1              SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING








            5                          HELD:




            7                   Tuesday, March 4, 2008




            9                        LOCATION:


           10                     Council Chambers


           11                    Scranton City Hall


           12                340 North Washington Avenue


           13                    Scranton, Pennsylvania








































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



                MS. JANET E. EVANS



            9   MS. SHERRY FANUCCI (Not present)



                MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT



           12   MS. KAY GARVEY, CITY CLERK






           15   MR. AMIL MINORA, SOLICITOR


























            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.




           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.






            1                      MR. MCGOFF:  Are there any comments?


            2              If not, received and filed.


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




            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




           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




           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




           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'






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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,






            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,






            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






            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






            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.






            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






            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.






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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,






            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






            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






            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?






            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






            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.






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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,






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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.






            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.






            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






            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






            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.






            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,






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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.






            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






            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?






            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






            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,






            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.






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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.






            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






            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






            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,






            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.






            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






            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






            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






            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.






            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






            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






            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?






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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,






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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.






            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






            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






            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






            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.






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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.






            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






            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






            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.






            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






            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






            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,






            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


















           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.






            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




           10              THE CITY OF SCRANTON", BY CHANGING THE MAP




           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






            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.






            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




           18              DECEMBER 18, 2007.  MR. GARVEY WILL BE




           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.






            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




           17              DECEMBER 18, 2007.  MR. SYDLOWSKI WILL BE




           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






            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.
































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




            4        I hereby certify that the proceedings and


            5   evidence are contained fully and accurately in the


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


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


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


            9   ability.







                                    LISA GRAFF, RMR

           13                       OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER