1              SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING








            5                          HELD:




            7               Tuesday, February 24, 2009




            9                        LOCATION:


           10                    Council Chambers


           11                 Scranton City Hall


           12              340 North Washington Avenue


           13                Scranton, Pennsylvania











































                MS. JANET E. EVANS



            9   MS. SHERRY FANUCCI



                MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT



           12   MS. KAY GARVEY, CITY CLERK
































            1                      (Pledge of Allegiance recited and


            2              moment of reflection observed.)


            3                      MR. MCGOFF:  Roll call, please.


            4                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.


            5                      MS. EVANS:  Yes.


            6                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Gatelli.


            7                      MS. GATELLI:  Yes.


            8                      MR. COOLICAN:  Ms. Fanucci.


            9                      MS. FANUCCI:  Yes.


           10                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.


           11                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yes.


           12                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.


           13                      MR. MCGOFF:  Yes.


           14                      MR. MCGOFF: Dispense with the


           15              reading of the minutes.  Third Order,


           16              please.


           17                      MS. GARVEY: 3-A.  CONTROLLER'S


           18              REPORT FOR THE MONTH ENDING JANUARY 31,


           19              2009.


           20                      MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?


           21              If not, received and filed.


           22                      MS. GARVEY: That's it for Third


           23              Order.


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


           25              Announcements from anyone?






            1                      MS. EVANS:  Yes.  Please remember


            2              all those who have died this week,


            3              particularly Mark Boock, a devoted family


            4              man, local historian, photographer for the


            5              Scranton fire department and selfless


            6              gentleman, as well as Linda Fields, a loving


            7              mother and grandmother, founding mother of


            8              the Women's Resource Center, and


            9              humanitarian, and their family and friends


           10              they leave behind.


           11                      Also, in preparation for her musical


           12              study abroad trip to Italy this summer, Dana


           13              Cerminaro will be hosting a performance


           14              entitled "A song for the ages" on Saturday,


           15              March 7, 2009, at St. Luke's Episcopal


           16              church, 232 Wyoming Avenue, Scranton.


           17              Special guess performer is Jim Cerminaro.


           18              All are invited to attend.  And that's it.


           19                      MR. MCGOFF:  I would just like to


           20              reiterate the benefits that are coming up.


           21              This Saturday, the 28th at the Clarion, at


           22              8:00, is for Joseph Nunez, and Saturday


           23              March 7th at the 20th Ward Club is the one


           24              for Jimmy Chapman, and that's Saturday


           25              March 7th from 1 to 5.






            1                      I would also like to acknowledge


            2              Mark Boocks passing away.  He was a South


            3              Side resident and did attend meetings and


            4              showed us his many works that he compiled


            5              concerning the fire department, so certainly


            6              we are all offering our condolences to his


            7              family.


            8                      I'd like to congratulate the West


            9              Scranton High School boys basketball team.


           10              Unfortunately, they had a District II


           11              quarter final last evening and they were


           12              down by 18, came back to lose it only by two


           13              points, but they were a wonderful bunch of


           14              boys, coached by our great coach, Jack


           15              Lyons, and I would just like to acknowledge


           16              them because they did a great job this year.


           17                      Also, Scranton high school Stars are


           18              putting on a musical called "Honk" at 7:00


           19              on Friday, March 6, 7 and 8, at 2:00.


           20              Saturday and Sunday it's at 2:00 at Scranton


           21              High School Auditorium.  Tickets are


           22              available at the door, $7.00 for adults and


           23              $5 for students, and many of our Scranton


           24              students will be in the play, including my


           25              next door neighbor, Ryan Caviston, and one






            1              of my coworker's daughters, Abby Lutz, and


            2              they have been in plays before at Scranton


            3              High and they do a wonderful job so we would


            4              like to give them a little plug too.


            5                      I spoke to John McGovern today, for


            6              the record, and they are having a meeting I


            7              believe he told me tomorrow with the


            8              Department of the Treasury to review the


            9              audit from the Single Tax Office, so it


           10              should be any day now barring any


           11              complications with the report to the


           12              Treasury Department.  He anticipates having


           13              a meeting with the municipality and all of


           14              the state holders early next week, so I will


           15              keep you apprised of that situation.  And


           16              that's all I have.  Thank you.


           17                      MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Courtright?


           18                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Yeah.  I, too, would


           19              like to send my condolences to Mark's


           20              family, and I need to read this press


           21              release again.  I told them -- they asked me


           22              if I would do it for two or three weeks, so


           23              if you could bear with me.


           24                      West Scranton High School would like


           25              to introduce the West Scranton High School






            1              directory, the most compressive directory


            2              West Scranton High School ever published.


            3              The contents of the directory will be


            4              divided into four sections, biographical,


            5              geographical, class roster, and most


            6              importantly, the introductory section


            7              showing the school's history and events.


            8              All efforts are being made to contact West


            9              Scranton High School alumni via phone,


           10              e-mail and to verify biographical


           11              information.  West Scranton High School has


           12              contracted with Alumni Research Incorporated


           13              to collect and compile the information into


           14              a hardbound library bound volume in an


           15              on-line community.  This directory is being


           16              made available to West Scranton High School


           17              alumni only and is limited edition press run


           18              offered only one time.


           19                      Alumni Research Incorporated is in


           20              the process of contacting those who have


           21              provided current telephone numbers and


           22              addresses to verify biographical


           23              information.  Please help your alma mater


           24              keep in touch with you.  If you are


           25              interested in replying and you have not






            1              received any communications from Alumni


            2              Research, Incorporated, you may call


            3              1-800-299-1230.  And that's all I have.


            4              Thank you.


            5                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.  Fourth


            6              Order.  Last week it was asked if Attorney


            7              Cullen could appear and inadvertently time


            8              at caucus was not provided, so I would since


            9              he was asked to be here this evening I would


           10              like to ask Attorney Cullen if he would be


           11              the first speaker during civic


           12              participation.


           13                      MR. CULLEN: Thank you very much,


           14              Mr. McGoff.  I appreciate that very much,


           15              and I appreciate all members of council


           16              allowing me to appear there this evening on


           17              a matter which I believe has impact on not


           18              only the City of Scranton, but in the larger


           19              sense the County of Lackawanna.


           20                      With me to tonight is State


           21              Representative Kevin Murphy, and Mr. Murphy


           22              will share my time that council is so nice


           23              to give to me on this matter.  I have sent


           24              to council a six-page letter that outlines


           25              the state of the affairs for Home Rule






            1              Municipality in the Commonwealth of


            2              Pennsylvania today.  Some time ago through a


            3              legal effort, Mr. Thomas Masevitch of South


            4              Scranton sought to challenge the imposition


            5              by the county commissioners of Lackawanna


            6              County of a 48.4 percent tax hike.  That


            7              matter, unfortunately, was not successful in


            8              the Court system, but what occurred was the


            9              exhausting of all legal remedies that would


           10              be available to challenge that type of tax


           11              increase.  Essentially, it came down to an


           12              understanding of amendment to the Home Rule


           13              Charter and Optional Plans Law that would


           14              allow, as the Commonwealth Court pointed


           15              out, that would allow a municipality that's


           16              a Home Rule municipality to impose any


           17              level of any amount of taxation upon it's


           18              residents without any kind of protections or


           19              opportunity to challenge that by any


           20              taxpayer or property owner of that


           21              municipality.


           22                      The letter that I sent to council


           23              outlines a motion and the need for a motion


           24              to support an effort to State Representative


           25              Murphy is in the process of putting together






            1              now with other members of the General


            2              Assembly to deal with the issue of how does


            3              a Home Rule municipality protect it's


            4              residents and property owners in the future


            5              and safeguard them against excessive tax


            6              increases.  Previously, under the various


            7              codes that regulates the conduct of cities


            8              and townships and boroughs in this


            9              Commonwealth, there has always been some


           10              type of protective aspect to the amount of


           11              taxation that a governing body of one of


           12              those municipalities could possibly enact


           13              the tax rate without having the need to go


           14              to the Court of Common Pleas of that


           15              particular county and ask for permission.


           16                      In the county code, for example,


           17              Section 1770, limits the amount of tax


           18              increase that the county commissioners can


           19              make in any one given tax year to five


           20              mills.  If they wish to do it more than five


           21              mills they have to file a petition in the


           22              Court of Common Pleas and come before the


           23              judge and explain why they need the


           24              additional millage rates.  This has happened


           25              with several other boroughs and townships in






            1              this region.


            2                      When the Home Rule Charter of


            3              Lackawanna County was enacted, there was a


            4              provision which is known as 302 (C) which


            5              required an excessive tax rate levied by


            6              county commissioners that exceeded a certain


            7              amount as set forth in that section of the


            8              Home Rule Charter, it required that


            9              excessive tax rate to be approved by public


           10              referendum.  It was based on my client's


           11              understanding of 302 (C) the challenge to


           12              48.4 tax increase imposed by the county in


           13              2004 was challenged.


           14                      This letter talks about the fact


           15              that now that all judicial remedies have


           16              been exhausted the matter now becomes one


           17              for the legislature to deal with, and we


           18              asked in this letter for the opportunity for


           19              this council to show that it does share the


           20              concerns of those residents of the City of


           21              Scranton that pay a county tax, that an


           22              excessive tax rate with no protections


           23              afforded is not what the legislature


           24              probably meant when they gave the idea to


           25              Home Rule municipalities in the






            1              Commonwealth.  The motion simply statements


            2              that the City Council of the City of


            3              Scranton supports an amendment to the Home


            4              Rule Charter -- excuse me, the Home Rule


            5              Charter and Optional Plans Law to permit the


            6              reactivation of Section 302 (C) in the Home


            7              Rule Charter of Lackawanna County.  That is


            8              the protection afforded to residents and


            9              property owners from an excessive tax rate


           10              and allows them the opportunity for public


           11              referendum.


           12                      The City of Scranton has a Home Rule


           13              Charter and so does the City of Carbondale.


           14              Neither one of those Home Rule Charters have


           15              a provision like 302 (C) that the county


           16              Home Rule Charter has.  So that this matter


           17              would not effect the City of Scranton in


           18              what type of taxation the City of Scranton


           19              can impose or the City of Carbondale.  It


           20              would only affect the County of Lackawanna.


           21                      The significance is that every


           22              resident of the City of Scranton is a


           23              resident of the City of the county of


           24              Lackawanna and they your constituents, would


           25              still be subject to an excessive tax passed






            1              by the county on city residents, so to this


            2              extent, this measure, this motion, is an


            3              attempt to provide support to the efforts by


            4              Mr. Murphy in Harrisburg to have this


            5              legislation, that is the Home Rule Charter


            6              and Optional Plans Law amended to allow the


            7              Home Rule Community like Lackawanna County


            8              to have it's section, Section 302 (C)


            9              reactivated and serve as a protection for


           10              county taxpayers from having an excessive


           11              tax rate imposed upon them and not having


           12              any way to challenge it or to voice their


           13              concerns.  The only way now is every four


           14              years at the election poles in an election


           15              that you can turn out people who do impose,


           16              public officials who do impose the 48


           17              percent tax hike.  I think we all know,


           18              those of you in public service, what


           19              happened in the last commissioner's election


           20              largely because of that 48 percent tax hike.


           21              The trouble is why do you have to wait for


           22              four years to do it?


           23                      All the other codes that regulate


           24              the various municipalities in this


           25              Commonwealth provide for some type of






            1              opportunity to voice a challenge or to go


            2              through a Court proceeding.  Lackawanna


            3              County doesn't have one now.  Representative


            4              Murphy is committed to preparing this


            5              legislation and introducing it, and to that


            6              extent I have taken this on behalf of Mr.


            7              Masevitch, my client, to contact the City of


            8              Scranton and other municipalities asking


            9              them for their support.


           10                      You have been extraordinarily


           11              gracious in your time, and I appreciate


           12              that, and my letter has said it all I think,


           13              and if you would grant a few more minutes


           14              Representative Murphy would like to address


           15              this.


           16                      MS. FANUCCI: Can I ask a question?


           17                      MR. CULLEN: Sure.


           18                      MS. FANUCCI: I have a question while


           19              the attorney is here.  I want to thank you


           20              for coming because this is good information


           21              for us.  Now, I need to know how this


           22              effects us under -- being sanctioned by the


           23              state and the Recovery Plan, so say the


           24              Recovery Plan says to us we need to up our


           25              taxes, is there any way that -- do they






            1              trump this law?


            2                      MR. CULLEN: No.


            3                      MS. FANUCCI: Or then we are in


            4              violation constantly and we never get out of


            5              a Recovery Plan like the say.


            6                      MS. CULLEN:  That's a very good


            7              point and I appreciate that, and I looked at


            8              that because that was one of the concerns I


            9              had coming before the city because of it's


           10              current status and the Recovery Plan, and


           11              what I did is I looked at the -- I looked at


           12              the act that did the research and came back


           13              to the conclusion that this would only


           14              effect the County of Lackawanna because in


           15              it's original Home Rule Charter there is the


           16              Section 302-C.  It's technically invalidated


           17              now by Court decision, but this legislation


           18              if passed in Harrisburg would revitalize


           19              that.  The county's Home Rule Charter has


           20              that section, but the city's Home Rule


           21              Charter has no section like that.  It could


           22              not be -- there is no section to be


           23              reactivated, that's what I'm getting at, and


           24              if -- I mean, we all know if you look at the


           25              Home Rule Charter and Optional Plans Law






            1              there is opportunity for those residents of


            2              a Home Rule Municipality to see amendment or


            3              change of their charter, that's a whole


            4              process that if even if it was put in the


            5              play certainly allows and affords the whole


            6              democratic experience to that effort.  That


            7              would not be brought to bear in this limited


            8              circumstance, and in this limited


            9              circumstance it would only effect the county


           10              of Lackawanna.


           11                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  I have one quick


           12              question for you, if you don't mind.  There


           13              was some concern because you have a client


           14              and you have a lawsuit that we would become


           15              a party to that lawsuit, is that lawsuit


           16              done?


           17                      MR. CULLEN: Gratefully, I refer to


           18              Mr. Masevitch as my client, yes, he was my


           19              client.  There is no lawsuit.  The Supreme


           20              Court has basically said it's over.  We have


           21              exhausted every legal remedy we can.  There


           22              is no lawsuit involved in this.  This is a


           23              legislative effort that we are trying to


           24              coordinate and this is a matter of the state


           25              legislature.






            1                      MS. FANUCCI: So we can assume you


            2              lost --


            3                      MR. CULLEN: Yes.


            4                      MS. FANUCCI: And now this is the


            5              only way to try to make it right?  Does that


            6              work?


            7                      MR. CULLEN:  Well, that's very true


            8              and you will see in this a lot of legal


            9              opinions and circumstances like this where


           10              Courts, whether local or on the appellate


           11              level, will say this is a matter for the


           12              legislature and because we exhausted all


           13              legal remedies, and quite determinedly so,


           14              since we exhausted all legal remedies it is


           15              now in the hands of the legislature, much


           16              like your function as a legislative branch.


           17                      MS. FANUCCI: Thank you.


           18                      MR. CULLEN: Thank you.


           19                      MS. GATELLI: I have a question, too.


           20                      MR. CULLEN: Yes, Judy.


           21                      MS. GATELLI: Since this is going to


           22              affect the Count of Lackawanna have the


           23              commissioners been informed of this and are


           24              they in favor of it?


           25                      MR. CULLEN: I don't know if they're






            1              in favor of it, they have been informed of


            2              it.


            3                      MS. GATELLI: You didn't speak to


            4              them?


            5                      MR. CULLEN: Not yet.  I haven't had


            6              the opportunity to appear in front of them.


            7                      MS. GATELLI:  And also, Kevin, you


            8              might know the answer, is Representative


            9              Smith aware of this and he is in favor of


           10              it?


           11                      MR. MURPHY: This is just proposed


           12              legislation at this point.  I haven't


           13              discussed it with Representative Smith at


           14              any great length.  There are many


           15              representatives that know I am working on


           16              something to strengthen the code to ensure


           17              that the taxpayers are protected, but the


           18              specific language hasn't been drafted yet.


           19              We will be going over that with the


           20              representatives in Harrisburg that serve


           21              here locally in the Scranton/Lackawanna


           22              County area, but to this point we have not.


           23              I'm going to present this not only before


           24              the City of Scranton and the council here in


           25              the City of Scranton, but before all of the






            1              boroughs, municipalities within the 113th


            2              District and every Borough, I believe at


            3              this point, every elected official has


            4              gotten a copy throughout Lackawanna County.


            5                      MS. GATELLI:  Did anyone vote on it


            6              yet?


            7                      MR. CULLEN:  Yes, I can answer that.


            8              The Borough of Throop last evening endorsed


            9              this motion and passed it and will be


           10              sending it to the seven elected officials


           11              that are listed on attachment one as a copy


           12              showing their support for this.


           13                      MR. MURPHY:  One of the reasons that


           14              I'm here this evening is we are not in


           15              session this week, and because of that it is


           16              somewhat time sensitive, there is a lot of


           17              boroughs, there is a lot of other


           18              municipalities to get to in order to get


           19              this message out here, but I wanted to make


           20              sure that I could appear before Scranton


           21              City Council personally to discuss this, but


           22              this isn't the end of the road, this is


           23              really just the beginning of the road.


           24                      I felt it was very important through


           25              the course of the last couple of campaigns






            1              it was brought to my attention by many, many


            2              people the unfairness of the 48 percent tax


            3              increase in Lackawanna County.  Everyone


            4              asked what can you do it about it in order


            5              to protect the taxpayer from an overly


            6              burdensome tax increase, tax increase such


            7              as that, so this is what I propose we do.


            8                      I propose that we amend the Home


            9              Rule Charter and Municipalities both because


           10              Lackawanna County, as counsel had stated, is


           11              really the only place where this is


           12              applicable.  It's not going to have a


           13              subsection, it's not going to effect the


           14              City of Scranton, but it will effect all of


           15              us as taxpayers, and has the councilman


           16              stated, the citizens of Scranton are also


           17              taxpayers of Lackawanna County.  So that's


           18              the intent of the legislation, to protect


           19              the people, to make sure that there is a


           20              check and balance in place as there is here


           21              in the City of Scranton, but with just two


           22              people being majority commissioners here in


           23              Lackawanna County it's too much power, it's


           24              too burdensome on the taxpayers and


           25              potentially it could have been in excess of






            1              100 percent, so this is just an effort to


            2              protect the taxpayer.


            3                      I know when you asked the question,


            4              Councilwoman Fanucci, whether council lost


            5              his particular pursuit --


            6                      MS. FANUCCI: It wasn't to be mean, I


            7              was trying to see this is why we --


            8                      MR. CULLEN: There is always a winner


            9              and a loser.


           10                      MS. FANUCCI: It wasn't a shot.


           11                      MR. MURPHY: That was fine, but I'm


           12              sure all attorneys are somewhat sensitive


           13              not having decisions not going in their


           14              favor before any Court.


           15                      MS. FANUCCI: But sometimes the law


           16              is not on your side and that's what it's


           17              about.  I mean, that's basically --


           18                      MR. MURPHY: That's exactly right, so


           19              he did exhaust all of the avenues that were


           20              available to him as far as the Court system


           21              in effort to protect the best interest of


           22              his client and Lackawanna County and at this


           23              point the amending of this legislation I


           24              think is what has to done, so I'm going to


           25              try to pursue that, and I want to thank all






            1              of you, Councilmen, Councilwomen, for your


            2              time it was very courteous of you, and I


            3              don't have anything further unless you have


            4              any questions of me.


            5                      MS. GATELLI:  Is the school district


            6              involved in this, too?


            7                      MR. CULLEN: Yes, I'm sorry, I should


            8              have pointed that out.  I have made sure


            9              that every school district in this county


           10              has received copies of this.  All the


           11              members of the school district, the


           12              superintendents.  I have had a few


           13              preliminary discussions with the Scranton


           14              School District, evidently, they had a


           15              couple of other issues that we wanted to get


           16              out of the way, but they would like to look


           17              at this one and we would probably be


           18              addressing them about and the school


           19              district is aware as well as ever other


           20              school district in town.


           21                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.  Thank you,


           22              Attorney Cullen.


           23                      MR. MURPHY: If I may one last point


           24              of information, there is going to be a rally


           25              at the Scranton State School for the Deaf






            1              this Saturday at noon.  That's another cause


            2              that we are working on.  It was put into the


            3              Governor's budget, the funding for the


            4              Scranton State School for the Deaf would be


            5              cut and the school would be closed this


            6              coming fall.  We are working hard and we are


            7              talking with top aids in the Rendell


            8              administration to try to remedy the


            9              situation.  To this point, we don't have a


           10              solution, but I want to make sure that we


           11              study this, we look at this a little bit


           12              closer and we find out if there are other


           13              alternatives that we could keep this school


           14              and we have make sure that the proper


           15              studies are done, the proper transition is


           16              in this place so that the students, if they


           17              were to have to close that school, that the


           18              studies would be done, that these questions


           19              could be answered by the Secretary of


           20              Education, with you'll due respect to him,


           21              we had many questions that he couldn't


           22              answer and we have to try and help out, and


           23              I have pledged to the alumni, to the parents


           24              and to the students and faculty up in the


           25              Scranton State School for the Deaf to be






            1              involved in trying to keep that school open,


            2              so that would be Saturday at noon up at the


            3              Scranton State School for the Deaf.  Thank


            4              you.


            5                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you,


            6              Representative Murphy.


            7                      MS. FANUCCI: If we have any more


            8              questions who should we call, which one?


            9              Who wants the phone calls?


           10                      MR. CULLEN: You have my card, feel


           11              free to contact me, I appreciate your time


           12              and your graciousness this evening.


           13                      MS. FANUCCI: Thank you so much.


           14                      MR. MCGOFF: Andy Sbaraglia.


           15                      MR. SBARAGLIA: Andy Sbaraglia,


           16              citizen of Scranton.  Fellow Scrantonians,


           17              your five I guess it would be "B", we are


           18              looking for a half a million dollars for the


           19              Connell building again.  What are we looking


           20              for there where it says $500,000?


           21                      MR. MCGOFF: It's basically a change


           22              in name, that's all.


           23                      MR. SBARAGLIA: I was told that


           24              building was recently sold; is that true?


           25                      MS. FANUCCI: One of the partners had






            1              changed, so it wasn't that the whole system


            2              -- of the whole sale had changed, just one


            3              of the partners had changed.


            4                      MR. SBARAGLIA: Why wasn't it down


            5              though?


            6                      MS. FANUCCI: Because they were


            7              actually changing for the same corporation.


            8              It would be like Bill and I going into


            9              business together, which would be fun.


           10              Right, Bill?  You and I going into business


           11              and Bill deciding he is going to go out of


           12              business, well, I'm still the primary


           13              holder, so now I'm going to take on someone


           14              else, and you have to make it legal.


           15                      MR. SBARAGLIA: Was there a deed


           16              transferred?  What happened?


           17                      MS. FANUCCI: I believe that the


           18              primary person is still the same person in


           19              charge.


           20                      MR. SBARAGLIA: But there was a deed


           21              transferred, wasn't there?


           22                      MS. FANUCCI: Well, I think you have


           23              to do that legally, yes.


           24                      MR. SBARAGLIA: So basically if they


           25              had taken like $1,000 we would have got a






            1              transfer fee on it?


            2                      MS. FANUCCI: I don't know that.  I


            3              can find that out answer for you.  Do you


            4              want me to find out for you?  I mean, it


            5              depends because I'm not sure if you don't


            6              change totally the person who is in charge


            7              of the deal itself, I don't know that.


            8                      MR. SBARAGLIA: But you do know that


            9              the deed was transferred, that means there


           10              was a real estate transfer.


           11                      MS. FANUCCI: Of course.


           12                      MR. SBARAGLIA: And it was done for


           13              one buck, but in the mean time you want to


           14              give them $11 million.


           15                      MS. FANUCCI: They just changed


           16              names.


           17                      MR. SBARAGLIA: I don't care who they


           18              changed.  There was a deed transfer, that


           19              means real estate was transferred.


           20                      MS. FANUCCI: No.


           21                      MR. SBARAGLIA:  In other words, if


           22              you transfer real estate, no matter what you


           23              do --


           24                      MS. FANUCCI: That's a very awkward


           25              of looking at it, Andy, it's a name change






            1              on a document.  You have to do things


            2              legally, but the dollar is pretty much a --


            3              you know, if you sell your wife your car and


            4              you want to change it over they are going to


            5              make you pay a dollar.


            6                      MR. SBARAGLIA: I realize why it's a


            7              dollar, but it could have just as well been


            8              a thousand dollars, but then they would have


            9              had to pay transfer tax.


           10                      MS. FANUCCI:  It's the same person.


           11              It's the same person.


           12                      MR. SBARAGLIA: Regardless.  I seen


           13              people in a bank account where they had


           14              somebody else's name on it, it was their


           15              money with someone else's name on it they


           16              died and there was a tax imposed, and


           17              actually an inheritance tax, so if you want


           18              to cover this, okay, but it's still


           19              $11 million you want to pour into these


           20              people.


           21                      MS. FANUCCI: Absolutely.


           22                      MR. SBARAGLIA: Why?  What is so


           23              important of that building that you are want


           24              to spend 11 1/2 dollars to fix?


           25                      MS. FANUCCI: Are you asking me a






            1              question?


            2                      MR. SBARAGLIA:  Yes.


            3                      MS. FANUCCI:  Oh, this is a good


            4              one.  Why?  Because we want the job


            5              creation.  We want to fix the building.  We


            6              don't want an empty building sitting down


            7              there.  As of next week if we pass this


            8              legislation 40 people are going to start


            9              work, 40 union people are going to walk


           10              downtown and start work.  What do you mean,


           11              why?  With this economy the way it is that's


           12              a very strange question to ask.


           13                      MR. SBARAGLIA: Not, it's not.  It's


           14              a --


           15                      MS. FANUCCI: You want an empty


           16              building?


           17                      MR. SBARAGLIA: How many people are


           18              being foreclosed upon?  How many people are


           19              losing their homes?


           20                      MS. FANUCCI: Right.  And this will


           21              give them an opportunity to work.


           22                      MR. SBARAGLIA: No.


           23                      MS. FANUCCI: What are you talking


           24              about?


           25                      MR. SBARAGLIA: They are not the ones






            1              that are losing their homes.  I worked in


            2              construction --


            3                      MS. FANUCCI: You are mixing apples


            4              and oranges.  Ask the question that stays


            5              the same on track.


            6                      MR. SBARAGLIA: That's what you


            7              believe?


            8                      MS. FANUCCI: Absolutely 100 percent.


            9                      MR. SBARAGLIA: You can believe that.


           10              I believe in the people.  I believe in all


           11              of the people.


           12                      MS. FANUCCI: The people who want to


           13              work and people want to make money.


           14                      MR. SBARAGLIA: All the people.


           15                      MS. FANUCCI: The people who want to


           16              work.


           17                      MR. SBARAGLIA: No, somebody is


           18              making out on this, 11 1/2 dollars that man


           19              is making out, the person who owns that


           20              building is getting 11 1/2 dollars worth of


           21              equity put in while other people are losing


           22              their homes.


           23                      MS. FANUCCI:  That's not true.


           24                      MR. SBARAGLIA: And soon.  You know


           25              that and I know that.






            1                      MS. FANUCCI: I would not say that.


            2                      MR. SBARAGLIA: When you take away


            3              from the people --


            4                      MS. FANUCCI: That's not true.


            5                      MR. SBARAGLIA: The state is in debt


            6              2 1/2 billion because of people like this.


            7              Things aren't being done like this.  They


            8              are not really creating that many jobs.  I


            9              don't care if they put 100 people in there


           10              and fix that building up, they wouldn't be


           11              Scrantonians. , they would be from Dunmore,


           12              they would be from all over.  All you would


           13              get out of them, if are lucky, would be the


           14              52 bucks.  If you are lucky, and you might


           15              need even get that.  You got to look at


           16              Scranton first, last, and always.


           17                      MS. FANUCCI: You definitely do.


           18                      MR. SBARAGLIA: You got to look at


           19              everybody in Scranton what you are doing


           20              when you take money, huge amounts of money,


           21              and give them one individual or one


           22              contractor, them people are making money.


           23              The people that own the Connell building are


           24              going to make money on this deal.  You are


           25              denying it or not denying it?  You know they






            1              are going to make money and vast amounts of


            2              money.  Thank you.


            3                      MR. MCGOFF: Ozzie Quinn?


            4                      MS. SUETTA: He went home.  He got


            5              sick.


            6                      MR. MCGOFF: Les Spindler.


            7                      MR. SPINDLER: Good evening, Council,


            8              Les Spindler, city resident, taxpayer and


            9              homeowner.  I have to echo what


           10              Mr. Sbaraglia said, I was going to talk


           11              about this, too.  You dump millions and


           12              millions of dollars into the Connell


           13              building.  The people that bought this


           14              building couldn't fix it up or what with


           15              their own resources then they shouldn't have


           16              bought the building.


           17                      Job creations, Mrs. Fanucci?  What


           18              jobs are going to go in there, like the same


           19              jobs that were created in the Southern Union


           20              building?  That's a joke.  That was supposed


           21              to be filled with jobs.  How many people are


           22              in there, 10 or 20 maybe?  If that.  It's a


           23              joke.  Job creation?  There aren't any jobs


           24              in this city.  The Connell building is not


           25              going to create jobs, all it is going to do






            1              is line certain people's pockets.  It's


            2              going to be an empty white elephant just


            3              like the Southern Union building.


            4                      Moving on, Mrs. Gatelli, you


            5              answered my question, I was going to ask


            6              about the audit for the tax office.  The


            7              only question I have, what took so long?


            8              Can't anybody do an audit in this city in a


            9              timely fashion?  I mean, it was months and


           10              months ago and that was brought up.


           11                      MS. GATELLI: It's a year ago.


           12                      MR. SPINDLER: Oh, a year?  Okay, a


           13              year ago.  Next thing, Mr. McGoff, it was


           14              brought up last week about people not paying


           15              parking tickets and you said maybe the DA's


           16              Office is not going to investigate it, well,


           17              that's not going to happen, Mr. McGoff,


           18              because people in the DA's Office names are


           19              on that list, so not to worry, I have a call


           20              into the Attorney General's Office, I have a


           21              contact there, and hopefully this will be


           22              taken care of, but it's funny how names


           23              weren't mentioned in the Doherty newsletter.


           24              I could guarantee you if Mr. Courtright and


           25              Mrs. Evans didn't pay parking tickets their






            1              names would be in the newspaper.


            2                       In last Friday's Doherty


            3              newsletter, Mr. Doherty talked about some


            4              accomplishments, talked about improvements


            5              to the neighborhood parks, rising real


            6              estate values, construction projects that


            7              include the Connell building, new medical


            8              college and the 500 block of Lackawanna


            9              Avenue.  First of all, I have as much to do


           10              with the medical college coming here as


           11              Chris Doherty did.  He had nothing to do


           12              with that medical college coming here, it


           13              was Bob Mellow.  Just because he is the


           14              mayor of the city he takes credit for the


           15              college coming here?  It's a joke.  And then


           16              the parks and the Connell building, and the


           17              500 block of Lackawanna Avenue?  Is that


           18              going to bring jobs into our city and going


           19              to make our kids want to stay here?  Is it


           20              going to bring young people into this city?


           21              I don't think so.


           22                      I could just see my daughter coming


           23              to me when she is out of school, "Dad, you


           24              know, I have a job offer out of town for


           25              $65,000 a year, but I think I'll stay in






            1              Scranton because we have a dog park and a


            2              treehouse."


            3                      It's a joke.  The man has done


            4              nothing to keep our young people in this


            5              city.  Moving on, Mr. Doherty also said city


            6              hall is leaner and more efficient under his


            7              watch.  Yeah, it's leaner, he illegally laid


            8              off the SIT clerks and it's costing the city


            9              $1.74 million.  That's all this man is doing


           10              is costing the taxpayers money.  It's


           11              ridiculous and I hope the people realize


           12              this when it comes May.


           13                      Lastly, Mrs. Fanucci, I couldn't be


           14              happier you decided to run for reelection.


           15                      MS. FANUCCI: I heard you are running


           16              my campaign, is it true?


           17                      MR. SPINDLER: Now a lot of


           18              taxpayers' best interest who you haven't


           19              served in the past three and a half years


           20              can vote you out of office.  Thank you.


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


           22              Tom Ungvarsky.


           23                      MR. UNGVARSKY: Good evening, city


           24              council.  I'm Tom Ungvarsky, and I'm a


           25              member of the Scranton and Lackawanna County






            1              Taxpayers' Association. About three weeks


            2              ago, city council met with Austin Burke


            3              concerning making Mt. Pleasant a KO.  You


            4              met in council office, not out here.  I wish


            5              Mr. Burke had the courtesy to come out here


            6              to this podium and answer some of the


            7              questions such as what it's going to cost


            8              the city to make that a KOZ.  We have


            9              already given him $250,000 from the City,


           10              and I understand the State of Pennsylvania


           11              has given him 2 /12 million, and I'm sure


           12              once construction starts he will be back


           13              here looking for grants.


           14                      And as far as what it costs the


           15              city, I believe that parcel of land has


           16              already paid $15,000 a year in taxes, but


           17              more than that for the length of the KOZ the


           18              City of Scranton will be losing all property


           19              taxes that would have been collected on


           20              that, all mercantile taxes for anyone in


           21              there and I believe all profit taxes.


           22                      Now, I'm at a lost really.  I can't


           23              understand how we would even consider


           24              turning that into a KOZ.


           25                      I see on this weeks agenda we are






            1              going to give the Connell building another


            2              grant of a million dollars.  I guess again


            3              we are going to send good money after bad.


            4              It seems as though there are a few members


            5              on city council who can't help but give out


            6              grants.  There is not a grant that they have


            7              ever seen that they haven't liked, and I


            8              would to know the difference between a


            9              developer from out of town who comes in here


           10              and gets a grant and landlords from out of


           11              town.  It seems like they are both taking


           12              money out of the city.


           13                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr.


           14              Ungvarsky.  David Bergerhoff.


           15                      MR. BERGERHOFF: David Berghoff,


           16              North Scranton.  I really don't have much to


           17              say tonight, lucky for some of you, I'm


           18              sure, but Mrs. Evans, and I guess the rest


           19              of you, you kind of blew off the question


           20              about the North Scranton Junior High School.


           21              I mean, yeah, you did read a form a couple


           22              of weeks ago and you said something about a


           23              500 seat auditorium, I wonder if any of you


           24              have seen this building lately, like in the


           25              last 10, 15 years, three-quarters of the






            1              building still has busted, broken windows,


            2              guaranteed loaded with lead paint, and there


            3              is plenty of other stuff that you said that


            4              was done on that building or removed that


            5              hasn't been done I can guarantee that as


            6              well.  I specifically asked questions, is


            7              this project even approved?  No answer on


            8              that.


            9                      Maybe people would come here less


           10              every week if you guys actually started


           11              answering questions, and maybe if you were


           12              honest that would help, too.  But, I mean,


           13              give me a break on the North Scranton Junior


           14              High School you have to find out more for us


           15              as far as where the money is being spent or


           16              it went.  Did it just go to the front of the


           17              building which is all that looks it's been


           18              done in the last 15 years.  As I stated last


           19              week or two weeks ago, there wasn't enough


           20              dumpsters out there to do half the work that


           21              needs to be done in that building.  There is


           22              drug dealing going on up in that building,


           23              there is three or four access points to that


           24              building that I guarantee there is homeless


           25              people living up in that building right now.






            1              God only knows what takes place up there.  I


            2              see kids walking up there and leaving their


            3              every single day.  Yes, I reported this, and


            4              I don't know if anything is being done.


            5              It's pointless.  I mean, they could at least


            6              seal up these entrances to say the least.


            7                      I also asked for accessibility


            8              perhaps for a citizen's panel or some people


            9              to at least go in this building and see if


           10              any work has really ever been done.  You


           11              know, I seen names of work that was proposed


           12              to be done in the future, they seem to ring


           13              true with the name of people who are running


           14              this project.  This is where my concerns and


           15              questions come from and the none of them


           16              have been addressed or answered.  I didn't


           17              think they would, but I'm going to keep the


           18              asking the question.  I'm going to come here


           19              every week whether I like it or not because


           20              I can watch this at home as Mr. McGoff so


           21              aptly pointed out to me, so I don't want


           22              mind watching it at home and I don't min


           23              coming here when I feel it's an important


           24              issue, and this is just one of the issues.


           25              I listened every week and I hope there is






            1              more I can pick on about because you guys


            2              never answer the question, and God knows


            3              that the Elm Street Park project is going


            4              along because that's the only thing we have


            5              hear from Mrs. Gatelli, I even see it's


            6              probably going to be your campaign thing


            7              because I see it in the paper quoted for


            8              you.


            9                      Ms. Fanucci was more than happy too


           10              point out that's it's very stressful doing


           11              this job and, you know, apparently politics


           12              is a tough job.  Well, welcome to the real


           13              world.  And you know, it's funny, because I


           14              implore anybody who is thinking voting this


           15              election, and I really would like a lot of


           16              people to come out, these people win by very


           17              few amount of jobs.  You don't need a lot to


           18              win a council seat, so all you got to do is


           19              vote for somebody different.  I don't care


           20              --


           21                      THE COURT:  We don't do politicking


           22              from the podium.


           23                      MS. FANUCCI: That's all we do.


           24                      MR. BERGERHOFF: Well, I'm not a


           25              politician, I'm just stating an opinion.






            1                      MR. MCGOFF: Excuse me.


            2                      MR. BERGERHOFF: I'm just basically


            3              stating an opinion.  I'm not running for


            4              politics, and I'm not supporting any


            5              candidates.


            6                      MR. MCGOFF:  We have asked people to


            7              not advocate voting or not voting for any


            8              particular person.


            9                      MR. BERGERHOFF: That's fine.  If


           10              none of you did campaigning either then I


           11              guess I'll be fine with that.


           12                      MR. MCGOFF: It's inappropriate.


           13                      MR. BERGERHOFF:  Perhaps if you just


           14              did your job then that would be campaign


           15              enough, but we can watch the way you treat


           16              us and that's your campaign as far as I'm


           17              concerned.  Again, I will implore people to


           18              watch You Tube if you really want to see


           19              camera work done on this council here and


           20              see what it's really all about.


           21                      You know, the Al Boscov's thing, I


           22              like Al Boscov, he seems to have done a lot


           23              for the city, but it's scary to me to think


           24              that the whole downtown lies on the back of


           25              one man, as he stated, you're so quick to






            1              accept the fact that he said that if he


            2              fails the mall fails, the whole downtown


            3              fails.  Well, that's great we put all our


            4              hopes on one businessman who has proven when


            5              you give that business up it fails and he


            6              has got properties all over this city that


            7              you're giving government grants and


            8              government funding and it doesn't seem to be


            9              given us a dime except the fear factor that


           10              if he leaves he takes everything with him.


           11              Well, I'm not going to give into that


           12              either.  If we are going to give him the


           13              monies because we support what he has done


           14              and not because he's scared to take it.


           15                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you,


           16              Mr. Bergerhoff.  Sam Patilla.


           17                      MR. PATILLA: Good evening,


           18              Mr. Courtright and Mrs. Evans.  Can I swap


           19              with Daniel?  Can I swap my time with Daniel


           20              because I really want to hear what he has to


           21              say.  Come on, Daniell.


           22                      MR. HUBBARD: Gets me home to my dad


           23              earlier.  Thank you.  Lately we have seen


           24              articles in the paper, you know, talking of


           25              progress and movement in the city.  My






            1              question is where is the progress in


            2              Scranton?  There are actually less


            3              businesses in the downtown now than there


            4              were two years ago or eight years ago


            5              because the mall is not full, and if it is


            6              it's a turnover rate of every few months for


            7              some of the businesses, so let's talk about


            8              the progress in the downtown, and we are


            9              going to run through a little list of I


           10              guess what we call progress.


           11                      Quint's Army/Navy, empty.  Scranton


           12              Enterprise Center, empty spaces available.


           13              Scranton Bakery building, one or two spaces


           14              is still an empty space.


           15                      MS. FANUCCI: And 60 jobs created.


           16                      MR. HUBBARD: Thank you.  Please.


           17              Please.  Two empty spaces in the Scranton


           18              Enterprise Center.  Scranton bakery building


           19              was restored and has one empty store front.


           20              The Citizens Bank on the corner of Wyoming


           21              and Lackawanna, empty, the entire building.


           22              Third floor above Alexander's empty and


           23              looking for tenants for office space.


           24                      The empty building next to the


           25              incoming Kildaire's, three empty retail






            1              spaces.  The former Grabowski train store,


            2              two empty store fronts.  The Gianetta Music


            3              Building across the street from Giovanni


            4              Picolino's pizza store, two empty store


            5              fronts.  Empty.  Mulberry Street:  American


            6              Warhorse.  PCX Print Center has a space for


            7              rent.  600 block of Mulberry, two empty


            8              store fronts.  Spruce Street, 610 Spruce,


            9              one empty store front, Scranton Life


           10              Building, 426 Spruce, the former Boccardo's,


           11              the KOZ units above the Martini Bar, 414


           12              Spruce.  Helen Schwartz's building.  Linden


           13              Street.  Now, Linden is a tough one because


           14              we have demolished half of the street to


           15              hide the lack of progress because let's face


           16              it, a bulldozer knocking down an empty


           17              building is progress where an empty building


           18              is just an eyesore.  317 Linden, 419 Linden,


           19              Flashbacks, moved to Adams Avenue.  The 400


           20              block of Adams Avenue in the Scranton Center


           21              building, office spaces available with


           22              parking.  North Washington Avenue, Mulberry


           23              Plaza, right across the street, office space


           24              is available.  205-207 North Washington,


           25              Wyoming Avenue, 36,000 square feet of office






            1              space available in the Oppenheim building.


            2              A space above Curry Donuts on the second


            3              floor.  The Semian Gress building,


            4              commercial space for rent.  214 Wyoming, 217


            5              Wyoming, 320 Peen, 306 Penn, 312 Penn, 220


            6              Penn, 119 Penn, 120 Franklin, empty space


            7              next to Whistle's in the same building and


            8              201 Franklin, the corner of the medical


            9              office building empty.  42 plus empty office


           10              suits, spaces or retail spaces in this city,


           11              not included in that list are empty spaces


           12              in the Steamtown Mall.


           13                      Now, from that list I purposely left


           14              out some several important structures.


           15              Southern Union, Connell building, 500 block


           16              and the new business park.  You know why,


           17              because they are not needed because we have


           18              43 empty office spaces in the downtown.


           19              Just the downtown.


           20                      Now Charlie Brown's closed.  That's


           21              in Scranton, another business shut down in


           22              this city.  How many businesses and empty


           23              spaces do we have just outside of downtown?


           24              So where is the progress?  How can you


           25              justify hundreds of millions of dollars in






            1              taxpayer money being dumped into the 500


            2              block of Lackawanna Avenue and the Connell


            3              building and a new proposed business park


            4              when I would say a good almost 50 percent or


            5              more of our downtown is sitting empty?  So


            6              there is no progress.  The debt that's been


            7              created over the last eight years has driven


            8              this city backwards generations, so how can


            9              you say there is progress?  We have not


           10              brought any revenue producing businesses


           11              into this city that can overcome the amount


           12              of debt that's been accumulated so we are


           13              operating at a deficit so where is the


           14              progress.  How can you claim progress in a


           15              city that's going backwards?


           16                      Our debt outweighs any revenues


           17              coming into this city from businesses, and


           18              let's face it, if you are not going to


           19              change the mercantile tax and you are not


           20              going to change the wage tax and not going


           21              to change the tax structure on businesses in


           22              this city, nobody is going to come to this


           23              city and open a business when they can go to


           24              Moosic, Archbald, Dickson City, Old Forge


           25              and open a business in a close proximity to






            1              the City of Scranton that people don't care


            2              that they are not in Scranton.


            3                      I mean, really do we honestly care?


            4              Is it really that difficult to go up to


            5              Dickson City or Moosic for us?  Most of us


            6              do it every day, so why could businesses


            7              open here with an oppressive mercantile tax


            8              and wage tax.  There is no progress in this


            9              city.  The only thing that's progressed is


           10              the level of our debt.  I mean, if you went


           11              back eight years I guarantee there were more


           12              businesses in the downtown, mom and pop


           13              shops especially, Deemer's, all of the other


           14              shops, some of these places I read off are


           15              these little store fronts that are empty,


           16              that were businesses that have stayed in


           17              this city, but you know what, there is no


           18              traffic.


           19                      Our downtown is supported by


           20              government welfare.  County, state, city,


           21              and federal employees.  By 5:00 in the


           22              evening this down is a ghosttown.  You could


           23              drive a golf ball down any major street in


           24              the downtown on Saturday or Sunday and you


           25              wouldn't hit a single person.  So, please,






            1              if you are going to campaign, campaign on


            2              something, but don't campaign on progress


            3              because it's quite obvious to the people in


            4              this city that we have gone backwards,


            5              generations that are going to have to pay


            6              for this debt.


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


            8              Bill Dwyer.


            9                      MR. DWYER: Good evening, members of


           10              Council.  My name is Joe.  I'm with the


           11              House of Hope Ministries.  It's our local


           12              ministry housing single girls, girls who are


           13              pregnant, soon to be mothers with children


           14              and senior citizens who are displaced


           15              because they don't have the means today to


           16              support themselves.  I'm asking you today to


           17              help me in an endeavor we are trying to put


           18              forward in the community, and that is to use


           19              the available city-owned lots to raise food


           20              for the food pantries.  We have -- it's an


           21              ecumenical project in that several of the


           22              houses of worship of all different faiths


           23              have come together and have brain stormed on


           24              how we can best meet the needs of the local


           25              food pantries and the soup kitchens, and the






            1              idea was proposed that we use the available


            2              space to plant fruits and vegetables on


            3              these open lots.  We met with Mayor Doherty,


            4              he likes the idea.  We met with several


            5              other people and they have not only


            6              supported us, but they have asked if they


            7              could become volunteers to help plant the


            8              seeds and harvest the produce.  I'm here


            9              asking for your endorsement and your support


           10              in helping us to bring this project to


           11              fruition.  Thank you.


           12                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Dwyer.


           13              Jean Seta.


           14                      MS. SUETTA: Jean Suetta, Scranton.


           15              I'm not picking on you today, Bill.


           16                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you, Jeannie.


           17                      MS. SUETTA: Do we get grants for


           18              recycling?


           19                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.


           20                      MS. SUETTA: We do?  Well, then why


           21              is the mayor jeopardizing that?


           22                      MS. FANUCCI: Why?


           23                      MS. SUETTA: Because he has the


           24              television ad, Great Scranton, with the guy


           25              from "The Office," throwing plastic bottles






            1              in the garbage.  I'm sure you seen the ad,


            2              where the guy takes the bottle and hits him


            3              in the head, but they are throwing plastic


            4              bottles in the garbage and there is not one


            5              recyclable container up at Nay Aug.  Not


            6              one.  As a matter of fact, there is none


            7              around the city.  They are only little blue


            8              containers, can't they put them out there?


            9                      And the streets, we all know they


           10              are deplorable.  Years ago when at they were


           11              bad we used to take the coal ashes and throw


           12              them in the holes.  I know they can't get


           13              hot patch, it ain't open yet, and the hot


           14              patch is no good.  If they threw the ashes


           15              in the hole at least it would be some kind


           16              of consistency there.


           17                      And, Judy, my friend went through


           18              the park to see the Christmas lights and he


           19              made a donation and he asked how many people


           20              went through, and you said 235,000 cars.


           21                      MS. GATELLI: I did?


           22                      MS. SUETTA: Yeah.  I don't know if


           23              you were being sarcastic or what, but if


           24              235,000 cars went through and they gave a


           25              dollar each --






            1                      MS. GATELLI: Whoever told you that


            2              is mistaken.


            3                      MS. SUETTA: John McKeean.


            4                      MS. GATELLI: Well, he didn't tell


            5              you the truth, because I don't know how cars


            6              went through there.


            7                      MS. SUETTA: Well, you were there at


            8              the box --


            9                      MS. GATELLI:  I was volunteering.


           10                      MS. SUETTA:  Yeah.  You were there.


           11                      MS. GATELLI: I didn't say how many


           12              cars went through because I don't know.


           13                      MS. SUETTA: Well, I don't think he'd


           14              lie to me.


           15                      MS. GATELLI: Well, maybe somebody


           16              else standing there said it, but I never


           17              said it because I don't know that.


           18                      MS. SUETTA: There's only one Judy


           19              Gatelli I know.


           20                      MS. GATELLI:  Well, I didn't say it.


           21                      MS. SUETTA:  All right.  He said you


           22              did.


           23                      MS. GATELLI: Well, I didn't say it.


           24                      MS. SUETTA: Because if that many


           25              went through --






            1                      MS. GATELLI:  I'll have to ask


            2              Mr. Dougher how many went through.


            3                      MS. SUETTA:  Yeah, because at a


            4              dollar a piece that's $235,000 and only


            5              $46,000 --


            6                      MS. GATELLI: I'll ask him how many


            7              if they have a record of it.  They do give


            8              us an account of how much money was


            9              collected.  We don't recall the amount.


           10                      MS. SUETTA: And who is the engineer


           11              that put the island down on Lackawanna


           12              Avenue by Coney Island?  They are doing


           13              construction on this side.  There is two


           14              parking places in front of Coney Island and


           15              the Scranton Hobby Center.  How are these


           16              people going to compete with anybody with


           17              this thing they put down the middle?  Why


           18              would they even to that?  Take the parking,


           19              there is no parking.  And you can't park in


           20              the bank they will tow you.


           21                      MS. GATELLI:  I know Coney Island


           22              has some spots on the side.


           23                      MS. SUETTA:  There is two.  There is


           24              two in front.


           25                      MS. GATELLI: No, I mean on the side






            1              of the building.


            2                      MS. SUETTA: Do they?


            3                      MS. GATELLI:  When you go in the


            4              court.  You have to go in the court.


            5                      MS. SUETTA: How many people know to


            6              go in the court?


            7                      MS. GATELLI:  I don't know.


            8                      MS. SUETTA: You can't double park


            9              because there is only one lane, and when you


           10              are making a left-hand turn you got to -- if


           11              you're trying to go straight then your stuck


           12              through two lights.  Who put the island


           13              there?  Whose idea?


           14                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I don't know.


           15                      MS. SUETTA: You like my Polish beads


           16              for Fat Tuesday?


           17                      MS. GATELLI: Mardi Gras.  Did you


           18              have your Paczacki's today?


           19                      MS. SUETTA:  No, I went up to


           20              Charlie Brown's today and it was closed.  It


           21              pissed me off.


           22                      MR. MCGOFF: Please.


           23                      MS. SUETTA: I know.  I know.  And


           24              the Bishop, while he get condemned them


           25              churches wait until I start on him.






            1                      MS. FANUCCI: Yeah, don't.


            2                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Don't start on him.


            3                      MS. SUETTA: You know, if he won't


            4              open the church let everybody go up to


            5              DeNaple's landfill, with Bobby Kazern is his


            6              name, say the mass, and we'll give him all


            7              the blessing.  You know why, we have to kiss


            8              his dupa.


            9                      MR. MCGOFF: Please.


           10                      MS. SUETTA:  That's not a curse I


           11              could have used the one and why don't we


           12              just call him a donkey name.  All right.


           13              I'm not picking on you, Bill.


           14                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you.


           15                      MS. SUETTA:  Have a good night.  Why


           16              wouldn't he let the policewomen have


           17              representation when they were having that


           18              hearing over what's his name calling them


           19              whores?  He wouldn't let them have no union


           20              representation at all.  I don't think it's


           21              right.  I mean, I know what it's like to be


           22              a woman working with all men.  I was the


           23              first garbage woman and I took more guff


           24              than you can handle, but I dished it out


           25              back.






            1                      MR. COURTRIGHT: We believe that.


            2                      MS. SUETTA: But why can't they use


            3              the ashes?


            4                      MS. GATELLI:  I know they have been


            5              using cold patch because I seen some of them


            6              being filled.


            7                      MS. SUETTA: Some of the holes are


            8              like MINES.


            9                      MS. GATELLI: I know.  I saw them


           10              using it on the viaduct and they are using


           11              cold patch right now.


           12                      MS. SUETTA:  I came down Hochiman


           13              trail to get here today over Albright


           14              Avenue.


           15                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Jean.  Bob


           16              Martin.


           17                      MR. MARTIN: Distinguished members of


           18              council, Bob Martin, president of the


           19              Fraternal Order of Police.  When I spoke


           20              before you last week I neglected to address


           21              one very important issue.  Over the weekend


           22              I was in Philadelphia and it became more


           23              poignant to me when I made that neglect and


           24              that was I failed to recognize the men and


           25              woman I represent.  I want to come before






            1              you say I'm proud to do that and I am proud


            2              to do that because they come to work


            3              everyday under extreme and unbearable


            4              adverse conditions, and that is the


            5              disgraceful way that they are being


            6              disrespected in this city.


            7                      And the incident that I'm referring


            8              to in Philadelphia I'm sure you are all


            9              aware, the Friday night before I addressed


           10              you was there was a fallen police officer,


           11              25-year-old police officer in Philadelphia


           12              left his wife five months pregnant, and I


           13              failed to recognize them and I hope the


           14              citizens and the City of Scranton and the


           15              council don't fail to recognize and


           16              appreciate what they do every day and what


           17              they have been doing.  Not only do they come


           18              to work every day, but they come to work and


           19              they do a stellar job, it's unbelievable


           20              that they do that for me, and I just want


           21              everybody to understand that I am thankful,


           22              my family and myself personally thank them


           23              for coming in every day and working under


           24              the conditions they do and doing the job


           25              that they do.  I just want to say thank you.






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


            2              Marie Schumacher.


            3                      MS. SCHUMACHER: Good evening.  Marie


            4              Schumacher, resident and member of the


            5              taxpayers' organization.  Tonight I would


            6              like to ask why in our progressive city we


            7              can't pay our property taxes using a credit


            8              card as you can in other places that are


            9              fairly progressive.  At least that way it


           10              dulls the pain if we get extra points on


           11              our --


           12                      MR. MCGOFF: Rewards.


           13                      MS. SCHUMACHER: So I would like


           14              someone to look into why we can't pay our


           15              property taxes with credit cards.  Next,


           16              Alexander's Salon, the agreement, this keeps


           17              cropping up, and it's very troubling.  Late


           18              in December of '08 Joe Pilcheski requested a


           19              copy of the agreement which he received I


           20              believe in early February and posted to his


           21              website.  I read it there, but I had also


           22              requested to review that same agreement via


           23              Right-to-Know, and my appointment was today,


           24              and lo and behold when I went down there


           25              today it was total different agreement from






            1              the one that was provided to Mr. Pilcheski


            2              just a few weeks ago, and I don't understand


            3              that and I would like to know why the two


            4              agreements are different.


            5                      If I had to vote, I'd like to vote


            6              in favor of the one that I reviewed this


            7              afternoon because that took away the no


            8              payment at all for three years and if the


            9              requisite number of employees had been hired


           10              the loan would turn into a grant in three


           11              years, that also has also been deleted in


           12              what I reviewed today.


           13                      MS. FANUCCI:  Which one was that


           14              one?  I'm confused, was it the one that --


           15                      MS. SCHUMACHER: Alexander's


           16              agreement, the quarter of a million


           17              dollars--


           18                      MS. FANUCCI: Yeah, but you are


           19              saying there was two, so which amount was


           20              that agreement that you read today.  Both --


           21                      MS. SCHUMACHER:  You are taking my


           22              time.


           23                      MS. FANUCCI:  Well, I'm asking you


           24              -- if you don't want to -- I can't help you


           25              if I don't know what the heck you are






            1              talking about.


            2                      MR. MCGOFF: Just hold the time for a


            3              moment.


            4                      MS. SCHUMACHER: I said it's the same


            5              agreement --


            6                      MR. MCGOFF: Mrs. Schumacher?


            7                      MS. SCHUMACHER: Yes


            8                      MR. MCGOFF: Just maybe to answer --


            9                      MS. FANUCCI: It's not clear.  Go


           10              ahead.


           11                      MR. MCGOFF: Well, the agreement --


           12              the agreement that was originally -- or the


           13              legislation that was originally presented to


           14              us as a loan that would turn into a grant,


           15              that was I believe, my recollection is that


           16              we sent that back and changed it to --


           17                      MS. FANUCCI: What you say.


           18                      MR. MCGOFF: -- a loan only and that


           19              that is the legislation that was passed.


           20                      MS. SCHUMACHER:  Well, what --


           21                      MR. MCGOFF: That is strictly a loan.


           22                      MS. SCHUMACHER:  Well, then it's


           23              rather incredible that Mr. Renda would send


           24              in response to a Right-To-Know request to a


           25              citizen just several short weeks ago the






            1              agreement which was signed and stated that


            2              there were no payments due for three years


            3              and --


            4                      MS. FANUCCI:  You didn't receive


            5              that?


            6                      MS. SCHUMACHER: No.


            7                      MS. FANUCCI: Was it your


            8              Right-To-Know letter?


            9                      MS. SCHUMACHER:  I said Mr.


           10              Pilcheski did that and he posted it on his


           11              website, I read it there, and then I went in


           12              today and reviewed it and it had been marked


           13              up, it had not been marked up until January


           14              of '08 which was -- and I believe you


           15              approved that in April of 2007, so --


           16                      MR. MCGOFF: I can't explain why the


           17              difference.  All I can do is tell you that


           18              the deal -- or the Alexander's legislation


           19              was a loan.


           20                      MS. SCHUMACHER: Thank you, because


           21              that was very troubling to see two different


           22              things with the same -- now, onto Mt.


           23              Pleasant.  I received also in response to a


           24              Right-To-Know, I asked for a list of the


           25              KOZ/KOEZ properties by map number, and I






            1              received that subsequent to the meeting last


            2              week.  The Mt. Pleasant Corporate Center is


            3              on that list, but I have also been informed


            4              that the property taxes were paid on that,


            5              so I didn't again find that out this


            6              afternoon, so I will do some more


            7              investigating before next week.


            8                      Now, I also recall reading that


            9              Tripp Park had a water problem and judge --


           10              well, one of the judges anyway, said that


           11              the city was partly responsible and I have


           12              here a Rosemount resident sued Old Forge


           13              developer and here is what the Borough of


           14              Old Forge did.  It said, "The Borough is


           15              also seeking permission to temporarily


           16              repair the development's roads and to pass


           17              that cost onto the developer by judgment and


           18              municipal lien and to assess fines and costs


           19              if they fail to do so within 30 days."


           20                      Has the city done a similar thing


           21              with the village of Tripp Park issue or are


           22              those poor people still subject to water?


           23              Does anybody know?


           24                      MS. GATELLI:  We are not involved in


           25              the litigation.






            1                      MS. SCHUMACHER: It's not litigation.


            2                      MS. GATELLI: Well, it was a result


            3              of a lawsuit --


            4                      MS. SCHUMACHER: It was decided by a


            5              judge.


            6                      MS. GATELLI: -- and we are not, you


            7              know, we are not involved in that.


            8                      MS. SCHUMACHER: But what action is


            9              the city taking?


           10                      MS. GATELLI: Until it's through


           11              litigation.


           12                      MS. SCHUMACHER: But what action is


           13              the city taking in response to that, that's


           14              what I'm asking.  Here is a suggested way


           15              that another municipality --


           16                      MS. GATELLI: We will have to ask


           17              Attorney Patterson.


           18                      MS. SCHUMACHER: I would like that.


           19              Thank you.  And now concerning all of these


           20              grants to all of these private developers,


           21              we get no equity out of them, I would like


           22              to implore all of you to get with our state


           23              representatives and ask them to do something


           24              that would benefit everybody and that is


           25              instead of giving the money with all kinds






            1              of strings attached that you have to give it


            2              to a developer, give it to the city to


            3              reduce the wage tax.  That would be fair to


            4              every business.


            5                      MS. FANUCCI: You can't do that.


            6                      MS. SCHUMACHER:  Yes, I know,


            7              Mrs. Fanucci, that it's not --


            8                      MS. FANUCCI:  It was Bill that said


            9              it --


           10                      MS. SCHUMACHER: You --


           11                      MS. FANUCCI: -- to me and I agreed.


           12                      MS. SCHUMACHER: You shook your head.


           13                      MS. FANUCCI: You are speaking, but


           14              you can't do that, but, go ahead.


           15                      MS. SCHUMACHER: But with legislation


           16              you can, and you should be down on your


           17              knees imploring people to give the money to


           18              the city to reduce that wage tax so that we


           19              can be competitive with those -- at least


           20              those who are around us who only have a 1


           21              percent wage tax, and so it's fair to


           22              everybody and it reduces taxes and it


           23              doesn't give developers a gift.


           24                      And now I would start -- like to


           25              start reading a letter that I wrote to the






            1              Secretary of the Department of Community and


            2              Economic Development.  I guess I'll do that


            3              next week.  Thank you.


            4                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mrs.


            5              Schumacher.  Bill Jackowitz.


            6                      MR. JACKOWITZ: Bill Jackowitz, South


            7              Scranton resident and member of the Scranton


            8              Lackawanna County Taxpayers' Association.


            9              First of all, I would like to remind people


           10              that the government, any government, any


           11              branch of government can't give anybody


           12              anything until they first take it from


           13              someone else, and that someone else are


           14              myself, and you people, anybody who has ever


           15              paid taxes of any sort that's who the


           16              government takes their money from and 11 1/2


           17              million dollars of public taxpayers' money


           18              for 40 jobs it doesn't add up unless those


           19              jobs are each paying $500,000 to each one of


           20              those 40 people, it doesn't add up.  This is


           21              all public taxpayers' money.


           22                      Okay.  Now, I would like to read


           23              something about the First Amendment because


           24              we have this discussion a lot around here.


           25              "Oklahoma City police officer pulls man over






            1              from anti-Obama sign on vehicle.  The police


            2              officer who stopped the Oklahoma city


            3              motorist, Chip Harrison, and confiscated a


            4              sign from his car and told him he has a


            5              right to his beliefs, but the Secret Service


            6              could construe this as a threat against


            7              President Obama.


            8                      According to the incident report


            9              released this morning, the sign which read


           10              "Abort Obama not the unborn" was returned to


           11              Harrison later that day the report said.


           12              The police spokesman, Steve McCool, said


           13              this morning that the sign was taken in


           14              error and Oklahoma city residents should not


           15              be worried that their First Amendment Rights


           16              will be violated.


           17                      Harrison told the officer that in


           18              his opinion the words "Abort Obama" meant to


           19              impeach him.  He told the officers he does


           20              not believe in abortion because he is a


           21              Christian.  Harrison was stopped on the


           22              Westbound Interstate 248 at 8:45 a.m. on


           23              February the 12th according to the police


           24              report.  Harrison said he later received a


           25              call from a person who said he was a






            1              lieutenant supervisor for the internal


            2              investigation's department and wanted to


            3              know his location and return his sign to


            4              him.


            5                      According to Harrison, the


            6              supervisor said the Secret Service has been


            7              contacted on the matter and told him the


            8              sign was not a threat to the president.


            9              Harrison was asked if he would like to file


           10              a complaint, and he said he was not sure,


           11              but would take the paperwork just in case,


           12              but his run-in with the law wasn't over yet.


           13                      The Secret Service called and said


           14              they were at my house, Harrison said.  After


           15              talking to his attorney Harrison went home


           16              where he met the Secret Service.  "When I


           17              was on my way the Secret Service called me


           18              and said they weren't going to ransack my


           19              house or anything, they just wanted to walk


           20              through the house and make sure I wasn't


           21              part of any hate group."


           22                      Harrison said he invited the Secret


           23              Service agents into his house and they were


           24              very cordial.  We walked through the house


           25              and my wife and two-year-old were in the






            1              house, Harrison said.  He said the


            2              interviewed him for about 30 minutes and


            3              then left not finding any evidence Harrison


            4              was a threat to the president.


            5                      I'm still in contact with the lawyer


            6              right now, Harrison said.  I don't know what


            7              I'm going to do.  Harrison said he feels his


            8              First Amendment Rights were violated.


            9              McCool said the officer that pulled over


           10              Harrison misinterpreted the sign.  We had an


           11              officer that his interpretation of the sign


           12              was different than what was meant McCool


           13              said.  You got an officer who had a


           14              different thought on what the word abort


           15              meant.  McCool said the sign basically meant


           16              Obama should be impeached and it was not a


           17              threat.  The officer shouldn't have taken


           18              the sign, McCool said.  That was Harrison's


           19              First Amendment Right to voice his concern.


           20                      McCool said although the sign should


           21              not have been confiscated the situation was


           22              made right in the end.  We always try to do


           23              the right thing and in end we did the right


           24              thing by returning the sign McCool said."


           25                      The same thing happened with Joe






            1              Decker down in Kingston with his four-letter


            2              sign in the back of his vehicle.  The first


            3              Amendment is very strong and we have the


            4              right as citizens to express our opinions


            5              and city council rules or whatever do not


            6              matter.  We, as citizens, have the right and


            7              it's been proven over and over and over and


            8              in Court how strong the First Amendment is,


            9              and every military person who has ever


           10              defended this country defended the First


           11              Amendment right and no one, no one is going


           12              to take that away, so when people come up


           13              here at this podium or anywhere and speak


           14              their mind and say what they believe you do


           15              not have to listen to them, you do not have


           16              to believe what they say, but you cannot


           17              stop them from saying what they want to say


           18              because that is the First Amendment Right in


           19              the constitution and every single American


           20              has that right and it was proven again, just


           21              like the lady who cursed at her toilet, that


           22              case was thrown away, also.


           23                      So as an American citizen, you have


           24              the right to express yourself at any time if


           25              you want to do just that, and another






            1              person's opinion is just that.  Their


            2              opinion.  It's not the law.  And if you go


            3              to Court nine out of ten times the person is


            4              going to be allowed to say what they want to


            5              say.  And again, just another case, so, you


            6              know, we could talk about city council


            7              rules, they mean absolutely nothing.


            8                      MR. MCGOFF: Anyone other speakers?


            9              Mr. Patilla?


           10                      MR. PATILLA:  Good evening, Mrs.


           11              Evans and Mr. Courtright.  The reason I


           12              requested that Daniel come ahead of me,


           13              since Phyllis and I relocated to Scranton


           14              three years ago, and I don't consider a


           15              doggy park, a $350,000 doggy park or the


           16              things that's going on in Nay Aug Park to be


           17              progress, okay?  I consider family


           18              sustaining jobs, the creation of family


           19              sustaining jobs, that's progress.


           20                      You know, getting outside


           21              communities to come into Scranton and spend


           22              their money, that's progress.  You know,


           23              given 11.5 million dollars to a crony


           24              developer for a garage, that's not progress,


           25              that's just more same of the same.






            1                      And, Mr. Courtright, I have one


            2              question, what's the status of the Hilton?


            3                      MR. COURTRIGHT: As far as what?


            4                      MR. PATILLA:  Is it in foreclosure,


            5              has it been sold or --


            6                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  As far as I know


            7              it's still operational.


            8                      MR. PATILLA: Okay, the reason I


            9              question that is that I know at one point I


           10              read somewhere where they had not only a


           11              state but a federal lien against that


           12              business and awhile back it was a $3 million


           13              loan from the city made to that organization


           14              and I'm just looking for some type of leeway


           15              when the taxpayers are going to get their


           16              money back, you know, because with the case


           17              with many of the deals made within this


           18              city, you know, and it has been spoken on by


           19              other speakers, the taxpayers are often left


           20              with their hands held out and their pockets


           21              empty, you know, you give our money to these


           22              organizations and these individuals and we


           23              don't reap any of the benefits, you know.


           24                      You know, as I look on the agenda,


           25              the $3 million for Boscov's, now, actually,






            1              if that money were to remain in Scranton I


            2              wouldn't have a problem with it.  Well,


            3              actually I would be because you are talking


            4              it from the low to moderate income people


            5              again, but if the money was actually used


            6              invested to pursue job creations here in


            7              Scranton then I don't think anybody would


            8              really have a problem with that, but we all


            9              know that's not the case, you know?


           10                      I think that the owner, as well


           11              intended as he might be, needs to take a


           12              closer look at consolidation and close down


           13              some of the stores that aren't performing as


           14              well in order to get the financing that he


           15              needs.  Luckily, the taxpayers have an ace


           16              in the hole being that this application had


           17              to go through HUD and they are not tied into


           18              Scranton politics and with any luck they


           19              will send this thing right back to you


           20              telling him to go take a hike, you know,


           21              because since I have been here all I see is


           22              millions upon millions of taxpayer money and


           23              assets poured into these projects or scams


           24              is what they actually are, and we get


           25              nothing in return but more headaches.






            1                      You know, this country is in a


            2              tailspin and then to have your mayor stand


            3              on WYOU television and tell the world that


            4              we are in great shape when our police or


            5              fire unions having had paid costs of -- paid


            6              increases and cost of living increases for


            7              six or seven years, you know, we just


            8              settled with the clerical union.  You know,


            9              we have an abundance of senior citizens


           10              trying to decide rather to eat or pay their


           11              bills thanks to NCC, and you know the bogus


           12              deals made by this man.  You know, there is


           13              no way you can consider this progress


           14              because it's not progress.


           15                      Each week you have individuals and


           16              Scranton taxpayers a long-time Scranton


           17              residents come before you with bonafide


           18              suggestions, I heard one earlier, the


           19              gentleman talking about using some of the


           20              lots for vegetable gardens and flower


           21              gardens, something I think I said two and a


           22              half years ago, you know?


           23                      As our elected officials and our


           24              appointed officials sometimes individuals


           25              have to take the wax out of their ears, they






            1              have to get off their little high horse and


            2              they have to actually pay attention to what


            3              the bill payers -- those actually paying the


            4              bills are saying.


            5                      You know, nobody has anything


            6              against you personally because, like I said,


            7              half the people don't even know you on a


            8              personal level.  You know, they just know


            9              you as their representative and they look


           10              for you for guidance when things don't go


           11              right, and if they come here and they ask a


           12              question and they get shot off or blown off


           13              or ridiculed, you know, that hostility is


           14              self-created, and it's not what -- it's not


           15              what we are looking for.  All we want is a


           16              reason why you spend our money on such and


           17              such a project?  Why is that individual


           18              getting our money when it should be going to


           19              a business within Scranton?  I can't recall


           20              too many agendas that I have read since I


           21              came to this city that the money actually


           22              went to a developer with roots to Scranton.


           23                      And one more thing before I go, this


           24              morning I got my letter of expungement from


           25              the bogus charges back in 2007, I believe,






            1              and I want a $25,000 loan from OECD so I


            2              could buy a frame and hang it up, all right?


            3                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Patilla.


            4                      MR. PATILLA: Now, if you got the


            5              individual at OECD given his father and


            6              other family members, money --


            7                      MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Patilla, thank you.


            8                      MR. PATILLA: -- Then I want my


            9              money, too.


           10                      MS. EVANS: Mr. Patilla, you can't


           11              return, but I did want you to provide you


           12              just a bit of information about the Hilton,


           13              the city continues to pay annual payments on


           14              the Section 108 loan for the Hilton Hotel,


           15              that's been ongoing now for that I'm aware


           16              of since at least 2004.  As for the


           17              $3 million, I believe that I can say safely


           18              the city will never see that money because


           19              at the time that the threatened foreclosure


           20              was occurring an agreement was struck


           21              between the mayor and the owners of the


           22              Hilton at that time and part of that


           23              agreement was that the city would see it's


           24              $3 million at the time of sale of the Hilton


           25              hotel to yet another purchaser, but it is






            1              the sale price that is highly questionable


            2              because if memory serves me correctly I


            3              think it was something like 30 to 35 million


            4              dollars, and I don't believe we are going to


            5              see any group coming in and making a


            6              $30 million purchase of the Hilton Hotel.


            7                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mrs. Evans --


            8                      MR. PATILLA: Thank you, Mrs. Evans.


            9                      MR. MCGOFF:  -- and Mr. Patilla.


           10              Any other speakers?


           11                      MR. MORGAN: Good evening, Council.


           12              The only thing I have is it seems tonight


           13              that the agenda basically only has to do


           14              with the Connell Building, and to be honest


           15              with you, you know, I mean, even the


           16              president of the United States is talking


           17              about ending all the waste of money and that


           18              we really have to do something about the


           19              problem we have of misspending the money and


           20              the revenues that we take in, and for the


           21              life of me with all of the millions of


           22              dollars that we have put into this building


           23              I really don't see how it will ever benefit


           24              us and, you know, I have to agree.


           25                      I mean, I know I came late today, I






            1              went to meet with some candidates for judge,


            2              but I'm just really troubled because it just


            3              seems that after almost two decades of


            4              coming here to these council chambers I


            5              haven't really seen anything that benefits


            6              the average every day Scrantonian, almost


            7              nothing.  I mean, we have got a drug problem


            8              in the city that a playground program could


            9              have helped to alleviate by, you know,


           10              giving young adolescents and young children


           11              another avenue to keep their minds occupied


           12              in the summer.  It would have fought


           13              vandalism.


           14                      We have a mayor with all kinds of


           15              plans and building parking garages and


           16              things that the residents of this city just


           17              can't pay for.  I mean, I have to be honest


           18              and tell you that I've got a very good job,


           19              probably better than most people in this


           20              city and I don't mean that to belittle


           21              people that make less money than me, but


           22              when your tax bills come it's just heart


           23              wrenching, and then to see the way the


           24              agendas spins through this council.  I mean.


           25              If the waste is ever going to end it's going






            1              to end here.  I mean, this council is going


            2              to be the people that are going to make this


            3              city turn around and grow, and for the life


            4              of me -- I mean, Mr. Hubbard came up here


            5              and spoke about all of the vacant


            6              properties, commercial properties in the


            7              downtown, well, that's a problem throughout


            8              the whole United States.  The only country


            9              that's even close to us is Great Britain


           10              that has a vacancy rate almost as high as


           11              ours, and it just seems that when things


           12              come up to council they just pass them.  I


           13              mean, this is millions of dollars.


           14                      The budget came through and then --


           15              and it's passed and then later on you turn


           16              around to the residents and say, well, that


           17              was in the budget, we got to raise this, we


           18              got to do that, tax anticipation notes every


           19              year.  I mean, tons and tons of debt.  I


           20              mean, how long can you beat a dead horse


           21              until it's actually dead?


           22                      Is there any real hope for the


           23              residents of in city that to ever pay the


           24              debt they owe?  I don't think there is and I


           25              have to say that if this is all you can put






            1              on the agenda for the benefit of


            2              Scrantonians maybe we should just abolish


            3              council, because evidently if we can't do


            4              anything good.


            5                      I mean, you know, we have no


            6              dangerous dog ordinance.  We have -- I


            7              brought pictures in here at one time where a


            8              dog was ripped to sheds right in his own


            9              yard.  I mean, you know, you have got to


           10              actually come back to reality here sometime


           11              soon.  Good luck.


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


           13              Anyone else?


           14                      MR. ELLMAN: I will.  Well, Ronnie


           15              Ellman, homeowner and member of the


           16              Taxpayers' Association and a taxpayer.  I


           17              paid my taxes this week under protest.  I


           18              wasn't going to come tonight, but Miss Rosie


           19              through me out of the house so she could get


           20              some work done so you can blame her for the


           21              inconvenience.


           22                      You know, I spend all of my time at


           23              the grocery store talking to people and I


           24              have come to the conclusion that council


           25              doesn't hear the people of the city.  I






            1              haven't talked to one person in the past


            2              month or so that thinks Boscov's is worth a


            3              darn.  He is going to take our money and it


            4              will be in an Easton Bank.  He is a


            5              dinosaur, well, the business is a dinosaur.


            6              It's not going to make it.


            7                      Last Sunday I went to John's Big


            8              Lot's and I got Miss Rosie a set of


            9              stainless eight pieces for $20, and in the


           10              same paper Boscov's had ten pieces for $200.


           11              You know, their buyer is out of touch or


           12              something.  You know, I don't care what the


           13              experts say, you can't keep in business with


           14              things like this going on.


           15                      I have heard nothing -- I haven't


           16              heard one person say that they favor any


           17              more KOZ's.  I won't call Mr. Burke any


           18              names tonight, but he is just a big stuffed


           19              shirt, like I said.  He is a bag of wind, he


           20              got a $200,000 salary so what's he care if


           21              all of the KOZ's are seven more years.


           22              There are people like me that had to pay


           23              taxes this week and it's a struggle.  It's


           24              like borrowing from Peter to pay Paul.  It's


           25              ashame.  I talked to three or four people






            1              when I was down their paying taxes and there


            2              is no happy campers down there, I'll tell


            3              you, with the way the city is being run.


            4                      You know, you people you refuse to


            5              acknowledge what's happening.  We are not


            6              making any progress.  You know, this very


            7              television, and I don't mean anything


            8              adverse to this young man, this television


            9              was taken something good and turning it into


           10              something bad.  I went to the library and


           11              got a tape you can't hear nothing, you can't


           12              see nothing, they are terrible, and then if


           13              you compare it to what we had it's like


           14              sixth-graders or somebody could probably do


           15              better.


           16                      Well, I got a whole bunch more


           17              notes.  I would like to say one thing though


           18              before I leave, I have talked to some people


           19              about the licensing practices, I guess, of


           20              the city for these little vendors that come


           21              up like the Latino affair and the big car


           22              show and they can only enhance this city and


           23              they are in business one or two days.  It's


           24              so ridiculous to have somebody over there


           25              chasing them down and wanting $100 for






            1              whatever it is for fees.  I think the city


            2              ought to be able to get together with some


            3              kind of licensing for these people that are


            4              only in business a day or two or three out


            5              of the whole year.  I spoke to a man at the


            6              St. Joseph's and he said he didn't have to


            7              pay any fee, but I have had a couple of


            8              people when I watch them play soccer down


            9              there during the summer and they said they


           10              were bothered for fees and they are in


           11              business, you know, one day for a couple of


           12              hours, not even a day, a couple of hours


           13              trying to sell some tacos.


           14                      And they did the same thing at the


           15              car show last summer.  That can only help


           16              the city, my God, there was probably hundred


           17              cars there from out-of-state and there is a


           18              chance for something to grow and those


           19              people the vendors that were there they paid


           20              $25 to be there then the city comes along


           21              want licensing and it's not right, you know.


           22              It's just greed.


           23                      MS. GATELLI:  Mr. Ellman, if they


           24              are selling food they have to have a license


           25              so that the health inspector can inspect






            1              their food products so no one will get sick.


            2                      MR. ELLMAN: I don't know what the


            3              man was selling that day at St. Joseph's --


            4                      MS. GATELLI: Tacos.


            5                      MR. ELLMAN: But I imagine it was


            6              food.


            7                      MS. GATELLI: Well, they had to have


            8              a permit to sell food.


            9                      MR. ELLMAN: And I don't know if you


           10              knew Sammy Diana died, I don't know if you


           11              knew Sammy, he used to have the -- he was


           12              telling me he said I might not go another


           13              year because it's gotten some expensive and


           14              he told me some kind of exorbitant rate that


           15              he paid downtown, I forgot what it was.


           16                      MS. GATELLI:  For the Festival.


           17                      MR. ELLMAN: Five, six hundred


           18              dollars or so.


           19                      MS. GATELLI: For La Festa.  That's


           20              different than us.  They pay that to La


           21              Festa.


           22                      MS. ELLMAN: Well, I'm just saying,


           23              he told me it he had grown so much that he


           24              wasn't going anymore.


           25                      MS. GATELLI: Well, he's still -- his






            1              family is still there.


            2                      MS. ELLMAN: Well, I know he is not.


            3                      MS. GATELLI: The boys are still


            4              there, Marlow and Angel.


            5                      MR. ELLMAN: Thank you.


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


            7                      MS. KRAKE: Good evening, Council.


            8              My name is Nancy Krake.  I would just first


            9              of all like to remind everyone if they are


           10              able to pay their delinquent real estate


           11              taxes before April 1 in the City Treasurer's


           12              Office, thereby, bypassing NCC's very large


           13              fines.  I would also like to remind council


           14              president, current and past president, that


           15              I would have assumed you would have a


           16              learned what happens when you suppress and


           17              oppress the speakers.  They just scream that


           18              much louder.  So, I really -- that being


           19              said, believe that there should be no


           20              problem when someone says they would like


           21              everyone in the city to exercise their right


           22              to vote.  There is nothing wrong with that


           23              statement.  I don't think anyone here said


           24              it tonight in any way that was offensive, so


           25              I'm just going to put that out there every






            1              week, also.  There is a flag behind you and


            2              you are to uphold those laws.


            3                      Last week, Ms. Fanucci once again


            4              said that legal fees would be coming to the


            5              city.  They do not come to the city, they go


            6              to the attorneys that collect them.  She


            7              also alluded to the fact that a person owed


            8              taxes all that information is public, she


            9              did not say the name, however.  So, once


           10              again, any of the fees in the ordinances


           11              that was passed by this council for legal


           12              services do not come to the city coffers.


           13                      Legislation to enforce collection of


           14              wage tax would be what I would assume that


           15              this council next is going to be pushing


           16              because they are extremely interested in


           17              collecting delinquent wage tax -- or, excuse


           18              me, delinquent real estate tax, they will do


           19              anything, in fact, to collect that, impose


           20              huge fines and fees, they want it to be


           21              punitive but nothing, nothing for wage tax,


           22              which is where all of our money lies.  I


           23              think it will be a very large source of


           24              revenue since we have eight years to


           25              collect.






            1                      Also, several weeks ago I asked a


            2              question about why the 2009 budget does not


            3              have -- or, excuse me, has the fact that the


            4              clerical union health care costs have gone


            5              down 32 percent and Mrs. Fanucci was going


            6              to ask I believe she said Stu Renda and Lisa


            7              Moran for the answer to that.


            8                      MS. FANUCCI: We didn't receive it.


            9                      MS. KRAKE: We did receive it?


           10                      MS. FANUCCI: We did not receive it.


           11                      MS. KRAKE:  Oh, you did not receive


           12              it.  Okay, I would again then ask if anyone


           13              on council would be able to get that


           14              information what the active cost is for


           15              health care for the clerical union and what


           16              the retiree health care costs are and why


           17              it's gone down 35 percent and what that


           18              refers to?  Does it refer to the active


           19              35 percent in combined amount?  What I'm


           20              asking for is a breakdown.


           21                      MS. FANUCCI: A breakdown of the


           22              retired and active.


           23                      MS. KRAKE: And where these figures


           24              come from.  We are self-insured and it was


           25              very curious to me that the numbers were






            1              identical for the costs of 2007 and 2008 for


            2              health care, so apparently we use the exact


            3              same amount of claims, that's the cost of


            4              claims is the same for those two years.  I


            5              don't think that's humanly possible, but


            6              that is what the city said.


            7                      And, also, a good friend reminded me


            8              tonight of a quote by Leona Helmsley that


            9              the little people pay taxes, and I would


           10              just like this council to remember that.


           11              Thank you.


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


           13                      MR. ANCHERANI: Good evening.  Nelson


           14              Ancherani, First Amendment Rights.  From the


           15              Scranton slimes on Saturday 2-21-09,


           16              "Scranton Police:  City owes 1.47 million."


           17              By Jeremy Burton staff writer.  I quote,


           18              "The Scranton police union is claiming the


           19              city owes 1.47 million from a 2004


           20              arbitration award over the elimination of


           21              department of clerks.  The city union


           22              attorneys argue their cases Friday in front


           23              of an examiner from the State Labor


           24              Relations Board after which business


           25              administrator Stu Renda called the sum






            1              outrageous."


            2                      Outrageous.  How about that?


            3              Outrageous.  I'll tell you what's


            4              outrageous.  Never have I heard Stu Renda


            5              open his mouth and call the following


            6              outrageous: Stu's 46,000 pay increase from


            7              2003 when he started his employment with the


            8              city and the newly created position at


            9              $39,000 a year.  He now makes $85,000 a


           10              year.  Twice the base pay of a second-year


           11              patrolman.  Now, that's outrageous.


           12                      How about this for outrageous?  Stu


           13              Renda on 12-31-01, the principal debt left


           14              by the Connors' administration was


           15              $35,925,000.  The long-term debt at the time


           16              was $75,668,00.  On 12-31-07, the end of the


           17              sixth year of the Doherty reign, the


           18              principal debt was $159,163,00, an increase


           19              of 123 million.  The long-term debt at the


           20              end of it 2007 was $237,340,000.


           21                      This 273,340,000 doesn't include the


           22              11.1 million extra borrowed in 2008 or the


           23              one million borrowed by the Scranton Sewer


           24              Authority at the end of the 2008 to balance


           25              the Scranton Sewer Authority 2009 budget.






            1              The long-term debt with the extra borrowing


            2              would be approximately 300 million, an


            3              increase of 198 million long-term debt.


            4                      More outrageous, the 25 percent tax


            5              increase in 2007 voted and approved by none


            6              other than our three council members, Ms.


            7              Fanucci, at the time council president Ms.


            8              Gatelli, and Mr. McGoff.  This 25 percent


            9              tax increase was the first of three


           10              25 percent tax increases wanted by the mayor


           11              and the infamous, invisible Pennsylvania


           12              Economy League.  What makes it more


           13              outrageous is that while the taxpayers of


           14              the city were strapped with the 25 percent


           15              tax increase, 12.2 million was sitting in a


           16              secret account in the Single Tax Office.


           17              The taxpayers were taxed for nothing.  Now


           18              that's outrageous.


           19                      Another outrageous, close to


           20              three-quarters of a billion dollars, that's


           21              the total amount of the 2001-2009 city


           22              budgets along with the borrowing for the


           23              revenue side of the budgets.  It does not


           24              even include the tax anticipation notes.


           25              Where was three-quarters of a billion






            1              dollars spend?  Outrageous.  I heard the


            2              question where is Waldo, but where is Stu.


            3                      There are many more outrageous


            4              items, but not enough time to cover them


            5              all.  More from the slimes article, "That's


            6              the whole purpose here, Mr. Renda said,


            7              calling the unions numbers smoke and


            8              mirrors.  We are trying to save money and


            9              these guys are slamming it down our


           10              throats."


           11                      How does it feel, Stu.  We union


           12              members have been getting it slammed down


           13              our throats for eight years now and I don't


           14              hear a peep from you about that.  Your


           15              statements are so hypocritical.  I didn't


           16              hear you trying to save money by giving back


           17              your $46,000 raise.  Your $46,000 raise is


           18              more than our base pay.  The second year


           19              that -- the second year that you worked for


           20              the city you got a $5,000 raise.  I didn't


           21              hear you complaining.  I don't hear you


           22              calling the $20 million in raises and new


           23              hires outrageous or smoke and mirrors.  All


           24              I hear is hypocritical hypocrite's comments.


           25                      If the city was trying to save money






            1              the smart thing to have been done was not to


            2              violate the same contract for the second


            3              time after losing in arbitration the first


            4              time.  Thank you.


            5                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr.


            6              Ancherani.


            7                      MR. SLEDENZSKI: Last one.  Best for


            8              last one, right, Bob?


            9                      MR. MCGOFF: There you go.


           10                      MR. SLEDENZSKI: Hi, Billy.


           11                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Hi, Chris.


           12                      MR. SLEDENZSKI: These cops they are


           13              doing a really good job, all of them are.


           14              I'm proud of all of them.  Keep it up down


           15              there.  I'm proud of you.  Thank you.


           16                      MS. EVANS: Chris, I got your note.


           17                      MR. SLEDENZSKI: Okay, Janet.


           18                      MS. EVANS: Okay.  Take care, Billy.


           19                      MR. MCGOFF: And I like the shirt,


           20              I'm going there right after the meeting.


           21              Anyone else?  Mrs. Evans.


           22                      MS. EVANS: Good evening.  Today


           23              council's office received a report from the


           24              Scranton Tax Office, and was indicated the


           25              forensic auditors are meeting with






            1              Pennsylvania Department of Treasury this


            2              week, and if all goes well the final report


            3              should follow shortly.  I certainly hope


            4              dispersement of funds will also follow


            5              shortly.


            6                      We also received the first tax


            7              distribution for 2009.  It is an as follows:


            8              Real estate:  $1,325,521.  Earned income tax


            9              or wage tax: $3,479,966; and the EMS tax


           10              which technically now has been changed to


           11              the LST or local services tax $374,461.


           12                      At last week's council meeting, I


           13              moved to support a state amendment of the


           14              Home Rule Charter law in order to safeguard


           15              and protect taxpayers from excessive taxes.


           16              My colleagues requested further information


           17              from Attorney Chris Cullen, whose


           18              correspondence requesting council's support


           19              triggered my motion last week.  He did


           20              appear before council and the public this


           21              evening in order to further explain this


           22              motion and the excessive tax situation in


           23              the county.  He fielded the questions of


           24              city council.


           25                      Currently, as I said, there are no






            1              protections available that give property


            2              owners in Lackawanna County, and


            3              specifically Scranton, the opportunity to


            4              contest excessive county tax rates other


            5              than exercising their right at the voting


            6              poles every four years.  As it stands,


            7              Lackawanna County may enact without any


            8              limitations whatsoever an excessive rate of


            9              taxation and impose excessive taxes upon


           10              taxpayers.  Certainly we all remember the


           11              48 percent tax increase of 2005 levied by


           12              the county.


           13                      This motion will not incur any


           14              expense and does not involve city council in


           15              litigation.  It does not effect Scranton's


           16              Home Rule Charter since our charter contains


           17              no language which addresses tax rates.


           18              Rather than, it will apply only to


           19              Lackawanna County and a governing body,


           20              obviously, to which all of us in Scranton


           21              pay taxes.  As elected officials, I believe


           22              we have the duty and responsibility to


           23              protect Scranton residents who are also


           24              county residents from excessive tax


           25              increases.  Therefore, I move to approve and






            1              support the proposed motion in support of


            2              amending Section 2962 (b) of the Home Rule


            3              Charter and Optional Plans Law, 53 Pa.


            4              C.S.A. Section 2962 (b) to prevent or


            5              eliminate enactment and imposition of an


            6              excessive millage rate, specifically in


            7              excess of 5 percent of the preceding year's


            8              rate of millage by the governing body of the


            9              Home Rule Charter municipality.  Such


           10              amending legislation will be prepared and


           11              introduced by State Representative Murphy.


           12                      MS. GATELLI: I just have a few


           13              questions.  You have to second it, but --


           14              where is Mr. Courtright?


           15                      MS. FANUCCI: You are going to second


           16              it so we can discuss it?


           17                      MR. MCGOFF: We seem to be at a -- I


           18              know that Mr. Courtright did second it last


           19              week, if you would wish to wait until


           20              Mr. Courtright is seated for a second.


           21                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I apologize.


           22                      MS. GATELLI: That's okay.


           23                      MR. MCGOFF: Just for information's


           24              sake, Mrs. Evans made the motion that she


           25              made last week concerning the legislation






            1              talked about by Attorney Cullen earlier, and


            2              she made the motion and it has not been


            3              seconded.


            4                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Could you please


            5              restate it for me, I'm sorry?


            6                      MR. MCGOFF: It's the same.


            7                      MS. EVANS: It's identical to last


            8              week.


            9                      MS. Gatelli:  She changed the


           10              county --


           11                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I'll second it.  Are


           12              we on the question?


           13                      MR. MCGOFF: Now we are.  On the


           14              question.


           15                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Here is my take on


           16              it.  It appears to me from what he had


           17              spoken about this evening, I wish I had


           18              known what the other government entities


           19              were interested in, that I don't know, but


           20              from what he had said this evening kind of


           21              hit home with me that I don't want to get


           22              into any elections, but I do know when I


           23              stood at the pole last election and many


           24              that came through that's what they were


           25              upset about, was the large tax increase.






            1                      He stated to us that it's not going


            2              to -- you know, it's not going to impact the


            3              city, which I believe, it's going to impact


            4              the county, but will it impact the city


            5              residents if, in fact, it was enacted and my


            6              one concern was would we be a party to his


            7              lawsuit, and evidently his lawsuit is over


            8              he had lost it, all right?  The way it looks


            9              to me is that the legislation is there in


           10              the County's Home Rule Charter and he is


           11              looking to have it resurrected, so at this


           12              stage of the game I'm in favor of this, so


           13              I'm in favor of what he is doing.


           14                      MR. MCGOFF: I would -- there are a


           15              number of things I questioned.  First of


           16              all, the fact that the Pennsylvania State


           17              Constitution is being amended in order to


           18              allow this to take place, I don't see how


           19              any other Home Rule Charter is not involved


           20              and people that I have talked to about this


           21              in the past week are also of the same -- or


           22              of the opinion that all Home Rule


           23              municipalities will be affected.  What we


           24              have is Mr. -- or, excuse me, Attorney


           25              Cullen's interpretation.  I believe there






            1              still is a constitutional issue as to


            2              whether this will or will not apply to other


            3              Home Rule Charter municipalities, so that's


            4              one question that I have.


            5                      The second is that we are being


            6              asked to approve something that is not in


            7              it's final form.  The amendment or the end


            8              of the motion says legislation will be


            9              prepared, so that what we are -- we are


           10              being asked to approve something that's


           11              not --


           12                      MS. FANUCCI: Seen.


           13                      MS. GATELLI: That we didn't see yet.


           14                      MR. MCGOFF: That we have not seen


           15              and so we could actually vote on approving


           16              this and then the legislation could be much


           17              different than what we voted on.


           18                      Also, in speaking with other people,


           19              the idea everyone of establishing the 5


           20              percent limit, and it's not -- it's 5


           21              percent on the rate of millage, which for


           22              Lackawanna County would mean that any


           23              millage rate over two would be subject to


           24              referendum which means that to me any


           25              attempt to raise taxes in Lackawanna County






            1              would then be referred to a referendum, and


            2              referendums are by nature very cumbersome,


            3              especially if it would apply to other


            4              municipalities as well.  Referendums tend to


            5              be expensive, and if in the history of


            6              referendums on tax increases is one that


            7              says voters rarely, rarely vote to raise


            8              taxes, and so what you end up doing through


            9              referendum is stagnating government and the


           10              only thing that many governments can then do


           11              is either reduce the number of jobs or


           12              reduce services.


           13                      And while I recognize that the


           14              48 percent rate increase that was enacted


           15              was certainly not well-received, I think the


           16              end result was that the electoral process


           17              worked and those people were removed from


           18              government, and while they there are no


           19              specific guarantees for years, the electoral


           20              process I think has served as a -- a


           21              safeguard against exorbitant rates, so at


           22              this point in time I cannot -- I don't think


           23              I can vote to approve this motion.  Perhaps


           24              after seeing the legislation and getting an


           25              interpretation from others as to how it will






            1              affect our municipalities, perhaps I would


            2              think differently, but at this time I can't


            3              vote "yes" for it.


            4                      MS. GATELLI:  I'd like to speak,


            5              also.  I'm just uncomfortable voting on a


            6              motion for another governmental body.  I


            7              think that if the charter is going to be


            8              changed for the county then the county


            9              should be involved in the discussion.  I


           10              wouldn't want the county or the school


           11              district making motions determining what we


           12              are going to do on this platform.  We were


           13              all elected and we make our own decisions.


           14              I'm very uncomfortable making a decision for


           15              the county commissioners.


           16                      I do agree that that tax increase


           17              was very cumbersome, especially for the


           18              elderly and the poor of this community, but


           19              I think that we have an obligation to meet


           20              with the county commissioners and get their


           21              take on this particular item.


           22                      Also, I don't every call us voting


           23              on motion when legislation hasn't even been


           24              prepared yet.  I mean, we have addressed


           25              bills that are before the legislature






            1              approving them or agreeing with them or


            2              disagreeing with them, House Bills that are


            3              before the legislature, but I don't recall


            4              as long as I can have been on here ever


            5              agreeing to a motion when we haven't seen


            6              what it is yet, so I'd also like to see at


            7              least a draft copy of that and to meet with


            8              the county commissioners.


            9                      I would be willing, if my colleagues


           10              would see fit, I would be willing to table


           11              this until we met with the county


           12              commissioners and get a little more input.


           13              I am not adverse to it, but I just need to


           14              get a little more facts, so I would be more


           15              comfortable in voting for it.


           16                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I would agree with


           17              just two points there:  Number one, that


           18              maybe we do need to get the county


           19              commissioners in, but it looks if you don't


           20              withdraw the motion it's going to fail


           21              anyway, and also to get a look at the actual


           22              legislation, you know?  So just a suggestion


           23              maybe if you withdraw it and resurrect it at


           24              some point --


           25                      MS. GATELLI:  And the school






            1              district, too, because they have the same


            2              taxpayers.


            3                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  -- if it's going to


            4              fail 3/2.


            5                      MS. GATELLI: And what is the school


            6              district going to do?  You know, it's the


            7              same thing with the KOZ's.  Everything comes


            8              to city council, you know?  Nobody else


            9              gives their input.  It's always on us, and I


           10              don't think that's fair.  I think everybody


           11              should have a say when it involves the whole


           12              county.  Why are the five of us responsible


           13              for the whole county?  Let's find out what


           14              the school district wants, they are the same


           15              taxpayers and they are the same county


           16              people.  So, you know, I think we should all


           17              meet.


           18                      MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Courtright?


           19                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I just think that at


           20              this point in time, again, I repeat myself,


           21              that if you don't withdraw it's not going to


           22              pass anyway.


           23                      MS. EVANS: Well --


           24                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Right?  And then in


           25              order for it, as we all know, to be brought






            1              up again, it would have to be --


            2                      MS. GATELLI: You don't have to


            3              withdraw it, can't you just simply table it.


            4                      MS. EVANS: I don't wish to withdraw


            5              it or table it, and I do think that, first


            6              of all, the language has been provided.


            7              Everyone received the language together.


            8                      MS. GATELLI: He said the legislation


            9              was not drawn up.


           10                      MS. EVANS: The legislation has not


           11              been drafted, but it is quite evident that


           12              the legislation will repeat what is


           13              contained in the motion of support.  A


           14              motion of support can't simply support


           15              something nonexistent.  It spells out quite


           16              clearly what it is to be supported.


           17                      As for each of us making our own


           18              decisions, perhaps to an extent that's true,


           19              but what we all do have in common or what we


           20              all should have in common is that we make


           21              our decisions in the best interest of the


           22              taxpayers, and it is those very taxpayers


           23              who are addressed in this support of


           24              legislation, and I sadly believe what I


           25              think I'm hearing tonight is that my






            1              colleagues aren't interested in preventing


            2              an excessive tax increase.  They are not


            3              interested in the taxpayers --


            4                      MS. GATELLI:  Well, that's the


            5              whole -- that's what this was all about.


            6              This was all about the --


            7                      MS. EVANS: -- of Scranton.


            8                      MS. GATELLI: This was all about


            9              that, Mrs. Evans.


           10                      MS. EVANS: No, it wasn't.


           11                      MS. GATELLI: Yes.


           12                      MS. EVANS: Not at all because this


           13              is not --


           14                      MS. GATELLI: No, you are doing


           15              something to the county and they are not


           16              involved.  That's wrong.


           17                      MS. EVANS: And when the county --


           18              when the county levies excessive taxes


           19              against the people it --


           20                      MS. FANUCCI: You vote them out.


           21                      MS. EVANS: It swears to protect and


           22              serve --


           23                      MS. FANUCCI: They vote them out.


           24                      MS. EVANS: They are wrong, and there


           25              should be an opportunity more than once






            1              every four years.


            2                      MS. FANUCCI: Well, and I didn't


            3              speak on this yet.  I do agree that at some


            4              point this needs to be looked at, but I


            5              believe that that's what we have, you know,


            6              we have our representatives.  Let them look


            7              at this.  Let them drawn the legislation up.


            8              Bring it back to the table and let's discuss


            9              it.  Let them do their jobs.  This is not at


           10              our level that we should be deciding this.


           11                      Hey, if I wanted to decide to have


           12              more money, let's make a motion now, we'll


           13              take half of it--


           14                      MS. EVANS: But we --


           15                      MS. FANUCCI: -- we won't have to


           16              worry about it.


           17                      MS. EVANS: We are not -- we are just


           18              deciding if we support preventing excessive


           19              tax increases.


           20                      MS. FANUCCI: And I think certainly


           21              think this needs to be looked at in many,


           22              many drafts.


           23                      MR. MCGOFF: No, we are being asked


           24              to support --


           25                      MS. EVANS: Well --






            1                      MS. FANUCCI: It is.


            2                      MR. MCGOFF: Excuse me.  We are being


            3              asked to support a particular piece of


            4              legislation.  Your interpretation is that it


            5              would save taxpayers excessive rates.  I am


            6              not sure that that is correct, and while you


            7              are characterizing our intentions as not


            8              caring, I think that that's -- that let us


            9              speak for ourselves.


           10                      MS. EVANS: Well --


           11                      MR. MCGOFF: We are -- I am saying --


           12                      MS. EVANS: I don't --


           13                      MR. MCGOFF: Excuse me.  I am saying


           14              that at this point in time I cannot vote on


           15              a piece of legislation I am not sure the


           16              effect that it is going to have, and there


           17              are constitutional questions, there are


           18              legal questions, there are economic


           19              questions that are unanswered, and that is


           20              not caring, that is being diligent.


           21                      MS. EVANS: Well, I think it's doing


           22              your due diligence to say that, yes, there


           23              are economic issues, there is certainly job


           24              and services that are unnecessary that


           25              should be cut.  There have been a number of






            1              no bid contracts throughout several county


            2              administrations that should not occur, but


            3              yet we are very free and easy with spending


            4              the people's money.  Why?  Because it's not


            5              our money, it's their money, so it's almost


            6              like it's Monopoly money, and if I gave you


            7              the impression that I'm inferring that you


            8              do not care, I'm sorry, but I do believe


            9              that you are a talented apologist.


           10                      MR. MCGOFF: For whom?


           11                      MS. FANUCCI:  It's amazing.


           12                      MS. EVANS: Well, it's certainly not


           13              on behalf of the taxpayers.


           14                      MR. MCGOFF: For whom?  You are


           15              calling me an apologist, I'd like to know


           16              who you feel that I am apologizing for?


           17                      MS. EVANS: Well, perhaps the county


           18              commissioners.  Perhaps --


           19                      MS. FANUCCI: The county


           20              commissioners --


           21                      MS. GATELLI: Well, why don't we ask


           22              them and see?


           23                      MS. EVANS: Perhaps the mayor.  Well,


           24              I don't know that the county commissioners


           25              are going to turn over their right to






            1              excessive taxation.


            2                      MR. MCGOFF: Why is that whenever


            3              somebody expresses an opinion that is


            4              opposite yours you automatically assume that


            5              they are not acting in the interest -- in


            6              their own interest or speaking for


            7              themselves?  I feel that that's insulting


            8              to --


            9                      MS. EVANS: I certainly don't mean to


           10              insult you --


           11                      MR. MCGOFF: Nobody questions you.


           12                      MS. EVANS:  -- Mr. McGoff, but I


           13              think it is very clear from everyone's


           14              voting record who works on a mayor's agenda


           15              and who works on a people's agenda.


           16                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Could I just state


           17              one more thing.


           18                      MR. MCGOFF:  Sure.


           19                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I lost my train of


           20              thought here.  We are five individuals,


           21              everybody is entitled to their opinion.  I


           22              think for me personally it would be just


           23              sending a letter that, you know, I am


           24              interested in seeing this legislation


           25              because ultimately we are not going to have






            1              the say in whether this legislation passes


            2              or not, it's going to happen down in


            3              Harrisburg.  I haven't talked to the county


            4              commissioners, and maybe I would have liked


            5              to beforehand, but they will have their


            6              opportunity as we do.  Mr. Cullen, I


            7              believe, is going to present his case to


            8              everyone and then each individual governing


            9              body will be able to say whether they are


           10              going to support it or not support it.


           11                      MS. GATELLI: Well, why are we always


           12              first?


           13                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I don't know.


           14                      MS. EVANS: Because I brought it up


           15              last week and it was tabled because you


           16              wanted more information and the information


           17              was provided and now it seems though we have


           18              the information for whatever reason we don't


           19              have the fortitude to take the step.  We


           20              would rather wait until everyone else


           21              receives a presentation, see what they want


           22              to do, and then base our decision on what


           23              other people are doing or maybe what, you


           24              know, what the point is to put the pressure


           25              on the other governing bodies rather than






            1              taking responsibility ourselves.


            2                      MS. FANUCCI:  Well, quite frankly, I


            3              will not make a decision based on one


            4              person's side, which is what you want us to


            5              do.  We had one presentation here tonight.


            6              I'm to assume that everything that was


            7              stated was accurate in what would happen,


            8              but I don't know that so I think it would be


            9              only prudent to talk to the other governing


           10              bodies that actually would be exempted by


           11              this also to talk to the state to make sure


           12              that what we said about not being effected


           13              under the Recovery Plan this wouldn't effect


           14              us.  I know he said that, but I don't know


           15              that for a fact.


           16                      This was information for me to start


           17              investigating and understanding more, but to


           18              certainly vote on it right now after hearing


           19              one side is not something that I think


           20              anybody should do.  I don't think that


           21              that's in the best interest of the taxpayer


           22              or the people.


           23                      MS. EVANS: It isn't, but that's what


           24              always occurs at city council whenever we


           25              get information from OECD or the mayor's






            1              office or Stu Renda, it's pretty much taken


            2              as the, you know, letter of the law.  It's


            3              not researched --


            4                      MS. FANUCCI: Well, when OECD --


            5                      MS. EVANS: Everyone doesn't read the


            6              complete comparison and then votes for it.


            7                      MS. FANUCCI:  When I get information


            8              from OECD that means it had to go through


            9              the state, through HUD, information that is


           10              backed by other entities.  This isn't just


           11              off-the-cuff information.  Here is what --


           12                      MS. EVANS: Well, we are still


           13              waiting for the answer on the $10,000, that


           14              you know, was a type of laundering from one


           15              entity to another.


           16                      MS. GATELLI: Well, that has nothing


           17              to do with on the question.


           18                      MS. EVANS: No, but it's just an


           19              example of the responses or lack thereof


           20              that you get in these situations.


           21                      MR. MCGOFF: Mr. McGoff --


           22                      MS. GATELLI: My representative


           23              doesn't even know anything about it.


           24                      MR. MCGOFF: Please, I am going to


           25              call for a vote on this, if we can.






            1                      MS. GATELLI: Well, can't we table


            2              it?


            3                      MS. FANUCCI:  I'd rather table it,


            4              but --


            5                      MS. GATELLI:  Mr. Williams, if she


            6              doesn't withdraw it can somebody make a


            7              motion and table it?


            8                      MR. MCGOFF: Anybody can do that.


            9                      MR. WILLIAMS: I don't believe so.


           10                      MS. GATELLI: No?


           11                      MR. WILLIAMS: I don't think so.


           12                      MR. MCGOFF: Anyone can -- well,


           13              Robert's Rules of Order say that anyone can


           14              vote to table it.


           15                      MS. EVANS: I have it.  Would you


           16              like to look it up?


           17                      MR. COURTRIGHT: While they are


           18              looking it up, Mr. McGoff, I would like to


           19              answer what Mrs. Gatelli said --


           20                      MS. GATELLI:  We need more


           21              information.  We had a lawsuit.  He has a


           22              vested interest.  He had a client that filed


           23              a lawsuit.


           24                      MS. EVANS: And the lawsuit --


           25                      MS. GATELLI:  He lost.






            1                      MS. EVANS: It's exhausted.  It's


            2              over.  That's right.


            3                      MS. GATELLI:  Yeah, he lost.


            4                      MS. EVANS: And as Mrs. Fanucci said


            5              earlier, because that was unsuccessful now


            6              you look for a legislative redress.


            7                      MS. GATELLI: Right.  And I say let


            8              them do it and then we'll support it.


            9                      MR. MCGOFF:  At this point in time


           10              we just seem to be talking back and forth.


           11                      MS. GATELLI: Well, I'd still like to


           12              make a motion to table it until we get more


           13              information.


           14                      MR. MCGOFF:  Attorney Williams, I


           15              should have mentioned that earlier, Attorney


           16              Williams is representing Attorney Minora


           17              this evening at council.


           18                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  While he is looking


           19              that up, just a sidebar to what Mrs. Gatelli


           20              just said about why are we all always first,


           21              a lot of the things that come here that


           22              bothers me also sometimes.  It's always city


           23              council first, and I'm going to say this, I


           24              hope I don't get in trouble with this, the


           25              only time we weren't first was when we were






            1              talking about the $12 million and then we


            2              were last, you know?


            3                      So sometimes that does bother my why


            4              are we always first, and in this particular


            5              instance it doesn't really even bother me as


            6              much because I have read and understood as


            7              much as I could on there and I just my only


            8              thing is I think that he said he was going


            9              to go to each governing body, and they are


           10              all going to be able to say whether they


           11              would like to send a letter of


           12              recommendation or not, what I had hoped


           13              maybe that it might have been a little bit


           14              better thing that happened was that a


           15              representative from each one of us might


           16              have gotten together, and that didn't


           17              happen, that might have been the better way


           18              to go, but it didn't and so we are where we


           19              are.  Did I talk long enough for you to get


           20              --


           21                      MR. WILLIAMS: I think you did.


           22                      MS. GATELLI: And Attorney Minora


           23              wasn't here to review it to give us his


           24              legal opinion.


           25                      MR. MCGOFF: Have you --






            1                      MR. WILLIAMS: Actually, you were


            2              correct, Chairman.  Anybody can make a vote


            3              to table a motion and then discussion is


            4              allowed on the motion to table the vote.


            5                      MS. GATELLI:  Well, I'm restating my


            6              motion to table the issue until we get some


            7              more information.


            8                      MS. FANUCCI:  I'll second that.


            9                      MR. MCGOFF: On the question to


           10              table?  All in favor of tabling say aye?


           11                      MS. FANUCCI: Aye.


           12                      MS. GATELLI: Aye.


           13                      MR. MCGOFF: Opposed?


           14                      MR. COURTRIGHT: No.


           15                      MS. EVANS: No.


           16                      MR. MCGOFF:  No.  So the motion to


           17              table is defeated.  Now, we will since the


           18              motion is still on the table I'd like to


           19              call for a vote.


           20                      MS. GATELLI: What was the vote to


           21              table it?


           22                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Three/two.


           23              Defeated.


           24                      MR. MCGOFF: Three/two.


           25                      MS. GATELLI:  I missed that one.






            1                      MR. MCGOFF: A vote on the motion,


            2              all in favor of the motion by Mrs. Evans


            3              please signify by saying aye.


            4                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.


            5                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.


            6                      MR. MCGOFF: Opposed?


            7                      MS. FANUCCI:  No.


            8                      MS. GATELLI:  No.


            9                      MR. MCGOFF:  No.  The motion is


           10              defeated.


           11                      MS. EVANS: Thank you.  Also, at last


           12              week's meeting --


           13                      MS. GATELLI:  I'm still going to go


           14              back to there because I'm sorry, but I


           15              didn't understand what happened.


           16                      MR. MCGOFF: Three people voted


           17              against tabling it, Mrs. Evans, myself and


           18              Mr. Courtright.


           19                      MS. GATELLI: Okay.


           20                      MS. EVANS: Also at last week's


           21              meeting, council and you, the viewers,


           22              learned that the State Department of


           23              Community and Economic Development or DCED,


           24              is currently using Scranton as it's proving


           25              ground for Act 47.  The spawn of DCED which






            1              empowers them to keep a municipality


            2              distressed for indeterminate periods of


            3              time.  Twenty-three municipalities were


            4              designated as distressed since 1987 and out


            5              of those 23 only six cities have had that


            6              designation lifted.  Roughly three-quarters


            7              of these cities remain distressed.  I


            8              thought Scranton held the record at 17


            9              years, however the municipalities of Farrell


           10              and Aliquippa tie for the award at 22 years


           11              of distressed status.


           12                      DCED has a unique relationship with


           13              the Pennsylvania Economy League or PEL, a


           14              professional recovery plan author and


           15              coordinator.  The longer a city remains


           16              distressed the longer PEL employees keep


           17              their jobs.  Evidently, PEL enjoys greater


           18              job security than do you unions or many of


           19              you employed in the private sector.  They


           20              appear to be accountable to no one since


           21              they are unable to solve problems in 22


           22              years, yet they may maintain their


           23              positions.


           24                      However, at least two Pennsylvania


           25              cities have narrowly escaped Act 47






            1              designation, Erie and Altoona.  Their mayors


            2              not only seek legislative changes to the


            3              binding arbitration rules of Act 111, but


            4              equally important they seek a reduction in


            5              the designation of tax exempt properties in


            6              their cities in order to improve their


            7              financial health.  Scranton, on the other


            8              hand, encourages the encroachment of tax


            9              exempt properties and seems to avoid any


           10              discussion or push toward reducing their


           11              numbers.


           12                      Scranton prefers to finance a battle


           13              in the Court system to emasculate Act 111,


           14              and as a result has made itself the pawn of


           15              DCED not the Guinea pig.  In scientific


           16              experimentation, the rodent subject of the


           17              study or guinea pigs, mice, etcetera, do not


           18              chose to participate.


           19                      Through it's multi-year costly court


           20              battles Scranton has positioned itself to


           21              become the pawn of DCED and it's a dangerous


           22              game to play because the Commonwealth Court


           23              did not seem to rule on years 2008 through


           24              2014 as did the arbitrators.  Commonwealth


           25              Court ruled on only 2003 through 2007.






            1              Ladies and gentlemen, Commonwealth Court


            2              judges seem to leave the years 2008 through


            3              2014 quite open-ended in an apparent lack of


            4              faith in a Recovery Plan.  That's the key


            5              the administration and even the newspaper


            6              seem to negligent, and that arbitration


            7              award is vastly more expensive than the


            8              contract the unions and administration shook


            9              hands on in the fall of 2008.


           10                      In fact, that arbitration will dwarf


           11              the ruling by the Commonwealth Court, and


           12              this seems to be the case of the city


           13              cutting off it's nose to spite it's face.


           14                      Further, the differences between


           15              Scranton and the merely six of 23 cities who


           16              have freed themselves from the yolk of DCED


           17              and PEL, is that this administration is


           18              wasting taxpayers' money, borrowing away our


           19              future, amassing monumental debt and


           20              fighting a legal battle that some


           21              Pennsylvania cities are too wise to spend


           22              their limited funds on and that is what also


           23              separates us from those very fortunate


           24              cities like Erie and Altoona who have


           25              avoided the claws of Act 47 and PEL.






            1                      Until DCED, PEL, and the conscience


            2              of the newspaper expose the financial


            3              mismanagement and call for an end to


            4              borrowing, unnecessary spending and debt


            5              madness, they all continue to fail the very


            6              people they profess to serve and inform.


            7                      Next, council received a copy of the


            8              letter from Congressman Kanjorski to


            9              Assistant Secretary Woodley of the Army


           10              Civil Works urging him to use part of the


           11              4.6 billion dollars Congress appropriated to


           12              the Army Corp to complete the Scranton Flood


           13              Control Project with particular emphasis on


           14              the lower Greenridge area bordering the


           15              Scranton Lace Works.


           16                      In addition, we also received


           17              correspondence from the oversight committee


           18              of the PEG channel and they have submitted


           19              questions to ECTV, ECTV is providing those


           20              responses I believe this week, and there


           21              will be a meeting conducted between


           22              representatives of ECTV and the oversight


           23              committee.  In the mean time, however, ECTV


           24              indicates that after long delays they are in


           25              the process of purchasing new equipment and






            1              establishing new programming.


            2                      And, finally, I have citizens'


            3              requests for the week:  First, a letter to


            4              the Army Corp of Engineers, please provide a


            5              timeline for the completion of the flood


            6              project in lower Greenridge, particularly,


            7              the area bordering the Scranton Lace Works,


            8              to city council on or about March 13.


            9                      A letter to Chief Elliott and ECTV:


           10              Is it possible for the police department to


           11              tape a regular segment for broadcast on ECTV


           12              presenting Scranton's most wanted list of


           13              criminals.  Perhaps a police officer could


           14              provide photos of the perpetrators and a


           15              contact number for citizens to provide


           16              information or sightings.  The Sunday Times


           17              provides a similar service, however, many


           18              residents do not subscribe to the newspaper.


           19              Public access television provides a free


           20              manner in which to transmit important


           21              information to the citizenry who can be a


           22              valuable asset to fighting crime, as is so


           23              often the case in "America's Most Wanted."


           24              And that was presented to me by a number of


           25              city residents.






            1                      Mr. McGoff, a resident of North


            2              Cameron Avenue asked me to ask you if you


            3              would -- oh, he is not here.  Will you tell


            4              Mr. McGoff to please call him regarding the


            5              water problems on his block.


            6                      Also, residents of Theodore Street


            7              request paving of the street from North


            8              Scranton Junior High to Ralph Avenue.


            9              Although some of the surrounding streets


           10              haven't been paved in the past -- or rather


           11              have been paved, they report that this


           12              stretch of road hasn't been paved in ten


           13              years.  Potholes are so large that hubcaps


           14              land in yards when vehicles hit them


           15              unexpectedly.


           16                      Also, PEL summaries of meetings


           17              conducted with administrative


           18              representatives haven't been received for


           19              close to two months.  Please provide


           20              summaries of all meetings held in January


           21              and February 2009.


           22                      Fill potholes in Fleet Place and the


           23              500 block of South Decker Court; right,


           24              Chris?


           25                      MR. SLEDZENSKI: Yeah, they are bad






            1              back there.  They are a mess.


            2                      MS. EVANS: I believe it.


            3                      MR. SLEDZENSKI: They are mess.  They


            4              are mess.


            5                      MS. EVANS: Absolutely.  We got a lot


            6              of those.  I request to pave the rear of


            7              Matthew Avenue and the 200 block I think it


            8              might be of Ash Street to Mr. Brazil.  I'll


            9              give you, Kay, the copy that was placed in


           10              our mailbox to send along to him.


           11                      Also, if we can find out who is


           12              responsible for the creation of the island


           13              in the 500 block of Lackawanna Avenue, and


           14              it might be I think a good idea for DPW to


           15              consider placing some recyclable containers


           16              in the park over the summer months


           17              particularly when people are picnicking and


           18              enjoying the environment so much, and that's


           19              it.


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


           21              Mrs. Gatelli?


           22                      MS. GATELLI: I just have several


           23              things to report.  I received -- we all


           24              received it in other mailboxes about


           25              Pennsylvania property tax and rent rebate






            1              program for 2008.  The deadline for rebate


            2              on property taxes or rent paid is June 30,


            3              2009.  And you call the Department of


            4              Revenue anyone who needs assistance, the


            5              toll free number we can please see if we can


            6              get it on the television, Mrs. Garvey, it's


            7              1-888-222-9190, and we probably can put the


            8              income levels also on Channel 61 and maybe


            9              the newspaper will also put it in to remind


           10              people.  Some people probably don't even


           11              know that they are entitled to it.


           12                      And I received an answer about a


           13              problem up in the Hill Section with noise.


           14              It was sent by Attorney Penetar and it is


           15              about the bursts on that property.  The


           16              neighbors state that the website states it


           17              provides worldwide internet services to


           18              other businesses 24 hours a day.


           19                      "Business services is a permitted


           20              neighborhood commercial use.  My opinion is


           21              that we would be fighting a losing battle in


           22              the courts to try to say that providing


           23              internet services is not a business


           24              service."


           25                      So they are trying to say that that






            1              business is allowed in that neighborhood.  I


            2              will be contacting those neighbors because I


            3              feel that it is similar to cases that we


            4              have had before in my neighborhood that we


            5              have fought and won, by the way, and if the


            6              neighbors are willing to pitch in a small


            7              amount of money to get an attorney then we


            8              can see where we can go from there, but


            9              apparently the opinion stands, and I think


           10              the only other recourse is to hire an


           11              attorney and fight it as a nuisance.


           12                      The noise is there, it does not


           13              exceed the decibel level, but it is


           14              continuous, a continuous buzzing sound, and


           15              in my opinion, and I'm not an attorney, but


           16              it is certainly a nuisance, especially for


           17              the people that live in that particular


           18              area, so I will be contacting them if they


           19              don't watch it on television and we will see


           20              if we can't get an attorney to take the case


           21              and try to fight it as a nuisance rather


           22              than through the zoning, and that's all I


           23              have.  Thank you.


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


           25              Mrs. Fanucci?






            1                      MS. FANUCCI: I only have a few


            2              things.  I want to speak on the Connell


            3              building again and my views on that.  I will


            4              always vote, and I have said this from day


            5              one, for anything that will create any type


            6              of economic development in the city.  I will


            7              vote for grants.  I want them here.  I do


            8              want them in any other part of the state.


            9              So, yes, I could be righteous and say, well,


           10              we are not going to spend money here, but if


           11              someone else is going to get it I want it.


           12              I want it in our city, so I will always do


           13              that and I will always vote for that.


           14                      Yes, and I do agree somebody got up


           15              and say the job creation at 40 jobs does not


           16              pay what we are putting into it.  Of course


           17              not.  It's almost -- that's a ludicrous


           18              statement.  Of course we are starting off


           19              with 40 jobs because the first group of the


           20              union employees are going down to start the


           21              project.  Does that mean what we are ending


           22              up with?  It's almost like comparing apples


           23              and a bowling ball.  It just doesn't even go


           24              together.  Of course, we need to start


           25              somewhere and at this stage of the game






            1              where we are in our city I will create any


            2              job.  Three jobs are better than no jobs.


            3              Four jobs, better.  So, yes, I will always


            4              be voting for legislation for progress in


            5              the neighborhood downtown and everywhere


            6              else.


            7                      I also want to speak on some of the


            8              points that were brought tonight about DCED.


            9              DCED does not consider us as even started


           10              the Recovery Plan, whether we like or not,


           11              this is not a fact that has to do with me.


           12              It is not a fact that has to do with us.


           13              It's how they look at us.  We can sit here


           14              and we can cry and yell and scream and until


           15              we comply with the regulations that we are


           16              sanctioned with we are not getting out of


           17              recovery.  We will not be recovered.  We


           18              will be in the Recovery Plan until that


           19              happens.


           20                      So as much as we want to talk about


           21              it and blame everyone, and blame is always


           22              good, blame isn't going to solve any of our


           23              problems here.  It's time to look forward.


           24              I think when we get a new revised Recovery


           25              Plan, well, then we will see.  Do I agree it






            1              all can work?  I don't know.  I don't know,


            2              but until it is actually, you know,


            3              implemented we don't know.


            4                      And, no, it's not Scranton who


            5              decided, the voters decided.  76 percent


            6              voted for this plan, so it is not just an


            7              off-the-cuff decision.  The voters spoke and


            8              were listened to, whatever reasons you want


            9              to give, I mean, we have ever heard


           10              everybody's assessment of why, but still


           11              unless they spoke to 76 percent of the


           12              people they don't know why.  Everyone had


           13              their own decision when they walked into


           14              that room to make.  They made it and this is


           15              what we have to deal with.  We can cry about


           16              our past, we can cry about where we are now,


           17              but until we decide to change it and to move


           18              forward and do what we need to do to break


           19              this city out of recovery we are going to be


           20              here, and we are going to cry about it next


           21              year, and another week from now and next


           22              month.


           23                      No, it's time to work together and


           24              get out of this, and as far as I'm concerned


           25              when you look at it, it's not going to be






            1              tomorrow and it's certainly not going to be


            2              next year and it's not going to be two years


            3              from now.  The recovery is going to take a


            4              long time.  Why?  Because we certainly


            5              didn't get into it in an hour.  Just like


            6              the rest of the country, nobody got into the


            7              situations they are in without everyone


            8              else.


            9                      And I also want to speak on the


           10              legislation that was brought forward tonight


           11              by Representative and Mrs. Evans.  I would


           12              have liked to look at that.  I would have


           13              liked to be able to investigate what that


           14              legislation had to do and how it would


           15              effect everyone, but again, we have seen all


           16              over the state and all over the country what


           17              happens when you don't have anybody working


           18              together.  We see it all the time.  You know


           19              why?  You know how you know?  You are in it


           20              now.  You are in it now.  Play against this


           21              one.  Stop against this one.  I'm not doing


           22              that, because this one wants to do that.


           23              I'm not going to help, I'm not going to do


           24              that.  If this one is going to stop it I'm


           25              going to start it.






            1                      You are here.  So this is how you


            2              got where you are now.  This is it how the


            3              taxpayers got where they are because nobody


            4              would sit down at the table, so to me to


            5              pass legislation for the county and decide


            6              how they are going to run their house when


            7              I'm busy trying to get my house in order,


            8              this is where I need to worry about.  I


            9              can't worry about what they are doing


           10              because, quite frankly, I don't know what


           11              they are doing.  I don't know what their


           12              business entails because I don't work on it


           13              every day.  I know where we are and I know


           14              why we are here just like everyone else does


           15              in your home.  You know right where you are.


           16              It's because your insurance rates went up,


           17              it's because your housing bill went up, it's


           18              because your electric bill went up, not any


           19              different than your city.  We have the same


           20              thing.  We are paying employees, you know,


           21              everybody is in the same situation.  It's


           22              not even any different.


           23                      So this wasn't something we got into


           24              overnight, it's not something we are going


           25              to get out of overnight, but hopefully if we






            1              work together, it's sad because I would have


            2              liked to sit down with the county, I would


            3              have liked to find out exactly how that


            4              would effect would them and what it would


            5              have brought forth for them, and talk to the


            6              representatives who are, you know,


            7              supposedly on this.  I would like to know


            8              what their views are because they certainly


            9              have a different view than I do as a council


           10              person, so that makes me sad that that


           11              didn't go through because I would have liked


           12              the opportunity to see where that would have


           13              lead, but that really is all I have.  So,


           14              thank you.


           15                      MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Courtright?


           16                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes, Crisp Avenue


           17              Bridge, I actually got a call from


           18              Representative Kevin Murphy the other day,


           19              somebody was in there asking him a question


           20              about it, it was supposed to happen last


           21              August and then they got a year extension,


           22              so my understanding is that this August


           23              barring any other unforeseen thing happening


           24              that the Crisp Avenue Bridge will start this


           25              August.






            1                      Scooters.  I have almost been


            2              labeled, people call me Scooter when they


            3              see me, for God's sake, and so I guess we


            4              call that our laugh, but on a serious note,


            5              I have had more than one person ask me about


            6              this, and this is on a serious note, about


            7              we have some of the seniors citizens driving


            8              the scooters downtown here or --


            9                      MS. GATELLI: Jazzy's.


           10                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Jazzy's for lack of


           11              a better name, and one individual almost


           12              struck somebody the other night.  The person


           13              was all dressed in black, their jazzy


           14              scooter or whatever name you want to give it


           15              was dark, no lights on it, no flag that some


           16              of them have on it, and so I'm going to look


           17              into what the police department, and we are


           18              also going to ask --did we send a letter


           19              yet, Kay, to him?


           20                      MS. GARVEY: No we didn't send a


           21              letter, but I did make a phone call and he


           22              returned that call and Sue took the


           23              information from him, there are no


           24              regulations as far as he is concerned or


           25              they are concerned that state that you have






            1              to have either flags or anything on them.


            2              They are considered pedestrians.


            3                      MR. COURTRIGHT: My understanding is


            4              they shouldn't be -- they are not allowed to


            5              be on the road at all, but I will check with


            6              the police department and find out further.


            7              This one woman was very upset.  She almost


            8              ran right over somebody, and we certainly


            9              don't want to see that happening.


           10                      Mr. Pleasant, a couple of people


           11              came that have questions about it, and I


           12              have questions about it I think the rest of


           13              council have questions about it, so if there


           14              is some questions that you the citizens want


           15              us to ask about Mt. Pleasant if you would


           16              write them down and get them into the office


           17              we can ask them for you because I don't


           18              think any of us has decided what we are


           19              doing there, or the majority anyway haven't


           20              decided what we are doing there yet.  We


           21              would like to get a feel for what the school


           22              district is going to do, so if you have


           23              questions by all means if you can hand them


           24              into our office and I'll see if we can't get


           25              them answered for you.






            1                      Although, I would love to do what


            2              Mrs. Schumacher said and take the money and


            3              do away with the wage tax and reduce it or


            4              property tax, whatever tax you call it, we


            5              simply can't do that.  I believe she said we


            6              could do it by legislation.  That I don't


            7              know how you accomplish that, if she can


            8              enlighten me to that maybe we can look into


            9              it, but I believe that grant money that we


           10              give out is specifically designed for what


           11              we are giving it out for.


           12                      And I'll ask for one letter to ECTV,


           13              a growing number of people are losing their


           14              patience with this station.  They do not


           15              like the fact that they just get the one


           16              shot with the camera, and I have told them


           17              that there are two remote cameras up there,


           18              they have just not operational yet, so if we


           19              can ask them when those remote cameras will


           20              be working and when they are going to do


           21              something with the sound.  We have, for


           22              those of you don't see it, for lack of a


           23              better word a boom with a microphone on it


           24              up against one of the speakers that have


           25              been left here, and I'm sure they have plans






            1              on making the situation better here, but if


            2              they could update us on when that might


            3              happen, and we did have a conversation with


            4              OECD about if, in fact, they sell the


            5              building that ECTV is in what would become


            6              of the money that we gave to them and


            7              preliminarily what I'm being told is that,


            8              you know, the money for the equipment,


            9              obviously, the equipment would go with them.


           10              The $10,000 we haven't gotten an answer yet


           11              on the $10,000 that they invested in that


           12              building, so I'm still waiting to hear what


           13              type of answer we would get back to that so


           14              I asked for an answer in writing so I could


           15              ready that to you, and that's all I have.


           16              Thank you.


           17                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you,


           18              Mr. Courtright.  Apparently when I was out


           19              of the chamber when Mrs. Evans asked about


           20              the flood control project, I did talk to


           21              Paul O'Hora and he told me that the bids for


           22              the remaining part of the project were going


           23              out and that Mrs. Garvey reminded me of


           24              that, and I thought I had a date, and I'm


           25              looking through my notes here and I can't






            1              find out where I wrote that, but you did


            2              give me a date and I'll see if I can locate


            3              it, but that the bids are going out and as


            4              soon as they acted on a bidder that the


            5              remaining part of the project should begin


            6              in the Spring of 2009.  What he didn't have


            7              was a specific timetable for completion.  He


            8              said that that is a rather difficult thing


            9              to get from the Army Corp of Engineers.


           10                      MS. EVANS: From what I understood


           11              was that the costs have risen as the project


           12              progressed and that wasn't I guess initially


           13              envisioned because it's taken more time, and


           14              I would think that's why Congressman


           15              Kanjorski is getting involved in trying to


           16              find the funding to make up that difference


           17              and move it along.


           18                      MR. MCGOFF: Okay.  But that is what


           19              I found out from Mr. O'Hora.


           20                      As far as the action tonight on the


           21              proposed bill from Representative Murphy, I


           22              would be more than happy to, you know,


           23              reconsider this when the actual legislation


           24              is presented to the state house and have a


           25              more accurate look at what is being






            1              presented and maybe, you know, maybe at this


            2              point in time we can have a better


            3              understanding of what's being done.


            4                      I did attempt today, it was a


            5              seminar on intergovernmental something, I


            6              forget the long title that went with it, but


            7              basically it was conducted by the county


            8              commissioners and it had to do with


            9              regionalization of services.  I don't know


           10              that anything specific came from that, but


           11              what they are going to do is to continue to


           12              meet and to discuss the possibilities of,


           13              you know, ways in which municipalities can


           14              share services, not consolidate, but simply


           15              share services and hopefully through shared


           16              services reduce tax burdens.  As I said, it


           17              was the initial meeting and more are


           18              scheduled, but it seemed to be a step


           19              towards doing something that would in some


           20              way provide for continuation of services


           21              that people are now receiving without


           22              increasing taxes in order to continue it, so


           23              I will hopefully attend meetings in the


           24              future and also keep you informed as to


           25              what's being done there.






            1                      ECTV, I happen to be in city hall


            2              the other day and ran into Mr. Darcy and


            3              Mark while they were in the chamber here


            4              with someone from Comcast who was, I


            5              believe, working on the sound and trying to


            6              do something with the equipment that is


            7              here.  I was told, don't hold me to, you


            8              know, dates, but I was told the cameras that


            9              are present here could be operational, at


           10              that point in time they said within two


           11              weeks, and they said the expectation is that


           12              they will have four cameras operational


           13              during the meetings and that the


           14              presentation of the meetings should be


           15              enhanced through the use of those.  Again, I


           16              am merely repeating what I was told.  Do not


           17              hold me to that two-week time limit.


           18                      The other things, it seems that


           19              every couple of months we get into an


           20              argument about freedom of speech and things


           21              in council.  I don't know of anybody who has


           22              been denied their freedom to speak here, at


           23              least in my recent memory, and I think it's


           24              become a moot point, but with that said, the


           25              law is quite clear that the Courts have






            1              ruled and even at the local level that, yes,


            2              government entities do have a right to set


            3              limits to establish rules for the operation


            4              of their meetings, and the claim that


            5              anybody can say anything they want here is


            6              not true.  There are limits.  There are


            7              always limits.  That is the basis of the


            8              Bill of Rights.  That it is a limited right.


            9              It is not an absolute, and that those limits


           10              are established through precedent and the


           11              Court have sat a precedent for what can be


           12              done in governmental meetings such as ours.


           13                      And also, there was no attempt


           14              tonight to deny anybody the right to say,


           15              you know, go out and vote.  What we have


           16              said before is that it borders on coming in


           17              and asking someone to vote for or to not


           18              vote for a particular candidate is to me


           19              using our dais as a political tool and we


           20              have asked the people not do that.  I think


           21              that that's a legitimate request.  To ask


           22              people to go out and vote, no problem, but


           23              when you mention particular candidates and


           24              to vote for or not for particular candidates


           25              I think we have gone too far, and that is it






            1              all I was trying to do.


            2                      And the last thing, yes, I did speak


            3              to the commissioners about the motion that


            4              Mrs. Evans made tonight.  I also listened to


            5              Attorney Cullen and his presentation.  I


            6              believe that that's what we are supposed to


            7              do.  Because I disagreed with what I heard,


            8              because I may have had some questions about


            9              what I heard, because I spoke to the


           10              commissioners, and just for point of


           11              reference, I didn't speak to Mayor Doherty


           12              about it because I didn't think that it had


           13              anything to do with the mayor's office,


           14              therefore, I didn't ask him, but if that


           15              makes me an apologist, I don't believe that


           16              makes me an apologist for anyone.


           17                      I have been reminded that I should


           18              go and do my homework, and I believe in this


           19              case that's what I did.  I went out and did


           20              my homework and made an independent decision


           21              on the information that I received and I


           22              attempt to do that in any situation, and I


           23              believe that -- or to me it was insulting to


           24              be referred to as an apologist, and I think


           25              that we should treat one another in this






            1              council with more respect than that, and


            2              that is all I have.  Thank you.


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


            4              INTRODUCTION -- A RESOLUTION - A LENDING


            5              RESOLUTION NO. 55, 2008 ENTITLED " A






            8              EXECUTE A GRANT FOR HOUSING AND




           10              OF FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS $500,000.00






           13              DEVELOPMENT (DCED); AND IF THE APPLICATION




           15              GRANT FUNDS FOR THE PROJECT TO BE NAMED AS


           16              THE "CONNELL BUILDING" WITH


           17              "JEFFERSON-WERNER, LLC", THE DEVELOPER, OR


           18              ITS DESIGNEE TO REFLECT THE CHANGE OF THE






           21              LP.


           22                      MR. MCGOFF: At this time I'll


           23              entertain a motion that Item 5-B 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:  Yes.  I would like to


            4              know if the grant was approved by DCED?


            5                      MS. FANUCCI: Already you mean?


            6                      MS. EVANS: Yeah.  It was submitted


            7              early, like the first week of September in


            8              2008.


            9                      MS. FANUCCI: I don't think they can


           10              give us the legislation without approval


           11              from DCED.


           12                      MS. EVANS: Well, this is the back --


           13                      MS. GATELLI: If the application is


           14              secured.


           15                      MS. FANUCCI: This is the


           16              application, but didn't this already go


           17              through?


           18                      MS. EVANS: Yeah.  What I said was


           19              right, the legislation passed I think maybe


           20              September 7th or 9th of 2008, this exact


           21              legislation minus the change to the name


           22              from Connell.


           23                      MS. FANUCCI: Right.


           24                      MS. EVANS: And so my question is has


           25              this grant been approved by DCED.






            1                      MS. FANUCCI: I would imagine, but I


            2              don't know.  Do they have to agree to file


            3              it under the new name?  I don't know.  I can


            4              find that out.


            5                      MS. EVANS: And also if you could


            6              find out if it was approved was the money


            7              received by this -- I know the city must


            8              receive it first then it disperses then to


            9              the developer, so I would really like to


           10              table this legislation and the next piece of


           11              legislation until we get the answers to


           12              those two questions before we move this


           13              along.


           14                      MS. GATELLI: I'll second that.


           15                      MS. FANUCCI: That's fine.


           16                      MR. MCGOFF: Are you making a motion


           17              to table both 5-B and 5-C?


           18                      MS. EVANS: To table 5-B and 5-C


           19              until the two questions are answered, they


           20              are the same questions for the million and


           21              the $500,000, and that way we will have the


           22              answer and then change their name.


           23                      MR. MCGOFF: On the motion to table


           24              item 5-B and 5-C all in favor signify by


           25              saying aye.






            1                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.


            2                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.


            3                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.


            4                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.


            5                      MR. MCGOFF:  Opposed?  No. The ayes


            6              have it and so moved.


            7                      MS. GARVEY: 5-B and C have been


            8              tabled.  SIXTH ORDER.  NO BUSINESS AT THIS


            9              TIME.  SEVENTH ORDER.  7-A. FOR


           10              CONSIDERATION - BY THE COMMITTEE ON




           12              OF COUNCIL NO. 61, 2009- AUTHORIZING THE








           16              URBAN DEVELOPMENT ("HUD") FOR A SECTION 108


           17              FEDERAL LOAN GUARANTEE IN THE AMOUNT OF


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






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


           22              FURTHER TO AMEND THE CITY OF SCRANTON'S


           23              CONSOLIDATED PLAN FILED IN 2004 AND THE


           24              FISCAL YEAR 2009 ANNUAL ACTION PLAN FOR THE


           25              COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT ("CDBG")








            2              108 APPLICATION AND LOAN ACTIVITIES.


            3                      MR. MCGOFF:  What is the


            4              recommendation the Chairperson for the


            5              Committee on Community Development?


            6                      MS. FANUCCI: As Chairperson for the


            7              Committee on Community Development, I


            8              recommend final passage of item 7-A.


            9                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.


           10                      MR. MCGOFF: On the question?


           11                      MS. EVANS: I know that questions


           12              were raised about this and I did provide a


           13              rather lengthy explanation last week after


           14              having been in contact with Mr. Boscov and


           15              his controller for five to six days and I


           16              can tell you that Boscov's is current on all


           17              of it's taxes, not only for the mall, but


           18              for the office buildings it owns as well and


           19              I would venture to say, because I don't have


           20              all of my materials with me this evening,


           21              that Boscov's is paying over 1.2 million


           22              dollars annually in taxes, and that's


           23              certainly tax revenue in this economic time


           24              we can ill afford to lose, and we can ill


           25              afford to put even more people out of






            1              business -- or rather more people out of


            2              jobs, and I do think that all of the stores


            3              within the mall are codependent, they need


            4              one another to survive, and I think even the


            5              stores outside of the mall in our downtown


            6              are codependent and they need the mall to


            7              survive.  So, I am voting "yes" on this.


            8                      MS. GATELLI:  And just for the


            9              record, the jobs that are there, Mrs. Evans,


           10              are all low to moderate income people, so,


           11              that's who is being employed.


           12                      MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else?  Roll call,


           13              please?


           14                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.


           15                      MS. EVANS:  Yes.


           16                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Gatelli.


           17                      MS. GATELLI.  Yes.


           18                      MR. COOLICAN:  Ms. Fanucci.


           19                      MS. FANUCCI:  Yes.


           20                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.


           21                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yes.


           22                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.


           23                      MR. MCGOFF:  Yes.  I hereby declare


           24              Item 7-A legally and lawfully adopted.


           25                      MS. GARVEY: 7-B. FOR CONSIDERATION








            2              FOR ADOPTION -  RESOLUTION, 107, 2009 -


            3              ACCEPTING THE RECOMMENDATION OF THE




            5              ("HARB") AND APPROVING THE CERTIFICATE OF




            7              700 SOUTH HENDERSON ROAD, SUITE 300 B, KING






           10              TERRA COTTA BLOCK ELEMENTS; POINT BRICK;


           11              REPLACEMENT OF MISSING BALUSTERS;


           12              REPLACEMENT OF ROOF WITH EPDM SYSTEM;








           16              MATCH ORIGINAL TO THE CONNELL BUILDING,


           17              119-129 NORTH WASHINGTON AVENUE, SCRANTON


           18              PENNSYLVANIA.


           19                      MR. MCGOFF: What is the


           20              recommendation of the Chair for the


           21              Committee on Community Development?


           22                      MS. FANUCCI:  As Chairperson for the


           23              Committee on Community Development, I


           24              recommend final passage of Item 7-B.


           25                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.






            1                      MR. MCGOFF: On the question?  Roll


            2              call, please.


            3                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.


            4                      MS. EVANS:  Yes.


            5                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Gatelli.


            6                      MS. GATELLI.  Yes.


            7                      MR. COOLICAN:  Ms. Fanucci.


            8                      MS. FANUCCI:  Yes.


            9                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.


           10                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yes.


           11                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.


           12                      MR. MCGOFF:  Yes.  I hereby declare


           13              Item 7-B legally and lawfully adopted.


           14                      MS. GARVEY:  7-C. FOR CONSIDERATION




           16              FOR ADOPTION - RESOLUTION NO. 108, 2009 -




           18              CITY OFFICIALS TO EXECUTE AND APPLY FOR A


           19              GRANT THROUGH THE COMMONWEALTH OF




           21              ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (DCED) FOR A GROWING


           22              GREENER II MAIN STREET AND DOWNTOWN




           24              MILLION DOLLARS ($1,000,000.00).  IF THE










            2              TO "SCRANTON-CONNELL, LP" AND ITS GENERAL


            3              PARTNER "SCRANTON-CONNELL, GP, LLC" FOR THE


            4              "PROJECT" TO BE NAMED AS "CONNELL BUILDING


            5              ADAPTIVE RE-USE".


            6                      MR. MCGOFF: What the recommendation


            7              of the Chairperson for the Committee on


            8              Community Development?


            9                      MS. FANUCCI: As Chairperson for the


           10              Committee on Community Development, I


           11              recommend final passage of Item 7-C.


           12                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Second.


           13                      MR. MCGOFF: On the question?


           14                      MR. COURTRIGHT: On the question,


           15              Mr. McGoff, I did speak to representatives


           16              from the carpenters union and the


           17              bricklayer's union and they did tell me that


           18              they believe the work being done there will


           19              be done by local union people.


           20                      MR. MCGOFF:  Roll call, please.


           21                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.


           22                      MS. EVANS:  Yes.


           23                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Gatelli.


           24                      MS. GATELLI.  Yes.


           25                      MR. COOLICAN:  Ms. Fanucci.






            1                      MS. FANUCCI:  Yes.


            2                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.


            3                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yes.


            4                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.


            5                      MR. MCGOFF:  Yes.  I hereby declare


            6              Item 7-C legally and lawfully adopted.


            7                      MS. GATELLI:  Motion to adjourn.


            8                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  So moved.


            9                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you for your


           10              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