1 SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING
7 Tuesday, December 9, 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
6 MS. JUDY GATELLI, VICE-PRESIDENT
MS. JANET E. EVANS
9 MS. SHERRY FANUCCI
MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT
11 (Not present.)
MS. KAY GARVEY, CITY CLERK
14 MR. NEIL COOLICAN, ASSISTANT CITY CLERK
MR. AMIL MINORA, SOLICITOR
1 (Pledge of Allegiance recited and moment of reflection
3 MR. MCGOFF: Roll call.
4 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.
5 MS. EVANS: Here.
6 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.
7 MS. GATELLI. Here.
8 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. Fanucci.
9 MS. FANUCCI: Here.
10 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.
11 (Mr. Courtright not present.)
12 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff.
13 MR. MCGOFF: Yes. Let the record
14 reflect that Mr. Courtright has informed
15 council that he will not be attending
16 tonight's meeting. Dispense with the
17 reading of the minutes. Third Order.
18 MS. GARVEY: 3-A. TAX COLLECTION
19 COMPARISON REPORTS RECEIVED FROM THE SINGLE
20 TAX OFFICE ON DECEMBER, 5, 2008.
21 MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?
22 If the not, received and filed. Thank you.
23 Prior to Fourth Order, are there any
25 MS. GARVEY: Yes, I have a few. Fist
1 of all, I would like everyone to please keep
2 in their priors some students at West
3 Scranton High School who were recently
4 involved in a very serious accident. The
5 one boy had his arm severed and it he Lehigh
6 Valley Hospital and we are hoping that his
7 arm can be -- it was reattached, but we are
8 hoping that it will okay. He is in serious
9 condition, and there are also some other
10 children that were injured, so please keep
11 them in your prayers.
12 Also, one of the inspectors in the
13 license and inspections, Mr. Ed Joyce, who
14 does weights and measures, is also very ill
15 and I would ask that you keep him in your
16 prayers, also.
17 Just for the record, Mrs. Garvey did
18 send out requests to the cable companies, as
19 I suggested, to see if this he would like to
20 bid on the cable. The following were
21 notified: Blue Ridge Communications,
22 Comcast, Cox, Time Warner, Adams, Charter,
23 Cablevision, Armstrong and Quest, so we are
24 hoping that maybe someone would be
1 We had some good things happening at
2 West Scranton High School also this week.
3 One of our students, Eric Shrive, made the
4 US Army all American. He will be playing in
5 that bowl on January 3 in San Antonio. He
6 is only the second player from the area to
7 earn Army All-American status, and I'm going
8 to ask that council if we can possibly give
9 him a proclamation in the near future if we
10 would all agree. I'd.
11 Also like to have a proclamation
12 done, and I will be taking it with me, I
13 don't think -- it is for my cousin and he is
14 going to be a 100 years old. His name is
15 Dr. Dominic Maldonado. He was a very
16 reputable dentist in the community for many
17 years. He was one of the founders of the
18 Association for Retarded Citizens and he is
19 very active in that organization up until
20 now, and I don't think that he would be able
21 to come here and I would ask council if we
22 can do some type of proclamation and I could
23 take it to the mass that they are going to
24 be having for him later in December. Thank
25 you. I hope I got some of his genes.
1 The lights up the Nay Aug. What
2 happened to some of them were someone asked
3 about the menorah, and this gentleman
4 e-mailed me and he said, and I verified it
5 with the mayor, that some of the religious
6 lights were taken out of Nay Aug. The Elm
7 Park Church has the manager scene and others
8 were given to the Jewish community. I
9 believe the menorah is at the Hebrew Day
10 School, so they tried to take all of the
11 religious lights out of Nay Aug and it is
12 called the holiday display, so that's what I
13 have to report on that.
14 No new news on the audits. No new
15 news on the single tax audit, and I will
16 keep you informed of that. And several
17 properties, we have got complaints again at
18 1101 Cedar and 521 Maple. Both have been
19 reported to Mr. Seitzinger. The one on
20 Cedar Avenue they are still trying to sell,
21 and I will keep on them about the sidewalks.
22 They did cut the grass when I called. The
23 realtor was taking responsibility. And 521
24 Maple is condemned and it's waiting -- you
25 have to wait a certain time period before
1 you can schedule it for demolition, so we
2 are in that time frame right now. But I
3 would also like to complain, and I don't
4 know if anything was done about it, the
5 Habitat for Humanity house on North Main
6 Avenue that Mr. Ellman keeps bringing to our
7 attention, it's 2517-19 North Main. They
8 are now taking aluminum out of the building,
9 it's disastrous, and it's in very, very bad
10 shape and I don't understand why that's not
11 demolished because it has been that way for
12 several years, so we will get an answer for
13 you, Mr. Ellman, from Mr. Seitzinger, and I
14 think that's all I have. Thank you.
15 MS. EVANS: Please remember in your
16 prayers this week Mr. Tony Bliss, a true
17 gentleman, a Korean war veteran, and former
18 president of the Fraternal Order of Eagle's
19 Club in West Scranton. Tony is deeply
20 missed by his family and friends. Also,
21 Mr. Jim Davis, a frequent speaker at city
22 council and school board meetings, a
23 veteran, and a well-known figure in the
24 community. Peace be with you, Jim. And
25 Mr. Tony Notarianni, a wonderful husband,
1 father, brother and uncle, may God bless him
2 and be with his family and friends now.
3 Also, the Lackawanna County Juvenile
4 Probation Office a sponsoring a countywide
5 holiday community service project through
6 Monday, December 15. They are asking for
7 donations of newly purchased baby items for
8 the school age mother's program, an
9 educational endeavor providing continuing
10 support and instruction to adolescent mother
11 and infants in Lackawanna County.
12 Acceptable donations include diapers, baby
13 wipes and bath items, receiving blankets,
14 baby bottles, clothing and socks, sizes
15 newborn to 12 months, and infant toys for
16 ages 6 to 12 months. If you don't have time
17 to shop, monetary donations can be made
18 payable to: Lackawanna County Juvenile
19 Probation, 200 Adams Avenue, Scranton,
20 18503. For any questions, please call
21 963-6887, extension 4815, and ask for Kim
23 Also, the Scranton Civic Ballet's
24 22th annual production of the Nutcracker
25 under the artistic direction of Mrs. Helen
1 Gaust, will be held on Friday, December 12,
2 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, December 13, at
3 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, December 14 at 2 p.m.
4 at the Scranton Cultural Center.
5 This production showcases all
6 company dancers ranging in age from 8 to
7 21 years of age, and while all are students,
8 the production is breathtakingly
9 professional. Tickets are $14 and $17. Buy
10 three and get one free, and they are
11 available at both the Scranton Civic Ballet
12 Company and at the Cultural Center Box
13 Office. You can reach the box office at
14 693-4100. The Nutcracker adds up to a
15 wonderful evening of family entertainment
16 that is not to be missed. And for the Mouse
17 King, who happens to be a favorite of mine,
18 I say hello and everyone be sure to watch
19 for him.
20 In honor of the community, the Civic
21 Ballet is holding a food pantry drive at
22 these performances. They are asking that
23 every attendee would donate a nonperishable
24 food item and as they enter the theatre.
25 The Civic Ballet Company will distribute the
1 collected items to St. Francis Soup Kitchen,
2 United Neighborhood Services and Friends of
3 the Poor. That's it.
4 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, and I just
5 have one thing to mention, again, First
6 Night, I have buttons for anyone who would
7 care to purchase. I am responsible for
8 selling 20 of them I'm told, so feel free.
9 No, not free, there is a cost, but I do have
10 the buttons available should you care to
11 purchase. Thank you. If that is all,
12 Fourth Order, citizens participation. Jim
14 MR. STUCKER: I was at the Boots and
15 Hanks party Saturday and they both have a
16 good time. What happened, sad to say it, a
17 couple of times the guys, Ronnie told the
18 guys to throw me out the door out the back,
19 and I hate to say that, he did, a bunch of
20 guys. I was supposed to have a good time at
21 the party, but I didn't this year, and I was
22 supposed to take some food and they didn't
23 give me any, so I'm a little bit mad about
25 MR. MCGOFF: We were sorry that
1 happened to you, Jim.
2 MR. STUCKER: Yeah, and we got
3 them -- we got all of the roads fixed. Now,
4 over by Ruddy's, Ruddy's Bar -- or Ritter's,
5 I'm sorry, Ritter's Bar, I was in there two
6 or three weeks ago and it was nice, so I
7 think it's good they did it. So, I don't
8 know, so I heard, Janet, you are going to be
9 our new mayor. That's what everybody was
10 telling us. Everybody was saying it around
11 Scranton. Everybody said Janet was going to
12 be our mayor. I want to see it, and I'm
13 going vote for you all the way, Janet.
14 MS. EVANS: Well, thank you.
15 MR. STUCKER: I will vote for you.
16 MS. EVANS: Thank you.
17 MR. STUCKER: Okay. And Courtright,
18 because I have his number here, I spoke to
19 Mr. Courtright, so can you see him -- can I
20 give -- write the number down.
21 MR. MCGOFF: Give it to Neil and
22 we'll pass it along. Thank you very much.
23 Is that it, Jim? Thank you, Mr. Stucker.
24 Jack Powell.
25 MR. POWELL: I want to give you
1 something first. Thank you. Jack Powell,
2 Scranton. I'd appreciate it if you would
3 look at the lower hand corner where it says,
4 "Apartments," and maybe the other council
5 persons can look at it, also. They started
6 building the buildings at Luzerne and Keyser
7 on property that was never supposed to be
8 built on, as we went over, and we are not
9 going to hash it out here. Along with
10 giving us the wrong set of plans and going
11 to the planning commission we didn't -- so
12 that we wouldn't go to the meeting, there
13 are the plans for the townhouses. Now,
14 however, if you look at the corner it says,
15 "Apartments, six units."
16 Now, to me, townhouses are one,
17 apartments are another. Mrs. Gatelli, you
18 have Skyview Apartments, Valley View
19 Apartments, now it looks like we have Keyser
20 Terrace Apartments, so somebody is really
21 messing things up here. It looks like it's
22 coming out of the planning commission. I
23 know that Mr. King gave us the wrong
24 information the first time, now it looks
25 like they are giving us the wrong
1 information the second time. My opinion
2 there should -- he should be fired. That's
3 what it comes down to. I mean, how many
4 issues do we have to take on to get the
5 truth? To get the truth.
6 We had the meeting because
7 Mr. McGoff said -- Mr. McGoff says, oh, he
8 would feel intimidated. We went there.
9 Accomplished nothing. He told us that he
10 actually didn't need us. Now, that was our
11 run up there. He didn't need us or the
12 neighborhood association that basically he
13 could do and get what he wants. That's what
14 he told us.
15 MS. FANUCCI: He said that at the
17 MR. POWELL: Yeah. He said that he
18 really -- he didn't need our help and he
19 didn't need the association's help, that he
20 could have gotten all of this himself, he
21 didn't need our help. To me, it's sound
22 like something is going on in this building
23 that you can be adamant like that and he
24 really treated the people, Mary Alice, not
1 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Powell, do you know
2 if they are going to be sold?
3 MR. POWELL: No. He bought them --
4 the day we were up there the next day he
5 went and bought them himself. He is the
6 landlord now.
7 MS. FANUCCI: So he is renting them?
8 MR. POWELL: He went -- yeah, he made
9 rental properties. I mean, it's my -- I
10 guess they are going to put another set down
11 at the other end, so we are getting -- I
12 won't say projects, I mean, a housing
13 project. I guess this is the way it's going
14 to be.
15 MS. GATELLI: And the townhouses he
16 sells them; right?
17 MR. POWELL: He sells them, it is my
18 understanding that some might be rented at
19 this time, so it's just putting both ends
20 and coming in and we haven't gotten the
21 truth anyplace. Now, I understand that he
22 wanted to know when we walked in if there
23 was anybody there, he asked one person, it
24 was Mr. Barrett, if he was from the
25 newspaper because apparently he doesn't want
1 the newspaper anything that goes on. He is
2 trying to keep it under wraps. There is
3 lawsuits against him it is my understanding
4 now, but he wants -- he wanted to know if he
5 was from the newspaper. He said, "No."
6 But there they are worried for some
7 reason. Why don't they want the truth to be
8 known? Do we have to go out there with
9 flyers to where he frequents. Maybe where
10 he goes on Sunday. This is also -- he has a
11 partner which is Harriet Scantos, I don't
12 know who it is. Maybe it's his wife, maybe
13 it's not, but I don't if she condones his
14 actions and the way we have been lied to. I
15 mean, this isn't right.
16 MS. FANUCCI: The whole idea. You
17 know, we tried to make it to be good
19 MR. POWELL: Yes. Absolutely.
20 MS. FANUCCI: And I think we all
21 agreed that was something that needed to be
23 MR. POWELL: And we get total
24 disrespect and now him coming out with he
25 didn't need us, he could have gotten what he
1 wanted here, it's not right. You try to be
2 a good neighbor like when he changed from
3 one to the another and went to all of our
4 meetings, even here in this, he agreed
5 nothing to be built on the corner. There is
6 waters issues, as you know, it's just came
7 back to bite the city with Tripp Park has.
8 The Cour order I think came down yesterday
9 and there is issues back there. I honestly
10 don't know where to turn at this point.
11 MS. GATELLI: Was this approved by
12 the Planning Commission?
13 MR. POWELL: It's my understanding
14 it was.
15 MS. GATELLI: We'll make sure we
17 MR. POWELL: It was done light, and
18 I'd to you check it into it in some way
19 because us and the neighbors aren't getting
20 any satisfaction.
21 MS. GATELLI: All right. We'll
23 MR. POWELL: We tried to do ti --
24 Mr. McGoff, you saw what they did. He told
25 us not to come to caucus because he wasn't
1 coming. Then he shows up because he
2 anticipates nobody is going to be here.
3 MS. FANUCCI: Yes, that was --
4 MR. POWELL: I mean he made you
5 look-- you know what I mean? This is his
6 dealings. This the way it goes, and we'd
7 just like the truth once in awhile, us and
8 the other neighbors and the Neighborhood
9 Association. Mary Alice wasn't too thrilled
10 with some of the statements, so --
11 MS. FANUCCI: I know we had a list of
12 things that we wanted taken care of for you,
13 was any of that resolved?
14 MR. POWELL: As far as my end dealing
15 strictly with the corners.
16 MS. FANUCCI: Right.
17 MR. POWELL: The roads and a stuff he
18 had about two or three different black
19 toppers and know some have left. They have
20 come, quit, and gone and he has gotten new
21 people, so --
22 MS. FANUCCI: All right, so that's
23 still not resolved there?
24 MR. POWELL: Well, as far as the
25 blacktop goes I believe the back part is,
1 you know, so that --
2 MR. GATELLI: We haven't dedicated
3 the streets yet.
4 MS. EVANS: Not the curbs?
5 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Powell?
6 MS. EVANS: The curbs?
7 MR. POWELL: That's on the backside.
8 The reason I'm here today is because I ended
9 up with these plans and they are not -- I
10 mean, his own designer made them and there
11 are apartments there.
12 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you. Les
14 MR. SPINDLER: Good evening,
15 Council. Les Spindler, homeowner and
16 taxpayer, Scranton resident. Mrs. Gatelli,
17 I echo your thoughts about the children
18 involved in the accident, one of the
19 children involved is a good friend of one of
20 my daughters and my thoughts and prayers are
21 with her and thankfully my daughter was
22 talking to her on the phone this afternoon
23 and thank God she doing much better, but
24 it's a miracle from what I have heard that
25 none of those kids were killed. It's
1 unbelievable. I thank God they are all
2 okay. I hope. That's all for that.
3 CDTV, I have two words for that. It
4 sucks. The programming is terrible unless
5 you like Betty Boop, the sound is
6 horrendous. You have a microphone up to a
7 speaker here. I had a dozen people or more
8 come up to me last week, and I also watched
9 the replay last Wednesday, had my volume up
10 to 100 on my TV, which was as high as it
11 could go and could not understand a word
12 anybody said, and there had to be a least a
13 dozen people came up to me and repeated the
14 same thing. This station is unbelievable.
15 Chris Doherty got just what he wants, a
16 station with programming nobody wants to
17 watch or if they do watch it they can't hear
19 Okay, moving on. Last week, Mrs.
20 Fanucci, you said who tells me what to say.
21 Well, nobody tells me what to say, I speak
22 for myself, and if somebody did tell me what
23 to say, so what? I'm not an elected
24 official. You being an elected official you
25 should serve the taxpayers and not listen to
1 what Chris Doherty says to you.
2 Now, I'm going to repeat the
3 question I had last week, why didn't you
4 question Mayor Doherty for all of the
5 appeals and arbitration losses he had
6 costing the taxpayers over $1 million? Do
7 you have an answer for that? Why didn't you
8 ever question him on that?
9 MS. FANUCCI: How much time do you
10 want, Les? Yeah, I have an answer, I have
11 an answer for that. They are in
12 negotiations. There will be lawsuits. The
13 unions suing, the city will be suing.
14 That's part of the deal and, yes, it is his
15 responsibility to sue when they sue. It is
16 his responsibility to do the same thing, to
17 do this in negotiations. That's what
18 negotiations are. This is how it happens.
19 You can't expect the unions to sue and then
20 the city not to sue back or not to do what
21 their intention was.
22 And you still have to remember, the
23 Recovery Plan did pass. It passed by the
24 taxpayers of this city, so we are still
25 bound by that whether we like it or not. We
1 are still bound by that. So, therefore,
2 with those guidelines it is our
3 responsibility to still try to follow that
4 whether or not you like it, agree with it or
5 whether I agree with it or like it. It is
6 still the responsibility of the city to do
7 what's right and do what the people voted
8 for which was the Recovery Plan. So, yes,
9 it is -- it is still --
10 MR. SPINDLER: Only by the threat of
11 a tax hike, that's why they voted for.
12 MS. FANUCCI: Excuse me?
13 MR. SPINDLER: Because they were
14 threatened with a tax hike if they didn't
15 pass the Recovery Plan.
16 MS. FANUCCI: Well, whatever your
17 reasoning is, it was still voted upon and
18 passed. Your idea of why and my idea of why
19 doesn't really matter at this point. It
20 still is what it is.
21 MR. SPINDLER: But you are
22 complaining about Carl Greco wasting $25,000
23 of taxpayer's money.
24 MS. FANUCCI: Absolutely.
1 MR. SPINDLER: But you don't care
2 about Mayor Doherty wasting a million
4 MS. FANUCCI: Well, it's not waste to
6 MR. SPINDLER: No, of course not.
7 MS. FANUCCI: It's not waste. You
8 have to do what you have to do.
9 MR. SPINDLER: It is waste. He
10 losses arbitration after arbitration and
11 keeps appealing.
12 MS. FANUCCI: And so do -- the unions
13 keep losing, too, but it's part of the
14 negotiation, Les. That's what negotiation
15 is. I don't know what else to tell you.
16 MR. SPINDLER: Okay, I have another
17 question. How many pieces of legislation
18 that Mayor Doherty has sent down to this
19 council have you voted against?
20 MS. FANUCCI: I really don't know. I
21 couldn't tell you.
22 MR. SPINDLER: I'll tell you, zero.
23 MS. FANUCCI: Okay.
24 MR. SPINDLER: How many budgets have
25 you vote against.
1 MS. FANUCCI: Actually, I don't
2 believe I voted for the 44 --
3 MR. SPINDLER: How many budgets have
4 you voted against?
5 MS. FANUCCI: Did they ever ask for
7 MS. GATELLI: Yes.
8 MS. FANUCCI: No, I don't think I
10 MR. SPINDLER: How many budgets have
11 you voted against?
12 MS. FANUCCI: Oh, none. Absolutely
14 MR. SPINDLER: Zero.
15 MS. FANUCCI: Right. Yeah.
16 MR. SPINDLER: I rest my case. You
17 work for him not the citizens. Thank you.
18 MS. FANUCCI: The citizens do benefit
19 from the budget, Les, that's part of the
20 deal. That's who it's for.
21 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Spindler.
22 Ozzie Quinn.
23 MR. QUINN: Ozzie Quinn, Taxpayers'
24 Association. In regards to 7-A, I spoke
25 about that at the last meeting, $150,000.
1 I'll bet Mr. Greco has taken out of the city
2 over half a million dollars, well over a
3 half a million dollars and, you know, there
4 is millions of people out there under the
5 hard economic conditions that we are under
6 that are unemployed, and this man wants to
7 increase his contract to $150,000. Now,
8 that's arrogance. That's -- it's plain
9 arrogance and it's borderline greed, and if
10 you people -- I would recommend -- I
11 recommend -- the fact that he is taking away
12 from low income by spending it, but if he
13 get this contract, if it's $100,000, I
14 recommend that it goes down to $75,000.
15 Also, tax exempt properties, I don't
16 know if you are aware of it, but in regards
17 to the revenue they are redefining in
18 Harrisburg what a nonprofit is as a
19 charitable organization, and State
20 Representative Robert Freedman from North
21 Hampton, he is the chairman of the local
22 government, and also he has a bill out there
23 in regards to changing hospitals and
24 colleges and so on from tax exempt to
25 taxable properties, okay? And also the
1 Pennsylvania League of Cities is pushing a
2 bill for the Johnstown flood money to be
3 used for -- to decrease depravement's, also.
4 Now, I don't want to pick on the
5 University of Scranton, but I looked into
6 the Assessor's book and they have 135 tax
7 exempt properties in the City of Scranton.
8 That's a lot. And I graduated from the
9 University and I got a booklet and on the
10 first page, second page, when you open the
11 book they were bragging about that they gave
12 $550,000 throughout the years to the city.
13 That's unbelievable. You know what I mean?
14 Half a million dollars. And do you know,
15 you wouldn't remember this, but there was
16 two urban renewal projects, actually, one
17 was for the Mercy Hospital and the other was
18 for the University of Scranton and how they
19 received government money and yet they
20 won't, you know, $550,000 for all of that,
21 you know. That's ashame. So, I think you
22 should get behind and look into trying to
23 get these bills.
24 I also want to point out that PPL is
25 tax exempt for 23 properties in the City of
1 Scranton. I don't know why, you know?
2 The one other thing I want to talk
3 about is three years ago this month,
4 Northeast Credit and Collection Agency got a
5 three-year contract so it should expire this
6 month. Now, there is a Pennsylvania Act out
7 there, Act 50, okay, that gives a deferment
8 to people who are delinquent in taxes, and
9 it's up to the council to pass an ordinance
10 to the effect that would give them a
11 deferment and they would have to abide by
12 the deferment or like anything else you put
13 a lien on the property, you know? Because
14 paying, you know, I had a lady come to me,
15 like I told you, two weeks ago and she owed
16 $856, she wound up paying $765. That's a
17 48 percent increase, okay, for one year's
18 taxes and two years of garbage. Now, that's
19 almost like -- that's almost like stealing.
20 Jessie James had a gun, cripes, but the fact
21 is that, you know, again, these people just
22 like Mr. Greco are paid to play. Everybody
23 that has contributed to Mr. Doherty's
24 campaign, election campaign, I looked at the
25 election campaign reports, and they have
1 spent $10,000, $20,000. Now, they didn't do
2 that just to offset Mr. Doherty's cost for
3 advertising, he invented that two months ago
4 to get these contracts, and it's bad. It's
5 illegal. It's corruption.
6 Now, only in America, only in
7 America you have this great country where
8 have you, where else you have like
9 organizations like General Motors and Lehman
10 Brothers where a CEO is paid millions and he
11 runs the corporation to the ground.
12 Scranton, he is not making $50,000, but he
13 sure is dragging us to the ground with his
14 debt. What I'm getting at, I don't know how
15 he can plug in $5.5 million into his revenue
16 side of the budget when he is not even aware
17 of what he is getting.
18 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Quinn.
19 MR. QUINN: And it's hearsay and
20 what he is to doing is he is using the
21 firefighters and the police union as
22 scapegoats and blaming it on them. Thank
24 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.
25 MS. EVANS: Mr. Quinn, if I may just
1 for a moment, I addressed the issue of NCC
2 at last week's council meeting. You are,
3 indeed, correct that their contract expires
4 effective December 31, 2008, however, one of
5 the provisions of the agreement is that
6 whether they are to be renewed or terminated
7 they must be notified six months in advance
8 of the termination date and that renewal
9 obviously had to have occurred, but it never
10 came before council.
11 At the same time, when the very same
12 situation occurred in 2005, when NCC was up
13 for it's first contract renewal that
14 legislation was brought to Scranton City
15 Council in December 2005 for it's approval
16 and it was approved 4 to 1. So I do find it
17 unusual that this contract renewal was
18 approved without any notice to or
19 requirement of approval from city council.
20 MR. QUINN: Well, that just goes to
21 show you the corruption.
22 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Quinn.
23 Bill Jackowitz.
24 MR. JACKOWITZ: Good evening,
25 Council, Mr. President. Bill Jackowtiz,
1 South Scranton resident and member of the
2 Taxpayers' Association. Toastmasters'
3 International states the person at the
4 podium is the speaker, everybody else are
5 the listeners. Surprise, surprise,
6 surprise, Scranton City Council approved a
7 2009 budget by a 3 to 2 vote. Not only did
8 they approve the budget, they raised the
9 budget by $101,000. Total budget
10 $78.6 million. While the rest of the
11 country, including moms and dads in Scranton
12 are reducing their budget, the majority
13 three decided to raise Scranton's budget
14 higher. Government Rendell reduced the
15 state again by $128 million, froze state
16 salaries and gave Al Boscov $35 million of
17 taxpayers' dollars.
18 After witnessing last week's
19 meeting, I have a better understanding now
20 as to why Scranton has been distressed for
21 16 years soon to be 17 years. Last weeks'
22 meeting proved to me that city council lacks
23 leadership. The chaotic voting and not
24 paying attention by council members again
25 speaks volumes as to why Scranton is in this
1 financial situation. Yes, it was very dis
2 heartening to watch my elected officials
3 having a catfight during the budget vote and
4 council meeting. What I found to be more
5 interesting were the fact that it appears
6 that the majority three based their vote on
7 a conversation in a meeting that were held
8 with Mayor Doherty, the mayor of a
9 distressed city and also the mayor of a city
10 who has no contract with the city police and
11 fire department. Millions of dollars tied
12 up in arbitration cases and Court cases. He
13 also gave Al Boscov $3 million of taxpayers'
14 money, and Stu Renda, the business
15 administrator, you know, the person who
16 received over $40,000 in raises over the
17 last few years, Mayor Doherty is still or
18 both quoted this week as saying they were
19 not aware of the economic decline that was
20 happening. I have been speaking about the
21 economy for four years. Current census data
22 throughout the first half of the decade, the
23 slump in the economy touched nearly every
24 community in the country, so what is up with
25 Scranton leadership? Good leaders take
1 their responsibilities and step up, not make
2 excuses such as, "I'm not an accountant," or
3 "I never asked for the job. Nobody wanted
4 the job" or "I really did not know what was
5 happening. Did I vote for that?"
6 Thomas Jefferson once said that the
7 people deserve the government they elect
8 into office. So true. Last week I could
9 not decide which was funnier, Plaxico
10 Burress himself or council attempting to
11 vote on a budget. I choose Plaxico because
12 council voting on a budget is serious
13 business which affects every taxpayer and
14 resident in the community. Although,
15 council members continue to laugh and
16 snicker and made rude comments and walk out
17 when certain speakers approach the podium.
18 Someone in the city government must
19 accept the responsibility for the distressed
20 city status. High budgets, continue
21 borrowing and no contracts and high
22 unemployment. I am not an accountant either
23 nor have I ran for public office and never
24 will, not qualified for the job. More
25 importantly, I do not need the job nor does
1 anybody in my family need a job. The
2 distressed city law has been on the books 21
3 is years, Scranton has been distressed 17 of
4 those 21 years. Long before the current
5 crisis start would in the country, Scranton
6 labore history, coal miner, railroaders and
7 silk mills and garden industry, now we have
9 Jobless number claims, unemployment
10 rate 6.8. Where? Scranton/
11 Wilkes-Barre/Hazelton, highest in the state
12 again. I visited Career Links office in
13 Scranton, I also went to Labor Ready. Truck
14 drivers and production jobs available, $10
15 an hour, $25,000 gross yearly salary. Labor
16 Ready, $45 and $50 daily, cash or voucher.
17 You must provide your own transportation or
18 pay for it. Several waitresses and server
19 jobs available, $2.89 an hour plus tips, but
20 who can afford to tip anymore.
21 The new Right-to-Know law for the
22 State of Pennsylvania goes into effect on 1
23 January of 2009. The Abington Council had a
24 public presentation to inform the public on
25 the new law last Thursday 4 of December,
1 2008. I would hope that the Scranton
2 Council would do the same. Considering that
3 Attorney Greco had to spend an additional
4 $25,000 because of two taxpayers in the City
5 of Scranton, the new law assumes all record
6 are public with few exceptions:
7 Municipalities that refuse and be challenged
8 in Court whereas previously the burden of
9 proof fell on the citizens. Now it falls on
10 the municipality. The only time that
11 Attorney Greco would be needed would be
12 after city refused to provide the
13 information. It's about time the State of
14 Pennsylvania woke up and joined the rest of
15 the United States. Now, we can seriously
16 consider reducing Attorney Greco's salary
17 because workload will be reduced so his
18 salary should also be reduced. Makes good
19 dollars and cents to me.
20 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you,
21 Mr. Jackowitz. Ronnie Ellman?
22 MR. ELLMAN: Ronnie Ellman,
23 homeowner and member of the Taxpayers'
24 Association. I caught a cold feeding my
25 squirrels in the backyard this week. I went
1 out there barefooted. Well, I wasn't
2 expecting to see Todd O'Malley or anybody
3 from this obscene school board tell me why
4 we are infested with KOZ's, but I guess they
5 have their reasons. You people back there
6 just need to quit worrying about Attorney
7 Greco. Maybe our next incoming mayor will
8 get rid of all of this unnecessary useless
9 dead weight that's on the payroll this year.
10 I had a funny thing happen, I was at
11 the grocery store Sunday getting some
12 squirrel nuts, and a woman came over to me,
13 real pleasant looking, and she said, "Are
14 you the one I see?"
15 I said, "I be he."
16 And she said, "Why don't you people
17 get off the mayor's back and why don't you
18 say something nice once in awhile?"
19 And she just went up and down for
20 about a minute and then she got her cart and
21 disappeared and I was really happy to get
22 rid of her. I thought of all of these
23 things to say when I was back in my car, but
24 when I went up the next aisle here she come
25 at me, looked like a big German tiger tank
1 coming down and I said -- I said, "Why don't
2 you come to the meetings, you know, and
3 speak your peace about Mayor Doherty?"
4 She said, "I don't live in Scranton,
5 I live in Dupont."
6 I don't know why she chewed -- you
7 know, I used to walk around town and
8 everybody was so pleasant to me. Now people
9 chew me out all the time no matter which
10 side I take, which side of the argument I
11 take, you know? I hadn't figured out why
12 she was on my case so bad, I mean, she was
13 really mad, but I got up to -- I know some
14 people out here might get mad at me, but I
15 got up to publically say that I'm making a
16 16,000 donation, and I have the money, to
17 Mr. Doherty's campaign and I'll save
18 taxpayers $2 million, just give me
19 $1 million back, and I'll sign a statement
20 that I'll use it right here in town and it
21 won't go here there or wherever. I still
22 think is a terrible thing to do. It's just
23 throwing good money after bad. It's just --
24 you people just don't talk to people like
25 come up to meet like I said last week,
1 people who have a house that's paid for and
2 can't keep it up. It's just terrible that
3 things like that happen in this country much
4 less this city. And it's happening all over
5 the place, you know, we are getting into
6 such tough economic times the city should be
7 watching every penny and they are not. They
8 are just continual, waste every place you
9 look around here there is waste, waste,
10 waste. You know, the streets could have
11 been paved a year ago partially like we were
12 doing. They wait until the oil goes up and
13 it's higher and the dickens, just everything
14 is incompetence with his administration and
15 it's, like I said, whether Mr. Doherty
16 realizes it or not I'm not 100 percent mad
17 at him, you know, I think he had a wonderful
18 idea for a zoo. I wish he would pursue it,
19 and I'm for the library maybe not that
20 expensive a thing to start with, but I use
21 the library. Every week I go there and Ms.
22 Rosie and me, probably every week, they are
23 wonderful. There is not enough people use
24 the library, you know.
25 But right across the street at that
1 building, what is it, Adams, the high-rise
2 over there? I have talked to some of these
3 little people they are so such sad stories
4 over there. It's just heartbreaking and
5 there is people that can volunteer to help
6 this city and they are not being taken
7 advantage of. They want to help. I don't
8 mean maybe volunteer absolutely for nothing,
9 but they would work for the small salary for
10 their time and all, and I think things like
11 that would help the city greatly. There is
12 a huge volunteer force out there that we
13 could take advantage of. Thank you.
14 MR. MCGOFF: That you, Mr. Ellman.
15 Pedro Gonzalez.
16 MR. GONZALEZ: Greetings, Council,
17 and good evening to all in attendance. My
18 name is Pedro Gonzalez, South Side resident,
19 and registered voter. As one of the many
20 Latino leaders here in this city I'm here to
21 announce yet one more event that we are
22 going to have, and we are going to have a
23 Christmas event this time last year it was
24 not done simply because we weren't prepared
25 enough for it, but this year we are going to
1 have a festival of the three Kings it's
2 called in the Latin community January 6 is
3 when we celebrate our Christmas, same as the
4 Polish and the Russian nationalities. So,
5 with that said January 2 is when we are
6 going to do it. We are teaming up with the
7 National Guard, excuse me, the Pennsylvania
8 National Guard is teaming up with local
9 leaders and local community organizations to
10 fill some hearts with joy this holiday
11 season for some of our local youth.
12 We are adopting children in the
13 local area and South Side, West Side,
14 whatever it might be, the individuals want
15 to put the children's name on the list,
16 12 years or younger qualifies you to be on
17 the list. Ten dollars or less is the cost
18 of the gift. The individual who adopts the
19 child buys the gift, turns it into the drop
20 off spot either wrapped or either way we
21 would take care of it. We have a couple of
22 different drop off spots. All of the person
23 would have to do is just e-mail Gonzalez
24 with a "Z", Gonzalezgiveagift@yahoo.com and
25 someone will get back to that person and let
1 them know how to go about it.
2 The location is going to be he
3 United Neighborhood Centers and the
4 Northeast Pennsylvania United Neighborhood
5 Centers, the senior citizens on Jackson
6 Avenue, 1004 Jackson Avenue, Jackson Street,
7 excuse me, and again, the National Guard is
8 hosting th is along with the United
9 Neighborhood Centers, a couple of the
10 different Latin organizations and the
11 University. Marywood has also come on
12 board, the Red Cross, the Cancer Institute
13 and many, many others will be there to help
14 some of the kids that have fallen through
15 the cracks, per se. There is a lot of help
16 out there for certain groups, certain
17 organizations, a lot of people adopting
18 families and so forth and so on, but we have
19 come across certain groups and certain
20 individuals that don't get any helps so we
21 are trying to help with that issue.
22 I'm going to leave the flyer here
23 for you guys, okay? And please anybody is
24 interested it is open to the public and it
25 is a free event once again.
1 And again, if you want any
2 information just send the e-mail to Gonzalez
3 with a "Z" give a gift at yahoo.com. Thank
4 you all so much.
5 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Gonzalez.
6 Sam Patilla.
7 MR. PATILLA: Good evening, Mrs.
9 MS. EVANS: Good evening.
10 MR. PATILLA: And my belated
11 condolences to the family of Jim Davis. One
12 quick question, Mrs. Evans, while I was
13 standing back here. When was the Home Rule
14 Charter voted on the Recovery Plan?
15 MS. EVANS: In 2002.
16 MR. PATILLA: And the term for --
17 when was it scheduled to end?
18 MS. EVANS: I believe it was
19 December 31, 2005.
20 MR. PATILLA: Thank you.
21 MS. EVANS: So technically the
22 Recovery Plan has expired, although, I
23 believe that the Pennsylvania Economy League
24 is currently engaged and has been for quite
25 awhile now in revising the Recovery Plan or,
1 if you will, perhaps drafting another
2 updated Recovery Plan.
3 MR. PATILLA: That would be put
4 before the public for a vote?
5 MS. EVANS: That I don't know. I
6 haven't heard anything to that affect, no.
7 MR. PATILLA: The second thing I want
8 to address is that I've worked in a couple
9 of houses here in Scranton and I know there
10 are a lot of older buildings here, a lot,
11 mainly wooden buildings, and the electrical
12 systems aren't up to code, you know. This
13 time of the year, you know, people have a
14 difficulty in realizing who we are able to
15 have so many fires, okay, and, you know,
16 these homeowners don't have access to the
17 money at OECD. I know it's there that they
18 could upgrade their electrical systems and
19 upgrade their homes because the money is
20 going to the malls and going to the
21 500-block of Lackawanna, it's going to all
22 of these other businesses where the people
23 have the money to pay their own bills, but
24 they are taking it from the pour and the
25 economically distressed.
1 With that being said, I have also
2 resided in communities where the local
3 municipalities instead of always tearing
4 houses down they invest in those properties,
5 put them back on the tax rolls and rented
6 them out. The city became the landlord.
7 Thus creating another source of revenue, you
8 know. There are more ways to produce
9 revenue then selling TANS, than selling
10 taxpayer owned properties. You know, you
11 don't always have to run to a lender or
12 creditor with your hand out. You can
13 tighten up your own belt strings and you can
14 pull yourself up and make necessary
15 adjustments to your life-style that will
16 benefit everybody, and I seriously think
17 that it's time that this administration,
18 even though hopefully they won't be in
19 office long, takes into consideration about
20 rehabbing some of these delipidated
21 buildings and instead of always rushing for
22 a bulldozer looking for a hammer and a nail
23 so that they can bring these buildings back
24 up to code. Like I said, you have families
25 up here who are undoubtedly still using
1 fuses instead of circuit breakers. You have
2 people lighting up their -- putting up their
3 Christmas decorations using extension cords
4 instead of circuit breakers and surgery
5 protectors, you know. It's little things
6 like that that go a long way in revitalizing
7 this city and this area and safeguarding not
8 only the individual but the homes next to
9 them because a lot of these houses I have
10 seen that have caught fire in this are took
11 out the one next to them as well or two or
12 three next to them. You know, they go up.
13 They go up like a match book, you know,
14 because we are dealing with own homes here,
15 we're d dealing with homes that aren't in
16 code, you know, and instead of people
17 looking to benefit themselves, you know, it
18 might be a time that some of these people
19 actually take a look in the mirror and ask
20 themselves what can they do to benefit this
22 Now, I'm not going to spend any of
23 my time up here going over this agenda
24 because, like I said, it's going to get
25 voted on anyway by you people in the back
1 spoke ahead of me already stated. The three
2 to two or in this case three to one, you
3 know, you don't listen to the citizens.
4 These give you 80 to 90 percent
5 verifiable legitimate information this can
6 be used to help this city back on track, but
7 none of that information is taken into
8 consideration. You only -- certain people
9 only look out for themselves. They could
10 care less about the City of Scranton. But,
11 like I said, hopefully in the next coming
12 months these people who have been a
13 detriment to this city will be shown the
14 door so we can actually get people and
15 elected officials and appointed officials
16 within our government that actually look
17 forward to helping the citizens of the City
18 of Scranton. You know, Detroit isn't that
19 far from Scranton, and if they can find and
20 lock up their perfect governor we can do
21 something to change the things going on here
22 in Scranton.
23 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Patilla.
24 Any other speakers?
25 MR. DOBSON: Good evening, Council,
1 Dave Dobson, resident of Scranton,
2 Taxpayers' Association associate. On this
3 NCC, that's kind of troubling. Obviously,
4 if we intend to ever correct their behavior
5 or modify it we have to address it by
6 June 30? Janet? Sherry? So, in other
7 words, say if there were to be kept on, but
8 they would still need a notice of
9 termination of the original contract and a
10 list of modifications as to behavior that
11 they are permitted to engage in, legal
12 behavior; is that correct, by June 30?
13 MS. EVANS: Yes, but that has -- that
14 time has passed.
15 MR. DOBSON: Right. Right.
16 MS. EVANS: And so the opportunity
17 won't be presented again for a New Year's.
18 MR. DOBSON: A few years? Three
19 years. Oh, my God. Well, my statement is
20 please use all means to correct the behavior
21 and the personal experience I have spoken on
22 this before, no direct notice or bill was
23 forwarded to the address concerned. No
24 attempt was made to contact the owner of the
25 property, however, fines accrued, credit was
1 reported and I feel they are irresponsible,
2 ruthless, and applying the penalties they --
3 the charges are excessive. It's totally
4 ridiculous and now we are stuck with them
5 for three more years, and that's ashame
6 because they aren't obligated to do anything
7 to even contact people. They are not even
8 required, obviously, under the contract to
9 send one letter that must be signed for by a
10 responsible party on this bill, the bill in
11 question, and nobody ever contacted me that
12 a bill was owed. It was missed in the
13 closing of my house. Now, some people do
14 know that they owe a back tax bill or
15 whatever, but this went on for two years and
16 I finally found out about it and went down
17 and paid it irregardless of whether it's
18 paid the report is still on my credit
19 report. That was paid in '04. It's '08.
20 The end of '08. It's almost '09, so I'm
21 going to try and contact them and take my
22 credit report over there and hopefully,
23 hopefully they will be more cooperative as
24 to removing that.
25 Tax exempts. Whatever happened to
1 the bill for the states to subsidize cities
2 for tax exempt, was that like a 1050 or 1080
3 or something like that? Whatever happened
4 to that, did that just die along the road
6 MS. EVANS: I don't know that it's
7 dead. It hasn't been approved as yet. It
8 certainly can come before the legislature,
9 again, in 2009.
10 MR. DOBSON: And my suggestion on the
11 Recovery Plan is let's put it up to another
12 vote and try and straighten out some of the
13 things, we see enough shortcomings, and
14 these fire and police contracts should be
16 On a different note, I would just
17 like the opportunity to get this out, I'll
18 try to be brief. In October Bank of America
19 received 15 billion under the troubled
20 assets recovery program. Three weeks later,
21 the Wall Street Journal recorded Bank of
22 America was finally starting to invest it's
23 windfall. That's the good news. The bad
24 news is almost half of the money went to
25 China less than a month after the federal
1 government felt the Bank of America begging
2 with it's $15 million the bank invested
3 seven billion to buy stock in China
4 Construction Bank. Isn't that a gasp.
5 That's mighty nice of them. Well, hopefully
6 with the new elections, and I wish that
7 politicians would get on the QT and would
8 see something better. That was just a
9 little, you know, well, you could find it
10 amusing, but I guess if you were a banker it
11 would be.
12 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Dobson.
13 MS. SCHUMACHER: Marie Schumacher,
14 resident and member of the Taxpayers'
15 Association. I want to start tonight by
16 expressing my disappointment with Council's
17 comportment last week during what should
18 have been budget deliberations. I sensed
19 there was more concern about the clock than
20 taxpayers' pockets books. My disappointment
21 and concern changed to embarrassment a few
22 days later when I saw in print that despite
23 each itemized budget adjustment being voted
24 on separately members weren't sure what they
25 are passed. Very sad.
1 A phrase frequently heard in this
2 chamber is, "Mrs. Garvey, would you."
3 Usually this phrase is followed by a
4 request that a letter be sent action by one
5 or another of the city departments or a
6 request for information. What we, the
7 taxpayers, rarely hear is whether the
8 required actions have been accomplished or
9 information supplied. So tonight I am
10 requesting council introduce and pass a
11 motion to require the Clerk's Office to
12 maintain a log of outgoing letters and calls
13 that will also reflect the posting of the
14 date the response is received and a file of
15 the responses being maintained for review by
17 Now, with the permission of the
18 chair, I would like to address questions to
19 members with the request for concise
20 responses during my allotted time. First to
21 anyone, whatever became of my request for an
22 ordinance requiring pools be maintained? Is
23 there something I need to do? There is
24 absolutely no ordinance requiring pools be
1 MR. MCGOFF: Pool -- I'm sorry?
2 MS. SCHUMACHER: Pools. Swimming
3 pools. They don't have to have operating
4 filters or anything, they can be allowed to
5 go and deteriorate and smell and attract all
6 kinds of things.
7 MS. GATELLI: That's not true.
8 That's not true. That's a health matter,
9 and I have a sent inspectors to homes and
10 the pools were drained immediately.
11 MS. SCHUMACHER: Well, that's not
12 true in every case and I think that's why we
13 need an ordinance.
14 MS. GATELLI: It's under the BOCA
15 Code. I mean, it falls under the BOCA Code.
16 MS. SCHUMACHER: Again, to anyone,
17 whatever became of my request to require
18 sidewalks whenever a new residence is built?
19 Why do we continue to force people,
20 especially disabled people, out into roads
21 and put the burden on the taxpayer and/or
22 the taxpayers to go back and put curbs and
23 sidewalks in when a property is being built?
24 There should be a requirement and the
25 ordinance has already been drafted and
1 apparently voted down back in about 1993. I
2 still have it at home if anybody would like
3 to look at that.
4 A question to Mrs. Gatelli, why did
5 you include a mere $120,000 of revenue in
6 next year's budget when you previously said
7 a rental property registration fee would
8 produce a million and a half dollars?
9 MS. GATELLI: Because I don't think
10 it will be complete in one year, so I didn't
11 want to over estimate the revenue.
12 MS. SCHUMACHER: That's 8,000
13 properties is a far cry from what the total
14 is, but okay. Also, for Mrs. Gatelli, well,
15 you said you don't have any idea when we are
16 going to be get an audit, right, for 2007?
17 MS. GATELLI: No, I did ask Mrs.
18 Garvey if anything new came this week and it
20 MS. SCHUMACHER: Maybe you could
21 contact the auditors and get a new date.
22 MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Garvey has been
24 MS. SCHUMACHER: Question to Mrs.
25 Fanucci, since the equipment that
1 Alexander's Salon was supposed to buy for
2 their not yet existent fitness center and
3 medical spa with the city's quarter-million
4 dollar loan, that would also serve as a
5 taxpayers' collateral, please tell us how
6 much of that quarter million dollars has
7 been drawn down?
8 MS. FANUCCI: I have no idea.
9 MS. SCHUMACHER: Could you find out
10 for next week?
11 MS. FANUCCI: Yeah, I can, but I
12 certainly don't have the accounts with me
14 MS. SCHUMACHER: Well, I asked last
15 week and all of my questions were ignored
16 last week, so I thought maybe during this
17 week you would have found out, but I would
18 appreciate --
19 MS. FANUCCI: Well, you sat -- my
20 question was you sat with OECD for two and a
21 half hours. I thought all of your questions
22 were answered.
23 MS. SCHUMACHER: When did I sit them
24 for two and half hours.
25 MS. FANUCCI: Not long ago.
1 MS. SCHUMACHER: I did not. I have
2 not been in OECD --
3 MS. FANUCCI: Well, that's what I was
4 told. So I assumed all your questions were
5 answered and you were just coming here to
6 make it --
7 MS. SCHUMACHER: Well, you are wrong.
8 I haven't been there since -- the only
9 reason I have been there is for a
10 redevelopment meeting and I have not had any
11 contact since.
12 MS. FANUCCI: Well, I assumed that --
13 MS. SCHUMACHER: -- this summer.
14 MS. FANUCCI: Your requests are
15 there, also. You had sent them in to OECD,
16 also, so --
17 MS. SCHUMACHER: Question, Mrs.
18 Gatelli -- let me finish? Council passed a
19 resolution the mayor provide city forester
20 Tony Santolli with sufficient funds to
21 remove the most dangerous trees in the city,
22 how much has the mayor provided?
23 MS. GATELLI: This year there will
24 be $35,000. I don't know what's remaining
25 in last year's budget.
1 MS. SCHUMACHER: This year, 2008.
2 MS. GATELLI: 2009 there will be 35.
3 I don't know what's remaining in 2008.
4 MS. SCHUMACHER: I'll save the rest
5 of my questions for next week. Thank you
6 very much.
7 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mrs.
9 MR. GERVASI: Good evening, City
10 Council, Dave Gervasi, firefighter,
11 homeowner. I was watching the beginning of
12 the council meeting at home and I was
13 compelled to come down here, I believe it
14 was a conversation Mrs. Fanucci with
15 Mr. Spindler. I just want to make something
16 really clear that, you know, what you were
17 describing how the city has to sue us back
18 when we sue them, that's not exactly how it
19 works, so I just want everybody to be aware
20 of the accuracy of it and, please, MR.
21 Minora, if I'm saying anything inaccurate by
22 all means jump in and correct me, if you
23 would. How this operates between police,
24 firefighters, state troopers with the state
25 and correction officers, there is law called
1 Act 111. Act 111 was passed I believe in
2 the late 50's, early 60's, it's a
3 constitutional amendment that was
4 overwhelming approved by state voters, and
5 we don't sue the city or the city doesn't
6 sue us, the law defines how we negotiate if
7 we reach an impasse how it's taken care of.
8 And what happens is after the Recovery Plan,
9 in our case, after the Recovery Plan, by
10 were lied to when we were told by Director
11 Hayes over and over again that the way to do
12 a Recovery Plan is to get all parties
13 involved to formulate a plan. We were lied
14 to, and if he says I'm wrong he can come
15 right here and I will tell you he lied to
17 MS. FANUCCI: You asked to put it on
18 the ballot. It was voted on, right? I
19 mean, that was one of your things; right?
20 MR. GERVASI: Yes, we did.
21 MS. FANUCCI: Right. I remember that
22 from just watching the meetings.
23 MR. GERVASI: Right, and then the
24 mayor did a brilliant political maneuver and
25 he said to the people --
1 MR. DOHERTY: He did what you asked.
2 MR. GERVASI: -- and he said to the
3 people of the City of Scranton that he would
4 raise their taxes if we didn't pass the
5 Recovery Plan.
6 MS. FANUCCI: Right.
7 MR. GERVASI: With that said, the
8 reason why we weren't part of the Recovery
9 Plan when we were told we were supposed to
10 be and were not, once the Recovery Plan was
11 released we looked at it and we realized
12 there was a lot of illegal things within the
13 Recovery Plan under labor law that we had no
14 right whatsoever to give you up and we are
15 not going to give up on it. Things as the
16 mayor has sold discretion to determine
17 whether me or any of my members are injured
18 in the line of duty instead of a doctor.
19 That's spelled out in the Recovery Plan.
20 Things that would potentially violate our
21 seniority rights. All of those things were
22 in the Recovery Plan and to us they were
24 We sat down after the Recovery Plan
25 was released and we had our first
1 negotiation session. We were handed a piece
2 of paper that said if we were killed in the
3 line of duty our widows and our orphans
4 would lose their health care benefits. At
5 that point, obviously, everything fell
6 apart. At that point you reach an impasse.
7 Either the city or the union files for
8 arbitration under Act 111, which is the law
9 and the process in how you take care of
10 these situations, we filed because we had an
11 impasse. I believe it was the city and us
12 together at that point and we realized we
13 are not going anywhere with this. We went
14 to arbitration and the arbitrator came out
15 with a decision and the city decided to
16 appeal it. It's been in appeals and in
17 arbitration for almost five years. Legal
18 expenses have -- are way over $1 million
19 unlike what some people said here tonight,
20 and what makes this whole process so absurd
21 is that we already arbitrated our 2008 and
22 beyond contract before the 2002 and 2007
23 contract was even decided by the Courts.
24 At that point we got together in
25 early October before the next arbitration
1 case comes out to decide our future we
2 decided to negotiate. We negotiated, we
3 shook hands, and we had a deal, a tentative
4 deal. The city reneged on that.
5 Now, the point I'm trying to make
6 is, I mean, 20/20 is hindsight. We have
7 been coming here forever saying that the
8 mayor is trying to break the unions. It has
9 nothing to do with finances because frankly
10 they have been lying for seven years about
11 the city's finances.
12 MS. FANUCCI: Dave, but this isn't --
13 MR. GERVASI: Mrs. Fanucci, I don't
14 have much time and I will -
15 MS. FANUCCI: Oh, I'm sorry.
16 MR. GERVASI: Thank you very much.
17 They have lied about the city's finances for
18 seven years and just think about this, when
19 he says -- when they come here, the
20 Pennsylvania Economy League and the mayor
21 says they need 44 million dollars and
22 10 minutes later Mrs. Gatelli makes one
23 statement and it ends up being $10 million,
24 the city has been running operating budget
25 surpluses since 1999, two years before the
1 mayor took office, they have been lying,
2 that's the big lie so they could borrow
3 money, that's the big lie so they could
4 raise taxes unnecessarily and that's the big
5 lie so they don't have to give the police
6 and firemen any money, no cost of living
7 adjustments. How can you possibly listen to
8 the mayor and just keep defending him when
9 he says one month a few years ago I have to
10 lay off 30 clerical employees that make
11 $25,000 a year and a month later they hire
12 20 thirty-some thousand dollar a year
13 employees? It's been --
14 MS. FANUCCI: You asked me a
15 question. You want me to answer the
17 MR. GERVASI: After I'm done,
19 MS. FANUCCI: Okay. Go ahead.
20 MR. GERVASI: So you have to listen,
21 you got to see the numbers, you have to read
22 the independent audits and you have to
23 realize what's been going on. Just to prove
24 our point completely this time, we just
25 negotiated with them and everything that had
1 to do with raises and health care which
2 costs us more, we got cost of living
3 adjustments to cover all of the years that
4 we haven't had a raise, that's all they came
5 out to. The state and the city approved it.
6 They are still crying poverty, still saying
7 they have deficits, but they approved
8 everything that had monetary value. When
9 they reneged on our contract, on our
10 agreement, it had nothing to do with money.
11 It had no monetary value at all. They
12 wanted that same language from seven years
13 ago that breaks the union and takes away all
14 of our labor rights.
15 So, I mean, you must realize what's
16 going on here. It has nothing to do with
17 money. It never had anything to do with
18 money. It only had to do with busting the
19 unions and now it's proven.
20 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Gervasi.
21 MS. FANUCCI: Well, I do want to say
22 some things, if I can. Dave, I think you
23 misunderstand what I'm saying, I understand
24 what you are saying about the unions, I
25 understand stand what you are saying, but to
1 me this is not something that's not
2 reasonable. You are going to do what you
3 need to do and, of course, the city is doing
4 what they need to do. What Les was saying
5 and what I was responding to was his answer
6 to say they should not do anything. Well,
7 you have Jennings, you have lawyer, you are
8 not going to get rid of all of the city
9 lawyers and say, "Okay, you are right," I
10 mean, that's not how it goes. You guys have
11 been at this for a long time. I know you
12 are not backing down and obviously the city
13 isn't backing down because we have been in
14 this way too long. It's ridiculous.
15 MR. GERVASI: We did back down.
16 MS. FANUCCI: We agree all up here
17 all the time we want contracts. We are very
18 --it bothers us on a daily basis that our
19 police and fire do not have contracts.
20 That's not what I was saying. What I was
21 saying was it at the point now where that is
22 not going to happen. You are not going to
23 see one person and until you guys sit in the
24 room and decide what is going to happen and
25 the deal was shook on, I understand that,
1 and I understand that they agreed on it, but
2 I also want to say that from what I'm
3 hearing it was PEL again who came back and
4 said that that's not acceptable, not the
5 city, and it was about the manning. If I'm
6 recalling it's something about manning.
7 MR. GERVASI: Who is in charge, PEL
8 or the mayor?
9 MS. FANUCCI: Well, right now PEL is
10 in charge, unfortunately. Unfortunately if
11 we want to get out of distressed city PEL is
12 the one who is making the calls.
13 MR. GERVASI: Nothing they can do.
14 MS. FANUCCI: Well, then that's why
15 you have lawyers and that's why the city has
16 lawyers and that's why we have been in this
17 fight for so long. Nobody is going to, you
18 know, give up so that was my point.
19 MR. GERVASI: -- the mayor did, not
21 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you. Anyone
23 MS. HUMPHRIES: I always use visuals.
24 I want to say hello to everybody. I hope
25 you all have happy holidays and everybody
1 conforms. I want to thank Mrs. Burnes
2 publically and Sister Adrian for the
3 kindness and everything that they have done
4 for us and me as a person living on limited
5 income. As I stood three and a half hours
6 in line or I sat, I met with a man that was
7 a veteran, and he was very patient and he
8 was a true solider. He was from West Side,
9 and he had that little thing that goes by
10 the side of him because he couldn't talk, I
11 call it like a mouth organ, and we had a
12 conversation, and he said he was there at
13 the poor house, Sister Adrian is like Jesus
14 Christ, she multiplies the fishes, everyone
15 for everybody, but I never see some of the
16 city council members there helping, but they
17 might be with their family or at hospitals
18 or something, so I don't want to judge them,
19 all right? But in this conversation, I
20 don't have the papers right now, we were
21 writing back and forth on a Head Start
22 paper, and then he told me that his leg was
23 blown off, he stopped on a mine, one of
24 those mine bombs, his friend -- and his
25 friend being killed. We have to do
1 something and help Sister Adrian and Mrs
3 He then tells me is a retired
4 Scranton fireman and these men go out to my
5 heart. I love them. We got the good, the
6 bad and the ugly with the fire -- not the
7 fire department, the police department, so I
8 wanted to ask you if they could have just a
9 place for our servicemen and our seniors
10 that everybody would be able to help or even
11 at the Wattress Army so these men that are
12 disabled are servicemen, not only my
13 servicemen, would have to wait for three and
14 a half hours so they could be bring the
15 baskets and help these people because he
16 fought in the Philippine war. That's number
18 Number two, the true liberty of
19 human society does not consist in their
20 remand to doing what he pleases for this was
21 simply end torment and confusion and bring
22 out to overthrow of the state, but rather
23 than it treat and injunction of the civil
24 laws, how many more cases conform to the
25 restrictions of the internal law.
1 Being on an limited income and the
2 miracle that had happened, everybody like
3 kind of dusted it on the table, it was given
4 here to city council and Mrs. Evans brought
5 it back and there was burns in it and I knew
6 it wasn't her that somebody is trying to
7 pull her down. Over the years they had this
8 convention, and I talked to the FBI a few
9 days before that, and he says the people and
10 what they did he could get them on
11 negligence and I said, well, I think
12 obstruction of justice, rape, break-ins is
13 more that has not been fulfilled and what
14 they have done since 1982 up until present
15 because what I wear, what I dress, and who I
16 am dealing with. Well, I met Abdulla
17 Abdulla, I met with other people, I told
18 them my plea, it was the plea for peace and
19 abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment,
20 beheadment, peace but I don't have peace
21 because it was transpired and I informed him
22 by name and what has transpired here. He is
23 sending people here to help me.
24 Today I called the Legal Aid and
25 they said because I'm 60 they were really
1 kind this time because they got over
2 $5 million different places and they didn't
3 help me, I went to the civil rights, called
4 the civil rights, and they refused me to
5 find out at higher places they were not
6 aware of what's happening in the City of
7 Scranton to me. I can't blame everyone. I
8 do forgive everyone, but I will see that
9 they are put where they are supposed to be.
10 Mrs. Evans, over the months and over
11 the years I brought a basket of articles to
12 the police department, a basket of articles
13 to the fire department and a basket of holy
14 articles to the Scranton Times. They
15 wondered why I did it and I'll tell you why
16 I did it. It was too weed out who was
17 honest, and who is go to call me and thank
18 me and who is going to return them, and the
19 fire department I did get my stuff back.
20 Mrs. Evans, Mr. DiBileo when I opened that
21 x-ray and I seen my mother's picture in it,
22 Mrs. Evans, if anybody should be a mayor it
23 should be you or Mr. DiBileo and I hope to
24 God everybody in the City of Scranton votes
25 for you and you do become the greatest mayor
1 or Mr. DiBileo that ever was in the City of
3 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Phyllis.
4 MS. HUMPHRIES: And that's all I
5 have to tell you, and one more thing, I
6 promote chastity and my Bishop I love him.
7 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.
8 MS. HUMPHRIES: God bless ya.
9 MR. MORGAN: Good evening, Council.
10 My name is Lee Morgan. The first thing I'd
11 like to say is, you know, Mr. Gervasi came
12 up here and spoke and my opinion, I think
13 that everything he said was absolute the
14 truth, okay? I think that, you know, people
15 can believe whatever they care to believe on
16 what is said here and, of course, what you
17 said Mrs. Fanucci, of course, you, also.
18 But, you know, having come to council for so
19 long I'd have to really say that the people
20 have been mislead, but they have been
21 willingfully mislead because they chose to
22 follow a course that has lead this city to
23 where it is today and that began here a very
24 long time ago when Brian Reap was on council
25 and Mr. Doherty was the finance chair and he
1 decided that the best thing for this city to
2 do, and that's when Jimmy Connors was mayor,
3 so that's quite awhile ago, that the best
4 thing the city could possibly do was borrow
5 money off American Anglican through the
6 Sewer Authority and then our brighter days
7 were ahead of us. And I just think that we
8 have scapegoated the employees of this city
9 for so long that the residents are mislead
10 to believe after everything the mayor said
11 and all of the maneuvering by all of the
12 political people, whether it's the PEL or
13 whoever it is, that this mayor has an idea
14 to cause a rebirth for this city, but all he
15 has really done is absolutely decimated this
16 city single-handedly, well, not
17 single-handedly because he has had a lot of
18 help with council. His appointees to
19 council and the people that believed in his
20 agendas, and they have really tore the heart
21 right out of this city.
22 When we had a speaker come up and
23 talk about renewing city properties, that
24 idea is an old idea. That was floated
25 through this council long as, but I do have
1 to say that I had one of my properties
2 rewired. I searched for a contract to come
3 in here and do the wiring job in this house
4 and almost everybody I called said they
5 didn't want to come here and work. This
6 city was just too corrupt to come here and
7 do any kind of contractor's work at all.
8 They just had no interest. They won't come
9 here. And now, you know, I have tried to
10 hire a contractor to come in and wire
11 another house I own. They laugh. They
12 don't want any part of it. They don't want
13 to put up with the city's problems, they
14 don't want to put up the inspection
15 department, I mean, and the few people that
16 might come they are going to charge you so
17 much money to come here that really what it
18 is legalized theft because you only get to
19 pick from the contractors the city wants to
20 allow you to use. How is that? If you are
21 a registered electrician or a plumbing and
22 heating technician, mechanic, whatever you
23 are and you are licensed by the state why do
24 they have to come here and get your
25 permission? Why do they have to come here
1 and get your permission? It's ridiculous,
2 okay? That's what been done to this city.
3 We have had other people come up here and
4 talk about the sidewalks. I was in a
5 program when I was just out of high school
6 and we are trained to do all of the curbs
7 and sidewalks in the city. I think Mayor
8 Hickey was the mayor then, they killed the
10 This city hasn't had no vision for
11 rebirth and what's happened here is this
12 council has really been a detriment to the
13 city. I mean, we have had just had
14 discussions here about NCC. Well, I don't
15 know why we are not talking about the sewer
16 authority rate increases that council just
17 stepped back and let the mayor do whatever
18 he wanted and we are going to talk about NCC
19 and he is doing whatever he wants there. I
20 mean, this mayor is just rolling right over
21 the top of you because you advocated your
22 right. I mean, you can call this a strong
23 form of mayor government, but the truth of
24 the matter is that this council needs to
25 start legislating and sending this
1 legislation that they create down to the
2 mayor. It needs to start going the other
3 way and it's not. Too many people are
4 worried about taking care of themselves and
5 who cares about anybody else when you can
6 see it in the general condition of the city.
7 The people don't even look up. They are all
8 terrified and we condemn tons of homes, we
9 are all talking about how we are going to
10 raise revenue, what are we going to do, what
11 new tax are we going to come up with, what
12 gimmick can we spend. We still haven't even
13 passed a dangerous dog ordinance that I'm
14 aware of. We still don't even know who we
15 paid the snow storm of 2007. Was it over
16 million dollars? Was it a million dollars?
17 It was an awful lot of money. We don't have
18 answers to any questions and we are talking
19 about freedom of information? There is no
20 information. What information? It doesn't
21 behoove you to give it because it doesn't
22 make you look good. That's what happened to
23 these cameras. That's why this council
24 chamber was shut down numerous times and
25 people are left outside. You can't look
2 MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Ancherani? We saved
3 you a spot.
4 MR. ANCHERANI: Thanks. Good
5 evening. Nelson Ancherani. I just want to
6 say that Mr. Gervasi speaks the truth and,
7 Mrs. Fanucci, you mentioned lost cases, the
8 police never lost a case, okay? The fire
9 lost one, but it's been overturned. I don't
10 remember when the city has ever filed a
11 grievance against the unions, maybe because
12 we live up to the contracts, they don't.
13 You said about backing down, we
14 backed down greatly and when we sat down we
15 sat down and we come up with things that are
16 going back to the -- possibly going back to
17 the bottom, shaking hands, and what happens?
18 The city reneges. They come back with their
19 management rights. We had 10 pages that we
20 agreed upon and we ended up with 17. They
21 come back with their management rights.
22 Firemen's award for 2003, 2007 crucified the
23 fire department, crucified them. The fire
24 department lost 80, 90 percent of what they
25 had. The city wanted 100 percent. They
1 appealed. The award that just came out,
2 it's better than what we negotiated so that
3 can give you an idea.
4 Awhile ago, I don't know when it
5 was, but Ms. Moran, the Human Resources
6 Director, was proud that the city settled
7 100 mediations, union medications, contract
8 violations. For them to be mediated there
9 first had to be violations of the contract,
10 which there were. Grievances were filed.
11 Which they were, would have been filed. And
12 they go to arbitration or mediation. How
13 could Ms. Moran be proud that there would be
14 100 mediations to settle? A hundred
15 contract violations. That's what went to
16 mediation. That's not what -- not even
17 counting what went to arbitration.
18 One prime example of contract
19 violations where the city loss an
20 arbitration with the American Anglican and
21 now the taxpayers, every one of us, are
22 stuck with a 56 percent rate hike. We all
23 suffer with that, and I go back to what I
24 had. Last week the budget was passed by a 3
25 to 2 vote, again, council had a way to save
1 money, at least a million and half, but shot
2 it down, 56 of Mrs. Evans' 58 ways to save
3 money because it wasn't brought up in
4 caucus. Lame excuse. I don't know why Ms.
5 Evans wastes her time trying to save money
6 and help the taxpayers. She has to know
7 three of the five council members are going
8 to vote against whatever she proposes.
9 Anyway, the taxpayers thank you, Mrs. Evans,
10 for staying the course, so to say, and the
11 taxpayers do appreciate your concern.
12 Something good that came out of this
13 budget will be the addition of an assistant
14 zoning officer and two housing inspectors in
15 a needed position that was added is one
16 part-time animal control officer. I see
17 business administrator Stu Renda thought
18 transferring $40,000 into the controller's
19 office which will may for an audit to be
20 done in the Single Tax Office confusing. He
21 isn't sure what the intent was since the
22 city already budgeted 12,000, it's share of
23 the audit cost with the school district. I
24 have to ask, how long has it been since an
25 audit was done in the Single Tax Office?
1 Maybe if audits were done regularly,
2 $12,200,000 plus would not have been hidden,
3 in my opinion, in a secret bank account. My
4 opinion is that that money was hidden for a
5 reason, that being keeping the city in a
6 make-believe distressed status.
7 I'm going to quote from a letter to
8 the editor 12-8-08 by Mary Ann Wardell: "He
9 still has not settled with the firefighters
10 or police unions and he blames them for the
11 failure of the Recovery Plan."
12 Who knows how long money would have
13 been gathering and accumulating earning the
14 interest in the Single Tax Office if Ms.
15 Vitali-Flynn didn't become the tax collector
16 and find the money. That's why 40,000 is
17 needed for future audits, so that the
18 problem never happens again. I hope I
19 solved Stu Renda's confusion of that
21 Going back to the editions in the
22 budget, it should be remembered -- could I
23 just finish this?
24 MR. MCGOFF: Yes.
25 MR. ANCHERANI: Approximately nine
1 new positions were created between 2002 and
2 2008, and along with raises given to
3 favorites this totals out to 15 million. At
4 the end of 2009, it will be approximately --
5 it will be approximately 20 million. And,
6 Mr. McGoff, you get a "D", D-minus, for not
7 doing your homework on the budget in
8 slighting the pay raise for the deputy
9 controller. D-minus. Let's do a better job
10 next time.
11 MR. MCGOFF: Mrs. Evans?
12 MS. EVANS: Good evening. Although
13 many Scrantonians are feeling the financial
14 stress during the holidays season, there are
15 many opportunities to celebrate the season
16 at low or no cost events. This past weekend
17 I took my grandchildren to the Nay Aug
18 holiday lights display which asks only a
19 voluntarily donation and to a wonderful
20 play, a children's play, at West Scranton
21 High School. The West Scranton players
22 delighted children of all ages by their
23 outstanding performance of Tolstoy. Of
24 course, there was also the visit to Santa at
25 the Steamtown Mall and a tour of the
1 beautiful light display that we can see on
2 homes throughout Scranton, but I must admit
3 my family's favorite by a landslide was the
4 Christmas play at West High. So keep your
5 eyes peeled for announcements and find many
6 free or affordable holiday events in our
7 home town.
8 Back to business, it was reported
9 today that ECTV will present live coverage
10 of our city council meeting tonight
11 following it's failure to provide live
12 broadcasts since Scranton Today's
13 termination in late June. I recently
14 learned that Scranton Today TV entered into
15 an agreement with ECTV by which they would
16 loan a key piece of equipment that will
17 allow ECTV to broadcast live in council
18 chambers. The purchase of this equipment
19 would have cost ECTV approximately $1,000
20 and so on behalf of the viewers I thank
21 Scranton Today TV for generously loaning
22 this equipment free of charge.
23 However, I was not pleased that the
24 public caucus with the presidents of the
25 police and fire unions conducted prior to
1 last week's council meeting was not
2 broadcast. This caucus was held to bring
3 the truth to council and the people of
4 Scranton regarding union contract
5 negotiations. Apparently, there was a pixel
6 problem that seems to have been repaired
7 immediately prior to the start of the
8 council meeting.
9 Now, on a related matter, council
10 received a memo from a member of the
11 oversight committee which poses very
12 important questions. Attorney Minora I was
13 told will be looking into the legal issues.
14 Since Mrs. Gatelli wishes to open the budget
15 in early 2009 to increase the mayor's
16 salary, at such time I would like to propose
17 an amendment to the budget to provide
18 necessary funding for the oversight
19 committee. Such funds may be taken from any
20 number of sources including TANS Series B
21 which is highly overfunded, travel and
22 lodging accounts or perhaps the additional
23 millions Mr. Renda anticipates receiving
24 beyond the 5.5 million from the tax office.
25 Next, I was very troubled to learn
1 that the deputy city controller was denied
2 her salary adjustment of $4,814 for an
3 increase in work hours. I do not believe in
4 awarding raises to management while the
5 police and fire have struggled without
6 raises for seven years, thus, I can't agree
7 to award the $486 raise to Miss Carey,
8 however, I do believe that every individual
9 should be paid for the hours he or she
10 works, therefore, I move to have council
11 solicitor Minora draft an amendment to the
12 2009 budget which adjusts the salary of the
13 deputy city controller to include $4,814 for
14 extra hours worked due to the elongation of
15 city hall work hours.
16 MS. FANUCCI: I'll second that.
17 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? All in
18 favor signify by saying aye.
19 MS. EVANS: Aye.
20 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
21 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
22 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed? The
23 ayes have it and so moved. Also, I am
24 pleased that some residents of Tripp Park
25 will receive long needed relief to water
1 run-off and flooding problems caused by
2 several developers and the City of Scranton.
3 The City was named as one of the defendants
4 in a civil lawsuit which was decided in
5 favor of the residents last week. It seems
6 the city as one of the defendants will bear
7 it's own legal costs and those of the
8 plaintiff. It is also enjoined from issuing
9 any further subdivision and/or lot
10 development permits of any nature for the
11 continued development of the village at
12 Tripp Park by any person or entity until the
13 storm water issues are addressed, abated,
14 corrected and the corrected systems
15 effectiveness is verified. More troubling
16 is the fact that residents and taxpayers who
17 should be helped and protected by city
18 government had to sue the city to receive
19 relief and correction of a horrible problem
20 they did not cause, a problem the city
21 allowed to occur.
22 Equally disturbing are the flooding
23 issues in Keyser Valley which may have been
24 caused by another development as well as the
25 numerous other residents who suffer with
1 flooding of their streets, properties, and
2 homes throughout Scranton. For too many
3 years it seems the city has turned a blind
4 eye to them as well. Very likely, it all
5 comes down to dollars and cents and where
6 and how they are spent. Evidently, such
7 issues have not been a priority for this
9 Finally, I have citizens' requests
10 this week. Residents report that two
11 vehicles, a dump truck and a green van, at
12 the corner of my Mylert and Electric Street
13 have expired registration and inspection
14 stickers. Please ask Mr. Oleski to address
15 this and notify council as soon as possible.
16 And also, Kay, I'd like to verify a
17 statement made earlier by Mr. Powell, I'd
18 like to verify the planning commission
19 approved the map and construction of
20 apartment buildings at Keyser Terrace, and
21 I'd like that information for council as
22 soon as possible, please. And that's it.
23 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mrs. Evans.
24 Mrs. Gatelli?
25 MS. GATELLI: I'd like to first --
1 I'd like to discuss the holiday season. I
2 am one of the members of the SAAP team at
3 West Scranton High School where we deal with
4 many children that have drug and alcohol
5 problems. The holiday season is the time
6 when we must bring that to the attention of
7 the students, the seriousness of the
8 consequences of drinking and driving. One
9 of our -- you see me every week wearing a
10 pin that they have a contest every year, the
11 Lackawanna County Drug and Alcohol
12 Commission with students in the school
13 districts and they pick a winner every year.
14 This year the winner was from Carbondale
15 Area High School and has since transferred
16 to West Scranton High School and he was the
17 winner, and I would like to give pins to my
18 colleagues so that they can wear them during
19 the holiday season to show that we are in
20 support of no drinking and no driving and to
21 be role models for our community and our
22 students, so I will be giving these to
23 everyone before we leave. It's just a small
24 very simple thing written on a notepad that
25 says "Celebrate sober." Pass it on and I'd
1 like to congratulate Brian for his talents.
2 I'd also was going to request the
3 things for Mr. Powell. It seems to be a
4 steady problem in that particular area and
5 we need to really get it rectified.
6 The only one thing I have to say is
7 I think it was Mr. Morgan in talking about
8 not demolishing homes and rehabilitating
9 them. You know, when a house is condemned
10 the people do have the ability to
11 rehabilitate them. If they don't have the
12 money they can go to places where we supply
13 funding, which is Lackawanna Neighbors and
14 Neighborhood Housing Services. We, as a
15 city, give them block grant money to give
16 out for rehabilitating homes. Many times
17 the homes are abandoned, many times they
18 were owned by absentee landlords and they
19 certainly are a menace to the neighborhoods.
20 I would defy any one of you to go to the
21 neighbors surrounding a home that's empty
22 and ask them if they want it rehabilitated
23 and I bet you the answer will be, "No, tear
24 it down."
25 There are too much density with
1 homes in the city, we don't have the census
2 and the people living here to fill out all
3 of these homes that we had many years ago,
4 so the goal particularly in South Side where
5 we are working on the Elm Street project and
6 trying to revitalize our very troubled
7 neighborhood, our goal is to reduce the
8 density and to have the houses demolished
9 and to make green space where we have made a
10 park in honor of Mayor Connors. Those
11 people were asked specifically, "Would you
12 like us to build single family homes here,"
13 and they didn't want them. They wanted a
14 park so they could have a place to take
15 their children.
16 So I am going to continue in my
17 fight against blight and I will always
18 recommend demolishing a home that has been
19 empty and abandoned over a year. If someone
20 doesn't buy it in a year's time and try to
21 rehabilitate it, chances are it's going to
22 stand there for a long time, and I believe
23 in demolishing and making extra space for
24 the neighbors surrounding it. Many of the
25 home are homes where drug dealers operated,
1 overcrowded with 30 and 40 people living in
2 a house. I know you all know about these
3 houses, they are in all of you are
4 neighborhoods and they are a menace and I
5 will continue to represent the neighborhoods
6 in that vein as long as I'm sitting up here.
7 I think that's all I have for right
8 now. I'll address some of the things when
9 they come up on the agenda. Thank you.
10 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mrs. Gatelli.
11 MS. FANUCCI: Actually, I would like,
12 Kay, if we can send a letter to Linda Aebli
13 asking her about the Alexander loan,
14 Alexander Day Spa and loan and what the
15 money has been used for, if it's been drawn
16 at all, and what the money has been used for
17 that way we can help Mrs. Schumacher out on
18 her request for that information.
19 Also, I want to piggyback a little
20 bit on what was just said, on what was just
21 said by Mrs. Gatelli about the homes. When
22 people come up here, you know, it's funny
23 how I listen to week after week people
24 saying about personal motives and yet the
25 speakers for some reason do not have
1 personal motives. You get people speaking
2 about absentee landlord problems and then
3 when you are an absentee landlord you come
4 up and you yell about being subject to that.
5 If you looking to do wiring you are mad
6 because you have to use certain people in
7 the city. It is what it is. There are
8 rules here. I believe in that. I believe
9 that contractors should have an idea of who
10 is working in the city. I believe that that
11 is part of being a responsible entity. I
12 mean, we want them to be responsible and be
13 able to track them down and say, you know,
14 they are -- we support what their job is.
15 We support this. Do I believe that all over
16 the city people are not using, you know, or
17 trying to sneak and do things on their own,
18 that's fine, and but to come here and
19 complain that you have to follow rules like
20 every other taxpayer in the city is just not
21 right. I mean, yes, you do. We all have to
22 do that. And I support those rules
24 I do want to say some words to my
25 friend, Mr. Jackowitz, who always comes up
1 with his wonderful anecdotes. Would you
2 have said catfight if it was two gentleman
3 sitting up here? I would say probably not
4 use those terminology. Yes, I disagree a
5 lot of time with Mrs. Evans as she does I.
6 We will battle it out, we will do what's
7 necessary because that is our job. We don't
8 have to go by what you think is the
9 appropriate way to do that. Last week I did
10 feel a little sabotaged and was very upset
11 with the way that meeting was conducted
12 myself, but I certainly don't like the fact
13 that you used the word catfight. That might
14 be a lot of the problem that we may be have,
15 you know, that you are seeing how I am as a
16 woman instead of, you know, councilperson,
17 so I didn't appreciate that in any way.
18 I will talk about in regards to
19 Attorney Greco, people talking about cutting
20 his salary for next year. The good news is
21 we won't be cutting his salary because we
22 have so many projects coming in OECD he is
23 goes to be very busy. Bad news for the
24 naysayers, but I have to say I'm sorry but
25 we are going to move forward with or without
1 you. We want to city to do well, we want
2 development, so let's keep that going and he
3 is the attorney for OECD, so to me I want to
4 really busy. That's a good thing for me.
5 I have to say as far as last week, I
6 will go back to that a little bit, it was
7 not irresponsible of us not to vote on what
8 was handed to us five minutes before, five
9 seconds before voting. Not to be able to
10 sit down with the department heads and say,
11 "How is that going to effect you? What is
12 this going to do?"
13 Travel and lodging might sound like
14 not a big thing, but I'm not certainly going
15 to vote on it unless I know what I'm talking
16 money from and how it's going to effect
17 everyone in that department. That is what
18 we do. That is why I sat down with the
19 administration, and that is why I sat down
20 with the mayor. It's very easy to judge
21 other people's jobs. I know if I were in my
22 position and someone decided to cut out
23 money from my job, my normal daily job, as
24 all of you at home, somebody decides to cut
25 out funding without asking you how it's
1 going to effect your job and then later on
2 they are going to complain. They are going
3 to complain a lot because you do what you
4 needed to do. So, no, I would never do
5 that. That is why I was upset, not because
6 I didn't agree or disagree, but I certainly
7 didn't have time to find that out, did I?
8 So whether or not you liked the way we
9 handled the budget, it would have been
10 irresponsible of me to entertain any of that
11 at a moment's notice when it came to the
12 budget all of the people of this city and
13 all of the taxpayers.
14 So on that, that is all I have, and
15 I also want to say that there is lot to do.
16 Mrs. Evans was right, there is a lot to do
17 in the city, so take advantage of it, take
18 your children out, see all of the wonderful
19 sites there are and we are definitely moving
20 forward and we want you to come with us.
21 Thank you.
22 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mrs. Fanucci.
23 Just to reiterate some items brought up
24 about housing, Lackawanna Neighbors is what
25 I think does a pretty good job of
1 refurbishing properties throughout the city.
2 I know within the South Scranton itself,
3 just in our neighborhood, my neighborhood,
4 three homes have been refurbished through
5 the Lackawanna Neighbors and they are now
6 engaged in a fourth one on Hickory Street,
7 and people that moved into at least the one
8 house that was done according to the
9 contractor got a real bargain because the
10 work that was done was first rate and the
11 material that was used was first rate and
12 they are able to move into what had been a
13 burned out house at a relatively decent
14 price and are happy to be there and it was
15 all done through Lackawanna Neighbors. So,
16 there is the refurbishing of the homes
17 taking place. There is a program in place
18 that is does that and I believe it is
19 working successfully to do that.
20 As far as I believe that there are
21 some people that are actually -- that
22 actually like living in the city. I do run
23 into them once in awhile and, you know,
24 despite the fact that everybody, a lot of
25 people want to criticize, there are people
1 that actually like the City of Scranton and
2 like living here and see progress taking
3 place and it's ironic that someone brought
4 up that contractors refuse to work in the
5 city, I was sitting this morning with an
6 electrical contractor after I finished
7 running and he was getting to a job in East
8 Mountain and saying that he had so much work
9 that he could work 24 hours a day, that work
10 in the city was plentiful and that he was
11 satisfied with what was going on in the city
12 and was hoping that it would continue. And
13 so I guess there are people out there that
14 are actually happy to be here and thank you
15 and let's move.
16 MS. GARVEY: SIXTH ORDER. 6-A.
17 READING BY TITLE - FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 50,
18 2008 - AN ORDINANCE - AUTHORIZING THE
19 ISSUANCE AND SALE OF A FIVE MILLION
20 ($5,000,000.00) DOLLAR PRINCIPAL AMOUNT, TAX
21 AND REVENUE ANTICIPATION NOTE OF THE CITY OF
22 SCRANTON KNOWN AS TAN SERIES A, AWARDED TO
23 COMMUNITY BANK & TRUST CO; DETERMINING THE
24 FORM AND TERM OF SAID NOTE; AWARDING SAID
25 NOTE; AUTHORIZING AND DIRECTING THE FILING
1 OF CERTAIN DOCUMENTS; AND DIRECTING THE
2 PROPER OFFICIALS OF THE CITY OF SCRANTON TO
3 TAKE ANY AND ALL OTHER ACTIONS AS MAY BE
4 REQUIRED IN CONNECTION WITH THE
5 ISSUANCE OF SAID NOTE.
6 MR. MCGOFF: You have Reading by
7 Title of Item 6-A, what is your pleasure?
8 MS. FANUCCI:Mr. Chairman, I move
9 that Item 6-A pass Reading by Title.
10 MS. GATELLI: Second.
11 MR. MCGOFF: On the question. All
12 those in favor signify by saying aye.
13 MS. EVANS: Aye.
14 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
15 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
16 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed? The
17 ayes have it and so moved.
18 MS. GARVEY: 6-B. READING BY TITLE
19 - FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 51, 2008 - AN
20 ORDINANCE - AUTHORIZING THE ISSUANCE AND
21 SALE OF A NINE AND ONE HALF MILLION
22 ($9,500,000.00) DOLLAR PRINCIPAL AMOUNT, TAX
23 AND REVENUE ANTICIPATION NOTE OF THE CITY OF
24 SCRANTON KNOWN AS TAN SERIES B, AWARDED TO
25 COMMUNITY BANK AND TRUST COMPANY;
1 DETERMINING THE FORM AND TERM OF SAID NOTE;
2 AWARDING SAID NOTE; AUTHORIZING AND
3 DIRECTING THE FILING OF CERTAIN DOCUMENTS;
4 AND DIRECTING THE PROPER OFFICIALS OF THE
5 CITY OF SCRANTON TO TAKE ANY AND ALL OTHER
6 ACTIONS AS MAY BE REQUIRED IN CONNECTION
7 WITH THE ISSUANCE OF SAID NOTE.
8 MR. MCGOFF: You have heard Reading
9 by Title of Item 6-B what is your pleasure?
10 MS. FANUCCI: Mr. Chairman, I move
11 that Item 6-B pass Reading by Title.
12 MS. GATELLI: Second.
13 MS. MCGOFF: On the question?
14 MS. EVANS: Yes. TANS Series B is
15 not repaid until the end of the each fiscal
16 year in December. As of October 31, 2008,
17 TANS Series B in the amount of $10.5 million
18 remained in Account No. 01401152404299 in
19 full according to the controller's report
20 dated November 18, 2008. The city has no
21 need to borrow this amount of money
22 particularly in light of the tax office
23 windfall for 2009 and the projected wage tax
25 MS. GATELLI: I just have some
1 comments there. I asked a few questions
2 since that was brought up last week, and I
3 was told that between January and March the
4 estimate is 18.5 million that they will need
5 until the tax revenue is paid. The payroll
6 for that time period is about 12 million and
7 then as the revenue comes in it's set aside
8 to cover the TANS payments at the end of the
9 year and that's why it looks like there is
10 money left in this account when, in fact,
11 they need 18.5 between January and March to
12 pay bills until the revenue starts coming
14 MR. MCGOFF: I received the same
15 information that money is used and that as
16 tax revenues are accumulated the money is
17 put back in the account and then paid at the
18 end of the year.
19 MS. EVANS: Well, that's an
20 interesting explanation since the amount
21 never moves throughout the year. You can
22 track it through the controller's office.
23 Nothing goes up and nothing goes down. I do
24 agree that the first financial quarter is
25 crucial, particularly since there is no tax
1 revenue coming into the city by which it can
2 pay it's bills. Hence, the need for a Tax
3 Anticipation Note, Series A. Series b,
4 however, has always been questionably high
5 over the last seven years, and more than
6 ever I don't see the necessity for this.
7 I am also aware that Mr. Renda has
8 stated that he felt there would be no
9 problems this year paying any year-end
10 bills, very little to be carried over into
11 next year and, in fact, you know, according
12 to his comments made to PEL he had no
13 concerns financially about the city paying
14 it's bills, so I'll be voting no.
15 MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else? All those
16 in favor signify by saying aye.
17 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
18 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
19 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed?
20 MS. EVANS: No.
21 MR. MCGOFF: The ayes have it and so
23 MS. GATELLI: Before you go into
24 Seventh Order I would like to make a motion
25 to suspend the rules and move 6-A and 6-B
1 into Seventh Order. Mr. Renda had a little
2 bit of a concern that the two holidays fall
3 in the middle of the week, both Christmas
4 Eve and Christmas Day and New Year's and New
5 Year's Day, and he would like to get this
6 expedited as soon as possible. We voted on
7 it, we have no public here on it, so I don't
8 see any need to not move it forward to
9 Seventh Order.
10 MS. FANUCCI: I'll second that.
11 MR. MCGOFF: On the question?
12 MS. EVANS: I have one question
13 though, by moving these two pieces of
14 legislation into their final reading tonight
15 you in effect clear the agenda entirely for
16 next week as they would have been the only
17 two agenda items, are you saying that we
18 will not be meeting next week?
19 MS. GATELLI: I'm not saying
20 anything. I'm just saying move them
22 MS. EVANS: Well --
23 MS. GATELLI: If something comes
24 down --
25 MS. EVANS: Well, nothing can come
1 down because it would in Fifth Order and it
2 cannot be -- it can't proceed throughout
3 2008, so this movement tonight in effect
4 removes all agenda items for the December 16
6 MS. GATELLI: I don't have a problem
7 with that.
8 MS. EVANS: Well, I guess my question
9 is are we meeting next week?
10 MS. GATELLI: Well, that's not on the
11 question. That's a different question.
12 MS. EVANS: Well, it's a different
13 question, but it's related to this matter
14 because this would -- by keeping this in
15 it's proper order that assures a meeting
16 next week.
17 MS. GATELLI: Yeah, but it also
18 prolongs it another week with all of the
19 holidays coming up that they won't be able
20 to expedite it and there might be a chance
21 of them not getting the work done with
22 everybody taking vacations for Christmas.
23 MR. MCGOFF: As of now, the meeting
24 for December 16 is still scheduled and
25 apparently if this is moved we can discuss
1 the possibility of canceling the meeting for
2 the 16th, but that has not been done yet.
3 MS. FANUCCI: And I seconded it
5 MR. MCGOFF: I know. Anyone else on
6 the question? Motion to move 6-A and 6-B
7 into Seventh order. All those in favor
8 signify by saying aye?
9 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
10 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
11 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed?
12 MS. EVANS: No.
13 MR. MCGOFF: The ayes have it and so
15 MR. JACKOWITZ: Public comment.
16 MS. GARVEY: We can do that before we
17 go into Seventh Order before I read them for
18 public comment.
19 MR. MCGOFF: Yes.
20 MS. GARVEY: 7-A. FOR CONSIDERATION
21 BY THE COMMITTEE ON RULES - FOR ADOPTION -
22 RESOLUTION NO. 86, 2008 - AS AMENDED -
23 AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND OTHER APPROPRIATE
24 CITY OFFICIALS TO EXECUTE AND ENTER INTO A
25 CONTRACT FOR PROFESSIONAL SERVICES WITH THE
1 LAW FIRM OF CARL J. GRECO, P.C. FOR LEGAL
2 SERVICES INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO
3 GENERAL COUNSEL TO THE OFFICE OF ECONOMIC
4 AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT ("OECD"), URBAN
5 RENEWAL PROCESS AND PROCEDURE, EMINENT
6 DOMAIN AND RELATED LITIGATION, DISPOSITION
7 OF SURPLUS URBAN RENEWAL LANDS, TITLE
8 SEARCHES AND DEED PREPARATION.
9 MR. MCGOFF: As Chairperson for the
10 Committee on Rules, I recommend final
11 passage of Item 7-A.
12 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
13 MR. MCGOFF: On the question?
14 MS. EVANS: Yes. It's crystal clear
15 that the predetermined recipient of this
16 contract remains Carl Greco. In what will
17 be his eight years of part-time employment
18 by the City of Scranton, he will have earned
19 a minimum of $860,000, again, for a
20 part-time position, $860,000. Now, as I
21 said, that's something that's quite
22 evidently predetermined.
23 Many other things that come before
24 council are predetermined. As an example,
25 the budget. I didn't receive Mrs. Gatelli's
1 amendments until last week's meeting so I
2 had no opportunity to look at any of those
3 and in the manner in which they were
4 presented it actually was quite confusing
5 because unless one has memorized the account
6 numbers one would have to look those numbers
7 up to identify what the positions were that
8 were being, let's say, reduced.
9 MS. FANUCCI: We did it in caucus.
10 MS. EVANS: Well, I don't know when
11 that occurred because I didn't hear
13 MS. FANUCCI: Because you weren't in
15 MS. EVANS: Was that the evening, the
16 one -- I'm sorry, the second meeting of the
17 year at which I was absent that could well
19 MS. FANUCCI: No.
20 MS. EVANS: As for my presenting
21 something at the 11th hour, yes, I did,
22 because I wasn't at council the prior week
23 and --
24 MS. GATELLI: We're on Carl Greco.
25 MR. MCGOFF: This is on 7-A.
1 MS. EVANS: Exactly, I'm on 7-A.
2 MS. FANUCCI: That's not on 7-A.
3 MS. EVANS: And I know in the past
4 when I presented my budget two council
5 members didn't even attend those work
6 sessions well in advance of -- well in
7 advance of the final vote on the budget. In
8 fact, statements were made like, "It's no
9 secret I was never going to vote for this, I
10 don't need to look at this."
11 MR. MCGOFF: Mrs. Evans, we're now on
13 MS. FANUCCI: Can we talk about the
14 present instead of all of the past and stay
15 on the question.
16 MR. MCGOFF: We are speaking on 7-A.
17 MS. EVANS: And I do understand that.
18 Thank you. There is a connection among what
19 is pre determined on this council and what
20 is predetermined in terms of legislation and
21 proposal, so they are very interrelated.
22 MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else on 7-A?
23 MS. GATELLI: Well, I would just
24 like to say that I have all of the bills
25 from Mr. Greco. I am not one to give
1 someone a contract of this magnitude without
2 seeing what is being done on a monthly
3 basis. There are many projects. OECD
4 always had an attorney. OECD always had an
5 attorney that cost a lot of money. I don't
6 know why it's being picked up now, but when
7 I worked for Mayor Connors there was an
8 attorney in OECD and if we have to get his
9 bills out we will have to get his bills out
10 and check them because I recall them being
11 the same amount, and when we were there
12 there were two attorneys. There was an OECD
13 and an SRA lawyer, we had two of them. And,
14 you know, I just can't see not paying the
15 bill because if we don't pay the bill he is
16 only going to do what he did when DiBileo
17 was here. He went to the courthouse, he
18 submitted his bills, and he got paid. The
19 Court is going to pay his bills if he brings
20 them down there.
21 According to the list I have, he has
22 already reached $117,000, so I asked last
23 week to amend it to 125 instead of the 150
24 that he requested, and the 17 out of the 125
25 has already been expended, so in effect the
1 contract is for 83. I can't see stifling the
2 Office of Economic and Community
3 Development. We with Cooper's Seafood,
4 Alexander's, The Electric City Roasting
5 Company, Rejuvenescence, Blown Compliance,
6 SECCUS, Weston Field, Whistles, Skyview,
7 which is a multi-million projects, there are
8 some large projects here that are being
9 worked on.
10 I don't like to give out this kind
11 of money either but, you know, if it's not
12 him it's going to be somebody else and it is
13 put out to bid, people are allowed to submit
14 proposals and the same thing happened in the
15 Connor's administration after a few years
16 nobody submitted one because they were
17 comfortable with the attorney they had, and
18 he was familiar with all of the projects and
19 it just made more sense to keep the same
20 attorney on them.
21 It is a professional service and I
22 don't believe it even has to be put out to
23 bid, however, the mayor has agreed to submit
24 the proposals, so I am comfortable with 125.
25 I was not comfortable going up to the 150
1 and I'm hoping that with the new
2 Right-to-Know that his costs will come down.
3 I understand that we might have to have a
4 compliance officer for the Right-to-Know and
5 maybe a particular person will be named in
6 that position and we will be able to lower
7 his Right-to-Know costs down.
8 They are valid. I mean, I am not
9 denying anyone has the right to see whatever
10 they would like to see and they do have a
11 right to that, so that's how I feel about
13 MS. EVANS: If I may, Mrs. Gatelli
14 made a point, if it isn't him it's going to
15 be someone else, and that is exactly the
16 point. No, it isn't going to be anyone
17 else. It's been specifically designed,
18 tailor made for him and only him and for
19 many years that contract was not bid, it was
20 simply handed out.
21 MS. GATELLI: Oh, I agree with you
23 MS. EVANS: Mrs. Gatelli requested
24 that it be bid. Prior to her seated on
25 council, myself, Mr. Courtright, and others
1 asked that that position be bid. That was
2 never granted us. Mrs. Gatelli joined
3 council and then the mayor agreed to put it
4 out to bid. However, the conditions and
5 requirements of that contract, as I said,
6 were specifically tailor made to Mr. Greco.
7 And I'll just give you one example of many,
8 the first year it was put out to bid one of
9 the conditions was that the attorney could
10 not have sued the city. That, in effect,
11 the administration believed would eliminate
12 the competitor at the at the time, although,
13 that was proven to be wrong later. In the
14 mean time, since Mr. Greco did sue the city
15 for the amount of money that he felt he was
16 not paid, that requirement was removed from
17 the contract because if it stayed, of
18 course, that would have eliminated Mr. Greco
20 So, yes there were two attorneys in
21 prior administrations admittedly, one for
22 SRA, one for OECD, however, the legal staff
23 in the legal department has ballooned with
24 this administration and the law firms hired
25 by this administration has ballooned over
1 the past seven years, so that though
2 Mr. Greco does high quality work, I hardly
3 think he is hard pressed to handle all legal
4 issues for this city since, as I said, we
5 employ so very many city attorneys, more so,
6 we employ law firms to the tune of millions.
7 MR. MCGOFF: Roll call, please?
8 MS. GATELLI: I just want to say one
9 more thing, Mr. Greco did not contribute to
10 my campaign, just so that's out there
11 because I know he they said that and I
12 wanted to be clear that he has never
13 contributed to my campaign.
14 MS. FANUCCI: He contributed to mine.
15 MR. MCGOFF: Roll call, please?
16 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.
17 MS. EVANS: No.
18 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.
19 MS. GATELLI. Yes.
20 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. Fanucci.
21 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.
22 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.
23 (Mr. Courtright not present.)
24 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff.
25 MR. MCGOFF: Yes. I hereby declare
1 Item 7-A legally and lawfully adopted.
2 MS. GARVEY: 7-B. FOR CONSIDERATION
3 BY THE COMMITTEE ON RULES - FOR ADOPTION -
4 RESOLUTION NO. 87, 2008 - AS AMENDED -
5 APPOINTMENT OF GENE P. TESEROVITCH, 1541
6 THACKERY STREET, SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA,
7 18504, AS A MEMBER OF THE SCRANTON HOUSING
8 APPEALS REVIEW BOARD FOR A TERM OF FIVE (5)
9 YEARS EFFECTIVE NOVEMBER 24, 2008. MR.
10 TESEROVITCH WILL BE REPLACING FRANK STEVENS
11 WHOSE TERM EXPIRED OCTOBER 18, 2008. MR.
12 TESEROVITCH'S TERM WILL EXPIRE ON NOVEMBER
13 24, 2013.
14 MR. MCGOFF: As Chair for the
15 Committee on Rules, I recommend final
16 passage of Item 7-B.
17 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
18 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? Roll
19 call, please?
20 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.
21 MS. EVANS: Yes.
22 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.
23 MS. GATELLI. Yes.
24 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. Fanucci.
25 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.
1 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.
2 (Mr. Courtright not present.)
3 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff.
4 MR. MCGOFF: Yes. I hereby declare
5 Item 7-B legally and lawfully adopted.
6 MS. GARVEY: 7-C. FOR CONSIDERATION -
7 BY THE COMMITTEE ON RULES - FOR ADOPTION -
8 RESOLUTION NO. 88, 2008 - AS AMENDED -
9 APPOINTMENT OF JOSEPH KAYES, 629 BIRCH
10 STREET, SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA 18505, AS
11 ALTERNATE NO. 1 MEMBER OF THE SCRANTON
12 HOUSING APPEALS REVIEW BOARD FOR A TERM OF
13 FIVE (5) YEARS EFFECTIVE NOVEMBER 24, 2008.
14 MR. KAYES TERM WILL EXPIRE ON NOVEMBER 24,
16 MR. MCGOFF: As Chair for the
17 Committee on Rules, I recommend final
18 passage of Item 7-C.
19 MS. GATELLI: Second.
20 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? Roll
21 call, please.
22 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.
23 MS. EVANS: Yes.
24 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.
25 MS. GATELLI. Yes.
1 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. Fanucci.
2 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.
3 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.
4 (Mr. Courtright not present.)
5 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff.
6 MR. MCGOFF: Yes. I hereby declare
7 Item 7-C legally and lawfully adopted.
8 MS. GARVEY: 7-D. FOR CONSIDERATION
9 BY THE COMMITTEE ON RULES - FOR ADOPTION -
10 RESOLUTION NO. 89, 2008 - AS AMENDED -
11 APPOINTMENT OF ROBERT JENSEN, 401
12 WINTERMANTLE AVENUE, SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA
13 18505, AS ALTERNATE NO. 2 MEMBER OF THE
14 SCRANTON HOUSING APPEALS REVIEW BOARD FOR A
15 TERM OF FIVE (5) YEARS EFFECTIVE NOVEMBER
16 24, 2008. MR. JENSEN'S TERM WILL EXPIRE ON
17 NOVEMBER 24, 2013.
18 MR. MCGOFF: As Chair for the
19 Committee on Rules, I recommend final
20 passage of Item 7-D.
21 MS. GATELLI: Second.
22 MR. MCGOFF: On the question. Roll
23 call, please.
24 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.
25 MS. EVANS: Yes.
1 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.
2 MS. GATELLI. Yes.
3 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. Fanucci.
4 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.
5 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.
6 (Mr. Courtright not present.)
7 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff.
8 MR. MCGOFF: Yes. I hereby declare
9 Item 7-D legally and lawfully adopted.
10 MS. GARVEY: 7-E. FOR CONSIDERATION -
11 BY THE COMMITTEE ON COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT -
12 FOR ADOPTION - RESOLUTION NO. 90, 2008 -
13 AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND OTHER APPROPRIATE
14 CITY OFFICIALS FOR THE CITY OF SCRANTON TO
15 ENTER INTO A COOPERATION AGREEMENT, A
16 SUBORDINATION AGREEMENT AND A DISBURSEMENT
17 AGREEMENT IN CONNECTION WITH THE
18 REHABILITATION BY NORTH SCRANTON
19 PARTNERSHIP, L.P. OF THE FORMER NORTH
20 SCRANTON JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL LOCATED AT 1539
21 N. MAIN AVENUE, SCRANTON, PA.
22 MR. MCGOFF: What is the
23 recommendation of the Chairperson for the
24 Committee on Community Development?
25 MS. FANUCCI: As Chairperson for
1 Committee on Community Development, I
2 recommend final passage of Item 7-E.
3 MS. GATELLI: Second.
4 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? Roll
5 call, please?
6 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.
7 MS. EVANS: Yes.
8 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.
9 MS. GATELLI. Yes.
10 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. Fanucci.
11 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.
12 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.
13 (Mr. Courtright not present.)
14 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff.
15 MR. MCGOFF: Yes. I hereby declare
16 Item 7-E legally and lawfully adopted.
17 MS. GARVEY: Mr. McGoff, before
18 reading 7-F and G there may be some members
19 of the public that wish to speak.
20 MR. MCGOFF: Yes. If there is anyone
21 that wishes to speak on 7-F or 7-G
22 specifically please come forward.
23 MR. GERVASI: Hello again, city
24 council, I have one question. Mrs. Evans,
25 correct me if I'm wrong, but did I hear you
1 say that TANS Series B was never used
2 according to the controller?
3 MS. EVANS: The controller's report.
4 We receive a monthly report and you are able
5 to trace, for example, TAN Series A, TAN
6 Series B. It has a beginning balance and an
7 ending balance for any given month of the
8 fiscal year, and as of our last report, for
9 example, the 10.5 million still sat in that
11 MR. GERVASI: So it doesn't show that
12 it hasn't been used and then replenished,
13 it's just been stagnant?
14 MS. EVANS: It doesn't show any type
15 of use or replenishment, no.
16 MR. GERVASI: Does anyone know, just
17 two quick questions, does anyone know what
18 the interest rate is when we obtained the
20 MS. EVANS: Two point something.
21 MR. MCGOFF: It was half below prime
22 I was told. I was told it was half below
24 MS. GATELLI: 2.3.
25 MR. GERVASI: While the money -- if,
1 in fact, the money sits there all year long
2 in that account is it in an interest bearing
4 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.
5 MR. GERVASI: What is that?
6 MR. MCGOFF: I'm not sure.
7 MS. GATELLI: I think last year got
8 about one and a quarter.
9 MR. GERVASI: I mean, is it a wash?
10 Is it less than what we're paying for it?
11 MS. GATELLI: We make money.
12 MS. FANUCCI: We make money.
13 MR. GERVASI: You make money?
14 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.
15 MR. GERVASI: Oh, okay. Thank you.
16 MS. SCHUMACHER: I don't understand
17 the need for it either and I do go over the
18 controllor's/ORS reports monthly and I have
19 never noticed any action such as described
20 by you, Mr. McGoff, or you, Mrs. Gatelli
21 throughout the whole year, and I have been
22 tracking surpluses, also and, unfortunately,
23 I didn't now this was going to be moved
24 tonight, so I don't have the precise
25 figures, but at the end of August there was
1 surplus in the amount of $7.7 million and I
2 believe it was up in the last report which
3 would have been for October, so if you take
4 roughly $8 million for a surplus you take
5 the $5 million for the TANS Series A and the
6 5.5 that you are confident is the minimum we
7 are going to get from the Single Tax Office,
8 that is 18.3 which should cover the first
9 quarter of the year without the TANS Series
10 B because you will get some tax payments to
11 makeup for that other $200,000, so there
12 should not be a cash flow problem even
13 without the TAN Series G.
14 MS. GATELLI: And you are confident
15 that we are going to get the money from up
16 the street because I'm not.
17 MS. SCHUMACHER: Off the street?
18 MS. GATELLI: Up the street.
19 MR. MCGOFF: The Single Tax Office.
20 MS. EVANS: It's in the budget.
21 MS. SCHUMACHER: You have it in the
23 MS. GATELLI: Well, I know, but I
24 don't know if we're going to get in the
25 first three months.
1 MS. SCHUMACHER: Well, you must be
2 confident. I heard here earlier this year
3 that it was going before the end of this
4 year so --
5 MS. GATELLI: Yes, well, we haven't
6 seen it yet.
7 MS. SCHUMACHER: So that would just
8 up the surplus, but, yeah, I would certainly
9 think or hope we are getting it.
10 MS. GATELLI: We are not going to
11 lose money, we are going to make money. You
12 know, we are not going to lose money doing
14 MS. EVANS: But the -- if I may, the
15 temptation is with so much money available
16 to use money for other purposes which then
17 cause greater debt overall.
18 MS. FANUCCI: It hasn't happened so
20 MS. GATELLI: We never used the TANS
21 for that.
22 MS. SCHUMACHER: Temptation. But
23 anyway, I don't know believe that's needed.
24 Thank you.
25 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you. Mr. Quinn?
1 MR. QUINN: Ozzie Quinn. The debt
2 is the debt no matter how you look at it,
3 and that's how I look at it, and the fact is
4 that it really concerns me when, Mrs.
5 Gatelli, you say you don't know if that
6 5.5 million is going to come down from the
7 Single Tax Office when I addressed you
8 before about it and you put it in the budget
9 as revenue. Shame on you people.
10 MS. HUMPHRIES: I have two
11 questions, two suggestions. I know we are
12 in financial disaster and everything, there
13 is people getting raises and all, number
14 one, I was wondering when our firemen and
15 our policemen are going to get raises?
16 MR. MCGOFF: Phyllis, we are on 7-F
17 or 7-G.
18 MS. HUMPHRIES: I don't have a paper,
19 but I wanted to ask one thing, last night on
20 the news they had about taxing the farmers
21 and the question --
22 MR. MCGOFF: Phyllis, if it's not on
23 7-F or 7-G you are not speaking.
24 MS. HUMPHRIES: I don't have a thing
1 MR. MCGOFF: Sorry.
2 MS. HUMPHRIES: Could I ask one
3 thing, the house? The houses that you were
4 saying about could they put pictures in the
5 paper to show the houses that are being torn
6 down, and I'll just let it go at that. I'm
7 sorry, I misunderstood.
8 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.
9 MS. HUMPHRIES: But there is
10 something to think about for the holidays.
11 MR. ANCHERANI: I just have to say
12 about the TANS and I keep asking the
13 question and I have never gotten the answer,
14 why aren't they included in the revenue pie
15 chart? It doesn't reflect them. It doesn't
16 reflect the expenditure pie chart. The
17 percentages on the pie chart are higher for
18 each slice, but yet it says nothing about
19 the TANS. Nothing.
20 Also, I believe that the payback
21 would be 15,106,000. I think that's in the
22 range if I'm remembering correctly without
23 the budget here. Thank you.
24 MR. JACKOWITZ: Bill Jackowitz.
25 Don't worry, Nelson, I never get answers
1 either. Anyway, in regards to this, the
2 money that we earn on interest on this
3 account is this money more than what we are
4 going to be paying in the interest?
5 MS. GATELLI: Yes.
6 MR. JACKOWITZ: Can you give me a
7 figure? We are all shaking our heads.
8 MS. GATELLI: Last year it was
10 MR. JACKOWITZ: So we made $125,000
11 last year?
12 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.
13 MR. JACKOWITZ: Now, request
14 permission from the president to ask a
15 questions, if possible, to each council
16 member? Thank you, Mr. President. Mrs.
17 Evans, with this TAN money and everything
18 else, would this help solve the distressed
19 city status and will it help negotiate a
20 contract with the police and fire, this
21 9.5 million?
22 MS. EVANS: No.
23 MR. JACKOWITZ: Mrs. Gatelli?
24 MS. GATELLI: No.
25 THE COURT: Mr. McGoff.
1 MR. MCGOFF: I don't know.
2 MS. FANUCCI: I don't know.
3 MR. JACKOWITZ: No. So, in other
4 words, it's not really going to help the
5 city at all except we are going to have
6 money sitting in an account that hasn't been
7 moved or used in seven years; is that
9 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Jackowitz --
10 MR. MCGOFF: It helps pay the bills
11 of the city over a period of time when the
12 tax revenues are slower coming in.
13 MR. JACKOWITZ: Bills such as?
14 MS. GATELLI: Payroll.
15 MS. FANUCCI: Payroll.
16 MR. MCGOFF: Health benefits.
17 MR. JACKOWITZ: That's all I'm
18 asking. I'm asking what and how is it going
19 to help the citizens.
20 MS. GATELLI: It's called a tax
21 anticipation note. Every governmental body
22 has tax anticipation notes because you don't
23 get the taxes in right away. You don't get
24 all of the property taxes. Some people
25 don't pay their property taxes until the end
1 of the year, so you have to be able to
2 function and run your city and pay your
3 people for the at least the first three
4 months until the first quarter of taxes
5 comes in.
6 MR. JACKOWITZ: Okay.
7 MS. GATELLI: So that's what you need
8 the money for.
9 MR. JACKOWITZ: So this money will be
10 used to pay city bills, possibly be used to
11 city bills from January through March of
13 MS. GATELLI: Right.
14 MR. MCGOFF: Yes.
15 MS. GATELLI: Or even longer when
16 the revenue isn't there.
17 MS. FANUCCI: Yeah, sometimes you
18 don't get it then either.
19 MR. JACKOWITZ: It's like a reserve
20 account in case the money is not coming in
21 fast enough to pay the bills. See, we can
22 actually get along when you get people to at
23 least attempt to answer my questions. This
24 is nice. I like this. Very good. Very
1 MR. MCGOFF: I'm glad we could please
3 MR. JACKOWITZ: I many, too. But,
4 anyway, I'll see you all in probably January
5 of 2009 because I know there won't be any
6 more meetings.
7 MR. MCGOFF: 7-F.
8 MS. GARVEY: 7-F, which was formerly
9 6-A, FOR CONSIDERATION - BY THE COMMITTEE ON
10 FINANCE - FOR ADOPTION - FILE OF COUNCIL NO.
11 50, 2008 - AN ORDINANCE - AUTHORIZING THE
12 ISSUANCE AND SALE OF A FIVE MILLION
13 ($5,000,000.00) DOLLAR PRINCIPAL AMOUNT, TAX
14 AND REVENUE ANTICIPATION NOTE OF THE CITY OF
15 SCRANTON KNOWN AS TAN SERIES A, AWARDED TO
16 COMMUNITY BANK & TRUST CO; DETERMINING THE
17 FORM AND TERM OF SAID NOTE; AWARDING SAID
18 NOTE; AUTHORIZING AND DIRECTING THE FILING
19 OF CERTAIN DOCUMENTS; AND DIRECTING THE
20 PROPER OFFICIALS OF THE CITY OF SCRANTON TO
21 TAKE ANY AND ALL OTHER ACTIONS AS MAY BE
22 REQUIRED IN CONNECTION WITH THE
23 ISSUANCE OF SAID NOTE.
24 MR. MCGOFF: What is the
25 recommendation of the Chair for the
1 Committee on Finance?
2 MS. GATELLI: As Chair for the
3 Committee on Finance, I recommend final
4 passage of Item 7-F.
5 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
6 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? Roll
7 call, please?
8 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.
9 MS. EVANS: Yes.
10 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.
11 MS. GATELLI. Yes.
12 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. Fanucci.
13 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.
14 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.
15 (Mr. Courtright not present.)
16 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff.
17 MR. MCGOFF: Yes. I hereby declare
18 Item 7-F legally and lawfully adopted.
19 MS. GARVEY: 7-G, which was formerly
20 6-B - FOR CONSIDERATION BY THE COMMITTEE ON
21 FINANCE - FOR ADOPTION - FILE OF COUNCIL NO.
22 51, 2008 - AN ORDINANCE - AUTHORIZING THE
23 ISSUANCE AND SALE OF A NINE AND ONE HALF
24 MILLION ($9,500,000.00) DOLLAR PRINCIPAL
25 AMOUNT, TAX AND REVENUE ANTICIPATION NOTE OF
1 THE CITY OF SCRANTON KNOWN AS TAN SERIES B,
2 AWARDED TO COMMUNITY BANK AND TRUST COMPANY;
3 DETERMINING THE FORM AND TERM OF SAID NOTE;
4 AWARDING SAID NOTE; AUTHORIZING AND
5 DIRECTING THE FILING OF CERTAIN DOCUMENTS;
6 AND DIRECTING THE PROPER OFFICIALS OF THE
7 CITY OF SCRANTON TO TAKE ANY AND ALL OTHER
8 ACTIONS AS MAY BE REQUIRED IN CONNECTION
9 WITH THE ISSUANCE OF SAID NOTE.
10 MR. MCGOFF: What is the
11 recommendation of the Chairperson for the
12 Committee on Finance?
13 MS. GATELLI: As Chair for the
14 Committee on Finance, I recommend final
15 passage of 7-G.
16 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
17 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? Roll
18 call, please?
19 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.
20 MS. EVANS: No.
21 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.
22 MS. GATELLI. Yes.
23 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. Fanucci.
24 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.
25 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.
1 (Mr. Courtright not present.)
2 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff.
3 MR. MCGOFF: Yes. I hereby declare
4 Item 7-G legally and lawfully adopted.
5 MS. GATELLI: Motion to adjourn.
6 MR. MCGOFF: Motion to adjourn.
7 MS. FANUCCI: So moved.
8 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you for your
1 C E R T I F I C A T E
3 I hereby certify that the proceedings and
4 evidence are contained fully and accurately in the
5 notes of testimony taken by me at the hearing of the
6 above-captioned matter and that the foregoing is a true
7 and correct transcript of the same to the best of my
CATHENE S. NARDOZZI, RPR
12 OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER