1              SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING








            5                          HELD:




            7                  Tuesday, January 20, 2009




            9                        LOCATION:


           10                    Council Chambers


           11                 Scranton City Hall


           12              340 North Washington Avenue


           13                Scranton, Pennsylvania








































            6   MS. JUDY GATELLI, VICE-PRESIDENT (Not Present.)



                MS. JANET E. EVANS



            9   MS. SHERRY FANUCCI



                MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT



           12   MS. KAY GARVEY, CITY CLERK
































            1   (Pledge of Allegiance recited and moment of reflection


            2   observed.)


            3                      MR. MCGOFF:  Roll call, please?


            4                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.


            5                      MS. EVANS:  Here.


            6                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Gatelli.


            7                      (Mrs. Gatelli not present.)


            8                      MR. COOLICAN:  Ms. Fanucci.


            9                      MS. FANUCCI:  Here.


           10                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.


           11                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Here.


           12                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.


           13                      MR. MCGOFF:  Here.  Let the record


           14              reflect that Mrs. Gatelli did inform council


           15              that she would not be here this evening.


           16              She is currently I believe in Washington DC


           17              at the inaugural.  Dispense with the reading


           18              of the minutes.  Third Order.


           19                      MS. GARVEY: 3-A.  APPLICATIONS AND




           21              BOARD MEETING HELD ON JANUARY 14, 2009.


           22                      MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?


           23              If not, received and filed.


           24                      MS. GARVEY: 3-B.  MINUTES OF THE








            1              HELD ON NOVEMBER 18, 2008.


            2                      MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?


            3              If not, received and filed.


            4                      MS. GARVEY: That's it for third


            5              order.


            6                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.  Any


            7              announcements from council?


            8                      MS. EVANS: Yes.  Please remember in


            9              your prayers this week all who have died,


           10              particularly Frank Burke, Jr., a former


           11              Scranton Housing Authority employee, and the


           12              father of retired Scranton firefighter Frank


           13              Burke, III, and father-in-law of my good


           14              friend Mary Alice Burke, Keyser Valley


           15              neighborhood president and activist.  Robert


           16              F. Shay, a young Scranton firefighter and


           17              chauffeur from Engine Nine who served his


           18              community and city with devotion and


           19              compassion, and Louis Hazzouri, mother of


           20              former Scranton council member Alex


           21              Hazzouri, and the families and friends who


           22              suffer the loss of these great men and


           23              gracious women.  That's all.


           24                      MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else?  Fourth


           25              order.  Citizen's participation.  Sam






            1              Patilla.


            2                      MR. PATILLA: Good evening,


            3              Mr. Courtright and Mrs. Evans.


            4                      MS. EVANS: Good evening.


            5                      MR. PATILLA: To many within the


            6              African-America community, as well as


            7              communities of other American-born


            8              minorities, those considered poor, those


            9              looked upon as second class citizens, drugs,


           10              corruption, crime -- drugs, crime, and


           11              corrupt elected appointed officials go


           12              hand-in-hand because one could not survive


           13              without the other, and as such it is viable


           14              that corrupt and self-serving crooked


           15              individuals are we weeded out of government


           16              on all levels, but especially on the local


           17              level because that is where we as taxpayers


           18              and citizens are directly victimized.


           19              Victimized of our abilities to trust,


           20              victimized as taxpayers, victimized as


           21              American citizens.


           22                      Many minorities are bamboozled into


           23              believing that are quest for representation


           24              in government is for the sole purpose of


           25              requiring employment.  That couldn't be






            1              further from the truth for what we are


            2              actually seeking is a voice to rely or


            3              concerns, representation to quell our fears


            4              and to ensure that our children are provided


            5              more opportunities than we.  Some may


            6              believe that all we seek is a level playing


            7              field, but in fact all we seek is to be


            8              judged in our abilities to not only complete


            9              the task before us, but judge in our ability


           10              to perform based on our commitments and


           11              dedication to the quest at hand.


           12                      The Thomas Savage speech known as


           13              inequality, the old boys network, agreed to


           14              affirmative action only to later circumvent


           15              that later progress with the outsourcing of


           16              family sustaining jobs to foreign countries.


           17              So I say to you, Mr. Courtright, your job as


           18              a public servant is not complete because


           19              factually you never were afforded the


           20              opportunity to serve this sector and you


           21              still have worked to do as a m ember of the


           22              Scranton City Council and one of the main


           23              responsibilities still facing you is that


           24              the citizens of Scranton, irregardless of


           25              color, race, religion or creed is that each






            1              and every citizen that resides within the


            2              borders of the City of Scranton receive true


            3              representation in regards to the safety,


            4              welfare and ability to pursue their American


            5              dream as described by both the Constitution


            6              and the Bill of Rights, minority or


            7              nonminority, working class and the poor, the


            8              elderly and our youth have placed their


            9              trust in their elected and appointed public


           10              servants to always keep the welfare and


           11              safety of the residents and taxpayers above


           12              all others, and yet under the current


           13              administration here in Scranton all they


           14              have to show for their trust is a debt often


           15              attributed with cities twice the size of


           16              Scranton and lack of family sustaining jobs


           17              the creation of crony positions for jobs --


           18              and jobs for our rank and file police and


           19              fire personnel and their families are forced


           20              to go without.  A leadership sector that is


           21              void of accepting responsibilities for all


           22              their shortcomings and failures.  The loss


           23              of their homes and in many cases the loss of


           24              homes that have been in their families for


           25              generations.  Instead of accountability,






            1              they are force fed lies, deceit and


            2              corruption instead of an open and honest


            3              government they face a government reeking


            4              with intimidation and retribution.  The day


            5              is quickly approaching when the shackles,


            6              leg irons and restraints will be removed


            7              from your ability to perform your jobs which


            8              lead you to the position of public servants


            9              in the first place, just as they were


           10              removed from my ancestors and the ancestors


           11              of many Scranton residents.


           12                      Are you, Mr. Courtright, willing to


           13              answer that call?  The call that won't come


           14              at 3 a.m. because that phone began ringing


           15              the moment Chris Doherty was first seated as


           16              a public servant and it hasn't stopped


           17              ringing since.


           18                      President Obama will not be forced


           19              to carry the burden of 400 years of


           20              oppression solely upon his shoulders nor


           21              will he be forced to correct the wrong of


           22              those that came before him by himself


           23              because we all have obligation.  For unlike


           24              years past, people such as is Chris Doherty,


           25              Austin Burke, Judy Gatelli, Sherry Fanucci,






            1              Robert McGoff, will no longer be allowed to


            2              desecrate the memory of those such as Dr.


            3              King and the minority and nonminorities


            4              alike who gave of themselves in order to


            5              assure that this country stood tall on all


            6              fronts with the prayer of the fathers.  For


            7              a few within the ministry, the few that I


            8              label Uncle Toms who have decided to either


            9              turn a blind eye to the wrongdoings of those


           10              listed above or patted them upon their backs


           11              to shower them false awards and false


           12              praise, they will stand alone for in this


           13              country the mantra isn't keeping the


           14              things -- keeping things their way, but


           15              doing it in the American way.  Thank you.


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


           17              Andy Sbaraglia.


           18                      MR. SBARAGLIA: Andy Sbaraglia,


           19              citizen of Scranton.  Fellow Scrantonians,


           20              as you all know Al Boscov is suing the


           21              theatre, but I don't know really care for


           22              Boscov's against the theatre, that's not my


           23              concern.  My concern is the 700,000 low


           24              interest loan we gave to the theatre.


           25              Exactly is that up-to-date or is that in






            1              default?


            2                      MS. FANUCCI: I don't know that, but


            3              I will find out that for you.


            4                      MR. SBARAGLIA: Well, that's the


            5              important thing really.  Most likely from


            6              what I see here it most likely in default,


            7              but tell me, being that you know this or


            8              that, exactly what are we paying for when we


            9              pay that 108 for Al Boscov?  Exactly what


           10              are we paying it on?  As you know when it


           11              came up before I asked if it was the theatre


           12              and somebody said it was with the mall, and


           13              so I have to way of knowing.  Well, what


           14              exactly are we paying all Boscov for on that


           15              loan?  I hope it ain't for political


           16              contributions.


           17                      Okay.  Let me get something a little


           18              better in here.  Our pension plan.  I got


           19              the figures, apparently, I hope they are


           20              up-to-date, but they came out of the --


           21              actually out of the audit on our pension


           22              plan, and from what I see we are in deep


           23              trouble with that pension plan and you don't


           24              realize how deep.  As you know, we are never


           25              up to par anyway with it.  They claim that






            1              the end of the year the pension plan had


            2              $76,512,415.00, but I seen an article in the


            3              paper where we lost 20 million out of that.


            4              But the crux is we are taking more money out


            5              of that than we are putting into it even


            6              before the loss.  They claim that the total


            7              contributors were $5,336,638.00 and that's


            8              what we were putting into it, and benefit


            9              payments were $9,399,978.00.  They claim


           10              that a change in assets were about a half a


           11              million dollars, but that's in '07.  We are


           12              in '08.


           13                      Now, has anybody noticed the


           14              administration has opened up anything with


           15              the state on this pension plan?  Have they


           16              did in any inquiries on it before we get hit


           17              over the head with it?  I don't know.  See,


           18              you weren't here the last time we had this


           19              big show at this thing, you might have been,


           20              Mrs. Evans.  You remember we look only a


           21              percentage of it because we couldn't bring


           22              our pension up to par, so we come across


           23              with a formula, I don't know if it was 85


           24              percent or so forth and so on that we had to


           25              have on hand instead of the 100 percent.






            1                      Well, know with the 20 million


            2              dollars loss we are woefully low and the


            3              question is that somebody should be looking


            4              into that before you get hit with it.  I


            5              hate to see you come up.  The state may say


            6              you don't have to have it because, as you


            7              know, we have -- well, even with the 20


            8              million we have 56 million which is enough


            9              to pay for the pensions.  I think there is


           10              almost 10 million benefit payments are


           11              $9,399,978.00, so even with the loss we have


           12              enough to cover us for a few years before we


           13              tap out the funds, but the question is how


           14              are we going to be held accountable for


           15              them?  That's the quirks.  If the state says


           16              you have to bring that pension fund up to


           17              par we don't have the money, so let's hope


           18              they don't.


           19                      Well, the Connell building, as you


           20              know, the state give them $5 million, you


           21              are going to put in the grant for another


           22              $4 million, $9 million investment into it,


           23              whether or not it will ever bring -- I don't


           24              know.  I mean, there is all kind of money


           25              being sent, but it's all taxpayers' money.






            1              Let's hope that Obama comes through with a


            2              lot of money that we don't have to pay back.


            3              Thank you.


            4                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you,


            5              Mr. Sbaraglia.  Mr. Quinn.


            6                      MR. QUINN:  Ozzie Quinn, Taxpayers'


            7              Association.  Mrs. Fanucci, at the last


            8              meeting you said that a letter from Janelle


            9              Miller from DCED was a big mistake and it's


           10              going to be all cleared up?


           11                      MS. FANUCCI: No.


           12                      THE COURT: Is that what you said?


           13                      MS. FANUCCI: No.  No, that's


           14              incorrect.  I never said there was a letter,


           15              I said it was a mistake.


           16                      MR. QUINN: I saw the letter.


           17                      MS. FANUCCI: I said there was a


           18              letter and mistake.  What is the question


           19              you are asking me?


           20                      MR. QUINN:  I want to know has it


           21              been cleared up like you said it was going


           22              to be, there was no flags.


           23                      MS. FANUCCI: There is still no flag.


           24              There wasn't no flag and there still is not


           25              a flag on the audit, yes.  That's what I






            1              said and that was correct.


            2                      MR. QUINN:  I saw the letter.


            3                      MS. FANUCCI: Right.  They said that


            4              we could be cited, yes, you did see the


            5              letter, and that's the problem, everybody


            6              went with the letter as if that was what was


            7              happening.  The problem was that wasn't


            8              really what was happening.  They sent a


            9              letter saying you could be cited if your


           10              audit is not done, but the state was working


           11              with the administration and also with PEL.


           12              They were very aware the audit was not done


           13              and we were never cited because they were


           14              aware and we are involved in the process.


           15                      MR. QUINN:  They were talking about


           16              other things, too, other audits.


           17                      MS. FANUCCI:  That's not what they


           18              were talking about.  We were talking about


           19              the independent audit.  We are talking about


           20              the independent audit.  We were not cited


           21              for the independent audit.


           22                      MR. QUINN: Well, how about the other


           23              items that were not monitored?


           24                      MS. FANUCCI: There were two -- the


           25              one project actually the red flags were






            1              removed and that was only because of the


            2              paperwork.  The city was on-time with


            3              everything they did filing and in a timely


            4              fashion.  It was at the state level that


            5              that sat.  There were two mistakes made on


            6              that one, and the other one, yes, there was


            7              a red flag because of missed paperwork was


            8              not filed that was correctly filed.


            9                      MR. QUINN:  So there was a red flag,


           10              so --


           11                      MS. FANUCCI:  Not on the audit, yes.


           12                      MR. QUINN:  Does that effect the


           13              Connell building $4 million?


           14                      MS. FANUCCI: Absolutely not.  No.


           15              There will no projects that will be affected


           16              as far as the red flags are concerned.


           17                      MR. QUINN:  I was wondering because


           18              they said it was going to be frozen, the


           19              funds were going to be frozen.


           20                      MS. FANUCCI: Yes.


           21                      MR. QUINN: To me, it appears like


           22              somebody is bending that poor lady's arm.


           23                      MS. FANUCCI: Is what you think


           24              happened?


           25                      MR. QUINN:  Yeah.






            1                      MS. FANUCCI: If you prove it, I


            2              think that would be wonderful.  So come in


            3              with some information and let's talk about


            4              it then, Ozzie.


            5                      MR. QUINN:  Okay.  I want to ask a


            6              question off-hand.  Now, the audit before


            7              2006 we were in debt $94 million principle


            8              only, the last audit where you just had the


            9              exit, okay, we are now $95 million in


           10              principle debt, okay?  It went up $1 million


           11              and, of course, that doesn't include the


           12              authorities, but we are responsible for the


           13              authorities because I want to point down


           14              there unless Rossi isn't too sure what's


           15              going on in regards to what he is doing with


           16              the audit, because it says combined Scranton


           17              government assets are 309.6 million dollars,


           18              and this includes authorities.  So if it


           19              includes authorities we're using it as an


           20              asset, actually, it should be a debt.


           21              That's when it appears to me.


           22                      MS. FANUCCI: Are you saying the


           23              audit was wrong?


           24                      MR. QUINN: I'm saying that --


           25                      MS. FANUCCI: So that Rossi was






            1              wrong?


            2                      MR. QUINN: I'm saying that we're


            3              responsible for all of the debt that the


            4              authorities have out there.


            5                      MS. FANUCCI: So you are saying that


            6              the auditors were incorrect in their jobs?


            7                      MR. QUINN:  Yeah.  I -- I --


            8                      MS. EVANS: No, could I just


            9              intervene for a moment, I would assume what


           10              you might have looked at is what I, too,


           11              read through and that is not the complete


           12              audit, and I'm going to address that later


           13              in motions.  We were given 22 pages of


           14              financial assets, liabilities, etcetera, and


           15              the actual audit itself should exceed 90


           16              pages, and the long-term debt was left out


           17              of those 22 pages and so I'm awaiting the


           18              full audit.


           19                      MR. QUINN:  Okay.  But the last


           20              audit they didn't include the authorities as


           21              a debt owed by the taxpayers and --


           22                      MS. EVANS: The authorities are


           23              always included in the audit.


           24                      MR. QUINN:  Not in the principle.


           25              Not in the city debt --






            1                      MS. EVANS: Oh, no, not in the


            2              principle, but there are sections involving


            3              long-term debt for the city and each one of


            4              the authorities and since the authorities


            5              basically borrow through the city and the


            6              city must pledge it's full faith and credit


            7              in order for that borrowing to be


            8              attained --


            9                      MR. QUINN:  That is not included in


           10              the $95 million what the authorities owe.


           11                      MS. EVANS: No, it is not.  It is


           12              not.


           13                      MR. QUINN:  Therefore, the city is


           14              in debt more than $95 million.


           15                      MS. EVANS: Oh, absolutely, yes.


           16                      MR. QUINN: And if you use it over a


           17              long-term period with interest you are


           18              probably talking about $300 million.


           19                      MS. EVANS:  Well, when I get my


           20              hands on the full audit I will make a full


           21              report.


           22                      MR. QUINN:  Well, actually, it's


           23              really deception because of the fact that I


           24              am a taxpayer, I am paying and everything


           25              that the redevelopment authority does with






            1              things like maybe lights, I don't know if


            2              they are paid for, but I have to pay for


            3              that, and that's what I want to know.


            4                      I'm sorry, could I speak a few more


            5              seconds?  I want to point out here the fact


            6              that I talked to Standard and Poor today and


            7              in New York City and the person who is the


            8              primary credit analyst regarding the bond


            9              rating and he said the bond rating is still


           10              BB, junk bonds.  How the heck are we going


           11              to pay off all of this here?  How are we


           12              going to pay off the firemen?  And he said


           13              the BB rating reflects the city as chronic,


           14              structural imbalances which management


           15              continues to address through deficit


           16              financing and other one-time revenues.


           17                      Lack of a timely remedial action to


           18              improve financial performance and below


           19              average wealth and income levels and a below


           20              average unemployment.


           21                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.


           22                      MR. QUINN:  Management's failure to


           23              development and implement a comprehensive


           24              plan to eliminate the structural imbalance


           25              for the next couple of years could lead to






            1              further credit deterioration.  We are as low


            2              as you can go.


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


            4                      MR. QUINN: Thank you very much.


            5              They are speculative bonds and I know that


            6              anybody is going to be buying them.


            7                      MR. MCGOFF: Excuse me --


            8                      MR. QUINN: Mrs. Evans, could you


            9              please find out how much debt truly our


           10              taxpayers are in debt in the city that you


           11              have to incorporate the authorities and


           12              everything?


           13                      MS. EVANS: I will.  I have done that


           14              each year.


           15                      MS. GAWEL:  Good evening, Council.


           16              Tonight I'm going to kind of go just all


           17              over the place tonight.  First and foremost,


           18              I was really sorry to hear that you guys


           19              aren't putting personal issues aside in


           20              trying to deal with this city.  I hope you


           21              work on it more in the new year.  You know,


           22              it's important that you all work together so


           23              we can get something accomplished.  Thank


           24              you.


           25                      Now, I may have missed this because






            1              I wasn't able to get here during the fall


            2              season because I was working so much and,


            3              unfortunately, Attorney Minora is not here,


            4              but he might be, you might be able to answer


            5              the question, how are we standing on the


            6              situation with Kenny McDowell and did we


            7              ever get him in here or are we ever getting


            8              him in here?


            9                      MS. EVANS: No.


           10                      MS. GAWEL: Or are we just going to


           11              let it go for giggles?


           12                      MS. EVANS: We have had no current


           13              update, but I think we are all assuming that


           14              the case is still in litigation and at this


           15              juncture in time Mr. McDowell has --


           16                      MS. GAWEL: Not coming in.


           17                      MS. EVANS: -- not chosen to come in


           18              and I would assume is appealing a decision,


           19              and I really don't have a time line on that


           20              for you.


           21                      MS. GAWEL:  Now, we started to


           22              discuss this a little bit last week, is


           23              there any way we are going to get PEL out of


           24              here and get us out of the distressed city.


           25              I think we realize that, you know, PEL is






            1              making money on us left and right and it's


            2              like we are in a Catch 22.  How do we get


            3              out of it?


            4                      MS. FANUCCI:  We will never get rid


            5              of PEL until we actually comply and do what


            6              they are telling us to do.  If we do get rid


            7              of PEL, say we for some reason decided that


            8              PEL is not doing the job and they hear us in


            9              Court, they will just give us another, you


           10              know, another company like PEL that will


           11              come in and do the same thing until we are


           12              out of distressed city status, which is by


           13              their standards, set by their standards, we


           14              will not get rid of PEL.


           15                      MS. GAWEL:  Okay.  Well, I was going


           16              to ask you to send a letter to the governor


           17              again, but I realize that Mr. Doherty is


           18              Mr. Rendell's buddy so that would be


           19              redundant at this point, I think.


           20                      MS. FANUCCI: Can I tell you


           21              something though?


           22                      MS. GAWEL: Yeah.


           23                      MS. FANUCCI: What can happen is the


           24              worst case scenario would be that we do go


           25              to Court, say we decide to file bankruptcy






            1              or something of that, and we do go to Court,


            2              the judge can actually tell us and say,


            3              "Here, you have to raise the taxes this


            4              amount, you have to do it this amount, this


            5              amount and this amount for the next few


            6              years to get out of debt."


            7                      .  That is what your alternative is,


            8              so the less of the evils, what is the


            9              gamble?


           10                      MS. GAWEL:  It's a Catch- 22.


           11                      MS. FANUCCI:  Exactly.


           12                      MS. GAWEL:  Now, it's a silly


           13              question, but, you know, election time is


           14              coming up, so I have a question, how do we


           15              go about making it possible for independent


           16              candidates to get on the primaries, because


           17              a lot of us would rather be independent


           18              rather than democrat or republican, but


           19              because we can't vote in the primaries --


           20                      MS. EVANS: Not in the primary.  I


           21              believe that's a state law that would have


           22              be addressed on the state level.


           23                      MS. GAWEL:  No, so -- okay.


           24                      MS. EVANS: But I agree with you.


           25                      MS. GAWEL: Now, I have a couple, as






            1              Mrs. Evans would put it, citizens' requests.


            2              I travel the viaduct in West Side quite


            3              frequently on my way to and from work.


            4              There are severe potholes that you


            5              literally, like, if the guy coming up the


            6              hill is trying to go around his pothole and


            7              the other person coming down the hill is


            8              trying to go around the pothole there is


            9              going to be an accident because they are


           10              that bad.  Then there is a -- there is one


           11              that I'm aware of on I think it's Elm


           12              Street, is that where Whitehouse hoagie is?


           13              All right, if you are coming from Whitehouse


           14              Hoagie and you come up the West Side viaduct


           15              by the South Side Shopping Center, that


           16              section there, there is a huge hole there,


           17              you could literally lose a car.  I don't


           18              know whether it got patched or not any time


           19              soon.


           20                      And we are back to the sidewalks


           21              because I see city hall still hasn't cleaned


           22              their sidewalks so I don't know why


           23              everybody would expect the bridges and stuff


           24              to be done, but I think it's very


           25              hypocritical of the mayor to expect you and






            1              me as citizens to have ours done within 8 to


            2              12 hours of a storm and their bridges and


            3              their sidewalks even out here aren't done


            4              correctly.


            5                      And could we possibly get lights


            6              down by the stadium and the high school?


            7              When you come off from Mulberry to go onto


            8              say down to the Glider Diner, that section


            9              right there is so dark and it's right there


           10              by the high school and, I mean, like


           11              literally the kids -- you know, the kids, I


           12              mean, it's very dangerous during like


           13              football season and stuff when there is


           14              something going on at night.


           15                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  That's been brought


           16              up in the past and --


           17                      MS. GAWEL: Well, I'm bringing it up


           18              again.


           19                      MR. COURTRIGHT: -- with that


           20              intersection, we even discussed that when


           21              that intersection was done and it just


           22              wasn't done correctly, in our opinion


           23              anyway.


           24                      MS. GAWEL: Well, like it should be


           25              done all through that whole section.  It






            1              shouldn't just be at the intersection.


            2                      MS. FANUCCI: We could just put in


            3              during motions to have another study done to


            4              see if we could do something, but that is


            5              true.  I mean, it is a safety hazard


            6              especially at game time.


            7                      MS. GAWEL: It really is.  Yeah, I


            8              mean, like it's very difficult.  Okay.


            9              Thank you very much.  Have a nice night.


           10                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Ms. Gawel.


           11              Pedro Gonzalez.


           12                      MR. GONZALEZ:  Good evening,


           13              Council, and all in attendance.  My name is


           14              Pedro Gonzalez, South Side resident,


           15              registered voter.  I am here to thank the


           16              community at large for the MLK weekend, the


           17              attendance that was put forth by the


           18              community itself, if there is anyone out


           19              that doesn't know, the MLK Commission is a


           20              group of community leaders and community


           21              organizations that their prime directive is


           22              to keep Martin Luther King's dream alive of


           23              racial equality and education and growth


           24              within our communities, neighborhoods and


           25              ourselves really in a whole.  The three-day






            1              event started off this Saturday at Temple


            2              Israel lead by Rabbi Joe Mendelson.  It wash


            3              a tremendous, tremendous event, inspiring,


            4              inspirational, very well attended.  Reverend


            5              Harold Millerbrook came from Knoxville,


            6              Tennessee.  This reverend actually lived and


            7              worked with Martin Luther King so he brought


            8              with him and abundant amount of information


            9              and experiences that he willingly gave us


           10              and made us laugh and made some people cry,


           11              but mostly made a lot of people think about


           12              where we are and what exactly are we doing


           13              as a people, as a community, as a city, per


           14              se.


           15                      The Sunday event, the snow did not


           16              stop too much.  It did stop a little bit


           17              with some of the acts that couldn't come


           18              from the Poconos or from distances far away,


           19              but it was very, very, very well-attended.


           20              We had close to 150 to 200 people I think


           21              was one of the staff members told us was the


           22              count in the auditorium at the time, and for


           23              the spots that were empty, believe it or


           24              not, the actual audience such artistic


           25              people that we have in the city volunteered






            1              to put a show on.  We had people come up and


            2              play the piano.  Choirs just appeared out of


            3              no where.  We thank God for that.


            4                      And on the Monday event we had the


            5              March, which was also very well-attended.


            6              Many of the dignitaries were there, many


            7              people spoke, but the United Neighborhood


            8              Centers hosted, I want to say it's a thing


            9              for the children, and I think they call it


           10              for all teens, a day of peace for all of the


           11              teens.  They had plenty of food, artwork.


           12              The kids we had the LCDC dancers were there,


           13              also very well-attended, and Leah Doherty


           14              took the reigns on that, God bless her.


           15              Mike Hanley was at the inauguration so Leah


           16              did a tremendous job, tremendous job.  My


           17              hat off to the UNC and all of the efforts


           18              they put forth to making this a quality,


           19              quality event for Martin Luther King.


           20                      The march we went to courthouse


           21              square and then to the Scranton Cultural


           22              Center for cake and cocoa, but we finished


           23              it off with a service at Salvation Apostolic


           24              Temple, I think I'm pronouncing it right,


           25              Salvation Apostolic Temple, and they put on






            1              a tremendous show.  That was also very


            2              well-attended.  I think someone said there


            3              was a close to 300 people there.  Sister


            4              Mary Alice took over for Sister Adrian.  I'm


            5              not sure if people know that, some people


            6              know that, but Sister Mary Alice she knows


            7              she has some big shoes to fill, but let me


            8              tell you, she is starting off tremendously


            9              well.  She is starting to fill them up quite


           10              nicely, and my hat is off to her, too.  She


           11              put on a terrific program at the University


           12              of Scranton that fed I want to say, what was


           13              the count that we got there, there was about


           14              200 adults and children in attendance and


           15              everyone was fed for free and a tremendous


           16              show was put on, so thank you so much to


           17              Sister Mary Alice.


           18                      And going and finishing up in


           19              closing, at the Salvation Temple the energy


           20              that was in the room was incredible, it was


           21              plain to see that God was there, but more


           22              importantly the spirit of what Martin Luther


           23              King tried to present to all of us, all of


           24              the people, not just the African-American


           25              people, Latino people, it has nothing to do






            1              with race.  Some people still believe it is


            2              for some, you know, ignorance I guess.


            3                      On this historic day that we have a


            4              brand new president upon that oath many us


            5              were reflecting on the weekend that just


            6              passed, and the one message that I guess


            7              that I could present to everyone is


            8              education.  We need to continue to educate


            9              ourselves and to continue forward not


           10              backwards and with that education we will


           11              bring our city together because without it


           12              we will perish apart.  God bless you all.


           13              Once again, my name is Pedro Gonzalez and


           14              thank you for letting me express myself.


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


           16              Dave Dobson.


           17                      MR. DOBSON: Good evening, Council,


           18              Dave Dobson, resident of Scranton and member


           19              of the Taxpayers' Association.  On this


           20              audit the horse is out of the barn for this


           21              year, but in future years is there any


           22              chance that are measures being taken to


           23              ensure that it is much more timely?


           24              Hopefully?


           25                      MS. EVANS: I'm going to address that






            1              under motions.


            2                      MR. DOBSON: Okay.  And if possible


            3              could we get possibly an announcement in the


            4              paper on snow removal?  When people pile


            5              snow out into the courts and throw it out in


            6              the street they are causing some problems


            7              with other people before it turns into a


            8              neighborhood cupola if these people were


            9              aware of what they are doing shouldn't be


           10              done maybe they will change their ways.


           11                      On KOZ's in the future, once again,


           12              I'd like to mention industrial parks and


           13              where they could be kept clean and in


           14              harmony with the neighborhood as much as


           15              possible, but we really do need to change


           16              our focus here on development somewhat.  We


           17              are not -- we don't have the deep pockets


           18              anymore.


           19                      And on this beat patrol business,


           20              Bill, is there any chance that possibly


           21              somebody could ride around in an unmarked


           22              car and then go out on a beat patrol?


           23                      MR. COURTRIGHT: They do.  They do


           24              ride around in unmarked cars.


           25                      MR. DOBSON: To catch the tire






            1              slashers and people like that because if you


            2              see a police car you are not going to do


            3              something like that.


            4                      MR. COURTRIGHT: They have one whole


            5              unit that is unmarked.


            6                      MR. DOBSON: Yeah.  Yeah.  But, also,


            7              the thought occurred to me if you had to


            8              walk six or ten blocks in this kind of


            9              weather it might not be too pleasant, you


           10              know --


           11                      MR. COURTRIGHT: They do it.


           12                      MR. DOBSON: I do walking myself, but


           13              I know like sometimes my hands feel like


           14              they are caught in a car door, so it would


           15              just be interesting to see somebody maybe


           16              roam around and park their car and then take


           17              a little walk here and there.


           18                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  They have an entire


           19              unit, all right, that does that.


           20                      MR. DOBSON: Yeah.  Yeah.  Yeah, but


           21              more or less like all --


           22                      MR. COURTRIGHT: You don't see them


           23              because they are in unmarked cars, see?


           24                      MR. DOBSON: Yeah.  Yeah.  Well, I


           25              don't see them in my neighborhood, but we






            1              haven't had much problems.  I had two new


            2              knifed tires a couple of years ago.


            3                      And on policy I have often heard it


            4              stated here that Scranton is overbuilt and


            5              that may have been the case ten years ago or


            6              20 years ago when there was an exodus out of


            7              the country and so forth, but if in the


            8              future we are to rely on public


            9              transportation and so forth, a lot that


           10              depends on a high population density,


           11              otherwise, it becomes unprofitable.  There


           12              is no extensive bus service for Dalton


           13              Township, per se.  There is a bus that goes


           14              to Waverly and it's probably empty more or


           15              less, but some of the -- some of the houses


           16              in our town are just so large that if you


           17              can't break them up into an apartment house


           18              they almost need to be torn down, and it's


           19              really -- I know some people don't want


           20              apartment houses in their neighborhoods or


           21              whatever or they have issues with that, but


           22              it's just something to consider because a


           23              couple with one or two kids in a house that


           24              used to house 15 or 20 people just don't --


           25              with an extended a family the way people






            1              used to live these houses were built with a


            2              different intent in mind and the only way


            3              you could do it is to break them up and


            4              alter them into -- to save them, especially


            5              like the big Victorians and stuff.  They are


            6              impossible to heat unless you are wealthy.


            7              Have a good night.


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


            9              Marie Schumacher.


           10                      MS. SCHUMACHER: Good evening.  Marie


           11              Schumacher, city resident and member of the


           12              Taxpayers' group.  I'd like to begin tonight


           13              by asking Mrs. Evans, with the permission of


           14              the chair, whether she knows who will be


           15              responding to the NEPA Alliance request for


           16              stimulus projects by the 31st of January and


           17              whether or not the public/taxpayers will be


           18              allowed to comment on the projects prior to


           19              submittal to NEPA.  May I, Mr. Chair?


           20                      MR. MCGOFF: Please.


           21                      MS. EVANS: I haven't received any


           22              response to the letter that was sent on


           23              behalf of council to Mr. Brazil.  As you


           24              indicated, we have a January 31 deadline,


           25              but I do agree with you that there should be






            1              community input because who better knows the


            2              projects.


            3                      MS. SCHUMACHER: Indeed.  Thank you.


            4              And I would like if someone, maybe Kay,


            5              could find out when we expect the 2007 audit


            6              to be available on-line?  That would be very


            7              nice.  The others ones are on-line.  I'd


            8              also like to recommend that Mr. Courtright


            9              as liaison with the police department add a


           10              daily incident log to the website.  The


           11              Borough of Dickson City's website would


           12              provide an excellent template.


           13                      Next week I plan, God Lord willing,


           14              to speak on the state of the city from a


           15              taxpayers' view.  I would urge Mrs. Gatelli


           16              to bring Pennsylvania Economy League, PEL,


           17              to a council caucus to explain why their


           18              revenue and expenditure projections have not


           19              been updated to include the years 2008, 2009


           20              and beyond.  Certainly for the money they


           21              are being paid with our state tax dollars


           22              they should have presented an updated


           23              Recovery Plan as they originally expired in


           24              2005 long before now.  Taxpayers have a


           25              right to know the cost of a structurally






            1              balanced budget, one where expenses match


            2              revenue without borrowing.


            3                      Some of troubling things I see


            4              include the fact that the city's population


            5              declined by about 3,500 since the last


            6              census.  An almost identical number have


            7              dropped below the poverty line.  We now


            8              stand with 40 percent of the population


            9              unable to contribute 20 percent below the


           10              poverty line and another 20 percent over 65,


           11              most of whom are living on fixed incomes.


           12              Over 4,000 housing units are not occupied.


           13                      The 2009 budget is balanced by using


           14              a one-time windfall courtesy of the Single


           15              Tax Office mismanagement.  What is going to


           16              balance the budget next year?  Are taxes are


           17              go to be raise and, if so, how much?


           18              Whatever the amount it is unaffordable.  I


           19              always chuckle when the price of a private


           20              commodity rises and the media goes


           21              ballistic.  However, when a government


           22              raises taxes we don't hear a similar outcry.


           23              When the price of gas rises we drive less.


           24              When the cost of medicine rises we lose --


           25              we switch to generics while others do






            1              without.  When food cost rise we change our


            2              menus.  With property taxes there is no


            3              recourse.  You pay or you lose your home.


            4                      It is not too early to start talking


            5              about how spending may be reduced and get


            6              PEL into this chamber for a heart-to-heart


            7              is step number one.  Mrs. Gatelli, I am


            8              looking to you as financial chair to get PEL


            9              in here within the next six weeks.  Thank


           10              you.


           11                      MR. MCGOFF: I will pass that along


           12              to Mrs. Gatelli.


           13                      MS. SCHUMACHER: Thank you.  And


           14              Mr. Courtright, too, since -- on the police


           15              incidents.


           16                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Can I ask her?  Can


           17              you just explain to me what you wanted


           18              again, I apologize.


           19                      MS. SCHUMACHER: No need to


           20              apologize, I'd like to see an incident


           21              report put on the website.  If you go to


           22              Dickson City Borough they have an excellent


           23              website and every day there is a log --


           24                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Of all the


           25              incidences?






            1                      MS. SCHUMACHER: Absolutely.


            2                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I don't know that


            3              that would be cumbersome maybe for Scranton.


            4              We may do 60 some thousand calls a year, the


            5              entire county doesn't do that combined.


            6                      MS. SCHUMACHER: If they break them


            7              down by day, the city doesn't report it --


            8                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I'll ask, but I


            9              think that's going to be a tough one.


           10                      MR. MCGOFF: Whoever would like to


           11              speak.


           12                      MR. TALIMINI: Joe Talimini, City of


           13              Scranton.  Number one, have we heard


           14              anything about the five and a half million


           15              dollars that was appropriated from the tax


           16              office?


           17                      MS. EVANS: Not yet.


           18                      MR. TALIMINI: Not yet, but the


           19              $5.5 million is the budget, is it not?


           20                      MS. EVANS: Yes, it is.


           21                      MR. TALIMINI:  What happens if we


           22              don't get that money?


           23                      MR. COURTRIGHT: We are in trouble.


           24                      MS. EVANS: Certainly it will --


           25                      MR. TALIMINI: More trouble you mean?






            1                      MS. EVANS: Yes.  Yes.  And I would


            2              think that the city would have to look


            3              towards either borrowing more money or


            4              raising taxes.


            5                      MR. TALIMINI: Okay.  One other major


            6              question that I have, does the council have


            7              oversight on all of the city authorities?


            8                      MS. EVANS: No.


            9                      MS. FANUCCI: No.


           10                      MR. TALIMINI: They are autonomous


           11              organizations and who did they answer to?


           12                      MS. EVANS: The members of the boards


           13              are of all of authorities are appointed by


           14              the mayor.


           15                      MR. TALIMINI:  So the boards


           16              themselves, the directors of the boards or


           17              the directors of the authorities they answer


           18              to the mayor only?


           19                      MS. EVANS: It would seem so, but


           20              they all, for example, provide council with


           21              -- well, not all of them I should say, but


           22              there are a number of boards and commissions


           23              that provide council with minutes of their


           24              meetings and they are to provide council and


           25              the mayor with a copy of their audits.






            1                      MR. TALIMINI: Oh, okay.  Thank you


            2              very much.  Mr. Courtright, it's your turn,


            3              it's a long-standing thing, but I haven't


            4              been there, I asked you to look into the


            5              cage situation with the police cars?


            6                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.  Boy, I hope I


            7              didn't throw it out.  I had it.  I have it


            8              here somewhere.  I hope I didn't throw it


            9              way.


           10                      MR. TALIMINI: And also the staffing


           11              because there is a questioning about


           12              availability of policemen at certain hours


           13              of the night when they really are needed.


           14                      MR. COURTRIGHT: That I have right


           15              here.  I wrote all over it, but I'll read it


           16              to you the best I could.  You can take a


           17              look at it, I was writing on it.  It's been


           18              several weeks since you asked me.


           19                      MR. TALIMINI: Right.


           20                      MR. COURTRIGHT: And I haven't spoke


           21              to you on it.  I just went the particular


           22              evening or the weekend prior -- or after, I


           23              apologize, after you asked me on that


           24              particular night we had a command car, we


           25              had a PS-1, PS-2, that's patrol supervisor,






            1              PS-3.  We had no East 6, no West 6.  We had


            2              a Central City 2 and Central City 3.  We had


            3              a GR-1.  No GR-2.  We had a South 1 and


            4              South 2.  No South 3.  We had a West 1 and


            5              West 2.  No West 3.  We had a North 1, and a


            6              Highway 3, Highway 4.  And that's it.  All


            7              of those with the exception of East 6, West


            8              6, GR-2, South 3 and West 3 and North 3 that


            9              were on that evening have cages, so that's


           10              six of them did not have cages.  Again, I


           11              just took the weekend -- a day on the


           12              weekend after you had asked me.  It changes


           13              on a daily basis.


           14                      MR. TALIMINI: Of course, you are


           15              well aware of the fact there are numerous


           16              occasions when there is no transport vehicle


           17              available, they have to call eight.


           18                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Probably every day.


           19              Yeah, I did see that.


           20                      MR. TALIMINI: I just wondered if you


           21              would look into the staffing on a regular


           22              basis for the police department.  We never


           23              seem to have enough at the hours that are


           24              needed.  I'm sure there are overburdened


           25              with the daytime patrols which, you know, I






            1              never could figure out why there were cops


            2              on duty in the daytime.


            3                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I think the problem


            4              is this is that, you know, they went to an 8


            5              to 4 shift, which the police were always


            6              been in favor for and that helped out


            7              somewhat.  I think the bottom line is this,


            8              I don't know how else to say it other than


            9              we need more police.


           10                      MR. TALIMINI: Absolutely.


           11                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I don't know any


           12              another answer.  I don't think altering the


           13              shifts anymore is going to really do much.


           14              You can't, you know, the strip the day


           15              shift.  In days gone by the day shift didn't


           16              handle the quality of calls as maybe the


           17              second shift or the third shift does, but


           18              crime has changed and people have changed


           19              and they are handling more calls I think


           20              than they used to.


           21                      MR. TALIMINI: Oh, absolutely, and


           22              for a city with no crime we are running a


           23              very close second to Wilkes-Barre right now.


           24                      One of the things I would like


           25              council to consider, when you're coming off






            1              the expressway onto Mulberry Street and you


            2              get to Wyoming Avenue, there is an absolute


            3              need for the left-turn signal there.  That's


            4              just about impossible to make that.


            5                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  That's in the works


            6              for quite awhile now.  Whenever PennDOT is


            7              involved it takes awhile.


            8                      MR. TALIMINI: Well, whenever PennDOT


            9              or DPW is involved everything takes a while.


           10              When is the Comcast contract up for renewal?


           11                      MS. EVANS: It expires at the end of


           12              2009 and negotiations already began I


           13              believe in November 2008 between


           14              representatives of Comcast and


           15              representative of the city, specifically,


           16              the mayor and the business administration.


           17              They are looking for a 15-year extension of


           18              their contract.


           19                      MR. TALIMINI: Isn't there supposed


           20              to be a public hearing on that that Comcast


           21              has to allow.


           22                      MS. EVANS: I would believe so, but


           23              we have quite a lengthy period of time here


           24              before anything is settled I would think.


           25                      MR. TALIMINI: Because there are






            1              quite a few people who are very


            2              disenchanted.  As you well know, Comcast is


            3              under investigation by the FCC for several


            4              different things.


            5                      The only thing I'm going to say


            6              about the KOZ extension, I saw our $300,000


            7              a year cowboy here, please, use a little


            8              common sense.  We can afford another KOZ


            9              like we can afford five more mayors.  I just


           10              don't see it happening.  We have got a


           11              downtown area, we've got a lot of vacancies


           12              downtown in the office buildings.  Right now


           13              you got Circuit City, what, a major, major


           14              warehouse which is going to sit idle because


           15              nobody can get it.  If they are going to do


           16              something let them bring some business into


           17              the city and put them in the offices that


           18              are were available.  We don't need for


           19              KOZ's.


           20                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.


           21                      MR. TALIMINI: What we need is tax


           22              relief.


           23                      MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Jackowitz.


           24                      MR. JACKOWITZ: Bill Jackowitz, South


           25              Scranton resident, member of the Taxpayers'






            1              Association.  In regards to Mr. Talimini


            2              asked one of the questions I was going to


            3              ask about this 5.5 million.  Can someone


            4              take a note for Councilwoman Gatelli, I


            5              would like for her next week to have -- is


            6              there a backup plan, I would like for her to


            7              explain whether there is a backup plan in


            8              place if we do get the 5.5 million since


            9              it's already budgeted, I would like to know


           10              what the backup plan is, how we are going to


           11              makeup that 5.5 million that's budgeted into


           12              the budget already.


           13                      You know, we may only get two


           14              million, so we are 3.5 million short, so I


           15              would just like to know what the backup plan


           16              is and if you could pass that onto


           17              Mrs. Gatelli for me.  Okay, as far as Mrs.


           18              Gatelli, Mrs. Gatelli last week challenged


           19              me and she did give back $625 and I


           20              appreciate that.  You know, but then again,


           21              she has missed today's meeting.  She is in


           22              Washington, DC when she should be in


           23              Scranton, Pennsylvania, at the city council


           24              meeting.


           25                      Now, in the last three years there






            1              have been 19 meetings cancelled in the last


            2              three years.  Nineteen.  I'm not counting


            3              August meetings and I'm not counting


            4              Christmas meetings, I'm talking about


            5              meetings of January, February, June, July,


            6              September, November, those are the meetings


            7              I'm talking about, so there is 19 meetings


            8              and I'm not even talking about the meetings


            9              that city council members did not attend.


           10                      Now, if I'm wrong, correct me, but I


           11              understand -- my understanding is that


           12              council members have been paid for every one


           13              of these meetings.  So we got 19 meetings


           14              cancelled, we got a vacation, plus we got


           15              council members who miss meetings whenever


           16              they want to.  So, me as a taxpayer I do not


           17              feel that taxpayers should be paying council


           18              salaries.


           19                      Okay, now, getting back to last


           20              week's meeting as far as salaries go,


           21              Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, city council the


           22              president makes $6,800.  The members make


           23              $6,300.  Reading, Pennsylvania, the


           24              president makes $5,500, the members make


           25              $5,000.  Erie, the president makes $7,500,






            1              the members make $6,000.  Allentown, the


            2              president makes $6,149, members make $6,149.


            3              Scranton, president makes $12,500, members


            4              make $12,500.  Last week we attempted to


            5              raise the salary to $20,000 which would be


            6              $14,000 over what other cities of comparable


            7              size is making.  That is not fair to the


            8              taxpayers.  $20,000 for a part-time job, and


            9              you can roll your eyes all you want up


           10              there, it was on the agenda, it was up for


           11              vote, introduction vote, it was there.  You


           12              can't deny it.  $20,000 is ridiculous.


           13                      Okay, the 2007 audit, I'm glad to


           14              see that it's down to $95 million, I guess,


           15              but we all know that the audit is not


           16              accurate.  It's a lot higher.  Like I said,


           17              there is a lot missing from the audit.  No


           18              one wants to accept the blame for the audit


           19              being late, but yet we all know the audit


           20              was late, but no one would step forward and


           21              say, yes, we were late getting our


           22              information.  Yes, we were late.  As a


           23              matter of fact, they actually attempted to


           24              blame city council for it, so if I was on


           25              city council I would be jumping up and down






            1              and screaming to the authorities,


            2              Mr. McGoff, they tried to blame city


            3              council.  Again, I would be jumping up and


            4              down in the authorities and saying, "Hey, we


            5              have been talking about this for eight


            6              months."


            7                      Citizens, speakers have been coming


            8              here week after week after week, but yet no


            9              one will accept the blame for it.


           10              Mrs. Fanucci tried to accept the blame last


           11              week, but she was a year off, but I


           12              appreciate that.  You did try to accept the


           13              blame for that.


           14                      As far as -- okay, last week council


           15              members actually proved me right because you


           16              guys were saying that you don't get along


           17              together, the caucus meetings are terrible,


           18              nothing ever gets accomplished, and


           19              Mrs. Fanucci is shaking her head, yes, so I


           20              think she finally agrees with me on


           21              something.


           22                      MS. FANUCCI: Oh, my God, that is


           23              beautiful.


           24                      MR. JACKOWITZ: Although, you did


           25              agree with me last week.






            1                      MS. FANUCCI: I agreed with you last


            2              week --


            3                      MR. JACKOWITZ: You may have missed


            4              -- yes, you did.


            5                      MS. FANUCCI: That is true.


            6                      MR. JACKOWITZ: I apologize.  I


            7              apologize.


            8                      MS. FANUCCI: And I think that was


            9              our second agreement, so I think we are


           10              starting to make amends.


           11                      MR. JACKOWITZ: I think we are.


           12                      MS. FANUCCI: I think we are turning


           13              around.


           14                      MR. JACKOWITZ: I think we are.  I


           15              think we are going in the right track here.


           16              Yeah, I really do.  So, but anyway, all I


           17              ask for is some leadership qualities, some


           18              understanding, working together,


           19              cooperation, that's all I ever ask for.


           20              Maybe sometimes I'm a little bit too blunt,


           21              maybe sometimes in the words of Councilwoman


           22              Fanucci I'm sarcastic.


           23                      MS. FANUCCI: A little.


           24                      MR. JACKOWITZ:  But, all I'm trying


           25              to do is make this a better city for






            1              everybody, so let's all get together, let's


            2              all get along, we have a new president, you


            3              know, nothing personal, I just don't agree


            4              with a lot of the politics.


            5                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you,


            6              Mr. Jackowitz.  Mr. Ancherani?


            7                      MR. ANCHERANI: I hope I don't get


            8              the same look because some of this is going


            9              to be what Mr. Jackowitz said, Mr. McGoff.


           10              Last week at the meeting --


           11                      MR. MCGOFF: I'll try a different


           12              look.


           13                      MR. ANCHERANI: Oh, Nelson Ancherani.


           14              Good evening.  Last week at the meeting


           15              there was much opposition to raises placed


           16              on the agenda for council members.  Raises


           17              would have been $7,500 to $20,000 a year FOR


           18              a one-day a week, two to four-hour council


           19              meeting.  Imagine getting a $7,500 raise for


           20              a one-day a week meeting.  If council met


           21              every week at $12,500 a year, which is the


           22              current wage of council members, it would be


           23              over 231 for that meeting or 115 an hour


           24              based on 52 weeks and if it was a two-hour


           25              meeting.  Figure into that raise to $20,000






            1              the weekly meeting of council if it met


            2              every week, no cancels, no recesses, 52


            3              meetings a year, the weekly salary would be


            4              $385 for that two to four-hour meeting.


            5                      Now, I know Mrs. Gatelli says that


            6              they, the council members, spend time at the


            7              office outside of the meeting preparing, but


            8              I would be willing to bet that the


            9              preparation for the meetings combined with


           10              the meeting doesn't total eight hours, which


           11              is a normal workday for most people.


           12                      Mr. McGoff once said that he was


           13              going to have to do more homework on agenda


           14              items before they got to the meetings, so


           15              far my belief, council is getting a D minus


           16              on preparation for council meetings.  Prime


           17              example was last week's meeting, watching


           18              Council President McGoff explain how the


           19              raises issue got on the agenda.


           20                      Anyway, whose responsibility is it


           21              to get the agenda --- items onto the agenda,


           22              the mayor's or council's?


           23                      Again, I'm going by the official


           24              Scranton, PA, website, so I'm going to be


           25              talking about the cancellations, recess and






            1              the vacations of council members.  The


            2              official Scranton, PA, website and I didn't


            3              have access to the 1990's meetings that


            4              Mrs. Gatelli spoke about having recessed in


            5              August and December, I went by the website


            6              and found one cancellation in 2005; July 7,


            7              2005.  No recesses or vacations.


            8                      In 2006, the first year of the


            9              Gatelli presidency on council, there were


           10              five cancelled meetings and five recessed or


           11              vacation days for a total of ten days off.


           12                      2007, second year of the Gatelli


           13              presidency, there were seven cancelled days


           14              and five recessed or vacation days.


           15                      In 2008, the first year of the


           16              McGoff presidency, there were nine cancelled


           17              meetings and four recesses or vacation days


           18              for a total of 13 days off, so let's figure


           19              out how much a council meeting was worth in


           20              each of those years:  2005, 245 a meeting;


           21              2006, 286 a meeting; 2007, 300 a meeting;


           22              and 2008, $380 a meeting.


           23                      I have been working on the salaries


           24              and wages of new hires and the raises.  I'm


           25              not finished, but partway through, and






            1              cumulatively for 2009 I've come up with


            2              $17,081,967.  That's maybe half of the


            3              budget.  I can say on that page 64 like Ann


            4              Marie Stulgis brought out on the Recovery


            5              Plan, all city employees were not to get


            6              raises.  Here is $17,081,000 that's all in


            7              violation of the Recovery Plan.


            8                      We are on a path with the way the


            9              economy is, it looks like we are going to


           10              get slammed really good, so I would think as


           11              you council members go along that you watch


           12              what you vote on and hopefully you will


           13              think about us taxpayers.  Thank you.


           14                      MS. KRAKE: Good evening, Council.


           15              My name is Nancy Krake.  First of all, I


           16              would like to say that the Single Tax Office


           17              has returned any delinquent city real estate


           18              to the City Treasurer's Office.  If you are


           19              able to pay your 2008 real estate taxes


           20              please come into the Treasurer's Office


           21              before April 1.  You will avoid the


           22              25 percent penalty that NCC charges and that


           23              money, as I always bring up, does not go


           24              into the city coffers, so if you are able to


           25              it's a very good idea to pay us, in fact,






            1              your county would also be delinquent, your


            2              school district, but you should pay us first


            3              because we use a collection agency, they do


            4              not.


            5                      I would like to bring up a few


            6              things about the budget.  First of all, on


            7              page two it says, "In 2008 the tax collector


            8              identified a significant amount of tax


            9              revenue idle in their internal statements."


           10                      I find these verbs hysterical


           11              actually.  Idle.  "These funds generated a


           12              forensic audit," the funds were to blame,


           13              "with an expected completion date at the


           14              conclusion in 2008.  According to the


           15              preliminary accounting records, the city may


           16              be entitled to 5.5 million in revenue."


           17                      I would like to know from what year


           18              or years this 5.5 million comes from and


           19              didn't anybody miss it?  We have an


           20              extremely expensive accounting firm courtesy


           21              of Governor Rendell and the Pennsylvania


           22              Economy League that apparently didn't miss


           23              it at all, and it's a pretty magical number


           24              5.5 million, in November of 2005 the


           25              Scranton Times reports, this is an article






            1              about Mayor Doherty's 2006 budget, it says,


            2              "The budget does not address the recent


            3              arbitration decision against the city for


            4              5.5 million for failing to renew the sewer


            5              management contract with American Water


            6              Services."


            7                      Then it goes onto say, "The budget


            8              also grew because Mr. Doherty increased the


            9              amount he would seek in tax anticipation


           10              notes, which are short-term loans


           11              municipalities use to cover expenses before


           12              tax payments start to come in by 5.5 million


           13              to 14.5 million."


           14                      I think there is lot going on here


           15              that someone should definitely take a look


           16              at.  I'd also like to point out that there


           17              is a 35 percent savings in health care for


           18              clerical employees in the 2009 budget.  I


           19              would like to know exactly where these


           20              figures come from, how they were determined


           21              and where the savings will be seen.  When I


           22              say that I mean in what group will the


           23              savings be seen from.


           24                      Also, in the final page we are


           25              missing the actual received column between






            1              2008 and 2009, it's on page 78.  When the


            2              budgets are prepared they always say how


            3              much was actually taken in up until usually


            4              July of that year, and that's not in here.


            5                      I would also like to say that the


            6              increase in clerical pay is because there


            7              are increased hours.  There was also a 50


            8              cent increase in raises, but I don't think


            9              that accounts for much because our health


           10              care costs have dramatically increased.


           11                      I would also like to remind everyone


           12              that in then Councilman Doherty's first


           13              budget he eliminated almost 30 clerical jobs


           14              and over the years there have been over 30


           15              clerical jobs eliminated.  That was his


           16              first budget that he eliminated clerical


           17              jobs to pay for tens of thousands of dollars


           18              in increases for incoming cabinet members


           19              and appointed positions that Mr. Ancherani


           20              just pointed out cumulatively well over


           21              $10 million at this point.  That would


           22              account for the 26 million increases in the


           23              budget since he took office, that would be


           24              half of that.


           25                      And apparently this mayor who has






            1              based everything on his failed Recovery Plan


            2              according to Mr. Quinn we now have junk bond


            3              status which he proudly proclaimed he was


            4              taking us away from in his first year in


            5              office, but that didn't last very long.


            6                      I'd also like to mention that


            7              theoretically Act 47 is about financial


            8              recovery, I just have one more sentence


            9              here.  Thank you.  State Representative


           10              Kevin Murphy has promised to help amend Act


           11              47.  He worked under this, under Mayor


           12              Doherty, he was deceived by Mayor Doherty


           13              and saddled by his abuse of this law, and


           14              Act 47 is what keeps us oppressed in the


           15              distressed city status.  Thank you.


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


           17              Anyone else?  Mrs. Evans?


           18                      MS. EVANS: Good evening.


           19                      MR. MCGOFF:  I'm sorry, I did want


           20              before we went further, just for the record,


           21              to indicate that Attorney Williams is


           22              replacing Attorney Minora today.  Attorney


           23              Minora had some surgery and is unable to


           24              attend this evening.  Thank you.


           25                      MS. EVANS: Good evening.  This is an






            1              historic day in our country and millions of


            2              Americans are filled with great hope despite


            3              the weighty problems that envelope us.  We


            4              are inspired and motivated by a new


            5              president to solve today's painful shared


            6              problems in order to create a better


            7              stronger tomorrow.  This national commitment


            8              is one I hope that even local government


            9              will exercise at home in Scranton not only


           10              in 2009, but in the years ahead as we seek


           11              financial stability for our city and it's


           12              people.


           13                      Following the exit conference of the


           14              2007 independent audit, a copy of general


           15              fund balance sheets was provided to city


           16              council on January 14.  The 22 pages


           17              received by council represent an incomplete


           18              copy of the final audit which should contain


           19              over 90 pages and is missing the sections on


           20              long-term debt of the city and it's


           21              authorities.  I am anxious to examine the


           22              full audit at which time I will report to


           23              you the accurate figures and financial state


           24              of our city.


           25                      Although, I have addressed delayed






            1              audits many times over the last several


            2              years, even as recently as last week, it


            3              bears repeating.  The auditing firm of


            4              Robert Rossi and Company is not at fault for


            5              the overdue laggard audit.  During my first


            6              year on council, I brought Mr. Rossi to a


            7              public caucus in order to discuss the


            8              tardiness of the audit and to direct his


            9              firm to perform future audits on a more


           10              aggressive time line.  During that caucus,


           11              he explained that he was unable to obtain


           12              required information.  Requests were sent to


           13              the business administrator, municipal


           14              authorities, the tax office, etcetera, but


           15              the auditor's hands were tied because these


           16              entities did not respond in a timely manner.


           17                      As a result of that caucus, I


           18              realized that the auditing firm was at the


           19              mercy of those who hold the information,


           20              those being the authorities, the tax office,


           21              the business administrator, Northeast Credit


           22              and Collections, etcetera.  In my five years


           23              as a councilwoman the city audit has always


           24              been late, although, this particular audit


           25              has set a new record.






            1                      On February 11, 2008, for example,


            2              the auditor provided to the business


            3              administrator a two-page list of information


            4              required to issue 2007 audited financial


            5              statements by May 31, a timetable was


            6              included.  By May 27, three and a half


            7              months later, the business administrator


            8              still had not completed and submitted most


            9              of the required information.


           10                      Further, the Redevelopment, Parking


           11              and Sewer Authorities also had failed to


           12              submit their required audits.  The mayor,


           13              business administrator and council's office


           14              were all notified by the auditor of the lack


           15              of cooperation from the business


           16              administrator and city authorities.


           17                      Unfortunately, council's many


           18              requests for timely audit information have


           19              fallen on deaf ears for these five years.


           20              Why is the information withheld for


           21              prolonged time periods?  Your guess is as


           22              good as ours, perhaps the administration and


           23              the authorities don't like the auditing firm


           24              since the administration seems to have been


           25              opposed to council bidding process and






            1              hiring of this company.  Perhaps another


            2              firm to whom the administration has ties


            3              would have received better cooperation; or


            4              perhaps there are reasons to prolong an


            5              audit so that the most current financial


            6              snapshot of the city will not be available


            7              to banks as the city, boroughs and those who


            8              issue bonds and securities as the city and


            9              it's authorities pursue financial


           10              agreements.  Perhaps, it is simply failure


           11              to do one's job or perhaps a system of


           12              management controls is not in place or is


           13              not operating.  You cannot manage what you


           14              do not monitor.


           15                      I don't have the answer, but I do


           16              know that authority board members and the


           17              business administrator were appointed by the


           18              mayor.  NCC or northeast credit and


           19              collections was renewed by the mayor for a


           20              third city contract without the knowledge


           21              and approval of council.  When the mayor


           22              wanted to sell delinquent taxes and the DPW,


           23              the Redevelopment Authority responded and


           24              complied.  When the mayor wanted three new


           25              garages, the Parking Authority responded and






            1              complied.  When the mayor needed to pay off


            2              American Anglican, which became American


            3              Water Services, the Sewer Authority


            4              responded and paid the debt.  When he wished


            5              to give away UDAG money OECD responded and


            6              complied even without the knowledge and


            7              approval of city council.


            8                      When he looks to give out political


            9              jobs, the Sewer, Parking and Housing


           10              authorities seem to hire his applicants.


           11              Even the State Office of DCED appears to


           12              respond to him by changing it's statements


           13              about a late audit without providing a


           14              reason.


           15                      Now, who do you believe that the


           16              authorities, Mr. Renda, and NCC will respond


           17              to?  Not the auditing firm, and certainly


           18              not city council, but history proves they


           19              respond to the hand that feeds them.


           20                      At last week's meeting, I asked my


           21              colleagues to consider an amendment to File


           22              of Council No. 82 of 2007 which was provided


           23              to each of them, the original ordinance


           24              approves penalty, interest and fee schedules


           25              for collection of delinquent real estate






            1              taxes.  Now, I had intended to move this


            2              amendment this evening and further discuss


            3              it, but in the absence of Mrs. Gatelli I


            4              prefer to postpone this discussion until and


            5              the vote until next week's meeting.


            6                      There are two items on tonight's


            7              agenda which I would like to address:


            8              First, Item 7-H authorizing the mayor to


            9              apply for and to execute a $4 million grant


           10              for the owners and developers of the Connell


           11              Building.  The Connell Building should be


           12              renovated.  It's a magnificent downtown


           13              structure that has been allowed to


           14              deteriorate by it's previous owner.


           15              However, the current owner has a history of


           16              delinquent taxes.  The 2004 and 2005 taxes


           17              were paid at some point in time.  The 2006,


           18              7 and 8 taxes remained unpaid until our OECD


           19              director recently pointed this out at which


           20              time the 2006 and 2007 taxes were paid.  To


           21              date, only 2008 taxes are owed which must be


           22              paid before the city applies for this


           23              $4 million grant.  The project cost is over


           24              23 million and the owners/developers are


           25              investing over $8 million of their own






            1              money.  Approximately 2/3 of the money will


            2              come from public tax dollars.


            3                      The city has begun to construct a


            4              garage next to the Connell building for use


            5              by it's tenants and a defined number of


            6              downtown employees.  The garage will connect


            7              to the building for easy access by the


            8              Connell building residents and office and


            9              retail tenants.  Close to $4 million of the


           10              garage's worth will be pledged as the


           11              matching grant to the $4 million to be


           12              obtained from the State of Pennsylvania.


           13                      It also seems that one of the


           14              partners in the Connell Building is part of


           15              the Wolfington firm which was paid by this


           16              administration to lobby the state


           17              legislature to sell the South Side Sports


           18              Complex.  This is information for your


           19              consideration.


           20                      Next, Item 7-I.  The City of


           21              Scranton will not accept verbal or anonymous


           22              verbal requests for information.  Scranton


           23              open's record officer will accept only


           24              written requests for access to records.


           25              However, the state Right-to-Know law does






            1              not require or mandate that verbal requests


            2              for information must be denied, rather, it


            3              is the City of Scranton who has decided to


            4              deny verbal requests and only respond to the


            5              written requests which can intimidate some


            6              citizens.  Certainly written requests make


            7              the process more orderly, but verbal


            8              requests are granted to municipalities by


            9              the state and I believe verbal requests


           10              should be permitted.


           11                      Government should be open and


           12              accountable to citizens.  It took many, many


           13              years for Pennsylvania to change it's law


           14              which had been one of the worst in the


           15              United States.  When the door is finally


           16              opened Scranton wants to close and attach a


           17              doorbell.  This administration should not


           18              make the proces of obtaining information


           19              more difficult for citizens.  It should


           20              accept both written and verbal requests as


           21              permitted by law, state law.


           22                      Finally, I have requests for the


           23              week.  A letter to Mr. Brazil, DPW, please


           24              be sure to plow the one-way street that's


           25              located between 127 and 129 West Parker






            1              Street in the rear of Hollister Avenue


            2              during each snow event.  Eight families


            3              reside on this block and the snow has rarely


            4              been plowed through the decades.


            5                      And, Attorney Williams, would you


            6              please remind Attorney Minora that council


            7              awaits a response to the PEG Channel


            8              Oversight Committee's questions.


            9                      MR. WILLIAMS: I'm sorry, could you


           10              repeat that?


           11                      MS. EVANS: Yes.  We are awaiting his


           12              response to the PEG Channel Oversight


           13              Committee's questions.


           14                      MR. WILLIAMS:  I will do that.


           15                      MS. EVANS: Thank you.  A letter to


           16              Mr. Seitzinger, a city resident recommends


           17              that in an effort to think green or go


           18              green, hardwood floors, windows, doors,


           19              cabinets, light fixtures, etcetera, should


           20              be sold by auction prior to the demolition


           21              of a structure.  There would be less garbage


           22              and debris in the landfills, items will be


           23              used once again in other homes, and the


           24              monies raised through auction could help to


           25              cover the cost of demolition.  It is a






            1              win-win-win practice which, I am told, is


            2              exercised in other cities.


            3                      And then finally, Neil, because of


            4              the haste with which some of the speakers


            5              address council with their problems I wasn't


            6              able to take down accurately what they were


            7              looking for.  I know there were pothole


            8              requests in West Scranton and also the


            9              request that had been made by Mrs. Krake


           10              involving the health care figures and what


           11              group will recognize those savings,


           12              etcetera, if you could please listen to the


           13              tape and get those questions correctly


           14              formulated and sent to the appropriate


           15              parties, and that's it.


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


           17              Mrs. Fanucci.


           18                      MS. FANUCCI: Yes.  I actually was


           19              going to address that question for Mrs.


           20              Krake about the 35 percent savings in health


           21              care in the budget and what group will the


           22              savings come from, so I think that's


           23              something we definitely need to know.


           24                      I also would like -- I made a motion


           25              last week for a letter, but I'm going to






            1              change that in light of Mr. Ancherani and


            2              Nancy this week, I would like to send a


            3              letter to Lisa Moran, and I would like to


            4              know what all employees were paid, their


            5              base pay, and what the ended up getting paid


            6              after overtime and things as such for the


            7              past seven years, for each employee in the


            8              city.  I'd like to know what they started


            9              off at, what they were supposed to be paid,


           10              and what ended up to be paid at the end and


           11              what we paid out.  And also healthcare wise


           12              I'd like to know what each person has paid


           13              for single health care, for family health


           14              care, which will help us in understanding a


           15              little bit more on that 35 percent savings


           16              if actually that is something that's


           17              happening.


           18                      And I was going to speak on the


           19              Connell Building, but Mrs. Evans covered


           20              that, so, I'm good.  Thank you.


           21                      MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Courtright?


           22                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  I spoke with


           23              Jeannie Suetta yesterday and she said she


           24              was going to be here and she is not here.


           25                      MS. FANUCCI:  She is probably






            1              watching though.


            2                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  If she is watching


            3              she will be calling me for sure.  I have


            4              your phone number for your, Jeannie, so you


            5              told me not to call you, you were coming


            6              here today, so I will get ahold of you and


            7              give you the phone number.


            8                      Kay, I would ask if we can send a


            9              letter to Mr. Seitzinger, we have been


           10              absent an animal control officer for quite


           11              some time now.  I don't know, I'm not saying


           12              he is not here, but I don't believe he has a


           13              vehicle, so he can't do his job and -- or he


           14              is not here, but anyway he is absent, and so


           15              all of the calls come into the police


           16              department and if they can handle them I


           17              believe the Humane Society is sick of


           18              handling our calls, and also, I would like


           19              to know from him what's the status on hiring


           20              a part-time animal control officer that was


           21              put in the budget.


           22                      We had an unfortunate incident,


           23              there has been several incidents.  We had an


           24              unfortunate one happen just recently, a dog


           25              was left in an apartment and abandoned with






            1              no heat and food and froze to death and


            2              died, and we don't need that happening, but


            3              I would like to thank Officer Paul Reed, I


            4              believe he made an arrest of the individual


            5              that left that animal there and I thank him


            6              for that, so that we don't have any more


            7              incidents such as this happening we need to


            8              get an animal control officer and a vehicle


            9              for that officer, and again, find out about


           10              the part-time officer.


           11                      I'm looking at bridges.  Mrs. Suetta


           12              brought that up, I went and looked I don't


           13              know if they did them today, but they


           14              haven't cleared the walks on the bridges and


           15              to be perfectly honest with you, I know what


           16              happens is they plow -- they plow the


           17              bridges and when they plow the bridges all


           18              of the snow that they plow goes up on the


           19              sidewalk, and if the DPW doesn't get there


           20              really quick it freezes, and then the only


           21              way to get out there is they have to go with


           22              a Bobcat or a backhoe or something and chop


           23              it up, so I think we need to find a better


           24              way of handling this because it's every


           25              bridge.  It's not just the one she had






            1              brought up.  It's all of the bridges.


            2                      And I haven't gotten an answer, I


            3              believe we sent a letter, but I haven't


            4              gotten an answer about that property at the


            5              corner of Hyde Park and Jackson Street, and


            6              as I was coming here tonight I happened to


            7              go by there, these people that have the


            8              parking lot from Jackson Street Baptist


            9              Church, they have to come out of the parking


           10              lot and walk on the road even when there is


           11              not snow on there because whatever -- when


           12              they tore the building down, whatever gravel


           13              they put there has migrated down into the


           14              sidewalk and there is no sidewalk literally.


           15              It's crumbling and there is all gravel on


           16              it, and the city tore the building down.


           17                      We've got to do something.  With so


           18              many of the properties that are up for sale


           19              now, you know, in the city, the realtors


           20              don't -- when the owner is not there the


           21              realtors don't take care of the property and


           22              you can go through the city and see hundreds


           23              of houses that still don't have the


           24              sidewalks cleared.  I don't know what we can


           25              do about that, but I hope we can do






            1              something about that, but I haven't received


            2              an answer back from that one corner of Hyde


            3              Park and Jackson, so could we resend that?


            4              And I believe that's it.  That's all I have.


            5              Thank you.


            6                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.  I attended


            7              the audit exit conference and specifically


            8              asked the auditors what could be done to


            9              expedite the audit process, you know, in the


           10              future and their answer was quite simple,


           11              they said: Please do your best to see that


           12              certain people provide audits whatever on


           13              time and to take a more proactive role in


           14              doing that, and I know that, you know,


           15              Mrs. Evans specifically and others have, you


           16              know, on council have attempted to do that


           17              in the past.  I don't know what we can do it


           18              be more proactive, but certainly for the


           19              coming year we should probably make a more


           20              concerted effort to see that information is


           21              provided to the auditing firm in a more


           22              expeditious manner.


           23                      I also asked if there were any


           24              particular agencies, whatever, that were


           25              chronically a problem and they did mention






            1              four, the Single Tax Office, NCC, the


            2              Parking Authority and the Redevelopment


            3              Authority.  They did not mention the


            4              business administrator or the city itself,


            5              but the other four were specifically


            6              mentioned.  So, for the record, the auditing


            7              firm did not question Mr. Renda or did not


            8              mention him or the business administrator


            9              for being tardy with or chronically tardy


           10              with information.


           11                      MS. EVANS: Mr. McGoff, if I might


           12              though, I have the verification of what I'm


           13              saying.  These are copies of all of the


           14              notices that were sent to us to, the mayor,


           15              to Mr. Renda, throughout 2008, and it will


           16              backup what I have said at the meeting


           17              tonight, that these tell quite a story.


           18                      MR. MCGOFF: I'm not -- I wasn't


           19              questioning your voracity, I was merely


           20              stating what the auditors, you know, had


           21              said at the exit conference.


           22                      Also, I had a meeting with Rob


           23              Farrell and another member of -- an


           24              administrator at the University of Scranton


           25              concerning the Mulberry Street project.  I






            1              said that at a previous meeting that when


            2              I -- after I attended that I would report


            3              back on what they were -- what was intended.


            4              The Mulberry Street Project, the first phase


            5              of it for the University of Scranton, is


            6              going to be begin in the Spring of '09.


            7              They will begin to work on Mulberry Street


            8              starting at Jefferson Avenue and work


            9              towards Clay Avenue.  The intent, as they


           10              said to me, was to make it cleaner, safer


           11              and more esthetically pleasing for both the


           12              City and the University.


           13                      Things that are included in the


           14              initial phase are signage that we had seen


           15              or at least examples of it for the corner of


           16              Jefferson and Mulberry, and also further up


           17              on Mulberry Street sidewalks to be expanded


           18              to make them more walker friendly, I guess.


           19              Court traffic to be -- they are looking to


           20              alter some of the courts so that it's


           21              one-way traffic instead of two-way traffic.


           22              I know, I can't remember what court it was,


           23              the one that specifically I use on occasion


           24              that goes up behind the chapel, the Madonna


           25              Del Strata Chapel, which right now they say






            1              is a problem because it is two-way traffic


            2              and exiting onto Mulberry Street is a


            3              problem at times, and so they are talking


            4              about some possibility of changing some of


            5              the court traffic.


            6                      The biggest thing that they are now


            7              actually engaged in is new lighting along


            8              Mulberry Street, but along with that they


            9              are also putting in new lighting between


           10              Mulberry and Vine Streets from Madison


           11              Avenue to Irving Avenue so that that area


           12              will be, again, brighter and go along with


           13              their clean and safe mantra.


           14                      Also, with having spoken with Mr. --


           15              they have spoken with Mr. Santolli and have


           16              been working with him to trim trees in that


           17              area as well so that the lighting is exposed


           18              more and, therefore, brighter and hopefully


           19              make it again cleaner and safer.


           20                      In addition, the initial commitment


           21              of money was for $1.1 million.  That has now


           22              been expanded as the project has been


           23              expanded because the project now will be the


           24              creation of commercial properties along


           25              Mulberry Street which will when completed






            1              hopefully house taxpaying retail


            2              establishments.  Also, additional parking


            3              using -- there will be some parking lost on


            4              Mulberry Street, but they are talking about


            5              putting additional parking between Mulberry


            6              and Vine at some already existent property


            7              that they have and also behind some of these


            8              retail properties that would be metered


            9              parking.  All in all their projected cost


           10              for this project is now approaching the six


           11              to seven million dollar range, so that it's


           12              gone from a simply changing some lighting


           13              and streets to a very comprehensive project


           14              along Mulberry Street.


           15                      In addition, they are also going to


           16              in the spring begin or breaking ground on a


           17              science center that will be built on what's


           18              now the parking lot behind Aquinas Hall,


           19              that science center will -- early estimates


           20              are a $75 million project.  They are looking


           21              to spend somewhere over $80 million over the


           22              course of the next few years on building and


           23              improvements, and from that believe the city


           24              receives just in licenses and fees and


           25              permits and whatever somewhere around 1






            1              percent of the cost, which depending upon


            2              how much is spent in these projects, a


            3              rather sizeable, you know, amount of money


            4              for the City of Scranton, but that is what I


            5              was, you know, given just information sake


            6              specifically from Mulberry Street and for


            7              that new science center.  And there was


            8              something else and I lost it.  Next time.


            9              Thank you.


           10                      MS. FANUCCI: There was something I


           11              forgot, and I wanted to have a letter


           12              drafted, sorry, Kay.  I want to send a


           13              letter to Harry Miller of PEL and ask when


           14              we can expect the new Recovery Plan.  I know


           15              that they have been drafting it for quite


           16              sometime now so I would like to know when we


           17              could expect it and also what I want them to


           18              specify outside of the Recovery Plan what we


           19              would have to do in compliance to be non --


           20              considered nondistressed anymore.  What we


           21              can do to get out of distressed status, but


           22              in like an itemized list next to it instead


           23              of having to go through the whole entire


           24              Recovery Plan, I'd like to know specifics.


           25              Each specific way to get out of a distressed






            1              city status, so that maybe we could answer


            2              some of questions for the people who are


            3              always asking them, and that is all.  Thank


            4              you.


            5                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.  Prior to the


            6              legislation, I would like to make a motion


            7              to appoint Mr. Courtright as the temporary


            8              Chair for Finance.


            9                      MS. EVANS: Second.


           10                      MR. MCGOFF: On the question.  All in


           11              favor signify by saying aye.


           12                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.


           13                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.


           14                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.


           15                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?  The


           16              ayes have it and so moved.


           17                      MS. EVANS: I move to table Item 7-J,


           18              I believe --


           19                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.


           20                      MS. EVANS: -- prior to it's reading.


           21                      MS. FANUCCI: Second.


           22                      MR. MCGOFF: It's been seconded.  On


           23              the question?


           24                      MS. EVANS: Yes.  I just wanted to


           25              explain why.  I had read the backup for this






            1              legislation, which wasn't entirely clear.


            2              It includes a revision of the existing


            3              traffic signal along Seventh Avenue and


            4              Providence Road at the intersection of


            5              Munchak Way and Olive Street to include, and


            6              I'm quoting here, a new driveway approach


            7              for the Ice Box driveway, which did not seem


            8              to make great sense.  This is one of the


            9              busiest intersections in the city at times


           10              during which Scranton High School opens and


           11              closes daily.  I'm asking to table this


           12              until the Ice Box owner or representative


           13              can explain exactly what is being done to


           14              the driveway on Olive Street and how the


           15              traffic signal revision will alleviate


           16              traffic at this intersection.


           17                      MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else?  All those


           18              in favor signify by saying aye.


           19                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.


           20                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.


           21                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.


           22                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?  The


           23              ayes have it and so moved.


           24                      MS. EVANS: Thank you.


           25                      MR. MCGOFF: Mrs. Garvey?






            1                      MS. GARVEY: FIFTH ORDER.  NO


            2              BUSINESS AT THIS TIME.  SIXTH ORDER.  6-A.


            3              READING BY TITLE - FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 59,


            4              2009 - AN ORDINANCE - AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR










            9              $4,814.00 TO BE PAID AT REGULAR SALARY


           10              INTERVALS BEGINNING JANUARY 1, 2009.


           11                      MR. MCGOFF: You heard reading by


           12              title of Item 6-A, what is your pleasure?


           13                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  I move that Item


           14              6-A pass reading my title.


           15                      MS. FANUCCI: Second.


           16                      MR. MCGOFF: On the question?  In


           17              light of last week's meeting and what took


           18              place concerning raises, I guess what I'm


           19              asking is what is the rational for at this


           20              point in time now including a raise for


           21              another employee?


           22                      MS. EVANS: I can address that.  It


           23              isn't a raise.  The raise that was actually


           24              included in the salary of that individual


           25              was eliminated by Mrs. Gatelli, but she had






            1              also eliminated the pay increase that was


            2              due the individual because of the increased


            3              daily working hours at city hall, so that


            4              this would have been the one individual who


            5              did not receive compensation for working


            6              extra hours daily.


            7                      MR. MCGOFF: Are there other -- this


            8              is a nonunion position; correct?


            9                      MS. EVANS: That's correct.


           10                      MR. MCGOFF: Are there other nonunion


           11              workers that are working extra hours that


           12              have not been given -- afforded this raise


           13              as well?


           14                      MS. EVANS: I think you would


           15              probably have to speak to Mr. Renda or


           16              Mrs. Gatelli about that because this was


           17              their amendment.  And I would assume that


           18              both of them would have gone over the


           19              salaries of all of the employees.


           20                      MS. FANUCCI: You don't have your


           21              budget with you?


           22                      MS. EVANS: No.


           23                      MS. FANUCCI: Because you actually


           24              eliminated this position in the budget.  So


           25              you would have the salary there; right?  I'm






            1              just wondering do you have the salary


            2              amount?  Do you have your budget with you?


            3                      MS. EVANS: No, I don't.  That's at


            4              home.


            5                      MS. FANUCCI: Oh, okay.  You


            6              eliminated this so I was wondering --


            7                      MS. EVANS: Right.


            8                      MS. FANUCCI: Okay.


            9                      MS. EVANS: But, obviously, you know,


           10              only one item that I presented as


           11              amendments, which were several pages, was


           12              accepted by council.


           13                      MS. FANUCCI: Right.


           14                      MS. EVANS: And so I'm just trying to


           15              correct the situation where --


           16                      MS. FANUCCI: Well, I wouldn't accept


           17              this now, we are giving her more money, so?


           18                      MS. EVANS: Pardon?


           19                      MS. FANUCCI: Let's just vote on it.


           20                      MS. EVANS: Well, she's -- what


           21              happened the administration had included a


           22              raise based on requests from the controller


           23              to award the deputy controller a raise.


           24              That raise has been denied.  This is


           25              compensation for hours worked.






            1                      MS. FANUCCI:  Right.


            2                      MR. MCGOFF: I guess the follow-up


            3              question is if someone else comes to us and


            4              says that they are working extra hours, you


            5              know min a nonunion position and working


            6              extra hours are we going to consider raises


            7              for them as well?


            8                      MS. EVANS: Well, I would say that


            9              most of those individuals have already


           10              received raises throughout the years, quite


           11              hefty raises in fact, ranging not in the


           12              $4,000 capacity for additional work hours,


           13              but some of them have taken jumps of about


           14              $45,000 in raises, $30,000, $10,000,


           15              $13,000.


           16                      MS. FANUCCI: Right, but some of


           17              them --


           18                      MS. EVANS: And I haven't seen any


           19              additional duties performed by them and yet


           20              these were just, you know, awarded at the


           21              pleasure of the mayor prior to this


           22              situation.


           23                      MS. FANUCCI: And also we had taken


           24              away, if you recall, the previous budget we


           25              had taken away 10 percent I believe in their






            1              raises then allowed it back, so it wasn't


            2              that they didn't make that jump, it's that


            3              we did not allow the raises in the beginning


            4              then did it a previous time, wasn't it 10


            5              percent.


            6                      MS. EVANS: When was this?


            7                      MS. FANUCCI: It was two budgets ago.


            8                      MS. EVANS: No.  No. The only I think


            9              any raise was turned down was this year and


           10              that would have been the two raises of


           11              $10,000.


           12                      MS. FANUCCI: No, they were included


           13              in the budget, we did not keep them in the


           14              budget.


           15                      MS. EVANS: Correct.  This year.


           16                      MS. FANUCCI:  So it was 10 percent.


           17                      MR. MCGOFF: I'm not arguing with the


           18              fact that this person may deserve this


           19              money, I just in light of what we spoke


           20              about or what was said last week it seems as


           21              though we are deviating from the rhetoric of


           22              last week and --


           23                      MS. EVANS: Oh, no.  It's not a --


           24                      MR. MCGOFF: I believe we are.


           25                      MS. EVANS: No, it wasn't rhetoric on






            1              my part at least, and it's not a deviation


            2              because I believe in fairness and I believe


            3              in equality for workers, and we have seen


            4              anything about that over the last seven to


            5              eight years here, so I'm simply trying to


            6              rectify a situation.  I'm not trying to give


            7              the mayor a raise that exceeds the salary of


            8              a mayor for any city in Pennsylvania this


            9              size, I'm not trying to double my council


           10              salary --


           11                      MR. MCGOFF: Excuse me, that didn't


           12              --


           13                      MS. EVANS: Well, apparently some


           14              people --


           15                      MR. MCGOFF: You knew that.


           16                      MS. EVANS: No, I didn't know that.


           17              No, I didn't.  I'd say it's crystal clear


           18              that a number of people here decided that


           19              was going to happen, but I do find it


           20              unusual with three council members, for


           21              example, last week telling us that they --


           22              two wanted it off, one wanted it on an


           23              agenda, it seemed that the mayor was the


           24              final, you know, you went to him looking for


           25              his advice on whether or not this goes on






            1              the agenda, but yet I was never


            2              approached --


            3                      MS. FANUCCI: That's inaccurate.


            4                      MR. MCGOFF: -- and I sit on council.


            5                      MS. FANUCCI: Mrs. Evans, that's so


            6              not accurate what happened, but that's okay.


            7              You don't have to get personal about this.


            8              This is a vote.


            9                      MS. EVANS: I'm not getting personal.


           10                      MS. FANUCCI: That was a lot of digs


           11              for not reason.  And I'm not sitting here, I


           12              don't blame you for voting on the fact that


           13              you want to take a strike on your normal job


           14              so that you got more money, I don't go


           15              there, so don't go there when people ask a


           16              question.  That's part of the life.  You


           17              decide you want to hold out for more money,


           18              other people do the same thing.  It's part


           19              of the world.  It what goes on.  They want


           20              to get paid for their jobs.  Nobody up here


           21              is questioning whether this woman should get


           22              paid.  So let's just take the vote.  Can we,


           23              please?


           24                      MS. EVANS: Well, I don't think,


           25              Mrs. Fanucci, for someone who preaches to me






            1              so often I might suggest that you practice


            2              what you preach.


            3                      MS. FANUCCI: I have never preached


            4              to you a day in my life.  Trust me.


            5                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.


            6                      MS. FANUCCI: I wouldn't bother to do


            7              that.  Can we take a vote, please?  Preach.


            8                      MR. COURTRIGHT: See how we get


            9              along?


           10                      MS. FANUCCI: Yeah, that's about as


           11              good as it's going to get, too.  Go ahead,


           12              please.  I went to the mayor, did I?


           13                      MS. EVANS: Oh, we do have changes


           14              here, Mr. -- I just got a copy of --


           15                      MS. FANUCCI:  From Mrs. Krake --


           16                      MS. EVANS:  -- the budget -- from


           17              Mrs. Krake, yes, and it indicates that the


           18              confidential secretary and assistant to the


           19              controller received a 14 percent raise; the


           20              internal auditor investigator a 21 percent;


           21              records coordinator 23 percent; program


           22              monitor, 14 percent; performance auditor,


           23              14 percent.  The only people who did not


           24              receive a change would have been the city


           25              controller who, of course, is an elected






            1              official and the solicitor to the controller


            2              who is selected and hired by the city


            3              controller, so as you can see people were


            4              given compensation for extra hours worked.


            5                      MR. MCGOFF: I knew that.  I was just


            6              asking if anyone else came forward whether


            7              we would consider it.  Thank you.  All those


            8              in favor of Item 6-A signify by saying aye.


            9                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.


           10                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.


           11                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.


           12                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.


           13                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?  The


           14              ayes have it and so moved.


           15                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I almost forgot what


           16              we were voting on.


           17                      MS. GARVEY: SEVENTH ORDER.  7-A. FOR




           19              FOR ADOPTION - FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 52, 2009


           20              AMENDING FILE OF THE COUNCIL NO. 8, 1976,


           21              ENTITLED "AN ORDINANCE (AS AMENDED)


           22              PROVIDING FOR THE GENERAL REVENUE BY


           23              IMPOSING A TAX AT THE RATE OF TWO (2) MILLS


           24              UPON THE PRIVILEGE OF OPERATING OR














            4              BUSINESS; PROVIDING FOR THE LEVY AND




            6              REQUIREMENTS FOR RETURNS AND RECORDS;




            8              COLLECTOR; AND IMPOSING PENALTIES", BY




           10              RATE OF ONE (1) MILL FOR CALENDAR YEAR 2009.


           11                      MR. MCGOFF:  What is the


           12              recommendation of the Chairperson for the


           13              Committee on Finance.


           14                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  As temporary Chair


           15              for the Committee on Finance, I recommend


           16              final passage of Item 7-A.


           17                      MS. FANUCCI: Second.


           18                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  Roll


           19              call, please?


           20                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.


           21                      MS. EVANS:  Yes.


           22                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Gatelli.  Ms.


           23              Fanucci.


           24                      MS. FANUCCI:  Yes.


           25                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.






            1                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yes.


            2                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.


            3                      MR. MCGOFF:  Yes.  I hereby declare


            4              Item 7-A legally and lawfully adopted.


            5                      MS. GARVEY: 7-B. FOR CONSIDERATION -


            6              BY THE COMMITTEE ON FINANCE - FOR ADOPTION -


            7              FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 53, 2009 - AMENDING FILE


            8              OF THE COUNCIL NO. 17, 1994 ENTITLED "AN


            9              ORDINANCE (AS AMENDED) AUTHORIZING THE


           10              GOVERNING BODY OF THE CITY OF SCRANTON TO


           11              ENACT 'A WASTE DISPOSAL AND COLLECTION FEE'






           14              INCURRED BY THE CITY OF SCRANTON FOR THE


           15              DISPOSAL OF REFUSE", BY IMPOSING A WASTE


           16              DISPOSAL AND COLLECTION FEE OF $178.00 FOR


           17              THE CALENDAR YEAR 2009.


           18                      MR. MCGOFF:  What is the


           19              recommendation of the temporary Chair for


           20              the Committee on Finance.


           21                      MR. COURTRIGHT: As temporary Chair


           22              for the Committee on Finance, I recommend


           23              final passage of Item 7-B.


           24                      MS. FANUCCI: Second.


           25                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  Roll






            1              call, please?


            2                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.


            3                      MS. EVANS:  Yes.


            4                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Gatelli.  Mrs.


            5              Fanucci.


            6                      MS. FANUCCI:  Yes.


            7                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.


            8                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yes.


            9                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.


           10                      MR. MCGOFF:  Yes.  I hereby declare


           11              Item 7-B legally and lawfully adopted.


           12                      MS. GARVEY:  7-C. FOR CONSIDERATION


           13              - BY THE COMMITTEE ON FINANCE - FOR ADOPTION


           14              - FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 54, 2009 - AMENDING


           15              FILE OF THE COUNCIL NO. 100, 1976, ENTITLED


           16              "AN ORDINANCE (AS AMENDED) LEVYING GENERAL


           17              AND SPECIAL TAXES FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1977",


           18              BY SETTING THE MILLAGE FOR THE YEAR 2009.


           19                      MR. MCGOFF:  What is the


           20              recommendation of the temporary Chair for


           21              the Committee on Finance?


           22                      MR. COURTRIGHT: As temporary Chair


           23              for the Committee on Finance, I recommend


           24              final passage of Item 7-C.


           25                      MS. FANUCCI: Second.






            1                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  Roll


            2              call, please?


            3                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.


            4                      MS. EVANS:  Yes.


            5                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Gatelli.  Mrs.


            6              Fanucci.


            7                      MS. FANUCCI:  Yes.


            8                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.


            9                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yes.


           10                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.


           11                      MR. MCGOFF:  Yes.  I hereby declare


           12              Item 7-C legally and lawfully adopted.


           13                      MS. GARVEY: 7-D. FOR CONSIDERATION -


           14              BY THE COMMITTEE ON FINANCE - FOR ADOPTION -


           15              FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 55, 2009 - AMENDING FILE


           16              OF THE COUNCIL NO. 11, 1976, ENTITLED "AN


           17              ORDINANCE (AS AMENDED) ENACTING, IMPOSING A


           18              TAX FOR GENERAL REVENUE PURPOSES IN THE


           19              AMOUNT OF TWO PERCENT (2%) ON EARNED INCOME


           20              AND NET PROFITS ON PERSONS, INDIVIDUALS,


           21              ASSOCIATIONS AND BUSINESSES WHO ARE


           22              RESIDENTS OF THE CITY OF SCRANTON, OR


           23              NON-RESIDENTS OF THE CITY OF SCRANTON, FOR




           25              CONDUCTED WITHIN THE CITY OF SCRANTON,














            5              OF THE SAID TAX; AND IMPOSING PENALTIES FOR


            6              THE VIOLATIONS", BY IMPOSING THE WAGE TAX AT


            7              TWO AND FOUR TENTHS PERCENT (2.4%) ON EARNED


            8              INCOME FOR THE YEAR 2009 FOR RESIDENTS.


            9                      MR. MCGOFF:  What is the


           10              recommendation of the temporary Chair for


           11              the Committee on Finance.


           12                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  As temporary Chair


           13              for the Committee on Finance, I recommend


           14              final passage of Item 7-D.


           15                      MS. FANUCCI: Second.


           16                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?


           17                      MS. EVANS: Yes.  The wage tax could


           18              have been lowered if the mayor and council


           19              majority exercise fiscal restraint during


           20              his terms in office.  Until this tax is


           21              lowered, Scranton will continue to chase


           22              industry and homebuyers from it's borders.


           23              I will be voting, no.


           24                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  Roll


           25              call, please.






            1                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.


            2                      MS. EVANS:  No.


            3                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Gatelli.  Mrs.


            4              Fanucci.


            5                      MS. FANUCCI:  Yes.


            6                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.


            7                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yes.


            8                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.


            9                      MR. MCGOFF:  Yes.  I hereby declare


           10              Item 7-D legally and lawfully adopted.


           11                      MS. GARVEY: 7-E.  FOR CONSIDERATION


           12              - BY THE COMMITTEE ON FINANCE - FOR ADOPTION


           13              - FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 56, 2009 - AMENDING


           14              FILE OF THE COUNCIL NO. 7, 1976, ENTITLED


           15              "AN ORDINANCE (AS AMENDED) IMPOSING A


           16              MERCANTILE LICENSE TAX OF 2 MILLS FOR THE


           17              YEAR 1976 AND ANNUALLY THEREAFTER UPON






           20              AND COLLECTION AND FOR THE ISSUANCE OF






           23              THE CITY OF SCRANTON; AND IMPOSING


           24              PENALTIES", BY IMPOSING THE MERCANTILE


           25              LICENSE TAX AT ONE (1) MILL FOR CALENDAR






            1              YEAR 2009.


            2                      MR. MCGOFF: What is the


            3              recommendation of the temporary Chair for


            4              the Committee on Finance.


            5                      MR. COURTRIGHT: As temporary Chair


            6              for the Committee on Finance, I recommend


            7              final passage of Item 7-E.


            8                      MS. FANUCCI: Second.


            9                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  Roll


           10              call, please.


           11                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.


           12                      MS. EVANS:  Yes.


           13                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Gatelli.  Mrs.


           14              Fanucci.


           15                      MS. FANUCCI:  Yes.


           16                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.


           17                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yes.


           18                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.


           19                      MR. MCGOFF:  Yes.  I hereby declare


           20              Item 7-E legally and lawfully adopted.


           21                      MS. GARVEY: 7-F. FOR CONSIDERATION -


           22              BY THE COMMITTEE ON FINANCE - FOR ADOPTION -


           23              FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 57, 2009 -  AMENDING


           24              FILE OF THE COUNCIL NO. 6, 1976, ENTITLED


           25              "AN ORDINANCE (AS AMENDED) IMPOSING A TAX






            1              FOR GENERAL REVENUE PURPOSES ON N THE










            6              UPON CERTAIN PERSONS, AND PROVIDING


            7              PENALTIES", BY IMPOSING THE RATE OF THE




            9              PERCENT (2.5%) FOR CALENDAR YEAR 2009.


           10                      MR. MCGOFF: What is the


           11              recommendation of the temporary Chair for


           12              the Committee on Finance?


           13                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  As temporary Chair


           14              for the Committee on Finance, I recommend


           15              final passage of Item 7-F.


           16                      MS. FANUCCI:  Second.


           17                      MR. MCGOFF: On the question?  Roll


           18              call, please?


           19                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.


           20                      MS. EVANS:  Yes.


           21                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Gatelli.  Ms.


           22              Fanucci.


           23                      MS. FANUCCI:  Yes.


           24                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.


           25                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yes.






            1                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.


            2                      MR. MCGOFF:  Yes.  I hereby declare


            3              Item 7-F legally and lawfully adopted.


            4                      MS. GARVEY: 7-G. FOR CONSIDERATION -


            5              BY THE COMMITTEE ON FINANCE - FOR ADOPTION -


            6              FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 58, 2009 - AMENDING FILE


            7              OF THE COUNCIL NO. 145 OF 2007 ENTITLED AN




            9              MUNICIPAL SERVICES TAX ("EMST") TO LOCAL


           10              SERVICE TAX ("LST") AND BY IMPOSING A


           11              WITHHOLDING OF $52.00 FOR THE CALENDAR YEAR


           12              2009.


           13                      MR. MCGOFF: What is the


           14              recommendation of the temporary Chair for


           15              the Committee on Finance.


           16                      MR. COURTRIGHT: As temporary Chair


           17              for the Committee on Finance, I recommend


           18              final passage of Item 7-G.


           19                      MS. FANUCCI: Second.


           20                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  Roll


           21              call, please.


           22                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.


           23                      MS. EVANS:  Yes.


           24                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Gatelli.  Mrs.


           25              Fanucci.






            1                      MS. FANUCCI:  Yes.


            2                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.


            3                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yes.


            4                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.


            5                      MR. MCGOFF:  Yes.  I hereby declare


            6              Item 7-G legally and lawfully adopted.


            7                      MS. GARVEY: 7-H. FOR CONSIDERATION -




            9              FOR ADOPTION - RESOLUTION NO. 96, 2009 -




           11              CITY OFFICIALS TO APPLY FOR AND EXECUTE A




           13              CAPITAL PROGRAM ("RACP") THROUGH THE






           16              ($4,000,000.00); IF THE APPLICATION IS






           19              FUNDS WITH "SCRANTON-CONNELL, LP AND ITS


           20              GENERAL PARTNER "SCRANTON- CONNELL GP, LLC".


           21                      MR. MCGOFF: What is the


           22              recommendation of the Chairperson for the


           23              Committee on Community Development.


           24                      MS. FANUCCI: As Chairperson for the


           25              Committee on Community Development, I






            1              recommend final passage of Item 7-E.


            2                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Second.


            3                      MR. MCGOFF: On the question?


            4                      MS. EVANS: I'm very pleased that the


            5              Connell building will be renovated and


            6              restored to it's rightful place in the


            7              downtown, however, I do not approve of the


            8              delinquent tax pattern that the current


            9              owner has established.  Also, in 2007 when


           10              the Scranton Parking Authority wished to


           11              borrow $35 million to construct a new garage


           12              next to the Connell building, I stated then


           13              that the Parking Authority ratepayers and


           14              taxpayers could not afford this project and


           15              that the owner of the Connell building


           16              should purchase the property and build his


           17              own garage for use at his own building.  I


           18              will be voting, no.


           19                      MR. COURTRIGHT: On the question,


           20              Mr. McGoff, there is certain things about


           21              this project that I don't agree with, but


           22              this thing has been there since almost I


           23              have been on the council, the Connell


           24              building, and we have given money to them


           25              before.  I listened to Mrs. Aebli the other






            1              day and I think she did her homework on it


            2              and I think she did a pretty good job, so I


            3              would like to see it completed.  Again, I'm


            4              not 100 percent satisfied with it, but I'll


            5              be voting in the affirmative.


            6                      MR. MCGOFF: I also think that an


            7              opportunity -- this is applying for a grant


            8              and while there may be some reservations,


            9              the opportunity to bring an additional


           10              $4 million into the local economy that would


           11              be used for building and employment of


           12              numerous building trades throughout the area


           13              and also the use of this money, you know,


           14              and similar ancillary ways I think it's a


           15              real benefit to the community if this money


           16              is received.


           17                      MS. FANUCCI: And also I would like


           18              to piggy-back on that with the fees that we


           19              getting not only the permits and the


           20              inspections and everything else that takes


           21              place every time we do a project like this,


           22              but the wonderful thing is that it keeps


           23              people employed every time we pass something


           24              like this.  It keeps people working and


           25              that's our goal right now, so I will be






            1              voting, yes.


            2                      MR. MCGOFF: Roll call, please.  I'm


            3              sorry.


            4                      MS. EVANS: That's okay.  Yes,


            5              indeed, there is a great deal of money in


            6              terms of permits, for example, that will be


            7              gained by the city, but that's a one-time


            8              influx of revenue and, yes, building trades


            9              will work.  There are quite a number of


           10              projects at this time actually that


           11              hopefully will be underway shortly, but


           12              again, that's kind of a one-time influx and


           13              I think at this point in time we have to be


           14              looking at fiscal restraint using our


           15              dollars in the most wise fashion possible


           16              for the taxpayers and looking at, let's say


           17              long-term infusions of cash, for example,


           18              and I'm getting a bit off the track, but


           19              I'll just say this and then I think you will


           20              find the example suitable.  When the


           21              University of Scranton is going to invest


           22              millions and millions in it's property, yes,


           23              again, we are going to get this one-time


           24              cash infusion for permits, but that 1


           25              percent of the total project doesn't scratch






            1              the surface of all of the properties that


            2              have been taken off the tax rolls through


            3              these many, many years and that's the type


            4              of revenue the city needs on an annual


            5              basis, that gives back year after year


            6              perennially, so I think we have to look at


            7              the big picture and the long-term.


            8                      MS. FANUCCI: And I will agree with


            9              you in the big picture and the long-term,


           10              people who will be living in this building,


           11              people who will be working in this building,


           12              people who will be putting their businesses


           13              in this building will also be paying taxes


           14              to our city.  They also will be eating in


           15              our restaurants and attending places


           16              downtown and that is what it's about.  It's


           17              about bringing people here to spend more, to


           18              live in the city, so that is why I be will


           19              voting, yes.


           20                      MS. EVANS: I agree with that,


           21              absolutely.  No, every part of it.  The only


           22              objection I have is that the developer would


           23              have constructed the garage himself, but I'm


           24              certainly not, you know, opposed to what he


           25              is trying to do, I just wish that more






            1              developers would be using more of their own


            2              money towards their projects.


            3                      MR. MCGOFF:  Roll call, please.


            4                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.


            5                      MS. EVANS:  No.


            6                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Gatelli.  Mrs.


            7              Fanucci.


            8                      MS. FANUCCI:  Yes.


            9                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.


           10                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yes.


           11                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.


           12                      MR. MCGOFF:  Yes.  I hereby declare


           13              Item 7-H legally and lawfully adopted.


           14                      MS. GARVEY: 7-I. FOR CONSIDERATION -


           15              BY THE COMMITTEE ON RULES - FOR ADOPTION -


           16              RESOLUTION NO. 101, 2009 - PURSUANT TO


           17              SECTION 702 OF THE RIGHT-TO-KNOW LAW, THE


           18              CITY OF SCRANTON, AS AN AGENCY OF THE






           21              ACCESS TO RECORDS; AS SUCH, THE CITY OF






           24              AND WILL NOT ACCEPT VERBAL OR ANONYMOUS


           25              VERBAL REQUESTS FOR ACCESS TO RECORDS.






            1                      MR. MCGOFF: As Chairperson for the


            2              Committee on Rules, I recommend final


            3              passage of Item 7-I.


            4                      MS. FANUCCI: Second.


            5                      MR. MCGOFF: On the question.


            6                      MS. EVANS: Both verbal and written


            7              requests for information should be allowed,


            8              and I won't take a step backward, so I'll be


            9              voting, no.


           10                      MR. MCGOFF: Could -- and again, I


           11              know we had tabled this one time and I put


           12              it back on, I was wondering if we could


           13              perhaps table this again so that we could


           14              have Attorney Minora or someone draft it in


           15              such a way so that it would read to our


           16              satisfaction.


           17                      MS. FANUCCI: With the verbal, yeah.


           18                      MR. MCGOFF: With the anonymous


           19              perhaps, you know, however --


           20                      MS. FANUCCI: It was the anonymous.


           21                      MR. MCGOFF: Where somehow verbal


           22              requests can be made.


           23                      MS. FANUCCI: Right.  I agree.


           24                      MR. MCGOFF: Would that be


           25              acceptable?






            1                      MS. EVANS: Yes.


            2                      MS. FANUCCI:  Yes.


            3                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Make a motion.


            4                      MR. MCGOFF: I'd like to make a


            5              motion to table Item 7-I.


            6                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Second.


            7                      MR. MCGOFF: On the question?  All in


            8              favor of tabling Item 7-I signify by saying


            9              aye.


           10                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.


           11                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.


           12                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.


           13                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?  The


           14              ayes have it and so moved. And motion to


           15              adjourn.


           16                      MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
























            1                     C E R T I F I C A T E




            3        I hereby certify that the proceedings and


            4   evidence are contained fully and accurately in the


            5   notes of testimony taken by me at the hearing of the


            6   above-captioned matter and that the foregoing is a true


            7   and correct transcript of the same to the best of my


            8   ability.







                                    CATHENE S. NARDOZZI, RPR

           12                       OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER