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
















                MR. ROBERT MCGOFF






                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 and moment of silence observed.)


            2                      MS. GATELLI:  Roll call.


            3                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.


            4                      MS. EVANS:  Yes.


            5                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Fanucci.


            6                      MS. FANUCCI:  Yes.


            7                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.


            8                      MR. MCGOFF:  Yes.


            9                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.


           10                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.


           11                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Gatelli.


           12                      MS. GATELLI:  Yes.  Dispense with


           13              the reading of the minutes.


           14                      MS. GARVEY:  THIRD ORDER.  NO


           15              BUSINESS AT THIS TIME.  FOURTH ORDER,


           16              citizens participation for agenda items, but


           17              being there are no agenda items we may move


           18              forward to 5-A motions.


           19                      MS. GATELLI: Thank you.  Mrs. Evans.


           20                      MS. EVANS: Yes.  Good morning.  We


           21              enter this new term of council with heavy


           22              hearts.  Yesterday morning a great and


           23              honorable man died in the line of duty,


           24              captain Jim Robeson, 25-year veteran of the


           25              Scranton Fire Department lost his life while






            1              battling a fire on Ash Street.  Equally


            2              heartbreaking, the residents of the home,


            3              Marie and Richard Fenstermacher, perished in


            4              the fire.  In addition, three firefighters,


            5              Jennifer Hawker, Tom Owens and Rick Czyzyk


            6              were injured.


            7                      Our thoughts and prayers are with


            8              those who died, their families and those who


            9              were injured.  No one knows what tragedy


           10              will strike, but we are never alone.  God


           11              helps us by giving us families and friends


           12              who sustain us in our losses and by granting


           13              select beings the ability to face death


           14              whenever they are a called to protect others


           15              in their communities.  These truly special


           16              people are firefighters, and police


           17              officers.  We are grateful for their


           18              courageous work, we mourn their loss.  We


           19              mourn the loss of Maria and Richard


           20              Fenstermacher and we pray for the injured.


           21                   At the same time, we must proceed with


           22              proscribed governmental rule and so I wish


           23              to congratulate all who are sworn into


           24              office this day to uphold the constitution


           25              and to serve and protect people.  Elected






            1              office is not only an honor and a privilege,


            2              but also a weighty responsibility for which


            3              we will all be judged.  The future of our


            4              great city rests on what we have learned


            5              from the past and what decisions we render


            6              on behalf of the people today.


            7                      As pleased as I am to see all of you


            8              here today, I am also disappointed to have


            9              been absent from work and my students at


           10              Scranton High School.  I take my


           11              responsibilities seriously and I apologize


           12              that you are paying for a day's work while I


           13              am absent in order to attend council


           14              meetings which could have been scheduled


           15              later in the day as in January 2004 when all


           16              council members were able to fulfill the


           17              responsibilities of both their jobs in one


           18              day.  Council majority decided on today's


           19              12:00 schedule.


           20                      Further, they alone decided the new


           21              officers and Rules of Council and this is


           22              why I believe it is imperative that I attend


           23              today's meetings, cast my votes, and allow


           24              my voice to be heard.


           25                      MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Fanucci?






            1                      MS. FANUCCI: I myself want to issue


            2              condolences to not only the families of the


            3              tragedy, but also the firemen who have


            4              worked closely.  It is very difficult to


            5              imagine such a loss and I just wanted to say


            6              I'm very sorry, and I have nothing else at


            7              this time.


            8                      MS. GATELLI: Mr. McGoff.


            9                      MR. MCGOFF: I would echo those


           10              sentiments, my condolences to the families


           11              of those who died and speedy recovery to


           12              those injured and I have no other comments.


           13              Thank you.


           14                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I, too, would like


           15              to say my condolences to the family of Jimmy


           16              Robeson, we graduated West Scranton High


           17              School together.  I knew the family of the


           18              Fenstermachers and hope for a speedy


           19              recovery both physically and mentally for


           20              firefighters who were affected in this


           21              tragedy.  That's all I have.


           22                      MS. GATELLI:  Thank you, and I


           23              certainly echo the sentiments of all of my


           24              colleagues on council, to the family of


           25              Mr. Robeson and Mr. and Mrs. Fenstermacher.






            1                      MS. GARVEY:  FIFTH ORDER - NO


            2              BUSINESS AT THIS TIME.  SIXTH ORDER - NO


            3              BUSINESS AT THIS TIME.  SEVENTH ORDER - NO


            4              BUSINESS AT THIS TIME.  EIGHTH ORDER -




            6              ISSUE.


            7                      MS. GATELLI: Fay Franus.


            8                      MS. FRANUS: Fay Franus, Scranton.


            9              First, I'd like to congratulate you,


           10              Mr. Courtright and Mr. McGoff, on your


           11              council terms.  I just wanted to address a


           12              question based on an article that was in


           13              paper about the council meeting today.


           14              Maybe you can answer this, Mr. McGoff, I


           15              don't know, I just hope somebody can.


           16                      When it was brought up about the


           17              news of rules of citizens participation and


           18              we are going to be allowed to speak five


           19              minutes, which is fine, my question is this,


           20              suppose I have a question to ask say


           21              Mr. Courtright, and I have five minutes and


           22              I really don't have that much to say, so if


           23              I were to ask Mr. Courtright a question will


           24              he be allowed to answer while I'm still


           25              standing here?  I don't mind him taking my






            1              time.


            2                      MR. MCGOFF:  We are going to have


            3              ask that all answers to questions and any


            4              comments that council members may have be


            5              reserved until their 5-A motions.


            6                      MS. FRANUS:  But if I'm just


            7              standing here and I have like four minutes


            8              left and I just have a couple of questions


            9              would be it be a problem for him to answer


           10              while I'm standing here?  The only reason I


           11              say that is because many times people have


           12              come here and asked questions and by the


           13              time they walk away nobody has answered them


           14              and they've forgot them and there is too


           15              many questions for them to answer and it


           16              just never gets answered, I'd have to come


           17              back next week to ask the same question


           18              again and sometimes people have come and


           19              said to the council person, "Well, I asked


           20              you this last week."


           21                      He said, "Oh, I forgot what it was,"


           22              so then you are right back to zero again, so


           23              is there a problem, if I don't mind a


           24              council person taking up my time to answer


           25              me while I'm standing here, if I don't mind






            1              because the reason you say you did that is


            2              because you don't want to interrupt the


            3              speaker's time.  I don't mind a council


            4              person's time, taking my time because I come


            5              here for answers, and if a council person


            6              answers me and I would like to rebut


            7              something they said I don't have that


            8              opportunity until the following week.


            9                      So, I can't understand what the


           10              problem would be because if I ask a question


           11              I don't get it while I'm standing here.  I


           12              mean, that's not asking too much, is it?  I


           13              mean, you represent me.  I come here asking


           14              a question and I would like to get an answer


           15              while I'm standing here not later because


           16              you may say something that I might want to


           17              say something back to what you say to me and


           18              I won't have that opportunity until


           19              following week.  Is that asking too much?


           20              It's my five minutes.  If I say,


           21              "Mr. Courtright, could you please answer me


           22              now," he can't?


           23                      Wouldn't that be at his discretion?


           24                      MR. MCGOFF:  If we adopt the Rules


           25              of Council that are in the agenda then we






            1              will reserve any comments or questions or


            2              answers until 5-A motions.


            3                      MS. FRANUS:  So you are basically


            4              saying, no, they will not be allowed to


            5              answer me while I'm speaking here then.


            6                      MR. MCGOFF: That's what I said, yes.


            7                      MS. FRANUS: Is this constitutional?


            8              Is this against the First Amendment?


            9                      MR. MCGOFF:  I don't believe so.


           10                      MS. FRANUS:  But, you don't know.


           11                      MS. GATELLI: Attorney Minora, is


           12              that against the First Amendment?


           13                      MS. FRANUS:  Well, again, Mr. Minora


           14              said about the smoking ban, doesn't mean


           15              it's true.


           16                      MS. GATELLI:  Anyone else here to


           17              speak before council?


           18                      MS. SCHUMACHER: Marie Schumacher,


           19              citizen and member of the Taxpayers'


           20              Association.  I guess I have two things,


           21              I'll keep it brief.  I found it very


           22              disappointing, I was hopeful that this year


           23              would be different and I guess in a lot of


           24              ways I'm the internal optimist.  I hope the


           25              reorganization meeting would have some






            1              discussion I was very disturbed to read the


            2              reorganization in the newspaper last week.


            3              I don't think that bodes well for 2008, but


            4              I will try to remain optimistic.


            5                      The other thing I would ask your


            6              input for the reorganization meeting, in the


            7              event you do discuss something and


            8              everything hasn't already been decided by


            9              the majority three, is that the number of


           10              agenda items be restricted.  We have five


           11              minutes and I think that we should have a


           12              time to comment on those and sometimes five


           13              minutes isn't enough.  If you're going to


           14              load up agenda with -- I'm sorry,


           15              Mrs. Gatelli, if you don't like my


           16              viewpoint, but if you are going to load 12


           17              items on an agenda and we have five minutes


           18              to speak and if we have something to say on


           19              each of them there just isn't enough time,


           20              and I think that last year there were a lot


           21              of times that have very few and then another


           22              time it would be loaded.  I think they


           23              should be distributed so that people do have


           24              the time.  If you take the time to come over


           25              here.






            1                      I would also like to ask, and that


            2              brings up another thing, I'll make it three


            3              items, I'm sure that the Clerk's Office,


            4              everything that's prepared by the Clerk's


            5              Office in response to the agenda is prepared


            6              electronically, and I would hope that you


            7              would start posting not just the agenda, but


            8              all the backup, so we don't have to


            9              physically come over here and read through


           10              everything.  I think you should make it a


           11              rule that everything that's submitted to the


           12              clerk for the agenda is submitted


           13              electronically and it's posted so that we


           14              can review it before the meeting and be


           15              prepared to comment.  Thank you very much


           16              for your consideration.


           17                      MS. GATELLI:  Anyone else?  Do I


           18              have a motion to adjourn?


           19                      MR. COURTRIGHT: So ruled.


           20                      MS. GATELLI: All in favor.


           21                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.


           22                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.


           23                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.


           24                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.


           25                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.








            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