1              SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING








            5                          HELD:




            7                   Tuesday, June 3, 2008




            9                        LOCATION:


           10                    Council Chambers


           11                 Scranton City Hall


           12              340 North Washington Avenue


           13                Scranton, Pennsylvania





















                            CATHENE S. NARDOZZI- COURT REPORTER
















                MR. ROBERT MCGOFF, PRESIDENT (Not Present)






                MS. JANET E. EVANS



            9   MS. SHERRY FANUCCI



                MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT



           12   MS. KAY GARVEY, CITY CLERK






           15   MR. AMIL MINORA, SOLICITOR


























            1                      (Pledge of Allegiance and moment of


            2              reflection observed.)


            3                      MS. GATELLI:  Roll call.


            4                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.


            5                      MS. EVANS:  Here.


            6                      MR. COOLICAN:  Ms. Fanucci.


            7                      MS. FANUCCI:  Here.


            8                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.


            9                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Here.


           10                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.


           11                      (Mr. McGoff not present.)


           12                      MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.


           13                      MS. GATELLI: Here.  Mrs. Garvey.


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




           16              MEETING HELD ON APRIL 23, 2008.


           17                      MS. GATELLI: Are there any comments?


           18              If not, received and filed.


           19                      MS. GARVEY: 3-B. MINUTES OF THE




           21              HELD ON APRIL 23, 2008.


           22                      MS. GATELLI: Are there any comments?


           23              If not, received and filed.


           24                      MS. GARVEY: That's it for Third


           25              Order.






            1                      MS. GATELLI:  We'll do some


            2              announcements before we start with the


            3              public speakers.  I just have a few.  The


            4              Greek Festival is starting this evening at


            5              the 500 block of North Washington Avenue.


            6              It's from tonight until Saturday.  The 500


            7              block of Adams Avenue for the no parking we


            8              are still awaiting word.  Mrs. Garvey has


            9              not found any ordinances so she has been in


           10              touch with Mr. Hayes and notified him that


           11              we wish to pursue an ordinance and that's


           12              where that stands.


           13                      The beat patrols, I spoke to the


           14              mayor and he said within two weeks we should


           15              have the beat patrols working so we are


           16              happy about that for the summer.


           17                      The Community Justice Office, just


           18              for the people in South Scranton, we have


           19              not had a Community Justice Office since


           20              last fall, so we are going to start that up


           21              again.  We have a new district attorney


           22              that's assigned to us and they will be


           23              meeting again every other Thursday at the


           24              Renaissance Center from 10 to 2 starting on


           25              June 12.  If there are any other






            1              neighborhoods that have Community Justice


            2              Offices please notify Kay Garvey and we will


            3              announce when your meetings are so the


            4              neighbors can go there with complaints.


            5                      We talked about McDowell coming here


            6              with Attorney Rinaldi and we talked about


            7              doing an investigation and issuing


            8              subpoenas.  Attorney Minora has been in


            9              touch with Attorney Rinaldi, he and


           10              Mr. McDowell have agreed to come here to


           11              meet with council.


           12                      MR. MINORA: He asked to clear it,


           13              there is a couple of things they are in


           14              favor of doing it, Attorney Rinaldi has some


           15              attorney/client privilege questions that may


           16              need waiver and he needs to have that


           17              cleared with other -- because of his


           18              position with probably the city solicitor's


           19              office and some others because of the bodies


           20              that they represent, so he needs a waiver of


           21              privilege in order to speak on some of the


           22              things, and Mr. McDowell, on the phone, I


           23              didn't speak with him, needs to consult with


           24              one other lawyer on his own behalf for other


           25              matters and that's how it was described, so






            1              they are in favor of it, but there are


            2              questions and I have asked them to please


            3              get back to me by next meeting and they both


            4              -- Mr. Rinaldi said he would try to have


            5              both of them give us a result by next week.


            6                      MS. GATELLI: Kay.  Thank you.  And


            7              that's all I have.  Bill?


            8                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  I have just one


            9              thing they asked and I emphasize that this


           10              is going to be just one day only, I


           11              mentioned this little girl's name last week,


           12              Riley Jones.  They are going to have a pasta


           13              sale, it's going to be from LaTrottoria.


           14              The tickets will be on sale again one day


           15              only at John Marshall School on Oram Street


           16              in the back of the school under a tent, and


           17              they are going to hold the ticket sales and


           18              it's going to be June 4.


           19                      MS. GATELLI: That's tomorrow.


           20                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  From 9:00 until


           21              11:00 and then they will have sales from


           22              1:00 until 2:30 and then you will be able to


           23              pick up your dinner at LaTrottoria on


           24              Wednesday, June 11, so I'm assuming it's


           25              just the ticket sales, Wednesday, June 11






            1              from 3 to 6 p.m.  So once again that ask


            2              that I emphasize it will be just June 4 so


            3              if you would like to help out Riley Jones it


            4              would certainly be appreciated 9 to 11 and


            5              then 1:00 to 2:30, John Marshall School.


            6              That's all I have.  Thank you.


            7                      MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Evans?


            8                      MS. EVANS: Please remember in your


            9              prayers this week Mr. John Myers who


           10              recently passed away and his dear family and


           11              friends who deeply miss him.  His daughter,


           12              Lisa McConalog, is a highly respected and


           13              dedicated music teacher at Scranton High


           14              School where I teach.


           15                      Also, I attended the interfaith


           16              service for safety and protection of


           17              Scranton firefighters last Wednesday at


           18              Bethel AME Church and I was deeply moved by


           19              the words and prayers of the Reverend


           20              Kathryn Simmons, the Reverend Richard


           21              Jackson, Reverend Ray Johnson, Rabbi Joseph


           22              Mendelson, and the Reverend Daniel Waters.


           23              I was extremely impressed as well by the


           24              fifth generational choir, someone whose


           25              talented members attend Scranton High






            1              School.  They are a credit to their family,


            2              church and community.


            3                      And just one last announcement, I


            4              will not be present at next week's meeting,


            5              I will be attending the graduation ceremony


            6              of Scranton High School.  I am a teacher of


            7              senior students and so those graduates, many


            8              of those graduates, are my students.  That's


            9              all.


           10                      MS. GATELLI:  Thank you.


           11              Mr. Sbaraglia.


           12                      MR. SBARAGLIA: Andy Sbaraglia,


           13              citizen of Scranton.  Fellow Scrantonians,


           14              we got a little paper -- notice in the paper


           15              I guess we can believe what the Times put in


           16              their big headline, "Taxes won't stop loan."


           17                      I know it's in the budget,


           18              $11 million, no matter what we get through


           19              the tax office that's going to go through.


           20              The only good thing about it is we are


           21              borrowing to pay off debt.  We are not doing


           22              anything really, but putting ourself deeper


           23              and deeper into the hole, but I guess that's


           24              the way the city is going to operate for the


           25              next two years or until we get a new mayor.






            1              The deeper we can go into a hole the better


            2              I guess the people like it.


            3                      Now, I got the city -- the paper


            4              quoted something in the paper, I quoted it


            5              last week, but it's in the paper and it's


            6              printed today, the city operating budget


            7              includes an anticipated 13.6 million from


            8              property taxes for 2008.  You are spending


            9              28 million, the city has approximately 25


           10              square miles, 25 square miles and you are


           11              spending $28 million of public money in one


           12              little section.  It's pork.  When


           13              Mr. DiBileo brought it up a long time ago


           14              you are right, Judy, you weren't the only


           15              ones that got in on this.  Mr. DiBileo


           16              brought it up and I said was pork then, it's


           17              pork now, it's just longer pork.  It's more


           18              pork and it just keeps climbing.  Like I


           19              said when he brought it up, he didn't even


           20              pay for the engineering, we did.  The


           21              sidewalks were paved.  Two of the people and


           22              the ends of that project opt out.  You try


           23              to get them, Judy, you tried to get them to


           24              come before you, Mr. Rinaldi refused to


           25              come.  You asked questions of how much money






            1              he got invested in this project as a


            2              developer, he refuses to answer, but yet we


            3              are pouring more and more money into it.


            4              There has got to be a good reason for it.


            5              It's not very -- you can see it, but they


            6              got hidden.  There is a hidden agenda to


            7              this deal and pork stinks all the time, but


            8              this pork has been going on for a long, long


            9              time and it stinks more and more and more


           10              and here we stand, a troubled nation, a real


           11              troubled nation and the troubled Scranton,


           12              but yet you want to put all of this pork in


           13              and you watch the bridge project go from 1.5


           14              up to 7.5 million.  What are we getting for


           15              all of that expense?  Who knows.


           16                      I watched the Governor gave 1.5


           17              million to I think Humble Industrial Park,


           18              okay?  They got 1,100 jobs for that 1.5


           19              million.  We got 100 jobs and they are not


           20              necessarily Scrantonians because it doesn't


           21              matter.  If you get a federal job it doesn't


           22              matter where you live and anybody that makes


           23              a buck don't want to live in Scranton and


           24              that's true.  People don't want to live here


           25              because of the high wage tax and the






            1              property tax I won't say much about because


            2              it's not ungodly, the wage tax is ungodly.


            3              The school taxes are high, too, so people


            4              don't want to live here, but yet you are


            5              pouring millions and millions into what?


            6              Six or seven broken down buildings that


            7              anybody should -- if they want to build they


            8              should pay to tax them up themselves.  I


            9              mean, if you buy a house do we ask the


           10              government to fix up your house?  I mean, he


           11              got a couple of old broken down buildings


           12              down there and they want us to fix it up, he


           13              wants to pay for all of the interior work


           14              and wants to put a park behind it, the only


           15              person that's making anything out of this


           16              money is the developer.  He is going to come


           17              out smelling like a rose because he is going


           18              to have a property that's worth more than --


           19              a lot more than he invested in it if you


           20              ever find out what he invested in it.  I


           21              just hope he bought the buildings outright


           22              not through tax laws because a lot of times


           23              they go up for back taxes and you get a deal


           24              on that and you get a building that's real


           25              reasonable.  I don't how he acquired the






            1              buildings, but as far as I can see that's


            2              the only money he got invested in it was the


            3              acquisition of them buildings.


            4                      MS. FANUCCI: He purchased them.  He


            5              did purchase them.  He did purchase the


            6              buildings.


            7                      MR. SBARAGLIA: Oh, I said that.


            8                      MS. FANUCCI: It wasn't a tax --


            9                      MR. SBARAGLIA: That's the only way


           10              he got in is acquisition of the building and


           11              then he wants you to fix it.  If I buy a


           12              house I'm going to ask come before you,


           13              maybe you can give me a grant.  Thank you.


