 miles on the truck.
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: There is
6 9,799 miles.
7 MS. FANUCCI: Right. So, I mean, it
8 is in very, very good shape.
9 MR. COURTRIGHT: But there is a whole
10 bunch of pictures if you want.
11 MS. EVANS: I have a question though
12 on pertaining to what Mrs. Krake was
13 discussing. It occurred to me that I
14 believe in the Year 2005, possibly 2004, you
15 may remember, Mr. Courtright, a great deal
16 of funding was allocated to it might have
17 been to Lackawanna Junior College for the
18 lace works. Now, I'm quite sure that we are
19 either dangerously close to the two-year
20 time limit or we have surpassed that time
21 limit, and since much discussion was held
22 tonight about the fact that when a project
23 hasn't been completed within a time line it
24 looses it's funding, what then is the status
25 of that project, because that's a sizable --
1 MR. COURTRIGHT: It might have been
2 500 or 800, there was a large sum.
3 MS. GATELLI: Block grant or other
5 MS. EVANS: I believe it was CDBG.
6 MR. COURTRIGHT: CDBG.
7 MS. EVANS: And people should also
8 remember that prior to --
9 MS. GATELLI: Pardon, how about West
11 MS. EVANS: And that as well.
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: They moved that one.
13 MS. FANUCCI: They did.
14 MS. EVANS: But I think prior to
15 2004, in fact, it was December, November or
16 December of 2003 a sizable amount of money
17 was allocated for the parking garage and, in
18 fact, it was a five-year allocation of I'm
19 going to guess 500,000 per year for five
20 years, so obviously that project absorbs
21 quite a chunk of the funding that's
22 available to OECD and that occurred prior to
23 the seating of any of us tonight.
24 MS. GATELLI: Do you want me to find
25 out about the parking garage? Anyone else?
1 I'd say Mr. Garvey, but then she just says
2 that, and I say Mrs. Evans. We are going to
3 take out the middleman.
4 MS. EVANS: Good evening. I'd like
5 to wish all of the lovely ladies of our area
6 a very happy Mother's Day and to my own
7 sweet mother, thank you for your constant
8 love and support and for being a wonderful
9 mother, a roll model and my best friend. I
10 love you, Mom.
11 A very wise older gentleman who
12 often has spoken at council over the last
13 three years is currently in the hospital.
14 We wish him a speedy recovery so that he can
15 return to our council podium. I ask you to
16 please to keep Mr. Fred Brizinski in your
17 prayers this week.
18 Now, I'd like to correct a bit of
19 erroneous information once again printed in
20 the Times-Tribune. I am not opposed to the
21 sale of delinquent taxes to municipal
22 revenue sources. I never said I was against
23 the sale. However, I am vigorously opposed
24 to the additional fines, penalties, fees and
25 costs proposed in a separate piece of
1 legislation. Enough said.
2 I'd also like to thank the Office of
3 Licensing and Inspections for so quickly
4 taking action at the Scranton Rescue Mission
5 on Olive Street. They are to, as Mrs.
6 Gatelli stated earlier, immediately cease
7 operations as a rescue mission. I have
8 received a number of calls about this
9 particular situation and I wanted those
10 residents to know this is being addressed.
11 It is being taken care of.
12 It was brought to my attention this
13 week that the 100 and 200 blocks of Wyoming
14 Avenue, a main artery of your downtown, are
15 in need of attention. In the 100 block two
16 trees were marked for removal and other for
17 trimming. Those that were removed in the
18 past were never replaced. In the 200 block,
19 again, we have the same issues. I don't
20 believe Mr. Santolli receives funding for
21 tree replacements when those needs arise.
22 I'm hoping that landscaping companies and
23 nurseries in the area will donate young
24 trees to beautify these two blocks. Any
25 interested business can contact council's
1 office at 348-4113 or e-mail me at Janet
2 Evans4@VErizon.net. I sincerely thank the
3 city employee who made me aware of these
5 The summer-like weather and humidity
6 we are enjoying this week was a perfect
7 backdrop for track and field events at
8 Memorial Stadium for children of the
9 Scranton School District. As I watched them
10 excitedly running and jumping on the field I
11 realize that now is the ideal time to
12 provide free swimming in our neighborhood
13 pools for these children, particularly in
14 light of the fact that tax increases from
15 the city and the school district must be
16 paid by their parents. So I feel strongly
17 it's time to take a positive step and a new
18 direction to benefit our working families
19 and the underprivileged of Scranton.
20 Therefore, I move that swimming will be
21 free of charge at all Scranton neighborhood
22 pools effective immediately and that council
23 Solicitor Minora will draft an ordinance for
24 the meeting of May 17 which will be placed
25 into Fifth Order on May 17, 2007.
1 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
2 MS. GATELLI: On the question?
3 MR. COURTRIGHT: I have been for this
4 since day one and we tried to last year and
5 we passed it and for some reason we got
6 nowhere, so maybe if we pass an ordinance it
7 will work.
8 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else? All in
10 MS. EVANS: Aye.
11 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
12 MR. MCGOFF: Aye.
13 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
14 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The
15 ayes have it and so moved.
16 MS. EVANS: Thank you. A letter was
17 sent to Mr. Parker, the DPW Director, on May
18 7 regarding the Meadow Creek project in
19 Greenridge and the rude treatment of two
20 taxpayers. Mr. Parker has been asked to
21 call them and explain the project. I asked
22 that these ladies contact me to confirm this
23 conversation with Mr. Parker or to report
24 the lack thereof.
25 I respectfully request that my
1 Honorable colleagues consider amending the
2 2007 operating budget to provide for a
3 $25,000 donation to Channel 61 Scranton
4 Today. This sum can be deducted from the
5 ComCast franchise fee. I ask that you would
6 consider this and arrive at a decision by
7 May 31 so that legislation could be drafted
8 and approved in June 2007.
9 Finally, I have very few citizens
10 request for the week: A letter to
11 Mr. Brazil, Parks and Recreation Director,
12 please forward a copy of the lease for Sloan
13 Fields. Also, when will the machinery to
14 aerate the infield and outfield at Sloan
15 arrive? The commitment to both was made on
16 April 30, 2007. Provide the lease and a
17 written response before the May 17, 2007,
18 city council meeting.
19 At 915-917 Greenridge Street a house
20 was condemned and demolished at that address
21 within the last several months. Neighbors
22 are very interested in purchasing the
23 property ASAP. Please send a memo to
24 Mr. Setizinger requesting a response and I
25 do have contact numbers for him with the
1 potential buyers.
2 Rolland Avenue between Burke Street
3 and Cherry Street, residents report that the
4 curb was destroyed as a result of snow
5 plowing and the debris from the curb remains
6 on the side of the road. Because of the
7 lack of curb water runoff is destroying
8 properties and flooding basements. Since
9 the East Mountain area is scheduled for
10 street cleaning later this month, residents
11 request the removal of the debris and the
12 reinstallation of the curb in that area of
13 Rolland Avenue. Send a letter to Mr. Parker
14 and request a written response by May 30,
15 2007, and that's it.
16 MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Fanucci?
17 MS. FANUCCI: I only have one thing
18 to address and for Mr. Hubbard and he is not
19 here, okay, his mom is going to get him.
20 Daniel, I wanted to address what you were
21 speaking about with OECD and the money. The
22 reason we were aware where that money was
23 going was because you had inquired about
24 worrying about the fact that the flood
25 project was not getting what you felt
1 deserved money. Like you said, you were
2 worried that we didn't have a place to put
3 the money. When we asked them where this
4 money was specifically going he said it will
5 be going to East Mountain. That's how we
6 found out it was going to East Mountain was
7 in a caucus, so he actually told us that
8 because I was inquiring because we were
9 worried about the fact that this money was
10 not allocated for a flood project and the
11 especially with the situation that you have
12 had, we were worried about the fact that we
13 weren't using the funding properly, so
14 that's how we found out where this money is
15 going to be allocated, so I just wanted you
16 to know.
17 MR. HUBBARD: Yeah, it's not even the
18 flood money going to us in lower Greenridge
19 to help us, it's just the fact the money is
20 just easily just bounced around from one
21 project to the other and no direction.
22 MS. FANUCCI: Right. The reason I
23 got told we have to free up money and put it
24 in a different account and in a different
25 place is because whatever project is ready
1 to go that's where you have to put the
2 money, so that's how we found out where
3 money was going --
4 MR. HUBBARD: It just seems like
5 there's a lot of transferring of funds from
6 one project --
7 MS. FANUCCI: You have to.
8 MR. HUBBARD: -- to another in the
9 city without people being fully aware of
10 what's going on.
11 MS. FANUCCI: You have to transfer it
12 all the time, that's part of it and really
13 that is all I have I just wanted to clear
14 that up for you.
15 MR. HUBBARD: I'm all for
16 transferring money as long as people know
17 what's going on.
18 MS. GATELLI: Mr. McGoff.
19 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you. I only have
20 one brief comment and it has to do with the
21 tabled legislation dealing with delinquent
22 taxes and the mayor's comments about this
23 tabled legislation having some political
24 motivation are absolutely erroneous. There
25 was no political motivation for this
1 legislation being kept off the agenda.
2 Presented as separate items I was prepared
3 to vote on these items the night they were
4 presented. However, there was some concern
5 that there was a connection between the
6 two-pieces of legislation and these
7 questions needed to have answers, and so the
8 legislation was tabled.
9 As these questions are answered or
10 will be answered that's when the legislation
11 will return to us. We discussed it this
12 evening, some of the questions that we had
13 about it have been answered, and some others
14 haven't, and I think most of us on the
15 council are prepared to vote on each of
16 those pieces of legislation, but we weren't
17 going to vote on them without the
18 information that was required. There was
19 absolutely no political motivation for
20 having that tabled and so I just wanted to
21 make that clear and make it clear to the
22 mayor and that's all. Thank you.
23 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Courtright?
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: Kay, I believe we
25 need to send this to PennDOT. I had asked a
1 couple of people asking about the 1200 block
2 of North Keyser Avenue, there is a drainage
3 project going on there due to flooding and
4 it's kind of at a standstill now for quite
5 awhile if you can ask what the status is on
6 that project, and one for Mr. Parker, if we
7 could, Greenbush Street and also Reese
8 Street in North Scranton there is some
9 severe problems there, if they can send
10 somebody up to take a look at it.
11 Evidently some people have been
12 getting some bills for the Sewer Authority
13 and so it generated some calls to me and I'm
14 just going to read the response I got, I
15 believe Sue got this morning. People are
16 getting sewer bills say, for instance, they
17 are not living in the home or someone passed
18 away and there is nobody residing in the
19 home and they are getting a sewer bill which
20 turned out to be a minimal charge bill.
21 Now, this is just a brief note that Sue had
22 gotten from me, as long as the property or
23 home has a water meter they will receive a
24 sewer bill. It will be a minimal usage
25 bill. If the water meter is removed then
1 there will be no more sewer bill. That
2 would be your option to avoid the monthly
3 charge for sewer bill. In the past
4 customers were always billed for this, and
5 they put a new system in and I guess the new
6 system didn't catch this and recently in the
7 March of 2007 meeting they reinstituted it
8 where if you have a meter on your house,
9 even though if you are not using any water,
10 you are going to get a minimal charge sewer
12 So if by some chance there is none
13 residing in your home and you are getting a
14 sewer bill, have the meter disconnected and
15 you will no longer get a minimal charge for
16 the sewer bill, so anybody that has that
17 situation that's what you would need to do.
18 In the next couple of weeks I'll speak
19 with Mr. Parker, there has been a problem
20 for many, many years up on Pittston Avenue
21 back on Kane Street with the flooding, and I
22 talked to a couple of neighbors, some people
23 had some suggestions, some people had some
24 answers and my understanding is that
25 Mr. Parker did -- was supposed to do anyway,
1 a survey on that and see what could be done,
2 so I'll speak with him in the next couple of
4 About two weeks ago I approached the
5 parking lot of the police department
6 downtown here, and if you drive through
7 there and take a look there are some cars
8 that look really nice and some cars, let me
9 use the right adjective here so I don't get
10 in trouble, they don't look as nice, let's
11 say that, and the reason being is the cars
12 that look really nice are the cars the
13 police officers purchased themselves. Those
14 cars look terrific, so I did a little bit of
15 research and the average cost of what these
16 officers that bought their own vehicles,
17 they paid for them out of their own pocket
18 was approximately $7,500, that was on
19 average, and I checked out a little bit
20 further how did they go about getting them,
21 they went on-line, they went on the
22 Internet, they bought them that way, many
23 police departments have to after 50,000 or
24 60,000 miles gets rid of the cars not that
25 there is anything wrong, but that's just
1 their policy. One officer lifted up the
2 hood of the car so I could look at the
3 engine, the car looks brand new, so 60,000
4 miles to Scranton that's nothing, most of
5 our cars were 100,000 miles.
6 This council passed legislation
7 recently moving from 5,000 that they would
8 be allowed to spend 10,000. I also found
9 out there was two vehicles on the Internet,
10 on-line, for approximately $9,700, each one
11 had 60,000 miles, so this city would have
12 been able to go out and buy two vehicles,
13 they wouldn't have to come to us for
14 approval, and they have two very nice
15 vehicles. So I would just like to suggest
16 to the mayor maybe if we have the Director
17 of Public Safety and the police chief look
18 into buying some of these vehicles, you
19 know, we would probably get four vehicles
20 for the cost of one new one and they are
21 sorely needed and I think the legislation
22 that we all passed here, you know, could
23 help do that. If these officers can do it
24 on their own, I can't see why we can't do it
25 here as a city. Now, object slice, no money
1 would be allocated, but 30, $40,000 for four
2 or five cars that's a good deal and I think
3 the city should find the money to fund these
5 And lastly, I would just like to say
6 happy Mother's Day to my mom and to my wife.
7 That's all I have. Thank you very much.
8 MS. EVANS: Mrs. Gatelli, I forgot
9 one thing, I'm sorry.
10 MS. GATELLI: Go ahead.
11 MS. EVANS: A gentleman had E-Mailed
12 me about his EMS tax rebate and I have
13 misplaced that so if he could please do so
14 again. Now, as I said, this was a 2006
15 refund I should say, and he has not received
16 it. I'm sure there are others who have not
17 as well, but if you would please if you are
18 listening send that to me again I will take
19 it down myself and look into it with the tax
20 collector and find out what the problem is
21 and I get that for you as quickly as
22 possible. Thank you.
23 MS. GATELLI: You are welcome.
24 Before I make any other motions, I'D just
25 like to wish everyone a happy Mother's Day
1 and just say that I'm very jealous that you
2 have mothers because my mother is no longer
3 here and it's a very sad day for people that
4 don't have a mother any longer and so I'd
5 like to wish those people to have a very
6 nice day as I will with my children and my
7 grandchildren, but when your mother is gone
8 there is a little piece of you that's gone
9 too, so to those people that don't have a
10 mother just try to pray that she is in a
11 better place.
12 And I'd like to, I stated last week
13 that I would consider extending the time for
14 the speakers at the -- and move it all to
15 the end of the meeting, so I'm going to make
16 a motion to suspend the rules, that we have
17 public participation in Seventh Order and
18 that we --
19 MR. MINORA: Eighth.
20 MS. GATELLI: Eighth order? Yeah, it
21 is Seventh Order because we moved the fourth
22 around. Let me state it again, that we move
23 public participation to Seventh Order where
24 you will be able to talk about agenda items
25 and regular items, most people don't talk
1 about agenda items so I see your point and
2 that will give you a few extra minutes to
3 speak before council, so I make that motion.
4 MS. EVANS: Second.
5 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All
6 in favor?
7 MS. EVANS: Aye.
8 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
9 MR. MCGOFF: Aye.
10 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
11 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The
12 ayes have it and so moved. And that's all I
14 MS. GARVEY: We're discussing the
15 agenda right now, this will take place next
16 week a new agenda so all of the orders will
17 be changed.
18 MS. GATELLI: It will be Seventh
19 Order. And if doesn't work out then we'll
20 try something else again, okay? See how we
21 make out. Mrs. Garvey?
22 MS. GARVEY: FIFTH ORDER. There is
23 no business at this time. SIXTH ORDER.
24 6-A. READING BY TITLE - FILE OF COUNCIL NO.
25 90, 2007 - AN ORDINANCE - AMENDING FILE OF
1 COUNCIL NO. 155 OF 2005, ENTITLED, "AN
2 ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND OTHER
3 APPROPRIATE OFFICIALS OF THE CITY OF
4 SCRANTON TO TAKE ALL NECESSARY ACTIONS TO
5 IMPLEMENT THE CONSOLIDATED SUBMISSION FOR
6 COMMUNITY PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS
7 (AS AMENDED) TO BE FUNDED UNDER THE
8 COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT (CDGB)
9 PROGRAM, HOME INVESTMENT PARTNERSHIP (HOME)
10 PROGRAM AND EMERGENCY SHELTER GRANT (ESG)
11 PROGRAM", BY DELETING CERTAIN PROJECTS AND
12 ADDING CERTAIN PROJECT."
13 MS. GATELLI: You have heard Reading
14 by Title 6-A, what is your pleasure?
15 MR. COURTRIGHT: I move that 6-A pass
16 reading by title.
17 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
18 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All
19 those in favor?
20 MS. EVANS: Aye.
21 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
22 MR. MCGOFF: Aye.
23 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
24 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The
25 ayes have it and so moved.
1 MS. GARVEY: 6-B. READING BY TITLE -
2 FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 91, 2007 - AN ORDINANCE
3 - AMENDING FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 66, 2--6, AN
4 ORDINANCE "ENTITLED GENERAL CITY OPERATING
5 BUDGET 2007" BY TRANSFERRING $45,000 FROM
6 ACCOUNT NO. 01.401.15313.4299 (DEBT SERVICE
7 OPERATING EXPENSES) TO ACCOUNT NO.
8 01.011.0078.4550 (DEPARTMENT OF FIRE CAPITAL
9 EXPENDITURES) TO PROVIDE FUNDING TO COVER
10 THE COST FOR A USED FIRE TRUCK."
11 MS. GATELLI: You have heard Reading
12 by Title of 6-B, what is your pleasure?
13 MR. COURTRIGHT: I move that 6-B pass
14 reading by title.
15 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
16 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All
17 those in favor?
18 MS. EVANS: Aye.
19 MS. FANUCCI: 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: 6-C. READING BY TITLE -
25 FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 93, 2007 - AN ORDINANCE
1 - SALE OF TAX DELINQUENT PROPERTY AT KEYSER
2 AVENUE AND WASHBURN STREET, SCRANTON,
3 PENNSYLVANIA, TO HAROLD KAPELAN, 1321
4 DARTMOUTH STREET, SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA,
5 18504, FOR THE SUM OF $700.00.
6 MS. GATELLI: You have heard Reading
7 by Title of 6-C what is your pleasure?
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: I move that Item 6-C
9 pass reading by title.
10 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
11 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All
12 those in favor?
13 MS. EVANS: Aye.
14 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
15 MR. MCGOFF: Aye.
16 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
17 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The
18 ayes have it and so moved.
19 MS. GARVEY: 6-D. READING BY TITLE -
20 FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 94, 2007 - AN ORDINANCE
21 - SALE OF TAX DELINQUENT PROPERTY AT KEYSER
22 AVENUE BY WASHBURN STREET, SCRANTON,
23 PENNSYLVANIA, TO HAROLD KAPELAN, 1321
24 DARTMOUTH STREET, SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA,
25 18504, FOR THE SUM OF $1,100.00.
1 MS. GATELLI: You have heard Reading
2 by Title of 6-D, what is your pleasure?
3 MR. COURTRIGHT: I move that Item
4 6-D pass Reading by Title.
5 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
6 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All
7 those in favor?
8 MS. EVANS: Aye.
9 MS. FANUCCI: 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: 6-E. READING BY TITLE -
15 FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 95, 2007 - AN ORDINANCE
16 - SALE OF TAX DELINQUENT PROPERTY ON HORATIO
17 AVENUE, SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA, TO HAROLD
18 KAPELAN, 1321 DARTMOUTH STREET, SCRANTON,
19 PENNSYLVANIA, 18504, FOR THE SUM OF
21 MS. GATELLI: You have heard Reading
22 by Title of Item 6-E, what is your pleasure?
23 MR. COURTRIGHT: I recommend that 6-E
24 pass Reading by Title.
25 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
1 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All
2 those in favor?
3 MS. EVANS: Aye.
4 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
5 MR. MCGOFF: Aye.
6 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
7 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The
8 ayes have it and so moved.
9 MS. GARVEY: 6-F. READING BY TITLE -
10 FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 96, 2007 - AN ORDINANCE
11 - SALE OF TAX DELINQUENT PROPERTY AT 617
12 PITTSTON AVENUE, SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA, TO
13 MARK A. AND LYNN M. SANDY, 918 BEECH STREET,
14 SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA, 18505, FOR THE SUM
15 OF $5,000.
16 MS. GATELLI: You have heard Reading
17 by Title of 6-F, what is your pleasure?
18 MR. COURTRIGHT: I move that Item
19 6-F pass Reading by Title.
20 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
21 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All
22 in favor?
23 MS. EVANS: Aye.
24 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
25 MR. MCGOFF: Aye.
1 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
2 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The
3 ayes have it and so moved.
4 MS. GARVEY: SEVENTH 0RDER. 7.A --
5 FOR CONSIDERATION BY THE COMMITTEE ON RULES
6 - FOR ADOPTION - RESOLUTION NO. 145, 2007 -
7 AUTHORIZING CHANGES TO THE FEE SCHEDULE OF
8 SECTION 104 (A) (5) OF THE ZONING ORDINANCE
9 OF 1993 TO INCREASE THE FILING FEES AND
10 CHANGE THE SPECIAL HEARING FEES.
11 MS. GATELLI: As Chair for the
12 Committee on Rules, I recommend final
13 passage of 7-A.
14 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
15 MS. GATELLI: On the question? Roll
17 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.
18 MRS. EVANS: Here.
19 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci.
20 MS. FANUCCI: Here.
21 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff.
22 MR. MCGOFF: Here.
23 Mr. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: Here.
25 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.
1 MS. GATELLI: Yes. I hereby declare
2 7-A legally and lawfully adopted.
3 MS. GARVEY: 7-B. FOR CONSIDERATION
4 BY THE COMMITTEE ON COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT -
5 FOR ADOPTION - RESOLUTION NO. 146, 2007 -
6 ACCEPTING THE RECOMMENDATION OF THE
7 HISTORICAL ARCHITECTURE REVIEW BOARD
8 ("HARB") AND APPROVING THE CERTIFICATE OF
9 APPROPRIATENESS FOR SPANO CONSTRUCTION, 1012
10 PRICE STREET, SCRANTON, PA 18504 FOR FACADE
11 REPAIR ON THE COMMUNITY BAKE SHOP, LOCATED
12 AT 321 LACKAWANNA AVENUE, SCRANTON, PA
14 MS. GATELLI: What is the
15 recommendation of the Chair on Community
17 MS. FANUCCI: As Chairperson for the
18 Committee on Community Development, I
19 recommend final passage of Item 7-B.
20 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
21 MS. GATELLI: On the question? Roll
23 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.
24 MRS. EVANS: Yes.
25 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci.
1 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.
2 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff.
3 MR. MCGOFF: Yes.
4 Mr. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
6 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.
7 MS. GATELLI: Yes. I hereby declare
8 7-B legally and lawfully adopted.
9 MS. GARVEY: EIGHTH ORDER. CITIZEN
10 PARTICIPATION II. GENERAL CITIZEN ISSUES.
11 MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Franas.
12 MS. FRANAS: Fay Franas, Scranton.
13 I'm confused here. The five minutes doesn't
14 start tonight? And we don't get the three
15 minutes before we just get five minutes
16 total then?
17 MS. GATELLI: Yes.
18 MS. FANUCCI: I'd like to thank you
19 and my baby would like to thank you for this
20 dog park, and I really mean that. A lot of
21 people concerned about this, oh, suppose
22 your dog starts fighting. Most people that
23 have a dog that fights wouldn't take their
24 dog to a dog park. I mean, my boy, they
25 just like to socialize, so we'll see how it
1 works out, but thank you very much,
2 especially Mrs. Evans you have been fighting
3 for this for five years for me and I
4 appreciate it and you have done a lot of
5 work. Thank you.
6 MS. EVANS: You are welcome.
7 MS. FRANAS: Another thing, I work
8 down in Wilkes-Barre, I want to say this
9 quick because I don't want to use up my
10 three minutes, I work down in the
11 Wilkes-Barre/Kingston area every other month
12 and every time I'm down there everyday of
13 the week they are cleaning streets,
14 everyday. In other words, every street gets
15 cleaned once a week. They have a code
16 enforcement officer, and I stopped and
17 talked to one of them today. They could do
18 it, I mean, like say my street could be like
19 Tuesday. Our code enforcement officer will
20 go in the front of the street cleaner and if
21 somebody is parked -- they have to park on
22 the opposite side of the street the day that
23 their street gets cleaned, and if they are
24 not moved then the code enforcement officer
25 gives them a ticket. I don't know why
1 Scranton can't get this, they can get some
2 revenue, and I have gotten my street cleaned
3 maybe once in 30 years, so I can't even
4 comprehend this why we don't have this in
5 Scranton if they can do that down there so
6 efficiently. It's wonderful. I mean, why
7 are we so -- why can't we do this? I mean,
8 would somebody please -- whoever would look
9 into this please? If they can do it, we can
10 do it.
11 Another thing. Mrs. Gatelli, I'd
12 like to ask you, did you meet with the
13 unions, Tom Jennings, last weekend?
14 MR. GATELLI: No, it wasn't last
16 MS. FANUCCI: Well, two weekends ago.
17 Did you meet with the union people and Tom
18 Jennings by yourself?
19 MS. GATELLI: Yes.
20 MS. FANUCCI: Do you have a right to
21 do that?
22 MS. GATELLI: Yeah. I can meet with
23 whoever I want as long as there is not more
24 than three council people.
25 MS. FRANAS: As long as you're - say
1 that again?
2 MS. GATELLI: As long as there is
4 MS. FRANAS: I can't hear you,
5 that's why I'm asking.
6 MS. GATELLI: As long as there is not
7 three council people you can meet with
8 whoever you would like.
9 MS. FRANAS: You could as yourself,
10 maybe I'm confused, but I'd like to read
11 this from the Home Rule Charter, Section
12 609: "Council shall deal with all
13 administration agencies and employees only
14 as a body through the mayor. No individual
15 council person shall have any authority
16 whatsoever under this charter unless such
17 authority is specifically designated by the
18 charter or by council acting as body."
19 Now --
20 MS. GATELLI: Am I --
21 MS. FRANAS: Don't you have to have
22 council authority to meet with the union
23 representatives and the union?
24 MS. GATELLI: I don't believe so. I
25 don't need council's authority to meet with
1 neighborhood groups. I don't see why -- -
2 MS. FRANAS: Neighborhood is not the
3 same thing as city business.
4 Neighborhood -- council has nothing
5 whatsoever to do with neighborhoods. This
6 is negotiations with unions.
7 MS. GATELLI: It wasn't an
8 association, no, it wasn't.
9 MS. FRANAS: Were you just talking
10 over contracts and stuff, the firemen and
11 the police?
12 MS. GATELLI: We were discussing the
14 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.
15 MS. FRANAS: Three minutes?
16 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.
17 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mike
18 Dudek. I'll have Attorney Minora check that
20 MS. FRANAS: I'd like an answer on
21 this, if you would.
22 MS. GATELLI: I would.
23 MS. FRANAS: And you've been very
24 nice and I'm expecting maybe popcorn and
25 soda next time.
1 MR. DUDEK: My names is Mike Dudek,
2 608 Depot Street. I live here in the Plot
3 and I have before me the current issue of
4 the union news. This is one publication
5 that doesn't have to scream at you. It can
6 put an article on Page 14 and it can still
7 rivet your eyes right out of your head. The
8 article on the I'm referring to, "MSA
9 civilian labor force declines by 18 percent
10 since 1994."
11 And basically what the article
12 points out is that the Scranton area at one
13 time had 339,000 people between the ages of
14 18 and 65 employed. Now, the MSA, the
15 Metropolitan statistical area, considers
16 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazelton and the towns
17 in-between, 339,000 workers. Today that
18 number is down to 275,400. We have lost
19 18.76 percent of our wage earners moving to
20 other locations. Similarly, the
21 Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton metropolitan
22 statistical area grew from 268,000 workers
23 in December of '94 to a current number of
24 414,000 people working in jobs, people who
25 were between the ages of 18 and 65, working
1 at full 40-hour a week jobs.
2 I want to read a couple of
3 quotations here. According to Joe Merlina,
4 Department of Labor and Industry Center of
5 Workplace Information Analysis, this is a
6 quote, "With the Interstate highway system
7 with proximity to a major metropolitan area
8 such as New York, Philadelphia and Boston,
9 I'm perplexed while the local job market and
10 worker's wages are not better than they are
11 in Northeastern, Pennsylvania. Maybe the
12 economic leaders from Northeastern
13 Pennsylvania should travel to the Lehigh
14 Valley and learn from them how they were
15 able to turn things around and have a strong
16 job market," says Mr. Molina.
17 Doesn't that say a lot for the
18 Scranton Chamber of Commerce and Austin
19 Burke, and I have been up here many a time
20 complaining about this group, how it has
21 been a drag on our economy. One of their
22 favorite little techniques is to tell an
23 employer like Kane Warehouse or Sigma up in
24 Olyphant, "You don't have to pay your
25 workers $15 an hour, fire them, just get rid
1 of them," but then have them go to one of --
2 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.
3 MR. DUDEK: -- the employment
4 agencies and rehire them back for $7 an hour
5 without benefits."
6 That's a part of this, and I will
7 speak more to this next week.
8 MS. GATELLI: Thank you, Mike.
9 MR. MILLER: Good evening, Council,
10 Doug Miller. Just an announcement to start
11 off. There will be a car wash sponsored by
12 the Scranton Junior City Council and the
13 Scranton Lackawanna County Taxpayers and
14 Citizens Association this Saturday, May 12
15 at Scooter's Hot Dawg Hut in Dunmore, 1228
16 O'Neill Highway. Mr. Bolus has donated hot
17 dogs which will be on sale for $1.25. All
18 proceeds will go to towards the free
19 swimming campaign for the children of
20 Scranton and Lackawanna County. I would
21 like to invite council, the mayor, his
22 administration, the administration from
23 Lackawanna County, we think it's important
24 that you are there to support this project
25 and, again, it's this Saturday from 9 to 4
1 at Scooter's and hopefully we have will
2 support and see people there.
3 On behalf of the Junior Council I
4 would like to thank the following: Noah
5 Landcroft, Michael Burke, Miller Bean
6 Funeral Home and Albert Hazzouri for their
7 generous donations towards our children's
8 handicapped accessible project at Nay Aug
9 Park. Your support is greatly appreciated
10 and we continue to ask for support and
11 donations and, again, you can send your
12 contributions here to city hall, 341
13 Washington Avenue, Scranton, PA, 18503. In
14 order to make this dream come free for the
15 handicapped children we need your support.
16 Tuesday is Election Day so I'd like
17 to sort of education the voters on the
18 write-in campaigns. As we know, we have
19 five candidates who are running write-in
20 campaigns this year. Republicans or
21 Democrats your ballot will appear will you
22 have a list of all your candidates, in the
23 very last box you will see the write-in box.
24 You will click on the write-in box and the
25 screen will appear where you will have the
1 opportunity to type in the candidates' name.
2 The very last screen that will appear on
3 your voting machine will show every
4 candidate that you voted for so if you have
5 a spelling error from your write-in you can
6 go back and change it. It's a very easy
7 process. I thought it was important being
8 that we had so many write-in candidates that
9 I educate the voters on this because this is
10 new to the voters and it's a very easy
11 process, so I thought I would walk everybody
12 through it. Thank you.
13 MS. GATELLI: You better be careful,
14 Charlie Spano will be mad, you will be
15 taking his job. Tova Weiss.
16 MS. WEISS: Hi. My name is Tova
17 Weiss and I'm a resident of Scranton, a
18 proud resident of Scranton, and also work in
19 Scranton by coordinating programs for the
20 Holocaust Education Resource Center of the
21 Jewish Federation and tonight I'm here
22 representing not just the Holocaust Resource
23 Center, but also the Albright Memorial
24 Library and Lackawanna College because I
25 would like to extend an invitation to
1 council members, to the mayor, to those
2 sitting here, to all Scranton area residents
3 to a wonderful program that is coming up
4 this Monday night at Lackawanna College,
5 7:00 at the Mellow Theatre at Lackawanna
6 college. The program which is called the
7 Secret of Priests Grotto, a holocaust
8 survival story, is actually a slide show and
9 author talk by two men, an explorer and a
10 photojournalist, who discovered something
11 incredible. Christas Nicoli Leeks, an
12 explorer who is really of the premier
13 explorers in the United States was the first
14 to go to the Ukraine, Western Ukraine after
15 the fall of the Soviet Union and in
16 exploring the nine largest cave system in
17 the world he found some very unusual
18 artifacts and ten years of research lead him
19 to uncover those secrets. He then was
20 joined by Peter Lane Taylor, who is a
21 photojournalist and filmmaker, they traveled
22 back to do more exploring. They also spoke
23 with survivors, 38 people who survived the
24 Holocaust in that cave in unbelievable
25 conditions and they will be telling the
1 story, it's a combination of science,
2 adventure and a very, very human story, so I
3 really hope that you pass the word to others
4 as well and I hope to see you there and 7:00
5 Monday night at Lackawanna College. Thank
7 MS. GATELLI: Thank you very much.
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: Jimmy? I can't hear
10 MR. STUCKARD: I said how are you
11 doing Courtright?
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: Good, Jim. How are
14 MR. STUCKARD: I want to know about
15 that light, they gave me a note on it.
16 Where I live at we need a -- Joe from the
17 neighborhood, Joe, the guy who works there,
18 he wants to get a light put on a pole it's
19 real dark on that street.
20 MR. COURTRIGHT: All right, Jimmy.
21 MR. STUCKARD: And I want to know
22 about -- I want to know about maybe he can
23 have it done, maybe you can look at the
24 light or have somebody look at it and
25 because of the PPL company, all right, and I
1 have a guy named Sam that maybe he's, Sam, I
2 don't know his name, he has some pizza guy,
3 Sammy, I don't know his name. What's his
4 name, Miss?
5 MS. HUBBARD: Oh, Samario's Pizza.
6 MR. STUCKARD: Samario's Pizza on
7 Providence Square and he told me to tell you
8 I told him I'm sorry what I did and I used
9 to talk about him, I didn't like him and now
10 I do.
11 MS. GATELLI: Thanks, Jim.
12 MR. STUCKARD: You've got some --
13 another problem on Lackawanna Avenue about
14 getting those holes -- getting that road
15 fixed by Greyhound there. What about the
16 skateboards? A lot -- some kids that ruin
17 the sidewalks and ruin the curbs over the
18 courthouse with skateboards all --
19 everywhere I go I see them, they are
20 ruining, the kids, the sidewalks and the
21 curbs and they are dangerous. Can you see
22 about getting a ticket girl over there on
23 that, okay?
24 MS. GATELLI: Okay. Thanks, Jim.
25 MR. STUCKARD: I was talking to his
1 -- what's his name, he worked for the city.
2 Pat, his name was Pat, he talked to
3 Courtright, I talked to Courtright, but he
4 will see about getting the money from
6 MR. COURTRIGHT: Jim, I think you got
7 to ask the mayor for that money. You did
8 the work for him, we can't get it for you,
9 he's got to pay you. Tell Pat to ask the
11 MR. STUCKARD: Okay.
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: All right, Jim?
13 MS. GATELLI: Thanks, Jim.
14 MR. BOLUS: Bob Bolus. Good
15 evening. Bob Bolus, Scranton, I guess I
16 should say the most contentious Bob Bolus
17 from Scranton. Mrs. Gatelli, I took that as
18 a compliment last week that I was becoming
19 contentious. Believe me, if there is
20 anybody more contentious in this city
21 defending the rights of the people in this
22 city I want to meet him, because I don't
23 think God put anybody more contentious than
24 I could be regarding the taxpayers in this
25 city and I'm proud of that. I'm contentious
1 about dodging the icebergs that plagued city
2 residents for over five years after the
3 Valentine's Day snowstorm. I'm contentious
4 that a million five, the golf course money
5 of the city residents, was taken unjustly
6 from this council and this administration.
7 I'm contentious that the other 1.5 million
8 dollars has not been put in permanent trust
9 as it should be, as it was intended to be.
10 I'm contentious when the District
11 Attorney Jarbola moved to selectively remove
12 me from the ballot as a favor to his
13 political cronies because they fear I will
14 win and the residents of Scranton will have
15 and will be properly represented by the most
16 contentious person in Scranton defending
17 their rights.
18 Council is why I'm a write-in for
19 the council. He did not remove Cordaro. He
20 did not remove McNulty. They had flaws in
21 their petitions. I don't think that the
22 people should let Jarbola dictate how you
23 vote and who you should vote for. You can
24 vote for a write-in for someone, you can
25 vote for me if you so desire by writing in.
1 On your agenda issues, you made an
2 issue here that you wanted people to speak
3 after you have already decided on the
4 agenda. My understanding is that the people
5 get the right to speak on the agenda prior
6 to you voting on anything, so I think you
7 should reevaluate your position on that.
8 Also, Bruce Smallacombe, the mayor of
9 Jermyn, they called me tonight and he asked
10 me if I would make an announcement for him.
11 He is trying to put together a collection
12 throughout the county of products, food
13 products and stuff for the people out in
14 Kansas. I told him I would consider
15 donating my trucks because I have done for
16 every other disaster in this country if he
17 could get enough people to do it right, I
18 will get some consideration about giving him
19 the trucks. If I may, I'd like to give you
20 a cell phone number, it's 840-8046. His
21 home number is 876, and I believe it's 4260.
22 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.
23 MR. BOLUS: You are welcome. And
24 hopefully in the future we could get a light
25 system in here so we could become
1 professional and not yell at everybody and I
2 ask --
3 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Bolus, what was his
5 MR. BOLUS: I'm sorry. Do I have
6 time to do this? Bruce Smallacombe.
7 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Mr.
9 MR. MCCLOUGH: Good evening. My name
10 is Brett McClough, I'm a resident of South
11 Scranton. I would like to talk about -- to
12 the people of Scranton about vision and the
13 management of vision. During the course
14 leading up to this election, many candidates
15 talk about how they would make a difference
16 for a better tomorrow. I want to fast
17 forward 13 years, the year is 2020. 2020 is
18 the number given for clarity of vision.
19 2020 symbolizes hindsight and afterthought.
20 What do you envision for that year? Now
21 that let's take a look back 13 years ago to
22 1994 up until today. How many mistakes and
23 could have, would have, should haves can we
24 count and how many will we repeat on our way
25 up to this year 2020. What lessons can we
1 learn from the rebuilding of Wilkes-Barre
2 after the Agnus flood in reference to the
3 current state of his downtown area today?
4 I'm quite sure blight was not a part of
5 their vision. What happened? Nepotism,
6 cronyism, and classism happened. These
7 three political sins are a byproduct of
8 greed and destroy cities from the inside
9 out. It has become more than just a fact of
10 life, but a method of survival for both
11 Wilkes-Barre and Scranton. The age of
12 government bailouts and the municipal
13 welfare has taken over as a means of income.
14 We no longer export coal, steel or textiles.
15 We export delegates to go beg for money.
16 Some would say these government grants and
17 loans are a handup, not a handout. I beg to
18 differ as long as they three sins are still
19 a part of city government. These sins are a
20 sure recipe for the blight of 2020. We
21 cannot restore pride or sustain growth by
22 relegating the people of this city to
23 servitude. I see the dilemma. If you
24 educate the population to compete for
25 nonexistent jobs they will leave for greener
1 pastures. If you tell the population that
2 the manufacturing jobs are a thing of the
3 past and slap gold collar status on the
4 masses, political rebellion is certain.
5 It's time the people of Scranton
6 understand the vision of this administration
7 and wonder if there is a place for them in
8 Scranton's future.
9 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.
10 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Jose Rojas.
11 I'm sorry if I mispronounced your name.
12 MR. ROJAS: No, you didn't. My names
13 is Jose Rojas, I'm from the Dominican
14 Republic. I have ten years in this country,
15 nine years in this country, this is the
16 second time that I come here and it seems to
17 me that it works because I cam to give a
18 complaint about my community Scranton's
19 Latinos, that was two years ago, we don't
20 know about how take buses here because there
21 not even enough sign on the street and two
22 days after my complaint Judy Gatelli was in
23 our grocery store in Main Avenue and she
24 bring a lot of flyers and the problem was
25 resolved in two weeks, that was great for us
1 and now there is another problem, so thank
2 you for that.
3 I don't want the City of Scranton
4 just all of us for a few bad eggs. My point
5 here is that I am and most of my people want
6 to contribute for the City of Scranton.
7 Before I came to be living here I was in
8 Manhattan for two years and a friend of mine
9 invited me to a vacation in Allentown and I
10 spent four days, Thursday through Monday,
11 and I was married at that time and what I
12 saw in Hazleton and Allentown was most of my
13 people. When I say my people, I'm talking
14 people from Brazil, Peru, Mexico, Puerto
15 Rico and Dominican Republic drinking
16 outside, walking without shirt, the music
17 very loud and do I like that from two raise
18 my family there, no, I didn't, so I choose
19 don't be living in Hazleton and Scranton I
20 don't say that everybody there is like that,
21 but that was what I saw. I saw liquor store
22 selling beers for extra price for people
23 below the age, so somebody said, now, come
24 to Scranton and I came to Scranton and I
25 like what I see here. I saw discrimination
1 for my race, but I could handle that because
2 I and my family, when I say my family I'm
3 talking about my mother and my stepfather,
4 we have a grocery store in Main Avenue and
5 we work 12 hours a day seven days a week and
6 we proving that working like we work we have
7 already more than four houses belonging to
8 us and we pay our taxes and we are American
9 citizens for naturalization.
10 MR. MINORA: Time.
11 MR. ROJAS: Do something to avoid the
12 same that happening in Hazelton come to
13 Scranton. This is a great city and I like
14 it. I love it.
15 MS. GATELLI: Thank you, Mr. Rojas.
16 Mr. Quinn?
17 MR. QUINN: Ozzie Quinn, President
18 of Scranton Lackawanna County Taxpayers and
19 Citizens' Association. You have before you
20 a letter from our law firm in Pittsburg and
21 the writer of that letter is a
22 constitutional lawyer in regard to us being
23 booted out of city hall and the bottom line
24 is if the mayor wants to go into litigation
25 and spend the taxpayers' money then we are
1 willing to go with it. We just completed a
2 series of candidates forums throughout the
3 -- for the city council and Scranton school
4 district and controllers and the
5 commissioners and basically what it amounted
6 to is how the heck are we going to raise
7 debt to pay off these loans, okay? The
8 county will be in debt by the end of 2007
9 $191 million. Prorate that, we got a boss
10 that we are responsible for 65 million of
11 that. Also, the school district it is 153
12 million in debt and they passed a note for
13 60 million, so you extrapolate that onto
14 $163 million then add the Doherty debt,
15 okay, and we are at half a billion dollars
16 in debt, and we are not going to get it
17 through any type of raising of revenue.
18 There is no doubt about it. A lot of the
19 candidates if they would they don't want to
20 have any taxation. So, the only thing that
21 we can do is try to start looking at our
22 situation right now. We are getting into
23 the middle or the half of the fiscal year,
24 the budget year, you will be off on August I
25 presume, maybe not, but then you will have
1 September and October, so I want to ask you
2 if we start to look at the possibility and
3 all of the grievance that we start to get
4 rid of nepotism, contracts that are not
5 needed, jobs from people who are networked
6 or donation and I ask you to empower your
7 finance chair, Janet Evans, as you did last
8 year to look at the budget beginning now so
9 that we can have something clear in October
10 so when the mayor doesn't pounce on us,
11 okay, and we can look at it and have an
12 intelligent budget before us, all right?
13 That's the only way we can start to reduce
14 is to cut the fat and start looking at the
15 jobs and the health and the benefits that
16 these employees are duplicating and whatnot
17 through the three taxing bodies and it's all
18 coming out of the same taxpayer's pockets,
19 mine, yours and everybody here.
20 We have to do something and, like I
21 said, we are almost six months there and
22 this half a billion dollars does not
23 including the SSA and increased tax rate for
24 the Chesapeake Bay, the Anglican American 6
25 million dollar arbitration award cumulating
1 interest from last May 2007 or 2006, $700 a
2 day. The inevitable fire and police
3 arbitration awards costing the taxpayers
4 millions, that's going to come down and
5 rightfully so.
6 MR. MINORA: Time.
7 MR. QUINN: The 60 million note by
8 the Scranton School Board and water rate
9 increase and today I learned that the PPL
10 has been approved by the PUC to increase
11 their rates 30 percent so we are strapped,
12 okay? And what do we have for it? Thank
13 you, Mayor, for renovating Nay Aug Park.
14 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Andy
16 MR. SBARAGLIA: Andy Sbaraglia,
17 citizen of Scranton, fellow Scrantonians.
18 As you know, we started the free swim
19 program and it's nice that you all voted
20 again to submit it to the mayor.
21 Unfortunately, I remember how it was done
22 last time, I am a little -- I'm sorry, a
23 little more senile, but it went up to the
24 mayor, of course he is going to veto it and
25 it's going to come back to you, of course,
1 the election will be over then. Are you
2 going to override the mayor's veto? Don't
3 stare. Say yes or no because we are going
4 to go on with this fundraiser until it
5 actually passes because it would be stupid
6 of us to stop. This is one thing we are
7 really, really geared up on. No matter
8 what, we can do what we can for the children
9 and there is a lot of people in this city
10 that are fully behind us. They are giving
11 up money we collected over I think $1,100
12 already for this and we are just getting
13 started. I don't want to see a déjà vu and
14 something that happens quite often with this
15 council. One way the vote goes, the mayor
16 vetoes, it comes back again, of course, it
17 can't be overridden. You need four members
18 to override the veto and we don't go it. We
19 didn't get it last year, chances are we
20 ain't going to get it this year, but, of
21 course, the election will be over by then or
22 I wouldn't even mention it other than the
23 fact that it happened last year and, of
24 course, that's the reason we are doing it
25 this year. We are not going to let another
1 year go by waiting for action from you and
2 the mayor, we just won't do it, and we are
3 going to go on with it, whatever happens
4 happens, but the children will get some free
5 swim being no matter what either from you
6 and the mayor or from us as the people of
7 Scranton, and I thank you.
8 MS. EVANS: Mr. Sbaraglia, I
9 would -- I know I cannot speak for my
10 colleagues, but I will speak for myself in
11 that when I made that motion this evening
12 part of the motion stated that there will be
13 free swimming. The second half of that
14 motion was that our solicitor would draw up
15 legislation to make it in the form of an
16 ordinance to make it stronger than just a
17 motion. Now, I can't reasonable expect that
18 any of my council colleagues would change
19 their mind on this or tonight they would
20 have voted against agreeing to free swimming
21 and agreeing to having this drawn up in the
22 form of an ordinance. I frankly can't
23 envision anyone coming up with a reason, a
24 good enough reason, to turn back on what
25 they have done tonight. Now, in the
1 meantime, however, we all know that this
2 motion and this ordinance has no affect on
3 Nay Aug and the fees will continue to be
4 charged at Nay Aug because they are set by
5 the Recreation Authority who is appointed by
6 the mayor, so I would encourage you to
7 continue with your fundraising efforts
8 because that money can certainly be well
9 used at Nay Aug for children to swim free.
10 MR. SBARAGLIA: Well, I thank you --
11 MR. MINORA: That's three minutes.
12 MR. SBARAGLIA: -- but, as I said
13 before, we don't stop until everything is
14 signed and then we will decide about Nay Aug
15 which is probably where the money will go.
16 MS. EVANS: And I did want to wish
17 you good luck on Tuesday.
18 MR. SBARAGLIA: I thank you.
19 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Jackowitz.
20 MR. JACKOWITZ: Bill Jackowitz, South
21 Scranton. The most important quality of any
22 person is their honest, credibility and the
23 ability to admit that they are wrong. These
24 qualities are a must for leaders whether
25 they are military leaders, business leaders
1 or elected officials. Speaking for myself,
2 I see none of these qualities in our current
3 city leaders with the only exception being
4 Mrs. Evans and on occasion Mr. Courtright.
5 There have been too many misleading
6 statements made by council members, cabinet
7 members and the mayor that it would take me
8 three years to accurately state them all so
9 I will only highlight a few of the most
10 current statements. Two businesses in
11 Southern Union with two weeks, one year ago,
12 never happened. Austin Burke attending a
13 City Council meeting, never happened. Oh,
14 I've forgotten, new business is economic
15 development in Scranton. Correction, new
16 buildings is economic development in
17 Scranton, not wages and jobs, just buildings
18 such as the tree house and the bridge to
19 nowhere and loans to campaign contributors.
20 Economy in the city improving. Five
21 years ago Scranton had the highest
22 unemployment rate in the state, we still do.
23 Scranton had the lowest pay rate in the
24 state, we still do. Scranton had the lowest
25 yearly earning power in the state. We still
1 do. No improvements since Mayor Doherty
2 took office. Scranton is losing population
3 fifth in the midwest and northeast region,
4 but yet the mayor and chamber advertise that
5 the population is increasing and new jobs
6 are being created. A 180 jobs lost McKinney
7 Corporation. A 100 jobs loss Dial America
8 just in the last month. Misleading
9 statements again by the newspaper and the
10 mayor and council economic chairperson, Ms.
11 Fanucci. Civilian labor force in the region
12 has declined 18 percent since 1994 yet the
13 Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton area civilian
14 labor force creased since 1994. Despite the
15 loss of good paying job and MAC truck and
16 Bethlehem steel, maybe the economic leaders
17 from Northeastern, Pennsylvania should
18 travel to the Lehigh Valley and learn from
19 how they were able to turn things around and
20 have a strong job market.
21 Miss Fanucci, Mr. Burke, Mayor
22 Doherty, this statement was made by Mr. Joe
23 Melina and the Department of Labor and
24 Industry Center for the work place
25 information analysis for the State of
1 Pennsylvania. For some reason I take this
2 statement as being factual and actual while
3 Mr. Burke, Mayor Doherty and Miss Fanucci
4 and the Scranton Times-Tribune only mislead
5 and put a spin on these statements.
6 Citizens of Scranton, the economy is
7 terrible, research and find out for
8 yourself, you will see that the Department
9 of Labor is a correct along with the US
10 Citizen's Bureau. These are not signs of
11 economic improvement, but decline. The true
12 facts need to be presented to the citizens
13 of the Scranton. In the last five years the
14 following jobs have been created: Waiters,
15 waitresses, dog groomers, banks, drug
16 stores, beauticians and fast food positions.
17 These jobs are needed in the community, but
18 they are not family sustaining jobs. The
19 waiters, waitresses and bartenders actually
20 loss earning power due to a drop in their
21 tips because of an illegal smoking ban
22 passed by city council. This error needs to
23 be corrected.
24 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.
25 MR. JACKOWITZ: Wait for the state to
1 pass the law and Scranton can be in
2 compliance not on the cutting edge of being
3 a state lawbreaker like the city is
4 currently. Thank you.
5 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.
6 Mr. Patilla.
7 MR. PATILLA: Sam Patilla, city
8 resident, taxpayer. I have before me a
9 letter dated May 8 from the Department of
10 HUD stating that they have fired off a
11 letter to the City of Scranton in regards to
12 that Alexander's loan and that one asked for
13 a Lackawanna Station hospitality unlike
14 Mr. Farrell, the city solicitor, who told me
15 I had to wait 30 days, I doubt very
16 seriously that I have to wait for 30 days
17 for the city to answer them on whether or
18 not those loans are up to par.
19 Secondly, I also requested a right
20 to know as far minorities are concerned in
21 this city. Same thing, Mr. Farrell,
22 30 days, I don't deal with middle men. I
23 have a letter from the Scranton School
24 District and it informs me that out of 1151
25 full-time employees there are ten
1 minorities. One Afro-American female at the
2 elementary level teaching. One Hispanic
3 male and one Hispanic female at the
4 secondary level, all right? More often than
5 not, school district's hiring policies mimic
6 those of their city's administration. All
7 right? This is going to stop. Okay. This
8 makes no sense you have 1,000 people and of
9 those 1,000 people only ten of them are
10 minorities. That's crazy.
11 Secondly, thanks to Mr. Parker,
12 another one of the great failures not doing
13 his job, we lost two homes on Stafford, all
14 right? I was up in that area that time of
15 the morning, I'm always up there. You know,
16 had that man done his job and assured that
17 the water pressure in the city was up to par
18 there is a strong possibility that those
19 homes could be have been saved.
20 Firefighters and police did an excellent
21 job, they cannot do anything if they don't
22 have water. You know, they ran hoses from
23 Crown. They ran houses from the bank in
24 front of Meadow, you know, and that's
25 ludicrous. The man needs to resign. They
1 needs to call for his resignation
3 Okay. Real quickly here. Last week
4 before I -- after I left a Spanish gentleman
5 got up and he stated that his people don't
6 get involved with these things, they don't
7 take sides, I'm glad to see that gentleman
8 came tonight because he proved that
9 statement was incorrect, all right? When he
10 made that statement what it said to me wast
11 that they don't vote and if you don't vote
12 then your organization shouldn't be getting
13 financial funds from the taxpayers, be it
14 OECD, UDAG, I don't care what it is. If
15 you're not voting you shouldn't be getting
16 our money, you know. But back to the letter
17 from HUD, you know, Mrs. Fanucci, time and
18 time again, you know, you give
19 misinformation and right after these
20 elections I will be calling for your
21 resignation because at one point in time --
22 MRS. FANUCCI: I can give you that
23 right now, I won't be resigning.
24 MR. PATILLA: At one point in time,
25 all right, there will be a minority placed
1 on that council and by you being in the most
2 disrespectful person up there you really
3 should be the one to just volunteer to do
4 it, because, like I said you are a wealth of
5 misinformation. Everything that comes out
6 of your mouth is a lie or incorrect.
7 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.
8 MR. PATILLA: Or along the lines of a
9 smoking ban. Allegheny's smoking ban was
10 repealed and knocked down. It's not in
12 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Gillman.
13 MR. GILLMAN: Well, first off I want
14 to thank Mrs. Gatelli for her I guess
15 preexistence for having that house torn down
16 by me at the owner's expense. It's
17 deplorable that the taxpayers have to end up
18 with these properties and insurance
19 companies are paying banks and mortgage
20 companies off, it's not right, it's a
21 loophole and ought to be taken care of I
22 guess with the legislation. You know, I'd
23 like to thank Mr. Doherty, the second time
24 in 12 years the street cleaner went by my
25 house last week, and every afternoon when I
1 sit at the Taurus Club I look at that big
2 clock and wonder what it costs. You know,
3 he lives in a different neighborhood that
4 than I do. I think my neighborhood is
5 terrible, it's slipping away right in front
6 of me. The houses look bad, the people are
7 bad, I got some terrible neighbors that
8 moved in and 90 percent of the city isn't
9 like he described, you know, in his --
10 Austin Burke must have wrote that nonsense
11 for him a couple of weeks ago, I heard it
12 two or three times how great the city is.
13 He needs to go across the street, like I
14 said, once and talk to some of these poor
15 little old ladies over there that have lost
16 their houses. Why doesn't he come down here
17 and tell us how we are going to pay for this
18 half a million -- billion dollars of tax
20 And, secondly, I'd like to say I
21 might be in the minority, but you cannot
22 keep taking 10 or 20 acres downtown for a
23 medical school. You are talking about prime
24 property. There is nothing left around here
25 that -- the college has eaten up the Hill
1 Section like a big octopus, you people are
2 just like a wolf baying at the moon, you
3 just wasting -- nothing gets to you, you
4 know. Nothing gets to this mayor. The city
5 is not in good shape.
6 I got some friends that came here to
7 talk business with Mr. DeNaples and they
8 were will disappointed, they were here six,
9 seven, eight years ago, I don't remember,
10 and they thought about how much they said
11 it's gone downhill. It's not a good place
12 for businesses and you talk about putting
13 the school over there on midtown apartments
14 then you are going to have to replace the
15 apartments with property you are going to
16 lose more property, it's got to stop
17 somewhere. It's just got to stop. I mean,
18 I don't know my note on my house is a couple
19 of hundred dollars a month now than it was
20 when I bought it to pay for taxes and now
21 you are talking about more money. It's just
22 time to terminate. How do you expect
23 people, like, I'm 71 years old and I'm
24 retired, I'm not supposed to be getting a--
25 MR. MINORA: Time.
1 MR. GILLMAN: -- a second job to pay
2 for my taxes. Thank you.
3 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.
4 MR. STIVALA: Hello. My name is Mark
5 Stivala. First thing I wanted to say is
6 Happy Mother's Day to all of the mothers and
7 then I have -- I want to talk about that
8 Alexander's loan again. I wanted to make
9 this transaction as transparent as I could
10 because I have some paperwork where Sherry
11 Tarapachak Stivala swears under oath her
12 testimony to say that she dissolved this
13 business and this testimony was done in '05,
14 I have the paperwork here for you. So if
15 she dissolved that company that you are
16 giving the loan to you are giving that loan
17 to either a dissolved company or she lied
18 under oath to the Courts that she dissolved
19 this company and also if you look on the
20 second page the attorney of record is John
21 Cerra, that's the one you checked with, so
22 he is well aware that she testified that she
23 dissolved this company under oath. That's
24 all I have to say. Thanks.
25 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Hubbard?
1 MR. HUBBARD: Good evening, Council.
2 What I gave you guys was material data
3 sheets, and I'll get into it in a minute,
4 I'm back talking about Daron Northeast
5 simply because I think that has kind of been
6 dropped over the years. On my way over to
7 Robert Morris today at 3:00 this afternoon
8 there was not one drop of water anywhere on
9 the Daron property, obviously that's taken
10 care of now, but the entire area around
11 Daron Northeast was covered in a haze of
12 dust today and because of the wind that
13 prevailing dust carried over through
14 Greenridge corners. Well, I got to pick my
15 child up at Robert Morris today and outside
16 the afterschool program kids are running
17 around with this dust blowing through the
18 neighborhood. Now, this also affects St.
19 Paul's because the prevailing wind they are
20 close enough that the children that play
21 outside at St. Paul's are effected by what
22 goes on at Daron Northeast. Before we get
23 into the MDS sheets I just want to really
24 quick run through this. Daron Northeast
25 never applied for a variance for that
1 building. They were told -- the council was
2 told, this is previous to a few of being up
3 there, by Mr. Fiorini that their variance
4 was not needed because the area was already
5 zoned for light industrial use and
6 Mr. Fiorini at a second council meeting
7 already stated that a variance was not
8 needed because there was already a building
9 on the property. Well, as far as I know, if
10 a business comes in and buys a piece of land
11 and they are going to use that land for an
12 alternate reason other than what it was
13 originally, they have no choice but to apply
14 for a variance so that a public hearing can
15 be scheduled so the neighbors surrounding
16 that building can listen to the company
17 explain what's going to be conducted, what
18 they are going to do, their time of
19 operations, everything that goes on there.
20 Well, there was never a variance applied for
21 this business so the public never had a
22 chance to really find out what was going
23 onto happen at Daron Northeast.
24 So, let's get to the MDS sheets. We
25 already know that they are illegally
1 operating because the zoning officer turned
2 his head and Mr. Fiorini turned his head to
3 allow them to operate this business without
4 a variance for the use of it for the use
5 they're using it for, so the residents never
6 had a chance to have their public hearing.
7 Also, while Mr. Doherty was on council
8 the building was sold for $126,000 to Daron
9 and there was $225,000 in back property
10 taxes were forgiven and then they were given
11 a KOZ status, so obviously the city has made
12 not one penny off of Daron Northeast.
13 The MDS sheets, we are going to talk
14 about the hazardous components. It's
15 crystalline quartz silica, it's an airborne
16 dust when you make a brick or concrete
17 product if it's cut, broken, where the
18 aggregates go into become airborne is
19 considered crystalline quartz silica.
20 Let's go to the second page under
21 the carcinogens. This is considered a
22 carcinogen by standards. OSHA on the first
23 page PEL states --
24 MR. MINORA: Three minutes.
25 MS. GATELLI: Dan, I'll talk to you
2 MR. HUBBARD: And in response to you
3 not turning your mic off, Mr. Minora, I'm
4 not considered privileged and I don't feel
5 that I'm privileged. Watch what you say
6 when your mic is on, sir.
7 MR. GATELLI: Thank you.
8 MR. HUBBARD: Thanks for your
9 comment. Make sure you turn your mic off.
10 MS. GATELLI: Liz Hubbard.
11 MS. HUBBARD: Good evening, Council.
12 Liz Hubbard, Scranton resident. I believe
13 somebody referred to Mr. Parker doing a
14 survey of the flood problems on Pittston
15 Avenue, did that come up?
16 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yeah, I did.
17 MS. HUBBARD: Mr. Parker has already
18 walked the riverbank with Daniel regarding
19 the breaches from the '06 flood and
20 Mr. Parker marked areas that needed repaired
21 and said he would repair them. Could you
22 please find out when we can expect those
23 repairs to start because it's getting on
24 toward rainy season and I know that we are
25 still vulnerable, but if they could just
1 repair the damage done from '04 and '06 then
2 maybe we would be a little safer.
3 And on the speaking time, Judy, how
4 did you -- you said we will be given more
5 time, is it going to be five minutes or are
6 you going to combine the three and three and
7 make it six.
8 MS. GATELLI: No, it will five.
9 MS. HUBBARD: But, then that's taking
10 away speaking time. Why don't you just make
11 it six and combine the two because it's
12 really hard to say what you have to say even
13 in five minutes. Somebody was saying today
14 the school board they have an unlimited
15 speaking time and when I lived in Jefferson
16 Township we had unlimited speaking time and
17 if you think these meeting are rowdy you
18 should have been at those. Anyway, ladies,
19 Happy Mother's Day.
20 MS. GATELLI: Happy Mother's Day.
21 MS. EVANS: Kay, the letter to send
22 to Mr. Parker, can we add Mrs. Hubbard's
23 request to that as well? I specifically
24 would like in writing when they can expect
25 those improvements.
1 MS. SIMMONS: Good evening. Reverend
2 Katherine Simmons, Scranton resident. I
3 came here before announcing the names of the
4 awardees of this years United Crime Watch
5 Awards on the May 25 dinner. This dinner is
6 given each year by United Crime Watch so the
7 persons receiving these awards understand
8 that they are respected and loved by the
9 people that they serve. We also want those
10 organizations that they are involved with to
11 understand that we in crime watch even if
12 the people out in Scranton don't look up to
13 them we in crime watch do. That's why the
14 dinner is free and the tables are free and
15 we allow them to bring whoever they want to
16 bring. But, once again, crime watch is
17 butting heads with the economic and
18 financial community. Florence Midtown Crime
19 Watch is surrounded by business and
20 professional organizations. Whenever we
21 throw something we should not have any
22 trouble at all raising funds. We don't ask
23 that often for anything, but, again, we just
24 don't seem to be able to garner the support
25 from those surrounding us that we need. We
1 have a school that will pave their parking
2 lot at the drop of a hat. We have a
3 gentleman who has invested years into doing
4 up his building and making his urns look
5 nice, but he won't give $1 towards crime
7 Sometimes we get so disgusted, but
8 in the end we still watch over their
9 property. This dinner will go on and it
10 will be free for those who attend, but I
11 will tell you that after the 25th I will
12 come back to council and I will let people
13 know who is surrounding us by name. Is that
14 a threat? Yes, it is --
15 MR. MINORA: Time.
16 MS. SIMMONS: -- because I think
17 it's time people know who doesn't support
18 the crime watch organizations in the city of
19 Scranton. Thank you.
20 MR. DOBSON: Dave Dobson, resident of
21 Scranton. I'd like to once again mention on
22 our medical training center to contact Bob
23 Mellow and try to keep it in the suitable
24 location. I don't know who is throwing the
25 monkey wrenches, but I don't think that
1 tearing down Midtown apartments is a viable
2 option. We should be able to find some kind
3 of language in the city. These apartments
4 are very valuable and they also take some
5 poor people off the streets and low wage
6 earners and so forth, so we really don't
7 need anymore homeless people circulating
8 around because we tore down their
10 On a less positive note, I'd like to
11 mention that on the smoking ban we have had
12 some trouble with wage earners in
13 restaurants. There is no minimum wage for a
14 restaurant. Typically from what I have
15 heard a typical page wage is $2.85 or $3.00
16 an hour plus tips and this is affecting a
17 lot of people and I don't really feel that a
18 statewide ban is a viable option either
19 because it may change the culture. There is
20 a lot of restaurants that never allowed
21 smoking or stopped ten years ago or 15 years
22 ago and they more or less diners and so
23 forth you could actually alter the culture
24 in a sense that people may just stop going
25 to those place because they can no longer
1 smoke, so I'd like to try and represent that
2 maybe some parts of it should be lifted and
3 maybe we could sell a diner a tobacco sale's
4 license, I don't know.
5 And on the taxpayers we have the
6 Saturday morning starting at 9:00 there's a
7 car wash up in Scooter's in Dunmore on the
8 O'Neill highway.
9 I was also witness to the fire last
10 weekend on Stafford Avenue, it was right
11 above my house. I went out to take the
12 hound-dog out and I seen the flames and I
13 think that possibly if there is any type
15 MR. MINORA: Time.
16 MR. DOBSON: -- regulatory agency
17 that could come in there and check water
18 pressures, my water pressure is low, so it
19 might be something in the neighborhood that
20 it's causing a problem and pipe break or
21 something like that and with the money
22 Pennsylvania American Water charges us I
23 think they can afford to come in and fix it.
24 Thank you. Have a good night.
25 MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Shumaker.
1 MR. DOBSON: Oh --
2 MS. SHUMAKER: That's fine.
3 MR. DOBSON: The phone number for Bob
4 Mellow, do we have it?
5 MS. SHUMAKER: First I'd like to
6 congratulate Mrs. Evans and her students on
7 their achievement and I wish them well in
8 the next round.
9 MS. EVANS: Thank you.
10 MS. SHUMAKER: Looking for good news.
11 Back in September of 2005 the monopoly
12 newspaper had an article stating that
13 April 2007 when it would become effective
14 that mandated state certifications would be
15 required. After that date, those not
16 certified through the Uniform Construction
17 Code would be unable to perform inspections.
18 A review of the Department of Labor and
19 Industry website, which they claim is
20 updated weekly, shows that for the City of
21 Scranton only the plumbing and mechanical
22 inspectors are certified. Therefore, I'd
23 like to know what the other four uncertified
24 inspectors are doing to earn their salaries
25 and why with two years advance notice they
1 remain uncertified?
2 MS. GATELLI: I asked that question
3 recently and I was told that they are
4 certified, so I will check that out for you.
5 MS. SHUMAKER: The state labor site
6 is available to all, it's listed by name and
7 it's listed by city and it's listed by what
8 their certifications cover and --
9 MS. GATELLI: I'm just telling you
10 what I was told and we will find that out.
11 MS. SHUMAKER: And also last Monday
12 at the Scranton Housing Authority it was
13 noted that they have some drawings for an
14 improvement at one of their facilities, I
15 believe it was Jackson Heights but I'm not
16 entirely sure, when they brought the
17 drawings to Mr. Fiorini's office they were
18 told that he is too busy and that that is
19 going to have to be outsourced, so that's
20 holding up progress and it seems a review of
21 that department might be in order.
22 Then I'd like to follow-up on a few
23 questions that I asked about a month ago and
24 hope to receive answers as there has been
25 ample time to research the issues. Number
1 one, what is the current balance in the
2 commercial industrial loan account that is
3 available to be loaned out?
4 MS. GATELLI: I think I have it
5 somewhere with me, but I'm not sure. We
6 said it at a meeting.
7 MS. SHUMAKER: The last minutes are a
8 month -- or April 12 I believe.
9 MS. GATELLI: I'll try find it for
10 you after the meeting.
11 MS. SHUMAKER: Thank you. And has a
12 lien been placed on the former Granito
13 property for the recovery of the demolition
15 MS. GATELLI: Not that I'm aware of.
16 MS. SHUMAKER: Do we know why? Also,
17 do we have the requested list, the mayor is
18 taking credit for demolishing 50 properties
19 and do we have the list of my address of
20 those properties --
21 MR. MINORA: Time.
22 MS. SHUMAKER: -- that have been
23 demolished and which ones were paid for by
24 OECD and which ones were not? I'll be back
25 to talk on blight next week, good Lord
1 willing. Otherwise, Happy Mother's Day.
2 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. There is
3 no one else, so if anyone would like to
4 speak just come to the podium.
5 MR. MORGAN: Good evening, Council.
6 I have a copy of the local Scranton Times
7 newspaper here and we have a quote here from
8 the mayor who says, "I guess the upcoming
9 elections is why they are holding it up."
10 He said, "They already voted for it
11 in the budget last year and it's really
12 academic at this point."
13 Now, we are talking about the tax
14 penalty issue you have taken off the agenda.
15 I have come here numerous times and said
16 that the major problem with this council is
17 you move through the agenda without backup
18 information. You are voting on things you
19 have no clue what this council is voting on
20 and it continues on and on and on and then
21 after the votes then we are all going to do
22 damage control, but the truth of the matter
23 is that that's what's lead this City to the
24 decline it's in now, and there is no
25 remedial action being taken at all.
1 President Gatelli says that she doesn't
2 believe that this targets senior citizens,
3 and you know what, I agree with you. Not
4 only does it target senior citizens but it
5 targets every low wage employee in the city
6 and considering the amount of people on
7 assistant, school lunch and all of the other
8 government programs this city is just mired
9 where everybody in the middle class is left
10 and I have to say that the council is
11 ultimately responsible for the destruction
12 of this city over the last 50 years with the
13 help that this mayor is really accelerating,
14 he is doing a wonderful job. Now,
15 Mrs. Fanucci, you say, "People thought the
16 legislation could hurt the taxpayers paying
17 on time so we asked for more information.
18 Nothing personal, but we are considering
19 delinquent taxpayers."
20 MS. FANUCCI: This was a misquote, by
21 the way.
22 MR. MORGAN: Okay. Well, then --
23 MS. FANUCCI: If you want to ask me
24 what I said was that we were worried
25 about -- we were worried about the fines
1 that would be incurred by the people who
2 were delinquent, that's what I said so --
3 MR. MORGAN: Okay. Well, then I
4 think should --
5 MS. FANUCCI: -- and we do know that
6 the --
7 MR. MORGAN: -- ask the Times to do
8 a correction.
9 MS. FANUCCI: No, I don't need to do
10 that. I'm correcting it right now.
11 MR. MORGAN: Okay.
12 MS. GATELLI: Then you have to
13 correct a lot of things.
14 MR. MORGAN: Absolutely.
15 MR. GATELLI: Sorry.
16 MR. MORGAN: My point on this whole
17 thing is this, everybody is fleeing the
18 city. We see council passing legislation
19 and I don't ever see any of it slowing down,
20 we are always trying to figure out what
21 happened after it happened and I really
22 can't understand why and I can't understand
23 why we didn't stop the budget and go through
24 a line item through line item and find out
25 exactly what we are doing since you are the
1 councilmen responsible for deciding where
2 the city is going to go and have the power
3 to veto whatever the mayor decides to do I'm
4 wondering what are you doing because you
5 borrowed millions and millions of dollars
6 and then you say, well, we are not going to
7 borrow anymore, we have paid money to get
8 better bond ratings and everybody is talking
9 about everybody paying their share,
10 everybody is gone beyond their share and
11 they have fled the city and I just think
12 that it's time for everybody in this city --
13 MR. MINORA: Time.
14 MR. MORGAN: -- in Tuesday's election
15 to decide what they really want to do and
16 follow this course of destruction. Thank
18 MR. SLEDENZSKI: I'm coming, Judy.
19 MS. GATELLI: Dressdown tomorrow,
21 MR. SLEDENZSKI: Huh?
22 MS. GATELLI: Dressdown day.
23 MR. SLEDENZSKI: What'd you say,
24 Jude? Close your eyes, Judy, I got a
25 present for you, you can't see it.
1 MS. GATELLI: Oh, boy.
2 MR. SLEDENZSKI: You can't see it
4 MS. GATELLI: Okay, I'm not looking.
5 MR. SLEDENZSKI: Is she looking,
7 MR. COURTRIGHT: She's not looking,
9 MR. SLEDENZSKI: Open your eyes,
10 Jude. What did you think of that, Judy?
11 MS. GATELLI: I'm going to put that
12 right behind my desk.
13 MR. SLEDENZSKI: Are you?
14 MS. GATELLI: Yes, I am.
15 MS. SLEDENZSKI: Judy, I got one
16 question this week, our girls softball team
17 beat Dunmore Valley Monday, one nothing down
18 there. I'll tell you, Judy, these girls hit
19 the ball hard as a rock. They hit the ball
20 so hard that day I almost fell out of my
21 chair. I almost fell out of my chair. I
22 did. I almost fell out of my chair. I was
23 sitting there watching them, what I am
24 supposed to do now? Oh, Jude, I want t say
25 something to my brother-in-law. Do you
1 mind, Jude, if I said Hi to him?
2 MS. GATELLI: Go ahead.
3 MR. SLEDENZSKI: Lose your place,
4 Dicky Boy.
5 MR. SHRIVER: Good evening. My name
6 Dave Shriver, I'm a resident and firefighter
7 also president of Firefighters Local 60,
8 Scranton firefighters, and I just like to
9 clear the air. There has been some
10 misstatements, misconceptions by a lot of
11 different people on the Stafford Avenue
12 fire. Just a few points that I'd like to
13 clear up. I mean, obviously basically from
14 a fire suppression standpoint there is a few
15 things you need apparatus, manpower,
16 obviously, it's a manpower intensive
17 operation and water supply.
18 There has been comments made out
19 there the water supply is maintained by the
20 city, that's not the case. The hydrant
21 system has been handed over to the water
22 company for years now. The water company
23 maintains the hydrant system, but on that
24 topic we as a safety committee with our
25 union have requested for many, many years
1 going back to when the late Mike Ferke was
2 president of our local, for information on
3 the water system, the hydrants are tested
4 yearly by American Water and previous to
5 that by the previous water company, so there
6 is flow data out there, that's the most
7 important thing to us as firefighters to
8 understand what part of the water grid is
9 able to supply what volume of water. It's
10 not pressure, it's volume, you need a lot of
11 water. If you are on the dead end of a main
12 system you need to be able to know that, and
13 that's typical of any city. You are going
14 to have different sections that it might not
15 be as, you know, able to flow the water as
16 another part, but you need to identify those
17 areas. We have requested that information
18 for years.
19 We have also requested that the city
20 ask the water company that we follow through
21 on NFPA standards for color coding and there
22 is a color coding system that's recognized
23 throughout the nation where the top part of
24 the fire hydrant is painted a certain color
25 and then we know arriving on scene what that
1 color means and it equates to a flow
2 calculation, a flow volume when that is
3 tested every year. When you have that type
4 of information you can overlay it on a map,
5 identify low water pressure areas, low
6 volume area and you can plan accordingly.
7 If you have the area that's a large area
8 then you do something like relay pumping,
9 you establish another engine company
10 automatically on that call and they will
11 come from a good section of the grid system,
12 so that information is not forthcoming to us
13 on the fire ground. The American Water
14 Company from what I understand and what I
15 have been told hasn't given us that
16 information and refused to cooperate. We
17 have repeatedly asked the city over the
18 years, over the last two administrations to
19 cooperate and for the right reasons to get
20 this information out there. So, I would ask
21 that maybe council would help intervene and
22 solve this problem that we could all --
23 MR. MINORA: Time.
24 MR. SHRIVER: -- work together.
25 MS. GERVASI: We will. Thank you for
1 the information.
2 MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Shriver?
3 MR. SHRIVER: Yes.
4 MR. MCGOFF: May I ask you a
6 MR. SHRIVER: Sure.
7 MR. MCGOFF: Was there a problem that
8 contributed to the destruction of those two
10 MR. SHRIVER: I cannot speak
11 firsthand, I wasn't there, but speaking to
12 people that were there, there was a problem
13 with water flow. They were able to identify
14 it. From what I understand, that area,
15 River Street area, there is a large main
16 that comes down off the mountain and what
17 you need to do then at that point is relay
18 in from that area, but, obviously, that
19 wasn't -- it takes time to identify that
20 situation and that's why we need to
21 information so we can preplan these things.
22 If we know where Mr. Courtright lives, I
23 remember years ago, we had information from
24 the water company we knew what the flows
25 were and up in Fawnwood in the first stage
1 that was the low service area, it was a low
2 volume area because it was going back up the
3 other side of the mountain, so we did have
4 established procedures in the fire
5 department, there was an extra engine on any
6 call up in that whole development in Phase I
7 and we would relay pump in to that area, so
8 since that time that hasn't happened.
9 MS. EVANS: Mr. Shriver, the problems
10 that you have described are they unique in
11 Scranton or is this throughout the area
12 which American Water serves? In other
13 words, are the hydrants properly marked let
14 us say in Dunmore or Throop?
15 MR. SHRIVER: I don't -- I cannot
16 answer I know some small communities do
17 color code their own hydrants, I don't know
18 if that's still done to this day, but the
19 situation of maybe a low service area, low
20 volume area, it does happen and it is part
21 of the system. I mean, you are going to
22 have an end part of the system, a dead end
23 branch, a little side lateral to the water
24 system, but that's where that information
25 needs to be forthcoming to us.
1 MS. EVANS: Oh, I agree. I'm just
2 wondering if the water company is --
3 MS. FANUCCI: Cognizant.
4 MS. EVANS: -- excluding us or if the
5 area that they serve were all excluded. In
6 other words, you need that information about
7 the water flow.
8 MR. SHRIVER: Absolutely. They flow
10 MS. EVANS: Across the area though
11 not only Scranton, all of these areas.
12 MR. SHRIVER: I can't speak if other
13 communities receive that data, that
14 is absolutely done every year by American
15 Water, they flow test every hydrant in their
16 system, but we don't receive that data and
17 we have been requesting it for many, many
19 MR. COURTRIGHT: One quick question
20 I'd like to know, why won't they give it to
21 us? What would the possible reason for them
22 not to give us that data?
23 MR. SHRIVER: I'd be speculating if I
24 did, but I --
25 MR. COURTRIGHT: Well, speculate for
2 MR. SHRIVER: I would tend to think
3 they don't want your house with a hydrant in
4 front of it with a marking that designates
5 it as a lower flow volume than maybe
6 Mr. McGoff's or, you know, everybody is
7 going to want to have a hydrant, and I'm not
8 saying that's a bad thing --
9 MS. GATELLI: Would it effect your
11 MR. SHRIVER: It actually would help
12 your insurance if we had a color coding
13 system because it's part of the ISO
14 insurance underwriting system which is
15 figured into calculations, somewhat it would
16 help out with residential, but it's really
17 big factor when you are figuring insurance
18 on manufacturing or a high risk business.
19 MS. GATELLI: I mean, maybe there is
20 a reason.
21 MR. SHRIVER: The water supply is a
22 big part of that.
23 MS. GATELLI: Because there is a
24 hydrant on each corner of that block.
25 MR. SHRIVER: Yeah. The hydrant
1 system in the City of Scranton is very
2 adequate as far as the spacing and that and
3 that is a city ordinance that where they are
4 located it's specified in so many feet
5 between them and you are going to have
6 situations where maybe you have a dead-end
7 and the big problem in the city is maybe the
8 age of the line of a lateral underground
9 might be 80 years old and then they tend to
10 corrode and restrict, so all we are asking
11 is for the information so we can preplan
13 MS. EVANS: Then let's send them a
15 MS. GATELLI: Yes.
16 MS. EVANS: On behalf of council
17 requesting the information from them.
18 MR. SHRIVER: Thank you.
19 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else?
20 MR. GERVASI: Good evening. Dave
21 Gervasi, vice-president of the Firefighters
22 Union. I'd like to piggyback on some of the
23 comments that President Shriver. Obviously,
24 listening to him talk he is much kinder than
25 I am to the administration. I remember when
1 I was first president around the time Mayor
2 Doherty came in office, our safety meetings
3 I was attending them, this issue came up,
4 and just like everything else, like the
5 arbitration that -- our first arbitration I
6 believe in 20 years that we lost was about
7 it was called a reduced response arbitration
8 where they had one less apparatus on a
9 normal alarm and, again, we went to the
10 administration and we said, "Well, why are
11 you doing this?"
12 Well, because of, you know -- a few
13 months later we found out after a mediation
14 that they wanted to it to for our own
15 safety, it cuts down on accidents and the
16 point I'm trying to make is every time the
17 city does make a move like this it either
18 violates the contract or it's just plain
19 wrong so we bring it to their attention and
20 we have a vehicle to do this called our
21 safety committee and through our grievance
22 procedure and I just want to explain to this
23 council the reason why we have so vigorously
24 fought the language and parts of the
25 language in the recovery plan is because a
1 situation that happens like this when
2 something is not identified nobody cares for
3 years and years and years until we have
4 multiple houses burn. The only way we got
5 to this the attention, and I remember
6 President Bernardi coming up to this podium
7 long ago saying we have a crisis with the
8 fire hydrants, until we lost six houses in
9 west side all in the same time it was not
10 rectified. So as far as the fire department
11 and especially with this administration it's
12 been nothing but crises management, this
13 used fire truck we are buying right now is
14 just a stop gap because at this moment we
15 only have one spare vehicle because the city
16 has not purchased a new fire engine in quite
17 awhile. Every few years because we have ten
18 vehicles running you need to repurchase them
19 because they are wearing out, and when the
20 oldest one wears out, you know, you replace
22 So, just to wrap this up, this has
23 been discussed before, this shouldn't have
24 happened and if it we suggest to the city
25 that and, you know, when we say this in
1 public, you know, the newspaper says that
2 it's scare tactics, well is it scare tactics
3 when you hear us speaking at this podium or
4 if you get information from the fire union,
5 yeah, it is scare tactic and it should be
6 scare tactics because these things can
7 happen and this is what we try to prevent
8 all the time and it falls on deaf ears all
9 of the time especially with this
10 administration. That's all I have to say.
11 MS. GATELLI: Thank.
12 MS. KRAKE: My name is Nancy Krake.
13 Someone just raised an issue about the
14 certification of our inspectors and our
15 HVAC, heating, ventilation and air
16 conditioning inspector is certified, they
17 all work under a master code official. I
18 don't believe Mark Dougher or Mark
19 Setizinger have any certifications.
20 Our housing inspectors are certified
21 per the jobs they don't fall under on that
22 website that the person was referring to.
23 They are all able to enforce the BOCA Code
24 which the police could not enforce and also
25 our plumbing and electrical and master code
1 official and even other HVAC inspector have
2 many years of construction experience which
3 is invaluable besides passing tests they
4 have actually worked in those fields for
5 many years.
6 Right now some of our rights have
7 been restored in council, but I feel rather
8 than thank the council persons who had us
9 searched before entering this building, for
10 those who tried to remove the cameras
11 instead I'm thankful that we have an
12 upcoming election in which these council
13 members have something at stake and I'm
14 sorry to say that I feel that was their
15 motivation. We have a council candidate
16 named Mr. Popil who says he is in favor of
17 decorum at council meetings. Well, what I
18 feel he thinks is decorum would be
19 oppression to the rest of us. I'm sorry to
20 say that I believe he wouldn't want us to be
21 able to speak here openly and publically as
22 well all council persons in the past have
23 done to us. He thinks like the mayor and he
24 talks like the mayor and he will vote for
25 everything the mayor wants. In the past he
1 was voted for two tax increases while he was
2 on the school board and he has said
3 publically that he does support an increase
4 in taxes.
5 The true test of all council persons
6 is how they have voted. Three council
7 persons this evening have voted a 26 percent
8 tax increase and they have also voted for
9 making broken promises from the mayor, all
10 of his consultants, his bloated middle
11 management, and all of these things are what
12 we call the 2007 budget, and the sad thing
13 is they had a very viable alternative and
14 refused to even look at it. Thank you.
15 MR. TALIMINI: Good evening, Council.
16 My name is Joe Talimini and I couldn't help
17 by listen to Mr. Shriver and also Mr.
18 Gervasi about the fire at Stafford Avenue.
19 There's one thing that's very, very sad and
20 that is nobody has reported on the situation
21 that was encountered up there by the police
22 department. From 2:45 a.m. until almost
23 quarter after 5:00 in the morning the police
24 department could not get barricades from the
25 city. They called DPW, nobody had a key.
1 They called Mr. Parker, nobody answered the
2 phone. You can pull up the tapes and find
3 out for yourself that this is all a fact.
4 We had police cars blocking all of the
5 traffic up there because people were driving
6 up there and running over the hoses.
7 I'm sure the fire department wasn't
8 aware of the fact that the police
9 departments was because they called at least
10 four times and I think Mr. Parker needs to
11 get out of here if he can't handle emergency
12 management in a situation like that.
13 Now, they had a problem with water.
14 They had a serious problem with water. A
15 fire of that nature you are going to draw
16 spectators and rubber neckers.
17 Unfortunately, the police were overtaxed and
18 that is a very, very crucial time of the
19 morning and you know that, Mr. Courtright.
20 MR. COURTRIGHT: I was there. Can I
22 MR. TALIMINI: A very crucial time of
23 the morning. They could not get barricades
24 and I think this council owes a thank you to
25 the University of Scranton which donated the
1 barricades and brought them up because the
2 City DPW could not furnish them. Thank you.
3 MR. COURTRIGHT: Mrs. Gatelli, may I
4 say something?
5 MS. GATELLI: Sure.
6 MR. COURTRIGHT: I was there that
7 evening, I was at the fire and they couldn't
8 get the barricades and I just -- I was busy
9 this week, I wasn't able to do it, but I had
10 every intention of sending a letter to
11 Mr. Hayes and asking that if they would
12 leave a key for where the barricades are
13 stored in the police department. I mean, we
14 trust them with our lives, I think we can
15 trust them with a key to get our barricades.
16 I just haven't -- to be perfectly honest, I
17 haven't had a chance to write the letter,
18 but if they leave it down at the police
19 station whoever the commander is of the
20 shift, they have a key to get the
21 barricades, they are always looking for
22 barricades, and I think we can trust them,
23 and that certainly was a problem. It was a
24 Friday evening and that's traditionally,
25 believe it or not, it was as full moon and
1 that's when it rocks and rolls on a fool
2 moon, and I it's superstitious, but it
3 happens and it was a busy night and they
4 were tied up blocking street off. You are
5 100 percent correct. Thank you.
6 MR. ANCHERANI: Good evening. Nelson
7 Ancherani, taxpayer, city employee, and
8 resident of the City of Scranton. I just
9 want to say Mrs. Krake forgot to say
10 Mr. Courtright voted for Mrs. Evans' budget.
11 He did not vote for the budget increase.
12 I started attending city council
13 meetings in the Summer of 2002 speaking
14 against the Recovery Plan that the mayor
15 wrote and the Recovery Plan if implemented
16 striped the unions of everything they had
17 gained in negotiations and bargaining. In
18 2002, November, the Recovery Plan was on the
19 ballot for a yes or no answer. A, yes,
20 would be for the Recovery Plan a, no, would
21 be against it. The mayor had to be
22 concerned that the plan was going to be
23 rejected because right before the election
24 he threatened that if the Recovery Plan was
25 rejected he would raise our taxes. The
1 voters in that election voted with their
2 wallets and not with the merits of the
3 Recovery Plans. Only a few people read it
4 and knew what was in it. It was a scare
5 tactic that worked at the time but has come
6 back to bite the taxpayers on the butt. I
7 said at the time that taxes would be raised
8 and raised high. I told you so, not this
9 council, but previous ones.
10 Before the Recovery Plan was voted
11 for our debt was 26 million. Since the
12 Recovery Plan was enacted we are now 300
13 million in long-term debt for at least the
14 next 28 years. The Recovery Plan was
15 supposed to get the city financially sound
16 by being balanced on the backs of city
17 employees and the unions are getting the
18 blame for the dire financial blight of the
19 city. The mayor and slimes like the
20 implementation of the Recovery Plan that it
21 had to be implemented for the city to become
22 financially stable.
23 Well, here we are in 2007 and the
24 plan is not implemented, the city is buried
25 in 300 million long-term debt, we are in the
1 first year of a 25 percent tax increase
2 voted for by Mrs. Gatelli, Ms. Fanucci and
3 Mr. McGoff. We are faced with a 56 1/2
4 percent Scranton Sewer Authority rate hike,
5 we have a record 77 and a half million city
6 budget and it's the unions who get the
7 blame. I'm going to remind you again that
8 the unions got nothing. Nothing. And we
9 are still 300 million dollars in debt. The
10 300 million plus came on Doherty's watch.
11 It's his B and S attitude that has us where
12 we are today.
13 Couple this 300 million from the
14 city and the 200 million by the county we
15 have approximately a 500 million death,
16 that's one half billion dollars.
17 For the citizens and taxpayers of
18 the City of Scranton and Lackawanna County
19 the mayor immediately violated the Recovery
20 Plan by creating new positions and gave
21 raises to selected persons to the tune of
22 11 million dollars.
23 MR. MINORA: Time.
24 MR. ANCHERANI: While continuing to
25 blame the unions. Again, the unions got
1 nothing. In the mayor's own words, don't
2 take the bait.
3 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Anyone
4 else? I make a motion to adjourn.
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
6 (Meeting adjourned.)
2 C E R T I F I C A T E
4 I hereby certify that the proceedings and
5 evidence are contained fully and accurately in the
6 notes of testimony taken by me at the hearing of the
7 above-captioned matter and that the foregoing is a true
8 and correct transcript of the same to the best of my
CATHENE S. NARDOZZI
13 OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER