1 SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING
7 Tuesday, January 29, 2008
10 Council Chambers
11 Scranton City Hall
12 340 North Washington Avenue
13 Scranton, Pennsylvania
CATHENE S. NARDOZZI- COURT REPORTER
2 CITY OF SCRANTON COUNCIL:
MR. ROBERT MCGOFF, PRESIDENT
6 MS. JUDY GATELLI, VICE-PRESIDENT
MS. JANET E. EVANS
9 MS. SHERRY FANUCCI
MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT
12 MS. KAY GARVEY, CITY CLERK
MS. SUE MAGNOTTA, ASSISTANT CITY CLERK
15 MR. AMIL MINORA, SOLICITOR
1 (Pledge of Allegiance recited and moment of
3 MR. MCGOFF: Roll call, please.
4 MS. MAGNOTTA: Mrs. Evans. Mr.
6 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
7 MR. MAGNOTTA: Ms. Fanucci.
8 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.
9 MR. MAGNOTTA: Ms. Gatelli.
10 MS. GATELLI: Yes.
11 MR. MAGNOTTA: Mr. McGoff.
12 MR. MCGOFF: Yes. I would like to
13 make note for the record that Mrs. Evans did
14 call and said that she will be late, but she
15 will be in attendance. Third Order.
16 MS. GARVEY: 3-A.
17 MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?
18 If not, received and filed.
19 MS. GARVEY: 3-B. MINUTES OF THE
20 FIRE PENSION COMMISSION MEETING HELD ON
21 DECEMBER 19, 2007.
22 MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?
23 If not, received and filed.
24 MS. GARVEY: 3-C. MINUTES OF THE
25 SCRANTON-LACKAWANNA COUNTY HEALTH AND
1 WELFARE AUTHORITY MEETING HELD ON
2 DECEMBER 20, 2007.
3 MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?
4 If not, received and filed.
5 MS. GARVEY: 3-D. AGENDA FOR THE
6 NON-UNIFORM PENSION BOARD MEETING HELD ON
7 JANUARY 23, 2007.
8 MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?
9 If the not, received and filed.
10 MS. GARVEY: That's all for Third
12 MR. MCGOFF: Prior to Fourth Order if
13 there is anyone that have announcements or
14 anything to note.
15 MS. GATELLI: Nothing tonight.
16 MR. MCGOFF: Then we will proceed to
17 Fourth Order. Citizens' participation. The
18 first speaker is Doug Miller.
19 MR. MILLER: Good evening, Council,
20 Doug Miller, president of the Scranton
21 Junior City Council. I want to begin
22 tonight by responding in the recent
23 criticism of the South Side tree planting
24 projects. The Scranton Junior City Council
25 from day one has supported to project. The
1 South Side Neighborhood Association reached
2 out to us and asked us to participate in
3 this outstanding project. Junior Council
4 believes that this is a project that will
5 help beautify the neighborhoods in South
6 Side. This is a project that will certainly
7 improve the quality of life for all of our
8 residents. Weekly critics say that this
9 project is a waste of time and money yet
10 each week they argue that are neighborhoods
11 are in need of repair. I believe that life
12 we want to improve our neighborhood we must
13 invest in them and this is exactly what the
14 South Side Neighborhood Association is
15 doing. The tree planting project is the
16 first of many aimed at improving South Side.
17 On behalf of Junior Council I would like to
18 thank the South Side neighborhood
19 association and their leader, Mr. Wayne
20 Evans, for their hard work and compassion
21 for our city. While many consistently
22 criticize and offer no alternative, you
23 continue to do what's best for this city and
24 we thank for your dedication and service.
25 On behalf of Junior Council I would
1 like to take this time to thank the brave
2 men and women who protect us each day. As
3 our city continues to mourn the loss of
4 Captain James Robeson, we must remember his
5 dedication to our city and his commitment to
6 protect all of us. Our police officers and
7 firefighters should be praised for their
8 courageous acts. It takes a very special
9 person to walk into our harmful situation.
10 These brave men and woman put their lives on
11 the line every day and the Scranton Junior
12 City Council believes that it is our
13 responsibility to honor these heroes.
14 Junior Council would like to see a
15 police and firefighters memorial built and
16 the memorial would act as a lasting tribute
17 to remember the names of those who serve our
18 city. With that said, Junior Council will
19 join Mrs. Roseann Novembrino and others and
20 begin raising funds to benefit a police and
21 firefighter memorial. I am asking citizens
22 and business owners to please make a
23 contribution towards this project. We will
24 be accepting cash or check and all donations
25 can be sent to 340 North Washington Avenue,
1 18503. As Scrantonians, let's stand
2 together and honor our heroes. Thank you
3 and have a good night.
4 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you very much,
5 Douglas. Joe Hazzouri.
6 MR. Hazzouri: Good evening. Joe
7 Hazzouri, Scranton resident. Before I speak
8 tonight I would just like to say before I
9 relate my story that it's not my intention
10 this evening to get myself in the middle of
11 any political he said she said because I
12 admire the policies of Mayor Doherty and the
13 results they have shown upon the City of
14 Scranton, and I also admire Councilman
15 Courtright for the humble and discipline
16 manners he shows in the face of the
17 intensity of these city council meetings,
18 and having brought those two together in one
19 sentence, I would like to hope that we could
20 agree that when we disagree we lay the first
21 stone on the pathway with compromise.
22 Now, I'll relate my story. Two
23 years ago I redid my home mortgage and at
24 the time the loan officer suggested to me
25 that if I were to do -- if I didn't do a
1 home mortgage, but if I did it another way
2 that I would save myself a few thousand
3 dollars in closing costs, but the only
4 drawback would be that I would have to pay
5 my own city taxes and my own insurance. At
6 the time it didn't seem like much of a
7 drawback. My home I have 125 FairView
8 Avenue is my home, 123 FairView Avenue is my
9 yard. When I got the first bill and having
10 owned the home at the time for 16 years I
11 had never seen of those bills, they went
12 directly to the bank. I made the mistake in
13 thinking that I was double billed and I just
14 took one bill down to the Single Tax Office
15 and just paid for 125 FairView Avenue.
16 About eight or nine months later I got
17 a bill from the Single Tax Office saying
18 that I owed taxes on 123 FairView Avenue. I
19 immediately went down to the Single Tax
20 Office and I paid that bill. On that day I
21 left with my receipt as well as the
22 confidence thinking my tax had been
24 Time passed, a little over a year
25 and on December 18 of this year I got a
1 letter from a local law office along with a
2 subheading from NCC, the collection agency
3 from the City of Scranton, saying that I
4 owed $82 to the City of Scranton in real
5 estate tax. I immediately looked in my
6 family records of all past paid bills and I
7 saw that I had paid the bill and I had the
8 receipt, so I just put them all together and
9 I just thought to myself when I get my bill
10 for this year I'll go down to the Single Tax
11 Office and I'll have them taken care of at
12 that time. Well, the first week of January
13 I went to the bank to get another small loan
14 for a purchase that I wanted to make. A few
15 days into the process I got a call from the
16 loan officer saying there was a lien against
17 my property that was put there December 28
18 for $82 and change. I immediately went with
19 my receipt to the Single Tax Office and I
20 asked them, you know, could you explain this
21 to me and they told me that when I paid the
22 $125 at that time the city had removed it's
23 end of those taxes from the bill.
24 Now, I didn't ask them why the city
25 removed it and I didn't ask why they didn't
1 tell me the city had removed it, all I asked
2 is how do I pay it. They told me I would
3 have to go to NCC and pay this bill. I
4 immediately went up to NCC, explained to the
5 woman the situation, she took the paperwork
6 from me and she said, well, they are is
7 going to be a few extra charges. Well, that
8 $82 and change by the time the woman got off
9 the phone turned into $532 and change.
10 I had a feeling in my stomach as if
11 I had been betrayed. And when that feeling
12 left me the two feelings that brought me
13 here this evening still linger in me. One
14 is anger that our city government would
15 enact an ordinance which seemingly is so
16 vindictive against the citizens of this city
17 and the second feeling was fear, fear that
18 someone less financially fortunate than
19 myself would have this situation happen to
21 Now, when I started my little story
22 I said to you that I hope that we can all
23 feel that disagreement is the first stone on
24 the pathway to compromise, and that's how
25 I'll leave my speech this evening. Thank
1 you very much.
2 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Hazzouri.
3 Bob Bolus.
4 MR. BOLUS: Good evening, Council,
5 Bob Bolus, Scranton. On the agenda under
6 6-E where you want to enact a fee, a garbage
7 fee, I think you really have to take a good
8 hard look at this because the fee unless
9 it's spread equally across everyone that
10 with KOZ's and nonprofits because they are
11 not exempt from fees, only exempt from
12 taxes, would be part of this or this fee
13 would be illegal. Any fee that's imposed
14 has to be imposed equally across everyone,
15 there are no exceptions. So, I think
16 council that look at this and get a legal
17 opinion on it, but right now it's like
18 taxation without representation putting this
19 fee on just for people and not on KOZ's and
21 Last week I asked a couple of
22 questions here and I'd like to get an answer
23 next week or publically if council would
24 respond to the issue I just brought up.
25 Last week I brought about exploring the idea
1 of windmills to help cut our costs in this
2 city, I also brought about the leachate line
3 coming from the landfill into the sewer
4 authority where we are should be able to
5 collect a fee as a host community on the
6 gallonage aside from what the Sewer
7 Authority does. I would like to council to
8 look into this and give us an answer on it.
9 This is an issue I brought up over the last
10 two or three years and we have never had a
11 response I think it's time for it.
12 We have to look into proposing a fee
13 in this city that includes KOZ's and
14 nonprofits, that's spread across the
15 citizens as well as the KOZ's and nonprofits
16 and start paying their fair share. We need
17 to become creative in what we are doing here
18 instead of just pushing the pea around the
19 plate, that's been going on too long and I'd
20 like an answer for that, also.
21 Tonight I would ask any council
22 member sitting here, last week I brought up
23 about having a motion put on to put the golf
24 course money in trust, the remainder that's
25 in trust now, and to find a way to recapture
1 the 1.5 million that was taken out of there
2 a year ago and squandered by the mayor of
3 this city. That was money that belonged to
4 the people, the interest was to be used for
5 the purpose of the parks and recreation and
6 tonight I would like to ask if any of you
7 council members while I'm standing here now
8 would make that motion tonight.
9 Mr. Courtright, Mrs. Gatelli, Mrs. Fanucci,
10 Mr. McGoff, would any of you tonight make
11 that motion to preserve that money and take
12 it out of the hands of this mayor?
13 MR. COURTRIGHT: I wouldn't have a
14 problem making it, but I don't know where
15 are we going to get the 1.5 million that we
16 have already spent?
17 MR. BOLUS: Well, there is probably
18 other ways to do it if you are follow some
19 of the examples we are giving.
20 MR. COURTRIGHT: If we had the 1.5
21 million I would certainly be in favor of
22 doing that. I just -- I don't know where I
23 can come up with 1.5 million.
24 MR. BOLUS: Right, but I'm also
25 looking at, and we can split it into two
1 motions, one would be the first motion to
2 preserve the money that's already sitting in
3 escrow and the second motion would be to in
4 the event it's going to be recaptured to put
5 it back for the people, if that could be
6 done tonight if and you would make that
7 motion I would appreciate it.
8 Mr. McGoff, I would like to ask you
9 tonight on behalf of unions and people here,
10 we have been written up in the paper, we all
11 look like a bunch of fools in this city,
12 literally what's going on between the mayor,
13 the Recovery Plan and all of the nonsense
14 that the city is broke and in the shape that
15 it is, Court rulings and appeals and
16 everything else, I would like to ask you
17 tonight to join in the negotiations to bring
18 the unions and the mayor and his
19 administration publically before the people
20 here live on Channel 61 to discuss this
21 issue and let's get it resolved once and for
22 all instead of a he said, she said and let's
23 try and turn council around and I would ask
24 council, council president, if you would do
25 that because someone has to draw a line
1 here. These people have been without
2 raises, we are demoralizing the City of
3 Scranton, we are demoralizing our unions,
4 our fire departments and the citizens and
5 someone needs to step up on the plate and I
6 would ask that you do that tonight. Let
7 council take the lead for a change instead
8 of following this administration because
9 this administration has made us the laughing
10 stock. We are spending 80 some million
11 dollars a year to run this city and it's
12 ridiculous. The spending in this city is
13 totally out of control and it has to stop
14 here, but let's start with the people that
15 serve us. The people we pay all of these
16 taxes for their protection to take care of
17 the people in this city by making this
18 administration once and for all accountable.
19 Let's find out who is and who isn't telling
20 the truth here and that camera doesn't lie
21 and that's why Channel 61 should remain in
22 this room instead of anybody else out there
23 with a bid that wants to play games with the
24 future of this city because that is the
25 truth and nothing but the truth here and
1 something else will fabricate it. Thank
2 you. Jim Stucker.
3 MR. STUCKER: Jimmy Stucker. A lot
4 of people have been telling me about the
5 scooter, I'm sick of hearing it. I'm
6 getting really upset about it. I'd like to
7 know where it is, I'd like to know what
8 happened to it, a lady in East Mountain I
9 heard she has it and Larry told me
10 Courtright has got it now. Larry thought
11 yesterday up at the Cole Muffler Company
12 that Courtright has got it home.
13 MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Stucker, I think
14 that people are just trying to play games
15 with you. Nobody on city council has your
16 scooter, and I really believe that people
17 are just trying to, you know, play some
18 games with you and get you upset. I think
19 you are going to have to realize that
20 perhaps the scooter was taken by someone
21 outside of this city, outside of the city
22 government and you probably not going to get
23 it back.
24 MR. STUCKER: Well, right next to us
25 there is a big dog inside of the fence, he
1 barks 11, 12:00 at night, all night, 2:00
2 sometime all night barks and barks and the
3 people that live there they don't take care
4 of it and don't let him inside, so I want to
5 try to get something done with that dog.
6 All right?
7 Courtright, I'm sorry. Larry told
8 me Fanucci told Larry you would have a job
9 for me.
10 MR. COURTRIGHT: You have a job for
12 MS. FANUCCI: I have a job?
13 MR. COURTRIGHT: Who has a job for
15 MR. MCGOFF: Again, Mr. Stucker, I
16 think people are telling you things that
17 aren't necessarily true. Unless -- I would
18 say unless somebody on council said that
19 directly to you that I would not necessarily
20 believe it, okay?
21 MR. STUCKER: Well, I need a job.
22 I'm getting bored sitting around. And,
23 okay, right on Market Street where the bus
24 sits a big hole yesterday right in the road,
25 it was someone hit a big hole in the road
1 yesterday I was on the bus. And we still
2 got people parking over by Oppenheim and the
3 Globe store again, cars are parking there
4 and we need a sign up on Market Street, no
5 parking by the laundry mat.
6 MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay, Jim, we'll
7 take care it.
8 MR. STUCKER: I want something done
9 with that.
10 MR. COURTRIGHT: We'll take care of
11 it for you, all right? Thanks, Jim.
12 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you very much,
13 Mr. Stucker. Ray Lyman.
14 MR. LYMAN: I'm here tonight to talk
15 about the stimulus package that President
16 Bush and now the senate is debating about
17 the people who are on disability and social
18 security and veterans. I'm urging the
19 people of the surrounding areas of 61 to
20 contact Mr. Casey and Mr. Specter. The poor
21 should be getting this, not the rich.
22 People who are earning over 100,000 to
23 300,000 they do not deserve it, the poor
24 should get it. It's time that the poor
25 should stand up and fight for their rights.
1 It's tired of seeing the ridiculous of the
2 rich stealing from the poor. We have a
3 mayor that's steals from the poor.
4 MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Lyman, that's out of
5 the line.
6 MR. LYMAN: Mr. McGoff, I have a
7 right to speak under the constitution. Just
8 sit there and be quiet.
9 MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Lyman --
10 MR. LYMAN: Mr. McGoff --
11 MR. MCGOFF: -- I'm going to ask you
12 to leave.
13 MR. LYMAN: -- under the
14 constitution I have a right to speak.
15 MR. MCGOFF: You do not have a
16 right --
17 MR. LYMAN: Oh, yes, I do.
18 MR. MCGOFF: Excuse me.
19 MR. LYMAN: I have a right to speak.
20 MR. MCGOFF: Yes, you do.
21 MR. LYMAN: Or I will take you to
22 Court and I will sue and my lawyer is
23 Munley, Munley and Courtright.
24 MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Lyman, you have a
25 right to speak --
1 MR. LYMAN: And I did contact the
2 ACLU and they told me I could speak.
3 MR. MCGOFF: You have a right to
4 speak --
5 MR. LYMAN: And I have five minutes.
6 MR. MCGOFF: You do not have a
7 right --
8 MR. LYMAN: And that ambulance chaser
9 cannot stop me.
10 MR. MCGOFF: All right.
11 MR. LYMAN: My lawyer told me I could
12 not speak.
13 MR. MCGOFF: That's out of order.
14 MR. LYMAN: And I'm not fighting with
16 MR. MCGOFF: Please leaves the
18 MR. LYMAN: Let me speak. You cannot
19 fight with me and harass me.
20 MR. MCGOFF: Please leave the
21 podium, Mr. Lyman.
22 MR. LYMAN: No, I want to speak.
23 MR. MCGOFF: You are completely out
24 of order.
25 MR. LYMAN: I'm not fighting with
2 MR. MCGOFF: I'm not fighting with
3 you either, but when you are out of order
4 you have --
5 MR. LYMAN: I'm not fighting with
7 MR. COURTRIGHT: Calm down, Ray.
8 MR. LYMAN: It's public comment.
9 It's public comment and I have a right to
11 MR. MCGOFF: Please leave the podium.
12 Thank you.
13 MR. LYMAN: No.
14 MR. MCGOFF: Your time is complete.
15 MR. LYMAN: And I'm not harassing
16 anybody and I'm not fighting with anybody.
17 My lawyer says I can speak. I'm not
18 intimidated, I am not threatening anybody,
19 I'm not cursing, I'm not threatening anybody
20 with a knife, I'm not just speaking, you
21 cannot intimidate me, you cannot fight with
22 me, I'm just saying something.
23 MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Lyman, I don't want
24 to -- -
25 MR. LYMAN: Even you lawyer could say
2 MR. MCGOFF: I do want the officer to
3 have to remove you.
4 MR. LYMAN: I'm not fighting with
6 MR. MCGOFF: I'm not fighting with
7 you either, but you were out of order and
8 you are being asked to leave.
9 MR. LYMAN: You explain to me how
10 I'm out of order.
11 MR. MCGOFF: Because you made
12 accusations of impropriety about people in
13 city government.
14 MR. LYMAN: I did not say anything
15 about our state --
16 MR. MCGOFF: Yes, you did.
17 MR. LYMAN -- our federal
19 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you. Officer.
20 MR. LYMAN: No, you tell me.
21 MR. MCGOFF: Officer.
22 MR. LYMAN: If he arrests me I will
23 sue the City of Scranton for
24 $10.9 million --
25 MR. MCGOFF: Okay.
1 MR. LYMAN: -- for false arrest, and
2 I will sue, and I'm not Sam Patilla and I
3 will sue the District Attorney's Office.
4 MR. MCGOFF: Please don't bring other
5 people's name into the --
6 MR. LYMAN: And I will sue.
7 MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Lyman --
8 MR. LYMAN: Violation of my civil
10 MR. MCGOFF: You are not doing
11 yourself any service, you are costing these
12 people time and --
13 MR. LYMAN: I'm not doing nothing
14 wrong. I want to ask a question to city
15 council members.
16 MR. MCGOFF: You are making a farce
17 of this. Please remove Mr. Lyman.
18 MR. LYMAN: Mr. Courtright, I want to
19 ask you a question. In my neighborhood
20 there is crime running rampant,
21 prostitution, drugs, drugs are being running
22 around, I didn't see a city council meeting
23 in awhile, there are no beat cops. There is
24 no police running around, I want to know why
25 there is no police beat. There is no beat
1 officers. There is no --
2 MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay, I'm going to
3 answer your question, Ray.
4 MR. LYMAN: Police raise or nothing.
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: Ray, Ray, let me
6 answer your question okay?
7 MR. LYMAN: Since I have five minutes
8 I want to know.
9 MR. MCGOFF: Is his five minutes up?
10 MR. COURTRIGHT: I'm going to answer
11 your question, all right?
12 MR. LYMAN: Yeah.
13 MR. COURTRIGHT: You weren't here the
14 other week and I explained what happened
15 with the beat officers. Now, just let me
16 explain to you before you get excited, Ray,
17 all right?
18 MR. LYMAN: I'm not excited, he
19 started fighting with me.
20 MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay. All right.
21 Calm dawn, Ray, Calm down, Ray. The City of
22 Scranton in my opinion didn't give the test
23 in a timely fashion so that we could hire
24 police officers. When they did give a test,
25 all right, not enough people applied for the
1 the test, they didn't want to be a cop in
2 Scranton. Out of the ones applied we got
3 very few that passed.
4 MR. LYMAN: We got one right here.
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: Well, you are asking
6 me a question and --
7 MR. LYMAN: Put him down on Pine.
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: You can't do that,
9 Ray, because you have to have --
10 MR. LYMAN: I give you an order to do
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: Now, Raymond.
13 Raymond, you ask me to answer a question I
14 try to answer it. Do you don't want to
15 answer or no?
16 MR. LYMAN: Yeah.
17 MR. COURTRIGHT: Then let me
18 continue, all right?
19 MR. LYMAN: Okay.
20 MR. COURTRIGHT: All right. He is
21 assigned to patrol. They have to have "X"
22 amount of guys, a certain amount of guys on
23 patrol. You can't take him off of the
24 patrols and put them on the streets, it's
25 not allowed by the union contract. Don't
1 interrupt me now, let me -- so they are
2 going to give a test. I'll tell you outside.
3 I'll explain it to you. Your time is up.
4 MR. LYMAN: Hey, he was fighting with
5 me, I still have time.
6 MR. COURTRIGHT: No, I don't want to
8 MR. LYMAN: Mr. Courtright, I got one
9 more question --
10 MR. COURTRIGHT: You can't.
11 MR. LYMAN: -- because he was
12 fighting with me.
13 MR. MCGOFF: Excuse me, your time --
14 you were supposed to be going before.
15 MR. LYMAN: I'll ask you the
17 MR. MCGOFF: Excuse me, would you
18 please leave the podium.
19 MR. LYMAN: Then can we have at least
20 a drug hit or something? We have drug
21 dealers right on the street.
22 MR. MCGOFF: Excuse me, I'm trying to
23 treat you --
24 MR. LYMAN: Can't you have a drug hit
25 or something.
1 MR. MCGOFF: We are trying to treat
2 you with some respect, Mr. Lyman, but you
3 are not cooperating.
4 MR. LYMAN: But can't you do
5 something, Mr. Courtright.
6 MR. COURTRIGHT: Ray, I'll talk to
7 you after the meeting, okay, you got to step
9 MR. LYMAN: Since this yahoo don't
10 want to do anything --
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: Don't call names,
12 Ray, you got to step away.
13 MR. SPINDLER: Hey, Ray, there is
14 people --
15 MR. COURTRIGHT: You got to step
17 MR. LYMAN: He is a yahoo.
18 MR. MCGOFF: I'm sorry that we -- I'm
19 sorry that you needed to be subjected to
21 MR. LYMAN: I'm sorry about you.
22 You're an idiot.
23 MR. MCGOFF: Officer, I'm going to
24 ask you to please take Mr. Lyman from the
25 chamber. Mr. Lyman, please leave.
1 MR. LYMAN: I'll stay here if I want
3 MR. MCGOFF: Please leave. Thank
4 you. You are taking up other people's time
5 here. Thank you, Officer.
6 MR. LYMAN: I'll stay here as long as
7 I want.
8 (Mr. Lyman is escorted out of the
10 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Officer.
11 Again, my apologies. Les Spindler.
12 MR. SPINDLER: Good evening, Council,
13 Les Spindler, city resident. Mrs. Gatelli,
14 did you ever find out about those meters I
15 asked about that were taken away from the
16 front of the courthouse?
17 MS. GATELLI: Yes, I did. It was an
18 agreement with the mayor and the courthouse,
19 the county commissioners at the time,
20 Cordaro and Munchak for the project, and
21 there is going to be I believe 50 new ones
22 down on Mifflin Avenue, that's where they
23 are going to put some angle parking, so they
24 are going to --
25 MR. SPINDLER: So that will makeup
1 for the lost revenues.
2 MS. GATELLI: I think there was 14
3 removed and they are going to put about 50
4 down on Mifflin and do the angle parking.
5 I'm sorry, I should have told you last week.
6 MR. SPINDLER: Thank you.
7 MS. GATELLI: You are welcome.
8 MR. SPINDLER: I had a question for
9 Mrs. Evans, but she is not here, it will
10 have to wait until next week.
11 Mr. McGoff, one last thing about
12 this free speech thing, if you are listening
13 to what your solicitor says it's the same
14 solicitor who said that the smoking ban was
15 legal, so just think that over.
16 Next thing, I think everybody knows
17 about the fire on Linden Street last week.
18 I have to commend the firefighters of the
19 city and the job they did, they saved the
20 building in the front of the houses, Scanlon
21 and the Crazy Pineapple. Again, I can't say
22 enough about these firefighters, they risked
23 their lives every time they go out and yet
24 for I think it's almost seven years now they
25 don't have a contact, so something isn't
1 right here.
2 While we are on that subject,
3 something the mayor said in today's paper, I
4 think the mayor has finally lost his mind.
5 Mayor Doherty said he intends to reduce
6 personnel by between 32 and 38 firefighters,
7 and this is a quote by Mayor Doherty, "It's
8 in everybody's interest that a deal be
9 hammered out, Mr. Doherty said. It will
10 give peace of mind to the employees and to
11 the people who live here."
12 Cutting back 38 firemen is going to
13 give peace of mind to people. Is this than
14 just crazy? I mean, I'm not going to have
15 peace of mind if we lose 38 firefighters.
16 There is something definitely wrong were
17 this person, something has got to be done, a
18 deal has got to be hammered out with these
19 firemen and policemen and women because this
20 man is isn't capable of handling this
22 And something else the mayor said in
23 last week's paper, which was an out-and-out
24 lie. He accused Ann Marie Stulgis of
25 squashing a deal between the city and the
1 police union. I was in the union for many
2 years. One person cannot squash a deal.
3 The representative has to go back to the
4 union and give them the offer, so saying
5 that Ann Marie Stulgis squashed that offer
6 it's a lie.
7 Lastly, good news for Mr. Joe
8 Pilcheski and the people fighting against
9 the sale of the South Side Complex. Today
10 Commonwealth Court reversed a decision by
11 Judge Mazzoni and this has to be remanded
12 back to Lackawanna County Court, so this is
13 far from over and I think the South Side
14 complex is going to go back to the people of
15 the city eventually. Thank you.
16 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Spindler.
17 Andy Sbaraglia.
18 MR. SBARAGLIA: Andy Sbaraglia,
19 citizen of Scranton. Fellow Scrantonians, I
20 see 7-A is up for final passage, that has to
21 do with us buying a lot of infrastructure at
22 this development for a dollar. Have you
23 realized that once you buy this we have to
24 keep the roads plowed. We have to fix the
25 roads. Chances are the sewer system is not
1 up to par, that means we got to rip all the
2 roads out and separate the drainage from the
3 sanitary. That's going to cost maybe a
4 million, maybe $2 million, but the question
5 is the subdivision, them roads are probably
6 being paid taxes on them by whoever has the
7 subdivision. In other words, the parcel of
8 land you pay tax on it. I know somebody
9 some of it may be KOZ because if you go by
10 Keyser Valley you see a big sign up there
11 saying KOZ so they are not even paying
12 taxes, but now they want us to pick up the
14 Now, I don't know, what you said the
15 engineer, she isn't there to say that, she
16 said the engineer said it. Now, for an
17 engineer to say it he had to take core
18 samples. When you check out a road you want
19 to see how it's built, you got to drill down
20 and you take a core out and they examine
21 that core to see if it's up to par. Now, I
22 don't know if we have an engineer, a city
23 engineer. I don't know who even come up
24 with all of this without a dollar amount.
25 You just can't do what you are doing because
1 we can't afford it. It's obvious to anybody
2 we just can't afford it.
3 Now, I realize when this thing comes
4 up, because even if it's a development, I
5 don't know if you are familiar with some of
6 it, but townhouses, you don't own the land,
7 okay? You only own the building, okay? And
8 the people had own the land is responsible
9 forth the upkeep of the roads and the grass
10 and so forth and you pay a fee. Now, you
11 want to relieve them of a great cost and put
12 it on us, and that's not right. You cannot
13 ask Peter to pay Paul when Paul is broke and
14 Peter got all the money. There ain't the
15 money on the subdivision. They knew what
16 they had to do. Some of it is old, some of
17 it may be new. I don't know even know if
18 the new part is up to code that they
19 separate the drainage from the sanitary, I
20 have no way of knowing, I assume you all
21 have the answers because it's up for final
22 vote. Somebody is going to say, yes, to
23 this not caring at what cost it is to the
24 taxpayers because, like I said before, I'm
25 not against any building of the city, we
1 need more housing. When people talk about
2 the KOZ up there at Tripp's Park, I was for
3 it, and the reason I was for it was very
4 simple, you cannot take the houses out.
5 Once they are built, they are built. That
6 means we are going to get tax revenue, but a
7 developer on the land I don't know how it's
8 even broken down, I don't know if that
9 developer is paying tax on the land and the
10 people are paying tax on the houses or
11 anything because it's not brought out with
12 legislation. There is a lot of
14 Another thing is once you take
15 control of those streets they are taking off
16 the tax rolls because they don't own them no
17 more, the city now owns them, so that means
18 we have to pick up the lost revenue, too,
19 and all of these things should be brought
20 out. There should be a booklet like that on
21 this, exactly how it's going to affect the
22 city, not some deal worked out between a
23 landowner and an administration official
24 because obviously that was what was done.
25 The mayor probably had his hands in
1 this, and I don't know how deeply his hands
2 are in it, but obviously he got his hands in
3 here or this never would have came down.
4 This came from the administration, the
5 administration is run by the mayor, so
6 everything that goes wrong with the
7 administration you blame that mayor for.
8 You are only the second ground, it's just
9 too bad you have to take all of the gripe, I
10 feel sorry for you that way. That's why you
11 never see me criticize any one of you there.
12 I talk to you as a whole and always do talk
13 to you as a whole even though I don't agree
14 with some of you's, but still as a whole you
15 are council and that's the only way I
16 address you as a whole and will continue to
17 that as long as I got breath or as long as
18 I'm able to. Thank you.
19 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you,
20 Mr. Sbaraglia.
21 MS. GATELLI: Mr. McGoff, just for a
22 moment, please, can I say something?
23 MR. MCGOFF: Yes, you may.
24 MS. GATELLI: I understand what you
25 are saying about this development and I
1 think I'm going to ask tonight that it be
2 tabled when motions come because you are
3 bringing up some good points, however, there
4 have been other developments in the city
5 that we have taken over, Fawnwood, Oakwood,
6 Pennwood Park, I mean, this is really what
7 happens when people get a parcel of land and
8 develop it and build houses. Tripp Park,
9 for instance, too. We are not going to take
10 that over because we are not happy with how
11 they are treating the people over there, but
12 when a developer comes in and develops a
13 piece of land eventually the city does take
14 it over and they do take is over for a
15 dollar and they have done that in the
16 instances that I have told you, so it is
17 done in certain instances and I would like
18 to look into it further, but I would like
19 you to know it is down throughout the city
20 and has been for the last 50 years. So,
21 maybe we can talk after, you know, a little
22 further about it.
23 There are places there in Keyser
24 terrace that have town houses, but there are
25 also a part of is single family homes, so
1 I'm not sure which part this deals with. If
2 it's the townhouses where they don't pay
3 taxes and they pay, you know, a maintenance
4 fee that's different, but the single family
5 homes the city should eventually pick it up
6 if the streets and everything are up to
8 MS. FANUCCI: In the ordinance
9 itself it does say that the streets are up
10 to code and have passed what the city deems
11 fit for the whole entire city. It is
12 exactly written that the road and
13 improvements were constructed to the City of
14 Scranton's specifications and the city
15 engineer has inspected and found roadways
16 and improvements to meet it's satisfaction.
17 So it has already been done and has already
18 passed the inspection stage before they took
19 over I thought you might find that
21 MS. GATELLI: Thank you, Mr. McGoff
23 MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Courtright?
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: I will wait until
25 Mrs. Gatelli makes the motion and I'm going
1 to vote for it. I had a couple of people
2 that live there speak about what
3 Mr. Sbaraglia about the core samples. I
4 don't know what they call the first coat
5 that they put down, the blacktop, but it was
6 several months before they came down and put
7 the second coat and they said there was no
8 core samples taken and they had concerns
9 about curbs and if we do get a favorable
10 vote to table it and maybe Mr. Brazil could
11 give us a report on everything back there.
12 One other thing and, Kay, if maybe you
13 could do this from council, I note I got two
14 calls from the last storm, not the ice, when
15 we had snow from people in the Tripp Park
16 development, I don't believe we have taken
17 over those roads back there yet, have we?
18 MS. GATELLI: No, but Mr. Brazil
19 plowed them.
20 MR. COURTRIGHT: They are plowing
21 them the city is plowing the road, and we
22 haven't taken it over, I don't know there
23 must be a reason why we are doing that.
24 MS. GATELLI: We did it because
25 Speicher wasn't doing it.
1 MS. FANUCCI: Safety, it was a public
3 MR. COURTRIGHT: Well, if we are
4 doing it and Speicher isn't doing it then
5 somebody needs to get after him. It's his
6 responsibility to clean those roads --
7 MS. GATELLI: Absolutely.
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: -- until what time
9 the city takes them over and then I think
10 the legal department needs to take some kind
11 of action against him if he is not going to
12 hold up his end of the bargain so maybe we
13 can ask Mr. Brazil and if, in fact, that's
14 the reason because he wasn't doing it then I
15 would ask if we could ask the legal
16 department what recourse we have. We
17 haven't taken over those roads and we are
18 plowing them. Thank you.
19 MR. MCGOFF: I'm sorry, Mr. Morgan.
20 MR. MORGAN: Good evening, Council.
21 I think the first thing I want to inform
22 everyone is that Northeast PA Public Access
23 Project I just would like to come up front
24 and say that I am on the board of directors
25 of that group and we have put in a proposal
1 to take Channel 61 and I think it's proper
2 for me to come here and tell people that
3 because I do think it's pertinent to be
4 honest, but I have a couple of questions and
5 I'm assuming that people really aren't going
6 to care very much for some of the things I
7 might say today. It just -- it takes me
8 back to 2004 when I had problem with the
9 communication center and I lost my daughter
10 and this thing spun to the point where the
11 Department of Health was asked to
12 investigate something when in all reality
13 emergency management should have been
14 requested to investigate it and the
15 emergency management won't speak to me
16 because of the death of my daughter and they
17 don't want to touch that and my question is
18 something along that line, okay? It's when
19 politics, in my opinion, took the place of
20 solid strong focus and judgment on putting
21 trained professional people in place that
22 were capable, and that's why today what I
23 want -- I want to ask a couple of questions
24 here, and I'd like council to try to come up
25 with some answers because there is a lot of
1 -- there is a lot of people have spoke to me
2 about a situation in regards to the fire
3 chief, Mr. Davis, with all due respect to
4 Mr. Dais. I am under the impression that
5 Mr. Davis left the fire department because
6 he was severely injured and totally disabled
7 and that's fine and, you know, I appreciate
8 everything he ever did for this city in the
9 line of duty, but then he was appointed
10 chief of the fire department and from what I
11 understand this gentleman shows up at fire
12 scenes not in gear, not wearing the gear
13 that any other firemen would have on and
14 it's come to my attention that even at the
15 last laundry fire he was in the building
16 without his gear on and my question is this,
17 if this is so why he is the chief? If isn't
18 capable of being a fireman and he is the
19 chief of the fire department and he is in
20 the building fighting a fire without his
21 gear what example does he leave to the
22 people he leads, okay, because he is
23 supposed to be setting an example?
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: Mr. Morgan, would
25 you like me to answer you?
1 MR. MORGAN: Well, I'd like to finish
2 first, if I could, then I would certainly
3 appreciate anything you have to say, even if
4 you don't appreciate what I said. You know,
5 it just cuts to the point of professionalism
6 and being capable and, you know, I do have
7 another question. We had the fire on Ash
8 Street where we did loose a fireman and my
9 question on that issue is, and I don't know
10 if it's going to be the responsibility of
11 the people doing the investigation or what,
12 and there was a fatality there and with all
13 due respect to everyone, okay, was that
14 truck grounded because when -- I believe
15 that that truck should have been grounded
16 and my question is was that vehicle grounded
17 so that the current that went through that
18 truck could reach ground. And as far as
19 Mr. Davis, I just think it's time for the
20 people in the city to put somebody in place
21 that's going to lead by example and have his
22 gear on and I think we need somebody who is
23 physically capable of doing everything that
24 a fireman should do and I have all of the
25 respect in the world for this man, but I
1 just think it's time for somebody to step
2 forward and ask the mayor to tell Mr. Davis,
3 you know, we really appreciate all of you
4 have done for this city, but really you
5 aren't capable, you have been fully disabled
6 and now from what I understand he shows up
7 at fire scenes without gear on, yelling and
8 barking orders and now he is going into
9 buildings that are on fire without his gear
10 on, and you know what, I could be wrong.
11 But, my point is if I'm not right what kind
12 of example is that? And I think somebody
13 should look into it. I think it at least
14 deserves that much.
15 MR. COURTRIGHT: Would you like me to
16 answer you?
17 MR. MORGAN: Yes, the floor is yours.
18 MR. COURTRIGHT: First of all, I
19 think he had gear on down there at the Crazy
20 Pineapple there and Scanlons, I believe I
21 saw him with gear on. Secondly, maybe if I
22 could just get a nod from the firefighters
23 out there, I don't think he is allowed to
24 fight a fire, I don't think he is allowed to
25 have anything to do with fighting the fire.
1 MR. MORGAN: Is that because he is
2 not capable and that's --
3 MR. COURTRIGHT: I don't know whether
4 he is capable or not capable. I think
5 because he doesn't belong to the union I
6 think he is the chief I think he is a more
7 administrative or supposed to be more
8 administrative. I guess I have to finish
9 with my time.
10 MR. MORGAN: Thank you.
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: Come one, I got to
12 play by the rules, guys.
13 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Morgan.
14 MR. DAVIS: You were saying something
16 MR. COURTRIGHT: I'll finish with my
18 (Whereupon Mrs. Evans enters the
19 council chambers.)
20 MR. MCGOFF: We'll give Mrs. Evans a
21 chance to get settled. Are you good?
22 MS. EVANS: Yes. Thank you. Pat
24 MR. DESARNO: Good evening. My
25 voice is back a little bit, I don't know
1 whether that's good or bad, depends.
2 Mrs. Fanucci, back here we are again. I
3 have been told you have found my challenge
4 to you last week a little bit amusing,
5 that's fine, but my questions for you this
6 week would be have you met that challenge
7 and are you going to cite the source of your
8 parks statement. One condition though, just
9 in case, nothing from a man named of Richard
10 Florida is acceptable because Mr. Florida's
11 quality of place theory that talks about
12 cities promoting their cultural and
13 entertainment value venues is designed to
14 attract what he calls the knowledgeable
15 workers and not the businesses that they
16 might work for, so if you can cite the
17 source I would thank you very much for
18 satisfying my curiosity and, if not, then I
19 would have to ask is that because you won't
20 or you cannot. Now, I think everyone
21 deserves what your comments were based on.
22 Some of you are on record complaining
23 about the state of the city council
24 meetings. Now tonight notwithstanding,
25 speakers come here every week with issues,
1 questions, input and appeals. Not only are
2 they ignored they are asked to suck up the
3 insult of ridicule and snide comments hurled
4 at them from that dais and then somehow many
5 of you up there fail to see your own
6 complicity in cultivating such an
7 antagonistic atmosphere here.
8 Now, Robert's Rules, since a lot of
9 people like quoting that, it doesn't really
10 provide much help with when it comes to
11 decorum, but I think this might. It's
12 called -- written by Thomas Jefferson, it's
13 called the manner of Parliamentary practice
14 for use at the Senate of the United States,
15 in Section 17 it talks about order and
16 debate and it says, "No one is to disturb
17 another in his speech by hissing, coughing,
18 spitting, speaking or whispering to one
19 another. Now, to be fair, I have never seen
20 you spit, Mrs. Fanucci, but I have seen you
21 giggle and make faces and as Mrs. Knight so
22 eloquently stated last week you really need
23 to wise up because you do have a lot to
24 learn. The subjects of comportment and
25 decorum would be good subjects to bone up
1 on. If you fully understood those words
2 this exchange would never have taken place.
3 It had to do when Mrs. Gatelli was a little
4 upset about someone laughing in the
5 audience. Mrs. Gatelli said, "Just so the
6 public knows that everyone back there just
7 sits there and laughs at us. I know you
8 can't see them on the camera, but that's
9 what we have to deal with. Everyday they
10 sit there and laugh at us and I'd like the
11 public to know that."
12 And Mrs. Hubbard said, "And
13 Mrs. Fanucci laughs right back."
14 And, Mrs. Fanucci, you said, "I do
15 laugh right back at you. I can't help it.
16 I will always laugh right back at you."
17 Is that the sort of comportment
18 befitting an elected city official? A city
19 as progressive as Scranton? I see it more
20 like the behavior of the 7th grade student
21 council president.
22 Now, the questions asked here at
23 this podium are not rhetorical. All too
24 often most of you fail to offer even the
25 smallest courtesy of opining on an issue. I
1 think doing so would go a long way toward
2 showing these petitioners that you at the
3 very least heard what was said to them.
4 Now, the days of allowing you to skate
5 by without comment must end. Tonight I'm
6 asking everyone up therefore their opinion
7 on the matter of about the put forth. For
8 those who I chose not no address is, next
9 week I'll reiterate and I'll demand an
10 answer. The issue is the latest arbitration
11 ars kickin absorbed by the city at the foot
12 of the Fraternal Order of Police. Several
13 months ago the Scranton fire Department won
14 a grievance in Court that allowed us to
15 recoup the paycheck that was basically
16 stolen from us by Chris Doherty on December
17 8. You would think someone with so much
18 labor experience would know better. In
19 spite of that victory by the fire department
20 and in spite of a gentleman's, and this is
21 an oxymoron with this administration,
22 agreement, the city forced the Fraternal
23 Order of Police to refile and fight the
24 exact same grievance. The arbitrator who
25 found in favor of the FOP was compelled to
1 offer this admonition: "I also find--" this
2 is from the arbitrator, "I also find that
3 the city acted in bad fight by persisting in
4 their litigation of this matter at the
5 June 24, 2007, a day one month after the
6 date of the PLRB order in the firefighters'
7 case. By that date, the city should have
8 reasonably been able to digest the sums of
9 the decisions of the PLRB and the Courts and
10 should have known that it had no likelihood
11 of prevailing in the instant case."
12 The people who were ultimately
13 saddled with the final cost of the city's
14 bad faith -- I have 30 seconds, Mr. McGoff,
15 if I may.
16 MR. MCGOFF: Go ahead.
17 MR. DESARNO: Were the taxpayers and
18 not Chris Doherty or Lisa Moran. As people
19 who are watching out for the taxpayers as
20 one official who receives a public pension
21 with benefits paid for by the public money
22 and yet draws another public paycheck, what
23 do you say to such frivolous waste of city
24 resources. You might have opinions and we
25 are entitled to know what they are. Mr.
1 McGoff, I ask you to set the example and
2 compel your fellow council people who answer
3 this question to opine on these matters, and
4 I'll see you next Tuesday. Thank you.
5 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. DeSarno.
6 I just have one comment for you,
7 Mr. DeSarno, and for anyone, I have no power
8 to compel my fellow council members to
9 answer any question or to offer any opinion.
10 MR. DESARNO: I was hoping you would
11 set the example, sir.
12 MR. MCGOFF: Candace McColligan.
13 MS. MCCOLLIGAN: That's a tough act
14 to follow. Candace McColligan, Scranton
15 resident. As this is the first time I'm
16 speaking in front of council, I would like
17 to start by saying that I am a working,
18 taxpaying, voting and productive member of
19 society who watches these council members
20 meetings regularly. Contrary to Miss
21 Fanucci's statement and belief that the only
22 people who aren't happy with the direction
23 of this city are those who attend these
24 meetings each week, I represent many people
25 who are frustrated at home but feel it's
1 futile to come here as the opinions
2 expressed too often seem to fall upon deaf
3 ears. When expressing to family and friends
4 that I was nervous to speak here tonight
5 many responded, "Why, no one is listening
7 I hope that's just as disturbing for
8 you to hear as it was for me and I hope that
9 is a reputation you will work to change.
10 City council is a forum where citizens
11 are meant to be represented and to be able
12 to bring issues to the forefront and
13 demeaning comments and eye rolling isn't
14 just immature, it's offensive. That being
15 said, I am not the type of person who is
16 intimidated by a challenge and I cannot be
17 convinced that my opinion doesn't count or
18 that I can't make a difference.
19 The decision you make here directly
20 impact me and, therefore, I want you to know
21 my thoughts so that you can take them into
22 consideration when you are casting your
23 votes as the year moves forward. Holding
24 the title of mayor comes with the
25 responsibility to protect the city and it's
1 citizens, not only financially, but through
2 showing support for the civil servants who
3 make this city run and make it a safer
4 place. The same responsibility rests with
5 the title of city council member.
6 I may be naive, but I find it
7 impossible to swallow that any of you can
8 honestly believe that beautifying a park is
9 more important than decreasing taxes for
10 businesses that look to invest here. I
11 don't buy that you can truly believe that a
12 $15,000 raised to one person was reasonable
13 while those who risk their lives protecting
14 our citizens and their property can't even
15 keep up with inflation. I realize that it
16 may be tough to accept a straight-forward,
17 honest explanation from Mrs. Evans about the
18 administrative and salary cuts that this
19 city needs, because too many people seem to
20 be blinded by political connections rather
21 than committed to the people of this city
22 who bear the burden of this administration's
23 misplaced and bloated spending.
24 It is too late to change your vote
25 regarding the 2008 budget, and I realize
1 that, but it is never too late to put your
2 votes to use to make the positive and
3 logical changes this city desperately needs.
4 Mrs. Evans is be congratulated for
5 being a dedicated citizen first and a
6 politician second. As a resident of
7 Scranton, a nice park is great, but not as
8 great as safe streets, low crime and drug
9 rates, above average school districts, new
10 businesses and at least tax rates that are
11 on par with other cities throughout this
12 state. I'd even happily pay the wage tax if
13 I had the rest to brag about.
14 I have for the three years I have
15 lived here been told over and over that
16 Scranton has and always will be corrupt and
17 that it's just the level of corruption that
18 will vary. Maybe people have become too
19 complacent and have forgotten that we, as
20 citizens, have a voice and that if we do not
21 exercise that voice we are choosing to
22 support the corruption that we are more than
23 willing to complain about behind closed
25 As a taxpayer, I would like you as
1 council and the mayor himself to know what I
2 expect from you because I believe that you
3 will never get anything if you don't ask for
4 it. I want the union contracts to be
5 settled and I want to see those who put
6 their lives on the line treated with the
7 respect that they have earned and deserve
8 from this administration. I want to see the
9 unnecessary jobs in city government
10 eliminated, and the salaries that are
11 excessive reduced. I want council to hold
12 the mayor accountable for his spending and
13 to obtain and provide public records when
14 requested, no excuses. I want to see the
15 money from my taxes be used not to beautify
16 parks, but to pay down debt and fight crime
17 and drug problems to make our streets safer.
18 I want council to make known an expectation
19 of the mayor to live up to his promises
20 including the one made to attend these
21 meetings each week and hear what we have to
23 And, finally, I want you, as
24 council, to represent me as a taxpaying
25 citizen because when you chose this position
1 you didn't agree to only represent those who
2 said what you wanted to hear and I deserve
3 your attention and respect as equally as any
4 other resident. It is a new year and a new
5 chance to make the right decisions, not the
6 easiest or the ones that necessarily make
7 the mayor sleep soundly at night, but the
8 right decisions for this city and the ones
9 that represent me and other citizens like
10 me. Thank you.
11 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you for your
12 comments. Bill Jackowitz.
13 MR. JACKOWITZ: Mr. President, City
14 Council Members, Bill Jackowitz, South
15 Scranton resident. I stand here as an
16 embarrassed Scrantonian today and I'm going
17 to tell you why. We started the meeting off
18 with Mr. Hazzouri talking about his mess
19 with NCI. We all knew that was this going
20 to happen, but yet three council members
21 voted for it, now they are going to, pardon
22 my language, but they are going to rape the
23 citizens of the Scranton, people will lose
24 their houses.
25 I also stand here embarrassed
1 because of what happened earlier with one of
2 the speakers. Totally uncalled for and
3 totally unnecessary. I also would like to
4 commend Mr. McGoff, President McGoff, for
5 the handling of it. We don't need anymore
6 people arrested like there was in the past
7 with the past leadership. You showed good
8 sound judgment and leadership by handling it
9 the way that you did. Hopefully it will not
10 happen again, but if it does I hope you
11 handle it the same way.
12 And, lastly, I would like to commend
13 the last speaker. She was excellent. She
14 hit every point right on the nose and she is
15 lot younger than me and you people sitting
16 up there, but you know something, I think
17 she may be smarter.
18 Okay, I'd like to read this. This
19 is an Associated Press story written by
20 Peter Jackson out of Harrisburg.
21 "Pennsylvania should tax --" it's called
22 Rendell assesses administration.
23 "Pennsylvania Taxpayers have a Right to
24 Know how the Commonwealth spends their
25 hard-earned tax dollars," the Democrats said
1 in the statement. Well, guess what,
2 Scrantonians have that same right to know
3 how the City of Scranton pays our
4 hard-earned tax dollars. Okay? Also, there
5 was 170 page Governor's report. Some
6 statistics in the report are of questionable
7 value. For example, one chart says that the
8 number of jobs created, retained or pledged
9 is a result of the state economic
10 development program grew from about 187,000
11 in 2004 and 2005 to more than 282,000 in
12 2006-2007. In fact, many of the jobs
13 promised by the companies that accepted
14 state financial incentives never
15 materialized. I wonder if that ever
16 happened in Scranton?
17 The Associated Press story in
18 October that focused on Mr. Rendell the
19 first two years in office showed that more
20 than half of the 56 businesses that accepted
21 44 million in taxpayers money failed to hire
22 as many workers as they promised in
23 2003-2004. I wonder if that ever happened
24 in the City of Scranton?
25 State Auditor General, Jack Wagner,
1 who audited the opportunity grants program
2 that is part of the state's economic
3 development arsenal also criticized the
4 administration last fall for it's selective
5 use of statistics to pump up the program's
6 track record. I wonder if that ever
7 happened in the City of Scranton.
8 Respect. Respect is something that
9 you earn. It is not granted to you because
10 you won an election or because of your
11 agenda. I have the utmost respect for
12 firefighters, police officers and military
13 members. Every time they put on their
14 uniform and go to work the possibility of
15 being killed or injured in order to protect
16 the citizens of the community and nation.
17 They have sworn an oath to this, just like a
18 politician swears an oath to uphold the
19 constitution of the United States and work
20 for the citizens. Not many politicians have
21 worn these uniforms and a few have traded in
22 their uniforms for high priced suits and
23 jobs and the few who have traded in the
24 uniforms for high priced suits and jobs.
25 They have forgotten where they came from.
1 Not all firefighters and police officers and
2 military personnel earn my respect because
3 like any occupation you have your bad
4 apples, but they are far and few. On the
5 other hand, most if not all politicians and
6 political appointees who work for them work
7 for themselves, families and friends. They
8 put themselves first.
9 I continually read about the
10 Scranton distressed city status and the
11 Recovery Plan. Yes, the Recovery Plan was
12 voted into law during the 2002 general
13 election. Yes, 72 percent of the people who
14 voted that day voted, yes, for the Recovery
15 Plan. That was over five years ago. Things
16 have changed since then, but the city
17 administration and leadership feels so
18 strongly about the Recovery Plan that I
19 would like to see the Recovery Plan again
20 placed on the ballot in 2008 as an issue to
21 be voted on by the citizens and voters of
22 Scranton. In 2002 only 21,561 voters voted
23 that day. My hope and belief is that more
24 Scranton voters would cast their ballots
25 this year.
1 This contract battle between the
2 administration and the union needs to stop.
3 This is the most divisive issue in the City
4 of Scranton. For once how about we put the
5 citizens first and politicians last. Let's
6 do something it people. And also last week
7 I talked about -- and I'll be back.
8 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you,
9 Mr. Jackowitz. Brett McClough.
10 MR. MCCLOUGH: Good evening, Council.
11 My name is Brett McClough, Scranton
12 taxpayer, homeowner. The right for the
13 majority to decide, the right for the
14 minority to be heard, the right for the
15 absent to be protected, three guiding
16 principals that are the foundation of good,
17 honest and fair government. During the next
18 11 months pieces of legislations will be
19 passed based on the fuzzy math that some say
20 constitutes the majority. Some officials
21 have no problem telling us that they are
22 only responsible to those who elected them
23 into office. When looking at the numbers of
24 who actually voted in reference to all those
25 of voting age who for various reasons did
1 not vote, you begin to realize how the
2 vision of so few control the destinies of so
4 This silent majority some speak of
5 does not exist. Instead, what we have and
6 will see is legislation based upon the needs
7 of the very few. At the same time, the
8 minorities' right to be heard is honored but
9 the request are often ignored or denied.
10 The real silent majority in this city is the
11 taxpaying nonvoters. They are the actions
12 whose rights need to be protected. It's the
13 average Jane and John Doe worker in this
14 city who severs this public for long hours
15 for very little pay and as we move to a more
16 service oriented city I think it would be
17 very important for our elected officials to
18 practice the same service standards used by
19 the people who drive this economy.
20 Meanwhile, local tax legislation
21 looming on the horizon threatens their
22 standard of living through increased
23 property taxes which result in higher rents,
24 higher utility fees as well as the general
25 state of the national economy. The real
1 silent majority is not being served. In my
2 profession as well as many others you can't
3 pick and choose who you are going to serve.
4 My only responsibility is to those who
5 elected me into office, sounds to much like
6 I'm not going to wait on that table because
7 they don't tip. Both statements are totally
8 unacceptable if we are going to succeed at
9 providing service to the public. When you
10 make statements like that followed by
11 legislation that echoes those sentiments,
12 fair and honest government is no longer
13 attainable, goodness and honesty cannot
14 can't survive. I'm not going to pretend
15 that I know much about the mechanics of how
16 government works nor am I someone who is
17 well-connected or has a bunch of letters
18 after their names. What I am is a citizen
19 looking for an officials to provide
20 substantive hope for all, not the naive
21 audacity of an official telling the citizen:
22 The reason people are having financial
23 difficulties is due to their lack of ability
24 to make better occupational and financial
25 choices. It's a slap in the face who all
1 who serve the public, all who pay city taxes
2 in all of it's forms, and it's an omen to
3 the type of hypocritical legislation that
4 most assuredly will be passed over the next
5 11 months.
6 Hopefully, the dog eat dog too bad
7 so sad, how come you are not like me
8 survival of the financial fittest mentality
9 will not prevail in 2009 because as far as I
10 see it the message from some of these
11 officials it's sending is clear, 2008 is
12 pretty much a done deal. Thank you.
13 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you,
14 Mr. McClough. Sam Patilla.
15 MR. PATILLA: Sam Patilla, taxpayer,
16 resident, homeowner, businessman. Good
17 evening, Mrs. Evans. Good evening,
18 Mr. Courtright. I want to talk about blight
19 in reference to Item 6-A. You know, as a
20 child my mother, even as adult my mother
21 used to drag me off to these neighborhoods
22 where they had delipidated houses, rundown
23 properties, and she would make me go out
24 there and overturn the grounds so that we
25 can turn their property into a community
1 garden, be it flowers, vegetables, something
2 to beautify that area and this went on for
3 years and years and years. The residents
4 loved it, the community loved it, everybody
5 benefited from it.
6 But, blight isn't only rundown
7 houses. Blight is also city-owned property
8 that isn't maintained. Blight is the taking
9 of taxpayers' money to plant trees,
10 especially given Scranton's track record
11 that those trees might be chopped down once
12 their property is sold. Blight is also a
13 corrupt, crooked administration full of
14 malfeasance from head to toe. Blight is the
15 disparaging position that the past finance
16 chair was placed in by other members of
17 council. Blight is when feasible and
18 plausible applications are turned to the
19 wayside and I'd like to commend Mrs. Evans
20 and Miss Olenski over the school board
21 because we know that you are there for the
22 taxpayers. You know, I had a judge here
23 tell me that his was a position of finding a
24 position favorable for the Commonwealth and
25 that stuck with me for awhile because I
1 couldn't understand how you could forget
2 that the residents, the taxpayers, the
3 senior citizens, the youth are the
4 Commonwealth. Not the judges, not the mayor
5 or any other politician, not city council,
6 not school board, but the taxpayers, the
7 people. We are the Commonwealth, you know,
8 I have been watching the amendment from the
9 House of Representatives and they have also
10 forgotten that. You know, everybody is so
11 worried about big businesses. We are the
12 business. Your residents, your taxpayers,
13 your homeowners, we are your business. Not
14 Walmart, not K-Mart, not Sears, not Macy's,
15 but us, you know, and I couldn't understand
16 for the life of me, you know, how all of
17 these representatives in the house fail to
18 put the blame where it squarely belongs, on
19 the school district and on the communities,
20 the currents administration for these
21 municipalities through their malfeasance,
22 their cronyism, the nepotism, that puts us
23 in the position we are in now. Not the
24 children, not the teachers, not the police,
25 not the firemen, but those that we elected
1 into office with the hopes that we would
2 represent us. They squandered our money,
3 you know, they are the ones that seek to
4 build new schools instead of purchasing new
5 supplies. The purpose of a school isn't the
6 building, it's the education that is
7 bestowed upon our children. Like I said a
8 couple of weeks ago, our children aren't
9 staying here. They are not dumb. They are
10 not naive, and just like that lady so
11 eloquently said earlier, okay, they want to
12 be heard, they deserve to be heard, they
13 should be heard, they have earned that right
14 as American citizens, as residents.
15 Now, we know than come certain votes
16 it's not going to go our way, but that's
17 also blight. When you put your own interest
18 above those of the majority that's just s
19 ugly as a run down building. It's just as
20 seedy as a lot strewn with broken glass and
21 other debris. Blight comes from within just
22 like morals, just like eternity, just like
23 courage. It's not something that you can
24 just brush off.
25 You know, in the upcoming months
1 there are going to be a lot of changes
2 statewide because we the people have grown
3 weary and tired of the treatment we are
4 receiving from our supposedly elected
5 officials. Thank you.
6 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Patilla.
7 The next name I can't read, I think it may
8 be Lee Morgan again, but I'm not sure. Is
9 there anyone else that would be an "L" and
10 an "M"? I just can't read the writing.
11 Okay. We will skip over it. Daniel
13 MR. HUBBARD: Good evening council,
14 Dan Hubbard. A couple of quick questions on
15 7-A. I understand that it's been inspected
16 by the city, it's supposed to be up to
17 Scranton standards, obviously my faith in
18 Scranton standards aren't always -- isn't
19 always would it should be, so my question is
20 is the storm drain and sewer system in that
21 development up to the EPA standards, forget
22 Scranton, let's go to the EPA because if
23 it's not then the city's sewer authority is
24 going to have to go in and dig up every
25 street in the development to meet the EPA
1 mandates for a separate system. So,
2 regardless of Scranton standards let's make
3 sure that we are up to EPA standards so we
4 save ourselves millions of dollars in the
5 future by not having to dig up that section
6 of the street.
7 Mrs. Gatelli, you touched on the
8 city had taken over Fawnwood, that's a
9 perfect example. How many problems and how
10 much money has the city spent in Fawnwood
11 with storm drain issues because it probably
12 is not up to the standards it should be and
13 then we obviously took it over and now we
14 are stuck with the financial liability of
15 updating the systems in Fawnwood so that the
16 residents up there don't have any problems
17 with their storm drains. So, before we are
18 hasty in taking over somebody else's
19 problems we should probably make sure that
20 it's up to the standards that we have to
21 answer to as a city, and that's the federal
22 standards, not Scranton standards because,
23 like I said, the facts city engineer and
24 Scranton standards in one sentence doesn't
25 really make much sense.
1 Also, a question on I guess it's
2 6-G, can somebody explain to me why the
3 zoning around the high school why they
4 decided to change all of the zoning around
5 the high school, after I'm finished.
6 Then we get down to 6-H trees.
7 Trees. Trees. We need trees? Hundreds and
8 millions of dollars in debt, distressed
9 status and we are going to plant trees? Of
10 that $60,000 I can pretty give you one
11 project that will cost 20 that council
12 unanimously thought that lower Greenridge
13 should have and let's just be reasonable
14 about it, the two other sections of the city
15 that used to be prone to flooding or now
16 protected and have flood sirens and we are
17 still unprotected and yet we still don't
18 have a siren and the siren was promised to
19 us by Director Ray Hayes in 2006 and then
20 the five of you all felt that it was an
21 important enough issue to vote that we have
22 a siren and that wasn't right, obviously,
23 you didn't do the right thing, so I was told
24 to submit an official request from the
25 neighborhood association, which I did, and
1 that obviously just fell to the side of the
2 file cabinet, so if you are looking for
3 somewhere to spend money in the city, trees
4 in south side not really high on the list.
5 Flood siren in lower Greenridge probably
6 isn't the grand scheme of the picture high
7 on the list, but it would be a start. You
8 know, we could spend $60,000 in this city
9 helping the residents instead of planting
10 trees in front of their houses, and I'm
11 pretty sure, you know, the Arbor Day
12 Foundation would do donate trees and we
13 could get the local Boy Scouts to plant them
14 so we wouldn't have to pay 60,000 for
15 somebody to do it. You know, that's just --
16 I think that obviously at this point we
17 should get a flood siren and I think that
18 instead of throwing $60,000 away on trees
19 that we don't really need you could be -- it
20 would be better spent helping the residents
21 of lower Greenridge and then you could plant
22 $40,000 worth of trees with the rest of it.
23 Thank you.
24 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Hubbard.
25 Mrs. Hubbard.
1 MS. HUBBARD: Good evening, Council,
2 Elizabeth Hubbard, Scranton resident and
3 taxpayer, etcetera. I'm here tonight to
4 talk again about skunks, two-legged,
5 four-legged, but I want to talk about
6 skunks. Last August I paid $240 to have two
7 skunks removed from my property after one of
8 them did a job on Daniel, but I had to pay
9 for that, I called the city, they told me
10 this don't do that, and I called the game
11 commission they give me some names and I
12 called the gentleman came and removed the
13 skunks and I paid. There was a little
14 article in the paper on January 13 by Stacy
15 Brown about a woman in the Hill talking
16 about skunk prints had been found on snow
17 covered back lawns on the Hill Section
18 residents, "The city has to do something
19 because we are already have a number of
20 skunks running around --" this woman said
21 anyway, "Mark Seitzinger, the city's
22 director of licensing, inspections and
23 permits said the city's animal control
24 officer only handles domestic animals.
25 Unfortunately, the residents have to get a
1 private exterminator to control and take
2 care of the situation."
3 Well, lo and behold I had the
4 opportunity to come by a bill from the same
5 gentleman that got my skunks in August and
6 this one is made out to Stuart Renda,
7 Departments of permits, licensing and the
8 bill is for almost $1,600 and it's dated
9 December of '07. So in August they told me
10 they don't do that, they would a woman in
11 January they don't do that, but yet in
12 September of '07 they did it, so I'd like to
13 know who do I talk to to get the money
14 reimbursed to me that I paid to get the
15 skunks out of my yard when all of these
16 other people on Albright Avenue and Cottage
17 Avenue, and I guess that's all a whole bunch
18 of addresses, anyway, they got all of their
19 skunks and critters removed, why should I
20 have to pay to get mine removed, I'd like to
21 get my money back.
22 MS. GATELLI: Can I have that list
23 and I'll find out for you because there is a
24 few --
25 MS. HUBBARD: You can have a copy of
2 MS. GATELLI: Yes, I'd like that
3 because a few of my neighbors had to pay,
4 too, recently.
5 MS. HUBBARD: I mean, you know, it's
6 all well and good that the city --
7 MS. GATELLI: No, I'm interested to
9 MS. HUBBARD: -- doesn't do it, but
10 if you are going to do it for somebody you
11 should do it for everybody.
12 MS. GATELLI: Absolutely.
13 MR. HUBBARD: And I want my money
14 back, sorry.
15 MS. GATELLI: I want to check that
17 MS. HUBBARD: All right, I'll have
18 to --
19 MS. GATELLI: Give it to Sue.
20 MS. HUBBARD: So I'd like an answer
21 on that maybe by next week if I could have
22 it, I'd appreciate that. I think that's all
23 I have to say tonight. I'm sure I get home
24 and think of something I missed, but I'll
25 address that next week.
1 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mrs. Hubbard.
2 Mr. Dobson.
3 MR. DOBSON: Good evening, Council,
4 Dave Dobson, resident of Scranton. I'd like
5 to express some concern also becomes firemen
6 being terminated. I certainly hope some day
7 that we don't have a disaster because of it.
8 On 7-A, also one once again, I would like to
9 express that the sewer needs to be
10 addressed, if the street has to be torn up
11 that's not much of a deal and 7-C maybe we
12 could answer after I'm done on private -- is
13 this an attempt at privatizing inspections.
14 On these skunks, I testified before
15 that there is lot of garbage. Mr. McGoff
16 caught me taking a walk last week on the way
17 up the hill and a lot of these people are
18 not using cans for the garbage, they are
19 just walking out with the bag and throwing
20 it there and that's what's attracting these
21 animals and it's really getting to be a
22 serious problem I feel. I see trash all
23 over the place that's been raided by,
24 obviously, problem skunks or squirrels and
25 now I'd like to read something from the
1 Scranton Times, it has little to do with
2 local politics except that if people would
3 contact their Congressmen hopefully some day
4 we could see something better than this and
5 it's an article on Kabul, Afghanistan, "An
6 Afghan journalist who was sentenced to death
7 for distributing an article about Islam
8 woman's rights is actually being punished
9 for his brother's reporting on the abuses by
10 the warlords a media group said Wednesday.
11 Sayed Perwiz Kambakhash, 23, was sentenced
12 to death Tuesday by a three-judge panel in
13 the northern city of Mazar-e Sharif for
14 distributing a report he printed off the
15 Internet to fellow journalism in Balk
16 University, I think that's how, B-A-L-K.
17 The article asks why men can have four wives
18 but women can't have multiple husbands. It
19 was written in the Iranian language of
20 Darjik which is similar to Afghan language
21 of Dardic.
22 And what my point in reading this is
23 that apparently our president has democracy
24 and theocracy confused totally and once
25 again we are being snowed that we somehow
1 setup a democracy in Afghanistan. I find
2 this appalling. George Seldon once said,
3 the author of "Tell the Truth" and "Broad
4 and Witness to a Century" he was a renowned
5 reporter on global politics who witnessed
6 part of the Russian Revolution and the
7 Spanish Revolution and the Nazi complicity
8 in that revolution once said if it winds up
9 at page ten it's probably truth. Also, the
10 forces who may be embarrassed and have power
11 had it put there after page ten. So if
12 people out there would contact their
13 Congressmen and let them know that beheading
14 for a personal opinion or a political
15 opinion is not an acceptable form of
16 democracy. Thank you and have a good night.
17 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Dobson.
18 Mr. Davis.
19 MR. DAVIS: Salaam aleikum. My name
20 is Jim Davis and I'm a native of Scranton.
21 Last week we celebrated Martin Luther King's
22 birthday. This whole month we are
23 celebrating all of the great African
24 Americans who have lived and died and have
25 done for our great country in many different
1 ways. I come to you today because I feel
2 disappointed. I feel that I have let down
3 Martin Luther King, W.E. DeBois, all of
4 those people who have taught us how to be
5 self-sufficient and how to be discerning of
6 the truth. It seems as though I can no
7 longer tell when I can get the truth when I
8 come before you.
9 Diversity. That's a beautiful term,
10 I don't know where you got it from. I have
11 no idea -- do you know what it means? Do
12 any of you know what diversity means? Do
13 you know of it existing anywhere in this
14 building? I mean, racial diversity doesn't
15 exist anywhere in Scranton. Can you name me
16 five places where racial diversity actually
17 exists? I don't think you can. This is
18 ridiculous. How do we teach our kids words
19 that we can't explain. We can't explain.
20 We can't show them examples of, all we can
21 say is it doesn't exist so, therefore, we
22 are right back to being discriminated
23 against. Is that what we have gone back to?
24 Is this another form of discrimination? I
25 listen to the young men that came here,
1 Mr. Patilla and Mr. McClough, speaking so
2 admirably, beautiful. I'm really very proud
3 of them and the fact that they can sit here
4 and they can say to you what they feel is
5 the truth, what they have known to be the
6 truth in their own experiences and yet know
7 that we can't change them and no matter what
8 I say, no matter what I do, we can't bring
9 Washington West. How did you allow that to
10 happen? How did you allow them to go ahead
11 and close that place down and not have any
12 plans for reopening it? These are the poor
13 people of Scranton. No. These are the
14 people that you didn't want to be bothered
15 with. These are the people who didn't have
16 a vote. These are the people who don't
17 vote. These are the people who you don't
18 have to put up with so you can take them and
19 you can remove them physically from their
20 homes, from our communities. That was our
21 community, that is a part of our community
22 just like you did back in '68 on Adams
23 Avenue. You went in there and you destroyed
24 a community because you said it was
25 blighted. You are doing the very same thing
1 with Valley View.
2 Now, I don't know if this Valley
3 View problem that you are having is the same
4 Valley View problem that Miss Gatelli
5 brought before us about putting a fence
6 between Valley View and the South Side
7 because the people were coming across their
8 yards and they are going to construct a wire
9 fence with a mesh on the top so that people
10 could not get through it, now, this is about
11 three years ago.
12 MS. GATELLI: That was Mrs. Jones,
13 Mrs. Jones wanted that.
14 MR. DAVIS: Maybe more. Now, maybe
15 this is not in the plans. I could not find
16 the plans for Skyview. I could not -- I
17 went down -- I went to this young lady's
18 office and we went through all of the
19 paperwork that we have there and there is no
20 documents, so she said that maybe I'll find
21 them over at OECD. When we tried to
22 research and when you tell us to research
23 and when you tell us to find something and
24 we can't find it, what's happening? Are you
25 liars or don't you know or are you making
1 decisions or are you giving us answers that
2 are unfounded? That's even worse. That's
3 not discrimination, that's just plain oh,
4 hey, you're too ignorant to find out, so we
5 don't have to find you anything. Which is
6 what we usually get. We usually don't get
7 an answer at all. I just feel very, very --
8 MR. MCGOFF: Excuse me, just hold Mr.
9 Davis' time, I just can't let this continue.
10 We gave you an answer last week that what we
11 are talking about is improvements to
12 Skyview. The legislation that's before us
13 says nothing about closing it, it says
14 nothing about coordinating it off, it's
15 improvements. You are standing here -- you
16 are standing here making statements that you
17 received answers to last week and claiming
18 that you can't get answers and I just
19 couldn't let that continue. Thank you.
20 Continue his time.
21 MR. DAVIS: Okay, time is on. The
22 improvements that you mentioned, when we
23 went to the paperwork that was in the office
24 there is no mention of improvements. I
25 guess the time is up. But you go over, go
1 to the office and check out your --
2 MR. MCGOFF: I have it. Thank you,
3 Mr. Davis.
4 MR. DAVIS: All right. And thank
5 you. Thank you for your answer, I don't
6 know why. You know, you say you gave me an
7 answer last week and when I go and I
8 research it, it's not true.
9 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Davis.
10 Thank you.
11 MR. DAVIS: I guess I'm lying, right?
12 MR. MCGOFF: There are no other names
13 on the list, are there any other speakers?
14 MR. UNGVARSKY: Good evening, city
15 council, I'm Tom Ungvarsky, I'm also a
16 member of the Scranton/Lackawanna County
17 Taxpayers. One year ago a company by the
18 name of Ceecost, LLC, a company out of New
19 York, was granted a $250,000 loan by the
20 State of Pennsylvania. They were also given
21 $20,000 as a grant to train their work
22 force. So far I have not heard anything of
23 their development here in Scranton. I did
24 look it up and they mention several other
25 counties. The City of Scranton I understand
1 has voted them $70,000. Have they given you
2 any kind of inclination if they are coming
3 here? Mr. Fanucci, I believe that would be
4 your jurisdiction?
5 MS. FANUCCI: Would you like me to
6 answer that during your time?
7 MR. UNGVARSKY: Yes, I would like to
8 have an answer, please.
9 MS. FANUCCI: From what I have heard
10 they have not opened up shop, but that means
11 they also did not receive the cash, so don't
12 -- you know, realize that if they do not
13 come here and start their business they have
14 not received the money, but I would look
15 into it further to find it out if they are
16 destined to still come here and if they will
17 draw on that.
18 MR. UNGVARSKY: I would appreciate
19 that because it seems like we get a lot of
20 people who say they are coming and don't
21 seem to develop here.
22 MS. FANUCCI: Yeah.
23 MR. UNGVARSKY: Thank you. Also, a
24 few weeks ago I brought up the Post Office
25 warehouse in the 500-block of Orchard
1 Street. I understand that the people who
2 own that building were given $200,000 for
3 it, okay? I also understand that the City
4 of Scranton was given $200,000 to have it
5 ripped down, that was by the state, but I
6 also understand that there was an offer made
7 to the city to buy that building. Can
8 anyone tell me if that is the correct
9 information that I got?
10 MS. GATELLI: I don't know.
11 MR. UNGVARSKY: Could someone find
12 out for me and let me know?
13 MR. MCGOFF: I will attempt to find
14 out if there was a purchase offer made.
15 MR. UNGVARSKY: I would appreciate
16 that. Thank you.
17 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you,
18 Mr. Ungvarsky. Anyone else?
19 MS. HUMPHREY: My name is Phyllis
20 Bernadette Fatima Yasmin, also known as
21 Mary. From Father God, Abraham, Isaac and
22 Jacob, Joseph, all to the decendents to
23 Jessie and David to Jesus Christ, through
24 the vigor of Christ, predecessors and
25 successors, shalom, a salaam aleikum, pacha,
1 freta. What I am about to say, Mr. McGoff
2 and Mr. Courtright, you will exempt from
3 what I have to say.
4 MR. COURTRIGHT: We're off the hook.
5 MS. HUMPHREY: My mission we are not
6 to slander, we are not to be judgmental, but
7 when somebody does something wrong then you
8 have to expose them especially if you can't
9 get the property justice in the City of
10 Scranton, Legal Aid, Pro bono all the way up
11 to the Attorney General's Office. As a
12 Catholic we honor the mother of God and once
13 ago, almost a year ago, I brought documents
14 that I'm so happy to share with everyone and
15 I had asked Mrs. Evans and, Mrs. Evans, I
16 don't use this as an attack on you because
17 maybe somebody did something to maybe pull
18 you down. Every time I had asked you about
19 miraculous MRI x-rays to send them to Mary
20 the Mother of God church you had forgot
21 them, they were home.
22 MS. EVANS: No, Phyllis they are
23 here. They are here.
24 MS. HUMPHREY: No, I know, I got
25 them. Last week when I got them prior to
1 showing them I took the children of city
2 council outside to show them to them, they
3 were intact, but when I got them back I want
4 you to know what has happened. There was
5 cigarette burns put through the MRI x-rays
6 which was blessed by the Holy Father, the
7 Passionate community and our priests. This
8 to me is an attack on me as a human being
9 and as my faith in Jesus Christ, my personal
10 savior. There is stuff all poured over them
11 and I do have to say coffee did pour on the
12 little thing, but they were all completely
13 clean when I gave them to you, I was happy
14 to get my mother's picture back. I use
15 little things to see how they will be used.
16 How they will be appreciated and who is good
17 for this town and who has to be rooted out.
18 Over the next couple of weeks I will
19 have Internet and I will go to the four
20 corners of the earth and I will explain my
21 cause. My cause is for not only my faith
22 and love to end abortion, euthanasia,
23 capital punishment and beheading, but the
24 proper intact of the commandments that have
25 been perverted and our rights and the
1 constitutional rights that every man is
2 created equal which they actually perverted.
3 A man and a wife is marriage. They have
4 become not only here in the world as Sodom
5 and Gomorra, I am a little person, a little
6 chunky, and I will be starting to expose
7 what was revealed to me in the City of
8 Scranton, but it's also going on in other
9 places with the voting, with sexual
10 harassment, with abusive children, what I
11 have seen in the political arena. I am not
12 pointing fingers at anyone of you. I love
13 every one of you. Mrs. Judy Gatelli, being
14 a nurse, came to my assistance when I was
15 raped years ago.
16 MR. MCGOFF: Phyllis --
17 MS. HUMPHREY: They did not --
18 MR. MCGOFF: Phyllis, we have got
19 to --
20 MS. HUMPHREY: -- press charges --no,
21 this is criminal.
22 MR. MCGOFF: You are starting to
23 move into areas that we should not discuss
25 MS. HUMPHREY: This is about crime,
1 they got to get these people, put them in
2 jail or they got to get on their knees and
3 go to confession and pray because I'm not
4 going to stand as a human being and a woman
5 to be stepped on, no woman, no man, no child
6 should be used as a carpet, battled or
7 abused and this is my message I'm sending it
8 to the whole world.
9 I know you are embarrassed with the
10 situation that happened here, Mr. McGoff,
11 all you people are not involved in this, but
12 there is people that got to be rooted out in
13 the City of Scranton.
14 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.
15 MS. HUMPHREY: That's getting money,
16 getting paid here and supposed to be doing
17 their job. This is wrong.
18 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.
19 MS. HUMPHREY: And I love you all.
20 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.
21 MS. HUMPHREY: And may the peace of
22 Jesus Christ be with you.
23 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.
24 MS. HUMPHREY: Mozina has just
1 MS. KRAKE: Good evening, Council. I
2 know everyone heard Mr. Hazzouri who spoke
3 earlier today and it was something that I
4 had warned people about when you were
5 originally voting on the ordinances to
6 instate all of these fees on people and to
7 hire a company that the city has hired. I
8 would like to explain, since I have gotten
9 many phone calls and questions over the past
10 several weeks, exactly what you used to do.
11 We used to have something called an Action
12 of Quiet Title which went through the City
13 Treasurer's sale. The normal interest and
14 penalties that were accrued by a property
15 would be paid to the City Treasurer's Office
16 and up until two years after a property was
17 delinquent. After that, the property would
18 be liened and a letter would be sent out
19 certified telling people that their property
20 was liened and that would it go through the
21 City Treasurer's sale in the following year.
22 At that time, if they were read at the
23 treasurer's sale there would also be a deed
24 filed at the courthouse. You could come to
25 the treasurer's sale and bid on a property.
1 You would not get the property though
2 because it's normally -- it would normally
3 be a home. You would not buy a piece of
4 property at the City Treasurer's sale ever.
5 That went through the Pittsburgh Plan. This
6 was a very respectful and fair way to
7 collect taxes.
8 What you have done has such terrible
9 ramifications that I don't think you have
10 any clue of what could happen. I found out
11 this week about other school districts that
12 were using this -- or not this particular
13 company, but this method and they have
14 actually taken people to sheriff's sale,
15 which is not a treasurer's sale, sheriff's
16 sale for homes from elderly people that do
17 not have mortgages and they put them through
18 a sheriff's sale for two or three years of
19 back taxes. If you read that ordinance,
20 which I truly don't think you did or
21 understood, that is allowing them to do
22 this. I can't believe that anyone would be
23 able to agree with that. You have to think
24 about that, what you are subjecting the
25 citizens of the Scranton to.
1 You heard what Mr. Hazzouri said he
2 made a mistake that I would say I hear at
3 least ten times a week, a simple mistake
4 and, in fact, I was called in today to find
5 out who that particular problem to be
6 solved, which I find tonight, I find the
7 reason why, because someone important or
8 relatively important had it happen to them.
9 How do we solve the problem of someone just
10 paying their county, school and library and
11 not their city. That should have been asked
12 long before this ordinance was passed. If a
13 person can't afford to pay their taxes to
14 begin with how can you expect them to pay
15 these egregious amounts of money? Eighty
16 dollars went to $500, and what I find the
17 worst, none of these fees go back into the
18 city. At least the interest and penalties
19 were going back in city coffers and maybe
20 you could justify to yourself it would be to
21 fix your road or to be pay for your public
22 service, these monies go to attorneys and
23 outside companies not back to the city.
24 And it's very curious that the same
25 persons that own NCC, the Abrahamsen law
1 firm, are the same attorneys that are
2 sending out the letters currently and
3 collecting these fees. I think you need to
4 take a long hard look at what you have done
5 before something very, very serious happens
6 to innocent people.
7 And I'd also like to say that I
8 don't think we need to apologize for Ray
9 Lyman tonight, he is just himself, he
10 doesn't have a political agenda, neither
11 does Phyllis, and I don't mind sharing the
12 podium with everyone in the city and, once
13 again, I would like to ask Mrs. Evans if she
14 would consider running for mayor. Thank
16 MR. MCGOFF: Is there anyone else?
17 MR. SLEDZENSKI: One more, Bob, this
18 is it. Hey, Bill, how is the wife tonight,
19 Bill? I was going to ask you how she is
20 feeling tonight?
21 MR. COURTRIGHT: She is doing good.
22 Thank you, Chris.
23 MR. SLEDZENSKI: You're welcome.
24 Thank you.
25 MR. MCGOFF: I believe that concludes
1 our Fourth Order.
2 MS. GARVEY: 5-A. MOTIONS.
3 MR. MCGOFF: 5-A motions. Mrs.
5 MS. EVANS: Good evening. I'd like
6 to begin a few updates. To date, the 2006
7 independent audit of council has not been
8 received. The city believed that changes in
9 asset and depreciation values were
10 necessary, thus, the issue is now under
12 Also, I am concerned regarding the
13 timetable for the upcoming 2007 independent
14 audit, that it may be compromised as a
15 result. It is also a cause for concern when
16 the Scranton Parking Authority can float a
17 $35 million bond without benefit of
18 examination of the most recent audit and, in
19 addition, a Pike County judge can render a
20 decision without benefit of looking at the
21 most recent accurate financial statements of
22 the City of Scranton.
23 The DPW director was given a
24 deadline of January 28 to provide a written
25 response to council's request for updates on
1 Smith Place and the Tripp Park development.
2 We have awaited an answer regarding Tripp
3 Park punch list and streetlights since
4 December as well as Smith Place which was
5 brought before council's attention last
6 October. I certainly hope that the
7 taxpayers are not ignored. I hope they are
8 taken care of, but this situation certainly
9 makes one wonder.
10 My confidence can be restored by
11 receiving a report on snow removal and snow
12 emergency plans by February 1, which was
13 requested at a prior meeting. January has
14 been a fair weather month, fortunately, with
15 very little snow leaving time for daily
16 responsibility to be addressed. Will we be
17 as lucky in February? Who knows. Which is
18 why I feel strongly that council receive a
19 copy of snow emergency procedures before the
20 snow arrives. Is that too much to expect?
21 Now, I'd like to like to like many of
22 the speakers this evening, I'd like to pose
23 a question to my honorable colleagues, and
24 it is related to some of the comments I have
25 listened to this evening. I apologize for
1 my tardiness I had a 6:00 appointment that
2 was most urgent and please know that I would
3 not miss or be late for a meeting unless it
4 was a matter of urgency. I understand that
5 I missed several speakers as a result, but I
6 would like to pose this question, as I said,
7 to my honorable colleagues. Are you
8 agreeable to taking a city resident's home
9 in payment of delinquent city property
11 MS. GATELLI: I'm going to answer
12 that question. Yeah, I'm going to check
13 into that, I have it written down here,
14 because for such a long time the people of
15 Scranton, especially the landlords, I found
16 when I worked for the city would always pay
17 all of their taxes except city taxes because
18 the city never did anything about it. If
19 they didn't pay their school district tax
20 and they didn't pay their county tax very
21 soon their house was up for sheriff's sale.
22 Now, I'm sure you all see pages and pages of
23 them in the want ads every so often, and
24 when I worked upstairs Ozzie Quinn did the
25 report, he found that there was over 400
1 landlords that were not paying city tax.
2 They were paying county and they were paying
3 school district because they didn't want
4 their property taken through sheriff's sale,
5 but they never paid their city tax and we
6 didn't couldn't do anything about it, so I'm
7 going to have to investigate that. No, do I
8 want to take anybody's house, no. If that's
9 your question, no, I don't, but I don't want
10 landlords to get away with not paying city
11 tax when they are paying county and school
12 district because they are going to sheriff
13 sale and we are not, so I have ambivalent
14 feelings towards it, but I do have it
15 written down here and I'm going to call the
16 sherif and find out a little bit more about
17 it because I thought we weren't being
18 treated fairly, you know, the sherif and
19 county and school district would go after
20 the people, sell their homes at sherif sale
21 and we got nothing and it was mostly
22 landlords, out of town landlords that were
23 doing that, so that's my answer.
24 MS. EVANS: Thank you. Anyone else?
25 MR. MCGOFF: I missed it. I'm sorry.
1 MS. GATELLI: She said are you in
2 favor of taking people's homes through
4 MS. EVANS: Through delinquent taxes,
5 payments of delinquent taxes.
6 MR. MCGOFF: Can I respond?
7 MS. EVANS: Yes.
8 MR. MCGOFF: Yes. I'll say, yes,
9 for people who refuse to pay their taxes.
10 MS. EVANS: And the people who are
11 unable to?
12 MR. MCGOFF: I think that needs to be
13 dealt with on an individual basis.
14 MS. EVANS: Well, you might be
15 crossing a line into the discrimination.
16 MS. GATELLI: There are certain
17 cases, and I know of many people that are
18 elderly and I know they like to pay their
19 taxes right away because they get a rebate.
20 I don't know too many elderly people that
21 don't rush right there as soon as they get
22 it in the mail they are there the next
23 morning to pay the rebate. The second thing
24 is that a lot of elderly people they are
25 very, very concerned about their taxes, I
1 mean, I think they would pay their taxes
2 before they eat, most elderly people, like
3 they would not take their medicine because
4 it's so costly and pay their bills which
5 they do that, too, but there also a lot of
6 them are getting reverse mortgages to help
7 with some of the bills that, you know, are
8 accumulating for the elderly people so
9 that's another possibility for the elderly
10 not to lose their homes. Are you going to
12 MS. FANUCCI: I certainly don't want
13 to take anyone's house under any
14 circumstance, but I also don't believe that
15 -- there are so many people out there who
16 just are not paying, not that they can't
17 pay, they were just not paying. They were
18 paying the school district, you can pay the
19 school district which takes so much, take so
20 much money than we do, then I feel that,
21 yes, if they are going to try to play games
22 with us because we did not have a system in
23 place then, yes, I would like to see us take
24 what's rightfully ours, also. But, do I
25 want to see people lose their houses who
1 cannot pay, of course not, that just goes
2 without saying.
3 MR. COURTRIGHT: My turn. I'm not in
4 favor of taking anybody's house if there is
5 any other avenue. We do have a lot of
6 elderly people in this area and sometimes
7 they can't pay, you know. I would be in
8 favor, and I think we have in place payment
9 plans for if somebody is not able to make a
10 payment, I think that there is a payment
11 plan. I think, you know, that's already
12 setup and I'd like to see that for somebody
13 who is not able to pay. I just don't
14 think -- I don't know that we could do it on
15 a case by case basis because we like you
16 said be crossing the line.
17 MS. EVANS: Thank you all. I believe
18 such a cruel and unusually punitive action
19 is intolerable and unacceptable. And,
20 therefore, I make the following motion and I
21 hope to discuss and elaborate on it on the
22 question, but first I'd like to give a copy
23 to each of my colleagues.
24 I move to amend File of Council No.
25 82-2007 to approve penalty, interest and fee
1 schedule for collection of delinquent real
2 estate taxes by striking 3-J 800 and no
3 dollars for the preparation and filing of a
4 writ of execution for sheriff's sale. 3-K,
5 the actual, file, service and execution and
6 poundage fees, if any, for service and
7 execution by the Office of the Sheriff of
8 the county which are in effect at the time
9 of such filing service and execution as
10 established by the Office of the Sheriff of
11 the county or such other instrumentality of
12 government as shown shall be charged with
13 the establishment of such fee. 3-L, one
14 hundred-seventy five and no one-hundredth
15 dollars for the preparation and filing and
16 conduct of proceedings to effect service of
17 process. 3-M, thirty and no one hundredth
18 dollars for costs incurred in connection
19 with the reissuance of writs. And 3-P.
20 Twenty-five and no one-hundredth dollars for
21 the preparation and filing of any praecipe,
22 petition or motion to continue a judicial or
23 sheriff's sale. 3-Q, four-hundred and no
24 one-hundredth dollars for attendance by
25 legal council at a judicial sheriff or tax
1 sale, and by striking the following dollar
2 amounts: 3-A. Twenty and no one-hundredth
3 dollars per lien. 3-B, one-hundred sixty
4 and no one-hundredth dollars. 3-C,
5 thirty-five and no one-hundredth dollars.
6 3-U, the language, "And no more than
7 two-hundred and twenty-five dollars per hour
8 commiserate with the attorney's normal
9 hourly rate. And inserting 3-A, ten and no
10 one-hundredth dollars. 3-B, forty and no
11 one-hundredth dollars, 3-C, thirty and no
12 one-hundredth dollars.
13 MR. COURTRIGHT: I'll second that
15 MR. MCGOFF: We have a motion and a
16 second. On the question?
17 MR. COURTRIGHT: On the question,
18 Mr. McGoff, I guess it's good timing
19 Mr. Hazzouri was here today, you know,
20 stating his case and that's probably one of
21 many that I have heard. I didn't vote for
22 this the first time around and I would be
23 more than happy to change it this time. I
24 think he might have mentioned, you know, in
25 not so many words, government isn't here to
1 hurt people, we are here to help people and
2 I believe before and I believe now that this
3 is just hurtful to the people of the city.
4 You know, maybe that $500 prevented him from
5 paying a bill this month, I don't know, but
6 what happens to somebody, as he said, that
7 lives less fortunate than him, and I happen
8 to know him, he is not a wealthy man, he is
9 a working class guy like the rest of us here
10 and what do the people that simply couldn't
11 come up -- what if it was $1,000 and it was
12 a 68-year-old woman whose husband is dead
13 and now it's turning into $3,000 or $4,000
14 how would they come up with that kind of
15 money? I just don't know and I would be
16 happy to see this changed.
17 MS. EVANS: I wanted to explain in
18 more detail the amendment that I proposed.
19 I have expunged all provisions that contain
20 language to include a sheriff's sale as well
21 as one provision that is redundant, Until
22 the enactment of File of Council No. 82 of
23 2007, sheriff's sales were not utilized in
24 the city to confiscate a city resident's
25 home, rather, Action of Quiet Title was
1 conducted through the treasurer's office
2 allowing residents to pay their
3 delinquencies while keeping their homes. I
4 ask you, is it fair to take a senior
5 citizen's home for two or three years of
6 delinquent property taxes owed to the city
7 or is it cruel and unusual punishment? The
8 normal penalties and interest currently
9 collected will remain in place. The filing
10 fees and costs incurred by the city will
11 remain in place and NCC will continue their
12 contract and continue to work with Municipal
13 Revenue Services. Municipal Revenue
14 Services stated that these costs of outlined
15 in that Draconian ordinance have no effect
16 on them or their agreement with the city.
17 They have already paid 1.9 million dollars
18 to Scranton for the purchase of delinquent
19 taxes. Thus, this amendment is a compromise
20 that provides for the collection of
21 delinquent real estate tax in a reasonable
23 As Mr. Courtright so eloquently
24 noted just a few moments ago, the purpose of
25 government is to help and protect the
1 people. This harsh ordinance punishes
2 elderly residents, working families, the
3 disabled, those who have medical problems,
4 we don't know from one day to the next what
5 mishap, what tragedy can befall us, and I
6 know that I would not wish to have that on
7 my conscience for the rest of my lifetime.
8 I don't wish to be judged for something so
9 unnecessary and so unfair to the citizens of
10 the city, and so I'm asking my colleagues,
11 can we agree to take this measure to help
12 the less fortunate, just this once can we
13 take one step in the right direction
14 together as a elected officials.
15 MS. GATELLI: On the question? I
16 would just like to say that in reviewing
17 this I would need a week to study this. I
18 don't think it's fair to just put this in
19 front of us and ask us to vote on it.
20 MS. EVANS: I can explain a little
21 more to you. 3-A, for example, the monies
22 for the consultant, which is NCC, according
23 to Municipal Revenue Service, they already
24 receive 25 percent on top of the actual tax
25 bill. As for 3-B, all other provisions in
1 the ordinance charge $30 for preparation and
2 mailing of notices and postage. Are we
3 paying $130 for file opening and review by
4 NCC? I'm offering them $10 to do so and
5 reducing the cost to the citizens by
6 three-quarters. 3-C, it's reduced by $5 to
7 maintain parody with 3-G, and as for 3-U,
8 attorney fees are charged by either city
9 attorneys already on the payroll or by the
10 attorney for NCC who is part owner of NCC,
11 that is why the language will allow for an
12 hourly rate of no less than $60.
13 MS. GATELLI: Well, I'd still like
14 to make a motion that we table it until next
15 week and possibly have a caucus or early
17 MS. EVANS: You actually I don't
18 think can make that motion because I have a
19 motion on the floor that's been seconded.
20 MS. GATELLI: Oh, okay.
21 MS. FANUCCI: I would like to revisit
22 this. I mean, I definitely agree that, you
23 know, somebody some of these fees and the
24 way that we were told when the fee schedule
25 was coming down was that it would only
1 happen along the way. Now, what we heard
2 tonight, right, that it did not happen along
3 the way, but that was of the way it was
4 presented to us and told that as long as it
5 went through the system, which would take
6 years, that it would collect along the way
7 and as we heard with Mr. Hazzouri tonight
8 that's not what happened, you know, for 80
9 some dollars, so I'm not sure exactly what
10 that payment was due, I mean, if we were
11 talking four years it would be a different
12 story, but he is claiming one, so that is
13 definitely a problem. That was
14 misrepresented to all of us at the time. I
15 definitely want to revisit this and I'm
16 going to also ask that, is Nancy still here
17 or did she go, that Mrs. Krake sends us
18 information so we know what was different
19 than and what is different now as far as
20 your department is concerned because I know
21 that she has been very active in not wanting
22 this. So, I also want to check in find out
23 how much taxes have been collected since we
24 enacted this opposed to what was collected
25 last year, so I would like to see maybe
1 another week before, but I definitely
2 believe that this is something after hearing
3 Mr. Hazzouri tonight that we might need to
4 revisit it.
5 MS. EVANS: You do recognize though
6 that this does not rescind the ordinance?
7 MS. FANUCCI: I do understand that.
8 MS. EVANS: That much of the
9 ordinance is still intact.
10 MS. FANUCCI: Right, I understand
11 that it's the fees.
12 MS. EVANS: It's eliminating any
13 possibility that a city resident would lose
14 their home to a sheriff's sale.
15 MS. FANUCCI: Right, and I understand
16 that, but I still want like to look into it
17 and see what the taxes that were collected
18 and also maybe talk to Mrs. Krake to find
19 out exactly what the difference is between
20 now and then.
21 MS. EVANS: I wasn't fortunate to be
22 here tonight to hear Mr. Hazzouri, but I did
23 mention to council, for example, in January
24 the situation of an 88-year-old man with 164
25 or 67 dollar bill that ballooned to over,
1 well, close to 500 and if were not paid
2 almost immediately it was going to go to
3 over $2,000 at the end of the 30-day period.
4 Now, this man has not the income to address
5 even the $500 payment.
6 MS. GATELLI: What did he do with his
7 school tax that's ten times as much as the
8 city tax?
9 MS. EVANS: I really don't. I don't
10 know how he --
11 MS. GATELLI: Well, That's my
13 MS. EVANS: Well, see, this is my
14 concern, how is that being separated because
15 it's not separated on the tax bill. It's
16 all on one tax bill and that's what I'm
17 working on with Representative Shimkus to
18 have separated so that, for example, you
19 know, whatever the school district is going
20 to do the city can at least gets it's
21 payments separately because the city asks
22 for the least amount of money, but right now
23 I can't understand how they would be making
24 payments to other governmental entities when
25 the bill is combined and you make payment on
1 the school district and the city together.
2 MS. FANUCCI: Right, but they have
3 been doing it for years.
4 MS. GATELLI: But they separate.
5 MS. FANUCCI: They do.
6 MS. GATELLI: You can go and just pay
7 your county and school district.
8 MS. FANUCCI: And that's it.
9 MS. GATELLI: And not pay your city
10 and that's what was happening, so if he is
11 not paying the city tax then I'm sure he is
12 not paying the county or the school district
13 so they are going to sherif sale his house.
14 MS. EVANS: Well, I'm not going to
15 begin to speak for the school board or the
16 county I'm only speaking for us.
17 MS. GATELLI: No, I'm telling you the
19 MS. EVANS: I'm speaking of what I
20 can --
21 MS. GATELLI: They have a procedure
22 in place to take the homes.
23 MS. EVANS: I'm speaking from what I
24 can control. I have no control over the
25 school district or the county government.
1 MS. GATELLI: No, but I think we have
2 a right to the money, too.
3 MS. EVANS: But I'm saying this is
4 where we do have a voice and I think, you
5 know, it's not just a matter of that one
6 individual, I know we have received letters
7 from businesses, and since I expressed my
8 concern over that individuals' plight I have
9 received numbers of phone calls, letters,
10 people stopping me on the street in cars as
11 I have been coming into city hall for one
12 purpose or another to tell me exactly what
13 was happening to them and why was this being
15 MS. GATELLI: I hope it's happening
16 to the slum lords that never pay, that have
17 40 people living in an apartment because
18 they are the people that abuse it and I was
20 MS. EVANS: I agree. I agree, but I
21 don't know that we have the right to make
22 everyone else suffer for a certain group.
23 MR. MCGOFF: Perhaps we seem to be
24 going back and forth here on getting away
25 from the original motion. If my
1 interpretation of what people are saying is
2 correct that all of us would certainly like
3 to revisit this in some way, however, and I
4 will say that I, too, would certainly be
5 more than happy to revisit this, but asking
6 for a vote without an opportunity to review
7 and take a look and consider it I don't
8 think that that's an appropriate way to deal
9 with it, and not saying that your motion is
10 inappropriate, I'm just saying that I would
11 like to be given more time as well. And,
12 again, if I'm reading things properly if we
13 go ahead with a vote on this, I personally
14 would at this point in time vote, no. If
15 you would --
16 MS. GATELLI: We can vote, no, and
17 then make the motion to table it.
18 MR. MCGOFF: Well, I was going to say
19 if you would remove the motion, which she
20 may --
21 MR. MINORA: It can be tabled without
22 being withdrawn.
23 MS. GATELLI: She said I couldn't
24 table it. I did take a motion to table it.
25 MR. MINORA: Well, it wasn't
1 seconded, perhaps even withdraw.
2 MR. MCGOFF: What I'm saying is --
3 MS. GATELLI: He is saying she
4 doesn't have the right to make a motion to
5 table it.
6 MS. EVANS: Pardon me?
7 MR. MCGOFF: It is within your power
8 to withdraw the motion before a vote and if
9 that were done I would, given a week to
10 review it, make a motion again next week I
11 think that would be sufficient time for
12 people to review what you have done here and
13 to make at least an informed decision.
14 MR. COURTRIGHT: Mr. McGoff, can I
15 say one thing before we go on? I understand
16 that they want more time and I would
17 recommend to Mrs. Evans that she withdraw it
18 and give them the time, the reason I don't
19 need the time is I wasn't for it from the
20 get-go. I don't think it was any good to
21 begin with. I'm not saying that we don't
22 want our share of the money, we absolutely
23 deserve our fair of the money, what I'm
24 saying is these fees are insane. So, yes,
25 we go after the people and, yes, we try to
1 get our taxes, but we don't saddle them with
2 all of these fees and that's why for me
3 personally I wouldn't need to think about
4 it, but I can certainly understand why you
5 people that voted in favor of it would like
6 to take a look at it and I will recommend
7 that Mrs. Evans withdraw it.
8 MS. EVANS: Well, I, too, I agree
9 with Mr. Courtright. If I were opposed to
10 the collection of delinquent taxes I would
11 be asking to rescind the motion, but I have
12 not. I am asking to amend it in a most
13 reasonable manner that offers a palatable
14 compromise. Now, I will withdraw the motion
15 so that it can be considered at a later
16 time. My concern though is this, and I must
17 admit this, at this point in time, at this
18 juncture, probably my greatest concern is
19 that in the interim period we are certainly
20 going to receive quite a number of responses
21 as to why these provisions should not be
22 eliminated, what makes it necessary for this
23 situation and that situation and what the
24 attorneys says, etcetera. Well, I really
25 hope that you could make an independent
1 decision and I really hope that you can read
2 this independently and draw the comparison
3 between the original ordinance and the
4 amendment because much is told to us that,
5 in fact, is far from the truth. Notice how
6 often you receive no written explanation,
7 regulations, any citation to prove what is
8 being told to you.
9 Like Mr. Courtright, I feel very
10 strongly that this measure is nothing more
11 than an attempt for whatever reason to take
12 people's houses. I'm an elected official,
13 I'm representative of the City of Scranton
14 and I will not participate in stealing
15 people's homes. Do I want to collects
16 taxes, delinquent taxes as well?
17 Absolutely. Unequivocally. Everyone needs
18 to pay their fair share, but on the other
19 hand, they are many less fortunate and I do
20 call this stealing and I hope that, as I
21 said, council is going to rise to the
22 occasion as elected officials and do
23 something for once for the people of the
24 city, for the little guy, for the person who
25 can't afford it because I know and a lot of
1 other elected officials know as well, not
2 only within let us say this building and
3 these hallowed halls that there are many
4 people who do not pay taxes and yet nothing
5 happens to them. They are well taken care
6 of. There are many people who don't pay
7 wage taxes. There is another situation
8 that's been swept under the rug for whatever
9 reason for years. We never even really
10 found out what was so terrible about the
11 auditors from the tax office attending a
12 caucus to explain the collection process.
13 They were forbidden to come and provide that
14 information. That should raise a huge red
15 flag. Well, if we are going to be worried
16 about how much harshly we are going to
17 punish the people who have lived here all
18 their lives and paid their taxes just so we
19 make sure we get what's coming to us, we
20 better take a look at the people who really
21 have the money and aren't paying and I know
22 we all know that's the situation in the tax
23 office for quite awhile now, but every
24 everybody get away with it and we all turn
25 our heads and we close our ears and close
1 our eyes because we don't want to step on
2 political toes. Well, I can't change what's
3 going on over in the tax office, like I said
4 earlier, I can only change what comes before
5 this desk and I really do urge you to do
6 this on your own. I don't anyone you need
7 the mayor's opinion or Miss Peterson,
8 Paterson's opinion, take a look at what they
9 gave you initially then listen to what the
10 costs used to be. Do you know there are new
11 costs on there, things that were done at
12 absolutely no charge are now people are
13 going to be charged $150 for or more. Why?
14 Somebody is making money off it, but you
15 know what, it's not the city and it's not --
16 because I want the city to get what's
17 legally coming to it, I have provided for
18 that, something else is making that money
19 and I for one I don't want to be in bed with
20 that person. That's it. I'm going to
21 withdraw my motion. I don't think I need to
22 second for that.
23 MR. COURTRIGHT: I don't believe so.
24 We are good to go?
25 MS. EVANS: Now, if I could, I just
1 have -- I'm sorry, Mr. Courtright, I have a
2 quicky, a real quicky here, two citizens
3 requests and then we go onto Mr. Courtright.
4 Residents of South Side report the presence
5 of numerous abandoned junk vehicles in South
6 Side. They have tried to contact the
7 appropriate inspector and Mr. Seitzinger
8 with no success. Plea address this blight
9 issue as soon as possible.
10 Also, East Scranton residents report
11 that huge stones lie in Richter Avenue in
12 place of curbing near the East Mountain
13 baseball field. The stones jut into the
14 street causing hazardous conditions for
15 children playing in the area as well as
16 pedestrians and drivers. Please examine the
17 property and advise a possible solution.
18 And that's it.
19 MS. GARVEY: Mr. Courtright, can I
20 interrupt for one minute?
21 MR. COURTRIGHT: Go right ahead.
22 MS. GARVEY: Just to respond to
23 something before I forget. Mrs. Evans, you
24 had explained something about Smith Place
25 and the snow emergency letter with no
1 response, in caucus I did touch on that, but
2 you weren't here so I just wanted to bring
3 you up to speed to that on what happened.
4 MS. EVANS: Oh, good.
5 MS. GARVEY: On the letter that was
6 supposed to go out for the snow emergency
7 situation that you wanted to find out
8 something, that's my fault because the
9 letter did go out to them until yesterday so
10 I kind of extended the date for their
11 response. You wanted it on the 1st, but
12 being that I didn't give them enough time I
13 didn't know if that was fair so I waited
14 until the 5th I put on it.
15 MS. EVANS: Very good. I agree with
17 MS. GARVEY: And then Smith Place, I
18 heard from Mark Seitzinger this afternoon
19 and he said that he and Mr. Brazil will be
20 going out there to check into all of the
21 allegations that were made and see what
22 remedies they might need to take place.
23 MS. EVANS: Did they mention when
24 they think they are going to investigate?
25 MS. GARVEY: No, he didn't. He said
1 he would get out there as soon as possible,
2 but he didn't give me a time or a day. And
3 the other request that you had last week
4 about Daron Northeast, you wanted another
5 letter to go out there and for me to call
6 Mark and ask him to go out and check on the
7 situation about starting work at 5:00 and
8 ending at 11:30. He said that he did go out
9 there and he spoke to the one of the owners
10 and the owner said if that, in fact, was
11 taking place, he was not aware that work
12 would have been in those hours, but he would
13 check into it and if it did happen he would
14 make sure it did not happen again and Mark
15 said he would take other actions if
16 necessary after that time.
17 MS. EVANS: Very good. Very good.
18 Now, they do understand, however, that I'm
19 looking for a written report, too, on Smith
21 MS. GARVEY: Yes, I did tell them
23 MS. EVANS: Thank you.
24 MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Courtright.
25 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes. I think that
1 one of the problems with answering your
2 questions when it comes to motion I remember
3 who I was answering the one question about
4 Mr. Davis and, Mr. DeSarno, I'm sorry, I
5 forgot what you asked us. I'll have to look
6 at the tape and see what questions you asked
7 us. Do you remember, Mrs. Garvey, what he
8 asked us? Do you have it written down? You
9 are writing like crazy there.
10 MS. EVANS: I apologize.
11 MS. GARVEY: Whose question?
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: I forget what
13 question Mr. DeSarno asked me. He's saying
14 we'll talk about it later. As far as
15 Mr. Davis, the fire chief, I don't know
16 whether he is qualified or not, that's not
17 for me to judge. I have seen on two
18 separate fires with his fire gear on so I
19 don't know that if he goes into the
20 buildings without fire gear, I hope he is
21 smart enough not to do that. I don't know
22 that he is allowed to fight a fire. It's my
23 opinion that he is not allowed to have
24 anything to do with fighting a fire, so my
25 experience over the years, I think most
1 people know I'm kind of close with some of
2 the police and firefighters and I've been to
3 a lot a fires, it seems that the chief
4 that's running the shift pretty much gives
5 out the orders and I think if anything other
6 than that would happen it might create
7 chaos, so I hope that that's what's taking
8 place and if that's wasn't isn't happening
9 and I'm wrong, well, then I'm sure some
10 firefighter will call me on the way home.
11 I'd like to, and this is -- what I'm
12 going to say is now is my opinion, you know,
13 I'm not saying it's fact, it is my opinion.
14 I have seen lately in the last couple of
15 weeks in the paper and I have been told many
16 things about the police contract and I'm
17 basing on what I'm saying now on my
18 conversations with several, not one or two,
19 several police officers over the last
20 several months, you know, in saying
21 Mrs. Stulgis single-handily stopped the
22 negotiations. I think that's an unfair
23 statement. I don't think that any one
24 individual could stop that. And, again,
25 that's my opinion, but when talking to
1 several, again, I'm talking more than 20
2 police officers they don't believe that's
3 the case either. What they have told me
4 their concerns were, number one, they had
5 never seen anything in writing and they are
6 little gun-shy to accept anything that's not
7 in writing and I don't say that I blame
8 them. What you see here tonight with this,
9 we were collecting the delinquent taxes we
10 were told things that weren't true, so I
11 would also want it in writing if I was them.
12 The other, there was a certain faction
13 that were very much opposed to giving up,
14 they haven't had a contract or a raise I
15 should say since 2002 and I believe what was
16 on the table was having them go from 2002
17 through 2006 or 7 with no raise. There was
18 many that were opposed to that, there were
19 some that were willing to do that. I think
20 one of the big things was the health care,
21 almost, I'd say 95, 98 percent of the ones
22 that I spoke to, there were some that didn't
23 agree with this, but the ones that I spoke
24 to were extremely concerned about the health
25 care, they felt that the cost of the health
1 care would exceed the cost of whatever
2 raises they were going to get going forward,
3 all right, and it's not good bargaining in
4 my eyes, but I'm not the one that has to
5 live with it. So, I just think that all of
6 this publicity and the negative sheds, you
7 know, the wong image of our police
8 department. I think we have a great police
9 department, I think they do the very best
10 that they could under the conditions that
11 they are presented with which many times
12 aren't in my opinion acceptable.
13 I don't know of any other police
14 department that do it, but we got guys that
15 are buy their own cars, they buy their own
16 police officers cars because of the fact
17 they don't feel safe possibly or they don't
18 want to ride around in a car that is junky
19 inside or whatever the case maybe so, I
20 mean, I think you have got to give them a
21 tremendous amount of credit. They go out
22 and spend their own money and buy their own
23 police cars. In my opinion I don't think
24 that's the way to go, I think the city
25 should be providing the police cars, but I
1 wouldn't want all this talk about
2 negotiations and whatnot it seems to be a
3 war between the Times and Mrs. Stulgis, you
4 know, and I think that's part of the facts,
5 that's my opinion. Through all of this, you
6 know, there was no -- I didn't read it, but
7 I was told about that I think they said
8 crime, violent crime if I'm not mistaken was
9 down 13 percent, am I correct there, Nelson,
10 is that what they said, violent crime or
11 some type of crime was down 13 percent,
12 whatever the case may be. We are talking
13 numbers and I don't think anybody would
14 disagree that you can make numbers do
15 whatever you want, there is a lot of magic
16 in numbers. I could sit here today and say
17 in 2007 that homicides went up 200 percent
18 in the City of Scranton and I don't know
19 that anybody could argue with me, homicides
20 200 percent, because they are numbers. The
21 number that I always have gone by with the
22 police department for me personally was the
23 number of calls they received and we have
24 been 60,000 plus for many years now, 60,000
25 calls for one city, all right? You know,
1 that's a lot of calls, so I think these guys
2 are doing a very good job under some tough
3 circumstances and whatever they negotiate I
4 hope is good for all concerned, but I just
5 don't like to see the facts clouded when it
6 seems like there's a go-between Mr. Stulgis
7 and the paper and I think that's wrong and
8 that's all I'll say on that.
9 MS. EVANS: Could I just add
10 something to your comments? I had heard
11 recently about a situation with the fire
12 department since the very tragic and
13 untimely death of Captain Robeson the fire
14 department has wished to purchase equipment
15 that would be able to test power lines in
16 the area of the fire to prevent this same
17 type of tragedy from occurring again. The
18 cost I'm told are quite minimal and they
19 have shopped around, they have tried to make
20 this proposal, but the administration
21 doesn't even want to hear it.
22 Now, where maybe, what, Captain
23 Robeson I believed January 6 and today is
24 January 29, and already the management and
25 administration won't spend $300 to provide
1 for safety measures that would prevent
2 another death like that suffered by Captain
3 Robeson. What does that tell you?
4 MR. MCGOFF: Mrs. Evans, I just need
5 to respond here, you are making a statement
6 based on supposition. You yourself said
7 that you have heard, you know, unless there
8 is verifiable proof of that.
9 MR. GERVASI: I'll be happy to verify
11 MR. MCGOFF: Excuse me. Excuse me.
12 MS. EVANS: Well, we do have a
13 firefighter in the audience who just
14 verified the statement.
15 MR. MCGOFF: Excuse me?
16 MR. COURTRIGHT: My turn? Okay.
17 MR. MCGOFF: It was.
18 MR. COURTRIGHT: I didn't know she
19 was going to bring that up, but I know a
20 gentleman that works at Tobyhanna and he
21 believes they have that device up there that
22 they use and if, in fact, it's $300 and if,
23 in fact, the fire department thinks they can
24 use that, I'm sure it would be no problem
25 for us to raise $300, we raise a whole bunch
1 more when we run for office and we get a lot
2 of it from them, so, you know, if, in fact,
3 you could use an it and maybe the fire
4 department would send a representative to
5 educate council on it. I can't imagine
6 anybody up here on council being opposed to
8 MS. GATELLI: We will be the first
9 to donate it.
10 MR. COURTRIGHT: We can donate the
11 $300 just up here. I certainly, and I don't
12 want to keep bringing up Mr. Robeson.
13 MS. GATELLI: Don't we need them on
14 ladder trucks?
15 MR. COURTRIGHT: His family is trying
16 to grieve, you know, but I think if the fire
17 department would be so kind as to come to us
18 and explain to us we would certainly
19 appreciate that to prevent any future
20 tragedy. Staying on the fire department, I
21 think we were all aware of the fact there
22 was a severe fire in the downtown recently
23 at Scanlon's and the Crazy Pineapple there
24 and I know in the media it was said there
25 was a fire wall, you know, that had
1 prevented it. I happened to be down there,
2 there was a fire wall, there was also a
3 space in between the front of the building
4 and the back of the building that I think
5 that helped it and I think the wind helped,
6 but I do know that the firefighters made
7 every effort because I was speaking to them
8 as they were coming out to catch their
9 breath and asking them questions when they
10 had a chance, they made every effort to
11 force it towards the Mulberry Street side so
12 that it wouldn't come into the renovated
13 section of the building and I think they,
14 too, deserve credit for a job well done
15 there and I would just like to thank them
16 for that. Unfortunately, we have gotten to
17 see them in action far too often recently.
18 I hope I don't have to see you guys for a
19 long time.
20 I spoke last week about Channel 61
21 and then I got a call this week sometime in
22 the summer Scranton Tomorrow, I think they
23 were calling themselves Scranton Tomorrow
24 asked us to go down there for a meeting or
25 something, I don't know if anybody else, to
1 speak, you know, a little blip they were
2 going to put on Channel 61 for Scranton
3 Tomorrow and now I'm being told that what
4 I -- what I had spoke on, it's only a couple
5 of seconds, is being used by one of the
6 companies that is looking to run Channel 61
7 in their DVD. I just want to make a note I
8 never authorized them to do that. I didn't
9 speak to anybody whether it be in writing or
10 verbally to allow them to do that. I'm not
11 out there pushing for that company. I told
12 you before, I'm all for the people that are
13 here now staying here, that's me personally.
14 I don't even know if it's legal that they
15 used my -- and are still using me, but I'm
16 going to ask because I don't know if they
17 the right --
18 MS. EVANS: I did that as well and I
19 had no idea this was --
20 MR. COURTRIGHT: I just got a call
21 this week.
22 MS. EVANS: You mean, I have been
23 duped into participating in a video for a
24 proposal with --
25 MR. COURTRIGHT: That's the way it
1 appears, I haven't seen it. I haven't seen
2 it myself, but I've got to get the name of
3 the guy who is -- I think he was the guy
4 that they were telling that he had something
5 to do with the programming that they either
6 when he was taping, I don't know, but
7 anyway, I'm not an advocate for a particular
8 company and I don't want anybody to think
10 MS. EVANS: Chris Molten.
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: I will ask him to
12 remove me from his tape.
13 MS. EVANS: I will, also.
14 MR. COURTRIGHT: They said I'm the
15 first one so, geez, I'm lucky. There is a
16 family on East Mountain that e-mailed me and
17 they have a parking problem. I tried to
18 call you a couple of times and in your
19 e-mail you said you watch all of the
20 meetings. You asked not to have your name
21 mentioned so I won't mention your name, but
22 I did try to call you a couple of times and
23 you don't have an answering machine or an
24 answering machine that I can speak to, it
25 had something about punching a code in, I
1 don't know what that meant, but anyway, I'll
2 try to call you tomorrow about your parking
3 problem I think I can help you out with it.
4 Mrs. Garvey, I didn't see, but that
5 doesn't mean we didn't get it, did we get
6 any response back about barricades having
7 their flashers or reflectors on them?
8 MS. GARVEY: No.
9 MR. COURTRIGHT: We did send it out
10 though, right?
11 MS. GARVEY: That just went out,
13 MR. COURTRIGHT: All right. Just got
14 it. Good enough. I don't know where I was.
15 Sorry about that. I was somewhere
16 midsentence, no, I mean where I was when the
17 person told me, we have so many functions
18 that we attend and I was at some function
19 and a gentleman came up to me, quite
20 sometime ago where the old Casey Hotel used
21 to be they put a parking garage up, a guy
22 had come in here with a big display of all
23 the cracks and all the problems I saw in
24 that garage and I'm fearful that down the
25 road we would have problems and I don't
1 believe we have so far and I'm praying that
2 we don't, but this gentleman grabbed me and
3 said to me that I need to take a look under
4 the Molly Branigan's sign at that garage
5 that it has never been finished. I did get
6 down there to take a look at that, I
7 apologize, and I will go and take a look at
8 that. I don't even know, I can't remember
9 where I was, that's how good I am.
10 Mrs. Evans has really nice notes there,
11 see what I write mine on, I have them on a
12 sticky note here, and she has really --
13 sometimes she has them typewritten out over
14 there, I didn't know that until I sat here.
15 One last thing, I'm trying to lighten it up
16 here, we have a little tension here and I'll
17 ask Mr. Minora, and I'm certainly not going
18 to ask you to answer it now unless you have
19 the answers right on hand, I don't know that
20 you do. A couple of calls this afternoon
21 about the South Side complex and the golf
22 course sale and then somebody had brought it
23 up here and my question would be this,
24 evidently the judge has ruled against the
25 city and it's going to go further. My
1 question would be this, in the event that
2 the city wasn't able to sell the golf course
3 and wasn't able to sell the South Side
4 complex we got somewhere in the neighborhood
5 of five million dollars tied up there and I
6 guess whatever improvements they did, I
7 don't think they did any improvements on the
8 South Side complex, but I think they made
9 improvements on the golf course, are we on
10 the hook for that money or does the people
11 that purchase it from us do they have title
12 insurance and that will take care of the
13 city, are we off the hook, I don't know and
14 I don't know if you have that answer if not
15 I certainly will wait.
16 MR. MINORA: I certainly don't have
17 that answer off the top of my head.
18 MR. COURTRIGHT: That's just my
19 concern is, you know, somewhere in the
20 neighborhood of $5 million where is the city
21 going to come up with that if that's the
22 case, but -- and I'm not going to speculate
23 on what's going to happen, I know it has to
24 come back here, but just in the event that
25 things turn that way I would just like to
1 know if we are going to be on the hook for
2 that money, if you don't mind.
3 MR. MINORA: I'll try to find out for
4 you. And that's all I have. Thank you.
5 MR. MCGOFF: Mrs. Fanucci.
6 MS. FANUCCI: I'd like to know if any
7 my colleagues received anything from the
8 Scranton Mission, the rescue mission? I got
9 a solicitation in the mail.
10 MS. EVANS: Yes, several times.
11 MS. FANUCCI: Several times asking
12 for money and I got so many phone calls on
13 this, also. So, I'd like to make a motion
14 that we send a letter to Mark Seitzinger
15 finding out exactly to update us on what is
16 going on and how come they are still being
17 able to remain open although they were shut
18 down and zoning was taken from them,
19 everything, right? They did not comply with
20 anything at the time, so why they are still
21 in business and still open and maybe we can,
22 I don't know, do what's supposed to be right
23 which is make sure that they are not
24 functioning down there. They should not be
25 in business from our last correspondence, so
1 I'd like to make that in the form a motion
2 and send out a letter to Mark Seitzinger to
3 update us on the rescue mission and to tell
4 us where they are on the making sure that
5 they are condemned procedure.
6 MS. EVANS: Second.
7 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? On the
8 motion is to send a letter to Mr. Seitzinger
9 regarding the rescue mission, all in favor.
10 MS. EVANS: Aye.
11 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
12 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
13 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
14 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed? The
15 ayes have it and so moved.
16 MS. FANUCCI: And, actually, that is
17 all I have tonight. Thank you.
18 MR. MCGOFF: Mrs. Gatelli.
19 MS. GATELLI: I don't have anything.
20 MR. MCGOFF: I would just a few brief
21 responses to some things that were said.
22 First of all, to Mr. Bolus in terms of
23 joining negotiations with the -- involving
24 firefighters and police, certainly if I felt
25 that it would helpful in any way I would
1 certainly do that. I had stated before, as
2 most of us have, that we would like to see
3 those contacts come to a conclusion. I
4 don't believe that -- I don't see what
5 influence I could have in those negotiations
6 beyond what has, you know, been done
7 already. I will certainly continue to
8 encourage the mayor and the administration
9 to engage in meaningful negotiations if, in
10 fact, there is a place for one of us to be
11 involved I certainly would take the
13 Mr. Morgan asked about the firetruck
14 being grounded and all of that, I don't
15 think that we can provide an answer to that
16 until there is a final report on the fire
17 and they know what happened. I think that
18 we are still awaiting or that there is still
19 that report to be completed.
20 Mr. DeSarno, I believe your question
21 had to with the use of or frivolous spending
22 of a nature and I think that any of us, I
23 don't think there is anyone up here that
24 would say, yes, I approve of frivolous
25 spending. Certainly the spending of money
1 or the way in which it's spent is a matter
2 of perception as to whether it's frivolous
3 or not and the things that you mentioned,
4 you know, monies that were spent and things
5 such as arbitrations certainly do come under
6 question and I think that at any time that I
7 deem something to be of a frivolous nature
8 that I would certainly disapprove.
9 To Mr. Davis, I know I responded to
10 him when he was speaking, he spoke of
11 diversity. I just, you know, any of us knew
12 what diversity was. I certainly, you know,
13 if we can name five things. Speakers at
14 council, I certainly believe that there is
15 quite of diversity of speakers at council.
16 I did participate in the Martin Luther King
17 Day march, there was certainly a diversity
18 of people there. I think our school system
19 is as people who work within the school
20 system would attest that there is diversity
21 within the school system. I would like to
22 just on a personal, you know, two more,
23 certainly my parish is quite diverse, and
24 also the neighborhood in which I live is
25 quite diverse, so I just I felt that
1 Mr. Davis was saying things that were
2 somewhat inaccurate and I just thought that
3 I wanted to respond.
4 And I think we have talked enough
5 about the NCC and the process and perhaps we
6 will, you know, given a week had time to
7 look into that. And that is all that I
8 would have. Now to business.
9 MS. GARVEY: FIFTH ORDER. 5-B. FOR
10 INTRODUCTION - AN ORDINANCE - APPROVING THE
11 TRANSFER OF A RESTAURANT LIQUOR LICENSE
12 CURRENTLY OWNED BY N&L VENDING, INC., 143
13 COUNTRY CLUB ESTATES, THORNHURST, PA, 18424,
14 LICENSE NO. R-11639 TO POWER MACE, INC. FOR
15 USE AT 1175 KANE STREET, SCRANTON, PA. THE
16 CURRENT LOCATION OF ANGELINA'S RESTAURANT AS
17 REQUIRED BY THE PENNSYLVANIA LIQUOR CONTROL
19 MR. MCGOFF: At this time I make a
20 motion that Item 5-B be introduced into it's
21 proper committee.
22 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
23 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? All
24 those in favor signify by saying aye.
25 MS. EVANS: Aye.
1 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
2 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
3 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
4 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed? The
5 ayes have it and so moved.
6 MS. GATELLI: I'll make a motion
7 that we have a public hearing for that
8 liquor license and, Kay, advertises it
10 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
11 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? All
12 those in favor signify by saying aye.
13 MS. EVANS: Aye.
14 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
15 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
16 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
17 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed? The
18 ayes have it and so moved.
19 MS. GARVEY: 5-C. FOR INTRODUCTION -
20 A RESOLUTION - ACCEPTING THE RECOMMENDATION
21 OF THE HISTORICAL ARCHITECTURE REVIEW BOARD
22 ("HARB") AND APPROVING THE CERTIFICATE OF
23 APPROPRIATENESS FOR ELITE SIGNS & AWNINGS,
24 220 CLARK ROAD, DURYEA, PA FOR INSTALLATION
25 OF NON-ILLUMINATED SIGNAGE TO BUSINESS
1 FACADE, LOCATED AT 321 LACKAWANNA AVENUE.
2 MR. MCGOFF: At this time I'll
3 entertain a motion that Item 5-C be
4 introduced into it's proper committee.
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
6 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
7 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? All
8 those in favor?
9 MS. EVANS: Aye.
10 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
11 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
13 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed? The
14 ayes have it and so moved.
15 MS. GARVEY: 5-D. FOR INTRODUCTION -
16 A RESOLUTION - APPOINTMENT OF MARY T.
17 GARDIER PATERSON, 1030 PARK STREET,
18 SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA, 18509, TO THE
19 POSITION OF CITY SOLICITOR EFFECTIVE JANUARY
20 14, 2008. MS. PATERSON WILL BE REPLACING
21 ROBERT B. FARRELL WHO RESIGNED ON JANUARY
22 11, 2008.
23 MR. MCGOFF: At this time I'll
24 entertain a motion that Item 5-D be
25 introduced into it's proper committee.
1 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
2 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
3 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? I
4 would just like to say that I welcome
5 Mrs. Paterson to city government and a
6 farewell to Attorney Farrell who served the
7 city over the course of the past few years.
8 Anyone else? All those in favor.
9 MS. EVANS: Aye.
10 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
11 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
13 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed? Aye,
14 I'm sorry, I did it again. The ayes have it
15 and so moved. All those opposed? The ayes
16 have it and so moved.
17 MS. GARVEY: SIXTH ORDER. 6-A.
18 READING BY TITLE - FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 5,
19 2008 - AN ORDINANCE - AMENDING FILE OF THE
20 COUNCIL NO. 6, 1976 ENTITLED "AN ORDINANCE
21 (AS AMENDED) IMPOSING A TAX FOR GENERAL
22 REVENUE PURPOSES ON THE TRANSFER OF REAL
23 PROPERTY SITUATED WITHIN THE CITY OF
24 SCRANTON; PRESCRIBING AND REGULATING THE
25 METHOD OF EVIDENCING THE PAYMENT OF SUCH
1 TAX; CONFERRING POWERS AND IMPOSING DUTIES
2 UPON CERTAIN PERSONS, AND PROVIDING
3 PENALTIES", BY IMPOSING THE RATE OF THE
4 REALTY TRANSFER TAX AT 2.5% FOR THE CALENDAR
5 YEAR 2008.
6 MR. MCGOFF: At this you have heard
7 reading by title of Item 6-A, what is your
9 MR. COURTRIGHT: I move that Item 6-A
10 pass reading by title.
11 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
12 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? All
13 those in favor?
14 MS. EVANS: Aye.
15 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
16 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
17 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
18 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed? The
19 ayes have it and so moved.
20 MS. GARVEY: 6-B. READING BY TITLE -
21 FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 6, 2008 - AN ORDINANCE -
22 AMENDING FILE OF THE COUNCIL NO. 7, 1976,
23 ENTITLED "AN ORDINANCE" (AS AMENDED)
24 IMPOSING A MERCANTILE LICENSE TAX OF 2 MILLS
25 FOR THE YEAR 1976 AND ANNUALLY THEREAFTER
1 UPON PERSONS ENGAGING IN CERTAIN OCCUPATIONS
2 AND BUSINESSES THEREIN; PROVIDING FOR ITS
3 LEVY AND COLLECTION AND FOR THE ISSUANCE OF
4 MERCANTILE LICENSES; CONFERRING AND IMPOSING
5 POWERS AND DUTIES UPON THE TAX COLLECTOR OF
6 THE CITY OF SCRANTON; AND IMPOSING
7 PENALTIES", BY IMPOSING THE MERCANTILE
8 LICENSE TAX AT 1 MILL FOR CALENDAR YEAR
10 MR. MCGOFF: You have heard reading
11 by title of Item 6-B, what is your pleasure?
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: I move that Item 6-B
13 pass reading by title.
14 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
15 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? All
16 those in favor?
17 MS. EVANS: Aye.
18 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
19 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
20 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
21 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed? The
22 ayes have it and so moved.
23 MS. GARVEY: 6-C. READING BY TITLE
24 -FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 7, 2008 - AN ORDINANCE
25 - AMENDING FILE OF THE COUNCIL NO. 8, 1976,
1 ENTITLED "AN ORDINANCE (AS AMENDED)
2 PROVIDING FOR THE GENERAL REVENUE BY
3 IMPOSING A TAX AT THE RATE OF 2 MILL UPON
4 THE PRIVILEGE OF OPERATING OR CONDUCTING
5 BUSINESS IN THE CITY OF SCRANTON AS MEASURED
6 BY THE GROSS RECEIPTS THEREFROM;
7 REGISTRATION AND PAYMENT OF THE TAX AS
8 CONDITION TO THE CONDUCTING OF SUCH
9 BUSINESS; PROVIDING FOR THE LEVY AND
10 COLLECTION OF SUCH TAX; PRESCRIBING SUCH
11 REQUIREMENTS FOR RETURNS AND RECORDS;
12 CONFERRING POWERS AND DUTIES UPON THE TAX
13 COLLECTOR; AND IMPOSING PENALTIES", BY
14 IMPOSING THE BUSINESS PRIVILEGE TAX AT THE
15 RATE OF 1 MILL FOR CALENDAR YEAR 2008.
16 MR. MCGOFF: You have heard reading
17 by title of Item 6-C, what is your pleasure.
18 MR. COURTRIGHT: I move that Item
19 6-C pass reading by title.
20 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
21 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? All
22 those in favor?
23 MS. EVANS: Aye.
24 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
25 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
1 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
2 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed? The
3 ayes have it and so moved.
4 MS. GARVEY: 6-D. READING BY TITLE -
5 FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 8, 2008 - AN ORDINANCE -
6 AMENDING FILE OF THE COUNCIL NO. 11, 1976,
7 ENTITLED "AN ORDINANCE (AS AMENDED)
8 ENACTING, IMPOSING A TAX FOR GENERAL REVENUE
9 PURPOSES IN THE AMOUNT OF 2% ON EARNED
10 INCOME AND NET PROFITS ON PERSONS,
11 INDIVIDUALS, ASSOCIATIONS AND BUSINESSES WHO
12 ARE RESIDENT OF THE CITY OF SCRANTON, OR
13 NON-RESIDENTS OF THE CITY OF SCRANTON, FOR
14 WORK DONE, SERVICES PERFORMED OR BUSINESS
15 CONDUCTED WITHIN THE CITY OF SCRANTON,
16 REQUIRING THE FILING OF RETURNS BY TAX
17 PAYERS SUBJECT TO THE TAX; REQUIRING
18 EMPLOYERS TO COLLECT THE TAX AT SOURCE;
19 PROVIDING FOR THE ADMINISTRATION, COLLECTION
20 AND ENFORCEMENT OF THE SAID TAX; AND
21 IMPOSING PENALTIES FOR THE VIOLATIONS", BY
22 IMPOSING THE WAGE TAX AT 2.4% ON EARNED
23 INCOME FOR THE YEAR 2008 FOR RESIDENTS.
24 MR. MCGOFF: You have reading by
25 title of Item 6-D, what is your pleasure?
1 MR. COURTRIGHT: I move that Item
2 6-D pass reading by title.
3 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
4 MR. MCGOFF: On the question?
5 MS. EVANS: Yes. In light of the
6 fact as I mentioned earlier that delinquent
7 taxes, delinquent wage taxes that is have
8 not been collected in a number of years and
9 prior to that not actively collected for a
10 number of years, and I couple that with the
11 fact that the wage tax, at least the city's
12 portion, could have been reduced from 2.4 to
13 2.2 percent that past December I will not be
14 voting in favor of the collection of the
15 wage tax at a rate of 2.4 percent.
16 MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else on the
17 question? Item 6-D, all those in favor?
18 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
19 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
20 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
21 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed?
22 MS. EVANS: No.
23 MR. MCGOFF: The ayes have it and so
25 MS. GARVEY: 6-E. READING BY TITLE -
1 FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 9, 2008 - AN ORDINANCE -
2 AMENDING FILE OF THE COUNCIL NO. 17, 1994
3 ENTITLED "AN ORDINANCE (AS AMENDED)
4 AUTHORIZING THE GOVERNING BODY OF THE CITY
5 OF SCRANTON TO ENACT A "WASTE DISPOSAL AND
6 COLLECTION FEE" FOR THE PURPOSE OF RAISING
7 REVENUE TO COVER THE WASTE DISPOSAL AND
8 COLLECTION COSTS INCURRED BY THE CITY OF
9 SCRANTON FOR THE DISPOSAL OF REFUSE", BY
10 IMPOSING A WASTE DISPOSAL AND COLLECTION FEE
11 OF $178.00 FOR CALENDAR YEAR 2008.
12 MR. MCGOFF: You have heard reading
13 by title of Item 6-E, what is your pleasure?
14 MR. COURTRIGHT: I move that Item
15 6-E pass reading by title.
16 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
17 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? All
18 those in favor?
19 MS. EVANS: Aye.
20 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
21 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
22 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
23 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed? The
24 ayes have it and so moved.
25 MS. GARVEY: 6-F. READING BY TITLE
1 -FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 10, 2008 - AN ORDINANCE
2 - AMENDING FILE OF THE COUNCIL NO. 100,
3 1976, ENTITLED "AN ORDINANCE (AS AMENDED)
4 LEVYING GENERAL AND SPECIAL TAXES FOR THE
5 FISCAL YEAR 1977", BY SETTING THE MILLAGE
6 FOR THE YEAR 2008.
7 MR. MCGOFF: You have heard reading
8 by title of Item 6-F, what is your pleasure?
9 MS. GATELLI: I move that 6-F pass
10 reading by title.
11 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
12 MR. MCGOFF: On the question?
13 MS. EVANS: Yes. Although taxes were
14 not raised for fiscal year 2008, as you all
15 remember taxes were raised significantly
16 25.6 percent the prior year. Productions
17 state that they will once again see that
18 increase, in fact, followed by a third
19 increase. Well, I'm not going to delve into
20 the future, I can only vote in the present
21 and remember the past and that particular
22 tax increase was not necessary. There were
23 many cuts that could have and should have
24 been made and there were sources of new
25 revenue that should have been pursued and
1 weren't, so I'll be voting, no.
2 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? Anyone
3 else? Item 6-F, all those in favor signify
4 by saying aye?
5 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
6 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
7 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed?
8 MS. EVANS: No.
9 MR. COURTRIGHT: No.
10 MR. MCGOFF: The ayes have it and so
12 MS. GATELLI: I'd like to make a
13 motion that we suspend the rules and move
14 6-A through 6-F to Seventh Order.
15 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
16 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? Motion
17 to move 6-A through 6-F into Seventh Order.
18 All those in favor? On the question? All in
20 MS. EVANS: Aye.
21 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
22 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
23 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
24 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed? The
25 ayes have it and so moved.
1 MS. GARVEY: 6-G. READING BY TITLE -
2 FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 11, 1008 - AN ORDINANCE
3 - AMENDING FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 74, 1993, (AS
4 AMENDED), ENTITLED "THE ZONING ORDINANCE FOR
5 THE CITY OF SCRANTON", BY CHANGING THE MAP
6 IN THE VICINITY OF THE SCRANTON HIGH SCHOOL
7 AND ITS SURROUNDING AREA, AS MORE
8 PARTICULARLY DESCRIBED IN EXHIBIT "A"
9 ATTACHED HERETO FROM I-L (LIGHT INDUSTRIAL)
10 TO INS-G (GENERAL INSTITUTIONAL) AND C-G
11 (GENERAL COMMERCIAL.)
12 MR. MCGOFF: You have heard reading
13 by title of Item 6-G, what is your pleasure?
14 MR. COURTRIGHT: I move that Item
15 6-G pass reading by title.
16 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
17 MR. MCGOFF: On the question?
18 MS. EVANS: Yes. I received
19 information from a member of the Scranton
20 school board that there is currently
21 litigation ongoing between the purchaser of
22 this property and the owners of the law firm
23 which is situated adjacent to the property
24 and, in addition, as I read over the notice
25 of intent to enact zoning amendment I read
1 very carefully some of the paragraphs and I
2 just wanted to read this to you, and this is
3 what raised a red flag for me in terms of
4 the questions I have been posing over the
5 last two weeks, "Whereas the city planning
6 commission as a meeting dated 12-19-07
7 reviewed the area depicted on Exhibit A and
8 found the zoning designation for the area
9 does not correspond to the actual," this is
10 the important phrase, "actual or planned
11 uses of the area."
12 Next paragraph, "Whereas the
13 planning commission has recommended the area
14 be zoned to reflect the current and planned
15 institutional and commercial uses."
16 So evidently the plans commission is
17 providing for a commercial use for that
18 particular property which is going to cause
19 untold problems in the area of Scranton High
20 School, so I will not approve this.
21 MR. COURTRIGHT: On the question,
22 Mr. McGoff, I wasn't aware that Scranton
23 School District was looking at that. I
24 would ask that -- I'll vote to pass --
25 MS. EVANS: The school district sold
1 that property, prime city property for
3 MR. COURTRIGHT: Well, we are on
4 Sixth Order now, we've got to go one more,
5 are you saying that they are opposed to this
6 change, the school district?
7 MS. EVANS: No, what I'm saying is
8 that I was notified that there is ongoing
9 litigation over that site and the
10 construction of a fast food restaurant in
11 that area.
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: I would ask maybe
13 on behalf of council, if council doesn't
14 mind, that Mr. Minora you could talk with
15 Mr. McGrath and find out what the litigation
16 is down there.
17 MS. EVANS: It doesn't involve the
18 school district any longer.
19 MR. COURTRIGHT: Oh, who is the
20 litigation with?
21 MS. EVANS: It's between the owners
22 of the law firm and the new owner of the
23 property next to -- it's the property that
24 is being discussed tonight in litigation.
25 They neighbor one another, they are
1 adjoining properties.
2 MS. FANUCCI: But right now under the
3 zoning they can put a fast food restaurant
4 there the way it's zoned as of right now.
5 MS. EVANS: So there really would be
6 no need to change it.
7 MS. FANUCCI: Except for it would
8 lessen and make them have to go to zoning
9 and to planning and have to pass through
10 them. As of right now they can do it
11 without batting an eye. If we did it change
12 it will make them accountable to our zoning
13 and planning, so that's what to me would be
14 the benefits of it.
15 MR. COURTRIGHT: Is that correct,
16 Mr. Minora, because I know we had a
17 go-around a little bit about his last week.
18 MS. GATELLI: It's a lesser use.
19 MR. MINORA: It is a lesser use and
20 as a lesser use you have less requirements
21 in the zoning. In other words, you can put
22 residential in an industrial zone and you
23 will have a much easier time than if you try
24 to do a residential development in a
25 residential area you are going to have to
1 comply with all of residential requirements.
2 Each use is more strict and has greater
3 requirements for a developer to meet and I
4 think that's what --
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: My understanding is
6 this, and please correct me if I'm wrong,
7 that the way it sits now if somebody wanted
8 to put a gas station over there they would
9 be able to, is that correct, because of the
11 MS. GATELLI: They could put a
13 MS. FANUCCI: They could put a
14 factory. It's light industrial. They could
15 put a Daron there right now.
16 MR. COURTRIGHT: I was voting, yes,
17 last week and I will vote, yes, this week to
18 move on and I'm certainly going to look at
19 it closer. I was voting because I thought,
20 and I hope that I'm correct, that I thought
21 that by changing it that we might limit them
22 to what they could do.
23 MS. GATELLI: Yes, you are right.
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: And I'll discuss it
25 with you, I don't know what take up all of
1 this time, but I'll vote to pass it through
2 and I will certainly research it before next
3 week. Thank you.
4 MR. MCGOFF: We are on Item 6-G, all
5 those in favor signify by saying aye.
6 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
7 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
9 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed?
10 MS. EVANS: No.
11 MR. MCGOFF: The ayes have it and so
13 MS. GARVEY: Just as a note of
14 interest, this public hearing has been
15 scheduled for the 26th of February at 6:15
16 on this topic.
17 MS. EVANS: Thank you.
18 MS. GARVEY: 6-H. READING BY TITLE -
19 FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 12, 2008 - AN ORDINANCE
20 - AMENDING FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 49, 2006,
21 ENTITLED, "AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE
22 MAYOR AND OTHER APPROPRIATE OFFICIALS OF THE
23 CITY OF SCRANTON TO TAKE ALL NECESSARY
24 ACTIONS TO IMPLEMENT THE CONSOLIDATED
25 SUBMISSION FOR COMMUNITY PLANNING AND
1 DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS (AS AMENDED) TO BE
2 FUNDED UNDER THE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK
3 GRANT (CDBG) PROGRAM, HOME INVESTMENT
4 PARTNERSHIP (HOME) PROGRAM AND EMERGENCY
5 SHELTER GRANT (ESG) PROGRAM", BY
6 TRANSFERRING $50,000.00 FROM PROJECT NO.
7 96-204 AND $9,493.80 FROM PROJECT NO. 99-212
8 AND $88.75 FROM PROJECT NO. 03-005.9 AND
9 $400.00 FROM PROJECT NO. 05-152 AND $680.59
10 FROM PROJECT NO. 06-182 AND $49.20 FROM
11 PROJECT NO. 06-05.12 FOR A TOTAL AMOUNT OF
12 $60,712.34 TO PROJECT NO. 07-18 TREE
13 PLANTING PROJECT.
14 MR. MCGOFF: You have heard reading
15 by title of Item 6-H, what is your pleasure.
16 MR. COURTRIGHT: I move that Item
17 6-H pass reading by title.
18 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
19 MR. MCGOFF: On the question.
20 MS. GATELLI: I just have a letter I
21 would like to read from the Neighborhood
22 Association, it's from Wayne Evans: "Dear
23 Council Members, thank you for your
24 continued support for our neighborhood. The
25 current regulations authorizing an
1 expenditure of $60,000 for street trees in
2 our neighborhood is integral to our efforts
3 in implementing recommendations of the Cedar
4 Area Avenue study completed by Wallace,
5 Roberts and Todd, LLC. We view this street
6 project as a long-term investment in our
7 neighborhood, one that will show positive
8 results immediately, but will be enjoyed by
9 new generations of South Siders for years to
10 come. The streetscape project will serve as
11 a key component to a successful application
12 for the Elm Street designation. The
13 programs goal is improve the residential
14 neighborhoods located adjacent to
15 Pennsylvania's downtowns, the premise being
16 that without solid neighborhoods nearby a
17 down town has little capacity for continued
18 growth and improvement. It should also be
19 noted that part of the original intent of
20 the Cedar Avenue study was to create a
21 neighborhood revitalization blueprint. We
22 anticipate that this blueprint could then be
23 transferred and put into place in our
24 neighborhoods citywide. Once again, thank
25 you for your continued support. We look
1 forward to working with you in the future.
2 Yours truly, Wayne Evans."
3 Also, I would like to say that
4 Mr. Santolli, the city forester, has been
5 working on a tree project for the past year
6 in the city. He does not get paid for his
7 services, he volunteers. He studied the
8 whole city and South Side had the least
9 amount of trees. Now, I heard a lot of
10 people get up tonight and say trees are
11 silly and they are not important, but they
12 are important. They are very important in a
13 revitalization of a neighborhood and that is
14 what we are trying to do in South Scranton.
15 You all know the seriousness of the problems
16 that we have had over there, the nuisance
17 bars, the drug houses, we are trying to make
18 it a better place to live and trees
19 esthetically will make it a much more
20 pleasant place and also for the environment.
21 Mr. Santolli assured me that the next place
22 he is looking at is West Scranton, that will
23 be the next tree and revitalization project
24 that we are going to be working and the
25 following will be North Scranton. He said
1 there is no need for Greenridge or the Hill
2 Section they have, you know, plenty of
3 trees, so that is why I will be voting for
4 this and I hope that my colleagues will
5 support South Scranton with me.
6 MS. FANUCCI: On the question, I
7 would like to say that we all know South
8 Side has so much potential and they deserve
9 not only this, but the projects that are
10 coming up and these projects go
11 hand-in-hand, it's not as simple saying,
12 well, we don't need trees. That's almost a
13 ridiculous statement. These projects and
14 beautification goes hand and hand and to
15 take over a neighborhood little by little
16 and make it into what it once was actually
17 and beautify the neighborhood is not, you
18 know -- it is not to be taken lightly.
19 South Side needs our help. They have needed
20 our help for a long time as did the Hill at
21 one time and little by little we are doing
22 our job and making our neighborhoods a
23 better place to be and I am definitely in
24 support of any type of revitalization for
25 South Side and the plans are absolutely
1 beautiful and I look forward to seeing all
2 of the progress finally come to play for the
3 first time in a long time, and that's all I
5 MS. EVANS: Yes. I greatly expected
6 that I wouldn't get an answer about what is
7 eligible for CDBG funds so I went onto the
8 HUD website and rather than reading all of
9 the activities that, you know, would be
10 eligible for this type of funding there were
11 a couple that caught my eye such as
12 improvements to streets and rehabilitation
13 of residential structures, demolition of
14 blighted properties. In addition to that, I
15 know that Mr. Santolli works on such a
16 meager budget annually. There are many,
17 many, many trees throughout the city that
18 are on quite a lengthy wait list for tree
19 trimming and removal of dead trees and there
20 is just never enough money allocated in that
21 area as well, so I do agree that trees, tree
22 planting is a very worthy project and very
23 necessary. I also see the need for street
24 improvements, road improvements. As I said,
25 more money allocated to tree trimming and
1 tree removal for the trees that are, you
2 know, already decoratively dappling the
3 city. I'm going to vote, yes, and I will
4 probably continue to do so unless I am
5 receiving calls or e-mails from citizens
6 expressing their viewpoints. You know, I
7 receive opinions that most people would
8 prefer the money to go into road
9 improvements or most people would prefer the
10 money to go into tree trimming or demolition
11 of blighted houses, etcetera, or home
12 restoration programs then I'll certainly
13 take into in consideration.
14 MR. MCGOFF: Item 6-H, all those in
15 favor signify by saying aye.
16 MS. EVANS: Aye.
17 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
18 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
19 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
20 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed? The
21 ayes have it and so moved.
22 MS. GARVEY: SEVENTH ORDER. 7-A. FOR
23 CONSIDERATION BY THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC
24 WORKS - FOR ADOPTION - FILE OF COUNCIL NO.
25 2, 2008 - PROVIDING FOR THE ACCEPTANCE AND
1 DEDICATION OF JAMESTOWN WAY CIRCLE AND PARK
2 EDGE LANE; AS WELL AS ALL THE STORM DRAINAGE
3 SYSTEM UNDERLYING SAID STREETS AND
4 RIGHTS-OF-WAY; ALL OF THE AFOREMENTIONED
5 IMPROVEMENTS BEING LOCATED IN THE KEYSER
6 TERRACE SUBDIVISION IN THE CITY OF SCRANTON,
7 PENNSYLVANIA; ALSO AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND
8 OTHER APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS TO ACCEPT
9 FOR THE SUM OF ONE DOLLAR ($1.00) AND TO
10 RECORD IN THE OFFICIAL RECORDS AT THE OFFICE
11 OF THE RECORDER OF DEEDS FOR LACKAWANNA
12 COUNTY A DEED FOR THE AFORESAID PUBLIC
13 STREETS AND IMPROVEMENTS.
14 MS. GATELLI: I will make a motion
15 that we table this.
16 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
17 MR. MCGOFF: On the motion to table
18 item 7-A? On the question? All those in
20 MS. EVANS: Aye.
21 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
22 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
23 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
24 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed? The
25 ayes have it and Item 7-A is tabled.
1 MS. GARVEY: 7-B. FOR CONSIDERATION
2 BY THE COMMITTEE ON RULES - FOR ADOPTION -
3 FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 3, 2008 AUTHORIZING THE
4 AUCTION AND SALE OF CITY-OWNED PROPERTY
5 ACQUIRED PURSUANT TO THE LACKAWANNA RIVER
6 FLOOD CONTROL PROJECT, SITUATED AT THE
7 CORNER OF DIAMOND AVENUE AND WOOD STREET,
8 THE FORMER CORDARO BUILDING AND RECORDED AT
9 RECORD BOOK 0720 PAGE 325.
10 (Mr. McGoff steps out of the
12 MS. GATELLI: As temporary chair for
13 the Committee on Rules, I recommend final
14 passage of 7-B.
15 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
16 MS. GATELLI: On the question? Roll
18 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? Roll
20 MS. MAGNOTTA: Mrs. Evans.
21 MS. EVANS: Yes.
22 MS. MAGNOTTA: Mr. Courtright.
23 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
24 MS. MAGNOTTA: Ms. Fanucci.
25 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.
1 MS. MAGNOTTA: Ms. Gatelli.
2 MS. GATELLI: Yes.
3 MS. MAGNOTTA: Mr. McGoff.
4 MR. MCGOFF: (Not present.)
5 MS. GATELLI: I hereby declare 7-B
6 legally and lawfully adopted.
7 MR. MINORA: Before we read 7-C, the
8 law department took the motion that you
9 passed last week and changed some of the
10 wording for it to be more appropriate so we
11 need a motion to amend Section 13.2.1 (e) to
12 read: "That no certificate of occupancy
13 shall be issued until a final certificate is
14 issued by the building underwriter's agency
15 and the Scranton Fire Department fire chief
16 or the fire prevention bureau.
17 MS. GATELLI: I'll make that motion.
18 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
19 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All
20 no favor?
21 MS. EVANS: Aye.
22 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
23 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
24 MS. GATELLI: Aye. Opposed? The
25 ayes have it and so moved.
1 MS. GARVEY: 7-C. FOR CONSIDERATION
2 BY THE COMMITTEE ON RULES - FOR ADOPTION -
3 FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 4, 2008 - AN ORDINANCE -
4 AMENDING FILE OF THE COUNCIL NO. 86, 1998
5 ENTITLED AN ORDINANCE "AMENDING FILE OF THE
6 COUNCIL NO. 148, 1993, ENTITLED "AN
7 ORDINANCE GOVERNING THE DESIGN,
8 CONSTRUCTION, ALTERATION, ENLARGEMENT,
9 REPAIR, DEMOLITION, REMOVAL, CONVERSION, USE
10 AND MAINTENANCE OF ALL BUILDINGS AND
11 STRUCTURES KNOWN AS THE BUILDING CODE;
12 PROVIDING FOR THE ISSUANCE OF PERMITS,
13 COLLECTION OF FEES, MAKING OF INSPECTION,
14 PROVIDING PENALTIES FOR THE VIOLATION
15 THEREOF, ESTABLISHING MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS
16 FOR BUILDING UNDERWRITER INSPECTORS,
17 DECLARING AND ESTABLISHING FIRE LIMITS" BY
18 ADOPTING THE BOCA NATIONAL BUILDING CODE
19 1993, ALSO REFERRED TO AS THE HOUSING CODE,
20 TWELFTH EDITION" TO INSERT A NEW SECTION
21 2(d) AND ADJUSTING ALL LETTERS AND NUMBERS
23 (Mr. McGoff retakes council chair.)
24 MR. MCGOFF: Do we need to make a
25 motion --
1 MS. FANUCCI: We did.
2 MR. MINORA: That was already done.
3 MR. MCGOFF: Oh, we did that when I
4 was out. Thank you. As chairperson for the
5 Committee on Rules, I recommend final
6 passage of Item 7-C.
7 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
8 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? Roll
9 call, please.
10 MS. MAGNOTTA: Mrs. Evans.
11 MS. EVANS: Yes.
12 MS. MAGNOTTA: Mr. Courtright.
13 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
14 MS. MAGNOTTA: Ms. Fanucci.
15 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.
16 MS. MAGNOTTA: Ms. Gatelli.
17 MS. GATELLI: Yes.
18 MS. MAGNOTTA: Mr. McGoff.
19 MR. MCGOFF: Yes. I hereby declare
20 Item 7-C legally and lawfully adopted.
21 MS. GARVEY: 7-D. FOR CONSIDERATION
22 BY THE COMMITTEE ON RULES - FOR ADOPTION -
23 RESOLUTION NO. 7, 2008 - AUTHORIZING THE
24 MAYOR AND OTHER APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS
25 TO EXECUTE AND ENTER INTO A CONTRACT FOR
1 PROFESSIONAL SERVICES WITH THE LAW FIRM OF
2 CARL J. GRECO, P.C., FOR LEGAL SERVICES
3 INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO GENERAL COUNSEL
4 TO THE OFFICE OF ECONOMIC AN COMMUNITY
5 DEVELOPMENT ("OECD"), URBAN RENEWAL PROCESS
6 AND PROCEDURE, EMINENT DOMAIN AND RELATED
7 LITIGATION, DISPOSITION OF SURPLUS URBAN
8 RENEWAL LANDS, TITLE SEARCHES AND DEED
10 MR. MCGOFF: As chairperson for the
11 Committee on Rules, I recommend final
12 passage of Item 7-D.
13 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
14 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? Roll
15 call, please.
16 MS. MAGNOTTA: Mrs. Evans.
17 MS. EVANS: No.
18 MS. MAGNOTTA: Mr. Courtright.
19 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
20 MS. MAGNOTTA: Ms. Fanucci.
21 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.
22 MS. MAGNOTTA: Ms. Gatelli.
23 MS. GATELLI: Yes.
24 MS. MAGNOTTA: Mr. McGoff.
25 MR. MCGOFF: Yes. I hereby declare
1 Item 7-D legally and lawfully adopted.
2 MS. GARVEY: 7-E. FOR CONSIDERATION
3 BY THE COMMITTEE ON RULES - FOR ADOPTION -
4 RESOLUTION NO. 8, 2008 - AUTHORIZING THE
5 ZONING HEARING BOARD OF THE CITY OF SCRANTON
6 TO EXTEND THE CONTRACT FOR PROFESSIONAL
7 SERVICES WITH DANIEL L. PENETAR, JR.,
8 ESQUIRE TO ACT AS IT'S SOLICITOR FROM JULY
9 1, 2007 THROUGH JULY 1, 2008.
10 MR. MCGOFF: As chairperson for the
11 Committee on Rules, I recommend final
12 passage of Item 7-E.
13 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
14 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? Roll
15 call, please.
16 MS. MAGNOTTA: Mrs. Evans.
17 MS. EVANS: No.
18 MS. MAGNOTTA: Mr. Courtright.
19 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
20 MS. MAGNOTTA: Ms. Fanucci.
21 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.
22 MS. MAGNOTTA: Ms. Gatelli.
23 MS. GATELLI: Yes.
24 MS. MAGNOTTA: Mr. McGoff.
25 MR. MCGOFF: Yes. I hereby declare
1 Item 7-E legally and lawfully adopted.
2 MS. GARVEY: 7-F. FOR CONSIDERATION
3 BY THE COMMITTEE ON RULES - FOR ADOPTION -
4 RESOLUTION NO. 9, 2008 - REAPPOINTMENT OF
5 JOSEPH DEANTONA, 1331 CORNELL STREET,
6 SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA, 18504, AS A MEMBER
7 OF THE SCRANTON LACKAWANNA HEALTH & WELFARE
8 AUTHORITY. MR. DEANTONA'S TERM EXPIRED ON
9 DECEMBER 31, 207 AND HIS NEW TERM WILL
10 EXPIRE ON DECEMBER 31, 2012.
11 MR. MCGOFF: As chairperson for the
12 Committee on Rules, I recommend final
13 passage of Item 7-F.
14 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
15 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? Roll
16 call, please.
17 MS. MAGNOTTA: Mrs. Evans.
18 MS. EVANS: Yes.
19 MS. MAGNOTTA: Mr. Courtright.
20 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
21 MS. MAGNOTTA: Ms. Fanucci.
22 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.
23 MS. MAGNOTTA: Ms. Gatelli.
24 MS. GATELLI: Yes.
25 MS. MAGNOTTA: Mr. McGoff.
1 MR. MCGOFF: Yes. I hereby declare
2 Item 7-F legally and lawfully adopted.
3 Prior to reading of Item 7-G through what
4 are now 7-L, if there is anyone that would
5 wish to speak on any of those they are
6 welcome to. It appears there is no one
7 wishing to speak. So, Item 7-G.
8 MS. GARVEY: 7-G, which was formerly
9 6-A. FOR CONSIDERATION BY THE COMMITTEE ON
10 FINANCE - FOR ADOPTION -FILE OF COUNCIL NO.
11 5, 2008 AMENDING FILE OF THE COUNCIL NO. 6,
12 1976 ENTITLED "AN ORDINANCE (AS AMENDED)
13 IMPOSING A TAX FOR GENERAL REVENUE PURPOSES
14 ON THE TRANSFER OF REAL PROPERTY SITUATED
15 WITHIN THE CITY OF SCRANTON; PRESCRIBING AND
16 REGULATING THE METHOD OF EVIDENCING THE
17 PAYMENT OF SUCH TAX; CONFERRING POWERS AND
18 IMPOSING DUTIES UPON CERTAIN PERSONS, AND
19 PROVIDING PENALTIES", BY IMPOSING THE RATE
20 OF THE REALTY TRANSFER TAX AT 2.5% FOR THE
21 CALENDAR YEAR 2008.
22 MR. MCGOFF: What is the
23 recommendation of the chairperson for the
24 Committee on Finance?
25 MS. GATELLI: As chair for the
1 Committee on Finance, I recommend final
2 passage of 7-G.
3 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
4 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? Roll
5 call, please.
6 MS. MAGNOTTA: Mrs. Evans.
7 MS. EVANS: Yes.
8 MS. MAGNOTTA: Mr. Courtright.
9 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
10 MS. MAGNOTTA: Ms. Fanucci.
11 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.
12 MS. MAGNOTTA: Ms. Gatelli.