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            1

 

            2              SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING

 

            3

 

            4

 

            5

 

            6                          HELD:

 

            7

 

            8                   Tuesday, May 20, 2008

 

            9

 

           10                        LOCATION:

 

           11                    Council Chambers

 

           12                 Scranton City Hall

 

           13              340 North Washington Avenue

 

           14                Scranton, Pennsylvania

 

           15

 

           16

 

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           23

 

           24

                            CATHENE S. NARDOZZI- COURT REPORTER

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            1

 

            2

 

            3   CITY OF SCRANTON COUNCIL:

 

            4

 

            5

                MR. ROBERT MCGOFF, PRESIDENT

            6

 

            7   MS. JUDY GATELLI, VICE-PRESIDENT

 

            8

                MS. JANET E. EVANS

            9

 

           10   MS. SHERRY FANUCCI (Not Present.)

 

           11

                MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT

           12

 

           13   MS. KAY GARVEY, CITY CLERK

 

           14

                MS. SUE MAGNOTTA, ASSISTANT CITY CLERK

           15

 

           16   MR. AMIL MINORA, SOLICITOR

 

           17

 

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           24

 

           25


 

 

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            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.

 

           19              APPLICATIONS AND DECISIONS RENDERED BY THE

 

           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.


 

 

                                                                       4

 

 

            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.


 

 

                                                                       5

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                       6

 

 

            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


 

 

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            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


 

 

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            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


 

 

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            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


 

 

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            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.


 

 

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            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


 

 

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            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


 

 

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            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


 

 

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            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


 

 

                                                                      15

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      16

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      17

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      18

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      19

 

 

            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,


 

 

                                                                      20

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      21

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      22

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      23

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      24

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      25

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      26

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      27

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      28

 

 

            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,


 

 

                                                                      29

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      30

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      31

 

 

            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,


 

 

                                                                      32

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      33

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      34

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      35

 

 

            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.


 

 

                                                                      36

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      37

 

 

            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,


 

 

                                                                      38

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      39

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      40

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      41

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      42

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      43

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      44

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      45

 

 

            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.


 

 

                                                                      46

 

 

            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.


 

 

                                                                      47

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      48

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      49

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      50

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      51

 

 

            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.


 

 

                                                                      52

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      53

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      54

 

 

            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.


 

 

                                                                      55

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      56

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      57

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      58

 

 

            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.


 

 

                                                                      59

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      60

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      61

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      62

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      63

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      64

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      65

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      66

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      67

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      68

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      69

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      70

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      71

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      72

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      73

 

 

            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.


 

 

                                                                      74

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      75

 

 

            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?


 

 

                                                                      76

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      77

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      78

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      79

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      80

 

 

            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.


 

 

                                                                      81

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      82

 

 

            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


 

 

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            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


 

 

                                                                      84

 

 

            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


 

 

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            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

 

           23              REVISION OF THE EXISTING TRAFFIC SIGNAL AT

 

           24              THE INTERSECTION OF MAIN AVENUE AND

 

           25              LACKAWANNA AVENUE DUE TO THE ADDITION OF THE


 

 

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            1              NEW DRIVEWAY APPROACH TO MAIN AVENUE IN

 

            2              CONJUNCTION WITH THE PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT OF

 

            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


 

 

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            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


 

 

                                                                      88

 

 

            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.

 

           22

 

           23

 

           24

 

           25


 

 

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            1

 

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

 

            3

 

            4        I hereby certify that the proceedings and

 

            5   evidence are contained fully and accurately in the

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

            9   ability.

 

           10

 

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           12

                                    CATHENE S. NARDOZZI

           13                       OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER

 

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