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            2              SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING

 

            3

 

            4

 

            5

 

            6                          HELD:

 

            7

 

            8                  Tuesday, March 18, 2008

 

            9

 

           10                        LOCATION:

 

           11                    Council Chambers

 

           12                 Scranton City Hall

 

           13              340 North Washington Avenue

 

           14                Scranton, Pennsylvania

 

           15

 

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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:  Mrs. Gatelli.

 

            7                      MS. GATELLI.  Here.

 

            8                      MR. COOLICAN:  Ms. Fanucci.

 

            9                      MS. FANUCCI:  Here.

 

           10                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.

 

           11                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Here.

 

           12                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.

 

           13                      MR. MCGOFF:  Here.  Dispense with

 

           14              the reading of the minutes.

 

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

 

           16              APPLICATIONS AND DECISION RENDERED BY THE

 

           17              ZONING HEARING BOARD MEETING HELD ON MARCH

 

           18              12, 2008.

 

           19                      MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?

 

           20              If not, received and filed.

 

           21                      MS. GARVEY: 3-B AGENDA FOR THE CITY

 

           22              PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING TO BE HELD ON

 

           23              MARCH 19, 2008.

 

           24                      MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?

 

           25              If not, received and filed.


 

 

                                                                       4

 

 

            1                      MS. GARVEY: That's it for Third

 

            2              Order.

 

            3                      MR. MCGOFF: Just one brief

 

            4              announcement that I have, next week -- or,

 

            5              excuse me, the agenda for next week's

 

            6              meeting will not be posted until Monday.

 

            7              Legislation does not come down until

 

            8              Thursday and city hall is closed on Friday

 

            9              and so Mrs. Garvey will not be posting the

 

           10              agenda until Monday for next week's meeting.

 

           11              Any other announcements that anyone may

 

           12              have?

 

           13                      MS. EVANS: Yes, I received an e-mail

 

           14              from a city resident who asked if city

 

           15              council would consider awarding

 

           16              proclamations for students from West

 

           17              Scranton Intermediate School who won first

 

           18              place at King's College Junior Academy of

 

           19              Science.  He says most often he hears about

 

           20              basketball and football and he believes that

 

           21              education should take precedence and when

 

           22              academic excellence has been achieved it

 

           23              should be recognized, so if council would

 

           24              agree.

 

           25                      MS. FANUCCI: Absolutely.


 

 

                                                                       5

 

 

            1

 

            2                      MS. EVANS: Thank you.

 

            3                      MR. MCGOFF: Any other?  Fourth

 

            4              order.  Citizens participation.  Doug

 

            5              Miller.

 

            6                      MR. MILLER:  Good evening, Council,

 

            7              president of the Scranton Junior City

 

            8              Council.  I'd like to begin by once

 

            9              announcing as I did last week that the

 

           10              Scranton Junior City Council is sponsoring a

 

           11              charity basketball game between the police

 

           12              and firemen on Friday April 4 at Scranton

 

           13              High School beginning at 7:00 p.m.  Tickets

 

           14              are $3.00 each and all proceeds will benefit

 

           15              a police and firefighters' memorial.  We

 

           16              hope to see many residents out supporting

 

           17              our brave servicemen and women.

 

           18                      I also am pleased to hear that the

 

           19              St. Patrick's Day parade on Saturday went

 

           20              very well.  We were also fortunate to have a

 

           21              special visit by Senator Clinton who walked

 

           22              in the parade.  I would like to thank the

 

           23              parade committee for making Saturday an

 

           24              enjoyable day for all families.  We look

 

           25              forward to the continued success in the


 

 

                                                                       6

 

 

            1              future.

 

            2                      Last week I, and a few students from

 

            3              West Scranton High School, addressed the

 

            4              smoking ban issues and I would like to take

 

            5              the time to respond to a few points that

 

            6              were brought up by speakers here last week

 

            7              and in the past.  I find it totally

 

            8              despicable that adults come up here and

 

            9              chastise this Junior Council and the

 

           10              students that come forward.  We are only

 

           11              trying to make our air cleaner and

 

           12              healthier.

 

           13                      Also, the statement was made by a

 

           14              speaker that we, the students, are being

 

           15              used to push other council members agendas.

 

           16              Well, the speakers are partially right,

 

           17              however, we aren't the one pushing agendas.

 

           18              The student from West Scranton came forward

 

           19              and expressed their concerns about our

 

           20              health and safety and they should be

 

           21              commended rather than degraded by these

 

           22              people.

 

           23                      I support a smoking ban for personal

 

           24              reasons.  I speak for myself on this issue

 

           25              and all other issues.  I am not controlled


 

 

                                                                       7

 

 

            1              like a so-called little Marionette.  I lost

 

            2              a family member due to secondhand smoke, so

 

            3              I take total offense in anyone who comes up

 

            4              here and says smoking is not harmful.  You

 

            5              loss a loved one to secondhand smoke and I

 

            6              guarantee you'll change your mind --

 

            7                      MR. MCGOFF: Doug, please address

 

            8              council, not the audience.

 

            9                      MR. MILLER: Well, I understand.  It

 

           10              has also been stated that we, the students,

 

           11              should be more concerned with the

 

           12              handicapped rather than the smoking ban.

 

           13              We'll take a trip up to Nay Aug Park and

 

           14              take a look at the handicapped swingset this

 

           15              Junior Council raised money and can be used

 

           16              by handicapped children.

 

           17                      Take a look at all of the

 

           18              neighborhood parks that this Junior Council

 

           19              spent Saturday mornings installing flags to

 

           20              honor our veterans.  We are currently

 

           21              working with the South Side Neighborhood

 

           22              Association to plant trees all across the

 

           23              neighborhood.  We are all in the process of

 

           24              raising funds to benefit a police and

 

           25              firefighters' memorial.  We are doing our


 

 

                                                                       8

 

 

            1              fair share of service to this great city,

 

            2              let me see some of you do something positive

 

            3              for this city for once rather than

 

            4              constantly criticizing every project.

 

            5                   Finally, I would ask Senator Mellow

 

            6              once again to listen to the 85 percent of

 

            7              the Pennsylvanians and support a

 

            8              comprehensive smoking ban.  I would like to

 

            9              thank council for sending a letter to

 

           10              Senator Mellow last week and I encourage

 

           11              residents to call Senator Mellow's office at

 

           12              570-346-5721 and as I have said in the past

 

           13              the time to act is now.  And with that said,

 

           14              I would like to wish everyone a very happy

 

           15              Easter and remember West is best.  Thank

 

           16              you.

 

           17                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Douglas.

 

           18              Mike Dudek.

 

           19                      MR. DUDEK: Good evening, Council.

 

           20              My name is Mike Dudek, 608 People's Street

 

           21              here in Scranton.  I live in the Plot.  I

 

           22              sent a letter to the Attorney General of the

 

           23              State of Pennsylvania, I'm going to read you

 

           24              the content of the letter since this is

 

           25              directly on point for city business.


 

 

                                                                       9

 

 

            1                      "Dear sir, the Scranton

 

            2              Times-Tribune March 14, 2008, reported on

 

            3              the front page of $12 million mysteriously

 

            4              appeared unaccounted for in the Single Tax

 

            5              Office of the City of Scranton, the

 

            6              employees did not know what to do with it.

 

            7                   The newspaper mistakenly called it a

 

            8              quote windfall for the city.  The newspaper

 

            9              is wrong.  Obviously somebody committed a

 

           10              crime and as a citizen, taxpayer, resident

 

           11              of the City of Scranton I want you, Attorney

 

           12              Corbett, to investigate that crime.  This is

 

           13              not a situation where the money appeared

 

           14              less than an hour before closing time.  It

 

           15              would be hard to get an armored car that

 

           16              late in the day.  This money at 3 percent

 

           17              interest is losing a thousand dollars a day

 

           18              just sitting there as apparently it has just

 

           19              before Christmas.  Is the criminal act

 

           20              criminal incompetence on the part of a

 

           21              worker or workers?  If so, how could all of

 

           22              that money stay hidden in that tiny tax

 

           23              office for so long?

 

           24                      Did tax collector Ken McDowell order

 

           25              that money to be held in storage through the


 

 

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            1              detriment of the city and the school

 

            2              district he served or did Mayor Christopher

 

            3              Doherty order Mr. McDowell not to deposit

 

            4              that money in order to isolate the mayor

 

            5              from a perjury charge?

 

            6                      In a labor arbitration filed by the

 

            7              city's fire and police units, the city

 

            8              administration testified under oath that

 

            9              Scranton is a distressed city under

 

           10              Pennsylvania Distressed Municipalities Act.

 

           11              Obviously, this $12 million if properly

 

           12              deposited would automatically disqualify

 

           13              Scranton as a distressed city since

 

           14              $12 million stands to relieve a lot of

 

           15              distress.

 

           16                      This money is as much proof of a

 

           17              crime having been committed as a bleeding

 

           18              corpse with bullet holes in it.  Please

 

           19              investigate the level of criminality

 

           20              involved here and bring Jack Wagner with you

 

           21              so he could lead the auditing team.

 

           22              Sincerely, Mike Hudack.

 

           23                      I would also ask city council to

 

           24              conduct it's own investigation.  You have a

 

           25              unique asset, you have one of the very best


 

 

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            1              investigating solicitors on the planet at

 

            2              your disposal to conduct an investigation.

 

            3              I think that you should be able to conduct

 

            4              an investigation as to find out what's going

 

            5              on with this $12 million and perhaps even

 

            6              work with the Attorney General.  We are

 

            7              looking at the biggest financial scandal in

 

            8              the history of this city.  That's enough.

 

            9              There is no two ways about it.

 

           10                      I always feel like the oceanographer

 

           11              in jaws trying to get the mayor of Shark

 

           12              City to realize he has got a problem out

 

           13              there.  You have a crime, it has been

 

           14              committed, it could be simple negligence but

 

           15              negligence can be a crime or it could be all

 

           16              of the other possibilities that I laid out

 

           17              for you.  I can guarantee you this much, I

 

           18              know an attorney named Jennings who is going

 

           19              to investigate this starting tomorrow when

 

           20              he hears about it.  Thank you.

 

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

 

           22              Dennis D'Agostino.

 

           23                      MR. D'Agostino: Good evening,

 

           24              Council, my name is Dennis.  This past

 

           25              Sunday on Extreme Makeover ABC with Ty


 

 

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            1              Pennington, America fell in love with a

 

            2              rough Harley biker pastor named Steven

 

            3              Astori.  As Ty put it, he is just a

 

            4              nontraditional kind of pastor, the kind that

 

            5              America loves.  I mean, this guy prays with

 

            6              rough bikers right in the bar.  His story

 

            7              took place in Stage Coach, Nevada.  Steven

 

            8              actually converted his family garage into a

 

            9              community rec room for skaters, punks,

 

           10              preps, like all of these kinds of teens.  I

 

           11              grew up in an upper class police officers

 

           12              home and I would have been the kind of teen

 

           13              who have went to that and I wasn't a

 

           14              troubled teen.

 

           15                      As it ended Steve said, "Throughout

 

           16              all of this my heart's passion is that

 

           17              somebody across America sees this and sees

 

           18              what we've started with and they see the

 

           19              need in their community and I hope others

 

           20              catch our vision and do the same things in

 

           21              their community.  Don't forget about the

 

           22              kids."

 

           23                      Well, I don't ride a Harley, I

 

           24              actually ride a Kawasaki Ninja, and I feel

 

           25              in love with the underground youth culture


 

 

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            1              of which every teen in Scranton is a member,

 

            2              troubled or not.  I don't know what drove

 

            3              us, but a few college buddies decided to

 

            4              start a similarly youth thing in a west

 

            5              Scranton park in the middle of winter in

 

            6              2004 and it grew.  Teens like underground

 

            7              stuff and it's attracted over 1,000

 

            8              one-timers, a lot of them from the West

 

            9              Scranton High School and Scranton High.

 

           10              These same college buddies reopened a closed

 

           11              down Boys and Girls Club in the West Side

 

           12              with a little money they had.  I mean, can

 

           13              you imagine what a story.  College students

 

           14              reopened a Boys and Girls Club center.  We

 

           15              applied for Extreme Makeover but our video

 

           16              got damaged in the mail.

 

           17                      What do college students do while

 

           18              they're in college?  I would have never

 

           19              thought of something like this.  I have just

 

           20              finished my master's degree and I'm working

 

           21              hard, about 3/4 finished my second.

 

           22              Scranton's Youth Culture needs a 2008 center

 

           23              where they walk in and it feels like it's

 

           24              2008 not 1950, but upholding the values of

 

           25              1950 and/or asking or pleading from the


 

 

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            1              bottom of our hearts that we need help.  We

 

            2              need our community, we can't do it

 

            3              yourselves.  We own a 15,000 square foot

 

            4              building that's been designed for youth and

 

            5              we are asking the City of Scranton, a

 

            6              community, to take our building and put on

 

            7              an extreme makeover.  We have a little heat,

 

            8              bad lighting, serious water damage, ceilings

 

            9              and walls are collapsing, some mold,

 

           10              overflow of water, busted pipe, it's just

 

           11              falling apart externally, but internally

 

           12              you'll see more life in that place than most

 

           13              places.  It's a home to these kids.

 

           14                      I want to restore the pride of

 

           15              Scranton.  I love this city.  I love it's

 

           16              European flavor.  It doesn't have to be us,

 

           17              but we are young, educated, willing and we

 

           18              have a lot of energy.  The name of our work

 

           19              is the Coal Mine and we don't currently have

 

           20              our 501 C-3, but we are a nonprofit youth

 

           21              organization.  Thank you for your time and

 

           22              God bless.

 

           23                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you very much.

 

           24              Les Spindler.

 

           25                      MR. SPINDLER: Good even, Council,


 

 

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            1              Les Spindler, city resident.  First off, I

 

            2              have to correct an error stated last week.

 

            3              I stated that the long-term debt of the city

 

            4              is three million, unfortunately, I was

 

            5              wrong, I wish it was only that little, it's

 

            6              really over 300 million.  I just wanted to

 

            7              get that straightened out.

 

            8                      Next thing, Mr. McGoff, I know that

 

            9              decisions on the fire chief have been talked

 

           10              about a lot about lately, I think any

 

           11              decision and the fire chief you should not

 

           12              have anything to do with since you already

 

           13              stated he is friend of yours and you run

 

           14              with him.  If there are any decisions to be

 

           15              made, any votes taken, I think you should

 

           16              abstain because you have a partial -- a

 

           17              biased opinion towards the fire chief.

 

           18                      And the next thing, Mrs Gatelli, you

 

           19              said you don't think that should be

 

           20              discussed between council.  Well, back in

 

           21              1999 council and Chris Doherty demanded that

 

           22              Mayor Connors fire Chief Applebee over

 

           23              something to do with fire hydrants, but it

 

           24              was okay for him to discuss that back then,

 

           25              but you don't think it's okay to discuss it


 

 

                                                                      16

 

 

            1              now, so I think council should discuss it

 

            2              and it's a very important issue.

 

            3                      Next thing Mrs. Evans, last week you

 

            4              stated on the matter of the flexible foam

 

            5              warehouse, you said that either the mayor

 

            6              has a selective memory or he isn't telling

 

            7              the truth.  Well, I think it's the latter.

 

            8              Since the mayor has a history of not telling

 

            9              the truth starting with him saying he will

 

           10              be the sixth councilman here.

 

           11                      I learned last week that the city

 

           12              loss two more arbitrations and they have

 

           13              already paid lots of money out which

 

           14              somebody else will talk about later, but

 

           15              they had to pay the policeman that 27th week

 

           16              that they were owed and also I had to hire

 

           17              back the slip clerks the mayor let go, has

 

           18              to give them all of their back pay and

 

           19              everything else they had coming to them

 

           20              which is going to cost the city lots and

 

           21              lots of money because of Chris Doherty.

 

           22                   Another thing, last week in the Doherty

 

           23              News here I saw an article that Scranton

 

           24              Ford was charged with forgery, and lo and

 

           25              behold, who owns Scranton Ford but the


 

 

                                                                      17

 

 

            1              Rosado Group.  Well, a few weeks ago Doug

 

            2              Miller was singing their praises about them

 

            3              coming downtown.  Well, that's just we need

 

            4              coming downtown, a business that breaks the

 

            5              law.  We lost two reputable businesses,

 

            6              Gryzbowski Train Shop and Gianetti Music

 

            7              Studio that were in this city for years and

 

            8              years, now we are going to have a coming in

 

            9              that breaks the law.  That's just what we

 

           10              need in this city.  Oh, I forgot, but we

 

           11              have Nay Aug Park.

 

           12                      The $12 million found in the Tax

 

           13              Office, it's unbelievable how $12 million

 

           14              could just appear and everybody wants it,

 

           15              the school district, the city, I think the

 

           16              place where it should go is right back to

 

           17              the taxpayers where it belongs.

 

           18                      Next thing, Saturday we had a

 

           19              presidential candidate marching in the St.

 

           20              Patrick's Day parade, and as a Scrantonian

 

           21              I'm embarrassed that Hillary Clinton had to

 

           22              march in this city, I'm surprised she didn't

 

           23              trip in a pothole, that the streets are

 

           24              ridiculous, the 200 block of North

 

           25              Washington where the reviewing stand is like


 

 

                                                                      18

 

 

            1              a washboard, it goes up and down, but,

 

            2              again, we have Nay Aug Park, the heck with

 

            3              downtown, let's take care of Nay Aug Park.

 

            4              I think this city should be ashamed of

 

            5              themselves.

 

            6                      Lastly, the Lackawanna Avenue

 

            7              bridge, that was supposed to have been done

 

            8              last summer, is there any word on that?  Is

 

            9              that thing ever going to get fixed before

 

           10              someone falls through and gets killed?

 

           11                      MS. EVANS: Mr. Spindler, we did

 

           12              receive some information about that.  I have

 

           13              it at home.  I'll look for it during the

 

           14              week and I could bring it for you next week.

 

           15                      MR. SPINDLER: Okay, because that's a

 

           16              dangerous situation there.  There is a hole

 

           17              on the one side even though it is covered up

 

           18              by a metal plate, who knows when another

 

           19              hole might open up when somebody is walking

 

           20              over the bridge or driving over it.  I know

 

           21              when Councilman Pocius was here back then he

 

           22              said it was supposed to be fixed and now

 

           23              they said it was supposed to have been fixed

 

           24              last summer it's still sitting there falling

 

           25              apart.  It's real safety hazard.  Thank you.


 

 

                                                                      19

 

 

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

 

            2              Jack Powell.

 

            3                      MR. POWELL:  Council, Jack Powell,

 

            4              Luzerne Street.  After caucus last week we

 

            5              met and we got to together and you suggested

 

            6              that we have a meeting in regards to

 

            7              Mr. Skantos and Keyser Terrace.  Well, some

 

            8              of them were on vacation, we got in touch

 

            9              with most of the people and we think

 

           10              Thursday, the 27th, Thursday, we are not

 

           11              sure on a time, I have to check with Mary

 

           12              Alice tomorrow and that's the tentative

 

           13              date.  It will in the evening.

 

           14                      MR. MCGOFF: Where at?

 

           15                      MR. POWELL: At the Keyser Valley

 

           16              Community Center.

 

           17                      MS. GATELLI: Do you think when you

 

           18              find out you could call the office and let

 

           19              Kay know?

 

           20                      MR. POWELL:  Yes.  Not a problem.

 

           21              Yes.  And, as you know, last week before the

 

           22              caucus it was a very limited amount of time

 

           23              so we didn't have time to go over all of the

 

           24              issues.  In addition, we were under the

 

           25              impression from Mr. Courtright that


 

 

                                                                      20

 

 

            1              Mr. Skantos wasn't coming, so --

 

            2                      MR. COURTRIGHT: That's what I was

 

            3              told.  I was under the same impression.

 

            4                      MR. MCGOFF: That was my fault, I'll

 

            5              explain it to you.

 

            6                      MR. POWELL:  Okay.  Thank you.

 

            7              Mr. Skantos if he said he wasn't coming and

 

            8              if this is his thing, but along with

 

            9              Mr. King, Mr. King originally met with me up

 

           10              in his zoning office prior to that plan

 

           11              being approved and told me to tell the

 

           12              neighbors that nothing could be built on

 

           13              that corner.  I went back to the neighbors

 

           14              and told them no buildings were to built and

 

           15              all of a sudden they have a meeting in the

 

           16              planning commission and they approve those

 

           17              meetings that I was shown there was no

 

           18              buildings to be built on that corner, just

 

           19              doesn't cut it.

 

           20                      All of the neighbors were mad, I

 

           21              mean, it's really out of control and we

 

           22              brought the minutes to the meeting last week

 

           23              because we went to Mr. Skantos, he said he

 

           24              didn't remember, so Mary Alice fortunately

 

           25              had all our minutes and the meetings that we


 

 

                                                                      21

 

 

            1              had to refresh it and he remembered, so we

 

            2              are going to have to wait and see I guess

 

            3              how far this goes, but I thought maybe that

 

            4              was similar to him saying he wasn't coming

 

            5              and to have the meeting and him telling me

 

            6              that the plans couldn't be approved and then

 

            7              they approved them, you know, it just --

 

            8              it's not right, okay?

 

            9                      That's all I have and I'll let you

 

           10              know next week on the time and everybody

 

           11              from Keyser Valley is welcome and we can

 

           12              just discuss all of the problems.  Thank you

 

           13              very much.

 

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

 

           15              Just very briefly, Mr. Skantos it was

 

           16              indicated to me that he was not going to be

 

           17              at the meeting, when I told the person that

 

           18              had contacted me that we were still having

 

           19              the meeting with residents of Keyser Valley

 

           20              apparently he changed his mind and decided

 

           21              to come, so it was my fault.  I did tell

 

           22              Mr. Courtright he wasn't.

 

           23                      MR. POWELL:  I understand.  I just

 

           24              thought it was a little bit, you know, have

 

           25              the meeting, he is not showing when he ws


 

 

                                                                      22

 

 

            1              supposed to.

 

            2                      MR. MCGOFF:  I apologize for the

 

            3              confusion.

 

            4                      MR. POWELL:  Thank you.

 

            5                      MR. MCGOFF: Lee Morgan.

 

            6                      MR. MORGAN: Good evening, Council.

 

            7              The first question -- the first thing I have

 

            8              is a question, and I'll address it to

 

            9              Mr. McGoff since you're council president

 

           10              and maybe you can clarify.  Under the

 

           11              agreement with the cable company if there is

 

           12              over a certain amount of channels then there

 

           13              is room for more public access.  Scranton/

 

           14              Lackawanna County Taxpayers' and Citizens'

 

           15              Association would like to have access to one

 

           16              of those channels and since city council is

 

           17              part of the governing body in that contract

 

           18              we would like to know how do we petition

 

           19              this council to get access to that channel?

 

           20                   And if you don't know, sir, I would

 

           21              like to ask you to find out how to go

 

           22              through that procedure since you are part of

 

           23              the governing body in that contract.

 

           24                      MR. MCGOFF: I have absolutely no

 

           25              knowledge of that, but I will make some


 

 

                                                                      23

 

 

            1              attempt to find out.

 

            2                      MR. MORGAN: Okay, that would be

 

            3              fine.  The other -- there is a couple of

 

            4              other questions I have here.  There is going

 

            5              to be a public access channel board, I mean,

 

            6              that's my interpretation of what I have

 

            7              heard, has there been any decisions on who

 

            8              is going to be on that board and how the

 

            9              candidates are going to be can chosen?  Does

 

           10              anybody know?

 

           11                      MR. MCGOFF: Yeah, I didn't know if

 

           12              anybody wanted to respond.  No one has been

 

           13              appointed yet, each member of council is

 

           14              going to suggest a name.

 

           15                      MR. MORGAN: The other questions I

 

           16              have is Mr. Dudek brought up a good, I guess

 

           17              a good solution evidently because he asked

 

           18              council to investigate or to use it's powers

 

           19              of investigation, at least that's what I

 

           20              interpreted him to be saying to find out

 

           21              what's going on with the Tax Office and he

 

           22              is on very firm ground here, but I don't

 

           23              know, do you think that the council would

 

           24              entertain that idea?  And this question

 

           25              again goes to Mr. McGoff, since you are


 

 

                                                                      24

 

 

            1              council president I think I should address

 

            2              everything to you, sir.

 

            3                      MR. MCGOFF: Do you want me to answer

 

            4              now?

 

            5                      MR. MORGAN: Sure.

 

            6                      MR. MCGOFF: It is my knowledge that

 

            7              a forensic auditor is being hired, is that

 

            8              the correct word I guess or is being hired

 

            9              by the three taxing bodies jointly by the

 

           10              county to investigate the situation.

 

           11                      MR. MORGAN: Okay.  A follow-up,

 

           12              would be in 2007 council voted to issue

 

           13              subpoenas to all of the authorities in the

 

           14              city of Scranton.  Janet Evans I believe

 

           15              brought that motion forward and it was voted

 

           16              on and it was passed and then, I mean, do

 

           17              you agree with that?  Do you agree with that

 

           18              statement that a motion was brought forth

 

           19              and council agreed to issue subpoenas to all

 

           20              of the various departments in the city?

 

           21                      MR. MCGOFF: I don't recollect the

 

           22              vote, no.  I remember a request for

 

           23              subpoenas, but I do not remember what the

 

           24              resolution of that was.  I'd have to check

 

           25              back.


 

 

                                                                      25

 

 

            1                      MR. MORGAN: Could you check back

 

            2              because my recollection is that council

 

            3              voted, and I would have to go back into the

 

            4              Scranton Times archives to be absolutely

 

            5              certain, but I'm fairly certain there was a

 

            6              vote taken and it passed unanimously and

 

            7              then two weeks later or a week later council

 

            8              decided that it was going to break those

 

            9              subpoenas up in various ways so that they

 

           10              would be easier to ingest and then what

 

           11              happened is council killed them because the

 

           12              subpoenas were never issued and my question

 

           13              is possibly you could ask your solicitor

 

           14              that since that vote was taken and it was

 

           15              duly taken by this council and it was passed

 

           16              does Janet Evans still have the lawful

 

           17              authority to ask the solicitor to issue

 

           18              those subpoenas?

 

           19                      MR. MCGOFF: Well, the first thing --

 

           20              to respond, the first thing I would like to

 

           21              do is found out what the vote was on that.

 

           22                      MR. MORGAN: Could you?

 

           23                      MR. MCGOFF: Like I said, and then

 

           24              investigate from there, you know, further

 

           25              from that.


 

 

                                                                      26

 

 

            1                      MR. MORGAN: Because I really think

 

            2              it's time to start really trying to figure

 

            3              out where we are and, you know, I think it's

 

            4              time for the people in this city to realize

 

            5              that we have to start doing business another

 

            6              way and that's why hopefully you will get

 

            7              back to me so that we can follow a set of

 

            8              parameters in order to move forward to get

 

            9              access to this public access channel that I

 

           10              spoke to you about because in that contract

 

           11              it says that you are part of the governing

 

           12              body.  And the other problem I have is that

 

           13              this Channel 61 was advertised and put out

 

           14              for bid and I don't remember that ever going

 

           15              before this council to be advertised and

 

           16              bid.  All carry on next week.  Thank you.

 

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

 

           18              Sam Patilla.

 

           19                      MR. PATILLA: Good evening, Mrs.

 

           20              Evans and Mr.  Courtright.  I'm not going to

 

           21              spend too much time on the 12 million, but I

 

           22              will say once it's found out who how the

 

           23              money is going to be disbursed I truly feel

 

           24              that a portion of that money should be used

 

           25              to paint the fire hydrants per the fire


 

 

                                                                      27

 

 

            1              department, to repair our roads here because

 

            2              we have lousy roads, and the rest of that

 

            3              money should be returned to the taxpayers

 

            4              because that 25, 25, 25,25 should be

 

            5              repealed and that money should be given

 

            6              right back to the taxpayers and it shouldn't

 

            7              be given to the mayor so he can use it to

 

            8              plant trees or whatever else they want to

 

            9              do.  We have enough wasteful spending as it

 

           10              is.

 

           11                      Secondly, as a member of the

 

           12              Scranton Taxpayer/Lackawanna County

 

           13              Association to the people who take part our

 

           14              next people will be April 3 here at

 

           15              6:00 p.m., okay?  We are currently in the

 

           16              process, I asked Ozzie at our last meeting

 

           17              if we couldn't comprise a series of graphs

 

           18              and charts, bar graphs, pie charts, flow

 

           19              charts, to show what the revenue was for say

 

           20              the end of the Connors' administration to

 

           21              the present administration so we can see

 

           22              what the revenue was, what the spending was,

 

           23              but I would like to take that a little bit

 

           24              deeper, because while I have been viewing

 

           25              the budgets from 2008 until 1999, I noticed


 

 

                                                                      28

 

 

            1              that especially in terms of the public

 

            2              department, the Public Works, you know, when

 

            3              they submitted a budget for 2008 there is a

 

            4              $936 difference for each line item.  Each

 

            5              line item adds up to $936 and I talked to

 

            6              Ms. Schumacher, my court-appointed anger

 

            7              management person, why that figure always

 

            8              pops up, okay?  I have an accounting

 

            9              background.  I came through school,

 

           10              accounting was my thing, and she suggested

 

           11              maybe it was wages per the union.  It can't

 

           12              be wages per the union because if it wasn't

 

           13              increased per wages it would be based on

 

           14              each individual's -- each employee's wages

 

           15              and unless they getting the paid same amount

 

           16              of money then it can't be the same amount

 

           17              per the increase.  You know, this

 

           18              administration through my brief, brief

 

           19              viewing of the budgets here has a tendency

 

           20              of overbudgeting extremely.  Now, it's no

 

           21              problem with overbudgeting requesting more

 

           22              than you actually use the year before, but

 

           23              when that money gets up -- that amount gets

 

           24              up to 50 to $100,000 that's a big

 

           25              difference, okay, and using the Single Tax


 

 

                                                                      29

 

 

            1              Office, for example, they had a standing

 

            2              budget of 2007 of all $400,000, yet, the

 

            3              health insurance costs was $200,000, that's

 

            4              half the budget, you know.  And like I said,

 

            5              I have a small background in the accounting

 

            6              field and I know, I make numbers do whatever

 

            7              I want them to do, you know, it's hard for

 

            8              us to actually get a clear picture of

 

            9              exactly where this money is going without

 

           10              the vouchers, the invoices and the bills,

 

           11              but with the agendas that we receive each

 

           12              night we come here and the budgets we can

 

           13              get a general idea of where that money is

 

           14              going or how it's being played with, you

 

           15              know.  As Mr. Dudek said earlier, that

 

           16              $12 million is a lot of money, that's not

 

           17              chicken feed and the sharks couldn't wait to

 

           18              come out, oh, we are going to do this with

 

           19              that money, we are going to do that.  It's

 

           20              not your money.  All right?  We don't know

 

           21              who that money belongs to because it hasn't

 

           22              been determined how the disbursement is

 

           23              going to work out and until that has been

 

           24              done, you know, we can't say, well, this is

 

           25              Scranton's share, this is the wage tax


 

 

                                                                      30

 

 

            1              share, we don't know until that audit has

 

            2              been done, okay?  But like I said before,

 

            3              80 percent of that money should go right

 

            4              back to the taxpayers and that 25, 25, 25

 

            5              the remaining portion of that increase

 

            6              should be repealed, okay, because when you

 

            7              go into the blight -- when you go into the

 

            8              blight thing right now, you know, most of

 

            9              the blighted occurs because administration

 

           10              has allowed neighborhoods to go into decay.

 

           11              It's not drugs, it's not minorities, it's

 

           12              because the city gave up on that area.  The

 

           13              housing was run down.  You give that

 

           14              criminal element a place to hide their

 

           15              drugs, you give the homeless a place to go

 

           16              and sleep because instead of using money for

 

           17              the emergency shelter program to house these

 

           18              people you use it to plant trees.  Now, you

 

           19              could have used that money for what it was

 

           20              earmarked for and got these people off the

 

           21              street then you wouldn't have that problem,

 

           22              okay, so I don't want people blaming the

 

           23              poor, I don't want them blaming the minority

 

           24              for blight because that's not the problem.

 

           25              The problem is when a city gives up on it's


 

 

                                                                      31

 

 

            1              people.  Thank you.

 

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

 

            3              Brett McClough.

 

            4                      MR. MCCLOUGH:  Good evening.  My

 

            5              name is Brett McClough, Scranton taxpayer,

 

            6              homeowner.  I just wanted to say a few

 

            7              things about the smoking ban that is

 

            8              probably going to go statewide that I am

 

            9              neither for or against it, but one thing

 

           10              that is for sure, something really

 

           11              extraordinary happened in the City of

 

           12              Scranton when the illegal smoking ban was

 

           13              lifted last spring and people across this

 

           14              nation can take a look at the shining

 

           15              example of what we set here in Scranton.  I

 

           16              am proud to report that people actually do

 

           17              use free will and make choices to dine in

 

           18              restaurants with or without smoking

 

           19              sections.  Most who do not smoke still chose

 

           20              to go into restaurants that have smoking

 

           21              sections or not.  In Scranton, free will has

 

           22              prevailed.  Government intervention is

 

           23              redundant and unwarranted.  Regardless of

 

           24              what side of this issue you are on never put

 

           25              yours or anyone else's free will on the


 

 

                                                                      32

 

 

            1              chopping block simply because it's

 

            2              inconvenient to use it.

 

            3                      Just before school closed last year

 

            4              I had given Mrs. Evans as well as the

 

            5              principal of Scranton High School a list of

 

            6              air quality testing equipment that could

 

            7              have been rented at reasonable prices

 

            8              basically so the students could actually go

 

            9              into a restaurant that wishes to participate

 

           10              in a local indoor air quality study and have

 

           11              those students actually do the work to test

 

           12              the air quality, find out how many microns

 

           13              of what kind of gases are in any particular

 

           14              part of any given restaurant and reference

 

           15              to how big the restaurant is, what time of

 

           16              day it is or what day of the week or how

 

           17              many people are smoking in that restaurant

 

           18              and so on and so forth.

 

           19                      Have the science, wood-working and

 

           20              art classes get together and actually build

 

           21              and esthetically pleasing air purifier.

 

           22              Before we allowed students to just get by

 

           23              with cut, copying and pasted someone else's

 

           24              work without full understanding of the

 

           25              nature of the science behind it.  Let them


 

 

                                                                      33

 

 

            1              do the work.  Let them come up with their

 

            2              own conclusions and their own solutions.

 

            3              It's time we start educating our students to

 

            4              become leaders, not indoctrinating them to

 

            5              become followers.

 

            6                      Now, I just want to shift gears up

 

            7              to that $12 million.  I'm not quite sure

 

            8              what to think about this $12 million, but I

 

            9              am sure that no entity should even think

 

           10              about touching it until it's found out how

 

           11              these things happened.  Even after all of

 

           12              the excuses and the explanations are given

 

           13              out I'm not quite sure that money should be

 

           14              divvied up, I think every city council in

 

           15              every municipality should just take a step

 

           16              back and look at the big picture.  This is

 

           17              not extra money, it's money you never knew

 

           18              existed, you have already made budgets

 

           19              regardless of that money existed or not and

 

           20              bottom line, it's not your money.  How much

 

           21              would it cost the county to retrain 200

 

           22              CNA's to become LPN's, 200 LPN's to become

 

           23              RN's.  200 med techs, 200 heavy equipment

 

           24              and forklift operators, 200 machinist, those

 

           25              are the things that I see in the newspaper


 

 

                                                                      34

 

 

            1              that these jobs that need to be filled and

 

            2              if anything it should be done with this

 

            3              $12 million is a countywide comprehensive

 

            4              job training program to upgrade everybody.

 

            5              With our incomes go up then you guys are

 

            6              probably going to tax whatever, there you

 

            7              go, you get your money.

 

            8                      How about a $5 million tuition

 

            9              reimbursement grant that actually come from

 

           10              all of the people of Lackawanna County where

 

           11              you get yourself in school, when you pass

 

           12              you will get your tuition reimbursed.

 

           13              Something to keep us going.  Something to

 

           14              keep us moving up from Vandling to Moosic,

 

           15              from Moscow to Dalton, there are many, many

 

           16              things we can do to propel our economic

 

           17              development of all citizens of Lackawanna

 

           18              County and I believe it all starts with a

 

           19              training and retraining of the adult

 

           20              population and economic development that

 

           21              starts from the bottom up.

 

           22                      I want everyone to ask this

 

           23              question, is it worth 60 bucks you never

 

           24              knew you had in order to make this happen?

 

           25              Contact our local officials and demand at


 

 

                                                                      35

 

 

            1              that money be left alone.  The time is now

 

            2              to change our future.  Thank you.

 

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

 

            4              Paula Manley.

 

            5                      MS. MANLEY: Good evening, my name is

 

            6              Paula Manley.  Most of you probably have

 

            7              heard that name already this week.  I was

 

            8              told by the Parking Authority that I needed

 

            9              to come to you in order to see if we could

 

           10              get something resolved on this issue.  I

 

           11              have a letter here that I wanted to submit

 

           12              to each and every one of you, I have a copy.

 

           13              I also have a copy for everyone of a parking

 

           14              ordinance within the city that I'm asking

 

           15              for consideration by you that may be changed

 

           16              by you.

 

           17                      Just a little a brief information to

 

           18              you on my part, I am an employee of

 

           19              Northeastern Eye Institute and because I

 

           20              have had several injuries not only with my

 

           21              heart, but also because of brain aneurysms I

 

           22              park my car on Mifflin Avenue.  I have been

 

           23              granted a handicapped placard for my car.

 

           24              Just recently new meters have been installed

 

           25              on Mifflin Avenue.  I am no longer allowed


 

 

                                                                      36

 

 

            1              to park near the building for more than

 

            2              three hours.  I say three hours because I am

 

            3              granted an additional hour for parking at

 

            4              the meter because of the handicapped

 

            5              placard.  On Thursday of last week I

 

            6              received a $10 parking ticket for parking

 

            7              over three hours.  That was with money still

 

            8              in the meter.  It states -- oh, I called up

 

            9              the parking authority, they told me that

 

           10              there is a city ordinance that restricts me

 

           11              from parking there for more than three

 

           12              hours.  It states that I must move my car at

 

           13              least six spots away from the spot I am in

 

           14              every three hours or pay the $10 fine.

 

           15                   Something has to be done about the

 

           16              ordinance on Mifflin Avenue.  Northeast Eye

 

           17              is only one of two buildings on the entire

 

           18              200-block of Mifflin Avenue and both of

 

           19              those buildings give care to other people.

 

           20              Northeast Eye is an optical and eye surgical

 

           21              center that houses several doctors.  The

 

           22              other building is a building that houses a

 

           23              DayCare and a dance studio that is only open

 

           24              at night when the meters aren't used.  I'm

 

           25              sure that if any of you or any of your


 

 

                                                                      37

 

 

            1              family members have ever been to Northeast

 

            2              Eye that your eye appointment was probably

 

            3              longer than two hours.  In the department

 

            4              that I work in which is the retinal

 

            5              department that department deals with mostly

 

            6              aging.  The department -- many of our

 

            7              patients need to have certain testing done

 

            8              while there and while they are with us and

 

            9              they are there for several hours.  They

 

           10              cannot run out in two-hour increments to

 

           11              move their cars six spaces or get a ticket.

 

           12              The parking in that area is very congested

 

           13              to begin with.  I'm asking you all as city

 

           14              council members to please take a second look

 

           15              at the ordinance and either change it or

 

           16              take it completely off the books.

 

           17                      I'm not asking for free parking

 

           18              because we do put money in the meters.  What

 

           19              I am asking for is to lift the 2 to 3 hour

 

           20              restrictions.  I understand that there are

 

           21              ten-hour meters throughout the entire city,

 

           22              that even though these meters are ten hours

 

           23              they only allow you to park there for two.

 

           24              Every meter that I have looked at within the

 

           25              city and it's been also told to me by the


 

 

                                                                      38

 

 

            1              parking authority all say two hours only.  I

 

            2              am just here to ask you to take a look it

 

            3              this, this ordinance and I have a copy, you

 

            4              don't even have to go looking for it, I had

 

            5              brought a copy for everybody.  When I got

 

            6              the actual ticket -- when I got the ticket I

 

            7              sent it back with a complaint to the parking

 

            8              authority asking them to please, you know,

 

            9              look at this again, I have, you know, a

 

           10              handicap plaque on the car, they sent it

 

           11              back, I was denied, pay your ticket, you

 

           12              parked over three hours.

 

           13                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Can I just interrupt

 

           14              you for just one second?

 

           15                      MS. MANLEY: Sure.

 

           16                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  I forwarded your

 

           17              e-mail this morning to Bob Scopelitti and

 

           18              when I came in tonight he had called Kay and

 

           19              gave a response to what you said on there, I

 

           20              read it real quick.  The answer though is --

 

           21              just some of the things you mentioned in

 

           22              there so maybe tomorrow we can call you and

 

           23              give you his response, it will be start

 

           24              anyway, but he did.  I sent it this morning

 

           25              when I came back today he had already called


 

 

                                                                      39

 

 

            1              back so I got to give him that much credit.

 

            2              So I will get you the response that he gave

 

            3              to me and we'll start from there.

 

            4                      MS. MANLEY: I do also want to thank

 

            5              you and Mrs. Gatelli for returning my

 

            6              e-mails and thank you for allowing me to

 

            7              come here.  If you need a copy of the

 

            8              ordinance I have them.

 

            9                      MR. MCGOFF: Just give that to

 

           10              Mr. Coolican.  Thank you, Mrs. Manley.

 

           11                      MS. MANLEY: Thank you.

 

           12                      MS. GATELLI:  Can I ask her one

 

           13              question?  Mrs. Manley?

 

           14                      MS. MANLEY: Yes.

 

           15                      MS. GATELLI: I just had a question,

 

           16              does Northeast Eye provide with you with a

 

           17              parking space?

 

           18                      MS. MANLEY: They don't -- no, they

 

           19              do not.  They don't provide us free with

 

           20              parking, the employees are granted a parking

 

           21              pass at the forum.  I actually sent that

 

           22              back to you today in an e-mail.  We have a

 

           23              small parking lot on the side of the

 

           24              building that employees are not allowed to

 

           25              park in because that is strictly for


 

 

                                                                      40

 

 

            1              patients.  It is -- I did have a pass at the

 

            2              Forum and I used to park there, but after I

 

            3              did have high surgeries the walk especially

 

            4              in the winter is very hard for me to come

 

            5              over and into the building because there is

 

            6              only the one entrance on Mifflin Avenue side

 

            7              which is why I been parking in front of the

 

            8              building and I do want to just interject

 

            9              here to that the two cars that were

 

           10              ticketed, mine and one other person, were

 

           11              the only two employees that have handicap

 

           12              plac on their cars.

 

           13                      MS. GATELLI: Handicapped.

 

           14                      MS. MANLEY: Yep.

 

           15                      MS. GATELLI: Thank you.  Fay Franus.

 

           16                      MS. FRANUS: Fay Franus.  Billy, I

 

           17              would like to ask you a question, if I may,

 

           18              are you going to make a motion tonight to

 

           19              have an investigation into the allegations

 

           20              against Chief Davis?

 

           21                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes, I said I would

 

           22              make it tonight.  I wanted to give Mrs.

 

           23              Gatelli the opportunity to review all of the

 

           24              information.  She said she needed more time.

 

           25                      MS. FRANUS:  May I ask if your


 

 

                                                                      41

 

 

            1              follow collegiate vote you down what will

 

            2              you do then?

 

            3                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I don't know, I will

 

            4              have to explore my options.  I hope that

 

            5              doesn't happen, but if it does I'll have to

 

            6              explore my options.

 

            7                      MS. FRANUS:  Mrs. Evans explained

 

            8              the options last week, I hope you might

 

            9              consider that idea.

 

           10                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  I will look at

 

           11              whatever options are available.

 

           12                      MS. FRANUS:  Okay.  Thank you.

 

           13              Mr. McGoff, how does it feel to become a

 

           14              patsy here?

 

           15                      MR. MCGOFF: Excuse me?

 

           16                      MS. FRANUS: How does it feel to

 

           17              become a patsy?

 

           18                      MR. MCGOFF: I don't know what are

 

           19              you speaking of so --

 

           20                      MS. FRANUS:  Well, I'm tell you what

 

           21              I'm speaking of, I'm just amazed --

 

           22                      MR. MCGOFF: It sounds insulating,

 

           23              but --

 

           24                      MS. FRANUS:  Well, if the shoe fits,

 

           25              $5 million they find and nobody knew about


 

 

                                                                      42

 

 

            1              it and nobody told you about it as president

 

            2              of council this $5 million in revenues

 

            3              missing and all of a sudden it shows up and

 

            4              nobody told you, so all of a sudden how

 

            5              would you like it if you didn't have $500 in

 

            6              your paycheck, would you miss it?  Would you

 

            7              miss it?

 

            8                      MR. MCGOFF: I don't know what you

 

            9              are asking or what you are --

 

           10                      MS. FRANUS: If you're missing, if

 

           11              there was $500 missing out of your paycheck?

 

           12              Would you miss if there was $500 out of your

 

           13              paycheck, would you notice?

 

           14                      MR. MCGOFF: Apparently.

 

           15                      MS. FRANUS:  Well, okay.  You think

 

           16              the mayor and Stu Renda and Ken McDowell

 

           17              would miss $1,000 out of their paycheck?  I

 

           18              don't know.  I know, I don't expect an

 

           19              answer to that so I'll simply say, I think

 

           20              they care more about the value of their

 

           21              paycheck more so than they take their

 

           22              responsibilities for the people in the city.

 

           23                   Now, I personally believe that they

 

           24              know about this, either that or it's very --

 

           25              or else it's very -- negligence on their


 

 

                                                                      43

 

 

            1              part of the Taxpayers' Office, a lot of

 

            2              negligence there.  Either that or you're

 

            3              patsies for the administration because

 

            4              council people up there, the three of you,

 

            5              Mr. McGoff, Mrs. Fanelli -- Mr. McGoff, Ms.

 

            6              Gatelli and Fanucci raised the taxes when

 

            7              they knew there was money sitting there.

 

            8              When they knew there was money sitting there

 

            9              you had the gaul to raise our taxes.

 

           10              Somebody is going to have to answer to this

 

           11              and then you sit there and you defend this

 

           12              administration, Mr. McGoff, and Mrs. Gatelli

 

           13              and Mrs. Fanucci.  We'll see what's going to

 

           14              happen, but something is going to happen

 

           15              here.  I'd like to say how Patsy McGoff is

 

           16              going to look on your campaign poster.

 

           17                      I also would like to ask you, Mrs.

 

           18              Fanucci, when Sam Patilla speaks why is it

 

           19              you go out in the hall?  I mean, you are

 

           20              supposed to represent the people in this

 

           21              city and you go out in the hall and stand

 

           22              there.

 

           23                      MS. FANUCCI: Mr. -- he doesn't

 

           24              address me, why should I stay in here and

 

           25              listen to me.


 

 

                                                                      44

 

 

            1                      MS. FRANUS: He addresses all of

 

            2              council.

 

            3                      MS. FANUCCI:  No, he does not.

 

            4              Watch the tapes and go back.  If he

 

            5              addressed me I certainly would stay.  He

 

            6              certainly does not.  He addresses only two

 

            7              of council members every single time.

 

            8                      MS. FRANUS:  So you get up and you

 

            9              walk out --

 

           10                      MS. FANUCCI: Absolutely, and I will

 

           11              continue to do so.

 

           12                      MR. FRANUS: Oh, you think just

 

           13              because you continue to do so you think

 

           14              that's right?

 

           15                      MS. FANUCCI: I personally think it's

 

           16              right and it's something that I continue to

 

           17              do.

 

           18                      MS. FRANUS:  You are representing

 

           19              everybody in this city, you are getting by

 

           20              paid --

 

           21                      MS. FANUCCI:  Obviously I'm not

 

           22              representing Mr. Patilla because he doesn't

 

           23              address me.

 

           24                      MS. FRANUS: But that's childish on

 

           25              your part if you ask me.  Mrs. Gatelli, I'd


 

 

                                                                      45

 

 

            1              like to ask you, as finance chair what are

 

            2              you going to do about this $12 million,

 

            3              anything?

 

            4                      MS. GATELLI:  I'm going to wait and

 

            5              see what the forensic audit says before I

 

            6              make a decision.

 

            7                      MS. FRANUS:  Okay, and about the

 

            8              subpoenas that Lee Morgan mentioned, I

 

            9              believe, Mr. McGoff, that vote was, yes, for

 

           10              these subpoenas, so I don't think you have

 

           11              to wait.  Let's put it this way, when you

 

           12              find out that you did vote, yes, for those

 

           13              subpoenas I'm going to ask you would you

 

           14              still -- Mrs. Gatelli, Mrs. Fanucci and

 

           15              Mr. McGoff did you still want to follow

 

           16              through with those subpoenas?  Would you

 

           17              follow through and get those subpoenas, act

 

           18              on them?  Hypothetically if you find out

 

           19              that the answer was, yes.

 

           20                      MR. MCGOFF: I would like to find out

 

           21              what the results were first.

 

           22                      MS. FRANUS:  Well, the results were

 

           23              yes, because I know they were, so I said

 

           24              will you?

 

           25                      MR. MCGOFF: I don't know.


 

 

                                                                      46

 

 

            1                      MS. FRANUS:  You don't know if you

 

            2              will or not?  You did once before but that's

 

            3              what I mean by your a patsy by the

 

            4              administration.

 

            5                      MR. MCGOFF: I don't know that I did.

 

            6                      MS. FRANUS:  Well, I say you did.

 

            7                      MR. MCGOFF: Well, I'm glad that you

 

            8              are so sure.

 

            9                      MS. FRANUS:  Well, let's put it this

 

           10              way, would you want the subpoenas whether

 

           11              you voted that way or not?  Would you want

 

           12              the subpoenas just present day today, would

 

           13              you want the subpoenas to get this

 

           14              information?

 

           15                      MR. MCGOFF: What information?

 

           16                      MS. FRANUS:  On all of the audits

 

           17              that Mrs. Evans asked for.

 

           18                      MR. MCGOFF:  I would have to review

 

           19              it again.

 

           20                      MS. FRANUS: Would you want to have

 

           21              Kenny McDowell come in here and answer those

 

           22              questions?

 

           23                      MR. MCGOFF: Mrs. Franus, you are

 

           24              asking questions that are hypothetical.

 

           25                      MS. FRANUS: No, these are --


 

 

                                                                      47

 

 

            1                      MR. MCGOFF: I already said that I

 

            2              would --

 

            3                      MS. FRANUS: These aren't

 

            4              hypothetical.  These are questions I'm

 

            5              asking you now.  Would you want to get --

 

            6                      MR. MCGOFF: And they are very

 

            7              hypothetical.

 

            8                      MS. FRANUS:  No, they are not.

 

            9                      MR. MCGOFF: Yes, they are.

 

           10                      MS. FRANUS:  I'm asking you a

 

           11              question?  Would you want to get subpoenas

 

           12              to get to the records.  That's not

 

           13              hypothetical, that's a direct question.

 

           14                      MR. MCGOFF: And I said if it and

 

           15              when the motion is made I will --

 

           16                      MS. FRANUS: Oh, you'll decide then,

 

           17              but you don't know right now in your head if

 

           18              you want to or not.  You to have to think

 

           19              about whether you want to or not, is that

 

           20              it?

 

           21                      MR. MCGOFF: That's correct.

 

           22                      MS. FRANUS:  Boy, you really have

 

           23              the hand of -- you just don't know what you

 

           24              want, do you?  You don't have an idea what

 

           25              you want.  Thank you.


 

 

                                                                      48

 

 

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

 

            2              Ron Ellman.

 

            3                      MR. ELLMAN:  Ron Ellman, homeowner

 

            4              and taxpayer and member of the Taxpayers'

 

            5              Association and the Taurus Club as you can

 

            6              see, I keep growing and growing.  Oh,

 

            7              Mr. McGoff, you are not even listening to

 

            8              me.

 

            9                      MR. MCGOFF: Yes, I am.

 

           10                      MR. ELLMAN: Heaviest the head that

 

           11              wears the crown, isn't it?  As you may or

 

           12              may not have noticed, I hadn't been here for

 

           13              a few months and I had quiet a few people

 

           14              does me why and the reason was by choice, I

 

           15              just didn't want to come.  You know, and I

 

           16              had some people say were you being sued by

 

           17              the mayor or somebody for your big mouth and

 

           18              did somebody at council tell you to tone it

 

           19              down?  None of these things -- I just didn't

 

           20              want to come nor more, you know.  These

 

           21              people -- these people these five people up

 

           22              here are too arguable and too credible to

 

           23              worry about what I say, you know, I just

 

           24              wanted to, like I say, I go to the flea

 

           25              markets and everything and I have people ask


 

 

                                                                      49

 

 

            1              me, that's just ridiculous.  The reason I

 

            2              came tonight though I had a fire at my house

 

            3              December 14, I'd hired an electrician to do

 

            4              some work and it caught fire, I should have

 

            5              done it myself and burned the house down and

 

            6              saved $165, but I want to say the first

 

            7              thing that happened the smoke alarms went

 

            8              off before I smelled any smoke and I cannot

 

            9              put enough emphasize on people that have

 

           10              smoke alarms.  They don't cost very much, I

 

           11              think 16 is giving them away or somebody is

 

           12              going to give them away, they are so

 

           13              important at saving your lives; and the

 

           14              second thing is I grabbed the fire

 

           15              extinguisher out of my antique car and run

 

           16              in there like a fool and squirted the fire,

 

           17              which was huge, and that is plain stupid,

 

           18              you shouldn't ever go back in, the smoke hit

 

           19              me and I couldn't believe it, it just like a

 

           20              20th of a second or something, I've read

 

           21              where people are found by the door and

 

           22              windows and you wonder why they don't get

 

           23              out.  You are incapacitated immediately, so

 

           24              if you have a fire just get the hell out of

 

           25              the house and forget it.


 

 

                                                                      50

 

 

            1                      Then I want to say that my neighbor

 

            2              phoned the fire department and they go there

 

            3              in minutes and there was stuff all over of

 

            4              the street, just all kinds of fire trucks

 

            5              and the police were there and an ambulance

 

            6              and they come into my house like gang

 

            7              busters and with two big hoses and put the

 

            8              fire out, of course, and I don't want to get

 

            9              involved in their -- I'm not educated enough

 

           10              to make a comment on their internal

 

           11              problems, but whoever trained these people

 

           12              did a wonderful job.  These people were so

 

           13              professional and just handled everything so

 

           14              perfect I didn't have no broken windows and

 

           15              doors, they didn't damage any furniture and

 

           16              we have a houseful of, you know, several

 

           17              antiques.  They just were you -- just did a

 

           18              wonderful job and for the mayor to say to

 

           19              the city that these men and women don't

 

           20              deserve a rais is just a -- it's just

 

           21              outrageous.  There is just no reason for

 

           22              them not having raises and all of the dead,

 

           23              unnecessary weight that's on the payroll

 

           24              there has been 50 jobs added, there is all

 

           25              kind of jobs been invented, like, Mr. Hayes,


 

 

                                                                      51

 

 

            1              he has an invented job, then he gets a

 

            2              promotion, then he gets a raise and Mr.

 

            3              Seitzinger is useless.  I phoned him myself

 

            4              over and over and over again, he is harder

 

            5              to find that Ken McDowell when he was in

 

            6              office and to give people like that raises

 

            7              and promotions and say our firemen and our

 

            8              police is a disgrace is a kick in the teeth

 

            9              to the people of the city.  Thank you.

 

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

 

           11              David Dobson.

 

           12                      MR. DOBSON: Good evening, Council.

 

           13              There was a woman here a few minutes ago

 

           14              speaking on parking, I might also add I took

 

           15              an elderly relative to Northeast Eye and

 

           16              they are actually so busy that people are

 

           17              parking in the parking lot with their cars

 

           18              idling and stuff and nobody can find the

 

           19              space for the patients, so that is a big

 

           20              problem for people down there.

 

           21                      Okay, once again, the smoking ban

 

           22              has arisen, and should people smoke?

 

           23              Absolutely not.  There is no evidence that

 

           24              could justify the risk you're taking,

 

           25              however, when law enforcement and law


 

 

                                                                      52

 

 

            1              enforcement commences and become involved

 

            2              many people who cannot stop will suffer.

 

            3              Once tobacco becomes a controlled substance,

 

            4              fines, prosecution, criminal sentences may

 

            5              prevail.  I do not believe in this kind of

 

            6              ideals that there are any kind of help to

 

            7              the people involved and the amount of

 

            8              secondhand smoke that's present right now is

 

            9              negligible compared to what existed years

 

           10              and years ago which is what I suspect many

 

           11              of our so-called scientists and whatever and

 

           12              people to make that call are basing their

 

           13              facts on.

 

           14                      Social legislation in many instances

 

           15              means well, however, more often than not

 

           16              results in creating more problems than it

 

           17              solves.  An approximately 25 percent of all

 

           18              lung cancer is caused by Raydon and it's

 

           19              present in great quantities in our area, in

 

           20              great volumes because of the mine that

 

           21              existed years ago and very little has been

 

           22              done to generate awareness.

 

           23                      I see some ads on the state a year

 

           24              ago or so, but if you are a nonsmoker and

 

           25              you are concerned about your lungs have your


 

 

                                                                      53

 

 

            1              house tested for Raydon, please.  My

 

            2              respectful advice to the young generation is

 

            3              consider tolerance as a virtue, but find out

 

            4              who you are before you burn your bridges.

 

            5              Don't smoke, don't start to smoke, but don't

 

            6              become a thorn in somebody's side to fight

 

            7              for some public space, and also have your

 

            8              home tested for Raydon once again.  It might

 

            9              be the unlucky one in four.

 

           10                      Throughout the history of our

 

           11              country we have had many laws concerning

 

           12              birth control and everything, Emma Goldman

 

           13              wound up in prison for talking about birth

 

           14              control back in the early 20th Century, a

 

           15              doctor could be arrested and imprisoned in

 

           16              Connecticut for five years for discussing

 

           17              birth control with his patients, and a lot

 

           18              of the social legislation, like I said, it

 

           19              means well, nobody should ever start to

 

           20              smoke, there is no good evidence to continue

 

           21              smoking that you are going to get -- be left

 

           22              off the hook, but in many instances once

 

           23              these laws -- once we have a law and we have

 

           24              the laws being violated then people are sent

 

           25              to prisons and fined and constantly under


 

 

                                                                      54

 

 

            1              scrutiny and if you follow the results of

 

            2              this a person like this winding up in the

 

            3              penal system more often than not the

 

            4              recidivism rate is very high and it's for

 

            5              something far worse because all -- most

 

            6              prisons cause mental insanity.  They are not

 

            7              correctional institutions.  Thank you.  Have

 

            8              a good night.

 

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

 

           10              Marie Schumacher.

 

           11                      MS. SCHUMACHER: Good evening, Marie

 

           12              Schumacher, resident and member of the

 

           13              Taxpayers' Association.  First regarding the

 

           14              $12 million, I would like to know how the

 

           15              auditor overlooked these missing millions.

 

           16              I recall the audit was delayed because of

 

           17              problems in coordinating with a Single Tax

 

           18              Office, so certainly they must have

 

           19              overlooked their books and I wonder how they

 

           20              could have overlooked this especially since

 

           21              it was a single account according to

 

           22              Mr. McGovern.  How they would have

 

           23              overlooked that and I wander if the auditor

 

           24              you hired is competent.

 

           25                      Next, I'm disappointed that 5-F


 

 

                                                                      55

 

 

            1              progressed last week without the answers to

 

            2              the questions I raised.  Mrs. Fanucci said,

 

            3              I believe, that the $74,000 item was money

 

            4              allocated for the Roaring Brook Pittston

 

            5              Avenue collapse, but the state came through

 

            6              and allocated the money.  Well, that was a

 

            7              roughly $6 million project and 75 percent of

 

            8              that was paid by the federal government.

 

            9              The balance was paid by a combination of the

 

           10              state and the city.

 

           11                      Now, OECD informs me that the first

 

           12              two project digits reflect the year, so

 

           13              since two of the projects were in the '01

 

           14              somebody would have had to have a crystal

 

           15              ball to know what tropical storm Ivan was

 

           16              going to do to Pittston Avenue in 2004 and

 

           17              two other projects were '05 projects which

 

           18              would have been after the storm.  So, it's

 

           19              difficult to correlate these days with what

 

           20              Mrs. Fanucci stated.

 

           21                      I still believe we need to know the

 

           22              remaining balances in the projects from

 

           23              which the monies are being transferred and

 

           24              what approved and budgeted projects will not

 

           25              be accomplished.


 

 

                                                                      56

 

 

            1                      I noticed an RFP in the legal

 

            2              section off the Monopoly newspaper for 300

 

            3              trees for South Side.  This raises the

 

            4              question of whether or not this is a phased

 

            5              program which is not housed, it was

 

            6              presented in the ordinance, or has the 1,000

 

            7              tree project been reduced to 300 and if the

 

            8              latter what will happen to the remaining

 

            9              funds for the 700 trees that will not be

 

           10              procured and planted.

 

           11                      Next, I would like to request if

 

           12              there is any intention to introduce an

 

           13              ordinance requiring new built homes to

 

           14              install sidewalks.  I have repeatedly asked

 

           15              that question and most of my questions

 

           16              anymore are rhetorical, but that one I would

 

           17              like an answer to in motions.  I would like

 

           18              to request that the Director of Parks and

 

           19              Recreation be invited to come before council

 

           20              to describe the recreation program.

 

           21                      It seems that we have a big "P,

 

           22              little "R" parks and recreation department.

 

           23              There is not much recreation for our young

 

           24              people.  It's been stated that way tonight

 

           25              and repeatedly.  All of the emphasis seems


 

 

                                                                      57

 

 

            1              to be on the parks.  No, not parks, but Nay

 

            2              Aug Park.  Much of the mayor's first

 

            3              five-year capital budget poured tons of

 

            4              money into Nay Aug.  The mayor started the

 

            5              Nay Aug conservancy to raise funds for Nay

 

            6              Aug Park.  The Scranton Redevelopment

 

            7              Authority spends funds on Nay Aug park.

 

            8              Recently, a component of the Chamber

 

            9              announced a project focusing on the

 

           10              restoration of the Shimel-Finney Pavilion at

 

           11              Nay Aug.  The Recreation Authority itself

 

           12              deals only with Nay Aug Park.  Why are all

 

           13              of the other parks orphans and all of this

 

           14              attention is paid only to Nay Aug Park?

 

           15                      I would like to know if we have any

 

           16              projections for what happens to our local

 

           17              economy when the Middle East conflict ends

 

           18              or is significantly scaled back?  Certainly

 

           19              it's likely that Tobyhanna, General

 

           20              Dynamics, Gentex and the remainder of the

 

           21              defense contractors will be affected and

 

           22              probably scale back and I wonder if anybody

 

           23              is looking into how this is going to affect

 

           24              our economy, what it's going to do to the

 

           25              city budget, and what kind of retraining


 

 

                                                                      58

 

 

            1              projects may be offered?  And that concludes

 

            2              my comments for tonight.

 

            3                      MS. EVANS: Miss Schumacher, I do

 

            4              have a number of responses to the questions

 

            5              that you posed last week, so if you could --

 

            6              would you be staying until the conclusion of

 

            7              the meeting?

 

            8                      MS. SCHUMACHER: Depends on how long

 

            9              it goes.

 

           10                      MS. EVANS: Okay.  Well, I'll take

 

           11              care of this now then and I'll see that you

 

           12              get it almost immediately.

 

           13                      MS. SCHUMACHER: Thank you.

 

           14                      MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else to speak?

 

           15                      MS. STULGIS: I'm Ann Marie Stulgis,

 

           16              and I'm here as both a city taxpayer and

 

           17              president of the Fraternal Order of Police

 

           18              and the Scranton Police Union.  Since the

 

           19              taxpayers didn't learn about this in the

 

           20              Scranton Times, I thought they should know

 

           21              that the City of Scranton with Christopher

 

           22              Doherty as mayor, Ray Hayes as public safety

 

           23              director, Lisa Moran as Human Resource

 

           24              Director and David Elliott as chief of

 

           25              police eliminated in violation of the police


 

 

                                                                      59

 

 

            1              contract several clerk positions in January

 

            2              of 2003.  In February of that year the union

 

            3              filed a grievance because those positions

 

            4              were created as part of a recovery plan.

 

            5              They were created by the Pennsylvania

 

            6              Economy League who oversees the distressed

 

            7              status of the City of Scranton.  In return

 

            8              for the creation of those clerk positions

 

            9              police jobs were eliminated the

 

           10              understanding being that while police jobs

 

           11              were eliminated lower paying clerks would be

 

           12              then hired to do all of the paperwork for

 

           13              police officers because police officers are

 

           14              mandated to write reports and all reports

 

           15              have to be typed.  Since, like most of us,

 

           16              police officers aren't necessarily typists

 

           17              and tend to hunt a peck a lot on the

 

           18              keyboard, a lot of time spent doing

 

           19              paperwork.  That time would not any longer

 

           20              spent in headquarters they would be on the

 

           21              road insuring the safety of the citizenry

 

           22              and the clerks would do the work.

 

           23                      However, since the city chose to

 

           24              arbitrarily eliminate those positions the

 

           25              FOP went to arbitration and in February 13


 

 

                                                                      60

 

 

            1              is when we filed the brief of '03, that was

 

            2              heard by an arbitrator and on September 13th

 

            3              of '04, a full 19 months later, the

 

            4              arbitrator ruled that the city blatantly and

 

            5              willfully violated the union contract.  They

 

            6              were ordered to make a cash payment to the

 

            7              police officers, they were ordered to pay

 

            8              union legal fees and they were ordered to

 

            9              pay interest from the date the grievance was

 

           10              filed which was, of course, February of '03.

 

           11              Did the city comply?  No, they did not.

 

           12              They appealed it with Common Pleas Court.

 

           13              The city lost.  Did they by law then comply?

 

           14              No, they did not.  They then went to

 

           15              Commonwealth Court.  There were two hearings

 

           16              held in Commonwealth Court, the first

 

           17              hearing with three judges because of the

 

           18              seriousness of the issue, because of the

 

           19              possibility of a huge monetary payout and

 

           20              because the city was an Act 47 city

 

           21              Commonwealth Court demanded an en banc

 

           22              hearing which means the case was heard by

 

           23              the full Commonwealth Court.  The decision

 

           24              was unanimous, the city lost again.  Did

 

           25              they comply?  No, they did not.  At that


 

 

                                                                      61

 

 

            1              point the FOP then went to Pennsylvania

 

            2              Labor Relations Board alleging that the city

 

            3              violated the Pennsylvania Labor Relations

 

            4              Act by failing to comply with Common Pleas

 

            5              Court decision.  Pennsylvania Labor

 

            6              Relations Board ruled, in fact, the city did

 

            7              fail to comply.  Did the city then comply?

 

            8              No, they did not.  In the mean time the city

 

            9              filed with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to

 

           10              have the case heard.  Pennsylvania Supreme

 

           11              Court denied hearing the case saying that

 

           12              the Commonwealth Court decision stands.  Did

 

           13              the city then comply?  No, they did not.

 

           14                      May I remind you that the dollar

 

           15              figure all of those years continued to grow

 

           16              as did the interest.  The Pennsylvania Labor

 

           17              Relations' Board then contacted Robert

 

           18              Farrell who was of the city solicitor asking

 

           19              why the city failed to comply.  He said, oh,

 

           20              they are working on complying.  On July 19th

 

           21              of 2007 Lisa Moran signed a notarized sworn

 

           22              affidavit stating that, in fact, the city

 

           23              had completely complied with the

 

           24              arbitrator's decision.  Nothing could have

 

           25              been further from the truth.  The city did


 

 

                                                                      62

 

 

            1              not comply and yet she swore that they have,

 

            2              and I happen to have a copy of that with me

 

            3              should anyone doubt my word.  Has the city

 

            4              complied as of yet?  No, they have not, and

 

            5              we recently had another Pennsylvania Labor

 

            6              Relations hearing to force compliance.  To

 

            7              date five years and one month has passed.  A

 

            8              week ago the police officers were paid

 

            9              $1 million of that arbitration award.  They

 

           10              have hired five of the eight clerks.  That

 

           11              $1 million is about half of what the city

 

           12              owes.  Keeping in mind that that dollar

 

           13              figure is mounting everyday, that that

 

           14              interest is growing everyday, that they

 

           15              still have three more clerks to hire.

 

           16                      Now, to make it very clear, I fought

 

           17              this case through that whole system, I do

 

           18              not get paid to fight that case nor did I

 

           19              get one dollar of that award.  I did it

 

           20              because it's the right thing to do.  It's

 

           21              just most unfortunate that this

 

           22              administration has no clue what the right

 

           23              thing to do is and as a taxpayer I find it

 

           24              appalling at the incompetence, and might I

 

           25              also mention that an additional $1 million


 

 

                                                                      63

 

 

            1              was spent on legal fees to fight this

 

            2              ridiculous case.  Thank you.

 

            3                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mrs. Stulgis.

 

            4                      MR. JACKOWITZ:  Good evening,

 

            5              Mr. President, Scranton City Council

 

            6              members.  My name is Bill Jackowitz, South

 

            7              Scranton resident.  Enough is enough.  The

 

            8              St. Patrick's Day parade became a political

 

            9              campaign parade.  Forty-five minute delay so

 

           10              Hillary Clinton can campaign and Chris

 

           11              Doherty was never more than two inches away

 

           12              from her.  Doherty did a better job than the

 

           13              secret service agents.  Maybe a career

 

           14              change is in store for Mayor Doherty and

 

           15              businessman Doherty.  A 45-minute delay in a

 

           16              parade.  A parade should continue one, it

 

           17              should never be stopped.

 

           18                      Elected officials, politicians have

 

           19              been betrayed the trust of Scranton

 

           20              taxpayers.  The alleged incident at the

 

           21              Single Tax Office does not paint a good

 

           22              picture of Scranton elected officials.

 

           23              Citizens have been coming before council for

 

           24              years asking for someone to look into this

 

           25              matter only to be ignored.  Citizens have


 

 

                                                                      64

 

 

            1              asked for audits, pages and documented proof

 

            2              as to what taxpayers' money has been

 

            3              collected and where the money is.  Citizens

 

            4              have been stonewalled every step of the way.

 

            5              I have said many times from this podium that

 

            6              coverups lead to trouble.  Nay Aug Park

 

            7              cannot solve this situation.  A complete and

 

            8              total audit must be accomplished and also an

 

            9              investigation by the State of Pennsylvania

 

           10              and federal law enforcement agencies.

 

           11                   Councilwoman Gatelli, as finance

 

           12              chairperson, you must provide answers to the

 

           13              taxpayers.  Last week 11th March of '08 you

 

           14              stated that you voted for the fines and fees

 

           15              because taxpayers must pay their taxes.

 

           16              Well, it appears that taxpayers were paying

 

           17              their taxes.  Elected officials were not

 

           18              doing their jobs.  Remember, each elected

 

           19              official takes an oath of office where they

 

           20              swear to uphold the constitution of the

 

           21              United States of America against all foreign

 

           22              and domestic enemies and serve the people.

 

           23              I guess there is no mention of protecting

 

           24              the people from elected officials.

 

           25                      Last week's meeting was very


 

 

                                                                      65

 

 

            1              interesting, there was a long discussion

 

            2              about the situation with the fire

 

            3              department.  President McGoff and Councilman

 

            4              Courtright held an informal meeting with

 

            5              Chief Davis and then with the firefighters.

 

            6              No notes were taken at Chief Davis' meeting,

 

            7              a tape and notes were taken at the

 

            8              firefighters' meeting.  Now Councilwoman

 

            9              Gatelli and Fanucci are stating that they

 

           10              had to vote against the letter being sent

 

           11              that questioned that an outside agency be

 

           12              brought in to investigate, the alleged

 

           13              allegations against the chief, the reason

 

           14              being they have not seen any information

 

           15              about the alleged complaints and no

 

           16              grievances were filed by the fire

 

           17              department.

 

           18                      Well, if the council would have

 

           19              followed the lead of Councilman Courtright

 

           20              and Councilwoman Evans and had a

 

           21              stenographer present then an official record

 

           22              would have been available with every word

 

           23              that was spoken at these two meetings.  Now,

 

           24              we have a record of one meeting and no

 

           25              record of Chief Davis' meeting, plus Kay


 

 

                                                                      66

 

 

            1              Garvey was put into a position that she

 

            2              should not have been put into.  Again, the

 

            3              elected officials have let the people down.

 

            4              This is not a personnel issue.  This is a

 

            5              public safety issue, a simple thing is

 

            6              having a stenographer present became a

 

            7              political issue.  Now you all are arguing

 

            8              about not having the proper information.

 

            9              What a dog and pony show.

 

           10                      Just two or three weeks ago the city

 

           11              controller stated that taxpayers would not

 

           12              be receiving their tax refund checks.  The

 

           13              reason, the city has no money.  Well, guess

 

           14              what, there was tax money available because

 

           15              people have been paying their taxes.  Tax

 

           16              collectors and controllers have not been

 

           17              doing their jobs.  The time has come for all

 

           18              elected officials to start doing what they

 

           19              were elected do, serve and protect the

 

           20              citizens and taxpayers, not finding jobs for

 

           21              family members and friends.  Start by

 

           22              fetching information for citizens and

 

           23              answering legitimate questions.  The

 

           24              coverups must stop today.

 

           25                      Mr. Renda stated that the city


 

 

                                                                      67

 

 

            1              administrator and administration was not

 

            2              privy to the tax, this tax information.

 

            3              Come on now, this is Scranton Taxpayers'

 

            4              money being paid to Scranton to provide

 

            5              services to the residents of the city and

 

            6              now they the elected and appointed officials

 

            7              want us to believe they were not aware of

 

            8              12.2 million dollars in a checking account

 

            9              at the First Fidelity Bank.  Please, give us

 

           10              some credit for intelligence.

 

           11                      This has been spoken about over and

 

           12              over but, yet nobody in authority listened

 

           13              and took the time to investigate.  All that

 

           14              was done was to raise taxes and fees and

 

           15              blame the unions.  Stand up and be counted

 

           16              and accept the blame.  Scranton Taxpayers

 

           17              deserve an apology from every elected and

 

           18              appointed official who stonewalled them for

 

           19              the past four years.  Don't tell me you

 

           20              didn't know where the money was and,

 

           21              Mrs. Gatelli, as finances chair I hope by

 

           22              next week you can tell us the citizens of

 

           23              Scranton whose name was on that checking

 

           24              account, who made the deposits to First

 

           25              Fidelity Bank's checking account.  Someone's


 

 

                                                                      68

 

 

            1              name must be on that account and someone had

 

            2              to make those deposits unless Casper the

 

            3              Ghost arrived in Scranton to do it.  I hope

 

            4              you have that information for me next week.

 

            5                      MR. JUDGE: Good evening, Council.

 

            6              John Judge, I'm the secretary with the

 

            7              firefighters' union.  I didn't come last

 

            8              week, I thought there was going to be a

 

            9              vote, after I saw that the vote wasn't taken

 

           10              it was tabled because some members didn't

 

           11              have a chance to read over what was talked

 

           12              about between myself and President

 

           13              Schreiber, President McGoff and

 

           14              Mr. Courtright.  I would just like to extend

 

           15              our offer to of the union to sit down with

 

           16              the other council members if that's what you

 

           17              need to make an informed decision on this

 

           18              very important safety matter.

 

           19                      This executive body has received a

 

           20              mandate from our membership to pursue this

 

           21              issue and make sure and ensure that there

 

           22              they are save when they do their work.  I

 

           23              think there has been some confusion about

 

           24              our motives, some people have put forth some

 

           25              ideas which are ridiculous and we spoke with


 

 

                                                                      69

 

 

            1              Mr. Courtright and Mr. McGoff and I think

 

            2              that all four of us when we left that

 

            3              meeting felt very confident on where each

 

            4              side was coming from with the issue.  We

 

            5              just hope that you will move this issue

 

            6              forward tonight and when we talk about a

 

            7              third party arbitrator or mediator we are

 

            8              not assuming that that mediator is going to

 

            9              come in and say, "Chief Davis no longer has

 

           10              a job."

 

           11                      What we want is somebody to come in

 

           12              and look at these issues from the outside

 

           13              and give us recommendations based on these

 

           14              incidents that have happened on how to make

 

           15              this department more effective and safer to

 

           16              run.  So, I would really hope, and if you

 

           17              don't have the proper information tonight or

 

           18              you do want to speak to us, I'm sure that we

 

           19              would be more than willing to sit down with

 

           20              any of the council members that didn't have

 

           21              the ability to sit down with us the first

 

           22              time.  Please just don't brush us aside

 

           23              here.  Like I said, we have that mandate

 

           24              from our membership and we're not going to

 

           25              let you brush us aside.  We are going to


 

 

                                                                      70

 

 

            1              push this forward and ensure that all 150 of

 

            2              us are able to work as safely and possible.

 

            3              We understand the inherent risks with our

 

            4              job, but you as you see when we put forth

 

            5              some of the specifics on this matter we need

 

            6              this addressed and I hope that council will

 

            7              take this very seriously and help and work

 

            8              with us to do that and I think that

 

            9              supporting Councilman Courtright's motion

 

           10              would be the prudent thing to do.  Thank you

 

           11              very much.

 

           12                      MS. GATELLI:  Mr. Judge, I just

 

           13              would like to tell you that I will be voting

 

           14              on that issue tonight.  I wasn't here and I

 

           15              didn't have the transcript.

 

           16                      MR. JUDGE: I understood.  Right.

 

           17              Thank you.

 

           18                      MR. GERVASI:  Good evening, city

 

           19              council, my name is Dave Gervasi and I'm a

 

           20              Scranton Taxpayer and Firefighter with the

 

           21              City of Scranton.  I just want to add to

 

           22              what my brother John Judge just said, there

 

           23              have been a lot of things thrown around,

 

           24              words that I heard coming from council and I

 

           25              just wanted to assure you that this is


 

 

                                                                      71

 

 

            1              solely based on safety, and as Mr. Judge

 

            2              said, we have a mandate from our guys, our

 

            3              guys are not letting us let this go.  It

 

            4              needs to be done, so I just want to stress,

 

            5              I really, really want to stress this, and I

 

            6              want to apologize if any of you up there

 

            7              feel that we, you know, put you guys in the

 

            8              middle of this whole thing, but what else do

 

            9              we do?  We went to the mayor, had a meeting

 

           10              with the mayor, I was at the meeting, we

 

           11              explained everything to him, he did not make

 

           12              any apologies for the chief.  He didn't try

 

           13              to defend the chief, he sat and he listened

 

           14              and he heard what we had to say and he said

 

           15              he would take care of it, and when we said

 

           16              -- once you try to take care of it who is

 

           17              going to run the department to understand

 

           18              all of these new procedures that we are

 

           19              going to try to formulate together, and he

 

           20              said, "Don't worry about it, I will take

 

           21              care of it."

 

           22                      He must have said is five times that

 

           23              day and, well, I did mostly, I said, well,

 

           24              we all did, there was four of us at the

 

           25              meeting and we told him that, you know, we


 

 

                                                                      72

 

 

            1              need some competent leadership in our

 

            2              department because no matter what you do and

 

            3              no matter what we do the chief needs to be

 

            4              chief and needs to make the decisions and

 

            5              needs to carry out whatever procedures we

 

            6              come up with to make this department safer

 

            7              than it is now and he insisted he is not

 

            8              getting rid of the chief, period.

 

            9                      So, we apologize for putting you in

 

           10              the middle of this, but where else do we go?

 

           11              You know, there is nobody else to call,

 

           12              there is nobody else to tell, so we came

 

           13              here and we are asking for whatever it

 

           14              takes, an outside investigation to make it

 

           15              fair, political pressure from you, whatever

 

           16              you need to do we are asking you to do

 

           17              because things are not right with the fire

 

           18              department as long as we don't have or we

 

           19              continue to have the leadership we have now,

 

           20              and I'm sorry for putting you in the middle

 

           21              of this, but you are elected officials, you

 

           22              are the next step we take and I thank you

 

           23              for your time.

 

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

 

           25                      MS. KRAKE: Good evening, Council.


 

 

                                                                      73

 

 

            1              My name is Nancy Krake.  The Doherty

 

            2              administration is oppressive and dictatorial

 

            3              in it's policies and treatment of workers

 

            4              and citizens alike.  Mrs. Evans and

 

            5              Mr. Courtright are a striking contrast to

 

            6              the three people on this council that follow

 

            7              the mayor's examples and his orders.

 

            8                      Mrs. Evans holds this administration

 

            9              and her colleagues accountability for city

 

           10              finances and asks the tough questions.

 

           11              Mr. Courtright holds this administration

 

           12              accountable for public safety and also ask

 

           13              the tough questions.  These things need to

 

           14              be asked every day.  A good example is the

 

           15              recent $12 million found at the Single Tax

 

           16              Office.  It just shows how important checks

 

           17              and balances are in city government and how

 

           18              important it is to have a newspaper that

 

           19              finally reports both sides of the story.  I

 

           20              wonder if any of the councilpersons who did

 

           21              not vote for Mrs. Evans' budget, that would

 

           22              be Mr. McGoff, Mrs. Gatelli and

 

           23              Mrs. Fanucci, a budget that included

 

           24              revenues from the Single Tax Office that

 

           25              should are been collected over the past


 

 

                                                                      74

 

 

            1              seven years would like now to go back and

 

            2              revisit that proposal.  Perhaps you could

 

            3              amend the current budget to add those

 

            4              revenues and reduce taxes, and maybe we can

 

            5              take away those Draconian penalties that do

 

            6              not go into city coffers no matter what

 

            7              Mrs. Fanucci says.

 

            8                      I would like to ask Mrs. Evans to

 

            9              consider running for Mayor of Scranton.

 

           10              Many people stop me at my job and wherever I

 

           11              am and tell me that she is the person that

 

           12              watches over them and the city.  If a new

 

           13              administration at the Single Tax Office

 

           14              found millions in one month just think of

 

           15              what Mrs. Evans would be able to find out

 

           16              about Mayor Doherty's administration if she

 

           17              were mayor.  Thank you.

 

           18                      MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else?

 

           19                      MR. DAVIS:  My name is Jim Davis,

 

           20              and I'm here again and I'm going to -- we

 

           21              have got seven more days until election,

 

           22              until the primary election.  It seems as

 

           23              though by a strange divine essence of the

 

           24              law, we are now faced with the idea that

 

           25              Pennsylvania may be the voting -- may be the


 

 

                                                                      75

 

 

            1              voting block of the century and we may be

 

            2              the persons that actually define who our

 

            3              next president or our next candidate for

 

            4              presidency will be.  It's important.  It's

 

            5              very important.  Things have not done as we

 

            6              had hoped with the last election, but we

 

            7              need all of you people, everybody out there

 

            8              we need you to get involved with the school

 

            9              board.  We need you to get involved here.

 

           10              We need your words.  We need your prayers,

 

           11              too, but at the same time this is democracy

 

           12              in action.  This is a form of democracy that

 

           13              will you see no matter what country you go

 

           14              into, no matter what state you go in, even

 

           15              if you were to go to Washington and

 

           16              Harrisburg, there is the form of government

 

           17              that stands up.  They follow the same rules

 

           18              and you hear them all of the time.

 

           19              Mrs. Fanucci came up with the smoking ban,

 

           20              it was struck down, in the next court it was

 

           21              struck down, even across the state they were

 

           22              trying to bring up the ban, it was

 

           23              unconstitutional, they proved it.

 

           24                      You see, because a person says

 

           25              something that's true and it's good it


 

 

                                                                      76

 

 

            1              doesn't mean that it is and we can't be lead

 

            2              around like a bunch of sheep, so we have to

 

            3              listen to what we are hearing.  We have to

 

            4              be conscious when we come in here.  We have

 

            5              to be conscious when we go other places.

 

            6              It's so important.  Our rights, our freedoms

 

            7              are only that if we protect them.  I think I

 

            8              said that last time, too, and it's so

 

            9              important.  I was a veteran, I am a veteran

 

           10              so, therefore, I know when I say about

 

           11              protecting rights and freedoms it's

 

           12              important to us.  It's important to me and

 

           13              my kids.  I'm so proud of McClough and

 

           14              Patilla come up ear and really have done

 

           15              their homework, they have done their

 

           16              homework, and you have to admit to it that

 

           17              they have done their homework and they have

 

           18              done a very good job.  They are giving us

 

           19              facts, something that you didn't think you

 

           20              would ever hear from us, but if they are

 

           21              here and they are here and they are

 

           22              representing themselves very, very well and

 

           23              I'm very proud of them.  Yeah, I'm very

 

           24              proud of a lot of things and I'm proud of

 

           25              this election, also.


 

 

                                                                      77

 

 

            1                      I can't mention the candidates, I

 

            2              know that's again the law, so I'm just

 

            3              saying to you be conscious in your efforts,

 

            4              get out of the house, register to vote if

 

            5              you haven't registered, if you have

 

            6              registered make sure you get out and vote.

 

            7              It's very important.  How we treat this next

 

            8              election is going to determine a awful lot

 

            9              of people and an awful lot of things, a lot

 

           10              of money that comes down from the federal

 

           11              government, from the state government to our

 

           12              educational systems and to our legal systems

 

           13              and the grants and the loans and things that

 

           14              like that keep us afloat because we are

 

           15              supposed to be -- I came here four years ago

 

           16              we are already depressed.  Remember that?

 

           17              And I said what is it that is going to keep

 

           18              me depressed and broke and nobody had an

 

           19              answer to it.  Well, depressed is a state of

 

           20              mind.  We are broke.  We are in, but we are

 

           21              totally sitting on the side line.  That

 

           22              is -- that's gigantic, and you are right,

 

           23              and we thank you, Miss -- I have forgotten

 

           24              your name a second, she did such a fantastic

 

           25              job with the budget and this has to be a


 

 

                                                                      78

 

 

            1              problem.  If we had listened to her, and

 

            2              that's what we are saying, you are doing

 

            3              your homework, Mr. Courtright, I know you

 

            4              were never put in this situation before in

 

            5              your live, but you keep coming up with

 

            6              answers, answers that help us understand,

 

            7              they help us understand what problems we

 

            8              have with the fire department and what

 

            9              problems we have with the city.  Thank you.

 

           10              Keep up the good work, I'll keep praying for

 

           11              you and keep this open for democracy,

 

           12              really, for democracy's sake, we need it.

 

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

 

           14                      MR. SLEDENZSKI: Hello, Bill.

 

           15                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Hi, Chris.

 

           16                      MR. SLEDZENSKI: Here's yours, Bill.

 

           17                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Thank you, Chrissy.

 

           18                      MR. SLEDZENSKI: Here, Jude.

 

           19                      MR. MCGOFF: It's the West Scranton

 

           20              High School baseball schedule.

 

           21                      MR. SLEDENZSKI: Well, Bill, it was

 

           22              fantastic, I enjoyed it Saturday, so,

 

           23              remember something, Billy, always West Side

 

           24              Bill, always West Side, Bill.  Remember

 

           25              that, Billy.


 

 

                                                                      79

 

 

            1                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay, Chris.

 

            2                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Chris.

 

            3                      MR. PORTER:  Andrew Porter,

 

            4              concerned citizen.  Good evening, citizens

 

            5              of Scranton.  I'm not a politician and no

 

            6              one knows who I vote for, and when I got

 

            7              home last week I understand that someone

 

            8              needed to hear some information for me.  I

 

            9              don't tell people who to vote for.  I,

 

           10              myself, work for God and I'm pointed in that

 

           11              direction.  This is God's city and I

 

           12              consider it to be a great city and I'm not a

 

           13              biased person, I look out for the best

 

           14              interest of this city, so any vote of mine

 

           15              cast in any direction is my personal

 

           16              business and, you know, I just look for --

 

           17              so if you have a question, if anybody has a

 

           18              question for me, you can ask the question

 

           19              now, but, you know, if you need to -- if you

 

           20              would like to see me outside or if you see

 

           21              my outside and you have a question for me

 

           22              and you can ask that question and I'll give

 

           23              you an honest answer, but I don't think that

 

           24              anyone wants to challenge my integrity, so

 

           25              if there is a question and you need a


 

 

                                                                      80

 

 

            1              question answered I'm here now, you can ask

 

            2              the question and I'll answer it for you.  If

 

            3              not, have a good evening.

 

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

 

            5                      MR. TALIMINI: Joe Talimini,

 

            6              Scranton.  I'd like to first of all

 

            7              congratulate the young gentleman over there

 

            8              for his efforts, I get a lot of complaints

 

            9              from the kids in town that there isn't

 

           10              anything to do, of course, we had the same

 

           11              complaints when we were kids, but I have to

 

           12              agree with them.  All of these kids don't go

 

           13              down to Adams Avenue, they don't go down and

 

           14              hang out down town, they don't go and hang

 

           15              out in parking lots and I applaud this young

 

           16              man's efforts and I hope that they are

 

           17              successful in every way, shape on form.

 

           18                   Secondly, I would like to bring up

 

           19              something that disturbed me a little bit.  I

 

           20              found out probably 20 or 25 years ago we had

 

           21              a pretty serious situation in Scranton with

 

           22              a gentleman who was flying to Colombia and

 

           23              bringing drugs back here from Colombia, a

 

           24              very big deal, I don't know how many of you

 

           25              remember it, but also there was a money


 

 

                                                                      81

 

 

            1              laundering situation with the local bank and

 

            2              I said this 20, 25 years ago that's

 

            3              something we can't blame on you and Chris

 

            4              Doherty, but I would just like to point out

 

            5              the fact that Scranton hasn't always been

 

            6              squeaky clean and it's not squeaky clean

 

            7              right now.

 

            8                      There is an issue that keeps coming

 

            9              up here and it's called honesty, integrity,

 

           10              dedication and humility.  Now, you people

 

           11              sit up there every week, most of us come

 

           12              here every week.  We look at you and we look

 

           13              at you for leadership and guidance, which is

 

           14              why you were elected.  Several months ago

 

           15              Mrs. Evans asked for an audit, she asked for

 

           16              records to come through, recently we have

 

           17              had some pretty disturbing trends within

 

           18              city agencies.  They have boards and

 

           19              directors, there are oversight committees,

 

           20              again, I'm reiterating, you people are the

 

           21              oversight committee for these groups.  Very

 

           22              questionable activities, some of them which

 

           23              resulted in indictments of a local director

 

           24              of an agency, and now this situation with

 

           25              the Tax Collector's Office, the Single Tax


 

 

                                                                      82

 

 

            1              Office, you know, come on.  I find it

 

            2              awfully hard to believe that you people

 

            3              couldn't possibly know what was going on or

 

            4              would not investigate when that is your duty

 

            5              and that is our right as citizens to demand

 

            6              that you adhere to that policy.  Now, I am

 

            7              personally involved in this thing for the

 

            8              simple reason that I live in the Scranton

 

            9              Housing Authority project.  You know, I have

 

           10              seen what goes on up there, I have seen how

 

           11              people are treated, I see how some of the

 

           12              tenants are treated, I would hate to think

 

           13              that this same thing existed in other

 

           14              agencies within this city, but if you people

 

           15              don't exercise your right to oversee these

 

           16              committees you are just as guilty as the

 

           17              people who are indicted and who may very

 

           18              well be going to jail and it's incumbent

 

           19              upon you as a governing board to make sure

 

           20              that these agencies are above board and

 

           21              legit because you are dealing not only with

 

           22              your money, but you are dealing with our tax

 

           23              money and that's very, very important.

 

           24                      And as far as the fire department

 

           25              goes, that situation with the chief, I don't


 

 

                                                                      83

 

 

            1              know the chief, I have no opinion one way or

 

            2              the other, but I reiterate what

 

            3              Mr. Jackowitz said, this is not a matter of

 

            4              a personnel situation, this is a matter of

 

            5              public safety and I think it should be

 

            6              treated that way and I hope you will honor

 

            7              that commitment.  Thank you very much.

 

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

 

            9                      MR. ANCHERANI: Good evening,

 

           10              Council.  Nelson Ancherani, resident and

 

           11              taxpayer, city employee, financial secretary

 

           12              of the FOP, again, exercising my first

 

           13              amendment rights.  What I'm going to talk

 

           14              about tonight nobody saw in the slimes, it

 

           15              wasn't in there, they didn't get a chance to

 

           16              read about it, so I'll just let them know

 

           17              and let you know.  It's about the 27 pay

 

           18              period arbitration.  We have to remember

 

           19              that January 2, 2004, was a Friday payday,

 

           20              so the pay was for the year before.  In that

 

           21              27 pay argument the city argued that meant

 

           22              that there were 54 weeks that year or

 

           23              378 days in 2004.  I mean, the most amount

 

           24              of days that I have heard about in a year is

 

           25              366, leap year, this year.  I got paid, they


 

 

                                                                      84

 

 

            1              did finally pay.  I got paid and I got $500

 

            2              more than I should have had I been paid the

 

            3              regular pay.  That's absurd, okay?  I got

 

            4              over $500 more.  Bad.  But it shouldn't have

 

            5              been that way.  It was a senseless

 

            6              arbitration, so I'm going to read from some

 

            7              of the judge's opinion.  It has here, "Lisa

 

            8              Moran gave the union representatives two

 

            9              choices for dealing with the issue, the

 

           10              first choice presented was having pay this

 

           11              payday at this end of calendar year 2004, at

 

           12              about the time of the Christmas holidays.

 

           13              Second choice was having the wages of each

 

           14              employee reduced throughout the year so that

 

           15              the budgeted salary amounts would be paid on

 

           16              27 pay days Moran insisted upon immediate

 

           17              answer.  When none was forthcoming the city

 

           18              unilaterally reduced the wages of the union

 

           19              employees.  The situation in which Moran

 

           20              found herself in early 2004 was totally

 

           21              foreseeable and predictable.  Every 11 or

 

           22              12 years due to the inherent quirks in the

 

           23              Gregorian calendar a pay year will have 27

 

           24              biweekly paydays instead of 26.

 

           25                      Moran also knew at the time that she


 

 

                                                                      85

 

 

            1              proposed reducing hourly pay to stretch the

 

            2              city's appropriations over 27 pay periods

 

            3              that this matter had been handled

 

            4              differently in 1993.  When this situation

 

            5              previously arose 11 years prior, the city

 

            6              had paid it's employees their regular pay

 

            7              for each of the 27 pay periods without

 

            8              modification.  Were this the case of first

 

            9              impression," and this is a judge, "I might

 

           10              be inclined to give the city the benefit of

 

           11              the doubt.  While the city may have

 

           12              inadvertently blundered into a quagmire in

 

           13              200 by reducing police wages, the remedy

 

           14              perceived a fiscal dilemma, it compounded

 

           15              it's problem by resolutely refusing to

 

           16              remedy it's contractual violations even when

 

           17              it knew or reasonably should have known that

 

           18              it could not win.

 

           19                      Thus, while the initial decision to

 

           20              reduce wages may not have been in bad faith,

 

           21              the decision to persist with it's position

 

           22              that it need not properly pay it's police

 

           23              employees is a clear indication of bad

 

           24              faith.  Once the Court's ruled denying the

 

           25              city's appeals in the firefighter's case and


 

 

                                                                      86

 

 

            1              the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board

 

            2              issued it's decision the city was on notice

 

            3              that it was threading on dangerous ground by

 

            4              failing to settle a police case," yet it

 

            5              continued and it ended up paying this

 

            6              interest that they shouldn't have had to if

 

            7              they paid us in the beginning.

 

            8                      "The city's reduction of police

 

            9              employees biweekly wages to address the 27

 

           10              payday issued in 2004 violated both Article

 

           11              II and Article 27 of the collective

 

           12              bargaining group Agreement.  As a remedy,

 

           13              the city must make whole with backpay and

 

           14              all applicable benefits owed for the back

 

           15              pay period.  Any union employee whose hourly

 

           16              wage was reduced in 2004.  I also find that

 

           17              the city acted in bad faith by persisting in

 

           18              the litigation of in matter after June 24,

 

           19              2007, a date one month after the date of the

 

           20              Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board

 

           21              Firefighters' case.  By that date the city

 

           22              should have reasonably been able to digest

 

           23              the sum of the decisions of the PLRB and the

 

           24              Courts and should have known that it had no

 

           25              likelihood of prevailing in the instant


 

 

                                                                      87

 

 

            1              case."

 

            2                      Thank you.

 

            3                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr.

 

            4              Ancherani.  Fifth Order.  Mrs. Evans.

 

            5                      MS. EVANS: Good evening.  Twelve

 

            6              million dollars, maybe more, that's the

 

            7              issue on everyone's mind and tongue.  Of

 

            8              course, the priority is to properly

 

            9              distribute the revenue among the local

 

           10              taxing bodies as well as outlying

 

           11              governments.  I also believe there are count

 

           12              less Scranton residents who are owed refunds

 

           13              for the EMS tax.  Many senior citizens and

 

           14              teens spoke to me in the last two years

 

           15              about their earning less than $12,000

 

           16              annually and never receiving refunds.

 

           17                   Consequently, I do firmly support an

 

           18              independent audit of the Scranton Tax

 

           19              Office, however, I believe the serious

 

           20              nature of the discovery requires a forensic

 

           21              audit and I'm very happy to learn that that

 

           22              will be the case, but I also believe we need

 

           23              an auditor or a firm from outside of

 

           24              Northeastern Pennsylvania, many employees of

 

           25              local firms have contributed to political


 

 

                                                                      88

 

 

            1              campaigns of local elected officials.  Thus,

 

            2              it is important that any shred of doubt be

 

            3              removed from this situation from this

 

            4              particular audit in order to restore

 

            5              taxpayers' confidence in the Scranton Single

 

            6              Tax Office.  Equally important, I believe if

 

            7              an independent investigation is warranted

 

            8              either the State Attorney General or the

 

            9              Secret Service should conduct a complete

 

           10              investigation.  Apparently either

 

           11              nonfeasance or malfeasance has occurred, but

 

           12              for what reason?  Who would most benefit

 

           13              from such a cash windfall?  Did Fidelity

 

           14              Bank ever question this Tax Office account?

 

           15              Three years worth of consistently increasing

 

           16              funds in a tax office account should have

 

           17              been puzzling since the role of the tax

 

           18              office is to collect taxes and annually

 

           19              disburse them to governments.

 

           20                      Also, Mr. McDowell was asked to

 

           21              attend a council caucus to discuss

 

           22              procedures regarding the EMS tax, he never

 

           23              attended.  More at issue, he refused to

 

           24              allow two tax office auditors to attend a

 

           25              council caucus to discuss wage tax


 

 

                                                                      89

 

 

            1              collection procedures in 2007, just three

 

            2              short months ago.  I suspected problems in

 

            3              the tax office and believed additional

 

            4              revenue beyond the annual disbursements

 

            5              could be realized, and to substantiate my

 

            6              beliefs, I requested that these two

 

            7              employees speak to council, but as I said,

 

            8              Mr. McDowell forbid them to speak with us

 

            9              and the mayor rather than supporting this

 

           10              attempt to increase revenue in the city's

 

           11              operating budget turned a deaf area.  He was

 

           12              more interested in passing his own budget

 

           13              than considering my budget or any

 

           14              suggestions I might propose.

 

           15                      Some of my council colleagues didn't

 

           16              feel it was viable or pressing to pursue the

 

           17              tax office concerns in December.  Rather,

 

           18              they predictably passed the mayor's budget

 

           19              and into this new year we have begun to seek

 

           20              accountability.  Why wasn't the city's

 

           21              controller's office provided the funds to

 

           22              conduct annual audits of the tax office?

 

           23              This is a much more significant priority

 

           24              than political job creations and top level

 

           25              salary hikes.


 

 

                                                                      90

 

 

            1                      Finally, it seems coincidental that

 

            2              the tax office windfall occurs at such a

 

            3              fortuitous time.  The mayor intends to

 

            4              borrow approximately $11 million in May or

 

            5              June, however, this would likely be very

 

            6              difficult and costly since Standard and

 

            7              Poors has withdrawn the Triple B rating for

 

            8              the city and Scranton essentially has no

 

            9              rating.

 

           10                      Further, it is difficult to perhaps

 

           11              impossible to secure municipal bond

 

           12              insurance because of the ongoing bankruptcy

 

           13              crisis of municipal bond insurers, let alone

 

           14              a city without a bond rating.  Won't the tax

 

           15              office windfall arrive just in time to help

 

           16              solve the mayor's 2008 financial deficit or

 

           17              perhaps he will pave some streets,

 

           18              particularly, since the election fast

 

           19              approaches and we the taxpayers and

 

           20              residents haven't seen too much paving since

 

           21              his last mayoral campaign.

 

           22                      Now, I did also receive some

 

           23              responses to an issue I raised last week and

 

           24              a letter that was originally directed to

 

           25              Mr. Seitzinger on February 21.  In the 200


 

 

                                                                      91

 

 

            1              block of Hollister Avenue Mr. Seitzinger

 

            2              says that according to the inspector in that

 

            3              area, Mr. Liptai, everything has been taken

 

            4              out of their except for one van which is

 

            5              partially on private property and the curb

 

            6              line.  So, they are working with the police

 

            7              on this since it crosses over each of the

 

            8              two departments.  And as for the 700 block

 

            9              of North Irving Avenue and the complaint of

 

           10              the garage at the rear of 730 North Irving,

 

           11              Mr. Seitzinger said this was condemned and

 

           12              notification has gone out to rehab or raise

 

           13              it.

 

           14                      As for the 1400-block of Dickson

 

           15              Avenue, the complaint of dust and dirt from

 

           16              Keystone Block, Mr. Seitzinger is working on

 

           17              this and will get back to us prior to next

 

           18              week's meeting.

 

           19                      And as for the University of

 

           20              Scranton student Center demolition without

 

           21              permits, Mr. Seitzinger claims they did have

 

           22              a permit.  It's called a lead permit, where

 

           23              they had to recycle some things from the old

 

           24              building to put into the new building.  It

 

           25              was a 16-month demolition, interior demo


 

 

                                                                      92

 

 

            1              took some time due to the fact that they had

 

            2              to gut and recycle and he states everything

 

            3              was legitimate.

 

            4                      Also, back in October and then again

 

            5              I believe on at least one other occasion,

 

            6              possibly two, I have been asking

 

            7              Mrs. Seitzinger and Mr. Brazil to address

 

            8              the issues on Smith Place in West Scranton,

 

            9              and I have been told at least once that they

 

           10              will get out there, they will examine the

 

           11              properties involved and something will be

 

           12              done about it, but to date the residents of

 

           13              the area have once again contacted me, and I

 

           14              apologize to them because I believe this is

 

           15              the fourth time they have had to contact me

 

           16              and the fourth time I have had to extend my

 

           17              apologies for no work having been performed.

 

           18              In fact, I don't believe anyone has even

 

           19              been out there to inspect any of the

 

           20              problematic areas and so I'm hoping that

 

           21              please one or both of these gentlemen will

 

           22              get out there within the next week and get

 

           23              some actions started on this area.

 

           24                      And, finally, I would like to wish a

 

           25              very happy Easter to all and I would like my


 

 

                                                                      93

 

 

            1              council colleagues to seriously consider

 

            2              what I have suggested this evening about an

 

            3              investigation of the Single Tax Office.  The

 

            4              audit is certainly appropriate, but that's

 

            5              only going to cover the disbursement of

 

            6              funds.  That there are many, many

 

            7              significant issues here that are amiss and

 

            8              this does require an investigation that I

 

            9              don't believe city council should be

 

           10              performing.  I believe we need the powers of

 

           11              the State Attorney General's Office or the

 

           12              secret service who so admirably went into

 

           13              Luzerne County to investigate a credit card

 

           14              scandal.  Well, I think that the situation

 

           15              we are facing far supersedes Luzerne

 

           16              County's financial problem at this time and

 

           17              so, as I said, please consider this and I am

 

           18              hoping that council in conjunction with the

 

           19              Scranton School Board perhaps and Lackawanna

 

           20              County would seek this independent

 

           21              investigation as soon as possible.  That's

 

           22              it.

 

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

 

           24              Mrs. Gatelli.

 

           25                      MS. GATELLI: First, I would like to


 

 

                                                                      94

 

 

            1              congratulate the student at West Scranton

 

            2              high school that made the First Team All

 

            3              Stars for soccer, Matt Gavern, Jonathan

 

            4              Taffio, Shane Davis, Billy Schultz and Mike

 

            5              Zangardi.

 

            6                      Also, we have a national merit

 

            7              scholarship finalists, and I would like to

 

            8              acknowledge her, her name is Sara

 

            9              Kalinowski.

 

           10                      Also, if you read in the paper this

 

           11              week one of our football players, Eric

 

           12              Shrive, was featured in a story in the

 

           13              Scranton Times.  He is an offensive tackle

 

           14              and he has been offered 24 college

 

           15              scholarships.  I think some of us at West

 

           16              Side are hoping that he takes the one for

 

           17              Notre Dame.

 

           18                      There will be an Easter egg hunts

 

           19              this Saturday for children ages 2 to 10.

 

           20              They are being sponsored by neighborhood

 

           21              associations and sports groups.  They will

 

           22              be Saturday, March 22, at noon.  They will

 

           23              be held at Clover Field, Weston Park, Weston

 

           24              field, Nay Aug Park and Connell Park and I

 

           25              would just like to thank Mark Dougher and


 

 

                                                                      95

 

 

            1              Sam Yushinski for getting that altogether.

 

            2              Volunteers are certainly welcome to help out

 

            3              and the volunteers are asked to come at

 

            4              11:00.

 

            5                      I am continuing to work on the cones

 

            6              to be put in the road on Davis Street.  I

 

            7              contacted John Pocius because he is very

 

            8              active in St. Joe's back there and he has

 

            9              offered to contact the pastor and the

 

           10              groundskeeper there because someone has to

 

           11              be responsible for the cones.  Also, I put

 

           12              in a request for the cones at West Scranton

 

           13              High School because of the severe traffic

 

           14              problem in the morning.

 

           15                      I would like to know if it's

 

           16              possible to send a letter to Comcast, I have

 

           17              noticed that if you don't have digital cable

 

           18              they have taken off the TV Guide and they

 

           19              have taken off an about 7 or 8 channels,

 

           20              when you go to the channel there is just

 

           21              snow there so, Kay, if we could possibly

 

           22              find out why all of those stations are taken

 

           23              off and there is no TV guide.  The bill

 

           24              didn't go down, but the stations are gone.

 

           25                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Mrs. Gatelli, I


 

 

                                                                      96

 

 

            1              think you can still get the stations but

 

            2              they give you a box.

 

            3                      MS. GATELLI:  Yeah, and have to pay

 

            4              more for that.

 

            5                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Initially, they were

 

            6              giving you that for free, but if you didn't

 

            7              get it by a certain date then you are out of

 

            8              luck.  I think that's the way it worked.

 

            9                      MS. GATELLI: I got numerous

 

           10              complaints on a property at 1520 Linden

 

           11              Street where there was a picture of a fire

 

           12              that occurred at this building in Jimmy

 

           13              Money was the firefighter that was the

 

           14              inspector and he stated in the paper that

 

           15              there was a lot of garbage in the back of

 

           16              the property and since then I have gotten

 

           17              complaints from some of the neighbors that

 

           18              it is a problem property and I talked to

 

           19              Mr. Seitzinger and he is going to have a

 

           20              full general inspection done on the

 

           21              property, he has already requested police

 

           22              reports concerning that property and the

 

           23              D.A.'s Office was already notified for

 

           24              considering it a possible nuisance property.

 

           25                   I would like to congratulate the CMC


 

 

                                                                      97

 

 

            1              nurses, they are fighting to make things

 

            2              better at the hospital.  As you know, they

 

            3              have been trying to unionize for years and

 

            4              improvements in staffing make sense when it

 

            5              comes to patient care.  Anyone that's been

 

            6              in the hospital knows that they are very,

 

            7              very understaffed, and hopefully, the

 

            8              unionization of the nurses up there will

 

            9              certainly help get patient care back where

 

           10              it should be, and we received this notice

 

           11              and it says that anyone that would like to

 

           12              support the nurses if they could please

 

           13              contact the acting CEO, John Milsan, at

 

           14              969-8240.

 

           15                      I would just like to make a few

 

           16              comments about the $12 million, also.  I was

 

           17              glad to have made a motion several weeks ago

 

           18              to send a letter to the Tax Office

 

           19              concerning the wage tax that has been talked

 

           20              about here for many years since I am here by

 

           21              Mrs. Krake and, you know, it finally came to

 

           22              fruition that there was a problem and they

 

           23              did answer us concerning that motion and

 

           24              shortly after they made the discovery of the

 

           25              money that's been there.  I don't know who


 

 

                                                                      98

 

 

            1              is going to get all of the money and where

 

            2              it's all accumulated, I know a lot of it is

 

            3              people paying wage tax to out of town

 

            4              municipalities, also, but I would agree with

 

            5              Mrs. Evans that we need to find out what's

 

            6              going on there and I will be in favor of

 

            7              doing something of that nature, but I would

 

            8              like to get a look at the forensic audit

 

            9              first and see where that happens to lead us.

 

           10              It's unfortunate and I hope we can get to

 

           11              the bottom of it, and that's all I have and

 

           12              Happy Easter to everyone.

 

           13                      MR. MCGOFF: Mrs. Fanucci.

 

           14                      MS. FANUCCI: I just would like to

 

           15              speak on a few of the questions that were

 

           16              addressed to me last week about some of our

 

           17              grant money and how it's dispersed.  The

 

           18              Growing Greener Program, I wanted to try to

 

           19              help people understand, Growing Greener

 

           20              sounds like, well, okay that means we are

 

           21              just about communities maybe planting trees

 

           22              and things like that, but, I need you to

 

           23              understand there is like six different

 

           24              phases of each program, sometimes it doesn't

 

           25              mean just one phase.


 

 

                                                                      99

 

 

            1                      During the Growing Greener grant

 

            2              it's taken from one project to another to a

 

            3              garage and that was the problem with the

 

            4              Oppenheim Garage saying this is not a

 

            5              development of green space or anything that

 

            6              would be construed for the Growing Greener.

 

            7              That is absolutely not the case.  There is

 

            8              six different phases.  What they did was,

 

            9              I'm just going to give you the outline of

 

           10              the program, over five-year stint, Growing

 

           11              Greener is growing our communities and

 

           12              economy.  Two-hundred and thirty- million

 

           13              for the Department of Environmental

 

           14              Protection actually to clean up rivers and

 

           15              streams which you would absolutely think

 

           16              that this is something that should fall

 

           17              under that category.  Two-hundred seventeen

 

           18              point five million to the Department of

 

           19              Conservation and Natural Resources for

 

           20              parks, natural areas, open spaces, and local

 

           21              recreation needs.  Eighty million to the

 

           22              Pennsylvania Department of Agricultural for

 

           23              farming.  Fifty million to the Department of

 

           24              Community and Economic Development to

 

           25              revitalize the communities through


 

 

                                                                     100

 

 

            1              investment and housing and redevelopment

 

            2              projects.  I believe that that might be

 

            3              where we qualified for the garage.  That

 

            4              money has to be transferred, if it is a

 

            5              community development project it's OECD

 

            6              money which is still a Growing Greener

 

            7              grant, it still has to be transferred to an

 

            8              another economic development project.  You

 

            9              cannot take -- you know, if you applied for

 

           10              the rivers and streams money, which is a

 

           11              whole different department, which would be

 

           12              through DCED or -- DCED would be the one who

 

           13              would take care of that, if you apply

 

           14              through them you have to keep that grant

 

           15              under that same structure so that is why it

 

           16              complied for that, and when I say you use it

 

           17              or lose it because if there is not another

 

           18              economic development project that goes with

 

           19              that then they have to be able to trace that

 

           20              money to the next economic development

 

           21              project, so that's what they did.

 

           22                      And then there is another one that

 

           23              can be the commission for repair for like

 

           24              fish and gaming, so that's another one that

 

           25              they have.  And then another one is for the


 

 

                                                                     101

 

 

            1              gaming commission for habitat related

 

            2              facilities and upgrades and repairs.  So

 

            3              under that all is Growing Greener, it's not

 

            4              just one type of grant that you can use,

 

            5              it's all different grants that fall under

 

            6              the same program, so I just wanted to give

 

            7              some information on that tonight.

 

            8                      Also, I do want to talk on the

 

            9              $12 million, also.  Obviously, I think we

 

           10              are a little taken back, there is nothing

 

           11              that can be said as far as I'm concerned

 

           12              that would shed light on any of this.  This

 

           13              is not my department nor do I even act as if

 

           14              I'm qualified to even discuss where the

 

           15              money is or whose money it is.  I definitely

 

           16              support an investigation and an audit.

 

           17              Whether or not I believe we can launch an

 

           18              investigation, I believe that when that

 

           19              happened in Wilkes-Barre I believe that it

 

           20              was the DA got started the investigation so

 

           21              I'm not sure if that happens here or not

 

           22              happens here if has to be like a criminal or

 

           23              if it was the city who did that.  I'm not

 

           24              sure how that started, but that might be

 

           25              something we want to look into.  I certainly


 

 

                                                                     102

 

 

            1              want to see where the money has come from

 

            2              and how it could be dispersed.  It's a lot

 

            3              of money, and I can't say that to think

 

            4              about the fact that it was sitting there is

 

            5              not -- is a little disheartening considering

 

            6              what we have already been through on trying

 

            7              to just come to some type of conclusions on

 

            8              where we can get funds, but I definitely

 

            9              would support any type of progress to find

 

           10              some type of a resolution to this problem.

 

           11              So, I would definitely say that.  And as for

 

           12              me, have a happy Easter and that's all I

 

           13              have.

 

           14                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mrs. Fanucci.

 

           15              Mr. Courtright.

 

           16                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I'll start off with

 

           17              a motion that I did last week, I would like

 

           18              to make a motion that city council send a

 

           19              letter to Mayor Christopher Doherty and the

 

           20              Scranton Firefighter Union President, Dave

 

           21              Schreiber, recommending to them to use and

 

           22              outside agency or individual to conduct an

 

           23              investigation into the allegations brought

 

           24              to the Scranton City Council by the Scranton

 

           25              Firefighters' Union against Chief Tom Davis.


 

 

                                                                     103

 

 

            1                      MS. EVANS: Second.

 

            2                      MR. MCGOFF: On the question?  I

 

            3              would like to respond.  As you probably

 

            4              figured I have been opposed to this, as I

 

            5              said, that I believe it's unnecessary, I

 

            6              believe that the entire process has been, I

 

            7              don't want to say unnecessary, but I think

 

            8              it's gone in the wrong direction.  Let me

 

            9              present a scenario, the administrative staff

 

           10              at city hall took a vote and they voted that

 

           11              they have absolutely no confidence in

 

           12              Attorney Tom Jennings to negotiate a

 

           13              contract for the firefighters.  They also

 

           14              have a list of allegations that he has used

 

           15              bad judgment, that he has been demeaning to

 

           16              city officials and, consequently, they would

 

           17              like to have him removed and they are going

 

           18              to go to the union president and ask that

 

           19              Mr. Jennings be removed as negotiator for

 

           20              the firefighters.   The union would

 

           21              absolutely reject and find that laughable.

 

           22              There is no way that they would even

 

           23              consider that, but in retrospect, that's

 

           24              primarily what the union has done in asking

 

           25              for the dismissal of Chief Davis.


 

 

                                                                     104

 

 

            1                      MR. GERVASI: Did anybody get killed,

 

            2              Mr. McGoff?

 

            3                      MR. MCGOFF:  Excuse me, Mr. Gervasi,

 

            4              it's my turn --

 

            5                      MR. GERVASI: Did anybody killed by

 

            6              -- that's a disgrace.

 

            7                      MR. SCHREIBER:  Public safety isn't

 

            8              important?

 

            9                      MR. GERVASI: What a disgrace.  What

 

           10              a disgrace.  Unbelievable.

 

           11                      MR. MCGOFF: You are out of order.

 

           12                      MR. GERVASI: I know I am.  I

 

           13              apologize.

 

           14                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.

 

           15                      MS. EVANS: If I -- oh, you are not

 

           16              finished.  I'm sorry, I thought thank you

 

           17              was your conclusion.

 

           18                      MR. MCGOFF: No.  I believe that

 

           19              that's the scenario that's taken place.  I

 

           20              don't believe that -- there have been no

 

           21              criminal -- the other thing to clear up here

 

           22              is that the allegations that have been made

 

           23              against Chief Davis in some ways it's made

 

           24              to sound like that there are criminal in

 

           25              nature, that we are going to conduct an


 

 

                                                                     105

 

 

            1              investigation into see if these allegations

 

            2              are -- if he is guilty of these things.  The

 

            3              allegations that have been made against

 

            4              Chief Davis deal with decision making and

 

            5              management skills.  The issues that have

 

            6              been brought forward have been addressed,

 

            7              they have been brought to the mayor.  The

 

            8              mayor has attempted to address them.  By the

 

            9              admission of all of the firefighters they

 

           10              are not looking for recommendations for

 

           11              Chief Davis to be removed, they don't think

 

           12              that that's going to happen, what is the

 

           13              purpose of conducting another investigation?

 

           14              If there are recommendations to be made why

 

           15              can't the firefighters themselves make these

 

           16              recommendations to the mayor through the

 

           17              committees that have been established?

 

           18                      The only thing that a further

 

           19              investigation would do would be a

 

           20              continuation of, I don't want to use the

 

           21              word harassment, but a continuation of the

 

           22              demeaning of the fire chief unnecessarily.

 

           23              I think that due process has been followed.

 

           24              I think that the issues that have been

 

           25              addressed by the mayor and the firefighters


 

 

                                                                     106

 

 

            1              have received some resolution and I do not

 

            2              believe that we need to continue this

 

            3              process.

 

            4                      MS. EVANS: I'd like to respond to

 

            5              some of that.  First of all, the comparison

 

            6              that Mr. McGoff draws is an inadequate

 

            7              comparison, we are comparing apples to

 

            8              oranges.  The attorney who would represent a

 

            9              union is a legal matter, a matter of

 

           10              representation, the issue that we have been

 

           11              asked to consider rather is a matter of

 

           12              public safety and that means specifically

 

           13              the safety of the chief himself, the safety

 

           14              of the men under and women under his charge

 

           15              and ultimately the safety of the residents

 

           16              of the City of Scranton.

 

           17                      Now, it's been said, too, that the

 

           18              firefighters can make their recommendations

 

           19              to the mayor and he can address these

 

           20              situations and if, indeed, that is the case

 

           21              and certainly it's an avenue to consider

 

           22              then I would suggest the mayor receive the

 

           23              60 some thousand dollar salary of the fire

 

           24              chief because he is in effect in charge of

 

           25              that department responding to their


 

 

                                                                     107

 

 

            1              concerns, addressing their concerns,

 

            2              developing operating procedures.  I fail to

 

            3              see what the charges are then of the fire

 

            4              chief.

 

            5                      But most importantly, even setting

 

            6              all of Mr. McGoff's arguments aside and my

 

            7              arguments as well, in good conscience and

 

            8              from an ethical standpoint, Mr. McGoff, I

 

            9              believe you have to recuse yourself from

 

           10              this vote.  You have stated publically that

 

           11              you are a good friend, a close friend of

 

           12              Chief Davis and there is a distinct conflict

 

           13              of interest at play and I believe, as I

 

           14              said, from an ethical standpoint you must

 

           15              recuse yourself from voting on

 

           16              Mr. Courtright's motion.

 

           17                      MR. MCGOFF:  I don't think it's

 

           18              unethical at all.  I would ask that those

 

           19              people who are political opponents of Chief

 

           20              Davis then recuse themselves from the vote.

 

           21                      MS. EVANS: Are you suggesting me?

 

           22                      MR. MCGOFF: Yes.

 

           23                      MS. EVANS: Well, then you should

 

           24              call me by name.  But, I'm not a political

 

           25              opponent of Chief Davis.  I'm an elected


 

 

                                                                     108

 

 

            1              councilperson and I represent more than

 

            2              Chief Davis, I represent all of the

 

            3              residents of the city and I take their

 

            4              security very seriously and even if it were

 

            5              an issue of one individual being close to me

 

            6              or opposed to me I can't place my feelings

 

            7              toward that one individual above and beyond

 

            8              the needs and the welfare of the citizenry.

 

            9                      MR. MCGOFF: I'll just respond that

 

           10              I, too, am elected by more than Chief Davis

 

           11              and what --

 

           12                      UNIDENTIFIED AUDIENCE MEMBER:  By

 

           13              the mayor.

 

           14                      MR. MCGOFF: And just because I

 

           15              happen to be -- have a personal relationship

 

           16              with the chief that is friendly, that does

 

           17              not mean that it is unethical and that I

 

           18              cannot vote to represent those people who I

 

           19              feel are opposed to what is taking place.  I

 

           20              believe that there are numbers of people

 

           21              that support Chief Davis and I am voicing

 

           22              their opinions as well just as you claim to

 

           23              be voicing the opinions of others.

 

           24                      MS. EVANS: Well, I do believe though

 

           25              there are four people who are capable of


 

 

                                                                     109

 

 

            1              voting on this issue and four people who can

 

            2              make these decisions aye or nay without

 

            3              being so close to the individual at the

 

            4              center of the controversy.

 

            5                      MS. FANUCCI: I'm going to state

 

            6              something here, Mrs. Evans, you are getting

 

            7              into very tough waters for yourself.  I

 

            8              mean, you are very close to all of the union

 

            9              officials.  I mean, you speak with them

 

           10              before the meetings, you are very close to

 

           11              them, also.  Now, I believe --

 

           12                      MS. EVANS: I meet with them before

 

           13              the meetings?

 

           14                      MS. FANUCCI: You are very, very

 

           15              close and, in fact, you know --

 

           16                      MS. EVANS: But, please don't make

 

           17              statements that are false.

 

           18                      MS. FANUCCI: That wasn't false.

 

           19                      MS. EVANS: That is false.

 

           20                      MS. FANUCCI: We can all -- I have

 

           21              seen you sit and talk to them, I have seen

 

           22              paperwork work go back and forth, we have

 

           23              all seen it.

 

           24                      MS. EVANS: Prior to meetings?  No,

 

           25              the paperwork going back and forth is, for


 

 

                                                                     110

 

 

            1              example, the case of Mr. Schumacher

 

            2              tonight --

 

            3                      MS. FANUCCI: No, no, no.

 

            4                      MS. EVANS: Who are city residents

 

            5              and I'm answering questions, but please,

 

            6              you're treading on very dangerous territory.

 

            7                      MS. FANUCCI:  Oh, no, no, I'm not.

 

            8                      MS. EVANS: You are actually -- we

 

            9              are on the question.

 

           10                      MR. MCGOFF: No, we are not.

 

           11                      MS. FANUCCI: Can I make a

 

           12              statement--

 

           13                      MS. EVANS: Yes, we are.  Mrs.

 

           14              Fanucci says that I'm holding meetings with

 

           15              union officials prior to council meetings.

 

           16                      MS. FANUCCI:  That's fair.

 

           17                      MS. EVANS: You have not witnessed

 

           18              that and that's impossible because that does

 

           19              not occur.

 

           20                      MS. FANUCCI: Okay, but what I was

 

           21              going to state was even though we know you

 

           22              are friendly and you are friends, which is

 

           23              fine --

 

           24                      MS. EVANS: Yes.

 

           25                      MS. FANUCCI: -- I believe that you


 

 

                                                                     111

 

 

            1              are still capable of separating your

 

            2              feelings and making a judge -- and deciding

 

            3              what's right or wrong.  Now, you didn't even

 

            4              let me get there without jumping on that,

 

            5              but what I was saying was that even though I

 

            6              know you that have friendship and as we all

 

            7              do with everyone in this city pretty much,

 

            8              you are still capable of sitting here and

 

            9              deciding what is right for the taxpayers.

 

           10              So, that's what I was trying to get to and

 

           11              I'm sorry that you got so offended because

 

           12              that's actually where I was going.

 

           13                      MS. EVANS: Well, I wanted to

 

           14              straighten the record out and, secondly,

 

           15              yes, I have great respect for the unions.

 

           16                      MS. FANUCCI: Right.

 

           17                      MS. EVANS: All the municipal unions,

 

           18              but I can't say that we have close

 

           19              friendships that mirror that of the

 

           20              situation that I addressed a few minutes ago

 

           21              and I can say I'm basing my decision on the

 

           22              notes that I have received from both

 

           23              meetings and the contrast between the two is

 

           24              stark and to close your eyes and your ears

 

           25              and pretend that none of this happened or


 

 

                                                                     112

 

 

            1              it's all a figment of someone's imagination

 

            2              or it's a vendetta or it's a political ploy,

 

            3              you know, I just don't know where we are

 

            4              going in this city.

 

            5                      I don't know, sometimes I have to

 

            6              wonder, people ask me, what do you get paid

 

            7              to do?  What does city council get paid to

 

            8              do?  Well, you know, I'm not so sure because

 

            9              sometimes I think if we just went up to

 

           10              Staples and brought some rubber stamps with

 

           11              our names on it and just put them here and

 

           12              didn't bother to show up we would do just as

 

           13              well.

 

           14                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Mr. McGoff, I had

 

           15              absolutely no intention on speaking on the

 

           16              question, I planned on making the motion and

 

           17              just voting, but I take offense to the fact

 

           18              that you say that I'm a political opponent

 

           19              of Mr. Davis, I am not a political opponent

 

           20              of Mr. Davis.  I happen to be in charge of

 

           21              public safety, allegations were brought to

 

           22              me, I never said whether I was in favor of

 

           23              Mr. Davis being removed or not being

 

           24              removed.  All I'm trying to do is what is

 

           25              fair and what is correct.  I -- I -- well,


 

 

                                                                     113

 

 

            1              I'm not going to leave it at that because I

 

            2              don't want to say something I'll be sorry

 

            3              for.  Let's just vote.

 

            4                      MS. GATELLI:  I would -- could I say

 

            5              something?  I know that no one likes me to

 

            6              ask this question, but I'm going to ask the

 

            7              solicitor if he thinks it's a conflict of

 

            8              interest for Mr. McGoff to vote on this

 

            9              issue.

 

           10                      MR. MINORA:  No, it's clearly not.

 

           11              Friendships are friendships.  Everyone up

 

           12              there has voted and has friendships.  A

 

           13              conflict of interest involves a financial

 

           14              interest or some benefit to you of a vote,

 

           15              so that's just not the case in this

 

           16              situation.

 

           17                      MS. GATELLI: Thank you.  I say we

 

           18              just call for a vote instead of continuing

 

           19              to argue.

 

           20                      MR. MCGOFF:  All those in favor

 

           21              signify by saying aye.

 

           22                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.

 

           23                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.

 

           24                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.

 

           25                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.


 

 

                                                                     114

 

 

            1                      MR. MCGOFF:  All those opposed?  No.

 

            2              The ayes have it and so moved.

 

            3                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you.  Kay, I

 

            4              guess I have to say this to Mr. Seitzinger,

 

            5              1158 and 1160 Hampton Street it's been

 

            6              vacant for 15 years and I believe it's

 

            7              condemned and I have had some residents

 

            8              coming and telling me that the outside is a

 

            9              mess and the building is deteriorating,

 

           10              maybe Mr. Seitzinger might be able to take a

 

           11              look at that I'd appreciate it.

 

           12                      The SIT clerks, that's bothered me

 

           13              since day one since I have been on this

 

           14              council, I always thought it was a wrong

 

           15              decision, I always felt we would end up

 

           16              paying that, I always wondered who advised

 

           17              Mr. Doherty on that and I'm certainly not a

 

           18              lawyer but I think it was plain to see we

 

           19              are going to lose that.  I didn't see where

 

           20              the million dollars came from or in a

 

           21              roundabout the SIT clerks received on this

 

           22              so far, so if they could show me where we

 

           23              got that money from, maybe we went through

 

           24              it and I just missed it, I don't know, but

 

           25              it seems pretty obvious from Mrs. Stulgis


 

 

                                                                     115

 

 

            1              said that there is more to come, so I would

 

            2              like to know where we are going to get the

 

            3              rest of the money to pay off the rest of

 

            4              this SIT clerk award.  I would appreciate if

 

            5              we could find that out.  It's awful lot of

 

            6              money.

 

            7                      And I'll get to the tax office now,

 

            8              most of the questions have been asked and

 

            9              answered, the one question I had was if I

 

           10              was sitting there and I had $12 million why

 

           11              do we leave it in an account that's just

 

           12              like a regular savings account, you know?

 

           13              Why don't we put it into US Treasury Bills,

 

           14              T-Bills or, you know, why don't we put it in

 

           15              three, six, nine, 12 month CD's which would

 

           16              have certainly afforded us a lot more

 

           17              interest, much, much more interest.  I would

 

           18              like to see if we can't -- I don't hold the

 

           19              people in there responsible now, but I would

 

           20              like to ask that question why is that money

 

           21              just sitting in an account I believe it's

 

           22              getting somewhere in the neighborhood of 1

 

           23              percent where we have could have gotten

 

           24              anywhere from 3.75 or better with the

 

           25              treasury bills or CD's and obviously not


 

 

                                                                     116

 

 

            1              know the economy is not doing as well, but

 

            2              back when this money was in there so if they

 

            3              can even give me their best guess I would

 

            4              appreciate it that.

 

            5                      And I don't know why we weren't -- I

 

            6              don't know whose responsibility it was to

 

            7              make us aware, and when I say "us" I mean

 

            8              the citizens of the City of Scranton that

 

            9              there was $12 million sitting there, but

 

           10              somebody should have told us somewhere down

 

           11              the line we got $12 million bucks and that

 

           12              just didn't happen, and now right now one of

 

           13              the important questions for me is what is

 

           14              going to become of whatever money the city

 

           15              has coming to us.  Are we going to give back

 

           16              some of the 25 percent tax increase that

 

           17              the residents have?  Are we going to use it

 

           18              to pay for us, I would like to ask the

 

           19              current administration and I would like for

 

           20              this question to come from all of council,

 

           21              if they wouldn't mind, the administration,

 

           22              what is their intention on whatever sum of

 

           23              money we get?  Do they have, you know, any

 

           24              of that money that would be coming earmarked

 

           25              for anything in particular, just curious and


 

 

                                                                     117

 

 

            1              I'm sure the rest of the people in the city

 

            2              are curious what's going to happen with that

 

            3              money, whatever the dollar amount might be.

 

            4                   As far as the investigation goes, you

 

            5              know, I think some of us have been sitting

 

            6              on here a little but longer, but I'll just

 

            7              since day there has been accusations made

 

            8              about that office and I was happy

 

            9              Mrs. Gatelli made that motion the other week

 

           10              and I know Mrs. Evans has brought it up the

 

           11              questions and there has been some questions

 

           12              that I think that maybe we didn't give as

 

           13              much credibility to or maybe we dismissed a

 

           14              little bit because they might have seemed a

 

           15              little bit out there, but I think in light

 

           16              of what's happened now some of those

 

           17              questions have credibility and so maybe what

 

           18              we need to do as everyone else said maybe we

 

           19              do need to have an investigation, sadly to

 

           20              say, but I think everybody pretty much up

 

           21              here feels the same way about that, so if

 

           22              this council is in favor of moving forward

 

           23              with something else I would probably go

 

           24              along with that, and that's all I have.

 

           25              Thank you.


 

 

                                                                     118

 

 

            1                      MR. MCGOFF:  Thank you,

 

            2              Mr. Courtright.  First thing I'd like to do

 

            3              or say is my apologies to Mr. Courtright and

 

            4              to Mrs. Evans, I did not mean to indicate

 

            5              that you were biased or could not make a

 

            6              decision, I guess I was just trying to make

 

            7              a point that we all have affiliations that

 

            8              exist and were not asked to remove ourselves

 

            9              from votes because of those affiliations,

 

           10              and so my apologies.  I did not mean to

 

           11              offend.

 

           12                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  I accept that.

 

           13                      MR. MCGOFF: Just a couple of

 

           14              responses to some things that were brought

 

           15              up this evening, Mr. McClough made some

 

           16              mention of the smoking ban, and I'd like to

 

           17              say that I know we have been, you know, this

 

           18              has been an ongoing thing for over a year

 

           19              now, and I don't think that there is

 

           20              anything wrong with arguing against the

 

           21              smoking ban, but I don't think it's

 

           22              necessary to demean in any way the students

 

           23              who proposed it.  They were well meaning,

 

           24              they wanted to become engaged in civic

 

           25              activity, they were doing what all of us are


 

 

                                                                     119

 

 

            1              doing, proposing something, speaking on

 

            2              something and I think they were very well

 

            3              intentioned and I would hope that in the

 

            4              future that on all of these arguments that

 

            5              we not become personal in involving the

 

            6              students who are, as I said, just trying to

 

            7              complete a class project and work for the

 

            8              benefit or what they feel to be the benefit

 

            9              of this city.

 

           10                      I'm not going to go back to that,

 

           11              I'm going to skip over that.  On the audit,

 

           12              of the Single Tax Office I, too, think that

 

           13              something should be done.  I think that for

 

           14              the future an additional item should be

 

           15              considered.  I think that we should look

 

           16              into -- I know that it says in the Home Rule

 

           17              Charter that an annual audit should be

 

           18              conducted by the Controller's Office.  I

 

           19              believe that we should look into expanding

 

           20              that and some way so that the audit is

 

           21              conducted by the three taxing bodies and

 

           22              that it is done annually and that the cost

 

           23              of the audit can then be -- rather than be

 

           24              being placed in the hands of the city

 

           25              controller's office or any single body that


 

 

                                                                     120

 

 

            1              the expense can be shared and that that

 

            2              audit is conducted on an annual basis.  As

 

            3              this thing moves along, as I'm sure it will,

 

            4              I think that this is something that maybe we

 

            5              can discuss with the other taxing bodies and

 

            6              see that if we can make some type of an

 

            7              amendment to our Home Rule Charter and to

 

            8              the process of dealing with the Single Tax

 

            9              Office.

 

           10                      And I just wanted to, I knew I was

 

           11              skipping something, Mr. Davis mentioned it's

 

           12              only seven days until the vote, I think he

 

           13              was speaking of registration.  There is only

 

           14              about a week left to register to vote and,

 

           15              again, I know Mr. Davis was trying to

 

           16              encourage people to do that, you only have a

 

           17              week but there is a month plus until the

 

           18              primary so there is time to before the

 

           19              primary is held.

 

           20                      Again, a joyous Easter to everyone

 

           21              and also a peaceful Passover to members of

 

           22              the Jewish community and that is all.

 

           23                      MS. EVANS: Mr. McGoff, in the event

 

           24              that we are not able to amend the Home Rule

 

           25              Charter, I know that every so often, every I


 

 

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            1              don't know what the period of years would

 

            2              be, individuals are elected to evaluate the

 

            3              charter and propose changes, etcetera, and

 

            4              then we are -- is it --

 

            5                      MS. GATELLI: Time is up.

 

            6                      MS. EVANS: Then we will doing that

 

            7              shortly I suppose, but again, in the event

 

            8              that that's not within our power I still

 

            9              believe we could in a joint venture pursue

 

           10              this and, you know, bring it to fruition

 

           11              until such time as perhaps they will work it

 

           12              into the charter.  I don't think we should

 

           13              abandon it if can be done in that way.

 

           14                      MR. MCGOFF: I agree and what I was

 

           15              trying to say was that I think it's

 

           16              something that has to be done annually and

 

           17              it should be a shared responsibility of the

 

           18              three taxing bodies and I'm sure that we can

 

           19              work it out some way and I'm sure that the

 

           20              school district and the county would be more

 

           21              than willing to engage in that.

 

           22                      MS. EVANS: Share the costs --

 

           23                      MR. MCGOFF: Sharing the costs and

 

           24              getting --

 

           25                      MS. EVANS: -- and the


 

 

                                                                     122

 

 

            1              responsibility.

 

            2                      MR. MCGOFF: -- an accurate audit of

 

            3              the Single Tax Office on a regular basis.

 

            4              Kay?

 

            5                      MS. GARVEY: FIFTH ORDER.  NO

 

            6              BUSINESS AT THIS TIME.  SIXTH ORDER.  6-A.

 

            7              READING BY TITLE - FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 16,

 

            8              2008 - AN ORDINANCE - CREATING AND

 

            9              ESTABLISHING SPECIAL CITY ACCOUNT NO.

 

           10              02.229588 ENTITLED "CITY OF SCRANTON ARSON

 

           11              TASK FORCE ACCOUNT" FOR RECEIPT AND

 

           12              DISBURSEMENT OF GRANT FUNDS FROM THE

 

           13              DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY AND ECONOMIC

 

           14              DEVELOPMENT (DCED) FOR THE CITY OF SCRANTON

 

           15              ARSON TASK FORCE.

 

           16                      MR. MCGOFF: You have heard Reading

 

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

 

           18                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I move that Item 6-A

 

           19              pass Reading by Title.

 

           20                      MS. FANUCCI:  Second.

 

           21                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  All

 

           22              those in favor signify by saying aye.

 

           23                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.

 

           24                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.

 

           25                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.


 

 

                                                                     123

 

 

            1                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.

 

            2                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?  The

 

            3              ayes have it and so moved.

 

            4                      MS. GARVEY: 6-B. READING BY TITLE -

 

            5              FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 17, 2008 - AN ORDINANCE

 

            6              - AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND OTHER

 

            7              APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS OF THE CITY OF

 

            8              SCRANTON TO ACCEPT AND DISBURSE GRANT FUNDS

 

            9              FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY AND

 

           10              ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (DCED) FOR THE CITY OF

 

           11              SCRANTON ARSON TASK FORCE.

 

           12                      MR. MCGOFF: You have heard Reading

 

           13              by Title of Item 6-B what is your pleasure?

 

           14                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  I move that Item

 

           15              6-B pass Reading by Title.

 

           16                      MS. FANUCCI: Second.

 

           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: 6-C. READING BY TITLE -


 

 

                                                                     124

 

 

            1              FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 18, 2008 - AN ORDINANCE

 

            2              - AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND OTHER

 

            3              APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS OF THE CITY OF

 

            4              SCRANTON TO ACCEPT AND DISBURSE GRANT FUNDS

 

            5              FROM U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

 

            6              FEMA GRANT.

 

            7                      MR. MCGOFF: You have heard Reading

 

            8              by Title of Item 6-C, what is your pleasure?

 

            9                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  I move that Item

 

           10              6-C pass Reading my Title.

 

           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: 6-D. READING TY TITLE -

 

           21              FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 19, 2008 - AN ORDINANCE

 

           22              - AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR NAD OTHER

 

           23              APPROPRIATE OFFICIALS OF THE CITY OF

 

           24              SCRANTON TO ENTER INTO LEASE AGREEMENTS WITH

 

           25              VARIOUS LITTLE LEAGUE, TEENER LEAGUE, LEAGUE


 

 

                                                                     125

 

 

            1              ASSOCIATIONS FOR USE OF CITY OWNED PROPERTY

 

            2              IN CONNECTION WITH APPROVED LITTLE LEAGUE,

 

            3              TEENER LEAGUE, MISS-E LEAGUE, AND JUNIOR

 

            4              AND/OR MIDGET FOOTBALL LEAGUE ACTIVITIES FOR

 

            5              A THREE-YEAR PERIOD COMMENCING APRIL 5,

 

            6              2008, AND ENDING APRIL 14, 2011.

 

            7                      MR. MCGOFF: You have heard Reading

 

            8              by Title of Item 6-D, what is your pleasure?

 

            9                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  I move that Item

 

           10              6-D pass Reading by Title.

 

           11                      MS. FANUCCI: Second.

 

           12                      MR. MCGOFF: On the question.

 

           13                      MS. EVANS: Yes.  I had requested a

 

           14              prior lease which I did receive notice that

 

           15              there was great similarity between the lease

 

           16              of I believe 2006 and now 2008, however, the

 

           17              legislation in 2006 failed on a 2 to 2 vote

 

           18              by council, thus, I requested a lease that

 

           19              was in effect prior to 2006 and I believe

 

           20              that one is coming from 2003.  I haven't

 

           21              been able to read it completely, but from

 

           22              what I have perused it appears to be very

 

           23              similar.

 

           24                      I also realize that all of the

 

           25              teener leagues, little leagues, etcetera,


 

 

                                                                     126

 

 

            1              don't receive their copy of the lease until

 

            2              the legislation is passed by council,

 

            3              however, I would ask all of those entities

 

            4              if you had any problem or issue with the

 

            5              lease of 2003 that would be of concern to

 

            6              you today to please contact me prior to next

 

            7              week's meeting at which time there will be a

 

            8              final reading of this ordinance.

 

            9                      MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else on 6-D?  All

 

           10              those in favor signify by saying aye.

 

           11                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.

 

           12                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.

 

           13                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.

 

           14                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.

 

           15                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?  The

 

           16              ayes have it and so moved.

 

           17                      MS. GARVEY: 6-E. READING BY TITLE -

 

           18              FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 20. 2008 - AN ORDINANCE

 

           19              - AMENDING FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 49, 2006,

 

           20              ENTITLED: "AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE

 

           21              MAYOR AND OTHER APPROPRIATE OFFICIALS OF THE

 

           22              CITY OF SCRANTON TO TAKE AL NECESSARY

 

           23              ACTIONS TO IMPLEMENT THE CONSOLIDATED

 

           24              SUBMISSION FOR COMMUNITY PLANNING AND

 

           25              DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS (AS AMENDED) TO BE


 

 

                                                                     127

 

 

            1              FUNDED UNDER THE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK

 

            2              GRANT (CDBG) PROGRAM, HOME INVESTMENT

 

            3              PARTNERSHIP (HOME) PROGRAM AND EMERGENCY

 

            4              SHELTER GRANT (ESG) PROGRAM", BY

 

            5              TRANSFERRING $239,156.45 FROM PROJECT NO.

 

            6              95-003.2 AND $74,470.75 FROM PROJECT NO.

 

            7              01-026 AND $30,000.00 FROM PROJECT NO.

 

            8              01-96,1 and $85.82 FROM PROJECT NO. 05-215

 

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

 

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

 

           11                      MR. MCGOFF: You have heard Reading

 

           12              by Title of Item 6-E, what is your pleasure?

 

           13                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I move that Item 6-E

 

           14              pass Reading by Title.

 

           15                      MS. FANUCCI: Second.

 

           16                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  All

 

           17              those in favor signify by saying aye.

 

           18                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.

 

           19                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.

 

           20                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.

 

           21                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.

 

           22                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?  The

 

           23              ayes have it and so moved.

 

           24                      MS. GATELLI: Motion to adjourn.

 

           25                      MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.


 

 

                                                                     128

 

 

            1

 

            2

 

            3                     C E R T I F I C A T E

 

            4

 

            5        I hereby certify that the proceedings and

 

            6   evidence are contained fully and accurately in the

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

           10   ability.

 

           11

 

           12

 

           13

                                    CATHENE S. NARDOZZI

           14                       OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER

 

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