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            1

 

            2              SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING

 

            3

 

            4

 

            5

 

            6                          HELD:

 

            7

 

            8               Tuesday, February 3, 2009

 

            9

 

           10                        LOCATION:

 

           11                    Council Chambers

 

           12                 Scranton City Hall

 

           13              340 North Washington Avenue

 

           14                Scranton, Pennsylvania

 

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           24

                    CATHENE S. NARDOZZI, RPR - OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER

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            1

 

            2

 

            3   CITY OF SCRANTON COUNCIL:

 

            4

 

            5

                MR. ROBERT MCGOFF, PRESIDENT

            6

 

            7   MS. JUDY GATELLI, VICE-PRESIDENT

 

            8

                MS. JANET E. EVANS

            9

 

           10   MS. SHERRY FANUCCI

 

           11

                MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT

           12

 

           13   MS. KAY GARVEY, CITY CLERK

 

           14

                MR. NEIL COOLICAN, ASSISTANT CITY CLERK

           15

 

           16   MR. AMIL MINORA, SOLICITOR

 

           17

 

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            1   (Pledge of Allegiance recited and moment of reflection

 

            2   observed.)

 

            3                      MR. MCGOFF:  Roll call.

 

            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.

 

           15                      MS. GARVEY: 3-A. MINUTES OF THE

 

           16              FIREMEN'S PENSION COMMISSION MEETING HELD ON

 

           17              DECEMBER 24, 2008.

 

           18                      MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?

 

           19              If not, received and filed.

 

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

 

           21              SCRANTON POLICE PENSION COMMISSION MEETING

 

           22              HELD ON DECEMBER 17, 2008.

 

           23                      MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?

 

           24              If not, received and filed.

 

           25                      MS. GARVEY: 3-C. MINUTES OF THE


 

 

                                                                       4

 

 

            1              NON-UNIFORM MUNICIPAL PENSION BOARD MEETING

 

            2              HELD ON DECEMBER 17, 2008.

 

            3                      MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?

 

            4              If not, received and filed.

 

            5                      MS. GARVEY: 3-D. AGENDA FOR THE

 

            6              NON-UNIFORM MUNICIPAL PENSION BOARD MEETING

 

            7              HELD ON JANUARY 28, 2009.

 

            8                      MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?

 

            9              If not, received and filed.

 

           10                      MS. GARVEY: That's it for third

 

           11              order.

 

           12                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mrs. Garvey.

 

           13              Prior to fourth order, are there any

 

           14              announcements from council?

 

           15                      MS. EVANS: Yes.  Please remember in

 

           16              your prayers this week all those who have

 

           17              died, particularly, Louis Auriemma, kind,

 

           18              inspirational and a great lady from West

 

           19              Scranton and all her family, Jerry and their

 

           20              children, and their many friends who so

 

           21              deeply miss her.

 

           22                      Coach Tom Lewis has been a huge part

 

           23              of basketball in our area for many years.

 

           24              Tom's son, Chad, is currently battling lung

 

           25              cancer.  To help Chad and his family during


 

 

                                                                       5

 

 

            1              this terrible cancer battle a benefit will

 

            2              be held on February 21 at Holy Rosary gym in

 

            3              North Scranton from 6 until 10 p.m. Tickets

 

            4              are $15.  If all of the men whose lives who

 

            5              have touched by coach during his basketball

 

            6              career attend this fundraiser, it will go

 

            7              over the top, so please support this very

 

            8              important cause.

 

            9                      The Upper Hill Ecumenical Committee

 

           10              invites you to dine at Friendly's in Dunmore

 

           11              on Wednesday, February 1, from 5 to 8 p.m. A

 

           12              percentage of all food receipts from 5 to 8

 

           13              will be donated to the St. Francis of Assisi

 

           14              Kitchen to feed the poor and homeless.

 

           15              Enjoy a great meal and support a great cause

 

           16              in our community.  It's a win-win situation.

 

           17                      The West Scranton Invader Mat

 

           18              Boosters will conduct a funfilled night at

 

           19              the races this Saturday, February 7, at

 

           20              Keyser Valley Community Center at 7:00.

 

           21              Tickets are $10 and all proceeds benefit the

 

           22              West Scranton High School Wrestling Team.

 

           23              There will be food, beverages and the chance

 

           24              to win $50 each time you bet on a race.

 

           25              Now, where can you get a better deal on a


 

 

                                                                       6

 

 

            1              night out than that?  Please come out and

 

            2              support the Invaders.

 

            3                      The Humane Society of Lackawanna

 

            4              County is conducting a drive to benefit all

 

            5              animals at the Lackawanna Humane Society in

 

            6              Waverly.  Donations of the following items

 

            7              are needed by February 12, things such as

 

            8              cat litter, dog and cat food, chew bones,

 

            9              puppy and kitten food, small litter pans,

 

           10              garbage bags of all sizes, paper towels,

 

           11              cloth towels and blankets, dish and laundry

 

           12              detergent, bleach, brooms, scrub brushes,

 

           13              rubber gloves, buckets, and I'm wondering,

 

           14              Kay, if you could ask the mayor's office

 

           15              tomorrow if a canister can be placed either

 

           16              in city hall or at the fire headquarters on

 

           17              Mulberry Street for public donations to be

 

           18              collected, and hopefully the mayor will

 

           19              agreeable and all of us animal lovers will

 

           20              be able to donate to that very worthy cause.

 

           21                      The Northeastern Pennsylvania

 

           22              Chapter of the Friends of the NRA will be

 

           23              hosting their annual banquet on Saturday,

 

           24              March 29, at Genetti Manor, 1505 North Main

 

           25              Street, Dickson City.  The event starts at


 

 

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            1              5:00.  This event used to be held at

 

            2              Pittston Convention Hall, but it had to be

 

            3              moved since they closed.  Tables seat ten,

 

            4              tickets are $40 each, $75 for couples, $25

 

            5              for those under 21.  Sponsored packages are

 

            6              also available at $295 and they come with

 

            7              one dinner, one sponsor hat and the first

 

            8              sculpture in the new NRA series, the cape

 

            9              buffalo, so those of you who are members and

 

           10              friends of the NRA they are certainly hoping

 

           11              that you will attend their annual dinner,

 

           12              and that's it.

 

           13                      MS. GATELLI:  I just have two

 

           14              announcements, also for the Chad Lewis, I

 

           15              don't want to repeat it, but I also have

 

           16              tickets if anybody here would care to

 

           17              purchase any for Mr. Lewis' fundraisers.

 

           18                      And one other announcement, tomorrow

 

           19              at 10:00 at West Scranton High School Eric

 

           20              Shrive, our star football player, will be

 

           21              signing his letter of intent with Penn State

 

           22              University where he received a full

 

           23              scholarship, and that's all I have.  Thank

 

           24              you.

 

           25                      MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else?  Just one


 

 

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            1              other just to mention, we received a -- or

 

            2              the city received a check from the Harrison

 

            3              House Personal Care Home in the amount of

 

            4              $500 for payment in lieu of taxes and a

 

            5              thank you to the Harrison House for their

 

            6              donation.  Fourth order.  Citizens'

 

            7              participation.  Les Spindler.

 

            8                      MR. SPINDLER: Good evening, Council.

 

            9              Les Spindler.  City Resident, homeowner and

 

           10              taxpayer.  First of all, I'd like to make a

 

           11              correction about something that was said

 

           12              last week.  I was speaking about freedom of

 

           13              speech and the man in Luzerne County who had

 

           14              his case thrown out for having the

 

           15              four-letter word and the sign on his truck,

 

           16              and Mrs. Gatelli said the reason why is

 

           17              because he took out two letters from the

 

           18              word.  That's incorrect.  That night the

 

           19              mayor was on WILK news radio with Steve

 

           20              Corbett and he said himself the judge threw

 

           21              it out because he said under the First

 

           22              Amendment, which is the right of freedom of

 

           23              speech, that was a protected word and the

 

           24              man had every right to use it.  I don't

 

           25              agree with it and I don't use the word but


 

 

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            1              that is part of freedom of speech, he is

 

            2              allowed to use that word on the sign.

 

            3                      MS. GATELLI:  I don't think you can

 

            4              use that word here though.

 

            5                      MR. SPINDLER: It's right from the

 

            6              horse's mouth.

 

            7                      MS. GATELLI: I don't think you can

 

            8              use that word here.

 

            9                      MR. SPINDLER: I'm not saying you can

 

           10              use it here.  That's how strong the First

 

           11              Amendment is, that's my point.  There's a

 

           12              lot you can get away with.  And while we are

 

           13              on that subject because last week Mrs.

 

           14              Fanucci asked the solicitor if political

 

           15              candidates can get up here and speak.  Well,

 

           16              I can answer that, yes, they can.  We went

 

           17              down that road years ago and anybody, a bum

 

           18              off the street can come in here and talk

 

           19              about almost anything they want, because you

 

           20              can't yell fire in a crowded theatre, but

 

           21              you can get up here and say almost anything

 

           22              you want, political candidates can speak at

 

           23              this podium.

 

           24                      And moving on, Mr. McGoff, you and

 

           25              Mrs. Fanucci always talk about Rules of


 

 

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            1              Council, do Rules of Council also apply to

 

            2              the council people, Mr. McGoff?

 

            3                      MR. MCGOFF:  Yes.

 

            4                      MR. SPINDLER: Why don't you enforce

 

            5              them because last week you didn't.  You

 

            6              didn't enforce them last week.

 

            7                      MR. MCGOFF: You are asking me a

 

            8              question, do you want a response or not?

 

            9                      MR. SPINDLER:  Yeah, it was a

 

           10              one-word answer.  Last week --

 

           11                      MR. MCGOFF: No, it wasn't.

 

           12                      MR. SPINDLER: Last week when Doug

 

           13              Miller left the podium unprovoked and

 

           14              uncalled for Mrs. Fanucci said, "Well, I

 

           15              guess you started your campaign, Doug."

 

           16                      Uncalled for.  You did nothing.

 

           17              When I was talking to Mrs. Gatelli that

 

           18              evening she put her two cents in, you did

 

           19              nothing.  When I walked away she made some

 

           20              kind of silly comment about getting roses

 

           21              for Valentine's Day.

 

           22                      MS. GATELLI: No, I didn't.

 

           23                      MS. FANUCCI: That was me.

 

           24                      MS. SPINDLER: I know, that's what

 

           25              I'm saying, yes.  Mr. McGoff, again, you did


 

 

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            1              nothing, so I think you showed partiality

 

            2              toward council members and I forget the

 

            3              word --

 

            4                      MS. FANUCCI:  Les, I invoke my

 

            5              freedom of speech as well, and I certainly

 

            6              will do it.

 

            7                      MR. SPINDLER: After I'm done.

 

            8                      MS. FANUCCI: Wrong.

 

            9                      MR. SPINDLER: Mr. McGoff, would you

 

           10              invoke the Rules of Council, please?  I'm

 

           11              talking now, it's my time.  Oh, and anyway,

 

           12              you don't deserve roses, Mrs. Fanucci.  The

 

           13              only thing you deserve is poison ivy.

 

           14                      The next thing, last week there was

 

           15              a speaker here, a speaker criticizing our

 

           16              police department and our fire department.

 

           17              She was mad at a police officer for stopping

 

           18              her daughter who had four children, four

 

           19              kids in the back seat.  Well, the policeman

 

           20              did his job.  It's illegal to have four

 

           21              people in the back seat of a car, and then

 

           22              she went onto say that a Sewer Authority

 

           23              worker, which I have no disrespect towards

 

           24              Sewer Authority worker's, they say they are

 

           25              dangerous as a firemen, firemen risk their


 

 

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            1              lives every day when you go and fight a

 

            2              fire, I never heard of a Sewer Authority

 

            3              worker risking their life coming down the

 

            4              sewer.

 

            5                      Next thing, about a year ago,

 

            6              Scranton Ford on Franklin Avenue bought the

 

            7              building next to them, tore it down, and now

 

            8              they park their cars there.  I wasn't going

 

            9              to say anything, but I think they have a

 

           10              safety hazard there.  They park their cars

 

           11              right to the end of the street, right --

 

           12              there is no sidewalk.  You can't walk on the

 

           13              sidewalk there because the streets are

 

           14              blocked -- the cars are blocking them.  Now,

 

           15              you have to walk out in the street to get

 

           16              around the cars, last week I almost get hit

 

           17              by a car walking there.  Isn't there some

 

           18              kind of an ordinance where you can't put

 

           19              cars blocking the sidewalk?

 

           20                      MS. FANUCCI: Yes.

 

           21                      MR. SPINDLER:  Can we look into

 

           22              that?

 

           23                      MS. GATELLI: Is that in the back?

 

           24                      MR. SPINDLER: Send an inspector or

 

           25              -- pardon me?


 

 

                                                                      13

 

 

            1                      MS. GATELLI: Is that in the back?

 

            2                      MR. SPINDLER: No, it's on Franklin

 

            3              Avenue.

 

            4                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Is it where the --

 

            5                      MR. SPINDLER: It's where the old

 

            6              fire station used to be.  It was a printing

 

            7              shop, they park their cars right to the

 

            8              edge, you got to walk all the way into the

 

            9              street to get around them, and I almost got

 

           10              hit by a car.  I walk by there every single

 

           11              day back and forth to work, and I think

 

           12              there is something wrong with that.  That's

 

           13              a safety hazard.

 

           14                      Lastly, I have to run out of here

 

           15              tonight, I have a Crime Watch meeting, does

 

           16              anybody know when these meetings are

 

           17              repeated so I could watch the meeting again?

 

           18                      MS. FANUCCI: I don't know.

 

           19                      MS. GATELLI: I know tomorrow morning

 

           20              at 9:30.

 

           21                      MR. SPINDLER: Oh, I work.  That

 

           22              won't be good.

 

           23                      MS. GATELLI: The tomorrow night at

 

           24              the same exact time.

 

           25                      MR. SPINDLER: Tomorrow night?


 

 

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            1                      MS. GAWEL: No, it's 10:00 tomorrow

 

            2              then I think it's noon Saturday and 8:00 on

 

            3              Sunday.

 

            4                      MR. JACKOWITZ: I can give you the

 

            5              exact times, it's 10 a.m. tomorrow, it's

 

            6              2:30 in the afternoon on Wednesday -- or on

 

            7              Thursday, and it's 12:00 on Saturday and

 

            8              it's 8:00 Sunday night.

 

            9                      MR. SPINDLER: Thank you.

 

           10                      MS. GATELLI: Isn't that scrolling on

 

           11              the station?

 

           12                      MS. GAWEL:  It does scroll.

 

           13                      MR. MCGOFF: Joanne Williams.

 

           14                      MS. WILLIAMS: Good evening, Council.

 

           15              Joanne Williams, taxpayer and homeowner in

 

           16              this great city of Scranton.  After speaking

 

           17              here last week, I received a letter of

 

           18              harassment from whom I considered a coward

 

           19              who had no courage to sign their name.  I

 

           20              have made copies to present to each of you.

 

           21              May I approach?  Is that okay to approach,

 

           22              Mr. McGoff?

 

           23                      If anyone has a problem as to what I

 

           24              stated at this podium we should be able to

 

           25              discuss it as normal adults.  I want to make


 

 

                                                                      15

 

 

            1              it perfectly clear that I consider

 

            2              firefighters heroes, as I have stated last

 

            3              week, but this coward heard what he wanted

 

            4              to hear.  In this letter they called me foul

 

            5              names, used foul language, and they informed

 

            6              me never to come back to a council meeting

 

            7              again.  A point is proven.  A selective few

 

            8              who are here every week, it's only a few,

 

            9              who do not want anyone in chamber who speaks

 

           10              positive about our city and mayor.  It's

 

           11              starting to become a private club meeting.

 

           12                      Instead, by law, it's a city council

 

           13              meeting open to all to speak on city issues.

 

           14              Let's not allow a few cowards to grandstand

 

           15              here weekly.  Enough is enough.  It's time

 

           16              to focus on the positive in this city.  Week

 

           17              after week all we hear is negative and put

 

           18              down.  I have made a police report on this

 

           19              letter, they said it's harassment.  And,

 

           20              Mr. Minora, if I may ask you for your legal

 

           21              advice, I'm contemplating turning this

 

           22              letter over to the district attorney; is

 

           23              that possible?

 

           24                      MR. MCGOFF: Attorney Minora

 

           25              represents council.


 

 

                                                                      16

 

 

            1                      MS. WILLIAMS: Well, all right.

 

            2              Well, I have already spoken to my lawyer

 

            3              also, so this letter -- this isn't going to

 

            4              stop here.  This has to end.  The first man

 

            5              who came up here and spoke about the First

 

            6              Amendment, I have every right to come here

 

            7              and speak how I feel about this city, like

 

            8              it or not that's the way I feel.  I do feel

 

            9              sorry for a few of you people sitting on

 

           10              council.  Once again, you and the mayor were

 

           11              elected to serve us and some of you are so

 

           12              disrespected it is disgusting.  I'm not

 

           13              alone here in this.  I could show you

 

           14              letters of praise I get and people who stop

 

           15              me on the street and say -- pat me on the

 

           16              back and say, "Good job, Joanne, keep it

 

           17              up."

 

           18                      And just in closing I just want to

 

           19              say thank God for this great city and it's

 

           20              great people.  Thank you.

 

           21                      MR. MCGOFF:  Thank you, Mrs.

 

           22              Williams.  Bill Jackowitz.

 

           23                      MR. JACKOWITZ: Bill Jackowitz, South

 

           24              Scranton resident and member of the

 

           25              Taxpayers' Association.  I probably got


 

 

                                                                      17

 

 

            1              about 15 to 20 letters threatening my house

 

            2              is going to be burned down and everything,

 

            3              so I don't worry about stuff like that.

 

            4                      Okay, you know, there is so much to

 

            5              say and so little time to speak about it up

 

            6              here.  You probably all saw the headlines

 

            7              this morning 7.7 regional unemployment.  I

 

            8              have been speaking about this for five years

 

            9              now.  I have asked council how many times to

 

           10              invite Austin Burke and the Chamber of

 

           11              Commerce and the mayor to these meetings and

 

           12              I have been ignored each and every time.

 

           13                      Now, Austin Burke states that they

 

           14              were unaware of this.  Well, you know what,

 

           15              if he had came to the meetings like I asked

 

           16              I would have made them aware of it because I

 

           17              stay on top of it.  This is what I

 

           18              concentrate on most of the time.

 

           19                      Now, the state is at 6.7 percent,

 

           20              the nation is at 7.2 percent.  The nation is

 

           21              actually starting to catch up to Scranton.

 

           22              Now, I predicted in October that we would be

 

           23              at 7 percent by the end of the year, well,

 

           24              we are at 7.7 in December.  And again, the

 

           25              Chamber of Commerce president says he was


 

 

                                                                      18

 

 

            1              not aware of it, but yet he has the gaul to

 

            2              blame the people.  He is saying we need to

 

            3              educate our people more.  Well, guess what?

 

            4              If there is no jobs here and there is no

 

            5              wages here you can have three masters

 

            6              degrees and you are going to be flipping

 

            7              burgers at McDonalds or Wendy's because

 

            8              there is no place to get a job, and I'm not

 

            9              talking about jobs I'm talking about wages,

 

           10              okay?

 

           11                      You noticed Austin Burke and nobody

 

           12              ever uses the word wages.  It's always jobs.

 

           13              Well, if you have a 6 or 7 dollar an hour

 

           14              job you are not making enough money to feed

 

           15              your family, to go on vacation, to do things

 

           16              that you would like to do.

 

           17                      So, again, Council President McGoff,

 

           18              I respectfully request that you invite

 

           19              Austin Burke, the Chamber of Commerce and

 

           20              Mayor Doherty to a public hearing or a

 

           21              public caucus so citizens can address our

 

           22              leaders and make them aware of the terrible,

 

           23              terrible situation we have in Scranton and

 

           24              in Lackawanna County, and this is not based

 

           25              upon the current national situation.  It's


 

 

                                                                      19

 

 

            1              been this way for five decades, 50 years.

 

            2              Isn't it about time that someone takes the

 

            3              bull by the horn.  Again, please,

 

            4              Mr. McGoff, I'm requesting that you invite

 

            5              Austin Burke, Chamber of Commerce, the mayor

 

            6              and anyone else who can help us get jobs,

 

            7              paying jobs in this city.

 

            8                      Okay, now, Al Boscov.  I see they

 

            9              made $28 million in the a month of December,

 

           10              can we send Al Boscov a letter requesting

 

           11              our $3 million back?  He made a profit of 28

 

           12              million in one month.  If we have given him

 

           13              the three million, I don't know if we have

 

           14              or we haven't, but if we have given him that

 

           15              $3 million can we please send Al Boscov a

 

           16              letter requesting the taxpayers' money back,

 

           17              because $28 million in one month is a pretty

 

           18              good chunk of profit I think.  So again, you

 

           19              know, what's fair is fair and what's right

 

           20              it right, okay?

 

           21                      And I'm going to predict that the

 

           22              unemployment rate by the end of the year,

 

           23              the next one will be up over 8 percent, and

 

           24              I'm further going to predict by June we are

 

           25              going to be at 10 percent.  This has been


 

 

                                                                      20

 

 

            1              going on forever.  Forever.  And our Chamber

 

            2              of Commerce will state that they know

 

            3              nothing about it.  We were shocked.  We were

 

            4              blindsided.  Read the paper, Courtright,

 

            5              that's where it's at, Buddy.  You are

 

            6              looking at me like I'm making this up.  I'm

 

            7              not making this up.

 

            8                      And speaking of the paper, I hope

 

            9              the Times and Tribune and the Times Leader

 

           10              will actually take the time to do some

 

           11              investigating reporting and really look into

 

           12              the situation and not buy into the sound

 

           13              bites they get from the mayor and Austin

 

           14              Burke.  Really take the time to investigate

 

           15              it.  See who is right.  Them or me.  I'm

 

           16              asking you, the Times-Tribune and the Times

 

           17              Leader, do some investigating reporting and

 

           18              find out for sure.  We have been at the top

 

           19              of the unemployment list, lowest wages in

 

           20              the state, everything, and I'm just going to

 

           21              ask one request from the mayor, from the

 

           22              Chamber of Commerce and from Scranton City

 

           23              Council, fix it.

 

           24                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you,

 

           25              Mr. Jackowitz.  Andy Sbaraglia.


 

 

                                                                      21

 

 

            1                      MR. SBARAGLIA: Andy Sbaraglia,

 

            2              citizen of Scranton.  Fellow Scrantonians, I

 

            3              have been coming to this podium for maybe at

 

            4              least ten years, but I don't know why some

 

            5              people get derogatory.  I have never had got

 

            6              derogatory committed to me, nobody ever sent

 

            7              anything bad to me.  As long as you tell the

 

            8              truth and you don't make up stories, and I

 

            9              try to give you the truth as best as I can,

 

           10              but coming before you now is, I don't know,

 

           11              under -- I plan to bring it before you, but

 

           12              it's the "F" word which means fighting KOZ.

 

           13              North Scranton has sat idle for ten years.

 

           14              Now, KOZ's are being renewed and many KOZ

 

           15              projects nothing has been done with it other

 

           16              than the fact is they haven't paid taxes.

 

           17              The tax burden has shifted from the

 

           18              manufacturing and from people in the system

 

           19              to the people.  I believe if it wasn't for a

 

           20              lot of our nonprofits and the KOZ's you

 

           21              would have no need for that 25 percent hike.

 

           22              When this came up I said that, many, many

 

           23              years before anybody -- probably any of you

 

           24              were even on that spot, I said all of the

 

           25              KOZ's are going to do in this city is raise


 

 

                                                                      22

 

 

            1              the taxes for the little people, and they

 

            2              have, and the taxes will consider when the

 

            3              new KOZ coming in, I left some copies, I

 

            4              think with the Neil.  I don't know if you

 

            5              all got them.

 

            6                      MS. GATELLI:  Yes.

 

            7                      MR. SBARAGLIA: But the importance of

 

            8              is it could push out the 27 years without

 

            9              paying taxes.  Like I said before, I would

 

           10              have paid -- at the current rate I would

 

           11              have paid about $50,000, but there is lot of

 

           12              people in this city who paid 100,000 or even

 

           13              more.  You got to reign in the KOZ's because

 

           14              the law is flawed.  They didn't restrict

 

           15              people from moving to one area of the city

 

           16              to the other area of the city to avoid

 

           17              paying taxes.  They never went around and

 

           18              checked on if the KOZ's were doing what they

 

           19              were supposed to be doing.

 

           20                      The guy said at a meeting, I don't

 

           21              know if you were even around then, but he

 

           22              said if they got the KOZ, that's it.  They

 

           23              didn't have to adhere to some of the points

 

           24              in the law.  There is one KOZ in Scranton

 

           25              where there is a fence around it, and that's


 

 

                                                                      23

 

 

            1              it.  That's all that was done.  A fence was

 

            2              put around the property, and you know what

 

            3              was done at the height of the Junior High

 

            4              School, if it wasn't for public money that

 

            5              was poured into that project it wouldn't

 

            6              even had a roof, and that's a sad part of

 

            7              this whole deal.  Not only do they want the

 

            8              KOZ they want the people to fund that KOZ

 

            9              and when people move into that KOZ they

 

           10              don't pay taxes.

 

           11                      I don't know how much more you can

 

           12              put on the people of Scranton.  You have

 

           13              really overload our backs.  We are bending

 

           14              back real bad, we are all becoming stoop

 

           15              backed from the tax burden placed upon us.

 

           16              And what's happening with the economy is

 

           17              even worse, there is a lot of people that

 

           18              aren't going to make it and it's just sad,

 

           19              but it's going to happen.  I already see

 

           20              layoffs coming from even the department

 

           21              stores they are starting to layoff, the

 

           22              papers are always talking about layoffs, and

 

           23              these things are happening, but no one has

 

           24              figured a way to lower our tax burden, and

 

           25              without that lowering of our tax burden a


 

 

                                                                      24

 

 

            1              lot of people aren't going to be able to

 

            2              keep up their homes.

 

            3                      If you were read about, well, the

 

            4              gas company, they want a big raise.  It's

 

            5              not time to be raising our gas.  It's time

 

            6              for the government to step up.  I know some

 

            7              of these things you can't do, but the

 

            8              government should step up to the plate and

 

            9              do something.

 

           10                      You had that Comcast meeting, I

 

           11              didn't sit and listen to it because I went

 

           12              through it all before for hours when we had

 

           13              it at the library with Spano, and it was a

 

           14              good one, and the questions were what she

 

           15              said then, we can't do nothing about the

 

           16              funding.  You are going to pay that rate and

 

           17              that's it.  But somewhere along the line you

 

           18              should request the Housing Authority that

 

           19              maybe they put up an antenna and because of

 

           20              the cost there is a lot of people would get

 

           21              satellite cheaper than Comcast and the city

 

           22              would lose money, but they should have that

 

           23              option like I have an option.  I thank you.

 

           24                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you,

 

           25              Mr. Sbaraglia.  Ozzie Quinn.


 

 

                                                                      25

 

 

            1                      MR. QUINN:  Ozzie Quinn.  Taxpayers'

 

            2              Association.  Mrs. Evans, I want to thank

 

            3              you for bringing out the debt that is in the

 

            4              city, okay?  You know, the taxpayers

 

            5              appreciate that because, actually, it was

 

            6              never really explained in those details and

 

            7              you explained it because otherwise they

 

            8              usually sideskirt the authorities, but you

 

            9              specifically said that the authorities are

 

           10              the responsibility of the cities, the

 

           11              taxpayers.

 

           12                      MS. EVANS: You are welcome, and I

 

           13              hope next week to have an additional

 

           14              comparison for you.

 

           15                      MR. QUINN:  Thank you again.  What I

 

           16              want to -- from what I understand was

 

           17              $159,340,000 and that's what the -- that's

 

           18              without the 2008 refinancing and letter of

 

           19              credit --

 

           20                      MS. EVANS: And that's the principle

 

           21              only.

 

           22                      MR. QUINN:  Principle only, yeah.

 

           23              Okay, so that is our debt, how did we get

 

           24              like that, you know?  I'll tell you, one way

 

           25              I know how we get like that, okay, is during


 

 

                                                                      26

 

 

            1              Mayor Doherty's term he gave an incentive

 

            2              package to people in the clerical union to

 

            3              leave and what he did is doubled the

 

            4              pension, so if somebody was going to get a

 

            5              $1,000 pension, they left -- for life, they

 

            6              left with $2,000.  Now, that means that

 

            7              that's costing the city $800,000 a year.

 

            8              $800,000 a year.  That's how we go into debt

 

            9              by just frivolousness, not thinking and

 

           10              causing this problem, and you know what?

 

           11              The people that are were laid off -- not

 

           12              laid off, that got that incentive package

 

           13              and got a good deal, they double dipped.

 

           14              They are working down the school district.

 

           15              They went out the back door.  Out the front

 

           16              door here and in the back door.  I mean,

 

           17              this is unbelievable.

 

           18                      I brought this to the attention of

 

           19              the school board last night and they didn't

 

           20              say anything, they agreed, you know, they

 

           21              never publish -- they never publish when a

 

           22              job was open or whatever or who gives it,

 

           23              you know?  But anyway, the school district

 

           24              mand we spoke about the KOZ's, they tabled

 

           25              the KOZ's, thank God.  We just can't afford


 

 

                                                                      27

 

 

            1              it.  With this debt that we owe we can't

 

            2              afford to give anybody free taxes.

 

            3                      Now, this Bewitched over there, that

 

            4              was a KOZ, now are they going to get seven

 

            5              years because Kildaire's are going to go in

 

            6              there, an extension?  How do you know?

 

            7                      MS. FANUCCI: How do I know?  Are you

 

            8              asking me?

 

            9                      MR. QUINN:  Yeah.

 

           10                      MS. FANUCCI: Well, we would have to

 

           11              extend per project.  It's just not a full

 

           12              fledge extension.

 

           13                      MR. QUINN:  Well, they will get it,

 

           14              don't worry, but thank you.

 

           15                      MS. FANUCCI: Well, you know better

 

           16              than me, Oz.

 

           17                      MR. QUINN:  Okay, you know, then

 

           18              they are saying 1,000 jobs and you don't

 

           19              know how it's going to be transferred there.

 

           20              It's ridiculous.  You know, it's really

 

           21              ridiculous, and the fact is now we have like

 

           22              with our debt, with the school board's debt,

 

           23              which is 144 million some hundred odd

 

           24              thousand dollars, and the county 220, we are

 

           25              over half a million dollars in principle,


 

 

                                                                      28

 

 

            1              but we owe, the taxpayers.  This is

 

            2              ridiculous.  This is crazy.  How are we

 

            3              going to pay it as Andy said?  It's just --

 

            4              it's unheard of in a community of this size.

 

            5              We got to do something about it and I hope

 

            6              that something is done by this council, that

 

            7              they get a little more thrifty on things

 

            8              that come up before them.

 

            9                      Now, last night I went up to the

 

           10              school board meeting, they passed a

 

           11              resolution where they hired an association

 

           12              known as the Northwest Pennsylvania

 

           13              Incubator Association from Erie, and you

 

           14              know what they do?  They go out and they

 

           15              purchase the delinquent taxes for the school

 

           16              district and they do it for three years and

 

           17              each year it's $5,720,000 no penalties.  I

 

           18              asked if there was any penalty, no

 

           19              penalties.  No poor soul on making $8,000 a

 

           20              year on social security is going to get

 

           21              taken over to Keyser Avenue and wind up with

 

           22              $1,500 penalties.  It's unbelievable.  So

 

           23              why don't you start trying to do that for --

 

           24              look into that again, Mr. McGoff, why don't

 

           25              you try to a little lead.  I'm sick of the


 

 

                                                                      29

 

 

            1              triangle between what's going on with you

 

            2              three, and actually the quadrangle, and

 

            3              Mayor Doherty.  It's getting out of hand,

 

            4              and the other fact is here.  I want to speak

 

            5              -- oh, I do want to mention one other

 

            6              anyone.

 

            7                      The freeze I saw in the paper is now

 

            8              lifted from DCED, lack of communication, but

 

            9              one thing I did learn, too, and I never knew

 

           10              is that in 2006 -- no, 2007, March 2007,

 

           11              July 2008, and August 2008, they were

 

           12              lacking communications then, too.  There

 

           13              were froze then.  A lack of communication or

 

           14              lack of competence.

 

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

 

           16                      MR. QUINN:  And the Hill

 

           17              Neighborhood Association Housing Blight, one

 

           18              second -- there is two --

 

           19                      MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Quinn, you have five

 

           20              minutes.

 

           21                      MR. QUINN:  Two inspectors that were

 

           22              just joined, two new housing inspectors

 

           23              joined, okay?  They are going to South Side

 

           24              where Judy is again.  There is the triangle

 

           25              again.


 

 

                                                                      30

 

 

            1                      MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Quinn.

 

            2                      MR. QUINN:  And none are going up to

 

            3              the Hill Section and we are very

 

            4              disappointed that nobody else is getting it

 

            5              but South Side.  Thank you.

 

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

 

            7              Reverend Simmons.

 

            8                      MS. SIMMONS: Good evening, Council

 

            9              members, my name is Reverend Kathryn

 

           10              Simmons, and I'm a life-long Scranton

 

           11              resident.  I have not been here in quite

 

           12              sometime because I believe that unless you

 

           13              have something productive to say or ask for

 

           14              you shouldn't come.  You shouldn't waste

 

           15              people's valuable time.  Also, I spend

 

           16              12 hours a day ministering to the homeless

 

           17              shelter, to Scranton's homeless population,

 

           18              to Lackawanna Prison Ministry and

 

           19              Florence-Midtown Crime Watch and this is

 

           20              down seven days per week, 12 sometimes

 

           21              14 hours a day.  And, no, I don't get paid

 

           22              for any of it except from my father above.

 

           23                      On January 18, 19 and 20, a great

 

           24              celebration took place in my church, in my

 

           25              community, and even in my family.  I don't


 

 

                                                                      31

 

 

            1              believe I have to describe the reason for

 

            2              the celebration.  Unless someone was in a

 

            3              coma, everyone knows what took place that

 

            4              weekend.

 

            5                      On January the 19th at Reverend

 

            6              Dr. Martin Luther King Junior's service, I

 

            7              took a moment and thanked our mayor, Chris

 

            8              Doherty, for all that he had done this past

 

            9              year to help the homeless community.  I

 

           10              don't want to hear from anybody about what

 

           11              he didn't do, I know what he has done

 

           12              because I'm out there and I work there,

 

           13              okay?

 

           14                      Afterward, I received a phone call

 

           15              telling me I should never again praise the

 

           16              mayor, and I had no right to speak for, and

 

           17              I quote, the colored people.  Well, I'm here

 

           18              tonight to say that my purpose in coming

 

           19              here over the years has nothing to do with

 

           20              politics.  Never has been.  I'm not a

 

           21              political person.  Everyone or anyone who

 

           22              has heard me over the years knows I come to

 

           23              this lectern only when I feel I have

 

           24              something productive to say.

 

           25                      I'm a great supporter of the unions.


 

 

                                                                      32

 

 

            1              That will never change.  Every time I hear a

 

            2              siren or alarm or I hear a school bus pull

 

            3              up, my thought immediately goes to the hope

 

            4              that my father God will find finally

 

            5              intercede and bring peace between the city

 

            6              and those are in position.

 

            7                      I do not seek out and nor look for a

 

            8              friend because we only think and or believe

 

            9              alike.  I respect all of my fellow citizens,

 

           10              and this past presidential election has

 

           11              shown that there is no more my people, there

 

           12              is only our people.

 

           13                      I fear no one so you can tell

 

           14              whatever you want to tell me because I know

 

           15              who protects me and I will continue to thank

 

           16              persons such as Scranton firefighter Dave

 

           17              Gervasi, Larry Moran, Scranton police

 

           18              officers Jill Foley and Lieutenant Leonard

 

           19              Numeika and, yes, even Mayor Doherty.  The

 

           20              hungry will eat tonight, the dirty will take

 

           21              a shower.  The naked will be able to get

 

           22              some clean clothes and those that are ill

 

           23              will get medical attention, and when the

 

           24              dark of night descends and there is no place

 

           25              left for them to wander to, there is a


 

 

                                                                      33

 

 

            1              building in place where they can get a cot

 

            2              and a blanket and all of this is done

 

            3              because of people such as those that I just

 

            4              mentioned.

 

            5                      I say to you tonight from this

 

            6              lectern, don't ever approach me again to

 

            7              show hatred because I am not afraid of you.

 

            8              Don't ever tell me again I can't speak for

 

            9              your people.  You have no people.  We are

 

           10              all one and always have been.  The love I

 

           11              have for my city will go on until I myself

 

           12              am called home.

 

           13                      So on February the 24th at 7:00 I

 

           14              ask you to show your support of the homeless

 

           15              and the poor and the needy.  Purchase a

 

           16              table at a dinner that we are having to help

 

           17              waylay the costs of running a shelter.

 

           18              There is going to be some awards given out

 

           19              that evening, some people will be uplifted

 

           20              by them.  United States Senator Robert Casey

 

           21              will receive an award; Mr. Patrick McMann

 

           22              will receive an award, and our beloved

 

           23              Reverend Daniel O'Waters, Jr. will receive

 

           24              an award, but also Mayor Chris Doherty will

 

           25              receive an award, and if you want to know


 

 

                                                                      34

 

 

            1              why come on over to 716 North Washington

 

            2              Avenue.  Any night 32 or 33 people will show

 

            3              you why.  Thank you.

 

            4                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Reverend

 

            5              Simmons.  Lee Morgan?

 

            6                      MR. MORGAN: Hello, Council.  The

 

            7              first thing I have here is I can't

 

            8              understand why there is a delay with ECTV,

 

            9              and I really think it does a disjustice,

 

           10              misjustice to the people in the neighborhood

 

           11              to like to see this live.  I just can't

 

           12              understand why there is still technical

 

           13              problems.  One other thing I have here is

 

           14              NCC.  Now, today -- well, not today, two

 

           15              days ago I received a bill from NCC for $249

 

           16              for a garbage fee.  I have a receipt for the

 

           17              fee.  I called them.  The person I needed to

 

           18              talk to wanted me to leave a voicemail, but

 

           19              that's not the whole problem, that's just a

 

           20              very small part of the problem.

 

           21                      I called the city today about the

 

           22              fee, $249, and I stated to them that I had

 

           23              paid in fee for the properties I owned and I

 

           24              received a bill for one and I paid them all

 

           25              at the same time.  Now, the problem with the


 

 

                                                                      35

 

 

            1              city is they destroy their receipt book at

 

            2              the end of the year.  Now, I mean, that's

 

            3              what this individual told me that as of the

 

            4              end of 2008 they destroy their receipt book,

 

            5              so if you are a person that paid your waste

 

            6              removal fee and you lost your receipt and

 

            7              NCC comes to you and they tell you you owe

 

            8              us $249 and you lose your receipt then you

 

            9              can't prove you paid it, so then you pay it

 

           10              twice.

 

           11                      MS. FANUCCI: That's incorrect.

 

           12                      MR. MORAN: Well --

 

           13                      MS. FANUCCI: The receipt book is not

 

           14              destroyed at the end of the year.

 

           15                      MR. MCGOFF:  I was told the receipt

 

           16              was destroyed.  I was told that today.

 

           17                      MS. FANUCCI: Then you received the

 

           18              wrong information.

 

           19                      MR. MORGAN: Well, I don't know.  You

 

           20              know, I called the people who should know

 

           21              what's going on.

 

           22                      MS. FANUCCI: You are wrong.

 

           23                      MR. MORGAN: Okay.  Well, maybe I'm

 

           24              wrong, but you know something, I only know

 

           25              what people who tell me who work in those


 

 

                                                                      36

 

 

            1              departments.

 

            2                      MS. FANUCCI:  Do you have the name

 

            3              of who told you that that works in the

 

            4              department?

 

            5                      MR. MORGAN: No.  No.

 

            6                      MS. FANUCCI:  I'm sure you don't.

 

            7              Thank you.

 

            8                      MR. MORGAN:  Well, it doesn't make

 

            9              one I'm saying to be invalid, it just means

 

           10              that I didn't remember the person's name.

 

           11              And I said to this person, "How can you

 

           12              destroy a receipt book?"  "That's

 

           13              procedure."

 

           14                      That's what I was told, okay, and

 

           15              I'm really troubled by that because in my

 

           16              own opinion the city is seriously

 

           17              mismanaged.  That's not a cheap shot at any

 

           18              single individual, but we have statements

 

           19              made from council itself, council members,

 

           20              and I'm not going to single out any single

 

           21              council member, but I believe I read it last

 

           22              week in the Scranton Times about slum lords.

 

           23              Give you something to think about, is it

 

           24              possible that the mis management of this

 

           25              city has lead to it's demise, and it has


 

 

                                                                      37

 

 

            1              very little to do with individuals who have

 

            2              come here and bought properties?

 

            3                      I have gone through South Side, I

 

            4              have gone through other parts of the city,

 

            5              we have an awful lot of rental properties

 

            6              condemned even across from Scranton Dog and

 

            7              Cat Hospital all over the place.  These are

 

            8              people that invested in this city.  I just

 

            9              can't understand it.  There seems to be a

 

           10              war on people who want to invest here, but

 

           11              we seem to have a lot of money for special

 

           12              interest people, whether like Andy Sbaraglia

 

           13              said, KOZ's or other people who come here

 

           14              and they get grants, but any time there is a

 

           15              small investor who comes here and puts all

 

           16              of his assets on the line it's a terrible

 

           17              thing because they lose them all.

 

           18                      Now, I have a house up on East

 

           19              Locust Street, there is five houses on that

 

           20              one block, maybe six for sale.  One of them

 

           21              has been for sale for five years, and some

 

           22              of them, I hate to say this, but there is

 

           23              only five or six for sale, but some are

 

           24              empty.  They have nobody in them.  I mean,

 

           25              it's the most troubling thing, and my


 

 

                                                                      38

 

 

            1              question is as we tear these houses down,

 

            2              does the city maintain the lot after they

 

            3              tear the house down or is does the grass

 

            4              grow up waist length or higher?

 

            5                      Are there any curbs and sidewalks in

 

            6              this stay?  What infrastructure repairs or

 

            7              revitalization are going on in this city?  I

 

            8              mean, I see a lot of fees, we are talking

 

            9              about a franchise fee here, we are talking

 

           10              about taxation, but what's going to the

 

           11              ordinary taxpayers who own all of these

 

           12              homes in the city?  We have come to the

 

           13              point where we are hiring inspectors to go

 

           14              in and try to in my opinion condemn as many

 

           15              properties at possible because the

 

           16              population base has actually fled the city.

 

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

 

           18              Hopefully one of the future speakers will

 

           19              address the receipt book problem.  Doug

 

           20              Miller.

 

           21                      MR. MILLER: Good evening, Council,

 

           22              Doug Miller, Scranton.  I was driving into

 

           23              the city today coming off the expressway

 

           24              near Moosic Street, and certainly received a

 

           25              big wake-up call as I was greeted by one of


 

 

                                                                      39

 

 

            1              the Scranton big famous potholes.  Certainly

 

            2              a nice Scranton greeting as usual, and I

 

            3              think we can all agree that we won't have to

 

            4              worry about anybody falling asleep behind

 

            5              the wheel as we are driving through town.

 

            6                      Regarding 61, some issues were

 

            7              raised with 61 earlier.  It came to my

 

            8              attention and I realized we only have one

 

            9              camera here.  I can recall in the past we

 

           10              had various cameras around the room that

 

           11              focused in on the meeting from different

 

           12              angles, so maybe Council can address this

 

           13              issue in the future, maybe I missed out on

 

           14              the details.

 

           15                      Regarding agenda Item 7-A, you know,

 

           16              I'd truly like to know when the city is

 

           17              going to receive the thousands of dollars

 

           18              that were owed from the Ice Box.  It

 

           19              certainly was a poor decision by previous

 

           20              council to approve the sale of this piece of

 

           21              land for a dollar to begin with.  You know,

 

           22              I believe that this deal certainly begs for

 

           23              an investigation.

 

           24                      I'm certainly not here to apologize,

 

           25              however, I believe the statements that I


 

 

                                                                      40

 

 

            1              made here last week were taken out of

 

            2              context by this council.  Regarding the

 

            3              issue of the raises, no matter what money

 

            4              was given back, and I'm not going to argue

 

            5              that it was certainly a good gesture, but

 

            6              the bottom line is the raises were on the

 

            7              table and I do feel that the mayor's raise

 

            8              should have been addressed as well as the

 

            9              controller's raise.

 

           10                      As for the University, my comments

 

           11              were only an add-on to all of council

 

           12              members to ask the University to consider

 

           13              expanding their project by traveling all

 

           14              over the city cutting trees and installing

 

           15              lights.  Those statements were aimed at all

 

           16              for council, not just one member.

 

           17                      I opposed the cancellation of the

 

           18              meetings, we only need three members from

 

           19              majority.  Any council member can vote on

 

           20              legislation the way they feel is necessary,

 

           21              but the bottom line is they chambers should

 

           22              never be closed to the public.  Council was

 

           23              elected to serve at the pleasure of the

 

           24              people.  Those were the issues that I had

 

           25              with this council last week.


 

 

                                                                      41

 

 

            1                      I certainly don't look to pick

 

            2              arguments, there is no reason to.  I want to

 

            3              see this city move forward just as anyone

 

            4              else does, but if I see things I don't like

 

            5              along the way I'm going to raise the issues.

 

            6              I spent two years on this junior council as

 

            7              president, served along with other high

 

            8              school students.  As we know, it was

 

            9              supposed to be an internship for each of us

 

           10              to work with council, but we know that never

 

           11              happened, and I'm still disappointed, as you

 

           12              know, that this council has not put in any

 

           13              effort to restoring this council.  We see

 

           14              areas around us that followed our lead and

 

           15              here we are at this date no high school

 

           16              students at the table, but the experiences

 

           17              and observations and actions of this council

 

           18              is what motivated me to come before you here

 

           19              and address issues that I believe to be

 

           20              discussed openly and forthright.  Thank you.

 

           21                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Miller.

 

           22              Bob Bolus.

 

           23                      MR. BOLUS: Good evening, Council.

 

           24              Bob Bolus, Scranton.  First off, does anyone

 

           25              have an answer to my questions that I raised


 

 

                                                                      42

 

 

            1              last week about the balance of the golf

 

            2              course money from the first time it was put

 

            3              in, wherever it went, for the $3 million

 

            4              including the interest to date, and I'd ask

 

            5              that and I would like to really know where

 

            6              it is and what's it's accrued since it's

 

            7              been put away there, and I intend to ask

 

            8              every chance I get where it's gone.

 

            9                      Next, I brought up about windmills,

 

           10              somebody should research about putting

 

           11              windmills around the area to help defray the

 

           12              cost of operating the city and give

 

           13              taxpayers a break.  I also brought up about

 

           14              the leachate line and that will be asked

 

           15              time and time again.

 

           16                      I'd like to see you bring impact

 

           17              fees on Lackawanna Avenue.  There is a

 

           18              development there, there has been traffic

 

           19              tie-ups and everything, those are the

 

           20              realistic part about what an impact fee is.

 

           21              On Washington Avenue where the parking

 

           22              garage is there should be an impact fee.

 

           23              They are done everywhere else, but Scranton,

 

           24              we don't do it.  We want the taxpayers to

 

           25              pay.


 

 

                                                                      43

 

 

            1                      Thought possibly about raising the

 

            2              tax on liquor being sold in the city.  The

 

            3              governor wants to raise it on cigarettes, I

 

            4              haven't seen anybody getting a DUI smoking a

 

            5              cigarette unless it was a joint, but we have

 

            6              seen a lot more problems with alcohol, okay?

 

            7              So maybe someone would want to go look at

 

            8              it.

 

            9                      Another thing I think we should do,

 

           10              and this is important, that we need to look

 

           11              at grants to possibly save the Catholic

 

           12              churches in this community.  Marino has

 

           13              taken it upon himself to literally close

 

           14              what we have all grown up with for

 

           15              generations.  I think it's wrong.  I don't

 

           16              think he should have the power to do what he

 

           17              is doing.  I believe it has to be something

 

           18              we have to take charge of and it should be

 

           19              done through council or through the city or

 

           20              through the county commissioners.  There are

 

           21              grants that are out there.  We give the

 

           22              Connell Building away, we waived hundreds of

 

           23              thousands of dollars in taxes, we gave them

 

           24              $4 million so these people could afford to

 

           25              pay the taxes and they could afford to pay


 

 

                                                                      44

 

 

            1              for the building.  They have a place up off

 

            2              81 there that is still vacant for how many

 

            3              years, the old Corning Building, so it's not

 

            4              like they were out of money.  So we need to

 

            5              go on that part that I'm looking at.

 

            6                      Now, I'm going to get a little

 

            7              technical here tonight, it was something

 

            8              that happened last week that I'm going to

 

            9              raise this issue.  On candidates, Mrs.

 

           10              Fanucci, are you going be a candidate this

 

           11              year?

 

           12                      MS. FANUCCI: I haven't made my

 

           13              formal announcement yet, so when I do I

 

           14              certainly will let you know.

 

           15                      MR. BOLUS: Well, let see say this,

 

           16              the statements you made last week regarding

 

           17              Doug Miller, I think you were out of order

 

           18              with and the reason I'm --

 

           19                      MS. FANUCCI:  Is he not running

 

           20              though?

 

           21                      MR. BOLUS: Pardon?

 

           22                      MS. FANUCCI:  He is running for

 

           23              council?  I mean, it wasn't out of order --

 

           24                      MR. BOLUS: Yeah, that's fine.

 

           25                      MS. FANUCCI: -- he came to the


 

 

                                                                      45

 

 

            1              podium and said something.  It was already

 

            2              known.

 

            3                      MR. BOLUS: It was the way it was

 

            4              brought up, and I'm going to raise an issue

 

            5              here because I think you were out of order

 

            6              and saying an issue about who is running as

 

            7              a candidate and wether they can speak here.

 

            8              I want to set the record straight.  Council

 

            9              members every time they have ran here have

 

           10              been on this seat, have used that forum to

 

           11              their own benefit to run for office right

 

           12              where they are sitting.  Every member

 

           13              running for reelection is a candidate, yet

 

           14              you get to speak about council issues and

 

           15              some personal issues.  Nobody faults it, but

 

           16              what you have to understand, people running

 

           17              while they are running, do we ever see

 

           18              council members come back here?  Very rarely

 

           19              after they have left this seat.

 

           20                      MS. FANUCCI: We have one that comes

 

           21              back a lot.

 

           22                      MR. BOLUS:  Very rarely you see

 

           23              them.  Very, very rarely once they go they

 

           24              don't come back, but this kid showed up here

 

           25              two years.  I'm not here defending him, I


 

 

                                                                      46

 

 

            1              think he could do a pretty darn good job and

 

            2              his own.

 

            3                      As far as a candidate that is

 

            4              running for public office coming before

 

            5              council and council denying them the right

 

            6              to speak, it has already been tried to Court

 

            7              and they were defeated.  I was that person

 

            8              that defeated them, okay?

 

            9                      MS. FANUCCI: I wasn't looking to

 

           10              stop people from coming, I was looking from

 

           11              stopping it to be a quorum just for

 

           12              political activity constantly, and I was

 

           13              more worried about what the law was with

 

           14              camera time because I knew that was

 

           15              something --

 

           16                      MR. BOLUS: Well, I don't think

 

           17              that's even an issue and that's where I was

 

           18              going.

 

           19                      MS. FANUCCI: Well, we did figure

 

           20              that out last week, so you are coming here

 

           21              with something we already talked about.

 

           22                      MR. BOLUS: Well, that's why I'm here

 

           23              to set the record straight whether it was

 

           24              figured out or not.  It really wasn't cast

 

           25              in stone, but I don't even think it was an


 

 

                                                                      47

 

 

            1              issue that should have been raised by you,

 

            2              and I have a lot of respect for you and

 

            3              every council member here, whether we are in

 

            4              chambers or outside of the door, but I think

 

            5              there is one thing here that people have to

 

            6              say, and I think that goes for everybody in

 

            7              this administration or the city or political

 

            8              office, and it's one I was raised with and

 

            9              it was recommended many, many times with, it

 

           10              said engage the brain before putting the

 

           11              mouth in gear.  We all need to think about

 

           12              what we are saying before we say it and we

 

           13              won't have these issues.  Thank you.

 

           14                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Bolus.

 

           15              Mrs. Schumacher.

 

           16                      MS. SCHUMACHER: Good evening, Marie

 

           17              Schumacher, resident and member of the

 

           18              Taxpayers' Association.  Mrs. Gatelli, last

 

           19              week as I was leaving the podium after

 

           20              harping about the status of the resolution

 

           21              on the city's neighborhood stabilization

 

           22              application you questioned my South Side

 

           23              credentials as I had spent a number of years

 

           24              out of town.  I chose to leave Scranton to

 

           25              seek employment based on my God given


 

 

                                                                      48

 

 

            1              ability and my parents' investment in my

 

            2              education instead of staying in Scranton so

 

            3              I wouldn't have to kiss somebody's butt or

 

            4              sell my soul to get a decent job.

 

            5                      That does not mean I'm ignorant.

 

            6              Mrs. Gatelli, there were several rather

 

            7              famous retail businesses in South Side such

 

            8              as Kolomark's Bakery, Goodhinz and

 

            9              Schumacher's Meat Market.  I would expect

 

           10              anyone with the knowledge of South Side to

 

           11              know the family name is Schumachers not

 

           12              Schumacher.

 

           13                      I grew up in the heart of the Elm

 

           14              Street project area and stayed connected

 

           15              through the family business.  I am well

 

           16              aware of what happened to South Scranton.  I

 

           17              still worship in South Side, my auto

 

           18              mechanic is in South Side as our many

 

           19              friends, my bank and my hairdresser, and all

 

           20              of my personal services.

 

           21                      Even if I hadn't stayed connected, I

 

           22              have been back in Scranton five years and it

 

           23              doesn't take that long to observe what has

 

           24              happened and why.  I would love to see South

 

           25              Side return to the wonderful neighborhood in


 

 

                                                                      49

 

 

            1              which I grew up.

 

            2                      On October 29 of last year, I

 

            3              attended a meeting on the Elm Street project

 

            4              in South Side at which a professional firm

 

            5              provided the results of a survey of what

 

            6              people wanted done with the Elm Street

 

            7              funding.  The results of their survey

 

            8              included the fact that only 2 percent of the

 

            9              survey responders want the library, but who

 

           10              is listening.  They will get what others

 

           11              want for them as a library continues to be a

 

           12              priority for the mayor.

 

           13                      At the last library board meeting

 

           14              held in Scranton, it was reported that the

 

           15              mayor has been lobbying Senator Casey to

 

           16              insure the library is in the stimulus

 

           17              package, and the board is thinking about

 

           18              dipping into reserve to rush blueprints so

 

           19              the project is shovel ready.  All of this

 

           20              for a project desired by 2 percent.  I do

 

           21              believe that it is unfair to the

 

           22              neighborhood stabilization proposal to

 

           23              desire to spend the entire $3 million in

 

           24              South Scranton.

 

           25                      In last year's state of the city


 

 

                                                                      50

 

 

            1              address, Mr. Doherty laid out plans for West

 

            2              Scranton that included knocking down 30

 

            3              dilapidated structures in West Side, so it

 

            4              would make sense to at least at a minimum

 

            5              share that $3 million with West Side, if not

 

            6              the entire city.

 

            7                      The rental registration has been on

 

            8              the books since I believe July of 2007, and

 

            9              yet it has yet to be enforced.  That is

 

           10              something that could help the entire city.

 

           11                      Now, to a few other loose ends and

 

           12              items.  Last month Mayor Doherty committed

 

           13              -- excuse me, maybe it was December,

 

           14              committed $3 million to a Section 108 loan

 

           15              to Boscov's NUCO.  I believe city council is

 

           16              required to approve Section 108 loans, so I

 

           17              wonder when this loan will appear on the

 

           18              agenda.  Maybe this can be addressed in

 

           19              motions.

 

           20                      Last week at the school board

 

           21              meeting, Scranton Chamber's Austin Burke

 

           22              reported the city has given $225,000 for the

 

           23              Mt. Pleasant Corporate Center

 

           24              infrastructure.  I don't believe that items

 

           25              has come before council as yet either and I


 

 

                                                                      51

 

 

            1              would like to know when that might occur or

 

            2              when it occurred if I did miss it.  I

 

            3              believe it was two weeks ago that Mr. Burke

 

            4              made his stealthy visit to a council caucus

 

            5              regarding extending KOZ status for this

 

            6              project.  When will that be on the agenda?

 

            7                      And then just a few words on KOZ's

 

            8              and KOEZ's.  For instance, the Moon Shine

 

            9              Theatre has had KOZ status since the

 

           10              beginning.  They have had one production at

 

           11              this facility and they do not bother to show

 

           12              them their snow from their sidewalks.  I

 

           13              could go down the entire list of KOZ's and

 

           14              KOEZ's, but I hope that you are as deadset

 

           15              against approving any extensions for KOZ's

 

           16              as I am in opposing them.  There are many

 

           17              KOZ properties which have had nothing built

 

           18              on them, and would be eligible or over the

 

           19              ten-acre minimum and they would be eligible,

 

           20              and I don't know how you would say no to one

 

           21              or yes to one and then no to all the rest,

 

           22              so you are opening a Pandora's box if

 

           23              approve just one.  There are a lot of

 

           24              KOEZ's, as I say, such as the Moonshine

 

           25              Theatre which has had one single production,


 

 

                                                                      52

 

 

            1              don't keep the place up, and I'll be back

 

            2              next week, good Lord willing.  Thank you.

 

            3                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mrs.

 

            4              Schumacher.  Stephanie Gawel.

 

            5                      MS. GAWEL: Good evening, Council.

 

            6              First off, I'm a happy girl.  Steelers.  I

 

            7              got to kind of pickup, I never hang around

 

            8              after I speak, I have to get home, I

 

            9              couldn't believe what I heard last week

 

           10              finishing watching the meeting when I got

 

           11              home.  I can't believe we are going to have

 

           12              the mayor or any other untrained person

 

           13              manning the police and fire department.  I

 

           14              mean, that doesn't even make sense to me.

 

           15              We need the police and fire.  They are

 

           16              semi-military who serve the city with honor

 

           17              and sacrifice and courage.  We should be

 

           18              thankful that they are there, and we should

 

           19              thank god that they are there, which I do

 

           20              ever day by the way.  But, are they fighting

 

           21              this, do we know?

 

           22                      MS. FANUCCI: I think Mr. Gervasi

 

           23              could probably tell you better.  I'm not

 

           24              sure what their plans are.  I would imagine

 

           25              that they are going to Court with it.  I


 

 

                                                                      53

 

 

            1              would think since that's what their

 

            2              statements are in the paper and I'm sure

 

            3              that it's --

 

            4                      MS. GAWEL: Oh, it's just -- I

 

            5              appreciate Mrs. Williams' opinion, and like

 

            6              her I would love to talk about the good

 

            7              things of the city which are the

 

            8              architecture that we keep tearing down and,

 

            9              you know, that's sort of stuff, but we have

 

           10              issues that need to be settled.

 

           11                      The police and firemen are in more

 

           12              danger on a regular basis, especially

 

           13              nowadays with the drug houses and the drug

 

           14              dealers, the houses could blowup very easily

 

           15              from a Meth lab.  The policemen could get

 

           16              killed very easily with fully automatic

 

           17              weapons out there, so I just disagree with

 

           18              her a little bit.

 

           19                      I'd also like to get back to the

 

           20              safety issues that I was discussing.  Just

 

           21              could you humor me on this, Mr. Courtright,

 

           22              would you explain to everybody out there

 

           23              what a defibrillator does?

 

           24                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I don't know if I

 

           25              could give it justice, but it shocks the


 

 

                                                                      54

 

 

            1              heart.

 

            2                      MS. GAWEL:  Yes, it's a lifesaving

 

            3              device, would that --

 

            4                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yes, there is one

 

            5              right in the hall.

 

            6                      MS. GAWEL: Would that be fair to say

 

            7              though, it's a lifesaving device?

 

            8                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I would say, so,

 

            9              yes.

 

           10                      MS. GAWEL: And past practice is we

 

           11              had one in every police car.

 

           12                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Not every police

 

           13              car.  We had at least on each side of the

 

           14              river.

 

           15                      MS. GAWEL:  And they functioned?

 

           16                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.

 

           17                      MS. GAWEL: Do we have that now?

 

           18                      MR. COURTRIGHT: No.

 

           19                      MS. GAWEL: No.  Do we have oxygen in

 

           20              the cars?

 

           21                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Not to my

 

           22              knowledge, no.

 

           23                      MS. GAWEL:  Again, safety device?

 

           24                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.

 

           25                      MS. GAWEL: Okay.  Now, maybe it's


 

 

                                                                      55

 

 

            1              only my opinion, but I will --

 

            2                      MS. GATELLI: Excuse me for one

 

            3              minute, do we have ADD's in any fire trucks?

 

            4                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I'm sorry, I don't

 

            5              know the answer to that.  I don't believe we

 

            6              do, do we?  Does rescue have one?

 

            7                      MR. GERVASI:  We have some, I'm not

 

            8              sure how many are actually functioning right

 

            9              now.

 

           10                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  This is certainly a

 

           11              legitimate complaint.  We should have ADD's

 

           12              out there.  I just got trained in it not too

 

           13              long ago.  It's pretty simple.

 

           14                      MS. GAWEL:  Here is my point behind

 

           15              this, my point is that 99.9 percent of the

 

           16              time the cops are there first, they are

 

           17              trained to give the First Aid, they are

 

           18              usually going to beat the fire department

 

           19              there, they are going to beat any ambulances

 

           20              there because they are in the neighborhoods,

 

           21              they are going to get there first, they

 

           22              should have these.

 

           23                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  I agree with you,

 

           24              yes, and we did have them and why we don't

 

           25              have them now is --


 

 

                                                                      56

 

 

            1                      MS. GATELLI:  Can we find that out?

 

            2                      MR. COURTRIGHT: What happened is --

 

            3                      MS. GAWEL:  Go ahead.

 

            4                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I don't want to take

 

            5              your time.  What happened, we had them, the

 

            6              batteries either died and some of them were

 

            7              damaged and we never replaced them.  Some

 

            8              people would say that some of them were

 

            9              damaged purposely, I don't think we can

 

           10              prove that.  The batteries are -- I know,

 

           11              I'm just telling you what I was told, the

 

           12              batteries die and they are expensive and we

 

           13              didn't purchase any.

 

           14                      I believe there was a gentleman

 

           15              willing to donate one from a company, I'm

 

           16              not going to say his name on the air because

 

           17              it's somebody running for office and I will

 

           18              get yelled at, and I think we need them and

 

           19              I will ask Director Hayes why we don't have

 

           20              them in there and if he is going to do

 

           21              anything about putting them in there.

 

           22                      MS. GAWEL: Again, I'm sure you can

 

           23              get these things through grants or at least,

 

           24              you know.

 

           25                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Right.  I have no


 

 

                                                                      57

 

 

            1              good answer for you.  We should have them.

 

            2              I apologize.

 

            3                      MS. GAWEL: Thank you.  I would like

 

            4              to move onto something else.  I would also

 

            5              like to know when and where are we going to

 

            6              replace the Schmidt Complex?  I don't

 

            7              understand why this mayor could and did give

 

            8              away the complex.  It was dedicated to the

 

            9              Mayor Schmidt.  It was built for the

 

           10              children of the lower section of South Side

 

           11              and West Side.  Is it ever getting replaced?

 

           12              Okay.  I'm sorry, I didn't mean to --

 

           13                      MS. GATELLI:  I think it's still in

 

           14              litigation.  That's why nothing is done I

 

           15              don't think.  I think it's in litigation.

 

           16              Can you hear me?

 

           17                      MS. GAWEL: Yes.

 

           18                      MS. GATELLI: I'm sorry, I think the

 

           19              voice travels around there.

 

           20                      MS. GAWEL: I'd also like to know --

 

           21              okay, I'll get back to it.  Thank you.

 

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

 

           23              Dave Dobson.

 

           24                      MS. GATELLI: You know, before he

 

           25              comes up, Bob, I don't know if anyone is


 

 

                                                                      58

 

 

            1              interested, but maybe we can set up some ADD

 

            2              CPR lessons for people that come here.  I

 

            3              don't know if anybody in this room is

 

            4              certified, Bill and I are, I don't know how

 

            5              many else are, but it's a question with a

 

            6              lot of people here all of the time that

 

            7              people should be certified, so maybe if some

 

            8              of you are interested we can set something

 

            9              up one night a week or something, it only

 

           10              takes a few hours so.

 

           11                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Mr. McGoff almost

 

           12              gave me a heart attack with that gavel

 

           13              before.

 

           14                      MS. GATELLI:  Yeah, I think it's the

 

           15              first time he used it.  Anyway, if anyone is

 

           16              interested tell us after the meeting and

 

           17              maybe we could set up something for ADD

 

           18              training, I'm sorry, Mr. Dobson.

 

           19                      MR. DOBSON: That's okay.  Dave

 

           20              Dobson, resident of Scranton, associate with

 

           21              the Taxpayers' Association.  In listening to

 

           22              our Comcast caucus tonight, the thought

 

           23              occurred to me and something council could

 

           24              help out with, trying to get Channel 61 and

 

           25              62 finally settled on basic service.  You


 

 

                                                                      59

 

 

            1              have to have at least intermediate service

 

            2              to receive this and that already puts you at

 

            3              about --

 

            4                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Excuse me,

 

            5              Mr. Dobson, I asked that woman that question

 

            6              and she said that the package that would be

 

            7              coming up $16 would carry Channel 61.

 

            8              That's the question I asked her.

 

            9                      MR. DOBSON: That's not what is I was

 

           10              told.  They are trying to do it, but there

 

           11              has been other issues there.  That extra

 

           12              channel that they had to broadcast took up I

 

           13              think Channel 11 or something like that, so

 

           14              it was being announced that it was Channel

 

           15              11.  Well, it can't be 11 anymore, so they

 

           16              are working towards it, but it's something

 

           17              that you people could try and facilitate and

 

           18              expedite it would be a big help.  People

 

           19              wouldn't have to pay as much if they would

 

           20              just were interested in local programming.

 

           21                      On our president's stimulus plan, a

 

           22              thought occurred to me the other day and it

 

           23              was mentioned by another speaker here, sewer

 

           24              and water separation should be part of our

 

           25              shovel ready economic stimulus package


 

 

                                                                      60

 

 

            1              eligible for money and at over $100 million

 

            2              to separate these, the sewer and the

 

            3              drainage water, I think that would be a very

 

            4              meritorious cause to spend that money on and

 

            5              try an acquire money for 100 million

 

            6              dollars.  Every time somebody is up here

 

            7              they are complaining that we have a

 

            8              $100 million debt here or there, well, we

 

            9              are going to have over a 100,00 debt with

 

           10              that, and if that money comes down the pike

 

           11              it would be awful nice to see it spent on

 

           12              something that isn't going to -- the gift

 

           13              that keeps on giving as opposed to other

 

           14              things.

 

           15                      On this library, the one issue I

 

           16              have with it is that bus service does not,

 

           17              to the best of my knowledge, go by there.

 

           18              It would outrule handicapped people and

 

           19              people without cars.  It would also there

 

           20              are no -- in that section of town the

 

           21              sidewalks are not mobile wheelchair ready at

 

           22              all, so they would have to be made that way,

 

           23              but basically it would require you getting a

 

           24              transfer ticket and I think the nearest

 

           25              place you could hop off at would be Alder


 

 

                                                                      61

 

 

            1              Street and Pittston Avenue, so any

 

            2              consideration on that library location

 

            3              should be coordinated with the Colts bus

 

            4              company to get them to try and alter their

 

            5              routes and make it possible for people that

 

            6              lack transportation to come down.

 

            7                      And on these tax exempts, I had an

 

            8              idea the other day, possibly colleges and

 

            9              hospitals getting together with you people,

 

           10              I forget what the number of the bill was,

 

           11              Janet, do you still remember that?

 

           12                      MS. EVANS: I know what you are

 

           13              talking about.  I think that actually died

 

           14              in the last session.  It can't be brought up

 

           15              once again.  In other words, it wasn't

 

           16              addressed and so the legislative session

 

           17              ended and now if one of the legislators will

 

           18              sponsor it and --

 

           19                      MR. DOBSON: It will have a new

 

           20              number then.

 

           21                      MS. EVANS: -- pull the banner --

 

           22              that I'm not sure.

 

           23                      MR. DOBSON:  Because what we need is

 

           24              some of the people that are benefiting from

 

           25              this, well, of course, we all benefit from a


 

 

                                                                      62

 

 

            1              hospital or a college or whatever, but the

 

            2              benefits are limited.  We need somebody to

 

            3              get -- of these people to get together short

 

            4              of you people finally refusing to give them

 

            5              or let them go tax exempt, this block or

 

            6              that block and get our compensation for it,

 

            7              and I feel it's their duty to be a little

 

            8              more cooperative in lobbying these

 

            9              legislators to get these bills passed.

 

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

 

           11                      MR. DOBSON: It's involves their

 

           12              future as well as ours.  Thank you and have

 

           13              a good night.

 

           14                      MR. MCGOFF: David Bergerhoff.

 

           15                      MR. BERGERHOFF: Hello.  David

 

           16              Bergerhoff, North Scranton.  First of all, I

 

           17              would to like thank all of for your service.

 

           18              Although many citizens disagree with your

 

           19              politics and take umbrage with your lack of

 

           20              success, I don't think anybody out there

 

           21              intended this to turn out the way it has in

 

           22              many a weeks.

 

           23                      I'm not in your position and,

 

           24              therefore, I'm not going to pretend to know

 

           25              any better than anybody up there standing on


 

 

                                                                      63

 

 

            1              this side of the podium.  As Jefferson said,

 

            2              he who knows best knows he knows too little.

 

            3                      Some of you made statements a few

 

            4              weeks ago though, and that's what I'm here

 

            5              for tonight because with the election not

 

            6              too far off I wanted you to elaborate on

 

            7              those comments, and I hope you can be honest

 

            8              in the responses and you don't take this the

 

            9              wrong way because there is no other way for

 

           10              me to word these and I wish you would speak

 

           11              out after I concluded or when you wish to at

 

           12              the end of the meeting.

 

           13                      Mrs. Evans, you had stated that

 

           14              family comes first no matter what regardless

 

           15              of which job, even council.  Although, I

 

           16              appreciate your love of family I ask what

 

           17              family issues and how serious an issue need

 

           18              be before you neglect the council's duties

 

           19              and the public interest and, therefore, all

 

           20              our families.  After all, when by son gets

 

           21              sick I still have to go work and most of us

 

           22              still do.  Where did you draw the line and

 

           23              how do you justify the decision?

 

           24                      And, finally, it has been said that

 

           25              you are a grandstander.  I tend to agree.


 

 

                                                                      64

 

 

            1              After all, what success have you had in

 

            2              getting others to join you and vote with you

 

            3              sand how do you explain your inability to

 

            4              persuade your colleagues.  And it's not an

 

            5              insult, I'm sure you have a reason why they

 

            6              don't agree with you and I would love to

 

            7              hear your answer.

 

            8                      MS. GATELLI: Councilwoman Gatelli is

 

            9              not here, but I'm going to read this and

 

           10              then perhaps she will respond to it later.

 

           11              A few weeks ago she defended Zach Connors,

 

           12              and I hate to bring this back up, but she

 

           13              did chastise the citizens for their

 

           14              responses.  She then went on to create his

 

           15              biography and stated he deserved a chance.

 

           16              Does that mean she believed that no other

 

           17              candidates deserve the chance?  Does she

 

           18              really believe that this hire wasn't simply

 

           19              a political move to win favor with Jim

 

           20              Connors and his supporters for Mayor

 

           21              Doherty's reelection?  Does anybody up there

 

           22              truly believe that?

 

           23                      Finally, she talked about Zach's

 

           24              three years of college as a resume

 

           25              enhancement.  I would disagree and I believe


 

 

                                                                      65

 

 

            1              it's indication of one's inability to finish

 

            2              something that they had started.

 

            3                      Mr. McGoff, you're obviously not

 

            4              going to be up for reelection from what I

 

            5              hear, but that doesn't mean I agree you

 

            6              should be up there.  If Mayor Doherty had a

 

            7              large enough right pocket, I believe you

 

            8              would live there.  I don't trust you, but

 

            9              since you are council president I do have

 

           10              two questions directly related to city

 

           11              issues.  One, will Goodwill complete the

 

           12              work on the North Scranton eyesore, the

 

           13              middle school; and second, when will the

 

           14              city complete the work on the sewer system

 

           15              which as discontinued dumping raw sewage

 

           16              directly into the Lackawanna River, a place

 

           17              close to my home, close to my heart and just

 

           18              another victim of the city's bureaucracy.

 

           19                      Council Courtright, you seem like a

 

           20              nice guy.  The public seems to like you, my

 

           21              parents like you, you seem patient and

 

           22              friendly, you come across well on the

 

           23              television.  However, you throw your hands

 

           24              in the air without questioned about the lack

 

           25              of maintenance in public areas or in a lot


 

 

                                                                      66

 

 

            1              of areas just like this evening.  You

 

            2              laughed at the despicable conditions of the

 

            3              steps at city hall the night of the protest.

 

            4              It wasn't funny.  Yet you quickly jot down

 

            5              the name of private citizens and businesses

 

            6              so you can send enforcements to their homes.

 

            7              Where is that assertiveness when it comes to

 

            8              the public employees.  I do not believe, as

 

            9              you have stated yourself, that you have the

 

           10              ability and I don't believe you have the

 

           11              temperament to get those employees to do

 

           12              their jobs and, therefore, perhaps you don't

 

           13              have the possible capabilities of doing this

 

           14              job.

 

           15                      And, finally, Mrs. Fanucci, although

 

           16              I could not hear all of what's said

 

           17              regarding bartenders and hairdressers a

 

           18              couple of weeks ago, I inferred you are one

 

           19              or both, I'm not sure, but I believe are

 

           20              professions are worthy ones and I commend

 

           21              anyone for earning an honest living.

 

           22              However, I believe the point may have been

 

           23              that there are different levels of

 

           24              professional and codes of conducts for

 

           25              bartenders and hairdressers and that of


 

 

                                                                      67

 

 

            1              council persons.  You may be a good

 

            2              hairdresser, you may be a great bartender,

 

            3              God knows you serve up enough wine, but to

 

            4              be blunt, you are not a good council person.

 

            5              The citizens at home don't get to see the

 

            6              expressions of council to citizen's

 

            7              statements, but sitting here I do.  I saw

 

            8              the faces you made when it was suggested you

 

            9              may not be reelected.  It appeared you could

 

           10              care less, and I'm glad because I hope you

 

           11              will not be, and although I understand you

 

           12              were voted to this position, I remind you

 

           13              that just because one has many followers

 

           14              does not necessarily make them a good

 

           15              leader.  I apologize for my honesty, but not

 

           16              for speaking the truth, and although I do

 

           17              not need a response from you, Mrs. Fanucci,

 

           18              I can only be too sure you will have

 

           19              something to say.

 

           20                      One final note on that "F" word and

 

           21              freedom of speech, again, Gatelli is not

 

           22              here, I don't understand how the federal

 

           23              government has no authority over the way we

 

           24              speak and protected speech and yet you guys

 

           25              think you can pass rules that basically put


 

 

                                                                      68

 

 

            1              it that we can't say those words.  Now, I'm

 

            2              not trying to say those words and I would

 

            3              like to read it and I would like to see it

 

            4              brought in front of court if it ever became

 

            5              necessary, because I would like to see you

 

            6              arrest someone for it and see it really

 

            7              being prosecuted, because as I was shown,

 

            8              and I read a lot of stuff on the First

 

            9              Amendment, I'd have to question.  I didn't

 

           10              sign any documents besides putting my name

 

           11              on the list to speak here today, I don't see

 

           12              anything stating that I'm not legally bound

 

           13              to it or adhere to any rules besides the

 

           14              basic decorum, so therefore, I will -- I

 

           15              take some, you know, umbrage with the fact

 

           16              that she stated that that's not possible.

 

           17                      And I'd just like to end with

 

           18              something here, it's from Mother Theresa:

 

           19              People are often unreasonable, irrational,

 

           20              and self-centered; forgive them anyway.  If

 

           21              you are kind, people may accuse you of

 

           22              selfish, ulterior motives; be kind anyway.

 

           23              If you are successful, you will win some

 

           24              unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies;

 

           25              succeed anyway.  If you are honest and


 

 

                                                                      69

 

 

            1              sincere, people may deceive you; be honest

 

            2              and sincere anyway.  What you spend years

 

            3              creating, others could destroy overnight;

 

            4              create anyway.

 

            5                      MR. MCGOFF:  Thank you, Mr.

 

            6              Bergerhoff.

 

            7                      MR. BERGERHOFF:  Thank you.

 

            8                      MR. MCGOFF: And perhaps you should

 

            9              look at the concept of limited rights.

 

           10                      MR. BERGERHOFF: Pardon me?  I missed

 

           11              that, sir.

 

           12                      MR. MCGOFF: You can get on the

 

           13              replay.  Mr. Talimini.

 

           14                      MR. BERGERHOFF: Please repeat it.

 

           15              You spoke to me I missed that.

 

           16                      MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Talimini.

 

           17                      MR. BERGERHOFF: Repeat that, please.

 

           18                      MS. FANUCCI: I love the irony of him

 

           19              Mother Theresa.

 

           20                      MR. BERGERHOFF: Well, I love the

 

           21              irony of --

 

           22                      MR. MCGOFF: Excuse me,

 

           23              Mr. Bergerhoff.  Thank you.

 

           24                      MR. BEGERHOFF: She spoke and

 

           25              addressed me, I think I have a right --


 

 

                                                                      70

 

 

            1                      MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Talimini.

 

            2                      MS. FANUCCI: I'm not addressing you,

 

            3              I'm addressing the public.

 

            4                      MR. BERGERHOFF:  I'm not surprised

 

            5              by your statements, let me just put it that

 

            6              way.

 

            7                      MR. MCGOFF: Please.

 

            8                      MR. TALIMINI: Joe Talimini.  Tough

 

            9              act to follow.

 

           10                      MR. MCGOFF: Not really.

 

           11                      MR. TALIMINI: What can I say.  First

 

           12              of all, I'd like you to know a very

 

           13              important thing happened today on a call

 

           14              this morning, the passing of Mr. Miller

 

           15              Fuller, I don't know if any of you know who

 

           16              he is or not.  Mr. Fuller back in 1976 along

 

           17              with an interracial gentleman started

 

           18              Habitat for Humanity in Meritus, Georgia.

 

           19              Miller is four years younger than I am.  I

 

           20              know him and his wife Linda very well, and

 

           21              the sudden passage it's a terrible loss

 

           22              because I think Mr. Fuller was responsible

 

           23              for somewhere around 115,000 houses that

 

           24              Habitat for Humanity built, and it's

 

           25              paradoxil because he started in a little


 

 

                                                                      71

 

 

            1              church on Church Street in Meritus, Georgia,

 

            2              and that was his office to.  Mr. Miller was

 

            3              a multi -- well, he wasn't a

 

            4              multi-millionaire, he was a millionaire who

 

            5              gave all of his money away and described

 

            6              himself as a poor millionaire with a hammer

 

            7              and he accepted a $15,000 a year job which

 

            8              he carried for six years.  It's kind of a

 

            9              big loss.  I know a lot of people in this

 

           10              area don't know who he is, but people around

 

           11              the country know who he is and he was a

 

           12              very, very important man and he did an awful

 

           13              lot by helping homeless and helping people

 

           14              who couldn't afford to buy homes.

 

           15                      I'd like to ask a question of

 

           16              council, I hope somebody can come up with an

 

           17              answer, it doesn't have to be tonight, but

 

           18              I'd like to know how many KOZ's we've had in

 

           19              the past ten years, how many of them are

 

           20              still in existence and just what they were

 

           21              supposed to accomplish.

 

           22                      And secondly, I would like to know

 

           23              how many jobs, I'm talking about new jobs

 

           24              that were created by these KOZ's, I'm not

 

           25              talking about transferring from Department A


 

 

                                                                      72

 

 

            1              to Department B, from Building A to Building

 

            2              B, I'm talking about new jobs which the

 

            3              KOZ's are supposed to create, and I think it

 

            4              would be behoove Mr. Burke if he came back

 

            5              and he addressed this council publically and

 

            6              let the rest of the city know exactly what

 

            7              he has in mind because I think very, very

 

            8              seriously we do not need another KOZ in this

 

            9              town.  We need to clamp down on the ones we

 

           10              had, collect the money that's owed, I'm sure

 

           11              there is a lot of people out there that owe

 

           12              money on these KOZ's, and I recall one

 

           13              particular business last year that was

 

           14              mentioned as a KOZ and some of their tenants

 

           15              came up here and asked for loans and they

 

           16              were denied, but I think this is a

 

           17              tightening of the belts that we need to look

 

           18              at.

 

           19                      We talk about blight in this city,

 

           20              we talk about the buildings which are being

 

           21              demolished, and I'm not trying to make light

 

           22              of it, but I think we can save an awful lot

 

           23              of money if we can take all of these

 

           24              buildings which we are knocking down, make

 

           25              them into compost and fill the potholes we


 

 

                                                                      73

 

 

            1              have in the city we would save an awful lot

 

            2              of money, and I would like to see nothing

 

            3              better than DPW and Mayor Doherty out here

 

            4              with shovels filling these holes.  We got a

 

            5              big one on Prospect.  The street was closed

 

            6              down for quite while.  I think it's still

 

            7              closed down; am I right?

 

            8                      MS. FANUCCI: Yeah.

 

            9                      MR. TALIMINI: That's a pothole

 

           10              that's gigantic.  It's what, 25 feet deep

 

           11              and they are going to pour -- yeah, it's --

 

           12                      MS. GATELLI:  That's a mine

 

           13              subsidence.  That's a mine subsidence.

 

           14                      MR. TALIMINI: Yeah, well, we have an

 

           15              awful lot of mines subsidence, mines that

 

           16              are underneath us here and we've got these

 

           17              little subsidence beginning all over the

 

           18              city and nobody has done a damn thing about

 

           19              it.  I have been harping on this for two

 

           20              years and, I mean, you know, we could change

 

           21              the name from the Electric City to Pothole

 

           22              City because that's exactly what it is.  We

 

           23              have got more potholes than we have

 

           24              electricity in this city, and I would love

 

           25              to see something done about it.  Who knows,


 

 

                                                                      74

 

 

            1              maybe we can accomplish something in this

 

            2              town.  I doubt very much, but I would like

 

            3              to see it happen.

 

            4                      And again, I'd like to have the

 

            5              answer on those KOZ's.  Next week is a funny

 

            6              time.  Thank you very much.

 

            7                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Talimini.

 

            8              Jim Stucker.

 

            9                      MR. STUCKER: Over where you go up

 

           10              the avenue, there's a bar where you go up

 

           11              the alleyway that would much down on the

 

           12              ground, it's about that much down in the

 

           13              road in the alleyway, and somebody is going

 

           14              to twist their ankle and a lot people in

 

           15              that Tink's and coming out of the bank.  The

 

           16              state building and they park there and it

 

           17              says "No Parking" and they still park in the

 

           18              alley.  There is sign that says "No Parking

 

           19              Zone."  I think the girl should go around

 

           20              and give them tickets and they still park in

 

           21              the alley.

 

           22                      And I did a lot of walking today and

 

           23              there is no sidewalks never been shoveled

 

           24              and never been rock salted from Greenridge

 

           25              all the way down to the -- all the way down


 

 

                                                                      75

 

 

            1              to that -- where Jilly's building there,

 

            2              Jilly's sidewalk is clear, from there it

 

            3              hasn't been shoveled at all.

 

            4                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay, Jim, we'll

 

            5              look at it.

 

            6                      MR. STUCKER: And I have this little

 

            7              CD, I have a little thing on my answering

 

            8              machine and it says Courtright -- it said

 

            9              something about Courtright, Gary DiBileo is

 

           10              on the answering machine and he says they

 

           11              are supposed to get me a scooter and deliver

 

           12              the mail, tax forms.

 

           13                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I'm supposed to give

 

           14              you a scooter, Jim, is that you were saying?

 

           15                      MR. STUCKER:  Yeah.  Yeah.  Yeah.

 

           16              That's what they said.  I'm supposed to go

 

           17              and --

 

           18                      MR. MCGOFF: Jim, somebody is just

 

           19              playing tricks with you.

 

           20                      MR. STUCKER: No, it's on my

 

           21              answering machine.

 

           22                      MR. MCGOFF: I know, but somebody is

 

           23              just teasing you.

 

           24                      MR. STUCKER: I got an answering

 

           25              machine because --


 

 

                                                                      76

 

 

            1                      MR. MCGOFF: It's not true.

 

            2                      MR. STUCKER: I can bring it in and

 

            3              replay it.

 

            4                      MR. MCGOFF:  I know.  I'm sure that

 

            5              the message is there, but somebody is just

 

            6              place -- is just teasing you with those

 

            7              messages.

 

            8                      MR. STUCKER: Okay.  Right across the

 

            9              street from where I live some girl, it's not

 

           10              the girl's fault, there was a guy walking

 

           11              across the street and the girl hit him with

 

           12              a car.  He walked in front of the girl

 

           13              Saturday -- Saturday or Sunday, yeah.

 

           14                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay, Jim.

 

           15                      MR. STUCKER: And it's bad right

 

           16              there on the corner and they need a light

 

           17              there, a traffic light.

 

           18                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Okay.  We'll take a

 

           19              look at it, Jim.

 

           20                      MR. STUCKER:  The cars are really

 

           21              going fast.

 

           22                      MR. COURTRIGHT: All right.

 

           23                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.

 

           24                      MR. STUCKER: Yeah.

 

           25                      MR. MCGOFF: And be careful.  Don't


 

 

                                                                      77

 

 

            1              get stuck.

 

            2                      MR. STUCKER:  No.  That's the first

 

            3              time I got stuck.  Thank you.

 

            4                      MR. MCGOFF: Others speakers?  Anyone

 

            5              else?  Please.

 

            6                      MS. ROYCE: Hi.  Bernie Royce, West

 

            7              Side.  Regarding the mayor wanting to cut

 

            8              firefighters, I want to say that I'm beyond

 

            9              appalled that this administration continues

 

           10              to look at dollars ahead of lives and safety

 

           11              of the citizens of Scranton and the

 

           12              firefighters of Scranton.  Yes, I realize

 

           13              that the city faces economic decisions

 

           14              mostly due to city hall's incompetence.

 

           15              However, if Mayor Doherty's only

 

           16              consideration for cutting firefighters is

 

           17              financial and, once again, the mayor's

 

           18              decision is shortsided.

 

           19                      In 1994 there was a landmark study

 

           20              by J. Curtis Barone concerning fire

 

           21              department staffing.  It indicated that

 

           22              four-man engines will pay for themselves

 

           23              with the savings from injury reduction of

 

           24              firefighters.  The four-man staffings lead

 

           25              to quote: A 23.8 percent reduction in


 

 

                                                                      78

 

 

            1              injuries, a 25 percent reduction in time

 

            2              lost injuries, and a 71 percent decrease in

 

            3              time loss due to injury when compared to

 

            4              three-person staffing.

 

            5                      These are significant decreases that

 

            6              should be considered with the average

 

            7              firefighter overexertion injury and costing

 

            8              $10,000.  Obviously, when we are dealing

 

            9              with the economics of Scranton this is

 

           10              something that we need to consider.

 

           11                      When you are dealing with

 

           12              firefighter injuries in general, the

 

           13              National Institute of Standards and

 

           14              Technology averaged that annually

 

           15              firefighter injuries cost 2.7 billion to 7.8

 

           16              billion estimate.  That's for 80,000

 

           17              firefighters injured every year.

 

           18                      Obviously, I'm not going to tell you

 

           19              that we need to take care of firefighters

 

           20              for injuries from an ethical point of view.

 

           21              If the mayor does not want to take care of

 

           22              his firefighters certainly because it is the

 

           23              ethical thing to do, then perhaps he needs

 

           24              to consider that it is the economic thing to

 

           25              do, and cutting firefighters staffing is not


 

 

                                                                      79

 

 

            1              the economic smart thing to do.  Thank you

 

            2              very much.

 

            3                      MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else?

 

            4              Mr. Ellman?

 

            5                      MR. ELLMAN:  Ronnie Ellman,

 

            6              homeowner and member of the taxpayers.  I

 

            7              think all we need to tonight was Ray Lyman

 

            8              and Phyllis and we would have had a full

 

            9              house.  These are notes, I won't be here but

 

           10              15 or 20 minutes or so.  This article that

 

           11              was in the paper that be Mr. Boscov made

 

           12              $26 million last month in December, this is

 

           13              unbelievable.  I think Donald Trump would be

 

           14              up here studying him.  In the car business

 

           15              it's known as working a pencil like when you

 

           16              get your trade-in and they say you are

 

           17              getting thousands and you are not.

 

           18                      I have talked to some business

 

           19              people Saturday and they said it's an

 

           20              impossibility that, you know, he just worked

 

           21              a pencil or something, but if he -- let's

 

           22              just assume he did.  Let him just forget

 

           23              about the three million dollars and let's

 

           24              use it for the city where it's supposed to

 

           25              be.


 

 

                                                                      80

 

 

            1                      And my next attack, my next attack

 

            2              would be that this pompous Austin Burke.  He

 

            3              is just a big stuffed overpaid shirt and

 

            4              it's ashame.  It's just ashame --

 

            5                      MR. MCGOFF:  Please no name calling.

 

            6                      MR. ELLMAN: Do you know how much

 

            7              money Austin Burke gets?  His salary is over

 

            8              $200,000 plus his benefits and he gets a car

 

            9              and he gets -- he belongs to the country

 

           10              club all at taxpayers' expense.  Yeah, how

 

           11              many people out here go to the country club

 

           12              and have a car and gasoline and insurance

 

           13              and what has he given this city?  Now he

 

           14              wants to extend KOZ's seven more years?

 

           15              This asinine.  There is no excuse for it.

 

           16                      KOZ's have killed the city.  They

 

           17              are killing us.  You know, every time -- I

 

           18              have said it before, every time I go down

 

           19              Keyser Avenue to Taylor, I go once a week to

 

           20              take Ms. Rosie to the doctor in Taylor, I go

 

           21              pass the 150 houses.  They got so many kids

 

           22              we need to build a school for them, you

 

           23              know, let them -- when I was in Missouri

 

           24              they had a volunteer fire department and

 

           25              they put a little number on the telephone


 

 

                                                                      81

 

 

            1              pole and you'd have to belong to them or

 

            2              they are not too enthusiastic about coming

 

            3              for your house for fire if you are not a

 

            4              member.

 

            5                      Let these KOZ places, you know, we

 

            6              got a bunch of bars and restaurants, let

 

            7              them pay for the police.  They are not

 

            8              paying taxes get them another way.  Let them

 

            9              pay for fire protection and sidewalks and

 

           10              streetlights.

 

           11                      I listened to these guys come in

 

           12              here and whining about basins out there,

 

           13              that ought to be the people that built the

 

           14              houses ought to be worrying about it, you

 

           15              know, not the city doing all of this.  It's

 

           16              just not right.

 

           17                      You know, getting back to

 

           18              Mr. Boscov, last week Ms. Rosie wanted a new

 

           19              coffee pot, she wanted percolator so we went

 

           20              to Boscov's and they are 30 and 40 dollars

 

           21              for those Mr. Coffee kind of things, you

 

           22              know, and we went over to the Dollar Store

 

           23              and bought one for $10.  That's right, the

 

           24              Dollar Store at Keyser Oak they are $10 over

 

           25              there, Mr. Coffee, with a drip down, but I


 

 

                                                                      82

 

 

            1              talked to two men and woman that were

 

            2              salespeople and all three of them are

 

            3              looking for jobs and all three of them told

 

            4              me they can see the handwriting on the wall.

 

            5              They are not doing the business and they are

 

            6              not going to make it, you know, for people

 

            7              to think they are going to have a career

 

            8              there.  I don't know.

 

            9                      To me, our esteemed mayor the motto

 

           10              for Scranton ought to be, you know, the rich

 

           11              get richer off the taxpayers' expense and we

 

           12              don't need bumper stickers saying that, but

 

           13              I think Mr. Doherty's legacy is going to be

 

           14              that he got a $200 million debt that would

 

           15              be here for 30 or 40 years, when Doug Miller

 

           16              wants to run 10 or 20 years from now he will

 

           17              still be fighting with it if he gets to be

 

           18              the mayor, you know, his children will

 

           19              probably be fighting with the debt that

 

           20              Doherty has put us in.

 

           21                      His legacy is not going to be no

 

           22              medical school, his legacy is going to be

 

           23              that he was a complete failure as a mayor

 

           24              and a failure to the people of this city.

 

           25              Thank you.


 

 

                                                                      83

 

 

            1                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Ellman.

 

            2                      MR. GERVASI:  Hi.  Good evening,

 

            3              City Council.  I'll be brief.  I want to

 

            4              thank this young lady who come up and spoke

 

            5              earlier.  I finally met her.  I have heard

 

            6              all about it her, I have never actually met

 

            7              her, a brilliant woman, and I think what she

 

            8              says you should pay attention.

 

            9                      Just a few things that were said

 

           10              here tonight about ADD's.  We do -- the fire

 

           11              department does have ADD's on board, both

 

           12              truck companies, Car 21, the assistant

 

           13              chief's car and rescue, so we do have ADD's.

 

           14              They are very important.  Actually, for

 

           15              every minute that goes by when you need to

 

           16              be defibrillated there is a 10 percent

 

           17              chance or mortality as each minute goes by,

 

           18              so it is very important and, Mrs. Gatelli,

 

           19              if you are worrying about anyone having a

 

           20              problem here right now down the hall there

 

           21              is always eight emergency medical

 

           22              technicians on duty so we could be here

 

           23              immediately with just a quick phone call, so

 

           24              if you really did want to get CPR trained

 

           25              some of our guys are CPR instructors.  I'm


 

 

                                                                      84

 

 

            1              not sure if they do it through Red Cross

 

            2              anymore.  I haven't been an CPR instructor

 

            3              since 1988 or '89 when the ambulance went

 

            4              out of business, but we do have instructors

 

            5              and we would be happy to instruct anybody if

 

            6              they would like to get certified in CPR.

 

            7                      And one more comment I would like to

 

            8              make, I mean, usually every week there is

 

            9              someone talking about safety or something, I

 

           10              would be happy to sit here, but it's not

 

           11              exactly my place.  As you see, you know, the

 

           12              city want to have sole discretion over

 

           13              everything in our department, apparently we

 

           14              are not going to be getting involved in too

 

           15              many things anymore because we never had

 

           16              control, but at least we were allowed at

 

           17              times when they messed something up to

 

           18              correct it, but, you know, I think they are

 

           19              just going to be calling the shots from this

 

           20              point on.  But the point I'm trying to make

 

           21              is we have a chief that just got a $13,000

 

           22              last year, maybe you should have him here

 

           23              periodically to answer questions, you know?

 

           24              Where is ADD's and things like safety

 

           25              questions, so that's all.  Thank you.


 

 

                                                                      85

 

 

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

 

            2                      MR. UNGVARSKY: Good evening, City

 

            3              Council.  I'm Tom Ungvarsky.  I understand

 

            4              stand that ECTV is not showing this live

 

            5              tonight.  It's going to be rebroadcast a

 

            6              half hour after you adjourn.  Mr.

 

            7              Courtright, you asked several weeks ago if

 

            8              they could show it in prime time a few more

 

            9              times than what they are.  They have managed

 

           10              to show quite a few other shows that really

 

           11              aren't of that much interest, but they only

 

           12              show ours or shows this three times I

 

           13              believe it is a week.  Have you got any

 

           14              reply as to whether they would show it in

 

           15              prime time?

 

           16                      MR. COURTRIGHT: No.  What they told

 

           17              me they are going to do, and I believe they

 

           18              have done, I had asked to have it on at

 

           19              least once each what would be considered

 

           20              shift, like, first shift, second and third

 

           21              so that people that were working, and they

 

           22              complied with that and they did it on

 

           23              Saturday and Sunday.  I don't think you are

 

           24              going do any more than that.  I could ask

 

           25              again.


 

 

                                                                      86

 

 

            1                      MR. UNGVARSKY: Well, Saturdays --

 

            2              I'm sorry.

 

            3                      MR. COURTRIGHT: They run it on

 

            4              Saturday with all of the other meetings and

 

            5              run it again on Sunday, but I understand you

 

            6              are looking for prime time, right?  I'll ask

 

            7              again.

 

            8                      MR. UNGVARSKY: I would appreciate

 

            9              that.  Mr. McGoff, several weeks ago I asked

 

           10              you about EC -- I'm sorry, Seacoast, LLC,

 

           11              and you are going to get an answer for me.

 

           12              That was the fourth time that I have asked.

 

           13              I have asked for the last year about once

 

           14              each quarter about it, and I haven't been

 

           15              able to get an answer as to what happened to

 

           16              the $70,00 that was appropriated for

 

           17              Seacoast, LLC.  Did you find out yet?

 

           18                      MR. MCGOFF: I did tell you that I

 

           19              had asked that question and was given an

 

           20              answer that they are in -- they had an

 

           21              office --

 

           22                      MR. UNGVARSKY: Well, I haven't found

 

           23              an office.

 

           24                      MR. MCGOFF: And the time between

 

           25              when I got the answer and when I actually


 

 

                                                                      87

 

 

            1              saw you to give you the answer I do admit

 

            2              that I forgot what exactly that building it

 

            3              was in.  I will make that request again and

 

            4              find the information.  As far as the last I

 

            5              knew they had an office and were --

 

            6                      MR. UNGVARSY: Well, I haven't found

 

            7              a listing for them and more than that I'm

 

            8              really interested to see what happened to

 

            9              the $70,000.  Did we spend it?  Is it in the

 

           10              bank account somewhere?  Did we give it to

 

           11              them?  I'm more interested in where that --

 

           12              because they are not going to locate here.

 

           13              I haven't found a listing for them and when

 

           14              I looked them up on the Internet there is no

 

           15              mention of Scranton and their coming here,

 

           16              so I would appreciate if you would look that

 

           17              up for me, please.

 

           18                      MR. MCGOFF: Yes.

 

           19                      MS. KRAKE: Good evening, Council.

 

           20              My name is Nancy Krake, and first of all I

 

           21              would like to tell everyone that the

 

           22              delinquent city real estate taxes are still

 

           23              in the Treasurer's Office until April 1.  If

 

           24              you are able to pay them you will avoid the

 

           25              25 percent that Northeast Credit is allowed


 

 

                                                                      88

 

 

            1              to charge, which does not go to the city, it

 

            2              just stays with them.  I have many --

 

            3                      MS. GATELLI: Nancy, before you

 

            4              start, do they throw the receipt book away?

 

            5                      MS. KRAKE: Oh, I'm sorry.  I forget

 

            6              to say that, pardon me.  I talked to

 

            7              Mr. Redmond, no, we don't show the receipt

 

            8              books away, but the reality is it's very

 

            9              difficult to look them, especially now when

 

           10              it's busy.  As you can imagine, everyone

 

           11              pays at once.  If you don't know the date

 

           12              you paid or to whom you paid you are looking

 

           13              through perhaps 10 or 15 books, which we

 

           14              will do, but we need to set time aside and a

 

           15              quiet time.  Mr. Redmond -- Lee did tell me

 

           16              that he found his receipts so he is fine, he

 

           17              is not anxious, but the curious is thing is

 

           18              what NCC does when you have multiple

 

           19              properties and they pay they will apply it

 

           20              to the wrong property, we have seen this

 

           21              many times.  It's a common error, so in his

 

           22              case owning several properties I'm sure

 

           23              that's what happened.  He did, indeed, pay

 

           24              but it wasn't showing up on the correct

 

           25              property.  When we research it I'm sure we


 

 

                                                                      89

 

 

            1              will find that.

 

            2                      MS. GATELLI: And I have one more

 

            3              question, can I, Mr. McGoff?

 

            4                      MR. MCGOFF: Please.

 

            5                      MS. GATELLI: Before she starts her

 

            6              time, she didn't even start yet.  If someone

 

            7              didn't pay their taxes --

 

            8                      MS. KRAKE: Now, are you talking

 

            9              about their delinquent real estate tax?

 

           10                      MS. GATELLI:  Yes, and delinquent

 

           11              garbage tax.

 

           12                      MS. KRAKE: Okay, garbage is not a

 

           13              tax, it's a fee.

 

           14                      MS. GATELLI: Well, a fee.

 

           15                      MS. KRAKE: Okay.

 

           16                      MS. GATELLI:  Do you have a record

 

           17              of that in the Treasure's Office?

 

           18                      MS. KRAKE: What we do, what we see,

 

           19              let me see it this way, what happens when

 

           20              the city and what happens with NCC.  We

 

           21              never quote an NCC payoff because there is

 

           22              always additional fees that just accrue

 

           23              constantly, so to be correct for search to a

 

           24              lawyer we do not quote a fee, we recommend

 

           25              they call NCC.  However, to give someone a


 

 

                                                                      90

 

 

            1              generalization we will do that.

 

            2                      MS. GATELLI:  And is it public

 

            3              record if someone, like someone's taxes if

 

            4              they haven't paid them is that a public

 

            5              record?

 

            6                      MS. KRAKE: Yes, it's all public

 

            7              record.

 

            8                      MS. GATELLI: So I can come there and

 

            9              ask if you paid your taxes last year?

 

           10                      MS. KRAKE: Yes, you may.

 

           11                      MS. GATELLI:  And back to 2000.

 

           12                      MS. KRAKE:  Back to 1898.

 

           13                      MS. GATELLI: Okay.

 

           14                      MS. KRAKE:  Yep.  Absolutely.

 

           15                      MS. GATELLI: Thank you.

 

           16                      MS. KRAKE: You are welcome.  Thank

 

           17              you.  Actually though, there were many, many

 

           18              inconsistencies that council members

 

           19              presented as facts in your reason for not

 

           20              voting to amend the resolution that Mrs.

 

           21              Evans recommended you amend.  I'm sorry you

 

           22              treated them as facts, they are not.  I will

 

           23              try to give you to the best of my ability

 

           24              what I know to be true.

 

           25                      City delinquencies for 2006 were 1.7


 

 

                                                                      91

 

 

            1              million plus; 2007, 1.9 million plus; 2008,

 

            2              2,081,000 which is not what Mrs. Fanucci

 

            3              apparently had been told.  She said they are

 

            4              going down when, in fact, they have gone up.

 

            5                      And what I would like to ask you

 

            6              right now is that if you would please supply

 

            7              us with the total collections or

 

            8              disbursements to the city for wage tax for

 

            9              the last two years.  I have very good reason

 

           10              for asking this question, so I hope we would

 

           11              be able to have those answers at next week's

 

           12              meeting.  We can see from --

 

           13                      MS. GATELLI: Would you repeat that?

 

           14                      MS. KRAKE: Yes.  The total

 

           15              collections or disbursements to the city for

 

           16              wage tax for the last two years.

 

           17                      MS. GATELLI:  7 and 8, 2007 and 8?

 

           18                      MS. KRAKE: Yes.  Now, if that's what

 

           19              Mrs. Fanucci was referring to, those numbers

 

           20              have gone up, they have gone up dramatically

 

           21              since the FBI was investigating the Single

 

           22              Tax Office.

 

           23                      MS. GATELLI:  Yes, they have.

 

           24                      MS. KRAKE: People have come in

 

           25              droves to pay their current year wage, not


 

 

                                                                      92

 

 

            1              their delinquent real estate, so those

 

            2              penalties you may have been assuming the

 

            3              money was effecting that did not.

 

            4                      And, Mr. McGoff, when you said it's

 

            5              punitive, it's hardly punitive and it's not,

 

            6              unfortunately, dependent on people that are

 

            7              slum landlords.  All of that is untrue.  I

 

            8              could go tax by tax by tax and give you a

 

            9              comparison, but what I know working there I

 

           10              know those things to not be true.

 

           11                      For instance, you also said they

 

           12              have only applied one of those penalties, I

 

           13              have a tax bill here, they applied $75 lien

 

           14              fee, $480 for opening the file and issue of

 

           15              legal demand letter.  We had children in the

 

           16              summer who wrote those out under my

 

           17              direction for free.  Preparing and filing of

 

           18              liens, that's my job and the City

 

           19              Treasurer's job, $525.  This is $1,087 that

 

           20              the person was forced to pay on a face value

 

           21              tax of $246.  None of this went into the

 

           22              city.  It's not bringing any money to us and

 

           23              it's certainly not stopping people from

 

           24              being delinquent as you can see by the

 

           25              figures.


 

 

                                                                      93

 

 

            1                      I'm sorry that people aren't telling

 

            2              you the right things and I hope in the

 

            3              future you will look to amend that.  I think

 

            4              it's very, very important to do so only

 

            5              because it's the right thing to do for

 

            6              people.  They are suffering in these times.

 

            7                      I had much more to say, but I will

 

            8              continue to address all of the other things

 

            9              you missed last time, but I do have one

 

           10              thing I would like to say, with all of the

 

           11              Court cases and awards that have been coming

 

           12              down, I truly want to know why is it so

 

           13              difficult to fairly compensate our police

 

           14              and firefighters?  These are the men and

 

           15              women who carry our greatest burden for us.

 

           16              Thank you.

 

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

 

           18                      MR. ANCHERANI: Good evening.  Nelson

 

           19              Ancherani, First Amendment Rights.

 

           20              Yesterday, 2009, an arbitrator handed down

 

           21              an opinion on the police 2008/2004 contract.

 

           22              It mirrors the fire arbitration award that

 

           23              came down an item of months ago.  Strange

 

           24              though, not a word from the slimes.  Not one

 

           25              word.  It's my belief that the slimes will


 

 

                                                                      94

 

 

            1              print it now because they are been scooped

 

            2              by the council speakers.  The slimes are

 

            3              professional newscasters, newspaper people

 

            4              and they were scoped by council speakers who

 

            5              so aptly named the Legion of Doom.

 

            6                      I believe they don't want it out

 

            7              because they want they don't want the

 

            8              administration embarrassed.  If this was the

 

            9              Connors' administration their attempt to

 

           10              embarrass him would be horrendous, but

 

           11              that's my opinion.

 

           12                      Well, the opinion is it out and the

 

           13              city does not win this one.  Granted, the

 

           14              city will appeal, but the arbitrators did

 

           15              not violated the Recovery Plan like the

 

           16              mayor did with his 20 million new hires and

 

           17              raises.  As for the unanimous decision by

 

           18              the seven judges in the city apparently

 

           19              along with the slimes calling it a victory,

 

           20              as I said before, it's not over until the

 

           21              fat lady sings, I'm sorry, obese lady sings.

 

           22                      Back to the arbitration award, the

 

           23              city was represented by Attorney Tim Reilly,

 

           24              apparently he didn't like the award so he

 

           25              wrote a ten-page dissent.  On the previous


 

 

                                                                      95

 

 

            1              arbitrator's award for 2003 to 2007 that is

 

            2              in the Courts, he wrote a two-page

 

            3              dissention, but he wrote partly, "On behalf

 

            4              of the City of Scranton, I'm compelled to

 

            5              dissent from the interest arbitration award

 

            6              issued by arbitrators Edward J. O'Connell

 

            7              and Thomas W. Jennings, Esquire.  The

 

            8              majority of our panel has advocated the

 

            9              responsibility at arbitrators, has ignored

 

           10              existing case law, including the

 

           11              Municipalities Financial Recovery Act," a

 

           12              bunch of numbers, "Act 47, the controlling

 

           13              order of the Court of Common Pleas of

 

           14              Lackawanna County dated January 15, 2008,

 

           15              the Court order, and the current economic

 

           16              condition of the financially distressed City

 

           17              of Scranton."

 

           18                      My question to him is where did they

 

           19              advocate their responsibility?  He also

 

           20              said, "The City of Scranton has been

 

           21              operating under a revised financial Recovery

 

           22              Plan since May 2002.  The proposed award is

 

           23              blatantly inconsistent and violates the

 

           24              Recovery Plan that was adopted by the City

 

           25              pursuant to Act 47.  Furthermore, the award


 

 

                                                                      96

 

 

            1              illegal ignores the Court order that

 

            2              expressly directed this panel to comply with

 

            3              the Recovery Plan."

 

            4                      What about the mayor violating the

 

            5              Recovery Plan and now it's to the tune of

 

            6              approximately 20 million cumulatively since

 

            7              2002 through 2009?  The attorney for the

 

            8              city against the firefighters, Ken Jaron,

 

            9              has submitted bills for $259,000.  The

 

           10              attorney for the city against the police

 

           11              O'Reilly's bill has to be at least the same

 

           12              or if I was a betting person I would bet

 

           13              it's much higher.

 

           14                      What I noticed during the hold

 

           15              dissent by Reilly, which is 10 pages, he

 

           16              never once mentioned that the city violated

 

           17              the revised Recovery Plan that he referred

 

           18              to to the tune of that approximately

 

           19              $20 million.  Thank you.

 

           20                      MR. MCGOFF: No other speakers?  Mrs.

 

           21              Evans?

 

           22                      MS. EVANS: Thank you.  Good evening.

 

           23              The Administration Code of the City, Article

 

           24              III, Section 302-A, requires that the mayor

 

           25              shall annually report to the council and the


 

 

                                                                      97

 

 

            1              public on the work of the previous year and

 

            2              on the condition and requirements of the

 

            3              city government.  Unfortunately, this has

 

            4              never occurred since Mr. Doherty became

 

            5              mayor, rather, he prefers to report to the

 

            6              business community at the Chamber of

 

            7              Commerce during daytime working hours.

 

            8                      In his eight years as mayor, I hope

 

            9              that this year for the first time he chooses

 

           10              to follow the Administrative Code and report

 

           11              to council and the citizens.  I offer

 

           12              council chambers on any evening at 7:00.  I

 

           13              believe the people would like to see and

 

           14              hear their mayor beyond newspaper quotes and

 

           15              photos and TV commercials.  They have

 

           16              questions and problems that only the mayor

 

           17              can address.

 

           18                      The financial state of the city is

 

           19              in critical condition.  Long-term Doherty

 

           20              debt is $237,340,228 or over a quarter of a

 

           21              billion dollars which will not be paid in

 

           22              full until the year 2039.  This figure does

 

           23              not even include the over $12 million

 

           24              borrowed in 2008 by the city and the Parking

 

           25              Authority.


 

 

                                                                      98

 

 

            1                      In 2009, taxpayers must decide

 

            2              whether to continue to increase the debt or

 

            3              whether to stop the borrowing and spending

 

            4              and pay down this debt.  Over $273,000,000

 

            5              in long-term debt and over $159,000,000 in

 

            6              principle debt.  These are facts contained

 

            7              in the 2007 audit.  They cannot be twisted

 

            8              or spun or disputed.  In fact, since 2006

 

            9              this council majority has helped the mayor

 

           10              to increase the borrowing and debt while at

 

           11              the same time it approved a 25.6 percent tax

 

           12              increase.  These are facts and apologists

 

           13              cannot excuse them away.  They are public

 

           14              record.

 

           15                      In addition, the auditing firm

 

           16              forwarded on January 28, 2009, a timeline

 

           17              and list of required information to

 

           18              Mr. Renda, city business administrator, in

 

           19              order to issue the 2008 audit by May 31,

 

           20              2009.  And so the 2008 audit has begun.

 

           21                      On tonight's agenda Item 7-A appears

 

           22              for final approval.  It authorizes revision

 

           23              of the existing traffic signal along 7th

 

           24              Avenue and Providence Road at the

 

           25              intersection with Munchak Way and Olive


 

 

                                                                      99

 

 

            1              Street, etcetera.  The Ice Box wishes to

 

            2              construct a bank and possibly a Turkey Hill

 

            3              store on the front area of it's property.

 

            4              As a result, a second traffic light would be

 

            5              installed approximately 100 yards from the

 

            6              existing light on Providence Road to help

 

            7              with access and exit of a new driveway on

 

            8              Providence Road for the Ice Box.  Vehicles

 

            9              will no longer be allowed to cross in front

 

           10              of traffic on Olive Street when traveling

 

           11              toward Capouse Avenue, but can continue to

 

           12              enter as well as exit the off Olive Street

 

           13              driveway if heading towards 7th Avenue or

 

           14              Providence Road.

 

           15                      This stretch of road is dangerously

 

           16              congested every day during the opening and

 

           17              closing of Scranton High School.  Before and

 

           18              after those times there is little traffic.

 

           19              Scranton High School houses well over 2000

 

           20              students, faculty, staff, and

 

           21              administrators.  The vehicular and

 

           22              pedestrian traffic is already unsafe.  There

 

           23              are many young drivers entering and exiting

 

           24              the high school and many students who walk

 

           25              or meet their parents for rides in the


 

 

                                                                     100

 

 

            1              immediate vicinity.  Teens often dart across

 

            2              Providence Road towards their friends or

 

            3              their rides and the frustration of drivers

 

            4              is already unusually high.  The legislation

 

            5              would enable three traffic lights in the

 

            6              distance from Scranton High School to just

 

            7              past the Glider Diner.

 

            8                      Further, I have consulted with

 

            9              school officials and police officers

 

           10              regarding the Ice Box proposals and all were

 

           11              adamantly opposed.  The additional traffic

 

           12              light and driveway will create even greater

 

           13              problems than are currently experienced.  I

 

           14              cannot jeopardize the safety of students and

 

           15              parents of the Scranton High School

 

           16              community in this way.

 

           17                      And, in addition, the Ice Box owner

 

           18              still have not paid the city the $600,000

 

           19              for the land vacated by the old DPW.  As

 

           20              they look to expand and continue to enjoy a

 

           21              KOZ, their lack of payment is shameful.

 

           22              Thus, I will not be approving this

 

           23              legislation.

 

           24                      I was also appalled to learn about

 

           25              the sewage problem on North Garfield Avenue.


 

 

                                                                     101

 

 

            1              It seems the good news is that the house has

 

            2              been condemned and, consequently, all

 

            3              utilities would be shut off.  Also, the

 

            4              frozen sewage was removed by the Sewer

 

            5              Authority and was taken to it's plant

 

            6              according to Mr. Brazil.

 

            7                      Council did not receive a copy of a

 

            8              report to NEPA containing proposed projects

 

            9              for inclusion in the stimulus package.

 

           10              Mr. Brazil stated that the mayor is handling

 

           11              anything to do with the stimulus program,

 

           12              and tonight I learned from one of the

 

           13              council speakers that the mayor's focus

 

           14              appears to be the new South Side library,

 

           15              but I have seen too many problems in the

 

           16              last five years in all of the neighborhoods

 

           17              across this city and the answer has always

 

           18              been, "We can't do it, it's too expensive

 

           19              for the city to undertake, there is too much

 

           20              red tape and paperwork involved."

 

           21                      And so many of these problems

 

           22              addressed and these are road problems,

 

           23              infrastructure problems, and water and

 

           24              sewage problems and I believe that my

 

           25              colleagues and I should provide a list with


 

 

                                                                     102

 

 

            1              road infrastructure and water sewer projects

 

            2              to Mrs. Garvey so that a council list of

 

            3              proposed projects can be submitted to the

 

            4              mayor as soon as possible, and I would

 

            5              encourage city residents with serious road

 

            6              infrastructure, water or sewer problems, to

 

            7              write or call the mayor's office and insist

 

            8              on using an available funds from the

 

            9              stimulus package to be used in our city

 

           10              neighborhoods to address these long-standing

 

           11              problems, not to be used on an issue that

 

           12              was decided only by the mayor.

 

           13                      I also have citizens' requests for

 

           14              the week.  Oh, but, before that, I'm sorry,

 

           15              there is something else I wanted to report

 

           16              on.  Council did receive an update from

 

           17              Goodwill Industries regarding the North

 

           18              Scranton Junior High School project, and I'd

 

           19              like to read that letter to you since so

 

           20              many citizens in the last year or two have

 

           21              inquired about the progress of that

 

           22              location.  "Goodwill Industries and Pennrose

 

           23              Properties have formed a partnership, North

 

           24              Scranton Partnership, to acquire and develop

 

           25              the building.  The primary focus of the


 

 

                                                                     103

 

 

            1              development efforts are to stabilize the

 

            2              building, return the exterior to it's former

 

            3              elegance, and to rehabilitate the auditorium

 

            4              as the first phase of this development.  The

 

            5              stabilization of the building includes

 

            6              replacement of the windows, an elevator

 

            7              shaft, and elevator canopy, electrical work

 

            8              and finishes.

 

            9                      The remediation of all unsafe and

 

           10              environmental conditions including the

 

           11              removal asbestos installation, asbestos

 

           12              floor tiles, asbestos caulking, lead painted

 

           13              windows, lead painted walls, PCV light

 

           14              ballasts and miscellaneous chemicals, drums,

 

           15              paints and inks was already completed.

 

           16                      The partnership endeavors to close

 

           17              on the remaining construction and permanent

 

           18              financing for this phase of the development,

 

           19              the rehabilitation of the auditorium of the

 

           20              bidding into a multiuse performance space.

 

           21              This will include a 500 seat theatre space

 

           22              with backhouse space necessary for the

 

           23              production and staging of theatrical and

 

           24              musical performances.

 

           25                      To this end, we have requested the


 

 

                                                                     104

 

 

            1              first draw of funds from the Commonwealth's

 

            2              Commitment of Redevelopment Assistance

 

            3              Capital Program Funds.  Once the state has

 

            4              released these funds, we will be able to

 

            5              finalize the design with architects and

 

            6              complete construction.

 

            7                      The state is reviewing the drawdown

 

            8              submission and confirming the matching funds

 

            9              provided for this project.  Specifically,

 

           10              reviewing the value of the school as the

 

           11              match and we anxiously await their response

 

           12              to our request.

 

           13                      In addition to drawing down RACP

 

           14              funds, we are finalizing our agreements with

 

           15              other funders for this project.  PNC has

 

           16              committed to act as the construction lender

 

           17              and purchaser of the historic tax credits

 

           18              for the project.  We are eager to proceed to

 

           19              closing with PNC on these funding sources.

 

           20              Once the Commonwealth has released the

 

           21              committed RICP funds, we will be in a

 

           22              position to access these funding sources as

 

           23              well.  It is our goal to resume construction

 

           24              in the first quarter of 2009."

 

           25                      So, it appears as if great progress


 

 

                                                                     105

 

 

            1              has been made in terms of necessary

 

            2              replacements and renovations, but the

 

            3              remainder of the project appears to be

 

            4              dependent upon funding.

 

            5                      Now, I also had some citizens'

 

            6              requests.  Residents report that when

 

            7              traveling from River Street to Moosic Street

 

            8              north on Meadow Avenue the right-hand lane

 

            9              to the right along the Clarion Hotel and

 

           10              Arc, they have not been plowed the full

 

           11              width.  This is a highly traveled road and

 

           12              the snow and ice piles add to the traffic

 

           13              problems.  Residents have phoned DPW, but

 

           14              nothing was done.

 

           15                      The right lane of the road heading

 

           16              towards South Side on the Harrison Avenue

 

           17              bridge has a very large pothole which causes

 

           18              drivers to veer towards the other lane of

 

           19              traffic.  Please address this problem ASAP.

 

           20                      The Spruce Street Complex bridge,

 

           21              those lanes contain potholes that should be

 

           22              filled at the sidewalks need cleaning.

 

           23              Pedestrians are witnessed walking into the

 

           24              traffic lanes according to South Side

 

           25              residents.  Also, please pick up the tires


 

 

                                                                     106

 

 

            1              that have been dumped along Mountain Lake

 

            2              Road.

 

            3                      Citizens complain that parking at

 

            4              courthouse square is it very difficult due

 

            5              to snow and ice banks.  One city resident

 

            6              was stuck while parked at a meter, so the

 

            7              resident called the DPW who directed him to

 

            8              call city council since employees have no

 

            9              overtime and, hence, no machines on the road

 

           10              to handle snow and ice problems.  Now,

 

           11              again, according to Mr. Brazil the DPW does,

 

           12              in fact, have overtime, so if those who

 

           13              respond to calls at the DPW are making such

 

           14              statements to city residents I would ask

 

           15              them to stop, please, and handle the problem

 

           16              appropriately.

 

           17                      I would like to thank the DPW for

 

           18              the great work they performed cleaning the

 

           19              sidewalks on the bridge on Olive Street

 

           20              nature Scranton High School.  I know that at

 

           21              least two other bridge walkways were also

 

           22              cleaned successfully.  Great job to the DPW

 

           23              employees.  And the condemned house at 615

 

           24              Beech Street was also taken care of.

 

           25              Utilities were shut off and it was being


 

 

                                                                     107

 

 

            1              boarded up yesterday.  That's another great

 

            2              job done.

 

            3                      Now, in response to some questions

 

            4              posed by a speaker earlier this evening, I

 

            5              believe mention was made of my family, my

 

            6              job choice, my ability to do my job

 

            7              effectively due to my familial

 

            8              responsibilities.  The truth be told, my

 

            9              family has been on a backburner for many,

 

           10              many, many years.  When I made that

 

           11              statement I was referring specifically to my

 

           12              mother, who is quite elderly, and I am her

 

           13              sole caregiver.  She does not drive, even if

 

           14              she were capable or had a license she is

 

           15              physically incapable now.  And my parents,

 

           16              my parents did everything for me family and

 

           17              for me.  They enabled me to get my college

 

           18              education, to get my master's degree, they

 

           19              watched my children, they helped me every

 

           20              step of every day of my life.  And I lost my

 

           21              father, my mother is very important to me,

 

           22              as I'm sure everyone's mothers are

 

           23              important.  I'm a mother of four, I'm a

 

           24              grandmother of two and, yes, my mother is

 

           25              important.  I do my job, I feel I do them


 

 

                                                                     108

 

 

            1              all successfully, but my mother does come

 

            2              first and for that, I really can't

 

            3              apologize.

 

            4                      As for my inability, I think, to

 

            5              persuade others to join me in many of my

 

            6              positions on issues or my votes on council,

 

            7              that's a far more difficult situation.  I'm

 

            8              a member of the minority on city council,

 

            9              and as such my vote very often doesn't

 

           10              count.  Nevertheless, I never allow that to

 

           11              deter me and I feel that I have many

 

           12              accomplishments over these five years of

 

           13              which I'm very proud, but some of those

 

           14              goals that I find most important for the

 

           15              city I have not been able to accomplish such

 

           16              as stopping the borrowing in the city,

 

           17              decreasing the wage tax, preventing a tax

 

           18              increase.  Yes, I voted against all of those

 

           19              things, but I did more.  I created budgets

 

           20              and I brought those in as an extra choice,

 

           21              an alternative to what the mayor was

 

           22              offering, and those budgets contained wage

 

           23              tax decreases, they never contained a tax

 

           24              increase, they provided surpluses for this

 

           25              city, but yet they were never accepted by


 

 

                                                                     109

 

 

            1              the majority of the this council.

 

            2                      Perhaps it's because I don't work

 

            3              for the mayor, I work for the people.  I

 

            4              don't really make deals.  I don't have

 

            5              bargaining chips, and on issues that are

 

            6              crucial to everyone that lives in this city

 

            7              I can't say in good conscience, for example,

 

            8              I'll give you a KOZ if you will give me

 

            9              the-- well, let's use the example from last

 

           10              week when I was trying to amend the

 

           11              delinquent tax ordinance, and it contains 23

 

           12              very punitive Draconian measures that punish

 

           13              the people of the city, and that was not the

 

           14              first time I tried to amend it, but again, I

 

           15              was unsuccessful, nevertheless, I am not

 

           16              going to stop trying.

 

           17                      And I think being in a minority

 

           18              along with solving people's problems and

 

           19              listening to that and respecting them,

 

           20              probably my other greatest responsibility is

 

           21              to inform the public of the truth, to

 

           22              research, to analyze, to do the phone calls,

 

           23              the e-mails, the leg work, make the visits

 

           24              and then report back to you because without

 

           25              that minority you will only now what's


 

 

                                                                     110

 

 

            1              presented by the administration and it's

 

            2              majority, so I do feel that I serve a

 

            3              purpose in the city and I hope that answers

 

            4              your questions.

 

            5                      MR. BERGERHOFF:  Well-spoken.  Thank

 

            6              you.

 

            7                      MR. MCGOFF:  Mrs. Gatelli?

 

            8                      MS. GATELLI: Ms. Garvey, I would ask

 

            9              you to do a few things, please.  The

 

           10              expressway lights are all out near the

 

           11              Keyser Valley exit on the Central Scranton

 

           12              Expressway.  Also, if we could send a letter

 

           13              about the golf course, I know we still had

 

           14              1.5 million, but I don't know where it's at

 

           15              or what type of an account it's in.

 

           16                      MS. EVANS: I think it's when last we

 

           17              checked it's at First National Community

 

           18              Bank and it's in the CD's and those CD's are

 

           19              all of different terms and as each retires I

 

           20              think they have been rolled over.

 

           21                      MS. GATELLI:  Well, I would like to

 

           22              thank find that out for Mr. Bolus, please.

 

           23                      MS. EVANS: And at this point in

 

           24              time, I would say, as I'm sure everybody

 

           25              would agree, the interest rate on that has


 

 

                                                                     111

 

 

            1              got to be very minimal.

 

            2                      MS. GATELLI:  Also, I forgot to say

 

            3              when I first started to welcome the new

 

            4              restaurant, "The City Cafe" it's a

 

            5              Mediterranean market in the old Shooky's,

 

            6              and I'd like to welcome them to downtown

 

            7              Scranton.

 

            8                      I got an e-mail today, interestingly

 

            9              enough, from Verizon that they are hiring

 

           10              consultants in Scranton.  I don't know how

 

           11              you call, but I have a website, Verizon.com.

 

           12              And I guess I do have a phone number, it's

 

           13              908-559-2760.  And the shifts will be Monday

 

           14              to Friday 8 to 8 and the pay range is $480 a

 

           15              week to $1,063 a week.  There are some

 

           16              qualifications.  Some years in retail call

 

           17              center experience and a college degree in

 

           18              communication, marketing, psychology,

 

           19              sociology, business management or business

 

           20              administration, so if anyone is interested

 

           21              in that they can contact Verizon for that.

 

           22                      The Ice Box, I'll talk about the Ice

 

           23              Box when it comes up later.

 

           24                      The KOZ, I still need to ask some

 

           25              questions about the KOZ if we can send a


 

 

                                                                     112

 

 

            1              letter to Mr. Burke, unless he is going to

 

            2              come here again, I'd like to know if, in

 

            3              fact, when he does the Mt. Pleasant project

 

            4              if the local laborer unions will be hired

 

            5              because from what I have heard when projects

 

            6              are done through the Chamber they do not use

 

            7              the local labor unions, so I would want that

 

            8              specified by Mr. Burke what he plans for

 

            9              that particular project.

 

           10                      I also am not sure, but I was told,

 

           11              that if we don't approve the KOZ, which I'm

 

           12              not in favor of at the present time, that

 

           13              the state can extend it anyway, so I don't

 

           14              know if we can find that out from DCED if

 

           15              that would just be an automatic even though

 

           16              we don't approve it because that's what

 

           17              someone told me.  I just want to make sure.

 

           18                      Also, there is a dumpster that has

 

           19              been on the 200 block of Crane Street for

 

           20              several months full of garbage.

 

           21                      And another thing, I was very upset

 

           22              last week when Mrs. Evans talked about the

 

           23              lady that was so overburdened at NCC, so if

 

           24              you could maybe give me her name after the

 

           25              meeting or an address I would like to check


 

 

                                                                     113

 

 

            1              into that.  That just didn't seem right that

 

            2              it would go from 5,000 to 40 some thousand.

 

            3                      MS. EVANS: Well, I'm working with

 

            4              her.

 

            5                      MS. GATELLI:  Oh, okay.  And you

 

            6              will give us a report, I'm sure.

 

            7                      MS. EVANS: When we have something to

 

            8              report.

 

            9                      MS. GATELLI:  Okay.  Let's see what

 

           10              else I have.  I also think that we should

 

           11              have a say in the stimulus package.  I think

 

           12              that maybe we should meet earlier next week

 

           13              before the regular meeting and discuss

 

           14              various projects that we would like to see

 

           15              on the agenda.  Yes, I am in favor of the

 

           16              library and everyone already knows that, but

 

           17              I don't feel that the stimulus money should

 

           18              be used for that particular project.  There

 

           19              is other funding available and before this

 

           20              stimulus package came out that funding was

 

           21              being looked into, so I don't think that we

 

           22              should use the stimulus money for that

 

           23              particular project.

 

           24                      Also, as far as the $3 million all

 

           25              of it going to South Scranton, I wasn't


 

 

                                                                     114

 

 

            1              aware that all of it was going there.  When

 

            2              we sent a letter we sent it knowing that

 

            3              most of it would be going to South Scranton,

 

            4              I did not know all of it was going there.  I

 

            5              don't know if it's being done that way for

 

            6              matching money with the Elm Street Program,

 

            7              maybe there was a reason why it all had to

 

            8              go to one particular project, but I will

 

            9              investigate that with Mrs. Aebli and maybe

 

           10              sure some of that money can go to some of

 

           11              the other neighborhoods.

 

           12                      It's interesting that people seem to

 

           13              want to criticize that the money is going to

 

           14              South Scranton, particularly because I'm on

 

           15              city council and that's my neighborhood.

 

           16              Yes, it is my neighborhood and I fought

 

           17              there for 28 years of my life and I will

 

           18              continue to do so.  I have said it from this

 

           19              podium many times, if anyone else wants to

 

           20              start an Elm Street Program just call and we

 

           21              will assist you in starting any type of

 

           22              rehabilitation program also in your

 

           23              neighborhood.

 

           24                      So, you know, if the allegations are

 

           25              being made that other neighborhoods aren't


 

 

                                                                     115

 

 

            1              being helped, all of the neighborhoods are

 

            2              being helped and they will continue to be

 

            3              helped as long as I sit on this council.  I

 

            4              would never deny a neighborhood from getting

 

            5              what they deserve.  That's the heart of the

 

            6              city and that's where my attention would

 

            7              focus.

 

            8                      And I will continue to fight the

 

            9              blight, I will continue to request houses

 

           10              being demolished because grass is better

 

           11              than what lives next to most of these people

 

           12              in these slum houses.  Just ask any person

 

           13              living on the block, "Do you want the house

 

           14              there or would you like to see tall grass?"

 

           15                      And I'll guarantee you every time

 

           16              they will say, "Put the grass there.  We

 

           17              will cut it."

 

           18                      Because some of these homes cause

 

           19              nothing about heartaches for the neighbors,

 

           20              and I'm going to stick to that and that's

 

           21              where my focus is and always has been the

 

           22              blight in the neighborhoods, and that's

 

           23              where it will stay.

 

           24                      What else did I have to say?  I

 

           25              don't want to make it too lengthy.  I think


 

 

                                                                     116

 

 

            1              that's it.

 

            2                      MR. MCGOFF: Mrs. Fanucci?

 

            3                      MS. FANUCCI: Okay, if we can write a

 

            4              letter one of the speakers that got up

 

            5              tonight and asked a few questions that I

 

            6              think we should look into, how many jobs

 

            7              were created with the KOZ, if we can send

 

            8              that to find out, and also how much money

 

            9              will be coming in after the first waive of

 

           10              the payments start?  I'd like to know

 

           11              exactly how much money taxpayer money was

 

           12              created.  And also when or if we do approve

 

           13              one project at a time I'd like to know do

 

           14              other projects just automatically get

 

           15              approval or does it have to come on a first

 

           16              come first serve basis and we have to go on

 

           17              each project because I don't believe that

 

           18              it's a blanket, but I want to make sure, and

 

           19              that was the first letter.

 

           20                      Oh, so let's talk about how fun are

 

           21              meetings are.  No, I'm kidding.  In light of

 

           22              Kathryn Simmons tonight and Joy Williams and

 

           23              people getting up here and speaking and

 

           24              taking over the forum and sending letters to

 

           25              other people claiming that this is not for


 

 

                                                                     117

 

 

            1              everyone to come, it's ridiculous.  It's no

 

            2              secret and Bill Jackowitz has been telling

 

            3              us that we are in the midst of the second

 

            4              worst economic crisis in the last 100 years,

 

            5              and since we are quoting people I'd like to

 

            6              quote, I'd like to make a quote, and funny

 

            7              that I can pull this off, but I can, I think

 

            8              it's time to go back to basics and as

 

            9              President Roosevelt said during our first

 

           10              economic crisis, there is nothing to fear

 

           11              but fear itself, and to use this forum and

 

           12              come up here and invoke fear and hostility

 

           13              and doom the only reason you do it is to pit

 

           14              citizen against citizen.

 

           15                      When people come up here and say

 

           16              evil things and point out evil things to

 

           17              anyone or anyone around it's to pit people

 

           18              against people, and there's nothing we have

 

           19              learned since this last election that

 

           20              doesn't work anymore.  Those days are over.

 

           21              People are done with that.  It's time to

 

           22              move on and move forward and do the right

 

           23              thing.

 

           24                      It has nothing to do with what

 

           25              people do for a living or what they have


 

 

                                                                     118

 

 

            1              done in the past for a living.  It has to do

 

            2              with what's going on now.  I don't believe

 

            3              people who are educated or not educated

 

            4              can't come up here and sit and make good

 

            5              council people.  Why?  Because it has to do

 

            6              with the work and what you are doing on a

 

            7              daily basis.  I believe moms make great

 

            8              decisions and I believe doctors make great

 

            9              decisions, but to come up here and try to

 

           10              create havoc and constant chaos for

 

           11              someone's own benefit shows me that this

 

           12              is -- this is where you are going.  You

 

           13              want -- you want havoc and chaos, so if you

 

           14              want to reap what you sow it's time to move

 

           15              on from that.

 

           16                      I also want to say that the tactics

 

           17              have no other purpose.  There is no reason,

 

           18              you know, I have been writing these things

 

           19              down this whole time, choosing fear over

 

           20              hope is a problem and will be a problem

 

           21              forever.  If you don't want to optimistic

 

           22              about what we are and where we are going and

 

           23              use your political or personal agendas, you

 

           24              are ruining the future of our city because

 

           25              we have a lot to offer.  There is a lot


 

 

                                                                     119

 

 

            1              here.  I like it here.  I love what we are

 

            2              doing.  I understand we have a long way to

 

            3              go our problems weren't created in a week

 

            4              and they certainly aren't going to cure

 

            5              themselves in a week.  There is no way that

 

            6              unless you work hard and try to figure out

 

            7              solutions that you are going to get

 

            8              anywhere.

 

            9                      So next time speakers come up and,

 

           10              Mr. Bergerhoff, yes, I'm speaking to you

 

           11              directly, next time you come up here with

 

           12              your --

 

           13                      MR. BERGERHOFF: I wasn't --

 

           14                      MS. FANUCCI: No, wait, with your

 

           15              tactics of attack on everyone, which I have

 

           16              to say it's the first speaker that has come

 

           17              up and actually went down the line, so it

 

           18              does --

 

           19                      MR. BERGERHOFF: That goes in --

 

           20                      MR. MCGOFF: Excuse me.

 

           21                      MR. BERGERHOFF: She is directing

 

           22              comments toward me, sir --

 

           23                      MR. MCGOFF: Excuse me.

 

           24                      MR. BERGERHOFF:  She gets the last

 

           25              word I don't know?


 

 

                                                                     120

 

 

            1                      MR. MCGOFF: Exactly.

 

            2                      MS. FANUCCI: Actually, you directed

 

            3              comments towards me and I'm actually

 

            4              responding to the comments you made, so if

 

            5              you don't want to answers don't make

 

            6              comments during your speech.

 

            7                      MR. BERGERHOFF: Well, that's fine.

 

            8              Make legitimate comments --

 

            9             (Mr. McGoff repeatedly bangs the gavel.)

 

           10                      MS. FANUCCI: Just keep spewing your

 

           11              hate and we will see how far you go.  That's

 

           12              all I have to say.  That's all I have.

 

           13              Thank you.

 

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

 

           15                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Okay, I'm going to

 

           16              try to answer some of your questions,

 

           17              Mr. Bergerhoff.  As far as laughing about

 

           18              the steps in front of city hall, I know you

 

           19              haven't been here much, but Jeannie Suetta

 

           20              when she comes up to the podium, I kind of

 

           21              know her and I wasn't laughing about what

 

           22              she said, I was laughing with Jeannie.  I

 

           23              think if you speak to her she will explain

 

           24              that to you.  We have a -- we don't have

 

           25              anything going on between us, but -- I have


 

 

                                                                     121

 

 

            1              to move on from that one.

 

            2                      What I meant when I was talking

 

            3              about that we can't get some things done,

 

            4              and I have said this in the past, and I'll

 

            5              try to explain it, either myself or anyone

 

            6              else here on city council we have no

 

            7              authority to tell a clerical worker, a DPW

 

            8              worker, a police officer or a firefighter

 

            9              what to do.  We simply don't have that

 

           10              power.

 

           11                      You know, I think sometimes when we

 

           12              request we might get it done a little bit

 

           13              quicker maybe than the average person, some

 

           14              of us have a little bit more clout than

 

           15              others, and that's the way it goes, but I

 

           16              think that's what I meant -- or I know

 

           17              what's that I meant.  I think it's possibly

 

           18              what you have might have been referring to,

 

           19              if not, maybe next week you can correct me

 

           20              if I'm wrong me, but I don't know, there

 

           21              must be something wrong with me, but I kind

 

           22              of like how you went down the line at all of

 

           23              us.

 

           24                      The ADD's, Kay, maybe if you can

 

           25              send a letter to Director Hayes and ask him


 

 

                                                                     122

 

 

            1              what has become of the ADD's that we had in

 

            2              the police cars, does he have any plans on

 

            3              replacing them and, if so, when?  I've got

 

            4              think that they don't have any plans of

 

            5              replace them because I think it's -- must be

 

            6              about two years now since we have seen them

 

            7              in there.

 

            8                      As far as Oxygen tanks, I don't

 

            9              recall us ever having Oxygen tanks in the

 

           10              police cars.

 

           11                      MS. GATELLI: I think it would be

 

           12              dangerous if they had an accident.

 

           13                      MR. COURTRIGHT: So I don't know if

 

           14              they would do that, but I don't believe we

 

           15              ever had them.

 

           16                      MS. GATELLI: Actually, in an

 

           17              emergency with a cardiac victim nurses and

 

           18              doctors don't have Oxygen.

 

           19                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Right.

 

           20                      MS. GATELLI:  Because it's the heart

 

           21              that has to be brought back.

 

           22                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I think that one

 

           23              other thing, unfortunately, you know, I know

 

           24              Mrs. Gatelli has stated that we have a lot

 

           25              of trouble in South Side, but I think you


 

 

                                                                     123

 

 

            1              are pushing it to West Side.

 

            2                      MS. GATELLI:  I think so, too.

 

            3              That's why I keep asking them, but nobody

 

            4              seems interested.

 

            5                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Here's what I got, I

 

            6              got a call from somebody from the Times, not

 

            7              Jeremy here, you guys keeps getting new

 

            8              employees there and I don't know them all,

 

            9              and he told me a statistic that I can't

 

           10              remember the exact numbers, but he said as

 

           11              far as armed robberies go that West Side is

 

           12              number one, you know, all of the robberies

 

           13              that they have had, so he said we have far

 

           14              more robberies with weapons than we had last

 

           15              year at this time and that the bulk of them

 

           16              were in West Scranton, and I don't want to

 

           17              misquote him, I think he said out of 11

 

           18              armed robberies this year eight were in West

 

           19              Scranton, but that figure could be wrong.

 

           20                      And if he asked if I was -- you

 

           21              know, how I felt about that.  Am I

 

           22              surprised?  No.  I think we have all seen

 

           23              that coming that crime is rising.  Am I

 

           24              upset?  Yes.  Am I upset it's getting closer

 

           25              to where I live?  Absolutely.  That's why


 

 

                                                                     124

 

 

            1              I'm just my hope that this Recovery Plan

 

            2              doesn't take police officers off the street.

 

            3              I don't think anybody here ever has thought

 

            4              that we don't we need more, more police

 

            5              officers, so maybe I'll asking Jeremy after

 

            6              the meeting to go over who this gentleman is

 

            7              that called me and where he got those stats

 

            8              from because I wasn't aware of those, and

 

            9              I'm usually pretty up on those, but I wasn't

 

           10              aware.  I was aware there was an increase,

 

           11              but not the numbers he had told me.

 

           12                      And I'll ask, Kay, if you can just

 

           13              do two things.  Kay, Elm Street coming out

 

           14              of South Scranton onto Washington Avenue, so

 

           15              at the corner of Elm and Washington, I have

 

           16              gotten some complaints that when they are

 

           17              coming down Elm Street, which would be

 

           18              heading west on Elm Street to turn left onto

 

           19              Washington Avenue they can't get any cars.

 

           20              They are looking to see if we can ask the

 

           21              engineer if he can take a look and see if

 

           22              it's possible to get an arrow for a left

 

           23              turn, I know that takes some doing, but if

 

           24              we can ask that gentlemen if he can take a

 

           25              look at it.


 

 

                                                                     125

 

 

            1                      And I'll do this myself

 

            2              maybe tomorrow when I call Mr. Brazil, at

 

            3              Meridian and Luzerne Street a woman blew her

 

            4              tire out there last night on a huge hole

 

            5              right in front of the bridge, so I'll take

 

            6              care of that one myself.  And that's all I

 

            7              have.  Thank you.

 

            8                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you,

 

            9              Mr. Courtright.  In response to a number of

 

           10              things from this evening, and Mr. Jackowitz

 

           11              made mention of the article, a number of

 

           12              people made mention of the article that was

 

           13              in the paper today, and I thought there were

 

           14              a couple of interesting things in here that

 

           15              were mentioned.  What I thought was

 

           16              interesting was that the number of people

 

           17              who have jobs as unchanged.  What's changed

 

           18              is the fact that we are not creating jobs

 

           19              for those entering the work force, and the

 

           20              one John Syzmanski, PhD, professor of

 

           21              economics at Misericordia, it's not a job

 

           22              loss problem it's a job creation problem.

 

           23              And the focus, as he seems to indicate,

 

           24              should be as the creation of the jobs and

 

           25              preparation of a work force to take those


 

 

                                                                     126

 

 

            1              jobs.

 

            2                      The other thing I thought was

 

            3              interesting, it says the only sector with a

 

            4              significant gain over the year was education

 

            5              and health services.  At a time nobody, you

 

            6              know, at one point in time teachers were,

 

            7              you know, doing all kinds of things, I guess

 

            8              maybe the education profession is now a good

 

            9              thing to get into, I don't know, although, I

 

           10              here that there are schools that are

 

           11              considering laying people off, and obviously

 

           12              health services which are needed, but I just

 

           13              thought that was interesting.

 

           14                      But, I do agree with was said that

 

           15              we are facing some difficult times and the

 

           16              more opportunity we have to create jobs and

 

           17              to keep people working, more significant and

 

           18              more important it will be.

 

           19                      I did receive a letter from

 

           20              Mr. Brazil, Mr. Jeff Brazil from DPW, a

 

           21              couple of just brief comments that he made.

 

           22              The snow removal policy, he says, "I would

 

           23              like again to remind council that the school

 

           24              bus routes are the first to be plowed, then

 

           25              we plow the Colts bus routes, next would be


 

 

                                                                     127

 

 

            1              all secondary streets and lastly the

 

            2              courts."

 

            3                      I don't know that, you know, that

 

            4              there is much more detail to the snow

 

            5              removal policy, but that is what he replied

 

            6              to me.

 

            7                      Second thing he mentioned was that

 

            8              requests for stop signs, that all requests

 

            9              for stop signs have been sent to the city

 

           10              engineer for his review.  That it's only

 

           11              after the things are reviewed by the

 

           12              engineer that, you know, then it's not up to

 

           13              DPW to determine where stop signs are --

 

           14              are placed and not placed, so he is just

 

           15              saying that, you know, any requests that

 

           16              they get are sent to the engineer to be

 

           17              looked at.

 

           18                      And the last thing he did mention

 

           19              was the snow on the bridges he said is being

 

           20              looked into and he, too, mentioned what

 

           21              somebody else did last week that the bridges

 

           22              in question are state-owned bridges and he

 

           23              claims the responsibility of PennDOT, but he

 

           24              says in the spirit of cooperation four of

 

           25              the bridges were cleared on January 31, so


 

 

                                                                     128

 

 

            1              that was Linden Street, Harrison Avenue,

 

            2              River Street and Broadway.

 

            3                      In response to the things on the

 

            4              KOZ, I would like that at next week's caucus

 

            5              that we do in caucus discuss what Mr. Burke

 

            6              presented to us last week and at least, you

 

            7              know, have a discussion what we see would be

 

            8              anything positive and negative about the

 

            9              proposals.

 

           10                      As far as I can ascertain from

 

           11              speaking with Mr. Burke and from his

 

           12              presentation, we are not -- we are not being

 

           13              asked to approve the extension of the KOZ's,

 

           14              that needs to be done at the state level.

 

           15              What they were asking for were letters, I

 

           16              guess it's semantics, letters to accompany

 

           17              their application for an extension for the

 

           18              KOZ at Mr. Pleasant and the KOEZ at Mt.

 

           19              Pleasant, letters saying that we are not --

 

           20              that we do I guess approve of them applying

 

           21              for the extension.  It would then be up to

 

           22              the state to determine whether that

 

           23              particular extension would be granted.  We

 

           24              as a council do not have the right or power

 

           25              to extend the KOZ's.  And I guess that's


 

 

                                                                     129

 

 

            1              what we can discuss next week, what steps we

 

            2              want to take or do not want to take.  So, I

 

            3              would ask that, you know, next week's caucus

 

            4              be somewhat devoted to that pursuit.

 

            5                      MS. GATELLI:  And the stimulus

 

            6              package.

 

            7                      MR. MCGOFF: Yes.  Fine.  I just want

 

            8              to make sure we get -- we'll have a busy

 

            9              caucus I guess.

 

           10                      I would also like that.

 

           11                      MS. GATELLI: Maybe we should have it

 

           12              at a quarter of.

 

           13                      MS. FANUCCI:  Yeah, we could.

 

           14                      MS. GATELLI: We have those two

 

           15              things.

 

           16                      MR. MCGOFF:  That would be fine.

 

           17              We'll put that on the 5:45 caucus for next

 

           18              week.  I would like, Mrs. Evans brought up

 

           19              the request about the audit for 2008, I

 

           20              would like us to make a request to the

 

           21              auditors on behalf of council that we

 

           22              receive monthly reports concerning the

 

           23              progress of the audit and any problems that

 

           24              are deterring their progress.

 

           25                      MS. EVANS: We get that already.


 

 

                                                                     130

 

 

            1                      MR. MCGOFF: Well, somewhat, but I

 

            2              would just like to make it as a formal, you

 

            3              know, that it's formally recognized by

 

            4              council and by the auditors that they are

 

            5              required to do that and also that then we

 

            6              can respond to any problems that do occur.

 

            7                      MS. EVANS: I don't know anything to

 

            8              do differently though.

 

            9                      MR. MCGOFF: I know.

 

           10                      MS. EVANS: They have already given

 

           11              us every month.

 

           12                      MS. GATELLI:  I don't know that

 

           13              there is anything we can do differently.

 

           14                      MS. EVANS: Because we are not --

 

           15                      MS. GATELLI:  We are not in charge

 

           16              of all of those other people, you know, it's

 

           17              just -- it's just the way it is.  We can't

 

           18              control the other entities of when they get

 

           19              their audit to us.  You know, it's

 

           20              unfortunate, but we are not on all on the

 

           21              same fiscal calendar, etcetera.

 

           22                      MR. MCGOFF: Well, at least we can --

 

           23                      MS. GATELLI:  Expedite it.

 

           24              Absolutely.

 

           25                      MR. MCGOFF: We can expedite it, we


 

 

                                                                     131

 

 

            1              can place whatever pressure we need, you

 

            2              know, we can to encourage people to be more

 

            3              expeditious in their reporting.

 

            4                      And the last thing just in response

 

            5              to some things that were said, I do disagree

 

            6              with you, Mrs. Evans, on one point, I

 

            7              believe that all the votes count, whether

 

            8              they are positive, negative, in the

 

            9              majority, in the minority, I think we on

 

           10              council, and I believe I speak for everyone,

 

           11              we all -- we all attempt to do what we think

 

           12              is right.  What we think is right may be

 

           13              different and we may have differing

 

           14              opinions, but it's only through those

 

           15              differences of opinion that we can make

 

           16              progress, and if we all agreed and there was

 

           17              no disagreement then nothing would ever

 

           18              change, and I think that I for one welcome

 

           19              differing perspectives and an opportunity to

 

           20              analyze and make judgments of things that I

 

           21              had not considered, and while you may -- you

 

           22              know, people may feel that those decisions

 

           23              that I make aren't in their best interest,

 

           24              they are, as I said, based on the believe

 

           25              that I am trying to do what I think is right


 

 

                                                                     132

 

 

            1              and I believe that we all do that.  And that

 

            2              is all I have.  Let's get to our agenda.

 

            3                      MS. GARVEY: FIFTH ORDER.  NO

 

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

 

            5              READING BY TITLE - FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 60,

 

            6              2009 - AN ORDINANCE - AUTHORIZING THE SALE

 

            7              AND TRANSFER OF A PARCEL OF LAND ACQUIRED BY

 

            8              THE CITY THROUGH THE FLOOD CONTROL PROJECT

 

            9              BY SEALED BIDS TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER,

 

           10              PROPERTY MORE COMMONLY KNOWN AS 620 RACE

 

           11              STREET, SCRANTON, AND MORE FULLY DESCRIBED

 

           12              IN DEED DATED JULY 21, 2004, DULY RECORDED

 

           13              IN THE LACKAWANNA COUNTY RECORDER OF DEEDS

 

           14              OFFICE IN RECORDS BOOK 1278, PAGE 0002.

 

           15                      MR. MCGOFF: You have heard reading

 

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

 

           17                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I move that Item 6-A

 

           18              pass reading by title.

 

           19                      MS. FANUCCI: Second.

 

           20                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  All

 

           21              those in favor signify by saying aye.

 

           22                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.

 

           23                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.

 

           24                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.

 

           25                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.


 

 

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            1                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?  The

 

            2              ayes have it and so moved.

 

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

 

            4              CONSIDERATION BY THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC

 

            5              WORKS - FOR ADOPTION - RESOLUTION NO. 102,

 

            6              2009 - AUTHORIZING REVISION OF THE EXISTING

 

            7              TRAFFIC SIGNAL ALONG 7TH AVENUE/PROVIDENCE

 

            8              ROAD (SR 3029) AT THE INTERSECTION WITH

 

            9              MUNCHAK WAY AND OLIVE STREET TO INCLUDE A

 

           10              NEW DRIVEWAY APPROACH FOR THE ICE BOX

 

           11              DRIVEWAY.

 

           12                      MR. MCGOFF: What is the

 

           13              recommendation of the Chairperson for the

 

           14              Committee on Public Works?

 

           15                      MS. EVANS:  As Chair for the

 

           16              Committee on Public Works, I do not

 

           17              recommend Item 7-A.

 

           18                      MS. GATELLI:  Second.

 

           19                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?

 

           20                      MS. GATELLI:  On the question, I

 

           21              would just like to set the record straight

 

           22              about what the Ice Box owes us.  I believe

 

           23              it was when we first came onto council or

 

           24              when I first came onto council, but

 

           25              Mr. Burke came here and offered to pay us


 

 

                                                                     134

 

 

            1              $600,000 I believe over 20 years and

 

            2              everyone said, no, including me.  Little did

 

            3              I know that we don't have to require him to

 

            4              pay us anything and we should have taken

 

            5              that money, that was one of a bad decisions

 

            6              that I made up here.  I wish I could redo

 

            7              it.  I believe we all voted "no" in caucus,

 

            8              we didn't really do it in public.  And then

 

            9              when I asked Attorney Minora to look into it

 

           10              he did and we can't require him to pay us

 

           11              anything, so that's all I have to say on

 

           12              that.  And I will agree with Mrs. Evans, I

 

           13              also work at a school building and if it

 

           14              affected my school and my students I would

 

           15              feel the same way, so I will be voting with

 

           16              Mrs. Evans.

 

           17                      MS. EVANS: Thank you.

 

           18                      MR. MCGOFF: I don't see how this

 

           19              traffic signal will affect traffic in any

 

           20              negative way.  I think that the signal

 

           21              itself would be synchronized with the

 

           22              existing one.  It would offer better access

 

           23              not only to the Ice Box, but also to

 

           24              riverfront, maybe that's a bias on my part

 

           25              since I spend sometime there, but I don't


 

 

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            1              see how -- I don't see how this is going to

 

            2              negatively impact traffic on Providence Road

 

            3              and the existing problems near the school,

 

            4              while there may be problems at arrival and

 

            5              dismissal, I don't see how a light is going

 

            6              to alter that in any way, whether it's going

 

            7              to help or hinder the problems that exist.

 

            8                      I think that as described to me the

 

            9              project that they have for the area in the

 

           10              Ice Box is good and that changing it, this

 

           11              has already been looked at by PennDOT and

 

           12              approved, they saw no problems, and I

 

           13              believe that it's a positive thing to do.

 

           14                      MS. EVANS: Well, the only thing I

 

           15              could add is that I think that's going to be

 

           16              a very tough sell to the students and their

 

           17              parents that are traveling there to and from

 

           18              their five days a week because really you

 

           19              drive through there and you are holding your

 

           20              breath and you are watching every direction

 

           21              as you are moving because, you know, even in

 

           22              some areas there aren't even sidewalks, so

 

           23              --

 

           24                      MS. GATELLI:  And there is no lights

 

           25              either at night.


 

 

                                                                     136

 

 

            1                      MS. EVANS: Right.

 

            2                      MR. MCGOFF: So another traffic light

 

            3              might slow down traffic and be helpful.

 

            4                      MS. EVANS: Well, actually, we have

 

            5              got a police officer who handles that one

 

            6              traffic light every morning and decides, you

 

            7              know, pretty much how long he is going to

 

            8              let it run, so it's not actually, you know,

 

            9              I don't know what they do, computerize it or

 

           10              such, it's being controlled by a police

 

           11              officer.

 

           12                      MS. GATELLI:  Maybe in the interim

 

           13              we can have someone from the school district

 

           14              meet with the city engineer and PennDOT.  I

 

           15              think that several years ago, and I know I'm

 

           16              going off the question, Mr. McGoff, but I'll

 

           17              trust that you will let me speak, there were

 

           18              people, and I know there was one person from

 

           19              council and they worked on a committee about

 

           20              all of the problems down at Scranton High

 

           21              School because it is a nightmare.  The

 

           22              traffic is horrendous in and out of school,

 

           23              I'm surprised someone didn't get hurt yet.

 

           24                      MS. EVANS: We have.  There have been

 

           25              accidents.


 

 

                                                                     137

 

 

            1                      MS. GATELLI: Yeah.  Well, I'm not

 

            2              surprised.  So maybe, Mrs. Evans, that you

 

            3              work there you can ask Mr. McGraw and then

 

            4              we'll call, you know, Mr. Swanson and maybe

 

            5              he can get somebody from PennDOT and they

 

            6              can have a meeting and see what they can do

 

            7              down there to help correct the problems that

 

            8              exist their already and maybe this can be

 

            9              part of it.

 

           10                      MS. EVANS: They already -- I know

 

           11              the school district officials already met

 

           12              with PennDOT because they had envisioned

 

           13              opening up roads, giving alternative routes

 

           14              in and out of the high school and PennDOT

 

           15              refused it.

 

           16                      MR. MCGOFF:  For the record a yes

 

           17              vote would defeat 7-A or a yes vote would be

 

           18              to defeat 7-A, a no vote would be approval

 

           19              of 7-A.  Roll call, please?

 

           20                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.

 

           21                      MS. EVANS:  Yes.

 

           22                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Gatelli.

 

           23                      MS. GATELLI.  Yes.

 

           24                      MR. COOLICAN:  Ms. Fanucci.

 

           25                      MS. FANUCCI:  No.


 

 

                                                                     138

 

 

            1                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.

 

            2                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yes.

 

            3                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.

 

            4                      MR. MCGOFF:  No. 7-A is defeated.

 

            5                      MS. GATELLI:  Motion to adjourn.

 

            6                      MR. MCGOFF: So moved.

 

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            1

 

            2                     C E R T I F I C A T E

 

            3

 

            4        I hereby certify that the proceedings and

 

            5   evidence are contained fully and accurately in the

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

            9   ability.

 

           10

 

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                                    CATHENE S. NARDOZZI, RPR

           13                       OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER

 

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