           14                      MS. GATELLI:  Ozzie Quinn.


           15                      MR. MINORA:  I did get a call from


           16              Attorney Bill Rinaldi who asked that he and


           17              I meet, he has certain information that he


           18              can give, certain information he can't give


           19              and he wanted to discuss it with me what we


           20              wanted, what he was able to give, so I'm


           21              going to try and meet with him later this


           22              week to answer some of the questions that we


           23              have and hopefully I'm not trying to put the


           24              kabash to the things, but still get our


           25              questions answered, so I'll report back next






            1              week.


            2                      MS. GATELLI: Thank you, Attorney


            3              Minora.  Ozzie is not here?


            4                      MS. FRANUS:  He is not here.


            5                      MS. GATELLI: Fay.


            6                      MS. FRANUS: Fay Franus.  I'm pleased


            7              to hear that you say about Kenny McDowell


            8              coming in, I just hope to see him in the


            9              next couple of weeks and I hope you put some


           10              pressure on him as far as answering as many


           11              questions you want answered.


           12                      Judy, let me ask you something, I


           13              read in the paper today about the


           14              $11 million going to be borrowed, you swore


           15              that you -- or I shouldn't say swear, you


           16              promised that you couldn't vote for anymore


           17              borrowing, are you going to vote for this


           18              $11 million borrowing?


           19                      MS. GATELLI:  No.


           20                      MS. FRANUS: Absolutely not?


           21                      MS. GATELLI: No.


           22                      MS. FRANUS:  Are you going to vote


           23              for it, Mrs. Fanucci?


           24                      MS. FANUCCI: I can answer that


           25              question, I mean, I did vote for it in the






            1              budget, I knew it was in the budget.


            2                      MS. FRANUS:  So when the vote comes


            3              for the borrowing are you going to vote for


            4              it?


            5                      MS. FANUCCI:  I would look -- hope


            6              in light of the tax office money that this


            7              won't have to be done, so I hope for all --


            8                      MS. FRANUS:  That tax money we won't


            9              be getting possibly until next year, and


           10              that's still going to be borrowing.


           11                      MS. FANUCCI: I still believe with


           12              the fact that the banks and other people are


           13              aware that we have the money coming to us


           14              regardless of how much it is that we can


           15              come to some type of alternative, you know,


           16              aside from borrowing, so I really would


           17              rather work on that right now than try to


           18              borrow $11 million and that's what I can


           19              tell you.


           20                      MS. FRANUS: Mrs. Gatelli, why did


           21              you vote last week for that Lackawanna


           22              Avenue project?


           23                      MS. GATELLI: Why did I vote for it?


           24                      MS. FRANUS: The three of you.


           25                      MS. GATELLI: Because I believe in






            1              the project and I'm not going to refuse a


            2              grant from the state.


            3                      MS. FRANUS: But you are letting out


            4              two people?  Are you running for election


            5              again?  Are you running for election?


            6                      MS. GATELLI: I haven't decided yet.


            7                      MS. FRANUS:  When do you think you


            8              are going to decide?  I mean, I'm just


            9              trying to figure out where --


           10                      MS. GATELLI:  Next February I'll


           11              decide if I'm running for office.


           12                      MS. FRANUS:  Well, I just hope the


           13              people know if you are going to be nice and


           14              do all of these things that are nice it's


           15              because you want to get elected, so I'm just


           16              going to sort of keep an eye on you.


           17                      MS. GATELLI:  Mrs. Franus, I have


           18              been doing nice things for 27 years.  I


           19              don't know if you aware of that or not.


           20                      MS. FRANUS: Well, I have seen


           21              enough, so get a good look at my face


           22              because I'm not going anywhere.  I mean, you


           23              have no sense of decency when it comes to


           24              the people and we are not going to forget


           25              it.  You know, I watched the D&C debate last






            1              week --


            2                      MS. GATELLI: I don't think that's


            3              very.


            4                      MS. FRANUS: Well, I think, if the


            5              shoe fits wear it, Judy.


            6                      MS. GATELLI: And I don't think it's


            7              very nice.  I always return your phone calls


            8              whenever you have called me and I have done


            9              everything you have ever asked me to do.


           10                      MS. FRANUS:  Well, what was that,


           11              fix a pothole or something?


           12                      MS. GATELLI: You asked about


           13              McDowell --


           14                      MS. FRANUS:  Yes, that's one thing.


           15                      MS. GATELLI:  Last week you asked


           16              about something else.


           17                      MS. FRANUS: What was the something


           18              else?


           19                      MS. GATELLI:  I forget what it was.


           20                      MS. FANUCCI:  It couldn't have been


           21              too important because you have never done


           22              anything for the taxpayers so far.  This is


           23              the first time that I have known you that


           24              have you done anything that I have asked


           25              you.






            1                      MS. GATELLI:  Mrs. Franus, I'm not


            2              going to listen to your badgering.  Just go


            3              on.


            4                      MS. FRANUS: No.


            5                      MS. GATELLI; I am not going to --


            6                      MS. FRANUS:  I want the people to be


            7              aware.


            8                      MS. GATELLI: People are aware.


            9              People are aware.


           10                      MS. FRANUS:  You said you didn't


           11              want Channel 61 on television because you


           12              didn't like the way people spoke, that


           13              should tell you something.  You know why you


           14              don't want 61 on television so people will


           15              see how you act and they won't see your


           16              voting record for the election, the coming


           17              election, and that's sad.


           18                      MS. GATELLI:  That's what this is,


           19              all politics.


           20                      MS. FRANUS: On your part.


           21                      MS. GATELLI:  And you're going to


           22              badger up here.


           23                      MS. FRANUS: I'm not a politician,


           24              Judy.


           25                      MS. GATELLI:  So I won't get elected






            1              and who you are going to promote up here,


            2              that's all it is all about.


            3                      MS. FRANUS: I'm not here to promote


            4              anybody.


            5                      MS. GATELLI: And the station should


            6              not be about that.  It should be about city


            7              business.


            8                      MS. FRANUS:  The station is only


            9              showing the people how you act and how you


           10              vote.


           11                      MS. GATELLI: And how you are


           12              badgering for political reasons.


           13                      MS. FRANUS:  Badger who, me?


           14                      MS. GATELLI: People badger you for


           15              political reasons.


           16                      MS. FRANUS:  You are the one that


           17              are badgering people, I'm not going to go


           18              there.  I said I spoke about that D & C


           19              thing last week on television, people were


           20              screaming, screaming from the audience, a


           21              whole audience was screaming and not one


           22              person was called out of order, not one


           23              policeman took anybody out of there.  Isn't


           24              that amazing how democracy works, that was


           25              in Washington DC, but here we are at city






            1              council and you have had me taken out twice


            2              by a police officer.  You had cameras


            3              removed and people get scanned.  How come we


            4              are not scanned anymore?  My gosh, I have a


            5              metal keychain.  I mean, how come we are not


            6              scanned anymore, Judy?  I mean, are you not


            7              threatened anymore?  Can't you -- another


            8              thing, how come you are answering me now,


            9              but three weeks ago you weren't.  I think


           10              it's got something to do with the election.


           11                      MS. GATELLI:  Yeah, I'm getting


           12              ready already for that.


           13                      MS. FRANUS: Well, every week.  Every


           14              week.


           15                      MS. GATELLI:  You are getting ready


           16              to push your candidate, that's what you are


           17              doing.


           18                      MS. FRANUS: I don't have a


           19              candidate, I don't even know who is running.


           20                      MS. GATELLI: Yes, you do.  Yes, you


           21              do.


           22                      MS. FRANUS: May I ask --


           23                      MS. GATELLI: And I have supporters


           24              who run, Fay, and we know what this is all


           25              about.






            1                      MS. FRANUS:  Oh, no, we don't, Judy,


            2              never have a clue --


            3                      MS. GATELLI:  I know what it's all


            4              about.


            5                      MS. FRANUS: But no matter what, I'm


            6              not running for office and I don't know


            7              anybody that is.


            8                      MS. GATELLI: Well, you should run, I


            9              told you that before.


           10                      MS. FRANUS:  This has nothing to do


           11              with me, it has to do with me and how you


           12              are trying to pull the wool over people's


           13              eyes.


           14                      MS. GATELLI: The people will know


           15              better.  The people know who has helped them


           16              and who hasn't.


           17                      MS. FRANUS:  Yes, that's right,


           18              namely, Mrs. Evans and Billy Courtright


           19              have.  You, McGoff and Fanucci have never


           20              helped the people.  You vote all the time


           21              against the people and we are not going to


           22              forget it.  Don't ever forget it.  I hope


           23              you people will never, ever forget.  Never


           24              to vote for Judy Gatelli, Bob McGoff and


           25              Mrs. Fanucci.






            1                      MS. GATELLI: There is your political


            2              advertisement from Scranton, PA.  Thank you.


            3                      MS. FRANUS: I'm a taxpayer.


            4                      MS. GATELLI: Mike Dudek.


            5                      MR. MILLER:  Mrs. Gatelli, may I


            6              address as I normally do in the beginning?


            7                      MS. GATELLI: I didn't have it down,


            8              Douglas, you will have to wait.  Mr. Dudek.


            9                      MR. DUDEK:  Mike Dudek, 608 Depot


           10              Street, Scranton, PA.  I live in the Plot.


           11              And the first thing that I want to do is to


           12              congratulate the five members of City


           13              Council who took my suggestion very


           14              seriously about voting for a forensic audit.


           15              All I have to ask you to do is to look at


           16              what has happened ever since the five of you


           17              united together and took that vote, the rats


           18              are finally coming out of the Single Tax


           19              Office because they all know what this audit


           20              is going to bring.  I don't know what it's


           21              going to bring and the forensic auditors


           22              won't know until they do it, but because you


           23              have the political courage to do it as a


           24              united council of five something finally is


           25              going to be done there.






            1                      Now, I can't make up the stuff that


            2              gets printed in our local newspaper, but I


            3              will tell you as someone who has taught


            4              civics for a number of years, the worst


            5              possible perversion of the First Amendment


            6              can only occur when a free press decides to


            7              get in bed with the government against the


            8              will of the people, and I'm just going to


            9              use the words of today's editorial to make


           10              the point I'm talking about.  "Former Tax


           11              Collector Ken McDowell has left this office


           12              unaccountable," they were talking about


           13              pervasive inattention to detail, "But


           14              Mr. McDowell is not alone."


           15                      Listen to this, "During his six


           16              years at tax collector he was not pressed


           17              for accountability by the three principal


           18              governments for which the city, from which


           19              the office collects an array of taxes,


           20              Scranton, the Scranton School District and


           21              Lackawanna County."


           22                      Now, did I lose my memory or wasn't


           23              Mrs. Evans screaming about this for at least


           24              the last three years?  Hasn't Nancy Krake


           25              come up here at least seven different times






            1              to talk about seven different instances in


            2              that city tax office, in the Single Tax


            3              Office over the years?  Hasn't Tom Gilbride,


            4              the president of the Scranton School Board


            5              screamed about this?  Do we all forget that,


            6              do we collectively forget that awful


            7              headline, "Gilbride a liar" or am I the only


            8              one that remembers?


            9                      Mr. Gilbride took very, very


           10              positive steps to try to get that


           11              information and he has been getting pilfered


           12              by this paper for doing it.  Janet Evans has


           13              been trying to push for this information, we


           14              have political cartoons of her, we have


           15              editorials lambasting her and occasional


           16              news articles lambasting her, and it's just


           17              so demeaning, but yet who is rising like out


           18              of this like a Phoenix?  It kind of reminds


           19              me of the 1953 version of the movie the "War


           20              of the Worlds", the '53 version where the


           21              Army is on one side of the valley and the


           22              death ray is on the other side of the valley


           23              and up comes the death ray, the flying wing


           24              flies over the death ray and drops a nuclear


           25              bomb on us, much like the nuclear bomb that






            1              have been dropped on you.  And the death ray


            2              absorbs the power of these nuclear bombs and


            3              every time I think of it I keep thinking of


            4              Mrs. Evans who keeps coming out of this


            5              getting stronger and stronger and stronger.


            6              It's almost the same thing.  I mean, that


            7              you see in the movies, but again, I want to


            8              congratulate the five of you for your unity


            9              of purpose because if you had not done that


           10              we would still be waiting for information,


           11              we would still be waiting for answers, but


           12              you put the pressure on.  This is a very


           13              good demonstration of your power as city


           14              council people.  You have the power to scare


           15              people when they need to be scared.


           16                      There was a good Jesuit priest at


           17              the University of Scranton who taught an


           18              ethics course, and I hope this will stay


           19              with you the way this has stayed with me,


           20              whenever you come across a difficult


           21              situation especially the kind of situations


           22              you have on council, apply three tests:  Is


           23              the action I'm going to take good or bad,


           24              right or wrong, proper and improper.  If


           25              it's good, if it's right, and it's proper do






            1              it because then you cannot possibly go


            2              wrong.  Thank you.


            3                      MS. GATELLI: Thank you.


            4              Mr. Spindler.


            5                      MR. SPINDLER: Good evening, Council,


            6              Les Spindler, city resident, homeowner.


            7              After this week or whatever school year is


            8              over I guess the former Bishop Hannon


            9              building is going to be vacant, I think that


           10              would be an excellent place for a medical


           11              school to go instead of misplacing people


           12              from their residences on Washington Avenue


           13              or wherever it's going to be.  It's already


           14              a school, you know, they don't have to do


           15              any building in there or anything.  Some


           16              people might argue there is no parking, but


           17              there is a parking lot right next door to


           18              it, if it's not big enough they can build a


           19              parking garage right next to.  We all know


           20              Chris Doherty loves building parking garages


           21              so there we go.  Enough on that subject.


           22                   The next thing, I was here quite a few


           23              weeks ago when a gentleman spoke to me about


           24              the bridge, upper Linden Street past the


           25              U-Haul there that the sidewalks were caving






            1              in and they with were all in bad shape and


            2              anyone look into that?


            3                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Les, I asked and I


            4              do not believe that's going to be included


            5              in the project on Lackawanna Avenue.


            6                      MR. SPINDLER: Oh, I understand that


            7              it's a different bridge.


            8                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I thought possibly


            9              it was, but it's not.  As far as repairing


           10              it I haven't gotten an answer on it.


           11                      MR. SPINDLER: Yeah, something should


           12              be done with that.  It's a mess.  Next


           13              thing, Mrs. Gatelli, Mrs. Garvey, thank you


           14              for this ordinance from 1980 about the dogs.


           15              One thing I have to read here, struck me


           16              kind of strange, Section two, running at


           17              large it's called, "It shall be the duty of


           18              every police officer or authorized agency to


           19              seize and detain any dog or dogs which are


           20              running at large."


           21                      I'm not going to read the whole


           22              thing.  Why would it be the duty of the


           23              police officer, I never heard of them having


           24              to do anything with dogs, it should be the


           25              animal control officers.  First of all,






            1              police officers aren't equipped to capture a


            2              dog, especially if it's a dangerous dog, I


            3              mean, what are they supposed to do, hit it


            4              over the head with a billy club or what?  I


            5              don't know how they could put that in the


            6              ordinance.


            7                      MR. COURTRIGHT: They can issue


            8              citations, I believe, Les.


            9                      MR. SPINDLER:  Pardon me, Bill?


           10                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  I believe the


           11              police officers can issue citations, that's


           12              why that would be in there.


           13                      MR. SPINDLER: Oh, okay.  I talked


           14              about the $11 million more in the paper


           15              today, Stu Renda was talking and he said


           16              it's possible the city might not get any of


           17              that, but I think he is just told that by


           18              the mayor to make sure council will vote to


           19              have $11 million, but you didn't see Chris


           20              Doherty's name mentioned at all in that


           21              article, but yet in a separate article about


           22              the houses being torn down in west side the


           23              mayor said we'll be there for six months, we


           24              are tearing down all of the houses, the


           25              blighted houses, but when it comes to the 11






            1              million dollars it didn't mention him, but


            2              we know he is behind him.  We don't need to


            3              borrow anymore money.  The city is in enough


            4              debt as it is and instead of tearing down


            5              all of these blighted houses I think we


            6              would be better off repairing them and


            7              fixing them up and giving them to families


            8              that need them and let they pay taxes on


            9              them.  When they are torn down they are


           10              going to be empty lots with weeds growing


           11              and just places for people to dump garbage.


           12              They are going to be no good at all.  If


           13              they were repaired and given to people to


           14              pay taxes at least the city would be making


           15              some money on them.  Thank you.


           16                      MS. GATELLI:  Thank you.


           17              Mr. Ellman.


           18                      MR. ELLMAN: Hello, Council.  Ronnie


           19              Ellman, homeowner, and still working on it,


           20              member of the Taxpayers' Association.


           21                      I saw your husband on his motorcycle


           22              and you were noticeably absent?


           23                      MS. EVANS: Well, I'm not a real risk


           24              taker, I like to keep my appendages where


           25              they are.






            1                      MR. ELLMAN: Maybe you ought to start


            2              on a scooter and work your way up to like


            3              what he got.


            4                      MS. EVANS: I think I would be on a


            5              tricycle.


            6                      MR. ELLMAN: Miss Judy, I'll get you


            7              and take you for a ride.  Miss Judy, while


            8              I'm thinking of it, do you remember, I don't


            9              know, a year or so ago I was talking about a


           10              house, a condemned house near me and those


           11              people living in it, they have -- I don't


           12              know the story at all, but they have taken a


           13              house and remodeled it and fixed it all up


           14              on the outside, I suppose it's the same on


           15              the inside, but, you know, people keep


           16              coming up here and saying tearing down all


           17              of these houses isn't the answer, you know.


           18              Again, I'm going to say you're going to be


           19              like Memphis, thousands of vacant lots where


           20              they torn down houses.  Nobody rebuilds, you


           21              know, they are just vacant.  I'm from


           22              Memphis and I know what I'm talking about.


           23              The city is really funny looking, you go


           24              down any street and there is vacant lots


           25              everywhere and I'd say half of them, you






            1              know, aren't being kept up by neighbors and


            2              all.  It's not nice looking.  I don't know


            3              what the answer is with them all because I


            4              know there is some blighted ones.


            5                      The old Smith house has been vacant


            6              three or four years, but it's probably still


            7              of sound structure.  I had no idea what it's


            8              worth and what's going on.  The house behind


            9              me has been remodeled several times and it's


           10              now it's condemned and it's not too bad


           11              looking, I don't even know what happened to


           12              it.  It's Section 8, I think everybody just


           13              tore it up over the years.


           14                      You know, when I go to the Taurus


           15              Club I have to make frequent trips to the


           16              men's room and, Mr. Courtright, you know,


           17              you can't believe the conversations that go


           18              on in a minute or two, isn't that the truth?


           19              Really.  So, the other day two men were


           20              talking and they were talking about


           21              Mr. McDowell and these are, you know, some


           22              business people, one is an attorney I


           23              believe, and they said if there is


           24              $12 million accounted for how much is


           25              unaccounted for we don't know what happened






            1              with it, and that's a thought that I haven't


            2              seen in the paper or anything, you know,


            3              it's probably the truth.  This shouldn't


            4              have happened, you know.  I never heard of


            5              nothing like this in a city.


            6                      I went this morning to see Mr.


            7              DeNaples to pick up a check for the swimming


            8              and we were talking about a couple of


            9              different things and I was thinking when I


           10              left this is such a good man and I was


           11              thinking a couple of weeks ago I mentioned


           12              that I would have liked to seen Mr. Bolus as


           13              the mayor, he is a intelligent man and a


           14              successful businessman and Father Sica just


           15              always being crucified in the paper at every


           16              chance.  These people, just these three


           17              people, have probably done more in


           18              10 minutes of their lives than the Lynett's


           19              have for this city in the last 100 years,


           20              just the whole family, you know, this


           21              newspaper you can't rely on it, you have to


           22              rely on that -- this station to keep the


           23              people of this city informed what's going


           24              on.  These people out here, you know, they


           25              have such a bad reputation with the






            1              newspaper, let me just finish my train of


            2              thought here, you can't turn this TV off.  I


            3              think Mr. Miller showed his gross immaturity


            4              last week with this statement.  If you had


            5              any future political aspirations I think you


            6              hurt them really.  I have heard nothing but,


            7              you know, of course, the people I talk to


            8              are for the station, but a lot of


            9              disappointment in your statement.  Thank you


           10              very much.


           11                      MS. GATELLI: Thank you.  Mr.


           12              Jackowitz.


           13                      MR. JACKOWITZ: Good evening, Madame


           14              President, council members, Bill Jackowitz,


           15              South Scranton resident, member of the


           16              Taxpayers' Association.  April 2008 the


           17              unemployment rate for the Scranton/


           18              Wilkes-Barre rose another tenth of a


           19              percentage point, we are now at 5.9, still


           20              ranked 13th out of 14th metro area in the


           21              state.  The only metro area that has a


           22              higher unemployment rate is Johnstown which


           23              is a much smaller area.  Johnstown's


           24              unemployment rate is 6.1 percent.  The


           25              state's unemployment rate is 5 percent, also






            1              the national unemployment rate is a 5


            2              percent, so, again, as the numbers show


            3              Scranton is again at the bottom of the


            4              economic ladder of the state.  I am


            5              confident that self-proclaimed stooge number


            6              one, Councilwoman Fanucci, will have


            7              something to say about this.  Possibly more


            8              jobs than McDonald's like she referenced


            9              last week or maybe high-end stores.  How


           10              about real jobs that actually pay a liveable


           11              wage, not part-time job for students or


           12              senior citizens jobs, but yet every week the


           13              residents are informed how good things are


           14              in the area.


           15                      Last week we were told that we


           16              should be happy that Scranton has restaurant


           17              and bar jobs available.  As a Scranton


           18              resident I found that be to very insulting.


           19              Scranton residents deserve much better than


           20              restaurants and bar jobs.  The consumer has


           21              no money to spend and in Scranton we no


           22              longer have a consumer because most people


           23              have no money unless you happen to be


           24              politically connected and able to get


           25              yourself a state job.






            1                      By the way, I find it very


            2              interesting last week when Councilwoman


            3              Gatelli stated that taxpayers' money was


            4              spent for her new husband's retirement party


            5              from the school district.  Councilwoman


            6              Gatelli's own words, not mine.  I have


            7              attended retirement parties and promotion


            8              parties in my 29 years of government


            9              service, including my own, and never have I


           10              heard of taxpayers' money being used to pay


           11              the bills for the party.


           12                      Mr. Minora, as an assistant district


           13              attorney I would like for you to look into


           14              this matter because if taxpayers' money was


           15              spent on a retirement party a crime has been


           16              perpetrated.  The guests at a party pay for


           17              the expenses, not the taxpayers.


           18                      Also, I would like to see an


           19              investigation into the city controller's


           20              office.  Something is not right there either


           21              just like the Single Tax Office.  Last week


           22              I found it very amusing to hear an appointed


           23              tax collector tell an elected council person


           24              that it was none of his business what the


           25              interest rate is.  No wonder why we have a






            1              12.2 million dollars in excess, taxes have


            2              not been collected in years, and we have


            3              been distressed for 17 years.  Also, I find


            4              it interesting that all of the questions


            5              that Mr. McGovern and Mrs. Vitale would not


            6              answer appeared in the Doherty Times-Tribune


            7              on Sunday.  The Doherty Times-Tribune


            8              investigative reporters have been working


            9              hard, just four years too late.


           10                      As far as the 500 block of


           11              Lackawanna Avenue, I started speaking on


           12              this project in 2005, 2006, and 2007.  I was


           13              lied to, mislead and told that answers were


           14              forthcoming and still have not come and what


           15              do we have in 2008?  More lies, misleading


           16              statements and a much larger bigger bill.


           17              What a city.


           18                      As far as South Scranton, what a


           19              mess.  I was born, educated and live in


           20              South Scranton and it is a mess and has been


           21              for at least the past 27 years and getting


           22              worse everyday.  Someone in the local


           23              government should step up and do something


           24              about this.  Oh, I forgot, we are planting


           25              trees.  That will solve everything.  What a






            1              city.  Now the mayor is going to clean up


            2              West Scranton, how about completing South


            3              Scranton first?  Now I see where the city


            4              will borrow another $12 million.  We have to


            5              repay the loan from 2005, 5.5 million and


            6              another 5.5 million to cover the 2008 budget


            7              which, by the way, was approved by the


            8              current city council without having the


            9              money available.


           10                      What a city.  Approve the 11 million


           11              and put the city into a deeper distressed


           12              debt status, worry about the money next


           13              year, remember, for seven years Mayor


           14              Doherty has gotten his way every year.


           15              Council has supported his budgets, borrowing


           16              and Recovery Plan.  The citizens get the


           17              government they deserve, Thomas Jefferson


           18              once said.  Respect is something that is


           19              earned not a right.  You cannot believe what


           20              a politician or elected official says.


           21              Their voting record is all that matters.


           22                   And as far as Doug Miller, he IS a


           23              harmless, inexperienced kid and president of


           24              one.


           25                      MS. GATELLI:  Thank you for your






            1              kind comments.  Mr. Dobson.  No?  Is there


            2              anything else that cares to speak?


            3              Mr. Davis.


            4                      MR. DAVIS:  Salaam aleikum, peace


            5              and blessings of the law be with you.


            6              Excuse my costume.  I was laying there in


            7              the bed and I said someone called me on the


            8              telephone and said, "Jim, did you know that


            9              they had lined off the streets in front of


           10              the school down on Wyoming Avenue even


           11              though they are going to close it down?"


           12                      And it was -- they used to the same


           13              paint as they did at Prep and yet they have


           14              not done any of streets in central city as


           15              far as crosswalks are concerned and I said,


           16              yes, I knew that, but I have gone before


           17              city council and I have asked them several


           18              times.


           19                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Mr. Davis, could I


           20              interrupt you for one second?


           21                      MR. DAVIS: Go ahead.


           22                      MR. COURTRIGHT: This past Sunday I


           23              believe it was when I was going through town


           24              there was somebody doing lines.


           25                      MR. DAVIS: Where?






            1                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  And I asked him who


            2              he worked for, all right?  He is working for


            3              a contractor so evidently, I don't know for


            4              a fact because I haven't looked into it,


            5              evidently the city has hired a contractor to


            6              paint the lines throughout the city, so from


            7              what -- now he is just a worker telling me


            8              this, what this gentleman told me they going


            9              to paint I believe on the weekends all of


           10              the lines in the city.


           11                      MS. EVANS: And many got them painted


           12              already.


           13                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  So that would be a


           14              good thing in my eyes.  You know, if we are


           15              getting them done.  I just think there


           16              wasn't the manpower, and I'm not making


           17              excuses for them, but there wasn't the


           18              manpower to do it.  They only had three


           19              people in this department, so evidently


           20              maybe, Kay, we can look into it.


           21                      MS. GATELLI: I talked to Jeff


           22              Brazil, they did hire a contractor.


           23                      MR. COURTRIGHT: So, we are going to


           24              get them painted and I was all upset about


           25              it as much as you are.






            1                      MR. DAVIS: Thank you.  I realize


            2              that, that's the reason why I didn't keep


            3              hanging on you for it.


            4                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I just -- they are


            5              going to be painted, thank God.


            6                      MR. DAVIS: Let's hope they at least


            7              go through -- they should be able to do


            8              something about doing it on a consistent


            9              basis since the traffic is so high in these


           10              areas and we do have a lot of kids, we have


           11              a lot of senior citizens that walk these


           12              streets and accidents are prone to happen if


           13              things are not taking care of properly.


           14                   I have gone to other cities and the one


           15              thing that you notice in every large city


           16              that you go into is that the pedestrian


           17              lines, the street lines are well taken care


           18              of and it takes the whole city look clean.


           19              It makes the whole city look well taken care


           20              of and policed and we don't have that there.


           21              That is the reason why many people don't


           22              respect it.  That's why people overrun the


           23              lines and accidents will occur.  I saw two


           24              old ladies today almost get hit by cars


           25              making left turns and not really looking






            1              well and they were in the crosswalks, but


            2              that's neither here nor there.  We can't


            3              protect everyone in the world or everyone in


            4              the city but we are not doing our jobs.


            5              That's your job to make sure that we are


            6              safe and secure in this environment and you


            7              are not doing it.  I don't think so.


            8                      I hear the problems about the


            9              $12 million, you know, every time you talk


           10              about being depressed or without money the


           11              people that hurt the most are the people


           12              down at the bottom of the chain, those who


           13              don't have the jobs.  The last ones hired


           14              are the first ones fired, you have heard


           15              that before.  We know that for an exact, you


           16              know, we know that be true, but yet I'm


           17              saying to you, you cannot keep doing this,


           18              you cannot keep ignoring the public from


           19              it's bottom because eventually they are


           20              going to revolt and if they revolt that


           21              means it's going to get nasty, and that's no


           22              good.  We don't even come here to represent


           23              us as it stands right now because they know


           24              that whatever we say is going to be


           25              overlooked and not taken care of.  We don't






            1              have that kind of sense of responsibility


            2              from what we say to you.  I spoke about


            3              those streets out there for how much years


            4              and now they finally get a contractor?


            5              Before they told us that they didn't have


            6              the money for the paint or they didn't have


            7              the money for the people to do it and then


            8              they go out and they hire a contractor to do


            9              it?  There is something wrong.  I mean,


           10              maybe it's me.  Maybe I'm not the right


           11              person to ask for things like painting the


           12              crosswalks or being earnest and sincere


           13              about making people safe when they walk the


           14              streets, but I try and I'm glad that we


           15              finally found someone to do something about


           16              it and I hope it gets done all the way down


           17              to Lackawanna Avenue because this is -- our


           18              kids that's all how far they walk.  Our kids


           19              don't bus, that's all there is to it, but we


           20              need you to stay on this one if you can.


           21                      MS. GATELLI: Thank you.


           22                      MR. DAVIS: If you be earnest and


           23              sincere with us for a change instead of


           24              raising all -- instead of asking for more


           25              loans and more money and more money and just






            1              make sure the things that are being paid for


            2              by us right now are not being done.  You got


            3              to do something about being a representative


            4              to us and for us and you are not.


            5                      MS. GATELLI:  Thank you.  Anyone


            6              else care to speak.


            7                      MR. DAVIS: Just Silly.  Silly.


            8                      MR. MILLER:  Good evening, Council,


            9              Doug Miller, president of the Scranton


           10              Junior Council.  Boy, two weeks to go.  I


           11              certainly won't miss this, I'll tell you


           12              that much.  You know, politics as usual.


           13              You know, I guess it's not a bad thing to


           14              speak towards the end of the meeting, it


           15              gives me an opportunity to respond to some


           16              comments that are made, I don't usually have


           17              that opportunity in other weeks.


           18                      First, I would with all due respect


           19              to Mr. Ellman and his statements about


           20              ruining my political career and things like


           21              that, you know, maybe if people came up


           22              here, Mr. Ellman, and conducted themselves


           23              in a professional manner and acted like


           24              adults I wouldn't have to make statements


           25              like that.  You know, I'm all for open






            1              government and I feel everyone should have


            2              the opportunity to see their government in


            3              action, but it's ashame that you have to


            4              ruin it for all and that's what I feel about


            5              that.


            6                      MS. GATELLI: Douglas --


            7                      MR. MILLER: -- and respect your


            8              thoughts.


            9                      MS. GATELLI: -- just speak, Honey.


           10                      MR. DAVIS: He should be addressing


           11              council.


           12                      MS. GATELLI: Excuse me.


           13                      MR. DAVIS: That's what we were told.


           14                      MR. MILLER: Things will never


           15              change.  As far as Mr. Jackowitz'


           16              statements, president of one, or whatever he


           17              said, well, I could say that at least I'm


           18              here.  You know, there is kids out there


           19              that have done worse things, at least I'm


           20              here dedicated because I love this city and


           21              for two years I have been out in this city


           22              doing community service projects, where have


           23              you people been?


           24                      Moving on, I would like to also


           25              address some statements that were made last






            1              week, didn't have the opportunity to do


            2              that.  Generally, I don't like to respond to


            3              critics, but I feel in this case I must do


            4              so.  First, let me make it quite clear here,


            5              that no one puts me up to saying anything.


            6              I don't allow anyone to dictate and I speak


            7              for myself.  The speaker that made the


            8              comment is a perfect example of someone that


            9              is told what to say.  You know, many of the


           10              Legion of Doom or whatever they like to call


           11              themselves address council with speeches


           12              written for them by others to help promote


           13              elected official's agendas.  The same


           14              speaker also made a sarcastic remark


           15              regarding the amount of members on Junior


           16              Council.  Since our inception two years ago


           17              nearly 20 high school students have served


           18              on our council.     Currently the number has


           19              dipped to two members, not one as inaccurate


           20              once again.  You know, maybe if the speakers


           21              that attended these meetings acted like


           22              normal human beings and set a good example


           23              we might have a full table of high school


           24              students, but the truth is parents don't


           25              want to send their kids here because they






            1              don't want to put them in front of this


            2              every week and this is truly sad and


            3              pathetic and I feel sorry for all my


            4              classmates who are missing out an


            5              opportunity to learn about their government


            6              because it's a great opportunity for them.


            7                      Now, moving on here some business


            8              here.  Earlier in the day we received some


            9              news about the Pennsylvania smoking ban


           10              bill, it's being sent for a final vote.


           11              Earlier this morning the House and Senate


           12              Conference Committee discussed an ordinance


           13              that was approved 5 to 1.  The lone no vote


           14              was Senator Bob Mellow, he voted, no, due to


           15              the fact that the bill that he proposed


           16              would allow Scranton and Allegheny County to


           17              reenact their ordinances that we adopted a


           18              year ago, so he would like to see those


           19              changes made so that can happen.  Hopefully,


           20              talks will continue and we all get on the


           21              same page and hopefully at the end of the


           22              day we will have a smoking ban in


           23              Pennsylvania and we can move forward and


           24              have Governor Ed Rendell sign the bill.


           25                   Last Thursday, the Scranton Junior City






            1              Council and West Scranton High School paid


            2              tribute to Captain James Robeson and the


            3              West Scranton High School Alumni, also,


            4              joined by family and friends and special


            5              guests we unveiled a plaque that honors


            6              Captain Robeson.  This plaque will hang in


            7              the alumni room and will act as a lasting


            8              tribute to Captain Robeson.


            9                      In addition, a scholarship was


           10              formed in Captain Robeson's name.  The


           11              scholarship is presented to Senior Matt


           12              Gavern, and on behalf of junior council I


           13              would like to thank everyone that helped


           14              make last Thursday a very special day for


           15              the West Side community.  With that said, I


           16              say thank you.


           17                      MS. GATELLI: Thank you.


           18                      MR. SLEDENZSKI:  Hi, Jude.  Well,


           19              Judge, we lost another one.


           20                      MS. GATELLI: Yeah, but they --


           21                      MR. SLEDENZSKI: It's been a good


           22              year.


           23                      MS. GATELLI: They had a good year.


           24                      MR. SLEDENZSKI: I know.  Billy, you


           25              are the best up there, Bill, remember that,






            1              Bill.


            2                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Thanks, Chris.


            3                      MR. ANCHERANI:  Good evening.


            4              Nelson Ancherani, no Mr. McGoff so I'll


            5              speak like he is here anyway.  First


            6              Amendment Rights, expressing my opinions.


            7              Here it is June 3, '08, three more meetings


            8              and you will start your two months summer


            9              vacation, July and August.  When you return


           10              in September you will have two months and


           11              the administration will be presenting it's


           12              209 City of Scranton budget.  My prediction


           13              it will be another record budget, but that


           14              is really nothing new.  Every budget that


           15              was presented by this administration was a


           16              record budget.  And you three rubber


           17              stampers, Ms. Gatelli, Mr. McGoff and Ms.


           18              Fanucci voted for the lasted one.  When you


           19              think about it for the last seven years it


           20              was rubber stampers who voted for the last


           21              seven budgets.


           22                      Last week Mr. McGoff expressed that


           23              he didn't want to be the ringmaster.


           24              Evidently, it is his belief that these


           25              council meetings are a circus.  I tend to






            1              disagree.  What I see are concerned citizens


            2              and taxpayers coming to council meetings


            3              expressing their concerns for a city that


            4              has been home for many of them for their


            5              entire lives and others who have come to


            6              Scranton to live and make Scranton their


            7              homes.  They wouldn't stay here if they


            8              didn't like it or love their city, so those


            9              of you who call council a circus all I see


           10              is concerned residents and taxpayers who


           11              want to know where their 600 million went


           12              and where it was spent.  They also want to


           13              know why the roads and streets aren't paved


           14              when the city will take in 600 million in


           15              revenue by the end of this year.  In fact,


           16              once council raises the 11 million loan the


           17              city is going past the $11 million loan the


           18              city is looking for, it will 611 million.


           19              We know where $5.5 million went and we had


           20              to pay American Anglican 5.5 million for an


           21              arbitration the city lost for violating the


           22              contract.


           23                      Getting back to the ringmaster


           24              remark, Mr. McGoff, if you are don't want to


           25              be ringmaster keep your performers in two.






            1              Last week when I was speaking Mrs. Fanucci


            2              interrupted saying, "That would me.  Just


            3              say Sherry Fanucci.  Don't say certain


            4              people, come on. "


            5                      Mr. McGoff, you bang your gavel when


            6              audience members speak out from the back of


            7              the room, but yet you let Ms. Fanucci


            8              interrupt me, but then again, you show your


            9              selectiveness.  You are the ringmaster of


           10              double standards.


           11                      How about this in today's Scranton


           12              Slimes, 6-3-08, "Scranton, taxes won't stop


           13              loan," by Stacy Brown, shaft writer.


           14                      Stu Renda, business administrator,


           15              or in other words, the city's lead


           16              cheerleader is beginning to prepare the


           17              sheep for the shearing.  Stu is preparing


           18              the taxpayers for another $11 million loan


           19              that the city wants to take out.  A 5.5


           20              million is earmarked for a 2005 loan.


           21              Question, Stu, why weren't payments made on


           22              that loan and if it's three-year loan why is


           23              5.5 million needed now?  Stu was quoted, "I


           24              spoke to Mr. McGovern Monday, in looking at


           25              our books it seems that probably five






            1              million in wage tax collection is ours."


            2                      Stu, if you looked at your books


            3              earlier maybe you would have discovered that


            4              the city wasn't getting it's wage taxes.


            5              Another question, how can the city need 11


            6              million more now when by the end of the year


            7              the city will have received $600 million in


            8              revenue and loans.  600 million.  How could


            9              we need 11 million more?  I can't


           10              understand, but think about it, borrow 11


           11              million more it will probably translate into


           12              a 30 million payback.  Add this one to the


           13              approximately 400 million long-term debt and


           14              it will go to approximately 430 million


           15              long-term debt.


           16                      Mr. McGoff, you made a remark about


           17              doing your homework on agenda items,


           18              hopefully, you will start.  Maybe you can


           19              lose that rubber stamp.  Please think about


           20              the taxpayers, have mercy.


           21                      And as long as I have a little bit


           22              of time we'll go back to the issues:  15


           23              million in raises cumulatively over the last


           24              seven years, 59 new hires, 30 clerical


           25              positions lost.  Potholes.  5.5 million






            1              American Anglican arbitration loss paid by


            2              the Sewer Authority, again, causing a


            3              56 percent raise in sewer bills.  12.2


            4              million found in the tax office.  Index


            5              cards with employee's, city information


            6              social security numbers thrown in the


            7              dumpster behind city call and blowing around


            8              the court.  The person who retrieved them is


            9              threatened with arrest instead of trying to


           10              find out the reason and who threw them out.


           11              Thank you.


           12                      MS. GATELLI: Thank you.  Mrs. Evans.


           13              Oh, I'm sorry, he is usually last.  Nelson,


           14              you let somebody get by.


           15                      MR. HEWITT: Thank you, city council.


           16              My name is John Hewitt, city resident and


           17              taxpayer, homeowner, also a member of the


           18              Scranton Fire Department.  I'm here for


           19              particularly one reason, I'm also a member


           20              of the Black Sheep organization from West


           21              Scranton.  That organization does a lot of


           22              fundraising for the sick children throughout


           23              the area.  Being a member of that group at


           24              one of the recent meetings a motion was made


           25              to donate $500 to the police and






            1              firefighters' memorial.  With that being


            2              said, I have a check for the $500 and if


            3              that's okay I'll give that to Mr. Miller.


            4                   Also, on behalf of the fire department


            5              I want to thank Junior City Council members


            6              and the group from West Scranton High


            7              School, I'm sure Jimmy would be honored


            8              knowing that he is being honored like he has


            9              been throughout the last couple of weeks and


           10              also I know his family is very touched by


           11              the help and support from this community.


           12              So with that said, I'll give it to


           13              Mr. Miller.


           14                      MS. GATELLI: Thank you very much.


           15                      MR. MILLER:  I know I spoke, but I


           16              have to on behalf of Junior Council thank


           17              the Black Sheep organization and Mr. Hewitt


           18              for their support for the police and


           19              firefighters' memorial.  With everyone


           20              working together we know we can reach our


           21              goal and very soon we will see a police and


           22              firefighters' memorial, so thanks to the


           23              Black Sheep organization and Mr. Hewitt.


           24                      MS. GATELLI: Thank you again.


           25              Anyone else?  Mrs. Evans.






            1                      MS. EVANS: Good evening.  Last week


            2              we briefly discussed some issues pertaining


            3              to Channel 61.  After skimming today's


            4              newspaper as well as the Sunday Times I am


            5              more convinced than ever of the necessity


            6              for Channel 61, 62 and it's operator of


            7              Scranton Today.  The banner headline for


            8              Tuesday, June 3, "City, taxes won't stop


            9              loan."


           10                       What a surprise.  The mayor intends


           11              to borrow again as he has done each year


           12              since 2003.  The real surprise would be if


           13              he announced for even one fiscal year that


           14              he will not borrow millions of dollars.


           15              Perhaps in 2009 during his political


           16              campaign he will go cold turkey.  He appears


           17              to borrow annually to pay for previous


           18              borrowing and, of course, to keep pace with


           19              his champagne and caviar spending habits.


           20                   Oddly, however, according to the


           21              April 2008 report of the city controller


           22              dated May 22, 2008, the 5.5 million 2005


           23              loan appears to be sitting in an account, in


           24              fact, there is close to 5.9 million listed


           25              for that account, but this is all old news.






            1              Today's headline was discussed at city


            2              council as far back as December of 2007 and


            3              as recently as last week's council meeting.


            4                   By viewing council meetings on Scranton


            5              Today Channel 61 you, the viewers, learned


            6              of this 11 million Doherty debt package


            7              seven months ago.  You learned about the


            8              over quarter of a billion dollars in


            9              long-term debt.  You learned that tax


           10              information is none of your business.  You


           11              learned that tax office representatives


           12              didn't answer all of council questions and,


           13              in fact, they still have not done so.  You


           14              were shocked by those answers, just as you


           15              were shocked that it took two months and the


           16              suggestion of the subpoena to obtain an


           17              audience with tax office appointees.  Yet, I


           18              was not shocked because that is the precise


           19              behavior of much of the Doherty


           20              administration.  Transparency and


           21              accountability only apply outside of city


           22              hall.


           23                      Further, I take umbrage with the


           24              Scranton Times for their failure to


           25              investigate and report the truth,






            1              specifically over the last seven months, but


            2              that's only one confined example.  The Times


            3              writers state that city and county officials


            4              charged with oversight of the tax office


            5              failed to notice or intervene.  That is not


            6              true.  Reporters, however, failed to


            7              investigate and write about repeated


            8              requests for information and declined


            9              appearances by not only Ken McDowell, but


           10              city department heads as well over the last


           11              several years at Scranton city council.


           12                      I noticed questionable procedures


           13              and failures at the Single Tax Office in


           14              December of 2007 and even years before that


           15              I spoke at council meetings about my


           16              concerns.  Where were your EMS refunds?


           17              Where were tax rebates?  Why wasn't everyone


           18              responsible for paying the taxman?  And you,


           19              the viewers, can attest to it.  Without


           20              Scranton Today Channel 61 you would know


           21              only what this mayor and his friendly


           22              newspaper wish you to know.  The real truth?


           23              I brought problems up about the tax office


           24              and Mr. McDowell right here, right to the


           25              forefront.  What did the newspaper do?  It






            1              endorsed Mr. McDowell for political office


            2              more than once.


            3                      Now, the mayor wants 11 million in


            4              borrowing again, he doesn't need it.  He


            5              doesn't cut costs, he expands them.  He and


            6              the BA never worried about the numbers from


            7              the tax office in 2005, 2006, and 2007.


            8              What does that tell you?  Remember, the 5.5


            9              million from the tax office remarkably and


           10              coincidentally will fall into the mayor's


           11              lap in 2009 just in time for a reelection


           12              campaign.


           13                      Scranton Today Channel 61, they must


           14              be replaced in order to prevent information


           15              from reaching the public.  After all, if you


           16              can't control the TV station then you can't


           17              spin the information and if you can't spin


           18              the information you have got to terminate


           19              that station.  Now, what can you do?  Fight


           20              for Scranton Today and Channel 61, protect


           21              your right to the truth and read critically


           22              because sometimes the only pages of the


           23              newspaper that appear to contain the whole


           24              truth are the obituaries.


           25                      Also, I have proof that a complaint






            1              was forwarded in February 2008 to the Ethics


            2              Commission and others against Electric City


            3              TV, but it mysteriously disappeared from the


            4              legal department and the Ethics Commission.


            5              I would assume that everyone received this?


            6              No.  Then, I'll share it with you or if you


            7              would like Neil can make copies for


            8              everyone.


            9                      I also have some requests for the


           10              week.  A letter to Mrs. Novembrino, city


           11              controller, council requests copies of


           12              invoices and/or vouchers, unpaid receipts


           13              for audits of the Scranton Single Tax Office


           14              by McGrail, Merkel, Quinn and Associates for


           15              2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005.  Although the


           16              attempted audit in 2005 is reported to have


           17              been unsuccessful, was the firm paid for


           18              Mr. Marce's work?  Please provide copies and


           19              any written responses on or about June 13,


           20              2008.


           21                      A letter to Mr. Greg Sunday,


           22              business administrator, Scranton School


           23              District.  Council requests copies of


           24              invoices and/or vouchers and paid receipts


           25              for audits of the Scranton Single Tax Office






            1              by McGrail, Merkel, Quinn and Associates for


            2              2002,3, 4, and 5.  And please provide copies


            3              of any written responses on or before


            4              June 16, 2008.


            5                      A letter to McGrail, Merkel, Quinn


            6              and Associates, please provide copies of


            7              cancelled checks from the City of Scranton


            8              for audits and any work performed in


            9              relation to these audits of the Scranton


           10              Single Tax Office for 2002, 3, 4, and 5.


           11              Also, did your firm submit a proposal or a


           12              bid for this work?  Please respond on or


           13              before June 16, 2008.


           14                      A letter to HR director, Mrs. Moran:


           15              Please provide the city's justification for


           16              the termination of the Health Care Cost


           17              Containment Committee.  I understand that


           18              negotiations with the clerical union have


           19              been finalized and that this committee is


           20              not an issue for other municipal unions.


           21                      A letter to Mr. Seitzinger, in March


           22              2008, you sent a response to city council


           23              regarding a property at Luzerne Street and


           24              14th Avenue in which you indicated that the


           25              problems would be addressed.  As of June 2,






            1              2008, the garbage and recycle bin remain on


            2              the sidewalk 24/7.  The former garage area


            3              is still littered with chunks of concrete


            4              and piles of dirt.  This is the third


            5              request for action.  Neighbors believe that


            6              the owner must have political connections


            7              since this mess has remained despite


            8              complaints, registered by three members


            9              council and residents of the area for


           10              approximately two years.  Please provide a


           11              response on or before June 9, 2008.


           12                      A letter to the board of directors


           13              of Electric City TV, why does the name of


           14              Chris Balton no longer appear on ECTV's


           15              contact page?


           16                      943-45 Providence Road, in-ground


           17              pool remains uncovered and contains water


           18              despite the fencing at this abandoned


           19              property and the neighbors are concerned for


           20              the safety of children.


           21                      And, finally, in relation to


           22              discussion that city council had last week


           23              with regard to a piece of legislation on


           24              which we were voting, specifically, a grant


           25              for the 500 block of Lackawanna Avenue, the






            1              Moran family has responded to the statements


            2              that were made at last week's council


            3              meeting.  I don't want to read this entire


            4              letter, it's quite lengthy, it is addressed


            5              to Attorney Minora and Mrs. Fanucci.  It


            6              begins, "The original Coney Island and the


            7              entire Moran family are deeply concerned


            8              about the false, misleading and defamatory


            9              statements that you made at the May 27,


           10              2008, city council meeting.


           11                      We expect you to retract your


           12              respective comments and offer a public


           13              apology to correct the record at tonight's


           14              meeting which happens to be the two-month


           15              anniversary of the still unsolved arson.


           16              And it goes on explaining some of the


           17              statements made about opting out and the


           18              filing of an injunction and the Moran family


           19              states, "You know perfectly well that we


           20              never filed an injunction.  The next time


           21              you state that we filed an injunction


           22              against the city or anyone that was


           23              dismissed by the Court produce the affidavit


           24              bearing our signatures filed with the


           25              request for relief, the index number and the






            1              judge's order.  They don't exist."


            2                      They do go onto address I think


            3              many, many of the misleading statements that


            4              were made about them.  They are concerned


            5              about the eminent domain proceedings against


            6              Buona Pizza which is also located within the


            7              legislated project area, of course, they are


            8              concerned for themselves and they have many,


            9              many questions that have not surprisingly


           10              gone unanswered through the years because


           11              for many years, at least from when Mr. Moran


           12              and has told me, it was impossible to talk


           13              to Mr. Rinaldi and Mr. Rinaldi remains


           14              secretive, although, we are going to meet


           15              with a representative obviously of the


           16              developer.  I think it is important to know


           17              all sides of the story.  It's not my side of


           18              the story, but Moran's side of the story


           19              and, you know, it might suggest that the


           20              newspaper look more closely into this and


           21              read the letter that was sent to council


           22              because I think -- I would have to agree


           23              with the Moran's there possibly are


           24              misleading statements being made at city


           25              council and they shouldn't have been, but






            1              I'll leave that now to the Morans, I'll


            2              leave that to Mr. Rinaldi and I'll leave


            3              that to the Scranton Times, and that's it.


            4                      MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Fanucci.


            5                      MS. FANUCCI: Well, I'm going to pick


            6              up on that.  I did receive a letter from the


            7              Morans asking me to retract my statements


            8              and I certainly will not be doing so.  I


            9              will agree that there has been many


           10              misleading statements made from this podium,


           11              it was not by me, but I definitely will make


           12              and I'm going to make a motion tonight that


           13              in light of the fact that it's the two-month


           14              anniversary of the arson that took place for


           15              Coney Island that we send a letter, Kay, to


           16              the D.A.'s Office requesting that they take


           17              over the investigation of the arson so that


           18              maybe we can get some closure for this


           19              family on what happened with this arson, so


           20              I'd like to do that in the form of a motion,


           21              I'd also like to cc our director, Director


           22              Hayes as well as Chief Davis, and that they


           23              also join into recommend that the D.A.'s


           24              Office take this over and looks into in this


           25              arson for this family.  And that's in the






            1              form of a motion.


            2                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  I'll second that.


            3                      MS. GATELLI:  On the question?


            4                      MR. COURTRIGHT: On the question, I


            5              just, I wouldn't want my second to be


            6              misunderstood, and I don't think it's


            7              Mrs. Fanucci's intentions that the Scranton


            8              Fire Department can't handle it, I'm sure


            9              they could.


           10                      MS. FANUCCI: Oh, God, no, of course.


           11                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I'm sure they could,


           12              just looking for a little bit more help


           13              maybe in the form of the manpower and maybe


           14              in the form of resources, so I wouldn't want


           15              to be misconstrued that we are saying that


           16              our department couldn't handle it, I'm sure


           17              they could, but we could all use a little


           18              help now and then.


           19                      MS. FANUCCI: I certainly did not


           20              mean to imply that, I hope I did not, but


           21              that's not my intention.


           22                      MS. GATELLI: Anyone else on the


           23              question?  All those in favor?  Aye.


           24                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.


           25                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.






            1                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.


            2                      MS. GATELLI:  Opposed?  The ayes


            3              have it and so moved.


            4                      MS. FANUCCI: Also, in regards to the


            5              letter, I did receive asking me to change my


            6              statements and there was a lot of may I say


            7              alluding to the fact that my statements are


            8              not only inappropriate from this standpoint


            9              because also I work for the Governor's


           10              Office, as if I would have something to do


           11              with loans.  I always said I wish I was as


           12              important as people give me the credit for


           13              being, but I'm certainly not.  I wish I


           14              could give grants and loans out and do


           15              everything for the state, but unfortunately,


           16              the Governor does not think as highly of me


           17              as the Moran family does.  So I had nothing


           18              to do with the decision to decide who gets


           19              the money on Lackawanna Avenue.


           20                      I do believe that these are issues


           21              that should not be discussed on a normal


           22              basis at Council chambers, I believe this is


           23              how we get into our problems.  You know, the


           24              law is out there for reasons to take, you


           25              know, take over.  I mean, if there is a






            1              problem you go to the Court and you settle


            2              it.  Just like the eminent domain process,


            3              just like anything that goes on in America.


            4              We have people out there suing council on a


            5              daily basis.  Some of them have been made it


            6              into a permanent career, but that's what


            7              it's about, so, there is no need to come


            8              here waiving papers and discussing things


            9              constantly that already have taken on their


           10              own way which is the system, which is the


           11              Court system, and they are out there to help


           12              them and in the end if it works out I think


           13              it will be wonderful thing if they can prove


           14              what they need to prove and I will not be


           15              retracting any statements.  That's all I


           16              have on that.


           17                      On the 11 million in borrowing.


           18              This definitely was not a big surprise to


           19              anyone who has read the budget.  This was


           20              not a big, you know, windfall that all of a


           21              sudden the mayor came to us and said, "Oh, I


           22              need 11 million."


           23                      We knew this was coming up.  We know


           24              we that we're floating a bond for


           25              $5.5 million and at some point you got to






            1              pay for the bond.  Now, do I want to borrow


            2              the money?  I certainly don't want to borrow


            3              the money.  I believe in light of what's


            4              going on in the tax office now as I had


            5              stated to Mrs. Franus before that I hope


            6              that we can sit down and come to some type


            7              of an arrangement where we do not have to


            8              borrow, and maybe the banks will see that we


            9              are hopefully getting some money or maybe


           10              the audit will show something more than we


           11              are expecting which I hope would be the


           12              fact, so I am going to sit down this week


           13              and try to dedicate as much time as I can to


           14              finding some alternate solution so we do not


           15              have to borrow.


           16                      If you think that that's an easy


           17              decision up here that is probably the


           18              hardest decision we have to make.  At some


           19              point you have to, you know, decide whether


           20              or not we can borrow more money, I would


           21              rather not borrow money, so that is


           22              something that I would be committed to this


           23              week and hopefully deciding some great


           24              answer will come up and we'll figure out a


           25              way or maybe the bank will let us, I don't






            1              know, but I'm going to find out.  I'm going


            2              to try and see what I can do it.


            3                      So, let's talk about the Stooge


            4              comment, which I love, I would like to


            5              address my wonderful who believes they might


            6              be my colleague, Mr. Jackowitz, calling me


            7              Stooge number one because I said that all


            8              jobs are welcome in the City of Scranton.


            9              You get up here and you discuss that we are


           10              very much unemployed in our city and yet


           11              it's a problem that I said all jobs are


           12              welcome, that we need minimum paying jobs,


           13              we need large paying jobs, we want them all.


           14              So, anyone out there who is contemplating on


           15              starting a business or coming to the city


           16              please do not be afraid if you feel your


           17              jobs are not up to certain people's par, we


           18              want everyone welcome here, come here and


           19              please employ everyone in our city, so that


           20              we aren't a statistic because, yes, some


           21              people need jobs that are not as high paying


           22              because they can't do jobs that are high


           23              paying.  I, myself, wish that I could go out


           24              and get myself a job that's worth $200,000 a


           25              year, I can't even with all of my wonderful






            1              connections, can you imagine that, but


            2              that's life and we welcome everyone here and


            3              the most successful cities in America and


            4              all over the country there is a McDonald's s


            5              and there are wonderful companies employing


            6              people for the large amounts of money,


            7              that's what it's about.  So I'm sorry that


            8              in the same token of the conversation you


            9              got a little off base by saying we don't


           10              want your jobs, but yet we have very


           11              unemployed.


           12                      And as far as being a stooge, the


           13              taxpayers make their own decision, they look


           14              around, they see what's going on.  I don't


           15              believe that they need people getting up


           16              here week after week with very sad sarcastic


           17              motives telling them how to feel and what to


           18              think because, quite frankly, it's not


           19              really working out.  It doesn't make me look


           20              bad it actually makes you look bad.  And


           21              that is all I have.


           22                      MS. GATELLI: Mr. Courtright.


           23                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.  As far as


           24              demolishing the properties, I understand


           25              that there is pros and cons and some people






            1              are for and some people are against, but my


            2              one concern remains the same and that is


            3              when the property is demolished sometimes,


            4              many times the city does not own the


            5              property, they demolish for whatever reason,


            6              it's a health hazard or whatever the case


            7              may be, a danger, and that remains a concern


            8              of mine what becomes of the property after


            9              we demolish them and I think I believe I


           10              asked last week possibly Mr. Renda, not


           11              Mr. Renda, Mr. Seitzinger, give me an idea


           12              of what their game plan was in there, with


           13              that said, I got a call this week


           14              coincidentally, I mentioned there was an


           15              empty lot the city had tore down a building


           16              on the a corner of Jackson and Hyde Park


           17              Avenue, when the gas company I believe it


           18              was doing all of the streets throughout the


           19              city last year they dug it out they had to


           20              repave them on that empty lot they placed a


           21              great deal of gravel and they spread it out


           22              nice and evenly, every time it rains very


           23              hard al that gravel travels halfway down the


           24              block into about the 120-122 of South Hyde


           25              Park Avenue, the people just can't pick it






            1              up anymore, it's extremely, heavy, so if


            2              Mr. Seitzinger would take a look at that


            3              particular lot for me and see if there is


            4              something they can't do with that, I had


            5              mentioned last week you can barely see the


            6              sidewalk anymore because the gravel has


            7              migrated out almost to the road and the one


            8              gentleman actually has buckets because he


            9              doesn't have a wheelbarrow, he has buckets


           10              of this gravel that he swept up from the


           11              front of his house and put in the backyard,


           12              it's too heavy for him to carry back up the


           13              street, it's over half a block.  There was


           14              another gentleman that put it in a


           15              wheelbarrow and wheelbarrowed it back up the


           16              street, so I don't almost think that they


           17              need to be doing that.


           18                      The mission or the church or


           19              whatever that think we are calling that is


           20              down on Olive Street there, I got a letter


           21              about that today that I guess it's still in


           22              operation, it's still in full swing and not


           23              even people from the neighborhood that are


           24              sending me, passersby are upset that the


           25              people are hanging out in front of it now,






            1              so I hate to be a burden to Mr. Seitzinger,


            2              but I guess this falls under him again if he


            3              it can take a look at that and let us know


            4              what the status is on that.


            5                      And Meadow Avenue and River Street,


            6              I guess this would go to Mr. Brazil, what's


            7              the status of that light up there if they


            8              could just update us on that.  I know you


            9              are going to kill me, Kay, with all of these


           10              unanswered questions.


           11                      MS. GATELLI: I don't want to


           12              interrupt you, but I think that I was told


           13              they are not going to put a light there


           14              because they're putting it in --


           15                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  They were going to


           16              put one lower, right.  If he can clarify


           17              that for us because they are putting a light


           18              about a block down and I know everybody


           19              would look to see one at Meadow River, I


           20              guess it would be --


           21                      MS. GATELLI:  And I think PennDOT


           22              did the study.


           23                      MR. COURTRIGHT: If they could let us


           24              know, then I'll be happy to ask about it.


           25              And one last one, Kay, sorry about this,






            1              Greenridge Street and Wyoming Avenue there


            2              was -- I think it was the Greenridge


            3              Presbyterian Church, I don't know who owns


            4              it now, but it has been boarded up and the


            5              neighbors aren't happy with the way it's


            6              being maintained if somebody could take a


            7              look at that.


            8                      I got a call from one of the Times


            9              reporters today asking me about something


           10              about the tax office and coincidentally they


           11              asked about something I was going to ask a


           12              question on myself tonight and this was


           13              monthly reports, I was asked did I know that


           14              the city was supposed to be receiving


           15              monthly reports from the tax office and I


           16              said I didn't know that when I had first got


           17              on council and I'm sure you will read it in


           18              paper, so I won't say the whole conversation


           19              that I had with him, but, anyway, could we


           20              find out I guess it would be from either


           21              Mrs. Novembrino or Mr. Renda, are we now


           22              getting monthly reports, I believe we have


           23              been getting them from the last couple of


           24              months from the tax office because their


           25              understanding --






            1                      MS. GARVEY: We did get one report.


            2                      MR. COURTRIGHT: We did get one?


            3              Okay.  I'm going to talk about this, and I


            4              really don't want to, but for me sometimes


            5              when I'm in Main Avenue or I'm in the post


            6              office or whatnot somebody will yell to me,


            7              "Hey, did you get that's guy's scooter yet?"


            8                      You know, that's been the cry they


            9              have been giving me for a couple of years


           10              now about Mr. Stucker's scooter and then


           11              they would ask a lot of times about the


           12              money for cutting the mayor's hedges that we


           13              gave Jimmy a little money, now they are


           14              asking me when he is going to get the rest


           15              of the money, so much make a little


           16              humorous, but this isn't too humorous, the


           17              last week, I'll try to say this as


           18              diplomatically as possible, the last week


           19              when I would say hello to somebody or was at


           20              a local club that has a lunch the last


           21              Thursday of every month, say, hey, you


           22              didn't finish eating that, none of your


           23              business they are telling me.  I say,


           24              "What's up?"


           25                      "None of your business."






            1                      So the comment I'm getting from


            2              everybody from Burger King to the post


            3              office is none of your business, and some of


            4              the people are a little irate about it, they


            5              thought I was being insulted they thought I


            6              should have answered that strongly, they


            7              have given me what they would said which I


            8              can't repeat here on the air, but the common


            9              thing from all of the people and it's


           10              continuing about this comment that it was


           11              none of my business what the interest was,


           12              and this is most of my -- I'm talking about


           13              school teachers, former school teachers,


           14              former principals, judges, just several


           15              different people said the same thing to me,


           16              you know, that's an insult for them to say


           17              that to elected officials, and I say, you


           18              know, I can handle that, we get insulted


           19              quite a bit, but I think the insult is to


           20              the people whose taxes flow through that


           21              office because they all say the same thing,


           22              it's not only your business, but it's our


           23              business, too, and I believe it is.  So,


           24              maybe now you will stop saying to me it's


           25              none of my business when I talk to you, I'd






            1              rather you ask me about Mr. Stucker's


            2              scooter, all right, but I felt I had to say


            3              something because some people felt I should


            4              have said something at the time and maybe I


            5              should have, I don't know, but I was kind of


            6              taken back a little bit, so that's all I


            7              have.  Thank you.


            8                      MS. GATELLI: Thank you.  I just have


            9              a few items, when I'm hearing about


           10              demolition and blight and people wanting


           11              houses to be rehabilitated, and you go to


           12              the neighborhoods and you talk to the people


           13              around that structure that's been abandoned


           14              for four or five years and obviously no one


           15              wants to buy it and no one is taking care of


           16              it and there is drug activity there, there


           17              is kids going in and having beer parties in


           18              there, there is rodents, you can go ask any


           19              of those neighbors if they want that house


           20              rehabilitated and I will guarantee you that


           21              they will say they want the house to come


           22              down.  They don't want it rehabilitated,


           23              they don't want an apartment house


           24              rehabilitated because they will get an


           25              apartment with 40 people living in it that






            1              all say they are related to each other.


            2                   There is another theory in the


            3              neighborhoods about density and if you read


            4              neighborhood journals they will tell you


            5              that increased density of homes causes


            6              blight in neighborhoods.  As you know, there


            7              aren't as many people living in Scranton as


            8              there were many years ago so we do have an


            9              abundance of homes which one of the speakers


           10              comes here and says, you know, I think you


           11              just want to get rid of the homes, yeah, we


           12              do.  That is one of our goals in South


           13              Scranton, in lower South Scranton, get rid


           14              of the density and make some green space.


           15              They don't want the houses one on top of


           16              each other three, four and five units in


           17              them, so that is the theory behind some of


           18              the demolition issues.


           19                      Yes, there are programs to


           20              rehabilitate homes.  There are two beautiful


           21              homes that were rehabilitated on the 100


           22              block of Pittston Avenue that I would


           23              welcome anyone to go and see from Lackawanna


           24              Neighbors, they are fantastic.  They are old


           25              homes that have been redone and they are






            1              magnificent.  So, yes, we do rehabilitate


            2              some of the homes, but some of them that


            3              have been abandoned for four and five years


            4              go and ask those people and they want them


            5              torn down.


            6                      There is the issue about the grass,


            7              and I agree there that that, too, does


            8              become a problem, but many of them would


            9              rather the grass than the social pollution


           10              that comes with some of these abandoned


           11              homes.  I suggest that as a council, if my


           12              colleagues would agree, that we send a


           13              letter to the magistrates in the city to


           14              encourage them and we'll send a copy to


           15              Mr. Seitzinger and Mr. Oleski to use


           16              community service to cut some of these lots


           17              in the summertime.  We do that in South


           18              Scranton, Magistrate Russell, and we just


           19              had our recent meeting and we are going to


           20              buy some lawnmowers and weedwhackers to give


           21              to these people that have to do community


           22              service and we do get quite a lot of them


           23              cut down, so if you guys would agree --


           24                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Can I just say one


           25              thing?






            1                      MS. GATELLI: Sure.


            2                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I think it was


            3              Magistrate Kennedy and Magistrate Russell I


            4              had spoken about this several years ago and


            5              they are all for that program, the only


            6              problem they have is that I guess the people


            7              that are doing community service have to be


            8              supervised, somebody has to say they were


            9              there "X" amount of hours, so they probably


           10              would be looking for volunteers.  I mean, I


           11              would be willing to take my turn to


           12              volunteer to supervise, maybe I'll even do


           13              some work, but anyway, that's the problem.


           14              All the magistrates are in favor of that,


           15              but you need somebody to document that they


           16              were there for "X" amount of hours and I


           17              think it would be a great program.


           18                      MS. EVANS: I think one other problem


           19              though that maybe we can think about


           20              addressing is that many of the homeowners


           21              next to these now abandoned lots, and as you


           22              said they are very happy to have the houses


           23              torn down, they wanted it for a long time, I


           24              have never heard a complaint in the


           25              neighborhood about it, but they do complain






            1              about what you just mentioned and often


            2              times an adjacent homeowner wants to buy


            3              that property because he or she is taking


            4              care of that property anyway, they take care


            5              of their own and they don't want an eyesore


            6              right next to them, so they do it


            7              voluntarily, and usually it's not a lot


            8              that's going to be large enough for anyone


            9              to build another home on, it's just a small


           10              parcel of land that they would like to buy,


           11              but yet through the years time and time


           12              again I have had people approach me, I think


           13              you have to, Mr. Courtright --


           14                      MS. GATELLI:  It's cumbersome.


           15                      MS. EVANS: Many people want to do


           16              that and yet for whatever the reasons it


           17              never -- well, I shouldn't say never, it


           18              very rarely ever happens for anyone, I think


           19              we should be actively trying to allow those


           20              neighbors to buy those pieces of property


           21              because they will take care of them.


           22                      MS. GATELLI:  Yeah, I agree there


           23              and they do go through the Vacant Property


           24              Review Committee for anyone that's


           25              interested in purchasing a property you can






            1              call OECD and they will put you in contact


            2              with the Vacant Property Review Committee


            3              and you can purchase the property through


            4              them.  It does take several years which is


            5              frustrating.


            6                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Mrs. Gatelli, I


            7              don't know maybe I will make this


            8              suggestion, maybe you already know, you


            9              worked there, as they are getting ready to


           10              tear down these properties maybe OECD can


           11              get on top of it and find how you can get


           12              clear title because I think you right, the


           13              people -- I saw it happen on Watress Street


           14              where the people on either side bought half


           15              and they expanded their yards, so they know


           16              what properties they are going to be tearing


           17              down maybe they can start through the


           18              process of -- because, again, if the city


           19              tears it down that doesn't necessarily mean


           20              it's the city's lot.  They have to take it,


           21              and that takes time, a lot of time, so maybe


           22              -- and they might be doing that already.


           23                      MS. GATELLI: Well, they do the


           24              Pittsburgh Plan.  You know, I don't agree


           25              with the Pittsburgh plan.






            1                      MS. FANUCCI: It's cumbersome.


            2                      MS. GATELLI: I don't know any other


            3              way to do.  I know years ago we would have


            4              council neighborhood meetings we wanted to


            5              sell them all for a dollar, you know, just a


            6              quitclaim sale and sell them for a dollar,


            7              but there was some legality, you know, that


            8              we weren't allowed to do it for some reason.


            9                      MR. MINORA:  The Pittsburgh plan.


           10                      MS. GATELLI: Well, we didn't want to


           11              do the Pittsburgh plan because it takes too


           12              long.


           13                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Well, if anybody


           14              could expedite that it would be greatly


           15              appreciated.


           16                      MS. GATELLI: Yes.  Absolutely.  The


           17              next thing I wanted to talk about was the


           18              loan.  I do know that it was in the budget


           19              that I voted to pass, however, I was hopeful


           20              at the time, and I did tell the mayor that I


           21              was not interested in borrowing anymore


           22              money.  I did speak to him today.  I told


           23              him about my feelings and he said that it is


           24              a last resort and they are looking for


           25              avenues to not borrow anymore money, so I am






            1              going to keep in contact with Mr. Renda and


            2              hopefully we will not have a necessity to


            3              borrow anymore money.


            4                      The pool, I think some of you


            5              mentioned a problem with the swimming pool,


            6              I had a problem with a pool, someone


            7              complained about a pool and I called Patty


            8              Jennings, the health inspector, and the very


            9              next day the pool was drained and taken care


           10              of, so if anyone has a problem with the


           11              pool, with water that's stagnant and


           12              smelling you can call the Health Department


           13              in the city and, like I said, Patty took


           14              care of it immediately, and I would like to


           15              commend her for that.  Bill likes to do that


           16              with employees now and then and she really


           17              did an excellent job, the next day the pool


           18              was drained.  And she can be reached at


           19              348-4193 and then there is a menu and you


           20              would push for the health inspector.


           21                      As far as Channel 61, there will be


           22              a Channel 61, we will be on television.  As


           23              you can see we are still on.  So, you know,


           24              for the people that say we are not on we are


           25              on and we are going to remain on, you know,






            1              one way or another we will be on television,


            2              so I'd say not to worry about that.  And


            3              that's all I have that are tonight.


            4                      MS. EVANS: Mrs. Gatelli, I'm sorry,


            5              I just wanted to add though in this case


            6              with this particular pool they have already


            7              been in contact with that office and the


            8              city had been out there already, but the


            9              owner of this abandoned home apparently is


           10              ignoring what's been outlined by the city,


           11              so I'm just hoping the city then will go to


           12              the next step.


           13                      MS. GATELLI: To the magistrates,


           14              yeah, and have to file a citation.  Mrs.


           15              Garvey?


           16                      MS. GARVEY: FIFTH ORDER.  NO


           17              BUSINESS AT THIS TIME.  SIXTH ORDER.  NO


           18              BUSINESS AT THIS TIME.  SEVENTH ORDER.  7-A.


           19              FOR CONSIDERATION BY THE COMMITTEE ON


           20              COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT - FOR ADOPTION -


           21              RESOLUTION NO. 34, 2008 - AUTHORIZING THE






           24              WITH THE PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF










            2              ORDER TO ACCEPT THE GRANT OF $50,000.00 FROM






            5              OF SCRANTON.


            6                      MS. GATELLI: What is the


            7              recommendation of the Chair on Community


            8              Development.


            9                      MS. FANUCCI: As Chairperson for the


           10              Committee on Community Development, I


           11              recommend final passage of Item 7-


           12                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Second.


           13                      MS. GATELLI:  On the question?  Roll


           14              call, please.


           15                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.


           16                      MS. EVANS:  Yes.


           17                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Gatelli.


           18                      MS. GATELLI.  Yes.


           19                      MR. COOLICAN:  Ms. Fanucci.


           20                      MS. FANUCCI:  Yes.


           21                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.


           22                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yes.


           23                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.


           24                      (Mr. McGoff not present.)


           25                      MS. GATELLI: I hereby declare Item






            1              7-A legally and lawfully adopted.  Motion to


            2              adjourn.


            3                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  So moved.






























           18                      '




















            1                     C E R T I F I C A T E




            3        I hereby certify that the proceedings and


            4   evidence are contained fully and accurately in the


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


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


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


            8   ability.







                                    CATHENE S. NARDOZZI

           12                       OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER