1 SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING
7 Tuesday, April 29, 2008
10 Council Chambers
11 Scranton City Hall
12 340 North Washington Avenue
13 Scranton, Pennsylvania
CATHENE S. NARDOZZI- COURT REPORTER
2 CITY OF SCRANTON COUNCIL:
MR. ROBERT MCGOFF, PRESIDENT
6 MS. JUDY GATELLI, VICE-PRESIDENT
MS. JANET E. EVANS
9 MS. SHERRY FANUCCI
MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT
12 MS. KAY GARVEY, CITY CLERK
MR. NEIL COOLICAN, ASSISTANT CITY CLERK
15 MR. AMIL MINORA, SOLICITOR
1 (Pledge of Allegiance recited and moment of reflection
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
19 MS. GARVEY: THIRD ORDER. 3-A.
20 PETITION FOR PERMIT PARKING INT EH 300 BLOCK
21 OF TAYLOR AVENUE.
22 MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?
23 If not, received and filed.
24 MS. GARVEY: 3-B. MINUTES OF THE
25 COMPOSITE PENSION BOARD MEETING HELD ON
1 MARCH 26, 2008.
2 MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?
3 If not, received and filed.
4 MS. GARVEY: 3-C. MINUTES OF THE
5 NON-UNIFORM MUNICIPAL PENSION FUND MEETING
6 HELD ON MARCH 26, 2008?
7 MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?
8 If not, received and filed.
9 MS. GARVEY: 3-D. AGENDA FOR THE
10 NON-UNIFORM MUNICIPAL PENSION BOARD MEETING
11 HELD ON APRIL 23, 2008.
12 MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?
13 If not, received and filed.
14 MS. GARVEY: 3-E. MINUTES OF THE
15 SCRANTON-LACKAWANNA HEALTH & WELFARE
16 AUTHORITY REGULAR BOARD MEETING HELD ON
17 FEBRUARY 21, 2008?
18 MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?
19 If not, received and filed.
20 MS. GARVEY: 3-F. MINUTES OF THE
21 POLICE PENSION COMMISSION MEETING HELD ON
22 MARCH 26, 2008.
23 MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?
24 If not, received and filed.
25 MS. GARVEY: 3-G. MINUTES OF THE
1 COMPOSITE PENSION BOARD MEETING HELD ON
2 MARCH 26, 2008.
3 MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?
4 If not received and filed.
5 MS. GARVEY: That's it for Third
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
9 MS. FANUCCI: Give Neil your number.
10 MR. MCGOFF: Next speaker, Doug
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
6 MR. STUCKER: Yeah. All right.
7 MR. COURTRIGHT: All right. Thanks,
9 MR. STUCKER: You got anything lined
10 up for me?
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: Did I find a job for
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
16 MR. MCGOFF: We don't -- there are no
17 requirements. We don't have any
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
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
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
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
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
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"
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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
21 MR. COURTRIGHT: That's a style
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,
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
15 OFFICIALS TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH THE
16 COMMOWNEALTH PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF
17 COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT ("DCED") FOR ITS
18 EMERGENCY RESPONDERS RESOURCE AND TRAINING
19 PROGRAM TO RECEIVE A $30,000.00 GRANT TO
20 UPDATE FIRE DEPARTMENT EQUIPMENT.
21 MR. MCGOFF: At this time I'll
22 entertain a motion that Item 5-B be
23 introduced into it's proper committee.
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
25 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
1 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? All
2 those in favor signify by saying aye.
3 MS. EVANS: Aye.
4 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
6 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed? The
7 ayes have it and so moved.
8 MS. GARVEY: 5-C. FOR INTRODUCTION -
9 A RESOLUTION - AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND
10 OTHER APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS FOR TH CITY
11 OF SCRANTON TO ENTER INTO REFINANCE
12 AGREEMENT FOR THE COMMERCIAL INDUSTRIAL
13 REVOLVING LOAN PROGRAM, PROJECT 150.16 IN
14 REGARDS TO PAUL S. COOPER, JOHN B. COOPER,
15 ANGELA COOPER D/B/A 519 LINDEN STREET
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.
6 FOR CONSIDERATION BY THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC
7 SAFETY - FOR ADOPTION - FILE OF COUNCIL NO.
8 22, 2008 - ESTABLISHING A "NO PARKING ZONE
9 ALONG THE WESTERLY SIDE OF HARRISON AVENUE
10 (S.R. 6011) FROM MULBERRY STREET SOUTH 265
11 FEET TO ALLOW FOR SIGHT DISTANCE FOR A
12 PROPOSED DRIVEWAY BY MR. EUGENE O'NEIL FOR A
13 PROPERTY LOCATED AT 319-321 HARRISON AVENUE.
14 MR. MCGOFF: What is the
15 recommendation of the Chairperson for the
16 Committee on Public Safety?
17 MR. COURTRIGHT: As Chairperson for
18 the Committee on Public Safety I recommend
19 final passage of Item 7-A.
20 MS. EVANS: Second.
21 MR. MCGOFF: On the question?
22 MR. COURTRIGHT: On the question.
23 Thank you, Mrs. Evans passed this back over
24 to me, I want to thank Attorney Patterson:
25 Lieutenant Mackey and Corporal Backman,
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
CATHENE S. NARDOZZI
13 OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER