2              SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING








            6                          HELD:




            8              Tuesday, February 10, 2009




           10                        LOCATION:


           11                    Council Chambers


           12                 Scranton City Hall


           13              340 North Washington Avenue


           14                Scranton, Pennsylvania









































                MS. JANET E. EVANS



            9   MS. SHERRY FANUCCI



                MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT



           12   MS. KAY GARVEY, CITY CLERK






           15   MR. AMIL MINORA, SOLICITOR


























            1   (Pledge of Allegiance recited and moment of reflection


            2   observed.)


            3                      MR. MCGOFF:  Roll call, please?


            4                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.


            5                      MS. EVANS:  Here.


            6                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Gatelli.


            7                      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.  Prior to


           15              getting to the agenda -- excuse me.  Prior


           16              to the agenda it was requested that some


           17              people come to speak on one of the issues or


           18              one the items on the agenda, and with us


           19              tonight is Mr. Al Boscov, Mr. Larry Siegle,


           20              and Mr. Kevin Mitchell from OECD who would


           21              like to speak, and so we are affording them


           22              the opportunity at this time to present and


           23              also to answer questions that council may


           24              have.


           25                      MR. BOSCOV: It think I'm first.






            1                      MR. MCGOFF: What's that?


            2                      MR. BOSCOV: They're scared.  I think


            3              I'm first.  Well, I want to thank you for


            4              being here tonight at a special meeting and


            5              I appreciate it.  What happened, a little


            6              history is that Boscov's has always been


            7              profitable, and I had the pleasure of


            8              running it for many, many years, and I


            9              retired about four years ago and the new


           10              management that took over, they were not


           11              incapable, they were capable people, but


           12              there was not an opportunity, Macy's bought


           13              the May Company and suddenly throughout the


           14              entire area there were malls that had a


           15              Macy's at one end and a May company at the


           16              other, so suddenly all of these stores


           17              became available.


           18                      The management at that time, and I


           19              had sold my stock, and I know better than to


           20              keep stock in something I'm not involved in


           21              because they resent when you have no


           22              ownership and you start pushing things


           23              around the store, so I got out of there and


           24              opened a new business, but when they saw


           25              these malls had these stores available they






            1              stuck their neck out and bought ten.  They


            2              thought it was an opportunity of a lifetime,


            3              they will never find an opportunity with so


            4              many mall stores were available in fairly


            5              decent malls.


            6                      The problem is they went to


            7              Baltimore where they thought Boscov's was


            8              either coffee or a chocolateery, they never


            9              heard of us.  They went to Pittsburgh, and


           10              if you buy one store you can have the


           11              staying power so people get to know you and


           12              things like that.  When you by ten they just


           13              didn't have the capital.  It's not the story


           14              -- you buy the store and remodel them, they


           15              were all old, so you spent 5, $7 million.


           16              They had to put all furnishing and


           17              registers, about 3 3 1/2 million and you


           18              need another five to seven million dollars


           19              of inventory so they weren't making a go of


           20              it and they went in Chapter 11 to get rid of


           21              the stores.


           22                      The other stores were doing well,


           23              but they wanted to get rid of those


           24              particular ten stores, and one other that


           25              was a mistake, too, they opened one right






            1              outside of New York City and didn't have any


            2              way of advertising it or promoting it at


            3              all.  So they had went out and got rid of


            4              them and they thought that what would happen


            5              is that they would find financing to go


            6              again, and unfortunately, the market fell


            7              apart, there are no banks, there were no


            8              banks and it was going to liquidation.


            9                      A hedge fund by the name of Versa


           10              had put in a bid, actually, had come to us


           11              for money to put in a bid, I had been given


           12              the money, and another company which is


           13              really liquidators were going to put in a


           14              bid also, and when I saw how little Versa


           15              put up, they put up $11 million to try and


           16              by Boscov's, and when they put in the bid


           17              they didn't have the $11 million so it


           18              didn't count.


           19                      We were able to put in a bid, too.


           20              We didn't have the money available at the


           21              time so we didn't have it, but it avoided


           22              what they called a stalking horse where you


           23              have to pay $4 million above the low bid,


           24              you know, so we got rid of that and little


           25              by little we were able to get the family






            1              involved.  The family had to put up 50


            2              million, 53 million and a 10 million dollar


            3              letter of credit in order to get the banks


            4              sort of interested.  This is a unique time.


            5              Banking is not easily available and then we


            6              asked Viola, New Jersey, because we had


            7              taken over really a very bad mall in Viola,


            8              New Jersey, and by putting up a new store


            9              revitalized it and made it work and they


           10              gave us $2,720,000 in 108's loans, these are


           11              all loans.  Valent Kelly is providing


           12              $3 million in 108's as a loan and that's


           13              because if you have been to Egg Harbor north


           14              of Atlantic City we have a mall store that


           15              is our number one store, it does 40 some


           16              million dollars, it does very well, they


           17              didn't want to see it close because the mall


           18              would close and they put up $3 million.


           19              Wilkes-Barre, because we have are downtown,


           20              is putting up $3 million of the 108's and we


           21              have asked Scranton to do the same.  These


           22              are loans, and we will pay them back.  In


           23              Binghamton, New York we borrowed money on


           24              108's in order to get the downtown store we


           25              paid back every penny of it, it's paid off.






            1                      In Scranton we have been paying back


            2              our 180's on a yearly basis and we will


            3              continue doing it, but if we got all of that


            4              money that took us to just about a little


            5              less than 12 million more, so it took us


            6              from 60 to almost 72 and then the Governor


            7              of Pennsylvania was very enforcive in using


            8              108's in downtown Philadelphia when he was


            9              mayor.  He used for over $400 million in


           10              108's to recreate the downtown of


           11              Philadelphia, which is doing well, and


           12              again, very successfully, and he told me


           13              that he had -- he gets $40 million a year to


           14              distribute to smaller communities.  Cities


           15              like Scranton get their own money, Reading


           16              gets their own money, these cities get their


           17              own.  When you take maybe one of the small


           18              coal mining cities outside of here, they


           19              probably are not getting it, they are


           20              probably on the list that the governor gets


           21              and they may get a couple of thousand


           22              dollars not by him, but by the statistics


           23              put together as to need and qualifications,


           24              but when he gets that $40 million he was


           25              allowed to borrow five times, let's say the






            1              same what the city is allowed to do, so we


            2              had the ability to borrow $200 million.


            3              Because the money was so rarely used, this


            4              year he only borrowed $90 million, and that


            5              $5 million was used, so he was still sitting


            6              with $85.  So we had a gap to fill of about


            7              $35 million and what he did is he asked HUD


            8              to pick six areas that would qualify, and


            9              these were all small counties like Snyder


           10              County, like Butler County, most of them


           11              were picked because they are economics were


           12              lower than -- lower Marion or on of the


           13              areas that have high economics and asked


           14              each of them to make an application.  They


           15              only had to make the application.  The state


           16              had the money, and as of I guess Friday of


           17              this week -- today I'm getting mixed up,


           18              Monday of this week, it was just yesterday,


           19              is today Tuesday?  Then it's yesterday.


           20              Yesterday the last of the six counties voted


           21              to allow the Governor to borrow this money


           22              and we now have the $100 million that we are


           23              required to.  It's so unique, a $100,000 is


           24              required in order to get -- take the company


           25              over and have the money to run.  110 million






            1              from us and $200 million from four banks,


            2              Bank of America, the Wells Fargo Bank, I had


            3              to learn the song in order to get that


            4              money, The Wells Fargo, da, da, da, duh,


            5              duh.  But they came through.  As soon as


            6              they heard me sing they wanted me to shut up


            7              and they gave us some money.  And then we've


            8              got CIT, a small bank, and the fourth bank


            9              was not a bank it's the Key financial


           10              Corporation between them they came up with


           11              $200 million and there is a Boscov's at this


           12              point.


           13                      You are one of the last anchors and


           14              we are hoping you will support us.  We will


           15              pay you back.  The advantage of 108's is


           16              it's secondary financing.  The banks want


           17              the first rights on everything.  Boscov has


           18              pledged collateral to satisfy the state and


           19              we will certainly make sure that we pay you


           20              back 100 percent, also.  The loan is usually


           21              a 20-year loan.  The advantage, as I told


           22              you, is a secondary and the second thing is


           23              that are rates are very high today even


           24              though the government has put an awful lot


           25              of money, the national government has put a






            1              lot of money in the banks it seems that most


            2              of the money is used for banks to buy other


            3              banks and we are not seeing much money


            4              around.


            5                      We will be able to operate.  We will


            6              have enough money to operate.  The 39 stores


            7              I have left are all -- have positive cash


            8              flow.  We have no bad stores.  This is a


            9              very good store.  If we close here then the


           10              mall would close and we didn't want to see


           11              that happen either.  But, this is a good


           12              store.  It's always been good and it will


           13              remain good.


           14                      I think that we are in a tough


           15              economic climate.  I have got a lot of


           16              expenses that I thought I could live


           17              without, I'm trying to not to cut the floors


           18              because without people on the floor you


           19              can't do any business, and hopefully we will


           20              do a little better and adding more people


           21              and we will do more people.  The


           22              requirements for HUD is that we hire people


           23              that are income eligible, that's 80 percent


           24              of the median income.  I think up here


           25              80 percent of the median income is about 41






            1              or 42,000 for a family of four.  When you


            2              review the people that work at Boscov's


            3              that's most of them anyway.  Most of them


            4              fall into that category.


            5                      I don't think there is a chance I


            6              can fail.  I'm young, I'm only 79.  But, you


            7              know, age doesn't mean a darn thing as long


            8              as you feel healthy and I'm feel healthy.


            9              And when I retired I didn't retire, I got


           10              involved this turning Reading around and I


           11              started a new business called Direct Link


           12              Technology which is a 300,000 square foot


           13              building towards technology and hosting


           14              co-locations, but that business I'm turning


           15              over to one of my people that are very good


           16              and that business you only see your customer


           17              once a year.  In retail, if you see them


           18              once a year you are dead.


           19                      So I am asking for your help and


           20              your cooperation.  I promise we will pay it


           21              back.  I'm going to stay as chairman and


           22              chief executive officer until it's all


           23              stabilized and doing well and then we will


           24              find someone to run the stores, and I have


           25              two people in mind now, but I will stay on






            1              at chairman of the board.  My wife is not


            2              happy with my hours right now, but some day


            3              it will get better, she has been waiting a


            4              long time, but so I'm going to ask Larry


            5              Siegle to come up and tell you a little bit


            6              more about how the state works and what they


            7              do with the money and things like that.


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


            9                      MR. SIEGLE: Good evening, Mr.


           10              President, members of council.  Obviously a


           11              tough act to follow.  Mr. Boscov and I have


           12              been on the road, this is sort of a road


           13              show.  As he mentioned, we had six, seven


           14              counties that we had to go to as part of the


           15              state process and in doing that to counties


           16              where Boscov's isn't it's hometown like it


           17              is in Scranton, in places like Butler out in


           18              the western part of the state or Snyder


           19              County or Blair County, which is Altoona,


           20              it's a store in a mall and a big store and a


           21              significant presence, but not as well-known


           22              a commodity as in the eastern part of the


           23              state and certainly as it is in places like


           24              Scranton or Wilkes-Barre or in the City of


           25              Reading.  But we went through this






            1              presentation and I know you all may have


            2              some questions.  I think you probably found


            3              that Mr. Boscov anticipated some of those


            4              questions because, again, we have been


            5              through this process.


            6                      I want to just add a little bit of


            7              perspective just to recap the financing


            8              package of this and to reiterate that really


            9              the need for 108 really stems from the fact


           10              that the credit markets are shut down.  More


           11              and more companies are faced with this exact


           12              problem.  In the Pittsburgh Tribune today 84


           13              Lumber is in the same position now looking


           14              for additional funding because lenders,


           15              creditors don't have much forbearance as


           16              they used to.  The economy is so bad, hey,


           17              we can't let you extend us 90 days out, we


           18              want the money or we are shutting you down,


           19              and that really is the magic of the 108


           20              program whether it's locally like you or


           21              through the state program.


           22                      So we finally, last night closed the


           23              state deal, didn't close it, but got the


           24              necessary votes from these different


           25              counties and I can tell you it wasn't easy.






            1              We went to some very interesting places


            2              where, again, Boscov was not home where


            3              there was a lot of discussion, we shouldn't


            4              be doing bailouts.  Very conservative areas,


            5              we don't think that that's the role of


            6              government.  We really made the case, and


            7              the case that we really made here was this


            8              is the Boscov's department store.  In


            9              Pennsylvania 25 stores, 5,500 employees, if


           10              you look at places like Scranton and


           11              Wilkes-Barre and Reading in particular, not


           12              to mention Lackawanna County, Lebanon County


           13              or Skuylkill County and the presence there,


           14              the effect of Boscov's closing, and I want


           15              to make it very clear, that if we don't put


           16              this money together Boscov's will close.


           17                      The creditors are -- we have bridge


           18              financing in place at this point, a very


           19              nervous group of bridge financiers who the


           20              entire thing is contingent on the 108


           21              closing.  If not, we will be thrown back


           22              into Chapter 11 immediately with no shot to


           23              work out, so I really want to make that


           24              point clear.


           25                      But, in addition to the 5,500 jobs






            1              that will be lost the stores that would be


            2              shut please consider it's great to be in


            3              Scranton to address this issue.  Consider


            4              probably close to a billion dollar of real


            5              estate values that would be effected by


            6              this.


            7                      I love Scranton, as Councilwoman


            8              Fanucci will tell you, I have been up here a


            9              zillion times, used to work for Governor


           10              Rendell, worked when I returned to the


           11              private sector for the city for a bit, now I


           12              work for Mr. Boscov, so I know the city.  I


           13              have been involved in projects from the


           14              city's parking garage and the Molly


           15              Branigan's --  Molly Branigan's?  Yeah, so


           16              many Irish clubs, I got the Molly's right,


           17              Molly Branigan to the Connell building to


           18              the 5,000 block, to the train station, to


           19              the Southern Union building, to the new


           20              medical school, to the Lace Works to the


           21              middle school redevelopment.  I mean, it's


           22              unbelievable when you think about.


           23                      This is not a Boscov's that an


           24              anchor to a suburban mall.  This is a


           25              Boscov's that is an anchor to a downtown,






            1              and I know I don't have to tell you that,


            2              but it's not just the mall.  It's not just


            3              the 172 employees that are at that Boscov's


            4              store, it's just not the -- just shy of


            5              $1 million in real estate that that mall


            6              pays where the $200,000 it's contributed to


            7              the city on that, it's what happens look,


            8              for example, just as the 5,000 block.  At


            9              that point what's the point of the


           10              5,000 block if Boscov's goes dark?


           11                      So this is a request.  Again, it's


           12              for a loan.  It is for a loan that is


           13              secured by both the real estate and by


           14              Boscov's inventory, so the risk is


           15              substantially minimized, and again, this is


           16              just a creative way to get financing to


           17              Boscov's to keep Boscov's in business.  I


           18              wanted to make those points as it related


           19              especially to Scranton.  It's great to be


           20              able to talk to you because I know you


           21              understand the importance of Boscov's as


           22              opposed to some of these other places where


           23              we have to go and say, "Boscov, Boscov, he's


           24              our man," and I know here we don't have to


           25              do that.






            1                      So I know we are both here for any


            2              questions that you have and I'm sure you


            3              have some.


            4                      MS. EVANS: I have a few questions,


            5              you indicated just a moment ago that


            6              Boscov's paid $200,000 in city taxes; is


            7              that correct?


            8                      MR. SIEGLE: Plus or minus, yes.


            9                      MS. EVANS: And is that over a


           10              certain period of years or just per year?


           11                      MR. SIEGLE: In preparation for


           12              tonight I talked to the CFO of Boscov's and


           13              asked if he could pull up the taxes that


           14              were paid, and he pulled up based on current


           15              tax bills, I guess, that just have been


           16              received then he pulled up past records.  He


           17              first read out the total taxes which was


           18              just shy of $1,990,000 or something.


           19                      MR. BOSCOV: Is that Boscov's or the


           20              Steamtown Mall?


           21                      MR. SIEGLE:  That's the mall,


           22              related to the mall.


           23                      MR. BOSCOV: The mall.  Not Boscov's


           24              itself separately.


           25                      MR. SIEGLE: Correct.  But then when






            1              I asked specifically as to the city he


            2              pulled that up and came up with the number


            3              of 200,000 and that's on an annual basis.


            4                      MS. EVANS: And, excuse me, I didn't


            5              hear you?


            6                      MR. SIEGLE: And that's on an annual


            7              basis.


            8                      MS. EVANS: On an annual basis.


            9              Okay.  And, Mr. Boscov, do you own any other


           10              properties in the city, for example, I know


           11              speakers in the past --


           12                      MR. BOSCOV: I think I own this


           13              building.  It's a lovely building, I want to


           14              hang onto it.  We have a -- I have a


           15              majority, my family and I have majority


           16              interest and control of ownership of the


           17              Steamtown, a share of it with the


           18              Mr. Lincoln.  We have basically even or


           19              majority slightly majority owner on the


           20              Sampter's building and on the what used to


           21              be Scranton Lace, it changed.  Is what they


           22              called it, Scranton Lace and then it became


           23              something else, but those are the three


           24              properties that we have in Scranton.


           25                      We are a major landlord and we have






            1              been trying to do our best to, you know,


            2              doing a downtown mall was unique, we made it


            3              work.  People thought we were nuts, but it


            4              is working and it's a decent mall.


            5                      We are seeing a fairly tough


            6              economic situation, but I think other than


            7              Steve and Barry, which we will replace with


            8              someone we think will be better, there


            9              really hasn't been much loss on the mall.


           10              We have a few temps that will move in and


           11              out, but otherwise it's been pretty stable.


           12              I'm sorry, I didn't mean to broadcast it, I


           13              just want to answer your question.


           14                      MS. EVANS: I also wanted to know


           15              because speakers at council meeting have


           16              questioned the I believe it's the Marquee


           17              Cinema is that tied to your holdings?


           18                      MR. BOSCOV: The Marquee Cinema is


           19              part of the Mall at Steamtown.  It's


           20              actually part of the Mall at Steamtown, and


           21              that is -- I don't know if it's on the same


           22              tax role or not, it might be, the $7 million


           23              I'm not sure.


           24                      MS. EVANS: Also, I learned from our


           25              Office Economic and Community Development






            1              that the city pays annually 20 percent of


            2              the current loan's interest.  I believe


            3              there is, again, according to OECD a


            4              remaining amount for Boscov's from the


            5              original Section 108 loan, $5,102,000 and of


            6              that, as I said, the city picks up


            7              20 percent of that current loan's interest,


            8              and I'm wondering if that same --


            9                      MR. BOSCOV: I don't know anything


           10              about that.


           11                      MS. EVANS: Well, the city through


           12              OECD and it's CDBG programs allocates I


           13              would say approximately is it $250,000


           14              annually for repayment of Section 108 loans.


           15                      MR. MITCHELL:  For the mall, yes.


           16                      MS. EVANS: For the mall and for the


           17              Hilton Hotel.


           18                      MR. MITCHELL:  Yeah.


           19                      MS. EVANS: And you indicated then


           20              that your explanation for our payment was


           21              that the city was picking up 20 percent of


           22              the current loan's interest?


           23                      MR. MITCHELL: Um-hum.


           24                      MR. BOSCOV: Of the mall or the


           25              Hilton Hotel?






            1                      MS. EVANS: Both.


            2                      MR. MITCHELL:  Both.


            3                      MR. BOSCOV: We don't own the Hilton


            4              Hotel, by the way.


            5                      MS. EVANS: I understand.


            6                      MR. BOSCOV: I'm surprised.  I didn't


            7              know you were picking up any.  I know there


            8              was some money that the city came up with


            9              when the movie theatre was talking about


           10              closing, is that part of it?


           11                      MR. MITCHELL:  No.  That was just


           12              another economic development loan.


           13                      MR. BOSCOV:  On the mall.  I'm


           14              sorry, I didn't know about it.  I really


           15              should, but I want to thank you, but I


           16              didn't know about it.


           17                      MS. EVANS: Well, I'm just wondering


           18              if in this second Section 108 loan if the


           19              city is going to incur such financial


           20              involvement again?


           21                      MR. BOSCOV:  This is -- go ahead,


           22              you should answer that if you want.  I want


           23              to mention these loans have collateral.


           24              This loan that we are asking for now, and I


           25              don't know that was ever asked for when we






            1              were developing the mall, it was just


            2              amazing to get it open really, but the two


            3              collateral positions are that there has


            4              always been assets than liabilities in


            5              Boscov's even when they are in bankruptcy.


            6              December 29, which is probably the lowest


            7              time for use of money because all your funds


            8              are coming in from Christmas and your spring


            9              hasn't, through January the five we paid off


           10              all of the loans to the banks and still had


           11              over $150 million in inventory and costs


           12              that is being pledged as part of the


           13              collateral.


           14                      We also have about $100 million of


           15              real estate that is under mortgage or has no


           16              mortgage.  For example, the store in


           17              Wilkes-Barre has no mortgage and some either


           18              have no mortgage or Summit River which is


           19              appraised for $18 million and has a mortgage


           20              for about five or six that -- anything of


           21              that is also collateral.


           22                      This mall, unfortunately, has enough


           23              debt that it doesn't have any real value,


           24              but the Lebanon Valley Mall which we own is


           25              pledged also as collateral and has a






            1              positive cash flow, so we are trying to put


            2              up enough security that the city shouldn't


            3              worry about it.


            4                      I don't know where the 20 percent


            5              you are paying came from.  I don't think it


            6              was ever brought to my attention, and as I


            7              say in the last four or five years when I


            8              haven't been involved.


            9                      MR. SIEGLE: No, but what I do want


           10              to make clear is that's certainly not the


           11              way this particular loan is structured.


           12              This was done when we approached Scranton


           13              and Wilkes-Barre really with the


           14              anticipation that we would ask you to bear


           15              no expense, that the 108 loan will be fully


           16              served as principle and interest by


           17              Boscov's.


           18                      Additionally, I think we have


           19              provided the consultants for preparation of


           20              the application with Mr. Mitchell's review


           21              so the cost of Mr. Mitchell's time is a city


           22              investment, the time obviously of solicitor


           23              review is the city investment, but beyond


           24              that the loan itself is entirely serviced by


           25              Boscov's, so this really is a guaranteed






            1              loan 100 percent.


            2                      MS. EVANS: Thank you.  And I might


            3              ask Mr. Mitchell could you explain to us why


            4              that 20 percent was written into the


            5              original Section 108 agreement?


            6                      MR. MITCHELL:  I don't have an


            7              answer for you right now.  It must just be


            8              the way it was structured back then.


            9                      MS. EVANS: Can you investigate that


           10              and send council a written response?


           11                      MR. MITCHELL:  Absolutely.


           12                      MR. BOSCOV:  What happened is the


           13              Mall at Steamtown, we had been running and


           14              paying full taxes to my knowledge.  There


           15              was an area when we first started where I


           16              think taxes were lowered and went up every


           17              year for a number of years until we reached


           18              a final tax rate.  The 108's to my


           19              knowledge, unless something happened, I'm


           20              not sure when we got a credit for 20 percent


           21              of the 108's. The only hiccup I can remember


           22              was when the movie theatre was pulling out,


           23              the city felt very strongly that they didn't


           24              want to lose the movie theatre and they may


           25              be involved in that, I'm not sure.






            1              Otherwise, I can't tell you that the mall at


            2              Steamtown has been financial successful, but


            3              we have been picking up whatever it's been


            4              losing every year.  The reason for it is we


            5              spent too much money not -- because we spent


            6              about $110 million at the time and the


            7              amount that you can charge for rental in


            8              Scranton is relatively low comparison to the


            9              cost, so Ed and I have been making the


           10              payments every year on the mortgage of the


           11              mall.


           12                      We have paid it down, it was almost


           13              $110 million, I think it's somewhere around


           14              50 million or 60 million, but if it has


           15              negative cash flow right now we pick it up


           16              every year.


           17                      MS. EVANS: Thank you.


           18                      MR. MCGOFF: Mrs. Gatelli?


           19                      MS. GATELLI: Mr. Boscov, how many


           20              people are employed at the mall?


           21                      MR. BOSCOV:  In the mall?  My


           22              goodness, there has to be probably about 400


           23              I suspect.  I don't have any actual count,


           24              but I'm just looking at the amount of stores


           25              there, the amount of shifts, the Bon-Ton at






            1              the other end, that's not counting our


            2              people, I'm just saying the mall would have


            3              been 400 maybe a little bit more.  There is


            4              probably more, there' about roughly 100


            5              shops, the average shop would probably have


            6              three shifts on Saturday and Sunday,


            7              probably five or six or probably 500 or 600


            8              people in the mall and Bon-Ton probably has


            9              about 80 or 90, also, so it would be


           10              certainly about 600 plus whatever we have.


           11                      The mall is an important part of


           12              downtown and I think that it's done it's job


           13              in trying to keep the downtown alive, and I


           14              think we are proud of it and I think that


           15              most of the community is proud of it.  When


           16              we first built the underground garage we


           17              didn't think anyone would ever come because


           18              they wouldn't want an underground garage and


           19              luckily it snowed so we get a lot of people


           20              in the underground garage.  But we are here,


           21              we are going to stay here.  The store is


           22              profitable.  The mall is not as profitable,


           23              but not because of the mall itself, it has


           24              plenty of people, it's just the amount of


           25              money we spent building it.  We built






            1              something that we can be proud of and I


            2              think it still looks pretty darn good.


            3                      MS. GATELLI:  Also, I would just


            4              like to comment that I was aware of the fact


            5              that always made your 108 loan payments to


            6              the city.


            7                      MR. BOSCOV:  Well, we always paid on


            8              time.  I need to find out where the


            9              20 percent came from.  I really don't know


           10              where it came from.  We'll find out, but --


           11              you will find out sooner.  If they don't I


           12              will find out.


           13                      MS. EVANS: Mr. Boscov, I had been


           14              reading about various businesses throughout


           15              the country who are in financial difficulty


           16              at this time, and at some juncture I had


           17              read that Bon-Ton may be experiencing


           18              difficulty, do you foresee their remaining


           19              in the Steamtown Mall?


           20                      MR. BOSCOV:  Well, I think Steamtown


           21              is a good store for them, but I don't know


           22              if they are having financial difficulty.


           23              They are a public company, we are a private


           24              company, so they have other means of


           25              financing.  From my knowledge they had






            1              adequate funds.


            2                      What we are seeing though is that


            3              even if a company goes into Chapter 11 it's


            4              been very, very difficult to come out.  In


            5              the past, Chapter 11 was a way of


            6              reorganizing and coming out as a fresh and


            7              exciting business.  Under the present case


            8              if you go into Chapter 11 it's very, very


            9              difficult unless you can race an awful lot


           10              of money to find the banks.  In.


           11                      Our case, we had a bank called


           12              National City putting up $50 million when we


           13              were first trying to find money.  Well, PNC


           14              bought it, they just got $6 billion from the


           15              government and spent 5.7 billion to buy


           16              National City.  Wachovia was in for 60


           17              million.  Wachovia was one of our major


           18              banks, suddenly they were bought by Wells


           19              Fargo, and Wells Fargo did come into it at


           20              the very end, but it's very, very difficult


           21              to see survival.


           22                      Circuit City should never have been


           23              liquidated.  It should have had the chance


           24              to reorganize and it was a viable format


           25              that was doing fine.  I don't know where






            1              they got in trouble, but part of the thing


            2              in electronics is moving with the time.


            3              Music doesn't mean anything anymore.  The


            4              kids don't have to really buy tapes so they


            5              had to find a replacement for that part of


            6              the business and they had to find different


            7              things, but they were a major competitor and


            8              fairly successful in their business.


            9                      They had made a decision some time


           10              ago to go out of Whitehurst, it probably was


           11              a mistake because they had to support that


           12              same building along with video, there isn't


           13              much stereo business, stereo became the type


           14              of speakers you have in your television


           15              today.


           16                      But we have 39 stores now, not one


           17              of them doesn't have positive cash flow, not


           18              one of them.  One of our weaker stores is


           19              Binghamton, New York, it had a $1,600,000 of


           20              cash flow last year, and Binghamton, New


           21              York, has not had the success of your


           22              downtown.  Your downtown is coming along


           23              pretty fine.  It doesn't happen in a day.


           24              It takes a long time to recreate a downtown,


           25              but we are seeing the next block becoming






            1              attractive now, and I think people are proud


            2              about coming downtown now so I am not


            3              worried about Boscov's.  I think it will


            4              take me, and you will see changes.  Our


            5              accoutrements are usable for everything


            6              right now.  If you have the Hubble telescope


            7              you could read the fine print that tells you


            8              that not good for you, but it's going to


            9              superior and it going to be god.  We are


           10              going to go back, Boscov's was fun and a


           11              good value and we are going back to that.


           12              It's taking some time to get the merchandise


           13              in and get ready, but you will have an


           14              exciting Boscov's.  We see very little drop


           15              in volume this year, not because of the


           16              economy, but because when you are in Chapter


           17              11 you don't have the stock.  If you would


           18              go to our store in August they are telling


           19              me that we didn't have anything for back to


           20              school, and the drops -- and those drops


           21              were 30 percent, 35 percent.  With those


           22              types of drops this year we think we can


           23              have a -- break even or show an increase, so


           24              a lot of the stores may be taking a drop


           25              this year, and it is sad, but unemployment






            1              has scared everybody.  I don't see us going


            2              through that problem.  I think that we ended


            3              up with a very successful December, partly


            4              out of customer loyalty not because we were


            5              so wonderful.  We still didn't have full


            6              stock, but a lot of people were worried


            7              about us and supported us, and I think


            8              January, it's hard to tell about January,


            9              you get a lot of steady -- if you don't do


           10              business you don't get a lot of steady


           11              business either, but never mind in January,


           12              but we are coming into spring.  We think we


           13              will be okay.  I think we will back to what


           14              we meant to people.  We aren't trying to be


           15              a snob store, we are trying to be a fun


           16              store.  Lo and behold I recognize that


           17              retailing is just recreational.  I'm


           18              guaranteeing that your closet is full, and


           19              your closet is full and even the men's


           20              closets are full and there isn't a woman in


           21              America whose closet isn't full, but it's


           22              fun to get something new and the men are


           23              just as guilty today as woman, so we will be


           24              back to recreational shopping, and it will


           25              be a little tougher, but I think because we






            1              had such a problem last year it won't be so


            2              difficult for us this year.


            3                      Any other questions you have?  You


            4              weren't wanting to get a speech every time


            5              you asked a question.  It's very dangerous.


            6              Very dangerous.


            7                      MR. MCGOFF: Ms. Fanucci?


            8              Mr. Courtright?


            9                      MR. COURTRIGHT: That's fine, thank


           10              you.


           11                      MR. MCGOFF: We would like to thank


           12              you for your coming before us and speaking


           13              and hopefully the continued success of your


           14              enterprise.


           15                      MR. BOSCOV:  Thank you.  Thank you


           16              very much.


           17                      MR. MCCOFF: At this time Third


           18              Order.


           19                      MS. GARVEY: THIRD ORDER.  NO


           20              BUSINESS AT THIS TIME.


           21                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.


           22              Mrs. Gatelli, any announcements?


           23                      MS. GATELLI: Yeah.  I just have a


           24              few.  There is going to be a benefit for Jim


           25              Chapman, he is a cancer victim, father of






            1              eight children and grandfather of 16.  The


            2              dinner will be held at the 20th Ward Club,


            3              2028 Pittston Avenue in South Scranton on


            4              Saturday, March 7 from 1 to 5.  The cost is


            5              $8 and I do have tickets available.


            6                      Also, just to reiterate the other


            7              two dinners that are happening, one for Chad


            8              Lewis on the 21st from 6 to 10 at Holy


            9              Rosary, and one for Joseph Nunez on the 28th


           10              at the Clarion at 8:00 and that's $12, and


           11              they are all cancer victims.  That's all I


           12              have.  Thank you.


           13                      MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else?  Mrs.


           14              Evans, anything?


           15                      MS. EVANS: No thanks.


           16                      MR. MCGOFF:  Ms. Fanucci,


           17              Mr. Courtright?  Thank you.  Fourth order.


           18              Citizens participation.  Jim Stucker.


           19                      MR. STUCKER: How you doing,


           20              Courtright?


           21                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Hi, Jim.


           22                      MR. STUCKER: This week -- today is


           23              February, my birthday is this month,


           24              February 21.


           25                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Happy birthday, Jim.






            1                      MR. STUCKER: I was talking to my


            2              payee today because I get my rent being paid


            3              to buy -- I can buy a scooter.


            4                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay, Jim.


            5                      MR. STUCKER:  We have these kids out


            6              there with the skateboards and they are


            7              ruining everything on Adam's Avenue, they


            8              are over by that doctor's office.


            9                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I told the police


           10              about it, Jim, they are watching for them,


           11              okay?


           12                      MR. STUCKER:  There is lot of them


           13              out there --


           14                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I know.  I know.


           15                      MR. STUCKER: -- during the night,


           16              and a lot of holes out there.  My buddy,


           17              Pat, my buddy, Tom -- oh, my buddy Pat told


           18              me to tell you hello.


           19                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay.


           20                      MR. STUCKER: On Parrot Avenue, you


           21              know him.


           22                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I know him.  Hello


           23              to Pat.


           24                      MR. STUCKER: We have a guy named Tom


           25              topple, he has a red pickup, and he had






            1              brand new tires on it and what happened the


            2              holes are bad out there and he hit a hole a


            3              couple of times, Tom did with it and he was


            4              afraid to blow a tire.  Everywhere you go.


            5                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Yeah, they are bad,


            6              Jim.


            7                      MR. STUCKER: It had to be your


            8              brother that called me.  Your brother --


            9                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Jim, Jim, no.


           10                      MR. STUCKER: He called me up.  Your


           11              brother called me.  He called me last night


           12              and says, "Do you know a guy named


           13              Courtright?"


           14                      And I said, "Yes, I do.  Yeah."


           15                      He said Courtright.  That's you.


           16                      MR. COURTRIGHT: That's me, Jim, but


           17              you know what I really appreciate the


           18              birthday card, but somebody was teasing you.


           19              Jimmy gave me a nice birthday card because


           20              somebody had told him it was my birthday and


           21              he gave me money which I returned to him,


           22              and so I appreciate you bringing it me, Jim.


           23              Thank you very much, but somebody was just


           24              playing a joke on you.


           25                      MR. STUCKER:  Yeah, a lot of people






            1              do that.  And the Jeannie she just told me


            2              tonight not to get a scooter and I'd like to


            3              know, she is not paying for it.


            4                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Who?


            5                      MR. STUCKER: Jeannie.


            6                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Jeannie.  Don't


            7              listen to Jeannie.


            8                      MR. STUCKER: She said I don't need a


            9              scooter.  I said I had a couple of them and


           10              I was happy.


           11                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Don't ride it on the


           12              street though.


           13                      MR. STUCKER: I can ride it on the


           14              street.


           15                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  You got in trouble


           16              last time.


           17                      MR. STUCKER: Everything is good.  My


           18              building is good.


           19                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Very good.  Thank


           20              you, Jim.


           21                      MR. MCGOFF: Thanks, Jim.  Mike


           22              Dudek.


           23                      MS. GATELLI:  Excuse me, before you


           24              start, I don't know your name, is there a


           25              way you can turn these down?  They are like






            1              echoing?  Please, because you are getting


            2              like a back -- thank you.


            3                      MR. DUDEK:  My name is Mike Dudek,


            4              608 Depot Street, I live in the Plot and the


            5              purpose of a city council is really to do


            6              two things, one is obviously to carry out


            7              the business of the city, the streets, fire,


            8              the police and all of this, but there is a


            9              second purpose to a city council and it's


           10              staggered throughout the 50 states.


           11              Sometimes an issue comes up that demands


           12              that a city council speak to it and to speak


           13              to it with one voice, and we have a


           14              situation like this here in the city.


           15                      So what I have done with in


           16              situation to take some time to write a


           17              little model letter on the issue and I'll


           18              read it to you, and then I'd like to discuss


           19              it with you:  On the closing of the Scranton


           20              State School for the Deaf, it is with the


           21              strongest sense of outrage that we, the


           22              members of Scranton City Council, as both


           23              individuals and as members of this council


           24              unanimously announce publically our


           25              opposition to the plans of Governor Rendell






            1              to close the Scranton State School for the


            2              Deaf.  The marker placed in front of the


            3              school by the Pennsylvania Museum and


            4              Historic Commission hardly does justice to


            5              the school.  Aside from being the first


            6              school of it's kind both in Pennsylvania and


            7              the United States.  This school could


            8              perhaps lay claim to being the first of


            9              school of any kind of special education


           10              anywhere in the world.  Today it is an


           11              experimental laboratory school in the area


           12              of defining and refining newer and more


           13              advanced methods of carrying out deaf child


           14              education.  Many new methods in deaf


           15              education have provided similar applications


           16              of teaching methods in many other areas of


           17              special education, and there is simply no


           18              way to calculate a cost benefit analysis on


           19              this.


           20                      The school takes deaf children and


           21              prepares them either for a successful


           22              vocational career or for further academic


           23              advancement leading to an academic degree in


           24              professional placement.


           25                      At one time, both the United States






            1              -- in one time in both the United States and


            2              in Europe persons with any kind of learning


            3              disability from the blind and deaf to those


            4              with epilepsy or other barriers to learning


            5              were lumped together with persons with


            6              psychological problems in places called


            7              sanitariums.


            8                      What the governor proposes most


            9              certainly will condemn too many of these


           10              students to the welfare rolls or worse.  In


           11              the 1930's the very heart of the great


           12              depression with a national unemployment rate


           13              of 25 percent or more, no one ever moved to


           14              close this school.  So, to close it now with


           15              our economy as it is now simply diminished


           16              us as a very selfish people.  Governor


           17              Rendell wants to close the school that pulse


           18              it's financial wait by helping deaf persons


           19              into taxpayers because of short-sided


           20              bookkeeping.  Scranton City Council opposes


           21              the closing of the school.  We ask all


           22              Scrantonians to send a letter to the


           23              Governor's Office to tell him you also


           24              oppose the closing of the school.


           25                      I just wrote this as a model letter






            1              for you that you can draw upon.  I also


            2              forgot to put in there that you could make a


            3              case, a very strong case, that to close this


            4              school would be a total violation of the


            5              Pennsylvania Constitution.  The Pennsylvania


            6              Constitution mandates a free public


            7              education.  These are students who are in


            8              desparate need of it and who have desperate


            9              needs.  These needs have being met for


           10              110 years.  Why close it?  There are many


           11              other waste I think the governor could, you


           12              know, tweak a budget.


           13                      I mean, the first thing that hit me


           14              when I saw this and that the governor was


           15              recommending it is, you know, the governor


           16              is being so outrageous in the use of his


           17              power that he almost reminds me that he must


           18              think he is the Bishop of Scranton.  You


           19              know, he can't do things like this.  You


           20              just can't.  A governor does not have that


           21              kind of power.


           22                      Now, Mrs. Fanucci, thank you for the


           23              information.  She tipped me off to the point


           24              that Senator Mellow is opposed to this.


           25              Now, I'm thinking of those wonderful Version






            1              commercials where you have the Verizon


            2              owner, like Senator Mellow, and you put city


            3              council and us and everybody else behind


            4              them, like 500 people behind him, so that


            5              the governor know that we oppose the closing


            6              of this school.  We need this school.  It


            7              diminishes as people to condemn these


            8              children to a life of nothing.  We can't


            9              allow that to happen.


           10                      Next week I'm going to talk again on


           11              this subject, and I'm going to give you some


           12              ideas as to what we can do as a people, as a


           13              council and as people, to keep this school


           14              open.


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


           16                      MS. EVANS: Mr. Dudek, I'm going to


           17              address that later in my motions tonight.


           18                      MR. MCGOFF: Les Spindler.


           19                      MS. GATELLI:  I just want to say one


           20              thing, Mr. McGoff.  Mr. Dudek, on the


           21              Internet I have gotten at least four or five


           22              e-mails already signing a petition on-line


           23              to keep the school open so you might want to


           24              tell people about that, too.


           25                      MR. DUDEK:  I didn't know.






            1                      MR. SPINDLER:  Good evening,


            2              Council.  Les Spindler, city resident and


            3              home owner and taxpayer.  I was wondering if


            4              anyone looked into the problem I brought up


            5              with Scranton Ford last week with them


            6              blocking the sidewalks and having to walk


            7              out in the street?  No one looked into it?


            8              Somebody?  Anybody going to look into it?  I


            9              think that's a public safety issue.


           10                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I'll check into it,


           11              Les.


           12                      MR. SPINDLER: Thank you,


           13              Mr. Courtright.


           14                      MR. COURTRIGHT: You are welcome.


           15                      MR. SPINDLER: The next thing, is


           16              there any progress on the cell phone ban


           17              with cars in the city? Mrs. Gatelli, do you


           18              know anything about that?


           19                      MS. GATELLI:  We made a motion to


           20              send a letter to Kenny Smith because they


           21              have a bill, I forget the number of the


           22              bill, but we sent it about two weeks ago for


           23              them to enact the cell ban and he is a


           24              cosponser of it so you might want to give


           25              him a call or you can give him over at the






            1              restaurant and maybe we can get a petition


            2              or something to encourage him to get the


            3              other legislators to go along with his bill.


            4                      MR. SPINDLER: Okay.  Thank you.  I


            5              see where there is a "For Sale" sign on the


            6              church at 933 Prescott that how houses CDTV.


            7              I guess they are going to have to move.  Are


            8              they going to want another $100,000 to


            9              relocate to another building like they got


           10              for renovating the church?  I think it's


           11              ridiculous.  I think this is station is


           12              going to told.  I think it's a farce.  They


           13              are -- the shows on there are ridiculous.


           14              The sound is terrible.  I think council


           15              should look into getting Scranton Tomorrow


           16              back because I think Mayor Doherty is going


           17              to get what he wants with this station


           18              holding these council meetings will no


           19              longer be broadcast.


           20                      Next thing I wanted to ask Mrs.


           21              Evans something, but she is gone.  I guess


           22              I'll read some comments I have.  I have to


           23              make some comments about what a speaker said


           24              last week.  Last week's speaker claimed they


           25              received a threatening letter and went so






            1              far as to blame regular speakers at this


            2              meeting for the letter.  As a regular at


            3              these meetings for over seven years, I take


            4              great offense to that and I take it


            5              personally.  I can speak for myself and the


            6              other regular that we wouldn't stoop to


            7              those depths.


            8                      The speaker went onto say how much


            9              she loves this city and that all the


           10              regulars are negative.  First of all, if the


           11              speaker loves the city so much why is she


           12              only shows up in Doherty election years and


           13              all the regular speakers are every week


           14              trying to make this city a better place?


           15                      And as far as being negative, the


           16              only thing we do is point out all the


           17              negative things that Chris Doherty has done


           18              for this city in the last seven years such


           19              as taking a $3 million surplus from the


           20              Connors' administration and turning it into


           21              a record long-term debt.  The city has lost


           22              hundreds of jobs under Chris Doherty, our


           23              population has reached an all-time low, and


           24              also our police and firefighters haven't had


           25              a raise in over seven years.  While he has






            1              hired cronies and given huge raies which is


            2              a violation of his own Recovery Plan.  If


            3              any of this is untrue, I defy anyone to


            4              prove me wrong.


            5                      Oh, and one more thing, in the very


            6              beginning when he was elected he said he


            7              would be the sixth council person that was


            8              going to lower the wage tax.  We all know


            9              those two lies right there.


           10                      I guess I have a little more time.


           11              Last week at Channel 16 they reported that


           12              they are going to have ice skating at Nay


           13              Aug. That's great.  It's going to 60 degrees


           14              tomorrow and now we are going to have ice


           15              skating at Nay Aug, and I heard where the


           16              mayor is going to offer free swimming at Nay


           17              Aug this summer, could you say election year


           18              or maybe he is afraid that the feds are


           19              going to come after him, he was collecting


           20              those fees illegally for seven years because


           21              I have a deed that states it should be free


           22              swimming -- or free in a public park


           23              forever.  Well, maybe we will finally get


           24              our justice now.  Thank you.


           25                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Spindler.






            1              Lee Morgan.


            2                      MR. MORGAN:  Good evening, Council.


            3              We are off to a really good start today


            4              considering that Les and Sherry didn't have


            5              words tonight so we are doing pretty good.


            6              The first thing I have here is I agree with


            7              Mr. Dudek in regards to the Scranton School


            8              for the Deaf.  Now, the tax group is trying


            9              to get the Scranton School for the Deaf to


           10              bring students into one of our meetings and


           11              let these young adults explain what is so


           12              important about the Scranton School for the


           13              Deaf to them and how it's enriched their


           14              lives and this community.  And I just hope


           15              that all of the members of council and all


           16              of the residents of this city would call the


           17              State Bureau of Information, I got a number


           18              out of the phone book, 1-800-932-0784.  I


           19              don't know what the governor's hotline


           20              number is, but, you know, now is the time to


           21              call all elected officials and let them know


           22              just how important this school is not just


           23              to the City of Scranton, not just to


           24              Lackawanna County, but quite possibly to the


           25              state or the nation as a whole.  When you






            1              read a lot of history, as Mr. Dudek tried to


            2              say, at one time having impairments really


            3              was a detriment to even having a life, and I


            4              find that to be an important issue here in


            5              the city.


            6                      Another thing is Mr. Boscov was here


            7              tonight looking for funding.  It's probably


            8              a tough thing to get financing the way the


            9              world markets are, but -- and it may go


           10              against what other people believe, but I


           11              think it might behoove the city to try to


           12              make that possible for Mr. Boscov and give


           13              the loan to Mr. Boscov.  The mall itself, in


           14              my opinion, is struggling.  I have talked to


           15              merchants who have shops there.  The economy


           16              is absolutely a mess.  The banks are frozen.


           17              He did build this mall in the city and he


           18              did make a lot of money when he built the


           19              mall, but at least he came here and built


           20              the mall.  He is a 79-year-old guy and he


           21              could have just walked away from the whole


           22              mess and left it collapse and evidently it


           23              was important for him to come out of


           24              semi-retirement and try to salvage this


           25              store.






            1                      I think that the mall without


            2              Mr. Boscov would just dry up and blow away,


            3              I have to be really honest with you, because


            4              he is one of the anchors there, and as long


            5              as he always paid his other loans I think


            6              his credit is good and, I mean, we have to


            7              move to a position in this city where we are


            8              going to do programs in the neighborhoods


            9              and I think that the city council and the


           10              mayor has to realize that after this it's


           11              time to pump a lot of money into the city


           12              itself, the neighborhoods, but at this one


           13              time I think that it would be a smart move


           14              to try and help Mr. Boscov at this point.


           15                      And maybe next week I'll get back to


           16              blight because I'd like to follow that


           17              through since, you know, I think it's


           18              important.  Thank you.


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


           20              Mr. Quinn.


           21                      MR. QUINN:  Ozzie Quinn, Taxpayers'


           22              Association and the Hill Neighborhood


           23              Association Blight.  Regarding Mr. Boscov, I


           24              attended the public hearing at OECD and the


           25              Lackawanna County and I asked him and I'm






            1              asking you, did Mr. Boscov present a


            2              business plan to you?  He didn't I know to


            3              OECD or to the county.  You know, when there


            4              is a loan by a public -- from a public agent


            5              you should, you should present a business


            6              plan.  Anybody know if you have a business


            7              plan?  Have it in your files here?


            8                      MR. MCGOFF: As far as I know, we


            9              have not received that.


           10                      MR. QUINN:  Well, you should look a


           11              business plan before you do anything.  I


           12              mean, you just don't make loans even in OECD


           13              and you should have a business plan.  The


           14              other thing, too, I know Mr. Boscov since


           15              they started in 80's, okay, but the fact is


           16              I can't really go along with the fact that


           17              he has helped elect financially Mr. Doherty


           18              and the Governor Rendell by donating money


           19              to their election, and for Mr. Doherty and


           20              Mr. Rendell to give him this money it taints


           21              things, you know, and I have a list of the


           22              contributions he made to Mr. Doherty and


           23              Mr. Rendell.


           24                      And actually, you know, Boscov's is


           25              a good place for downtown, it's great for






            1              the mall.  But, you know, there is an


            2              ethical part to everything and there is also


            3              a part where he should actually do those two


            4              things, he should show how much he gave to


            5              Rendell and Doherty and also present a


            6              business plan.


            7                      The other thing I want to address is


            8              the fact that when Mayor Connors left we


            9              were $36 million in long-term debt, now we


           10              are like 150- $170 million of long-term


           11              debt.  When Mr. Connors left there was 13


           12              neighborhood associations and now there is a


           13              scattered couple, okay?  And what's


           14              happening now, South Side, City Council is


           15              actually an extension of South Side.  Every


           16              program that comes down the pike, Elm


           17              Street, this neighborhood stabilization


           18              program, the inspectors that were just


           19              appointed, they are all gone to South Side.


           20              How about North Scranton?  What about West


           21              Scranton?  Bill, you were promised sidewalks


           22              over in West Scranton, you know, even when


           23              he made his speech last year over in the


           24              chamber, his state of the city, he said West


           25              Side, you know?






            1                      So, we are in touch shape here, you


            2              know, when this debt and, you know, at one


            3              time the neighborhood associations were so


            4              strong during the 90's that they used to


            5              have 50 to 100 people at their meetings when


            6              they met, and what happened was Mr. Doherty


            7              was able to divide and conquer.  He hired


            8              some of these presidents and other members


            9              and put them on the payroll or on


           10              commissions or authorities and so with the


           11              neighborhood associations and various parts


           12              of the city, so you know why?  You don't get


           13              no grief from the neighborhood.  So what's


           14              happened, as Lee Morgan pointed out we've


           15              got blight.  Look around.  The curbs are


           16              gone, the sidewalks are gone, the streets


           17              are in disrepair, people need housing


           18              rehabilitation, and yet, you know, you don't


           19              hear anybody squawking.  Mr. Doherty put an


           20              end to that.


           21                      So it's ashame and I think you got


           22              to start facing reality here of what he is


           23              doing to this city, and I agree on that and


           24              I urge you to get a business plan for


           25              Mr. Boscov.  Thank you.






            1                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you Mr. Quinn.


            2              David Bergerhoff.


            3                      MR. BERGERHOFF: David Bergerhoff,


            4              North Scranton.  I want to start right there


            5              with North Scranton, and Janet Evans isn't


            6              here right now, but she mentioned some rehab


            7              work or something that's going to be done


            8              with the North Scranton Middle School


            9              regarding an auditorium, 500 seat


           10              auditorium, anybody aware of that which I'm


           11              speaking of?


           12                      MS. GATELLI: Yes, that's Goodwill


           13              Industries that's developing that.


           14                      MR. BERGERHOFF: Right, but they are


           15              looking for state funding and state money, I


           16              thought she said they were looking for some


           17              sort of grant in order to do some more work


           18              on that school.


           19                      MS. GATELLI:  I think they have the


           20              grants already.


           21                      MR. BERGERHOFF:  Because I just want


           22              to know what's been done with the money as


           23              of so far concerning when you look at the


           24              school the front of it looks great, then you


           25              look at the sides and the back and every






            1              window is still the original window in the


            2              place, they are broken.  There is a lot of


            3              work that hasn't been done, and I have done


            4              construction and destruction in my life, and


            5              I have seen the amount of dumpsters it takes


            6              to clear a house, let alone a building of


            7              that size, so I know there is a lot more


            8              that needs to be done there.


            9                      I also saw where back in like '05 it


           10              looked like it was an agenda item for


           11              $350,000 from this council who was voting on


           12              it, I'm not sure how the vote went, but I'm


           13              under the impression that they did get the


           14              money, and I'm wondering what happened to


           15              that $350,000.  I'm wondering when maybe we


           16              will get an opportunity to see inside the


           17              school and really verify some of this work


           18              is being done and that it's being spent


           19              properly.


           20                      I also saw that the school was


           21              approved for a program where it was supposed


           22              to be turned into affordable housing and


           23              that was accepted back in like '92.  That


           24              work was never done.  I saw in 2007 they


           25              tried to turn the school into offices and






            1              that plan was shot down by the Department of


            2              Interior, and I'm curious, have we given any


            3              business plans or any ideas to the


            4              Department of Interior or anyone else in


            5              regard to who is in charge of making these


            6              decisions to make sure that this is


            7              acceptable work that we are proposing right


            8              now?  That we are getting the money for it,


            9              and I'm not sure it's even approved.  You


           10              can't do too much to change the interior of


           11              that building based on what I read here.


           12              And I just want to know where this money is


           13              going and why is it being spent when I can't


           14              see any difference.  I live half a block


           15              from the school, so I will tell you, it


           16              needs a lot more work than a theatre being


           17              done in the middle, so we are a long way


           18              away from the theatre project, and that's


           19              just a point I wanted to make.


           20                      I just wanted to address a few


           21              statements from last week, Councilwoman


           22              Evans, I really wanted to thank her for her


           23              responses in regard to legitimate questions


           24              I had and I do applaud for her commitment to


           25              her family and her mother in particular in






            1              our city, and I'm under the impression that


            2              if she ever felt her family would interfere


            3              with her work here that she would step down,


            4              so I'm fine with her making those


            5              statements.


            6                      Mrs. Gatelli, you spoke to me after


            7              the meeting, I asked you to address me


            8              publically regarding your statements, but


            9              I'll just basically rehash what had been


           10              said outside.  You still defend Zach


           11              Connors' hire based on his biography, so I'm


           12              really not going to go into that, but you


           13              also stated that there was no college degree


           14              required for the job, and I'm not going to


           15              debate the merits of education, however,


           16              there is a lot of people that were involved


           17              that did have college degrees, and so that


           18              fact alone I think other people should have


           19              been given a chance.  And then I thought it


           20              was funny when I said to you that did you


           21              think it was anything other than political


           22              and you stated, "How do I think most of the


           23              people in the city got their job?"


           24                      I just think that goes to my point


           25              that all of us citizens --






            1                      MS. GATELLI:  It is your point.  You


            2              are right.  You are correct.


            3                      MR. BERGERHOFF:  We need to be more


            4              diligent and we need to definitely check on


            5              all public hires and we definitely need to


            6              consider answers like that when we consider


            7              voting because it's like business as usual


            8              is basically what you said, and I don't


            9              agree with business as usual anymore.


           10                      Mr. McGoff, I believe if you are


           11              going to enforce the rules it needs to go


           12              both ways, and I think it was very


           13              unprofessional you did not what you had said


           14              to me and tell me to watch it on television.


           15              I have Direct TV, I don't get this channel.


           16              I went over to my buddy's house and I


           17              watched it and I understood what you said.


           18              You know, it actually, limited freedoms


           19              which I think you referred to as it's up for


           20              debate like most First Amendment Rights, so


           21              it's not necessarily black and white and


           22              it's never came to Court, we always the


           23              opportunity, yes, we do have the opportunity


           24              to debate it in Court, sir, not here right


           25              now, thank you.






            1                      Mr. Courtright, I believe your job


            2              should allow you some influence with


            3              managers, and I implore you to expand your


            4              role even if it's not in your job


            5              description.  And I thought it was ironic


            6              last week that this council talked how you


            7              state sidewalks cleared.  I'd like to know


            8              who got that done if it wasn't any of you


            9              and you have no influence perhaps we need to


           10              phone number of that individual because they


           11              did a good job because apparently none of


           12              you did that, so maybe that's the person we


           13              need to be calling anymore instead of coming


           14              here and wasting council's time.


           15                       And, Ms. Fanucci, there is not much


           16              I can really say to you because like they


           17              always say, if you have nothing nice to say


           18              don't say anything at all, but I know you


           19              like quotes so I have for you:  Liberty is


           20              not given, freedom is not assumed.


           21              Vigilance is not an option or rights will be


           22              consumed.  We stand on our promises that are


           23              ancestors have ensured.  We look to the


           24              futures and the past we have endured.  So, I


           25              will speak and you will listen, you will






            1              speak and we will see, that what I promote


            2              is fairness in regard to honesty.  But what


            3              you spew is hatred and the ugliness of the


            4              politics in your heart and when we vote you


            5              our of office that is just a start.


            6                      I would just like to implore, please


            7              don't misstate my actions --


            8                      MS. FANUCCI: That was good.


            9                      MR. BERGERHOFF:  Please --


           10                      MS. FANUCCI: I'm complimenting you.


           11                      MR. BERGERHOFF: Excuse me.


           12                      MS. FANUCCI: You worked hard on it.


           13                      MR. BERGERHOFF: Excuse me.  I didn't


           14              work hard on it, it took me 30 second to


           15              write that.  I wrote this in 30 seconds when


           16              I got home, believe me, I'm much more


           17              intelligent than you.  Please don't mistake


           18              my passion for anger and getting in these


           19              tit for tats with her, you know, I wasn't


           20              going to make this quote that I also thought


           21              of the other night when I went home, but,


           22              you know, perhaps if Jesus was a pastor --


           23                      MS. FANUCCI: See ya.


           24                      MR. BERGERHOFF: -- was a preacher


           25              then the devil presents himself as a






            1              politician or herself.  Thank you.


            2                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.  Jean Suetta.


            3                      MS. SUETTA:  Hi, Billy.  Jeannie


            4              Suetta, Scranton, Pennsylvania.  Bill, who


            5              got the sidewalks cleaned?


            6                      MS. FANUCCI:  Bill did it.


            7                      MS. SUETTA:  No, he didn't.


            8                      MS. FANUCCI:  Yes, he did.  I saw


            9              him.  I am just saying.


           10                      MR. COURTRIGHT: You must have


           11              Jeannie.


           12                      MS. SUETTA: A little bit.  I made a


           13              couple of calls.  Has this city gone crazy


           14              altogether?


           15                      MS. FANUCCI: Yes.


           16                      MS. SUETTA: We have had a bitter


           17              cold winter and the first week in February


           18              we put up an ice rink.  We are having 90 --


           19              60 degree weather tomorrow, tell -- I almost


           20              slipped.  What are they, crazy?


           21                      MS. FANUCCI: Yeah.


           22                      MS. SUETTA: I mean, you know, we had


           23              a bitter cold and they had to wait for the


           24              right elements.  You make ice so it can melt


           25              in three days?






            1                      MR. MCGOFF: Actually, the ice rink


            2              had been up for about a month.


            3                      MS. SUETTA:  Why wouldn't they let


            4              anybody skate?


            5                      MR. MCGOFF: People were tere


            6              skating.


            7                      MS. SUETTA: Don't tell me it wasn't


            8              cold enough.


            9                      MR. MCGOFF: People were there using


           10              it.


           11                      MS. SUETTA: Well, how come they just


           12              announced it?


           13                      MR. MCGOFF: I don't know why they


           14              just announced it.  All I know it had been


           15              up for about a month.


           16                      MS. SUETTA:  Yeah.  Sherry, he did


           17              not plow Jilly's.  He took my warning.


           18                      MS. FANUCCI: Good.


           19                      MS. SUETTA:  Because I would have


           20              gave you his name.


           21                      MS. FANUCCI: I'm glad, Jeannie,


           22              because I was worried.


           23                      MS. SUETTA: Bill, is it your


           24              birthday today?


           25                      MR. COURTRIGHT: No.






            1                      MS. SUETTA: What do you mean, you


            2              denounce me on television.  Jesus, Mary and


            3              Joseph.  I mean we have none of that here.


            4              No, but outside?  You know, Bill?  Don't


            5              denounce me on television.


            6                      MS. GATELLI: What are you doing


            7              outside, Bill?


            8                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  I'm not going to


            9              say.


           10                      MS. SUETTA:  He had the rest, he is


           11              trying to get the best.


           12                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I'm not saying


           13              anything, Jean, go ahead.


           14                      MS. SUETTA: Have a good night.


           15                      MR. COURTRIGHT: You, too.


           16                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Ms. Suetta.


           17              Mr. Jackowitz.


           18                      MR. JACKOWITZ: Bill Jackowitz, South


           19              Scranton resident and member of the


           20              Taxpayers' Association.  Looks like tonight


           21              is quote tonight, so I have a couple of


           22              quotes tonight myself.


           23                      MS. FANUCCI: I know they are going


           24              to be better though, Bill.


           25                      MR. JACKOWITZ: "The democracy will






            1              cease to exist when you take away from those


            2              are willing to work and give to those who


            3              would not."  Thomas Jefferson.


            4                      Okay.  I, too, would also like to


            5              comment on Ms. Joanne Williams' comments


            6              last week.  This is the first for me


            7              commenting on other speakers.  Mrs. Williams


            8              lumped every single regular speaker into one


            9              when she said that we are cowards.  I'm


           10              telling you right now I am not a coward, I


           11              have never been a coward, and I never will


           12              be a coward.


           13                      Furthermore, if I have something to


           14              say I'm going to say it to your face or I'm


           15              going to say it in print to a letter to the


           16              editor or I'm not going to say you out in


           17              the hallway, whether you agree with me or


           18              even disagree with me I'm going to tell you


           19              the way I feel, it's as simple as that.  So,


           20              Mrs. Williams if you are listening, Bill


           21              Jackowitz is not a coward and I never will


           22              be a coward, and I don't think it's right


           23              for you to lump all of the doomers and all


           24              of the ankle biters into one because we are


           25              all individuals with individual rights.






            1                      Okay, as far as Al Boscov.  Oh,


            2              furthermore, I have received threatening


            3              letters and my letters are signed by the


            4              Southsiders.  Ms. Gatelli and Mr. McGoff,


            5              you guys live in South Side, are you part of


            6              the Southsiders?


            7                      MS. GATELLI:  No.


            8                      MR. JACKOWITZ: No?  Is that a no,


            9              Bob?


           10                      MR. MCGOFF: I shall remain


           11              anonymous.


           12                      MR. JACKOWITZ: How about you


           13              Mr. Fanucci, are you an auxiliary member?


           14                      MS. FANUCCI: No, but if I know where


           15              to sign up, maybe.  I don't know.


           16                      MR. JACKOWITZ: You probably would.


           17              You probably would.  I was just curious


           18              because mine are all signed by Southsiders


           19              from Chebby Street, C-H-E-B-B-Y.  One of the


           20              cross streets in my neighborhood is Cherry


           21              Street, so they don't now how to spell


           22              Cherry, obviously, but anyway, if they ever


           23              want me or maybe if you guys know any


           24              Southsiders and they want to meet for a


           25              beer, hey, tell me.  Give me a call I'll be






            1              more than happy.  I'll even buy.


            2                      But, as far as the Boscov's go,


            3              Mr. Boscov admitted that he had a bad


            4              business plan, he basically said that, that


            5              the reason why they are in the position they


            6              are in now is because they made a lot of bad


            7              business decisions and, you know, he wasn't


            8              involved in it, but he appointed the people


            9              who were involved in it.  Am I against


           10              giving him the $3 million?  Not really.


           11              But, I am in favor of him providing a


           12              business plan, so we now that this doesn't


           13              happen again.  And so I strongly suggest


           14              that city council and the mayor or whomever


           15              is involved in this, OECD, get a business


           16              plan from Mr. Boscov so we know we are going


           17              to get our $3 million back.


           18                      And political correctness, here is


           19              another quote, I'm not smart enough to


           20              remember them, so I have to actually read


           21              them, "Political correctness is a doctrine


           22              fostered by a delusion, illogical minority


           23              and rapidly promoted by an unscrupulous


           24              mainstream media which holds forth the


           25              proposition that it is entirely possible to






            1              pick up a turd by a clean end," and that's


            2              by RJ Wintleman, Lieutenant Colonel, United


            3              States Marine Corp, Retired.  Thank you.


            4                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr.


            5              Jackowitz.  Marie Schumacher.


            6                      MS. SCHUMACHER: I'm Marie


            7              Schumacher, resident and member of the


            8              Taxpayers' Association.  Mrs. Gatelli, two


            9              weeks ago on January 27 you responded to a


           10              question regarding the exact amount of the


           11              city would be receiving upon completion of


           12              the Single Tax Office forensic audit that we


           13              will known within the next two weeks, so I'm


           14              hopeful you will share that figure during


           15              motions this evening.


           16                      Also, this one-time windfall helped


           17              to plug the hole in the city structural


           18              deficit for 2009, but what will plug the


           19              whole in 2010?  How much will taxes have to


           20              be raised next year?


           21                      Also, what is the status of the home


           22              Rule Charter Review?


           23                      MS. GATELLI:  Attorney Minora is


           24              still investigating that.


           25                      MS. SCHUMACHER: Okay, it definitely






            1              needs modification.


            2                      MR. MINORA: That can be initiated by


            3              citizens in an initiative and referendum.


            4                      MS. SCHUMACHER:  But Mrs. Gatelli


            5              brought it up and Council can also do that


            6              and she is the one that brought it up last


            7              year, I believe.


            8                      MS. GATELLI: Yes, I would like to


            9              see some of it changed and I was told we can


           10              change it.


           11                      MS. SCHUMACHER: Motions.  I got a


           12              lot.


           13                      MS. GATELLI:  We can change it.


           14                      MS. SCHUMACHER: In motion.  Yes, I


           15              know.  The mayor has been made it clear that


           16              his new South Side library is on his


           17              stimulus project list, but where, oh, where


           18              does the new Wildlife Center stand and the


           19              city's priority list?  I used to enjoy going


           20              to the Wildlife Center before the largest of


           21              the outdoor pens was split in half.


           22              However, seeing those poor four large cats


           23              in such a confined area breaks my heart.


           24              When will this facility be upgraded and


           25              where does it stand in the mayor's priority






            1              list?


            2                      Considering that the annual audit


            3              set a new tardiness record this year and


            4              since Mr. McGoff is retired, and like me has


            5              a lot of free time on his hands I'm sure, I


            6              would like to request -- I would like to


            7              request that Mr. McGoff attend the next


            8              meetings of each of the authorities to


            9              request their cooperation in meeting the


           10              auditor's time schedule in beginning a


           11              dialogue on synchronizing fiscal years and


           12              audit reports.


           13                      As council debates the KOZ and


           14              KOEZ's extensions, I would like to make them


           15              aware that last August during the


           16              groundbreaking ceremony for the new


           17              $200 million hockey arena Mario Lemieux


           18              admitted he never thought of moving the


           19              Pittsburgh Penguins out of Pittsburgh yet


           20              his threats to move the team got us


           21              taxpayers to pick up the taxes for most of


           22              this new arena.  So a word to the wise,


           23              don't believe every threat that you hear, it


           24              may very well be an act.


           25                      Now, with respect to Boscov's, I






            1              certainly hope Boscov's succeeds.  I'd like


            2              it keep them here, but the most troubling


            3              element to me is that the 108 loans transfer


            4              the risk to the lowest and -- to the low and


            5              middle income people because all of those


            6              loans have to use as collateral future CDBG


            7              funds, and if that loan should be defaulted


            8              the CDBG money is reduced and there is no


            9              money left for our low and middle income


           10              people, so I would like to know how much is


           11              left in our 108 fund?  Does anybody know?  I


           12              mean, we know that it's five times the


           13              annual allotment so it's roughly


           14              $150 million, but I'd like -- we have been


           15              giving a lot of loans and I like to know


           16              where that stands.


           17                      Also, I'm not really too thrilled by


           18              the article that Mr. Haggerty wrote in the


           19              Times-Tribune because to quote it, it says,


           20              "A New York City retail consultant and


           21              investment banker said, I don't put much


           22              faith in the profit number.  That always


           23              happens when you go through a bankruptcy.


           24              You have written down the value of your


           25              entire inventory so you are a new company






            1              and your margin goes through the roof.  At


            2              the end of the day it's a deteriorating


            3              business.  The consumer is in the biggest


            4              trade down effect in history, he said.  The


            5              relevant number is Boscov's continued loss


            6              of market share and customers."


            7                      So I think that also has to be


            8              factored into the equation.  And the ice


            9              rink, the city bought three of those ice


           10              rinks, one was to have been in Harmond


           11              Field, when will the one at Harmond Field be


           12              placed and where is the third?


           13                      MR. MCGOFF: I can ask.  I have no


           14              idea.


           15                      MS. SCHUMACHER: Maybe somebody could


           16              call Parks and Rec and get an answer?


           17                      MR. MCGOFF: I will.


           18                      MS. SCHUMACHER: Thank you.


           19                      MR. MCGOFF: Any other speakers?


           20              Mr. Dobson.


           21                      MR. DOBSON: Good evening, Council,


           22              Dave Dobson, resident of Scranton, associate


           23              of the Taxpayers'.  Last week we discussed


           24              and had a caucus on Channel 61, absolutely I


           25              tried when I got home to get -- I have a set






            1              top box and I have a straight cable line


            2              into another television, that comes with the


            3              minimum.  You have to pay extra for the set


            4              top box, it's $17 a month or something like


            5              that, and absolutely Channel 61 is not


            6              available through regular cable, so as you


            7              are going along here you want to possibly


            8              include that in your negotiations to get


            9              Channel 61 out to everybody that is willing


           10              to pay for basic cable service because it's


           11              not available unless you have the set top


           12              box and that puts you out about $35 or $40 a


           13              month depending on how much they raise their


           14              rates.  I think it's going to be go up 5 or


           15              6 bucks.


           16                      Moving on, I'd also like to speak


           17              about the School for the Deaf and the


           18              medical school.  It seems I read an article


           19              last week that $5 million is being withdrawn


           20              by the state from the medical school, for


           21              the medical school appropriations or grants,


           22              and I really wish you people would get in


           23              touch with the governor and anybody else


           24              ought there.  A man had a great idea, get


           25              1,000 people standing behind you because for






            1              one thing irregardless of whether you agree


            2              or disagreed, per se, with the medical


            3              school, we were told one thing and now it's


            4              another and who picks up the tab?  Somewhere


            5              along the line is Scranton going to be asked


            6              to come up with another $5 million because


            7              the state pulled the carpet, and I really


            8              don't think that's right.  It's a real shame


            9              that somebody should start a program and


           10              then pull the carpet in the middle of it.


           11              You really shouldn't do that.  They should


           12              find cuts somewhere else.  Once they promise


           13              something and gotten somebody involved and


           14              go out on a limb for the money then the


           15              money they should stand behind their


           16              promises.


           17                      And one other thing tonight been


           18              name calling and so forth, I try not to call


           19              people any names and I don't get any mean


           20              letters, you know.  I wish somebody sent me


           21              a mean letter so I would have something to


           22              grip about this week, but they should really


           23              view that tape and listen to what they were


           24              calling people and maybe they deserve a mean


           25              letter, I don't know.  Thank you and have a






            1              good night.


            2                      MR. MCGOFF: Maybe Mr. Dobson is one


            3              of the Southsiders.  Anyone else?  Mr.


            4              Ellman?  Welcome.


            5                      MR. ELLMAN: Ronnie Ellman, homeowner


            6              and member of the Taxpayers' Association.  I


            7              just got here just that second.  Let me tell


            8              you, I went out to my garage today to hook


            9              up my battery charger to my old car and


           10              there was water dripping from the snow, so I


           11              went up on the roof to see what it was, I


           12              fell through the roof, so I'm rather


           13              irritable.  I guess I take my wrath out on


           14              my usually victims, you know.


           15                      You know, I was coming down here and


           16              I'm thinking what do I have to look forward


           17              to around here?  I got this conman trying to


           18              get $3 million off of us and bragging about


           19              all of the money he made and Christmas, I


           20              don't understand you're thinking of eve


           21              considering giving him anything.


           22                      Then last week I listened to


           23              Reverend Simmons say how great the man


           24              downstairs is I guess because he takes his


           25              tie off and has a hot doing with Joe






            1              Snedeker Memorial Day that makes him one of


            2              us, but if he loves the poor so much why did


            3              he take the park away from the kids?  I have


            4              talked to little kids and asking me what


            5              they are going to do, you know, one or two


            6              at the grocery store.  I don't know.  I


            7              didn't take it away from them, you know,


            8              it's -- the mayor wants to evict 700 people


            9              like he did across the street from the


           10              college, and she is worried, you know, about


           11              Obama and things.  She ought to take care of


           12              her flock here in town if you ask me.


           13                      Then I got this old dinosaur that I


           14              don't like to start with, Burke, you know,


           15              saying we need more KOZ's, well, what we


           16              need is some taxpayers, some people to pay


           17              taxes.  We got three or 400 KOZ's and if you


           18              ask the Single Tax Office what they are done


           19              they don't have much good to report.  We do


           20              not need any more KOZ's, you know.  The


           21              governor has just turned --  given the


           22              utilities a cart blanche to charge whatever


           23              they want and every time I go someplace I


           24              talk to someone that says they don't know


           25              how they are going to make it that's like I






            1              am retired and so on.


            2                      Then we got the exalted one


            3              downstairs, he says we need to spend more


            4              money on Nay Aug.  We don't need to spend it


            5              on the police and the firemen or buy garbage


            6              trucks, you know, but we'll spend it on the


            7              park.  You know, it's like I said a couple


            8              of weeks ago, the city is just going to


            9              circles and nothing is being -- there is no


           10              progress.


           11                      You know, my good friends, you


           12              people out there I guess, everybody else is


           13              mad at me, we have spent what, a couple of


           14              hundred million dollars in this city and


           15              what did we buy?  Did we buy toilet paper?


           16              Light bulbs?  Where did the money go?


           17              People keep asking where in the world the


           18              money went?  There is just, you know, it's


           19              just -- that's a monumental waste of money


           20              goes out every day.  It's just padded


           21              payrolls and friend on payrolls and giving


           22              money to Boscov, then we borrow $240,000


           23              from Friendship House that is having a


           24              fundraiser.  It doesn't make sense what goes


           25              on, you know, it's just -- I'll tell you,






            1              I'm glad my time is almost up because this


            2              will just drive me to drink, you know, and I


            3              got an excuse to go over to the club right


            4              now I think.


            5                      MR. COURTRIGHT: And have that


            6              conversation in the men's room you always


            7              have.


            8                      MR. ELLMAN:  Somebody always talks


            9              to me in there.  It's like an office for me.


           10              Thank you very much, Council.


           11                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Thank you, Mr.


           12              Ellman.  Anyone else?  Chris.


           13                      MR. SLEDENZSKI: Hello, Bill.


           14                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Hi, Chris.


           15                      MR. SLEDENZSKI: I'll pull it down a


           16              little bit.  Hey, Bill, what about that fire


           17              last week in West side.  It was dangerous


           18              one, wasn't it?


           19                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes, it was.


           20                      MR. SLEDENZSKI: You guys did a good


           21              job.  Dave.  Hey, Dave.  Good job, did a


           22              good one.  Dave, hey, Dave.  Good job, I'm


           23              proud of you.  Keep it up downstairs, will


           24              you?  All of you guys down there.


           25                      MR. GERVASI: Thanks, Chris.






            1                      MR. SLEDENZSKI: You are welcome.


            2                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Chris.


            3                      MS. KRAKE:  Good evening, Council.


            4              My name is Nancy Krake.  I'd like to


            5              continue with my explanation of the remarks


            6              that were made when Mrs. Evans tried to


            7              amend the resolution that gives very


            8              prohibitive costs to delinquent real estate


            9              taxes.  I was up to the part where Mrs.


           10              Gatelli was making the remark about


           11              sheriff's sales.  The county does not have a


           12              sheriff's sale and neither does the City of


           13              Scranton.  We never have.  The city has a


           14              sale, city treasurer's sale, and that's for


           15              quiet title.  The county has a quick claim


           16              or judicial sale.  They are not sheriff's


           17              sale.  You do not get clear title when you


           18              go through either one of those sales.  So,


           19              therefore, they are not used to take homes


           20              which is the whole point.  With the city and


           21              city treasurer's sale that goes hand-in-hand


           22              with the Pittsburgh Plan.


           23                      If you buy a property at the City


           24              Treasurer's sale it's just for that one year


           25              of delinquent taxes and then the property






            1              owners have a year to redeem.  So, once


            2              again I do believe Mrs. Evans and


            3              Mr. Courtright in agreeing with her were


            4              very right in trying to amend that


            5              ordinance.


            6                      Also, Mrs. Gatelli made remarks how


            7              the county always got their money.  Well,


            8              they got their money sooner than the city,


            9              not that they always got it, they just got


           10              it sooner because they had a tax sale after


           11              one year.  In our sale we would lien in two


           12              years and then have the sale the following


           13              June.  We got our money the same as the


           14              county, we just got it a little bit later.


           15                      These are all things that I had


           16              brought up before the last two times when


           17              Mrs. Evans or this resolution came before


           18              council.  I tried to explain them to


           19              everyone, I know they are true, but still I


           20              got -- I just seem to hit a brick wall with


           21              three members of council.  You were given


           22              misinformation.


           23                      I'd also like to know, last week I


           24              asked if council would find out how much


           25              wage tax had been collected for the past two






            1              years and/or disbursed to the city.  Did


            2              anyone ask that question?


            3                      MR. MCGOFF: I did not, I'm sorry.


            4                      MS. EVANS: I believe letters or a


            5              letter would have been sent because I made


            6              that request after last week's meeting, but


            7              I don't have any response tonight.


            8                      MS. KRAKE: Okay.  I hope you will


            9              for next week.  I'm sure it's going to be


           10              very close to the amount of money Mrs. Evans


           11              had allotted in her past budgets.  Like I


           12              said, those monies came in because the FBI


           13              was at the Single Tax Office.


           14                      Now, all that being said, council is


           15              very adamant per the mayor in enforcing the


           16              real estate tax.  We have nothing to enforce


           17              the collection of wage tax.  It doesn't seem


           18              to bother any of the people who are adamant


           19              in collecting the real estate tax though.


           20              This is very, very unfair.  In fact, if you


           21              had been diligent in collecting the wage tax


           22              you would not have needed to raise taxes in


           23              the budget at all.


           24                      I would also like to know if


           25              Boscov's is current in their mercantile tax






            1              payments.  I don't think they should be


            2              afforded any more monies unless they are


            3              current in everything they owe.  Once again,


            4              if you are considering giving Mr. Boscov the


            5              money and considering continuing not to


            6              enforce the collection of wage tax since we


            7              haven't collected it diligently in the past


            8              eight years, then you should be just as


            9              generous to the citizens of this city who


           10              cannot afford to pay their homeowners' tax


           11              and that you are allowing a sheriff's sale


           12              to sit on the books even though you are


           13              saying you are not going to use it, it's


           14              still there, that would actually take their


           15              home away.


           16                      And I have one more unrelated item,


           17              we still do not have an HVAC inspector and


           18              it's been a year in the City of Scranton.  I


           19              don't know if anyone on council is aware of


           20              this, I did mention it several times, we are


           21              using an outside company, Building


           22              Inspection Underwriters I believe is the


           23              name I'm seeing.  They are also doing our


           24              plan reviews and in the past the head of


           25              that department, license and inspections,






            1              would do the plan reviews in that regard and


            2              that brought in an significant amount of


            3              money since that person is unable to do with


            4              the new head of that department we are


            5              losing that revenue.  Thank you.


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


            7              Anyone else?  Thank you.  Mrs. Evans?


            8                      MS. EVANS: Good evening.  Like so


            9              many others, I was outraged to learn that


           10              state funding for the Scranton State School


           11              for the Deaf has been cut by the governor's


           12              proposed budget.  Education of the deaf


           13              should always be supported and is a greater


           14              priority in my opinion than corporate


           15              bailouts in Pennsylvania.  If state funding


           16              is, indeed, cut, then in order to remain


           17              open of the cost may transfer to individual


           18              school districts which in turn will cause


           19              school taxes to rise.


           20                      Therefore, with the agreement of my


           21              council colleagues, I would like letters


           22              sent to Governor Rendell, Senator Mellow and


           23              State Representatives Murphy and Smith


           24              stating Scranton City Council's opposition


           25              to state funding cuts for the Scranton State






            1              School for the Deaf and asking them to


            2              oppose this item of the proposed budget and


            3              to support continued state funding of this


            4              educational institution.  Is that agreeable?


            5                      MR. MCGOFF:  Any opposition to that?


            6                      MS. FANUCCI: I'm not sure if I


            7              should obtain from the governor's letter


            8              just because it's my day job, so I will


            9              abstain from voting on this if that's all


           10              right.  Mr. Courtright?


           11                      MR. COURTRIGHT: That's fine.


           12                      MS. EVANS: We are not really voting


           13              on it.


           14                      MS. FANUCCI: Well, the problem is if


           15              my name is on the letter that would be a


           16              conflict of interest, so just if I can


           17              abstain from my name being and the letter.


           18                      MS. EVANS: For the governor?


           19                      MS. FANUCCI:  Yes.


           20                      MS. EVANS: Or for all of the four


           21              letters?


           22                      MS. FANUCCI: For all four letters,


           23              let's do.


           24                      MS. EVANS: Thank you.  Over the last


           25              few weeks I have reported the long-term debt






            1              of our city, it is a very serious and


            2              troubling problem about which we all need to


            3              know more.  Consequently, I reviewed the


            4              2001 independent audit of the final year of


            5              the Connors' administration in order to


            6              better track the finances of Scranton.


            7              These are the results:


            8                      In December 31, 2001, the long-term


            9              debt of the city and it's authorities was


           10              $75,667,987.  In December 2007, only six


           11              years into the Doherty administration, the


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


           13              authorities stands at $273,340,228.


           14              Seventy-five million in 2001 and 273 million


           15              in 2007.  This is an increase of nearly


           16              $200 million or four times the amount in


           17              long-term debt in six years.


           18                      Also, the principle debt of the city


           19              and it's authorities in 2001 was


           20              $35,925,000.  The principle debt in 2007 is


           21              $159,162,385.  This is an increase of over


           22              123 million or over four times the amount of


           23              the principle at the time.


           24                      Further, the 2001 audit includes a


           25              $2.9 million surplus passed onto






            1              Mr. Doherty.  Now, supporters of the Doherty


            2              debt will tell you we have a new police


            3              headquarters, four renovated parks, a new


            4              DPW, which incidentally the city doesn't


            5              own, three parking garages of which two are


            6              largely for use by private business, the


            7              Hilton Hotel and the Connell building.  Do


            8              these projects amount to nearly $200 million


            9              of increased debt?  I don't believe so.  And


           10              please note that projects such as Lackawanna


           11              Avenue, the Southern Union Building, the


           12              East Market Street bridge, and Lackawanna


           13              Avenue Bridge, etcetera, are largely funded


           14              through the federal and state governments.


           15              Even the new medical school is funded


           16              through federal, state and private sources,


           17              thus, these projects don't put a dent in the


           18              Doherty debt.


           19                      Further, the police and firefighters


           20              have received no wage increases in seven


           21              years.  How did one mayor and his council


           22              members amass nearly $200 million in debt in


           23              six years?  And remember, that $200 million


           24              doesn't include 2008 and 2009 debt.  It


           25              appears that 100 forced retirements, double






            1              pensions, pay to play professional service


            2              contracts, cabinet and, management raises,


            3              job creations, legal fees to fight the


            4              unions, consultants and incessant training,


            5              four by eight signs, ad campaigns, a PR firm


            6              to highlight the mayor and spin the news,


            7              are equally part of the Doherty debt, and


            8              despite the 25.6 tax -- 25.6 percent tax


            9              increase in 2007, the Doherty debt continued


           10              to grow through unbridled BS, borrowing and


           11              spending.  The average person needs to


           12              remember that the long-term Connors' debt


           13              was $75 million, and the long-term Doherty


           14              debt is $273 million and still growing and


           15              we are all responsible to pay the Doherty


           16              debt until 2039.


           17                      On a related topic, the independent


           18              audit of the Scranton Tax Office is due this


           19              month, however, to date council has not


           20              received a copy of the audit and has not


           21              been notified of a dispersement date for


           22              taxes owed to the city from the


           23              $12.5 million account.


           24                      The last few days have seen the


           25              Court ruling regarding the Scranton police






            1              union way was no surprise in light of a


            2              similar ruling concerning the firefighters'


            3              union.  The statements made by the mayor


            4              mirror his lack of expertise and the absence


            5              of an independent public safety study.  Ask


            6              Coatsville, Reading, and Wilkes-Barre


            7              residents about the crime and arsons that


            8              have occurred because politicians with no


            9              experience in public safety handle police


           10              and fire staffing unwisely.


           11                      The mayor seems to believe that


           12              Scranton does not need additional police


           13              officers and doesn't need some of it's fire


           14              stations.  Well, I'm very anxious to see


           15              which neighborhoods are willing to give up


           16              police protection and their fire stations


           17              while it's residents pay increased taxes for


           18              the Doherty debt.  In effect, we will pay


           19              more taxes for less public safety and


           20              service thanks to this administration.


           21                      Next, item 5-B of the $3 million


           22              loan to Boscov's is a controversial issue


           23              which I will address during the voting


           24              portion of tonight's meeting.


           25                      And, finally, I have some citizens'






            1              request for the week.  City residents


            2              request that debris blocking catch basins


            3              and causing water to pond and freeze be


            4              cleared throughout the city.


            5                      Residents of West Scranton request


            6              the installation of new "no turn on red"


            7              signs at all four corners of the


            8              intersection Luzerne Street and South Main


            9              Avenue.


           10                      Did the city hire a part-time animal


           11              control officer?  Residents of Woodlawn


           12              Street are experiencing skunk problems and


           13              need some help as soon as possible.  The


           14              mayor agreed to allocate $10,000 to skunk


           15              removal in the city according to Mrs.


           16              Gatelli and more problems will only be


           17              forthcoming as warmer weather approaches.


           18                      City residents request that a


           19              garbage pickup schedule would be posted on


           20              Channel 61 through ECTV.  Holidays often


           21              confuse the schedule, particularly since


           22              city hall is not closed on all holidays.  I


           23              know that Dunmore mails an annual schedule


           24              for trash and recycling pickup to all


           25              Dunmore residents.  This can be an expensive






            1              undertaking for a city of Scranton's size,


            2              therefore, council would ask that Mr. Brazil


            3              provide a schedule to ECTV for broadcast.


            4                      And I did speak with one of the


            5              audience members tonight about the proposed


            6              projects for the stimulus package and


            7              council discussed that earlier this evening


            8              in caucus and at next week's meeting I would


            9              be very happy to publically read the list of


           10              projects proposed by city council to the


           11              mayor for inclusion in the stimulus package.


           12              And that's it.


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


           14              Mrs. Gatelli.


           15                      MS. GATELLI: The first thing I have


           16              is I had Mrs. Garvey call some other police


           17              departments to see if they used AED's in


           18              their police cars.  Bethlehem, all of the


           19              police cars have AED's.  In Allentown only


           20              the paddy wagon does.  In Reading, they


           21              don't have any in the police cars but they


           22              have an ambulance that's run by the fire


           23              department.  Easton, some do and some don't,


           24              and Wilkes-Barre doesn't have any.  So,


           25              Mr. Courtright, you might want to check into






            1              it.


            2                      MR. COURTRIGHT: We sent a letter to


            3              Mr. Hayes.  We got no response though, so --


            4                      MS. GATELLI: I noticed that some of


            5              the letters went out later in the week, so


            6              maybe we'll have an answer by next week.


            7              Did you talk about the School for the Deaf?


            8                      MS. EVANS: Yes.


            9                      MS. GATELLI:  You did a motion?


           10                      MS. EVANS: Uh-huh.


           11                      MS. GATELLI:  Put my name on that


           12              motion, please.


           13                      MS. EVANS: Well, we didn't do a


           14              motion, I just asked that letters be sent.


           15                      MS. GATELLI:  All right.  Okay,


           16              good.  Well, I echo my colleagues on that


           17              one.  Also, I wanted to send a letter on the


           18              forensic audit, did you do that?


           19                      MS. EVANS: No.


           20                      MS. GATELLI:  I'd like to send a


           21              letter on behalf of council to


           22              Mrs. Vitali-Flynn asking her when are we


           23              getting a copy of the audit and when do they


           24              expect to disperse the funds.  Then if you


           25              can please carry that down the street so we






            1              can get an answer quickly.  Please, Kay, if


            2              you could send that out right away.


            3                      Also, a letter to the governor about


            4              removing the money for the medical school,


            5              did you do that?


            6                      MS. EVANS: No.


            7                      MS. GATELLI:  No.  I'm sorry, I was


            8              gone to the bathroom and I didn't hear what


            9              you said.  I'd also like with my colleagues'


           10              approval to send a letter to the governor


           11              that no money be removed from the medical


           12              school.


           13                      I reported there is a small mine


           14              subsidence in the 2600 block of Pittston


           15              Avenue and I notified Mr. Brazil about that.


           16              There had been one there years ago and it


           17              appears to be coming back.  I'd also like to


           18              thank them for fixing the pave cut that was


           19              disturbed on the 1100 block of Dartmouth


           20              Street.  The sidewalks were cleaned on the


           21              Sanderson Avenue bridge.  Of course, the


           22              warm weather is going to help with that.


           23                      I talked to Mr. Brazil about paving


           24              in the Plot section when the flood project


           25              is complete, he said that is on the 2009






            1              paving list.  And also I believe that they


            2              are going to be requesting some paving money


            3              out of the stimulus funds from President


            4              Obama.


            5                      The Parker Street bridge, Mr. Brazil


            6              is meeting with the engineer on that


            7              tomorrow.  As you know, there is only one


            8              lane open so it's creating quite a problem


            9              down in the Plot section.


           10                      On the corner of Sanderson and Glenn


           11              there is a catch basin that needs cleaning


           12              so we will send that, also.


           13                      I would just like to address a few


           14              of the comments.  First of all, I'd like to


           15              make some comments about Mrs. Williams and


           16              about Reverend Simmons and what they had to


           17              say last week.  I know that when Mrs.


           18              Williams came to the room quite a few people


           19              snickered at her and made some comments,


           20              although I couldn't hear what they were


           21              saying, they were making some gestures to


           22              her.  I know that a lot of times people


           23              don't agree with each other, and that's


           24              okay, that's what the world is made of, we


           25              are not all going to agree on everything,






            1              but I do see her point in what she said


            2              about, you know, people mistreating people


            3              that don't happen to agree with your ideals


            4              or what you believe in.


            5                      Reverend Simmons also stated that


            6              she got a phone call from someone that she


            7              wasn't allowed to say anything kind, and I


            8              just want to say that I don't think that's


            9              right.  Everyone that comes here is


           10              respected hopefully and it's always better


           11              if you talk it out.  If you talk nice, the


           12              other people will talk nice.  I know it's


           13              hard to do sometimes especially when you up


           14              here and people will calling you names and


           15              it's very difficult, I'll be the first one


           16              to admit that.  I don't like to be called


           17              names I don't like my family to be called


           18              names, but if we don't all try to work


           19              together we are certainly not going to make


           20              the city any better for it.


           21                      I think that's part of what the new


           22              president is trying to stress.  I watched


           23              him last night on television and he tries to


           24              tell everybody what it's all about and to


           25              include everybody, and I think he is doing






            1              the right thing.  I think if people are


            2              included and people are part of the solution


            3              then it helps and you have to be open to


            4              other people's opinions.  I mean, if you


            5              don't agree with them, if you don't agree


            6              with Mrs. Williams or Reverend Simmons


            7              that's okay, but I think they have as much


            8              right as anyone else in here to come to that


            9              podium and say what they think, and I don't


           10              think that they should be ridiculed or


           11              hissed at or some of the shenanigans that


           12              were going on back there.  I just don't


           13              think that's nice and it might prevent other


           14              people from coming here that would like to


           15              come and speak to council.


           16                      So I think everyone should be


           17              welcome here whether they agree with me,


           18              you, Janet, Bob or whatever.  I mean, most


           19              of the time we see you out in the hall


           20              afterwards, nobody has any hard feelings.


           21              We try to get along with everybody.


           22                      And the other thing about the South


           23              Side neighborhood, there are many


           24              neighborhoods that still meet, I don't


           25              really know what Mr. Quinn is talking about.






            1              Minooka is starting a new group, Keyser


            2              Valley meets, Weston Field meets, North


            3              Scranton meets, South Side meets all of the


            4              time, the Hill still meets, so if you are


            5              saying that the neighborhoods are dead, you


            6              know, he is misinformed.  We have not had a


            7              Council of Neighborhoods meeting in quite


            8              sometime.  I don't know why they are not


            9              having them, they probably should, we have


           10              always had them, but I don't know why there


           11              isn't.  Mary Alice Burke is the president of


           12              that particular group and I know she still


           13              does her neighborhood meetings, but I know


           14              her mom is very ill, too, so maybe that's


           15              why she hadn't called a meeting in a long


           16              time.


           17                      As far as the project that's


           18              happening in the South Scranton, I'm very


           19              proud of that project and, yes, I'm going to


           20              support that project right until the very


           21              end.  If you think that it happened


           22              overnight, it didn't.  We have been meeting


           23              five years to do the Elm Street project.


           24              Five years.  You don't just ask and say, "I


           25              want this and I want that," you have to






            1              participate and you have to have people


            2              willing to give up their time.  We have


            3              United States Neighborhood Centers that put


            4              a lot into that project.  Lackawanna


            5              Neighbors with Jody Badden, they took on old


            6              homes over there and are rehabilitating them


            7              into single family homes, so to say that


            8              this is just a fluke, this was started long


            9              before I sat on council.  And, as you know,


           10              South Side is in a state of flux, that's no


           11              surprise.  They have been talking about


           12              South Side for years in the newspaper with


           13              the high crime rates and the bars that are


           14              selling drugs and that we had to close down.


           15                      As a matter of fact, the United


           16              Neighborhood Centers is an old bar, Chick's


           17              Western Bar that was really a problem in


           18              South Scranton, and now it's United


           19              Neighborhood Centers and it's helping all of


           20              that people in that particular neighborhood


           21              and the Senior Center for South Scranton is


           22              located in there.


           23                      So, yes, I'm very proud of the


           24              project in South Scranton, but if you think


           25              it happened because I'm sitting here, you






            1              are very wrong.  It's the work of many


            2              people, Wayne Evans, Mike Hanley from United


            3              Neighborhood Centers, Scranton Tomorrow,


            4              Charlie Spano, Susan Andres.  I mean, I


            5              could give you a list of 100 people that


            6              have been working on that for the last


            7              five years, six years, seven years we have


            8              been trying to get a program over there.


            9                      Two inspectors, the two new


           10              inspectors they are not in South Side, there


           11              is one in the plot and there is one in South


           12              Side, so I would just like to correct those


           13              misconceptions that people try to throw out


           14              there.


           15                      Also, I know when we originally sent


           16              a letter supporting the program over to OECD


           17              I was not aware that it was going to be


           18              strictly for South Scranton, and when I


           19              spoke to Mrs. Aebli about it she said it


           20              really isn't strictly for South Scranton.


           21              However, when you fill out the application


           22              it's on a point system.  We are going to get


           23              this money according to points, and if you


           24              use a redevelopment project that's already


           25              in place as one of your criteria you will






            1              get 20 extra points, so that is why they are


            2              putting it over there because you get 20


            3              extra points if it's in the Elm Street


            4              project, not necessarily that all of the


            5              money has to be used in South Scranton.  So


            6              I just wanted to explain that.


            7                      Anyone is eligible to apply for he


            8              Elm Street funds, you just have to have the


            9              wherewithal and the people in that


           10              neighborhood that are going to get together


           11              and sit down and work on it.  It is a long


           12              procedure and it takes many years before it


           13              comes to fruition.  So, once again, if


           14              anyone is interested you can come to the


           15              South Side neighborhood meeting and United


           16              Neighborhood Centers and we can certainly


           17              put you on the track to filling out the


           18              application to start the process.


           19                      And it's ironic because when I


           20              worked for Jimmy Connors upstairs in COM-D I


           21              spent all of my time in the Hill Section,


           22              all of the money went to the Hill, all of


           23              the condemnations were in the Hill because


           24              the Hill was having bad time back then, and


           25              the problem just moved and moved around the






            1              corner to South Scranton, to my


            2              neighborhood, so that's sometimes what


            3              happens, you just move the problem.


            4                      So other neighborhoods should be


            5              very vigilant about what's happening in


            6              their neighborhood because it might be


            7              happening to your neighborhood next and if


            8              you don't stay on top of it, it becomes


            9              overwhelming like it did in South Scranton


           10              and it's very hard to come out of that once


           11              you get that label, you know.  Now there is


           12              a label there that it's distressed and, you


           13              know, high crime and drugs and it's very


           14              hard to get rid of that image.  Hopefully,


           15              with the Elm Street program coming in, we


           16              are praying that we can get it, and this


           17              grant to help we will help to change the


           18              image of our wonderful community of South


           19              Scranton, and I'm asking my colleagues to


           20              please consider all of these things when you


           21              were voting on this tonight.


           22                      It is a neighborhood that is at a


           23              crossroads and if we don't get these funds


           24              and get the Elm Street project our


           25              neighborhood is not going to survive, so I'm






            1              begging my colleagues to please give this


            2              their utmost consideration and I certainly


            3              would approve it if it were their


            4              neighborhood.  Thank you.


            5                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mrs. Gatelli.


            6              Mrs. Fanucci?


            7                      MS. FANUCCI: I am going to speak on


            8              one subject, which is the Boscov's loan, and


            9              as everybody was here tonight we weren't


           10              planning on having him come to the meeting


           11              which worked out I think really wonderful


           12              that we got to have them present in front of


           13              everyone.  There is no doubt that I am going


           14              to support this.  Never was.  He has been a


           15              leader in our community for years.


           16                      Mr. Quinn got up and stated about


           17              campaigns that he has contributed to which I


           18              wish he talked about all of the other


           19              contributions Mr. Boscov's has made to our


           20              area, all of the wonderful money he has


           21              given to programs all over the city and all


           22              over the state actually, so it actually is


           23              disheartening to hear that, of course, one


           24              side to every story, that's always the one,


           25              not the fact that the man has given






            1              countless amounts of dollars to charity and


            2              to children and to elderly, and so that


            3              actually made me a little sad.


            4                      It's prudent to me that we keep


            5              downtown going.  We need to keep the jobs in


            6              our city at this time and in the way the


            7              economy is right now it is just not even a


            8              thought.  We have to do everything we can to


            9              keep what we have and to keep creating more.


           10              It's the only the way that we are going


           11              forward.  It's wonderful to put curbs in and


           12              sidewalks and pave the streets, which is a


           13              great idea, except if you are not having


           14              people here who are working, paying taxes


           15              and actually living life in the city it


           16              certainly doesn't matter that your curbs are


           17              nice and next time around we are not going


           18              to have the money to repave.  So, that's


           19              what you want to do, you want to keep it


           20              going.


           21                      And that is all I have, and I'm so


           22              glad I can entertain Mr. Gervasi for the


           23              evening.  Thank you.


           24                      MR. GERVASI:  Excuse me?


           25                      MS. FANUCCI:  Oh, David.  That's so






            1              ignorant.


            2                      MR. GERVASI:  I'm having a


            3              conversation.


            4                      MS. FANUCCI: Oh, I saw.


            5                      MR. MCGOFF: Okay.  Please.


            6                      MS. FANUCCI:  I saw.


            7                      MR. GERVASI:  There is something


            8              seriously wrong with you.


            9                      MR. MCGOFF: Please.


           10                      MR. COURTRIGHT: All right.  Last


           11              week there was discussion about KOZ's and t


           12              promptly I got two phone calls from citizens


           13              and both of them had something similar to


           14              say.  They were discussed with the KOZ's and


           15              they were saying, you know, how come if --


           16              how come we don't get a break?  How come the


           17              people don't get a break, you know, if we


           18              put new curbs in or sidewalks in front of


           19              our house, so I think a lot of people out


           20              there are a little bit frustrated with the


           21              KOZ's and we will be discussing the project


           22              coming up next week and see where we go from


           23              there.  I think we all have our own opinion


           24              on it.


           25                      I forget which speaker asked last






            1              week, but some speaker asked about if


            2              Channel -- well, ECTV, I'll just call it


            3              Channel 61, if ECTV would play the council


            4              meetings more often in the prime time and


            5              the answer that I received is absolutely


            6              not.  I didn't speak to him directly, Kay,


            7              you spoke to them on my behalf and he said


            8              absolutely not.  So, there is your answer.


            9                      Mr. Quinn brought up about a project


           10              that I had talked about on Main Avenue in


           11              West Scranton, I think it's going on four


           12              years now I have asked about it, and it


           13              hasn't come to be, but I do want to thank


           14              Congressman Kanjorski because I believe it


           15              was about two years ago he took the time


           16              out, he came out to West Scranton and we


           17              walked up and down the avenue, he saw the


           18              large volume of vehicles that traveled that


           19              street and he was more than willing to help


           20              us, but I think the project has died for


           21              whatever reason.  I have asked several times


           22              about it and basically got no response.


           23                      I have asked the mayor maybe two or


           24              three times on National Night Out because I


           25              happened to see him there and, you know, he






            1              keeps telling me some day.  Well, I don't


            2              know when that some day is going to be, but


            3              I will ask my colleagues to consider that


            4              when we get this money.  That's a worthwhile


            5              project.


            6                      I think North Scranton had a nice


            7              project done up there, now South Side is


            8              getting a lot of things done, so I think


            9              it's hopefully our turn in West Scranton to


           10              have something done.  I haven't seen much


           11              happen there in the last several years.


           12                      And Mrs. Gatelli spoke about the


           13              AED's, Mr. Gervasi did bring it up last week


           14              that they were on both trucks and Car 21 and


           15              rescue, and he just let me know that they


           16              are not dispatched, you know, they don't


           17              call out "Car 21" or they don't call out,


           18              you know, that trucks when somebody needs an


           19              AED.


           20                      We tried, you know, a program where


           21              we were hoping it was going to happen, I


           22              don't know, it was two or three years ago,


           23              and I thought at that time Mr. Hayes was in


           24              favor of it.  We had a meeting right here


           25              and I thought everybody was in favor of it,






            1              and I believe Mr. Hayes when I asked him if


            2              he thought the mayor was going to go for it,


            3              I can't remember his exact words, but it was


            4              something to the effect that he doesn't pay


            5              me, you know, to do this job and not listen


            6              to me, but the mayor wasn't in favor of it,


            7              so that program never took place.


            8                      But the vehicles, the police


            9              vehicles had the AED's on them and many


           10              times they were dispatched.  It wasn't --


           11              they weren't having them in the vehicles


           12              just if a call -- they happened to be on a


           13              call and there is an AED if there is a


           14              problem and they knew there was an AED on


           15              each side of the river, at least one on each


           16              side of the river, I think there were more


           17              at the time, that they would actually go to


           18              the call, and that's why I think it's -- I


           19              thank you for looking it up I think, it's


           20              very important.


           21                      We sent a letter out, we haven't


           22              gotten it back yet, maybe it won't be out a


           23              little bit late, I'll wait and see if we get


           24              a response, but I will stay on top of it.


           25                      Also, Les Spindler brought up about






            1              the Ford dealership, I didn't get an


            2              opportunity to do that this week, I'll try


            3              tomorrow just to see because that is


            4              problem, the cars are parked all the way out


            5              in the street so you do have to walk out on


            6              the road.  I would imagine it would be


            7              possibly licensing and inspections that


            8              would have to take a look at that, but I'll


            9              make a call tomorrow on that, and that's all


           10              I have.  Thank you.


           11                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you,


           12              Mr. Courtright.  Two things very quickly,


           13              Mr. Ungvarsky asked a number of times about,


           14              I don't know if it's pronounced Seccus or


           15              Seacus, LLC, and the information that I


           16              received is Seacus, LLC, received or funds


           17              were dispersed with $70,000 on November 2,


           18              2007, and as part of the agreement they were


           19              to provide ten positions, ten jobs which


           20              will be, as they said, will be created for


           21              technical programming and administrative


           22              posts.  They I am told currently have an


           23              office in the Diversified building and are


           24              operational.  That's the information -- that


           25              is the information that I have.






            1                      And the second thing, I want to


            2              thank Mrs. Schumacher for volunteering my


            3              time, but I did want to remind you that we


            4              only get paid for attending Tuesday night


            5              meetings, so I don't think that -- thank


            6              you.  Mrs. Garvey.


            7                      MS. GARVEY: FIFTH ORDER.  5-B. FOR


            8              INTRODUCTION - AN ORDINANCE - AUTHORIZING








           12              AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT ("HUD") FOR A SECTION


           13              108 FEDERAL LOAN GUARANTEE IN THE AMOUNT OF


           14              THREE MILLION DOLLARS ($3,000,000.00) AND IF






           17              BOSCOV'S, INC. FOR AN ELIGIBLE PROJECT, AND


           18              FURTHER TO AMEND THE CITY OF SCRANTON'S


           19              CONSOLIDATED PLAN FILED IN 2004 AND THE


           20              FISCAL YEAR 2009 ANNUAL ACTION PLAN FOR THE


           21              COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT ("CDBG")




           23              108 APPLICATION AND LOAN ACTIVITIES.


           24                      MR. MCGOFF: At this time I'll


           25              entertain a motion that Item 5-B be






            1              introduced into it's proper committee.


            2                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  So moved.


            3                      MS. FANUCCI: Second.


            4                      MR. MCGOFF: On the question?


            5                      MS. EVANS: Yes.  This is a very


            6              weighty issue.  I do understand that


            7              Boscov's is the anchor of the Steamtown Mall


            8              and that the Steamtown Mall employs several


            9              hundred individuals.  At the same time, as I


           10              look around the city, including the downtown


           11              over the last three or four years, I know


           12              that there are many businesses who are no


           13              longer there.  Leonard's Hardware, Hoban's.


           14              If you go down to Greenridge in the


           15              Greenridge Shopping Plaza Hill's Department


           16              Store went out of business.  It was replaced


           17              by another department chain and, of course,


           18              they didn't succeed and I believe now it's


           19              become Planet Fitness.  So, so many


           20              businesses, Quint's Army and Navy, and


           21              Barbara Moss and Helen Schwartz and that


           22              beautiful train store that used to be on


           23              Lackawanna Avenue, where have they all gone


           24              and who helped them?  The city never tried


           25              to help them.






            1                      And I think, you know, if you


            2              calculate all of the employees of all of


            3              those closed businesses that we have lost


            4              I'm sure we are looking at just as many, if


            5              not more, and I was concerned about Boscov's


            6              ability to pay this loan.  As I said


            7              earlier, I learned some information about


            8              the questions that I posed concerning the


            9              two Section 108 loans that the city pays


           10              annually through CDBG monies, and as I said


           11              earlier, the remaining amount for Boscov's


           12              is $5,102,000, that's not the loan we are


           13              discussing this evening.  The principle is


           14              paid with a yearly payment in August, 2.5


           15              million will be paid off by August of 2011,


           16              and the remainder will be paid off by August


           17              of 2024.


           18                      Mr. Boscov tonight very graciously


           19              indicated that he will be finding out why


           20              the city is paying on that original loan and


           21              he is going to contact me and provide that


           22              answer.  He also indicated that not only


           23              inventory, but property would be used as


           24              collateral for this loan and that he


           25              guarantees this loan will be repaid, and as






            1              we were discussing privately inventory and


            2              buildings owned by Mr. Boscov throughout the


            3              State of Pennsylvania, Mr. Boscov offered to


            4              include the Mall at Steamtown as part of the


            5              collateral for this loan.


            6                      And so I'd like to investigate that


            7              further and see if he is a man of his word


            8              and if, indeed, it is worth having.  At this


            9              point I know that, you know, quite an amount


           10              is owed until, as I said, the Year 2024 and


           11              if, indeed, you know, the city in the event


           12              of any type of foreclosure would become the


           13              owner of that property these are all


           14              questions that I would like answered by next


           15              week.


           16                      A speaker tonight also asked if


           17              Boscov's is current on it's mercantile tax


           18              and, Kay, I would like to the answer to that


           19              prior to next week's meeting as well, and to


           20              be fair Mr. Boscov and his representatives


           21              stated than Boscov's pays approximately


           22              $200,000 annually in city taxes, and so I'm


           23              going to vote, yes, to introduce this


           24              tonight.  And in the mean time, I'm going to


           25              be looking for the answers to the questions






            1              and situations that I enumerated for you,


            2              and if the answers are not satisfactory then


            3              I don't believe I can support this, but if


            4              Mr. Boscov is a man of his word and if these


            5              answers are positive answers, then I'll


            6              continue affirmatively.


            7                      MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else on the


            8              question?  All those in favor of


            9              introduction signify by saying aye.


           10                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.


           11                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.


           12                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.


           13                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.


           14                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?  The


           15              ayes have it and so moved.


           16                      MS. GARVEY: 5-C.  FOR INTRODUCTION -


           17              A RESOLUTION - RE-APPOINTMENT OF WILLIAM


           18              LAZOR, 677 MARY STREET, SCRANTON,


           19              PENNSYLVANIA, 18508, AS A MEMBER OF THE


           20              BOARD OF THE SCRANTON REDEVELOPMENT


           21              AUTHORITY FOR A TERM OF FIVE (5) YEARS. MR.


           22              LAZOR'S CURRENT TERM EXPIRES ON MARCH 19,


           23              2009 AND HIS NEW TERM WILL EXPIRE ON MARCH


           24              19, 2014.


           25                      MR. MCGOFF:  At this time I'll






            1              entertain a motion that Item 5-C be


            2              introduced into it's proper committee.


            3                      MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.


            4                      MS. FANUCCI:  Second.


            5                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  All


            6              in favor signify by saying aye.


            7                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.


            8                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.


            9                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.


           10                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.


           11                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?  The


           12              ayes have it and so moved.


           13                      MS. GARVEY: 5-D. FOR INTRODUCTION -


           14              A RESOLUTION - RE-APPOINTMENT OF PETER


           15              RIEBE, 1315 SANDERSON AVENUE, SCRANTON,


           16              PENNSYLVANIA, 18509, AS A MEMBER OF THE


           17              BOARD OF THE SCRANTON REDEVELOPMENT


           18              AUTHORITY FOR A TERM OF FIVE (5) YEARS. MR.


           19              RIEBE'S CURRENT TERM EXPIRED ON FEBRUARY 4,


           20              2009 AND HIS NEW TERM WILL EXPIRE ON


           21              FEBRUARY 4, 2014.


           22                      MR. MCGOFF:  At this time I'll


           23              entertain a motion that Item 5-D be


           24              introduced into it's proper committee.


           25                      MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.






            1                      MS. FANUCCI:  Second.


            2                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  All


            3              those in favor of introduction signify by


            4              saying aye.


            5                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.


            6                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.


            7                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.


            8                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.


            9                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?  The


           10              ayes have it and so moved.


           11                      MS. GARVEY: 5-E. FOR INTRODUCTION -


           12              A RESOLUTION - AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND




           14              AND ENTER INTO A MUNICIPAL-MAIN STREET




           16              THE CITY OF SCRANTON ("MUNICIPALITY") AND


           17              SCRANTON TOMORROW ("ORGANIZATION") IN ORDER






           20              COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT ("DCED") TO ASSIST


           21              WITH DOWNTOWN REVITALIZATION.


           22                      MR. MCGOFF:  At this time I'll


           23              entertain a motion that Item 5-E be


           24              introduced into it's proper committee.


           25                      MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.






            1                      MS. FANUCCI:  Second.


            2                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?


            3                      MS. EVANS: Does anyone know


            4              specifically what downtown revitalization is


            5              being referred to?


            6                      MR. MCGOFF: Specific -- there is a


            7              map describing it I believe.


            8                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Last page of the


            9              backup, the map is anyway.  There is nothing


           10              specific that's just a map of the area in


           11              the backup.


           12                      MS. EVANS: Right.  It's a map of the


           13              area currently, but what is the downtown


           14              revitalization that is proposed, does anyone


           15              know?


           16                      MS. GATELLI:  Well, it's a program


           17              through the state, it's like the Elm Street


           18              that we are doing, only it's for downtowns,


           19              and they offer such things as facade grants


           20              and things of that nature to revitalize


           21              parts of the downtown that need help, to


           22              small business owners.


           23                      MS. EVANS: I'd like to have that.  I


           24              would like to know what they are going to do


           25              with it.  That's all.






            1                      MS. GATELLI: That's what they do.


            2                      MS. FANUCCI: There is a certain --


            3              yeah, there are certain criteria that you


            4              have -- it has to be an old building or


            5              something that is rehabbed or --


            6                      MS. GATELLI:  To revitalize the


            7              central business district.


            8                      MS. FANUCCI: Right.


            9                      MS. GATELLI: Once you are named that


           10              then you can appoint a manager.  You know,


           11              like we used to have the downtown business


           12              association and they took care of a lot of


           13              the downtown, well, this would name a main


           14              street manager at some point and that person


           15              would be responsible for this area and


           16              soliciting from people if they were


           17              interested in facade grants or cleanups or


           18              there is one I believe it was in Allentown I


           19              went to years ago and they even had their


           20              own cleanup crew, like they do on Broadway


           21              now.  There is a Broadway Business District,


           22              a neighborhood improvement district on


           23              Broadway, I'm sure you see them cleaning up,


           24              you know, they have their own logo and


           25              everything.  It would be similar to that






            1              where you could get grants to help


            2              revitalize the downtown of the small


            3              businesses, things of that nature.


            4                      MR. MCGOFF:  Anyone else on the


            5              question?  All those in favor of


            6              introduction signify by saying aye.


            7                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.


            8                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.


            9                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.


           10                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.


           11                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?  The


           12              ayes have it and so moved.


           13                      MS. GARVEY: We need a motion for a


           14              public hearing.


           15                      MR. MCGOFF: I'm sorry.  I'd like to


           16              make a motion to authorize the city clerk to


           17              make arrangements to schedule a public


           18              hearing for next Tuesday, February 17, 2009,


           19              at 5:45 and to place the necessary


           20              advertisement.


           21                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.


           22                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  All


           23              in favor signify by saying aye.


           24                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.


           25                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.






            1                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.


            2                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.


            3                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?  The


            4              ayes have it and so moved.


            5                      MS. GARVEY: 5-F. FOR INTRODUCTION -


            6              A RESOLUTION - AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND




            8              TO APPLY FOR AND EXECUTE A NEIGHBORHOOD


            9              STABILIZATION PROGRAM (NSP) GRANT IN THE


           10              AMOUNT OF THREE $3,000,000.00 MILLION


           11              DOLLARS THROUGH A PROGRAM OF THE






           14              AUTHORIZED AS PART OF H.R. 3221-THE HOUSING


           15              AND ECONOMIC RECOVERY ACT, AND IF THE GRANT








           19              PROGRAM" (NSP).


           20                      MR. MCGOFF: At this time I'll


           21              entertain a motion that Item 5-F be


           22              introduced into it's proper committee.


           23                      MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.


           24                      MS. FANUCCI:  Second.


           25                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  All






            1              those in favor signify by saying aye.


            2                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.


            3                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.


            4                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.


            5                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.


            6                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?  The


            7              ayes have it and so moved.


            8                      MS. GARVEY: SIXTH ORDER.  NO


            9              BUSINESS AT THIS TIME.  SEVENTH ORDER.  7-A.




           11              -  FOR ADOPTION -  FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 60,


           12              2009 - AUTHORIZING THE SALE AND TRANSFER OF


           13              A PARCEL OF LAND ACQUIRED BY THE CITY




           15              BIDS TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER, PROPERTY MORE


           16              COMMONLY KNOWN AS 620 RACE STREET, SCRANTON,




           18              21, 2004, DULY RECORDED IN THE LACKAWANNA




           20              BOOK 1278, PAGE 0002.


           21                      MR. MCGOFF:  As Chairperson for the


           22              Committee on Rules, I recommend final


           23              passage of Item 7-A.


           24                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.


           25                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  Roll






            1              call, please?


            2                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.


            3                      MS. EVANS:  Yes.


            4                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Gatelli.


            5                      MS. GATELLI.  Yes.


            6                      MR. COOLICAN:  Ms. Fanucci.


            7                      MS. FANUCCI:  Yes.


            8                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.


            9                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yes.


           10                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.


           11                      MR. MCGOFF:  Yes.  I hereby declare


           12              Item 7-A legally and lawfully adopted.


           13                      At this time I'll entertain a motion


           14              to adjourn.


           15                      MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.


           16                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you for your


           17              participation.






















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




            3        I hereby certify that the proceedings and


            4   evidence are contained fully and accurately in the


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


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


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


            8   ability.







                                    CATHENE S. NARDOZZI, RPR

           12                       OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER