2              SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING








            6                          HELD:




            8                   Tuesday, May 20, 2008




           10                        LOCATION:


           11                    Council Chambers


           12                 Scranton City Hall


           13              340 North Washington Avenue


           14                Scranton, Pennsylvania





















                            CATHENE S. NARDOZZI- COURT REPORTER






















                MS. JANET E. EVANS



           10   MS. SHERRY FANUCCI (Not Present.)



                MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT



           13   MS. KAY GARVEY, CITY CLERK






           16   MR. AMIL MINORA, SOLICITOR
























            1                      (Pledge of Allegiance recited and


            2              moment of reflection observed.)


            3                      MR. MCGOFF:  Roll call, please.


            4                      MS. MAGNOTTA:  Mrs. Evans.


            5                      MS. EVANS:  Here.


            6                      MS. MAGNOTTA: Mrs. Gatelli.


            7                      MS. GATELLI.  Here.


            8                      MS. MAGNOTTA: Ms. Fanucci.


            9                      (Ms. Fanucci not present.)


           10                      MS. MAGNOTTA:  Mr. Courtright.


           11                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yes.


           12                      MS. MAGNOTTA: Mr. McGoff.


           13                      MR. MCGOFF:  Yes.  Let the record


           14              reflect that Mrs. Fanucci has informed


           15              council that she will not be able to attend


           16              this evening's meeting.  Dispense with the


           17              reading of the minutes.


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




           20              ZONING HEARING BOARD MEETING HELD ON MAY 14,


           21              2008.


           22                      MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?


           23              If not, received and filed.


           24                      MS. GARVEY: That's it for Third


           25              Order.






            1                      MR. MCGOFF: Any announcements that


            2              you may have?


            3                      MS. GATELLI: I just have two


            4              announcements.  The first one is I'd like to


            5              congratulate Attorney Minora, he became a


            6              grandfather again tonight for the fourth


            7              time and Maureen, his wife, her daughter,


            8              Megan, had a baby girl.  And I also -- where


            9              is Chrissy?


           10                      MR. SLEDENZSKI: Right here, Jude.


           11                      MS. GATELLI:  I have a surprise for


           12              you, Chrissy.  I have a surprise for you?


           13                      MR. SLEDENZSKI: Uh-oh.


           14                      MS. GATELLI: As you know, the West


           15              Scranton Varsity Baseball Team won the


           16              Lackawanna League Division I baseball


           17              championship and it's the first time they


           18              have won since 1992.  The coach is Paul


           19              McGoin, and the assistant coach is George


           20              Roscus, and they gave me this to show you,


           21              Chrissy, if I could get the sweater off, and


           22              I got it from Burt-Burt.


           23                      MR. SLEDENZSKI:  Did you?


           24                      MS. GATELLI:  So if you want one --


           25                      MR. SLEDENZSKI: Yeah, I want one.






            1                      MS. GATELLI:  You are going to have


            2              to see him tomorrow, the West Scranton


            3              Invaders.  That's all I have.  Have some fun


            4              with Chrissy.  Right, Buddy?


            5                      MR. SLEDENZSKI: Yep.


            6                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I would just like to


            7              announce again Johnny Mattern and the people


            8              from Legend's Bar are having this Saturday


            9              will be the First Annual Ride for Robeson,


           10              that's the 24 Poker Run, registration from 9


           11              to 11 at Electric City Harley Davidson.  If


           12              you not going to ride, the ride is going to


           13              end up at Legend's Bar at about 2:00 p.m.,


           14              that's in West Scranton an the number you


           15              can call is 483-0883 and, once again, all


           16              the proceeds from this are going to go to


           17              benefit the Robeson family so anyone that


           18              can make it it would certainly be


           19              appreciated, that's all I have.  Thank you.


           20                      MR. MCGOFF: Mrs. Evans.


           21                      MS. EVANS: Please remember in your


           22              prayers all those who have recently passed


           23              away and in particular Gerald T. Labarski


           24              and Alfonso Chara, both victims of tragic


           25              accidents and their dear families and






            1              friends they leave behind.  Also, if you


            2              would remember Mrs. Lyman in your prayers


            3              who is hospitalized this week.


            4                      I also wish to congratulate Lillian


            5              and Pat Manley, owners of the Corner Store


            6              in West Scranton who each year for the last


            7              several years have sponsored a veteran's


            8              dinner for approximately 50 people at


            9              Cooper's Restaurant.  West Scranton


           10              veteran's are treated to a three-piece band


           11              and open bar and a delicious dinner as well


           12              as beautiful commemorative gifts and last


           13              Saturday's dinner, for example, the


           14              gentleman were given hats and medals


           15              inscribed with the words "The Greatest


           16              Generation" and the ladies received medals


           17              as well and journey pendants.  The Manleys


           18              are more than good neighbors, they are an


           19              inspiration to all of us who want to believe


           20              and who need to believe that kindness and


           21              goodness continue to exist in Scranton.


           22                   Finally, I'd like to wish Tommy Barrett


           23              good health and great happiness in his


           24              retirement from the city controller's


           25              office.  After all of his years of service I






            1              really don't know how Mrs. Novembrino will


            2              ever do without him, so best wishes, Tommy.


            3              That's all.


            4                      MR. MCGOFF: And I was informed, and


            5              I hope not misinformed, that former mayor


            6              Gene Peters celebrated his 80th birthday


            7              this past weekend and I would just like to


            8              on behalf of council and myself and council


            9              congratulate him and I think it's really a


           10              unique situation that we in Scranton have


           11              with us so many of the men whose pictures,


           12              you know, grace these walls still providing


           13              leadership and direction to our city.  And


           14              so once again, happy birthday to Mayor


           15              Peters.


           16                      MS. EVANS: He was a wonderful mayor.


           17                      MR. MCGOFF: And with that Fourth


           18              Order, citizens participation.  Reverend


           19              Simmons.


           20                      MS. SIMMONS: Good evening, Council.


           21              My name is Reverend Cathryn Simmons,


           22              Florence Midtown Crime Watch.  I come


           23              wearing two hats this evening, and let me


           24              begin with the most important one.  Next


           25              Wednesday, May the 28th at 6:00 in the






            1              evening at Bethel A & E Church there will be


            2              an interfaith service to honor the


            3              firefighters across this fair city.  This is


            4              not political in any way, shape or form,


            5              this is a night of prayer and music for


            6              their safety and protection during a very


            7              perilous upcoming summer, so the door is


            8              open, everyone is invited to come and pray


            9              with them and celebrate that evening with


           10              them.  Now, onto the next --


           11                      MR. MCGOFF: Reverend Simmons, what


           12              was the time on that again.


           13                      MS. SIMMONS: 6:00.


           14                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.


           15                      MS. SIMMONS: The week before last I


           16              came before council to talk about parking on


           17              Adams Avenue between Vine Street and North


           18              Washington Avenue, and Councilwoman Gatelli


           19              you had spoken that night about getting an


           20              ordinance prepared to ban parking.  When I


           21              pushed last week about -- because I didn't


           22              come because I thought ordinance was going


           23              to be presented and it was going to roll


           24              along and I found out that, no, the


           25              ordinance, indeed, was not presented, I know






            1              what's going to happen along that street,


            2              okay?  Come August when the college opens


            3              again we are again going to have problems


            4              with parking along that section of Adams


            5              Avenue and we are again going to be told


            6              that the reason that certain things can't be


            7              done, cars can't be towed, other things is


            8              because there is no ordinance on the books.


            9              Well, there is an ordinance, there was an


           10              ordinance put there 14 1/2 years ago,


           11              whatever happened to it I don't know and I'm


           12              not going to stand here and argue about


           13              something that --


           14                      MS. GATELLI:  Excuse me, but that's


           15              what we are doing investigating if there was


           16              an ordinance.


           17                      MS. SIMMONS:  Okay.


           18                      MS. GATELLI: And Bill has an answer,


           19              would you like him to answer?


           20                      MS. SIMMONS: Oh, yes.


           21                      MS. GATELLI:  He was meeting with


           22              the chief about it.


           23                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I spoke to Director


           24              Hayes maybe right after when you came to the


           25              meeting and there is -- I didn't think there






            1              were any signs there, but there is a sign


            2              there --


            3                      MS. GATELLI:  There is signs there,


            4              yeah.


            5                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  He attempted


            6              because there is a sign there must have been


            7              an ordinance, we just don't -- we are not


            8              supposed to be able to just pop up signs


            9              anywhere.  Director Hayes and his staff they


           10              are looking to find the ordinance, all


           11              right, because if there is one there is no


           12              need for us to do another one, so he told me


           13              he will be handling it and he will rectify


           14              the problem.


           15                      MS. SIMMONS: Do you know how long


           16              this is going to take because we want an


           17              ordinance in place before school reconvenes.


           18                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Right.  I would


           19              imagine he is look for the ordinance that we


           20              believe exists and if he finds it then they


           21              can enforce it immediately.  They just don't


           22              want to go out and ticket and there is no


           23              ordinance.


           24                      MS. SIMMONS: Well, they have been


           25              ticketing.






            1                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Have they put


            2              warnings on or are they putting actual


            3              tickets?


            4                      MS. SIMMONS: Well, there was


            5              warnings given out and then there was


            6              tickets given out, but there was a car


            7              parked over there, it was parked there on


            8              April the 28th, it was left there, there was


            9              five tickets placed on that car.  We asked


           10              over and over again that that car be towed.


           11              We were told because the license plate was


           12              legal and the inspection sticker was legal


           13              they couldn't tow it, but it was parked


           14              between two "No Parking" signs.  Well, I'm


           15              sorry, but I would have to disagree.  If you


           16              are parked between two "No Parking" signs


           17              and you have five tickets on your car, you


           18              haven't even come back to check your car in


           19              seven days, something tells me that there is


           20              something wrong there and that car should


           21              have been towed out of there.


           22                      That's one of the problems we were


           23              having over there because people were come


           24              through the light, they were seeing his car


           25              parked there and they thought they could






            1              park.  You know, some of the people that we


            2              stopped and said to them, "You can't park


            3              there, you have to move," and their answer


            4              to us was, "Well, that car is parked there."


            5                      "You know, I'm not going to stand


            6              here and argue with all day, we are telling


            7              you there is two "No Parking" signs and you


            8              cannot park here, but if he is looking into


            9              it I'm going to leave it in his hands, but


           10              you know I will be back.


           11                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  And I'm sure he


           12              knows that.


           13                      MS. SIMMONS: Oh, I'm sure he does.


           14                      MS. GATELLI: And if there isn't we


           15              all agree up here that he will produce an


           16              ordinance.


           17                      MS. SIMMONS:  Okay.  I thank you


           18              very much.


           19                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Reverend


           20              Simmons.


           21                      MS. SIMMONS: Don't forget Wednesday


           22              night.


           23                      MR. MCGOFF:  Andy Sbaraglia.


           24                      MR. SBARAGLIA: Andy Sbaraglia,


           25              citizen of Scranton, fellow Scrantonians.  I






            1              want to talk on 7-A, we are putting in for a


            2              grant for this 500 Lackawanna Avenue


            3              redevelopment of Park Plaza and pedestrian


            4              court yet in the paper you are already


            5              advertising for bids on it even before you


            6              voted on this.  It's already in the paper


            7              looking for bids, soliciting bids, so this


            8              is just a joke I guess.  It's already --


            9              whatever you are going to do you are going


           10              to do or it's already been done because you


           11              are soliciting bids you can ask your


           12              secretary if you want, but it's in the paper


           13              that you are soliciting bids before you even


           14              vote on this grant.


           15                      Okay.  This project, this 500 of


           16              Lackawanna Avenue project, this is from the


           17              Times, I hope I can believe what I'm


           18              reading, the Governor said 28 million in


           19              local, state and federal funds have been


           20              submitted to this project, $28 million to


           21              these broken down old buildings.  Do you


           22              know how much taxes we collect, real estate


           23              tax we collect for all of the city?


           24              $14,300,794.  $14 million.  You are going to


           25              spend 28 million on project it will take 100






            1              --no, probably a thousand years before we


            2              ever get that money back.  This is pork.


            3              You can call it what you will.  I mean,


            4              they've got a fancy name for everything


            5              here.  They got renaissance, it's just


            6              another name for pork, that's all it is.


            7              Just another semantics.  Pork is pork.


            8              $28 million now they are talking about an


            9              elevator to get up into the parks up on the


           10              top and even growing, growing, growing.  I


           11              told you before when this came out years ago


           12              don't invest that.  I mean, this man says he


           13              did this, he said that, we paid for the


           14              sidewalks.  We paid for the engineering.  He


           15              didn't even pay for the engineering of this


           16              project, the city paid for it and various


           17              other things with this project and you


           18              committed so much money to it, people are


           19              losing their homes, they can't afford their


           20              taxes, but you care little or nothing you


           21              just keep going with these real estate


           22              deals.  I mean, I told you a long time ago


           23              you have been ripping them down and building


           24              a brand new building that would have been


           25              there for the next 100 years.  We don't need






            1              another historical site, we got enough


            2              throughout the city.  In fact, everywhere


            3              you go is becoming historical and run down.


            4              What are you going to revitalize the whole


            5              city?  But, I mean, how could you justify


            6              $28 million when the taxes for every other


            7              people in the city is only $14,300,000?


            8              Does that make sense?  No, it doesn't make


            9              sentence.  Who benefits?  Rinaldi, that's


           10              who benefits, the person that organized this


           11              deal.  No where could that much money flow


           12              into a project like that if this man didn't


           13              have political clout.  It just wouldn't be


           14              done.  There is too much areas in it, we


           15              can't even fix our bridges, they are falling


           16              apart, our roads are falling apart, but yet


           17              we have all of this money to fix maybe seven


           18              or eight broken down buildings and I don't


           19              even know if the other two at the end of it


           20              actually signed in on this project.  I know


           21              Buona didn't and if it he didn't sign into


           22              it it goes all to the Supreme Court it may


           23              be another ten years before this project is


           24              done and it's just --it's a matter of


           25              semantics, you just can't do what you are






            1              doing with the money.  People just can't do


            2              it.  They don't have the money even though


            3              the federal, it comes from your pocket


            4              anyway.  I mean, true, we have been printing


            5              money like crazy, it's worthless money, but


            6              we are doing it, but still I can't


            7              understand how you can commit that much


            8              money and you don't even know if the 28


            9              million is it.  It may be even more because


           10              I don't know what you are going to have do


           11              with the national park service up there,


           12              then he wants to build the elevator to go up


           13              to and I still don't know why you want to do


           14              it.


           15                      And that alley behind there and a


           16              park who is going to benefit from all of


           17              that?  We sold parks.  We gave away the


           18              South Side Complex, we thought nothing of it


           19              but now we are going to build new parks and


           20              alleyways.  You just can't -- you got to


           21              stop this mayor.  You just got to stop him.


           22              You got to put the money where it gives you


           23              the most return to the people.  You got to


           24              find a way to lower taxes, definitely got a


           25              way of doing that and by throwing money into






            1              the pockets it won't do a darn thing.  I


            2              mean, loft apartments.  Is that -- how much


            3              is that going to bring in?  I thank you.


            4                      MR. MCGOFF:  Thank you,


            5              Mr. Sbaraglia.  Fay Franus.


            6                      MS. FRANUS:  Fay Franus, Scranton.


            7              Mr. McGoff, are going to have a meeting next


            8              Tuesday?


            9                      MR. MCGOFF: I'm sorry?


           10                      MS. FRANUS:  Are you having a


           11              meeting next Tuesday?


           12                      MR. MCGOFF: I believe so.


           13                      MS. FRANUS:  It's the day after


           14              Memorial Day.


           15                      MR. MCGOFF: It's scheduled.


           16                      MS. FRANUS:  I wanted to ask Mrs.


           17              Gatelli, since you are head of the finance,


           18              how hard is it to open up the budget,


           19              Mrs. Fanucci said it's not worth opening up


           20              the budget, is that a long process or is it


           21              very simple?


           22                      MS. GATELLI: I don't know, I never


           23              did it before.


           24                      MS. FRANUS:  Mrs. Evans, is that


           25              hard to open the budget to take the $20,000






            1              for Channel 61?


            2                      MS. EVANS: Well, I have never opened


            3              the budget before either.  However, I think


            4              is only requires an extraordinary majority


            5              vote of council and then the funds to be


            6              transferred from the designated operating


            7              budget account to, you know, whatever the


            8              issue would be, the $20,000, yes.


            9                      MS. FRANUS:  Okay.  Well, let me ask


           10              you this, you voted, council voted to give


           11              Channel 61 $20,000 and the next week you


           12              voted against it, how is that possible?


           13              Mrs. Gatelli, Mr. McGoff, Mrs. Fanucci is


           14              not here, do you want to see Channel 61 go


           15              black because there is no way in the world


           16              that June 1 they are going to have this


           17              other station up and running?  Is this your


           18              purpose to see this channel go black?


           19                      MS. GATELLI:  No.


           20                      MS. FRANUS: No?  Mr. McGoff?


           21                      MR. MCGOFF: No.


           22                      MS. FRANUS:  Okay, well, if that's


           23              the case, if this other channel isn't up on


           24              June 1 and they run out of money, Channel 61


           25              what's going to happen then?  If they said






            1              they would give the money back what's your


            2              problem with letting them have the money,


            3              anything they don't use they are going to


            4              give back, so what's you're problem giving


            5              them this money other than that excuse you


            6              gave last week you believe that they are


            7              going to be up and running June 1.  The


            8              contract says they will not be up and


            9              running until they get $300,000 from the


           10              city before they come up and running, that's


           11              the deal.  They are not going to be getting


           12              $300,000 by June 1, there is no way, so they


           13              are not going to get up and running June 1


           14              so then what are you going to do?  I mean, I


           15              don't understand this, that was an excuse


           16              you gave last week just so Channel 61 will


           17              go black.  You can say no, but then why


           18              aren't you voting to give them the money


           19              especially since they are going to give it


           20              back?  How can you sit there and do this.


           21              It's an excuse, it's blatant.  It's so


           22              obvious it's unbelievable, so you are going


           23              to still say that you will not give them the


           24              money, right, because you think the other


           25              channel is going to be up June 1st.  Okay,






            1              what happens June 1 if they are not up and


            2              running what are you going to do then and


            3              Channel 61 goes black, what did you do?


            4              That was a question?  What will you do if


            5              Channel 61 goes black before June 1 if the


            6              other TV channel doesn't get up and running


            7              by then, what will you do?


            8                      MR. MCGOFF: Are you asking me?


            9                      MS. FRANUS:  Yes.


           10                      MR. MCGOFF: I don't know that I'll


           11              do anything.


           12                      MS. FRANUS:  That's exactly what my


           13              point is.  You don't want to do anything so


           14              why wouldn't you want to give them the money


           15              so it won't happen?  How could you possibly


           16              sit there and say you won't give them the


           17              money.  I know why, because you don't want


           18              the people to see what's going on in this


           19              city.  That's exactly why.  Look at you


           20              making faces.  Well, then why don't you give


           21              them the money so it will stay running.  I


           22              have a lot of other things to say but this


           23              is too important.  I can't even comprehend


           24              this.


           25                      And last week, Mrs. Gatelli, you






            1              voted for a $60,000 loan, you said you would


            2              never -- no more borrowing for me, but yet


            3              you voted for it and, Billy, what you have


            4              ever did is beyond me.  You are going with


            5              these three, unbelievable.  $60,000 loan and


            6              Judy Gatelli says, "No more borrowing for


            7              me, I'm not voting for anymore borrowing,


            8              well --


            9                      MS. GATELLI:  That wasn't borrowing,


           10              it was still a loan.


           11                      MS. FRANUS: It's still money that's


           12              not going to be --


           13                      MS. GATELLI: Well, I'm going to stop


           14              giving to businesses in our community so you


           15              must have misinterpreted what I said.


           16                      MS. FRANUS:  You shouldn't have --


           17                      MS. GATELLI:  I will not stop giving


           18              money to start small businesses --


           19                      MS. FRANUS: How about the people in


           20              the city.


           21                      MS. GATELLI: -- in the City of


           22              Scranton.


           23                      MS. FRANUS:  How about the


           24              taxpayers, the people in their homes?


           25                      MS. GATELLI: The money is for






            1              businesses.


            2                      MS. FRANUS:  It's always for


            3              businesses, what about the regular people?


            4                      MS. GATELLI: The federal government


            5              gives us the money to start small


            6              businesses.


            7                      MS. FRANUS:  Oh, by the way, the


            8              policeman, Lieutenant Thomas, I got three


            9              signs on Luzerne Street.  Billy, he did for


           10              me in two years what you didn't do in four


           11              years.  Two weeks he got those signs.  Two


           12              weeks.  Two weeks.


           13                      Now, just a couple of things that


           14              you have never voted for the people.  You


           15              voted no to squashing the excess NCC fees.


           16              You voted no to squashing the MRS fees.  You


           17              voted no to keeping delinquent properties


           18              out of the hands of the SRA.  You noted no


           19              to reducing the budget.  You voted no to


           20              hiring qualified employees.  You voted no to


           21              investigating why the fire department is


           22              unhappy with Chief Davis.  Billy Courtright,


           23              you never did an investigation when you


           24              could have, but you chose not to, you didn't


           25              even address it in motions two weeks in a






            1              row and you are still not.  No subpoenas for


            2              any type of documents from OECD, SRA or any


            3              other department and no pilot contributions,


            4              you never went after them after you said you


            5              would.  No to rezoning Midtown apartments.


            6              No to any OECD loans that has come before


            7              you.  Never voted for anything for the


            8              people.  That's Mrs. Fanucci, Mrs. Gatelli


            9              and Mr. McGoff, those three.


           10                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mrs. Franus.


           11              Bob Bolus.


           12                      MR. BOLUS: Council, Bob Bolus,


           13              Scranton.  On the school board and all this


           14              nonsense going on with the Single Tax Office


           15              and all of the money being disbursed and


           16              Gilbride not being held accountable, I think


           17              it's a folly that the district attorney once


           18              more decides to use selective enforcement,


           19              it seems to be a tactic of his.  I believe a


           20              civil suit should be filed and everybody


           21              held accountable.  The fact that he had


           22              knowledge puts them in the same pot.  I


           23              don't think we need to keep pushing the peas


           24              around the pot, let's get to the answers.


           25              Twelve million bucks sitting out there, I






            1              think we should take the 1.5 million back,


            2              put it back in the golf course fund plus the


            3              interest that was taken out to give the


            4              mayor that he could squander and, Bill, I


            5              had asked you a long time ago, I sent a


            6              letter, you stood there one day and said


            7              that you would put a motion on the table to


            8              put the $1.5 million back in if it was


            9              available, but you would take the 1.5 that's


           10              still in escrow and put it in a trust.  I


           11              sent you letter, you told me you were going


           12              to do it that night and you have not done


           13              that and I would like you to do it tonight.


           14                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Where -- I will make


           15              a motion to do the remaining 1.5, but where


           16              would I get the other 1.5?


           17                      MR. BOLUS:  If it's available out of


           18              anywhere else in this city and it can become


           19              available out of $12.5 million and the city


           20              could find a way to get that money back that


           21              you would put it back into the trust for the


           22              people in this city.  Countries Doherty had


           23              his party up at Nay Aug Park and he


           24              immediately said the money that he made


           25              would go into trust for the park.  We don't






            1              need a party in the park, the money that was


            2              squandered on this $3 million that this


            3              council gave the mayor originally wanted to


            4              give him and then he gave him 1.5 it was


            5              squandered.  You actually took away from the


            6              people in this city and I want to see it


            7              back and that's where it belongs, and I


            8              would like to make that motion tonight.  You


            9              told me you would do it and I came here


           10              tonight to request it again in person.


           11                      MR COURTRIGHT: I said I will do the


           12              remaining 1.5, I don't have the other 1.5.


           13                      MR. BOLUS: That's right, but if it's


           14              available then the second part of your


           15              motion, if it becomes available --


           16                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  No, I won't do


           17              that.  If it becomes available then I would


           18              do it.  I won't make it part of the motion.


           19                      MR. BOLUS:  All right, then preserve


           20              the 1.5 we have.


           21                      MR. COURTRIGHT: That I will do.


           22                      MR. BOLUS:  Plus the interest.


           23                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  I don't know if


           24              they can do that.


           25                      MR. BOLUS:  The University of






            1              Scranton gets a 10 percent increase, making


            2              money hand over fist here and what do we do,


            3              no one has gone after a fee in all of the


            4              years I have been coming here, all you want


            5              to do is tax and burden the people in this


            6              city until they can't even breathe anymore


            7              yet you let this University and these KOZ's


            8              and nonprofits run rampant and destroy our


            9              economy.  They are destroying Scranton, they


           10              are destroying people can't even by gas


           11              today and we just ignore it because it's


           12              politics as usual and it's got to just come


           13              to a stop.  You know, this council has got


           14              to start acting on behalf of the people, not


           15              the KOZ's, the nonprofits, the politicians,


           16              the Rinaldis and the million of dollars


           17              being squandered in this city, it's your


           18              job.  They should have never got that golf


           19              course money unless you people gave it to


           20              Chris Doherty, remember that.


           21                      MS. GATELLI:  May I interrupt you


           22              for a minute without wasting his time.  I


           23              agree with you on those fees and if you


           24              could give something to Attorney Minora


           25              where we could impose fees on the nonprofits






            1              I'm sure everyone up here would vote for it


            2              if it's legal, so if you have any


            3              information would you give it to Attorney


            4              Minora?


            5                      MR. BOLUS: Judy, I did that for this


            6              council, the council before that, we did our


            7              own research and nothing was ever even


            8              looked into and when question were asked


            9              everybody had a blank stare on their face.


           10                      MS. GATELLI:  Well, we'll give it to


           11              Attorney Minora.


           12                      MR. BOLUS: Because fees have to be


           13              passed, so you understand, the fee that's


           14              pasted has to be created and if a fee is


           15              passed it's got to be over everybody in this


           16              the city, it can't just be specific to a KOZ


           17              or nonprofit, I did all of that research.  I


           18              have our own inhouse attorneys do it and it


           19              was thrown away, it was ignored because


           20              nobody wants to step on the university's


           21              toes.  We should change Scranton to name it


           22              the University --


           23                      MS. GATELLI:  Well, I think that we


           24              would look at it.


           25                      MR. BOLUS: Well, I think we need to






            1              act on it.


            2                      MS. GATELLI:  If you would give it


            3              to Attorney Minora.


            4                      MR. BOLUS:  I will try to find that


            5              information and give it to him.


            6                      MR. MINORA: I have never seen it.  I


            7              would be very interested in seeing it.


            8                      MR. BOLUS:  I will see if you get


            9              information and let's see if we can become


           10              creative and move the city forward.


           11                      MR. MINORA: Who is the counsel?


           12                      MS. EVANS: The information was given


           13              to Attorney Walsh when he was the council


           14              solicitor and he did review all of the


           15              information and let us say the summary he


           16              gave to us was what Mr. Bolus said, if we


           17              wanted to enact such an impact fee it would


           18              have to be across the board.  It couldn't


           19              simply address nonprofits, so that meant


           20              that --


           21                      MR. MINORA: Well, I would just like


           22              to take a look at it.  I understand what it


           23              is he is referring to.


           24                      MR. BOLUS: I'll give you that,


           25              because it can't be called an impact fee,






            1              impact fees are for road or something else


            2              creates an issue, that has to be a fee


            3              that's created simply like you have the


            4              garbage fee in the City of Scranton.  Our


            5              taxes are to pay taxes, and pick up garbage.


            6              We pay a fee to go to the landfill, that's


            7              the creativity that has to be done and it's


            8              possible and it can be done because there is


            9              a bottom line here in the city, increase the


           10              tax base you will decrease the tax rate and


           11              right now everybody in America is hurting


           12              and we have our hands, millions of dollars.


           13              You are going to blow a million dollars


           14              bucks on a TV station coming in here that


           15              can't even get up and running.  You wasted


           16              all this money on the Rinaldi development,


           17              and it's a private development, nobody is


           18              looking out for the kids, the future of this


           19              city and the people of the city, the elderly


           20              that have been made Scranton what it is


           21              today by worrying about what Chris Doherty


           22              does.  He is the worst mayor we have ever


           23              had in this city and I'm not the only one


           24              saying this is the worst council we have


           25              had.  And, Bill, if you could do that






            1              tonight I would greatly appreciate it and I


            2              would like to council to stand behind it.


            3              It's time to move Scranton forward.  Thank


            4              you.


            5                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Bolus.


            6              Sam Patilla.


            7                      MR. PATILLA:  Good evening, Ms.


            8              Evans and Mr. Courtright.  There are two


            9              items that I want to address tonight, the


           10              first is in regards to the Single Taxpayer


           11              Office.  In an article dated October 4,


           12              2006, written by Stacy Brown, staff writer


           13              for the Times-Tribune, it's in regards to


           14              the auditor at that time, I don't know if he


           15              still is, Mr. Robert Rossi, bringing to


           16              light that the interest income had jumped


           17              more than $130,000 in less than a year.  It


           18              also stated that the delinquent real estate


           19              taxes changed from $10,377.53 to $82,268.50


           20              since the year 2005.


           21                      Now, he also went onto show that


           22              there was disparity in the figures of


           23              $135,015.66 from $3,742.19 in interest


           24              income.  Now, later on in the article


           25              Mr. McDowell was quoted as stating that he






            1              didn't know if Mr. Rossi's figures were


            2              accurate.  Now, my point, my problem with


            3              this is that, you know, this tells me that


            4              somebody in this administration knew that


            5              there were problems in that tax office back


            6              in 2006, and the first action taken was to


            7              reduce the budget of the controller's office


            8              so that they could perform those audits, so


            9              I think that council should do some serious


           10              consideration into looking at who within


           11              this administration is guilty of collusion


           12              because there is no way in the world


           13              $12,000,000 could pop out of the clear blue


           14              and nobody else knew about it but Mr.


           15              McDowell.  Somebody had to know what was


           16              going on in this office besides


           17              Mr. McDowell.


           18                      The second thing I would like to


           19              address is ECTV.  Now, it really bothers me


           20              that council has so many problems with


           21              giving Scranton Today $20,000, it really


           22              does.  I have glanced over the budget that


           23              proposal that ECTV submitted and in part of


           24              that budget it tells $13,200 for a health


           25              plan for two of ECTV's employees,






            1              specifically, Melissa Marks and I believe


            2              it's Mark McGore in addition to the $42,000


            3              that Melissa will receive and the $36,000


            4              annual salary that Mark would receive.


            5                      I also go onto see that they have


            6              $3,600 for utility payment of gas, $4,800


            7              for electric, $3,000 for telephone, $2,400


            8              for gasoline, $1,200 for parking, $3,000 to


            9              lease vehicles and here we are, we want to


           10              give $11 million in taxpayer money to an


           11              organization that has just about as much


           12              electronic equipment to broadcast these


           13              events and the other events throughout the


           14              city in this town that I have, you know, and


           15              it's not right that we give a million


           16              dollars of our money to somebody that's not


           17              prepared to do the job that we require or we


           18              request and the organization that has been


           19              doing it for years can't even get $20,000


           20              out of this council, you know, that


           21              backtracking, it's got to stop, you know.


           22              I'm for one -- I don't want to give ECTV a


           23              dime of my money, a dime of taxpayers'


           24              money, because I'm used to submitting the


           25              budget.  You come to the door, you come to






            1              the table with something to offer.  They are


            2              not bringing anything but an open hand.  You


            3              know, everybody talks about $300,000, that


            4              contract is for a million dollars of our


            5              money.  It's not for $300,000, it's for a


            6              million dollars of our money and Scranton


            7              Today goes through hell and high water for a


            8              measly $20,000 and that's what it is, it's a


            9              measly $20,000 when you consider or take


           10              into consideration all of the money that


           11              this council has allowed that mayor to


           12              squander over the course of his tender here,


           13              you know, and it's not right.  It's not fair


           14              to the taxpayers, it's not fair to Scranton


           15              TV, it's not fair to anyone but those


           16              receiving or reaping the benefits of these


           17              outlandish grants given to these


           18              organizations.  Thank you.


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


           20              Lee Morgan.


           21                      MR. MORGAN: Good evening, Council.


           22              The first thing I have here today is off of


           23              page one in the Scranton Times newspaper on


           24              the bottom half and it speaks about the


           25              League of Women Voters who have gone into






            1              Federal Court because from what I take from


            2              this article was shady dealings by the Chief


            3              Justice, okay, of the Pennsylvania Courts,


            4              which is Ralph Crapy or Cappy who made a


            5              deal for a legislative judicial pay raises


            6              in order to legalize gambling, so when I


            7              come here and I talk about two local judges


            8              like Harhut and Corbett --


            9                      MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Morgan --


           10                      MR. MORGAN: Now, wait a minute --


           11                      MR. MCGOFF:  -- once again, this is


           12              not city business.


           13                      MR. MORGAN: It most certainly is


           14              city business.


           15                      MR. MCGOFF: No, it isn't.


           16                      MR. MORGAN: Can I say this, I'm not


           17              going to stand here and argue with you.


           18                      MR. MCGOFF: You're taking out a


           19              personal vendetta and --


           20                      MR. MORGAN: I'm not going to stand


           21              here and argue with you.


           22                      MR. MCGOFF: You are using this venue


           23              as a --


           24                      MR. MORGAN: I am not going to stand


           25              here and argue with you, I can talk about






            1              the issues of my concern at this podium.  I


            2              am not going to argue with you from this


            3              podium.


            4                      MS. GATELLI:  It's supposed to be


            5              city business, Mr. Morgan.


            6                      MR. MORGAN: Not necessarily.


            7                      MS. GATELLI: Yes, it is.


            8                      MR. MINORA:  Yes, it is.


            9                      MR. MORGAN: That may be your


           10              opinion.


           11                      MS. GATELLI: Attorney Minora, is it


           12              supposed to be city business?


           13                      MR. MINORA: Yes.


           14                      MR. MORGAN: Can I say this, Mr.


           15              Minora may be a lawyer, but he is not a


           16              judge, okay?  He is a lawyer, not a judge


           17              and the only one who can make that


           18              determination is a judge.  We listened to


           19              what he said about the smoking ban.


           20                      MR. MINORA: The president of city


           21              council --


           22                      MR. MORGAN:  Now what I'd like to do


           23              is I'd like to carry on.  Now, so that just


           24              highlights where the judicial system in


           25              America is.






            1                      Now, going to ECTV, ECTV is a very


            2              big issue in this community, very big, okay?


            3              Now, there is $25,000 the Lackawanna County


            4              Commissioners have it in their budget for


            5              Channel 61 run by Scranton Today.  I talked


            6              to Mr. Munchak today, there is $25,000


            7              there, Karen Bazzarri has to come before the


            8              county commissioners and request those funds


            9              and I talked to Mr. Munchak today.


           10                      Now, the reason Channel 61 is so


           11              vital to destroy is because in my opinion


           12              this mayor has squandered all of this city's


           13              assets for decades to come.  We have made


           14              back room shady deals with everybody, the


           15              PEL has looked the other way, they have met


           16              with individual council people for years in


           17              numbers so they can skirt the Sunshine Laws,


           18              they have acknowledged it, councilmen who


           19              sat here acknowledged that.  The residents


           20              of this city has very little to look forward


           21              to, drive through the city, there is a lot


           22              of homes with high grass.  Why?  Because


           23              there is a lot of people not living in those


           24              homes.  Go down a block and see two or three


           25              houses on a block for sale, and nothing






            1              personal, Mrs. Gatelli, but you are talking


            2              about granting money for business


            3              development, well, it really hasn't worked


            4              very well and to be honest with you we have


            5              been doing that for a very long time, but


            6              too many people haven't been worried about


            7              the average taxpayer in this city, I'm not


            8              singling this comment out just to you.


            9              Everybody is worried about the quick fix.


           10              There is no quick fix.  Bankruptcy is the


           11              answer.


           12                      Now, when 61 fades and is no more


           13              and ECTV TV takes over, what are we going to


           14              have?  Well, we are going to have them


           15              replay the meetings once and then we are


           16              going to listen to what's going on in other


           17              communities.  You know something, I do have


           18              some interest in other communities, but you


           19              know I would like to see our community fixed


           20              and it's not happening, okay?  The mayor


           21              used to get on and do a spiel, his


           22              propaganda show he had and talk about all of


           23              the great things going on.  We ripped down a


           24              $300,000 county paid for building up at Nay


           25              Aug Park for the arts I would assume, gone,






            1              $300,000 like this, no big deal, it's only


            2              our money, it's only the taxpayers' money.


            3              All of the money from American Anglican with


            4              the Sewer Authority, gone.  Rates increase.


            5              Council standing here as if they have no


            6              right to even try to defend the people in


            7              this city and saying you can't raise the


            8              rates without us.


            9                      Now, 61, it's my contention that the


           10              mayor couldn't do this contract with ECTV


           11              without council being involved, but when


           12              council doesn't use it's powers under the


           13              Home Rule Charter the same thing happens


           14              that happened at the Scranton Sewer


           15              Authority and all of the other places where


           16              you haven't done your job and that's where


           17              this city's problem is.  This city is right


           18              here in the council in front of us.


           19                      Now, Mr. McGoff, you were asked,


           20              well, what happens if 61 goes dark?  You


           21              know what, you should be very concerned


           22              because your job and this whole council's


           23              job in my opinion is to have an informed


           24              electorate and we don't have that.  You want


           25              everybody to know nothing and when it came






            1              time to go get subpoenas off of all of the


            2              authorities it wasn't important, we don't


            3              want to know, we don't want to sent out


            4              subpoenas in groups and find out anything,


            5              we just want to be ignorant.


            6                      When you bring legislation to the


            7              table and don't have the answers to the


            8              questions like Mr. Courtright who says after


            9              the vote, Well, maybe we should look into


           10              that, after the vote is too late.  You look


           11              in there before.  Thank you.


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


           13              Ron Ellman.


           14                      MR. ELLMAN: Ronnie Ellman, homeowner


           15              and -- used to be a homeowner, nothing has


           16              been done with it yet and member of the


           17              Taxpayers' Association.  I see Mr. McGoff


           18              looking at me, he is wondering what kind of


           19              misinformation this bubbling fool will give


           20              you tonight, a big bag of hot air up here


           21              and said I have to listen to him for five


           22              minutes, I just have a little bit.


           23                   Miss Rosie took me over to St. Lucy's


           24              this week for a little flea market and I


           25              parked the car and as I got out this






            1              beautiful tree, there is a big red mark


            2              that's going to cut it down.  This is so


            3              senseless.  This man is running around town


            4              marking hundreds and hundreds of trees which


            5              is hundreds of thousands of dollars for


            6              three or 400 trees, but when I went by my


            7              house to get mail down Washington all of


            8              those big trees there is not a one being cut


            9              down, not a one.  It's the same thing.  I


           10              had six or eight people tell me healthy


           11              trees have been cut down just to keep this


           12              Triad Tree Company going I imagine.


           13                      Well, you know, my car is not good


           14              on gas, it's at the gas station twice this


           15              week because it's so expensive it seems like


           16              if you just spend $25 instead of 50 or 75 it


           17              doesn't hurt as much, and another fellow was


           18              talking to me about while we were pumping


           19              gas, people got the opinion that they can't


           20              make it no more, you know, they are choosing


           21              -- we all hear how they are choosing between


           22              heat and food and in my case I got to choose


           23              mean between hair day and a gallon of


           24              gasoline, you know, it just don't stop, but


           25              it's terrible.  You know, I told you last






            1              week $25 takes me about 75 miles, you know.


            2              Well, I thought about getting -- I bought


            3              two motor scooters, I just hope people don't


            4              make a target out of me, some of


            5              Mr. Doherty's supporters.  I got a little


            6              red one for me and a blue one for Miss


            7              Rosie, but she said she won't ride it.


            8                      MS. GATELLI:  How about Miss Judy,


            9              I'll ride it with you, Ronnie.


           10                      MR. ELLMAN: I got two little --


           11                      MS. GATELLI:  That's a great idea,


           12              they have them all over Europe because the


           13              gas is $8 a gallon over there.


           14                      MR. ELLMAN: And somebody said if I


           15              bought her a pink one, but if I ever had to


           16              borrow it, you know, it wouldn't look good.


           17              They would say, "Look at fat Ronnie on a


           18              pink motor scooter."


           19                      You know, I was listening to


           20              Mr. Bolus, I was glad to see him, he is an


           21              intelligent man.  He has so many good things


           22              to contribute to the city, his ideas.  I


           23              don't need mean to keep beating on


           24              Mr. Doherty because he does a lot of things


           25              I have agreed with, but he just seems like a






            1              king.  He is the closest thing this country


            2              has ever had to a king if you ask me.  His


            3              aloofness and the way he just keeps away


            4              from his constituents, in fact, he is like a


            5              dictator.  You know, we tell -- he just gets


            6              a message not to do something from the


            7              people and it's done anyway, just like the


            8              South Side complex, the golf course, of


            9              course, people are working two jobs they


           10              don't need to play golf they can't afford it


           11              anymore.  Wherever you turn he has just done


           12              what he has wanted with the money in the


           13              city, and Mr. Bolus is right, it's


           14              squandered, just millions and millions of


           15              dollars have been just squandered away


           16              needlessly, it's ashame.  You know, the


           17              streets are just deplorable everywhere you


           18              go except Washington Avenue on the 1700


           19              block and a couple of houses down there.


           20              The city is not doing well.


           21                      I told you if I ran for mayor I


           22              would go into the bars and drag these people


           23              out to make them vote.  Every place I go


           24              people are just crying about how bad things


           25              are and he has this state of the city






            1              meeting with pink glasses, you know, he


            2              doesn't see things.  Like I said last week,


            3              he is not a realist.  He is a dreamer and


            4              this town cannot be a utopia, it's just too


            5              far gone to be a utopia that he wishes it to


            6              be.  This just isn't the Scranton it used to


            7              be, you know, it will never be the same like


            8              when I got here 30 years ago this was such a


            9              nice town.  I remember when he was mayor you


           10              could walk into the office and he had an


           11              open door and Jim Klee had an open door and


           12              Mr. Murphy.  Now, you know, you can't see


           13              people.  You can't even see them if you make


           14              an appointment.  Thank you, all.


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


           16              Marie Schumacher.


           17                      MS. SCHUMACHER: Good evening, Marie


           18              Schumacher, resident and member of the


           19              Taxpayers' Association.  I would like to


           20              start again this week -- well, first I would


           21              like to say since we are sandwiched between


           22              Armed Services Day and Memorial Day I would


           23              like it thank all of our veteran's and


           24              families of those who gave their all so that


           25              we could be free and come here and speak at






            1              this podium and even free to argue with us.


            2                   Again, the preamble of the Home Rule


            3              Charter, "We, the people, of the City of


            4              Scranton, in adopting this Home Rule Charter


            5              recognize that government is competent only


            6              when those who compose it work as trustees


            7              of the people.  As a servant of the people,


            8              good government must be responsive to their


            9              basic human needs."


           10                      I think I may start reading that


           11              weekly maybe at some point it will sink in.


           12              The last week I ran out of time and I wanted


           13              to comment again, the chamber is talking


           14              about taking land from which condemned


           15              properties have been demolished and building


           16              new homes for low and moderate income


           17              residents.  According to their plan as I


           18              understand it the land would be leased to


           19              the residents and taxes, of course, would be


           20              paid, but wouldn't it be infinitely better


           21              to invest in fixing up existing properties


           22              before they reach the point where they have


           23              to be demolished?  Is demolishing the only


           24              option?  I can't help but wonder if the goal


           25              of this whole program is to reduce the






            1              housing to match the shrinking Scranton


            2              population.  There are currently over 600


            3              homes on the multiple listings that are


            4              available for sale and believe me, they are


            5              not moving very fast.


            6                      Next, for Mr. Courtright, I still


            7              it's been over six weeks and I still do not


            8              have a response on why the Home Rule Charter


            9              Section 312 does not mean what it says.  If


           10              it's so easy to understand I don't think I'm


           11              -- I could submit my IQ to you, if you would


           12              like, I think I'm capable of understanding.


           13              I don't know why it's so difficult for


           14              this to be explained to me.


           15                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Mr. Minora has to


           16              answer that for you.


           17                      MS. SCHUMACHER:  I know, but that's


           18              been the answer for over six weeks now.  On


           19              the 15th of April Mrs. Evans asked if, I


           20              think it was Mrs. Garvey, to obtain the


           21              policy on advising homeowners when citations


           22              are made on what their rights are and what


           23              recourse is available to them.  I would like


           24              to know if that's been received and if I


           25              could get a copy.






            1                      MS. EVANS: I'd certainly be happy to


            2              provide you with a copy, but I don't believe


            3              we received any answer.


            4                      MS. SCHUMACHER:  Thank you.  What


            5              about the list of pavings?


            6                      MS. GATELLI: We have not.


            7                      MS. EVANS: We have not received a


            8              paving list.


            9                      MS. SCHUMACHER:  Status of the 2007


           10              audit?  I guess that's Mrs. Gatelli since


           11              you are the finance chair, does that come


           12              under your auspices?  Was that not due on


           13              the middle --


           14                      MS. GATELLI: I'm only the finance


           15              chair by default, not by choice.


           16                      MS. SCHUMACHER: Well, but you are,


           17              but you are in it and I think it was due the


           18              middle of April.


           19                      MS. GATELLI: No, we haven't received


           20              it.


           21                      MS. SCHUMACHER:  When do you expect


           22              to receive it?


           23                      MS. GATELLI: I don't know.  We can


           24              send a letter and ask.


           25                      MS. SCHUMACHER:  Thank you.






            1                      MS. GATELLI: Can you do that for me,


            2              Kay?


            3                      MS. EVANS: Mrs. Schumacher, normally


            4              I believe, according to the Home Rule


            5              Charter it would be due by May 31, but in


            6              the nearly five years in which I have sat on


            7              city council it has never arrived at that


            8              time.  At the earliest, the very earliest


            9              one year it arrived I believe in August and


           10              then most often in September.


           11                      MS. SCHUMACHER:  I hope, as I recall


           12              the last time the excuse was there was no


           13              contract and the contract was late, but


           14              since you plead a multiple year contract the


           15              last time not to assume so they could manage


           16              to be on time this year and I hope that's


           17              the case.


           18                      MS. EVANS: And it was begun on time.


           19                      MS. SCHUMACHER:  Now I would like to


           20              move to ECTV because I am really upset about


           21              Electronic City TV and their integrity.  The


           22              article in the paper this morning really got


           23              me steamed and I don't know if it's


           24              Mr. Brown's inaccuracy or if things are


           25              changing, but we have a hard copy of ECTV's






            1              proposal and so many things don't add up.


            2                   First of all, I spoke with the


            3              solicitor today, there is no contract


            4              between the city and Electric City TV.  This


            5              article says that ECTV has asked for 25


            6              cents per subscriber or about $66,000


            7              annually.  Their proposal says they want


            8              25 percent of the franchise fee each year.


            9              Big difference.  It says, "We never asked


           10              for $300,000 and the city hasn't promised us


           11              anything," Mr. Balken said.  Well, I guess


           12              that's technically true because what they


           13              asked for was $313,000 some odd dollars, I


           14              have it here, but I won't bother, but I


           15              guess I'll be back with the rest next week.


           16              Thank you.


           17                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mrs.


           18              Schumacher.  Mr. Dobson.


           19                      MR. DOBSON: Dave Dobson, resident of


           20              Scranton, Taxpayers' Association associate.


           21              Once again I'm confused, in this packet


           22              there is a proposal submitted to the city


           23              that stands in sharp contrast to the


           24              Scranton Times statements made in the


           25              Scranton Times on page A-4.  Within the






            1              original proposal of ECTV, phase one,


            2              $313,276, phase two, $222,559.81, phase 3,


            3              $211,058.90, that's phase 3, 25 percent of


            4              annual cable fees and on page six states


            5              that start up is to resume three months


            6              after a contract is signed.


            7                      Now, either ECTV has changed the


            8              proposal or only the convenient facts are


            9              being mentioned in this article.


           10                   Furthermore, a $90,000 grant from OECD


           11              is not chicken feed and it disturbs my sense


           12              of reasoning that nothing has been asked for


           13              and please, please consider this when


           14              reporting such issues in the future.  Of


           15              course, it was reported so I won't bother to


           16              pick on Mr. Brown he actually told us what


           17              was being asked and my fear is strictly that


           18              this is an expensive approach to reporting


           19              thought and convenient news.  I find in many


           20              cases news agencies are guilty of this.


           21              There is a simple example, it involves our


           22              city somewhat because it's the same practice


           23              in our state.  In Florida, Fox News team


           24              reported on Bovine growth hormone being used


           25              to boost milk productions to make cheaper






            1              dairy products and the suspicion off


            2              scientists that it can cause development


            3              problems in younger children and cancer.


            4                   Now, Monsanto did a really extensive


            5              test on 300 rats for 30 days or 90 days or


            6              something like that to test the safety of


            7              this product and when they found that this


            8              was being aired on Fox News they threatened


            9              to sue.  Well, the reporters were asked to,


           10              I think it was 67 revisions, and when they


           11              finally decided no more they were fired.


           12              Supreme Court decision:  News agencies are


           13              not responsible to report the truth, and the


           14              managers, the bottom line is the reporters


           15              were told by managers of Fox News the news


           16              is what we say it is.  Good one.


           17                      I have not always agreed with all of


           18              the radical opinions at this podium.  I feel


           19              that in many instances local government is


           20              more accessible and so, therefore, you


           21              people get stuck tolerating more, have more


           22              contact with the public and sometimes I


           23              disagree with less radical opinions and in


           24              many occasions Channel 61 actually has been


           25              a help to you whether you realize it or not






            1              because if people see that someone is


            2              excessively radical they usually form an


            3              opinion on it and if it's censored they are


            4              not going to do that.  However, news in


            5              editorial reporting must be accurate and


            6              considerate of all parties or it may be


            7              become a waste of time to read or view it.


            8              I feel that our entire government needs an


            9              epiphany, the constitutional rights need


           10              reassertion, Supreme Court judges should be


           11              retired after a ten-year term, voting


           12              patterns should be accessible to all voters


           13              of all public officials, whistle blowers


           14              need protection and taxes and programs


           15              should address the needy and sustainable


           16              growth and education and not just enter the


           17              hands of our wealthy.


           18                      One little second just consider if


           19              the CIA reports on weapons of mass


           20              destruction, no significant weapons of mass


           21              destruction were prevalent in let's say like


           22              2002.  A few of our troops might be better


           23              off and we would be a trillion dollars


           24              richer, so please consider this when you are


           25              authorizing money for ECTV.  Thank you.






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


            2              Any other speakers.


            3                      MR. ANCHERANI: Good evening.  Nelson


            4              Ancherani, First Amendment rights.  Just to


            5              respond to Mrs. Gatelli's concerning over


            6              the beat, COM beat police patrol, police


            7              officers or the lack of those officers, I'm


            8              sure Mrs. Gatelli knows that it's been seven


            9              years now since the police have gotten a


           10              raise in pay.  In those seven years most


           11              departments have passed the city police


           12              department in wages.  Scranton police


           13              officers are now one of the lowest paid


           14              police departments in the area.  City police


           15              officers are leaving Scranton for better


           16              paying jobs and also for better working


           17              conditions.


           18                      I have been with the police


           19              department for 33 years and I can only


           20              remember two police officers leaving


           21              voluntarily for better jobs and that was


           22              before this administration took over, so


           23              that's a good 25 years and there is more


           24              Scranton police officers getting ready to


           25              leave, and why would new applicants come to






            1              Scranton to test when they can go to other


            2              departments for better treatment?


            3              Mrs. Gatelli, it's going to get worse.  I


            4              said so before we voted in 2002 against the


            5              -- and I voted for the Recovery Plan, I'm


            6              sorry, against the Recovery Plan.


            7                      MS. GATELLI: So did I.


            8                      MR. ANCHERANI: And it's now coming


            9              back to haunt us.  We went from


           10              approximately 170 police officers to


           11              approximately 145, and I'm going to clarify


           12              that again, I voted against the Recovery


           13              Plan.


           14                      Now, back to the Jerry Springer show


           15              where the MC is the giggler.  Folks, Channel


           16              61 is going to be replaced by ECTV and if


           17              they aren't ready in time June 1 there will


           18              be no broadcasting of the council meeting


           19              and even if they are there will only be one


           20              rebroadcast.  This will be an effective way


           21              to shut the council speakers up, especially


           22              in light of next year's city elections.


           23              Folks, if you are dissatisfied that council


           24              broadcasts will be curtailed please feel


           25              free to attend council meetings.  I also






            1              believe like Mrs. Franus does that you


            2              three, well, Mrs. Fanucci isn't here, don't


            3              want the people to know what is going on.


            4              Now, why is that?  But everyone can make up


            5              their own minds and don't forget the city


            6              elections are next year and record budgets


            7              are coming in November and I echo


            8              Mrs. Franus' question, Mr. McGoff, what are


            9              you going to do if the cameras go dark?


           10                   Now, we going back to the issues,


           11              $27,123 spent on Nay Aug water bills due to


           12              the leak.  Spent 1.7 million more on DPW


           13              complex when three million was allocated,


           14              that totaled $4.7 million.  The police


           15              department parking lot paving is not


           16              finished.  Raw sewage flowing from the zoo


           17              onto the Davis trail.  Glass used as cinders


           18              on city streets during snow storms.  Hand


           19              scanners in city hall damaged, perps never


           20              found.  Consultants.  The golf course was


           21              sold against, when Connors was mayor they


           22              were against the sale.  Permitted the zoo to


           23              open even though there was raw sewage


           24              emptying and flowing over the Davis trail


           25              where people walk and no one was told.






            1              Demolished buildings in the city but no lien


            2              placed on the properties.  Over $600 million


            3              in revenue and three billion surplus was


            4              blown and that three million surplus was


            5              from the Connors' administration.


            6              $15 million in new raises and new hires.


            7              Thirty clerical positions lost, 59 new hires


            8              put on.  Potholes.  5.5 million American


            9              Anglican arbitration loss paid by the Sewer


           10              Authority and that caused a 56 percent raise


           11              in our sewer bills.  12.2 million found in


           12              the tax office account.  Index cards with


           13              employees, that's the city employees, and


           14              retired employees information.  Social


           15              security numbers were thrown in a dumpster


           16              behind city hall blowing around the court.


           17              The person who retrieved them was threatened


           18              with arrest instead of trying to find out


           19              the reason and who threw them out.  There is


           20              an undersized bathhouse at Nay Aug.


           21              25 percent real estate tax levied on city


           22              taxpayers while 12.2 million dollars is


           23              hidden and that's in my opinion.  Channel 61


           24              being forced off the air.  Seven years of


           25              laborer strive.  Numerous arbitration losses






            1              by the city after the mayor vowed not to


            2              have any arbitrations in light of the amount


            3              of losses by the Connors' administration.


            4              To be continued.  Thank you.


            5                      MR. MCGOFF:  Thank you,


            6              Mr. Ancherani.  Chris?


            7                      MR. SLEDENZSKI: Robert.  Well, Judy,


            8              we did it again.  I'm proud of the kids,


            9              Jude, I'm proud of them all.


           10                      MS. GATELLI:  I am, too, Chrissy.


           11                      MR. SLEDENZSKI: So I am.  Billy, you


           12              are the best.  It is only you, remember


           13              that, Billy.


           14                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you, Chris.


           15                      MR. MCGOFF: Is there anyone else?


           16              If not, Fifth Order.  Mrs. Evans.


           17                      MS. EVANS: Good evening.  I have


           18              three topics I wish to examine briefly.


           19              First, ECTV's operation of Channel 61 and


           20              62.  ECTV's proposal included over $313,207


           21              in salaries and operational costs and over


           22              $155,152 for phase one alone.  When I spoke


           23              to the executive director at the open house


           24              at 933 Prescott Avenue, the former church


           25              owned by Paul Mansure, he stated that






            1              Mr. Mansure would pay for all renovations to


            2              the studio and offices of ECTV, but I do


            3              notice in his proposal that he is requesting


            4              $28,000 for the renovations of the studio to


            5              include painting, electrical, walls, carpet,


            6              soundproofing, security, alarm installation,


            7              work station furniture, etcetera.  So, of


            8              course, that just doesn't seem to balance


            9              out.


           10                      It was also stated that equipment


           11              moneys would be forthcoming from OECD and I


           12              am very pleased to learn that private


           13              sponsors will underwrite certain programs,


           14              but our city through OECD appears to intend


           15              to contribute $90,000 to ECTV.  I fully


           16              expect that this legislation will arrive


           17              before council very soon as it requires more


           18              than one reading and June 1 is only 11 days


           19              away.


           20                      Also, to my knowledge there is no,


           21              as was stated before, there is no five-year


           22              contract with ECTV, rather it is a letter of


           23              agreement.  If this information has also


           24              changed, I suggest that the mayor update all


           25              of city council.  A $90,000 grant or gift






            1              from the taxpayers seems like startup cash


            2              to me particularly since no such monies were


            3              ever granted to Scranton Today.  I suppose


            4              some may see OECD monies as Monopoly money,


            5              but in truth it is taxpayer money that


            6              should be allocated to projects which


            7              directly benefit city residents, not only


            8              wealthy developers and private individuals,


            9              and so I would like to know from what


           10              sources OECD can find $90,000 so quickly.


           11              Apparently, money grows on trees in Scranton


           12              since some are always too happy to select


           13              the most expensive course of action.


           14                   Second, I had questions regarding the


           15              500 block of Lackawanna Avenue legislation


           16              at last week's meeting.  I wish to know the


           17              dollar amount invested by the developer,


           18              particularly in light of the $28 million


           19              committed through local state and federal


           20              funds.  I did not receive that answer


           21              incidentally.


           22                      I also requested the dollar amount


           23              of UDAG and CDBG funds awarded by the city


           24              for this project and I did not receive that


           25              response.






            1                      In addition, I wish to know what


            2              projects, if any, these allocations have


            3              been transferred from or is this another


            4              type of use it or lose it money or does the


            5              money sit in an accounts for years awaiting


            6              downtown projects for disbursement.


            7                      Third, discussion of KOZ and KOEZ


            8              extensions have been proposed in the state


            9              legislature.  I would strongly suggest that


           10              the legislature pass House Bill 2018 to fund


           11              municipalities whose tax basis have been


           12              eroded by tax exempt properties before they


           13              consider new legislation which allows our


           14              tax base to further shrink.


           15                      And I also have citizens' requests


           16              for the week, 895 Providence Road, it's the


           17              old Atlas Glass building, neighbors report


           18              that the property is overgrown with brush


           19              and high grass.  Please ask an inspector to


           20              contact the property owner to address these


           21              problems.  Each spring and summer these same


           22              problems occur and it seems the owner only


           23              responds to a city inspector.


           24                      812-814-816 Archbald Street, repair


           25              curbs that were broken during the






            1              installation of high pressure gas lines on


            2              Archbald Street.  One curb fortunately has


            3              been repaired for which the homeowner is


            4              quite pleased, however, the aforementioned


            5              residents do not understand why their curbs


            6              were not repaired at the same time.  Please


            7              address as soon as possible and that will go


            8              to Mr. Hazzouri.


            9                      A letter to Mr. Brazil, 1956 Myrtle


           10              Street, the homeowner spoke to Mr. Mathews


           11              approximately one month ago regarding a city


           12              created easement and piping that caused a


           13              sink hole and constant water flow.  As a


           14              result, his driveway is ruined.  Please ask


           15              Mr. Mathews to provide a written report to


           16              council on or before June 2, 2008, detailing


           17              what measures will be taken to solve this


           18              problem for the homeowner.


           19                      A letter to Chief Elliott.  I


           20              received complaints regarding loitering in


           21              front of the Labor Ready in the 500 block of


           22              Wyoming Avenue.  Their clientele intimidates


           23              pedestrians as well as clients of the


           24              Community Intervention Center.  I have


           25              personally witnessed groups of 10 to 15






            1              individuals standing outside Labor Ready and


            2              I have spoken to citizens who are afraid to


            3              travel in that block over the last few


            4              weeks.  I am aware that the director of CIC


            5              has discussed this problem with Mr. Hayes


            6              and his contacted the police department for


            7              assistance on several occasions.  Please


            8              address this very visible, continuous


            9              situation as soon as possible.


           10                      Also, a vacant property at 1347


           11              Wyoming Avenue, it's an empty lot which is


           12              overgrown and overridden with rodents,


           13              snakes, etcetera.  Residents report it's a


           14              hazard and an eyesore.  1723 Brick Avenue,


           15              this house was condemned a few months ago,


           16              meanwhile, the property is overgrown with


           17              grass, brush, etcetera.  The owner is listed


           18              as residing in the homes strangely, but


           19              obviously does not because of condemnation.


           20              Track down the owner to clean up the


           21              property.


           22                      1751 Perry Avenue in front of this


           23              home a storm drain has collapsed, in fact,


           24              the lid has collapsed into the hole.


           25              Residents of the area made repeated calls to






            1              the DPW which remain unanswered.  Wooden


            2              horses were placed around the hole, but the


            3              real problem needs to be solved immediately.


            4                   A letter to Mr. Renda:  Into what


            5              accounts has the revenue from insurance


            6              carriers been listed in the operating


            7              budgets for 2007 and 2008?  Where exactly


            8              has the cash been deposited?  It doesn't


            9              appear to be included in the 2008 operating


           10              budget yet insurance carriers are liable for


           11              worker's compensation after a certain number


           12              of years.  Please provide a written response


           13              only on or before June 2, 2008.


           14                      Residents of Dickson Avenue report


           15              that noise levels from Daron Northeast


           16              continue to keep them awake each night at


           17              hourly intervals.  Although they have called


           18              the police, some officers have said that a


           19              business is allowed to make noise and that


           20              KOZ businesses are not held to city


           21              ordinances.  Now, I think we all know that


           22              that is certainly not the case.  The city


           23              does, indeed, have a noise ordinance and KOZ


           24              businesses don't pay their taxes, but they


           25              are expected to abide by the law.  Please






            1              address the noise problems at Daron


            2              Northeast on behalf of the neighbors who


            3              have suffered for years at the hands of this


            4              concrete business.


            5                      And an update on the rear of 730


            6              North Irving Avenue for the residents very


            7              concerned about that situation, a


            8              condemnation notice will once again be


            9              posted on this delipidated garage and a


           10              certified letter will be sent tomorrow to


           11              the owner indicating that he has 30 days in


           12              which to repair or raise the garage or legal


           13              action will be pursued by the city.


           14                      And please provide the 2008 paving


           15              list to city council, that's the second


           16              request.  I'd like to wish everyone a very


           17              save and happy Memorial Day.  Please try to


           18              attend Memorial Day ceremonies at 11 a.m. at


           19              either Keyser Valley Community Center or Nay


           20              Aug Park on the law of the Everhart Museum,


           21              and that's it.


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


           23              Mrs. Gatelli.


           24                      MS. GATELLI: Yes.  Les Spindler is


           25              not here tonight but I do have a copy of the






            1              ordinance from Town Preamble from the


            2              planning commission on the dangerous dog


            3              ordinance.  I perused it briefly and there


            4              is reference to the Allentown ordinance and


            5              I know talking to a friend of mine, Beth


            6              Thursby, who used to be a Scranton police


            7              officer and had one of the police dogs at


            8              the time, she now trains dogs and she had


            9              informed me that that case went to Court and


           10              it was overturned, the dog ordinance in


           11              Allentown, so I'm going to get this proposed


           12              ordinance to Beth and ask if she will help


           13              us, she is very knowledgeable about dog


           14              ordinances across the country and maybe she


           15              and Tom can work together on it and see if


           16              we can't come up with a little stronger


           17              ordinance for the City of Scranton.


           18                   AS far as ECTV is concerned, I do


           19              believe that ECTV was selected by the


           20              committee, I believe that it is the mayor's


           21              prerogative to chose who he wants, I think


           22              that's what Mayor Connors did when he


           23              appointed Scranton Today to that position in


           24              a letter and I believe it was a five-year


           25              letter.  I noticed that it's always city






            1              council that takes the brunt of everything


            2              including Scranton Today not getting funded.


            3              I don't understand why they don't go to the


            4              county if they say there is $25,000 in the


            5              county well then go get it if it's there.


            6              The school district should contribute and


            7              the city should contribute and the state


            8              representatives should contribute and


            9              Senator Mellow because they are on there,


           10              too.  I think they all should contribute and


           11              not just always city council.


           12                      Scranton Today was originally funded


           13              by Scranton Tomorrow, I'm not sure of the


           14              exact amounts they got, but they got several


           15              grants from Scranton Tomorrow to buy their


           16              equipment and to start up.  They did not


           17              start up for nothing and what will become of


           18              their equipment once they are not


           19              functioning any longer.  It seems as though


           20              they never became self-sufficient and I'm


           21              hoping that ECTV will.  They are going to be


           22              getting their programs under written by


           23              organizations and I think that's what sold


           24              me on their proposal.


           25                      The Scranton Today repeats a lot of






            1              the shows.  You know, when you watch it the


            2              zoning meeting is on eight times, the


            3              council meeting is on eight times,


            4              everything is on for a lengthy amount of


            5              time and in my opinion that's a lack of


            6              programming.  There should be other


            7              programming in there.  When I go out of town


            8              and I watch the government channel there is


            9              always something different on there, there


           10              is school projects, there is university


           11              projects, and the time is taken up with


           12              other activities rather than repeating the


           13              same meetings over and over.


           14                      Let's see what else I have here.


           15              Last week after the meeting the camera was


           16              on and it remained on for quite sometime


           17              after the meeting and a member of Scranton


           18              Today was heard saying that she wished she


           19              could have pushed a council member down the


           20              steps and people had seen this on television


           21              and I don't think that was very professional


           22              at all.  I think that Scranton Today has


           23              become very political.  They are involved


           24              in, you know, selecting certain people of


           25              who they want to be elected and some of the






            1              people come up and promote those people and


            2              they degrade the others.  It is not just a


            3              place for your concerns.  The TV camera has


            4              become a place of politics and if you talk


            5              to anybody in any other communities you will


            6              find that it's their source of entertainment


            7              and amusement.  There is more viewers than


            8              the "Office" I'm sure and maybe if they sold


            9              tickets they could get enough money to run


           10              the channel because it really is the


           11              laughing stock of Northeastern Pennsylvania.


           12              No matter where you go you hear people


           13              talking about council meetings in the city


           14              of Scranton.  It certainly is not doing


           15              anything to promote our community.  We are


           16              supposed to be working together to make


           17              Scranton a better place to live, not to


           18              degrade it all of the time and to degrade


           19              the members of up here.  The public knows


           20              what we do.  If they don't like it, you


           21              won't get elected again.  You don't have to


           22              be degraded at the podium by people, and I


           23              think that that's being promoted and it's


           24              unprofessional.


           25                      Last week there was a zoning






            1              meeting, the zoning meeting wasn't taped.


            2              That is an official, municipal authority and


            3              the meeting was not broadcast, however, the


            4              next evening the Taxpayers' meeting was


            5              broadcast.  Now, I have nothing against the


            6              Taxpayers' Association I was a member, but a


            7              municipal authority should definitely take


            8              precedence over a Taxpayers' Association for


            9              being taped for the public to see and I hope


           10              it's not because they voted for ECTV because


           11              that would really be disheartening, so I


           12              have mixed feelings about the television at


           13              all.  Not to hide anything, I have nothing


           14              to hide.  I'll say right out what I voted


           15              for and what I vote against, but I think


           16              that the TV in this chambers has


           17              disintegrated and it is not good for our


           18              community, and that's all I have.


           19                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mrs. Gatelli.


           20              Mr. Courtright.


           21                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.  I went to the


           22              parade this Saturday for the Veteran's as I


           23              usually do every year, I don't know, it just


           24              seems each year we have less and less people


           25              attending, which I think is sad.  I think






            1              the city needs to somehow publicize it more


            2              and maybe the paper could publicize it more.


            3              One woman asked me when we she was walking


            4              down the street what' going on here today?


            5              I mean, she had no idea and she worked


            6              downtown, so I think we need to do a better


            7              job at publicizing it so we can get some


            8              people down there for the veteran's.  I


            9              think it's a little embarrassing that we


           10              don't have more people than what we have.


           11                      I met with Director Hayes today and


           12              Dave Elliott and Director Hayes asked Stu


           13              Renda to come down about the police officers


           14              and the beat officers.  They are in


           15              agreement with putting the officers back on


           16              the street, paying the overtime to the


           17              regular officers in the 140 to work the


           18              shifts.  There is little bit of a glitch.


           19              Right now it appears that OECD could pay the


           20              straight time, but not the time and a half,


           21              but we don't know that for sure, I'm hoping


           22              Linda Aebli is going to expedite herself in


           23              getting that answer for us as soon as


           24              possible.  If they can't it's not an


           25              exorbitant amount of money for the city to






            1              pick up the other part it, the half of the


            2              time and a half, approximately $17,000.  I


            3              said to Stu Renda you could find $17,000 no


            4              problem, and he had answer that I'm not


            5              going to say, but anyway, one thing I didn't


            6              realize I said can't we take -- you know, we


            7              transfer money constantly in this council


            8              from one place to the other, and maybe I


            9              should have known but I didn't know, that if


           10              we are going to take money for salaries it


           11              has to come out of other department from


           12              salaries.  We couldn't take, for instance,


           13              money that was allocated for a DPW truck and


           14              take that $17,000 off of them and put that


           15              in the overtime of the police officers, so I


           16              asked if we can expedite this, they are in


           17              favor of the officers going back on the


           18              street.  It's not, as I said, an exorbitant


           19              amount of money.  We do know we can pay for


           20              the straight time, but the time and a half


           21              we don't know.  We have to pay or we believe


           22              we have to pay the time and a half, first of


           23              all, I don't think you are going to get the


           24              officers to come in and work for straight


           25              time their six-hour shifts, but even if they






            1              are willing to work it, I believe there was


            2              an arbitration award that says that they


            3              have to be paid time and a half if they are


            4              willing to come in over their eight-hour


            5              shift.  There is an issue or if they are in


            6              a vehicle also, so there is a couple of


            7              issues there.  Everybody seemed to be in


            8              favor of the idea.  I told them how strongly


            9              council felt about it, I told them it was


           10              one of the few times that all five of us


           11              agreed on something and hopefully we will


           12              have the answer, I hope to have an answer


           13              from Linda Aebli before next week and get


           14              these guys out there asap.  We don't want


           15              this to help them in the middle of the


           16              summer or the end of the summer, we want it


           17              to happen yesterday.


           18                      MS. GATELLI:  We need them now.


           19              They had a stabbing in South Side as you


           20              have seen.


           21                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yeah.


           22                      MS. GATELLI:  Last night or the


           23              night before.


           24                      MR. COURTRIGHT: You know, some


           25              people argue do they make a difference as






            1              far as crime goes --


            2                      MS. GATELLI:  Yes, they do.


            3                      MR. COURTRIGHT: -- I believe they


            4              do, but one thing I think they certainly do


            5              is they make people feel more safe, just the


            6              site of a police officer, and I think it's a


            7              deterrent when you see a police offer you


            8              are going to commit a crime I think you


            9              think twice that you see them, but, anyway,


           10              I'm hoping by next week at this time or even


           11              before actually, we have an answer for Linda


           12              Aebli, and if not I think we need to go to


           13              the mayor and ask him to come up with that


           14              17 grand for us, I don't think it's an


           15              exorbitant amount of money.


           16                      MS. EVANS: No.  Mr. Courtright, I


           17              was just thinking, the money saved from the


           18              energy conservation what was renovated in


           19              city hall I believe that was quite a large


           20              sum of money and I know that some of that


           21              has been used by the mayor for different


           22              ventures possibly even partial payment for


           23              those video cameras that are situated


           24              throughout the city, but as far as I know at


           25              least as of December 2007 there were funds






            1              remaining --


            2                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yes, there was.


            3                      MS. EVANS: -- in that account and


            4              could that not be used?


            5                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Kay, maybe we can


            6              ask Mr. Renda that tomorrow morning if the


            7              money in that account could be used.  As I


            8              said, $17,000 pennies compared to what we go


            9              through.


           10                      MS. GATELLI:  Let's just take it out


           11              of the contingency if we can't take it out


           12              of there.  Like I say we should have it all


           13              ready to rock and roll.


           14                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yeah, I agree, so -


           15                      MS. GATELLI: Transfer the money.


           16                      MR. COURTRIGHT: If we could ask


           17              Mr. Renda.


           18                      MS. GATELLI:  I'll tell you, it made


           19              a difference in South Side.


           20                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Absolutely.


           21                      MS. GATELLI: You know, the beat cops


           22              were in the neighborhoods, they talked to


           23              the neighbors, they know the neighbors by


           24              their first names.  They walk, they ride


           25              their bike, it is definitely a deterrent.






            1                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  And all three,


            2              Mr. Renda, Director Hayes and they are all


            3              in agreement, there was no one in


            4              disagreement, so if we can ask him that


            5              first thing tomorrow morning about that


            6              moneys, and I said at the very least if we


            7              can't find it anywhere else I think we ask


            8              the mayor to find it for us.  He is good at


            9              that.  All right.


           10                      MS. GATELLI: Thanks for doing that.


           11                      MS. EVANS: As we said, council can


           12              unanimously amend the budget, open the


           13              budget to remove $17,000.


           14                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  And I'm thinking


           15              this is such a good thing we are not going


           16              to have to do that at this time at that


           17              time.  I'm going to be optimist.


           18                      MS. GATELLI:  They will transfer it.


           19                      MR. COURTRIGHT: And then Mr. Bolus


           20              spoke about, you know, I've got to be honest


           21              with you, Bob, I don't recall when I told


           22              you I'd make that motion, but if you say I


           23              said it I won't say that you are wrong, I


           24              think the reason that I haven't made it


           25              before is because I was under the impression






            1              that you wanted me to make the motion for


            2              $3 million and I don't know how we would


            3              come up with the other million and a half,


            4              so the million and a half that is there I


            5              have no problem making the motion, so I will


            6              make a motion that the million and a half


            7              dollars that remains be put in a trust for


            8              the parks.


            9                      MS. GATELLI:  Second.


           10                      MR. MCGOFF: On the question?


           11                      MS. EVANS: I just wanted to add


           12              about the other $1.5 million that Mr. Bolus


           13              referenced this evening, I believe that


           14              those monies were used to lower the realty


           15              transfer tax increase, so obviously, you


           16              know, those monies are gone and I just


           17              wanted to add to that, however, that like I


           18              had not voted for borrowing at that time, I


           19              had not voted for the budget that obviously


           20              leads us to the conclusion that I didn't


           21              vote either to take the $1.5 million and


           22              decrease realty transfer taxes with it.


           23                      MR. MCGOFF: My only question on this


           24              is do we know where that or what has


           25              happened to that $1.5 million that was left?






            1              Is it --


            2                      MS. EVANS: Purportedly it's in a


            3              bank in the First National Community Bank in


            4              CD's, and I believe they roll over, at least


            5              some of them did, in July each year.


            6                      MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else on the


            7              question?  All those in favor signify by


            8              saying aye.


            9                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.


           10                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.


           11                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.


           12                      MR. MCGOFF:  Opposed?  No.  The ayes


           13              have it and so moved.


           14                      MS. EVANS: The other thing I wanted


           15              to add before, Mr. Courtright, you were


           16              here, but before Mrs. Gatelli's and


           17              Mr. McGoff's service on council, I had made


           18              such a motion very likely our first year on


           19              council to place all $3 million into a trust


           20              as the mayor had promised to do originally


           21              following the sale of the golf course, but I


           22              was never successful with that.  The mayor


           23              did not wish for those monies to be placed


           24              in trust and there was not a four member


           25              extraordinary vote of council at the time to






            1              make that a reality.


            2                      MR. COURTRIGHT: And one last thing,


            3              ECTV, I have always been in favor of


            4              Scranton Today, I think they did a good job.


            5              I take a look at this budget I have here and


            6              I see $121,200 for salaries, I don't think


            7              Scranton Today ever came anywhere near that.


            8              Do I think that, you know, we could have had


            9              some additional programming?  Absolutely.


           10              I'm in favor of them replaying the meetings


           11              a certain amount of times because I actually


           12              watch, believe it or not, I watch the


           13              meeting because when you sit up here you


           14              miss some things, believe me, and so I


           15              always try to watch it one time in case I


           16              missed something, but I don't know how much


           17              times, but I would think at least two times


           18              for the people who work different shifts or


           19              whatever the case may be would be able to


           20              see it, but that's an awful lot of money


           21              $121,200 in salary and that bothers me a


           22              little bit and programming, could Scranton


           23              Today have done some more programming, yes,


           24              they didn't have any money to do it with.


           25              I'm sure they would have been happy to put






            1              additional programming if we were willing to


            2              give them the money and we weren't or some


            3              us weren't anyway, so I think in all


            4              fairness to them that's probably why they


            5              didn't have additional programming.


            6                      I don't know that there is anything


            7              we can do about it right now, ECTV is the


            8              chosen one and they are going to run the


            9              station and I don't know if we can change


           10              that, but I am a little concerned about them


           11              going black.  I don't know, can we get an


           12              update possibly, Kay, I hate to put all of


           13              this stuff on you, can we get an update from


           14              ECTV and are they still saying they are


           15              going to take over the operational, when was


           16              it supposed to be?


           17                      MS. EVANS: In June.


           18                      MR. COURTRIGHT: June 1?


           19                      MS. EVANS: Well, I don't know if


           20              it's June 1 I'm just referring to what I saw


           21              in the paper, I think that June was stated.


           22                      MR. COURTRIGHT: And are they


           23              coordinating with the people of Scranton


           24              Today for a smooth transition, you know, are


           25              we going to have a week or two with no






            1              programing or are they going to run parallel


            2              both stations in case there is start up


            3              problems.  I hate to refer to this like the


            4              tax office, but when they went from computer


            5              to paper, you know, you know, I don't think


            6              they were on and we see what happens so


            7              maybe we can or they, not we, could both be


            8              operational for an overlapped period of time


            9              so we don't have any blackouts, and that's


           10              all I have.  Thank you.


           11                      MS. EVANS: If I could just though,


           12              Mr. Courtright, I'm sorry, I just wanted to


           13              add something about that, I think


           14              particularly of late we have seen so many


           15              replays of government meetings because of


           16              the lack of funding, because they are


           17              working with a skeleton force of volunteers,


           18              their employees went over to ECTV where they


           19              are going to be well financially remunerated


           20              for what they are doing and in terms of


           21              government meetings I would also say I don't


           22              think one live broadcast and one rebroadcast


           23              12 hours later is sufficient.  Most


           24              government meetings like city council, the


           25              zoning board, the planning commission, the






            1              school district meetings occur at 6:30 or


            2              6:00 at night which means you will be


            3              looking at a rebroadcast at 6 or 6:30 a.m. I


            4              really don't think that's reaching out to


            5              the public.


            6                      I also believe the primary mission


            7              of these types of peg stations because we


            8              after all do have a Channel 44 WVIA which


            9              does an excellent job of presenting quite a


           10              broad variety of programming 24 hours a day.


           11              I believe the primary responsibility of the


           12              peg station should be to educate the public


           13              via government meetings, uncensored


           14              government meetings, and we can't find that


           15              only on WVIA, but those who have who cable


           16              or satellite dishes, and I think most of us


           17              do, will find that we can turn to numerous


           18              stations for cooking shows and foreign


           19              language shows and lessons, for cultural and


           20              travel shows and I, too, have watched these


           21              types of stations when I have vacationed


           22              over the last several years and


           23              coincidentally, every time I turn it on


           24              happen to be watching the same city council


           25              meetings over and over and over and again.






            1              I have that same even other government


            2              meetings on those stations in Maryland and


            3              elsewhere, but I'm not going to compare us


            4              to anyone else because I don't think right


            5              now with the straights we are in we are so


            6              concerned with what's happening in maybe


            7              Pittsburgh or Albuquerque as much as we are


            8              with what is happening right here in the


            9              City of Scranton and the County of


           10              Lackawanna, particularly, in light of all of


           11              the highly unusual events that have come to


           12              light that deserve answers.  So, now more


           13              than ever is the time to keep the station


           14              operational not to shut it down and not to


           15              say, we would rather learn how to make an


           16              omelet than we would like to know where is


           17              our 12.2 million dollars for the Single Tax


           18              Office.  That's it.


           19                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.  A couple of


           20              things that were mentioned, and one many


           21              wasn't -- very often people come in with


           22              statistics dealing with the status of things


           23              in Northeastern Pennsylvania and in the


           24              Scranton area.  I would like to refer anyone


           25              who is interested to I think it's the recent






            1              issue of Money magazine where Scranton was


            2              listed as the seventh best real estate


            3              market in the United States.  There were a


            4              number of factors that were -- that


            5              contributed to that criteria that were used,


            6              I don't have them available with me, but for


            7              those people who are interested it might be


            8              worthwhile to go to Money magazine and take


            9              a look and see what's being used to evaluate


           10              and how Scranton does arrive in being the


           11              seventh best.


           12                      Also, again, on Channel 61, I do


           13              have to say that it's one area where I have


           14              disagreed with Mrs. Gatelli, I do believe


           15              that Channel 61 serves a purpose and a very


           16              useful purpose and I did vote at one time to


           17              return cameras to council chambers because


           18              of that, however, recent occurrences have


           19              moved the operation of or have at least said


           20              that the operation of Channel 61 will move


           21              from Scranton Today to ECTV, and at this


           22              point in time I believe that what we are


           23              dealing with is an illusion or a delusion


           24              that somehow Scranton Today will continue to


           25              operate that channel.  I would say that if I






            1              were going to vote to give money to anyone


            2              it would be to ECTV so that they could take


            3              over the operation at this time and move


            4              forward.  They are the ones who will be the


            5              operators of or the providers for the public


            6              access channel.  I have no desire to see


            7              that go away.


            8                      As I said, I believe that public


            9              access TV and the broadcasts of government


           10              meetings are an important part of what we do


           11              as a community.  It is some people's only


           12              access to their government and they deserve


           13              to have the opportunity to see that.  What I


           14              do disagree with is, you know, the manner in


           15              which it will happen and I would -- I am in


           16              favor of pushing ECTV to start the


           17              transition period and to be here to continue


           18              the telecast of council meetings, of zoning


           19              meetings, of whatever other meetings take


           20              place.  I think that is an important thing


           21              that they do that is done for our community


           22              and it should continue.


           23                      And the last thing that I would like


           24              to comment on is the project in the 500 Of


           25              Lackawanna Avenue, the legislation that's






            1              before us is legislation for a grant


            2              through, and I went back to, through the


            3              Department of Conservation and Natural


            4              Resources.  It is not asking to move funding


            5              from anywhere else in OECD or any other


            6              sources of revenue or sources of funds.  It


            7              is for a specific grant from a specific


            8              source.  It is only authorizing the city and


            9              the developer to apply for a grant.  As far


           10              as I'm concerned, it's a no lose situation.


           11              If a million dollars or any amount could be


           12              obtained through some source, I don't see


           13              what negative that can have for the


           14              development of Lackawanna Avenue.  That


           15              money is designated for certain purposes,


           16              the restoration or the improvement of that


           17              park area through the park service is an


           18              eligible project and I think than it is in


           19              our best interest to apply for the grant.  I


           20              don't see how there can be any objection to


           21              asking someone to give the city a million


           22              dollars.  I don't know how that in any way


           23              translates as negative.  And I was also told


           24              that if granted, it's not necessarily a


           25              million dollars the Department of






            1              Conservation and Natural Resources could,


            2              you know, change that amount, it's up to,


            3              you know, they are applying for a grant of


            4              up to $1 million the department could change


            5              that amount and provide any amount that they


            6              saw fit less than that and that that money


            7              would then go not to the developer, but to


            8              OECD and that all of the funding that -- or


            9              that money would then be given out to


           10              through OECD and not through the developer


           11              and not through whatever that development


           12              company, I think it's 500 Lackawanna Avenue


           13              Development or whatever, so I see it as a


           14              very positive thing for us to do without any


           15              real negatives.


           16                      And again, as Mrs. Evan said, an


           17              enjoyable memorial day for all and, again,


           18              take some time to Honor those who have given


           19              their lives for the betterment of all of us,


           20              and that is all I have.  Thank you.


           21                      MS. GARVEY: FIFTH ORDER.  5-B. FOR


           22              INTRODUCTION - A RESOLUTION - APPROVING




           24              THE INTERSECTION OF MAIN AVENUE AND








            1              NEW DRIVEWAY APPROACH TO MAIN AVENUE IN




            3              JAY'S COMMONS.


            4                      MR. MCGOFF: At this time I'll


            5              entertain a motion that Item 5-B be


            6              introduced into it's proper committee.


            7                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  So moved.


            8                      MS. GATELLI: Second.


            9                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?


           10                      MS. EVANS: I just wanted to inquire


           11              why you are suggesting that?


           12                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Some of the


           13              questions that I have, really one or two


           14              questions that I had asked the answers


           15              haven't been answered and I'm also waiting


           16              to see the answer to some of the questions


           17              that you have asked.


           18                      MS. EVANS: Yes.  I, too, I can't say


           19              if this goes ahead tonight, I cannot approve


           20              of a project, although, it appears to be a


           21              very worthy project, a win-win project, but


           22              it certainly does raise red flags when a


           23              letter is sent out on May 14, it's now May


           24              20, and I have not received responses to


           25              very important questions and another concern






            1              I have involves both Coney Island and Buona


            2              Pizza.  I know that this grant involves that


            3              park area in the back, but, you know, I


            4              think this is going to be an attraction that


            5              will benefit the entire block and to date I


            6              still don't know where those two businesses


            7              stand in terms of eminent domain, in terms


            8              of the streetscape project, who is included,


            9              who has been discluded, but more than that


           10              or probably I should better say equally as


           11              important, I would like my questions


           12              answered before you ask me to vote on


           13              something, and it was noted earlier by one


           14              of the speakers I think Mr. Sbaraglia


           15              perhaps that he saw an advertisement


           16              connected to this project and, indeed, he is


           17              right because although I couldn't receive


           18              the responses to my questions, I did receive


           19              a letter from OECD dated ironically May 20


           20              letting us know that the amended mandatory


           21              prebid conference for this project will be


           22              held at the office of OECD on Friday,


           23              June 6.  So, it appears that certainly this


           24              has already been decided before I have


           25              voted.  No wonder I don't need answers to my






            1              questions.  So, you know, I have great


            2              concerns with that office and, as I said, I


            3              am not moving ahead on any of these things


            4              until I get information on which I can make


            5              an educated judgment on behalf of the


            6              taxpayers.


            7                      MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else?  A motion


            8              to table Item 7-A?  All those in favor


            9              signify by saying aye.


           10                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.


           11                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.


           12                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.


           13                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?  The


           14              ayes have it and so moved.


           15                      MS. GARVEY: SIXTH ORDER.  NO


           16              BUSINESS AT THIS TIME.  Seventh Order has


           17              been tabled.


           18                      MR.  MCGOFF:  Any motion to adjourn?


           19                      MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.


           20                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you for your


           21              participation.
















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




            4        I hereby certify that the proceedings and


            5   evidence are contained fully and accurately in the


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


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


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


            9   ability.







                                    CATHENE S. NARDOZZI

           13                       OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER