1 SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING
7 Tuesday, April 1, 2008
10 Council Chambers
11 Scranton City Hall
12 340 North Washington Avenue
13 Scranton, Pennsylvania
CATHENE S. NARDOZZI- COURT REPORTER
2 CITY OF SCRANTON COUNCIL:
MR. ROBERT MCGOFF, PRESIDENT
6 MS. JUDY GATELLI, VICE-PRESIDENT
MS. JANET E. EVANS
9 MS. SHERRY FANUCCI
MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT
12 MS. KAY GARVEY, CITY CLERK
MR. NEIL COOLICAN, ASSISTANT CITY CLERK
15 MR. AMIL MINORA, SOLICITOR
1 (Pledge of Allegiance recited and
2 moment of reflection observed.)
3 MR. MCGOFF: Roll call, please.
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. THIRD ORDER.
15 MS. GARVEY: 3-A. MINUTES OF THE
16 SCRANTON FIREFIGHTER'S PENSION COMMISSION
17 MEETING HELD ON JANUARY 23, 2008.
18 MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?
19 If not, received and filed.
20 MS. GARVEY: 3-B. MINUTES OF THE
21 SCRANTON FIREFIGHTER'S PENSION COMMISSION
22 MEETING HELD ON FEBRUARY 27, 2008?
23 MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?
24 If not, received and filed.
25 MS. GARVEY: 3-C. MINUTES OF THE
1 SCRANTON POLICE PENSION COMMISSION MEETING
2 HELD ON FEBRUARY 27, 2008.
3 MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?
4 If not, received and filed.
5 MS. GARVEY: 3-D. AGENDA FOR THE
6 ZONING HEARING BOARD MEETING TO BE HELD ON
7 APRIL 9, 2008.
8 MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?
9 If not, received and filed.
10 MS. GARVEY: 3-E. COMPLIANCE AUDIT
11 REPORT OF THE CITY OF SCRANTON AGGREGATE
12 PENSION FUND FOR 2006.
13 MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?
14 If not, received and filed.
15 MS. GARVEY: That's it for Third
17 MR. MCGOFF: Prior to Fourth Order,
18 are there any announcements?
19 MS. EVANS: Yes.
20 MR. COURTRIGHT: I just have one, the
21 Scranton Chapter of the American Red Cross
22 is going to hold it's 19th Annual Dinner
23 Auction on Saturday April 12 from 6 to 10
24 p.m. and if you're interested in attending
25 you can call Cindy at 207-0109. That's it.
1 Thank you.
2 MS. EVANS: I'd like to once again
3 announce that the Special Olympics Cocktail
4 party is scheduled for April 11, 2008, at
5 Holy Rosary Center on West Market Street
6 from 7 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $35 and can
7 be purchased at the door.
8 Also, St. Peter's and Paul Parish on
9 1309 West Locust Street, Scranton,
10 Pennsylvania, is sponsoring a craft fair on
11 April 12, 2008,8 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in
12 the church hall. Interested vendors may
13 call 343-8872 to reserve tables.
14 Refreshments will be available.
15 And, finally, I would ask that you
16 please remember in your prayers Mrs. Mary
17 Auriemma and Mrs. Rose Stuckart, both great
18 ladies who are dearly missed by their
19 families and friends. I will especially
20 Miss Rose who was a dear friend of mine and
21 my fathers and whose messages of love and
22 encouragement kept me going through many
23 difficult times over the last five years.
24 So, Rose, God bless you and keep you always.
25 Thank you.
1 MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else? Fourth
2 Order, Citizens Participation. Doug Miller.
3 MR. MILLER: Good evening, Council.
4 Doug Miller, president of Scranton Junior
5 City Council. Just briefly I want to again
6 remind everyone of our charity basketball
7 game that the Junior Council has organized.
8 It is scheduled for this Friday, April 4, at
9 7 p.m. at Scranton High School. Admission
10 is $3 and all proceeds will benefit a police
11 and firemen's memorial. We on Junior
12 Council believe that this is an opportunity
13 for us to give the spotlight to the true
14 heroes and that is why we have given this
15 night theme heroes night because this is the
16 night honor our brave public servicemen and
17 women who deserve to be recognized. These
18 are people who wake up every morning knowing
19 they're going put their lives on the line to
20 protect us and so it's our duty to honor
21 them and what they do for us, and so we hope
22 that residents will come out and support our
23 police and firemen and we have a great night
24 planned full of excitement and family. We'd
25 also like to let everyone know that there
1 will be a concession with refreshments,
2 drinks, raffle tickets will be sold where
3 you will have a chance to win gift baskets,
4 so we look forward to an exciting night and
5 we ask everyone to come out and show their
6 support. Thank you.
7 MS. EVANS: And, Doug, a little
8 surprise, my husband volunteered to referee
9 that game.
10 MR. MILLER: Yes, he did and we
11 appreciate your support and we appreciate
12 your contribution towards the event and we
13 thank you for your support and we'd like to
14 extend the invitation to all of Council,
15 hopefully we will have your support as well,
16 so thank you. And also I don't want to
17 forget, too, I would like to thank Mr.
18 McGoff for his help in organizing this event
19 as well as Mrs. Gatelli. When Junior
20 Council and City Council work together
21 you're successful in planning events and
22 this is just another example how when you
23 work together you get the job done, so thank
25 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Doug. Jim
2 MR. WILLIAMS: Yes. Good evening,
3 Council, my name is Jim Williams. I'm a
4 Scranton City Resident, property owner and
5 taxpayer. I'm here tonight to voice my
6 opinion concerning the Single Tax Office.
7 Everything comes out in the paper that we
8 find 11 or 12 or 13 million and yet to be
9 discovered how many millions are there and
10 then we seem to have changed the blame a
11 little from the Single Tax Office to the
12 city controller's office. I agree 100
13 percent that the city controller was wrong
14 for not auditing that office, but the city
15 controller was not the city tax collector.
16 The city tax collector was Ken McDowell.
17 Ken McDowell knew that there was 12 million,
18 11 million or 13 million. Ken McDowell knew
19 exactly what was in that office. Ken
20 McDowell when he left office to take a
21 county office knew what was in there. Ken
22 McDowell used the city tax office to his
23 benefit. He even changed it's name. He
24 changed it's name from the Scranton Single
25 Tax Office to the Lackawanna County Single
1 Tax Office so when he was running for county
2 controller it looked like he was an
3 incumbent candidate countywide, held county
4 office when, in fact, he did not. They just
5 not removed that Lackawanna County Single
6 Tax Office from the building and returned it
7 to it's original name.
8 I think Council in this particular
9 case with Mr. McDowell has to use all of
10 it's power granted under the law under the
11 Home Rule Charter. It needs to investigate
12 itself what took place in the Single Tax
13 Office. Everyone is out there screaming and
14 hollering how nothing has happened, nothing
15 was swept under the rug, no one has done any
16 harm, no one has done anything wrong, I
17 raised five children, every time one of them
18 is saying that to me you can bet they were
19 involved, you could bet they did something
20 wrong. And, ladies and gentlemen, members
21 of Council, you can bet something is wrong
22 here, $12 million just doesn't appear in a
23 computer glitch for five years. He has been
24 tax collector for five years and he
25 misplaced $12 million. He also misplaced a
1 laptop computer owned by the City of
2 Scranton the Scranton School Board, the
3 taxpayers of which I should say, when he
4 left office he took the laptop with him. I
5 think if we had the laptop we would have the
6 answer. I think Ken McDowell and his
7 solicitor should show up here in front of
8 Council and answer the questions instead of
9 being on a missing list. He can't be
10 reached for comment. They are the
11 responsible parties, not Mrs. Novembrino
12 who, yes, neglected to do her job granted,
13 she should never, ever do that again. We
14 should all be taught a lesson from the mayor
15 on down here.
16 I just hope that all this money
17 wasn't hid intentionally, go out and borrow
18 10 million dollars for which they say
19 probably 5 million of which is in the bank
20 belongs to the City of Scranton, when it's
21 all said and done I hope we take that 5
22 million dollars and put it to the 10 million
23 debt we incurred, and I think now we can
24 name our tax hikes like we name our
25 hurricanes and our tropical storms and with
1 can call it the Ken McDowell 2006-2007 tax
2 increase second to none in the City of
4 This man, something needs to be
5 done, this Council needs to take the reigns.
6 This Council needs stand up and do whatever
7 it takes. You have subpoena power and
8 whether or not you can use it with this man
9 I don't know, if you can you should. We
10 need no outsiders. We need to you stand up
11 and say, "What happened, what went wrong
12 and, Mr. McDowell, get in here and, Mr.
13 Rinaldi, get in here with him since you were
14 paid good money to oversee."
15 We get a solicitor with the tax
16 office now the guys not their a month and he
17 finds $12 million when the existing one
18 that's there for five years with Ken
19 McDowell doesn't find anything? The only
20 thing Ken McDowell found in the last five
21 years is the golf course, that's all he's
23 MR. MCGOFF: Excuse me, Mr.
24 Williams, you're --
25 MR. WILLIAMS: He's now in the county
1 and he controls a budget times ten and not
2 only that every person that's retired in
3 Lackawanna County, all the employees that
4 have past retired, the ones that are gone,
5 their pension goes through his office. So
6 stand up, please. I would like to thank
7 Council for allowing me this right with all
8 due respect. Thank you.
9 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you Mr. Williams.
10 MR. SPINDLER: Good evening,
11 Council. Les Spindler, city resident.
12 Well, I wasn't surprised to see last Friday,
13 I think it was in last Friday's newsletter
14 that Mayor Doherty isn't going along with
15 the investigation of Fire Chief Davis which
16 was voted a 4 to 1 vote by City Council, but
17 I think Mrs. Gatelli and Mrs. Fanucci just
18 voted for that because they knew the mayor
19 wouldn't go along with it anyway, and I want
20 to read something here.
21 MS. FANUCCI: Les, please don't
22 speak for me, that's all I have to say.
23 Please do not speak -- just.
24 MR. SPINDLER: This is my time, just
25 sit up there --
1 MS. FANUCCI: Don't include me in
2 your comments.
3 MR. SPINDLER: Would you keep her
4 under control, Mr. McGoff, this is my time.
5 MR. MCGOFF: Excuse me, Mr. Spindler
6 you did make --
7 MS. FANUCCI: A comment.
8 MR. SPINDLER: But this is my time,
9 she has her time.
10 MS. FANUCCI: Obey the rules of
11 Council, Mr. Spindler.
12 MR. MCGOFF: Okay. Thank you.
13 MR. SPINDLER: Mr. McGoff applauded
14 the mayor's decision and criticized
15 complaints against the chief which you said
16 were politically overdo. Well, Mr. McGoff,
17 when are you going understand that this
18 isn't politically motivated, it's a public
19 safety issue? The firemen, the firefighters
20 I should say are just out for their own
21 safety. If you and the mayor are so against
22 this investigation I think that just proves
23 that these allegations are true because you
24 don't want an investigation. If I was in
25 the chief's shoes and I knew I didn't
1 anything, I'd say bring it on, investigate
2 all you want, but being that you and the
3 mayor don't want an investigation I think
4 the chief is guilty as charged.
5 Mr. Courtright, last week they were
6 talking about the building that Mr. Donahue
7 was going to make a restaurant, he said
8 there was several restaurants that wanted to
9 go in there but because they didn't want the
10 bridge they said they wouldn't be able to do
11 business, well, even if the bridge is closed
12 there is two other ways to get to that
13 building. So, I think that's a ludicrous
14 statement to say they couldn't do business
15 if the bridge is closed. I don't know what
16 the hold up is.
17 MR. COURTRIGHT: I spoke to Mr.
18 Donahue today, he happened to be driving
19 down the street and I flagged him over --
20 would you like me to tell him what I --
21 MR. SPINDLER: Could you after?
22 MR. COURTRIGHT: I'll wait until
23 you're -- okay.
24 MR. SPINDLER: Like I said, if the
25 bridge is closed there's still two other
1 ways to get to that building, I don't see
2 how it could hurt business.
3 Next thing, back to the fire chief,
4 Mr. Courtright, now that there's no
5 investigation being the chair of public
6 safety I think the ball is in your court now
7 and it's up to you to call for this
8 investigation, which I think under Council
9 Rules you are allowed to do. So, as I said,
10 the ball's in your court now and I hope you
11 do the right thing, Mr. Courtright, because
12 it's a public safety issue not a political
13 issue as Mr. McGoff wants to make it into.
14 Mrs. Evans, about the bridge, I know --
15 I appreciate everything you gave me, but we
16 still don't know when it's going to start
17 but I did hear tonight that the original
18 cost of the bridge was one and a half
19 million dollars and now it's up to seven and
20 a half million dollars. I'd like to know
21 what added six million dollars to the price
22 of that bridge, maybe we could look into
24 MS. EVANS: Yes.
25 MR. SPINDLER: Thank you. Another
1 thing, Mrs. Evans, the 200 block of Franklin
2 Avenue, it's where the Forum Parking Garage
3 is, just past the entrance to the garage
4 there's a pothole there and it starts as a
5 pothole but if you look into the pothole you
6 can see down into the ground. If somebody
7 hits that they're going to do severe damage
8 to their car, this goes -- I don't know if
9 it goes down into a mine or what, but you
10 can see it open and did I call DPW, but you
11 get machines. And that's all I have
12 tonight. Thank you.
13 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr.
14 Spindler. Andy Sbaraglia.
15 MR. SBARAGLIA: Andy Sbaraglia,
16 citizen of Scranton. Fellow Scrantonians,
17 5-B. We are looking to lend a quarter of a
18 million dollars to LLC. for a project at 501
19 South Washington Avenue. That's the project
20 you just gave, I think it was a $200,000
21 loan you forgave for that project. The guy
22 walked away, washed his hands, put the money
23 in his pocket and was gone, we didn't get
24 our money back. Now, you want to turn
25 around and lend $250,000 to someone else
1 that wants to get into the same project.
2 How much is this project supposed to cost
3 us? Not only that it, it's important.
4 You're behind the Lafayette for $3,691,800
5 that means they have to get their money
6 before we can get ours become and this is an
7 endless deal with you people, you supporting
8 anything and you're jeopardizing the whole
9 city projects. That money that you lost,
10 that 200,000 that we lost probably could
11 have been used somewhere else to greater
12 efficiency, but it's gone. You forgave I
13 don't know how many loans, I probably would
14 have to look back in my records to see how
15 many were forgiven after three years when
16 you hire five people forget about paying the
17 city back, the city is rich. In fact, we're
18 so rich we lost our bond rating. We now
19 have no bond rating. We were a BBB, now we
20 even fell below that, we're below junk, in
21 other words, they figure we are going to
22 collapse and then you plan to go throughout
23 and borrow $11 million with no bond rating?
24 You know how much interest you are going to
25 have to pay and how much we are going to be
1 penalized? But why care? Hey, why care
2 about anything? We could all move out of
3 here someday. We're not grounded here.
4 This is America. After we ruin one
5 community we just move to another. There's
6 a lot that can be ruined.
7 Somebody said our two arbitration
8 cases that we lost cost the city up to $3
9 million, is that a correct figure? It cost
10 us $3 million to get an arbitration, the
11 things that we lost. You have been very mum
12 on it, I thought you would have been out
13 here really pushing it telling the people
14 this money was lost. Now, Mr. Courtright, I
15 know years ago you said, "Why is he doing
17 I attended enough meetings to say
18 hire them clerks back, we are going to end
19 up paying for them and we get no work out of
20 them, but the mayor and his stubbornness
21 kept pushing the issue and now it's costing
22 us. Now, if it's $3 million, that's a lot.
23 MR. COURTRIGHT: Andy, I don't
24 believe it's SIT, I believe it's a little
25 bit over a million. I don't know what other
1 ones you're referring to other than the SIT?
2 MR. SBARAGALIA: Well, I guess what
3 they did was we owed them the salary
4 anyway --
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: Twenty-seven pay.
6 MR. SBARGALIA: Yeah, maybe that's
7 how they incorporated into it.
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: They may have.
9 MR. SBARAGLIA: Plus we had a penalty
10 on top of that. I think one man said he got
11 $500 extra.
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: Interest, and the
13 SIT I don't think they settled yet.
14 MR. SBARAGLIA: And then we had
15 lawyer fees put in there somewhere along the
16 line on both sides?
17 MR. COURTRIGHT: I would assume that,
18 but I don't know that for a fact.
19 MR. SBARAGLIA: Well, I assume them
20 lawyers don't work for free, so hence it
21 might be close to that 3 million dollar
22 figure, and it's a shame if it is and it's a
23 shame that it wasn't really broken down and
24 telling the people truly how much money we
25 lost, now it's a 3 million dollar figure. I
1 get probably a little sum of it, but like I
2 said, there's a lot of hidden costs in
3 there, like you would you have to know how
4 much the lawyers's fees were, how many times
5 that they appealed it, how much money they
6 got for this, that and whatever, but they
7 said it was up to 3 million, and that's a
9 The city is going down the tubes as
10 fast as you can do it. There's people up
11 there, I told you a long time ago, watch the
12 pennies and the dollars will follow, but you
13 throw the pennies away, not only the pennies
14 but the dollars, and now it's millions of
15 dollars and you're pressing the people more
16 and more and more. I always said the
17 government is actually your enemy, your
18 weapon is your growth, and to be an
19 intelligent person you've got go out there
20 and check all of the candidates so you know
21 who you're voting for so you don't end in
22 this predicament that we are in now. That's
23 very tragically when you lose your bond
24 rating, that's bad, and when you plan to go
25 out there and go in the field and borrow 10
1 or 11 million on top of it, that's real bad.
2 I don't know if we could still get a bond
3 rating. Last time we bought one. Well,
4 let's hope we can buy one again. Thank you.
5 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr.
6 Sbaraglia. Fay Franus.
7 MS. FRANUS: Fay Franus. Billy, for
8 weeks now I've been coming here and
9 listening to you say you didn't know what
10 you were going to do, well, you have to read
11 things about this investigation of Chief
12 Davis and Les Spindler mentioned it, but I'm
13 asking you directly, are you going to have
14 your own investigation because you can. You
15 can. Now --
16 MR. COURTRIGHT: Do you want me to
17 answer now?
18 MS. FRANUS: I want to continue my
20 MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay, go ahead.
21 MS. FRANUS: You know, every week
22 you are coming with excuses, this, this,
23 this and wishy-washy, make a stand. Do
24 something. You have a right to do it so I
25 want a yes or no are you going to have an
1 investigation or not?
2 MR. COURTRIGHT: Under the Home Rule
3 Charter I have no right to do an
4 investigation, I asked them, and if you'll
5 let me finish my answer before you yell at
6 me, I asked Mr. Minora about state law, and
7 nothing against Mr. Minora, but I knew if I
8 said I asked Mr. Minora you people would say
9 his opinion is not worth anything, so I
10 asked another attorney, they can't find
11 anywhere where I have any authority to do
12 anything like that under state law.
13 If could you show it to me and if it
14 looks like something I might be interested I
15 would consider it, but as far as I know I
16 have no authority to do that.
17 MS. FRANUS: Mrs. Evans, you stated
18 that, now, where did you get that
19 information from?
20 MS. EVANS: I have the information at
22 MS. FRANUS: Is it reliable? I
23 mean, is it something that Billy should,
24 know in other words, you read it, is it
25 something he could do?
1 MS. EVANS: I would believe so, but I
2 will share it with him.
3 MS. FRANUS: Mr. Courtright, would
4 you please find that --
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes, I haven't been
6 doing nothing. I've asked.
7 MS. FRANUS: And if it's the case, if
8 it's the case that you can do you have an
9 answer for that next week?
10 MR. COURTRIGHT: I will look at it
11 and see what it says and if I can I will
12 answer when I have an answer.
13 MS. FRANUS: Mrs. Gatelli, did you
14 check into that thing with the Sewer
15 Authority with the Home Rule Charter last
16 week? You said you would find out for me.
17 MS. GATELLI: Yeah, I'll give it to
18 you in motions.
19 MS. FRANUS: Why can't you answer me
20 now? Mrs. Gatelli I want an answer now.
21 MR. MCGOFF: Mrs. Franus, she has
22 the right to answer you during motions.
23 MS. FRANUS: You have to wonder why,
24 don't you, so I can't rebut what she says?
25 Mrs. Gatelli, are you going to answer
1 anything I ask you here tonight?
2 MR. MCGOFF: She said that she would
3 answer you during motions.
4 MS. FRANUS: I didn't say that, Mr.
5 McGoff, I said is she going to answer
6 anything? I didn't say that. I said is she
7 going to answer anything I ask her now. I'm
8 not talking to you, I'm talking to Mrs.
10 MR. MCGOFF: That's fine, but I'm
11 telling you what she --
12 MS. FRANUS: She can't speak for
14 MR. MCGOFF: Yes, she can, but I'm --
15 MS. FRANUS: Why are you speaking
16 for her?
17 MR. MCGOFF: She gave you an answer.
18 MS. FRANUS: No, she didn't. I said
19 is she going to every question and you
20 interrupted her.
21 Mrs. Fanucci, Les Spindler had a
22 right to say what he said, it was his
23 opinion as far as why he felt that you ands
24 Mrs. Gatelli voted that way and you really
25 don't have the right to tell him he can't
1 say that, he can say that.
2 MS. FANUCCI: Absolutely you are
3 wrong. You are wrong.
4 MS. FRANUS: No, absolutely I am
6 MS. FANUCCI: We have Rules of
7 Council which you need to read, quite
9 MS. FRANUS: Maybe you should read
10 the Rules, too, you don't read rules.
11 MS. FANUCCI: Listen --
12 MS. FRANUS: You listen.
13 MS. FANUCCI: The problem is that you
14 want --
15 MS. FRANUS: No, you're wrong, Mrs.
16 Fanucci. Your Rules of Council do not
17 supercede -- your Rules of Council --
18 MS. FANUCCI: Go to anger management
19 and get your life in order.
20 MS. FRANUS: Your Rules of Council
21 do not supercede the First Amendment. We
22 have opinions.
23 MS. FANUCCI: No, you're wrong.
24 MS. FRANUS: No, you're wrong. And
25 what makes you think you could never be
1 wrong, Mrs. Fanucci, just because you say
2 something just like when you walked out --
3 MS. FANUCCI: I have admitted many
4 times that I have made errors and been
5 wrong, but I'm not going to sit here and let
6 someone say things that are not accurate,
7 just like I listen to you say things are not
9 MS. FRANUS: I say he has a right to
10 his opinion is what I have said.
11 MS. FANUCCI: He can have his opinion
12 and I have my right to talk when his opinion
13 is given and I will answer with my opinion
14 which is what I feel.
15 MS. FRANUS: That's right, and I
16 agree with that.
17 MS. FANUCCI: Exactly, that's what I
19 MS. FRANUS: No, you said he cannot
20 mention your name.
21 MS. FANUCCI: No, I did not say
23 MS. FRANUS: You said, "Don't bring
24 my name into it," or whatever.
25 MS. FANUCCI: No, that was not --
1 you must have heard it wrong, what I said to
2 him do not say and quote me on things that
3 are not accurate. That's what's the
5 MS. FRANUS: Okay, but that was his
7 MS. FANUCCI: Why don't we talk
8 about city business? Do you have anything
9 else going on? Let's talk about something
10 going on. Do you got anything? Come on,
11 potholes something.
12 MR. MCGOFF: All right, please.
13 MS. FANUCCI: I'm not going to sit
14 here and babble all night.
15 MS. FRANUS: The trouble with you
16 people and what Jim Williams, the Hurricane
17 names, it's the Mrs. Gatelli tax, the Mr.
18 McGoff tax and Mrs. Fanucci tax and I hope,
19 Mr. McGoff, are you going to bring Kenny
20 McDowell down here to answer for that 12
21 million dollars as you should? Are you
22 going to? The people of Scranton would like
23 to see this happen. Are you going as
24 president of Council ask Kenny McDowell to
25 come in here and answer questions or you
1 don't think there should be any reason to?
2 MR. MCGOFF: And I'm going to ask
3 him personally, no.
4 MS. FRANUS: Well, are you going to
5 ask him, not personally, are you going to
6 ask him through Kay Garvey a letter sent out
7 to Kenny McDowell to come in and answer
9 MR. MCGOFF: If it comes up, we'll--
10 MS. FRANUS: It's come up. I'm
11 asking you.
12 MR. MCGOFF: If it's brought up by
13 Council we will discuss it.
14 MS. FRANUS: Well, would you bring
15 it up possibly? Boy, you squirm out of
16 everything, every one of you.
17 MR. MCGOFF: Paul Miele. Did I
18 pronounce that correctly?
19 MR. MIELE: The story I want to tell
20 you is a nightmare. I'm disabled. First
21 off, I was born and bread in this town, I
22 went to school here to Bancroft and I've
23 lived within the same couple of miles my
24 entire life and I played -- was a musician
25 my entire life, I played with a band on the
1 east coast which was pretty popular in the
2 80's, but I worked my whole life, I always
3 paid my taxes, I always paid my bills, I
4 raised three kids and I was in a car
5 accident that left me with a chronic pain
6 condition with my neck and my back. I
7 developed posttraumatic stress, I can't
8 drive a car anymore because I think people
9 are going to drive right through the stop
10 sign and hit me again the way that's how I
11 was injured.
12 I continued to work until about five
13 years after the accident until I just
14 couldn't to it anymore, I had to go on
15 welfare. Anyway, the important thing is
16 this, I ended up in the summer, last summer,
17 with no utilities, even I had my social
18 security hearing on June the 6 and I won if
19 fully favorable and, you know, the utility
20 companies were going to get all of their
21 money, but they turned everything off
22 anyway. I was living in my house with no
23 utilities, me and my dog and a couple of
24 cats, and they came -- the city came out
25 rightfully and condemned my house because of
1 that, but they told me that once my
2 utilities were back on I just had a little
3 bit of a flea problem upstairs because there
4 were a couple cats that were pregnant and I
5 let them have their kittens in my attic.
6 Anyway, the city did the right thing,
7 you know, the utility company did the wrong
8 thing, I paid them for years one car
9 accident anyone of you could be in the
10 position that I was in. I was in the
11 hospital for about a month. I got the money
12 from social security, I paid, I got all my
13 utilities turned out, there is two people
14 came up to my house, the lady from the Board
15 of Health and a man from animal control.
16 Somebody had said I had 40 kittens in my
17 house, I had two kittens in my house. I
18 said, "Come in and look."
19 He came in and looked, I had the two
20 kittens. I said to him, I remember saying
21 to him how hard it was, I had to carry water
22 up to flush my toilet, he said, "I wish you
23 didn't did tell me that, Paul, we have to
24 condemn your house," but I got all the
25 utilities turned back on and he said once
1 you get the utilities on, the flea problem
2 done you will be fine, you can move back in.
3 I never received anything in writing, no due
4 process. The only thing was they put a sign
5 on my door, I went in the hospital, I came
6 out, I got the money, I could have got
7 everything turned back on, this was in
8 October, October, November, December,
9 January, February, never got a phone call,
10 never got anything in the mail. Nothing.
11 This lady couple came out and put another
12 thing on my door in February around the 10th
13 said I had never called her or told her I
14 said, well, I didn't know you could have
15 sent me something you could have called me,
16 I'm in the book. I said, "You want to
17 inspect my house, please come in. I will
18 comply with whatever you want me to do."
19 And they said that I had to get an
20 exterminator. I called up Terminex, the
21 biggest ad in the book, they came out, they
22 found nothing. I said, "Can you put that in
23 writing," he said, "Not without a contract."
24 I got a different exterminator a
25 little cheaper than that, but he sprayed, he
1 checked and found nothing. So I had
2 complied. At that point I felt with
3 everything they told me to do, the utilities
4 on, I had the flea problem done. They came
5 in and inspected my house, I guess they
6 thought they were going to find some
7 violations, here's the best I found. I did
8 put some shades on some of the lights in my
9 hallways, didn't have shades on the bulbs,
10 well, I could put shades on them. They said
11 I did not have enough outlets in my house.
12 I've been in every house on every block in
13 the area, I know there's a lot of houses
14 that are lucky if they have one or two
15 outlets their bedrooms, I have four in every
16 room, one on every wall, they said that I
17 have to have one every eight feet. They
18 said I needed another outlet in every room
19 of my house. I had no notice, they gave me
20 two hours to get an electrician. I got one
21 to come out. I said is there anything wrong
22 with my electrical system because -- he
23 said, "I can't answer that."
24 I said, "Well, you're a certified
1 "You know, I'm not going to work
3 I got another electrician to come
4 out, he called him, they turned everything
5 off, turned of my power in the middle of
6 February, my heat doesn't work without
7 power. I had no place to go, I stayed at a
8 friend's house , just a friend. Her
9 daughter came in, saw me on the couch, she
10 beat her mother unmercifully calling her
11 filthy names and stuff. It was a nightmare,
12 then I go home to my house my pipes were
13 frozen and I had six feet of water in my
14 cellar. Somebody broke into my husband and
15 stole stuff. I have a security system that
16 calls the police, but it doesn't work
17 without electricity.
18 I'm homeless now and I get letters
19 they're going to tear my house down. I
20 don't believe this, I can't believe it.
21 Please investigate this. Please come to my
22 house and see my house.
23 MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Miele, Mrs. Fanucci
24 will get information from you and we will
25 look into it. Thank you. Dave Bieri.
1 MR. BIERI: My name is Dave Bieri, I
2 live in Keyser Terrace, which is a
3 development in Keyser Valley. First I would
4 like to thank Bill Courtright and Janet
5 Evans for attending a meeting last Thursday
6 evening at the Keyser Valley Community
7 Center with the residents of Keyser Terrace,
8 Park Edge and the townhomes to listen to our
9 concerns that we have about the area and how
10 it's being developed.
11 I also like to thank Judy Gatelli
12 for taking time out of her schedule because
13 she was unavailable Thursday evening to meet
14 with a small group of us as well Saturday
15 morning and listen to our concerns and we
16 were able to show her as well some of the
17 concerns that we have about our area.
18 If you remember, about six or eight
19 weeks ago there was a proposal before City
20 Council to take over the roads in Park Edge
21 Lane and Jamesway Circle. Thank goodness a
22 motion was made and it was tabled and we do
23 appreciate and that we hope that you
24 continue to table this motion and I'll go
25 into further detail in a moment, but one
1 thing that motion did when you tabled it, it
2 really brought the neighbors together, we
3 are talking to each other and we found out
4 we share the same concerns about what is
5 going on, so some very positive things came
6 out of that tabling, it lead to a meeting
7 last Thursday evening with those residents
8 of the area to discuss our concerns, and we
9 are very concerned.
10 There are several concerns that we
11 feel need to be addressed or at least looked
12 at, some of them were provided to you in a
13 binder about two or three weeks ago when
14 there was a caucus in the back, I hope you
15 had an opportunity to look at those, you
16 also been given given two additional letters
17 from our meeting last Thursday evening, one
18 dated the 27th and one dated 28th. The
19 letter dated the 27th lists the long roads,
20 it says Jamesway and to Norfolk, it's
21 Jamesway Circle and Park Edge Lane, so what
22 we would like to see is City Council make a
23 motion that these roads are not taken over
24 by the city, number one, the concerns
25 addressed the concerns by the citizens by
1 the citizens or the residents of the area is
2 addressed by the developer; and number two,
3 until a city engineer and other city
4 departments, the appropriate departments,
5 come over and investigate -- or not
6 investigate but to approve and look at the
7 work that's being done in the area and the
8 concerns that we have given to you. We
9 don't believe that these requests are
10 unreasonable. We do know that there's a --
11 presently there is no city engineer, but I
12 know three years ago when I built my house
13 the city did a bang up job inspecting the
14 entire way through. I could not put drywall
15 over the studs until the electric and the
16 plumbing was inspected. The city did a
17 phenomenal job. Why isn't the same thing
18 being done to infrastructure of a
19 development with the city and if it is do
20 you have those documents because if you look
21 at the area and the information we provide
22 to you there are several concerns that we
23 have, maybe we're off base, but we would
24 like them to be looked at.
25 So were hoping that our concerns are
1 addressed and it's approved by the city
2 engineer and other appropriate city
3 departments. We want to make this a win-win
4 situation, a win for the residents, and a
5 win for the City of Scranton. We don't have
6 a dog in the fight here, we are not choosing
7 sides, we want to make this a win for the
8 city and for us as well because we do not
9 want the city to take over the roads that
10 there could be a problem with in the very
11 near future, I don't know that there will,
12 but unless they're inspected by the
13 appropriate people, core sample are done,
14 you will never know.
15 Judy had the opportunity to see
16 plastic grates on the roads that are being
17 scheduled to be taken over. I'm not an
18 engineer, but I do know most sewer grates
19 are made of metal, not plastic, so that's
20 one thing we would like you to see.
21 And I would like to, I'm sorry Mrs.
22 Fanucci had to step outside, but I do
23 understand -- it's very appropriate that she
24 did step outside, I'm not criticizing her,
25 but I would like to give everybody my
1 business card with my home phone number and
2 my cell phone and we would like to invite
3 Mr. McGoff and you, Mrs. Fanucci, out this
4 weekend just to look and listen to our
5 concerns. We are a friendly group, Bob, you
6 know us, you know my wife and myself, we are
7 a friendly group, you know, hopefully it
8 won't be as cold as last night with the snow
9 coming down, but just so you can see
10 firsthand what our concerns are and
11 hopefully, you know, you could get the
12 appropriate city people to look into our
13 concerns as well.
14 We do have another meeting set for
15 next Thursday evening, I believe, and John
16 will speak about that in a moment at the
17 Keyser Valley Community Center to give all
18 the residents an update on how the progress
19 was made with the City Council. Once again,
20 we're a friendly group of people but we went
21 to make this a win-win situation, a win for
22 the residents and win for the City of
23 Scranton so that you're not stuck taking
24 over roads that aren't properly done.
25 Should I just leave these here?
1 MR. MCGOFF: Leave them.
2 MR. BIERI: Thank you. If yo have
3 any questions I'll answer them. Okay.
4 Thank you.
5 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Biere.
6 MS. GATELLI: Dave, I had the
7 pictures developed so I will share them with
9 MR. BIERE: And we have some initial
10 pictures as well. Jack will speak to that.
11 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you. Jack
13 MR. POWELL: Hello, Jack Powell from
14 Luzerne Street. I'd like to thank also
15 everyone that participated so far in our
16 endeavor with Keyser Terrace, we still have
17 a lost issues to be dealt with, however,
18 when it was just myself dealing with one end
19 and not knowing that they were dealing with
20 another we finally got together and we had
21 between 40 and 50 households at the last
22 meeting, which is a good sign, we had a lot
23 of phone calls that people couldn't make it
24 to keep them informed so hopefully at our
25 next meeting they will be there.
1 And as far as the street and the
2 runoff and everything was done at that time.
3 Mr. King didn't come to our meeting, sorry
4 Mr. McGoff, I understand you're caught in
5 the middle here. It ceases to amaze me they
6 only show up for certain times when things
7 could be manipulated as I see it.
8 Hypothetically, I've seen situations where--
9 I don't agree it's right for people to use
10 their job or office to manipulate outcomes
11 of hearings even in a jury trial or to bribe
12 a juror for the outcome, the benefit of an
13 individual person. For things even like
14 jobs, you know, it's a long walk down that
15 federal building, you know, and I've seen a
16 lot people go to prison for a lot less than
17 what's going on in certain situations. So,
18 I think if you go and you're lied to and
19 such, the result might bite you on the tail,
20 you know, just a hypothetical situation, it
21 might be something where somebody might be
22 wanting to look into it and I save all my
23 mail and envelopes.
24 Okay. That's about it, but I'd like
25 to thank everybody. The pictures are there,
1 we gave you separate photos. Mary Alice is
2 trying to get everybody together as a group
3 so we are not separated and she has a lot of
4 the answers. I think it will benefit
5 everyone because she has been around through
6 the system for so long and she has been
7 through all of our meetings back there and
8 we had -- the vice president was back there
9 from the original meetings and during this
10 process and we also had our secretary with
11 our minutes but, you know, that's neither
12 here nor there, but I would like to thank
13 everyone that's participated so far and
14 hopefully we could resolve this and nobody
15 has to go to the federal building. Thank
16 you very much.
17 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you Mr. Powell.
18 Brett McCloe.
19 MR. MCCLOE: Good evening. My name
20 is Brett McCloe, taxpayer/homeowner. I just
21 wanted to ask a few questions in reference
22 statements I made last week and the week
23 before and I would like to ask if I can ask
24 Mrs. Fanucci a few questions so I could get
25 a better view of exactly what is happening
1 here in reference to progress in Scranton
2 and all of Northeastern Pennsylvania.
3 Since you hold the chair for
4 economic development, what is the city doing
5 to retrain its citizens more than just
6 opening up schools to do that? Are there --
7 what grants are available to this city
8 government to fill existing jobs that are
9 already in the classified?
10 I mentioned a couple of week ago
11 about there are a lot of forklift operator
12 jobs, a lot of LPN and CNA jobs and it seems
13 that the people don't have the money to go
14 to school to get that even if they applied
15 for it. Does the city have an ability to
16 get money to fill these jobs and bring
17 somebody from behind a $7 dollar an hour job
18 into a $15 an hour a job?
19 MS. FANUCCI: Mr. McCloe, we need to
20 educate them or whatever --
21 MR. MCCLOE: The --
22 MS. FANUCCI: To train them for each
24 MR. MCCLOE: Yeah, yeah, to retrain
25 people to get --
1 MS. FANUCCI: I don't believe that
2 as far as an economic standpoint we have the
3 capability to do that. I would think that
4 would have to be done in other areas, but
5 I'm not sure that it can be done.
6 MR. MCCLOE: Well, it was just that
7 in my opinion in order to develop an economy
8 that income has to rise. That's how-- I
9 mean, to put it the sense that people can't
10 afford use sometimes not all of us can
11 afford $5 lattes all the time, you know?
12 MS. FANUCCI: I agree, but the state
13 is the one that mandates all of that, maybe
14 that is something that we can look into
15 more. I don't think it's a bad idea like we
16 do our business incubators to train people
17 to go into the business world.
18 MR. MCCLOE: Yeah, I mentioned that
19 a couple of weeks how you can get 200 CNA's
20 to become LPN's, how do you get 200 LPN's to
21 become RN's? Is there money available for
22 that? Instead what I was going to say is
23 attracting people from outside of
24 Northeastern Pennsylvania to come and to do
25 jobs that we can do ourselves, we really
1 can, and how do you think that you can
2 mobilize the citizenry as a whole? What can
3 you do to lift us up and help us get to
4 there, get to that point? You know, there's
5 a few sayings, you know, you could lead a
6 horse to water, but you can't make him
7 drink. You can't teach an old dog new
8 tricks and what they don't know won't hurt
9 them. This can't be the guided mindset of
10 any administration of leaders, our business
11 leaders, if they want to make Scranton and
12 all of Northeastern Pennsylvania a greater
13 future for -- greater future, I mean, the
14 winds of progress are often ahead of people
15 and it doesn't pull people along, winds of
16 progress should always be at the back
17 pushing the citizenry forward. I said it
18 before, no one will prosper until we have a
19 leader, someone that could lead us beyond a
20 survival of the economically and
21 educationally fittest mindset that always
22 plays around here, I mean, I'm sure you
23 didn't mean to say what you said last week,
24 Mrs. Gatelli.
25 MS. GATELLI: No, I didn't.
1 MR. MCCLOE: I'm going leave it
2 there, but there's a lot of people --
3 MS. GATELLI: Leave it there.
4 MR. MCCLOE: All right.
5 MS. GATELLI: Leave it where it
6 belongs, Mr. McCloe.
7 MR. MCCLOE: I will, but
8 unfortunately that kind of mindset plagues
9 Northeastern Pennsylvania and one of the
10 things that keeps us down. I just hope this
11 kind of thinking doesn't only exist in two
12 of our presidential candidates because it's
13 virtual unheard of here at the local level
14 where it's needed most for us to get past
15 some of these things, some of these terrible
16 things, class distinction, education,
17 differentials. We won't make it, like I
18 said last week, we won't make it, so if you
19 could maybe just help and tell the people
20 what you need and what does Scranton need.
21 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. McCloe.
22 David Dobson.
23 MR. DOBSON: Good evening, Council.
24 Dave Dobson, resident of Scranton. Once
25 again, I feel compelled to come up and ask
1 for funds for Channel 61, several
2 resignations have already been tendered
3 within that organization as many times as we
4 have seen the problems have arisen in the
5 past with live broadcasts we must be patient
6 and tolerant. All citizens have a right to
7 be informed of all political activity. If
8 61 goes dark many months may expire before
9 other arrangements could be made.
10 Also, I've heard a new proposal
11 entertainment programs such as food as
12 opposed to information, that's an
13 unnecessary luxury. Instead of a cooking
14 show, perhaps a show on energy issues
15 causing rising food prices may be warranted
16 or that's just an example so the next meal
17 isn't seen on television.
18 Many politicians are posing
19 agricultural solutions in this area and as
20 an answer to the energy crisis. Any
21 informed person would know that it would
22 take 70 percent of our food crops to be used
23 for gasoline. Anybody with any sense of
24 reasoning realizes that that could spell a
25 crises for humanity. This is just one
1 example, many more could be cited almost
2 infinite, but the bottom line is we need a
3 public access TV, not entertainment, and I
4 feel removal of Channel 61 is injustice and
5 hopefully the station won't go dark. Thank
6 you and have a good night.
7 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Dobson.
8 Lee Morgan.
9 MR. MORGAN: Good evening, Council
10 Mr. McGoff, you know, I have to commend you,
11 you are doing a fairly good job here of
12 keeping order, as hard as that is to
13 believe. You might need a ruler though
14 sometimes, but I seem to believe you're
15 doing a halfway decent job up there, well,
16 better than halfway decent. The first thing
17 I have is, you know, out of all the things
18 that were said tonight I think the most
19 important thing that was said here all night
20 was the gentleman that came up here talked
21 about his house being condemned, and I just
22 hope that not one of the people on Council
23 but all five move to protect this man's
24 property because I think there's something
25 -- there may be something wrong here. There
1 may be a loss of communication somewhere,
2 something may be amiss, and I really think
3 that somebody has to help this guy because
4 evidently he needs help and I hope you
5 honestly, all five of you, try to help this
7 I have questions going back to the
8 public access channel and the subpoenas and
9 the rate hike with the Scranton Sewer
10 Authority that circumvented as far as I'm
11 concerned Council's authority by increasing
12 the Sewer Authority rates and I would like
13 to know, Mr. McGoff, if you have anything
14 about that at this point ?
15 MR. MCGOFF: Do you want wait until
16 motions and I can answer, at least the one
17 on public access.
18 MR. MORGAN: All right, are you
19 working on the ones for the subpoenas and
20 for the Scranton Sewer Authority?
21 MR. MCGOFF: The subpoenas I know we
22 talked about last week, I don't think we
23 ever got to that during motions and to be
24 honest, I did not write down the questions
25 you had about the Sewer Authority. I will
2 MS. GATELLI: I have that answer.
3 MS. EVANS: Yeah, and I could address
4 that as well and the subpoenas.
5 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you. During
6 motions, would that be appropriate?
7 MR. MORGAN: Yeah, that would be
9 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.
10 MR. MORGAN: I could watch that on
11 television unless I stay here, and the other
12 thing I have is I'm not going to tell people
13 from the podium here what presidential
14 candidate they should back, but I'd just
15 like to say here from the podium that I
16 agree with what Mr. Casey did today or
17 yesterday by making a stand and saying who
18 we supported, I find that to be a sign of
19 leadership by letting everybody know exactly
20 where he stands and why he stands there and
21 I had the same opinion if he backed Hillary
22 or McCain and I think it's really important
23 when you're an elected official to be
24 willing to stand up and say where you stand
25 on any position at any time no matter what
1 anyone else thinks, and basically I'll wait
2 for your answers. Thank you.
3 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Morgan.
4 There are no other speakers listed. Anyone
5 else that would like to speak?
6 MR. JACKOWITZ: Bill Jackowitz, South
7 Scranton resident, member of the Taxpayers'
8 Association. Good evening, Mr. President,
9 Scranton City Council members. Rules of
10 City Council, I've played sports most of my
11 life, I have been in the military, I've
12 been, you know, worked for, you know, still
13 working under rules, as far as I know rules
14 apply both ways, Mr. President, so if City
15 Council can speak up to us at any time and
16 not be told that they're out order, then why
17 can't the citizens do the same to City
18 counsel? It should be an even playing field
19 here. The Rules of Council, whatever those
20 rules are, they apply both ways, they apply
21 to elected officials plus they apply to the
22 citizens and they should apply more to the
23 citizens because we are the ones that pay
24 your salary.
25 But, anyway, I handed out Scranton
1 Wilkes-Barre metropolitan statistical area
2 sheets again, and as you can see we're still
3 at 5.7 unemployment. We made no progress.
4 We are still third from the bottom. A
5 couple of weeks ago a councilperson said the
6 whole country is having economic problems, I
7 agree with that, I pay close attention. I'm
8 in the process of doing some research, I'm
9 going to go back to 1984 and I'm going bring
10 in all the statistical reports from 1984 to
11 2008 and I'm going to present them to City
12 Council and that's going to shoot that
13 argument right down because we have been
14 rated at the bottom, at the bottom, since
15 1984. I picked 1984 because that's the year
16 I believe Austin Burke started with the
17 Chamber of Commerce. I could go all the way
18 back to 1930, but I know City Council would
19 not take the time to read all the statistics
20 from 1930, so I'm just going to shoot down
21 it right. Yeah, the country is in trouble,
22 we never recovered. The City of Scranton
23 never, ever recovered, okay? It's time for
24 us to start recovering int 2008.
25 Okay, now, we just lost 275 jobs at
1 J.C. Penny's catalog, plus we just lost
2 another 22 jobs at Diversified, roughly 297
3 jobs. I hope during motions Ms. Fanucci
4 tells us where we're going to make up those
5 297 jobs.
6 Also, Mr. McGoff, President McGoff.
7 I'm still waiting for your answer on livable
8 wages that I asked during the campaign, you
9 stated that we were going get jobs. As a
10 matter of fact, you even stated that there
11 were 60 jobs or 20 jobs that was going to be
12 60 dollar an hour jobs, I'm waiting for
13 them, so maybe during your motions you can
14 elaborate on those and tell us where those
15 jobs are, what companies they are, and how
16 we are going replace those 297 jobs that we
17 have lost, okay?
18 As far as the fire department, yes,
19 it was a big surprise Mayor Doherty rejected
20 it, and also Council President McGoff
21 applauded, applauded the decision. There
22 was no decision made. Everything stays
23 status quo. There was no decision made. As
24 far as the new Rescue 1 truck and the image
25 cameras in the fire department, that's a
1 requirement. City government is required to
2 supply our public service people and public
3 safety people with the equipment they need
4 to do their job.
5 And as far as Mayor Doherty, Ray
6 Hayes and Dave Schreiber being on the
7 committee, the only one on that committee
8 that knows anything about firefighting would
9 be Dave Schreiber. Chris Doherty doesn't
10 know anything about it, Ray Hayes doesn't
11 know anything about it, so what was there to
12 applaud? A tie. And no one wins in a tie.
13 That's all it was a tie, nothing more. As
14 far as the city controller goes, Roseann
15 Novembrino, she's an elected official. If
16 she sat back and allowed her department to
17 be gutted and cut that's it her problem.
18 She should have done something about it.
19 Now to use that as an excuse and an alibi
20 for not auditing the Single Tax Office.
21 Come on. I was born at night and I did fall
22 off a truck one time, but it was not last
23 night and it was not a turnip truck, okay?
24 Come on, let's get real here, people, you
25 are all elected officials. Every single one
1 of you have been elected by the citizens of
2 Scranton to represent us, not represent your
3 family, your friends, get jobs for your
4 family, get jobs for your friends and sweep
5 everything under the carpet. That's not
6 what you were elected for. And don't make
7 faces at me, Mr. McGoff, if you don't
8 understand what I'm saying then listen
9 because I'm speaking plain English, so
10 please do not make faces at me.
11 MR. MCGOFF: Excuse me, I can
12 respond to what you say.
13 MR. JACKOWITZ: You can respond all
14 you want, you're doing that right now, but
15 don't make faces.
16 MR. MCGOFF: Why not?
17 MR. JACKOWITZ: Because it's not
19 MR. MCGOFF: That's my response.
20 MR. JACKOWITZ: It's not polite.
21 MS. FANUCCI: Mr. Jackowitz, I --
22 MR. MCGOFF: Please, his time is up.
23 MS. FANUCCI: All right, just let me
24 ask him one question, please.
25 MR. JACKOWITZ: Sure.
1 MS. FANUCCI: You know how you say
2 that we should not be able to, if I said to
3 you if you're standing up here and I'm up
4 here with my mic and I said, "You know, Mr.
5 Jackowitz, claims every week to be this
6 wonderful Army whatever it is you graduated
7 from, but, you know, I think he was
8 discharged from the Army dishonorably, I
9 think there has been some problems there,"
10 not accurate, but would you think that you
11 that was right? It has nothing to do with
12 your job, it has nothing to do with what you
13 are here for, that is a problem, that's what
14 I'm trying to stop. Not what goes on here
15 at city business, but the problem of what
16 goes on beyond it, that's what is not
17 appropriate here. That has no place in this
19 So it is very difficult for any
20 elected official to sit up here with people
21 who come up throwing their innuendoes, their
22 own rumors, their suspicions, whatever they
23 want to say for one reason, it certainly
24 isn't to be productive, it certainly isn't
25 to be a better citizen or to move our city
1 forward or to help out. It is for a reason
2 of it being venomous and getting what they
3 want in a way that they should get it. We
4 all should be productive and work together,
5 I agree, but I will not sit here and take
6 people's wrong impressions or how they feel
7 as truth to every everyone out there who is
8 watching because that is not fair to myself,
9 my family or anyone else. Your opinion can
10 be your opinion, but I certainly if I'm
11 going to be -- with my opinion I take
12 consideration to the stuff that you are here
13 for a good reason, as am I and everyone else
14 that sits up here. You cannot agree and you
15 can agree, but you don't have to use that
16 type of anger and, Bill, you and I have no
17 problem, we've always gotten along very
18 well, I feel that you're very respectful,
19 but that doesn't mean everyone else here is
20 that is a problem and that's something that
21 I think we are trying to prevent. That's
23 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.
24 MR. JACKOWITZ: I agree with you,
25 Mrs. Fanucci, but you can wait until
1 afterwards to do it you don't need interrupt
2 the speaker. That's my opinion and only my
4 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr.
6 MS. SCHUMACHER: Marie Schumacher,
7 resident and member of the Taxpayers'
8 Association. Section 312 of the Home Rule
9 Charter reads: The Council may make
10 investigations into the affairs of the City
11 and conduct of any department office or
12 agency in aid of its legislative powers and
13 functions and may issue subpoenas for these
15 Now, I don't have a law degree, but
16 to me that's pretty clear and I think it
17 gives you the power, Mr. Courtright, to go
18 ahead with -- use this power and get to the
19 bottom of the fire department issues. I
20 think it's a matter of life and death and I
21 certainly hope you will.
22 MR. COURTRIGHT: Two attorneys told
23 me -- not you personally wrong, but that is
24 wrong. That gives me no rights, maybe Mr.
25 Minora would explain it to you because he
1 told me that and maybe another attorney,
2 maybe you should explain it after th
4 MS. SCHUMACHER: Maybe you could
5 give me the other attorney's name and I will
6 contact him. Thank you. Two weeks ago, Mr.
7 McGoff, you chastised Doug Miller for
8 turning and addressing the audience. Now,
9 personally that's been stuck in my craw ever
10 since. I found that very offensive.
11 Audience implies an entertainment forum and
12 we pay, we pay dearly in this city, I will
13 give that you much, but this is not an
14 entertainment venue and those of us who sit
15 on the other side of the aisle and rail
16 there are participants in the Democratic
17 process just as much as you are, and I would
18 like to think it was an oversight, but
19 certainly there's a better name for the
20 people on that side of the rail than
22 I would like to go back and ask a
23 few --reask a few questions that I've been
24 asking for years and years and years.
25 Number one, has the city hired an engineer?
1 I know there was an ad, but I haven't seen
2 any announcements. When will the Robinson
3 Park improvements promised by Mayor Doherty
4 in his campaign for his first term be
5 accomplished? Ditto for the East Scranton
6 Little League Field, those were also
7 promised during his first campaign. When
8 will the East Elm improvements promised by
9 Mayor Doherty in his second campaign for his
10 second term be accomplished?
11 When will the finished police
12 headquarters actually be finished with the
13 addition of the finishing layer of asphalt
14 in the parking lot or are we going to wait
15 until the binder layer cracks and has to be
16 replaced as well? Maybe it's a -- maybe it
17 will improve somebody's bottom line, but
18 certainly won't be the taxpayer's bottom
20 What is the address of the lighted
21 softball field built to replace the South
22 Side Sports Complex? Softball season is
23 coming, I would like to share that with some
24 friends of mine if somebody could please
25 provide that during motions.
1 When will this Council finally
2 request DCED to replace PEL. How many years
3 do we have to be distressed under this
4 Pennsylvania Economy League that's supposed
5 to be helping us and is apparently asleep or
6 on vacation in the Bahamas or something, but
7 they're certainly not helping us.
8 As to the Single Tax Office, are the
9 reports that are required to be prepared by
10 the Single Tax Office at least monthly now
11 being received? Does anybody know that?
12 Has anybody checked? There is a law for
13 single tax and it requires, it doesn't say,
14 "If somebody asks I will supply that
15 information," it says required.
16 I empathize with the gentleman whose
17 demolition was threatened as I to had a sour
18 experience with the LIPS Office. I was
19 threatened with demolition of a structure, I
20 was fortunate, I got a letter and it told me
21 that it had been years without utility and,
22 therefore, it would have to be demolished.
23 Well, I had to pay money to come here with
24 the receipts to show, I don't remember which
25 room it was, but I had to come here, pay
1 money to come here to show that all the
2 receipts for the utilities. I also, because
3 it was an estate issue, I also had the --
4 I'll finish with this thought, I also had an
5 appraisal that said the structure was in
6 wonderful condition. If I had more time I
7 would have sued the city I can tell you
8 that, but something -- that office needs to
9 be looked into. Thank you.
10 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mrs.
12 MR. ANCHERANI: Good evening,
13 Council. Nelson Ancherani, resident,
14 taxpayer, city employee, financial secretary
15 of the FOP, exercising my First Amendment
16 Rights and sharing my opinions. Three you
17 Council members have a little sole searching
18 to go do, that is, Ms. Gatelli, Ms. Fanucci
19 and Mr. McGoff. You three have voted for a
20 25 percent tax increase for 2007 when it
21 wasn't needed. Mr. McGoff has already
22 acknowledged that he needs to do more
23 homework when he goes over the agendas. I'm
24 not saying that you knew that there was an
25 account, and my opinion it was a secret
1 account at if the Fidelity Bank, an account
2 that should have had a zero balance. In
3 other words, money in, money out. There is
4 no way you three could have had known, but
5 up to this point you three have voted on
6 controversial issues like you were joined at
7 the hip. Rubber stampers? I believe so.
8 You three have been put in a very
9 embarrassing position. By voting on the
10 2007 which at that time was a record budget
11 you voted for a 25 percent increase in the
12 taxpayer's taxes. There was an alternative
13 budget put forth for 2007 by Mrs. Evans that
14 was ignored by you three.
15 To make matters even more
16 embarrassing, we had state officials in this
17 room, mainly, Gerald Cross of the
18 Pennsylvania Economy League and what looked
19 like he was begging for City Council to okay
20 a $44 million loan and bail out the city
21 which was in dire financial straits. In
22 fact, if I remember correctly there was a
23 bank official also here making a pitch for
24 the $44 million. I believe Mr. Len
25 Kresefski was also here. This was in my
1 opinion an attempt to make the city look
2 like we wouldn't survive unless we got that
3 44 million. That begging was at the end of
4 the second year that money was being
5 deposited in a secret account. We ended up
6 having City Council vote on a 10 million
7 loan and PEL projected two more 25 percent
8 tax increases, all the while $12 million
9 plus was accumulating in an account that was
10 sitting in a Fidelity Bank account and
11 should have had a zero balance. It's a lost
12 egg on a lost of faces, mostly on the faces
13 of the taxpayers, thousands of taxpayers.
14 Where is PEL? Anybody see PEL?
15 They're supposed to be the watch dogs.
16 Where have they been since this was found
17 out? They're a sham begging for $44 million
18 when we have millions in a secret account.
19 The taxpayers are the victims here.
20 Listen to what Stu Renda was quoted
21 in saying in the Times-Tribune on February
22 8, '08 written by Stacy Brown, the story IS
23 "Audit lists city debt as revenue."
24 I've been vindicated, I've been
25 saying about the TANS for how long? TANS,
1 tax anticipation notes, excluding tax
2 anticipation notes, that's what is written
3 in the budget, but yet it's listed her, 14
4 and a half million from tax anticipation
5 notes. Well, that's nice.
6 Here Mr. Renda dispelled notions
7 that the mayor has borrowed too much money
8 and should used grant money earmarked for
9 park and economic development to help offset
10 debt. The previous administration simply
11 refused to pay bills, this is Mr. Renda, and
12 that was going get us in serious trouble and
13 cost us more money he said. We borrowed
14 because we had to. Yeah. We borrowed
15 because we had to.
16 Questions on the $12 million. Why
17 is it there, who put it there, how long
18 would it be there if it wasn't discovered?
19 Where was the interest going? At this point
20 the taxpayers of this county inclusive of
21 the numerous boroughs, municipalities and
22 the City of Scranton deserve an answer that
23 an independent auditor of absent any
24 conflicts of interest could provide.
25 If nothing was done wrong let's get
1 to the truth out there. Let's not keep
2 people guessing. I just said that the
3 taxpayers deserve an answer, I'm wrong. The
4 taxpayers demand an answer. Thank you.
5 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr.
7 MR. SLEDENZSKI: Hi, bill.
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: Hi, there, Chris.
9 MR. SLEDENZSKI: Up a little, Bill,
10 up a little bit?
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yeah, pick it up.
12 MR. SLEDENZSKI: Bill, I got a
13 question, just to ask you, Billy, Novembrino
14 pool building, right, there again the
15 building behind the swimming pool there's
16 all graffiti on the back of that building
17 again, Bill, the building behind the
18 swimming pool, I'll tell you what's going to
19 happen the kids will break their neck up
21 MR. COURTRIGHT: I will ask Mark
22 Dougher to take a look at it.
23 MR. SLEDZENSKI: Okay, thanks, Billy.
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay, buddy.
25 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Chris. Any
1 other speakers? Fifth order. Mrs. Evans.
2 MS. EVANS: Good evening, and let's
3 begin first with some requests made this
4 evening made by speakers, so let us begin
5 wit the motion and I'll move on from that
7 In response to Mr. Powell and Mr.
8 Beer's request, I move that the legislation
9 to accept two streets in the Keyser Valley
10 area remain off Council's agenda until such
11 time as all problems have been addressed and
12 the city engineer and appropriate
13 departments have signed off specifically
14 with their approval.
15 MS. GATELLI: Second.
16 MR. MCGOFF: I was going to say
17 before it was even seconded I just want to
18 comment, at the meeting that we had in
19 caucus I believe, I know there were a lot of
20 people talking at once, but the agreement
21 that I believe that we came to with the
22 developer and with the people that were
23 there was that we would not -- we would not
24 put that back on the agenda until the
25 problems were addressed by the developer and
1 it was inspected by the city engineer or the
2 designated if there's not a city engineer
3 hired by them that the designated engineer.
4 I believe that that was agreed to by Mr.
5 Skantos and by the people from Keyser
6 Terrace and that was the premise that I was
7 working on that we were not going to even
8 consider it until that was actually done, so
9 I don't know that there's necessarily a need
10 for a motion to do that. I thought that we
11 were in agreement to do that anyhow.
12 MS. EVANS: Well I'm responding to
13 the group, the requests that was made this
15 MR. MCGOFF: I understand.
16 MS. EVANS: Obviously they're looking
17 for more security from City Council on their
18 behalf and I believe probably one of their
19 concerns is that beyond the problems that
20 exist in the area of the two streets that
21 have come before City Council in the form of
22 legislation to be accepted or ordained
23 they're asking for satisfaction on quite a
24 number of very significant and serious
25 issues before we would begin to accept any
1 of the streets in a piecemeal fashion.
2 MR. COURTRIGHT: On the question, I
3 believe at the meeting that was their intent
4 and if, in fact, all the problems aren't
5 resolved they wouldn't like to see any of
6 the streets dedicated, it kind of, I don't
7 know for lack of a better term I'll say kind
8 of holds the developers feet to the fire to
9 get out there and do everything. If Council
10 agrees not the to dedicate any of the roads
11 until all of the problems are resolved and I
12 believe that is the request of the
13 residents. I believe that's way heard
15 MR. MCGOFF: I'm not -- I don't mean
16 to argue that point, I was just trying to
17 say that I thought that at the meeting that
18 we had in caucus that the agreement had been
19 that once the problems had been addressed on
20 those two streets that they were in
21 agreement that they could be dedicated.
22 Again, that may have changed since the
23 meeting that we had, but that was my
24 understanding that both the property owners
25 and the developer were in agreement.
1 MR. COURTRIGHT: I think you're
2 probably right. I think that's what
3 happened, but I think since then so many of
4 them have come together and more of them
5 have been made wear of more of the problems.
6 Some of them just saw pockets of problems in
7 their immediate area and now that the
8 neighborhood has come together as I group I
9 believe Mr. Powell said there is at least 40
10 people at that meeting.
11 MS. EVANS: Yes.
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: So maybe they've --
13 I think they've changed their mind. I think
14 you're right.
15 MS. EVANS: And the motion was made
16 and seconded so perhaps be could just move
17 on and vote on the motion.
18 MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else to speak on
19 it? Would you restate your motion, please?
20 MS. EVANS: In response to Mr.
21 Powell and Mr. Biere's request I move that
22 the legislation to accept two streets in the
23 Keyser Valley area remain off Council's
24 agenda until such time as all problems have
25 been addressed by the developer and the city
1 engineer and appropriate departments inspect
2 and approve the repairs.
3 MS. GATELLI: Second.
4 MR. MCGOFF: All those in favor
5 signify by saying aye.
6 MS. EVANS: Aye.
7 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
8 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
9 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
10 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed? The
11 ayes have it and so moved.
12 MS. EVANS: Thank you. Someone else
13 raised the issue of I believe sewer rates
14 and the previous ability of Council to set
15 sewer rates in that specifically any type of
16 rate increase would have come before City
17 Council for its approval. This, I believe,
18 no longer occurs because an agreement was
19 made between the mayor and the Sewer
20 Authority regarding the storm water system,
21 a city asset that was owned by the people of
22 the City of Scranton which was sold to the
23 Sewer Authority by the mayor, that agreement
24 never came before City Council for it's
25 approval. Now, in return for that transfer
1 of the storm water system, the city received
2 over $7 million, I believe. I can't say
3 that an appraisal ever occurred of the storm
4 water system, I do not know what, indeed,
5 it's true value would have been, however,
6 the proceeds from that agreement were used
7 to pay the judgment rendered against the
8 city in the case of American Water Services
9 for a termination of contract and repayment
10 of a loan to the city that was made in prior
11 years and because that judgment came in
12 several months before payment was rendered,
13 the city was accruing interest and penalties
14 daily as it allowed those payments to be
15 ignored. And so, that court award was paid
16 in full I believe and as far as I know is a
17 remainder of two point some million dollars
18 from that agreement, but that is why City
19 Council has no input into the increase of
20 rates levied by the Scranton Sewer
21 Authority. Mrs. Gatelli, do you have
22 anything to add to that ?
23 MS. GATELLI: Well, my understanding
24 was that the lease agreement that the city
25 had with the Sewer Authority for an "X"
1 amount of time period, which is maybe 20 or
2 30 years, had lapsed. So that the city was
3 no longer involved in the Sewer Authority's
4 rates. That was the understanding that the
5 lease was up.
6 MS. EVANS: And I do recall having
7 heard in years past mention made by the
8 Sewer Authority of that lease and its
9 expiration date, however, I feel that does
10 not excuse the mayor from insisting upon
11 retaining consideration of the rates by the
12 city, specifically by City Council, when
13 negotiating an agreement with the Sewer
14 Authority for the sale of the storm water
16 Now, in terms of the subpoenas that
17 were alluded to earlier, last year, I
18 believe last spring, I made a motion to
19 subpoena all of the information from
20 departments of city government, financial
21 information specifically. That motion
22 passed. Because there were Council members
23 that felt the necessity to make the
24 subpoenas more streamlined in order to avoid
25 let's say a tsunami of information, I then
1 worked with Attorney Minora to streamline
2 these subpoenas requested and we developed a
3 plan whereby three departments would be
4 subpoenaed at a time and I think the first
5 three departments to be subpoenaed last
6 spring were OECD, the Scranton Parking
7 Authority and the legal department.
8 Each of those subpoenas were then
9 placed on Council's agenda for a vote, an
10 individual vote. They were not presented as
11 a package, but rather individually, and when
12 they were provided for a vote by City
13 Council those subpoenas were defeated, I
14 believe, I'm not quite certain, but I
15 believe on a three to two vote against a
16 subpoena for the against a Scranton Parking
17 Authority, against a subpoena for OECD and
18 against a subpoena for the legal department,
19 and that ended the issue. The subpoenas
20 were not approved and I believe, as I said,
21 this occurred last spring. The issue has
22 not been raised since and I hope that
23 answers Mr. Morgan's question
25 Now, much continues to be discussed
1 and written about the $12.2 million
2 discovery in a tax office account which
3 should have had a zero dollar balance.
4 Here's the bottom line, ladies and
5 gentlemen, and it's a lengthy one, as I said
6 two weeks ago, the forensic audit must be
7 performed by a firm without any connection
8 financial or otherwise to any local elected
9 officials, thus, the auditor or firm should
10 be based outside of this geographical area .
11 Second, the three taxing bodies with
12 the recommendation of the tax office should
13 jointly select the auditor as they are
14 absorbing the costs, and it is they who have
15 been and will be affected by this debacle,
16 not the D.A., not the new tax collector.
17 Third, no one knew about an audible
18 audit of the Tax Office in 2005, but Grail,
19 Merkle, McQuinn appeared to conduct an audit
20 in 2006 according to Mr. McDowell. How was
21 the firm selected and who paid them? It's
22 been very difficult to find any evidence of
23 such an issue coming before city council for
24 a vote.
25 Fourth, the city school district and
1 county should receive monthly comprehensive
2 reports from the Single Tax Office of
3 collections and money on hand. It should
4 included all requirements described by the
5 Single Tax Act as well as payment of the
6 funds collected. In fact, if the city
7 wished it seems that it could pursue payment
8 of $18,000 for late filing fees for a
9 six-year period during which the former tax
10 collector chose not to provide the monthly
12 Fifth, Council should receive copies
13 of the Single Tax Office monthly reports in
14 addition to the business administrator
15 and/or the treasurer. City Council should
16 also receive reports from the bank as they
17 are received by the treasurer and/or D.A.'s
19 Sixth, procedures must be reinstated
20 to ensure that the tax office collects all
21 wage taxes both delinquent and current for
22 Scranton residents working outside of the
24 Seventh, I could say I am becoming
25 frustrated with the manner in which this
1 debacle is being handled. The inspector,
2 and I'm quoting Dave Burnell, the specter of
3 something being wrong criminally or
4 otherwise is not caused by law enforcement
5 nor is it caused by the city or City
7 However, when a City borrows
8 millions of dollars annually, increases
9 taxes by 25 percent and remains distressed
10 for 15 years while over $12 million sits in
11 a bank account for several years that only
12 the bank and a tax collector know about, I
13 would venture to say that the specter had
14 years ago enveloped the tax office.
15 Now, many individuals in this
16 debacle seem to be interconnected through
17 campaign contributions, appointments,
18 contracts, cronyism, etcetera. I'm
19 frustrated because it doesn't appear that
20 some of those in positions of power have the
21 fortitude, courage and desire to get to the
22 bottom of this. They seem to feel it's
23 enough to talk the money and run and at best
24 to take corrective measures to prevent
25 another such occurrence in the future.
1 Today we learn that the only person to
2 whom Mr. McDowell has spoken besides the
3 newspaper is Mr. Doherty. Thus, it appears
4 that we should be content to receive our tax
5 money and to heck with how and why $12
6 million sat in a bank for so long. Even the
7 commissioners are undecided. On March 23
8 Majority Lackawanna County Commissioners
9 Washo and O'Brien would support the state
10 stepping in if that means bringing in the
11 state attorney general that's fine, Mrs.
12 Shedlock said, on Thursday, March 20.
13 Today, Commissioner O'Brien wants to
14 see where the audit takes us. "We have to
15 be very careful not to prejudge an outcome,"
16 he states.
17 And Mr. McGovern says, "I don't
18 think it's productive to go back and open
19 that box."
20 Well, ladies and gentlemen, I guess
21 this is a mystery better solved by Sherlock
22 Holmes and Dr. Watson than the D.A. or the
23 Attorney General. Better yet, no answer
24 necessary. Not ever. I hope this is not
25 where this situation is heading.
1 Next, I wish to address the current
2 status of Channel 61 and 62. Scranton Today
3 has continued to operate these pet channels
4 for the first quarter of 2008, they're
5 struggling due to the lack of funding as
6 they continue to keep their commitment to
7 the viewers to provide coverage of local
8 government meetings until, of course, by
9 ECTV. In order to guarantee that government
10 meetings remain televised and to provide a
11 seamless transition from Scranton Today to
12 ECTV, I move that Scranton City Council
13 provide $20,000 from the contingency fund in
14 the 2008 operating budget to Scranton Today.
15 MR. COURTRIGHT: I'll second that,
16 but on the question -- I second it. Are we
17 able, you know, if we all vote in favor are
18 we able to take that money or do we have to
19 get the okay from the mayor?
20 MS. EVANS: I think we need his okay
21 as well, but this is quite similar if not
22 precisely what action we had taken in
23 December in order to provide Scranton Today
24 with $13,000 to finish out the year without
25 the television screen going black.
1 MR. COURTRIGHT: I would hope he
2 would agree to it being that we're willing
3 to commit so much money to the new company
4 that's taking over, I think that's fair that
5 we allow them to continue so that they don't
6 go black and I'm totally in favor of that.
7 MS. EVANS: And I am concerned that
8 this could take more time than was
9 originally anticipated in that I believe
10 that ECTV must appear before the zoning
11 board for approval to make changes,
12 renovations to the building they propose to
13 use and then, of course, those renovations
14 will have to occur I think before the
15 station is going to be fully up and running
16 and so in the meantime to insure that all
17 government meetings, not just Scranton City
18 Council, the Lackawanna County
19 Commissioners' meetings, the Scranton School
20 Board meetings, the Planning Commission, the
21 Zoning Board, even the meeting that was
22 shown recently between the Scranton School
23 Board and Mr. McGovern, these are all vital
24 pieces of information for the taxpayers of
25 the City of Scranton and I simply wish to
1 ensure that this great privilege and right
2 that the viewers have enjoyed for these many
3 years continues, as I said, seemlessly until
4 such time as ECTV is up and ready to
6 MR. COURTRIGHT: I'm afraid they will
7 have some glitches when they first take
8 over, so if Channel 61 or Scranton Today is
9 still in operation and they do have glitches
10 there won't be a lapse and I think we saw
11 that with the tax office. They started with
12 the accounting system right with the
13 computers and they abolished the old system.
14 MS. EVANS: Originally I thought it
15 was supposed to be approximately 30 days
16 after the agreement was made, but it's now I
17 think perhaps beyond the 30 days and, as I
18 said, we're running into a zoning hearing
19 now and then I would expect that the
20 renovations that are planned in order to
21 properly operate their new channel will have
22 to occur.
23 MS. FANUCCI: All I want to know is
24 that they do not have plans, if they have
25 something were they planning on stepping in
1 at a certain date even if that was not done?
2 I mean, I would want to know what the plans
3 are through them. I have no problem with
4 doing this, but I want to find out if they
5 have plans to take over at a certain date
6 first, that's all, because I don't want to
7 overlap or step on the toes, they're the
8 ones who got the contract , I don't want to
9 -- I mean, if it's supposed to be 30 days
10 why isn't it 30 days and when can we expect
11 them to start? So that's the only question
12 I have.
13 MS. EVANS: Maybe we could get that
15 MS. FANUCCI: Yeah, I would like to
16 find that out.
17 MR. MCGOFF: Are we asking if we can
18 get an answer to that question before we
19 vote on any motion?
20 MS. FANUCCI: I would like it.
21 MS. GATELLI: I would say, yes.
22 MS. FANUCCI: I don't want to
23 overlap or do anything with the contract.
24 MR. MCGOFF: Well, a motion has been
25 made and seconded.
1 MS. EVANS: I can fan --
2 MS. FANUCCI: Don't vote it down.
3 MS. EVANS: I can withdraw the
4 motion for this evening --
5 MS. FANUCCI: Until next week.
7 MS. EVANS: And represent it next
9 MR. MCGOFF: Are you --
10 MS. EVANS: I have withdrawn the
12 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you. I want to
13 make it clear.
14 MS. EVANS: I also received a
15 response to a citizen's request from police
16 Chief Dave Elliott: "I received your letter
17 regarding parking of illegal cars along with
18 expired registration and inspections in the
19 East Mountain area and assigned it to our
20 highway unit to look into.
21 Upon investigation into this
22 complaint, I found that there were two
23 abandon vehicles parked on the street in the
24 East Mountain area. However, there were
25 many abandoned vehicles found on private
1 property. The Scranton Police Department
2 has tagged the vehicles abandoned that were
3 found illegal on the street and a request
4 will be made to the city inspector's office
5 to make attempts to have the abandoned
6 vehicles on private property moved."
7 Now, I have this week's request:
8 South Webster and East Locust Streets,
9 despite the presence of two stop signs at
10 this intersection neighbors report numerous
11 accidents. In fact, in March 2008 the
12 latest accident occurred and a victim was
13 transported to the hospital. Residents
14 request the installation of two additional
15 stop signs at this dangerous intersection.
16 There is approximate total of 42 cars
17 and trucks including a rollback truck which
18 belonged to Paul's Auto Body Shop parked on
19 the following streets : The 100 block of
20 South Cameron, the 2100 block of North
21 Cameron, and the 24 and 2500 blocks of
22 Jackson Street. Residents of the area are
23 outraged that this business is permitted to
24 monopolize about 42 parking spaces with
25 customer's vehicles. This situation has
1 persisted for several years despite numerous
2 contacts to Council members and LIPS.
3 Address this immediately, and I can attest
4 to this because prior to the meeting at
5 Keyser Valley Community Center conducted
6 last Thursday, I took a tour of the area and
7 personally witnessed all the vehicles parked
8 on the streets that I enumerated.
9 The 100 block of South Merrifield
10 Avenue, there are four illegal vehicles
11 without license plates parked on the street.
12 Please tag A.S.A.P. No doubt. Please fill
13 potholes in North Washington Avenue across
14 from St. Claire's convent and school. Also,
15 fill potholes only 7th Avenue parallel to
16 Scranton High School. There are craters on
17 both sides of this stretch of 7th Avenue.
18 Please provide a written response to
19 Council's letter of March 14, 2008,
20 regarding the purchase of an industrial pump
21 for the Parker Street area, and that's a
22 second request. A letter, and this if
23 Council would consider sending on behalf of
24 the body, please provide a copy of the
25 Burkheimer analysis of the city's delinquent
1 real estate data to City Council. Also,
2 provide a copy of the monthly reports of the
3 Single Tax Office to City Council each
4 month. Mrs. Vitali indicated that intends
5 to provide each taxing body with such
6 reports. Is that agreeable to Council?
7 Thank you.
8 Next, why did the cost of the
9 Lackawanna Avenue bridge project increase to
10 approximately $7 million?
11 And, finally, please fill a large
12 significantly deep pothole in the 200 block
13 of Franklin Avenue near the Forum Garage,
14 and that's it.
15 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you. Mrs.
17 MS. GATELLI: First, I'd like to
18 announce again the play at West Scranton
19 High School. We have one of our Junior
20 Council members that's in the play, Casie
21 Bales, and it will be April 18, 19 and 20,
22 Friday at 7 to 7 and Sunday at 2:00, Charlie
23 and the Chocolate Factory.
24 We received a letter from Gary
25 Peliccaci, the acting executive director of
1 the Housing Authority because people had
2 questions about Washington West Apartments.
3 They are advertising for interior and
4 exterior renovations. They are scheduled to
5 begin within three months and will take
6 approximately 300 days to complete. It is
7 the SHA's intent to continue to provide
8 housing at the site.
9 The next thing I want to do is
10 something that Bill does sometimes, he talks
11 about an employee and commends them and I'd
12 like to commend Jeff Gilroy, for those of
13 you that saw it in the paper last Sunday, he
14 was the one that found William Nash who was
15 threatening the police and the chief and all
16 of the police department, and had an arsenal
17 of artillery in his house and I would just
18 like to commend Jeff, he used to be our
19 resource officer.
20 I'd like to say that there are
21 several bars in South Side we're having a
22 problem with and I would just like to not
23 mention their names at the present time, but
24 let the neighbors know that the District
25 Attorney, the police and the Liquor Control
1 Enforcement Office are all working on these
2 bars, nuisance bars, they haven't gone away.
3 We closed the one in and we have three more,
4 so we are alert to what is going on there, a
5 warning to the bars to watch what you're
6 doing because the neighbors are watching you
7 and they're not going put up with it. We
8 got rid of one and we will get rid of a lot
9 more, so just so the neighbors know that
10 everybody is on board with their
12 I was going to talk about Keyser
13 Terrace, but we already talked about that.
14 I did go up there and see some of the
15 complaints that the neighbors had.
16 As far as Paul's Auto that Mrs.
17 Evans talked about, I did complain about
18 that several times. Michael Wallace got rid
19 of them on several occasions and I myself
20 called Paul myself at his place of business
21 and told him to remove the vehicles,
22 apparently he doesn't stick to his word and
23 I'm glad that she's sending a letter. It
24 has been a problem for many, many years.
25 MS. EVANS: Yes, even Mrs. Gatelli--
1 sorry to interrupt, but even before you took
2 your seat on Council residents of Keyser
3 Valley had forwarded that to me, I toured it
4 at that time and was amazed, and all of the
5 information was forwarded and very little
6 was done.
7 MS. GATELLI: He stopped for a
9 MS. EVANS: Right, and then it pick
10 us up more vehemently than even before it
11 had been.
12 MS. GATELLI: It's a shame because
13 it's a residential neighborhood and we had
14 one on Burke Street, I think we made a
15 motion at some point about the car places
16 that are in neighborhoods to keep their cars
17 off the streets because I know there was the
18 one on Burke Street, too, that I was
19 concerned about. I think if we look back
20 there is a motion somewhere to the zoning
21 officer to, you know, look into these
22 allegations, not allegations it's the truth.
23 The cones that are in the street, I
24 have three applications, apparently the city
25 has to sign them and when I talked to the
1 woman at PennDOT she said it was okay if I
2 sign them so I just wanted my colleagues to
3 know that I will be signing the agreements
4 to get those cones. So far St. Joe's Church
5 in Minooka, West Scranton High School and
6 Robert Morris School had requested them so I
7 will be filling the applications out for
8 those crosswalks.
9 The Sewer Authority, Mrs. Evans
10 talked about that, my understanding was that
11 the lease agreement was us up, maybe Mr.
12 Minora if you could contact the solicitor at
13 the Sewer Authority and make sure that that
14 lease agreement is up and that was the
15 reason why because it just keeps coming up
17 I don't have a very good memory,
18 it's short, but if would you check that out
19 and we can maybe put that to rest.
20 Mr. McCloe talked about job
21 training, I know that we give money, OECD
22 money to EOTC, and they are a job training
23 center, that is one group I know, and also
24 the Chamber of Commerce has a program, and
25 they also have one that is especially for
1 medical degrees. When he talks about
2 nurse's aids becoming LPN's becoming RN's I
3 know that being an RN that there is a lot of
4 money for people that want to become
5 registered nurses, there is drastic shortage
6 in Pennsylvania and across the whole country
7 and any nursing school you should call they
8 will pay your loans, the hospitals and
9 facilities will pay your loans off if you
10 become a nurse and work in their facility,
11 so there is a lot money for the medical
13 I'd just like to comment about some
14 of the speakers that come and they continue
15 every week to talk about raising taxes and,
16 yes, I did vote to raise taxes, the taxes in
17 the city were raised I believe two times in
18 17 years and I find it peculiar that are
19 there are other taxing bodies that raise
20 them every year and I don't see any of the
21 people that come here at those meetings and
22 I just wonder to myself why do they come
23 here when we raised them once? Once. I
24 raised them once since I'm sitting here and
25 they don't go where other people are raising
1 them, I just haven't been able to figure
2 that out.
3 Also, sometimes the speakers when
4 they come here they come with an
5 abrasiveness to their voice and I do
6 apologize for my behavior last week, but
7 when you talk about my family it really
8 bothers me and I think any one of you if you
9 were sitting up here if someone talked about
10 your family you would feel the same way and
11 especially when the allegations are false.
12 People are watching this program and they
13 don't realize that a lot of statements that
14 people make at that podium are false. So
15 sometimes we have to say that, yes, that's
16 not true what you're saying, many of them
17 come here and say they're property owners,
18 they don't own homes. I look them up in the
19 Assessor's Office, they don't own the home,
20 but they'll stand there and say they're a
21 homeowner. They'll stand there and say
22 they're a taxpayer, but they don't work so
23 they're not paying any taxes and they don't
24 own any property. So a lot of times the
25 speakers are not telling the truth. So I
1 would just like the public to know that.
2 Sometimes the statements that are made here
3 are false.
4 And, also, City Council is open to
5 anyone to run and, you know, I would
6 encourage anyone who thinks that they can do
7 a good job to run for office, run and have a
8 say in what your government is doing. I
9 worked in the neighborhoods for 27 years as
10 a volunteer. I knew what was going on in
11 South Side, I knew the pulse beat of my
12 neighborhood and I thought I could make a
13 difference when I came here and I think
14 there is a difference in my neighborhood and
15 the next neighborhood we're going attack is
16 West Scranton. We're going to do, you know,
17 a renaissance project over there next, the
18 mayor is starting with demolition of certain
19 structures that we have been working on, so,
20 you know, it is a neighborhood thing. I am
21 committed to the neighborhoods, I am living
22 here my whole life, not all people have
23 lived in Scranton their whole life. So, I'm
24 trying my best. I don't always make the
25 right decision, I don't claim to know it
1 all, but I'm trying to do what I think is
3 And as far as the police and
4 firemen, I fought for the police and firemen
5 before anything else. I fought for my
6 firehouse on Pittston Avenue and Gibbons
7 Street. I have a petition home with 10,000
8 names on it that Mayor Connors and I, he
9 wasn't the mayor at the time, but we went
10 around and got 10,000 names with the
11 neighbors on it in that petition. So, yes,
12 I have supported the firemen and I resent
13 that they say that sometimes that I don't
14 support the firemen, of course, I support
15 the firemen and they're union brothers. I'm
16 a union member, so besides knowing them all
17 my life and fighting for my firehouse and
18 other neighborhood's firehouses I'm also a
19 union member. So I know what they're
20 talking about and I respect their wishes and
21 their needs. So, I resent those comments
22 sometimes when they're said from the podium.
23 I dedicated my whole life to the
24 City of Scranton and I will continue to do
25 so and I'll continue to vote the way I feel
1 for my neighborhood and my city. Thank you.
2 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mrs.
3 Gatelli. Mrs. Fanucci.
4 MS. FANUCCI: I wanted to address
5 comments by Mr. McCloe which Judy already
6 talked about Johnson College and the
7 partnership with the Chamber and the program
8 that they have. A lot of times people come
9 to the podium and they have great ideas, but
10 a lot of times they are already going on in
11 the city. The good thing is about bringing
12 these forward this program they have trouble
13 filling it, they have trouble people coming
14 in and taking advantage of this program so
15 maybe this will bring it into light and they
16 will have more people attending this program
17 so that is a good thing that can come out of
19 I did speak to the gentleman whose
20 house was condemned outside and I did put a
21 call into Mr. Seitzinger who is willing to
22 help him as early as he can, tomorrow
23 morning and got on the phone with him and
24 actually felt the same way we did which was,
25 you know, awful. These are the problems of
1 the city, these are what we need to take
2 care of and these are the people we need to
3 take care of. That situation obviously hit
4 every one of us hard. I mean, to be without
5 utilities in the middle of winter and this
6 is something we can all do and then some of
7 us have related, you know, too often to it,
8 so I'm glad and I want to thank Mr.
9 Seitzinger for helping and making sure that
10 that problem is taken care of and addressed
12 I want to talk about also the tax
13 rates. Yeah, it seems to be an issue that
14 comes up week after week after week. Yes, I
15 raised the taxes. I raised the taxes
16 because everything else in our lives are
17 going up, our property, our value,
18 everything else that we have around us, our
19 food, to keep the lights on in the building,
20 it's not any different than at your houses.
21 Health care is ridiculously high as you know
22 as you pay it at home. These are
23 situations, these are tough decisions we
24 have to make. Certainly if I knew there was
25 16 million dollars or 12 million dollars
1 somewhere that could have helped us out it
2 will might have made a major impact on
3 decision. Unfortunately, I didn't have a
4 crystal ball to know that. Whether or not
5 we even know what we are going to get that
6 money for if that money is ours to begin
7 with. I do know that half of that money
8 still would not cover what our health care
9 costs have gone up so that is a problem.
10 Unfortunately we still have to pay
11 bills in this city just like do at home and
12 it is not easy. I certainly don't want to
13 see more people to the podium who can't
14 afford their electricity and their heat
15 because that is the major problem right now
16 everyone is facing.
17 We had Mr. Jackowitz about showing
18 us the economy, well, let's see the programs
19 that have been cut from, you know, the
20 United States down the programs are not
21 available any more and what these -- our
22 cities other cities are working with which
23 is not quite what it used to be. We are
24 doing the best we can with what we have,
25 unfortunately, at this time as everyone else
1 is at home we are making decisions to make
2 it okay for today and hopefully for tomorrow
3 and take the best care of the people we
4 have. I don't regret raising the tax
5 because I would regret, you know, being
6 deficient on loans and I would regret having
7 to fire employees, and I would regret
8 decisions that make other people's lives
9 more difficult.
10 I'm happy that we can do what we can
11 and hopefully --I'd also like to talk about
12 today that we are raising 11 million dollars
13 again, which I was astounded to find out, I
14 didn't know I was raising the taxes again,
15 but these are things that, you know, you
16 find out here so I guess that's a good
18 I also want to address the rubber
19 stamper. You know, it's funny to me about
20 being the rubber stamper and you know you
21 can only vote yes or no so, you know, yeah,
22 when you're together you're yes, but then
23 when you're no, you're no. So, I mean, it's
24 so funny to me. You know, years ago there
25 was a whole different majority and it was,
1 yes, for them, that's what happens. I am
2 here because I believe in where we are going
3 and I believe in where we are. I am very
4 aggressive in how I believe about the city.
5 I love where I live. I don't get up here
6 every week and say how much I hate it and
7 talk about the doom and I'm not a naysayer.
8 Am I realistic? Absolutely. Do we need
9 more jobs? Yes. Today, you know, this is
10 legislation that's on today he's going to
11 bring 60 employees, well, they started off
12 with 18 so to end up with 60 to give them a
13 loan which is not really a gift, it's still
14 a loan just like you go to the bank, to
15 create more employees is a really good
16 thing. Economic development is not bad. Do
17 we want bigger jobs? We actually just got a
18 company, to answer Mr. Jackowitz, we got a
19 company recently who are bringing jobs that
20 are up in the $80,000 pay. When people come
21 into this company they started with people
22 from their own area, they bring them in.
23 That doesn't mean that they're not hiring
24 people from our area, they're not
25 transporting and saying I'm going to move to
1 Scranton and stay there, they're hiring our
2 people. This is what it's about. Is it
3 fool proof? I don't think so because you
4 don't know what businesses are coming in and
5 how they're going to succeed and that's the
6 consumers, the consumer's decision not the
7 city's decision, but for people to come up
8 and bash new companies and say that we're
9 not creating new jobs and saying they're not
10 seeing the development it is not how I feel.
11 It is not what I see and sometimes it's a
12 benefit for people not to see it, also,
13 because remember there has to be something
14 to come here with week after week after
15 week, so actually the point is proven that
16 they might actually just maybe see something
17 a different way it doesn't matter because
18 next week there's got to be a new issue, so
19 remember that, it is not all what is
20 portrayed here.
21 And, yes, I haven't been giggling in
22 a while if you notice because I really am
23 more appalled than giggling, but I believe
24 in what we are doing and I am going to
25 continue what we are doing and I will rubber
1 stamp if I feel it is good and I will say,
2 no, if I feel it's bad and I think that's
3 why you put me here in the first place and
4 that's all.
5 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mrs.
6 Fanucci. Mr. Courtright.
7 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes, I had quite a
8 few neighbors from the Clearview Street area
9 that were concerned about a house that they
10 said was in deplorable condition there. I
11 spoke to Mark Seitzinger, he believes it's
12 one of the house that are on the list to be
13 torn down this summer, and if not he said he
14 would get it on the list so you will have
15 some relief hopefully in the near future on
16 Clearview Street.
17 Mr. Spindler brought up about Mr.
18 Donahue, I flagged him down, he was driving
19 down Main Avenue and I waived him over and I
20 wanted to make I had the story straight, I
21 believe the reason he did not want to, I
22 call it the railroad station down there,
23 near the bridge, he didn't want to do it is
24 because that's going to be a major project
25 replace that bridge, and I don't think he
1 felt it would have been conducive to
2 business to, as I said, there was some large
3 chains that were interested in bringing the
4 restaurant into there, more than one. I
5 don't think he is going to have any trouble
6 renting it out, but I don't believe they
7 felt that if the construction of this bridge
8 was going on while the restaurant was open
9 it just wouldn't be conducive to the
10 business. He wants to start his
11 construction so that he building is finished
12 approximately the same time the bridge is
13 done, so I think that's his plan there.
14 And there's some rumors about what
15 was going to happen or not going happen with
16 the Southern Union Building and I asked him
17 about that and he said that is full speed
18 ahead, there's been no glitches. He is
19 buying it and it's going to be rented out,
20 and I'll say this again, I'm glad it's
21 somebody local that bought the building.
22 One other thing, Kay, I'm going to need some
23 help with I guess we would ask, I don't know
24 who really we're going to ask, I guess we'd
25 ask Jeff Brazil. There has been concerns,
1 many schools, but one in particular and I
2 just started wit this school, the Whittier
3 School about the traffic up there, so I've
4 dealt with at least 3 to 4 police officers,
5 I went there with them and we looked at the
6 best way of doing it. First, we looked at
7 making Hampton Street one-way heading west
8 and making Eynon Street one-way heading east
9 and there is people from Hampton Street that
10 had concerns, they came to me personally
11 with their concerns. Then there was
12 concerns about if you made Eynon Street
13 one-way heading east that the trucks that go
14 into Gerrity's, which are tractor-trailers
15 to unload, would have to go through the
16 neighborhood, around turns, they wouldn't be
17 not able to make the turns because of the
18 cars, there was just a whole lot of
19 problems, so between Glenn Thomas, Jeff
20 Mackey and Tommy Lee what they came up with,
21 and I think it's a good idea, is to leave
22 Hampton Street alone, we would make Eynon
23 Street one-way, which is one-way until you
24 get to Main Avenue heading west, it would
25 continue to be one-way heading west and
1 hopefully it would make it a little safer in
2 that area.
3 Now, Kay did some research for me
4 and we looked up the fact that every time we
5 turn a street one-way, you know, it has to
6 come before Council then it has to go to the
7 police department, but we need an engineer
8 to do the study. We can't just do it, so I
9 don't know who would be -- if Mr. Brazil
10 would know who we would contact, somebody
11 has to do it, because if we're putting up
12 stop signs, according to what Mr. Parker had
13 told me in the past that he said we couldn't
14 even put up a stop sign without a study
15 being done, so I've seen stop signs go up so
16 somebody must be doing the study so if he
17 can tell me who he we need to contact and at
18 that time I'll make a motion that we do that
19 recommendation with the one-way street.
20 MS. EVANS: Mr. Courtright, just to
21 interrupt you for a minute because I think
22 it also ties into a speaker's question
23 tonight concerning the city engineer, as I
24 was perusing some of the material this
25 evening I saw the memo stating that bids had
1 been opened I believe in February, it might
2 have been February 21 perhaps for the
3 position of city engineer to be filled by a
4 firm, of course, rather than an individual,
5 and directing I believe Mr. Brazil to make a
6 decision on that. That's as far as I can
7 trace this, but again, based on our meeting
8 with Mr. King and the residents of the
9 Keyser Valley area, it doesn't appear that
10 we have a city engineer as of yet. I don't
11 know why not unless all those bids were
12 unacceptable as well and they're going to
13 rebid it for the third time?
14 MR. COURTRIGHT: I'm just guessing
15 that somebody must be making the decisions
16 now, I'm seeing stop signs and I'm seeing
17 things getting done and Mr. Parker he tried
18 to educate me many times on stop signs when
19 he first said to me stop sign isn't to stop
20 traffic, it's to continue the flow of
21 traffic. When I try to explain that to
22 people they just look at me, what do you
23 mean stop traffic? When they put a stop
24 sign it's to continue the flow of traffic on
25 the other street and finally got that set in
1 my mind, but I know he always told me you
2 cannot put a stop sign up without doing a
3 study, so I've seen stop signs going up in
4 the city since Mr. Parker has been gone, so
5 somebody must be doing these studies and I
6 guess we'll start with Mr. Brazil and ask
7 him to do these studies and if he doesn't
8 know then maybe Mr. Hayes might know.
9 MS. EVANS: Or Mr. Luciani. Oh, he's
10 gone, too? When did he leave?
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: But any --
12 MR. MCGOFF: I will inquire tomorrow
13 as to the status of the city engineer and
14 what is happening with the bids.
15 MR. COURTRIGHT: But I would just
16 like when we find out who it is I'd like to
17 get somebody to take a look at this quickly
18 so we could get this done before school is
19 out, and if that's successful then I know
20 there is other schools that people want to
21 have done because, you know, nowadays, not
22 everybody, but many people are driving their
23 children to school and school busses and
24 there is just so much congestion there and
25 we have had accidents with children and just
1 trying to avoid anybody getting hurt, so as
2 soon as we can get that study done I would
3 like to see that done, and that's all I
4 have. Thank you.
5 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr.
6 Courtright. In response to a couple of
7 things, first of all, I hope that people
8 will support the basketball game scheduled
9 for Friday night and a worthy adventure and
10 Doug Miller has worked very hard to put this
11 together and it may be interesting to see
12 the police and firemen play against one
13 another if for no other reason than the
14 entertainment value of it.
15 Mr. Ancherani, are you playing?
16 MR. ANCHERANI: I wish I could.
17 MR. MCGOFF: But please try and
18 support the game that evening. In response
19 to questions about First Amendment rights,
20 the Rules of Council do apply, they do not
21 supercede anything, they simply are the
22 rules of Council and by law are the way in
23 which Council will operate. It has been
24 supported through court cases and other
25 things. What we do is not any violation of
1 any First Amendment rights or any of the
2 rules of Council that we have do not violate
3 any First Amendment rights and to think that
4 when people make comments about you or to
5 you as a member of Council, especially if
6 they are somewhat improper or assuming
7 something that you did or said I think it is
8 incumbent upon the people on Council to
9 respond. It's not a violation of the rules,
10 if the speaker is going to make a comment to
11 or about the member of Council they should
12 expect that there will be some type of
13 response. That response may be verbal, the
14 response may be physical, and to Mr.
15 Jackowitz, yes, I do believe I have a right
16 to if you say something about me or to me
17 that I may, in fact, make a face. I may, in
18 fact, respond in some way. I don't think
19 that that's an unacceptable or rude
20 behavior, just the same as you would respond
21 if I said something about you and I do
22 listen to what you say, I've been listening
23 to you for many years going back to our high
24 school days and I don't believe that at any
25 time during those many years I have had any
1 difficulty in understanding what you say.
2 There were requests and I'm going to
3 ask Mrs. Garvey to --I believe I already
4 have asked Mrs. Garvey to send letters to
5 the mayor requesting that will Mark Dougher
6 from Parks and Recreation come before
7 Council to speak about the recreation
8 program. The proper procedure is to send a
9 letter through the mayor and once the
10 mayor's approval is given then to request
11 his, Mr. Dougher's presence before Council,
12 and the same will be done for the people at
13 OECD either Ms. Aebli or representatives of
14 OECD a letter will be sent to the mayor
15 requesting their appearance at caucus for
16 Council to listen to them.
17 A couple of things that came up and
18 I just wanted to make mention of, somebody
19 was talking about energy crises or energy
20 costs and so on, I just want to make mention
21 that I received something in the mail from
22 the Lifelong Learning Institute at Marywood
23 that there's a presentation on April 7 being
24 given by someone on consumer use of solar
25 power. It does cost to attend, I forget, I
1 think it was a $35 cost so I don't know if
2 people would want to go, but it is there and
3 it's April 7 at Marywood, I think it's the
4 Sport's Center from one to three o'clock, a
5 presentation on consumer use of solar power
6 and how it may be used.
7 Also, someone brought up EOTC, I
8 believe they are having an opening of their
9 new facility on 9th Avenue if I'm not
10 mistaken, and Mrs. Gatelli tells me that
11 that is scheduled for Friday morning at
12 8:00. The EOTC does a great job in a number
13 of ways and we have supported them with
14 funds and I hope that we will continue to do
15 so. They did a great job in training in new
16 number of ways.
17 I did meet with the district
18 attorney, representatives from the county,
19 representatives from the school district,
20 representatives from the Single Tax Office
21 the other day and the result of the meeting
22 was that all of the bodies were in agreement
23 that they wanted to pursue the course that
24 was being taken and that was that the Single
25 Tax Office who discovered the monies that
1 were there would continue to proceed with an
2 audit, that audit -- the persons conducting
3 the audit would be put out to bid, that no
4 auditors, no accounting firms that had any
5 relationship to the city, the county or the
6 school district in any way, either financial
7 or personal would be considered. It was the
8 general consensus that with those parameters
9 that it would probably be an outside,
10 someone outside the region to conduct the
11 audit, and the district attorney said that
12 he was willing to allow that to take place
13 and be kept informed of what was going on
14 with the audit and that once that audit was
15 completed and hopefully a determination of
16 how this money came to be in these accounts,
17 unnoticed in the accounts, at that time
18 would determine whether if any further
19 action was necessary.
20 I will say that I was chastised by a
21 number of people that we were presumptuous
22 in asking for an investigation prior to the
23 audit being conducted, but they did say that
24 the audit would be continued and we left the
25 meeting with that agreement that he would
1 pursue an acting firm to conduct an
2 independent forensic audit, and I believe
3 that is all. Thank you.
4 MS. GATELLI: Mr. McGoff, I know my
5 turn went by but can I say one more thing
6 that I forgot?
7 MR. MCGOFF: I forgot something as
9 MS. GATELLI: Mine is my co-worker's
10 mom is very sick in intensive care and I
11 wanted everyone to pray for her, her name is
12 Kay Martinelli, Arnold Martinelli's wife, so
13 if you can please pray for her recovery.
14 Thank you. And, also, you know I hate
15 saying names of certain people because
16 there's a lot of people sick and there's a
17 lot of people that have died in our
18 community, and when I used to watch Council
19 when I wasn't up here I used to say, now,
20 why are they saying that about that person,
21 there's a lot of people sick and here I'm
22 doing the same thing, so besides that
23 particular one we should pray for all of
24 sick people in our community and all of the
25 people that have died. Thank you. Thanks,
1 Mr. McGoff.
2 MR. MCGOFF: And I'm sorry I did
3 forget an answer to Mr. Morgan concerning
4 the public access television, I have a copy
5 of the original contract and it does
6 indicate that additional public access
7 channels would be added, but there is a
8 caveat and it says subject to significant
9 use of any previously designated picked
10 channels by peg entities within the city,
11 and then it further defines significant use
12 as a minimum average of eight hours per day
13 or an average of 70 hours per week,
14 whichever is less. At the present time, and
15 I was in contact with people from Comcast
16 and their response was that at the present
17 time that those hours are at some times met,
18 and that a second channel was added even
19 though it was questionable as to whether it
20 significant use as they define it was
21 applicable to original channel and so the
22 number of public access channels that are in
23 operation, 61 and 62, are the requisite
24 number according to the contract that is in
25 effect, so no additional channels are I
1 won't say required, but are necessitated by
2 the use of the prior two. I don't know that
3 that answers Mr. Morgan's question, if he
4 has any other -- if I need clarify that for
5 him I will, and that is all I have. Thank
7 MS. GARVEY: Fifth order. 5-B. FOR
8 INTRODUCTION - A RESOLUTION - AUTHORIZING
9 THE MAYOR AND OTHER APPROPRIATE CITY
10 OFFICIALS FOR THE CITY OF SCRANTON TO ENTER
11 INTO A LOAN AGREEMENT AND MAKE A LOAN FROM
12 THE COMMERCIAL INDUSTRIAL REVOLVING LOAN
13 PROGRAM, PROJECT NO. 07-150.15 IN AN AMOUNT
14 NOT TO EXCEED $250,000.00 TO MTM REAL ESTATE
15 COMPANY, LLC TO ASSIST AN ELIGIBLE PROJECT.
16 MR. MCGOFF: At this time I'll
17 entertain a motion that Item 5-B be
18 introduced into it's proper committee.
19 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
20 MR. MCGOFF: On the question?
21 MS. FANUCCI: On the question, next
22 week I will give a full presentation on this
23 legislation so everyone is aware of exactly
24 what it is.
25 MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else? All those
1 in favor of introduction signify by saying
3 MS. EVANS: Aye.
4 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
5 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
6 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
7 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed? The
8 ayes have it and so moved.
9 MS. GARVEY: SIXTH ORDER. NO
10 BUSINESS AT THIS TIME. SEVENTH ORDER. NO
11 BUSINESS AT THIS TIME.
12 MR. MCGOFF: I'd ask for a motion to
14 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
15 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you very much for
16 your participation.
2 C E R T I F I C A T E
4 I hereby certify that the proceedings and
5 evidence are contained fully and accurately in the
6 notes of testimony taken by me at the hearing of the
7 above-captioned matter and that the foregoing is a true
8 and correct transcript of the same to the best of my
CATHENE S. NARDOZZI
13 OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER