1 SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING
7 Tuesday,September 9, 2008
10 Council Chambers
11 Scranton City Hall
12 340 North Washington Avenue
13 Scranton, Pennsylvania
CATHENE S. NARDOZZI, RPR - COURT REPORTER
2 CITY OF SCRANTON COUNCIL:
MR. ROBERT MCGOFF, PRESIDENT
6 MS. JUDY GATELLI, VICE-PRESIDENT
MS. JANET E. EVANS
9 MS. SHERRY FANUCCI
MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT
12 MS. KAY GARVEY, CITY CLERK
MR. NEIL COOLICAN, ASSISTANT CITY CLERK
15 MR. AMIL MINORA, SOLICITOR
1 (Pledge of Allegiance recited and moment of
2 reflection observed.)
3 MR. MCGOFF: Prior to the beginning
4 of the meeting we have a proclamation for
5 members of Junior Council. The Proclamation
7 WHEREAS, the COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF
8 SCRANTON is desirous of honoring DOUGLAS
9 MILLER and IAN MILLER for their service to
10 the City of Scranton through their
11 dedication and hard work as Junior City
12 Council members; and
13 WHEREAS, DOUG wanting to become mor
14 involved in City Government proposed the
15 idea of a Junior Council in order to give
16 students the opportunity to learn more about
17 City Government; and
18 WHEREAS, DOUG and IAN have been
19 members of Junior Council since it's
20 inception in February 2006; and
21 WHEREAS, DOUG and IAN along with
22 members of Junior Council have successfully
23 raised funds to purchase and install a
24 Children's Handicap Accessible Swing Set at
25 Nay Aug Park, in addition raised funds to
1 benefit a Police and Firefighters Memorial,
2 organized numerous Park Beautification
3 Projects throughout the City, planned a
4 Heroes' Night Charity Basketball game
5 between Scranton Police and Firemen,
6 spearheaded the efforts to place a memorial
7 plaque in honor of Captain James Robeson,
8 Scranton Firefighter who lost his life in
9 the line of duty, at West Scranton High
10 School as well as forming a scholarship in
11 his name; and
12 WHEREAS, DOUG and IAN will continue
13 their education at Lackawanna College.
14 N0W, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by
15 the Members of Scranton City Council that on
16 Tuesday, September 9, 2008, they commend
17 DOUG and IAN for their dedication to the
18 City of Scranton, and extend their best
19 wishes for success in future endeavors.
20 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this
21 Proclamation be made a permanent part of the
22 Minutes of this Council, as lasting tribute
23 to IAN MILER and DOUGLAS MILLER.
24 MR. MCGOFF: Could we have roll call,
1 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.
2 MS. EVANS: Here.
3 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.
4 MS. GATELLI. Here.
5 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. Fanucci.
6 MS. FANUCCI: Here.
7 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: Here.
9 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff.
10 MR. MCGOFF: Here. Dispense with
11 the reading of the minutes and prior to
12 Third Order, Douglas had asked if he could
13 say a few words and please do.
14 MR. MILLER: Thank you. I would like
15 to thank Scranton City Council for
16 presenting Ian Miller and I with these
17 rewarding Proclamations. I am very grateful
18 and humbled to accept it. I couldn't
19 possibly have received this award had it not
20 been for Mrs. Gatelli and the rest of City
21 Council that made Junior Council a reality.
22 Serving as the president of Junior Council
23 for two years helped me become more mature,
24 a better leader and most of all the ability
25 to handle criticism.
1 My experience has also opened the
2 doors to many other opportunities.
3 Currently I serve as a legislative assistant
4 to the Honorable Representative Frank Andrew
5 Shimkus. Representative Shimkus is
6 committed to working hard for us down in
8 Hopefully, we have not seen the end
9 of such a wonderful educational asset. I
10 encourage students all across the city to
11 continue to participate in our city
12 government and I ask city council not to let
13 this junior council program come to and end.
14 Thank you once again for this honor and have
15 a great night.
16 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you very much,
17 Doug. I know on behalf of council, we would
18 like to thank Doug and Ian for their
19 service. The time and effort that they put
20 in in promotion of the projects in which
21 they were engaged was monumental for high
22 school students, and I agree with you, Doug,
23 that an idea or concept like junior council
24 is something that we should encourage for
25 the health and benefit of our city
1 politically in the future. So, thank you
2 for your service and Ian's service and
3 hopefully we can continue something that you
4 have so admirably initiated. Anyone else?
5 THIRD ORDER.
6 MS. GARVEY: 3-A. AUDIT OF THE
7 SCRANTON REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY FOR THE
8 YEAR ENDING DECEMBER 2007.
9 MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?
10 If not, received and filed.
11 MS. GARVEY: 3-B. PETITION FOR A
12 FOUR-WAY STOP SIGN AT THE INTERSECTION OF
13 PROSPECT AVENUE AND ALDER STREET.
14 MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?
15 If not, received and filed.
16 MS. GARVEY: 3-C. CONTROLLER'S REPORT
17 FOR THE MONTH ENDING JULY 31, 2008.
18 MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?
19 If not, received and filed.
20 MS. GARVEY: 3-D. AGENDA FOR THE
21 NON-UNIFORM PENSION BOARD MEETING HELD ON
22 AUGUST 27, 2008.
23 MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?
24 If not, received and filed?
25 MS. GARVEY: 3-E. MINUTES OF THE
1 NON-UNIFORM MUNICIPAL PENSION BOARD MEETING
2 HELD ON JULY 23, 2008.
3 MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?
4 If not, received and filed.
5 MS. GARVEY: 3-F. MINUTES OF THE
6 COMPOSITE PENSION BOARD MEETING HELD ON JULY
7 23, 2008.
8 MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?
9 If not received and filed.
10 MS. GARVEY: 3-G. MINUTES OF THE
11 FIREMEN'S PENSION COMMISSION MEETING HELD ON
12 JUNE 28, 2008.
13 MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?
14 If not, received and filed.
15 MS. GARVEY: 3-H. MINUTES OF THE
16 FIREMEN'S PENSION COMMISSION MEETING HELD ON
17 JULY 23, 2008.
18 MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?
19 If not, received and filed.
20 MS. GARVEY: 3-I. CITY OF SCRANTON
21 ANNUAL FINANCIAL REPORT FOR THE YEAR ENDING
22 DECEMBER 31, 2006.
23 MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?
24 It not, received and filed.
25 MS. GARVEY: That's it for Third
2 MR. MCGOFF: Prior to citizens'
3 participation are there any announcements.
4 MS. GATELLI: Yes. The first thing
5 I would like to announce is this Saturday at
6 the downtown area will the Race for the
7 Cure. They will have registration for
8 people that aren't already registered from
9 6:30 in the morning until 8:00 on courthouse
11 Also, on Wednesday, tomorrow morning
12 September 10, they are going to have a press
13 conference and a live radio remote
14 officially introducing the Pennsylvania
15 Clean Indoor Air Act. I'm especially proud
16 of this act as I think that it is council
17 and the students at West Scranton High
18 School that really pushed the Governor and
19 the state legislators to seriously look into
20 the smoking ban, so, anyone that's
21 interested in that it's tomorrow at 11:30
22 and it will on WBHT 97.1 FM from noon to
23 1:00, and that's from the original Cancer
24 Institute, Bob Durkin is the director.
25 Also, on Sunday, September 14, there will be
1 a ride for Jan Argonish, one of our soldiers
2 that was killed in Afghanistan. He served
3 in the National Guard for ten years. The
4 registration is 8 to 11, the ride starts at
5 noon at the Milestone Ranch in Waverly, PA.
6 It's $20 for each rider, and $10 for each
7 passenger. For more information you can
8 e-mail www.SGTJANARGONISH.webs.com. Anybody
9 who wants any of this information it will up
10 here after the meeting, and I think that's
11 all I have. Thank you.
12 MS. EVANS: Bids were received on
13 August 12 for the paving of city streets to
14 include handicapped curb cuts. It appears
15 that the selection were made by OECD and
16 Mr. Brazil, DPW director. The streets
17 listed in the bids for paving are as
18 follows: The 400 block of North 7th Street.
19 Lackawanna Bridge. The 100 block of North
20 Bromley. The 200 and 300 blocks of South
21 Sumner. The 100 of South Edward between
22 Jackson and Scranton. The 1000 block of
23 Scranton. The 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 600 blocks
24 of Meridian. Oxford Street between 10th and
25 Meridian. 600 South Ninth Avenue. The 400
1 block of 15th Street. The intersection of
2 Fellow and 16th Street. The 13, 14, 15, and
3 1600 blocks of Division Street. The 200 and
4 300 blocks of South Garfield and the 800
5 block of Smith Street.
6 A cancer benefit for Beverly Kosch,
7 a young mother who is battling lung cancer,
8 will be conducted on Saturday, September 20,
9 at East Street Pub and Eatery, 223 West
10 Market Street in North Scranton from 7 to
11 10 p.m. Tickets are $15 and are available
12 at the door. If you're unable to attend,
13 but are still interested in making a
14 donation, a benefit fund for Beverly Kosch
15 has been opened at Penn Security Bank, 1901
16 Sanderson Avenue, Scranton.
17 The Upper Hill Ecumenical Committee
18 compromised of Myrtle Street Methodist
19 Church, Immaculate Conception Church and St.
20 Peter's Evangelical Luther Church will be
21 conducting events during the remainder of
22 2008 to benefit St. Francis of Assisi
24 Monthly, friendly family fun nights
25 will be held at the Dunmore Friendly's
1 restaurant during the hours of 5 to 8 p.m.
2 on the following dates: September 24,
3 October 15, and November 19. The number of
4 poor and homeless in our city is spiraling
5 upward amid an economic environment of
6 increasing unemployment, and rising costs of
7 utilities, food and gasoline. This crises
8 is evident at local food pantries, United
9 Neighborhood Centers, Friends of the Poor,
10 local homeless shelters and St. Francis
11 kitchen. You can make a difference in the
12 lives of others by dining out each month one
13 time and encouraging others to do so as
15 Also, a liturgy of remembrance on
16 the seventh anniversary of the terrorist
17 attacks on America will be held Thursday at
18 7:00 p.m. at St. Ann's Basilica. Civil
19 ceremonies will be lead by area
21 Also, the Scranton/Lackawanna
22 Taxpayers' Association conducted nine free
23 swimming events at Nay Aug pool complex in
24 the last two years. All swim events were
25 paid by donations received from local
1 business owners and private citizens. In
2 2007, five free swim days were enjoyed by
3 1,114 children at a cost of $3,058.00. In
4 2008, 1,146 children enjoyed four free swim
5 days at a cost of $2,570.00. In these
6 two years 2260 children swam free thanks to
7 total donations of $5,628.00 and the hard
8 work, generosity and community spirit of
9 Mr. Bill Jackowitz and Mr. Andy Sbaraglia.
10 This program will continue as long as the
11 city administration continues to charge a
12 fee for the use of the Nay Aug Park swim
13 complex and I have been asked to announce
14 the 2008 contributors: Sam's Barber Shop,
15 Haas Funeral Home, Machisik Insurance, Staar
16 Uniforms, Sebrosky Auto, AC Tavern, John's
17 signs, Buono Pizza, William and Debbie
18 Moran, Elaine DeLorenzo, Joseph and Mary
19 Schultz, Ann Gordon, Stanley Narsavage,
20 Edward Chomko Funeral Home, Nicholas Chomko
21 Funeral Home, Andrew Brown's Drugstore.
22 John Lukasik, Miller Bean Funeral Home, John
23 Kunda, TS Corner Store, Costa Drugstore, Lee
24 Morgan, Coney Island Hotdogs, Pat Tobin, Joe
25 Skortowski, Citizen's Saving's Bank, Little
1 League from West Scranton, Penn Security
2 Bank, Bill Stanavich, DiBileo Insurance,
3 Scranton Fire Department, the Union News,
4 Marie Schumacher, Guston Amusements, Dave
5 Dobson, Pennstar Bank.
6 Contributions will continue to be
7 accepted. Make checks payable to
8 "Kids Swim Free" and mail to 1416 South
9 Webster Avenue, Scranton, PA, 18505. Thank
11 MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else? Fourth
12 Order. Citizens' participation. Nancy
14 MS. KRAKE: Good evening, Council.
15 In today's Times-Tribune there was an
16 article about our Scranton firefighters and
17 I would like to address some of the remarks
18 that Stu Renda, our business administrator,
19 made. The first one, "The city business
20 administrator Stu Renda said the unions have
21 never acknowledged Scranton's fiscal
23 We were acknowledging the distress
24 and we were pulling the city out of it when
25 he was still in grade school and high
1 school. His secondary remark, "If they
2 really wanted to negotiate and wanted to get
3 some money they'd come to us and say, 'We
4 want to be part of the restructuring.'"
5 Well, we certainly did not want to
6 be part of this economic house of cards of
7 Mayor Doherty's. We were part when the last
8 administration worked hand-in-hand with the
9 unions and all government officials to bring
10 the city back. In fact, taking a look at
11 the last administration the first seven
12 years the budgets only grew $4.8 million and
13 I think we all know the horrific amount
14 Mayor Doherty has grown with his budgets,
15 that would be $30 million. Under Mayor
16 Connors, there was no long-term borrowing,
17 the raises were received by everyone, cost
18 of living raises. Health care costs were
19 brought under control and, in fact, an
20 additional $5 million was put back into the
21 city coffers because of the work we did on
22 health care.
23 There is a profound lack of
24 accountability. There has never existed a
25 council super majority to override Mayor
1 Doherty's gross acts of misconduct towards
2 the city's budget and the taxpayers. That
3 being said, I would like to remind everyone
4 what happens when Mayor Doherty fixes a
5 union. With our union 30 jobs were
6 eliminated. Did any of that money go back
7 to the taxpayers? Did any of that money go
8 back into the budget? No. He has been
9 using approximately, it would have been
10 approximately $750,000 savings, rounded off.
11 He is spending $800,000 for the next
12 20 years, that's $16 million in double
13 pension costs to the people he retired.
14 This makes absolutely no sense at all and on
15 top of that he is also taken that money and
16 put it towards higher raises and additional
17 jobs for middle management. This is what
18 Mayor Doherty does when he cuts jobs in a
19 bargaining unit. He should not be allowed
20 to cut jobs in the firefighters or police or
21 DPW the.
22 I would also request having looked
23 over the paperwork Mrs. Evans gave me that
24 NCC sent an audit of NCC. This is an
25 abomination of how they answer the questions
1 this council presented to them and all of
2 that information, all tests for houses is
3 public information, so I would respectfully
4 request council to do a very in-depth audit
5 of NCC, who paid, how much they paid and
6 when they paid. Thank you.
7 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mrs. Krake.
8 Bill Jackowitz.
9 MR. JACKOWITZ: Bill Jackowitz, South
10 Scranton, good evening, President McGoff,
11 city council members. Starting off with
12 good news, hotel occupancy in the area has
13 risen the past few months. Since January of
14 2007 jobs have increased in Scranton by
15 98 percent. Wages, that is a totally
16 different story. I would like to welcome
17 back Scranton City Council from their summer
18 vacation, a very long vacation. Six weeks
19 for Councilwomen Fanucci and Gatelli,
20 five-weeks for President McGoff and
21 Councilman Courtright and Councilwoman
22 Evans. Since January of 2006 you totalled
23 19 council meetings have been cancelled, 14
24 vacation days, a total of 33 meetings. This
25 does not include meetings that individual
1 council members have not attended, but yet
2 it is my understanding that the council
3 members have received full pay during this
4 period of time, public money, taxpayers.
5 If the mayor is serious about the
6 recovery of the city, he can start by not
7 paying council members for no shows,
8 vacation days and cancelled meetings.
9 Better yet, I agree with Council President
10 McGoff when he stated back in 2006 that he
11 was not aware that council members were
12 paid. Maybe he has something there.
13 According to government data, the
14 average salary for jobs in Scranton,
15 Pennsylvania, is $28,706 and the median
16 income of households in Scranton was
17 $28,282.00. Among the most common
18 occupations in Scranton are sales, office
19 and service occupations. The median wage
20 for all workers in Scranton is $19,804, not
21 household. City council $12,500 part-time.
22 Male full-time workers, $32,159. Female
23 full-time workers, $25,253. These are
24 full-time salaries. As you can see, not
25 very good. Please, do not raise taxes or
1 borrow more money. I have provided council
2 members with copies of my research and you
3 can also research other sites and get the
4 exact same information.
5 "Scranton lands on dying list."
6 When front page news is a new Dunkin Donuts
7 being built at a gateway to the city,
8 Mulberry Street, when a new state of the art
9 office building Southern Union is built for
10 the cost of $16 million and 3 years later is
11 sold for $5.5 million, as of today that
12 building is still vacant. Without the
13 anchor store and Boscov's has declared
14 bankruptcy, Steve and Barry's and another
15 anchor has also declared bankruptcy.
16 A research firm, Median
17 Incorporated, vacancies at U.S. shopping
18 centers are at a 13-year high, 8.2 percent.
19 Mr. Walsh general manger at the Steamtown
20 Mall states: That vacancies at the
21 Steamtown Mall are 16 percent, about double
22 the national average. The theatre is losing
23 money everyday. Over 50 empty store fronts
24 downtown, a bed and breakfast open on
25 Jefferson Avenue, another gateway to the
1 city. A new Dunkin Donuts on Davis Street
2 and Mulberry Street, two more gateways to
3 Scranton, but yet Mr. Burke and Mayor
4 Doherty still promote the city is doing
5 well. Unemployment is written as
6 6.3 percent non-seasonal adjusted,
7 5.9 percent seasonal adjusted in the area,
8 the second highest in the state. The gross
9 domestic product is only going 1.3 percent
10 in Scranton.
11 National GEP average growth
12 3.3 percent. Furthermore, 20.3 percent of
13 Scranton residents live in poverty, this
14 rose from 17.3 in 2006, 2008 is predicted to
15 be higher. Nationally, 12.5 live in
16 poverty, Lackawanna County 12.8. Why is
17 Scranton so high since we are doing so well?
18 We have Nay Aug Park, we also have the
19 highest wage tax in the area, 5,222 of the
20 1,600 children in Scranton under the age of
21 18 live in poverty, 62 percent of the
22 students in the Scranton School receive
23 assistance. Why? Where is Mr. Austin Burke
24 and Mayor Doherty to address these areas of
25 concern? If I were to address council and
1 the citizens publically not through the
2 newspaper. Scranton and none of the dying
3 cities have suffered the year's decline real
4 estate prices. Why? Because prices never
5 went up in the first place. The nest egg
6 index ranked 455 out of 500 cities on their
7 savings and investment habits lists,
8 February of 2008, 45th from the bottom. You
9 cannot say that your income is low and
10 unemployment is high, but we have Nay Aug
11 Park and 300 ornamental trees in South
12 Scranton, a $300,000 dog park, a treehouse
13 and bridge to nowhere, kids must pay $3 a
14 day to swim at Nay Aug, 21 heroine dealers
15 in South Scranton, how many more drug
16 dealers in the city? Yes, this is all
17 negative, but truthful. The biggest economy
18 coming into our region is out of state
19 garbage, drug sales, both prescription and
20 nonprescription and donuts.
21 Please, council, put the citizens
22 first. No tax increase or borrowing. The
23 mayor put the community in this mess, let
24 him get us out, not the taxpayers. We
25 cannot afford it. Scranton gateway, it's
1 Mulberry Street and Dunkin Donuts, Davis
2 Street, Dunkin Donuts, Moosic Street, Dunkin
3 Donuts and Krispe Kreme donuts. Come to
4 Scranton for a donut, and do not raises
5 taxes or borrow no more money. Do the
6 research, please.
7 MR. MCGOFF: Bob Bolus.
8 MR. BOLUS: Good evening, Council,
9 Bob Bolus, Scranton. What brought me here
10 tonight was the fact that council honored
11 Doug and Ian. I think it was remarkable
12 what two kids did and how much they learned.
13 They learned to grow up, they learned to
14 accept criticism, they found out what the
15 real political life could be in the City of
16 Scranton. The comments, the negative
17 attitude of some people and the positive
18 attitudes of some others. This was a
19 learning experience, maybe it wasn't for
20 some, but for most it was. It was a time to
21 see children grow into young adults and I
22 applaud council for participating in that.
23 I only wish council spent more time
24 with them as it was originally aggrieved
25 with the council if you do it again to have
1 them participate with each council member in
2 their particular departments and help them
3 grow and learn more. I believe at one point
4 the kids were shortchanged in what they
5 could have learned, but I applaud you and
6 thank you and hopefully more people, more
7 parents will bring their children here and
8 let them learn how to grow up.
9 It's kind of funny, Scranton is now
10 in the limelight. We are actually in the
11 national limelight, everybody is taking a
12 look at us, and when you look at some of the
13 things, and I'm just going to do it briefly
14 on the agenda, on 5-I and J because
15 basically they are both the same, but this
16 mayor gave Pete Sabia a heck of a tax break
17 on the Connell Building and now we want to
18 throw millions of dollars again in there
19 into a tax free building. If they want the
20 money let the KOZ's, nonprofits pay a fee,
21 take the burden off the people in this city
22 that is supporting the university and
23 everywhere else, they want their tuition
24 they just jack it up, they pay whatever they
25 want but the people in the city can't do
1 that and it's the duty of this council, I
2 was going to look it up and go through it,
3 but, you know, I'm busy with my own
4 schedule, I think it's really council's
5 responsibility to become creative and come
6 up with a fee that's passed over everyone
7 that's fair and equitable to give us the
8 relief we need from those bullies that are
9 beating up the little people, and it's time
10 you have to take that responsibility.
11 I listened to some of the comments
12 that went on here and I thought it was kind
13 of funny the mayor wants to build a library,
14 why didn't you buy Southern Union for a
15 quarter of the price, it would have
16 accomplished the same thing, but he ignored
17 it, but yet it's another tax burden on the
18 people, it's gone, it doesn't pay anything.
19 You could put windmills, I proposed
20 that around the whole valley and supply us
21 with electricity. We can cut spending on
22 Nay Aug and other pet Doherty projects and
23 be realistic. Remember, America is watching
24 us now. Their storage alternatives and how
25 you dispose of storage, take a look at it
1 and there is tremendous cost to do it.
2 ECTV, I mean, what I see here today and
3 what we had in the past I think it's just
4 Doherty's politics in motion as he has taken
5 everything else apart, just look around what
6 it does today, it's ridiculous. You don't
7 even see programs, there is nothing out
8 there. They don't have the money, yet a
9 good combination of people were thrown out
10 of these chambers because of Doherty
11 politics, just keep giving them more money
12 and lead them feed his ego, but I thought
13 history was made this week. I read the
14 comments of our three councilwomen, you
15 know, Judy, historically I believe you were
16 the first council president, history was
17 made with three women in Scranton City
18 Council, put five men on who gave a darn, no
19 one. Governor Palin is history in the
20 making and she should be supported because
21 after all anybody that would have five kids,
22 anybody that would have five children we
23 know what our mother's taught us, our values
24 came from our mothers as we grew up, our
25 fathers were all busy working, and this
1 isn't a political speech.
2 MS. GATELLI: Excuse me, I'm going
3 to override the president on this and as the
4 vice-president I would ask you to please
5 refrain from endorsing or speaking of any
6 political candidates --
7 MR. BOLUS: Oh, I'm not endorsing.
8 MS. GATELLI: -- in the election.
9 Thank you, and I hope my colleagues would
10 agree with me on this.
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: I agree.
12 MR. BOLUS: Mrs. Gatelli, I am not
13 endorsing, this is a public statement made--
14 MS. GATELLI: Yes, but you're
15 promoting a certain candidate.
16 MS. BOLUS: I'm not promoting, I'm
17 giving credit where credit is due, and I'm
18 giving credit to three women sitting at this
20 MS. GATELLI: Well, we are not
21 running for president.
22 MR. B0LUS: Well, you're not running
23 but maybe you should at some point, but most
24 of the values we learned from our mothers
25 and from women that educated us as we grew
1 up and I think you all to have take a hard
2 look because this city is in the natural
3 limelight and your comments reflect each and
4 every one of us and it's not necessarily our
5 views either. Thank you.
6 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Bolus.
7 Ozzie Quinn.
8 MR. QUINN: Ozzie Quinn, Taxpayers'
9 Association. First of all, I want to wish
10 the firefighters and the police good luck
11 tomorrow. I know that, I'm hoping it's
12 approved and it's going to be a heck of a
13 tax on the citizens, but the fact is if it
14 was -- if you only gave the raises back when
15 he was supposed to give the raises
16 incrementally we wouldn't be at this one big
17 sum tax coming upon us and if it is approved
18 in favor of the firefighters and police,
19 it's been going on eight years.
20 Also, Bill mentioned about the fact
21 that about the potholes, the streets in the
22 city are terrible and this is without rancor
23 or ill-will, there has got to be something
25 In addition, the new medical school
1 out there on Olive Street -- Pine Street,
2 you have taken away that recreation center
3 for all those kids out there that played
4 there. Anybody that was on Pine Street, any
5 time at 5:00 that place is packed. In
6 addition, you took away the fact that
7 those -- that was the only play area for
8 those kids in the area as Mr. Davis had
9 pointed out before and the fact is that
10 their little league is up in Wood Street, up
11 in top of Bullshead and if they want to swim
12 they have to go out in Weston Field or
13 Capouse Avenue. These kids aren't second
14 class citizens, I don't know what you are
15 thinking about, I really don't know. It's
16 bad, it's poor planning and it's ashame,
17 shame on for hurting these poor kids. And
18 you know what, South Side Complex that was
19 supposed to be replaced with a field, when
20 was it, two years ago? It never happened.
21 I mean, what are we doing here? We are just
22 taking away and we are building these silly
23 things as Mr. Jackowitz has pointed out and
24 everybody just giggles.
25 Also, we need a comprehensive
1 rehabilitation program in the City of
2 Scranton. With the winter coming up and low
3 income and the elderly and 20.3 percent
4 poverty, people are going to be hurting and
5 they are going to be hurting real bad and if
6 you let those people from OECD run this
7 program and just put it down their throats
8 you are not going to have a good program
9 because I don't think they know what they
10 are doing down there with all due respect.
11 Now, I do want to point out the fact
12 that three of you are perpetuating a
13 violation of the Home Rule Charter, okay,
14 the administrative law. When you have voted
15 for ECTV, that $90,000, because of the fact
16 that the owner of 933 Prescott Avenue one of
17 his employees is a president of ECTV he used
18 to, I don't know if he still works with the
19 owner of 933 Prescott Avenue and he was the
20 owner at the time that the mayor picked that
21 and also he is a board member of the East
22 Scranton Business Association which $10,000
23 was laundered through to fix that building.
24 Now, why isn't that being reviewed by
25 the Ethics' Commission when this complaint
1 was filed back in February of this year,
2 seven months ago? And I found out that the
3 member of the Ethic's --one of the members
4 of the Ethic's Commission, I don't know how
5 many members there are, is also selling
6 property for the owner of who owns the
7 property at 933 Prescott Avenue. No wonder.
8 You know, it's no wonder, they're talked
9 about. I hate to say it really, but if the
10 man would only stand up and say I'm doing
11 this, you, know, I'd appreciate that, but
12 this here and trying to get away with it and
13 you people not looking into this matter.
14 It's a sin and the fact that it's happening
15 you are breaking the law and he is breaking
16 the law. He is conflict of interest. You
17 don't have to be a Philadelphia lawyer to
18 know that.
19 But the main thing here is the fact
20 that we got to do something for the
21 recreation out there for those kids out in
22 the Central Tech area, they have been
23 suffering for too long, makeshift fields, no
24 swimming, going all the way up to Wood
25 Street for a little league, it's ashame and
1 they can't go to Nay Aug, obviously, because
2 they have to pay $3.00. So, what is it, do
3 we have a planning department? Do we have
4 OECD? I mean, I'm sure that's a low income
5 area. It is a low income area, don't you
6 think it is? I don't see what the problem
7 is. What is the problem without help -- for
8 not helping those poor kids. Thank you.
9 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Quinn.
10 Andy Sbaraglia.
11 MR. SBARAGLIA: Andy Sbaraglia,
12 citizen of Scranton, fellow Scrantonians,
13 under 5-I and J, it has to deal with
14 accountability. It's a lot of money that --
15 they're grants, if they were loans I would
16 say fine. Loan them anything you want, but
17 these are grants. They are gifts. Do you
18 know how many people in this city have
19 trouble making their bills? How could you
20 even entertain something like this? You
21 build them a parking garage that's going to
22 bankrupt the Parking Authority, there is no
23 question about that, if you look at any of
24 their financial statements coming through
25 they have been bankrupt and they have been
1 staying out of bankruptcy by transferring
2 the garages here and there and everywhere
3 and then putting money into a sinking fund,
4 borrowing more than they need and put it
5 into a sinking fund.
6 Not only that, this is a -- I
7 believe it's a -- in other words, you can't
8 even -- we are going to spend millions of
9 dollars fixing his building up, but we can't
10 raise his taxes. Does that make sense?
11 Dollars and cents are what's wrong with this
12 city. People fail to look at it. I don't
13 know how you can bury your heads in the sand
14 when you see all of the news coming out and
15 it's not good news, it's bad news. A whole
16 country, the whole economy of the country is
17 in problems. The federal government just
18 took over Fannie Mae and Sallie Mae, which
19 tells you that we are on the verge of
20 collapse. The city has been on the verge of
21 collapse because nobody wants to get it from
22 collapsing, but still you close your eyes to
23 what's going on and I find it hard to
24 believe. I don't know what this man is
25 going to get the to fix up an old building,
1 but certainly something has to be given to
2 somebody, there is no question about that.
3 I mean, what's happening in the city is
4 ridiculous. Lackawanna Avenue 28, 29
5 million climbing out of public money, all
6 public money, and then you wonder why the
7 government is in trouble, the city is in
8 trouble, the state is in trouble. You
9 cannot give away the house and expect to
10 have any kind of financial responsibility,
11 you just can't do it and you are failing to
12 do it and the place to start actually is in
13 the cities, the smaller places probably do a
14 better job for the city. Maybe it's time to
15 change the charter and go back to being a
16 two-way city, maybe that's the solution.
17 Maybe another solution is just break up the
18 city like they are trying to do now down
19 there in Harvey's Lake, that's an option,
20 too. Taxpayers inside of the city is going
21 to get sick and tired of these people and
22 they are going to vote to leave Scranton and
23 let you sink under your own weight because
24 that's what's happening and that's what's
25 going to happen. We are up to max and you
1 show no financial responsibility for the
2 last almost eight years. You borrow,
3 borrow, borrow and there is no need for it.
4 You should have done it one step at a time,
5 like you teach a baby, one step at a time.
6 Maybe in the end you would have a lot more,
7 but what you did you piled it up all up in
8 the beginning and now we are saddled with
9 all of this debt and all of these garages
10 that are going to collapse and what's going
11 to happen to the citizens? They are going
12 to be responsible. It's just too bad we
13 can't get to a constitutional dimension down
14 there and change our constitution and make
15 elected officials responsible for the action
16 monetarily. Ninety percent would not run
17 anymore, but we'll have 10 percent that's
18 not afraid. Thank you.
19 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you,
20 Mr. Sbaraglia. Harold Cameron.
21 MR. CAMERON: Good evening,
22 distinguished members of our city council
23 and good evening, my fellow citizens. Jesus
24 said that if we asked and receive, if we
25 seek we'll find, if we knock it shall be
1 opened onto us, and he also said whatsoever
2 you ask in faith believing you receive, but
3 I'm not here tonight to talk about religion,
4 I'm here to talk become the point that Jesus
5 is making that we need to ask, we need to
6 ask our city officials, our elected
7 officials for help.
8 But there is another thing that he
9 is trying to tell us. There is a proper way
10 to ask. We can scream and holler and pound
11 on podiums and call names or we can approach
12 our elected officials and dedicated civil
13 servants with the respect and dignity that
14 we ourselves would like and what I found as
15 a consumer advocate as a community activist
16 working in our community that positive
17 begats positive. That what you put out is
18 called the law of attraction and in the book
19 "The Secret," what you put out you get back.
20 Does anyone agree with me? In other words,
21 if we are negative, negative, negative, why
22 are we surprised when we get a negative
24 I'd like to give you an example. As
25 an advocate I advocate for citizens who need
1 housing and I contacted Mayor Doherty, I
2 sent a letter to you folks here at city
3 council as well as to Mr. Gary Pelicacci of
4 Scranton Housing. The response was prompt,
5 the response was appropriate, it was
6 courteous, it was polite, it was
7 professional, and the citizens that needed
8 help within the guidelines of Scranton
9 Housing was allowed to apply, the citizens
10 received the help that they need, such as a
11 homeless woman with an infant child.
12 Again, no favors were pulled, no
13 strings were pulled, guidelines were
14 followed, but I believe because these folks
15 and you good folks were approached properly
16 a proper response was received and I commend
17 Mayor Doherty, I commend you, and thank
18 members of City Scranton council and I
19 commend Mr. Peliccacci and his excellent
20 dedicated staff for their prompt and timely
21 and appropriate response to citizens in
23 Another concern. Over off of Olive
24 and Penn Avenues near the railroad tracks
25 there is a whole group of people that live
1 there that we don't know about unless we
2 happen to go over there and they are called
3 homeless people. Now, I have advocated for
4 a lot of people, but I had never been there
5 and I stood there in the woods in the rain
6 and I said, "People live here."
7 And I saw the garbage and the
8 garbage bags and I saw the piles and mounds
9 of stuff and this young group of dedicated
10 people from Olive Branch Ministry and
11 Steamtown Church got together and they
12 started cleaning the area up and started
13 talking to these folks and working with
14 these folks and I contacted Mayor Doherty
15 and city council and DPW, Mr. Jeff Brazil,
16 and I said, "You know we have got some
17 garbage over here that needs to be picked up
18 and we want to help the homeless and we want
19 to do something to clean up that area
20 because I'll tell you what, rats and rodents
21 and mosquitoes are drawn that that garbage."
22 And guess what happened? Because of
23 a polite and courteous approach and dignity
24 was applied the garbage all of a sudden was
25 mysteriously picked up by the elves of the
1 DPW and I'm grateful and I commend
2 Mr. Brazil and I commend his staff for doing
3 a job and doing it well.
4 And while we were there helping the
5 homeless Scranton's finest approaches us two
6 officers from Scranton, wanting to know who
7 we were and what we were doing, very
8 professional, very honorable. They were
9 there protecting the citizens and I must say
10 I commend these police officers, men and
11 woman that lay their lives on the line every
12 day for us dealing with drug addicts and
13 heroine addicts and murders, they leave
14 their home every morning wondering if I am
15 going to come alive home or safe, so I
16 commend the Scranton Police Department and
17 the leadership. I have no complaint in
18 dealing with any of those folks over the
19 years that I have dealt with.
20 And, finally, I'm reminded of the
21 words of John F. Kennedy, our president when
22 he said, "Ask not what your country can do
23 for you, ask what you can do for your
25 As citizens we need to start finding
1 out what we can do and not the government to
2 make our cities, communities, safer, better
3 and more positive places to live. If our
4 streets are lined with garbage and trash,
5 organized neighborhood groups should call
6 the cops together and clean the streets so
7 DPW could fix the potholes.
8 If we are concerned about crime we
9 need to start getting involved in the lives
10 of our young people that are on the streets
11 and we need to start getting involved as
12 citizens so that the police department and
13 the government is not bearing this shoulder,
14 the burden alone.
15 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Cameron.
16 MR. CAMERON: Mothers and fathers be
17 parents. Thank you very much. I appreciate
18 it. Have a good night.
19 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you. Marie
21 MS. SCHUMACHER: Good evening, Marie
22 Schumacher, citizen and member of the
23 Taxpayers' Association. I certainly hope
24 you are well-rested and ready to get back to
25 work and there is lots to do. First the
1 agenda items. Item 3-I. I was pleased to
2 see 2006 ended with an operating surplus of
4 Item 5-C. The mayor has provided no
5 new funding for capital projects, however,
6 Item 5-B should be in the capital budget
7 with the grant shown as the funding source.
8 Likewise, the refurbishment of
9 Schimmelpenning Pavilion at Nay Aug should
10 be a capital budget line item funded by
11 Leadership Lackawanna. The veterans'
12 memorial that are to be placed should not be
13 paid from the operating budget funds, they
14 are capital assets.
15 The Nay Aug greenhouse that is going
16 to be put out for bid in November should be
17 in the capital budget and the funding source
18 should be identified. Now, where are the
19 funds to alter the Wildlife Center to
20 accommodate five large cats? Where is the
21 funding to asphalt the police headquarters
22 lot? How many years is the binder layer
23 expected to last?
24 Items 5-I and J should be tabled for
25 a number of reasons. The named developer is
1 not the owner of record according to the
2 county assessor's website. The property
3 address given on Appendix A includes
4 property owned by the Parking Authority.
5 Funding projections provided as backup
6 assumes CDBG funds of a half a million
7 dollars and another million dollars of Grow
8 Greener funds, is this reasonable? These
9 are but a few reasons these two items should
10 be tabled until this is investigated
12 Item 5-K. I am strongly opposed.
13 The residents of East Mountain accepted the
14 zoning for the meadow at River Street
15 Mini-Mart as it was conditioned upon the
16 installation of a traffic light within two
17 years of opening. That never happened.
18 City engineering said it couldn't be done
19 until the traffic signal synchronization
20 project was implemented. Well, Moosic
21 Street is also part of this project yet the
22 Pisano project is being jumped to the head
23 of the line. Hasn't the city already done
24 enough for this project? Free structure
25 demolishing, free tree removal, a $250,000
1 loan which has been subordinated, taking
2 part of the land so the city has to do the
3 paving and the alley. It's time for the
4 Pisano Brothers to wait their turn.
5 Now, let's move to the
6 administrative priorities and citizens'
7 protection. I learned from the Doherty
8 Deceit message board our health inspector
9 was suspended for I believe a week over a
10 $200 issue. So, in the midst of a hot
11 summer and with over 500 restaurants we had
12 no health inspector. Perhaps the
13 administrative time spent on this $200 issue
14 would have been better spent concentrating
15 on administrative ordinances.
16 In mid-April I requested via Right
17 to Know the locations of the parking
18 facilities on which the $54,000, 2007 budget
19 figures were based with annotations for
20 those excluded to arrive at the reduced 2008
21 budget amount. Sounds like a simple
22 request. However, after written and
23 telephonic follow-ups, I finally received a
24 partial answer which was mailed September 5.
25 The response consisted of 20 invoices
1 totaling $44,520.00. The shocking part was
2 all of the invoices were dated August 29. I
3 can't help but wonder, if these invoices
4 wouldn't have been sent at all if my letter
5 hadn't forced the issues. Time to hassle
6 the inspector, but no time to send out
7 invoices in a timely manner. Amazing.
8 Maybe next year we could forget to send out
9 or tax bills until the end of September.
10 Now, in late July of 2007 you all
11 revised the rental registration requirement
12 to cover all rentals and before that you
13 didn't have to register unless you had three
14 or more and you've increased the fees.
15 Again -- may I continue?
16 MR. MCGOFF: Please.
17 MS. SCHUMACHER: Via Right to Know I
18 learned that $12,110.00 has been received
19 through July. If the August through
20 December remains the same as in 2007 the
21 2008 total will be only $14,075.00. This
22 would equate to an approximately 938 rental
23 units, clearly something is amiss. When
24 were the invoices sent or perhaps I should
25 be asking were they sent? Fees doubled and
1 collections decreased by 50 percent? It
2 makes no sense? However, the administration
3 had time to hassle an employee over $200.
4 Now I'm concluding, I will look forward
5 to a report on the 2007 audit from Mrs.
6 Gatelli in the next order and an explanation
7 for Mrs. Fanucci on the manner in which the
8 comments OECD solicited on several budget
9 transfers will be disposed. Thank you.
10 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mrs.
12 MR. SPINDLER: Good evening, Council,
13 Les Spindler, home owner, Scranton resident.
14 As everyone probably knows by now, but in
15 case anyone doesn't know, recently in
16 Forbe's magazine Scranton was named in the
17 top ten of America's fastest dying cities.
18 I wonder why. We have been saying this at
19 this podium for about five years now. And
20 it was even mentioned in the Doherty
21 newsletter, which shocked me, but what the
22 Doherty newsletter that didn't say that out
23 of the fastest dying cites in the country,
24 Scranton is the oldest, and to quote Forbe's
25 magazine, "The oldest city in our top ten,
1 Scranton, Pa., about 45 percent of it's
2 population is over 45 years old."
3 Do you wonder why? What is there in
4 this city to attract young people to this
5 city? That's why we have all elderly people
6 in this city. What would a lure a young
7 couple wanting to raise a family to live in
8 this city? Can anyone on this council
9 answer me? That's what I thought. Nothing.
10 Now, what would lure a person
11 graduating from the University of Scranton,
12 for example, to live in this city? Nothing,
13 there are no jobs in this city, there is
14 nothing to keep young people in this city,
15 there is one person to blame to for that and
16 it's Chris Doherty and now in the Doherty
17 newsletter today I see he wants to build a
18 baseball park downtown? Where are we going
19 to put a baseball park in downtown Scranton?
20 Has this man finally lost his mind? Maybe
21 he is going to tear down some parking garage
22 to put a baseball stadium up there.
23 Next on the list, for the past two
24 summers now I have had a problem with a
25 person living about two blocks away from me
1 burning wood in his backyard. Last summer I
2 called the police, the first two times the
3 police went and told the person to stop,
4 they said it was illegal, the third time I
5 called the police officer came back to my
6 house and he said the gentleman shoved a
7 paper in his face and said it was an
8 ordinance which council passed in 2002 that
9 if you had this certain kind of burner you
10 can burn wood.
11 Now, this person lives two blocks
12 away from me, in the summertime why would
13 anybody have to burn wood in the summertime?
14 When they are telling us to conserve energy
15 I had to put my doors and window and put my
16 air conditioner on. I don't think that's
17 right at all and the police officer also
18 told me that all of the neighbors around
19 that area also complained.
20 Now, I'm going to ask council to
21 revisit this ordinance and change it. There
22 is absolutely no reason for someone to burn
23 wood in the summertime. And, like I said,
24 why would I have to close my doors and put
25 my air conditioner on? I think it's
1 ridiculous. Mr. McGoff, would you consider
2 looking at this ordinance and maybe redoing
4 MR. MCGOFF: I'm not familiar with
5 the ordinance, but we'll look into it.
6 MR. SPINDLER: Well, it was done in
7 2002 and I think it's ridiculous ordinance.
8 Moving on, last time I was here I stated
9 that CDTV, Chris Doherty TV, was editing the
10 tapes. Well, I guess they are not editing
11 they only have hour tapes, is that right,
12 Mr. Courtright?
13 MR. COURTRIGHT: I don't know.
14 MR. SPINDLER: I think that's what I
15 heard. With all the money they have they
16 can't buy a three-hour tape? Can't Chris
17 Doherty give them five bucks to buy a
18 three-hour tape? I have a dollar here. If
19 everybody from council gives a dollar maybe
20 we can buy them a tape. This is ridiculous.
21 What kind of outfit is this? They cannot
22 buy a three-hour tape?
23 MR. COURTRIGHT: I don't know.
24 MR. SPINDLER: This is most ludicrous
25 thing I've ever heard, so they have to stop
1 the tape after every hour and put a new tape
2 in. I don't know. They should go ask Chris
3 Doherty for five bucks and buy them a tape.
4 Next thing, I have to talk about the
5 police chief making those terrible remarks
6 to the policewomen and all they got was a
7 slap on the wrist. If that happened in any
8 line of business that person would be fired
9 on the spot and I work for a financial
10 institution, if I said at that to a coworker
11 I wouldn't have a job today and I'm sure,
12 Mrs. Gatelli, if that was said to someone in
13 the school district they wouldn't have a
14 job. The fire chief, the police chief, they
15 can say and do whatever they want and Chris
16 Doherty let's them get away with murder and
17 this is wrong, something has got to happen
19 Next thing, I have asked for line
20 painting in certain area for years, I drove
21 by the new bank on the corner of Main and
22 Luzerne Street and nothing amazes me, there
23 were beautiful lines that are painted there,
24 so I don't know why I can't get lines
25 painted on places I ask. Since I have more
1 time, I guess, Mr. McGoff, why was last
2 week's meeting cancelled? Can you answer
4 MR. MCGOFF: Yes. The vote of the
5 five members of council.
6 MR. SPINDLER: Thank you.
7 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Spindler.
8 Stephanie Gallia.
9 MS. GALLIA: Good evening, Council,
10 how are you tonight? I just want to go over
11 some of the stuff we kind of left off with
12 at the end of the season. How are we making
13 out with Mr. McDowell? What are we learning
14 on that? I know Mr. Minora had put a
15 subpoena out, have we heard back on any of
17 MR. MINORA: You want me to answer
19 MR. MCGOFF: Would you like an answer
20 to that?
21 MS. GALLIA: If he doesn't mind.
22 MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Minora, would you --
23 MR. MINORA: On August 13 on behalf
24 of council I filed a petition to enforce the
25 subpoena, the Court granted a Rule to Show
1 Cause that requires them, Mr. McDowell and
2 his representative, to file an answer which
3 they did around August 29. They filed a
4 brief in support of their position, I just
5 filed our brief in support of our position
6 today, argument is scheduled for Thursday at
8 MS. GALLIA: Okay, excellent. Thank
9 you very much. Okay, that's that. I was
10 also wondering have, you know, having dealt
11 with Mr. McDowell have we done business with
12 Fidelity other than that that one checking
13 account or bank account or does anybody
14 know? Could we check into that? I mean,
15 just curious, but, you know.
16 Now onto the safety issues. How are
17 we making out with making sure we have
18 police and fire and all of that? I mean,
19 95 percent grievances and, you know, like I
20 thought Mr. Hayes and Mr. Seitzinger isn't
21 that their job as public safety director is
22 to handle any of the grievances that the
23 police and firemen might have against their
25 MR. COURTRIGHT: Mr. Hayes does a lot
1 with their attorneys.
2 MS. GALLIA: Okay. What exactly are
3 Mr. Seitzinger's qualifications, do we know?
4 MR. COURTRIGHT: I don't know what
5 his qualifications are, but he is not in the
6 public safety end, they have removed him
7 from there to a different position.
8 MS. GALLIA: Okay. All right.
9 During the summer it also came to my
10 attention that, you know, the administration
11 was supposed to be trying to settle
12 contracts and they setup meetings and didn't
13 show up again and then they showed up with
14 the same evidently contract that they
15 already had out once before, is there any
16 way we are going to get this settled? I
17 mean, safety is an issue here at this point.
18 We had to my knowledge there is at least 12
19 policemen that have filed for job
20 applications over in Taylor, which means
21 they are just going to leave, we have nobody
22 replace them, we are all working
23 short-handed, anybody gets hurt we are in
24 big trouble. You know, he is letting things
25 go. He is not, you know, we have a chance
1 to go after, you know, grants and stuff from
2 the federal and state level for, you know,
3 equipment and education of our policemen or
4 firemen and nobody is going after these
5 grants and stuff and I don't understand,
6 again, wouldn't that be up to the chiefs of
7 the departments to make sure? Well, you
8 know, and I don't need to go into, somebody
9 already took care of the Chief Elliott issue
10 as far as I'm concerned, but I was going to
11 bring that up because that was very, very
12 inappropriate what he said to those two
14 I also would like to address the TV
15 issue. I watched it off and on all summer
16 and nothing. Nothing. I watched it last
17 night to find out they still don't have the
18 ability to do live broadcasts. Why did we
19 do this? I don't understand it. Somebody
20 has got to, you know, work with this
21 administration because he is killing the
22 city. He is. And the rain is reminding me
23 today, how are we making out at the issue at
24 Keyser Avenue and Cameron Avenue and all of
25 flood zones, is the die cut down in
1 Greenridge is it coming along, do we know?
2 MR. COURTRIGHT: I went down and
3 looked at it the other day, it seemed like
4 it's moving along fairly well. Where? On
5 the side of the Market Street Bridge there I
6 was down there when they did that, and it's
7 working your way, sorry.
8 MS. GALLIA: What about the Keyser
9 Avenue issues, do we know how that's coming
10 along, all of that stuff back there?
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: I have a letter
12 that I'll read later onto the Crisp Avenue
13 Bridge there, they have hit a snag, I don't
14 think anybody is going to be too happy about
15 the information that I'm going to give them.
16 MS. GALLIA: Okay. Well, that's it
17 for today. Thank you very much. I
18 appreciate your time.
19 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mrs. Gallia.
20 Liz Hubbard.
21 MS. HUBBARD: Good evening, Council.
22 Welcome back. Liz Hubbard, Scranton
23 resident. Bill, you caught me off guard
24 with -- they are not starting on that levy
25 at all down there. They are doing some
1 subsurface work and draining things, but
2 it's going to be awhile before we have a
4 MR. COURTRIGHT: I was talking over,
5 I went to took a look at it near the Market
6 Street Bridge where they put up the wall on
8 MS. HUBBARD: Yeah, on the side.
9 MR. COURTRIGHT: On the other side
10 of Market. On the other side, yeah, and
11 that looks like --
12 MR. HUBBARD: Well, that's great for
13 the people over there, but for us, no.
14 MR. COURTRIGHT: I understand.
15 MS. HUBBARD: I forget why I'm here
16 now. Oh, two things. I know that it's
17 rumored that the city does elected
18 enforcement of blight problems and things
19 like that, but, Jimmy Stucker been here a
20 couple of times over the last year regarding
21 a house at the corner of Dickson Avenue and
22 Greenridge Street, and the only number I
23 could see on it was 600, but it's the corner
24 house. It is a disgusting pigsty and it's
25 on Main Street and nothing --
1 MR. COURTRIGHT: Liz, what happened,
2 and I don't mean to interrupt you, what
3 happened there was a call there from the
4 police department there was a man down there
5 and I believe when the police went there, I
6 don't know if he passed out on the porch or
7 whatever, when they went there I believe
8 they called out the inspectors. It's been
9 condemned, so hopefully it's going to be --
10 MS. HUBBARD: The weeds are this high
11 and I know for a fact that the city --
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: And the interior is
14 MS. HUBBARD: -- terrorized another
15 person in Greenridge about weeds, etcetera,
16 and then I drive by and I look at this mess
17 and I think, where are they? You know, do
19 MR. COURTRIGHT: Maybe I'll --
20 MS. HUBBARD: We tried to see who the
21 owner was on the assessor's website and we
22 couldn't find that address.
23 MS. FANUCCI: I know. We did, too.
24 MS. HUBBARD: So I have no idea who
25 owns it, but they should really get rid of
1 it. You are talking about the gateway to
2 the city with the Dunkin Donuts and that
3 beautiful, beautiful job they did on that
4 corner of Mulberry and Jefferson, somebody
5 ought to pave the 200 and 300 block of
6 Jefferson because if that's the gateway to
7 the city --
8 MS. GATELLI: That's a state road.
9 MS. HUBBARD: -- you are lucky if
10 you've got wheels on your car if you go over
11 those two blocks.
12 MS. GATELLI: That's a state road.
13 MS. HUBBARD: Well, then where is the
15 MS. GATELLI: Yeah, we ought to send
16 them a letter. It's deplorable.
17 MS. HUBBARD: It's disgusting. My
18 next issue is not new, the skunks, and I'm
19 thinking maybe that guy over by Les's is
20 burning wood thinking the smoke will keep
21 the skunks away. You guys give all of this
22 money in grants and loans to all of these
23 places in the city why can't you spend some
24 of that money in hire somebody to get rid of
25 the skunks? Gas was so high this summer
1 people couldn't afford to go anywhere and
2 it's nice you want to enjoy your backyard
3 and dusk comes and you have to leave because
4 out come the skunks and, I mean, they are
5 everywhere. People stop me no matter where
6 I go that live in different areas of the
7 city and they all have a skunk problem. If
8 this was rats you would be after them in a
9 heartbeat. I would rather take my chance on
10 being treated for the bubonic plague than I
11 would rabies, so let's get after those
12 skunks. I mean, you guys ought to be able
13 to do something. Get a state grant. You
14 give grants to everybody else.
15 MS. FANUCCI: You can't use grant
16 money for that, that's the problem, but we
17 probably can look into other resources that
18 may be we could do our own program, but you
19 can't use grant money.
20 MS. HUBBARD: Well, take some of this
21 money you spend on landscaping and the park
22 and planting flowers and get rid of the
23 skunks, and I'm trying to control my
24 language here, because it's disgusting, it
25 really is.
1 MS. FANUCCI: They are bad.
2 MS. HUBBARD: My dog won't even go
3 out on the leash anymore because she smells
4 the skunk and she is afraid there every
5 night, so try to get on that, and I guess
6 that's all I have. Oh, what is this on here
7 about this flood on "D" on the agenda,
8 conveyance by sealed bid of three parcels of
9 land acquired, where is that land located?
10 MR. COURTRIGHT: It says Shawnee
11 Avenue on here.
12 MS. HUBBARD: Shawnee Avenue, I
13 thought they were all done with that flood
14 project over there.
15 MR. COURTRIGHT: Evidently they
16 needed to acquire some more property there.
17 MS. HUBBARD: Well, they better start
18 acquiring a lot of dirt and stuff and
19 getting that levy done. Anyway, thanks.
20 Have a nice evening.
21 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mrs. Hubbard.
22 Joe Talimini.
23 MR. TALIMINI: Joe Talimini. First
24 I'd like to welcome you all back to from an
25 extended vacation. It was very nice of you
1 to come back and decide to meet with the
2 citizens. Mrs. Evans, I noticed that you
3 mentioned several crosswalks which were
4 being repaved, nothing about the one
5 directly across the street here at Mulberry
6 and North Washington where we lost one of
7 other tenants last year and she was hit by a
8 car while she was trying to cross in her
9 wheelchair, and the ruts are still there
10 and, you know, I just think that should be a
11 priority especially since it's right across
12 the street from city hall, and we lost a
13 71-year-old woman who was in pretty good
14 health up until that time.
15 Mr. Courtright, I believe last year
16 it was brought up that we had a piece of
17 equipment that DPW had which was supposed to
18 be used for paving or something, did they
19 ever find that thing?
20 MR. COURTRIGHT: That was the
21 infamous pothole machine. I think it's
22 being stored down at the Sewer Authority.
23 My understanding is it's all but junk right
25 MR. TALIMINI: Well, I'm sure it is,
1 it's never been used.
2 MR. COURTRIGHT: In my opinion it
3 was a mistake when we bought it and it just
4 got worse as time went on. I actually was
5 hoping they would have sold it before it got
6 to the point where now it's probably not
7 worth anything other than scrap.
8 MR. TALIMINI: I checked with one our
9 state representatives who is on the
10 transportation committee about repairs on
11 North Washington Avenue and he assured me he
12 would get back to me and that was over a
13 month ago, but a couple of months it will
14 election time and I know he will get back to
15 me before then, but in the mean time I think
16 it's incumbent upon you people to put some
17 pressure on the state because North
18 Washington Avenue is in very bad shape, as
19 you well know. Several of the streets in
20 this town are now -- Mulberry Street when
21 you get up by the University it's like a
22 roller coaster ride and, unfortunately, my
23 shocks aren't that good in my car because if
24 they were I probably would be going over the
25 top of buildings after I hit that bump, but
1 I know Mayor Doherty has this on his
2 wishlist, but I have something on my
3 wishlist, too. I wish Mayor Doherty would
4 forget about Nay Aug Park and start putting
5 some money into the city for the benefit of
6 all the citizens, especially paving our
7 roads. I don't know when the last time they
8 were paved, but, my God, if it's necessary
9 I'm sure I could get a crew out there if you
10 people supply the tar we will lay the damn
11 stuff ourselves and do something because
12 this is absolutely ridiculous.
13 I mean, you talk about what a
14 beautiful city this is until the people come
15 here and have to drive on the streets.
16 Well, I'll tell you what, the next time I
17 break a tire or a shock or anything else I'm
18 bringing the bill up here personally and I
19 expect to be reimbursed for it because I am
20 up to here with this nonsense and if you
21 spend another dime on Nay Aug Park you
22 better spend a couple of hundred thousand
23 dollars on the streets, and I don't care who
24 likes it. And that's all I have to say for
25 you, and again, welcome back.
1 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Talimini.
2 MS. STULGIS: I'm here this evening
3 to share with you a statement made by Robert
4 Martin, president of Lodge II, Fraternal
5 Order of Police, which includes the Scranton
6 Police Department: "This is in response to
7 the disciplinary actions by the City of
8 Scranton against Chief David Elliott for his
9 admitted gross misconduct and outrageous
10 behavior. On August 4, 2008, a grievance
11 was received alleging a violation of a
12 collective bargaining agreement, Article 28,
13 prohibition against discrimination that
14 reads: The city and the FOP agree that they
15 shall not discriminate against any member of
16 the bargaining unit with regard to age, sex,
17 marital status, race, creed, color, national
18 origin or membership in the FOP."
19 Martin immediately conducted a
20 preliminary hearing investigation to ensure
21 the validity of this grievance. Upon
22 validation and due to the nature and gravity
23 of the grievance, he immediately forwarded
24 it to the FOP attorney. In the course of
25 our president's investigation he discovered
1 that on April 20 Chief Elliott mandated
2 officers Jane Doe to work Senator Barack
3 Obama's visit to the Riverfront complex.
4 During that shift, Chief Elliott approached
5 officers Jane Doe and said, and I quote, "I
6 thought you and Jane were my overtime whores
7 and now what, you want to be mommies and
9 Then, on the afternoon of July 7 at
10 approximately 3:30 p.m. the same two
11 officers entered the chief's office to
12 signup for work on the COM-D foot patrols.
13 Chief Elliott was sitting in his outer
14 office talking to his four secretaries and a
15 uniformed male officer. As the two female
16 officers entered the chief looked at them
17 and said, and I quote, "Here come my two
18 whores now."
19 According to statements President
20 Martin received, there was an immediate
21 response from one of the secretaries to that
22 comment. It was unclear who spoke and who
23 said what. Approximately two minutes later
24 Chief Elliott and Lieutenant Amaka entered
25 the chief's inner office, had a brief
1 discussion and the lieutenant left.
2 As the two female officers turned to
3 leave, Chief Elliott looked at them and
4 said, and again I quote, "You guys know I
5 meant overtime whores."
6 The officers left humiliated,
7 embarrassed and demeaned. The EB Jermyn
8 Lodge No. 2 is extremely disappointed with
9 the discipline given to Chief David Elliott
10 for his admitted gross misconduct and
11 outrageous behavior toward his subordinates.
12 We do not accept this as a one-time mistake
13 or a slip of the tongue. This is a
14 continuous course of conduct that has
15 steadily escalated to this disgraceful
16 point. We cannot and we will not tolerate
17 this disrespectful treatment of our members
18 and we will pursue this matter to a more
19 just end.
20 We have filed for arbitration. We
21 have filed with the Human Relations
22 Commission. We have filed the Equal
23 Employment Opportunity Commission. In each
24 instances we will pursue all legal recourses
25 necessary to repair the damage needlessly
1 done to these fine police officers. The
2 citizens of Scranton expect and deserve a
3 professionally lead police department.
4 Our officers should be treated with
5 dignity and with respect. President Martin
6 added that he personally is honored and
7 humbled to represent these courageous women.
8 He has had the privilege to work side by
9 side with these two outstanding officers,
10 officers who are the standard of all the men
11 and women in the Scranton Police Department.
12 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you. David
13 Dobson. No? Mr. Dobson has chosen to not
14 speak. Are there any other speakers?
15 MS. HUMPHRIES: Yes, I would like to
17 MR. MCGOFF: Well, we have number of
18 people who may want to. Mr. Davis.
19 MR. DAVIS: Salaam aleikum, peace and
20 blessings of the law be with you. The
21 vacation, I'm quite sure was glamorous for
22 some. For us in the trenches it was very
23 disheartening. We saw our fences and our
24 tennis courts and our basketball courts
25 being chained off by the school board.
1 These are the people that allow -- we
2 allowed them to come into our area and they
3 took our homes. Originally the city and the
4 school board were supposed to maintain these
5 things for the community as well and now
6 it's all totally fenced off, so therefore,
7 the community can't use this property. The
8 kids can't use the basketball courts nor the
9 tennis courts and I wonder, I have been
10 coming to you for three years saying this is
11 what could happen. I have been saying to
12 you that they placed signs and said you
13 couldn't use it from dawn to dusk and
14 nobody, nobody on this city council said a
15 word to them, not one word was brought out
16 of the city from you.
17 MR. COURTRIGHT: Mr. Davis?
18 MR. DAVIS: Yes.
19 MR. COURTRIGHT; I think we went down
20 this road before, that was the school
21 district's property. We had no control over
23 MR. DAVIS: If you remember, well,
24 I'm saying that HUD, that property was all
25 bought up by HUD.
1 MR. COURTRIGHT: That part I don't
2 know, I just don't know -- at the time you
3 were talking about it was the school
4 district had it and the reason they put the
5 signs up after dusk was because there was a
6 lot of drug activity there and they were
7 finding syringes and whatnot after hours,
8 that's why the signs were there. I know
9 that's not what you want to hear, but that's
10 just the way it is.
11 MR. DAVIS: I'm saying and I'm quite
12 sure there were drug signs, there were all
13 sorts of -- but, that has been going on
14 there for 15 years.
15 MS. FANUCCI: That doesn't make it
17 MR. DAVIS: Seriously.
18 MR. COURTRIGHT: I'm just trying to
19 answer you.
20 MR. DAVIS: And nobody has done a
21 thing about it.
22 MR. COURTRIGHT: But we have no
23 control over it.
24 MS. FANUCCI: It wasn't us.
25 MR. COURTRIGHT: I was the school
2 MR. DAVIS: If you had said to them
3 it was done by Tony Perry, it was done for
4 the community, that is their play area.
5 Petersburg has their play area, West Side
6 has two or three play areas, South Side has
7 theirs, central city doesn't have one and
8 I'm saying that are kids are at risk, the
9 kids are at risk. The kids are learning to
10 disrespect --
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: I'm not saying they
12 don't deserve one, they certainly deserve
13 one, I'm saying that particular one we had
14 no control over. Do I think they deserve a
15 play area? Absolutely, and maybe --
16 MR. DAVIS: Originally you did have.
17 I'm saying that originally when that was put
18 together --
19 MR. COURTRIGHT: Before my time on --
20 MR. DAVIS: Oh before you, yes.
21 Everybody here is new. I mean, I'm going
22 back ten years, I'm going back five years,
23 you know, you didn't even -- we didn't even
24 know Fanucci was a name. I'm saying to you
25 that there are things that have occurred in
1 this community and it gets worse and worse
2 every day. It does. I mean, it's worse
3 than if you said that I'm going to -- I'm
4 going to embark on a mode or on a practice
5 of slavery, we are going to enslave this
6 area, we are going to enslave it so they
7 will never grow up again, they will never
8 own another piece of property in this sector
9 again you have done it, and I have never
10 seen the city with all of it's grandiose,
11 all of it's beautiful words, I have never
12 seen you come to their plate. I have never
13 seen on your own even say, "What's going on
14 here? Why is this occurring here? Why do
15 you put chains on fences?" I don't even see
16 changes on fences in West Side. But, we
17 have them in central city. It's not
18 permitted. How can you do -- that's public
19 school property. That's public school
20 property. That means it's for the public as
21 well as for the school, as long as we are
22 not destroying the property then you have to
23 let it allowed, but that's not true here.
24 For some reason or another.
25 What you have done in that
1 community. First of all, with the highrise
2 or the Washington Plaza you went in there
3 and one guy, Fioroni, the guy who works for
4 you, went in there and said, "No good.
5 Let's close it down."
6 Boom. It was closed down. You
7 didn't say why? You didn't question him.
8 He left the job one week later. He quit
9 this job. I don't know what happened to
10 him. I have been trying to find him, but I
11 can't find him, and I want to know why he
12 put -- what were the grounds that he gave
13 and nobody seems to know. I cannot find out
14 reasons for why they closed that development
15 down. Now they have come through and said
16 now the much underpinnings or the
17 construction of it was unsafe, etcetera,
18 etcetera, but yet it's only going to cost
19 them $3 million to fix it. That's what they
20 said. Now, this is what they said at the
21 Scranton Housing yesterday, and that's
23 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Davis.
24 MR. DAVIS: Please, open your eyes.
25 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Davis.
1 MR. BICKLER: Hi. My name is Kurt
2 Bickler, I'm a Scranton resident and
3 taxpayer. It's my first time here at city
4 council, I'm a little bit nervous so bear
5 with me. It's very nice to meet you in
6 person, Janet Evans, I have been very in
7 favor of all you have been doing on city
8 council as well as the others here, but you
9 stand up with integrity and I applaud that.
10 MS. EVANS: Thank you.
11 MR. BICKLER: I also come as a
12 representative of Olive Branch Ministries
13 from the Steamtown Church and my friend
14 left, unfortunately, leaving me here to talk
15 by myself, I'm kind of nervous, but it was
16 very interesting to go out and to actually
17 meet the people who do not have a home and I
18 have worked around homeless people for well
19 over five years in the local agency, but I
20 have never really actually gone out and seen
21 where they live or, you know, I don't want
22 to use the word live and it was quite an
23 eye-opener and I would just encourage all of
24 you to be aware of the serious problem in
25 this area called homelessness and we try and
1 do what we can and clean up the area, so we
2 did meet a little -- meet up with a little
3 opposition, but we dealt with it and they
4 were very kind and we went our way and
6 Another concern I have is basically
7 the tiger cubs up at Nay Aug Park. I'm a
8 big animal lover and I'm just a little bit
9 concerned that they are being taken care of
10 properly. I haven't been up there to really
11 see them, I need to go up and see them I
12 guess. I remember Nay Aug Park as a child
13 and I need to go up there and see how the
14 tiger cubs are doing.
15 And it's not so bad being up here
16 speaking behind the podium, but my last
17 concern is I was out the other day walking
18 through by the courthouse and I was really
19 impressed by the courthouse improvements and
20 my only thing is there was, and I know
21 church and state there is a division, so I'm
22 going to be very discreet with this, there
23 was one statement that was attributed to
24 anonymous, so I would like you all to
25 consider, you know, who that anonymous
1 person is, and I don't know if that's
2 because of church and state, but I can
3 understand. I don't know if I'm making
4 sense. There's a statement on the wall that
5 is basically a biblical reference and it was
6 attributed to anonymous. Now, I can
7 understand if that's division of church and
8 state, I can understand, but I don't know, I
9 just want to -- I was a little concerned
10 about that because whoever wrote that do
11 they really -- do they know that someone
12 really said that and who that person is?
13 You know, we all know what I'm talking
14 about, so once again, it was very good being
15 here and I hope I made sense.
16 MS. FANUCCI: You did. Can I ask you
17 a question, sir?
18 MR. BICKLER: Yes.
19 MS. FANUCCI: Is there anywhere that
20 anyone can contact you if they want to help
21 volunteer with the organization to go out
22 and help the homeless?
23 MR. BICKLER: Well, they can look up
24 Steamtown Church in the phone book.
25 MS. FANUCCI: Okay.
1 MR. BICKLER: We have -- I'm just a
2 representative, I haven't been going there a
3 long time, so I don't mean to speak for the
5 MS. FANUCCI: No, it's good for
6 people to know if they want to contacts you.
7 We get a lot of inquiries after people come
9 MR. BICKLER: Steamtown Church meets
10 at, if I may, the Red Carpet Inn Sundays at
11 10:30, it's right off Mulberry.
12 MS. FANUCCI: All right. Thank you
13 so much.
14 MR. BICKLER: You're welcome.
15 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, sir.
16 MS. HUMPHRIES: Praise be Jesus, Mary
17 and all you Holy people in the City of
18 Scranton. Shalom, assalamu alaikum, Pache,
19 may the peace of God be with everyone at
20 this point. I had a couple of papers here.
21 I hope you had a wonderful vacation,
22 everybody. I am truth and truth in it's
23 fullest. My citizenship is in heaven, not
24 here on earth, so my build up is for the
25 citizens in all of heaven. Many people have
1 being dying of cancer, and when I lived at
2 Valley View apartments my hair was falling
3 out and I had water, it was distorted coming
4 out just when I came back from Rome, and I
5 called PPL and PPL came up, but they never
6 gave me anything that had to do with or they
7 never give me anything which I should have
8 been reported. Everybody is worried about
9 the potholes, they are complaining about the
10 next door neighbor's houses, we are little
11 God and a loving neighbor, so why don't we
12 all kind of roll up our hands, roll up our
13 cuff things and go to that person and find
14 out if they are sick, how they could help
15 them before they take away their property
16 because they don't know how people are or
17 with their back lifestyle is.
18 What I came upon is the scientists
19 would call me a clairvoyant, the church
20 would call me a prophetess. I pursue to be
21 really a prophetess of the Lord Jesus for
22 peace and reconciliation. The nuclear power
23 plant might support us of life, and I won't
24 tell you everything, but I will tell you
25 this much, don't worry about the potholes,
1 don't worry about the gravel, and don't
2 worry about the rocks, love each other
3 because the United States has been split in
4 half and we are a repercussion of the
5 nuclear plants out toward the north and we
6 are all literally dying.
7 This paper was in 1971 confiscated
8 all over, I won't expose the names, but what
9 I was doing was bringing rocks and all,
10 which I didn't understand each one of them
11 was equaling a name of a nuclear power
12 plant. While President Bush doesn't want
13 any power plants all over the other
14 countries and 17 and 18 and 14 and
15 13-year-old children are dying in other
16 countries because they don't have
17 electricity, it's appalling, it's appalling,
18 it's appalling.
19 So, I'm submitting something because
20 Spencer Bush, whoever he is, if is he
21 related to Mr. Bush, was on this so I'm
22 submitting this into the City of Scranton to
23 be sent to the environmental representative
24 in Washington D.C. to tell them end nuclear
25 war, end abortion, end euthanasia, love
1 each, this is the time and this is at hand.
2 When God returns to God we can't keep making
3 all kind of instruments, all kind of stuff
4 and killing each other because this is not
5 the way of God, so I'm submitting this in.
6 It's called "Poison Power." I'm submitting
7 this in because everything I was bringing in
8 I was not aware of every single one of the
9 ways and the places where it's at. I will
10 not reveal it, but I will reveal it to the
11 board to present back to Washington D.C.
12 The second thing, Lauren Finn. Lauren
13 Finn -- everybody knows I have been raped,
14 attacked and murdered --
15 MR. MCGOFF: Phyllis --
16 MR. COURTRIGHT: Phyllis --
17 MS. HUMPHRIES: -- practically
18 murdered, I want this case opened up because
19 the man who attacked me and raped me raped
20 Lauren Finn and the other guy is innocent in
21 jail. I want him to released.
22 MR. MCGOFF: Please stop. Thank you.
23 MS. HUMPHRIES: I will claim all the
24 land for everybody that abused me and their
25 homes and I will turn it back to the
1 American Indians where it belongs.
2 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.
3 MS. HUMPHRIES: And those girls that
4 got injured, tell them they will go down to
5 the blessed mother and the police
7 MR. MCGOFF: Excuse me. Thank you.
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: Phyllis.
9 MR. MCGOFF: That's good. Thank you.
10 MS. HUMPHRIES: God bless you.
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: God bless you.
12 MR. MORGAN: Good evening, Council.
13 I'm glad to see everybody here. I think we
14 are pretty much like a family on this side
15 and you guys on the other side sometimes are
17 You know, I'd like to say a couple
18 of things here. One is that, you know,
19 Mr. Davis when he got up here and spoke, and
20 there was a little discussion here about
21 drug use and other problems there, you know,
22 that's a situation that the Scranton Police
23 Department should be handling, but the truth
24 of the matter here is that for all of the
25 discussions that are taking place about
1 wages and everything else in regards to the
2 Scranton Police Department I think we
3 finally have to realize that this police
4 department is seriously undermanned, that's
5 my opinion. I think we have some very
6 serious problems in this city because we are
7 spending money in all of the wrong places
8 and the money that would benefit the
9 citizens just isn't there. It's being
10 squandered. It's being syphoned off, the
11 problems are just horrendous. We are going
12 to turn into Wilkes-Barre soon. We are
13 going to have just problems beyond ordinary
14 residents belief, and I think part of this
15 problem has been shown here tonight by just
16 what Mrs. Schumacher said here at the
17 podium, and some people may wonder, well,
18 what did she say? She said everything that
19 every member of this council should have
20 known before they introduced this agenda
21 tonight. She knew facts about what was on
22 the agenda, she had facts about a lot of the
23 things that are happening here in the city,
24 and to be honest with you I think that the
25 council should be bringing those facts to
1 the people.
2 I mean, you see the state of affairs
3 here in this council chamber by what's
4 happening to Scranton Today. They did a
5 wonderful job with no money here for a very
6 long time, people community oriented giving
7 their own time basically to make this city
8 better and what we have done is we have
9 allowed politics to come in and remove the
10 one asset that benefited not only the city
11 but the community at large so now when we
12 have basically nothing. Nothing.
13 We have had money siphoned to ECTV,
14 now we have grant money getting ready to be
15 thrown to them, but you know, when you look
16 at what Scranton Tomorrow did with no money,
17 no money, all of the broadcasting they did,
18 everything for the welfare of the community
19 and you have to look at why because there
20 was too much information there. The
21 residents of this city received information
22 they never could have got anywhere else and
23 you know what that did that informed them
24 and my opinion is that some people in local
25 government couldn't be elected with that
1 channel on the air. It had to be
2 controlled, it had to be either destroyed or
3 it's format had to be changed and in my
4 opinion since Scranton Tomorrow wouldn't
5 change their format the mayor crushed them.
6 Now, I had an opportunity to go when
7 Mr. Pilchesky presented the zoning argument
8 in Court, I think that he was right on the
9 mark. Everything he said was absolutely the
10 truth. I think he did a wonderful job for
11 somebody that is not an attorney. I think
12 he presented his argument extremely well and
13 from what I understand the judge didn't even
14 issue an opinion on how he came to his
15 conclusion. Somebody in the higher court is
16 going to look down at this guy and say,
17 "Pal, where did you get this from?"
18 He is going to have to answer to
19 somebody. I took a day off of work to go
20 see two cases, one was in regard to your
21 complaint, Mrs. Gatelli, and I'm not going
22 to say very much on that except that I think
23 in my opinion you are on very serious thin
24 ice and --
25 MS. GATELLI: Well, that's your
1 opinion, Mr. Morgan.
2 MR. MORGAN: Absolutely.
3 MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Morgan, if it's
4 still in litigation we probably shouldn't
5 talk about it.
6 MR. MORGAN: Well, it is in
8 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.
9 MR. MORGAN: But I think that the
10 freedom of speech gives me the opportunity
11 to come here and speak of my concerns as a
12 resident of this city speaking about
13 mismanagement of this city. You have other
14 people coming up talking about selective
15 enforcement by various city inspectors. I
16 would have to say that I agree that that's
17 happening. I think what we have created in
18 this city is a cycle of fear. The residents
19 are afraid of their own government and not
20 only are they afraid of it, they are being
21 taxed out of their homes. There is just no
22 excuse for the condition the city is in, but
23 the cycle of borrowing continues and I think
24 in order for this city to change we need
25 cooperation, non-politics, we need informed
1 council people and, you know, we have all
2 talked about restoring the pride. What does
3 that mean for this city. Look and really
4 take a good hard look at this city and look
5 at the neighborhoods. They are a mess, and
6 now we are taking the last couple of pennies
7 they have in their pocket and we are taking
8 out of them one way or the another. Thank
10 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Morgan.
11 Anyone else?
12 MR. ANCHERANI: The closer. Good
13 evening. Nelson Ancherani, resident and
14 taxpayer. It's been awhile since I have
15 been here. I didn't know what to do with my
16 Tuesday nights. Only kidding. A lot has
17 happened since the meetings were scheduled
18 on Tuesday mornings and council's August
19 recess, that kept me from attending. I bet
20 there were more persons who were unable to
22 Anyway, we are back to Tuesday
23 evenings and from what I understand the
24 meetings will be taped and shown two times
25 the next day and one time the day after.
1 What's with ECTV? I thought they were going
2 to be taping council live? Since they were
3 picked over four months ago you would think
4 they would be in full gear right now. Oh,
5 well, maybe they were picked to be the TV
6 station for the city for the reason I
7 believe they were picked, limit showing the
8 live meeting and limit rebroadcasts, but
9 that's my opinion. When you think about it,
10 instead of giving tens of thousands of
11 dollars to a TV station that was just
12 starting up, why not give money to a TV
13 station, Channel 61, that was already
14 established? My guess is that some people
15 like being pennywise and dollar foolish.
16 I suppose three of you up there
17 think I'm talking about you, but you are
18 right, I am. You are the same three who
19 raised our taxes 25 percent in 2007 while
20 $12,200,000 plus was being accumulated in an
21 account in the Single Tax Office. An
22 account no one knew about. By the way,
23 what's the status of the audit? I want to
24 thank our tax collector and the tax office
25 solicitor for finding the account. Wouldn't
1 it be nice if there was more money out there
2 waiting to be found?
3 While I am thanking people I want to
4 commend the people who are out there
5 picketing and informing the public about
6 ECTV. I give them credit for being
7 courageous enough to care about what is
8 going on in this city and to put themselves
9 in a thankless job in informing the public,
10 an apathetic public at best.
11 I commend the council speakers for
12 showing the courage to speak out. Come on,
13 People, show an interest. Get to council
14 and show your elected officials what you
15 think. Don't forget we are two months away
16 from November 15 when the 2009 budget will
17 be presented to city council by the
18 administration. Don't forget that our
19 $85,000 business administrator was talking
20 about an at least $5 million loan to get us
21 through until 2009. But then again, don't
22 forget about the 12 million two-hundred
23 dollars plus interest that was found in the
24 tax office account.
25 I'm going to predict again that this
1 year even though there is that 12 million in
2 the tax office account that we will be hit
3 with a 25 percent tax increase, a multiple
4 million dollar loan and another record city
5 budget, that's over $85 million. That's
6 three predictions. And just in case
7 Mrs. Fanucci, Mrs. Gatelli and Mr. McGoff
8 don't feel left out, I'll mention that it
9 was Mrs. Fanucci, Mrs. Gatelli and
10 Mr. McGoff who voted for and passed the
11 25 percent tax increase for 2007.
12 Now, since I was unable to attend a
13 council meetings I don't know if the issues
14 at hand were addressed so let's just review
15 some of them: $15 million given to
16 favorites in raises and new hires since
17 2002. This does not include the
18 electricians used to setup the Christmas
19 lights, the consultants or other
20 miscellaneous parties who did work for the
21 city. I still can't figure out why the
22 Scranton Parking Authority got $803,000 for
23 citation issuers this year when there are
24 only eight if I'm correct. That would be
25 over 100,000 for each one of them for this
1 year. The 803,000 is above and beyond the
2 $35 million loan or bond that was approved
3 for the parking authority with the 94 -- I'm
4 sorry, 94 million payback. Over 300 million
5 long-term debt inclusive of the parking
6 authority loan. I haven't checked the green
7 or black fish pond this year, so I wonder
8 what color it is now. And that's all for
9 now, but we have to remember Arnold's famous
10 words, "I'll be back." Thank you.
11 MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Ancherani, can we
12 extend our friendly wager from last year to
13 this year?
14 MR. ANCHERANI: Sure, but if I lose
15 you will get your coffees plus I'll donate
16 to the Swim Club.
17 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you. Anyone
18 else? Thank you. Mrs. Evans.
19 MS. EVANS: Good evening. I'm very
20 pleased to be back in session and let's get
21 busy. As of today there has been no further
22 word on the appearance of Mr. McDowell,
23 former tax collector, at council. However,
24 a hearing is scheduled for September 11,
25 2008, to determine if Mr. McDowell must
1 abide by council's subpoena. In the
2 interim, council continues to receive
3 monthly reports from the Single Tax Office,
4 a vast improvement over the prior procedure
5 whereby no reports were forwarded to
7 According to information provided on
8 August 5 the following comparisons between
9 July 31, 2007, and August 4, 2008, were
10 presented: 7-31-07, city real estate
11 collections bank deposit, $208,184.73. City
12 earned income tax bank deposits, same date,
13 $700,434.89 for a total of $908,619.62.
14 Now, as of 7-31-08, city real estate
15 collections bank deposit $221,259.52. City
16 earned income tax collections bank deposit
17 $926,624.78 for a total of $1,147,84.30.
18 Obviously, the Scranton Single Tax
19 Office is seeing a healthy increase in tax
20 collections simply by doing it's job.
21 Although, real estate and earned income
22 taxes are up over last year's numbers, it
23 seems there has been a major decrease in the
24 real estate transfer tax.
25 Also, council may expect to receive
1 information on the administration's balloon
2 borrowing shortly as the mayor is exploring
3 a line of credit approach to additional
5 According to a letter received by
6 council on August 4, 2008, Robert Rossi &
7 Company, the independent auditor for council
8 still had not received nine items requested
9 of Mr. Renda which are necessary to the
10 completion of the 2007 audit. Since that
11 time, however, the Scranton Redevelopment
12 Authority completed and submitted it's
13 audited financial statements, however, the
14 progress on the other items remains quite
16 On a new topic, I am surprised that
17 the $90,000 in OECD funds approved by city
18 council in July have not been released to
19 the ECTV. Apparently, this funding has
20 become part of the 2009 CDBG allocations.
21 Why then did the mayor rush this legislation
22 to council months ahead of all other
23 allocations, in fact, well ahead of the CDBG
24 application and deadline process.
25 Further, council twice requested the
1 date of blight declaration for 933 Prescott
2 Avenue from OECD. The request contained
3 deadlines of July 28 and later August 15.
4 To date, no response has been received,
5 thus, we might assume that this property
6 which houses our new public access station
7 ECTV was, in fact, never blighted. Yet,
8 federal funds were given by the mayor to
9 eliminate blight in the basement of the
11 Further, this $10,000 allocation
12 never came before council or the citizens
13 for input or approval. Is that perhaps why
14 ECTV funding has now become tied to 2009
15 CDBG allocations? Without proper
16 documentation people are left to assume the
17 worst. Attorney Minora researched federal
18 statutes and regulations as well as local
19 ordinances regarding the dispersement of
20 UDAG funds, specifically, the $10,000
21 dispersement to the East Scranton Business
22 Association by the mayor.
23 In a memorandum to council received
24 July 29, 2008, Attorney Minora states that
25 the federal statutory and regulatory scheme
1 relating to CDBG and UDAG grants does not
2 actually concern itself with how the local
3 municipality disperses such funds, rather,
4 they elaborate on eligibility and
5 appropriate use of such funds. He goes onto
6 say that Title 42, Chapter 69 of US codes,
7 does state: "Prior to receiving the funds
8 the grantee," that is the city, "must
9 furnish a statement of objectives and in
10 furtherance thereof must have at least one
11 public meeting.
12 In addition, the citizens and units
13 of general local government must be given
14 notice and an opportunity to comment on any
15 substantial change to be made in the use of
16 the funds. The City of Scranton ordinances
17 are clear, to wit, that the dispersement of
18 UDAG funds are required to be approved by
19 the City of Scranton's governing body in
20 File of Council 92 of 1991.
21 The ordinance requires that
22 additional legislation must be approved by
23 the governing body prior to disbursements
24 and/or transferring of said repayments.
25 This ordinance applies to you UDAG repayment
1 funds and UDAG programs ceased approximately
2 20 years ago. Scranton's HUD
3 representative, Mr. Steven Stein, would have
4 preferred that UDAG repayment monies be
5 treated the same as CDBG, that is, that
6 citizens participation be allowed prior to
7 dispersement. The money provided to the
8 East Scranton Business Association has
9 purportedly been used to fund ECTV, yet, the
10 only two documents concerning the East
11 Scranton Business Association and ECTV
12 funding are a copy of a check and a thank
13 you letter. There is no application for the
14 funds and no ability to follow-up it's
16 In conclusion, Attorney Minora
17 states that given the past practice of using
18 the UDAG funds from the $577,000 for
19 eligible projects included in File of
20 Council 20 of 2006, the result of a legal
21 challenge to the 10,000 distribution to ESVA
22 and to ECTV is unlikely to succeed. Other
23 legislative remedies to a future occurrence
24 should be explored in his opinion.
25 Therefore, I move that council -- or
1 rather our council solicitor Minora draft
2 legislation to provide Scranton City Council
3 with oversight of UDAG funds specifically
4 all UDAG uses and dispersement of funds must
5 be presented to Scranton City Council for
6 it's approval.
7 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
8 MR. MCGOFF: I'm sorry. I'm sorry, I
9 was --
10 MS. EVANS: You missed the boat.
11 MS. GATELLI: The crux of it --
12 MR. MCGOFF: My apologies.
13 MS. EVANS: That's fine. At the
14 conclusion of the memorandum from Attorney
15 Minora, he suggests that the best remedy to
16 this situation would be legislation to
17 prevent any future occurrence and so I made
18 a motion to have our solicitor draft
19 legislation to provide city council with the
20 ability to review and vote on UDAG funds
21 prior to their use and dispersement.
22 MS. GATELLI: And he seconded it and
23 now it's going to be on the question.
24 MR. MCGOFF: All right. Thank you.
25 MS. GATELLI: And my concern on the
1 question is it was always my understanding
2 that UDAG money was discretionary and did
3 not have to go before council, so I would --
4 I'm not going to be voting for the motion,
5 but I would like Attorney Minora to explore
6 that further to see if my opinion is
7 correct. If it's not correct then I would,
8 you know, vote to approve the legislation.
9 MS. FANUCCI: Right. That's my
10 feeling, also. I don't believe that we have
11 any say on UDAG funds really. It is the
12 mayor's -- being the strong mayor form of
13 government, it is the mayor is in charge of
14 where he is dispersing UDAG and that has
15 been stated, also, so I don't believe that
16 whether or not we even say, no, it matters
17 on whether or not UDAG can be given out or
18 not, so that's where my concern is, so I
19 think we need to look into that further to
20 make sure even if we vote all, yes, tonight,
21 I believe that in the long run it's going to
22 be like, yeah, too bad, so --
23 MR. MCGOFF: Can we table this until
24 we find out what the --
25 MS. GATELLI: Let him check it out.
1 MR. MCGOFF: -- whether there is any
2 legality to the motion?
3 MS. EVANS: My concern is that I want
4 to create legislation to prevent any future
5 back door deals because what we have here in
6 effect, as I said before, is nothing more
7 than a check and a thank you note. We have
8 no application for that money, we have no
9 stated use for that money and for all we
10 know Mayor Doherty could have been out over
11 the last seven years handing out checks for
12 10,000, 20,000, 50,000 dollars to sources
13 unknown for projects unknown because there
14 is absolutely no accountability here.
15 MS. FANUCCI: Well, to be honest,
16 that's what's been going on with every mayor
17 for the past -- UDAG is the discretion of
18 every mayor.
19 MS. EVANS: Right. He can make the
20 choice of where he would like the money to
21 go, but I believe there has to be a system
22 to be followed here. Public hearings have
23 to be conducted. The public has to be made
24 aware --
25 MS. FANUCCI: That's absolutely not
2 MS. EVANS: -- as city council.
3 MS. GATELLI: I don't think so.
4 MS. FANUCCI: It does not as far as
5 UDAG is concerned.
6 MS. EVANS: According to the HUD
7 representative that is true because he was
8 concerned --
9 MS. FANUCCI: They have not found him
10 in violation or anything so far, correct, so
11 HUD, so HUD was concerned with this and if
12 this was an issue with HUD they would step
13 in and take care of this. As far as city
14 council, I'm not sure that no matter what we
15 say here has any, any output, change in the
16 long run, that's my thing, if you want to
17 change the results. I don't believe we can
18 change the results. I believe that is
19 between the mayor and HUD. I mean, but
20 let's look into it.
21 MS. EVANS: It seems that, I think
22 what maybe I heard or I shouldn't say I
23 heard, but I understood as I read your
24 memorandum, the federal government doesn't
25 step in there because there are so many
1 municipalities, townships, boroughs that it
2 would be almost impossible for them to set
3 one guidelines by which everyone would have
4 to abide and because there are so many
5 entities involved throughout the
6 Commonwealth you might have that just that
7 many types of procedures to follow, hence,
8 it seems to be more in the hands of local
9 government to oversee.
10 MS. FANUCCI: Absolutely not. Being
11 the fact that, and I will say this working
12 at a state government job, they definitely
13 are in constant contact with the city, they
14 are in -- there are regulations and if the
15 regulations are not followed the forms and
16 the money does not come, so I don't believe
17 that that's the case. It's like saying, you
18 know, that, you know, if you work for the
19 school district, you know, if the principal
20 leaves the site that means that nobody is
21 doing their job. I don't believe that
22 that's the case, but I am just going on the
23 record to say that.
24 MS. EVANS: Well, you know, again, my
25 concern is that we have a mayor who seems to
1 have an OECD checkbook and he can write
2 checks out without any type of justification
3 for it when someone doesn't even apply for
4 the money and yet a check is given and a
5 thank you note is produced. I mean, there
6 are something very wrong with that situation
7 and I think it demands an accountability.
8 MS. FANUCCI: I don't disagree that
9 there should be accountability, my thing is
10 if it can be from us.
11 MS. EVANS: It can be.
12 MS. FANUCCI: Can we and are we able
13 to do that and so that is where my issue is,
14 so I guess we are look into it this as far
15 as we can and see.
16 MS. EVANS: Well, then on
17 Mr. McGoff's advice I will table my motion
18 until next week and in the interim perhaps
19 you might further --
20 MR. MINORA: I'll do what I can.
21 MS. EVANS: -- investigate.
22 MR. MINORA: I think my memo kind of
23 was skipping the law department because UDAG
24 regulations are so old. There is just not
25 much out there.
1 MS. EVANS: We cannot find them;
3 MR. MINORA: I will reread them and
4 see where we can go with that in mind.
5 MS. EVANS: Well, let's be creative
6 in that I see that the mayor seems to be
7 very creative circumventing the law, and I'm
8 not suggesting that we to, but I say let's
9 start thinking outside of the box to protect
10 the taxpayers' money.
11 MR. MINORA: Let me take a look at it
12 and I'll see what I can come up with.
13 MR. MCGOFF: I'm sorry, I didn't mean
15 MR. MINORA: No, no, I just said I'll
16 see what I can come up with as advice. The
17 regulations are so old I got to --
18 MS. EVANS: You can't even get a
20 MR. MINORA: You can't get copies.
21 East they no longer exist. What I have is
22 just is what I can get from --
23 MR. MCGOFF: I don't want you to take
24 on, you know, an extra thing, but perhaps if
25 I were to contact someone at HUD and at
1 least find out what their feelings are on
2 the matter.
3 MR. MINORA: There is an individual
4 who at HUD who I spoke with and he provided
5 me with the information I had. I think --
6 did I put his name on?
7 MS. EVANS: Steven Stein.
8 MR. MINORA: I think I put his name
9 in the memo.
10 MS. GATELLI: They don't even UDAG's
12 MR. MINORA: I think you can get them
13 from HUD in Philadelphia.
14 MS. GATELLI: There is no such thing
15 as a UDAG anymore. We are just getting
16 money from UDAG repayments --
17 MR. COURTRIGHT: There is a
19 MS. GATELLI: But there are no Urban
20 Development Action Grants anymore. So we
21 are only getting funded by what we gave out
22 and people are paying back.
23 MS. EVANS: But, I think there has
24 been instances even since we are been seated
25 on council where UDAG loans have been
1 approved by us and so that money will
2 continue to many come into the city.
3 MS. FANUCCI: Yes, we have done
5 MS. EVANS: Therefore, I think we
6 need these measures.
7 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.
8 MS. EVANS: Finally, I wish to
9 comment on the state of public safety in our
10 city during the last few months. In light
11 of the murders of three young men in July,
12 the stabbing of an elderly city resident as
13 he took his morning walk in August, the
14 daylight robbery of a neighborhood pharmacy
15 recently, daylight robberies occurring in
16 our neighborhoods, specifically, Greenridge
17 quite recently, and other serious crimes
18 committed within city limits, I firmly
19 believe that the number of police officers
20 must be increased. I am also seriously
21 concerned by the announcement that
22 firefighters will be cut and neighborhood
23 fire stations closed. The mayor is basing
24 these decisions on economics, not the safety
25 of our residents. He compares us to
1 Bethlehem, a city with less manpower which
2 is in the process of hiring additional
3 manpower. He guards secret plans and
4 envelopes without benefit of an independent
5 public safety impact study. If the Court
6 rules in his favor, he may call for a study
7 after the damage is done.
8 Undoubtedly, the police, fire and
9 DPW are big ticket items in any city's
10 budget, but these are the service
11 departments for which we pay our taxes. We
12 want to live in safe, clean neighborhoods.
13 Where will the money come from to support
14 these services? Cut the fat, Mayor. Cut
15 the consultants, job creations, management
16 raises and legal fees. Imagine the money
17 that has been wasted on lawyers and Court
18 appearances since 2002. Those are our tax
19 dollars at work these last six years. We
20 would rather increase our police officers
21 and keep our fire stations, Mayor. You will
22 not win our trust by hiding your plans for
23 our safety and you will not win our
24 agreement with subjective safety decisions.
25 Neither the mayor nor city council nor even
1 the public safety director have the
2 experience to make such decisions. Conduct
3 an independent study, show us the results
4 and plan accordingly. Save our tax dollars
5 and settle the contracts. It's about human
6 lives and quality of life not dollars, not
7 egos, not control.
8 Finally, I have citizens' requests
9 and there are admittedly quite a few and I
10 first wanted to add some of those I heard in
11 evening: What financial transactions have
12 occurred between Fidelity Bank and the City
13 of Scranton. Repairs are requested once
14 again at Mulberry and I believe he said it
15 was -- Mulberry and North Washington Avenue;
16 is that correct? Specifically, repair the
17 curb cuts.
18 Also, I would be interested in
19 pursuing some type of accounting or perhaps
20 audit of NCC. I'm not going to make a
21 motion tonight, but I am going to ask our
22 council solicitor if -- I know you really
23 got --
24 MS. GATELLI: Just to interrupt, we
25 will be getting an audit from them.
1 MS. EVANS: From NCC?
2 MS. GATELLI: Yes.
3 MS. EVANS: And when will that
4 arrive, do you know?
5 MS. GATELLI: Shortly. It's part of
6 our city audit. I just sent them another
7 letter today.
8 MS. EVANS: Okay.
9 MS. GATELLI: Or yesterday --or
10 today. Today is the ninth. There will be
11 an audit from then.
12 MS. EVANS: Hopefully that our
13 auditors oversee for inclusion within the
14 independent -- -
15 MS. GATELLI: Um-hum.
16 MS. EVANS: But, I would like to see
17 the actual audit that was conducted of NCC
18 that they are going to --
19 MS. GUILTY: We can probably ask
20 Rossi for that. We get a copy of it.
21 MS. GARVEY: The information that we
22 are requesting has to go right to Rossi. It
23 cannot come to us or to Stu Renda. It has
24 to go directly to the auditors and then they
25 will be able to compile our audit from their
2 MS. EVANS: Right, but I want more
3 information on them than is provided in our
5 MS. GARVEY: Okay. You want
6 something --
7 MS. EVANS: Yeah, pass that along to
8 Mr. Rossi? Also, flooding at 931 Ferdinand
9 Street, property owner experiences serious
10 water runoff and flooding problems and four
11 years ago Mr. Parker, the city engineer,
12 stated that the Keyser Avenue storm drain
13 project would alleviate the problems after
14 he did an examination and viewed the flood
15 waters on the property, but the project has
16 made no difference for the residents of this
17 block and so please forward the attached
18 letter and copies of photos to Mr. Brazil
19 and the city engineer.
20 A resident of West Parker Street to
21 like to know the name of an unmarked street
22 in his neighborhood which is not taken care
23 of by the DPW. Also, residents of that area
24 request installation of a traffic sign,
25 "Children at Play" and again the map and
1 request should be attached.
2 1329 Academy Street, please send an
3 inspector to examine the property.
4 Neighbors report rodents and conditions of
5 filth and there is a letter to be attached
6 to that as well.
7 A letter to Mr. Oleski and
8 Mr. Seitzinger, has a certified letter been
9 sent to the property owner of 348 North
10 Bromley Avenue? Although the owner resides
11 at the address, he lists in a company name.
12 The property is overgrown and smells of
13 urine, and please provide a response before
14 September 22, 2008. I realize that's a
15 property that was in the paper this week for
16 another issue, but hopefully now that the
17 owner seems to be somewhat available because
18 I understand he is not been answering the
19 door whenever the police and the inspectors
20 have been to that address, so I think we
21 should get on top of that.
22 A letter to Mr. Hayes, what measures
23 have been taken to correct the problems at a
24 church located at 1525 Washburn Street?
25 Neighbors suffered through shouting, drums
1 electric instruments and microphones coming
2 from this house-sized structure. The
3 problem was first reported over a year ago.
4 Officers had requested when they visited the
5 church that the congregation lower the noise
6 level, however, that failed to occur and on
7 Friday evenings it seems to continue even
8 after 11:00 p.m. I reported this issue last
9 summer to Chief Elliott without success, so
10 please address and provide a written
11 response to counsel on or before
12 September 22.
13 Also, fill holes in the 1600 block
14 of Wyoming Avenue. There are many near the
15 southeast curb and near the middle of the
16 intersection of Wyoming and Greenridge
17 Street. The residents tell me they have
18 called the pothole hotline three times with
19 no response and obviously nothing has been
20 done. Please install "Children at Play"
21 sign in Morgan Court between Alder and
22 Willow Street and that's a second request.
23 I know I originally requested that back in
25 In July 2008, council reported a
1 dangerous problem to Mr. Brazil regarding a
2 very deep, block-long ditch across from the
3 Marvin Dutchcap Little League. Despite
4 council's motion to fill the ditch with
5 stones, Mr. Brazil refused unless the
6 property owners would sign off on any
7 liability against the DPW and council would
8 sign to take responsibility for any
10 Since then I have again visited the
11 property in late August. I was informed
12 that yet another serious motor vehicle
13 accident had occurred a week before my
14 second visit. The police placed this
15 stretch of the street on a high priority
16 list since it poses a danger to drivers,
17 school buses and pedestrians. Council
18 requests that the city engineer examine the
19 problem and recommend a solution as soon as
20 possible and provide a written update to
21 council on or before September 22, 2008.
22 And I know I'm going on and on and
23 on, but we have been out of session for five
24 weeks and so I have just one last request
25 and, you know, as a councilwoman for the
1 last five years, and all of us up here
2 received countless requests for help, and I
3 recently received one that is very easily
4 satisfied. In honor and remembrance of the
5 September 11, 2001, attack on the World
6 Trade Center Mrs. Blanche Shaw has asked
7 that I read her original poem tonight which
8 is going to be published in a poetry
10 "A day of mourning has occurred in
11 New York City and Washington, U.S.A. Once
12 peaceful souls in anger stirred while terror
13 filled the day. A tragedy of disbelief
14 while innocence was lost to cope with
15 agonizing grief like death upon the cross.
16 There are no words to realize this wasteful
17 senseless act, to comfort and to sympathize
18 the sorrow edged in black. Dear God, please
19 wrap your loving arms around each victim as
20 you welcome them there. Remember their
21 loved ones with undying hopes. Keep them
22 safe in your loving care. Old Glory now
23 more proudly waives, determination will
24 prevail. God bless the good old U.S.A. to
25 America we hail."
1 And again, that is in honor of the
2 remembrance of September 11. However, I
3 would request, I know I may get people
4 sending in poetry now for every holiday and
5 occasion and, you know, I really can't
6 become -- well, I am an English teacher, but
7 I really don't believe we want to turn the
8 council meetings in poetry readings, so that
9 was my one and only and thank you very much,
10 Blanche, for your excellent poem. That's
12 MS. GATELLI: You can read poems and
13 I'll do CPR, how about that?
14 MS. EVANS: All right.
15 MS. GATELLI: All right. Before I
16 start I would just like to thank the many,
17 many constituents and my colleagues and the
18 staff of city council for being so kind
19 during my recent hospitalization. I'm sure
20 many of you heard rumors of my illness. I
21 did have pancreatitis and I was quite ill,
22 but I'm on the road to recovery and I want
23 to thank you all for your cards and your
25 The next thing I want to address is
1 I'm sure that many of you saw an article in
2 the paper several weeks ago about a parade
3 that was held in South Scranton. I was in
4 New York City at the time and I received a
5 call on my cell phone from some of my
6 friends that live along Pittston Avenue.
7 Apparently there was a parade with the
8 Latino community of which I have no
9 objection for them to have a parade, they
10 have always had it downtown. For some
11 reason they had it in South Scranton. It
12 started on the top of Pittston Avenue and
13 ended up on Birch Street. It became quite
14 rowdy. I have pictures here, if anyone
15 would care to see them, where they were drag
16 racing in the streets, drinking beer in the
17 streets, beer in the strollers, and I
18 contacted the mayor, the showmobile was
19 there so apparently someone gave them
20 permission to be there, although, when I
21 called to inquire no one would admit that
22 they gave them permission. I informed the
23 mayor that the neighbors were very concerned
24 and this was unacceptable behavior in a
25 neighborhood and that we really would prefer
1 not to have any parades in the neighborhood,
2 they belong in the downtown like the St.
3 Patrick's Day parade and the Veterans'
4 parade, so he has assured me that there will
5 not be any parades in the neighborhoods from
6 this day forward, but I would like Mrs.
7 Garvey to please send a letter reiterating,
8 and my colleagues would agree that they
9 would not want this ion their neighborhood
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: Absolutely.
12 MS. GATELLI: There is a time and
13 place and this wasn't the time or the place
14 and the behavior was reprehensible and it
15 will not be tolerated again.
16 The Community Justice Program in
17 South Scranton was very successful this
18 summer, and I have a few people that I would
19 like to commend for their cooperation and
20 their hard work. Officer Jamie Smith and
21 Paul Reed. Inspectors Don McKeean, Todd
22 Cortez and Kathy Fowler and Jennifer
23 McCambridge from the District Attorney's
24 Office, Susan Andres and Steve Cochis who
25 were there every week and we did have a
1 very, very successful program. As I stated
2 before, anyone that would wish to start a
3 community justice program there is one in
4 the Hill, and one in South Scranton if
5 anyone else would like to start one they can
6 call council and Kay will forward them to me
7 and I will help them to get started. It is
8 an excellent way to fight blight in your
10 The next thing I have is I got a
11 complaint on a house and when I found out
12 who the owner was it was one of the
13 properties that Mr. Seitzinger was going to
14 tear down and the gentleman had brought a
15 condemned property, I believe that his name
16 is David Keller, and there were a whole list
17 of properties that he owned in the City of
18 Scranton and in other outlying communities.
19 Apparently, he buys condemned properties and
20 then doesn't fix them up, so I would like
21 Mr. Seitzinger to please check into 1015 Mt.
22 Vernon Avenue, there are skunks and cats
23 living in there. There is a woman that goes
24 and feeds the cats that live inside of that
25 home. It's empty expect for cats, and also
1 for 3244 Pittston Avenue. It was supposed
2 to be torn down last summer, Mr. Keller
3 bought it from the county and he hasn't
4 really fixed it up until now, so I would
5 like Mr. Seitzinger to send letters to
6 Mr. Keller that he is not fulfilling his
7 obligations and I would like to see these
8 properties torn down as soon as possible.
9 As far as people saying that we took a
10 vacation and, you know, we should give the
11 money back, I would just like to state for
12 the record that last year I give back $625
13 of my salary from city council as a good
14 faith offering because I asked the mayor for
15 his cabinet to give 5 percent back, I also
16 gave it back, and all of us up here work
17 very hard. This minute part of our life on
18 TV for three hours just isn't an example of
19 what we do and I know we all do it. We get
20 e-mails every day, phone calls that we have
21 to answer, places that we go to look at, so
22 to say that we just get paid for a meeting
23 is just not fair to say about any of us. We
24 all work very hard and I think we do earn
25 the money that we get.
1 The fire pit ordinance, I also got a
2 complaint about someone that their neighbor
3 has a fire pit and they are getting the
4 smoke onto their porch. I believe, Kay,
5 that we passed that several months ago. I
6 don't think it was in 2002, I think it was
7 this year that we did something on fire
8 pits, but if you would pull that ordinance
9 for us, I know it concerned fire pits and
10 they are very popular now.
11 MS. FANUCCI: I love my fire pit.
12 MS. EVANS: I don't know if we had an
13 ordinance, but I had raised that issue
14 because I had received a complaint from an
15 individual whose neighbor was burning logs
16 in the fire pit regularly, you know, almost
18 MS. GATELLI: Especially now, it's
20 MS. EVANS: And that's why I wanted
21 to know what our ordinance stated, but I
22 think that was the only discussion of it.
23 MS. GATELLI: We did something,
24 didn't we?
25 MR. COURTRIGHT: Wood burners, not
1 fire pits.
2 MR. MCGOFF: Wood burners.
3 MS. GATELLI: Well, pull that one
4 anyway and we'll see what it entails.
5 MS. FANUCCI: Pull them all.
6 MS. GATELLI: And then we'll have to
7 make a decision. Maybe we will have to ban
8 them or something if they are really causing
9 a problem. I know the gentleman that called
10 me they had to shut all of the windows, too,
11 because the houses are so close that all of
12 the smoke goes into his house, so I think we
13 do need to investigate that.
14 One other question before I get into
15 the audit, I had some questions from people
16 in the flood area where the work has already
17 been done and they are being asked to
18 provide flood insurance. I don't know if
19 you can do this, Amil, or if we need to send
20 to Donny King, but I need to find out do
21 people that live in the flood zone where
22 it's been repaired still have to get flood
23 insurance because I think when it's repaired
24 it's not a flood zone anymore because there
25 is levies, so why are they being asked to
1 provide flood insurance? So, I need that
2 answered. I think Donny King might know
3 that, Kay.
4 Now, the audit, the outstanding
5 items are the Single Tax Office and NCC and
6 the Parking Authority audit. Letters were
7 sent out today to NCC, Single Tax Office and
8 the Parking Authority. They are the only
9 three outstanding items. The Parking
10 Authority has Merkle, McGrail and Quinn and
11 they have had an overload at their office
12 and they said they will have it ready in two
13 weeks. The other two people the letter just
14 went out and I haven't heard a response. As
15 I get responses I will let you know.
16 Also, I sent letters in May and I
17 sent letters in July, so I have sent quite a
18 few letters requesting information and as I
19 get the information I will present them to
20 you, and that's all I have. Thank you.
21 MR. MCGOFF: Mrs. Fanucci.
22 MS. FANUCCI: Well, welcome back, we
23 haven't missed a beat, have we? People who
24 have been off for a long time and doing
25 nothing for the last few weeks it looks like
1 we've actually had our hands full. I want
2 to talk about the fire pit for a minute, I
3 enjoy mine immensely, but I think it's the
4 wood. When you get into wood. I have a
5 Duralog, and it's very cute and fun, it
6 doesn't draw any smoke, so I think we have
7 to further look into, and it's not all about
8 me, but other people like their Duralogs,
10 I'm talking about the Connell
11 Building. I am going to give you a little
12 bit of history about this building and what
13 they are going to be doing. They are
14 applying for a grant. Again, I will say
15 every week up here if I have to, yes, apply
16 for every grant money out there. I want it
17 all. I want as much money as we can get
18 grantwise. I want it. I don't want Philly
19 to get it, I don't want Pittsburgh to get
20 it, I don't want Allentown to get it. I
21 want all of the grant money for Scranton, so
22 let's get that straight. I will vote on
23 everything that people apply for to get
24 money from the state so that we can better
25 our city. It does nothing but benefit the
1 taxpayers. If we don't apply, if we don't
2 want it, someone else is going to get it, so
3 as long as it's out there I'm definitely
4 supporting us having as much as we can get.
5 Okay. The accountability, they are going to
6 gut and rehab the whole entire building.
7 I'm going to read you some of the backup
8 that we get which I don't do and I probably
9 should do from now on so that you can get a
10 little bit more understanding of what these
11 projects consist of.
12 This building, obviously, is an
13 extremely old building. They dated it from
14 the 19th to the 20th century. The Connell
15 building they are going to -- it's going to
16 consist of loft apartments, office space and
17 also retail space. Actually, the developers
18 have spent a lot of time making sure that
19 not only will they keep the historical
20 nature of the building, but put it in the
21 back up that not it will be historical in,
22 nature if they can't fix it they will
23 replace it with the existing new materials
24 that look exactly like replicas of the old
25 which is wonderful. Electrical, plumbing,
1 fire protection, all that will be done.
2 There is going to be actually four smaller
3 spaces on the first floor and one large
4 space for retail and the top floors will be
5 one bath, one bedroom, one bathroom units
6 and also two bedroom and two bathroom units.
7 Air conditioning, you know, the whole ball
8 of whacks. This is what we want for
9 downtown. We always talk about the walkable
10 community, this building now is absolutely
11 beautiful and to see it restored will be a
12 wonderful, wonderful asset for us.
13 Also, bringing jobs for the people
14 who will be doing the work which is amazing.
15 All of the electrical people, all of the
16 people who will be doing demolition and all
17 of the guys who will be rebuilding all of
18 the masonry work. This is what keeps us
19 going in the city right now and that is also
20 a gift, so when we do get these gifts from
21 the state and people do apply for these
22 wonderful grants it also generates a lot of
23 work for the people. Right now people are
24 criticizing the 500 block of Lackawanna
25 Avenue, but there are tons of people working
1 there every single day and to me that brings
2 nothing but a smile on my face when I'm
3 going to work myself.
4 So, yes, I am very much in favor of
5 the Connell building and the grants that
6 they are applying for and the only reason
7 that this has come before us is so that we
8 can say, yes, you are allowed to apply for
9 the grant. We are not authorizing the
10 funding for them, we are actually just
11 saying, yes, apply for the grant.
12 As far as our the big to-do about us
13 taking our vacation, and I have to say this
14 with Judy, too, being I actually find it
15 almost amusing because I wish to God this
16 job just consisted of coming here for three
17 hours every week. That would be nothing but
18 wonderful for all of us. This is only to
19 pass legislation as far as I'm concerned.
20 That is why we are here. Obviously, to hear
21 what the public has to say, but as far as
22 I'm concerned this is not even close to what
23 this job consists of. We are here to do the
24 legal work of our job, the rest of the week
25 we do what is the constituent part which is
1 to make sure that the people are being heard
2 and what they need is taken care of and just
3 from you hearing Mrs. Evans read her list
4 every week, well, the rest of us don't
5 always read lists as we make our phone calls
6 and do what we have to do, but we are all
7 doing the same amount of work and it is a
8 lot of work.
9 As far as I'm concerned, I actually
10 find it funny if I got paid by week, by hour
11 for what I did, I can't even imagine the
12 $12,500 I make a year is not even close for
13 a part-time job as Mr. Jackowitz said. I
14 wish to God it was part-time, but that is it
15 all I have. And, obviously, we are back in
16 action in our meetings now and it does not
17 mean that the last five weeks we haven't
18 seen all of you out there and done
19 everything you have asked we have still been
20 working, and that is all I have.
21 Oh, and also I do want to say, I'm
22 still living in the City of Scranton. For
23 those who decided that I was moving, I
24 wasn't sure where I was going, I wish they
25 had sent me an address or maybe a new home,
1 but, yes, I did move into the City of
2 Scranton from the City of Scranton so I
3 guess you can call me, you know, a new -- I
4 guess I'm newly located again. But, yes I'm
5 still living here and I love where I live.
6 Thank you.
7 MR. COURTRIGHT: I'm going to read
8 something that I just got, but I'm going to
9 comment to on what Mrs. Gatelli said and
10 Mrs. Fanucci said. I know most people don't
11 want to hear it, but if they were paying us
12 by the hour we would make way below the
13 minimum wage. I mean, I don't know about
14 the rest of them, I got -- every once in
15 awhile, ask Kay, my mailbox is so full it
16 won't accept anymore, so this is an
17 important part of the meeting, but we -- I
18 think I did more in the last five weeks then
19 I did when we were in session, and one of
20 the things there was a gentleman that had
21 come here several weeks ago about, I call it
22 Townhouse, what is it called now, Village
23 Park, I call it Townhouse, but anyway, about
24 the dumpster lids and I called down there
25 and Kerry Iacavazzi sent me this letter from
1 the sanitation company, I'm not going to say
2 their name, I don't know if that's proper,
3 but it says, "This letter is to inform you
4 that the lids on the 14 dumpsters will be
5 replaced at the locations either Friday,
6 9-5-08 or Monday 9-8-08."
7 I have not gone down there
8 personally to see if that has been done, but
9 I will check on it. So, that gentleman he
10 paid me a visit at my school on our
11 vacation, all right? So we are working on
12 our vacation, and that's fine. We don't
13 expect to sit around for five weeks and do
15 I also during our vacation talked to
16 Brian Swanson. I had sent him a couple of
17 letters and I didn't get any response, so I
18 called him. I'm not happy about the answer,
19 and I don't think anybody else is going to
20 be happy about the answer, this is about the
21 Crisp Avenue bridge and I'll read it to you
22 word for word. "We are corresponding
23 regarding the scheduled for replacement of
24 the Crisp Avenue Bridge. In November of
25 2007, the city bid and subsequently awarded
1 a contract to design and permit the
2 replacement of the Crisp Avenue culvert
3 damaged by the 2006 flooding. The resultant
4 construction project was to be completed by
5 August 23, 2008, and approximately eight
6 months start to finish schedule.
7 During the course of the design and
8 replacement of structure, the city's design
9 consultant discovered discrepancies between
10 the existing site conditions and the FEMA
11 flood study for Linde Creek. The
12 Pennsylvania Department of Environmental
13 Protection indicated that the general permit
14 originally contemplated for this project may
15 not be issued because the regulatory flood
16 elevations cannot be met.
17 The Pennsylvania Department of
18 Environmental Protection current position
19 requires that the difference with the FEMA
20 study and the existing conditions be
21 reconciled prior to permitting the
22 replacement of. They are also requesting a
23 more complex permit be obtained.
24 Satisfying the Pennsylvania
25 Department of Environmental Protection's
1 requirements necessitates a much longer
2 permit time frame than that which was
3 originally contemplated. As the
4 Pennsylvania, Emergency Management Agency
5 had a hard deadline of August 23 with no
6 permit from the Pennsylvania Department of
7 Environmental Protection, we ask for a
8 one-year extension to complete the project.
9 Further funding is a potential issue
10 due to the change in the permitting scope,
11 both PEMA and the Pennsylvania Department of
12 Environmental Protection are exploring
13 supplementing the existing project fund."
14 So, we are looking probably at least
15 another year for that bridge and I know that
16 doesn't make anybody happy, myself included.
17 I use that to go to my mother's house and
18 now I can't and now there is -- I didn't
19 realize there was a little bit of a funding
20 issue, so I'll follow-up on that, but that's
21 where we stand. I know that's not what
22 anybody wanted to hear, but that's where we
24 Mrs. Evans brought up about Washburn
25 Street, they had sent me a letter a long
1 time ago and I forwarded it to Mr. Wallace,
2 I don't know what he has found there yet
3 about that church on Washburn Street.
4 Mrs. Gatelli brought up about the
5 community justice, I was contacted by people
6 from Tripp Park area, they are having some
7 problems back there, and the cops are doing
8 the best they could to try and alleviate the
9 problems, but they are going to be a forming
10 a group back there. They have been in touch
11 Lenny DeMecca, I want to thank Lenny, and I
12 believe they contacted him in the morning
13 and before the morning was over, maybe early
14 afternoon, he went up and met with one or
15 two of the representative, so they are going
16 to be forming something, I think that's a
17 good idea for that area and any area.
18 My man Chrissy didn't speak this
19 evening, but every time I take him home his
20 my ride --
21 MS. GATELLI: He is afraid to speak.
22 MR. COURTRIGHT: Is he?
23 MS. GATELLI: Yeah, because he is a
25 MR. COURTRIGHT: What did he do?
1 MS. GATELLI: Yes, Chrissy. What did
2 you do, Chrissy?
3 MS. EVANS: Welcome aboard, Chris.
4 MS. GATELLI: What did you do,
5 Chrissy, you better move over there.
6 MS. EVANS: That's okay, you can move
7 in with us.
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: You will be walking
9 home, Buddy. But, anyway --
10 MS. GATELLI: I guess you bleed red
11 now, Chrissy, instead of blue. Come on now,
12 we love you.
13 MS. EVANS: Come on, Chris.
14 MS. GATELLI: Come on and give us a
16 MR. COURTRIGHT: Anyway, every time
17 on the way home he mentions to me about the
18 Linden Street bridge on Euclid Avenue and
19 the lights are on, they have been on for the
20 longest time. I don't know if we sent them
21 a letter or not, I know we were supposed to
22 go on that website, right, Kay? So, you can
23 direct me on how to do that when I come in
24 next time and I will do that because -- I'm
25 getting a look from Kay over there.
1 Somebody talked about the health care
2 costs. Kay, can we ask Stu Renda are they
3 doing anything to try to do something to
4 contain the health care costs or reduce them
5 for the city? I know that's a big issue.
6 Somebody had spoke about the bed and
7 breakfast on Jefferson Avenue, I like that.
8 I think it looks really nice. I think
9 they -- I know we give them a loan there and
10 I was happy to do that, I haven't been
11 inside, but it looks really nice from the
12 outside and people from out of town bringing
13 their children into the University of
14 Scranton and they see that I think that's an
15 asset and I would like to commend those
16 people that are doing that project.
17 Lastly, ECTV, I had asked Mark and I
18 believe it was to, you know, at least three
19 showings, I got to ask you now, Mark, could
20 you show it more than three times. I have
21 gotten many, many requests for that over
22 this summer and one thing that I
23 recommended, and I wish they had listened to
24 was that while the changeover was taking
25 place that maybe they would let Scranton
1 Today run parallel with ECTV until they got
2 up in a running in a fashion that everybody
3 was accustomed to if not better. That
4 hasn't happened and, consequently, here we
5 are with no programming. Many of the boards
6 and commissions not being shown as far as I
7 can tell and here with we are not live, and
8 believe it or not there are many people that
9 are upset that we are not live.
10 MS. EVANS: Yes, there are.
11 MS. GATELLI: I'd like to ask you a
12 question, what is the big deal about being
13 live? No other meeting in the city, the
14 county, the school district, nobody is live.
15 MR. COURTRIGHT: I asked that.
16 MS. GATELLI: What is that? What is
17 that live thing?
18 MR. COURTRIGHT: Because I don't get
19 to see them live, obviously, because I am
20 here. Some of the people, I asked that
21 question more than one time because I'm
22 getting many people tell me about it, and
23 most of them are senior citizens, believe it
24 or not. They say they don't like reading
25 the Times version of what happened here the
1 next morning. They like to see it live
2 while it happens. Some of them said that
3 they see it while it's live and maybe would
4 even come down then to comment on things.
5 Those are some of the reasons they gave me.
6 MS. GATELLI: They've got a real
7 problem then.
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: Well, that's the
9 answer they gave me, but I just, you know,
10 if you are going to -- in private practice
11 if you are going into a new endeavor, maybe
12 if you are changing over your computer
13 system you usually run it parallel to
14 something else until you know that system is
15 going to work and we didn't to that here and
16 I think it was a big mistake. I'll call him
17 because he gave me his number, but I don't
18 know, do they anticipate when this funding
19 is going to come through or when they are
20 going to be able to -- is the live feed as
21 a result of no funding? I think that's two
22 different issues. I think the live feed is
23 something separate from the funding. Am I
24 correct in that, Kay, or don't you know?
25 MS. GARVEY: When I spoke to him
1 today he said that they didn't receive the
2 money yet, therefore, they couldn't be live.
3 MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay. So in the
4 past I thought they were having trouble --
5 MS. GARVEY: They don't have the
6 equipment in order to run it live.
7 MR. COURTRIGHT: To accept the live
8 feed. So I guess we need to ask OECD when
9 their money is going to come through. But,
10 anyway, for future if I think if we are
11 going to make changes I think if you are
12 going to change the total system you need to
13 make sure that the new one is up and running
14 before you implement or do away with the old
15 one, and that's all I have. Thank you.
16 MS. EVANS: Mr. Courtright, I, too,
17 received -- well, and still do, many, many,
18 many complaints about the lack of a live
19 meeting, but the reason that I get is that
20 they were used to watching it at a certain
21 time and day for a long, long time and they
22 recognize, you know, that it would change
23 but, whenever they are trying to watch a
24 replay they were having trouble finding the
25 replay or they would tune in at a certain
1 time for a replay that had been scheduled
2 and it wasn't actually starting until a
3 later time for whatever reason and then in
4 the mean time they had waited so long to see
5 the program again they gave up, turned the
6 station and then they missed the meeting
7 entirely because it wasn't being shown
9 So, they are concerned, and it's to
10 be admired, that he want to keep abreast of
11 their government and how their money is
12 being spent and what the issues are facing
13 all of us, so I think, you know, we should
14 do our best to help provide that.
15 MS. GATELLI: I agree with that in a
16 sense, but if you look at your tax bill the
17 largest taxing body is the school district
18 where Mrs. Evans and I work by the way, the
19 second is the county and the third is the
20 city, and I just find it ludicrous that they
21 want to see the city and they don't want to
22 see the school district and the county where
23 all their tax money goes.
24 MS. EVANS: Well, I think the city is
25 providing the services.
1 MR. COURTRIGHT: Well, the city does
2 it live. They got used to seeing us live
3 and now they --
4 MS. GATELLI: I think it's the
5 entertainment of it. That's what I think.
6 I think that's part of it. It's really not
7 the business because they don't really care
8 about the business or they would be watching
9 the other two taxing bodies where the bulk
10 of their taxes go.
11 MS. EVANS: Well, actually a lot of
12 them say they have and they had trouble,
13 they can't find those meetings either. They
14 were saying, "I can't see the county
15 commissioners, I always watched them. I
16 can't find city council, you know, I'm
17 really having problems and I'm very upset
18 about it because, you know, I have been
19 watching for years and years."
20 MR. COURTRIGHT: Just one last thing,
21 I hope that when they carry, whatever
22 equipment they are going to get, I tried to
23 watch the county commissioners if I could,
24 but when they were shooting the camera angle
25 there is -- they don't show the person
1 that's talking sometimes and it's just --
2 you know, before when they had the cameras
3 up here in council I know, the remote was on
4 top and moving back forth, they had one
5 aiming at the speaker and they had
6 volunteers up in the balcony there that if
7 someone was speaking at the podium and say
8 Mr. McGoff was responding to them they could
9 just switch that over and it just makes for
10 better viewing I believe, and I hope that
11 they are going to have that type of
12 equipment whenever they do get up and
13 running, and I'll put that rest right now.
14 MR. MCGOFF: I think it's time that
15 we get to the actual agenda items.
16 MS. GATELLI: Thanks, Mr. McGoff.
17 Kay? 5-B. FOR INTRODUCTION - AN ORDINANCE -
18 CREATING AND ESTABLISHING SPECIAL CITY
19 ACCOUNT NO. 02.229589 ENTITLED "DCNR
20 GRANT-SWIMMING POOL IMPROVEMENTS" FOR THE
21 RECEIPT AND DISBURSEMENT OF GRANT FUNDS FROM
22 THE PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION
23 AND NATURAL RESOURCES (DCNR) FOR SWIMMING
24 POOL IMPROVEMENTS IN CITY OF SCRANTON.
25 MR. MCGOFF: At this time I'll
1 entertain a motion that item 5-B be
2 introduced into it's proper committee.
3 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
4 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
5 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? All
6 those in favor signify by saying aye.
7 MS. EVANS: Aye.
8 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
9 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
10 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
11 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed? The
12 ayes have it and so moved.
13 MS. GARVEY: 5-C. FOR INTRODUCTION -
14 AN ORDINANCE - APPROVING AND ACCEPTING THE
15 UPDATED CITY OF SCRANTON CAPITAL BUDGET FOR
16 THE YEAR 2009 THE FIRST-YEAR REVISION AN
17 EXTENSION OF THE 2008 FIVE-YEAR PLAN.
18 MR. MCGOFF: At this time I'll
19 entertain a motion that Item 5-C be
20 introduced into it's proper committee.
21 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
22 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
23 MR. MCGOFF: On the question?
24 MS. EVANS: Yes. Perhaps because
25 I'm a teacher I expect people to follow
1 directions, and specifically I expect the
2 administration to follow the directions
3 contained in the Home Rule Charter regarding
4 the capital budget and each year I am forced
5 to vote, no, to the mayor's capital budget
6 because each year the mayor fails to follow
7 directions, so once again there is no
8 supporting evidence as to the necessity for
9 all improvements, there are no time
10 schedules for his projects, and no estimated
11 annual costs of operating and maintaining
12 the facilities to be constructed, and this
13 information applies to capital improvements
14 still pending or in process according to
15 Section 904 of the Home Rule Charter. So, I
16 will be voting, no.
17 MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else the
18 question? All those in favor of
19 introduction signify by saying aye.
20 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
21 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
22 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed?
23 MS. EVANS: No.
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: No.
25 MR. MCGOFF: The ayes have it and so
2 MS. GARVEY: We need two motions.
3 MR. MCGOFF: Oh, I'm sorry. I'd like
4 to make a motion to schedule a public
5 hearing on Item 5-C for 9-23-08, at
6 6:15 p.m.
7 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
8 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? All
9 in favor?
10 MS. EVANS: Aye.
11 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
12 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
13 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
14 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed? The
15 ayes have it and so moved. And a second
16 motion to place an ad for the summary of the
17 capital budget.
18 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
19 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? All
20 in favor signify by saying aye.
21 MS. EVANS: Aye.
22 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
23 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
25 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed? The
1 ayes have it and so moved.
2 MS. GARVEY: 5-D. FOR INTRODUCTION -
3 AN ORDINANCE - AUTHORIZING THE CONVEYANCE BY
4 SEALED BID OR AUCTION OF THREE PARCELS OF
5 LAND ACQUIRED PURSUANT TO THE LACKAWANNA
6 RIVER FLOOD CONTROL PROJECT, AS MORE
7 PARTICULARLY DESCRIBED ON THE ATTACHED MAPS.
8 MR. MCGOFF: At this time I'll
9 entertain a motion that Item 5-D be
10 introduced into it's proper committee.
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
12 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
14 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? All
15 those in favor signify by saying aye.
16 MS. EVANS: Aye.
17 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
18 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
19 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
20 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed? The
21 ayes have it and so moved.
22 MS. GARVEY: 5-E. FOR INTRODUCTION -
23 A RESOLUTION - ACCEPTING THE RECOMMENDATION
24 OF THE HISTORICAL ARCHITECTURE REVIEW BOARD
25 ("HARB") AND APPROVING ISSUANCE OF THE
1 CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS FOR A+ SIGNS,
2 INC., 825 SCRANTON CARBONDALE HIGHWAY,
3 DICKSON CITY, PENNSYLVANIA, FOR THE
4 INSTALLATION OF ONE SET OF ILLUMINATED LOGO
5 CHANNEL LETTERS AND RULE LINE IN WHITE LED
6 LIGHTING, MOUNTED ON THE REAR FACADE OF THE
7 RADISSON-LACKAWANNA STATION HOTEL, 700
8 LACKAWANNA AVENUE, SCRANTON, PA.
9 MR. MCGOFF: At this time I'll
10 entertain a motion that Item 5-E be
11 introduced it's proper committee.
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
13 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
14 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? All
15 those in favor signify by saying aye.
16 MS. EVANS: Aye.
17 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
18 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
19 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
20 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed? The
21 ayes have it and so moved.
22 MS. GARVEY: 5-F. FOR INTRODUCTION -
23 A RESOLUTION - ACCEPTING THE RECOMMENDATION
24 OF THE HISTORICAL ARCHITECTURE REVIEW BOARD
25 ("HARB") AND APPROVING ISSUANCE OF THE
1 CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS FOR A+ SIGNS,
2 INC., 825 SCRANTON CARBONDALE HIGHWAY,
3 DICKSON CITY, PENNSYLVANIA, FOR THE
4 INSTALLATION OF ONE SET OF ILLUMINATED LOGO
5 CHANNEL LETTERS AND RULE LINE IN WHITE LED
6 LIGHTING, MOUNTED ON THE REAR FACADE OF THE
7 RADISSON-LACKAWANNA STATION HOTEL, 700
8 LACKAWANNA AVENUE, SCRANTON, PA.
9 MR. MCGOFF: At this time I'll
10 entertain a motion that Item 5-F be
11 introduced into it's proper committee.
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
13 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
14 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? All
15 those in favor signify by saying aye.
16 MS. EVANS: Aye.
17 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
18 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
19 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
20 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed? The
21 ayes have it and so moved.
22 MS. GARVEY: 5-G. FOR INTRODUCTION -
23 A RESOLUTION - AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR ANT
24 OTHER APPROPRIATE OFFICIALS OF THE CITY OF
25 SCRANTON TO EXECUTE AND ENTER INTO AN
1 AGREEMENT WITH THE COMMONWEALTH OF
2 PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
3 ("PENNDOT") TO CONTINUE PARTICIPATION IN ITS
4 AGILITY PROGRAM TO SHARE RESOURCES FOR THE
5 MORE EFFICIENT USE OF STATE AND LOCAL
6 GOVERNMENT FUNDS AND EQUIPMENT.
7 MR. MCGOFF: At this time I'll
8 entertain a motion that Item 5-G be
9 introduced into it's proper committee.
10 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
11 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
12 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? All
13 those in favor signify by saying aye.
14 MS. EVANS: Aye.
15 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
16 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
17 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
18 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed? The
19 ayes have it and so moved.
20 MS. GARVEY: 5-H. FOR INTRODUCTION -
21 A RESOLUTION - AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND
22 OTHER APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS TO ACCEPT
23 ENTER INTO AND EXECUTE AN AGREEMENT WITH THE
24 U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN
25 DEVELOPMENT (HUD) USING ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
1 INITIATIVE (EDI) FUNDS IN CONJUNCTION WITH
2 THE UNITED NEIGHBORHOOD CENTERS OF NEPA.
3 THE GRANT FUNDS WILL BE USED FOR A PROJECT
4 TO BE NAMED "HARRIET BEECHER STOWE".
5 MR. MCGOFF: At this time I'll
6 entertain a motion that Item 5-H be
7 introduced into it's proper committee.
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
9 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
10 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? All
11 those in favor signify by saying aye.
12 MS. EVANS: Aye.
13 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
14 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
15 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
16 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed? The
17 ayes have it and so moved.
18 MS. GARVEY: 5-I. FOR INTRODUCTION -
19 A RESOLUTION - AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR ANT
20 OTHER APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS TO APPLY
21 FOR AND EXECUTE A GRANT FRO HOUSING AND
22 REDEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE (HRA) THROUGH THE
23 COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF
24 COMMUNITY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (DCED);
25 AND IF THE APPLICATION IS SUCCESSFUL TO
1 COORDINATE THE USE OF THE GRANT FUNDS FOR
2 THE PROJECT TO BE NAMED AS THE "CONNELL
3 BUILDING" WITH "JEFFERSON-WERNER, LLC", THE
4 DEVELOPER, OR ITS DESIGNEE.
5 MR. MCGOFF: At this time I'll
6 entertain a motion that Item 5-I be
7 introduced into it's proper committee.
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
9 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
10 MR. MCGOFF: On the question?
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: On question, I'm
12 going to vote to introduce this. I, too, am
13 all for whatever money we can get from the
14 state and federal government, but I want to
15 dig into this a little bit deeper before I
16 make my final decision.
17 MS. EVANS: I just wanted to ask some
18 questions and perhaps someone has the
19 answer, and if we don't if we could please
20 have it prior to next week's meeting. I
21 recall if we go back a few years I believe
22 it was Mr. Wolfington who was purchasing the
23 Connell building, and at the time I believe
24 there were back taxes due on that property.
25 So, number one, I wanted to know if all of
1 the taxes have been brought current; and,
2 number two, he had also come before council
3 at the time to discuss a state program, I'm
4 going to guess at this, this could be
5 totally wrong, but it might have been called
6 TIFF, but it was a program whereby taxes
7 would be lowered, let us say, for that
8 business for a period of maybe 10, 15 or
9 20 years they wouldn't, in other words, they
10 would not be a KOZ where they would pay no
11 taxes, but it was a different type of a
12 program, but I know that Mr. Wolfington had
13 wanted the city, the school district and the
14 county to consider that at the time, so my
15 second question is the owner interested in
16 or asking for that TIFF program.
17 MS. FANUCCI: I don't think, but I'll
19 MS. EVANS: Thank you.
20 MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else? All those
21 in favor of introduction signify by saying
23 MS. EVANS: Aye.
24 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
25 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
1 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
2 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed? The
3 ayes have it and so moved.
4 MS. GARVEY: 5-J. FOR INTRODUCTION -
5 A RESOLUTION - AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND
6 OTHER APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS TO APPLY
7 FOR AND EXECUTE A GRANT APPLICATION FOR
8 MIXED USE FACILITY FINANCING INITIATIVE
9 (MUFFI) IN THE AMOUNT OF ONE MILLION
10 $1,000,000.00 DOLLARS THROUGH THE
11 PENNSYLVANIA HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY (PHFA);
12 ACCEPTING AND DISBURSING THE GRANT IF THE
13 APPLICATION IS SUCCESSFUL; AND TO COORDINATE
14 THE USE OF THE GRANT FUNDS WITH
15 "JEFFERSON-WERNER, LLC", THE DEVELOPER, OR
16 ITS DESIGNEE FOR THE PROJECT NAMED AS "THE
17 CONNELL BUILDING."
18 MR. MCGOFF: At this time I will
19 entertain a motion that Item 5-J be
20 introduced into it's proper committee.
21 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
22 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
23 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? All
24 those in favor signify by saying aye.
25 MS. EVANS: Aye.
1 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
2 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
3 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
4 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed? The
5 ayes have it and so moved.
6 MS. GARVEY: 5-K. FOR INTRODUCTION -
7 A RESOLUTION - AUTHORIZING THE CITY OF
8 SCRANTON TO MAKE APPLICATION FOR PERMIT TO
9 THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT
10 OF TRANSPORTATION TO INSTALL AND OPERATE
11 TRAFFIC SIGNAL AND TIMING CHANGES AT THE
12 INTERSECTION OF MOOSIC STREET AND FRONT
13 STREET TO IMPROVE THE FLOW OF TRAFFIC FOR
14 THE PISANO COMMERCIAL PROJECT ON MOOSIC
16 MR. MCGOFF: At this time I'll
17 entertain a motion that Item 5-K be
18 introduced into it's proper committee.
19 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
20 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
21 MR. MCGOFF: On the question?
22 MS. GATELLI: Yes, I have several
23 questions. I happen to agree with Mrs.
24 Schumacher on this, we have been waiting a
25 long time for all of Moosic Street to be
1 done, the downtown hasn't been done, the
2 light at the mini-mart isn't there and yet
3 we are going to do all this for one
4 business. I just don't get it. You know, I
5 want some answers I want to know what's
6 going on in that commercial building. It
7 was supposed to be a restaurant. I don't
8 know if the restaurant needs the whole
9 traffic signal changed.
10 MR. MCGOFF: I, too --
11 MS. GATELLI: That's a crucial
12 intersection through South Scranton.
13 MS. EVANS: Is it for the
15 MS. GATELLI: No, it's to change the
17 MS. EVANS: While the construction is
19 MR. MCGOFF: It says to improve flow
20 of traffic.
21 MR. COURTRIGHT: Maybe they are going
22 to change the timing on the signals, that's
23 what they are looking to do.
24 MS. GATELLI: Well, I'd like to have
25 a little more information.
1 MS. EVANS: Because the project is
3 MR. MCGOFF: I think it's for the
4 completed project. I, too, have a major
5 question --
6 MS. GATELLI: I just don't
7 understand it.
8 MR. MCGOFF: The major question I
9 have was is also --
10 MS. GATELLI: They keep calling it a
11 commercial project. Was is it, I thought it
12 was a restaurant, and there is LaTrattoria
13 there, they never the signal for La
15 MS. FANUCCI: We need some answers.
16 MS. GATELLI: You know, I just don't
17 understand the necessity for it.
18 MR. COURTRIGHT: I think what they
19 are anticipating is extra traffic going in
20 and out of there.
21 MS. GATELLI: What traffic? The
22 restaurant is there, the Krispe Kreme is
23 there, I mean, I don't understand why
24 this --
25 MS. FANUCCI: At this point I would
1 just like to see some windows. I mean, you
2 know, let's not worry about the traffic
3 light, let's see some of the project.
4 MS. GATELLI: I want to know what
5 that project is. Is it a restaurant and why
6 do they have to change the traffic signal.
7 MS. FANUCCI: Right.
8 MR. MCGOFF: I think we should also
9 find out the priority, if there is a
10 priority list for traffic signals anywhere
11 in the city. My major concern was the at
12 Meadow Avenue and River Street.
13 MS. EVANS: I agree.
14 MR. MCGOFF: I know we have talked
15 about that --
16 MS. EVANS: For years. For years
17 this is ongoing.
18 MR. MCGOFF: And nothing has been
19 done with anything in there, and I think
20 that has a greater priority than this.
21 MS. GATELLI: If you go up Moosic
22 Street and you try to make a left on
23 Harrison you will get killed.
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: See, what happens
25 now is I'm reading this here as we are
1 speaking, I guess PennDOT already did the
2 traffic study, you can't go back and ask
3 them to stop I guess, but their answer is to
4 improve the flow of traffic through that
5 intersection, that's the answer.
6 MS. EVANS: It doesn't seem to make
8 MS. GATELLI: They did the traffic
9 study on Moosic Street. So why is being
10 done just for Pisano commercial projects?
11 Why isn't the one on Meadow and Harrison
12 being done?
13 MR. MCGOFF: Could we possibly -- I
14 would like to, personally I would like to
15 table 5-K and 5-L until there are some
16 answers as to the nature of the property and
17 also the priority of this for other traffic
19 MS. GATELLI: I'll second that.
20 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? All
21 in favor signify by saying aye.
22 MS. EVANS: Aye.
23 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
24 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
25 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
1 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed? The
2 ayes have it and so moved.
3 MS. GARVEY: 5-K and 5-L are tabled.
4 5-M. FOR INTRODUCTION - A RESOLUTION -
5 AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND OTHER APPROPRIATE
6 OFFICIALS OF THE CITY OF SCRANTON TO ENTER
7 INTO A PROFESSIONAL SERVICES CONTRACT WITH
8 THE LAW FIRM OF HOURIGAN, KLUGER AND QUINN,
9 P.C. FOR LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT LEGAL
11 MR. MCGOFF: At this time I'll
12 entertain a motion that 5-M be introduced in
13 it's proper committee.
14 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
15 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
16 MR. MCGOFF: On the question?
17 MS. EVANS: Yes. You know, if the
18 Scranton School District and the Scranton
19 Federation of Teachers can settle a contract
20 why can't the mayor and the police and the
21 firefighters? The teachers in the school
22 district negotiated for I think a little
23 over a year, maybe a year and a half, and
24 they worked out in one night and 11th hour
25 agreement and yet the mayor for seven years
1 can't settle two contracts with some of the
2 most valuable assets this city has. So, it
3 just -- I said it before, imagine how much
4 of your tax dollars are going toward lawyers
5 and legal feels over the last seven years?
6 You know, we have seven years worth of
7 arbitrations, depositions, hearings, court
8 battles, and that money should have been
9 used to pay the workers, so, you know, in
10 summary, I would just say that Mayor Doherty
11 should be ashamed of himself that he can't
12 negotiate in good faith with our city
14 MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else on the
15 question? All those in favor of
16 introduction signify by saying aye.
17 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
18 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
19 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
20 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed?
21 MS. EVANS: No.
22 MR. MCGOFF: The ayes have it and so
24 MS. GARVEY: SIXTH ORDER. NO
25 BUSINESS AT THIS TIME. SEVENTH ORDER. NO
1 BUSINESS AT THIS TIME.
2 MR. MCGOFF: I'd like to have a
3 motion to adjourn.
4 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
5 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
6 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you. See you next
3 C E R T I F I C A T E
5 I hereby certify that the proceedings and
6 evidence are contained fully and accurately in the
7 notes of testimony taken by me at the hearing of the
8 above-captioned matter and that the foregoing is a true
9 and correct transcript of the same to the best of my
CATHENE S. NARDOZZI, RPR
14 OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER