1              SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING








            5                          HELD:




            7                   Monday, January 7, 2008




            9                        LOCATION:


           10                   Council Chambers


           11                 Scranton City Hall


           12              340 North Washington Avenue


           13                Scranton, Pennsylvania





















                            CATHENE S. NARDOZZI- COURT REPORTER






















                MS. JANET E. EVANS



            9   MS. SHERRY FANUCCI



                MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT



           12   MS. KAY GARVEY, CITY CLERK






           15   MR. AMIL MINORA, SOLICITOR


























            1                      (Pledge of Allegiance recited.)


            2                      MS. GARVEY:  I would like to ask


            3              that everyone please remain standing.  I


            4              would ask for a moment of silence to


            5              remember the victims of yesterday's fatal


            6              fire.  I'd ask for your prayers for Richard


            7              and Marie Fenstermacher, who were victims of


            8              the fire, and especially for Captain James


            9              Robeson and the Scranton fire Department,


           10              who lost his life in the line duty at this


           11              fire.  Please remember his family in his


           12              prayers, especially Jim's wife, Linda, and


           13              his son, Ryan, and this most devastating


           14              time of loss.  Please pray for firefighters


           15              Jennifer Hawker, Tommy Owns and Richard


           16              Czyzyk who were also injured in this fire.


           17              Please ask that they, as well as the entire


           18              Scranton Fire Department, will recover from


           19              this most tragic event.


           20                      (Moment of silent observed.)


           21                      MS. GARVEY: Thank you.  I would now


           22              like to ask Monsignor Philip Gray to step


           23              forward to the podium to offer the


           24              invocation, please.


           25                      MR. GRAY: Allow me to pray the






            1              prayer of St. Francis.


            2                      (Invocation given by Monsignor


            3              Gray.)


            4                      MS. GARVEY: In accordance with the


            5              Home Rule Charter of the City of Scranton,


            6              designating the first Monday of January as


            7              the day for City Council to reorganize, I


            8              hereby call this 2008 reorganization meeting


            9              to order.  Neil, can we please have roll


           10              call?


           11                      MS. GATELLI:  On the question?  Roll


           12              call.


           13                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.


           14                      MS. EVANS:  Here.


           15                      MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.


           16                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Here.


           17                      MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Fanucci?


           18                      MS. FANUCCI:  Here.


           19                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Gatelli.


           20                      MS. GATELLI: Here.


           21                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.


           22                      MR. MCGOFF:  Here.


           23                      MS. GARVEY:  I have before me the


           24              certificate of election of Roseann


           25              Novembrino, City Controller.  Will the






            1              council adopt a motion to the effect that


            2              the certificate be received and ordered


            3              filed and made a part of the minutes?


            4                      MS. EVANS: I so move.


            5                      MS. GATELLI:  I'll second the


            6              motion.


            7                      MS. GARVEY:  On the question?  All


            8              those favor?


            9                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.


           10                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.


           11                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.


           12                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.


           13                      MR MCGOFF:  Aye.


           14                      MS. GARVEY: Opposed?  The ayes have


           15              it and so moved.


           16                      MS. EVANS:  And I just wanted to say


           17              what a great honor it is to have made that


           18              motion for Scranton's first lady and a six


           19              term city controller.


           20                      MS. GARVEY:  At this time I would


           21              just like to ask that as the people are


           22              being called to the podium to be sworn in,


           23              it would be appreciated if the judges and


           24              the elected officials would then sign the


           25              documents that Neil will have ready for you






            1              upon completion of your comments.  And,


            2              Neil, they may need that before them, they


            3              may have to give it to them as they are


            4              coming up to the podium so that they can


            5              recite what's on the paper.


            6                      I will now ask that Honorable James


            7              J. Walsh to step forward to the podium to


            8              administer the oath of officer to Mrs.


            9              Novembrino for the elected office of City


           10              Controller.


           11                      (ROSEANNE NOVEMBRINO was


           12              administered the oath of office by the


           13              Honorable James J. Walsh.)


           14                      JUDGE WALSH:  Well, once again on


           15              behalf of myself and my whole family and


           16              people of the City of Scranton,


           17              congratulations again.  I think this must be


           18              a record, isn't it six times, city


           19              controller?  It must be.  Good luck.


           20                      MS. NOVEMBRINO: Monsignor Gray,


           21              Honorable Judges, Mayor and Council, I feel


           22              so privileged to be standing here today.  I


           23              realize that once again I have received the


           24              wealth and support of my wonderful family,


           25              friends and exceptional citizens of Scranton






            1              who truly have supported me year after year.


            2                   Next to my love of God, family and


            3              friends, comes my love for my great city.


            4              In government no longer can we afford to sit


            5              in judgment of one another or be at odds


            6              with one another.  Yes, we made disagree,


            7              but our disagreements should be resolved as


            8              quickly as possible and always with the


            9              terms of the Home Rule Charter that dictate


           10              our roles as separate governmental bodies.


           11              Let common sense and common courtesy


           12              prevail.


           13                      It is time as a city we determine


           14              our goals, set out to achieve them and work


           15              together to realize them as controller, I


           16              pledge that my staff will be part of a


           17              positive process that will ensure the city's


           18              future.  We will always keep our eyes on the


           19              builders, the planners and the future of


           20              Scranton.


           21                      At this time I would also like to


           22              extend my congratulations to Councilmen Bill


           23              Courtright and Bob McGoff.  I also would


           24              like to mention my condolences to the family


           25              of Captain Robeson.  A person once a friend






            1              of mine once give me a quote about a firemen


            2              and it reads:  No one is a stranger in the


            3              eyes of a firefighter.  Thank you so much.


            4                      MS. GARVEY: I have before me the


            5              certificates of election of William L.


            6              Courtright and Robert E. McGoff, Jr. As City


            7              Councilpersons.  Will the Council adopt a


            8              motion to the effect that the certificates


            9              be received and ordered filed and made a


           10              part of the minutes?


           11                      MS. EVANS: I so move.


           12                      MS. GATELLI:  I second the motion.


           13                      MS. GARVEY:  On the question?  All


           14              those in favor say aye.


           15                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.


           16                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.


           17                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.


           18                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.


           19                      MR. MCGOFF: Aye.


           20                      MS. GARVEY:  Those opposed?  The


           21              ayes have it and so moved.  I will now ask


           22              the Honorable Judge Thomas J. Munley to step


           23              forward to the podium and administer the


           24              oath of office to William L. Courtright for


           25              the elected office of City Council.






            1                      (WILLIAM L. COURTRIGHT was


            2              administered the oath of office by the


            3              Honorable Thomas J. Munley.)


            4                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I will reserve my


            5              comments until the end of the meeting when


            6              we all make our comments at the end to speed


            7              it up for everybody.


            8                      MS. GARVEY:  I would the ask the


            9              Honorable Judge Carmen Minora if he would


           10              step forward to the podium to administer to


           11              oath of office to Robert E. McGoff for


           12              elected office of City Council.


           13                      (ROBERT E. MCGOFF was administered


           14              the oath of office by the Honorable Carmen


           15              Minora.)


           16                      MR. MCGOFF: I, too, would like to


           17              reserve my comments until the end.  Thank


           18              you.


           19                      MS. GARVEY:  I would now like to ask


           20              Mayor Doherty if you would like to come to


           21              the podium and have a few comments.


           22                      MAYOR DOHERTY: Good afternoon,


           23              everyone.  Judges, welcome.


           24              Mrs. Novembrino, congratulations, sixth


           25              term, that's outstanding.  I just want to






            1              thank you for all of that you have done for


            2              the city and more importantly for allowing


            3              us to work city government, we work


            4              extremely well with you, you are very kind


            5              and often guide us through many obstacles


            6              that we face throughout the day as we run


            7              the city, you really are an outstanding


            8              asset to our community and I just want to


            9              thank you personally.


           10                      Councilman Courtright,


           11              congratulations, an outstanding election and


           12              four years of great service.  You do an


           13              outstanding for the city and you really are


           14              a voice for the people and I just want to


           15              congratulate you for all your hard work and


           16              what you do for our community and your


           17              success in this past election.


           18                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you.


           19                      MAYOR DOHERTY: Bob, congratulations,


           20              an outstanding election and your service to


           21              the community.  You have done a great, great


           22              job.


           23                      I would like to also thank Mrs.


           24              Gatelli.  Working with you the past few


           25              years as a council president has been






            1              tremendous.  When I say you are always open,


            2              I mean we talk all the time regarding


            3              different situations that happen as to the


            4              day-to-day running of the city and you


            5              really have done the city a great service.


            6              You have been outstanding, so I just want to


            7              congratulate you.


            8                      And to everyone on council, I


            9              appreciate all of your hard work.  It is not


           10              easy to be of public service, but the great


           11              think is you all have a tremendous love for


           12              our city and you want to serve our city well


           13              and you have.  We have done very, very well


           14              as a city and I appreciate all of your hard


           15              work and your commitment and your love for


           16              our city, so I look forward to working with


           17              all of you over the next two to four years


           18              and I just want to say thank you.  Thank you


           19              on behalf of everyone in the city for your


           20              hard work, your love and your passion for


           21              Scranton.  Thank you very much.


           22                      MS. GARVEY:  I will now accept


           23              nominations for temporary chairperson, what


           24              is your pleasure?


           25                      MS. GARVEY: I move that Sherry






            1              Fanucci be appointed temporary chair.


            2                      MR. MCGOFF:  I second the motion.


            3                      MS. GARVEY: On the question?  All


            4              those in favor say aye.


            5                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.


            6                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.


            7                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.


            8                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.


            9                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.


           10                      MS. GARVEY: Those opposed?  The ayes


           11              have it and so ordered.  Mrs. Fanucci, will


           12              you please take over as temporary


           13              chairperson?


           14                      MS. FANUCCI: Thank you.  We will now


           15              proceed with the reorganizational meeting.


           16              I know ask for nominations for City Clerk.


           17                      MS. EVANS: I nominate Kay Garvey,


           18              City Clerk.


           19                      MS. GATELLI: I second the motion.


           20                      MS. FANUCCI:  On the question?  I


           21              will ask for a roll call, please, Neil.


           22                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  Roll


           23              call.


           24                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.


           25                      MS. EVANS:  Yes.






            1                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.


            2                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yes.


            3                      MR. COOLICAN:  Ms. Fanucci.


            4                      MS. FANUCCI:  Yes.


            5                      MR. COOLICAN:  Ms. Gatelli.


            6                      MS. GATELLI: Yes.


            7                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.


            8                      MR. MCGOFF:  Yes.


            9                      MS. FANUCCI: The motion is adopted


           10              and I declare Kay Garvey duly and legally


           11              elected City Clerk.  I will now call for


           12              nominations for permanent president --


           13                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  I would like to


           14              nominate Sherry Fanucci as president for the


           15              chairperson and as for President of City


           16              Council for the ensuing two years.


           17                      MS. EVANS: Second.


           18                      MS. FANUCCI: On the question?  I'm


           19              going to decline, but I want to thank you


           20              very much for nominating me and your faith


           21              in me is outstanding and overwhelming, but


           22              being the fact that I, you know, am right


           23              now raising my daughter and a home and


           24              trying to have a job and city council I


           25              believe that the president would be just too






            1              much for me to handle at this moment, but I


            2              want to thank you for the nomination.  Thank


            3              you.  Now, I'd like to proceed and I'd ask--


            4                      MR. COURTRIGHT: We have to vote,


            5              Amil?


            6                      MS. FANUCCI: Oh, we have to vote,


            7              okay.  I'll ask for a roll call.


            8                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.


            9                      MS. EVANS:  Yes.


           10                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.


           11                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yes.


           12                      MR. COOLICAN:  Ms. Fanucci.


           13                      MS. FANUCCI:  No.


           14                      MR. COOLICAN:  Ms. Gatelli.


           15                      MS. GATELLI: No.


           16                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.


           17                      MR. MCGOFF:  No.


           18                      MS. FANUCCI: The no's have it and


           19              motion has failed.  On the question I'd like


           20              to ask for nominations for President of


           21              Council?  I would like to nominate for the


           22              next two years Mr. Robert McGoff as


           23              permanent chairperson and President of City


           24              Council?


           25                      MS. GATELLI: I second the motion.






            1                      MS. FANUCCI: On the question?


            2                      MS. EVANS:  Yes.  Most often council


            3              casts unanimous votes.  Occasionally,


            4              however, council demonstrates disagreement


            5              on crucial issues such as borrowing,


            6              budgets, and taxation.  Throughout both


            7              agreements and disagreements I respect my


            8              honorable colleagues, however, out of equal


            9              respect and concern for all taxpayers


           10              present and future I cannot approve of a


           11              President of City Council who voted to


           12              borrow in 2007 and 2008, increased taxes


           13              unnecessarily in 2007, and saddled senior


           14              citizens and the working core in 2007 with


           15              Draconian fees, penalties, costs and fines


           16              in the collection of delinquent taxes that


           17              may result in a the loss of their homes.


           18                   Further, I cannot vote for any who


           19              would seek to limit free speech past,


           20              present or future.


           21                      MS. FANUCCI: Anyone else on the


           22              question?


           23                      MS. GATELLI:  I'd just like to say


           24              that some things never change.


           25                      MS. FANUCCI: I'll ask for a roll






            1              call.  Neil?


            2                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.


            3                      MS. EVANS:  No.


            4                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.


            5                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yes.


            6                      MR. COOLICAN:  Ms. Fanucci.


            7                      MS. FANUCCI:  Yes.


            8                      MR. COOLICAN:  Ms. Gatelli.


            9                      MS. GATELLI: Yes.


           10                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.


           11                      MR. MCGOFF:  Yes.


           12                      MS. FANUCCI: The motion is adopted


           13              and I declare Robert McGoff duly and legally


           14              elected President of City Council.  Now I'd


           15              like to call for nominations for


           16              vice-president of city council for the


           17              ensuing next two years.


           18                      MR. MCGOFF:  I nominate Judy Gatelli


           19              as vice president of city council.


           20                      MS. FANUCCI: I second the motion.


           21              On the question?


           22                      MS. EVANS: Yes.  As an elected


           23              representative of the people I cannot cast


           24              my vote for Mrs. Gatelli as I did in 2006.


           25              The people have railed against a lack of






            1              leadership, professionalism and decorum


            2              during her presidency.  She cancelled


            3              numerous meetings, assigned police to


            4              council meetings, removed television cameras


            5              from council chambers, limited the number of


            6              speakers or the number of citizens who could


            7              attend council meetings causing them to


            8              stand in line for many cold hours to gain


            9              entry to city council, and engaged in


           10              behavior, name calling and disrespect of our


           11              constituency.


           12                      MS. FANUCCI: Is there anyone else on


           13              the question?  I actually want to say


           14              something, it just goes to show me that


           15              class cannot be taught.  Is there anyone


           16              else on the question?  Roll call, please,


           17              Neil.


           18                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.


           19                      MS. EVANS:  No.


           20                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.


           21                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  No.


           22                      MR. COOLICAN:  Ms. Fanucci.


           23                      MS. FANUCCI:  Yes.


           24                      MR. COOLICAN:  Ms. Gatelli.


           25                      MS. GATELLI: Yes.






            1                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.


            2                      MR. MCGOFF:  Yes.


            3                      MS. FANUCCI:  I declare Judy


            4              Gatelli, vice-president of city council


            5              legally and duly.


            6                      MS. GATELLI: At this time I'd like


            7              to make a motion that we appoint Amil Minora


            8              to the position of city solicitor.


            9                      MR. MCGOFF:  I second the motion.


           10                      MS. GATELLI: On the question?


           11                      MS. FANUCCI: On the question?


           12                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  All


           13              in favor.


           14                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.


           15                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.


           16                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.


           17                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.


           18                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  The ayes have it


           19              and so moved.


           20                      MS. GARVEY: I will now ask


           21              Councilman McGoff to come forward to the


           22              podium and be sworn in as council president


           23              by the Honorable Judge Carmen Minora.


           24                      JUDGE MINORA: This oath will sound


           25              familiar since you just took it ten minutes






            1              ago.


            2                      (ROBERT E. MCGOFF, was administered


            3              the oath of office by Judge Minora.)


            4                      JUDGE MINORA: Congratulations again,


            5              Robert.


            6                      MS. GARVEY:  I will now ask


            7              Councilwoman Gatelli to come forward to the


            8              podium and be s worn in as Council


            9              Vice-President by the Honorable Judge Carmen


           10              Minora.


           11                      JUDGE MINORA: I just have to tell as


           12              I just whispered to Council President


           13              McGoff, I'm pleased and privileged to be


           14              here and participate in any ceremonies.  I


           15              did this four years ago and I'm delighted to


           16              do it again.  Our families have known each


           17              other for about three generations, and I


           18              also hope that the message of Monsignor Gray


           19              isn't lost on the day and that we reflect on


           20              the sacrifices that public servants have to


           21              make, firefighters making the ultimate


           22              sacrifice and also the Fenstermachers who


           23              I've known since I was a magistrate, and I


           24              would hope that the acrimony that associates


           25              itself with this chambers can become reduce.






            1                   Judge Munley and I were just the Board


            2              of Elections for the past election cycle and


            3              one of the efforts that he and I thought we


            4              should make was that we should to try


            5              approach our task in the most bipartisan way


            6              possible and it was a pleasure and privilege


            7              to work with Judge Munley on that and I


            8              would hope that can carry for your term as


            9              well and I wish that for all of you.


           10                      (JUDY GATELLI, is administered the


           11              oath of office by Judge Minora.)


           12                      MS. FANUCCI: I will now ask Judge


           13              Thomas Munley to come to the podium and have


           14              Kay Garvey sworn in as city clerk.


           15                      (KAY GARVEY, is administered the


           16              oath of office by Judge Munley.)


           17                      MS. GARVEY: I really didn't prepare


           18              anything to say this is just off the record,


           19              off the cuff, I would like to thank all of


           20              you once again for your confidence in me and


           21              retaining me for city clerk for the next two


           22              years and I will support each of you and


           23              offer you the -- I'm a little bit nervous


           24              right now, I'm not usually at this side of


           25              the podium, with the confidence that you






            1              have shown in me, I will return respect to


            2              each of you and treat you in that way that


            3              you deserve.  Thank you.


            4                      I'd also thank to my husband for


            5              putting up with me for the last two years,


            6              it hasn't been easy.


            7                      MS. FANUCCI: I'm going to ask that


            8              Robert McGoff take over as permanent


            9              chairperson and president of Scranton City


           10              Council.


           11                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.  We are now


           12              ready to consider the Rules of Procedure by


           13              which this council will be governed during


           14              the next two years, what is your pleasure?


           15                      MS. GATELLI:  I move that the Rules


           16              of Council be adopted, Resolution No. 1,


           17              2008, as required by the Home Rule Charter.


           18                      MS. FANUCCI: I second the motion.


           19              Mrs. Garvey, would you please read


           20              Resolution No. 1.


           21                      MS. GARVEY:  Resolution No. 1, 2008,




           23              THE SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL, SCRANTON,


           24              PENNSYLVANIA.


           25                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?






            1                      MR. COURTRIGHT: On the question, I


            2              have a question for Mr. Minora.  I have no


            3              problem with any of the rules except one and


            4              that is the one Mrs. Franus had brought up,


            5              she brought it up before I had an


            6              opportunity.  I can understand after their


            7              five minutes is up that we shouldn't be


            8              conversing back and forth with them and I


            9              support that, but I don't know how could I


           10              sit here if somebody asks me a question and


           11              then they are willing to forfeit their time,


           12              and if I'm willing to answer the question,


           13              I'm not saying any council person has to


           14              answer the question, but I think I should be


           15              afforded the opportunity if they say they


           16              would forfeit their time to me to allow me


           17              to answer the question.


           18                      You know, I have sat here for four


           19              years and sometimes the first year when I


           20              was council that sometimes you get two or


           21              three people asking a question and you say,


           22              you know, we'll do it in motion when motions


           23              were at the end, sometimes it didn't have


           24              the impact, sometime I didn't remember the


           25              question as enough, I understand the intent,






            1              the intent is to do away with some of the


            2              animosity we have here, and I'm all for


            3              that, but are you telling me it's -- they


            4              can legally stop me from answering the


            5              question?


            6                      MR. MINORA: Well, here's -- we are


            7              adopting rules and the Home Rule Charter,


            8              the charter requires us to adopt the rules.


            9              Those are the rules proposed.  Once you have


           10              a rule if they are not followed, as I said


           11              numerous times, if you don't follow a rule


           12              it's a mere suggestion, so if the rules are


           13              adopted they are rules.  I'm not sure the


           14              legal question you are asking me.


           15                      People have a right under public


           16              meeting laws to make comment, they don't


           17              have a right to answers, they don't have


           18              a right to require you to produce documents.


           19              There is a separate statute for that, but a


           20              lot of those things have happened here, so


           21              if you are asking me to a legal opinion


           22              whether or not you have the right to


           23              comment, as I understand these rules they


           24              provide that right in motions and really


           25              it's not different from our old rules which






            1              said that all comments and questions should


            2              be directed through the chair and really the


            3              other members, the president was the only


            4              person who had the right under the old


            5              rules, you know, the previous rules to make


            6              comment and to direct answers. So it's


            7              really not a dramatic change in that


            8              respect, it's just really stating in black


            9              and white what already was the rule.


           10                      It doesn't preclude anybody from


           11              making comment during their motions section.


           12              All of you have that opportunity in 5-A I


           13              believe to answer, to make comments and that


           14              would come after the public speaking, so I


           15              don't know if I'm answering your question or


           16              just babbling on, but I'm trying to address


           17              all of the points that you made, some of


           18              them, you know, I can only answer a legal


           19              questions, others are questions that, you


           20              know, you adopt the rules, some will be set,


           21              some will adopt.  The adopted rules become


           22              the adopted rules.


           23                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay, let me say


           24              this.  In my first two years when


           25              Mr. DiBileo was here I never answered






            1              anybody's question without asking his


            2              permission first out of courtesy to the


            3              seat, and I did the same when Mrs. Gatelli


            4              was here, whether I care for who is the


            5              president or not I always respect the seat,


            6              the office.


            7                      So if I vote, yes, on these rules


            8              then I'm agreeing that I -- I'm agreeing


            9              that I can't answer someone's question,


           10              that's the way I look at it.  These rules


           11              are telling me that I can't answer


           12              somebody's questions until my portion of the


           13              meeting where I comment and I don't agree


           14              with that, I think that's wrong.


           15                      Let me ask you this question, if I


           16              vote, no, and then someone asks me a


           17              question and I answer in their five minutes


           18              what happens to me?


           19                      MR. MINORA:  Well, the rules are the


           20              rules, you are can be gaveled.


           21                      MR. COURTRIGHT: If I break the rule


           22              what happens to me?


           23                      MR. MINORA: As anybody who breaks


           24              the rules you can be gaveled down, called


           25              out of order and, you know, those are






            1              Robert's Rules of Order.


            2                      MR. COURTRIGHT: And I can be removed


            3              from these chambers?


            4                      MR. MINORA: Well, I hope that


            5              nothing would ever come to that.


            6                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Well, I've seen


            7              worse in here, that's why I'm asking.  I


            8              mean, let's face it, the last two years have


            9              been a lot of problems.


           10                      MR. MINORA: Can a councilperson be


           11              removed for being out of order, is that what


           12              you're asking me?


           13                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yes.


           14                      MR. MINORA: At some point in time


           15              when a council person, just like any other


           16              person who disrupts a meeting can they be


           17              removed, yes, and it's been done in this


           18              county in the past.


           19                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay, I would be


           20              voting, no, just for that one particular


           21              reason.  I agree with all of the other rules


           22              and I agree with the reasoning why they are


           23              doing it I just feel like I'm under a


           24              Communist Rule here right now, so I will be


           25              voting, no.






            1                      MS. EVANS: Like Mr. Courtright, I do


            2              agree with the majority of the rules, but it


            3              does appear that one of the rules of council


            4              is rudded in ignorance and I cannot vote


            5              then to approve the rules nor will I be


            6              party to them or abide by that rule.


            7              Citizens have the right to question their


            8              elected officials and to receive answers.


            9              Elected officials have the right to speak to


           10              constituents and respond to their questions.


           11              No citizen should have to engage in a game


           12              of question and answer that plays out as the


           13              weeks and months dwindle.  Not all citizens


           14              can remain to receive a response later in


           15              the meeting and not all citizens can attend


           16              weekly meetings to receive their responses


           17              at later dates.  Not all citizens are naive


           18              enough to be duped into a procedure that


           19              enables their questions and comments to go


           20              unanswered or be totally forgotten.


           21                      And I empathize with the public.  I


           22              know how it feels not to have their


           23              questions answered.  I know how it feels to


           24              have the questions drag on for months with


           25              no answers.  Therefore, I will not refuse to






            1              respond when asked.  My purpose is to serve


            2              and respect the people, they alone are my


            3              bosses.  That's it.


            4                      MR. MCGOFF:  The rules that we are a


            5              considering were made in deference to


            6              people's request.  At times people did


            7              complain that their speaking time was being


            8              used by council members responding to them


            9              and that they were not granted adequate


           10              time.  The provision to which Mr. Courtright


           11              and Mrs. Evans are remarking was in an


           12              attempt not to curb anyone's right to know,


           13              not to curb anyone's ability to speak, it


           14              was simply to provide the persons at the


           15              podium during civic participation five


           16              uninterrupted time to make a statement to


           17              council.


           18                      As Attorney Minora has said, Robert


           19              Rules of Order and past practice have


           20              accepted that as a means of doing business.


           21              Whether we practice that at all times may be


           22              a different story, but it is not a


           23              fundamental change in procedure.  It merely


           24              is, again, as Attorney Minora said, it is


           25              merely stating what was understood as a rule






            1              before.  Anybody else on the question?


            2                      MS. EVANS: Yes.  I would agree with


            3              what much of Mr. McGoff has to say and I


            4              feel that all council members when requested


            5              by speakers to respond during motions have


            6              done so in deference to the speaker, and in


            7              order to be able to allow a full three


            8              minutes or two minutes to their


            9              presentation.  When asked for a response,


           10              though, I do believe that most council


           11              members, if not all, have responded


           12              immediately to comply with the request of


           13              the constituent and I see no reason why the


           14              speaker cannot make that decision, why the


           15              speaker cannot state their preference for


           16              waiting for a response from a council member


           17              under motions or receiving a response


           18              immediately.


           19                      MR. MCGOFF:  Anyone else?


           20                      MS. GATELLI:  Well, I would just


           21              like to say having been in your position,


           22              Mr. McGoff, that sometimes council members


           23              respond to the speaker and that diatribe


           24              goes on for 10 to 15 minutes and other


           25              speakers always complain that they never got






            1              to speak that long, so when a council person


            2              interrupts the speaker or uses some of their


            3              time the limit should be five minutes, also,


            4              but sometimes it's not, and then the other


            5              speakers get very angry with that because


            6              they weren't allowed to have a diatribe with


            7              the council member for 10 to 15 minutes, so


            8              that's the only other side of the coin that


            9              I see.


           10                      MR. COURTRIGHT: On the question


           11              again, I'm just saying if someone asks me a


           12              question, if I can't answer it within their


           13              five-minute time then I will stop speaking


           14              and I will wait until motions, but if they


           15              stand there and tell me they are willing to


           16              forfeit their minutes to me so I can respond


           17              to their question, I don't see the harm in


           18              it.  I understand, and I don't agree with,


           19              you know, 10, 15 minutes going by and the


           20              other person is standing waiting for their


           21              turn, I do not agree with that, but I


           22              disagree with me not being able if the


           23              person is willing to forfeit their time.


           24                      I have tried to treat everybody with


           25              respect here in the four years I have been






            1              here and believe me it's been difficult, but


            2              I have -- I'm not doing it -- I don't want


            3              to hear myself talk, I try to always make


            4              myself as brief as possible and to not allow


            5              me answer somebody that pays taxes or lives


            6              in this city, that's just wrong.


            7                      MS. GATELLI:  Well, I know, I don't


            8              have it with me, but I think it was the


            9              lawsuit that Bob Bolus filed with Fosset,


           10              Mr. Fosset that passed away, I was reading


           11              in that lawsuit and it says specifically


           12              that under the Sunshine Law you are not


           13              obligated to answer.  It is a public


           14              comment.  It's not to be a dialogue with


           15              council members.  It is for the public to


           16              say their comments and for us to accept it.


           17              It isn't a question and answer period.  You


           18              know, it wasn't meant to be that.  It's


           19              public participation and comment.  And if we


           20              can find the answer for them at a future


           21              time that's different, and there is also the


           22              Right to Know Law. You know, they come here


           23              and ask questions, they can write a letter


           24              under the Right to Know.  They can probably


           25              get the answer quicker than we can.  So, it






            1              isn't a diatribe with the council member


            2              with the speaker, it's public comment.


            3                      MR. COURTRIGHT: And if you'd listen


            4              to what I said earlier, I said it was up to


            5              each individual.  I mean, I have watched


            6              prior councils and the council president


            7              would always ask the individual, do you care


            8              to respond, and if the individual didn't


            9              care to respond then they didn't respond.


           10              What I'm saying is I don't want that taken


           11              away from me, my right to be able to respond


           12              if they are willing to.  If you don't want


           13              to respond that's certainly up to you.  I


           14              understand that fully, and I'm not stupid.


           15                      MS. EVANS: And I would agree once


           16              again with Mr. Courtright, at times council


           17              members have not responded and certainly


           18              that is their choice.  If they care to


           19              ignore the question posed by a citizen that


           20              is their prerogative.  Similarly, if it is


           21              my choice to respond to the best of my


           22              ability I believe that my right to free


           23              speech is being taken away in that I'm not


           24              going to be prevented from responding.  And,


           25              once again, I'm not doing this without the






            1              permission or rather without the individual


            2              asking for that response.


            3                      MS. FANUCCI: Well, you can correct


            4              me if I'm wrong, Attorney Minora, in our


            5              rules, the only one who can direct whether


            6              or not these questions come to a council


            7              member would be the president; is that


            8              correct?


            9                      MR. MINORA: The present rules call


           10              for all comments and responses to go through


           11              the president and chair rather than the


           12              individual councilperson.  Those are the


           13              ones that were adopted two years.


           14                      MS. FANUCCI:  Right, so no one


           15              really should be asking a council person a


           16              question until they direct it through Mr.


           17              McGoff; is that correct?


           18                      MR. MINORA:  Well, under the old


           19              rules.


           20                      MS. FANUCCI: Right.


           21                      MR. MINORA: Under the old rules.


           22                      MS. FANUCCI: So, now if that


           23              happens, and obviously -- first let me get


           24              into the freedom of speech and your right,


           25              you still have your right to speak during






            1              motions.  We will not be taking away


            2              anyone's right to say what they need to say


            3              and say whatever they need to say during


            4              their own motions; correct?


            5                      MR. MINORA: Yeah, it's not a muzzle,


            6              it's just transposing when the response is


            7              going to take place.


            8                      MS. FANUCCI: Okay, so when this


            9              happens if they -- if a speaker comes up to


           10              the podium and says to Mr. McGoff, I would


           11              like to know if Mrs. Evans can tell me


           12              whatever, whatever her committee would be,


           13              if he does not say, Mrs. Evans, you can


           14              speak, can she still speak?


           15                      MR. MINORA: Technically under the


           16              rules that are adopted in 2006, technically


           17              the answer would be, no, but the response


           18              would have to come through the chair.


           19                      MS. FANUCCI: And this has always


           20              been; correct?


           21                      MR. MINORA:  They were before I was


           22              here.  They weren't new.


           23                      MS. FANUCCI:  So that rule has not


           24              changed?


           25                      MR. MINORA:  No, not at all.  This






            1              is the first change.


            2                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  I would like to go


            3              back to when Council President Murphy was


            4              here, they always asked President Murphy and


            5              I distinctly recall him asking the council


            6              person whether they wanted to answer or not.


            7              I would hope that if somebody asks a


            8              question Mr. McGoff is not -- I hope he is


            9              not going to just ignore it, and not let one


           10              of us answer.  If somebody comes to that


           11              podium and asks Mr. McGoff, "I would like to


           12              ask Mr. Courtright, you know, if he has got


           13              that pothole fixed on Washburn Street," I


           14              would hope he is not going to sit and


           15              pretend he didn't hear them and just move


           16              on, that that would just be plain ignorant.


           17                      MS. EVANS: And I don't think --


           18              actually I think this goes beyond a matter


           19              of simple decorum.  I do understand the need


           20              to redirect decorum within the city council


           21              chambers, but let us not forget this has not


           22              been an issue for simply the last two years,


           23              this has been an issue for at least the last


           24              10 years.  It goes well beyond this council.


           25              What I fear is that this is an attempt to






            1              stifle speech.  I do know that -- well, let


            2              us say stifle speech and protect certain


            3              council members.  I do know that many


            4              citizens have in writing under the Right to


            5              Know Act and another have requested


            6              information that they have not received and


            7              it is all too easy to ignore the taxpayers,


            8              the citizens of the Scranton by hiding


            9              behind a shield of council rules that state,


           10              I will not interact with you publically.


           11                      And if I might add, the last item


           12              that I did find a bit offensive today would


           13              be the use of the pronoun "we".  We are not


           14              trying to stifle council's free speech.  We


           15              will give it to you understand motions.  Who


           16              is "we"?


           17                      MS. FANUCCI: We act as a body here


           18              as a council.  We are one body.  We are not


           19              individuals, so "we" being council.


           20                      MS. EVANS: Well, within any body


           21              now, any democracy, there is certainly


           22              majority and there is always room for the


           23              rights of the minority as well.


           24                      MS. FANUCCI: You definitely have


           25              rights.  The votes are votes.  Everyone can






            1              vote and we are all here to work together


            2              though.  When we pass a vote it is legally


            3              adopted as one city council.  So, yes, we


            4              are a "we".


            5                      MS. EVANS: If it does violate the


            6              constitution which each of us is sworn to


            7              uphold.  I would think the constitution of


            8              the United States, the constitution of the


            9              Commonwealth of Pennsylvania would supercede


           10              the rules of Scranton City Council.


           11                      MS. FANUCCI: Once again, we are


           12              trying to figure out a way not to play by


           13              the rules.  There are no rules anywhere that


           14              can be adopted, but as far as I'm concerned


           15              I think it's time that we go on with the


           16              meeting.


           17                      MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else?  All those


           18              in favor say aye.


           19                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.


           20                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.


           21                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  All those


           22              opposed?


           23                      MR. COURTRIGHT: No.


           24                      MS. EVANS: No.


           25                      MR. MCGOFF: The ayes have it and so






            1              ordered.  At this time we will designate


            2              chairpersons, committee chairpersons for the


            3              next two years.  Committees - appointments,


            4              Community Development - Sherry Fanucci.


            5              Public works - Janet Evans.  Public safety -


            6              William Courtright.  Finance - Judy Gatelli.


            7              Rules - Robert E. McGoff.


            8                      Sub-committees.  Pennsylvania Review


            9              and Administration - Sherry Fanucci.


           10              Downtown Revitalization - Judy Gatelli.


           11              Boards and Commissions - William Courtright.


           12              Revenues/Taxes - Robert McGoff.


           13              Intergovernmental relations - Janet Evans.


           14                      I would like to now call on each


           15              council members for a few brief remarks.


           16              Mrs. Evans?


           17                      MS. EVANS: Thank you.  I wanted to


           18              explain the change in the committee.  I


           19              declined the Chair of the Finance Committee.


           20              During my term as finance chair I created


           21              three budgets, all three budgets benefited


           22              the taxpayers of Scranton.  My budgets


           23              eliminated borrowing, prevented a 25 percent


           24              tax increase, and lowered the wage tax from


           25              3.4 to 3.2 percent.  All three were rejected






            1              by the mayor and his council supporters.


            2                      It appears that the city operating


            3              budget may be nothing more than the mayor's


            4              checkbook and it requires no oversight,


            5              input or accountability.  Therefore, I


            6              believed that one of my honorable colleagues


            7              would be better suited to the task,


            8              preferably, Mrs. Fanucci who has


            9              demonstrated such astute fiduciary knowledge


           10              and obsequious administrative fidelity.  I,


           11              on the other hand, prefer to keep a watchful


           12              eye on all committees and my colleagues and


           13              I must say that I do very much look forward


           14              to working hand-in-hand with Mr. Brazil, the


           15              director of the Department of Public Works.


           16                      MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Courtright?


           17                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.  I tried to


           18              reserve my comments before until right now.


           19              I would just like to thank everyone that is


           20              supporting me over the last four years.


           21              It's greatly appreciated.  You don't know


           22              how much it helps when you have supportive


           23              people.  I don't want to name names because


           24              there is just too many, and I see a lot of


           25              them here today and I'm afraid I would leave






            1              someone out, so think you all know who you


            2              are.  Some people have been with me from the


            3              beginning and I've picked up a lot along the


            4              way, I met a lot of good people along the


            5              way.  I mostly would like to thank my wife


            6              and my children and my brother and my


            7              sisters and my mom because I think this job


            8              right here is tougher on your family than it


            9              is on us.  This is a rough job and getting


           10              rougher I think, so I would just, you know,


           11              like to thank them.  Sometimes you are not


           12              the best of moods when you have to come here


           13              and when you leave here or when there is


           14              something coming up, it's a rough job.  I


           15              never thought it was going to be this rough.


           16              When I was running this second time here the


           17              single most asked question of me is why


           18              would you do this again?  You know,


           19              everybody, I ask myself that sometimes.


           20                      But one of the persons in this room


           21              that I would like to thank more than anybody


           22              would be Kay Garvey.  I don't think that we


           23              would be able to get done what we get done


           24              here.  Most of time it goes without a hitch.


           25              She is the one that does all of the work,






            1              not us, she does all of the work, and it's


            2              difficult to be fair to all of us and I


            3              couldn't find a more fair and hardworking


            4              person than her and I think she is equally


            5              fair to every single one of us.  Some people


            6              on this council I believe think she is more


            7              fair to me because I'm here every day.  I


            8              come in this office every day because I have


            9              a schedule different than most.  I might


           10              work for two hours in the morning and then


           11              not work until nighttime and I might work


           12              five hours then so I'm here all of the time,


           13              and comments have been made and I'll just


           14              consider it a source.  I think that she


           15              treats everybody fairly, most fairly, and I


           16              would never, ever ask her to do something


           17              that would compromise her.  I just can't say


           18              enough.  Thank you, Kay.


           19                      And that's all I have.  Thank you.


           20                      MR. MCGOFF:  Mrs. Fanucci?


           21                      MS. FANUCCI: First, I'd like to


           22              thank Mrs. Evans for the wonderful vote of


           23              confidence in the finance, but, again, I


           24              wish I could, but I am really happy with the


           25              economic development and it's been a very






            1              great committee for me and a lot of fun to


            2              be able to get to sit and see some of the


            3              fruits of planning come into effect and


            4              thank you so much, it was very nice.


            5                      I just want to say that it is a


            6              wonderful job.  I know you look at this


            7              position and you do think we are all a


            8              little -- we have to be a little off to get


            9              up here and do this, but at the end of the


           10              day we see what we accomplish for not only


           11              the taxpayers, but for our own children and


           12              our grandchildren and our spouses.  This


           13              is what it's about.  It's about you.


           14                      It is not easy and it will never be


           15              easy, but I'm always grateful to see people


           16              who want to put themselves out there and to


           17              run for office and to do what they need to


           18              do the job -- to do the job which is not fun


           19              all the time, but it is very rewarding and


           20              know that we are out there for you and we


           21              want you to realize that at the end of the


           22              day that someone is paying attention and we


           23              are.


           24                      And I want to also congratulate,


           25              obviously, Mr. Courtright and Mr. McGoff for






            1              their day today because that's what today


            2              was about, it was about their joining a


            3              wonderful team and trying to bring the city


            4              where we want it to be and I just want to


            5              say I look forward again working with both


            6              of you and all of our council and bringing


            7              our city to higher levels and if that means


            8              we have to do it in a way that we come


            9              together then that's what we should be doing


           10              and I just want to say that I look forward


           11              to starting a new year fresh and coming


           12              together to work as one council, and that's


           13              all I have.  Thank you.


           14                      MR. MCGOFF:  Mrs. Gatelli?


           15                      MS. GATELLI: I would just like to


           16              thank everyone for coming today, and most of


           17              all I would like to thank the man out there


           18              with the gray hair, my husband, Joe, because


           19              he has certainly been through a lot of


           20              stress and ordeals over the last two years.


           21              Never being home, always at meetings, never


           22              seeing your kids or your grandchildren


           23              because you are out doing the work of the


           24              council president.  It's very difficult and


           25              I think Bob being retired it's a perfect for






            1              him because you do need a lot of time to go


            2              to meetings and make phone calls, etcetera.


            3              So I do want to thank my husband most of all


            4              and my family for being so kind and


            5              considerate when I was not around to


            6              baby-sit.


            7                      I'd like to thank Kay most of all


            8              for all of her cooperation and her work


            9              helping get agendas ready and etcetera and


           10              also Neil and Sue.  They stand in the


           11              background, but they do a lot of legwork I'm


           12              sure in the office and I'd like to thank


           13              acknowledge that they have also done a fine


           14              job.  And Mr. Minora, who besides his family


           15              being personal friends of mine, our mothers


           16              were friends from when they were little


           17              girls, so I'm very, very fond of the


           18              Minoras, that's not a secret at all, and I


           19              would like to thank Amil for working so


           20              closely with me on the legal matters that


           21              ensued over the past two years.


           22                      I was elected.  Maybe I didn't


           23              always vote the way people wanted me to


           24              vote, but I voted the way I thought would be


           25              best for the City of Scranton.  I worked for






            1              27 years in the South Side Neighborhood


            2              Association and I have a pulse of the people


            3              in South Side for sure and I hope that I


            4              have served you in a way that you can see


            5              benefit of the City of Scranton.


            6                      Although, sometimes at council you


            7              don't always get the clear picture of how


            8              people feel about you, I do get phone calls


            9              and letters at home and people are


           10              supportive of what's happening in the City


           11              of Scranton.  I'd also like to thank my


           12              colleagues for always being so gracious and


           13              kind during the council meetings and helping


           14              me in no matter what I asked them to do and


           15              I'd like to congratulate Mr. Courtright on


           16              his victory and Mr. McGoff and I hope you


           17              have a very successful four years and, Bob,


           18              I'd like to say good luck, Buddy.  I know


           19              you will do a great job.  Thank you all.


           20                      MR. MCGOFF:  I, too, would like to


           21              thank the voters of the City of Scranton for


           22              their support of me during the past


           23              election.  I'd also like to give special


           24              thanks to my family, my wife who has been


           25              supportive from the very first time that I






            1              mentioned to her that I was thinking of


            2              being placed on council or at least being


            3              considered when she said, no, but since that


            4              no she has been extremely supportive and I


            5              thank her for that and also the other


            6              members of my family, my father, my sister


            7              and her husband, my children who are here


            8              today and my grandson, Ryan, who helped with


            9              holding the Bible during the swearing in.


           10              I really need their support and I thank them


           11              for it.


           12                      I also would like to congratulate


           13              Roseann, Mrs. Novembrino, for her sixth term


           14              as controller in the City of Scranton.  I


           15              look forward to more of these voluminous


           16              reports from your office, congratulations.


           17                   And I would like to thank the Honorable


           18              judges for being here for the swearing in,


           19              it makes it an important event when you are


           20              here.  Thank you.


           21                      And last, I would like to --well,


           22              not last, I, too, would be like to thank Kay


           23              and the staff in the city clerk's office,


           24              they do a great deal of work and without


           25              them none of the meetings would be even






            1              close to orderly or being done properly and


            2              so I thank them for their work and hopefully


            3              work closely together within these coming


            4              years.


            5                      And, lastly, I would like to thank


            6              the members of the council for the


            7              confidence that they have shown in me both


            8              in their yes votes and their no votes.  It


            9              is not only in agreement that things move


           10              forward, but it is also in disagreement that


           11              things move forward.  It is important that


           12              we consider all avenues and all thoughts


           13              when we are considering the legislation of


           14              the city and the improvement of the city and


           15              so I look forward to working with all of the


           16              members of council over the next four years


           17              and especially during the next two years as


           18              president, and I thank you very much.


           19                      I was go to ask Monsignor Gray to


           20              come forward for benediction, but I believe


           21              he had to leave, so I would like to now call


           22              for a motion to adjourn.


           23                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  So moved.


           24                      MS. FANUCCI: Second.


           25                      MR. MCGOFF: This meeting is






            1              adjourned. There being no further business,


            2              our next regular scheduled meeting will be


            3              Tuesday, January 15, at 6:30.  Thank you


            4              very much.


















































            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


            9   ability.







                                    CATHENE S. NARDOZZI

           13                       OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER