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            1              SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING

 

            2

 

            3

 

            4

 

            5                          HELD:

 

            6

 

            7                   Tuesday,September 9, 2008

 

            8

 

            9                        LOCATION:

 

           10                     Council Chambers

 

           11                    Scranton City Hall

 

           12                340 North Washington Avenue

 

           13                   Scranton, Pennsylvania

 

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           23

                         CATHENE S. NARDOZZI, RPR - COURT REPORTER

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            1

 

            2   CITY OF SCRANTON COUNCIL:

 

            3

 

            4

                MR. ROBERT MCGOFF, PRESIDENT

            5

 

            6   MS. JUDY GATELLI, VICE-PRESIDENT

 

            7

                MS. JANET E. EVANS

            8

 

            9   MS. SHERRY FANUCCI

 

           10

                MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT

           11

 

           12   MS. KAY GARVEY, CITY CLERK

 

           13

                MR. NEIL COOLICAN, ASSISTANT CITY CLERK

           14

 

           15   MR. AMIL MINORA, SOLICITOR

 

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            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

 

            6              reads:

 

            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


 

 

                                                                       4

 

 

            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,

 

           25              please.


 

 

                                                                       5

 

 

            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.


 

 

                                                                       6

 

 

            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

 

            7              Harrisburg.

 

            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


 

 

                                                                       7

 

 

            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


 

 

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            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


 

 

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            1              Order.

 

            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

 

           10              square.

 

           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


 

 

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            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


 

 

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            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

 

           23              kitchen.

 

           24                      Monthly, friendly family fun nights

 

           25              will be held at the Dunmore Friendly's


 

 

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            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

 

           14              well.

 

           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

 

           20              firefighters.

 

           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


 

 

                                                                      13

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      14

 

 

            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

 

           10              you.

 

           11                      MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else?  Fourth

 

           12              Order.  Citizens' participation.  Nancy

 

           13              Krake.

 

           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

 

           22              distress."

 

           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


 

 

                                                                      15

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      16

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      17

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      18

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      19

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      20

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      21

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      22

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      23

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      24

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      25

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      26

 

 

            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

 

           19              council.

 

           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


 

 

                                                                      27

 

 

            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

 

           24              done.

 

           25                      In addition, the new medical school


 

 

                                                                      28

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      29

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      30

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      31

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      32

 

 

            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,


 

 

                                                                      33

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      34

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      35

 

 

            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

 

           23              response?

 

           24                      I'd like to give you an example.  As

 

           25              an advocate I advocate for citizens who need


 

 

                                                                      36

 

 

            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

 

           22              need.

 

           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


 

 

                                                                      37

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      38

 

 

            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

 

           24              country."

 

           25                      As citizens we need to start finding


 

 

                                                                      39

 

 

            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

 

           20              Schumacher.

 

           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


 

 

                                                                      40

 

 

            1              agenda items.  Item 3-I.  I was pleased to

 

            2              see 2006 ended with an operating surplus of

 

            3              $6,710,010.72.

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      41

 

 

            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

 

           11              further.

 

           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


 

 

                                                                      42

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      43

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      44

 

 

            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.

 

           11              Schumacher.

 

           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,


 

 

                                                                      45

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      46

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      47

 

 

            1              ridiculous.  Mr. McGoff, would you consider

 

            2              looking at this ordinance and maybe redoing

 

            3              it?

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      48

 

 

            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

 

           18              here.

 

           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


 

 

                                                                      49

 

 

            1              time, I guess, Mr. McGoff, why was last

 

            2              week's meeting cancelled?  Can you answer

 

            3              that?

 

            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

 

           16              it?

 

           17                      MR. MINORA: You want me to answer

 

           18              it?

 

           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


 

 

                                                                      50

 

 

            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

 

            7              2:00.

 

            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

 

           24              bosses?

 

           25                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Mr. Hayes does a lot


 

 

                                                                      51

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      52

 

 

            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

 

           13              ladies.

 

           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


 

 

                                                                      53

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      54

 

 

            1              subsurface work and draining things, but

 

            2              it's going to be awhile before we have a

 

            3              levy.

 

            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

 

            7              it.

 

            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 --


 

 

                                                                      55

 

 

            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

 

           13              worse.

 

           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

 

           18              something.

 

           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


 

 

                                                                      56

 

 

            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

 

           14              state?

 

           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


 

 

                                                                      57

 

 

            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.


 

 

                                                                      58

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      59

 

 

            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

 

           24              now.

 

           25                      MR. TALIMINI: Well, I'm sure it is,


 

 

                                                                      60

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      61

 

 

            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.


 

 

                                                                      62

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      63

 

 

            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

 

            8              wives?"

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      64

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      65

 

 

            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

 

           16              speak.

 

           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.


 

 

                                                                      66

 

 

            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

 

           22              that.

 

           23                      MR. DAVIS: If you remember, well,

 

           24              I'm saying that HUD, that property was all

 

           25              bought up by HUD.


 

 

                                                                      67

 

 

            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

 

           16              right.

 

           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


 

 

                                                                      68

 

 

            1              district.

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      69

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      70

 

 

            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

 

           22              wrong.

 

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

 

           24                      MR. DAVIS: Please, open your eyes.

 

           25                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Davis.


 

 

                                                                      71

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      72

 

 

            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

 

            5              everything.

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      73

 

 

            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.


 

 

                                                                      74

 

 

            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

 

            4              church.

 

            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

 

            8              here.

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      75

 

 

            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,


 

 

                                                                      76

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      77

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      78

 

 

            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

 

            6              department.

 

            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

 

           16              adopted.

 

           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


 

 

                                                                      79

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      80

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      81

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      82

 

 

            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

 

            7              litigation.

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      83

 

 

            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

 

            9              you.

 

           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

 

           21              attend.

 

           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.


 

 

                                                                      84

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      85

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      86

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      87

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      88

 

 

            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

 

            6              council.

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      89

 

 

            1              information on the administration's balloon

 

            2              borrowing shortly as the mayor is exploring

 

            3              a line of credit approach to additional

 

            4              borrowing.

 

            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

 

           15              slow.

 

           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


 

 

                                                                      90

 

 

            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

 

           10              property.

 

           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


 

 

                                                                      91

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      92

 

 

            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

 

           15              usage.

 

           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


 

 

                                                                      93

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      94

 

 

            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.


 

 

                                                                      95

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      96

 

 

            1              true.

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      97

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      98

 

 

            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.


 

 

                                                                      99

 

 

            1                      MS. EVANS: We cannot find them;

 

            2              right?

 

            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

 

           14              interrupt.

 

           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

 

           19              copy.

 

           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


 

 

                                                                     100

 

 

            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

 

           11              anymore.

 

           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

 

           18              reimbursement.

 

           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


 

 

                                                                     101

 

 

            1              approved by us and so that money will

 

            2              continue to many come into the city.

 

            3                      MS. FANUCCI:  Yes, we have done

 

            4              some.

 

            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


 

 

                                                                     102

 

 

            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


 

 

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            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.


 

 

                                                                     104

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                     105

 

 

            1              information.

 

            2                      MS. EVANS: Right, but I want more

 

            3              information on them than is provided in our

 

            4              audit.

 

            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


 

 

                                                                     106

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                     107

 

 

            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

 

           24              May.

 

           25                      In July 2008, council reported a


 

 

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            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

 

            9              consequences.

 

           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


 

 

                                                                     109

 

 

            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

 

            9              anthology.

 

           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."


 

 

                                                                     110

 

 

            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

 

           11              it.

 

           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

 

           24              prayers.

 

           25                      The next thing I want to address is


 

 

                                                                     111

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                     112

 

 

            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

 

           10              either.

 

           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


 

 

                                                                     113

 

 

            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

 

            9              neighborhood.

 

           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


 

 

                                                                     114

 

 

            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.


 

 

                                                                     115

 

 

            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

 

           17              nightly.

 

           18                      MS. GATELLI: Especially now, it's

 

           19              chilly.

 

           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


 

 

                                                                     116

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                     117

 

 

            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


 

 

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            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,

 

            9              also.

 

           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


 

 

                                                                     119

 

 

            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,


 

 

                                                                     120

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                     121

 

 

            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


 

 

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            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,


 

 

                                                                     123

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                     124

 

 

            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

 

           14              nothing.

 

           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


 

 

                                                                     125

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                     126

 

 

            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

 

           23              stand.

 

           24                      Mrs. Evans brought up about Washburn

 

           25              Street, they had sent me a letter a long


 

 

                                                                     127

 

 

            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

 

           24              turncoat.

 

           25                      MR. COURTRIGHT: What did he do?


 

 

                                                                     128

 

 

            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

 

           15              kiss.

 

           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.


 

 

                                                                     129

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                     130

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                     131

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                     132

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                     133

 

 

            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

 

            8              frequently.

 

            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.


 

 

                                                                     134

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                     135

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                     136

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                     137

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                     138

 

 

            1              moved.

 

            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


 

 

                                                                     139

 

 

            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.

 

           13

 

           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


 

 

                                                                     140

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                     141

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                     142

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                     143

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                     144

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                     145

 

 

            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

 

           18              check.

 

           19                      MS. EVANS: Thank you.

 

           20                      MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else?  All those

 

           21              in favor of introduction signify by saying

 

           22              aye.

 

           23                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.

 

           24                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.

 

           25                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.


 

 

                                                                     146

 

 

            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.


 

 

                                                                     147

 

 

            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

 

           15              STREET.

 

           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


 

 

                                                                     148

 

 

            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

 

           14              construction?

 

           15                      MS. GATELLI: No, it's to change the

 

           16              signal.

 

           17                      MS. EVANS: While the construction is

 

           18              ongoing?

 

           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.


 

 

                                                                     149

 

 

            1                      MS. EVANS: Because the project is

 

            2              ongoing?

 

            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

 

           14              Trattoria.

 

           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


 

 

                                                                     150

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                     151

 

 

            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

 

            7              sense.

 

            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

 

           18              signals.

 

           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.


 

 

                                                                     152

 

 

            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

 

           10              SERVICES.

 

           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


 

 

                                                                     153

 

 

            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

 

           13              unions.

 

           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

 

           23              moved.

 

           24                      MS. GARVEY: SIXTH ORDER.  NO

 

           25              BUSINESS AT THIS TIME.  SEVENTH ORDER.  NO


 

 

                                                                     154

 

 

            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

 

            7              week.

 

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            3                     C E R T I F I C A T E

 

            4

 

            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

 

           10   ability.

 

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                                    CATHENE S. NARDOZZI, RPR

           14                       OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER

 

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