1 SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING
7 Tuesday, October 21, 2008
10 Council Chambers
11 Scranton City Hall
12 340 North Washington Avenue
13 Scranton, Pennsylvania
CATHENE S. NARDOZZI, RPR - OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
2 CITY OF SCRANTON COUNCIL:
MR. ROBERT MCGOFF, PRESIDENT (Not present)
6 MS. JUDY GATELLI, VICE-PRESIDENT
MS. JANET E. EVANS
9 MS. SHERRY FANUCCI
MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT
12 MS. KAY GARVEY, CITY CLERK
MS. SUE MAGNOTTA, ASSISTANT CITY CLERK
15 MR. AMIL MINORA, SOLICITOR
1 (Pledge of Allegiance recited and
2 moment of reflection observed.)
3 MS. GATELLI: Roll call.
4 MS. MAGNOTTA: Mrs. Evans.
5 MS. EVANS: Here.
6 MS. MAGNOTTA: Mrs. Gatelli.
7 MS. GATELLI. Here.
8 MS. MAGNOTTA: Ms. Fanucci.
9 MS. FANUCCI: Here.
10 MS. MAGNOTTA: Mr. Courtright.
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: Here.
12 MS. MAGNOTTA: Mr. McGoff.
13 (Mr. McGoff not present.)
14 MS. GATELLI: Dispense with the
15 reading of the minutes?
16 MS. GARVEY: Third order. 3-A.
17 AGENDA FOR THE CITY PLANNING COMMISSION
18 MEETING HELD ON OCTOBER 15, 2008.
19 MS. GATELLI: Are there any comments?
20 If not, received and filed.
21 MS. GARVEY: That's it for Third
23 MS. GATELLI: Before we start public
24 participation I just have a few
25 announcements. We were talking recently
1 about curb cuts and the Center for
2 Independent Living and I wanted to give out
3 the phone number for the center because some
4 of the people didn't have it. The number is
5 800-344-7211. That's Center for Independent
6 Living, 800-344-7211, and the e-mail is
8 St. Peter's Lutheran Church on Ash
9 and Taylor is having a pancake and sausage
10 breakfast this Saturday from 7 to 11, the
11 cost is $5.00 and it's to support St.
12 Francis Kitchen. Also, there will a bake
13 sale to support the food pantry at Elm Park
15 October 24th to the 31st in
16 Lackawanna County is red ribbon week. It is
17 the campaign to heighten awareness regarding
18 alcohol and other drug problems facing the
19 community. It serves to unite communities
20 and activities promoting a drug free
21 life-style and to help coalitions to
22 implement prevention strategies. The
23 campaign focuses on the importance of
24 successful prevention activities reaching
25 all spectrums of the community to reduce the
1 demand for drugs. Parents, community
2 groups, human services agencies, churches,
3 youths, schools, businesses, law enforcement
4 agencies, governments, senior citizens,
5 service organizations, media and health
7 I know all of the schools in the
8 county will be participating in red ribbon
9 week. You will see red ribbons tied on the
10 fences at the schools and along the
11 courthouse and the city hall. If you would
12 like to support the red ribbon week you can
13 tie a red ribbon on your car antenna in
14 support of a drug free community.
15 I just wanted to tell you about
16 something interesting I saw in the "Morning
17 Call," it is the newspaper for Allentown,
18 Pennsylvania, and it was in on October 16.
19 "The mayor of Allentown, Ed Paloski, placed
20 neglectful city landlords on notice
21 Wednesday, clean up your properties or face
22 public humiliation. The comments came as
23 the mayor unveiled a new city initiative
24 dubbed, the "Landlord Hall of Shame," aimed
25 at publically embarrassing landlords into
1 action when merely issuing code violations
2 proves ineffective."
3 I will send this onto the mayor and
4 any of you can read it in the "Morning
5 Call," but it is another way of getting
6 deadbeat landlords to try to fix up the
7 properties. Many times they are cited over
8 and over again and nothing is done and they
9 even are going to for the absentee landlords
10 put advertisements in the papers where they
11 live to let the community know that they are
12 blighting another neighborhood, so I'm going
13 to send this on the mayor if any of my
14 colleagues would like to read it, it's
15 really very interesting and I'm glad that he
16 is doing that, and that's all I have.
17 MS. EVANS: The Unico Tram of Terror
18 will operate from Shookie's at Nay Aug Park
19 this Friday and Saturday evenings beginning
20 at dusk. Adult tickets are $5.00 and
21 children are $3.00. Bring the family and
22 enjoy a terror filled good time.
23 Also, on November 4, the
24 infrastructure bond referendum will appear
25 on the ballot. Voters will be asked if they
1 favor the Commonwealth incurring
2 $400 million of indebtedness to finance
3 grants and loans for infrastructure projects
4 including water, sewer, and storm water.
5 The referendum stems from the passage of Act
6 64 in July. This is a very important
7 referendum question for municipal government
8 and the voters themselves as consumers.
9 Water and sewer improvement needs in
10 Pennsylvania alone are in the billions of
11 dollars while states and federal funding has
12 been cut in recent years. If the referendum
13 passes the Pennsylvania Infrastructure
14 Investment Authority or Pennvest, would
15 provide grants and loans to municipalities
16 and public utilities for the cost associated
17 with the acquisition, construction,
18 improvement, expansion, extension, repair on
19 rehabilitation of all or part of drinking
20 water system and waste water treatment
21 system projects.
22 Locally, our sewer authority
23 projects over $150 million in EPA mandated
24 improvements. Funds allocated to each
25 project would being capped based on the size
1 of the population served, and the average
2 amount of gallons per day a system handles.
3 The Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment
4 Authority Board would have the ability to
5 allocate funds above the cap for
6 comprehensive projects that provide or are
7 proposed to provide consolidated service to
8 at least two or more municipalities, and as
9 we know the Scranton Sewer Authority serves
10 both Scranton and Dunmore and, as such, may
11 be eligible for these additional funds. So,
12 please consider this issue carefully before
13 voting on November 4 the impact that all of
14 this will have on you as ratepayers. And
15 that's it.
16 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else? First
17 speaker is Mr. Spindler.
18 MR. SPINDLER: Good evening, Council.
19 Les Spindler, city residents and homeowner.
20 Mrs. Gatelli, I didn't get a chance to see
21 the replay last week you were going to say
22 something about Whistle's, but I had to
23 leave and I didn't get a chance to hear what
24 you said.
25 MS. GATELLI: I had the phone number
1 for you and I had in the office there is the
2 form you file when there is a complaint
3 about smoking. I couldn't do it for you,
4 you have to be the person that observed it,
5 so they are in the office if you want to get
6 a copy.
7 MR. SPINDLER: Okay. Thank you. I
8 said this again last week, I'm going to say
9 it this week again, I think the city should
10 look in a new cable provider. The citizens
11 of this city need a break. Everything else
12 is going up, their prices are going up and
13 it's ridiculous. Would anybody on the
14 council be against looking into a new
16 MS. GATELLI: No. As a matter of
17 fact, Mr. Spindler, we have Mrs. Garvey
18 going to send letters to some of the cable
19 companies and a notice came about a seminar
20 for cable law and we are going to discuss
21 sending Attorney Minora to that in January.
22 MR. SPINDLER: Great. Thank you.
23 Next thing, Luzerne County wanted to borrow
24 $16 million and last week a judge decided
25 only give them about a third of that. The
1 judge said they had to tighten their belts
2 like everybody else is, and the point I'm
3 trying to make is that what this city has to
4 do. You are going to get Mayor Doherty's
5 budget and he is probably going to want to
6 borrow more money and we can't keep
7 borrowing money, we got to cut at the top,
8 cut all of the fat at the top. Like Judge
9 Lakuta said down there, "We got to tighten
10 our belts and not borrow anymore money."
11 Next thing, a gentleman came up to
12 me last week and said about the corner of
13 Olive and Penn, on Olive Street going
14 towards the city, there is a -- it's
15 supposed to be two lanes there, and he said
16 people are just making it one lane and
17 traffic is backing way up because there is
18 no lines there. Mrs. Evans, you are
19 probably familiar with that, so see if the
20 lines could get painted there.
21 MS. EVANS: Give me the location
23 MR. SPINDLER: On Olive Street where
24 it meets Penn Avenue going away from
25 Scranton High School, I guess that's east.
1 MS. EVANS: Oh, I know exactly where
2 it is.
3 MR. SPINDLER: Hopefully it will take
4 a little less time than the lines I asked to
5 be painted which, as a matter of fact they
6 are working great. I went down there today,
7 well, I go there almost everyday and people
8 actually know what lane to get into and it
9 only took three years.
10 Lastly, it's two weeks today is
11 election day and I don't know about anybody
12 else, but in my lifetime I think this is the
13 most important election in my lifetime. I
14 don't think this country as been in bad as
15 shape as it is in right now and I just hope
16 everybody gets out to vote and does their
17 civic duty and does the right thing two
18 weeks from today. And that's all I have to
19 say. Thank you.
20 MS. GATELLI: Thank you,
21 Mr. Spindler. Mr. Sbaraglia.
22 MR. SBARAGLIA: Andy Sbaraglia,
23 citizen of Scranton. Fellow Scrantonians,
24 on our block grants, there was something, I
25 don't know if you can explain it, but I
1 don't know if all of it's in there, but I
2 know we lost money on the Hilton, exactly
3 what are we paying for Boscov's, does
4 anybody know?
5 MS. GATELLI: No.
6 MR. SBARAGLIA: They stated it very
7 clearly that there were two issues, you
8 know, one was the hotel and one was
9 Boscov's. Now, I know that they did
10 renovations a long time ago to the theatre,
11 I just wondered if it's in conjunction with
12 the theatre or in conjunction with the mall
13 project itself.
14 MS. EVANS: Mr. Sbaraglia, I believe
15 that it would be in conjunction with the
16 mall because I posed that question the
17 evening we were visited by the OECD
18 representatives and they agreed that it was
19 for the 108 repayment on the Hilton as well
20 as repayment on the Steamtown Mall.
21 MR. SBARAGLIA: Okay. And I don't
22 know why we are paying on that, obviously, I
23 don't know because, you know, Mr. Boscov
24 still owns the mall, he owns the Sampter's
25 building, he owns the old Dry Goods and he
1 owns the theatre. Surely there is enough
2 collateral in all of those places to pay off
3 this loan whatever it's for, but I don't
4 know, I remember them borrowing a lot of
5 money for the theatre, I really do, because
6 they put new seats in and all of that, and I
7 don't know if that's in conjunction with
8 that. I would assume it would be more in
9 line with that project than with the
10 original mall other than the fact is that
11 the mall was connected to the theatre, so I
12 don't know really know, but I was just
14 Another thing, as you know we are
15 self-insured. Now, we had a huge drop in
16 the market. Does anybody get any word at
17 all on where we stand on our money that was
18 invested in this self-insured project? I
19 know we have to be funded at a certain
20 amount, below 100 percent, but a certain
21 amount. I don't remember exactly whether
22 it's 90 percent or 85, we went through
23 somewhere along the line and they were
24 giving us a little leeway on that, so we are
25 not fully insured we know that, but are we
1 less fully insured now and do we have to
2 make up the difference which is more of a
3 concern to the taxpayers. If we have to
4 make up the loss in the market then,
5 obviously, somewhere alone the line we have
6 to get money. We can't, you know, there is
7 nothing we can do about it, somewhere we are
8 going to have to pay.
9 And they keep bringing up all of the
10 teachers and I guess administrators and so
11 forth, pensions and they keep saying they
12 lost millions and millions of dollars there,
13 too, and it's coming to the taxpayers to
14 make up the difference. I keep hearing it,
15 but nobody ever come up with figures, but
16 that could be on the horizon, too, if we
17 have to make up losses for the pension fund
18 for the teachers and so forth and so on,
19 somewhere along the line I don't know if it
20 will be done on the state level or on the
21 city level or what level it will be taken
22 on, I don't know exactly how that works.
23 I don't know how your pension works.
24 In other words, I don't know how the school
25 teachers' pension is tied into the state, in
1 other words, does your pension payments --
2 MS. GATELLI: It is the state.
3 MR. SBARAGLIA: It is the state, so
4 your --
5 MS. GATELLI: Pennsylvania State
6 Employees Retirement System.
7 MR. SBARAGLIA: Right, and that's the
8 one that's is trouble, so eventually that's
9 going to go, and I don't know if it's going
10 to be taken from the people in the plan or
11 from the taxpayers. I keep hearing a lot of
12 fries about it that it's going to hit us
13 like a ton of bricks, but nobody ever
14 explains it nobody tries to head it off, if
15 they can't head it off. If we are headed
16 for a collision course then I say we should
17 take some time to look at this problem and
18 see if we can avoid it rather than let it
19 fall on us like a ton of bricks like the
21 Things have to be looked at in
22 advance and not the one that comes before
23 us, for some reason or other the
24 administration always comes down two days
25 before this has to done and say you got to
1 pass it. That's not a way to do business.
2 That's not any way to do business. The way
3 you to business is to look at the problem
4 and see if you can solve it before it
5 becomes a bigger problem. Like your mother
6 used to say, a stitch in time saves nine, so
7 it should be with government. Thank you.
8 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Bolus.
9 MR. BOLUS: Good evening, Council,
10 Bob Bolus, Scranton. Just one of the
11 things, last week I was reading an article
12 in Clarks Summit where they have now
13 appointed a junior council and there are
14 other ones being done following the lead
15 that as here and it's kind of upsetting to
16 see an empty table, and I believe that if
17 you start an internship here again you could
18 rejuvenate it and learn from our past
19 mistakes here and give the kids a chance.
20 On ECTV, I mean, it's an absolute joke
21 to see what's been going on. We had
22 Scranton Today here, Tomorrow, we had our
23 meetings covered not only here, but every
24 meeting throughout the whole area and there
25 was never a problem. We spent 90,000 and
1 the county commissioners are giving 20,000,
2 so they should be accountable. You can have
3 all of the meetings here you want, but until
4 you turn around and take the bull by the
5 horns we are going to have the same nonsense
6 here. The mayor has tried to suppress the
7 media, so to speak, the truth of the people,
8 and it's got to stop. I mean, we are a
9 disgrace. It's an embarrassment to see
10 what's going on. If you people didn't give
11 them the money we may have been getting the
12 live coverage today. This is, again,
13 letting the mayor lead this city and we are
14 all the followers and there is no
16 You know, taxpayers have been
17 wasting money on this mayor and bailing him
18 out time after time in the millions. You
19 know, we are just like the government here
20 now with the major bail out. We don't care
21 how we bail it out as long as somebody pays
22 the bill, and that's the taxpayers. Those
23 that can't even pay their heating bills or
24 probably pay the phone bills or food bills
25 today with the economy the way it is and we
1 are using our tax dollars to continue to
2 bail this administration out.
3 You know the government is bailing
4 out banks, we are doing all of this
5 nonsense, the mayor is doing this and doing
6 that, we can't even settle our firemen and
7 police contracts in the city and we are the
8 spotlight of the universe right now and
9 it's, I mean, embarrassing. It really is.
10 An issue I have, and it's a sore spot,
11 and being a Scrantonian, Mrs. Fanucci, this
12 isn't political, this is my right of free
13 speech tonight. Governor Palin came to
14 Scranton, I didn't see a single official
15 from the city there. When Mr. McCain came I
16 didn't see an official. When some other
17 party members showed up a lot of officials
18 showed up. My displeasure with our
19 officials is that you represent all of us,
20 not Democrats, Republicans, Independents,
21 those that don't vote. When you people ran
22 you ran at the pleasure of the people to
23 serve at the pleasure of the people, not the
24 other way around, and that's not happening
25 here and I find it embarrassing that when
1 people who are running for the highest
2 office in this country none of our officials
3 show up, only for a selected group. You are
4 supposed to represent all of us. What you
5 do individually or who you represent
6 individually or what party you want to back,
7 God bless you, that's is your American
8 right, but when people come to the City of
9 Scranton and none of our officials greet
10 these people it's an embarrassment. The
11 spotlight of this country has been on
12 Scranton, Pennsylvania, and I'm ashamed of
13 it, I really am. All of you, everybody that
14 showed here. I didn't endorse, I didn't do
15 anything, but I went there because I wanted
16 to learn. I wanted to hear and I wanted to
17 thank them and I did that personally to each
18 and every one that came here I thanked them
19 for coming to Scranton as a businessman, but
20 more importantly as an American and as a
21 resident here, and I believe everybody here
22 should do that. You represent us.
23 I know the last time I spoke
24 Mrs. Evans said her students came first.
25 Well, I don't think the students would
1 become illiterate in an hour or a half our
2 it took the other day to walk across the
3 street to Riverside Sports and say, "Thank
4 you for coming to Scranton."
5 This is what it's about, whether
6 it's one person or two people that show up
7 from the council or the mayor, and more
8 importantly the mayor, whatever his
9 political aspirations are I really don't
10 care. We all pay into the same pot here and
11 you represent us all equally and I think you
12 should do that, you owe it to us because you
13 are here to serve at our request and
14 represent all of us when people are looking.
15 Just say thank you. You don't have to
16 endorse, we are not asking you to endorse.
17 I just want you to show the courtesy of the
18 friendly city that we used to be that built
19 Scranton is to say thank you to people once
20 and for all. Thank you.
21 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Miller.
22 MR. MILLER: Good evening, Council,
23 Doug Miller, Scranton. I would just like to
24 touch on junior council as well, it was
25 brought up by Mr. Bolus. You know, it
1 certainly is disappointing to me as the
2 president and founder of the Scranton Junior
3 Council to see that we are not going to
4 continue the program here. Just recently we
5 found out that Clarks Summit was going to
6 form a council and I believe that is the
7 fifth or sixth town in the area to do so and
8 all of these towns formed these councils
9 because they followed our lead and saw what
10 we were doing here and the success we had
11 with the kids and now in a way we kind of
12 look a laughing stock because we are not
13 going to continue with it. So, you know, I
14 encourage council to continue. We started
15 something good here, it was a success and it
16 was supported by many all across the city.
17 I, too, would like to touch on the
18 presidential visits, not to become
19 political, but as elected officials it is
20 your job, regardless of who you want to
21 support, it's your personal opinion, but
22 whether it's the mayor or council or anybody
23 else you should be there to at least welcome
24 them to Scranton. You know, as we all know
25 we are in the national spotlight, everyday
1 we are in a national paper making headlines
2 and you should be there to greet these
3 candidates because, you know, as an elected
4 official that's what leaders do.
5 The main reason I'm here tonight is
6 to address the ECTV issue that has become an
7 issue here at council meetings. You know,
8 over the last few weeks I have been reading
9 that this council is beginning to become
10 very frustrated with this whole situation,
11 quite frankly, I am, too. You know, last
12 month the station received $90,000 from
13 OECD, which this council approved, and I
14 recently read that the county as well is
15 going to be making a contribution. You
16 know, with all of this money I ask myself
17 why, you know, these meetings here aren't
18 broadcast live.
19 You know, in the past statements
20 have been made by myself at the podium and I
21 have objected to what's going on here. You
22 know, I have always supported Channel 61, I
23 lead Junior Council in December of 2007 in a
24 fundraiser in which we raised nearly $1,000
25 for the station. There are many senior
1 citizens who can't get here each week and
2 ECTV is the only way they can view these
3 meetings live.
4 When they do finally broadcast the
5 meetings that are taped they are shown at
6 times that are not convenient for people. I
7 am asking Council and the oversight
8 committee that you will be officially
9 appointing tonight to consider returning to
10 Scranton Today. It's time to hold ECTV
11 accountable. They have made a very big
12 commitment and they have not followed
13 through on it and they should have. If ECTV
14 does not follow through on it's October 23
15 deadline then it's time for council to sit
16 down in these chambers and resolve this
17 issue once and for all. That's what leaders
18 do. Thank you.
19 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Quinn.
20 MR. QUINN: Ozzie Quinn, Taxpayers'
21 Association. I just want to bring it your
22 attention, it's never been printed in the
23 Scranton Times and Tribune, but we have a
24 tremendous debt in the City of Scranton, not
25 only by the city administration, okay,
1 actually it was 2006 the last audit with
2 $108 million just in principal, and I know
3 you refinanced, as you say a refinance,
4 borrowed $5.5 million to resale. Now, the
5 county's debt went up this year because they
6 refinanced from 207 to 224.4 million, and
7 that's just the principal, and the school
8 district is $185 million. So, you are
9 floating around a half a billion dollars,
10 you know, in debt and the city has a
11 population of 72,000, how many are property
13 This is staggering, okay, and I
14 don't know how we are ever going to get out
15 of this debt and, you know, you hear all of
16 this gobbledygook about refinancing and it's
17 going to lessen the payments next year, I
18 heard that from County Commissioner O'Brien,
19 but the fact is when they are out of there
20 somebody else is going to borrow and it's
21 going to continue. This is scary and
22 especially with the way that our population
23 is and our jobs, that the income that's
24 coming into the households it's -- I don't
25 know how we are going to do it, but the
1 thing is that nobody is addressing it. The
2 county is going their way, the city is going
3 their way, and the school board is going
4 that way and it's coming out of the same
5 taxpayers' pocket, and now we will see a
6 budget coming out of it from the mayor. I
7 hope that he takes from the lead that county
8 commissioners did and starts to cut back on
9 some of the jobs that are not needed and
10 start to consolidate some of these
11 departments because it's got to be done.
12 I'm going to go to the school board
13 meeting, the next meeting. I try to go to
14 every one of them and they are going to
15 raise their taxes, no doubt about it, they
16 got permission to raise it from the state
17 6.4 percent this year, I don't know what the
18 city will do, but when we are talking about
19 a half a billion dollars that's a lot of
20 nickles for a city our size and I don't
21 think the people are aware of it out there,
22 and you know what, I don't know, you know,
23 if it's getting out, you know, if it's
24 bouncing off of them or what, but, please,
25 you know, when you look at this budget this
1 year try to take into consideration the
2 people in the City of Scranton, you know,
3 even though it was 72,000 there is, I don't
4 know how many taxpayers there are, and it's
5 not very many and I'm pretty sure that that
6 $22.4 million the county owes the greatest
7 percentage of that is going to come from the
8 City of Scranton because it's a central
9 business district and the number of homes in
10 the City of Scranton, so it's a heck of a
11 burden to be carrying on the taxpayers'
12 back, so I'd appreciate it if someone would
13 take the lead here because there is nobody,
14 and I'm saying nobody taking the lead for
15 the people in the City of Scranton. They
16 are just doing their own little political
17 thing. Thank you.
18 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Stucker.
19 MR. STUCKER: How you doing? Hi,
20 Courtright. Pat, my buddy talked with me
21 tonight on the phone and he said he got a
22 lot of catch basins that got a lot of
23 garbage and weeds and stuff, they have to be
24 cleaned out, the city has got to do it, they
25 are sitting down there in the garage and
1 they are not doing nothing.
2 MR. COURTRIGHT: Oh, no, Jim. They
3 are not sitting around the garage doing
4 nothing. They are going to get to them.
5 MR. STUCKER: They got to clean
6 leaves and stuff, a lot of leaves and stuff
7 that they can't -- a lot of them they got to
8 clean them. Linden and Mulberry we got a
9 big hole there, a big pothole we got, Linden
10 and Mulberry.
11 MS. GATELLI: At Linden and
13 MR. STUCKER: Linden and Mulberry,
14 there is a big hole there and Pat hit it a
15 couple of times, and the garbage was picked
16 up pretty good, we've been riding around, me
17 and my buddy, Pat. And I got a telephone
18 now, I got to get it turned on, so I'm
19 basically waiting for next week, this week I
20 didn't get it turned on, so I will be
21 getting my phone turned on and you will be
22 getting a call because I'll give you my
23 number when I get it. And they never fixed
24 that light yet.
25 MR. COURTRIGHT: What light, Jim?
1 MR. STUCKER: The one on Mulberry and
2 -- across from the corner of Capouse and
4 MR. COURTRIGHT: We'll look at it,
5 Jim, the streetlight you are talking about?
6 MR. STUCKER: Yeah, the one with the
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: Not the traffic
10 MR. STUCKER: Yeah, the traffic
12 MS. GATELLI: The red light?
13 MR. STUCKER: The red and yellow and
14 green, that has been out already a month,
15 maybe longer than that.
16 MS. GATELLI: Is it going down or
17 coming up because I came that way today and
18 it was working?
19 MR. STUCKER: Going that way, going
20 up to right where you make the turn on
21 Mulberry there.
22 MR. COURTRIGHT: Oh, on Capouse.
23 MR. STUCKER: Yeah, on the corner of
24 Capouse and across from the Army where the
25 old people stay.
1 MR. COURTRIGHT: Veteran's Center.
2 MR. STUCKER: Yeah, the Veteran's
3 Center, right across from that.
4 MR. COURTRIGHT: We will ask them
5 about that.
6 MR. STUCKER: Yeah, the lights are
7 out. All right? Okay.
8 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.
9 Mr. Ellman.
10 MR. ELLMAN: Hello, Council. Ronnie
11 Ellman. It's been so long I thought you
12 might forget who I was.
13 MS. EVANS: Never.
14 MR. ELLMAN: Miss Judy, I got some
15 words. A very successful religious man gave
16 me that's words about 30 years ago, 25 years
17 ago, I forget. Blessed is the one who
18 preserves under trial. That's from Mark I
19 think he said.
20 And I'd like to say a word to these
21 people behind me, in the late 50's and 60's
22 I cleaned swimming pools in Los Angeles and
23 I had a favorite pool off of Mulholland that
24 overlooked Universal Studios and I used to
25 come two, three times a week and take just a
1 beautiful view of the valley. One day I saw
2 all of this commotion on one of the
3 mountains on the property and I couldn't
4 figure out what in the world was going on,
5 so at that time I worked part-time at the
6 Universal Studios and I asked the gate guard
7 what they were doing and he told me they are
8 going to remove that mountain for parking
9 and building and so on, and I thought to
10 myself, my grand-kids will be cleaning that
11 swimming pool and they will working on the
12 mountain, but really in year or so they had
13 the mountain down to a flat area and that if
14 you visit Universal you will be standing on
15 that 10 or 20 acres today.
16 What I'm getting at is all of these
17 people week after week have been attacking a
18 mountain with a shovel and everybody says
19 you are beating your head on a wall fighting
20 this administration, you are not getting
21 anywhere. Well, they are, and I want them
22 to know they are. When I make my frequent
23 trips to the men's room at the Taurus Club
24 and talk politics, because they have a
25 little section where I just sit all the time
1 because nobody talks to me there and they
2 just keep me there sort of until the time to
3 put me out the door, you know, and I have
4 found that some of Mr. Doherty's staunchest
5 supporters just a few months ago have jumped
6 ship, you know. And, I mean, people that
7 really had friendly arguments for a minute
8 or two they are through and what did it was
9 this. This TV was the straw that was the
10 camel that just broke -- the straw that
11 broke the camel's back. It just ashame
12 $100,000 went down the drain like this to
13 improve a personal piece of property and for
14 two or three months, whatever it's been,
15 nothing is on TV. I watched it the other
16 night, the first time I seen anything that
17 interested me there was a lady talking
18 become tort, which I just watched a little
19 program for a minute. And it's ashame that
20 this has been going on and you all won't --
21 you won't give in. It's just time -- it's
22 time to just throw in the towel, they're
23 doing it right. They are just wasting their
24 money. They wasted our time and they have
25 had long enough to do something, and I won't
1 keep harping on this.
2 But I'd like to congratulate
3 Mr. McGoff on his running, I think that's a
4 real accomplishment to me and I'd like to
5 say, I don't know, six, eight months ago I
6 mentioned a few people in the community that
7 I admire and I'd like to mention another one
8 and that's Joe Snedeker. I watched him this
9 summer riding his little bicycle for St.
10 Joseph's and it was raining as I remember a
11 whole lot and this is just such an
12 accomplishment to me that he does this every
13 year and doesn't seem to be recognized or
14 anything, you know. I don't think I'd
15 confound him on my little scooter and
16 lasting al that trip really.
17 When I was growing up in Memphis
18 they had a home like St. Joseph, it was
19 called the Home for Incurables then and my
20 father volunteered there for 10 or 15 years,
21 I don't know, but he took me occasionally
22 with him and it's heart-wrenching to find
23 yourself there and it takes an outstanding
24 staff of people and volunteers to work with
25 these people and that's why I admire
1 Mr. Snedeker so much. I just thought I
2 would say that. I hadn't heard anybody say
3 something publically about his
4 accomplishment of riding that bicycle for
6 I mentioned one time that I was
7 supposed to go work at St. Jude and I didn't
8 do it and I have always had this guilt sort
9 of, you know, that I let people down that
10 needed me at that time. As tight as I am I
11 give a little donation to St. Joseph every
12 year and St. Jude and I'm on the list of --
13 the sucker list for paralyzed vets and the
14 dog pond and everything, but I'd like to
15 personally thank Mr. Snedeker for his
16 helping St. Joseph so much. Thank you.
17 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.
18 Mr. Dobson.
19 MR. DOBSON: Good evening, Council.
20 Dave Dobson, member of the Taxpayers' of
21 Scranton. For once you are going to hear
22 something on your side, irregardless of
23 whether people think you should be hanging
24 around at political rallies all day or
25 whatever or whether you agree with these
1 people or you don't, working people may be
2 fired for leaving work without notice or
3 reasonable cause, you know, you just can't
4 walk out of work and go to some political
5 rally and do what you want and that's kind
6 of silly.
7 And, number two, Comcast should be
8 asked to correct the volume problems. I
9 have been doing some research on this and
10 it's not really Scranton Today and it's not
11 really ECTV because I have done some
12 videography for the taxpayers and I still
13 have to turn them all the way up and when I
14 view through the finder I view the volume
15 levels on the vocals I'm running the risk of
16 sounding like I-Robot or something with the
17 actual levels that are being recorded on the
18 tapes, so I wish somebody would approach
19 Comcast and tell them, hey, come on, we are
20 giving you the franchise, you know, and
21 paying, let's fix it. It's time and I guess
22 this is 11 years now.
23 On Channel 62 I talked to somebody
24 and it's strictly unconfirmed, but they said
25 they would be amicable to sharing it with
1 someone, I might get hollered out again for
2 even mentioning it, but there is not much on
3 and it and there is only so much you can do
4 as one station to fill up all of these slots
6 Other than that I'd like a message
7 for the voters and my pet peeve is that our
8 country has been striped of an economic base
9 due to trade packs. Everything is from
10 China, everything is from -- I don't know
11 even think Mexico hurt us that much other
12 than with the China trade pack, but, please,
13 no matter who you vote for get in touch with
14 them after the election and tell them,
15 please, no more trade packs with countries
16 that don't have a consumer based economy to
17 actually take some goods off of our hands
18 and it's causing a lot of joblessness and we
19 are in a serious condition here and it's
20 coming right down the pike to everybody. A
21 lot of these politicians, locals and stuff
22 with their borrowing, yes, they have to
23 borrow because they don't have any money
24 coming in, wage taxes disappear and so forth
25 and it's -- some of the projects are good,
1 some of them are kind of silly, but
2 irregardless there would be plenty of money
3 around if everybody was working and paying
4 taxes for a change. Thank you and have a
5 good night, but contact these people after
6 the election not before the election when
7 they are all giving you a pat on the back.
8 Have a good night.
9 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.
10 Mr. Jackowitz.
11 MR. JACKOWITZ: Good evening, Council
12 members. Bill Jackowitz, South Scranton
13 resident and member of the Scranton
14 Taxpayers' Association. The Scranton
15 Taxpayers's Association on the second of
16 October had a nice interview with Lou
17 Barletta and we also had a nice one on the
18 16th of October with Congressman Kanjorski,
19 an hour and a half of questioning and
20 answers, and might I add, very
21 professionally done. I would like to have
22 council, or I can do it right now, I would
23 like to have ECTV replay those two segments
24 a few more times because they are very
25 informative to all the taxpayers and all of
1 the voters in the City of Scranton,
2 Wilkes-Barre, and Hazelton areas. We are
3 talking about a congressional election, very
4 important, and, like I said, both meetings
5 are very informative, very professionally
6 done and I would like to suggest that ECTV
7 play those a few more times in the next two
8 weeks so that the residents could have an
9 opportunity to hear both of these and get it
10 publicized and I would also like the
11 Times-Tribune maybe to put a couple of
12 things in the newspaper if ECTV does agree
13 to do this so that more residents will have
14 the opportunity to watch these two very
15 important programs.
16 Again, I'm soliciting council's
17 support, I hope you guys back me on this one
18 and try to get this out because it's very,
19 very important.
20 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Jackowitz, I think
21 we all agree and we'll have Kay send a
22 letter to them and call them to do that at
23 your request.
24 MR. JACKOWITZ: Okay, because I
25 believe Mr. Dobson has the tapes and we can
1 get the tapes to them and we can get this on
2 the air again.
3 MS. GATELLI: I think there is going
4 to be a debate on, too, I saw that
6 MR. JACKOWITZ: Right, I did ask for
7 it to be on WVIA or whatever it's called
8 now. Anyway, enough on that. Toastmaster's
9 International has 220,000 members in 90
10 countries, thousands of corporations,
11 community groups, universities, associations
12 and government agencies now use the
13 Toastmaster's training. Toastmaster rule,
14 the person at the podium is the speaker,
15 everybody else are the listeners. Council,
16 can we at least try to implement this
17 because there is nothing more embarrassing
18 when you are watching a replay of the
19 meeting and council members are talking over
20 council members and they are talking over
21 speakers and speakers are talking over
22 council members, so if we can just follow
23 this simple rule it works. Anybody who
24 knows anything about Toastmaster's knows it
25 works. The person at this podium is the
1 speaker and you let them speak until they
2 are finished and then you can say whatever
3 you want. But, you know, don't interrupt.
4 It's just makes it -- it's part of the
5 carnival act atmosphere that everybody seems
6 to talk about it.
7 Okay. Now, going back to comparing
8 the city government with the county
9 government, the budget. You know, the
10 county slashed their budget down to
11 $86.1 million which is going to be lower
12 than the city budget. I hope when the 2009
13 budget comes before council, I hope that the
14 city budget is lower than the county budget.
15 We are a city, the county is much larger and
16 has a larger population, and I understand
17 that we have to provide services such as
18 fire, police, garbage, but we pay $178 for
19 garbage in addition to taxes and the city,
20 the police department and the fire
21 department have yet to have a contract and
22 they have yet to receive any pay raise since
23 2002. So, it seems to me that we are
24 actually saving money because a large
25 portion of our city employees have not
1 gotten any raises.
2 So, again, when the budget comes
3 it's 86.1 for the county, I believe, my
4 personal belief is that the city budget
5 should be lower and I hope it is. Right now
6 it's not. Right now the city budget is
7 higher, but when the 2009 budget comes, and
8 we need to cut. It's as simple as that.
9 Everybody is cutting. Everybody is cutting.
10 We are giving certain people pay raises, but
11 everybody else nationwide and worldwide for
12 that matter is cutting. Why can't Scranton
13 cut. Why? I don't understand it. We are
14 giving certain people raises, we created 49
15 new positions when everybody else is cutting
16 and yet we scream poverty and we have to
17 borrow money or we have to refinance money,
18 whatever, I don't understand it. I'm not
19 the smartest person in the world, but I
20 don't understand it. We have to cut. It's
21 as simple as that. So, I really hope
22 council really takes a close look at this
24 I, too, would like to congratulate
25 President McGoff for his run because it's
1 something I couldn't do. I wouldn't even
2 attempt it in my physical condition. I like
3 to eat too much. But, anyway, again, this
4 is going to be the third week in a row now
5 that I'm going to ask this question and I
6 have yet to receive an answer. The question
7 is, who is responsible for the City of
8 Scranton being distressed for 16 years? My
9 answer is Mayor Doherty, Mayor Connors and
10 every city council since then, including the
11 Pennsylvania Governors, they are responsible
12 for this city being distressed for 16 years.
13 I would like to have council's answer to
15 And the second question is that I
16 have been waiting for for three weeks now,
17 when will the wage tax be reduced from 3.4?
18 The mayor promised us back in 2002 that he
19 was going to reduce 1/10th of a percent each
20 year, he has yet to have reduced it. When
21 is it going to be reduced? We have the
22 third highest in the state. When that will
23 be reduced? Thank you.
24 MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Schumacher.
25 MS. SCHUMACHER: Good evening. Marie
1 Schumacher, resident and member of the
2 Taxpayers' Association. Yesterday members
3 of the Taxpayers' Association were treated
4 to an informative tour by city forester,
5 Tony Santolli. During the course of this
6 tour we were able to see some of the very
7 dangerous trees that should be removed to
8 avoid potential damage to persons, property,
9 and perhaps the city coffers. Waiting for
10 next year's budget invites danger.
11 Mr. Santolli has been performing this
12 service for seven years at no cost to the
13 taxpayers. In recognition of Mr. Santolli's
14 volunteerism, I suggest council ask the
15 mayor to provide enough of those UDAG
16 miscellaneous funds so that the top ten
17 dangerous trees may be removed as soon as
18 bids can be received.
19 These are large, hollow sick trees
20 with no support and one wind storm could
21 cause a tragedy. Mr. Santolli told us he
22 has trouble sleeping on stormy nights. So,
23 please, let's get these dangerous trees down
24 so Mr. Santolli is at least able to get a
25 good night's sleep. If you are skeptical of
1 the condition of these trees, I suggest you
2 ask Mr. Santolli to conduct a tour for
3 council so you may see these with your own
5 Mrs. Gatelli, are you still
6 confident that we will have the city's 2007
7 audit in a week? You may answer that in
8 motions because I have a lot tonight.
9 MS. GATELLI: In a week?
10 MS. SCHUMACHER: Yeah, last week you
11 said two weeks.
12 MS. GATELLI: I did?
13 MS. SCHUMACHER: Yeah, you did. May
14 I also --
15 MS. GATELLI: I don't think I said
17 MS. SCHUMACHER: May I also inquire
18 as to the status of the signed agreement
19 with the Pisano brother who will being
20 paying all costs associated with the changes
21 they require or desire at the Moosic Street
22 and Front Street traffic signal?
23 Now, a few comments on the ECTV
24 caucus last week. If the issue of
25 hardwiring 933 Prescott Avenue to city hall
1 or Duryea or wherever is not to be resolved
2 until the franchise agreement renewal that
3 means there will no live city council
4 broadcasts until sometime in 2010 as the
5 current agreement doesn't expire until
6 December 31, 2009. So, if local broadcasts
7 are desired before sometime in 2010, I urge
8 you to lobby ECTV to accept the offer
9 proposed last week by a member of Scranton
11 Also, Mr. Darcy stated ECTV may
12 alter it's request for 25 percent of the
13 franchise fee. I ask you to clarify the
14 percent ECTV has in mind a I rather suspect
15 they will be seeking a higher percentage. I
16 base this suspicion and the fact that some
17 eight months after being awarded the
18 operation of Channel 61 and 62 they have not
19 even filed a request for IRS tax exemption.
20 That means to me they are expecting to live
21 off the taxpayers forever.
22 I also have a problem with using
23 taxpayers' money to make physical
24 investments in a building where there is
25 less than one year left on the lease. Are
1 you, Council, prepared to renovate another
2 building if there is location change?
3 For the record, I find it scary that
4 the citizens PEG operator answers to the
5 mayor. This control of the media does not
6 bode well for a free society.
7 As to ESBA, the East Scranton
8 Business Association, I am still shocked
9 that they would not have used the $10,000
10 grant they received to complete the Common's
11 Project that they started five years ago,
12 still waiting to be finished yet they have
13 $10,000 to give to ECTV, it makes no sense.
14 Next, I believe it is time for council
15 to follow in the footsteps of the Federal
16 Ways and Means Committee. According to "Tax
17 Exempt World" there are 640 tax exempt/
18 nonprofit organizations in the City of
19 Scranton. The organizations, or at least
20 those holding property tax real estate,
21 should be surveyed for an account of their
22 charitable activities as a percent of their
23 revenues. If this percent is minimal then
24 consideration should be given to restore
25 property taxes. Take the owner of the 933
1 Prescott Avenue where ECTV is headquartered,
2 the Lackawanna Institute, the private
3 foundation of Paul Mansour. This Institute
4 has spent close to $1 million acquiring over
5 a dozen properties. 2008 property taxes
6 lost on these three properties, on these
7 properties to the city, were almost $15,000,
8 may I finish?
9 MS. GATELLI: Um-hum.
10 MS. SCHUMACHER: Granted, many of
11 these properties have been acquired in
12 recent years, but when you consider
13 Lackawanna Institute was incorporated in
14 1997 one can't help but wonder whether their
15 charitable contributions is but a pittance
16 of this lost roughly $100,000 revenue of
17 property taxes.
18 And, finally, I notice the
19 controller's report reports an
20 $11,359,098.15 year-to-date surplus at the
21 end of the September despite unrealized
22 year-to-date revenues of $25,219,120.82.
23 And, finally, I hope to hear Mrs. Fanucci
24 respond to the Fratelli real estate purchase
25 later in motions. Thank you very much.
1 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Anyone
3 MS. HUMPHRIES: Praise be Jesus, Mary
4 and Joseph and all of you people. I had
5 intentions in seeing the Holy Father a few
6 months ago and in the process me and my
7 daughter got lost in New York City, and she
8 turned around and went home and I had to a
9 statue that would be going to the United
10 Nations to where Ground Zero was and St.
11 Patrick's Church. What transpired, we were
12 there a few days before my daughter turned
13 around and went home thinking that I had my
14 insulin on me and I had my telephone books
15 for my contacts, because I did live in New
16 York City for seven years.
17 So, the bottom line is I ended up in
18 a homeless shelter, because it was getting
19 very cold and I got to see what was
20 transpiring there. From there I had asked
21 them I need medical treatment because I was
22 without insulin, I slept in a chair for
23 three days with no elevation in my feet,
24 which they had chairs. The people didn't
25 have the proper towels or anything for them
1 and it was a very sad situation.
2 When they called the ambulance, the
3 ambulance refused to take me to the special
4 surgery hospital and they took me to
5 Bellevue Hospital. They kept me against my
6 will for 11 days and in the process they
7 would not allow me to call out. A Muslim
8 woman that was a nurse seen what was going
9 on, she got me money, I called numerous
10 people, a Cardinal even said to me that he
11 didn't have any jurisdiction over there, and
12 I contacted my family and I got a lawyer and
13 they have the Supreme Court right there.
14 I won my case in the Supreme Court,
15 they actually cried their eyes out when they
16 heard what I had to tell them prior to
17 September 11 and on multiple attacks,
18 betterments and abuses, being put in
19 institutions, used and abused, raped in
20 these institutions that they refused to give
21 me records and documents.
22 I am gifted by God and I know people
23 don't have belief and lost their faith. I'm
24 the one who interceded to see that all of
25 the people were out of the buildings through
1 numerous people between church officials and
2 government officials.
3 Memorial Day weekend, which I told
4 everybody that they didn't want to go there
5 but I have to go there, I gave my documents
6 to Mr. West, not knowing he was an Attorney
7 General and a policeman, not that I cared.
8 He accepted all of the documents to send
9 them to the proper places and to see that
10 everybody was out of the buildings because I
11 felt we couldn't salvage the buildings for
12 the people.
13 Since then I have been violently
14 raped and attacked, homed pillaged up until
15 two months ago. The police haven't acted.
16 A police woman and police man said they are
17 in fear of their life and losing their job,
18 so this is where it's at this point and I
19 want everybody to know.
20 In a few weeks I'm going to be going
21 to the United States Nations. What I did
22 was I called Legal Aid to help me, they
23 refused, they got $5 million and Pro Bono
24 got $5 million and they refused. I have a
25 grandchild that's missing four years since
1 birth, they didn't take me serious.
2 They took me out of church, they
3 fingerprinted me, they took me like a common
4 criminal on numerous occasions to the police
5 station and then released me. This isn't
6 the proper way to go. I never stole, I
7 never prostituted. I never hurt anybody and
8 I never terrorized anybody.
9 This corruption in the City of
10 Scranton has to stop. I went through our
11 inspector, he is aware of it. I went to
12 Senator Clinton, she i aware of it. I went
13 to Senator Casey, he is aware of it. I
14 wrote a letter to President Bush first with
15 that x-ray and the blessed Mother and then I
16 felt that I had a conversation, then I wrote
17 a chronology from my childhood until the
18 present, the beats, the betterments, the
19 abuse, what high society people know that I
20 in high court, in courts and everything what
21 they have done to me.
22 This isn't delusional, this isn't
23 psychotic and this isn't a pretend story.
24 This is my story. I want justice and if I
25 don't get the justice here I will go to the
1 United Nations. I have documents, I have
2 signatures from everybody up to President
3 Bush. I'll tell you who to vote for, I
4 think, the Pope or Bishop Martino at this
6 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.
7 MS. HUMPHRIES: God Bless you.
8 MS. GATELLI: Anyone else?
9 MS. HUMPHRIES: And the mathematical
10 numbers had to do with I found them in here,
11 the H-bomb, I was not aware of it.
12 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.
13 MR. DAVIS: Salaam aleikum. I come
14 before you this evening after worshipping
15 with the people at the Shilo Baptist Church
16 last Sunday. They had an African program
17 where all of the woman were dressed in
18 African garb, and it made me -- it made me
19 try to remember those things that had
20 happened in the years past and I have seen
21 it before, I have seen it many times before,
22 and their pride and what they had on, the
23 pride in how they sang, but something that
24 made our hearts glad and gave us something
25 to be proud of our past.
1 In 1964 we were given a right to
2 vote in Scranton, Pennsylvania, you know,
3 and in North Carolina it was 1918, I
4 believe, or 1922 I think it was, but in
5 Scranton it was 1964. We have spent years
6 and years and years voting for people who we
7 did not know and didn't care to know us.
8 Just as I sit here before you as
9 representatives of the city, there are very
10 few people in Scranton who has actually been
11 to the black community or know a black
12 community existing or they give -- they come
13 there on special occasions which is all
14 right, we don't mind, we don't want anything
15 from you, but we want you to understand that
16 there are needs in that area. We have a
17 playground department there that the school
18 has locked up. That whole Adam's Avenue
19 Gibson Street complex has been locked up
20 with chains by the school board. Why?
21 Because they say they are going to sell it.
22 Meanwhile, the kids in the community
23 have no where to play. The kids at the high
24 school or at the Junior High have no where
25 to play. They have tennis courts that we
1 fought and built, they refused to put tennis
2 nets up there so the kids can use. It's
3 just unusual at the present time and I wish
4 to -- I wish there was some way that --
5 where these complaint could reach the school
6 board because I think it's unfair, it's
7 unjust and I think that it's time that we do
8 something about it that looks like
9 democracy, that looks like an equal
10 engagement of things for all people.
11 What I see here is a miscarriage of
12 justice and I don't see anybody stepping
13 forth to correct it. I don't even see them
14 mentioning it, that's the part that gets me.
15 I thought it was horrendous, but then,
16 again, I live there, I knew it, I knew the
17 area. I knew of it and I lived there for a
18 long time, therefore, I knew what was there.
19 Our children are not being treated
20 properly. I cannot say that they are being
21 taught properly either, I cannot say that
22 the whole -- the whole schematic of what are
23 you going to do when these kids graduate,
24 what are you going to do when these kids
25 don't graduate, where are you going to put
1 them at? Are those the ones that go to
2 jail? I'm wondering and it's seems as
3 though we have a method of those who can't
4 make it in high school end up in jail. I
5 want you to do something about that.
6 MS. GATELLI: Thank you, Mr. Davis.
7 Is there anyone else? Mr. Ancherani?
8 MR. ANCHERANI: Good evening. Nelson
9 Ancherani. Two weeks ago when I spoke about
10 $600 million taken in by the city a few
11 people were asking me what I meant, so I
12 want to clear this up. The week prior when
13 Mrs. Gatelli was commenting on how people
14 come to council, this Scranton City Council,
15 and complain about the taxes. She
16 referenced how Scranton taxes are the lowest
17 in this county. She also questioned why
18 speakers don't go to the county
19 commissioner's meetings and the Scranton
20 School District meetings and complain. I
21 believe the Taxpayers' Association is doing
22 that, attending the other meetings. Anyway,
23 as I said before, I pick my fights. I have
24 been attending city council meetings since
25 2002 during the recovery referendum
1 campaign. Since then, since before then I
2 listened to the council meetings. The
3 recovery referendum campaign, I'm sorry,
4 city business since I am a city employee
5 affects me principally. County business
6 doesn't affect me principally except in the
7 case of tax increases and the 48 percent tax
8 increase was the major concern and you can
9 see how the county voters addressed and
10 settled that problem. They got off their
11 tails and went to the voting booth and
12 showed their disapproval. They deselected
13 the parties who raised their taxes, unlike
14 Scranton voters who reelected people who
15 increased their taxes 25 percent. A good
16 example is Mr. McGoff.
17 And, yes, the Scranton School
18 District does effect me, but again, not
19 principally. Unlike everybody else, tax
20 increases are not my favorite items, but
21 then again, I pick my fights. I commend the
22 Taxpayers' Association for the time and
23 effort they put forward when they oppose tax
24 increases and wasteful spending. I thank
25 them for being the watch persons of this
1 city, county and school district. Thanks to
2 their dedications we as taxpayers will be
3 better informed. Little by little and step
4 by step the citizens of this county and city
5 are becoming more knowledgeable about city
6 and county business that directly affects
7 them. Stay the course, Taxpayers'
9 Now, back to the 600 million.
10 That's revenue. It's again revenue that the
11 city will have taken in up to the end of
12 2008. The $600 million is the total of the
13 Scranton City budgets from 2002 through
14 2008, the last seven years of this current
15 city administration. It is also the total
16 with all of the loans taken out by the city
17 between 2002 and 2008, 600 million in
18 revenues and you city council, well, almost
19 all of the city council approved a loan for
20 6.1 million two weeks ago I believe.
21 According to some a default of the loan
22 would have been devastating, but I ask again
23 how could we have a 5.5 million loan that
24 was going to be defaulted on when we took in
25 600 million in revenue? 100 million over
1 half a billion dollars.
2 November 15 is fast approaching and
3 the city budget will be due. My prediction
4 for the 2009 budget is that it will be a
5 record budget in the 90 million mark. I
6 also predict another 25 percent tax increase
7 in multiple million dollar loan or loans. I
8 predict within 2009 budgets the loans and
9 the tax increase along with the previous
10 $600 million we will be close to the three
11 quarter billion or 750 million mark on
12 revenues. Don't forget PEL and some city
13 past and present city officials predicted
14 dire financial straights for the city.
15 Don't forget deficits are predicted even
16 though we will be spending all of the money
17 taken in by the end of next year,
18 approximately three-quarters of a billion
19 dollars and still be looking at a deficit.
20 The county is preparing their budget
21 for 2009, projected at 86.1 million. Get
22 this, population of Lackawanna County
23 210,000, population of Scranton 72,000,
24 County 2009 budget 86.1 million if that
25 passes, city budget -- can I finish this,
1 I'm almost finished. City budget 2009, 90
2 million. If you divide those millions by
3 the population or into the population you
4 get $410 per person for the county. For the
5 city you get $1,250 per person. If we had
6 $410 per person divided into -- or we would
7 have, let's see, 410 multiplied by the
8 72,000 we would have a budget of $29,500, a
9 savings of 60,500,000. Thank you.
10 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.
11 MS. KRAKE: Good evening, Council,
12 Nancy Krake. I would like to start off by
13 saying that I am a taxpayer in the City of
14 Scranton as are all of council people and my
15 tax bill is comprised of the city, the
16 school district, Lackawanna County and
17 library, but of those four entities only the
18 City of Scranton is distressed, nobody else,
19 and it's the same people that are paying the
20 taxes to all of those four entities. Does
21 not make any sense that only one part can be
22 distressed, and to go further on that, our
23 teachers successfully negotiated with the
24 school district a fair contract and that
25 would have benefited Mrs. Evans and Mrs.
1 Gatelli. I think they would agree, I know
2 most of the membership voted for that. It
3 was very fair with raises and health care
4 and it was brought to an equitable
5 conclusion. How can this contract that is
6 paid for by the same taxpayers that pay my
7 salary and the administration salary who, by
8 the way, had received millions in raises and
9 also the fire and police who have received
10 zero in raises, so it seems to me the only
11 people distressed in Lackawanna County and
12 the City of Scranton are the fire and
13 police. Clerks have had two contracts, DPW
14 has had two contracts, our teachers have,
15 everybody else in Lackawanna County, but
16 fire and police. This is absolutely
17 outrageous. It's immoral, it's unethical
18 and if I were a council member I would be
19 beating down the doors of Governor Ed
20 Rendell whose decision it is ultimately to
21 release us from this distressed status which
22 is what the mayor is hiding behind to not
23 give a contract to fire and police. Thank
25 MS. GARVEY: Move onto 5-A, motions.
1 MS. EVANS: Good evening. At last
2 week's council meeting Mr. Quinn, president
3 of the Scranton/Lackawanna Taxpayers'
4 Association spoke about the urgent problems
5 our local food pantries are experiencing due
6 to the current financial crisis suffered by
7 countless local residents. A letter was
8 sent to Mr. Mike Hanley, executive director
9 of United States Neighborhood Centers asking
10 him to look into the possibility of
11 arranging a meeting among groups or
12 organizations to determine what can be done.
13 However, Mr. Quinn recognizes the immediate
14 need for assistance as well as for a
15 long-range plan to assist in feeding the
16 needy throughout the forthcoming winter
18 Therefore, Mr. Quinn has asked that
19 anyone interested in donating nonperishable
20 food items contact him at 347-8813. The
21 Lackawanna County Taxpayers' Association
22 will pick up food and monetary donations at
23 homes and businesses.
24 In addition, I contacted the
25 president of the Scranton International
1 Association of firefighters, Dave Schreiber,
2 the Fraternal Order of Police, Bob Martin,
3 and Clerical and Central Labor Unions
4 President, Nancy Krake. All have very
5 generously pledged the support of their
6 unions for our food drive. I am asking
7 tonight that all of the employees of city
8 hall, OECD, the Scranton Tax Office as well
9 as the fire and police departments combine
10 in a joint effort to donate canned goods and
11 other nonperishable food items at their
12 offices, fire stations and police
13 headquarters. I hope that each city
14 employee, including city council and it's
15 office, will contribute just one or two food
16 items to feed our Scranton neighbors who are
17 in desperate need of assistance. A box for
18 collected food items will be placed in each
19 office this week and volunteers from the
20 Taxpayers' Association will pick up and
21 deliver these items to food pantries on
22 October 30th and 31st.
23 Thankfully, many local organizations
24 remember the needy on holidays, but people
25 must feed their families every day, not only
1 on Thanksgiving and Christmas. We can make
2 a difference together in the next two weeks
3 and open our hearts to help others as
4 difficult as we may feel our situations are.
5 There are always other families and senior
6 citizens who are suffering far greater. A
7 donation of so little will mean so much to
8 so many of Scranton's poor.
9 The drive actually began maybe
10 prematurely today and I would say that at
11 this point 25 cases of canned goods have
12 been collected and were generously donated
13 by Riccardo's market and Castaldi's market
14 in Minooka and three businesses within the
15 city made monetary contributions this
16 afternoon for the purchase of canned goods,
17 and I thank all of them for their
19 In order to provide for the needs of
20 our Scranton food pantries and our poor
21 during the upcoming winter months, I'd like
22 to see the mayor use UDAG funds to
23 contribute towards the purchase of food
24 items for United Neighborhood Centers food
25 pantries. Therefore, I move that city
1 council send a letter to Mayor Doherty
2 requesting that a UDAG grant be given to the
3 UNC Food pantries for the purchase of food,
4 the amount of the grant to be determined by
5 the mayor.
6 MR. COURTRIGHT: Is that a motion?
7 MS. EVANS: Um-hum.
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
9 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All
10 in favor?
11 MS. EVANS: Aye.
12 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
13 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
14 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
15 MS. EVANS: Thank you. In addition,
16 I would like to ask the county commissioners
17 to allocate the Community Service Block
18 Grant funds for the purchase of
19 nonperishable food items for both UNC food
20 pantries and other pantries in need
21 throughout the county. Therefore, I move
22 that Scranton City Council send a letter to
23 the Lackawanna Commissioners respectfully
24 requesting that they consider allocating
25 Community Service Block Grant funds for the
1 purchase of nonperishable and food items for
2 both UNC food pantries and other pantries in
3 need throughout the county, the amount to be
4 determined by the commissioners.
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
6 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All
7 in favor?
8 MS. EVANS: Aye.
9 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
10 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
12 MS. EVANS: Thank you. Now, I just
13 wanted to first respond to questions that
14 were posed a bit earlier by a speaker
15 regarding the wage tax and I tried to keep
16 the mayor's promise last December, the wage
17 tax could have been reduced in 2008 if my
18 proposed budget had been passed. Now I
19 could suggest that perhaps a portion of the
20 12.2 million dollars plus interest that sits
21 in the Scranton Tax Office could be used to
22 lower the wage tax or certainly could be
23 used to repay the recent $6.1 million
24 borrowing to prevent years of future
25 interest payments, but ultimately it appears
1 the mayor and a majority of city council can
2 lower a wage tax if it is financially
3 feasible, it has been in the last year or
4 two, it certainly could have been possible I
5 believe in the beginning of this year
6 administration, yet, for their own reasons
7 it has not happened. Their priorities in
8 terms of money in, money out are a very
9 different from the priorities of many of our
10 working families.
11 In addition, someone else tonight
12 brought up the issue of the independent
13 audit of city council and we did receive in
14 our office today copies of two letters from
15 Robert Rossi and Company CPA to NCC and to
16 the Scranton Single Tax Office. Their
17 obviously would be quite a number of items
18 of information that Robert Rossi and Company
19 are requesting from both entities before the
20 2007 audit can be successfully completed,
21 and I know the delay is surprising even to
22 me who has seen audits carry on into
23 September when that should not have been the
24 case, but evidently we appear to be looking
25 at November at the earliest, and in my
1 opinion it makes it very difficult then to
2 prepare a proposed budget for 2009 on the
3 part of this administration when they don't
4 even have a firm handle on monies that have
5 been spent in the recent past.
6 Also, council received a letter from
7 Attorney Penetar, who is the solicitor of
8 the zoning board, and Attorney Minora, our
9 council solicitor, had sought his advice
10 regarding the rezoning of the area of Daron
11 Northeast. According to Attorney Penetar,
12 it does not appear possible that a rezoning
13 of this area could be performed. He cites
14 legal cases, one dealing with spot zoning
15 and the other dealing with a de facto
16 condemnation. His bottom line, if I may
17 quote his closing, "Therefore, in my opinion
18 the rezoning of this land could potentially
19 cost the City of Scranton a lot of money
20 under either the spot zoning theory or the
21 Federal Constitution Fifth Amendment Takings
22 Clause. I hope this answers your inquiry."
23 Well, in a sense, yes, it does
24 answer my inquiry, however, I would like
25 another letter to Attorney Minora -- or not
1 Attorney Minora, my goodness, excuse me, to
2 Attorney Penetar, and I'm asking that he
3 please advise what measures can be taken to
4 protect the homeowners and residents of
5 Dickson Avenue and Delaware Street from the
6 toxic particles and noise levels dispensed
7 from the current as well as a potential
8 future buyer of the Daron Northeast
10 I understand what he is saying, I
11 certainly consider his cautions against
12 potential lawsuits, but, on the other hand,
13 I refuse to believe, I will not believe that
14 there is nothing that can be done to help
15 the residents and homeowners, and taxpayers
16 of lower Greenridge who suffered for years,
17 and when we have a report from the
18 Department of Environmental Protection
19 advising the city to adjust that zoning at
20 such time as Daron Northeast would leave and
22 Again, I will not believe that
23 nothing can be done and that those
24 individuals are simply to suffer through the
25 daily breathing of toxic material until
1 perhaps they expire.
2 Now, I also have a few other
3 requests. There are two from East Mountain.
4 The edges of East Mountain Road are covered
5 in huge piles of leaves, particularly, near
6 the drainage areas. Please request that the
7 DPW clear the leaves to provide better water
9 Also, traveling past the firehouse
10 and turning right toward Mountain Lake there
11 is a "No Parking" sign on the right side of
12 the road. Residents of East Mountain report
13 there are cars parked frequently despite the
14 sign causing difficulty for drivers when
15 turning. Please report this to the police
17 Please paint lines on Olive Street
18 before the intersection of Olive and
19 Capouse. Also, remove graffiti from a large
20 utility box on Olive Street located near the
21 Rinaldi Law Office.
22 I also wanted to note that city
23 council has not received any PEL meeting
24 summaries since the meeting of September 8,
25 2008. Kay, please request the minutes of
1 meetings from September 15th through
2 October 20, 2008, by October 27, 2008.
3 And although, council received a
4 response from Ms. Aebli concerning one city
5 business loan, which incidentally is
6 up-to-date, she did not include an updated
7 list of delinquencies on all loans granted
8 to businesses though OECD. Kay, can you
9 call Ms. Aebli, please, and ask her to
10 forward that response.
11 And, finally, Attorney Minora, will
12 you have the legislation prepared for the
13 UDAG will allocations for next week's
15 MR. MINORA: I already have the
16 rough draft to Kay, I just don't have the
17 number yet. I'm still awaiting to determine
18 what --
19 MS. EVANS: I understand where you
20 are at on it.
21 MR. MINORA: What I have to do is
22 done. Now, I have to just kind of wait and
23 see what everybody agrees to.
24 MS. EVANS: Again, I know we
25 discussed this last week and my concern is
1 that it doesn't get placed on a back burner
2 because the proposed 2009 budget will be
3 forthcoming in say about three weeks, and so
4 do my colleagues have a decision on what you
5 would like plugged into that legislation so
6 that we can could get it moving?
7 MS. GATELLI: I thought we said ten.
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: I though we were
9 supposed to discuss it, but then Mr. McGoff
10 isn't here tonight, I think that was on of
11 interest, so we didn't have any discussion.
12 MS. GATELLI: And no one comes to
13 caucus. I'd like to say that, too. We sat
14 there until 25 after. So I think that
15 everybody needs to start coming at 6:00
16 because a lot of these things can't be
17 discussed if people aren't present. Mrs.
18 Krake, you with there. Jeremy Burton was
19 there, we weren't -- everybody wasn't there.
20 We didn't even have three to vote on
21 anything, so I would please ask that
22 everyone please come at 6:00 so that we
23 don't have to discuss these things out here,
24 we can discuss them in there and come to a
25 conclusion. I mean, maybe en is too much or
1 not enough, you know?
2 MS. EVANS: Well, I don't want to go
3 into it again, but last week I stated that I
4 believe all of the UDAG monies should come
5 for a vote and I gave my reasoning behind
6 that. I think it's more important now than
8 MS. GATELLI: Why don't we have it
9 ready for next week and we'll say the number
10 at the caucus and we'll write the number in.
11 Is that acceptable, Amil, to write it in.
12 MS. EVANS: Well, then it really
13 isn't part of an agenda as a completed piece
14 of legislation; correct?
15 MR. MINORA: It can be.
16 MS. GATELLI: I would say ten right
18 MR. COURTRIGHT: My concern is this,
19 not as much as dollar amount is that I think
20 you mentioned it last week, say we make it
21 $1,000, what's to prevent it from being
22 $1,000 ten times, 15 times, so if we are
23 going to do legislation and put in a dollar
24 amount I think we need to put a dollar
25 amount per organization or per project.
1 I think we got to be really careful how we
2 do it because as we see the administration
3 finds ways to get that money where they want
4 to get that. They got that ten grand to
5 ECTV one way or the other and, you know, if
6 we are going to make some kind of
7 legislation let's make legislation that
8 actually can work.
9 MS. EVANS: Yes.
10 MS. GATELLI: We can put that in
11 there, per organization -- or put all
12 amounts, I don't care, whatever pleases
13 everybody is fine with me.
14 MS. EVANS: I would say all UDAG
15 monies should come before council for a
17 MR. COURTRIGHT: That's fine with me.
18 I have no problem with that.
19 MS. EVANS: And I'll make that in a
20 the form of a motion.
21 MS. GATELLI: I'll second that.
22 MS. EVANS: So we can get this going.
23 And it's seconded.
24 MS. GATELLI: All in favor? Aye.
25 MS. EVANS: Aye.
1 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
2 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
3 MS. EVANS: So, Attorney Minora, will
4 you have that on next week's agenda, please?
5 MR. MINORA: I will. I will have it
6 drawn up, yes.
7 MS. EVANS: Thank you. And I believe
8 that's it. Thank you.
9 MS. GATELLI: The few things that I
10 have are letters from the auditors. They
11 did receive reports from NCC and from the
12 Single Tax Office and this is a follow-up.
13 They have sent requests to Mrs. Vitali-Flynn
14 and to Ms. Cobb at NCC requiring further
15 information and we still do not have the
16 Parking Authority audit, which is what I
17 thought would be coming in two weeks,
18 obviously, the audit is not going to
19 completed in two weeks and if I said that I
20 apologize, I didn't mean the audit would be
21 done, I thought that the Parking Authority
22 audit would be done in two weeks, apparently
23 it's still not done, so, Mrs. Garvey, if you
24 would call them tomorrow and tell them we
25 are still anticipating that audit report to
1 conclude our independent audit. And there
2 seems to be quite a few questions for the
3 Single Tax Office which we will also be
4 waiting for, so that's the status of the
6 As far as the Pisano Brothers, I
7 would just like to clarify it's father and
8 son. I know that you keep saying the Pisano
9 brothers, and I know Eddie would be very
10 proud to be his son's brother, but he is his
11 father and, yes, it is back in the law
12 department, it was incorrect in the
13 resolution to say that they would -- that
14 the city would erect, maintain, etcetera, so
15 it has been sent back to the law department
16 to be redone and we have not received it as
17 of yet.
18 As far as Junior City Council, I
19 don't believe that anyone up here is against
20 Junior City Council coming back. We have
21 asked at our respective schools and we have
22 had no one interested. It is not because
23 council does not want it, there was just
24 know one interested in it at the time so I
25 would like to clarify that.
1 Also, as far as going to political
2 candidates arrivals in Scranton, yes, most
3 of us up here work and it is not acceptable
4 to leave a place of employment to go to a
5 political announcement, rally, etcetera, if
6 you do go you have to take personal time and
7 also I believe that the city does provide
8 the police protection and the security, some
9 of the security when there is a candidate in
10 town, so the city is participating whenever
11 there is a political candidate in town and
12 just because we are not there I don't think
13 that has any relevance at all. I don't
14 think that we are sitting up here to go and
15 welcome candidates to the city. Personally,
16 I have gone to some rallies and I only go to
17 rallies of people that I believe in and
18 people that I support and that is my right
19 as a citizen. You know, just because we are
20 council members doesn't mean we don't have
21 citizen's rights, also, and that is why I go
22 to certain rallies and you may see me there
23 or you may see a comment that I have made
24 about a rally that I have attended and that
25 is my right as a citizen. I have the right
1 to vote and choose for who I feel is going
2 to rule this country in the right fashion.
3 So, I don't think anyone has the right to
4 expect anyone up here to go to every person
5 that comes here, political candidates.
6 I would just like to send one letter
7 to Mike Wallace about Shade Demolition, it's
8 located near the farmer's market, and it
9 seems that it's becoming quite a junk yard,
10 he's taking his debris there and leaving it
11 on the property, so if you would have
12 Mr. Wallace please check that out for me.
13 MS. EVANS: And that's been ongoing
14 for years now.
15 MS. GATELLI: Yes, I know, he put up
16 a fence, but it's still not helping the
17 situation with the dust, etcetera. That's
18 another situation of a residential zone
19 abutting a light industrial.
20 And we also sent a letter about
21 doing -- I also will mention the trees, you
22 know I love trees, that's one of my
23 favorites things is trees. So, we'll send
24 that letter.
25 And we also did send a request to
1 get a new zoning ordinance which will help
2 at Daron, too, about the spot zoning, let's
3 check the zoning everywhere, because there
4 are several Darons throughout the city where
5 industrial abuts a residential area and it
6 interferes with the quality of life for
7 those residents.
8 Mrs. Schumacher brought about the
9 trees, yes, I usually talk to Mr. Santolli
10 at least once a week. There are many trees
11 and there are several in the dog park that
12 are in dangerous shape, so I would like a
13 motion that we send the mayor a letter to
14 appropriate some UDAG money, I know he is
15 going to appropriate some money for
16 Mr. Santolli in the next budget, but I think
17 that we need to do some now to hire someone
18 in addition to the DPW because they do some
19 of it, but they can't do it all because they
20 don't do it full-time, so if he could
21 appropriate some money for Mr. Santolli to
22 bid out some tree removal at the soonest
23 possible date, and I make that in the form
24 of a motion.
25 MS. FANUCCI: Second that.
1 MS. GATELLI: On the question? All
2 in favor? Aye.
3 MS. EVANS: Aye.
4 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
6 MS. GATELLI: The only other thing
7 that I have, and I don't know it just struck
8 me tonight while I was sitting here and I
9 was looking around at all of the pictures on
10 the wall and seeing how young and skinny my
11 friend Jimmy Connors is in that picture, I'm
12 going to tease him because I see him every
13 morning, I looked and I noticed that Mayor
14 McNulty still does not have a picture on the
15 wall. Now, I know that he did not want one
16 at the time, but I think that we can find a
17 picture of him somewhere, he doesn't have to
18 pose for it, and I think it's incumbent upon
19 us as a council to make sure that his
20 picture sits up there like everyone else's.
21 And Mayor McNulty will find this quite
22 amusing because I was one of us thorns in
23 his side when he was the mayor, but I do
24 think that he belongs up on the wall with
25 everyone else and if he won't pose then
1 we'll find a picture, Mrs. Garvey, if you
2 can and I know that we can ask the mayor,
3 but I know that we have some money left in
4 council's budget in several accounts and if
5 the mayor won't pay for it I would like to
6 make a motion that we as council will pay
7 for it or someone will pay for it, but James
8 Barrett belongs up there with the rest of
10 MS. EVANS: I don't remember how many
11 years back this was, but actually that was
12 already entertained, I suggested that
13 probably my first year on council.
14 MR. COURTRIGHT: That's 2004?
15 MS. EVANS: 2004.
16 MS. GATELLI: Well, let's try it
18 MS. EVANS: And we knew that he did
19 not want his photo, but we had planned on
20 designing at least a plaque that would honor
21 him, but for some reason or another that hit
22 a snag and we weren't allowed to do it.
23 MS. GATELLI: Well, let's try it
25 MS. EVANS: Oh, I'd love to try it
1 again. You can actually get pictures on
2 glass, too.
3 MS. GATELLI: There is pictures of
4 him, I know there is.
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: He might be willing
6 to do it now. Ask him.
7 MS. GATELLI: Well, I don't think he
8 has any say in it, he was a mayor of this
9 community and he belongs up there, so let's
10 just try it anyway. I mean, how much could
11 it cost for a photo?
12 MS. EVANS: Right. I don't think it
13 was a matter of the money.
14 MS. GATELLI: No, I know, but he
15 belongs up there.
16 MS. EVANS: There I think at the time
17 was a disagreement among parties as to who
18 controlled city council chambers, you know,
19 if the mayor controlled council chambers and
21 MS. GATELLI: I don't think the mayor
22 would be adverse to putting his picture of
24 MS. EVANS: Well, hopefully not now.
25 MS. GATELLI: I don't think he would
2 MS. EVANS: He was then.
3 MS. GATELLI: Well, I'll put the nail
4 up there and let him come and stop us, so
5 let's just try it.
6 MS. EVANS: Or maybe if you ask him.
7 MS. GATELLI: Maybe.
8 MS. EVANS: He likes you.
9 MS. GATELLI: He loves me. Go
10 ahead. Oh, I'm sorry. All in favor? Aye.
11 MS. EVANS: Aye.
12 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
13 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
14 MS. GATELLI: Opposed? The ayes
15 have it.
16 MS. FANUCCI: As if there is anything
17 after you two. I absolutely have nothing.
18 MR. COURTRIGHT: I have a couple.
19 I'd like to give a "that a boy" to Officer
20 Ray Kelly, I think most people know I teach
21 at the police academy, I just think there
22 are some things you can't learn through a
23 book or even in a school that experience has
24 to teach you. And there is someone that was
25 committing a robbery at I believe it was
1 Best Buy and the employees confronted him
2 and they pulled a plate off, and it was
3 thought that this individual would end up
4 somewhere in the vicinity of West Scranton
5 and police went there and that person wasn't
6 there. I don't know if it was instinct or
7 what, but he kept watching the area and he
8 apprehended this person that had the weapon
9 with no incident, so I give him a "that a
10 boy," maybe the Times will have him in that
11 arrest of the week thing.
12 I tried to explain this before and I
13 guess some people are very inpatient. They
14 are doing a lot of -- the gas company is
15 doing a lot of digging over in West Scranton
16 and they are replacing pipes and it's an
17 inconvenience, I understand that, but all of
18 those roads are going to be paved, nice
19 paved roads, free of charge, it isn't going
20 to the cost the city a dime, and I'm
21 thinking that they are supposed to be done
22 with all of them by Thanksgiving, so try to
23 have a little patience because if the gas
24 company didn't dig those streets up they
25 weren't getting paved, so if you would be a
1 little more patient. I know it's an
2 inconvenience, I drive there myself, but it
3 really is a good thing.
4 We send so many letters out I hate
5 to ask Kay to send another one, but I would
6 just like to see if this council would be
7 agreeable to send a letter to ECTV and ask
8 them, Mr. Darcy seems to be the man in
9 charge, ask him are they going to take
10 Scranton Today or Scranton Tomorrow up on
11 their offer for live feed? I can't for the
12 life of me see why they wouldn't, I'm just
13 curious. I saw them talking in the hall
14 afterwards so I didn't want to interrupt
15 them, so maybe if we can ask Mr. Darcy, Kay,
16 if they plan on taking up Scranton Today on
17 their offer for the live feed. It's like a
18 $29,000 gift the way I look at it. They are
19 going to charge 29,000 grand for it we got
20 it up the street for nothing, I don't know
21 how refuse that.
22 MS. EVANS: Mr. Courtright, do you
23 want to attach a deadline for a response?
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: Could they answer us
25 by next week? I don't think that would be
1 too -- he must know by now whether he wants
2 to do it or not. Unless there is something
3 that I don't know about, but I would imagine
4 he would know by now so if you can ask him
5 and have it for next week's meeting.
6 MS. EVANS: And, Kay, if you don't
7 mind, Mr. Courtright, if we could include in
8 the letter the fact that the contract
9 doesn't expire until December 31, 2009, and
10 it appears that the public would be waiting
11 over a year for live government meetings.
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: Absolutely. I
13 mean, I know we all knew that, I don't know
14 if the public knew that or not, but that's
15 fine. Mr. Davis, you know, I don't want to
16 answer you when you are up here talking
17 because then I'm taking your time and you
18 might get mad, but I don't know how else I
19 can explain it to you, you keep bringing up
20 about what you call the Tech Central area
21 and it being roped off or chained off and
22 you can't go there and you asked tonight if
23 we can get a message to the school board.
24 They have meetings just like we do, so you
25 can go and talk to them in person and ask
1 them, but we have no control over that piece
2 of land. You and I have been going back and
3 forth with this since I have been on this
4 council, so we have no control over that
5 piece of land. I don't know when their
6 meeting are, once a month?
7 MS. EVANS: I don't know.
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: But, I'll find a
9 schedule for you, Mr. Davis, and maybe you
10 can make it a point for to talk for them and
11 get an answer from them.
12 Kay, I'm assuming, and I thought I
13 saw an early letter go out to Ms. Aebli
14 about that $10,000, it went out; right?
15 MS. GARVEY: Um-hum.
16 MR. COURTRIGHT: We didn't get a
17 response yet, did we?
18 MS. GARVEY: Right.
19 MR. COURTRIGHT: I'll wait until next
20 week and then maybe I can ask you to, I hate
21 to put deadlines on them, but we don't get
22 any answers if we don't. And in all
23 fairness to Rossi and Rossi, you know, the
24 audit is never done on time, but I don't
25 think the blame can be laid on them if they
1 don't get the information, if people don't
2 get the information how could they do the
3 jobs, so I know their name is brought up
4 quite a bit and so there is -- and I won't
5 say who they are awaiting for so I don't get
6 myself in trouble, they are waiting for a
7 couple of different offices to send
8 information to them, and I don't think we
9 can expect them to perform an audit without
10 the information and I don't think we could
11 expect the mayor to be able to perform or
12 prepare a good budget without an audit, so
13 it's not Rossi and Rossi's fault, the
14 agencies are not sending the information,
15 and that's all I have. Thank you.
16 MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Garvey?
17 MS. GARVEY: FIFTH ORDER. NO
18 BUSINESS AT THIS TIME. SIXTH ORDER. NO
19 BUSINESS AT THIS TIME. SEVENTH ORDER. 7-A.
20 FOR CONSIDERATION - BY THE COMMITTEE ON
21 RULES FOR ADOPTION - RESOLUTION NO. 76, 2008
22 - PURSUANT TO FILE OF COUNCIL 32, 2008 - AS
23 AMENDED -AS AMENDED THE FOLLOWING PEOPLE
24 HAVE BEEN APPOINTED BY CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS
25 TO THE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE TO ACT AS AN
1 ADVISORY BOARD ONLY TO OVERSEE THE
2 MANAGEMENT OF ALL PUBLIC ACCESS CHANNELS
3 OPERATED BY ELECTRIC CITY TELEVISION
4 ("ECTV") THROUGH THE COMCAST CABLE SYSTEM:
5 JACK FINNERTY, MARK MONAHAN, TOM WELBY,
6 JAMES COYLE AND KAREN BAZZARI.
7 We are going to need a temporary
8 chair for the Committee on Rules.
9 MR. COURTRIGHT: I'll make a motion
10 to name Mrs. Gatelli the temporary chair for
11 the Committee on Rules.
12 MS. EVANS: Second.
13 MS. GATELLI: All in favor?
14 MS. EVANS: Aye.
15 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
16 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
17 MS. GATELLI: As Chair for the
18 Committee on Rules, I recommend final
19 passage of 7-A.
20 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
21 MS. GATELLI: On the question? Roll
23 MS. MAGNOTTA: Mrs. Evans.
24 MS. EVANS: Yes.
25 MS. MAGNOTTA: Mrs. Gatelli.
1 MS. GATELLI. Yes.
2 MS. MAGNOTTA: Ms. Fanucci.
3 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.
4 MS. MAGNOTTA: Mr. Courtright.
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
6 MS. MAGNOTTA: Mr. McGoff.
7 MS. GATELLI: May I have a motion to
9 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
2 C E R T I F I C A T E
4 I hereby certify that the proceedings and
5 evidence are contained fully and accurately in the
6 notes of testimony taken by me at the hearing of the
7 above-captioned matter and that the foregoing is a true
8 and correct transcript of the same to the best of my
CATHENE S. NARDOZZI, RPR
13 OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER