2 SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING
8 Tuesday, February 3, 2009
11 Council Chambers
12 Scranton City Hall
13 340 North Washington Avenue
14 Scranton, Pennsylvania
CATHENE S. NARDOZZI, RPR - OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
3 CITY OF SCRANTON COUNCIL:
MR. ROBERT MCGOFF, PRESIDENT
7 MS. JUDY GATELLI, VICE-PRESIDENT
MS. JANET E. EVANS
10 MS. SHERRY FANUCCI
MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT
13 MS. KAY GARVEY, CITY CLERK
MR. NEIL COOLICAN, ASSISTANT CITY CLERK
16 MR. AMIL MINORA, SOLICITOR
1 (Pledge of Allegiance recited and moment of reflection
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
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
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
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
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
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
25 MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else? Just one
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
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
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
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
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
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
23 MS. GATELLI: Is that in the back?
24 MR. SPINDLER: Send an inspector or
25 -- pardon me?
1 MS. GATELLI: Is that in the back?
2 MR. SPINDLER: No, it's on Franklin
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?
1 MS. GAWEL: No, it's 10:00 tomorrow
2 then I think it's noon Saturday and 8:00 on
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
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.
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
2 MS. FANUCCI: Do you have the name
3 of who told you that that works in the
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
1 podium and said something. It was already
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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 --
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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 --
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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 --
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
6 MS. KRAKE: Yes, it's all public
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
24 I was also appalled to learn about
25 the sewage problem on North Garfield Avenue.
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
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
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
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
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
1 that have been dumped along Mountain Lake
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
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
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
1 all successfully, but my mother does come
2 first and for that, I really can't
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
5 MS. GATELLI: Oh, okay. And you
6 will give us a report, I'm sure.
7 MS. EVANS: When we have something to
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
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
24 So, you know, if the allegations are
25 being made that other neighborhoods aren't
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
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
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
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
24 It has nothing to do with what
25 people do for a living or what they have
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
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
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?
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
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
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
24 The ADD's, Kay, maybe if you can
25 send a letter to Director Hayes and ask him
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
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
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.
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
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
1 all secondary streets and lastly the
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
25 MR. MCGOFF: We can expedite it, we
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
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.
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
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
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
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
24 MS. GATELLI: And there is no lights
25 either at night.
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
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
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.
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.
2 C E R T I F I C A T E
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
CATHENE S. NARDOZZI, RPR
13 OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER