1 SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING
7 Tuesday, May 13, 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 observed.)
3 MR. MCGOFF: Roll call, please.
4 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.
5 MS. EVANS: Here.
6 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.
7 MS. GATELLI. Here.
8 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. Fanucci.
9 MS. FANUCCI: Here.
10 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: Here.
12 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff.
13 MR. MCGOFF: Here. Dispense with
14 the reading of the minutes.
15 MS. GARVEY: THIRD ORDER. NO
16 BUSINESS AT THIS TIME.
17 MR. MCGOFF: Prior to Fourth Order
18 there are a couple of announcements that
19 people have. Mr. Courtright, asked if he
20 could --
21 MR. COURTRIGHT: I just have one,
22 bear with me here. Johnny Mattern asked me
23 if I would announce this, this there is
24 going to be the first annual Ride for
25 Robeson, it's for Jimmy Robeson, and it's
1 May 24 this year it's a poker run and the
2 registration is going to be from 9 to 11
3 a.m. at Electric City Harley Davidson in
4 Dickson City. They are going to ride
5 throughout the area and end up back at
6 Legend's Bar in West Scranton. It's $20 for
7 the riders and $10 for a passenger and if
8 you are not a rider or a passenger you can
9 come to the festivities at 2 p.m. at
10 Legend's Bar, again, that's going to be on
11 the 24th, this year. You can call 483-0883,
12 483-0883, and all proceeds from benefits are
13 going to go to the Robeson family and I'll
14 announce it again next week to remind
15 everybody, but it will be the first annual,
16 and I think that's a nice thing that Johnny
17 Mattern and the people from Legend's are
18 doing for the Robeson family. That's all I
19 have. Thank you.
20 MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else?
21 MS. EVANS: Yes. On Saturday, May
22 17, the Northeastern Pennsylvania Chapter of
23 the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation will conduct
24 the Great Strides Fundraising Walk at Nay
25 Aug Park beginning at 10 a.m. Everyone is
1 invited to participate and you may also drop
2 off donations before the walk at 10:00 as
4 The first Annual Children's Fishing
5 Derby will be conducted May 18 from 10 a.m.
6 to 2:00 p.m., children between the ages of 3
7 to 15 are invited to attend. Registration
8 will be held along the river banks in the
9 500 block of Dorothy Street and is free.
10 The derby runs from Greenridge Street Bridge
11 to Popular Street Bridge on the Weston Field
12 side of the river. Refreshments will also
13 be available and prizes will be awarded.
14 Bait, too, will be available if needed and
15 we hope to see you there. This first annual
16 children's fishing derby is being sponsored
17 by the Lower Greenridge Neighborhood
19 Also, on Saturday, May 17, a night
20 at the races will be held at the Villa Maria
21 II at 7:00 p.m. to benefit the Sloan Little
22 League Association. Together with
23 Mr. Courtright I have had the pleasure of
24 once again attending Sloan's opening day
25 ceremonies as they celebrated their 50th
1 Anniversary as a charter baseball
2 association, 1958 to 2008, and both
3 Mr. Courtright and I received Sloan baseball
4 caps and beautiful golden baseballs to
5 commemorate this milestone, so I wanted to
6 thank Sloan so much for recognizing both
7 Mr. Courtright and myself in this lovely
9 MR. MCGOFF: Who threw out the first
11 MS. EVANS: Mr. Courtright.
12 MR. MCGOFF: I was told that there
13 was another first pitch.
14 MS. EVANS: And that was me and I was
15 bowling for dollars.
16 MR. MCGOFF: That was my
17 understanding, that it bounced a few times
18 before it was --
19 MS. EVANS: Before it just rolled.
20 MR. MCGOFF: For the third year in a
22 MS. EVANS: Oh, actually, no, I had a
23 good year last year.
24 MR. MCGOFF: Oh, I'm sorry.
25 MS. EVANS: I forgot to practice this
1 year, but Mr. Courtright saved the day. I
2 threw underhanded and he did overhand and --
3 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you for pitching
4 in relief.
5 MS. EVANS: The Annual Armed Forces
6 Day parade will be conducted this Saturday,
7 May 17, in downtown Scranton. Each year
8 that I attend I'm always very disappointed
9 in the lack of public attendance. In this
10 election year when each of us decides on the
11 next president of the United States the war
12 in Iraq undoubtedly will weigh in our votes,
13 however, your attendance at the Armed Forces
14 Day parade sets an even stronger message of
15 your gratitude and support for our
16 servicemen and women past and present. It
17 doesn't cost a penny, it lasts merely an
18 hour, 11 until 12, and I hope that the
19 citizens of this city will come out and
20 show, as I said, their support and gratitude
21 this year.
22 Also, Deputy Fire Chief Terrence
23 Osborne retired recently from the Scranton
24 Fire Department. Scranton's loss is now
25 Chambersburg's gain since Terry accepted the
1 position of fire chief in that municipality.
2 Terry devoted his career to serving the
3 people of Scranton. We recognize his
4 dedication, professionalism and unselfish
5 service and we are very sorry to lose him to
6 Chambersburg, but we wish him great success
7 in his new position.
8 And, finally, I ask that you
9 remember in your prayers this week Mrs. Anna
10 Schumacher, a well-known, highly respected
11 and dearly loved gentle woman, the mother of
12 Marie Schumacher, our watchdog of local
13 government and regular council speaker, and
14 Mrs. Schumacher was the former owner of
15 Schumacher's meat, and on behalf of all of
16 council our prayers and condolences go out
17 to Marie and her family.
18 MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else?
19 MS. GATELLI: I just have a few
20 things. I also had the armed forces parade
21 as the first item on my agenda for tonight
22 and I would encourage everyone to please go.
23 It is very sparsely attended and I think we
24 need to support our veterans in this time of
25 war. The Odd Couple, the female version, is
1 going to be held at the Northeast Theatre in
2 the Hotel Jermyn from now through May 25.
3 For tickets you can call 558-1151. For
4 anybody who hasn't been there it's a
5 wonderful venue for theatre. It's very
6 small and intimate and the prices are very,
7 very cheap.
8 We got a notice from Paul O'Hora
9 from the flood control project that the
10 intersection of Nay Aug Avenue and Albright
11 Avenue be closed from May 6 for
12 approximately three weeks due to the
13 Greenridge flood control project. Once the
14 work is completed Albright Avenue will
15 reopen to through traffic, however, Nay Aug
16 Avenue will be permanently closed, abandoned
17 from Albright to Greenridge due to the
18 construction of the levy.
19 Also, I would just like to thank
20 Jeff Brazil fr his quick actions repairing a
21 stop sign at the corner of Harrison and
22 Vine. That's all I have.
23 MS. EVANS: Oh, Mr. McGoff, one last
24 item I that forgot, I did receive a call
25 this week regarding the spraying for gypsy
1 moths in the East Mountain area and I was
2 told that that spraying should occur at any
3 time during the next week to week and a half
4 and it, of course, depends on weather
5 conditions. It's not going to be done when
6 the weather is inclement, but if at all
7 possible the office would try to notify me
8 of the exact date, but if East Mountain
9 residents could just keep that in mind over
10 the next week and a half.
11 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you. Anyone else?
12 Fourth Order. Citizens Participation.
13 Ozzie Quinn.
14 MR. QUINN: Ozzie Quinn, Taxpayers'
15 Association. I want to refer back to last
16 Sunday in the Sunday Times there was a good
17 article there on blight fight and it only
18 goes to show what we have been trying to say
19 the Taxpayers' Association coming here for
20 the last several years about the blight
21 that's encompassing our neighborhoods.
22 Since Mr. Doherty has taken over as the
23 mayor there hasn't been any CDBG monies,
24 very miniscule, if at all in regards to
25 neighborhood improvements, it's totally
1 ashame and I just looked at the performance
2 report for -- just for housing in Bethlehem
3 City they had 6 percent for housing,
4 Lancaster 30, Harrisburg 53 and Wilkes-Barre
5 is 11, we had zip. Okay? Zip. So, you can
6 see that Mr. Doherty does not care about the
7 neighborhoods. He is spending all of his
8 money on these other projects and when you
9 mentioned it would come out and show that we
10 are wasting a lot of money. The night
11 before the public hearing of the 2008
12 Community Development Block Grant program he
13 said in his speech in regards to the capital
14 improvements, that he wanted to have three
15 million in sidewalks, curbs and street
16 repairs in the neighborhoods. He had an
17 opportunity to put that money in I which had
18 tried to say offset that capital
19 improvements program in OECD money. Some
20 people said you can't do it, you can't do
21 it. We can do it. And the reason that a
22 lot of communities are getting ahead of us
23 is in housing and other program is because
24 they're parlaying their HOME funds with
25 their CDBG program. They are just not
1 saying, well, we have a HOME program, that's
2 a housing program. That isn't enough money
3 to attack blight. It isn't there and the
4 money he is using he is using for a first
5 time homebuyer's programs. They had five
6 rehabilitations of single homes last year
7 and since Mr. Doherty they had 30 homes.
8 That is unbelievable for an entire community
9 that has received in the last seven years
10 approximately $30 million in CDBG funds.
11 Now, it's got to a point where it's
12 ridiculous. Wayne Evans, he is president of
13 South Scranton Neighborhood Association, was
14 on the planning commission, president of the
15 Architectural Heritage Association, he is
16 quoted in the article and said jobs
17 vanished, the population grew old, absentee
18 landlords scooped up, cheap housing invested
19 little fewer people cared and show and Wayne
20 is very respected man in regards to -- he's
21 a professional realtor.
22 Bob Neverosky who we spent thousands
23 during the Connors administration to clear
24 up the blight, he said it's creeping back
25 into the neighborhood and Kevin Carson who
1 is the coordinator of the University of
2 Pittsburgh's Urban study's program says that
3 the conventional wisdom is that blight needs
4 to be fought at the neighborhood level. We
5 are not fighting at the neighborhood level.
6 How many times have I come up there and told
7 you that we have a housing -- old housing
8 stock, 67 percent of our housing was built
9 in 1939 or before and that we need to start
10 investing in our neighborhoods. Go. Walk
11 around the neighborhoods, it's ashame.
12 Curbs. There is no curbs. Roads?
13 Unbelievable. Sidewalks. Forget about it.
14 All right? A city our size receiving this
15 money and this man is not accountable, he is
16 not being accountable for it. How are we
17 going to do it? I don't know because we
18 have a $400,000 long-term, I'm saying
19 $400,000, $180,000 in principal, but you
20 can't just say principal you got to say
21 interest, so you are talking about $400,000.
22 How are we ever going to fix up our
23 neighborhoods? Is he going to float another
24 bond? Hell, no, over my dead body. The
25 fact is that we are in bad shape in the City
1 of Scranton financially and now a
2 physically, I don't if we are going beyond
3 that point of no return in our
4 neighborhoods. I really don't know because
5 we have so low -- we have a high poverty
6 level of income, high elderly, people on
7 social security owning homes, they cannot
8 fix or repair their homes and they don't --
9 they cannot come to government where they
10 are paying their taxes, federal, state or
11 local it's coming out of their pocket and
12 say how about some money to help me to fix
13 up my home, and this man is looking the
14 other way and to say he is not an elitist?
15 Come on. Thank you.
16 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Quinn.
17 Andy Sbaraglia.
18 MR. SBARAGLIA: Andy Sbaraglia,
19 citizen of Scranton. Fellow Scrantonians,
20 on your 5-B you are putting in for a million
21 dollars again for Lackawanna Avenue, the 500
22 block project, but if you add up everything
23 that went with that project under your list
24 it's close to $3 million. That's $3 million
25 for cosmetics to something -- our bridges
1 are falling apart, our streets are falling
2 apart, our fire hydrants doesn't have the
3 proper pressure and there is so many things
4 we could do with that money other than pour
5 it into this project. As you know, the
6 taxpayers are paying for the sidewalks,
7 not the contractor or the developer, but the
8 taxpayers. The taxpayers paid for the
9 engineering. All this man did was buy a
10 couple of broken down buildings and come
11 with a plan to add another building if we do
12 away with Buona's, and then he wanted -- I
13 forget what he wanted, he wanted an interest
14 in all of the project -- all of the
15 buildings in that project if they signed on.
16 We are spending millions and millions
17 of a dollar down there. We'll never get it
18 back and we already have a historical area
19 in Scranton where Whistle's is down there in
20 that project where the Lackawanna -- the old
21 laundry was and so forth and so on. That's
22 historical, we don't need another one. We
23 should be going for the future and not
24 building projects. I don't even know if the
25 federal government is going to give you that
1 land over there on the other side of the
2 wall. If you are familiar with that alley
3 up there, you know, there is wall there
4 that's where they want to build the one area
5 of the park, now they want to put an
6 elevator in and go up higher and get into
7 the federal lands. Whether the federal
8 government will go with that I don't know,
9 but anyway, the project is getting more and
10 more expensive and we are going to get very
11 little out of it. I mean, the only person
12 that is really making out in this project,
13 like I said before, is the developer. He is
14 making a bundle and you and I are paying for
15 it. All of use are paying for it and unless
16 you have other funds, you know, you are
17 going to get something out of it, beauty is
18 not going to be there, there is no beauty
19 anymore, you can go to any area in the city
20 or in the following area and the same broken
21 down buildings are going to be there and
22 they are old. They are 100 years old,
23 probably 110 or 115 years old now. If you
24 wanted to develop the area you should have
25 developed it. You should have ripped down
1 the buildings, condemned them, take them
2 down and put up a brand new complex. He
3 could have built this office building, but
4 then he wouldn't have got all of this money
5 pouring in there. I mean, it's ridiculous.
6 Three million dollars for the backyard of
7 that building and he is going to make out on
8 it, not you or I. What are we going to get
9 from it? I just hope we even have access to
10 it, but who knows. Who knows what they are
11 going to do because I seen what they did up
12 at the center. The first thing they did was
13 block of center alley up there and one used
14 car and asked him to remove the barricades.
15 God knows if they are going to barricade
16 this area in, too. He is hoping that -- the
17 developer hopes that he can sell these loft
18 apartments and this is added to make the
19 value of the loft apartments more so he is
20 going to get significant value enhancement
21 to his properties and we are going to pay
22 for it. Our bridges are cracked. Look at
23 the Lackawanna Avenue, yeah, you are going
24 to get it done if they ever approve that
25 $7.5 million for that 1.5 million you might
1 have got it. Now it's up to 7.5 million,
2 God knows how long we are going to have to
3 wait for that project. This is what I mean
4 about the city. The infrastructure is
5 falling apart. That's where the emphasis
6 should be put on. The streets, I mean,
7 police have to provide their own squad cars.
8 How far have we got? Maybe you bought a
9 fire engine just to park it in the garage
10 because you needed it a fire engine and put
11 it in the garage for a backup, a used fire
12 engine. I mean, these are all of the things
13 that this man is doing and he isn't helping
14 the city one iota except for individuals in
15 the city. I said before a long time ago if
16 I was in central city I would support this
17 man 1,001 percent because I was getting
18 something out of it, but I don't live in
19 this city, I live in Providence, and it's
20 falling apart where I live. Thank you.
21 MR. MCGOFF: Fay Franus.
22 MS. FRANUS: Fay Franus, Scranton.
23 I just wanted to say that last week I
24 contacted Lieutenant Thomas of the police
25 department about the signs for the trucks in
1 Bellevue because there weren't any on
2 Luzerne Street and Lieutenant Thomas is
3 really wonderful. He has called me like
4 four times. He has contacted a man named
5 Dave with the DPW and they are in the
6 process of making signs to put on Luzerne
7 Street this way all the blocks are covered
8 which makes sense. And Lieutenant Thomas
9 stated that there was four arrests this past
10 year, which is good in itself, but four
11 arrests when there is like 20 trucks a day.
12 And he was very -- he was hoping that Chief
13 Elliott could get the van that has the
14 weigh-in machines to come out more often
15 because there is not enough policemen to man
16 that but just the fact that the police
17 stopped the truck, it's usually a $200 fine
18 but because the truck was overweight and it
19 was in the neighborhood they weren't allowed
20 trucks it was a $900 fine. Think about it,
21 20 some trucks a day at $300 fine, I mean,
22 this city could make -- to say nothing of
23 the fact that the reason they are there is
24 to stop the trucks.
25 All I know is I appreciate
1 Lieutenant Thomas and all the work he has
2 done on that and he deserves a big round of
3 appreciation from myself and the people in
4 Bellevue, let me tell you.
5 Another thing, I hope you follow
6 through with the subpoena tonight, I believe
7 you made a motion last week or are going to
8 make a motion tonight to have subpoenas for
9 the tax office people or whomever, I just
10 hope you follow through on that.
11 And I also when I ready the paper
12 this morning about certain people not paying
13 their taxes over six years, I don't know if
14 that list is public to the people, but I
15 know it's under FBI investigation, but I
16 hope if any of you can that you will really
17 put your teeth right in there and not let go
18 until the people in this city know who
19 aren't paying their taxes because I don't
20 know how you feel, but I'm sure the same as
21 I do, you know, you work hard and you pay
22 your taxes and somebody gets special
23 treatment it's not right, and I hope
24 something is done about it and I hope the
25 answer isn't always going to be, well, its'
1 under investigation and I hope because
2 certain people were told to cross these
3 people's names off as having paid these
4 taxes that maybe they won't be able to know
5 who it is, but I hope that's not the case
6 because somebody knows who they were, so I
7 hope in the long run it comes out that
8 people go find out. And can I ask somebody,
9 anybody up there, does anybody know if after
10 that investigation does the public, myself
11 or anybody, do we have the right to know who
12 those people are? Is that public record?
13 I'm not saying about the wage tax, I don't
14 know think that is, but as far as the
15 property tax or the school tax is that
16 something we would have a right to know
17 after this investigation?
18 MR. MCGOFF: I would defer to
19 Attorney Minora on that. I'm not sure of
20 the legality of it.
21 MS. FRANUS: Do you know?
22 MR. MINORA: I was assuming those
23 documents were taken by the FBI pursuant to
24 a subpoena.
25 MS. FRANUS: I know.
1 MR. MINORA: While they are under
2 investigation and during the prosecution of
3 any criminal cases that might follow they
4 are confidential, after that they are no
5 longer confidential, at least on the state
6 level, and I might be educated differently
7 on the federal level, but on the state level
8 that's how it goes, I believe it's the same
9 on the federal level.
10 MS. FRANUS: So afterwards, after
11 everything, the investigation, the public
12 would have a right to know you think?
13 MR. MINORA: I believe so.
14 MS. FRANUS: Well, thank you very
16 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mrs. Franus.
17 Lee Morgan.
18 MR. MORGAN: Good evening, Council.
19 First thing I'd like to say is I really
20 appreciated our discussion last week and,
21 you know, I don't mind people saying
22 something when I leave the podium, but I
23 really would appreciate that if somebody has
24 something to say that I could at least come
25 back to the podium and say something else
1 and that way because I think the people last
2 week I had a very harsh criticism of Judge
3 Harhut and Judge Corbett. Now, Attorney
4 Minora tried to I guess defend them in some
5 way, but I think the people here need to
6 realize one thing, Attorney Minora is an
7 officer of the Court and the District
8 Attorney and he works very closely with
9 these judges and he might be so close to
10 them that he may be blind to actually what
11 they do or however you want to put it.
12 MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Morgan --
13 MR. MORGAN: Now, wait a minute.
14 This --
15 MR. MCGOFF: No, Mr. Morgan, we went
16 through this last week. You are really
17 demeaning people that are --
18 MR. MORGAN: I'm not demeaning
20 MR. MCGOFF: You are making comments
21 that are inappropriate.
22 MR. MORGAN: What comment did I make
23 today that was inappropriate? Now, I think
24 it's important for people to realize one
25 thing, judges have very broad authorities,
1 they can do many things contrary to the best
2 interest of the person that stands in front
3 of them. Some of these things are, but not
4 -- these are just some of the things they
5 can do: They can abuse their discretion.
6 They can issue orders of the Court that the
7 testimony does not sustain, you know, it
8 just doesn't support their judgment. They
9 can abuse their discretion. They can have
10 collusion with special interest groups,
11 okay, and they can do judicial activism and
12 they are all protected by one thing
13 sovereign immunity which means they are not
14 responsible for anything they do, so no
15 matter how much harm they bring to a person
16 the only thing you can do is go to the
17 Judicial Review Board, but then again you
18 always have judges in the newspaper saying
19 all of the wonderful things you are doing
20 but you never hear of all of the terrible
21 things they do, and that's the problem here.
22 Okay, now, I'm a member of the tax
23 group. We offered Judge Harhut and Judge
24 Corbett the opportunity to come in and
25 present their record, they didn't want to do
1 that. It's a really terrible thing. It's
2 really a terrible thing to have the power
3 they have and, you know, one time America
4 did have a sovereign, it was George the
5 Third, he was the King of England and we
6 threw him out of here. In America there are
7 no Kings. Judges need to lose their
8 sovereign immunity.
9 Now, to shift gathers. We are going
10 to sit here and we are going to talk about
11 blight for the next 50 years and in all
12 reality the city's assets have been
13 squandered for so long that we can't even
14 talk about the time frame. This mayor
15 shepherded the sewer authority deal through
16 with American Anglican, we lost our shirt.
17 This mayor skirted council by not
18 bringing the rate increases in regards to
19 the sewer authority before council, well,
20 really the council did that. Council should
21 have voted before the sewer authority could
22 have raised it's rates, they didn't do that,
23 so they allowed the mayor to do this. The
24 mayor spent all kinds of money at Nay Aug
25 Park. The county gave us I think $300,000
1 to build in Hamlin's Grove. We ripped that
2 building down. We are going to through the
3 neighborhoods and condemning properties one
4 after another, for what reason I really
5 don't know.
6 I was told by this city today that I
7 needed a permit to put a storm door on my
8 house. I mean, I just find that the city is
9 just so out of control. We have fees for
10 everything. You know, went to the sewer
11 authority this week to pay my sewer bill,
12 people there are complaining saying I can't
13 believe I'm paying the kind of money I'm
14 paying for my sewer bill every week, they
15 are just totally disgusted. You see people
16 at the tax office paying their taxes and you
17 know it's really pathetic when you see
18 somebody there and they don't have enough
19 money to pay even one quarter, okay, but yet
20 still we are allowing this money to be
21 wasted. Soon the money, the city is going
22 to come and look for more borrowing. We
23 have hundreds and millions of dollars in
24 borrowing. It's time for the borrowing to
25 stop. It's time for this council to say we
1 just can't borrow anymore. We have lost our
2 bond rating. We had a gentleman come in
3 here who had his house condemned. They shut
4 his electric off and then his house got
5 looted. What are actually we doing for the
6 residents of this city. I think Ozzie, as I
7 have said it for years, no curbs, no
8 sidewalks, infrastructure just in total
9 disrepair, all of the money going to special
10 interests. Didn't we loan I believe it's
11 the Cooper's the money to invest in
12 Preferred Produce and now we have something
13 going on with Tink's, I mean, and it's just
14 that the same people in my opinion that are
15 connected come and get help all of the time
16 but the ordinary people they don't get
18 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Morgan.
19 Sam Patilla.
20 MR. PATILLA: Sam Patilla, Scranton
21 resident, homeowner, member of the Scranton
22 Lackawanna Taxpayers' Association. Good
23 evening, Mr. Courtright and Mrs. Evans.
24 First, I'd like to give Marie Schumacher and
25 her family my condolences. That's my rock,
1 my strength and my solitude.
2 Secondly, I'd like to address the
3 kids out there viewing this on Channel 61
4 and 62. You have heard citizens time after
5 time, week after week, month after month,
6 year after year, come to this podium and
7 address city council. The only way that we
8 are going to be able to institute change,
9 and change is within reach, is if you kids
10 seek positions within the election
11 committees counting the ballots where the
12 taxpayers and the citizens vote. We have to
13 get the in crowd out of those positions,
14 okay? When I first got here all I heard was
15 that minorities were causing blight. It
16 wasn't the fact that all the taxpayers'
17 money is being spent in downtown Scranton,
18 just as everybody else has spoken before me
19 has stated, that money isn't going out into
20 the neighborhoods it's all being poured in
21 here to LLC's, developers, and Doherty
22 cronies. We want to stop that -- we
23 want to get rid of the rubber stampers, we
24 get people honest people, honest taxpayers,
25 honest residents to count these votes so
1 that the people who -- the people want who
2 they elect are put in these positions. You
3 know, our vote should reflect our council,
4 our authorities, our board members, not
5 appointees because that doesn't do anything
6 but create the quagmire that Scranton faces
8 Secondly, I have been saying to
9 myself every since I got here that this
10 mayor has been circumventing Scranton City
11 Council time and time again, be it the
12 Scranton Sewer Authority, be it the
13 Redevelopment Authority, be it any authority
14 that can go out and purchase our delinquent
15 taxes or any Scranton asset and use that
16 asset to obtain loans so that they can go
17 ahead and squander more of our money, put us
18 further in debt, because if those
19 authorities acquire those loans council
20 doesn't have a say so in the matter and we
21 find ourself deeper and deeper down in debt,
22 deeper and deeper into a hole.
23 You know, it has to stop and our
24 children, our children normally they have to
25 rely on us, we have to rely on our children
1 because we are surrounded in this society
2 today where it's okay not to vote for a
3 certain person because of their race,
4 because of their gender, not because of what
5 they are bringing to the table, but just
6 because we are brought up not to like a
7 certain people. That garbage has to stop.
8 We had information brought before us from
9 the Single Tax Office about improprieties
10 and rather than our elected and appointed
11 officials pursuing that information they
12 chose to go after a bunch of women, well,
13 two women, and if that doesn't reek of
14 cowardess I don't know what it, what does,
15 because that really, really shows the lack
16 of backbone of our elected officials when
17 you got to go after a 74-year-old woman
18 instead of somebody spending our money to
19 pay off a bar tab. You know, when I first
20 got here the big thing was conduct, demeanor
21 when people came up to the podium, taxpayers
22 don't get that same type of respect, the
23 council president sits up there and turns
24 his head when one of his associates go off
25 on their little tangents, you know, this
1 garbage has got to stop. And like I said
2 before, the way to get rid of the excess
3 baggage and for those kids out there
4 listening to me, especially minorities,
5 especially those of you in college, when you
6 go down to that election office you request
7 a position counting ballots and if they tell
8 you, no, you get back to us and we'll send
9 that information straight to the feds. You
10 can laugh all you want because I'm not the
11 one to play with, okay? The reason this
12 city is in the condition that it is today
13 because brothers, sisters, wives, husbands,
14 cousins are being given these positions
15 managing our money.
16 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you. Les
18 MR. SPINDLER: Good evening,
19 Council, Les Spindler, city resident,
20 homeowner. Sorry to hear about Terry
21 Osborne, although, I'm glad he got a better
22 position, I'm sorry he hear he got it, we
23 lost a good man. Seems like we are losing
24 all of our good public safety people. We
25 have our younger police officers fleeing
1 this city like mice from a burning building,
2 now it looks like our firemen also want to
3 leave because they haven't had a raise in
4 such a long time they cant make ends meet
5 and all Chris Doherty talks about is tearing
6 down houses in west side and opening up
7 coffee shops down town. He doesn't care
8 about the public safety officials.
9 Next thing, I want to commend
10 council on looking into issuing subpoenas to
11 get the people from the tax office in here
12 to answer questions, but even if they come
13 here I don't know if will do any good
14 because they are probably just going to say,
15 we can't answer questions because it's under
16 FBI investigation, so I don't know what good
17 that's going to do. I guess it's got to be
18 done anyway.
19 Next thing, Mr. McGoff, a few weeks
20 ago I brought something about the dangerous
21 dog legislation, are you going to look into
22 that at all?
23 MS. GATELLI: Would you like me to
25 MR. SPINDLER: Yes.
1 MS. GATELLI: Les, I looked into
2 that and Tom Preamble from the Planning
3 Commission was doing one from them and it's
4 supposed to be up in the law department, but
5 from what I understand we cannot be breed
7 MR. SPINDLER: I didn't say that, I'm
8 just saying dangerous dogs, I didn't say any
10 MS. GATELLI: So, I asked Tom if he
11 could follow through on that and get
12 something to council.
13 MR. SPINDLER: Okay.
14 MS. GATELLI: So, we are working on
15 it, but you cannot be breed specific in
17 MR. SPINDLER: No, I understand.
18 MS. GATELLI: Because the state law
20 MR. SPINDLER: Any dog can bite you,
21 but you never heard of a Chihuahua killing
23 Next thing, awhile back I mentioned
24 something about the village at Tripp Park, a
25 woman came up to me and is having problems
1 up there, and I think it might have been
2 you, Mrs. Gatelli, who said we have a new
3 city engineer and he was going to look into
4 that, did he look into that at all, do you
6 MS. GATELLI: I'm not sure, but could
7 we do that, Kay, send something to
8 Mr. Brazil and the new city engineer?
9 MS. GARVEY: Okay.
10 MS. GATELLI: To see about that list
11 that George Parker had for Tripps Park.
12 MR. SPINDLER: That's a disgrace
13 that that project isn't done yet.
14 MS. GATELLI: I don't want to say too
15 much about that because council is being
17 MR. SPINDLER: I understand.
18 MS. GATELLI: So I don't want to say
19 too much publically.
20 MR. SPINDLER: This is for you, Mrs.
21 Evans, not far from where I live at the 1700
22 block of Elizabeth Street it's right -- it's
23 a dead end there, right where Tripp Park
24 softball complex there, right at the end of
25 the street on the right-hand side there is a
1 sewer storm drain there, just passed the
2 storm drain there is a hole in the ground,
3 somebody has a five gallon tub stuffed in
4 the hole, my kid could fall in there, and
5 the neighbor told me the other day she has
6 called twice about it and nobody has come
7 up, but it's a big hole and I think
8 something should be done, it's a really a
9 safety hazard.
10 MS. EVANS: Absolutely.
11 MR. SPINDLER: Lastly, last week
12 Mrs. Fanucci I couldn't come here, but I
13 heard the replay and you said you listen to
14 the -- let me get this straight here, you
15 only represent the people that e-mail you or
16 call you. Well, you are an elected
17 official, you should represent everybody
18 that lives in the city, not just people that
19 e-mail you and call you. Thank you.
20 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Spindler.
21 Jean Suetta.
22 MS. SUETTA: How was your Mother's
23 Day, everybody? Jean Suetta. How was your
24 Mother's Day?
25 MS. FANUCCI: Nice.
1 MS. SUETTA: As Judy announced they
2 are doing the work down lower Greenridge.
3 Now in front of my house I got trucks
4 zooming by, buses zooming by, everybody is
5 zooming to go get a fake tan and a kid, a
6 little girl run out in the road she was "C"
7 hair away from getting killed and you know
8 what that "C" word is, and I'm not saying
9 it. I'm going to show you the signs that we
10 have down in our neighborhood. I mean, they
11 go from one stop sign, 30 miles an hour to
12 get to another stop sign. Here's our
13 pictures to protect our children. You know,
14 I'd rather have seven-foot of water in my
15 cellar than a kid get killed.
16 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yeah, I agree.
17 MS. SUETTA: This is across the
18 street from my house, I have a man come
19 there today he says, "Jeanie, where is that
21 I said, "Across the street."
22 You can't even see that.
23 MS. FANUCCI: No, you can't.
24 MS. SUETTA: How about getting the
25 street zoned, a street sign?
1 MR. COURTRIGHT: Can you give me
2 your e-mail? Is your address on there.
3 MS. FANUCCI: Why don't you write
4 your address down.
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: Can you put your
6 address on there.
7 MS. FANUCCI: Neil has it. Give it
8 to Neil.
9 MS. SUETTA: Neil, you coming to my
10 house, Honey? You know, it's not even about
11 the Scranton Times. They had a cartoon in
12 there with Obama with a sword and Hillary
13 with her arms cut off. Now, that's nice for
14 our kids to see. The only paper in town and
15 they are showing shit like that. Sorry,
16 feces like that. You know, please get us
17 some speed signs, some signs down there.
18 Shut up, you are coming to my house. You
19 know, you've had the rest you haven't had
20 the best.
21 And, now, you know, the mayor spent
22 all of money up the at Nay Aug, that poor
23 lion died, why couldn't he take some of that
24 money and get Dr. Doolittle. Give me an
1 MR. COURTRIGHT: How do I answer
3 MS. SUETTA: Did you ever see the
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: No, I didn't, I'm
6 sorry, Dr. Doolittle? No, I didn't see
8 MS. SUETTA: No? That was a good
9 one. And everybody get out and support our
10 troops, please, you know, it is a shame.
11 Years ago it used to three deep when I was a
12 kid and now we got one deep coming down the
13 road. Thank you. You want my address? You
14 want my phone number? Just get a speed
15 limit sign.
16 MR. MCGOFF: Jim Stucker.
17 MS. SUETTA: And I got him a job
18 today cutting my neighbor's yard.
19 MR. COURTRIGHT: Great.
20 MR. STUCKER: Right on Greenridge
21 Street, Market Street, all the way up the
22 top of the hill, Oak Street, too, there is
23 car parked on the sidewalk you can't walk.
24 What happened was right on Market Street
25 right across from that there is a cars right
1 on the sidewalk, people can't walk, right
2 upon the sidewalks this morning they had a
3 car parked.
4 MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay, Jim, we'll
5 take care of it.
6 MR. STUCKER: And where the buses
7 are, where the buses downtown, we need
8 somebody out there to take care of the cars
9 parked where the buses are and where that
10 bank is. People park there, there is no
11 reason to park there where that bank is, the
12 bank on this side of the street.
13 MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay, Jim.
14 MR. STUCKER: And back in Murphy's,
15 same place, on Murphy's, I complained about
16 it last time about it, they didn't cut the
17 grass, they didn't pick the bottles and
18 cans. And they closed that barber shop down
19 and then Murphy's Bar is up and I don't know
20 what. I mean, I used to cut the grass
21 there, I don't do it no more. They got to
22 get them bottles and cans up there they are
23 going to get rats there again.
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay, Jim.
25 MR. STUCKER: And we still need the
1 signs on that Providence Square. There is
2 no signs in the top -- from the top -- from
3 the bottom down, from the bottom up signs
4 that laundry mat there is no signs up there.
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: Jim, I'm going to
6 come up there one day and meet you up there
7 and we are going to get this squared away
8 once and for while, right?
9 MR. STUCKER: There is only maybe
10 five or six signs.
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay, well, I'm
12 going to come up and meet you up there one
13 day and try to take care of what you want to
14 get taken care of. I tried to explain it to
15 you before, you don't seem to understand
16 what I'm telling you, all right, but I'll
17 try to tell you in person, not here, all
19 MR. STUCKER: All right. I've been
20 taking care of the garbage and the cans.
21 MR. MCGOFF: Good.
22 MR. STUCKER: They are throwing them
23 back in the yard and, I mean, what happened
24 the wind blows them out in the street, not
25 the garbage guys the wind blows them out in
1 the street, so --
2 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Jim.
3 MR. STUCKER: And we still need some
4 signs, stop signs, a couple of them on
5 Market Street, a couple on Oak Street where
6 you go down that dip where the creek is,
7 where Oak Street is there is a dip there,
8 there is a car always abandoned on the
9 sidewalk, everyday and everybody walk and
10 nobody can -- somebody is going to get hit
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: We'll take care of
13 it, Jim.
14 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you very much.
15 David Dobson.
16 MR. DOBSON: Dave Dobson, Taxpayers'
17 Associate, resident of Scranton. On the
18 gypsy moth issue, I still haven't been able
19 to find out, I have been trying to contact
20 the number and I did contact somebody, but
21 then I was referred to a voice mail on
22 getting our parks sprayed by the forester.
23 It would be nice to know if they plan to
24 include that instead of spraying a bunch of
25 trees on the mountain side that really is
1 gypsy moths need to be dealt with there, but
2 our parks and trees are dying, they are
3 attacked year after year after year and you
4 go up there in the late summer and the
5 leaves are eaten off the trees so badly that
6 you can't even get any shade, so I'll
7 continue to try to contact that number.
8 Hopefully, I'll be -- it won't be the county
9 controller at the helm.
10 Trash in courts, a couple of people
11 stopped me, like, I don't really have
12 anything to do with trash in courts, but
13 they have asked me to bring up the subject
14 again. These people with no trash barrels
15 or leaving trash out even a day before that
16 gives skunks and possums and whatever or
17 cats, dogs that are strays to get into the
18 this garbage and it's really ugly and it's a
19 lot of the litter that's around is more a
20 matter of this blowing around than people
21 throwing things outs of their cars which is
22 undoubtedly also a problem.
23 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Dobson, could you
24 leave the address with Neil where that
25 garbage is being left out over 24 hours?
1 MR. DOBSON: It's pretty rampant.
2 It's pretty rampant.
3 MS. GATELLI: Well, if you can give
4 us a specific area they can be cited for
5 leaving it out early.
6 MR. DOBSON: What we should do is
7 maybe have the trash collectors document
8 these people and advise them that they
9 should get cans. I'm not even sure of the
10 addresses. I walk my dog through the courts
11 so he doesn't stop to relieve himself on
12 somebody's doorstop which is --
13 MS. GATELLI: I'm not sure we have
14 an ordinance that requires a container.
15 MR. DOBSON: Well, maybe that's
16 something to consider.
17 MS. GATELLI: I'm really not sure
18 about that.
19 MR. DOBSON: Perhaps we should
20 consider that some day because it is a big
21 health problem, too.
22 MS. GATELLI: Maybe we can look into
23 that if there is such an ordinance. I don't
24 believe there is from my recollection, but
25 there is for 24 hours.
1 MR. DOBSON: But, any type of edible
2 garbage should be in a can and if you have
3 some small construction debris or something
4 a bag is acceptable, but not what I see, and
5 it's rampant and there is many, many and
6 many people that are just to tossing bags
7 out there the day before or whatever and
8 that's just not good enough if you want a
9 clean neighborhood.
10 I would like to talk about voting.
11 It's not only a right, it's also a duty and
12 a privilege. Our Single Tax Office and
13 county controller issues are a prime
14 example. Six years in one office and he
15 also won election to a better office.
16 Also, getting reliable information
17 from all sides is paramount to responsible
18 voting. Party activists decide an election
19 too often with low voter turn out. This has
20 been the norm for too long, it's also
21 imperative to read such documents as the
22 constitution, federal and state, and many,
23 many, many publications on these issues and
24 from both sides right and left. Tolerance,
25 empathy and consideration of other citizens
1 is also imperative. Authoritarianism was a
2 typical tool that regressive economics,
3 special interests and single issue voters
4 and it only tends to eliminate voices that
5 need to be heard. Please, all voters,
6 inform yourself impeccably and make it your
7 goal to vote in November and develop a
8 questionnaire such as how often is this
9 person present at the podium and how they
10 vote and the issues that seem to be ill
11 advised. Thank you and have a good night.
12 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Dobson.
13 There are no other speakers signed in.
14 Anyone else that would wish to speak?
15 MR. DAVIS: Salaam aleikum. I come
16 here tonight because I heard of a young man
17 from Valley View who died in his sleep of
18 asthma, but the act that was committed by
19 his fellow students and the school boards of
20 our area was gigantic. It showed such a
21 humanness. It showed that we can be very
22 human to people when they are in need, and I
23 came to thank the kids for what they did. I
24 think that what you have done shows a great
25 sign for our kids and the future and our
1 city and the future. There is a certain
2 humility that it takes to stand there and
3 ask people to give you money and then there
4 is a certain humility that it takes to give
5 people who need funds and help. I think
6 it's a great product that we have to look at
7 finding what we should do help you even
8 more. I don't think that we are doing as
9 much as we can with our high school students
10 and our kids in our community for what they
11 have given back to us and I think they can
12 give so much more, but we have to give a lot
13 also. That was my major reason for coming
15 The second thing is I'm perplexed.
16 You say you went to build a medical hospital
17 outside of the Technical High School, out of
18 the old Technical High School now called
19 Northeastern when everybody in the world is
20 trying to get green space, save green space
21 is what's so necessary for our kids to
22 adjust to their needs and their wants. We
23 seem to be destroying and building
24 high-rises. I was going to say something
25 before when I heard you are going to be
1 voting principals of establishing this
2 building, but I kept saying it myself they
3 won't do it, it doesn't make sense to me.
4 This is an impoverished area you are talking
5 about. You are talking about people who are
6 under the, you know, under the guise of
7 under paid, undernourished, etcetera, and
8 yet they want to take the green space that
9 they have outside of Technical High School
10 or Northeastern High School and put a
11 medical center there? I don't understand.
12 We have so much space. We have so many
13 places we can put our medical center, and I
14 couldn't understand it and I still don't
15 understand it, but I understand that it's a
16 private nonprofit organization and they will
17 be going into a property which is private
18 nonprofit, also, or nonprofit, nontaxable
19 area so we are not losing anything, we are
20 not gaining anything except we are losing a
21 space for the kids that have so little, who
22 have a place to play and have a place to
23 enjoy themselves without problems, so it's
24 probably too late for me to do anything or
25 for you to do anything about it, but I ask
1 to you start thinking a little more about
2 where we are placing these things, where we
3 are placing these building and things like
4 that especially when we our kids have very
5 little to look forward to now. If you start
6 taking away their one little free space that
7 they do have then I think we are harming
8 themselves and I think it's going to go come
9 up and bite us later on, maybe not now,
10 because our kids are young, but I'm quiet
11 sure we are seeing all things that shows
12 that violence is but a step away from these
13 kids and we are not gathering all of our
14 intents. Our intention is to guide our
15 children in a way that's Godly or in proper
16 manners and instead we see that our kids are
17 going off, they are going off the main path
18 and we are not bringing them back, at least
19 I don't see it and perhaps it might be that
20 I'm ignorant. Thank you.
21 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Davis.
22 MS. BLOOM: Hi. My name is Diane
23 Bloom and I'm here on behalf of the annual
24 Unity Festival. First of all, for those of
25 you who I haven't seen the Black History
1 month dinner I want to thank you again for
2 your participation, coming out, and my
3 mission in this town is to inspire multi-
4 ethnic social involvement and participation,
5 to encourage a communal bond of all cultures
6 in Lackawanna County and to make this our
7 collective vocation, the building and the
8 development of one strong community with
9 traditional greatness and a communal
10 foundation on which all of our children can
11 grow and become positive, productive and
12 proud people, and this is not an easy task.
13 For the last six years I have been
14 faced with many obstacles. Some obstacles
15 are part of my own personal and professional
16 development, some obstacles are necessary in
17 the development of foresight and
18 perseverance, and then there are the
19 unnecessary obstacles that just plain wear
20 me down and completely obstruct my mission.
21 So I'm here tonight to ask for your help
22 with one of these obstacles that I deem
24 I'm currently planning the fourth
25 annual Unity Festival which will be held at
1 Nay Aug Park on August 2 of this year and
2 for the past three years the festival has
3 successfully celebrated the merging cultures
4 in our area and promoted fellowship in the
5 community by providing a venue for local
6 merchants to sell, young artists to perform
7 and to assist in the outreach of nonprofit
8 organizations that enhance the quality of
9 life of families in our region and it has
10 been successful and it has been growing
11 every year.
12 My concern tonight is in providing a
13 venue for local merchandise vendors. Every
14 year I am faced with a new challenge for
15 having these vendors at this event. Now,
16 the event as I speak about people who are
17 not in a position to start a business for
18 one reason or another, some vendors are
19 hobbyist that look for opportunities to sell
20 their unique heritage specialties that we
21 have as such at the Unity Festival and some
22 vendors make items to sell just for the
23 Unity Festival, some vendors are trying to
24 make ends meet and some vendors are trying
25 to finance future hope for a business.
1 Now, my vendors are charged a
2 nominal fee to participate in the Unity
3 Festival which offsets costs for me and they
4 are required to have a one-day transient
5 license from the City of Scranton as part of
6 that agreement. Now, the cost of that
7 permit has long been a simple application
8 that costs $17. Food vendors have always
9 paid $100 and they are in a separate
10 category and these are not the ones I'm
11 taking about tonight, tonight I'm talking
12 about the merchant vendors. The last year
13 it was brought to my attention that the
14 process which changed to where it was no
15 longer a simple two to three page
16 application that could be filled out in one
17 day, but it was disparagingly changed to a
18 20-page application requiring a background
19 and criminal record check that took up to
20 two weeks to get for a $17 one-day permit.
21 Today I found out that it has again
22 been changed and even more disparaging. Now
23 there is no one-day $17 transient license,
24 now a vendor must purchase an annual license
25 at a cost of $100. Now, this will eliminate
1 many of my vendors who only look forward to
2 selling you that one day and who can only
3 hope to make a couple of hundred dollars.
4 The profit margin is greatly affected,
5 especially since this is an additional cost
6 to participating in the festival. I can't
7 help or feel this is mean spirited tactic to
8 discourage the disadvantaged person who
9 relies on an occasional vending opportunity.
10 I may be wrong, I don't know, but every year
11 it gets increasingly difficult for people to
12 get a vending license.
13 Now, yes, I'm told that this new
14 license for $100 gives vendors the right to
15 spend any time throughout the year, but that
16 is only in Scranton and they are still
17 subject to permit fees if they are traveling
18 vendors. Some vendors only get an
19 opportunity two or three times in the summer
20 to vend if the weather permits.
21 Well, I know my time is up, but what
22 I'm asking is some help with this.
23 MS. GATELLI: We will look into
24 that, Diane. I'll look into that for you,
25 but I just would like to tell you that I
1 have noticed in the warm weather that there
2 are vendors on street corners and maybe
3 that's why it has become a little different
4 in the office and if it has I'm happy for
5 that because I don't like to see people on
6 corners selling goods when there is a store
7 nearby that they are interfering with, a
8 festival is different, but --
9 MS. BLOOM: And that's
10 understandable. My son started selling
11 vending on Lackawanna Avenue which afforded
12 them the opportunity to own their own store
13 downtown, Scranton Now. Had they had to
14 face this $100 they wouldn't have been able
15 to start as vendors and grow to be business
16 owners. So, I'm concerned about that cost
17 and some people only get two or three times
18 a year which would it be cheaper if they
19 would just pay per time that they were going
20 to vend instead of paying $100.
21 MS. FANUCCI: Leave you contact
22 information with Neil so that I can contact
23 you and if there is more information we
25 MS. EVANS: Weren't you also informed
1 though by a representative of the
2 administration about the increase in the
4 MS. BLOOM: Well, just when I went
5 there this morning I was checking to make
6 sure everything -- I have everything in this
8 MS. EVANS: Which office specifically
9 did you visit?
10 MS. BLOOM: Licensing and permits.
11 MS. EVANS: I would think though that
12 if there were any increase in a fee that
13 would have been run by city council because
14 I know in the past when, for example, fees I
15 believe were increased for vending machines.
16 MR. COURTRIGHT: The amusement
17 license came before us, those fees were
19 MR. MCGOFF: Let us look into and
20 someone will contact you.
21 MS. BLOOM: I appreciate it.
22 MS. EVANS: The amusement license is
23 what this falls under?
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: Oh, no, no, that
25 was one of the one that came before us.
1 MS. EVANS: Right.
2 MR. MCGOFF: Just as an example.
3 MS. EVANS: Oh, okay, but what I'm
4 saying is I would think that this could not
5 have occurred without our --
6 MS. FANUCCI: Actually, I think that
7 they just stopped using the other license.
8 So, you know, if you only have one to apply
9 for, this is the one that was also there. I
10 don't think it's an increase, I think this
11 was the one that was always there.
12 MS. GATELLI: They are not giving the
13 single day voucher.
14 MS. FANUCCI: Right. The one that
15 was always there for $100.
16 MS. GATELLI: We'll check on it and
17 get back to you.
18 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.
19 MR. COURTRIGHT: Chris, I was running
20 to the men's room, Chrissy, but I got
21 something for you. The Sloan Little League
22 Association wanted me to give you this hat.
23 This is their 50th anniversary hat and they
24 asked me to give that to you.
25 MR. SLEDENZSKI: Thanks, Bill.
1 MR. COURTRIGHT: You're welcome,
3 MR. SLEDENZSKI: Well, Jude, what
4 happened yesterday we got --
5 MS. GATELLI: I know, it was
7 MR. SLEDENZSKI: I don't even want to
8 talk about it.
9 MS. GATELLI: Terrible.
10 MR. SLEDENZSKI: Terrible, terrible,
11 but, we are still in this. West is still
12 the best team in the league, and you know
14 MS. GATELLI: Absolutely.
15 MR. SLEDENZSKI: West is best, you
16 know that, Bill.
17 MS. SCHUMACHER: Good evening,
18 Council, Marie Schumacher. First, I heard
19 from several people that Mrs. Evans was kind
20 enough to make some very kind comments about
21 my mother. She was very special not just to
22 me, but to a lot of other people and I
23 appreciate the comments. I'm sorry I wasn't
24 here to hear them and I thank you for taking
25 time away from your Mother's Day to come
1 over and pay your respects as did many
2 others in the gallery that are here now and
3 I thank them all, it was very comforting.
4 As to why I'm here tonight, you
5 know, I have been around this earth myself
6 for quite awhile, mom was 94 so you can
7 probably figure out how old I am, and I
8 remember when it was a great place. I
9 really don't think it's a great place
10 anymore. It's a shell, but it's got a lot
11 of potential and I would like to read the
12 preamble to the Home Rule Charter to start
14 It says: "We, the people, of the
15 City of Scranton in adopting this Home Rule
16 Charter, recognize that government is
17 competent only when those who compose it
18 work as trustees of the people. As a
19 servant of the people, good government must
20 be responsive to their basic human needs."
21 And then it concludes with one more
22 sentence. Now, you all took the oath of
23 office I believe to uphold that and tonight
24 I would like to make a plea to you to start
25 new and to start using your ears to listen
1 and when things sink in to go out and
2 investigate some of the things. A lot of
3 the things that have been brought forth from
4 this podium should have been investigated
5 and I would say that, you know, for the
6 monopoly newspaper as represented by
7 Mr. Brown. A perfect example, today's
8 monopoly newspaper article on the Single Tax
9 Office is a good example. I must preface
10 this by saying that I'm offended that
11 employees and Single Tax Office officials
12 met with reporters but apparently will not
13 meet with council. I find that very
14 offensive, however, the main point is that
15 the admission of the Single Tax Office
16 solicitor the collections ceased almost
17 completely for the last six years.
18 Now, citizens, including myself,
19 have noted budget discrepancies that should
20 have peaked the interest of council members
21 to go out and investigate and find out why
22 the figures didn't seem to add up. We have
23 talked about wage tax collections, two weeks
24 ago I revealed that the rental property
25 registration collections so far are about 3
1 percent of what should have been collected
2 and I would be willing to bet that nobody
3 went back and asked why or what's been doing
4 to bring that up and I find that very sad
5 and I don't think it's representing the
6 people who elected you and acting in the
7 best interest. I think in that regard and
8 in many others I think you should either do
9 away with the ordinance that requires those
10 things or follow through and make sure that
11 everybody complies, not just a few. I think
12 that is incredibly unfair.
13 Now, another example, during the
14 2007 budget presentations it's peanuts for
15 money, but you can do go down the list of
16 revenue items and I would tell you you can
17 find a discrepancy almost in every line one
18 if you go back there, every line item.
19 So, this was a small one though,
20 during the 2007 budget presentation I asked
21 why the revenue from theatre license had
22 gone from $3,000 in 2006 to zero in 2007,
23 incidentally, it was zero again for this
24 year. Does anybody know why? I don't know.
25 On April 18th I sent a Right to Know letter
1 to Mr. Seitzinger requesting the locations
2 of the parking facilities on which the
3 $54,000 2007 budget figures were based with
4 annotations for those excluded to arrive at
5 the reduced 2008 budget amount. The
6 response I got was, "The city will need
7 additional time to review it's files and
8 pull responsive documents, if any. The city
9 will respond within the next 30 days."
10 Now, I'm sorry, but I think that
11 that should be a simple record, that's a
12 spread sheet. Here they are, here are the
13 collections, did they pay, didn't they pay,
14 follow-up. I mean, are they using chisel
15 and stone up there or do they have
16 computers? This is simple stuff, you know.
17 You have got a lot of people here are who
18 concerned and I'm sure people at home
19 watching that would even volunteer to help,
20 but everything we say that asks questions is
21 looked at as confrontational and not
22 constructive and I disagree and I'll finish
23 up next week I guess. Thank you.
24 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mrs.
1 MR. JACKOWITZ: Good evening, Council
2 president, council members, Bill Jackowitz,
3 South Scranton resident, member of the
4 Scranton Taxpayers' Association. Every week
5 residents and taxpayers of Scranton must
6 listen to council members and other elected
7 officials of Scranton and Lackawanna County
8 telling them how hard they are working for
9 the people, but yet nothing ever changes for
10 the better. The above-mentioned communities
11 still rank at the bottom of all state and
12 national unemployment charts, low wages, low
13 wage base, blight, taking over the
14 community, houses being torn down creating
15 more blight. We all know that these
16 properties will not be taken care of, the
17 city will just allow them to become
18 overgrown and infested with rodents. The
19 rodents and animals will make their way into
20 the neighborhoods causing problems fro the
21 residents. When you ask for help from the
22 elected officials you will be ignored or
23 told that there is nothing that they can do.
24 It is not their problem.
25 Furthermore, the residents were
1 informed last week that the police
2 department has terminated the beat patrols
3 for the neighborhoods. We are also informed
4 that new police officers that have been
5 hired are a long way from being on the
6 streets. It seems that someone screwed up.
7 My question is that someone, a resident --
8 was that someone a resident or an elected
9 official or an appointed official being paid
10 by the Taxpayers of Scranton, meaning the
11 residents who pay taxes like myself.
12 Also, my understanding is that the
13 cameras which the city paid $250,000 for
14 last year are still not operational. Will
15 they ever become operational? But yet city
16 council members still preach about how hard
17 they work. Answering phone calls and
18 e-mails is not work. Also, I know for a
19 fact that all e-mails are not answered.
20 This is not work. Work is when you are out
21 on the street talking with the citizens,
22 visiting them at their homes, listening to
23 their problems and seeking solutions, not
24 telling them, "This is not a city problem,
25 we can't help you."
1 Work like you did when you were
2 campaigning for the office. Sending letters
3 to the administration and department heads,
4 knowing that you will not receive an answer
5 is not work either. Going to that person's
6 office or home if need be and demanding
7 answers, now that is work, that is if you
8 can find them in their office. Coming to
9 council meetings unprepared or telling
10 speakers that you will address that issue
11 during motions or next week and then just
12 skip right over the issue, that is not work
14 If you are not willing to put
15 24 hours a day, seven days a week in your
16 council responsibilities then in my opinion
17 you are not worthy of being a council
18 member. That is not -- this is not a
19 part-time job. Scranton is a full-time
20 community with 24-hour a day problems. One
21 of the reasons I would never run for
22 political office I enjoy my free time,
23 apparently, so do elected in Lackawanna
24 County, elected officials and appointed
1 By the way, I'm still waiting for an
2 answer for three years of questions that I
3 have asked, but I do understand that council
4 members are too busy work for the residents
5 of Scranton. I was glad to hear the pothole
6 machine being mentioned last week, that was
7 one of my questions. Also, what about that
8 asphalt machine, pave cutting machine that
9 Scranton residents paid $18,000 for.
10 Remember, we shared with the county and
11 other communities? Where is that machine
12 and how many times has Scranton used it?
13 Another question that I have been waiting
14 for years to have an answer.
15 For months now we have been speaking
16 about the Jerry Springer show when we should
17 have been speaking about the Archie Bunker
18 show, "All in the Family."
19 We now know what a balanced
20 political ticket is, Irish, Italian, Polish
21 and so on. I must advise the local
22 Democratic leadership that we are missing
23 and African American, Black, Native American
24 Indian, Latino and Mexican. We need to
25 really work on that immediately so that we
1 can have equality, the population is
2 growing. No wonder why Lackawanna County
3 and Scranton the county seat is distressed.
4 Hundreds of million dollars in debt, no good
5 jobs, hire unemployment, and hard working
6 politicians who consider answering e-mails
7 and phones as during their jobs for the
8 residents. Oh, by the way, they can miss
9 meetings any time they feel like it, walk
10 out of meetings when they do not want to
11 hear what a taxpayer has to say, stay
12 completely away from their office for weeks,
13 campaign outside of the state for another
14 politician while still claiming to be doing
15 their job.
16 Oh, and I almost forget about the
17 Single Tax Office and the Housing Authority.
18 Now is the time for laughs and giggles, so
19 go ahead and laugh and giggle, you elected
20 officials. Some elected officials have two
21 last names so they can fulfill two
22 nationality requirements, so now we know how
23 people are selected to run for elected
24 office. No joke. This is real. Welcome to
25 Scranton and Lackawanna County, distressed
1 city, 17 years, federal investigations in
2 the tax office, federal investigations in
3 the housing office, but, yeah, our elected
4 officials are working for us.
5 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you,
6 Mr. Jackowitz.
7 MR. ELLMAN: Good evening, Council.
8 Ronnie Ellman, homeowner and member of the
9 Taxpayers' Association. Mrs. Evans, have
10 you gotten over being slighted about the
12 MS. GATELLI: Oh, we are still on the
14 MR. ELLMAN: You know, they
15 inadvertently overlooked me, too, and I was
16 just wondering.
17 MS. EVANS: Well, actually, I never
18 felt slighted and probably had I been
19 invited I couldn't have afforded the price
20 of the ticket and without paying the price I
21 don't think I would have wanted to attend.
22 MS. FANUCCI: I liked it and I didn't
24 MR. ELLMAN: I would have liked to go
25 and talk to Brother Bill, we could have
1 discussed Jennifer Flowers and Paula Jones.
2 I better get off that, Miss Rosie is
4 Mr. McGoff, last week I was watching
5 the program and you were talking about
6 the University said they weren't paying
7 giving any money for lights and so forth
8 because it's in litigation, but how can they
9 control the park. I have three or four more
10 women tell me that kids cannot play there.
11 They can't have their cake and eat it.
12 Either they pay, and I don't see any sense
13 in putting lights up where people don't want
14 it, there would be lot of trouble there,
15 this whole deal just stinks. It just -- the
16 people in this whole city are against it.
17 It's just something wrong, you know, when
18 they still control this park and said that
19 kids can't play there. I heard or read that
20 letter that the University had about it --
21 it's nonsense. It's too much people saying
22 they cannot use the park.
23 And, Miss Judy, I would just go
24 back, I only have a couple of notes I wrote
25 real kick. I was watching Andy on TV and he
1 made such an intelligent statement before,
2 you know, about all the waste that keeps
3 going on, it doesn't stop. You know, Miss
4 Judy, March 11, I know it was March 11, my
5 39th birthday was March 10, so you may --
6 MS. GATELLI: My 39th will be in
7 August, we can celebrate together, Ron, we
8 are probably the same age. I'll be 39, too.
9 MR. ELLMAN: You made a statement
10 that you all were talking about the firemen
11 and you said that if I was unhappy with
12 things I would go see my union boss and
13 superintendent, I don't remember word for
14 word, well, in the city you're our
15 superintendent, you people are our bosses
16 and nothing is being done when people tell
17 you things.
18 I occasionally go up and down Market
19 Street and little Jimmy is right, there is
20 cars parked from like where the fire station
21 is past the laundry mat turns it into one
22 lane. I'm just saying, nothing is ever done
23 about it. I was by there today, no,
24 yesterday when I went to the club and there
25 is three or four cars parked, they stick out
1 right there, but the line is not straight if
2 you have ever been the line is all over the
3 place, I don't know, you know, why it's
4 painted that way, but the cars on the other
5 side where there is parking, you know, it's
6 just like they said, it's just a dangerous
8 You know, people keep getting on me
9 about being on Mayor Doherty, two weeks ago
10 I said I would love to see him build a zoo,
11 I'm not against the man, I'm just not for
12 him. Well, he is a dreamer, you know, his
13 ideals they are not reality. He is like
14 somebody just wants a perfect city, but it's
15 not going to be that way, you know, just
16 think what this place is going to be like in
17 20, 30 years, the three universities are
18 going to control all of the projects, all of
19 this area will be nonprofit, you know, it's
20 coming to that. There is no way to avoid
22 The Lackawanna College had no
23 business buying a little tiny school
24 building and expecting to advance and not
25 take over all of these buildings, you know,
1 it was poor planning. You got to put your
2 foot down sometimes, you can't keep taking
3 these houses and buildings and three-story
4 apartment buildings and everything off the
5 payrolls for nonprofits, there's just no way
6 you can -- it just won't work. It's an
8 I was talking to a boy at Sheetz
9 Sunday, this will just take a second, he was
10 desperate, he bought $5 worth after gas.
11 And I said, you know, I was joking with him
12 and I said, "You are not going to go very
13 far on $5."
14 He said he lived up -- well, I got
15 six gallons for $25, that only takes my car
16 75 miles, anyway, he told me he lived up in
17 the Hill Section and his rent has gone up
18 $100 since September, you know, and he said
19 his landlord tells him it's because of taxes
20 and insurance, you know, his landlord has it
21 covered, but people can't afford it for
22 crying out loud. You know, when I got back
23 from --
24 MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Ellman --
25 MR. ELLMAN: No, let me tell you,
1 from the Scranton Sewer Authority I got $104
2 back, I have been paying for a duplex for
3 12 years, that's what kind of Scranton --
4 that's how Scranton has got, $104, I have
5 been paying, my last bill was $72 or $68 I
6 should have gotten 30 from it.
7 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Ellman.
8 MR. ELLMAN: All right. Thank you.
9 MS. KRAKE: Good evening, Council.
10 My name is Nancy Krake. First I would like
11 to say that property tax is public
12 information. As far as I know, that is not
13 what's being investigated at the Single Tax
14 Office so if anyone wants to look into that
15 you could do that at any time.
16 Also, I would like to thank
17 Mr. Patilla for understanding exactly what
18 happened in the case of the lovely lady who
19 just recently retired from the Single Tax
20 Office. She is the one that had the courage
21 to do what she felt was correct even though
22 perhaps it wasn't entirely correct, but she
23 was the courageous one. The people that are
24 attacking her are not.
25 Also, Mr. Ellman, he probably wasn't
1 here in the beginning, but that is the
2 mayor's plan to make everything nonprofit in
3 that area, so he picked right up on that,
4 it's not poor planning, that is the mayor's
5 plan. I believe the gentleman's name is
6 Mr. Florida, I forgot the whole story, but
7 at one time it was in the newspaper.
8 There was an article in the
9 newspaper today that -- I was thrilled to
10 see that finally everything Mrs. Evans was
11 talking about, especially during budget
12 time, was made transparent. She had plugged
13 those amounts into her budget and apparently
14 she was right on the money as usual. It's
15 very sad that no one believed it, but
16 perhaps maybe council could look into
17 opening the budget as they do have the power
18 to do. I'm sure you can speak further on
19 that, Mrs. Evans, in your time.
20 And, also, something Mr. Courtright
21 had said, it's kind of interesting that what
22 one little computer glitch could do. That
23 was our tax collector's claim what was wrong
24 all of these years was a computer glitch.
25 Well, it had to be monumental.
1 The mayor, speaking of wonders,
2 proclaimed that five of that $12 million was
3 his. Well, I believe, first of all, what he
4 meant was it was ours and, of course, maybe
5 he didn't; second, he seems very sure of
6 this amount almost as if he already knew
7 what it was.
8 Another sad situation, the city
9 would like very much to abolish the Health
10 Care Cost Containment Committee, probably
11 haven't heard much about it recently,
12 however, under the Connors' administration
13 it saved $5 million. We haven't met in
14 many, many months and meetings with this
15 administration have been fruitless. Why
16 would the city like to abolish this very
17 useful committee? I'm not able to give an
18 answer on this, I'm told I don't need to
19 know the reason why. Perhaps council would
20 feel differently now that I brought this to
21 your attention. Will this be another
22 debacle like the former tax collector where
23 no one in this administration is held
24 responsible for monitoring when million
25 dollars are no longer collected and in the
1 case of the Health Care Cost Containment
2 Committee millions of dollars in savings are
3 no longer realized? I would hope that this
4 would raise a red flag for council. Thank
5 you very much.
6 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mrs. Krake.
7 Anyone else?
8 MR. ANCHERANI: Good evening. Nelson
9 Ancherani, again, First Amendment Rights.
10 Just a little history, we have been in
11 distress 17 years now and for since 2002,
12 I'm going to go back over some of the issues
13 since we have been getting away from them.
14 We have collected in revenue in loans 600
15 million by the end of this year.
16 Fifteen million has gone for raises and new
17 hires. Thirty clerical positions were lost
18 and 59 new hires. Potholes. The $5,500,000
19 American Anglican arbitration loss paid by
20 the Sewer Authority causing a 56 percent
21 raise in sewer bills, 12.2 million found in
22 a tax office. My opinion, hidden. Index
23 cards with employees, with city employee's
24 information, social securities throwing in
25 the dumpster behind the city hall and
1 blowing around the court, the person that
2 retrieves them threatened with arrest
3 instead of trying to find out the reason and
4 who threw them out.
5 There is an undersized bath house up
6 at the Nay August, we had 25 percent real
7 estate tax levied on city taxpayers while
8 12.2 million dollars hidden, in my opinion,
9 in a secret bank account. There were two
10 more proposed 25 percent tax increases, but
11 they weren't enacted.
12 Channel 61 being forced off the air.
13 Seven years of labor strife under this
14 mayor. Numerous arbitration losses by the
15 city after the mayor vowed not to have any
16 arbitrations in light of the amount of
17 losses by the Connors' administration.
18 Seven record budgets by this administration.
19 $400 million long-term debt, excessive B&S,
20 borrowing and spending. Violations of the
21 mayor's recovery plan by the mayor while
22 blaming the city unions for the dire
23 financial straights of this city.
24 A green, no, I'm wrong, it's a black
25 fish pond up at Nay Aug, a bridge to no
1 where, possibly to that old Buddha park that
2 burned down right after it opened years ago.
3 A collapsed amphitheater roof. I don't know
4 if there was insurance on that. Returning
5 soldiers from Iraq not being made whole.
6 Homeowners losing homes to a $2,000 penalty
7 imposed for delinquent taxpayers.
8 Consultants for people who were supposed to
9 be experienced. $803,000 to the parking
10 authority this year even though the parking
11 authority received a $35 million loan and I
12 see that the work has started on the Connell
13 Building, that was in the paper that once
14 that loan was gotten that work could start
15 there. There was a AAA bond rating for
16 $1 million only to fall back to junk bond.
17 Paid $4,000 plus for the light building for
18 monthly rent for OECD office while space at
19 city hall goes unused. Undersized police
20 buildings. Parking lot not finished with
21 the paving. Cracks in the walls, floor
22 tiles separated.
23 Over $750,000 paid for a public
24 safety office when it was a violation of the
25 previous recovery plan.
1 $300,000 for Christmas lights at Nay
2 Aug, that doesn't count the electricity and
3 doesn't count putting them up and taking
4 them down.
5 Trust fund not setup for money for
6 from the sale of the golf course. Charging
7 fees at Nay Aug, lost police arbitration for
8 Lake Scranton in the amount of $50,000.
9 11-02 South Side complex fiasco
10 began. There was thousands spent on new
11 furniture for the mayor's office when he
12 took office, thousands spent on new flower
13 pots, what does it cost now to put the
14 flowers in there? Frosted glass on the door
15 to the mayor's office so gawkers couldn't
16 look in. Forced out at least 100 city
17 employees with full benefits and hiring 100
18 city employees to replace them with full
19 benefits. We'll continue. Thank you.
20 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr.
21 Ancherani. Anyone else? Mrs. Evans?
22 MS. EVANS: Thank you. First, in
23 response to a concern raised by Mrs.
24 Schumacher, unfortunately, there are not
25 enough inspectors to enforce ordinances in
1 this city. In theory, of course, the
2 ordinance is very good, appears to be very
3 useful and, in fact, I'm sure it is used to
4 address specific problems as they arise, but
5 until we have more workers employed rather
6 than managers, administrators, I really
7 don't think we are going to see our
8 ordinances fully addressed, unfortunately.
9 The Single Tax Office remained in the
10 news today, but the information reported was
11 far from new. It came as no surprise since
12 I publically stated at several council
13 meetings that some select residents were not
14 paying taxes while senior citizens and
15 working families were. I was at times
16 mocked and attacked by some for making these
17 statements. Despite attempts to bring
18 Mr. McDowell to council to discover not only
19 those whose tax records disappeared, but
20 also tax rebates which were seriously
21 delinquent and delinquent wage taxes that
22 were never collected. Mr. McDowell never
23 appeared at council with the exception of
24 the swearing in ceremony as city tax
25 collector which was conducted in these
2 As a result, when developing my 2008
3 budget I included the collection of
4 delinquent wage and business taxes as a
5 revenue source of $3.5 million. I believe
6 that -- or, excuse me, I believed that
7 delinquent wage and business taxes had not
8 been pursued actively for many years. In
9 addition, I received recommendations from
10 the tax office employees, one of which
11 suggested that the office auditors be
12 allowed to collect delinquent wage taxes
14 Also, the dollar amounts in the
15 mayor's budget did not appear to reflect
16 these monies and they certainly did not
17 match the monies collected for delinquent
18 wage and business taxes during the prior
19 administration. I further suspected that
20 some residents who worked outside of the
21 city were never paid the wage tax to
22 Scranton. Also, some residents who owned
23 two homes, one of which would be located
24 outside of Scranton, were using their second
25 property as their address in order to avoid
1 paying some taxes to the city while at the
2 same time their primary residence was
3 located in Scranton.
4 Now, how can I prove to my
5 colleagues, the newspaper, and my
6 constituents that my suspicions were facts?
7 I invited two tax office employees, two
8 auditors in the office to speak to council
9 in December 2007 on the topic of delinquent
10 wage and business tax collections. In order
11 to protect these two women and their jobs I
12 requested Mr. McDowell's permission to allow
13 them to discuss these tax collection
14 processes with council. He adamantly
15 refused to allow these women to speak to us.
16 Again, I was met with cynicism and attacks
17 even by some of my colleagues and the
18 newspaper ignored the facts, it never
19 bothered to research or investigate what I
21 My budget created a surplus without
22 any borrowing that was to be used to reduce
23 the wage tax, again, my proposals to
24 eliminate borrowing, curb spending and lower
25 the wage tax and my budgets were ignored or
1 at times painted as Christmas grinch-like.
2 I'm not a member of the good old boys
3 club. I'm not considered a bankable player
4 by either faction of the Democratic party.
5 I'm not the politician most likely to be
6 appointed to any committee or political
7 office nor am I endorsed by my lifelong
8 political party until I win an election on
9 my own. Why? I don't play the game and I
10 don't play because I choose not to play. I
11 don't owe anyone anything and I'm not for
12 sale. This explains why newspaper editors
13 and cartoonists derive me, reporters
14 collectively report my work and why the good
15 old boys ignore me. It also explains why
16 the people, the little guy, why they place
17 their trust in me.
18 Now, to the new appointee of the
19 Single Tax Office who has no business
20 badmouthing council from his glass house
21 clearly he is not familiar with my record or
22 the minutes of council meetings over the
23 last four and a half years. The
24 gamesmanship, I might suggest, is entirely
25 one-sided. The tax office in the last two
1 months has played a game of hide and seek
2 and in the last week a game of hide and
3 speak in refusing to speak publically to a
4 governing body.
5 On May 27, I am told, the two new
6 appointees, Mr. McGovern and Mrs. Vitali,
7 will finally visit our chambers. I hope by
8 that date a forensic audit will have been
9 initiated because I am concerned that the
10 12.2 million dollars in the Fidelity Bank
11 will be pushed on a back burner as the city
12 becomes increasingly embroiled in the
13 details of the Stadium Club bill scandal.
14 And on a related topic, on April 17,
15 2008, a letter was sent by city council to
16 NCC and Attorney Abrahamsen requesting the
17 report of the monies received from the
18 collection of delinquent property taxes by
19 the city, NCC and the law firm of Abrahamsen
20 and Associates. To date, we have received
21 no response. I would anticipate
22 particularly in light of disclosures by
23 Mr. McGovern that these numbers should be
24 climbing as the privileged may scurry to pay
25 the taxes which appear to have been
1 concealed since 2002. No doubt the fines,
2 fees, penalties and costs enacted by the
3 delinquent tax collection ordinance of 2007
4 must apply to each of these individuals
5 without exception.
6 Kay, please send a second letter
7 requesting the original information on or
8 before June 2, 2007.
9 Next, the issue of Channel 61 and
10 Scranton Today. I understand that Electric
11 City TV is now involved in litigation and it
12 appears most unwise to proceed with any fund
13 disbursement to ECTV during ongoing
14 litigation. Therefore, the urgency of the
15 $20,000 appropriation to Scranton Today
16 grows daily. Mr. McGoff, were you able to
17 speak with the mayor on this issue?
18 MR. MCGOFF: It's my understanding
19 that ECTV was going to assume Channel 61
20 sometime in June.
21 MS. EVANS: And that would assume
22 though according to their RFP that they will
23 have received the disbursements of monies
24 from the city prior to that because the
25 three-month, as I said before, according to
1 the proposal they submitted the clock begins
2 to tick, the three-month clock, from the
3 date they receive their money?
4 MS. FANUCCI: I actually had spoken
5 to them, also, and they confirmed that they
6 will be running at the end of -- well, they
7 said by the end of this month, so that's all
8 I know. They didn't say anything about the
9 funding or we need the funding or it has to
10 be here in time, that was time frame, so --
11 MS. EVANS: Well, then perhaps it's
12 possible that they have received funding
13 without our knowledge. I really wouldn't
14 know. I can't imagine though that they
15 would be up and running in this amount of
16 time without those monies since they were to
17 be used for equipment purchase and salaries
18 of individuals.
19 MS. FANUCCI: Right.
20 MS. EVANS: I'm going to move tonight
21 that city council amend the 2008 operating
22 budget to transfer $20,000 from the
23 contingency account to the appropriate
24 department for donation to Scranton Today
25 for the continued operation of Channel 61.
1 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
2 MR. MCGOFF: On the question?
3 MS. EVANS: Well, we need a second.
4 MS. FANUCCI: He seconded it.
5 MS. EVANS: Oh, did you, I'm sorry.
6 MR. COURTRIGHT: You couldn't hear.
7 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? I'll
8 comment, I don't think that if ECTV is going
9 to take over operation of Channel 61 that
10 it's -- I don't believe it's necessary to
11 give money to an organization that is going
12 to be leaving the operation of Channel 61.
13 I don't believe that that's necessary and I
14 will vote, no, on the motion.
15 MS. EVANS: I would suggest though to
16 ECTV that they might want to follow the
17 example of the University of Scranton who,
18 although, it's a slightly different
19 situation, we can still apply the same
20 principals. They purchased the South Side
21 complex, provided a security deposit which
22 the mayor immediately spent, yet because
23 they are involved in litigation now for
24 several years, as they themselves have
25 admitted, they have not touched those
1 fields, obviously, because they know that
2 they may well not own those fields and,
3 again, I'm suggesting that ECTV might take
4 at look at their future in this case since,
5 again, they are involved in litigation now
6 which could reverse the direction that they
7 are pursuing and in that event I really
8 would hate to see city government meetings
9 taken from the viewership. I really don't
10 want to see the screen go black, and as
11 Mr. Courtright requested several weeks ago,
12 if those funds are not used in their
13 entirety they are to be returned and I
14 believe that those who are responsible for
15 the operation of Scranton Today who served
16 the city for ten years on a voluntary basis
17 I believe these individuals would be honest
18 enough, possess the integrity to use those
19 monies wisely and to return any unused
21 MR. COURTRIGHT: Mr. McGoff, if I
22 could just say this, I think we covered this
23 ground once before and we voted to give them
24 the money and it hasn't come forward, so I
25 don't think it is any different than what we
1 did before, as Mrs. Evans said, I said in
2 the past if they did not utilize the money
3 it would be returned to us. I think all she
4 is asking to do now is to in the form of a
5 motion to open the budget so that we have
6 the power to turn the money over to them. I
7 believe the majority of us voted and it
8 passed to give them the money.
9 MS. EVANS: Yes, I think that might
10 have been a 5/0 or if not a 4/1 vote and
11 over a month has transpired since that first
12 motion and I believe council has been very
13 patient waiting any response from the mayor,
14 it's not been received. Council, granted
15 it's a strong mayor city, but on the other
16 hand, according to the Home Rule Charter
17 council also possesses it's own powers.
18 They are separate but equal powers and I do
19 believe on behalf of the citizens of
20 Scranton, Lackawanna County and even those
21 areas beyond we owe the people the ability
22 to keep up with their government and
23 particularly in the City of Scranton I think
24 this has become apparently more important
25 than ever.
1 MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else on the
3 MS. FANUCCI: I mean, I might as well
4 say now because of the time frame I think --
5 I definitely don't think it's necessary to
6 worry about $20,000 and go through the
7 ordeal of opening up a budget for such an
8 issue. I mean, if I was going to open up
9 the budget and spend the money I certainly
10 would pick a bigger issue. So this is not
11 something that -- if they had said to me,
12 "We are not going to get to running until
13 August," then that would be a different
14 story, but considering the time I just don't
15 think it's necessary to open up the budget.
16 That's all.
17 MS. GATELLI: Just for the record, I
18 was also told that they would be operational
19 by the end of the month.
20 MS. FANUCCI: And I don't even know
21 about a lawsuit, I don't know where -- and
22 it really doesn't matter to me if they are
23 in litigation or not in litigation, you
24 know, we are litigation right now and we are
25 still functioning as a council, so I'm
1 certain that, you know, it doesn't have any
2 impact on businesses if, you know, you can
3 function under litigation all the time, so
4 that's all I have.
5 MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else? On the
6 motion to open the budget and donate $20,000
7 to Scranton Today for operation of Channel
8 61, all those in favor signify by saying
10 MS. EVANS: Aye.
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
12 MR. MCGOFF: Opposed?
13 MS. GATELLI: No.
14 MS. FANUCCI: No.
15 MR. MCGOFF: No. The motion is
17 MS. EVANS: I also have a report and
18 some citizen's request for the week.
19 According to Mr. Dougher, Parks and
20 Recreation Director, I believe Thursday, May
21 8t, regarding the graffiti at the Dorothy
22 Street playground. Mr. Dougher reports that
23 his department will be painting the slides
24 to get rid of the graffiti as soon as they
25 are able. He also wanted everyone to know
1 that they are continuing to check on all
2 parks and are periodically putting in new
3 playground mulch. Thus far, Weston Park,
4 Weston Field and Crowley Field are finished
5 and they are continuing with each section of
6 the city working their way over eventually
7 or ultimately, I should say, to Connell
9 Now, a letter to Mr. Seitzinger and
10 Attorney Patterson regarding a property
11 adjacent to 939 Aker Avenue, the homeowner
12 at 939 Aker Avenue has maintained this lot
13 for seven years. Since 2006 he has been
14 trying to purchase the property with no
15 success despite contacting several city
16 departments. Please provide a response to
17 council on or before June 2, 2008.
18 The curbs in front of the Dante
19 Club, 1916 Prospect Avenue were damaged by a
20 city snow plow again this past winter.
21 Please repair as soon as possible since this
22 presents a safety hazard to pedestrians as
23 they approach and exit the premises.
24 The rear of 730 North Irving Avenue,
25 residents of the block report that the
1 delipidated garage has neither been raised
2 nor repaired. They stated it is a fire and
3 safety hazard. This is the third request in
4 the last six months. I'm going to ask that
5 our office make a copy of this photo, and
6 residents of this vicinity now believe that
7 the owner is receiving preferential
8 treatment because of his close ties to the
9 mayor, and in light of so much that occurs
10 in this city I really don't find that be a
11 farfetched perception, so if we could please
12 have a written report of action taken on or
13 before May 23, 2008.
14 1310 West Locust Street, neighbors
15 complain of a delipidated boarded-up house
16 where rats have been sighted. Despite calls
17 to the proper departments no action has been
18 taken. When will this property be
19 addressed? Please provide a written
20 response on or before June 2, 2008.
21 And was stated I think by
22 Mr. Spindler earlier, the 1700 block of
23 Elizabeth Street at the end of the street on
24 the right-hand side there is a very large
25 hole next to a catch basin and I would like
1 the DPW to fill that immediately.
2 Also, a letter to maybe the Human
3 Resources Department with copies to the
4 mayor and Mr. Renda why is the
5 administration seeking to abolish the Health
6 Care Cost Containment Committee and if
7 council members agree I would like it sent
8 on behalf of council, and I would like a
9 response to that before, well, let's say or
10 on or before May 19, 2008.
11 And I have to say that I am
12 disappointed in the vote on tonight's motion
13 concerning Scranton Today and Channel 61.
14 Let us just say that what's transpired over
15 the last six to eight months surely doesn't
16 pass the smell test and I think sometimes
17 it's important to stand up and be counted,
18 stand up on so many issues where you know
19 things are wrong. Everyone has that
20 obligation I believe to stand up and do the
21 right thing. And I think that someone
22 mentioned tonight about voter apathy, it's
23 no wonder it exists when you look at those
24 you elected who don't stand up who are
25 afraid to stand alone, who are afraid to
1 sever ties, who, well, for whatever reasons
2 the right things just don't seem to be done
3 and sadly people who pay the price are all
4 of the taxpayers and I don't think we are
5 going to see any changes in any of these
6 situations until somebody comes in with a
7 big broom and sweeps this building clean.
8 That's it.
9 MR. MCGOFF: Mrs. Gatelli.
10 MS. GATELLI: I just have a few
11 items to report that I was concerned about.
12 The property at 924 Cedar Avenue has been
13 demolished. It was a fire damaged property
14 that was been in deplorable condition. The
15 one next to it 922 is still awaiting
16 approval from the bank, it's a foreclosure
17 so there is a little bit of a problem with
18 it. The property at 1101 Cedar Avenue, the
19 inspector is going to be issuing citations
20 on that property. 1356 Penn Avenue, notices
21 has been sent out to the owner of the
22 property, and citations have been issued.
23 3244 Pittston Avenue is a property that has
24 been abandoned for a long period of time in
25 deplorable condition, all of the approvals
1 are in for demolition and there is a problem
2 with the heirs of the property and
3 Mr. Seitzinger is working with them on that
5 I received an answer from Chief
6 Elliott last week. I asked or two weeks ago
7 I asked to send a letter about the beat
8 officers and I was very saddened when I read
9 his letter that there are no officers
10 assigned to the Community Development
11 Program which is what we already knew due to
12 managing obligations within the collective
13 bargaining agreement. They have to have 140
14 officers and when they don't they pull the
15 officers from the neighborhood beats to keep
16 the full compliment of 140. He said that
17 some of the openings are occurring due to
18 people out on long-term illness or injury,
19 military activation or resignations.
20 When openings occur in the
21 department they get a candidate from the
22 civil service list. The current civil
23 service list does not require officers to
24 have attended the police academy so when
25 they are selected they have to go to the
1 academy which lasts approximately six
2 months. This causes a delay in getting the
3 officers on the street after hiring them.
4 "Recently we have hired eight officers,
5 four are currently in the police academy,
6 two have already been activated to the
7 military and two will be finished with the
8 police academy and going through our
9 in-house training program. These are the
10 officers that would be assigned to the
11 Community Development Program, but by the
12 time they finish we will be looking to hire
13 more officers due to recent heart and lung
14 hearings. It is anticipated that we will
15 have four more officers leave on work
16 related disabilities. One other officer has
17 indicated that he may leave within the next
18 few weeks for another department.
19 We currently have three other
20 officers activated for military and there
21 are currently 11 officers out on long-term
22 injury or illness. The priority is to fill
23 the 140 compliment then we fill the grant
24 positions such as the school resource
25 officers and the community development
2 After reviewing the staffing
3 situation and contractual issues, I cannot
4 assign officers to beats in neighborhoods at
5 this time. As soon we are able to have
6 these officers returned, I will advise you."
7 I couldn't know what we can do about
8 that situation, but as a neighborhood leader
9 for 27 years I find it reprehensible that we
10 don't have beat officers and I would like to
11 make some kind of a motion that they
12 investigate any means possible, I know when
13 I worked in OECD we had, oh, I forget what
14 they call them, like reserve officers and I
15 know it would have to go through the police
16 contract to have that type of a person be
17 used, but, you know, with these things
18 happening and people getting sick and
19 getting deployed into the Army, I think we
20 need some type of a backup so that our
21 neighborhoods are protected.
22 So, you know, I would like to a make
23 a motion that maybe, Bill, you could meet
24 with as the public safety with Ray Hayes or
25 someone to try to rectify this. It can't go
1 on. I mean, we can't have this with the
2 summer coming.
3 MR. COURTRIGHT: I would be happy to
4 do that. I think part of our problem is
5 somebody dropped the ball when it came to
6 giving the civil service test, so there was
7 no list available to draw from then they
8 gave the test and by the time they gave the
9 test and they hired the people from that
10 list then they had to go through Act 120. I
11 believe that we should always have a list
12 with a sufficient amount of people to draw
13 from and that's, in my opinion, is why we
14 are in the situation we are. All of that
15 stuff in there is absolutely true, but there
16 was no list available.
17 MS. GATELLI: I'll make a motion that
18 we have Bill meet with the Chief and Ray
19 Hayes on our behalf as a council to see what
20 we can do to rectify this for the summer. I
21 mean, it's an emergency as far as I'm
23 MS. FANUCCI: I'll second that.
24 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? All in
1 MS. EVANS: Aye.
2 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
3 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
4 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
5 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed? The
6 ayes have it and so moved.
7 MS. GATELLI: And I only have one
8 other thing, I don't know if you mentioned
9 it when I was in the bathroom, the rental
10 registration program.
11 MS. EVANS: I addressed what Mrs.
12 Schumacher had said.
13 MS. GATELLI: Did you send any
15 MS. EVANS: No, because I do believe
16 the problems comes from a shortage of
18 MS. GATELLI: Well, I do, too, but I
19 would like to write a letter also to
20 Seitzinger and the mayor concerning the
21 rental registration program. Wayne Evans
22 and I met with the mayor several years ago
23 and that was one of our top priorities in
24 our particular neighborhood which is in such
25 an upheaval and we have pressed for that
1 program and we wanted extra people hired
2 because it would in the end reap more money
3 coming in and they certainly would pay for
4 their salaries, so I would like to send a
5 letter if council would approve asking the
6 mayor and Mr. Seitzinger to come up with a
7 plan, possibly meet with Wayne and I, to
8 discuss it again and see what we can do to
9 get it going the right way. Is everyone in
11 MS. EVANS: Yes.
12 MS. GATELLI: Okay, thanks.
13 MS. EVANS: If I could add though, a
14 speaker at a recent meeting suggested that
15 perhaps senior citizens, retired individuals
16 would be utilized, for example, for just
17 this program and rather than the city paying
18 wages, their hours of work could be deducted
19 from the city property tax payments that are
20 owed annually, and I think that could be a
21 win-win-win situation in that so many
22 retirees are still anxious to work. They
23 are on very limited fixed incomes and this
24 is going to help them with their tax bills
25 and it helps the city.
1 MS. GATELLI: I agree with you
2 there, but I don't know how the union would
3 accept that because they would be taking a
4 job from a union person.
5 MS. FANUCCI: There is some violation
7 MS. GATELLI: I don't know if there
8 is a liability.
9 MS. EVANS: I think it's worth
11 MS. GATELLI: Yeah, we can put it in.
12 But there might be a liability, too, if
13 they're not actually an employee, you know,
14 doing city business, but we'll put it in.
15 Thank you. That's all I have.
16 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mrs. Gatelli.
17 Mrs. Fanucci.
18 MS. FANUCCI: I only have one comment
19 about the Unity Festival and the evolution
20 of that permit is ridiculous. I actually
21 spoke out in the hall about it, I'm going to
22 talk to Mr. Seitzinger about it in the
23 morning and see if there is something we can
24 do because this the time of year where all
25 summer long is when we have every festival
1 and I really don't think it's necessary for
2 people to, you know, have to use $100 permit
3 constantly if you are not going -- I maybe,
4 you are just one festival, maybe you are
5 just going to do one, and I know there is
6 some issues last year with this festival,
7 also, with the food and the health -- the
8 Director of Health and the problems, there
9 is some problems there with permits and
10 saying that they didn't have them when they
11 did have them, so obviously we need to have
12 a better system when it comes to that, so
13 I'm actually just going to talk to
14 Mr. Seitzinger tomorrow. And that's all I
16 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mrs. Fanucci.
17 Mr. Courtright.
18 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes. I just go
19 back to what Mrs. Gatelli was talking about
20 with the police and all of us up here have
21 campaigned and knocked on some doors, some
22 have knocked on lots of doors and I don't
23 know one thing I have always heard was most
24 of the people in this city would like to see
25 more police officers, and I have even heard
1 and nobody wants their taxes raised, I'm
2 going to get killed for raising the taxes,
3 but I have had people actually tell me, many
4 people tell me, "I wouldn't mind having my
5 taxes raised if I knew the money would go
6 directly to putting a cop on the street."
7 All right? So, if agreeable by the
8 rest of council when I meet with Director
9 Hayes and David Elliot I think right now for
10 this summer the only answer would be that we
11 would have to pay overtime to have police
12 officers get on the street and I for one am
13 agreeable to that, I don't know if the rest
14 of council would be agreeable to doing that?
15 MS. GATELLI: Yes, because it's
16 block grant money.
17 MR. COURTRIGHT: I don't know if you
18 could use that block grant money for
20 MS. GATELLI: Yeah, I think they
21 could as long as they are in a beat patrol.
22 I'm pretty sure.
23 MR. COURTRIGHT: We'll ask that and
24 because I think right now that's the only
25 answer for the immediate future is it pay
1 overtime to the officers that are willing to
2 work it, so I'll suggest that if that's okay
3 with the everyone.
4 MS. GATELLI: Absolutely.
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you. I did
6 talk to Director Hayes, my phone is going
7 off, sorry about that. I did talk to
8 Director Hayes about Adams Avenue, he is
9 handling the situation, and I believe we'll
10 have it rectified soon.
11 Cameras, somebody brought up about
12 the cameras that are around the city and
13 being monitored hopefully by the police
14 department, I believe it was last week they
15 were operational for maybe a day or two so,
16 I don't know if they were testing them out
17 or not, I know that they are operational as
18 we speak. I think they will be operational
19 in the very near future. Some people that
20 have viewed them for the day or so that they
21 were testing them said that the quality was
22 very, very good, so hopefully they will be
23 up and running soon. I know some people are
24 opposed to having them, I'm in favor of
25 them. I think they could be a deterrent and
1 an aid to the police officers and an extra
2 set of eyes.
3 Rockwell Avenue, I got two calls
4 last week about the lights going up on
5 Rockwell Avenue. Those people on Rockwell
6 Avenue don't want to have those lights put
7 up in that field, and they actually asked
8 about a petition, Kay, if you can just make
9 people on Rockwell Avenue feelings known to
10 Mark Dougher that they were not in favor of
11 having those lights in that field.
12 I believe it was Mrs. Evans talked
13 about the health care committee and
14 Mrs. Krake. I believe under the Connors'
15 administration it accomplished a great deal
16 and I would like to see it brought back if,
17 I mean, I guess it's not going away but they
18 haven't been meeting, but let's get it as
19 active as possible because I don't think
20 anybody whether you on the administration
21 side or on the union sides wants to see
22 health care costs go up. We would all like
23 to contain it and reduce it and hopefully we
24 can reenact it and get this thing going.
25 We are getting a lot of homes tore
1 down and some people are in favor of that,
2 some people are not in favor of it. The
3 fact of the matter is they are being torn
4 down and the question that has gone before
5 council is when the city tears down a
6 property, a building, and the property
7 remains there and it doesn't appear to be
8 maintained, someone in the neighborhood has
9 to go over and clean it up or a neighboring
10 business is cleaning it up, I know one in
11 particular, I don't know want to mention
12 their name, that it's very frustrating
13 because they go over, it's across from their
14 business and they go over as often as
15 possible and try to clean up or the weeds
16 start to grow. There is a property at the
17 corner of Jackson Street and Hyde Park
18 Avenue that they dump some dirt or ash in
19 there and I believe the city when they tore
20 the house down and it's creeped out into the
21 sidewalk, there is no more sidewalk, so I
22 would ask, Kay, if it's okay with everybody
23 here that we ask Mark Seitzinger could he
24 give us a list of the properties in the City
25 of Scranton that Scranton has demolished the
1 property and is it the city's responsibility
2 to maintain them because I do know sometimes
3 when we tear them down or probably most of
4 the town they are not in our possession. We
5 tear them down and put a lien against the
6 homeowner, so what do we do, 30 more
7 properties are being torn down, we certainly
8 don't want 30 properties overgrown or as Mr.
9 Jackowitz said, rats running around or
10 whatever the case maybe, Mr. Spindler maybe,
11 how do we manage all of these properties
12 once they are torn down because I know that
13 they are not available for immediate sale,
14 sometimes it's difficult to buy a property
15 that's been torn down, just what kind of
16 handle are we going to get on these
17 properties that are being torn down, is
18 there a game plan, if you could just bring
19 us up to speed on that I would appreciate
20 that. And that's all I have. Thank you.
21 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.
22 Mr. Courtright. Very briefly, just to
23 respond to Mr. Dobson, I do in speaking with
24 Mr. Santolli I was told that there are areas
25 in the parks that are being looked at as
1 possible areas where spraying will occur, so
2 they are not being ignored and Mr. Santolli
3 has taken care of or will take care of the
5 And I will speak with Mark Dougher
6 tomorrow as far as I have to speak with him
7 on another issue and at least see if I can
8 find out if there -- what -- are there any
9 current plans and if so before there is any
10 definitive plan made about Rockwell that at
11 least there be some consultation with the
12 people in the neighborhood as to their
14 MS. GATELLI: Just on that for a
15 minute, Mr. McGoff, excuse me, I don't want
16 to interrupt, Connell Park has lights and,
17 as you know, I live one house away from the
18 field where the lights are and I can
19 honestly say that the lights are not a
20 problem. The way they put them up and there
21 is shields around them so that they don't
22 shine into the neighborhood they shine on
23 the field and I remember when the Lackawanna
24 Little League was going to put lights in and
25 all of the neighbors, you know, got in a
1 panic about it and they have lights now,
2 too, and I don't think it's a problem. So
3 just to be aware that when they are put on
4 the field they are put on the field not to
5 shine in the neighbor's homes, so I don't
6 know if that will help the neighbors at all.
7 MR. COURTRIGHT: I don't think they
8 are as much concerned about the lights as
9 they are saying that, you know, they've
10 driven by the South Side Complex and
11 sometimes those lights aren't turned out so
12 they figure the kids are going to be hanging
13 there all night long, you know, doing
14 whatever it is they are going to do because
15 there are lights there, that's their
16 concerns. I don't think it's so much about
17 the light on the field, there is a
18 basketball court there and they are hanging
19 out there sometimes later at night without
20 the lights. I think they are afraid if the
21 lights go up, and I don't know if you've
22 driven by the South Side Complex sometimes
23 they left them on all night long.
24 MS. GATELLI: Yeah, I don't know why.
25 MS. EVANS: Even when there were no
2 MS. GATELLI: Yeah, I don't know why
3 they do that. At Connell Park they turn
4 them off, the people at Connell Park.
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: So, I think that's
6 the concern, but maybe Mr. Dougher can speak
7 with the neighbors, if he wouldn't mind go
8 out there and talk to the neighbors.
9 MR. MCGOFF: And that's all. Mrs.
11 MS. GARVEY: FIFTH ORDER. 5-B. FOR
12 INTRODUCTION - A RESOLUTION - RATIFYING THE
13 ACTIONS OF THE OFFICE OF ECONOMIC AND
14 COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AND OTHER APPROPRIATE
15 CITY OFFICIALS TO EXECUTE AND APPLY FOR A
16 GRANT THROUGH THE PA DEPARTMENT OF
17 CONSERVATION AND NATURAL RESOURCES (DCNR) IN
18 THE AMOUNT OF $1,000,000.00 ACCEPTING THE
19 GRANT, IF SUCCESSFUL, COORDINATING AND
20 DISBURSING THE GRANT FUNDS FOR THE PROJECT
21 TO BE NAMED AS "500 LACKAWANNA AVENUE
22 REDEVELOPMENT PARK, PLAZA AND PEDESTRIAN
24 MR. MCGOFF: At this time I'll
25 entertain a motion that Item 5-B be
1 introduced into it's proper committee.
2 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
3 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
4 MR. MCGOFF: On the question?
5 MS. EVANS: Yes, as I looked through
6 the backup for this particular legislation,
7 I noticed a few items on which I'd like to
8 some specifics and clarification, for
9 example, on the bottom of one of the pages,
10 number four, partnerships, I'd like to know
11 what the dollar amount is of contribution
12 from the 500 Lackawanna Development Company
13 itself. We have dollar amounts listed from
14 the US Department of Transportation, the
15 Pennsylvania Department of Transportation,
16 the Pennsylvania House Financing Agency,
17 etcetera, but curiously I see no dollar
18 amount listed for the actual developer, so I
19 would like to know how much their own money
20 they have invested.
21 Also, I noticed on the following
22 page that the City of Scranton and the
23 Scranton Redevelopment Authority are going
24 to provide CDBG funding as well as UDAG
25 funding and I would like to know the exact
1 dollar amount that's connected to both of
2 those allocations because even, you know,
3 not knowing those amounts it appears that we
4 have 14, possibly $15 million in taxpayer
5 money, whether it's through the Commonwealth
6 of Pennsylvania or the federal government
7 invested in this project, and I think it is
8 important to know what the city is putting
9 into this in addition to that 14 or
10 $15 million and exactly what the owner
11 himself is putting into this.
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: On the question,
13 Mr. McGoff, I think this is one of the first
14 big pieces of legislation when Mrs. Evans
15 and myself came onto council and I believe
16 at the time all five of us were very much in
17 favor of this project, but there has been
18 some turmoil since then and I, too, would
19 like to know the dollar amount that the
20 developer is putting into it. I think a
21 later you are going to see UDAG monies, I
22 have never been able to find out how much
23 money is in the UDAG fund, that seems to be
24 a big mystery here. I'm going to vote to
25 move it ahead this week and then I'm going
1 to do a little bit more investigation myself
2 and maybe the answers that Mrs. Evans will
3 be getting and I'll make my decision next
5 MR. MCGOFF: I just want to point out
6 that what we are asking, what the resolution
7 asks for is permission to apply for an
8 accepted grant, that there is no encumbrance
9 upon the city or the taxpayers in terms of,
10 you know, spending money from the city
11 budget or anything else, that this is --
12 this is simply an attempt to apply a grant
13 from a particular program that would go --
14 that is project specific, it's money that
15 cannot be used for any other project, that
16 it would be from this -- from the Department
17 of Conservation and Natural Resources for
18 improvement of that one specific area of the
19 project and that none of that -- if, in
20 fact, that money is received, it is my
21 understanding that none of that money would
22 go directly to the developer that it would
23 go to the project itself.
24 MS. EVANS: And I agree, that's
25 exactly the case, this is a grant. The city
1 will not be repaying this, but let's face
2 it, this benefits the developer in that it's
3 going to attract a lot of traffic to his
4 business location, but beyond that my
5 concern is for what additional monies the
6 city will invest in this project. I think
7 like Mr. Courtright said, it's important to
8 know the dollar amounts attached here to
9 UDAG and CDBG.
10 MS. GATELLI: We can ask Kay to get
12 MS. EVANS: Well, that's what I
13 initially asked for --
14 MS. GATELLI: That's not a problem.
15 MS. EVANS: -- as well as the
16 developer's slice of the pie here, so I'll
17 vote, yes, as Mr. Courtright indicated and
18 then I'll make my final decision once that
19 information has been received.
20 MR. MCGOFF: All those in favor of
21 introduction signify by saying aye.
22 MS. EVANS: Aye.
23 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
24 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
25 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
1 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed? The
2 ayes have it and so moved.
3 MS. GARVEY: SIXTH ORDER. NO
4 BUSINESS AT THIS TIME. SEVENTH ORDER. 7-A.
5 FOR CONSIDERATION BY THE COMMITTEE ON RULES
6 - FOR ADOPTION - RESOLUTION NO. 26, 2008 -
7 AUTHORIZING THE HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION
8 FOR THE CITY OF SCRANTON TO ENTER INTO A
9 CONTRACT FOR PROFESSIONAL SERVICES WITH MARK
10 T. MCGRATH, ESQUIRE TO ACT AS ITS SOLICITOR
11 FOR ONE (1) YEAR BEGINNING JANUARY 1, 2008
12 THROUGH DECEMBER 31, 2008 AT THE RATE OF
13 NINETY-FIVE ($95.00) DOLLARS PER HOUR.
14 MS. GATELLI: I don't know when we
15 put an amendment on this, but I would like
16 to add an amendment to this motion/
17 resolution before we --
18 MR. MCGOFF: Would now be
20 MR. MINORA: Now would be the time.
21 MS. GATELLI: I would like to amend
22 the resolution to make a cap of $20,000. I
23 make that in the form of a motion.
24 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
25 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? All
1 those in favor?
2 MS. EVANS: Aye.
3 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
4 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
6 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed? The
7 ayes have it and so moved. The resolution
8 would then read: At a rate of $95 per hour
9 not to exceed $20,000 annually," or
10 something similar.
11 MR. MINORA: Correct.
12 MR. MCGOFF: Do we need to reread it.
13 MS. GARVEY: Yes.
14 MR. MCGOFF: Please.
15 MS. GARVEY: FOR CONSIDERATION BY
16 THE COMMITTEE ON RULES - FOR ADOPTION -
17 RESOLUTION NO. 26, 2008 - AUTHORIZING THE
18 HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION FOR THE CITY OF
19 SCRANTON TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT FOR
20 PROFESSIONAL SERVICES WITH MARK T. MCGRATH,
21 ESQUIRE TO ACT AS ITS SOLICITOR FOR ONE (1)
22 YEAR BEGINNING JANUARY 1, 2008 THROUGH
23 DECEMBER 31, 2008 AT THE RATE OF NINETY-FIVE
24 ($95.00) DOLLARS PER HOUR NOT TO EXCEED
25 $20,000 ANNUALLY.
1 MR. MCGOFF: As Chairperson for the
2 Committee on Rules, I recommend final
3 passage of Item 7-A as amended.
4 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
5 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? Roll
6 call, please.
7 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.
8 MS. EVANS: Yes.
9 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.
10 MS. GATELLI. Yes.
11 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. Fanucci.
12 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.
13 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.
14 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
15 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff.
16 MR. MCGOFF: Yes. I hereby declare
17 Item 7-A legally and lawfully adopted.
18 MS. GARVEY: 7-B. FOR CONSIDERATION
19 BY THE COMMITTEE ON COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT -
20 FOR ADOPTION - RESOLUTION NO. 30, 2008 -
21 AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND OTHER APPROPRIATE
22 CITY OFFICIALS TO EXECUTE AND ENTER INTO A
23 LOAN AGREEMENT AND TO EXECTUE A PROMISSORY
24 NOTE, IN THE AMOUNT OF $60,000 BY AND
25 BETWEEN THE CITY OF SCRANTON AND CACHE
1 SUPRIS LIMITED FOR ENTERPRISE ZONE
2 COMPETITIVE GRANT FUNDS TO BE DEDICATED TO
3 THE CACHE SUPRIS LIMITED PROJECT.
4 MR. MCGOFF: What is the
5 recommendation of the Chairperson for the
6 Committee on Community Development?
7 MS. FANUCCI: As Chairperson for the
8 Committee on Community Development, I
9 recommend final passage of Item 7-B.
10 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
11 MR. MCGOFF: On the question?
12 MS. EVANS: Yes. As I indicated
13 last week, I'm not going to be voting in
14 favor of either 7-B or 7-C because so many
15 questions and discrepancies have arisen
16 concerning the Office of the Economic and
17 Community Development and until those
18 questions are answered publically by Mrs.
19 Aebli I'm going to be approving anymore
21 MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else? Roll call,
23 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.
24 MS. EVANS: No.
25 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.
1 MS. GATELLI. Yes.
2 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. Fanucci.
3 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.
4 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
6 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff.
7 MR. MCGOFF: Yes. I hereby declare
8 Item 7-B legally and lawfully adopted.
9 MS. GARVEY: 7-C. FOR CONSIDERATION
10 BY THE COMMITTEE ON COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT -
11 FOR ADOPTION - RESOLUTION NO. 31, 2008 -
12 AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND OTHER APPROPRIATE
13 CITY OFFICIALS TO EXECUTE AND ENTER INTO A
14 LOAN AGREEMENT AND TO EXECUTE A PROMISSORY
15 NOTE, IN THE AMOUNT OF $36,000 BY AND
16 BETWEEN THE CITY OF SCRANTON AND F&M
17 RESTAURANT LLC D/B/A/ YANNI'S GREEK BISTRO
18 FOR ENTERPRISE ZONE COMPETITIVE GRANT FUNDS
19 TO BE DEDICATED TO THE F&M RESTAURANT LLC
20 D/B/A/ YANNI'S GREEK BISTRO PROJECT.
21 MR. MCGOFF: What is the
22 recommendation of the Chairperson for the
23 Committee on the Community Development.
24 MS. FANUCCI: As Chairperson for the
25 Committee on Community Development, I
1 recommend final passage of Item 7-C.
2 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
3 MR. MCGOFF: On the question. Roll
4 call, please.
5 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.
6 MS. EVANS: No.
7 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.
8 MS. GATELLI. Yes.
9 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. Fanucci.
10 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.
11 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
13 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff.
14 MR. MCGOFF: Yes. I hereby declare
15 Item 7-C legally and lawfully adopted.
16 Thank you for your participation and
17 cooperation. A motion to adjourn.
18 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
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