1              SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING








            5                          HELD:




            7                Tuesday, February 19, 2008




            9                        LOCATION:


           10                    Council Chambers


           11                 Scranton City Hall


           12              340 North Washington Avenue


           13                Scranton, Pennsylvania





















                            CATHENE S. NARDOZZI- COURT REPORTER






















                MS. JANET E. EVANS



            9   MS. SHERRY FANUCCI



                MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT



           12   MS. KAY GARVEY, CITY CLERK






           15   MR. AMIL MINORA, SOLICITOR


























            1                      MR. MCGOFF: I'd like to dispense


            2              with the reading of the minutes.


            3                      MS. GARVEY: Third order, 3-A,




            5              ENDING DECEMBER 31, 2006.


            6                      MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?


            7              If not, received and filed.


            8                      MS. GARVEY: 3-B.  APPLICATIONS AND




           10              MEETING HELD ON FEBRUARY 13, 2008.


           11                      MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?


           12              If not, received and filed.


           13                      MS. GARVEY: That's it for third


           14              order.


           15                      MR. MCGOFF: Before citizens'


           16              participation is there any council members


           17              that have any announcements?


           18                      MS. GATELLI: I just have a few.  I


           19              just have an announcement that this weekend


           20              is a very big one for the cultural center.


           21              They are going to have the Broadway


           22              production "Rent" at the Temple this weekend


           23              on Friday, Saturday and Sunday if anyone is


           24              interested in going and, also, I would like


           25              to congratulate a student of West Scranton






            1              High School, I don't know if you saw her


            2              this morning, but she won the "Teen Fight


            3              Fat Challenge," and she going to be on


            4              Montel Williams tomorrow.  Her name is


            5              Kaitlyn Watkins and she is a sophomore and


            6              we'd like to congratulate Kaitlyn for such a


            7              great accomplishment.


            8                      And the only other thing I have is I


            9              have been talking to PennDOT about things


           10              that Bill had asked me about to put in the


           11              roadway.  It's like a cone and it has a


           12              picture of a person walking and I'm in the


           13              process of trying to get them for Davis


           14              Street.  I spoke to the girl today and the


           15              only problem with it is that we have to find


           16              someone that is willing to put the cones out


           17              and take them back in.  They are not allowed


           18              to stay out at night, and I think that they


           19              just want them back there for mass, so I'm


           20              going to call the pastor tomorrow and, Bill,


           21              if you know anybody that is interested in,


           22              you know, doing that they would have to take


           23              responsibility for putting them out say


           24              before mass and then taking them in.


           25                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  I'll ask, I think






            1              it was the people from the church that had


            2              the concern, so I'll ask the people from the


            3              church if someone would be able to do that.


            4                      MS. GATELLI: And then you can call


            5              me and we'll arrange to get them for you.


            6                      MR. COURTRIGHT: All right.


            7                      MS. GATELLI: And anyone else that is


            8              interested in them, you know, they are to


            9              help pedestrians cross in a crosswalk area


           10              that's very busy, so anyone that's


           11              interested just tell Mrs. Garvey and you can


           12              call council office and we can see if we


           13              can't get them for your particular


           14              neighborhood, and that's all I have,


           15              Mr. McGoff.


           16                      MR. MCGOFF: Let me add one thing I


           17              wanted to mention last week, but we


           18              cancelled, the Black History Month dinner


           19              will be held at Lackawanna College on


           20              February 28.  I'm not sure if they're still


           21              accepting reservations for that, but it will


           22              be held and the keynote speaker is Mr. Stacy


           23              Brown, who is with us tonight.


           24                      MS. EVANS: Mr. President, if I


           25              might?  I would like to commend Marie and






            1              Dick Lasky for organizing, once again, the


            2              annual Lithuanian flag raising which was


            3              conducted this past Saturday here at city


            4              hall.  They did an outstanding job and I


            5              wish them many, many more years of such an


            6              event and great success.


            7                      MR. MCGOFF: If that's all, the first


            8              speaker, Fay Franus.


            9                      MS. FRANUS:  Fay Franus, Scranton.


           10              First I'd like to ask Mr. McGoff, why wasn't


           11              there a meeting last Friday after it was


           12              cancelled on Tuesday?


           13                      MR. MCGOFF: The first reason it was


           14              that I could not attend the meeting.


           15                      MS. FRANUS:  Pardon me?


           16                      MR. MCGOFF: I could not attend a


           17              meeting on Friday night, I had prior


           18              commitments; and the second reason was that


           19              there was nothing on the agenda that seemed


           20              to have any time sensitive -- there was


           21              nothing that was time sensitive on the


           22              agenda, so I didn't think that it was


           23              necessary to reschedule.


           24                      MS. FRANUS:  All right.  Those trees


           25              in South Side, let me ask you, do you know






            1              who is going to get the contract for that by


            2              any chance?


            3                      MR. MCGOFF: Offhand I don't know.


            4                      MS. FRANUS:  Anybody if they know.


            5                      MS. GATELLI:  I don't know if they


            6              bid it out, but if you want you can call the


            7              forester, Anthony Santolli, he might be able


            8              to answer.


            9                      MS. FRANUS: I know Anthony.


           10                      MS. GATELLI: He is on Prescott


           11              Avenue.


           12                      MS. FRANUS:  Okay, and he is a nice


           13              man.  I also want to say that I contacted


           14              Jeff Brazil about the -- him picking up


           15              those paintings on Mulberry -- on Linden


           16              Street at that fire.  He told me he was


           17              there all the time and that he is a public


           18              servant and that's his job.  He said if


           19              anybody needs help that's what he is there


           20              for, so I suggest this, anybody in the city


           21              if you need any help moving anything, like


           22              he said, she had paintings out in the street


           23              and she needed help and he said he would do


           24              this any day of the week he said that's why


           25              he is there, that's the kind of person he






            1              is, if someone needs help he will help them,


            2              which is fine.  But then I say to everybody


            3              in the City of Scranton, call Jeff Brazil,


            4              348-4180 and say, "I need help.  Come over


            5              with your trucks and help me move some


            6              stuff. "


            7                      What's good for one is good for all.


            8              Now, Mr. McGoff, with your rules about


            9              answering questions in motions, that little


           10              thing failed.  Your rules, your new rules


           11              about council members answering people in


           12              motions, maybe you should start taking


           13              account of all the questions that people ask


           14              here that don't get answered in motions


           15              after they ask for them to be answered in


           16              motions.  I asked Mr. McGoff two weeks ago


           17              to answer me, he refused, he didn't answer


           18              me, whether he forgot or whatever, but I'm


           19              asking you, why was Mr. Courtright's seat


           20              changed, Mr. McGoff?


           21                      MS. GATELLI:  Can I answer that


           22              question?


           23                      MS. FRANUS: Yes, please.


           24                      MS. GATELLI: This is the seat of the


           25              vice-president.  Whoever is the






            1              vice-president of the zoning board, the


            2              planning commission, whatever board there


            3              is, the vice-president always sits to the


            4              left of the president, so that's why this


            5              chair was moved.  No other reason.


            6                      MS. FRANUS:  Okay.


            7                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I disagree.  I sat


            8              there are two years and I wasn't the


            9              vice-president and I specifically asked


           10              Mr. McGoff why he moved my seat and


           11              Mr. McGoff said because you asked him to


           12              move my seat.


           13                      MS. GATELLI:  Because the


           14              vice-president as far as I knew always sat


           15              to the left of the president.  The zoning,


           16              the planning --


           17                      MR. COURTRIGHT: My opinion is that


           18              that you are lying.


           19                      MS. GATELLI: Pardon me?


           20                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I truly believe you


           21              are lying.  I have my own reasons why I


           22              think you are sitting there, but --


           23                      MS. GATELLI: It is the privilege of


           24              the vice-president to vote second to the


           25              president.






            1                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Who said anything


            2              about voting?


            3                      MS. GATELLI:  I just said it about


            4              voting.  That is why the vice-president sits


            5              next to the president.


            6                      MS. EVANS: If I can maybe interject.


            7              Well, I just wanted to --


            8                      MS. FRANUS:  It's my time.


            9                      MS. EVANS: Please don't use her


           10              time.  I served in the Office of the


           11              vice-president under Mr. DiBileo, I was


           12              seated where Mr. Courtright now sits, I


           13              voted second, not second to last.


           14                      MS. GATELLI: Well, good for you.


           15                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Are you trying to


           16              hide your vote?


           17                      MS. GATELLI: Well, the zoning --


           18                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Are you trying to


           19              hide your vote?


           20                      MS. EVANS: We are not zoning.


           21                      MS. GATELLI: I'm hiding my vote,


           22              Bill.


           23                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  I think so.  I


           24              think you are trying to do something


           25              underhanded.






            1                      MS. GATELLI: Yeah, I am.


            2                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  That's my opinion


            3              and I think everybody here agrees.


            4                      MS. GATELLI: Yeah, they agree, Bill.


            5                      MR. MCGOFF: Here --


            6                      MS. GATELLI: The tax collector is


            7              getting to you, isn't it?


            8                      MR. MCGOFF: Again -- okay,


            9              that's out of order.


           10                      MS. GATELLI:  Really.


           11                      MR. MCGOFF: It's out of order.  I'm


           12              sorry, Mrs. Franus.


           13                      MS. FRANUS:  Pardon me?


           14                      (Whereupon the audience makes


           15              several comments.)


           16                      MR. MCGOFF: Excuse me.


           17                      MS. FRANUS:  Let's get back to


           18              everyday life here.  Another thing,


           19              Mr. McGoff, you stated two weeks ago that


           20              you didn't think there was anything wrong


           21              with text messaging, well, I beg to differ.


           22              I'm a taxpayer as everybody else in this


           23              city and we are paying all of you up there


           24              not to text message, it's a public meeting,


           25              you are paid to be at council.  If you are






            1              not prepared enough, Mrs. Fanucci, to come


            2              to council without text messaging someone


            3              with possibly the answers or -- well, I


            4              don't know why you are laughing, I'm very


            5              serious.


            6                      MS. FANUCCI: Then don't say silly


            7              things, but I was text messaging my daughter


            8              goodnight, I will continue to do that for


            9              every meeting until I am finished on my


           10              term.


           11                      MS. FRANUS: Wait, just because you


           12              say it that doesn't mean you should.


           13                      MS. FANUCCI: I will do that.  It


           14              doesn't mean I shouldn't do it, but I don't


           15              think my 11-year-old gave me what to vote


           16              on, but I'll ask her next time.


           17                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.  Thank you,


           18              Mrs. Franus.


           19                      MS. FRANUS: Is that my time or is


           20              that extended time or was that -- -


           21                      MR. MCGOFF:  Yes.


           22                      MS. FRANUS:  Which is what?


           23                      MR. MCGOFF: Excuse me?


           24                      MS. FRANUS:  Which is what?


           25                      MR. MCGOFF: That was the five-minute






            1              time.


            2                      MS. FRANUS:  But Mrs. Evans asked


            3              that it be extended because you took up my


            4              time.


            5                      MR. MCGOFF: Our rules say that we


            6              are not going to do that.


            7                      MS. FRANUS:  Mrs. Evans asked for


            8              if, are you trying to say what she is saying


            9              doesn't matter?  You people up there spoke--


           10                      MR. MCGOFF: I'm saying we are


           11              following the Rules of Council.  Thank you.


           12                      MS. FRANUS:  I was speaking and you


           13              all up there continued to speak and I even


           14              said my time and Mrs. Evans asked for it to


           15              be stopped, so you are breaking your own


           16              rules.  You are breaking your own rules.  I


           17              could have said point of order, but I chose


           18              not to because I gave you the respect that


           19              I'm asking for, but I'm not getting it.


           20                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mrs. Franus.


           21                      MS. FRANUS:  Wait one second, I want


           22              to see what's here.  Oh, if you are going to


           23              vote on the taxes --


           24                      MR. MCGOFF: Excuse me.


           25                      MS. FRANUS:  Excuse you.






            1                      MR. MCGOFF: You asked questions and


            2              you got answers and that used your time.


            3              I'm sorry that you didn't want those


            4              responses.


            5                      MS. FRANUS:  I also asked, wait a


            6              minute, I want to talk and that's when


            7              Mrs. Evans said --


            8                      MR. MCGOFF:  The next speaker is


            9              Jack Powell.


           10                      MS. FRANUS:  Please follow your own


           11              rules from now on, please, and thank you,


           12              Mr. Courtright and Mrs. Evans, for answering


           13              me.


           14                      MR. POWELL: Hello.  My name is a


           15              Jack Powell, I live on Luzerne Street next


           16              to Mr. Skantos' development.  Over the last


           17              period of weeks I have heard about


           18              Mr. Skantos and his development and we have


           19              some issues with Mr. Skantos ourselves.


           20              When Mr. Skantos first came to us and bought


           21              the property there was -- it was an R-1


           22              property.  He came to us and he asked that


           23              it can be changed for his benefit which


           24              monetarily it was, so he asked if it could


           25              be changed from R-1 to different






            1              stipulations and variances and zoning


            2              change.  He had several meetings with us and


            3              doing the course of the meetings we were


            4              concerned about different areas such as


            5              buffer zones, tree lines, which we


            6              stipulated to we weren't going forward,


            7              myself, the Keyser Valley Neighborhood


            8              Association, Mary Alice Burke, all of the


            9              officers.


           10                      So we went to Mr. Skantos and said


           11              if he went by these rules that we wouldn't


           12              contest his variances.  We did it at the


           13              Keyser Valley Community Center, which was


           14              full.  We did it at the different meetings


           15              down here planning, zoning, and he agreed to


           16              them along with the person that was doing


           17              the plans for the arrangement.


           18                      Well, in turn, a period of years had


           19              gone by and I see Mr. Skantos is up here and


           20              he wants you to take his word for this and


           21              that, well, we saw it during the course of


           22              the summer a man out of there with a set of


           23              plans where at Keyser and Luzerne was always


           24              to be kept when he moved his trailer out as


           25              a green or buffer zone.  Well, lo and behold






            1              there is set of plans with three buildings,


            2              six units on this little property.  I called


            3              Mr. Wallace up at zoning, spoke with him, I


            4              didn't hear anything further.  I went down


            5              to see for myself and I met the two young


            6              ladies upstairs, Miss Nole, and there was a


            7              Pat Jennings there and they went to look for


            8              the items I was looking for like pertaining


            9              to Mr. Skantos' properties.  He in turn,


           10              they opened up the folder, there was nothing


           11              there but a scrap of paper.  Mr. King came


           12              out of the back and asked what I was looking


           13              for, he came out with a set of plans, on


           14              that corner there was no buildings, nothing.


           15              I explained what we are concerned about that


           16              this was a buffer zone, he told me, told me


           17              that he could not build there.  The only


           18              thing that could be built it was to remain


           19              and he had to go by the original plans, that


           20              was fine.  I went back and told all of the


           21              neighbors.  I was sort of their


           22              spokesperson.  Everybody was satisfied with


           23              that.


           24                      I get a call about an hour before


           25              planning meeting, by the time I get here






            1              there a presentation going on and Mr. King


            2              is there and Mr. King informed the planning


            3              commission of these buildings.  I was


            4              assuming it was the last legal building to


            5              be built, which is the brown building of the


            6              picture that you see, and I was more


            7              concerned at that time that they were going


            8              to make it rentals.  Mr. King had told me,


            9              if he gets the buildings there and he wants


           10              to rent them we can't stop him from renting


           11              them, you are stuck with what you have, I


           12              said that's fine.


           13                      So, I went down and in the mean time


           14              they passed this motion.  Well, they gave me


           15              a set of plans after the meeting, it had


           16              three buildings, six units and was not the


           17              plan that I was given up in zoning.  It was


           18              totally different.  I went up and met with


           19              Mr. King afterwards and I asked him about


           20              being told this and I said to him, I said,


           21              what about Mr. Skantos agreeing with him.


           22              He said, well, he had to do it at a


           23              stipulated meeting not your meeting because


           24              he could tell you anything he wants.  Well,


           25              with that I'm a little upset, so we left.






            1              But I went to talk to Mary Alice and I told


            2              her about the meeting we were at she said we


            3              got to have a regular meeting.  Well, since


            4              that meeting that I had here with the


            5              planning commission I have been trying to


            6              get minutes, two months, none.


            7                      So, I filed that paper that I sent


            8              to you which was a Right to Know which the


            9              law office I went to talk to Mr. Farrell he


           10              was in the process of leaving, I have spoken


           11              to the new attorney upstairs, and she is


           12              looking into it at this time.  She was very


           13              forthwith and whatever, but as it stands the


           14              day that the letter came Mr. Skantos moved


           15              the backhoe to start dig, so I -- because


           16              there is no building there now, there is


           17              nothing there, so we are trying to stop it


           18              before he does it because it was green zone.


           19              We can get the whole neighborhood here I,


           20              could pack this place with people that were


           21              at these meetings, but he is changing it as


           22              he wants, and I said when he was here I


           23              asked him, what's going on, and he was


           24              referring to me yous people.  I mean, yous


           25              people?  We are neighbors there.  I mean, he






            1              lives in Clarks Summit, treat us decent, you


            2              know?  When he wanted something he was


            3              around every day.  I tried to stop him once,


            4              he went by, I went down to meet him at his


            5              office they said I now had to get an


            6              appointment.  When we have concerns like


            7              this and if you will notice in the other


            8              picture there is arborvitaes planted all


            9              along the back, that was another condition


           10              of the agreement along with keeping it the


           11              buffer was those arborvitaes were planted


           12              and as you can see he started.  Thank you.


           13                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Mr. Powell, I have a


           14              list of complaints for lack of a better of


           15              word that I met with the people back in your


           16              development about a week and a half ago, we


           17              were there for a couple of hours and when


           18              it's my turn to speak we are going to try to


           19              setup a meeting both for their concerns and


           20              also your concerns and we are going to try


           21              to have a representative of the city that


           22              would be much more versed in those type of


           23              things than we are, so I'll speak on it when


           24              it's my turn to speak if you don't mind.


           25                      MR. POWELL:  Very good.  Thank you.






            1                      MS. EVANS: And we'll oversee it,


            2              Mr. Powell.


            3                      MR. POWELL:  Thank you.


            4                      MS. EVANS: We will keep our eye on


            5              it as well.


            6                      MR. POWELL: Mary Alice said any time


            7              you need her or any of the officers that


            8              were there and if we need Keyser Valley


            9              Community Center --


           10                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yeah, I spoke to


           11              Mary Alice already.


           12                      MR. POWELL: Okay.  Thank you.


           13                      MR. MCGOFF: Bill Jackowitz.


           14                      MR. JACKOWITZ: Good evening, city


           15              council, Mr. President.  Bill Jackowitz,


           16              South Scranton.  Pennsylvania taxpayers have


           17              a right to know how the Commonwealth spends


           18              their hard-earned tax dollars.  Do Scranton


           19              taxpayers have that same right?  Community.


           20              The first part of community means


           21              communication.  The second part of community


           22              is unity.  We have none in Scranton thanks


           23              to our politicians.


           24                      19th February 2008 could be the


           25              night that Scranton City Council steps up to






            1              the plate and hits a home run for the


            2              residents of Scranton, Pennsylvania.  The


            3              latest economic developments again proves


            4              that the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area is in


            5              financial ruins.  The residents are


            6              suffering through no fault of their own.


            7              Proof:  The unemployment went up again


            8              7/10ths of a percent in the month of


            9              December 2007.  It's up to 5.3 percent,


           10              higher than the state and national average.


           11              I provided each one of you with this


           12              information, I hope you review it and look


           13              at it.


           14                      The nest egg index, I also provided


           15              with you a nest egg index, ranks


           16              metropolitan areas on their resident's


           17              saving and investment habits.


           18              Scranton/Wilkes-Barre is ranked 455 out of


           19              500.  That is 45 away from the bottom.  This


           20              should be an embarrassment to all of the


           21              elected officials in the area and especially


           22              the Chamber of Commerce.  The reason it fell


           23              72 positions in ranking from 2006 to 2007


           24              Scranton went from 383 to 455 in one year,


           25              but yet we are told on a weekly basis by our






            1              economic development chairperson in the


            2              mayor that the area is improving.  We have


            3              no empty store fronts, we have a beautiful


            4              park system, the business will come or have


            5              already come.  If that is not misleading


            6              then I will never know what misleading is.


            7              You do not have to be a rocket scientist to


            8              know that low wages means no savings.  If


            9              you make no money, you can't save any money


           10              and it's proven by that report.  I hope all


           11              five of you look at it and take it to heart


           12              because it's true and real.


           13                      The reason cited for the miserable


           14              conditions are relatively low wages,


           15              above-average unemployment, and a cultural


           16              resistance to thrift.  This reinforces a


           17              negative image that the community already


           18              has of itself.  It is not the community's


           19              fault, I believe that is the elected


           20              officials and appointed political officials


           21              and the Chamber of Commerce who are


           22              responsible for this.  They lack the


           23              leadership abilities to lead and I provided


           24              you with that proof tonight.


           25                      Salaries here trail pay levels in






            1              other northeastern and national markets


            2              which reduce savings potential.  Out per


            3              capita income is lower in the region, the


            4              area jobless rate typically runs higher than


            5              the state and national averages.  People are


            6              going from paycheck to paycheck and they may


            7              be two or three paychecks away from


            8              financial ruin.  Many citizens in the region


            9              are tapping their savings for living


           10              expenses.  Senior citizens are withdrawing


           11              money to live on.  I ask city council to


           12              step up and rescind the ordinance that


           13              attaches high fees and penalties on the


           14              residents who fall behind on their taxes.


           15              If you want to punish the slum landlords


           16              then come up with a plan to do just that,


           17              but do not punish the hardworking or the


           18              retired residents of Scranton.  Enough is


           19              enough.  Put this up for vote tonight and


           20              show the residents that you really are on


           21              their side.  Actions speak louder than


           22              words.


           23                      You may not like or respect some of


           24              the speakers, but this time the speakers are


           25              100 percent correct and three council






            1              members are 100 percent incorrect.  Do the


            2              right thing.  Get rid of this ordinance


            3              tonight.  Mr. President, I would never ask


            4              you to fetch and retrieve anything for me.


            5              I do my own research.  My questions,


            6              Mr. President, when all avenues fail and


            7              before the taxpayer must reach in their


            8              pockets should you as an elected official


            9              step in and assist.  You are one record as


           10              saying that you can speak to the mayor and


           11              get answers.  Councilwoman Fanucci is on


           12              record saying that she meets with the


           13              Chamber of Commerce.  She is also on record


           14              stating that Mr. Burke would attend a


           15              council meeting during the month of


           16              September 2006, where is he?  Doe he know


           17              where city hall is located at?


           18                      I always provided provide council


           19              members with copies of my research.  My


           20              intent is to help council and keep the


           21              residents truly informed, not to mislead


           22              you.  Take the vote tonight, invite


           23              Mr. Austin Burke and the mayor and Chamber


           24              of Commerce to address the council in the


           25              city residents at a public meeting and let






            1              them know how terrible the economy really is


            2              here.  Everything revolves around the


            3              economy and if you don't believe that then


            4              you need to go back to school because that's


            5              the way it is.  The economy runs the


            6              government and it runs the city and it runs


            7              the community and, like I said, we have no


            8              communication, there is no unity whatsoever


            9              in this community.  You all were elected to


           10              work for the residents, not yourself, family


           11              and friends, get your family members and


           12              friends jobs is not what you are here for.


           13              Do the right thing, get rid of the silly


           14              ordinance tonight.


           15                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you,


           16              Mr. Jackowitz.  Andy Sbaraglia.


           17                      MR. SBARAGLIA: Andy Sbaraglia,


           18              citizen of Scranton.  Fellow Scrantonians, I


           19              don't really care where you sit up there.


           20              To me it doesn't matter, but what's in these


           21              things that's the things that matter.


           22                      And let us go.  We see that we are--


           23              you are 5-B we are looking to get -- we


           24              pulled from housing emergency shelter and so


           25              forth and so on over a half a million






            1              dollars for Skyview and we go and we go to


            2              "E", well, this may be a loan because it


            3              says loan agreement, but I don't know, I


            4              didn't read the thing in-depth to see if


            5              there was a forgiveness clause in it, too,


            6              which there could be.


            7                      5-F, another $150,000 for Skyview.


            8              How much taxes does Skyview give us?  Does


            9              anyone know how much money we get from taxes


           10              there?  Probably not a penny.  Probably a


           11              nonprofit, but yet we are taking money from


           12              people who want to build homes.  There may


           13              be other people that need a roof over their


           14              head and according to Skyview, well, true


           15              you are giving them a roof over their head,


           16              but it's a man who if you looked at the


           17              original deal once we sold Skyview that's, I


           18              didn't recognize, I saw myself fall for


           19              that, I didn't realize we owned Skyview.  I


           20              always thought the Scranton Housing owned


           21              it, but apparently Scranton owns it


           22              themselves, just like some of the other


           23              things and they sold it, but when they sold


           24              it they put in for grants for this man and


           25              it comes through, I think he got $6 million






            1              or so, big headlines in the paper, big city


            2              developer, biggest in the world.  I mean, it


            3              was really laid out in the times, how much


            4              money they got and so forth and so on, but


            5              it comes down to the point we are taking


            6              money, pour it into other places, I don't


            7              know how rundown Skyview was, I really


            8              don't, but for the amount of money we are


            9              taking from other projects I don't know if


           10              could be better spent.


           11                      I believe that people should build


           12              homes in Scranton.  I do, even all of them


           13              KOZ homes, I didn't fight them.  I didn't


           14              come up and run before the whole council and


           15              say, "Don't do this, don't do that," because


           16              them homes are going to stay and eventually


           17              we are going to get some money out of it.


           18              They may bleed us for awhile, but eventually


           19              we are going to bleed them and we are going


           20              to bleed them good because they are all new


           21              homes.


           22                      Now, whether they can afford to keep


           23              them I don't know, but eventually we are


           24              going to sock it to them, but Skyview we are


           25              taking almost $1 million from Skyview out of






            1              these pieces of legislation, either in loans


            2              or grants.  Loans I don't mind, I don't


            3              favor grants especially when they are partly


            4              owned.


            5                      Okay, let's look for our old friend


            6              parking authority is looking for a million


            7              bucks, I guess you turned down the garage.


            8              I don't know why they borrowed 32 million or


            9              up to 35 million, I thought that was all


           10              incorporated into it, but now apparently it


           11              isn't incorporated into it and they need


           12              more money, but when it comes to the parking


           13              authority the truth is I don't think they


           14              are sound.  I really don't believe they are


           15              sound, and if you read the legislation when


           16              they borrowed the 30 million, they set up


           17              the slush fund to cover the money apparently


           18              so they say until this generates money, but


           19              believe me it's not going to generate money.


           20              It's going to collapse and it's going to


           21              collapse on the people of Scranton.  You


           22              can't just build parking garages after


           23              parking garages and not figure somewhere


           24              along the line these things got to be


           25              repaired.  We got more people that we have






            1              to hire to man them.  We got more expense


            2              for medical and for pensions all added on to


            3              the costs.  How long do you think this is


            4              going to last before it collapses entirely


            5              or until they have to charge $1,000 a month


            6              to rent a parking space there.  I think they


            7              are up to 85 up there already and climbing


            8              and the reason they have to do that is


            9              because they are not solvent and, believe


           10              me, that was space you give to the Hilton,


           11              it's hurting.  Hurting very, very bad.  If


           12              you ever figured out how much 120 spaces are


           13              worth at $85 a month and how much money they


           14              are losing in income for the Hilton we'll


           15              never get it back.  I don't care even when


           16              that things goes on the tax rolls we are not


           17              going to get it back, it's going to be a


           18              white elephant to us and it's going to sink


           19              us more and more until the police and


           20              parking authority into the hole.  I mean,


           21              the building is there.  It's there.  I mean,


           22              unless we have to fix it up again or


           23              something in 20 years it's just a building


           24              that's going to be there.


           25                      Now, we get to the Connell building.






            1              I was told that he wanted to take -- okay.


            2              I won't talk anymore on that.  Thank you.


            3                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you,


            4              Mr. Sbaraglia.  Ozzie Quinn.


            5                      MR. QUINN:  Ozzie Quinn, Taxpayers'


            6              Association.  5-D, Growing Greener.  That is


            7              a transfer of one million out of the five


            8              million or that is an additional grant we


            9              are looking for one million?  Do you know,


           10              Ms. Fanucci?  It's under your -- pardon?


           11                      MS. FANUCCI: Would you like me to


           12              answer that now?


           13                      MR. QUINN:  Yeah, right now, five


           14              words.  One word.  Is it a grant or is not a


           15              grant?  Is it a grant from the Connell or


           16              not?


           17                      MS. FANUCCI: It is transfer of the


           18              Growing Greener money that we have received.


           19                      MR. QUINN:  Okay.  You answered me.


           20              Now, do you know you don't have to have a


           21              match, but there is a -- you have to


           22              demonstrate a match for that $1 million and


           23              that's why I'm getting at.  I still haven't


           24              gotten that information I asked off


           25              Mr. McGoff last week.  I sent a letter the






            1              day after, it's 13 days from Mrs. Aebli,


            2              under the Right to Know Act I sent it, she


            3              has five working days to answer, she never


            4              answered.  So, this is going on three months


            5              and that's why I want know this information


            6              what's going on with this UDAG money and


            7              with these community development block grant


            8              monies because the mayor has a little nest


            9              egg someplace, all right, and he is using it


           10              because this Growing Greener you have to


           11              have demonstrate a matching grant and that's


           12              coming out of the people's money.  I want to


           13              know this money can go back into the


           14              neighborhood and help these people who are


           15              suffering with taxes.  Never mind what Mrs.


           16              Fanucci says about that you can't go back


           17              for seven years, that is nothing but a lie.


           18              That is -- the federal regulations say you


           19              can go back year after year after year.


           20              That might be a local policy, but it's not a


           21              federal and she inferred to me that I'm


           22              going back to the 1980's, no, this is 2008,


           23              and also do you know in 2008, Mrs. Fanucci,


           24              that you can help low income people from not


           25              being foreclosed upon with CDBG funds?  Are






            1              you aware of that?


            2                      Well, I want to tell you something,


            3              okay, I have the last HUD monitoring report,


            4              the last HUD monitoring report.  Now, look


            5              at here, in CDBG you see $4,876,758, okay.


            6              Of that, we spent $1,627,457 and change,


            7              which is 37 percent rounded out to


            8              37 percent of our total CDBG, 37 percent,


            9              okay?  Do you know how many jobs we created?


           10              Four.  What does that even come out?  Divide


           11              it.  What's the math?  One million, what


           12              does it amount to, $400,000 for one job?  We


           13              don't even know if that job is still there,


           14              we don't know how much that job was paying,


           15              we don't know anything about that job.  Four


           16              jobs and over a million dollars spent, come


           17              on, we got to start looking into this stuff.


           18                   Do you know how much we spent on


           19              housing?  We spent -- the lowest


           20              1.7 percent, the lowest, and I know that you


           21              can use CDBG funds and irregardless of what


           22              Mrs Fanucci says all funds can be coupled


           23              which they are throughout the nation.  Sixty


           24              percent of your retirement funds throughout


           25              he nation falls from CDBG for housing






            1              rehabilitation.  Don't listen to these false


            2              things that she is throwing at you.  She


            3              doesn't know what's going on, I'm telling


            4              you.


            5                      And the problem is, the third


            6              highest thing coming out of the OECD is for


            7              administration for paying all of these


            8              people that the mayor is hiring.  That's


            9              where our tax money is he going.  If this


           10              money can be used, as Mrs. Evans said, out


           11              into these neighborhoods to prepare we


           12              wouldn't have to go borrowing again for this


           13              matching fund.  Don't laugh at me, Mrs.


           14              Fanucci.


           15                      MS. FANUCCI: I certainly didn't.


           16                      MR. QUINN: She is out of order, and


           17              I'll tell you something, if we could use


           18              this money instead of going ahead --


           19                      MS. KNIGHT: Mr. McGoff, she is out


           20              of order.


           21                      MR. MCGOFF: Excuse me.


           22                      MS.  KNIGHT:  Correct her.


           23                      MR. MCGOFF: Excuse me.  Be quiet.


           24              I'm sorry, Mr. Quinn.


           25                      MR. QUINN:  Stop the clock, okay,






            1              please.


            2                      MR. MCGOFF: And I will.  Please


            3              refrain from doing that.


            4                      MR. QUINN:  Unequivocally I want to


            5              say right now I'm not angry, I'm passionate


            6              about this city and I'm passionate of what's


            7              going on in here with this CDBG program and


            8              with this here setting up a resolution


            9              transfer of one million, it doesn't say


           10              transferring.  One million dollars and it


           11              doesn't say that we should have to show a


           12              demonstration match.  And where is that


           13              coming from, this money that you couldn't


           14              get Mrs. Gatelli and you couldn't get


           15              Mrs. McGoff and you didn't -- you couldn't


           16              pinch hit for me and you wouldn't know


           17              sitting over there and sent me up a blind


           18              alley and now all us taxpayers are the ones


           19              that area a suffering.  It's too late.


           20              Well, all us taxpayers cannot go spending


           21              this money, and this money for these silly


           22              things when it can be going onto fix


           23              people's homes through the city and fix some


           24              of these streets, you go through these


           25              neighborhoods there is no more curbs.  No






            1              more curbs.  It's a shame.  It's terrible.


            2              Forget about the downtown, our people are


            3              living in a neighborhoods.  They are the


            4              people who paying the taxes, let's go.  Now,


            5              when you are paying $400,000 for one job


            6              that's ridiculous and you don't even know


            7              how much that job is paying or if it's still


            8              here.  What are you doing?  You are the ones


            9              that passed this and now you passed 2008.


           10              Come on, look out for the taxpayers once in


           11              awhile.  Thank you.


           12                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Quinn.


           13              Les Spindler.


           14                      MR. SPINDLER: Good evening, Council,


           15              Les Spindler, city resident.  First off,


           16              Mr. McGoff, you cannot pick and choose who


           17              you let talk five minutes or longer than


           18              five minutes.  At the last meeting two weeks


           19              ago you let Mr. Skantos stay there for well


           20              over five minutes, it was probably closer to


           21              ten minutes and you didn't tell him to step


           22              down, you gave him all that time.  You can't


           23              pick and choose, that's discrimination.  If


           24              you let one person do it you will have to


           25              let every person do it.






            1                      Now, Mrs. Fanucci, the last meeting


            2              you said when you laughed there is something


            3              blatantly obvious.  Well, at that meeting


            4              Mr. Ungarvsky said an 85-year-old woman lost


            5              her house and you laughed.  Do you think


            6              that's funny about an 85-year-old woman


            7              losing her house?  I don't care if the city


            8              took it, the state took it, the county took


            9              it, it's not funny that an 85-year-old woman


           10              lost her house.


           11                      MS. FANUCCI: You are darn right it's


           12              not.


           13                      MR. SPINDLER:  If you think that --


           14              I'm talking, keep quiet.  Keep her under


           15              control, will you, Mr. McGoff?  Keep her


           16              under control, I have the podium.


           17                      MR. JACKOWITZ: She did laugh.


           18                      MS. KNIGHT: She's laughing all the


           19              way --


           20                      MR. SPINDLER: She laughed and if


           21              that's her sense of humor she has a sick


           22              sense of humor thinking an 85-year-old woman


           23              is funny when she losses her house.  She


           24              acts like a five year old.  That's blatantly


           25              obvious.






            1                      MR. MCGOFF:  Excuse me, if you are


            2              going to make accusations then you are going


            3              to have to expect a response.


            4                      MR. SPINDLER:  It's on the tape.


            5              The laughing is on the tape.


            6                      MR. MCGOFF: I said, if you are going


            7              to make accusations you are going to have to


            8              expect a response.


            9                      MR. SPINDLER: It's not an


           10              accusation, it's a fact.  Don't waste my


           11              time, please.  Now, Mr. McGoff, as a


           12              representative of the taxpayers of this city


           13              you obligated to ask for an investigation of


           14              city workers using city vehicles at


           15              taxpayers' expense doing private work and


           16              that's what Mr. Brazil did at that fire and


           17              you also said Mr. Brazil acted in good faith


           18              in an attempt to help a business that was in


           19              jeopardy.  You were told by the assistant


           20              chief, Mr. McGoff, that that building was


           21              not in jeopardy.  You and Mr. Courtright


           22              with there and I was standing right by you.


           23              There is no denying that, so I think there


           24              should be an investigation into that, that


           25              that is similar to a warden having prisoners






            1              do work at his house and we know what


            2              happened there.


            3                      Another thing, Mr. McGoff, you took


            4              offense to Mr. Morgan's condemnation of


            5              basketball coaches.  Well, I think you


            6              should pay attention these meetings more.


            7              All Mr. Morgan said that he was a basketball


            8              coach.  Mr. Seitzinger, is a basketball


            9              coach.  He never said anything condemning


           10              about it, all he -- the point that he was


           11              trying to make was that he wasn't qualified


           12              to be the head of licenses, inspections and


           13              permits.  He never condemned basketball


           14              coaches, so please pay attention.


           15                      Next, everyone knows 93 percent of


           16              the firefighters took a vote, 91 percent of


           17              them voted to have the chief fired, but the


           18              mayor said it was politically motivated.


           19              These people are looking out for their own


           20              safety.  They were ordered to do things that


           21              they were fearful of their safety and the


           22              mayor says this man will be chief as long as


           23              he is the mayor.  Well, all this mayor cares


           24              about is Chief Davis bringing in votes.  He


           25              doesn't care about the safety of these






            1              firefighters and Chief Davis should be fired


            2              immediately.


            3                      The headline in Saturday's Doherty


            4              newsletter, "City Draws Corporate


            5              Headquarters."  Well, tHe company that's


            6              going into that building, we lost a business


            7              from that building that was here for


            8              16 years, so we are not gaining a business,


            9              we are just replacing a business and the


           10              Scranton Times doesn't talk about the 20


           11              businesses that left the city this past


           12              year.


           13                      I'm going to read a quote from the


           14              paper what Mr. Gryzbowski had to say.  "I


           15              owned in Scranton," Mr. Gryzbowski said


           16              Friday, "We wanted room to grow.  I just


           17              didn't see eye to eye with a lot of city


           18              decisions," and I think that's what a lot of


           19              businesses in this city are feeling.


           20                   Mrs. Evans, at a meeting three or


           21              four weeks ago you brought about some line


           22              painting and the one meeting you weren't


           23              here I brought about, you brought it up in


           24              front of the Steamtown Mall, I brought that


           25              up a long time ago and I have been asking






            1              for years about lines be painted.


            2                      MS. EVANS: Yes.


            3                      MR. SPINDLER: You can be darn sure


            4              that green line will be painted for the St.


            5              Patrick's Day parade.


            6                      MS. EVANS: Yes.


            7                      MR. SPINDLER:  But lines for safety


            8              reasons, for some reason they aren't getting


            9              painted.  Lastly, I see where a shoe store


           10              moved into where Poochie was, but we didn't


           11              gain a business, the business just moved


           12              from the other end of the block.  They moved


           13              from a business where they were paying taxes


           14              to a business where they are not paying


           15              taxes.  Do they get the KOZ status on that


           16              building?  Does anyone know?  Well, if they


           17              do they are going from a taxpaying business


           18              to a non taxpaying business.


           19                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Spindler.


           20                      MR. SPINDLER: That's all I have to


           21              say.  If I wanted to say more I would not


           22              step down.  Thank you.


           23                      MR. MCGOFF: Jean Suetta.


           24                      MS. SUETTA: Good evening.  How are


           25              we tonight?






            1                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Fine.


            2                      MS. SUETTA: First of all, I want to


            3              commend our firefighters for stopping that


            4              fire from jumping over to the other side of


            5              the alley or half of Providence Square would


            6              have been gone.  They did a marvelous job.


            7              Thank you.


            8                      Now, Bill, Lace Works.  You know


            9              when I left here two weeks ago it was foggy,


           10              I was going home over the Albright Avenue


           11              bridge, right on Nay Aug Avenue, this


           12              critter comes out, I thought it was a


           13              raccoon, it was a big rat, a big rat.  What


           14              are you going to do about it down there?  I


           15              mean, it's a feeding ground for them.  We


           16              have kids in the neighborhood.  What happens


           17              if one of the kids get bit by the rat?  I


           18              mean, this was grandpa.


           19                      MR. COURTRIGHT: You know what, Jean,


           20              I promise you tomorrow I will call


           21              Mr. Seitzinger and ask him if he can go down


           22              there with me and if we can --


           23                      MS. SUETTA: I'll meet you.


           24                      MR. COURTRIGHT: He probably doesn't


           25              meet with you, no, I'm only kidding.  If we






            1              can take a look at, I don't know, we're not


            2              100 percent sure who owns it, but obviously


            3              they are not taking care of it and it needs


            4              to be taken care of so I will ask


            5              Mr. Seitzinger, he has always been receptive


            6              to me and I'll ask him tomorrow --


            7                      MS. SUETTA:  Because they are


            8              parking tractor trailers there.


            9                      MR. COURTRIGHT: It's a mess.


           10                      MS. SUETTA:  I'm sorry.


           11                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I'm sorry I didn't


           12              do it this week, it slipped my behind.


           13                      MS. SUETTA: And I think the roads


           14              over in Iraq are better than Nay Aug Avenue,


           15              I mean it.  They are deplorable.


           16                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I promise you


           17              tomorrow I will call and ask.


           18                      MS. SUETTA: And DPW, Mr. McGoff,


           19              when I was working on DPW we had a


           20              supervisor that was doing reconstruction of


           21              his house and having us remove his trash.


           22              He got fired.  You are not allowed to do it.


           23              If that was the case when we got flooded


           24              where were they to help us with ourselves to


           25              salvage what we could?  I mean, you do for






            1              one you do for all.  Mrs. Fanucci, have they


            2              started restoration on the Radisson yet?


            3                      MS. FANUCCI: They have not.


            4                      MS. SUETTA: No bids?


            5                      MS. FANUCCI: They have put it out to


            6              bid, but there was nothing.  They did not


            7              make any type of progress on the money at


            8              all, no.


            9                      MS. SUETTA: And aren't you putting


           10              the money in the bank to get interest?


           11                      MS. FANUCCI: They don't get the


           12              money.  They don't receive the money until


           13              the project is ready to go, no, so they


           14              don't have the money.


           15                      MS. SUETTA: But, Bill, you will find


           16              out for me?


           17                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I promise you


           18              tomorrow I will call him.


           19                      MS. SUETTA:  And put a


           20              recommendation in for our firemen, they did


           21              a fabulous job out there.


           22                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes, they did.


           23                      MS. SUETTA: They saved the block.


           24              Okay, thanks.


           25                      MR. MCGOFF:  Thank you, Ms. Suetta.






            1              David Dobson.  Daniel Hubbard.  Mr. Dobson


            2              is upstairs and says he doesn't wish to


            3              speak.


            4                      MR. HUBBARD: Good evening, Council,


            5              Daniel Hubbard.  I'm just going to start


            6              with a little history.  This is July 20,


            7              2007, Scranton Times, "City Council approved


            8              $35 million bond issue for the Scranton


            9              Parking Authority.  Plans call for the


           10              demolition of the Oppenheim parking garage


           11              and building a new $9 million multi-level


           12              structure on it's North Washington Avenue


           13              site.  Construction is supposed to begin


           14              this year."


           15                      August 12, 2007, "The Connell


           16              building also received a $5 million state


           17              grant called for developing apartments,


           18              creating office and retail space on the


           19              first floor and second floor and developing


           20              underground parking for it's residents."


           21                      Okay.  Same article, Mayor Doherty


           22              quoted, "As far as the Connell building,


           23              that should be underway soon now that is


           24              city council has passed legislation


           25              approving a $35 million bond for the






            1              project."


            2                      So, real quick question before I go


            3              to the next article, was the $35 million


            4              bond for the parking authority or was that


            5              conveniently given to the parking authority


            6              so that it could be put into the Connell


            7              building project.  The mayor is quoted as


            8              saying that the $35 million bond was for the


            9              Connell building project in August.


           10                      Now, if nine million of that 35


           11              million was put aside to demolish and build


           12              a new facility in place of the Oppenheim


           13              garage why do they need a million dollars


           14              now out of the fund, the Grow Greener fund


           15              when they already have nine million that you


           16              guys gave them that was part of the


           17              35 million?  So as far as I'm concerned the


           18              Oppenheim building garage is a done deal.


           19              The nine million is in place for it, that's


           20              what they needed to tear it down and build a


           21              new structure.


           22                      Today's paper the mayor is quoted as


           23              saying, "There will be parking for the


           24              renovated Connell building and in an area


           25              where we need it."






            1                      Well, is the Connell building


            2              underground parking for their building like


            3              they are quoted as saying in July or is the


            4              city building a parking garage for the


            5              Connell building?  Because it's stated right


            6              here in the development plan that they are


            7              going to put an underground parking garage


            8              under the Connell building for the residents


            9              of the building.


           10                      Now, Mayor Doherty is quoted as


           11              saying today that the parking -- that the


           12              reason you guys have to give this million


           13              dollars to the parking authority is so that


           14              we can use -- we have to use the money now


           15              so we are going to use it for the Oppenheim


           16              building.  Who is we?  Who applied for the


           17              grant.  That Grow Greener grant, five


           18              million grant, did the owner of the Connell


           19              building apply for the grant for his project


           20              or the did the city apply for a grant to


           21              give him the money.


           22                      Now, I mean, seriously there is a


           23              lot of disruption in what's going on here.


           24              You guys passed a $35 million bond issue for


           25              the parking authority.  Of that $35 million






            1              bond issue they are supposed to use -- they


            2              are supposed to use it to renovate three of


            3              their existing garages and rebuild the


            4              fourth, which is the Oppenheim garage, so if


            5              nine million was earmarked to rebuild this


            6              facility last year why do we have to give


            7              them a million dollars out of the Grow


            8              Greener, I mean, let's face it, Growing


            9              Greener grant and parking it just doesn't


           10              seem like it kind of flows, you know.  I


           11              would think Growing Greener we could use it


           12              to develop green space.  Five million


           13              dollars, obviously, then we could probably


           14              get some of that $60,000 from the trees for


           15              the flood siren.


           16                      But, seriously, I mean, who is


           17              building the garage for the Connell


           18              building?  Is the City of Scranton building


           19              a garage for a private developer who has


           20              already stated that he was building his own


           21              garage underground and if we are building


           22              the garage for him with the nine million out


           23              of the 35 million why do we need another


           24              million to go on top of it now?  He is going


           25              to use the other 40 million of the grants to






            1              go to the Connell building project.  Well,


            2              why just not use the $5 million.  Where has


            3              the $35 million gone?  Is it gone already?


            4              Is it spent?  Have they refurbished any of


            5              the other three?


            6                      I mean, seriously it's a lot of


            7              money here.  With $35 million you should be


            8              able to refurbish three garages and rebuild


            9              one for nine million.  I mean, that's


           10              $26 million later just to refurbish three


           11              garages, but now we have to give them


           12              another million for the Oppenheim garage


           13              which is in my mind already paid for from


           14              the nine million.


           15                      Now quick, real quick on this one,


           16              I'm not going to get into a long drawn out


           17              argument over this, but as far as Mr. Brazil


           18              goes and the art gallery, Mr. McGoff, you


           19              saw me at that fire that day and the reason


           20              I know that Mr. Brazil wasn't there all day


           21              was because I helped Laura Craig and her


           22              friend unload the entire gallery and carry


           23              the paintings across the street to the


           24              Plotkin shoe department.  When the paintings


           25              were placed up against the building across






            1              the street safe away from the scene of the


            2              fire and away from any problems the mayor's


            3              wife showed up with Jeff Brazil in toe.


            4              Then Mr. McAndrew showed up in a pick-up


            5              truck.  Mr. McAndrew and Mr. Brazil and a


            6              DPW worker that I heard Mr. Brazil call on


            7              his phone and tell him to come down there


            8              and help him proceeded to take these


            9              paintings to the Everhart Museum long after


           10              the paintings were safe and away from water


           11              or smoke because I was the one who helped


           12              them carry all the pictures out, and you can


           13              ask Laura Craig that because she asked me


           14              who I was and I told her and I spent two


           15              hours helping them clean that gallery out


           16              and Mr. Brazil was no where to be seen.


           17                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.  Liz Hubbard.


           18                      MS. HUBBARD: Good evening, Council,


           19              Liz Hubbard, Scranton resident, taxpayer.  I


           20              had a couple of things one of which the


           21              question why was, Mr. McGoff, the seat was


           22              changed, but that was covered earlier.


           23                   Judy, did you hear anything about the


           24              skunk removal?  Am I going to get a check or


           25              what is the story?






            1                      MS. GATELLI: No.  As a matter fact,


            2              I didn't even see a letter in the box, Kay.


            3                      MS. GARVEY: I'm sorry, I was writing


            4              something else, what was the question?


            5                      MS. GATELLI: The letter that I asked


            6              to be sent about the skunks?


            7                      MS. GARVEY: Yeah.  There was


            8              something sent about the skunks and did you


            9              get a response about that?


           10                      MS. GATELLI:  No, I didn't even see


           11              my letter.


           12                      MS. HUBBARD: I mean, now it seems


           13              like we have giant rats plus skunks.


           14                      MS. GATELLI: I let you know when I


           15              hear something.  I'll talk about it later, I


           16              don't want to take your time.


           17                      MR. HUBBARD: There is a lot of money


           18              floating around this city for all kinds of


           19              projects.  I think that the city should


           20              really try to contract with someone and it


           21              doesn't necessarily have to be the same


           22              person that did Cottage Avenue and my


           23              skunks, but I think there is a lot of


           24              people, people stop me in the grocery store


           25              and mention that they have skunks where they






            1              live and possums and I, mean, it's


            2              disgusting.  We shouldn't have -- I lived in


            3              the country for 25 years and never saw a


            4              skunk, I come to Scranton and they are


            5              everywhere.  And I do mean the four-legged


            6              ones.  I mean, I know the two-legged ones


            7              have been here for awhile, but it's the


            8              truth.  I used to see a bear a week, deer


            9              everyday, never saw a skunk, and now all of


           10              a sudden they are everywhere.  So, let's get


           11              the city to do something with some of these


           12              community development block grant funds that


           13              seem to go over other places.


           14                      Now, the next question is on 5-E and


           15              F, the $400,000 that's a loan, is that the


           16              same people that are in 5-F?  Is all going


           17              to that Skyview?


           18                      MS. GATELLI: Um-hum.


           19                      MS. HUBBARD: Now, that Skyview is a


           20              private -- that's not a public housing


           21              development and, I mean, as far as I know


           22              that was built by private developers like


           23              back in the 80's, maybe even the late 70's.


           24              Where did the city acquire it?  Does anybody


           25              know?






            1                      MR. MCGOFF: I'm sorry?


            2                      MS. HUBBARD: How did the city


            3              acquire it because didn't the newspaper say


            4              that they sold it to these people?  This


            5              sounds to me like these guys are tax shelter


            6              groups because when the tax laws change that


            7              tax shelters you couldn't get them anymore,


            8              the government cut back on them, you could


            9              still get involved in a tax shelter if you


           10              are in that income range where it would be


           11              public housing, low income or elderly and


           12              you just get a great return on your money


           13              until the shelter runs out and by the time


           14              is runs out you are already ready to retire


           15              and don't need the tax shelter, but I don't


           16              understand why the city is giving them the


           17              money to renovate.  I mean, I could take


           18              $100,000 and renovate my property, but I


           19              can't even get a flood siren.  So, I mean, I


           20              think you people should really think twice


           21              about giving them this money.  If they -- I


           22              mean, it's not a really nice area to begin


           23              with and it isn't a city-owned project and I


           24              don't think the city should give them the


           25              money.  Anyway, that's it.






            1                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mrs. Hubbard.


            2              Lee Morgan.


            3                      MR. MORGAN: Good evening, council,


            4              Lee Morgan, and a member of the Lackawanna


            5              County Taxpayers; and Citizens' Association


            6              and the reason I'm saying that is it I'm


            7              also on the board of the Northeast Public


            8              Access project and I'd just like to say


            9              that, you know, I'm not a spokesman for this


           10              group, but I would just like to say that we


           11              are of the opinion that the transfer of the


           12              operation of Channel 61 and 62 was done for


           13              political reasons and I really find it


           14              troubling what's happened here to be quite


           15              blunt.


           16                      But I would like to move on and say


           17              that I really appreciate what the Scranton


           18              firemen did in regards to Chief Davis.  I


           19              really do honestly believe it's time for


           20              that gentleman to resign and I really find


           21              is a troubling thing when a mayor hires


           22              somebody who is not capable of doing a job


           23              and states to the people that he is going to


           24              keep them there as long as he is the mayor


           25              and, like I have said from this podium many






            1              times before, I really don't know, you know,


            2              I really can't tell you how many firemen


            3              this city needs, but I can tell you we don't


            4              need to cut any and we are looking to cut


            5              expenses in the wrong places.


            6                      I mean, you know.  We have -- I have


            7              been coming here probably, wow, I don't


            8              know, maybe almost two decades and I just


            9              find it just so troubling that regardless of


           10              who gets elected we just seem to have a


           11              total lack of representation.  The


           12              neighborhoods have been in the shape they


           13              have now for a very long time.  We keep


           14              bringing up on the agenda about how money is


           15              being transferred and misspent and nobody


           16              has a clue why, nobody has any information


           17              about what's going on, and people are going


           18              to find out later, but, you know, the worst


           19              thing is it that, you know, we even have


           20              people that aren't unqualified and you took


           21              offense to me saying that Mark Seitzinger


           22              was a basketball coach.  There is nothing


           23              wrong with a being a basketball coach.


           24                      MR. MCGOFF: It was a joke.


           25                      MR. MORGAN: Well, you know what,






            1              it's really not a joke.  The real joke here,


            2              and with all due respect to everybody on


            3              council is, the things that this council


            4              itself votes for and propels forward there


            5              is things that are introduced by council


            6              that never should have been introduced and


            7              then later on we are trying to find out how


            8              it got out of the bag and we have so many


            9              questions and absolutely no answers and, you


           10              know, nothing is hypothetical when it comes


           11              to what this council votes to do and we have


           12              so many people here that homes are being


           13              leveraged by this city daily by it's out of


           14              control borrowing and spending and no idea


           15              what this money is being spent for.


           16                      You know, Mr. Hubbard has a nice


           17              paper back there, I was reading about people


           18              making dog parks in Hawaii for $90,000 that


           19              dwarfs the one we have and then other ones


           20              for 55 grand and you just see that there is


           21              no parameters around how much money we are


           22              willing to waste here as if like the people


           23              in this city just have a ton of money and


           24              that's not the case and we are not even


           25              looking to save money here.  I mean, it's






            1              just wrong what this council is doing and


            2              nothing is funny here.


            3                      I mean, the divide I see at council


            4              is, Mr. McGoff with all due respect, three


            5              on this side for the mayor and two on that


            6              side against the mayor, and you know what,


            7              that's no way to run a city and for you to


            8              say that you are not going to get


            9              information for people because it's not your


           10              job to fetch it is just terrible and I hope


           11              you retract that statement and that you


           12              would move as the president of this council


           13              to inform all of the people in this city,


           14              including yourself, on what's actually


           15              happening here on, you know, everybody came


           16              up here and asked about where this money is


           17              going, where that money is going, we asked


           18              questions, we are going to answer them later


           19              or we'll find out next week and the answers


           20              have never really come.  Never.  Never.


           21                      And don't you think it's time for


           22              this council to finally for once let the


           23              people know where their money is going.  I


           24              mean, if we are going to sell somebody's


           25              house because they can't pay their taxes






            1              don't you think we should try to lower their


            2              taxes?


            3                      Don't you think for once we should


            4              try to do something about the sidewalks and


            5              the curbs.  As I have spoken long -- for a


            6              long time it's time to invest in the


            7              neighborhoods.  But, you know, we are not


            8              creating jobs here even with all of the


            9              stimulation that council want to pretend


           10              it's providing to the local economy it's


           11              really not.  It's destroying in city.


           12                      I have people I grew up with and


           13              their children won't even live here and


           14              it's -- there is nothing to wonder about.


           15              We have got a wage tax which is regressive,


           16              our property tax is the same way.  We have a


           17              garbage fee, we have all of these fees tied


           18              to our government and then you look at the


           19              people.  Sit here and watch the zoning board


           20              or the planning board.  If you are going to


           21              watch the zoning board watch them.  You


           22              know, we have so many political hats in all


           23              of those boards it's just a shame.  It


           24              really is.  You know what we need to do, and


           25              I'm not trying to slay anybody, we got to






            1              bring ordinary people in.


            2                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Morgan.


            3              Jim Stucker.


            4                      MR. STUCKER: Mr. Courtright.


            5                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Hi, Jim.


            6                      MR. STUCKER: I went a couple of


            7              times we had to clean our gutters, our


            8              drains, the leaves are still there on Oak


            9              Street and they are blocking the water that


           10              comes down.  Remember that water we had,


           11              that heavy stuff, well, there is no drain at


           12              all on Oak Street or on Mark Street.  They


           13              put Mrs. Stirna, in front of Mrs. Stirnas


           14              the water is coming down like a river.  On


           15              Oak Street that drain that's by the gas


           16              station both sides was blocked.  I used to


           17              open them.  I don't get no money for it and


           18              I'm not doing it no more.  If they paid me I


           19              would do it.  I would take a shovel and a


           20              rake and go and do it, but, no.


           21                      I went to -- I went to these public


           22              works, right, I went to see -- I went to


           23              the, what do you call it, I can't say the


           24              name of it, they are supposed to put signs


           25              up on Market Street, I had to go to the fire






            1              station the other day and have them call the


            2              cops come up on Market Street and tell them


            3              there is no signs on Market Street for no


            4              parking on the hill.  There is two cars


            5              there on Market Street right on the top,


            6              right by the laundry mat there all the way


            7              down to the bottom on both sides.  The


            8              cops -- the cops both called up the DP -- I


            9              can't say the name of it, supposed to call


           10              them and tell them to have signs up and they


           11              said they're not doing it, the city is


           12              supposed to do it, the city is supposed to


           13              put signs up for people not to park on both


           14              sides of the road.  There is a lot -- there


           15              is going to be a wreck there on Market


           16              Street I know that, really, really bad.


           17              They told me bring it up to city council to


           18              Courtright about it.


           19                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Well, we are going


           20              to look into, Jim.  Jim, it's tough parking


           21              up there, Buddy, and the businesses need all


           22              the parking they can get so that --


           23                      MR. STUCKER: There's Stirna's, the


           24              laundry mat, John Mattes' building, all the


           25              way down to the bottom.






            1                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  They are looking at


            2              it.  They are looking at it, Jim.  Hang in


            3              there.


            4                      MR. STUCKER: So, what about on


            5              Lackawanna Avenue the holes over there are


            6              so bad the buses, I'm afraid a car or a bus


            7              is going to go flat on the tires.  And on


            8              Market -- by the Oppenheim and the Globe


            9              Store, the old Globe Store, they are still


           10              parking cars there, they are still parking


           11              the buses.  A couple of times the buses


           12              couldn't get to the curb.  I'm afraid


           13              somebody is going to fall and hurt


           14              theirselves and the buses are going to be


           15              sued.  They got to do something.  You got to


           16              have a ticket girl up there.


           17                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Okay, Jim.


           18                      MR. STUCKER: So, I hope you keep


           19              putting signs up that says "No Parking" I'd


           20              be happy.


           21                      MR. COURTRIGHT: We are checking on


           22              it.


           23                      MR. STUCKER:  Please.


           24                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay.


           25                      MR. STUCKER: Okay.






            1                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Stucker.


            2                      MR. STUCKER: And I got to get ahold


            3              of Pat somehow.  He's going to give me a


            4              ride home I got to see if I can get a cell


            5              phone and call him.


            6                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Maybe one of the


            7              people out there will let you use their cell


            8              phone, Jim.


            9                      MR. STUCKER: All right.


           10                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.


           11                      MR. STUCKER: My birthday is next


           12              Thursday -- or this Thursday.


           13                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Happy birthday.


           14              This Thursday?  Happy Birthday.


           15                      MR. STUCKER: Sixty-three.


           16                      MR. COURTRIGHT: You look good.


           17                      MS. EVANS: And many more.


           18                      MR. COURTRIGHT: So long, Jim.


           19                      MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Stucker was the last


           20              speaker to sign in, and anyone else?


           21                      MR. UNGARVSKY:  Good evening, city


           22              council.  I'm Tom Ungvarsky and I'm a member


           23              of the Scranton/Lackawanna County Taxpayers.


           24              Part of what we do is by try to inform the


           25              people of what's going on.  Last meeting I






            1              came to city council and told you about a


            2              woman who was in jeopardy of losing her


            3              home.  I was quite disappointed when I


            4              walked away from this podium because the


            5              only thing I heard from city council about


            6              it was that it's not the city that did it,


            7              Scranton doesn't do it, there was no


            8              compassion and you had nothing to offer


            9              about it.  I think it's time that you remove


           10              that immoral act and rescind the statute.


           11              Does anyone have anything to say about


           12              removing it?


           13                      MS. EVANS: You are referring to the


           14              ordinance that increased the costs,


           15              penalties, fines and fees, etcetera?


           16                      MR. UNGVARSKY: That is correct.


           17                      MS. EVANS: Yes.  Well, I hope to


           18              present that motion again tonight.


           19                      MR. UNGVARSKY:  Fine, because I


           20              asked for it at the last meeting and, like I


           21              say, no one had anything to say about it and


           22              I thank you, city council.


           23                      MS. KNIGHT: Good evening, Mrs. Evans


           24              and, good evening, McGoff and


           25              Mr. Courtright.  Mr. McGoff, I'm here






            1              tonight to speak with you.  I'd like to you


            2              to look at me, please.  You took this


            3              position and that seat that you are sitting


            4              in, you are supposed to be highly educated.


            5              Hum.  I wouldn't want my kids having you as


            6              a teacher.


            7                      Your council, the two on your left


            8              are on the wrong side of the road.  They egg


            9              on the people up there with their smiles,


           10              eating, laughing, talking about people that


           11              are out here on this side of the road and


           12              make comments about them while you sit there


           13              and do absolutely nothing.  I would like to


           14              know if you all know the word respect.  I


           15              know Mrs. Evans does and I know


           16              Mr. Courtright does.  I wonder if you three


           17              do.  If you don't, I'd like Mrs. Evans, and


           18              she is a teacher, to teach you that word


           19              because all three of you need it.  You have


           20              become -- I thought when Mr. Courtright got


           21              in as president that he would make a five


           22              team group and he has divided.


           23              Mr. Courtright, you were right and Mrs.


           24              Evans was right.


           25                      I have known this all the time and I






            1              have been watching you for TV, I haven't


            2              been down to council.  That's what made me


            3              come down here and tonight even started it


            4              off. The lady is not here now, but why is


            5              Judy sitting where she is.  It's because of


            6              you, Sherry, you couldn't get Mrs. Evans'


            7              attention when you were trying to make jokes


            8              about these people out there, so when the


            9              change -- don't smile at me.  Don't.  Don't.


           10              And you, too, Mr. Courtright.  Not you,


           11              Courtright, Mr. McGoff, I'm sorry, I got


           12              your name confused, but you three are the


           13              lowest things that can walk this earth.


           14                      MR. MCGOFF: Excuse me, that's --


           15                      MS. KNIGHT:  Oh, that's


           16              unprohibited.  Oh, oh.


           17                      MR. MCGOFF: Please.


           18                      MS. KNIGHT: I guess we can't use


           19              words like that, but you all cannot give


           20              answers.  Mr. McGoff, do you realize that a


           21              president of your position is to make sure


           22              that you have a meeting every week with five


           23              of your council people and all of the


           24              questions that these people ask is up to you


           25              to make the decision to have every one of






            1              these have an answer to their question.


            2              That's your job.  That's what we pay you


            3              for.  And I think it's stinks that you get


            4              $500 a month.  And, Judy, you don't have to


            5              worry about your insurance because you are


            6              getting paid $500 a month, but the other


            7              poor people out here have nothing.  Some of


            8              them are walking around this street with no


            9              insurance.


           10                      And you are right, Mr. Courtright


           11              and Mrs. Evans, you are left out of


           12              everything that these three others, I can't


           13              even call them people, I can't even call


           14              them council because I have no other words


           15              that I can use for them.  And, yes, you will


           16              grin at me the whole time, Sherry, and I


           17              will grin back, but I think it's about time,


           18              Mr. Courtright you took your job and your --


           19                      MR. MCGOFF: It's Mr. McGoff.


           20              Mr. Courtright is to my right.


           21                      MS. KNIGHT: Mr. McGoff.  When you


           22              took your oath the first day you lied


           23              through your teeth to not only to God but to


           24              the father that stood next to you and your


           25              family and the rest of this council out here






            1              because you have done nothing since you took


            2              over and it is a shame.  Don't you have a


            3              backbone, a brain of your own?  Be a man,


            4              stand up to Mr. Doherty and these two and


            5              his crew?  I don't think so.  I don't think


            6              you have anything and I don't even know how


            7              the heck you got past teaching and you don't


            8              have to say thank you because I know it's


            9              not coming from your heart.


           10                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mrs. Knight.


           11                      MR. GERVASI: Good evening, City


           12              Council.  Mr. McGoff, may I approach,


           13              Council with some handouts?


           14                      MR. MCGOFF: Sure.


           15                      MR. GERVASI: City council, my name


           16              is Dave Gervasi, I am a city resident and a


           17              very proud firefighter.  What I just handed


           18              you was the press release.  We gave it to


           19              the press last week which was the result of


           20              no confidence vote we had on our fire chief,


           21              and listed on here are some of the concerns,


           22              safety concerns, politics, procedures and


           23              management practices of our chief at fire


           24              scenes and/or lack thereof of management


           25              procedures.






            1                      What we are here for tonight is I


            2              have been directed from my membership with


            3              the Scranton Firefighters to be here tonight


            4              and, frankly, I didn't need any motivation.


            5              I just want everyone to know what transpired


            6              this week, the truth.  On the day we had the


            7              no confidence vote they got a response from


            8              Mayor Doherty and he said, and I read it on


            9              the Times website under their breaking news,


           10              that we had the press conference and he


           11              said, and I'm just paraphrasing, basically


           12              he didn't know much about this and he was


           13              going to keep the chief as long as he was in


           14              there.


           15                      So, to give the mayor the benefit of


           16              the doubt I picked up the phone and I called


           17              his office and I left a message, about five


           18              minutes later he personally called me back


           19              and I told him what I had read and I found


           20              it hard to believe that he didn't know what


           21              was going on with the incidents with the


           22              chief over the years and I asked him if we


           23              could have a meeting, and he agreed and last


           24              Thursday at I believe 10:30 in the morning


           25              we met with four members of our union, the






            1              deputy chief, the mayor, I'm sorry, not the


            2              deputy chief, the public safety director,


            3              the chief and the mayor met.


            4                      The mayor asks us what our concerns


            5              were, we highlighted these that we put out


            6              this press conference, told them of other


            7              incidents that were maybe nonsafety such as


            8              insensitive, inappropriate and plain old


            9              nasty remarks and abuse, verbal abuse of our


           10              members throughout the years and, frankly, I


           11              have three witnesses that will say this, the


           12              chief did not utter a word in his defense,


           13              the public safety director did not utter a


           14              word in his defense, even though we did have


           15              some discussion on different issues, and the


           16              mayor did not defend him.  The mayor simply


           17              said that, "I will take care of all of


           18              this."


           19                      And we are -- I emphasize this, our


           20              membership is delighted that the mayor is


           21              willing to step up to the plate, they are


           22              going to start meeting on Thursday to


           23              discuss our safety concerns and the


           24              difficulties we have been having under


           25              safety, but one thing he did mention that he






            1              was steadfast, he is not removing the chief


            2              from office.


            3                      With that said, we asked him frankly


            4              what are you going to do with the chief?  He


            5              is not going to be interfering with the


            6              incident commander at fire scenes any


            7              longer.  He is not going to be abusing us


            8              any longer.  He is not going to embarrassing


            9              us in the press any longer.  What exactly is


           10              he going to do?  How are you going to


           11              justify paying this man that basically is


           12              not going to have -- to perform the duties


           13              of chief?  And he basically said I'm going


           14              to worry about that, but I'm going -- he


           15              just kept referring to he is going to fix


           16              our situation.


           17                      And, again, we emphasize we are


           18              delighted that he is taking these concerns


           19              seriously, but, again, I have been directed


           20              to come here tonight, I would like you to


           21              review these things and I don't want you to


           22              take our word for it of these incidents that


           23              happened over the years.


           24                      We want you to investigate it


           25              because since the mayor is steadfast in not






            1              removing the chief we all feel that we have


            2              no leadership in this position, that he


            3              cannot handle that position and somebody


            4              competent needs to put in that position.  So


            5              I'm asking this council since the mayor will


            6              not do that part of it, that we are


            7              requesting and I'm asking this council to


            8              get involved, I'm asking this council to


            9              maybe have a caucus on TV, in chambers,


           10              privately, whichever your preference is and


           11              we will prove to you everything in our press


           12              release is the truth and it's factual, and I


           13              would ask this council that if unless you


           14              condone any of these safety concerns we have


           15              I would ask this council to please have a


           16              meeting with us and if you find that these


           17              awful, awful incidents took place and we


           18              convince you that they are true, we are


           19              asking this council to support us and be an


           20              advocate for us for the removal of the fire


           21              chief and have him replaced with somebody


           22              who is competent and can do the job and can


           23              lead this department.


           24                      It's not fair to the mayor to have


           25              to play fire chief.  It's not fair for the






            1              public safety director to have to direct our


            2              department and it's not fair to the Scranton


            3              Firefighters to have someone who cannot


            4              handle the job, and I'm asking you this


            5              would you please let us know at this point


            6              if it's okay, and I know my time is up, but


            7              I don't want to push it.


            8                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Gervasi.


            9                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Mr. McGoff, could I


           10              say something or would you prefer I wait?


           11                      MR. MCGOFF: We can address it during


           12              motions, I believe.


           13                      MR. GERVASI:  Thank you.


           14                      MR. PATILLA: Good evening, Mrs.


           15              Evans, Mr. Courtright.  Sam Patilla, member


           16              of the Scranton/Lackawanna County Taxpayers'


           17              Association.  First I'd like to commend


           18              Operation Democracy in their quest to seek


           19              that the elections have a paper trail that


           20              can be verified and both can be verified.


           21                   Secondly, I would like to commend


           22              Scranton Today for keeping us informed of


           23              city business and what's going on.  And,


           24              thirdly, I would like to commend the


           25              Scranton Fire Department, especially in






            1              light of all of the harsh treatment and pain


            2              that they have had to suffer at the hands of


            3              this administration over the years.  And as


            4              I was viewing that fire in the Providence


            5              area, the Providence Square area the first


            6              thing that came to mind was arson and it


            7              didn't take me by surprise when the news


            8              report came back and said that the fire


            9              department was investigating for arson.


           10                      Thirdly, I mean, fourthly, I would


           11              like to, you know, from the laymen's point


           12              of view, the naked eye, all of this money


           13              transferring from the parking authority, to


           14              the city, to the housing authority, yada,


           15              yada, yada, to the average person this looks


           16              like money laundering point blank, you know,


           17              Peter robbing to pay Paul to pay Mary to pay


           18              Sue.  That's all that it looks like.  On


           19              week you are giving money, the next you are


           20              taking money back or are you sitting in


           21              another one.  It's looks straight up like


           22              money laundering.


           23                      Now, I have been speaking to quite a


           24              few of the seniors in the area in reference


           25              to this spend less programs that is going on






            1              throughout the state and throughout the


            2              nation.  Me myself, I throw it back in their


            3              face, because we don't need money to keep us


            4              quiet, you know, that money can be used to


            5              pay off that debt we have in China, the


            6              money could be used that the Commonwealth


            7              has to pay off the outstanding debts that we


            8              have here the same thing around Scranton.


            9                   When I see the stimulus the first


           10              things that comes to mind is Ed Rendell,


           11              George W. Bush, enough said, all right?


           12              They put the Commonwealth and this country


           13              in the predicament that they are, they we


           14              are already in, it's the same thing with


           15              Doherty all right?  You cannot continue to


           16              borrow, borrow, borrow.  Sooner or later the


           17              banks are going to say no.  The people are


           18              going to say, no, and that institution is


           19              going to collapse and it's going to call


           20              around your ears and that's exactly what's


           21              happening here, okay?


           22                      All these specialities of the


           23              economic business world all stated the same


           24              thing that I stated here, okay, you can't


           25              spend, you can't solve this problem by






            1              spending money.  You have to solve this


            2              problem by reducing, wise reduction, not


            3              lower employee midmanagement, unnecessary


            4              deadweight at the top, that's where you


            5              reduce, that's what you get rid of, that's


            6              what you cut back at.


            7                      We, as a city, have to take our


            8              finances by the throat, not by the reigns,


            9              by the throat and give them a good shake


           10              because it's out of control, you know, you


           11              cannot allow Chris Doherty or anybody else


           12              to continue to borrow or to loan out our


           13              money and our debts aren't getting paid.


           14              The interest doesn't go away.  It grows by


           15              the day and until we had a majority on the


           16              council who are actually for the people we


           17              are going to have these problems.


           18                      You know, I hear residents


           19              complaining about skunks.  Well, when your


           20              head is a skunk quite naturally they are


           21              going to attract the rest of them.


           22                      Okay, you want to plant trees, you


           23              are going to attract critters because while


           24              you are planting that tree you are not


           25              taking care of that lot, you are just making






            1              another blight, you are just making a home


            2              for them, all right?


            3                      And the city administration as a


            4              whole, you know, we have good individuals on


            5              council and the school board and other areas


            6              within this city, but as a whole we have a


            7              bunch of pole cats that need to be


            8              eradicated because they are driving this


            9              city to bankruptcy and that's exactly what's


           10              going to happen.  The state is not going to


           11              be able to bail us out because sooner or


           12              later people are going to wake up and


           13              realize what Rendell is doing.  The federal


           14              government is not going to able to bail us


           15              out because they have already mortgaged us


           16              to China.  If they took some of this money


           17              that want and give it to these people, and I


           18              know a lot of people need that money, we


           19              could really use that money, what we could


           20              really use is paying off our debt.


           21              Getting our property back from China,


           22              getting our state back from corporate


           23              America, the health industry, that's how we


           24              get back.  Thank you.  Good night, Mrs.


           25              Evans and Mr. Courtright.






            1                      MR. MCGOFF: Good evening, Council.


            2              My name is Matt MacDonald, I'm a Scranton


            3              firefighter, I'm also a member of the


            4              executive board for Local 60.  I want to


            5              come here tonight, obviously, you have never


            6              seen me before, this is my first time in


            7              speaking.  I just want to touch on the no


            8              conflict vote that we had.  I just want to


            9              say that the vote that we took was not taken


           10              lightly by any of our members.  It was not


           11              political in nature, I want to stress that.


           12              It was not meant humiliate or embarrass


           13              anybody.  What our -- the vote was for was


           14              our safety and the safety of the citizens of


           15              Scranton.


           16                      On the last page of the press


           17              release the numbers of the vote are on the


           18              back, it's 93 percent of our firefighters


           19              cast a vote on February 6.  Out of the


           20              93 percent that voted 91 percent have


           21              absolutely no confidence in fire chief Tom


           22              Davis.  I find these statistics very


           23              troubling as a young firefighter.  I have


           24              approximately six years on the job, I have


           25              witnessed Chief Davis give very dangerous






            1              orders at fire scenes.  One, if the


            2              gentleman who was ordered who has less time


            3              on than I did, and this was approximately


            4              two years ago, if he did not take Chief


            5              Davis' order he probably would not be with


            6              us today.  He was ordered on a roof that two


            7              minutes after he refused to go on collapsed


            8              which is absolutely ridiculous that a young


            9              firefighter had to counterman his fire chief


           10              in that nature on the scene of the fire.


           11                   Pretty much I'm here for the younger


           12              members of our department, like I said, I


           13              have six years on it.  There is


           14              approximately 40 firefighters underneath me


           15              who are afraid of Tom Davis as the fire


           16              chief because of some of his actions on and


           17              off the fire scene.  He gives dangerous


           18              orders that young firefighters have to


           19              counterman.  It's equivalent to a private


           20              countermanning a general in the military


           21              sense.  This is unacceptable for us at the


           22              Scranton Fire Department.


           23                      Like I said, the younger members are


           24              fed up and they are scared and we beg the


           25              council to have Fire Chief Tom Davis and






            1              representation from the union to sit down


            2              and discuss these issues that we have


            3              because these are only a few of the issues


            4              that we have with Chief Davis.


            5                      I know, I was at the meeting with


            6              Mr. Gervasi, we had the mayor stating that


            7              he would take care of it, that's fine, but


            8              we still need leadership in the Scranton


            9              Fire Department, leadership that has lacked


           10              over the past six years.  We have had none.


           11              We have had no leadership.


           12                      In this post 9/11 world the fire


           13              service has been asked to take on tasks that


           14              it's never had to before.  More dangerous


           15              tasks than we had to before and, frankly, we


           16              need a fire chief who can take on those


           17              responsibilities and I believe along with


           18              nearly 90 percent of our entire department


           19              that Chief Davis is not the man to do that.


           20              Thank you, Council.


           21                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you,


           22              Mr. MacDonald.


           23                      MS. SCHUMACHER: Marie Schumacher,


           24              citizen and member of the Taxpayers'


           25              Association.  Originally I didn't plan on






            1              speaking on 5-D until I heard other speakers


            2              and then I got my notes out because I


            3              attended the Scranton Parking Authority


            4              meeting on 16th of January and their Growing


            5              Greener project was discussed as a solar


            6              canopy which has photo-rotated cells for


            7              producing electricity and also it would


            8              remove the run-off problem.  The stated


            9              amount needed was $22,000 for the design and


           10              obtaining a grant and now instead of that


           11              grant we are apparently going to supply the


           12              grant money ourselves from another project.


           13              So, I would suggest that you table this


           14              until Mr. Scopelliti could come down here


           15              for a caucus and explain why this $1 million


           16              transfer is actually required.


           17                      Last week Mrs. Fanucci gave a rough


           18              definition -- or two weeks ago, excuse me,


           19              of Ben Franklin's famous quote on insanity


           20              which is doing the same thing over and over


           21              and expecting different results.  Less


           22              important than whether our mayor, therefore,


           23              is insane for continuing to pursue the 27


           24              pay period issue for the firefighters after


           25              losing the exact same issue for the police






            1              is his lack of stewardship of our taxes by


            2              lining the pockets of attorneys to fight a


            3              lost battle.


            4                      On February 13 the monopoly


            5              newspaper article reported the state police


            6              had cited a downtown restaurant for


            7              operating without a valid permit or license,


            8              a valid health permit or license.  The


            9              permit for the restaurant had expired on


           10              October 31 of the prior year.  I asked


           11              myself how many other eating establishments


           12              in the city are in the same boat?  Could it


           13              be the overseeing department is not properly


           14              performing this function?  Who knows, but I


           15              would think you people would certainly be


           16              interested.


           17                      Now to move to Nay Aug park and the


           18              $305,000 amphitheater which cost taxpayers


           19              what, $150,000 a year?  I think it was


           20              usable for two years, maybe three, I could


           21              be off, but what's the difference whether


           22              it's $100,000 a year or $150,000 a year?


           23              Why was that amphitheater not insured?  Why


           24              does the general contractor refuse to answer


           25              questions relative to the maintenance of the






            1              tent?  Could it be that the $305,000 of our


            2              taxes are being flushed down the toilet


            3              because of poor maintenance?  I am strongly


            4              suspicious that that may be the case because


            5              the -- otherwise, I see no reason why the


            6              general contractor wouldn't say that what


            7              the requirements for the maintenance were.


            8              That's a lot of money to tear down and flush


            9              away.


           10                      Now to the treehouse.  I can't help


           11              but wonder why the construction was split


           12              into two pieces?  The city contracted for


           13              the foundation, concrete and steelwork to


           14              the tune of $229,000.  Who contracted for


           15              the wood and timber construction, grading at


           16              the roadside for ramp access, permanent


           17              electrical roofing and appurtenances,


           18              specifically excluded from the contract the


           19              city had with that general contractor.  Who,


           20              other than the city, is authorized to


           21              protract for fixed assets in a public park?


           22              There will be more on this coming weeks as I


           23              hopefully will get answers to Right to Know.


           24              So far I have been stiffed when I asked to


           25              see a copy of the contract because it






            1              appears that the Scranton Redevelopment


            2              Authority which may have funded this project


            3              or contracted for the balance of that effort


            4              tells me that a legal review is necessary to


            5              determine whether the record is a public


            6              record subject to access under the Act.


            7              Well, my goodness, a copy of the contract is


            8              pretty explicit in the Right to Know what is


            9              available to the public and I question why


           10              I'm having such a difficult time.


           11                      Then, now to Mr. McGoff and his


           12              direction that citizens should pursue


           13              answers via Right to Know since it's not


           14              council's job to fetch information for


           15              citizens.  My success rate on Right to Know


           16              responses is less than stellar.  I brought a


           17              few of them with me tonight and I'll bring


           18              them back next week.  Thank you very much.


           19                      MR. MCGOFF:  Thank you, Ms.


           20              Schumacher.


           21                      MR. SLEDZENSKI: Hello, Bill.


           22                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Hi, Chris.


           23                      MR. SLEDZENSKI:  Mrs. Fanucci, I got


           24              a question for you tonight, only you, Mrs.


           25              Fanucci, only you.






            1                      MS. FANUCCI: All right.


            2                      MR. SLEDZENSKI: The other day I was


            3              walking at the Steamtown Mall the other day,


            4              you know, that big store at the mall


            5              upstairs, it's out of business up there now.


            6              There is two businesses out of the mall up


            7              there, they are gone.  The old shoe store on


            8              top, two businesses are gone.


            9                      MS. FANUCCI: The mall, I know.


           10                      MS. SLEDZENSKI: They are gone.


           11              Okay.  Thank you.


           12                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Chris.


           13                      MS. KRAKE: Good evening, Council, my


           14              name is Nancy Krake.  I would like to


           15              explain what a sheriff's sale is to


           16              Mr. McGoff, Mrs. Gatelli, and Mrs. Fanucci.


           17              This is an example of the poster that we


           18              have this month in the City Treasurer's


           19              Office, it comes from the sheriff's office.


           20              These are all of the properties that are


           21              being sold in Lackawanna County.  This is


           22              usually between a mortgage company or a bank


           23              and a property owner who are not paying


           24              their mortgage.


           25                      What Mr. McGoff, Mrs. Gatelli and






            1              Mrs. Fanucci have done is to expose the


            2              property and homeowners of the City of


            3              Scranton to this action.  Every week Mrs.


            4              Gatelli says the county has a sheriff's sale


            5              for delinquent taxes, they do not.  They


            6              file a petition for confirmation nisi.


            7              After 30 days they file a petition for


            8              confirmation absolute, the tax claim upset


            9              sale.  Mr. McGoff, Mrs. Gatelli and


           10              Mrs. Fanucci voted for and, therefore,


           11              agreed with Mayor Doherty that if you can't


           12              pay your house taxes the city should take


           13              you to sheriff's sale and put your property


           14              and homes up for the highest bidder.  If


           15              Mr. McGoff, Mrs. Gatelli and Mrs. Fanucci


           16              tried to explain these facts away again this


           17              evening, just remember their disclaimers in


           18              past weeks when they said the fines and the


           19              ordinances and that particular ordinance


           20              would hardly apply to everyone.  We have


           21              already seen and heard of many examples and


           22              I am sure your constituents are contacting


           23              you.


           24                      I would also ask people who incurred


           25              these unjust fines to remember who imposed






            1              them, Mr. Doherty, Mr. McGoff, Mrs. Gatelli


            2              and Mrs. Fanucci.  Unfortunately, this is


            3              the first time a sheriff's sale has ever had


            4              what you allowed the City of Scranton to do.


            5                   There are five examples on here of the


            6              Portonoff law firm going after people's


            7              property for Mid-Valley School District


            8              taxes, North Pocono School District taxes


            9              and Abington Heights School District taxes.


           10              This is obscene.  And you know that the law


           11              firm of Abrahamsen, Moran and Conaboy and


           12              Northeast Credit and Collection who are now


           13              doing it for the city are the persons


           14              benefiting from this ordinance.  The money


           15              flowing into their coffers from our pockets


           16              will not benefit any city services.


           17                   Finally, I would like to ask everyone


           18              to remember that no matter what monies these


           19              agencies claim to bring in the same amounts


           20              and most likely more would have been


           21              collected if the City of Scranton had a city


           22              treasurer's sale and/or an amnesty for


           23              delinquent property taxes.  I would hope you


           24              could find it in your hearts to amend this


           25              ordinance.






            1                      MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else?  Fifth


            2              Order.  Mrs. Evans.


            3                      MS. EVANS: Yes.  Before I begin with


            4              what I have prepared for this evening, I did


            5              want to address the pleas that came before


            6              us this evening from members of the Scranton


            7              Fire Department.  I must admit as they spoke


            8              several questions entered my mind, some of


            9              with which were voiced by the speakers, but


           10              again, I, too, am wondering then what are we


           11              paying the fire chief for, the fire chief


           12              who just recently was granted what, a


           13              $13,000 raise in the new 2008 budget?  Is


           14              there not a chain of command within the fire


           15              department where complaints, discrepancies,


           16              any matter of concern to firefighters would


           17              be registered, a hierarchy of sorts.  It


           18              would make absolutely no sense to me that


           19              the fire chief, that the public safety


           20              director who is above the fire chief, they


           21              would know nothing of what's been going on


           22              for six years.  I find that very hard to


           23              believe.


           24                      I am, as they said, delighted that


           25              the mayor is going to finally provide the






            1              equipment necessary for these men and women


            2              to do their job appropriately and safely,


            3              not only for their sakes, but for the


            4              citizens of Scranton, but I have to wonder


            5              why was this equipment withheld for six


            6              years?  The mayor himself said, you've got


            7              to come to me, I make the call on the


            8              equipment, who gets and who doesn't get,


            9              that's a very telling statement and I guess


           10              I'd like to ask him then why did the fire


           11              department get nothing for six years?  Why


           12              did you withhold?


           13                      But, again, I guess what our primary


           14              concern this evening would be the fact that


           15              both of these gentlemen have requested


           16              council to conduct a caucus between members


           17              of the fire department, the fire chief,


           18              perhaps the public safety director and


           19              members of council and I, for one, would


           20              very much like to see that caucus occur.  I


           21              am in favor of such an idea.  I don't know


           22              that the entire council would be, I can't


           23              speak for anyone but myself, but again, I


           24              would say I will sit down with them and I


           25              don't have a problem doing that at any place






            1              at any time.  Perhaps as other council


            2              members speak this evening they would like


            3              to address the issues, too, or maybe they


            4              would now.


            5                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Mr. McGoff, if I


            6              may?  Mrs. Evans, would you mind?  She


            7              interrupts me all the time, so I'm sure I


            8              can get one time.  I would just like to say


            9              this, you know, I heard these accusations on


           10              the radio, some of them anyway and now I


           11              have read them through briefly, and they are


           12              strong accusations, some of them are very


           13              strong, and I believe in being fair to all


           14              concerned.  I don't know whether these


           15              accusations are true or false, I have no


           16              idea, but I certainly think that Chief Davis


           17              deserves the right to defend himself.


           18                      I would recommend this, and this is


           19              my committee public safety, and if every


           20              council member would like to be there, fine.


           21              If just myself and another, Mr. McGoff or


           22              maybe another representative, fine, but I


           23              would like to see us do this first if maybe,


           24              I'm sure Mr. Davis has these list of


           25              accusations, you know, I'd like to see if






            1              maybe we can't ask him to come and meet with


            2              some us or all of us, ask our stenographer


            3              to be present and if he can just answer to


            4              each and every one of these to defend


            5              himself.


            6                      I think everybody has a right to


            7              defend themselves and at that point after we


            8              get his answers maybe then we meet


            9              altogether because there is two sides to


           10              every story, because I got to be honest with


           11              you, if even one, if even one of these


           12              things is true then that's dangerous and I'm


           13              praying that none of these are true, but I


           14              would like to offer him the opportunity, you


           15              know, at a controlled meeting where it would


           16              just be, and I don't know if the


           17              firefighters would be opposed to this or


           18              not, where it would just be Chief Davis and


           19              either all of council or some of council to


           20              ask him to answer the questions, and the


           21              only reason I say that to do it that way


           22              first, just first, so that we don't have --


           23              we wouldn't have a back and forth and


           24              arguing session.


           25                      And then after we got his answers






            1              then we can see about having a meeting I


            2              would think with all of us, but some of them


            3              are, man, are very serious and if I was


            4              Chief Davis I would want to defend myself,


            5              and I'm sure he does.


            6                      That would be my suggestion, and I


            7              don't know if the rest of council would be


            8              willing to go along with that, I just felt


            9              that being that it's my committee I needed


           10              to say something on it, so I would ask the


           11              rest of council if you would consider that


           12              suggestion.  Thank you.


           13                      MS. EVANS: I would be very willing


           14              to consider that and since it is a personnel


           15              issue I would imagine that would be


           16              protected under the Sunshine Law to be a


           17              closed meeting, would it not?


           18                      MS. GATELLI: Attorney Minora?


           19                      MR. MINORA: I think that's correct.


           20              I think that's correct, because it would


           21              deal with hiring and firing and matters of


           22              personnel, so I think it ought to be a


           23              confidential meeting.


           24                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Excuse me one more


           25              moment, I'm sorry.  The only reason I ask






            1              that it be appropriate to maybe have a


            2              stenographer there so that there would be no


            3              misinterpretation on what was said because,


            4              again, God, these are some serious, serious


            5              accusations and I certainly think the


            6              gentleman has the right to defend himself.


            7                      MS. EVANS: Well, I would agree with


            8              that and then council could discuss it


            9              afterwards.  So perhaps we could try between


           10              now and next week to set a time and a date


           11              for that session to occur.


           12                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Maybe, Mr. McGoff,


           13              seeing as you are the president, you would


           14              like to poll council outside of here, I


           15              mean, I don't know that we want to -- I


           16              don't think you want to discuss it here, but


           17              maybe you can poll us outside and see if


           18              they're willing to do it and if everybody is


           19              if we have three that are willing who you


           20              would you think needs to be there or not be


           21              there.


           22                      MR. MCGOFF: If we can wait five


           23              minutes after the meeting.


           24                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Sure, and I'm so


           25              sorry, I keep taking your time, I'm not even






            1              saying today if you feel comfortable calling


            2              us tomorrow.


            3                      MS. GATELLI: I said let


            4              Mr. Courtright and Mr. McGoff, it's your


            5              committee.


            6                       MR. COURTRIGHT: That's fine by me


            7              if that's fine by the rest of you.


            8                      MS. FANUCCI: That's fine.


            9                      MS. GATELLI:  I don't think we all


           10              need to be there.


           11                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I hate to prolong


           12              this, but it's a serious issues.  If and


           13              when, you know, we would have that meeting,


           14              Mr. McGoff, and we had our answers then at


           15              that point in time maybe we could all meet.


           16              I just don't think these questions could go


           17              unanswered because in all fairness to


           18              everybody some people are going to believe


           19              that these are all true, some people are


           20              going to believe that none of these are true


           21              and when something like this happens,


           22              unfortunately, I think you have to answer


           23              them.  So, if that's all right with the rest


           24              of the members.


           25                      MS. GATELLI: How about if I make a






            1              motion that Mr. Courtright and Mr. McGoff


            2              set up a meeting to discuss these


            3              allegations and then come back to council.


            4                      MR. COURTRIGHT: That would be great.


            5                      MS. FANUCCI: I'll second that.


            6                      MR. MCGOFF: There is a motion to set


            7              up a meeting between Chief Davis and members


            8              of council, selected members of council, to


            9              discuss the allegations made by the


           10              firefighters.


           11                      MS. EVANS: On the question?


           12                      MR. MCGOFF: On the question.


           13                      MS. EVANS: I would be willing to


           14              forego being present at this meeting if


           15              there is a stenographer because I would like


           16              the meetings of that meeting -- the minutes


           17              of that meeting, excuse me, made available


           18              to everyone on council.


           19                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I would feel


           20              comfortable having it without that because I


           21              certainly wouldn't to be held accountable


           22              for what Chief Davis said, you know, let it


           23              be on the record and then every member of


           24              council could have it and if there is


           25              something council needs to do, fine.  If






            1              we're out of our league on this then, you


            2              know, but I'm recommending a stenographer.


            3                      MR. MCGOFF: The only thing that I --


            4              if we, in fact, ask for this meeting it


            5              being a management issue I'm sure the


            6              meeting would be at the discretion of the


            7              mayor.  I don't think that we can compel


            8              Chief Davis himself so the request would


            9              have to go through the mayor and the


           10              Director of Public Safety and whatever


           11              other --


           12                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  I'm sure that's the


           13              proper way to do it.


           14                      MR. MCGOFF: I would be more than


           15              happy to maybe that contact and make


           16              whatever arrangement is necessary.


           17                      MR. MINORA:  You need to vote on it.


           18                      MR. MCGOFF: All those in favor


           19              signify by saying eye?


           20                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.


           21                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.


           22                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.


           23                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.


           24                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?  The


           25              ayes have it and so moved.






            1                      MS. EVANS: I have several other


            2              matters to address this evening,


            3              particularly in light of my absence due to


            4              an illness on February 5, and I do apologize


            5              to the people for missing a meeting, I was


            6              ill and I ask for your understanding.


            7                   First, the Scranton Times reported the


            8              city's principle long-term debt is


            9              $94 million.  Following the release of the


           10              2006 audit on February 7, 2008, I obtained


           11              my copy to determine an accurate financial


           12              status.  As of December 31, 2006, the


           13              Doherty long-term debt is $226,925,015.00.


           14              This figure includes principle and interest


           15              as well as the debts amassed by the Scranton


           16              Redevelopment Authority, Parking Authority


           17              and Sewer Authority, and the debt service


           18              for capitalized leases.  $227,000,000 in


           19              debt through the year 2033.  Please keep in


           20              mind this figure, 227 million does not, does


           21              not include the 35 million plus interest


           22              borrowed in 2007 by the parking authority


           23              nor does it include the proposed $11 million


           24              plus interest the mayor will borrow this


           25              year.  By year's end, we will reach






            1              approximately 300 million in long-term debt.


            2              Don't allow the apologists from the Scranton


            3              Times and this administration to spin this


            4              figure any other way.  If the truth be told,


            5              they know and I know that principal applies


            6              to your pay off today and we all know that


            7              is an utter impossibility for Scranton.


            8                   Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, do


            9              you worry about your mortgage pay off today


           10              or do you think of your mortgage payments


           11              over 25 years?  Do you pay $25,000 for our


           12              knew car today, and if you do you are a


           13              lucky individual, but if you are like most


           14              of us you take a four or five-year loan for


           15              maybe 35 to $40,000 in principal and


           16              interest, so think critically.  Think for


           17              yourselves.  Is your life better, safer


           18              today for 300 million in long-term Doherty


           19              debt?  227 million in five years, 300


           20              million in seven years, so plan for your


           21              future in our city at least through the Year


           22              2033.


           23                      Is this the mayor's recovery?  His


           24              recovery is a financial nightmare.


           25              Remember, union workers had to changes, no






            1              changes whatsoever in six years, so you


            2              can't blame them.  Health care?  It appears


            3              that through at least October of 2007 health


            4              care costs were under budget according to


            5              PEL, the Pennsylvania Economy League, so the


            6              excuses are weak.  Does our city need


            7              recovery?  Absolutely, yes.  Now more, much


            8              more, than we did in 2002, but we need smart


            9              recovery.  The former Recovery Plan actually


           10              terminated in 2005 and PEL stated that it


           11              was working on a revised plan in 2007 and I


           12              hope it is.


           13                      I hope for smart recovery.  Halt


           14              wasteful spending, stop the borrowing, sell


           15              union contracts and pay down the debt.  And,


           16              as a side note, initial stages of the 2007


           17              independent audit began in January of 2008.


           18                      Now, in response to Mr. DeSarno's


           19              question posed three weeks ago regarding


           20              frivolous spending, I do not approve of


           21              frivolous spending and my record as a


           22              councilwoman reflects that.  I have created


           23              three balanced budgets to avoid tax


           24              increases and to halt the borrowing.  I did


           25              not vote for any unnecessary borrowing,






            1              inflated mayoral budgets or questionable tax


            2              increases, and I won't.  Further, I will


            3              never agree to contract violations and


            4              wasteful litigations.  I will never engage


            5              in bad faith policies or procedures and this


            6              is not a matter of perception.  You can take


            7              it to the bank.


            8                      Next, I wish to commend Cathy


            9              Carrera, city grant's writer, and five


           10              firefighters for obtaining a $318,000 FEMA


           11              grant for the fire department communications


           12              equipment.  Too often credit is misplaced by


           13              the newspaper and the boss receives the


           14              acclaim when the employees have the idea,


           15              they do the work and they bring it to


           16              fruition.  So, thank you to Miss Carerra and


           17              to those five very smart firefighters.


           18                      Now, I was not surprised to learn


           19              that the mayor's committee selected Electric


           20              City TV to run Channel 61 and 62, and as


           21              soon as the announcement to seek proposals


           22              occurred the red flag flew.  There are a


           23              number of matters that I'd like to bring to


           24              the attention of the public.  Electric City


           25              TV who received the committee and hence the






            1              mayor's nod of approval had requested four


            2              phases of funding.  Phase 1, $300,000.


            3              Phase two, $200,000.  Phase three, $200,000.


            4              Phase four, approximately $160,000.  I


            5              remember when I think the editorial list


            6              called Scranton Today a ward of the state


            7              when they requested $25,000 and then got


            8              $13,000 from city council, so, I'd have to


            9              ask what does this make Electric City TV, a


           10              mistress?  The free studio that Scranton


           11              Today was accused of turning down appears in


           12              the Electric City's budget and they would


           13              like $28,000 to renovate the studio and


           14              $36,000 in annual maintenance costs.


           15                      Now, in addition to that, I believe


           16              that Marywood University and the University


           17              of Scranton operated Channel 62 with the


           18              assistance of Scranton Today and no where in


           19              the Electric City proposal do I see any


           20              mention of either Marywood or the university


           21              continued involvement with that station, so


           22              that raises a question as well.  As far as


           23              I'm aware we seem to be giving almost a


           24              million dollars to an unknown entity on a


           25              promise to deliver without any type of






            1              accountability or oversight.  I'm not


            2              opposed to giving them this money, in fact,


            3              I suggested long ago that the franchise fee


            4              be used to help fund Scranton Today, hence,


            5              Channel 61 each year of their operation, so


            6              this idea comes as no great surprise to me,


            7              but I think when we are talking become a


            8              million dollars worth of ratepayer's money


            9              there should be oversight and


           10              accountability.


           11                      Therefore, I move that city council


           12              create an appoint an oversight committee to


           13              ensure that Electric City TV follow through


           14              on all of the promises enumerated in their


           15              proposal.


           16                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I'll second that.


           17                      MR. MCGOFF: On the question?  Who


           18              would comprise this committee?


           19                      MS. EVANS: I believe the committee


           20              should be appointed by city council.  I was


           21              thinking, for example, there might be five


           22              members of the committee, and each member of


           23              council could appoint one member of the


           24              oversight committee.


           25                      MR. MCGOFF: And the responsibilities






            1              of the committee would be?


            2                      MS. EVANS: To report to city


            3              council.  They will be overseeing what money


            4              is given to Electric City TV, how that money


            5              has been utilized and having in hand their


            6              proposals they will check to see that what


            7              has been guaranteed in return for this money


            8              will indeed occur on Channel 61 on 62.


            9                      MS. GATELLI: Would they just be like


           10              an advisory committee?


           11                      MS. EVANS: They are an oversight


           12              committee and then they would report their


           13              findings whether annually or semi-annually


           14              to council.


           15                      MR. MCGOFF: Again, I don't mean to


           16              belabor it I'm just trying to go through the


           17              process of how it would work and exactly how


           18              the committee -- what we do with the


           19              information received from the committee as


           20              well.


           21                      MS. EVANS: Well, I think we have the


           22              responsibility then to make sure that,


           23              indeed, they are according to -- what is


           24              reported to us, they are abiding by the


           25              terms of the agreement and if they are not






            1              then the cable franchise fee should be


            2              withheld at least for a period of time in


            3              which they would be able to perhaps remedy


            4              the situation, but it's a great deal of


            5              money that has never been given to that


            6              television station since it's inception.


            7              Never.  This is a first and because it is a


            8              first and because it is such a significant


            9              amount of money there must be oversight and


           10              as it stands there is none.


           11                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  You know, on the


           12              question, I just think that they going to


           13              get such a large amount of money and we


           14              wouldn't give Scranton Today anything, we


           15              gave them $13,000, I would really like to


           16              see what they are going to do with all of


           17              that money and if, in fact, if we don't have


           18              any type of control over what they are


           19              doing, I mean, who is to say that they will


           20              even come to close to saying what they are


           21              going to do.


           22                      MS. GATELLI: What would be the


           23              ramifications if they didn't?


           24                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Withhold the money


           25              from them.






            1                      MS. GATELLI: Do we have the power to


            2              withhold the money from them?


            3                      MS. FANUCCI: We don't have the power


            4              to do that.


            5                      MS. GATELLI:  Does council have the


            6              power to do that?


            7                      MS. EVANS: I think council does


            8              have, for example, investigative powers and


            9              when things within any department let's say


           10              or with this agreement are amiss I believe


           11              we have the duty and the responsibility to


           12              step in and hold people accountable.


           13                      MS. FANUCCI: I have no problem


           14              holding them accountable, my problem is at


           15              the end of it all what do we do then?  We


           16              have the information, if we don't have the


           17              power to say where the money is going and


           18              where the money is not going then what


           19              happens?  What can we do at the end of it.


           20              I have no problem on the idea, I think it's


           21              a good idea, but we have to sit down and I


           22              think we have to create something that we


           23              would have as a guideline for us that we


           24              know that if this happens this is what would


           25              happen then, maybe create it in the






            1              legislation or create in some way that we


            2              have our power and know what our power is,


            3              so I would vote that maybe we table it and


            4              discuss what it is that we would want after


            5              maybe that withhold money or in the next


            6              budget time that we do something, whatever


            7              the ramifications would be, that we would


            8              sit and discuss what we would want those to


            9              be.  So, I would like to make a motion to


           10              table it and try to figure out what it is we


           11              want to do if we do get information that we


           12              have the legislation.


           13                      MS. EVANS: Well, I think basically


           14              you can determine that when you decided or


           15              rather agreed to create the committee,


           16              because we are not, for example, tonight


           17              naming committee members or anything of that


           18              nature, so we are merely agreeing tonight to


           19              create an oversight committee that would be


           20              appointed by city council.


           21                      MS. FANUCCI: Well, I have a motion


           22              to table and that's on the floor, so if


           23              anyone would like to second.  That's all I


           24              have.


           25                      MS. EVANS: Well, you do realize, and






            1              I have one on the floor though before that,


            2              but you do realize that those monies are


            3              part of the city's operating budget.


            4                      MS. FANUCCI: I realize that quite


            5              frankly, yes, that's why I said we could do


            6              something in the next budget year, that's


            7              what I'm trying to say.  What is that we


            8              could do to withhold money from the next


            9              budget because if the money has already been


           10              provided with the first budget and they get


           11              the money in the beginning we have no power


           12              to go take the money back from them, so it


           13              would be the next budget year is where our


           14              legislation would lie.


           15                      MS. EVANS: Well, it's coming in four


           16              phases, so let us say they proceed with


           17              phase one --


           18                      MS. FANUCCI: Well, right, but then


           19              they can't --


           20                      MS. EVANS: And if they are not in


           21              compliance they don't go into phase two.


           22                      MS. FANUCCI: I've got a motion on


           23              the floor.


           24                      MR. MCGOFF: Well, I think the idea


           25              of an oversight committee is fine and I also






            1              think that perhaps we could implement the


            2              idea tonight with the possibility of having


            3              it included in the contractual language of,


            4              you know, the operation of Channel 61,


            5              present the idea, you know, to the mayor and


            6              have it included in the actual contract so


            7              that that committee would exist, you know,


            8              we would have already voted to create the


            9              committee and then if, in fact, we can


           10              include it the agreement.


           11                      MS. EVANS: I don't know that you


           12              need to include it in the contract though,


           13              this is coming from the city's side of it


           14              and we do have the power to create, draft


           15              legislation and pass it, so what I would


           16              ask, for example, with regard to the


           17              suggestion you made is this, and if the


           18              mayor refuses an oversight committee does


           19              that mean then none will ever exist and this


           20              company walks away with a million dollars


           21              without being held responsible in any way,


           22              shape or form for the five years of their


           23              contract?


           24                      MR. MCGOFF: That wasn't what I had


           25              in mind, but I thought that the most






            1              effective way of implementing the idea would


            2              be to have it within the contract with ECTV,


            3              is it ECTV?


            4                      MS. EVANS: Yes.


            5                      MR. MCGOFF: That that would be the


            6              most effective way.


            7                      MS. EVANS: I agree.


            8                      MR. MCGOFF: And if, in fact, that


            9              there is a disagreement then I think that we


           10              can further discuss it to, you know,


           11              implement it in another way, but I think the


           12              first step would be to see if we can't make


           13              it the most effective way and then, you


           14              know, continue from there if min fact mit's


           15              not pertinent.


           16                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Mrs. Evans' motion


           17              is just to form the committee.


           18                      MR. MCGOFF: Right.


           19                      MR. COURTRIGHT: So if we form the


           20              committee we can hash this stuff out.


           21                      MR. MCGOFF: That's what I said, and


           22              that's what I thought was most reasonable.


           23                      MR. COURTRIGHT: And I would leave to


           24              see it in the contract, that would be great


           25              if you could get it in contract then that






            1              would appease any --


            2                      MR. MCGOFF: I don't think there is


            3              anything to stop us from creating a


            4              committee and then we can determine at a


            5              later date what the specifics duties of that


            6              committee would be and how it would go


            7              about.


            8                      MS. EVANS: And the membership.


            9                      MR. MCGOFF: Right, and all of that


           10              other stuff.  There wasn't a second to your


           11              motion.


           12                      MS. FANUCCI: No.


           13                      MR. MCGOFF: To table it.  Then we


           14              are on the motion, the motion was made and


           15              seconded to create an oversight committee


           16              for the operation of Channel 61.


           17                      MS. EVANS: But I had also added, I


           18              believe, that the membership would be


           19              appointed by city council.


           20                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  One member for each


           21              council member.


           22                      MR. MCGOFF: Okay.  Did we add that?


           23              I just want to make sure we have the wording


           24              properly so that we are not --


           25                      MR. MINORA:  So the motion






            1              includes--


            2                      MS. EVANS: To create an oversight


            3              committee for ECTV.


            4                      MR. MINORA: Of five individuals


            5              appointed by council?


            6                      MS. EVANS: Yes.


            7                      MR. MINORA: And who on council would


            8              appoint them?


            9                      MS. EVANS: Each council member.


           10                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Each member would


           11              pick one person.


           12                      MR. MCGOFF: With one member by each


           13              council member.


           14                      MS. GATELLI:  I think we can stagger


           15              the terms on that.


           16                      MS. EVANS: But that everyone has a


           17              part in this.


           18                      MR. MCGOFF: Mrs. Garvey, are you --


           19                      MS. GARVEY: I'm trying.


           20                      MR. MCGOFF: I just want to make sure


           21              that we have the wording right and that


           22              it's, you know, it's what we want.  And so


           23              basically the motion is, just so we are


           24              clear, to create an oversight committee for


           25              Channel 61 with membership to be appointed






            1              by the five members with -- appointed by the


            2              individual members of council.  All in favor


            3              signify by saying aye.


            4                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.


            5                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.


            6                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.


            7                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.


            8                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?  The


            9              ayes have it and so moved.


           10                      MS. EVANS: Thank you.  As of today,


           11              February 19, I received no response from


           12              Mr. Hayes and Mr. Brazil for the written


           13              snow removal policy.  I hope I'm not to


           14              assume that there is no policy or that maybe


           15              they withheld the information because they


           16              don't like me, but I believe I'm in good


           17              company since hundreds of city residents


           18              over the years have told me that they never


           19              received responses as well or are scolded


           20              for their persistence.  So, maybe, you know,


           21              some of these bosses earning the big bucks


           22              need a big broom to sweep them out when they


           23              don't answer questions and they won't help


           24              citizens with their problems.


           25                      MR. MCGOFF: Mrs. Evans, I'm sorry to






            1              interrupt, but I did receive this to be


            2              passed on and with you missing the meeting


            3              that you were ill and I neglected to get


            4              this to you in time, but it was received


            5              from them.


            6                      MS. EVANS: Oh, thank you.  So there


            7              is one after all, a draft copy, okay, and


            8              I'm going to go over there and I can let you


            9              know what that contains next week.  Thank


           10              you, Mr. McGoff.


           11                      MR. MCGOFF: And I'm sorry for the


           12              delay in that.


           13                      MS. EVANS: No problem.  Also, I


           14              received numerous e-mails and letters and a


           15              few calls regarding the tree planting in


           16              South Side and some residents noted that the


           17              2,600 block of Cedar area and the 26 and


           18              2,700 blocks of Birney where trees had


           19              damaged sidewalks and I was also asked to


           20              read the following note:  "We do not need


           21              any trees on the 500 block of Maple Street,


           22              South Scranton, 520, 524, 526 and 530 Maple


           23              Street where senior citizens unable to clean


           24              leaves and dirt from the trees.  We had


           25              trees planting and they uprooted the






            1              sidewalks which we had to have repaired and


            2              the leaf truck never showed up, so all of


            3              the leaves blew back on our properties.  We


            4              have need better streetlights, better roads


            5              and new lines painted on the streets."


            6                      Well, I'm not going to go on with


            7              the note, but I was hoping that perhaps


            8              council on behalf of the residents of just


            9              those specific addresses could send a letter


           10              to the Shade Tree Commission and the DPW


           11              notifying them that these specific


           12              residences would chose not to receive a


           13              tree.


           14                      MS. GATELLI: Can I interrupt?  No


           15              one is going to be a getting a tree that


           16              doesn't want one.  They are doing a survey


           17              of who wants trees, we have done this before


           18              in South Scranton and the people that didn't


           19              want them we took care of them, so no one


           20              will be getting a tree that doesn't want


           21              one.


           22                      MS. EVANS: Well, I understood from


           23              the newspaper that there is going to be


           24              sending letters to South Side residents and


           25              these trees can only be planted in low to






            1              moderate income areas.


            2                      MS. GATELLI: Actually, in the


            3              Renaissance area, the redevelopment project.


            4                      MS. EVANS: So, I had wished that


            5              these people who had contacted me would be


            6              aware that they do not have to accept the


            7              tree if they don't want the tree.  The trees


            8              are free.  If you don't want the tree, you


            9              need not accept it and I'm sure that there


           10              is a way that you will be able to make that


           11              clear in writing or, you know, if there is a


           12              visit to your home and if you have any other


           13              questions or problems about it you contact


           14              me.


           15                      Has council had ample time over the


           16              last three weeks to consider the amendment


           17              to File of Council 82, 2007?  I know in that


           18              period of time I have received a number of


           19              letters and e-mails regarding the amendment


           20              that I proposed three weeks ago?


           21                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yeah, I'm fine.


           22                      MR. MCGOFF: Yes.  To answer I looked


           23              them over as well.


           24                      MS. EVANS: Then, I would like to


           25              move the amendment tonight.  I move to amend






            1              File of Council No. 82, 2007, to approve


            2              penalty, interest and fee schedule for


            3              collection of delinquent real estate taxes


            4              by striking 3-J, eight-hundred and no


            5              one-hundredth dollars or the preparation of


            6              and filing of a writ of execution for


            7              sheriff's sale.


            8                      3-K, the actual filing service


            9              execution and poundage fees, if any, for


           10              service and execution by the Office of the


           11              Sheriff of the County which are in effect at


           12              the time of such filing service and


           13              execution as established by the Office of


           14              the Sheriff of the county or such other


           15              instrumentality of government and shall be


           16              charged with the establishment of such fee.


           17                   3-L, one-hundred seventy-five and no


           18              one-hundredth dollars for the preparation,


           19              filing and conduct of the proceedings to


           20              effect service of process.


           21                      3-M, thirty and no one-hundredth


           22              dollars for costs incurred in connection


           23              with the reissuance of writs.


           24                      3-P, twenty-five and no


           25              one-hundredth dollars for the preparation






            1              and filing of any praecipe, petition or


            2              motion to continue a judicial or sheriff's


            3              sale.


            4                      3-Q, four-hundred and no


            5              one-hundredth dollars for attendance by


            6              legal council at a judicial sheriff or tax


            7              sale.


            8                      And by striking the following dollar


            9              amounts:  3-A, twenty-five and no


           10              one-hundredth dollar per lien.  3-B,


           11              one-hundred sixty and no one-hundredth


           12              dollars.  3-C, thirty-five and no


           13              one-hundredth dollars.  3-U, and no more


           14              than $225 per hour commensurate with the


           15              attorney's normal hourly rate and inserting


           16              3-A, ten and no one-hundredth dollars.  3-B,


           17              40 and no one-hundredth dollars.  3-C, 30


           18              and no one-hundredth dollars.


           19                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.


           20                      MR. MCGOFF: On the question?


           21                      MR. COURTRIGHT: On the question,


           22              before Mrs. Evans had made that motion a few


           23              weeks back Mr. Hazzouri spoke and


           24              Mr. Hazzouri, I don't know if you are


           25              watching, but I've had an avalanche of phone






            1              calls since you presented yourself here,


            2              evidently you hit home with other people


            3              that have the same problems, so I thank you


            4              for coming and I think it's time we change


            5              this ordinance.


            6                      MS. EVANS: And in the interim, I did


            7              stop into the Single Tax Office and had a


            8              very lengthy discussion with Mr. Chuck Cox


            9              who was the internal collector of taxes


           10              prior to the appointment of Mrs. Vitale, and


           11              I also spoke with a representative of the


           12              Single Tax Claims Office of the County of


           13              Lackawanna and they were very helpful and,


           14              you know, neither indicated that sheriff's


           15              sales had been conducted, that tax sales had


           16              occurred, for example, in the city only as


           17              recently as 1998 and houses were never taken


           18              by sheriff's sale and the county provides a


           19              payment plan, the county collects only the


           20              school district library and county taxes,


           21              but they will provide a payment plan to any


           22              individuals who demonstrates need or


           23              extenuating circumstances.  Their statement


           24              was it has never been their intention to


           25              take a citizen's home through sheriff's






            1              sale, so --


            2                      MS. FANUCCI: Well, I met with three


            3              parties on this and the city also has that


            4              option, in fact, there were four documents


            5              that went out on this legislation all


            6              stating, "Please call us and setup a plan,"


            7              and I believe and, you know, I don't have


            8              the exact number, but there was something


            9              like 35 percent of the letters that went out


           10              called into the beginning to setup a payment


           11              plan and once the payment plan had started


           12              their process stopped right there.  I did


           13              look into Mr. Hazzouri's, exactly


           14              Mr. Hazzouri's after him being here and the


           15              reason his did not was because he never


           16              contacted to say, you know, I'll make a


           17              plan, I'll send you two dollars a week, you


           18              know, nothing.  He never made a contact in


           19              years, so that was the problem with


           20              Mr. Hazzouri's.  We have also had other


           21              people that we sat down and looked at, I had


           22              gotten tons of e-mails myself and when I


           23              went to and spoke to them on behalf of the


           24              taxpayers, they actually --NCC fixed, you


           25              know, the problem.  One was a bad address,






            1              they were sending actually their taxes to


            2              the wrong address and they were getting


            3              billed for that, they took care of that.


            4              And what they said was that they have no


            5              problem setting up a payment plan and that's


            6              what the letter stated for the past four


            7              letters, so that was something I was happy


            8              to see, you know, they are not looking to


            9              take the house either.  In fact, they have


           10              not implemented the sheriff's sales or taken


           11              over of the house and when the speaker got


           12              up a few weeks ago and stated that the city


           13              was taking this woman's home I knew that not


           14              to be a fact because that had not happened


           15              to anyone in the city.  So, that might have


           16              been a little bit of my reaction when


           17              sometimes people get up and misinform the


           18              public of what is going on.  So, you know,


           19              we do provide that, too.  Nobody in the city


           20              was looking to take the money.


           21                      Also, after looking at legislation,


           22              if you take out all of the fees that are you


           23              looking to take out the city and the


           24              taxpayers are still going to be responsible


           25              for that money.  Yeah.  Right.  So the






            1              taxpayer --


            2                      MS. EVANS: The city doesn't get that


            3              money.


            4                      MS. FANUCCI:  Wait, wait, wait, if


            5              we take the legislation out the city will be


            6              responsible for the fees, meaning that the


            7              taxpayers who do pay their taxes right now


            8              will have to pay those fees because the


            9              motion -- we already got the money, we


           10              received the money.  We received the tax


           11              money from the delinquent taxes, we have


           12              already received that and, Mr. McGoff, if


           13              you want it talk about the meeting with NCC


           14              that might be something that you want to go


           15              into so that they can understand a little


           16              bit more about what was said at that


           17              meeting.


           18                      MR. MCGOFF:  Well, just that --


           19              sorry.  Perhaps just to back up a little


           20              bit, this legislation was originally passed


           21              to deal with delinquent taxes for the years


           22              2004, 2005 and 2006.  When it was passed NCC


           23              sent letters to all of the names that they


           24              received even before they had, I'm going to


           25              say before there was the authority to do






            1              that, just a letter sent letting people know


            2              that these fees and penalties were going to


            3              be enacted and imposed.  That was in July of


            4              2007 and within the month of July they


            5              received back, I forget the dollar amount,


            6              but it was a significant amount of people


            7              responded and paid their taxes for those


            8              delinquent years.  I should also note that


            9              the claim that many of these letters that


           10              were sent and, again, I don't have the


           11              percentage, but a number of them were to --


           12              were out of the area that a significant


           13              number were out of the area.  Then in


           14              November 2007 a formal letter was sent to


           15              those people who had not -- let me backup.


           16                   If people even made an attempt, if


           17              people contacted NCC at that time after that


           18              July letter, there were no fees or penalties


           19              imposed from this legislation, it was


           20              stopped and any payment plan did not include


           21              fees.  In November a formal letter was sent


           22              notifying people that they had 30 days to


           23              respond and at the end of that 30 days that


           24              these penalties would, in fact, take place.


           25                      MS. EVANS: No, the people were






            1              charged those penalties.


            2                      MS. FANUCCI: No.


            3                      MS. EVANS: Yes, they were.  I


            4              have -- I have the evidence at home right


            5              from NCC.  They were charged extra.  The


            6              bill went from 100 and some dollars up to


            7              several hundred dollars within the 30 days


            8              time limit.


            9                      MS. FANUCCI: Well, I have the report


           10              from Patricia Cobb and she states that --


           11                      MS. EVANS: She is the attorney for


           12              NCC.


           13                      MS. FANUCCI: Right.  Right, that the


           14              they collected in three months prior to NCC


           15              they started in April 1 and they put out the


           16              first letter, nothing was changed in the


           17              fees, nothing, until they notified the


           18              people that they had 30 days and if -- and


           19              the fee was not implemented, so that's what


           20              she is saying, and for the 2005-2006 tax


           21              years then they said you have 30 days to


           22              call and make up a payment plan, every


           23              opportunity has been afforded to the


           24              delinquent taxpayer to get advance notice


           25              prior to implementation of any fee and the






            1              current SRA project was no exception.  They


            2              said that they always do that, that that's


            3              not a new procedure, they have done that


            4              from day one.  In June they alerted the


            5              delinquent taxpayer of the pending sale of


            6              the taxes due to SRA.


            7                       Now, this is a problem.  We


            8              received the money, we sold our delinquent


            9              taxes to a company, they gave us the money.


           10              We did this why?  Because we didn't want to


           11              have to raise taxes.  We wanted to try to


           12              get some money from people who owed us money


           13              already, this was the delinquent taxpayer


           14              from 2005 to 2007 is included, also.  They


           15              did not put the fees on them, but they were


           16              notified.  So, you had time to make up a


           17              payment schedule, you had time to say,


           18              "Listen, I have a problem, I'm not going to


           19              be able to do that."


           20                      They have not put more taxes on or


           21              more money on anyone who has made a payment


           22              schedule, so to me that's what this is about


           23              and we also, you know, since then 25 percent


           24              more money has come into the city in 2007


           25              since we did put these fees on an implement






            1              them because people knew now that we have a


            2              recourse.  Before, the county did have a


            3              reason and a good reason to be able to take


            4              your houses because they have legislation,


            5              we did not have legislation, we had nothing


            6              to be able to say we can collect the fees.


            7              That's why they are paying their county


            8              taxes and they were paying state taxes and


            9              they were leaving the city dry, so I don't


           10              believe that any of these fees, you know,


           11              are put out there for people not to be at a


           12              stop.


           13                      I mean, it's not like we are just


           14              saying, okay, this is going, this ball is in


           15              motion, it's going to keep going and keep


           16              going and we are going to get all of this


           17              money and have you no say if you can't


           18              afford it, if the seniors cannot afford


           19              this.  That's not how it works.  They still


           20              have the right to just like anything else


           21              when your credit card comes in the mail you


           22              have to call and makeup a schedule, a


           23              payment schedule, and as long as you do that


           24              these fees will never happen.


           25                      MS. EVANS: Well, this gentleman who






            1              was 88-years old was not given the option of


            2              a payment plan.  He was given 30 days in


            3              which to pay the initial amount plus the


            4              extra let's say $300 plus by that 30th day


            5              and if not beyond that it jumped up to


            6              $2000, so there was no payment plan within


            7              that 30-day time period.


            8                      But, again, I anticipated this three


            9              weeks ago when I introduced it the first


           10              time.  I anticipated that, you know, of


           11              course, you are going to seek other


           12              opinions, but I have to say it is a


           13              questionable reference when it's coming from


           14              the very company that's reaping the rich


           15              financial benefits of that piece of


           16              legislation.  Of course they are going to


           17              defend it.  They are getting very rich off


           18              it.


           19                      And, you know, senior citizens,


           20              people will talk about get a reverse


           21              mortgage.  Well, you know what, there is an


           22              awful lot of working families that are in


           23              these circumstances, they are not old enough


           24              to apply for a reverse mortgage.  And senior


           25              citizens, yes, I know very well how






            1              meticulous they are about paying their


            2              bills, but you can't get blood from a stone.


            3              If the money isn't there the money isn't


            4              there.  They are not hiding it under their


            5              mattress because they intend to take them


            6              with them over a cathedral cemetery.  They


            7              haven't got it.  So now we are going to


            8              proceed along with a sheriff's sale which is


            9              something that, you know, to my knowledge


           10              has only been a regular occurrence with, for


           11              example, banks and mortgages and mortgagees,


           12              and we are stepping right into that


           13              territory not to make the city rich, but to


           14              make an outside agency rich.


           15                      MS. FANUCCI: We received


           16              90 percent--


           17                      MS. EVANS:  We received -- no.


           18                      MS. FANUCCI: -- of our back taxes


           19              for selling those.


           20                      MS. EVANS: We received taxes and we


           21              placed a 10 percent annum on top of that.


           22              NCC places a 25 percent on top of that plus


           23              everything in that that legislation.


           24                      MS. FANUCCI: If a phone call is not


           25              made to makeup a payment plan.  So, yes, I






            1              do feel --


            2                      MS. EVANS: Why were people not


            3              offered payment plans?


            4                      MS. FANUCCI: They were are all


            5              offered payment plans.


            6                      MS. EVANS: No, they were not.


            7                      MS. FANUCCI:  Did you make a phone


            8              call to NCC on behalf of that 80-year-old


            9              man?


           10                      MS. EVANS: No, I didn't, but I've


           11              actually been to -- -


           12                      MS. FANUCCI: You should have.


           13                      MS. EVANS: -- NCC since I have been


           14              on counsel.


           15                      MS. FANUCCI: Yes, once at 4:00, they


           16              told us that you were, but what I want to


           17              ask you --


           18                      MS. EVANS: Oh, did they?  What else


           19              did they say?


           20                      MS. FANUCCI:  I said -- they said --


           21              "Was she here," I asked.  I said, "Was she


           22              here," because I wanted to know where the


           23              information you were provided from and they


           24              said you were there.


           25                      MS. EVANS: Was it John Petulla you






            1              spoke with?


            2                      MS. FANUCCI: I spoke to everyone.  I


            3              spoke to --


            4                      MS. EVANS: Oh, John Petulla, yes,


            5              and the attorney.


            6                      MS. FANUCCI: I said, "Did you speak


            7              to Mrs. Evans on behalf of this


            8              legislation?"


            9                      Of course I did.


           10                      MS. EVANS: Well, I am very glad that


           11              they told you about my visit.  Did they also


           12              tell you that they threatened me --


           13                      MS. FANUCCI: No.


           14                      MS. EVANS: -- with pulling their


           15              business out of Scranton for coming to


           16              complain, question and defend the taxpayers


           17              in the city --


           18                      MS. FANUCCI: No.


           19                      MS. EVANS: -- who had been


           20              improperly filed against by them?  That


           21              company has been sued several times.


           22                      MS. FANUCCI: You didn't go on behalf


           23              the taxpayer and that's what I'm saying, if


           24              you spoke on that 80-year-old man, like I


           25              went on three different occasions about






            1              people since we started this discussion and


            2              they did correct problems, problems that


            3              were wrong address, problems that --


            4                      MS. EVANS: But the meeting was down


            5              at NCC with his nephew, who is middle-aged,


            6              they understand the situation very well.


            7              They went to NCC.


            8                      MS. FANUCCI: And they would not


            9              makeup a payment plan for him?


           10                      MS. EVANS: No, they would not.  No,


           11              they would not.  And that was the story I


           12              brought to you on council in December.


           13                      MS. FANUCCI: Will you provide his


           14              name after the meeting?


           15                      MS. EVANS: I don't have the


           16              information with me and I would have to ask


           17              the parties involved.


           18                      MS. FANUCCI:  Right.  See, if they


           19              will do that.


           20                      MS. EVANS: And if they want their


           21              name --


           22                      MS. FANUCCI: Because they really


           23              have been very helpful with people that I


           24              have provided for them to try to get to them


           25              to see if they can come to a --






            1                      MS. EVANS: Well, that would mean


            2              though that for everyone who has a problem I


            3              think you would have to be going down there


            4              and interceding for them.


            5                      MS. FANUCCI: No, I think that a


            6              phone call to stop your taxes from -- your


            7              delinquent taxes from going into fees is not


            8              something that's unreasonable for the normal


            9              taxpayer.  I think that the people should


           10              want to do that.  I know myself if I get


           11              behind you call.  You call and find out if


           12              there is way you can make payments and the


           13              bottom line is that if you can call and stop


           14              the process and it would take a phone call


           15              from what they are saying then these fees


           16              are not going to be tacked on and that's the


           17              bottom line, but I also am happy for the


           18              money we received.  I am happy for the fact


           19              that we increased 25 percent of our tax


           20              base.


           21                      MS. EVANS: You know what, I bet if


           22              we ever had the audacity to pass an amnesty


           23              program for a period of months, I bet the


           24              city would see triple what it does right now


           25              because if people were able to pay just the






            1              face value of what they owe I think you


            2              would see that money coming in.


            3                      MR. MCGOFF: They were offered that


            4              opportunity.


            5                      MS. FANUCCI: From day one.


            6                      MS. EVANS: When were they offered


            7              that opportunity?


            8                      MR. MCGOFF: When the letter was sent


            9              from NCC.


           10                      MS. FANUCCI:  For 2005, 2006 --


           11                      MS. EVANS: The face value.


           12                      MS. FANUCCI: Face value.  2005,


           13              2006--


           14                      MS. EVANS: So, NCC was not going to


           15              collect their 25 percent fee on top of that?


           16              I doubt that very much.


           17                      MR. MCGOFF: I'll stand corrected on


           18              that.


           19                      MS. EVANS: And the city's additional


           20              10 percent.


           21                      MR. MCGOFF: To date, just to back up


           22              and -- to date, since December, in December


           23              after the 30-day period was over fees were


           24              attached.  The only fees that were attached


           25              were the ones that are on here from A






            1              through E.  At this point in time no


            2              additional fees have been attached at all.


            3              The attempt was that the initial fees were


            4              sufficient enough to -- should have been


            5              sufficient enough to encourage people to pay


            6              the delinquent taxes.  If not, then, yes,


            7              additional fees would be added, but all of


            8              these have not been attached at this point


            9              in time, only the first five, and with that


           10              as a February $192,000 -- over $192,000 has


           11              been collected in delinquent taxes.


           12                      I think there is a need, and I said


           13              this before when the initial legislation


           14              came along, I think there is a need for


           15              penalty for people who refuse to pay taxes.


           16              I think there are -- are there circumstances


           17              in which there are people that are hurt by


           18              it, probably, and I think that those can be


           19              dealt with as they are have been in some


           20              cases, but I think that removing the penalty


           21              penalties from the delinquent taxes severs


           22              no purpose, that people will continue to not


           23              pay.


           24                      MS. EVANS: Well, this doesn't remove


           25              all the penalties though, Mr. McGoff, I'm






            1              not rescinding the ordinance.


            2                      MR. MCGOFF: I understand that.


            3                      MS. EVANS: I'm amending it to make


            4              it more reasonable.


            5                      MR. MCGOFF: I understand that.


            6                      MS. EVANS: There are still, indeed,


            7              many penalties, costs and fees attached to


            8              it because I, too, favor collecting


            9              delinquent taxes.  I just don't favor


           10              putting my throat on some -- or putting my


           11              foot on someone's throat and crushing them.


           12                      MR. MCGOFF: I don't think that


           13              that's happening.


           14                      MS. EVANS: Well, of course, that


           15              will never happen, that's why it's included


           16              here in writing.


           17                      MR. MCGOFF: I might also mention


           18              that taxpayers do have the ability to


           19              challenge the reasonableness and validity of


           20              fees and penalties from third party


           21              collectors, the Municipal Claim and Tax Lien


           22              law allows that opportunity, so there are


           23              avenues for people that --


           24                      MS. EVANS: I'm well aware of that,


           25              but are they going to have the money to hire






            1              an attorney to go and challenge this if they


            2              don't even have the money to pay for their


            3              delinquency.


            4                      MR. MCGOFF: I'm just saying that


            5              there are opportunities for people to pay


            6              their delinquent taxes without onerous


            7              penalties being attached.  When people


            8              refuse to do that and make no effort to do


            9              that then, in fact, there needs to be


           10              something in place that will compel them in


           11              some way to pay those taxes.  I don't think


           12              that that is unreasonable and I think that


           13              the legislation that was passed is a


           14              reasonable attempt to collect the delinquent


           15              taxes.


           16                      MS. EVANS: Well, then I just hope we


           17              are going to be this meticulous across the


           18              board with all taxes.  Wage taxes, those who


           19              have never paid it, those who live here,


           20              work out of town and don't pay it, people


           21              whose files have been pulled, let's be just


           22              as meticulous to the rich as we are to the


           23              poor.


           24                      MS. GATELLI: I agree with that.


           25                      MR. MCGOFF:  I would support that






            1              wholeheartedly.


            2                      MS. FANUCCI:  I agree with that


            3              100 percent.


            4                      MS. EVANS: There is an awful lot out


            5              there.


            6                      MS. FANUCCI: How do you -- Mrs.


            7              Evans, do you really know that for a fact?


            8              Because you bring it up a lot.  Is that


            9              factual information because I believe if


           10              that is factual information that that's


           11              something that should be brought forward,


           12              right?  I mean, if you know that, that these


           13              are certain individuals out there who are


           14              not paying and that they are being protected


           15              I think you should bring that out.


           16                      MS. EVANS: And what -- honestly


           17              would what would be done with them?  I think


           18              we all know, I mean, it sounds very nice to


           19              do that, sounds like the right thing, like


           20              I'm trying to do the right thing here, you


           21              see the right thing, you see a wrong thing,


           22              you try to do the right thing for people,


           23              but it doesn't happen, so I have very little


           24              faith in a system that's going to go after


           25              those people when it's been ongoing for a






            1              long time, and, you know, just like I said


            2              that night, and I don't want to belabor this


            3              anymore, when Mr. McDowell would not even


            4              allow these tax auditors to come to a


            5              meeting just to discuss the process, what


            6              does that tell you?


            7                      MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else on the


            8              question?  The motion is to Amendment to


            9              File of Council No. 82, 2007.  All those in


           10              favor?


           11                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.


           12                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.


           13                      MR. MCGOFF:  All those opposed?


           14                      MS. FANUCCI:  No.


           15                      MS. GATELLI:  No.


           16                      MR. MCGOFF:  No.


           17                      MS. EVANS: Sorry, folks.  But


           18              tomorrow is another day.  Next, I have a few


           19              more issues.  If this would be agreeable to


           20              my honorable colleagues council requests a


           21              letter to the University of Scranton and the


           22              Public Safety Department on behalf of Hill


           23              Section residents requesting a proactive


           24              plan an increased surveillance of off campus


           25              students dwellings on March 15, 2008, St.






            1              Patrick's parade day and I think all of us


            2              did receive a letter from a concerned


            3              resident, I'm just going to give this


            4              briefly, not the entire letter, last year's


            5              parade day celebrated by the off-campus


            6              students that lived in these run-down


            7              dwellings involved almost 24 hours of


            8              drinking, harassment, fights and vandalism.


            9              Hundreds of partygoers, mostly underage,


           10              descended on our neighborhood throughout the


           11              morning hours.  These student tenant


           12              buildings were full of partiers inside and


           13              on porches throughout the day.  Late in the


           14              afternoon, these drunken parties turned


           15              destructive as students, including many


           16              friends from out-of-town spilled out onto


           17              the streets harassing residents in their


           18              homes and assaulting young people walking


           19              home from the parade.  And it goes on and


           20              that paragraph ends.


           21                      Our police officers did their


           22              absolute best to cover dozens of city blocks


           23              around this school that day.  The next


           24              morning these students took off for spring


           25              break and you know what happened thereafter,






            1              I don't want to go into that and incident.


            2                      But, if council agrees I would like


            3              that letter sent to the University and to


            4              the Public Safety Director.  Yes?  Thank


            5              you.


            6                      The mayor recently stated that he


            7              intends to tear down the remaining theatre


            8              structure at Nay Aug park because a


            9              replacement is impractical and before the


           10              door closes on this project I have several


           11              questions which require responses from the


           12              administration.  I'd like to know the name


           13              of the insurance company and agent that


           14              insured the tent theatre at Nay Aug Park.


           15              Why didn't the city file an insurance claim


           16              to repair the theatre?


           17                      Also, was the structure insured with


           18              inadequate coverage and if so, why.


           19              Further, why was the tent not dismantled


           20              from the frame during the winter months and


           21              why was a decision made to tear down the


           22              theater one year after the actual damages


           23              occurred?  And if my colleagues agree with


           24              my concerns I would like letters sent on


           25              behalf of council to the mayor, Mr. Brazil,






            1              Mrs. Novembrino and Attorney Patterson


            2              requesting responses to the aforementioned


            3              questions.


            4                      MR. MCGOFF: Any objection?


            5                      MS. GATELLI: I just would like to


            6              add one thing, I don't know if you will


            7              agree, but I think the tent should stay


            8              there.


            9                      MS. EVANS: I do, too.


           10                      MS. GATELLI: And I have talked to


           11              Bob Slessinger from the Scranton Theatre and


           12              it was very successful.


           13                      MS. EVANS: Yes.


           14                      MS. GATELLI:  So, I would like to


           15              add that in there that the mayor can do


           16              whatever he can to --


           17                      MS. EVANS: Certainly.


           18                      MS. GATELLI: Reinstate that tent.


           19                      MS. EVANS:  Um-hum, I agree.


           20                      MS. GATELLI: And then I agree with


           21              the whole thing.


           22                      MR. MCGOFF: Any objections to the


           23              letter?


           24                      MS. EVANS: On --


           25                      MR. MCGOFF: I would just going to






            1              ask Mrs. Garvey to do that.


            2                      MS. EVANS: Thank you.  On a related


            3              topic, I would like to know if the treehouse


            4              is insured and by what insurance company and


            5              agent and also I wish to know how it can be


            6              insured with only one entrance/exit.


            7                      I also have, this was built-up now


            8              over three weeks, some citizens' requests.


            9              The 2100 block of Brick Avenue residents


           10              report that in front of and across from 2158


           11              Brick Avenue both sewers are blocked.  And,


           12              in fact, I got a call today from the


           13              residents stating that they are working in


           14              the area not on these specific problems that


           15              I'm reporting, but they are working close by


           16              on the same types of problems, so I'm hoping


           17              while they are out there they would get to


           18              this address, 2158 Brick.  The street is


           19              beginning to erode causing a dangerous drop


           20              into a column dump and into like Leggett's


           21              Creek, the depression needs to be filled as


           22              soon as possible and residents also request


           23              the installation of a guardrail, if


           24              possible, in this area to prevent vehicular


           25              accidents.






            1                      The 200 block of Hollister Avenue


            2              neighbors report junk cars in the block and


            3              they report that previously junk cars were


            4              removed, but they were later replaced by


            5              others.


            6                      The 900 block of Myrtle Street


            7              between Quincy Avenue and Hitchcock Court,


            8              there would be trash, mattresses, weeds,


            9              twigs which were thrown on the sidewalks and


           10              curbs seven months ago and part of debris


           11              was even dragged up the hill where it also


           12              remains and as a result students have to


           13              walk in the street because they can't


           14              navigate on the sidewalk through the debris,


           15              so the area of residents voice their concern


           16              for school students during the winter months


           17              who were forced to walk into the streets so


           18              if the DPW could please pick up that trash


           19              in both locations as soon as possible.


           20                      The rear of 730 North Irving Avenue.


           21              Residents of the 700 block of North Irving


           22              Avenue wish to know why repeated calls,


           23              requests, and promises by Mr. Seitzinger


           24              have gone unanswered over the last one and


           25              one half years.  The garage at that address






            1              remains in deplorable condition and poses a


            2              safety hazard.  When can they expect action


            3              will occur?


            4                      The residents of the 1400 block of


            5              Dickson Avenue complain of dust and dirt in


            6              their road from Keystone Block located at


            7              the corner of Glen Street and Dickson


            8              Avenue.


            9                      And, finally, I have received


           10              reports that the university is demolishing


           11              the old student center, and I'm told that


           12              it's been done without permits.  I don't


           13              know if that is true or false because I am


           14              not an employee of licensing, inspections


           15              and permits, so I'm hoping that


           16              Mr. Seitzinger can either verify this and


           17              correct it or deny it because it's an


           18              absolutely falsehood, and that's it.


           19                      MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Courtright?


           20                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yes.  I'll go first


           21              with, we discussed in caucus about Keyser --


           22              the people's concern in Keyser Terrace and


           23              Mr. Powell was here earlier speaking on the


           24              development of up there, and I was there


           25              last week, not this past Saturday but the






            1              Saturday before with many of the residents,


            2              and they would like to see that we would


            3              have a meeting at the Keyser Valley


            4              Community Center.  Thursday evenings seem to


            5              be the night they would be hoping for.  They


            6              said anytime 7:00, 7:30 would be acceptable


            7              to them.  The question arose, you know,


            8              would all of council be able to be there, I


            9              think all of council with be able to be


           10              there as long as we were in observance and


           11              weren't taking any action.  Kay?  Kay, I'm


           12              sorry.


           13                      MS. GARVEY: I'm sorry, I was


           14              conferring with Mr. Minora.


           15                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I guess we are at a


           16              little bit at a loss for who is doing


           17              Mr. Parker's job right now, but if we can


           18              ask Mr. Brazil if he knows and ask them if


           19              they would be willing to meet with the


           20              residents of Keyser Terrace on some Thursday


           21              evening in the very near future, number one,


           22              as soon as possible so that the thing


           23              Mr. Powell has spoken about doesn't go


           24              forward and is already built by the time we


           25              have the meeting; and number two, I have a






            1              list and if anybody from council doesn't


            2              have it, I have a list of the concerns that


            3              I received when I was back there and I asked


            4              them to put it in writing for me, and there


            5              are several, and a layman's opinion, my


            6              opinion, there is a lot of problems there,


            7              so if we can try to get that setup as soon


            8              as possible some Thursday evening I would


            9              appreciate that.


           10                      One other thing, Kay, I know awhile


           11              back we asked to give proclamations to the


           12              West Scranton football team and I believe we


           13              are awaiting for some other seasons to get


           14              over, maybe basketball.


           15                      MS. GATELLI:  I think will be next


           16              week.


           17                      MR. COURTRIGHT: So if we can get


           18              that going I'm sure everybody would like to


           19              see that.


           20                      MS. GATELLI: I think it's going to


           21              be next week, I'll let you know tomorrow.


           22                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I got this letter


           23              awhile back and it's three pages front and


           24              back and I apologize, but I can't make out


           25              your writing, most of your letter and I






            1              believe it's about, I know it's about Park


            2              Gardens, and some kind of parking problem up


            3              there and it's a very lengthy letter, but


            4              you left me no phone number or address or


            5              anything for me to get in touch with you,


            6              and I apologize, but I can't read your


            7              writing and I have tried to ask a couple of


            8              over people to read it and they had


            9              difficulty, too, so if you wrote this letter


           10              if you could call me or if you want to


           11              e-mail it to me you can do that and then I


           12              would be able to read it and I'll try to


           13              help you out.


           14                      We have the legislation on Skyview


           15              this evening.  I had asked this in the past


           16              and it kind of fell on deaf ears now that we


           17              got a new director over there and maybe she


           18              whould be willing to do this, when we have


           19              legislation coming down of this magnitude I


           20              think it's fair to say that the


           21              administration knows months and months,


           22              maybe years at a time sometimes, and so--


           23              which would be Mrs. Aebli now, but before


           24              Mrs. Hailstone, and I think it's kind of


           25              unfair to us to give us the legislation, you






            1              know, three or four days before we have a


            2              meeting or whatever the case maybe.


            3                      And even I believe Mrs. Aebli, is it


            4              Mrs. Aebli or is it Miss?  Miss, okay.  I'm


            5              old here, I guess, but she even said this


            6              was a very complex piece of legislation and


            7              I would ask that they do this, if they are


            8              going to send legislation such as this


            9              before to try and give us, you know, a


           10              couple of weeks notice, hey, this is going


           11              to be coming down if you have any questions


           12              so that we can intelligently vote on this.


           13                   I'm voting, no, on all of tonight only


           14              because I got the letter from her today, I


           15              did call there the other day she wasn't in


           16              and neither was Lori Reed and Jim, I forget


           17              his last name, but he was very helpful to


           18              me, he tried to answer every question I had


           19              for him, and I then I got an e-mail from Ms.


           20              Aebli just the other day and I hadn't had an


           21              opportunity to get back to her.  So I'm just


           22              voting, no, because I don't feel that I'm up


           23              to speed on it, and I'm always leery when we


           24              are giving grants.


           25                      I just got a letter today, and I






            1              actually got it here late and I didn't


            2              really read it, I didn't have an opportunity


            3              to, but especially when we are giving money


            4              away in a grant that really makes me think,


            5              but $400,000 and then another $150,000 is a


            6              lot of money.  It's my understanding it is a


            7              private company.


            8                      One of the questions that I asked


            9              is, you know, who are the people behind it


           10              because that question is always asked to me,


           11              you know, is it this corporation or that


           12              corporation and I don't think it's any


           13              secret one of the first things they asked me


           14              is do they donate to the mayor?  You know, I


           15              don't know if they did or not, you know, I


           16              don't know even know their names, but


           17              whatever information they could give me I


           18              would appreciate it.  I am going to vote,


           19              no, this evening.  If it moves forward I


           20              will certainly talk to Ms. Aebli either this


           21              week and try to get more abreast of what's


           22              going on here.


           23                      Kay, another thing, I guess my stuff


           24              has built up here as well as Mrs. Evans has,


           25              I asked a long time ago there was a study






            1              done back on Kane Street and Pittston Avenue


            2              in Minooka and I asked back when Mr. Parker


            3              was here and I didn't get any response to


            4              the study, and when Mr. Brazil first came on


            5              it was only fair to give him some time.  I


            6              would like to see the study that was done


            7              back there on Kane and Pittston Avenue as


            8              they continue to get flooded.  I know there


            9              is no easy fix, but I would just like to see


           10              the study.


           11                      I promised the people back there


           12              that I would try to look into it for them


           13              and I'm probably forgetting some of the


           14              things, but one last thing, I believe the


           15              mayor said he doesn't answer, he doesn't


           16              like getting my letters on this or he is not


           17              going to answer anymore or whatever the case


           18              may be, but I'm going to ask to send a


           19              letter on this again.  For years now I have


           20              been asking about this project that we try


           21              to do on Main Avenue in West Scranton and


           22              Congressman Kanjorski is more than gracious


           23              enough to come in, he walked the avenue with


           24              us, he asked a lot of questions, not only


           25              was he in favor of the project he had some






            1              suggestions.  One of his suggestions was he


            2              wanted to see underground utilities, and as


            3              that moved on I had asked many times were we


            4              still good with that, they said the project


            5              wasn't dead but I got no answers.


            6                      I stopped the mayor at the National


            7              Night Out this year and I asked him, is this


            8              project dead, I said, I'm not going to just


            9              keep busting you week after week, if it's


           10              dead, tell me it's dead.  He said, no, it's


           11              not dead, we weren't going the route of


           12              Mr. Kanjorski, the money was going to be


           13              coming from the state and we would see it in


           14              the state budget, so if you would please


           15              update me so I can update the people on Main


           16              Avenue.


           17                      And the urgency is this, many of


           18              them were interested in repairing their


           19              sidewalks themselves but they don't want to


           20              come in and do whatever they need to do with


           21              them and the project does go through, so,


           22              you know, we kind of got them on hold here.


           23              So, if he does not like me sending him a


           24              letter and he tells you that I will call


           25              him, whatever he wants me to do to make him






            1              happy I will do it, I would just like an


            2              answer, and I believe that's all I have.


            3              Thank you.


            4                      MR. MCGOFF: Mrs. Fanucci.


            5                      MS. FANUCCI: I actually wanted to


            6              speak on two things tonight.  I would like


            7              to make a motion in light of the NCC and try


            8              to take a gauge on who is having problems


            9              and who is not having problems, I want to


           10              send a letter to the mayor to implement the


           11              procedure for the Treasurer's Office to log


           12              all calls with the person's name and number


           13              and the problem so that we can get a copy of


           14              that weekly and maybe try to keep, you know,


           15              on top of the situation to see what exactly


           16              is going on.  You know what, maybe that way


           17              we would know if -- I did make that in a


           18              motion awhile ago that every department


           19              actually started keeping logs and from what


           20              I was told the procedure has to come through


           21              the mayor's office, so I'm going -- he is in


           22              charge of that department, so I am going to


           23              ask that the mayor does implement this and


           24              maybe make sure that he we can receive a


           25              copy of the log weekly, that way we can






            1              contact, you know, know exactly what kind of


            2              problems are going on and I'm doing that in


            3              the form of a motion.


            4                      MS. GATELLI: I'll second that.


            5                      MS. FANUCCI:  Thank you.


            6                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  On the question,


            7              I'm for your motion, but I'm just asking


            8              this question, is this where they are


            9              instructed to call is the Treasurer's


           10              Office?  Is that the first place they call?


           11                      MS. FANUCCI: That would be the first


           12              phone call if you are having problems you


           13              would call there first before, you know, to


           14              before you would be directed to NCC and I


           15              know that a lot of problems have come in


           16              through that office because we have been


           17              told that, so I would like to know and just


           18              try to find out what citizens are having


           19              problems and I think that if we can stay on


           20              top of that that might be helpful.


           21                      MS. EVANS: I think, yeah, they get


           22              some calls, but actually the delinquent


           23              taxpayer is directed to call NCC.


           24                      MS. FANUCCI: Right.  Right, after


           25              that.






            1                      MS. EVANS: And, you know, it was a


            2              number of years ago, Mr. Courtright you


            3              might recall, I had asked that NCC take or


            4              keep logs of their phone calls because at


            5              that time we had so many citizens who came


            6              to city council just that once or twice to


            7              talk about NCC and the fact that they had


            8              been abused over the phone, do you recall


            9              that?


           10                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yeah.


           11                      MS. GATELLI:  I remember that.


           12                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I got to say this,


           13              we changed the letter which I think solved a


           14              lot of problems, the letter was a little on


           15              the harsh side back then and it was scaring,


           16              it was certainly scary to some older people.


           17              I got to say one thing, ever since that


           18              letter has been changed most of my calls


           19              have been limited.  Most of them.  Now, with


           20              this new legislation, I got to be honest,


           21              they have started to escalate again.


           22                      MS. FANUCCI: Well, there is a reason


           23              I'm doing this, I had a few constituents


           24              when I was talking to about the address


           25              being a problem, the address change, the






            1              first phone call that was made was made


            2              there and, you know, I just think that that


            3              would be a starting ground for us at least


            4              to try and to get it and I would love to see


            5              that in all departments, but just to start


            6              there because that's what we are discussing


            7              tonight and no different than me saying when


            8              I went over to NCC, did you speak to Mrs.


            9              Evans on this, this is our problems.  I


           10              mean, you have you to try and stay ahead of


           11              it, so that's what I wanted to do.


           12                      MR. MCGOFF: We have a motion to ask


           13              the mayor to institute a call log for the


           14              Treasurer's Office, all calls dealing with


           15              delinquent taxes and listing a name, a


           16              contact number and the specific nature of


           17              the problem.  All in favor?


           18                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.


           19                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.


           20                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.


           21                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.


           22                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  All Opposed?  The


           23              ayes have it and so moved.


           24                      MS. FANUCCI: I wanted to speak on a


           25              few of the OECD issues we had tonight.  The






            1              money -- the Growing Greener money, that is


            2              not a new issue of money.  It is a transfer


            3              from the Connell building project to the


            4              garage, the reason being, and I know I have


            5              said this 100 times, and when I say it for


            6              some reason that people ask for information


            7              and when I give it seems like it's not true,


            8              but it's a use it or lose it deal.  If it's


            9              not used soon we will lose that money from


           10              the state.  That is why it was transferred


           11              to the garage because that's going to be the


           12              first phase of the project, that seems to be


           13              progressing faster than the Connell


           14              building, that's what I have been told.  A


           15              lot of times they have timeframes on the


           16              money, you know, and this money was


           17              earmarked for the Connell building in the


           18              beginning so it's not new money that's being


           19              issued.


           20                      I also want to on behalf of Mrs.


           21              Schumacher, I would like to send a letter to


           22              licensing and permit maybe to Mark asking


           23              him how a restaurant can fall through the


           24              crack with our health department and health


           25              inspector, what has happened there, maybe






            1              for a little bit of a report so with can


            2              find out exactly how this happened so maybe


            3              we can prevent that from happening again in


            4              the city.  And maybe he can give us some


            5              insight on, you know, we have all said that


            6              we would like to see some more people in


            7              that department, so maybe will help us get


            8              some insight on that.


            9                      And I do want to say one thing you


           10              one thing, you know, in light of the last


           11              few weeks and all of the terrible violent


           12              situations that have occurred I'm going to


           13              ask, Mrs. Knight, when you come up to speak


           14              I do smile and I'm going to smile at you


           15              because I do feel that you are trying to


           16              engage a situation that maybe is not exactly


           17              something that you are intending to do.  I


           18              do feel that your tone gets a little bit,


           19              you know, you get excited and you get a


           20              little bit out of control, so when I do that


           21              it's to try and deflect the way you are


           22              going about your actions and speaking.  I'm


           23              certainly never going to stop smiling, but I


           24              do want to say that I'm going to ask that


           25              maybe we can tone it down.  I understand you






            1              have your views and I understand your views


            2              perfectly, but maybe if we cannot engage in


            3              such a combative behavior that might be


            4              something that we can think about.  And that


            5              is all I have.  Thank you.


            6                      MS. KNIGHT: And can I answer on


            7              that?


            8                      MR. MCGOFF:  Excuse me.


            9                      MS. KNIGHT:  Mr. McGoff, can I


           10              answer?


           11                      MR. MCGOFF: Excuse me, no.


           12                      MS. KNIGHT: Oh, I can't?


           13                      MR. MCGOFF: No.


           14                      MS. KNIGHT: Well, I will see you


           15              next week, Ms. Fanucci.


           16                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.  Mrs.


           17              Gatelli.


           18                      MS. GATELLI: The first thing I'd


           19              like to remind Kay about the letter


           20              concerning the skunks, but more importantly,


           21              if you see any of your neighbors that don't


           22              have garbage cans that is the number one


           23              reason why there are skunks.  If there is


           24              nothing for the skunks to eat you will not


           25              have skunks in your neighborhood and mostly






            1              the people that I talk to that do have the


            2              skunks it usually is a neighbor that doesn't


            3              have a can and the garbage is laying all


            4              over their yard, so, you know, we might want


            5              to have the department of community


            6              development be a little more alert when


            7              there is a garbage complaint because it does


            8              cause the skunk problem.


            9                      Another item concerning the St.


           10              Patrick's Day parade, it is a problem, it's


           11              a problem every year, and I worked one year


           12              with the Lackawanna County Drug and Alcohol


           13              Commission and we tried to encourage the


           14              taverns not to open quiet so early in the


           15              morning.  We were not successful, but I


           16              think it would be behoove this council to


           17              send a letter to the Drug and Alcohol


           18              Commission of Lackawanna County and


           19              encourage them to try to make another effort


           20              at encouraging the taverns, I know that we


           21              cannot make them do that, but it certainly


           22              would add to the family atmosphere that


           23              should be at the St. Patrick's Day parade


           24              rather than some of the things we do see, so


           25              I'm going to ask that if everyone would






            1              agree that we send a letter to the


            2              Lackawanna County Drug and Alcohol


            3              Commission and ask them to contact the


            4              Tavern Association and just encourage them


            5              to possibly not open quite as earlier on the


            6              St. Patrick's Day parade.


            7                      MR. MCGOFF:  Any opposition?  Mrs.


            8              Garvey, please make that happen.


            9                      MS. GATELLI:  And the last thing I


           10              want to do is we have a new tax collector


           11              and I think that it is time now for us to


           12              investigate the wage tax.  I do know of


           13              people that don't pay the wage tax because


           14              they say they don't live in Scranton and


           15              they have a home somewhere else and they


           16              claim that as their primary domicile which


           17              in my own mind I know that it really isn't,


           18              but I don't know legally the ramifications


           19              if you have several homes what that entails,


           20              but I would like to send a letter to the tax


           21              collector and ask her to do an investigation


           22              at her earliest convenience to look to her


           23              auditors for some information and see if,


           24              indeed, there is any evidence that wage


           25              taxes are not being paid and, you know, I






            1              don't know how far back we can go, but I


            2              would ask for at least the last several


            3              years to start with and if she could respond


            4              to us in, you know, within a month or so and


            5              maybe give us a copy of her audit if


            6              everyone is agreeable with that?  Anybody


            7              like to add anything else to that?


            8                      MS. EVANS: Yes, perhaps the auditors


            9              could explain to her the process that the


           10              city used to follow-up and what their jobs


           11              had once consisted of in terms of the


           12              collection.


           13                      MS. GATELLI: Of the wage tax.


           14                      MS. EVANS: And delinquent wage taxes


           15              and why it was discontinued and in what ways


           16              it could be revitalized.


           17                      MS. GATELLI:  Okay.  I think we need


           18              to get some answers.  And that's all I have.


           19              Thank you.


           20                      MR. MCGOFF: I'll try to be quick,


           21              just two times.  First that it was brought


           22              up by a couple of speakers, again, the issue


           23              of Mr. Brazil helping move paintings from


           24              the gallery or from the street outside of


           25              the gallery, I know that someone did bring






            1              that issue to the District Attorney's


            2              Office, the District Attorney's Office did


            3              respond that there was -- that they did not


            4              feel that there was a reason to investigate


            5              and there was no violation of any law in


            6              what he did.  And again, I don't know the


            7              exact circumstances of why Mr. Brazil was


            8              there or did that, but I agree that acting


            9              in good faith to help people in an emergency


           10              is part of what Department of Public Works


           11              should do and for those who said that


           12              perhaps the Department of Public Works


           13              should be available at other emergencies I


           14              wholeheartedly agree, and I would have faith


           15              in Mr. Brazil to be there when his help is


           16              needed.


           17                      Also, much has been said and we


           18              discussed before the issue of the fire


           19              chief, Mr. Tom Davis, and the issues brought


           20              by the firefighters by the union and the


           21              members of the fire department, I would just


           22              like to clarify a little bit, I think some


           23              of the things that have been said, not


           24              necessarily in the letter that we were given


           25              from Mr. Gervasi, but I think some of the






            1              things that have been said in the public


            2              about Mr. Davis have been absolutely unfair.


            3              I think it's been a case of character


            4              assassination by those people who have some


            5              personal animosity.  Mr. Davis is a veteran


            6              of the Armed Forces.  He is a 25 or over


            7              25 years serving in the fire department in


            8              the City of Scranton and I think a total of


            9              somewhere around 33 years with the


           10              department in total.  He's a man who was


           11              highly decorated as a firefighter, a member


           12              of the union and had rose through the ranks


           13              of the position of assistant chief during


           14              the time he was with the fire department and


           15              I believe he deserves, I'm going to say a


           16              little bit the benefit of the doubt for the


           17              service that he has given to the City of


           18              Scranton over the course of time, and I will


           19              admit to the fact that he is a friend and a


           20              supporter and I do feel that perhaps a sit


           21              down with member of the council and some


           22              others would be helpful, but I do want to at


           23              least balance the record a little bit and at


           24              least let people know that Mr. Davis is a


           25              man who has dedicated his life to the






            1              service of others and citizens of the City


            2              of Scranton.  The rest can wait and that is


            3              all I have.  Thank you.


            4                      MS. GARVEY: 5-B. FOR INTRODUCTION -


            5              AN ORDINANCE - AMENDING FILE OF COUNCIL NO.


            6              49, 2006 (AS AMENDED) ENTITLED, "AN




            8              APPROPRIATE OFFICIALS OF THE CITY OF








           12              (AS AMENDED) TO BE FUNDED UNDER THE






           15              PROGRAM AND EMERGENCY SHELTER GRANT (ESG)




           17              ADDING A NEW PROJECT.


           18                      MR. MCGOFF: At this time, I will


           19              entertain a motion that Item 5-B be


           20              introduced into it's property committee.


           21                      MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.


           22                      MS. FANUCCI: Second.


           23                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?


           24                      MS. EVANS: Yes.  We seem to have


           25              significant amounts of money that go unused






            1              in OECD.  You know, time and time again


            2              there is almost a pattern here of use it or


            3              lose it.  We didn't use it for this or we


            4              didn't use it for that.  Why?  I mean, this


            5              just -- does anyone have any questions


            6              besides me why such money seems to linger in


            7              so many instances and very coincidentally


            8              can be taken from that mission and applied,


            9              you know, in a very timely fashion to


           10              another project.


           11                      So, you know, I have to find it a


           12              bit astonishing that $550,000 worth of HOME


           13              monies that would never have been needed in


           14              the City of Scranton?  That seems like a


           15              stretch, but I think what also concerns me


           16              about all of these pieces of legislation


           17              tonight, in addition to those in the past,


           18              like Mr. Courtright said we are very often


           19              asked to make critical decisions in a very


           20              brief time frame, but more than that, though


           21              we are given back up we are not given the


           22              complete picture, we are often, in fact,


           23              always taking the word that this business or


           24              this company is credit worthy.  Yes, we have


           25              run a credit report.  No, there is no liens






            1              again them, etcetera, etcetera, and then we


            2              come to find out that either they are or the


            3              business folded and now some other business


            4              is there, you know, and so on and so forth,


            5              and I think in order to feel comfortable


            6              giving out the people's money as freely as


            7              we are asked to do, and it is your money,


            8              you know, to say, well, that's not coming


            9              out of the city budget, that's still your


           10              money, those are your state taxes, those are


           11              your federal taxes that you pay, you are


           12              still paying and you know you pay a lot to


           13              those governmental entities, too, and that


           14              money should be used very wisely and I would


           15              just feel much more comfortable to have


           16              information on all of these companies.


           17                      Like you said, you would like to


           18              know who the owners are or partners or


           19              whatever, well, I would like to see the


           20              credit history.  I would like to see in


           21              black and white a credit history, if they


           22              have ever defaulted on loans, if they have


           23              picked up one business, closed it and moved


           24              elsewhere, if they have liens against them,


           25              I don't want the word of OECD anymore, I






            1              want paperwork.


            2                      And then I never see any follow-up


            3              once these loans have been awarded and I'm


            4              guilty of awarding plenty of them, believe


            5              me, because I do want to see re development


            6              business in Scranton, but now in my fifth


            7              year on council I want some accountability.


            8              I want some follow-up, I want some proof,


            9              you know, the numbers are there, the jobs


           10              were created, what they are paying, if you


           11              have lived up to the conditions of loans and


           12              grants, you know, we saw no one else was


           13              here, but you were what happened when we


           14              questioned KOZ's and KOEZ's cease with the


           15              state over the Southern Union building.  We


           16              still don't have answers to this day about


           17              the Southern Union building.  The state


           18              wouldn't even step in and take a look at


           19              that one, so I'm just asking here I want


           20              some written accountable, I want some


           21              follow-up and I want to see something more


           22              than, you know, the people's name.  I mean,


           23              I even have to go through Kay here to find


           24              out that this loan in 5-E is for 40 years at


           25              a zero percent rate of interest.






            1                      So, I mean, there is an awful lot of


            2              information that I need before I can cast


            3              intelligent votes on these and I think until


            4              all of us start to get that I can't vote to


            5              approve anymore of these things.


            6                      MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else on the


            7              question?  All those in favor of


            8              introduction signify by saying aye?


            9                      MS. FANUCCI: Aye.


           10                      MS. GATELLI: Aye.


           11                      MR. MCGOFF: Aye.  Opposed?


           12                      MS. EVANS: No.


           13                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  No.


           14                      MR. MCGOFF:  The ayes have it and so


           15              moved.


           16                      MS. GARVEY: 5-C. FOR INTRODUCTION -


           17              A RESOLUTION - AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND




           19              AND ENTER INTO AN AGREEMENT WITH THE




           21              ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ("DEP") TO ACCEPT


           22              THE ACT 101, SECTION 902 RECYCLING




           24              AMOUNT OF $69,250.00.


           25                      MR. MCGOFF: At this time I'll






            1              entertain a motion that Item 5-C be


            2              introduced into it's proper committee.


            3                      MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.


            4                      MS. FANUCCI: Second.


            5                      MR. MCGOFF: On the question?


            6                      MS. EVANS: This money would be used


            7              for the purchase of additional recycling


            8              bins for the citizens of the Scranton.


            9                      MR. MCGOFF: All those in favor


           10              signify by saying aye.


           11                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.


           12                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.


           13                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.


           14                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.


           15                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?  The


           16              ayes have it and so moved.


           17                      MS. GARVEY: 5-D. FOR INTRODUCTION -


           18              A RESOLUTION - AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND




           20              AND APPLY FOR A GRANT THROUGH THE






           23              FOR A GROWING GREENER II MAIN STREET AND




           25              OF $1,000,000.00.  IF SUCCESSFUL,










            3              THE PROJECT TO BE NAMES AS "WASHINGTON


            4              SPRUCE PARKING FACILITY."


            5                      MR. MCGOFF: At this time I will


            6              entertain a motion that Item 5-D be


            7              introduced into it's proper committee.


            8                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  So moved.


            9                      MS. FANUCCI: Second.


           10                      MR. MCGOFF: On the question?


           11                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  On the question,


           12              a million dollars, I would like to see a


           13              million dollars go into West Scranton into


           14              that project I keep talking about.  I can't


           15              seem to get anything over there, but I'm


           16              sick of since I have been on council as


           17              Mrs. Evans five years it seems like they put


           18              stuff before us and say if you don't use it


           19              in a month, two months, three months you are


           20              going to lose it, so they paint you into a


           21              corner.  They wait until they are almost


           22              ready to lost the money and then they put


           23              the legislation before us and I think, you


           24              know, in my opinion that's done purposefully


           25              sometimes and I'm sick of it.






            1                      MS. EVANS: The other thing I wanted


            2              to make sure was, because speakers were


            3              addressing this earlier, I did not vote in


            4              favor of the $35 million bond issuance for


            5              the Scranton Parking Authority.  However, at


            6              the time we had a caucus with


            7              Mr. Wintermantle and other individuals who


            8              explained the proposed uses of the


            9              $35 million and they were exactly what was


           10              stated tonight, so, I too would question


           11              what's the additional million dollars for


           12              because the demolition of the Oppenheim


           13              garage, the construction of the new garage


           14              and repairs to existing garages were all


           15              covered in that $35 million bond issue, so,


           16              you know, as Mr. Courtright said, I think we


           17              can find other perhaps better uses for this,


           18              and again, I just -- I have got to see -- I


           19              need more information than what I'm given


           20              and I don't want lip service, I want black


           21              and white.


           22                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  One more thing if


           23              you don't mind, Mr. McGoff, I voted for the


           24              $35 million and I was going into the caucus


           25              voting, no, until Mr. Saleski came and I






            1              asked him a lot of questions and to me he


            2              had all the right answers.  I know


            3              Mr. Sbaraglia came in and asked him a lot of


            4              questions, so Mr. Saleski actually changed


            5              my mind and I was very comfortable at the


            6              time that everything was going to be taken


            7              care of and I never thought we would be


            8              coming for another million dollars.


            9                      MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else?  All those


           10              in favor of introduction signify by saying


           11              aye.


           12                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.


           13                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.


           14                      MR. MCGOFF: Opposed?


           15                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  No.


           16                      MS. EVANS: No.


           17                      MR. MCGOFF:  The ayes have it and so


           18              moved.


           19                      MS. GARVEY: 5-E. FOR INTRODUCTION -


           20              A RESOLUTION - AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND




           22              CITY OF SCRANTON TO ENTER INTO A LOAN


           23              AGREEMENT AND MAKE A LOAN FROM THE HOME




           25              NOT TO EXCEED $400,000.00 TO GREATVIEW








            2              ELIGIBLE PROJECT.


            3                      MR. MCGOFF: At this time I will


            4              entertain a motion that Item 5-E be


            5              introduced into it's proper committee.


            6                      MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.


            7                      MS. FANUCCI: Second.


            8                      MR. MCGOFF: On the question?  All


            9              those in favor significant by saying aye.