1 SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING
7 Tuesday, January 13, 2009
10 Council Chambers
11 Scranton City Hall
12 340 North Washington Avenue
13 Scranton, Pennsylvania
CATHENE S. NARDOZZI, RPR - OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
2 CITY OF SCRANTON COUNCIL:
MR. ROBERT MCGOFF, PRESIDENT
6 MS. JUDY GATELLI, VICE-PRESIDENT
MS. JANET E. EVANS
9 MS. SHERRY FANUCCI
MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT
12 MS. KAY GARVEY, CITY CLERK
MS. SUE MAGNOTTA, ASSISTANT CITY CLERK
15 MR. AMIL MINORA, SOLICITOR
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
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;
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;
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
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?
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
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 --
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
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
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
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.
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
1 MS. GATELLI: Second.
2 MR. MCGOFF: On the question. All in
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
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
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
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
24 Since I was never a party to any
25 discussion of council or controller raises,
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
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
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
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
24 In response to this growing
25 recession in defense of the taxpayers,
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
11 (Whereupon the audience became
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
1 would appreciate it. Thank you. And that's
2 all I have. Thank you.
3 MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else? Mrs.
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
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
11 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you. Mrs.
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
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
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
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
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
1 that they did not want this to be
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
20 MS. FANUCCI: Did you ask me or are
21 you making another assumption?
22 MR. QUINN: You should have made a
24 MS. FANUCCI: Ozzie, you are so good
25 at this, but, as you say, everyone --
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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
1 tell you. I could call down and ask
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
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
25 MS. SUETTA: All right before --
1 MR. COURTRIGHT: The officer has --
2 he has nothing to do with cleaning that
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 --
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,
6 MS. SUETTA: Are you sure?
7 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yeah, I'm sure.
8 MS. SUETTA: I know you have my
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
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: DPW does it.
25 MS. SUETTA: It hasn't been done
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
24 MS. FANUCCI: PEL is actually an
25 independent company supposedly from the
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
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
24 MR. SPINDLER: You said you compared
25 to other cities, obviously, you didn't
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
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
24 Did you say that?
25 MS. GATELLI: Would you like me to
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
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?
1 MS. GATELLI: They hired a
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
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."
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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.
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.
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
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,
2 MR. TALIMINI: Okay, mouth, get back
3 to your hairdressing and your Irish
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
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
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?
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,
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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."
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
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.
1 Last week I asked about the parking
2 fees, did you find anything out on that,
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
25 MS. GATELLI: The University I don't
1 see that on here at all.
2 MR. HUBBARD: Well, they should be
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
25 MR. STUCKER: No. They told me to
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
1 MR. MORGAN: Well, that would be good
3 MS. GATELLI: That's a good
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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?
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
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
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
22 MR. GERVASI: Okay, I was just
23 trying to clarify in case you misinformed
24 about --
25 MS. FANUCCI: No, I was not
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
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
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
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
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
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
1 under sworn testimony that we are worse off
2 now than we were put on this distress in
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
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
1 and salaries of all," that is it A-L-L, all,
2 "city employees shall not exceed the 2002
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?
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
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
1 girl from our area was going to run for
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
23 City residents report that several
24 businesses throughout Scranton do not clear
25 their walkways following the snow events in
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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,
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
24 MR. JACKOWITZ: Your colleagues
25 should do the same.
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
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
24 MR. MCGOFF: Can we just introduce it
25 and look into, you know, whatever questions
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
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
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?
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
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
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