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            1              SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING

 

            2

 

            3

 

            4

 

            5                          HELD:

 

            6

 

            7                   Tuesday, April 1, 2008

 

            8

 

            9                        LOCATION:

 

           10                    Council Chambers

 

           11                 Scranton City Hall

 

           12              340 North Washington Avenue

 

           13                Scranton, Pennsylvania

 

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           23

                            CATHENE S. NARDOZZI- COURT REPORTER

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            1

 

            2   CITY OF SCRANTON COUNCIL:

 

            3

 

            4

                MR. ROBERT MCGOFF, PRESIDENT

            5

 

            6   MS. JUDY GATELLI, VICE-PRESIDENT

 

            7

                MS. JANET E. EVANS

            8

 

            9   MS. SHERRY FANUCCI

 

           10

                MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT

           11

 

           12   MS. KAY GARVEY, CITY CLERK

 

           13

                MR. NEIL COOLICAN, ASSISTANT CITY CLERK

           14

 

           15   MR. AMIL MINORA, SOLICITOR

 

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            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


 

 

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            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

 

           16              Order.

 

           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.


 

 

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            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.


 

 

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            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


 

 

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            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

 

           24              you.

 

           25                      MR. MCGOFF:  Thank you, Doug.  Jim


 

 

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            1              Williams.

 

            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


 

 

                                                                       9

 

 

            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


 

 

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            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


 

 

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            1              can call it the Ken McDowell 2006-2007 tax

 

            2              increase second to none in the City of

 

            3              Scranton.

 

            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

 

           22              found.

 

           23                      MR. MCGOFF:  Excuse me, Mr.

 

           24              Williams, you're --

 

           25                      MR. WILLIAMS: He's now in the county


 

 

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            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 --


 

 

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            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


 

 

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            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


 

 

                                                                      15

 

 

            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

 

           23              that.

 

           24                      MS. EVANS:  Yes.

 

           25                      MR. SPINDLER:  Thank you.  Another


 

 

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            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


 

 

                                                                      17

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      18

 

 

            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

 

           16              this?"

 

           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


 

 

                                                                      19

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      20

 

 

            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

 

            8              shame.

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      21

 

 

            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

 

           19              thought.

 

           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


 

 

                                                                      22

 

 

            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

 

           21              home.

 

           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?


 

 

                                                                      23

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      24

 

 

            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.

 

            9              Gatelli.

 

           10                      MR. MCGOFF: That's fine, but I'm

 

           11              telling you what she --

 

           12                      MS. FRANUS: She can't speak for

 

           13              herself?

 

           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


 

 

                                                                      25

 

 

            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

 

            5              right.

 

            6                      MS. FANUCCI: We have Rules of

 

            7              Council which you need to read, quite

 

            8              frankly.

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      26

 

 

            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

 

            8              accurate.

 

            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

 

           18              did.

 

           19                      MS. FRANUS:  No, you said he cannot

 

           20              mention your name.

 

           21                      MS. FANUCCI:  No, I did not say

 

           22              that.

 

           23                      MS. FRANUS: You said, "Don't bring

 

           24              my name into it," or whatever.

 

           25                      MS. FANUCCI:  No, that was not --


 

 

                                                                      27

 

 

            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

 

            4              problem.

 

            5                      MS. FRANUS:  Okay, but that was his

 

            6              opinion.

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      28

 

 

            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

 

            8              questions?

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      29

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      30

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      31

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      32

 

 

            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

 

           25              electrician."


 

 

                                                                      33

 

 

            1                      "You know, I'm not going to work

 

            2              here."

 

            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.


 

 

                                                                      34

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      35

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      36

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      37

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      38

 

 

            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?


 

 

                                                                      39

 

 

            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

 

            8              Council.

 

            9                      MR. BIERE: And we have some initial

 

           10              pictures as well.  Jack will speak to that.

 

           11                      MR. MCGOFF:  Thank you.  Jack

 

           12              Powell.

 

           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.


 

 

                                                                      40

 

 

            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,


 

 

                                                                      41

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      42

 

 

            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

 

           23              position?

 

           24                      MR. MCCLOE: Yeah, yeah, to retrain

 

           25              people to get --


 

 

                                                                      43

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      44

 

 

            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.


 

 

                                                                      45

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      46

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      47

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      48

 

 

            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

 

            6              man.

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      49

 

 

            1              --

 

            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

 

            8              fine.

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      50

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      51

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      52

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      53

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      54

 

 

            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

 

           18              polite.

 

           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.


 

 

                                                                      55

 

 

            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

 

           18              building.

 

           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


 

 

                                                                      56

 

 

            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

 

           22              all.

 

           23                      MR. MCGOFF:  Thank you.

 

           24                      MR. JACKOWITZ: I agree with you,

 

           25              Mrs. Fanucci, but you can wait until


 

 

                                                                      57

 

 

            1              afterwards to do it you don't need interrupt

 

            2              the speaker.  That's my opinion and only my

 

            3              opinion.

 

            4                      MR. MCGOFF:  Thank you, Mr.

 

            5              Jackowitz.

 

            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

 

           14              purposes."

 

           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


 

 

                                                                      58

 

 

            1              told me that and maybe another attorney,

 

            2              maybe you should explain it after th

 

            3              meeting.

 

            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

 

           21              audience.

 

           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?


 

 

                                                                      59

 

 

            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

 

           19              line.

 

           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.


 

 

                                                                      60

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      61

 

 

            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.

 

           11              Schumaker.

 

           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


 

 

                                                                      62

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      63

 

 

            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,


 

 

                                                                      64

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      65

 

 

            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.

 

            6              Ancherani.

 

            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

 

           20              there.

 

           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


 

 

                                                                      66

 

 

            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

 

            6              point.

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      67

 

 

            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

 

           14              evening.

 

           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


 

 

                                                                      68

 

 

            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

 

           14              anyway.

 

           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.


 

 

                                                                      69

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      70

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      71

 

 

            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"


 

 

                                                                      72

 

 

            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

 

           15              system.

 

           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


 

 

                                                                      73

 

 

            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

 

           24              satisfactorily.

 

           25                      Now, much continues to be discussed


 

 

                                                                      74

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      75

 

 

            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

 

           11              reports.

 

           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

 

           18              office.

 

           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

 

           23              city.

 

           24                      Seventh, I could say I am becoming

 

           25              frustrated with the manner in which this


 

 

                                                                      76

 

 

            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

 

            6              Council.

 

            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.


 

 

                                                                      77

 

 

            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.


 

 

                                                                      78

 

 

            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.


 

 

                                                                      79

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      80

 

 

            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

 

            5              operate.

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      81

 

 

            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

 

           14              answer.

 

           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.


 

 

                                                                      82

 

 

            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.

 

            6              Okay.

 

            7                      MS. EVANS: And represent it next

 

            8              week.

 

            9                      MR. MCGOFF:  Are you --

 

           10                      MS. EVANS: I have withdrawn the

 

           11              motion.

 

           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


 

 

                                                                      83

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      84

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      85

 

 

            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.

 

           16              Gatelli.

 

           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


 

 

                                                                      86

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      87

 

 

            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

 

           11              investigations.

 

           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--


 

 

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            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

 

            8              little.

 

            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


 

 

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            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

 

           16              here.

 

           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


 

 

                                                                      90

 

 

            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

 

           12              profession.

 

           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


 

 

                                                                      91

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      92

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      93

 

 

            1              all, but I'm trying to do what I think is

 

            2              right.

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      94

 

 

            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

 

           18              this.

 

           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


 

 

                                                                      95

 

 

            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

 

           11              properly.

 

           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


 

 

                                                                      96

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      97

 

 

            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

 

           17              thing.

 

           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,


 

 

                                                                      98

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      99

 

 

            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


 

 

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            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


 

 

                                                                     101

 

 

            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,


 

 

                                                                     102

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                     103

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                     104

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                     105

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                     106

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                     107

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                     108

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                     109

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                     110

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                     111

 

 

            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

 

            8              well.

 

            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,


 

 

                                                                     112

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                     113

 

 

            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

 

            6              you.

 

            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


 

 

                                                                     114

 

 

            1              in favor of introduction signify by saying

 

            2              aye.

 

            3                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.

 

            4                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.

 

            5                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.

 

            6                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.

 

            7                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?  The

 

            8              ayes have it and so moved.

 

            9                      MS. GARVEY: SIXTH ORDER.  NO

 

           10              BUSINESS AT THIS TIME.  SEVENTH ORDER.  NO

 

           11              BUSINESS AT THIS TIME.

 

           12                      MR. MCGOFF:  I'd ask for a motion to

 

           13              adjourn.

 

           14                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  So moved.

 

           15                      MR. MCGOFF:  Thank you very much for

 

           16              your participation.

 

           17

 

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                                                                     115

 

 

            1

 

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

 

            3

 

            4        I hereby certify that the proceedings and

 

            5   evidence are contained fully and accurately in the

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

            9   ability.

 

           10

 

           11

 

           12

                                    CATHENE S. NARDOZZI

           13                       OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER

 

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