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            1              SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING

 

            2

 

            3

 

            4

 

            5                          HELD:

 

            6

 

            7                  Tuesday, January 20, 2009

 

            8

 

            9                        LOCATION:

 

           10                    Council Chambers

 

           11                 Scranton City Hall

 

           12              340 North Washington Avenue

 

           13                Scranton, Pennsylvania

 

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           23

                    CATHENE S. NARDOZZI, RPR - OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER

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            1

 

            2   CITY OF SCRANTON COUNCIL:

 

            3

 

            4

                MR. ROBERT MCGOFF, PRESIDENT

            5

 

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

 

            7

                MS. JANET E. EVANS

            8

 

            9   MS. SHERRY FANUCCI

 

           10

                MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT

           11

 

           12   MS. KAY GARVEY, CITY CLERK

 

           13

                MR. NEIL COOLICAN, ASSISTANT CITY CLERK

           14

 

           15   MR. JOHN WILLIAMS, SOLICITOR

 

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            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

 

           20              DECISIONS RENDERED BY THE ZONING HEARING

 

           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

 

           25              VACANT PROPERTY REVIEW COMMITTEE MEETING


 

 

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            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


 

 

                                                                       5

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                       6

 

 

            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


 

 

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            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,


 

 

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            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,


 

 

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            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


 

 

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            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


 

 

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            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.


 

 

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            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.


 

 

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            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


 

 

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            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


 

 

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            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.


 

 

                                                                      16

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      17

 

 

            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 --


 

 

                                                                      18

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      19

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      20

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      21

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      22

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      23

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      24

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      25

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      26

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      27

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      28

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      29

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      30

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      31

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      32

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      33

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      34

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      35

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      36

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      37

 

 

            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?


 

 

                                                                      38

 

 

            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?


 

 

                                                                      39

 

 

            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.


 

 

                                                                      40

 

 

            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,


 

 

                                                                      41

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      42

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      43

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      44

 

 

            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'


 

 

                                                                      45

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      46

 

 

            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,


 

 

                                                                      47

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      48

 

 

            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.


 

 

                                                                      49

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      50

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      51

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      52

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      53

 

 

            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,


 

 

                                                                      54

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      55

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      56

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      57

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      58

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      59

 

 

            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.


 

 

                                                                      60

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      61

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      62

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      63

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      64

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      65

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      66

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      67

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      68

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      69

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      70

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      71

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      72

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      73

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      74

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      75

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      76

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      77

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      78

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      79

 

 

            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?


 

 

                                                                      80

 

 

            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

 

            5              AND OTHER APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS TO MAKE

 

            6              A SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATION FROM THE

 

            7              CONTINGENCY ACCOUNT TO INCREASE THE SALARY

 

            8              OF THE DEPUTY CITY CONTROLLER TO INCLUDE

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      81

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      82

 

 

            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.


 

 

                                                                      83

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      84

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      85

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      86

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      87

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      88

 

 

            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

 

           18              CONSIDERATION BY THE COMMITTEE ON FINANCE -

 

           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

 

           25              CONDUCTING BUSINESS IN THE CITY OF SCRANTON


 

 

                                                                      89

 

 

            1              AS MEASURED BY THE GROSS RECEIPTS THEREFROM;

 

            2              REQUIRING REGISTRATION AND PAYMENT OF THE

 

            3              TAX AS CONDITION TO THE CONDUCTING OF SUCH

 

            4              BUSINESS; PROVIDING FOR THE LEVY AND

 

            5              COLLECTION OF SUCH TAX; PRESCRIBING SUCH

 

            6              REQUIREMENTS FOR RETURNS AND RECORDS;

 

            7              CONFERRING POWERS AND DUTIES UPON THE TAX

 

            8              COLLECTOR; AND IMPOSING PENALTIES", BY

 

            9              IMPOSING THE BUSINESS PRIVILEGE TAX AT THE

 

           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.


 

 

                                                                      90

 

 

            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'

 

           12              FOR THE PURPOSE OF RAISING REVENUE TO COVER

 

           13              THE WASTE DISPOSAL AND COLLECTION COSTS

 

           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


 

 

                                                                      91

 

 

            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.


 

 

                                                                      92

 

 

            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

 

           24              WORK DONE, SERVICES PERFORMED OR BUSINESS

 

           25              CONDUCTED WITHIN THE CITY OF SCRANTON,


 

 

                                                                      93

 

 

            1              REQUIRING THE FILING OF RETURNS BY TAXPAYERS

 

            2              SUBJECT TO THE TAX; REQUIRING EMPLOYERS TO

 

            3              COLLECT THE TAX AT SOURCE; PROVIDING FOR THE

 

            4              ADMINISTRATION, COLLECTION AND ENFORCEMENT

 

            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.


 

 

                                                                      94

 

 

            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

 

           18              PERSONS ENGAGING IN CERTAIN OCCUPATIONS AND

 

           19              BUSINESSES THEREIN; PROVIDING FOR ITS LEVY

 

           20              AND COLLECTION AND FOR THE ISSUANCE OF

 

           21              MERCANTILE LICENSES; CONFERRING AND IMPOSING

 

           22              POWERS AND DUTIES UPON THE TAX COLLECTOR OF

 

           23              THE CITY OF SCRANTON; AND IMPOSING

 

           24              PENALTIES", BY IMPOSING THE MERCANTILE

 

           25              LICENSE TAX AT ONE (1) MILL FOR CALENDAR


 

 

                                                                      95

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      96

 

 

            1              FOR GENERAL REVENUE PURPOSES ON N THE

 

            2              TRANSFER OF REAL PROPERTY SITUATE WITHIN THE

 

            3              CITY OF SCRANTON; PRESCRIBING AND REGULATING

 

            4              THE METHOD OF EVIDENCING THE PAYMENT OF SUCH

 

            5              TAX; CONFERRING POWERS AND IMPOSING DUTIES

 

            6              UPON CERTAIN PERSONS, AND PROVIDING

 

            7              PENALTIES", BY IMPOSING THE RATE OF THE

 

            8              REALTY TRANSFER TAX AT TWO AND FIVE TENTHS

 

            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.


 

 

                                                                      97

 

 

            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

 

            8              ORDINANCE RENAMING THE EMERGENCY AND

 

            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.


 

 

                                                                      98

 

 

            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 -

 

            8              BY THE COMMITTEE ON COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT -

 

            9              FOR ADOPTION - RESOLUTION NO. 96, 2009 -

 

           10              AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND OTHER APPROPRIATE

 

           11              CITY OFFICIALS TO APPLY FOR AND EXECUTE A

 

           12              GRANT FOR THE REDEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE

 

           13              CAPITAL PROGRAM ("RACP") THROUGH THE

 

           14              COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA'S OFFICE OF THE

 

           15              BUDGET IN THE AMOUNT OF FOUR MILLION DOLLARS

 

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

 

           17              SUCCESSFUL, ACCEPTING AND DISBURSING THE

 

           18              GRANT; AND COORDINATING THE USE OF THE GRANT

 

           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


 

 

                                                                      99

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                     100

 

 

            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


 

 

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            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


 

 

                                                                     102

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                     103

 

 

            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

 

           19              COMMONWEALTH, IS NOT REQUIRED TO FULFILL

 

           20              VERBAL OR ANONYMOUS VERBAL REQUESTS FOR

 

           21              ACCESS TO RECORDS; AS SUCH, THE CITY OF

 

           22              SCRANTON'S OPEN RECORDS OFFICER WILL ACCEPT

 

           23              ONLY WRITTEN REQUESTS FOR ACCESS TO RECORDS

 

           24              AND WILL NOT ACCEPT VERBAL OR ANONYMOUS

 

           25              VERBAL REQUESTS FOR ACCESS TO RECORDS.


 

 

                                                                     104

 

 

            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?


 

 

                                                                     105

 

 

            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.

 

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

 

            2

 

            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.

 

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                                    CATHENE S. NARDOZZI, RPR

           12                       OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER

 

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