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            1              SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING

 

            2

 

            3

 

            4

 

            5                          HELD:

 

            6

 

            7                   Tuesday, March 4, 2008

 

            8

 

            9                        LOCATION:

 

           10                     Council Chambers

 

           11                    Scranton City Hall

 

           12                340 North Washington Avenue

 

           13                    Scranton, Pennsylvania

 

           14

 

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           23

                        LISA GRAFF, RMR - OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER

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            1

 

            2   CITY OF SCRANTON COUNCIL:

 

            3

 

            4

                MR. ROBERT MCGOFF, PRESIDENT

            5

 

            6   MS. JUDY GATELLI, VICE-PRESIDENT (Not present)

 

            7

                MS. JANET E. EVANS

            8

 

            9   MS. SHERRY FANUCCI (Not present)

 

           10

                MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT

           11

 

           12   MS. KAY GARVEY, CITY CLERK

 

           13

                MR. NEIL COOLICAN, ASSISTANT CITY CLERK

           14

 

           15   MR. AMIL MINORA, SOLICITOR

 

           16

 

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            1   (Pledge of Allegiance recited and moment of reflection

 

            2   observed.)

 

            3                      MR. MCGOFF:  Roll call, please.

 

            4                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.

 

            5                      MS. EVANS:  Yes.

 

            6                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.

 

            7                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yes.

 

            8                      MR. COOLICAN:  Ms. Fanucci.

 

            9                      (Ms. Fanucci not present.)

 

           10                      MR. COOLICAN:  Ms. Gatelli.

 

           11                      (Ms. Gatelli not present.)

 

           12                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.

 

           13                      MR. MCGOFF:  Yes.  Let the record

 

           14              show that both Mrs. Gatelli and Ms. Fanucci

 

           15              are not here this evening.  I would like to

 

           16              dispense with the reading of the minutes.

 

           17                      MS. GARVEY:  THIRD ORDER.  3-A.

 

           18              POLICE PENSION COMMISSION MEETING SCHEDULED

 

           19              FOR DECEMBER 19, 2007, WAS CANCELLED DUE TO

 

           20              LACK OF QUORUM.

 

           21                      MR. MCGOFF:  Are there any comments?

 

           22              If not, received and filed.

 

           23                      MS. GARVEY: 3-B. MINUTES OF THE

 

           24              SCRANTON-LACKAWANNA HEALTH & WELFARE

 

           25              AUTHORITY MEETING HELD ON JANUARY 17, 2008.


 

 

                                                                       4

 

 

            1                      MR. MCGOFF:  Are there any comments?

 

            2              If not, received and filed.

 

            3                      MS. GARVEY: 3-C.  MINUTES OF THE

 

            4              NON-UNIFORM MUNICIPAL PENSION BOARD MEETING

 

            5              HELD ON JANUARY 23, 2008.

 

            6                      MR. MCGOFF:  Are there any comments?

 

            7              If not, received and filed.

 

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

 

            9              SCRANTON POLICE PENSION COMMISSION MEETING

 

           10              HELD ON JANUARY 23, 2008.

 

           11                      MR. MCGOFF:  Are there any comments?

 

           12              If not, received and filed.

 

           13                      MS. GARVEY: 3-E.  AGENDA OF THE

 

           14              NON-UNIFORM MUNICIPAL PENSION BOARD MEETING

 

           15              TO BE HELD ON FEBRUARY 27, 2008.

 

           16                      MR. MCGOFF:  Are there any comments?

 

           17              If not, received and filed.

 

           18                      MS. GARVEY: 3-F.  AGENDA OF THE

 

           19              ZONING HEARING BOARD MEETING TO BE HELD ON

 

           20              MARCH 12, 2008.

 

           21                      MR. MCGOFF:  Are there any comments?

 

           22              If not, received and filed.

 

           23                      MS. GARVEY: That's it for Third

 

           24              Order.

 

           25                      MR. MCGOFF:  Prior to citizens'


 

 

                                                                       5

 

 

            1              participation, if there are any

 

            2              announcements?  Please.

 

            3                      MS. EVANS:  I just wanted to

 

            4              announce that District II champs Scranton

 

            5              High Scranton Lady Knights will play Cedar

 

            6              Crest tonight in the second round of the

 

            7              state playoffs, and we in the City of

 

            8              Scranton wish them luck and hope to see them

 

            9              climb from the sweet 16 to the elite eight

 

           10              of the State of Pennsylvania.

 

           11                      MR. MCGOFF:  Just one point of

 

           12              information from something that was brought

 

           13              up at a prior meeting concerning a downtown

 

           14              establishment, and I think the name was

 

           15              reported in the paper because Vida Tapas was

 

           16              cited for a health violation.  That is not

 

           17              correct.  What occurred there was that the

 

           18              Liquor Control Board came into check and

 

           19              found that the health certificate I believe

 

           20              was a month expired.  There was no health

 

           21              violation.  The liquor control board in

 

           22              order to have a license you must have a

 

           23              valid health certificate.  People at that

 

           24              establishment it was an oversight on their

 

           25              part and also a bit of an oversight on the


 

 

                                                                       6

 

 

            1              part of City Hall in not sending out the

 

            2              bills for the certificate and the next day

 

            3              they did apply and they did the paperwork,

 

            4              renewed the certificate and the Liquor

 

            5              Control Board reinstated the license.

 

            6                      At no time was there a health

 

            7              violation of any kind and at no time were

 

            8              there really, you know, in jeopardy or in

 

            9              default of any loans through OECD.  So, I

 

           10              hope that clarifies some of that issue.

 

           11                      MS. EVANS:  If I might just add to

 

           12              that, too, I know there was mention of the

 

           13              city health inspector, we have only one

 

           14              inspector and she is sorely overtaxed in

 

           15              this position.  She has many, many more

 

           16              duties and responsibilities than should be

 

           17              carried out by one individual.  Knowing

 

           18              that, I had included additional inspectors

 

           19              in both of the most recent budgets that I

 

           20              had drafted, but, unfortunately, they did

 

           21              not meet with the approval of my colleagues,

 

           22              those budgets, and as a result there have

 

           23              been no additions within that office and

 

           24              they are sorely needed.  So the blame

 

           25              certainly for anyone who watches these


 

 

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            1              meetings, the blame does not belong on the

 

            2              employees because, as I said, they're asked

 

            3              to be about five individuals and wear ten

 

            4              different hats all in one position and it's

 

            5              physically impossibile.

 

            6                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.  Citizens'

 

            7              participation.  Doug Miller.

 

            8                      MR. MILLER:  Good evening, Council

 

            9              Doug Miller, president of the Scranton

 

           10              Junior City Council.  Last Thursday,

 

           11              February 28, I had the privilege to attend a

 

           12              student leadership summit at the capital

 

           13              building in Harrisburg.  Accompanied by Mr.

 

           14              Bob Bolus, I met with students from all

 

           15              around the state who hold leadership rolls.

 

           16              This summit promoted civic engagement and

 

           17              education.  The goal of this leadership

 

           18              summit was to provide students the

 

           19              opportunity to learn more about their areas

 

           20              of interest in government as well as reflect

 

           21              views from other students across the State

 

           22              of Pennsylvania.

 

           23                      The summit divided students into

 

           24              committees to a series of plans regarding

 

           25              various issues.  I was assigned to the


 

 

                                                                       8

 

 

            1              committee on economic development.  Each

 

            2              student was given an identification badge

 

            3              with their name and the city that you came

 

            4              from.  I was proud to have been the lone

 

            5              representative from the City of Scranton.

 

            6              For me it was an honor to not only represent

 

            7              my fellow classmates, but also this city.

 

            8                      We, the students, were also given

 

            9              the opportunity to propose our plans in

 

           10              house chamber.  As chair on economic

 

           11              development I proposed a Bill to the

 

           12              students who acted as representatives.  My

 

           13              Bill focused on educational finance reform.

 

           14              This Bill was aimed at getting non-profits

 

           15              to give back to the community and my Bill

 

           16              read as follows:  "In an attempt to boost

 

           17              local economies and encourage education,

 

           18              certain educational finance reforms should

 

           19              be passed.  A tuition incentive plan will be

 

           20              offered to students who maintain a certain

 

           21              grade point average.  Once that student has

 

           22              graduated, they will receive a portion of

 

           23              the tuition costs back based on a merit

 

           24              based sliding scale.  The limitation would

 

           25              be that the student must reside and attend a


 

 

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            1              school in their home state."

 

            2                      I'm proud to say that my Bill passed

 

            3              63 to 29.  My Bill, as well as the other

 

            4              Bills that passed by the students, will now

 

            5              move to the Governor's Office as well as the

 

            6              Offices of our Representatives for further

 

            7              consideration.  I'd like to say that if this

 

            8              opportunity becomes available for any other

 

            9              students in the future to attend the summit,

 

           10              I strongly recommended that you take

 

           11              advantage of this opportunity.

 

           12                      This is certainly a once in a

 

           13              lifetime opportunity and I would like to

 

           14              conclude by thanking all of those involved

 

           15              in organize this educational summit.  You

 

           16              have given me and all the other students

 

           17              that attend a better understanding of our

 

           18              state government.

 

           19                      Finally, the Scranton Junior City

 

           20              Council is proud to be work with Mrs.

 

           21              Novembrino and others by raising funds to

 

           22              benefit a police and firefighter's memorial.

 

           23              We believe that it is our responsibility to

 

           24              honor these brave individuals.  However,

 

           25              each week Mr. Spindler and others have


 

 

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            1              stated at the podium that we shouldn't be

 

            2              concerned about a memorial to honor these

 

            3              great men and women, rather, we should be

 

            4              involved in their contract negotiations.

 

            5              Mr. Spindler, isn't it the job of the mayor,

 

            6              council and the unions to negotiate the

 

            7              contracts?  Though I will say this, if

 

            8              Junior Council was involved with these

 

            9              negotiations this issue would have already

 

           10              been resolved.

 

           11                      I quote a state representative from

 

           12              Western Pennsylvania who attended the

 

           13              leadership summit in Harrisburg, "You, the

 

           14              students, accomplished more in one day than

 

           15              we the representatives accomplished in one

 

           16              year."

 

           17                      This quote defines our generation.

 

           18              We are becoming more informed and involved

 

           19              in our government and we will continue to

 

           20              voice our opinions because we are the future

 

           21              leaders.  Thank you.

 

           22                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Doug.  Ray

 

           23              Lyman.

 

           24                      MR. LYMAN:  Mrs. Evans, Mr.

 

           25              Courtright.  I see Mrs. Gatelli is not here,


 

 

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            1              but I have some questions.  Number one, I

 

            2              was down Smith's restaurant and a friend of

 

            3              mine who is a repair guy and I found out

 

            4              that the people who come to City Council are

 

            5              going to have their reassessment taxes

 

            6              raised because they come here and that Miss

 

            7              Gatelli, Washo, O'Brien, Mayor Doherty and

 

            8              Ken McDowell are going to raise it because

 

            9              they complained to Mrs. Gatelli when she was

 

           10              president on city counsel and it's going to

 

           11              be her revenge because in retaliation, and I

 

           12              heard this from a person who owns a

 

           13              restaurant.  Lo and behold, in today's

 

           14              newspaper Mr. Smith owes back taxes.

 

           15                      Number two, my phone was tapped.  I

 

           16              asked my friend who was a state trooper, he

 

           17              looked at my phone and it was taped, I

 

           18              called Verizon phone company.  The guy tells

 

           19              me, "Oh, no, your phone wasn't tapped," I

 

           20              asked my friend who is a state trooper, I

 

           21              said, "Are you sure?"  The guy that was

 

           22              there, the phone guy, he said, "Oh, no, it's

 

           23              not tapped."

 

           24                      My friend Dave said, "Are you sure,"

 

           25              and showed him his badge.  And the guy goes,


 

 

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            1              "Oh."

 

            2                      He asked him, "Let me see your I.D."

 

            3                      "Oh, I can't show you my I.D. I have

 

            4              to go to the manager."

 

            5                      So, he says to him, "I want to see

 

            6              your I.D."  You know, he calls his manager,

 

            7              so my friend who is a state trooper calls

 

            8              because he was, you know, off duty.  So he

 

            9              calls in a state trooper car to come down.

 

           10              The other Verizon truck takes off, but got

 

           11              the license plate.  I believe that was a

 

           12              Scranton Police undercover and I want to

 

           13              know why I'm being bugged?  My mail was held

 

           14              and when I get it it's open and then it's

 

           15              reglued.  I want to know why I'm being

 

           16              bugged, I want to know why my mail was

 

           17              opened.  My house was broken into.  I had

 

           18              coins that were stolen, jewelry, I want to

 

           19              know why I'm being harassed and I'm asking

 

           20              since Gatelli ain't here I'm asking you, Mr.

 

           21              McGoff, because the District Attorney,

 

           22              Scranton police, I'm asking you --

 

           23                      MR. MCGOFF:  I have no idea, Mr.

 

           24              Lyman.

 

           25                      MR. LYMAN:  Well, I want answers and


 

 

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            1              I want my coins returned and my jewelry.  My

 

            2              grandmother gave me those before she died

 

            3              and I want them returned or I'm going to

 

            4              file a lawsuit, and I'm sick and tired of

 

            5              it.  Those coins were given to me before she

 

            6              died and I want them back.  Because a

 

            7              neighbor next door saw the Scranton Police

 

            8              going in there undercover and they took the

 

            9              license plate numbers and I asked my friend

 

           10              who is undercover, I mean a state trooper,

 

           11              and he took those license plate numbers and

 

           12              they were Scranton Police.

 

           13                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Raymond, Raymond,

 

           14              how about -- will you give me the name of

 

           15              the state trooper and I'm going to call him,

 

           16              okay, and we'll find out.

 

           17                      MR. LYMAN:  No, I ain't giving you

 

           18              any information.

 

           19                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  I just want to

 

           20              speak to him so we can get this scared away.

 

           21                      MR. LYMAN:  I want my property

 

           22              returned.  I told you, Courtright, you said

 

           23              there was no bug there and lo and behold

 

           24              there's a car behind my house looking there.

 

           25              I had a van, a guy having pictures like


 

 

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            1              this, going like this (indicating) in a

 

            2              computer.  You went into the appliance place

 

            3              there was a guy there with binoculars like

 

            4              this (indicating) looking in.  I went up to

 

            5              him, like this, he took off and I'll take a

 

            6              lie detector, I'll take the truth serum.  I

 

            7              want my property returned, and I know it's

 

            8              that crooked district attorney and that

 

            9              mayor.

 

           10                      MR. MCGOFF:  Please don't state --

 

           11                      MR. LYMAN:  I want my property

 

           12              returned.

 

           13                      MR. MCGOFF:  I don't blame you, Mr.

 

           14              Lyman, but calling people names is not going

 

           15              to help it take place.

 

           16                      MR. LYMAN:  I want my property

 

           17              returned and I got ahold of two lawyers and

 

           18              they said I have a case.

 

           19                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Just tell me the

 

           20              state trooper's name and I'll speak to him

 

           21              for you.

 

           22                      MR. LYMAN:  I'll tell you after the

 

           23              meeting.

 

           24                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay.  Good enough,

 

           25              Ray.


 

 

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            1                      MR. MCGOFF: Jean Suetta.

 

            2                      MS. SUETTA:  Hi.  I had to come and

 

            3              see if you were seated properly.  My name is

 

            4              Jean Suetta, Scranton.  I want to apologize

 

            5              for saying the JC last week, but I was

 

            6              hurting so bad you're lucky I didn't use the

 

            7              "F" word because you come very close when

 

            8              you lock the door.  That's all.  Have a good

 

            9              night.

 

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

 

           11              I'm sorry for the door being locked.

 

           12                      MS. SUETTA: Huh?

 

           13                      MR. MCGOFF: I'm sorry for the door

 

           14              being.

 

           15                      MS. SUETTA: No, you're not.  Another

 

           16              thing, you're putting so much publicity on

 

           17              this St. Patrick's Day parade, why don't we

 

           18              get this for the Veteran's Day parade?  I'll

 

           19              buy the kegs if I could put one on every

 

           20              corner to get the people out there to

 

           21              respect our men and women.  No?  Yes?  Could

 

           22              I put a keg?

 

           23                      MR. MCGOFF:  Well, we don't

 

           24              advertise for --

 

           25                      MS. SUETTA: No, Judy brought it up


 

 

                                                                      16

 

 

            1              that she's going to call the Liquor Control

 

            2              Board about the St. Patrick's Day parade and

 

            3              it's been brought up how many times here and

 

            4              I want to also commend the firemen again for

 

            5              the fire on Meade Street that they didn't

 

            6              lose a couple houses on each side.  The

 

            7              worse thing I ever did was get a scanner.

 

            8              I'm sorry that lady died, God rest her soul,

 

            9              but -- see, I was leaving and you had to

 

           10              open your mouth.  Good guy.

 

           11                      MR. MCGOFF:  Thank you.  Les

 

           12              Spindler.

 

           13                      MR. SPINDLER:  Good evening,

 

           14              Council.  Les Spindler, city resident.  Last

 

           15              week Mr. Courtright suggested an outside

 

           16              agency come in and ask Chief Davis

 

           17              questions.  Mr. McGoff, you stated you don't

 

           18              know why an outside agency has to come in

 

           19              and I could tell you why, Mr. McGoff,

 

           20              because first of all you shouldn't have been

 

           21              there, you yourself stated Chief Davis is a

 

           22              friend of yours and you grew up with him,

 

           23              you cannot form an objective opinion, so

 

           24              that's why an outside agency should have

 

           25              come in.


 

 

                                                                      17

 

 

            1                      Secondly, why was Chief Davis

 

            2              against the stenographer coming in, what is

 

            3              he is afraid of?  What does want to hide?

 

            4                   Next thing, Chief Davis said in the

 

            5              paper a few days ago he's run 82 marathons

 

            6              and sparred with Larry Holmes?  What does

 

            7              that have to do with being a fire chief.  If

 

            8              we bring everybody in that sparred Larry

 

            9              Holmes be a fire chief?  Does that make you

 

           10              a good fire chief?

 

           11                      Next thing, a quote from the paper

 

           12              the other day from the fire chief about the

 

           13              fire at Chamberlin, "If the fire went a

 

           14              little longer it could have threatened the

 

           15              weapons," Chief Davis said.  Well, Chief

 

           16              Davis, if you knew what you were talking

 

           17              about there are no weapons at Chamberlin.

 

           18              They manufacture the steel casings that go

 

           19              on the shelves.  There are no weapons in

 

           20              Chamberlain.  This is a man who is putting

 

           21              our firefighters' lives at risk.  He doesn't

 

           22              even know what he's talking about.

 

           23                   Recently Wilkes-Barre City Council

 

           24              wanted to introduce legislation for people

 

           25              that are protesting two or more people have


 

 

                                                                      18

 

 

            1              to buy a permit for 20 dollars.  The

 

            2              citizens of Wilkes-Barre went there and

 

            3              complained to their Council and their

 

            4              Council took it off the agenda.  Now, that's

 

            5              a City Council that listens to their

 

            6              citizens and does the right thing unlike our

 

            7              three people that vote for whatever Chris

 

            8              Doherty wants them to vote for which is Mr.

 

            9              McGoff, Mrs. Fanucci and Mrs. Gatelli.

 

           10                      Last week it was stated the city

 

           11              received a $300 gift from Laura Craig for

 

           12              the pictures that were taken out.  Just

 

           13              because she gives a $300 gift does not mean

 

           14              it was acceptable what Jeff Brazil did.  He

 

           15              still was doing private work on taxpayer's

 

           16              time.  I guess if the former warden made a

 

           17              gift to the county that he would have been

 

           18              convicted of prisoner's doing work at his

 

           19              house.  Next, as Mrs. Evans stated last week

 

           20              that actual dollar amount of that work

 

           21              probably would have exceeded well over $300.

 

           22                      On the news this morning  they

 

           23              stated there's a company coming to Forest

 

           24              City, they're going to build a new plant

 

           25              there, they're going to have 300 to 350 jobs


 

 

                                                                      19

 

 

            1              within five years.  What do we get here in

 

            2              Scranton?  We get Poochies which has since

 

            3              closed.  Thank you.

 

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

 

            5              Sam Patilla.

 

            6                      MR. PATILLA:  Good evening, Mrs.

 

            7              Evans, Mr. Courtright.  On January 15 I

 

            8              slipped on an ice patch leaving city hall.

 

            9              I didn't have my attorneys call and suing

 

           10              the city, I don't want to sue the taxpayers,

 

           11              but I did fill out an incident report and

 

           12              turned the bill over to Mark Seitzinger and

 

           13              if we can pay $60,000 for some trees

 

           14              hopefully the city can pay that bill.

 

           15              That's all I'm looking for.  I don't want

 

           16              any money.

 

           17                      Now, one of the main reasons I'm

 

           18              here tonight, and Ray left, I don't think

 

           19              they're going to raise my taxes, but I'll

 

           20              have the feds on them quicker than you can

 

           21              say grits, John Corzine, the governor of New

 

           22              Jersey took a bold step, a really bold step,

 

           23              something I've been harping on for the last

 

           24              year or so, they're cutting spending.

 

           25              They're reducing government, okay, and the


 

 

                                                                      20

 

 

            1              only way Scranton as a whole is never going

 

            2              to get back to the level that this city once

 

            3              was to take the same initiative.  We have to

 

            4              reduce government.  We have to stop

 

            5              spending.  We have to prevent, not stop, we

 

            6              have to prevent the mayor of this city from

 

            7              any more borrowing.  We cannot afford to

 

            8              have money transferred from one authority to

 

            9              one commission to another to another to

 

           10              another.  We have to cut all of that out.

 

           11              You know, the name of the game is

 

           12              accountability.  All throughout the country

 

           13              you're hearing the screams for change.

 

           14              People are tired.  Our children are coming

 

           15              out to the election poles, they're voting.

 

           16              Why?  Because they're fed up.

 

           17                      We have a mortgage crisis, we have

 

           18              oil prices per barrel going out of the

 

           19              stratosphere.  Why?  Because of poor

 

           20              management, misspending.  We can't afford

 

           21              this as a city.  We can't afford this is as

 

           22              nation.  You know the last eight years under

 

           23              George W. and there was under Governor

 

           24              Rendell and Chris Doherty are the perfect

 

           25              examples of what happens when society allows


 

 

                                                                      21

 

 

            1              undesirables into their neighborhoods, you

 

            2              know, our prices go whacky, our health costs

 

            3              go whacky, you know, the costs of the homes,

 

            4              the costs of feeding, the cost of education

 

            5              and raising our kids go whacky.  We don't

 

            6              need that anymore.  We don't need yes men

 

            7              and we don't need yes women.  We need honest

 

            8              representation for every citizen in this

 

            9              city.

 

           10                      A couple of days ago, I think it was

 

           11              Friday, I'm working on my porch, I'm

 

           12              stripping it down getting an early start

 

           13              when the weather breaks and I heard these

 

           14              two young Hispanic women as they walked by

 

           15              one of them stated that's why I cuss out

 

           16              every black person that I see, and the first

 

           17              thought came to my mind was like that's

 

           18              ignorant.  You know, but then I thought and

 

           19              I sat there and it dawned on me I said

 

           20              that's the direct result of the

 

           21              administration, you know, because unless you

 

           22              know an entire group of people, an entire

 

           23              race of people, you can't say they're all

 

           24              ignorant, they're all thieves, they are all

 

           25              this or they're all that, you don't know,


 

 

                                                                      22

 

 

            1              you haven't met them all.

 

            2                       Now, the individuals, they might be

 

            3              the scum of earth, you know, whatever you

 

            4              feel, that's your choice, you chose to

 

            5              associate yourself with those people, you

 

            6              know, you cannot single out a race.  And

 

            7              I've had quite a few negative things happen

 

            8              to me since I started speaking here at

 

            9              Council.  I've gotten hate mail, I've had my

 

           10              tires flattened, I don't blame the entire

 

           11              race, the entire populous of Scranton for

 

           12              what a few idiots have done.  I put it

 

           13              squarely on the shoulders of those that are

 

           14              responsible, Chris Doherty, Austin Burke and

 

           15              everybody else, those puppets because I have

 

           16              people coming up to me everyday, senior

 

           17              citizens, we speak about the situation here

 

           18              in Scranton, we speak the about the

 

           19              situation as far as Iraq and the other areas

 

           20              of concern.  You know, color doesn't play a

 

           21              part, they either agree with me or they

 

           22              disagree with me, but we have conversation,

 

           23              we have dialogue, we have dialogue between

 

           24              each other.  As adults that what we do, you

 

           25              know, and as a result I really believe that


 

 

                                                                      23

 

 

            1              come June, I mean 2009, I know you are not

 

            2              going to do it, Mrs. Evans, but we really

 

            3              need you to give serious thought for running

 

            4              for mayor because Hillary Clinton might be

 

            5              good, but she's no Janet Evans.  Okay?  We

 

            6              need somebody that's for the people.  We

 

            7              have had enough those for corporation and

 

            8              for Doherty and for the old way of doing

 

            9              things.  Yes, we can, we can change.  We

 

           10              have to change, you know, I grew up, I'm a

 

           11              baby boomer.  I've seen recessions, I've

 

           12              seen depression, I've seen race lines.  It's

 

           13              a bunch of garbage.  You know, we civilized

 

           14              people should be above that right now.  We

 

           15              shouldn't have to go backwards any longer.

 

           16                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.  Bob Bolus.

 

           17                      MR. BOLUS:  Good evening, Council,

 

           18              Bob Bolus, Scranton.  Quick question, I just

 

           19              don't know if Ray is still here, I just want

 

           20              to know if he was going for a casino license

 

           21              or he had mob ties he was so concerned about

 

           22              taps.

 

           23                      On Doug here, I have to tell you

 

           24              something, I couldn't have been prouder than

 

           25              to be in Harrisburg as an adult advisor, and


 

 

                                                                      24

 

 

            1              that was to all the groups not just

 

            2              Scranton, but he represented this city.

 

            3              Then for me to sit here tonight and listen

 

            4              to a bunch of adults mock these kids for

 

            5              what they're achieving rather than get up

 

            6              and lead by example and do a good turn maybe

 

            7              it would be a good awakening to understand

 

            8              that.  These are your future leaders and

 

            9              this Junior Council down in Harrisburg was

 

           10              literally applauded for coming from the City

 

           11              of Scranton because there aren't any of them

 

           12              doing it and they're looking at doing that

 

           13              throughout the state and various areas and

 

           14              councils.  So something started here and you

 

           15              people sit here and heckle these kids and

 

           16              quite honestly it upsets me because you're

 

           17              adults, start acting like it.  Look in the

 

           18              mirror and ask what you've done for the city

 

           19              other than come in constantly knocking,

 

           20              ridiculing people, questioning about the

 

           21              fire and police memorial, how many of you

 

           22              have gone out and fought a fire or took your

 

           23              life in your own hands, but the people that

 

           24              go out and are risk your lives for these

 

           25              people you sit here and knock these kids?


 

 

                                                                      25

 

 

            1              You're a disgrace and I hate to come up

 

            2              there and have to say that to you because a

 

            3              lot of you are friends.

 

            4                      MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Bolus --

 

            5                      MR. BOLUS: This is the city and we

 

            6              all have our opinions.

 

            7                      (Whereupon comments are made from

 

            8              the audience.)

 

            9                      MR. MCGOFF: That was out of order,

 

           10              Mrs. Knight.

 

           11                      MR. MCGOFF: Please address council.

 

           12                      MR. BOLUS:  I don't care for what

 

           13              they were doing in the back --

 

           14                      MR. MCGOFF: I understand, but please

 

           15              address Council.

 

           16                      MR. BOLUS: I've tried to do that.

 

           17              I've been coming here for a long time, I

 

           18              have a lot of issues regarding this city and

 

           19              when I start sitting here and listening to

 

           20              people insulting kids and people in here for

 

           21              no reason or justification it annoys me and

 

           22              it's time they were put in their place.

 

           23                      Mr. Courtright, when I was here

 

           24              several weeks ago I asked that you put a

 

           25              motion on the golf course money $1.5 million


 

 

                                                                      26

 

 

            1              that's sitting there now plus interest that

 

            2              will go into permanent trust and then the

 

            3              second motion would be that in any event

 

            4              more money becomes available to the city the

 

            5              1.5 plus interest that was already used be

 

            6              replaced and put there for the betterment of

 

            7              this city that was put in there originally

 

            8              to take care of the parks and recreation and

 

            9              tonight would you make that motion please?

 

           10              You said would when I was here that day but

 

           11              I haven't heard it since and I would ask

 

           12              tonight if you would do that, if you would,

 

           13              please.

 

           14                      The commissioners and Doherty have

 

           15              gone out saying who they want to support.

 

           16              Well, I hope they're only doing it on their

 

           17              own personal opinions and not going out and

 

           18              saying they represent Scranton or Lackawanna

 

           19              County and the people in it.  Who they want

 

           20              to support should be their own business,

 

           21              it's not who want to support as individuals

 

           22              and I hope they're speaking for themselves

 

           23              because they sure don't speak for he me and

 

           24              they should understand that and I hope they

 

           25              don't speak for the rest of you people.


 

 

                                                                      27

 

 

            1                      The non-profits, the University I

 

            2              see we got a donation, a big donation, but

 

            3              they still don't pay any money here.  We

 

            4              need to make non-profits pay.  You can't

 

            5              continue to let the poor pay for the rich in

 

            6              the city.  And that's what's going on.  The

 

            7              poor can't even buy gas, they can't even pay

 

            8              their heating bills yet we are doing

 

            9              absolutely nothing in this city to change

 

           10              it.  KOZ's and non-profits need to pay a

 

           11              fee.  You need to become creative, that's

 

           12              what you're here on this Council, it's time

 

           13              to start doing it.  Then talking about who

 

           14              is going to run the city, and who is going

 

           15              to do this and do that, the time is now to

 

           16              start if you are going to do something

 

           17              about, well, look at the people in this city

 

           18              who cannot survive, the elderly, those that

 

           19              are just about getting by and we have done

 

           20              absolutely nothing as long as I've been

 

           21              coming here.  It's time now to put our money

 

           22              where our mouth is around here.

 

           23                      You cannot continue to see this city

 

           24              degraded, our police degraded, our fire

 

           25              degraded, we're a public laughing-stock of


 

 

                                                                      28

 

 

            1              the whole State of Pennsylvania that we

 

            2              cannot negotiate a contract and end this

 

            3              ridiculous nonsense that's going on here.

 

            4              All we hear is everybody and how great they

 

            5              are and what they can do and, quite frankly,

 

            6              nobody has done a darn thing here and it's

 

            7              time.  When I asked Mr. McGoff, I heard him

 

            8              say if anyone of you want to get involved,

 

            9              you got learn at this table.  This is

 

           10              Council's leadership.  Whether the mayor

 

           11              wants to show up here or the fire department

 

           12              wants to show here that's their prerogative

 

           13              but I believe you're a leader here and a

 

           14              leader needs to take charge.  Send a letter

 

           15              to the mayor, send it to his administration,

 

           16              send it to the fire department and let him

 

           17              come here publicly so we know what is going

 

           18              on because this city is in jeopardy right

 

           19              now.  Thank you.

 

           20                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Bolus.

 

           21              Tom Ungvarsky.

 

           22                      MR. UNGVARSKY: Good evening, City

 

           23              Council.  I'm Tom Ungvarsky and I'm a member

 

           24              of the Scranton/Lackawanna County Taxpayers.

 

           25              I'm sorry that Mrs. Fanucci is not here


 

 

                                                                      29

 

 

            1              because what I have to say concerns her.

 

            2              Several weeks ago I addressed the City

 

            3              Council about a woman who lost her home.

 

            4              Fortunately, her son was able to buy it back

 

            5              for her.  Now I would like to tell you about

 

            6              the spin that was put on that statement.

 

            7                   When the speaker got up and said the

 

            8              city took the home I knew this not to be a

 

            9              fact because these did not happen.  Well, it

 

           10              turns out it did happen, but I never said it

 

           11              was the city that did it, okay?  That wasn't

 

           12              bad enough.  She had to go on and say that

 

           13              might have been my reaction when the speaker

 

           14              gets up and misinforms the city.  In no way

 

           15              did I misinform the city.  I never said that

 

           16              it was the city.  In fact, I did say that I

 

           17              knew it was the county.

 

           18                      Now, several weeks ago she had a

 

           19              little discussion with somebody over words

 

           20              and she said that words have meaning and

 

           21              those words that she uttered were hurtful

 

           22              and I think they should be redacted from the

 

           23              minutes.  I also noticed that in today's

 

           24              paper that Smith's restaurant fell into the

 

           25              same trap.  Fortunately he didn't have to


 

 

                                                                      30

 

 

            1              buy back his property, but I notice that

 

            2              he's going to end up paying about $5,000 in

 

            3              fees and penalties from that immoral act

 

            4              that Council passed with all of these fines

 

            5              and penalties on it and I wish you would

 

            6              look into that again.

 

            7                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.  Before Mr.

 

            8              Ungvarsky asked me if I would find an answer

 

            9              for him to a question.  I just want to let

 

           10              you know that I have not been able to do

 

           11              that at this time.  I will try and get for

 

           12              you for next week.  Thank you.

 

           13                      MR. UNGVARSKY: I understand that

 

           14              there was about $300,000 offered for that

 

           15              building.

 

           16                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.  Ozzie Quinn.

 

           17                      MR. QUINN: Ozzie Quinn, Taxpayers'

 

           18              Association president.  You all know that we

 

           19              are pretty much well in debt here in the

 

           20              City of Scranton, you know, we just can't

 

           21              make our taxes, we cannot make it.  We don't

 

           22              have any revenue coming in and we have an

 

           23              opportunity.  Now, last summer Mrs. Gatelli

 

           24              formed her own ad hoc committee to try and

 

           25              get the non-profits to start giving some in


 

 

                                                                      31

 

 

            1              lieu of tax money to the city and it didn't

 

            2              turn out that well, okay?  We all know now

 

            3              according to the newspaper that the former

 

            4              executive director of the Scranton Housing

 

            5              Authority, not the former, the suspended

 

            6              executive director of the Housing Authority

 

            7              one of the charges was that he was spending

 

            8              money on the Park Gardens apartment

 

            9              building.

 

           10                      Well, the Park Gardens apartment

 

           11              building is not a federally-owned building

 

           12              and that was one of the problems, okay?  You

 

           13              can't use federal money, HUD monies for the

 

           14              operation or the maintenance of Park

 

           15              Gardens.  To me it's obviously out there

 

           16              that there is no -- the housing authority

 

           17              cannot control or operate or maintain the

 

           18              Park Gardens, so I think it's an opportunity

 

           19              at our hands right now to try to get some

 

           20              more tax money into this city by the sale,

 

           21              proceeds of the Park Gardens to a private

 

           22              developer and then every year in perpetuity

 

           23              we will have more taxes coming into the City

 

           24              of Scranton from the Park Gardens.  There's

 

           25              nothing wrong with this, it's just a matter


 

 

                                                                      32

 

 

            1              of a line of communication being open

 

            2              between the city and the Scranton Housing

 

            3              Authority to see if this can be done.  Of

 

            4              course, there's a lot of tenants out there

 

            5              and I hope that they're empowered to be part

 

            6              of this here process so that they know where

 

            7              they're going, if they're going to go

 

            8              anywhere, and what the rents are going to be

 

            9              but we have an opportunity right now to -- I

 

           10              don't know how many apartment are there

 

           11              right now to get revenue, more revenue into

 

           12              the City of Scranton.

 

           13                      So, please, I ask you to please

 

           14              pursue this so we can do something to pay

 

           15              off this debt because we are in no way are

 

           16              we going pay off this debt with just

 

           17              property taxes.  We are not going to do it,

 

           18              so there's got to be other sources and this

 

           19              is a fine opportunity.

 

           20                      The other thing is I got a letter

 

           21              about sending letters over time to the OECD

 

           22              for some information and I asked them for

 

           23              the amount of surplus funds for UDAG and for

 

           24              the CDBG programs and I got a letter from

 

           25              the executive director, Linda Aebli, and she


 

 

                                                                      33

 

 

            1              says, "Under the Right to Know, public

 

            2              records subject to disclosure under the

 

            3              Right to Know Act are accounts, vouchers or

 

            4              contracts dealing with fiscal aspects of

 

            5              government and minutes, orders or decisions

 

            6              fixing personal or property rights for a

 

            7              person or group of persons.

 

            8                      Based upon the above authority and

 

            9              my review of your request on projects that

 

           10              were approved prior to 2006 there are no

 

           11              undesignated or surplus UDAG facts."

 

           12                      And I sent another letter and she

 

           13              said that the same holds true for 2007 with

 

           14              the exception for 7,000 and some odd

 

           15              dollars.  Now, I went and I asked a lawyer

 

           16              what that means and he said you read it

 

           17              upside down, that means you have to pay $110

 

           18              to go and petition the court to try to find

 

           19              out information that belongings to the

 

           20              public right to know, okay?  Now, obviously

 

           21              I am here at all of these council meetings

 

           22              and I see this money being transferred from

 

           23              project to project, CDBG funds, where is it

 

           24              coming from?  Obviously we have money.  I

 

           25              saw a letter that he said you better pass


 

 

                                                                      34

 

 

            1              planting the trees because we're losing UDAG

 

            2              money so pass planting the trees, the 1,000

 

            3              trees over in South Side or we are going to

 

            4              lose the money.  Now, come on.  What do they

 

            5              think we are a bunch of fools here?  We are

 

            6              trying to do something for the City of

 

            7              Scranton.

 

            8                      You know, if we don't get the

 

            9              information and know what is going on this

 

           10              mayor is going to continue use this money

 

           11              for his own little nest egg and it's not

 

           12              right, not with people suffering in the

 

           13              neighborhoods with the blight, houses

 

           14              falling apartment, no housing

 

           15              rehabilitation, don't let anybody say there

 

           16              is.  Curbs falling apart, what curbs?

 

           17              Potholes?  My gosh, you know, and here we

 

           18              are planting trees again, you know, and you

 

           19              say we're losing the money so I ask you

 

           20              those two things, so please follow up on

 

           21              that for me in regards to the Park Gardens

 

           22              and don't ever send me a letter like this

 

           23              again, but this is going to be followed up.

 

           24              Thank you very much.

 

           25                      MR. MCGOFF:  Thank you.  Andy


 

 

                                                                      35

 

 

            1              Sbaraglia.

 

            2                      MR. SBARAGLIA:  Andy Sbaraglia,

 

            3              citizen of Scranton.  Fellow Scrantonians, I

 

            4              cut an article out from the paper and public

 

            5              notices, maybe you can shed some light on

 

            6              it.

 

            7                      Wall Street West is soliciting

 

            8              proposals to address and maintain workforce

 

            9              and workforce development systems.  Anybody

 

           10              know anything about Wall Street West?  Well,

 

           11              they got 25 million dollars apparently to

 

           12              train people in whatever requires the

 

           13              training in computers or whatever and that

 

           14              money is available and they're looking for

 

           15              gap analysis, I guess there's a lot of stuff

 

           16              that goes in, again, they have computer

 

           17              centers, computer do this and computers do

 

           18              this.  They said something about development

 

           19              system gap analysis which I don't know what

 

           20              it means, but it has to do with whatever

 

           21              they want to do for the stock market and

 

           22              some of the facilities in New York or maybe

 

           23              even in Philadelphia or Boston or whatever

 

           24              to move into this area or it's in our paper

 

           25              so I assume it's somewhere in our area and,


 

 

                                                                      36

 

 

            1              you know, you should look into it.  At least

 

            2              send out some fee orders being 25 million

 

            3              dollars is available to ask what it is.  I

 

            4              wasn't quite sure.  They give a contact and

 

            5              they give a something on the website so you

 

            6              get into it like your webpage or so forth

 

            7              and so on, but they have $15 million

 

            8              available for some type of training and as

 

            9              you know we got a lot of university, we got

 

           10              like -- we got schools all over this area

 

           11              actually that maybe try to tap into some of

 

           12              them funds.

 

           13                      Like, we got the county has that

 

           14              school that's quite able, the Vo-Tech that's

 

           15              up there that can use some training, we have

 

           16              Johnson's there.  I mean, there's a lot of--

 

           17              the University and maybe Lackawanna, the

 

           18              University probably has a lot they have

 

           19              their own.  Actually, they've got a good

 

           20              computer up there, even they can tap into it

 

           21              because they've got everything you could

 

           22              think of actually to tap into this.  I heard

 

           23              that the only thing we really need is them

 

           24              high speed internet lines and the fiber

 

           25              optic lines I guess is what they are and I


 

 

                                                                      37

 

 

            1              don't know exactly where -- I know they're

 

            2              in the city, we've dug them and placed them

 

            3              in the city, but from the city to New York I

 

            4              guess they're not there.  But funds may be

 

            5              available to do that, but the main thing is

 

            6              you've got get the workforce ready and

 

            7              hopefully we can keep people here instead of

 

            8              having them go to the Poconos to do that

 

            9              type of work, but it's there and it's just

 

           10              something I was wondering being they had so

 

           11              much available that it would be, you know,

 

           12              you should try to look into it a little.

 

           13              Maybe they want to stay up in the Poconos or

 

           14              whatever, but money is money.

 

           15                      I wish Mrs. Fanucci was there.  She

 

           16              made the comment that the only person she

 

           17              knows that was in default was Whistles.  How

 

           18              could she forget the Hilton?  The Hilton was

 

           19              probably the biggest bite we ever took.  We

 

           20              lost millions of dollars with the Hilton.

 

           21              And then you have that 501 South Washington

 

           22              Avenue, you forgave the loan, maybe they

 

           23              would have been defaulted, too, but you

 

           24              can't default a loan that was forgiven.  So,

 

           25              hence, you're forgiving loans maybe that's


 

 

                                                                      38

 

 

            1              the reason there ain't' more defaults,

 

            2              you're just saying, you don't have to pay.

 

            3              And if you look at the projects, the Connell

 

            4              building, I think somebody said it cost like

 

            5              $400,000, I don't know if that's quite the

 

            6              first, when he bought the building and then

 

            7              you gave $5 million to fix it.  Man, I wish

 

            8              I had to buy a bunch of houses in Scranton

 

            9              and get the same thing under the stream

 

           10              because probably all of these old homes in

 

           11              Scranton has the same asbestos that the

 

           12              Connell has and anyway the same with

 

           13              Lackawanna Avenue, you got almost $10

 

           14              million invested in them old buildings there

 

           15              which they probably and I think the guy just

 

           16              said 400,000 Rossi was it or something like

 

           17              that that he's going to move his

 

           18              headquarters in, but that's all they're

 

           19              doing in this town.  We're fixing up all

 

           20              these old buildings.  Like I said before,

 

           21              this ain't an 1895 town, no wonder why they

 

           22              don't want to come in here.  All we showed

 

           23              them is old broken down buildings and that's

 

           24              what is here.  And if you look at it a lot

 

           25              of people's homes are the same way.  That's


 

 

                                                                      39

 

 

            1              why there's so much -- well, I thank you.

 

            2                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr.

 

            3              Sbaraglia.  Mrs. Knight.

 

            4                      MS. KNIGHT:  Good evening, Mr.

 

            5              Courtright, Mrs. Evans.  I'm Geraldine

 

            6              Knight, I'm a resident of Scranton.

 

            7              Listening to this Council and saying it for

 

            8              the last few weeks that I've missed coming I

 

            9              see new faces and a lot of good people that

 

           10              come up to this podium.  The Scranton people

 

           11              that I know we have met Mrs. Evans has

 

           12              always been behind us and I'm asking our

 

           13              fire department to please to drop your

 

           14              attorney first, because he's not doing a

 

           15              good job for you.  You don't have -- if a

 

           16              husband and wife is getting a divorce you do

 

           17              not have the same attorney as the police and

 

           18              the firemen do.  You have -- go look for

 

           19              others and you go to another town or

 

           20              district.  But if Mr. Courtright is really

 

           21              honest about this fire department and is

 

           22              going to get a group together outside of the

 

           23              person that's sitting next to you, Mr.

 

           24              Courtright, I ask that you make sure that

 

           25              there is good coverage so these guys can


 

 

                                                                      40

 

 

            1              come out because I'm damn proud of them.  I

 

            2              hear them go up and down this street 100

 

            3              times a day and I'm very proud and if you

 

            4              think, Mr. Baldwin, it's a bunch of hogwash

 

            5              it's not.  You've changed your attitude in a

 

            6              hell a lot of way in one year.

 

            7                      MR. MCGOFF:  Mrs. Knight, please

 

            8              address council.

 

            9                      MS. KNIGHT: Well, he addresses us.

 

           10                      MR. MCGOFF: And I asked him to do

 

           11              the same.  Thank you.

 

           12                      MS. KNIGHT:  Get rid of this chief

 

           13              immediately because if you don't you're not

 

           14              going to have a fire department and Doherty

 

           15              and your houses or mine or theirs will be

 

           16              burnt down because we won't have anybody to

 

           17              come to it.

 

           18                      We put money into parks, dog parks,

 

           19              too.  When I can walk down Main Street here

 

           20              on Wyoming and the whole courthouse when I

 

           21              see people with their dogs pooping right on

 

           22              the courthouse lawn.  So, what do we need a

 

           23              dog house for when we've got courthouse

 

           24              right over here to poop on?  You know, and

 

           25              then Doherty builds a treehouse.  Maybe we


 

 

                                                                      41

 

 

            1              should put him in the treehouse and live

 

            2              there and we could take his house and sell

 

            3              it pay off some of our bills that we owe in

 

            4              Scranton.

 

            5                      I was going to ask two of the ladies

 

            6              of Council, Judy and Sherry, to see if they

 

            7              could live on a budget of 600 to 800 dollars

 

            8              a month that most of your elderly that is

 

            9              living on social security and nothing else

 

           10              to pay for their rent, food, no car, that

 

           11              doesn't count because you can't afford one

 

           12              today especially with the gas prices to

 

           13              maybe stand up and see if they could run

 

           14              their household on that kind of money.  But

 

           15              I don't think so because they don't have the

 

           16              backbone and neither does Mr. McGoff.  I

 

           17              would I would like to ask him would you like

 

           18              to do it on 600 or 800, Mr. Courtright?  Do

 

           19              you have the guts to run your household like

 

           20              ours?  Go ahead smile.  You have the right

 

           21              to.

 

           22                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.

 

           23                      MS. KNIGHT: Oh, yes, you do.  You've

 

           24              got the right to, but I'm asking Mr.

 

           25              Courtright, please, help our firemen, tell


 

 

                                                                      42

 

 

            1              them to get new attorneys out of this town

 

            2              and have our -- their -- whatever group is

 

            3              going to go, not have anything done in this

 

            4              town, out of town, so there is another

 

            5              newspaper that might pick up a good story

 

            6              that this one is putting out the bad story.

 

            7              Thank you.

 

            8                      MR. MCGOFF: Lee Morgan.

 

            9                      MR. MORGAN:  Good evening, Council.

 

           10              I just have a couple comments here, I know

 

           11              the mayor did gave a condition of the city,

 

           12              gave his opinion and I just wrote down a

 

           13              couple things here, but the first thing I'd

 

           14              lake to start here with is Junior Council.

 

           15              You know, there's freedom of speech, freedom

 

           16              of expression and some people did chuckle

 

           17              when Doug Miller said a couple of the things

 

           18              he said, but I don't think they meant to be

 

           19              disrespectful in any way.  I think that we

 

           20              may not agree with everything that anyone

 

           21              including myself or the people on Junior

 

           22              Council say and at times I assume that we

 

           23              all get laughed at sooner or later and I

 

           24              guess that's the price you pay to come and

 

           25              voice your opinions on any issue.


 

 

                                                                      43

 

 

            1                      The other thing I'd like to say is

 

            2              I'm fairly troubled by Bishop Martino

 

            3              folding the dioceses parochial education

 

            4              system.  I don't see how giving a contract

 

            5              to those teachers is going to hurt the

 

            6              diocese and I think that all of these things

 

            7              are tied into the city.  I'd also like to

 

            8              say that the city and the county and the

 

            9              school taxes are doing a terrible injustice

 

           10              to the residents of this area.

 

           11                      I was just at the tax office

 

           12              yesterday as a matter of fact to get my

 

           13              taxes and the trouble that the -- and it's

 

           14              not just seniors, it cuts across the whole

 

           15              society here.  I mean, everybody is really

 

           16              struggling and then we come to, well,

 

           17              Council or the school board and you see the

 

           18              mismanagement, just massive mismanagement of

 

           19              money.  I'm really troubled with the Makisik

 

           20              report because it has been alleged that the

 

           21              people that did that report wrote it in a

 

           22              light where they could get contracts to do

 

           23              construction for the school district or to

 

           24              make money in many different ways other than

 

           25              just giving contributions to the candidates.


 

 

                                                                      44

 

 

            1              We need to take a look at the blight in the

 

            2              neighborhoods and, you know, I don't know

 

            3              what the mayor is really looking at when he

 

            4              talks about how great the city is doing

 

            5              because the amount of vacant homes in the

 

            6              city is probably at an all time high, but I

 

            7              don't hear too many people talking about the

 

            8              amount of vacant apartments where people

 

            9              just decide, I'm out, I'm not paying the 3.4

 

           10              percent wage tax, I'm moving outside of the

 

           11              city and saving a ton of money.

 

           12                      And then you look at the

 

           13              mismanagement of the Scranton Sewer

 

           14              Authority where rates are going through the

 

           15              roof and when we relied on Council to

 

           16              protect us from these rate increases because

 

           17              it's my understanding that the Scranton

 

           18              Sewer Authority couldn't raise its rate

 

           19              without permission from the Council and that

 

           20              Council just advocated that responsibility

 

           21              and I find that to be a very troubling thing

 

           22              for the residents of this city considering

 

           23              that, you know, this isn't a 3-2 split,

 

           24              three for the mayor and two for whoever,

 

           25              this is a whole Council situation.  This is


 

 

                                                                      45

 

 

            1              where the whole Council had to look at the

 

            2              best interest of the residents and you can't

 

            3              just say that while the mayor's proxy didn't

 

            4              allow anything to happen because supposedly

 

            5              the other two that are for us sometimes I

 

            6              don't see them trying to move something and,

 

            7              well, like I personally think they should.

 

            8                      I just think that we need to take a

 

            9              look at the Lackawanna County Prison and

 

           10              wonder why we have contracted out the food

 

           11              service and why it isn't done in-house and

 

           12              we also need to look at how that prison is

 

           13              run and I know that has to do with the

 

           14              county, but this is part of the city, so is

 

           15              Catholic education and a lot of other things

 

           16              we just take for granted, infrastructure,

 

           17              you know, we have got to chuckle when they

 

           18              start talking about sidewalks and curbs,

 

           19              well, you know, it's a shame there is many

 

           20              places in this city where there are none.

 

           21              Our water systems are antiquated, our sewer

 

           22              systems are antiquated and then we come in

 

           23              here and me and Doug Miller sat with Mr.

 

           24              Barrett, and Mrs. Gatelli was the president

 

           25              of Council at the time, the only people that


 

 

                                                                      46

 

 

            1              had any information about what ws on the

 

            2              agenda that night were myself and Doug

 

            3              Miller because we sat with Mr. Barrett yet

 

            4              you increased the length of their charter

 

            5              and they didn't need it because they had

 

            6              enough time in the present charter to take

 

            7              all of the borrowing they were going to do

 

            8              without increasing the charter, and now you

 

            9              take a look at the parking authority and the

 

           10              Sewer Authority, they're employment

 

           11              agencies.  You're blowing their payroll and

 

           12              the city is crippled.  It's just what it

 

           13              leads to is just massive mismanagement.

 

           14              Thank you.

 

           15                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.  Brett

 

           16              McCloe.

 

           17                      MR. MCCLOE: Good evening.  My name

 

           18              is Brett McCloe, Scranton taxpayer,

 

           19              homeowner.  Before I get started, I just

 

           20              want to make it clear that I have nothing

 

           21              against trees to beautify parts of lower

 

           22              South Scranton, but a few citizens in that

 

           23              area have seen that show before, apparently

 

           24              sometime in the mid 1990's the City of

 

           25              Scranton planted trees for the same reasons.


 

 

                                                                      47

 

 

            1              Citizens took those trees without realizing

 

            2              the cost it took to maintain those trees or

 

            3              possible the property damage due to roots

 

            4              that buckled the sidewalks.

 

            5                      Has City Council made every everyone

 

            6              who accepts one of these trees aware of the

 

            7              costs and challenges that's come with owning

 

            8              a tree?  One citizen told me she had one and

 

            9              could not keep up with the rising costs of

 

           10              maintenance.  It started off at $50 a year,

 

           11              went up to $150 a the next year, two years

 

           12              later they had to cut the tree down due to

 

           13              damage to their sidewalk and rising costs of

 

           14              maintenance. Plant all the trees you want.

 

           15              Let's just make sure that the people have

 

           16              the means and the will to take care of

 

           17              them which brings me to a phrase that

 

           18              characterize many problems we face in our

 

           19              own lives and how our officials run their

 

           20              city.  The phrase is indifference to

 

           21              failure.

 

           22                      Last week I heard an exchange of

 

           23              comments between Mrs. Fanucci and Mrs.

 

           24              Evans.  Mrs. Evans essentially asked for a

 

           25              deeper, more thorough review of who and,


 

 

                                                                      48

 

 

            1              more importantly, why these grants and loans

 

            2              are being handed out.  Mrs. Fanucci,

 

            3              although she is not here right now, but she

 

            4              answered with a very disciplined message.

 

            5              What we heard was the same economic fear

 

            6              mongering that we heard all last year and

 

            7              probably will hear for the rest of this.

 

            8                   Mrs. Fanucci said, "You don't

 

            9              understand the loan and grant process and if

 

           10              we don't talk advantage of these grants

 

           11              Allentown will get them next year."

 

           12                      I'm quite sure every loan and grant

 

           13              is carefully looked at and the ability of

 

           14              those to pay of those loans and provisions

 

           15              to get those grants are all carefully

 

           16              measured.  What Mrs. Fanucci essentially

 

           17              said to Mrs. Evans was that the businesses

 

           18              can do what they want regardless if they

 

           19              succeed or fail.  They still have to pay.

 

           20              It reminds me a bit of predatory lending at

 

           21              best and prostitution of our city's most

 

           22              valuable assets at worse.  Every time you

 

           23              lend or grant money to a business that may

 

           24              or may not make it two or three or five

 

           25              years, when that business fails and packs up


 

 

                                                                      49

 

 

            1              and leaves and sometimes doesn't start up at

 

            2              all it leaves a visible scar on the face of

 

            3              our city.  It's impossible to reengineer the

 

            4              thinking process of economic development

 

            5              where businesses must first prove their

 

            6              commitment to our city by having the ability

 

            7              to start up and stand on their own then

 

            8              receive benefits over a period of time

 

            9              instead of being rewarded for actual --

 

           10              instead of being rewarded before actual work

 

           11              is started or completed.  This apparent

 

           12              indifference to failure will create even

 

           13              more scars and an even more apathetic

 

           14              government and citizenry, and it is what I

 

           15              fear may cause the spiral into yet another

 

           16              local depression.  No matter what level of

 

           17              income, no walk of life, both saints and

 

           18              sinners should do our best to offer our

 

           19              thoughts, our bodies and our experiences to

 

           20              help change our city into something greater

 

           21              than ourselves.  Indifference to failure

 

           22              will never restore pride.  Thank you.

 

           23                      MR. MCGOFF: Daniel Hubbard.

 

           24                      MR. HUBBARD:  Good evening, Council,

 

           25              Daniel Hubbard.  Even though the garage was


 

 

                                                                      50

 

 

            1              pushed through last week, that money for the

 

            2              garage, I still want it talk about it

 

            3              because it's an important issue.  Mrs.

 

            4              Fanucci said last week that the garage is

 

            5              closed on the upper floor because concrete

 

            6              was falling on walls on vehicles below on

 

            7              the ramps.  What you will see is four or

 

            8              five cinder blocks that are damaged from

 

            9              water and there was no concrete falling

 

           10              anywhere, but the ramps are closed.  Also,

 

           11              there's a picture of the inside of the

 

           12              garage that shows the paint on the steel is

 

           13              brand new.  There's nothing wrong with that

 

           14              garage.  She stated that the staircase

 

           15              doesn't work, you're right, the middle

 

           16              staircase is closed, but the front staircase

 

           17              and the back staircase are open and the

 

           18              elevator is not working.  The drywall around

 

           19              the elevator and the ceilings is crumbling

 

           20              because it was sheetrock installed in an

 

           21              outdoor application and moisture and

 

           22              sheetrock don't work well together, so

 

           23              there's nothing wrong with that garage.

 

           24                   Now, has anybody even bothered to

 

           25              question the fact that we're throwing


 

 

                                                                      51

 

 

            1              millions and millions of dollars into a

 

            2              garage for a private developer?  In 2004 the

 

            3              parking authority said that they were

 

            4              refinancing the bond issue and they were

 

            5              going to put 1.4 million into renovating the

 

            6              underground Oppenheim garage specifically

 

            7              for the residents of the Connell Building.

 

            8                      Now, the bond -- I'm sorry, the

 

            9              grant that was handed to the Connell

 

           10              Building 5 million had to be used.  Now,

 

           11              that grant was issued in 2006 even though

 

           12              construction of the project isn't slated

 

           13              until Fall of 2008 so they received the

 

           14              grant two years before construction was to

 

           15              begin and now six or eight months before

 

           16              construction is to begin they're saying they

 

           17              have to use it now or they are going to lose

 

           18              it.

 

           19                      Let me give you a little history on

 

           20              that grant.  Mr. Wolfington and the City of

 

           21              Scranton received a $5 million grant from

 

           22              Governor Rendell on July 26th of 2006.  Bear

 

           23              with me.  On July 1st of 2006 Mr. Wolfington

 

           24              and his company and the associates therein,

 

           25              I think one of them is his brother, donated


 

 

                                                                      52

 

 

            1              $35,000 to Governor Rendell's political

 

            2              committee.  Then they donated another $5,000

 

            3              on the 21st of July.  On July 26 they

 

            4              received a $5 million grant from Governor

 

            5              Rendell the same month.  On July 27 Mr.

 

            6              Wolfington donated another $5,000 to

 

            7              Governor Rendell and on Top of that the

 

            8              committee to elect Mayor Doherty donated ten

 

            9              grand on the 27th of July.  I guess that was

 

           10              a thank you for the grant that was for the

 

           11              Connell building that Mr. Doherty has now

 

           12              managed to get his hands on a million of it

 

           13              for one of his garage projects.

 

           14                      So, I mean, what are we doing?  We

 

           15              have $35 million we gave the park authority

 

           16              last year.  Where is it?  Why do we have to

 

           17              continue to give money to this authority?

 

           18              They can't afford to fix the Oppenheim

 

           19              garage up?  The structural steel is fine.

 

           20              There is no concrete damage anywhere in that

 

           21              garage.  There's a door knob missing on the

 

           22              first floor, the elevator is not working and

 

           23              that's it.  It needs some paint on the top

 

           24              floor.  There is three cinder blocks that

 

           25              are water damaged, clean the gutter out


 

 

                                                                      53

 

 

            1              above the cinder blocks, parge them, it's

 

            2              fixed.  Nobody has maintained that garage

 

            3              since we took it.  Why?  I think the garage

 

            4              was let go on purpose because it's easier to

 

            5              say that the garage is a mess as Mrs.

 

            6              Fanucci is quoted last week, it's a mess, it

 

            7              needs to be demolished.

 

            8                      Well, I mean, no offense to Sherry,

 

            9              but, come on.  Is she a structural engineer?

 

           10              It's a mess.  If somebody's house is a mess

 

           11              should we just bulldoze it?  Clean the

 

           12              garage up, maintain it.  She said nobody can

 

           13              use it, it's a private parking garage.  Of

 

           14              course, hey, the parking authority maintains

 

           15              the lot on South Washington Avenue as a

 

           16              private lot.  You have to be a monthly card

 

           17              holder to use it, so there's nothing wrong

 

           18              with having a monthly garage that people

 

           19              have to pay for a pass to use.  You know,

 

           20              Southern Union has a 100 spaces underground,

 

           21              it's empty, but we need to build another

 

           22              garage so a tenant that might move into the

 

           23              Southern Union has more parking, they

 

           24              already have an underground garage.  The

 

           25              parking authority, you know, they said they


 

 

                                                                      54

 

 

            1              were going to fix up the underground local

 

            2              garage for the Connell building but it

 

            3              doesn't financially benefit Mayor Doherty to

 

            4              fix it up.  It financially benefits him and

 

            5              whoever the construction company is, I can

 

            6              only venture a guess on who the

 

            7              architectural company will be to design the

 

            8              garage, we don't need another garage there.

 

            9              If they would actually lease the spaces out

 

           10              in that garage the whole upper floor is

 

           11              empty, picture -- those pictures are last

 

           12              Wednesday morning when people are at work.

 

           13              It's empty.  Empty.  Why don't they try

 

           14              filling it before they decide to get rid of

 

           15              it?  It's not producing any income because

 

           16              they're not using it.  It's a lot of money

 

           17              and yet you guys just blindly pass this on.

 

           18                      You know, and in response to Mr.

 

           19              Bolus I understand Gapetto is getting angry,

 

           20              we are picking on his Marionette, but --

 

           21                      MR. MCGOFF: All right, that's out of

 

           22              order.

 

           23                      MR. HUBBARD:  I mean, if the mayor

 

           24              was to stop appealing the contracts they

 

           25              would have been-settled.


 

 

                                                                      55

 

 

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

 

            2              Liz Hubbard.

 

            3                      MS. HUBBARD:  Good evening, Council.

 

            4              Liz Hubbard, Scranton resident, Daniel's

 

            5              mother, and he's not that old that I still

 

            6              can't spank him.  Anyway, I just have a

 

            7              question, we paid Southern Union, we gave

 

            8              them a refund of a 40 thousand some odd

 

            9              dollar tax payment that they had made, but I

 

           10              don't understand, KOZ has certain

 

           11              requirements for it to be a KOZ.  I believe

 

           12              you have to have a certain number of jobs

 

           13              available and whatever the rest of the

 

           14              criteria is.  They don't have anybody there,

 

           15              I mean, it's an empty building.  Where are

 

           16              we giving them tax free status?  If they

 

           17              built a building they don't want to be here

 

           18              then they should have to pay taxes on

 

           19              property until it's sold and I don't

 

           20              understand why we gave them a $40,000

 

           21              refund.  Could somebody explain that to me?

 

           22                      MS. EVANS:  I have many questions

 

           23              about that situation as well, Mrs. Hubbard.

 

           24              I don't have any answers for you though.

 

           25                      MS. HUBBARD: Well, I wanted to ask


 

 

                                                                      56

 

 

            1              the finance chairwoman, but she's not here

 

            2              tonight, so maybe I should save that

 

            3              question and ask it again next week.  It's

 

            4              ridiculous.  These people get this KOZ,

 

            5              there's nobody in the building, it's of no

 

            6              economic value to the city or to it's

 

            7              residents yet they are getting away with

 

            8              paying no taxes and apparently they must

 

            9              have paid something and we gave it back.  I

 

           10              don't understand that at all, I'm sorry.  I

 

           11              mean, KOZ might be a good thing if a company

 

           12              comes in and they're hiring a number of

 

           13              people, it's an economic benefit to the

 

           14              city, but if they build a building and it

 

           15              sits empty what benefit is that?  I mean,

 

           16              maybe somebody could find an answer to that

 

           17              question.

 

           18                      MS. EVANS:  Or how a tax bill would

 

           19              even have been sent to a KOZ and then why it

 

           20              would take from 2006 to 2008 to refund the

 

           21              payment.  There are just many pieces of the

 

           22              puzzle that don't seem to fit well.

 

           23                      MS. HUBBARD: Is there a KOZ office

 

           24              in Harrisburg that you can call and ask

 

           25              questions?


 

 

                                                                      57

 

 

            1                      MS. EVANS: There's a local

 

            2              representative, I think perhaps his office

 

            3              might even be in OECD, and I have requested

 

            4              an explanation from several departments.

 

            5              The only one to respond, however, was Mrs.

 

            6              Novembrino from the city controller's office

 

            7              and that was to indicate that the $40,830

 

            8              payment to Southern Union was refunded for

 

            9              real estate taxes paid by Southern Union for

 

           10              2006.  They paid taxes, they didn't have to

 

           11              because they were in a Keystone Opportunity

 

           12              Zone.

 

           13                      MS. HUBBARD: I would like to get my

 

           14              neighborhood in a Keystone Opportunity Zone,

 

           15              it's in a flood zone if anybody can do

 

           16              something about that.

 

           17                      My next comment is, Mrs. Fanucci

 

           18              isn't here tonight, but I recall her saying

 

           19              when you were working on the smoking

 

           20              ordinance that it might be a revenue stream

 

           21              for the city fining people for smoking where

 

           22              you're not supposed to smoke, etcetera,

 

           23              etcetera, well, I think that maybe the city

 

           24              should put extra police on, hire people if

 

           25              you have to, to give citations for public


 

 

                                                                      58

 

 

            1              drunkenness on parade day because they could

 

            2              probably get enough money to really pay a

 

            3              good chunk of our long-term debt off and I

 

            4              have a friend, not a friend, but somebody I

 

            5              know, they got picked up for walking from

 

            6              town to South Side and charged with $300

 

            7              public drunkenness.  I guess you can't drive

 

            8              drunk, you can't can walk drunk either.

 

            9              But, I mean, these guys or girls, people,

 

           10              whoever in town they're discussing drinking

 

           11              and whatever and they get away with it.  Why

 

           12              are we not citing them for public

 

           13              drunkenness and where is the Liquor Control

 

           14              Board checking these bars that are serving

 

           15              kids underage?

 

           16                      You know, I mean, she thought we

 

           17              were going to make a lot of money on a

 

           18              smoking ordinance we could really make a lot

 

           19              on this drinking.  So it might be something

 

           20              you can look into.  I'll ask her next week.

 

           21              Thank you.

 

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

 

           23                      MS. GARVEY: Mr. McGoff, if I could

 

           24              just interrupt for minute regarding the

 

           25              issue that she was speaking on, the KOZ,


 

 

                                                                      59

 

 

            1              Mrs. Evans you had asked about contacting

 

            2              the regional coordinator or whatever, today

 

            3              Lee Namey finally called me back and I was

 

            4              speaking to him on that issue to ask if they

 

            5              still obtained or currently obtained the

 

            6              KOEZ status and they said that, yes, that

 

            7              they do and it was probably through 2012 or

 

            8              13, he didn't have it at his fingertips at

 

            9              that time to tell me and it goes with the

 

           10              land or the building and he said when he was

 

           11              here a few years ago, remember, you had

 

           12              explained something about the situation that

 

           13              if they came and they didn't apply for the

 

           14              benefit or they did each year they must

 

           15              apply for that benefit, okay?  They did that

 

           16              in 2005, 2006 and 2008, but not in 2007

 

           17              according to their records.  Why that was he

 

           18              did not know.  They had to create -- one of

 

           19              the stipulations may have been within that

 

           20              to create 20 percent more jobs or something

 

           21              when they were coming to Scranton from

 

           22              Wilkes-Barre.  If they fulfilled that

 

           23              stipulation it did not mean that they had

 

           24              to, which he thought it would have been,

 

           25              that they would have had to keep those jobs.


 

 

                                                                      60

 

 

            1              Even though they have pulled out being that

 

            2              they had done that within their first year

 

            3              they no longer need to maintain that in

 

            4              order to remain eligible for the benefit

 

            5              according to the state.  That's what I told

 

            6              her today.

 

            7                      MS. EVANS:  And thank you for that,

 

            8              and I understand that, but I don't know at

 

            9              the time when we discussed it with them that

 

           10              had provided or created 20 percent more jobs

 

           11              and that was part of the issue and Mr. Namey

 

           12              at the time told us that it was more a

 

           13              matter of local enforcement for city

 

           14              government than for the state government to

 

           15              step in.

 

           16                      MS. GARVEY: Right.

 

           17                      MR. MCGOFF: Go ahead.

 

           18                      MR. DOBSON: Thank you.  My name is

 

           19              Dave Dobson, taxpayer associate, resident of

 

           20              Scranton.  On this tax collection issue, I

 

           21              feel we need registered mail or certified

 

           22              mail somewhere where somebody has to sign

 

           23              for an overdue tax bill so that they're

 

           24              absolutely notified that they owe back taxes

 

           25              and no person could can claim lack of


 

 

                                                                      61

 

 

            1              notification under that case or there would

 

            2              be a responsible party.  In too many cases

 

            3              bills have not reached responsible parties

 

            4              and if this method were used it would be a

 

            5              criminal offense to sign and not deliver the

 

            6              mail to that responsible party.  And what

 

            7              I'm asking is please consider an ordinance

 

            8              to address this issue.  If it were addressed

 

            9              in this way it's, like I said, there

 

           10              wouldn't be any reason why somebody would

 

           11              owe a tax or tipping fee for trash for three

 

           12              years and two years and not be aware of it

 

           13              or somebody else is receiving it wouldn't be

 

           14              allowed to just simply toss the bill in a

 

           15              wastepaper can and not pass it back to the

 

           16              post office.

 

           17                      Also, on this tax bill split,

 

           18              somebody was puzzled on Council about how

 

           19              that happens and at the end of the year if

 

           20              you owe back taxes after say 2008, in 2009

 

           21              the tax bill gets split up and sent back to

 

           22              the original entities.  So, that's how maybe

 

           23              how some people are paying but by that time

 

           24              they already accrue all the penalties so

 

           25              anything Mrs. Evans you could do to help


 

 

                                                                      62

 

 

            1              that law along and to help people along

 

            2              would be appreciated.

 

            3                      Now, I received a little fun over

 

            4              this.  Please consider a survey of the gypsy

 

            5              moths that damage the trees in our parks.

 

            6              We are planting $60,000 worth of trees for

 

            7              better or worse, that's a different issue,

 

            8              but if the problem goes on for many years

 

            9              trees weaken, branches become diseased and

 

           10              they start to die off, they become a risk

 

           11              and stop being an asset.  We have a lot of

 

           12              really gorgeous trees in our parks that are

 

           13              probably 100 years old and we have scores of

 

           14              pest control companies that would probably

 

           15              survey our parks for free and come up with

 

           16              what it would cost to spray for gypsy moths.

 

           17              During the summer when I do visit a park I

 

           18              notice leaves all over the ground, look like

 

           19              they're half eaten, right across, they're

 

           20              hanging on a tree and they start to go bald.

 

           21              Well, after a while this takes its toll on

 

           22              the trees and, it's like I said, some of

 

           23              these old Oaks and so forth at Nay Aug Park

 

           24              and Connell Park they're kind of a treasure

 

           25              and it takes 100 years for something like


 

 

                                                                      63

 

 

            1              that to grow back so, we'll never see it,

 

            2              probably not.

 

            3                      Now, a few weeks ago I spoke out

 

            4              about an act, a journalist in Afghanistan

 

            5              and I would like the opportunity re-read

 

            6              this newspaper article and it states, "An

 

            7              Afghan journalist was sentenced to death for

 

            8              distributing an article about Islam and

 

            9              women's rights," and it goes on that he's

 

           10              actually being punished for his brother

 

           11              reporting abuses by warlords a media group

 

           12              said Wednesday and the guy's name was Sayed

 

           13              Parwez Kaambaksh and he is 23 and he was

 

           14              sentence today death Tuesday, this is

 

           15              several weeks old so hopefully the guy is

 

           16              still alive, by a three-judge panel in the

 

           17              city of Mazari-i-Shariff for distributing a

 

           18              report he printed off the internet to fellow

 

           19              journalism students at Balkh University.

 

           20              The article asks why men could have four

 

           21              wives but women can't have multiple

 

           22              husbands.  It was written in the Iranian

 

           23              language of Farsi which is similar to Afghan

 

           24              language of Dari which is probably -- what I

 

           25              would like to do quickly is request, if I


 

 

                                                                      64

 

 

            1              may, is that everybody if you're concerned

 

            2              about this contact your Congressmen.  I did

 

            3              contact Mr. Casey and Mr. Kanjorski and they

 

            4              were very interested in this because things

 

            5              aren't going very well in Afghan and I once

 

            6              again, all we settle for is the same old

 

            7              theocracy, we just change the names to

 

            8              protect the guilty.  Thank you.

 

            9                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Dobson.

 

           10                      MS. EVANS:  And, Mr. Dobson, with

 

           11              regard are to the separation of the tax

 

           12              bills that, as it stands, now really is in

 

           13              Mr. Shimkus' or Representative Shimkus'

 

           14              court.  If he, indeed, has proposed that

 

           15              amendment and if he pushes for that

 

           16              amendment since it affects just this one

 

           17              city with the unique rating, then it would

 

           18              mean a world of difference, so I think we

 

           19              have to keep our eye on that and see if, as

 

           20              they say, Mr. Shimkus is able to bring home

 

           21              the bacon to the City of Scranton.

 

           22                      MR. DOBSON: Right.  I'm not in his

 

           23              district, but I will try give him a call and

 

           24              everybody that has concerns should give him

 

           25              a call.  Thank you.


 

 

                                                                      65

 

 

            1                      MR. MCGOFF: Ms. Schumacher.

 

            2                      MS. SCHUMACHER:  Good evening.

 

            3              Marie Schumaker, citizen and member of the

 

            4              Taxpayers' Association.  I'm not going to

 

            5              have a lot of details tonight because I

 

            6              grabbed the wrong pad, so I am going to have

 

            7              to wing a lot of it, but before I get

 

            8              started what I came to talk about because we

 

            9              talked again about curbs and sidewalks, I

 

           10              would like to for I think it's at least the

 

           11              third time now request that you dust off the

 

           12              1993 failed ordinance that required new

 

           13              businesses to install sidewalks.  I wasn't

 

           14              around, I don't know why that ordinance

 

           15              didn't pass, but I don't think the City of

 

           16              Scranton will ever have enough money to go

 

           17              back and put sidewalks in and the time to do

 

           18              it is when there's a new build and I think

 

           19              that could be an appropriate ordinance to

 

           20              get back on the books.

 

           21                      One of the things I did want to talk

 

           22              about tonight is I think it's about -- it

 

           23              was in May, the two homes in the 700 block

 

           24              of Stafford Avenue were lost to fire.

 

           25              Shortly thereafter one of the members of the


 

 

                                                                      66

 

 

            1              firemen's organization came to this podium

 

            2              and talked about the fact that they had no

 

            3              knowledge of hydrant flow and they had to go

 

            4              over, oh, I think it was about six blocks,

 

            5              they actually went over to Meadow Avenue to

 

            6              get adequate pressure to fight that fire.

 

            7              Now, whether one or both of those houses

 

            8              could have been saved if they had known

 

            9              initially when they went to fight the fire,

 

           10              what the flow was in those hydrants, I don't

 

           11              know, but I did contact and I reported here

 

           12              just several months after that fire I

 

           13              contacted the Pennsylvania American Water

 

           14              Company who reported that every year after

 

           15              they do their flow testing on the hydrants

 

           16              that information is provided to the fire

 

           17              chief.

 

           18                      Now, what the fire chief has been

 

           19              doing with it all of these years, it would

 

           20              be interesting to know and that was the

 

           21              first little light that went on in my head

 

           22              that the fire chief since he has this

 

           23              information why hasn't he shared it with his

 

           24              firefighters and now that we know that here

 

           25              is a system for color coding those fire


 

 

                                                                      67

 

 

            1              hydrants is there money in the budget to do

 

            2              that this year?  That's our property.  If we

 

            3              have a fire in our homes and the

 

            4              firefighters come and they have to spend --

 

            5              waste a lot of time finding a hydrant that

 

            6              has adequate pressure to fight the fire

 

            7              there's a lot more property loss and

 

            8              certainly possibly a life loss.

 

            9                      So, I think that that's something

 

           10              that should be addressed and/or at least

 

           11              investigated to find out when that's going

 

           12              to it happen.  I think that's certainly

 

           13              something we need to do.  We are supposed to

 

           14              be a progressive city and progressive cities

 

           15              have their fire hydrants color coded.

 

           16                      The other thing I would like to know

 

           17              about the fire chief is what his

 

           18              certifications are, what training classes

 

           19              has he been to and been certified in since

 

           20              he has assumed the office and how long was

 

           21              he retired before he took the job of chief

 

           22              of the firefighters.  I think that would be

 

           23              very interesting to see how up-to-date he

 

           24              really is.

 

           25                      With respect to the garage, again,


 

 

                                                                      68

 

 

            1              because it came up tonight, there are two --

 

            2              it was stated during the caucus that there

 

            3              are 200 spaces for a subsidiary of

 

            4              Senofi-Pasteur, but I believe they are also

 

            5              in a KOZ status and I would think that one

 

            6              of the Councilpersons would have asked the

 

            7              question how long are they reserving those

 

            8              200 spaces or leasing them?  If it's only

 

            9              until the end of a KOZ and then they move

 

           10              out, will that parking structure be able to

 

           11              be financially secure or are the taxpayers

 

           12              going to have to come to the rescue or are

 

           13              there any termination fees if they walk

 

           14              away?

 

           15                      And now I will get back to, Mr.

 

           16              McGoff, what happens when you write Right to

 

           17              Know letters.  The biggest offender is the

 

           18              solicitor of the City of Scranton, both

 

           19              former and current.  Next week I'll start

 

           20              there, I promise.

 

           21                      MR. MCGOFF:  Bring the right pad

 

           22              next week.  That was the last speaker on the

 

           23              list.  Anyone else wish to speak?  Mr.

 

           24              Talimini.

 

           25                      MR. TALIMINI: Good evening, Council.


 

 

                                                                      69

 

 

            1              What is remaining of it.  My name is Joe

 

            2              Talimini, Scranton resident.  It's so nice

 

            3              to see that we could possibly have one vote

 

            4              go in the right direction tonight, but I

 

            5              don't know what we are going to vote on.

 

            6              The first thing I would like to address is

 

            7              the fact that last week I believe, Mr.

 

            8              Courtright and Mr. McGoff, you met with the

 

            9              fire chief on Thursday?

 

           10                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  I'm sorry, I didn't

 

           11              hear what you said.

 

           12                      MR. TALERICO:  I said I believe that

 

           13              you met with the fire chief on Thursday?

 

           14                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.

 

           15                      MR. TALERICO: To discuss the matter.

 

           16                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.

 

           17                      MR. TALERICO: I hope that will be a

 

           18              matter of public record.  I don't want to

 

           19              hear the fact that it's a personnel matter

 

           20              as Mrs. Fanucci said because it's not a

 

           21              personal matter it's not a personnel matter.

 

           22              It's a matter of public safety, either the

 

           23              man is qualified or he's not qualified and I

 

           24              think it should be addressed publicly.

 

           25                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I will speak on it


 

 

                                                                      70

 

 

            1              during motions.

 

            2                      MR. TALERICO:  Secondly, I don't

 

            3              know, I'm sure that the mayor will come back

 

            4              to whatever fence he was on sooner or later,

 

            5              I wonder if he ever travels North Washington

 

            6              Avenue directly across the street from

 

            7              Lackawanna College and right in front of

 

            8              Washington West, but there's been some heavy

 

            9              equipment there doing a lot of work on the

 

           10              new designer apartments there, the potholes

 

           11              in that area I could lie down in.  It's a

 

           12              tragedy, they practically cover the whole

 

           13              lane.  I don't know if you people are aware

 

           14              if or not but that place is built over a

 

           15              mine and it's only going to get deeper and

 

           16              deeper as we go long and postpone things so

 

           17              I don't know what they're doing, I have no

 

           18              idea what in the world what is going on, I

 

           19              know we have a DPW in this town, I'm sure

 

           20              they do something, but I haven't figured out

 

           21              what it is.  They certainly don't repair

 

           22              potholes.

 

           23                      And, thirdly, you have an ordinance

 

           24              here regarding Scranton High School area

 

           25              where you want to rezone it for a Burger


 

 

                                                                      71

 

 

            1              King I assume.  I don't know how many of you

 

            2              people have been down in that area, but I

 

            3              travel that area quite a bit, and I know,

 

            4              Mrs. Evans, you teach there in that area and

 

            5              you know the traffic situation is

 

            6              horrendous.  Do you people ever think before

 

            7              you act on anything?  I mean, that is a

 

            8              very, very dangerous situation down there

 

            9              with these high school kids to begin with,

 

           10              not that they pay any attention to traffic

 

           11              signals, and there is a cop down there

 

           12              directing traffic, but I think it would be

 

           13              nice if you get off your duffs once in

 

           14              awhile and look around the city and saw

 

           15              what's going on before you act on this

 

           16              legislation.  We need another Burger King or

 

           17              another spot down there like we need a

 

           18              second hole in the head.  You can't get

 

           19              around down there when that school let's out

 

           20              and I don't know what you people are

 

           21              planning on doing, but it's interesting.

 

           22                   Also, I would like to bring up the fact

 

           23              that you have an illegal smoking ordinance

 

           24              which you enacted and you never repealed.

 

           25              It's in the Courts, playing games with


 

 

                                                                      72

 

 

            1              Doherty's crew again, this smoking ordinance

 

            2              is still on the books which means if I smoke

 

            3              a cigarette I could still get arrested for

 

            4              it even though it wouldn't stand up in

 

            5              court.  You know, I mean, why do you people

 

            6              leave laws on the books that you know are

 

            7              unenforceable?  I mean, what does it take

 

            8              for you to say, hey, let's repeal this

 

            9              thing.  You can always reenact it if it's

 

           10              necessary.  But, you know, I'm tired of

 

           11              catering to Mrs. Fanucci's little whims.  If

 

           12              she wants to be a cheerleader for some cause

 

           13              that's her problem, but she's supposed to be

 

           14              representing everybody and you can sneer as

 

           15              want, Mr. McGoff, but you also were elected

 

           16              for the same purpose and that's to act on

 

           17              behalf of the citizens.

 

           18                      Now, you know the law is illegal,

 

           19              you know that the law is still on the books

 

           20              and I am forced because resolutions based on

 

           21              this ordinance that I still have to go

 

           22              outside and smoke a cigarette.  I don't like

 

           23              it at all.  Don't like it at all.  I think

 

           24              it behooves you people to act responsibly.

 

           25              It would be nice for a change.


 

 

                                                                      73

 

 

            1                      Tonight I know we have a two to one

 

            2              vote if we need one, but it will be

 

            3              superceded next week.  So thank you very

 

            4              much.

 

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

 

            6                      MR. DAVIS:  Salaam aleikum.  My name

 

            7              is Jim Davis of Scranton.  I am here tonight

 

            8              to speak to you about, first of all,

 

            9              registering to vote.  We have until the 24th

 

           10              of March to register to vote for those who

 

           11              are not registered to vote.  This is an

 

           12              important election.  It's important for you,

 

           13              it's important for your kids and I believe

 

           14              it's going to be important for the United

 

           15              States.  That's nationally.  If we don't

 

           16              register to vote nationally we won't be

 

           17              registered to vote locally.  That means that

 

           18              our control over our you officers here in

 

           19              our county will no longer exist.  We've been

 

           20              electing 20 percent of the population

 

           21              actually voting.  It's a small, very small

 

           22              amount, and I was always raised in Scranton

 

           23              to think that your voting rights were very

 

           24              important.  It's right next to your

 

           25              registration for the Army which is now no


 

 

                                                                      74

 

 

            1              longer existent, but then it was.  If we can

 

            2              teach our kids the respect -- to respect our

 

            3              basic reasons for existence such as do you

 

            4              have a right to vote?  Is your voice a vote

 

            5              is that what it is?  If so, then I have to

 

            6              protect it and that will give you more

 

            7              respect for it, it will give you more

 

            8              respect for those that use their voice to

 

            9              talk to you.  I'm hoping this is true, but I

 

           10              have one big problem and my major reason was

 

           11              about the election.  Do go out and vote,

 

           12              please.

 

           13                      But the other thing is I cross -- I

 

           14              walk Washington Avenue or I ride Washington

 

           15              Avenue and I see this Washington Avenue West

 

           16              apartment houses, I see a whole string of

 

           17              homes that were made and built by HUD, by

 

           18              the city for people of low income value, low

 

           19              income, and they're vacant, totally vacant.

 

           20              And then I hear you're getting ready to

 

           21              spend money on the high-rises over in South

 

           22              Scranton and I can't understand why are we

 

           23              spending more money on low income housing,

 

           24              when we have low income housing that just

 

           25              needs to be fixed but nobody ever came up


 

 

                                                                      75

 

 

            1              with a solution on that.  They just found

 

            2              out that, no, the grounds aren't going to

 

            3              cave in and it just died.  It was the

 

            4              funniest thing.  It was going and going and

 

            5              going and then suddenly nobody had a word

 

            6              for it.

 

            7                      Now, Mr. Baker is up for his

 

            8              problems I think it's a good time we reopen

 

            9              this.  Why did we close up Washington West?

 

           10              Why don't we have more housing for the low

 

           11              income, it's necessary, it's needed or do

 

           12              you just want to cover the volume of place

 

           13              and therefore keep them segregated?  I don't

 

           14              know what your plans are but it seems as if

 

           15              you were very quick to close up that

 

           16              Washington West.

 

           17                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Mr. Davis, excuse

 

           18              me, they closed it because they said it was

 

           19              a fire hazard they are going to be

 

           20              renovated.

 

           21                      MR. DAVIS:  They are going to be

 

           22              renovated?

 

           23                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I believe they are,

 

           24              yes.

 

           25                      MR. DAVIS: You believe that?


 

 

                                                                      76

 

 

            1                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yes.

 

            2                      MR. DAVIS: Okay.  All right.  I'll

 

            3              remember that.  You say that they're going

 

            4              to be renovated, okay.  Don't leave office

 

            5              before they get renovated and if you do you

 

            6              know my changes are less.  Well, thank very

 

            7              much because I never found out what was

 

            8              going to happen and I was very interested

 

            9              because many of my friends lived there at

 

           10              one time.  It was a community, it really

 

           11              was.  It was a very thriving community and

 

           12              they destroyed it quickly and without malice

 

           13              aforethought.  So I thank you.  I thank you

 

           14              for your time and go out and vote.  Go out

 

           15              and register to vote and then vote.

 

           16                      MR. PILANSKY: Good evening, City

 

           17              Council, my name is Andy Pilansky, I'm a

 

           18              city resident and also a city firefighter.

 

           19              Just to let you guys know I'm now in the

 

           20              bottom 38 should there be a layoff I would

 

           21              be one of the ones to go.  Mrs. Evans, I

 

           22              have a question for you, if I was to come in

 

           23              how tonight and say, "How are you doing

 

           24              tonight, Dolly?"

 

           25                      That would be labeled unprofessional


 

 

                                                                      77

 

 

            1              at the very least, would you agree?

 

            2                      MS. EVANS: I agree.

 

            3                      MR. PILANSKY: Well, the chief is

 

            4              saying, well, I don't remember saying that.

 

            5              Well, I remember him saying that because he

 

            6              said it Friday, August 29 of 2002 which was

 

            7              the first time he addressed my academy class

 

            8              before we were sent way for training he

 

            9              walked in the room and said, "I don't think

 

           10              anybody will have a problem down at that

 

           11              academy, even you two dollies," referencing

 

           12              Miss Hawker and Miss McCue. Jennifer is one

 

           13              of the best firefighters I have known, we

 

           14              have been on the job together five and a

 

           15              half years.  I'd go down any hallway with

 

           16              her.  She deserves better than that.

 

           17                      Now, as for Mr. McGoff and Mr.

 

           18              Courtright, you gentlemen met with Chief

 

           19              Davis and I'm not here to slam you guys but

 

           20              I have some questions for you.  We in the

 

           21              last six years some of the things that the

 

           22              chief has done, we got new breathing

 

           23              apparatus in 2004, we really did need it,

 

           24              our breathing apparatus was about to be

 

           25              taken out of service due to the extended


 

 

                                                                      78

 

 

            1              service length.  The cylinders that we have,

 

            2              they're only good for a certain amount of

 

            3              time and onces it exceeds the service life

 

            4              you can't use it anymore because, well, it

 

            5              has the potential to explode.  It holds

 

            6              3,300 pounds of air, that's a lot of

 

            7              pressure, but did you know that the chief

 

            8              don't anything to replace it?  I mean, do

 

            9              you guys know if he had a plan to replace

 

           10              the breathing apparatus?  Because Lieutenant

 

           11              Scott and Deputy Chief Osborne along with

 

           12              the city grant writer they stepped up and

 

           13              compiled all of the information so that we

 

           14              as the firefighters had the proper safety

 

           15              equipment.  When they went out to

 

           16              Indianapolis for a fire conference the

 

           17              Indianapolis fire department had the airpack

 

           18              that we were currently wearing in their fire

 

           19              museum and there was no plan to replace it,

 

           20              I mean, unless you guys know of one that I

 

           21              don't.

 

           22                      We talk about a wellness program,

 

           23              the chief put the squash to writing a grant

 

           24              for fitness equipment.  It was a grant for

 

           25              the Fire Act.  Lieutenant Scott and Deputy


 

 

                                                                      79

 

 

            1              Chief Osborne, again, along with the city

 

            2              grant writer wrote the grant.  The chief

 

            3              decided it would be a better idea to ask for

 

            4              a new piece of fire apparatus, the

 

            5              Department of Homeland Security states that

 

            6              it's almost impossible to get a piece of

 

            7              fire apparatus and we didn't even qualify so

 

            8              it was like asking for something we couldn't

 

            9              get anyway, and we could have gotten the

 

           10              fitness equipment.

 

           11                      From my understanding we had a deal

 

           12              set up with the university to be proctored

 

           13              by their fitness department and it fell by

 

           14              the wayside and that wouldn't have cost the

 

           15              city anything.  If you guys know, Mr.

 

           16              McGoff, I know you like the Right to Know

 

           17              Act, where can I go to find a copy of the

 

           18              department's standard operating procedures?

 

           19              Since I was hired in September of 2002 I

 

           20              never received one?  Do you --

 

           21                      MR. MCGOFF:  Do you want an answer?

 

           22                      MR. PILANSKY: Yes, please.

 

           23                      MR. MCGOFF:  It is our

 

           24              understanding, Mr. Courtright and I asked

 

           25              that question, it's my understanding that


 

 

                                                                      80

 

 

            1              they have never been codified.

 

            2                      MR. PILANSKY:  So we don't have any?

 

            3                      MR. MCGOFF:  They are, but they're--

 

            4              I'm giving you a lengthy answer and I don't

 

            5              want to take up your time --

 

            6                      MR. PILANSKY: Okay.

 

            7                      MR. MCGOFF: -- but we were told that

 

            8              there has never been a codification of the

 

            9              standard operating procedures, but they --

 

           10              it's kind of a by tradition or just by

 

           11              procedure.

 

           12                      MR. PILANKSY: Okay.  Correct me if

 

           13              I'm wrong, you're saying that the chief has

 

           14              them but they're not ready for

 

           15              dissemination.

 

           16                      MR. MCGOFF: No.

 

           17                      MR. COURTRIGHT: No, nobody has them.

 

           18                      MR. PILANSKY: Okay, nobody has them

 

           19              I'm sure what you're referring to is the

 

           20              training that we received, yes, you can put

 

           21              water on an fire and you go in and od

 

           22              things, that's standard training across the

 

           23              board that every fire department does.  You

 

           24              know, we are a paramilitary organization, we

 

           25              have structure, we have rank, to not have


 

 

                                                                      81

 

 

            1              standard operating procedures and claim to

 

            2              be a progressive department they don't go

 

            3              together.  Now, for the three of you I wish

 

            4              Ms. Gatelli and Ms. Fanucci were here, what

 

            5              is your back ground in the fire service, if

 

            6              you have any?

 

            7                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I don't have any.

 

            8                      MS. EVANS: I have none.

 

            9                      MR. PILANSKY:  Now, Mr. McGoff and

 

           10              Mr. Courtright, you went and spoke with

 

           11              Chief Davis this week and said you are going

 

           12              to speak, if you guys don't any fire service

 

           13              background how do you know what his answers

 

           14              should be?  Thank you.

 

           15                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  I know, I don't

 

           16              know what his answer is going to be, but I'm

 

           17              going to try to explain the process what

 

           18              happened here when it's my turn to speak in

 

           19              motions.

 

           20                      MR. SLEDENZSKI: Hell, Bill.

 

           21                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Hi, Chris.  What

 

           22              happened today?

 

           23                      MR. SLEDENZSKI: There it is, baby.

 

           24              There it is.  Well, Bill, our girls'

 

           25              softball team is ready and good luck.  Lisa,


 

 

                                                                      82

 

 

            1              welcome back.

 

            2                      MS. GRAFF: Thank you, Chris.

 

            3                      MR. GERVASI:  Chris is a tough act

 

            4              to follow.  Good evening, ladies and

 

            5              gentlemen.  My name is Dave Gervasi, I'm a

 

            6              Scranton firefighter, city resident. I'll be

 

            7              very brief tonight, anxiously awaiting to

 

            8              hear how your meeting went.  I'm waiting to

 

            9              hear that in motions and just answer one

 

           10              question that was brought up for the

 

           11              audience today, I believe it was Mrs.

 

           12              Schumacher, she's used to not getting

 

           13              answers but she comes up here and asks week

 

           14              after week so I'm going to try and give her

 

           15              one.  She was talking about the hydrant

 

           16              flows and the pressures and the different

 

           17              size water mains that we utilize that are --

 

           18              go to our hydrants, the hydrants are hooked

 

           19              to, we have a program through our safety

 

           20              committee to paint the bonnets a certain

 

           21              color so that we would know arriving on the

 

           22              scene if that would be -- if we had any

 

           23              water flow and the volume of water for

 

           24              whatever incident we were trying to

 

           25              suppress.  That was brought to the city.  I


 

 

                                                                      83

 

 

            1              believe, I believe our people got in touch

 

            2              with the water company and they said it

 

            3              would be fine to do that.

 

            4                      Again, we go to the city and I guess

 

            5              they want to to us buy the paint, too, so

 

            6              that was left to the wayside and that

 

            7              program I think is put together, I think it

 

            8              is ready to go, again, it's been about six

 

            9              months now since we heard anything about it,

 

           10              again, lack of leadership, but thank you

 

           11              very much.

 

           12                      MS. EVANS:  Mr. Gervasi, I spoke

 

           13              with Mr. Schreiber on that issue in July and

 

           14              he told me exactly what you stated tonight

 

           15              and I believe he had been in discussions

 

           16              with Mr. Hayes about that.

 

           17                      MR. GERVASI:  That's correct.

 

           18                      MS. EVANS:  But I specifically

 

           19              remember it was in January and it had to be

 

           20              somewhere between I would say January -- or

 

           21              not January, July, July 17 and 26 and the

 

           22              only reason I recall that vividly is because

 

           23              I was volunteering during the St. Ann's

 

           24              Novena and I remembered during Novena masses

 

           25              I had called Mr. Schreiber and we had that


 

 

                                                                      84

 

 

            1              conversation and I had asked them to be

 

            2              updated so that I would know when the fire

 

            3              hydrants would be -- the tops would be

 

            4              painted, and he told me when he would

 

            5              receive a response from the chief he would

 

            6              let me know.  But, you know, again, to date,

 

            7              I never heard anything.

 

            8                      MR. GERVASI:  That's one of hundreds

 

            9              of examples of these safety programs being

 

           10              fostered and being created by the regular

 

           11              rank and file members of the fire department

 

           12              only to reach a brick wall when it gets to

 

           13              our leadership.  Thank you.

 

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

 

           15              Anyone else?

 

           16                      MS. KRAKE: Good evening, Council, my

 

           17              name is Nancy Krake.  Every week I am going

 

           18              to try to continue to explain the

 

           19              misinformation that certain Councilpersons

 

           20              put out about the tax ordinance they passed

 

           21              with the Draconian penalties and interests.

 

           22              Mrs. Fanucci is not here tonight, but it was

 

           23              two weeks ago when I heard her say that the

 

           24              city would not get any of the money in which

 

           25              they put into the budget if we did not have


 

 

                                                                      85

 

 

            1              these fees and penalties.

 

            2                      Once again, those monies do not come

 

            3              into the city coffers.  They go to

 

            4              Abrahamson, Moran and Conaboy who also own

 

            5              Northeast Credit and Collections.  I don't

 

            6              know how many times we have to say this, but

 

            7              I will just continue to say it, 3 and 4

 

            8              million, 3 to 4 million dollars actually

 

            9              came from MRS's that came upfront.  The

 

           10              fines and fees and penalties do not go to

 

           11              the city.  This year I was informed we will

 

           12              be having a tax sale or rather I should say

 

           13              the Scranton Redevelopment Authority will be

 

           14              having a tax sale. I do not know if Council

 

           15              is aware of that.  I'm assuming it will be

 

           16              for quiet title.  No one has told me, I am

 

           17              the tax clerk, so I get a lot of questions

 

           18              and I don't have any answers.  I would

 

           19              appreciate it even though Mr. McGoff is

 

           20              reluctant to find out if we could find out

 

           21              what exactly is going to go on.  I think the

 

           22              public has a right to know.

 

           23                      Also, Mrs. Fanucci made a statement

 

           24              that it was her understanding if people

 

           25              paid-- were making payments on their


 

 

                                                                      86

 

 

            1              property they would not go through this tax

 

            2              sale.  I find that very interesting.  I

 

            3              wonder if there's any frame around that, if

 

            4              there's any amounts or any time frame, but

 

            5              she made the statement so I would like her

 

            6              to clarify that.

 

            7                      And, also, Mrs. Evans, I'm going to

 

            8              try and answer this question, and it may be

 

            9              incorrect, but I'm guessing at this, the

 

           10              money that was refunded to Southern Union, I

 

           11              see this every day in the treasurer's

 

           12              office, every year if you have a KOZ the

 

           13              director of DCED for the state, Dennis

 

           14              Yablonsky, will issue a letter for your

 

           15              property for as long as it qualifies and you

 

           16              are to bring that letter to the taxing body.

 

           17              Now, if you forget during the current year

 

           18              you can go back and then you would come to

 

           19              our office for a past year.

 

           20                      So, in fact, we even had a couple of

 

           21              people today.  So, I'm guessing that the

 

           22              money that was refunded was because of that.

 

           23              They hadn't possibly gotten their letter in

 

           24              on time and/or they just paid it outright

 

           25              and then they asked for it back, and I'm not


 

 

                                                                      87

 

 

            1              positive though.

 

            2                      Also, it's been in the past that

 

            3              when the city held its tax sale that they

 

            4              sent a certified letter because there was a

 

            5              lawsuit brought about by a taxpayer that

 

            6              they did not receive their mail.  I do not

 

            7              know if the Redevelopment Authority is

 

            8              sending certified letters for the sale, but

 

            9              that is a valid point that some speaker

 

           10              brought up.

 

           11                      And, finally, I would like to ask

 

           12              Mrs. Evans to run for mayor.  I'm basing

 

           13              that request on her voting record and her

 

           14              budgets which did not increase taxes and, in

 

           15              fact, brought in revenue that would have

 

           16              begun to pay off the looting that Mr.

 

           17              Doherty and council members McGoff, Fanucci,

 

           18              Gatelli and Pocius have created.

 

           19                      By the way, this debt is just

 

           20              another tax increase waiting to happen.  If

 

           21              Mr. Doherty were to be re-elected you can

 

           22              bet that he would repeat the performance of

 

           23              his second term whereas as soon as he was

 

           24              re-elected he would increase your taxes

 

           25              again.  Thank you.


 

 

                                                                      88

 

 

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

 

            2              Mr. Ancherani.

 

            3                      MR. ANCHERANI:  Good evening.

 

            4              Nelson Ancherani, resident and taxypayer,

 

            5              city employee. First Amendment rights.

 

            6              During motions last week Mrs. Fanucci

 

            7              remarked about the Recovery Plan.

 

            8              Violations by the mayor to the tune of $15

 

            9              in raises and new hires.  That's on page

 

           10              Page 64, Section 2, and it's covered under

 

           11              wages.  I'm going to read it again: "For

 

           12              2003, 2004, 2005, the base hourly wages and

 

           13              salaries of all city employees shall not

 

           14              exceed existing 2002 rates except to the

 

           15              extent that future collective bargaining

 

           16              agreements, arbitration awards or other

 

           17              means result in using the monies made

 

           18              available in Item 3 below for wage

 

           19              increases."

 

           20                      I will get to Item 3 shortly.  Miss

 

           21              Fanucci said, and I quote, "Also, and in

 

           22              response to the Recovery Plan and the fact

 

           23              with the raises, Candace, I believe this is

 

           24              your question about the raises, about the

 

           25              Recovery Plan, there were provisions in


 

 

                                                                      89

 

 

            1              there and the provisions were not only for

 

            2              raises for the clerical, non-clerical, union

 

            3              and non-union, so there are provisions for

 

            4              the fire and police to get raises.  In fact,

 

            5              when the budget was passed then it became

 

            6              that it was, I mean, there definitely are

 

            7              provisions.  I will get you exactly what

 

            8              page that's on," and she's not here to give

 

            9              me the page.

 

           10                      "I will get you exactly which page

 

           11              that's on, Mr. Ancherani, next week because

 

           12              I didn't have it with me.  But I did, I

 

           13              actually researched that a few weeks ago

 

           14              myself because I know that you've been

 

           15              coming up here saying that that was one of

 

           16              the violations of the Recovery Plan and it

 

           17              actually was not.  After I -- after I looked

 

           18              into it.  But there were provisions for

 

           19              everyone to get raises which is a good

 

           20              thing.  So, you know, not that there was not

 

           21              an intention for the unions to get raises,

 

           22              there certainly was.  So I definitely wanted

 

           23              to respond to that."

 

           24                      Miss Fanucci was right about those

 

           25              provisions, but now I'm forced to bring up


 

 

                                                                      90

 

 

            1              three more violations.  I believe on Page

 

            2              64, Section 3, personnel costs are what she

 

            3              was referring to and I quote, "For 2003 a

 

            4              total of $225,000 will be available to meet

 

            5              any adjustments in any personnel related

 

            6              costs for all," that's all, city employees,

 

            7              "including those costs resulting from

 

            8              collective bargaining arbitration and/or

 

            9              means.  For 2004 a total $400,000 will be

 

           10              available to meet the costs of any such

 

           11              adjustments and for 2005 a total of $605,435

 

           12              will be available.  Distribution of these

 

           13              monies among the various departments

 

           14              bargaining units shall be fair and equitable

 

           15              and shall generally be in proportion to the

 

           16              actual 2001 costs incurred for each

 

           17              department and bargaining unit."

 

           18                      Now, as per Section 3, a total of

 

           19              225,000 was available in 2003 to meet the

 

           20              adjustments in personnel costs ,but the

 

           21              mayor gave out raises and new hires that

 

           22              totalled approximately $1,014,854.  That's

 

           23              $764,854 more than allowed under the plan.

 

           24              A violation.  Likewise, a total of $400,000

 

           25              was available in 2004, but the mayor gave


 

 

                                                                      91

 

 

            1              out raises and new hires in 2004 that

 

            2              totaled approximately 2,109,669.  That's

 

            3              1,709,700 more than allowed in the plan.

 

            4              Another violation.  A total of 605,435 --

 

            5              605,435 was available in 2005.  But the

 

            6              mayor, again, gave out raises and new hires

 

            7              in 2005 that totaled approximately

 

            8              2,399,400.  That's 1,793,942 more than

 

            9              allowed in the plan.  Another violation.

 

           10                      By my count, three violations of

 

           11              Section 3.  I believe that's the section she

 

           12              was going to give to me.  Total for these

 

           13              three violations is four thousand --

 

           14              $268,000 and none of that was for police,

 

           15              fire or clerical.  These were from the

 

           16              budgets.  I've been totalling the wages and

 

           17              raises of the new hires cummulatively since

 

           18              2003.

 

           19                      I've been saying that the mayor

 

           20              violated the Recovery Plan to the tune of 15

 

           21              million dollars.  That alone is in the wages

 

           22              section of the Recovery Plan and it's much

 

           23              higher if you included the specialized

 

           24              attorneys, consultants and anyone else that

 

           25              did work for the city.  Thank you.


 

 

                                                                      92

 

 

            1                      MR. MCGOFF:  Thank you.  Anyone

 

            2              else?

 

            3                      MS. EVANS:  A letter, Kay, because

 

            4              I'm following up to some of the requests

 

            5              that were made by the speakers tonight.  A

 

            6              letter to the Scranton Redevelopment

 

            7              Authority asking for a full explanation of

 

            8              the tax sale to be conducted this year, and

 

            9              also inquiring if the SRA intends to send

 

           10              certified letters of notification and if Mr.

 

           11              Courtright agrees we can send that on behalf

 

           12              Council.  Thank you.

 

           13                      I also wanted to indicate that I

 

           14              spoke with Jeff Brazil, DPW director, after

 

           15              school today about the city's preparations

 

           16              for potential flooding.  He stated that he

 

           17              was in contact with emergency management and

 

           18              that while 1.7 inches of rainfall is

 

           19              anticipated today and this evening, our

 

           20              rivers can absorb 2 inches, however, the DPW

 

           21              is on standby and, further, during the last

 

           22              two to three months approximately 80 catch

 

           23              basins have been cleaned of the leaves,

 

           24              garabe and debris.  This has prevented

 

           25              flooding in the underpass areas of Olive


 

 

                                                                      93

 

 

            1              Street and Market Street today, for example.

 

            2                   A few weeks ago I posed several

 

            3              questions regarding the Nay Aug Park

 

            4              ampitheater.  I did find a few responses in

 

            5              a newspaper article of February 28, 2008,

 

            6              which stated that a $289,000 ampitheatre

 

            7              should have been added to the city's general

 

            8              property insurance policy in 2004, but it

 

            9              wasn't.  We would all agree in addition that

 

           10              it should have been maintained through the

 

           11              Parks and Recreation Department, but it

 

           12              wasn't.

 

           13                      I also learned that two DPW

 

           14              employees were suspended for 30 days for an

 

           15              allegedly illegal act, yet another employee

 

           16              was arrested and fired several months ago

 

           17              under somewhat similar circumstances.  That

 

           18              deserves an explanation.  I'm also told that

 

           19              apparently revenues have declined in the

 

           20              Office of Licensing, Inspection and Permits.

 

           21              This, too, deserves an explanation yet I

 

           22              fear that many problems, accusations and

 

           23              oversights of the last weeks, months and

 

           24              even years will not be solved or

 

           25              appropriately addressed until the people of


 

 

                                                                      94

 

 

            1              Scranton bid farewell to this administration

 

            2              and its mismanagement, lack of

 

            3              accountability and borrow and spend

 

            4              policies.

 

            5                      Kay, I'd also like a letter sent to

 

            6              Mr. Renda, business administrator,

 

            7              requesting a response to the following

 

            8              questions on or before March 10, 2008: What

 

            9              is the city's current bond rating?  Do you

 

           10              believe the the city can obtain municipal

 

           11              bond insurance for the forthcoming borrowing

 

           12              which was included in the 2008 operating

 

           13              budget?  Do you foresee a significant rise

 

           14              in interest costs for borrowing because of

 

           15              the ongoing crisis of municipal bond

 

           16              insurers?  And if Council consents, we can

 

           17              send the correspondence on behalf of

 

           18              Council.

 

           19                      MR. MCGOFF:  That's fine.

 

           20                      MS. EVANS: I would also like a

 

           21              letter sent to Mr. Dougher regarding Weston

 

           22              Field, will the city purchase lifeguard

 

           23              chairs for the outdoor pool before the

 

           24              opening of the 2008 swim season, and again,

 

           25              if Council consents letter will be sent on


 

 

                                                                      95

 

 

            1              behalf of Council with a request for a

 

            2              response on or before March 17,2008.

 

            3                      Also, a letter to Chief Davis why

 

            4              have the fire hydrants remained unmarked

 

            5              relative to water pressure underground water

 

            6              lines and perhaps we can send that on behalf

 

            7              of Council as well as?

 

            8                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Absolutely.

 

            9                      MR. MCGOFF:  Yes.

 

           10                      MS. EVANS:  Thank you.  Lastly, in

 

           11              response to many of the comments made this

 

           12              evening by speakers and some of the comments

 

           13              made at last week's meeting by Councilwoman

 

           14              Fanucci, I'd like to remind everyone that

 

           15              the city sold a loan portfolio comprised of

 

           16              its best low risk loans which were hand

 

           17              selected by its purchaser in 2005.  The less

 

           18              desirable loans, that is high risk and

 

           19              questionable, were retained by the city.  In

 

           20              addition, the city lost approximately half a

 

           21              million dollars on that sale.  The monies

 

           22              received were sent to be used to provide

 

           23              future loans.

 

           24                      Since 2005 approximately 49 loans

 

           25              have been given through OECD.  Thus, their


 

 

                                                                      96

 

 

            1              payment histories would be to date quite

 

            2              brief, but in addition to that, I don't

 

            3              believe the monies obtained from those sales

 

            4              would be available for use in Allentown or

 

            5              any other city outside of Scranton, and

 

            6              that's it.

 

            7                      MR. MCGOFF:  Mr. Courtright.

 

            8                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you. First

 

            9              before I start I would like to give my

 

           10              condolences to the Clifford family, Mrs.

 

           11              Clifford on her passing.

 

           12                      I am going to save my comments on

 

           13              Chief Davis until the end here because I

 

           14              think it's going to take me a little bit to

 

           15              go over everything.  I had an e-mail from

 

           16              somebody about a property on Penn Avenue,

 

           17              I'm not going to name them, but Mr.

 

           18              Seitzinger I sent a request in and he sent

 

           19              me an e-mail back, I'll just read it for the

 

           20              individual that sent me that e-mail.  The

 

           21              property that you sent the e-mail on was

 

           22              condemened on Tuesday morning at 2:30.

 

           23              Notices had gone out to the owner and the

 

           24              property due to the condition of the

 

           25              property and the correction that needed to


 

 

                                                                      97

 

 

            1              be made, so for those individuals that sent

 

            2              me that on Penn Avenue that has been taken

 

            3              care of.

 

            4                      For the fourth week in a row I've

 

            5              received a letter from an individual at Park

 

            6              Gardens.  I cannot read your writing.  You

 

            7              started out this last time where I could

 

            8              just about read it, so I went to Park

 

            9              Gardens this Saturday and I knocked on every

 

           10              door in building 7 and 8 and no one will

 

           11              tell me they're the one that sent me the

 

           12              letter. I do gather from the letters that

 

           13              you believe that Dave Elliott from the

 

           14              police department could handle whatever

 

           15              problem I can't make out here, so I have

 

           16              taken your letters down to the police

 

           17              department this morning and Dave Elliott has

 

           18              them so maybe he will have a little better

 

           19              luck than I will because they're lengthy

 

           20              letters you've really taken a lot of time

 

           21              and I'm sorry I can't make out your writing.

 

           22                   Keyser Terrace, the residents there

 

           23              want a meeting with some official from the

 

           24              City of Scranton and I don't believe that

 

           25              Council is going to act on dedicating those


 

 

                                                                      98

 

 

            1              streets until what time we have that

 

            2              meeting.  I'm guessing that's the case.

 

            3              There's a little difficulty as we were

 

            4              talking earlier, we don't know what official

 

            5              from the city would show up there, we don't

 

            6              have a Mr. Parker and city engineer like we

 

            7              did before so I'm guessing maybe Mr. Brazil

 

            8              would come, but they want to speak to

 

            9              somebody from the administration about the

 

           10              problems they are having back there at

 

           11              Keyser Terrace, so we will be look into try

 

           12              to find somebody and--  oh, yes, we are

 

           13              going to try and talk with the rest of

 

           14              Council in caucus next week and see who we

 

           15              can send to possibly meet with the people

 

           16              from Keyser Terrace so we can move forward

 

           17              on whatever needs to be done there.

 

           18                      This is why I didn't want to take

 

           19              the notes on Chief Davis' thing, I can't

 

           20              read my writing.  And I'll get into the fire

 

           21              chief now.  We did meet, Mr. McGoff and

 

           22              myself and Chief Davis and Director Hayes,

 

           23              and the firefighter that spoke before, Andy

 

           24              Pilansky, I believe you said, right, Andy, I

 

           25              did not believe that I had any


 

 

                                                                      99

 

 

            1              qualifications to determine whether his

 

            2              answers were correct or incorrect, so we did

 

            3              not have any discussion.  What I did was I

 

            4              read each and every question that was

 

            5              presented to me about you the firefighters'

 

            6              union and I asked Chief Davis to respond to

 

            7              each and every question.  I went back

 

            8              after-- we did not have a stenographer or

 

            9              anybody there so I took my own notes so I

 

           10              made sure I went back after we were done

 

           11              with every question and I read the question

 

           12              again to the chief and I read the answer

 

           13              that he had given me so that it was as

 

           14              correct as possible.  There's certain

 

           15              things, and I forget, somebody said they

 

           16              didn't want to give answer that's a personal

 

           17              issue, I forget who it was out there, but

 

           18              there are certain things that I don't think

 

           19              we can talk about, there are certain things

 

           20              taht I'm not comfortable talking about

 

           21              because I don't know where this is going to

 

           22              lead, and I did not -- I spoke with some

 

           23              representatives of the fire union, I did not

 

           24              give them the answers that Chief Davis had

 

           25              given me.  I didn't think it was proper for


 

 

                                                                     100

 

 

            1              me to give anybody the answers until after I

 

            2              gave them to the rest council.  We will meet

 

            3              somewhere between 9:30 and 9:45, 10:00 this

 

            4              Monday hopefully with the union president,

 

            5              Dave Shreiber, and I asked him if he would

 

            6              be willing to bring just one other member

 

            7              being that the city sent two representives

 

            8              and they will be afforded the opportunity to

 

            9              go through each and every one of those

 

           10              questions and give their response.

 

           11                      What will take place after that is

 

           12              undetermined.  We were missing two Council

 

           13              members in caucus this evening when we were

 

           14              supposed to talk about this issue, and I

 

           15              don't think we are 100 percent in agreement

 

           16              where we will go forward with this after the

 

           17              questioning.  So that's all I'm going to say

 

           18              on that.  Hopefully I'll speak with Dave

 

           19              Shreiber again, he said he was agreeable to

 

           20              coming at any time so I will speak with him

 

           21              either later on tonight or tomorrow.  Mrs.

 

           22              Evans was willing to forfeit herself coming

 

           23              here so that we could do it in a timely

 

           24              fashion.  If it was all five of Council we

 

           25              would have had to advertise it and it would


 

 

                                                                     101

 

 

            1              take some time and I think we all would like

 

            2              to see this thing move on as quickly as

 

            3              possible.  I ask those of you that are

 

            4              friends of mine or acquaintences of mine if

 

            5              I tell you I can't -- outside of here and in

 

            6              here, if I tell you I can't tell you what we

 

            7              spoke about I hope you understand because it

 

            8              is a personnel issue and I know a lot of you

 

            9              don't want to hear that, I just don't know

 

           10              where this is going to go and I don't want

 

           11              to disclose any information that could be

 

           12              damaging to either side.  I'm trying to do

 

           13              do this as fair as we possibly could.  So we

 

           14              will meet hopefully on Monday.  After we

 

           15              meet on Monday I hope we will bring back the

 

           16              answers once again to the rest council and I

 

           17              guess we'll take it from there.

 

           18                      As far as the chief's

 

           19              qualifications, I think and someone can

 

           20              correct me later on if I'm incorrect, I

 

           21              don't believe the fire department has the

 

           22              rule structure of the police department.

 

           23              The police department has to go every single

 

           24              year for updates and to keep their

 

           25              certification for municipal police officer


 

 

                                                                     102

 

 

            1              and education and training commission.  I do

 

            2              not believe that the fire department has

 

            3              somebody that governs them like that, do

 

            4              they train?  They're always training.  If

 

            5              you see all the fire trucks over here at

 

            6              headquarters I believe more often than not

 

            7              the reason you will see them parked all over

 

            8              the place is because they're over there

 

            9              training.  What training does the fire chief

 

           10              have or is required to have, I don't believe

 

           11              he is required to have any and I don't know

 

           12              what training he's had, if any, since he's

 

           13              come back, but I don't think it's a

 

           14              requirement.  If I'm incorrect maybe you

 

           15              could let me know.

 

           16                      So, again, I'm going to leave it at

 

           17              that.  I don't want to say too, too much.  I

 

           18              will be giving the representative from the

 

           19              firefighters' union all of the answers that

 

           20              were given to us by Chief Davis and then

 

           21              when the firefighters give us their answers

 

           22              to those questions I will give those to

 

           23              Chief Davis so everybody has the information

 

           24              that was made available.

 

           25                      I will not -- for the news media, if


 

 

                                                                     103

 

 

            1              you are going stand outside and wait for me

 

            2              like they did for the last meeting with

 

            3              Cheif Davis I'm not going to tell you when

 

            4              we leave the meeting on Monday the answers

 

            5              the fire department gave me until what time

 

            6              every member of Council has an opportunity

 

            7              to see it.  I just think that's fair.  And

 

            8              that's all I have.  Thank you.

 

            9                      MS. EVANS:  Mr. Courtright, if I can

 

           10              just add to your comments that you're going

 

           11              to be a bit more fortunate during the next

 

           12              meeting that you won't be taking the notes.

 

           13                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.

 

           14                      MS. EVANS: I had requested that at

 

           15              this meeting we would either see the

 

           16              presence of a stenographer or have the

 

           17              meeting taped just as these meetings are

 

           18              taped and Mr. Courtright informed me that

 

           19              the representatives of the fire department

 

           20              would certainly be agreeable to any

 

           21              stipulations that were placed on that

 

           22              meeting by Council and, so it was decided

 

           23              that the responses that are given will be

 

           24              taped and then will be given to us by Kay so

 

           25              that we have the exact responses.


 

 

                                                                     104

 

 

            1                      And I do commend and thank the fire

 

            2              department for agreeing to do so.  It

 

            3              certainly shows the degree of transparency

 

            4              that you're willing to offer and that

 

            5              provides me personally with a sense of

 

            6              security.  Thank you.

 

            7                      MR. MCGOFF: Just a few things.

 

            8              First, just a brief congratulations to Diane

 

            9              Broom and the Molina News who sponsored the

 

           10              black history month dinner.  It was well

 

           11              attended.  Mr. Stacy Brown was the keynote

 

           12              speaker.  The message was well-received and

 

           13              it was a pleasure to attend.

 

           14                      We received a letter, there has been

 

           15              some questions in here about the delinquent

 

           16              wage taxes and requesting an investigation

 

           17              of the wage tax.  We received some

 

           18              information back, a letter from an attorney

 

           19              at the Single Tax Office, and it really

 

           20              wasn't very helpful, should I say not

 

           21              helpful? It really added somewhat to the

 

           22              confusion.  Apparently the controller's

 

           23              office in the city does have the power to

 

           24              audit the Single Tax Office, but doesn't

 

           25              have the wherewithall to do so.  I am told


 

 

                                                                     105

 

 

            1              they would have to hire an outside

 

            2              accountant in order to conduct the audit.

 

            3                   The controller's office in the county

 

            4              does have the power also to audit the Single

 

            5              Tax Office, but that brings into question

 

            6              what had been brought up during the election

 

            7              that it would now end up being the

 

            8              controller auditing himself.  And so we are

 

            9              left without a real practical means of

 

           10              conducting that audit.  Hopefully we can

 

           11              somehow maybe resolve this as we go along,

 

           12              but hope that -- I would like to continue to

 

           13              pursue this in some way until we do get some

 

           14              resolution.

 

           15                      I do want to mention that a couple

 

           16              of things that were said and I got snickers

 

           17              last week when I said that the police were

 

           18              going to enforce open container laws during

 

           19              the St. Patrick's Day parade and post

 

           20              parade.  I am also told that they are going

 

           21              to enforce the public drunkenness law.  I am

 

           22              only repeating what I have been told.  I do

 

           23              not know the efficiency with which that will

 

           24              be done or the diligence with which either

 

           25              of those will be pursued, but I am told that


 

 

                                                                     106

 

 

            1              it is a point of should I say emphasis for

 

            2              this coming year.

 

            3                      Also, you probably read in the

 

            4              newspaper that the District Attorney's

 

            5              Office has sent a letter to tavern owners

 

            6              asking them to open later in the day.  We

 

            7              are in the process of sending a letter also

 

            8              through the Drug and Alcohol Commission

 

            9              asking the same thing, recognition that it

 

           10              is a problem and hopefully that it, you

 

           11              know, is abateded in some way.

 

           12                      I personally enjoy parade day.  The

 

           13              parade itself is something I've been

 

           14              attending with my family for a number of

 

           15              years.  I've never participated in the

 

           16              postparade, I shouldn't say never.  It's

 

           17              been awhile since I've participated in the

 

           18              postparade type activities, but it does lend

 

           19              to -- some events lend to sort of a

 

           20              demeaning of what is intended to be a joyous

 

           21              day, a day for families and a day to

 

           22              celebrate ethnic pride.

 

           23                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Mr. McGoff, could I

 

           24              just say one thing?

 

           25                      MR. MCGOFF: Sure.


 

 

                                                                     107

 

 

            1                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Just very quickly,

 

            2              the police always put the biggest presence

 

            3              they could out there, but you need to

 

            4              understand something if they see somebody

 

            5              for public drunkenness and they're in the

 

            6              process of going to an arrest and then a

 

            7              fight breaks out with six or eight guys, you

 

            8              know, there is just -- we just don't have

 

            9              the manpower to control the situation so

 

           10              it's like fighting a fire.  They've got to

 

           11              go to the most dangerous situation at the

 

           12              time and, unfortunately, on parade day

 

           13              there's a lot of fighting going on so I'm

 

           14              sure they are going to go out there and do

 

           15              the very best they could.  I think the

 

           16              bottom line is if we control the drinking,

 

           17              you know, the volume and I don't know if

 

           18              that's possible, but that's the only thing

 

           19              that's going to stop it.  You can double up

 

           20              the force, I don't think it would totally

 

           21              wipe out the problems on that day.

 

           22                      MR. MCGOFF: And in response to Mr.

 

           23              Davis who was speaking about voter

 

           24              registration, I know when I was teaching at

 

           25              Pocono Mountain each year the League of


 

 

                                                                     108

 

 

            1              Women voters would come into the schools and

 

            2              register any 18 year olds that have just

 

            3              reached, you know, voter age.  I did ask

 

            4              Mrs. Evans, I am writing notes here, and I'm

 

            5              told by Mrs. Evans that there is -- it's not

 

            6              the League of Women Voters but possibly the

 

            7              PTA that does go into the high schools and

 

            8              certainly a program that, you know, should

 

            9              be encouraged and certainly encourage

 

           10              everyone to register to vote, not only for,

 

           11              you know, a presidential primary but for all

 

           12              elections that are held.  It is the one

 

           13              great right that we are given in this

 

           14              country and we should use it and utilize it

 

           15              properly.

 

           16                      And to Fireman Pilansky, a valid

 

           17              point that he made that I have no

 

           18              qualifications to evaluate the effectiveness

 

           19              of, you know, a firefighter.  About the only

 

           20              thing that I can say was that if the fire

 

           21              was put out, good job.  Other than that, I

 

           22              have absolutely no criteria on which to

 

           23              judge anyone.  Hopefully through this

 

           24              process that we're using, I don't think it's

 

           25              our job to evaluate, I think what we are


 

 

                                                                     109

 

 

            1              trying to do is gather some information and

 

            2              make the best determination as to what we

 

            3              should do as a Council and hopefully we can

 

            4              do that, you know, through a few meetings.

 

            5                   And, Mrs. Krake, I will look into the

 

            6              SRA and tax sale.  I hopefully will get an

 

            7              answer for you.  I will pursue that and see

 

            8              if there's anything.  You probably have more

 

            9              contact than I do, but I will at least, you

 

           10              know, make an effort to find out.

 

           11                      And the last thing, two of the

 

           12              questions that Mrs. Evans asked, one, the

 

           13              letter to Mr. Dougher about lifeguard

 

           14              chairs, we can send a letter, but I will try

 

           15              to find that out tomorrow.  I will make a

 

           16              number of phone calls.  Like I said, we will

 

           17              send a letter, but I will see if I can find

 

           18              that out and the same thing with the

 

           19              hydrants.  I will ask Tom and see if there's

 

           20              a response that's legitimate and see if we

 

           21              get a response.  And that is all that I

 

           22              have.

 

           23                      MS. GARVEY: FIFTH ORDER.  NO

 

           24              BUSINESS AT THIS TIME.  Sixth order.  6-A.

 

           25              READING BY TITLE - FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 15,


 

 

                                                                     110

 

 

            1              2008 - AN ORDINANCE - AMENDING FIEL OF

 

            2              COUNCIL NO. 16, 1998 WHICH AMENDED FILE OF

 

            3              COUNCIL NO. 29, 1986 ENTITLED "AN

 

            4              ORDINANCE", AS AMENDED, CREATING AND

 

            5              DEFINING A CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT;

 

            6              PROVIDING FOR THE REMOVAL OF EXISTING

 

            7              PARKING METERS WITHIN THE CENTRALBUSINESS

 

            8              DISTRICT AND PRESCRIBING PARKING TIME

 

            9              LIMITS; DEFINING OFFENSES AND PRESCRIBING

 

           10              PENALTIES; PROVIDING FOR THE ENFORCEMENT

 

           11              THEREOF; AND REPEALING CONFLICTING AND

 

           12              INCONSISTENT ORDINANCE, BY DETAILING THE

 

           13              DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE SCRANTON

 

           14              PARKING AUTHORITY ACTING AS AN AGENT FOR THE

 

           15              CITY OF SCRANTON," BY AMENDING SECTION 5.(B)

 

           16              SERVICE VEHICLE PARKING PERMITS BY

 

           17              INCREASING THE COST OF THIS PERMIT TO

 

           18              $150.00 PER YEAR PER VEHICLE.

 

           19                      MR. MCGOFF:  You've heard Reading by

 

           20              Title of Item 6-A, what is your pleasure?

 

           21                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  I move that Item

 

           22              6-pass Reading by Title.

 

           23                      MR. MCGOFF:  Second.  On the

 

           24              question?  All those in favor signify by

 

           25              saying aye.


 

 

                                                                     111

 

 

            1                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.

 

            2                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.

 

            3                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed? The ayes

 

            4              have it and so moved.

 

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

 

            6              CONSIDERATION BY THE COMMITTEE ON RULES -

 

            7              FOR ADOPTION - FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 11, 2008

 

            8              - AMENDING FIEL OF COUNCIL NO. 74, 1993, (AS

 

            9              AMENDED), ENTITLED "THE ZONING ORDINANCE FOR

 

           10              THE CITY OF SCRANTON", BY CHANGING THE MAP

 

           11              IN THE VICINITY OF THE SCRANTON HIGHT SCHOOL

 

           12              AND ITS SURROUNDING AREA, AS MORE

 

           13              PARTICULARLY DESCRIBED IN EXHIBIT "A"

 

           14              ATTACHED HERETO FROM I-L (LIGHT INDUSTRIAL)

 

           15              TO INS-G (GENERAL INSTITUTIONAL) AND C-G

 

           16              (GENERAL COMMERCIAL).

 

           17                      MR. MCGOFF:  As chairperson for the

 

           18              Committee of Rules, I recommend final

 

           19              passage of Item 7-A.

 

           20                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Second.

 

           21                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  I

 

           22              guess we've talked about this before, I

 

           23              would just like to mention that it is an

 

           24              attempt to strengthen the zoning ordinance

 

           25              rather than weaken it.  It's not allowing


 

 

                                                                     112

 

 

            1              for I don't know what I want to say,

 

            2              businesses to move in.  It actually

 

            3              stengthens the zoning a little bit and makes

 

            4              it a little bit more difficult to place

 

            5              certain types of businesses there.

 

            6                      MS. EVANS:  But it does seem that

 

            7              this is occurring after the fact in that

 

            8              directly across the street we have quite a

 

            9              number of businesses, restaurants, laundry

 

           10              mats, fitness center, doctor's offices,

 

           11              etcetera, and they were all built in a KOZ

 

           12              without having to alter anything through

 

           13              planning or zoning and suddenly all of this

 

           14              becomes necessary to enable someone who

 

           15              bought a very what should be almost

 

           16              priceless piece of property for the all time

 

           17              low purchase price of $7,000 to put

 

           18              something on that property and further

 

           19              disrupt the traffic patterns at Scranton

 

           20              High School, not to mention put into

 

           21              potential jeopardy the safety of students

 

           22              who play on the soccer fields.  So, somehow,

 

           23              I can't put my finger on it, but somehow

 

           24              none of this passes the smell test, so I

 

           25              will be voting no.


 

 

                                                                     113

 

 

            1                      MR. MCGOFF:  Anyone else?  Roll call

 

            2              please.

 

            3                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.

 

            4                      MS. EVANS:  No.

 

            5                      MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.  Mrs.

 

            6              Fanucci.  Mr. Courtright.

 

            7                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yes.

 

            8                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.

 

            9                      MR. MCGOFF:  Yes. I'm sorry, on a

 

           10              2-1 vote I declare Item 7-A legally and

 

           11              lawfully adopted.

 

           12                      MS. GARVEY: 7-B. FOR CONSIDERATION

 

           13              BY THE COMMITTEE ON RULES - FOR ADOPTION -

 

           14              RESOLUTION NO. 18, 2008 - APPOINTMENT OF

 

           15              BERNARD GARVEY, 601 MERIDIAN AVENUE,

 

           16              SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA, 18504, AS A MEMBER

 

           17              OF THE FIRE PENSION COMMISSION, EFFECTIVE

 

           18              DECEMBER 18, 2007.  MR. GARVEY WILL BE

 

           19              REPRESENTING THE RETIRED FIREFIGHTERS ON THE

 

           20              COMMISSION AND HIS FIVE YEAR TERM WILL

 

           21              EXPIRE ON DECEMBER 19, 2012.

 

           22                      MR. MCGOFF: As Chairperson for the

 

           23              Committee on Rules, I recommend final

 

           24              passage of Item 7-B.

 

           25                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Second.


 

 

                                                                     114

 

 

            1                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  Roll

 

            2              call, please.

 

            3                      MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.

 

            4                      MS. EVANS: Yes.

 

            5                      MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.  Mrs.

 

            6              Fanucci.  Mr. Courtright.

 

            7                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yes.

 

            8                      MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff.

 

            9                      MR. MCGOFF: Yes.  I hereby declare

 

           10              Item 7-B legal and lawfully adopted.

 

           11                      MS. GARVEY: 7-C. FOR CONSIDERATION

 

           12              BY THE COMMITEE ON RULES - FOR ADOPTION -

 

           13              RESOLUTION NO. 19, 2008 - APPOINTMENT OF

 

           14              JOHN SYDLOWSKI, 624 WINTERMANTLE AVENUE,

 

           15              SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA, 18505, AS A MEMBER

 

           16              OF THE FIRE PENSION COMMISSSION, EFFECTIVE

 

           17              DECEMBER 18, 2007.  MR. SYDLOWSKI WILL BE

 

           18              REPRESENTING THE RETIRED FIREFIGHERS ON THE

 

           19              COMMISSION AND HIS FIVE YEAR TERM WILL

 

           20              EXPIRE ON DECEMBER 18, 2012.

 

           21                      MR. MCGOFF:  As Chairperson for the

 

           22              Committee on Rules, I recommended final

 

           23              passage of Item 7-C.

 

           24                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Second.

 

           25                      MR. MCGOFF: On the question?  Roll


 

 

                                                                     115

 

 

            1              call, please.

 

            2                      MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.

 

            3                      MS. EVANS:  Yes.

 

            4                      MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.  Mrs.

 

            5              Fanucci. Mr. Courtright.

 

            6                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yes.

 

            7                      MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff.

 

            8                      MR. MCGOFF: Yes.  I hereby declare

 

            9              Item 7-C legally and lawfully adopted.  And

 

           10              that is Seventh Order.  Ask for a motion to

 

           11              adjourn.

 

           12                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  So moved.

 

           13                      MR. MCGOFF:  Thank you.

 

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                                                                     116

 

 

            1

 

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

 

            3

 

            4        I hereby certify that the proceedings and

 

            5   evidence are contained fully and accurately in the

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

            9   ability.

 

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                                    LISA GRAFF, RMR

           13                       OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER

 

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