1              SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING








            5                          HELD:




            7                   Tuesday, April 29, 2008




            9                        LOCATION:


           10                    Council Chambers


           11                 Scranton City Hall


           12              340 North Washington Avenue


           13                Scranton, Pennsylvania





















                            CATHENE S. NARDOZZI- COURT REPORTER




















                (Not Present)


                MS. JANET E. EVANS



            9   MS. SHERRY FANUCCI



                MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT



           12   MS. KAY GARVEY, CITY CLERK






           15   MR. AMIL MINORA, SOLICITOR


























            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








            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




            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




           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




           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




           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








            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






            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






            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






            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.






            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






            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.






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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.






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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.






            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






            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






            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






            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,






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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,






            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.






            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.






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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.






            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






            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






            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






            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,






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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.






            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,






            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.






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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.






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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.






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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






            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






           17              COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT ("DCED") FOR ITS




           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.






            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




           11              OF SCRANTON TO ENTER INTO REFINANCE




           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.






            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.




            7              SAFETY - FOR ADOPTION - FILE OF COUNCIL NO.


            8              22, 2008 - ESTABLISHING A "NO PARKING ZONE




           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,






            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.






            1                      MS. EVANS: Second.
























































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




            4        I hereby certify that the proceedings and


            5   evidence are contained fully and accurately in the


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


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


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


            9   ability.







                                    CATHENE S. NARDOZZI

           13                       OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER