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            1              SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING

 

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            3

 

            4

 

            5                          HELD:

 

            6

 

            7                  Tuesday, January 13, 2009

 

            8

 

            9                        LOCATION:

 

           10                    Council Chambers

 

           11                 Scranton City Hall

 

           12              340 North Washington Avenue

 

           13                Scranton, Pennsylvania

 

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           23

                    CATHENE S. NARDOZZI, RPR - OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER

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            2   CITY OF SCRANTON COUNCIL:

 

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            4

                MR. ROBERT MCGOFF, PRESIDENT

            5

 

            6   MS. JUDY GATELLI, VICE-PRESIDENT

 

            7

                MS. JANET E. EVANS

            8

 

            9   MS. SHERRY FANUCCI

 

           10

                MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT

           11

 

           12   MS. KAY GARVEY, CITY CLERK

 

           13

                MS. SUE MAGNOTTA, ASSISTANT CITY CLERK

           14

 

           15   MR. AMIL MINORA, SOLICITOR

 

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            1                      MR. MCGOFF: Prior to beginning the

 

            2              meeting, I have a proclamation to present.

 

            3                      MS. GATELLI: Mr.  McGoff, is giving

 

            4              me this opportunity to present this

 

            5              proclamation to Eric Shrive.  Eric Shrive is

 

            6              one of my students at West Scranton High

 

            7              School, and I'm very pleased to be able to

 

            8              give him this proclamation.

 

            9                      WHEREAS, the COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF

 

           10              SCRANTON is desirous of honoring 'ERIC

 

           11              SHRIVE", son of Dennis and Jane Shrive and a

 

           12              member of the 2009 class of West Scranton

 

           13              High School;

 

           14                      WHEREAS, "ERIC" was chosen to the

 

           15              U.S. Army All American Team, being on ly the

 

           16              second player from the Scranton/Wilkes Barre

 

           17              area to earn Army All-American status,

 

           18              giving him the opportunity to lay in the

 

           19              most highly regarded high school football

 

           20              game in the county, the highest honor a high

 

           21              school football player can receive; and.

 

           22                      WHEREAS, "ERIC" is two time

 

           23              Times-Tribune All Region selection, a first

 

           24              team Lackawanna Football Conference Division

 

           25              I all Star, received first team All-State


 

 

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            1              honors from The Associated Press, and was

 

            2              selected to play in the Big 33 Game; and

 

            3              WHEREAS "ERIC" having received more than 30

 

            4              scholarship offers from college football's

 

            5              finest programs and named as one of the top

 

            6              recruits in the class of 2009 will be

 

            7              suiting up for the Penn State Nittany Lions;

 

            8              and.

 

            9                      WHEREAS, the teachers, students and

 

           10              administrators of West Scranton High School

 

           11              are very proud of "Eric" and all his

 

           12              accomplishments both on and off the field;

 

           13              and;

 

           14                      NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that

 

           15              on Tuesday, January 13, 2009, Scranton City

 

           16              Council wishes to congratulate "ERIC

 

           17              SHRIVE", and his Parents, Coaches and

 

           18              Teachers for their outstanding achievement

 

           19              and wish him much success in all his future

 

           20              endeavors.

 

           21                      BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the

 

           22              Proclamation be made a permanent part of the

 

           23              Minutes of this Council, as a lasting

 

           24              tribute to "ERIC SHRIVE".

 

           25                      MR. MCGOFF:  Roll call, please?


 

 

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            1                      MS. MAGNOTTA: Mrs. Evans.

 

            2                      MS. EVANS:  Here.

 

            3                      MS. MAGNOTTA: Mrs. Gatelli.

 

            4                      MS. GATELLI.  Here.

 

            5                      MR. MAGNOTTA:  Ms. Fanucci.

 

            6                      MS. FANUCCI:  Here.

 

            7                      MR. MAGNOTTA:  Mr. Courtright.

 

            8                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Here.

 

            9                      MR. MAGNOTTA:  Mr. McGoff.

 

           10                      MR. MCGOFF:  Here.  Prior to

 

           11              beginning of the meeting, I would like to

 

           12              address the issue for which I would assume

 

           13              many of you are here and that has to do with

 

           14              the proposal to look at raising the salaries

 

           15              of the mayor, controller, and members of

 

           16              council.  A little bit of background I think

 

           17              is necessary to fully understand what has

 

           18              taken place.  In the Fall of 2008 during a

 

           19              caucus discussed the possibility of looking

 

           20              at the salary of the mayor, which most

 

           21              council people agreed was woefully low in

 

           22              comparison to other cities of comparable

 

           23              size in the State of Pennsylvania.  We

 

           24              discussed it to some extent what we were

 

           25              going to do, we took a look at the Home Rule


 

 

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            1              Charter and asked Attorney Minora to give us

 

            2              an opinion on what needed to be done in

 

            3              order to look at that possibility.

 

            4                      Attorney Minora reported to us that

 

            5              according to the Home Rule Charter the only

 

            6              time that these salaries can be adjusted

 

            7              upward is in the election -- prior to

 

            8              February 1 in the election year of the

 

            9              mayor, which would put us in 2009.  So, any

 

           10              consideration of raising the salary of

 

           11              either the mayor the controller or city

 

           12              council would have to be done by February 1

 

           13              of this year.

 

           14                      With that, when we returned in

 

           15              January, Attorney Minora was asked to put

 

           16              together a draft of legislation that would

 

           17              allow us to discuss the possibility of

 

           18              raising the salary of the office of the

 

           19              mayor.  He returned that to us during the

 

           20              week, this past week.  It included a

 

           21              consideration of raises for all three

 

           22              offices with dollar amounts attached.

 

           23                      Those dollar amounts that were

 

           24              attached were arbitrary.  We had never

 

           25              discussed in council amounts for either --


 

 

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            1              for any of the three positions that were

 

            2              under consideration.  They were put in there

 

            3              as arbitrary numbers so that we could then

 

            4              discuss the possibility of looking at or the

 

            5              possibility of raises in those three

 

            6              positions.  There was nothing set in stone,

 

            7              as I said, we had not asked -- or we had not

 

            8              asked or we had not given any specific

 

            9              amounts to either -- to any of those

 

           10              offices.

 

           11                      I might also say that at no time was

 

           12              either the mayor or the controller involved

 

           13              in these discussions as to the raises.  And

 

           14              at this time on behalf of Mrs. Novembrino

 

           15              she asked that this be read into the record

 

           16              and this would be I guess an appropriate

 

           17              time:  It says, "Dear council members, it

 

           18              has recently come to my attention that a

 

           19              salary increase will be considered for

 

           20              myself as city controller.  This subject was

 

           21              never discussed with me and at this point I

 

           22              would not wish to be considered for any

 

           23              increase.  I would consider an increase at

 

           24              some future date, but at a time when the

 

           25              city's economic climate hasn't improved and


 

 

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            1              all outstanding union contracts have been

 

            2              settled.  Respectfully, Rosanne Novembrino."

 

            3                      (Whereupon the audience applauds.)

 

            4                      MR. MCGOFF: When I received the

 

            5              draft from Attorney Minora, I asked Mrs.

 

            6              Garvey that it be placed on the agenda.  The

 

            7              intent of placing it on the agenda was that

 

            8              if, in fact, we wanted to do something with

 

            9              that we would have enough time for three

 

           10              readings, give people enough opportunity to

 

           11              talk on the subject, and if it were going to

 

           12              be -- if any changes needed to be made they

 

           13              could be done during the course of that

 

           14              time.

 

           15                      The decision to place that item on

 

           16              the agenda with those dollar amounts was

 

           17              entirely mine as president of council.  That

 

           18              is one of the things that I am asked to do,

 

           19              to determine what goes on the agenda, and so

 

           20              I thought that given the responsibility that

 

           21              we have and since this responsibility occurs

 

           22              only once every four years, that it was

 

           23              necessary for us to place it on the agenda

 

           24              to give council an opportunity to discuss

 

           25              the legislation.


 

 

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            1                      I think that in many cases there has

 

            2              been some misinformation.  This has never

 

            3              been voted on.  It has actually never been

 

            4              discussed by council dollar amounts.  We

 

            5              have never actually discussed the idea of

 

            6              raises for city council.  We have never

 

            7              discussed raises for the controller, and we

 

            8              have never discussed a set dollar amount for

 

            9              any raise for mayor.  This was to be our

 

           10              opportunity to do that.  It was supposed to

 

           11              be our responsibility to do that.

 

           12                      I think that the reaction has been

 

           13              somewhat misinterpreted in our intent.  I

 

           14              understand that people have strong feelings

 

           15              on it and what we had hoped to do was to

 

           16              discuss in a rational way the possibility or

 

           17              at least look at what is in the Home Rule

 

           18              Charter our duty to look at these salaries.

 

           19                      With that said, at this time I would

 

           20              like to make a motion to remove, and I don't

 

           21              know what the item is --

 

           22                      MR. MINORA: 5-C.

 

           23                      MR. MCGOFF: I would like to make a

 

           24              motion to remove Item 5-C from tonight's

 

           25              agenda.


 

 

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            1                      MS. GATELLI:  Second.

 

            2                      MR. MCGOFF: On the question.  All in

 

            3              favor?

 

            4                      MS. EVANS: No, we have -- I'm sure

 

            5              several of us on the question have --

 

            6                      MR. MCGOFF: That's why I was

 

            7              waiting.

 

            8                      MS. EVANS: Mrs. Gatelli first stated

 

            9              at a council meeting in November 2008 that

 

           10              she felt the salary of the mayor should be

 

           11              raised.  When Mrs. Gatelli raised her issue

 

           12              again in December I listened, but felt it

 

           13              was not wise.  When a discussion was held in

 

           14              caucus prior to last week's meeting in which

 

           15              council members were seriously considering a

 

           16              pay raise for the mayor, I informed those

 

           17              present, Mr. Courtright, Mr. McGoff, and

 

           18              Attorney Minora that I would not be voting

 

           19              for a salary increase for the mayor.

 

           20              Additional pay raises, as Mr. McGoff

 

           21              indicated, were not discussed.

 

           22                      And now I say to you tonight, I

 

           23              would not vote for a salary increase for the

 

           24              office of mayor, controller or city council

 

           25              and this comes as no surprise since I fought


 

 

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            1              hard to cut pay increases given by the mayor

 

            2              and to cut spending each December and my

 

            3              council colleagues refused my budgets and

 

            4              amendments.  In fact, I have been the only

 

            5              council member not only to impose pay raises

 

            6              even to our own employees, the city clerk,

 

            7              Mrs. Garvey, and council solicitor, Amil

 

            8              Minora, but also to propose cutting their

 

            9              salary.

 

           10                      Attorney Minora drafted the

 

           11              amendment, but he did so at the council

 

           12              president's direction.  I had no knowledge

 

           13              that city council and the city controller

 

           14              would be included to receive raises in this

 

           15              amendment.  I am aware the Home Rule Charter

 

           16              states that these salaries may be increased

 

           17              on February 1 of this the year in which an

 

           18              election will be held to fill any or all of

 

           19              these positions for a full four-year term,

 

           20              hence, the opportunity is, in fact,

 

           21              available every two years.  However, it does

 

           22              not state that all three salaries must be

 

           23              increased.

 

           24                      Since I was never a party to any

 

           25              discussion of council or controller raises,


 

 

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            1              either publically or at caucus, I do have a

 

            2              question, who suggested the arbitrary dollar

 

            3              amounts as the salary increases?

 

            4                      MR. MCGOFF: Since we did not discuss

 

            5              any dollar amounts, I believe it was looked

 

            6              at -- or cities of comparable size were

 

            7              looked at and a dollar amount that was

 

            8              within that those parameters was placed in.

 

            9              And again, they were --

 

           10                      MS. EVANS: Who authorized that to be

 

           11              done?

 

           12                      MR. MCGOFF: I guess by directing

 

           13              Attorney Minora to do that --

 

           14                      MS. EVANS: Yes, but who directed

 

           15              Attorney Minora?

 

           16                      MR. MCGOFF: Actually, I would say I

 

           17              did.

 

           18                      MS. EVANS: You told him to look at

 

           19              other cities and plug in these figures.

 

           20              Thank you.  Anyone involved in this

 

           21              amendment should be ashamed.  It ranks

 

           22              close -- (audience applauds.)  It ranks

 

           23              close to some council members removal TV

 

           24              cameras from these chambers and locking

 

           25              citizens out of this building.  38 percent


 

 

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            1              of Scranton households receive social

 

            2              security.  Local unemployment is over 7

 

            3              percent, the second highest in the State of

 

            4              Pennsylvania.  Employees nationwide are

 

            5              taking pay cuts and over 20 percent of our

 

            6              city residents live in poverty.  The police

 

            7              and firefighters have not received a raise

 

            8              in approximately eight years and no contract

 

            9              settlements are in sight.

 

           10                      Significant spending cuts were never

 

           11              made by this council, not in past years and

 

           12              not in December 2008 despite what could be

 

           13              the worst economic setback since the great

 

           14              depression, and now some had the audacity to

 

           15              propose raises.  They state they have the

 

           16              responsibility to look at these raises in

 

           17              the Home Rule Charter.  Yet, this topic was

 

           18              never raised in the years I have sat on this

 

           19              council or for decades preceding.  In the

 

           20              grip of a recession and eight years of union

 

           21              unrest, they suddenly found their

 

           22              responsibility to raise politician's

 

           23              salaries.

 

           24                      In response to this growing

 

           25              recession in defense of the taxpayers,


 

 

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            1              police, and firefighters and in good

 

            2              conscience, I repeat, I would not vote to

 

            3              increase any salaries.

 

            4                      Furthermore, I ask my colleagues to

 

            5              forego our salaries during the 2009 and 2010

 

            6              August and Christmas recesses until such

 

            7              time as the recession ends.  We should

 

            8              demonstrate our unanimous willingness to

 

            9              exercise fiscal restraint in these troubled

 

           10              economic times -- (Audience members

 

           11              applaud.) -- if we expect to exercise

 

           12              authority over spending taxpayers dollars

 

           13              for job creations, administrative raises,

 

           14              garages, greenhouses, etcetera, and that is

 

           15              all I have to say.

 

           16                      (Audience members applaud.)

 

           17                      MS. GATELLI: As far as the pay

 

           18              raises are concerned, yes, I did bring it up

 

           19              and, yes, Mrs. Evans, I have an article from

 

           20              November of '07 where you said in the paper

 

           21              that you thought the mayor was underpaid.  I

 

           22              assume that we all agreed that we would

 

           23              investigate this.

 

           24                      MS. FANUCCI: Yes, we did.

 

           25                      MS. GATELLI: So that's what we did.


 

 

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            1              I had no part at all in what was drafted in

 

            2              Attorney Minora's order, and as a matter of

 

            3              fact, Mr. Burton tried to reach my on the

 

            4              phone and when I called him back he was

 

            5              gone.  I called him on his cell phone and he

 

            6              never returned my phone call, that's why

 

            7              there was no comment in the paper.

 

            8                      I do realize that there is a

 

            9              recession and I do realize that the police

 

           10              and fire have not have a raise in seven

 

           11              years.  The police and firemen all know

 

           12              where we stand on that.  They all know that

 

           13              we want them to have a contract.  No one up

 

           14              here has ever been against that.

 

           15                      The chairman, Mr. McGoff, put this

 

           16              on the agenda.  I did not put this on the

 

           17              agenda.  I want that to be clear.  I did not

 

           18              put in on the agenda.  As a matter of fact,

 

           19              I called him, I believe it was on Friday,

 

           20              and asked him not to put it on the agenda

 

           21              because I, too, thought it was a little over

 

           22              the top.  I do think that the mayor's

 

           23              office, not Mayor Doherty, this would be for

 

           24              the next mayor that wins the election, that

 

           25              is the point of doing it before an election


 

 

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            1              so that you are not giving it to a

 

            2              particular person, and I do think when the

 

            3              time is right and things are better, once we

 

            4              have a new president hopefully with the

 

            5              stimulus packages that we can, indeed, give

 

            6              the elected officials that deserve a raise a

 

            7              raise.  He is the lowest paid mayor in the

 

            8              State of Pennsylvania and maybe that's why

 

            9              we can't get people to run for office.  Only

 

           10              wealthy people can run that can afford to

 

           11              take that --

 

           12                      (Audience members become loud.)

 

           13                      MR. MCGOFF: Excuse me.

 

           14                      MS. GATELLI: Excuse me.  Maybe if

 

           15              the salary were better comparable to other

 

           16              cities, the Mayor of Wilkes-Barre makes

 

           17              $80,000, you know, they are lot smaller than

 

           18              us.  If we had a decent salary maybe people

 

           19              would be willing to give up their positions.

 

           20              Including some people I know that are very

 

           21              close to me up here that I know would be

 

           22              interested in running, maybe they would be

 

           23              able to run if the salary was, you know, up

 

           24              there that they could leave their jobs.

 

           25                      Right now, a person unless they are


 

 

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            1              wealthy and have another business can't run

 

            2              for mayor because the pay just isn't there.

 

            3                      So I do think it is deserving to

 

            4              take a look at it at some point in down the

 

            5              road.  Right now, I am not in favor of it

 

            6              and I did ask for it to be removed from the

 

            7              agenda.  It was not removed and so I will be

 

            8              voting "No" on the pay raises at this time.

 

            9              Thank you.

 

           10                      MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else?

 

           11                      MS. FANUCCI: When we had sat down to

 

           12              discuss this we actually all unanimously had

 

           13              said that we thought that the mayor was

 

           14              underpaid.  I believe that that is not an

 

           15              issue, we all know that, but I would have

 

           16              liked -- I actually was for it being on the

 

           17              agenda, and I'm going to tell you why.  I

 

           18              thought it was a good idea to put it on so

 

           19              we can say that we looked into it and we did

 

           20              our job.  I don't believe the intent

 

           21              deserves what is happening out here because

 

           22              I certainly was not going to even vote on

 

           23              this.  We didn't -- it was on the agenda --

 

           24              say what you want to say -- (audience

 

           25              members become loud) This is amazing.  This


 

 

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            1              was nothing but a wonderful way to grand

 

            2              stand during election time, and it worked

 

            3              out, it worked out for everyone involved,

 

            4              but I can tell you that I know economically,

 

            5              I know what's going on not only in the

 

            6              state, but in my own home, in everyone's

 

            7              homes out there that this is not -- this was

 

            8              not something that should have been done.

 

            9                      I had certainly wished that we had

 

           10              to be able to sit town in caucus and discuss

 

           11              the matters at hand here, but that does not

 

           12              happen with this council.  That will never

 

           13              really happen with this council.

 

           14              Unfortunately, everything has to be done on

 

           15              the floor so that the cameras are running

 

           16              and certain people can say what they need to

 

           17              say only when the cameras running.  We have

 

           18              no communication behind the scenes.

 

           19                      I thought it was a good idea to put

 

           20              it out so we could discuss it.  Dollar

 

           21              amounts, really, it wasn't an issue because

 

           22              it wasn't like we were going to -- if you

 

           23              put it on for discussion it was in for

 

           24              discussion.  You had to vote it in to

 

           25              discuss it.  That's how our policy is.  We


 

 

                                                                      19

 

 

            1              want to put it in to discuss it.  I thought

 

            2              that was a good idea to do it in front of

 

            3              all of you, but personally was I worried

 

            4              about council, I didn't even really realize

 

            5              that the three were going to on there

 

            6              either.

 

            7                      Do I believe that a mayor deservers

 

            8              a raise?  I eventually do think that the

 

            9              mayor deserved a raise regardless of who it

 

           10              is, where it is and how it is.  I believe

 

           11              that our mayor is very underpaid for our

 

           12              city.  Do I think that it's the time to do

 

           13              it now?  Absolutely not.

 

           14                      When you look in the paper,

 

           15              especially even today, and you see that

 

           16              major corporations are taking pay cuts, I

 

           17              don't think it's feasibly possible, but the

 

           18              idea needed to be discussed.  It's our job

 

           19              to discuss it.  Just like it's your job to

 

           20              show up here with your cameras and all of

 

           21              you to say what you need to say.  It is not

 

           22              any different.  This is what it's about.

 

           23              You can be upset, but we still have our job

 

           24              and we still have to look at things with

 

           25              whether we like it or not, whether we agree


 

 

                                                                      20

 

 

            1              or not, but the problem here is that we

 

            2              should be doing that together.  We shouldn't

 

            3              be trying to hype everybody up before there

 

            4              is even a reason to do that.  We should be

 

            5              able to work as one team so that we can come

 

            6              it a great solution.  The solution might not

 

            7              have been any different than all of you here

 

            8              to talk about, it probably would have been,

 

            9              but the fact is the hype had to take all of

 

           10              your time for reasons that weren't really

 

           11              necessary.

 

           12                      That is the problem.  That was the

 

           13              problem.  This was up for discussion between

 

           14              council.  This is our job.  We want to be

 

           15              able to do our job, but all of this seems to

 

           16              me that maybe, I don't know, it just is more

 

           17              than it was deserved because we weren't even

 

           18              at the stage where this was even really

 

           19              something that was an issue.  We are at the

 

           20              stage of discussion, so I thank you for

 

           21              showing up.  I thank you for voicing, you

 

           22              know, obviously your opinion and picketing

 

           23              and doing all of the things that you did,

 

           24              but at the end of the day I would have liked

 

           25              the opportunity to do the right thing and


 

 

                                                                      21

 

 

            1              say no, and have voted no, but that doesn't

 

            2              matter now.  I believe it's being taken off

 

            3              the agenda.

 

            4                      But, next time I will appeal it all

 

            5              of you talk to us, let us talk to you.

 

            6              Don't just play with one person.  I mean, to

 

            7              me, this was a one-person show.  This was a

 

            8              one-person show and it was not necessary.

 

            9              It was not necessary, but thank you for your

 

           10              time.

 

           11                      (Whereupon the audience became

 

           12              loud.)

 

           13                      MR. MCGOFF: Please.  Please.

 

           14                      MR. COURTRIGHT: All right, I guess

 

           15              we are all going to give our rendition of

 

           16              what happened, so I'll give mine.  I believe

 

           17              twice, and twice that I was there that we

 

           18              spoke about a raise and the two times was

 

           19              only the mayor.  I did not receive the

 

           20              e-mail.  As most people up here know, I

 

           21              don't get my e-mails at home because when I

 

           22              first got on council every time I tried to

 

           23              get my e-mails I got a virus on my computer,

 

           24              so I come in here every day and get my

 

           25              e-mails, and I found out from Kay.


 

 

                                                                      22

 

 

            1                      Coincidentally from me, coming in

 

            2              here help sometimes because Mr. Minora

 

            3              happened to call on the phone while I was

 

            4              here and I had no clue that we were in for a

 

            5              raise and Mrs. Novembrino was in for a raise

 

            6              and I had no clue the dollar amount, but I

 

            7              asked Mr. Minora if he would mind being on

 

            8              the speaker phone, so he and myself and Kay

 

            9              were on the speaker phone, and I asked

 

           10              Mr. McGoff not to put it on the agenda, and

 

           11              he chose to which is his right to do so.

 

           12                      Jeremy Burke did catch up with me,

 

           13              he's got my cell phone so he you are

 

           14              catching me most of the time, and I did tell

 

           15              him that I couldn't see certainly taking a

 

           16              raise now for any of us, you know, and we

 

           17              have such economic problems with they are

 

           18              cutting back in the federal, state and

 

           19              county level.

 

           20                      And then recently, one thing, you

 

           21              know, when I was a kid by dad with a truck

 

           22              driver as a Teamster and I used to go down

 

           23              to the Teamster hall meeting and they had a

 

           24              sign in there and I believe it said, "We are

 

           25              not the best because we are the biggest, we


 

 

                                                                      23

 

 

            1              are the biggest because we are the best."

 

            2                      And then I see in the paper now

 

            3              where the Teamsters, probably one of the

 

            4              most powerful unions in the world, take a

 

            5              pay cut to keep their jobs.

 

            6                      So I never had the intention of vote

 

            7              for the raises, as I guess none of us did,

 

            8              and that's the way it transpired from my

 

            9              side of it.  What Mrs. Fanucci says, I'm

 

           10              going to agree with you, do we discuss?  No.

 

           11              I haven't -- I can't think that I have seen

 

           12              two productive caucuses in the last two

 

           13              years.  I was on, you know, a council with a

 

           14              different group of people, and some people I

 

           15              say because I was on the three side and not

 

           16              on the two side or vice versa that I view it

 

           17              a little differently, but I think we had

 

           18              quite a few productive caucuses in the past.

 

           19                   I think someone had said Mr. Pocius was

 

           20              on the two side, but he had a lot of

 

           21              experience, he knew the rules, he certainly

 

           22              knew how to conduct himself back there so

 

           23              that we had caucuses, in my opinion, that

 

           24              mattered, and maybe it would have avoided

 

           25              some of the, you know, confusion that we


 

 

                                                                      24

 

 

            1              have out here sometimes.  I think I

 

            2              mentioned one time here we made an amendment

 

            3              to an amendment to an amendment at one of

 

            4              our meetings.  How does that make us look;

 

            5              right?  Very poor, very unprofessional in my

 

            6              opinion.  And if they want to say that I'm

 

            7              on one side or the other or I'm the three

 

            8              side or the two side, you know, that's fine,

 

            9              you know, I'm a big boy, I can handle that,

 

           10              but I really think, you know, we need to

 

           11              discuss everything, and if we don't agree,

 

           12              we don't agree.  I mean, that's the way it

 

           13              goes, but there is no communication in my

 

           14              opinion at this council.  Very little, if

 

           15              any, and if we are ever shake the reputation

 

           16              that we have seem to have now we better

 

           17              start communicating.  And that's all I have.

 

           18              Thank you.

 

           19                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.  The motion

 

           20              is to remove the item from the agenda.  It

 

           21              has been seconded.  All in favor signify by

 

           22              saying aye.

 

           23                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.

 

           24                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.

 

           25                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.


 

 

                                                                      25

 

 

            1                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.

 

            2                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?  The

 

            3              ayes have it and so moved.

 

            4                      (The audience applauds.)

 

            5                      MR. MCGOFF: Any announcements?

 

            6                      MS. GATELLI:  I just have a few.

 

            7              First thing I'd like to say is if we could

 

            8              please just take a moment of silence, I

 

            9              probably should have interrupted Mr. McGoff

 

           10              before, but if we could take a moment of

 

           11              silence for one of our very, very excellent

 

           12              city employees has passed away this week,

 

           13              Mr. Ed Joyce.  He did the weights and

 

           14              measures up in LIPS and he was truly a very

 

           15              wonderful person and he has a wonderful

 

           16              family, and I think that as a city employee

 

           17              to the best of his ability did his job and

 

           18              went and above and beyond the call of duty

 

           19              at all times, and I think we should have a

 

           20              moment of silence in his memory.  (Moment of

 

           21              silence observed.)  Thank you.

 

           22                      The Elm Park Church Youth Group is

 

           23              having a spaghetti dinner on Sunday,

 

           24              January 18, at the church at the corner of

 

           25              Jefferson and Linden from noon to three.


 

 

                                                                      26

 

 

            1              It's $6.00 for adults and $3.00 for children

 

            2              under ten.

 

            3                      Also, I was wondering if council

 

            4              would be in agreement to send a following

 

            5              Boy Scouts who have achieved Eagle Scout

 

            6              status from Troop 16 at Hickory Street

 

            7              Church, if we can send them a congratulatory

 

            8              letter: James Moran, grade ten, Scranton

 

            9              Prep; Ryan Caviston, grade ten, Scranton

 

           10              High; Paul Pigg, Jr., grade ten, Scranton

 

           11              high; and Frank Jones, grade 11, Scranton

 

           12              High.  If that's agreeable?

 

           13                      MR. MCGOFF: Please.

 

           14                      MS. GATELLI: The Community

 

           15              Development Police Program will be in effect

 

           16              in the next two weeks, that was the latest

 

           17              that we have gotten from the chief.

 

           18                      And tomorrow evening at Smith's

 

           19              Restaurant at 6:00 there will be a South

 

           20              Side Resident's Association meeting and the

 

           21              start of the Community Justice Program for

 

           22              the Year 2009, so any South Side residents

 

           23              that are interested pease attend tomorrow

 

           24              evening, and I would like to notify everyone

 

           25              that the city audit, the exit conference is


 

 

                                                                      27

 

 

            1              tomorrow at 11:30, and I would ask Attorney

 

            2              Minora if he could attend on behalf of

 

            3              council and maybe Mr. McGoff can attend,

 

            4              too.  The rest of us will be working, I'm

 

            5              sure.

 

            6                      And if you can ask the auditors,

 

            7              Mr. Minora, if there is something we can do

 

            8              legislation wise to maybe get in this in an

 

            9              expeditious manner next year if they have

 

           10              any discussions on that.

 

           11                      MR. MINORA:  I'll find out what the

 

           12              hold up was with the audit and see if there

 

           13              is something we can do maybe legislatively.

 

           14                      MS. GATELLI: Yeah, maybe

 

           15              legislatively.

 

           16                      MR. MINORA: Yes, I can see --

 

           17                      MR. GATELLI: I don't think we've

 

           18              heard from the authorities yet about getting

 

           19              their audits done earlier.

 

           20                      MR. MINORA: I'm not sure.  I

 

           21              understood that there was some problems with

 

           22              the authorities and they are on a different

 

           23              fiscal year, so perhaps we can negotiate

 

           24              with them at best.

 

           25                      MR. GATELLI:  If you could do that I


 

 

                                                                      28

 

 

            1              would appreciate it.  Thank you.  And that's

 

            2              all I have.  Thank you.

 

            3                      MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else?  Mrs.

 

            4              Evans?

 

            5                      MS. EVANS: I would like to wish my

 

            6              mother a very happy birthday.  My mother is

 

            7              very important to me and I am her caretaker

 

            8              and she is a greater priority to me than any

 

            9              job or any elected office that I could ever

 

           10              seek.  You only have one mother and one

 

           11              father.  I have lost my father, who was my

 

           12              best friend, I am blessed to still have my

 

           13              mother.  And, mom, I love you.  That's it.

 

           14                      MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else?  I'm sorry,

 

           15              were you finished?

 

           16                      MS. EVANS: Oh yeah.  Thank you.

 

           17                      MS. FANUCCI: Nothing.  Well, maybe I

 

           18              should something -- maybe I should say

 

           19              something -- do you want to clear up this

 

           20              stuff now or do you want to do it later?  I

 

           21              don't want to take up the time, but they

 

           22              probably need to go home, so --

 

           23                      MR. MCGOFF: Fourth order.  Citizens'

 

           24              participation.  Fay Franus.

 

           25                      MS. GARVEY: Mr. McGoff, we need to


 

 

                                                                      29

 

 

            1              do Third Order.

 

            2                      MR. MCGOFF: Third Order, I'm sorry.

 

            3              Jumping ahead.  I'm sorry, Mrs. Franus.

 

            4                      MS. GARVEY: THIRD ORDER.  3-A. TAX

 

            5              COMPARISON REPORTS RECEIVED FROM THE SINGLE

 

            6              TAX OFFICE ON JANUARY 5, 2009.

 

            7                      MR. MCGOFF: Are there comments?  If

 

            8              not, received and filed? .

 

            9                      MS. GARVEY:  That's it for Third

 

           10              Order.

 

           11                      MR. MCGOFF:  Thank you.  Mrs.

 

           12              Franus.

 

           13                      MS. FRANUS: Fay Franus.  Well,

 

           14              there's not too much I can talk about right

 

           15              now, but here is my point, Mr. McGoff, why

 

           16              would you put in on the agenda if you were

 

           17              to take it off the agenda?  I mean, don't

 

           18              you think that you should have contacted the

 

           19              fellow council members about this?  I mean,

 

           20              Mrs. Fanucci mentioned about everybody

 

           21              getting hyper over something, I can

 

           22              understand what she is saying, but, you

 

           23              Mr. McGoff, caused all of this for yourself.

 

           24              I think what happened here is you wanted to

 

           25              pass this and when Sue Henry brought it on


 

 

                                                                      30

 

 

            1              the radio everyone was going crazy, and

 

            2              Steve Corbett and all of the negative

 

            3              response you figured I better not put this

 

            4              on.  I mean, how do you put something on the

 

            5              agenda and then turn around and take is off

 

            6              without consulting the other council

 

            7              members?

 

            8                      MR. MCGOFF: Do you want an answer?

 

            9                      MS. FRANUS:  Yes.

 

           10                      MR. MCGOFF: Well, sometimes you

 

           11              don't, that's why I'm just checking.  I was

 

           12              under the impression that we had agreed that

 

           13              this would go on the agenda, that it had --

 

           14              I had talked to other members of council,

 

           15              also, that when it was received from

 

           16              Attorney Minora, when the draft was

 

           17              received, an e-mail of the item was sent to

 

           18              everyone and --

 

           19                      MS. FRANUS:  But you never discussed

 

           20              it with them personally.

 

           21                      MR. MCGOFF: Yes, I did.

 

           22                      MS. FRANUS:  Well, Mrs. Gatelli said

 

           23              she never heard about and Mrs. Evans said

 

           24              she never talked to you about it.

 

           25                      MR. MCGOFF:  No, we had -- yes, we


 

 

                                                                      31

 

 

            1              had.

 

            2                      MS. FRANUS: No, we didn't.  McGoff,

 

            3              Mrs. Evans said she has never consulted

 

            4              about this at all.  Mrs. Gatelli said she

 

            5              had no input whatsoever about this.

 

            6                      MS. EVANS: About the county

 

            7              controller and about the city council

 

            8              raises.

 

            9                      MS. FRANUS: Right.

 

           10                      MS. EVANS:  But my concern was I

 

           11              know now Mrs. Gatelli didn't want it on the

 

           12              agenda, Mr. Courtright didn't want it on the

 

           13              agenda, and they voiced that, Mrs. Fanucci

 

           14              did, Mr. McGoff did, but it would seem then

 

           15              that they should have looked to the fifth

 

           16              council member for that opinion which would

 

           17              have told them then on Friday this would not

 

           18              go on the agenda, but that didn't happen.

 

           19                      MR. MCGOFF: At no time -- excuse me,

 

           20              at no time --

 

           21                      MS. FRANUS:  You say -- okay, hold

 

           22              my time.

 

           23                      MR. MCGOFF: I will hold her time.

 

           24              Please hold it.  At no time did anyone on

 

           25              council tell me in our discussions in caucus


 

 

                                                                      32

 

 

            1              that they did not want this to be

 

            2              considered.

 

            3                      MS. FRANUS:  I find that very, very

 

            4              hard to believe, Mr. McGoff.

 

            5                      MR. MCGOFF: Well, as hard it is to

 

            6              believe --

 

            7                      MS. GATELLI:  Excuse me, he is

 

            8              saying in caucus not --

 

            9                      MS. FRANUS:  Yes.

 

           10                      MS. GATELLI: Not after.

 

           11                      MS. FRANUS:  I understand that, but

 

           12              I can't even imagine Mrs. Evans in caucus

 

           13              saying she would agree to a raise for anyone

 

           14              since the firemen and policemen haven't

 

           15              gotten one in eight years.  There is no way

 

           16              you can ever tell me.  Mrs. Evans, did ever

 

           17              you ever agree to this in caucus?

 

           18                      MS. EVANS:  No.  What I said was I

 

           19              would not be voting for an increase for the

 

           20              mayor because the city unions had not

 

           21              received a pay increase in a close to eight

 

           22              years and how could you even look them in

 

           23              the eyes and at the same time propose a

 

           24              raise for someone else.

 

           25                      MS. FRANUS: Mr. McGoff, you really


 

 

                                                                      33

 

 

            1              caused a fire storm here.  I think before

 

            2              you put anything on the agenda anymore of

 

            3              such fire dynamics you should pick up a

 

            4              phone, not through an e-mail from Mrs.

 

            5              Garvey, pick up a phone and call these

 

            6              council members and speak with them and get

 

            7              their opinions.  Had you done that you would

 

            8              have saved many people a lot of grief

 

            9              tonight, and you get everybody in an uproar

 

           10              and now they are against these council

 

           11              people telling them don't vote for this one,

 

           12              don't vote for that one, because they are

 

           13              going to raise your taxes because of the pay

 

           14              raises when this isn't even true.  I mean,

 

           15              it's a disgrace what you put people through.

 

           16              So I think next time you do anything you

 

           17              better think twice.

 

           18                      You also said you would like this --

 

           19              it may come up later.  I hope it never comes

 

           20              up.  The economy is not going to change for

 

           21              years.  You said you are going to take it

 

           22              off the agenda and we could discuss it at

 

           23              another time.  We haven't had a pay raise in

 

           24              council in probably 20 years, so why all of

 

           25              a sudden?  All of a sudden the worst time in


 

 

                                                                      34

 

 

            1              the world you think about giving the people

 

            2              and council a raise and the controller.  I

 

            3              mean, something is wrong with your thinking.

 

            4              I mean, I don't even now you justify it.

 

            5              It's either stupidity or arrogance, I don't

 

            6              know which it is.

 

            7                      But, for your fellow council members

 

            8              not to know one thing that's going on, that

 

            9              doesn't speak too highly of your job as

 

           10              president of this council, and everything

 

           11              you do any more that appears on the agenda

 

           12              should be looked at, looked at, and looked

 

           13              at again and you should discuss things with

 

           14              your fellow members.

 

           15                      And how many times have you come

 

           16              here and Mrs. Evans or and maybe somebody,

 

           17              maybe Billy Courtright or somebody says they

 

           18              didn't hear anything about this until right

 

           19              before they came into council all because

 

           20              you didn't pick up a phone.  I'm very

 

           21              ashamed of you.

 

           22                      MR. MCGOFF: Sam Patilla.

 

           23                      MR. PATILLA: Sam Patilla, city

 

           24              resident, taxpayer and member of the

 

           25              Scranton/Lackawanna Taxpayers' Association.


 

 

                                                                      35

 

 

            1              We need to make up our minds.  This is being

 

            2              done because the mayor needs a raise or if

 

            3              you are doing it because the law says this

 

            4              must be passed before the next mayoral

 

            5              election or because some members want to

 

            6              give an unknown, untested person who might

 

            7              win the mayor's seat $90,000.  Not this

 

            8              time.

 

            9                      No longer will the police and fire

 

           10              unions be cast into the fire as a cause of

 

           11              this city's problems, economically or

 

           12              otherwise, especially considering the

 

           13              mistakes and failures of their immediate

 

           14              supervisors and members of the city's

 

           15              administration.  Not this time.

 

           16                      No longer will shampoo girls,

 

           17              department store cashiers, bartenders,

 

           18              landscapers, house painters have crony

 

           19              administration jobs created for them go

 

           20              without question before or police and fire

 

           21              personnel get a raise and/or contract.  Not

 

           22              this time.

 

           23                      No longer will the mantra of the

 

           24              elected appointed officials be what can the

 

           25              taxpayer, resident and voter do for me, but


 

 

                                                                      36

 

 

            1              what I can I as an elected appointed

 

            2              official do for the taxpayers, residents and

 

            3              voters of the City of Scranton.  Not this

 

            4              time.

 

            5                      No longer would the city council

 

            6              take two months off from work and be allowed

 

            7              to use that tired lame excuse, use it or

 

            8              lose it, disturb their responsibilities to

 

            9              the taxpayers and residents and voters of

 

           10              the City of the Scranton.  Not this time.

 

           11                      No longer will developers,

 

           12              solicitors and outside attorneys be used as

 

           13              a buffer between the city administration and

 

           14              the taxpayers.  Not this time.

 

           15                      No longer will audits required by

 

           16              law be allowed to go months on end without

 

           17              being completed and submitted in a timely

 

           18              fashion by all department heads, go without

 

           19              question.  Not this time.

 

           20                      No longer will the homes of the

 

           21              poor, our seniors and minorities be stolen

 

           22              from underneath them simply so a crony hacks

 

           23              can turn a buck and go unquestioned.  Not

 

           24              this time.

 

           25                      No longer will taxpayer-owned assets


 

 

                                                                      37

 

 

            1              be sold and the proceeds not placed into an

 

            2              actual public trust.  Not this time.

 

            3                      No long he will crony hacks be

 

            4              appointed to long-term positions on their

 

            5              authorities within the city, go without

 

            6              question.  Not this time.

 

            7                      For the word and voices of the

 

            8              people will not only reverberate throughout

 

            9              the corridors of this building, but also

 

           10              upon the very crony pay to play foundations

 

           11              that the Sewer Authority, Housing Authority,

 

           12              Parking Authority, DPW, OECD, PEL, and Parks

 

           13              and Recreation not expand.  Not this time.

 

           14                      And in closing, Mrs. Evans and

 

           15              Mr. Courtright, I would like for you to

 

           16              relay a message to Mr. Doherty and council

 

           17              persons Gatelli and Fanucci and to all of

 

           18              their crony appointments and crony hacks,

 

           19              tick-tock, tick-tock.  The clock is ticking.

 

           20                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Patilla.

 

           21              Andy Sbaraglia.

 

           22                      MR. SBARAGLIA: Andy Sbaraglia,

 

           23              citizen of Scranton and fellow Scrantonian.

 

           24              I said at this podium maybe two and a half

 

           25              years ago and I said the mayor's salary is


 

 

                                                                      38

 

 

            1              very willfully low, two and a half years

 

            2              ago.  You wait until the worse time in the

 

            3              economy to bring it up.  You are two and

 

            4              half years behind the times.  Sometimes I

 

            5              wonder where your thinking process is.

 

            6                      Okay, let me go with something

 

            7              that's more relevant.  The city is putting

 

            8              out and advertisement for an air filtration

 

            9              system it says for city hall, fire

 

           10              department, police department, and the

 

           11              firemen and public works as per the

 

           12              specifications.  Now, have any of yous --

 

           13              have any of you come across a study that

 

           14              says our air in here is bad or has it been

 

           15              bad?  But we are about to spend a lot of

 

           16              money to cure a problem that maybe doesn't

 

           17              exist.  I don't know.  As you know, election

 

           18              is coming up, whether this is another job

 

           19              to-- I don't know, to me it looks like it's

 

           20              one of these pay for play deals unless there

 

           21              is written documented telling her air

 

           22              quality is bad, but look where they are

 

           23              planning to do it.

 

           24                      Okay, let's look at the Department

 

           25              of Public Works.  Do you realize we don't


 

 

                                                                      39

 

 

            1              own the Department of Public Works?  It is

 

            2              up to the owner to put this filtration

 

            3              system in if it's so needed, but I doubt it.

 

            4              You know what?  They figured that when they

 

            5              designed this project they definitely

 

            6              realized that people work on vehicles in

 

            7              there.  They would not allow the quality of

 

            8              air to drop low enough to cause problems so,

 

            9              there must be in some kind of an air

 

           10              filtration system already in there to take

 

           11              away the carbon monoxide and so forth in

 

           12              these vehicles.

 

           13                      If not, then you wouldn't ask the

 

           14              question why isn't it so?  It is the

 

           15              architect's fault?  Should we look into the

 

           16              plans to see if it's the architects fault

 

           17              and then hold them accountable for some of

 

           18              these things?  But, no, we all just assume

 

           19              that when they put out a bid there is a

 

           20              reason for the bid usually, but this case I

 

           21              hope it's not political, especially if there

 

           22              is no study as to air quality.  That's the

 

           23              premise for any kind of deal with this.

 

           24                      If you are -- what about the police

 

           25              department, how old is that building?  Three


 

 

                                                                      40

 

 

            1              years, four years old?  You are telling me

 

            2              the quality of air has deteriorated so bad

 

            3              in that building?  Then I would say, let's

 

            4              go back at the architect again and see what

 

            5              kind of a filtration system he put into that

 

            6              building.

 

            7                      As you know, when you do a building

 

            8              you put an air circulating system in.  Well,

 

            9              maybe you are not familiar with it, you

 

           10              don't work in construction, but when I

 

           11              worked in construction they always had an

 

           12              air circulating system in there just to

 

           13              circulate the air.  Obviously, there must be

 

           14              one in the police department.  That's a

 

           15              brand new building, but if there isn't, then

 

           16              again, you have to go after the architect or

 

           17              ask questions why or where is?  How are they

 

           18              getting the assumption that the air is bad

 

           19              in these buildings.  And you know they

 

           20              didn't go to OECD because that's down there

 

           21              in another building, isn't it?

 

           22                      You didn't run down there and make

 

           23              an air test because then you would have

 

           24              stepped on somebody's toes, and you are not

 

           25              going to step on anybody's toes but the


 

 

                                                                      41

 

 

            1              taxpayers.  Since you have been up there

 

            2              that's all you have done is stepped on our

 

            3              toes.  You haven't looked at anything out

 

            4              further than your knows.  It doesn't stop

 

            5              here, it goes on.  You allow them to build

 

            6              all of these garages up, in the end it's

 

            7              going to come back to haunt us.  I just wish

 

            8              that we can change the laws down in

 

            9              Harrisburg that we could hold all of you's

 

           10              members monetarily responsible for your

 

           11              decisions.  It should be that way.  I mean,

 

           12              the Courts should/STHUD be able to say which

 

           13              is monetary and which is discretionary, it's

 

           14              just mistake that was made.

 

           15                      But, I look at what you have done,

 

           16              the attack on the old people at a part when

 

           17              we are actually in trouble, the whole --

 

           18              and it was in trouble.  Them lawyers knew

 

           19              that when these companies failed.  They knew

 

           20              that this country was being tanked out.  Why

 

           21              you didn't know, I don't know.  I don't know

 

           22              where your eyes and head were, but the

 

           23              warnings were all around us, but yet you

 

           24              went and you passed that.

 

           25                      Now, tax increases, maybe I don't


 

 

                                                                      42

 

 

            1              like them, but I can say some of them are

 

            2              necessary.  Well, I thank you.

 

            3                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you,

 

            4              Mr. Sbaraglia.  Ozzie Quinn.

 

            5                      MR. QUINN:  Ozzie Quinn, president

 

            6              of the Scranton Taxpayers' Association.  It

 

            7              makes me feel good when you say the there is

 

            8              is lack of communication amongst our elected

 

            9              officials.  My God.  Geez.  What a way to

 

           10              run a city.  You know, there is no doubt in

 

           11              my mind, you know, that was put on the

 

           12              agenda, that amending the Home Rule Charter

 

           13              for salaries Friday, it was on the agenda

 

           14              Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and now

 

           15              you are saying nobody knew about it, you

 

           16              took it off.  Well, I think you saw that

 

           17              crowd out front demonstrating and three of

 

           18              you changed your mind.

 

           19                      Now, when mayor Doherty come on

 

           20              board here in 2002 we were $30 million in

 

           21              debt.  Now, you people are really bold that

 

           22              you can now say that the mayor should get a

 

           23              race.  We are over $100 million in debt.

 

           24              Now, can you compare him with any mayor in

 

           25              Pennsylvania and say he is worth the mayor


 

 

                                                                      43

 

 

            1              in Allentown?  Come on.  He knew he was

 

            2              getting $50,000 and he knew this is on the

 

            3              agenda, and if he was a leader he would have

 

            4              told you to take it off the agenda, but he

 

            5              left it on the agenda.  Shame on him.

 

            6                      We seen the mayor make a jackass out

 

            7              of himself with the qualifications, we seen

 

            8              him continue to do this, we saw him make a

 

            9              jackass out of himself in regard to the

 

           10              state funding, not knowing that the state

 

           11              funding was frozen, and we see Mrs. Fanucci,

 

           12              who is the chairperson for the Community and

 

           13              Economic Development Office didn't know

 

           14              about it?

 

           15                      MS. FANUCCI: Did I tell you I didn't

 

           16              know about it?

 

           17                      MR. QUINN:  I imagine you didn't

 

           18              tell us.  We are the voters.  We are

 

           19              taxpayers.

 

           20                      MS. FANUCCI:  Did you ask me or are

 

           21              you making another assumption?

 

           22                      MR. QUINN: You should have made a

 

           23              report.

 

           24                      MS. FANUCCI: Ozzie, you are so good

 

           25              at this, but, as you say, everyone --


 

 

                                                                      44

 

 

            1                      MR. QUINN:  Shame on you.

 

            2                      MS. FANUCCI: You have no idea what

 

            3              you are talking about again, but you are

 

            4              good at that, so keep going.

 

            5                      MR. QUINN:  Shame on you.  I want to

 

            6              tell you something, when that bell rings at

 

            7              fire station and when that patrolman in that

 

            8              car gets that radio, and it says domestic

 

            9              problem, okay, their heart and their blood

 

           10              starts pumping?  You know, in seven years

 

           11              they get the same paychecks.  They don't

 

           12              have to look at the God darn paycheck, they

 

           13              know what they are getting.  The only thing

 

           14              they got to look at is maybe the stubs to

 

           15              see if they are getting taxed more.  Shame

 

           16              on you people to have the boldness to try to

 

           17              get a raise and then try to wiggle out of it

 

           18              by saying you didn't know anything about it

 

           19              or you didn't agree with it.  Three of you.

 

           20              You know who you are.

 

           21                      I'll tell you what, we are in

 

           22              serious problems here in Scranton,

 

           23              Pennsylvania.  Our debt is over 100 million

 

           24              dollars and I'll bet that the independent

 

           25              audit will prove me right and that's for the


 

 

                                                                      45

 

 

            1              principle only.  Now, I got to look at the

 

            2              big picture as president of the Taxpayers',

 

            3              the county is $222 million in debt and the

 

            4              school board is some $83 million -- or

 

            5              $44 million in debt.  We are done for with

 

            6              the statistics Mrs. Evans told you before

 

            7              about 30 percent elderly, 21 percent

 

            8              poverty, 7 percent unemployment and you

 

            9              people want to get a raise and you are

 

           10              saying it was for discussion?  Discussion.

 

           11              It was for introduction.  Shame on you

 

           12              people.

 

           13                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Quinn.

 

           14              Bill Jackowitz.

 

           15                      MR. JACKOWITZ: Bill Jackowitz, South

 

           16              Scranton resident and member of the

 

           17              Taxpayers' Association.  Also, a founder of

 

           18              the Legion of Doom.  We are doing pretty

 

           19              good these days.  Firefighters don't choose

 

           20              fires, police officers don't choose the

 

           21              crime, warfighters don't choose the wars.

 

           22              The orders are given or the alarms sounds

 

           23              they go.  On the other hand, politicians,

 

           24              who are public servants, make their own

 

           25              choices.  They create jobs, appoint friends


 

 

                                                                      46

 

 

            1              and family members with no experience or

 

            2              qualifications, raise their own salaries,

 

            3              cancel meetings or just do not show up

 

            4              expecting to be paid by the taxpayers.

 

            5              Remember, the government cannot give to

 

            6              anyone anything that it does not first take

 

            7              from someone else.

 

            8                      As far as the amending the mayor and

 

            9              city council and controller's salary, my

 

           10              hope is that you would reduce them.  With

 

           11              the amount of meetings that are missed, the

 

           12              fact that the City of Scranton has been

 

           13              distressed for 17 years, the fact that the

 

           14              fire department and police department have

 

           15              not gotten a raise in seven years going on

 

           16              eight years, it's a disgrace.  A total

 

           17              disgrace for a public servant, an elected

 

           18              public servant to ask for a money.

 

           19                      We have a school teacher, we have a

 

           20              school nurse, we have a retired school

 

           21              teacher, we have a business owner, and we

 

           22              have a state employee.  We have a

 

           23              businessman as an owner -- a business owner

 

           24              as the mayor of this city and you mean to

 

           25              tell me you need more money to live on while


 

 

                                                                      47

 

 

            1              the median income in this city is $32,000

 

            2              household?  Per capita income is $17,000 for

 

            3              citizens of this city.

 

            4                      You have embarrassed this city.

 

            5              This whole valley is laughing at Scranton

 

            6              City Council, and I'm going to tell you

 

            7              something, it's not because of the Legion on

 

            8              of Doom.  It's not.  It's because of the

 

            9              elected officials.  You know, some people

 

           10              have leadership qualities and some people

 

           11              don't.  Our last two past presidents and our

 

           12              mayor -- last two past presidents of city

 

           13              council have no leadership ability.  They

 

           14              show that every week.  When you allow

 

           15              council members to walk out while speakers

 

           16              are talking, certain speakers, when you

 

           17              allow people to eat and drink up there even

 

           18              though a sign on the door says no food or

 

           19              beverage allowed in here.

 

           20                      We have council rules, but the only

 

           21              time council rules apply is when it pertains

 

           22              to a speaker.  We have had people arrested.

 

           23              We have had people searched.  We have gone

 

           24              on and on and on and on.  We have had -- we

 

           25              just had Mayor Connors' son, Zachary,


 

 

                                                                      48

 

 

            1              appointed to a made-up job.  The job was

 

            2              made up in last month by Councilwoman

 

            3              Gatelli, Mayor Connors' son got the job with

 

            4              no qualifications.  Councilwoman Gatelli is

 

            5              quoted as saying, "Too much is made of

 

            6              qualifications.  Qualifications don't

 

            7              matter."

 

            8                      Well, you know something, I once

 

            9              stayed at a Holiday Inn Express so I'm going

 

           10              to apply for a school nurse position because

 

           11              qualifications do not matter.  That's why we

 

           12              have a police chief who got a week without

 

           13              pay, we have a fire chief who 92 percent of

 

           14              the firefighters have no confidence in, and

 

           15              we have a public safety director who was

 

           16              just reprimanded by the mayor and

 

           17              qualifications don't count?  We want to

 

           18              raise salaries so we can get better

 

           19              qualified people here?

 

           20                      You want to raise the mayor's

 

           21              salary, you tell that mayor that Bill

 

           22              Jackowitz said get rid of the distressed

 

           23              city status, get the contract for the fire

 

           24              and police signed and immediately and then

 

           25              Mr. McGoff, President McGoff, if you want to


 

 

                                                                      49

 

 

            1              give the mayor a raise go right ahead, but

 

            2              not until then.  Take a pay cut.  Stand up.

 

            3              Be a leader and take a pay cut or find

 

            4              yourself another job, but take a pay cut.

 

            5                      Leaders lead by example.  Set the

 

            6              example.  Give back $10,000 of that $12,500.

 

            7                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr.

 

            8              Jackowitz.  Jean Suetta.

 

            9                      MS. SUETTA: How you doing,

 

           10              everybody?  What an act I'm following.  I'm

 

           11              telling you.  Last Wednesday I was going up

 

           12              Greenridge Street, it was raining, you know,

 

           13              the glare on the street, blah, blah, blah,

 

           14              thank God I'm not a good -- a fast driver.

 

           15              I almost killed a person because they cannot

 

           16              walk on the Greenridge Street bridge, it's

 

           17              all ice and all snow.  Now, I get nervous,

 

           18              blah, blah, blah, and I called 911 and I

 

           19              told them about my situation.  She put me

 

           20              through to the police department and I

 

           21              talked to an officer at the desk and he told

 

           22              me it wasn't an emergency.  I said, "What

 

           23              did I have to do, kill somebody for it to be

 

           24              an emergency?"

 

           25                      Still as of today the bridge isn't


 

 

                                                                      50

 

 

            1              cleaned, but where I'm going with this, I

 

            2              don't know, I come down here tonight and the

 

            3              God Damn steps ain't even cleaned on city

 

            4              hall.  They are not even cleaned.  They are

 

            5              ice.

 

            6                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Don't curse.

 

            7                      MS. SUETTA: I didn't curse, Jiminy

 

            8              Crickekts is what I wanted to say, but, I

 

            9              mean, the steps aren't even clean at city

 

           10              hall.  How am I going to get a bridge

 

           11              cleaned if we can't clean the steps at city

 

           12              hall?  Anybody?  Anybody can jump in now,

 

           13              you know?  What?

 

           14                      MR. MCGOFF: I'm not responsible for

 

           15              cleaning them.

 

           16                      MR. COURTRIGHT: They clean the

 

           17              center only because it was difficult.

 

           18                      MS. SUETTA: You only use the center?

 

           19              You are going to have me cursing in Polish,

 

           20              Bill.  You know, and I'm glad you took that

 

           21              other thing off the agenda because our boys

 

           22              deserve a raise, police and firemen.  I want

 

           23              to know how to get the bridge cleaned?  Can

 

           24              you answer me?

 

           25                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I don't know what to


 

 

                                                                      51

 

 

            1              tell you.  I could call down and ask

 

            2              somebody.

 

            3                      MS. SUETTA: Call who?

 

            4                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I guess you would

 

            5              call Jeff Brazil.  You got as much clout as

 

            6              I do, Jean, probably more.

 

            7                      MS. SUETTA: If call and report an

 

            8              incident isn't the officer supposed to take

 

            9              care of the incident?

 

           10                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  They have no

 

           11              control.

 

           12                      MS. SUETTA: Listen to the tape, and

 

           13              I didn't even say the "F" word.  I was good.

 

           14                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  I have.

 

           15                      MS. SUETTA: Really, I'm getting

 

           16              close to saying it tonight.

 

           17                      MR. MCGOFF: No.

 

           18                      MS. SUETTA:  Nobody is responding to

 

           19              me up there.

 

           20                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Jean?

 

           21                      MS. SUETTA: What?

 

           22                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Let me say this to

 

           23              you, all right, before you yell at me, all

 

           24              right?

 

           25                      MS. SUETTA:  All right before --


 

 

                                                                      52

 

 

            1                      MR. COURTRIGHT: The officer has --

 

            2              he has nothing to do with cleaning that

 

            3              bridge.

 

            4                      MS. SUETTA: Can't he call somebody?

 

            5              Don't they have more clout than me?

 

            6                      MR. COURTRIGHT: No, they don't have

 

            7              more clout more than me, if you listen to

 

            8              your scanner, and I know you have one,

 

            9              right?  All the time they are saying the

 

           10              roads are clean.  This last time they made

 

           11              an announcement over the air, "DPW knows

 

           12              that the roads are bad.  All roads will be

 

           13              cleaned in an hour or two."

 

           14                      MS. SUETTA: I know.

 

           15                      MR. COURTRIGHT: So, no, they don't

 

           16              have anymore clout.

 

           17                      MS. SUETTA: I'm not talking about

 

           18              the roads.  I'm talking about the sidewalk

 

           19              that the people cannot walk on.  They are

 

           20              walking on the road.  Bill, how do you think

 

           21              I would feel I killed that person?

 

           22                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I don't disagree

 

           23              with you, Jean, but the police department

 

           24              isn't the place to go.  You have to go to

 

           25              Mr. Brazil.  He is in charge of --


 

 

                                                                      53

 

 

            1                      MS. SUETTA:  Give me his number.

 

            2                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I don't have it.

 

            3              I'll get it for you.  I'll get it for you.

 

            4              I will get you his number, how is that,

 

            5              okay?

 

            6                      MS. SUETTA:  Are you sure?

 

            7                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Yeah, I'm sure.

 

            8                      MS. SUETTA: I know you have my

 

            9              number.

 

           10                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Jeannie, would I lie

 

           11              to you?

 

           12                      MS. SUETTA: Yeah.  At least I broke

 

           13              the tension in here.

 

           14                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  I will get you the

 

           15              number, I promise.

 

           16                      MS. SUETTA: Because that bridge is

 

           17              that deep.

 

           18                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  It's all the

 

           19              bridges, Jean.  The Linden Street bridge is

 

           20              the same thing.  Lackawanna Avenue is the

 

           21              same thing.

 

           22                      MS. SUETTA: Is it DPW or is it

 

           23              PennDot?

 

           24                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  DPW does it.

 

           25                      MS. SUETTA:  It hasn't been done


 

 

                                                                      54

 

 

            1              since the kid was a minnow.

 

            2                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  I'm not going to

 

            3              win here so I'm not --

 

            4                      MS. SUETTA: No, you are not, not

 

            5              tonight, no.

 

            6                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I'll get you the

 

            7              number.  That's the best I can do for you.

 

            8                      MS. SUETTA: You know, that's just

 

            9              like Keen's Floral, they have all the

 

           10              parking in front, clean for their patrons,

 

           11              they have the side of the building, they

 

           12              don't clean their sidewalks.

 

           13                      MS. FANUCCI: Where is this?

 

           14                      MS. SUETTA:  Keen's Floral, and it's

 

           15              been how long since we the storms.

 

           16                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  We got the tanning

 

           17              place done for you last year, remember?

 

           18                      MS. SUETTA:  Oh, they are right up

 

           19              to it this year.

 

           20                      MR. COURTRIGHT: See, you don't say

 

           21              thanks, though.

 

           22                      MS. SUETTA: Yes, I did.  Oh, yeah.

 

           23              Keen's Floral don't do nothing, you know,

 

           24              they are supposed to be fined.  Get

 

           25              somebody-- pay somebody eight bucks an hour


 

 

                                                                      55

 

 

            1              to walk around and hand these fines out.

 

            2              You will get a lot of revenue in.  I mean, I

 

            3              watch kids walk on the street because they

 

            4              can't walk on the sidewalk going for a

 

            5              school bus.

 

            6                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I agree with you,

 

            7              Jean, I'll get you his number and send him a

 

            8              letter.  The bell is -- were' done.

 

            9                      MS. SUETTA:  Am I done?

 

           10                      MR. COURTRIGHT: You are done.

 

           11                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.  Bob Gavern.

 

           12                      MR. GAVERN:  Good evening, Council.

 

           13              Bob Gavern, city resident.  I came here to

 

           14              talk about the raise, but since it was taken

 

           15              off the table that's sort of kills what I

 

           16              came here for, but each one of you council

 

           17              members at one time or another said that the

 

           18              police and fire should have a contract that

 

           19              we have had it so long.  Now, stand up, keep

 

           20              in what you have said, tell the mayor you

 

           21              will not entertain any of his projects until

 

           22              he hammers out a contract that's fair to the

 

           23              city and the police and fire.  That's all

 

           24              I'm asking you to do.  Stand up and be

 

           25              accounted for a change.


 

 

                                                                      56

 

 

            1                      My last thing is Comcast.  We need

 

            2              more than one company in this city to give

 

            3              us TV, and the problem with Comcast is the

 

            4              elderly on fixed incomes can't afford it.

 

            5              Do something to help the elderly in this

 

            6              town, the taxpayers that pay your salaries.

 

            7              Thank you very much.

 

            8                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Gavern

 

            9              Stephanie Gawel.

 

           10                      MS. GAWEL: Hi.  Stephanie Gawel,

 

           11              citizen of Scranton.  I was coming in to

 

           12              speak about the raises, and obviously, again

 

           13              we have taken them off the agenda, and

 

           14              that's fine, but we truly can't do this

 

           15              until we do take care of our police and

 

           16              firemen.  I would ask that you all try to

 

           17              work on the mayor.  He needs to settle this.

 

           18              I know you know what needs to be done, but

 

           19              you need to really start pushing him.

 

           20                      I also want to know what happened

 

           21              with the grants?  I mean, we lost those

 

           22              grants.  It's a big headline in the paper.

 

           23                      MS. FANUCCI: Yeah, we didn't.  Would

 

           24              you like me to answer that now during your

 

           25              time?


 

 

                                                                      57

 

 

            1                      MS. GAWEL: Yeah.

 

            2                      MS. FANUCCI: Are you sure?

 

            3                      MS. GAWEL: Yeah.

 

            4                      MS. FANUCCI: Okay.  There was

 

            5              actually -- there was some mix-ups here.

 

            6              One of the -- the independent audit was

 

            7              scheduled by us, city council was in charge

 

            8              of hiring the person for the independent

 

            9              audit.  It is being stated in that we are

 

           10              being red flagged because the independent

 

           11              audit has not come through.  That is not the

 

           12              case.  There was not a red flag on our

 

           13              independent audit.  DCED and the

 

           14              administration and PEL have been sitting

 

           15              down weekly, and they are very aware that

 

           16              the independent audit is not in there, they

 

           17              did not sanction us for that, and that is a

 

           18              miss report, so that is not an issue, so

 

           19              that's number one.

 

           20                      The other project that we were

 

           21              supposedly red flagged on was the Connell

 

           22              Park project.  If you did look on the

 

           23              website, yes, we were red flagged on them.

 

           24              The problem was that it was just

 

           25              miscommunication.  The city did all of the


 

 

                                                                      58

 

 

            1              right --

 

            2                      MS. GAWEL: Okay.

 

            3                      MS. FANUCCI: In a timely fashion, it

 

            4              was -- it was -- the work was done, it was

 

            5              submitted in time for an extension, only

 

            6              because you can't work on Connell Park this

 

            7              time of year.  So, they did file an

 

            8              extension, that was granted.  When it got to

 

            9              the state it sat there and didn't come back

 

           10              in time, so that actually was not correct.

 

           11              That was actually a miscommunication.  The

 

           12              state -- so those red flags actually have

 

           13              been lifted.

 

           14                      MS. GAWEL:  Okay.

 

           15                      MS. FANUCCI: The other project was

 

           16              the project that we actually all have been

 

           17              aware of that is a problem.  Notification

 

           18              has been sent, it has been sent a few times

 

           19              stating that we actually were red flagged

 

           20              because of this project.  Nothing has

 

           21              stopped because of it so I was a little -- I

 

           22              actually was a little worried about the hype

 

           23              myself, because when you go on, I mean, I do

 

           24              work for the state.  We deal with all of the

 

           25              time, this is not a big deal.  Nobody is


 

 

                                                                      59

 

 

            1              suffering, there is no monies that are held

 

            2              up, nothing has been done.  In fact, it will

 

            3              probably be a week or two before this is

 

            4              straightened out, but it was a filing that

 

            5              was filed.  It was misfiled.  There was a

 

            6              form that was supposed to be done that was

 

            7              not done.  The audit was supposed to be done

 

            8              instead of the form, after $100,000 any

 

            9              project that's over $100,000 there's a

 

           10              certain -- there is an audit that has to be

 

           11              attached.  That was not done with it.

 

           12                      So it actually was just a miss -- it

 

           13              could be cleared up within weeks, so we

 

           14              really are really not suffering.  There is

 

           15              nothing in the city that's going to stop.

 

           16              Nothing has been done as far as like, you

 

           17              know, making sure projects are stopped and

 

           18              no funding.

 

           19                      MS. GAWEL: I would also -- I am

 

           20              under the impression part of the problem

 

           21              with the settling the contracts is PEL.  Can

 

           22              you guys start writing PEL?  Can you write

 

           23              the Governor and tell him to get PEL the

 

           24              heck out of here because they are killing

 

           25              us.  I mean, they are--  obviously, they are


 

 

                                                                      60

 

 

            1              not doing their job if it's 17 years later

 

            2              and we are still having the same issue, and

 

            3              maybe if we got PEL out of here and we could

 

            4              then finally settle these negotiations.

 

            5                      MS. FANUCCI: I could tell you that

 

            6              we talked about that before, about getting

 

            7              rid of PEL.  My fear and from I hear on the

 

            8              state level is they will just bring in

 

            9              another group and start from scratch, and

 

           10              that would be awful, so the only way to get

 

           11              rid of PEL is to actually be -- get out of

 

           12              distressed city.  In fact, Mr. Jackowitz was

 

           13              correct.  We need to get out of distressed

 

           14              city status so we don't have to deal with

 

           15              this any more.

 

           16                      MS. GAWEL: Yeah, but how are we

 

           17              going to do that if we keep doing pet

 

           18              projects for --

 

           19                      MS. FANUCCI: Well, that really has

 

           20              nothing to do with it.  That not part of it.

 

           21              I mean, the projects on it's own are not

 

           22              really part of what the Recovery Plan is, so

 

           23              that's actually not a, you know, a violation

 

           24              of the Recovery Plan what I'm trying to tell

 

           25              you.


 

 

                                                                      61

 

 

            1                      MS. GAWEL:  It's not -- I mean, all

 

            2              of those hires are not part of the --

 

            3              against --

 

            4                      MS. FANUCCI: You said the projects.

 

            5              The pet projects.  That is -- you are on a

 

            6              different issue.

 

            7                      MS. GAWEL: The fire and all of that,

 

            8              but that's what I'm saying.  Why doesn't

 

            9              call the governor and going, hey, Governor,

 

           10              like, PEL isn't doing their job because they

 

           11              are letting the mayor hire people that

 

           12              shouldn't be there at this point, people

 

           13              that were supposed to be gone over the

 

           14              Connors' administration and stuff.  You

 

           15              know, I mean, can council send a letter, you

 

           16              know, to the governor on our behalf stating

 

           17              something that that effect.

 

           18                      MS. FANUCCI: I would imagine we

 

           19              could send a letter to the governor, but you

 

           20              know what the governor is -- it will say

 

           21              that it's out of his hands --

 

           22                      MS. GAWEL: I'm going to say against

 

           23              PEL.

 

           24                      MS. FANUCCI:  PEL is actually an

 

           25              independent company supposedly from the


 

 

                                                                      62

 

 

            1              governor, so it would actually be to PEL

 

            2              that actually communication should go to.

 

            3              So we certainly can do that.

 

            4                      MS. GAWEL: Well, I would think, I

 

            5              mean, two things I have heard.  I mean, I

 

            6              have heard, you know, that the governor has

 

            7              quite a little temper so like if you send

 

            8              him a letter and he gets annoyed he might

 

            9              get annoyed enough at PEL to tell them to

 

           10              step in and do their job.

 

           11                      The other thing is I also have heard

 

           12              that the local democratic party isn't

 

           13              thrilled with the boy upstairs and maybe,

 

           14              you know, he won't get the favoritism he has

 

           15              been getting lately.  Thank you.

 

           16                      MR. MCGOFF:  Thank you, Mrs. Gawel.

 

           17              Les Spindler.

 

           18                      MR. SPINDLER: Les Spindler, city

 

           19              resident and taxpayer, homeowner.

 

           20              Mr. McGoff, you should be ashamed of

 

           21              yourself for even entertaining raises at

 

           22              this time.  The way the economy is in this

 

           23              country, our firefighters and policemen

 

           24              haven't had a raise in almost eight years.

 

           25              We are bailing out banks, we are bailing out


 

 

                                                                      63

 

 

            1              the auto industry and you want more money

 

            2              for cancelling more meetings than any other

 

            3              council before you were on there?  You

 

            4              should be ashamed of yourself.

 

            5                      And you said you compared to other

 

            6              cities, obviously, you didn't compare to

 

            7              Allentown.  Allentown city council, and the

 

            8              City of Allentown is bigger than ours, their

 

            9              city council makes approximately half of

 

           10              what you make.  So I have an idea how to get

 

           11              the mayor a raise, you take a pay cut down

 

           12              to the Allentown City Council meeting and

 

           13              there is the money for the mayor's raise.

 

           14              Consider that, Mr. McGoff.  No comment?

 

           15              What you take a $6,000 pay cut, Mr. McGoff,

 

           16              to give the mayor a raise?

 

           17                      MR. MCGOFF: No.

 

           18                      MR. SPINDLER: You said you compared

 

           19              it to Allentown.

 

           20                      MR. MCGOFF:  Do you want me to

 

           21              comment or, you know, because if I do

 

           22              comment then you yell at me for taking your

 

           23              time.

 

           24                      MR. SPINDLER:  You said you compared

 

           25              to other cities, obviously, you didn't


 

 

                                                                      64

 

 

            1              compare Allentown because their counsel

 

            2              makes half of what you make and they are a

 

            3              bigger city, and you should be ashamed of

 

            4              yourself even for entertaining that.

 

            5                      Moving on, oh, Mrs. Gatelli, I

 

            6              wanted to say something to her, but she

 

            7              walked out.  I'll say it anyway.  Mrs.

 

            8              Gatelli quoted last week as far as she could

 

            9              remember city council always recessed for

 

           10              August and December.  That's not true.  She

 

           11              must have only remember backed as far as

 

           12              when she is on council, because the two

 

           13              councils before her that I have spoken in

 

           14              front of never dismissed for December.  They

 

           15              might have dismissed for Christmas week, but

 

           16              that was it.

 

           17                      And the council before Mrs. Gatelli

 

           18              was on Mr. Courtright and Mrs. Evans will

 

           19              remember that they even worked the whole

 

           20              summer when the Hilton was in financial

 

           21              distress they worked all summer to bail out

 

           22              the Hilton, so this council has canceled

 

           23              more meetings than any other council before

 

           24              you, and you should take a pay cut and not a

 

           25              raise.


 

 

                                                                      65

 

 

            1                      Moving on, Mrs. Gatelli introduced a

 

            2              position of assistant zoning officer in the

 

            3              last meeting of the budget.  Attorney

 

            4              Minora, I have a question for you, is that

 

            5              legal to introduce something in the last

 

            6              reading?  Doesn't everything has to be read

 

            7              three times before it's passed?

 

            8                      MR. MINORA: The budget can be

 

            9              amended up until the time it's passes.

 

           10                      MR. SPINDLER:  So anything can be

 

           11              introduced up until the last minute?

 

           12                      MR. MINORA: I don't know how else to

 

           13              answer you other than items can be amended

 

           14              up until the budget is passed.

 

           15                      MR. SPINDLER:  Thank you.  I have a

 

           16              quote from that Doherty newsletter from last

 

           17              from you, Mrs. Gatelli.

 

           18                      MS. GATELLI: Don't believe what you

 

           19              read in there, Les.

 

           20                      MR. SPINDLER: Well, I'm going to ask

 

           21              you, "I don't know that qualifications

 

           22              necessarily make you a best person for the

 

           23              job."

 

           24                      Did you say that?

 

           25                      MS. GATELLI:  Would you like me to


 

 

                                                                      66

 

 

            1              explain or wait until motions?

 

            2                      MR. SPINDLER:  No.  I want a yes or

 

            3              no, did you say it?

 

            4                      MS. GATELLI: Not in that context.

 

            5                      MR. SPINDLER: What other context is

 

            6              there?

 

            7                      MS. GATELLI:  I'll tell you later.

 

            8                      MR. SPINDLER:  Anyway, if you just

 

            9              said that I'm torn because I don't know

 

           10              whether I should put my application in for

 

           11              brain surgeon at CMC or rocket science at

 

           12              NASA.  I'm not qualified for any of them,

 

           13              but what you said I should get the job.

 

           14                      Oh, I have a question, why was

 

           15              Scartelli plowing the DPW parking lot early

 

           16              Sunday morning?  Why couldn't our own DPW

 

           17              plow their own parking lot?

 

           18                      MS. GATELLI: You want that answer?

 

           19                      MR. SPINDLER: Yes.

 

           20                      MS. GATELLI: Because I believe we

 

           21              were under an emergency and they hired

 

           22              private contractors.

 

           23                      MR. SPINDLER: Three and a half

 

           24              inches of snow we were under an emergency?

 

           25              Wow.


 

 

                                                                      67

 

 

            1                      MS. GATELLI:  They hired a

 

            2              contractor.

 

            3                      MR. SPINDLER: God help us if we get

 

            4              a blizzard.  Something else, three of you

 

            5              passed a budget before seeing the audit and

 

            6              Stu Renda said they were blindsided.  How

 

            7              were they blindsided?  We knew that the

 

            8              audit was due in May.  People were talking

 

            9              about it since May.  How does he have the

 

           10              nerve to say we were blindsided?  I don't

 

           11              know what he is talking about.  And I don't

 

           12              know how you people could have passed the

 

           13              budget without seeing the audit.

 

           14              It's incomprehensibly.

 

           15                      Lastly, people constantly come up to

 

           16              me and say how terrible the quality of the

 

           17              sound is on CDTV, and I've spoken about it

 

           18              myself, I have to put my TV up to 100 just

 

           19              to hear what's going on there and other

 

           20              people have had the same sentiments to me,

 

           21              so I said in the past, Scranton Today ran

 

           22              this place, ran Channel 61 on a shoestring

 

           23              budget, did a much better job, we have a

 

           24              microphone up to a speaker here.  Great

 

           25              equipment.  I guess that's why nobody can


 

 

                                                                      68

 

 

            1              hear it on the television, and I think we

 

            2              should make changes and get people in here

 

            3              that know what we are doing.  Thank you.

 

            4                      THE COURT:  Peg Paris.

 

            5                      MS. PARIS:  Good evening, everyone,

 

            6              folks on council.  I hope all of you have

 

            7              had a happy holidays, and I'd like to before

 

            8              I go into what I would like to say to have

 

            9              the audience one more time give a round of

 

           10              applause to Mrs. Novembrino who is a true

 

           11              patriot.  (Audience members applaud.)

 

           12                      Members of council, my friends and

 

           13              neighbors are all here, not because we are

 

           14              against something, it's what we are for.  We

 

           15              are for what I refer to always as

 

           16              fundamental fairness.  It has to be that

 

           17              way.  It can't be all of these privileges

 

           18              for certain few at the expense of all of the

 

           19              rest of us.  At election time signs are put

 

           20              on residential lawns and homes for democrat

 

           21              or republican candidates, and after the

 

           22              election the signs for the candidates are

 

           23              removed.  Unfortunately, all over this town

 

           24              signs on many more lawns and homes remain

 

           25              and these signs say "For Sale."


 

 

                                                                      69

 

 

            1                      So when they are lost to the

 

            2              taxpayers that have to leave these homes, we

 

            3              have to pick up where they leave off.  There

 

            4              is no income taxes coming from those homes.

 

            5              The rest of us have to some way they will

 

            6              find somehow to help make us, bring up taxes

 

            7              to pay for those taxes that are lost.

 

            8                      Many of these homes are owned by

 

            9              residents who can no longer maintain it and

 

           10              who are in grave danger of foreclosure.

 

           11              These families simply can't afford the

 

           12              rising cost of fuel, mortgage payments,

 

           13              maintenance, food and insurance, and

 

           14              everything else.  How do we get out of that

 

           15              distressed -- how do we get out of this

 

           16              distressed situation that we are in if we

 

           17              continue to think about giving people

 

           18              enormous raises.

 

           19                      Now council wants to ask for pay

 

           20              raises.  The entire country is in a terrible

 

           21              financial turmoil and you are requesting pay

 

           22              raises or thinking about it.  Three members

 

           23              of council, Mrs. Gatelli, Mr. McGoff, Ms.

 

           24              Fanucci, are predictably going to vote for

 

           25              this pay raise because they usually, almost


 

 

                                                                      70

 

 

            1              always, vote in the self-serving agendas

 

            2              that they are presented with, never giving

 

            3              any consideration to the common sense

 

            4              budgets that are often proposed by Ms. Janet

 

            5              Evans and giving raises for higher taxes,

 

            6              pay raises, and consultation fees, always to

 

            7              benefit themselves.

 

            8                      Members of Council, I ask you most

 

            9              humbly do you really need a raise?  This is

 

           10              the people's money.  We are the bank, you

 

           11              are the employees, and I believe that the

 

           12              bank must and should have an important say

 

           13              in this matter and that you listen carefully

 

           14              to what we have to say.  Money is tight in

 

           15              the Scranton area, and for a city still very

 

           16              distressed, all of you have other jobs that

 

           17              I'm sure provide good incomes for those of

 

           18              you, and you live comfortably.  Many of us

 

           19              in this city do not.  I suggest that you

 

           20              forget about the raise, this very untimely

 

           21              request.  I don't think you need it.  Make

 

           22              due with what you have like the rest of us

 

           23              have to do.

 

           24                      If you pursue these raises, the

 

           25              person who will be up for election this year


 

 

                                                                      71

 

 

            1              will, I guarantee you, have a very hard time

 

            2              convincing my neighbors, these wonderful

 

            3              people, that they are working for them, and

 

            4              if the firemen and policemen ask for a

 

            5              raise, I ask you this, will you give it to

 

            6              them?  Thank you.

 

            7                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mrs. Paris.

 

            8              Marie Schumacher.

 

            9                      MS. SCHUMACHER: Marie Schumacher,

 

           10              city resident and member of the Taxpayers'

 

           11              Association.  I'm going to pick up where I

 

           12              left off last week.  At the December 2

 

           13              meeting I noted that the Impanema Gill had a

 

           14              federal tax lien imposed and asked whether

 

           15              the $40,000 loan to them would be recalled.

 

           16              Is there an answer available?

 

           17                      Over your extended December

 

           18              vacation, Rejuvenescence was also in the

 

           19              paper with a tax lien.  What impact will

 

           20              this have on their loan?  Yanni's Bistro

 

           21              doesn't answer their phone and it appears

 

           22              that the business has closed.  Has there

 

           23              $36,000 loan been repaid?

 

           24                      Now, I would like clarification on

 

           25              why the administrative code wasn't followed


 

 

                                                                      72

 

 

            1              in the hiring of the zoning officer?

 

            2              Section 445-10 under zoning officer

 

            3              appointment says:  "The zoning officer shall

 

            4              appointed by the mayor.  Any full-time

 

            5              zoning officer appointed after the adoption

 

            6              of this chapter, shall require confirmation

 

            7              by the city council."

 

            8                      So, I would like an answer on why

 

            9              that did not happen.

 

           10                      Regarding Boscov's, on the eighth

 

           11              the sales figures for December retail were

 

           12              well-advertised.  They were not healthy, but

 

           13              since Boscov's is a privately held company

 

           14              they don't have to report their sales, but

 

           15              since they owe us $3 million, I would like

 

           16              to know whether we are going to get regular

 

           17              reports on how their sales stack up starting

 

           18              with December '08 compared to '07 so we know

 

           19              whether or not to have a good warm feeling

 

           20              that are loans are going to be repaid or

 

           21              whether we are going to have to eat that

 

           22              money.

 

           23                      Now, just for a minute on pay

 

           24              scales, there is a website called pay scale.

 

           25              It's an on-line leader in compensation that


 

 

                                                                      73

 

 

            1              has been featured on a major television

 

            2              networks and in newspapers across the

 

            3              country.  As of 8 January the typical salary

 

            4              for city mayor in the United States ranged

 

            5              from $37,751 to $74,647 with an average of

 

            6              $62,000.  When the distressed city status is

 

            7              removed, the firefighters and police have a

 

            8              negotiated contract and executed contract

 

            9              and a percent of our population living below

 

           10              the poverty line is less than 10 percent,

 

           11              might be a better time to increase

 

           12              compensation.  Better yet, the mayor's

 

           13              salary should remain at the present level

 

           14              until and unless the wage tax is lowered.

 

           15                      While I am unable to quote the

 

           16              figure provided by Mrs. Gatelli during the

 

           17              2009 budget discussions because minutes

 

           18              haven't been posted for over a month, I

 

           19              believe it was about $40,000 in the budget

 

           20              for the solicitation of the programs to

 

           21              increase the number of registered rental

 

           22              properties, and I would like to know when

 

           23              that solicitation will be advertised.

 

           24                      I would also like to know what steps

 

           25              Mrs. Gatelli has taken to advance her


 

 

                                                                      74

 

 

            1              proposal for a Home Rule Charter review.

 

            2                      I would also like to request city

 

            3              council set a caucus to receive public

 

            4              comments on the proposed stimulus projects

 

            5              before they are submitted to the NEPA

 

            6              Alliance.

 

            7                      New subject, back in 2002

 

            8              Mr. Doherty announced his intention to buy

 

            9              three portable ice skating rinks for $8,000

 

           10              with money left over from $15,000 the parks

 

           11              department received through the state.  The

 

           12              park's director, Mr. Scopelliti, said each

 

           13              43 by 75 foot ring would accommodate about

 

           14              32 skaters.  The tentative plan was to place

 

           15              the rinks in crowded parks, Tripp Park and

 

           16              Hartman Field.  My question, where are these

 

           17              rinks in 2009 and why aren't they being

 

           18              used?

 

           19                      Now, Mr. Doherty is recorded in the

 

           20              Times-Tribune as dismissing favoritism in

 

           21              the hiring of Zachary Connors, and defended

 

           22              the hiring as consistent with past

 

           23              administrative practices.  I would dearly

 

           24              love to see the list of all unqualified

 

           25              employees hired at the top of the salary


 

 

                                                                      75

 

 

            1              range, perhaps, you could ask the mayor to

 

            2              provide this list during motions tonight.

 

            3                      And then I'll close by noting that

 

            4              the room access by the door to the left of

 

            5              the dais is now being utilized by ECTV.

 

            6              When Scranton Today was carrying council

 

            7              meetings, they were evicted from that room

 

            8              as it was needed for HVAC equipment.

 

            9              Strange how times change.  Now I know for

 

           10              sure I'm back in Scranton where everything

 

           11              depends on who you know.

 

           12                      MR. MCGOFF:  Thank you, Mrs.

 

           13              Schumacher.  Joe Talimini.

 

           14                      MR. TALIMINI: Good evening, Council,

 

           15              Joe Talimini, City of Scranton.  First of

 

           16              all, I'd like to wish a happy birthday to

 

           17              Mrs. Tomko, she is very gracious and a very

 

           18              nice lady, and I wish her many, many more.

 

           19                      MS. EVANS: Thank you.

 

           20                      MS. TALIMINI: I find it ludicrous

 

           21              that you people even make comparisons to the

 

           22              City of Allentown.  They are twice as large

 

           23              as we are, far more progressive than we are,

 

           24              they have a Home Rule Charter as well, but

 

           25              never occurred to anybody, and especially to


 

 

                                                                      76

 

 

            1              the mayor, obviously, that Allentown has

 

            2              something Scranton is lacking terribly, they

 

            3              have commerce and they have industry.  So,

 

            4              make all of the comparisons you want about

 

            5              who is worth what, but until we get commerce

 

            6              and industry in this town, there is nobody

 

            7              worth a dime in this city.  Not a one of

 

            8              you.

 

            9                      Now, you talk about a possibility of

 

           10              a raise, okay, this is tabled.  Are you

 

           11              willing to give back for every meeting you

 

           12              miss or for every vacation time you take,

 

           13              and I don't want to hear the stories about,

 

           14              oh, this such a difficult job.  If it's so

 

           15              damn difficult why do you want it?

 

           16                      MS. FANUCCI: Oh, you don't?

 

           17                      MR. TALIMINI: I just don't

 

           18              understand it.  You know, don't tell me how

 

           19              great, you know, and how dedicated you are

 

           20              to the public.  Mr. McGoff, you know, you

 

           21              insult my intelligence when you make a

 

           22              comment about responsibility.  Do you know

 

           23              what responsibility means?  Your

 

           24              responsibility is to the taxpayers of this

 

           25              city, and you people had better learn that,


 

 

                                                                      77

 

 

            1              because election time is coming up and I

 

            2              guarantee you there is it song that goes

 

            3              around that says, "Another one bites the

 

            4              dust," and I'm hopeful that quite a few of

 

            5              will bite the dust in the very near future

 

            6              because you not doing with the job you are

 

            7              paid for -- excuse me, underpaid for.

 

            8                      MR. MCGOFF: Underpaid.

 

            9                      MR. TALIMINI: Now, I'll agree with

 

           10              you, the mayor's salary is not up the par,

 

           11              but the mayor is far from being up to par as

 

           12              well.  My question to you is a very simple

 

           13              thing, politics is a very interesting game.

 

           14              You are all involved or you wouldn't be

 

           15              sitting up there.  We have candidates up

 

           16              there, we have candidates in the audience.

 

           17              If this job is so bad and it pays so low why

 

           18              in the hell would you want it?  It makes no

 

           19              sense at all.  I'd just love an explanation

 

           20              for that?

 

           21                      MS. FANUCCI: I'd love you to give

 

           22              you an explanation.

 

           23                      MR. TALIMINI: Oh, I'd love to hear

 

           24              your version.

 

           25                      MS. FANUCCI: I'd love to tell you.


 

 

                                                                      78

 

 

            1              I'd love to tell you.  If you seriously

 

            2              think that we get in this business because

 

            3              for whatever reason besides the fact we are

 

            4              trying to better the city, whether it's my

 

            5              version, whether it's Mrs. Evans' version --

 

            6                      MR. TALIMINI: Oh, please.

 

            7                      MS. FANUCCI: All right.  Is that

 

            8              Mrs. Evans' version?  But if you think that

 

            9              it's different for any of us for our reasons

 

           10              for being here you obviously you have no

 

           11              idea what you are speaking about.  You can

 

           12              come here week after week, we do not -- do

 

           13              you think that any of us would do it for the

 

           14              fun of it?  I mean, really you have to be

 

           15              kidding mea?

 

           16                      MR. TALIMINI: Lady --

 

           17                      MS. FANUCCI: Wait.  Wait.  Did you

 

           18              ask me a question?

 

           19                      MR. TALIMINI: You are on my time.

 

           20                      MS. FANUCCI: Did you ask me a

 

           21              question?  Oh, so, you don't want an answer.

 

           22                      MR. TALIMINI: No, not from you.

 

           23                      MS. FANUCCI: Of course you don't.

 

           24                      MR. TALIMINI: Not from you

 

           25              especially, please.


 

 

                                                                      79

 

 

            1                      MS. FANUCCI:  You want to just keep

 

            2              spewing all your propaganda.

 

            3                      MR. TALIMINI: Well, let me tell you

 

            4              something --

 

            5                      MS. FANUCCI:  Enjoy.  Enjoy.  You

 

            6              are doing well.

 

            7                      MR. TALIMINI: Shut up.  It's my

 

            8              turn.

 

            9                      MS. FANUCCI: That's right.  You are

 

           10              doing well?

 

           11                      MR. TALIMINI: Now, enough of you.

 

           12              Every one of you is up there because you are

 

           13              elected.  Most of you want to be reelected.

 

           14                      MS. FANUCCI: Exactly.

 

           15                      MR. TALIMINI: Don't give me this bit

 

           16              that you are so dedicated to this city,

 

           17              because you are certainly not.  If you were

 

           18              you would be taking care of the citizens of

 

           19              this city and not your own mayor and your

 

           20              own agendas.  Now, there is another little

 

           21              aspect it here --

 

           22                      MS. FANUCCI: Wrong again.  You are

 

           23              wrong again.  I just want to state for the

 

           24              record you are wrong again, but you are used

 

           25              to that and you are good at it, so continue,


 

 

                                                                      80

 

 

            1              please.

 

            2                      MR. TALIMINI: Okay, mouth, get back

 

            3              to your hairdressing and your Irish

 

            4              attitude--

 

            5                      MR. MCGOFF: Excuse me --

 

            6                      MS. FANUCCI: --and to all of you

 

            7              people out there who are hairdressers and

 

            8              actually stay-at-home mom and actually have

 

            9              other jobs that I guess besides journalism

 

           10              you are not allowed to run for office.  This

 

           11              isn't your city.  It's not your city.  You

 

           12              have no place to be here.  It's only for

 

           13              people like him, so please --

 

           14                      MR. MCGOFF: Please.

 

           15                      MS. FANUCCI: -- don't run.  Please,

 

           16              don't tell me --

 

           17                      MR. MCGOFF:  I understand.

 

           18              Mr. Talimini is out of order.

 

           19                      MR. TALIMINI: Don't say Mr.

 

           20              Talimimi, say Mrs. Fanucci.

 

           21                      MR. MCGOFF:  You were out of order.

 

           22                      MR. TALIMINI: I was not out of

 

           23              order.  You are out of order, sir.  Now,

 

           24              let's get back to this thing.  If this job

 

           25              is so bad and it's so lousy why do you want


 

 

                                                                      81

 

 

            1              to run again and why are these people here

 

            2              who want to run for this office in this

 

            3              city?  This dedication nonsense, no.  There

 

            4              has got to be an awful lot of aside.

 

            5              Holding office, obviously, has many fringe

 

            6              benefits that the public doesn't know about

 

            7              it or you sure in hell wouldn't be up there,

 

            8              and most of you don't deserve to be up

 

            9              there.

 

           10                      MR. MCGOFF:  Charlie Newcomb.

 

           11                      MR. NEWCOMB: Good evening, Council.

 

           12              I just would like to speak on a few things.

 

           13              I also am very glad that the raises were

 

           14              taken off the agenda and I hope that they

 

           15              are not put on because the country is in

 

           16              serious trouble and I believe everybody

 

           17              knows a circumstances of the taxpayers and

 

           18              the citizens of this city.  I would just

 

           19              like to talk about a few different things.

 

           20              Also, in the mayor's budget, I believe,

 

           21              there was supposed to be a $10,000, correct

 

           22              me if I'm wrong with these two people, but I

 

           23              think a $10,000 increase in the salary and I

 

           24              believe it was Mr. Hayes and was it Mrs.

 

           25              Moran or who it was?


 

 

                                                                      82

 

 

            1                      MS. FANUCCI: No.

 

            2                      MR. NEWCOMB: Wasn't there a $10,000

 

            3              raise that you wanted to give?

 

            4                      MS. GATELLI: It didn't pass.

 

            5                      MR. NEWCOMB: I know that, but, I

 

            6              mean, those were the two positions I mean,

 

            7              right?

 

            8                      MS. FANUCCI: Yeah.

 

            9                      MR. NEWCOMB: Well, that's what I was

 

           10              going to say, just like I'm glad that those

 

           11              weren't given, but I would like to make

 

           12              something clear.  I know it was the past

 

           13              council, but if you remember, and I had a

 

           14              conversation on the phone with a few of you

 

           15              council people, the chief of police was

 

           16              given a $10,000 raise -- oh, 13, I'm sorry,

 

           17              and it was the fire chief, too.  That's

 

           18              right, I'm sorry, but what we did, when I

 

           19              mean "we" is the people what a lot didn't

 

           20              realize is that for every retired chief of

 

           21              police and firemen if they got, I just use

 

           22              ten, if we -- they would get half of the

 

           23              raise.  So these -- I use these things as

 

           24              stupid things that we do, meaning we as

 

           25              people running businesses in the city, so


 

 

                                                                      83

 

 

            1              for every year that goes by that Mr. Elliott

 

            2              and I believe it's Mr. Davis got the

 

            3              increase in their pay, every retired fire

 

            4              chief that is it alive today and every

 

            5              retired police chief is getting half.  So,

 

            6              if they got ten you gave everybody five, so

 

            7              add that up what that's going to cost off

 

            8              the next, you know, hopefully these

 

            9              gentlemen will live a long time, just think

 

           10              how much that would cost us for two raises.

 

           11                      MS. GATELLI:  Charlie, I just have a

 

           12              question, if the police and fire get a new

 

           13              contract and they get a raise do all of the

 

           14              retired police and firemen get a raise, too?

 

           15                      MR. NEWCOMB: I believe they get

 

           16              50 percent.  They would get half of any

 

           17              increases later on down the road.  That's

 

           18              the way I think it works.  I could be wrong

 

           19              but --

 

           20                      MS. GATELLI: Thank you.

 

           21                      MR. NEWCOMB: -- I believe they would

 

           22              get 50 percent if it goes down the road.

 

           23                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Based on when they

 

           24              were hired, I think, right?

 

           25                      MR. NEWCOMB: It goes back to their


 

 

                                                                      84

 

 

            1              years, I'm sure it does.  Like, after a

 

            2              certain year when they get hired their

 

            3              health care doesn't go with them, but hired

 

            4              through a certain year their health care

 

            5              goes with them and their spouses, I believe,

 

            6              when they retire.

 

            7                      And just for another knowledge is

 

            8              that I know I hear a lot of talk about the

 

            9              mayor, you know, what $50,000, I don't know

 

           10              what my opinion if that is --  in todays'

 

           11              day and age a lot of people I'm sure would

 

           12              be happy to make $50,000 with the economy,

 

           13              but here is what we also have to look at

 

           14              what's happened in the city, and I think

 

           15              it's a terrible thing.  I don't know the

 

           16              gentleman from Adam from eve, so this is not

 

           17              a personal attack, but we had a position of

 

           18              our business administrator, which

 

           19              Mr. Krushefski when he left his salary was

 

           20              $85,000.  Mr. Renda had a job in the city

 

           21              that was making I believe in the low 30's,

 

           22              now he makes $85,000 and what Mr. -- the

 

           23              other gentleman's salary was.  Does it make

 

           24              sense that we pay our business administrator

 

           25              $35,000 more than the mayor who should be


 

 

                                                                      85

 

 

            1              quote/unquote whoever the mayor is the CEO

 

            2              of the city?  So, if anybody thinks of

 

            3              raising a mayor's salary, what I think

 

            4              should be done is adjusting our business

 

            5              administrator's salary, because I'm sure he

 

            6              doesn't have as many job duties as the mayor

 

            7              doesn't answer to everybody, that's an

 

            8              appointed position, as a matter of fact, you

 

            9              don't run for business administrator, even

 

           10              if you reduced his salary by 20,000 he would

 

           11              still be making 65,000 which is more than

 

           12              anybody in this city makes now of the

 

           13              administration, the mayor's administration.

 

           14              I believe the fire chief and the police

 

           15              chief are close to that, but even if you

 

           16              reschedule it, that would bring the mayor's

 

           17              salary to 70, bottom line is if you

 

           18              restructured those salaries it's not costing

 

           19              the taxpayers a dollar more than it does

 

           20              now.

 

           21                      But, these police and firemen in

 

           22              this city, and what Mr. Courtright said

 

           23              about the Teamster's unions taking pay cuts,

 

           24              these men and woman could never, ever make

 

           25              up, that's why we are losing them left and


 

 

                                                                      86

 

 

            1              right, could never make up for what they

 

            2              lost in this years.  No matter what their

 

            3              raise they took a pay cut that nobody should

 

            4              be asked to take, so I say before anything

 

            5              goes on the table about more raises or

 

            6              anything else, or raise for the mayor, think

 

            7              of the people that go to work every day and,

 

            8              unfortunately, as we seen some of them do

 

            9              lose their life in the line of duty, I

 

           10              believe that they are more important and

 

           11              should be getting a raise, I know there is a

 

           12              lot of union headaches and the mayor I think

 

           13              is a person -- he is a union buster, but I

 

           14              will tell you what, a gentleman sitting in

 

           15              an office making $85,000 a year does not

 

           16              have to worry about going through a domestic

 

           17              and not coming home.  Thank you.

 

           18                      MR. MCGOFF:  Thank you, Mr. Newcomb.

 

           19              Brett McCloe, did want to speak?

 

           20                      MR. DIBILEO: Good evening, City

 

           21              Council.  Gary Dibileo from Scranton.  I

 

           22              jumped ahead of Brett.  I have to pick up my

 

           23              daughter.  I wanted to briefly comment on

 

           24              the pay raises that was going to be

 

           25              introduced this evening, and first let me


 

 

                                                                      87

 

 

            1              say that I'm very happy that it has been

 

            2              taken off the agenda, but I must say that I

 

            3              think it's highly irresponsible to have that

 

            4              even be considered.  I'm sure you know,

 

            5              possibly you don't, that we are in the midst

 

            6              of a global economic crisis, and families

 

            7              and businesses and cities and counties and

 

            8              states are making serious cost cutting

 

            9              measures, but apparently this administration

 

           10              hasn't become aware of the situation with

 

           11              the economy because of some of the $10,000

 

           12              raises that have been mentioned, newly

 

           13              created jobs that have been put in place

 

           14              over the last few years, and then apparently

 

           15              the majority of the council hasn't gotten

 

           16              that message either because the legislation

 

           17              was being considered.

 

           18                      And I just wanted to say that I'm

 

           19              not here to say that the jobs aren't worthy

 

           20              of some additional money, but what I'm here

 

           21              to say is that people are struggling and now

 

           22              is not the right time for a distressed city

 

           23              to be considering given an 80 percent raise

 

           24              to the mayor in a 60 percent raise to city

 

           25              council, and I don't know what percent the


 

 

                                                                      88

 

 

            1              other position was supposed to be.  I do

 

            2              understand that Mrs. Novembrino knew nothing

 

            3              about the raise, so she wasn't apparently

 

            4              familiar with where that came from, but I

 

            5              just want to say that I'm glad it's off the

 

            6              agenda, and please in the future until

 

            7              things turn around, and Lord knows when that

 

            8              might be, please keep it off the agenda.

 

            9              Thank you very much.

 

           10                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. DiBileo.

 

           11                      MR. MCCLOE: Good evening.  My name

 

           12              is Brett McCloe, Scranton taxpayer.  I

 

           13              wasn't going to actually speak this evening,

 

           14              and actually I didn't speak most of last

 

           15              year.  I preferred to stay home and throw

 

           16              dinner rolls at the TV and yell at you guys

 

           17              from the other side, one of the things that

 

           18              struck me is that there is a new word that

 

           19              came into my head, I'm trying to sum

 

           20              everything up here and everything I have

 

           21              heard in the one word, and the word is

 

           22              ignorance.  There is no such word as it, and

 

           23              it sounds like a little bit like ignorance

 

           24              so it's not, so I'm not calling anybody

 

           25              ignorant, ignorance.  That means -- ignorant


 

 

                                                                      89

 

 

            1              means when you have lack of knowledge or

 

            2              ability, ignorance in my mind means you have

 

            3              full knowledge, you have the ability, you

 

            4              have the wherewithal to do something, but

 

            5              yet you ignore it, and that word just kept

 

            6              on sticking in my head and I tried in the

 

            7              Webster dictionary to find out if there was

 

            8              such a word as ignorance.  You are the

 

            9              English teacher, is there a word?

 

           10                      MS. EVANS: I really don't know.  I'm

 

           11              learning from you tonight, Mr. McCloe.

 

           12                      MR. MCCLOE: Well, it just came into

 

           13              my head.  Well, a lot of the legislation and

 

           14              everything that is being put forward or

 

           15              suggested shows a certain amount of

 

           16              ignorance, ignoring the fact of the

 

           17              20 percent poverty level which, in fact,

 

           18              many of the single mothers in this city are

 

           19              suffering from this 20 percent poverty

 

           20              level.  A lot of this poverty level comes

 

           21              from an ideology of progress at any cost.

 

           22                      I mean, I have even heard a council

 

           23              member say to a speaker, "You have a job,

 

           24              you pay your bills, I don't see what your

 

           25              problem is."


 

 

                                                                      90

 

 

            1                      That cost is 20 percent poverty

 

            2              levels.  That idea, that ideology causes

 

            3              that.  So when I'm hearing a little bit

 

            4              about the mayor getting a raise and

 

            5              everybody is talking about Allentown and

 

            6              those things, yes, the mayor over there gets

 

            7              paid quite a bit, but we have quite a bit of

 

            8              a debt that probably Allentown, even

 

            9              Philadelphia might not have.

 

           10                      When I go to work at my one job, I

 

           11              have two jobs because you have to anymore,

 

           12              at my one job I get a chance to see a lot of

 

           13              people, people who are new to the city and

 

           14              they come in and they look at our buildings,

 

           15              and I love showing off different things in

 

           16              our architectural heritage, but the

 

           17              conversations quickly turns into, "Well,

 

           18              what's the economy like?"

 

           19                      Woah.  Woah.  I'm sorry, I can't get

 

           20              on the bandwagon like everybody else and,

 

           21              oh, it's great, we are going to tap dance

 

           22              around a few things and -- no.  The 500 Of

 

           23              Lackawanna Avenue that looks nice.  Yes.

 

           24              Yes, but they will be probably be putting a

 

           25              lot of shops in there where the people who


 

 

                                                                      91

 

 

            1              actually sell the goods cannot afford to buy

 

            2              the goods that they are selling.

 

            3                      This has to change.  I don't know

 

            4              how it's going to.  You know?  Well, you

 

            5              guys seem to be doing so well?  Well, I say,

 

            6              that's what I call municipal welfare.  We

 

            7              don't have the money to do the things, we

 

            8              get that from the state or federal.  Thanks.

 

            9              I mean, it looks good.  It looks great.  I

 

           10              don't know, citizens' concerns are not hype

 

           11              when it comes to giving away money, when

 

           12              it's not earned.

 

           13                      I don't know what else I can say,

 

           14              but this word just keeps on sticking in my

 

           15              head, ignorance.  Thank you.

 

           16                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. McCloe.

 

           17              Liz Hubbard.

 

           18                      MS. HUBBARD: Good evening, Council,

 

           19              Liz Hubbard, Scranton resident, taxpayer.

 

           20              You know, I spent the whole entire day out

 

           21              searching for ruby slippers because I wanted

 

           22              to come in here tonight and click my heels

 

           23              and just fly out of the Land of Oz when I

 

           24              heard about these raises, so I'm very glad

 

           25              to see that you have tabled it.


 

 

                                                                      92

 

 

            1                      Last week I asked about the parking

 

            2              fees, did you find anything out on that,

 

            3              Judy?

 

            4                      MS. GATELLI: I got a list that Kay

 

            5              had gotten for me, but it's really not what

 

            6              I wanted, so I'm going to ask her to get me

 

            7              something for -- these are just invoices,

 

            8              but it doesn't say they were paid.

 

            9                      MR. HUBBARD: On the Forum there was

 

           10              a lawsuit that had been filed with -- or the

 

           11              city was suing them or something.

 

           12                      MS. GATELLI:  Yes.  Kay wasn't able

 

           13              to get that for me.  She got this packet and

 

           14              that's not included, so she is going to get

 

           15              that, you know, try to get that for me, but

 

           16              these are all of the invoices and, yes, the

 

           17              Forum is here.  They are sent a bill.

 

           18                      MR. HUBBARD: Do they pay?

 

           19                      MS. GATELLI:  I don't know.  She

 

           20              obtained the unpaid invoices.

 

           21                      MR. HUBBARD: I mean, we could

 

           22              probably use the money.  What about the

 

           23              University, what did you find out about

 

           24              them?

 

           25                      MS. GATELLI:  The University I don't


 

 

                                                                      93

 

 

            1              see that on here at all.

 

            2                      MR. HUBBARD: Well, they should be

 

            3              paying.

 

            4                      MS. GATELLI: All the hospitals are

 

            5              on here.

 

            6                      MR. HUBBARD: If they are charging

 

            7              they should be paying.

 

            8                      MS. GATELLI:  Genova House, the

 

            9              Forum is $4,755.  That's what they owe.

 

           10                      MR. HUBBARD: Well, last I heard it

 

           11              was $68,000 that the city was suing for.  I

 

           12              wonder if the city ever got it.

 

           13                      MS. GATELLI:  Maybe.  Their bill is

 

           14              $4,755 a year.

 

           15                      MR. HUBBARD: Okay.  I heard

 

           16              something on the news tonight about the

 

           17              Connell building and how the cost of all

 

           18              that renovation is going to be public and

 

           19              private, kind of evenly split, what's going

 

           20              to happen when the federal dollars stop

 

           21              flowing into the state so the state can pass

 

           22              them onto these developers who really don't

 

           23              seem to want to put any of their own money

 

           24              into the project, you know, the federal

 

           25              government in bad shape and it's not going


 

 

                                                                      94

 

 

            1              to get any better for a long-term time.

 

            2              Sooner or later all of these frivolous

 

            3              expenditures for pie in the sky pork are

 

            4              going to dry up then what's going to happen

 

            5              to these projects that are started or in the

 

            6              planning stage?  You know, I just would be

 

            7              interested in anybody's comment on that.

 

            8                      And talking about executive

 

            9              salaries, I see in the morning paper that

 

           10              the executives at the Mohegan Sun from the

 

           11              CEO down to the managers are all taking a

 

           12              pay cut in light of the recession that we

 

           13              are in.  So maybe it wouldn't hurt some

 

           14              other people to take pay cuts.  I guess that

 

           15              was all.

 

           16                      And it came up last week about cell

 

           17              phones, I think instead of cell phones being

 

           18              a citywide ban it should be a statewide.

 

           19              Other states have it, and it should be.

 

           20              They are very dangerous.  I mean, I'm so

 

           21              confused trying to -- I pull over.  I can't

 

           22              even deal with dialing it while I'm driving.

 

           23                      MS. GATELLI:  There was a teacher in

 

           24              our school that was recently in an accident

 

           25              and she was testing on her telephone.


 

 

                                                                      95

 

 

            1                      MR. HUBBARD: Oh, well, I wouldn't

 

            2              know how to text.

 

            3                      MS. GATELLI: It broke her wrist, so

 

            4              it is dangerous.

 

            5                      MS. HUBBARD: Okay.  I guess that was

 

            6              all I had.  I guess that was all the notes I

 

            7              had.  Thank you.

 

            8                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Hubbard.

 

            9              Daniel Hubbard?

 

           10                      MS. HUBBARD: He went home to take

 

           11              care of his father so I could be here.

 

           12              David Bergerhoff.

 

           13                      MR. BERGERHOFF: How is everybody

 

           14              doing?  Like they said, I'm David

 

           15              Bergerhoff. I didn't want to speak here

 

           16              tonight like a lot of people, we don't

 

           17              necessarily want to be in the public eye,

 

           18              unfortunately, I'm compelled to and

 

           19              apparently it's my job.  I don't know if any

 

           20              of you realized, it's all our jobs to be

 

           21              here.  I thought it was our right, maybe a

 

           22              privilege, possibly, you know, even our

 

           23              duty, but not our job as Mrs. Fanucci would

 

           24              have you believe.  I don't realize it was

 

           25              our job.  I mean, none of us are getting


 

 

                                                                      96

 

 

            1              paid by this city and I make a motion right

 

            2              now that we continue to receive no money.  I

 

            3              hope everybody would second that.

 

            4                      As I said, I'm David Bergerhoff, and

 

            5              I did come here prepared to speak about the

 

            6              raise, but being a good student of politics

 

            7              I knew what we could expect, so I have

 

            8              another speech ready.  I'm a Scranton

 

            9              resident.  With the exception of a few

 

           10              years, I have lived in Scranton for the

 

           11              better part of 35 years of my life.  I

 

           12              currently reside in the home of my

 

           13              grandmother, and I choose to do so because I

 

           14              wanted my son to grow up where I did.  I

 

           15              have fond memories of small adventures with

 

           16              friends at the Viewmont Mall or downtown for

 

           17              lunch.  We played baseball and basketball in

 

           18              the parks and streets.  We were large in

 

           19              number and small statutory.  We traveled in

 

           20              parks without parents in packs without

 

           21              parental supervision, and we were safe and

 

           22              we were always home for dinner.

 

           23                      The Scranton I speak of no longer

 

           24              exists.  Like many cities, it has lot the

 

           25              secure neighbor of the environment we as


 

 

                                                                      97

 

 

            1              parents knew as children.  No longer do I

 

            2              see large groups of children playing in the

 

            3              streets or even at our smaller parks.  Short

 

            4              of little league and our organized events,

 

            5              you may see some of the bigger kids, but

 

            6              where is the independence we once had as

 

            7              children?  We did not only leave our houses

 

            8              when we were scheduled to, we left because

 

            9              we were allowed and excepted to.  Hell, our

 

           10              parents didn't want us that.

 

           11                      That is why I'm here today.  The

 

           12              first few months I took ownership of the

 

           13              home I had running disputes, battles even

 

           14              with the DPW and Scranton Sewer Authority,

 

           15              apparently, I'm not the only one.  I

 

           16              addressed my concerns at city hall and the

 

           17              treatment I received was abhorrent.  When I

 

           18              advised one individual she works for the

 

           19              public, I was partially surprised and even

 

           20              corrected.  Her attitude and response was

 

           21              atrocious, but after watching several city

 

           22              council meetings, Googling, Scranton,

 

           23              talking on radio shows and watching the news

 

           24              networks, it become apparent she was just

 

           25              echoing the sentiments of the mayor and


 

 

                                                                      98

 

 

            1              others in the position of power.

 

            2                      I cannot believe how this council

 

            3              takes every statement of criticism as an

 

            4              opportunity to verbally attack citizens

 

            5              raising the point.  That's directed towards

 

            6              someone up there.

 

            7                      As the late US Senator Margaret

 

            8              Chase Smith said, "My creed is that public

 

            9              service must be more than doing a job

 

           10              sufficiently and honest.  It must be a

 

           11              complete dedication to the people and to the

 

           12              nation with full recognition that every

 

           13              human being is entitled courtesy and

 

           14              consideration.  That constructive criticism

 

           15              is not only to be expected, but sought.

 

           16              That smears are not only to be expected, but

 

           17              fought, and that honor is to be earned not

 

           18              bought."

 

           19                      You as council and we as citizens

 

           20              have an obligation to work together to

 

           21              return the things of the past that are worth

 

           22              returning to, and to correct and improve our

 

           23              only city and the things that wish as goals

 

           24              for our children, not to dispute and

 

           25              disregard the will of the people.


 

 

                                                                      99

 

 

            1                      As Thomas Jefferson said, "If once

 

            2              the people become inattentive to public

 

            3              affairs, you and I and Congress and

 

            4              Assemblies, judges and governors, shall

 

            5              becomes wolves.  Experience has shown that

 

            6              even under the best forms much government

 

            7              those entrusted with power have in time by

 

            8              slow operations perversed and deteriorated."

 

            9                      And finally he was quoted in saying,

 

           10              "Be polite to all, but intimate with few."

 

           11                      I would suggest you all take that

 

           12              into consideration as well as the other

 

           13              statements I have made.  They should all

 

           14              reflect the minimum of what is to be

 

           15              reflected, no, demanded of our elected

 

           16              servants, perhaps if this were the case we,

 

           17              as citizens, would respect our officials.

 

           18                      Moreover, if this officials would

 

           19              work to promote the common good and not

 

           20              their own selfish desires, we would not be

 

           21              in this position today.  It is time to

 

           22              return the power to the people and that can

 

           23              only be done when those who are elected to

 

           24              serve the people actually serve the people.

 

           25                      In conclusion, I would like to quote


 

 

                                                                     100

 

 

            1              Senator Smith one time, "Moral cowardice

 

            2              that keeps us from speaking our minds is as

 

            3              dangerous to this country as irresponsible

 

            4              talk.  The right way is not always the

 

            5              popular and easy way.  Standing for right

 

            6              when it is unpopular is a true test of moral

 

            7              character."

 

            8                      And finally, if those of you on

 

            9              Council and all others currently in power

 

           10              whom believe they are special and above

 

           11              those they swore to serve, I want to remind

 

           12              you, I want to quote Daniel 2:19 to 2:22,

 

           13              "Praise be to the name of God for ever and

 

           14              ever.  Wisdom and power are his.  He changes

 

           15              times and seasons, he demotes his kings and

 

           16              raises others.  He gives wisdom to the wise

 

           17              and knowledge to the discerning."

 

           18                      I would suggest before we would ever

 

           19              have considered raises we would consider

 

           20              raising the bar of our politicians here in

 

           21              Scranton.  Moreover, I would like to address

 

           22              Ms. Gatelli even though she is not here and

 

           23              the statement that you need to be rich to

 

           24              run for mayor, I think she is confusing that

 

           25              withe the fact that people question why a


 

 

                                                                     101

 

 

            1              mayor with $7 million is looking to get a

 

            2              $50,000 a year job.  A lot of us look at

 

            3              public service as a calling, not a career,

 

            4              so that would be my response to a $50,000

 

            5              opportunity.  Thank you.

 

            6                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you,

 

            7              Mr. Bergerhoff.  Jim Stucker.

 

            8                      MR. STUCKER:  She tried to run ahead

 

            9              of me.  Okay, I talked to a guy this morning

 

           10              on the phone, I don't know who he was.  He

 

           11              said he had something to do with tax forms

 

           12              to be mailed out.  I talked to guy he says

 

           13              Courtright is supposed to have something to

 

           14              do with that, asked me to be a mailman and

 

           15              passing them out to people, tax forms.

 

           16                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I didn't get you

 

           17              there, Jim.  I was supposed to have

 

           18              something to do with what, passing out tax

 

           19              forms?

 

           20                      MR. STUCKER: Yeah.  Yeah.  I was

 

           21              supposed to be a mailman or something and

 

           22              pass them house to house.

 

           23                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  You need a tax

 

           24              form?

 

           25                      MR. STUCKER:  No.  They told me to


 

 

                                                                     102

 

 

            1              pass them out to people's houses, some guy

 

            2              told me.

 

            3                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Oh, you were going

 

            4              to pass them out?

 

            5                      MR. STUCKER: Yes.

 

            6                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  I don't have any

 

            7              tax forms for you to pass out, Jim, I don't

 

            8              know what he is saying, Buddy.

 

            9                      MR. STUCKER: And he said I was

 

           10              supposed to get a scooter from you.  Yeah,

 

           11              that's what the guy said.

 

           12                      MR. COURTRIGHT: The scooter is gone,

 

           13              Jim.  No more scooter, Buddy.  You can't --

 

           14                      MR. STUCKER: He told me -- I don't

 

           15              know who the guy was, he called me this

 

           16              morning and says I'm supposed to be riding

 

           17              the scooter and taking out mail forms,

 

           18              application forms to be a mailman.

 

           19                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I think he was

 

           20              teasing you, Jim, I don't think you will be

 

           21              passing out any forms on a scooter.

 

           22                      MR. STUCKER: Okay.  I went by

 

           23              Wendy's, I was talking to a guy from the

 

           24              bar, the lady in the bar by the fire

 

           25              station, they are having problems down there


 

 

                                                                     103

 

 

            1              at the school.  They can't -- people can't

 

            2              get out on account of the school buses

 

            3              parked alongside of them, and the buses

 

            4              won't move and there is other people that

 

            5              want to get out and they can't with the

 

            6              kids.  They have to back up to get to go

 

            7              ahead, that school down there.

 

            8                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Okay, Jim.  We'll

 

            9              look into that for you, okay?

 

           10                      MR. STUCKER: Okay, what about that

 

           11              house on Moosic Street, that red house

 

           12              across from McGinty's, are they going to

 

           13              tear that town?

 

           14                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  You know what, Jim,

 

           15              you are right about that.  The police were

 

           16              there, I think that's on the list to be torn

 

           17              down.  It is bad.  You are right.  That one

 

           18              you are right about.

 

           19                      MR. STUCKER: And I have the name of

 

           20              the guy at the bar, he told me to give it to

 

           21              you.

 

           22                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Give it to Sue, she

 

           23              will give it to me.  Who is it, Herbie?

 

           24                      MR. STUCKER: No.  So this guy's name

 

           25              is Herbie, he works there.  He is the boss.


 

 

                                                                     104

 

 

            1                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I know who you mean

 

            2              now, Jim.  I didn't understand you at the

 

            3              last meeting.  I know who he is.

 

            4                      MR. STUCKER: Right next to the fire

 

            5              station.

 

            6                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I was thinking the

 

            7              fire station -- you're talking about the one

 

            8              near Prep.

 

            9                      MR. STUCKER: Yeah.

 

           10                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Right.  I got you

 

           11              now.

 

           12                      MR. STUCKER: Next door to Wendy's.

 

           13                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Right.

 

           14                      MR. STUCKER:  I was there tonight so

 

           15              Herbie gave me the name of the bar.

 

           16                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Jim.  Pedro

 

           17              Gonzalez.

 

           18                      MR. STUCKER:  What about the

 

           19              skateboards again?  The skateboards again.

 

           20              They are out in the wintertime running out

 

           21              the middle of the street with them.

 

           22                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Downtown here, Jim?

 

           23              We'll tell with the police about it.

 

           24                      MR. STUCKER: Yeah. They're riding up

 

           25              and down again.  I seen them the other day.


 

 

                                                                     105

 

 

            1                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Jim.

 

            2                      MR. STUCKER: There will be a lot of

 

            3              wrecks.  Are you going to see about those

 

            4              cell phones like Carbondale?

 

            5                      MS. GATELLI:  We are working on it.

 

            6                      MR. MCGOFF: We'll look into it.

 

            7              Thank you.

 

            8                      MR. GONZALEZ: Greetings, Council,

 

            9              and all in attendance.  My name is Pedro

 

           10              Gonzalez, South Side resident and taxpayer.

 

           11              As usual, I am here to give thanks for past

 

           12              events and announce future events.  I have a

 

           13              couple of flyers here for something that's

 

           14              up and coming, I'll leave these here for

 

           15              council, but I would like to give thanks to

 

           16              all who anticipated in the Three King's

 

           17              event, Three King's festival.  It was a

 

           18              tremendous success.  LIFE, Latino's Inspired

 

           19              For Empowerment, a nonprofit organization

 

           20              who is dedicated to the preservation of the

 

           21              Latino heritage.  I would like to thank all

 

           22              community leaders, organizations and people

 

           23              who came together January 2, 2009, at the

 

           24              senior citizen's center on Jackson Street in

 

           25              the West Side of Scranton and made The Three


 

 

                                                                     106

 

 

            1              King's festival possible.  We are able to

 

            2              give 32 children a better Christmas,

 

            3              presents, and feed 70 people for free.

 

            4                      We would like to thank the

 

            5              Pennsylvania National Guard, the Northeast

 

            6              Pennsylvania United Neighborhood Centers,

 

            7              the store downtown, Outrageous, the Scranton

 

            8              University, the Abington Lion's Club, the

 

            9              Craftsman Club, the Cancer Institute, TCMC

 

           10              Medical College, the Red Cross, the Latin

 

           11              Cultural Diversity Center, the Everhart

 

           12              Museum, and this one is going to be a tough

 

           13              one, it's a Spanish Church, La Gracia

 

           14              Mushedo Manada (phonetic.)  WNEP 16, the

 

           15              Times-Tribune, the Times Leader, the

 

           16              Abington Journal and Lajos Latina, who are

 

           17              out and were present for that event.  Thank

 

           18              you all so, so much, we God bless you all.

 

           19                      And for future events we are part of

 

           20              the MLK Commission, as some of you already

 

           21              know.  Martin Luther King's birthday is

 

           22              coming up this coming weekend.  January 17

 

           23              through the 19, the MLK Commission is adding

 

           24              a series of events through the entire city.

 

           25              I left flyers there for the press if they


 

 

                                                                     107

 

 

            1              are interested in checking out the events,

 

            2              but all three days from Saturday until

 

            3              Monday there will be events throughout the

 

            4              entire city, educational events, funpacked

 

            5              events, a lot of events that will include a

 

            6              lot of education for the kids, food,

 

            7              entertainment, drinks, not that kind of

 

            8              drink though, but juice and cakes and hot

 

            9              chocolate, things to that effect, all free

 

           10              for the entire community.

 

           11                      So, we urge all to come on out and

 

           12              embrace what Martin Luther King stood for,

 

           13              equality among men, and especially with

 

           14              these hard times, again, this is a free

 

           15              event sponsored by the MLK Commission and

 

           16              the people of this city.  We would

 

           17              appreciate the support of the people and I

 

           18              guarantee you, you will have a lot of fun

 

           19              and you will learn something and you will

 

           20              get to know your neighbors a lot better.

 

           21                      As always, thank you for letting me

 

           22              express.  Myself name is Pedro Gonzalez.

 

           23              God bless you all.  I do have flyers here

 

           24              for everybody who is interested in finding

 

           25              out what is going on all three days.  Once


 

 

                                                                     108

 

 

            1              again, I wish everybody a good year and I

 

            2              hope everybody everyone had a great

 

            3              Christmas and holiday.  Thank you and God

 

            4              bless you all.

 

            5                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Gonzalez.

 

            6              Lee Morgan.

 

            7                      MR. MORGAN: Good evening, Council.

 

            8              It's been rather a long night.  The first

 

            9              thing I have here is I'd like to make a

 

           10              brief comment on Dunmore, and I think that

 

           11              maybe you should follow their example and

 

           12              hopefully they won't be conned into going

 

           13              into distress status because I really think,

 

           14              as I said at this podium for more than a

 

           15              decade, I think our only true solution is to

 

           16              file bankruptcy because we are wasting our

 

           17              time.  This city is just were falling

 

           18              further and further into poverty and you can

 

           19              see that by the agenda today on raises, and

 

           20              there is more than just me who feels that

 

           21              this city has been mismanaged, and I think

 

           22              that it should all come home to you today.

 

           23                      The other thing I have is, you know,

 

           24              I really appreciate Mrs. Peg Paris coming

 

           25              here today.  She has always come forward


 

 

                                                                     109

 

 

            1              when the city, in my opinion, needed her to

 

            2              come forward and I really appreciate her

 

            3              coming here today and speaking probably in a

 

            4              manner that council is not really used to

 

            5              hearing, in a very soft spoken and

 

            6              respectful manner, and in my opinion, you

 

            7              know, very strong comments that nobody can

 

            8              take as being argumentative in any context

 

            9              whatsoever because they were all the truth,

 

           10              and I really appreciate her coming here

 

           11              today.

 

           12                      The other person I would like to

 

           13              talk to, as you know, we watch proclamations

 

           14              being given by council, and a lot of people

 

           15              in this city are invisible, we don't know

 

           16              the good deeds they do, and I would just

 

           17              like to say that, you know, I had the

 

           18              opportunity to meet an elderly woman from

 

           19              Grenridge.  Her name is Annie Young.  She is

 

           20              working at -- volunteer, she is not working.

 

           21              She is volunteering at the Lackawanna County

 

           22              Prison for over 35 years going in there and

 

           23              working, and not just the women's unit

 

           24              because there is male and female units

 

           25              there, you know, and she goes there and


 

 

                                                                     110

 

 

            1              teaches religious classes and she goes there

 

            2              and gives people gifts at Christmas and

 

            3              Easter and she is basically there any time

 

            4              the prison calls her to come forward and

 

            5              maybe they are having trouble with somebody

 

            6              that needs somebody to talk to you and, you

 

            7              know, that maybe somebody on this council

 

            8              should try to find this woman and maybe this

 

            9              a person that we should really say that we

 

           10              appreciate the invisible job that she does.

 

           11                      Now, I assume, I don't know how hold

 

           12              she is, I'd assume she is maybe 70's, maybe

 

           13              more, I don't know, but I can just say that

 

           14              she is somebody we should really notice

 

           15              here, and I was impressed because, you know,

 

           16              I didn't know that she was out there and

 

           17              finally I had the opportunity to meet this

 

           18              woman and I just have to say that she is

 

           19              very religious and she is committed to the

 

           20              things she does, and you have to respect

 

           21              that no matter what you think.

 

           22                      MS. GATELLI:  Mr. Morgan, just for

 

           23              the record, you might be able to tell Jeremy

 

           24              if you can find out her name maybe she can

 

           25              be a Northeast Woman.


 

 

                                                                     111

 

 

            1                      MR. MORGAN: Well, that would be good

 

            2              thing.

 

            3                      MS. GATELLI: That's a good

 

            4              possibility.

 

            5                      MR. MORGAN: She belongs there.  I

 

            6              really do think that.  And as far as Comcast

 

            7              is concerned, I mean, we all -- I want to

 

            8              say that we all want a contract for the fire

 

            9              and police, we all want that.  That's

 

           10              something that we all want.  That's

 

           11              something that.  Like I have said from the

 

           12              podium here many times, I think somebody

 

           13              needs to really present this argument to the

 

           14              mayor, and it really shouldn't be an

 

           15              argument.  We are wasting a lot of money and

 

           16              I just hope that somebody could sit down

 

           17              with these individuals because I think they

 

           18              only want what's just, and I wouldn't want

 

           19              to work for that long without a raise, and

 

           20              in my opinion, my opinion only, I feel they

 

           21              have been mistreated by this city

 

           22              administration, but that's only by opinion.

 

           23                      But, on the Comcast issue, you know,

 

           24              we need to come up with a package, and I'm

 

           25              sure it's going to come before council, we


 

 

                                                                     112

 

 

            1              need to come up with a package that costs

 

            2              maybe ten dollars a month for seniors and

 

            3              for the disadvantaged, because with this

 

            4              franchise Comcast has locked in -- a

 

            5              locked-in customer base, and it's not like

 

            6              any other cable company is going to come in

 

            7              here and try to push them out, I don't see

 

            8              that really happening because I don't see

 

            9              people investing that kind of money to build

 

           10              an infrastructure, so somebody has to speak

 

           11              for the people who have no voice, and like

 

           12              many people who have come here and said, we

 

           13              are in tough economic times and, yes, the

 

           14              city is going to get a fee for this

 

           15              franchise and they are going to receive

 

           16              payments, but, you know, maybe it's time to

 

           17              look at seniors.  I mean, you know, I had an

 

           18              opportunity to sit when 61 was being

 

           19              discussed with the panel for Comcast, and I

 

           20              just think that a $10 package would be

 

           21              extremely suitable that had local channels

 

           22              and a couple of other channels like PCN and

 

           23              the some of the other educational channels,

 

           24              and maybe like, I don't know, some

 

           25              children's entertainment and I think maybe,


 

 

                                                                     113

 

 

            1              Mr. McGoff, you should bring that up.

 

            2                      MR. MCGOFF:  Thank you, Mr. Morgan.

 

            3                      MR. MORGAN: Yes, sir.

 

            4                      MS. EVANS: Mr. Morgan, just one

 

            5              thing I wanted to add about that, because I

 

            6              do agree with what you are saying, the city

 

            7              receives a 5 percent franchise fee from

 

            8              Comcast, that is the maximum amount by law

 

            9              that can be received.  The city, however,

 

           10              could opt to take less, a 1 percent or

 

           11              2 percent franchise the fee, but the point

 

           12              of this statement is bottom line, the

 

           13              greater the percentage of franchise fee that

 

           14              a municipality receives, the greater the

 

           15              rates that are paid drives up the cost of

 

           16              the rates, so I just wanted you to

 

           17              understand that as well, what we are looking

 

           18              at.

 

           19                      MR. MORGAN: Can I say one thing?

 

           20              It's very brief, when I sat there Comcast,

 

           21              their representatives said that they would

 

           22              be willing to entertain a package like this,

 

           23              and I'm just saying that if you gentlemen,

 

           24              ladies and gentlemen that are here on

 

           25              council, would try to present something


 

 

                                                                     114

 

 

            1              maybe we could help some people here.

 

            2                      MS. EVANS: Well, we have asked them

 

            3              to come in and speak with us.

 

            4                      MR. MORGAN: Thank you.

 

            5                      MS. GATELLI:  And I believe Mrs.

 

            6              Evans, that we did send a letter to them

 

            7              about seniors and packets for disadvantaged

 

            8              people and the reply was not in the

 

            9              positive, unfortunately.  I myself am

 

           10              investigating Direct TV because I have had

 

           11              it, and I'll say that out loud.  I'm not

 

           12              happy with Comcast at all and the prices.

 

           13              It's ridiculous.

 

           14                      MR. MCGOFF: Any other speakers?

 

           15                      MR. GERVASI: Good evening, city

 

           16              council.  My name is Dave Gervasi, I'm a

 

           17              proud firefighter in the City of Scranton.

 

           18              Tonight I'd like to talk a little bit about

 

           19              fairness.  Number one, I am glad you took

 

           20              that off the agenda, but, Mr. McGoff, I have

 

           21              a few questions on some of the comments you

 

           22              made.  Once again, you were very capable of

 

           23              eloquently diffusing a bad situation, you

 

           24              did it quite well again tonight, but a few

 

           25              things that you said I was like questioned


 

 

                                                                     115

 

 

            1              on it.  First you said that -- you said that

 

            2              you had Attorney Minora do comparables with

 

            3              mayors and councils across the state in

 

            4              comparable cities; is that accurate?

 

            5                      MR. MCGOFF: Yes.

 

            6                      MS. GATELLI:  Well, I don't know if

 

            7              you checked Mr. Minora's numbers, but

 

            8              $90,000 is way over the average of a mayor's

 

            9              salary.  I have the comparables because we

 

           10              do comparables for our operations and --

 

           11                      MR. MCGOFF: I understand, and I'm

 

           12              not saying -- I didn't say that they were

 

           13              averages, I just said it was looked at as

 

           14              other cities and numbered -- an arbitrary

 

           15              number was --

 

           16                      MR. GERVASI:  Well, I just assure

 

           17              you factually they are not.  These numbers

 

           18              were very high.  That's all.

 

           19                      MR. MCGOFF:  I thought so, too, but

 

           20              that was fine.

 

           21                      MR. GERVASI:  And when you are

 

           22              talking about comparables, and I understand

 

           23              what you are saying, you know, it's only

 

           24              fair you do comparables and you try to bring

 

           25              different situations up, you know, payroll


 

 

                                                                     116

 

 

            1              up to par with the comparable cities, I just

 

            2              want to make another accurate statement that

 

            3              the firefighters in the City of Scranton

 

            4              make $15,000 on average less than other

 

            5              comparable cities.  We don't compare

 

            6              ourselves with Philadelphia, we don't

 

            7              compare ourselves with Pittsburgh, we

 

            8              compare ourselves with populations from

 

            9              which I think starts at Johnstown to I

 

           10              believe Erie or Allentown with 109,000

 

           11              population and we are $15,000 less.

 

           12                      I don't want to speak on behalf of

 

           13              the police officers, but they relationship

 

           14              at this time $17,000 on average less than

 

           15              their counterparts.  Even in little borough

 

           16              with five and six man departments, local,

 

           17              regional, so if we are going to be fair

 

           18              let's be fair across the board.

 

           19                      Mrs. Fanucci, there was a young lady

 

           20              here speaking and you said something about

 

           21              she was talking about the consultants and

 

           22              the hires and, you know, and you thought she

 

           23              was talking about the pet projects that the

 

           24              mayor does, and that has nothing to do with

 

           25              recovery; right?


 

 

                                                                     117

 

 

            1                      MS. FANUCCI: No, she said pet

 

            2              projects first, that's what I was answering

 

            3              the question to, then she went onto

 

            4              consultants after that so I was actually

 

            5              answering her pet project question which was

 

            6              --

 

            7                      MR. GERVASI: And you said that had

 

            8              nothing to do with city budgets.

 

            9                      MS. FANUCCI: No, I didn't say it was

 

           10              nothing and the same business, I said that

 

           11              it was not included in the Recovery Plan.

 

           12              The projects are not part of the Recovery

 

           13              Plan.

 

           14                      MR. GERVASI: Okay, well, I just want

 

           15              to make you aware that the mayor has

 

           16              borrowed $120 million for his pet projects

 

           17              and we do make those payments back.

 

           18                      MS. FANUCCI: Well, I understand

 

           19              that, but that's not the question she was

 

           20              asking me, Dave, so I was answering her

 

           21              question.

 

           22                      MR. GERVASI:  Okay, I was just

 

           23              trying to clarify in case you misinformed

 

           24              about --

 

           25                      MS. FANUCCI: No, I was not


 

 

                                                                     118

 

 

            1              misinformed, but thank you.

 

            2                      MR. GERVASI:  Thank you, because the

 

            3              long-term debt payments from the day

 

            4              Mr. Doherty took office were at 3.5 million

 

            5              a year and they are now over $16 million a

 

            6              year, so his pet projects have everything to

 

            7              do with the recovery of the city, so it's

 

            8              just a point I want to make.

 

            9                      MS. FANUCCI:  But not the Recovery

 

           10              Plan though.

 

           11                      MR. GERVASI: No.

 

           12                      MS. FANUCCI:  Right.  And that's

 

           13              what we were discussing.  We were discussing

 

           14              the plan itself and if that was the part of

 

           15              the plan, but it is not; am I correct?

 

           16                      MR. GERVASI:  Then I apologize.  I

 

           17              was misinformed.

 

           18                      MS. FANUCCI: That's okay.

 

           19                      MR. GERVASI:  Mrs. Gatelli, I hate

 

           20              to put the focus on you, but you were the

 

           21              one, I believe, I was here at the meetings,

 

           22              you were the one that brought up the mayor's

 

           23              raises --

 

           24                      MS. GATELLI: Yeah, I did.

 

           25                      MR. GERVASI: -- on two different


 

 

                                                                     119

 

 

            1              occasions.

 

            2                      MS. GATELLI:  Yes, I did, but other

 

            3              members always thought the mayor was

 

            4              underpaid.  I read you some quotes.

 

            5                      MR. GERVASI: Well, we had a

 

            6              discussion the last couple of days about how

 

            7              this was going to play out and we realized

 

            8              that somebody was going to take a hit for

 

            9              this, so I just thought, this is my opinion,

 

           10              you know, and call me a bad guy, it's just

 

           11              my opinion but I'm going to need to take Mr.

 

           12              McGoff out for coffee to comfort him since

 

           13              the two people who are running for election

 

           14              threw him under the bus tonight and make him

 

           15              eat whole thing.

 

           16                      MS. GATELLI:  We figured you would

 

           17              say that.

 

           18                      MS. FANUCCI: Dave --

 

           19                      MS. GATELLI: I'm not a bit

 

           20              surprised.

 

           21                      MR. GERVASI:  It's just my opinion.

 

           22              Just my opinion.

 

           23                      MS. GATELLI: Not a bit surprised.

 

           24                      MS. FANUCCI:  So far there is only

 

           25              two people up here that stated they're


 

 

                                                                     120

 

 

            1              running, so you must be talking about

 

            2              someone else.

 

            3                      MR. GERVASI:  Yes.

 

            4                      MS. FANUCCI:  Okay, thank you.  I

 

            5              didn't realize that it was Mrs. Evans

 

            6              because I certainly didn't say I was

 

            7              running.

 

            8                      MR. MCGOFF: Please.

 

            9                      MS. EVANS: It must be Bill and Judy.

 

           10                      MS. FANUCCI: Bill is not running.

 

           11                      MS. GATELLI:  Yes, he is.  We didn't

 

           12              put the tax collector in there, Bill, is

 

           13              that why you didn't vote for it?

 

           14                      MR. MCGOFF: Anything else?

 

           15                      MR. GERVASI:  I want to quickly wrap

 

           16              it up, I want to quickly give you my

 

           17              personal opinion, not the position of my

 

           18              membership or the firefighters or anything

 

           19              else, my opinion, I think everyone, everyone

 

           20              is entitled, everyone, the mayor, city

 

           21              council, all of the cabinet heads, all

 

           22              nonunion employees and the union employees

 

           23              are entitled to at least a cost of living

 

           24              adjustment every year to keep of with

 

           25              inflation.  A $35,000 raise, a $10,000


 

 

                                                                     121

 

 

            1              raise, an $8,000 raise, last year $13,000

 

            2              raises for the two chiefs when our members

 

            3              received nothing, they sat at desks, we run

 

            4              into burning buildings and chase down bad

 

            5              guys and we got nothing in our eighth year

 

            6              that's what I'm talking about with fairness.

 

            7              Thank you.

 

            8                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Gervasi.

 

            9                      MS. EVANS: Mr. Gervasi, just one

 

           10              quick thing going back to very beginning

 

           11              there about those statements concerning the

 

           12              Recovery Plan, actually everything does

 

           13              impact in that you will not lift a

 

           14              distressed status until a city is

 

           15              financially solvent which we means it does

 

           16              not carry this amount of debt.  We are

 

           17              upside down, so I would say we are worse off

 

           18              today than we were when that was -- when

 

           19              that status was declared.

 

           20                      MR. GERVASI: It's funny you should

 

           21              say that.  In the transcript of our

 

           22              arbitration hearing --

 

           23                      MR. MCGOFF: Please --

 

           24                      MR. GERVASI: Where Harry Miller from

 

           25              PEL said at our arbitration on the record


 

 

                                                                     122

 

 

            1              under sworn testimony that we are worse off

 

            2              now than we were put on this distress in

 

            3              1992.

 

            4                      MS. FANUCCI: I would agree with

 

            5              myself.  I mean, I don't think any of us

 

            6              don't understand that.

 

            7                      MR. GERVASI:  Just keep in mind we

 

            8              didn't get any of it.  Nothing.  Zero.

 

            9                      MR. MCGOFF: Okay.  Thank you.

 

           10                      MS. STULGIS: I'm Ann Marie Stulgis,

 

           11              and I have to correct my esteemed colleague,

 

           12              Dave said that the police officers are

 

           13              $17,000 below comparable cities, and it's

 

           14              actually seventeen five, and to all of us

 

           15              that $500 bucks is a whole lot of money.

 

           16                      Just as a reminder, January of 1992

 

           17              this city went distressed.  Since that time,

 

           18              firefighters have lost over 50 firefighters,

 

           19              police have been cut, wages have been

 

           20              frozen, health care has been cut, payroll

 

           21              deductions are taken for health care, there

 

           22              is copays, the list is endless, and you know

 

           23              what?  They still keep going to work and

 

           24              they still keep doing what they are paid to

 

           25              do, so imagine, just imagine the outrage


 

 

                                                                     123

 

 

            1              when that was put on the agenda to give

 

            2              somebody a $40,000 pay raise?  Are you

 

            3              kidding me?  Firemen in the city do not make

 

            4              $40,000 a year and you are going to give him

 

            5              a pay raise greater than they earn in a

 

            6              whole year?  I can't believe you would even

 

            7              consider such a thing.  It's insulting.

 

            8              It's absolutely insulting to every single

 

            9              resident of this city that that was ever

 

           10              even put on an agenda.  It's disgusting and

 

           11              it's shameful.

 

           12                      And for all of these years,

 

           13              17 years, we have had Recovery Plan shoved

 

           14              down our throats, and anywhere else they

 

           15              could shove it to be quite honest with you,

 

           16              all we hear about is the Recovery Plan, we

 

           17              have to follow the Recover Plan.  It's very

 

           18              important to follow the Recovery Plan.  I

 

           19              don't know how many of you have read it, but

 

           20              I'm going to quote something here, it's on

 

           21              page 64 of the Recovery Plan, for those of

 

           22              you who don't have it you can download it

 

           23              from the Scranton Times webpage as I have.

 

           24                      Right at the top of the page, page

 

           25              64, the first line, "The base hourly wages


 

 

                                                                     124

 

 

            1              and salaries of all," that is it A-L-L, all,

 

            2              "city employees shall not exceed the 2002

 

            3              raise."

 

            4                      So putting that on the agenda

 

            5              violated the Recovery Plan.  Considering

 

            6              giving the mayor a raise is a violation of

 

            7              the Recovery Plan because he happens to be a

 

            8              city employee just as every single solitary

 

            9              raise that's been in every single budget

 

           10              that you people have approved you are guilty

 

           11              of violating the Recovery Plan, so don't

 

           12              slam union people about the Recovery Plan,

 

           13              recovery of the city as if they are

 

           14              responsible for the debt in this city.  It's

 

           15              you people who passed these budgets that

 

           16              violated the Recovery Plan.  You are the

 

           17              ones that are guilty, we are not.  You are

 

           18              violating the Recovery Plan.

 

           19                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mrs. Stulgis.

 

           20                      MS. HUMPRHIES: I have a better idea,

 

           21              clear up the garbage.  Did you see that

 

           22              picture in the paper, Mayor Doherty going

 

           23              (indicating.)  Well, I have something to

 

           24              tell everybody in the City of Scranton.  I

 

           25              have pictures here.  See that picture?


 

 

                                                                     125

 

 

            1              Well, that's how everybody looked as they

 

            2              were not doing their jobs.  How are we going

 

            3              to get her out of Scranton?  I'm not

 

            4              leaving.  Seven relatives in the service,

 

            5              World War II with my mother.  This girl is

 

            6              an EMT, worked for the fire department, I

 

            7              paid her two weeks before -- two years

 

            8              before, she died of cancer, so her and

 

            9              Robeson are going in a pure white casket

 

           10              right to the United Nations and they are

 

           11              going to go to Washington.  There she is

 

           12              miraculously with a light.  Her name is

 

           13              Shirley Sweeney from St. Patrick's Church.

 

           14              That's a miracle.

 

           15                      What has happened is since 1992 --

 

           16              1992 -- 1999 to the present I have called

 

           17              everybody, I intervened to everybody,

 

           18              documents are given, which you are not going

 

           19              to like, Mr. West.  Mr. West said he give

 

           20              them to somebody else.  My house been

 

           21              pillaged, violations against my chastity,

 

           22              and me and my Bishop and the City of

 

           23              Scranton and the people that believe in the

 

           24              God don't want corruption.

 

           25                      I have registered letters that I


 

 

                                                                     126

 

 

            1              sent and signatures to Mr. Casey, President

 

            2              Bush, and also to the Hillary Clinton.  Now,

 

            3              if Hillary Clinton wants to run our country

 

            4              and help, and she is pretty educated, but

 

            5              when it comes to me calling and saying what

 

            6              happened and calling CNN to find out why I

 

            7              couldn't get on CNN, because Mayor Doherty's

 

            8              relative works there, it was what I would

 

            9              consider corruption.  Yes, corruption.

 

           10                      So, guess what?  We are going to get

 

           11              of the documents, we are going to get all

 

           12              the telephone numbers, and I got a lawyer,

 

           13              and we are going in for force.  They brought

 

           14              Scranton Counseling Center, I have been

 

           15              misdiagnosed, I have went to scientists and

 

           16              psychiatrists that are going to tell that

 

           17              I'm just posttraumatic stress.  I'm not

 

           18              delusional, I'm not psychotic, I'm not

 

           19              psychiatric or whatever you want to call it,

 

           20              but guess what, the Luzerne Police

 

           21              Department even told me they are afraid of

 

           22              saying what happened here and losing their

 

           23              jobs or getting killed.  They are doing

 

           24              their job, but it doesn't --  it's called

 

           25              negligence on the City of Scranton because a


 

 

                                                                     127

 

 

            1              girl from our area was going to run for

 

            2              president.

 

            3                      Mrs. Fanucci, I was at one hotel

 

            4              waiting, and she asked me who am I waiting

 

            5              for, and I says, "Abdulla," because I'm not

 

            6              going to go there, I'm going to go

 

            7              one-on-one.

 

            8                      She says, you know, God Bless you,

 

            9              right?  That was at the Radisson.  Were you

 

           10              aware when he was located?  You wasn't?

 

           11              Well, I did meet him and now it's outside of

 

           12              the country, and I am not a violent person

 

           13              but I'm not going to stand for rights.  We

 

           14              are not having no garbage or corruption into

 

           15              our United States no more.  We are going to

 

           16              stand up and have protection and Mayor

 

           17              Doherty, whatever he is running for I will

 

           18              never vote for him ever again.  He has

 

           19              really corrupt high class people, and let

 

           20              the poor people, the firemen and the

 

           21              policeman, not what was properly theirs.

 

           22              This is a wrong.  He is more for the rich

 

           23              and he is not for the poor.

 

           24                      And when I got hurt I think anybody

 

           25              should came over my house compassionately


 

 

                                                                     128

 

 

            1              and talk to me, I didn't see one person

 

            2              there, only the one that was helping me,

 

            3              would come to talk to me was Mrs. Evans.

 

            4              Mrs. Evans, I hope to God you become the

 

            5              mayor.  The corruption I found and the

 

            6              pictures I have and the documents I have is

 

            7              going to look like Watergate, it's going to

 

            8              look like a little ant, and the scandal with

 

            9              Lewinski, Monica Lewinski, well, people will

 

           10              be getting down on their knees, I think

 

           11              they'll be saying the rosary.

 

           12                      MR. MCGOFF: Phyllis -

 

           13                      MS. HUMPHRIES:  God bless you.

 

           14              Enough is enough.  Give our firemen and

 

           15              policemen what they deserve.

 

           16                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.  I agree.

 

           17              Mr. Ancherani.

 

           18                      MR. ANCHERANI: Okay.  Good evening,

 

           19              Nelson Ancherani.  By taking the raise off

 

           20              the agenda you shut me half up.  I was

 

           21              against the raises.  Anyway, I just wanted

 

           22              to say I work for the city since 1976, and I

 

           23              started working full-time under the CETA

 

           24              program.  Since that time and until 2002,

 

           25              the first year of this administration, three


 

 

                                                                     129

 

 

            1              police officers left the police department

 

            2              for better jobs, that's three that I can

 

            3              remember, 27 years, three officers leaving.

 

            4              Since 2002, 12 have left or are leaving, in

 

            5              the process.  That's 12 in seven years.

 

            6              They are not leaving because they are -- or

 

            7              they are leaving because they are not

 

            8              respected or treated fairly.

 

            9                      Also, they are going where they can

 

           10              make more money for their families.

 

           11              Scranton was once the highest paid

 

           12              department in the area and drew many police

 

           13              officers in their ranks from other area

 

           14              departments and all too often at the

 

           15              disappointment of the area police chiefs who

 

           16              were losing good police officers.  The tide

 

           17              has changed and our police officers are now

 

           18              leaving Scranton and going to the outlying

 

           19              area departments.  We are losing good police

 

           20              officers and new applicants are not coming

 

           21              to Scranton like they used to.  There will

 

           22              be more.

 

           23                      Now, the council meetings, it should

 

           24              be noted that I checked the city website,

 

           25              Scrantonpa.com, and in 2005, the last year


 

 

                                                                     130

 

 

            1              before the Judy Gatelli and subsequent Bob

 

            2              McGoff council presidencies, there was one,

 

            3              and again only one, cancelled city council

 

            4              meeting and there were no August or December

 

            5              recess meetings.

 

            6                      MS. GATELLI: I'm at fault, right?

 

            7                      MR. ANCHERANI:  The first year of

 

            8              the Gatelli presidency, that's 2006, there

 

            9              were ten cancelled meetings.  This included

 

           10              five recessed August meetings.  2007 there

 

           11              were 13 cancelled meetings.  This included

 

           12              six August and September recessed meetings.

 

           13              2008 there were 14 cancelled meetings.  This

 

           14              included five recessed August meetings.

 

           15              Maybe an ordinance should be drawn up where

 

           16              the council members only get paid for the

 

           17              meetings they attend.

 

           18                      Now, the Ray Hayes reprimand.

 

           19              Mr. Doherty dismissed the incident as a

 

           20              mistake by an extremely valuable employee.

 

           21              He has gotten that rate.  That office was

 

           22              eliminated prior to 2002 by PEL's

 

           23              recommendation, but brought back by this

 

           24              administration.  The Public Safety Office

 

           25              has cost the city since 2002 approximately


 

 

                                                                     131

 

 

            1              $950,000.

 

            2                      The mayor also said something to the

 

            3              effect that the police union is out to

 

            4              embarrass the city.  What about the

 

            5              information about Tim Mayo given to the

 

            6              press by the director?  Doesn't the mayor

 

            7              think that Tim Mayo might have been

 

            8              embarrassed by the information given out by

 

            9              the director?

 

           10                      And just to speak a little bit about

 

           11              what Les Spindler spoke about, Scartelli

 

           12              paving the DPW lot, I was wondering if there

 

           13              an emergency declaration, emergency

 

           14              certificate signed somewhere that would show

 

           15              that there was an emergency?

 

           16                      MS. EVANS: Not yet.

 

           17                      MR. ANCHERANI: Mr. Gervasi spoke

 

           18              about comparable salaries for the police and

 

           19              fire, $15,000 less for our fire department

 

           20              than comparable fire departments, police

 

           21              department 17,500 less than comparable

 

           22              police departments.  The way the economy is

 

           23              now our police and fire departments are now

 

           24              where the rest of the country is coming.  It

 

           25              took us eight years to get where we are now


 

 

                                                                     132

 

 

            1              and the rest of the country it only took

 

            2              three months to get there.  Thank you.

 

            3                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you,

 

            4              Mr. Ancherani.  Anyone else?

 

            5                      MR. ELLMAN: Ronnie Ellman.  Hello,

 

            6              Council.  I wasn't going to speak tonight

 

            7              that's not why I didn't sign your sheet, but

 

            8              I remembered something.  I don't know, a

 

            9              couple of months ago at the grocery store I

 

           10              had some -- a couple of people come over

 

           11              that I had great difficulty in understanding

 

           12              them, but evidently they were acquainted

 

           13              somehow with a fellow that got run over by

 

           14              the car by the mall last summer walking his

 

           15              bicycle or something, and they feel that

 

           16              this is a complete coverup.  Now, I don't --

 

           17              all I know is what I read in the paper, but

 

           18              they said that the woman evidently was going

 

           19              two or three times the speed limit downtown

 

           20              and then went a block up the street before

 

           21              she stopped after hitting the brakes and so

 

           22              on, and I think there ought to be an

 

           23              investigation.  This shouldn't be a coverup

 

           24              on this.  Nothing has ever been done about

 

           25              it.


 

 

                                                                     133

 

 

            1                      You know, I'm not an advocator for

 

            2              the poor, I guess, but a quarter of the city

 

            3              is in poverty, you know, as far as the

 

            4              financials go, and poverty is a great

 

            5              invocator.  It's going to be make people

 

            6              vote this year.  It's going to make -- there

 

            7              is a lot of people registering to vote that

 

            8              never even thought of it before.  You know,

 

            9              I know it's not easy being Mr. Doherty and

 

           10              he has done things that I've agreed with,

 

           11              but he sees the city with rose-colored

 

           12              glasses.  These come from Mr. Rosetti, you

 

           13              know, they show me how things are, I guess,

 

           14              but I got these at the Dollar Store.  They

 

           15              are rose-colored and everything is distorted

 

           16              in them, you know, that's how Chris Doherty

 

           17              sees the place.

 

           18                      I was reading a book a couple of

 

           19              days ago and there was a little note in

 

           20              there about Chris Cuomo.  He said, "Not

 

           21              everybody in this city is sharing in it's

 

           22              pleasure and glory," when he was first

 

           23              elected to office.  I don't know what year

 

           24              that was, I guess about 15 years ago, but

 

           25              that's how Scranton is.  It's very few


 

 

                                                                     134

 

 

            1              people sharing in it's pleasure and glory.

 

            2              It just seems like if you are not in the

 

            3              county and the city payroll you have got

 

            4              problems.

 

            5                      Three or four days ago, you will

 

            6              like this Mr. Courtright, in the men's, room

 

            7              of course, a fellow told me his son is going

 

            8              to vote for the first time this year.  I

 

            9              mean, it's gotten where people have just got

 

           10              to get out and vote and change things.  The

 

           11              city is just bad, you know.  The lady before

 

           12              was taking about people losing their homes,

 

           13              so many people have lived outside of their

 

           14              income I just can't feel sorry for them.

 

           15              It's like I've said a couple of times, I

 

           16              feel sorry for some of these woman if they

 

           17              have houses that are paid for and couldn't

 

           18              afford to stay in them, that's the terrible

 

           19              part.

 

           20                      When I wanted I house, I think in

 

           21              '95, I went to see Mr. DeNaples, and he said

 

           22              you have to find a house where one week

 

           23              salary will go towards your note.  He said

 

           24              that was the rule of thumb then, and I still

 

           25              have my house, I'm still paying notes and


 

 

                                                                     135

 

 

            1              I'm not in any difficulty following that.

 

            2              On television you see people with $1,000,

 

            3              $1,500 a month notes and, you know, then

 

            4              they have car notes and this note and that

 

            5              note, no wonder they can't -- but I've had a

 

            6              couple of little ladies that live across the

 

            7              street on Adams, I delivered some dinners

 

            8              for Mr. Bolus last year, my son and I, and

 

            9              one lady was telling us, I have mentioned

 

           10              it, her house was paid for and she couldn't

 

           11              afford to live in.  So said, "I thought I

 

           12              would be there forever."

 

           13                      That's the kind of person that

 

           14              should be taken care of.  That shouldn't

 

           15              happen in this country.  Thank you.

 

           16                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you, Mr.

 

           17              Ellman.  Mrs. Evans?

 

           18                      MS. EVANS: Good evening.  I want to

 

           19              address four issues:  First, the City of

 

           20              Scranton's state funding was frozen by DCED

 

           21              as of January 1 for failure to submit it's

 

           22              annual audit report.  I announced this

 

           23              information at last week's council meeting.

 

           24              I knew about the forthcoming suspension

 

           25              since before Christmas and you, the public,


 

 

                                                                     136

 

 

            1              knew about it last Tuesday, January 6, the

 

            2              first meeting of council since December 9.

 

            3              Yet, the mayor and top officials claim to

 

            4              have known nothing.

 

            5                      Now, Mrs. Garvey is not here this

 

            6              evening, but there were some questions that

 

            7              I wished to ask her about that.  I recalled

 

            8              some statements that she made at last week's

 

            9              meeting that when the letter was received by

 

           10              council's office she went to the mayor's

 

           11              office immediately about it, in fact, she

 

           12              visited the offices of several departments

 

           13              heads to discuss the letter and to deliver

 

           14              the appropriate forms.

 

           15                      Now, I don't doubt that the city has

 

           16              been in trouble with the state for failure

 

           17              to file late project reports in the last

 

           18              several years, however, this is the first

 

           19              time DCED has suspended funding for failure

 

           20              to file an audit report since the practice

 

           21              of freezing funds apparently was only

 

           22              instituted on January 1, 2009, a little less

 

           23              than two weeks ago.  I wouldn't call this a

 

           24              hiccup.  I would say this is a dangerous

 

           25              pattern of failing to file reports as


 

 

                                                                     137

 

 

            1              required and as confirmed by representative

 

            2              of the DCED.

 

            3                      If you think the auditor is to

 

            4              blame, think again.  It's very clear that

 

            5              the administration drags it's feet when

 

            6              required and asked to submit information.

 

            7              If the state can't get the information in a

 

            8              timely manner, and my reference here is not

 

            9              to Connell Park, why would anyone believe

 

           10              that the auditing firm could?  The 2007

 

           11              audit of Scranton has taken one year,

 

           12              January 2008 through January 2009.  This

 

           13              administration work and excuses doesn't pass

 

           14              the smell test.

 

           15                      Next, when Mrs. Gatelli's amendments

 

           16              were incorporated into the mayor's 2009

 

           17              budget, the salary of the deputy city

 

           18              controller was cut incorrectly.  The $486

 

           19              raise should have been eliminated.  However,

 

           20              the remaining $4,814 increase is paid and is

 

           21              earned by working the increased daily hours

 

           22              created by the lengthening of city hall

 

           23              daily hours.  It will be paid at regular

 

           24              salary intervals as it occurs with other

 

           25              city employees.  I propose this amendment to


 

 

                                                                     138

 

 

            1              correct the salary of the deputy controller

 

            2              because I believe in fairness and

 

            3              uniformity.  When an individual works a

 

            4              longer day he or she should be paid to do

 

            5              so.  However, the deputy controller will not

 

            6              receive a raise.

 

            7                      Third, in the Saturday edition of

 

            8              the Scranton Times my name was linked with

 

            9              that of Mr. Tom Charles.  For the record, I

 

           10              don't know Mr. Charles and have never met or

 

           11              spoken with him, therefore, I wish to

 

           12              correct any misleading perception provided

 

           13              by the newspaper article.  I am not running

 

           14              for office with Mr. Charles.  He is likely a

 

           15              very nice person, and I wish him good luck

 

           16              if, indeed, he is running.

 

           17                      Fourth, at last week's council

 

           18              meeting Mrs. Gatelli voiced her concern for

 

           19              residents who could lose their homes to

 

           20              mortgage foreclosures or needed help with

 

           21              renovations to homes in this economy.  I

 

           22              agree as I am certain do all of my

 

           23              colleagues.  In fact, there is a specific

 

           24              way in which council can help to prevent

 

           25              city residents from losing their homes.  If


 

 

                                                                     139

 

 

            1              it is genuine in it's concern, council can

 

            2              amend the 2007 ordinance approving penalty,

 

            3              interest and fee schedules for collection of

 

            4              delinquent real estate taxes which includes

 

            5              23 costly and punitive financial measures

 

            6              and culminates in the judicial or sherif

 

            7              sale of homes, and I'm not going to make the

 

            8              motion tonight, however, I am going to make

 

            9              it next week, but what I'm going to do is

 

           10              provide a copy of the motion before we leave

 

           11              tonight, if everyone could wait just a

 

           12              minute and get that and, as I said, I'll

 

           13              move it at the following week's meeting.

 

           14                      Finally, I have some citizen's

 

           15              request for the night.  Attorney Minora, you

 

           16              are back, can you research what legal

 

           17              safeguards may be needed by the PEG Channel

 

           18              Oversight Committee and present your results

 

           19              to council next week, please?  The Oversight

 

           20              Committee asked for assistance, I don't

 

           21              know, several weeks ago and is awaiting a

 

           22              response.

 

           23                      City residents report that several

 

           24              businesses throughout Scranton do not clear

 

           25              their walkways following the snow events in


 

 

                                                                     140

 

 

            1              December and January.  Can inspectors keep

 

            2              their eyes open on their daily travels, and

 

            3              speak to business owners in violation of the

 

            4              2000 ordinance.  Residents list the

 

            5              following businesses, and I'm not going to

 

            6              name them all, but just for example the

 

            7              Olive Street sidewalks owned by the Ice Box,

 

            8              the Gibson Street sidewalks at Coopers.

 

            9              Someone had mentioned Keen's Floral earlier.

 

           10              The corner of Gibson and Capouse Avenue.

 

           11                      Next, if any resident of the Keyser

 

           12              Terrace Development is interested in a copy

 

           13              of the response I'll be happy to provide

 

           14              that.

 

           15                      A letter to Chief Elliott, residents

 

           16              of the block report suspicions of drug

 

           17              activity.  They have witnessed unfamiliar

 

           18              vehicles coming and going frequently.  I'm

 

           19              not announcing the address publically, but

 

           20              it will be given to the police chief.

 

           21                      And then finally, in honor of Ms.

 

           22              Suetta, please clear the Greendrige Street

 

           23              bridge of ice and snow as soon as possible

 

           24              and keep your eye on that throughout the

 

           25              upcoming winter weeks, and that's it.


 

 

                                                                     141

 

 

            1                      MR. MCGOFF:  Thank you, Mrs. Evans.

 

            2              Mrs. Gatelli?

 

            3                      MS. GATELLI:  Can you just add the

 

            4              rest of the bridges to your letter, please?

 

            5                      MS. EVANS: Add the rest of the

 

            6              bridges.  Done.

 

            7                      MS. GATELLI:  I know I got one on

 

            8              Washburn Street, and the one coming up by

 

            9              the Radisson from South Side.

 

           10                      MS. EVANS: Oh, yes.

 

           11                      MS. GATELLI: That's pretty bad, too.

 

           12              First, I'd like to make sure that Kay sends

 

           13              the letter about the parking lots, who paid

 

           14              for 2008, and the question of the lawsuit

 

           15              with the Forum.  By the way, Mrs.

 

           16              Schumacher, that lawsuit was filed when I

 

           17              was the director there, so that's how long

 

           18              ago that lawsuit was filed.

 

           19                      As far as the reference that

 

           20              Mr. Spindler made when I said that

 

           21              qualifications do not matter, that is

 

           22              absolutely ludicrous to think I would make

 

           23              such a statement, and it is ludicrous

 

           24              because I didn't make that statement.  That

 

           25              was only part of the statement that I made.


 

 

                                                                     142

 

 

            1              After the meeting last week Mr. Burton

 

            2              followed us into the elevator and it was a

 

            3              long meeting and it was contentious, and I

 

            4              said I didn't care to comment on that

 

            5              particular situation.  I would have spoken

 

            6              the next day, but I didn't want to speak

 

            7              after the meeting.  He continued to question

 

            8              me about, "Oh, well, what do you think the

 

            9              mayor with the qualifications," and "Don't

 

           10              think you should have qualifications?"

 

           11                      Well, there are qualifications for

 

           12              any position in city hall, and the ones that

 

           13              we put in the budget for this year they all

 

           14              have qualifications already because they are

 

           15              all positions that people are holding at the

 

           16              present time, and I got annoyed and I said,

 

           17              "Well, you know, qualifications aren't the

 

           18              only thing that matter when you are hiring a

 

           19              person."  I said, "Sometimes it matters the

 

           20              passion they have for the position and the

 

           21              concern they have and the drive," and part

 

           22              of Mr. Kellys' story, if you read it in the

 

           23              beginning, was that he did get a job because

 

           24              he knew somebody because he did a damn good

 

           25              job and he wanted to prove himself, so that


 

 

                                                                     143

 

 

            1              was more or less my point to Mr. Burton was

 

            2              that, yes, qualifications are important, of

 

            3              course they are, but also motivation and

 

            4              drive, and you all know that because I'm

 

            5              sure you have all been motivated to do

 

            6              certain things a little better, things that

 

            7              you enjoy.  So that is what I meant by that

 

            8              particular statement.

 

            9                      And Mr. Connors, as far as I knew

 

           10              had attended college for three years.  Now,

 

           11              I didn't see his transcript, but he did

 

           12              attend college for three years.  I don't

 

           13              think any of our zoning officers have

 

           14              attended college for three years and, you

 

           15              know, I wasn't averse to that.  I guess it

 

           16              looks like patronage, but I would think that

 

           17              people should have a chance in life, and the

 

           18              kid never had a mother.  His mother died

 

           19              when he was a young boy.  I was friends with

 

           20              the family for my whole life, and I knew

 

           21              Tina Connors when she was pregnant with

 

           22              Zachary, so if you don't know the whole

 

           23              situation I think it's very unfair for

 

           24              people to make judgments about that,

 

           25              especially people that have their own


 

 

                                                                     144

 

 

            1              children.  We all have problems with our

 

            2              children and if you say you don't you are

 

            3              lying, and then you have problems with your

 

            4              grandchildren.  It's all part of life, and I

 

            5              would hope that someone wouldn't disparage

 

            6              my child the way that boy was disparaged in

 

            7              the paper.  It was shameful.  Yes, maybe it

 

            8              was patronage, but enough was enough, and I

 

            9              don't think that it should have been carried

 

           10              as far as it was carried.  No one knows the

 

           11              baggage that anyone else carries and

 

           12              sometimes giving a kid a chance makes the

 

           13              whole difference in the world.

 

           14                      Foreclosures.  If you saw in today's

 

           15              paper they have about the $3 million amount

 

           16              of money that OECD applied for, I think

 

           17              that's a positive thing and I think it's

 

           18              going to help with some of the foreclosures,

 

           19              some of the rehabs that we will be working

 

           20              with.

 

           21                      Home Rule Charter.  I did ask that

 

           22              question, Amil, if you would have you and

 

           23              Kay investigate that a little further, it is

 

           24              time for the Home Rule Charter, I am saying

 

           25              it.  They can probably -- Kay can probably


 

 

                                                                     145

 

 

            1              find out from Jay Saunders how they went

 

            2              about it the last time, so we can get that

 

            3              started for a committee to be formed.

 

            4                      Also, if we can see, Kay, have Kay

 

            5              send the mayor a letter about the RFP's for

 

            6              the rental registration program.

 

            7                      And I would entertain your motion,

 

            8              Mrs. Evans, about NCC and I'd like to ask

 

            9              them some questions about how many houses

 

           10              were taken during their time period, what

 

           11              the city has made in delinquent taxes

 

           12              because my only concern about that is that I

 

           13              think I have gotten two phone calls in the

 

           14              whole period of time since NCC has been here

 

           15              and both issues were resolved to my

 

           16              satisfaction with the people that

 

           17              complained.

 

           18                      My concern there was the slum lords

 

           19              who have to be dealt with who never pay

 

           20              their city tax, they pay their county tax,

 

           21              they pay their school tax because they have

 

           22              sheriff's sales, the city didn't have a sale

 

           23              and they would always let their city tax

 

           24              lapse.  I knew a slum lord in South Scranton

 

           25              that didn't pay city tax for 20 years, and


 

 

                                                                     146

 

 

            1              that was my concern about NCC.  I thought,

 

            2              go get them, it's not to hurt the little old

 

            3              lady that can't afford her house or her

 

            4              garbage bill, my intent for NCC was for the

 

            5              slum lords who have prayed on this community

 

            6              for a long time, so that's where I was

 

            7              coming from when I voted for that.

 

            8                      As far as cancelled meetings, I do

 

            9              have the list here, but I can't put my hands

 

           10              on it right now so I will ask Mr. McGoff if

 

           11              I can have a chance later once I find the

 

           12              sheet.  Thank you.

 

           13                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mrs. Gatelli.

 

           14              Mrs. Fanucci?

 

           15                      MS. FANUCCI: First, I'd like to say,

 

           16              sorry that we are going you so much to do

 

           17              tonight because Kay is not here.  We just

 

           18              keep making you writing, sorry.  I want to

 

           19              send a letter to the business administrator

 

           20              to ask him for all of the employees'

 

           21              earnings for last year in the city, an

 

           22              entire list of everyone and what they made.

 

           23              We had some discussion in the back room

 

           24              about trying to find out about our beat cops

 

           25              and I think that it might be a good idea,


 

 

                                                                     147

 

 

            1              you maybe should track that ourselves and

 

            2              see where we are with that, so I think that

 

            3              that would help, so I would like an entire

 

            4              list.  Sorry.  Sorry about that one.

 

            5                      I do want to speak on DCED, and I

 

            6              did state this earlier and I'm sorry,

 

            7              because of last week's meeting and some of

 

            8              the statements were made I did call to find

 

            9              out if, in fact, we had been red flagged

 

           10              because of our audit, are independent audit,

 

           11              and partially because I felt a little bit

 

           12              responsibile.  We had held up the audit

 

           13              ourselves as a council because we had put it

 

           14              out to bid and we had had some issues there

 

           15              and then put it back out to bid, so I wanted

 

           16              to make sure that even though it's been a

 

           17              very long time and our audit was still due

 

           18              that it was not partially, you know, I

 

           19              didn't want to be red flagged on the audit,

 

           20              and found out we are not red flagged on our

 

           21              independent audit.  We absolutely are not.

 

           22                      In fact, we were sent a letter, and

 

           23              all of us had received that, stating from

 

           24              DCED that on January 1 a red flag could be

 

           25              imposed, so they did warn us.  We did get a


 

 

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            1              warning letter from them.  But, in fact,

 

            2              because they were working with the

 

            3              administration PEL and DCED were sitting

 

            4              down at our weekly meeting they did not red

 

            5              flag us on the audit because they have known

 

            6              and kept in touch with the fact that our

 

            7              audit has been delayed, so they did -- you

 

            8              know, they have been tracking our progress,

 

            9              they have been talking to Rossi, they have

 

           10              been waiting for the audit, but as of to

 

           11              this date we are not red flagged for our

 

           12              audit, which is a very great thing.

 

           13                      I know there were two other issues,

 

           14              and I had talked about them earlier, and I

 

           15              will do that again if it's necessary.  One

 

           16              we are red flagged on.  We are definitely

 

           17              red flagged on one, but it is not our audit.

 

           18              That should be, from what I am gathering

 

           19              right now, cleared up within the next week

 

           20              or two.  This is not unusual.  The process

 

           21              in which the state has changed and went

 

           22              after following any type of loans or grants

 

           23              or anything has changed the whole process.

 

           24              So, I mean, this is not unusual.  I found it

 

           25              to be almost, and I'm not trying to bash the


 

 

                                                                     149

 

 

            1              Times, but a little bit odd that it was made

 

            2              to be such a big thing because it's a very

 

            3              common thing.  We are not losing any money.

 

            4              Not any of our projects are stopped.

 

            5              Nothing has changed since yesterday or the

 

            6              day before.

 

            7                      The red flag simply is we were

 

            8              supposed to file a paper, it was not filed

 

            9              and we need to file it, so, you know, I did

 

           10              find that odd, but we are not red flagged

 

           11              for an audit which is good.  Hopefully, from

 

           12              what we are hearing, by Wednesday or

 

           13              Thursday our audit should be done, finished,

 

           14              thank God, and then they can submit it, so

 

           15              hopefully we will not later on be sanctioned

 

           16              for that are which see still can be.  That

 

           17              is one thing I have to say, so that's good

 

           18              news.

 

           19                      I want to speak about some of the

 

           20              speakers tonight, which I love to do

 

           21              because, you know, we haven't been here long

 

           22              enough tonight I don't think, have we?

 

           23              Bill, poor Bill always rolls his eyes at me

 

           24              when we I get going.  Let's talk about the

 

           25              fact that, yeah, people come up here tonight


 

 

                                                                     150

 

 

            1              and said, "You were a hairstylist, or you're

 

            2              a bartender, or you were a --" yeah, I was a

 

            3              hairstylist, I was a bartender, I was in

 

            4              sales.  I'm a mom, I'm a daughter, I'm a

 

            5              council person because people put me here.

 

            6              They voted for me.  What gives me the right?

 

            7              They put me here.  My family has been in

 

            8              business, they started their business in

 

            9              Scranton I believe in the city 80 years ago.

 

           10              80 years they opened their business and it

 

           11              was a small business, and it was a very mom

 

           12              and pop, Scatino's Market was a very small

 

           13              business, and the reason I have my sense of

 

           14              community and the reason I earned being here

 

           15              is because of them.  I saw what it means to

 

           16              be part of a city and that when one person

 

           17              suffers people suffer and how to make it

 

           18              better and how to pull together.

 

           19                      I also have another family who has

 

           20              been in small business here, but oddly for

 

           21              some reason because of what I did for a

 

           22              living doesn't earn me the right to be here.

 

           23              But the funny part is the reason I got here

 

           24              was because of the bartenders, the

 

           25              hairstylists, the small business owners, the


 

 

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            1              big business owners, the people without

 

            2              money, the people with money, elderly,

 

            3              young, kids just starting out, they are the

 

            4              reason I'm here, so to come in here and say

 

            5              under any circumstances that no one has the

 

            6              right to be here, up here, do not ever -- if

 

            7              you are home do not ever listen to that.

 

            8              You have the right to be here, you earned it

 

            9              for being part of this community, and this

 

           10              community is wonderful community and it's

 

           11              not just for one type of person, it's for

 

           12              all of us.  And it is not only hurtful to

 

           13              believe that people think that this is their

 

           14              own forum, and this is theirs and they are

 

           15              entitled to have what they want in this

 

           16              chamber it's not right.  It's your chamber.

 

           17              It's not theirs.  It's not theirs.  It's not

 

           18              15 people's place, it's the entire City of

 

           19              Scranton's place to be, and I am honored to

 

           20              be here and I will stay as long as I can and

 

           21              I love it.  Even the abuse.

 

           22                      So, when someone says to me at the

 

           23              end of the day, "What makes you want a job

 

           24              that's so difficult," that's it.  That's my

 

           25              answer, and I felt obligated to answer why I


 

 

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            1              want a job that's difficult.  Do you know

 

            2              why?  It's a very easy to be the no person.

 

            3              I want the job of the no person because you

 

            4              don't have to do any work, all you have to

 

            5              do is complain, point your finger and

 

            6              complain.  That would be the easy job.  The

 

            7              tough job is actually dealing with all of

 

            8              these problems and facing them head on

 

            9              whether you like them or not, that's what we

 

           10              are here for.

 

           11                      So, I want to thank Mr. Talimini, I

 

           12              believe also Les Spindler, and someone else,

 

           13              who else?  Mr. Patilla.  Oh, it was not

 

           14              Mr. Spindler, so, Les, I'm sorry,

 

           15              Mr. Patilla and Mr. Quinn for giving me the

 

           16              opportunity to say why I like being here,

 

           17              and that's all I have.  Thank you.

 

           18                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mrs. Fanucci.

 

           19              Mr. Courtright.

 

           20                      MS. EVANS: Mr. Courtright, I know

 

           21              you are going to kill me, just one quick

 

           22              thing, I think Mrs. Fanucci had said that

 

           23              the audit was late because it was council's

 

           24              fault and it took us awhile to hire an

 

           25              auditing firm.


 

 

                                                                     153

 

 

            1                      MS. FANUCCI: People to --

 

            2                      MS. EVANS: But that's doesn't apply

 

            3              to this audit.  That was prior to the audit

 

            4              we are talking about, that would have been

 

            5              for the 2006 audit.

 

            6                      MS. FANUCCI: Exactly.  That's why I

 

            7              was -- when I went back and I looked into

 

            8              it, that's why I did it because I was

 

            9              wondering if that was our audit we were

 

           10              still worried about when I looked at it you

 

           11              are absolutely correct.

 

           12                      MS. EVANS: Right, so it's not --

 

           13                      MS. FANUCCI:  It's not -- if I gave

 

           14              that impression that was my reasoning for

 

           15              looking into it, but that was -- you are

 

           16              connect.

 

           17                      MS. EVANS: Right.  It's the 2007

 

           18              audit that's been worked on since a year ago

 

           19              this month.

 

           20                      MS. FANUCCI: Right.

 

           21                      MS. EVANS: No reason for it to be

 

           22              that late.

 

           23                      MS. FANUCCI: Actually, thank you for

 

           24              putting that out there, because would have

 

           25              ended up being a mess later on.  I was


 

 

                                                                     154

 

 

            1              trying to explain why I was looking into it

 

            2              in the first place, but thank you.

 

            3                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.

 

            4              Mr. Courtright?

 

            5                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I'll try to be as

 

            6              brief as possible.

 

            7                      MS. GATELLI:  We do that to the men.

 

            8                      MS. FANUCCI: We do.  God bless them.

 

            9                      MR. COURTRIGHT: That's fine.  As far

 

           10              as Rossi & Rossi goes, you know, about this

 

           11              year that we are going to talk about it is I

 

           12              believe, you know, we can't blame them.

 

           13              They have to receive the information in

 

           14              order to do the audit.  So, like I said, the

 

           15              tax office and the parking authority were

 

           16              the ones dragging their feet this time, I

 

           17              believe.

 

           18                      MS. FANUCCI: Yeah.

 

           19                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  And so if you don't

 

           20              give them the information you can't expect

 

           21              them to perform the audit, so in all

 

           22              fairness to them.  I don't know why but this

 

           23              week, maybe the computer here in city hall

 

           24              has been extremely slow so I hope everybody

 

           25              I responded to I hope you got the responses,


 

 

                                                                     155

 

 

            1              but this week I seem to be getting a lot

 

            2              more letters than e-mails, and too many for

 

            3              me to read them all, but I assure all of you

 

            4              whatever you wrote to me in letters I will

 

            5              do my best to take care of.  There is two in

 

            6              particular though, if are you watching, West

 

            7              Parker Street if somebody hasn't already

 

            8              taken care of that I'll see what I can do

 

            9              for them at 127-129.

 

           10                      I'll just read this letter, I'll

 

           11              make it quick, because I don't want people

 

           12              to disillusioned we were not trying to help

 

           13              them and if they spot a wrong and they tell

 

           14              us about it they are going to be taken to

 

           15              task for it by someone.  "We live in the

 

           16              South Side area.  This past week there was a

 

           17              large number of police at the intersection

 

           18              of Breck and South Webster Avenue around a

 

           19              van at 10:00 p.m. at night.  We watched the

 

           20              activity from our window.  We think this

 

           21              happened during the early part of the week.

 

           22                      Last Thursday night we were

 

           23              returning from work when there was a swarm

 

           24              of police in the area, Hilltop development,

 

           25              and this activity went on for awhile as we


 

 

                                                                     156

 

 

            1              could see police cars coming and going.

 

            2                      Also, last week our cousin who lives

 

            3              in Greenridge Street called to tell us there

 

            4              was a house surrounded by police then

 

            5              someone was taken from the house.  Why

 

            6              aren't these items addressed in the paper?

 

            7              Why is the public kept in the dark?  Do the

 

            8              leaders of the community don't think we

 

            9              don't know what's going on?  How can we

 

           10              protect ourselves if everyone thinks we are

 

           11              safe?  How can these police keep up such a

 

           12              hard shift?

 

           13                      I cannot sign my name as last year

 

           14              after I called and complained about the lack

 

           15              of police in our area the drug activity

 

           16              going on, needles were found in our yard

 

           17              when we cut our grass, our garage door was

 

           18              sprayed with paintballs, I think it would be

 

           19              safer to move from the city."

 

           20                      I really don't want to see you move

 

           21              from the city, it seems like you have been

 

           22              here for awhile.  If by some chance you find

 

           23              something in your neighborhood and you want

 

           24              to report it, you can report it to the

 

           25              police anonymously.  They won't, you know,


 

 

                                                                     157

 

 

            1              give out your name, and if you are not

 

            2              comfortable doing that I would be happy to

 

            3              do it for you if you want to call me.  Why

 

            4              the paper doesn't report everything, I don't

 

            5              know.  I can't answer that.  Does everybody

 

            6              believe they are safe?  I don't think so.  I

 

            7              think as time goes on less people are

 

            8              thinking they are safe.  But again, don't

 

            9              move out of the city on us, you know.  We

 

           10              will try to help you.

 

           11                      And the properties that we tear down

 

           12              in the city that we have for many years, and

 

           13              now we seem to be tearing down a lot more, I

 

           14              know this past summer some of them, the DPW,

 

           15              I don't know if they had kids working for

 

           16              the summer that went out there and tried to

 

           17              cut the grass or do whatever needed to be

 

           18              done with them, and I'm wondering because

 

           19              there is a large number of properties that

 

           20              this city has torn down over the years, I

 

           21              can't say that we are responsible, but is

 

           22              the DPW going to be doing and taking care of

 

           23              the sidewalks as far as snow removal,

 

           24              because every time they tear down a property

 

           25              that sidewalk doesn't get taken care of and


 

 

                                                                     158

 

 

            1              there is so many in the city.  Now, I know,

 

            2              again, they did some of the empty lots were

 

            3              torn down as far as grooming them in the

 

            4              summertime, and I don't know if they did

 

            5              that just to make it look better or out of

 

            6              obligation, I don't believe we are

 

            7              obligated.  I believe the person that owns

 

            8              the property is still obligated, but if they

 

            9              didn't care much about the property as to

 

           10              let it go in disrepair and the city had to

 

           11              tear it down, I don't think they're going to

 

           12              be too concerned about taking care of it, so

 

           13              I think we need to develop some kind of a

 

           14              plan as far as getting the sidewalks

 

           15              cleaned.  There is so many of them, I don't

 

           16              know how you would do it or I would suggest,

 

           17              you know, hire a contractor and then go

 

           18              after the people that own the property, but

 

           19              I don't think that's ever going to work, but

 

           20              I don't know what we do, but we have got to

 

           21              do something because there is a lot of

 

           22              properties torn down this past summer and I

 

           23              imagine, my understanding is several more

 

           24              this summer coming, and so something, we got

 

           25              to figure out something and I don't know the


 

 

                                                                     159

 

 

            1              answer to that.

 

            2                      MS. EVANS: Mr. Courtright, maybe

 

            3              this may be not answer everything, but each

 

            4              high school requires community service hours

 

            5              of it's students for graduation and the

 

            6              students are always actively seeking

 

            7              opportunities to gain those hours, and if we

 

            8              were able to generate a list, let's say in

 

            9              West Scranton, South Scranton, Pinebrook,

 

           10              etcetera, and make that available to the

 

           11              schools I think you would get a number of

 

           12              students from those sections of the city who

 

           13              would say, gee, you know, I can get all of

 

           14              my hours just by shoveling some snow.

 

           15                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Maybe Mr. Seitzinger

 

           16              can give us a list of which ones that are

 

           17              available.  I know when I first got on this

 

           18              council Magistrate Kennedy and Magistrate

 

           19              Russell both told me that they were in favor

 

           20              of the program, you know, when they get some

 

           21              kids in there with minors violations for

 

           22              them to go out and do cleanups and

 

           23              throughout the city and this and that, they

 

           24              were really in favor of that.  The problem

 

           25              was to get somebody to supervise those


 

 

                                                                     160

 

 

            1              children when they did it like if it would

 

            2              be on the weekend, and at the time I said I

 

            3              would volunteer to do it one Saturday if

 

            4              they were going to come out, but as their

 

            5              punishment.  I know they send them down --

 

            6              some people get sent to the St. Assisi

 

            7              kitchen to work, but that's a possibility

 

            8              what Mrs. Evans or what I'm saying is

 

            9              possible, but I think we need to do

 

           10              something because we have a growing number

 

           11              of properties that have been torn down and

 

           12              nobody maintaining them in the wintertime,

 

           13              and God knows how many properties that are

 

           14              just abandoned them and people just -- that

 

           15              aren't torn down and they don't take care of

 

           16              the sidewalks.

 

           17                      MS. GATELLI:  Then there is people

 

           18              that don't shovel them, believe me, they

 

           19              don't shovel them.

 

           20                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I believe it's

 

           21              24 hours you have.  As far as the bridges I

 

           22              think, because I didn't want to get in with

 

           23              it Jeannie too much there, is I think what

 

           24              happens is when they do plowing and sidewalk

 

           25              cleaning they go and they have a list of


 

 

                                                                     161

 

 

            1              priority, and evidently the bridges are low

 

            2              on the priority list.  I know what happens

 

            3              is when the plows come over these bridges,

 

            4              and a lot of times they are state plows, all

 

            5              the snow gets thrown up onto the sidewalk.

 

            6              By the time the city gets their guys out

 

            7              there that stuff is like rock, I have seen

 

            8              them there with Bobcats trying to break it

 

            9              up before, so I think the only answer there

 

           10              is if you could possibly get to those a

 

           11              little bit sooner, and I'll leave it at that

 

           12              so we can move on here.  Thank you.

 

           13                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you,

 

           14              Mr. Courtright.  Again, a couple of brief

 

           15              comments.  First, we received a

 

           16              notification, I'll just read what it says,

 

           17              "Kindly find the following the check

 

           18              received from Covenant Presbyterian Church,

 

           19              which represents payment in lieu of taxes

 

           20              for 2008, and a check for $1,000."

 

           21                      I would like it thank Covenant

 

           22              Presbyterian Church for their payment, and

 

           23              hopefully others will following suit.

 

           24                      Second, I would like to commend Mr.

 

           25              Morgan for his comment for trying to guess a


 

 

                                                                     162

 

 

            1              woman's age and I thought that was a very

 

            2              brave thing to do publically, but --

 

            3                      MS. GATELLI:  Glad he didn't mention

 

            4              any of us.

 

            5                      MR. MCGOFF: And lastly, Mr. Gervasi

 

            6              made, you know, a statement of being thrown

 

            7              under the bus.  I don't think that that

 

            8              occurred.  There were three things that I

 

            9              thought just needed to be restated.  Number

 

           10              one, when I placed that item on the agenda I

 

           11              was under the impression that other members

 

           12              of council were in favor of doing that for

 

           13              discussion.

 

           14                      Number two, the amounts that were

 

           15              placed there honestly were never meant to be

 

           16              final, they were simply, again, points of

 

           17              departure for discussion.

 

           18                      And, third, the intent of placing it

 

           19              on the agenda I honestly thought was to give

 

           20              us an opportunity to discuss it and the

 

           21              likelihood being that maybe everyone would

 

           22              vote "No" on them, but at least I thought we

 

           23              all wanted the opportunity to discuss.

 

           24              Apparently I was mistaken, and I will take

 

           25              responsibility for that, and thank you.  And


 

 

                                                                     163

 

 

            1              let's move to fifth order.

 

            2                      MS. GATELLI:  I just wanted to

 

            3              address that one comment about the meetings,

 

            4              that were missed, you know, August and

 

            5              December.  It seem to be the hot topic.  As

 

            6              far back as 1999 they recessed on August 10;

 

            7              2000, July 24, of which there would have

 

            8              been a meeting the next week because there

 

            9              is another week after the 24th; 2001 was

 

           10              July 23 where there was another week also in

 

           11              July plus all of August; 2002, 8-14; 2003

 

           12              8-4; 2004, July 30; 2005 went to August 25,

 

           13              and guess what, that was the election?  That

 

           14              was the mayor's election so they had

 

           15              meetings all of August.  Well, isn't that

 

           16              coincidental?  2006, the last of July, the

 

           17              27th; 2007, July 26th; and 2008, July 29th.

 

           18                      As far as the December meetings,

 

           19              1999, 12-13; 2000, 12-22; 2001, 12-28; 2002,

 

           20              12-16; 2003, 12- 29; 2004, 12-15; 2005,

 

           21              12-12; 2006, 12- 14; 2007, 12-11; and 2008,

 

           22              12-9.  So, as you can see, there is a

 

           23              pattern that they took August off and they

 

           24              took most of December off.

 

           25                      And just for the record, I gave back


 

 

                                                                     164

 

 

            1              my salary last year 5 percent of my salary.

 

            2              Don't make a face, Mr. Jackowitz, you said

 

            3              you always like to credit people.

 

            4                      MR. JACKOWITZ: I do.

 

            5                      MS. GATELLI:  Well, you never credit

 

            6              me.  I'm the only council person that gave 5

 

            7              percent of my salary back.

 

            8                      MR. JACKOWITZ: Thank you very much,

 

            9              Mrs. Gatelli.

 

           10                      MS. GATELLI: You are welcome.

 

           11                      MR. JACKOWITZ: You got the credit

 

           12              you deserved.

 

           13                      MR. MCGOFF: Excuse me.

 

           14                      MS. GATELLI:  Thank you.  I

 

           15              appreciate that, Mr. Jackowitz.

 

           16                      MR. JACKOWITZ: You're welcome.

 

           17                      MS. GATELLI: I always liked you for

 

           18              your honesty.

 

           19                      MR. JACKOWITZ: I think Mr. McGoff,

 

           20              Mrs. Fanucci, Mr. Courtright, and Mrs. Evans

 

           21              should do the same.

 

           22                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr.

 

           23              Jackowtiz.

 

           24                      MR. JACKOWITZ: Your colleagues

 

           25              should do the same.


 

 

                                                                     165

 

 

            1                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.

 

            2                      MR. JACKOWITZ: You are welcome.

 

            3                      MR. MCGOFF: Fifth order, please.

 

            4                      MR. MINORA: 5-B.  FOR INTRODUCTION -

 

            5              AN ORDINANCE - AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND

 

            6              OTHER APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS TO MAKE A

 

            7              SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATION FROM THE

 

            8              CONTINGENCY ACCOUNT TO INCREASE THE SALARY

 

            9              OF THE DEPUTY CITY CONTROLLER TO INCLUDE

 

           10              $4,814.00 TO BE PAID AT REGULAR SALARY

 

           11              INTERVALS BEGINNING JANUARY 1, 2009.

 

           12                      MR. MCGOFF:  At this time I'll

 

           13              entertain a motion that Item 5-B be

 

           14              introduced into it's proper committee.

 

           15                      MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.

 

           16                      MS. FANUCCI:  Second.

 

           17                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  All

 

           18              in favor signify by saying aye.

 

           19                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.

 

           20                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.

 

           21                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.

 

           22                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.

 

           23                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?  The

 

           24              ayes have it and so moved.

 

           25                      MR. MINORA: 5-C has been removed


 

 

                                                                     166

 

 

            1              from the agenda.  5-D.  FOR INTRODUCTION - A

 

            2              RESOLUTION - AUTHORIZING REVISION OF THE

 

            3              EXISTING TRAFFIC SIGNAL ALONG 7TH

 

            4              AVENUE/PROVIDENCE ROAD (SR 3029) AT THE

 

            5              INTERSECTION WITH MUNCHAK WAY AND OLIVE

 

            6              STREET TO INCLUDE A NEW DRIVEWAY APPROACH

 

            7              FOR THE ICE BOX DRIVEWAY.

 

            8                      MR. MCGOFF:  At this time I'll

 

            9              entertain a motion that Item 5-D be

 

           10              introduced into it's proper committee.

 

           11                      MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.

 

           12                      MS. FANUCCI:  Second.

 

           13                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?

 

           14                      MS. EVANS: Yes.  This is an

 

           15              extremely busy intersection particularly

 

           16              when Scranton High School opens and closes

 

           17              daily and during various school and athletic

 

           18              activities in the evening, so before I could

 

           19              cast a vote on this I would like more time

 

           20              to review the legislation, therefore, I move

 

           21              that council table Item 5-D.

 

           22                      MS. GATELLI:  Is it just for

 

           23              introduction?

 

           24                      MR. MCGOFF: Can we just introduce it

 

           25              and look into, you know, whatever questions


 

 

                                                                     167

 

 

            1              you have for next week?

 

            2                      MS. EVANS: Well, I made a motion and

 

            3              it's not seconded, so it died.

 

            4                      MR. MCGOFF: Okay.  I'm just, you

 

            5              know, the formality of it, but certainly if

 

            6              there are questions we can at least look

 

            7              into what's revisions they do want to make

 

            8              and how they are going to be made.

 

            9                      MS. GATELLI:  Is it PennDot?  We're

 

           10              still on the questions; right?  Is it

 

           11              PennDot?

 

           12                      MR. MCGOFF: Yes.

 

           13                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yes.

 

           14                      MS. EVANS: I wasn't able to see.

 

           15                      MR. MCGOFF: Project pursuant to a

 

           16              PennDOT requirement.

 

           17                      MS. GATELLI: Yes, it is PennDot.

 

           18              Maybe it will work out better.

 

           19                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  I think that's the

 

           20              intent.

 

           21                      MS. GATELLI:  I think that's

 

           22              probably the intent what it is.

 

           23                      MR. MCGOFF: But anyone else on the

 

           24              question?  All those this favor of

 

           25              introduction signify by saying aye?


 

 

                                                                     168

 

 

            1                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.

 

            2                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.

 

            3                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.

 

            4                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?

 

            5                      MS. EVANS: I'll say, no, for now

 

            6              until I read it over.

 

            7                      MR. MCGOFF: The ayes have it and so

 

            8              moved.

 

            9                      MR. MINORA:  SIXTH.  READING BY

 

           10              TITLE.  6-A. READING BY TITLE - FILE OF

 

           11              COUNCIL NO. 52, 2009 - AN ORDINANCE -

 

           12              AMENDING FILE OF THE COUNCIL NO. 8, 1976,

 

           13              ENTITLED "AN ORDINANCE (AS AMENDED)

 

           14              PROVIDING FOR THE GENERAL REVENUE BY

 

           15              IMPOSING A TAX AT THE RATE OF TWO (2) MILLS

 

           16              UPON THE PRIVILEGE OF OPERATING OR

 

           17              CONDUCTING BUSINESS IN THE CITY OF SCRANTON

 

           18              AS MEASURED BY THE GROSS RECEIPTS THEREFROM;

 

           19              REQUIRING REGISTRATION AND PAYMENT OF THE

 

           20              TAX AS CONDITION TO THE CONDUCTING OF SUCH

 

           21              BUSINESS; PROVIDING FOR THE LEVY AND

 

           22              COLLECTION OF SUCH TAX; PRESCRIBING SUCH

 

           23              REQUIREMENTS FOR RETURNS AND RECORDS;

 

           24              CONFERRING POWERS AND DUTIES UPON THE TAX

 

           25              COLLECTOR; AND IMPOSING PENALTIES", BY


 

 

                                                                     169

 

 

            1              IMPOSING THE BUSINESS PRIVILEGE TAX AT THE

 

            2              RATE OF ONE (1) MILL FOR CALENDAR YEAR 2009.

 

            3                      MR. MCGOFF: You have heard reading

 

            4              by title of Item 6-A, what is your pleasure?

 

            5                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I move that Item 6-A

 

            6              pass reading by title.

 

            7                      MS. FANUCCI: Second.

 

            8                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  All

 

            9              those in favor signify by saying aye.

 

           10                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.

 

           11                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.

 

           12                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.

 

           13                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.

 

           14                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?  The

 

           15              ayes have it and so moved.

 

           16                      MR. MINORA: 6-B.  READING BY TITLE -

 

           17              FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 53, 2009 - AN ORDINANCE

 

           18              AMENDING FILE OF THE COUNCIL NO. 17, 1994

 

           19              ENTITLED "AN ORDINANCE (AS AMENDED)

 

           20              AUTHORIZING THE GOVERNING BODY OF THE CITY

 

           21              OF SCRANTON TO ENACT 'A WASTE DISPOSAL AND

 

           22              COLLECTION FEE' FOR THE PURPOSE OF RAISING

 

           23              REVENUE TO COVER THE WASTE DISPOSAL AND

 

           24              COLLECTION COSTS INCURRED BY THE CITY OF