1 SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING
7 Tuesday, February 5, 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 (Not Present)
9 MS. SHERRY FANUCCI
MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT
12 MS. KAY GARVEY, CITY CLERK
MR. NEIL COOLICAN, ASSISTANT CITY CLERK
15 MR. AMIL MINORA, SOLICITOR
1 (Pledge of Allegiance and moment of
2 reflection observed.)
3 MR. MCGOFF: Roll call, please.
4 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.
5 (Mrs. Evans not present.)
6 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.
7 MR. COURTRIGHT: Here.
8 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. Fanucci.
9 MS. FANUCCI: Here.
10 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. Gatelli.
11 MS. GATELLI: Here.
12 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff.
13 MR. MCGOFF: Here. I would like the
14 record to reflect that Mrs. Evans called and
15 said that she would not be in attendance at
16 this evening's meeting. I'd like to
17 dispense with the reading of the minutes.
18 MS. GARVEY: THIRD ORDER. 3-A.
19 AGENDA FOR THE ZONING HEARING BOARD MEETING
20 TO BE HELD ON FEBRUARY 13, 2008.
21 MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?
22 If not, received and filed.
23 MS. GARVEY: That's it for third
25 MR. MCGOFF: Prior to Fourth Order
1 just a number of items from last week to
2 make note of, we did receive a letter from
3 the city solicitor regarding the Tripp Park
4 development. The letter does need some
5 clarification and I will look into it and
6 have a response to the letter and to the
7 questions next week.
8 We also received a letter concerning
9 the Scranton Rescue Mission. Rather than
10 reading the entire letter, the letter
11 states, and this is from Mark Seitzinger,
12 that the Scranton Rescue Mission was denied
13 by the zoning board to run a place of -- a
14 homeless shelter, that was appealed through
15 a number of courts and finally returned
16 through the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and
17 those lower court orders were upheld and so
18 it was denied a variance to be a homeless
19 shelter, however, on January 10th of 2007,
20 it was granted a certificate of use as a
21 place of worship and Scranton Rescue Mission
22 can use the subject property as a place of
23 worship, but not as a homeless shelter. If
24 there have been any violations of that I'm
25 sure Mr. Seitzinger will look into it, but
1 that is the status of the Scranton Rescue
2 Mission. It can operate as a place of
3 worship, but not as a shelter.
4 Also, on behalf of council a letter
5 was sent to Congressman Kanjorski in support
6 of House Resolution 418, we had done that
7 before to another member of the state
8 legislature and this was sent to Congressman
9 Kanjorski. It deals with home foreclosures
10 in an attempt to protect homebuyers or
12 Also, last week it was mentioned
13 that wands in order to test wires were
14 requested by the fire department and that
15 they had been denied that request to
16 purchase those. In speaking with a member
17 the fire department and also with a member
18 of the city administration, in fact, three
19 of those have been ordered and are being
20 purchased or will be purchased by the city
21 for the fire department.
22 Also, I was told that there was a
23 more extensive type of detection service
24 that they were looking into. It's been used
25 in some other areas, it's far more technical
1 than that, but they are examining it as to
2 whether or not that would be appropriate for
3 use in Scranton, but the three of these
4 detection wands are being purchased.
5 Also, we received a letter from the
6 Girl Scout Troop 16. It says, "I would
7 appreciate if one of you would thank Judy
8 Gatelli for attending Troop 16 meeting,
9 Thursday, January 31. Judy attended to help
10 our Scouts work on their citizenship and
11 community merit badge. She was suffering
12 from a cold and took the time to come and
13 meet with our Scouts. The Scouts were very
14 receptive of her and we would like to thank
15 her for her time and knowledge. Please
16 thank her and give her the recognition she
18 So, on behalf of Troop 16, thank
20 MS. GATELLI: I had a good time.
21 MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else
23 MS. GATELLI: I just have a couple of
24 things. I'd like to announce that tomorrow
25 morning at West Scranton High School one of
1 our star football players, Mr. Hubie Graham,
2 I'm sure most of you have read about him in
3 the sports section, he is going to be
4 signing his letter of intent for the
5 University of Illinois. He received a full
6 athletic scholarship, so we are very proud
7 of him and he will be signing that tomorrow
8 at 9:00.
9 Also, I was asked to check out a
10 bill this was paid by Mrs. Hubbard for
11 skunks in a certain area of the city. The
12 city indeed paid for removing of skunks and
13 possums. And she had a skunk in her
14 neighborhood and was told that she had to
15 pay for it herself as are many other people,
16 several in my particular neighborhood had to
17 pay. One called me last night she paid $600
18 over the summer to get rid of some skunks in
19 her yard. When I asked the question about
20 why they were paid for in that particular
21 section, they had gone to the mayor I think
22 at a neighborhood meeting, but I'm not
23 positive because of the construction of the
24 levies and the construction of the new DPW
25 building, it disrupted the area and the
1 skunks, you know, kind of took over and
2 that's why they paid for it because it
3 really was the whole entire neighborhood
4 that suffered from it. It is unfortunate
5 that the animal control officer does not
6 take care of skunks. They used to, and I'm
7 not sure of the reason why they won't do it
8 anymore, but I would like to inquire of
9 Mr. McGoff if you might as the president
10 send a letter to the proper person why we
11 don't have someone that does this. I think
12 it's really becoming a problem citywide and
13 it's quite a lot of money for the residents
14 to have to pay for it if they have a
16 So, you know, if we can't maybe hire
17 a part-time animal control officer just to
18 do skunks. Is sounds crazy, but if any of
19 you out there know, you know that they are
20 around. My neighbor's dog got sprayed by
21 one last week and I told you the other
22 neighbor paid $600, so I'm sure you all have
23 a story. On Harrison Avenue Joni Rossi
24 called me, there was a nest next door to her
25 and she had to pay, they had to pay, too. I
1 think they paid about $800, so it's costing
2 quite a bit of money and I think it's
3 incumbent upon the city to get someone to
4 help when the problem has become exacerbated
5 to this degree.
6 Just two other things, I would like
7 to send a letter to Mr. Seitzinger, there is
8 a property on the 500 of North Everett that
9 has been abandoned for four years. See if
10 we can board it up, there is people going in
11 and out of there and also on the corner of
12 Eighth and Fellows, it looks like a junk
13 yard. The neighbors complain about it, I
14 went by it yesterday on the way to work and
15 it really is bad, so if you would just send
16 those two letters, and that's all I have,
17 Mr. McGoff.
18 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you. Citizens
19 participation. Douglas Miller.
20 MR. MILLER: Good evening, Council,
21 Douglas Miller, president of the Scranton
22 City Junior Council. Tonight is a very
23 special night for the junior council.
24 Tonight marks the second anniversary of our
25 council. I would like to thank Scranton
1 City Council for their support and
2 assistance during this time. On February 5,
3 2006, I stood before council as the first
4 member appointed to the Scranton Junior City
5 Council. Two years later we have seen
6 nearly 20 high school students serve on our
7 council. This council has served as an
8 educational tool for students all across our
9 city. All of the students that serve on
10 this council have graduated with a better
11 understanding of our city government and
12 community service. This council will
13 certainly have an impact on our future.
14 Personally, I have had the opportunity
15 to work closely with members of city council
16 and learn a great deal about our city
17 government. I have also learned the
18 importance of community service. For two
19 years I have lead junior council in many
20 projects. We have conducted numerous park
21 cleanups, which include making repairs to
22 playground equipment, landscaping, the
23 installation of flag poles, park benches and
24 picnic tables.
25 We have also conducted many
1 fundraisers including a Christmas breakfast
2 held December of 2006 to raise funds to
3 support Channel 61. Our Light Up the Town
4 campaign raised funds to decorate the South
5 Side Renaissance Center in December of 2007.
6 Our most proud accomplishment was raising
7 $4,000 to purchase a children's handicap
8 accessible swingset for Nay Aug Park. We
9 greatly appreciate the support from all of
10 those that made donations towards the
11 successful project, including Dunbar
12 Evergreen Landscaping, Incorporated.
13 Last week I announced that junior
14 council is now raising funds to benefit a
15 police and firefighters' memorial. We are
16 also working with city officials to have a
17 skate park built in our city. All of these
18 projects will have a lasting impact on our
19 city and those that serve or who have served
20 on the Scranton Junior City Council.
21 Because of Junior Council, students all
22 across our city have become a more
23 interested and involved in our government.
24 One year ago a group of high school
25 students from West Scranton High School came
1 before city council and proposed a citywide
2 smoking ban. These students showed the
3 courage to stand up for what they believe
5 During the remaining six months that
6 I will serve on this council, I will
7 continue to work closely with my fellow
8 classmates, city council members and the
9 residents in this city so that together we
10 can make our future brighter. I have no
11 doubt that Scranton Junior City Council will
12 continue it's success for many years to
13 come. Thank you.
14 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Douglas. Fay
16 MS. FRANUS: Fay Franus, Scranton.
17 Mrs. Gatelli, could you possibly add
18 woodchucks to that list, and the reason I
19 say that is -- woodchucks to that list with
20 the skunks?
21 MS. GATELLI: Oh, sure.
22 MS. FRANUS: Because woodchucks they
23 are sometimes worse because they dig a hole
24 right near your house, one is living near
25 mine. What I want to mention now, I
1 normally don't read things that I say, but
2 there is many questions I want to ask and I
3 want to make sure I don't leave anything
4 out, and I will give you a list of questions
5 when I'm ready to leave if that's okay with
7 This is in regard to the fire on
8 Linden Street, January 25, on 317 Linden
9 Street and the buildings that were next to
10 it, this is in regards to that, I'm going to
11 ask some questions. Under what conditions
12 does our DPW have to enter a private
13 property to remove private belongings? Do
14 you know the answer to that?
15 MR. MCGOFF: Specifically, I don't
16 know the answer. I can tell you why they
17 did it.
18 MS. FRANUS: Why did they do it?
19 MR. MCGOFF: Because there was a need
20 to remove those properties -- to remove
21 property to protect them.
22 MS. FRANUS: The Laura Craig
23 Gallery, the paintings.
24 MR. MCGOFF: Yes, and they were doing
25 a public service.
1 MS. FRANUS: Could you show me
2 something in writing that shows that a city
3 department should move private property away
4 from a building? I mean, could you show me
5 something in writing that says that there
6 was a need? If there is a need for DPW to
7 remove private property.
8 MR. MCGOFF: I can't show you in
9 writing, no, but --
10 MS. FRANUS: Well, I would like
11 something in writing because this is not
12 right. There was a need. Many people have
13 needs, but you don't see the DPW moving --
14 were they at Acker Avenue for the fire and
15 helping those people getting their stuff
16 out? Were they in lower Greenridge helping
17 people get their furniture removed? No,
18 they were not.
19 Jeff Brazil was there, so was Donna
20 Doherty, she was there supervising it looked
21 like, it sort of looked like she was
22 supervising all of the belongings being
23 taken out. That's fine if Laura Craig wants
24 to take her stuff out, I understand the need
25 and she has every right, but she does not
1 have the right to have DPW workers doing
2 that on our time. We, the taxpayers are,
3 paying for that service and if they don't do
4 it for all they shouldn't do it for anybody.
5 I mean, suppose I had a problem with my
6 house and I wanted stuff moved could I have
7 the DPW come and help me move with a pickup
8 trucks? I don't think so.
9 I want to also ask some other
10 questions. What if someone from the DPW was
11 hurt that day who would pay for this, the
12 taxpayers? What if the property from the
13 Laura Craig gallery was damaged, who would
14 be responsible for replacing the property?
15 Does anybody know the answer to that?
16 Nobody knows. May I ask who authorized the
17 DPW to go there? Who made the phone call
18 for them to go there? Does anybody know
19 that? How did they get involved, does
20 anybody know?
21 MR. COURTRIGHT: No.
22 MS. FRANUS: Okay. May I ask, can
23 and will council ask the district attorney
24 to investigate this matter?
25 MR. MCGOFF: I don't know that the
1 district attorney needs to investigate it.
2 MS. FRANUS: Could you ask him to?
3 MR. MCGOFF: I don't think that there
4 is a need to do that.
5 MS. FRANUS: But I do, and I think
6 all of the people in the City of Scranton
7 will feel the same way considering they are
8 paying for this. Jeff Brazil was supposed
9 to be at work that day not helping a private
10 person remove private property. It was
11 Friday, it was a workday. Even if weren't a
12 weekday he has no right to bring public
13 vehicles to help a private citizen remove
14 private property. Could you tell me what
15 the rule, regulation, policy, law or code
16 that permits the taxpayer funded service to
17 do private work? But you said before you
18 didn't think there was any.
19 MR. MCGOFF: I said I don't know of
21 MS. FRANUS: Okay. Well, the Code of
22 Ethics, let me read a paragraph from the
23 Code of Ethics, Section 704, "Use of public
24 property. No officer, member or employee of
25 the municipal government, municipal
1 authority or agency to whom this Code of
2 Ethics applies shall use of any public
3 property for personal benefit or profit in
4 accordance with policies promulgated by the
6 Now, I'd just like to give you --
7 I'll give these to you when I'm done, if you
8 don't mind. So, since I really didn't get
9 any responses that's why I have this letter
10 to give to you all and, you know, you can
11 read it at your leisure.
12 Billy, I'd like to ask you
13 something, I notice that you are sitting
14 there, you have been sitting in your other
15 seat for five years, at least five years,
16 how is that you got to sit there now? Could
17 you possibly explain it because I can't
18 understand this?
19 MS. FRANUS: That's not five
20 minutes. There is no way that's five
22 MR. MINORA: That's five minutes.
23 MR. MCGOFF: That's five minutes.
24 Thank you.
25 MS. FRANUS: Billy, could you please
1 answer that in motions?
2 MR. MCGOFF: Andy Sbaraglia.
3 MR. SBARAGLIA: Andy Sbaraglia,
4 citizen of Scranton. Fellow Scrantonians, I
5 noticed in the legals that the city is
6 currently seeking solicitations for a city
7 engineer. As of now, we have an acting city
8 engineer I take it and not a qualified city
9 engineer. 7-A, who signed off on this, a
10 city engineer or an acting city engineer?
11 MR. MCGOFF: In the backup that we
12 received it said that Mr. Parker had been on
13 that project.
14 MR. SBARAGLIA: Did you see a
15 signature on the sign off?
16 MR. MCGOFF: I did not.
17 MR. SBARAGLIA: Did any of you see a
18 signature on the sign off? You cannot take
19 the word of the administration. By now you
20 should have found that out. You got to make
21 sure if he signed off you could see a
22 signature on there and make sure it was his
23 signature and not an acting signature.
24 Well, let's get one better. I seen a
25 letter from the city planning commission
1 okaying this project, okay, they send you a
2 letter, but you have to look at Tripps Park.
3 The planning commission okayed the first
4 phase of that project. There is no
5 streetlights up there, none at all. For
6 some reason whether they didn't think they
7 should put streets light in that. They have
8 retention ponds that are not fenced in where
9 any child could drown. These things were
10 done by the city planning commission when
11 they okayed plans. It's obviously somewhere
12 along the line the city planner goofed up on
13 the first phase. I know you said they
14 corrected it in the second phase. They are
15 now getting street lights. You have all of
16 these things in there.
17 You are currently advertising for a
18 new city engineer. This project should be
19 held in obeyance until we get the new
20 engineer and he signs off on, not some guy
21 that's off in the world some way. We need a
22 sign off on this or a man is there where a
23 man is check, his qualifications, everything
24 is okay to par and then that's it. I mean,
25 there is no reason to rush this project
1 through. I mean, let's wait until they
2 elect -- that we get a new city engineer,
3 let them go up there and check the project
4 out, and if he finds everything up to par,
5 fine, but I'm putting no faith in the city
6 planner. His letter don't mean nothing
7 because of that debacle up there in Tripp's
8 Park. Even a child should have known that
9 them people required street lights and for
10 them to oversee it and the retention ponds
11 without any kind of protection that shows
12 you somewhere along the lines this man
13 lacked the qualifications of actually
14 okaying plans for a new subdivision within
15 the city.
16 You need better, let's see how the
17 word to put it, any qualified people in here
18 that actually do a lot of these things. I
19 mean, you can't really build a complex
20 without putting streetlights in other than a
21 private developer, he can do it because he
22 is not required, but when you ask us to take
23 up the slack, I mean, I don't know if they
24 have streetlights up there in that
25 development, I doubt it. I doubt anything
1 because this man didn't have to do anything,
2 he's a private developer, you own the land.
3 I don't know about the townhouse, the
4 people own their house, I don't know if they
5 own the surrounding, usually in a townhouse
6 development the people that own the
7 development take care of the lots, cut the
8 grass, take care of the roads and so forth
9 and so on, but you proposed the take over
10 the roads.
11 Now, I see in the letter saying the
12 sewer has been split, which is a good point.
13 If it hasn't been split that's one of the
14 things that should be. I don't know how
15 much of that varies with KOZ either. I know
16 the front part is a KOZ, I don't know if the
17 back part is a KOZ, too, in which case we
18 are not going to get too much money. The
19 question is how much money are we actually
20 get on that development for us to take over
21 the responsibility for it. Did all of you
22 be out there? I ran into it to, but I
23 didn't go down to the tax office to see how
24 much revenue is being generated by this
25 development and that's where you got to go.
1 You got to say the development generates "X"
2 amount of dollars, it's going to take us "X"
3 amount of dollars to take care of that
4 development and if they don't match then
5 say, no. What is the advantage of the city
6 to take on the liability? You don't want
7 liability. Okay. Thank you.
8 MR. SANTOSE: Could I answer some of
9 those questions? I know I'm not signed in,
10 but at the end --
11 MR. MCGOFF: No. Ozzie Quinn.
12 MR. QUINN: Ozzie Quinn, president
13 of the local Taxpayers' Association.
14 Mr. McGoff, two weeks ago I asked
15 Mrs. Gatelli for the CDBG and the surplus
16 UDAG program funds that were back from way
17 back that are still being held and projects
18 weren't approved and never executed and
19 after three months she said that you have
20 them, you are the one now, I followed up
21 with an e-mail, do have you that list?
22 MR. MCGOFF: I tried to respond to
23 your e-mail, I couldn't respond, that
24 information is available at OECD.
25 MR. QUINN: It's available and you
1 are the elected official. I'm asking you, I
2 want to be transparent about this.
3 MR. MCGOFF: I'm not being
4 transparent, I'm telling you --
5 MR. QUINN: I asked OECD several
6 times and they have said to me, no, go to
7 Right to Know, and I don't have $110 to go
8 to the Right to Know every time I want an
9 answer. Now, if she said that she was going
10 to act in good faith and you aren't then
11 this government is not very transparent. As
12 a matter of fact --
13 MR. MCGOFF: I'm answering your
14 question. In an act of good faith I went to
15 OECD, they said that that information is
16 available to you any time you want it.
17 MR. QUINN: You are the president of
18 council, you are the one who was elected by
19 our people. Come on. Who do you think you
20 are trying to talk to, some Fourth grader
21 some place.
22 MR. MCGOFF: No, Mr. Quinn, I'm
23 talking to you.
24 MR. QUINN: Well, give me a little
25 bit of intelligence, will you?
1 MR. MCGOFF: And I am. I'm giving
2 you an answer to your question.
3 MR. QUINN: Okay. On January 16 you
4 received a letter from the director of
5 finance at OECD and he said OECD was
6 informed by HUD that if they did not use the
7 funds, some of which is over ten years old,
8 they were going to lose them, they had the
9 risk of losing them.
10 Now, here we are the taxpayers, we
11 are seriously in debt and we have money over
12 there in OECD that can be used to us to pay
13 for capital improvements that we are going
14 to have to pay, the taxpayers, that the
15 mayor capital improvements for 2008. Use a
16 little innovations. Will you talk to these
17 people or have the mayor? It's just
18 unbelievable. We can't afford these taxes.
19 You know what, the school district and with
20 the city and with the county pro rata we are
21 over half a billion dollars in debt, the
22 taxpayers of the City of Scranton and with
23 the population we have, the $31,090 that is
24 the median income we cannot afford it and
25 so, please, start standing up for the
1 people, will you?
2 I just want it speak something on
3 7-B. You are going to use 60,000 of that
4 money that I'm asking you for, $60,700 for
5 planting of 1,000 trees in South Side. Judy
6 Gatelli read a letter last week from Wayne
7 Evans, it doesn't float with me because
8 Wayne Evans is her buddy, you know what I
9 mean, saying that those trees are needed in
10 South Side. What's needed? People's
11 infrastructure in the neighborhoods.
12 People's some way to offset their taxes or
13 1,000 trees? I spoke with the Arbor
14 Foundation and the price of trees goes from
15 $3 to $20, so you could buy 1,000 trees if
16 you use the $20, $20,000, so, come on, what
17 are we going to 60,000, are we paying some
18 contractor something? We cannot afford it.
19 The Taxpayers' Association knows we can't
20 afford it.
21 And also, I want to also speak on a
22 fact that we are using this money again and
23 we should be looking at the small business
24 owner and economic development. I was in a
25 business today where I purchased something
1 and the small business owner was disgusted
2 by the mercantile tax and the business
3 privilege tax and he don't know how he is
4 going to pay, and it's a shame, so I would
5 ask you to try, at least I recommend to you,
6 to do a business retention program
7 throughout the city on small business, never
8 mind corporations, small businesses and see,
9 do a hand-on-hand interview with them, not
10 sending interviews out -- or surveys out and
11 find out the problems why. Why the store
12 fronts are being left vacant downtown and
13 all through the city. Our little economic
14 development corners throughout the area of
15 west side, Greenridge, Providence, they are
16 shot, you know, and we have to pay over half
17 a million dollars out of our same pockets.
18 So, please, listen, do something.
19 Don't just go through what the mayor says,
20 you won't give me anything that's
21 transparent, it's a shame. It's really a
22 shame and you know I cannot or we cannot
23 afford to go to Right no Know. Who are you
24 going to stand up for, the taxpayer or the
25 mayor? It's a shame what you are doing to
1 the people of the City of Scranton and those
2 people who are out there tonight or watching
3 in their homes that are worried about their
4 utilities and whatnot, shame on you.
5 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Quinn.
6 Candace McColligan.
7 MS. MCCOLLIGAN: Candace McColligan,
8 Scranton resident. It must be a great sense
9 of relief for the mayor not to have to
10 appear here because he knows that his
11 interest, no matter how damaging, are being
12 protected. To use things like the Recovery
13 Plan to defend himself against specific
14 battles, but completly ignore it, modify it
15 and sweep it under the rug when he has his
16 own agenda. Once the plan was violated even
17 once for the benefit of the mayor and
18 whatever project or idea he was pursuing it
19 became null and void as far as I'm
20 concerned. It was no longer what the people
21 had voted for. You can't use the Recovery
22 Plan as s defense only when it benefits you.
23 You agree to follow it or you find a
24 different solution. It's time for a
25 different solution.
1 I am here because I, unlike many, do
2 not have the option of moving out of
3 Scranton to a place where I feel those
4 elected have the proper intentions from the
5 start. My husband is privileged enough to
6 work for the fire department and that means
7 that Scranton will be on our home for a long
8 time. Him working for the fire department
9 has forced me to take a real look at the
10 policies and actions of the city government
11 both as they relate to the fire department
12 and effect our family and how they relate to
13 me as a citizen and a taxpayer regardless of
14 the work that he does.
15 I have to ask myself how I am going
16 to make a Scranton a place that I can
17 happily call home because like it or not I
18 am here for the long haul. I'm sure that a
19 difference can be some positive changes in
20 this city. I would hope that you would want
21 to be part of them, too.
22 Last week I was bothered when Jim
23 Stucker came to the podium to speak. I have
24 watched these meetings long enough to know
25 that this has been going on for too long.
1 It is reminiscent of a bully on a
2 playground. Jim is not a pawn in a
3 political game and neither he nor these
4 meetings are meant to be amusing. The
5 things we ask of this council we must also
6 be willing to give back to them. If are to
7 be taken seriously then these meetings must
8 also be treated that way. If we ask for
9 honesty and respect, we must lead by example
10 and show that to one another. That includes
11 respect for Jim and truly an apology for
12 having been dishonest and unkind to him. If
13 any one or all of the citizens is
14 responsible for his confusion want to have
15 an impact on council or this city. I resume
16 to come to these meetings and to make a way
17 in a more meaningful way, to speak to their
18 friends and neighbors about the changes they
19 would like to see take place here and to go
20 involved with your voting and communicating
21 concerns and ideas.
22 I'm sure there are many things
23 about politics that I have to learn, but
24 what I see generally is that logic is lost
25 here. I assume each of you has a checkbook
1 to balance and bills that need to be paid
2 each month. I also assume you each have
3 hobbies that you enjoy and families that you
4 love. Logically the necessities each month
5 are paid first. The extras are enjoyed only
6 when there is money left over and above all
7 else family safety is the first priority.
8 Why is it so difficult to see how that logic
9 should be applied to this city? Do three
10 out of five of you really have the same
11 mentality at home that you allow to be
12 placed here? I don't believe that you do.
13 This city should be treated like you
14 would treat your home and your family. We
15 are all supposed to be in this together and
16 if you were to treat the citizens of
17 Scranton like the intelligence and creative
18 people that they are and provide them with
19 the true facts they could be a part of
20 findings creative solutions to put this city
21 back on it's feet. You don't give us enough
22 credit. We are willing to do what is
23 necessary to save the city in which we live,
24 but we can't stand behind smoke and mirrors,
25 lies and deception. We are the ones paying
1 for what happens in this city so harsh or
2 not give it to us straight. If most are
3 like me, and I think that they are, they
4 want to know the truth no matter how
5 disconcerting that reality may be and no
6 matter how mad the mayor might get if you
7 tell it to us.
8 People are passionate when they
9 speak here because they are desperate to
10 stop watching a hole dug deeper and deeper
11 while their pleas are ignored. Mr. McGoff,
12 would it be so difficult for you to admit
13 that you may have cast some votes that
14 allowed spending that wasn't in the best
15 interest of the citizens who were you
16 elected to represent? Could you find the
17 courage to simply say, I have made some bad
18 choices, and I'm not perfect, but I'll do
19 all of my power to make a change in this
20 city and to truly show the citizens that do
21 come first?
22 Miss Fanucci, would be it be
23 impossible for you to respond to
24 Mr. DeSarno, to say, I misspoke and had not
25 done the proper research when I alleged that
1 parks are the first things companies look at
2 when they think to invest here. To
3 apologize for speaking without facts and vow
4 to the citizens of Scranton that you will
5 put more time and effort into your decisions
6 and votes when it comes to spending the
7 money that the taxpayers place in your
9 We all make mistakes and that is
10 forgivable, but those mistakes need to be
11 admitted, a lesson needs to be learned and
12 an effort must be made not to repeat the
13 same error twice. I am sure that each of
14 you has a moral compass that guides you
15 through your personal lives and that you
16 could never let anyone tell you what to do
17 or say when it came to the protection and
18 support of your family and friends. Perhaps
19 you have forgotten to extend that same
20 resolve to your position here. Each week
21 you have decisions to make, you and only
22 you, and no one but the taxpayer and citizen
23 within you should be able to tell you what
24 is right. A trust has certainly been broken
25 between the people and those that were
1 elected to represent them, but you have the
2 power to rebuild that trust and I urge you
3 to come up with the courage to use your
4 votes and your voice to take the first step.
5 Thank you.
6 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mrs.
7 McColligan. Jean Suetta.
8 MS. SUETTA: Jean Suetta, Scranton.
9 That's a tough act to follow. All right,
10 Judy, you said -- I wasn't going to bring
11 this up about Mrs. Hubbard's skunks, they
12 got taken care of over at Cottage Avenue,
13 blah, blah, blah, because of a flood control
14 and DPW complex, she lives three blocks away
15 from the DPW complex, that has nothing to do
16 with it?.
17 MS. GATELLI: Apparently not. I'm
18 only telling you what I was told.
19 MS. SUETTA: Yeah.
20 MS. GATELLI: I'm not condoning it.
21 I think that everyone should be taken care
23 MS. SUETTA: Bill, over at the Lace
24 Works, they are worried about skunks, we are
25 going to have lions and tigers and bears if
1 they don't clean that up. I mean, it is
2 overrun. My one dog got out, I am looking
3 down at the Lace Works, seven skunks came to
4 me. I didn't --
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: I believe we sent
6 someone down there though to that place
7 before and then they thought it was done.
8 MS. SUETTA: They did the corner and
9 stopped and stopped. You can see around the
10 corner, but there hasn't been another God
11 Damn thing done. Oops. But, I got to look
12 at everyday, you don't.
13 MR. COURTRIGHT: Maybe we can find
14 out who the owner is and ask the owner to do
15 it. We'll try that.
16 MS. SUETTA: Yeah. Mr. McGoff, cell
17 phones, why are you letting Miss Fanucci get
18 text messages during the meetings? Hit the
19 hammer, tell her she is out of order, leave
20 the room.
21 MR. MCGOFF: I don't have -- I didn't
22 ask anyone to not use them or I didn't think
23 I have the right to tell someone to not to
24 take a message --
25 MS. SUETTA: Well, do you think it's
2 MR. MCGOFF: However, all I asked was
3 that they be turned off during the meeting.
4 MS. SUETTA: Well, you think it's
5 proper that she is up there getting text
6 messages during the meeting.
7 MR. MCGOFF: I think that sometimes
8 it may be, yes.
9 MS. SUETTA: It's proper to get text
10 messages --
11 MR. MCGOFF: I would say --
12 MS. SUETTA: While she is up there
13 working for us.
14 MR. MCGOFF: I'm answering, I'm
15 saying, yes, I think there are times when
16 all of us need to have messages relayed to
18 MS. SUETTA: But do you check them
19 during the meeting?
20 MR. MCGOFF: Yes.
21 MS. GATELLI: I have mine right here.
22 MS. SUETTA: I don't think it's
24 MR. MCGOFF: Well --
25 MS. SUETTA: I mean, you are
1 supposed to give your undivided attention to
2 us not your phone. And I think Miss Hubbard
3 should be reimbursed because they are
4 flooding down there and we are three blocks
5 away from DPW. So now what? Will you move
6 that forward? She don't even know I'm
7 thinking about this.
8 MS. GATELLI: I did check.
9 MS. SUETTA: Are you checking my
10 time? Bill, get something done with the
11 Lace Works.
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: I'll see as council
13 if we can find out who owns it --
14 MS. SUETTA: Come spring it's going
15 to be terrible.
16 MR. COURTRIGHT: -- and if we can't
17 put some pressure on them to get it. It is
18 a mess, I don't deny that. I've been there
19 several times.
20 MS. SUETTA: Now, if I let my yard
21 go like that I would have all of these
23 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes, you'd have the
24 zoning guy down there after you.
25 MS. SUETTA: Yeah, well, let's get
1 the zoning guy down after them.
2 MR. COURTRIGHT: I know, and I'm not
3 making light of it, I have gone down there,
4 Jean, many times, I agree 100 percent with
6 MS. SUETTA: It is --
7 MR. COURTRIGHT: I'll see what I can
9 MS. SUETTA: When the lions and
10 tigers and bears come I'm coming down to
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: I'm right behind
13 you. They wouldn't want you.
14 MS. SUETTA: All right. Have a good
16 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Ms. Suetta.
17 Les Spindler.
18 MR. SPINDLER: Good evening, Council,
19 Les Spindler. Two weeks in a row I missed
20 Mrs. Evans, I don't know what's going on.
21 Anyway, I had to ask her something. Two
22 weeks ago she asked about lines being
23 painted in certain areas and one was at the
24 entrance to the Steamtown Mall and
25 Lackawanna Avenue which I have been asking
1 about for about two years now. Mr. McGoff,
2 could you add something to that list, if you
3 can? The corner of Spruce Street and
4 Franklin Avenue that's another corner I have
5 been asking about for about two years now.
6 And Spruce Street shouldn't be three lanes
7 there and people just go wherever they want
8 and it's a dangerous situation.
9 Next thing, I'm glad to hear that
10 the city is buying that equipment for the
11 firefighters, but it's too bad it took the
12 city being embarrassed by Mrs. Evans saying
13 last week that they wouldn't spend $300 on
14 the equipment and I heard it from a good
15 source that that's what happened, the city
16 was embarrassed about it. It's a shame
17 that's what it took to have them buy that
19 Next thing, to continue with what
20 Mrs. Franus was saying about the fire on
21 Linden Street and the pictures. As you
22 know, Mr. McGoff, I was there standing right
23 by you and Mr. Courtright and there was no
24 reason for those pictures to be taken out.
25 Assistant Terry Osborne came over to you,
1 Mr. Courtright, and said they are moving
2 pictures, but he said he doesn't know why,
3 there is no way the fire is going to spread
4 to that building and this comes from the
5 assistant chief who I think knows more than
6 Donna Doherty or the owner of the pictures
7 so, take it for what it's worth.
8 Next thing, also what Ozzie Quinn
9 spoke about, $60,000 for trees. Isn't there
10 more important stuff that we can spend
11 $60,000 on than trees. I mean, give me a
12 break. Where are the priorities in this
13 administration? This is just ridiculous.
14 And, lastly, it was mentioned last week
15 about a firefighters' memorial. That would
16 be a good idea, but I think the firefighters
17 would much rather have a contract than a
18 memorial. A memorial isn't going to put
19 food on their table, not going to pay their
20 heating bills, not going to pay any other
21 bills they have, so I think rather than put
22 up a memorial let's get these firemen a
23 contract. Thank you.
24 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Spindler.
25 Bill Jackowitz.
1 MR. JACKOWITZ: Good evening,
2 Mr. President, city council members.
3 Yesterday at 9:30 a.m. yesterday morning I
4 was at the Lackawanna County Courthouse,
5 courthouse number five, for Sam Patilla's
6 preliminary hearing and I must say that
7 justice was served yesterday. Judge Geroulo
8 stated very clearly there in his -- when
9 he giving his sentencing at the end that he
10 watched that tape over 30 times and that he
11 listened to that tape and did not hear
12 anything that should have been held against
13 Mr. Patilla saying. Now, Mr. Patilla he
14 actually stated to the judge that he agreed
15 with everything that Sam Patilla said that
16 night from the podium and he said he watched
17 that tape over 30 times and he made the
18 right ruling. The right ruling was made
19 because there was no crime committed around
20 31 May 2007, what there was politics being
21 played and the judge was smart enough to
22 read between the lines. Sam Patilla did not
23 ask for this to be plea bargained, the judge
24 and the D.A. wanted it plea bargained
25 because they knew they didn't have a case.
1 I was there. I witnessed it. So, anything
2 else you hear is hearsay. Justice was
3 served yesterday because no crime was
4 committed on 31 May '07 in this city council
5 chambers. The only crime that was committed
6 that night was political cronyism and bad
7 judgment by a lot of people and Judge
8 Geroulo made that perfectly clear yesterday.
9 He said that everything that Sam said from
10 the podium that night was truthful and
11 accurate because it was.
12 So, like I said, justice was served
13 yesterday, no doubt about it. Hopefully we
14 will learn from this and we will not have
15 people arrested for speeding and making
16 First Amendment comments because they are
17 entitled to it. Sam Patilla stood up there,
18 defended himself without having an attorney
19 and he told the judge he was going to defend
20 himself and he did. He stood up there like
21 a proud marine because that's what he is a
22 proud marine. He didn't back down, he
23 didn't whimper, he didn't cry. He stood up
24 there and he did a service for the citizens
25 of this city. A service, and he got three
1 months unsupervised probation and go ARD, so
2 if a crime was committed the punishment sure
3 fit the crime because there was no crime
4 committed and I hope city council learned a
5 good lesson from this.
6 Okay, I'm going to read the
7 statement again and I'm going to read it
8 every week. "Pennsylvania Taxpayers have a
9 right to know how the Commonwealth spends
10 their hard-earned tax dollars," Governor
11 Rendell said in his statement. Again, do
12 Scranton taxpayers have the right to know
13 how their taxpayer dollars are spent,
14 Mr. President?
15 MR. MCGOFF: Absolutely.
16 MR. JACKOWITZ: Then why are we not
17 being granted that? Ozzie Quinn just asked
18 for a simple solution for three months, no
19 answer. Now you can answer, Mr. President.
20 MR. MCGOFF: The answers are
21 available at any time. All you have to do
22 is go to the appropriate agency and ask for
24 MR. JACKOWITZ: What happens when you
25 go to the appropriate agency, Mr. President,
1 and you do not get the answer and you are
2 turned away over and over and over again,
3 Mr. President? What's the answer to that?
4 MR. MCGOFF: All you have to do is
5 fill out the paperwork, Right to Know, and
6 that information should be given to you.
7 MR. JACKOWITZ: A key phrase should
8 be. My question is what if it is not given
9 to you, Mr. President?
10 MR. MCGOFF: Then I assume that you
11 have a right to go to Court because someone
12 is in violation of the law.
13 MR. JACKOWITZ: Why should I have to
14 do that when I have five elected officials
15 sitting in front of me who are being paid by
16 me from my taxpayers' dollars. What is your
17 responsibility in this or do you claim to
18 have no responsibility, Mr. President?
19 MR. MCGOFF: I do not believe that I
20 have a responsibility to fetch information
21 for you.
22 MR. JACKOWITZ: What is
23 responsibility as president of the city
24 council then?
25 MR. MCGOFF: There are numerous
1 things that are involved, but one of them is
2 not --
3 MR. JACKOWITZ: Give me five.
4 MR. MCGOFF: One of them is not to
5 find information for you.
6 MR. JACKOWITZ: Give me five.
7 MR. MCGOFF: I'm not going to go
8 through a laundry list for you.
9 MR. JACKOWITZ: That's because you
10 have none because as far as you are
11 concerned you have no responsibilities
12 except to get your paycheck.
13 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you for your kind
14 words, Mr. Jackowitz. Pat DeSarno.
15 MR. DESARNO: Good evening.
16 Mrs. Fanucci, real quick, we are not going
17 to dance too long tonight, I wish you'd heed
18 Mrs. McColligan and just answer my question,
19 I'll ask it one more time for the record for
20 the third time, please cite the source of
21 your statement about parks being the number
22 one thing businesses look for when locating.
23 Actually, Mr. McGoff, it's our turn.
24 At first blush last week, Mr. McGoff, it
25 seemed as though you were making attempts to
1 answer questions and reply to concerns.
2 Some of those attempts appear to be copouts.
3 You told me he couldn't compel your
4 colleagues to answer or offer opinions.
5 Maybe compel was too strong a word, urge.
6 As president of this body could you urge
7 them not to be so ignorant to the speakers.
8 Could you urge them to make notes maybe
9 about questions on issues brought up at this
10 podium. Could you then urge them to
11 humorous a little bit with the sum of a
12 small acknowledgment that they were at least
13 listening to us. It would be an improvement
14 over being totally ignored or being
15 McTiernanized as Mrs. Gatelli has become so
16 fond of doing.
17 Like it or not, Mr. McGoff, the
18 decorum of the meetings and the comportment
19 of your colleagues is a direct reflection
20 upon you. Mr. Bolus last week suggested
21 that council get more involved in settling
22 labor contracts. You responded with this,
23 "I don't see what influence I could have in
24 this those negotiations. I will certain
25 continue to encourage the mayor and the
1 administration to engage in meaningful
2 negotiations. If, in fact, there is a place
3 for one of us to be involved I would
4 certainly take the opportunity."
5 Now, I know that the Home Rule
6 Charter basically forbids council's direct
7 involvement in contracts, but here's how you
8 can take the opportunity to involve,
9 encourage and influence. Stop saying, yes
10 to Chris Doherty. You have already blown
11 the opportunity of the budget, must move
12 forward to all band together and tell the
13 mayor that no further pet legislation or pet
14 projects will be rubber stamped until the
15 contracts are wrapped up. But, I guess
16 that's not what yes men do, is it?
17 I'll give a little is synopsis of --
18 I'm sorry, I lost my train of thought here.
19 Last week I related a case of a wasteless
20 spending by means of frivolous and fruitless
21 litigation. I asked all of you as public
22 official and guardians of the taxpayers to
23 opine of what I presented to you. And I
24 assume as humans there surely has to be a
25 thought process that goes on up there in
1 your minds while I'm speaking and because of
2 your public role I think you should be
3 compelled to comment.
4 Last week I was forgotten and
5 forgotten, ignored, McTiernaned and,
6 Mr. McGoff, you offered this to me,
7 "Mr. DeSarno, I believe your question had to
8 with frivolous spending. I don't think
9 there is anyone up here that would say, yes,
10 I approve of frivolous spending. Certainly
11 the spending of money or the way in which
12 it's spent is a matter of perception as to
13 whether it's frivolous or not."
14 Here I'll give a synopsis to kind of
15 prove what I sai d last week. Again, I ask
16 you all reply, and this really is all about
17 frivolous spending, it's about your having
18 to tell the public what you think about
19 issues. Number one, starting like this,
20 under the direction and advice of Lisa Moran
21 and on the approval of Chris Doherty the
22 Scranton Fire Department and Scranton Police
23 Department had a paycheck stolen from them,
24 that's my perception.
25 The Scranton Fire Department agrees
1 with Mrs. Moran's asinine unqualified
2 interpretation of the 27 pay period issue.
3 Number three, Scranton Fire
4 Department wins overwhelmingly with interest
5 after two unsuccessful appeals by the city
6 and the Pennsylvania Labor Relation's Board
8 Number four, during that process a
9 gentleman's agreement is struck along with
10 the Fraternal Order of Police to enjoin the
11 Scranton Fire Department's grievance.
12 Number five, Chris Doherty has a
13 hissy fit over the Scranton Fire
14 Department's final outcome, FOP has his
15 fingers crossed behind his back and forces
16 them to start the process, the exact same
17 process all over again.
18 Number six, lawyers make a ton of
19 taxpayer money all over again for fighting a
20 losing battle.
21 Number seven, this strong ruling
22 comes down. The arbitrator found that the
23 city acted in bad faith by persisting in the
24 litigation of this matter after the June 4,
25 2007, a date one month after the date of the
1 PLRB order in the firefighters' case. By
2 that date the city should have reasonably
3 been able to digest the sum of the decisions
4 of the PRLB and the Courts and should have
5 known that it had no likelihood of
6 prevailing in the instant case.
7 He further went onto say, in
8 accordance with the contact I'm directing
9 the city to pay all fees and expenses
10 incurred by the union in the preparation and
11 presentation of it's case including
12 reasonable attorney's fees as provided by
13 Article 20, Section 9 of the agreement,
14 until such time as actually compliance with
15 this board has been achieved.
16 Well, you know what I'm getting at.
17 Mr. McGoff, I'd like to know what your
18 perception is of all of this. I can't stick
19 around, I gotta go home, my new grandson
20 just dropped into this world.
21 MR. MCGOFF: Congratulations.
22 MR. DESARNO: Miss Fanucci, see you
23 next Tuesday.
24 MS. FANUCCI: We'll see you next
25 Tuesday, also.
1 MR. DESARNO: I'll see you next
3 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. DeSarno.
4 Tom Ungvarsky.
5 MR. UNGVARSKY: Good evening, city
6 council, I'm Tom Ungvarsky and I'm a member
7 of the Scranton/Lackawanna County Taxpayers.
8 Last Saturday -- strike that, please. A
9 week ago last Saturday a gentleman
10 approached me and told me that his
11 85-year-old, middle 80's mother who is ill
12 had her house sold for back taxes. She did
13 not recollect receiving any letters or
14 registered letters stating that the house
15 would be sold. I told him at that time that
16 I would look in it. He told me that some
17 man from Jim Thorpe bought the house, paid
18 $3,000 for it and wanted to sell it back for
19 $15,000. While they were talking the
20 gentleman, excuse the expression, the man
21 offered to sell it back for 11,000. I told
22 him I would look in it and talk to some
23 people and try to find something out about
24 it. I got back to him last Wednesday and he
25 told me it's moot that he had bought the
1 house back for $6,000 for his mother.
2 This is what's happening here in
3 this city. This may be part of the law that
4 you passed. It is a shame an 85-year-old
5 woman has to lose her house. I don't know
6 what your intentions are about repeal that,
7 but I think you better look in it.
8 MR. MCGOFF: May I clarify something,
9 Mr. Ungvarsky?
10 MR. UNGVARSKY: Sure.
11 MR. MCGOFF: I don't want to take
12 your time. At this point in time no houses
13 have been sold by the city.
14 MR. UNGVARSKY: I have the name and
15 address of the person if you would like to
16 talk to him.
17 MR. MCGOFF: It may have been through
18 the county, but nothing has been done
19 through the city.
20 MR. UNGVARSKY: Well, it is a house
21 here in the city.
22 MR. MCGOFF: Well, I'm just saying
23 that as far as the city is concerned no
24 houses have been sold for delinquent taxes
25 by the City of Scranton.
1 MR. UNGVARSKY: I do understand that
2 it was through the county, however, this is
3 what's happening here and there is no reason
4 for a woman in her 80's who has lived in the
5 house the way I understand it for upwards of
6 30 years to lose the house and I wouldn't
7 doubt that will probably be happening more
8 and more.
9 On another subject, Mrs. Gatelli,
10 last year when you were president you said
11 that, this is concerning Attorney Grecco who
12 I understand has been retained for another
13 year, last year I believe you stated that he
14 would not get over $100,000 no matter what
15 his bill was. Do you know how much his bill
16 was for last year?
17 MS. GATELLI: Yeah, we get a thing
18 from Roseann Novembrino and from what I got
19 he didn't get over $100,000.
20 MR. UNGVARSKY: That's fine, that's
21 great, because the year before he got
22 $130,000. Do you know what his fee will be
23 for this year?
24 MS. GATELLI: The same as last year.
25 MR. UNGVARSKY: A $100,000?
1 MS. GATELLI: I think it's $100 an
3 MR. UNGVARSKY: Would you look into
4 it and make sure he doesn't get more than
6 MS. GATELLI: Absolutely. She sends
7 me a report once a month. She still
8 continues to send me that.
9 MR. UNGVARSKY: I thank you.
10 MS. GATELLI: I will share it with
11 you if you would like.
12 MR. UNGVARSKY: Yes, would you,
14 MS. GATELLI: Sure.
15 MS. BUNGARUS: Mrs. Fanucci, did you
16 check into SECCA?
17 MS. FANUCCI: I did check into SECCA,
18 I did not get a report, they were sending me
19 supposedly a report on whether or not they
20 are coming or not. It's supposed to be
21 official and in writing and I should be
22 getting that next week because was it last
23 week that they put the official word in or
24 maybe two weeks so I'm sure it will come
25 shortly. As soon as I do I certain will
1 tell you.
2 MR. UNGVARSKY: All right. Thank you
3 for looking into it, I hope we do get an
4 answer for that.
5 MS. FANUCCI: I would like to see
6 them here, too.
7 MR. UNGVARSKY: Thank you.
8 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you,
9 Mr. Ungvarsky. Charlie Newcomb.
10 MR. NEWCOMB: Good evening, Council.
11 Just a little bit on what Mr. Jackowitz hs
12 said, I just hope we all definitely can move
13 on here and move forward and all I could say
14 is we just -- everybody has their own
15 opinion, we could read this morning's paper
16 and take our opinion on what we believe
17 happened yesterday.
18 Mr. Courtright, I am just going to
19 I'm going to touch on something here, I've
20 only got five minutes, so you know in the
21 city how we have pensions, I just want to
22 clear up something on what happens here. In
23 the city we have pensions, like, let's say
24 our clerical workers they get a pension of
25 $700, I'm just using that for a figure, they
1 get $700 for their pension. I call them ROR
2 pensions. What that means is rate of return
3 which means you have so much money invested,
4 whether it goes into a stock market or
5 whatever and then when it's time to retire
6 you sell it back basically like an annuity
7 and you get a certain amount for the rest of
8 your life, that's what I call an ROR
9 pension. I just want to touch on it a
10 little bit here. In the mayor's budget, and
11 believe me you know as well as I do I'm
12 pro-union as I could get, but what I'm
13 trying to get the point is you have to look
14 at how it's fair on both sides. In the
15 mayor's budget the police chief and the fire
16 chief were given an extra -- or, I'm sorry,
17 were given a $13,000 raise.
18 Well, I don't know if you knew or
19 you didn't know or people out there don't
20 know, but I just want to make something very
21 clear. The way that that states every
22 police chief that's alive in the City of
23 Scranton today is going to get half of that
24 $13,000 which means I believe we have five
25 chiefs left, they are entitled to $6,500 a
1 piece. That $13,000 raise for the police
2 cost $45,500. I know a lot of this money is
3 he paid out of the pension fund, but the
4 pension fund obviously is paid by taxpayers'
5 money. That comes out to $541 per month
6 extra in their pensions which, that's fine,
7 but fire chiefs. I believe there is three
8 of them, when I'm saying three I mean three
9 that are retired and including Mr. Davis and
10 then the five that I said, also
11 Mr. Elliott's was $13,000, the three chiefs
12 that would be alive entitled to this, their
13 raise, half of it, it comes out to $19,500.
14 Along with Chief Davis' $13,000 that's
15 $32,500, those two quote/unquote raises,
16 whatever you call them cost for $26,000 cost
17 $78,000 for two $13,000 raises or $541 a
18 month in somebody's pension.
19 Now, my point is, what that means is
20 these people that are retired, which is
21 fine, got half of this money, but didn't do
22 anything for all of the people that are
23 retired otherwise or the ones that are
24 active right now. So when it comes in front
25 of you guys for a contract or something what
1 you have to make clear is if there is
2 bonuses in these contracts, I'll just make a
3 figure, a $2,000 bonus, these retirees
4 aren't allowed $1,000, they aren't offered
5 it, the only time that retires that are out
6 there will get it is when it's a
7 quote/unquote a raise, so I just didn't know
8 if you guys knew that when you voted.
9 MR. COURTRIGHT: I certainly knew it,
10 I hope they knew it, they voted for it.
11 When we had caucus here I brought it up, all
12 three of these people right here were in
13 favor of the raises, I don't know if they
14 did their homework or didn't their homework.
15 In addition to what you said, the widows get
16 25 percent of past firefighters and police
17 officers. I have the exact figures for you,
18 I don't have them with me, but if I would
19 like I could give you the exact figures of
20 what they are going to cost, so those
21 $13,000 raises we'll be paying for a long,
22 long time.
23 MR. NEWCOMB: A long time. Like I
24 said, just the one instance with the 213,
25 with the one shot deal it's $78,000, you
1 know, I mean, I understand why it was done,
2 you know, the argument I see is why it
3 happened, but I mean when you vote on these
4 things you just have to look at it's not --
5 it wasn't just $13,000 each one shot deal
6 when you are done it was $13,000 and then
7 have you to take half of that which is
8 $6,500. So, I mean, there is some people
9 out there that haven't had a raise in
10 six years which I believe is definitely a a
11 shame, something should be done there, and
12 you have some retired five chiefs of police
13 and three firechiefs which just got an
14 instant $541 more a month in their pension
15 what it comes out to.
16 So, I just hope when these things do
17 come in front of you, ladies and gentlemen
18 of the jury, that you could look to make it
19 fair for everyone when you go to vote
20 because if it comes in front of you with
21 bonuses, you are leaving the retirees right
22 out because they are not entitled to the
23 bonuses, but if the mayor said, and I'm just
24 going to use a figures the raise let's say
25 for two years is 8,000 or I'm sorry, 8
1 percent, then that means every retiree,
2 regardless of rank, just the retired ones
3 out there they would be get 4 percent, but
4 in this case he specified a rank which was
5 chief. Now, if he came out tomorrow and
6 said I believe all the lieutenants I'm going
7 to give them a $2,000 raise, well, then that
8 means every lieutenant in the City of
9 Scranton that was alive according to my
10 union experience should be entitled to
11 $1,000, so you just have to understand the
12 way that that the ranking goes so that's how
13 much it costs for those raises. Thanks.
14 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Newcomb.
15 Dave Dobson.
16 MR. DOBSON: Good evening, Council,
17 Dave Dobson, resident of Scranton,
18 Taxpayers' Association associate. On this
19 skunk business once again I do a lot of
20 walking for health reasons around town and
21 what I see is the condition where, and it's
22 contributing to litter, people do not invest
23 in 32 gallon garbage cans and the trash gets
24 drug around and that's what's attracting
25 these animals, so we can hire some poor
1 person for a smelly job forever chasing
2 skunks around and it never solves the
3 problem until people start putting their
4 trash out properly instead of just tossing
5 the bag out in the back of their house to be
6 torn apart.
7 Also, on junk cars, they are at a
8 premium right now. The Chinese prefer our
9 trash to our dollars so they are paying
10 bonus prices for junk cars. If you have a
11 junk car in your yard and a title you can
12 get about double or triple right now of what
13 it used to worth a couple of months ago.
14 On this development on what is it,
15 7-A, there is no reason to object to that
16 other than is everything proper, are the
17 sewer lines separated and so forth, but it's
18 really important that it does get looked
19 over properly.
20 And on the fire department, also,
21 it's been mentioned in the past 38 people
22 possibly their employment suspended, I have
23 a question you probably can't answer it, but
24 you could research it, how does that affect
25 fire insurance, would the rates skyrocket
1 after a couple of months or years if there
2 is some kind of tragedy and problems with
3 houses incurring heavy losses?
4 So, one other consideration I'd like
5 to mention is when Mrs. Evans gets back, I
6 hoped she would be here tonight, possibly
7 reconsider some of her suggestions on that
8 tax collections. It's ungodly to pay 5 to
9 $600 for an $80 tax bill, it's just ungodly.
10 I don't know how you could solve the
11 absentee landlord's scoffing at you, but
12 citizens just get caught up in it and I go
13 back over a bill that was mailed to the
14 wrong address for two years, it was Mr.
15 Cobly, to this day I have a bad credit
16 rating or a diminished credit rating, not a
17 bad one, but the agency that doesn't know
18 about it rates me at upper 20 percent of
19 creditworthiness and the agency that it was
20 reported to by NCC after they mailed the
21 bill to the wrong address for two years
22 never once mailing it to the address that it
23 involved, so even if I was a landlord maybe
24 a tenant would have notified me or something
25 which I lived there for the two years and
1 I'm at 40 percent creditworthiness through
2 those agencies, so we really need to
3 consider who we are working with and I don't
4 understand why this can't be done in-house.
5 It would employ more people in our city
6 government and they could be a little kinder
7 and gentler instead of arrogant, that's all
8 I got when I went down there. I'm going to
9 do down there again to try and get them to
10 rescind that, but who knows whether I'll be
12 And one last thing, last week I
13 mentioned in Afghanistan a man was sentenced
14 to be beheaded for teaching a college
15 course. I don't have his name with me
16 tonight, I had it last week, but if anybody
17 out there is concerned please contact your
18 national representatives, Mr. Kanjorski and
19 Mr. Casey, and try to get this person what
20 do you call it, refugee status. That's what
21 I mentioned today, I called both
22 Congressmen. I'm very concerned about this
23 because apparently the Afghan constitution
24 is nothing about a theocratic statement
25 except in Shareed is the law and it's really
1 a shame because it's a shame and it's a
2 black market this country's record to allow
3 somebody to after what they did to us on
4 9/11 to institute the same old, same old
5 that brought this about.
6 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Dobson.
7 MR. DOBSON: Thank you.
8 MR. MCGOFF: Marie Schumacher.
9 MS. SCHUMACHER: Marie Schumacher,
10 resident and member of the Lackawanna County
11 Taxpayers' Association. First I'd like to
12 state my opposition to the South Side tree
13 planting because I love trees and I fear
14 they will be planted and places that will
15 ensure their death. The root system of a
16 tree needs the proper amount air and water
17 to maintain satisfactory growth. Trees
18 growing near the streets, driveways and
19 sidewalks or parking lots can be described
20 as growing in an asphalt jungle. Trees
21 planted in such public areas almost
22 guarantees the trees will not receive
23 adequate amounts of air and water to the
24 root system. Trees with limited root space
25 need to be watered during droughts, aerated
1 or vertically mulched and fertilized. Is
2 the city prepared to provide these needs? I
3 think not.
4 Well, a sampling may look healthy
5 for a short time, as soon as it matures to
6 the point where the drip line is no longer
7 oversoiled the tree will suffer. Trees need
8 to be fertilized and pruned. Is the city
9 prepared to provide these needs? I think
10 not. Should a tree planted between curb and
11 sidewalks survive, it's roots will
12 eventually disturb the sidewalks and create
13 unsafe walking conditions. If you don't
14 believe that you can go to the 800 block of
15 Prospect Avenue and see what the tree roots
16 have done to the sidewalks on the even side
17 of the street. As I said, I love trees.
18 Please don't condemn 1,000 trees to death by
19 passing this ordinance.
20 Now, I would like to comment on the
21 Draconian penalties assessed on delinquent
22 property taxes. According to the
23 unofficials minutes of last Tuesday's
24 meetings posted on the Doherty Deceit
25 website, Mrs. Gatelli is recorded as saying,
1 "I don't want landlords to get away with not
2 paying city tax when they are paying county
3 and school district because they are going
4 to go to sherif's sale and we are not. I
5 find that interesting as I made a trip to
6 the single tax office and inquired about the
7 procedure for paying the school tax prior to
8 the city tax. I was informed that that was
9 impossible as state law prohibited splitting
10 the city and school tax. Any payment made
11 less than a total will be prorated.
12 Back to OECD, are perforated
13 projects intentionally not aged so as to
14 provide a de facto slush fund for projects
15 for which no formal request has been made?
16 It certainly seems that way. Each year
17 there are requests for projects that fall
18 below the funding threshold. Would it not
19 be fairer to prioritize these unfunded
20 requests and fund them as funds become
21 available instead of projects that appear
22 out of the blue?
23 I would also like to comment that
24 there is no street sign at the corner of
25 Washburn and Main. If it wasn't for that
1 hideous-colored building I would probably
2 pass by it all the time and there are
3 businesses on Washburn that I'm sure would
4 like to have people know where to turn.
5 Also, if there is an ordinance
6 requiring numbers on homes I would like to
7 know why it is not being enforced and if
8 there is not an ordinance why there is not
9 an ordinance. I would certainly think
10 people would want that displayed in case
11 they need an emergency services at their
12 home, but there is certainly a lot that
13 don't meet the requirements. If we have
14 decent curbs in the city it could be put on
15 the curbs as it is in many other
16 jurisdictions, but certainly not in
18 I would like to publically commend
19 the dentist that sold his 201 Jefferson
20 Avenue property to Boccardo jewelry and kept
21 the property on the tax rolls and did not
22 sell it to a nonprofit or government that
23 would not be paying property taxes. I think
24 he is to be publically commended for that
25 action. That concludes my comments for
1 tonight. Thank you.
2 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mrs.
3 Schumacher. That is the end of the sign-in
4 list. If there any other speakers.
5 MR. PATILLA: Good evening, Mr.
6 Courtright. Sam Patilla, Scranton resident,
7 Scranton taxpayer, homeowner, businessman,
8 member of Scranton/Lackawanna County
9 Taxpayers' Association.
10 I just want to thank Mr. Jackowitz
11 for the kind words. The citizens won
12 yesterday, not me. The honest taxpayers,
13 the honest senior citizens, the honest
14 residents, the honest children, they won
15 yesterday. And for everybody else it
16 doesn't matter what they think and what they
17 believe. You know, I have a woman at home,
18 she is probably watching this show right
19 now, so as far I'm concerned they can get a
20 life because they weren't in the judge, ADA
21 or myself and it's just speculation and
22 hearsay, we know what went down.
23 Last week I started to talk about
24 blight and I want to continue that because
25 as far as I'm concerned $250,000 given to a
1 beauty parlor when we have had scores of
2 small businesses close down and shutter
3 their doors recently when that money could
4 have been divvied up as I suggested and
5 other suggested prior, the prior council
6 meetings, could have possibly kept these
7 buildings open for a little bit longer until
8 they got back on their feet, but the
9 one-sidedness that this administration is
10 going down doesn't want to see a citizen
11 succeed, doesn't want to see a business
12 succeed, doesn't want an American to pursue
13 their American dream, their happiness.
14 You know, it doesn't make any sense
15 that, you know, people come to this podium
16 seeking redress and they are told that, you
17 know, it's not my job or I don't think I
18 should do this or you can do this or you can
19 could that. You know, you are elected
20 officials and as such you represent the
22 Now, like I said many times, you
23 don't represent the mayor. You don't
24 represent city council. You don't represent
25 elected officials or appointed officials,
1 you represent the people who reside in that
2 municipality, who reside in that county, who
3 reside in this country.
4 This is America, all right? Our
5 forefathers broke away from England because
6 of the same garbage that's going on right
7 now. The over taxation. It's time for this
8 garbage to stop, all right? I've lived in
9 Scranton for 18 months, 18 months.
10 Two blocks from my home there is a blighted
11 lot that hasn't -- is city-owned and hasn't
12 been taken care of in 18 months. If you
13 went to take $60,000 of taxpayers' money to
14 plant trees that are going to be negligent,
15 and it's going to turn into the other
16 blighted lots like the one down the street
17 from my home, like the ones line here. Like
18 the ones that line Pittston Avenue. Like
19 the ones in West Scranton and North Scranton
20 and East Scranton, all right? It's time for
21 the nonsense to stop, you know. There will
22 come a time when you will have to answer for
23 this. You know, I had a kid ask me he said,
24 "Why don't you celebrate Martin Luther King
1 I said, "Because we are not finished
3 You know, all of the positive steps
4 we have taken into the 40's, the 50's, the
5 60's and the 70's, we have taken 50 -- we
6 have regressed 50 steps in the 80's and 90's
7 and we have regressed 100 here in 2000. If
8 you look at Bush's administration it
9 mirror's Fast Eddy's administration. If you
10 view Rendell's administration it mirrors
11 Doherty's administration, all right?
12 Bush has sold us out to China,
13 borrow their money, now we can't get out of
14 the trade agreement with them for the bulk
15 of the defective goods and services that we
16 receive from them. The same thing with
17 Rendell's administration, all right? He has
18 catered to corporate America, we can't get
19 out from under that. You come done to the
20 city level, Doherty has catered to the
21 select elite few, something between select
22 and elite few, and the citizens are
23 suffering because of that. You know, you
24 people weren't put there to take care of a
25 mayor and his wishes or a political
1 appointee or this person or that person, you
2 are there to represent a city as a whole not
3 as an individual. You are here to represent
4 the people, all right? And like I said,
5 yesterday was one small pebble in that wall
6 crumbling, and every pebble that we take
7 from that wall will eventually lead to the
8 total collapse of that wall because you have
9 to go back to your roots. Your roots.
10 That's our problem, people forget where they
11 came from. They forget who they are. They
12 forget the suffering and the pain that their
13 ancestors went through to get away from this
14 vindictive and malicious degrading of
15 individuals. Maybe I should open up an
16 NAACP in South Scranton, take away from the
17 tree planting.
18 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Patilla.
19 MR. SANTOSE: Thank you. Good
20 evening council members, associates and
21 audience. My name is Jim Santose, I'm the
22 owner of Park Edge Development. I want to
23 shed some light on proposal 7-A. First I
24 want to apologize for not signing in because
25 I didn't think it was necessary to speak
1 especially after a letter was written by Don
2 King on this matter proposing the acceptance
3 of the resolution. Does everybody have a
4 copy of that letter?
5 MR. MCGOFF: Yes, sir.
6 MR. SANTOSE: Now, if you notice at
7 the bottom of the letter it has like five
8 people where he sent the copies to. One of
9 them was to the city engineer that was
10 referred to tonight. Did we get any
11 response from anybody on that letter
12 negative, positive? I guess not.
13 MS. GARVEY: No, we didn't.
14 MR. SANTOSE: Thank you. This
15 project was designed by CECCO Associates.
16 As you know, it's one of the finest
17 engineering firms in the area, and I want to
18 go back to this letter as written by Don
19 King. If you can't trust Don King who can
20 you trust? This is the way I look at it,
21 but there was some issues raised tonight and
22 I'd like to just again shed some light on
24 First of all, shed some light on the
25 streetlights. The issue of the streetlights
1 is there were several attempts made to make
2 a petition and go around the neighborhood
3 for people to sign for a streetlight. They
4 rejected them. People do not want
5 streetlights. For some reasons unknown to
6 me, maybe some of the lights would shine in
7 the living room, bedrooms, who knows, they
8 did not want any streetlights. That's why
9 the streetlights are not there. There is no
10 cost to me for the developer, it's between
11 the city and the PPL that make an agreement
12 to have the streetlights. Therefore, there
13 was no reason for me not to pursue or reason
14 for me to negligent proposing the
16 Then there was an issue about the I
17 call it the detention pond, some people call
18 it a retention pond, in this case it's a
19 detention, water stays there for just a few
20 hours or whatever the time that it's
21 designed. Most of the detention, there is
22 about three detention ponds in the
23 development, all of those three belong to
24 the Townhome Association. They pay the fees
25 and they then take care of them through the
1 fee process. Before a building would go up
2 there was a proposal as to what this
3 detention pond would look that and then take
4 it to the city and it would go through
5 approval and then we would start
6 construction. Before the building is
7 constructed the detention pond has to be --
8 has to be inspected, excuse me, I couldn't
9 think of the word, inspected, approved, then
10 the building starts, so all of the detention
11 ponds are preapproved before the buildings
12 can go up and, again, they are maintained by
13 the association.
14 Now, last week it was suggested that
15 this development has been there for ten some
16 years what took him so long to come up with
17 the request for resolution. Tonight is the
18 opposite, let's take more time to get the
19 resolution through. I mean, which way --
20 where are we going, you know, the same
21 person recommended both issues.
22 Also, I want to make clear that the
23 front part is townhomes, however, it's not
24 KOZ, just for the record I want to clear
25 this issue. It's the other development
1 that's KOZ, not this one, Keyser Terrace.
2 With that I'm finished expect for the fact
3 that if anybody have any questions from the
4 audience or from you I would like to answer
6 MR. COURTRIGHT: I'd like to ask you
7 a couple of questions.
8 MR. SANTOSE: Sure.
9 MR. COURTRIGHT: I am going to vote,
10 no, tonight and I'm going to explain to you
11 why. I have had two or three people that
12 live in your development that have concerns
13 about the paving on the road and I
14 understand Mr. King says -- could I
16 MR. MCGOFF: Yes.
17 MR. COURTRIGHT: I understand Mr.
18 King, I'm not doubting his word, but I
19 haven't seen any and these people have
20 concerns. They said there was no core
21 samples done. They are claiming that the
22 curbs, the height are higher than they
23 should be because there isn't enough
24 pavement there, all right? And I'm not just
25 trying to look out for their concern. But I
1 haven't seen anything with my own eyes, and
2 then I have two individuals that have
3 repeatedly on many, many occasions they have
4 some type of problem with what you are going
5 to be constructing now on the corner lot.
6 MR. SANTOSE: I'm sorry?
7 MR. COURTRIGHT: What are you going
8 be constructing on the corner, the last
9 corner lot you have on Keyser Avenue?
10 MR. SANTOSE: Well, that's a separate
11 development. It's altogether different.
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: That's yours
13 though; correct?
14 MR. SANTOSE: It's mine.
15 MR. COURTRIGHT: All right. And
16 this is what I'm saying, they are coming to
17 me saying that and, again, I don't even know
18 you, sir, I'm sure you are a fine man, but
19 they are coming to me saying that you aren't
20 being up front and forthright with what
21 happened there and they don't believe you
22 are being upfront and forthright with what's
23 happening in the other development, and all
24 I'm asking for and the reason I'm going to
25 vote, no, tonight is because I haven't seen
1 anything in writing, you haven't shown me
2 any core samples, you haven't shown me the
3 height of the curbs, if that was shown to me
4 I would certainly vote, yes. I have learned
5 not to take people's word sitting up here
6 and, again, I hope you don't take it
7 personal. I'm praying that everything is
8 100 percent because I know a lot of people
9 that live there.
10 MR. SANTOSE: As far as inspection --
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: You know what, I
12 went over your time and we are not allowed
13 to have a back and forth here.
14 MR. SANTOSE: All right. I thought
15 maybe I should answer.
16 MR. COURTRIGHT: I would like for you
17 to answer, but because of the rules that we
18 have adopted, you know, I'm not allowed to
19 converse with you back and forth.
20 MR. SANTOSE: There are answers by
21 the way.
22 MR. COURTRIGHT: Pardon me?
23 MR. SANTOSE: There are answers to
24 the questions.
25 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yeah, I know, but if
1 you want to ask Mr. McGoff if he would grant
2 you the time to answer them I would be happy
3 to listen.
4 MR. SANTOSE: It would only take a
5 minute or less. I'll make it very short.
6 MR. MCGOFF: Since this is a
7 one-time, they weren't here for the first
8 time, I will allow it, yes.
9 MR. SANTOSE: Okay. Thank you very
10 much. As far as the curbs, you have an
11 allowance, so many inches plus or minus and
12 we meet that, number one. Number two, as
13 far the inspection is concerned this was
14 done several months ago, but Mr. King and
15 Mr. George Parker they were together, the
16 reason why his name is not on this letter is
17 because he is no longer officially the city
18 engineer, but they inspected the premises
19 together and the third question about the
20 other being upfront, I don't think this is
21 true. I have always been upfront with them.
22 I have always been to their meeting, the
23 Keyser Valley meetings, and I tried to do
24 whatever, you know, is right. And we
25 already -- and, by the way, what he is
1 talking about is proposed, the near future,
2 what we are talking about here is something
3 now today. There is a big difference in two
4 different developments. Thank you.
5 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.
6 MR. MORGAN: Good evening, Council.
7 I don't want to drag this thing out with
8 you, I think 7-A and 7-B should be tabled.
9 I think that for the city to proceed with
10 7-A what happens if things aren't right
11 here, is the city going to be liable to fix
12 all of these things? And 7-B I can't really
13 see this tree planting project when you look
14 at the general condition of the city. I
15 mean, we can do better things with those
17 Another thing I would like to go to
18 is this, you know, everybody is going to
19 come up with their opinion about what
20 happened with Judge Geroulo and I'm going to
21 say that, you know, out of all of the judges
22 in that courthouse he is one of the only
23 ones that I really have any respect for. If
24 you were saying Judge Harhut or Corbett I
25 think I would puke, but --
1 MR. MCGOFF: Please, Mr. Morgan.
2 MR. MORGAN: But Judge Geroulo is
3 really an upfront guy, and I would like to
4 say is what he really did there is he
5 protected this council and this
6 administration because he knew that the
7 things that happened in this council chamber
8 weren't illegal and he wanted to make the
9 best deal, in my opinion, he possibly could
10 for this city because the city was going to
11 be liable, not Mr. Patilla, because in the
12 end this thing would have wound all the way
13 through Superior Court to the Supreme Court
14 and Mr. Patilla would have had to do all
15 those filings and follow all of the rules of
16 the Court and it would have drug on and on
17 and on but in the end he would have won and
18 I just think he saved himself a lot of hard
19 work by agreeing to this deal. I mean, we
20 have all heard all of the things we have had
21 about the South Side sports complex and now
22 from what I understand that deal may have
23 been killed by another court because what
24 happened there necessarily wasn't legal.
25 And last week when I went home I
1 watched this meeting and I listened to this
2 council say that it's purpose was to serve
3 the people and I really don't find that
4 because, Mr. McGoff, you stated that your
5 job here isn't to go fetch anything. No,
6 sir, your job is to serve the residents here
7 and I think that when they ask you for
8 information I think you should want to share
9 that information with them. And the other
10 problem is that much too often this council
11 votes on things with no information and then
12 later on after it's been passed they say, oh
13 well, I didn't know that, so, I mean, how
14 can you even consider this really a
15 legitimate body to conduct the business that
16 the City of Scranton, consider the long
17 track record of this council and this
18 administration and previous administrations
19 because the blight that's occurred in this
20 city didn't happen in the last four years,
21 okay, it's happened over 50 years and for
22 over 50 years the council and the mayor
23 haven't necessarily done their job. It's
24 just much worse now that the Doherty
25 administration is in office because they are
1 borrowing and doing all of the wrong things
2 here and you can tell that just by looking
4 I mean, we have got a basketball
5 coach, okay, in my opinion and he is running
6 permits, license and inspections, Mark
7 Seitzinger. I brought his resume here and
8 gave it to council. I had a copy of his
9 resume, I brought it here, he is a
10 basketball coach. I'm really troubled by
11 that. I really am. I mean, how can the
12 people of this city have any faith in it's
13 government when it's own government tries to
14 disenfranchise it from the information they
15 deserve to have. When you go through this
16 city and see all of the condemned structures
17 and all we ever talk about is absentee
18 landlords. I talked with a gentleman in
19 Liberty, New York, who was going to come
20 back down here and by units and when I told
21 him the stuff that goes on in this city he
22 thanked me and said, boy, you know, I'm glad
23 I didn't go down there. I mean, you've got
24 these people coming here and investing in
25 properties and they are losing everything
1 they own and then everybody blames
2 everything on absentee landlords. The truth
3 of the matter is this city borrowed too much
4 money, all the time let's borrow more, let's
5 not make any smart choices, let's not make
6 any tough decisions, let's not even worry
7 about any of the information, any of the
8 backup. Let's not post it. You know, Marie
9 Schumacher is absolutely right. That point
10 was brought up 10 years ago or when this
11 website was even brought into being about
12 posting all the backup information on
13 anything on the agenda of this council so
14 that all of the residents of this city could
15 see it, but you know what's really going on
16 here is none of that is important. You have
17 the authority to borrow money, give the
18 mayor permission to borrow to do anything he
19 wants to do and in the end the people are
20 totally forgotten and now people are coming
21 forward saying, well, my house is in
22 trouble, the gentleman that came here last
23 week, all right? I mean, these people are
24 just being bled dry and then for your
25 comment to say, well, it's not my job to go
1 fetch, no, sir. Your job is to serve the
2 residents. But like you said when you first
3 sat there, you are a personal friend of the
4 mayor, those were your words, but you know
5 something, you should be the personal friend
6 of all of the residents in the city and try
7 to make their live better, not worse. Thank
9 MS. KRAKE: Good evening, Council, my
10 name is Nancy Krake. I would like to remind
11 everyone that since the first budget in 2002
12 Mayor Doherty and the seated council at the
13 time eliminated low-paying clerical jobs and
14 increased administrative jobs in younger and
15 salary. Again, in 2003, the violation of
16 their own Recovery Plan they eliminated
17 clerical workers and increased
18 administrative jobs and salaries. At this
19 time they also gave a group of retiring
20 clerical workers and retiring administration
21 a double pension. This pension will cost
22 the taxpayers approximately $800,000 for the
23 next 20 years. The direct results of these
24 actions are the 26 percent tax increase on
25 your home and property and over 200 million
1 in debt and borrowing. The mayor's
2 borrowing has a two-fold effect. It has
3 eaten up 20 percent of the funds available
4 to run our city by forcing us to take money
5 that should be used for services like public
6 safety and road repair and pay that instead
7 to our creditors and without a new source of
8 revenue it will force property taxes to
9 increase time and time again. Mayor Doherty
10 and all the council persons who supported
11 his economic policies are to blame. The
12 councilpersons who voted for all of Mayor
13 Doherty's legislation since 2001 are Alex
14 Hazzouri, Kevin Murphy, Tom Gilhooley,
15 Michael McCormick, John Pocius, Bob
16 McTiernan, Sherry Fanucci, Judy Gatelli and
17 Bob McGoff. The most recent of these laws
18 are the unusually burdensome fees for
19 delinquent home and property taxes.
20 Councilpersons Fanucci and Gatelli proved
21 the point that they blindly vote for
22 legislation the mayor puts forth when last
23 week they were surprised by a taxpayers'
24 story of how his tax bill went from 80 to
1 Mrs. Gatelli made erroneous
2 statements concerning the process for
3 collecting delinquent county, school and
4 library taxes. Mr. McGoff did not stop her
5 even when it was brought to his attention in
6 the hall outside of council chambers that
7 Mrs. Gatelli's statements were false.
8 Mr. McGoff did, however, tell Mrs. Evans not
9 to make suppositions about the lack of vital
10 electrical test equipment for the fire
11 department. Since last Tuesday, and
12 probably due in part to Mrs. Evans bringing
13 light to the situation, the city has
14 purchased three electrical testers. It
15 doesn't matter what anyone says taxpayers,
16 workers or residents, these three council
17 persons, Gatelli, Fanucci and McGoff, will
18 keep voting for Mayor Doherty's policies
19 which is unfortunately voting against the
20 average citizen of Scranton. Thank you.
21 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mrs. Krake.
22 MR. GERVASI: Good evening, Dave
23 Gervasi, firefighter, resident of the City
24 of Scranton. I wasn't planning on speaking,
25 I just come here for the entertainment value
1 as some people like to say, but I guess in
2 the beginning I just missed it, I guess
3 Mr. McGoff was doing his honorable duty for
4 the mayor to beat up, maybe insinuate that
5 Mrs. Evans may have been wrong when she said
6 last week, so I'm here to provide some truth
7 for you. And believe it or no,
8 Mrs. Fanucci, I wasn't the fireman that told
9 her that story last week, honest to God.
10 It was 23 days last week since we
11 had a tragic incident and the firefighters
12 were busy for probably five days after that
13 incident working 18-hour days and I could
14 probably honesty say 150 firefighters didn't
15 leave fire headquarters. For 13 days, the
16 last 13 days as of Wednesday of last week,
17 the city did nothing, absolutely zero. As a
18 matter of fact, up until today we had ten
19 offers to buy hot sticks and safety
20 equipment from just plain old residents,
21 Mrs. Schumacher being one of them. She is
22 probably mad as me because she didn't want
23 me to say that, 13 days the president of our
24 union, Dave Schreiber left two messages with
25 Director Hayes, he left two phone messages
1 with Director Hayes and he had a meeting
2 with, an actual meeting in the hall when he
3 said, hey, we need to talk about some stop
4 gap measures until the experts come in and
5 how to make sure this never happens again.
6 Thirteen days. Then last week we had a fire
7 on, which I was at the fire, on Linden
8 Street and there was a problem with PPL.
9 There was a delay of turning the electric
10 off there, too, and asked for 13 days, let's
11 sit down with PPL, let's find out if we can
12 buy some of this equipment to prevent this
13 from happening again because we are not
14 electricians, we are not the experts, our
15 leadership is supposed to know this. But
16 what happens is the city starts spinning,
17 it's not our fault, we had a safety meeting
18 that day but there was -- that's what the
19 director said in the paper. We had a safety
20 meeting that day and it was called off
21 because the fire came in. Lie number one.
22 The director said he couldn't make the
23 meeting before the fire came in. He already
24 said he couldn't make the meeting, so I
25 guess he was really concerned about our
1 safety, the first safety meeting since this
3 Then our chief goes onto say that
4 PPL did a phenomenal job at the fire. That
5 was a wonderful and he even rated them eight
6 out of ten. Here is man who has 30 years
7 involved with the fire department, can't
8 even run the fire department, how the heck
9 would he ever know what kind of job PPL ever
10 did? But our president went to the paper
11 and embarrassed them because he wasn't
12 getting a phone call back from our director
13 Ray Hayes, so it hits the paper on
14 Wednesday. Nobody is talking to us, we have
15 safety concerns, we want to meet with PPL
16 we, we want policy, SOG's, SOP's to work
17 with PPL to make sure this doesn't happen
18 again. It hits the paper, all of sudden the
19 next day Mayor Doherty himself calls Dave
20 Schreiber, come on down, we have to have a
21 meeting. And on Friday they had a meeting
22 and the chief was belligerent at the
23 meeting, made no excuses about it, but my
24 president and our deputy chief was the ones
25 who did research since this incident
1 happened, simply went on the Internet and
2 found out, hey, there is these sticks that
3 are $299. There is these proximity alarms
4 that they make for trucks, a little more
5 expensive, from 5 to $15,000 each. Our guys
6 had to do it. You know what our chief did
7 or our director did since this tragedy?
8 Zero, until they were embarrassed in the
9 paper then they tried to cover themselves by
10 lying saying they couldn't get to a safety
11 meeting. They are a liars. That's the
12 truth. All of a sudden Friday night we get
13 three hot sticks. All of a sudden the mayor
14 finds money. We don't have money to fix our
15 vehicles. We don't have money to purchase
16 fire trucks, but all of a sudden they are
17 embarrassed and now we finally get fire
18 sticks and, believe me, I'm going to tell
19 you the truth for all fairness, they are
20 looking at even better equipment now. They
21 are looking at proximity alarms, carte
22 blanch, whatever we want, but it took
23 23 days for them to make a move and it took
24 my president 13 days before the city would
25 even sit and talk to him about this, so you
1 see where his priorities are? But, don't
2 worry about it, he is worrying about who is
3 going to take over Channel 61, he is worried
4 about planting trees in South Side. I'm
6 MR. SLEDZENSKI: Hi, Judge.
7 MS. GATELLI: Hi, Chrissy.
8 MR. SLEDZENSKI: Hi, Bill.
9 MR. COURTRIGHT: Hi, Chris.
10 MR. SLEDZENSKI: I got a question to
11 ask you, just only you, Billy, the other
12 morning when I got out of bed one morning
13 there was truck there at the house, is he
14 allowed to have a truck there like that or
16 MR. COURTRIGHT: We'll have to have
17 the cops talk to him about it.
18 MR. SLEDZENSKI: All right, thanks,
20 MR. COURTRIGHT: You are welcome.
21 MR. DAVIS: Salaam aleikum. It's
22 been a great week for me really. We were at
23 Bethel A & E last Sunday and I would say
24 there are about 6 to 70 people there
25 registering for Barack Obama, Senator Barack
1 Obama's campaign for either his volunteers
2 or as workers and the community came
3 together and it seems like it's going to
4 come together, and we have a very positive
5 viewpoint to the next elected official,
6 hopefully it will be Barack Obama. But what
7 I'm here tonight for is to tell everyone out
8 there please register to vote. Do yourself
9 a favor, only 20 percent of the population
10 of Lackawanna County voted in the last
11 election, 20 percent. If we were to vote
12 like we should we wouldn't have problems
13 with people that sit on our dais and refuse
14 to give us the proper answers. If they fear
15 our vote, if they fear this when it comes
16 time to vote then they would do things in a
17 better way. I have heard complaints all
18 night long, and I sat and I listened to them
19 and I'm amazed at the fact that I don't know
20 how you take it. I really don't. That's,
21 you know, it's like -- it's not stabbing you
22 with a knife or anything like that, but it's
23 just making your whole countenance seem
24 lesser than what it really is.
25 Last week I think Mr. -- the
1 president said to me that he was not a
2 problem with diversity and he gave me five
3 different statistics of how he was a diverse
4 individual and I went behind him and I
5 called the school board and tried to find
6 out how much people do we have working for
7 the school board? How many people do we
8 have, you know, that are minorities? How
9 many students do we have in the school board
10 and you know the numbers I don't know what
11 diversity means, I really don't. I don't
12 know how you define it, but whatever way you
13 define, please, check it out. Look and see.
14 I think you will find out that it's not a
15 very, very diverse society we are dealing
16 with and our kids do not have a lot to look
17 up to and this is something that we want to
18 change. We are going to change it now, we
19 are going to change it as soon as this
20 election is over and, believe me, I think
21 you are going to have a forced year, and I
22 thank you for listening to me and I don't
23 request an answer to anything I have said
24 and I hope I haven't insulted anyone. Thank
1 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Davis.
2 Anyone else? Fourth Order.
3 MR. COURTRIGHT: I'm going to speak
4 briefly on 7-A, I will wait and see if
5 someone here would be willing to do this. I
6 know we tabled it once and I would prefer to
7 table it again and I'll tell you why. I do
8 not doubt this gentleman's honesty that came
9 to the podium. I do not doubt the honesty
10 of Mr. King, I just haven't seen anything in
11 writing myself and how could I go to the
12 individuals that have those questions and
13 honestly tell them I voted in good
14 conscience just because someone had told me
15 that, so I would like to see the report and
16 the core samples or whatever, I don't even
17 know who is the doing the engineering now or
18 whoever did it in the past before I would be
19 willing to vote, yes, so I will wait and see
20 if maybe one of my colleagues will -- I'm
21 not going to make the motion if it's not
22 going to pass so if one of the other people
23 will make it I'm sure that it will pass.
24 I forgot Mr. DeSarno's question last
25 week so he restated it this week and I've
1 got several things to say about that. The
2 27 pay, when that first came about I started
3 asking questions and I was told, you know,
4 it happens every so many years and I believe
5 it might have within happened in the
6 Connor's administration and this is what
7 needs to be done and I always thought that
8 they were 100 percent wrong trying to hold
9 back on the 27 pay. I thought, well, we are
10 going to end up paying it and paying it with
11 interest, and I just thought, well, maybe
12 this mayor's lawyers had some kind of a
13 loophole or backdoor or anything, I didn't
14 know, so they were going to give a shot, so
15 they did and they lost. But, when they lose
16 and then they go and have a good faith thing
17 that, you know, the police would get it, and
18 then they go to Court again and cost the
19 taxpayers more money with lawyers and
20 knowing that they are going to lose it, no,
21 I don't agree with that. Do I consider that
22 frivolous? Absolutely, Mr. DeSarno.
23 Absolutely. Other things you had brought
24 up, I was -- I can't even remember how many
25 years ago, it was over in Greenridge in
1 front of the mayor's house there that kid
2 got beat up pretty bad and I attended a
3 meeting over there, it might have been the
4 Greenridge American Legion, it was some
5 hall, I forget, it was jam-packed. There
6 was every news media there, I had to
7 actually stand in a kitchen in the place,
8 that's how crowded it was, and back then I
9 stated that, you know, people wanted more
10 police officers on the street and they were
11 looking for suggestions how we could do that
12 and I said, look at, the Connors'
13 administration was forced to hire SIT
14 clerks. Why don't we bring them back and
15 let them do the reports and at least put the
16 officers on the street for a little while
17 longer while they are not doing reports
18 because we are going to end up paying for
19 these SIT clerks. We are going to pay for
20 people that never came in to work, and I was
21 yelling at them and I remember the
22 administration said I was turning that
23 meeting into politics. Well, here we are ho
24 many years later and how many hundreds of
25 thousands of dollars are we going to pay
1 now? Millions? Millions of dollars, all
2 right, and I was told I was being political.
3 I mean, it was in the contract, it was black
4 and white. I don't believe Mayor Connors
5 wanted the contract, I believe PEL may have
6 put them in there. It's in the contract,
7 it's black and white. How did you figure
8 you are just come in and say, "I'm the new
9 mayor, I don't want them anymore."
10 Well, now we are paying. You and I
11 are paying, so to answer to your question,
12 Mr. DeSarno, do I think those type of things
13 are frivolous? Absolutely I do.
14 On a lighter note, there is a police
15 sergeant, Jimmy Sheridan, his son Matt is a
16 Lance Corporal in the Marine Corp, he was a
17 big athlete from West Scranton High School,
18 two time all regional district champion
19 wrestler and a two-time all district
20 champion wrestler and he is going to be
21 deployed now to Iraq, so I would just like
22 for everybody to maybe if you can keep him
23 in your prayers. He is being deployed
24 in March and hopefully he comes home safe
25 and sound.
1 Tripp Park, we got the answers from
2 -- I keep forgetting this woman's name, I
3 apologize, Mrs. Patterson, maybe it's not
4 Mrs. Mary Patterson, she it the new
5 solicitor and I asked Mr. Minora to explain
6 some of things to me on there. They showed
7 what bonds were put up and it doesn't say on
8 here did we ever return the bonds to them or
9 not and Mr. Minora explained to me that the
10 one letter of credit expired in 2001, so
11 that's probably still not in effect, but
12 maybe I'll just go up and -- I haven't met
13 the lady, so I probably should introduce
14 myself to her and maybe I'll just go up and
15 ask her in person did we return or does this
16 gentleman still have bonds out there because
17 I know that the people in the live in the
18 Tripp Park development are upset with a lot
19 of things that happened up there and they
20 can't believe how his bond would be held
21 until these things were rectified, so I will
22 speak to Mrs. Patterson, or I'm sorry, I
23 keep calling here Mrs. Patterson, Mary
24 Patterson, I don't if she is a Mrs. or not,
25 is she?
1 MR. MCGOFF: Yes.
2 MR. COURTRIGHT: She is? Okay. You
3 know, the fire department awhile back I used
4 to attend meetings on Thursday, I believe it
5 was once a month safety meetings on Thursday
6 and I had missed I think maybe three in a
7 row because they actually did me a favor and
8 scheduled them on Thursday morning because I
9 could make it and my scheduled had changed
10 and I had missed them and then I hadn't
11 received any information anymore about those
12 safety meetings, so I don't know if you are
13 having them anymore or if you're not, but if
14 you are I'll find out and I'll try it attend
15 them. I think we've got to consistently be
16 updating our standard operating procedures
17 because I don't think that we should ever
18 allow anything that happened to Jimmy
19 Robeson happen again, that we should do
20 everything possible to try and avoid it and
21 I'm sure each and every year there is new
22 and upcoming things that will keep our guys
23 safe and females safe, I don't want to just
24 say guys, but I think that the chief and the
25 president of the union or whoever represents
1 their safety committee should meet and
2 discuss these ideas and, you know, just
3 leave the politics out and discuss them
4 because nobody's life is worth losing no
5 matter what side of the political fence you
6 are on here and I can understand how you got
7 irate there, Mr. Gervasi, I can certainly
8 understand that.
9 Moving on, the numbers on the houses
10 I think we went through this once before why
11 it's not being enforced, I don't think we
12 have the personnel. I think that's the
13 simple reason. I believe it was said that
14 maybe inspection would be the ones that --
15 the inspectors might be the ones that go out
16 and there and enforce it. I don't think we
17 have enough inspectors the way it is. I
18 think we have one health inspector and I
19 believe we need more than that so I believe
20 that's the reason that the numbers on houses
21 aren't being enforced, lack of personnel.
22 Again, I know that doesn't sit well with
23 you, but that's the answer that I had gotten
24 in the past.
25 And one last thing, lines being
1 painted on the streets. That's been a
2 problem for about three years now since I
3 have been here that we don't have the lines
4 painted in the city the way they should be
5 and I think it's getting worse than it was
6 in the past. There is another thing that I
7 think, I said it before and I'll say it
8 again, we need at least another person in
9 this department and probably another machine
10 to paint them. They don't have enough
11 personnel to do what they need to do now. I
12 think there is, I don't want to say names,
13 but I think there it maybe three people in
14 there and the foreman, just simply not
15 enough to take care of what we have, so I
16 don't think until we put somebody else into
17 that department and other personnel and
18 possibly another line painting machine that
19 you are going to see us come up to where we
20 need to be with these lines. And I believe
21 that's all I have. Thank you.
22 MR. MCGOFF: Mrs. Fanucci.
23 MS. FANUCCI: I'm going to address
24 some of the questions from Mrs. Schumacher
25 and also Mr. Quinn regarding the tree
1 situation. This seems to be a very
2 contentious issue, but I think we need to
3 understand what is available in the city and
4 how this came to be. Some of the
5 suggestions, I had got an e-mail I believe
6 with Mr. Quinn's letter saying that we
7 should be putting this money into housing
8 rehab. We have a housing rehab program in
9 the city. The money comes out of the Home
10 Money Fund. We have that. That already is
11 going on. There is money there, and it is
12 for rehabbing houses. We are currently
13 rehabbing houses all over the city, but
14 there is still money available and I think
15 Mr. Quinn the reason in the 80's they used
16 to use the CDBG money, now they've changed
17 and they use this new account since 1994
18 it's called Home Money Fund. So, there is
19 rehab money and it is being done, so that
20 money is already taken care of.
21 For the street paving curbs and
22 sidewalks was another thing that was
23 addressed, that we should be using this
24 money for that. You can only use this money
25 in low to moderate income areas that have
1 been designated by the state already which
2 happens when people sign and decide -- in
3 saying how much money you make, your income,
4 it goes into the state and they decide where
5 your low to moderate income areas are. You
6 can only use the money for low to moderate
7 income areas for curbing sidewalks. This
8 can only happen every seven years. We have
9 already done all of the areas and they are
10 not ready to be done again. Some might be
11 up in another year, but as for right now we
12 cannot use this money for that so I wanted
13 to address that because a lot of this I
14 wanted to know myself why weren't we using
16 Public service money. We cannot --
17 I would love to be able to say we can use
18 this money to put more cops on the street,
19 you know, use it for any type of service.
20 We cannot use this for service because we
21 have to use 15 percent of the total funding
22 for public service, that is all the
23 allowance which means if we decide to maybe
24 put more police on the streets, that comes
25 out of that funding. When we fund, help the
1 Girls and Boys Club, Salvation Army Senior
2 Center, Meals on Wheels, all of those people
3 have to come out of that 15 percent. We
4 have exhausted that 15 percent already and a
5 lot of that was done a few weeks ago when we
6 sat down and we allocated the money.
7 I believe that people think that the
8 plans are just like taken out of the air.
9 Every five years is a consolidated plan
10 that's conducted, a study is performed and
11 the state, there's a guide for the state to
12 say, okay, here is what's going on. Maybe
13 we need to have infrastructure done. Maybe
14 you are weak in your economic development.
15 Maybe we need to see more shelters.
16 Whatever comes out of this study, this
17 five-year study that's how the year
18 guideline goes where these type of projects
19 and what kind of projects are going to come
20 about. So, the last project, the last study
21 the last five years said that our South Side
22 was very deteriorated. We had to start
23 putting some money into South Side because
24 it was not -- it needed to be fixed. So the
25 money we are taking for the trees are from
1 old projects. This is not new money, this
2 is not money that we will be using, this is
3 money that was not used in old projects and
4 they put it together. The reason that it's
5 being allocated to South Side is because it
6 goes and coincides with the year plan which
7 is to help renovate and restore South Side.
8 It is not just because out of all of the
9 things in the city we think we need trees.
10 There is a plan. There is always a plan and
11 realize that the plan is not just through
12 us, it's through the state, you have to make
13 sure that you are complying with all of the
14 rules and regulations and they have to
15 approve the plan every single year. Now,
16 does that mean we don't change it every once
17 in awhile and decide to put the cart before
18 the horse, obviously trees before the rest
19 is done, you do it when the money becomes
20 available, and that's what's being done. No
21 different than the flood project. You know,
22 they are putting things before they acquire
23 all the properties. That's how it's done.
24 You do it when you can do it and that's what
25 it's about. It's not just about trees.
1 It's about keeping with what we need to do
2 to keep our city, you know, in the best
3 shape we can.
4 Small business was addressed
5 tonight, too. We have many small business
6 programs at OECD. The city, not just
7 themselves, there are small interests all
8 over the city. Small business is able to be
9 helped. You still have to comply, you still
10 have to create jobs for low to moderate
11 income, how much money you are looking for,
12 you still have to have collateral, you still
13 have to have something to put up to say this
14 is what I'm going to do, you have to have a
15 plan, and you have to have backers and you
16 have to have everything that you still would
17 need to start a small business, but there is
18 help out there. So all of these
19 misconceptions week after week about what
20 the city does and does not do is just not
21 accurate. So, I hope that maybe that gives
22 a little bit more understanding to what goes
23 into OECD that they are just not picking
24 from what I heard like the favorites of the
25 city, and it's pretty much -- it's pretty
1 much -- everyone has to have the same
2 qualifications. If you come in and you look
3 for a loan you still have to have the same
4 qualifications, it doesn't matter who you,
5 you still have to fit the criteria.
6 Okay, because I also want to talk
7 about some of the things that were addressed
8 tonight. Listen, I can go back and forth
9 with this crowd forever, and go back and
10 forth on what I believe and what you
11 believe. I do not feel that I have made any
12 bad mistakes nor do I feel I need to
13 apologize for what I have done. You feel
14 differently than I do. Many of you feel
15 differently than I do and that's fine,
16 that's okay. Am I sad that you are up here
17 fighting for what you need to fight for?
18 Absolutely not. That's what this is about.
19 You can do that all you want, but don't get
20 angry because I have my views and I feel
21 very strongly, as strongly as you do about
22 your views.
23 My laughing. My laughing always
24 seem to be funny. I can't imagine that it
25 actually gets as much attention as it does,
1 but, yes, when I see how it is conducted
2 here and, of course, when it so blatantly
3 obvious I'm going to laugh, just like you
4 would laugh if it was me.
5 I understand the bottom line and
6 that's what I listen to. I don't listen to
7 the fact that, like, you can, you know, get
8 mad at this or get mad at that, I listen to
9 the bottom line. The bottom line is I
10 believe in the Recovery Plan. That is a bad
11 issue. It is not an easy path to take and
12 it's certainly not easy in this forum. I do
13 believe it can work. Now, is that going to
14 make me popular with the unions? Absolutely
15 not. Is that understandable? Sure it is.
16 They are fighting for their jobs. They are
17 fighting for what they want, they are
18 fighting for what they believe in.
19 MR. GERVASI: You are clueless.
20 MS. FANUCCI: And, yes, I'm clueless
21 from what I just heard.
22 MS. GERVASI: Yes, your are. You are
23 clueless. You are clueless.
24 MS. FANUCCI: I'm not going to argue.
25 MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Gervasi, that's
2 MS. GERVASI: I know, throw me out,
3 Mr. McGoff.
4 MS. FANUCCI: It's fine.
5 MR. GERVASI: Clueless.
6 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.
7 MR. GERVASI: You are very welcome.
8 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you for acting
10 MR. GERVASI: Who paid her -- who
11 financed her campaign?
12 MR. MCGOFF: Excuse me.
13 MR. GERVASI: Who financed her
14 campaign. She believes in the Recovery
16 MR. MCGOFF: Excuse me.
17 MR. GERVASI: You haven't even read
18 it. You are clueless.
19 MS. FANUCCI: This is a perfect
20 example of what goes on and that's fine, I
21 understand that, but for some reason I'm
22 supposed to think differently. I'm the one,
23 I believe in it and you don't have to like
24 it. I also will fight for what I believe in
25 and say what I think whether or not it is
1 popular and it's not going to be popular
2 among the unions and I understand that,
3 also. I don't want you to have to -- I want
4 you to fight it out. I think you deserve to
5 fight it out. I think that both sides are
6 not going to stop and I said this from day
7 one, nobody is going to stop. It is going
8 to be fought out in Court. There will be no
9 signing of that contract, I can guarantee
10 it, because it wouldn't have gone six years.
11 It was a long time. Do they deserve a
12 raise? Absolutely. Did I say that they
13 didn't? Never. Do they deserve to fight
14 for what they want? Absolutely. Both sides
15 have to come to a conclusion and for some
16 reason that's not a good statement either.
17 I don't know. I believe that that's what
18 America is about, it's fair. Sit down,
19 figure it out and then everyone leaves the
20 table hopefully happy at some point.
21 But I certainly am not going to sit
22 here week after week and respond to little
23 digs and little innuendoes so that we can
24 keep this going. There is not what forum is
25 about. I'm going to do my job and I'm going
1 to make decisions and whether or not people
2 believe that I read or don't read what
3 happens behind the scenes, I study very hard
4 and decide myself what I believe. Just
5 because I agree with someone else doesn't
6 mean that I don't see your point and if I
7 don't agree with you I am listening to you,
8 but it doesn't mean that I'm not on your
9 side, it just means that I have made my
10 decision on what I believe is correct, and
11 that is all. I just -- it gets so tiring
12 day after day and week after week. This has
13 been on and, you know, they say if you keep
14 creating the same atmosphere and you are
15 waiting for a different change then it's
16 called insanity. We have the same
17 atmosphere here. Nothing has changed.
18 Nobody has gotten anywhere. I have said
19 from day one if we sit down and try to do
20 this in a way where everyone can come to
21 terms and to each and really bring educated
22 and talk about what we need to do instead of
23 constantly badgering and picking and, you
24 know, tonight it seemed like Mr. McGoff is
25 on the hot seat, I was happy to be able to
1 take the night off.
2 MR. MCGOFF: Thanks.
3 MS. FANUCCI: But I have to say that
4 instead of coming here with those type of
5 attitudes and behavior and wonder why
6 nothing has changed it's pretty obvious it's
7 not going to change, so if that's how we
8 want to continue here the results will be
9 the same. We will keep making the decisions
10 we feel, you will keep yelling about the
11 decisions that we make. That's what's going
12 to happen, so that is really all I have to
14 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you. Mrs.
16 MS. GATELLI: I just have a few
17 things, I appreciate Mr. Santose, and I know
18 you a long time and I appreciate your coming
19 here and explaining your situation, but I
20 have to agree with Mr. Courtright and I will
21 make the motion to table it again only
22 because I haven't seen anything from a city
23 engineer. Now, you said that Mr. Parker did
24 inspect it and he is not the city engineer
25 now, but if he inspected it then he must
1 have been the city engineer when he
3 MR. SANTOSE: He was.
4 MS. GATELLI: So he should be able to
5 give us a letter stating that he inspected
6 it, you know, it's up to code, it's the way
7 it's supposed to be and he is an engineer,
8 and I think I asked for something else, Kay,
9 I can't remember right now, that escapes me,
10 but I asked for three items for Kay to check
11 into and she will know later because she is
12 much smarter than I am, but there were three
13 items that I was interested in and I think
14 they were very similar to the items that
15 Bill was interested in and as long as you
16 have waited this long I don't see why
17 waiting another week or two is going to
18 hurt. We just want to be sure because there
19 have been developments where we are not
20 getting the right answers and they are not
21 being nice to the people, no reflection on
22 you, but there is a development where people
23 are suffering and we don't want it to happen
24 up there. So it's no reflection on you, but
25 we need to see the proper documents. So I
1 will make that motion that we table it until
2 we get those items.
3 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
4 MR. MCGOFF: On the question?
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: Just real briefly,
6 Mr. McGoff, I would like to say if, in fact,
7 you know, I get Mr. Parker's report and he
8 says everything is all right I'm fine with
9 it then because he is an engineer and he has
10 got a license and I'm sure he has to seal it
11 and he would be held accountable if
12 something went wrong and that's all I'm
13 locking for the.
14 MR. SANTOSE: Above all that, he
15 inspected --
16 MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Santose, thank you.
17 MR. SANTOSE: Okay, I'm sorry.
18 MR. COURTRIGHT: I understand. I
19 understand he was the city engineer at the
20 time and that's good enough for me that he
21 was a city engineer at the time because I'm
22 sure whoever is going to be the new city
23 engineer would have to go through the same
24 procedures to be licensed and everything and
25 I'm just -- I just need you to understand
1 that I answer to more than just yourself.
2 We have to answer to a lot of people and I'm
3 hoping everything is great because I know a
4 lot of people that live in your development,
5 so I hope everything is fine and, again,
6 nothing personal.
7 MR. MCGOFF: We have a motion to
8 table Item 7-A.
9 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
10 MR. MCGOFF: It's been seconded. All
11 those in favor?
12 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
13 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
14 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
15 MR. MCGOFF: Opposed? No. The ayes
16 have it and so moved.
17 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. I'm not
18 going to go through the tree project again.
19 I can't believe the trees for 60,000 is
20 causing such a ruckus. It's part of the
21 South Side redevelopment plan, it's going
22 into low and moderate income areas,
23 Mr. Santolli who is the city forester can
24 certainly answer any of your questions. He
25 lives on Prescott Avenue, his phone number
1 is the book. He will be planting trees that
2 can go on the tree lawn, that will not lift
3 up your sidewalk. They will be large trees
4 and they are part of the revitalization
5 project in South Scranton. As you all know,
6 South Scranton has suffered immensely lower
7 South Side in the last several years and we
8 are trying to bring it back as the Hill
9 section was brought back under Mayor
10 Connors, so I feel very strongly about it.
11 I will be voting for it, and if anyone has
12 any questions about the trees, like I said,
13 you can call Mr. Santolli. Everyone will be
14 asked if they want a tree. They are not
15 going to be planted in front of a house
16 where no one is going to take care of them.
17 Several years ago as a neighborhood project
18 we planted some trees and they are all
19 surviving. I can take you to several houses
20 where we have planted them and the people
21 love them, so I will be voting for that.
22 I'd like to possibly send the mayor a
23 letter, we are always talking about more
24 inspectors and I agree that we certainly
25 need more inspectors in the Community
1 Development Office. Blight and things of
2 that nature, health issues, are the number
3 one concern of the citizens I believe. Most
4 calls I get are about abandoned houses,
5 overcrowded houses, and things of that
6 nature, so I think that more inspectors are
8 And several years ago we met with
9 the mayor about a rental registration
10 program. We passed it with further
11 legislation to strength up that rental
12 registration program and I really don't see
13 it being administered, so I would like to
14 send a mayor to the letter, you can tell I
15 have a bad cold, I'm out of sorts tonight, I
16 apologize, but I'd like to send a letter and
17 possibly have a meeting with some members of
18 council and Mr. Seitzinger and see if we
19 can't get the rental registration program
20 going full force, maybe we can even hire a
21 contractor to register the homes in the
22 beginning because that's very cumbersome to
23 register all of these rental properties, so
24 that was a thought I had. We can hire
25 someone and at least get them registered and
1 then we have the money to hire more
2 inspectors. The way we had figured it out
3 at the time it would generate at least
4 $1 million a year the rental registration
5 program and we could hire quite a few
6 inspectors, so I think we should pursue
8 The only other thing I would like to
9 say is I apologize if I made any erroneous
10 statements last week, but when I worked in
11 city hall certainly the tax bill was
12 separate then I guess. I don't know because
13 mine comes out of my mortgage so it's just
14 automatically paid, but I know that we had a
15 list of people that did not pay city tax and
16 they paid county tax and school tax so as
17 not to go to sherif's sale, so I'm going to
18 investigate that further and I certainly
19 apologize if I gave any erroneous
20 statements, it wasn't intentional. You
21 know, if we want to talk about erroneous
22 statements I think a lot of them come from
23 the podium and I never criticize anybody. I
24 don't say, you know, well, that's not true.
25 So, I would hope that someone could come to
1 me next time and tell me, you know, Judy,
2 you were wrong, here is this facts and
3 figures and, you know, I do apologize. I
4 didn't mean to that, but, I will investigate
5 it further. And the houses that are being
6 sold are being sold through the county
7 through the sheriff's sale. As Mr. McGoff
8 said, not one house was taken from anybody
9 under the city program, so we'll investigate
10 that a little further, too. And I think
11 that's all I have. Thank you for being so
12 kind and listening. And, Ms. McColligan, I
13 think you are wonderful speaker and you
14 sound like you really care about the city
15 and I would work with you any time with your
16 ideas to move the city forward. Thank you
17 for being so kind and so articulate. That's
19 MR. MCGOFF: I would like to address
20 a few brief things. Number one, Mrs. Franus
21 and Mr. Spindler brought up the use of DPW
22 vehicles to transport the paintings during
23 the Linden Street fire. It is my belief
24 that Mr. Brazil acted in good faith in an
25 attempt to help a business that was in
1 jeopardy. I don't believe that it was done,
2 at least to my knowledge it was done for any
3 personal gain. As a matter of fact, I don't
4 know what personal gain Mr. Brazil would
5 have gotten out of that. I believe, also,
6 that, you know, one of the first duties of
7 the Department of Public Works is to serve
8 the public and certainly any business that
9 is in jeopardy is part of public. If it so
10 happens that it is a business that has some
11 ties to the mayor or any other member of
12 city administration I think is superfluous
13 to what is being done, but with that said, I
14 will certainly -- if there was any
15 wrongdoing I will look into it, but as I
16 said, I believe and I spoke to Mr. Brazil
17 actually that day and I believe that he was
18 acting in good faith and in no way
19 attempting to usurp funds or anything else
20 from the city.
21 I too, Mrs. McColligan, would say
22 that I feel that I have attempted to have
23 respect for everyone that speaks at council
24 meetings and have respect for other members
25 of council. There are instances in which I
1 believe that certain people are being used
2 in ways that are unacceptable. It certainly
3 is not being done by me, I don't see that
4 it's being done by anyone on council, and it
5 is an unfortunate situation and I think we
6 try to deal with it as best as possible.
7 And, also, just to respond as maybe as
8 Mrs. Gatelli did and Mrs. Fanucci, are there
9 things that I have done on council that are
10 votes that I have taken that I have
11 questioned? Probably. Are there ones for
12 which I am -- that I feel I have made a
13 mistake in questioning them, I feel that the
14 votes that I have made have been
15 responsible. I don't feel that I have
16 broken any trust and if I did I would
17 certainly make an attempt to rectify it.
18 And to Mr. DeSarno, again, I know he
19 had to leave, again, I don't think that
20 anyone -- well, I won't speak for anyone
21 else, I have never done anything in any way
22 to try and be ignorant to any speaker or any
23 people in the public. The answers that I
24 gave to Mr. DeSarno were not copouts. The
25 answers were honest and forthright. People
1 may not appreciate them or agree with them,
2 but they are and he asks for our opinions on
3 why we make decisions, I have attempted to
4 do that, to tell him why, and will continue
5 to do so. And hopefully we will -- people
6 will get -- or we will get the information
7 that's needed for the Keyser Valley or
8 Keyser Avenue project and while that item is
9 tabled tonight I will ask that it be put on
10 the agenda for next week and hopefully by
11 that time people will have received the
12 documentation that they need in order to
13 proceed forward. And to Mr. Morgan, I took
14 offense at his condemnation of basketball
15 coaches, I have been one for 35 years. I
16 really -- I'm not insulted.
17 MS. GATELLI: Mr. McGoff, I would
18 like to interrupt you for a minute, but they
19 did ask Mr. Seitzinger's qualifications and
20 e-mailed to all of council that he was
21 certified for that position with the
22 Department of Labor and Industry, so he did
23 take the proper tests and he is certified
24 for the position, just for the record.
25 MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Morgan made some
1 comments last week about the fire chief, Tom
2 Davis. Just, again, maybe for the record or
3 in response, Chief Davis as far as I know
4 did not retire on disability. And as far as
5 being physically fit to be involved in fires
6 Chief Davis, I run with him on weekends, he
7 is one of the most physically fit persons
8 that I know, especially for a gentleman his
9 age, which is close to mine, and in going
10 backwards on the disability at times there
11 was a point in his firefighting career when
12 he fell off a -- it wasn't during a fire,
13 fell off a roof and was impaled on a fence
14 and returned to work within a month, so I
15 think his dedication to the job and his
16 physical fitness or qualifications were --
17 Mr. Morgan's statements were somewhat
18 misleading. And, also, I did want to
19 respond to Mr. Gervasi that the information
20 that I presented at the beginning of the
21 meeting was from a representee of the
22 firefighters. It was not from the
23 administration. I received information, I
24 was speaking with someone in the
25 firefighters, a member of the firefighters'
1 union, and I was told by that person, a
2 person of some responsibility, that there
3 was never a rejection of the proposal to buy
4 the equipment that was mentioned. So I was
5 responding based on something and
6 information that I received from
7 firefighters themselves, and that is all I
8 have. Thank you.
9 MS. GARVEY: FIFTH ORDER. NO
10 BUSINESS AT THIS TIME. SIXTH ORDER. 6-A.
11 READING BY TITLE - FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 13,
12 2008 - AN ORDINANCE - APPROVING THE TRANSFER
13 OF A RESTAURANT LIQUOR LICENSE CURRENTLY
14 OWNED BY N&L VENDING, INC., 143 COUNTRY CLUB
15 ESTATES, THORNHURST, PA, 18424, LICENSE NO.
16 R-11639 TO POWER MACE, INC. FOR USE AT 1175
17 KANE STREET, SCRANTON, PA. THE CURRENT
18 LOCATION OF ANGELINA'S RESTAURANT AS
19 REQUIRED BY THE PENNSYLVANIA LIQUOR CONTROL
21 MR. MCGOFF: You have heard reading
22 by title of Item 6-A, what is your pleasure
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: I move that Item 6-A
25 pass reading by title.
1 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
2 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? All
3 those in favor signify by saying aye.
4 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
5 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
6 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
7 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed? The
8 ayes have it and so moved.
9 MS. GARVEY: SEVENTH ORDER. 7-A has
10 been tabled. We will move to 7-B. FOR
11 CONSIDERATION BY THE COMMITTEE ON COMMUNITY
12 DEVELOPMENT - FOR ADOPTION - FILE OF COUNCIL
13 NO. 12, 2008 - AMENDING FILE OF COUNCIL NO.
14 49, 2006, ENTITLED, "AN ORDINANCE
15 AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND OTHER APPROPRIATE
16 OFFICIALS OF THE CITY OF SCRANTON TO TAKE
17 ALL NECESSARY ACTIONS TO IMPLEMENT THE
18 CONSOLIDATED SUBMISSION FOR COMMUNITY
19 PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS (AS
20 AMENDED) TO BE FUNDED UNDER THE COMMUNITY
21 DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT (CDBG) PROGRAM, HOME
22 INVESTMENT PARTNERSHIP (HOME) PROGRAM AND
23 EMERGENCY SHELTER GRANT (ESG) PROGRAM", BY
24 TRANSFERRING $50,000.00 FROM PROJECT NO.
25 96-204 AND $9,493.80 FROM PROJECT NO. 99-212
1 AND $88.75 FROM PROJECT NO. 03-005.9 AND
2 $400.00 FROM PROJECT NO. 05-152 AND $680.59
3 FROM PROJECT NO. 06-182 AND $49.20 FROM
4 PROJECT NO. 06-05.12 FOR A TOTAL AMOUNT OF
5 $60,712.34 TO PROJECT NO. 07-18 TREE
6 PLANTING PROJECT.
7 MR. MCGOFF: We neglected to do this
8 at the beginning of the meeting, we do need
9 to have a temporary chair for public works.
10 MS. GATELLI: No, we don't because
11 we tabled it.
12 MR. MCGOFF: Oh, I'm sorry.
13 MS. GATELLI: We are on "B".
14 MR. MCGOFF: Sorry. What is the
15 recommendation of the chairperson for the
16 Committee on Community Development?
17 MS. FANUCCI: As chairperson for the
18 Committee on Community Development, I
19 recommend final passage of Item 7-B.
20 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
21 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? Roll
22 call, please.
23 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans. Mr.
25 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
1 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. Fanucci.
2 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.
3 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. Gatelli.
4 MS. GATELLI: Yes.
5 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff.
6 MR. MCGOFF: Yes. I hereby declare
7 Item 7-B legally and lawfully adopted.
8 MS. GARVEY: 7-C. FOR CONSIDERATION
9 BY THE COMMITTEE ON COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT -
10 FOR ADOPTION - RESOLUTION NO. 10. 2008 -
11 ACCEPTING THE RECOMMENDATION OF THE
12 HISTORICAL ARCHITECTURE REVIEW BOARD
13 ("HARB") AND APPROVING THE CERTIFICATE OF
14 APPROPRIATENESS FOR ELITE SIGNS & AWNINGS,
15 220 CLARK ROAD, DURYEA, PA FOR INSTALLATION
16 OF NON-ILLUMINATED SIGNAGE TO BUSINESS
17 FACADE, LOCATED AT 321 LACKAWANNA AVENUE.
18 MR. MCGOFF: What is the
19 recommendation of the chairperson for the
20 Committee on Community Development?
21 MS. FANUCCI: As chairperson for the
22 Committee on Community Development, I
23 recommend final passage of Item 7-C.
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
25 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? Roll
2 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans. Mr.
4 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
5 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. Fanucci.
6 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.
7 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. Gatelli.
8 MS. GATELLI: Yes.
9 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff.
10 MR. MCGOFF: Yes. I hereby declare
11 Item 7-C legally and lawfully adopted.
12 MS. GARVEY: 7-D. FOR CONSIDERATION
13 BY THE COMMITTEE ON RULES - FOR ADOPTION -
14 RESOLUTION NO. 11, 2008 - APPOINTMENT OF
15 MARY T. GARDIER PATERSON, 1030 PARK STREET,
16 SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA, 18509, TO THE
17 POSITION OF CITY SOLICITOR EFFECTIVE JANUARY
18 14, 2008. MS. PATERSON WILL BE REPLACING
19 ROBERT B. FARRELL WHO RESIGNED ON JANUARY
20 11, 2008.
21 MR. MCGOFF: As chairperson for the
22 Committee on Rules, I recommend final
23 passage of Item 7-D.
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
25 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? Roll
1 call, please.
2 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans. Mr.
4 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
5 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. Fanucci.
6 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.
7 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. Gatelli.
8 MS. GATELLI: Yes.
9 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff.
10 MR. MCGOFF: Yes. I hereby declare
11 Item 7-D legally and lawfully adopted. Once
12 again, thank you for your participation and
13 cooperation and I would like to ask for a
14 motion to adjourn.
15 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
16 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
2 C E R T I F I C A T E
4 I hereby certify that the proceedings and
5 evidence are contained fully and accurately in the
6 notes of testimony taken by me at the hearing of the
7 above-captioned matter and that the foregoing is a true
8 and correct transcript of the same to the best of my
CATHENE S. NARDOZZI
13 OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER