1 SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING
7 Tuesday, February 26, 2008
10 Council Chambers
11 Scranton City Hall
12 340 North Washington Avenue
13 Scranton, Pennsylvania
CATHENE S. NARDOZZI - COURT REPORTER
2 CITY OF SCRANTON COUNCIL:
4 MR. ROBERT MCGOFF, PRESIDENT
MS. JUDY GATELLI, VICE-PRESIDENT
7 MS. JANET E. EVANS
MS. SHERRY FANUCCI
10 MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT
MS. KAY GARVEY, CITY CLERK
13 MR. NEIL COOLICAN, ASSISTANT 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
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
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
9 COMPOSITE PENSION BOARD MEETING HELD ON
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
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
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
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
14 MS. FRANUS: Pardon me?
15 MR. COURTRIGHT: I said it was my
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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,
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
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
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
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
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
15 MR. MCGOFF: Again, you wish me to
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
24 MS. SUETTA: All right. We're gonna
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
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
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
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
12 MS. FANUCCI: Actually, I parked in
13 that garage.
14 MR. HUBBARD: Why isn't it blocked
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
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
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
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
11 MR. GERVASI: Thank you very much. I
12 would like to know your comments during
14 MS. GATELLI: Could I just ask a
15 question? I just want to ask you a
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
11 MR. GERVASI: Arbitrations,
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
3 ORDINANCE, AS AMENDED, CREATING THE REMOVAL
4 OF EXISTING PARKING METERS WITH THE CENTRAL
5 BUSINESS DISTRICT AND PRESCRIBING PARKING
6 TIME LIMITS; DEFINING OFFENSES AND
7 PRESCRIBING PENALTIES; PROVIDING FOR THE
8 ENFORCEMENT THEREOF; AND REPEALING
9 CONFLICTING AND INCONSISTENT ORDINANCE, BY
10 DETAILING THE DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF
11 THE SCRANTON PARKING AUTHORITY ACTING AS AN
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
10 RETIRED FIREFIGHTERS ON THE COMMISSION AND
11 HIS FIVE YEAR TERM WILL EXPIRE ON DECEMBER
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
5 OF THE FIRE PENSION COMMISSION, EFFECTIVE
6 DECEMBER 18, 2007. MR. SYDLOWSI WILL BE
7 REPRESENTING THE RETIRED FIREFIGHTERS ON THE
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
4 OTHER APPROPRIATE OFFICIALS OF THE CITY OF
5 SCRANTON TO TAKE ALL NECESSARY ACTIONS TO
6 IMPLEMENT THE CONSOLIDATED SUBMISSION FOR
7 COMMUNITY PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS
8 (AS AMENDED) TO BE FUNDED UNDER THE
9 COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT (CDBG)
10 PROGRAM AND EMERGENCY SHELTER GRANT (ESG)
11 PROGRAM", BY DELETING CERTAIN PROJECTS AND
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
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
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
21 RIGHT-OF-WAY KNOWN AS SMALLACOMBE DRIVE AS
22 MORE PARTICULARLY DESCRIBED ON THE MAP
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
19 MAYOR AND OTHER APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS
20 TO EXECUTE AND ENTER INTO AN AGREEMENT WITH
21 THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT
22 OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ("DEP") TO
23 ACCEPT THE ACT 101, SECTION 902 RECYCLING
24 DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION GRANT IN THE
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
19 BY THE COMMITTEE ON COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT -
20 FOR ADOPTION - RESOLUTION NO. 13, 2008 -
21 AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND OTHER APPROPRIATE
22 CITY OFFICIALS TO EXECUTE AND APPLY FOR A
23 GRANT THROUGH THE COMMONWEALTH OF
24 PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY AND
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
5 SCRANTON PARKING AUTHORITY FOR THE PROJECT
6 TO BE NAMES AS "WASHINGTON SPRUCE PARKING
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
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
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
22 BY THE COMMITTEE ON COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT -
23 FOR ADOPTION - RESOLUTION NO. 14, 2008 -
24 AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND OTHER APPROPRIATE
25 CITY OFFICIALS FOR THE CITY OF SCRANTON TO
1 ENTER INTO A LOAN AGREEMENT AND MAKE A LOAN
2 FROM THE HOME INVESTMENT PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM
3 IN AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED $400,000.00 TO
4 GREATVIEW DEVELOPMENT LIMITED PARTNERSHIP 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
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
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
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
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,
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
19 BY THE COMMITTEE ON COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT -
20 FOR ADOPTION - RESOLUTION NO. 15, 2008 -
21 AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND OTHER APPROPRIATE
22 CITY OFFICIALS FOR THE CITY OF SCRANTON TO
23 ENTER INTO A GRANT AGREEMENT AND MAKE A
24 GRANT FROM THE HOME INVESTMENT PARTNERSHIP
25 PROGRAM IN AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED
1 $150,000.00 TO NATIONAL HOUSING
2 TRUST-ENTERPRISE PRESERVATION CORPORATION TO
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
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
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
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
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,
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
23 TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THE CONTRACT BETWEEN
24 THE CITY OF SCRANTON'S OFFICE OF ECONOMIC
25 AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AND THE PALUMBO
1 GROUP, A PLANNING AND DESIGN FIRM, AND
2 AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND OTHER APPROPRIATE
3 CITY OFFICIALS TO EXECUTE AND ENTER INTO THE
4 CONTRACT TO RETAIN THE PALUMBO GROUP TO DO A
5 STUDY TO INCLUDE HISTORIC PRESERVATION,
6 ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEWS AND DESIGN FOR THE
7 CEDAR AVENUE REVITALIZATION AREA OF SOUTH
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
6 APPROVING THE CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS
7 FOR HIGHLAND ASSOCIATES, LTD, 102 HIGHLAND
8 AVENUE, CLARKS SUMMIT FOR REPAIR OF THE
9 EXISTING CLOCK AND NEW REAR ENTRANCE AT
10 GOODWILL NTH, NORTH MAIN AVENUE AND THEODORE
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
13 7-H, which was formerly 6-A. FOR
14 CONSIDERATION BY THE COMMITTEE ON COMMUNITY
15 DEVELOPMENT - FOR ADOPTION - FILE OF COUNCIL
16 NO. 14, 2008 - AMENDING FILE OF COUNCIL NO.
17 49, 2006 (AS AMENDED) ENTITLED, "AN
18 ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND OTHER
19 APPROPRIATE OFFICIALS OF THE CITY OF
20 SCRANTON TO TAKE ALL NECESSARY ACTIONS TO
21 IMPLEMENT THE CONSOLIDATED SUBMISSION FOR
22 COMMUNITY PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS
23 (AS AMENDED) TO BE FUNDED UNDER THE
24 COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT (CDBG)
25 PROGRAM, HOME INVESTMENT PARTNERSHIP (HOME)
1 PROGRAM AND EMERGENCY SHELTER GRANT (ESG)
2 PROGRAM", BY DELETING CERTAIN PROJECTS AND
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
CATHENE S. NARDOZZI
14 OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER