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            2             SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING

 

            3

 

            4

 

            5

 

            6                          HELD:

 

            7

 

            8                 Tuesday, March 11, 2008

 

            9

 

           10                        LOCATION:

 

           11                    Council Chambers

 

           12                   Scranton City Hall

 

           13                340 North Washington Avenue

 

           14                  Scranton, Pennsylvania

 

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           24

                            CATHENE S. NARDOZZI- COURT REPORTER

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            1

 

            2

 

            3   CITY OF SCRANTON COUNCIL:

 

            4

 

            5

                MR. ROBERT MCGOFF, PRESIDENT

            6

 

            7   MS. JUDY GATELLI, VICE-PRESIDENT

 

            8

                MS. JANET E. EVANS

            9

 

           10   MS. SHERRY FANUCCI

 

           11

                MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT

           12

 

           13   MS. KAY GARVEY, CITY CLERK

 

           14

                MR. NEIL COOLICAN, ASSISTANT CITY CLERK

           15

 

           16   MR. AMIL MINORA, SOLICITOR

 

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            1   (Pledge of Allegiance recited and moment of reflection

 

            2   observed.)

 

            3                      MR. MCGOFF:  Roll call.

 

            4                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.

 

            5                      MS. EVANS:  Here.

 

            6                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.

 

            7                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Here.

 

            8                      MR. COOLICAN:  Ms. Fanucci.

 

            9                      MS. FANUCCI:  Here.

 

           10                      MR. COOLICAN:  Ms. Gatelli.

 

           11                      MS. GATELLI: Here.

 

           12                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.

 

           13                      MR. MCGOFF:  Here.  Dispense with

 

           14              the reading of the minutes.

 

           15                      MS. GARVEY: THIRD ORDER.  NO

 

           16              BUSINESS AT THIS TIME.

 

           17                      MR. MCGOFF: Prior to citizens'

 

           18              participation, if anyone has any

 

           19              announcements, any council members have any

 

           20              announcements to make?  Please.

 

           21                      MS. EVANS: I'd like to congratulate

 

           22              Jason Dominic, Scranton High School wrestler

 

           23              for achieving his 100th career win and for

 

           24              being the first in Scranton High School's

 

           25              history to win a medal in wrestling at state


 

 

                                                                       4

 

 

            1              level competition.  Also, I'd like to

 

            2              congratulate Scranton High School girl's

 

            3              basketball team who made it into the elite

 

            4              eight, unfortunately, we lost our game on

 

            5              Friday night, but still the team is

 

            6              outstanding and went farther than has ever

 

            7              been accomplished before and so I would ask

 

            8              my colleagues if we could bring in the

 

            9              Scranton High girl's varsity basketball team

 

           10              for a proclamation and Jason Dominic as

 

           11              well.

 

           12                      MS. FANUCCI: Of course.

 

           13                      MR. MCGOFF:  Fine by me.

 

           14                      MS. EVANS: Wonderful.  Kay, I'll get

 

           15              all of the information for you.  Thank you.

 

           16                      MR. MCGOFF: FOURTH ORDER.  CITIZENS'

 

           17              PARTICIPATION.  Doug Miller.

 

           18                      MR. MILLER: Good evening, Council,

 

           19              Doug Miller, president of the Junior City

 

           20              Council.  On behalf of Junior Council I am

 

           21              pleased to announce that our council has

 

           22              organized a charity basketball game between

 

           23              the Scranton police and firemen tentatively

 

           24              scheduled for Friday, April 4, beginning at

 

           25              7:00 p.m. at Scranton High School.  Tickets


 

 

                                                                       5

 

 

            1              are $3.00 each and all proceeds will benefit

 

            2              a police and firefighters' memorial.  More

 

            3              details will be announced next Tuesday.

 

            4                      I would like to share a few thoughts

 

            5              on the city's smoking ordinance as well as

 

            6              the future of this ordinance.  Last week

 

            7              Mr. Talimini expressed his concern over the

 

            8              city's smoking ordinance and that he would

 

            9              like to see the city move onto other issues

 

           10              that have more of an impact on our

 

           11              residents.  I beg to differ with

 

           12              Mr. Talimini.  This issue has the most

 

           13              impact on our residents because this deals

 

           14              with the health and safety of our residents.

 

           15              Over a year ago students from West Scranton

 

           16              High School came before this council and

 

           17              proposed a ban on smoking with the

 

           18              intentions of protecting our city and

 

           19              residents.  This proposal was supported by

 

           20              the majority of council, the mayor and many

 

           21              other city officials.  Unfortunately,

 

           22              challenges were made against our ordinance

 

           23              and we can no longer enforce this ban.

 

           24                   However, we have now put pressure and

 

           25              the state to step up and enact a


 

 

                                                                       6

 

 

            1              comprehensive statewide smoking ban.  This

 

            2              issue is certainly being discussed in the

 

            3              house and senate of our Commonwealth.  A

 

            4              bill that would put limitations on smoking

 

            5              all across the state has the support from

 

            6              Representative Shimkus and many other state

 

            7              legislators, but as in any other proposed

 

            8              bill there is opposition.  Senator Bob

 

            9              Mellow has not made a commitment to

 

           10              supporting a smoking ban in our state.

 

           11              Recently many ad campaigns have asked

 

           12              Senator Mellow to support a ban on smoking.

 

           13              I believe it is the job of the elected

 

           14              official to listen to the public and

 

           15              85 percent of Pennsylvanians want a

 

           16              comprehensive smoking ban passed.

 

           17                      So, I would ask tonight that council

 

           18              make a motion to send a letter to Senator

 

           19              Bob Mellow and other state representatives

 

           20              in the area asking them to listen to the

 

           21              majority and support a statewide smoking

 

           22              ban.  The time to act is now.

 

           23                      Yesterday, Scranton had the

 

           24              privilege of hosting Senator Hillary Clinton

 

           25              at a rally at Scranton High School.  This


 

 

                                                                       7

 

 

            1              event marked the first campaign stop for

 

            2              Mrs. Clinton and Pennsylvania has now become

 

            3              a key state in determining the democratic

 

            4              nominee.  Ian Miller and I were proud to

 

            5              represent Junior Council at this event.

 

            6              Junior Council understands the importance of

 

            7              this election and that our future is hanging

 

            8              in the balance.  For two years we have

 

            9              encouraged young adults to become more

 

           10              involved in their government and I believe

 

           11              we have done a good job in accomplishing

 

           12              that mission.

 

           13                      Last week council discussed getting

 

           14              students to register to vote.  You know, at

 

           15              Scranton High it's the PTA that gives

 

           16              students the opportunity to register and at

 

           17              West Scranton High School my fellow

 

           18              classmates and I had mail-in registration

 

           19              forms distributed to students throughout the

 

           20              school.  On behalf Of Junior Council, I

 

           21              strongly recommend that students get out and

 

           22              vote.

 

           23                      Finally, I would like to comment on

 

           24              the setting of yesterday's event.  Scranton

 

           25              High School hosted the event the High School


 

 

                                                                       8

 

 

            1              Principal Brian McGraw began the rally by

 

            2              making a few openings remarks.  He

 

            3              recognized our city's elementary schools,

 

            4              our middle schools and Scranton High School.

 

            5              He read a list of the school's

 

            6              accomplishments and declared his school the

 

            7              campus of champions.

 

            8                      While he may give credit to his

 

            9              school, there is another high school across

 

           10              town that he failed to recognize, West

 

           11              Scranton High School and as a student and

 

           12              resident of West Side I was totally ashamed.

 

           13              West Scranton has a track record of being

 

           14              successful and building fewer leaders.  Our

 

           15              school has many accomplishments that I could

 

           16              read, but I would need more than five

 

           17              minutes to read them.  The disrespect

 

           18              towards West starts here at council when two

 

           19              weeks ago when the back to back District II

 

           20              West Scranton Invader football team was here

 

           21              to receive the proclamation of this council

 

           22              a member of this council touted Scranton

 

           23              High's accomplishments in front of their

 

           24              team, their family and friends.  Many

 

           25              westsiders were very disappointed and


 

 

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            1              believed that their men deserved to be

 

            2              treated better.

 

            3                      You can declare yourself the campus

 

            4              of champions, but there is only one true

 

            5              saying around here, West is best.  Thank

 

            6              you.

 

            7                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Douglas.

 

            8              Andy Sbaraglia.

 

            9                      MR. SBARAGLIA: Andy Sbaraglia,

 

           10              citizen of Scranton.  Fellow Scrantonians, I

 

           11              usually talk on agenda items, but as you can

 

           12              see the agenda is very lame in this session

 

           13              so I'd like to do a little recap.

 

           14              Mrs. Fanucci stated that she only knew

 

           15              Whistles was in default, but we all know the

 

           16              hotel Hilton was in default for millions of

 

           17              dollars.

 

           18                      MS. FANUCCI:  That's right.

 

           19                      MR. SBARAGLIA: So that's just one

 

           20              and we forgave a loan to I think it was 501

 

           21              South Washington Avenue, we forgave that

 

           22              loan, whether they would have went into

 

           23              default or not I do not know but we forgave

 

           24              the loan so they wouldn't be in default.

 

           25                      MS. FANUCCI: Who was that, do you


 

 

                                                                      10

 

 

            1              know?

 

            2                      MR. SBARAGLIA: Ask your lawyer

 

            3              because me and him went around on that many

 

            4              times.

 

            5                      MS. FANUCCI: Okay.

 

            6                      MR. SBARAGLIA: And the loan was

 

            7              forgiven.  So, we start it.  Mrs. Gatelli

 

            8              said she wouldn't vote for any borrowing,

 

            9              but yet when we voted the budget in there is

 

           10              a ten million borrowing attached to it so,

 

           11              hence, you all voted for another $10 million

 

           12              of borrowing, so forth and so on.

 

           13                      You got the amusement tax, I haven't

 

           14              seen it come forward yet, but I assume from

 

           15              what Attorney Minora said it would apply to

 

           16              the churches, too, to all nonprofits and a

 

           17              church definitely is a nonprofit so any kind

 

           18              of an outdoor facility they have falls under

 

           19              this ordinance and since it's in the budget

 

           20              you can't change it because we couldn't even

 

           21              petition against it, that's the reason why

 

           22              all of these things are in the budget, why

 

           23              that ungodly tax on the poor people for not

 

           24              paying their -- able to pay your taxes and

 

           25              as you know if you read the papers the


 

 

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            1              country is really in bad shape and there is

 

            2              a lot more people than ain't going to be

 

            3              able to pay their taxes and the people who

 

            4              proposed this knew that.  They knew exactly

 

            5              what they were doing and that's why they did

 

            6              it.  Nothing happens by accident, everything

 

            7              is planned in advance.

 

            8                      There was a good article about Wall

 

            9              Street West in the paper and you had the

 

           10              different entities coming in, I think one

 

           11              with was over there in the Oppenheim

 

           12              building, the other one is down there in the

 

           13              old incubator and there's $25 million up for

 

           14              grabs and that's one of the reasons they are

 

           15              really interested in it.  Now, whether

 

           16              anything comes out of it I have no idea, but

 

           17              there is money available from that program

 

           18              and I don't know if the article stated that

 

           19              University was doing a little on currency

 

           20              exchange.  Now, whether that was going to be

 

           21              paid out of that fund I do not know or even

 

           22              how far into this thing it's going to be

 

           23              because if you move another center from Wall

 

           24              Street West somewhere in the Poconos or

 

           25              somewhere in this area there's a lot


 

 

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            1              involved and let's hope New York never gets

 

            2              bombed.  I really -- 9-11 has stuck in all

 

            3              of us and I never want to see that again

 

            4              happen, but there is a lot of things even

 

            5              with that that happened.  All of the people

 

            6              that was in on 9-11 and really tried to

 

            7              clean up that area and look for bones and so

 

            8              forth and so on they kept them working long

 

            9              after they knew there would be no bodies

 

           10              found, no one alive anyway, just to get at

 

           11              the vaults, gold.  That was the only reason,

 

           12              the day they hit that gold vault they

 

           13              stopped digging so this is how the

 

           14              government cares.

 

           15                      You are in trouble today.  You are

 

           16              in trouble everywhere.  The government is

 

           17              becoming our enemy whether we want it or

 

           18              not.  The government is no longer on the

 

           19              side of the people, they are on the side of

 

           20              special interests and even if the city

 

           21              special interests really, really have the

 

           22              upper hand on the city.  You are going to

 

           23              have to pass taxes, increasing tax, more

 

           24              increasing taxes on the people of Scranton

 

           25              and the reason why is all of the give


 

 

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            1              always, all of the KOZ's, all of this, all

 

            2              that, whatever happened and in the end it

 

            3              really isn't going to matter because it's

 

            4              not going to work.  It hasn't worked, it

 

            5              will not work.  I mean, you can put all of

 

            6              the restaurants you want downtown it ain't

 

            7              going to make much of a difference.  You

 

            8              need jobs.  This is what's wrong with the

 

            9              country today.  Thank you.

 

           10                      MR. MCGOFF: Ozzie Quinn.

 

           11                      MR. QUINN:  Ozzie Quinn, property

 

           12              owner and member of the Taxpayers'

 

           13              Association.  Let Mayor Doherty stump -- did

 

           14              a little squeezing here today when Hillary

 

           15              announced that her husband left office they

 

           16              had -- didn't have a deficit, you know, and

 

           17              she said that when Bush come in now they

 

           18              have a deficit and so it reminded me like

 

           19              when Connors left it was the same thing

 

           20              happened, it was like déjà vu and here we

 

           21              are again with this big debt here and that's

 

           22              what I want to address tonight; and being

 

           23              critical of the situation, you know, which I

 

           24              am as a Taxpayers' Association president, we

 

           25              have to be because it has gotten out of hand


 

 

                                                                      14

 

 

            1              and it's got to a point now that we have to

 

            2              look for ways that we are going to pay off

 

            3              this debt or we are going to be doing this

 

            4              for a lifetime our great grandchildren,

 

            5              okay?

 

            6                      Now, as the finance chairperson,

 

            7              Mrs. Gatelli, you weren't here last week and

 

            8              I spoke about Park Gardens and I suggested

 

            9              the possibility that there start to be a

 

           10              line of communication made between the

 

           11              housing authority and the city regarding the

 

           12              possibly selling the Park Gardens for the

 

           13              sale proceeds and also additional revenue

 

           14              every year would be in continuity of taxes

 

           15              coming into the city and, you know, because

 

           16              we have to get out of this debt, you know.

 

           17              The other thing is there here, and I spoke

 

           18              about it many times is this House Bill 1275,

 

           19              the property tax elimination which is still

 

           20              hanging out there and none of our

 

           21              legislators seem to be backing it and around

 

           22              the state they are, 26 associations,

 

           23              taxpayers' association over 10,000 members

 

           24              are backing it and it would eliminate the

 

           25              property tax, which is great, 58 percent of


 

 

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            1              your tax bill.  It would eliminate 1 percent

 

            2              of the wage tax, it would bring it down to

 

            3              two and a quarter percent and it would

 

            4              eliminate the amount of money that the

 

            5              school board is in debt and that's over

 

            6              $200 million.

 

            7                      And, actually, there isn't any

 

            8              increase in any taxes.  What happens is the

 

            9              sales tax is expanded.  Attorney Minora

 

           10              wouldn't like it because one of the things

 

           11              is it's expanded to put a sale's tax on

 

           12              attorney's fees and so on and like that, and

 

           13              so there are a lot of attorneys in the House

 

           14              of Representatives, but it's one way of

 

           15              getting at some of the taxpayers' problems

 

           16              in the city and that's that wage tax and

 

           17              that hurts with our economic development.

 

           18                   The other thing is when you talk about

 

           19              is House Bill 2018 which you had a public

 

           20              hearing on last week and that's called the

 

           21              Tax Exempt Property Municipal Assistance

 

           22              Act, and what is that, okay?  That is what

 

           23              we are talking about the Johnstown flood,

 

           24              the 18 percent that was going on since 1936

 

           25              with the wine, okay, they are taking in over


 

 

                                                                      16

 

 

            1              240 million dollars in taxes every year and

 

            2              there is a bill that was introduced by a

 

            3              representative from out in York and

 

            4              cosponsored by one in North Hampton and

 

            5              actually what it does if you have properties

 

            6              that are tax exempt, you have over

 

            7              17 percent of your properties are tax

 

            8              exempt, you would be eligible for this

 

            9              money.

 

           10                      Now, Scranton, okay, 22 percent of

 

           11              the properties are exempt so Scranton would

 

           12              be eligible under this here and Scranton

 

           13              would be able to get 2 million dollars a

 

           14              year windfall every year, okay?  Again,

 

           15              nothing on the state representatives.  If

 

           16              you people would get behind these two bills

 

           17              and push them, please.

 

           18                      MS. GATELLI:  We did.

 

           19                      MR. QUINN:  So, these are ways that

 

           20              you can start to get some revenue in and,

 

           21              you know, it's something that we would be

 

           22              getting all the time, I mean, we would be

 

           23              getting this revenue from Johnstown flood.

 

           24              We would be getting the Park Gardens revenue

 

           25              coming in every month plus the original


 

 

                                                                      17

 

 

            1              sale, okay.  And, please, I'm not here just

 

            2              to hear myself talk.  I hope that you will

 

            3              listen, please, and I'm not here, you know,

 

            4              to criticize about, but we are a problem and

 

            5              I'm trying to offer ways and things that we

 

            6              can do, okay?

 

            7                      Now, you know, I think I sent out a

 

            8              letter on February 5 and another letter on

 

            9              February 12 to the OECD Right to Know for

 

           10              that money that is surplus and projects and

 

           11              that the UDAG's and they said there isn't

 

           12              any money there, you know, and unequivocally

 

           13              I'm all for that fire truck, okay, I hope

 

           14              you get a hook and ladder, you know, and

 

           15              what I want to do is the fact that when you

 

           16              look at here, one moment, please, $350,000

 

           17              is taken from other projects, okay, and they

 

           18              are telling me there is no money over there.

 

           19                   Now, they are trying to make a fool out

 

           20              of me and I don't like that and I don't

 

           21              appreciate it, okay, and it's not very

 

           22              transparent what they are doing and it's not

 

           23              ethical and it's corrupt and we don't like

 

           24              it here, the taxpayers in the City of

 

           25              Scranton.  Thank you.


 

 

                                                                      18

 

 

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

 

            2                      MS. EVANS: Mr. Quinn, if I may just

 

            3              address very quickly the issue that you

 

            4              mentioned HB2018, as soon as I became aware

 

            5              of that we discussed that at council and

 

            6              immediately in unanimous agreement sent

 

            7              letters to both state representatives and

 

            8              Senator Mellow requesting their full support

 

            9              of that bill and notifying them of the, you

 

           10              know, great boom it would for the City of

 

           11              Scranton and it's distressed status.

 

           12                      MR. QUINN:  That was when it was

 

           13              introduced, now it's actually out of

 

           14              committee and they had a public hearing on

 

           15              it, so I hope that you can do something with

 

           16              it, okay?

 

           17                      MS. EVANS: We'll work on it.

 

           18                      MR. QUINN: Thank you very much.

 

           19                      MS. GATELLI: Mr. McGoff, may I say

 

           20              something?

 

           21                      MR. MCGOFF: Yes.

 

           22                      MS. GATELLI: Mr. Quinn, just a

 

           23              suggestion about that OECD problem that you

 

           24              are having, there is a representative in

 

           25              Philadelphia that oversees the OECD


 

 

                                                                      19

 

 

            1              Department so I would suggest that you get

 

            2              that name and send them the letters that you

 

            3              are sending over here.

 

            4                      MR. QUINN:  I have already talked to

 

            5              Steve Stein, thank you.

 

            6                      MS. GATELLI: Thank you.

 

            7                      MR. MCGOFF: Les Spindler.

 

            8                      MR. SPINDLER: Good evening, Council.

 

            9              Les Spindler, city resident.  First I have

 

           10              to clear the air about some comments made

 

           11              last week by Doug Miller.  He said several

 

           12              others have stated at this podium that we

 

           13              shouldn't be concerned about a memorial to

 

           14              honor our great men and women, rather we

 

           15              should be involved in their contract

 

           16              negotiations.  I don't know what anyone else

 

           17              said, but what I said was that the unions

 

           18              would rather a contract then a memorial.

 

           19              Not once did I refer to Junior Council,

 

           20              check the minutes.

 

           21                      He also directed a question to me

 

           22              saying, "Isn't it the job of a mayor,

 

           23              council and the unions to negotiate

 

           24              contracts?"

 

           25                      Well, you are half right, Doug.


 

 

                                                                      20

 

 

            1              Council cannot negotiate contracts.  It's

 

            2              only up to the mayor and the mayor hasn't

 

            3              done his job in six years.  Not once has he

 

            4              sat down and negotiated with unions.  All he

 

            5              has done is cost the taxpayer billions in

 

            6              lost arbitrations.

 

            7                      Since I'm sure Chris Doherty will be

 

            8              at Hillary's -- by Hillary's side at the

 

            9              parade on Saturday maybe you can ask her for

 

           10              some advice on how to negotiate contracts,

 

           11              since she is a union supporter while our

 

           12              mayor is union buster.

 

           13                      Moving on, I think the idea that --

 

           14              the idea of an office park where Scranton

 

           15              Block was located is a terrible idea.  There

 

           16              are signs in windows all over downtown

 

           17              Scranton advertising office space, and also

 

           18              if office space is in such demand why is the

 

           19              Southern Union building still vacant?  Why

 

           20              don't we use what we have?

 

           21                      Next thing, I want to read a letter

 

           22              to the editor that I sent to the Doherty

 

           23              newsletter but part of it was deleted: "In

 

           24              response to the cartoon by John Cole in the

 

           25              Sunday Times of February 24, when I saw this


 

 

                                                                      21

 

 

            1              cartoon I was outraged.  His degrading of

 

            2              the Scranton firefighters is an insult to

 

            3              them and an insult to the citizens and

 

            4              businesses of Scranton who these

 

            5              firefighters help to protect.  These brave

 

            6              people risk their lives every time they are

 

            7              called to a fire or to rescue a citizen who

 

            8              may be in peril.  While John Cole safely

 

            9              sits behind a desk drawing pictures.

 

           10                      While I understand Mr. Cole has

 

           11              every right to express his opinion with

 

           12              pictures, it is my opinion he should use

 

           13              more discretion in a case like this.  I am

 

           14              shocked your paper would let something like

 

           15              this be published and I'm asking for an

 

           16              apology for these heroes by Mr. Cole and the

 

           17              Lynett family."

 

           18                      Lastly, we have a treehouse at Nay

 

           19              Aug over $600,000, a bridge to no-where over

 

           20              $1 million, a long-term debt over

 

           21              $3 million, last week's city council meeting

 

           22              with Mrs. Fanucci absent, priceless.  Thank

 

           23              you.

 

           24                      MS. FANUCCI: I'll give you that one,

 

           25              Les.


 

 

                                                                      22

 

 

            1                      MR. MCGOFF:  Thank you,

 

            2              Mr. Spindler.  Bill Jackowitz.

 

            3                      MR. JACKOWITZ: Good evening,

 

            4              Mr. President, Scranton City Council.  Bill

 

            5              Jackowitz, South Scranton, and member of the

 

            6              Taxpayers' Association.

 

            7                      I passed out the current

 

            8              unemployment rates for the Scranton/

 

            9              Wilkes-Barre metropolitan area.

 

           10              Unemployment rate is up 3/10 of a point for

 

           11              January 2008, and we are up to 5.7 percent,

 

           12              the national rate is 4.9 percent, the state

 

           13              rate is 4.8 percent respectively.  Again

 

           14              Scranton is showing a decline in jobs.  Yet

 

           15              the mayor and Austin Burke still mislead the

 

           16              citizens by telling the citizens that things

 

           17              are improving and they are working hard to

 

           18              improve the situation in Scranton.  The

 

           19              facts show that these statements are

 

           20              inaccurate.  The Scranton Times-Tribune

 

           21              needs to report the news and the truth about

 

           22              the deplorable economic situation in

 

           23              Scranton.  Print the truth, not visions and

 

           24              dreams.  Lackawanna County 5.7 percent

 

           25              unemployment rate.  That's Scranton, and


 

 

                                                                      23

 

 

            1              that's not even an accurate rate because

 

            2              there are so many people, there are

 

            3              thousands of people who are not even counted

 

            4              anymore because they have been unemployed

 

            5              for so long they are not even counted, let's

 

            6              get the truth out, let's get he tell facts

 

            7              out and I hope council addresses this

 

            8              tonight in motions.

 

            9                      Okay.  I also passed out this

 

           10              institution on religion and public policy

 

           11              and they are going to have a convention here

 

           12              in August.  We are going to have foreign

 

           13              nationals come here and they are going to be

 

           14              here for three days.  I lived in five

 

           15              foreign countries.  I probably know more

 

           16              about foreign nationals then any of you five

 

           17              sitting up there because I've lived with

 

           18              them and I've dealt with them.  They are not

 

           19              going to come here to spend money, they are

 

           20              going to expect everything to be given to

 

           21              them and they are going to get it, so we

 

           22              really need to look at it.  Also, they are

 

           23              talking about building here, they may

 

           24              actually move here.  Well, if you read the

 

           25              pamphlet, and I hope you do, it's only four


 

 

                                                                      24

 

 

            1              pages long, you are going to see that

 

            2              they're a nonprofit organization.  Do we

 

            3              need other nonprofit organizations moving

 

            4              into Scranton and raping us again?  No, we

 

            5              did not, so we need to really look at this.

 

            6                   Also, if you go to page three on the

 

            7              pamphlet that I gave you, you will see, "How

 

            8              we are funded."  Well, they are funded

 

            9              through donations, that's their main way of

 

           10              getting monies through donations.  Do we

 

           11              want these people walking around this city

 

           12              asking for donations plus getting the tax

 

           13              exempt because they are nonprofit

 

           14              organizations? I don't think so.

 

           15                      So we need to talk, you know, I have

 

           16              asked 100 times for Austin Burke, Chamber of

 

           17              Commerce, to attend a city council meeting,

 

           18              Miss Fanucci promised that he would be here

 

           19              in September of 2005, he hasn't showed up

 

           20              yet, I really think someone needs to get

 

           21              ahold of him, we need to talk about this

 

           22              because this city cannot afford this.  I

 

           23              fetch all of the information for city

 

           24              council like I always do.  When I come up

 

           25              here to talk I bring my information with me,


 

 

                                                                      25

 

 

            1              I'm not afraid or ashamed to fetch like some

 

            2              people are, okay?

 

            3                      Now, I was glad to hear about Rescue

 

            4              1 truck.  The fire department is in dire

 

            5              need of equipment.  I proved that to you two

 

            6              weeks ago when I gave you a list of all of

 

            7              the equipment that they have, so we

 

            8              really -- I really appreciate this and I

 

            9              hope this Rescue 1 truck is approved and I

 

           10              hope that the fire department gets what they

 

           11              need because they need a lot of equipment

 

           12              and I'm really shocked -- I can't understand

 

           13              that, first of all, that a state doesn't

 

           14              require the fire department to have any

 

           15              standards or to have any policies, I find

 

           16              that -- I mean, is Pennsylvania that far

 

           17              behind?

 

           18                      You know, I've got 28 years of

 

           19              experience in security and law enforcement

 

           20              and in the military and I tell you what we

 

           21              didn't move without a policy or without a

 

           22              procedure and we got the city fire

 

           23              department and the fire departments in the

 

           24              state not doing this?  This is a very

 

           25              serious safety issue, and this issue needs


 

 

                                                                      26

 

 

            1              to be addressed and for people to make

 

            2              statements such as, well, they have

 

            3              training, but they don't need any policies,

 

            4              I disagree with those statements completely.

 

            5              Anybody who is involved in any type of an

 

            6              emergency situation, rescue operation,

 

            7              recovery operation that provides for safety

 

            8              of the citizens, the primary responsibility

 

            9              of any elected official whether it be a

 

           10              councilman, a senator, a mayor, a president,

 

           11              is to provide for the safety and the

 

           12              protection of their citizens and I tell you

 

           13              what, that's not happening here in Scranton

 

           14              and that needs to be corrected, and just

 

           15              because you are a friend of somebody that

 

           16              does not make that person to be qualified to

 

           17              be in that position or be in that job and

 

           18              that's another problem that happens in this

 

           19              city.

 

           20                      It's happened year after year after

 

           21              year, that's why Scranton has been

 

           22              distressed for 16 years.  That's why we have

 

           23              the highest unemployment rate in the city or

 

           24              in the state and we are above the national

 

           25              average every single month, why?  Because


 

 

                                                                      27

 

 

            1              friends get jobs, family members get jobs,

 

            2              it doesn't matter if they are qualify and

 

            3              Councilwoman Fanucci even said that months

 

            4              ago.  Qualifications and standards don't

 

            5              mean anything.  I disagree with you, it

 

            6              means everything.  We need to get our act

 

            7              together and get it together right now.

 

            8                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you,

 

            9              Mr. Jackowitz.  I apologize, the next name

 

           10              on the list is James Hoffa.  If, in fact he

 

           11              is speaking, Stacy, you've got a real story

 

           12              there, but I didn't know if there was

 

           13              someone named James Hoffa that did want to

 

           14              speak.  Nick Boyle.  No?  Elliott Syzkowski.

 

           15                      MR. SYZKOWSKI: Hello, my name is

 

           16              Elliott Syzkowski and I'm a sophomore at

 

           17              West Scranton High School.  I have come here

 

           18              tonight to ask you to support a

 

           19              comprehensive smoking ban in Pennsylvania.

 

           20              I ask you to urge Senator Mellow to push for

 

           21              a comprehensive smoking ban.  Over

 

           22              50 percent of Americans are covered by a

 

           23              smoking ban, why not Pennsylvania?  Why is

 

           24              it that every state surrounding Pennsylvania

 

           25              gets to breathe clean air, but we don't?  In


 

 

                                                                      28

 

 

            1              Pennsylvania there are about 860,000 people

 

            2              with asthma, about 340,000 people with

 

            3              chronic bronchitis and close to 3 million

 

            4              people with cardiovascular disease.  Why is

 

            5              this?  Is it because the American Lung

 

            6              Association only passes 11 counties in

 

            7              Pennsylvania for having decent air to breath

 

            8              and only two counties get credit for having

 

            9              good air quality?

 

           10                      You may ask, what does this have to

 

           11              do with the smoking ban?  Well, let's

 

           12              compare Pennsylvania to a state with a

 

           13              smoking ban in effect.  Let's take our

 

           14              neighbors Ohio, for example.  They have

 

           15              about 135,000 people less with asthma, about

 

           16              60 less people with chronic bronchitis and

 

           17              800,000 less people with cardiovascular

 

           18              disease.  And in Ohio only nine counties

 

           19              fail the American Lung Association criteria

 

           20              for clean air.  Some say a smoking ban

 

           21              infringes their rights, but don't you think

 

           22              not having a smoking ban infringes the

 

           23              rights of those who do not smoke?  Why

 

           24              should a nonsmoker have to breathe -- why

 

           25              should a nonsmoker have to breathe the smoke


 

 

                                                                      29

 

 

            1              of a smoker?  If the smoker doesn't care

 

            2              about their health that's fine, but why

 

            3              should a nonsmoker have to risk their health

 

            4              every time they go out in public?

 

            5                      Why should the 860,000 people with

 

            6              asthma in Pennsylvania have to be confined

 

            7              to their homes because it hurts when they go

 

            8              around and smoke.  My mother has asthma and

 

            9              anytime we sit in a nonsmoking section of a

 

           10              restaurant she has a hard time breathing

 

           11              because she can still smell and even taste

 

           12              the smoke that wanders over and so can I,

 

           13              and probably everyone here knows what it

 

           14              feels like to have it out in your room

 

           15              because someone decides to blow smoke.

 

           16                      So, in conclusion, a comprehensive

 

           17              smoking ban is not something we should want

 

           18              and hope eventually happens, it's something

 

           19              we need and we need to push Senator Mellow

 

           20              who needs to vote to pass a comprehensive

 

           21              smoking ban so when someone goes out to a

 

           22              public place for a good time they can have a

 

           23              good time breathing, too.  So, I ask you at

 

           24              council to send a letter to Senator Mellow

 

           25              stating your commitment to a comprehensive


 

 

                                                                      30

 

 

            1              smoking ban in Pennsylvania.

 

            2                      Also, if anyone is listening wants

 

            3              to call Senator Mellow or e-mail I have his

 

            4              e-mail address, Mellow@Pasenate.com and his

 

            5              office number is 346-5721.  Thank you.

 

            6                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you very much,

 

            7              Eric.  If you are going to stay I'm sure

 

            8              that some of the council members will be

 

            9              addressing that issue during motions.

 

           10                      MR. SYZKOWSKI:  Thank you.

 

           11                      MR. MCGOFF: Sam Patilla.

 

           12                      MR. PATILLA: Good evening,

 

           13              Mrs. Evans and Mr. Courtright.  Sam Patilla,

 

           14              Scranton homeowner, taxpayer, a member of

 

           15              the Scranton/Lackawanna Taxpayers'

 

           16              Association.  I came here tonight because

 

           17              Phyllis gets kind of upset with me.  We are

 

           18              going through the conserving energy phase

 

           19              here when I tell her to turn off lights and

 

           20              close doors behind you, she doesn't realize

 

           21              that, you know, we are being billed three

 

           22              times for the same amount of energy and in

 

           23              case of gas five times, you know, you have

 

           24              transition charges, you have distribution

 

           25              charges, you have customer charges, same


 

 

                                                                      31

 

 

            1              amount of electricity, same amount of gas,

 

            2              but three separate charges for each one and

 

            3              each one goes up a different level, but she

 

            4              doesn't understand, she thinks that I'm

 

            5              picking on her when I ask her to do these

 

            6              things, but I'm not, because what council,

 

            7              the county, the state and the federal

 

            8              government fail to realize is that while our

 

            9              job rates aren't going up everything else

 

           10              around us is, okay?

 

           11                      Since I have relocated to Scranton

 

           12              here I have seen tax cuts not a one.  Not a

 

           13              one, but I have seen $35 million given in

 

           14              bonds to the Scranton Parking Authority,

 

           15              quadruple raise in property taxes.  A

 

           16              94.5 percent tax increase divided 25 percent

 

           17              per year for the next three years.  I have

 

           18              seen high salaries for unqualified

 

           19              personnel.  I have seen $8 million given

 

           20              through the Mayor.  I have seen a million

 

           21              dollars given away to Southern Union.  I

 

           22              have seen 56 percent increase in the sewer

 

           23              rates.  I have seen 25 million in TANS.  I

 

           24              have already seen other spending increase in

 

           25              violation of the Home Rule Charter, job


 

 

                                                                      32

 

 

            1              creations and pay raises.  I haven't seen

 

            2              reduction in the size of government, and all

 

            3              over this country now you are hearing those

 

            4              cries, even today while I was watching the

 

            5              council representative debate on the Clean

 

            6              Air Act, you know, Governor Rendell once

 

            7              brought $850 million, the House of

 

            8              Representatives are up in arms.  No more

 

            9              borrowing.  The same thing we have been

 

           10              crying about here in the City of Scranton,

 

           11              no more borrowing, we can't afford it.

 

           12                      You know, the bond insurers their

 

           13              ratings are being cut, they are being

 

           14              downgraded.  You know, you talk about

 

           15              refinancing, you are not going to save any

 

           16              money refinancing right now.  This whole

 

           17              country is in dire straights.  It's going to

 

           18              cost us more in the long-term. I'm a baby

 

           19              boomer as many the people here in attendance

 

           20              are, we're baby boomers.  Our time is short,

 

           21              the clock is ticking.  We won't be here that

 

           22              much longer and when we retire we want the

 

           23              money that we put into this system.  We

 

           24              don't want to have to hear that, no, that

 

           25              has to go and pay for Doherty's bills or


 

 

                                                                      33

 

 

            1              Rendell's bill or Bush's bills because of

 

            2              wasteful spending because our elected

 

            3              officials didn't do the job that they were

 

            4              elected to do, they care about corporate

 

            5              America and big business than they did the

 

            6              everyday American citizen.  We don't need

 

            7              them.  We don't want them.

 

            8                      I have seen, oh, before I forget,

 

            9              Ms. Evans, I would like to know as of today

 

           10              the cost that that lawsuit that Judy Gatelli

 

           11              has filed against that website how much that

 

           12              is costing the Scranton Taxpayers of today

 

           13              in lawyer fees because I know they are

 

           14              billing us for this quadzillion because

 

           15              taxpayers are paying for that.  I have seen

 

           16              the regular program such as the Home

 

           17              Investment Partnership program, the

 

           18              emergency shelter grant, the Community

 

           19              Development Block Grant to fund

 

           20              company-owned companies and individuals.  I

 

           21              seen the sheltering of taxpayers' funds

 

           22              between the Scranton Housing Authority, the

 

           23              Scranton Parking Authority, the Scranton

 

           24              Sewer Authority, shuffle, shuffle, shuffle.

 

           25              No accountability.  We can't even audit our


 

 

                                                                      34

 

 

            1              tax office which is a ludicrous.  It doesn't

 

            2              make any sense.  Why we cannot audit our tax

 

            3              office.  Where is our tax money?  We pay our

 

            4              taxes.  The county did an audit, they found

 

            5              that the taxpayers over paid, they are

 

            6              reimbursing money.  The same should be done

 

            7              here in Scranton, okay?  All we hear is they

 

            8              want to increase our spending.  What you

 

            9              people have to realize Scranton is the only

 

           10              one increasing our taxes, the county is

 

           11              going to have to increase our taxes, the

 

           12              Commonwealth is going to have to increase

 

           13              our taxes, the state, the government itself,

 

           14              the Federal Government of the United States

 

           15              of America is going to have increase our

 

           16              taxes in order to get all of this yes, yes,

 

           17              yes, yes, voting being done at the local

 

           18              levels in order.  Thank God those

 

           19              representatives in the house are voting no

 

           20              to Governor Rendell oppressive the he be

 

           21              paid $150 million dollars as of right now.

 

           22              My clock only got two minutes, that's why I

 

           23              brought that.  That's why I brought that

 

           24              because I heard people tell me you cut my

 

           25              time down and I don't know appreciate that.


 

 

                                                                      35

 

 

            1              I brought this big clock here and I --

 

            2                      MR. MINORA: You got your five

 

            3              minutes.

 

            4                      MR. PATILLA: I got two minutes.

 

            5                      MR. MCGOFF: That you, Mr. Patilla.

 

            6                      MR. PATILLA:  Next time I'm going to

 

            7              give it to you, Miss Evans, because somebody

 

            8              told me he was cheating me out of my time.

 

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

 

           10                      MR. PATILLA: And I've spoken for two

 

           11              minutes and I'm going to go because I don't

 

           12              want Judge Geroulo getting mad at me, but

 

           13              next week I'm giving this to Miss Evans so

 

           14              you be prepared, you are not cutting me

 

           15              anymore.

 

           16                      MR. MCGOFF: Andrew Porter.

 

           17                      MR. PORTER: Good evening, City of

 

           18              Scranton.  A little tired this evening, but

 

           19              everything is good.  First I'd like to say

 

           20              to my friends and Italian citizens, I'm

 

           21              sorry, not Italian, but Irish citizens as

 

           22              well as visitors coming into the Scranton

 

           23              area during the holiday season, Happy St.

 

           24              Patrick's Day and travel safe and have a

 

           25              good day.


 

 

                                                                      36

 

 

            1                      The wind of change is in the air.

 

            2              Who would have thought that in the Year 2008

 

            3              that the United States of America would have

 

            4              a woman president or possibly a man of

 

            5              color.  Yesterday the great Senator from New

 

            6              York, Hillary Rodham Clinton, came into

 

            7              Scranton, her roots, she found her roots.

 

            8              You know, Roots is a book, a movie, but she

 

            9              found her roots and she came back, but she

 

           10              didn't just come back -- and she does come

 

           11              back, she does come back, but this time

 

           12              particularly she didn't just come back for

 

           13              the fact that she loves Scranton, she came

 

           14              back she needed our votes, she needs help.

 

           15              That's what I have been telling you guys all

 

           16              along.  In order for this city to be a great

 

           17              city we have to help each other.

 

           18                      Now, if you vote for Hillary because

 

           19              she is a woman as opposed to this man of

 

           20              color then you are a fool and Hillary will

 

           21              tell you that, okay.  She doesn't want your

 

           22              vote because she's the best route other than

 

           23              a man of color, no, she wants your vote

 

           24              because of who she is.  And I like Hillary,

 

           25              she is a great woman.  She stuck by her man


 

 

                                                                      37

 

 

            1              through thick and thin when he was in the

 

            2              office through all of the controversy, she

 

            3              did great things.  She came out, she became

 

            4              a senator, she did great work as a senator,

 

            5              all right, and then she comes before us as a

 

            6              candidate for the United States of America,

 

            7              that's the sign of a good woman, possibly a

 

            8              great woman, all right, and that's the

 

            9              reason why she could get my vote, not

 

           10              because she is a woman rather than the

 

           11              alternate man of color, all right?

 

           12                      We need to come together as a city.

 

           13              This is, again, as I say, this is not our

 

           14              city, this is God's city, we just happen to

 

           15              live in it and he is overseeing everything

 

           16              that we do every minute, every hour, we need

 

           17              to help each other.  Stop making promises

 

           18              that we can't keep and keep the promises

 

           19              that we make.  We need to find a way to love

 

           20              each other and not hate each other.

 

           21                      Now, as far as the mayor and as far

 

           22              as any politician it's their job, they want

 

           23              to be in office, so they are going to tell

 

           24              you what they need to tell you to get in

 

           25              office and stay in office, all right?


 

 

                                                                      38

 

 

            1              Hillary is here because she needs your help.

 

            2              At the end of the day, at the end of the

 

            3              day, right, there is no difference between

 

            4              Hillary and Barack.  There is no difference.

 

            5              One is going to be the president and the

 

            6              other one is going to be the senator and you

 

            7              think they are going to hate each other?

 

            8              No, they love each other and they respect

 

            9              each other right now, but in the midst of

 

           10              the fight, in the midst of the fight these

 

           11              are the things that happen, so we say we got

 

           12              a bad mayor, all of the people that come up

 

           13              here and you got a bad mayor, you got a bad

 

           14              city council, the mayor is running for

 

           15              office, is he running for mayor?  Who is

 

           16              your alternate?  The mayor is not afraid.  I

 

           17              remember seen him in the Happenings, I see

 

           18              him in the paper, some people say he owns

 

           19              this paper, he owns the black paper, he

 

           20              owns, this, so what?  If you got a beef,

 

           21              deal with it.

 

           22                      Let me draw a parallel to you, a lot

 

           23              of people may not understand what I'm

 

           24              saying.  Let's talk about the City of

 

           25              Scranton, that's more important than


 

 

                                                                      39

 

 

            1              anything.  This is God's city.  This is the

 

            2              chosen city, all right?  So, now if we draw

 

            3              that parallel the Superbowl Giants and God

 

            4              up there is looking down on us, all right,

 

            5              and he is saying, no, uh-huh, they are not

 

            6              going to make it, but God loves us and he

 

            7              still gives us a chance.  He is not ending

 

            8              it yet, all right?  So here we go, God

 

            9              saying, no, they are not going to make it,

 

           10              all right, Superbowl Champions, the Giant's

 

           11              at the start nobody gave them a chance.

 

           12                      At the start, nobody gives us a

 

           13              chance, the City of Scranton, because we

 

           14              don't give ourselves a chance.  The mayor

 

           15              needs help.  He may be the able to identify

 

           16              it.  If you have -- you have given him the

 

           17              power to do certain things and not have

 

           18              walked with him along the way, all right?

 

           19              And things have mushroomed, all right?  So,

 

           20              now he is asking for another six years,

 

           21              right?  Now here we go.  Coach Conlin, I

 

           22              wasn't a great fan to him, but his team got

 

           23              together and they pulled for him and they

 

           24              stuck with him and he grew and he grew and

 

           25              he grew and I'll talk again maybe next week.


 

 

                                                                      40

 

 

            1              I don't even like to be up here, but

 

            2              somebody got to do it.  Look at the lines at

 

            3              the high school, Scranton High School,

 

            4              hundreds of people, maybe thousands.  If you

 

            5              want to make a chance then come to city

 

            6              council.

 

            7                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.

 

            8                      MR. PORTER:  Come to city council,

 

            9              they need you right here.  There should be

 

           10              lines outside city council.  If you stay

 

           11              home and say that nothing is going to

 

           12              change, nothing is going to change.

 

           13                      MR. MCGOFF:  Mr. Porter --

 

           14                      MR. PORTER: But if you love your

 

           15              city then you come here and you make your

 

           16              city what it needs to be and your help, your

 

           17              mayor and you help your city council and you

 

           18              help each other.

 

           19                      MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Porter --

 

           20                      MR. PORTER: God bless you all.

 

           21                      MR. MCGOFF:  Your time -- it is

 

           22              time.

 

           23                      MR. PORTER: Have a safe St.

 

           24              Patrick's Day.

 

           25                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you very much.


 

 

                                                                      41

 

 

            1              Lee Morgan.

 

            2                      MR. MORGAN: Good evening, Council.

 

            3              You know, I really don't have very much to

 

            4              add today to what's already been said,

 

            5              especially by Andy Sbaraglia and a couple of

 

            6              other speakers here, and I would have to

 

            7              agree that this city is frozen in the eyes

 

            8              of indifference.  This council really

 

            9              doesn't care about the residents of this

 

           10              city, it's pretty blatantly right in their

 

           11              face to be honest with you, I mean, we've

 

           12              put $10 million of dollars worth of

 

           13              borrowing in the budget.  We borrow and

 

           14              borrow.  You know, I had an opportunity, I

 

           15              drove down I think it was Prospect Avenue

 

           16              the other day, we are talking about a great

 

           17              Renaissance in South Side, South Side is a

 

           18              mess.  I counted I think seven empty

 

           19              apartments and five houses for sale in one

 

           20              block.  There is houses all over South Side

 

           21              for sale.  All over South Side, for that

 

           22              matter all over the whole city, and you

 

           23              would think that maybe this council would

 

           24              want to change the way things are done here.

 

           25              A city of 140,000 people down to 60 or


 

 

                                                                      42

 

 

            1              70,000 people and the only one that's really

 

            2              doing any building in this city is the

 

            3              University of Scranton all of the taxpayers

 

            4              in this city are paying for it.  It's just

 

            5              terrible and now, you know, a lot of times

 

            6              people talk about more often than not

 

            7              seniors living on a fixed income but, you

 

            8              know, the problems in this country cut well

 

            9              beyond that because now people have to chose

 

           10              between food, shelter, or medicine.  It's

 

           11              terrible.  This country has just gone into a

 

           12              total tailspin and we have to look at the

 

           13              elected officials we have elected to govern

 

           14              us and we have people on this council who

 

           15              say one thing and do the direct opposite,

 

           16              give the mayor permission to borrow money,

 

           17              buy equipment the city doesn't need and not

 

           18              have the equipment the city does need and

 

           19              I'd like to say that in my own personal

 

           20              opinion I think that everybody on this

 

           21              council knew that Chief Davis wasn't

 

           22              qualified to be the chief of the fire

 

           23              department, never heard it discussed.

 

           24                      You didn't hear this council really

 

           25              jump up and scream and yell when they


 

 

                                                                      43

 

 

            1              allowed the sewer authority to raise our

 

            2              rates in contradiction to law because

 

            3              council had an oversight on that, they

 

            4              didn't do anything.  Exactly what is this

 

            5              council doing except shifting money from one

 

            6              account to another or borrowing?  What

 

            7              honestly can we say this council has

 

            8              actually done for the residents of this

 

            9              city?  We have viscous dog attracts in the

 

           10              city, I don't see any legislation come from

 

           11              council to address that problem.  I really

 

           12              haven't seen this council address any real

 

           13              problems in this city.  We talked about a

 

           14              youth program in the city and playgrounds,

 

           15              they never materialized.  We are charging

 

           16              kids to go to swimming pools.  Where are we

 

           17              here?  We are pumping all of this money like

 

           18              previous speakers have said to special

 

           19              interests as the neighborhoods just decay.

 

           20              No sidewalks, no curbs.  We have the mayor

 

           21              saying an election cycle when Mr. Murphy was

 

           22              council president that he was going to do

 

           23              whatever it took to fix the streets in this

 

           24              city and they are worse than ever before.

 

           25                      So really, you know, I think that


 

 

                                                                      44

 

 

            1              this council really needs to take a look at

 

            2              what it's to doing and to have a council

 

            3              president say that he wasn't going to go

 

            4              fetch anything for anyone I don't really

 

            5              take serious offense to that because this

 

            6              council has voted for things with no

 

            7              information for a long time.  This isn't a

 

            8              new revelation here.  I mean, the

 

            9              information was supposed to be left outside

 

           10              of this door so that the residents who came

 

           11              here and want to discuss issue at this

 

           12              council could look at the backup

 

           13              documentation to have an idea what's going

 

           14              on, and even that's never complete.  And

 

           15              then we have council vote to get subpoenas

 

           16              and they quash their own vote.  I mean, we

 

           17              don't want to know what's going on.  We have

 

           18              various things in the City of Scranton being

 

           19              used at employment agencies for the mayor.

 

           20              Sewer authority, Parking Authority,

 

           21              borrowing out of control, yet we are going

 

           22              to sell people's homes, we're going to raise

 

           23              their taxes, we are going to make life

 

           24              totally unlivable here and, I mean, I have

 

           25              people come up to me and say, "We had to


 

 

                                                                      45

 

 

            1              move out of that city, we just couldn't live

 

            2              here anymore," but what about all of the

 

            3              people that have vacated their houses and

 

            4              just left them here vacant and people who

 

            5              can't sell their homes.  And what about all

 

            6              of the investors who are city residents who

 

            7              own homes, let's not talk about landlords

 

            8              from outside of the city, let's talk about

 

            9              people that actually own properties are

 

           10              rentals in the city and they can't rent them

 

           11              because of the outrageous amount of taxation

 

           12              going on here, 2.4 for the city and one for

 

           13              the school district, they can't even rent

 

           14              them.  The city tax rates are out of control

 

           15              and all we are doing is we are borrowing to

 

           16              give the mayor more money to waste and it's

 

           17              time for this council to find out who is

 

           18              really important because you are not a cult

 

           19              on your own.  This isn't a cult of

 

           20              personality here.  You are elected here to

 

           21              represent the people and it's just not

 

           22              happening.  Thank you.

 

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

 

           24              Cody Slack.

 

           25                      MR. SLACK: Hello.  I've got a short


 

 

                                                                      46

 

 

            1              thing to say.  I'm from West Scranton and

 

            2              I'm against the smoking ban because I feel

 

            3              people should be able to relax and enjoy

 

            4              this area during or after a meal.  If you

 

            5              ban smoking many restaurants and bars will

 

            6              lose business.  If you ban smoking because

 

            7              it's dangerous to other's health you might

 

            8              as well ban alcohol, too.  More people will

 

            9              die from drunk drivers than they will from

 

           10              secondhand smoke.  Many people argue that

 

           11              they shouldn't have smell the smoke while

 

           12              they're eating.  The solution to that is not

 

           13              to sit near the smoking section.  In

 

           14              conclusion, I ask for you on behalf of

 

           15              myself and all others who oppose the smoking

 

           16              ban to tell Senator Mellow not to pass the

 

           17              smoking ban, and that's about it.  Thanks.

 

           18                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Cody.  Marie

 

           19              Schumacher.

 

           20                      MS. SCHUMACHER: Good evening.  Marie

 

           21              Schumacher, city resident and member of the

 

           22              taxpayers' group.  Because I have been

 

           23              running out of time week after week I want

 

           24              to start by listing some of the items

 

           25              requested of the law development using the


 

 

                                                                      47

 

 

            1              Right to Know statute that have gone

 

            2              unanswered.  First, I requested the

 

            3              principal amount of non-electoral debt for

 

            4              the city and each of it's authorities and

 

            5              how close in either dollars or percent the

 

            6              aggregate comes to the Commonwealth limit on

 

            7              non-electoral debt.

 

            8                      Second, I've requested to review the

 

            9              contract with Forever Young treehouse,

 

           10              Incorporated, for the Nay Aug treehouse.

 

           11                      I have requested the amount of legal

 

           12              fees by attorney or law firm paid in the

 

           13              Year 2006.

 

           14                      I have asked whether the City of

 

           15              Scranton participates in the Government

 

           16              Finance Officer's Association Financial

 

           17              Reporting and Budget Awards Program and if

 

           18              so have any awards been received.

 

           19                      I have asked if the city has a

 

           20              manual that documents each source of

 

           21              revenue, it's legal basis and limitations

 

           22              and the history and if so is a copy

 

           23              available at the Albright Library or

 

           24              someplace else for review?

 

           25                      Now, I'll step there as I have other


 

 

                                                                      48

 

 

            1              items, but I first want to point out that

 

            2              the last two items were among the many

 

            3              recommendations in the $25,000 study the

 

            4              city commissioned early in Mayor Doherty's

 

            5              first term.  It seems few, in any, of those

 

            6              recommendations were embraced.  What a waste

 

            7              of $25,000 worth of taxpayer's dollars.

 

            8                      I would also like to report I talked

 

            9              to Mrs. Patterson this afternoon and she

 

           10              said -- promised to look into those letters,

 

           11              those Right to Know letters because she says

 

           12              that's not her policy.

 

           13                      Now, to 5-F on the agenda tonight.

 

           14              There are two aspects to the fire truck

 

           15              issue.  First is the abject failure of

 

           16              council to notice the mayor's first capital

 

           17              budget included by the million and half

 

           18              dollars for fire station renovations and

 

           19              equipment spread over the five years, but

 

           20              none of it was spent.  Then, last year when

 

           21              you received the mayor's new five-year

 

           22              capital budget for the next five years there

 

           23              was nothing in that account until 2010.

 

           24                   Now, that's seven years without a

 

           25              capital expenditure for the fire department.


 

 

                                                                      49

 

 

            1              Is there any one of you who really believes

 

            2              you may keep a department up-to-date without

 

            3              making any capital investments for seven

 

            4              years?  Shame on you.

 

            5                      Now to the proposed ordinance at

 

            6              hand.  Unless there are readily available

 

            7              answers to the following questions I believe

 

            8              5-F should be tabled until answers are

 

            9              available.  First, after the $239,156.45 is

 

           10              transferred out of the clearing of banks and

 

           11              streams account how much will remain?  What

 

           12              approved projects for which the budget was

 

           13              approved in the beginning will not be

 

           14              accomplished because of the transfer?

 

           15                      Two:  After the $74,470.75 transfer

 

           16              from the fire hydrants account how much will

 

           17              remain and how many hydrants would that

 

           18              amount have bought?

 

           19                      Three:  After the $30,000 that's

 

           20              transferred from the Neighborhood Police

 

           21              Precinct account how much will remain and

 

           22              what activities will not be accomplished?

 

           23                      Four:  After the $56,286.98 is

 

           24              transferred from the Emergency Relief

 

           25              Account -- or, excuse me, Emergency Flood


 

 

                                                                      50

 

 

            1              Relief account how much will remain?  The

 

            2              mayor was quoted in the monopoly newspaper

 

            3              as saying the new fire truck will be

 

            4              purchased from the operating budget.  This

 

            5              is a budget from OECD funds and federal

 

            6              funds, it is not from our operating budget.

 

            7              Is also a capital expense, so I would

 

            8              recommend that we do it right and we

 

            9              reallocate the capital budget to buy this

 

           10              fire engine from the capital budget.

 

           11                      Next, I know it's a done deed, but I

 

           12              was parked in the 100 block of North

 

           13              Washington Avenue this past week and I had

 

           14              some time left on my meter when I finished

 

           15              with my business and so I went into the

 

           16              Oppenheim Garage and I would like to say I

 

           17              totally agree with Dan Hubbard, I walked

 

           18              through there, granted some work needs to be

 

           19              done, but I would love for the edification

 

           20              of the structural engineer who said that

 

           21              building needs to be demolished.  It is

 

           22              ashame that we are wasting all of that money

 

           23              to demolish that structure and build a new

 

           24              garage.  Period.  Next, I'll be back next

 

           25              week.  Thank you.


 

 

                                                                      51

 

 

            1                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mrs.

 

            2              Schumacher.  Other speakers?

 

            3                      MR. DAVIS: Salaam aleikum.  My name

 

            4              is Jim Davis and, first of all, I want to

 

            5              say the 24th of March is the last day you

 

            6              can register to vote.  For those of you who

 

            7              have not registered to vote please go out

 

            8              and register vote and I only ask of you to

 

            9              vote if you are going to vote with your

 

           10              conscience.  Let's vote to do things the

 

           11              right way.  Let's stop giving people power

 

           12              over us who don't desire to do the best for

 

           13              us, but in order to do that you are going to

 

           14              have to listen to them and you are going to

 

           15              have be very, very circumspect in your

 

           16              listening and in your dealings.  That's

 

           17              number one.

 

           18                      Number two, I spoke to you last week

 

           19              about the Washington West project area and

 

           20              how they sit there with nobody working on

 

           21              them or doing anything about them and Mr.

 

           22              Courtright took the seat and said that

 

           23              something is being done.  I have not yet to

 

           24              find -- do you know where I could find the

 

           25              floor plan or the rebuilding plan or


 

 

                                                                      52

 

 

            1              something that goes along with that project?

 

            2              Is there anywhere --

 

            3                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I don't know the

 

            4              plan they have.  If you go the Housing

 

            5              Authority I would imagine that's where they

 

            6              would be able to tell you what they're going

 

            7              to do over there.

 

            8                      MR. DAVIS: When you go to the

 

            9              Housing Authority for anything you have to

 

           10              talk to Mr. Baker.  Mr. Baker he is not

 

           11              available at the present time.

 

           12                      MR. COURTRIGHT: There is somebody

 

           13              taking his place?

 

           14                      MR. DAVIS: Excuse me?

 

           15                      MR. COURTRIGHT: There is somebody

 

           16              taking his place and they have --

 

           17                      MR. DAVIS: Oh, yes, there are, but

 

           18              they don't know what to say.  They don't

 

           19              have an answer for me.

 

           20                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I don't know.

 

           21                      MR. DAVIS: So perhaps you can

 

           22              intercede for me.

 

           23                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  They have a board

 

           24              just like a panel.

 

           25                      MR. DAVIS: I know, I have gone to


 

 

                                                                      53

 

 

            1              their board meeting.  I have sat there when

 

            2              they were making the decision to close down

 

            3              the apartments over there.  I saw who was

 

            4              there and I saw why they were doing it.

 

            5                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I'd try and call

 

            6              over there and see if they will tell us

 

            7              what's going on.

 

            8                      MR. DAVIS: We just want a plan.

 

            9              What's going on.  Our community is really

 

           10              hey, voting wise we have lost any number of

 

           11              people that were voting participants in the

 

           12              community, they are gone, and you know what

 

           13              happens in Scranton when you lose your

 

           14              voting power you lose your rights.  You

 

           15              don't even bring up the project here that

 

           16              has anything to do with central city.  You

 

           17              don't say anything about the playyards of

 

           18              central city.  Everything is in South Side

 

           19              or West Side or Greenridge, but nothing in

 

           20              central city.  We have kids here, top.  We

 

           21              can't get anything done here.  We don't have

 

           22              representation.  That's the thing that you

 

           23              don't seem to understand when I come before

 

           24              you and I ask someone is there any one among

 

           25              you that will stand up and say, I'll


 

 

                                                                      54

 

 

            1              represent central city?  I'll represent the

 

            2              kids and the residents of central city.  No,

 

            3              I don't see that happening.  I don't hear it

 

            4              in your plans.  I don't each know if any of

 

            5              you have ever walked through central city.

 

            6              It does doesn't sound like you have or know

 

            7              of it all.  Maybe a few of you have gone to

 

            8              school at Tech High School or Central High

 

            9              School or something like that, but I don't

 

           10              see it.  I don't see it your plans.  I don't

 

           11              see it in your questioning of people who

 

           12              come here with ideas.  Okay.  The

 

           13              development of central city is most

 

           14              important to me because our tax base is

 

           15              being totally destroyed.  Totally.  And now

 

           16              it's either senior citizens or rentals and

 

           17              you know they don't give up taxes, so,

 

           18              therefore, I understand why you are ignoring

 

           19              me.  You can't get anything out of them,

 

           20              there is no sense of you doing anything for

 

           21              them, I understand that.  It's a cruel dog

 

           22              eat dog existence and I'm sorry that it has

 

           23              to come down to that and I don't think

 

           24              Scranton was always like that.  From where I

 

           25              understood we had good people there would


 

 

                                                                      55

 

 

            1              take care of the streets for us, the fire

 

            2              unions were run, it just seems as though we

 

            3              have lost our desire to do an adequate job

 

            4              for adequate people and we are not being

 

            5              very honest about it.  I think maybe you

 

            6              should start looking in the mirror at

 

            7              yourselves and saying what is going on and

 

            8              why haven't you done anything.  I thank you

 

            9              for your time.

 

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

 

           11                      MR. DAVIS: Be of good cheer.  We're

 

           12              not and you can tell by what we have said up

 

           13              here so far, there is a lot of displeasure.

 

           14              There's got to be a reason for it.

 

           15                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.  Anyone else?

 

           16                      MR. GATELLI:  Mr. McGoff, may I say

 

           17              something, please?  I would just like to

 

           18              respond to Mr. Davis.  This council

 

           19              unanimously voted to give money to the Boys

 

           20              and Girls Club which services the downtown

 

           21              children, central city.  We almost fully

 

           22              funded I believe the new United States

 

           23              Neighborhood Centers building on Olive

 

           24              Street which also services the children of

 

           25              central city, so I think that we are


 

 

                                                                      56

 

 

            1              concerned about the kids that live in

 

            2              central city and we have done what we needed

 

            3              to do to help them, so I would just like to

 

            4              clarify that.  Thank you.

 

            5                      MS. DAVIS: Look at the amount that

 

            6              you funded them this year.

 

            7                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.

 

            8                      MR. DAVIS: Versus what happened in

 

            9              the past.

 

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

 

           11                      MS. WILLIAMS: Good evening.  Joanne

 

           12              Williams, I'm a life-long taxpaying resident

 

           13              of this great city.  I have listened to a

 

           14              woman who has spoken at this podium a few

 

           15              times in the last few months, correct me if

 

           16              I'm wrong, I'm told she is the wife of a

 

           17              Scranton firefighter.  Also, that she has

 

           18              only resided in our city for three to

 

           19              four years.  It was very hurtful to me to

 

           20              hear her down our parks and cities.  How can

 

           21              someone who has lived in our city for such a

 

           22              short period of time not knowing any history

 

           23              let alone have any history in our city start

 

           24              judging it.  I am a true Scrantonian born

 

           25              and raised here from the babyboomer


 

 

                                                                      57

 

 

            1              generation and I will probably live the rest

 

            2              of my life here.  I have lived through the

 

            3              ups and the downs because a true Scrantonian

 

            4              truly loves this city.  I remember my

 

            5              parents brought me to Nay Aug Park as a baby

 

            6              and a young child.  I remember the duck's

 

            7              pond, the amusement rides, Lake Lincoln and

 

            8              the heights my dad would take his children

 

            9              on over the old bridge as we all witnessed

 

           10              nature, the beauty of nature.  As a teenager

 

           11              we would all play basketball, baseball, went

 

           12              swimming, rode bikes and as young adults we

 

           13              had our wedding day pictures taken in our

 

           14              beloved Nay Aug Park.

 

           15                      Unfortunately, this beautiful park

 

           16              was slowly deteriorating before our eyes.

 

           17              It became for quiet several years a drug

 

           18              infested lonely place where Scrantonians

 

           19              would no longer gather as we once did.  With

 

           20              Chris Doherty's first term for mayor he

 

           21              promised to restore our parks and thank God

 

           22              he did.  We once again have a beautiful and

 

           23              safe park where families gather yearly for

 

           24              reunions, relaxing green space that you can

 

           25              enjoy as walkers have once returned to Nay


 

 

                                                                      58

 

 

            1              Aug.  A handicap treehouse where you can

 

            2              enjoy the true beauty of our various trees.

 

            3              A new bridge where you can view the

 

            4              breathtaking nature of our streams and woods

 

            5              that surround you with the beauty of

 

            6              wildlife.  I could go on and on.

 

            7                      My point is this, speakers who come

 

            8              to this podium week after week and speak

 

            9              negative about our city are not in my eyes

 

           10              in my heart true Scrantonians.

 

           11                      Another thing is on December 30,

 

           12              2007, at 11:00 p.m. an abandoned house

 

           13              caught fire.  This home was located directly

 

           14              at the rear of my next door neighbor's home

 

           15              and very close to mine.  The fire department

 

           16              did a fantastic job, but most importantly,

 

           17              Chief Tom Davis, dressed in full gear, spoke

 

           18              to both me and my neighbors.  He calmed our

 

           19              fears and reassured us.  I witnessed him

 

           20              handling his crew professionally.  Chief

 

           21              Davis is a respected citizen of the city.

 

           22              After all I'm hearing in these meetings is

 

           23              the negative criticism, I felt compelled to

 

           24              voice what I had witnessed on that night.

 

           25                   In closing, I would like to compliment


 

 

                                                                      59

 

 

            1              Mr. Doug Miller and Junior Council and their

 

            2              strive to plan trees in South Scranton.  I

 

            3              cannot believe the negative remarks made on

 

            4              a simple tree.  One speaker stated the care

 

            5              cost for a tree and also root problems.  I

 

            6              truly believe it's a scare tactic to get

 

            7              residents disinterested in planting a tree

 

            8              in front of their properties.  It's going to

 

            9              take quite some time and many years for you

 

           10              to have root problems.  And, remember, trees

 

           11              are a gift from God.  They don't only

 

           12              provide beauty, they provide oxygen, clean

 

           13              air to help us breathe.  They provide us

 

           14              shade and they shelter the birds and

 

           15              squirrels.  They bring us beautiful blossoms

 

           16              in the spring and vibrant colors in autumn.

 

           17              I am asking council to plant these trees in

 

           18              South Scranton.  If we don't use the grant

 

           19              money to do so we will lose it and basically

 

           20              isn't a gift from God such as a tree truly

 

           21              worth any amount?  Please plant those trees.

 

           22              Thank you.

 

           23                      MR. MCGOFF:  Thank you, Mrs.

 

           24              Williams.  Anyone else?

 

           25                      MR. BOYLE: Good evening.  I'm Nick


 

 

                                                                      60

 

 

            1              Boyle and I'm a student at West Scranton

 

            2              High School, I play for the West Scranton

 

            3              football team, in fact, I just came from

 

            4              practice right here just now and I felt it

 

            5              fit to come here because I thought it was

 

            6              important enough to talk to you about a

 

            7              comprehensive ban on smoking.  Now, me being

 

            8              an athletic person, I also seek to stay

 

            9              healthy inside physically and me being

 

           10              almost 17 I have been in the working field

 

           11              for a little while now and I always thought

 

           12              it was unfair that I had to be subject to

 

           13              other people's habits of smoking by

 

           14              injecting in secondhand smoke.

 

           15                      Now, I am asking you as my

 

           16              representatives to send a message urging

 

           17              Senator Mellow to put a comprehensive ban on

 

           18              smoking.  Thank you.

 

           19                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Nick.

 

           20                      MR. TALIMINI: Joe Talimini, City of

 

           21              Scranton resident.  I wasn't going to speak

 

           22              tonight, but I find that I'm in a position

 

           23              where I have come up here and not only

 

           24              defend myself but defend my right to smoke.

 

           25              I have the right to smoke.  I have heard


 

 

                                                                      61

 

 

            1              most of it before, I have read most of it

 

            2              from the American Lung Association, the

 

            3              American Heart Association.  Actually, I

 

            4              hate to tell you, you know, but I'm 76 years

 

            5              old, I come from a family that smoked all of

 

            6              their lives, they all died in their 80's and

 

            7              early 90's, and I have never forced anybody

 

            8              to be in my company when I smoke a cigarette

 

            9              and I usually try to be considerate enough

 

           10              not to light up a cigarette when somebody is

 

           11              eating.  However, in 1950 and 1951 I fought

 

           12              in Korea for the right to for you people to

 

           13              sit up there in judgment and for kids like

 

           14              this to sit over here and make accusations

 

           15              based on whatever somebody else said.  I

 

           16              fought for that right.  I've got a purple

 

           17              heart, I got a couple of other metals, I'll

 

           18              be damned if I'm going to let you or anybody

 

           19              else tell me whether I can smoke or not.

 

           20                   And if Senator Mellow doesn't agree

 

           21              with you, that's his right, too, I have got

 

           22              rights and I'm going to defend them.  You

 

           23              got your rights, all for it, but please

 

           24              don't set up these kids to come up here like

 

           25              this.  It's ridiculous.  If you don't have


 

 

                                                                      62

 

 

            1              the guts to stand up for yourselves, quit.

 

            2                      MS. GATELLI: I have to answer.  May

 

            3              I answer that, please?  The children are

 

            4              from Tom Murray's history class and that's

 

            5              why they are here.

 

            6                      MR. TALIMINI: I didn't say it was

 

            7              you.

 

            8                      MS. GATELLI: Well, I'm just

 

            9              answering it because there are speakers that

 

           10              come here --

 

           11                      MS. FANUCCI: Set up.

 

           12                      MS. GATELLI: Set up.

 

           13                      MR. MCGOFF:  Mr. Ancherani.

 

           14                      MR. ANCHERANI:  Chris is going last.

 

           15                      MS. GATELLI: Show them your new

 

           16              hairdo.

 

           17                      MR. SLEDZENSKI: Oh, I will.

 

           18                      MR. ANCHERANI: Good evening.  Nelson

 

           19              Ancherani, resident, taxpayer, city employee

 

           20              and financial secretary of FOP, First

 

           21              Amendment rights.  Last week Miss Fanucci

 

           22              wasn't at the meeting when I remarked about

 

           23              your remarks from the previous meeting.  You

 

           24              defended the Recovery Plan and denied that

 

           25              any violation took place by the mayor when


 

 

                                                                      63

 

 

            1              he gave out raises and new hires to the tune

 

            2              of $15 million under Section 2, wages on

 

            3              page 64 of the plan.  You were going to give

 

            4              me the page number where provisions are made

 

            5              for the unions to get raises.  I believe you

 

            6              were referring to page 64, Section 3,

 

            7              personnel costs.  I pointed out three more

 

            8              violations in Section 3 alone where

 

            9              4,268,465 more was spent on raises in new

 

           10              hires for the years 2003, 4 and 5 than was

 

           11              allowed under the plan.  That's 4,268,465

 

           12              more than was allowed for the three years

 

           13              combined.  They are violations.  In fact,

 

           14              three more violations.  You said you read

 

           15              all 109 pages of the plan.  If page 64 was

 

           16              not the page you were referring to please

 

           17              let me know in motions what page and section

 

           18              you are referring to.

 

           19                      I know you believe what is written

 

           20              in black and white because you said at one

 

           21              time you believed the mayor's budgets.  You

 

           22              voted for the last two record budgets along

 

           23              with Miss Gatelli and Mr. McGoff.  I'd like

 

           24              to remind everyone in case you forgot, but

 

           25              the totals of all of the current mayor's


 

 

                                                                      64

 

 

            1              budgets and the totals of all the loans

 

            2              taken out by this city under this mayor is

 

            3              over the $600 million mark for monies taken

 

            4              out of revenues.  Around June or July of

 

            5              this year when the city borrows 11 million

 

            6              more and a new record budget is passed in

 

            7              November by Mr. McGoff, Miss Gatelli and

 

            8              Miss Fanucci.  The total will be over 700

 

            9              million.  I would predict closer to the

 

           10              three quarter billion mark or 750 million

 

           11              for money taken in in revenue.  And since

 

           12              the city is still claiming, and I use that

 

           13              word loosely, that we are still distressed

 

           14              and that we are going to need 11 million

 

           15              more to borrow this year that we will have a

 

           16              deficit or a claim of a deficit.  Where did

 

           17              600 million go?  Nay Aug, Davis trail, the

 

           18              green, I mean, the black fish pond and I

 

           19              almost forgot, you won't hit a pothole in

 

           20              Nay Aug.

 

           21                      As for what this city owes I believe

 

           22              is 108 million in debt without interest.

 

           23              Tack on the interest and it is approximately

 

           24              300 million in long-term debt for the next

 

           25              28 or more years.  Oops, I forgot about the


 

 

                                                                      65

 

 

            1              300 -- or, I'm sorry, 35 million loan that

 

            2              the Scranton Parking Authority took out last

 

            3              year and that has an approximate 95 million

 

            4              pay back.  We have to add this among to our

 

            5              debt since we are financing the Scranton

 

            6              Parking Authority to the tune of $803,000

 

            7              for citation issuers for this year alone.

 

            8              That is more like $400 million.  By the way,

 

            9              does anyone up there no how many citation

 

           10              issuers the parking authority has and what

 

           11              their salaries are for the year?  Did anyone

 

           12              forget these famous words?  Money has to

 

           13              come from somebody.  They were said by our

 

           14              mayor and guess what, taxpayers, guess who

 

           15              that money to pay back that debt is going to

 

           16              come from?  And we only get three guesses.

 

           17                   In two months Armed Forces Day will be

 

           18              here and this city still has not paid our

 

           19              returning solider from Iraq, the less, and

 

           20              that's right, the less than $20,000 to make

 

           21              them whole yet the city can find $60,000 for

 

           22              trees in South Side, a million to the

 

           23              Connell building from Growing Greener when

 

           24              they have over $200,000 in delinquent taxes

 

           25              waived when the building was purchased by


 

 

                                                                      66

 

 

            1              the new owner with Wolfington.  Poor people

 

            2              are going to lose their homes because they

 

            3              have $2,000 in fees tacked onto their

 

            4              already delinquent taxes that they can't

 

            5              afford to pay and the rich get taxes waived.

 

            6              Where is the justice?  Fair is fair, but I

 

            7              did forget, we live in the City of Scranton.

 

            8                      MS. EVANS: Mr. Ancherani, Mr.

 

            9              Wolfington still owes property taxes on

 

           10              Southern Union.  Not Southern Union, the

 

           11              Connell building, I'm sorry.

 

           12                      MS. SLEDZENSKI: Should I take it

 

           13              off, Jude?

 

           14                      MS. GATELLI: Yes, take it off. It's

 

           15              gorgeous.

 

           16                      MR. SLEDZENSKI: I know.  I always

 

           17              look good, Jude.  Right, Jude?

 

           18                      MS. GATELLI: Yes, you do.

 

           19                      MR. SLEDZENSKI:  Bill, these fire

 

           20              fighters for the City of Scranton do a job

 

           21              downstairs.  Keep it up down there, guys,

 

           22              we're proud of you up here.

 

           23                      MR. MCGOFF:  Thank you, Chris.  Is

 

           24              there anyone else?  Mrs. Evans?

 

           25                      MS. EVANS: Thank you.  Good evening.


 

 

                                                                      67

 

 

            1              I ask you to remember in your prayers

 

            2              Mr. Thomas Burke, a retired firefighter that

 

            3              passed away recently and his dear family and

 

            4              friends he leaves behind.  Also, a friend is

 

            5              having cancer surgery on Thursday and I hope

 

            6              you will remember him in your prayers as

 

            7              well.

 

            8                      Mr. Lee Namey responded to my

 

            9              questions regarding the empty Southern Union

 

           10              building on Lackawanna County.  He checked

 

           11              with the state and confirmed that Southern

 

           12              Union remains in the KOEZ program.  Any new

 

           13              tenants will be part of the KOEZ program

 

           14              until it's expiration.  The job creation

 

           15              requirement was merely an initial

 

           16              requirement.  Southern Union, in other

 

           17              words, only had to create the jobs not

 

           18              maintain them.  This is the way in which the

 

           19              law was written according to Mr. Namey.

 

           20                   According to the mayor, the Flexible

 

           21              Foam Warehouse which housed toxic materials

 

           22              was a dangerous situation that was resolved

 

           23              immediately.  We demanded the business

 

           24              remove the materials and they did and that

 

           25              was a quote from our mayor.  Now, either the


 

 

                                                                      68

 

 

            1              mayor has a selective memory or is not

 

            2              telling the truth.  A letter was sent from

 

            3              the inspector's office to the assistant

 

            4              chiefs and fire chiefs on December 9, 2004.

 

            5              Foam products were to be removed in

 

            6              December 2004.  Toxic carpet foam lined the

 

            7              interior of the building floor to ceiling,

 

            8              wall-to-wall.  Further, there was no

 

            9              sprinkler system.  The issue first became

 

           10              public at the April 21, 2005, council

 

           11              meeting I believe.  At the April 28 meeting

 

           12              I discussed the fact that Chief Davis

 

           13              suspended any further action on this

 

           14              travesty as of December 21, 2004.  The

 

           15              matter was not revisited until approximately

 

           16              April 18, 2005, when members of the safety

 

           17              committee raised the seriousness of the

 

           18              issue again.  As of April 19, 2005,

 

           19              Mr. Fiorini, former director of Licensing,

 

           20              Inspections and Permits in the City of

 

           21              Scranton and Deputy Chief Osborne intended

 

           22              to proceed with citations, however, Flexible

 

           23              Foam was granted an additional 5 to 7 days

 

           24              to remove the toxic material by someone

 

           25              other than Mr. Fiorini or Deputy Chief


 

 

                                                                      69

 

 

            1              Osborne and I don't blame the chief for his

 

            2              role in this potentially dangerous matter.

 

            3              He takes his orders ultimately from only one

 

            4              man who has publically acknowledged that he

 

            5              alone controls every department in city

 

            6              government.

 

            7                      You know, I remember a time seven

 

            8              years ago and prior to that when council

 

            9              questioned a mayor and dared to vote against

 

           10              a mayor's agenda and I remember a time seven

 

           11              years ago or more when a newspaper

 

           12              scrutinized every word and action of a

 

           13              mayor.  Today, neither dares to scrutinize

 

           14              this mayor's words and actions.  The

 

           15              newspaper, like council, takes his word for

 

           16              everything and anything and never strays

 

           17              from the mayor's agenda.

 

           18                      Also, I have an update on fire

 

           19              hydrants.  In July 2007 the safety committee

 

           20              agreed to use data provided by the water

 

           21              company to paint city fire hydrants to

 

           22              reflect water flow.  Firefighters

 

           23              volunteered to perform the painting since it

 

           24              would benefit them to locate fire hydrants

 

           25              situated in obscure areas of neighborhoods.


 

 

                                                                      70

 

 

            1              The administration was to setup the

 

            2              procedure, but to date the administration

 

            3              has not done so.  Kay, would you request a

 

            4              written update from Mr. Seitzinger for the

 

            5              letter of February 21, 2008, please?

 

            6                      And I also have some citizens'

 

            7              request for the week, one that I just

 

            8              received this evening it regards cars parked

 

            9              on the sidewalks at 918, 922, 924 Greenridge

 

           10              Street and the individual claims this is a

 

           11              hazard especially when it snows and I'll

 

           12              give this to you, Neil, along with my

 

           13              requests from citizens I have received.

 

           14                      A letter to Mr. Brazil, DPW, 337 --

 

           15              339 Putnam Street, this road was paved by

 

           16              Locust Ridge.  Because of improper paving

 

           17              the homeowners' property floods in summer

 

           18              months and ices over in winter months.

 

           19              Please visit the location, speak with the

 

           20              homeowner and determine what can be done to

 

           21              alleviate the problem.

 

           22                      A letter to Mr. Brazil and

 

           23              Mr. Luciani.  Residents of Parker Street

 

           24              would like to know if the industrial pump

 

           25              has been purchased.  If it has not when did


 

 

                                                                      71

 

 

            1              you intend to make the purchase?  The pump

 

            2              is needed for flooding on Parker Street and

 

            3              was promised in 2006.  Please respond on or

 

            4              about March 21, 2008.

 

            5                      Please send an inspector to Luzerne

 

            6              Street and 14th Avenue.  Neighbors report

 

            7              that garbage cans and recycling bins remain

 

            8              on the sidewalk at all times.  The area

 

            9              where the garage stood is littered with

 

           10              broken concrete, an old water heater and

 

           11              other debris.  Please address as soon as

 

           12              possible.

 

           13                      Council also received a responsible

 

           14              from the University of Scranton concerning

 

           15              preparations for the St. Patrick's Day

 

           16              parade weekend which I will mail to the

 

           17              concerned residents of the Hill Section who

 

           18              have contacted me.

 

           19                      Also, in response to

 

           20              Mrs. Schumacher's concerns, I would like to

 

           21              know, as she mentioned, the dollar amount

 

           22              that remains currently in each of the

 

           23              accounts after these funds have been removed

 

           24              for the purchase of a fire truck and if we

 

           25              could pose the question as well why is this


 

 

                                                                      72

 

 

            1              money not being taken from the capital

 

            2              budget and could council please have those

 

            3              responses prior to next Tuesday's meeting.

 

            4                   And, finally, I'd like to wish all of

 

            5              you a very happy and a very safe St.

 

            6              Patrick's Day weekend.  I hope you will all

 

            7              come to Scranton and enjoy parade day with

 

            8              all of us.  That's it.

 

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

 

           10              Mrs. Gatelli.

 

           11                      MR. GATELLI: Well, Mr. Murray I

 

           12              think is gone, but I wanted to welcome all

 

           13              of the students from West Scranton High

 

           14              School, some of them are still up there and

 

           15              thank you for participating in the council

 

           16              meeting.

 

           17                      I'd like to wish a speedy recovery

 

           18              to Matae O'Tallo, a very special friend of

 

           19              mine, and also a prayer for a fellow

 

           20              employee and a friend, a young woman who

 

           21              passed away this week, her name is Sandra

 

           22              Ancelimi, if you would keep her in your

 

           23              prayers and also another school district

 

           24              employee who is a very dear friend of mine

 

           25              who is very, very ill and suffering terribly


 

 

                                                                      73

 

 

            1              and his name is John D'Angelo if you would

 

            2              keep them both in your prayers.

 

            3                      I would like to make a motion that

 

            4              we send a letter to Senator Mellow urging

 

            5              him to pass the comprehensive smoking ban.

 

            6              There are at least 40 some states that have

 

            7              passed it.  The country of France, the

 

            8              Country of Mexico, there are whole countries

 

            9              putting in a smoking ban and for some reason

 

           10              the State of Pennsylvania just doesn't get

 

           11              it.  If they put a comprehensive one in it

 

           12              would be fair for everyone.  There is no

 

           13              problem with it in New York.  Whenever I go

 

           14              to New York the restaurants are full, the

 

           15              bars are full, they just get used to it and

 

           16              it's fair for everybody.  And regardless of

 

           17              what anybody says about secondhand smoke not

 

           18              affecting your health, I can't believe you

 

           19              could possibly make such a statement.  There

 

           20              are studies upon studies of medical

 

           21              information that secondhand smoke does,

 

           22              indeed, affect your health, especially

 

           23              children and it affected my health.  I

 

           24              smoked for 35 years and I have chronic

 

           25              pulmonary disease from it.  So, yes, indeed,


 

 

                                                                      74

 

 

            1              of course when you smoke it hurts you, but

 

            2              the smoke that the other person is breathing

 

            3              is hurting them also.  So I'd like to make a

 

            4              motion that we encourage Senator Mellow

 

            5              since he seems to be the one that is sitting

 

            6              on the fence here and I believe it's because

 

            7              of the casinos that there is a problem.  I

 

            8              had heard that Atlantic City called

 

            9              Pennsylvania and said, "We'll do it if you

 

           10              do it," so everybody is willing to do it but

 

           11              nobody wants to be the first one of the

 

           12              casinos, I don't care if they smoke in the

 

           13              casinos to tell you the truth, let's get a

 

           14              ban at least on the restaurants, a

 

           15              comprehensive ban, so I'd make a motion that

 

           16              we send a letter to Senator Mellow to

 

           17              encourage him to get this done one way or

 

           18              the other.

 

           19                      MS. FANUCCI: I'll second that.

 

           20                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?

 

           21                      MS. EVANS: I would just like to add

 

           22              that I have always felt if a smoking ban is

 

           23              to be enacted it must be a statewide smoking

 

           24              ban because this is the only measure that

 

           25              provides a level playing field for all


 

 

                                                                      75

 

 

            1              businesses throughout the Commonwealth.

 

            2              It's my fervent hope, however, that indeed

 

            3              it includes all businesses, casinos

 

            4              included.  There can be no exceptions

 

            5              because if there are you are opening the

 

            6              door to discrimination suits and I don't

 

            7              think we can afford to see the State of

 

            8              Pennsylvania entangled in lawsuits going

 

            9              forward.  We have many needs throughout the

 

           10              Commonwealth and we don't have enough money

 

           11              to fund them as it is so I don't think we

 

           12              need to be spending money needlessly.  So,

 

           13              my opinion is it goes statewide and it

 

           14              includes everyone, every place or nothing at

 

           15              all.  And I do believe that the majority of

 

           16              the people who reside in the Commonwealth of

 

           17              Pennsylvania are in favor of the smoking ban

 

           18              and I believe, too, that the majority of

 

           19              city residents would favor that.

 

           20                      And as a representative of all of

 

           21              the people I know Mr. Davis questioned if

 

           22              any of us represent central city and I

 

           23              didn't want to respond at that point, but I

 

           24              would respond to him now.  I do.  I feel I

 

           25              represent every section of the city, not


 

 

                                                                      76

 

 

            1              one, but all sections.  So, again, I feel

 

            2              that because the majority would favor this I

 

            3              have got to represent that majority and so I

 

            4              would be voting, yes, but unlike

 

            5              Mrs. Gatelli I do care if the casinos are

 

            6              exempt.  I don't want them exempted.  I want

 

            7              everyone on board.

 

            8                      MS. GATELLI: Well, I'll agree.

 

            9              We'll send it for everything.  Absolutely.

 

           10                      MS. FANUCCI: If we are still on the

 

           11              question I think I should at least have to

 

           12              say absolutely that you know that there is

 

           13              no question about how I feel about the

 

           14              smoking ban.  I still believe and I'm

 

           15              thrilled that we did what we did in the

 

           16              first place just to finally say this it what

 

           17              we want and this is what we need as a city

 

           18              and a state.  It is inevitable that it's

 

           19              going to happen.  It has to happen because

 

           20              it is happening everywhere.  If Mexico can

 

           21              do it and, you know, I don't like to say it

 

           22              out loud, but they smoke a lot more than we

 

           23              do.  If they can do it then I think that

 

           24              this is a very big issue for all of us.

 

           25                   Listen, everybody's right to smoke,


 

 

                                                                      77

 

 

            1              this is another issue, you know, Mr.

 

            2              Talimini gets up and he is almost offended

 

            3              that I'm going to tell him he can't smoke.

 

            4              I'm not saying you can't smoke, I'm saying I

 

            5              don't want your smoke.  I don't want it

 

            6              inhaled what you are having, and I'm very

 

            7              happy that your family has done very well

 

            8              and that's very lucky, but most people have

 

            9              not done that well.  Most people have died

 

           10              very horrible deaths and a lot of them were

 

           11              nonsmokers.  In fact, I myself have family

 

           12              members who have suffered with cancer due to

 

           13              secondhand smoke.  Secondhand smoke.  Not

 

           14              their's, so the number one cancer that is

 

           15              caused by secondhand smoke is kidney cancer

 

           16              right now, so if people are diagnosed with

 

           17              kidney cancer they are saying that is from

 

           18              secondhand smoke.  They have no other

 

           19              reason.  I mean, it's just terrible, but I

 

           20              guess Mrs. Schumacher thinks that funny, but

 

           21              I find it a wonderful thing.  I find that

 

           22              the support is beyond.  I find that these

 

           23              kids have been nothing but courageous

 

           24              getting up here because I'll tell you to be

 

           25              able to get up in front of people who have


 

 

                                                                      78

 

 

            1              been nothing about cruel and very

 

            2              disheartening as far as citizens are

 

            3              concerned is not easy and I do commend them

 

            4              for even having the guts to say what they

 

            5              feel and to call them anything but

 

            6              courageous is just absurd.  They have not

 

            7              brought this forth because, so that we

 

            8              could, you know, sit here and dispute.  They

 

            9              came here and said this is what we want.

 

           10              They didn't leave us an issue, they said

 

           11              this is what we want and we believe in it

 

           12              and how smart are they that they can see

 

           13              something that a lot of elected officials

 

           14              have not seen yet, and I just want to thank

 

           15              them for at least coming forward whether or

 

           16              not you like or agree with their views they

 

           17              still are enacting what they feel which is

 

           18              their right to speak and their right to do

 

           19              what they feel is correct and I want to

 

           20              thank them for that.

 

           21                      So, yes, obviously, I am all for the

 

           22              smoking ban.  I'm for all inclusive.  I feel

 

           23              that that is going to be the issue that's

 

           24              leading them right now, in fact, this

 

           25              morning the reason they have not done a


 

 

                                                                      79

 

 

            1              permanent structure of the law is because

 

            2              that is the issue, so I hope that we can

 

            3              come to some understanding and if you are

 

            4              out there call and tell them what you want

 

            5              that's what they are there for.  That's what

 

            6              your legislators are there for.  That's all

 

            7              I have.

 

            8                      MR. MCGOFF: The motion is to send a

 

            9              letter to Senator Mellow urging his support

 

           10              and his vote for the comprehensive smoking

 

           11              ban.  All those in favor.

 

           12                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.

 

           13                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.

 

           14                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.

 

           15                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.

 

           16                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?  The

 

           17              ayes have it and so moved.

 

           18                      MS. GATELLI:  Thank you.  The other

 

           19              thing I have is they keep repeating about

 

           20              the charges on the delinquent properties.  I

 

           21              voted on that, I believe in it, and I'm

 

           22              going to keep my stand on that.  You need to

 

           23              pay your taxes.  I was always told and

 

           24              always heard when I was a little girl there

 

           25              is two things you do in life, you die and


 

 

                                                                      80

 

 

            1              you pay your taxes.  So, pay your taxes and

 

            2              you won't have any fees.  There are plans

 

            3              for people that are having a problem, but I

 

            4              do believe in the charges and I do believe

 

            5              we are getting a lot of the absentee

 

            6              landlords which is what I would like to be

 

            7              focused upon.

 

            8                      People are talking about jobs we

 

            9              don't have enough jobs here.  They are

 

           10              right.  We don't have enough jobs here.  I

 

           11              am disappointed in the Chamber of Commerce,

 

           12              I have been for many years.  I don't think

 

           13              that they bring enough high paying jobs in

 

           14              the City of Scranton.  They are usually very

 

           15              low paying, so I do agree with that, but I

 

           16              would also like to state that that's a

 

           17              problem in the whole country.

 

           18                      Some cities across America are all

 

           19              suffering the way we are.  If you think that

 

           20              it's only Scranton, PA, you are badly

 

           21              mistaken.  Every small city in America is

 

           22              suffering.  They are suffering with all of

 

           23              the foreclosures.  You read U.S.A. Today the

 

           24              they are at a high in the country

 

           25              foreclosures.  The economy is very, very


 

 

                                                                      81

 

 

            1              bad.  There is no jobs, jobs are been taken

 

            2              by illegals.  People aren't paying taxes.

 

            3              The economy is not good.  Gas is high,

 

            4              utilities are high, the taxes are high,

 

            5              everyone is borrowing.  Check every city in

 

            6              America you will find out that it's all

 

            7              across the country.  We need a change in our

 

            8              government and I think it's coming.

 

            9                      And the only other thing I have to

 

           10              say is I wore my shamrocks from Mr. McGoff.

 

           11              He likes his shamrocks so I wore them for

 

           12              him tonight and Happy St. Patrick's Day to

 

           13              everyone and I hope that everyone goes to

 

           14              the parade, as Mrs. Evans said, and I hope

 

           15              that the tavern owners will oblige the

 

           16              District Attorney, City Council and the

 

           17              Lackawanna County Commission on Drug Abuse

 

           18              and Alcohol Abuse.  This is a time for

 

           19              families to be together, not a time for an

 

           20              another tragedy, not a time for people

 

           21              throwing up in front of your grandchildren

 

           22              on the street.  It's really disgraceful that

 

           23              that happens and I'm ashamed to say I live

 

           24              here when those kinds of things happen.  I

 

           25              know the mayor is going to have a lot of


 

 

                                                                      82

 

 

            1              policemen out and I hope the district

 

            2              attorney has a lot of his detectives out to

 

            3              prevent some of these incidents from

 

            4              happening and that people are all adults and

 

            5              know that they shouldn't be drinking like

 

            6              that.  They shouldn't be inebriated to the

 

            7              point of vomiting, that's not good for you

 

            8              either, and it's certainly not a good

 

            9              example when we take our children and our

 

           10              grandchildren to the parade.  So I hope that

 

           11              everyone acts responsibly and the tavern

 

           12              owners if they would only cooperate and open

 

           13              later or open even after the parade as the

 

           14              Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse

 

           15              suggested that would really be wonderful and

 

           16              they could make their money later.  I mean

 

           17              the people are still going to go there, so

 

           18              that's my only desire and I hope that

 

           19              everyone that does go has a good time and

 

           20              happy St. Patrick's Day.

 

           21                      MR. MCGOFF: Mrs. Fanucci.

 

           22                      MS. FANUCCI: I have a few answers

 

           23              that might help clear some things up.  As

 

           24              far as the money that's allocated for the

 

           25              firetruck, the $23,000 that was allocated


 

 

                                                                      83

 

 

            1              for the big hole collapse over in South

 

            2              Side, if you remember when that happened.

 

            3              They had put that money aside for that and

 

            4              it ended up to be state funded so they

 

            5              didn't need it, so that's what that money

 

            6              was for and this might help with Mrs. Evans,

 

            7              also, the fire hydrants are not the city's

 

            8              property anymore, so that money, and all

 

            9              accounts, every time we do this, the account

 

           10              will end up at zero.  Every project is

 

           11              funded as every project.  It is not one big

 

           12              lump account and I thought I made that clear

 

           13              a few weeks ago.  When you have one project

 

           14              there is a certain amount of money that's

 

           15              allocated for that project.  When the money

 

           16              runs out or if there's still more money

 

           17              still left in that account it is not in all

 

           18              lumped together, it is only for that one

 

           19              project, every project has it's own little

 

           20              blurb of account.  The fire hydrants are not

 

           21              the city's responsibility anymore, that is

 

           22              why that money is available because the city

 

           23              is not in charge of that and we actually

 

           24              received a letter stating that I think it

 

           25              was from the water company saying that they


 

 

                                                                      84

 

 

            1              did not feel it was necessary to have a

 

            2              painting of that and, Kay, do you remember

 

            3              it was awhile ago that letter?

 

            4                      MS. GARVEY: Yeah, we did get a

 

            5              letter.

 

            6                      MS. FANUCCI: We did get a letter

 

            7              saying that they did not feel that was

 

            8              something that they wanted to take part in,

 

            9              in considering they are the ones in charge

 

           10              of the fire hydrants now that might be their

 

           11              reason.

 

           12                      I also, obviously, I spoke on the

 

           13              smoking ban and I also wanted to say about

 

           14              to Mr. Ancherani, Mr. Ancherani, I was sick

 

           15              and I'm sorry I did not get the information

 

           16              I do have it and Candace is home, too, and

 

           17              she is waiting for my response, also.  I

 

           18              will give you exactly what I was told from

 

           19              them when I sat down in a meeting with them

 

           20              to make sure that I was on the right page

 

           21              with this because I certainly didn't want to

 

           22              give you misinformation, but I do have all

 

           23              of that information for you and I will leave

 

           24              it with Kay this week, everything for that.

 

           25              And, Candace, the reason I didn't do it is


 

 

                                                                      85

 

 

            1              because I don't have a scanner so I couldn't

 

            2              scan it and send it to you, but you will get

 

            3              it this week, also.

 

            4                      And as far as the Southern Union

 

            5              building, there has been a lot of talk about

 

            6              Southern Union and, you know, every time I

 

            7              open my mouth about Southern Union it always

 

            8              comes back because when it changes for some

 

            9              reason it's not allowed to change and what I

 

           10              am told they are not selling Southern Union

 

           11              right now.  They are not willing to sell it.

 

           12              They don't even want to rent it right now,

 

           13              so I'm not sure what the reasoning is behind

 

           14              that, but I do believe that there are people

 

           15              who did reach out to talk to them and they

 

           16              didn't even want to have a discussion.  So,

 

           17              I'm not sure what the plan is there or why,

 

           18              but if I do find out I certainly will let

 

           19              everyone know, but I inquired about that

 

           20              also, how come it's not even being shown,

 

           21              you know, a lot of people are coming in, we

 

           22              have businesses coming and why aren't they

 

           23              given the option and that's what I was told,

 

           24              so I thought that should be told, and that

 

           25              is all I have.


 

 

                                                                      86

 

 

            1                      As far as St. Patrick's Day

 

            2              everybody have a great time, enjoy your

 

            3              families and please be careful.

 

            4                      MS. EVANS: Mr. Courtright, can I

 

            5              just say one thing before you start about

 

            6              the fire hydrants?  Yes, I'm aware that the

 

            7              water company owns them and the water

 

            8              company tests them because the city does not

 

            9              have the equipment to do that, but I do

 

           10              believe the water company turns over all of

 

           11              the information regarding the hydrants to

 

           12              the city and I don't believe they were

 

           13              opposed to the painting of it.  Everyone was

 

           14              in agreement it wouldn't really be at any

 

           15              cost other than the paint --

 

           16                      MS. FANUCCI: Right.

 

           17                      MS. EVANS: -- because the fire

 

           18              department is going to take care of it and

 

           19              everyone on the committee was in agreement,

 

           20              it was just a matter of setting up a

 

           21              procedure and that's the hold-up since July

 

           22              the administration did not come up with the

 

           23              procedure so the firefighters are still

 

           24              waiting --

 

           25                      MS. FANUCCI: To paint.


 

 

                                                                      87

 

 

            1                      MS. EVANS: -- to paint.

 

            2                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Mr. McGoff, I met

 

            3              with the fire department this week on Chief

 

            4              Davis.  A sidebar was the fire hydrants.  We

 

            5              spoke with Dave Schreiber, maybe next, Dave,

 

            6              if you have the opportunity maybe you can

 

            7              come and give us your explanation of it.  I

 

            8              don't know that I would do justice to what

 

            9              you told us so I think it would be better

 

           10              coming from you.

 

           11                      We met, Mr. McGoff and myself with

 

           12              Mr. Davis and now we have met with a fire

 

           13              department representatives from the union

 

           14              and my hope from the very start was to be as

 

           15              far as possible to both sides and try to

 

           16              have a resolution come up that was fair to

 

           17              all concerned and to be as impartial as

 

           18              possible and that's still my hope.

 

           19                      With that said, I would like to make

 

           20              a motion that Scranton City Council send a

 

           21              letter to Mayor Doherty and to Scranton Fire

 

           22              Fighter union president Dave Schreiber

 

           23              recommending to them to use an outside

 

           24              agency or an individual to conduct an

 

           25              investigation into the allegations brought


 

 

                                                                      88

 

 

            1              to Scranton City Council by the Scranton

 

            2              Firefighters' Union against Chief Tom Davis.

 

            3                      MS. EVANS: Second.

 

            4                      MR. MCGOFF: On the question?

 

            5                      MS. EVANS: I know that

 

            6              Mr. Courtright wanted to make this motion

 

            7              last week but postponed doing so because of

 

            8              the absence of two council members, so that

 

            9              they would have the opportunity to cast

 

           10              their votes this evening and I do believe

 

           11              that such an independent investigation is

 

           12              warranted because none of us are

 

           13              appropriately experienced or schooled to

 

           14              pass judgment in this situation.  So, I do

 

           15              think, however, it should follow due process

 

           16              and that an outside agency, someone who is

 

           17              familiar with the concepts of firefighting

 

           18              and fire management should come in and sort

 

           19              this out and make the proper recommendations

 

           20              and if the situation has no merit and the

 

           21              fire chief's name is cleared so be it.  All

 

           22              to the better, if on the other hand they

 

           23              found the charges have merit and they make

 

           24              recommendations for improvements or changes

 

           25              then they should be made and if they are not


 

 

                                                                      89

 

 

            1              I feel that's going to reflect very badly on

 

            2              this administration, and particularly on

 

            3              this mayor who contends that he is in charge

 

            4              of the fire department and I do believe that

 

            5              is the most fair solution in this situation

 

            6              and I can't imagine that the mayor as a

 

            7              reasonable man would refuse an independent,

 

            8              objective investigation.

 

            9                      MS. GATELLI: I just have a real

 

           10              problem with this.  If I had a problem at

 

           11              work and one of my bosses was either

 

           12              harassing me in some fashion or asking me to

 

           13              do something say with a student with

 

           14              medication or something that I knew would

 

           15              hurt that student, my first recourse would

 

           16              be to call my union.  My union would then

 

           17              meet with me and the person that I was

 

           18              accusing of doing X, Y and Z to and we would

 

           19              try to find a resolution.  If that didn't

 

           20              happen I believe the next step is we would

 

           21              go to the superintendent of schools and

 

           22              plead our case to him.  The next step after

 

           23              that would be to go in front of the school

 

           24              board and bring the problem to them.

 

           25                      If all of those avenues don't work


 

 

                                                                      90

 

 

            1              then an arbitrator or a mediator person is

 

            2              brought in to hear the case and it's settled

 

            3              in that fashion.  When I called to find out

 

            4              if any grievances were ever filed in the

 

            5              fire department I was told that there was

 

            6              only one grievance filed, so my concern is,

 

            7              number one, who are we going to get to come

 

            8              in here for an independent study, my second

 

            9              question is why wasn't the union contract

 

           10              followed through the grievance procedure

 

           11              which Mr. Gervasi said there is a grievance

 

           12              procedure and I checked and there is, so why

 

           13              don't we go through those steps and have an

 

           14              arbitrator come in and decide is this right

 

           15              or is this right in case number one.  Case

 

           16              number two, is this right or is this right?

 

           17              So, you know, that's how I feel about it.  I

 

           18              think that we should go that route.  I don't

 

           19              know who I would pick as an independent

 

           20              person.

 

           21                      MS. EVANS: We don't pick.

 

           22                      MS. GATELLI: Well, who picks?

 

           23                      MS. EVANS: If I understand

 

           24              Mr. Courtright correctly it's going to be a

 

           25              joint decision between the firefighters'


 

 

                                                                      91

 

 

            1              union and the mayor.  They have to decide on

 

            2              a mediator that they both agree upon.  One

 

            3              side can't demand, you know, Mr. X and if

 

            4              the other side has any type of opposition to

 

            5              that then Mr. X will not be the individual;

 

            6              correct?

 

            7                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  I think -- I hope

 

            8              everybody is understanding, I'm saying this

 

            9              is just us recommending to them because

 

           10              that's why Mr. Minora had no problem.  I'm

 

           11              not saying we are ordering them or

 

           12              compelling them, we simply don't have that

 

           13              right.  I'm just saying we make a

 

           14              recommendation.  If both sides of the

 

           15              firefighters' union and the mayor agree then

 

           16              that would be up to them to determine who

 

           17              they would pick and how the process would

 

           18              work.

 

           19                      My problem is this because some

 

           20              people agree with us being involved and some

 

           21              people can't.  Believe it or not, the last

 

           22              two weeks have been consumed with this, it

 

           23              really has, I know a lot of firefighters and

 

           24              I know Tom Davis and I have some very, ery

 

           25              good friends that have been lifelong friends


 

 

                                                                      92

 

 

            1              of Tom Davis and, unfortunately, sitting on

 

            2              this council sometimes you are put in

 

            3              positions that are not enviable, and this is

 

            4              one of them, and I'm just trying to be fair

 

            5              to both sides and that's all I'm looking

 

            6              for, and it's just a recommendation.  They

 

            7              don't have to take our recommendation, but

 

            8              what do I do when such things are brought to

 

            9              me, I can't simply put my hands over my ears

 

           10              and say, "This is not my job."

 

           11                      And maybe technically it isn't, I'm

 

           12              just saying it's just a recommendation, it's

 

           13              not an order, it's not us compelling them in

 

           14              any way, shape or form because I think if I

 

           15              was doing that Mr. Minora would be jumping

 

           16              up telling me you can't do that.  And I

 

           17              believe when we discussed this about two

 

           18              weeks ago I thought all of us with the

 

           19              exception of you, Mr. McGoff, were, you

 

           20              know, in favor of that and, again, it's a

 

           21              recommendation.  They don't have to take our

 

           22              recommendation.

 

           23                      MS. GATELLI: Well, I mean, I'm not

 

           24              saying I wouldn't be in favor of it, I'm

 

           25              just saying why didn't they go through the


 

 

                                                                      93

 

 

            1              procedures that I would have to go through

 

            2              in my school district?

 

            3                      MR. COURTRIGHT: If you can read, and

 

            4              I don't even know if it's in the minutes

 

            5              that we did, but I don't want to say

 

            6              anything on the air here that maybe I

 

            7              shouldn't say, but there is minutes from

 

            8              when we spoke with Chief Davis and there is

 

            9              minutes that why Kay took the time to type

 

           10              every single word is beyond me, but she

 

           11              typed every single word that is on the tape

 

           12              and there might be some answers to that in

 

           13              there, I just don't want to say here on the

 

           14              air because I'm afraid if somebody --

 

           15                      MS. GATELLI: And, Attorney Minora,

 

           16              you don't see any problem with this?

 

           17                      MR. MINORA: Well, it's only a

 

           18              recommendation and both parties can reject

 

           19              it or one party can reject it.

 

           20                      MS. GATELLI:  Then what?

 

           21                      MR. MINORA: Well, they are grievance

 

           22              issues that --

 

           23                      MS. GATELLI: Yeah, but I would like

 

           24              to see them get a resolve to it.

 

           25                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Absolutely.  That's


 

 

                                                                      94

 

 

            1              my goal is a amicable resolution.

 

            2                      MR. MCGOFF: I would like to

 

            3              interject, I have been involved in the same

 

            4              meetings as Mr. Courtright, I have listened

 

            5              to Chief Dais and I have listened to

 

            6              representatives from the firefighters'

 

            7              union.  I will say that I have gone back and

 

            8              forth on this knowing that Mr. Courtright

 

            9              was going to make this motion, I have gone

 

           10              back and forth.  At some points I have been

 

           11              adamantly opposed.  At one point I was in

 

           12              favor.  As I think about it there are

 

           13              merits, there are merits to this, but in the

 

           14              long run it's my belief that nothing will

 

           15              accomplished by it, that in the end all

 

           16              that's going to be done even if this -- even

 

           17              if an arbitrator were to be called in the

 

           18              best that could come out of it would be

 

           19              recommendations which the mayor could then

 

           20              reject or approve.

 

           21                      I don't know why the fire -- these

 

           22              recommendations can't simply be met.  There

 

           23              is a process now for making these

 

           24              recommendations.  Why do we need a third

 

           25              party to step in at this point, that the


 

 

                                                                      95

 

 

            1              firefighters have already been meeting with

 

            2              the mayor and certain committees to resolve

 

            3              some of the issues, issues dealing with

 

            4              standard operating procedures are being

 

            5              addressed, issues dealing with relations

 

            6              between the chief and firefighters are being

 

            7              addressed, the safety issues are being

 

            8              addressed.  I don't see -- I think you used,

 

            9              Mrs. Evans used the term due process.  I

 

           10              think it has gone through due process.  I

 

           11              think that the process has been followed and

 

           12              I believe that we are resolving the issue.

 

           13              I think that adding another layer to this is

 

           14              simply redundant and unnecessary, and as I

 

           15              indicated to Mr. Courtright earlier in the

 

           16              day, I will -- I am not in favor of this

 

           17              motion.

 

           18                      MS. FANUCCI: Like I stated last

 

           19              time, at the end of the day the mayor is

 

           20              going to say what he said which is, "I'm not

 

           21              removing him," so to keep going through this

 

           22              over and over again for "I'm not removing

 

           23              him" just seems to be spinning on our wheels

 

           24              and spinning other people's wheels and now

 

           25              spending $30,000 on a consultant to come in


 

 

                                                                      96

 

 

            1              and sit and do this.  I'm thrilled that they

 

            2              are sitting down -- there is no cost?  Okay.

 

            3              I'm thrilled -- why, does the union pay for

 

            4              it?

 

            5                      MR. SCHREIBER: Through the

 

            6              Mediator's Association.

 

            7                      MS. FANUCCI: Oh, the Mediator's

 

            8              Association, but in the instances where this

 

            9              has happened before, even the one where I

 

           10              read today where there was eight

 

           11              firefighters that had perished in a fire

 

           12              they tried to remove the chief and it didn't

 

           13              happen.  It was -- you know, this to me

 

           14              seems like we just keep spinning or wheels

 

           15              over and over again.  The mayor made a

 

           16              statement, it's his administration, if

 

           17              that's what's going to happen that's what's

 

           18              going to happen.  He is not going to remove

 

           19              the chief.

 

           20                      As far as them sitting down, I think

 

           21              it's wonderful that now at least the

 

           22              firefighters are sifting down with the mayor

 

           23              on a regular basis, maybe this is something

 

           24              that can start the communication process,

 

           25              maybe this is something that can, you know,


 

 

                                                                      97

 

 

            1              spearhead maybe signing and deciding on

 

            2              their contracts and negotiating that way.

 

            3              This to me seems like we are going to go

 

            4              backwards now where we have communication

 

            5              taking place which can only be beneficial

 

            6              under any circumstances and now we are going

 

            7              to throw a wrench into that, and I'm afraid

 

            8              if that happens we are just going to keep

 

            9              dividing and dividing and dividing.  The

 

           10              stance is the same, we know it's going to

 

           11              take place, so to go through all of this it

 

           12              is not something that I believe in, it is

 

           13              not something that I would be voting for and

 

           14              that's all I have to say.

 

           15                      MS. EVANS: If I just might add, if

 

           16              the fire fight department presented dates

 

           17              and locations, photos, affidavits, anything

 

           18              of that nature and that goes ignored by

 

           19              anyone then shame on you because you allowed

 

           20              it to happen, but, again, the final onus in

 

           21              this is on the mayor's shoulders and if he

 

           22              refuses a mediator or an arbitrator then

 

           23              shame on him.  That's says an awful lot

 

           24              about his judgment and the value he places

 

           25              on the men and women of the Scranton Fire


 

 

                                                                      98

 

 

            1              Department and the men and women and

 

            2              children of the City of Scranton.

 

            3                      And incidentally, there is one final

 

            4              recourse and I have mentioned to

 

            5              Mr. Courtright before as Chairman of the

 

            6              Public Safety Committee he is empowered by I

 

            7              believe it's a state law, a regulation, to

 

            8              call for an investigation, single handedly

 

            9              without a vote of city council and without

 

           10              interference from the mayor and if all of

 

           11              this fails, Mr. Courtright, I believe that

 

           12              is what you should do.  If it were my

 

           13              committee that is what I would do and I

 

           14              trust your judgment.  I believe that you are

 

           15              very knowledgeable in terms of your public

 

           16              safety committee and you are very close to

 

           17              the men and women of the public safety

 

           18              departments and I'm sure that you will at

 

           19              all times put their best interest first.

 

           20                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I'm not real sure

 

           21              about what you are speaking about, I know

 

           22              there is such a thing and I certainly hope

 

           23              to avoid that, that was one of my reasons I

 

           24              wanted to do this.  If we were to send this

 

           25              letter to the mayor and to the firefighters'


 

 

                                                                      99

 

 

            1              union then this council has done due

 

            2              diligence and then the decision would be

 

            3              placed on the mayor.  If that doesn't happen

 

            4              then I'm going to have to step back and take

 

            5              a look at see what is my obligation.  Again,

 

            6              it's a position that I don't like being in,

 

            7              but I'm here and there is not much I can do

 

            8              about it.  I'm here, it is my committee, and

 

            9              I thought two weeks ago four of us were in

 

           10              agreement.  I believe you both said it was a

 

           11              good idea, didn't you?

 

           12                      MS. GATELLI:  Yes, I did think it

 

           13              was a good idea, but when I t talk to the e

 

           14              union where I work and got other union's

 

           15              opinions on it, I still don't understand why

 

           16              they are not following the grievance

 

           17              procedure.  They will get an arbitrator in.

 

           18              That's what happens when you don't settle

 

           19              the case; am I right, Amil?  With the

 

           20              grievance procedure at the end the

 

           21              arbitrator or mediator, or whatever you word

 

           22              you want to use.

 

           23                      MR. MINORA: You will have a fact

 

           24              finder of some form.

 

           25                      MS. GATELLI: So like are we in it


 

 

                                                                     100

 

 

            1              when they should be filing grievances?  In

 

            2              the school district we file grievances for

 

            3              our problems.

 

            4                      MR. COURTRIGHT: And without

 

            5              disclosing everything in the public that

 

            6              happened in there I believe they are telling

 

            7              us, the firefighters, I'm trying to say this

 

            8              so I don't put anything out there that I'm

 

            9              not supposed to put out there, that they

 

           10              more or less have done that and that's --

 

           11                      MS. GATELLI: But there is no

 

           12              grievances.  I have looked, there is none.

 

           13                      MS. FANUCCI: There would have to be

 

           14              a record.

 

           15                      MS. GATELLI:  There is no grievances

 

           16              filed.

 

           17                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I just don't want to

 

           18              expand on it any further, I'm afraid that I

 

           19              will say something that I'm not allowed to

 

           20              say, you know, in case this goes further

 

           21              than this and I disclose something that I

 

           22              shouldn't disclose, but I believe it would

 

           23              be in the minutes, I believe it's in the

 

           24              minutes.

 

           25                      MS. GATELLI: I would like to make a


 

 

                                                                     101

 

 

            1              motion that we table this.  I was absent

 

            2              last week, I apologize, I was absent for

 

            3              personal reasons.  I'd like to table it for

 

            4              a week and maybe council can meet with our

 

            5              solicitor before the meeting next week.

 

            6                      MS. EVANS: Well, you know, I'm not

 

            7              opposed to that, but I think we need to stop

 

            8              putting so many hats on our solicitor.  He

 

            9              is an assistant --

 

           10                      MS. GATELLI: Well, is paid very

 

           11              handily for giving his opinion.

 

           12                      MS. EVANS: Well, yes, he is,

 

           13              however, you know, I think he is very

 

           14              knowledgeable in criminal law, and I know he

 

           15              served with OECD for many years, but I don't

 

           16              know that we have an expert in this type of

 

           17              law and I really don't know that we need

 

           18              anyone to dictate what's right and wrong

 

           19              here.  It's very simple, we have taken it as

 

           20              far as we can as a group.  It needs to go to

 

           21              the next step.

 

           22                      MS. GATELLI: I don't have enough

 

           23              information right now to vote, yes, and I

 

           24              apologize, Dave, so if I can't get a motion

 

           25              to table it until next week I'm going to be


 

 

                                                                     102

 

 

            1              voting, no, and I have to apologize for that

 

            2              because I don't have enough information.  I

 

            3              don't know about those meetings.  I don't

 

            4              know what was said at them, I don't know why

 

            5              you didn't say something long before this

 

            6              you know, and if you did then why didn't you

 

            7              file a grievance.

 

            8                      MR. SCHREIBER:  We did.

 

            9                      MS. GATELLI:  And if you did then

 

           10              why didn't you file a grievance?  I

 

           11              certainly wouldn't let this happen in my

 

           12              medical room at West Scranton High School.

 

           13                      MR. SCHREIBER: We did.

 

           14                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Why don't we -- I'll

 

           15              be willing to withdraw my motion for this

 

           16              week, and let me say this, I know three of

 

           17              us can't meet with anybody, but obviously

 

           18              Mrs. Fanucci and Mrs. Gatelli have

 

           19              concerns--

 

           20                      MS. GATELLI: We can meet in caucus

 

           21              because it's personnel.

 

           22                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Take a look at the

 

           23              minutes, there's a tape of the firefighters,

 

           24              there is no tape of Chief Davis, but there

 

           25              is minutes, and then maybe you and Mrs.


 

 

                                                                     103

 

 

            1              Fanucci can sit down with Mr. Schreiber and

 

            2              Mr. Judge and have a conversation that me

 

            3              and Mr. McGoff had and I know they can

 

            4              answer the question for you, I just don't

 

            5              want to answer them, I'm afraid of saying

 

            6              something --

 

            7                      MS. FANUCCI: No, and I certainly

 

            8              don't want to discuss it out here.

 

            9                      MR. COURTRIGHT: -- that I'm not

 

           10              supposed to say that would jeopardize one

 

           11              side or the other.

 

           12                      MS. GATELLI: I mean, there is a

 

           13              person's livelihood here, too, I mean

 

           14              whether you like you like the guy or not,

 

           15              would you like it to be you that we are

 

           16              talking about up here every week?

 

           17                      MS. EVANS: Well, I don't think--

 

           18                      MS. GATELLI: No, I don't think you

 

           19              would.

 

           20                      MS. EVANS: Please, let's -- I agree

 

           21              with you, but let's not make these blanket

 

           22              statements about you like someone or you

 

           23              don't like someone.  It has absolutely

 

           24              nothing to do with it.

 

           25                      MS. GATELLI:  That's what I said.


 

 

                                                                     104

 

 

            1              It's charges.  I'm not friends with him.

 

            2                      MS. EVANS: And I don't know the man

 

            3              other than --

 

            4                      MS. GATELLI:  You want charges

 

            5              against you at West Scranton High School and

 

            6              everybody talk about at the school board

 

            7              meeting about you?  I don't.

 

            8                      MR. MCGOFF: Excuse me --

 

            9                      MS. EVANS: No, but if I were guilty

 

           10              of it I'm sure that there would be.

 

           11                      MS. GATELLI: Oh, no, I'm sure you'd

 

           12              want your privacy.  It's a personnel matter,

 

           13              and I think it's offensive that it's even

 

           14              being discussed up here.

 

           15                      MR. MCGOFF: Mrs. Gatelli, please.

 

           16              Please.  Mr. Courtright, has indicated that

 

           17              he would like to withdraw the motion to give

 

           18              council members additional time to review

 

           19              the information.

 

           20                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I will withdraw my

 

           21              motion so that everybody on council has

 

           22              ample time to make an educated decision, I'm

 

           23              only trying to be as far as we possibly

 

           24              could so I will withdraw my motion for

 

           25              today.


 

 

                                                                     105

 

 

            1                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.

 

            2                      MS. GATELLI:  Thank you,

 

            3              Mr. Courtright.

 

            4                      MR. COURTRIGHT: You're welcome.

 

            5              Okay.  You know, I started when I first was

 

            6              on council trying to give compliments to

 

            7              city workers and I can got away from that a

 

            8              little bit because every department is

 

            9              willing to -- clerical, police, fire, DPW,

 

           10              but I would just like to thank John Traino,

 

           11              John Pizzo and Gerry Shock for the work they

 

           12              did this week on the roads.  It's difficult

 

           13              to keep them, I know horrible the potholes

 

           14              are horrible in this city, it's difficult to

 

           15              keep them.  We're only using coal patch

 

           16              right now, I mean, they are out there and

 

           17              doing the best they could.  Another issue,

 

           18              I'm not quite sure where I go with this and

 

           19              I'll come in here tomorrow when I get a

 

           20              letter to Kay, I have had people from

 

           21              parents, people that are employed by the

 

           22              Scranton School District and the police

 

           23              officers I don't know why, but it just

 

           24              seemed two different or three different

 

           25              instances in the last week and a half they


 

 

                                                                     106

 

 

            1              came to me and asked me about it and it's

 

            2              the roads around schools, congestion in the

 

            3              mornings and in the evenings or in the

 

            4              afternoons I should say when school is being

 

            5              let out, and I'm just trying to get the

 

            6              second one I've had corresponding to in

 

            7              particular is Willard school, and they asked

 

            8              me why we couldn't take a look at in having

 

            9              one-way on Hampton Street and Vine Street

 

           10              where the school is and they cited, and I'm

 

           11              sorry I forget the town that they told me, I

 

           12              actually have a person pull me over Saturday

 

           13              night and put the window down and explain

 

           14              this to me, one town actually does this I

 

           15              guess around all of schools and so I'm going

 

           16              to take a look at Willard School, I believe

 

           17              we would try to consider taking a look at

 

           18              making Pine Street heading one-way heading

 

           19              east and making Hampton Street a one-way

 

           20              heading west to alleviate a lot of problem.

 

           21              They had a child hit there the other day,

 

           22              there was a child killed on the corner of

 

           23              Hampton and Eynon some years ago coming from

 

           24              school.  I guess right now being we don't

 

           25              have a George Parker anymore in the city I


 

 

                                                                     107

 

 

            1              think I will speak to Lieutenant Mackey, he

 

            2              is head of the traffic division, and ask him

 

            3              what his recommendations are and what he

 

            4              thinks about doing this and maybe we can try

 

            5              Willard School as a pilot program, but it is

 

            6              a legitimate concern.

 

            7                      Someone brought up tonight, I didn't

 

            8              think I was going to have something to say

 

            9              tonight, but such much was brought up,

 

           10              someone brought up, and I forget what they

 

           11              were saying, they were talking about dogs,

 

           12              viscous dogs I forget who it was, but I had

 

           13              gotten a call two weeks ago from a woman

 

           14              that is very, very well versed in dog

 

           15              grooming and dog obedience and she told me,

 

           16              I believe she said it was Reading that they

 

           17              tried to -- or they did I guess enact an

 

           18              ordinance of her viscous dog, a specific

 

           19              breed and it was overturned, you cannot cite

 

           20              any specific breed for a viscous dog.  You

 

           21              might be able to make a viscous dog

 

           22              ordinance in general, I don't know the

 

           23              answer to that one, but not any one specific

 

           24              breed and that's been tried and thrown out.

 

           25                   Maybe next week Mr. Minora can give me


 

 

                                                                     108

 

 

            1              an answer for this one, I guess a lot of

 

            2              people are sending Right no Know letters all

 

            3              of a sudden and they are asking me, one

 

            4              person was asking me when they send a Right

 

            5              to Know letter and they don't get an answer

 

            6              in a time frame, whatever, I don't even know

 

            7              what the time frame is, what do they go from

 

            8              there?  You know, maybe next week you can

 

            9              answer that.

 

           10                      MR. MINORA: I'll be glad to talk to

 

           11              you about it.

 

           12                      MR. COURTRIGHT: And, Kay, if council

 

           13              agrees you can send it for all of council,

 

           14              but if not you can just send it from me,

 

           15              about another subject about the Housing

 

           16              Authority, I can't recall who told me that

 

           17              there is going to be work done on Washington

 

           18              West and they are going to tear it down and

 

           19              rehab it and I can't recall who it was so we

 

           20              can't go back and ask them, if we can send a

 

           21              letter to whoever is in charge now, whoever

 

           22              it taking Mr. Baker's job and then carbon

 

           23              copy the board and ask them if they can

 

           24              update us on what's going on over there and

 

           25              then maybe we can satisfy Mr. Davis'


 

 

                                                                     109

 

 

            1              question there.

 

            2                      And, lastly, I too wish everyone a

 

            3              Happy St. Patrick's Day, but I spoke to Dave

 

            4              Elliott a couple of weeks back about what's

 

            5              going to take place as far as law

 

            6              enforcement on that day and he got back to

 

            7              me, we do have, you know, they don't want to

 

            8              give out specific numbers of who we are

 

            9              going to have on the street, you know, kind

 

           10              of give away their plan, but they have

 

           11              beefed up patrols during the parade.  They

 

           12              have beefed up patrols on the second shift,

 

           13              the police department I spoke to the

 

           14              University of Scranton and the University of

 

           15              Scranton does have, I don't know how many,

 

           16              but they do have officers that have arrest

 

           17              powers and at one time they didn't have the

 

           18              authority to arrest anybody, they do have

 

           19              officers that have arrest powers.  There is

 

           20              going to be a larger presence of police,

 

           21              when I say that being state police due to

 

           22              the fact that Mrs. Clinton is going to be in

 

           23              the area so there will be a state police

 

           24              presence there, also.  I don't know 7:00 or

 

           25              9:00 is going to make a difference, I think


 

 

                                                                     110

 

 

            1              if we had 11:00 or 12:00 maybe it would make

 

            2              a difference, but I guess 9:00 is better

 

            3              than 7:00, and that's all I have.  Thank

 

            4              you.

 

            5                      MR. MCGOFF: I, too, would just like

 

            6              to make mention of the parade, St. Patrick's

 

            7              Day parade.  I am a member of the parade

 

            8              committee.  My work on the parade committee

 

            9              is very limited.  I help out with the actual

 

           10              race that's held prior to the parade and

 

           11              actually very rarely get to see all of the

 

           12              parade itself, but I do know that the St.

 

           13              Patrick's Day parade committee works very

 

           14              hard to provide a family oriented parade.

 

           15              They are not in the business of working to

 

           16              support local drinking establishments, their

 

           17              intent is to have a family parade that can

 

           18              be enjoyed by, you know, hundreds of people

 

           19              from around -- thousands of people from

 

           20              around the area and it is my hope as it is

 

           21              everyone else's here that the people do come

 

           22              to the parade and that people do act

 

           23              responsibly and enjoy what is intended to be

 

           24              a great day, a fun filled day for families.

 

           25                   Just a response to a couple of things


 

 

                                                                     111

 

 

            1              that were said, Doug Miller mentioned the

 

            2              tentative day for a basketball game to

 

            3              support the firefighters' memorial game

 

            4              between the Scranton Police and Scranton

 

            5              Fire Department or members of, and I believe

 

            6              that Doug has received some confirmation

 

            7              that the game will be or can be held at

 

            8              Scranton High School, hopefully, we will

 

            9              have some more information for you as Doug

 

           10              indicated and hopefully it can be attended

 

           11              my those who, you know, support the

 

           12              memorial, and again, enjoy -- it can be an

 

           13              enjoyable evening and one that can be

 

           14              beneficial as well.

 

           15                      I do want to take up the task for

 

           16              his comments about Principal McGraw, I'm

 

           17              sure that Principal McGraw was not acting

 

           18              out of disrespect and the things that he

 

           19              said he was merely being an advocate of the

 

           20              school that he represents and the school

 

           21              where the event was being held.  I have

 

           22              known Mr. McGraw for a long time, he is a

 

           23              graduate of West Scranton High School and

 

           24              I'm sure would never be disrespectful to the

 

           25              school or to the students that attend West


 

 

                                                                     112

 

 

            1              Scranton.

 

            2                      MS. EVANS: And he did mention there

 

            3              were two great city high schools.

 

            4                      MR. MCGOFF: Yes, he did.  To

 

            5              Mr. Quinn, we received a letter from

 

            6              Representative Kanjorski dealing with that

 

            7              property tax.  I would like to -- I don't

 

            8              know that if he received a copy of that or

 

            9              Mr. Quinn is not here, I don't have a copy

 

           10              of it with me, but I will try to pass that

 

           11              onto him so may see what Representative

 

           12              Kanjorski's response was to the elimination

 

           13              of the property tax.

 

           14                      One thing when Mr. Porter was

 

           15              speaking, that as we get into this primary

 

           16              which is probably going to be contested, I

 

           17              thought Mr. Porter was on the verge what I

 

           18              don't want to call improper, but at least

 

           19              somewhat inappropriate statements.  We would

 

           20              hope that we can keep political speeches in

 

           21              favor of a candidate, of any particular

 

           22              candidate out of council meetings.  This

 

           23              isn't the venue for it.  I don't know that

 

           24              he was trying to do that.  But, as I said,

 

           25              was tentative at times as to where he was


 

 

                                                                     113

 

 

            1              going.  In the future I would hope that we

 

            2              do get out and support the candidates of our

 

            3              choice, I just hope that it's not from this

 

            4              podium.

 

            5                      And the last thing I believe, I

 

            6              remember only because it was someone, a

 

            7              friend of mine, had asked from the school

 

            8              district, I'm not sure exactly when it was,

 

            9              but I know that the Scranton School District

 

           10              has requested that some schools where there

 

           11              are traffic problems that we look into

 

           12              designating those streets as one way, so I

 

           13              know that the school district has looked

 

           14              into this and hopefully we can do something

 

           15              to alleviate the congestion around.  It is

 

           16              dangerous around some of the schools

 

           17              particularly as people double park I know I

 

           18              travel by Whittier School and also Marian

 

           19              Catholic Elementary School and two blocks of

 

           20              Orchard Street for probably a good half hour

 

           21              there are people double parked, buses

 

           22              loading children and people driving around

 

           23              buses and trying to get through the traffic.

 

           24              It can be a dangerous situation and

 

           25              hopefully we can arrive at some resolution.


 

 

                                                                     114

 

 

            1              I know it's been going on for many years,

 

            2              but I think as more children are being

 

            3              driven to school, be it on buses or private

 

            4              cars, that it's becoming more of a problem

 

            5              especially in some of the schools where the

 

            6              streets are narrower so I guess we should

 

            7              look into that and see what can be done.

 

            8              And that is all that I have for now.

 

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

 

           10              say something on behalf of, Mr. Courtright

 

           11              had mentioned before about me taking the

 

           12              minutes of a meeting that was held between

 

           13              some firefighters and yourselves, I just

 

           14              wanted to clear for the record because some

 

           15              people may know that I am married to a

 

           16              firefighter and I try to keep my

 

           17              professional life and my personal life

 

           18              totally separate, I have nothing to do with

 

           19              anything like that, I was asked by council

 

           20              members to come in and here and take those

 

           21              minutes.  When there was such a volume of

 

           22              information being given it almost became

 

           23              impossible for me to right down everything

 

           24              so I did tape only on their agreement for me

 

           25              to do that tape and then I was to type up


 

 

                                                                     115

 

 

            1              those or write down everything for council.

 

            2              That tape will go no where.  It was only

 

            3              meant for me to take the minutes and for

 

            4              council to listen to the tape if they so

 

            5              choose to do, so those minutes were typed

 

            6              up, I have them ready for you in my office

 

            7              we just didn't get a chance to go over them

 

            8              tonight and the tape is also there, so

 

            9              whatever Mr. McGoff says that's fine with

 

           10              me.

 

           11                      MS. GATELLI: We can get them

 

           12              tonight?

 

           13                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Yeah.  Yes, she has

 

           14              them.  Can I ask one thing of council?  I

 

           15              have not disclosed to anyone the answers

 

           16              that Mr. Davis gave me and I believe you all

 

           17              have a copy of that, maybe you weren't here

 

           18              when she passed them out.

 

           19                      MS. GARVEY:  Yeah, it was in your

 

           20              box from last, Judy, you probably have yours

 

           21              in there.

 

           22                      MR. COURTRIGHT: And now there is the

 

           23              copy of the tape, which I asked Kay get

 

           24              involved actually, and I can't believe you

 

           25              typed that whole thing, but you did, you are


 

 

                                                                     116

 

 

            1              nuts.

 

            2                      MS. GARVEY: It was impossible to

 

            3              write down everything that were taken by --

 

            4              I did it word for word so I didn't take

 

            5              anything out of context.

 

            6                      MS. EVANS: We needed her.

 

            7                      MR. COURTRIGHT: But, anyway, I would

 

            8              ask that we don't disclose these to anybody

 

            9              because this is so sensitive, it really is.

 

           10              I mean this has consumed my entire last two

 

           11              weeks, it really has and it's confidential

 

           12              and there is -- people's livelihood is at

 

           13              stake and I just hope they can keep it to

 

           14              ourselves and make whatever decision we make

 

           15              if everybody in is in agreement with that.

 

           16                      MS. GATELLI:  Absolutely.

 

           17                      MS. GARVEY: FIFTH ORDER.  5-B. AN

 

           18              ORDINANCE - CREATING AND ESTABLISHING

 

           19              SPECIAL CITY ACCOUNT NO. 02.229588 ENTITLED

 

           20              "CITY OF SCRANTON ARSON TASK FORCE ACCOUNT"

 

           21              FOR THE RECEIPT AND DISBURSEMENT OF GRANT

 

           22              FUNDS FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY AND

 

           23              ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (DCED) FOR THE CITY OF

 

           24              SCRANTON ARSON TASK FORCE.

 

           25                      MR. MCGOFF: At this time I'll


 

 

                                                                     117

 

 

            1              entertain a motion that Item 5-B be

 

            2              introduced into it's proper committee.

 

            3                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  So moved.

 

            4                      MS. GATELLI:  So moved.

 

            5                      MS. FANUCCI: Second.

 

            6                      MS. GATELLI:  I'm in the move seat

 

            7              now, Bill.

 

            8                      MS. EVANS: I told Mrs. Gatelli,

 

            9              welcome to the right side.

 

           10                      MR. COURTRIGHT: There you go.

 

           11                      MR. MCGOFF: Is that opposed to the

 

           12              wrong or the left?

 

           13                      MS. EVANS: Anyway you want to look

 

           14              at it.

 

           15                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Depending on the

 

           16              day, I guess.

 

           17                      MR. MCGOFF: On the question?  All

 

           18              those in favor signify by saying aye.

 

           19                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.

 

           20                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.

 

           21                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.

 

           22                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.

 

           23                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?  The

 

           24              ayes have it and so moved.

 

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


 

 

                                                                     118

 

 

            1              AN ORDINANCE - AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND

 

            2              OTHER APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS OF THE CITY

 

            3              OF SCRANTON TO ACCEPT AND DISBURSE GRANT

 

            4              FUNDS FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY AND

 

            5              ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (DCED) FOR THE CITY OF

 

            6              SCRANTON ARSON TASK FORCE.

 

            7                      MR. MCGOFF: At this time I'll

 

            8              entertain a motion that Item 5-C be

 

            9              introduced into it's proper committee.

 

           10                      MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.

 

           11                      MS. FANUCCI: Second.

 

           12                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  All

 

           13              those in favor signify by saying aye.

 

           14                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.

 

           15                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.

 

           16                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.

 

           17                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.

 

           18                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?  The

 

           19              ayes have it and so moved.

 

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

 

           21              AN ORDINANCE - AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND

 

           22              OTHER APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS OF THE CITY

 

           23              OF SCRANTON TO ACCEPT AND DISBURSE GRANT

 

           24              FUNDS FROM U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND

 

           25              SECURITY FEMA GRANT.


 

 

                                                                     119

 

 

            1                      MR. MCGOFF: At this time I'll

 

            2              entertain a motion that Item 5-D be

 

            3              introduced into it's proper committee.

 

            4                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  So moved.

 

            5                      MS. FANUCCI: Second.

 

            6                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  All

 

            7              those in favor signify by saying aye.

 

            8                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.

 

            9                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.

 

           10                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.

 

           11                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.

 

           12                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?  The

 

           13              ayes have it and so moved.

 

           14                      MS. GARVEY: 5-E. FOR INTRODUCTION -

 

           15              AN ORDINANCE - AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND

 

           16              OTHER APPROPRIATE OFFICIALS OF THE CITY OF

 

           17              SCRANTON TO ENTER INTO LEASE AGREEMENTS WITH

 

           18              VARIOUS LITTLE LEAGUE, TEENER LEAGUE, MISS-E

 

           19              LEAGUE, AND JUNIOR AND/OR MIDGET FOOTBALL

 

           20              LEAGUE ASSOCIATIONS FOR THE USE OF CITY

 

           21              OWNED PROPERTY IN CONNECTION WITH APPROVED

 

           22              LITTLE LEAGUE, TEENER LEAGUE, MISS-E LEAGUE,

 

           23              AND JUNIOR AND/OR MIDGET FOOTBALL LEAGUE

 

           24              ACTIVITIES FOR A THREE-YEAR PERIOD

 

           25              COMMENCING APRIL 5, 2008 AND ENDING APRIL


 

 

                                                                     120

 

 

            1              14, 2011.

 

            2                      MR. MCGOFF: At this time I'll

 

            3              entertain a motion that Item 5-E be

 

            4              introduced into it's proper committee.

 

            5                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  So moved.

 

            6                      MS. FANUCCI: Second.

 

            7                      MR. MCGOFF: On the question?

 

            8                      MS. EVANS: Yes.  I have a few

 

            9              questions, is this a new lease that has been

 

           10              drafted, if you could find that out, Kay,

 

           11              please prior to next week.  Also, do all of

 

           12              the entities listed in the backup, it

 

           13              follows Exhibit A, have each of those

 

           14              entities received a copy of the new lease

 

           15              because I do, for example, have a question

 

           16              about Section 21, "Termination by lessor:

 

           17              City may terminate this lease at any time it

 

           18              should determine that public necessity and

 

           19              convenience require it to do so by serving

 

           20              upon tenant in the manner herein provided a

 

           21              written notice of it's election so to

 

           22              terminate which notice shall be served at

 

           23              least five days prior to the date in the

 

           24              notice named for such termination."

 

           25                      Well, that, in fact, is saying that


 

 

                                                                     121

 

 

            1              at the discretion of the city any teener

 

            2              league, little league, etcetera, can be

 

            3              notified that they are no longer permitted

 

            4              to use that property and they have a matter

 

            5              of days to pull out and I don't think that's

 

            6              something that you even want to entertain

 

            7              when season schedules, etcetera, are setup

 

            8              well in advance and parents have planned for

 

            9              that and children as well, so, that is why,

 

           10              Kay, please I would like all of these before

 

           11              we are voting on this again or if we might

 

           12              table it until we get the answers I would

 

           13              really appreciate that.

 

           14                      MR. MCGOFF: Can we just move it to

 

           15              Sixth Order and if we can get the

 

           16              responses --

 

           17                      MS. EVANS: Okay.

 

           18                      MR. MCGOFF: I think we should have

 

           19              the answers by next week.

 

           20                      MS. EVANS: And then, as I said, too,

 

           21              though my concern is that each of those

 

           22              people -- or they are not people, the

 

           23              officers would receive, I'd like to know

 

           24              that each and every one received and read

 

           25              the lease before we pass it.


 

 

                                                                     122

 

 

            1                      MR. MCGOFF: And just for

 

            2              clarification you asked if this was a new

 

            3              lease?

 

            4                      MS. EVANS: They had leases before --

 

            5                      MS. GATELLI: They have to redo

 

            6              these--

 

            7                      MR. MCGOFF: A new lease for --

 

            8                      MS. GATELLI:  A newly written lease

 

            9              because I know that when it passed there

 

           10              have been leases, but for the last perhaps

 

           11              two years there really hasn't been a lease

 

           12              passed, a lease agreement, it's been ongoing

 

           13              day-to-day, so that --

 

           14                      MR. MCGOFF:  So that particular item

 

           15              may be new.

 

           16                      MS. EVANS: Is this a newly written,

 

           17              newly drafted lease.

 

           18                      MR. MCGOFF: Okay.  I will try to

 

           19              find that out as expeditiously as possible

 

           20              for you -- or for us.  We an are on 5-D,

 

           21              excuse m, 5-E, excuse me.  Anyone else on

 

           22              the question?  All those in favor of

 

           23              introduction signify by saying aye.

 

           24                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.

 

           25                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.


 

 

                                                                     123

 

 

            1                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.

 

            2                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.

 

            3                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?  The

 

            4              ayes have it and so moved.

 

            5                      MS. GARVEY: 5-F. FOR INTRODUCTION -

 

            6              AN ORDINANCE - AMENDING FILE OF COUNCIL NO.

 

            7              49, 2006 - ENTITLED. "AN ORDINANCE

 

            8              AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND OTHER APPROPRIATE

 

            9              OFFICIALS OF THE CITY OF SCRANTON TO TAKE AL

 

           10              NECESSARY ACTIONS TO IMPLEMENT THE

 

           11              CONSOLIDATED SUBMISSION FOR COMMUNITY

 

           12              PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS (AS

 

           13              AMENDED) TO BE FUNDED UNDER THE COMMUNITY

 

           14              DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT (CDBG) PROGRAM, HOME

 

           15              INVESTMENT PARTNERSHIP (HOME) PROGRAM AND

 

           16              EMERGENCY SHELTER GRANT (ESG) PROGRAM", BY

 

           17              TRANSFERRING $239,156.45 FROM PROJECT NO.

 

           18              95-003.2 AND $74,470.75 FROM PROJECT NO.

 

           19              01-026 AND $30,000.00 FROM PROJECT NO.

 

           20              01-96,1 and $85.82 FROM PROJECT NO. 05-215

 

           21              AND $56,286.98 FROM PROJECT NO. 05-15 TO

 

           22              PROJECT NO. 07-19 PURCHASE OF A FIRE TRUCK.

 

           23                      MR. MCGOFF: At this time I'll

 

           24              entertain a motion that Item 5-F be

 

           25              introduced into it's proper committee.


 

 

                                                                     124

 

 

            1                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  So moved.

 

            2                      MS. FANUCCI: Second.

 

            3                      MR. MCGOFF: On the question?

 

            4                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  On the question,

 

            5              Mr. McGoff, quickly.  The truck that was

 

            6              purchased wasn't really meant for this area,

 

            7              the hills take it's toll on these trucks

 

            8              here and I don't think that truck was meant

 

            9              to do what they had it doing and the Rescue

 

           10              1 is the one that's out there all of the

 

           11              time they are responding to every accident,

 

           12              so I'm very happy that we are going to do

 

           13              this and I hope I don't open up a can of

 

           14              worms here, I thought somebody would cover

 

           15              this question why we are taking the money

 

           16              from the flood project and I think we can

 

           17              answer that question at the time, the other

 

           18              thing I would say that's probably the first

 

           19              one that's going to respond there if there

 

           20              is a flood, so kind of surprised we didn't

 

           21              get questions about now we will because I

 

           22              opened my thought.

 

           23                      MS. EVANS: If they're allowed to.

 

           24                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I'm being told they

 

           25              are, so we'll see it.


 

 

                                                                     125

 

 

            1                      MR. MCGOFF:  All those in favor

 

            2              signify by saying aye.

 

            3                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.

 

            4                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.

 

            5                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.

 

            6                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.

 

            7                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?  The

 

            8              ayes have it and so moved.

 

            9                      MS. GARVEY: SIXTH ORDER.  NO

 

           10              BUSINESS AT THIS TIME.  SEVENTH ORDER.  7-A.

 

           11              FOR CONSIDERATION BY THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC

 

           12              SAFETY - FOR ADOPTION - FILE OF COUNCIL NO.

 

           13              15, 2008 - AMENDING FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 16,

 

           14              1988 WHICH AMENDED FILE OF THE COUNCIL NO.

 

           15              298, 1986 ENTITLED "AN ORDINANCE, AS

 

           16              AMENDED, CREATING AND DEFINING A CENTRAL

 

           17              BUSINESS DISTRICT; PROVIDING FOR THE REMOVAL

 

           18              OF EXISTING PARKING METERS WITHIN THE

 

           19              CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT AND PRESCRIBING

 

           20              PARKING TIME LIMITS; DEFINING OFFENSES AND

 

           21              PRESCRIBING PENALTIES; PROVIDING FOR THE

 

           22              ENFORCEMENT THEREOF; AND REPEALING

 

           23              CONFLICTING AND INCONSISTENT ORDINANCE, BY

 

           24              DETAILING THE DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF

 

           25              THE SCRANTON PARKING AUTHORITY ACTING AS AN


 

 

                                                                     126

 

 

            1              AGENT FOR THE CITY OF SCRANTON," BY AMENDING

 

            2              SECTION 5.(B) SERVICE VEHICLE PARKING

 

            3              PERMITS BY INCREASING THE COST OF THIS

 

            4              PERMIT TO $150.00 PER VEHICLE.

 

            5                      MR. MCGOFF: What is the

 

            6              recommendation of the Chairperson for the

 

            7              Committee on Public Safety?

 

            8                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  As Chairperson for

 

            9              the Committee on Public Safety, I recommend

 

           10              final passage of Item 7-A.

 

           11                      MS. EVANS: Second.

 

           12                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  Roll

 

           13              call, please.

 

           14                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.

 

           15                      MS. EVANS:  Yes.

 

           16                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Gatelli.

 

           17                      MS. GATELLI: Yes.

 

           18                      MR. COOLICAN:  Ms. Fanucci.

 

           19                      MS. FANUCCI:  Yes.

 

           20                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.

 

           21                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.

 

           22                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.

 

           23                      MR. MCGOFF:  Yes.  I hereby declare

 

           24              Item 7-A legally and lawfully adopted.

 

           25                      MS. GATELLI: I make a motion to


 

 

                                                                     127

 

 

            1              adjourn.

 

            2                      MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.

 

            3                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.

 

            4

 

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                                                                     128

 

 

            1

 

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

 

            3

 

            4        I hereby certify that the proceedings and

 

            5   evidence are contained fully and accurately in the

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

            9   ability.

 

           10

 

           11

 

           12

                                    CATHENE S. NARDOZZI

           13                       OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER

 

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