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            1              SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING

 

            2

 

            3

 

            4

 

            5                          HELD:

 

            6

 

            7                   Tuesday, May 27, 2008

 

            8

 

            9                        LOCATION:

 

           10                    Council Chambers

 

           11                 Scranton City Hall

 

           12              340 North Washington Avenue

 

           13                Scranton, Pennsylvania

 

           14

 

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           22

 

           23

                            CATHENE S. NARDOZZI- COURT REPORTER

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           25


 

 

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            1

 

            2   CITY OF SCRANTON COUNCIL:

 

            3

 

            4

                MR. ROBERT MCGOFF, PRESIDENT

            5

 

            6   MS. JUDY GATELLI, VICE-PRESIDENT

 

            7

                MS. JANET E. EVANS

            8

 

            9   MS. SHERRY FANUCCI

 

           10

                MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT

           11

 

           12   MS. KAY GARVEY, CITY CLERK

 

           13

                MR. NEIL COOLICAN, ASSISTANT CITY CLERK

           14

 

           15   MR. AMIL MINORA, SOLICITOR

 

           16

 

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            1                      (Pledge of Allegiance recited and

                           moment of reflection observed.)

            2

 

            3                      MR. MCGOFF:  Roll call, please.

 

            4                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.

 

            5                      MS. EVANS:  Here.

 

            6                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Gatelli.

 

            7                      MS. GATELLI.  Here.

 

            8                      MR. COOLICAN:  Ms. Fanucci.

 

            9                      MS. FANUCCI:  Here.

 

           10                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.

 

           11                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Here.

 

           12                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.

 

           13                      MR. MCGOFF:  Here.  Dispense with

 

           14              the reading of the minutes.

 

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

 

           16              MINUTES OF THE SCRANTON-LACKAWANNA HEALTH &

 

           17              WELFARE AUTHORITY MEETING HELD ON APRIL 17,

 

           18              2008.

 

           19                      MR. MCGOFF:  Are there any comments?

 

           20              If not, received and filed.

 

           21                      MS. GARVEY: 3-B. CONTROLLER'S REPORT

 

           22              FOR THE MONTH ENDING APRIL 30, 2008.

 

           23                      MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?

 

           24              If not, received and filed.

 

           25                      MS. GARVEY: 3-C.  MINUTES OF THE


 

 

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            1              NON-UNIFORM MUNICIPAL PENSION FUND MEETING

 

            2              HELD APRIL 23, 2008.

 

            3                      MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?

 

            4              If not, received and filed.

 

            5                      MS. GARVEY: 3-D.  AGENDA FOR THE

 

            6              NON-UNIFORM MUNICIPAL PENSION BOARD MEETING

 

            7              TO BE HELD ON MAY 28, 2008.

 

            8                      MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?

 

            9              If not, received and filed.

 

           10                      MS. GARVEY: That's it for Third

 

           11              Order.

 

           12                      MR. MCGOFF: Announcements for

 

           13              anyone?

 

           14                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I just have two.

 

           15                      MS. EVANS: Go ahead.

 

           16                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  We want to wish

 

           17              West Scranton baseball the best of luck in

 

           18              the District II semi-finals and there game

 

           19              was cancelled to today at 4:30 at the

 

           20              Tagliery Field and we wish them the best of

 

           21              luck.

 

           22                      MS. GATELLI: And Bill just stole all

 

           23              of my thunder.  Thank you.

 

           24                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  I'm sorry.

 

           25              Thursday, June 5, 7:00 p.m. to 1 a.m. there


 

 

                                                                       5

 

 

            1              is going to be a celebrity bartending night

 

            2              at Killcoyne's in West Scranton this is

 

            3              fundraiser is being held for Riley Jones, he

 

            4              has a rare disease, a genetic disorder

 

            5              called Edward's syndrome, she was born on

 

            6              May 15th of '08, her dad is Mark Jones and

 

            7              her mom is Rose Mary Sparazzo, she is a

 

            8              secretary at John Marshal School, and all of

 

            9              the donations if you would be willing to

 

           10              make one would be sent to Riley-Clare Jones

 

           11              fund, Penny's Credit Union, 441 North

 

           12              Seventh Avenue, so that would be June 5 at

 

           13              Killcoyne's for this young woman and that's

 

           14              all I have.  Thank you.

 

           15                      MS. EVANS: I, too, was going to

 

           16              mention the Riley-Clair Jones Fund, but

 

           17              Mr. Courtright has already covered that on

 

           18              so I'll go directly into my second item.

 

           19              Please remember in your prayers all those

 

           20              who have died in the last week,

 

           21              particularly, Edward Gallagher and his dear

 

           22              family and friends, he leaves behind.

 

           23                      Also, please say a prior for Matt

 

           24              Grendel, he was found a year ago today after

 

           25              having been missing for 78 days and remember


 

 

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            1              in that prayer also his parents, brother and

 

            2              sister who continue to face this tragedy so

 

            3              bravely each day.

 

            4                      MS. GATELLI: I just have a few

 

            5              things.  This weekend at the Masonic Temple

 

            6              the Broadway Theatre is sponsoring the Billy

 

            7              Joel play called "Moving Out."

 

            8                      The second thing is that a very dear

 

            9              family friend of mine had an article in the

 

           10              paper on Memorial Day, you might have seen

 

           11              it, the Tamarellis and Marty is still alive,

 

           12              all of his brothers and he were in the

 

           13              service, armed services, and Marty takes

 

           14              care of the Italian-American cemetery back

 

           15              on Kane Street, so they had a very nice

 

           16              Memorial Day celebration there yesterday and

 

           17              we are very happy and proud of Marty and his

 

           18              family for participating in the Armed

 

           19              Services.

 

           20                      Comcast gives away scholarships

 

           21              every year in the municipality and I just

 

           22              wanted to tell you that this year the winner

 

           23              was Leonard Vinciquera, and he is a senior

 

           24              the a West Scranton High School and he

 

           25              received the Comcast scholarship.


 

 

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            1                      Also, last week I know, I think it

 

            2              was Mrs. Evans sent out a letter about the

 

            3              800 of Archbald Street.  I spoke with the

 

            4              gas company supervisor, who happens to be my

 

            5              cousin, and he told me to tell you, actually

 

            6              Joe's cousin, and he told me that the

 

            7              streets will not be rehabilitated up there

 

            8              because they are now going to replace the

 

            9              water lines.  First thing they replaced the

 

           10              gas and now they are going to replace the

 

           11              water, so the curbs and the streets will not

 

           12              be rehabilitated until the total project is

 

           13              finished, so anyone living in the Archbald

 

           14              Street area, Schneider Avenue, Aker Avenue,

 

           15              that project will take the rest of the

 

           16              summer, so don't anticipate, you know,

 

           17              having any repairs until the end of the

 

           18              summer, and that's all I have.  Thank you.

 

           19                      MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else?  I just

 

           20              want to make mention of one thing, the

 

           21              Scranton Relay For Life will be held on

 

           22              June 21 and 22, it's a noteworthy event

 

           23              sponsored by the American Cancer Society.

 

           24              There is still opportunity for teams to be

 

           25              created to participate.  Anyone who is


 

 

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            1              familiar with the Relay for Life it's a

 

            2              constantly on the track or in walking for a

 

            3              24-hour period and it's a way to raise money

 

            4              and build some comradery with family and

 

            5              friends.  It's a really a neat event and

 

            6              very noteworthy and well worth the time and

 

            7              effort that people put in.  I do have some

 

            8              information if there is anyone interested in

 

            9              creating the team or sponsorship for the

 

           10              relay for life.  I do have some information

 

           11              and I would be more than happy to give to

 

           12              you, and that's all.  Citizens'

 

           13              participation.  Doug Miller.

 

           14                      MR. MILLER:  Good evening, Council,

 

           15              Doug Miller, president of the Scranton

 

           16              Junior City Council.  I would just like to

 

           17              wish the West Scranton High School Boys

 

           18              baseball team the best of luck tomorrow in

 

           19              the very important playoff game.

 

           20                      I'd like to begin tonight by

 

           21              addressing the statewide smoking ban

 

           22              proposal.  Last week we were all informed

 

           23              that Senator Bob Mellow proposed an

 

           24              amendment to the smoking ban legislation.

 

           25              Senator Mellow's amendment would allow


 

 

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            1              municipalities such as Scranton to enact

 

            2              ordinances similar to the one that will be

 

            3              passed by Pennsylvania.  This is certainly

 

            4              great news for Scranton because it gives us

 

            5              the opportunity to reenact the ordinance

 

            6              past by the majority of Scranton City

 

            7              Council over a year ago.  Senator Mellow has

 

            8              finally stepped up and shown his true

 

            9              leadership.  While the majority of

 

           10              Pennsylvanians support this legislation,

 

           11              there are few critics, including here in

 

           12              Scranton.  Arguments range from loss of

 

           13              money to loss of rights.  My question to the

 

           14              critics would be is what is more important,

 

           15              losing money or losing your life to

 

           16              secondhand smoke?  The facts state that

 

           17              smoking is harmful and can kill you.  You

 

           18              can't argue the facts as many of you try to

 

           19              do.  We must give the students from West

 

           20              Scranton High School the credit because they

 

           21              know the facts and they are committed to

 

           22              improving our quality of life.  I strongly

 

           23              urge citizens to continue to contact their

 

           24              local representatives and urge them to

 

           25              support the statewide smoking ban, our


 

 

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            1              future depends on it.

 

            2                      Two weeks ago a motion was made by

 

            3              council to donate $20,000 to Scranton Today

 

            4              TV 61.  This motion was voted down 3 to 2.

 

            5              Personally, I support the decision made by

 

            6              the majority council.  I find it totally

 

            7              unnecessary to donate a large amount of

 

            8              money to the current operators when they

 

            9              will no longer be operating the station.

 

           10              Last week many citizens criticized council's

 

           11              decision and they continue to show their

 

           12              support for Scranton Today.

 

           13                      Personally, I believe Scranton City

 

           14              Council meetings have become more like a

 

           15              circus than a government meeting.  Many

 

           16              weekly speakers address council with the

 

           17              intent to personally attack members of

 

           18              council and help push the agendas of other

 

           19              elected officials.  These speakers offer

 

           20              nothing productive, though they wouldn't

 

           21              miss an opportunity to get their five

 

           22              minutes of fame.

 

           23                      Mrs. Gatelli said last week that our

 

           24              meetings are viewed more than NBC's "The

 

           25              Office," and quite frankly I'm expecting


 

 

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            1              sometime soon that we can all view these

 

            2              meetings from Comedy Central.  We have

 

            3              become a laughing stock to this area and

 

            4              many people just view these meetings to get

 

            5              a laugh out of it.  I find this to be very

 

            6              sad and pathetic.  For two years I have

 

            7              served on this Junior Council.  I have been

 

            8              personally attacked from this podium as well

 

            9              as on local Internet sites.  I have never

 

           10              let it get to me because I see that it's

 

           11              coming from very uneducated people.

 

           12                      This junior council has been laughed

 

           13              at and told that we don't belong here.  I

 

           14              guess these people would rather see us out

 

           15              raising money for drugs rather than for the

 

           16              police and firefighters' memorial.

 

           17                      Channel 61 has become a network for

 

           18              politics.  Personally, I believe it is time

 

           19              to take Scranton City Council meetings off

 

           20              the air.  We must move forward with city

 

           21              business and this is why tonight I am asking

 

           22              Scranton City Council to make a motion to

 

           23              remove live Scranton City Council meetings

 

           24              from Channel 61.  We can no longer allow

 

           25              people to come up here and make Scranton


 

 

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            1              look foolish.  It's time to move on with

 

            2              city business.  We all need to be productive

 

            3              here.  That's why we come here every two

 

            4              night to conduct city business and move this

 

            5              city forward.  Thank you.

 

            6                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Miller.

 

            7              Mrs. Franus.

 

            8                      MS. FRANUS: I was only going to make

 

            9              one statement, but Doug Miller makes me now.

 

           10              I'm going to address him for a second here.

 

           11              I don't think consider myself or anybody

 

           12              else that comes here uneducated as he

 

           13              claims, I don't know who put him up to this,

 

           14              but I pay my taxes and I vote.  He doesn't

 

           15              pay taxes, he doesn't vote.  I mean,

 

           16              everybody is so nice to Doug Miller because

 

           17              he is a kid.  Well, if he can come here and

 

           18              criticize all of these people and say the

 

           19              things he does, he supposed to be coming

 

           20              here to learn things not to criticize the

 

           21              speakers that come here, he is the one that

 

           22              has the agenda.  I mean, enough is enough,

 

           23              Doug Miller, enough is enough.  Student

 

           24              council, one member?  I'll let it go at

 

           25              that.


 

 

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            1                      I wanted to thank you all for having

 

            2              the tax office here, it really means a lot

 

            3              to the taxpayers and everybody that is

 

            4              watching it and that is why Channel 61 is so

 

            5              important because the people at home that

 

            6              can't make it here can see like tonight.

 

            7              That was very valuable and thank you very

 

            8              much.

 

            9                      Mrs. Gatelli, I'd like to ask you,

 

           10              would you please tonight, if you would, make

 

           11              a motion to subpoena Ken McDowell and

 

           12              possibly Attorney Rinaldi, would you do that

 

           13              tonight, because I think it's very much

 

           14              needed?  I mean, before this man is charged

 

           15              with anything then he will say, "I can't

 

           16              speak."

 

           17                      Now he can speak, so would you make

 

           18              a motion tonight to subpoena him, please?

 

           19                      MS. GATELLI:  If we can.  I mean,

 

           20              I'll ask Attorney Minora if we can still do

 

           21              that.

 

           22                      MS. FRANUS:  Mr. Minora, can that be

 

           23              done?

 

           24                      MS. GATELLI: Since he is not in that

 

           25              position anymore, I don't know.


 

 

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            1                      MS. FRANUS:  It doesn't matter.

 

            2              It's in response -- just to ask him

 

            3              questions.

 

            4                      MR. MINORA: All subpoenas have to be

 

            5              pursuant to an investigation or some pending

 

            6              legislation so there would have to be a

 

            7              motion to do that first.

 

            8                      MS. FRANUS:  With does that mean?

 

            9                      MR. MINORA: To investigate --

 

           10                      MS. FRANUS:  It's already been

 

           11              investigated.

 

           12                      MR. MINORA: Do you want an answer or

 

           13              do you just want to comment?

 

           14                      MS. FRANUS:  Go ahead.

 

           15                      MR. MINORA:  So there would have to

 

           16              be a motion, you just can't issue a subpoena

 

           17              out of the clear blue, there has to be some

 

           18              proceeding from which the subpoena issues,

 

           19              so you would have to start an investigation

 

           20              into the former tax collector and/or his

 

           21              counsel for whatever reason.  I would

 

           22              suggest before you do anything like that you

 

           23              have your reasons in writing and stated so

 

           24              that it's not some helter-skelter proceeding

 

           25              with no purpose beginning or end.  So, if


 

 

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            1              you are of a mind to do that I would ask to

 

            2              consult with me and I'll put together a

 

            3              written motion as we had --

 

            4                      MS. GATELLI: The last time.

 

            5                      MR. MINORA: -- thought about in the

 

            6              past.

 

            7                      MS. FRANUS:  Would you do that, Mrs.

 

            8              Gatelli?

 

            9                      MS. GATELLI: We will discuss it with

 

           10              council and Attorney Minora.

 

           11                      MS. FRANUS: Pardon me?

 

           12                      MS. GATELLI:  We will discuss it

 

           13              with Attorney Minora and whatever he says,

 

           14              you know, I'm agreeable.  Absolutely.

 

           15                      MS. FRANUS:  Okay, because he

 

           16              mentioned helter-skelter, we certainly --

 

           17              there is certainly enough reason to have Ken

 

           18              McDowell in here to investigate.  I don't

 

           19              think you have to look far at all for that.

 

           20              I think it's just a matter of writing your

 

           21              reasons why you want to see him and Attorney

 

           22              Rinaldi you have enough reasons, please, I

 

           23              mean, I hope this isn't someone trying to

 

           24              get some reason like Mr. Minora said that it

 

           25              can't be.  I don't believe that's true.  I


 

 

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            1              believe you absolutely have every right to

 

            2              subpoena them.  You may not want to all of

 

            3              you, but I hope you do the right thing and

 

            4              subpoena him as soon as possible.  Thank you

 

            5              very much.

 

            6                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.  Just an

 

            7              aside, I mean, we can certainly request his

 

            8              presence prior to going through the process

 

            9              --

 

           10                      MR. MINORA: You can, absolutely.

 

           11              You can request just as you have with

 

           12              Mr. McGovern and Mrs. Vitale.

 

           13                      MR. MCGOFF:  In the mean time we

 

           14              will look into what Attorney Minora said.

 

           15              I'm sorry, Andy Sbaraglia.

 

           16                      MR. SBARAGLIA: Andy Sbaraglia,

 

           17              citizen of Scranton, fellow Scrantonians.

 

           18              This weekend the Shuttle Discovery is going

 

           19              into space and one of the astronauts on that

 

           20              shuttle has ties to Scranton, in fact, I'm

 

           21              wearing his shirt and the designated patch

 

           22              that goes with this mission, and I wanted to

 

           23              mention him because his wife is from

 

           24              Scranton and his mother-in-law, of course,

 

           25              lives in Scranton and it would be amiss if I


 

 

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            1              didn't at least mention it that that shuttle

 

            2              has an astronaut with ties to Scranton.

 

            3              Okay, let's go on from something different.

 

            4                      MS. GATELLI: What's his name?

 

            5                      MR. SBARAGLIA: Garvan.  G-A-R-V-A-N.

 

            6              G-A-R-A-N.  And like I say he is going, you

 

            7              know how things go with the shuttle.  Let's

 

            8              go on for something different.  I ain't

 

            9              going to give a big spiel about 61, but

 

           10              since Mrs. Gatelli mentioned it I will tell

 

           11              you why the taxpayers meeting was on and the

 

           12              city meeting wasn't on because one of our

 

           13              members taped it, it's as simple as that.

 

           14              61 does not cover all of the meetings, so if

 

           15              you are willing to tape your meeting they

 

           16              are willing to give you know how about how

 

           17              to do it and that's what was done and that's

 

           18              the reason why you saw the taxpayers'

 

           19              meeting and you didn't see the city meeting.

 

           20              It's just as simple as them not having the

 

           21              manpower to do what has to be done and you

 

           22              know why they don't have the manpower, and I

 

           23              don't want to even mention everything else

 

           24              about -- well, maybe I will eventually, but

 

           25              I got an article here, it's a nice article,


 

 

                                                                      18

 

 

            1              it makes sense.  Amazon to open center in

 

            2              Northeastern Pennsylvania.  This facility

 

            3              will create 1,100 jobs in the Hazleton Park.

 

            4              How much did the mayor -- the governor give

 

            5              them for this tremendous project, 1.5

 

            6              million.  Now, let's get on to this pork

 

            7              barrel going on here on Lackawanna Avenue

 

            8              where we got 28 million involved.  Now, how

 

            9              could you compare 28 million, 1.5 million

 

           10              and over 1,000 jobs and we are pouring into

 

           11              28 million plus, this is not even done

 

           12              because even when you get that -- if you get

 

           13              that million that was already advertised I

 

           14              presume the money is in place or something

 

           15              is going on that we don't know about, maybe

 

           16              if the mayor isn't there when the mayor is

 

           17              finally distributed the contacts are given

 

           18              out.

 

           19                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Mr. Sbaraglia, real

 

           20              quick, I don't want to take your time, that

 

           21              advertisement I found out wasn't an

 

           22              advertisement for our legislation, it was a

 

           23              different one, I asked that question.

 

           24                      MR. SBARAGLIA: But it was for the

 

           25              park.


 

 

                                                                      19

 

 

            1                      MR. COURTRIGHT; yeah, but it wasn't

 

            2              for --

 

            3                      MS. GATELLI: It wasn't for this

 

            4              money.

 

            5                      MR. SBARAGLIA: It wasn't for the

 

            6              grant, I realize that, it was for the park.

 

            7                      MR. COURTRIGHT: The specific

 

            8              legislation because some people were under

 

            9              the impression, myself included, that they

 

           10              had advertised before we had an opportunity

 

           11              to vote.

 

           12                      MR. SBARAGLIA: Is the money in place

 

           13              for that park?

 

           14                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Not all of it.  Not

 

           15              all of it.

 

           16                      MR. SBARAGLIA: There is like

 

           17              $3 million for that park and the elevator to

 

           18              go up to the next level.

 

           19                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  I just want to tell

 

           20              you about the advertisement.

 

           21                      MR. SBARAGLIA: I understand what you

 

           22              are saying, but it's not quite true but you

 

           23              need this million for the project.

 

           24                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.

 

           25                      MR. SBARAGLIA:  So obviously they


 

 

                                                                      20

 

 

            1              don't have the money, they are putting it

 

            2              out for bids and there is a reason why they

 

            3              are doing that.  It's obvious.  If the

 

            4              project is delayed past the mayor's election

 

            5              and he is no longer there he already signed

 

            6              the contract and it's done, you can't change

 

            7              it.  That's what's wrong with half of this

 

            8              stuff.

 

            9                      You heard them talk about the

 

           10              computers at the tax office, obviously,

 

           11              somebody bought them computers and how much

 

           12              politics went into that decision.  Was it

 

           13              the best one?  Obviously not, but obviously

 

           14              somebody running around had a lot, a lot of

 

           15              pull on what computers went into that

 

           16              system.  It's bad enough they took it from a

 

           17              free place and moved it to a place where

 

           18              they pay rent on it, but this is the way the

 

           19              city operates.  We got claims all over this

 

           20              city that's -- the whole city is going down

 

           21              the tubes and if you think anything

 

           22              different you can't add one to one and get

 

           23              two, it's obvious.  When you see us spending

 

           24              that kind of money for a project, I won't go

 

           25              any further.  Thank you.


 

 

                                                                      21

 

 

            1                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you,

 

            2              Mr. Sbaraglia.  Marie Schumacher.

 

            3                      MS. SCHUMACHER: Marie Schumacher,

 

            4              city resident and member of the Taxpayers'

 

            5              Association.  Just two brief comments

 

            6              regarding tonight's caucus.  I find it hard

 

            7              to reconcile that if the problem has,

 

            8              indeed, existed for six years but the

 

            9              computer system was not instituted until

 

           10              2005 something just doesn't add up.  Six

 

           11              years would have been 2001, so that's my

 

           12              first problem with it.

 

           13                      And, second, where the RFP was

 

           14              distributed and published for an area that

 

           15              wants to be Wall Street West I find it

 

           16              curious that the RFP was not advertised in

 

           17              New York City where there is tons of

 

           18              forensic accounting firms.  Those are just

 

           19              my two brief comments.

 

           20                      Then, I'm concerned as somebody else

 

           21              mentioned tonight or maybe several of you

 

           22              about the budget.  If you take the revenues

 

           23              to date for this year for the general funds

 

           24              and you assume that 1/3 of the year has gone

 

           25              by, then from 19 -- from last year we're


 

 

                                                                      22

 

 

            1              $2.8 million short or $9 million for the

 

            2              year.  If you assume that the rate is not a

 

            3              straight -- it's not 1/3 of the expenditures

 

            4              but the same as it was last year which was

 

            5              36.86 percent, then to date we are

 

            6              $5,000,457 short and that, my friends, leads

 

            7              me to my next point which is the Home Rule

 

            8              Charter specifies that the council shall

 

            9              meet once a week, Section 401, and I would

 

           10              implore you to not take a month off this

 

           11              year.  I think if there is no other city

 

           12              business that's being brought forward I

 

           13              think four weeks of intense budget scrubbing

 

           14              would be in order.  I think you all need to

 

           15              understand what's in each of these accounts,

 

           16              where it comes from, is it being properly

 

           17              collected, or is it being indiscriminately

 

           18              collected and we just sort of hope for the

 

           19              best.

 

           20                      As far as revenues go and

 

           21              expenditures where can cuts be made because

 

           22              I got to tell you it's looking pretty,

 

           23              pretty dim, so I would implore you not to

 

           24              take a month off this year.

 

           25                      Section 313 of the Home Rule Charter


 

 

                                                                      23

 

 

            1              states that the summary of the fiscal

 

            2              affairs shall be published in the local

 

            3              newspaper by May 31 of each year and I want

 

            4              to know when that will actually occur; and

 

            5              Section 401, of course, is where it says the

 

            6              council shall meet once a week.  Section 312

 

            7              that deals with an investigations, again,

 

            8              not a word from Solicitor Minora on why that

 

            9              particular section does not mean what it

 

           10              sales.  I would really like an answer to

 

           11              that.  I don't know why it is taking so long

 

           12              but --

 

           13                      MR. MINORA: Did you listen to the

 

           14              last speaker and my comments?  That answered

 

           15              your question.

 

           16                      MS. SCHUMACHER: And then I would

 

           17              also hope, as I said last week, I really

 

           18              think all of this -- with all of this

 

           19              demolition, it's not that there isn't a lot

 

           20              of blight in the city, but I think ways

 

           21              could be found to make corrections to homes

 

           22              before they become blighted, but I really

 

           23              suspect that what we are trying to do is

 

           24              reduce the number of houses to match the

 

           25              population and I think what we really need


 

 

                                                                      24

 

 

            1              to do is establish an account similar to the

 

            2              Section 108 commercial revolving loan

 

            3              accounts whereby people are helped in

 

            4              refurbishing homes so they don't have to

 

            5              reach the state where they have to be

 

            6              demolished and liens are placed on them when

 

            7              the houses are sold, the money comes back in

 

            8              to that revolving account, and then somebody

 

            9              else can get that.  I think it's certainly

 

           10              time to circumvent the need for demolition,

 

           11              and I thank you very much.

 

           12                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mrs.

 

           13              Schumacher.  Les Spindler.

 

           14                      MR. SPINDLER: Good evening, Council,

 

           15              Les Spindler, city resident, homeowner.  I,

 

           16              too, would like to make a comment on the

 

           17              previous comments about the council meetings

 

           18              be taken off Channel 61.  Not just from

 

           19              Scranton, people coming up to me from all

 

           20              over Lackawanna County, I don't want to blow

 

           21              my horn, but to say what a great job I do or

 

           22              what other speakers do here and they love

 

           23              watching it, they wish their only council

 

           24              meetings were put on television.  So, for

 

           25              someone to come up here and say the meetings


 

 

                                                                      25

 

 

            1              should be taken off 61, I think that's just

 

            2              somebody else doing another job for Gepatto

 

            3              Doherty, pulling the puppet strings.

 

            4                      Moving on to the caucus meeting.

 

            5              Mrs. Evans, you made a remark that the city

 

            6              has budgetary problems.  Boy, I didn't know

 

            7              that, I guess I must be listening to Chris

 

            8              Doherty too much.

 

            9                      Next thing, Mrs. Evans, about two

 

           10              weeks ago I think I was here and told you

 

           11              about that hole on Elizabeth Street, well,

 

           12              thank very much because the next day, I

 

           13              wasn't there, but the neighbors told me they

 

           14              were up there the next day looking at it,

 

           15              two days later it was filled in but --

 

           16                      MS. EVANS: Very good.

 

           17                      MR. SPINDLER: -- after a rainfall it

 

           18              did fall down another foot though.  They

 

           19              came and filled it up again and now it's

 

           20              totally filled now and I'm curious to see

 

           21              what's going on now after the rainfall

 

           22              today.

 

           23                      MS. EVANS: Well, Mr. Brazil is doing

 

           24              a good job.

 

           25                      MR. SPINDLER: Well, the neighbors


 

 

                                                                      26

 

 

            1              told me the Sewer Authority was up there.

 

            2                      MS. EVANS: Oh, the Sewer Authority

 

            3              was there?

 

            4                      MR. SPINDLER:  That's what one of

 

            5              the neighbors told me.

 

            6                      MS. EVANS: Oh, okay, well, then

 

            7              thanks I guess --

 

            8                      MR. SPINDLER:  It's three feet from

 

            9              a sewer so it might be a sewer problem.

 

           10                      MS. EVANS: It might be then.

 

           11                      MR. SPINDLER:  But I appreciate your

 

           12              help and the neighbors do.

 

           13                      MS. EVANS: I also coincidently heard

 

           14              the Sewer Authority was out painting

 

           15              crosswalks in the city as well.

 

           16                      MR. SPINDLER: Oh, maybe we can get

 

           17              them to paint the lines I've been asking in

 

           18              the city for about three years.

 

           19                      MS. EVANS: Maybe.

 

           20                      MS. GATELLI:  They are not green,

 

           21              Les?  They didn't paint them green?

 

           22                      MR. SPINDLER: No, I have asked in

 

           23              many areas and so far no lines.

 

           24              Mrs. Gatelli, thank you very much for

 

           25              looking into that dangerous dog legislation


 

 

                                                                      27

 

 

            1              and I didn't get a chance to read what you

 

            2              gave me yet, but at least it's a move in the

 

            3              right direction so I'm sure a lot of people

 

            4              are thankful for your help.

 

            5                      Lastly, what Andy said about the 500

 

            6              block of Lackawanna Avenue, a few weeks ago

 

            7              the Governor was here and Mayor Doherty was

 

            8              blowing his horn about that, I think the

 

            9              Governor would be interested in knowing if

 

           10              the two main stays in that block aren't

 

           11              included in the project.  I'll bet he is not

 

           12              even aware of that.  The two businesses that

 

           13              are in this city for close to 100 years

 

           14              aren't included in the project.  I think the

 

           15              Governor would be really interested in

 

           16              hearing about that.  Thank you.

 

           17                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Spindler.

 

           18              Tom Ungvarsky.

 

           19                      MR. UNGVARSKY: Good evening, city

 

           20              council, I'm Tom Ungvarsky, and I'm a member

 

           21              of Scranton Lackawanna County Taxpayers.

 

           22              Two weeks ago we had a quite interesting

 

           23              council meeting, in fact, it was so

 

           24              interesting that it took two staff writers

 

           25              from the Scranton Times to write this


 

 

                                                                      28

 

 

            1              article.  The only problem with it is the

 

            2              only thing they wrote about was

 

            3              Mrs. Vitali-Flynn coming here to answer some

 

            4              questions.  They said nothing in the paper

 

            5              about city council by a vote of 3 to 2

 

            6              voting down funding for Channel 61 to

 

            7              continue until the new operator took over.

 

            8                   Also, they did not mention the

 

            9              $1 million that we are going to give to 500

 

           10              Lackawanna Avenue.  They didn't say who it

 

           11              was for, what it was going to be used for,

 

           12              how much we have already invested in it and

 

           13              how much the developer is going to put into

 

           14              it.  Not did they mention $60,000 that we

 

           15              are giving to someone somewhere here in the

 

           16              city for some kind of a project, they didn't

 

           17              mention anything about that nor did they

 

           18              mention 36,000 that we're giving to someone

 

           19              else for some kind of a project where who

 

           20              knows where.

 

           21                      MS. GATELLI: Excuse me, I have to

 

           22              interrupt you because you are not saying

 

           23              completely what's happening.  The things

 

           24              that we vote on it says right there what

 

           25              it's for and it's for businesses that are


 

 

                                                                      29

 

 

            1              starting downtown.

 

            2                      MR. UNGVARSKY:  No, there is nothing

 

            3              in that, there is nothing -- what I'm

 

            4              referring to is this article.  I'm not

 

            5              referring to your agenda.  This is in the

 

            6              article I'm referring to, okay?

 

            7                      MS. GATELLI:  Oh, well, you would

 

            8              have to take that up with the Scranton

 

            9              Times.

 

           10                      MR. UNGVARSKY: Well, I'm bringing it

 

           11              up here.

 

           12                      MS. GATELLI: And the $1 million we

 

           13              are not giving them a million dollars, it's

 

           14              a grant from the state.

 

           15                      MR. UNGVARSKY:  It's a grant and we

 

           16              are giving it to them, we could use it -- -

 

           17                      MS. GATELLI:  We are accepting the

 

           18              grant on behalf of the state.

 

           19                      MR. UNGVARSKY:  We could use it for

 

           20              something else in this city, I'm sure there

 

           21              is many other projects -

 

           22                      MS. GATELLI: No, we can't, it's

 

           23              specifically for that purpose.

 

           24                      MR. UNGVARSKY: -- that have been

 

           25              brought up that we could have used it for.


 

 

                                                                      30

 

 

            1                      MS. FANUCCI:  No, that's not true.

 

            2                      MS. GATELLI: No, you can't.

 

            3                      MR. UNGVARSKY: I hope this isn't

 

            4              coming off my time.

 

            5                      MS. GATELLI: The money cannot be

 

            6              used for anything other than a project that

 

            7              involves a park, a national resource.

 

            8                      MR. UNGVARSKY:  I'm sure there is

 

            9              many other things that we could have used it

 

           10              for according -- also, the 60,000 and the

 

           11              37,000.

 

           12                      MS. FANUCCI: They are loans.

 

           13                      MR. UNGVARSKY: But you couldn't vote

 

           14              a few thousands dollars for Channel 61.

 

           15                      MS. GATELLI: I'll vote for $20,000

 

           16              for a beat cop, that's what I'll vote for.

 

           17                      MR. UNGVARSKY:  But we could give

 

           18              away this other.  Now, if I could get back

 

           19              to what I was saying.  Perhaps the reason

 

           20              that we didn't give Channel 61 the money is

 

           21              because we didn't want these facts

 

           22              presented.  If it wasn't for Channel 61

 

           23              people would have no idea of what was going

 

           24              on here and as far as Andy said, Scranton --

 

           25              or the Scranton Lackawanna County Taxpayers


 

 

                                                                      31

 

 

            1              being televised it's because we do provide

 

            2              our own cameraman.

 

            3                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you,

 

            4              Mr. Ungvarsky.  John Scelara.

 

            5                      MR. SCELARA:  Good evening, Council

 

            6              members, ladies and gentlemen, I'm here

 

            7              tonight on behalf of Reverend Simmons, she

 

            8              had a prior commitment.  I'd like to read

 

            9              her statement:  Good evening, city council

 

           10              members, I can't be with you on this blessed

 

           11              evening so I have asked my coworker and

 

           12              friend, Mr. John Scelara, president of

 

           13              Florence Midtown Tenant Council, to come and

 

           14              speak on my behalf.

 

           15                      First, I want to remind you that

 

           16              tomorrow evening at 6:00 p.m. there will be

 

           17              a service at Bethel AME Church for the

 

           18              firefighters and their families across this

 

           19              area.  It is an interfaith service and for

 

           20              the protection and safety of our blessed

 

           21              firefighters.  I pray that all who can will

 

           22              come out and show support for these heroic

 

           23              souls who offer so much for us each day.  I

 

           24              do not care about your politics or your

 

           25              feeling for unions or nonunions, it is not a


 

 

                                                                      32

 

 

            1              night for that.  It is a night for support,

 

            2              heroism and fellowship.  I, Reverend Kathryn

 

            3              Simmons, pray that all will show your true

 

            4              love for this city on that night.  I will

 

            5              see you tomorrow evening Wednesday, May 28,

 

            6              at 6:00 p.m. at Bethel AME Church.  Thank

 

            7              you.

 

            8                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Scelara.

 

            9              Joe Talimini.

 

           10                      MR. TALIMINI: Joe Talimini, city of

 

           11              Scranton.  Mr. Courtright, I want you to pay

 

           12              attention to me because this is of your

 

           13              concern.

 

           14                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you.

 

           15                      MR. TALIMINI: First of all, I would

 

           16              like to take issue with Channel 61, the

 

           17              statements made earlier about the $20,000

 

           18              which you people promised them and then

 

           19              renigged on later on, and don't tell me you

 

           20              didn't renig because you voted on it and

 

           21              then you rescinded that vote.  As far as

 

           22              giving them $20,000, apparently we are going

 

           23              to be giving them somewhere in the vicinity

 

           24              of $182,000 if they get their way, and

 

           25              that's only in their Phase I, and that comes


 

 

                                                                      33

 

 

            1              right from their proposal.  This is kind of

 

            2              interesting because with their proposal they

 

            3              are only asking for $158,055 coming from

 

            4              various sources, but they do quote the fact

 

            5              that the city gets roughly $750,000 a year

 

            6              from Comcast and they are only asking for

 

            7              25 percent of that.  I'm sorry, but that's

 

            8              an awful lot more than $20,000 and somebody

 

            9              is misguided here if they think that giving

 

           10              away $20,000 is lot of money because this

 

           11              group has done a magnificent job with what

 

           12              they had to work with and they are all

 

           13              volunteers.

 

           14                      There was supposedly another

 

           15              proposal which was submitted which was far

 

           16              superior that the one submitted by ECTV

 

           17              which was not even considered.  There was a

 

           18              letter sent to the Ethics Committee if it

 

           19              does exist, never been answered.  So, you

 

           20              know, this fiasco with Channel 61 I don't

 

           21              know what you people are up to or whoever is

 

           22              up to with this thing, but it's a joke.

 

           23              It's a travesty and it's not over, believe

 

           24              me because we are not going to let it be

 

           25              over.  I guarantee you that.  We are not too


 

 

                                                                      34

 

 

            1              let this slide just like that.

 

            2                      One of the things that distressed me

 

            3              most this week is reading the newspaper, if

 

            4              you pardon the expression, Mrs. Gatelli, you

 

            5              made a lot of statements about circus

 

            6              performers and we have been called ankle

 

            7              biters and we come, we are, we are circus

 

            8              performers, but, you know, if we are circus

 

            9              performers believe me you people are as

 

           10              well, so don't take issue with us because we

 

           11              are citizens and we are the ones who pay the

 

           12              taxes and pay your salaries.

 

           13                      MS. GATELLI: And I pay them, too.

 

           14                      MR. TALIMINI: I agree with you, but

 

           15              that does not give you the right to

 

           16              challenge us and call you circus performers.

 

           17                      MS. GATELLI:  It's my opinion.

 

           18                      MR. TALIMINI: Well, our opinion is

 

           19              that you people are phonies.

 

           20                      MS. GATELLI:  Well, that's fine.

 

           21              You are entitled to your opinion and I'm

 

           22              entitled to mine.

 

           23                      MR. TALIMINI: Thank you.  Now can I

 

           24              finish with my time?

 

           25                      MS. GATELLI:  Yes.


 

 

                                                                      35

 

 

            1                      MR. TALIMINI: Thank you.  That has

 

            2              been going on for quite some time and then

 

            3              to have this lawyer come up here and tell

 

            4              the people that, you know, who the heck does

 

            5              this guy think he is anyway?  And he called

 

            6              this a circus as well.  Well, if this is a

 

            7              circus his is a shyster and I hope he

 

            8              doesn't like that because he is calling us

 

            9              ankle biters and circus performers, well, he

 

           10              is a shyster and I hope he doesn't like it

 

           11              and if that's what he got from his legal

 

           12              education I feel sorry for the legal system

 

           13              in this country because the man showed no

 

           14              class whatsoever, he showed no common sense

 

           15              and I personally resent it and I resent this

 

           16              constantly.  You people complain all of the

 

           17              time.  You don't deserve respect, you earn

 

           18              respect.  The fact that you are an elected

 

           19              official and sitting up there doesn't make

 

           20              you any different than me.  Remember that.

 

           21                      MS. GATELLI:  No, it doesn't.

 

           22                      MR. TALIMINI: So if you treat us

 

           23              with respect --

 

           24                      MS. GATELLI: You're right, it

 

           25              doesn't.


 

 

                                                                      36

 

 

            1                      MR. TALIMINI:  -- we will treat you

 

            2              with respect.

 

            3                      MS. GATELLI:  Absolutely.  I agree

 

            4              with you 100 percent.

 

            5                      MR. TALIMINI: Thank you very much,

 

            6              and as far as the rest of this goes, you

 

            7              know, that comment that she made I apologize

 

            8              on our behalf, Mr. Courtright, because it is

 

            9              your business, it's the business of

 

           10              everybody in this city, not just five people

 

           11              sitting up there or one who supposedly

 

           12              exists and nobody ever sees except the St.

 

           13              Patrick's Day parade or in a bar someplace.

 

           14                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I agree with that.

 

           15                      MR. TALIMINI: Thank you.

 

           16                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Talimini.

 

           17              Chris Jennings.

 

           18                      MR. JENNINGS:  Good evening,

 

           19              Council, sidebar council.  My name is Chris

 

           20              Jennings, I am a Scranton City taxpayer.  I

 

           21              recently observed your attempts to correct

 

           22              the city streets and around the city for

 

           23              many it's taken a little too long.  I

 

           24              understand that how city -- I don't know how

 

           25              you put thousands of dollars into parks, but


 

 

                                                                      37

 

 

            1              yet our cars can't even make it to the parks

 

            2              because of the broken axles, blown out tire,

 

            3              bending a rim or having to get a new

 

            4              alignment on our cars.  I understand that

 

            5              after I read this list of roads to be paved

 

            6              once they are on record the city is on

 

            7              notice if someone is to do harm to the car

 

            8              the city is to reimburse them for the

 

            9              damage.

 

           10                      On some of the streets there are

 

           11              attempts to patch, but not smooth out of the

 

           12              paving leaving craters in the roads so when

 

           13              the roads are paved this time I would

 

           14              appreciate if they are smoothed out.  I

 

           15              understand that I'm not here to be an

 

           16              activist or a complainer I'm just only here

 

           17              stating the obvious, you know, sick and

 

           18              tired of driving down the roads and trying

 

           19              to listen to a CD and not being able to and

 

           20              skipping about 400,000 times, you know, it's

 

           21              a little aggravating after awhile.

 

           22                      And I know that on the opposite side

 

           23              of the roads, on the other side they are

 

           24              paved with gold so I'm not going to mention

 

           25              most of Greenridge area roads, I know most


 

 

                                                                      38

 

 

            1              of them are in pretty good shape.  I would

 

            2              like to know your plan of attack once I am

 

            3              done reading.  I also understand that I have

 

            4              five minutes of my time so with that in mind

 

            5              let's go on the way because I'm probably

 

            6              going to need them all and if I don't finish

 

            7              I will be here next week:  12th Avenue

 

            8              through 20th Avenue, Academy Street, Aker

 

            9              Avenue, Adams Avenue, Elmhurst Street,

 

           10              Archbald Street, Ash Street, Birch Street,

 

           11              Bryn Mawyr Street, Cabrini Avenue, Capouse

 

           12              Avenue, Cedar Avenue, Cherry Street, clay

 

           13              Avenue, Decker Court, DeSalle's Avenue,

 

           14              Division Street, East Park Avenue, Everett

 

           15              Avenue, Eynon Street, Fellow Street,

 

           16              Franklin Street, Grant Street, Hampton

 

           17              Street, Hickory Street, Hunlock Street,

 

           18              Jackson Street, Jefferson Avenue, Kirst

 

           19              Court, Lafayette Street, Luzerne Street,

 

           20              East and West Linden Street, Main Avenue,

 

           21              Madison Avenue, Maple Street, Meridian

 

           22              Avenue, Morrison Avenue, Moosic Street,

 

           23              Mulberry Street, North Bromley Avenue, North

 

           24              Hyde Park Avenue, North Sumner Avenue, North

 

           25              Rebecca Avenue, North Lincoln Avenue, the


 

 

                                                                      39

 

 

            1              bricks on Olive Street if we are at all

 

            2              possible to get them off because I really

 

            3              don't see any purpose to them, kind of like,

 

            4              you know, a little bit of a bumpy ride.

 

            5                      MS. FANUCCI: There is reason, I'll

 

            6              tell you later.

 

            7                      MR. JENNINGS:  Orchard Street,

 

            8              Oxford Street, Parrot Avenue, Penn Avenue,

 

            9              Pittston Avenue, Price Street, Providence

 

           10              Avenue, River Street, Rock Street, Rundell

 

           11              Street, Swetland Street, Slagger Street,

 

           12              Spruce Street, Smith Street, Snyder Avenue,

 

           13              Van Buren Avenue, Vine Street.  If we could

 

           14              at all possible ever in my lifetime I hope

 

           15              we see it fix the bridge over on Lackawanna

 

           16              Avenue maybe some day, boy, I hope.  West

 

           17              Park Avenue, Washburn Street, Washington

 

           18              North and South Avenue, Watson Street, West

 

           19              Locust Street, Willow Street, Wyoming

 

           20              Avenue, with part of Luzerne Street called

 

           21              the Cosmo Yakovazzi Way, so I don't know if

 

           22              you guys know, it's kind of half and half,

 

           23              if you would just pave that, too.  And

 

           24              probably the two worse roads in all of the

 

           25              city are Mifflin Avenue and Lackawanna


 

 

                                                                      40

 

 

            1              Avenue and if you could at all possible just

 

            2              please do something about this.  It's really

 

            3              aggravating and everybody feels the same way

 

            4              about it.  And I talked with a few people,

 

            5              some of my friends they are here in

 

            6              attendance, they feel the same way.  I'll be

 

            7              back next week to hear what your plan of

 

            8              attack is.

 

            9                      MS. GATELLI: Chris, if you want to

 

           10              give that to Neil we'll send it to DPW.

 

           11                      MR. JENNINGS: I appreciate it.

 

           12              Thank you.

 

           13                      MS. GATELLI: Just so you all know,

 

           14              Chris was a West Scranton student and he --

 

           15                      MR. JENNINGS: Great time in West

 

           16              Side.

 

           17                      MS. GATELLI: -- was one of the

 

           18              wrestling champions.

 

           19                      MS. JENNINGS: Yes, it was a great

 

           20              time.

 

           21                      MS. GATELLI:  And a medical room

 

           22              frequent flyer.

 

           23                      MR. JENNINGS:  All the time.

 

           24                      MS. GATELLI: Chris was my good

 

           25              buddy.


 

 

                                                                      41

 

 

            1                      MR. JENNINGS:  Thank you.

 

            2                      MS. GATELLI: Nice to see you.

 

            3                      MR. JENNINGS: You, too.

 

            4                      MR. MCGOFF: Any other speakers?

 

            5                      MR. DOBSON:  Good evening, Council,

 

            6              Dave Dobson, resident of Scranton,

 

            7              Taxpayers' Association associate.  Last week

 

            8              I was somewhat taken back that something was

 

            9              overheard that wasn't and even though I

 

           10              didn't say it I'll apologize for it,

 

           11              however, the team of 61 did not deserve to

 

           12              be fired which is essentially what happened

 

           13              because of what a few people that get out of

 

           14              hand come up here and say.  I think an

 

           15              excellent idea would possibly be to separate

 

           16              Channel 61 and 62 and let the public decide

 

           17              who does the best programming.

 

           18                      Now, I have a question, is it a good

 

           19              idea to have a patchwork of laws?  Would

 

           20              they be impossible to obey, confusing to

 

           21              sort out and totally nonuniform.  Every town

 

           22              council or small governing body should not

 

           23              be able to set the standards in criminal

 

           24              behavior through remove ten days in jail

 

           25              from there smoking ban at the solicitor's


 

 

                                                                      42

 

 

            1              advice.  How lucky we are in America.  Saved

 

            2              from the occasional secondhand smoke and,

 

            3              unfortunately, shot for threatening to take

 

            4              the last pork chop off the well-armed obese

 

            5              person.  Life's experience teaches us a

 

            6              great deal.  I'm against any intrusion or

 

            7              punishment for minor infractions of public

 

            8              courtesy.  That's my total reason for

 

            9              standing up here commenting on that

 

           10              ridiculous proposal.

 

           11                      I respect the constitution of the

 

           12              United States and PA.  I don't need 500 or

 

           13              so municipalities dictating social conduct

 

           14              or defining criminal behavior.  I do not

 

           15              need one side of the press or Scranton newer

 

           16              tax exempts campaigning for issues of

 

           17              political nature.  Furthermore, a

 

           18              well-censored education is almost as good as

 

           19              none whatsoever.  Disrespectful pompous

 

           20              pontification by tax liabilities are not

 

           21              unacceptable representation.  Thank you and

 

           22              have a good night.

 

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

 

           24              Anyone else?  Mrs. Hubbard?

 

           25                      MS. HUBBARD:  Good evening, Council.


 

 

                                                                      43

 

 

            1              Liz Hubbard, Scranton resident and taxpayer.

 

            2              I just have a couple of things.  On the 500

 

            3              block of Lackawanna Avenue I believe

 

            4              somebody asked last week how much is the

 

            5              developer putting into that project?  I

 

            6              mean, there is $28 million of federal tax --

 

            7              federal, state and city money, what is he

 

            8              putting in?  Did you ever get an answer?

 

            9                      MS. EVANS: There has been no answer

 

           10              from OECD or the developer to that question.

 

           11                      MS. HUBBARD:  And why is the

 

           12              interest rate on that 12 million dollars

 

           13              secret?  I mean, she told you it was none of

 

           14              your business.  It's got to be our business,

 

           15              it's our money, the public's money,

 

           16              taxpayers' money and what's the harm in

 

           17              saying what an interest rate they getting?

 

           18              I don't understand.

 

           19                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  I don't know,

 

           20              evidently it set her off.

 

           21                      MS. HUBBARD: It's like a secret.  I

 

           22              don't think she likes you, Bill.

 

           23                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I don't think so

 

           24              either.

 

           25                      MS. FANUCCI: I didn't get that at


 

 

                                                                      44

 

 

            1              all.

 

            2                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  I'll try harder.

 

            3                      MR. HUBBARD: On a lighter note, now,

 

            4              I understand we have bears in the city, is

 

            5              anybody up there know if they eat skunks?

 

            6                      MS. FANUCCI:  I was thinking that

 

            7              myself.

 

            8                      MS. HUBBARD: And, I mean, we don't

 

            9              really need a zoo we kind of have one right

 

           10              in the streets, between the groundhogs, the

 

           11              skunks, the bears.  There were a couple of

 

           12              other things last week, the comments about

 

           13              the city council meetings are the laughing

 

           14              stock, well, I'll tell you, everywhere I go

 

           15              somebody, one or two people stop me to

 

           16              comment on city council and that they feel

 

           17              that the speakers are doing a good job to

 

           18              keep up the good work and that they don't

 

           19              understand how the people that speak can put

 

           20              up with the shenanigans of some of the

 

           21              members of city council.  I mean, I have

 

           22              heard people refer to them as the three

 

           23              stooges.  Now, I don't understand which

 

           24              three they mean, but you can take it from

 

           25              there.


 

 

                                                                      45

 

 

            1                      MS. GATELLI: Why would you not say

 

            2              it, everybody else says it?

 

            3                      MS. FANUCCI:  I'm stooge number one.

 

            4                      MS. HUBBARD: Now why would I say

 

            5              that.

 

            6                      MS. GATELLI: That's exactly the

 

            7              point, Mrs. Hubbard.  That is exactly the

 

            8              point.

 

            9                      MR. HUBBARD: Channel 61 --

 

           10                      MS. FANUCCI: You just proved it.

 

           11                      MR. HUBBARD: I think that Channel 61

 

           12              is good thing for the city.  I think people

 

           13              should know what their government is.  Now,

 

           14              I feel that you guys are trying to close

 

           15              them down and yet you have some teenager in

 

           16              here saying that he doesn't think that

 

           17              meetings should be televised?  Why not?  I

 

           18              mean, open government is a good thing and

 

           19              I'm not sure that this ECTV is ever going to

 

           20              get up and running pretty soon and I think

 

           21              that you should have given them the $20,000

 

           22              that you promised them or voted on.  Anyway,

 

           23              that's all I have to say.  Have a good

 

           24              night.

 

           25                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mrs. Hubbard.


 

 

                                                                      46

 

 

            1                      MR. SLEDENZSKI:  What's up, Bob?

 

            2              Hello, Bill.

 

            3                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Hi, Chris.

 

            4                      MR. SLEDENZSKI: Billy, that is

 

            5              lights aren't on, the lights aren't on.

 

            6                      MR. COURTRIGHT: That's right.  I

 

            7              will ask, Kay, the last two weeks all the

 

            8              lights are out on the Linden Street bridge.

 

            9                      MR. SLEDENZSKI: I told you now,

 

           10              Billy.  Well, tomorrow, Jude, it's our big

 

           11              game tomorrow, so, guys, good luck tomorrow,

 

           12              let's whip them good.

 

           13                      MS. GATELLI:  I'll be up on the

 

           14              hill, Chrissy.

 

           15                      MR. SLEDEZSNKI: All right, Jude.

 

           16                      MS. GARVEY: Mr. McGoff if I can just

 

           17              break in for one minute, regarding the

 

           18              developer's amount of money that was asked,

 

           19              that was one of the questions asked, I did

 

           20              pose that to Mrs. Aebli and her response was

 

           21              she does not have that information, she

 

           22              referred me to the SRA, Bill Shane, I did

 

           23              put a call into him today to get that

 

           24              response but right now have not heard back

 

           25              from him.


 

 

                                                                      47

 

 

            1                      MS. FANUCCI: Just today?  Okay.

 

            2                      MR. ANCHERANI:  Good evening, Nelson

 

            3              Ancherani, First Amendment Rights.  From the

 

            4              Slimes on 5-21-08:  "Council strikes back to

 

            5              critics who question TV funding.  Broadcasts

 

            6              of city council meetings are a laughing

 

            7              stock and a source of entertainment to the

 

            8              residents of other municipalities,"

 

            9              Councilwoman Judy Gatelli said Tuesday.

 

           10                   Now, why are the meetings the laughing

 

           11              stock and a source of entertainment?  Could

 

           12              it be that a certain council person, who was

 

           13              council president, argued with the speakers?

 

           14              Speakers who supposedly furnish the

 

           15              entertainment and she still argued with the

 

           16              speakers.  Could it be that a certain

 

           17              councilperson laughs, snickers, giggles at

 

           18              council speakers and who gets up and leaves

 

           19              the room when certain council speakers get

 

           20              up to speak?  The same council person who

 

           21              called council meeting the Jerry Springer

 

           22              Show.

 

           23                      MS. FANUCCI: That would be me.  Just

 

           24              say Sherry Fanucci, don't say certain

 

           25              people.  Come on.


 

 

                                                                      48

 

 

            1                      MR. ANCHERANI: Could it be that

 

            2              council speakers are called names, Legion of

 

            3              Doom, which I personally like.  Legion of

 

            4              Dumb, Inane, ankle biters, Halloweeners,

 

            5              clowns, approximately 30 names or more.

 

            6              Could it be that some council persons call

 

            7              the speakers name and also they were called

 

            8              a name by an attorney working for the

 

            9              council.  Could it be that the local tabloid

 

           10              or tabroid, whatever, the Slimes,

 

           11              editorialists who are professional people

 

           12              have called us council speakers names?  If

 

           13              it's the laughing stock look in the mirror.

 

           14                   It must be remembered that council

 

           15              speakers are a diverse group.  Everyone has

 

           16              their own personality.  Everyone expresses

 

           17              themselves differently.  Every problem,

 

           18              every subject is important to the council

 

           19              speakers especially when you are bringing it

 

           20              up.  It also must be remembered that the

 

           21              speakers are residents and taxpayers until

 

           22              the last -- until recently, maybe the last

 

           23              three years or so, government is starting,

 

           24              and I say starting, to become more

 

           25              transparent if I'm using the right word.


 

 

                                                                      49

 

 

            1              Because of Channel 61 and the Internet

 

            2              taxpayers and residents of the City of

 

            3              Scranton don't want to be in the dark as to

 

            4              where their money is going, they want to

 

            5              know what's going on, politicians don't want

 

            6              that, they don't want to the people to know

 

            7              where the money is being spent, they want

 

            8              the status quo.  And I'm wondering if

 

            9              Channel 61 will be here next week or that

 

           10              other TV station will.

 

           11                      Now, some of the issues they

 

           12              probably would like to forget:  15 million

 

           13              in raises, 59 new hires, 30 clerical

 

           14              positions lost in the city.  I'll mention

 

           15              the potholes, 5.5 million American Anglican

 

           16              arbitration loss paid by the Sewer

 

           17              Authority, we got that 56 percent raise in

 

           18              our sewer bills; 12.2 million dollars found

 

           19              in the tax office; 25 percent real estate

 

           20              tax levied on the city taxpayers while that

 

           21              12.2 million was found, seven years of labor

 

           22              strikes, seven record budgets by this

 

           23              administration, 400 million in long-term

 

           24              debt, excessive borrowing and spending.

 

           25              $803,000 for the parking authority this year


 

 

                                                                      50

 

 

            1              even though the parking authority received a

 

            2              $35 million loan.  City got a Triple A bond

 

            3              rating for 1 million dollars only to fall to

 

            4              junk bond rating.  Paying 4,000 plus to the

 

            5              Life building for monthly rent for OECD

 

            6              office while space at city hall goes unused.

 

            7              Undersized police building built.  $300,000

 

            8              for Christmas lights at Nay Aug.  $27,123

 

            9              spent on Nay Aug water bills due to that

 

           10              leak.  Three million dollar surplus that was

 

           11              left by Connors blown.  Spent 1.7 million

 

           12              more on a DPW complex when $3 million was

 

           13              allocated but yet they wouldn't do that for

 

           14              the police building.  And over 600 million

 

           15              in revenues taken in by the city, what do we

 

           16              have?  Thank you.

 

           17                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr.

 

           18              Ancherani.  Fifth Order.  Motions.  Mrs.

 

           19              Evans.

 

           20                      MS. EVANS: Thank you.  Good evening.

 

           21              Prior to tonight's council meeting my

 

           22              honorable colleagues and I met with

 

           23              Mr. McGovern and Mrs. Vitali at the Scranton

 

           24              Single Tax Office.  I will credit

 

           25              Mr. McGovern and Mrs. Vitale for coming to


 

 

                                                                      51

 

 

            1              speak to council unlike Mr. McDowell who was

 

            2              requested to appear on more than one

 

            3              occasion and failed to appear whether

 

            4              publically or privately.  As I said earlier,

 

            5              it is my hope that the dialogue will

 

            6              continue among the Single Tax Office, city

 

            7              council and the school board since it is the

 

            8              taxpayers' money which is at stake.  You

 

            9              have a right to the information and answers

 

           10              to this conundrum and I do believe it is the

 

           11              only way in which to restore public

 

           12              confidence in at least the Single Tax

 

           13              Office.  I think at least 99 percent of the

 

           14              questions posed this evening by my

 

           15              colleagues and myself were not those that

 

           16              required responses of confidential or of a

 

           17              confidential nature.  I am very pleased with

 

           18              the cooperation that was demonstrated with a

 

           19              few exceptions, I do believe it is important

 

           20              to know the interest rate on the people's

 

           21              money.  I also believe it would not be

 

           22              confidential information to learn who

 

           23              exactly was present at private meetings and

 

           24              perhaps that would lead to the fact that

 

           25              council, or at least I'll speak only for


 

 

                                                                      52

 

 

            1              myself, council was not aware of any of

 

            2              these developments until I as a councilwoman

 

            3              for one had to read it in the newspaper and

 

            4              that information I believe should have been

 

            5              forthcoming to council from the

 

            6              administration immediately.  So, as I said,

 

            7              I don't believe that's confidential

 

            8              information as to who attends a meeting and

 

            9              as to what statements would have been made.

 

           10                   Also, we are had requested an update on

 

           11              the city's 2007 audit and we have received a

 

           12              very timely response from Robert Rossi and

 

           13              Company, evidently there are 15 major areas

 

           14              that the public accountants are requesting

 

           15              answers to from the administration and they

 

           16              are further asking for a time line from the

 

           17              administration as to when they planned to

 

           18              provide those items.  I know that we are

 

           19              very close to May 31, certainly we are not

 

           20              going to see that audit by the deadline

 

           21              stated in the Home Rule Charter, but I think

 

           22              with more active cooperation from the

 

           23              administration and particularly the business

 

           24              administrator we can hope to see a completed

 

           25              audit over the summer.  In fact, I would


 

 

                                                                      53

 

 

            1              hope it would be presented to council prior

 

            2              to any council recess.

 

            3                      Last Friday, I had the pleasure of

 

            4              attending the Architectural Heritage award

 

            5              ceremony in city hall and I must say I was

 

            6              very impressed by the renovations made to

 

            7              numerous homes and businesses throughout

 

            8              Scranton and particularly by the number of

 

            9              homeowners in West Scranton who have

 

           10              renovated their properties over the last

 

           11              year, that number saw a significant increase

 

           12              this year.  Now, all homeowners and business

 

           13              owners are to be congratulated for their

 

           14              tremendous efforts which have transformed

 

           15              not only their properties but hopefully

 

           16              their neighborhoods as well.

 

           17                      And I do have some requests for the

 

           18              week.  Again, the Dorothy Street playground

 

           19              despite the cleanup and painting performed

 

           20              for which we have most grateful, tagging

 

           21              continues.  The number 515 has resurfaced.

 

           22              Please check city playground areas at least

 

           23              monthly for problems and cleanup.

 

           24                      A second request to Attorney

 

           25              Patterson, city solicitor, please forward a


 

 

                                                                      54

 

 

            1              copy of the letter of agreement between the

 

            2              city and ECTV to city council per our letter

 

            3              of request dated April 16, 2008.

 

            4                      I might also just add as a sidenote

 

            5              that I believe it was in August 2006 that

 

            6              Scranton Today applied for funding from OECD

 

            7              in the amount of $7,073 and it was never

 

            8              awarded to Scranton Today.  Further, I was

 

            9              also informed during the week that a

 

           10              complaint has been made to the Ethics

 

           11              Commission by one of the organizations who

 

           12              submitted a proposal to operate Channel 61

 

           13              and 62 and it is neither obviously Electric

 

           14              City TV nor is it Scranton Today and that

 

           15              letter had been sent registered and mailed I

 

           16              believe quite awhile back and yet it appears

 

           17              no one, no city office, nor the members of

 

           18              the Ethics Commission are in receipt of that

 

           19              letter, so I would assume that before

 

           20              anything further progresses certainly the

 

           21              Ethics Commission and the legal department

 

           22              should be taking a look at that complaint

 

           23              and providing a ruling on that.

 

           24                      MS. FANUCCI: Mrs. Evans, can I ask

 

           25              you how you are aware of that?  Did you


 

 

                                                                      55

 

 

            1              receive a copy of the proposal or something?

 

            2                      MS. EVANS: No, I don't have a copy

 

            3              of the complaint.  I was told by a member of

 

            4              that organization, that group that had

 

            5              applied.

 

            6                      MS. FANUCCI:  And the Ethics

 

            7              Commission as of right now they have -- the

 

            8              Ethics Commission has been following, they

 

            9              filed it and put it in proposal to say that

 

           10              they were violated as of right now?

 

           11                      MS. EVANS: They actually sent that

 

           12              out, I'm going to approximate here six to

 

           13              eight weeks ago.

 

           14                      MS. FANUCCI: Wow.

 

           15                      MS. EVANS: But nothing -- no one

 

           16              apparently ever received the letter,

 

           17              although, someone signed for that registered

 

           18              letter.

 

           19                      MS. FANUCCI: Um-hum.

 

           20                      MS. EVANS: In addition, 420

 

           21              Jacqueline Street an abandoned house was

 

           22              condemned three years ago and was never

 

           23              boarded up.  The neighbors are concerned

 

           24              about teens and the homeless gaining entry

 

           25              and potentially starting a fire.


 

 

                                                                      56

 

 

            1                      And a letter to Mr. Renda, business

 

            2              administrator, and if council is in

 

            3              agreement this could be sent, please, on

 

            4              behalf of council as a body, from what

 

            5              account and line item in the 2008 operating

 

            6              budget will the increases for the clerical

 

            7              union contract be taken?

 

            8                      I have also received in my mail

 

            9              tonight two additional requests one of

 

           10              which, Kay, I'm going to ask you to please

 

           11              forward to Mr. Hayes with a copy to Chief

 

           12              Elliott, and another that enumerates a list

 

           13              of about seven properties that require a lot

 

           14              of work.  These problems need to be

 

           15              addressed, so I am going to just include

 

           16              them with my list to be added to it.

 

           17                      Just a couple of brief updates:  The

 

           18              owner of the Rear 730 North Irving Avenue

 

           19              garage has taken out a permit with the city

 

           20              for demolition, so residents can keep me

 

           21              apprised of any progress or lack thereof;

 

           22              and, in addition, a city inspector has

 

           23              posted the property of Providence Road at

 

           24              the old Atlas Glass building for the removal

 

           25              of all of the overgrowth, and that's it.


 

 

                                                                      57

 

 

            1                      MR. MCGOFF: Just in response, Mrs.

 

            2              Evans, with council's permission, why don't

 

            3              we send something to Mr. Renda asking if

 

            4              they can do anything to expedite the items

 

            5              that are on the response from Mr. Rossi.

 

            6                      MS. EVANS: On behalf of all of

 

            7              council.

 

            8                      MR. MCGOFF:  On behalf of all of

 

            9              council.

 

           10                      MS. EVANS: Yes.

 

           11                      MR. MCGOFF: And also perhaps a

 

           12              letter also to the accounting firm

 

           13              requesting that the audit be presented to us

 

           14              by August so at least they would know that

 

           15              we are waiting for it.

 

           16                      MS. EVANS: I think they know

 

           17              annually we are waiting for it, but in my

 

           18              experience over the last several years they

 

           19              have been unable to complete the audit

 

           20              because they were not provided the required

 

           21              information by the administration or the

 

           22              Single Tax Office.

 

           23                      MR. MCGOFF: I just -- maybe just

 

           24              what I'm asking is more formality just so

 

           25              that it's there and they are aware of our


 

 

                                                                      58

 

 

            1              needs.

 

            2                      MS. EVANS: I think they are aware.

 

            3                      MR. MCGOFF: I know.  I just think it

 

            4              would be the right thing to do.

 

            5                      MS. EVANS: That's fine.

 

            6                      MS. GATELLI: That's fine.

 

            7                      MR. MCGOFF:  Thank you.  I'm sorry,

 

            8              Mrs. Gatelli.

 

            9                      MS. GATELLI: I only have a few

 

           10              things.  I would just like to wish the West

 

           11              Scranton baseball, once again, good luck for

 

           12              tomorrow and we're hoping that they can win.

 

           13              Bill and I and Chrissy will be there for

 

           14              sure.  We are talking about the

 

           15              redevelopment on the 500 block of Lackawanna

 

           16              Avenue and although it wasn't included in

 

           17              the packet here I do recall, maybe Attorney

 

           18              Minora will remember also, when we worked on

 

           19              the Steamtown Mall I believe we also did

 

           20              recommend the 500 block for slum and blight

 

           21              purposes and for redevelopment being that

 

           22              was the last block of the avenue that was so

 

           23              called blighted.  And, you know, we went

 

           24              through a lot of the same things that are

 

           25              happening now in the 500 block only we have


 

 

                                                                      59

 

 

            1              three blocks to deal with and 35 or 40

 

            2              owners that had to be talked to everyday and

 

            3              relocated and we also had some that

 

            4              contested it and went to eminent domain, so

 

            5              that is part of the process of a

 

            6              redevelopment project.  You do get people

 

            7              that don't want to participate or, you know,

 

            8              don't want what you are offering them for

 

            9              the business and they do have the right to

 

           10              contest that and to go to eminent domain and

 

           11              then that's how it's remedied, but as I was

 

           12              looking through the packet that we got from

 

           13              Mrs. Aebli I found resolutions from -- one

 

           14              is from 2004 authorizing the 500 block of

 

           15              Lackawanna Avenue for redevelopment pursuant

 

           16              to the urban redevelopment law and that was

 

           17              Resolution 19 of 2004.  It was passed

 

           18              unanimously by McTiernan, Evans, Pocius,

 

           19              Courtright, and DiBileo, and signed by Gary

 

           20              DiBielo, the president.

 

           21                      Then there was another one,

 

           22              Resolution No. 119 of 2005, for slum and

 

           23              blight in the central business district, and

 

           24              that was also it was to eliminate slum and

 

           25              blight and redevelopment of the 500 block of


 

 

                                                                      60

 

 

            1              Lackawanna Avenue, and that was also

 

            2              McTiernan, Evans, Pocius, Courtright and

 

            3              DiBileo, signed by Gary DiBileo, the

 

            4              president at the time.

 

            5                      Resolution No. 39 of 2006, this was

 

            6              giving five $550,000 to the 500 of

 

            7              Lackawanna Avenue to assist in an urban

 

            8              development project and that was also

 

            9              unanimous, Evans, Fanucci, McTiernan,

 

           10              Courtright and Gatelli.  Well, how about

 

           11              that, we all voted for something.

 

           12                      MS. FANUCCI: There it is.

 

           13                      MS. EVANS: We don't often do that.

 

           14                      MS. GATELLI:  So, I just wanted you

 

           15              to know that these things on Lackawanna

 

           16              Avenue have been going on since 2004.  This

 

           17              is not just something that we are coming up

 

           18              with out of the clear blue sky because we

 

           19              feel like doing it.  It has been done, it

 

           20              has been approved since 2004, and I do

 

           21              believe it was done before that even though

 

           22              we don't have any legislation on it when the

 

           23              Steamtown Mall was done.  The Steamtown Mall

 

           24              also was criticized, Boscov's, you know,

 

           25              they were criticizing him, oh, where is his


 

 

                                                                      61

 

 

            1              money, where is this, where is that, but,

 

            2              you know, these are the things that happen

 

            3              in a redevelopment project.  There are a lot

 

            4              of public monies that are involved when you

 

            5              have things like this, but it's allegedly

 

            6              for the greater good and this is what we

 

            7              have to do have faith in.  You have to have

 

            8              faith and have a renaissance and that's what

 

            9              we are trying to do in South Scranton.  I

 

           10              mean, you have to do something.  You just

 

           11              can't let something deteriorate and

 

           12              especially in the downtown, that is the last

 

           13              block of a four-block area that was

 

           14              scheduled for redevelopment and I think it's

 

           15              necessary and you can see by all of the

 

           16              other councils that passed it they also

 

           17              believed in it.     Now, do we believe in

 

           18              everything and are we happy that two people

 

           19              aren't involved?  No, we are not, but that

 

           20              it is not council's role, that is their own

 

           21              role, their own lawyers, eminent domain and

 

           22              they will work it out that way, and I'm sure

 

           23              in the end we will all be very proud of the

 

           24              project that we have there.

 

           25                      Also, when Tom spoke about those


 

 

                                                                      62

 

 

            1              businesses and saying that we gave a $60,000

 

            2              loan for something and a $36,000 loan for

 

            3              something, yes, we did.  We gave them for

 

            4              businesses.  That money was given for

 

            5              businesses to start.  It's done in

 

            6              communities across the United States

 

            7              everyday, that's what the American dream is

 

            8              all about, starting a business.  Now, most

 

            9              small businesses collapse within the first

 

           10              five years, statistics prove it, small

 

           11              businesses normally don't last five years,

 

           12              but if you don't give someone an opportunity

 

           13              some of them stay 40 years like my friend

 

           14              Neil Alteiri that we honored a few months

 

           15              ago, he is there for 40 years.  If somebody

 

           16              didn't give him a chance he wouldn't be

 

           17              there, so all of the money is given and this

 

           18              money is strictly for business and job

 

           19              creation.  We cannot use it to pave streets.

 

           20              I mean, I know it's sounds nice to say use

 

           21              that money, why are doing that when you

 

           22              could be paving streets?  You cannot use

 

           23              that money to pave streets.  It is a

 

           24              specific amount of money from the federal

 

           25              government and you must use it for a


 

 

                                                                      63

 

 

            1              specific purpose.  Do we want to pave the

 

            2              streets?  Yeah, I would like to pave every

 

            3              one of them that Chris Jennings talked about

 

            4              because I ride over them everyday, too, and

 

            5              my alignments is not good as we all know

 

            6              that fact, but we can't stop helping

 

            7              businesses and we cannot stop helping

 

            8              promote the city.  So, that's all I have to

 

            9              say on that.

 

           10                      And I would like to congratulate the

 

           11              clerical union on finally settling a

 

           12              contract and I am very happy for them and I

 

           13              hope that the police and fire will soon

 

           14              follow.  I have very strong faith that

 

           15              things are going to happen in a positive

 

           16              fashion.  And that's all I have.  Thank you.

 

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

 

           18              Mr. Fanucci.

 

           19                      MS. FANUCCI: You pretty much said

 

           20              everything I was going to say, but I do want

 

           21              to elaborate a little bit on the 500 block.

 

           22              As of right now, well, I can say two weeks

 

           23              ago, there were 100 people in construction

 

           24              working on that project.  So, every project

 

           25              that comes along we are employing our own


 

 

                                                                      64

 

 

            1              people and they are putting in, you know,

 

            2              right now they are taking out windows or

 

            3              doing whatever they have to do, the next

 

            4              phase, the next phase, the next phase, is

 

            5              job opportunity.  It's constant creation of

 

            6              job opportunity, so it's not about, you

 

            7              know, I laughed at the developer.  Would you

 

            8              not want to be -- would you want to be the

 

            9              developer of that project?  I mean, I really

 

           10              can't even imagine.  It is not something

 

           11              that's an easy process.  You have to have

 

           12              your own money, you have to put tons of

 

           13              money in, you have to be on top of things,

 

           14              you have to comply with all of the rules and

 

           15              regulations of the state, the city and

 

           16              everyone else, but the jobs that this is

 

           17              going to create in the long run between

 

           18              whatever, if it's boutiques, if it's

 

           19              offices, if it's, you know, talking about

 

           20              restaurants and bars and whatever it is,

 

           21              that is what it's about.  And everybody

 

           22              says, well, we want higher end jobs, every

 

           23              community has every type of job, that's what

 

           24              the community is about.  We need McDonald's

 

           25              and we need, you know, high end stores,


 

 

                                                                      65

 

 

            1              that's life and that's what we are about.

 

            2              We want everyone to have jobs here, so to me

 

            3              to get up and be upset about a grant that

 

            4              could be somewhere else is, I just can't

 

            5              comprehend it.  Why do I want that to go to

 

            6              Allentown or to Reading?  I don't.  I want

 

            7              that in Scranton.  I want that money here.

 

            8              I want as much grant money in this city as

 

            9              we possibly can get our hands on.  That is

 

           10              creation, that is bringing back our city and

 

           11              that to me is something that I just, I can't

 

           12              wrap my brain around everytime gets up and

 

           13              says we don't want grant money.

 

           14                      But also I want to talk about the

 

           15              tax office being here.  I thought that it

 

           16              was a good meeting, we did find out some

 

           17              information.  I also believe there were a

 

           18              lots of unanswered questions that after

 

           19              reviewing some of my notes I believe that

 

           20              next week I'm going to have maybe Kay send a

 

           21              letter of some things that I thought of,

 

           22              maybe everyone would probably do the same

 

           23              thing, some thing we did think to ask Mr.

 

           24              McGovern, but I also feel that, you know,

 

           25              what they were saying, they are saying that


 

 

                                                                      66

 

 

            1              the computer was the problem but as Mrs.

 

            2              Schumacher did point out the computer was

 

            3              not installed as there were deposits years

 

            4              and years before, so I don't know, I think

 

            5              that that has to be clarified in some

 

            6              fashion and find out exactly when the money

 

            7              started going into that account.  It was

 

            8              good to find out where the $5 million came

 

            9              from because that was something that I was

 

           10              wondering myself, so that was also to my

 

           11              benefit.  So, next week I will have some

 

           12              questions put together.

 

           13                      And I also want to congratulate the

 

           14              clerical union for settling and hoping that

 

           15              all of the other unions keep the lines of

 

           16              communication open and we can settle the

 

           17              other contracts, and that is all I have.

 

           18                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mrs. Fanucci.

 

           19              Mr. Courtright.

 

           20                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yes.  I'd like to

 

           21              thank Jerry Shock and Larry Wind and Johnny

 

           22              Pizo, from the DPW they helped out these

 

           23              people on Theodore Street and they are very

 

           24              pleased, so thanks for your help.

 

           25                      They had a ride for Jimmy Robeson


 

 

                                                                      67

 

 

            1              this weekend, it was very well-attended,

 

            2              there was a misprint in the paper, they put

 

            3              the wrong date down so they missed out on

 

            4              some people, but I attended, it was very

 

            5              well-attended, I'm sure next year it will

 

            6              even larger.

 

            7                      I'll speak on the 500-block of

 

            8              Lackawanna Avenue.  It was one of the first

 

            9              big things I voted on when I came onto

 

           10              council and we stood out there on the 500

 

           11              block of Lackawanna Avenue, we had

 

           12              presentations given to us, and I thought it

 

           13              was a good thing, I still think it's a good

 

           14              thing.  I'm not happy with the way some of

 

           15              the things transpired from 204 until now, I

 

           16              don't know if it could have been avoided or

 

           17              not avoided, and I'm not one that's big on

 

           18              tabling it, but I had said last week I

 

           19              needed some questions answered and Linda

 

           20              Aebli happened to be in the council office

 

           21              this morning and I had a conversation with

 

           22              her and she answered just about all of the

 

           23              questions that she was able to answer.

 

           24                      One of the questions that has been

 

           25              asked of me and that I have asked is how


 

 

                                                                      68

 

 

            1              much money the developer has put into the

 

            2              project and Kay called Mr. Shane, I guess he

 

            3              hasn't gotten back to her yet, and I would

 

            4              like to know that.  I don't know if the rest

 

            5              of council would entertain tabling it until

 

            6              we got that information, but that was pretty

 

            7              much the only question, I mean, do I want to

 

            8              see the 500 block of Lackawanna Avenue?  I

 

            9              certainly do.  I think they know that.  I

 

           10              think it's good thing, were there some

 

           11              things alone the way I didn't care for,

 

           12              absolutely.  I had wished Buona Pizza got a

 

           13              fair shake and Coney Island.  I still wish

 

           14              that something could be worked out with them

 

           15              because their businesses have been here in

 

           16              the city and they have faithfully paid their

 

           17              taxes for years and years and years, so

 

           18              hopefully something could be worked out in

 

           19              their favor and in the city's favor.

 

           20                      I don't know what's going to become

 

           21              when the new company takes over Channel 61

 

           22              and 62, some people are telling me it will

 

           23              shown one time live and only one time after

 

           24              that.  I would hope that this council

 

           25              wouldn't agree with that.  I don't think


 

 

                                                                      69

 

 

            1              showing it just one time is enough.  Some

 

            2              people don't have an opportunity to see it.

 

            3              I mean, I know, they play it ten times, when

 

            4              we first came on it was on quite a few

 

            5              times, but I don't think one replay is

 

            6              enough, so I would hope they could consider

 

            7              doing more than one replay.

 

            8                      I spoke with Director Hayes, as I

 

            9              said last week, and Dave Elliott and Stu

 

           10              Renda about the police getting back to the

 

           11              streets for the summer.  I also pinned down

 

           12              Linda Aebli about that when she was in

 

           13              council office, the question was how to pay

 

           14              the time half and we did not know if OECD

 

           15              would be able to pay time and a half.  She

 

           16              has told me this morning that when I asked

 

           17              her that they found, possibly they found out

 

           18              it could be done, they could pay it.  I

 

           19              think their concern is that we would run out

 

           20              of money by paying them time and a half.  I

 

           21              don't see that concern because of the fact

 

           22              that say, for instance, all of this summer

 

           23              we pay time half we won't see any of these

 

           24              officers that are in the Act 120 come out

 

           25              until I believe September and then they have


 

 

                                                                      70

 

 

            1              to get certified and they have to do ride

 

            2              alongs so all of that money is sitting there

 

            3              from 2008.  I believe she said we are into

 

            4              2007, Kay, I'm not quite sure moneywise, and

 

            5              then that's I believe five officers.  Then

 

            6              when the next come in you are talking

 

            7              another eight more months before they hit

 

            8              the streets so I do not think we'll exhaust

 

            9              the money, so I will talk with Director

 

           10              Hayes this week and ask him if we can

 

           11              implement this immediately, it looks like

 

           12              it's a go, and I thank everyone on council.

 

           13              I think everybody here wants to see that

 

           14              happen I don't think there is anyone that's

 

           15              against it.

 

           16                      And then I would ask Mr. Minora if

 

           17              you can enlighten me on something, and maybe

 

           18              after the meeting or maybe whenever you get

 

           19              an opportunity or I don't know if you know

 

           20              the answer off the top of your head, I

 

           21              believe I asked Mrs. Vitale a question, I

 

           22              believe her attorney answered, and the

 

           23              question was if it was me I would have

 

           24              pursued Mr. McDowell and said, "Come on,

 

           25              tell me what's going on here," who better to


 

 

                                                                      71

 

 

            1              know why that $12 million is sitting there

 

            2              but him and he told me he couldn't answer

 

            3              that question.  So, maybe you can fill me in

 

            4              later on as to why he can't contact

 

            5              Mr. McDowell more than one time.  I know he

 

            6              is an attorney and I respect, you know, his

 

            7              law degree, so I certainly wouldn't argue

 

            8              with it.

 

            9                      MR. MINORA: I'll be glad to talk to

 

           10              you about it, but I'm probably be

 

           11              speculating just from his answer, but, you

 

           12              know, if you talk to me after I have no

 

           13              problem calling him and seeing if there is

 

           14              additional information and see if he can

 

           15              answer whatever it is we will get.

 

           16                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I just didn't --

 

           17                      MR. MINORA: You mentioned that to --

 

           18                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I didn't think that

 

           19              was a confidential question to be honest

 

           20              with you.

 

           21                      MR. MINORA: I don't know.

 

           22                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Honestly, did you

 

           23              think it was a confidential question?

 

           24                      MR. MINORA: I wasn't sure.  You

 

           25              know, there was -- because there is a


 

 

                                                                      72

 

 

            1              criminal investigation going on, I mean, at

 

            2              least reportedly by the FBI there may have

 

            3              been something I just don't know.

 

            4                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Maybe I didn't

 

            5              articulate the question too well.  I was

 

            6              talking about the very beginning, you know,

 

            7              here is the 12 million bucks.  I think that

 

            8              would have been the first guy I would have

 

            9              called and pursued it, I've been sitting

 

           10              here for six years if the police call me,

 

           11              you know, and I just thought that more than

 

           12              one attempt should have been made in my

 

           13              opinion because now Mrs. Franus rightfully

 

           14              so is coming to the podium and is asking

 

           15              Mrs. Gatelli for a motion for us to subpoena

 

           16              Mr. McDowell here and I don't have a problem

 

           17              with that at all, but if they were having

 

           18              and, again, this is just my opinion and I'm

 

           19              sure you know much more than I do, if they

 

           20              were having a problem getting in touch with

 

           21              Mr. McDowell in the very beginning maybe

 

           22              they should have come to us as a council and

 

           23              come to the school board and say, "Could you

 

           24              use your powers to get him in here," and we

 

           25              might have avoided a lot of the problems


 

 

                                                                      73

 

 

            1              that we have now, so I just -- I didn't, you

 

            2              know, I didn't want to take up a lot of time

 

            3              and I did want to pursue it, so maybe you

 

            4              can fill me in.

 

            5                      MR. MINORA: Yeah, just --

 

            6                      MR. COURTRIGHT: To the best of your

 

            7              ability.

 

            8                      MR. MINORA: I will do that and I

 

            9              will also follow-up for you if you just, you

 

           10              know, sit down with me and specifically what

 

           11              you want to get.

 

           12                      MR. COURTRIGHT: All right.  And

 

           13              that's all I have.  Thank you.

 

           14                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr.

 

           15              Courtright.  Just very briefly, I do want to

 

           16              comment on some of the things that were said

 

           17              regarding the nature of the meetings that we

 

           18              have here.  I do take issue with anyone who

 

           19              describes the conduct of the meetings in a

 

           20              negative way, and with Mr. Talimini, I do

 

           21              take some issue with your idea of respect.

 

           22              I think respect is something that's

 

           23              inherent.  I think respect should be

 

           24              inherent in the fact that people come to

 

           25              this podium as citizens, concerned citizens,


 

 

                                                                      74

 

 

            1              and I think that people that come to the

 

            2              podium should also realize that there is a

 

            3              certain amount of inherent respect in these

 

            4              chambers and the people who are elected to

 

            5              represent the city and I think the more that

 

            6              we continue to criticize one another, the

 

            7              more that the meetings become what you are

 

            8              calling them.  I think it has to stop

 

            9              somewhere.  We can't continue to just

 

           10              harangue one another over behavior.

 

           11                      It is my -- I don't have any desire

 

           12              to play ringmaster.  I think these meetings

 

           13              serve a purpose.  I believe that Channel 61

 

           14              should continue to function because there

 

           15              are people who need Channel 61 to be a

 

           16              source of information, but we can't continue

 

           17              to berate one another, harangue one another

 

           18              and to criticize one another because all we

 

           19              are doing is perpetuating what we are

 

           20              arguing about.  Hopefully we can continue to

 

           21              improve the relationship that exists on

 

           22              council and exists between council and

 

           23              speakers and whoever else is in these

 

           24              chambers and have the respect for one

 

           25              another that is inherent in all people, and


 

 

                                                                      75

 

 

            1              enough of preaching.  I guess that is enough

 

            2              preaching.  Let's move on.  Thank you.

 

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

 

            4              INTRODUCTION - A RESOLUTION - AUTHORIZING

 

            5              THE MAYOR AND OTHER APPROPRIATE CITY

 

            6              OFFICIALS TO EXECUTE AND ENTER INTO A GRANT

 

            7              AGREEMENT WITH THE PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT

 

            8              OF CONSERVATION AND NATURAL RESOURCES

 

            9              (DCNR), BUREAU OF RECREATION AND

 

           10              CONSERVATION IN ORDER TO ACCEPT THE GRANT OF

 

           11              $50,000.00 FROM THE HERITAGE AND OTHER PARKS

 

           12              APPROPRIATION FOR SWIMMING POOL IMPROVEMENTS

 

           13              IN THE CITY OF SCRANTON.

 

           14                      MR. MCGOFF: At this time I'll

 

           15              entertain a motion that Item 5-B be

 

           16              introduced into it's proper committee.

 

           17                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  So moved.

 

           18                      MS. FANUCCI: Second.

 

           19                      MR. MCGOFF: On the question?  All

 

           20              those in favor signify by saying aye.

 

           21                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.

 

           22                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.

 

           23                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.

 

           24                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.

 

           25                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?  The


 

 

                                                                      76

 

 

            1              ayes have it and so moved.

 

            2                      MS. GARVEY: SIXTH ORDER.  NO

 

            3              BUSINESS AT THIS TIME.

 

            4                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Mr. McGoff, if I

 

            5              may, I can understand if the rest of council

 

            6              doesn't want to agree with this, it's been

 

            7              belabored long enough, but if somebody would

 

            8              be interested in going along I would make a

 

            9              motion to table it until we got the answer

 

           10              from Mr. Shane, I don't know if you would go

 

           11              along with that.  If there is no majority

 

           12              vote I wouldn't make the motion, but I would

 

           13              ask council if anybody is willing to go

 

           14              along with that or --

 

           15                      MS. EVANS: Yes.

 

           16                      MR. COURTRIGHT: So, we don't have

 

           17              enough so I won't make the motion.

 

           18                      MS. GARVEY: 7-A. FOR CONSIDERATION

 

           19              BY THE COMMITTEE ON COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT -

 

           20              FOR ADOPTION - RESOLUTION NO. 32, 2008 -

 

           21              RATIFYING THE ACTIONS OF THE OFFICE OF

 

           22              ECONOMIC AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AND OTHER

 

           23              APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS TO EXECUTE AND

 

           24              APPLY FOR A GRANT THROUGH THE PA DEPARTMENT

 

           25              OF CONSERVATION AND NATURAL RESOURCES (DCNR)


 

 

                                                                      77

 

 

            1              IN THE AMOUNT OF $1,000,000.00 ACCEPTING THE

 

            2              GRANT, IF SUCCESSFUL, COORDINATING AND

 

            3              DISBURSING THE GRANT FUNDS FOR THE PROJECT

 

            4              TO BE NAMED AS "500 LACKAWANNA AVENUE

 

            5              REDEVELOPMENT PARK, PLAZA AND PEDESTRIAN

 

            6              COURT."

 

            7                      MR. MCGOFF: What is the

 

            8              recommendation of the Chairperson for the

 

            9              Committee on Community Development.

 

           10                      MS. FANUCCI:  As Chairperson for the

 

           11              Committee on Community Development, I

 

           12              recommend final passage of Item 7-A.

 

           13                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.

 

           14                      MR. MCGOFF: On the question.

 

           15                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  On the question, I

 

           16              had every intention when I came here this

 

           17              evening after speaking with Linda Aebli of

 

           18              voting, yes, I know it's going to pass

 

           19              because there is three votes.  I just can't

 

           20              bring myself to vote, yes, without having

 

           21              that answer from Mr. Shane and, believe me,

 

           22              it's nothing to do with the project, I'm in

 

           23              favor of the project, and I'm not in favor

 

           24              of the losing it from Scranton for another

 

           25              city, certainly not.  I just can't in good


 

 

                                                                      78

 

 

            1              conscience do it so, again, nothing against

 

            2              the project, I'm in favor of the project,

 

            3              but I will be voting, no.

 

            4                      MS. EVANS: I'm probably the only one

 

            5              who hasn't addressed this yet.  I'm not

 

            6              criticizing the project I was merely asking

 

            7              questions, asking for information on behalf

 

            8              of the taxpayers.  Now, one of the questions

 

            9              I posed has been lingering for several weeks

 

           10              now and Mrs. Aebli has been aware of that

 

           11              question for several weeks and if, indeed,

 

           12              she does not have the answer, and I believe

 

           13              when she says she doesn't that is the case,

 

           14              then immediately Mr. Shane should have been

 

           15              contacted, but it just seems as if there is

 

           16              an unnecessary delay here.

 

           17                      I think it's quite evident that the

 

           18              developer does not wish to disclose the

 

           19              dollar amount that he has invested in that

 

           20              project.  I also wanted to know about any

 

           21              possible involvement in any of the projects

 

           22              on the 500 block of Lackawanna Avenue in

 

           23              terms of Coney Island and Bueno Pizza and

 

           24              very coincidentally we received tonight

 

           25              quite a package from the Moran family,


 

 

                                                                      79

 

 

            1              owners of Coney Island, and they are

 

            2              requesting 13 very important items under the

 

            3              Pennsylvania Right to Know Law and these

 

            4              requests regard the streetscaping, the

 

            5              building construction and redevelopment and

 

            6              the neighboring park area creation and

 

            7              extensions comprising the overall 500 block

 

            8              of Lackawanna Avenue project area, and that

 

            9              tells me that apparently at least Coney

 

           10              Island has been discluded from any of these

 

           11              projects, any of these grants --

 

           12                      MS. FANUCCI: That's not accurate.

 

           13              They opted out.  They opted out of the

 

           14              projects.

 

           15                      MS. EVANS: Yes, but, you know --

 

           16                      MS. FANUCCI: They're excluded now

 

           17              because they opted out in the beginning.

 

           18              They cannot be part of the project because

 

           19              once the project was filed they had opted

 

           20              out, so they cannot be included in the

 

           21              project and will not be included in the

 

           22              project.

 

           23                      MS. EVANS: Well, I know that the

 

           24              owners indicate that they would be very

 

           25              happy to speak with any elected officials --


 

 

                                                                      80

 

 

            1                      MS. FANUCCI: It's too late.

 

            2                      MS. EVANS: -- about their situation

 

            3              so I think they --

 

            4                      MS. FANUCCI:  They opted out.

 

            5                      MS. EVANS: -- should speak for

 

            6              themselves if, indeed, they opted out, but I

 

            7              do know this, Coney Island could have sued

 

            8              this city and --

 

            9                      MS. FANUCCI: Actually, our attorney

 

           10              sat down with them and spoke to Mr. Moran so

 

           11              maybe you want to fill her in.

 

           12                      MS. EVANS: Well, maybe he can

 

           13              address this when I have concluded.

 

           14                      MR. MINORA: Sure.

 

           15                      MS. EVANS: Coney Island I believe

 

           16              could have sued the city, as I was saying,

 

           17              but they have not and the reason they have

 

           18              not is because they realize in suing the

 

           19              city they are, in fact, suing the taxpayers,

 

           20              they people who reside in the city, the

 

           21              people who are members of their clientele,

 

           22              and that isn't anything that they wish to

 

           23              pursue and I remember reading that during

 

           24              the governor's visit when he unveiled the

 

           25              500 block of Lackawanna Avenue project very


 

 

                                                                      81

 

 

            1              recently it was Coney Island who provided

 

            2              free refreshments for everyone.

 

            3                      MS. FANUCCI: Not that Coney Island.

 

            4                      MS. EVANS: The one across the

 

            5              street.

 

            6                      MS. FANUCCI:  Right, yeah.  The

 

            7              original Coney Island.

 

            8                      MS. EVANS: Thank you, the original.

 

            9              Well, I did question how that could have

 

           10              been the case since their restaurant burned

 

           11              down and it was deemed an arson, a case of

 

           12              arson yet I don't hear anything further on

 

           13              that and certainly, you know, that's a cause

 

           14              for concern, I don't think anyone even

 

           15              addressed that, myself included, that a

 

           16              longstanding business who is trying to keep

 

           17              their place as anchor at the end of that

 

           18              street was set on fire and no one did or

 

           19              said anything about it and --

 

           20                      MS. GATELLI: I think we should ask

 

           21              the fire inspector because I know he was

 

           22              there and ask him for his report.  I mean,

 

           23              the fire inspector is the one that inspects

 

           24              arsons.

 

           25                      MS. EVANS: But to this point, you


 

 

                                                                      82

 

 

            1              know, nothing else was --

 

            2                      MR. MCGOFF: Are we still on the

 

            3              question?

 

            4                      MS. FANUCCI: Are we going to stay on

 

            5              the question?

 

            6                      MS. EVANS: Yes, nothing else has

 

            7              been learned about it, so I think when, you

 

            8              know, obviously, I'm perusing quickly

 

            9              tonight what was in our mailboxes tonight

 

           10              from the Morans and quite a number of

 

           11              entities are addressed in this and requested

 

           12              to respond, including us, Scranton City

 

           13              Council, we are on the second page.  So, you

 

           14              know, I don't think it's unreasonable to ask

 

           15              questions.  When you don't have information

 

           16              that's the intelligent course of action to

 

           17              take, ask questions, and if someone won't

 

           18              give you the answers whether it's in a

 

           19              caucus with the tax office, whether it's in

 

           20              this event then I think the people who act

 

           21              foolishly are those who forge ahead without

 

           22              answers because when you don't get an answer

 

           23              there should be a red flag somewhere in your

 

           24              mind and you don't have to be terribly

 

           25              educated.  There is a difference and I'm


 

 

                                                                      83

 

 

            1              going off on an tangent here, there is a

 

            2              difference, I shouldn't say terribly

 

            3              educated, I mean well-schooled, there is a

 

            4              difference between well-schooled and

 

            5              educated.  You can be very well-schooled and

 

            6              still not be an educated an individual.

 

            7              Education comes from many sources not just a

 

            8              school building or degrees, but I think we

 

            9              all have the ability to ask questions and as

 

           10              representatives of the people do demand

 

           11              those answers, and without the answers

 

           12              legislation should not move ahead.  I don't

 

           13              think it does in the Senate or in Congress

 

           14              and I don't see why it should in Scranton,

 

           15              Pennsylvania, either.

 

           16                      MS. FANUCCI:  Attorney Minora, can

 

           17              you know answer the questions that we sat

 

           18              down with Mr. Moran and his attorneys and

 

           19              maybe explain a little bit why this is not

 

           20              an issue.

 

           21                      MR. MINORA:  Yeah, actually, at the

 

           22              request of council last year, probably last

 

           23              summer if I recall, I sat down with the

 

           24              developers, I wanted to know, and I reported

 

           25              back to everyone, why two businesses were


 

 

                                                                      84

 

 

            1              not included and what had been offered to

 

            2              whom without specifically the contents of

 

            3              their agreements, I didn't think we were

 

            4              entitled to that, and I was told and then I

 

            5              met with Attorney Joseph Lach who represents

 

            6              Mr. Moran, and what I learned was that

 

            7              Mr. Moran was offered basically the same

 

            8              contract or the same agreement as the other

 

            9              landowners and he rejected that and even

 

           10              after he rejected it he was invited to each

 

           11              and every meeting of the property owners on

 

           12              Lackawanna Avenue, some of which he

 

           13              attended, some of which he didn't, but in

 

           14              each one that he did attend he made it clear

 

           15              that he was not going to be part of the

 

           16              project, he refused to be part of the

 

           17              project, he was going to go it alone.

 

           18                      At the last moment when it was ready

 

           19              to begin or groundbreaking was to begin kind

 

           20              of last spring I believe or last fall

 

           21              Attorney Lach filed an injunction so

 

           22              actually they did sue the city to try to --

 

           23                      MS. EVANS: Was that withdrawn?

 

           24                      MR. MINORA: I don't know if it was

 

           25              withdrawn or dismissed.  I believe it was


 

 

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            1              dismissed by the Court, it was not

 

            2              withdrawn, as I understand it, I did not

 

            3              attend, but there was a hearing and then --

 

            4                      MS. EVANS: Had you met with -- what

 

            5              is his name?

 

            6                      MR. MINORA: Attorney Joseph Lach.

 

            7                      MS. EVANS: Lach?

 

            8                      MR. MINORA: L-A-C-H.

 

            9                      MS. EVANS: Okay, had you met with

 

           10              Attorney Lach following that meeting that

 

           11              you described to city council?

 

           12                      MR. MINORA: I don't know that I met

 

           13              with him personally, but I know we have

 

           14              spoken on the phone several times since then

 

           15              and I don't know what you are referring to

 

           16              so, yeah, the answer is I haven't met

 

           17              face-to-face with him that I recall, but I

 

           18              know we have spoke on the phone since then,

 

           19              yes, and after the injunction was dismissed

 

           20              the project went forward without Mr. Moran

 

           21              which, frankly, looked an awful lot like the

 

           22              one that went on with the Steamtown Mall, in

 

           23              other words, they tried to stop the

 

           24              developer, there were individual property

 

           25              owners who made all kinds of attempt to stop


 

 

                                                                      86

 

 

            1              the project and frankly all of those cases

 

            2              went to the Supreme Court and eventually

 

            3              they were submitted to eminent domain and

 

            4              handled that way and some of them may have

 

            5              been by negotiations, I'm not sure, but it

 

            6              looked to me like a similar attempt at the

 

            7              last minute to enjoin a project that had all

 

            8              of years of investment and time and effort

 

            9              and to try and stop it, so it looked to me

 

           10              like, quite frankly, what I saw as the city

 

           11              solicitor and because case law had developed

 

           12              during the Steamtown development I think

 

           13              that's part of the reason our Court either

 

           14              it wasn't followed up or our Court dismissed

 

           15              it, I'm not sure what happened with it, but

 

           16              the injunction was not given.

 

           17                      MS. EVANS: Well, I also understood

 

           18              though from some of the owners that beyond

 

           19              the initial offer there was a second offer

 

           20              made which was not extended to everyone and

 

           21              a number of owners accepted that second

 

           22              offer and were unable to discuss it because

 

           23              the contract, the terms of the contract, had

 

           24              been sealed and that was a concern to the

 

           25              business owners who were left out, but, you


 

 

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            1              know, in addition to that I think we also

 

            2              discussed at the time that it would be, I

 

            3              don't know remember it was the first or

 

            4              second offer, I really don't know because I

 

            5              haven't seen either offer, but it involved I

 

            6              believe it was 15 percent of profits going

 

            7              to the developer from each one of those

 

            8              businesses and we discussed that publically

 

            9              before a year ago.

 

           10                      So, I think we are far off track

 

           11              here, but it's evident that there are still

 

           12              problems, it's evident that that are

 

           13              unanswered questions and we might as well go

 

           14              ahead with the vote and just, you know, the

 

           15              chips will fall where they may and each

 

           16              council person has a right to their own

 

           17              perspective on this issue situation.

 

           18                      MR. MCGOFF: Now, I just very

 

           19              quickly, I do want to say something on this,

 

           20              the question and while we all have the right

 

           21              to ask questions, I think some of the

 

           22              questions that are being asked have no

 

           23              relation to the legislation before us and

 

           24              while I think that we deserve answers to

 

           25              some the questions, and Mr. Courtright


 

 

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            1              certainly does deserve to, you know, get an

 

            2              answer to that question, I think that we can

 

            3              have an educated, a learned vote on this

 

            4              proposal without the answers -- the answer

 

            5              that at least specifically that

 

            6              Mr. Courtright was looking for.

 

            7                      So, it is -- I think we are making

 

            8              an educated vote on this and one that's

 

            9              pertinent to the legislation.  Roll call,

 

           10              please.

 

           11                      MS. EVANS: I would respond to that

 

           12              very quickly with it actually -- well, maybe

 

           13              it was Mr. Courtright, too, it was actually

 

           14              my concern to know what amount had been

 

           15              invested by the developer, but that's not

 

           16              neither here or there because we have at

 

           17              least two council people who at least share

 

           18              that concern and that request or

 

           19              information, but the reason I posed the

 

           20              question and that it even occurred to me was

 

           21              due to the backup provided for the

 

           22              legislation which enumerated the amounts

 

           23              being invested through the federal

 

           24              government, the state government, and it

 

           25              indicated local sources, etcetera, and that


 

 

                                                                      89

 

 

            1              it makes a very nebulous statement about a

 

            2              developer, and again, as others have noted

 

            3              this evening on other occasions we can't

 

            4              always believe what we read in the

 

            5              newspaper, but according to the newspaper

 

            6              once again on the date of that unveiling

 

            7              before the Governor the developer would not

 

            8              answer a newspaper as to how much money he

 

            9              has invested, and so it's just a simple

 

           10              question, it's not a criticism.  I just have

 

           11              simple questions and I think, too, we do

 

           12              have a responsibility to be looking out for

 

           13              all of the taxpayers' money and that's where

 

           14              these grants come from and we also have a

 

           15              great responsibility to be looking out for

 

           16              existing businesses in the City of Scranton,

 

           17              tax paying businesses.

 

           18                      MR. MCGOFF: Roll call, please.

 

           19                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.

 

           20                      MS. EVANS:  No.

 

           21                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Gatelli.

 

           22                      MS. GATELLI.  Yes.

 

           23                      MR. COOLICAN:  Ms. Fanucci.

 

           24                      MS. FANUCCI:  Yes.

 

           25                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.


 

 

                                                                      90

 

 

            1                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  No.

 

            2                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.

 

            3                      MR. MCGOFF:  Yes.  I hereby declare

 

            4              Item 7-A legally and lawfully adopted.

 

            5                      MS. GARVEY: 7-B. FOR CONSIDERATION

 

            6              BY THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY - FOR

 

            7              ADOPTION - RESOLUTION ON.  33, 2008 -

 

            8              APPROVING REVISION OF THE EXISTING TRAFFIC

 

            9              SIGNAL AT THE INTERSECTION OF MAIN AVENUE

 

           10              AND LACKAWANNA AVENUE DUE TO THE ADDITION OF

 

           11              THE NEW DRIVEWAY APPROACH TO MAIN AVENUE IN

 

           12              CONJUNCTION WITH THE PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT OF

 

           13              JAY'S COMMONS.

 

           14                      MR. MCGOFF: What is the

 

           15              recommendation of the Chairperson for the

 

           16              Committee on Public Safety.

 

           17                      MR. COURTRIGHT: As Chairperson for

 

           18              the Committee on Public Safety, I recommend

 

           19              final passage of Item 7-B.

 

           20                      MS. GATELLI:  Second.

 

           21                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  Roll

 

           22              call, please.

 

           23                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.

 

           24                      MS. EVANS:  Yes.

 

           25                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Gatelli.


 

 

                                                                      91

 

 

            1                      MS. GATELLI.  Yes.

 

            2                      MR. COOLICAN:  Ms. Fanucci.

 

            3                      MS. FANUCCI:  Yes.

 

            4                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.

 

            5                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yes.

 

            6                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.

 

            7                      MR. MCGOFF:  Yes.  I hereby declare

 

            8              Item 7-B legally and lawfully adopted.

 

            9              Motion to adjourn?

 

           10                      MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.

 

           11                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you for your

 

           12              participation.

 

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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.

 

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           12

                                    CATHENE S. NARDOZZI

           13                       OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER

 

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