1 SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING
7 Tuesday, January 27, 2009
10 Council Chambers
11 Scranton City Hall
12 340 North Washington Avenue
13 Scranton, Pennsylvania
CATHENE S. NARDOZZI, RPR - OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
2 CITY OF SCRANTON COUNCIL:
MR. ROBERT MCGOFF, PRESIDENT
6 MS. JUDY GATELLI, VICE-PRESIDENT
MS. JANET E. EVANS
9 MS. SHERRY FANUCCI
MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT
12 MS. KAY GARVEY, CITY CLERK
MR. NEIL COOLICAN, ASSISTANT CITY CLERK
15 MR. AMIL MINORA, SOLICITOR
1 (Pledge of Allegiance recited and moment of reflection
3 MR. MCGOFF: Roll call, please.
4 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.
5 MS. EVANS: Here.
6 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.
7 MS. GATELLI. Here.
8 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. Fanucci.
9 MS. FANUCCI: Here.
10 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: Here.
12 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff.
13 MR. MCGOFF: Here. Dispense with
14 the reading of the minutes. Third Order.
15 MS. GARVEY: 3-A. MINUTES OF THE
16 HEALTH AND WELFARE AUTHORITY REGULAR BOARD
17 MEETING HELD ON DECEMBER 18, 2008.
18 MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?
19 If not, received and filed.
20 MS. GARVEY: 3-B. CONTROLLER'S report
21 FOR THE MONTH ENDING DECEMBER 31, 2008.
22 MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?
23 If not, received and filed.
24 MS. GARVEY: 3-C. MINUTES OF THE
25 COMPOSITE PENSION BOARD MEETING HELD ON
1 DECEMBER 17, 2008.
2 MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?
3 If not, received and filed.
4 MS. GARVEY: That's it for third
6 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mrs. Garvey.
7 MR. COURTRIGHT: I just have one
8 thing, if you don't mind, Mr. McGoff.
9 MR. MCGOFF: Please.
10 MR. COURTRIGHT: I received an
11 e-mail today about a benefit for Steven
12 Granville. It's going to be January 31 at
13 Whistle's Pub and Eatery on Franklin Street,
14 downtown Scranton from 7 until 10 p.m., and
15 tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the
16 night of the event at Whistle's. This
17 includes beverages, appetizers and desserts,
18 and they will also be raffling off gift
19 baskets and you need to be 21 or older to
20 attend, and that came from Julia Miller, so
21 if you can be so kind as to support this
22 benefit they certainly appreciate it. Thank
24 MS. GATELLI: Mr. McGoff, I just a
25 few things. First, if we could just have a
1 moment of reflection for one of our firemen.
2 He had a very serious operation and he is
3 recovering, Paul Mackrel, so if we can just
4 have a moment of silence to remember him in
5 his recovery. (Moment of silence observed.)
6 Thank you.
7 There will be a benefit for Chad
8 Lewis. He is 37 years old from North
9 Scranton and he is braving cancer. The
10 proceeds will assist him and his family to
11 pay medical bills. The price is $15 a
12 person. It will be at Holy Rosary Hall on
13 Market Street from 6 to 10 on February 21,
14 and I do have tickets with me if anyone is
15 interested, otherwise, you can get them at
16 door. That's Tommy's son.
17 The other benefit is for Joseph
18 Noone's, and he also is a cancer victim.
19 His is February 28 at Wise Crackers Comedy
20 Club. The door is open at seven and the
21 show begins at eight, it's $12 a person,
22 cash bar and there will be baskets and a
23 50/50. You can call Barb Kelk, K-E-L-K
25 I would just like to recognize the
1 basketball coach at West Scranton High
2 School, I don't know if you saw the article
3 in the paper, but our couch had prostate
4 cancer and I would like to send him a letter
5 on behalf of council congratulating him for
6 being a survivor and for being such an
7 excellent coach. We have very proud of him
8 and all of us up here know him very well,
9 and he is an excellent coach and part of his
10 philosophy I'm sure is what's helping him
11 battle his cancer, so I'd just like to
12 recognize him.
13 I don't know if anyone got in this
14 the mail, but I got this in the mail last
15 week and it was four pages long, and it
16 says, "Make $250,000 in weeks. Seen on
17 Oprah and 20/20. Highly respected TV and
18 radio programs. It's legal. This is not a
19 pyramid scam."
20 MS. FANUCCI: What are you still
21 doing here, Judy?
22 MS. GATELLI: I said to my husband,
23 "You know, it's not a bad idea."
24 You only had to invest 200 bucks and
25 you send for a list of people and you would
1 send 200 people a dollar, and this letter,
2 and I thought, you know, it sounds like --
3 it sounded legit to me. I had Joe
4 investigate it. He is retired now so he has
5 a lot of spare time, and he went to Oprah
6 and he went to 20/20 and it's a scam, so I
7 wanted to make sure people aware that if
8 they do get this in the mail it is a scam.
9 MS. FANUCCI: You are not getting
11 MS. GATELLI: It has been
12 investigated and it sounds real good, but I
13 guess if it sounds good then it's not good.
14 So I just wanted you to be aware of that.
15 And I wanted to tell you the reason
16 that I wasn't here last week, I was invited
17 to go to the inauguration of the new
18 president of the United States, Barack
19 Obama. I had asked for tickets before he
20 even won because I wanted to be there and I
21 wanted to be part of the historical moment,
22 so I was fortunate enough to get tickets,
23 and my daughter came with me. My husband
24 has bad knees so he wasn't able to come, and
25 it was a wonderful experience. I do have
1 some pictures here and I made my colleagues
2 a photo, one for each of them, of Barack
3 Obama making his inauguration speech. It
4 was very momentous, very touching. When you
5 looked back in the crowd and saw 1.8 million
6 people it was absolutely awesome.
7 I have only been to one other one, I
8 have been to Bill Clinton's first
9 inauguration as president of the United
10 States. If you have never been to one it
11 certainly is worthwhile to attend at least
12 one in your lifetime. It's something that
13 you can't even describe and I'm very happy
14 that I was able to be part of it and I made
15 everyone a photo and you can save it.
16 MS. EVANS: Oh, I will. Thank you.
17 I think that's the closest I'm ever going to
18 come to an inauguration.
19 MS. GATELLI: The camera did great
20 and you can see him pretty well and you can
21 save it for posterity. And, Neil, I made
22 one for you and Kay and Sue, too. I thought
23 it would be nice for you to hang.
24 MS. EVANS: Thank you.
25 MS. GATELLI: And if anyone else
1 would like one just let me know and I'll
2 make you a copy, and you guys can look at
3 them in the audience later if you would like
4 to. They are really nice. And that's all I
5 have for now. Thank you.
6 MR. MCGOFF: Mrs Evans?
7 MS. EVANS: Yes. The Coaches vs.
8 Cancer celebration party will be held at
9 Stirna's restaurant on Market Street in
10 North Scranton this Saturday, January 31,
11 starting at 8:00. The food will be
12 complimentary courtesy of Stirna's owner,
13 Kevin Gavin, and there will be a cash bar,
14 and all of you are invited to attend. There
15 will be raffles and gift baskets and it's
16 for a very worthy cause. There will also be
17 a celebrity guest that evening and if you
18 are available come out to Stirna's and
19 celebrate with the coaches and referees in
20 their effort to fight cancer.
21 Also, in light of the expiration of
22 the cable franchise contract this year and
23 the ongoing discussions conducted between
24 the mayor and Comcast, I had requested a
25 council caucus with Mr. Sterner, senior
1 director of Comcast. The caucus will be
2 conducted on Tuesday, February 3, in council
3 chambers and televised to provide the public
4 with access to this discussion. I have
5 received numerous e-mails and heard
6 countless complaint from Comcast customers,
7 particularly the elderly, and I know that
8 each of my colleagues has fielded numerous
9 complaints as well. Consequently, it is
10 beneficial to keep the public fully informed
11 of this important capable TV issue. And
12 that's all I have.
13 MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else? Fourth
14 order. Citizens' participation.
15 MR. SBARAGLIA: Andy Sbaraglia,
16 citizen of Scranton and fellow Scrantonians.
17 I'm going to start off by asking the
18 questions I asked last week, is the theatre
19 up on their loan, their government loan?
20 Are they current?
21 MS. FANUCCI: I'm still waiting for a
22 response on that myself. I put that in and
23 I'm not sure -- I looked tonight on my
24 e-mail before I got here to see if I got it
25 and I did not receive it as of yet.
1 MR. SBARAGLIA: Well, don't worry
2 about it. I'll put in a Right-To-Know and
3 they'll handle it. That's the best way.
4 MS. FANUCCI: You should.
5 MR. SBARAGLIA: That's the best way
6 to get it.
7 MS. FANUCCI: All right. Whatever.
8 MR. SBARAGLIA: The other was I asked
9 about Boscov's, why are we paying their 108
10 loan, did you find out why, what it's for?
11 MS. FANUCCI: As of right now
12 everything on the Boscov deal has not been
13 sealed yet, so until I think the -- we don't
14 know exactly what's going on yet with the
15 Boscov loan, but what you are asking --
16 MR. SBARAGLIA: We have been paying
17 for three years, probably four years on the
18 loan, on a 108 loan. That is quite fixed.
19 I'm not talking about the three million.
20 MS. FANUCCI: Oh, then I was
22 MR. SBARAGLIA: I'm talking about the
23 original loan that comes before council
24 saying we are paying two deadbeat loans off,
25 one by Boscov and one with the hotel, and I
1 guess there is -- never mind, I'll probably
2 find out. It's easier for me to find out --
3 MS. FANUCCI: Good.
4 MR. SBARAGLIA: -- than it is for you
5 to find out.
6 MS. FANUCCI: Good. Makes it easier.
7 MR. SBARAGLIA: Let's go to a new
8 subject. Our legislature in their wisdom
9 passed a new KOZ law, so here is a little
10 something on it: The new law allows to the
11 Department of Community and Economic
12 Development to designate up to 15 new KOZ's.
13 Okay? All the KOZ's we got they are going
14 to add on 15 more. Okay, the tax referred
15 to in the KOZ may be reduced to zero, well,
16 we all know that, except the deductions made
17 and credits for most state and local taxes.
18 Who pays it? The taxpayer. We pay it all.
19 Okay. Under the new KOZ status on
20 unoccupied parcels, in other words, they
21 haven't been able to do with these possibly
22 for the last ten years, so our legislature
23 said, well, let's give them another seven.
24 So now we are going from ten years to
25 17 years on these parcels that they didn't
1 do nothing with.
2 Now, there is another thing in here,
3 DCED may approve up to -- may approve up to
4 15 additional KOZ's, entitled as a KOZ tax
5 beginning January 1, 2010. In other words,
6 when they expire they are going to get
8 Existing parcels it in the zone, but
9 there is another little stipulation, if for
10 some reason or other after they get that
11 seven years extension if a company occupies
12 a parcel before December 31, 2015, they may
13 receive a KOZ benefit for another ten years,
14 so we are talking about 25 years of KOZ's
15 and that time I would pay $50,000 in taxes
16 without raises that may be coming to the
17 city, to the school district and to the
18 county and these people would have paid
19 nothing. Do you realize how much a burden
20 the KOZ's have put on the people of Scranton
21 for very limited resources?
22 Now, from what I heard when we are
23 in that -- I guess for that project over
24 there down off of the highway, I forget what
25 they call it, the Mt. Pleasant project, they
1 took a tax paying piece of parcel and bought
2 it and ripped everything down and I bet they
3 are going to ask for a KOZ for that parcel.
4 So not only are they taking money out of our
5 pockets they are going to build on that
6 parcel, and the only reason -- the only way
7 they could build is if they get a KOZ, so
8 you are going to turn around and give them a
9 KOZ to build another project that was a tax
10 paying project before they acquired it.
11 And if you notice down here at the
12 old DPW site there was a little article in
13 the paper about a gas station wanting to
14 move in there. Well, there is no sense
15 getting into it. Thank you.
16 THE COURT: Thank you,
17 Mr. Sbaraglia.
18 MR. MCGOFF: Jean Suetta.
19 MS. SUETTA: Jean Suetta, Scranton.
20 Bill, the bridge got cleaned today, Bill.
21 The bridge got cleaned. The sidewalks are
22 cleaned at city hall. Do I have a fatal
23 disease I don't know about? I come to say
24 thank you.
25 MR. COURTRIGHT: You got more clout
1 than we do, Jeannie.
2 MS. SUETTA: I didn't get the
4 MR. COURTRIGHT: I have the number.
5 MS. SUETTA: You never called me with
6 the number.
7 MR. COURTRIGHT: I have the number
8 right here. You told me you were coming
9 last week.
10 MS. SUETTA: Well, I hurt myself.
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: You didn't show up
12 last week.
13 MS. SUETTA: I hurt myself. Well, I
14 don't have to account to you. Sherry,
15 anything going on over there, the Sheraton?
16 No bids? No nothing? The money is still in
18 MS. FANUCCI: I'll let you know as
19 soon I hear.
20 MS. SUETTA: Judy, and you thought
21 that was a scam and you are on city council?
22 MS. GATELLI: And I was going to go
23 for it.
24 MS. SUETTA: And you're leading us?
25 MS. GATELLI: I was going to go for
2 MS. SUETTA: What's going on with
3 North Scranton Junior High?
4 MS. EVANS: Mrs. Suetta, we have a
5 letter sent to Mr. Langan, I believe, the
6 executive director of Good Will asking for
7 an update on that property and we are
8 awaiting his response. As soon as it's
9 received, council will --
10 MS. SUETTA: Because they are not
11 doing nothing up there. They are keeping
12 the sidewalks cleaned though, I do give them
13 credit there.
14 MS. EVANS: Well, that's a good
16 MS. SUETTA: But can I say
17 something? One of the DPW workers have been
18 plowing and salting Jilly's parking lot.
19 I'm giving them fair warning, I know who he
20 is, don't do it again because I never
21 snitched on anybody, but I will tell. He is
22 doing the parking lot in South Side, and I
23 know who he is, and it's not right. He
24 could have did the Greenridge Street with
25 the salting and the plowing he did down
1 there, and then I wouldn't have to come down
2 here and complain, but I give him fair
3 warning. I'll call you, Mr. McGoff, with
4 his name if he plows it tomorrow or Billy.
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: All right, Jean.
6 MS. SUETTA: Everyone have a good
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you, Jean.
9 MR. MCGOFF: Doug Miller.
10 MR. MILLER: Good evening, Council.
11 Doug Miller, Scranton. I'd like to respond
12 to council regarding the University of
13 Scranton tree trimming project. I raised
14 the issue a few weeks ago. Council said
15 they are doing us such a huge favor, well,
16 maybe they wouldn't mind doing us an even
17 bigger favor and travel around the whole
18 city and cut trees and install
19 streetlighting, you know, at least we would
20 be getting something from them other than
21 their self-serving project on the hill.
22 Three weeks ago, council requested a
23 list of cancelled meetings from the past
24 year, but quite frankly, we shouldn't even
25 be addressing this issue to begin with
1 because there is no reason that this council
2 should be cancelling meetings. I strongly
3 opposed the cancellation of the last three
4 meetings of the year, as I did state in the
5 past. I believe you had no reason to do
6 this other than to give yourself an extended
7 paid Christmas break. The taxpayers have
8 the right to speak at this forum whether you
9 have agenda or not and you violated our
10 rights by not giving us the opportunity to
11 come here.
12 You know, during your wasted time
13 off you could have discussed issues such as
14 creating impact fees on KOZ's, nonprofits or
15 any other developer that wants to come into
16 this city. I believe this city is losing
17 out on millions of dollars because this
18 council fails to get creative.
19 Also, we could have spent time
20 addressing the police and fire contracts.
21 You know, I don't understand why this
22 council is so afraid to address this issue.
23 You know, what if President Obama came to
24 Scranton and one of our schools and
25 businesses had a major fire with a potential
1 loss of life, but we didn't have any fireman
2 to put the fire out or police officers for
3 traffic control for security, you know, how
4 good would that look in the national
6 I think we need to liken this to a
7 teacher's strike. When this occurs the
8 teachers hold the students hostage. Well,
9 this council needs to holds the mayor's
10 legislation hostage until these contracts
11 are negotiated the right away. You know, we
12 are a distressed city and we look foolish
13 because our elected officials don't know how
14 to lead the right way.
15 Moving on to the raises. I totally
16 oppose any raises to this council.
17 Truthfully, I don't know understand what
18 even possessed you to even entertain the
19 thought. You know, Mr. McGoff stated two
20 weeks ago, and I quote, "It was only open
21 for discussion. Nothing was set in stone."
22 Well, then my question is then if
23 this was only being discussed then why was
24 it on your agenda? There is a big
25 difference between discussion and voting on
1 legislation. Your questionable actions were
2 certainly a big slap in the face to our
3 police and firemen and the taxpayers. It's
4 time that this council starts listening to
5 the taxpayers' concerns because right now
6 you don't feel you need to. I think you all
7 need to remember how you got here because
8 apparently some of you have short memories.
9 Finally, to the taxpayers here, we
10 have been imposed a five-minute time limit
11 here to address you. You know, we are
12 consistently ignored and stifled, you know,
13 maybe a creative idea would be that we give
14 council a five-minute limit when you speak
15 outside of motions and ramble on. What's
16 god for the goose is good for the gander.
17 Thank you.
18 MS. FANUCCI: Looks like your
19 campaign started, Doug, huh?
20 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Miller.
21 MS. FANUCCI: Campaign season, huh?
22 MR. MCGOFF: Bob Bolus.
23 MR. BOLUS: Good evening, Council,
24 Bob Bolus, Scranton. It's nice to come back
25 here again and see such a cheerful group,
1 and some of the issues that are facing our
2 city is money. We are squandering money and
3 wasting money. We have no regard for
4 taxpayers in this city. You've kind of
5 given the mayor free reign to do what he
6 wants, so why don't we start listening to
7 the people and look at some ideas. There is
8 a lot of creativity around here. I brought
9 up many issues over the years, not that I'm
10 most creative guy in the city, but I am one
11 of the most practical ones. I know what is
12 to have to work hard for a buck. Nobody
13 gives us anything. I can't pass legislation
14 and force taxpayers to pay my expenses. Our
15 people have to work for a living and there
16 is no free rides in our companies.
17 Let's look at the leachate line that
18 came from Dunmore to Scranton out of the
19 landfill. I brought this up many times
20 throughout the Doherty administration and
21 prior to the Connors' administration
22 changing the agreement. There is a leachate
23 line that goes from Dunmore down to hear. I
24 have also said it, we could be a host
25 community to that line even those it's
1 treated through the sewage authority or
2 sewer authority. We could charge so much
3 per gallon for every gallon of flow through
4 that comes through that line as a host
5 community. You need to pass legislation.
6 You need to start paying attention to it.
7 They could bring in millions of dollars to
8 the city coffers, not only in the city, it
9 could also bring it into Dunmore that's on
10 the verge of bankruptcy.
11 They problem up there is they made
12 be owned by the individual that owns the
13 landfill because he gave them a police
14 station and a DPW garage and they don't want
15 to take this legislation, but they are a
16 partner with the City of Scranton and you
17 need to start looking at these issues.
18 The golf course money, I don't know
19 where it is, but I would like to know where
20 it is now and what the interest is that's
21 accrued from the first million and a half
22 dollars that was given away to what's left
23 of the money right now. I think we are
24 entitled to know that.
25 Look around the city, look at the
1 valley we live in. The surrounding area,
2 everywhere you read people are putting in
3 windmills. Why aren't we looking at
4 entertaining windmills on the mountain
5 sides. We've got all of West Mountain. We
6 have East Mountain, we could cut our costs
7 tremendously to the taxpayers in the city by
8 electricity. Simple thing. God gave us the
9 nature. He gave us wind. People are
10 getting an advantage. It's being sent to
11 Florida and everywhere else. Let's use our
12 heads and do it here. There is grants,
13 there is everything out here to do it that
14 benefit the city. That's creativity.
15 That's using our head outside of the box,
16 not just giving the mayor $80 million every
17 year to run a business.
18 And, remember, the mayor on raises,
19 yeah, you need to give a mayor a raise in
20 the city, you are an $80 million a year
21 business. You need somebody capable or
22 competent that's going to give up something
23 and come here and run it. Sure, Chris
24 Doherty doesn't care if he gets the money,
25 why? Because Chris Doherty has a private
1 business he is involved in. A business I
2 believe is based outside of the State of
3 Pennsylvania even though it has an office
4 here in Scranton, so he doesn't need the
5 money, so he doesn't need the pay, but if
6 you are to put a bone out in front of
7 somebody and dangle it then dangle it so you
8 get competent candidates that come forward
9 who want to work and run this city to give
10 the city a better future than the handful of
11 politicians that continue to destroy the
13 You know, we could go on and on and
14 on. I brought out impact fees. I brought
15 out KOZ's, I brought out the nonprofits, but
16 you are the ones who got to get creative. I
17 was going to do it a long time ago, I did it
18 once and then said, geez, Bob why don't you
19 get on boards again. Well, I'm not going to
20 do that. I don't get paid to do it. I pay
21 taxes in the city. I live here, it's your
22 job to do it.
23 Create the legislation that gives
24 the taxpayers the benefit against your
25 impact fees, your KOZ's and nonprofits. You
1 need to start increasing the tax base,
2 decrease the tax rate, tax the burden off
3 the taxpayers. That's where we need to go.
4 We are in the limelight of the
5 nation and it's disgraceful to all of us,
6 every Scrantonian to sit here and see
7 everywhere you look that we are distressed,
8 we can't run our city and we haven't been
9 able to run our city. Why? Because we are
10 politicians we are looking out for our next
11 seed. We are looking out for our next step
12 in the political world. Well, that's not
13 what you are here for or anybody else in
14 this administration. You are here to do the
15 job for the four years or two years or
16 whatever it is you are appointed to do.
17 Worry about the rest later, it will take
18 care of itself if, in fact, you have done
19 your jobs.
20 People aren't stupid, but they are
21 hurting right now and you need to take the
22 bull by the horn here and change the course
23 of what Scranton is, that it's a financially
24 secure city not an electric city. Thank
1 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Bolus.
3 MR. STUCKER: How are you doing,
4 Mr. Courtright?
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: Hi, Jim.
6 MR. STUCKER: One of my friends, I
7 don't know who he was, he is friend of mine
8 and he knows Sammy Deano, he knows his
9 brother, and he was telling me, when I was
10 at the Circle flea market, and he was
11 telling me that none of yous should have no
12 raise. None at all. None of you don't
13 deserve a raise.
14 MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay. We are not
15 getting one, Jim.
16 MR. STUCKER: And I was up at the
17 Circle Sunday, up the flea market and I seen
18 a scooter. I seen it up there Sunday and
19 I'm going to get it, 75 bucks. It was brand
21 MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay, Jim, just
22 remember what happened the last time, all
23 right? You can't ride it on the street.
24 That's why you had to get rid of it.
25 MR. STUCKER: It's not licensed.
1 It's electric.
2 MR. COURTRIGHT: Right.
3 MR. STUCKER: If it's electric I can
4 ride it. Yeah. Yeah. And one of my
5 buddy's friends, a lady, it was in the
6 paper, her name is Sally, she just passed
7 away Friday.
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: Sorry to hear that,
10 MR. STUCKER: She had her leg taken
11 off and she passed away Friday, and I'm
12 still looking for a little bit of work. Not
14 MR. COURTRIGHT: Jim, before I forget
15 the guy you used to cut his grass, Bubba, he
16 came to the other day --
17 MR. STUCKER: Who?
18 MR. COURTRIGHT: Bubba from back on
19 Keyser Valley, he said when the weather
20 breaks he will let you cut his grass again,
21 all right? So I'll let you know after the
22 meeting, he came up to me and told me I
23 forgot to tell me.
24 MR. STUCKER: You want my number?
25 THE COURT: You give it to Neil, all
1 right? What do you got, cards there, Jim?
2 Don't we have that number? Just don't touch
3 his hair like Jeannie did. When the weather
4 gets good, Jim, he said you can do the
5 grass, all right?
6 MR. STUCKER: I was working for
7 Sammy, too, the guy that makes the flower
8 boxes. He has a lawnmower up there, so I
9 give him the lawnmower and I told him I
10 would cut it for 25.
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: Very good.
12 MR. MCGOFF: Thanks, Jim.
13 MR. STUCKER: And if I get a scooter
14 I will be happy.
15 MR. COURTRIGHT: I bet you will.
16 MR. MCGOFF: Lee Morgan.
17 MR. MORGAN: Good evening, Council.
18 The first thing I have here is, you know,
19 I'm really happy there is going to be a
20 discussion in council about the franchise
21 fee. I'm of the opinion that there
22 possibility should be a modified franchise
23 fee granting access to cable companies
24 outside of the area to transmit across those
25 lines. They can transmit in my opinion on
1 different frequencies, and have the
2 converter box separate the signal and that
3 way what we could do is we can create
4 competition locally. Instead of letting
5 Comcast run rough shot over the community so
6 that if another maybe Adams or somebody else
7 can make an agreement in this franchise fee
8 to let them transmit on a different
9 frequency and that way the box separates the
10 both signals and whosoever service you pay
11 for that's the signal you will get through
12 that box, and that way all of the residents
13 much this city aren't prisoners to one
15 The other major problem we have is
16 that, you know, I'm all for a percentage of
17 the franchise fee going to public access
18 television, okay? I'm also of the opinion
19 that we need to increase the amount of
20 diversity that there is on that channel. I
21 think that -- I think those are some major
22 problems we have and I think that they
23 should be addressed, but I also think that
24 another part of that franchise fee should go
25 to create a playground program in this city.
1 I think that the residents of this city have
2 a right to have this franchise fee used in a
3 way that enhances the lives of the citizens
4 who live here instead of letting it get
5 sucked into the budget and disappear. I
6 think we need to target this to do the
7 greatest amount of good we can for the
9 And on a separate issue, on the
10 stimulus that's going to allegedly come out
11 of Washington that Mr. Obama is trying to
12 craft, when that money comes here we should
13 use that money wisely in the neighborhoods,
14 not in town, not to build a library, not to
15 -- you know, there is so many discussions
16 that allegedly we are going to use this
17 money because we have this project allegedly
18 shovel ready for the new library. Well,
19 we've got real problems in the
20 neighborhoods. We have no curbs, we have no
21 sidewalks. We need major infrastructure
22 repairs in this city.
23 Now, President Obama has said, and
24 people in Congress and the Senate have said
25 that this is not the last stimulus, that
1 there will be others, so let's chain this
2 money together. I mean, we talk about 800
3 and some billion dollars, and there is going
4 to be others it means that we are going to
5 incur an awful lot of debt, and if we are
6 going to do that maybe we should spend it in
7 our communities for the benefits of the
8 residents in this community, like maybe
9 making homes more energy efficient, coming
10 up with a partnership between the laborers
11 or the carpenters union or whatever and
12 start pouring sidewalks and starting an
13 apprentice program in the trades. I mean,
14 we could do very creative things that can
15 benefit this city, but we have got to stop
16 the mayor or anyone else for that matter who
17 is going to squander this money in the pay
18 to play department, okay? I mean, you know,
19 I'm not trying to call people crooked, I'm
20 just saying that, you know, we have got to
21 do something for the people in this
22 community and I think that it's time for
23 council to stand up and say, Mr. Mayor, you
24 know, this is our vision for the city.
25 Mr. McGoff, last week or two weeks
1 ago you introduced something in regards to a
2 pay raise, so evidently you do have the
3 authority to put something on the agenda,
4 okay? So it's time to put something on the
5 agenda. It's time to put something on the
6 agenda for the residents of this city, and I
7 agree with things that Mr. Bolus has said
8 here, that he said many times before in some
9 regards as far as fees, but I really think
10 the most important thing we can do for this
11 city is get rid of the 2.4 percent wage tax.
12 Let's be realistic here. I mean, we
13 have terrible blight in the neighborhoods
14 and why? Because we have allowed the city
15 inspectors to run through the neighborhoods
16 at the mayor's orders and absolutely
17 decimate the neighborhoods. People have
18 been in these homes for 50 years and now, of
19 course, council passed the rental ordinance
20 and we decide we are just going to tear
21 everything down, okay? You know what, it's
22 not their fault that they invested in the
23 city and there aren't people to move into
24 those apartments because they fled outside
25 of the city.
1 So now they have been left with an
2 investment with no one they can rent to and
3 the city comes down behind them and says,
4 well, we are going to use this ordinance to
5 come in your house whether we should or not
6 and then we are going to allow people to
7 kick doors, act very immature, and condemn
8 people's properties for absolutely no
9 reasons or steal their zoning. It's
10 terrible. Thank you.
11 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Morgan.
12 Ozzie Quinn.
13 MR. QUINN: Ozzie Quinn. I'm here
14 tonight as the chairman of the Hill
15 Neighborhood Association Housing and Blight
16 Committee. You know, the Hill Neighborhood
17 Association has been around since the 70's.
18 It's the only 501-C-3 nonprofit neighborhood
19 organization throughout the city, and it has
20 done a lot of good things for the Hill
21 Section. Bob Neverosky is the president and
22 he asked me to attend tonight because of the
23 fact that he sent a letter to the OECD
24 regarding the neighborhood stabilization
25 program. A couple of weeks ago the county
1 had listed the foreclosures through the
2 sheriff's office and 16 percent of them was
3 from the Hill Section. Now, why is
4 everything going to South Side? You know,
5 you have the neighborhood stabilization
6 plan, you have the Elm Street plan over
7 there and here you have the Hill Section,
8 North Scranton, all of the other sections
9 are being left out and we really resent
10 that, okay? We have over 1,500 members and
11 there is a letter going out shortly, a
12 newsletter going out, regarding what's going
13 on here. It's a political football
14 everything that comes into this city that's
15 a grant. It's used for political purposes.
16 Now, Mr. McGoff, last week you spoke
17 about the University of Scranton, you
18 visited up there and you spoke about the
19 $1.3 million they are going to invest of
20 their money into the campus along Mulberry
21 Street? Well, you know, I'd like to suggest
22 again from the Housing and Blight Committee,
23 all right, in the late 90's there was a
24 million dollar grant that came into the City
25 of Scranton under former state legislator
1 Fred Belardi for the 1200 and 1300 block,
2 1400 block of Mulberry Street for new
3 sidewalks, replace the curbs and provide
4 trees and lighting all through there.
5 Now, the thing what they had to do
6 is they had to match it with $1 million.
7 Now, nobody knows where that million dollars
8 is, but I'm sure it's still in the city, all
9 right? Now, I would recommend from the Hill
10 Neighborhood Association, okay, and Bob that
11 we use that match of the University of
12 Scranton with that million dollars to
13 improve those three blocks of Mulberry
14 Street in the Hill Section. Do you
16 MR. MCGOFF: What was the year?
17 MR. QUINN: It came in in the late
18 -- it was around '99 I believe.
19 MR. MCGOFF: '99.
20 MR. QUINN: Yeah, it was a $1 million
21 grant from DCED and it was with a match, all
22 right, but nobody came up with a match, and
23 it's still around there someplace, but it's
24 a good opportunity to get, you know --
25 MR. MCGOFF: And you said it was for
1 the 12, 14 and 14 --
2 MR. QUINN: 1400 blocks of Mulberry
3 Street. There was also -- PennDOT was going
4 to come in, also, but moneywise they
5 couldn't come in. They were also going to
6 get involved in it. However, that had
7 nothing to do with the grant.
8 Now, we have a master plan which is
9 also, you know, a comprehensive plan done
10 around 1993 or '94 and it's a very, very
11 much involved plan for every neighborhood in
12 the City of Scranton, and it was a detailed
13 plan on how to remedy some of problems all
14 through the neighborhood and we never used
15 that plan. I'll bet you -- I'll bet you
16 none -- maybe Judy, she worked up there,
17 ever looked through that master plan. Now,
18 it's 15 years old it probably has to be
19 updated, but the neighborhood stuff can
20 still be used. And one example we can use
21 it from with the president's stimulus plan,
22 in South Side - not South Side, East
23 Mountain on the end of Cherry Street in that
24 neighborhood there was a proposal to open up
25 100 acres of land west of Cherry Street
1 going down to Montage for housing, okay?
2 There was a loop street recommended
3 to come in and open that area up, okay, and
4 if we are on our toes we could do something
5 like that. We could do something by going
6 to that master plan now, pulling out what
7 was recommended, what we paid for for
8 infrastructure in the neighborhoods and use
9 that plan such as that as an example. We've
10 got to get ahead this year. We can't be
11 waiting around, and again, we were very
12 satisfied with that neighborhood
13 stabilization program, but we do hope that
14 you will pick up on that $1 million grant.
15 Thank you.
16 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Quinn.
17 Les Spindler.
18 MR. SPINDLER: Good evening, Council.
19 Les Spindler, city resident, homeowner and
20 taxpayer. Mrs. Gatelli, two weeks ago we
21 were talking about meetings being cancelled
22 and you brought up in the Summer of 2005
23 that council worked right through the summer
24 and didn't cancel their meetings and you
25 said that was funny because it was an
1 election year? The real reason they worked,
2 Mrs. Gatelli, is because the Hilton was
3 having serious financial problems that
4 summer and they needed help and the council
5 worked through the summer. They worked with
6 the mayor all summer and Mr. Courtright and
7 Mr. Evans can verify this, and they came up
8 with a plan to bail out the Hilton or there
9 may not have been a Hilton right now, so it
10 had nothing to do with the election, it was
11 just financial trouble that the Hilton was
12 in, and if you didn't walk out when I was
13 speaking two weeks ago and I spoke about
14 that you would have heard it.
15 Next thing, two weeks ago I had
16 mentioned about Scartelli's plowing the DPW
17 parking lot during that last snow storm and,
18 Mrs. Gatelli, I think you were the one that
19 said there was a snow emergency declared?
20 MS. GATELLI: No. I said maybe
21 there was.
22 MR. SPINDLER: Well, there wasn't. I
23 was watching the news all night that night
24 and there was no snow emergency. The real
25 reason is Scartelli as a matter of fact is a
1 major contributor to Chris Doherty's
2 campaign and he is just repaying the favor,
3 and I think that's probably criminal and
4 that should be investigated. We have our
5 own DPW to plow roads, why does Scartelli
6 have to be hired to do it? It's outrageous.
7 And that's why this city is in such
8 financial difficulty because Chris Doherty
9 is taking care of his friends, and that's
11 Mr. McGoff can I approach council
12 with these things?
13 MR. MCGOFF: Please.
14 MR. SPINDLER: Okay. For awhile now
15 I have spoken about Pit Bulls being
16 dangerous. I got this off of Fox.com,
17 Foxnews.com. "City is mulling Pit Bull bans
18 in wake of dog attacks."
19 I'm not going to read the whole
20 article, on the back I have a little
21 paragraph highlighted, "While most dog laws
22 are local, Ohio has a 1987 state law
23 requiring owners to confine purebred Pit
24 Bulls as viscous dogs and buy at least
25 $100,000 in liability insurance."
1 And then it goes on to say, "Twelve
2 states prohibit breed specific restriction
3 on bans."
4 Now, when I brought this up before
5 your solicitor said we can't be breed
6 specific. Is Pennsylvania one of these 12
7 states? We are not?
8 MS. GATELLI: No, Pennsylvania does
9 not have a breed specific --
10 MR. SPINDLER: Well, when I brought
11 this before your attorney said we can't be
12 breed specific. Why can't we if Ohio can if
13 we are not under these 12 states?
14 MS. GATELLI: We can, but it has to
15 be the state that does it, not the city.
16 MR. SPINDLER: Why can't the city do
17 it? Because if there is --
18 MS. GATELLI: For the same reason we
19 couldn't do the smoking ban, Les. The same
20 exact reason.
21 MR. SPINDLER: But there's another
22 paragraph down below where the City of South
23 Milwaukee did their own -- they made a ban
24 on Pit Bulls, also. I think we can do it,
25 you people just don't want to do it. If
1 Chris Doherty asked you to put a Pit Bull
2 ban in you would do it.
3 MS. GATELLI: I'm having --
4 MR. SPINDLER: But when citizens come
5 and ask for things to get done it's not
6 done. This is a safety issue.
7 MS. GATELLI: Excuse me.
8 MR. SPINDLER: I'm speaking now.
9 MS. GATELLI: I'll let you have your
10 time. If you would, Mr. McGoff. I told you
11 before that Mrs. Thursby is working on this
12 along with Tom Preamo. She should have it
13 ready within the next few weeks, and I asked
14 you if you wanted to participate and you
15 didn't want to participate.
16 MS. SPINDLER: But they are not
17 working on a breed specific ordinance.
18 MS. GATELLI: No, but they are
19 working on a more stringent dog law for
21 MR. SPINDLER: Well, I'll believe it
22 when I see it.
23 MS. FANUCCI: If you worked with them
24 maybe you would have given reasons to do
1 MS. GATELLI: Yeah, you were asked.
2 MR. SPINDLER: I'm not talking to
3 you, Mrs. Fanucci.
4 MR. MCGOFF: Okay. Thank you.
5 MS. FANUCCI: Every time you address,
6 Council, by the way, you are talking to me.
7 MR. SPINDLER: Mr. McGoff, would you
8 please control her?
9 MR. MCGOFF: Excuse me. That's
11 MS. SPINDLER: Hey, it's unnecessary
12 for her to interrupt when I'm talking.
13 MR. MCGOFF: You asked for a
14 response --
15 MR. SPINDLER: Not from her.
16 MR. MCGOFF: She was giving it to
18 MR. SPINDLER: I was talking to Mrs.
19 Gatelli. That's ignorant for her to
21 MR. MCGOFF: You were speaking to
23 MR. SPINDLER: Lastly, yesterday was
24 a great deal for the little guy finally in
25 two ways, two corrupt judges in Luzerne
1 County were arrested, and I hope when the
2 Feds are done down there they come up here
3 in Lackawanna County and arrest some corrupt
4 officials up here and they could start right
5 here in city hall.
6 Next, about freedom of speech, a
7 gentleman had a four-letter word on his
8 truck down there and his court case was
9 thrown out of court yesterday and that's a
10 victory for the people's freedom of speech.
11 So, Mr. McGoff, I suggest next time you go
12 to gavel somebody out of order you better be
13 careful because the First Amendment is very
14 strong about freedom of speech, and people
15 can come up here and say just about anything
16 they want. Thank you.
17 MR. MCGOFF: No, they can't, but,
18 that's okay.
19 MS. GATELLI: And just to correct
20 the record, I read that story also about the
21 guy down there that had the "F" word on his
22 truck, the case was dismissed because he
23 took it off the truck, that's why the case
24 was dismissed. Mr. Nardone, maybe you can
25 check that out for us, but I know he took at
1 least two or three letters off and he had
3 MS. FANUCCI: And I know that I
4 wasn't addressed yet, but I would like to
5 say something, the only people who are mad
6 about rules and regulations in any aspect
7 are the people who are only intending on
8 breaking them, so if there are rules in this
9 chamber and you can't abide by them the only
10 reason you are upset is because you
11 certainly can't abide by them.
12 So, yes, you are incorrect, freedom
13 of speech is something that is definitely
14 heard here, but we still have council rules
15 and you need to stick with them. And, Les,
16 my mom told me if somebody always picks on
17 me it's because they really like me, so I
18 think you will be sending me Valentine roses
19 or something so --
20 THE COURT: Joanne Williams.
21 MS. WILLIAMS: Good evening, Council,
22 Joanne Williams. I really don't know where
23 to begin tonight. I see much hasn't
24 changed. The reason why I'm here tonight,
25 I'm a homeowner and a taxpayer. I came to
1 speak on a few different subjects. Today my
2 daughter was on her way to beauty school, a
3 friend of her transports her and other girls
4 to Empire Beauty School. A police car
5 stopped them almost right in front of our
6 house and told them there were too many
7 passengers in the car, there were four girls
8 in the back and two in the front. So, my
9 daughter had to walk back into the house and
10 miss a day of school.
11 Now, I do imagine the police officer
12 was right, okay, and I really -- I think the
13 law is you need a seatbelt for every
14 passenger, but what gets me is that, you
15 know, he picked on six girls who are
16 furthering their education, who were not
17 doing drugs, who were not doing anything
18 wrong, well, maybe illegally not a seatbelt
19 and told Carly to get out of the car or he
20 would fine the driver $100.
21 Well, I lived in the Hill Section
22 all my life and still reside in the home
23 where I'm at where me and my husband bought
24 15 years ago, and as Mrs. Gatelli knows we
25 had a nuisance neighbor up there for many
1 years, and I'm wishing the police would
2 enforce other laws that are broken in the
3 city, and within the past year I had two
4 occasions where the police were called to my
5 neighborhood due to the certain nuisance
6 family in our neighborhood, that had
7 disrupted many families. Well, I had to
8 actually ask one of the officers to leave my
9 home as he stated to me and started
10 complaining to me about his contract and not
11 enough police officers, you know, whatever.
12 And then on the other occasion I was at a
13 neighbor's home on Harrison Avenue where the
14 police officer stated that he was working
15 overtime and he would be rather spending
16 time with his children.
17 Now, I wasn't going to come here
18 because I thought what kind of professionals
19 are these, but I have kept quiet but
20 sometimes silence needs to be broken.
21 Also, the negativity here weekly is
22 overwhelming. They speak of the economy.
23 Well, it's a problem. I'm a widow now. My
24 income is under $28,000 a year, okay? They
25 speak of how the mayor picks his
1 administration, Well, hello, the president
2 pick their cabinets. But what always gets
3 to me is why people don't come and speak
4 about the positive of the city. They speak
5 of the positives, and let's take Nay Aug
6 Park, I know it's a trouble spot for some
7 people, and I know -- oh, I'm used to it,
8 believe me. And, you know, Mrs. Fanucci, i
9 have to say to you, I admire what you said
10 to the camera a few weeks ago that this
11 council chambers doesn't only belong to a
12 few, it belongs to everyone, okay?
13 Let's take Nay Aug Park, Christmas
14 light display, thousands who drove through
15 the park to take in the beauty of the
16 season, cars lined up down to Turkey Hill on
17 Mulberry Street. Let's take the Fourth of
18 July fireworks. Once again, hundreds attend
19 this marvelous light display. The Italian
20 Festival, First Night, I could go on, but
21 yet here we continually hear the negativity
22 of this city. Potholes, how much light
23 displays cost. I mean, it could go on and
24 on and on, okay? Scranton isn't the only
25 one with these problems.
1 Also, I have to say when I speak of
2 firefighters, I was always taught very young
3 to respect a firefighter and a police
4 officer, firefighters do a dangerous job and
5 they are heroes in my eyes, but my late
6 husband worked for the Scranton Sewer
7 Authority for over 20 years and many a time
8 he crawled down into sewer drains, he worked
9 outside in the heavy equipment, another
10 dangerous job, and I would often worry about
11 what could happen down there. After my
12 husband's death in 2006, me and my daughter
13 received health care for only one month and
14 then it was gone. In my eyes every job has
15 a risk.
16 And now to get to another thing, as
17 to Mr. Talimino, I don't know if I'm saying
18 his name right, if I heard him correctly
19 homemakers and beauticians-- if I could just
20 have a few minutes, I took it personally
21 because my daughter is currently enrolled in
22 beauty school and is enjoying a beautiful
23 and great -- and she is being educated. I
24 love this city, I have loved it good and bad
25 times, I give credit to Chris Doherty for
1 moving the city forward. Well, that's fine.
2 Mr. Talimino, you don't seem to like
3 Scranton so why don't you just leave and
4 take a few of the doomers with you.
5 MR. MCGOFF: Please don't --
6 MS. WILLIAMS: And in closing, just
7 closing quickly, you know, we talk about
8 Mayor Doherty who he put here and who put
9 there and his cronies, but Mrs. Evans this
10 for you, okay, just quick question.
11 MR. MCGOFF: Please. Mrs. Williams
13 MS. WILLIAMS: I'm almost done. I'm
14 almost done. Did you sit on the school
15 board at one time?
16 MS. EVANS: Yes.
17 MS. WILLIAMS: And after you resigned
18 from the school board is that when you
19 received your job?
20 MS. EVANS: Yes.
21 MS. WILLIAMS: Thank you.
22 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mrs.
23 Williams. Stephanie Gawel.
24 MS. GAWEL: Good evening, Council.
25 How are you tonight?
1 MS. EVANS: Good.
2 MS. GAWEL: Mr. Minora is back and
3 I'd like to ask him how are we making out
4 with Mr. McDowell?
5 MR. MINORA: We are waiting for an
6 opinion still from the Court. What happened
7 was the Court issued an order, just a two or
8 three sentence order. When you take an
9 appeal a judge is then required under the
10 appellate rules to file an opinion. An
11 opinion is his reasoning and case law, he
12 has hasn't.
13 MS. GAWEL: Thank you. All right.
14 I am going to pick on the city. I don't
15 like to, but you have to bring up the
16 negativity to fix the negative to get the
17 positives, it's as simple as that. I know
18 there has been like a lot of grievances
19 between the tax office, the police
20 department, the fire department, do any of
21 them ever get resolved? I mean, like I hear
22 nothing about when they get resolved or if
23 they are ever, you know, taken care of, you
24 know, like all of those that were against
25 Mr. McDowell as far as not showing up for
1 work and, you know, that sort of stuff, are
2 any of these grievances ever -- could we
3 check into it, please? Thank you. You
4 know, because it's getting to be such an
5 issue that like it seems like everything
6 that's swept under the rug and we need a
7 bigger rug at this point.
8 I understand that the police cars
9 are not up to par, the ones that we do own,
10 like a lot of them don't have the
11 defibrillators in them anymore, they don't
12 have the oxygen in them anymore, I'm not
13 even sure they have their flares and their
14 First Aid kits. These are the necessities
15 to help the citizens. I mean, again, what
16 do we do about these issues?
17 MR. COURTRIGHT: The defibrillators
18 we haven't had for quite awhile, and we
20 MS. GAWEL: Yeah. And I understand,
21 also, like if the computers break in the
22 cars they are not getting fixed. Again,
23 this is --
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: They put the
25 computer stands in the cars and some of the
1 computers I don't think were ever really
2 operational, so I don't believe we have any
3 police cars with computers in them.
4 MS. GAWEL: Now, up to the next one
5 then, this one will get fun. I know we
6 don't have cameras on the cars, but I
7 understand there is federal funding for
8 this, so why aren't we going after the funds
9 to get the cameras in the cars? First off,
10 it's safety for our police officers; second
11 off it's great for whether they have to go
12 to Court if there is any issues. In the
13 long run it could save the city money
14 because if somebody is trying to say the
15 cops did this, okay, you have the cameras.
16 It's right there. The cops didn't do wrong,
17 you did wrong, you know.
18 MR. COURTRIGHT: They can't even get
19 the camera that we have to work that's down
20 in the police station. We've got all of
21 these cameras throughout the city, I don't
22 know what the problem is. They just don't
23 work correctly.
24 MS. GAWEL: Okay. Also, it was
25 mentioned, and I think it was Mrs.
1 Gatellier, and I could be wrong and I don't
2 think she meant it badly, but I don't think
3 maybe it was thought through all the way, we
4 are talking about the beat cops and you said
5 at one point you had two in South Side and
6 you thought you should be sharing it, cops
7 should not be out there by themselves. They
8 should be two together at all times.
9 MS. GATELLI: When they are riding in
10 a police car they are by themselves.
11 MS. GAWEL: Yeah, okay.
12 MS. GATELLI: Whenever we had a beat
13 cop they were alone, and the bike cop was
14 alone, too.
15 MS. GAWEL: See, they shouldn't be
16 because, you know, like --
17 MS. GATELLI: Well, I'm going to
18 disagree with you.
19 MS. GAWEL: Well, maybe in the cars
20 but not when they are walking because if
21 some drug dealer comes up, you know, comes
22 after the one cop he is by himself.
23 MS. GATELLI: He is prepared for
24 that, and on a bicycle, too, we never had
25 two officers.
1 MS. GAWEL: Well, and I don't know
2 why we are doing the parking garages. And
3 I'm sure if you ask the women up here on the
4 board they would agree with me. The reason
5 parking garages don't work that well is we
6 as women don't like to be in them alone at
7 night. They are very scary, they are very
8 unsafe, and they are very uncomfortable.
9 Women will not use parking garages for the
10 most part. They will park five blocks away
11 and walk before they park in a parking
12 garage. So, why does this city insist on
13 going after the parking garages? You might
14 have somebody rethink the issue and
15 understand why we can't get the monies out
16 of the parking garages because girls aren't
17 using them, and there is more girls than
18 there are boys. Okay. Thank you.
19 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mrs. Gawel.
20 David Dobson.
21 MR. DOBSON: Good evening, Council.
22 Dave Dobson, member of the Taxpayers',
23 resident of Scranton. On 7-B I can't
24 understand why we don't just go with a
25 computerized website where anybody can go in
1 there and see what's up and get the
2 information they need and not bother any
3 city officials, that way we wouldn't have to
4 have it in writing and you wouldn't have to
5 be a pain in the neck to anybody, so I think
6 that's a better recommendation than throwing
7 railroad ties into the middle of the
8 information highway here.
9 On this up and coming stimulus
10 package from the federal government, as far
11 as KOZ's and office space if we are
12 overbuilt with anything in the city we are
13 probably overbuilt with office space. We
14 have a lot of empty office space and we are
15 looking to build more and give 10, 15,
16 20 years or whatever the heck it is to more
17 tax incentives, and it just seems strange to
18 me that with all of the empty office space
19 and so forth we have why we are doing this.
20 It just doesn't add up.
21 And once again, last week I asked
22 about snow tossed on the streets, I think I
23 just asked on a personal basis, but if
24 somebody could run it in the paper what the
25 ordinance is and snow gets tossed in the
1 streets and in the courts and so forth it
2 might be convenient for a few people that
3 are removing it, but it's a pain in the neck
4 for people that have to negotiate around it,
5 and if these people knew that they were
6 breaking the law maybe they would change
7 their ways. Hopefully.
8 Also, it really shouldn't be done, a
9 couple of years ago we moved snow with four
10 people tag teaming onto snow blowers and
11 cleared down an entire court and the DPW
12 came by and there is a three-foot wall of
13 ice in front of the court that we had just
14 cleared, so there was another day of work
15 down the tubes, but the main problem is that
16 some people just insist on pushing the snow
17 down into a court or something and they are
18 being inconsiderate. I don't want to argue
19 with neighbors, that goes nowhere, so if the
20 city just announces it hopefully somebody
21 will see the light. Thank you and have a
22 good night.
23 Oh, one other thing, instead of
24 KOZ's or office space how about some
25 industrial parks, please?
1 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Dobson.
2 Any other speakers?
3 MS. HUMPHRIES: You know, I use
4 visual art. Nothing like beautiful art.
5 Starbucks. I want you to listen to this
6 when I was down and out for everybody
7 because I think it's kind of for everybody,
8 especially people that died of cancer, that
9 suffer. The way I see it -- number 299, 29
10 for the angle, nine for the Virgin Mother,
11 "There is a subtle difference between a
12 mission and a promise. A mission is
13 something you strive to accomplish. A
14 promise is something you are compelled to
15 keep. One is individual, the other is
16 shared. When a mission and a promise are
17 one in the same that's when mountains are
18 moved and races are won."
19 It was said by Jim Donald, President
20 and CEO, and Susan G. Koman For the Cure.
21 April is child abuse prevention
22 month. Wear your blue ribbons, pin each day
23 to show you care about kids and support
24 parents as they do, the toughest job is
25 raising a family, and I feel the toughest
1 job is changing the nation and the world to
2 the beliefs.
3 Your Excellency, I got my love
4 letter. That will go with the documents.
5 I'm going to cry. I want to hand something
6 to you to pass. I support everyone, and
7 this is going to go traveling with this
8 white coffin representing the unborn, but
9 everybody that ever died in a violent car
10 accident. I attempted to get it to where it
11 had to go, God allowed me to be someplace
12 else. Sometimes it's important, I put God
13 first, my family second, I have to say it,
14 with my mission.
15 The American vets and American
16 veterans we support our flag. The active
17 support of the Pennsylvania Fraternal Order
18 of Police, the Pennsylvania Chief of Police
19 Support Association. This one isn't on yet.
20 This is -- I'm going to cry, the purple
21 support, the military order of the Purple
22 Heart, I'm in the Purple Heart in a special
23 way, so I'm going to pass this document with
24 American Indians. I'm going to pass this by
25 and then read something and then I'm going
1 to get off.
2 I have to get another glass, and I
3 want you to listen tentatively. For this
4 reason, before the father from every family
5 in heaven and on earth is named that he may
6 grant you in accord with the riches of his
7 glory to be strengthened with power and
8 inner self and that Christ may dwell in your
9 hearts, through faith may have strength to
10 comprehend with all of the Holy ones. What
11 is the breath and the length and the height
12 and depth, and to know the love of Christ
13 that's surpasses knowledge so that you may
14 be filled with all of the fullness.
15 I sent this to everyone around the
16 world and everyone that's in office. To
17 feel doubtfulness of God. Now, to him that
18 is able and accomplished far more than all
19 we ask or imagined by the power at work
20 within us. To him be Glory in the church
21 and in Christ Jesus. To all generations
22 forever and ever. Amen. My mission is for
23 peace. My mission is for love. My mission
24 is for reconciliation, but also my mission
25 is for justice but also divine mercy.
1 I'm attempting to go to the United
2 Nations and then go directly into
3 Washington, but something else occurred.
4 Where I got dropped off the people were
5 afraid that I would be thrown in the
6 psychiatric ward, I had Court orders out of
7 there because I went or --it's so funny, the
8 life we go through, right? And so I was
9 held in one place, but in the process
10 someone evidently, because the threats on my
11 life ran my daughter off the street, her car
12 was totaled up. It was a violent wreck, but
13 my daughter crawled out without a scratch.
14 Now, this work comes in with the
15 police department, Mayor Doherty, I have a
16 lot of documents and they are going to we
17 revealed. I interceded and I kind of like
18 sifted everybody out --
19 MR. MCGOFF: Phyllis --
20 MS. HUMPHRIES: No, they are going to
21 hear this. So, therefore, what I'm asking
22 you is I -- Mrs. Evans, I need your help.
23 I'm asking you to come to my house this
24 week. I want to get this coffin
25 representing the unborn --
1 MR. MCGOFF: Phyllis.
2 MS. HUMPHRIES: -- send it to where
3 it's got to go, would you please be kind,
4 and the people that are outside in Scranton
5 that love me come and help me with this.
6 It's a joint affair for the City of Scranton
7 to put us right on the map.
8 MR. MCGOFF: Please --
9 MS. HUMPHRIES: Not to pull us down.
10 .that's all I have to say.
11 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.
12 MS. HUMPHRIES: God bless you. And
13 Mayor Doherty could pray for the protection
14 for me.
15 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.
16 MS. HUMPHRIES: I'm getting off the
17 cross and I'm giving it to somebody else.
18 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.
19 MR. GERVASI: Good evening, City
20 Council. My name is Dave Gervasi. I'm a
21 city homeowner, resident and proud member of
22 our firefighters. There was a lot of calls,
23 it's been a heck of a couple of days since
24 the Court decision came down so I want to
25 just provide some factual information and
1 our perspective on some of the things that
2 happened in that Court decision.
3 It seems to me the media portrayed
4 what happened in our Court case, they
5 basically focused on retiring health care
6 and overtime and our raises, our so-called
7 raises. I would just like to provide some
8 factual information on that. Our raises for
9 the period covered in that contract hearing
10 was for 2003 we received zero, and for 2004
11 we received zero; and for 2005 we received
12 zero; and for 2006 for half the year we
13 received a 3.5 percent raise, and for 2007
14 we were given a 4 percent raise. Sounds
15 okay, but for that three-year period that
16 averages out to 1.5 percent a year, which is
17 much -- is s far below the cost of living,
18 just a cost of living adjustment.
19 Relative to inflation for that time
20 period we actually lost in buying power
21 6.93 percent so we went backwards with those
22 raises, just on inflation. A few of my
23 members are here, the three of them are part
24 of this group, the bottom 40 firefighters
25 also had their longevity pay eliminated
1 which is costing them starting this year
2 approximately a 1,200 cut this year. The
3 bottom 45 police officers are taking on the
4 average of a 1,300 cut this year. You
5 compound that with the problem with health
6 care. Our health care, we now have large
7 deductibles. Our contributions stood
8 basically the same, our copays have doubled
9 or tripled. If you have just our increases
10 one doctor visit, one hospital visit, and
11 one prescription during the year our raises
12 are gone. It's a wash. So we really didn't
13 get raises. I guess it could have been
14 worse, we could have gotten nothing and
15 really went backwards.
16 The decision also said our normal
17 every day labor rights like seniority,
18 things like that, set us back about 40 years
19 even though those issues have nothing to do
20 with the financial recovery of the city.
21 Everyone was talking about retirement health
22 care. Well, 111 of us current firefighters
23 does not have retirement health care. We
24 lost that in 1995. 103 of the current 158
25 police officers do not have retiring health
1 care, but the city chose and so far won the
2 remaining top older guys in the fire and
3 police department will now have no health
4 care in the 11th hour of our career where we
5 never had an opportunity to save and have
6 medical accounts, so the remaining older
7 firefighters have lost it.
8 My question now, just my personal
9 question is if a police officer is shot in
10 the line of duty and seriously injured or a
11 roof collapses on one of our firefighters
12 what happens to them when they can no longer
14 The 21 or 22,000 dollar huge
15 pensions that we do earn, one is that health
16 care, maybe lost mostly to health care costs
17 if we have to buy our own health care at
18 that point if we could coverage at all
19 because of preexisting conditions that
20 retired us, but maybe they could sell their
21 homes or sign up for assistance or lose
22 their savings all because they simply did
23 their job, but I know most people don't care
24 about that.
25 But now what you are going to get is
1 the mayor, a religious article salesman and
2 a retired state trooper, is going to
3 determine the level of fire safety in the
4 City of Scranton. You are going to have to
5 have neighborhood firehouse closures because
6 after seven years he finally admitted it,
7 response times are going to be longer and
8 it's not going to be what it is right now.
9 They want a 26 percent tax increase, you are
10 paying higher taxes for lesser services and
11 I have been preaching that since at least
13 And keep in mind, keep in mind not
14 the debt that Mayor Doherty inherited, which
15 the payments at that time were $3.5 million
16 a year, the debt that he created, the
17 payments each year on the debt that Mayor
18 Doherty created cost the city more than it
19 is to run the entire police department.
20 One more thing, if I may, he made a
21 statement on Friday during the day talking
22 about overtime and he said in the Channel 16
23 camera at his desk he said, and I quote, "We
24 have to worry about overtime."
25 He said, "Almost a third of the
1 firefighters working right now are working
2 overtime because of a fixed shift."
3 Here is the daily for that day, one
4 firefighter was working overtime on the 27th
5 that day. That's the truth. Thank you.
6 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Gervasi.
7 Mr. Jackowitz.
8 MR. JACKOWITZ: Good evening,
9 Council, Bill Jackowitz, South Scranton
10 resident and member of the Taxpayers'
11 Association. Last week I asked about the
12 $5.5 million money that was coming from the
13 Taxpayers' office, I hope I'll get an answer
14 this evening in regards to a backup plan in
15 case we do not get that 5.5 million. Has
16 anybody -- have we heard anything yet,
17 Councilwoman Gatelli?
18 MS. GATELLI: I heard that we will
19 know within the next two weeks with the
21 MR. JACKOWITZ: Okay. So in two
22 weeks possibly we will now. Possibly.
23 MS. GATELLI: Well, I hope so. It's
24 been a year.
25 MR. JACKOWITZ: Well, the word is
1 possibly; right? We don't know for sure so
2 it's got to be possibly; right? Okay. The
3 long-term debt, Councilwoman Evans, did we
4 get any information on what the long-term
5 debt is it because we know it's more than 95
6 million. Will you be talking about that
7 during motions?
8 MS. EVANS: Yes.
9 MR. JACKOWITZ: Okay. Thank you very
10 much. Okay, now, in regards to,
11 Councilwoman Gatelli, will you be getting
12 paid for last week's meeting?
13 MS. GATELLI: Yes, I will.
14 MR. JACKOWITZ: Can I ask why since
15 you were in Washington? I mean, I would
16 have liked to have gone and seen President
17 Obama myself, but --
18 MS. GATELLI: And all the other
20 MR. JACKOWITZ: I had to go to work
22 MS. GATELLI: Excuse me.
23 MR. JACKOWITZ: Can I finish my
24 question, please?
25 MS. GATELLI: No, you can't. You
1 asked me a question and I was -- -
2 MR. JACKOWITZ: I didn't finish my
3 question. I had to go to work last Tuesday,
4 I would have loved to see President Obama.
5 If I would have taken a day off I would not
6 have gotten paid. That's my question. Now,
7 you can go ahead and answer.
8 MS. GATELLI: Yes, I am getting paid.
9 MR. JACKOWITZ: That's all I wanted.
10 MS. GATELLI: I've already donated
11 $625 of my pay back to the city. Thank you.
12 MR. JACKOWITZ: I understand that,
13 and in the last three years we've also had
14 19 meetings cancelled, and I have the dates
15 here and I'm not talking about August, and--
16 MS. GATELLI: No one else on this
17 dais --
18 MR. JACKOWITZ: Please be polite,
19 please, and do not interrupt, please.
20 MS. GATELLI: -- did not give any
22 MR. JACKOWITZ: Please. Thank you.
23 Yes, you gave back $625, that's possibly two
24 or three meetings. But, anyway, I didn't
25 come here to argue with you.
1 MS. GATELLI: You didn't?
2 MR. JACKOWITZ: Scranton -- no, I did
3 no. I came here to get answers. It's my
4 right as a veteran, a 20-year honorably
5 discharged veteran, Mrs. Fanucci.
6 MS. FANUCCI: I didn't say that.
7 MR. JACKOWITZ: I'm just saying, and
8 Mrs. Gatelli and Mrs. Evans and Mr. McGoff,
9 and Mr. Courtright.
10 MS. FANUCCI: Why are you saying --
11 MR. JACKOWITZ: So I'm entitled to
12 ask questions, and as far as Joe Decker with
13 his truck, the court ruling came out and
14 said he could have left that four-letter
15 word on there, he chose not to. He was on
16 Corbett yesterday explaining the whole
17 situation. He chose not to, so it --
18 MS. GATELLI: I don't think so.
19 MR. JACKOWITZ: -- was a First
20 Amendment right to have that. Okay, so then
21 we are entitled to basically say whatever we
22 want to say.
23 MS. GATELLI: No.
24 MR. JACKOWITZ: You know, Scranton is
25 very unique. I mean the rest of the country
1 is suffering economic short falls, economic
2 problems, but yet Scranton we don't seem to
3 have those problems because we try to give
4 people raises for no other reason expect
5 they are politically connected or they were
6 elected. You know, no contracts for the
7 fire and police for seven years, but that's
8 finally going to get resolved. I mean, I
9 read in the paper today where it says -- "In
10 addition, the mayor foresees reduced man
11 hours through scheduling and layoffs. The
12 mayor is anticipating elimination of 8 to 12
13 firefighters right off the bat for potential
14 savings of $960,000."
15 I believe our debt is much higher
16 than $960,000, so let's hope that the
17 firefighters are not going to -- and the
18 police officers is not going to be paid off
19 their backs.
20 Also, in regards to "Towns have high
21 hopes for stimulus by President Obama," you
22 know, President Obama ran on the campaign
23 promise of change. I hope and pray that we
24 get change, and right now I really haven't
25 seen much change locally, you know, we still
1 have people putting their personal likes and
2 dislikes before that of the community. They
3 were elected to represent the City of
4 Scranton and part representing the City of
5 Scranton is attending meetings. It's as
6 simple as that. I'm not going to say no
7 more on that, but he says in today's paper
8 you want to be in front of the person who is
9 making decisions, Mr. Doherty said, and he
10 is referring to Senator Bob Casey. I hope
11 change, change, you no longer want to be in
12 front of the person who is making the
13 decisions. You want the person who is
14 making the decisions to make the right
15 decisions, not the politically connect
16 decisions, not the favoritism decisions that
17 have been made in this country for years and
18 years and years and in this city for the
19 entirety of the entire life of this city.
20 Let's hope President Obama is true
21 and is telling the truth when he says he
22 wants change, and change means if you are
23 paid to do a job and you are elected to do a
24 job you do that job irregardless of your
25 personal wants or your personal rights or
2 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you,
3 Mr. Jackowitz.
4 MS. SCHUMACHER: Good evening. Marie
5 Schumacher, resident and member of the
6 Taxpayers' Organization. I will not be
7 presenting my state of the city report this
8 evening as the full audit report was not
9 received in the clerk's office until
10 yesterday nor has the findings of the
11 forensic audit of the Single Tax Office's
12 1.2 million dollar mystery account promised
13 by the end of this month, as I recall, been
14 made public. However, I am able to report
15 general fund expenditures for last year
16 exceeded revenues by $3,295,979.53 which is,
17 indeed, troubling.
18 I was also somewhat perplexed by a
19 $5,000 US Postal services charge in the
20 business administration office for the month
21 of December. That seems awfully steep for
22 an administrative office. Can any council
23 members share what mailing resulted in that
24 $5,000 charge or must I file another
25 Right-To-Know? Mrs. --
1 MS. GATELLI: Excuse me, I think
2 that possibly the Pitney Bowes machine is in
3 there and that's used for --
4 MS. SCHUMACHER: This is postal
5 service not --
6 MS. GATELLI: I'm sorry.
7 MS. SCHUMACHER: I'll do a
8 Right-To-Know. Thank you. Mrs. Gatelli, in
9 your absence last week I requested you and
10 as finance chair to get PEL here within the
11 next six weeks to provide their perspective
12 and answer questions. The question I would
13 like PEL to answer is what happened? PEL's
14 letter transmitting the revised and updated
15 Act 47 Recovery Plan states, in part, "These
16 deficits can be avoided and future
17 operations can be balanced if the city
18 promptly adopts and implements a revised and
19 updated Recovery Plan. To that end,
20 attached is the city's proposed revised and
21 updated Recovery Plan covering the remainder
22 of 2002 and the period 2003 through 2005."
23 The voters passed the Recovery Plan,
24 so what happened? What have they been doing
25 since that plan expired three years ago?
1 They owe the taxpayers an answer. So,
2 please, Mrs. Gatelli, bring PEL here and
3 allow us to question them.
4 Now, I would like to switch gears
5 and move to the Mt. Pleasant Corporate
6 Center issue. I didn't think it was
7 possible to keep a secret in Scranton, but
8 council and the Chamber of Commerce managed
9 a caucus prior to last week's council
10 meeting that flew in under the public's
11 radar. While I did not arrive here last
12 week in time to hear the presentation, I
13 assume it was similar to the one I heard
14 last night at the Scranton School District
15 meeting. Last July, the Pennsylvania
16 Legislature passed a law allowing for KOZ
17 and KOEZ extensions. Slipco and the Chamber
18 are requesting extensions for the Mt.
19 Pleasant development across from the high
20 school. I was most disappointed in their
22 First, they claim the project to
23 being a no-go without the extension. Next,
24 they say they have been working on this
25 project for four years. For three of those
1 four years the KOZ expiration was known to
2 be 2010. So why did they continue with this
3 project if the KOZ is a necessity? To me,
4 it says KOZ is not a necessity.
5 Also, the Chamber people said it is
6 a seven-year extension, however, what they
7 didn't reveal is what was stated earlier,
8 and that is if the company occupies a parcel
9 before 1215 -- 2015, they may receive KOZ
10 benefits for ten years, and the ten-year
11 clock doesn't start ticking until the date
12 of occupation, so much of this project could
13 be KOZ until 2025.
14 City taxpayers cannot afford to
15 underwrite this venture especially when the
16 majority of jobs, also revealed last night,
17 may not be newly created, but rather
18 relocated. Further, one of the potential
19 tenants will be moving out of a Scranton
20 business which is currently not in a KOZ
21 into this KOZ zone or proposed KOZ zone so
22 we lose twice. I think that's wrong.
23 Also, I'm somewhat perplexed as to
24 why there is not an agenda item on the
25 Neighborhood Revitalization Act. As I
1 understand it, the RFP stated that council,
2 city council, had to approve or endorse the
3 application and I would think a resolution
4 should have been here because last time I
5 looked at that it was supposed to have gone
6 in on the 25th of January with awards by the
7 31st, so why no -- why no resolution,
8 because I do have several comments on
9 that -- and I may just read my letter next
10 week, but I don't know what's holding that
12 MS. GATELLI: I don't know about the
13 resolution, but I know we made a motion
14 approving the revitalization project.
15 MS. SCHUMACHER: You did that before
16 you even wrote it. How could you approve
17 something you had never even seen yet?
18 MS. GATELLI: How could you refuse
19 $3 million for housing? I would never do
21 MS. SCHUMACHER: I wouldn't either,
22 but it's -- it is how the money is proposed
23 to be spent, that's the issue.
24 MS. GATELLI: It's going to be spent
25 on helping for foreclosures, redoing
1 apartments, redoing homes.
2 MS. SCHUMACHER: All in South Side
3 according to the application.
4 MS. GATELLI: No, not --
5 MS. SCHUMACHER: Yes.
6 MS. GATELLI: Well, that's where the
7 big problems are in case you didn't realize,
8 that, Mrs. Schumacher. You haven't lived
9 here for your whole life so maybe you didn't
10 realize that.
11 MS. SCHUMACHER: Thank God.
12 MS. GATELLI: That South Scranton is
13 in dire straights. You might not have
14 realized that. Same as the Hill was years
15 ago, right, Ozzie?
16 MS. SCHUMACHER: Yeah, and you moved
17 the problems to South Side.
18 MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Ungvarsky.
19 MR. UNGVARSKY: Good evening, City
20 Council. I'm Tom Ungvarsky and I'm also a
21 member of the Scranton/Lackawanna County
22 Taxpayers. Last week you passed a grant for
23 the Connell building. Apparently no one on
24 city council or in the administration knows
25 of Gresham's law which states that if you
1 chase good money after bad money the good
2 money becomes bad money. Right now we are
3 chasing $30 million down the 500 block of
4 Lackawanna Avenue and the chances are we
5 will never see any of it back.
6 We now put another $4 million into
7 the Connell building. We reduced their
8 taxes, we built them a garage, and probably
9 never see any of that money back. It seems
10 we have money for wealthy developers,
11 however, we cannot settle a contract with
12 police and firemen. It's speaks a lot for
13 this administration.
14 MR. SLEDENZSKI: Hello, Bill.
15 MR. COURTRIGHT: Hi, Chris.
16 MR. SLEDENZSKI: Hi, Janet.
17 MS. EVANS: Hi, Chris.
18 MR. SLEDENZSKI: Janet, close your
19 eyes. You can't see. You can't see it.
20 Not you three, just Janet. You can't see
21 it. Don't look. Don't look. Is she
23 MS. GATELLI: She is not looking.
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: Tell her to open her
25 eyes up.
1 MR. SLEDENZSKI: Open your eyes,
2 Janet, open your eyes.
3 MS. EVANS: Oh, thank you. Very
4 handsome you are.
5 MR. SLEDENZSKI: I told you. I take
6 after your husband, Janet.
7 MS. EVANS: I know.
8 MR. SLEDENZSKI: One thing, Billy,
9 these firemen are doing a good job
10 downstairs. Keep it up, Boys, I'm proud of
11 yous. Thank you.
12 MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Ellman?
13 MR. ELLMAN: Ronnie Ellman. I wasn't
14 going to talk, but I wrote a couple of notes
15 down. Boy, the police have been busy this
16 week, haven't they? They have done a good
17 job, I seen it in the paper. I stopped to
18 get a lottery ticket a couple of days ago at
19 the Convenience Store on North Main and
20 there is a fellow in the wheelchair and he
21 said he is going down the sidewalk on the
22 2800 block of North Main, there is a little
23 garage, and they put a concrete island up to
24 where he can't use it across the sidewalk
25 and, I don't think that's right. I didn't
1 see it myself, he was telling me about it,
2 but I don't think you can block a sidewalk
3 for whatever reason there was. There was
4 something like that on the 2,500 block of
5 North Main there is a big house with four or
6 five, six cars there all of the time and
7 they completely block the sidewalk, which
8 doesn't bother me, because I don't walk down
9 there because my dog Lump died last year, in
10 fact, a year ago today, so I don't walk down
11 there, but the little preschoolers are
12 coming and going from the bus and they are
13 on North Main Avenue, which is like a
14 racetrack, and it's a dangerous situation
15 because they are always playing when they
16 get off the bus and that's, you know, four
17 or five cars is a couple of hundred feet and
18 when it shows they never clean the sidewalk
19 anyway, the kids are in the street, so I
20 wish something could be done about it and I
21 would like to -- I got an absentee landlord
22 next door to me who just doesn't care what
23 caliber of people he rents his house to and
24 what conditions it's kept in and I phoned
25 Mr. Liptai and I have talked to Mr. Wallace
1 and a couple of people and I would like to
2 say how much cooperation I got, I couldn't
3 believe it. I mean, just immediate they
4 came over there, the man has a bogus trailer
5 and he has been running a business out of
6 the house and they did a fine job. It
7 surprised me. And I'd say in a half hour
8 they were at the house after I phoned to see
9 what they could do. It seemed like people
10 like this are just what ruins the
11 neighborhood. I got a Section 8t house up
12 the street, the person that got it
13 originally has moved and there is someone
14 else in there, and it just -- it's just a
15 bad situation. They ruined the whole
16 neighborhood and it looks like they ought to
17 lose their status as a Section 8 house.
18 And I come to my favorite subject,
19 Mr. Doherty. Oh, I don't know, in '77, to
20 get off the subject for a second, I bought a
21 new Camero up at AJ Chevrolet and my sons, I
22 think they were 14 and 16 or something, they
23 went to Atlanta for Christmas to see their
24 momma and they ran into a bridge with my new
25 Camero, and they fixed it. That's when I
1 was working for Mr. DeNaples, and they fixed
2 the car so they could get back up here and
3 the car would only turn left. This is the
4 truth. The wheel would go straight and turn
5 left, it wouldn't turn right because they
6 bent the frame and everything, and it took a
7 lot of planning when you wanted to figure
8 out where you were going to go this way and
9 this way and crossing streets and then if
10 you missed a parking place you were really,
11 you know. It just reminds me of all of the
12 circles that Mr. Doherty is going in this
13 city, you know, he is just a luxury we can't
14 afford, you know, and keeps -- this week in
15 the paper they were talking about extending
16 the KOZ seven years or something.
17 You know, if Mr. Doherty and
18 Mr. O'Malley were on the ball years ago they
19 would have sold KOZ's because everybody in
20 the city would have bought one, I certainly
21 would have bought one, but extending them
22 it's like I complained about this KOZ on
23 Lackawanna, one of the best pieces of
24 property, I have talked to some other people
25 who have mentioned it, one of the finest
1 pieces of property is KOZ in the county,
2 that big car lot, you know where I mean, on
3 I think it's 7th and Lackawanna there across
4 from the U-Haul, but KOZ's have killed us,
5 you know. How many KOZ's -- how did this
6 help us out there with those 150 houses on
7 Keyser Avenue, you know, it's an abomination
8 to go by there and see that sign KOZ. Now
9 they want to extend this seven years?
10 Mr. Doherty or whoever is in office next is
11 going to the well and it's going to be
12 empty. You just cannot keep sucking the
13 blood out of the people in this city. Thank
15 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Ellman.
16 Anyone else? Mrs. Evans?
17 MR. STUCKER: What about them
19 MR. MCGOFF: You can't, Jim. Thank
20 you. Mrs. Evans.
21 MS. EVANS: Good evening. The 2007
22 independent audit was received yesterday.
23 This appears to be financial state of the
24 city as of December 31, 2007. The total
25 principal debt for general obligation bonds,
1 the Scranton Redevelopment Authority,
2 Scranton Parking Authority, Sewer Authority
3 and capitalized leases is $159,162,385. The
4 audit states that the city guaranteed the
5 bonded debt of each authority, and that the
6 Redevelopment Authority is financially
7 dependent upon the city.
8 The total long-term Doherty debt is
9 $2,073,340,228. That is over a quarter of a
10 billion dollars which will not be paid in
11 full until the Year 2039. Keep in mind,
12 these figures do not include the
13 $11.1 million borrowed by the city in 2008,
14 and the $1 million line of credit with
15 Pennstar back used by the Parking Authority
16 in 2008 to cover a budget hole in 2009.
17 Thus, the 2008 figures will increase
18 by another 12 million in principle alone.
19 In my six years as councilwoman I have told
20 you the truth, these are the financial
21 facts, and we as residents and taxpayers of
22 Scranton must decide in 2009 whether to
23 increase this debt or to stop the borrowing
24 and spending and pay down the debt.
25 This behemoth has been allowed to
1 feed and grow for seven years. The Doherty
2 debt has been glamorized, sanitized,
3 justified, apologized, and spun by this
4 administration and a local newspaper for too
5 many years. Ask yourself, have you finally
6 had enough? Is your daily life better from
7 the $273 million Doherty debt? And then do
8 something about it for your parents, for
9 your children and for yourself.
10 Now, for the last two weeks I asked
11 my colleagues to consider an amendment to
12 File of Council No. 82 of 2007 which was
13 provided to each of them. The original
14 ordinance approves penalty, interest, and
15 fee schedules for collection of delinquent
16 real estate taxes. Now, I believe that
17 every property owner must pay his fair share
18 and I firmly believe that delinquent taxes
19 must be aggressively pursued and collected,
20 however, I do not believe in doubling or
21 tripling the cost of delinquent property
22 taxes owed to make Northeast Credit and
23 Collections wealthy, and I do not believe in
24 taking a family home by sheriff's sale for
25 delinquent taxes that have increased so
1 significantly due to this 2007 ordinance
2 that a person cannot beg, borrow or steal
3 enough money to save his home from a
4 sheriff's sale.
5 Research demonstrates that
6 homeowners fall delinquent because of
7 employment losses, health care crises, and
8 that is the number one reason, meager fixed
9 incomes and the costs of college educations
10 for their children, and they cannot dig
11 themselves out when an original delinquent
12 tax of say 500 balloons into 1,500 or more.
13 When this ordinance was passed in
14 June of 2007 by the council majority, it was
15 a great worry to me, but it has become
16 increasingly dangerous in today's free
17 falling economy, particularly, in light of
18 the unemployment recession and cutbacks that
19 are suffered by the working families and
20 senior citizens of our city. I therefore
21 proposed this amendment to eliminate the
22 sheriff's sale of homes and any penalties,
23 interest and fee schedules related to the
24 sheriff's sale process. I also decreased
25 the costs of three provisions of the
1 original ordinance because they had been
2 significantly increased from what was
3 charged prior to the enactment of this
5 An equally important note, is the
6 fact that the city does not receive the
7 money collected from these penalties,
8 interest and fees. NCC pockets this money.
9 Again, the city must aggressively collect
10 delinquent taxes, but it's purpose should
11 not be to fill the coffers of collection
12 agencies and to possibly take people's homes
13 in this recession, and so this amendment was
14 born. It will save the delinquent taxpayer
15 a minimum of $1,735 and save his home.
16 Therefore, I move to amend File of
17 Council No. 82, 2007, to approve penalty,
18 interest and fee schedules for the
19 collection of delinquent real estate taxes
20 by striking: 3(j) Eight Hundred and No/100
21 Dollars for the preparation and filing of a
22 Writ of Execution for Sheriff Sale.
23 3(k) The actual filing, service,
24 execution and poundage fees, if any, for
25 service and execution by the Office of the
1 Sheriff of the County which are in effect at
2 the time of such filing, service and
3 execution as established by the Office of
4 the Sheriff of the County or such other
5 instrumentality of government as shall be
6 charged with the establishment of such fee.
7 3(L) One Hundred Seventy-five
8 Dollars for the preparation, filing, and
9 conduct of proceedings to effect service of
11 3(m) Thirty and no dollars for costs
12 occurred in connection with the reissuance
13 of Writs.
14 3(p) Twenty-five and no/100 dollars
15 for the preparation and filing of any
16 praecipe, petition or motion to continue a
17 judicial or sheriff's sale.
18 3(q) Four Hundred and no/100 dollars
19 for attendance by legal council counsel at a
20 Judicial, Sheriff or Tax Sale.
21 And by striking the following dollar
23 3(a) Twenty-Five and No/100 dollars
24 per lien;
25 3(b) One-Hundred Sixty and No/100
2 3(c) Thirty-Five and No/100 dollars;
3 3(u) The portion of the statement as
4 follows: And no more than $225.00 per hour
5 commensurate with the attorney's normal
6 hourly. And inserting in their place:
7 3(a) Ten dollars;
8 3(b) Forty Dollars;
9 3(c) Thirty dollars.
10 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
11 MR. MCGOFF: On the question?
12 MR COURTRIGHT: On the question,
13 Mr. McGoff, I didn't vote for this ordinance
14 when it came down the first time and when I
15 looked at -- for the most part when I looked
16 at Mrs. Evans' motion most of the things
17 appear to be things that would come up for a
18 sheriff's sale. So, therefore, I'll be
19 voting in affirmative. I didn't vote for it
20 the first time around, but I would just like
21 people to understand that I don't want
22 anybody to misunderstand the fact that,
23 yeah, you have to pay your taxes and I don't
24 think anybody up here, and I don't think
25 Mrs. Evans' motion is that, you get away
1 with it, it's just the fees and the fines
2 attached to if you find yourself, you know,
3 behind the eight-ball, again, with the way
4 the economy is I don't believe that people
5 aren't paying their taxes because they just
6 don't want to, it's because they can't and
7 most of them for legitimate reasons, and so
8 I'm not opposed to having a collection
9 agency collect the taxes. When this
10 ordinance came through I was opposed to the
11 fees that were attached to it, and so I'll
12 be voting in the affirmative for that
14 MR. MCGOFF: I would like to comment,
15 when this ordinance was originally presented
16 I felt that there were two purposes to it,
17 one was to act as a deterrent to chronic
18 delinquents, in other words, it forced
19 people to pay their taxes on time. The
20 second purpose I thought was punitive and
21 directed primarily at absentee landlords,
22 that if people were not going to pay, were
23 not going to -- were refusing to pay taxes
24 that there should be some punitive damages
25 for those people. The amendments that are
1 being proposed, of those the only one that
2 has been assessed to the present time is
3 3(l), the $175 for the preparation, filing
4 and conduct of proceedings to effect service
5 of process. That was assessed against
6 taxpayers who were delinquent 2003 --
7 between 2003 and 2006.
8 I would say that that was supposed
9 to act as a deterrent. That was supposed to
10 encourage people to pay their taxes. The
11 first three months after this was enacted
12 the number -- the amount of money in the
13 that went directly to the city treasury was
14 $130,000. People were deterred from not
15 paying their taxes and went and paid them.
16 This was an increase over previous years.
17 I think to that effect that it has
18 acted as a deterrent, that it has encouraged
19 people to pay taxes. The other thing is
20 that the number of delinquent taxpayers for
21 2008 is going to be significantly lower than
22 those in 2007, 2006. Again, it has -- it
23 has encouraged people to pay their taxes on
24 time. The other measures that are in here,
25 as Mr. Courtright said, have to do with
1 sheriff's sale. I would say that these have
2 never been assessed. There has not been a
3 shifts sale in the City of Scranton, and
4 that these costs that would go along with
5 the sheriff's sale are to be incurred by the
6 delinquent taxpayer. If we remove these and
7 the city were for some reason to ask to
8 execute a sheriff's sale these fees would
9 still -- these court costs would still have
10 to be paid and they would then devolve to
11 the taxpayer. The city would have to pay
12 these fees, and I for one do not want to pay
13 for the fees for delinquent taxpayers.
14 By removing these what we do is we
15 would take the teeth out of the law and
16 really end of protecting chronic delinquent
17 taxpayers and place a further burden on the
18 people who do legitimately pay their taxes.
19 I think the ordinance was meant to
20 be punitive. It was meant to be a
21 deterrent. There has not been a sheriff's
22 sale, nobody's home have been taken. Nobody
23 has lost their home because of these
24 penalties or fees. To me, what we have done
25 since this went into effect is pretty much
1 prayed upon, you know, prayed upon people's
2 fears that their home could be taken when,
3 in fact, you know, nothing has been done to
4 do that. This ordinance to me has been
5 effective, it has not burdened the people
6 who pay their taxes on time. What it has
7 been a burden to are those people who are
8 chronically late and those people who refuse
9 to pay their taxes, and I think it's a
10 necessary item and I think that it has, as I
11 said, proven to be effective.
12 MS. EVANS: Go ahead.
13 MS. GATELLI: I just have several
14 comments. I was in favor of this ordinance
15 when this first came down and I am going to
16 continue to be in favor of it. I think that
17 when you spend enough time in the
18 neighborhoods you realize that the slum
19 lords try to take over. They do not pay
20 their taxes. When I worked upstairs for
21 Jimmy Connors, Ozzie Quinn worked up there
22 with me, I don't know if he will recall, but
23 he did a study on landlords that didn't pay
24 their city tax. They did pay their county
25 and they paid their school district because
1 they have remedies of which to punish them.
2 They would have a sheriff's sale. The
3 county has already had several I believe
4 sheriff's sales already of which the city
5 was accused of taking homes it was, indeed,
6 the county that had some tax sales within
7 the last several months, and when we did the
8 study there were landlords that paid all of
9 their bills except city tax.
10 There was one gentleman, I won't
11 mention his name because he has since passed
12 away, and he was one of the largest slum
13 lords in South Scranton and he had numerous
14 properties, none of which city tax was paid.
15 So, that is why I will be voting in favor of
16 this ordinance. It for the slum lords, the
17 slum lords that are deteriorating your
18 neighborhoods. They are all out of town,
19 most of them, and they don't care about the
20 citizens of this community, and it's time
21 that they pay their fair share. I have not
22 had anyone -- I shouldn't say that. I had
23 two people since this ordinance passed call
24 me with some problems and the problems were
25 addressed. One gentleman had problems with
1 having cancer and that was one of the
2 reasons that he wasn't able to pay his taxes
3 on time. We certainly will oblige people
4 that have an unnecessary hardship. I don't
5 think is adverse to that.
6 Another gentleman it was a garbage
7 fee and the bill was being sent to the wrong
8 address, so that also was rectified, but I
9 have not received any other calls except
10 those two on I do think the absentee
11 landlords are learning now that they must
12 respect our community and they must pay for
13 the properties that they have in the City of
14 Scranton, and the rental registration, also,
15 with that but that's off the question.
16 MR. QUINN: Mrs. Gatelli, I never
17 performed any kind of a study you were
18 talking about.
19 MS. GATELLI: Well, I knew you would
20 say that, Ozzie.
21 MR. MCGOFF: Excuse me.
22 MS. GATELLI: But, in fact, there was
23 a study, maybe it wasn't you, but someone in
24 the office. There were 300 landlords that
25 weren't paying city taxes.
1 MS. QUINN: I'd like to have a copy
2 of that because I was not involved.
3 MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Quinn, please.
4 MS. GATELLI: Go ahead. Who else is
6 MS. EVANS: Mrs. Fanucci, if you want
7 to speak first because I already spoke one
8 time, so take --
9 MS. FANUCCI: Oh, okay, we are taking
10 our turns. I'm definitely going to support
11 this again and not support the motion to
12 remove any of these fees. This to me is,
13 again, being used as a scare tactic to our
14 seniors. The way that it is being discussed
15 and talked about is not accurate to what
16 actually goes on. If you have a problem and
17 you are behind in your taxes and you are
18 having financial difficult you call them
19 from day one and they setup and help you
20 through it. It's not that they are coming
21 to take your house.
22 But, we still have worry about the
23 taxpayers, the people who are out there
24 paying their taxes and keeping this city
25 going. They still have rights, too. You
1 know, you have people living next door as,
2 you know, our buddy, Mr. Ellman got up today
3 and said, you know, you have people living
4 next door to you who are destroying our
5 neighborhoods. They are not pulling their
6 weight. They are not taking care of -- they
7 are not paying for your firemen and your
8 policemen. They are not doing anything, and
9 that's the problem. We for so long have
10 been in that cycle of letting that part go.
11 Now, the tax office claims, oh, we
12 had a lot of taxes this year, you are darn
13 right we did. You know why? Because this
14 went out. And when it went out the money
15 started coming in. We can trace it right
16 back. We are not in phase 20 where people
17 are losing their homes. None of that has
18 happened, and I find it almost sick that
19 it's being used as a scare tactic.
20 We want you to pay your taxes,
21 obviously, we need you to pay your taxes.
22 Right now we need our taxes more than we
23 need, I mean, that's our problem, we need
24 the money. I think it's sad that you have
25 to do things like this. I think it's sad
1 that you have to pass this type of
2 legislation, but everyone doesn't go out and
3 voluntarily do this, and as Mrs. Gatelli
4 said, that was the nor. People were paying
5 their county, paying their school tax and
6 letting us just ride, and that's not fair.
7 We still have to function because we provide
8 those services. We do as the city, not
9 everyone else. We get the least chunk of
10 tax and yet we are the ones that are
11 providing your safety, your police, your
12 firemen, cleaning up your city.
13 So, no, I think it's okay. It's
14 okay that we have to do this. Sad that we
15 do, but I certainly am going to support the
16 fact that we need our taxes. And to the
17 little, you know, elderly people that they
18 are claiming are losing all of this, if you
19 are having a problem call. We will take
20 care of it. We will help you. We are not
21 out to get rid of you. We are not out to
22 scare you out of our city. That's people
23 using that because you have to remember now
24 election time is coming, so saddle up, but
25 I'm telling you right now this is a good
1 thing because we need money and the people
2 who are paying their taxes deserve to know
3 that they are not footing the bill for
4 everyone else who is not paying their taxes,
5 and I will be standing by my decision to --
6 I will not be voting for this, so that's
8 MS. EVANS: Slum lords, I agree every
9 city has them, however, I look over the
10 ordinance as it was originally drafted and
11 passed, nowhere in it does it contain the
12 word slum lord, exceptions for illness, or
13 other mitigating circumstances, there are no
14 exceptions written into this ordinance.
15 Twenty-three penalties, fines, costs. I
16 wouldn't call that a deterrent, I would call
17 that Draconian.
18 Now, everyone is saying this a scare
19 tactic because it's an election year. Well,
20 tonight, very coincidentally as I was
21 walking in here, because other than council
22 no one really had any knowledge of what this
23 ordinance contained or what would transpire
24 at this time, but I was stopped by a woman
25 in tears who told me, and she didn't want
1 her child to hear this, that she had a
2 delinquency of $8,000 on the home in which
3 she lives currently. She is divorced and as
4 part of that settlement her husband was to
5 have kept up on the taxes. She got a letter
6 this last week stating that the $8,000 was
7 due, but now that $8,000 has become $40,000,
8 and she is in tears and crying to me and
9 asking me, "Mrs. Evans, what am I going to
10 do? I'm going to lose my house."
11 MS. FANUCCI: That happened in one
12 year? From 8,000 to 40,000 in one year?
13 She had no knowledge previous to this?
14 That's amazing.
15 MS. EVANS: No, no, no. This is what
16 has brought it up. Now, I suppose I could
17 go to NCC and intervene for her, and I will
18 try, but I do know that I think what we are
19 saying here tonight is if we are connected
20 in some way to NCC we can go down there and
21 try to help out our people.
22 MS. FANUCCI: Oh, that's sick. First
23 of all, that's sick.
24 MS. EVANS: But you know what --
25 MS. FANUCCI: That is so un -- I
1 can't believe how unprofessional and that
2 you would -- you always put those
3 insinuations out there. It's almost
4 ludicrous. No. Anyone can call NCC. If
5 you are in financial difficulty you don't
6 need to be connected. You need a phone.
7 You pick up and say -- if you let something
8 go from $8,000 to $40,000, that's a problem.
9 Pick up the phone. Don't come here because
10 guess what, all we are going to do is pick
11 up the phone and call, but you don't have to
12 be connected. Another political problem
13 that goes on, but go back to her because I'm
14 sure she has more for you. Ridiculous.
15 MS. GATELLI: First of all --
16 MS. EVANS: No, excuse me, I was
17 talking, but that's okay. I know that
18 Mrs. Fanucci finds it very difficult to
19 abide by the Rules of Council or to show
20 respect to her colleagues or to audience
22 MS. FANUCCI: Was that respectful to
23 sat --
24 MS. EVANS: Go ahead.
25 MS. FANUCCI: Was that respectful to
1 me --
2 MR. MCGOFF: Please. Mrs. Fanucci--
3 MS. FANUCCI: Or to anyone up here.
4 Oh, I know I respect people --
5 MR. MCGOFF: Please.
6 MS. FANUCCI: -- respect on my side,
7 not hers.
8 MS. EVANS: Again, case in point.
9 MS. FANUCCI: Yeah.
10 MS. EVANS: And it's not deserving of
11 acknowledgment, but the facts are the facts,
12 and people don't come here making up
13 stories. When this was passed in 2007 we
14 are not in a recession, but obviously, as I
15 said before, Scranton is a recession proof
16 city, and we are all so well off that we
17 chose not to pay our taxes, and if we take
18 let's say an $8,000 and make it into a
19 $40,000 that will cause us to scurry right
20 down to NCC and make our payment payments.
21 I do think basically what it comes
22 down to is this, if you're really serious
23 about collecting delinquent taxes and
24 getting the money the city is owed and you
25 know you can't get blood from a stone and if
1 you are really sincere become extending a
2 helping hand in a difficult financial time
3 or in a difficult medical time then you are
4 going to vote to approve this amendment.
5 MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else on the
7 MS. HUMPHRIES: I have a question?
8 MR. MCGOFF: No, Phyllis --
9 MS. HUMPHRIES: About taxes.
10 MR. MCGOFF: No. All those in favor
11 of the amendment to File of Council No. 82,
12 2007, signify by saying aye.
13 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
14 MS. EVANS: Aye.
15 MR. MCGOFF: Opposed?
16 MS. FANUCCI: No.
17 MS. GATELLI: No.
18 MR. MCGOFF: No motion defeated.
19 MS. EVANS: On a related matter,
20 council received a parking lot report of
21 fees paid and owed for 2007, 8 and 9, two
22 hospitals, two private lots and an elderly
23 high-rise owe 2009 fees only. The only
24 delinquency for 2007, 8 and 9, is the Forum
25 Garage. Fees for the Forum are listed as
1 the $4,755 per year for a total of $14,265.
2 Apparently, no penalty or interest has been
3 added to the delinquency according to the
4 invoices. This figure also seems to be a
5 great difference from the original amount
6 reported to have been owed. Since the
7 report does not contain years prior to 2007,
8 I don't know if the Forum gave possible
9 additional delinquencies, but I would like
10 to know. So, Kay, please send a request to
11 Licensing, Inspections and Permits for the
12 years 1998 to 2006.
13 Also, council would like to know
14 what procedures are followed to collect
15 parking lot delinquent fees.
16 A Court order -- or rather a Court
17 ruling last Friday, awards pay raises to
18 firefighters for 2006 and 7, and management
19 rights to the mayor. According to the
20 mayor, the raises could immediately cost the
21 city about $360,000. The mayor's 2009
22 budget allocates $1,440,450 for Court
23 awards, so it seems the cost of this award,
24 as well as the forthcoming police ruling,
25 has been foreseen and covered.
1 Further, the city's year-end cash
2 position, and this should be interesting I
3 think to some of in the audience who
4 mentioned expenditures exceeding revenues at
5 the end of the 2008, the city's year-end
6 cash position was approximately $3 million
7 after repayment of the 2008 TAN-B. After
8 about $1.5 million in year-end payables, the
9 city had 1.5 million to carry over in 2009.
10 I have to wonder if the Court reviewed such
11 recent financial information or if the Court
12 used outdated city audits to arrive at their
13 decisions? Does the Court approve the
14 numerous violations of the Recovery Plan
15 made by this administration, specifically,
16 unprecedented raises for management and job
17 creations? Does it approve of Doherty debt
18 that has ballooned to hundreds of millions
19 of dollars since 2003? Perhaps the creation
20 of the massive Doherty debt for Nay Aug, a
21 treehouse, a park, bridge and trail, park
22 landscaping and fish ponds, garages,
23 buildings, management pay raises,
24 consultants, lobbyists, high powered
25 attorneys, etcetera, isn't pertinent.
1 We live in Scranton and we have a
2 bird's-eye view of what has transpired, and
3 I have a better view of the finances than
4 does the average guy. I know the municipal
5 unions did not cause the budget, borrowing
6 and debt to spiral out of control since
7 2002. They have very little, if any, impact
8 on the debt of these last seven years, and
9 more important, management rights will not
10 cure the Doherty debt. The money that can
11 be realized from management rights is like
12 one corn stalk in a 5,000 acre corn field of
13 debt and the mayor isn't finished. He is
14 building a third garage, a library in South
15 Side, a greenhouse at Nay Aug and all in
16 2009. He doesn't seem to be too worried
17 about controlling costs in this recession,
18 does he?
19 It's the dollars and cents that
20 matter most to the taxpayers. We don't view
21 safety as a waste of our tax dollars and
22 many of us don't want our money spent on
23 this mayor's personal agenda. It is
24 preposterous to believe that management
25 rights alone will end a structural deficit
1 and pay off the Doherty debt.
2 Here is a slice of reality, the next
3 six to seven administrations and our
4 children and grandchildren will pay the
5 Doherty debt.
6 Further, without an independent
7 public safety study, I do not feel
8 comfortable giving our mayor the power to
9 decide the manpower of our fire and police
10 departments and which fire stations will
11 close. Even without full control prior to
12 this Court ruling, the mayor and his safety
13 director managed to take beat cops off the
14 streets and now we should hand him the
15 reigns? No mayor in my memory has had the
16 required knowledge, skill, and experience to
17 adequately run these departments. Can we
18 afford inexperience and politics in our fire
19 and police departments in this day and age?
20 It's a bigger gamble than any you could take
21 in Las Vegas.
22 And, finally, I have requests for
23 the week, for Mr. Brazil I would like to
24 resubmit the following: A third request for
25 a copy of the snow removal policy. We have
1 been trying to obtain this information since
2 November 8, 2008.
3 Also, residents in the Plot wish to
4 know when the streets will be paved and
5 residents also requested the installation of
6 stop signs at Dorothy Street and North
7 Garfield Avenue as well as Rebecca Avenue
8 and Hawthorne Street or Rebecca and
9 Bulworth. Responses have been awaited on
10 these issues since October 28.
11 In addition, the report on road or
12 infrastructure projects with the city which
13 have been proposed to NEPA for potential
14 funding from the stimulus program is due to
15 city council on or before February 1.
16 For Mrs. Moran, in Human Resources,
17 the second request for printed copies of
18 both the acceptable usage policy and the
19 acceptable usage guideline of the City of
20 Scranton's information technology resources,
21 involving the internet and electronic mail.
22 A letter to Mr. Seitzinger, 615
23 Beech Street, the house was condemned, but
24 neighbors report that electricity was never
25 shut off. Lights remain on and the former
1 tenants were seen entering and exiting the
2 house on several occasions. The front door
3 is broken in. Please turn off utilities and
4 address the front door as soon as possible
5 and provide council with a written update on
6 or before February 9.
7 City residents report, and I think
8 you might have talked about this last week,
9 Mr. Courtright, lights out from Krispe Kreme
10 on Moosic Street to the Radisson Hotel.
11 MR. MCGOFF: The hot donut signs?
12 MS. EVANS: No, I'm talking about the
13 lights that -- the streetlights, yeah, and
14 he says there are operational during the
15 summer months, but during last winter and
16 this current winter they are not.
17 And then residents complain that
18 snow removal is not performed on the River
19 Street and Harrison Avenue bridges
20 sidewalks. They called the city for help,
21 but the city told them it's the state's
22 responsibility. They then phoned PennDOT
23 and PennDOT claims it's the responsibility
24 of the city. I'd like to see the bridge
25 walkways addressed after snow and ice
1 storms. I agree the roads come first, but
2 the job of snow removal doesn't end there.
3 And that's it.
4 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mrs. Evans.
5 Mrs. Gatelli.
6 MS. GATELLI: I would just like to
7 report that the property at 1101 Cedar
8 Avenue where the Bistro used to be is going
9 to be rehabilitated. The gentleman is going
10 to the zoning board in February for a
11 variance to put in four apartments. There
12 was an owner of a little over a year ago
13 that did receive a variance to put
14 apartments in there, but that variance has
15 lapsed, so they will be seeking a variance.
16 Also, there are someone complained
17 about a boat parked near South Scranton
18 Intermediate School, I did mention
19 previously that boats were in a lot of the
20 neighborhood streets and obstructing vision,
21 however, they are legal if they have a
22 licensed plate on the trailer and a current
23 inspection sticker, so the boat near South
24 Scranton Intermediate School is, indeed,
25 legal to be there.
1 I sent one of the inspectors to the
2 corner of Cherry Street and South Washington
3 Avenue. If anyone is familiar there, I
4 received complaints from many of the
5 business owners there, particularly
6 Mr. Lomma, about the railroad cars that are
7 parked on the railroad tracks in that area.
8 Mr. Cortez did, indeed, go out and to the
9 site, I have pictures. All of the cars are
10 covered in graffiti, they are rusted, and
11 they are in deplorable condition, so he
12 wrote up a report, sent it to the
13 Delaware-Lackawanna Railroad, they
14 apparently seem to want to correct the
16 We got a response from the attorney
17 in New York for the railroad and he is
18 claiming that it's an Interstate Commerce
19 Facility, the vehicles are rail freight
20 cars, etcetera, and they are defined under
21 federal law. With the concurrence of my
22 colleagues, I would like to send this
23 information to Congressman Kanjorski being
24 that it's a federal issue, and see if he
25 can't help us in some way. I think that we
1 are not going to get anywhere trying to
2 approach this with the letter that we got.
3 MS. EVANS: You know what, that's
4 true, because that's been brought up for two
5 or three years now.
6 MS. GATELLI: Yes.
7 MS. EVANS: And obviously --
8 MS. GATELLI: It's still there.
9 MS. EVANS: Right.
10 MS. GATELLI: And, you know, if
11 anyone needs to take a ride over there to
12 see it, it really is deplorable, and it
13 affects the neighborhood and there are
14 several businesses there, also, so with the
15 consent of my colleagues I would like
16 Mrs. Garvey to forward this to Congressman
17 Kanjorski and see if he can't help us solve
18 this important issue. Thank you.
19 Also, I met with Representative Ken
20 Smith concerning the cell phone, the
21 handheld cell phone ban. He is a cosponsor
22 of a bill in Harrisburg, and he gave me a
23 copy of it, and I would like to also with
24 the consent of our colleagues if they would
25 send a letter to Representative Smith and
1 Representative Murphy supporting House Bill
2 No. 8227 of 2007 that is cosponsored by
3 Representative Smith. Would you all be in
4 agreement with that? Thank you.
5 I also got a copy of the parking lot
6 study of who has paid and who hasn't paid.
7 I have contacted the law department and I
8 contacted Mr. Seitzinger, I know that it's
9 only from 2007, however, they are delinquent
10 as far as I know from at least 1995. I know
11 that because that's when I worked there and
12 when I sent the bill shortly thereafter I
13 was presented with the lawsuit concerning
14 the matter, so I told Sally -- I believe her
15 name is Sally in the law department, they
16 were trying to look it up on the docket down
17 at the Courthouse. They had no record of it
18 in the law department, so she is trying to
19 look up the docket at the courthouse, and I
20 will keep the public and my colleagues
21 updated as I get some information on it, but
22 it is delinquent since at least then. Mr.
23 Seitzinger thought it would be upwards of 60
24 some thousand dollars that is probably owed
25 on that, so I'll keep you up-to-date on
2 I'd like to thank Mr. Brazil for
3 filling the potholes on the viaduct. There
4 was one dandy one there that could swallow
5 you right up.
6 Zoning. I have contacted Attorney
7 Penetar, who is the zoning board solicitor,
8 I had some concerns about recent
9 construction of garages in residential
10 neighborhoods. If any of you have seen any
11 of the garages they are more like pole barns
12 and many people seem to be putting them up
13 as accessory structures, so I was concerned
14 about reducing the size of these accessory
15 structures and I asked Mr. Penetar -- or
16 Attorney Penetar, and you can change --
17 amend the zoning ordinance by two ways, by a
18 motion of council or by a written request of
19 any person, entity or the planning
20 commission, and then once it's introduced
21 you must go through the municipal planning
22 code, etcetera. So I asked him to look into
23 the pole barns.
24 Also the windmills, I know somebody
25 brought up windmills tonight, and Attorney
1 Penetar and I talked about windmills and
2 getting them zoned for the City of Scranton,
3 and he is going to ask the zoning board and
4 I would like to ask anyone, including my
5 colleagues, if there are any ordinances
6 relating to zoning that you think are a
7 problem and you would like to see amended
8 please get them to the office to Mrs. Garvey
9 at your earliest convenience because I do
10 intend to make a motion to amend the zoning
11 ordinance and at least these two items will
12 be included, the size of the garages in
13 neighborhoods and the windmills, so if
14 anybody has any other interests please bring
15 them forward.
16 MS. EVANS: Daron Northeast.
17 MS. GATELLI: Yes, that's good one.
18 I just have a letter I'd like to read that I
19 have submitted to the Scranton Times as a
20 letter to the editor. I wanted to read it
21 because I know not all people get the
22 Scranton Times, but there were three letters
23 recently from residents very concerned about
24 why I don't give my pay back and why we
25 don't meet in August, so I'd like to read my
2 "This is in response to three
3 letters that appeared in your newspaper from
4 Gina Olivetti on January 19 and Rob Sequin
5 and Bill McAndrew on 1-24. Apparently their
6 comments are in reference to statements made
7 verbally at a recent council meeting.
8 However, they failed to report all of the
9 information, whether intentional or not felt
10 necessary to tell.
11 Recently, speakers at council were
12 stating that since the current majority has
13 been in control, a recess of meetings in
14 August of each year and several weeks in
15 December has occurred and is unacceptable.
16 I asked the city clerk, Mrs. Garvey, to look
17 back a few years to check on those
18 allegations. She provided the information
19 to me from 1999 to the present. In all of
20 those, city council recessed for the month
21 of August except 2005, a mayor campaign
22 year, how coincidental, and early in
24 Some of the current council members
25 have been on council since 2002 and no one
1 ever questioned them. The writer's asked
2 why don't I donate my salary from council
3 for those times. Why would they single out
4 one council member when there are five?
6 And for information purposes, I am
7 the only council member to donate a portion
8 of my salary back to the city. I along with
9 the mayor and administration gave 5 percent
10 of our salary back in 2007. I gave back
11 exactly $625.
12 I once heard a saying, "Never let
13 the facts interfere with the good story." I
14 guess that's what the letters were about.
15 It's election time and appears the mistruths
16 and misrepresentations will be bountiful.
17 What is stated or written doesn't have to be
18 truthful as long as it's hurtful.
19 Any one who thinks a council person
20 only works on Tuesday night is very mistaken
21 and they have no concept of a council
22 person's duties and obligations. Dozens of
23 e-mails, letters, phone calls, stops at the
24 grocery store and the mall take place
1 Please be aware that none of this
2 will interfere with the way I feel about my
3 city and especially my neighborhood. I am
4 beginning my 28th year as a neighborhood
5 activist of which I have never received
6 payment other than self-reward. My hope is
7 that my city and my neighborhood will be a
8 better place to live. I will continue to
9 fight neighborhood blight, abandoned houses,
10 drug houses and zoning problems, and
11 absentee landlords and keeping cops on the
12 streets of our neighborhoods and keeping our
13 neighborhood fire stations open. Thank you
14 for listening."
15 That's all I have.
16 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mrs. Gatelli.
17 Mrs. Fanucci.
18 MS. FANUCCI: Well, as always, I'd
19 like to piggyback on my other two council
20 women. Once I get here it's like, oh, well,
21 there is nothing for me to say, but I do
22 want to talk about the money and the job.
23 Be careful what you wish for. If you want
24 to start gauging us by the meetings, which
25 we are only here to pass legislation, the
1 only reason we have meetings, that's it, and
2 you want to pay us and believe that this is
3 our job, you might just get people who
4 actually only work the three hours we are
5 here a night once a week, which is
7 You have no clue, and it's okay.
8 The people who get up here and claim that we
9 are getting paid for our meetings don't
10 understand, and I don't blame them they
11 don't understand because they don't have the
12 job, but it is -- you want to pay us for
13 just this then do you want a council person
14 actually just come here and legislate and
15 leave and not worry about anything else all
16 week long? I personally would love it. It
17 would be the best job I would ever have
18 because none of the work I do actually
19 happens here, all I do is legislate here.
20 All week long I make phone calls. I
21 talk to people, I help them, I make
22 connections between people who need help,
23 need this, it's what we do all week long and
24 there isn't one of us up here who doesn't do
25 it. It's our job. This is just here to
1 legislate and my belief is that the people
2 are mad and angry because they can't come
3 here to complain, so maybe the problem is
4 more of a grandstanding than it is actually
5 worrying about what happens in their city
6 and the legislation that takes place. Maybe
7 they should get their own show. Maybe 61
8 could get them their own show and they can
9 still go and complain often and then they
10 won't feel like they miss out. That is not
11 why I'm here. I listen to what happens, I
12 try to help the city, I legislate. I leave
13 her and I work all week long as everyone
15 So, it is sort of amusing that they
16 want to pay us per meeting and, you know,
17 oh, the three hours you were here, the four
18 hours. It's almost ridiculous, so I
19 certainly won't even entertain that
20 discussion. To me, it's just more
21 grandstanding and something to complain
22 about which is, you know, par for the
24 I did have a good suggestion, people
25 that were up here last week and they were
1 saying that there aren't any jobs, and I got
2 numerous e-mails from hairstylists saying,
3 "Goo to beauty school because we are making
4 about 50 and 60,000 dollars a year and we
5 are in small salons."
6 So I found that very ironic and fun
7 considering that people were up here bashing
8 them, so maybe it is you need to go and find
9 jobs that, you know, are something that
10 maybe you can enjoy, so the people who are
11 here complaining maybe, you know, they won't
12 complain about hairstylists so much when
13 they realize they are actually, you know,
14 making some money for themselves.
15 Also, I want to talk about what goes
16 on here. I'm sure, and this is going to
17 include you, Amil, I'm not sure what we can
18 do, but election time is coming and, you
19 know, as we are a haven for every elected
20 person with every type of -- we have enough
21 political posturing that goes on daily in
22 this chamber, so is it possible that there
23 is something we can do once someone decides
24 they are running, you know, like we had our
25 buddy up here tonight, he is running for
1 council, is he going to come up here every
2 week, make his speeches and grandstand to
3 the public and it's like a free
4 informercial, which I don't think it's our
5 place to have to entertain that, so I'm
6 wondering is there anything we can do?
7 MR. MINORA: I think the answer to
8 that has to do more with the content of what
9 he says rather than the fact that he or she
10 is on the podium. In other words, if they
11 are talking about city business they
12 certainly, whoever they are have a right to
13 do that, when they are fostering their own
14 candidacy I think that's outside of our
15 rules. This isn't a podium, and you've
16 enforced that in the past, not to put forth
17 somebody else's campaign or your own
18 campaign or your own running for a
19 particular office, so I think you can stop
20 that, but as long as someone is speaking on
21 city business I think they have a right to
22 do that. I don't think you can do that as
23 long as --
24 MS. FANUCCI: The air time was what
25 I was concerned. I remember when I was
1 running there was an equal air time act that
2 you cannot have one candidate on with visual
3 air time without equal time for another
4 candidate, so I'm wondering how that
5 postures in with us. I mean, does that have
6 anything to do --
7 MR. MINORA: That gets into whether
8 or not they are promoting their own campaign
9 as opposed to making public comment on a
10 public issue within the city. If they are
11 promoting their own campaign that's the
12 reason why they should be gaveled down
13 because then we would be under an obligation
14 to invite his or her opponent --
15 MS. FANUCCI: Yeah, every time they
16 would speak; right?
17 MR. MINORA: Well, it's a --
18 unfortunately, the president has a very fine
19 line to walk on.
20 MS. FANUCCI: Right. Maybe if we can
21 just state every time somebody stands up who
22 is actually running for office before they
23 speak they are running for office or
24 something that people know, I mean, to me it
25 is just -- it's going to be a circus, I
1 mean, not any more than it normally is, but
2 it could get out of control. If we all
3 remember the last election, mayoral election
4 it was -- it was a down right circus and I
5 would love to just try to stop that if it's
6 possible. But, of course, we won't, but I
7 was just saying it would probably be a great
9 As far as a lot of legislation we
10 spoke about tonight, and the way it actually
11 is something I have to speak on, the NCC
12 deal, I'm sorry, Bill, I'm sorry. Bill, he
13 gets a little restless, but constantly
14 insinuation, innuendoes, you know, oh, maybe
15 the good old boy network, this, that. There
16 is no place for that here. It's almost
17 absurd that it has to be brought up
18 constantly. I'm not going to be a part of
19 it, I'm not going to let it be said because
20 it's not true. It's to make you nervous.
21 They want you to be nervous about it. Oh,
22 I'm not part of the group. Oh, I'm not --
23 no, we are not up here sitting for our own
24 health, we are up here for you, and these
25 people right here one, two, three, four,
1 five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten are all
2 here for whatever reason they have to be
3 here, but our position is to be here for
4 you. Does that mean I'm going to agree with
5 him? No. Not absolutely. You know what
6 they say, well, you are here to speak with
7 the taxpayers. Well, all taxpayers don't
8 think alike. All taxpayers don't believe
9 what's being said. All taxpayers have
10 different views, and just because I don't
11 believe that we shouldn't have development
12 downtown or I don't believe that big
13 developers would be invited to Scranton so
14 they can develop and that they could bring
15 the money to our city, I believe all of
16 that. I love the infrastructure. I love
17 the fact that we are building downtown. I
18 love new businesses, I love small
19 businesses, so just because I don't agree
20 that we shouldn't let them come in, doesn't
21 mean you don't have a places here, and I'm
22 going to say that every single week, every
23 single week. This is your venue, not ten
24 people, and that's all I have.
25 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mrs.
1 Fanucci. Mr. Courtright.
2 MR. COURTRIGHT: Geez, I wish I had
3 that much to say like everybody else, but I
4 don't have a lot to say tonight. I would
5 like to -- I noticed today a very deep hole
6 that DPW filled it in and I thank them for
7 that. Mrs. Gatelli brought up about the 100
8 block of Cedar Avenue, I'm so happy to see
9 something being done there, and I'm not
10 going to mention the gentleman's name, but I
11 have seen other properties that he has done
12 over and he does a really nice job, so I
13 think the people that live in that
14 neighborhood in South Scranton are going to
15 be very pleased with what this guy does, and
16 I have seen the type of tenants that he puts
17 in his place afterwards. He doesn't invest
18 all of this money and let people come in and
19 destroy his property, he maintains them
20 very, very well, so I think the people who
21 live over there will be pleased with him,
22 I'm very happy that it's him that is taking
23 over that property.
24 I just want to comment on, I think
25 it was Mrs. Gatelli brought it up, about the
1 fundraiser on February 21 for Tommy Lewis'
2 son. Tommy is a very good friend of mine
3 and I would love to see everybody come out
4 there and support his son with this
5 terrible, terrible thing that's happened.
6 And one other thing, I believe that
7 when we go live we had many more viewers,
8 and I've always believed that, and since we
9 have been live the letters and the calls are
10 coming in more to me than we were when we
11 weren't live and for the last two or
12 three weeks I received a letter from I'm
13 going to say a gentleman, it could be a
14 woman, but patriotic. The letter has the
15 flag on it, and then they put stamps on the
16 back of the letter that they are patriotic
17 and I think there were some there for --
18 they are very, very affectionate toward they
19 like dogs I believe it was, but they have
20 asked me questions about the bridges, they
21 have asked me about smoking in downtown
22 bars, and I can't answer you back because
23 you don't put your name on there, you don't
24 put your address on there, you don't put any
25 phone number, I have to way to answer the
1 questions that you are asking me.
2 I know the one week you asked me why
3 I gave Jeannie Suetta a phone number or why
4 I was going to get her the phone number for
5 the DPW and I didn't call them myself, and
6 the answer to that is that she asked me for
7 the phone number so I was getting it for
9 But I have no problem answering your
10 questions is you give me some way of
11 communicating back with you because what I
12 can't do is, and you might not like me
13 saying this, I get a lot of calls and a lot
14 of things left on my machine and a lot of
15 letters, if I were to sit here every week
16 and answer all of those questions on the air
17 we would be here even longer than what we
18 are now, but I would love to answer your
19 questions so give me some way of
20 communicating back to you.
21 If you chose for me not to mention
22 your name or tell anybody you communicate
23 with me, I will certainly, you know, make
24 sure that happens. I never say anybody's
25 name here or talk to anybody else if you
1 want it confidential I will keep it
2 confidential, but I would be speaking longer
3 than everybody combined if I were to answer
4 every single letter and phone call on the
5 air here mand that's all I have. Thank you.
6 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you,
7 Mr. Courtright. First, I meant to mention
8 this before as an announcement, I received a
9 letter from Reverend Kathryn Simmons
10 concerning the Bethel AME temporary
11 emergency shelter, apparently they are
12 having dinner to honor three people who have
13 contributed to the center and also to serve
14 as a fundraiser for the emergency shelter.
15 The dinner is February 24, at 7:00 p.m., at
16 Genetti Manor in Dickson City. It says here
17 tables are being sold at $500 per table, 10
18 persons at a table, which if my grade school
19 math works out I guess to $50 per person. I
20 don't know if they are doing individual
21 people, but I will give you the number of
22 the I'd assume it's the shelter, it's
23 570-335-2765, and if anybody has interest in
24 attending I'm sure that Reverend Simmons
25 will entertain your calls.
1 The other thing, Mr. Quinn mentioned
2 the grant from 1999 for the 12 to
3 1400 blocks of Mulberry Street,
4 coincidentally, I had received a phone call
5 during the week from the gentleman about the
6 same thing and I will look into that for
7 Mr. Quinn and for the gentlemen that called
8 and find out what the status of that money
9 is or what the status of that grant, and if
10 it can be used in conjunction with the
11 University project in some way, and the
12 caucus that we had with the Chamber of
13 Commerce last week was -- at least the
14 information was given to the members of the
15 council I wanted to say two weeks before
16 they appeared, but if not two weeks,
17 certainly at least one week in advance, so
18 there was no -- it wasn't a secret caucus by
19 any means, and what was -- what we are being
20 asked to do was to consider a letter
21 being -- a letter of approval being sent, we
22 cannot extend the KOZ's. What Mr. Burke
23 told us that they would like to apply for an
24 extension and have the approval of the
25 taxing bodies that would be affected by the
1 extension of the KOZ. We have not -- we as
2 a council have not had an opportunity to
3 discuss that and I would suggest that
4 perhaps that during next week's caucus what
5 that would be something that we can address
6 in some way and at least get an idea about
7 what is taking place, and I also would like
8 to make contact with the Scranton School
9 Board to get an idea of what they may be
10 thinking as far as the extension is
11 concerned, so I will attempt to contact the
12 president of the school board and find out,
13 you know, what discussions they may have
15 As far as the county is concerned,
16 the county has already sent a letter of
17 approval concerning a KOZ, I'm going to say
18 in Jessup or somewhere in the Valley View
19 School District, so I would assume that the
20 county would if they have approved or sent a
21 letter of approval for one extension that
22 they would probably do so for, you know, for
23 others, but it is something that we need to
24 discuss as a council and hopefully next week
25 we can address that during caucus.
1 And perhaps the last thing, I'm
2 looking at some notes, just a response to
3 last week when I mentioned the things that
4 the University of Scranton was proposing, I
5 believe that development from anyone is good
6 for the city, and James Madison way back
7 when the constitution was being drafted made
8 the statement that self-interest properly
9 motivated would be what runs the country,
10 and I think this is a case of it.
11 You know, certainly the University
12 has a self-interest in improvements that are
13 made along Mulberry Street. That does not
14 mean that it's detrimental to the city in
15 any way, and I think that their motivation
16 to do this is of great benefit to the city.
17 And as far as the comment that
18 Mr. Miller made about discussing raises
19 being a slap in the face to the fire and
20 policemen, firemen and policemen, we as a
21 council have caucus with the head of the
22 firemen's union and police union and allow
23 them to discuss the status of contract
24 negotiations which essentially had to do
25 with, you know, discussing raises for them.
1 The attempt to have a discussion on raises
2 was not intended to be disrespectful to
3 anyone, it was merely doing what we had done
4 for others and, you know, simply offering
5 the opportunity for discussion and certainly
6 a chance to say, no. Nobody said that these
7 things were going to be approved, but it
8 certainly would have given people an
9 opportunity to say no, and I think that
10 would be all I have.
11 MR. MINORA: May I be allowed a
12 personal comment?
13 MR. MCGOFF: Yes.
14 MR. MINORA: A week or two ago one of
15 the speakers made a disparaging remark about
16 hairdressers. My mother was a hairdresser
17 and making money as a hairdresser she raised
18 four boys, three of which are now lawyers
19 and one a doctor, and one of the lawyers was
20 elected judge along the way. She taught us
21 the value of hard work and honesty, and so I
22 would like to at least say a positive
23 comment about hairdressers because I have a
24 soft spot in my heart for them.
25 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Attorney
2 MR. MINORA: Thank you.
3 MS. GARVEY: FIFTH ORDER. 5-B. FOR
4 INTRODUCTION - AN ORDINANCE - AUTHORIZING
5 THE SALE AND TRANSFER OF A PARCEL OF LAND
6 ACQUIRED BY THE CITY THROUGH THE FLOOD
7 CONTROL PROJECT BY SEALED BIDS TO THE
8 HIGHEST BIDDER, PROPERTY MORE COMMONLY KNOWN
9 AS 620 RACE STREET, SCRANTON, AND MORE FULLY
10 DESCRIBED IN DEED DATED JULY 21, 2004, DULY
11 RECORDED IN THE LACKAWANNA COUNTY RECORDER
12 OF DEEDS OFFICE IN RECORDS BOOK 1278, PAGE
14 MR. MCGOFF: At this time I'll
15 entertain a motion that Item 5-B be
16 introduced into it's proper committee.
17 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
18 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
19 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? All
20 in favor signify by saying aye.
21 MS. EVANS: Aye.
22 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
23 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
25 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed? The
1 ayes have it and so moved.
2 MS. GARVEY: SIXTH ORDER. NO
3 BUSINESS AT THIS TIME. SEVENTH ORDER. 7-A.
4 FOR CONSIDERATION BY THE COMMITTEE ON
5 FINANCE - FOR ADOPTION - FILE OF COUNCIL NO.
6 59, 2009 - AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND OTHER
7 APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS TO MAKE A
8 SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATION FROM THE
9 CONTINGENCY ACCOUNT TO INCREASE THE SALARY
10 OF THE DEPUTY CITY CONTROLLER TO INCLUDE
11 $4,814.00 TO BE PAID AT REGULAR SALARY
12 INTERVALS BEGINNING JANUARY 1, 2009.
13 MR. MCGOFF: What is the
14 recommendation of the Chairperson for the
15 Committee on Finance.
16 MS. FANUCCI: As Chairperson for the
17 Committee on Finance, I recommend final
18 passage of Item 7-A.
19 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
20 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? Roll
21 call, please?
22 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.
23 MS. EVANS: Yes.
24 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.
25 MS. GATELLI. Yes.
1 MS. COOLICAN: Ms. Fanucci.
2 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.
3 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.
4 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
5 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff.
6 MR. MCGOFF: Yes. I hereby declare
7 Item 7-A legally and lawfully adopted. Just
8 for procedural sake, should we make the
9 motion to amend prior to reading or after
10 it's read?
11 MR. MINORA: Prior to that.
12 MR. MCGOFF: Prior to?
13 MR. MINORA: Yes.
14 MR. MCGOFF: Prior to the reading of
15 7-B, I would like to a make a motion to
16 amend 7-B to read: PURSUANT TO SECTION 702
17 OF THE RIGHT-TO-KNOW LAW, THE CITY OF
18 SCRANTON, AS AN AGENCY OF THE COMMONWEALTH,
19 IS NOT REQUIRED TO FULFILL ANONYMOUS
20 REQUESTS FOR ACCESS TO RECORDS; AS SUCH, THE
21 CITY OF SCRANTON OPEN'S RECORDS OFFICER WILL
22 ACCEPT WRITTEN OR VERBAL REQUESTS FOR ACCESS
23 TO RECORDS THAT ARE ACCOMPANIED BY NAME,
24 MAILING ADDRESS AND CONTACT TELEPHONE NUMBER
25 OF PERSON MAKING THE REQUEST.
1 MS. GATELLI: I'll second that.
2 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? All in
3 favor of the amendment signify by saying
5 MS. EVANS: Aye.
6 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
7 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
9 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed? The
10 ayes have it 7-B is amended.
11 MS. GARVEY: 7-B. FOR CONSIDERATION
12 BY THE COMMITTEE ON RULES - FOR ADOPTION -
13 RESOLUTION NO. 101, 2009 - AS AMENDED -
14 PURSUANT TO SECTION 702 OF THE RIGHT-TO-KNOW
15 LAW, THE CITY OF SCRANTON, AS AN AGENCY OF
16 THE COMMONWEALTH, IS NOT REQUIRED TO FULFILL
17 ANONYMOUS VERBAL REQUESTS FOR ACCESS TO
18 RECORDS; AS SUCH, THE CITY OF SCRANTON'S
19 OPEN RECORDS OFFICER WILL ACCEPT WRITTEN OR
20 VERBAL REQUESTS FOR ACCESS TO RECORDS THAT
21 ARE ACCOMPANIED BY NAME, MAILING ADDRESS AND
22 CONTACT TELEPHONE NUMBER FOR THE PERSON
23 MAKING THE REQUEST.
24 MR. MCGOFF: As Chairperson for the
25 Committee on Rules, I recommend final
1 passage of Item 7-B.
2 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
3 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? Roll
4 call, please.
5 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.
6 MS. EVANS: Yes.
7 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.
8 MS. GATELLI. Yes.
9 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. Fanucci.
10 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.
11 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
13 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff.
14 MR. MCGOFF: Yes. I hereby declare
15 Item 7-B legally and lawfully adopted.
16 Thank you. Motion to adjourn.
17 MS. GATELLI: So moved.
18 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
19 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you for your
6 C E R T I F I C A T E
8 I hereby certify that the proceedings and
9 evidence are contained fully and accurately in the
10 notes of testimony taken by me at the hearing of the
11 above-captioned matter and that the foregoing is a true
12 and correct transcript of the same to the best of my
CATHENE S. NARDOZZI, RPR
17 OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER