1              SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING








            5                          HELD:




            7               Tuesday, February 26, 2008




            9                        LOCATION:


           10                    Council Chambers


           11                   Scranton City Hall


           12               340 North Washington Avenue


           13                 Scranton, Pennsylvania





















                           CATHENE S. NARDOZZI - COURT REPORTER





















            7   MS. JANET E. EVANS



                MS. SHERRY FANUCCI



           10   MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT



                MS. KAY GARVEY, CITY CLERK






                MR. AMIL MINORA, SOLICITOR



























            1   (Pledge of Allegiance recited and moment of silence


            2                      MR. MCGOFF:  Roll call.


            3                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.


            4                      MS. EVANS:  Here.


            5                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.


            6                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Here.


            7                      MR. COOLICAN:  Ms. Fanucci.


            8                      MS. FANUCCI:  Here.


            9                      MR. COOLICAN:  Ms. Gatelli.


           10                      MS. GATELLI: Here.


           11                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.


           12                      MR. MCGOFF:  Here.


           13                      MR. MCGOFF: Dispense with the


           14              reading of the minutes and prior to Third


           15              Order we do have a proclamation this evening


           16              for the members of the West Scranton High


           17              School football team that I would like to


           18              read and present.


           19                      WHEREAS, the Council of the City of


           20              Scranton is desirous of honoring the "2007


           21              WEST SCRANTON INVADER FOOTBALL TEAM" as


           22              Lackawanna Football Conference Division I


           23              Champions and PIAA District 2 AAA Division


           24              Champions; and.


           25                      WHEREAS, the "WEST SCRANTON INVADER






            1              FOOTBALL TEAM" made Lackawanna Football


            2              Conference and school history by winning a


            3              state playoff game defeating Blue Mountain


            4              39-16.  The "2007 WEST SCRANTON FOOTBALL


            5              TEAM" became the first Lackawanna Football


            6              Conference team to win a state game in Class


            7              AAA.  These young men have brought pride to


            8              the West Scranton Community through their


            9              hard work, commitment, dedication and


           10              teamwork.  They are outstanding examples of


           11              student-athletes and an outstanding


           12              reflection of West Scranton High School; and


           13                      WHEREAS, the "WEST SCRANTON INVADERS


           14              FOOTBALL TEAM" wish to express their


           15              gratitude to Head Coach Michael DeAntona;


           16              Assistant Coaches Rick Rosser, Meade Beebe,


           17              Bill Phillips, Colin Phillips, Larry Reagen,


           18              Andy Butsko, Sr., Andy Butsko, Jr., Mario


           19              Bevilacqua, Dennis Hircenak and Frank


           20              Santomauro, Trainers Tom Nowakowsk and Alex


           21              Bonisese, Equipment Manager Anthony "Tippy"


           22              DeNunzio, and their familles, friends and


           23              fans.


           24                      WHEREAS, the "WEST SCRANTON INVADER


           25              FOOTBALL TEAM MEMBERS" consist of Hubie






            1              Graham, Cody Elgin, Mike Gerrity, Brian


            2              Courtright, Jason Chuff, C.J. Rosser, Jon


            3              Smerecky, Anthony Monacelli, Craig Lora,


            4              Brandon Ward, Shawn Irving, Matt McGloin,


            5              Chris Gentilezza, Mark Strzelecki, Shawn


            6              Bodtman, Devin Gonzales, Dylan Rivera, Chris


            7              Krouchick, Jacob Karboski,Corey Marsland,


            8              Austin Eltora, Tim Horlacher, Ethan Dunn,


            9              Nick Boyle, Marc DeNinno, Bradley O'Malley,


           10              Kyle Matay, Josh Schroeder, Jimmy Williams,


           11              Tim Tanana-Nae, Brad Seymour and Nick Ferra.


           12                      NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that


           13              on Tuesday, February 26, 2008, Scranton City


           14              Council wishes to congratulate the "WEST


           15              SCRANTON INVADER FOOTBALL TEAM", their


           16              Coaches, Teachers and Parents for their


           17              outstanding achievement.


           18                      BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this


           19              Proclamation be made a permanent part of the


           20              Minutes of this Council, as lasting tribute


           21              to the "WEST SCRANTON 2007 INVADER FOOTBALL


           22              TEAM."


           23                      (Round of Applause from audience and


           24              each member of the team comes forward.)


           25                      MR. COURTRIGHT: And we would just






            1              like to, if we could, just bring up another


            2              special guest, Chris Sledzenski.


            3                      (Round of Applause by the audience


            4              and Chris Sledzenski comes forward.)


            5                      MR. MCGOFF: I would like to offer


            6              Coach DeAntona if you would like to say


            7              anything please come to the podium.


            8                      MR. DEANTONA:  I'd like to take this


            9              opportunity to thank City Council for


           10              allowing us to come over here and recognize


           11              the hard work that these young men put into


           12              have a successful football season this year,


           13              and it does take a team effort and it's not


           14              just the players who work hard and the


           15              coaches, but we have a fantastic booster


           16              club at West Scranton High School, too, that


           17              allows us the opportunities to feed the kids


           18              lunch during sessions and any of you, if you


           19              happen to be at our banquet this year, it's


           20              a first class event and I'd liketo thank our


           21              president, Mr. McGoin, and the rest of the


           22              boosters for that and I'd also like to thank


           23              not only the community of West Scranton, but


           24              the City of West Scranton because, boy,


           25              everybody really got behind us through our






            1              playoff run.  It seems like the coaching


            2              staff and the community of West Scranton and


            3              our team really fed off the energy the City


            4              of Scranton gave us and there is no place to


            5              live like the City of Scranton, it's a great


            6              place to be.  Thank you very much.


            7                      MR. MCGOFF:  Third order.


            8                      MS. GARVEY: 3-A.  MINUTES OF THE




           10              JANUARY 23, 2008.


           11                      MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?


           12              If not, received and filed.


           13                      MS. GARVEY: 3-B. CONTROLLER'S REPORT


           14              FOR THE MONTH ENDING JANUARY 31, 2008.


           15                      MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?


           16              If not, received and filed.


           17                      MS. GARVEY: That's it for Third


           18              Order.


           19                      MR. MCGOFF: Prior to Fourth Order


           20              are there any announcements that any members


           21              of council have?


           22                      MS. EVANS: Yes.  I'd like to


           23              congratulate Mark Horan, Scranton High


           24              School senior for winning the District II


           25              diving championship and his coach, Frank






            1              McGuire.  Congratulations to Jason Dominic


            2              for winning the District II wrestling title,


            3              and congratulations to the Scranton High


            4              School girls' basketball team for winning


            5              their third straight district title and to


            6              their coaches, Pat Ferguson and Bill


            7              Gibbons, and these are just a few reasons


            8              why Scranton High School has become known as


            9              the Campus of Champions.


           10                      MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else?


           11                      MS. GATELLI: I just have two things.


           12              The first thing is the Northeast Theatre in


           13              the Hotel Jermyn is having a play called


           14              Time and Timeless, that will be running from


           15              February 27 until March 16, and you may call


           16              558-1515 for tickets and schedule.  And


           17              also, the Minooka Lions is going to have


           18              their Autism Awareness dinner again back at


           19              St. Joseph's in Minooka.  It's on April 26


           20              and they will have a raffle, door prizes,


           21              food and entertainment and tickets are $15


           22              and you are can call Jack Walsh at 346-2152


           23              also if you would like to volunteer, and


           24              that's all I have.  Thank you.


           25                      MR. MCGOFF: Fourth Order.  Citizens'






            1              Participation.  Doug Miller.


            2                      MR. MILLER: Good evening, Council,


            3              Doug Miller, president of Scranton Junior


            4              Council.  Last week I was unable to attend


            5              council due to an illness, however, I did


            6              receive a full report of the meeting in the


            7              Times and I did see the replay on Channel


            8              61.  You know, regarding what took place


            9              here last week, I think I may have a simple


           10              solution for one of our problems here, each


           11              week we should play a game of musical chairs


           12              and whatever seat you land in is where you


           13              will sit for the night.  I find this to be


           14              fair for everyone.  It could be fun for all


           15              of us, too.


           16                      But, on a more serious notes, you


           17              know, I would have to ask that some of the


           18              adults that attend these meetings start


           19              setting a better example for this junior


           20              council and for the many other young people


           21              that view these meetings at home.  We come


           22              here to conduct city business and it's time


           23              people respect that.


           24                      And moving onto some business, I'd


           25              like to respond to the latest development in






            1              our downtown, last week the city received


            2              word that Rosado Group, an expanding car


            3              dealership chain, will be moving their


            4              corporate headquarters to Lackawanna Avenue.


            5              The ownership decided to come to Scranton


            6              because they saw that the downtown was


            7              growing and it's a great place to conduct


            8              business.  This move comes at a time when


            9              progress and revitalization is taking place


           10              on Lackawanna Avenue.  This business was not


           11              asked to come here, they chose to come here


           12              because they want to be a part of our


           13              success.


           14                      Recently, the Office of Economic and


           15              Community Development released a project


           16              that would invest $16.5 million in Skyview


           17              Park Apartments.  This project will


           18              certainly help compliment the progress that


           19              is being made in South Scranton and the


           20              improvements that will be made transform the


           21              complex into a state of the art facility.  I


           22              encourage council to approve any measures


           23              necessary to move this project forward.


           24                   Finally, Scranton Junior City Council


           25              is raising funds to benefit a police and






            1              firefighters' memorial.  We are proudly


            2              joining Mrs. Novembrino and others to honor


            3              our brave men and woman.  We are asking


            4              citizens to join us in these fundraising


            5              efforts and make a contribution towards this


            6              project.  Donations can be sent to city


            7              hall, 340 N. Washington Avenue, Scranton,


            8              PA, 18503.  Scranton Junior Council is also


            9              planning fundraising events to benefit this


           10              project and we will be making announcements


           11              on those owe events very soon.  Thank you


           12              for your time.


           13                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Doug.  Fay


           14              Franus.


           15                      MS. FRANUS:  Fay Franus, Scranton.


           16              I'm going to address something that I


           17              addressed a couple of weeks ago.  Something


           18              has been brought to attention, that's why


           19              I'm bringing this back up.  Last week Daniel


           20              Hubbard mentioned that Jeff Brazil was not


           21              at that fire on Linden Street until many


           22              hours after it started.  When I spoke with


           23              Jeff Brazil on the phone he told me that he


           24              was there for the whole day, so in my


           25              opinion I believe that Jeff Brazil was not






            1              telling me the truth.  He knew about the


            2              letter that I wrote him, that I sent him, so


            3              I'm sure he has had answers ready for me.


            4                      I would like to explain something


            5              else.  I think it's a public outrage and


            6              abuse of public confidence for Donna


            7              Doherty, Mayor Doherty's wife and Laura


            8              Craig to do the same exact thing that Tom


            9              Gilhooley did, but Tom Gilhooley didn't get


           10              away with it, he was charged, he lost his


           11              job for doing the same thing.


           12                      Roseanne Novembrino sent Joe


           13              Pilchesky a letter when he asked her to


           14              investigate this incident of the DPW workers


           15              at the fire.  She wrote him and said that


           16              city council, the city rather, was paid $300


           17              in donation for the work that DPW did.  It


           18              should have been a payment for services


           19              rendered by a DPW.  I'd like to know who set


           20              that amount.  I wonder what a moving company


           21              would have charged to take paintings from


           22              Point A to Point B with truck loads.  Donna


           23              Doherty had a municipal man there, Jeff


           24              Brazil and DPW had trucks loaded, trips back


           25              and forth, probably would have cost over






            1              $1,000.  So, I say this to you everybody in


            2              the city, the president has been said here


            3              at the very least, the very least, DPW is


            4              now open for business, but they will get


            5              donations later so that's okay.  I guess


            6              they figure this justifies it.  They can do


            7              what they want and get donations later, so I


            8              suggest that anybody in the city in the


            9              spring if your house is flooded call DPW,


           10              have them come over and help them move


           11              furniture, just make a donation, twenty,


           12              thirty dollars, whatever you think is right.


           13                   The letter that was sent sugarcoating


           14              the wrongdoings that was done by public


           15              workers for private services, private work


           16              in my opinion and many others.  I'd like to


           17              know why are the criminal laws different for


           18              Tom Gilhooley than they are for Jeff Brazil,


           19              it's the same law, the law was broken.


           20              Different faces, different names but the


           21              same law was broken.


           22                      I say council -- I gave council


           23              rather letters that I wanted answered, I


           24              never got any response many, many weeks ago


           25              on this issue and I would like some replies.






            1              I gave each one of you a letter with


            2              questions I wanted answered and I hope to


            3              get these answers.


            4                      Mrs. Evans, I have pictures here of


            5              Donna Doherty, the mayor's wife, Jeff


            6              Brazil, Bill Candor and other DPW workers


            7              with the vehicles, the license numbers and


            8              everything in these photos.  You can make


            9              copies and give them to everybody else on


           10              council if you like, I'll get this to you


           11              when I'm done, and I would just like to wrap


           12              this up by just asking a question, I just


           13              want to make this one statement, Mayor


           14              Doherty, and I want to quote this, Mayor


           15              Doherty is now running for office and he is


           16              quoted in the newspaper, "Two terms in eight


           17              years is long enough for someone to commit


           18              themselves to change."


           19                      He didn't make any changes so I'm


           20              just wondering why he is running again if he


           21              thinks two terms is enough, and I would like


           22              to go further with this criminal case as far


           23              as this Jeff Brazil matter and, Billy, in


           24              motions would you please respond to me, in


           25              motions, if you could write it down so you






            1              won't forget this time, I know it's a lot


            2              but it's hard for you because of what the


            3              rules are, Mr. McGoff set the rules so


            4              whacky, if you could you please you


            5              mentioned last time while we were here that


            6              Mrs. Gatelli lied about the seat, if could


            7              you just explain what you mean by that as


            8              far as the vote and underhanded because I


            9              would like to know because I thought it was


           10              for whatever reasons if you could explain


           11              that in motions.  Mrs. Evans --


           12                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I said it was my


           13              opinion.


           14                      MS. FRANUS: Pardon me?


           15                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I said it was my


           16              opinion.


           17                      MS. FRANUS:  Oh, absolutely, but I


           18              would just like to know what you were


           19              saying.  Mrs. Evans, I would like to give


           20              you these pictures now and give all of the


           21              members of council and have Kay make copies


           22              if you'd like.  That's all.  Thank you very


           23              much.


           24                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Ms. Franus.


           25              Bill Jackowitz.






            1                      MR. JACKOWITZ:  Bill Jackowitz,


            2              South Scranton.  The Scranton Fire


            3              Department was established in 1866,


            4              142 years ago.  Now the Mayor of Scranton,


            5              Chris Doherty, and the Scranton


            6              Times-Tribune are going out of their way to


            7              embarrass the members of the Scranton Fire


            8              Department.  Whether you like them or not


            9              you cannot take aware their professionalism


           10              and bravery which is demonstrated any time


           11              they put their fire jackets and boots on and


           12              respond whether a false alarm or two or


           13              three alarm fire.  Four May 1901 Scranton


           14              became a paid fire department, almost


           15              117 years ago.


           16                      Scranton's Fire apparatus.  During a


           17              24-hour period Scranton fire operates ten


           18              apparatuses in one command vehicle.  Engine


           19              2, Gibson Street.  The newest piece of fire


           20              apparatus in 2003 American LaFrance engine


           21              was delivered to the fire department October


           22              of 2003.  This engine was paid with OECD


           23              funds.  The backup engine is a 1984 Spartan


           24              chassie with a Young body design.  Young


           25              body went out of business approximately






            1              15 years ago.  Replacement parts are hard to


            2              come by.  The only modifications to this


            3              engine were new decals, adaptors for hoses


            4              and nozzles.  Three firefighters were


            5              assigned, but usually only staffed with two


            6              firefighters.


            7                      Rescue 1, Wyoming Avenue, apparatus:


            8              A 1995 engine that is currently out of


            9              service as of 23 February '08.  Rescue 1 is


           10              currently utilizing a 1990 Sutphen pumper


           11              that was originally Rescue 1 and was taken


           12              out of service in 1995.  Now it is back in


           13              the service.  A proposal to replace Rescue 1


           14              was made in 2001, this was never acted upon.


           15              Rescue 1 responds to all motor vehicle


           16              accidents, industrial accidents, rescue


           17              calls, alarms, structural fires throughout


           18              the City of Scranton.


           19                      Engine 4, Mulberry Street,


           20              apparatus: A 1977 Ferrara pumper, three


           21              firefighters assigned.  Truck 2, a 2002,


           22              aerial ladder, out of service.  Currently a


           23              1985 Sutphen tower truck is currently in


           24              service as Truck 2, three firefighters


           25              assigned.






            1                      Engine 7, Luzerne Street, apparatus,


            2              a 1987 Sutphen pumper, three firefighters


            3              assigned, but usually only staffed with two


            4              firefighters.  This fire station originally


            5              was built to house two engine companies.


            6                   Engine 14 was disbanded by the city, a


            7              reserve fire truck is housed here.


            8                      Engine 8, Market Street, apparatus,


            9              a 1997 Ferrara, three firefighters assigned


           10              but usually staffed with only two


           11              firefighters.  This fire station was


           12              originally built to house two engine


           13              companies.


           14                      Engine 12 was disbanded by the City.


           15                      Engine 9, North Main Avenue,


           16              apparatus, a 1997 Ferrara, also a truck


           17              four, a Quint 1993 emergency, one Quint


           18              model, 75-foot aerial and 1,500-gallon pump,


           19              staffed at all times with three


           20              firefighters.  Truck four covers all of


           21              Scranton on the West Side.  It is a 75-foot


           22              ariel height.


           23                      Engine 10, East Mountain Road,


           24              apparatus, a 1990 Sutphen Pumper 3.  Three


           25              firefighters assigned but usually only






            1              staffed with two firefighters.


            2                      Engine 15, Ash Street, apparatus, a


            3              1989 Sutphen pumper, three firefighters


            4              assigned, but usually staffed with two


            5              firefighters.  This fire station was built


            6              in the 1800's and remodeled in 1980.


            7                      Car 21, a 1997 Ford Expedition


            8              purchased with OECD funds, a replacement is


            9              on order.  Assistant chief's vehicle not


           10              used to fight fires.


           11                      A brush truck stored in Engine 7


           12              Luzerne Street, only used for special calls,


           13              year unknown.


           14                      Car 30, a 1977 International that


           15              replaced a 1972, a special that is only used


           16              for two alarm fires, an eight cylinder


           17              cascade and fill station for breeding there.


           18                   Cameras, thermal image cameras were


           19              purchased by the residents of the city and


           20              donated to the fire department.  Newer


           21              cameras are needed.  Fire protection is a


           22              never ending upgrade.


           23                      As you can see, the Scranton Fire


           24              Department has been operating old fire


           25              apparatus to protect the residents of






            1              Scranton and I may add doing a professional


            2              and outstanding job.  For the mayor to


            3              criticize is totally not acceptable and


            4              unwarranted.  Considering he has refused to


            5              negotiate a contract or purchase safety


            6              equipment for the department, I find it to


            7              be very disturbing for the mayor, fire chief


            8              and public safety director not to be aware


            9              of the problems that allegedly exist in the


           10              fire department.


           11                      Furthermore, the fact that a person


           12              is a veteran, past firefighter and personal


           13              friend are not the qualifications needed to


           14              be a fire chief.  As a resident of Scranton


           15              I expect that an investigation be started


           16              immediately into Chief Davis' qualifications


           17              including schooling, experience, management,


           18              training courses that have been completed,


           19              communication courses that have been


           20              completed and the national fire safety


           21              schools and courses that Chief Davis has


           22              attended.


           23                      Also, a complete and thorough


           24              investigation into the recovery operation


           25              that Chief Davis participated in.  I






            1              understand that many violations were


            2              committed by Chief Davis that day.  This was


            3              a recovery not a rescue.  Councilman


            4              Courtright and Councilwoman Evans, I hope


            5              you work together in this investigation.


            6              Thank you.


            7                      MR. MCGOFF: Andy Sbaraglia.


            8                      MR. SBARAGLIA: Andy Sbaraglia,


            9              citizen of Scranton, Fellow Scrantonians.  I


           10              see you're raising the permit for what we


           11              call service vehicles.  You want to raise


           12              the fee to $150 per month.  Well, I can


           13              understand some of that, but you got to


           14              realize service vehicles perform what they


           15              say, a service.  It's not that -- I had one,


           16              okay, I had a permit in my van because I


           17              have serviced the elevators in the city, so


           18              naturally we had a permit, but the permit


           19              not for amusement, we didn't park there all


           20              day or talk all night, we just did what we


           21              were supposed to do and left the parking


           22              space for whatever we had to do, but where


           23              is the money going to go for these permits?


           24              Is part of it going to stay with the parking


           25              authority or is it going to be into the city






            1              coffers?  I mean, I don't know what the old


            2              permit was because I retired quite a long


            3              time ago, but I did have a permit, but


            4              anyway, you probably don't have any


            5              legislation there or read it.  But, anyway,


            6              this mayor has found a way to oppress the


            7              people that -- the businessmen in Scranton,


            8              too, because a lot of businesses do have


            9              offices in Scranton like plumbers,


           10              electricians and so forth and so on and a


           11              lot of them live outside of the city, too,


           12              okay?


           13                      Now, the 150 isn't going to kill


           14              anybody, but it's just another step.  We


           15              have been oppressed in this city constantly.


           16              You got that amusement tax that's going to


           17              be oppressive when you finally get to it,


           18              but that's an oppressive tax and you have


           19              been steadily oppressing the people of


           20              Scranton.  You went up to your emergency fee


           21              that 52 bucks, that was an oppression.  You


           22              raised our taxes.  Constantly you are


           23              looking for ways to squeeze the people, but


           24              not ways to squeeze the administration.


           25                      A long time ago I said watch the






            1              dollars and cents and everything else will


            2              take care of itself.  Nobody cares.  You


            3              care little or nothing, you just look for


            4              more ways to siphon money from the people in


            5              Scranton or whatever the businessmen in the


            6              area.  It just so happens though I did use


            7              that permit so I know what it's about.


            8                   Now we got our million dollars going to


            9              the parking authority.  Now, according to


           10              Mrs. Fanucci or Sherry, Miss, whatever you


           11              want to say, that money was going to be


           12              lost.  She points out various things, but we


           13              have another four million that's probably


           14              going to be lost, too.  Maybe we should pull


           15              that four million and put it into the


           16              streets because we definitely need better


           17              streets then we need a Connell building.  It


           18              was actually cheaper to tear that building


           19              down than the money we poured into it and


           20              the good part about it, no one ever figured


           21              how long it would take for us to get the tax


           22              money out of that building that we invested


           23              in.  No one ever cares about that.  No one


           24              ever cares about how long the return is on


           25              these investments.  They are not lifetime






            1              investments, that building probably will


            2              last -- it was probably put in 1890 or 1900


            3              when everything else was built in the city,


            4              so we are taking all of these old buildings,


            5              poured millions and millions of dollars


            6              into, people are losing their homes, their


            7              cars, they can't no longer heat, but yet you


            8              got money for these buildings and they are


            9              private developers.  They are people that


           10              have money, have access to money, they just


           11              don't want to borrow it which is one way of


           12              looking at it, so we go out and get them a


           13              grant to fix up an old broken down building


           14              and we are great at that.  We are trying


           15              to -- I don't know what you are trying to


           16              do, preserve Scranton as an 1890 town, is


           17              that our goal is?


           18                      Central City is losing it's


           19              relevance no matter what.  If it wasn't for


           20              the University and some of the other


           21              colleges it would be a ghost town down


           22              there.  You seen the mall.  The mall was a


           23              bright spot when they said it was going to


           24              be built, this that and whatever, but when


           25              you look at how much money we are getting






            1              out of that mall it's no longer a bright


            2              spot.  I think we probably lost more because


            3              them people that were down there weren't


            4              paying taxes and that's like four blocks we


            5              lost for the mall and if I remember right I


            6              think the mall on the tax rolls was like


            7              400,00, 400,000 bucks on the tax roles.


            8              Thank you.


            9                      MS. EVANS: Mr. Sbaraglia, to very


           10              quickly return to your initial question, the


           11              permit fee was increased to $150 per year


           12              rather than per month and it hadn't be


           13              changed -- or I should say raised, since


           14              1988, however, the request to increase the


           15              fee was made by Mr. Wintermantle and that


           16              would lead me to assume that whatever


           17              revenues are generated from the increase in


           18              the permits would be received by the


           19              Scranton Parking Authority rather than the


           20              City of Scranton.


           21                      MR. SBARAGLIA: Thank you.


           22                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mrs. Evans.


           23              Ozzie Quinn.


           24                      MR. QUINN:  Ozzie Quinn, Taxpayers'


           25              Association, good evening.  Each election we






            1              have welcomed the candidates who are running


            2              in the election to come before us if they


            3              please, I'll ask actually a Paul Povridge


            4              who is running in 119 legislation against


            5              Edward Staubach and tomorrow night at 7:00


            6              here in the city council chambers Kevin


            7              Murphy who will be running against Frank


            8              Shimkus will address the membership and it


            9              will be later on during the week on Channel


           10              61, 7:00 p.m. the public is invited.


           11                      Today the mayor did the State of the


           12              City address over at the Chamber of


           13              Commerce.  I don't know why he did it over


           14              there, half of the members aren't from the


           15              city, it should have been done here or


           16              someplace else that's -- Scranton High


           17              School where the people could have went and


           18              they wouldn't have been turned away, but


           19              anyway, as President of the Scranton


           20              Taxpayers' Association I'd like to give my


           21              State of the City address from the


           22              taxpayers' viewpoint.


           23                      First, there is no transparency for


           24              the city taxpayers, that's obvious with


           25              Mr. McGoff and Mrs. Gatelli trying to get






            1              what I've been trying to get since last


            2              October and you told me that it's not your


            3              job to do it.  Three-hundred million dollars


            4              in long-term indebtedness including the


            5              school district, also in addition to school


            6              district tax, which is the responsibility of


            7              our taxpayers plus the pro rata of the


            8              county, which since it's over half a billion


            9              dollars in taxes, property taxes, 25 percent


           10              tax increase to taxpayers by three of you


           11              people last -- this year, last year, an


           12              atrocity penalizing our homeowner taxpayers


           13              for being tax delinquent, unbelievable.  Per


           14              capita tax income, $17,187.00 for taxpayers,


           15              less than the state.  Median household,


           16              $31,090, less than the state.  Elderly


           17              18 percent over 65 years of age fixed on


           18              social security or retirement taxpayers.


           19              Poverty individuals, 17 percent -- 17.2


           20              percent, families 10.6 percent.  Hundreds of


           21              nonproducing property tax vacant city lots.


           22              Neighborhood blight, housing, sidewalks,


           23              curbs, and streets hurting our taxpayers'


           24              home values.  Cronyism and $11 million at


           25              cost to the taxpayers.  No police or fire






            1              department paid increases in six years yet


            2              ongoing service to our taxpayers, thank you,


            3              gentlemen.


            4                      Economic development projects, as I


            5              pointed out last week, four jobs at $400,000


            6              each job as per HUD's last report.  Three


            7              point percent wage tax to our taxpayers.


            8              Extravagant cost of parks and dog parks


            9              placed on the taxpayers' back.  Pay to play


           10              contracts causing our taxpayers thousands


           11              and thousands of dollars.  No bid contracts,


           12              thousand and thousands and thousands of


           13              dollars for probably Nay Aug Park.  Potholes


           14              all over the city and we lost our ballfield.


           15              What kind of a state of the city address is


           16              that mayor giving over there?  He is not


           17              with reality.  Come on, we are suffering


           18              here.  These taxpayers cannot afford what's


           19              going on here and we are owe a half a


           20              billion dollars in taxes.  Look out for the


           21              taxpayers, will you?  You are all own homes.


           22              Stop bowing down to this Mr. Doherty.  Get


           23              with it.  Get with the taxpayers.  Come on,


           24              we are sick of it and we are not going to


           25              put up with it.  Thank you.






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


            2              I'm not sure who signed here next, we have


            3              two names on the same line.  Lisa Lowrey.


            4                      MS. LOWREY:  Good evening, Council.


            5              On February 5 at approximately 10:00 p.m.


            6              there was a call for a dog that was stuck in


            7              a pool.  At least two police cars responded


            8              and Rescue 1 was then called out.  As Rescue


            9              1 was on it's way to the address they came


           10              over the air trying to find out why the


           11              animal control officer was not being called


           12              out for the job.  I understand that animal


           13              control is not called out after hours due to


           14              overtime issues, but it costs approximately


           15              $100 plus for Rescue 1 to respond to this


           16              type of a call.  We ended up with one fire


           17              truck, three squad cars, three firemen on


           18              Rescue 1 and three policemen all for a dog


           19              in a pool.  Animal control has the equipment


           20              to remove that dog within minutes at half


           21              the cost if not more than it was to have


           22              everybody else respond for this call.


           23                      I don't know if anybody knows, but


           24              Scranton has an estimated population of


           25              76,000 people which in turn would turn into






            1              21,000 plus owned dogs alone.  They would


            2              have an estimated 41,000 owned cats.  The


            3              city sells approximately anywhere up to


            4              3,000 dog licenses at $9.00 a license.


            5              There is no way for anybody to follow-up on


            6              these licenses but that is a big lost in


            7              revenue to the city.


            8                      While I was employed at the Humane


            9              Society the City of Scranton also paid


           10              $8,000 a year for animals to be taken there.


           11              That also is a lost of revenue and you have


           12              the cost of gas and the multiple trips each


           13              day and then you the population of the feral


           14              cats which could exceed $50,000, these are


           15              all estimated through the ASPCA.  I don't


           16              know if the city has ever looked into owning


           17              it's own shelter, but there are programs


           18              that help cities build their own shelters at


           19              little or no cost to the city.


           20                      There are also grants available once


           21              a shelter is up and running that would help


           22              buy vehicles, maintain the building.  The


           23              city also in turn could look into turning


           24              over dog law enforcement to the state.  I


           25              think that there is a law that would






            1              probably have to be changed allowing them to


            2              be able to come into Scranton because the


            3              class the city is under.  I think they would


            4              be acceptable to this idea because they


            5              would stand to gain that $9.00 per license


            6              at $21,000 plus licenses.


            7                      It is obviously the animal control


            8              job is to much for any one person to do with


            9              the day-to-day routine and then try to


           10              follow-up who bought their dog licenses.  So


           11              you still end up with than loss of revenue.


           12              All of my facts are available through


           13              websites, the Scranton website, the ASPCA


           14              website and Operation Orange websites.


           15              Thank you.


           16                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Mr. McGoff, I just


           17              want to ask Mrs. Garvey a question, I'm


           18              sorry, I will forget by the end of the


           19              meeting.  Kay, if you could just find out, I


           20              know it switched back and forth, who makes


           21              the decision on whether the dog catcher or


           22              whatever, animal control guy comes out, who


           23              it is, and what the standard operating


           24              procedure would be if they can give us a


           25              copy of that I would appreciate it.  Thank






            1              you.


            2                      MR. MCGOFF:  Joe Talimini.


            3                      MR. TALIMINI:  Thank you,


            4              Mr. McGoff.  My name is Joe Talimini, I'm a


            5              resident of Scranton.  We had a recent


            6              incident here which has been ongoing with an


            7              agency in the community as you all know.  As


            8              the Board of Directors this incident has


            9              been going on for better than eight years


           10              and the Board of Directors knows nothing


           11              about it.  Now, my understanding is this


           12              Board of Directors is appointed by the


           13              mayor.  Consequently, it's under the


           14              jurisdiction of the city.


           15                      For several months now Mrs. Evans


           16              has asked for records, audits, etcetera, if


           17              this can go on in one agency in this


           18              community, it can go on in any agency in


           19              this community.  Now, a board, as well know


           20              or you should know, is there to supervise


           21              and to make sure that things like this don't


           22              happen.  You people are the board for this


           23              city.  There are five of you sitting up


           24              there.  You are elected, you are getting


           25              paid very well for what you are supposed to






            1              be doing.  It's up to you to supervise the


            2              agencies in this city.  I have yet to hear


            3              anybody on this council say anything in


            4              favor of the citizens, but you all jump up


            5              and down whenever our illustrious mayor, who


            6              happens also I guess to be the honorary


            7              chairman of the Chamber of Commerce wants


            8              something.  Well, the citizens want


            9              something, too, they want action.  I want to


           10              see some action out of this council.  If we


           11              don't get any action out of this council I


           12              personally will see to it that there is an


           13              investigation of this council as well as the


           14              mayor because it's long overdue.  You people


           15              are the Board of Directors of this


           16              community, act like Board of Directors.


           17              Make sure these agencies take care of


           18              things.


           19                      Now, I'd like to tell you something


           20              else, I have been a journalist for well over


           21              60 years, most of you weren't even born when


           22              I was covering my first council meetings, I


           23              have seen a lot of city councils on major


           24              levels, on small town levels and, believe


           25              me, this is the saddest one I have ever






            1              seen.  You have got a fire department in


            2              this community which is an excellent fire


            3              department I would stack it up against


            4              anybody in the country and I mean I'm


            5              talking about LA, New York, Birmingham,


            6              Alabama, a lot of small towns in-between,


            7              the way they are treated is deplorable, it's


            8              sickening, and you people don't speak out


            9              for them and that's sad, too.


           10                      I realize we have a strong mayor and


           11              weak council, but I didn't realize how weak


           12              this council is until I started coming to


           13              these meetings, now I realize how weak you


           14              are.  You've got the same thing with the


           15              police department.  You've got an excellent


           16              police department here, treat them with


           17              respect.  These people do it, they deserve


           18              it.  It's about time you people started


           19              acting like responsible board members.


           20              Thank you.


           21                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Talimini.


           22              Les Spindler.


           23                      MR. SPINDLER: Good evening, Council,


           24              Les Spindler.  First of all, I'd like to add


           25              onto something that Doug Miller said, he






            1              said about the Rosado Group coming into the


            2              city, what he neglected to say is the Rosado


            3              Group is replacing a business that was in


            4              this city for 16 years and they left because


            5              they are unhappy with the way the city is


            6              doing things.  If I didn't know better I'd


            7              think he has the same speech writer that


            8              Mayor Doherty has, talk about the few


            9              businesses coming in, but they don't say


           10              about the 20 businesses that left the city


           11              last year.


           12                      Next thing, Mr. McGoff, are you


           13              going to ask for an investigation on Jeff


           14              Brazil helping take those pictures out of


           15              that art store?


           16                      MR. MCGOFF:  Do you wish an answer


           17              now?


           18                      MR. SPINDLER:  Yes.


           19                      MR. MCGOFF: No, I am not.  It was


           20              already sent to the District Attorney and


           21              the District Attorney said that there was no


           22              reason to investigate.


           23                      MR. SPINDLER: I find that hard to


           24              believe.


           25                      MR. MCGOFF: You asked me and I gave






            1              you an answer.


            2                      MR. SPINDLER: To me it sounds to me


            3              like the same thing the prison warden did


            4              and he was arrested for that.  I guess maybe


            5              because Donna Doherty was involved that's


            6              why nothing is happening.


            7                      The next thing, Mr. McGoff, last


            8              week you told Mrs. Franus when her time was


            9              up she wanted more time, you said, "You


           10              asked questions, you got answers.  Your time


           11              is up," but two weeks before Mr. Santos


           12              asked questions and got answers and you let


           13              him go well beyond his five minutes, why is


           14              that?


           15                      MR. MCGOFF: Again, you wish me to


           16              answer?


           17                      MR. SPINDLER: Yes.


           18                      MR. MCGOFF: It's at my discretion.


           19                      MR. SPINDLER: No, that's


           20              discrimination.  It's discrimination not


           21              your discretion and it's against the law.


           22                      MR. MCGOFF:  No, it's in the Rules


           23              of Council.


           24                      MR. SPINDLER:  The Rules of Council


           25              don't override the constitution.






            1                      I have a couple of quotes from the


            2              mayor from the Doherty Newsletter on Friday.


            3              "If the conditions are so bad," Doherty say,


            4              "firefighters can find other jobs."


            5                      Well, they don't want to find other


            6              jobs, they love their jobs, they just don't


            7              like working under unsafe conditions that


            8              Chief Davis is making them do.


            9                      Next thing, another quote from the


           10              mayor, "If people feel I made the wrong


           11              decision on Fire Chief Tom Davis then they


           12              can vote me out of office."


           13                      Well, I hope they listen to him and


           14              do that thing and vote him out of office.


           15              Next thing, the mayor said he is running for


           16              office because he hasn't finished what he


           17              started.  He is right.  He hasn't finished


           18              draining the city.  He has borrowed millions


           19              and millions of dollars and what do we have


           20              to show for it?  We have a $600,000


           21              treehouse, a bridge to nowhere, we have a


           22              long-term debt of over $300 million, we have


           23              people leaving the city in droves, a


           24              population lower than it's ever been.  We


           25              have businesses leaving the city and the






            1              mayor has the gaul to say the city is in


            2              good shape.  Does he think the people are


            3              stupid.  I think the only people that are


            4              stupid are the ones that vote for him.  So,


            5              like I said, we should do what the mayor


            6              says and vote him out of office.  Thank you.


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


            8              Lauren Kushner.


            9                      MS. KUSHNER:  Good evening, Lauren


           10              Kushner, a resident of the city and the wife


           11              of a Scranton firefighter.  We are here


           12              tonight as family members of Scranton


           13              Firefighters.  Enough is enough.  We are not


           14              interested in making personal attacks on the


           15              mayor or the administration because our


           16              interest is in the safety and integrity of


           17              these men and woman.  However, we feel the


           18              need to protest the most recent comments


           19              made by Mayor Doherty and the Scranton Times


           20              that no firefighters have left the


           21              department during his time in office, that


           22              firefighters are unable to perform their


           23              duties due to their fitness level and that


           24              those who are unhappy with the way they are


           25              being treated should simply leave the city.






            1              Such a statement is a reflection of the lack


            2              of respect for our city employees.


            3                      It is important that this


            4              administration and this council are aware


            5              that the issues recently brought to light


            6              regarding safety have been going on for


            7              years.  It is time that you understand that


            8              we do not take these attacks lightly and


            9              that the statements made effect not just the


           10              men and woman of the fire department, but


           11              their family and their friends as well.  We


           12              are here to show support for our husband's


           13              and their coworkers because the citizens


           14              have a right to know that the information


           15              provided to them is untrue and misleading.


           16                   The firefighters put their lives on the


           17              line everyday to protect the citizens of


           18              this city and their property.  They are


           19              placed on the fire department to be ready at


           20              a moment's notice for the next call.  The


           21              job of a firefighter is inherently a


           22              dangerous one and to say that safety


           23              concerns are politically motivated is absurd


           24              and offensive.  It is time for this council


           25              to do the right thing and address the safety






            1              concerns of the Scranton Fire Department.


            2              Thank you.


            3                      MR. MCGOFF: Pat DeSarno.


            4                      MR. DESARNO: There are so many


            5              issues in this city I don't even know where


            6              I'm going to start, so I'll just go with one


            7              issue at a time.  I would like to start with


            8              a little primer for the benefit of those who


            9              wish to continue to bash the Scranton Fire


           10              Department.  I suggest that you educate


           11              yourself before embarrassing yourself by


           12              repeating spoon-fed misinformation.


           13                      In regards to the recent no


           14              confidence vote, casting secret ballots is


           15              an integral part of most electoral systems.


           16              The process affords everyone the opportunity


           17              to vote their conscience without fear of


           18              reprisal from those with opposing views.  In


           19              this instance, the so-called veil provided


           20              by the union was the chance for anyone,


           21              anyone in the Scranton Fire Department to


           22              not go with the flow so to speak and then no


           23              one would be the wiser, yet 125 members


           24              chose to forego that opportunity and declare


           25              their lack of faith in the chief.  So, what






            1              then is spineless?  Is it those 125 men who


            2              traveled without disguises to the voting


            3              site?  Is it the 35 or so members who stood


            4              in front of the cameras in front of fire


            5              headquarters and behind the union


            6              leadership?  And maybe it's those who dare


            7              to come here and publically express our


            8              dissatisfaction with the goings on in this


            9              city.


           10                      Personally, and I mean this on a


           11              personal level, I think this fits the


           12              definition to a "T", one who stands by idly,


           13              head bowed in deference to his political


           14              patron as he watches if that patron exacts


           15              his penchant of vendettas on the families,


           16              and believe me, indeed, the children of


           17              those who dare oppose him politically.  How


           18              then are we supposed to look to that man for


           19              leadership?


           20                      Now, another thing, pay attention,


           21              Miss Fanucci and Stacy Brown if you are


           22              looking here somewhere, for the last time,


           23              longevity is a form of acknowledging and


           24              compensating employees for their years of


           25              service.  It's an equitable way for those a






            1              little bit higher in seniority to earn a


            2              little bit more than those that came after


            3              them.  An employee's base pay is increased 1


            4              percent for every two years, not one year as


            5              is so often misstated.  In 1993, the union


            6              conceded a cap of 10 percent as well as


            7              freezing longevity for those who were above


            8              the 10 percent at that time.  All years


            9              spent working after 20 are done so with no


           10              further bumps in longevity and since


           11              longevity increases are added to base salary


           12              they do accrue, but at the rate of


           13              approximately $200 per year I hardly think


           14              that warrants being categorized as a raise.


           15                      The health care coverage touted as


           16              unsurpassed by any local employer is ancient


           17              history.  As a matter of fact, the only fire


           18              department employee still enjoying the


           19              so-called Cadillac coverage is Chief Davis.


           20              Some have stated that no confidence votes


           21              are a national trend and, Mr. McGoff, you


           22              called them increasingly common.  They are


           23              eerily familiar sounding, don't you think?


           24              I don't know if I would call eight


           25              departments out of over 3,000 IAFF






            1              affiliates taking such actions over the past


            2              two years trendy.


            3                      Additionally, the average tenure of


            4              these chiefs was three and a half years.


            5              So, six years really isn't all that odd, it


            6              actually implies the real reluctance by


            7              anyone to take such a drastic measure and


            8              the realization of the gravity of such an


            9              action.  It was not an easy option.


           10                      A final note, in three of those


           11              cases the chief stepped down.  I have taken


           12              notice of one particular recurring trend,


           13              every so often Doherty ads pop up everywhere


           14              imparting laughably simpler versions of the


           15              latest Doherty provided propaganda and all


           16              the while they assume that everyone might be


           17              dumb enough to actually believe the notion


           18              that everyone involved in the very same


           19              original idea at the very same time -- at


           20              the very same moment in time.


           21                      Oh, finally, Mrs. Gatelli, twice I


           22              have asked members of this council to opine


           23              on the matter of wasteful spending by a


           24              vindictive mayor of much needed city dollars


           25              and spending that money on sure loser Court






            1              cases.  And, Mr. McGoff, feel free at any


            2              time to give me a real answer, I have came


            3              here, I cited my sources, unlike some


            4              people, and I presented my facts, your


            5              failure to offer even the slightest


            6              acknowledgment of the issues I raised is an


            7              insult to me and will behoove you to pay


            8              attention to this, by your own admissions


            9              you have engaged in questionable political


           10              business on school district property during


           11              your regular working hours and I reiterate


           12              this behavior as questionable so I have


           13              taken it upon myself to contact some of my


           14              old friends and to hatcheck in the US Office


           15              of Special Counsel, we'll let them sort it


           16              out, and just to be thorough, I'll be


           17              presenting my concerns to all pertinent


           18              school district officials as well.  I hope


           19              you hear me now.  Thank you very much.


           20                      MR. MCGOFF: Candace McColligan.


           21                      MS. MCCOLLIGAN: Candace McColligan,


           22              Scranton resident.  Each week I'm amazed at


           23              the information that the people of this city


           24              bring to your attention and I'm amazed to


           25              see that much of it is ignored, that valid






            1              questions go unanswered even as votes on


            2              those same issues are being passed.  Do any


            3              of you want to have all of the answers


            4              before making a decision or is that your


            5              decision isn't affected by the facts,


            6              therefore, getting answers to the questions


            7              presented here truly doesn't matter.


            8                      I'm fascinated with the issue with


            9              the DPW removing property for a private


           10              citizen has been blindly defended.  No


           11              looking into it, no efforts to find out what


           12              really happened, just defense, who needs


           13              facts.  Even if the person had benefited


           14              from the actions of the DPW money


           15              contributing back to the city, since when


           16              are city services funded by taxpayers out


           17              for hire?  Would it even be legal for that


           18              to happen?  Who is protecting the taxpayers


           19              of this city?


           20                      I have never seen a city so divided


           21              or taxpayers so ignored all headed by a


           22              mayor who creates hostility through a my way


           23              or the highway attitude and feeds false


           24              information to the public through a


           25              newspaper whose journalist integrity can be






            1              called questionable at best.


            2                      I keep hearing the recovery plan


            3              used as a defense by members of this


            4              council.  If you truly support a recovery


            5              plan as you state how can you justify voting


            6              for the 2008 budget or any of the budgets


            7              that created new positions and gave raises


            8              to a select few?  From my reading of the


            9              plan, positions were to be eliminated and


           10              salaries reduced or held at bay.  You, as


           11              council, have voted against the recovery


           12              plan in those instances and now try to stand


           13              behind it and use it as a defense.  You


           14              can't have it both ways and neither can the


           15              mayor.


           16                        Just like the plans of the past


           17              there are some really good ideas within the


           18              current plan, but there are things that


           19              simply don't work.  I support a recovery


           20              plan that supports the people of this city,


           21              not just the people at city hall.  I support


           22              a recovery plan that makes crime and safety


           23              not landscaping a priority.  While I don't


           24              have all of the facts and information that


           25              you do on council, I do have ideas and even






            1              if my initial thoughts aren't feasible


            2              perhaps there are ways to make them that


            3              way.  Mainly, I would like to see the people


            4              be more involved and more heard in the


            5              decisions of this government.  There are


            6              always seem to confusion as to why people


            7              are up in arms about $60,000 spent on trees


            8              or one million dollars transferred to fund


            9              an already funded parking garage.


           10                      First, as was pointed out last week,


           11              it's the amount of money being spent.  It's


           12              shown over and over in other cities these


           13              projects can be completed for a fraction of


           14              what this city is spending.  Why are we


           15              wasting taxpayer dollars when we are in


           16              financial distress?  Do any of you bother to


           17              compile the amount of money being wasted


           18              each week?  Does it even matter to you that


           19              so much more can be done with that money and


           20              that you have the control to make it happen?


           21                   I realize that certain money is


           22              allocated for specific things, but why can't


           23              this council present several options to the


           24              people as to how that money could be spent


           25              rather than putting one thing up as the only






            1              option at the last minute.  We all know that


            2              there are plenty of opportunities to


            3              brainstorm for ideas before time is about to


            4              run out.  Procrastination, if that's what we


            5              should call it, is no excuse in city


            6              government.  Let the people have an


            7              opportunity to be a part of the process.


            8              Put some power into the hands of those whose


            9              money you are spending.  Let them make a


           10              case for which of those options they feel is


           11              best and then place your votes keeping those


           12              opinions in mind.  Seeing the people


           13              represented in those votes is a great first


           14              step in rebuilding the trust that has been


           15              lot, and a trust has been lost no matter how


           16              much you have tell yourselves differently.


           17                   I fully realize that this would not be


           18              an option for each vote in issue, but it


           19              would be an option for some and it would


           20              allow the people to have a say which is what


           21              this city is lacking all too often.


           22                      It was made very clear at the last


           23              meeting I attended that nothing has changed


           24              at these council meetings and until


           25              something does we the citizens should not






            1              expect different results from our presence


            2              here, that you will keep smiling, but


            3              perhaps we should take your advice and


            4              change our ways.  So my question is this, if


            5              we are unhappy with the direction of this


            6              city and the decisions of this mayor and


            7              council what is that we should do?  If we


            8              shouldn't come here each week and let you,


            9              as our representatives know, who should we


           10              talk to?  The implications is that we either


           11              need to change what we are saying or how we


           12              are saying it or that we shouldn't


           13              participate at all, but I'm sure that I must


           14              be mistaken because it would be largely


           15              offensive to think that a representative of


           16              the people would say to them that their


           17              voice doesn't matter or shouldn't be heard


           18              especially as that representative has been


           19              elected to listen to the people and be


           20              guided accordingly.


           21                      Certainly there are those that come


           22              to these meetings with the intention of


           23              disrupting things rather than to bring


           24              positive change, but to focus on those


           25              speakers is to admit your inability to do






            1              your job properly and does and injustice to


            2              the rest of us.  To state because of those


            3              speakers all of us must suffer your


            4              disinterest in what we have to say is a


            5              disgrace.


            6                      Listen to the people of this city


            7              because they have a lot to offer, because


            8              they have a different perspective, because


            9              they have every reason to only one the best


           10              for this city and because it's what you are


           11              put on this council to do.  Thank you.


           12                      MR. MCGOFF:  Thank you, Mrs.


           13              McColligan.  Andrew Porter.


           14                      MR. PORTER: Good to see the young


           15              people involved in the city government.  One


           16              city under God.  Last week I may have


           17              witnessed the birth of a city in these


           18              changes, the citizens of Scranton spoke to


           19              city council and the mayor were included in


           20              this glimpse of the future.  There may be a


           21              light at the end of the tunnel.  The


           22              firefighters spoke of an major problem


           23              within his department and very serious


           24              charges were brought up -- were brought


           25              forth against the fire chief.  This person






            1              spoke of a meeting where amongst others the


            2              mayor was present and promised something


            3              would be done but the chief would remain in


            4              his position.  Other citizens spoke of taxes


            5              and at least one senior citizen was losing


            6              their home.  City council chambers were


            7              filled with anger, but less hate and after


            8              the citizens spoke all of the members of


            9              city council did some work.  There was anger


           10              and disagreement on many issues, but the


           11              line were drawn and each member defended


           12              their proposition as best they could.


           13              Scranton's heavyweight bought ensued for


           14              more than two hours.  Janet Evans came out


           15              swinging, three left jabs followed by a Bill


           16              Courtright right cross.  Then Sherry Fanucci


           17              countered with the right lead followed by a


           18              Judy Gatelli upper cut.  Mr. McGoff was in


           19              the middle of the ring feeling the affects


           20              of both sides and offered that he would like


           21              to balance the scales by giving the chief


           22              the benefit of the doubt.  In the end the


           23              referee called it a draw, but it was a


           24              victory for the City of Scranton.


           25                      The City of Scranton does not belong






            1              to us.  This is God's city.  We just live


            2              here.  At one moment in time at the meeting,


            3              I think it was at the beginning of the


            4              meeting, council member announced a function


            5              to be held in the city acknowledging black


            6              history month, that they had a speaker, I


            7              never heard of that speaker, so at this time


            8              I would like to take the time to reflect on


            9              American History and I ask you that be


           10              patient with me because certain things need


           11              to be said.


           12                      In America for over the course of


           13              400 years slavery existed.  People were


           14              beaten down, raped, maimed and murdered


           15              simply because of the color of their skin.


           16              African people were taken and removed from


           17              the land to become -- from their land to


           18              become slaves in these United States and


           19              Tarzan was left in Africa to become the king


           20              of the jungle.  This was a dark and


           21              despicable period in our American history


           22              and after centuries of people owning people


           23              the Emancipation Proclamation Act was


           24              brought forth to free the slaves, but the


           25              struggle for freedom hadn't even begun.






            1              Rosa Parks, Macon Evans, Martin Luther King,


            2              Malcolm X, Jessie Owens, Joe Louis, Muhammad


            3              Ali, the Tuskegee Airman, Branch Ricky,


            4              Eleanor Roosevelt, John Fitzgerald Kennedy


            5              were but a few colored and noncolored heroes


            6              to impact positive change in America and the


            7              people trying to define their identity in


            8              the 60's and 70's were saying it loud, "I'm


            9              Black and I'm proud," adorned in African


           10              attire called Dashikis and natural hairdo's


           11              known as Afros.  A Renaissance period was


           12              underway not as a threat to America, but to


           13              help the people find their place in a


           14              strange land.


           15                      Today people wear wigs, adorn their


           16              hair with colors from red, blue, yellow,


           17              orange, green, purple and every other color


           18              of the rainbow while our youth walk the


           19              streets hooded in over 60-degree


           20              temperatures while others slump riding and


           21              driving in cars, so I ask you, is this cool


           22              or is this possibly dangerous?  Decades ago


           23              our government met in the halls of Congress


           24              and passed a piece of legislation that would


           25              even the playing field, kind of to balance






            1              the scales, and so the idea of a grant was


            2              born but the very people that grants were


            3              put in place to help they have never


            4              received and so that dream was never even


            5              realized.  Over the course of time the


            6              language of legislation has been changed to


            7              benefit other individuals, their families


            8              and friends.


            9                      In the year 2004 through 2006 I went


           10              back to school with some fine young men and


           11              gentlemen of Scranton.  My time is up.  I


           12              shall be back.  This is not our city.  We


           13              have to do the work.  This is God's city and


           14              if we don't define who we are it can rain


           15              for 18 days and 18 nights and Noah's Ark


           16              will not save us.  That only happens once in


           17              a lifetime.  This is our land.  These are


           18              our people, and I'd like to say


           19              congratulations to the West Scranton


           20              football team and that they should try and


           21              get some other folks on their team because


           22              those other folks can help them go over and


           23              into the nationals.


           24                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.  Brian


           25              Murray.






            1                      MR. MURRAY: Good evening, Council.


            2              My name is Brian Murray, taxpayer, city


            3              firefighter.  I come before you this evening


            4              to provide factual information in regards to


            5              the recent statements made by the


            6              administration in the Scranton Times on


            7              Friday, February 22, 2008, regarding the


            8              recovery process that took place in Roaring


            9              Brook on May 27, 2007.


           10                      As the driver of the on-duty chief


           11              that day I was involved in all aspects of


           12              that recovery, including providing transport


           13              of rescue crews, equipment and


           14              administrative officials to the scene,


           15              assisting in the setup of both safety ropes


           16              for the crews to descend into the step falls


           17              area and the lifting system used for the


           18              recovery.  I also descended into the step


           19              falls myself and assisted with the recovery.


           20                   In light of the statements and


           21              pictorials and reference to the physical


           22              condition of the eight, not 15 or 20


           23              firefighters as indicated by the Times that


           24              took place in the recovery, I offer the


           25              following facts:  Of those eight, six






            1              repelled into the falls, including myself,


            2              all of which received advanced training and


            3              certification in both firefighting and


            4              rescue at Harrisburg Area Community College.


            5              Chief Davis doesn't even have that type of


            6              training.  All being deemed physically fit


            7              to do the profession at hand by Harrisburg


            8              Area Community College, three of which were


            9              so certified just months before the


           10              recovery.


           11                      As for the remaining two, one was


           12              the duty chief who oversaw the complete


           13              operation and the other a seasoned member of


           14              Rescue 1 crew who oversaw the operation of


           15              all rope lifting systems and safety lines.


           16                   In reference to Chief Davis' actions


           17              that day, it was only after the initial


           18              recovery crew repelled into the falls area


           19              did Chief Davis himself scale down the


           20              terrain.  He did so with no safety harness


           21              or helmet to protect himself in case of a


           22              fall.  He was advised by a member of our


           23              crew not to do so without proper gear and


           24              his reply was, and I quote, "I have to see


           25              this for myself."






            1                      Upon entering the falls area Chief


            2              Davis was advised to stay away from the


            3              scene until the crime scene investigator


            4              arrived.  He continued into the crime scene


            5              and only turned back after he was threatened


            6              with detainment by the on-scene police


            7              officer for entering a crime scene.


            8                      It disheartened me to read in the


            9              paper the quotes of the administration about


           10              this terrible day and think of the pain the


           11              Grendel family has and continues to go


           12              through.  I can only offer my most sincere


           13              condolences to the family in hopes to ease


           14              their pain.


           15                      To both this council and the


           16              citizens and of Scranton I ask you, how is a


           17              member of the fire department to have


           18              confidence in their fire chief, a man who


           19              has less modern day firefighting training


           20              and experience than one of our newly hired


           21              recruits, a man who previously stated both


           22              today and in past weeks has complete


           23              disregard for his own safety and safety of


           24              the men and women he commands?  I implore


           25              you, please, personally educate yourself






            1              with the safety issues at hand, both the


            2              safety issues of the firefighters and the


            3              issues that plague the citizens of the city.


            4              Thank you.


            5                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.  Sean Trope.


            6                      MR. TROPE: Good evening, Council.


            7              My name is Sean Trope, I'm a firefighter for


            8              the City of Scranton.  It really turns my


            9              stomach what I read in the paper on Friday


           10              about the physical condition of the


           11              firefighters that were there, I was there


           12              that day, I was on Rescue 1, the mayor has


           13              no -- we know he has no soul for us, he


           14              doesn't care about us, but yet he uses the


           15              family's name in the paper again, brings it


           16              up.  Why?  When we talked about this


           17              situation we were behind closed doors we


           18              left it as just an incident at the falls at


           19              the gorge.  He wanted to know, what


           20              incident?  What incident?  He knew what


           21              incident it was, he was there.  Why did he


           22              have to come out and say this to the


           23              families?  Why is it he have to lie, not


           24              even half truth, it's a lie.  Every single


           25              one of us that were there that day did our






            1              job without exception and we were


            2              physically -- more than physically able to


            3              do it and we did do it.


            4                      I was there when the chief came to


            5              the scene.  Now, he goes over to the rope,


            6              asked me, "Are there guys down there?"


            7                      "Yes, Chief."


            8                      He grabs the rope.  Now, he is


            9              wearing sneakers, shorts, and a golf shirt.


           10              Meanwhile, for me to go down and two other


           11              firefighters that were already down there


           12              assessing the situation and already


           13              addressed the problem.  I have to wear a


           14              harness, hook into the line, into the rope,


           15              with two bruising cords which are safety


           16              attachments which I was to slip and fall and


           17              I let go of that rope they are going to grab


           18              and I'm not going to fall.  The degree of


           19              the slope dictated that that's how we


           20              operate.


           21                      I advised him, chief, I wouldn't go


           22              down there like that with no gloves,


           23              nothing, just get a fastener.  I want to be


           24              John Wayne, I want to be a hero, I want to


           25              go down that rope.  Okay.  I advised him, I






            1              advised him three times, "Chief, I wouldn't


            2              do it --" it's a crime scene.  It's the


            3              police.  They are running the show, we are


            4              just helping them.


            5                      I do have knowledge on crime scenes


            6              and how they operate and what you need to


            7              do.  You get one shot at a crime scene.  One


            8              shot.  That's it.  There was no reason for


            9              him to go down there.  He is not offering us


           10              any sort of technical support.  Hey, you


           11              guys need this, you know, you should do


           12              this, you should do that.  The guys on scene


           13              are on halt systems, our set lines, our


           14              safety lines were already all set up.  Now,


           15              why does he have to go down there?  I can't


           16              even imagine why.  It turns my stomach to


           17              think why this man has to go down there.


           18                      Now, I was not in the gorge at the


           19              time that he was supposedly, you know, I


           20              wouldn't say yelled at by a police officer


           21              so I will not speak on that.  I mean, this


           22              is just ridiculous, I'm sorry.  Why is he


           23              there?  Can anybody tell me?  You know, I


           24              mean, you talk about safety for us.  Now, he


           25              goes down there, you know, wants to be a big






            1              hero and he goes down and gets hurt.  Now we


            2              have to change our whole operation to rescue


            3              him, to bring him up.  I'm not trying to


            4              crack a joke here, but that's exactly what


            5              would happen.  We tax our resources now.


            6              It's a different way to have to operate.


            7              You know, and it's -- every one of us knows


            8              the inherent dangers of our chosen


            9              profession.  We know the risks.


           10                      All we ask from the mayor and the


           11              city is could you give us proper equipment


           12              so every one of us can go home at night or


           13              in the morning and see our children, our


           14              wife, our husband, whatever, it's all we ask


           15              for.  And what do we get?  We get the mayor


           16              in this paper who will just print a lie.


           17              Will print a lie.  And we are all fat, out


           18              of shape and then that cute little cartoon


           19              in Sunday's paper, I mean, that guy what is


           20              he, in second grade?  I mean, because that's


           21              what you do.  I mean, I understand, you


           22              know, council, you have different political


           23              views, what side you are on, that's fine.


           24              We aren't all going to agree on everything,


           25              but work with us, sit down.  I will sit down






            1              with anybody and discuss in detail the


            2              events of that day.  I won't do it here in a


            3              public forum because there are certain


            4              things that do not need to be made public


            5              out of good taste and I will not do it.  I


            6              will sit down at any time and I will tell


            7              you details of how we operated and what


            8              happened.  Thank you.


            9                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.  Jim Davis.


           10                      MR. DAVIS: Salaam aleikum.  My name


           11              is Jim Davis and I come to you after, let's


           12              see, we started this in 1984 when Jessie


           13              Jackson first ran for president and this is


           14              more or less we have a history of people


           15              running for president, but we have told


           16              Jessie, run, Jessie, run, because that was


           17              the thing he had to do.  We are making our


           18              way towards the pole or the goal of


           19              presidency with Barack Obama, Senator Barack


           20              Obama, and we are very proud of him.  Now


           21              don't get confused, we are very proud of


           22              this young man.  He is the epitome of so


           23              many things we have asked for in this


           24              lifetime but he's finally gotten to the


           25              point where he can reach out and almost






            1              touch that pot of gold for that little


            2              branch, whatever you want to call it, but


            3              I'm saying like this to the kids don't be


            4              disconcerting.  Don't be afraid to lose


            5              because there will be someone after that.


            6              Believe me.  We are not going to stop just


            7              like we are not going to stop running for


            8              city council or for mayor or for other


            9              conditions.  We don't have representation.


           10                   We don't have representation in the


           11              fire department, a fantastic fire


           12              department.  Some of my best friends are on


           13              the fire department.  Thomas Hogan who died


           14              in the fire department was my closest friend


           15              for a long time, but I'm saying like this,


           16              there is -- it's unsafe for us to tell our


           17              kids to go down and join them because you


           18              have problems at the top.  If you have


           19              problems at the top, if you have problems


           20              with the chief, the safety for those


           21              underneath him are not going to be looked


           22              at.  They should be -- you really should


           23              investigate.  There is something wrong with


           24              this whole thing and he should be removed


           25              and you should remove him, but that's beside






            1              the point.  I'm not either in a position to


            2              have anybody removed or ask to have him


            3              removed, but the main thing is keep your


            4              heart and your soul and your hope in it's


            5              proper place.  Keep your eyes straight ahead


            6              and look at the people that you want to vote


            7              for and listen to them and discern what they


            8              are saying as being the truth.  If you can


            9              do that you won't make any mistakes because


           10              that's all we have.  All we have is our hope


           11              and our faith and our trust, and what goes


           12              on in front of us and I wish you nothing


           13              about the very best in this election.


           14                      The mayor is going to run for office


           15              again?  Is he serious?  I mean, there is so


           16              much negative -- well, I guess we don't


           17              count.  If we think things negatively that


           18              does not -- and he has already shown it to


           19              us twice, that does not decide what he does


           20              in the polls, so maybe what we have to do is


           21              to get two more people like ourselves and


           22              start talking to people like that and talk


           23              to them about the election, talk to them


           24              about the presidential election, get


           25              involved.  I mean, really get involved, get






            1              involved to the point where it almost hurts


            2              to talk about because what's going on in


            3              Scranton is painful.  We have got firemen


            4              that are hurting themselves and maybe


            5              causing others to do that and they are still


            6              not doing anything about it and I feel sorry


            7              for them because there is some good strong


            8              men.  I mean, there are some very brave men,


            9              too.  I have seen it.  There is no -- there


           10              is no whimps in our fire department that I


           11              know of.  So pray for them, guide them and


           12              have faith in what they are saying and what


           13              they are doing and we got a back up because


           14              if we don't back them we don't have


           15              anything.  Seriously, our lives are at


           16              jeopardy, are in jeopardy.  Thank you very


           17              much.


           18                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Davis.


           19              Brett McClough.


           20                      MR. MCCLOUGH: Good evening.  My name


           21              is Brett McClough, Scranton taxpayer.  Weeks


           22              ago I had made a statement about substantive


           23              hope and I heard an interesting statistic


           24              about Scranton and Lackawanna County.  There


           25              are more single women with children than






            1              married with children and I wanted to tell


            2              you a little story about some advice I gave


            3              a single young mother of two when she was


            4              talking about how she was going to spend her


            5              tax return.  She was talking about going


            6              shopping, paying off some utility bills with


            7              what turned out to be a substantial amount


            8              of money, it was $5,000 from head of


            9              household earned income tax credits.  I


           10              asked her what her rent was.  She told me it


           11              was $500 a month plus utilities.  I asked


           12              her, do you plan on staying in this


           13              apartment for at least the next year and is


           14              the landlord good about fixing things when


           15              things break?  Once again she said, yes.


           16                      I said to her it must be very hard


           17              and frustrating to live paycheck to paycheck


           18              especially with two children and a drawer


           19              full of bills.  Now, the advice I gave her


           20              was not rocket science, nothing new, has


           21              many variations dependent on individual's


           22              circumstances and is by no means fool proof,


           23              but is based on some successes and more


           24              importantly lessons from my own failures


           25              that always result in a "I could have done






            1              this.  I would have done that.  I should


            2              have done the other."


            3                      I told her to take 60 to 70 percent


            4              of that $5,000 return and put it towards


            5              reducing her rent for the year.  Paying off


            6              two or three months gives you a nice break.


            7              When it's over you are back where you


            8              started.  Strike a deal with the landlord


            9              and give him the $3,000 which cuts her


           10              monthly rent from $500 down to $250 a month,


           11              not to mention there are possibly a few


           12              landlords out there that might even cut her


           13              a break, maybe even take a month off.


           14                      The reason why I made this


           15              suggestion to her was to give her a chance


           16              to see options for a better future for


           17              herself by reducing her rent she now has


           18              alleviated one of the major stressors in her


           19              life by showing a bit of innovative fiscal


           20              responsibility she now has options, options


           21              to spend more year round instead of blowing


           22              it all in three months on things that really


           23              don't add to the quality of life.  She now


           24              has options of spending more time with her


           25              children instead of pulling double shifts to






            1              make ends meet.  She might even like her job


            2              just a little bitter because she knows that


            3              her financial situation is not hopeless.


            4              She can now begin to develop a peace of mind


            5              and finally read that brochure that has been


            6              sitting on other coffee table that could


            7              eventually take her back to school and


            8              possibly double her income in two years.


            9                   Yes, she still has hard work to do to


           10              get the rest of the bills paid, but the


           11              funny thing about utilities and credit cards


           12              it's all controllable.  That tax return


           13              should not be used on utilities because you


           14              are to lazy to turn off the lights or turn


           15              down the heat.  You make those bills, you


           16              pay those bills.  Why blow a $5,000 head


           17              start on your future because of mistakes you


           18              made in the past.


           19                      There is many, many more things that


           20              can be done to help the quality of life for


           21              single parents and women during these


           22              economic hard times and I wish this young


           23              mother as well as all single parents good


           24              luck on finding their own way through own


           25              fiscal 2008.






            1                      What does this have to do with city


            2              business?  It has to do with innovative


            3              fiscal responsibility and economic


            4              development that starts from the ground up,


            5              by strengthening the morale of the work


            6              force and offering a vision built upon the


            7              unique qualities of our existing population,


            8              not a population that we think we are going


            9              to get.  Books, lager, lattes are not enough


           10              to transform this city.  Hopefully in 2009


           11              we can elect innovative leaders who don't


           12              follow orders, read outdated books on how to


           13              run a city or stand in federal or state


           14              welfare lines waiting for a grant that can


           15              only be used to plant trees.  Thank you.


           16                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. McClough.


           17              Chris Sledenzski.


           18                      MR. SLEDENZSKI: Well, Bill, where's


           19              Matt going to college this year, Billy?


           20              Where's he going to college this year, Bill?


           21                      MR. COURTRIGHT: PennState.


           22                      MR. SLEDENZSKI: That's right. He's


           23              sticking with Penn State, too.  It's the


           24              only one in the world.  West is best, Bill.


           25              You know they are still better than anybody






            1              else in this city and they are.  West is


            2              Best, Baby.


            3                      MR. MCGOFF: Any other speakers?


            4                      MS. SUETTA:  Jean Suetta, Scranton.


            5              You know, I was a little late today, but


            6              Jesus Christ you didn't have to lock the


            7              front door.  You locked the front door.  I


            8              had to walk all the way around the back and


            9              I got a sore knee.  Did you find out


           10              anything for me, Bill?


           11                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes, I did, Jean.


           12              Do you want me to answer you now?


           13                      MS. SUETTA: Yeah.


           14                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I left a letter in


           15              my basket there, but Mark Seitzinger sent me


           16              a letter and I called him this morning and


           17              spoke to him.  He had gone down there right


           18              after I spoke to you here and he talked to,


           19              I can't remember the guy's first name, it


           20              was Cordaro was his last name, he spoke to


           21              him, he went down there and he met with him


           22              at the location.  He told him he needed to


           23              get the place cleaned up and he said as soon


           24              as the weather breaks he will start doing


           25              that, but he told him -- hear me out here,






            1              and he told him that he needs to do


            2              something now to start getting it cleaned up


            3              now and he said he would and Mr. Seitzinger


            4              said he would keep his eye on it and if


            5              nothing materializes in the way of fixing it


            6              he will start to cite him.


            7                      MS. SUETTA: Okay, thank you very


            8              much.


            9                      MR. COURTRIGHT: You are welcome.


           10                      MS. SUETTA: Judy, last week you said


           11              you sit on the left-hand side so you can


           12              vote second.


           13                      MS. GATELLI: Bill, would you like to


           14              sit here, Bill?  You can have your seat


           15              back.


           16                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes, I would like to


           17              sit there.


           18                      MS. GATELLI: Well, next week you can


           19              sit here.


           20                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you.


           21                      MS. GATELLI: I'm not going to fight


           22              about the seat.  My Gosh.


           23                      MS. SUETTA: No, no, no, not God, you


           24              know --


           25                      MS. GATELLI: Bill and I always got






            1              along with each other, I'm not going to


            2              fight about the seat.


            3                      MS. SUETTA: You're going to give him


            4              back his seat?


            5                      MS. GATELLI:  He can have his seat.


            6                      MS. SUETTA: Because I was going to


            7              tell you to put a motion up --


            8                      MS. GATELLI:  How about that?


            9                      MS. SUETTA: Good.  I was going to


           10              tell you to put a motion up to vote first.


           11              No response?


           12                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Well, I don't care


           13              when I vote, Jean, you know that, it's


           14              just--


           15                      MS. SUETTA: I was going to say you


           16              put a motion up there so you can vote first.


           17              We don't care what order --


           18                      MS. GATELLI:  I don't care when I


           19              vote.  It doesn't matter.


           20                      MS. SUETTA: Because it's always


           21              going to be the same.


           22                      MS. GATELLI: It doesn't change the


           23              vote.


           24                      MS. SUETTA:  All right.  We're gonna


           25              switch?






            1                      MS. GATELLI: We'll switch.  How


            2              about that?


            3                      MS. SUETTA:  All right.


            4                      MS. SCHUMACHER: Good evening, Marie


            5              Schumacher, resident and member of the


            6              Taxpayers' Association.  First, I would --


            7              my recollection is that the OECD three-year


            8              lease expires in June of this year?


            9                      MS. GATELLI: No, it did.


           10                      MS. SCHUMACHER: Say what?


           11                      MS. GATELLI: I think it did last


           12              year.


           13                      MS. EVANS: Actually it was the year


           14              before, I believe during July perhaps.


           15                      MS. SCHUMACHER: Can you wait because


           16              I have a lot tonight, but in motions, thank


           17              you very much, but I do hope you take action


           18              and sufficient time to keep that lease from


           19              being renewed and get OECD back in this


           20              building filling up some of the empty space.


           21                   Now, next I'd like to talk about the


           22              proposed ordinance that somehow skipped from


           23              5-D to 7-C this week.  I don't know what


           24              happened to the interim step, but last week


           25              Mrs. Fanucci stated that the Growing Greener






            1              money is not a new issue of money.  It is a


            2              transfer from the Connell building project


            3              to the garage.  A lot of times they have


            4              time frames on the money and this money was


            5              earmarked for the Connell building in the


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


            7              issued.  Now, the ordinance itself is to


            8              approve applying for a grant from the


            9              Growing Greener II fund which is in it's


           10              third year.  The reports for the first two


           11              years are on-line and there have been no


           12              grants to Scranton made per these reports.


           13              The ordinance makes no note of a transfer,


           14              only an application for new grant under the


           15              Growing Greener II.


           16                      Now, I have two problems with the


           17              ordinance which I believe should be


           18              defeated:  First, council has already proved


           19              a bond which included demolition of the


           20              current structure and building the new


           21              garage.


           22                      Second, DCED, Growing Greener II has


           23              $50 million for Main Street and downtowns


           24              redevelopment including improvements to


           25              water and wastewater infrastructure.  Then,






            1              if Scranton is to obtain a grant I would


            2              suggest and argue that it should be to help


            3              out the sewer authority with improvements to


            4              the waste water infrastructure.  We have


            5              already approved the money in the bond for


            6              the work that is now being considered under


            7              this grant.


            8                      Further, per the ordinance the


            9              million dollars would be used for two items:


           10              $380,000 for demolition of the current


           11              Oppenheim garage and the balance to shore up


           12              a fire wall.  Now, I must ask why the


           13              shoring up of the Connell building wall


           14              should be the responsibility of the parking


           15              authority?  When the sewer authority ran


           16              into a problem at Franklin and Spruce the


           17              owners of that building paid for the shoring


           18              up.


           19                      Now, next, new subject.  Last week I


           20              pondered why the city was not overseeing


           21              restaurants to ensure licenses and health


           22              permits are current.  Tonight I bring forth


           23              a new question, the bar and grill that was


           24              cited by the state police it turns out was


           25              given $120,000 commercial industrial loan






            1              just last June.  Now, failure to maintain


            2              current licenses and permits is a default of


            3              the covenant of the loan if notified by the


            4              city.  Now I wonder if the reason it was the


            5              state police who made the citation was to


            6              avoid a default notification.  Is this how


            7              OECD protects taxpayer money?  I wonder.


            8                   Now, to some of the unanswered Right to


            9              Know, I know I have only been commenting


           10              since the chair of council informed us it


           11              was not his job or your jobs to fetch


           12              information for us, so I would like to


           13              comment and just a few he said we should use


           14              Right to Know.  Here's one to the solicitor


           15              of the City of Scranton, this one is pretty


           16              recent, it was only dated the 19th of


           17              January, I asked for -- "I am hereby


           18              requesting principal amount of nonelectoral


           19              debt for the City of Scranton and each of


           20              it's authority and how close in dollars or


           21              percent the aggregate amount comes to the


           22              Commonwealth's limit on nonelectoral debt."


           23                      I have not received an answer to


           24              that.  This one is more recent, dated 2


           25              February, but still out of compliance, I






            1              ask -- I requested to review the contract


            2              and any amendments thereto with Forever


            3              Young Treehouses for the Nay Aug treehouse.


            4              I'll read a few more next week that I have


            5              not had responses to.  Thank you.


            6                      MR. HUBBARD:  Good evening, Council,


            7              Daniel Hubbard.  A couple of quick things


            8              for you.  I quoted Mayor Doherty last week


            9              as saying that the reason we need to redo


           10              the Oppenheim Garage, which is not part of


           11              the Connell building, just so we are clear


           12              on that, I know that you said the money was


           13              earmarked for the Connell building, this has


           14              nothing to do with that project, it's


           15              actually separate.  I found out that the


           16              city, in fact, did buy the garage from the


           17              management of the Steamtown Mall then they


           18              refurbished it.  Now, Mayor Doherty is


           19              saying that, if I may, that we need more


           20              parking in that area.  These pictures are as


           21              of this morning.  That's the third floor of


           22              the Oppenheim building.  This is the


           23              entrance to the third floor where there is


           24              no cones or saw horses blocking it off.


           25              There is over 50 parking spots on the top






            1              floor that are empty.  This is the second


            2              floor of the Oppenheim garage, empty, and


            3              this is the management sign, the only sign


            4              indicating who owned the garage at one point


            5              or another, the Steamtown Mall.  There is no


            6              signs in that facility indicating if you


            7              have a problem with your vehicle or any


            8              problems parking there to contact the


            9              parking authority.


           10                      I still would like an answer on


           11              whether or not we are rebuilding this garage


           12              for the City of Scranton or is this garage


           13              for the Connell building project because the


           14              Connell building project is being marketed


           15              by Precision Realty Group and they are


           16              indicating that there is a potential for a


           17              parking garage to supply sufficient parking


           18              for each residential unit so is there a


           19              potential for a parking garage for the


           20              residents of this building or like has been


           21              stated previously by the mayor in the paper


           22              are they building a parking garage


           23              underneath the facility?


           24                      Now, if this facility was rehabbed


           25              by the city not too long ago, and I'll tell






            1              you the epoxy coating on the concrete on the


            2              third floor is brand new, there is not a


            3              mark on it.  I pushed some of the snow off


            4              just to see how many lines were there to


            5              count the empty spaces and it's brand new


            6              and it's not blocked off, so it could easily


            7              be driven up and parked if it was cleared of


            8              snow.  You can't drive up there?


            9                      MS. FANUCCI:  No.


           10                      MR. HUBBARD: Then why isn't it block


           11              off?


           12                      MS. FANUCCI: Actually, I parked in


           13              that garage.


           14                      MR. HUBBARD:  Why isn't it blocked


           15              off?


           16                      MS. FANUCCI:  The reason that


           17              they've had it block off is because pieces


           18              of --


           19                      MR. HUBBARD:  It's not blocked off.


           20                      MS. FANUCCI: Pieces of the concrete


           21              have been falling and they were worried


           22              about health and people's safety.


           23                      MR. HUBBARD: Falling from where?


           24                      MS. FANUCCI: Falling from -- going


           25              up the ramp to get to the top space.






            1                      MR. HUBBARD:  It's not blocked off.


            2                      MS. FANUCCI: You can't get out --


            3              they don't even have enough cards.  It's a


            4              private parking spot.


            5                      MR. HUBBARD: I'm saying it's not


            6              blocked off.  You could drive right up there


            7              if you want right now.


            8                      MS. FANUCCI: You can drive right up


            9              there, but they have -- they had had it all


           10              blocked off, all taped off and now --


           11                      MR. HUBBARD: As of this morning it's


           12              not taped off --


           13                      MS. FANUCCI: I'm answering -- do you


           14              want to hear the answer or do you want to


           15              hear --


           16                      MR. HUBBARD: You are eating my time


           17              so wait until I'm done speaking.  A quick


           18              question on the Connell building project


           19              since we are so quick to give money to


           20              people.  When this building was purchased in


           21              2003, this is from the Times, a King of


           22              Prussia Real Estate developer bought the


           23              building for $200,000 and he agreed to pay


           24              $679,000 of back property taxes, 419 of


           25              which is to the city in delinquent property






            1              taxes and with NCC I'm sure we can roll that


            2              up to a million, $193,000 to the school


            3              district and $66,000 to the county.  Have


            4              those back taxes been paid?  Since we are


            5              going to be giving this guy a $5 million


            6              grant to rehab a building and we are


            7              conveniently building a parking garage for


            8              him and throwing another million in on top


            9              of it, why not just give him the key to the


           10              city at this point?  I mean, is this kind of


           11              like a Daron thing?  That number rings


           12              pretty close, I think it was 675 in


           13              delinquent taxes that they got by without


           14              paying, so did Mr. Wolfington pay $679,000


           15              in back taxes on this facility yet?


           16                      MS. EVANS: I'll address that when we


           17              vote.


           18                      MR. HUBBARD: Now, Mrs. Gatelli, you


           19              are the finance chair, correct?  Right?


           20              Okay.  Good.


           21                      MS. GATELLI:  By default.


           22                      MR. HUBBARD:  So we are on the same


           23              page here.  This is for everybody, this is a


           24              handout that came out from the Department of


           25              Parks and Recreation in Newport News,






            1              Virginia, population 70,000 people.  They


            2              built a dog park that rivals what we have,


            3              although, they don't have boulders to the


            4              tune of $25,000.  They did manage to get a


            5              dog park in with a fence, double gates,


            6              water fountains for the dogs, shelter and a


            7              separate area for small dogs that's


            8              separately fenced off and they managed to


            9              build a dog park that is self-supporting by


           10              the membership or registration fees by city


           11              residents that use this dog park and imagine


           12              that they got one that's self-supporting and


           13              they did all of these lovely things that


           14              they put in there that we have and they did


           15              it for $55,000.


           16                      So, as the finance chair you need to


           17              at least try to justify $300,000 in a dog


           18              park because I have researched this and


           19              across the country I have yet to find one


           20              dog park that was built for more than


           21              $150,000 and even in some of the biggest


           22              cities they managed to put dog parks in for


           23              under $150,000.  Hawaii put a dog park that


           24              would be combined with the Newsport News and


           25              Scranton's, enormous dog park.  They got it






            1              in for $95,000, so we want to talk about


            2              frivolous spending, where is the $250,000


            3              gone that what was overspent on a dog park.


            4              $300,000, it's probably the most expensive


            5              dog park in the United States and we are a


            6              distressed city.  So, I mean, I would like


            7              an answer on that one to justify to the


            8              taxpayers why we have to spend $300,000 on a


            9              fence in field for dogs to run around in


           10              when every city in the country managed to


           11              get it done for under $150,000 and I just


           12              gave you proof that a city the same size as


           13              ours managed to do a park better than ours


           14              for $55,000.


           15                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.  Anyone else?


           16                      MR. ANCHERANI: Good evening.  Nelson


           17              Ancherani, resident and taxpayer and city


           18              employee, financial secretary of the FOP,


           19              First Amendment Rights.  Miss Fanucci,


           20              February 5 you made reference to OECD, and I


           21              quote, "Just not picking from what I heard,


           22              like, the favorites of the city," end of the


           23              quote.  That's funny.  I have been using the


           24              word favorites only in the context that the


           25              favorites or favor of the city share in






            1              $15 million in raises in new positions.  One


            2              example is her new business administrator,


            3              Stu Renda.  Previously, I said Renda's wages


            4              were $30,000 a OECD, I stand corrected.


            5              Renda was making $39,000 a year as auditing


            6              and compliance director in a newly created


            7              position in 2003.  In 2004 Renda got a


            8              $5,000 raise.  2005 he got a $5,000 raise,


            9              his salary rose to $49,000.  He was promoted


           10              toward the end of 2007 to business


           11              administrator and the salary for business


           12              administrator for 2008 is $85,000.  Renda


           13              received a $46,000 raise since 2003.  Renda


           14              received raises even though it violated the


           15              Recovery Plan.  Renda said the following in


           16              newspaper quotes:  "Better financial footing


           17              can only be attained by controlling employee


           18              costs through implementation of the city's


           19              Recovery Plan."


           20                      I didn't hear Renda complain when he


           21              received raises and $312,500 in salary


           22              through 2008 between his newly created


           23              position and business administrator.  Even


           24              without costs, this is another quote, "Even


           25              without costs of living increases






            1              firefighters and police union members pay


            2              only a small fee for health and other


            3              insurance."


            4                      Isn't that how it works for him,


            5              too, or he must have forgotten?


            6                      "They also received additional pay


            7              each year for longevity.  Some receive as


            8              much as 10 percent of their base salaries


            9              while many receive 5 percent or 3 percent."


           10                      Stu, that's no where near


           11              200 percent like he gets.  Just remember,


           12              Ms. Fanucci, if the favorites like Renda got


           13              no raises from the beginning just like the


           14              unions no one would have a gripe and we


           15              wouldn't be where we are now.  Fair is fair,


           16              discrimination is not fair.


           17                      Stu started out in OECD at $39,000


           18              now making $85,000, $46,000 more.  How about


           19              that raise?  Would we call him a favorite?


           20              I would.  Hey, Stu, you said police were


           21              offered a 19 percent raise, try 5 percent


           22              and you got over a 200 percent raise.  Ms.


           23              Evans' budget would have eliminated all of


           24              the raises and put everyone in city hall


           25              back to where they were and it would be fair






            1              to everyone, not just the favorites.  Ms.


            2              Fanucci also said she believes in a Recovery


            3              Plan.  A question for Miss Fanucci, and


            4              please just a yes or no is required, did you


            5              read the Recovery Plan in it's entirety?


            6                      MS. FANUCCI: Yes.


            7                      MR. ANCHERANI:  I'll refresh


            8              everyone's memory then, on Page 64 of the


            9              Recovery Plan under wages it says, and I


           10              quote, "Wages for 2003, 2004, 2005, the base


           11              hourly wages and salaries of all city


           12              employees not exceed existing 2002 rates."


           13                   That means no raises.  Now, since you


           14              believe in the Recovery Plan this in my


           15              opinion must mean that you believe in it's


           16              violations by the mayor by giving out raises


           17              to the favorites since you believe in the


           18              Recovery Plan you apparently are not


           19              objecting to it's violation by the mayor by


           20              your yes votes on the budget that contain


           21              raises for nonunion workers, but not the


           22              unions.  I take that as discrimination.  I


           23              as a city employee have no choice but to


           24              believe that you, along with Ms. Gatelli and


           25              Mr. McGoff approve of the treatment of the






            1              unionized workers of this city by this


            2              administration.


            3                      Now, Ms. Fanucci, in your laughing


            4              quote, "My laughing.  My laughing always


            5              seems to be the funniest.  I can't imagine


            6              that it actually gets as much attention as


            7              it does.  But, yes, when I see how it is


            8              conducted here and, of course, when it is s


            9              blatantly obvious I'm going to laugh, just


           10              like you would laugh if it was me."


           11                      Miss Fanucci, you are saying you are


           12              supposed to be professional.  You are


           13              supposed to represent all of the people of


           14              the city and not just your people.  When you


           15              laugh at the people from up there you show


           16              scorn for the people who come to this podium


           17              because they care about their city.  You


           18              were right about the Jerry Springer show and


           19              it starts there.


           20                      Miss Gatelli, your turn.  Do you


           21              remember saying, "I'm not going to go


           22              through the tree project again - can I just


           23              finish this?


           24                      MR. MCGOFF:  Yes.


           25                      MR. ANCHERANI: "I can't believe that






            1              trees for 60,000 is causing such a ruckus."


            2              Sixty-thousand for trees when the city would


            3              not even give our returning soldiers from


            4              Iraq the money to make them whole.  That


            5              wasn't even $20,000 total and they risked


            6              their lives for their country.  What a shame


            7              but yet we would give 60,000 for trees.  A


            8              little trivia.  Do you remember when they


            9              removed all of the trees from the 400-block


           10              of North Irving Avenue because it was felt


           11              that the tree line street contributed to the


           12              crime rate?  The drug dealers had to cover


           13              of trees to do their drug deals.  Remember,


           14              once the trees were gone you could see up


           15              the street and the druggies left, so putting


           16              $60,000 in trees in South Side will that


           17              invite the druggies there for the cover of


           18              trees?  Thank you.


           19                      MR. GERVASI: Good evening, city


           20              council, my name is Dave Gervasi, I'm the


           21              vice-president of the firefighters' union


           22              and a very proud firefighter.  I'm going to


           23              be very brief.  Usually when things are said


           24              by the audience people go on their merry way


           25              and talk about the things that they want to






            1              talk about so I have one question I want to


            2              ask each and every one of you during motions


            3              to answer for me, is now that you heard just


            4              one incident, by the way, that was not


            5              brought up by the firefighters' union within


            6              our news press release because of the


            7              sensitivity of that issue, it was brought up


            8              by the mayor, now that you heard some of the


            9              truth other than our guys are fat or


           10              physically unable to do repelling down an


           11              embankment, Mr. McGoff, does that sound in


           12              any way, shape or form what these two


           13              gentlemen said tonight, my brothers, as a


           14              character assassination?  Does that sound


           15              like a character assassination or do they


           16              sound truthful to you of his behavior at


           17              this scene?


           18                      MR. MCGOFF: Tonight?


           19                      MR. GERVASI: Yes.


           20                      MR. MCGOFF: I believe what they


           21              said, yes.


           22                      MR. GERVASI:  Okay.  Now, since you


           23              two gentlemen were supposed to have a


           24              meeting with the chief and then later on


           25              with us so we can bring more witnesses that






            1              would back up our allegations we made in our


            2              press release, not the one that was spoken


            3              on tonight because it wasn't on the press


            4              release, are you going to have that meeting


            5              because everyday that goes by we still


            6              continue to have incompetent leadership


            7              running the department?  Are we going to do


            8              that in a timely manner?


            9                      MR. MCGOFF: The meeting is


           10              scheduled.


           11                      MR. GERVASI: Thank you very much.  I


           12              would like to know your comments during


           13              motions.


           14                      MS. GATELLI:  Could I just ask a


           15              question?  I just want to ask you a


           16              question.


           17                      MR. GERVASI:  Sure.


           18                      MS. GATELLI: If you can please


           19              answer me, is there a clause in your


           20              contract that if you feel that there is a


           21              safety issue or that someone is being


           22              harassed or someone isn't being treated


           23              right or they have been called names, do you


           24              have a grievance procedure like we do at the


           25              school district?






            1                      MR. GERVASI: Yes, we do.


            2                      MS. GATELLI: And maybe I'll just


            3              talk to you later.  I'd like to know a


            4              little bit more about were there ever


            5              grievances filed?


            6                      MR. GERVASI: Absolutely.  Numerous.


            7              We have two -- we have a mediation tomorrow,


            8              I'm sorry, Friday, with two others --


            9                      MS. GATELLI: All of these safety


           10              things.


           11                      MR. GERVASI: Arbitrations,


           12              mediations.


           13                      MS. GATELLI: So you have.


           14                      MR. GERVASI: Yes.  As a matter of


           15              fact, many of the things that are on the


           16              press release were brought to mediation and


           17              the public safety director ordered our chief


           18              at that time when I made the statement that


           19              he contain them for awhile, knew that those


           20              things were true and contained the chief at


           21              fire scenes to not interfere with our


           22              incident commander.  As time went on it


           23              started getting worse again, he started


           24              interfering and doing really unprofessional


           25              things.  So, yes, this has been an on-going






            1              process since day one, since 2002 and it's


            2              continued up until --


            3                      MS. GATELLI:  I'd like to discuss


            4              this with you at another time.


            5                      MR. GERVASI: -- the Linden Street


            6              fire a few weeks ago.  Absolutely.


            7                      MS. GATELLI:  Okay.  Thank you.


            8                      MS. EVANS: If I might though,


            9              Mr. McGoff, you indicated the meeting has


           10              been scheduled for when?


           11                      MR. MCGOFF: Thursday morning.


           12                      MS. EVANS: Thursday morning and will


           13              a stenographer be present at this meeting?


           14                      MR. MCGOFF: No.


           15                      MS. EVANS: Why not?


           16                      MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Davis refused to


           17              have one.


           18                      MS. EVANS:  Well, I had agreed that


           19              I would forego attending such a meeting only


           20              on condition that a stenographer be present


           21              because I feel it's imperative for those


           22              statements to be recorded in order that


           23              every council member have them available.  I


           24              don't believe in such a serious matter we


           25              should be reliant upon he said, he said, he






            1              said, and I don't know that even all of the


            2              parties involved in the meeting are


            3              completely objective, so I would say this,


            4              if Chief Davis refuses a stenographer then I


            5              insist on being present at that meeting and


            6              that means the meeting must be held after


            7              3:00 and I am the elected official.


            8                      MR. GERVASI: Or may I suggest


            9              subpoena him to a meeting with a


           10              stenographer.


           11                      MS. EVANS: And I do agree with that.


           12              If the chief will not agree to meet after


           13              3:00 then I will make a motion for a


           14              subpoena to have him appear before Scranton


           15              City Council.


           16                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Mr. McGoff, could


           17              I -- I know this is not going with the rules


           18              and I ask maybe if you can just indulge me


           19              for a minute here, I think this thing has


           20              escalated much further than I thought it


           21              would.  We did have a meeting set for


           22              tomorrow morning and I will certainly attend


           23              the meeting and they refused to have it


           24              recorded so it's not going to be recorded.


           25                   I'm going to think now that it's out of






            1              our hands.  I've got to think now this thing


            2              has gotten so serious.  These are -- I mean,


            3              we have a list of the accusations and I


            4              apologize for breaking the rules, but I just


            5              think this is a serious issue and we have


            6              the list of accusations and my intention was


            7              this tomorrow, was to just read off things


            8              that the fire department said and ask


            9              Mr. Davis, you know, if they were true or if


           10              they weren't true and if he wanted to offer


           11              an explanation.  I wasn't asking any of my


           12              own questions, I was just going to read what


           13              was on that sheet and now I have a couple of


           14              firefighters come to the podium and I think


           15              it's time we do something different.


           16                      I will certainly attend tomorrow,


           17              but I ask everybody here to ponder this and


           18              I will get back to Mr. McGoff or Kay or the


           19              mayor, whoever has to make the decision what


           20              we do.  I think we should just call in an


           21              outside agency.  You know, when we have


           22              problems -- when we have problems within --


           23              the police department or something and it's


           24              an internal type thing so that there is no


           25              chance of any impropriety they usually would






            1              use like the state police to come in and


            2              investigate them.  I think this is beyond me


            3              and you here.  I really do.  I mean, that's


            4              serious stuff they are saying there, you


            5              know, and if it's true it's extremely


            6              serious and if it's not true the man needs


            7              to have his named cleared.


            8                      So, I would see say we seek out some


            9              outside agency and I know the mayor has to


           10              agree on this, but I think we got to get it


           11              resolved once and for all because I think


           12              the meeting tomorrow, which was a good idea,


           13              isn't going to satisfy everybody concerned


           14              and this is -- I would hope that you would


           15              agree this has escalated and I'm not


           16              comfortable, I'm not comfortable with the


           17              way it's going on.  I think it's beyond us.


           18              I think we need to find an outside agency to


           19              come in and let them look at the


           20              accusations, let them speak with the chief,


           21              let them speak with the firefighters and let


           22              that outside agency make a decision what


           23              needs to be done, not me or not you or not


           24              this council, I just don't think it's -- I


           25              don't think it's within my field of






            1              expertise, you know, because I think what's


            2              going to happen, and I apologize for being


            3              lengthy on this, but this is probably one of


            4              the most serious issues since I have been on


            5              council, I think what's going to happen, and


            6              this is just my guess that, you know, I'm


            7              going to ask Chief Davis those questions and


            8              he would deny them.  He would deny probably


            9              each and every one of them and then we would


           10              come back and have a have meeting with the


           11              firefighters and they would say, "He is


           12              lying," and then I think we are just going


           13              to keep going back and forth.


           14                      And I will say again, and I


           15              apologize, but an outside agency, but then


           16              parties, both the firefighters' union and


           17              the administration is agreeable to look at


           18              this and say, okay, we agree on this agency


           19              and we will abide by their decision and I


           20              was just hoping that, and I wasn't -- I


           21              didn't even think about this until after


           22              this all happened tonight.  I just didn't


           23              think it was going to go this far, but it's


           24              a serious issue and we got guys that are


           25              claiming they were there when these






            1              incidents happened, and I'm not about to


            2              call him a liar, but I'm not about to call


            3              Chief Davis a liar either.  Everybody has a


            4              right to defend themselves, so that's a


            5              suggestion.  If you would think about it and


            6              then maybe we can get back to Mr. McGoff and


            7              offer your opinion, and I'm sorry for


            8              breaking the rules, but, thank you.


            9                      MS. EVANS: I would find that a


           10              reasonable alternative simply because I


           11              would hope that an outside agency could


           12              remain purely objective in this matter.  But


           13              I did want to add to what they will be


           14              probing.  A matter that arose several years


           15              ago, none of you with the exception of


           16              Mr. Courtright were on council, and it's an


           17              issue that has lingered through the years


           18              involving, once again, the fire department


           19              and there had been storage of toxic


           20              materials in Minooka in a flexible foam


           21              warehouse and it was investigated by the


           22              Scranton Fire Department and it was reported


           23              according to chain of command and rather


           24              than that material being removed immediately


           25              by the owner of the warehouse it was






            1              permitted to remain within the warehouse for


            2              a period of five additional months, thereby,


            3              potentially placing the safety of the


            4              residents of Minooka and any firefighters


            5              who would be called to the scene in the


            6              event of a fire in grave danger, and I had


            7              asked publically several times in 2005 for a


            8              response from Chief Davis and the mayor who


            9              gave the order, who made the deal to allow


           10              that material to remain in that warehouse


           11              for five additional months.


           12                      And the question was asked over and


           13              over and the fire chief was asked to come to


           14              council, he did not appear nor did he ever


           15              respond nor did the mayor and I believe this


           16              too is a vital issue of public safety that


           17              should never be repeated, but I also


           18              strongly believe it should be added to the


           19              investigative list.  It certainly merits


           20              disclosure.  Who is running the public


           21              safety department, who is calling the shots,


           22              and who is putting the people of Scranton


           23              and the men and woman of the Scranton Fire


           24              Department at risk.


           25                      MR. MCGOFF: Anything else?






            1                      MS. GATELLI:  I would just like to


            2              ask our solicitor if he can help us, you


            3              know, get this going or his legal opinion,


            4              the only thing I have to say on it is, yes,


            5              I do believe, you know, the people that


            6              spoke here this evening and, you know, every


            7              place you work there is problems with


            8              supervisors, etcetera, and I just feel badly


            9              that it's being discussed so much in public.


           10              I know there is a safety issue, but in all


           11              personnel matters that I have ever dealt


           12              with, personnel matters are even exempt from


           13              the Sunshine Law and if, indeed, I don't


           14              know very much about Chief Davis' activities


           15              other than what I have read, but I think he


           16              does have a due process and just like


           17              everyone else does, so I wanted to make sure


           18              that he has his due process and that we are


           19              not violating any of his confidentiality


           20              with personnel issues on council.


           21                      I do agree with Bill that, you know,


           22              it does need to be addressed, but it is


           23              escalating and there is a person's


           24              reputation at stake and I think we should


           25              just put ourself in his shoes and even






            1              though we may dislike him or he is doing


            2              terribly wrong things he does have rights


            3              under the Sunshine Law for personnel matters


            4              of confidentiality, so let's try to go the


            5              route that Bill said and have someone, you


            6              know, that's very objective hear both sides


            7              and we certainly don't want any fireman, you


            8              know, at risk.  Absolutely.


            9                      MR. MCGOFF: Last week when it was


           10              requested that a meeting be held I


           11              contacted -- I actually contacted the mayor


           12              and contacted Chief Davis, it was agreed,


           13              they said, fine, we will meet, I have no


           14              problem with meeting, we will answer any


           15              questions that are asked.  They said that


           16              that there was no need for a stenographer.


           17              Anyone -- notes could be taken, all


           18              questions would be answered.  There was no


           19              attempt to hide anything.  I thought that


           20              that was a reasonable request that they


           21              agreed to and that is what we want.  I don't


           22              know what necessarily has changed.  They


           23              still agree that Chief Davis would answer


           24              any questions that were asked of him.


           25                      MS. EVANS:  Well, what -- I'm sorry.






            1                      MR. MCGOFF: Why we need some outside


            2              agency to ask questions is beyond me.  If


            3              there are questions that we have why can't


            4              we ask the questions, why do we need someone


            5              else to ask the questions, why do we need


            6              somebody else to interpret the answers for


            7              us?  If there are questions that we have I


            8              believe that we are competent, capable


            9              people, able to make a determination as to


           10              the voracity of the answers and interpret


           11              them on our own for whatever purpose it may


           12              serve.


           13                      MS. EVANS: As I noted several


           14              minutes ago, questions have been asked and


           15              they have gone unanswered and it's long past


           16              time that answers must be given and I had


           17              but a minor request which was originally


           18              suggested by Councilman Courtright and that


           19              was for the presence of a stenographer and


           20              the mere fact that that is refused in my


           21              mind does raise a red flag because, as you


           22              said, you know, they are so agreeable to


           23              this and it's just a small issue.  It is not


           24              a small issue to those who are not present


           25              at the meeting and it was a small request on






            1              my part and short of that, of course, my


            2              suspicion will increase and I do prefer to


            3              see an objective outside agency doing an


            4              investigation again since none of us are


            5              professionals, public safety professionals.


            6                   I don't know that we are equipped to


            7              satisfactorily judge the responses of the


            8              fire chief and, you know, the concerns of


            9              the fire department.  I think those who are


           10              schooled and skilled in public safety are


           11              much better equipped to handle this


           12              situation right now.


           13                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Mr. McGoff, if I


           14              can just -- I'm sorry.


           15                      MS. FANUCCI: Can I just say one


           16              thing?  I've been trying to get in.  My


           17              question is at the end of the day what are


           18              we responsible for and what can we do?  We


           19              are not a judge, we are not a jury, and we


           20              are stepping out of our bounds as far as


           21              the --


           22                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Excuse me, that's


           23              why as they were talking it came to my mind


           24              and I asked myself that question, what could


           25              we do, and I'm thinking this, maybe the






            1              firemen won't agree with me or the mayor


            2              won't agree with me but I'm thinking this,


            3              an outside agency that is a professional,


            4              I'm not talking about just bringing somebody


            5              off the street, I'm talking about that knows


            6              about firefighting, somebody that is a


            7              professional and the firefighters' union


            8              would agree to and the administration would


            9              agree to would probably ask the same


           10              questions.  I'm going to show up tomorrow,


           11              absolutely, or Thursday, I'm sorry, Thursday


           12              and, you know, speak with the Chief Davis


           13              and Mr. McGoff, but my thing is this, if you


           14              and I sit there and we ask Mr. Davis the


           15              questions and he answers them and then we go


           16              back with the firefighters and they are


           17              going to say, no, and he is going to say,


           18              no, then I'm thinking a professional agency


           19              would make a professional recommendation to


           20              the mayor what needs to be done and what


           21              does not need to be done and I don't know --


           22              I don't know if either side is going to be


           23              happy with me making that suggestion, you


           24              know, I can't get a read from looking at


           25              these guys out in the audience and certainly






            1              the chief isn't here so I don't know, I'm


            2              just trying to be fair.  I think that's the


            3              fairest way to go and I think I know quite a


            4              bit about the fire department and I just


            5              don't know that I'm comfortable that I know


            6              enough to say whether a man's career should


            7              terminate or not terminate, you know, I


            8              don't know that I'm qualified.


            9                      MS. FANUCCI:  And not only that we


           10              have no power to do it in way.


           11                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Right.


           12                      MS. FANUCCI: So, we can sit here and


           13              say anything we want, but quite frankly, at


           14              the end of the day it means nothing.


           15                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Absolutely.


           16                      MS. FANUCCI: So if we are going to


           17              go about this it has to be in a way that


           18              keeps our, you know, it's stays within our


           19              professional bounds and what we are allowed


           20              to do.


           21                      MR. COURTRIGHT: And that's what I'm


           22              trying to do.  I think they come to us


           23              looking for help when sometimes there are


           24              things that we can do, sometimes there is


           25              things that we can't do, but we can try to






            1              steer it in the right direction.  Do we have


            2              the authority?  No, we don't.  We don't have


            3              the authority.


            4                      MS. EVANS: Well, actually we do.


            5                      MS. FANUCCI: Is there anything that


            6              we can do --


            7                      MS. EVANS: We have the powers of


            8              investigation.


            9                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  I'm talking about


           10              the removal.


           11                      MS. EVANS: No, we have no power, I


           12              agree with Mrs. Fanucci.  We have no power


           13              to hire nor do we have power to fire.


           14                      MS. FANUCCI: Right.


           15                      MS. EVANS: Nevertheless, I believe


           16              that exposing a situation or shining a light


           17              on it goes a very long way to solving it.  I


           18              think it's the job of government, the job of


           19              the responsible newspaper to investigate


           20              situations, to bear it to the public and in


           21              so doing provide an avenue toward a solution


           22              and so far I don't believe that I have seen


           23              that either on the part of government or the


           24              newspaper because I believe if the mayor


           25              himself were truly objective and listening






            1              to both sides he would be amenable to an


            2              investigation and would never state so


            3              arbitrarily I will not fire this individual,


            4              he will remain as long as I remain in


            5              office.


            6                      MS. FANUCCI: Well, and I'm going to


            7              say his, but just in researching this, this


            8              has happened what, ten other times in other


            9              states and --


           10                      MS. EVANS: Six.


           11                      MS. FANUCCI: It's actually nine, I


           12              think I have nine here, but none of them,


           13              the mayors all stood by their chiefs, I


           14              mean, that's what they do and so that is not


           15              something that I find abnormal.  It seems to


           16              be that's what you stand by and I'd want my


           17              boss to stand by me under any circumstances,


           18              too.  Does that mean it's right or wrong,


           19              no, but I'm saying that's what the boss


           20              does.


           21                      MS. EVANS: But, he is not standing


           22              by the remainder of his employees when he is


           23              saying, "If you don't like your job you can


           24              leave."


           25                      MS. FANUCCI: Well, I think was that






            1              you didn't leave your job.  It's not if you


            2              don't like it, he's saying you would have


            3              left if you didn't like it.  I would have


            4              left my job if I didn't like it.  But I'm


            5              not here to dispute that, that means


            6              nothing, but the thing is that when you have


            7              a situation like this we can't -- I'm not


            8              capable of putting a price tag on what can


            9              happen out there, I'm not, and I'm not


           10              certainly not going to take responsibility


           11              for it.  If something happens, you know,


           12              they are saying they are not confident with


           13              him and he saying this is not the situation


           14              that took place.  I certainly don't feel and


           15              Bill is right qualified under any


           16              circumstances to make that decision.


           17                      I know that there has been --


           18              grounds have been made that were a good move


           19              and I though, they were meeting once a week


           20              with the mayor, which I thought was a good


           21              thing and continue to do so and I also know


           22              that there was a board put together which


           23              was three union members, and I'm not sure


           24              who else, if it's the mayor and someone else


           25              on the board which they will sit down and






            1              try to implement new procedures, so at least


            2              we know futurewise they are getting


            3              together, which is a very great thing.


            4                      I am not going to make a decision on


            5              someone's career and I'm not certainly --


            6              I'm not even comfortable with all of this


            7              discussion right now because anyone -- I


            8              don't know, I just don't feel like it's


            9              appropriate, and this is administrative --


           10                      MR. COURTRIGHT: If the majority of


           11              us agree that this should be done, it has to


           12              be the majority then we would send a request


           13              to the mayor and ask him if he is agreeable,


           14              that's all I am asking.


           15                      MS. FANUCCI: Do we even have that


           16              right, that's my --


           17                      MR. MINORA: Well, I'd like to take a


           18              look at this.


           19                      MS. GATELLI: Can everybody stay for


           20              a few minutes after the meeting?


           21                      MS. EVANS: We still have


           22              investigative powers according to the Home


           23              Rule Charter.


           24                      MS. GATELLI: Why don't we --


           25                      MR. MCGOFF: Council may make






            1              investigations into the affairs of the city


            2              and the conduct of any department, office or


            3              agency in aid of it's legislative powers and


            4              functions.


            5                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I'm just asking if


            6              this council would be agreeable to ask the


            7              mayor if he is agreeable to have an outside


            8              investigation and ask the firefighters'


            9              union if they're -- that's all I'm asking.


           10              I'm not asking us to do anything other than


           11              say, "Mr. Mayor, are you agreeable with


           12              having an outside agency investigate these


           13              allegations?  Firefighters' union, are you


           14              agreeable to having an outside agency that


           15              you both agree on to investigate these


           16              allegations?"


           17                      That all I'm asking, nothing more.


           18              I think we're making it more complicated


           19              than what I intended to be, just a simple


           20              request, "Mr. Mayor, are you agreeable?


           21              Firefighters' union, are you agreeable?"


           22                      Then if they are agreeable then we


           23              are out of the loop, right?


           24                      MS. FANUCCI:  No, I think you are


           25              right, yeah.






            1                      MR. COURTRIGHT: And that's all I'm


            2              asking and I'm not asking you right here and


            3              now to make your decision, I'm asking if


            4              you'll think about it and it's something


            5              that you would like to do you can tell


            6              Mr. McGoff and if three of more of us are


            7              agreeable then Mr. McGoff would I guess have


            8              to bring it the mayor, and that's all I'm


            9              asking, is he agreeable and then Mr. McGoff


           10              would also have to, also, I would say, talk


           11              to Mr. Schreiber and see if the


           12              firefighters' union is agreeable, so to


           13              be -- you know, and if he they are both


           14              agreeable they to do it.  If not, then I


           15              don't know what we do.


           16                      And, again, that's all I'm asking.


           17              I'm not asking us to do the investigation,


           18              just asking if they are agreeable to looking


           19              into it.


           20                      Our solicitor is saying that's fair


           21              enough and that's good by me.


           22                      MR. MINORA:  Well, you didn't bring


           23              up a legal issue, which is what I was


           24              concerned with when you were talking about


           25              doing what would the effect be in judicial






            1              when there is one already in place in the


            2              contract and I had a concern about that and


            3              that's what I was pausing about.  What you


            4              are suggesting I have no problem at all.


            5                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay, good.


            6                      MR. MINORA: I have no problem at all


            7              with that.


            8                      MR. COURTRIGHT: We will make our


            9              feelings known to you, Mr. McGoff, and if


           10              there is three of us then you can make a


           11              note to the firefighters' president and the


           12              mayor.  Thank you.


           13                      MR. MCGOFF: Have we moved into 5-A


           14              motions, yet?  5-A motions, I believe.  Mrs.


           15              Evans.


           16                      MS. EVANS: Thank you.  First I wish


           17              to revisit two issues I raised at last


           18              week's meeting.  I recently received the


           19              Hill Neighborhood monthly newsletter in


           20              which the association states that further


           21              explanation for the Nay Aug Park theater


           22              needs to take place.  A photocopied


           23              photograph provides evidence of the lack of


           24              the maintenance by the city, and I quote:


           25              "The persons or person responsible for the






            1              maintenance of the tent theater should be


            2              required to explain why preventative


            3              maintenance was not initiated.  Nothing


            4              inside of the tent was protected from the


            5              elements as you can see in the picture taken


            6              August of 2007.  The chairs have all rusted,


            7              and are no longer usable.  The tent theatre


            8              was left in such a manner that nothing can


            9              be salvaged."


           10                      And I know it is difficult for you,


           11              all of you to see from that copy, but I will


           12              pass it along to my colleagues.


           13                      When council receives responses to


           14              the questions raised at the February 19


           15              meeting by unanimous motion I will be happy


           16              to report the information publically.


           17                      Next, council agreed during it's


           18              last meeting to create an oversight


           19              committee appointed by council for Channel


           20              61, 62 management.  However, there are


           21              crucial questions and issues concerning a


           22              peg channel management contract that must be


           23              addressed within the next few weeks.  Start


           24              up costs in 2008 are over $300,000.  The


           25              yearly contribution from the cable franchise






            1              fee to fund Channel 61 and 62 will not kick


            2              in until 2009.  Cable TV revenue is already


            3              set in the 2008 operating budget at it's


            4              maximum of 5 percent as it is each fiscal


            5              year.  From where will the over $300,000


            6              come in 2008?  In fact, within the next


            7              several weeks it appears.


            8                      If the city provides funding for the


            9              purchase of new equipment who retains


           10              ownership of the equipment at the conclusion


           11              of the contract?  Why invest in HD cameras


           12              when peg channels are not carried in HD nor


           13              will they are be in the foreseeable future?


           14              Where is the contract between Electric City


           15              television and the city?  Will the contract


           16              come before city council for approval prior


           17              to the disbursement of funds.  I strongly


           18              recommend that no contract with Electric


           19              City TV come before council until the


           20              aforementioned questions are answered by the


           21              mayor and that no disbursement of funds


           22              occur in 2008 to deplete the 2008 operating


           23              budget.  Any new contract should not begin


           24              until 2009.


           25                      So, Kay, if you could please send a






            1              letter to the mayor, Mr. Renda, and Attorney


            2              Patterson requesting responses to these


            3              questions and if council is agreeable that


            4              letter could be sent on behalf of council.


            5              Yes?


            6                      MR. MCGOFF: I have no objection.


            7                      MR. COURTRIGHT: None.


            8                      MS. EVANS: Thank you.  Next, I'd


            9              also like a letter sent and perhaps on


           10              behalf of council, if once again you are


           11              agreeable, to Mr. Seitzinger and Miss Aebli


           12              regarding a city bar and grill that was


           13              cited by the state police on January 8,


           14              2008, for operating without a health permit


           15              or license. As was noted earlier, this


           16              establishment received a $120,000 loan from


           17              the city in June of 2007 and is in violation


           18              of the terms of the loan agreement,


           19              specifically, Item 8, Covenants, Paragraph


           20              C.  What measures, if any, have been taken


           21              to obtain a valid house health permit and


           22              what actions, if any, have been taken by


           23              OECD.  Please respond on or about before


           24              March 10, 2008, and will that be agreeable?


           25                      MR. MCGOFF:  I have no objection.






            1                      MS. EVANS: Thank you.  Finally, in


            2              the city controller's report for


            3              January 2008 a payment to Southern Union


            4              company for $40,830.88 is listed on page 33.


            5              Please send a letter to Mr. Renda and


            6              Mrs. Novembrino requesting a complete


            7              explanation of this payment, for what


            8              purpose is the city making payments to


            9              Southern Union Company as a prior year


           10              obligation?


           11                      Also, to the regional director who


           12              oversees KOZ's and KOEZ's, does the Southern


           13              Union building on Lackawanna Avenue


           14              currently retain it's tax free status?  And


           15              just very quickly, some requests I received


           16              this evening, a resident states that the DPW


           17              is not clearing the handicapped ramps at the


           18              intersections in downtown Scranton for the


           19              wheelchair bound residents so I would like


           20              Mr. Brazil to please turn his attention to


           21              that.


           22                      And I also have some requests


           23              regarding the East Mountain area involving


           24              the parking of illegal cars.  Now, I was


           25              notified of through Kay from Mr. Seitzinger






            1              that there will be a sweep or a saturation


            2              in the near future of the South Side area.


            3              I'm expecting that to occur once weather is


            4              permitting, but perhaps the police as they


            5              are patrolling the area can take a look at


            6              those cars that have illegal registrations


            7              or inspections and also there's a report of


            8              cars being parked on sidewalks so I would


            9              pass in the east mountain area, Kay, so I'm


           10              going to pass this along to you and ask


           11              thank Mr. Seitzinger and Mr. Brazil would be


           12              notified of these citizens' complaints, and


           13              that's it.


           14                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.


           15              Mr. Courtright.


           16                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.  I better


           17              answer Fay's question first or you'll be


           18              yelling at me next week.  I did forget that


           19              Miss Franus when you asked the question, I


           20              did forget, a lot transpired that evening


           21              and I didn't answer the question and last


           22              week when I came back, I got to be honest


           23              with you, I wasn't going to bring it up


           24              because I didn't think anything would come


           25              of it, and Mrs. Gatelli jumped in and






            1              answered the question before I could deny


            2              the answer or anything and we had our little


            3              to-do here last week.  I think it's been


            4              solved.  She graciously is willing to move


            5              her seat and that's all I'm going to say


            6              about it.  I'm not going to go any further


            7              with that.


            8                      I got another letter here and last


            9              week I showed a letter, it's three pages


           10              front and back, and I got another one the


           11              following day after this meeting three pages


           12              front and back and I'm having a real, real


           13              hard time reading this individual's writing


           14              and so what I've pieced together from the


           15              six pages of the letter I have here is that


           16              it's a parking problem in Park Gardens and I


           17              believe they wanted to tell Dave Elliott


           18              about it and they are upset with me and said


           19              they are not going to vote for me ever


           20              again, but I can't make out what you are


           21              asking me.  So, please, if you watch these


           22              meetings you leave no name or address or


           23              phone number or e-mail, I can't get back and


           24              find out actually what it is that you want


           25              me to do and if it is a parking problem in






            1              Park Gardens I do not know that the Scranton


            2              Police Department can do anything with it if


            3              it's on private property, but I said that's


            4              what I pieced together out of these six


            5              pages that there is some type of parking


            6              problem at Park Gardens and you want me to


            7              turn it over to Dave Elliott and I would be


            8              happy to pass it onto Dave Elliott, please


            9              contact me somehow, phone number or


           10              anything.  I will do whatever I could to


           11              help you.  I certainly don't want you mad at


           12              me.


           13                      I took care of the Lace Company


           14              there with Jean Suetta.  We talked about the


           15              police chief -- or fire chief, I'm sorry.


           16              We'll have another one with the police chief


           17              next or something, and character


           18              assassination, I know I certainly am not


           19              trying to assassinate his character.  I


           20              believe I'm trying to help him is what I'm


           21              trying to do because I certainly want to be


           22              able to defend myself if I was being accused


           23              of things.


           24                      I have to agree with Mrs. Evans on


           25              not allowing any funds to be distributed for






            1              this new channel, what was the name of it


            2              again, ECTV for Channel 61?  Mr. Webber was


            3              here and wanted to speak with me about it


            4              earlier and unfortunately we got tied up and


            5              I couldn't talk with him.  I was always an


            6              advocate of keeping it Scranton Tomorrow or


            7              Scranton Today or whatever, it didn't work


            8              out that way, but as she said the funds for


            9              2008 I think shouldn't be given to them out


           10              of the budget.  I don't know if there is


           11              somewhere else that money could be coming,


           12              maybe from that miraculous UDAG fund, that


           13              seems to crop up wherever.


           14                      MS. EVANS: I don't know though that


           15              they would be able to do so and probably,


           16              you know, and this is a side effect, but


           17              another issue for the concern is that some


           18              of those monies will be used to renovate a


           19              building that is not city owned, in fact,


           20              it's owned by a millionaire.


           21                      MR. COURTRIGHT: So there is a lot of


           22              questions, but especially the one of the


           23              money, I would like to see where that's


           24              going to come from.  And a regular speaker


           25              here, Raymond Lyman, contacted me and he






            1              asked that I request I will take, but he


            2              specifically wished me to say them on the


            3              air so I will do that for him.  He has got a


            4              problem with garbage on Green Place and I


            5              will talk to the DPW for you, Raymond, and


            6              some type of parking problem and a loitering


            7              problem on Green Place and I will turn your


            8              concerns over, Raymond, to the police


            9              department and that's all I have.  Thank


           10              you.


           11                      MR. MCGOFF: Mrs. Fanucci?


           12                      MS. FANUCCI:  I actually only have


           13              two comments to make tonight.  We are all


           14              given a letter to transfer one of our --


           15              from Sixth Order to Seventh Order a file of


           16              council to move, this is on the building


           17              with the Skyview Park Apartments.  We all


           18              received a letter from Linda Aebli that a


           19              request had come in pretty much from


           20              Washington that we did this so that they did


           21              not lose the tax or funding, so I just


           22              wanted to put that out that if we do move


           23              that that was the reasoning for that so that


           24              the scheduled closing would still take place


           25              so that the income tax would not, I believe






            1              that's what they are saying, the tax would


            2              not actually accumulate so I just wanted to


            3              put that out there.


            4                      Also, in response to the Recovery


            5              Plan and the fact with the raises, Candace,


            6              I believe this was your question about the


            7              raises with the Recovery Plan, there were


            8              provisions in there and the provisions were


            9              not only for raises for clerical and


           10              nonclerical union and nonunion so there are


           11              provisions for the fire and police to get


           12              raises.  In fact, when the budget was passed


           13              then it became that it was, I mean, there


           14              definitely are provisions.  I will get you


           15              exactly what page that is on, Mr. Ancherani,


           16              next week because I didn't have it with me,


           17              but I actually researched that a few weeks


           18              ago myself because I know that you have been


           19              coming up here saying that was one of the


           20              violations of the Recovery Plan and it


           21              actually was not after I looked into it.


           22              But, there were provisions for everyone to


           23              get raises, which is a good thing, so, you


           24              know, not that there was not an intention


           25              for the unions to get raises there certainly






            1              was, so I definitely wanted to respond to


            2              that.


            3                      As far as the Skyview apartments, I


            4              am for that project.  And for the garage I


            5              wanted to respond to Mr. Hubbard, I'm trying


            6              to figure out who I was responding to,


            7              Daniel, the garage is not accessible right


            8              now to anyone.  Anyone cannot get into the


            9              garage.  You have to have a pass to get in


           10              there so the reason that is not filled right


           11              now because they have actually been


           12              relocating people from the Oppenheim garage


           13              because it was purchased to the city now,


           14              the purchased it from a private owner.  The


           15              owner had relocated people little by little


           16              to another place where they could park, I


           17              know that because I park there, so they are


           18              trying to little by little get people not to


           19              park there.  This garage has been a mess.  I


           20              stated this on the record I believe months


           21              and months ago, this garage is an absolute


           22              mess.  They did try to make it better, they


           23              patched it up, it did not work.  It need it


           24              to be demolished.  You can't even walk up


           25              the stairwells.  You are walking down ramps,






            1              it's very unsafe, so just as a personal


            2              opinion, the reason there is not parking


            3              there is because you can't park there.  Not


            4              that a private person can't park there so


            5              that's why if you are wondering why it was


            6              empty that's why it's empty because it's


            7              being taken care over and your pictures of


            8              why, isn't that what I'm responding to.


            9                      MR. HUBBARD: I'll get more pictures


           10              of the ramps in the morning.


           11                      MS. FANUCCI:  He is very good as a


           12              photographer.  And that is all I have.


           13              Thank you.


           14                      MR. MCGOFF: Mrs. Gatelli.


           15                      MS. GATELLI: Yes.  I will look into


           16              the dog park.  The dog park was not my idea,


           17              by the way, it was a speaker that comes here


           18              every week and requested the dog park.


           19              However, I will look into it, I think that


           20              it was bid, you know, so I'm sure it was all


           21              bid out, but I will investigate that for


           22              you.


           23                      I was trying to call the animal


           24              control officer, but I haven't been able to


           25              reach him.  Kay, if you can reach him there






            1              is a property on Gibbons Street, the animal


            2              control officer, and I talked to Mark


            3              Seitzinger and he is going to have it


            4              boarded up, but there is all stray cats in


            5              it and I was trying to reach him for that


            6              reason.  I'll give you the address later,


            7              it's on Gibbons Street.  And I'm glad that


            8              we are going to be investigating this


            9              problem that we were having.  It does need


           10              to be looked in and I'm sure Mr. Courtright


           11              and Mr. McGoff will get some information


           12              tomorrow and bring it back to the rest of


           13              us.


           14                      The last thing is the trees.  The


           15              trees passed.  The trees are coming to South


           16              Side.  I'm sorry that you don't approve of


           17              that, but that's what's happening.  They


           18              have been approved.  I have pictures here of


           19              all of the trees.  I know Mr. Santolli, the


           20              city forester contacted people to go look at


           21              projects that he has done.  Trees are part


           22              of the environment.  There is global


           23              warming.  There are funds for this


           24              particular type of activity in OECD.  We are


           25              trying to remake an area that was driven by






            1              drug dealers and bring it back.  I don't


            2              know if no one understands that because you


            3              don't live there, but at the South Side


            4              neighborhood meeting we have heard about it


            5              for the last 15 years and that area is


            6              deplorable.  There are nuisance bars that we


            7              had to close with the district attorney and


            8              we are trying to bring it back, and believe


            9              it or not, trees are part of the environment


           10              and part of making it a nice play to live.


           11              So, yes, the trees are coming and I do have


           12              pictures of them.


           13                      Now, years ago when they planted


           14              trees there wasn't a forester so they


           15              planted silver maples and trees that lifted


           16              sidewalks.  None of these trees will lift


           17              the sidewalks, I will show my colleagues.


           18              And no one is going to get a tree that


           19              doesn't want one and we did a project


           20              several years ago with the money we had


           21              gotten from Fred Belardi and the


           22              Neighborhood Association planted them and


           23              they are all thriving and doing very well.


           24              So, this is not, you know, if you think it's


           25              a joke it's not a joke.  It's part of a






            1              renaissance that we are trying to do over


            2              there in a neighborhood that has been


            3              suffering for years and we are trying to


            4              bring it back.


            5                      MS. EVANS: Mrs. Gatelli, could you


            6              tell everyone though where the trees will be


            7              planted?


            8                      MS. GATELLI:  They are going to be


            9              planted on Moosic Street, Cedar, Pittston


           10              and all the side streets in-between to Brook


           11              street.  It has to be in a low to moderate


           12              census track.


           13                      MS. EVANS: Thank you.


           14                      MS. GATELLI:  So that's where we're


           15              starting, and I really appreciate my


           16              colleagues supporting this.  I mean, I know


           17              it's a lot of money, but the neighborhood is


           18              terrible and you all know that.


           19                      MS. EVANS: Yes.


           20                      MS. GATELLI:  You have all been over


           21              there, you know, and some of you have come


           22              with me to see the area and there is a lot


           23              of demolition going on and we are going to


           24              have a lot of revitalization and low


           25              interest loans and facade grants to try and






            1              help Cedar and Pittston Avenue, so that's


            2              all this is about.  It's to make the place


            3              better and when Mr. Santolli did his study


            4              South Side had the least trees of the whole


            5              city, and I think it will add to the


            6              vitality of the new neighborhood that we are


            7              trying to create, and he doesn't work for


            8              free and I know he doesn't like to be given


            9              accolades, but he does a wonderful job.


           10              It's truly his life is forestry and we are


           11              very, very lucky in the city to have him.


           12              He did go on several complaints that I had


           13              from people and he will even come if you


           14              have a problem with trees that are dying and


           15              he will tell you what's wrong with them and


           16              how to take care of them, so he is a very,


           17              very good asset to the city and we


           18              appreciate all of his volunteer services.


           19              So that's the reason they are coming and I


           20              hope that you will bear with me and hope


           21              that are project is very successful for our


           22              community and thank you.


           23                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you very much.  A


           24              couple of things, one from last week I was


           25              in contact with Mrs. Mehalchick from the






            1              Drug and Alcohol Counsel or whatever and she


            2              was inquiring about what it was exactly that


            3              we wish to -- what the letter should contain


            4              that we wish to send.  I instructed her to


            5              contact Mrs. Garvey, I don't know if she


            6              did, and that they were going to -- that


            7              they would a compose a letter that would be


            8              sent to appropriate taverns and tavern


            9              associations.  She did ask that if were sent


           10              if it would be possible that my signature be


           11              attached to it as well.  I didn't want to do


           12              that without, you know, asking approval.


           13                      MS. GATELLI: You can put mine on


           14              there, too.


           15                      MS. EVANS: And mine.


           16                      MS. GATELLI: I would appreciate mine


           17              on this.


           18                      MS. EVANS: Perhaps we'd all sign it.


           19                      MR. MCGOFF: Like I said, she was


           20              asking that at least --


           21                      MS. GATELLI: Absolutely.


           22                      MR. MCGOFF: -- it have a some


           23              substance from the city as well from city


           24              council.  Also, in reference to that I was


           25              talking with Chief Elliott as well and he






            1              said he is going to get back to the


            2              procedure for the patrols for that day.  He


            3              did make mention of one thing that this year


            4              they are going to strictly enforce the open


            5              container ordinance which is a city


            6              ordinance.  It's not a state, it's not a --


            7              you know, it's a city ordinance, it can only


            8              be enforced by city police and they are


            9              going to make an attempt to enforce that


           10              during the parade day.  Also, you mentioned,


           11              Mrs. Evans mentioned the oversight


           12              committee.  I did bring that to the mayor


           13              and asked him about that.  He said that that


           14              was a -- that he was fine with that, the it


           15              was something that he thought that perhaps


           16              the best way for us to do it would be submit


           17              the names that we would want for the


           18              committee and the provisions that we wanted


           19              that they would then put it in the form of a


           20              motion, resolution, whatever, resolution and


           21              then it would be sent back to us for


           22              approval and that it would become, you know,


           23              part of -- all we would need to do is give


           24              him or give them what we wanted in that


           25              resolution and that would then be sent back






            1              to us for approval.


            2                      Last two things, I neglected to do


            3              this for quite awhile now.  A number of


            4              weeks ago the Hill Neighborhood Association


            5              presented a check for $1,000 to be given to


            6              the canine fund, in fact, there was no


            7              specific fund in which to place that check


            8              and so I received this back from Director


            9              Hayes and they created a fund, a special


           10              city account was created and that $1,000 was


           11              placed into that fund so just so it's


           12              recorded that it was sent.


           13                      Also, a letter was received from


           14              Miss Laura Craig.  Basically it says, "My


           15              name is Laura Craig and I'm writing to thank


           16              you and your fellow city employees, in


           17              particular Mr. Jeff Brazil and his coworker


           18              from DPW for the kindnesses that the City of


           19              Scranton showed me and my business on the


           20              unfortunate occasion of the devastating fire


           21              that effected us here on Linden Street


           22              recently."


           23                      She goes onto thank people and in


           24              response to that, "Enclosed a check for


           25              $300.00 as a gratitude to the city."






            1                      I would like to ask for a motion to


            2              accept this check on behalf of -- from the


            3              Laura Craig gallery and Laura Craig and to


            4              be placed into the city treasurer I assume.


            5                      MS. GATELLI: Bill, you always made


            6              the motions.


            7                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I'm not going to


            8              make this one.


            9                      MS. GATELLI:  I'll make the motion


           10              to accept it.


           11                      MS. FANUCCI: Second.


           12                      MR. MCGOFF: On the question?


           13                      MR. COURTRIGHT: On the question, I'm


           14              going to vote to accept it.  I had a concern


           15              when I read the letter and I discussed it


           16              with the solicitor earlier on I was fearful


           17              that that check would be misconstrued as


           18              payment for services rendered by the DPW and


           19              then I believe somebody, I can't remember,


           20              but somebody even brought it up this


           21              evening, somebody at the podium brought it


           22              up, you know, well, let them come and


           23              possibly clean your basement and shovel your


           24              driveway, you know we are hiring out the DPW


           25              more or less, and I was concerned about that






            1              and I discussed it with Mr. Minora prior to


            2              the meeting and he said the wording on there


            3              makes it a gift to the city and we are okay,


            4              we are safe in that respect because we don't


            5              and we should not be hiring out the DPW.


            6                      MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else?


            7                      MS. EVANS: I share Mr. Courtright's


            8              concern with this issue and I do understand


            9              that it is a gift and I am most


           10              appreciative.  I do understand that the city


           11              has accepted gifts before from private


           12              citizens for the fire department in


           13              gratitude for exemplary service provided


           14              during a fire at a resident's homes.  My


           15              concern is that this may be construed,


           16              although I'm not talking about the dollar


           17              amount here because I think if we were to


           18              look at the actual dollar amount it would


           19              probably exceed the $300.00, though I think


           20              it is a generous gift, my concern is that it


           21              could be construed as maybe a payment of


           22              sorts after the fact of so much public


           23              discussion and scrutiny and I don't want any


           24              citizen to be mislead by this or be of the


           25              opinion that you, as Mr. Courtright said,






            1              you can have a particular situation at your


            2              home and you are going to call the DPW and


            3              expect that they will come and clear your


            4              house of all appliances or furniture and


            5              then you can gift them afterwards with your


            6              appreciation.


            7                      So as much as I do appreciate


            8              Mrs. Craig's gift and I am grateful and


            9              pleased that precious art works are saved, I


           10              personally prefer because of the


           11              circumstances of this incident I prefer not


           12              to accept the gift.


           13                      MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else?  The motion


           14              is to accept the $300.00 check as a gift for


           15              to the City of Scranton from the Laura Craig


           16              Galleries.  All those in favor?


           17                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.


           18                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.


           19                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.


           20                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?


           21                      MS. EVANS: No.


           22                      MR. MCGOFF: The ayes have it and so


           23              moved.


           24                      MS. GARVEY: Fifth order.  5-B. FOR


           25              INTRODUCTION - AN ORDINANCE - AMENDING FILE






            1              OF COUNCIL NO. 16, 1988 - WHICH AMENDED FILE


            2              OF COUNCIL NO. 29, 1986 ENTITLED "AN








            6              TIME LIMITS; DEFINING OFFENSES AND




            8              ENFORCEMENT THEREOF; AND REPEALING








           12              AGENT FOR THE CITY OF SCRANTON," BY AMENDING


           13              SECTION 5(b) SERVICE VEHICLE PARKING PERMITS


           14              BY INCREASING THE COST OF THIS PERMIT TO


           15              $150.00 PER YEAR PER VEHICLE."


           16                      MR. MCGOFF: At this time I'll


           17              entertain a motion that Item 5-B be


           18              introduced into it's proper committee.


           19                      MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.


           20                      MS. FANUCCI:  Second.


           21                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  All


           22              those in favor signify by saying aye.


           23                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.


           24                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.


           25                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.






            1                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.


            2                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?  The


            3              ayes have it and so moved.


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


            5              A RESOLUTION - APPOINTMENT OF BERNARD


            6              GARVEY, 601 MERIDIAN AVENUE, SCRANTON,


            7              PENNSYLVANIA, 18504, AS A MEMBER OF THE FIRE


            8              PENSION COMMISSION, EFFECTIVE DECEMBER 18,


            9              2007.  MR GARVEY WILL BE REPRESENTING THE






           12              18, 2012.


           13                      MR. MCGOFF: At this time I'll


           14              entertain a motion that Item 5-C be


           15              introduced into it's proper committee.


           16                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  So moved.


           17                      MS. FANUCCI: Second.


           18                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  All


           19              those in favor signify by saying aye.


           20                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.


           21                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.


           22                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.


           23                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.


           24                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?  The


           25              ayes have it and so moved.






            1                      MS. GARVEY:  5-D. FOR INTRODUCTION -


            2              A RESOLUTION - APPOINTMENT OF JOHN


            3              SYDLOWSKI, 624 WINTERMANTLE AVENUE,


            4              SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA, 18505, AS A MEMBER




            6              DECEMBER 18, 2007.  MR. SYDLOWSI WILL BE




            8              COMMISSION AND HIS FIVE YEAR TERM WILL


            9              EXPIRE ON DECEMBER 18, 2012.


           10                      MR. MCGOFF: At this time I'll


           11              entertain a motion that Item 5-D be


           12              introduced into it's proper committee.


           13                      MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.


           14                      MS. FANUCCI: Second.


           15                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  All


           16              those in favor of introduction signify by


           17              saying aye.


           18                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.


           19                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.


           20                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.


           21                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.


           22                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?  The


           23              ayes have it and so moved.


           24                      MS. GARVEY: SIXTH ORDER.  6-A.


           25              READING TY TITLE - FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 14,






            1              2008 - AN ORDINANCE - AMENDING FILE OF


            2              COUNCIL NO. 49, 2006 (AS AMENDED) ENTITLED,


            3              "AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND










            8              (AS AMENDED) TO BE FUNDED UNDER THE




           10              PROGRAM AND EMERGENCY SHELTER GRANT (ESG)




           12              ADDING A NEW PROJECT.


           13                      MR. MCGOFF: You have heard Reading


           14              by Title of Item 6-A what is your pleasure?


           15                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  I move that Item


           16              6-A pass Reading by Title.


           17                      MS. FANUCCI:  Second.


           18                      MR. MCGOFF: On the question?  All


           19              those in favor signify by saying aye?


           20                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.


           21                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.


           22                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?


           23                      MR. COURTRIGHT: No.


           24                      MS. EVANS: No.


           25                      MR. MCGOFF: The ayes have it and so






            1              moved.


            2                      MS. FANUCCI:  At this time I'd like


            3              to make a motion that we suspend our rules


            4              and put 6-A into Seventh Order so that we


            5              can vote on that.


            6                      MS. GATELLI:  Second.


            7                      MR. MCGOFF: On the question?  All


            8              those in favor signify by saying aye.


            9                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.


           10                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.


           11                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?


           12                      MR. COURTRIGHT: No.


           13                      MS. EVANS: No.


           14                      MR. MCGOFF: The ayes have it and so


           15              moved.


           16                      MS. GARVEY: SEVENTH ORDER.  7-A. FOR


           17              CONSIDERATION BY THE COMMITTEE ON RULES -


           18              FOR ADOPTION - FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 1, 2008 -


           19              VACATING ANY AND ALL RIGHT, TITLE AND


           20              INTEREST OF THE CITY OF SCRANTON IN THE






           23              ATTACHED HERETO.


           24                      MR. MCGOFF: As Chairperson for the


           25              Committee on Rules, I recommend final






            1              passage of Item 7-A.


            2                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.


            3                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  Roll


            4              call, please.


            5                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.


            6                      MS. EVANS:  Yes.


            7                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.


            8                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yes.


            9                      MR. COOLICAN:  Ms. Fanucci.


           10                      MS. FANUCCI:  Yes.


           11                      MR. COOLICAN:  Ms. Gatelli.


           12                      MS. GATELLI: Yes.


           13                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.


           14                      MR. MCGOFF:  Yes.  I hereby declare


           15              Item 7-A legally and lawfully adopted.


           16                      MS. GARVEY: 7-B. FOR CONSIDERATION


           17              BY THE COMMITTEE ON RULES - FOR ADOPTION -


           18              RESOLUTION NO. 12, 2008 - AUTHORIZING THE








           22              OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ("DEP") TO


           23              ACCEPT THE ACT 101, SECTION 902 RECYCLING




           25              AMOUNT OF $69,250.00.






            1                      MR. MCGOFF: As Chairperson for the


            2              Committee on Rules, I recommend final


            3              passage of Item 7-B.


            4                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.


            5                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  Roll


            6              call, please.


            7                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.


            8                      MS. EVANS:  Yes.


            9                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.


           10                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yes.


           11                      MR. COOLICAN:  Ms. Fanucci.


           12                      MS. FANUCCI:  Yes.


           13                      MR. COOLICAN:  Ms. Gatelli.


           14                      MS. GATELLI: Yes.


           15                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.


           16                      MR. MCGOFF:  Yes.  I hereby declare


           17              Item 7-B legally and lawfully adopted.


           18                      MS. GARVEY: 7-C. FOR CONSIDERATION




           20              FOR ADOPTION - RESOLUTION NO. 13, 2008 -




           22              CITY OFFICIALS TO EXECUTE AND APPLY FOR A


           23              GRANT THROUGH THE COMMONWEALTH OF




           25              ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (DCED) FOR A GROWING






            1              GREENER II MAIN STREET AND DOWNTOWN


            2              REDEVELOPMENT GRANT IN THE AMOUNT OF


            3              $1,000,000.00.  IF SUCCESSFUL, COORDINATING


            4              THE USE OF THE GRANT FUNDS WILL BE WIT THE




            6              TO BE NAMES AS "WASHINGTON SPRUCE PARKING


            7              FACILITY".


            8                      MR. MCGOFF: What is the


            9              recommendation of the Chairperson for the


           10              Committee on Community Development.


           11                      MS. FANUCCI: As Chairperson for the


           12              Committee on Community Development, I


           13              recommend final passage of Item 7-C.


           14                      MR. MCGOFF:  Second.  On the


           15              question?


           16                      MS. EVANS: There was a question


           17              posed earlier this evening by a speaker


           18              regarding possible tax delinquencies for the


           19              owner of the Connell building, Graystone,


           20              Scranton, LLP and, in fact, there are


           21              delinquencies dating back to 1995.  Now,


           22              many of those were paid '95, '96, '97, '98,


           23              '99, 2001 and 2001 and to 2002, 2003.


           24              However, it appears that the 2007, 2006


           25              taxes were not paid and it is, indeed, a






            1              significant amount of money that it owed to


            2              the county, the school and the city.  I


            3              believe, for example, 2007, to the county


            4              and school district $31,906.08.  In 2006,


            5              $34,018.09 and to the city in 2007


            6              $11,8040.62 and in 2006 $12,767.93.


            7                      Now, we have already discussed at


            8              last week's meeting the fact that a bond


            9              issue was approved by city council with the


           10              exception of myself for $35 million which


           11              included the demolition and construction of


           12              the new garage.  I do not see the need for


           13              the additional million dollars, but more so,


           14              I don't know why we would be funding,


           15              further funding, this garage that is going


           16              to serve in a significant capacity the


           17              owners of the Connell building.  I think the


           18              owners of the Connell building must first


           19              step up to the plate and pay their


           20              delinquencies.


           21                      MS. FANUCCI: I'm going to comment on


           22              that on the question.  That's pretty much


           23              inclusion, they are not going to own this


           24              garage so I don't know how you can, you


           25              know, decide and it's a grant.  It's a






            1              wonderful grant and if we don't take it


            2              maybe it will go to Allentown.  I don't


            3              understand how we can fight over grant


            4              money, but, yes, I don't believe that that's


            5              the case.  It is for all of downtown.  I


            6              know myself I park down there everyday and


            7              this garage is sorely needed especially for


            8              the people in my building which now will be


            9              losing all of their parking, seven floors of


           10              people who need to park, so I do believe


           11              that this garage will be very, very well


           12              needed because it's needed now and that's


           13              all I have.


           14                      MS. EVANS: Well, certainly we are


           15              not going to argue over the necessity of the


           16              garage, but the money, as I stated, was


           17              already put in place by this council many,


           18              many, many months ago and as for the grant,


           19              certainly I'm not opposed to the application


           20              and awarding of the grants, but I do believe


           21              we should be applying for those grants for


           22              more necessary projects that will benefit


           23              everyone in the City of Scranton and I think


           24              it's been made quite clear whether or not


           25              through the newspaper or the mayor or the






            1              representatives of the parking authority


            2              that it is the intention of the owners of


            3              the Connell building to utilize a


            4              significant number of spaces in that garage.


            5              So, if we are going to be applying for


            6              something let's apply for it for a project


            7              that I think that is it more worthy.


            8                      MR. MCGOFF:  Anyone else on the


            9              question?  Roll call, please.


           10                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.


           11                      MS. EVANS:  No.


           12                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.


           13                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  No.


           14                      MR. COOLICAN:  Ms. Fanucci.


           15                      MS. FANUCCI:  Yes.


           16                      MR. COOLICAN:  Ms. Gatelli.


           17                      MS. GATELLI: Yes.


           18                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.


           19                      MR. MCGOFF:  Yes.  I hereby declare


           20              Item 7-C legally and lawfully adopted.


           21                      MS. GARVEY: 7-D. FOR CONSIDERATION




           23              FOR ADOPTION - RESOLUTION NO. 14, 2008 -










            1              ENTER INTO A LOAN AGREEMENT AND MAKE A LOAN




            3              IN AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED $400,000.00 TO




            5              ASSIST AN ELIGIBLE PROJECT.


            6                      MR. MCGOFF: What is the


            7              recommendation of the Chairperson for the


            8              Committee on Community Development?


            9                      MS. FANUCCI: As Chair for the


           10              Committee on Community Development, I


           11              recommend final passage of Item 7-D.


           12                      MS. GATELLI:  Second.


           13                      MR. MCGOFF: On the question?


           14                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  On the question,


           15              Mr. McGoff, I spoke with Linda Aebli quite


           16              awhile ago on this whole thing and one of


           17              the concerns I had was, I mean, it's


           18              40 years.  Forty years is a long time.  She


           19              said to me that she, too, was very concerned


           20              about it but this deal was struck before she


           21              got in there and she also had some concerns


           22              with, you know, with the 40-year thing.  If


           23              I could just step back one minute to 7-C as


           24              far as the grant goes, I don't know, it just


           25              seems that sometimes these loans and grants






            1              come down to where, you know, we only have a


            2              couple of months left and we are going to


            3              lose them.  We are always trying to market


            4              this city, maybe we need to market these


            5              loans and grants a little better so we don't


            6              have to wait until three months before we


            7              are going to lose it and have to rush.  I'm


            8              sure a lot of people would be standing in


            9              line to get, you know, a million dollar


           10              grant so maybe we need to market it a little


           11              bit better.  Thank you.  That's all I have.


           12              Thank you.


           13                      MS. EVANS: And I just wanted to add


           14              to the terms of the loan which


           15              Mr. Courtright alluded to a 40-year loan but


           16              at 0 percent interest.  Who among us


           17              wouldn't enjoy such an arrangement?  And my


           18              other problem with the situation is, again,


           19              what I explained last week, I want more


           20              information in black and white from now on.


           21              As we have seen with a number of the loans,


           22              we have awarded there have been significant


           23              problems thereafter.  There is little to no


           24              accountability after this is awarded and


           25              until such time as I get in black and white,






            1              not lip service, but black and white a


            2              credit history, history of payments and


            3              defaults, a history of liens, if any,


            4              etcetera, I'm just not going to feel


            5              comfortable approving anymore of these


            6              agreements, so that is why I would be


            7              declining.


            8                      MS. FANUCCI:  You know, I don't want


            9              to keep tonight going on and on, but to


           10              claim that there is no accountability.


           11              There is only one person who has defaulted


           12              on a loan and, in fact, he is trying to make


           13              good now, it was Whistles.  We have only had


           14              one problem in the entire city.


           15              Accountability.  You have to pay back the


           16              loan.  The states accountable.  There are


           17              some many checks and balances in place, so


           18              maybe to sit down and understand the system


           19              better you would understand that.  This is


           20              what has to happen.  It's not one person in


           21              the office deciding.  It goes on and on and


           22              on, so to -- and you can't apply for the


           23              loan, you have to be cleared and free before


           24              you get the loan, so you can't have liens on


           25              you.  You can't be in default of something






            1              else, so that's just not an accurate


            2              statement.


            3                      And we have said this time and time


            4              again, there has only been one instance in


            5              the city's history in years since at least


            6              since this mayor and the last mayor had


            7              taken place that this has happened, so that


            8              is just not accurate and to say that I just


            9              couldn't let that go because that is so not


           10              what happens in that office.


           11                      MS. EVANS: Well, I do know this that


           12              I have been requesting all of the


           13              information, complete information about all


           14              of the loans from Miss Hailstone for years


           15              and now from Ms. Aebli on no one seems to be


           16              able to provide that.


           17                      MS. FANUCCI: I do believe that


           18              that's because they cannot provide what


           19              people's personal financial statements are


           20              to you as a councilperson.


           21                      MS. EVANS: But, they can ask me to


           22              approve the awarding of money to them.


           23                      MS. FANUCCI: Well, maybe you should


           24              sit down and go through everyone of them and


           25              then --






            1                      MS. EVANS: That's what I would like


            2              to do.  That's what I want sent to all of


            3              us.


            4                      MS. FANUCCI: Then you should go and


            5              call because when I sit down with them it's


            6              very accurately done and the procedure is


            7              very, very -- and you would like it because


            8              it is very black and white so you should


            9              probably go.


           10                      MS. EVANS: Well, I'd like that, but,


           11              you know, again, I'm reading about lien


           12              after lien, I see business after business


           13              that leaves --


           14                      MS. FANUCCI: But they still have to


           15              pay back the money if they leave.  The money


           16              has to be paid back, so even if they close


           17              they still have to pay the money back, so


           18              that again, we are still getting our money


           19              back.


           20                      MS. EVANS: That, again, I don't know


           21              until I see in black and white, but, you


           22              know, again, as I said last week, use it or


           23              lose it that's worn out now.  There are


           24              plenty of places to use money in this city


           25              and how it happens to conveniently sit for






            1              so long I find puzzling.


            2                      MS. FANUCCI: It does have to be


            3              applied for in advance.


            4                      MS. EVANS: And no one applies for it


            5              in all those years?


            6                      MS. FANUCCI:  There are, but they


            7              have to go through the black and white


            8              procedure of filling out of the forms and


            9              being able to pass and decide if they are


           10              financially able to do.  I mean, you have to


           11              have some type of equity.  You just can't go


           12              and decide to take this money.


           13                      MS. EVANS: Right, but ultimately


           14              it's OECD and the mayor that makes the


           15              decision on where that money is going to go.


           16                      MS. FANUCCI: No, the state is the


           17              one who decides.


           18                      MS. EVANS: Well, the state I can't


           19              really rely on at this point either because


           20              the state has done nothing, for example,


           21              about the Southern Union building.


           22                      MS. FANUCCI: Nobody knows how to do


           23              the job.


           24                      MS. EVANS: And when the agency was


           25              brought in they told us -- do you remember






            1              they told us to lease the Southern Union


            2              building ourselves.  Now, it's been vacant


            3              for how long?  I don't even know if they


            4              still maintain their tax exempt status.  No


            5              one wants to properly investigate any of


            6              this, so I think it's all well and good to


            7              listen to all of this and all it shakes out


            8              to there is always enough money in the kitty


            9              for the next new project the mayor wants.


           10                      MS. GATELLI: Excuse me, I'm going to


           11              interrupt here, too, because if we have any


           12              questions about OECD our solicitor happened


           13              to be the solicitor for OECD for many years,


           14              so he is a valuable resource and he


           15              certainly can answer a lot of the questions


           16              that we may have on these issues.


           17                      Secondly, some of the money in OECD


           18              and I believe it was specifically the UDAG


           19              account was always the mayor's discretion.


           20              I worked, you know, you know I worked for


           21              Connors and that was always his discretion


           22              to use the UDAG accounts.  So, yeah, it is a


           23              mayoral decision in a lot of these instances


           24              with OECD.


           25                      MS. EVANS: But, even when I think






            1              commercial/industrial loans, those were


            2              applying the decisions are ultimately


            3              made --


            4                      MS. GATELLI: But I don't think


            5              anyone is denied.


            6                      MS. EVANS: -- and then they come


            7              down to us.


            8                      MS. GATELLI: Yeah, I don't think


            9              anyone is denied, you know, that would apply


           10              and has all of the proper -- I know I was


           11              trying to help someone to get a loan but


           12              they didn't have a business plan and they


           13              didn't have, you know, adequate credit


           14              history, you know, they couldn't understand


           15              why they couldn't get it, but they didn't


           16              have all of these criteria to get it, but,


           17              you know, at least they tried.


           18                      MR. MCGOFF: We are still on 7-D.


           19              Anyone else on the question?  Roll call,


           20              please.


           21                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.


           22                      MS. EVANS:  No.


           23                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.


           24                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  No.


           25                      MR. COOLICAN:  Ms. Fanucci.






            1                      MS. FANUCCI:  Yes.


            2                      MR. COOLICAN:  Ms. Gatelli.


            3                      MS. GATELLI: Yes.


            4                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.


            5                      MR. MCGOFF:  Yes.  I hereby declare


            6              Item 7-D legally and lawfully adopted.


            7                      MS. GARVEY: Mrs. Evans, just to


            8              interject here, I just talked to Linda Aebli


            9              regarding that letter that was sent back in


           10              December and the second request in January


           11              as a body of council asked the same


           12              questions that you posed in December


           13              regarding all of the loan information and


           14              she did say that she was working on that to


           15              get a response to you, so maybe soon you


           16              will have one.


           17                      MS. EVANS: Thank you.


           18                      MS. GARVEY: 7-E. FOR CONSIDERATION




           20              FOR ADOPTION - RESOLUTION NO. 15, 2008 -






           23              ENTER INTO A GRANT AGREEMENT AND MAKE A




           25              PROGRAM IN AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED






            1              $150,000.00 TO NATIONAL HOUSING




            3              ASSIST AN ELIGIBLE PROJECT.


            4                      MR. MCGOFF: What is the


            5              recommendation of the Chairperson for the


            6              Committee on Community Development?


            7                      MS. FANUCCI: As Chair for the


            8              Committee on Community Development, I


            9              recommend final passage of Item 7-E.


           10                      MR. MCGOFF: Second.  On the


           11              question?


           12                      MS. GATELLI: Yeah, I just want to


           13              talk about this again, I'm not quitting on


           14              the subject because I happen to live there


           15              very close to this particular low income


           16              housing project and I believe there are at


           17              least 150 families or more that live there.


           18              We had many, many problems up there with


           19              drug activity and guns and problems in this


           20              particular neighborhood, they since have


           21              settled down quite a bit and the people


           22              here, this National Housing Trust, are the


           23              leading public housing enterprises in the


           24              country.  I many very, very confident that


           25              they are going to do a wonderful job.  The






            1              place itself is not in good shape, once


            2              again, when I worked for Jimmy I had to go


            3              up there several times and condemn some of


            4              the units.  There is also a sewage problem


            5              because it's down in a hole and they have to


            6              pump the sewage up, so there is always a


            7              problem with sewage in the apartments, and


            8              it really needs an overhaul and it needs new


            9              management and I think that these people are


           10              going to bring it to that particular


           11              project.  I don't think that we can afford


           12              to have anymore poor people out on the


           13              streets and that's why I'm really for this.


           14                   You know, we had the Washington West


           15              where the people had to leave and we do have


           16              all of the low income housing projects in


           17              South Side and I have fought that over the


           18              years because they wanted to more in, but


           19              what we have we like to keep in good


           20              condition and it really needs some work up


           21              there, the people are living in deplorable


           22              conditions and I think that these people are


           23              reputable nationwide in managing low income


           24              housing projects.  It was managed always


           25              privately and some of the people were not






            1              very amenable when we went up there and had


            2              meetings, they just let things go on there


            3              that shouldn't have gone on, and this is


            4              going to be a great thing and it will help


            5              all of the poor people that live there.  We


            6              cannot afford to put anyone out of their


            7              homes and I think they will do a great job.


            8              The county, Cordaro and Munchak and I


            9              believe Washo also voted for it.  They have


           10              contributed to this project with their


           11              community development assets, so they also


           12              have an investment in the project, it's not


           13              just the city, so I think everybody is


           14              looking forward to it being a much better


           15              place than it was in the past.


           16                      MS. EVANS: And I agree, I think we


           17              do want to see the improvements and they are


           18              greatly needed, but this isn't ours.  Let's


           19              remember this is privately owned.  This is


           20              not city-owned and, yes, this is a highly


           21              reputable nationwide company who a developer


           22              I can't understand why, you know, they are


           23              coming with their hands out for such


           24              significant amounts from every government


           25              entity.  I mean, you have to wonder almost






            1              are there tax credits involved, is this a


            2              tax shelter, whatever.


            3                      MS. GATELLI:  Oh, absolutely.  It is


            4              tax credits, absolutely.


            5                      MS. EVANS: I do agree it needs a


            6              complete overhaul and I very much want to


            7              see that happen, but I would rather see it


            8              happen at the expense of the owners not


            9              those who reside there but this company that


           10              owns this housing development.


           11                      MS. FANUCCI: My thought is that the


           12              people are ours and it's our job to


           13              sometimes look out for people who can't look


           14              out for themselves right now.


           15                      MS. EVANS: Oh, I agree, but I don't


           16              think we often do that.  I mean, we are


           17              ready to crucify them for their taxes --


           18                      MS. FANUCCI: For $150,000 I believe


           19              it's a very good, it's a very good


           20              investment.


           21                      MS. GATELLI:  And I think the total


           22              cost it's probably $4 or $5 million so they


           23              are investing a lot of their own money.


           24                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  On the question,


           25              obviously it's going to pass, but I just wan






            1              to say this, this new company that comes in


            2              I hope they do one thing, Mrs. Gatelli said


            3              there was some drugs and crime and that's a


            4              fact.


            5                      MS. GATELLI:  Oh, absolutely.


            6                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  That's probably the


            7              worst place in the city at one time and for


            8              one reason and one reason they don't have


            9              that activity now is they have two police


           10              officers sitting up there all the time and I


           11              hope this new company, I think sometimes in


           12              the afternoon hours I hope this company


           13              continues to do that because if not it will


           14              going right back to where it was.


           15                      MS. GATELLI:  Don't worry, they


           16              will.


           17                      MR. COURTRIGHT: And I saw that


           18              happen in Townhouse, when they put a police


           19              officers in Townhouse that place was like, I


           20              got to be honest with you, if there wasn't


           21              much action on a night and a cop was looking


           22              for action they would just ride through


           23              Townhouse and grab one of the drug dealers.


           24              Once they inject a police officers in there


           25              they just move on, so I hope they live up to






            1              their national name and keep officers there,


            2              and that's all I have.  Thank you.


            3                      MS. GATELLI: Long after I'm off this


            4              council I will still be on them.  I can spit


            5              over there.  That's how close I am.


            6                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  I hope so.


            7                      MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else?  Roll call,


            8              please.


            9                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.


           10                      MS. EVANS:  No.


           11                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.


           12                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  No.


           13                      MR. COOLICAN:  Ms. Fanucci.


           14                      MS. FANUCCI:  Yes.


           15                      MR. COOLICAN:  Ms. Gatelli.


           16                      MS. GATELLI: Yes.


           17                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.


           18                      MR. MCGOFF:  Yes.  I hereby declare


           19              Item 7-E legally and lawfully adopted.


           20                      MS. GARVEY: 7-F FOR CONSIDERATION BY


           21              THE COMMITTEE ON RULES - FOR ADOPTION -


           22              RESOLUTION NO. 16, 2008 - APPROVING THE




           24              THE CITY OF SCRANTON'S OFFICE OF ECONOMIC








            1              GROUP, A PLANNING AND DESIGN FIRM, AND














            8              SCRANTON.  TOTAL COST NOT EXCEED $90,000.00


            9                      MR. MCGOFF: As Chairperson for the


           10              Committee on Rules, I recommend final


           11              passage of Item 7-F.


           12                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.


           13                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  Roll


           14              call, please.


           15                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.


           16                      MS. EVANS:  Yes.


           17                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.


           18                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yes.


           19                      MR. COOLICAN:  Ms. Fanucci.


           20                      MS. FANUCCI:  Yes.


           21                      MR. COOLICAN:  Ms. Gatelli.


           22                      MS. GATELLI: Yes.


           23                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.


           24                      MR. MCGOFF:  Yes.  I hereby declare


           25              Item 7-F legally and lawfully adopted.






            1                      MS. GARVEY: 7-G. FOR CONSIDERATION H


            2              MITE O COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT - OR ADOPTION -


            3              RESOLUTION NO 17, 2008 - ACCEPT THE


            4              RECOMMENDATION OF THE HISTORICAL


            5              ARCHITECTURE REVIEW BORD ("HARB") AND




            7              FOR HIGHLAND ASSOCIATES, LTD, 102 HIGHLAND


            8              AVENUE, CLARKS SUMMIT FOR REPAIR OF THE


            9              EXISTING CLOCK AND NEW REAR ENTRANCE AT




           11              STREET.


           12                      MR. MCGOFF: What the recommendation


           13              of the Chairperson for the Committee on


           14              Community Development?


           15                      MS. FANUCCI: As Chairperson for the


           16              Committee on Community Development I


           17              recommend final passage of Item 7-G.


           18                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Second.


           19                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  Roll


           20              call, please.


           21                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.


           22                      MS. EVANS:  Yes.


           23                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.


           24                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yes.


           25                      MR. COOLICAN:  Ms. Fanucci.






            1                      MS. FANUCCI:  Yes.


            2                      MR. COOLICAN:  Ms. Gatelli.


            3                      MS. GATELLI: Yes.


            4                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.


            5                      MR. MCGOFF:  Yes.  I hereby declare


            6              Item 7-G legally and lawfully adopted.


            7                      MS. GARVEY: 7-H, was which formerly


            8              6-A, FOR CONSIDERATION BY THE COMMITTEE ON


            9              COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT -- maybe prior to


           10              reading this I don't know if there is anyone


           11              in the public that wishes to speak on the


           12              issue?


           13                      7-H, which was formerly 6-A. FOR




           15              DEVELOPMENT - FOR ADOPTION - FILE OF COUNCIL


           16              NO. 14, 2008 - AMENDING FILE OF COUNCIL NO.


           17              49, 2006 (AS AMENDED) ENTITLED, "AN




           19              APPROPRIATE OFFICIALS OF THE CITY OF








           23              (AS AMENDED) TO BE FUNDED UNDER THE










            1              PROGRAM AND EMERGENCY SHELTER GRANT (ESG)




            3              ADDING A NEW PROJECT.


            4                      MR. MCGOFF: What the recommendation


            5              of the Chairperson for the Committee on the


            6              Community Development?


            7                      MS. FANUCCI:  As Chairperson for the


            8              Committee on Community Development, I


            9              recommend final passage of Item 7-H.


           10                      MS. GATELLI: Second.  MR. MCGOFF:


           11              On the question?  Roll call, please.


           12                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.


           13                      MS. EVANS:  No.


           14                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.


           15                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  No.


           16                      MR. COOLICAN:  Ms. Fanucci.


           17                      MS. FANUCCI:  Yes.


           18                      MR. COOLICAN:  Ms. Gatelli.


           19                      MS. GATELLI: Yes.


           20                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.


           21                      MR. MCGOFF:  Yes.  I hereby declare


           22              Item 7-H legally and lawfully adopted.


           23              That's concludes Seventh Order.  Thank you


           24              for your participation and your concern and


           25              I ask for a motion to adjourn.






            1                      MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.


            2                      MS. GATELLI:  Second.






















































            2                     C E R T I F I C A T E




            4        I hereby certify that the proceedings and


            5   evidence are contained fully and accurately in the


            6   notes of testimony taken by me at the hearing of the


            7   above-captioned matter and that the foregoing is a true


            8   and correct transcript of the same to the best of my


            9   ability.









                                    CATHENE S. NARDOZZI

           14                       OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER