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            1              SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING

 

            2

 

            3

 

            4

 

            5                          HELD:

 

            6

 

            7                   Tuesday, April 29, 2008

 

            8

 

            9                        LOCATION:

 

           10                    Council Chambers

 

           11                 Scranton City Hall

 

           12              340 North Washington Avenue

 

           13                Scranton, Pennsylvania

 

           14

 

           15

 

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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

                (Not Present)

            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

 

           16

 

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                                                                       3

 

 

            1   (Pledge of Allegiance recited and moment of reflection

 

            2   observed.)

 

            3                      MR. MCGOFF: Roll call, please.

 

            4                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.

 

            5                      MS. EVANS:  Yes.

 

            6                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Gatelli.

 

            7                      MS. GATELLI.  (Not present.)

 

            8                      MR. COOLICAN:  Ms. Fanucci.

 

            9                      MS. FANUCCI:  Yes.

 

           10                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.

 

           11                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yes.

 

           12                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.

 

           13                      MR. MCGOFF:  Yes.  For the record, I

 

           14              would like to note that Mrs. Gatelli

 

           15              informed council that for personal reasons

 

           16              she would be unable to attend tonight's

 

           17              meeting.  Dispense with the reading of the

 

           18              minutes.

 

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

 

           20              PETITION FOR PERMIT PARKING INT EH 300 BLOCK

 

           21              OF TAYLOR AVENUE.

 

           22                      MR. MCGOFF:  Are there any comments?

 

           23              If not, received and filed.

 

           24                      MS. GARVEY: 3-B. MINUTES OF THE

 

           25              COMPOSITE PENSION BOARD MEETING HELD ON


 

 

                                                                       4

 

 

            1              MARCH 26, 2008.

 

            2                      MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?

 

            3              If not, received and filed.

 

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

 

            5              NON-UNIFORM MUNICIPAL PENSION FUND MEETING

 

            6              HELD ON MARCH 26, 2008?

 

            7                      MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?

 

            8              If not, received and filed.

 

            9                      MS. GARVEY: 3-D. AGENDA FOR THE

 

           10              NON-UNIFORM MUNICIPAL PENSION BOARD MEETING

 

           11              HELD ON APRIL 23, 2008.

 

           12                      MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?

 

           13              If not, received and filed.

 

           14                      MS. GARVEY: 3-E. MINUTES OF THE

 

           15              SCRANTON-LACKAWANNA HEALTH & WELFARE

 

           16              AUTHORITY REGULAR BOARD MEETING HELD ON

 

           17              FEBRUARY 21, 2008?

 

           18                      MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?

 

           19              If not, received and filed.

 

           20                      MS. GARVEY: 3-F. MINUTES OF THE

 

           21              POLICE PENSION COMMISSION MEETING HELD ON

 

           22              MARCH 26, 2008.

 

           23                      MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?

 

           24              If not, received and filed.

 

           25                      MS. GARVEY: 3-G.  MINUTES OF THE


 

 

                                                                       5

 

 

            1              COMPOSITE PENSION BOARD MEETING HELD ON

 

            2              MARCH 26, 2008.

 

            3                      MR. MCGOFF:  Are there any comments?

 

            4              If not received and filed.

 

            5                      MS. GARVEY: That's it for Third

 

            6              Order.

 

            7                      MR. MCGOFF: Prior to Fourth Order

 

            8              are there any announcements?

 

            9                      MS. EVANS: Yes.  First, I would like

 

           10              to ask all of your prayers for a former

 

           11              student of mine who just came into see me

 

           12              this evening a few moments ago prior to the

 

           13              start of this meeting and he told me that he

 

           14              has been diagnosed with a brain tumor and

 

           15              it's a very, very serious situation and he

 

           16              has asked for my prayers which I'm certainly

 

           17              going to give him each day, but I would ask,

 

           18              too, that all of you in the goodness of your

 

           19              heart when you are praying if you could

 

           20              please remember Joe and ask God to show him

 

           21              his tender mercies and help him.

 

           22                      Also, I ask you to please remember

 

           23              in your prayers all of those who have died

 

           24              this last week and particularly two dear and

 

           25              wonderful people, Nancy Swinecki, and her


 

 

                                                                       6

 

 

            1              oldest daughter is an excellent teacher at

 

            2              Scranton High School, her middle daughter is

 

            3              an outstanding Scranton police woman and her

 

            4              son-in-law is a proud Scranton firefighter.

 

            5              Miss Nancy will be dearly missed.

 

            6                      Also, Mr. John Cronin, a fine

 

            7              Irishman, the genuine article direct from

 

            8              Tour County Cork, Ireland, will also be

 

            9              deeply missed and particularly by his wife

 

           10              and his darling children who have always

 

           11              been so very good to me.

 

           12                      Also, the student body of Scranton

 

           13              High School worked tirelessly yesterday and

 

           14              today to raise funds from funeral expenses

 

           15              for a former classmate who died over the

 

           16              weekend, Quan Shell.  Although, Quan had

 

           17              transferred to Valley View for his senior

 

           18              year his Scranton High football teammates

 

           19              and classmates did not forget him and are to

 

           20              be commended for their generosity and

 

           21              kindness in raising over $5,000 for his

 

           22              funeral.  The Scranton High School community

 

           23              sends it's love and prayers to his family.

 

           24                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  I, too, would like

 

           25              to send my condolences to the family of


 

 

                                                                       7

 

 

            1              Nancy Swinecki and Mr. Woodbridge passed

 

            2              away this week and his wife, Dee, they were

 

            3              very active in the downtown senior center,

 

            4              so my condolences to them, but I normally

 

            5              don't announce people that have passed away

 

            6              just because there is so many everybody

 

            7              deserves to be announced and I'm always

 

            8              fearful that I will miss somebody, but a guy

 

            9              passed away this last week that I grew up, I

 

           10              went to school with him from kindergarten

 

           11              all the way through high school and he was a

 

           12              close friend of mine and he died at a young

 

           13              age and his name was Ron Galdieri and I

 

           14              would just like to send my condolences to

 

           15              his family.  That's all I have.  Thank you.

 

           16                      MR. MCGOFF: I would like to make one

 

           17              announcement, it concerns the Real ID Act of

 

           18              2005.  There is going to be a meeting

 

           19              concerning this law, it's on Thursday, May

 

           20              28, well, let me just read it in, it would

 

           21              be easier:  On Thursday, May 8, 2008, the

 

           22              Intergovernmental Affairs Committee of the

 

           23              Pennsylvania House of Representatives will

 

           24              be holding a public hearing on the Real

 

           25              Identification Act of 2005.  The meeting


 

 

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            1              will at the University of Scranton

 

            2              Reddington Hall and it will start at 10 a.m.

 

            3              and end at 12 noon.  The purpose is to

 

            4              educate public officials in the community

 

            5              about the Real ID Act and it's impact on

 

            6              Pennsylvanians.

 

            7                      If you not familiar with the Act it

 

            8              is a federal law which requires all states

 

            9              to develop and implement uniform standards

 

           10              for the issuance of all driver's licenses

 

           11              and nondriver identification cards.  The

 

           12              implementation of the Act is scheduled to

 

           13              begin May 11, 2008, and completed no later

 

           14              than 2017.  I believe what the Act does is

 

           15              it eventually requires everyone to have some

 

           16              type of photo ID whether it be a driver's

 

           17              license or a nondrivers identification card

 

           18              and the concern is that many people may be

 

           19              confused about it and unable to obtain these

 

           20              identifications, especially the elderly, who

 

           21              may not realize that they need to do this

 

           22              under the law.

 

           23                      And so this meeting is held and

 

           24              again, it's May 8, Thursday, May 8, at 10:00

 

           25              University of Scranton Reddington Hall.


 

 

                                                                       9

 

 

            1                      Fourth Order, first speaker Fay

 

            2              Franus.

 

            3                      MS. FRANUS:  Fay Franus.  I wanted

 

            4              to start off by addressing something to

 

            5              Mr. Billy Courtright.  Billy, every week we

 

            6              come here and we listen to you and you are

 

            7              pretty smooth.  You have reasons and you

 

            8              have excuses and you have everything, but

 

            9              you don't have any motions to do anything

 

           10              about anything.  You talk a good talk, you

 

           11              walk a good walk, but you don't do anything.

 

           12                   You were told a couple of weeks ago

 

           13              about that investigation that you had a

 

           14              right to investigate on your own without any

 

           15              permission of the mayor or council.  Well, I

 

           16              noticed that you didn't say a word about it

 

           17              and every time you have said anything about

 

           18              it you made excuses and you are going to

 

           19              check into this and you going to check that

 

           20              and then the last meeting we had you went on

 

           21              about the people come to go the podium

 

           22              talking about PEL and how the people didn't

 

           23              want PEL and you were listening to this, but

 

           24              yet you didn't to anything about it.  I

 

           25              mean, it sounded pretty good, sounded like


 

 

                                                                      10

 

 

            1              you really cared.  To me it seems like you

 

            2              are just trying to make people believe that

 

            3              everything you say for the people, but yet

 

            4              you don't do one thing for the people.  If

 

            5              you really cared about the people you would

 

            6              check into the investigation, you would make

 

            7              a motion to dissolve PEL and because that's

 

            8              what people want much because they are

 

            9              getting paid lots of money and costing us

 

           10              money, they haven't put us in the hole.

 

           11                      So, you know, you sound really,

 

           12              really good up there, but you are not doing

 

           13              anything.  So I think you have to be held

 

           14              more accountable and I think the people

 

           15              should really pay attention to everything

 

           16              you say and pay attention when you speak and

 

           17              see what you do or see what you say and you

 

           18              actually never do anything about it and just

 

           19              talk.  Really smooth.

 

           20                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Would you like me

 

           21              to answer you, I have the answers.

 

           22                      MS. FANUCCI: I didn't ask you a

 

           23              question.

 

           24                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Well, I have the

 

           25              answers to PEL and to the investigation.


 

 

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            1                      MS. FRANUS: Well, I just hope that

 

            2              you go forward and investigate and I hope

 

            3              you make a motion to disband PEL.  I hope

 

            4              you do something about it instead of just

 

            5              talking, and if you do I will be very happy

 

            6              to hear that, but I still think you always

 

            7              talk and you don't get much done.  You voted

 

            8              for that 35 million, which is not too good.

 

            9                   Now, I'd like to know, since these

 

           10              meetings are held on Tuesday anymore, many

 

           11              meetings are cancelled because they come a

 

           12              holiday after a holiday or something and I

 

           13              know that Kay said that had to have it in

 

           14              the paper 24 hours ahead of time to put it,

 

           15              you know, to possibly have it probably a

 

           16              Friday because that's the soonest day if a

 

           17              meeting is cancelled on a Tuesday if it

 

           18              needs 24 hours, so I'm saying to you

 

           19              anymore, like Memorial Day is coming, Labor

 

           20              Day, any time that you know, like you knew

 

           21              last week that the meeting was -- there was

 

           22              going to be no meeting because of election

 

           23              day and you knew ahead of time, so I don't

 

           24              know why you didn't have this meeting last

 

           25              Wednesday, Thursday or Friday.  You could


 

 

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            1              have done it, so I want to ask each of you

 

            2              why you felt you could not be here

 

            3              Wednesday, Thursday or Friday last week

 

            4              because you knew ahead of time it could have

 

            5              be been scheduled.  Mrs. Fanucci, may I ask

 

            6              you why you felt it shouldn't have been last

 

            7              week Wednesday, Thursday or Friday since we

 

            8              are paying all of you $300 a night to be

 

            9              here.

 

           10                      MS. FANUCCI: You are not paying me

 

           11              $300 a night, Fay, you are paying me to be a

 

           12              city council woman.  You are not paying me

 

           13              to attend meetings, first of all, so let's

 

           14              get that straight.

 

           15                      MS. FRANUS:  No, no.

 

           16                      MS. FANUCCI:  You are paying me

 

           17              every day to be a city council woman, it has

 

           18              nothing to do with meetings.

 

           19                      MS. FRANUS: Okay.

 

           20                      MS. FANUCCI: The meetings are

 

           21              business meetings.

 

           22                      MS. FRANUS:  Okay.

 

           23                      MS. FANUCCI: But the reason why I

 

           24              was not here last week, it was never brought

 

           25              up, we didn't feel that there was a need for


 

 

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            1              a meeting.

 

            2                      MS. FRANUS: Why?

 

            3                      MS. FANUCCI:  It goes by what's on

 

            4              the agenda.

 

            5                      MS. FRANUS: Pardon me?

 

            6                      MS. FANUCCI: It goes by what's on

 

            7              the agenda and how much is on the agenda.

 

            8              That is the purpose of our meetings here and

 

            9              I know that that doesn't get through, our

 

           10              meetings are really business meetings, so it

 

           11              goes by the business that's presented in

 

           12              front of us.

 

           13                      MS. FRANUS: So, you didn't think

 

           14              there was enough business on the agenda to

 

           15              have a meeting?

 

           16                      MS. FANUCCI: No, there was no

 

           17              necessary business to make sure that we had

 

           18              a -- -

 

           19                      MS. FRANUS:  How about sometimes

 

           20              maybe a person has a situation that maybe

 

           21              they want to address?

 

           22                      MS. FANUCCI:  Most people have

 

           23              situations and they address me all day long.

 

           24              They address me by e-mail, they address me

 

           25              with phone calls, they don't wait for a week


 

 

                                                                      14

 

 

            1              to come to a meeting and some people do.

 

            2                      MS. FRANUS: Some people do.

 

            3                      MS. FANUCCI: Most people don't.

 

            4              Most people --

 

            5                      MS. FRANUS: That's fair enough.

 

            6                      MS. FANUCCI: There's the same amount

 

            7              of people here who do that, the rest of the

 

            8              city doesn't the way that they should.

 

            9                      MS. FRANUS: I appreciate your

 

           10              answer.  Billy?

 

           11                      MR. COURTRIGHT: We discussed it in

 

           12              the back room, all five of us, and

 

           13              Mrs. Fanucci said there wasn't a lot on the

 

           14              agenda, there was some members that had

 

           15              obligations I believe that day, so we all

 

           16              opted not to.

 

           17                      MS. FRANUS: Obligations Wednesday,

 

           18              Thursday and Friday.

 

           19                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  No, there was some

 

           20              people that had, and if they want to tell

 

           21              you who they were, they had obligations on

 

           22              Tuesday.

 

           23                      MS. FANUCCI: No, but Wednesday,

 

           24              Thursday and Friday.

 

           25                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Well, we


 

 

                                                                      15

 

 

            1              discussed -- let me tell you, when we

 

            2              discussed whether we were going to cancel

 

            3              the meeting or not we all sat in the back

 

            4              room and said there wasn't a real lot on the

 

            5              agenda so we cancelled the meeting.  As far

 

            6              as it being reschedule I don't believe we

 

            7              discussed that, did we?

 

            8                      MS. EVANS: No.

 

            9                      MS. FRANUS:  No, you could have it

 

           10              if you wanted and now Memorial Day is coming

 

           11              so I hope you plan to schedule it to

 

           12              Wednesday, Thursday or Friday and any other

 

           13              time you plan on scheduling it on a Tuesday

 

           14              and you know it's going to be cancelled.

 

           15              Mr. McGoff, do you feel the same way?

 

           16                      MR. MCGOFF:  Yes, there was no

 

           17              meeting needed.

 

           18                      MS. FRANUS:  Mrs. Evans?

 

           19                      MS. EVANS: I was agreeable to come

 

           20              in if there was the consensus of council and

 

           21              I was also agreeable if it were the

 

           22              consensus of council not to come in.  I

 

           23              would have come in if, you know, everyone

 

           24              were agreeable, and if not, then I would be

 

           25              agreeable.


 

 

                                                                      16

 

 

            1                      MS. FRANUS:  All right.  Thank you.

 

            2              One thing, Sherry, would you please give me

 

            3              a call at the house so I could talk to you

 

            4              about something if you would be so kind?

 

            5                      MS. FANUCCI: Call you?

 

            6                      MS. FRANUS: Call me at the house, I

 

            7              want to talk to you about some economic

 

            8              development.

 

            9                      MS. FANUCCI: Give Neil your number.

 

           10                      MR. MCGOFF: Next speaker, Doug

 

           11              Miller.

 

           12                      MR. MILLER: Good evening, Council,

 

           13              Doug Miller, president of the Scranton

 

           14              Junior City Council.  I would just like to

 

           15              begin by expressing my deepest sympathy to

 

           16              Quan Schell's family and friends.  Today at

 

           17              West Scranton High School as a school we

 

           18              were able to raise $1,000 and on behalf of

 

           19              West Scranton High School student body I

 

           20              would like to offer my deepest sympathy to

 

           21              his family and friends.

 

           22                      I would like to address the recent

 

           23              Pennsylvania primary on behalf of Junior

 

           24              Council.  Over the last few months

 

           25              Pennsylvania and Scranton received national


 

 

                                                                      17

 

 

            1              attention due to the visits from both

 

            2              democratic presidential candidates.  Visits

 

            3              to Scranton gave citizens the opportunity to

 

            4              get an up close view on each candidate.  Ian

 

            5              Miller and I had the opportunity to attend

 

            6              the rallies and meet both candidates.  It

 

            7              was truly a great experience for both of us.

 

            8                   This election has also attracted many

 

            9              adults who will certainly have an input in

 

           10              deciding who our next president will be.

 

           11              Many young adults including myself have

 

           12              voted for the first time last Tuesday.  It

 

           13              was a moment I will always remember and I'm

 

           14              sure many other young voters will feel the

 

           15              same.  The election is sure to become more

 

           16              intense and candidates will continue to

 

           17              reach out to young voters for support.  The

 

           18              candidates understand that young voters may

 

           19              decide the outcome of this race.

 

           20                      For two years Junior Council has

 

           21              encouraged young adults to become more

 

           22              involved in our government.  We ask that

 

           23              more young voters become more involved in

 

           24              these campaigns and help make a difference.

 

           25              You can support whichever candidate you


 

 

                                                                      18

 

 

            1              would like, we would just like to see you

 

            2              involved.

 

            3                      Junior Council has been very

 

            4              successful over the last two years, however,

 

            5              we want students could be informed and

 

            6              involved and that is why I ask all young

 

            7              adults to join us and help us continue our

 

            8              success which will in turn lead to a

 

            9              brighter future.

 

           10                      The Scranton Junior City Council is

 

           11              still accepting donations to benefit a

 

           12              police and firefighters' memorial.  We are

 

           13              all asking all businesses and residents of

 

           14              Scranton to join us in our efforts to honor

 

           15              or public service men and women.  Junior

 

           16              Council recently held a charity basketball

 

           17              game with our police and firefighters.  This

 

           18              event raised $2,340.  I believe if we all

 

           19              rally together we can raise much more.

 

           20              Those donations can be sent to 340 North

 

           21              Washington Avenue, Scranton, PA, 18503.

 

           22                      I would like to respond to the

 

           23              latest progress involving the new Orchard

 

           24              Street playground in South Scranton.  I was

 

           25              pleased to hear at that the playground is


 

 

                                                                      19

 

 

            1              going to be named in honor of the former

 

            2              Scranton Mayor Jim Connors.  This is

 

            3              certainly well deserved, personally I look

 

            4              up to Mayor Connors and I have learned much

 

            5              from him.  I am truly opening of is new

 

            6              park.  This project is one of many aimed at

 

            7              improving this neighborhood.

 

            8                      Finally, I would like to address the

 

            9              statewide smoking ban issue.  Recently this

 

           10              issue has awakened due to the fact that a

 

           11              bill that deal with a comprehensive smoking

 

           12              ban will soon be discussed by our state

 

           13              leaders.  Everyone knows that I have

 

           14              supported a ban from day one.  However, I

 

           15              must let the record reflect that I was not

 

           16              one of the West Scranton High School

 

           17              students that proposed this ban to council

 

           18              nor did Junior Council.  Some speakers

 

           19              continue to make these false statements.

 

           20              Just another example of some speakers not

 

           21              having their facts in order.

 

           22                      More importantly, however, I believe

 

           23              that the state needs to listen to the

 

           24              86 percent of Pennsylvanians and get the job

 

           25              done.  Locally, representative Frank Andrew


 

 

                                                                      20

 

 

            1              Shimkus has stepped up and is a key

 

            2              supporter of this ban.  He is showing he is

 

            3              a true leader and that he works for the

 

            4              people.  We need all of our representatives

 

            5              and senators to do the same.  The facts are

 

            6              in black and white.  Smoking is harmful and

 

            7              can kill you.  People come up here and

 

            8              object all they want, but you can't argue

 

            9              that facts.  As I have always said, the time

 

           10              to act is now.  Thank you.

 

           11                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Doug.  Le

 

           12              Spindler.

 

           13                      MR. SPINDLER: Good evening, Council,

 

           14              Les Spindler.  Mrs. Evans, I had a call from

 

           15              a friend of mine tonight and who said his

 

           16              son witnessed a DPW recycling truck backing

 

           17              over his personal garbage can and crushed it

 

           18              and he called DPW, couldn't get an answer.

 

           19              Are they responsible for that because he

 

           20              witnessed the truck backing over his garbage

 

           21              can and ruined it and by the time he got out

 

           22              there they were gone.

 

           23                      MS. EVANS: If you can give Neil

 

           24              maybe the name and telephone number of the

 

           25              individual who is the owner of the can I'll


 

 

                                                                      21

 

 

            1              be very happy to try to take care of it for

 

            2              them.

 

            3                      MR. SPINDLER: Okay, well, I don't

 

            4              have the phone number on me, it is in the

 

            5              phone book, so they are probably watching

 

            6              tonight, too, so --

 

            7                      MS. EVANS: Even if you give me the

 

            8              address and I'll look at it and I'll get in

 

            9              contact with DPW and we'll get this

 

           10              straightened out.

 

           11                      MR. SPINDLER: Okay, thank you.  Next

 

           12              thing, Mr. McGoff, you said at the last

 

           13              meeting that you were invited to the

 

           14              fundraiser when ex-president Clinton was at

 

           15              the Doherty mansion and you weren't going to

 

           16              turn down the chance to see the president.

 

           17              Well, everyone else there was invited and

 

           18              almost everyone else paid.  I mean, the

 

           19              thing for you to do would have asked when

 

           20              you have invited, are all of the council

 

           21              members invited and if not as president of

 

           22              council you should decline the invitation.

 

           23              That wouldn't have shown impropriety.

 

           24                      Next thing, when Mr. Williams came a

 

           25              few weeks ago with the information from the


 

 

                                                                      22

 

 

            1              tax office Mrs. Fanucci and Attorney Minora

 

            2              went wild like he had top secret

 

            3              information, but when Mrs. Stulgis came here

 

            4              a year or so ago with a container full of

 

            5              index cards with people's social security

 

            6              numbers nobody said a word.  It was Mrs.

 

            7              Gatelli's social security number was there,

 

            8              ex-councilman Pocius, that wasn't

 

            9              investigated, but Mr. Williams was

 

           10              investigated and was arrested.  Can you say

 

           11              cover up?  I don't think that was funny,

 

           12              Mrs. Fanucci.

 

           13                      MS. FANUCCI: It definitely was

 

           14              funny.

 

           15                      MR. SPINDLER: There is a name for

 

           16              people that laugh at nothing, but I won't

 

           17              say what it is right now.

 

           18                      MS. FANUCCI: I was laughing at

 

           19              something, believe me, I was laughing at

 

           20              something.

 

           21                      MR. SPINDLER: The next thing, Mrs.

 

           22              Fanucci, you always tell people to come here

 

           23              and talk about something productive, well,

 

           24              two years ago I came here and asked council

 

           25              to look into it viscous dog legislation when


 

 

                                                                      23

 

 

            1              my dog was attacked by two pit bulls and two

 

            2              years having gone by, people have been

 

            3              attacked by dogs, other dogs have been

 

            4              attacked.  Most recently, a woman was

 

            5              attacked by two Rottweiler mixes last week,

 

            6              lucky she wasn't killed.  A day or two later

 

            7              a gentleman was walking his two small dogs

 

            8              attacked by two pitbulls that got out of the

 

            9              yard, one dog died, what does this council

 

           10              do?  Nothing.  That was something

 

           11              productive.  This council hasn't done a

 

           12              thing.  Lee Morgan has come here and

 

           13              mentioned viscous dog legislation, I have

 

           14              come here, other people have come with other

 

           15              productive things, this council doesn't do a

 

           16              thing the people will ask and that's why we

 

           17              don't come with productive things because

 

           18              all three of you do is listen to what you

 

           19              Geppato Doherty tells you to do.  That's all

 

           20              I have on the list.  Thank you.

 

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

 

           22              Joe Talimini.

 

           23                      MR. TALIMINI: Joe Talimini,

 

           24              Scranton, Pennsylvania.  I have been coming

 

           25              to these meetings for roughly three years


 

 

                                                                      24

 

 

            1              now I have heard council members demand and

 

            2              seek respect because of their position.  At

 

            3              the same time I've witnessed a lack of

 

            4              respect from the council for some speakers

 

            5              and visa versa, lack of respect for the

 

            6              speakers by the council.  I mean, I have

 

            7              been guilty of it myself.  I would like to

 

            8              point out something though that respect is

 

            9              not something that's mandatory, it's earned,

 

           10              and I think on both sides of the fence we

 

           11              should all temper ourselves just a little

 

           12              bit and try to respect each other's opinion.

 

           13                   Now, on more than one occasion this

 

           14              council has been very, very honest and open

 

           15              in their reluctance to answer questions,

 

           16              more than willing to hide behind a Home Rule

 

           17              Charter and Council Rules which purport to

 

           18              exclude council from having to answer any

 

           19              questions, I still don't understand that

 

           20              philosophy.

 

           21                      In recent times we have witnessed

 

           22              Council's unwillingness to face facts.  The

 

           23              fact a previous council memory resigned was

 

           24              swept under the rug by the council,

 

           25              Mr. McGoff, you benefited from that.  The


 

 

                                                                      25

 

 

            1              mayor himself tried to talk to talk that

 

            2              gentleman into staying on, everybody else

 

            3              reported, but council never addressed the

 

            4              situation even though they were asked to.  I

 

            5              grant you it was very embarrassing to the

 

            6              party involved, just as embarrassing to the

 

            7              city, but you don't sweep something like

 

            8              that under the rug.  It's just that simple.

 

            9                      MS. FANUCCI: Can I ask you why you

 

           10              are bringing this up right now?

 

           11                      MR. TALIMINI: Pardon me?

 

           12                      MS. FANUCCI: Why are you bringing

 

           13              this up now years later.

 

           14                      MR. TALIMINI: Why don't you wait

 

           15              until I get done.

 

           16                      MS. FANUCCI: Okay, I will.

 

           17                      MR. TALIMINI: Thank you.  Now we

 

           18              have a situation where an official of the

 

           19              City Housing Authority has been indicted,

 

           20              faces charges by the federal government.  We

 

           21              have a Single Tax Office that has been the

 

           22              subject of an investigation by the district

 

           23              attorney who said he was not going to

 

           24              investigate because there was a federal

 

           25              investigation going on yet he did.


 

 

                                                                      26

 

 

            1                      The result is the exclusion of a

 

            2              school board official from charges though

 

            3              this school board official admittedly set

 

            4              out to contrive this whole fiasco and his

 

            5              three patsies are taking the brunt of these

 

            6              charges.  Other city agencies are also being

 

            7              investigated according to our sources.  The

 

            8              facts about past questionable activities

 

            9              according to what's been going on, probably

 

           10              could have all said a lot of these things.

 

           11              Ms. Evans, I believe you called for

 

           12              subpoenas and for records two or three years

 

           13              ago, none of them were brought forth,

 

           14              council refused to accept the subpoenas and

 

           15              now here we are faced with these charges.

 

           16                      I don't think you have any idea in

 

           17              the world outside of the City of Scranton

 

           18              just how embarrassing this is, but I get it

 

           19              from news sources outside of the city, I get

 

           20              it from news sources outside of the state, I

 

           21              get it from France from the people who

 

           22              subscribe to my newsletter on-line.  They

 

           23              know what's going on in Scranton and

 

           24              contrary to your beliefs that "The Office"

 

           25              is glorifying Scranton, "The Office" is


 

 

                                                                      27

 

 

            1              making ridicule of Scranton, you're just too

 

            2              stupid to know.  It's a joke, but we

 

            3              (clapping) "The Office" is making Scranton

 

            4              look good.  Sad on us.

 

            5                      Now, another issue is this former

 

            6              city Single Tax Office gentleman who is now

 

            7              into a new position, my understanding is he

 

            8              is paid half by the school board and half by

 

            9              the city.  Now, if he is paid half by the

 

           10              city don't you think it's incumbent upon the

 

           11              city to find out what half he has been

 

           12              playing games with?  It's been six years

 

           13              now.  Suddenly 12.2 million dollars appears

 

           14              which never should have been there.  There

 

           15              is all kinds of problems going on, the

 

           16              Single Tax Office is being investigated.

 

           17              You know, it's paradoxical that you let

 

           18              these things slide over the last month and

 

           19              now you are faced with not only one, not

 

           20              only two, but three investigations that you

 

           21              may have to answer for in the long run and I

 

           22              would like to know exactly what's going on.

 

           23                             Mrs. Fanucci, I'll be glad to

 

           24              answer your question now.  You asked why I

 

           25              brought this up, I brought it up before and


 

 

                                                                      28

 

 

            1              it was swept under the rug.  I'm bringing it

 

            2              up again now to point out that this

 

            3              council's inactivity is responsible for

 

            4              what's going on in this city right now.  You

 

            5              have had the opportunity before to address

 

            6              these issues and you haven't done it.

 

            7                      MS. FANUCCI:  Well, you are very

 

            8              inaccurate, but I'm going to say that not

 

            9              only is that inaccurate, but you are talking

 

           10              about something personal and you are talking

 

           11              about something business, so it's either

 

           12              that's your stance but you are bringing up

 

           13              something that happened two years ago and

 

           14              had nothing to do with the action of

 

           15              council, so that's why I really don't

 

           16              understand your parallel in the two

 

           17              situations that actually don't parallel each

 

           18              other, so that's why I was a little

 

           19              confused.

 

           20                      MR. TALIMINI: I asked council about

 

           21              that incidents and it was swept under the

 

           22              rug, nothing was mentioned about it.

 

           23                      MS. FANUCCI: But it had nothing to

 

           24              do with us as a council, that's why --

 

           25                      MR. TALIMINI:  It should have been


 

 

                                                                      29

 

 

            1              brought up because he was a council member.

 

            2                      MS. FANUCCI: That's inaccurate,

 

            3              also.  That shouldn't have been brought up,

 

            4              but that's your opinion.

 

            5                      MR. TALIMINI: Some things are swept

 

            6              under the rug by so called personnel

 

            7              matters, well, that's not a personnel

 

            8              matter, that's a matter of public record.

 

            9              Thank you.

 

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

 

           11              Ozzie Quinn.

 

           12                      MR. QUINN:  Ozzie Quinn, Taxpayer

 

           13              Association.  Tonight I want to talk about

 

           14              the OECD program and, Mrs. Fanucci, I'd

 

           15              appreciate if you would pay attention to

 

           16              this.  First of all, there was an

 

           17              announcement last Friday on a public

 

           18              hearing -- Mr. McGoff, please, I'm not done

 

           19              talking -- there was an announcement last

 

           20              Friday and a public hearing for the transfer

 

           21              of project funds $550,000 and the action of

 

           22              the public hearing, it wasn't an

 

           23              announcement for a public hearing, it was

 

           24              information for an amendment and it should

 

           25              have been for citizen participation input,


 

 

                                                                      30

 

 

            1              and if you read it, it was very hard to

 

            2              understand and actually it was academic

 

            3              because the council already approved the

 

            4              projects.  I mean, this is what's going on

 

            5              over there, but I want to pursue something

 

            6              with that with the continuity of it.  Now, I

 

            7              asked in February to look at the monitoring

 

            8              reviews for 2004, 5 and 6, each year HUD

 

            9              monitors the Community Development Block

 

           10              Grant Program, the HOME program and the

 

           11              emergency ESG program, okay?  I was able to

 

           12              look at the 2006 program and the HOME 2005-6

 

           13              program, okay?

 

           14                      And I think Mrs. Fanucci is really

 

           15              covering up for Mrs. Hailstone.  She ran out

 

           16              of here, but because of the fact that in

 

           17              2006 there was eight finances, six of them

 

           18              had to do with Little League, and I'm not

 

           19              concerned about that, but three of them are

 

           20              outstanding and it's because of the fact

 

           21              that the questioning -- this is two years

 

           22              old now.  The East Scranton Bridge, East

 

           23              Market Bridge, East Market Street Bridge,

 

           24              the Rockwell Avenue Bridge, and the

 

           25              Providence Square revitalization, they are


 

 

                                                                      31

 

 

            1              not accepting that.  They are not accepting

 

            2              that because of the fact that they put that

 

            3              in and then didn't use the right service

 

            4              area and they have to prove that.  Now,

 

            5              that's serious situation, I mean, because

 

            6              when you have a finding you can get a

 

            7              sanction or you are get a correction.  Now,

 

            8              we are going two years and this hasn't been

 

            9              answered, it's just been answered recently

 

           10              by Mr. Mirabali, but the fact is that we

 

           11              could jeopardize lots of money here of the

 

           12              city taxpayers, so she knew about it, there

 

           13              is no doubt about it, she is the chairman of

 

           14              the CDBG program, and she was -- she is

 

           15              hiding it from you people.

 

           16                      The other thing on the monitoring

 

           17              review was the 2005 and 2006 program units

 

           18              for the HOME Emergency Shelter Program Grant

 

           19              and it was a 22-page report by HUD, 22-pages

 

           20              and it found out that there were eight

 

           21              deficiencies in the HOME program, lack of

 

           22              appropriate procedures and mechanisms to

 

           23              assure property oversight, insufficient

 

           24              evidence that home program complies with the

 

           25              HOME affordability requirements.  HOME


 

 

                                                                      32

 

 

            1              assistance are not brought into compliance

 

            2              with appropriate housing codes and

 

            3              prescribed times frames.  Insufficient

 

            4              evidence that the city is properly

 

            5              addressing HUD based vacancies.  Emergency

 

            6              Shelter Grant Funds are used for activities

 

            7              that are not eligible and there is

 

            8              insufficient evidence that the city is in

 

            9              compliance with cost limitations

 

           10              establishing their services and operating

 

           11              costs.  The city does not have a

 

           12              subrecipient audit process in place.  The

 

           13              city does not require documentation support

 

           14              for subrecipient request for payments in

 

           15              accordance with the documentation.  The city

 

           16              uses HOME administration funds to pay OECD

 

           17              staff members that are not involved in the

 

           18              HOME program.

 

           19                      That's money.  That's things the

 

           20              HOME program screwed up and I come here

 

           21              talking about housing and they say, laugh at

 

           22              me, she laughs at me.  It's economic

 

           23              development.  We are screwed up.  I don't

 

           24              even have 2000 and 2005 yet.  It's not

 

           25              transparent government.  What are we going


 

 

                                                                      33

 

 

            1              to do about it?  Actually there is

 

            2              $1,365,000 of city money, OECD money, that

 

            3              was unable to -- that HUD was unable to

 

            4              document this action.  I mean, and we are

 

            5              sitting here and she is sitting here,

 

            6              Fanucci, and she runs out of here, she is a

 

            7              laughing at people, she is the chairman of

 

            8              the CDBG program and you got to do something

 

            9              about it.  I ask you to please look into

 

           10              this monitoring, get those monitoring

 

           11              reviews for 2004, 5 and 6 and 7 before it's

 

           12              too late and before we get sanctioned here

 

           13              by the City of Scranton.  Please, I beg of

 

           14              you.

 

           15                      MR. MCGOFF: David Dobson.

 

           16                      MR. DOBSON: Good evening, Council.

 

           17              Dave Dobson, taxpayer associate, resident of

 

           18              Scranton.  Once again I'm up here hopefully

 

           19              to acquire money for Channel 61 if at all

 

           20              possible.  I heard something a few weeks ago

 

           21              and I haven't heard anything since and they

 

           22              are in desperate need of money and they are

 

           23              probably going to go dark if something is

 

           24              not done soon.  I'd also like to thank any

 

           25              council member who voted against 7-G prior


 

 

                                                                      34

 

 

            1              two weeks ago.  It's ashame that somebody

 

            2              that can't pay their taxes has to pay

 

            3              400 percent over what they actually owed in

 

            4              a very short amount of time.  Mr. Courtright

 

            5              and Mrs. Evans were the two that voted

 

            6              against it.  Hopefully some day we see some

 

            7              kind of modification because when I see

 

            8              this, it's something that I expect out of

 

            9              somebody like Ruddy Guiliani, some tyrant,

 

           10              not -- it's really ashame to see somebody

 

           11              pay a $1,600 penalty because they owe two,

 

           12              three or $400 worth of taxes.

 

           13                      Now, this has nothing to do with

 

           14              council business, but a comment was made on

 

           15              Mr. Shimkus.  Well, one of the things that

 

           16              as we mature and get the right to vote comes

 

           17              responsibility to know what we are voting

 

           18              for and exactly that, Right to Know.

 

           19              Mr. Shimkus failed to show up for a critical

 

           20              vote on the Right to Know.  Every time any

 

           21              community organization wants some

 

           22              information they can get told to take a hike

 

           23              and they have to go to Court and spend

 

           24              $128.00 to get a few pieces of paper and a

 

           25              question answered.  It's ashame, but


 

 

                                                                      35

 

 

            1              hopefully and I have no effect over it

 

            2              because he is not in my district, hopefully

 

            3              people will see the light and not support

 

            4              Mr. Shimkus.  When we go out into this world

 

            5              it's important that we note that we should

 

            6              know what we are voting for and who does

 

            7              what as a politician and it's really ashame

 

            8              that these people can't show up for a

 

            9              critical vote like that and all they could

 

           10              think of is to pass some kind of law that's

 

           11              going to further our prison population some

 

           12              day.  We have too many people in prison now

 

           13              over various things and some of them need to

 

           14              be there, but keep in mind that if somebody

 

           15              starts spending time in prison over issues

 

           16              like cigarette smoking, whenever you walk by

 

           17              somebody on a corner they might have been

 

           18              one of those people and they might have all

 

           19              kinds of pent up hostilities and problems

 

           20              caused by an excessive Neanderthal lock them

 

           21              up mentality in our political system and

 

           22              it's a risk.  It's a risk and it's a shame

 

           23              because people wind up in prison and more

 

           24              often that not it just puts them on a

 

           25              slippery slope on the way back here, so when


 

 

                                                                      36

 

 

            1              we pass laws on social issues we should

 

            2              consider that instead of blindly supporting

 

            3              them and thinking that all of a sudden we

 

            4              are going to have a sudden utopia where

 

            5              everybody starts doing what they really

 

            6              should do, they should stop smoking, but

 

            7              it's putting them in jail which is

 

            8              ultimately -- it's the ultimate penalty, but

 

            9              disobeying the law is not the correct

 

           10              answer.  Thank you and have a good night.

 

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

 

           12              Any other speakers?

 

           13                      MR. STUCKER:  Over by Parrot Avenue

 

           14              the play yard we need signs over there.

 

           15              Pat, my buddy, just told me tonight, he told

 

           16              me Saturday, we got a lot of play yards

 

           17              around, but don't have signs and the cars

 

           18              are going pretty fast down that road where

 

           19              Pat is on Parrot Avenue, they are going

 

           20              pretty fast Pat told me and he wanted to

 

           21              know can you put a couple of up there, put a

 

           22              sign up to slow the cars down.  They are

 

           23              afraid some old lady or some old guy is

 

           24              going to get hit or the kids are going to

 

           25              get hit running across the street, the kids,


 

 

                                                                      37

 

 

            1              and that's got to be done.  And over by

 

            2              that, next to that old barber shop, there is

 

            3              still garbage on that, grass between the bar

 

            4              and that yard.  I used to cut the grass, I

 

            5              don't do it anymore, and over by on Colts,

 

            6              where Colts bus parks where they park the

 

            7              pick up people there is cars still there

 

            8              coming there, I want to know if one of you's

 

            9              can do something about that.

 

           10                      MR. COURTRIGHT: They ticketed them

 

           11              the other day, Jim, they were over there,

 

           12              the cops.

 

           13                      MR. STUCKER: And where I live on

 

           14              Market Street now, right on Market Street we

 

           15              need a signs up there, a couple of signs

 

           16              there, there is no signs at all from the top

 

           17              down to the bottom there is signs, right

 

           18              where the laundry mat is there is signs,

 

           19              yes, but from the top down there is no

 

           20              signs.

 

           21                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Jim, let me try to

 

           22              explain this to you one more time, there is

 

           23              one sign there, all right, because they are

 

           24              not allowed to park there, but the rest of

 

           25              the spots they are allowed to park.


 

 

                                                                      38

 

 

            1                      MR. STUCKER: They can't park by the

 

            2              laundry there is that hill, there is that

 

            3              hill.  The cops told them they can't park on

 

            4              the hill by the -- from the laundry mat

 

            5              down, they are on top of the hill.  Last

 

            6              night there was a car there.  I'm afraid

 

            7              somebody is going to get that car hit.  They

 

            8              have a hard time making the turn, they have

 

            9              a hard time making the hill.

 

           10                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  All right, we'll

 

           11              try to ask them to look at it again, Jim,

 

           12              all right?

 

           13                      MR. STUCKER: All right.  We have

 

           14              problems up where I live.  There is a guy

 

           15              that has a blue motorcycle, I was down here,

 

           16              I went down the police station and they told

 

           17              me they called you on the cell phone.

 

           18                      MR. COURTRIGHT: They called me, yes.

 

           19                      MR. STUCKER: And said I have a guy

 

           20              with a blue motorcycle that grabbed me by

 

           21              the throat Saturday.  We called the cops,

 

           22              the cops came and talked to me, and the guy

 

           23              up there drives an old black car now, he is

 

           24              hanging around with his girlfriend up there.

 

           25              They are harassing me a lot.


 

 

                                                                      39

 

 

            1                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  They took a report

 

            2              for you, Jim.

 

            3                      MR. STUCKER: Yeah, I know.

 

            4                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  They got the

 

            5              information.

 

            6                      MR. STUCKER: Yeah.  All right.

 

            7                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  All right.  Thanks,

 

            8              Jim.

 

            9                      MR. STUCKER: You got anything lined

 

           10              up for me?

 

           11                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Did I find a job for

 

           12              you?

 

           13                      MR. STUCKER: Anything?

 

           14                      MR. COURTRIGHT: No, I got you paid

 

           15              for the last job though, didn't I?

 

           16                      MR. STUCKER:  Yeah, you did.

 

           17              Thanks.  Thanks.

 

           18                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  You are welcome.

 

           19              No, I haven't been able -- I'll ask, Jim,

 

           20              but I haven't been able to find you a job.

 

           21                      MR. STUCKER:  A lot of garbage cans,

 

           22              remember, Spindler was talking about garbage

 

           23              cans, the city is throwing the garbage cans

 

           24              out into the road, the sidewalks, the wind

 

           25              blows them out into the street, what


 

 

                                                                      40

 

 

            1              happened they come in roll over, and drive

 

            2              over them.  I seen it myself on Market

 

            3              Street and they won't slow -- they won't

 

            4              stop the car and move it, they just run over

 

            5              it.  The garbage people don't understand --

 

            6                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Mrs. Evans is going

 

            7              to take care of that.

 

            8                      MR. STUCKER: You hear me,

 

            9              Mrs. Evans?

 

           10                      MS. EVANS: Throwing garbage cans in

 

           11              the road?

 

           12                      MR. STUCKER: I seen one the other

 

           13              day run right over with the car.

 

           14                      MS. EVANS: Okay.

 

           15                      MS. STUCKER: On Market Street.

 

           16                      MS. EVANS: East Market.

 

           17                      MR. STUCKER: Yes.

 

           18                      MS. EVANS: Okay.

 

           19                      MR. STUCKER: Okay.

 

           20                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Thank you, Jim.

 

           21                      MR. MORGAN: Good evening, Council.

 

           22              My first question is for Mr. McGoff.

 

           23              Mr. McGoff, I would like to have in writing,

 

           24              if you would, please, on council stationery

 

           25              what the parameters you have to reach to get


 

 

                                                                      41

 

 

            1              a channel similar to 61.  I know you

 

            2              discussed it, but I would like to see that

 

            3              in writing on the requirements under the

 

            4              contract with the cable carrier.  It would

 

            5              be much more official and it wouldn't

 

            6              change, it would be locked, so that

 

            7              interested parties can try to get access to

 

            8              one of those and channels.

 

            9                      MR. MCGOFF: There are no channels to

 

           10              have access to.

 

           11                      MR. MORGAN:  I disagree with that,

 

           12              but that's fine.  You are entitled to your

 

           13              opinion, all I want is what council's

 

           14              requirements are to try and get one of those

 

           15              channels.

 

           16                      MR. MCGOFF: We don't -- there are no

 

           17              requirements.  We don't have any

 

           18              requirements.

 

           19                      MR. MORGAN: You are part of the

 

           20              governing body, so then what I would like to

 

           21              have is just a letter saying there are no

 

           22              requirements as far as council is concerned

 

           23              and then that would be all I would like to

 

           24              have.

 

           25                      MR. MCGOFF: What I could get for you


 

 

                                                                      42

 

 

            1              is a copy of the contract.

 

            2                      MR. MORGAN: I have a copy of the

 

            3              contract, sir.

 

            4                      MR. MCGOFF: Okay.

 

            5                      MR. MORGAN: But it says that you are

 

            6              part of the governing body, so evidently you

 

            7              and the mayor govern this access and what

 

            8              I'm asking is -- I'm asking what parameters

 

            9              that revolves around to get access to that

 

           10              channel, and then whether you are going to

 

           11              say that there is no channel available,

 

           12              that's fine, that's your opinion, but the

 

           13              parameters you put around having access to

 

           14              that channel is another thing.

 

           15                      MR. MCGOFF: I will try and find that

 

           16              for you.

 

           17                      MR. MORGAN: Okay.  Now, Mrs. Evans,

 

           18              last week you or maybe the week before you

 

           19              cited Purdon's in regards to subpoenas I

 

           20              believe or information?

 

           21                      MS. EVANS: It wasn't so much in

 

           22              regard to subpoenas as it was referencing

 

           23              sections that permit an individual

 

           24              councilperson as a chairman of a committee

 

           25              to request information or subpoenas and I


 

 

                                                                      43

 

 

            1              cited another section in which it was stated

 

            2              that council has the right to obtain

 

            3              information, actually any type of

 

            4              information or meeting with any department

 

            5              head, without seeking the permission of the

 

            6              mayor.

 

            7                      MR. MORGAN: Absolutely.  I'm aware

 

            8              of that already, but my question for council

 

            9              at this point is this, when the subpoenas

 

           10              were requested and issued by this council

 

           11              and then the council decided they were going

 

           12              to break them up into pieces and decide who

 

           13              they were going to serve and what, you know,

 

           14              in what fashion they were going to proceed,

 

           15              my question is, Mrs. Evans, why don't you

 

           16              turn to Attorney Minora and tell him to

 

           17              issue the subpoenas that this council voted

 

           18              to issue and then if necessary go into Court

 

           19              and proceed forward and get these subpoenas

 

           20              because we have talked too long here about

 

           21              what we can or can't do and I'm of the

 

           22              opinion that you can tell Mr. Minora to

 

           23              issue those subpoenas and if he doesn't I

 

           24              also believe you can go to the Court and

 

           25              have them order him to issues those


 

 

                                                                      44

 

 

            1              subpoenas because I think that for too long

 

            2              we have been playing here.

 

            3                      And we have people talking about

 

            4              agendas, there is only one agenda here in

 

            5              motion at all and that's an agenda of

 

            6              destruction of this city and anybody who

 

            7              goes through this city can see the decay

 

            8              that's taking place and I am not a partisan

 

            9              person, but I would like to say that this

 

           10              mayor has talked about restoring the pride,

 

           11              but this city -- it's just beyond belief how

 

           12              far this city has fallen.  We have lost our

 

           13              bond rating, we have borrowed so much money

 

           14              we can't even figure out how we are going to

 

           15              pay it back and now we are going to figure

 

           16              out what we are going to do with PEL when.

 

           17              Previous councils met with PEL in limited

 

           18              numbers so there was no right for the public

 

           19              to know.  Now, you see how Mr. Quinn got up

 

           20              here and he asked questions and one of the

 

           21              council members left.

 

           22                      There is a very serious problem here

 

           23              in what's happening because council it seems

 

           24              has lost touch with reality of what their

 

           25              job really is and then what we get is, you


 

 

                                                                      45

 

 

            1              know, like, we are talking about this

 

            2              dangerous dog legislation.  I brought

 

            3              pictures in of a dog that was attacked in

 

            4              his own yard by pitbulls and killed.

 

            5              Nothing was done.  Nothing has been done

 

            6              over a long period of time and we are going

 

            7              to stand here and debate whether this

 

            8              council is doing anything, okay?  There is

 

            9              questions that arose about the South Side

 

           10              Sports Complex, there is multitudes of other

 

           11              issues that have arose.  The council itself

 

           12              has started almost all of it's obligation to

 

           13              the residents of this city and then we

 

           14              wonder where we are.

 

           15                      And I would like to say this thing

 

           16              in leaving is this, we need to borrow no

 

           17              more money irregardless of our budget

 

           18              responsibilities this year.  Thank you.

 

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

 

           20                      MS. EVANS: Mr. Morgan, I just wanted

 

           21              to respond real quickly to one or two items

 

           22              and then Mr. Gonzalez, if I could have your

 

           23              kind permission for just a second.  Thank

 

           24              you?

 

           25                      MR. GONZALEZ: You will have always


 

 

                                                                      46

 

 

            1              have my permission, My Lady.

 

            2                      MS. EVANS: Thank you.  You are

 

            3              correct that Attorney Minora works for city

 

            4              council, but Attorney Minora works for all

 

            5              five members of city council.  No one member

 

            6              can order the solicitor to act, rather, we

 

            7              have to have a consent, no, we have to have

 

            8              a consensus among council members.  Now,

 

            9              when the subpoenas were to be issued I knew

 

           10              that I was working against a belief that the

 

           11              subpoenas were unnecessary and so in an

 

           12              effort to compromise, in an effort to have

 

           13              my colleagues join me in the pursuit of

 

           14              these subpoenas I aquised to their requests

 

           15              to break it down into more specific areas

 

           16              and in so doing I had hoped that eventually

 

           17              as we went from one subpoena to the next,

 

           18              from one department to the next, there would

 

           19              eventually come the time when all

 

           20              departments had opened their books and

 

           21              answered the questions.  Now, when those

 

           22              votes were put before council members, as I

 

           23              said, I compromised in the spirit of

 

           24              diplomacy and in the hopes of having these

 

           25              subpoenas and these investigations go


 

 

                                                                      47

 

 

            1              forward.  These issues came to a vote

 

            2              singularly, Scranton Parking Authority,

 

            3              Legal Department, OECD, and they were voted

 

            4              down by my colleagues, and that is their

 

            5              prerogative, they have a vote.  Whether they

 

            6              are voting their conscience, whether they

 

            7              are voting to represent the people, I can

 

            8              only account for my own actions and, you

 

            9              know, I think to generally say that the

 

           10              council is very ineffective and does nothing

 

           11              in response to the requests or the needs of

 

           12              the people is inaccurate statement.

 

           13                      MR. MORGAN: I'll wait until next

 

           14              week.

 

           15                      MS. EVANS: Well, and just one last

 

           16              thing, I'm no longer finance chair and if

 

           17              you want to proceed with those matters again

 

           18              or if you wanted, for example, under state

 

           19              law the finances chair to subpoena and

 

           20              pursue an investigation of any particular

 

           21              department that chair can do so.

 

           22                      MR. MORGAN: I'll respond next week.

 

           23                      MR. GONZALEZ: Pedro Gonzalez, South

 

           24              Side resident, registered voter.  Good

 

           25              evening, Council.  Good evening, Junior


 

 

                                                                      48

 

 

            1              Council, good evening all in attendance.  As

 

            2              usual, I mean, excuse me, as always it's an

 

            3              honor to step to this podium as a Latino,

 

            4              representatives of this city, one of them,

 

            5              one of many, to exercise my right to speak

 

            6              at a podium just like this and as one of the

 

            7              members of the Latin Cultural Diversity

 

            8              Center, and I say one of them because are so

 

            9              many in the city that contribute constantly

 

           10              such as Lisa Vargas, for example, Nestor

 

           11              Valdez, they do public relations for the

 

           12              LCDC, Tony Cervada, also, and also, last but

 

           13              not least, my right-hand and my left-hand,

 

           14              William Torres, who without him so much

 

           15              would not have been accomplished here with

 

           16              the Latin Cultural Diversity Center and the

 

           17              children.

 

           18                      And I also want to tip my hat off to

 

           19              William this evening because he is

 

           20              practicing with the kids right now and he

 

           21              has done an awesome and tremendous job with

 

           22              the kids the last couple of weeks getting

 

           23              ready for the Cinco De Mayo celebration

 

           24              coming this weekend.

 

           25                      Also, individuals in the city that


 

 

                                                                      49

 

 

            1              have contributed to the Latino community and

 

            2              there are so many, there are so many that I

 

            3              could put a long list, Diane Boone from the

 

            4              Millennium News.  I also want to submit

 

            5              Sherman Wooden from the Multi-Cultural

 

            6              Affairs Department of Scranton University

 

            7              who has done monumental things for the

 

            8              Latino people and for all people in this

 

            9              community for the City of Scranton bringing

 

           10              them to the campus and just opening these

 

           11              doors for people.

 

           12                      I want to congratulate Ken Smith,

 

           13              112 district.  I also want to congratulate

 

           14              Kevin Murphy, and I want to comment on one

 

           15              of the speakers that came on here earlier

 

           16              speaking about Mr. Shimkus.  Mr. Shimkus,

 

           17              the first time he has ever spoken to us, and

 

           18              I say "us", the Latino people and you guys

 

           19              know me for some time now and we are at

 

           20              many, many different events, many, many

 

           21              different functions, you name it, we are

 

           22              there being part of the community and

 

           23              Mr. Shimkus has been there and he has, you

 

           24              know, I don't want to say bypassed or

 

           25              brushed off, but that is what I felt, that


 

 

                                                                      50

 

 

            1              is what I felt by this gentleman, and the

 

            2              first time he ever said one single word to

 

            3              me was the 22nd of April on Election Day was

 

            4              the very first time he even extended his

 

            5              hand to shake my hand was that one day and

 

            6              because of my upbringing I shook his hand

 

            7              and I said hello to him and I went about my

 

            8              merry way, but Kevin Murphy is the person

 

            9              that we will be voting for, and I say "we"

 

           10              --

 

           11                      MR. MCGOFF: Please, please, Mr.

 

           12              Gonzalez, that's --

 

           13                      MR. GONZALEZ:  Moving onto the

 

           14              next order of business, Mr. McGoff.

 

           15                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.

 

           16                      MR. GONZALEZ: This Saturday, the

 

           17              Cinco De Mayo celebration as we do every

 

           18              year at the Latin Cultural Diversity Center,

 

           19              we will be having one at the Scranton High

 

           20              School and as it seems it might be moved

 

           21              right across the street, it hasn't been

 

           22              decided because one section of the Scranton

 

           23              High School parking lot is concrete, across

 

           24              the street across from the Ice Box is dirt,

 

           25              so simply because of the tent situation.


 

 

                                                                      51

 

 

            1              But, please, we welcome all to participate,

 

            2              all in the city, everyone from anywhere in

 

            3              Northeast, PA, that wants to come down this

 

            4              Saturday, May 3, right here on Providence

 

            5              it's going to run from 1 to 7, it's going to

 

            6              be either at the Scranton High School

 

            7              parking lot or right across the street from

 

            8              the Scranton High School parking lot, we are

 

            9              going to have local talent as usual as we

 

           10              do, local Mariachi groups from here to south

 

           11              side, dancers from the West Scranton High

 

           12              School, dancers from Scranton High School,

 

           13              the youth.  We will also have dancers from

 

           14              the University of Scranton, they are called

 

           15              the Urban Beat Dancers, I'm not sure if you

 

           16              have ever heard of them.  They will also

 

           17              have a show this Friday, the Urban Beat

 

           18              Dancers, please check out the Scranton

 

           19              University website, the Urban Beats are

 

           20              performing, they're putting on a live

 

           21              extravaganza Friday night.  We will also on

 

           22              Saturday will have tons of cooks out there

 

           23              as we usually do.  There is tons of real

 

           24              authentic Latin cuisine that will be out

 

           25              there from people not from your local


 

 

                                                                      52

 

 

            1              restaurants, I'm talking about from your

 

            2              people, the local people, the people, the

 

            3              mom and pops that struggle every single day

 

            4              out here that deserve a chance.  They will

 

            5              be out there showing their craft, and

 

            6              without further ado, I want to say thank you

 

            7              once again for this opportunity to be able

 

            8              to speak.  My name is Pedro Gonzalez from

 

            9              the Latin Cultural Diversity Center.  Thank

 

           10              you for letting me express myself.  Good

 

           11              evening.

 

           12                      MR. MCGOFF:  Thank you, Mr.

 

           13              Gonzalez.  By the way, will you be dancing

 

           14              as well?

 

           15                      MR. GONZALEZ:  Yes, I will.  I'll be

 

           16              doing my thing.  Thank you.

 

           17                      MS. SCHUMACHER: Good evening, Marie

 

           18              Schumacher, city resident and member of the

 

           19              Taxpayers' Association.  Tonight I would

 

           20              like to start with three things I hope to

 

           21              hear in motions:  First of all, I was under

 

           22              the assumption that the new fire truck

 

           23              placement would be next door at the fire

 

           24              headquarters, but then when Mrs. Gatelli

 

           25              explained that OECD funds could not be used


 

 

                                                                      53

 

 

            1              for the firemen and police memorial to be

 

            2              placed in this building or next to the

 

            3              building because of the low to moderate

 

            4              income requirements imposed by HUD, I know

 

            5              the line isn't at the alley, so I'm assuming

 

            6              that the fire truck then since that's being

 

            7              purchased with OECD HUD funds cannot be

 

            8              placed at the headquarters either, so I

 

            9              would like to know where that fire truck

 

           10              will be placed that is being bought with the

 

           11              HUD funds.

 

           12                      Next, Mr. McGoff, two weeks ago you

 

           13              promised to try to get the status of the

 

           14              hiring somebody to do the forensic audit of

 

           15              the Single Tax Office I hope to hear a

 

           16              report on that.

 

           17                      And, Mr. Courtright, I would like a

 

           18              Plan B because I wrote almost a month ago to

 

           19              Mr. Minora at your request and asking for

 

           20              why Section 312 of the Home Rule Charter

 

           21              regarding investigations doesn't mean what

 

           22              it says.  I have not had a response, so I

 

           23              would like Plan b on explaining that.

 

           24                      And then tonight I would like to

 

           25              indulge myself in one of my pet peeves with


 

 

                                                                      54

 

 

            1              government and I call it feel good

 

            2              governing.  When I was in Washington I long

 

            3              felt that the two-year terms of

 

            4              representatives, one year should be

 

            5              legislating and then the next year should be

 

            6              only emergency legislation and the

 

            7              legislation should have to go back and see

 

            8              what they had passed a year before was

 

            9              actually working as it was intended, and I

 

           10              think that applies here, also.  We are now

 

           11              three months shy of the first anniversary of

 

           12              your passage of File of Council 1105 of last

 

           13              year.  It was an ordinance for residential

 

           14              properties requiring all owners and

 

           15              residential rental properties to designate

 

           16              an agent for service and process to

 

           17              prescribing duties and owners, agents and

 

           18              occupants, etcetera.

 

           19                      I don't know if any of you have

 

           20              taken the time to go back and see if that

 

           21              was working as it was intended, but because

 

           22              there was a fee associated with that

 

           23              registration and that's proper since there

 

           24              is bookwork involved, I filed a Right to

 

           25              Know and I found that approximately -- well,


 

 

                                                                      55

 

 

            1              the actual total as of April 21 collected

 

            2              since the date of registration which was

 

            3              90 days after the passage of legislation

 

            4              $7,855.00 had actually been collected.  At

 

            5              $15 a unit that equates to roughly $550.00

 

            6              rental units that are properly registered.

 

            7                   Now, if you go to the city data you

 

            8              will find that there are $14,238 renter

 

            9              occupied residences in this city, 45 percent

 

           10              of the houses are renter occupied and so we

 

           11              will find almost a year later -- only 3

 

           12              percent are actually registered, so I would

 

           13              like to ask if the intent of the ordinance

 

           14              can be accomplished with only 3 percent of

 

           15              the residential units licensed.

 

           16                      I would like to know if the License,

 

           17              Inspections Permits Department was properly

 

           18              staffed or is properly staffed to implement

 

           19              this legislation.  Is it fair to the

 

           20              approximately 550 owners who have come

 

           21              forward and paid their fee and filed

 

           22              properly if the rest of the people are not

 

           23              going to be required to comply.

 

           24                      And, finally, if this is such a

 

           25              necessary piece of legislation I would


 

 

                                                                      56

 

 

            1              suggest that it either be implemented or it

 

            2              should be disposed of and taken off the

 

            3              books because it's certainly not being

 

            4              followed.  I think temporary if needed,

 

            5              temporary workers could be hired.  I would

 

            6              like to see maybe seniors given an

 

            7              opportunity to come in and work part-time

 

            8              time doing this, it's pure paperwork.  Maybe

 

            9              they could work off part of their property

 

           10              taxes if they are in a situation to come in

 

           11              and actually follow-up on these units.  You

 

           12              know, everyday there is roughly 20 to 25

 

           13              advertised in the paper.  Thank you.  I'll

 

           14              be back again.

 

           15                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you, Mrs.

 

           16              Schumacher.

 

           17                      MR. JACKOWITZ: Good evening,

 

           18              Mr. President, Scranton City Council

 

           19              Members.  Bill Jackowitz, South Scranton

 

           20              resident.  I would like to comment on

 

           21              President McGoff's statement 15 April 2008.

 

           22              I was happy to hear that the Rules of

 

           23              Council apply to both speakers and council

 

           24              members.  If so applied, this will make

 

           25              council meetings more productive and


 

 

                                                                      57

 

 

            1              possibly some work will be accomplished for

 

            2              the residents of the community.

 

            3                      So, Mr. McGoff, after what happened

 

            4              today when a councilwoman got up while a

 

            5              speaker who happens to be the president of

 

            6              the Taxpayers' Association, who also

 

            7              happened to have a lot of valuable

 

            8              information directly from HUD and from other

 

            9              areas, were Rules of Council followed when

 

           10              Councilwoman Fanucci got up and left and

 

           11              started to laugh?  Mr. President McGoff, are

 

           12              these the Rules of Council?  I need

 

           13              clarification, that's all.

 

           14                      MR. MCGOFF: There is nothing against

 

           15              any member of council from leaving the

 

           16              chambers.

 

           17                      MR. JACKOWITZ: Okay, so those are

 

           18              within the rules then?  Okay.  That's all I

 

           19              wanted to know.  Also, I would like to

 

           20              Councilwoman's Fanucci's comments of 15

 

           21              April 2008.  She stated that I wasted two

 

           22              weeks by providing proof that I was

 

           23              honorably discharged.  I can't disagree more

 

           24              with that statement.  Any time someone

 

           25              attempts to discredit you publically you


 

 

                                                                      58

 

 

            1              must set the record straight immediately,

 

            2              which I did.

 

            3                      Also, she stated on 15 April 2008,

 

            4              "Mr. Jackowitz, you were defending speakers

 

            5              who got up and were speaking of things that

 

            6              were not factual causing detriment to myself

 

            7              and my family and others.  You were

 

            8              defending them."

 

            9                      Councilwoman Fanucci, can you

 

           10              elaborate more on that statement?  Who were

 

           11              the speakers that I was defending who was

 

           12              causing you problems with you and your

 

           13              family and you can answer that now or doing

 

           14              motions.

 

           15                      MS. FANUCCI: I'm going to answer

 

           16              you.  I think we wasted enough time on this,

 

           17              Mr. Jackowitz.

 

           18                      MR. JACKOWITZ: This is not a waste

 

           19              of time.  This is my life.

 

           20                      MS. FANUCCI: Well, you know, I have

 

           21              no problem --

 

           22                      MR. JACKOWITZ: It may be a waste of

 

           23              time to you, Ms. Fanucci, but it's not to

 

           24              me.

 

           25                      MS. FANUCCI:  Would you like me to


 

 

                                                                      59

 

 

            1              answer your question?

 

            2                      MR. JACKOWITZ: Yes, but don't try to

 

            3              insult me, just answer the question.

 

            4                      MS. FANUCCI: It's a waste of time,

 

            5              and I've had enough and I'm not going to

 

            6              keep engaging this every week so you have

 

            7              something to write about next week.  Find

 

            8              another topic.

 

            9                      MR. JACKOWITZ: I find that my life

 

           10              is more important than you wasting your

 

           11              time.

 

           12                      MS. FANUCCI: I didn't discredit you.

 

           13                      MR. JACKOWITZ: Especially when you

 

           14              accuse me of wasting my time.

 

           15                      MS. FANUCCI:  That is ridiculous.

 

           16                      MR. JACKOWITZ:  So, again, who have

 

           17              I been talking about?  You said I was

 

           18              talking about people who are causing --

 

           19                      MS. FANUCCI: Again, I'm sticking to

 

           20              my answer, find another topic, Mr. Jackowitz

 

           21              about something that's productive in the

 

           22              city and not back and forth because you have

 

           23              something you want to -- you want an ax to

 

           24              grind.

 

           25                      MR. JACKOWITZ: You started it.


 

 

                                                                      60

 

 

            1                      MS. FANUCCI: I didn't start it.

 

            2                      MR. JACKOWITZ:  You started it, not

 

            3              me.  I don't back away, I don't walk away,

 

            4              I'm not a coward.  I don't walk out, I face

 

            5              my adversities.

 

            6                      MS. FANUCCI: That was a good one.  I

 

            7              almost believe it.

 

            8                      MR. JACKOWITZ: Scranton was actually

 

            9              very close to having the distressed city

 

           10              status removed and then along came Mayor

 

           11              Doherty and the Recovery Plan.  In my

 

           12              opinion, the Recovery Plan will never work.

 

           13              I understand that the voters voted for the

 

           14              plan.  I also realize that the community

 

           15              situation has worsened in the past six

 

           16              years.  Why?  Because the mayor has violated

 

           17              his own plan by giving out raises and hiring

 

           18              59 new people and borrowing and more

 

           19              borrowing.  As far as I know, Scranton is

 

           20              still distressed, the time has come that

 

           21              politicians must sit down and talk with each

 

           22              other, but more importantly, they must also

 

           23              talk with and listen to the residents and

 

           24              the union members.  Scranton cannot suffer

 

           25              many more setbacks.  Put your egos,


 

 

                                                                      61

 

 

            1              personalities aside and end this mess now.

 

            2                   And, Mr. President McGoff, really, I

 

            3              think we need to revise the Rules of Council

 

            4              because they are not working.  When a

 

            5              Councilwoman can just insult people whenever

 

            6              they want to and get away with it, and then

 

            7              when the president of the Taxpayers'

 

            8              Association comes up here with verified

 

            9              accurate information that came from

 

           10              Washington and came from HUD and for the

 

           11              city council members to sit up there like

 

           12              deer in the headlights not having an idea

 

           13              what he was even talking about and the chair

 

           14              person gets up and walks, something is wrong

 

           15              so the Rules really need to be revised.

 

           16              This is a two-way street here.  There is

 

           17              speakers and there is elected officials.

 

           18              You may not like us, we may not like you,

 

           19              but we are all citizens of the United States

 

           20              of America and we are entitled to our rights

 

           21              and some of us are veterans and we are

 

           22              entitled to our rights, also.  We are being

 

           23              ignored, we are being laughed at and this

 

           24              should not happen, and that's all I have to

 

           25              say.


 

 

                                                                      62

 

 

            1                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.

 

            2                      MR. SLEDENZSKI: Hello, Bill.

 

            3                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Hi, Chris.

 

            4                      MR. SLEDENZSKI: Well, Bill, another

 

            5              victory for us last week, Billy, another one

 

            6              this week.

 

            7                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Very good, Chris.

 

            8                      MR. SLEDENZSKI: Yeah, the girl's won

 

            9              today, we are going all the way this year.

 

           10              We are going all the way to the

 

           11              championship, Billy.  They are going to put

 

           12              i right where it belongs in West Dide,

 

           13              Billy, no place else.

 

           14                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Chris.

 

           15                      MR. BISICK:  Joe Bisick, city

 

           16              resident.  Two questions, if I may ask, this

 

           17              past weekend my religion celebrated our

 

           18              Easter Russian Orthodox, our church is on

 

           19              Washburn Street and Filmore Avenue in West

 

           20              Scranton, as everybody calls it the young

 

           21              new church by Villa Maria II and there is a

 

           22              huge pothole between Fillmore Avenue and our

 

           23              parking lot and we filled in one of the

 

           24              holes at our own cost.  What is -- the other

 

           25              hole is basically on Filmore Avenue, should


 

 

                                                                      63

 

 

            1              we see you about that or --

 

            2                      MS. EVANS: Yes, I'll take care of

 

            3              it.

 

            4                      MR. BISICK: The only reason is

 

            5              because we had 400 people at our services

 

            6              this weekend and they were all coming into

 

            7              the parking lot and going through that hole

 

            8              and we were just curious what we should do

 

            9              about that.

 

           10                      The other thing is, the respect

 

           11              about the junior council president, about

 

           12              making comments about the presidential

 

           13              election, personally I think that's wrong.

 

           14              I do not think you should bring up

 

           15              presidential election here at city council.

 

           16              City council is for city business not for

 

           17              presidential elections or anything like

 

           18              that.  Whatever party you want to vote for

 

           19              that is your opinion, but to bring it up at

 

           20              a city council meeting I think personally it

 

           21              is inappropriate.  Hopefully, from now until

 

           22              November, hopefully, Mr. McGoff, since you

 

           23              are the newly elected president you will

 

           24              stop that and say, "Look at, no more can we

 

           25              bring up anything about presidential


 

 

                                                                      64

 

 

            1              politics or any politics for anybody that's

 

            2              running for reelection or election, the city

 

            3              or the personal government."

 

            4                      Thank you.

 

            5                      MR. MCGOFF:  Thank you.

 

            6                      MR. TIGUE: Good evening, members of

 

            7              the board, our union president and current

 

            8              members who showed up this evening, my

 

            9              primary concern --

 

           10                      MR. MCGOFF: I'm sorry, your name,

 

           11              please?

 

           12                      MR. TIGUE: I'm sorry, Joe Tigue,

 

           13              taxpayer, emphasis on taxpayer.  My primary

 

           14              concern for this evening is not emotions or

 

           15              feelings, it would be primarily based on

 

           16              efficiency, maximum output versus input, and

 

           17              my focus would be on our city stimulus.  As

 

           18              a college student myself, my primary focus

 

           19              is on economic stimulus and I'm born here in

 

           20              Scranton in 1979, I've resided since and my

 

           21              primary focus is how can we as individuals

 

           22              citizens stimulate the city rather than just

 

           23              talking about the stimulus, how can we

 

           24              actually stimulate the city and looking at

 

           25              the primary structure as to the way Scranton


 

 

                                                                      65

 

 

            1              is we are surrounded by anywhere between 5

 

            2              to 7 distinguished universities or colleges

 

            3              and I'm asking myself as based on how the

 

            4              confines of Scranton is, we can court

 

            5              intellectual individuals into the city, but

 

            6              hat is our basis of retention of keeping

 

            7              them there and in order to elevate the

 

            8              actual city itself these are the type of

 

            9              individuals of which we need to retain.

 

           10              This is my first actual appearance here at

 

           11              city council.  All I would ask if it hasn't

 

           12              already been in place, is to ask of you to

 

           13              put together, I have with me some ideas here

 

           14              myself, if you would like, next city council

 

           15              I will go ahead and actually introduce it to

 

           16              you, but some type of stimulus program to

 

           17              not only recording individuals with a focus

 

           18              of business, with a focus in education, with

 

           19              a focus in health organizations since we

 

           20              just had one open up in Lackawanna County

 

           21              college here, court them but also provide

 

           22              some type of stimulus program to retain them

 

           23              and that right there is going to bring up

 

           24              the quality of the city rather than focus or

 

           25              talk about the individual mechanics of the


 

 

                                                                      66

 

 

            1              city.  Bringing it up over or retaining

 

            2              individuals of intellectual capacity or

 

            3              bringing up the quality of this individual

 

            4              in the City in Scranton is all I ask and

 

            5              next week I will bring forth a projected

 

            6              plan of how to do so.  Thank you for your

 

            7              time.

 

            8                      MR. MCGOFF: Than you.

 

            9                      MR. ELLMAN: Ronnie Ellman, home

 

           10              owner and taxpayer, member of the Taxpayers'

 

           11              Association.  Brother Courtright, I didn't

 

           12              know you did that judo stuff.  I found out.

 

           13              Do you by some chance no Yogi Sheridan?

 

           14                      MR. COURTRIGHT: No, I don't know.

 

           15                      MR. ELLMAN:  He has a class down in

 

           16              Wilkes-Barre somewhere, but I taught him

 

           17              everything he knows.

 

           18                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Chunky Munkey, huh?

 

           19                      MR. ELLMAN: These are lethal

 

           20              weapons.

 

           21                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  That's a style

 

           22              actually.

 

           23                      MR. ELLMAN: Anyway.  I had a lady

 

           24              come up to me, I just wrote a couple of

 

           25              notes down because I wasn't going to come


 

 

                                                                      67

 

 

            1              and she told --  she said her kids have been

 

            2              run off from the South Side Complex and she

 

            3              wanted to know where they are supposed to go

 

            4              and I think that's a good question since we

 

            5              just got completely beat out of it with some

 

            6              kind of crooked deal the mayor has made with

 

            7              the school evidently, you know, we didn't

 

            8              get money and we didn't get a park.  That's

 

            9              what people are saying.

 

           10                      Then I had another lady tell me she

 

           11              had two young healthy trees cut down in her

 

           12              front yard, she said she couldn't stop the

 

           13              people from doing it.  She didn't tell me

 

           14              where she lived, she didn't want to make a

 

           15              big thing of it, but I told you a year ago,

 

           16              we got this volunteer old fool running

 

           17              around here marking hundreds of trees

 

           18              between the sidewalk and the street.  There

 

           19              can't be 300 or 400 bad trees in a little

 

           20              city with a couple of hundred miles of

 

           21              roads.  It's time to stop it.  All they are

 

           22              doing is keeping a tree company, you know,

 

           23              busy.

 

           24                      You know the big building burned

 

           25              down at Market and Main, twice when I have


 

 

                                                                      68

 

 

            1              been sitting over in the afternoon at the

 

            2              New Penny I had a couple of people joke with

 

            3              me, they are dumping their stuff from that

 

            4              building behind the Castle Restaurant.  When

 

            5              my house burned I had two dumpsters cost

 

            6              almost $700, you know, I don't think it's

 

            7              right for him to be getting away with this.

 

            8              I think something ought to be investigated

 

            9              to find out whether it's true or not.

 

           10                      MR. COURTRIGHT: What's he doing?

 

           11                      MR. ELLMAN: That's what I heard from

 

           12              two people that are working there that they

 

           13              are dumping crap right behind the Castle

 

           14              Restaurant from that big building.

 

           15                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Down into the

 

           16              river?

 

           17                      MR. ELLMAN: If it's a rumor, I'm

 

           18              sorry, but if it's not a rumor he ought to

 

           19              be fined and, you know, the taxpayers are

 

           20              going to have to clean it up and if you go

 

           21              the next block over before the trees grew

 

           22              you can see mattresses and things laying

 

           23              there.  You know, like I said, it's hearsay.

 

           24                   And I would like to say something about

 

           25              what I read in the paper about the mayor


 

 

                                                                      69

 

 

            1              wanting to pursue the zoo a little bit.  I

 

            2              think that's a great idea.  A nice zoo would

 

            3              bring more people to this city than ten

 

            4              Steamtowns.  I have gone to the zoo in San

 

            5              Diego and the big one in Chicago and they

 

            6              just bring people to them, you know,

 

            7              especially at this time when so many animals

 

            8              are in danger and I grew up in Memphis as

 

            9              renowned zoo and little kids we used to just

 

           10              hang out there, you know, when there wasn't

 

           11              nothing else to do when I was little.

 

           12                      And I have had a problem with the

 

           13              Sewer Authority, they have charged me I

 

           14              think I said for 12 years I have been paying

 

           15              for a duplex, when the house burnt they kept

 

           16              sending me a sewer bill and I said, "Go over

 

           17              there, there is nothing there," you know, I

 

           18              can't have water being used.  Finally they

 

           19              told me a man named Mario phoned me the

 

           20              other day and said they are going to go back

 

           21              on three bills.  I have paid for 12 years

 

           22              for a duplex and they said three bills is

 

           23              all their lawyer wants to do.  There is

 

           24              something wrong with that system and I have

 

           25              complained about four or five years ago and


 

 

                                                                      70

 

 

            1              they told me my bill was right.  I got a

 

            2              $132 water bill last month and there is

 

            3              nothing there.  They came out and saw there

 

            4              is no water.  She said, well, your meter is

 

            5              going, I don't know where the water went.

 

            6              There is no water in my house, they sent me

 

            7              a hundred -- when I lived there with the

 

            8              washing machine I never had $132 bill.  This

 

            9              city just, you know, things aren't right

 

           10              around here.

 

           11                      I got another question, that big

 

           12              house on Jefferson and Mulberry that they

 

           13              have remodeled, that's a historic piece of

 

           14              property or something, you know, it's not a

 

           15              historic piece of property anymore it's a

 

           16              new house almost, but I noticed they got a

 

           17              liquor license application in the window.

 

           18              If it's not a house do they get tax breaks?

 

           19                      MS. FANUCCI: It's a business.

 

           20                      MR. ELLMAN:  Is it a historic piece

 

           21              of property?

 

           22                      MS. FANUCCI: I don't know if it's

 

           23              registered as a historical -- I don't know

 

           24              if it's registered with the Historical

 

           25              Society.


 

 

                                                                      71

 

 

            1                      MR. ELLMAN: Well, I just don't see

 

            2              why everybody is getting tax breaks but

 

            3              these people out here.  They are not getting

 

            4              any tax breaks, you know?  It's time to

 

            5              quit.  The university said --

 

            6                      MS. FANUCCI: I don't think it's a

 

            7              tax break.

 

            8                      MR. ELLMAN: -- they are going to

 

            9              have a $100 million building plan, you can

 

           10              imagine how many more houses are going to go

 

           11              off the tax rolls, it's time to quit.  If

 

           12              they got $100 million to build let them

 

           13              start paying some taxes like the rest of us

 

           14              do.  Thank you.

 

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

 

           16              Mrs. Evans.

 

           17                      MS. EVANS: Good evening.  To begin

 

           18              with, just a bit of good news, House Bill

 

           19              2018 which states that a municipality will

 

           20              be eligible to receive distributions under

 

           21              the act if the municipality total market

 

           22              value of tax exempt property equals or

 

           23              exceeds 15 percent of the total market value

 

           24              of an assessed property within the

 

           25              municipality and if the municipality levies


 

 

                                                                      72

 

 

            1              a real property tax.

 

            2                      Now, that tax exempt property bill

 

            3              has passed the House local government

 

            4              committee and I'm sure all of us are very

 

            5              anxious to see can it proceed successfully

 

            6              through the House and if so, if successful

 

            7              beginning in 2009 each county will be

 

            8              required to annually compile a list of the

 

            9              market value of tax exempt property within

 

           10              it's borders for submission to DCED and then

 

           11              the monies will be disbursed.

 

           12                      However, any county that fails to

 

           13              provide to DCED the report by July 21 shall

 

           14              cause all municipalities within that county

 

           15              to forfeit the right to share in the

 

           16              distribution of the funding for the year in

 

           17              which the information was not reported, and

 

           18              so I believe the success of the program on a

 

           19              local level will be largely dependent on the

 

           20              reports of Lackawanna County to DCED, but

 

           21              again, we are hoping for the successful

 

           22              passage of this in the House.

 

           23                      I'd also like to congratulate the

 

           24              Scranton High School scholastic team for

 

           25              placing seventh in the state in the


 

 

                                                                      73

 

 

            1              Pennsylvania Academic Championship conducted

 

            2              at the state capital last Friday.  Captain

 

            3              Casey O'Neill and team members Samantha

 

            4              Delcerra, Rene Fisher, Craig Fisher, Shane

 

            5              Savitsky and Brian Schoener, who are also

 

            6              NEIU 19 scholastic scrimmage champions, did

 

            7              an exemplary job of representing not only

 

            8              the Scranton School District, but our great

 

            9              city as well.

 

           10                      Following my return from Harrisburg

 

           11              on Friday evening, I learned that Boris

 

           12              Krachnook, a/k/a Robert Random, had tried to

 

           13              contact me during my absence.  As I read his

 

           14              column on Saturday morning, I was dismayed

 

           15              by Frank Shimkus' comment "What a crock."

 

           16                      Any elected official should

 

           17              articulate his responses in a professional

 

           18              manner, but more importantly, both

 

           19              Mr. Shimkus and I know the situation in

 

           20              question and his responses to the people's

 

           21              problem and the newspaper speak to his

 

           22              integrity and his ability.

 

           23                      Now, I spoke with Mr. Shimkus

 

           24              regarding the separation of tax bills

 

           25              specifically for the City of Scranton and


 

 

                                                                      74

 

 

            1              the Scranton School District.  The City of

 

            2              Scranton is a Class 2-A city, a unique

 

            3              designation in our Commonwealth.  We are the

 

            4              only city with such designation.  Hence,

 

            5              state legislation enacting this bill would

 

            6              effect only us.  Consequently, legislators

 

            7              from other areas of our Commonwealth would

 

            8              certainly not be opposed to such a measure.

 

            9              What is it's goal?  To help the senior

 

           10              citizens, the working class families and the

 

           11              poor of this city keep their homes and not

 

           12              lose them to delinquent property tax

 

           13              collections.

 

           14                      And it was since council, I should

 

           15              back pedal here a moment, since council

 

           16              would not amend that resolution to eliminate

 

           17              sheriff's sales of resident's homes, the

 

           18              alternative was to separate these tax bills

 

           19              because the city's portion, indeed, is much

 

           20              smaller, thereby, enabling the taxpayers to

 

           21              pay the city taxes immediately and save

 

           22              their homes and make a payment agreement

 

           23              with the school district because the school

 

           24              district does not have the ability to lien

 

           25              your properties or take your homes, and so I


 

 

                                                                      75

 

 

            1              sought Mr. Shimkus' assistance with this.  I

 

            2              met with him, I have basically badgered him

 

            3              each time I have run into him about it and

 

            4              it seems nothing has really occurred and he

 

            5              was going to get back to me to he was going

 

            6              to get back to me to let me know if this

 

            7              were going to proceed attached to another

 

            8              bill in the house and I never heard back

 

            9              from him.

 

           10                      So I am disappointed not for myself

 

           11              because I can pay those city taxes, I'm

 

           12              disappointed on behalf of the people that

 

           13              both he and I represent this is something of

 

           14              great value to our city and it's something I

 

           15              feel can be accomplished and so I would ask

 

           16              Mr. Shimkus to pursue this and to reexamine

 

           17              his responses to the Scranton Times.

 

           18                   It appears nearly as impossible to

 

           19              obtain an audience with the Pope as it does

 

           20              to conduct a caucus with Mrs. Vitale and

 

           21              Attorney McGovern, so much for the

 

           22              transparency in government.  Each week the

 

           23              financial and political mystery swells and a

 

           24              few more puzzle pieces can be supplied.

 

           25              First and foremost, it is highly doubtful


 

 

                                                                      76

 

 

            1              that any of elected official who was not

 

            2              involved with the chicanery in the tax

 

            3              office could request tax information and

 

            4              expect to receive it.  Proof.  You want

 

            5              proof?  Mr. McDowell would not even allow

 

            6              employees of his tax office to speak either

 

            7              privately or publically to council about

 

            8              public information.  Did that raise a red

 

            9              flag?  Not in city hall at least.  Should

 

           10              workers have blown the whistle on alleged

 

           11              improprieties or possible illegalities?  You

 

           12              be the judge especially after reading about

 

           13              the arrests of supposed whistle-blowers.

 

           14                      There have been so many red flags

 

           15              flying amid this debacle that they could

 

           16              turn the much gray waters of Lake Scranton

 

           17              red.  Simply conduct the forensic audit and

 

           18              a full FBI investigation and stop the

 

           19              political positioning and seeming coverups.

 

           20              It's the only way in which to restore the

 

           21              public trusts in that office and in county

 

           22              law enforcement.

 

           23                      Next, a letter was sent from council

 

           24              to Mr. Renda or March 20, 2008, requesting

 

           25              copies of the Burkheimer analysis of the


 

 

                                                                      77

 

 

            1              city's delinquent tax data and monthly

 

            2              reports of the Single Tax Office.  Please

 

            3              send a reminder to Mr. Renda that council

 

            4              awaits these documents and, Kay, has there

 

            5              been a response to your knowledge from the

 

            6              mayor regarding the $20,000 allocation for

 

            7              Scranton Today TV?

 

            8                      MS. GARVEY: No, not to my knowledge.

 

            9                      MS. EVANS: A response for the

 

           10              replacement site for the South Side complex?

 

           11                      MS. GARVEY: No.

 

           12                      MS. EVANS: Then, I would like to

 

           13              send a reminder as well to the mayor that we

 

           14              are awaiting his responses on those issues,

 

           15              please.

 

           16                      Next, some updates on citizens'

 

           17              requests.  There were a number of areas that

 

           18              had been requested for pothole patching and

 

           19              Mr. Brazil responded that all of the blocks

 

           20              would be patched if they had not already

 

           21              been patched, and he further states that the

 

           22              DPW has coldpatched many so far, but had

 

           23              been waiting for the asphalt plants to open

 

           24              and as of April 7 they began repairing and

 

           25              patching with hot material which is longer


 

 

                                                                      78

 

 

            1              lasting and a better material to be used for

 

            2              this purpose.

 

            3                      Now, referring to the stop sign

 

            4              placement at South Webster Avenue and East

 

            5              Locust Street, he has indicated that that

 

            6              request would be passed to the city

 

            7              engineer, however, as I traveled in this

 

            8              area this past weekend dropping off my

 

            9              students I noticed that, indeed, the stop

 

           10              sign was up and for that I am very grateful

 

           11              as are the residents of that area.

 

           12                      He also indicates with regard to the

 

           13              industrial pump for Parker Street, he is

 

           14              checking into information already received

 

           15              by George Parker.  Now, that letter was

 

           16              dated April 7 and so, Kay, if we could again

 

           17              remind Mr. Brazil about the industrial pump,

 

           18              what information has he obtained since April

 

           19              7 I really would like an answer on that.

 

           20                   Also, with regard to Archbald Street,

 

           21              the pavecut inspector for the City of

 

           22              Scranton, John Hazzouri, indicated that last

 

           23              week or, yes, I believe it was last week or

 

           24              over the weekend he will get over to

 

           25              Archbald Street, take a look at it regarding


 

 

                                                                      79

 

 

            1              the dust problems and he will have them

 

            2              taken care of, and he also states that

 

            3              regarding the paving of this area the gas

 

            4              company is going to restore the cuts for now

 

            5              and the gas company will be paving it

 

            6              sometime this summer.  Now, I know that that

 

            7              contradicts the statements of the gas

 

            8              company who appeared to be waiting for the

 

            9              announcement of the city's paving list.

 

           10              Mr. Hazzouri further states that he does not

 

           11              have an exact time frame for the paving of

 

           12              those three blocks of Archbald Street, but

 

           13              if the residents will please keep in contact

 

           14              with me I'm going to keep my eye on that and

 

           15              make sure what one way or another it is

 

           16              paved, but I do believe the proper course of

 

           17              action there would be for the utility

 

           18              company to provide that paving.

 

           19                      Some new requests:  I'm going to

 

           20              start with the most recent at Filmore Avenue

 

           21              at the Yunyon Church, we want that very

 

           22              large pothole filled immediately.

 

           23                      Also, clean graffiti from the

 

           24              Dorothy Street playground.  Neighbors report

 

           25              that the understructure of the sliding


 

 

                                                                      80

 

 

            1              boards and swings are tagged.  The number

 

            2              515 appears in several places.  Now, the

 

            3              wonderful senior citizen who daily cleaned

 

            4              this playground for years is no longer able

 

            5              to do so and I think it is time now that the

 

            6              city clean neighborhood parks and

 

            7              playgrounds on a scheduled basis, so please

 

            8              clean the Dorothy Street area as soon as

 

            9              possible.  These taggings are not something

 

           10              we want young children to be exposed to.

 

           11                   Residents report that cars continue to

 

           12              park on the sidewalks of the 900 block of

 

           13              Greenridge Street, particularly at 918, 922,

 

           14              and 924 Greenridge Street.  Pedestrians must

 

           15              walk out on the road because these cars

 

           16              block the sidewalks and I know that Chief

 

           17              Elliott indicated perhaps two weeks ago that

 

           18              the patrol cars would be addressing this,

 

           19              but as I indicated the residents of the area

 

           20              report the problem is continuing.

 

           21                      Residents of 14th Avenue and Luzerne

 

           22              Street report that it has been six weeks

 

           23              since the written response from

 

           24              Mr. Seitzinger regarding the 14th Avenue and

 

           25              Luzerne Street was read during a council


 

 

                                                                      81

 

 

            1              meeting yet garbage and recycle containers

 

            2              remain on the sidewalks 24/7.  The garage

 

            3              area remains deplorable, littered with

 

            4              broken concrete, junk items and dirt piles.

 

            5              This eyesore has been allowed to continue

 

            6              for well over a year despite the efforts of

 

            7              several council people.  Mrs. Gatelli,

 

            8              Mr. Courtright, myself, and to quote the

 

            9              residents, these are not my words, but I

 

           10              have to say not only did I get a little

 

           11              chuckle and a smile, but I had to admit I

 

           12              agreed, "Good thing Hillary visited the 300

 

           13              Block of 14th Avenue where or our esteemed

 

           14              mayor would have been quiet embarrassed."

 

           15                      So, let us hope that at long last

 

           16              this blighted area is going to be taken care

 

           17              of.

 

           18                      Also, one last thing with regard to

 

           19              Miss Schumacher's questions, if we can find

 

           20              out, unless Mr. Courtright knows

 

           21              definitively what fire station will receive

 

           22              the new fire truck, and that's it.

 

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

 

           24              Mrs. Fanucci.

 

           25                      MS. FANUCCI: I have a lot to say


 

 

                                                                      82

 

 

            1              tonight, obviously.  I am so sick and tired

 

            2              of the political maneuvering that's been

 

            3              going on in these chambers.  People are

 

            4              upset about the way this was the way that --

 

            5              the way that I responded to a person who

 

            6              came here with information that he should

 

            7              have never been provided in the first place

 

            8              and not only did the gentleman come here

 

            9              with the information he was provided from

 

           10              the tax office, but to find out it is

 

           11              nothing but typical political staging.  If

 

           12              you are a candidate you should not be

 

           13              allowed to speak here under any

 

           14              circumstances.  If you are here to tote your

 

           15              candidate to make sure if someone else gets

 

           16              in, to make sure someone else gets out, stay

 

           17              away.  Do it behind the scenes.  I am

 

           18              appalled and sick that these chambers are

 

           19              constantly used in this manner.  I have

 

           20              stated it 100 times.  Tonight we watched it

 

           21              three or four times.  We heard people talk

 

           22              about one candidate against another

 

           23              candidate, and now they feel about this one

 

           24              and it's ridiculous.  If you think that it's

 

           25              not obvious to the public and to me, why you


 

 

                                                                      83

 

 

            1              wonder why I laugh every week, it is so

 

            2              blatantly obvious what goes on here.  These

 

            3              are not about city motives and who is going

 

            4              to do better in the city and how we can pull

 

            5              together, it's about getting your guy where

 

            6              you want to get him or get the guy out so

 

            7              you can get the person in you want.  I have

 

            8              had it.  We stick to the rules here from now

 

            9              on.  If I hear anymore politics I'm going to

 

           10              ask that we stick to the council rules which

 

           11              are not politics.  Stop talking about

 

           12              candidates.  I never talk about a candidate

 

           13              nor did I discuss what I don't like about a

 

           14              candidate, any one of them, and there was a

 

           15              person actually got up tonight who said the

 

           16              most sense.  He actually did discuss some

 

           17              things and said, you know what, we are

 

           18              wrong.  This is wrong.  This is not the

 

           19              place for it.

 

           20                      Mr. Talimini, I actually agree with

 

           21              you on one topic tonight, and I have to say

 

           22              that I'm amazed myself, no one got up to

 

           23              discuss the school board, it's amazing to me

 

           24              after everything that we are here for our

 

           25              righteous findings and who is right and who


 

 

                                                                      84

 

 

            1              is wrong in politics, funny that we never

 

            2              saw anybody get up to discuss where certain

 

            3              things went and how it happened and the

 

            4              paperwork and all of that, never was

 

            5              discussed in this forum.  And after being

 

            6              here for years it's amazing to me if you

 

            7              think that the dots aren't connected

 

            8              everywhere they are connected, but I am sick

 

            9              and tired of it landing in the same spot

 

           10              over and over again.  Move on, get over it

 

           11              and start helping.  If you want the city to

 

           12              be better, help make the city a better

 

           13              place.  Don't do it behind the scenes.

 

           14              Don't go to your little coffee shops and

 

           15              decide on how you are going to politically

 

           16              do something, it's almost absurd to me that

 

           17              this is it what takes place and people think

 

           18              they are being productive.

 

           19                      And, actually, I wish I had the time

 

           20              to do all of that and plan all of this and

 

           21              think all of that and have my conspiracy

 

           22              theories and decide how I'm going to take

 

           23              people out and what I'm going to do, but I

 

           24              don't.  I have time to help the people who

 

           25              call me on a daily basis, I have time to


 

 

                                                                      85

 

 

            1              answer the e-mails and that's it.  When you

 

            2              want to come here, come here with honest,

 

            3              real problems and issues and that's it.

 

            4                      So if I see the little maneuvering

 

            5              and you are deciding and who you are going

 

            6              with and all of this stuff I'm going to

 

            7              laugh at you, I'm going to get up and leave,

 

            8              I'm not sitting here any longer and

 

            9              listening to your own reasoning for doing

 

           10              what you want to do just to get someone

 

           11              where you want to get them.  If you honestly

 

           12              believe the city is a good place start

 

           13              acting it and start presenting ideas that

 

           14              actually help us, and that is all I have on

 

           15              that matter.

 

           16                      As for the legislation that we had

 

           17              before us tonight, it is actually a reissue

 

           18              of legislation that we had before.  It is

 

           19              Tink's is selling -- trying to sell their

 

           20              business.  They have been paying off their

 

           21              loan with us, with the city for years and

 

           22              years, and will continue to do so.  It is

 

           23              actually just taking their collateral off so

 

           24              they can transfer the business to someone

 

           25              else.  They are still responsible for the


 

 

                                                                      86

 

 

            1              money the interest waste rate is still the

 

            2              same and there is nothing that they are

 

            3              benefiting from this except to be able to

 

            4              transfer the business to someone else, and

 

            5              that is all I have.  Thank you.

 

            6                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Ms. Fanucci.

 

            7              Mr. Courtright.

 

            8                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.  Kay, if you

 

            9              can help me out with this one, someone asked

 

           10              me this weekend what became of the steel

 

           11              from the building that they tore down on

 

           12              Orchard Street, they are going to make a

 

           13              playground, the city recycled, took the

 

           14              money for it, I have no idea so I would

 

           15              imagine you and Mr. Brazil can look into

 

           16              this for us.

 

           17                      OECD remains -- a lot of the

 

           18              questions coming from especially Mr. Quinn

 

           19              and, obviously, he is pretty well-versed in

 

           20              it, I asked awhile back if Ms. Aebli would

 

           21              be willing to come and sit down and answer

 

           22              questions and explain the process a little

 

           23              bit, did we ask her that or is she willing

 

           24              to do that?

 

           25                      MR. MCGOFF: Yes.


 

 

                                                                      87

 

 

            1                      MS. GARVEY: We sent a letter, but we

 

            2              didn't get anything back yet.

 

            3                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  All right.  I know

 

            4              she seems fairly reasonable, so maybe she

 

            5              will do that and it doesn't have to be at a

 

            6              council meeting, if she wants to setup a

 

            7              particular date and time and use these

 

            8              chambers and maybe ask her questions, maybe

 

            9              she is the best one to ask, you know, rather

 

           10              than going through us, and we've certainly

 

           11              tried, we've tried to do our best to answer

 

           12              the questions but, obviously, some of the

 

           13              them aren't getting answers to their

 

           14              satisfaction of the people asking them, so

 

           15              if we can ask again if she would be wiling

 

           16              to do and I think everybody would appreciate

 

           17              that.

 

           18                      And the fire truck, my understanding

 

           19              as far as the fire truck goes if it's to be

 

           20              purchased with OECD money it has to service

 

           21              an area that would qualify for OECD money,

 

           22              and I haven't been told exactly where the

 

           23              fire truck is going to go, but I will ask

 

           24              that question and I will get that answer.

 

           25                   And I don't want to, I know Mr. Gervasi


 

 

                                                                      88

 

 

            1              probably answered it much better than I do,

 

            2              but the rescue truck has been sorely needed.

 

            3              It is my understanding that when we

 

            4              purchased the rescue truck so many years ago

 

            5              it really wasn't the proper piece of

 

            6              equipment for this city.  It's been broke

 

            7              down I think since the day we got it and I

 

            8              think maybe because we have a large amount

 

            9              of hills in this area and you needed a

 

           10              particular piece of equipment, that piece of

 

           11              equipment runs more so than any other, so

 

           12              I'm glad to see that it's there and I don't

 

           13              know, but I'm guessing maybe because rescue

 

           14              services the entire city that that could

 

           15              qualify, Mr. Gervasi is shaking his head,

 

           16              yes, and again, I think he knows much more

 

           17              about it.

 

           18                      MR. GERVASI: Low end area.

 

           19                      MR. COURTRIGHT: And stationed in the

 

           20              low end area.  And, also, and I'm going to

 

           21              out on a limb and say this, my your

 

           22              understanding is that after so many years

 

           23              it's in this service it could be moved to a

 

           24              different area to qualify and then we would

 

           25              be able to reapply for another vehicle and


 

 

                                                                      89

 

 

            1              to get in that area, so I'm not quite sure

 

            2              how many years it is, something is telling

 

            3              me three years, but whatever the time is.

 

            4              After the times expires that vehicle would

 

            5              be able to be moved to a different part of

 

            6              the city and then we could reapply and it

 

            7              appears that right now that's the only way

 

            8              we are getting the fire truck is through

 

            9              OECD money and so that's it.  That's all I

 

           10              have.  Thank you.

 

           11                      MR. MCGOFF:  Thank you,

 

           12              Mr. Courtright.  A few brief things,

 

           13              speaking of the fire trucks, I had the

 

           14              opportunity today to visit the Smoke House

 

           15              it was at Marian Catholic Elementary School,

 

           16              they were conducting a program for the third

 

           17              and fourth graders, my wife works there and

 

           18              I happened to stop by and was given the

 

           19              opportunity to crawl out of the house

 

           20              properly behind a group of third graders who

 

           21              were much better at the crawling part of it

 

           22              than I was.  Also, had an opportunity to see

 

           23              a video that's shown to the fourth grade

 

           24              students which was excellent, and I'm told

 

           25              that that program that that's done at 19


 

 

                                                                      90

 

 

            1              different schools throughout the city and

 

            2              excellent idea and excellent program.

 

            3                      In response to Mr. Spindler on the

 

            4              viscous dog legislation, in speaking with

 

            5              Mrs. Gatelli I guess she had done a little

 

            6              bit of research on it and I prefer to wait

 

            7              until she is able to explain, but certainly

 

            8              given the recent incidents involving dogs

 

            9              that perhaps it is something that should be

 

           10              revisited and see what can be done in terms

 

           11              of legislation, in terms of trying to

 

           12              control what are deemed viscous dogs in the

 

           13              city.

 

           14                      Also, again, support for the Cinco

 

           15              De Mayo program at Scranton High School,

 

           16              again, Mr. Gonzalez said from 1 to 7 p.m.

 

           17              Saturday, the 3rd, I'm sure it will be a

 

           18              worthwhile program to attend.

 

           19                      As far as the audits audit status

 

           20              for the Single Tax Office, I was told by

 

           21              Mr. McGovern, that the RFP's were -- not

 

           22              sample, proposed RFP's were being sent to

 

           23              each of the governing bodies to see if they

 

           24              were acceptable, once he spoke with the

 

           25              three different governing bodies they would


 

 

                                                                      91

 

 

            1              then -- the RFP's would then be issued and

 

            2              an auditor would be hired to conduct that,

 

            3              so that is the current status of it.

 

            4                      And as far as the caucus with the

 

            5              tax collector and the solicitor from the

 

            6              Single Tax Office, I do want to say that

 

            7              it's certainly not as difficult as getting

 

            8              an audience with the Pope, although, I have

 

            9              never had an audience with the Pope so I

 

           10              don't know if that is difficult, so I guess

 

           11              I can't say that, Mr. McGovern in speaking

 

           12              with him twice in the past two weeks has

 

           13              been more than willing to come and speak to

 

           14              council.  Their reluctance is simply the

 

           15              number of investigations that are being

 

           16              conducted at the Single Tax Office right

 

           17              now.  He feels it would be imprudent of them

 

           18              to come to a public caucus to discuss

 

           19              anything dealing with the issues that are

 

           20              taking place there.  He said they would be

 

           21              more than willing to meet with council in a

 

           22              closed caucus and discuss, you know,

 

           23              whatever issues we needed or and to answer

 

           24              whatever questions we had, so it's not that

 

           25              they have been impossible to deal with, it's


 

 

                                                                      92

 

 

            1              just that a matter of reluctance on their

 

            2              part to do is in public given the nature of

 

            3              the situation at the Single Tax Office.

 

            4                      And I will try and contact

 

            5              Mrs. Aebli to discuss the possibility of

 

            6              them, you know, someone coming to council or

 

            7              members of OECD coming to council, and I

 

            8              believe that's all I have.

 

            9                      MS. EVANS: I just wanted to clarify

 

           10              one point before we move on to tonight's

 

           11              legislation, a number of correspondences

 

           12              have traveled back and forth between city

 

           13              council and the Single Tax Office, I know

 

           14              our president has made a number of phone

 

           15              calls to at least Mr. McGovern, and I do

 

           16              recall that many weeks ago not long after

 

           17              the news broke there was a public meeting

 

           18              conducted with the Scranton School District

 

           19              and the Single Tax Office.  Now, the

 

           20              Scranton School District pays half of the

 

           21              salary of the tax collector, the city pays

 

           22              the other half, and this is your money, and

 

           23              I do believe the public has the right to

 

           24              know and that's why the school district

 

           25              wisely provided an open meeting.  I don't


 

 

                                                                      93

 

 

            1              believe that any council persons are

 

            2              requesting confidential information,

 

            3              specifically, the names of the individuals

 

            4              or their social security numbers, none of us

 

            5              ever saw any social security numbers if we

 

            6              want to be truthful.  There might have been

 

            7              a grand total of two or three people in this

 

            8              city that ever saw those and I doubt very

 

            9              much that was their major concern.  I think

 

           10              the concern was with the big bill at the

 

           11              bottom to the Stadium Club.  I know it was

 

           12              the only thing that interested me that

 

           13              evening, but, as I said, there were no

 

           14              social security numbers on there, but

 

           15              getting back to the request here I think it

 

           16              is very important, as I said, council is not

 

           17              asking for confidential information and in

 

           18              the event that should occur it's very simple

 

           19              to respond, "I can't answer," so I think

 

           20              probably what Mr. Courtright suggested

 

           21              earlier this evening in our caucus meeting

 

           22              may be most appropriate at this time.  Since

 

           23              the type of transparency we are looking for

 

           24              is not at this time forthcoming we should

 

           25              perhaps just wait until such time as that


 

 

                                                                      94

 

 

            1              can be accomplished.

 

            2                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Mr. McGoff, may I

 

            3              say something, please?

 

            4                      MR. MCGOFF: Absolutely.

 

            5                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  The reason I made

 

            6              that suggestion in the back room, my feeling

 

            7              was this, if we were to have Mr. McGovern

 

            8              come here for the tax office and we asked

 

            9              him questions and in the back room and it

 

           10              was closed door I think it might just give

 

           11              the appearance that we were trying to do

 

           12              something inappropriate or behind closed

 

           13              doors and God knows the tax office has been

 

           14              tainted with that already, we don't want

 

           15              that taint to come off on us, so if and when

 

           16              they feel comfortable that they can come

 

           17              here to the public I suggest that we do it

 

           18              then.  If, when and they are comfortable.

 

           19              And as Mr. Evans said, I don't think any of

 

           20              us plan on asking any questions and,

 

           21              Mrs. Fanucci is shaking her head, we all

 

           22              spoke about this and I'm not going to speak

 

           23              for Mrs. Gatelli, but I think she agreed

 

           24              also that maybe two weeks ago that none of

 

           25              us have planned on asking them any questions


 

 

                                                                      95

 

 

            1              that would compromise the legal proceedings

 

            2              that are going on there and I think, you

 

            3              know, we are smart enough not to do that,

 

            4              but being for whatever reason they don't

 

            5              want to come and do that, so maybe we will,

 

            6              maybe we will wait until what time they are

 

            7              comfortable coming here and do it out in the

 

            8              public so everybody here sees what's going

 

            9              on and there is no misconception of what we

 

           10              are trying to accomplish.  Thank you.

 

           11                      MR. MCGOFF: Mrs. Garvey.

 

           12                      MS. GARVEY: FIFTH ORDER - FOR

 

           13              INTRODUCTION - A RESOLUTION - AUTHORIZING

 

           14              THE MAYOR AND OTHER APPROPRIATE CITY

 

           15              OFFICIALS TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH THE

 

           16              COMMOWNEALTH PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF

 

           17              COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT ("DCED") FOR ITS

 

           18              EMERGENCY RESPONDERS RESOURCE AND TRAINING

 

           19              PROGRAM TO RECEIVE A $30,000.00 GRANT TO

 

           20              UPDATE FIRE DEPARTMENT EQUIPMENT.

 

           21                      MR. MCGOFF: At this time I'll

 

           22              entertain a motion that Item 5-B be

 

           23              introduced into it's proper committee.

 

           24                      MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.

 

           25                      MS. FANUCCI:  Second.


 

 

                                                                      96

 

 

            1                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  All

 

            2              those in favor signify by saying aye.

 

            3                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.

 

            4                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.

 

            5                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.

 

            6                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?  The

 

            7              ayes have it and so moved.

 

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

 

            9              A RESOLUTION - AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND

 

           10              OTHER APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS FOR TH CITY

 

           11              OF SCRANTON TO ENTER INTO REFINANCE

 

           12              AGREEMENT FOR THE COMMERCIAL INDUSTRIAL

 

           13              REVOLVING LOAN PROGRAM, PROJECT 150.16 IN

 

           14              REGARDS TO PAUL S. COOPER, JOHN B. COOPER,

 

           15              ANGELA COOPER D/B/A 519 LINDEN STREET

 

           16              COMPANY.

 

           17                      MR. MCGOFF: At this time I'll

 

           18              entertain a motion that Item 5-C be

 

           19              introduced into it's proper committee.

 

           20                      MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.

 

           21                      MS. FANUCCI:  Second.

 

           22                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  All

 

           23              those in favor signify by saying aye.

 

           24                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.

 

           25                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.


 

 

                                                                      97

 

 

            1                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.

 

            2                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?  The

 

            3              ayes have it and so moved.

 

            4                      MS. GARVEY: SIXTH ORDER.  NO

 

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

 

            6              FOR CONSIDERATION BY THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC

 

            7              SAFETY - FOR ADOPTION - FILE OF COUNCIL NO.

 

            8              22, 2008 - ESTABLISHING A "NO PARKING ZONE

 

            9              ALONG THE WESTERLY SIDE OF HARRISON AVENUE

 

           10              (S.R. 6011) FROM MULBERRY STREET SOUTH 265

 

           11              FEET TO ALLOW FOR SIGHT DISTANCE FOR A

 

           12              PROPOSED DRIVEWAY BY MR. EUGENE O'NEIL FOR A

 

           13              PROPERTY LOCATED AT 319-321 HARRISON AVENUE.

 

           14                      MR. MCGOFF: What is the

 

           15              recommendation of the Chairperson for the

 

           16              Committee on Public Safety?

 

           17                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  As Chairperson for

 

           18              the Committee on Public Safety I recommend

 

           19              final passage of Item 7-A.

 

           20                      MS. EVANS: Second.

 

           21                      MR. MCGOFF: On the question?

 

           22                      MR. COURTRIGHT: On the question.

 

           23              Thank you, Mrs. Evans passed this back over

 

           24              to me, I want to thank Attorney Patterson:

 

           25              Lieutenant Mackey and Corporal Backman,


 

 

                                                                      98

 

 

            1              PennDOT, I really looked in this because I

 

            2              wasn't quite sure of it and we have got a

 

            3              recommendation from PennDOT and from the

 

            4              police department that it's okay to pass

 

            5              this no parking, so I just thank you -- and

 

            6              the new city engineer, yes.  Thank God for

 

            7              having a new city engineer, it's Brian D.

 

            8              Swanson, so we are happy to have you on

 

            9              board and thanks for all your hard work.

 

           10                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  Roll

 

           11              call, please.

 

           12                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.

 

           13                      MS. EVANS:  Yes.

 

           14                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Gatelli.

 

           15                      MS. GATELLI.  (No present.)

 

           16                      MR. COOLICAN:  Ms. Fanucci.

 

           17                      MS. FANUCCI:  Yes.

 

           18                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.

 

           19                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yes.

 

           20                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.

 

           21                      MR. MCGOFF:  Yes.  I hereby declare

 

           22              item 7-A legally and lawfully adopted.

 

           23              Thank you for your participation and your

 

           24              patience.  Motion to adjourn.

 

           25                      MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.


 

 

                                                                      99

 

 

            1                      MS. EVANS: Second.

 

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                                                                     100

 

 

            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.

 

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           12

                                    CATHENE S. NARDOZZI

           13                       OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER

 

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