2 SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING
8 Monday, March 16, 2009
11 Council Chambers
12 Scranton City Hall
13 340 North Washington Avenue
14 Scranton, Pennsylvania
CATHENE S. NARDOZZI, RPR - OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
3 CITY OF SCRANTON COUNCIL:
MR. ROBERT MCGOFF, PRESIDENT
7 MS. JUDY GATELLI, VICE-PRESIDENT
MS. JANET E. EVANS
10 MS. SHERRY FANUCCI
MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT (Not present.)
13 MS. KAY GARVEY, CITY CLERK
MR. NEIL COOLICAN, ASSISTANT CITY CLERK
16 MR. AMIL MINORA, SOLICITOR
1 (Pledge of Allegiance recited and moment of reflection
3 MR. MCGOFF: Roll call, please
4 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.
5 MS. EVANS: Here.
6 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli.
7 MS. GATELLI: Here.
8 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. Fanucci.
9 MS. FANUCCI: Here.
10 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.
11 (Mr. Courtright not present.)
12 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff.
13 MR. MCGOFF: Here. Let the record
14 reflect that Mr. Courtright was unavailable
15 this evening when we moved the meeting to
16 Monday night. He indicated that due to a
17 prior work commitment he would not be able
18 to make it. Dispense with the reading of
19 the minutes.
20 MS. GARVEY: THIRD ORDER. 3-A. TAX
21 COLLECTION COMPARISON REPORTS RECEIVED FROM
22 THE SINGLE TAX OFFICE ON MARCH 10, 2009.
23 MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?
24 If not, received and filed.
25 MS. GARVEY: That's it for Third
2 MR. MCGOFF: Announcements, Council?
3 MS. GATELLI: Yes. This Thursday
4 evening the Scranton School District has a
5 community movies for children and they will
6 having Madagascar II at 6:30 in Scranton
7 High School auditorium, that's this
9 This Saturday, March 21, at St.
10 Joseph's Church in Minooka the Mountainview
11 Care Center Auxiliary is having their
12 macaroni dinner. It is from 4 to 7 and it's
14 We attended a conference from
15 Governor Rendell last week at Scranton High
16 School, and the crux of the discussion was
17 the stimulus money that is coming to the
18 State of Pennsylvania. I have a brochure
19 here that maybe Jeremy might want to look at
20 to put in the paper, but for anyone out
21 there who has lost their job or their health
22 care looking for any type of heating
23 assistance or rent rebates, etcetera, they
24 have been extended in Pennsylvania for a
25 longer period of time. They are going to be
1 having a very important community meeting
2 for dislocated workers at Boscov's
3 auditorium on Tuesday, March 31, from 10 to
4 2, and everyone will be there. This will
5 help you with heating, weatherization, food
6 assistance, avoiding foreclosure, utility
7 assistance, food assistance and job and
8 health care searches. So it's really
9 important that anyone who is having a
10 problem can attend this session.
11 The audit report is going to be
12 given to the stakeholders on Friday morning
13 at 10:00 in Mr. John McGovern's Office.
14 Someone from council will be represented at
15 that meeting, I believe it will be McGoff,
16 because Mrs. Evans and I would and so does
17 Mrs. Fanucci, so I think Bob will go for us,
18 but it will be 10:00 this Friday, and we'll
19 have our audit report.
20 St. Patrick's Dy parade had a race,
21 a two-mile foot race, and I'd like to
22 congratulate the winner, it was a Scranton
23 resident, 19-year-old Jeremy Evans, son of
24 Wayne Evans, South Side Resident's
25 Association president, and I'd like to
1 congregate Jeremy great late germ me. He is
2 a fresh man at the University and he is on
3 the cross country team.
4 MR. MCGOFF: I didn't win?
5 MS. GATELLI: You didn't win, Bob,
6 but congratulations for being in it. And
7 the last thing, I would just like to say
8 anyone interested in attending the Ethanol
9 plant meeting it will be Wednesday, this
10 Wednesday, March 18th at 5:30, at Smith's
11 Restaurant. We will be getting a
12 presentation from Mr. Scheller, who is the
13 president of Northeast Ethanol, so anyone
14 especially that lives in that particular
15 area, South Scranton or West Scranton abuts
16 the property. You certainly are welcome to
17 attend and I also have petitions with me if
18 anyone with like to sign the petition that
19 we are going to be presenting, and that's
20 all I have. Thank you.
21 MR. MCGOFF: Mrs. Evans?
22 MS. EVANS: Please remember in your
23 prayers all of those who have died,
24 particularly Keith Dearoff, a retired
25 lieutenant in the Scranton Fire Department
1 who served our city for 29 years with
2 dedication and compassion. Eileen McGinty
3 Mulrine, mother of firefighter Larry
4 Mulrine, and my great colleague Gary at
5 Scranton High School and all their dear
6 families and friends they leave behind.
7 Brian Schoener, a Scranton High
8 School senior has been selected as a
9 scholarship winner by the prestigious Jack
10 Cook Foundation. Brian is one of only 89
11 students chosen nationwide as a recipient of
12 this great honor. He almost receive a full
13 scholarship to the college or university of
14 his choice. He has applied to Cornell, MIT,
15 Carnegie Mellon, Bucknell and Lehigh and he
16 notified me today that he received his first
17 acceptance letter and that was from MIT.
18 Brian was the two-year member and
19 captain of my Scranton High School
20 scholastic team and this deserving young man
21 is a credit not only to his family, but to
22 the Scranton High School community as well.
23 So often we honor the athletes of our
24 community, but all too rarely do we honor
25 the academic and humanitarian achievements
1 of our young people. With my colleagues'
2 agreement, I would like to honor Brian
3 Schoener with a council proclamation.
4 In addition, I would like to forward
5 letters of congratulations to TJ
6 Campobianco, Sr., Bass one; and Frank Jones,
7 Jr., Tenor one, one who will proudly
8 represent Scranton High School in the
9 All-State chorus at the PMEA conference in
10 Valley Forge next month.
11 Also, I would like congratulatory
12 letters sent to Dillon York, Scranton High
13 School senior, who designed the logo of the
14 official St. Patrick's parade shirt, and
15 Joshua Wesalowski who collected close to 100
16 food items for bread basket of Northeastern,
17 Pennsylvania, a South Side food pantry as
18 part of their requirements for attaining the
19 rank of Eagle Scout, and I will forward all
20 of this contact information to Kay Garvey,
21 if that's agreeable to everyone.
22 MS. GATELLI: Um-hum.
23 MR. MCGOFF: No objection.
24 MS. EVANS: Thank you. Also, I'd
25 like to add my congratulations to the
1 Scranton High School cast and crew of the
2 musical "Honk" and a special shout out to TJ
3 Cappobianco, Alyssa Ecker, and Kylie Lotz,
4 my understanding students in our classroom
5 of champions.
6 And Upper Hill Ecumenical Committee
7 invites you to the Friendly's family fun
8 night on Wednesday, March 18, that is this
9 Wednesday. A percentage of the food
10 receipts of those who dine at Friendly's in
11 Dunmore between 5 and 8 p.m. will be donated
12 to St. Francis of Assisi food kitchen. Your
13 support is greatly appreciated.
14 And finally, I'd just like to wish
15 everyone a very happy St. Patrick's Day
17 MR. MCGOFF: Mrs. Fanucci, anything?
18 MS. FANUCCI: Nothing.
19 MR. MCGOFF: At this point I'm going
20 to make a motion that we move to Fifth Order
21 at the request of council. If there is
22 anyone that wishes to speak specifically to
23 items 5-B or 7-A they may do so and then we
24 will have the Fourth Order Citizens'
25 participation after the two pieces of
1 legislation. So, at this time I'd like to
2 makes a motion to suspend the rules and move
3 to Fifth Order.
4 MS. GATELLI: Second.
5 MR. MCGOFF: All in favor.
6 MS. EVANS: Aye.
7 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
8 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
9 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed? The
10 ayes have it and so moved.
11 MS. GATELLI: I would just like to
12 add that if you are wondering were we are
13 doing that, Mrs. Evans is still not feeling
14 well, as you can hear, and in case she is
15 not feeling well and needs to go home we are
16 moving it that she will be able to go home
17 because she is still not feeling well, so
18 please bear with us.
19 MS. EVANS: Thank you.
20 MR. MCGOFF: Mrs. Garvey?
21 MS. GARVEY: 5-B. FOR INTRODUCTION -
22 A RESOLUTION - AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND
23 OTHER APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS TO EXECUTE
24 AND ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH KNOWLES
25 ASSOCIATES, L.L.C., FOR INSURANCE WITH
1 HOUSING AND REDEVELOPMENT INSURANCE
2 EXCHANGE, (HARIE), INDIAN HARBOR INSURANCE
3 EXCHANGE, PHILADELPHIA INDEMNITY INSURANCE
4 COMPANY AND ARCH INSURANCE COMPANY FOR CITY
5 INSURANCE COVERAGES FOR THE PERIOD JANUARY
6 1, 2009 THROUGH JANUARY 1, 2010, AND TO
7 RATIFY ANY AND ALL ACTIONS AND SERVICES
8 PERFORMED SINCE THE EXPIRATION OF THE PRIOR
9 INSURANCE CONTRACT.
10 MR. MCGOFF: At this time I'll
11 entertain a motion that Item 5-B be induced
12 it's proper committee.
13 MS. FANUCCI: So moved.
14 MS. EVANS: Second.
15 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? All
16 in favor signify by saying aye.
17 MS. EVANS: Aye.
18 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
19 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
20 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed? The
21 ayes have it and so moved.
22 MR. SBARAGALIA: You don't want us to
23 speak on it before vote?
24 MR. MCGOFF: Oh, I'm sorry.
25 MR. SBARAGLIA: I was going to
2 MR. MCGOFF: I'm sorry,
3 Mr. Sbaraglia. I did say that and --
4 MS. GATELLI: Well, because no one
5 came up.
6 MR. MCGOFF: I'm sorry.
7 MR. SBARAGLIA: Why do you even have
8 meetings? Why don't we just do everything
9 by --
10 MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Sbaraglia, it was a
11 mistake. I'm sorry.
12 MR. SBARAGLIA: But it's a big
14 MR. MCGOFF: No, it's not a big
16 MR. SBARAGLIA: It a big mistake
17 because you are denying people to speak on
18 things before you vote on them. That is a
19 big mistake.
20 MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Sbaraglia --
21 MS. FANUCCI: Nobody got up. We
22 didn't know.
23 MR. MCGOFF: I'm sorry that we moved
24 forward so quickly. I just apologize.
25 MR. SBARAGLIA: It's done. It's
1 done. You can't bring it back. Okay.
2 There is lot of questions about this. First
3 of all, we all know what today's date is,
4 why are we going all the way back to
5 January 1 to pick up this insurance? Who
6 was carrying the insurance before?
7 MS. GATELLI: It's the same company.
8 MR. SBARAGLIA: It's the same
9 company? Well, why don't we go back to the
10 first to pick it up? Why are we doing it on
11 March instead of January? You said you are
12 going all the way back to January.
13 MS. GATELLI: It's just a renewal.
14 It's a yearly renewal.
15 MR. SBARAGLIA: I realize that, but
16 why wasn't it renewed when it should have
17 been renewed? Why is it renewed so late? I
18 know you don't have the answer.
19 MS. EVANS: Well, let's find that
21 MR. SBARAGLIA: But you could ask why
22 we're not renewing the policy when it
23 expires, and if, I guess we got a grace
24 period, and I guess we are under the grace
25 period, at least I hope.
1 MS. GATELLI: It's probably 90 days.
2 MR. SBARAGLIA: Yeah, I hope so.
3 MS. GATELLI: It might be more.
4 MR. SBARAGLIA: But I didn't read the
5 contract, but it's nice to find out why we
6 are doing things late. Thank you.
7 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you,
8 Mr. Sbaraglia.
9 MS. EVANS: Kay, could we --
10 MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else? I'm sorry,
11 Mrs. Evans.
12 MS. EVANS: Could we find out exactly
13 what the delay was on the insurance renewal
14 for next week?
15 MS. GARVEY: Okay.
16 MS. EVANS: Thanks.
17 MR. QUINN: 7-A?
18 MR. MCGOFF: Please. Ozzie Quinn,
19 President of Scranton Taxpayers'
20 Association, Incorporated. 7-A there is a
21 loan agreement to be made, a commercial
22 industrial loan in the amount of $25,000 to
23 Danielle and Company to assist in an
24 eligible project. I understand that's for
25 equipment and for capital. I went on the
1 website and what she is doing is aroma
2 therapy, and Mrs. -- Miss -- the applicant,
3 as I was saying, she has a degree, master's
4 degree in cognitive behavior therapy, and
5 she going for a doctorate in human
6 development. However, she is not trained in
7 aroma therapy, and I'm asking you to table
8 that because it's very scary because when
9 you start fooling around people's emotional
10 or physical problems you do have a problem.
11 Now, I want to say this here, aroma
12 therapy and, you know, listen to me first,
13 Mr. McGoff, before you -- you already have a
14 "yes" in your mind anyway.
15 Generally accepted definition of
16 aroma therapy, "An individual that has aroma
17 therapy training and has been licensed and
18 hands-on fields such as massage, nursing or
19 cosmetology. Some people loosely use the
20 term aromatherapist without such training as
21 you always need to confirm the credentials
22 without any perspective aromatherapist."
23 She is not an aromatherapist, she is
24 a not an aromacologist, she isn't -- she is
25 a cognitive therapist and she is not trained
1 in this and she offering this here therapy
2 which can hurt people. It's a wellness type
3 of program.
4 Now, please, listen to me, I don't
5 want taxpayers' money going to people who
6 are going to hurt another person. You have
7 to be so trained that you have to know just
8 what you are using. Look at him laughing.
9 Can you believe that?
10 MR. JACKOWITZ: No, I can't.
11 MR. QUINN: Can you believe that?
12 MR. JACKOWITZ: It's the president.
13 MR. QUINN: It's the president of
14 council, and an Irishman, too, my God. You
15 know what, bu anyway, the fact that, and let
16 me tell you, she has to be known to be a
17 well-being of the body, mind and soul and,
18 to do a walk and say you're an
19 aromatherapist, all right?
20 Also, all scents create a specific
21 memory thus inducing a mood or behavioral
22 responses, these responses enhance a
23 person's mood. You are fooling around with
24 a person's emotional well-being. And do you
25 know what, people had are depressed and who
1 are more likely to get more involved in
2 perfume are more likely to go to these type
3 of places because it is symptom, all right?
4 Now, in all due respect, you know,
5 this is a holistic approach she is trying to
6 take to therapy, and she is not qualified,
7 and whoever put that on there is
8 definitely -- will you stopping laughing Mr.
9 McGoff or leave the room, please do
11 MR. MCGOFF: Excuse me. Are you
13 MR. QUINN: We are taxpayers here.
14 My five minutes is not up. How can you
15 people put up with him doing that. It's
16 ashame. But she has -- she has products in
17 over 100 stores throughout the United States
18 and I ask you to check her credentials with
19 the American Psychological Association to
20 see if she's qualified to be involved in
22 I'm not trying to condemn the lady,
23 but I don't like to see taxpayers' money be
24 spent when you going to hurt a person's
25 emotional or physical life, and I hope you
1 are the first one to go through.
2 MS. EVANS: Mr. Quinn --
3 MR. MCGOFF: Excuse me, Mr. Quinn.
4 MR. QUINN: Excuse me you for what?
5 What did you do?
6 MR. MCGOFF: I have been to her shop.
7 MR. QUINN: You what?
8 MR. MCGOFF: I have been to her
10 MR. QUINN: I don't understand what
11 he said.
12 MR. MCGOFF: You said you hoped I was
13 the first one to go there, I have been there
14 already at two different occasions.
15 MR. QUINN: Well, I'm sorry. There
16 are people out there that can really be hurt
17 with this here, and I ask you just to call a
18 psychologist up --
19 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.
20 MR. QUINN: And a member of the APA.
21 MS. FANUCCI: Actually, I'm a
22 licensed cosmetologist, would you like me to
23 talk about?
24 MR. QUINN: To the APA and check it
1 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Quinn.
2 MS. FANUCCI: I actually am
4 MS. EVANS: Mr. Quinn, may I ask you
5 a question?
6 MR. QUINN: Sure.
7 MS. EVANS: Are you certain that it
8 is she who would be the aromatherapist or is
9 she perhaps hiring an individual. I know
10 that I believe anyway according to the terms
11 of this loan she has to create one position.
12 MR. QUINN: She is the applicant.
13 She has to be the applicant and she says she
14 is not only going to change her name from
15 aromatherapist to an aromacratic and she
16 doesn't qualify.
17 MS. FANUCCI: I can actually clear
18 this up in about three seconds if you'd like
19 me too.
20 MR. QUINN: Go ahead.
21 MS. FANUCCI: Ozzie, I know. I can
22 answer the question any way, when you are an
23 aromatherapist that means you're dealing in
24 essential oils that are pure which means
25 they are not put into any products. When
1 you are putting --
2 MS. QUINN: She --
3 MS. FANUCCI: Wait. Wait.
4 MR. QUINN: Go ahead.
5 MS. FANUCCI: When you are putting
6 them into products they are no longer
7 qualified to do what you are claiming that
8 they can do. So this is not -- this is not
9 attaining to the same thing. She uses them
10 in soaps. She uses them in perfumes.
11 MR. QUINN: I understand that.
12 MS. FANUCCI: So it's only a pure
13 essential mineral that we are talking about
15 MR. QUINN: I understand that.
16 MS. FANUCCI: -- that you need to be
17 qualified and licensed by the state to use
18 and you know why I know that, Ozzie, because
19 I'm a cosmetologist.
20 MR. QUINN: I want to tell you
21 something -- wow.
22 MS. FANUCCI: Look at me, and I
23 actually can answer that question for you,
24 so you are incorrect about what you are
25 saying is all I need to tell you.
1 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.
2 MR. QUINN: You know what, when she
3 is talking about pure oils she means pure
5 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Quinn.
6 MR. QUINN: However, she is using a
7 vegan oil. She is vegan oil.
8 MS. FANUCCI: Then it's not pure.
9 MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Quinn --
10 MR. QUINN: And it's right here.
11 It's right here.
12 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.
13 MR. QUINN: And you people are going
14 to be up for a lawsuit if somebody gets
16 MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else on 5-B or
17 7-A? Thank you.
18 MS. GARVEY: SIXTH ORDER. NO
19 BUSINESS AT THIS TIME. SEVENTH ORDER. 7-A.
20 FOR CONSIDERATION BY THE COMMITTEE ON
21 COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT - FOR ADOPTION -
22 RESOLUTION NO. 113, 2009 - AUTHORIZING THE
23 MAYOR AND OTHER APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS
24 FOR THE CITY OF SCRANTON TO ENTER INTO A
25 LOAN AGREEMENT AND MAKE A LOAN FROM THE
1 COMMERCIAL INDUSTRIAL REVOLVING LOAN
2 PROGRAM, PROJECT NO. 150.21 IN AN AMOUNT NOT
3 TO EXCEED $25,000.00 TO DANIELLE AND
4 COMPANY, INC. TO ASSIST AN ELIGIBLE PROJECT.
5 MR. MCGOFF: What is the
6 recommendation of the Chairperson for the
7 Committee on Community Development.
8 MS. FANUCCI: As chairperson for the
9 Committee on Community Development, I
10 recommend final passage of Item 7-A.
11 MR. MCGOFF: A second?
12 MS. GATELLI: Second?
13 MR. MCGOFF: On the question?
14 MS. EVANS: I know that this is a
15 very good small business within the City of
16 Scranton. It's a relatively new business to
17 our city. I don't know, you know, if
18 otherwise it's -- are there headquarters
19 elsewhere or additional stores?
20 MS. FANUCCI: No, it's here. It's
21 based here.
22 MS. EVANS: This is the one and only
23 store? And I thought I had learned that
24 they were going to offer classes as well in
25 various types of activities like
1 horticulture and one or two other areas I
2 believe, so it does appear to be beneficial
3 to the community. I do -- you know, I hear
4 Mr. Quinn's concerns, but, you know, I'm
5 confused as this point because I'm, you
6 know, I was assuming that as Mrs. Gatelli
7 said the ingredients are placed into her
8 product line, soaps, lotions and etcetera,
9 and that's what was being considered the
10 aromatherapy as many of the products I know
11 I've purchased, not from this particular
12 business, but, you know, in a department
13 store it will be labeled aromatherapy.
14 So would it be possible that we can
15 table it just to get the, you know, a
16 statement from the owner explaining exactly
17 what it is.
18 MR. MCGOFF: There's nobody doing
19 therapy in the business. It's simply the
20 name of a product, products that are sold at
21 Bath and Body and other places.
22 MS. FANUCCI: Right.
23 MR. MCGOFF: Right. There is no
24 nobody conducting therapy sessions at
25 Danielle and Company.
1 MR. QUINN: You don't know what
2 you're talking about.
3 MS. GATELLI: And it's even in air
4 freshener. If you buy air freshener now it
5 says on it aromatherapy. It's just a buzz
7 MS. FANUCCI: I mean, I could see his
8 point if she was using an untainted oil that
9 is just pure in it's form, he is right. I
10 mean, there are certain elements that -- but
11 that is not what we are talking about.
12 MR. QUINN: If I may --
13 MR. MCGOFF: Excuse me, Mr. Quinn.
14 You had your opportunity to speak.
15 MR. QUINN: She is making oils.
16 MR. MCGOFF: Excuse me.
17 MR. QUINN: For specific
19 MS. FANUCCI: To put into products.
20 MR. QUINN: To focus, to relax.
21 MS. FANUCCI: To put into products.
22 (Mr. McGoff bangs the gavel.)
23 MS. FANUCCI: She is making scents to
24 put in products --
25 MR. MCGOFF: There is no classes.
1 MS. FANUCCI: To put into products.
2 MR. MCGOFF: Excuse me?
3 MS. GATELLI: We can go to Boscov's
4 right now and by 1,000 products that say
5 aromatherapy on them.
6 MR. QUINN: Definitely.
7 MS. GATELLI: It's just someone put
8 oil in there and cinnamon is supposed to
9 make you hungry and lilac is supposed to
10 make you calm.
11 MS. EVANS: Lavender.
12 MS. GATELLI: It's just -- you know,
13 it's just -- they are just theories and I'm
14 sure they are not true, but, you know,
15 people do that for certain scents.
16 MR. QUINN: It's a science.
17 MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Quinn, you had your
18 opportunity to speak, I'm going to ask you
19 once more to refrain from yelling or else I
20 will ask you to leave.
21 MS. GATELLI: I mean, I don't think
22 the woman is doing psychotherapy with oil.
23 MR. QUINN: Yes, she is.
24 MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else on the
1 MR. QUINN: Just vote
3 MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Quinn, would you
4 please leave? You are out of order.
5 MR. QUINN: I'll be glad to leave.
6 MR. MCGOFF: Because you are a sick
8 MS. GATELLI: Well, I mean, I don't
9 care. If you want to table it we'll table
11 MR. MCGOFF: There is no reason to
12 table it.
13 MS. GATELLI: You want to get her in
15 MR. MCGOFF: I don't see any reason
16 to table it.
17 MS. EVANS: Well, I think it might be
19 MS. FANUCCI: The problem is now here
20 we are in a place where this woman is doing
21 a wonderful job, a great job, and now she is
22 tainted because of, you know, accusations --
23 MS. EVANS: Right. That's why I
24 think it would be beneficial if she wanted
25 to come in and do give us an explanation and
1 maybe do a little presentation.
2 MS. FANUCCI: If she -- she doesn't
3 even have to go that far. We can table it
4 and have her send a letter, we'll send a
5 letter to her and have her reply to us with
6 the allegations of what is alleged.
7 MS. GATELLI: And if she would like
8 to come she is welcome to come.
9 MS. EVANS: Yes.
10 MS. FANUCCI: Right. I do want to
11 apologize to her or anyone who is using her
12 products or anyone who is trying to open a
13 business in if city that this is not how is
14 should be conducted and this is just awful.
16 MS. GATELLI: I'll second tabling of
17 7-A. It's been moved and seconded.
18 MR. MCGOFF: All in favor of tabling
19 7-A signify by saying eye.
20 MS. EVANS: Aye.
21 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
22 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
23 MR. MCGOFF: Opposed? No. The ayes
24 have it and 7-A is tabled. Fourth Order.
25 Andy Sbaraglia.
1 MR. SBARAGLIA: Andy Sbaraglia,
2 citizen of Scranton. Fellow Scrantonians, I
3 read the backup on 7-A, okay, $25,000 at 5
4 percent interest sounds good. Now, we have
5 no -- we have nothing legal that's going to
6 happen to us if we give him the money. In
7 other words, if somebody sues somebody the
8 most we can do is lose 25,000 if she goes
9 under with a lawsuit, but that's it. We are
10 not sued anywhere. Whatever she does she
11 has to comply with whatever the state codes
12 are, so it's not big deal. I don't know why
13 Ozzie made such a big deal out of it.
14 Okay, we did the insurance, let's go
15 with the tax collector comparison report.
16 Do you realize that from '08, 3-7-08, that
17 month, that the 3-9-2009 we have almost
18 doubled the income coming. 3-7-2008 we had
19 $4,870,956.57. 3-9-2009, $8,597,388.17.
20 Something is wrong with that office. You
21 should get ahold of McDowell and let him
22 explain why so much money is being generated
23 now that wasn't generated when he was in
24 charge. That's an important thing. You
25 should be on his back because something was
1 wrong when he ran that office and now he has
2 even got a bigger job, so God knows what's
3 happening there. But you should at least
4 get back to him and explain why all of these
5 figures are escalated now that wasn't
6 before. Something definitely wrong there.
7 Okay, little reminiscent, we went
8 through all of this other stuff. As you
9 know, seven years ago we had a golf course,
10 we had the South Side Complex, our good
11 loans are gone, our delinquent real estate
12 taxes people can't pay, it goes to two
13 entities now one NCC and then the lawyer on
14 top of it, which I forget his name. We had
15 a DPW site that we no longer own, and I
16 believe we even sold our storm drains to the
17 sewer authority, I don't know because nobody
18 knows exactly where that piece of
19 legislation was. That all of sudden says
20 they are independent, so somewhere along the
21 line money passed or property passed and
22 this is what I mean.
23 We have lost our assets being
24 fiddled away, especially the golf course
25 that brought us $50,000, sometimes $100,000
1 a year in income. That's gone. And what do
2 we got out of it, we got little -- you got
3 an open area up in Nay Aug, but I guess with
4 people losing their homes maybe it will be a
5 nice tent city up there especially with all
6 of the Johns that are up there now. But
7 these things we had and in seven years we
8 lost it.
9 Now, I realize you weren't there.
10 You weren't sitting there when a lot of
11 these things were done. Even when he did
12 the DPW site that he so -- well, the guy
13 wanted to give us $600,000 over 20 years or
14 25 years, but the original contract with
15 that was for 198 years for a dollar a year.
16 This is the kind of deals he was making.
17 Now, you tell me common sense wise who would
18 site a contract like that?
19 Even now, I don't believe we are
20 going to get any money from the DPW even it
21 he does put stuff there. I mean, yeah,
22 because he leases it for a dollar year. His
23 obligation to the city is $1 a year. That's
24 it. I don't even know who carries liability
25 on it because them contracts are pretty well
1 mute when it comes to him. Anybody that
2 read the original contract didn't seeing
3 anything about liability because when that
4 contract was -- of course, there was
5 buildings there and the DPW was in operation
6 there, but these are things we have lost in
7 the city. They were assets that are no
8 longer assets to the city, and it's been
9 sitting there all them years as an empty
11 Now, what's going to happen? They
12 are going to be looking for KOZ's again. I
13 know this coming like -- you don't even have
14 to be any kind of soothsayer to realize
15 what's going to happen. All of these people
16 who have sat on that land for ten years
17 without paying any taxes are going to be out
18 there looking for another handout. Thank
20 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you,
21 Mr. Sbaraglia. Ron Ellman.
22 MR. ELLMAN: You guys changed and
23 thought I wouldn't know it, didn't you?
24 Mrs. Rosie read the paper and told me it was
25 tonight. Last week was my birthday, big 39,
1 I didn't have to designate a driver to bring
2 me down here, so I just have a couple of
3 little notes.
4 I publically would like to say how
5 elated I am that the mayor is going to run
6 on his record. This seemed like a big help
7 for his opponents to be, but I'll give
8 credit where credit is due. I got a little
9 statement here that "Whatever we do --" I
10 copied this out of something, I don't know
11 where it came from. It said, "Whatever we
12 do we must assume responsibility for the
14 So I guess running on your record is
15 assuming the responsibility, but I think the
16 mayor is just trying to sell us the same old
17 car by washing it or something. The problem
18 around here is half the city doesn't vote.
19 I just don't know how people are going to
20 get these people that don't vote. I talked
21 to them and for both sides. I've never seen
22 so much apathy. I mean, just vote for
23 somebody. Just don't sit in the house, you
24 know, but everybody needs to get these
25 people out to vote. I don't know how to do
1 it, you know, unless you give them some
2 hotdogs or something, doughnuts. I don't
3 know. I sit and talk to people and hear
4 people and almost everybody I talk to they
5 just don't vote. I never seen a city like
6 this. You know, even if they vote for
7 Doherty they are doing something, you know,
8 like I said, it's just so much apathy here
9 and then everybody complains about potholes
10 and this and that and the other thing and
11 who did you vote for and say, "I didn't
13 Isn't that ashame? I hate to say
14 it, but I go in little bar called Dunn's and
15 they brag they don't vote and a couple of
16 them own houses, they own property. You
17 know, there is people dying for us so we can
18 vote and have a flag and all and the people
19 don't vote. Well, I'm just getting carried
20 away. I thank you for giving me a minute or
21 two up here. I had some notes I don't even
22 want to get into it. I get everybody mad at
23 me and get you alienated at me. Thank you.
24 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Ellman.
25 Les Spindler.
1 MR. SPINDLER: Good evening,
2 Council. Les Spindler, city resident,
3 taxpayer and homeowner. Mr. McGoff, you
4 said Mr. Courtright couldn't make it tonight
5 because he had to work. Why couldn't have
6 the meeting been reschedule for Thursday?
7 MS. FANUCCI: He had to work
8 Thursday, too.
9 MS. SPINDLER: No, he didn't have to
10 work Thursday. I spoke to him, he asked to
11 have it done for -- he asked to have the
12 meeting on Thursday.
13 MS. GATELLI: I can't make it on
15 MS. FANUCCI: Well, somebody
16 couldn't make it on Thursday.
17 MR. SPINDLER: Oh, okay, so if you're
18 in the mayor I guess you get your way.
19 MR. MCGOFF: It was a night we could
20 have a quorum. Last week Mr. Sbaraglia
21 mentioned about Scranton Today operating
22 from that room back there and there were
23 tossed out because they are supposed to do
24 something in that room, when Chris Doherty
25 got his own TV station CDTV all of a sudden
1 they are allowed to broadcast from there.
2 If that wasn't a political move then my name
3 is not Les Spindler.
4 And like I said last week, these
5 people they have to find a new place to
6 setup their shop in and I don't know where
7 they are going to get the money from, but I
8 don't know how the three of could have
9 located the money for CDTV before the appeal
10 is heard.
11 Moving on, I heard from a good
12 source the developers of the office park
13 that's going to be off Linden Street there
14 uses nonunion labor, and I see there is a
15 Scartelli trailer setup on the lot there.
16 That figures? Scartelli plowed the DPW lot,
17 now they'll be building the office park, I
18 guess it's just payback for the mayor for
19 the campaign contributions they give.
20 Two weeks ago, Mrs. Fanucci, you
21 said you represent the taxpayers. Well, you
22 voted for a 25 percent tax hike, you voted
23 for those ridiculous fees and penalties on
24 late taxes, and you voted for all Chris
25 Doherty's budgets. If that's representing
1 the taxpayers, Mrs. Fanucci, please don't do
2 it anymore.
3 I guess city vehicles -- I guess
4 they get a free parking placard in them,
5 maybe you know about that Mrs. Gatelli?
6 City vehicles can park free in the city.
7 MS. GATELLI: I think the inspectors
9 MR. SPINDLER: Well, are they allowed
10 in their own personal vehicles?
11 MS. GATELLI: I believe if they are
12 using their own vehicle for work, yes.
13 MR. SPINDLER: Well, I know for a
14 fact that Mark Seitzinger's wife has one in
15 her own personal vehicle and she works in
16 the law department. I don't think she needs
17 that for work. I think there should be an
18 investigation into that, and if you want to
19 see a pictures, there is pictures on a
20 certain website. Mr. McGoff, could you look
21 into that?
22 MR. MCGOFF: Excuse me?
23 MR. SPINDLER: Could you look into
24 that? About people using these free parking
25 placards in their own personal vehicles, and
1 if that's the case would you see what you
2 could do about getting me one?
3 Last week I stated that two people
4 were attacked in West Side a few weeks ago,
5 a U of S student was attacked, now yesterday
6 in South Side two people were shot in broad
7 daylight in the backyard and Chris Doherty
8 wants to let go policemen. He wants to lay
9 policemen off, he wants to lay firemen off,
10 he doesn't give a darn about public safety
11 in this city, all he cares about is hiring
12 his crony friends, giving them raises, but
13 he doesn't care about the safety and the
14 citizens of this city and it's a disgrace.
15 We need more policemen on the street, not
17 Yesterday I was driving through the
18 Hill Section, the 400 block of Clay Avenue,
19 there was students out there sitting on the
20 porch as they were Saturday and that block
21 was a disgrace. There were beer cans and
22 cups all over the lawn, it looked like a
23 garbage dump, it was a disgrace. We should
24 have had public safety people up there on
25 Saturday because I was up there Saturday and
1 my mother is in a nursing home up there.
2 Kids were on their porches drinking, instead
3 of throwing them away they throw them out on
4 the lawn. I wish I had my camera with me,
5 it was a disgrace, and I think the
6 University should police their own kids
7 there. This is totally uncalled for, I
8 mean, I could see a couple, but the lawns
9 were littered, literally littered with
10 dozens and dozens of cans and cups. It's a
11 disgrace. I mean, these kids don't live in
12 the city, they don't care. I lived in this
13 city my whole life and I'm proud of it and
14 it's just a disgrace. So, I don't know what
15 they could do, I know the police can only be
16 in certain places at one time, but I think
17 the University should be contacted next year
18 and let them police their own kids because
19 it's just totally ridiculous. Thank you.
20 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Spindler.
21 Bernadette Royce.
22 MS. ROYCE: Hi. God evening. Happy
23 St. Patrick's Day. Bernadette Royce, West
24 Scranton. First off, I would like to go on
25 record saying that I have used scented bath
1 oils, scented bath products, lotions and
2 candles for years and except for one asthma
3 attack and my cat I have never, ever had a
4 problem with them, so you can feel safe
5 about that.
6 Onto new business, late Saturday
7 afternoon after the festivities I returned
8 to my West Scranton neighborhood to discover
9 thick black smoke staining the sky. As I
10 approached Luzerne Street Engine 2 from
11 South Scranton raced to the scene just as
12 the smoke began to dissipate. Obviously,
13 Engine 7 located on Luzerne Street as the
14 first due engine in West Scranton had a much
15 quicker response just as Engine 2 would have
16 for South Scranton fire.
17 According to the Scranton Times,
18 Mayor Doherty cited new building
19 construction as an excuse for less fire
20 protection. He is wrong. Rather than real
21 wood new construction often uses particle
22 boards and glue. These burn hotter than
23 real wood. Fire also grows exponentially.
24 This means that for every second fire grows
25 it gets twice as big. The results of this
1 are clear, 30 years ago a person had
2 17 minutes to escape a house fire. Today
3 the National Fire Protection Association
4 estimates that you have approximately three
5 minutes to escape a house fire. Citizens
6 need to keep this in mind before they vote
7 for a mayor who will close their local fire
8 stations or reduce engine companies in this
9 city. The mayor won't say which stations he
10 will close, so I'm asking you, my council
11 members, to tell me what stations are being
12 closed and will my neighborhood be safe? Do
13 any of you know?
14 MS. FANUCCI: I don't know.
15 MS. GATELLI: I never heard of any
16 that will be closed as of right now.
17 MS. EVANS: I have read that the
18 mayor intended to downsize the manpower of
19 the fire department by I believe over 30
20 individuals and he did intend to close fire
21 stations. Now, I don't know that means
22 specifically the station will close or if
23 the engine company is going to be
24 eliminated, but he has gone on record saying
25 that. He at least has not expressed to me
1 which engine companies or firehouses are
2 going to be affected, but I'm waiting for
3 that announcement shortly, particularly
4 since the ruling of the Courts that I
5 believe the city has to abide by it within a
6 certain period of time, specifically, by
7 taking such measures and also by awarding
8 raises, and to my knowledge those raises
9 have not yet occurred as well.
10 MS. ROYCE: Okay. My concern,
11 obviously, is when will he decide and
12 announce, I think we all know that the mayor
13 has said he has plans, my concern is when we
14 will decide to announce to the citizens of
15 Scranton exactly which companies will be
16 reduced? I think it's time that the
17 citizens of Scranton receive an answer from
18 this mayor.
19 MS. EVANS: Oh, I agree, and I think
20 another concern is what he is basing that
21 decision on, what study?
22 MS. ROYCE: Thank you very much.
23 Thank you very much. Have a good evening,
25 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mrs. Royce.
1 Marie Schumacher.
2 MS. SCHUMACHER: Good evening. Marie
3 Schumacher, resident and member of the
4 Taxpayers' Association. I have corrected my
5 collating error, so I am prepared to read
6 the final page of my letter to DCED,
7 Secretary Cornelius. These, of course, deal
8 with variances from the PEL developed
9 Recovery Plan. "Page 37 noted, in the
10 absence of salary increases the city's
11 cumulative deficit would total 7.21 billion
12 dollars in 2007. Despite the majority of
13 employees, that being police and
14 firefighters, having had no increase, the
15 cumulative operating deficit was reflected
16 in principal debt of about $95 million
17 dollars. $159,162,385 of the Authority's
18 debt is included again just principal only."
19 Next point, "Failure to conduct
20 Civil Service Testing resulted in increased
21 expenses to fill vacancies."
22 We are now paying dearly in our
23 police agency, we are paying what used to be
24 paid by the Act 120 people themselves for
25 Act 120, themselves. Now, we taxpayers get
1 to foot that bill because the Civil Service
2 did not -- committee did not to what they
3 were supposed to do.
4 "Page 64, for 2003, 2004, and 2005,
5 the base hourly wages and salaries of all
6 city employees shall not exceed exceeding
7 rate, existing rates. Many salaries exceed
8 the 2002 rates.
9 Page 85, lesser capital purchases,
10 especially vehicles, technology
11 infrastructure, etcetera, shall generally be
12 funded from funds which are made available
13 through contributions by the three city
14 hospitals. The city was to have formalized
15 the intended use of the payments made by the
16 three hospitals in a written agreement of
17 understanding by no later than August 1,
18 2002. This has not happened, or if it has
19 it's the best kept secret in town.
20 As a matter of fact, despite no
21 raises, police have been purchasing their
22 own cruisers. The administration did manage
23 to find $100,000 per year for five years to
24 purchase a bank to be part of an estimated
25 $16 million library, however.
1 I could go on for several more
2 pages, but I'm sure the information provided
3 is sufficient to illustrate the city has
4 ignored, negated and emasculated the adopted
5 Recovery Plan and failed to execute any
6 rational financial plan as an alternative.
7 Yet, there have been no sanctions, no
8 amendatory orders in the first decade of the
9 current century and there were during the
10 final decade of the last century. Why? I
11 look forward to your response."
12 Next week I'll give you the bottom
13 line on what the response was and the
14 response I will again be responding to.
15 Moving to a new topic: Last week
16 Mrs. Gatelli you talked about the Village at
17 Tripp Park and you mentioned that the
18 developer had fled. I don't think that's
19 the case. I think the developer lives and
20 everybody knows that the developer lives in
21 the City of Dunmore. I think he is a member
22 of the Marywood faculty senate, and I don't
23 think he would be too hard to find and I am
24 very disappointed that you are not looking
25 at out for the taxpayers who are being
1 flooded because of the runoff from that.
2 MS. GATELLI: We are, Mrs.
4 MS. SCHUMACHER: Well, what --
5 MS. GATELLI: There is case in Court
6 with Mr. Speicher and he also sued city
8 MS. SCHUMACHER: Well, I don't know
9 whether he sued city council, but Judge
10 Minora has already ruled on the Tripp Park
11 runoff and I am concerned, I have asked
12 about this before, if Mr. -- if the
13 developer is not being held accountable and
14 fixing that runoff the way I read that
15 ruling it's going to fall on us taxpayers,
16 and I don't think that's right and it's been
17 -- I think the ruling was in December, I
18 don't know how long the judge gave for those
19 corrections to be made, but-
20 MS. GATELLI: I don't have it with me
21 this week. I had the order with me last
23 MS. SCHUMACHER: Well, maybe you
24 could bring that next week.
25 MS. GATELLI: But he does have an
1 order. There is an order against him.
2 MS. SCHUMACHER: I know that, but
3 it's -- why would you want -- the only
4 recourse there is, is to put -- do what he
5 did, and you asked for what he did to be
6 rescinded last week.
7 MS. GATELLI: If it was items that
8 don't affect water run off.
9 MS. SCHUMACHER: Well --
10 MS. GATELLI: Why should the people
11 up there be punished? They have been
12 punished enough by Mr. Speicher.
13 MS. SCHUMACHER:next week.
14 MS. GATELLI: Go talk to anyone that
15 lives in Tripp Park.
16 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mrs.
18 MS. GATELLI: They have suffered long
20 MR. MCGOFF: Dave Dobson.
21 MR. DOBSON: Good evening, Council.
22 Dave Dobson, a member of the Taxpayers'
23 Association, Scranton resident. I just
24 stopped by briefly to bring up a subject
25 that was discussed last week about the
1 spraying of herbicides. Is that --
2 MS. GATELLI: We didn't get an answer
3 yet, Mr. Dobson.
4 MR. DOBSON: You didn't get an
6 MS. GATELLI: No, not yet.
7 MR. DOBSON: I would like to make a
8 suggestion that you people just get together
9 and tell them to keep it out of here.
10 Apparently that line runs right along the
11 gorge from Chamberlin and are they going to
12 be spraying there, will they be spraying
13 within Nay Aug Park and certainly the
14 neighbors up on Mark Avenue or is it Matthew
15 Avenue don't want it done, and these
16 herbicides are harmful substances and it's
17 certainly something you wouldn't want your
18 animals exposed to or your lawn or
19 potentially have it in the drinking water or
20 whatever else, so to me I think seeing as
21 this is Scranton, it's our town, we have a
22 right to tell the power company where or
23 what they can and can't do within our town
24 especially when it comes to exposing people
25 to that type of chemical.
1 Also, I felt that having them
2 petition to move their power lines out of
3 Nay Aug Park was a good idea, and I'm not
4 really going to forget it, so I promise to
5 be attesting from here on in on that issue.
6 I want to see those power lines on the other
7 side of the highway some day. It's all
8 abandoned rail line and coal lands and so
9 forth and there is not a lot there that can
10 be disturbing if you ship those lines after
11 the gorge over the other side. We were
12 deprived of the full extent of Nay Aug Park
13 when 81 came through. I don't know if
14 anyone is aware of that, you probably are,
15 but there is a plaque up on Elmhurst
16 Boulevard that, currently Wattres for
17 donating that land, and there is about 30 or
18 40 acres up there that just gets ignored, we
19 can't build on it, we can't sell it, we
20 can't do anything with it, but when 81 came
21 through it split the park right in half and
22 that power line was also, you know, hanging
23 around who knows how many years. They might
24 have wanted to expand that some day and take
25 the rest of Nay Aug Park on us, so I think
1 personally they have enough money they can
2 get those lines out of there.
3 But definitely, please, no spraying.
4 No spraying within the city. Anybody that's
5 downwind of that mist is going to get a dose
6 of it and we know what Agent Orange does. I
7 have a brother-in-law that is on disability
8 at 60 years old because of Agent Orange from
9 Vietnam, so most of those substances are
10 extremely harmful and let's keep them out of
11 here. Have a good night.
12 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Dobson.
13 Gary DeStefano.
14 MR. DESTEFANO: Good evening,
15 Council. My name is Gary DeStefano. I'm a
16 city resident and a Scranton firefighter.
17 I'm here tonight to inform city council and
18 the public of what we have just learned from
19 this administration. In the very near
20 future, Mayor Doherty is going to close two
21 engine companies in this city. The Scranton
22 firefighters are going to do all we can to
23 prevent this. This is a drastic, baseless
24 cut of our fire protection, our safety and
25 we are asking everyone to help us stop this
1 and the mayor's intended actions.
2 If anyone has any questions feel
3 free to contact our union leadership about
4 this. Thank you.
5 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you,
6 Mr. DeStefano. Anyone else?
7 MR. JACKOWITZ: Good evening,
8 Mr. President, Scranton City Council. What
9 about the people who have lived below Tripp
10 Park, they have suffered long enough, also.
11 They need help and assistance, also.
12 Bill Jackowitz, South Scranton
13 resident and member of the Taxpayers'
14 Association. City, state and federal taxes
15 have always been paid, my taxes have always
16 been paid on time and in full. Two Scranton
17 parking tickets within 11 years, paid within
18 24 hours, the only two I have ever received.
19 I must also ask myself why I pay on time?
20 Maybe because I'm a member of the Taxpayers'
21 Association and an honorably retired senior
22 noncommissioned officer of the United States
23 Air Force. While, on the other hand, we
24 have elected officials and appointed
25 officials who just seem to ignore their
1 responsibility until they are outed in the
2 public. Maybe because I am not connected to
3 the mayor, county commissioner, governor or
4 tax collector or school board member.
5 Retired judge gets 46 months in
6 jail. Former prosecutor gets house arrest.
7 Former state senator charged with defrauding
8 the state a nonprofit and museum for more
9 than 3.5 million. He was convicted today on
10 all 127 counts. He was also destroyed --
11 also charged with destroying evidence.
12 Influence denied in the Manner deal.
13 The president of the Pittsburgh based firm
14 hired to train state liquor store clerks and
15 managers to be nice to customers is married
16 to a top liquor control board employee.
17 Two judges Luzerne County going to
18 jail. The head of the Scranton Housing
19 Authority going to Court. State
20 representative not paying his taxes on time.
21 Former tax representative voted out of
22 office for not showing up for his job, but
23 collecting per diem. City council falls
24 into that category. They get paid for
25 cancelled meetings.
1 Pennsylvania Economy League hired to
2 help Scranton out of it's distressed city
3 status, 17 years later Scranton is still
4 distressed. Pennsylvania Economy League
5 still being paid. What a racquet.
6 As far as grant money, I'm very
7 familiar with federal, state and grant money
8 as distributed -- how it is distributed. I
9 realize that if the money is not used it
10 will be taken away and possibly never
11 return. My complaint is the way the city
12 spends the grant money, taxpayers' money.
13 They waste the money on projects that should
14 be funded but they give the money to the
15 rich developers and business owners. There
16 are so many ways this money could be used to
17 help young or old struggling businesses get
18 back on their street or possibly create new
19 business in the city who might be able to
20 open storefronts in the downtown and
21 neighborhoods. Instead, we give our money
22 to Rinaldi, Joyce, Boscov, Hilton, Radison,
23 Alexander's and Donahue to name a few.
24 Kildaire's restaurant hires nonunion
25 workers and is it not pay union wages. Jack
1 Lockheed to inspect the company and manage
2 the township is hired, only the restaurant
3 neighbor McGrogan is a resident of
4 Philadelphia. Jerry Joyce is the property
5 owner. How many millions of taxpayer
6 dollars has he received? I guess this fits
7 the theory of jobs and wages being brought
8 into Scranton.
9 Let's find out how many Scranton
10 union works work on the 500 Lackawanna
11 Avenue project and how many Scranton union
12 workers are working on the Connell building.
13 The Mt. Pleasant corporate project and the
14 University of Scranton. My information says
15 no union workers worked at the University of
16 Scranton. They are all nonunion workers.
17 Mr. McGoff, are you awake or are you
19 MR. MCGOFF: Excuse me?
20 MR. JACKOWITZ: I asked you, are you
21 awake or are you sleeping? I couldn't tell
22 because your eyes were closed and you were
23 holding your head up. I just asked you a
24 question, that's all I did.
25 MR. MCGOFF: Don't be rude.
1 MR. JACKOWITZ: I'm not being rude.
2 You were rude by laughing at Mr. Quinn, so
3 don't tell me not be rude, okay?
4 Northwestern Pennsylvania -- Northeastern
5 Pennsylvania again votes and we get 15
6 million, plus another 84 for schools. I
7 hope Scranton spends some of their 9 million
8 to heat West Scranton High School and repair
9 the ceilings in the middle school. Stars
10 and afterschool programs like the young lady
11 talked about at this meeting.
12 Also, my friend on Hemlock Street is
13 not very happy because her dog was skunked
14 in her own backyard, so maybe we need to get
15 the skunk patrol out and active because, you
16 know, people don't like getting their dogs
18 Are the cameras working in the city
19 of Scranton that the police department in
20 the city put up, Mr. McGoff?
21 MR. MCGOFF: I have no idea.
22 MR. JACKOWITZ: Can you find out for
23 me or would that be asking too much?
24 MR. MCGOFF: You know, you are being
1 MR. JACKOWITZ: No, I'm not.
2 MR. MCGOFF: Yes, you are.
3 MR. JACKOWITZ: No, I'm not. It's
4 your opinion that I'm being rude, it's my
5 opinion that I am not.
6 MR. MCGOFF: Okay.
7 MR. JACKOWITZ: All I did was ask you
8 a question and I have yet to -- I have to
9 yet to laugh --
10 MR. MCGOFF: -- with the comment.
11 MR. JACKOWITZ: I have yet to laugh
12 at you, have I? Have I laughed at you yet?
13 I have yet to laugh at you, have I? So I'm
14 not being rude, so please don't accuse of me
15 of something that you can't back up.
16 MR. MCGOFF: Excuse me. It was rude.
17 MR. TALIMINI: Joe Talimini,
18 Scranton. I find myself in a very unique
19 position tonight, I'm defending the council
20 and some of the speakers and I'm taking
21 issue with at the same time. One thing I'd
22 like to clarify is the subject of
23 aromatherapy. I don't think anybody in here
24 knows what they are talking about when it
25 comes to aromatherapy, I have been moved
1 around since 1973. I have been a certified
2 professional hypnotist and member of the
3 World Congress of Hypnotists since 1984. I
4 taught metaphysics, I've studied physics, I
5 had a metaphysical center, and I can tell
6 you right now, and I would have to defer to
7 Mr. Minora on this subject, hypnosis,
8 aromatherapy, holistic medicine is accepted
9 in some areas, it's regulated in other
10 areas. There are people who are unlicensed
11 that practice it, including Wal-Mart and a
12 few others, but aromatherapy is merely a
13 term. Anybody who practices aromatherapy
14 has a history of holistic medicine and they
15 studied it very gratefully.
16 You can go back to Buddhism and
17 Hinduism and go back to the Catholic Church,
18 incense, oils, etcetera, used constantly for
19 centuries now. So to take it and make an
20 issue out of this, I don't know this lady,
21 but I'm sure that what she is doing within
22 reason and it's a legitimate thing. I mean,
23 I can go to Wal-Mart and buy aromatherapy
24 soap and oils, etcetera. It's a nonissue,
25 but as long as it's going to become an issue
1 I have take issue with you as well as
2 Mr. Quinn and also defend your positions,
3 both of you. So I really don't know.
4 The primary reason I came tonight is
5 because I saw two young ladies down at the
6 parade the other day sitting on the float
7 and/or on the dais and they acknowledged me
8 and I said hello to them, but I also
9 encountered several people from out of town
10 who were very, very disturbed with the City
11 of Scranton primarily because they could not
12 get a cab. These are people from
13 Binghamton, people from Cleveland, people
14 from Virginia, who came into this town with
15 good intentions, spent money to be here for
16 a parade and could not get a taxi cab. They
17 asked a police officer if he could get one
18 and he told them flatly, half the times
19 McCarthy Cab will not even answer their
20 phone from the police department, and I can
21 attest to that because I listen to my
22 scanner all the time, and I take issue with
23 the fact that if a police officer or a
24 dispatcher calls for a cab McCarthy's
25 insists on knowing whether or not the patron
1 has any money. I don't know that's
2 incumbent upon the police department to find
3 out whether a person has money or not.
4 I don't know how this cab company is
5 regulated, but it certainly is lacking and
6 it's deficient in it's service. Now, I live
7 in the senior building and I can tell you
8 right now there are seniors who have to go
9 to the doctors and they are waiting an hour
10 or an hour and a half for their cab to show
11 up. That's deplorable. I mean, if this cab
12 company is regulated then somebody should
13 look into why they are not meeting their
16 MR. MINORA: Can I interrupt you for
17 a second? That maybe be a PUC issue and I
18 honestly don't know what the cab's
19 requirements are, but they are licensed by
20 the Public Utility Commission and it might
21 be something to be raise with them.
22 Frankly, that's not news, I have heard the
23 same thing and Kay just mentioned the same
24 thing to me. If it's that widespread a
25 problem perhaps bringing up to the PUC and
1 whatever enforcement regulations they may
2 have might be the way to go with that. It's
3 not -- once it it's regulated by the PUC the
4 city won't have anything to do with it.
5 MR. TALIMINI: Well, does the city
6 issue licenses for a cab company?
7 MS. GATELLI: No.
8 MR. MINORA: The Public Utility
10 MR. TALIMINI: Okay. So, in other
11 words, anybody can come in here and open a
12 cab company.
13 MR. MINORA: No. You have to be
14 licensed by -- yeah, well, if they are
15 licensed by the Public Utility Commission,
17 MR. TALIMINI: Thank you. Because I
18 have had several people ask if they could.
19 I said I don't know, I'd check into it.
20 MR. MINORA: Public Utility
22 MR. TALIMINI: But, I just thought it
23 was something that council should be aware
24 of and I think that something should be done
25 because I don't think it's up to a police
1 officer to ask me if I have a money if he
2 calls a cab for me. I mean, that's not what
3 we are paying him for. The cab company is
4 making money, that's incumbent upon them to
5 find out whether the customer has money or
6 not. That's all I have to say and thank you
7 very much and I hope you clarify this
8 aromatherapy situation.
9 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Talimini.
10 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Talimini, just so
11 you know, I did see an advertisement where
12 they got money from, I don't know what
13 organization, but they were giving free
14 vouchers for taxi cabs so I wonder --
15 MR. TALIMINI: I had 38 e-mail
16 messages yesterday and today people from out
17 of town who could not get a cab to get back
18 out to the Hampton Inn and places --
19 MS. GATELLI: I'll have to try see
20 where that ad was and tell them that they
21 couldn't get taxis.
22 MR. TALIMINI: And, you know, it's
23 ridiculous because these people come here
24 every year and get the same routine and it
25 happens with the local citizens at well.
1 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.
2 MR. TALIMINI: I mean, there is
3 something radically wrong.
4 MR. MCGOFF: Please.
5 MS. HAAS: Good evening. My name is
6 Mary Ann Haas, and I'd like to bring to the
7 attention of city council board here
8 something that I think we all need to be
9 concerned about, whether it's Scranton,
10 Taylor, Moosic, Minooka, Old Forge, West
11 Scranton, South Scranton, I take it all in.
12 And, of course, there is a misconception in
13 the newspaper and so forth that this
14 particular thing that I will bring up only
15 takes in Taylor, but after I explain this
16 I'm sure you will see differently.
17 I'm concerned about the proposed
18 Ethanol plant and refinery that has been
19 brought to the attention only through
20 Taylor, and Taylor has been meeting
21 consistently on this right now and I think
22 they have just taken it in hand and has been
23 doing wonderful work, but they can't do it
24 alone nor could they have to because, first
25 of all, the misconception is Taylor,
1 however, the good portion of the land is
2 Scranton. And, as a matter of fact, the
3 last meeting that I went to, although it's
4 been bandied about Taylor, Taylor, Taylor,
5 the city council president actually said
6 when he was pressed to the point of where it
7 would be he said behind anthracite. Now
8 that is fully Scranton.
9 Not that it matters, because this
10 cluster takes in everything, the effects of
11 this particular refinery, really if there is
12 any particular hazard or detriment that
13 comes prosecute if will be spread out over
14 all of these towns that I personally
16 Now, first of all, I would like to
17 say that it's closer. This is a plant that
18 was rejected in Mayfield and by the efforts
19 of some very courageous people who just
20 never quit and it's closer than Mayfield,
21 and will sit right here in the middle of a
22 cluster of urban areas right next to
23 Steamtown, I mean, next to Wal-Mart. I
24 mean, I don't even know what that will do to
25 the Wall-Mart project if they really become
1 understanding that it's that close to them
2 if it's their whole trade and the rest of
3 the stores that might be affected.
4 I would like to say now, sorry to go
5 on, but I need to get my head together.
6 This is an inappropriate site for many
7 reasons especially because it's close to
8 neighbors and homes and businesses;
9 secondly, because of the hazard, the high
10 potential for hazard and the hazards are,
11 the mines. There is a whole cluster on
12 honeycomb mines all under that area, and
13 that honeycomb mines I can vouch for myself,
14 this was actually mine fires at that time, I
15 used to look out my window and it used to
16 look beautiful. I mean, actually the whole
17 area was just covered with beautiful blue
18 flames. What did I know?
19 But, anyway, those were fires and
20 they were able to put them out, but should
21 this particular thing go there and the fire
22 would be -- a fire would come forward, this
23 can ignite the situation again. And then,
24 of course, we are saying about what the
25 product is. It's Ethanol fire. Ethanol.
1 Ethanol has a great potential for fire. The
2 set point of the fire as it comes out is
3 extremely low. It can't be put out with
4 water, it needs special foam. You can't
5 determine what kind of foam it is sometime
6 until the fire rages, so that you can have
7 all of this foam in storage and then all of
8 a sudden found out you have the wrong one
9 and you really up a creek especially for
10 those poor fire departments that are going
11 to be faced with that calamity.
12 There is no real plan for an access
13 road to come into that area and people have
14 bandied about and said where would it
15 possibly even come in. The only road that
16 goes into that, you know, of any great
17 degree is the one that comes out on Elm
18 Street where all the trucks will come out
19 but that's not an access road for this
21 I was really surprised, too, when
22 you said there was a plan for two less fire
23 departments. This would be even more
24 hazardous to us. There is also special
25 training that needs to be done for fire
1 departments. There is an expense that you
2 say to yourself to whose benefit is this?
3 I think one of the things when you
4 even determine whether there is some city
5 zoning change is to what benefit would you
6 change a zone that would benefit the
7 community? This would not benefit the
8 community and will put it at great hazardous
10 You also need an evacuation plan,
11 and if you think about it, just a few weeks
12 ago, maybe less than two weeks ago, there
13 was a train derailment right off the
14 expressway, and two cars tipped over and
15 they lost 12 Escalades, Cadillac Escalades,
16 but the next car had it tipped over would
17 have warranted and evacuation, because it
18 had just the one car would have created that
19 kind of a hazard with the stuff that would
20 go into the environment.
21 Now, in this case the storage tanks
22 on the land that would be projected -- can I
23 just finish this little --
24 MR. MCGOFF: Finish, please.
25 MS. HAAS: It would be two
1 three-quarter million gallons storage tanks
2 of this highly excessive fuel. The rail
3 exit, you can't depend on the DPW because
4 the DPW has lowered their standards from 150
5 ton of pollutants that go out into the air
6 to 250 to accommodate businesses. And,
7 also, it's not zoned for this, that's the
8 bottom line. We would have to change zoning
9 which would be foolish to do. Lackawanna
10 County Planning Commission did not give a
11 recommendation for this already for Taylor.
12 Remember this is not limited to
13 Taylor, there is strength in numbers, and if
14 anyone would like to be kept informed about
15 this issue they can e-mail us at
16 StoptheEthanolPlant@comcast.net. And,
17 please, we need to get together as a
18 combined community and so there is Ethanol
19 meetings on this, you know, as a kick off
20 for us, would be in Taylor next Tuesday,
21 March 24, at the Borough building in Taylor,
22 and that's off Union Street, you know,
23 before you go up to Davis Street and they
24 let everyone speak so this Ethanol plant
25 will be a high priority, and then there is
1 two following that April 7 and April 8, both
2 at 7:30, all of them are at 7:30, so it's
3 next Wednesday -- Tuesday the 24th, the
4 following 7th and 8th is the council meeting
5 and the work session. I hope I'm not
6 confusing about these meetings I just came
7 up with them now, but I really ask all of
8 our city residents and surrounding
9 communities to get involved. Thank you very
11 MS. MCGOFF: Thank you, Ms. Haas.
12 MS. GATELLI: Maryann, I left a
13 message at the house, but I didn't hear back
14 from you and I announced earlier, and you
15 weren't here yet, we are having a meeting
16 Wednesday at Smith's at 5:30 with Minooka,
17 South Side and West Side.
18 MS. HAAS: And there is so much more
19 information about this. It's just we
20 can't --
21 MS. GATELLI: Please try to make it.
22 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you. Anyone else?
23 MS. KRAKE: Good evening, Council.
24 My name is Nancy Krake. First I would just
25 like to remind everyone that if you would
1 like to pay your 2008 city real estate taxes
2 you can still do so in our office up until
3 March 31.
4 I would also like to make just a few
5 comments. When several of the speakers were
6 mentioning the increased revenue from the
7 Single Tax Office I would like to remind
8 everyone that Mrs. Evans' budgets included
9 them and they also included pay cuts for
10 administrative people that have received
11 them over the years. They were truly
12 balanced budgets which no one on this
13 council besides Mr. Courtright supported.
14 There was an article in the Times
15 Leader where DCED, the Department of
16 Community and Economic Development made
17 several, you know, basically they lie. You
18 know, I don't like to say that, but they
19 did. As far as administrative people
20 receiving salary increases and so forth, I'd
21 like to refer to an article in the Scranton
22 Times November of 2005. Our human resources
23 director actually decided to take to
24 arbitration maternity leave of the clerical
25 contract. The city loss. Mrs. Moran
1 received $5,236 for a 12-week maternity
2 leave that she rewarded to herself after the
3 clerks won the award that she fought. Also,
4 another administrative person was awarded
5 that same thing. That was also after she
6 had been working from home and had already
7 been paid, let's see, several thousand
8 dollars for working at home and coming into
9 evening meetings while she was on the leave.
10 So that's a huge violation of the
11 Recovery Plan which says: "Whatever the
12 terms of future collective bargaining
13 agreements, arbitration awards, etcetera, no
14 back wages or other retroactive adjustments
15 shall be paid."
16 So the administration violated their
17 own Recovery Plan. And speaking of
18 Mrs. Moran, there are not supposed to be any
19 wage increases, she has received well over
20 $100,000 since 2002 in strictly wage
21 increases. If her salary had been frozen
22 like police and fire that number would not
23 exist. Half of that $26 million difference
24 between the budgets when this mayor came in
25 and up until now the eight years, half of
1 that are increases to administrative people.
2 DCED lied. Flat out. If anyone would like
3 to investigate this we have all of the facts
4 and figures unlike them.
5 This mayor has given you a
6 25 percent tax increase, so have people on
7 this council, huge penalties and fines you
8 must pay to a law firm and a collection
9 agency when you can't pay your own taxes.
10 The only way to stop this is to not vote for
11 these people again. You are only affirming
12 what they have done to us in the past eight
13 years, and obviously from the speakers we
14 have heard tonight, the things they are
15 taking away are your fire protection and
16 your police protection. This is no way to
17 choose how to pay our city debts and how to
18 use our tax dollars. This is no way to run
19 a city. Thank you.
20 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mrs. Krake.
21 MR. ANCHERANI: Good evening. Nelson
22 Ancherani, First Amendment Rights. Last
23 week I spoke about Fred Redding from the PA
24 Economy League, is that an oxymoron when I
25 state that? If they were an Economy League
1 I would assume, and there I go again making
2 a donkey out of you and me, I assume that
3 they would have the best interest of the
4 taxpayers at heart, but then again, if they
5 didn't have the administration at heart they
6 wouldn't have jobs. Reddings letter to the
7 Taxpayers' Association sparked my interest
8 since in previous years I worked out the pie
9 charts for the budgeted years. I hadn't
10 gotten around to it this year until
11 Redding's letter said the police and fire
12 departments were 49 percent of the budget,
13 so I decided to figure it out.
14 Stu made it easy when he just put
15 the individual departments in the pie. It
16 was easy to figure out each department's
17 budget. In previous years when I figured
18 out the expenditures pie chart, each
19 department was inflated by higher
20 percentages, which meant that the pie charts
21 percentages were higher than the amount in
22 the budget pages for the listed pie chart
23 slices. This made the total amounts higher
24 in the pie chart than on the actual pages of
25 the budget thereby causing a difference in
1 the pie chart budget total.
2 The previous years differences were
3 the totals of the tax anticipation notes.
4 This year the budget does not include the
5 words excluding tax anticipation notes. The
6 expenditure pie chart this year again
7 inflates the pie slices. Police and fire
8 come in at 35 percent of the budget, not 49
9 going from 38 million to 27 million, a
10 difference of 11 million. Again, this year
11 all of the slices, the pie slices, are
12 inflated. The difference this year totals
13 $23,998,000 in change. This totals the
14 nondepartmental expenditures which aren't
15 even listed in the pie chart.
16 Did you three, Mrs. Gatelli, who I
17 believe is the finance chair, Ms. Fanucci
18 and Mr. McGoff know that when you voted on
19 the budget? Does anyone know why
20 nondepartmental expenditures are not listed
21 on the pie chart? Approximately 24 million
22 is a lot of money to not list it as a slice
23 of the pie. If I was conspiracy theorists,
24 which I'm not, I would be thinking inflating
25 the pie chart slices would make the police
1 and fire and for that matter all of the
2 departments in this city, including the
3 mayor's, look like they were spending more
4 for employee services than they are, thus
5 being able to keep us in distressed status.
6 But then again, why is a
7 nondepartmental expenditures not included on
8 the pie chart as it's own slice?
9 Twenty-four million is a lot of money.
10 Divide that up amongst the departments and
11 they are really inflated. In year's past,
12 the pie slices were inflated, but the total
13 difference equal the tax anticipation notes.
14 As Mrs. Evans would say, "It doesn't pass
15 the smelly taste."
16 Nondepartmental expenditures are
17 approximately 31 percent of the budget.
18 They are not employee-related costs. Some
19 examples are the Everhart museum, Genesis
20 Wildlife refuge, and I wander if the monkeys
21 are watching Dancing with the Stars on their
22 TV's, and it includes $22,393,017 to debt
23 service in TANS. That leaves 69 percent for
24 the service end of the city duties, wages,
25 supplies, electricity, and any of numerous
1 supplies needed to run the service industry,
2 which the city isn't.
3 Mrs. Gatelli, as finance chair, she
4 not there, can you find out why
5 nondepartmental expenditures are hidden in
6 the budget pie slices and don't have their
7 own slice of the pipe? I also thought of
8 something else, Mrs. Gatelli as finance
9 chair since you and Ms. Fanucci and
10 Mr. McGoff voted for a budget that is being
11 plugged with the expectation of 5.5 million
12 in found money in the Single Tax Office, how
13 would you handle the budget for 2010 if that
14 money is it not materialize from the tax
16 Without that money from the tax
17 office we will have a 5.5 million deficit
18 this year and going into next year. We will
19 have at least a 11 million deficit, possibly
20 15 million. Would you raise taxes the
21 second 25 percent and third 25 percent that
22 PEL and the mayor said was needed and wanted
23 for 2008/2009? Would you borrow more money,
24 but that might not be possible with the
25 economy. Can I finish just a little bit?
1 MR. MCGOFF: Please.
2 MR. ANCHERANI: But that might be
3 impossible with the economy the way it is.
4 We are all already at 300 million of
5 long-term debt. Please don't say that it
6 too early to start thinking about the 2010
7 budget. It is only eight months away. I
8 know that the taxpayers out there are
9 thinking about it so, Council, what will you
10 do? Thank you.
11 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr.
12 Ancherani? Anyone else? Mrs. Evans?
13 MS. EVANS: Good evening. I wish to
14 apologize for my absence from the last two
15 week's meetings. I was ill and unable to
16 attend school, council, and all public
17 functions during that time. I do recognize
18 the importance of my duties and
19 responsibilities and will never take them
21 First, I was contacted by residents
22 of the Matthew Avenue area regarding the
23 chemical spraying of vegetation by PPL in
24 their area. I support their opposition to
25 such measures and will attend all meetings
1 that they request to stand with them and
2 help them fight this health and safety
4 Next, I have also been in regular
5 contact with residents of West Scranton,
6 Bellevue, and South Side who adamantly
7 oppose the construction of an Ethanol plant
8 behind the site of the new Wal-Mart and
9 adjoining shopping mall.
10 I understand that East Elm Street
11 between South Washington Avenue and the Elm
12 Street viaduct will be used as an access
13 road to this plant which intends to produce
14 Ethanol, jet fuel and diesel fuel. There
15 will be at least one and possibly two
16 70-foot high holding tanks on the site which
17 is not far from the Lackawanna River as well
18 as railroad tracks running through the area.
19 Residents of Taylor await the
20 decision of the Taylor council since the
21 Taylor planning commission would not rule on
22 the installation of this plant. No
23 legislation has reached Scranton to date and
24 I would anticipate that Mr. Scheller will
25 contact Scranton's governing bodies to
1 present information and requests, and was
2 mentioned earlier, there will be a meeting
3 Wednesday at 5:30 at Smith's restaurant to
4 discuss the impact of an Ethanol plant on
5 Scranton and I believe that Mr. Scheller,
6 CEO of Northeast Ethanol will attend.
7 I encourage residents of South Side,
8 Minooka, West Scranton and Bellevue to
9 attend. Scrantonians deserve to know the
10 impact of this plant on our neighborhoods
11 because we know that you cannot put a price
12 tag on good health and human life.
13 Northeastern Pennsylvania already suffers
14 from an alarmingly and abnormally high
15 cancer rate and we can ill afford to add to
16 that tract. There is strength in numbers
17 and in knowledge, so please try to attend.
18 About two weeks ago council accepted
19 minutes of the police and firemen's pension
20 committee meetings for January 2009. As I
21 scanned those meeting minutes, I was
22 troubled to see the number of highly
23 experienced police officers who were leaving
24 the Scranton Police Department and the
25 number of experienced firefighters who are
1 applying to buy back time in order to make
2 arrangements to leave their jobs as well.
3 The exodus from our police department isn't
4 news to anyone, but it seems now to be
5 spreading to our fire department.
6 Our community has lost dedicated
7 veteran police officers to neighboring
8 communities and the state police force
9 mainly because the seven-year stretch of low
10 pay and the lower moral could no longer be
11 survived and now it inoculates the fire
13 In this case I have to wonder if we
14 are losing some of our most experienced
15 firemen not only because of the contract
16 unrest, but also because veterans are trying
17 to provide for over 30 of their newer
18 brothers and coworkers who stand to lose
19 their jobs as the mayor cuts manpower and
20 closes engine companies. Some call this
21 progress. I'd like to know how many
22 taxpayers agree to downsize safety in their
23 neighborhoods in the name of progress. Do
24 the people who pay the bills have a voice in
25 these cuts? Do you even have a voice in the
1 stimulus package and how it's spent locally?
2 Do you choose a library or streets, curbs
3 and bridges, for example? Do you choose
4 upper level housing and more office space in
5 the downtown or your neighborhood? And the
6 Scranton State School for the Deaf, do you
7 chose public safety or highly paid
8 management? Tax increases or fiscal
10 There is simply isn't enough funding
11 available for all projects, but the
12 decisions should reflect the will of the
13 people. Unfortunately, the only decision
14 too many politicians will allow you is the
15 one you make every four years at the voting
16 poles when they scurry to make you forget
17 what they have done to you and promise you
18 everything from DPW t-shirts, to street
19 paving to loans and grants, to blight
20 removal. During those four in-between years
21 they make decisions by talking to other
22 politicians, lobbyists and campaign
23 contributors. They choose the heavy hitters
24 rather than remembering who elected them.
25 The four-year employment contract is between
1 the elected official and the people. It's
2 not between local politicians.
3 And next, Kay, I would like to send
4 a letter to Representative Kevin Smith in
5 support of his legislation to prevent
6 excessive county taxes and to allow that any
7 county tax increase that exceeds 5 percent
8 will be placed on a referendum for
9 taxpayers' approval, and I know that my
10 colleagues, Mrs. Gatelli and Mrs. Fanucci
11 and Mr. McGoff were not in support of this
12 legislation, and so we'll send the letter
13 simply on behalf of myself.
14 I would also support the
15 resurrection of a City Home Rule Charter
16 Commission and any efforts made to control
17 excessive tax increases in Scranton. It is
18 one way to reign in the borrowing and
19 spending habits of a mayor who creates
20 massive debt.
21 On an encouraging note, two local
22 rainbows have appeared lately after a
23 lengthy storm, the federal stimulus package
24 will provide 2.5 million in much needed
25 funding to the Scranton Housing Authority
1 for the renovation of the Washington Plaza
2 apartments. Many families have waited far
3 to long to return to their neighborhood.
4 In addition, Scranton will receive
5 46,000 to purchase two emergency flood pumps
6 and $3,700 for a sprayer for vegetation
7 control from a state flood grant. I do hope
8 these flood pumps will be used for the areas
9 of lower Greenridge where the city has
10 failed to provide protection on river banks
11 for the last two years as the federal flood
12 project continues in the Parker Street area
13 which continued to suffer, although the Plot
14 flood projects was completed.
15 As Mrs. Gatelli mentioned before,
16 the audit report of the Scranton Tax Office
17 will be read this Friday, March 20.
18 Although several postponements occurred in
19 the last three weeks, the forensic auditors
20 will present their findings to the
21 stakeholders, that would be representatives
22 of the county, of the city, the mayor and
23 city council specifically, and the Scranton
24 School Board, and legal representatives of
25 each, and then the report will be released
1 publically on the Scranton Tax Office
3 In addition, I hope that
4 Mr. Seitzinger will soon implement the
5 Pennsylvania Blight Law which allows judges
6 to appoint conservators who can facilitate
7 the rehabilitation of decaying properties
8 that have been vacant for a year and where
9 the owner is absent. Scranton has far too
10 much these properties, many of which have
11 been abandoned for many, many years. The
12 neighbors are at wit's end waiting for a
13 resolution to these eyesores and safety
15 And I do have, as you can imagine, a
16 very lengthy list of citizens' requests that
17 I have acquired over the last two and a half
18 weeks. If you will excuse me I'm not going
19 to read them tonight, but I will pass them
20 onto Neil, who is a very good assistant, and
21 ask Neil that all of these letters be sent
22 out this week, and that's it.
23 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you. Mrs.
25 MS. GATELLI: I heard from Attorney
1 Penetar as you know, we have been asking for
2 some amendments and ideas from people that
3 would like to see some changes to the zoning
4 ordinance. Two of the items were pole barns
5 and garages and windmills, those were the
6 first two that were brought to my attention.
7 The other ones that were brought by the
8 zoning board were stand alone signs in a
9 neighborhood commercial zone, reduce the
10 height to 25 feet; restrict recycling
11 collection centers to light industrial zones
12 and general industrial zones, 500 feet from
13 residential lot lines. Change to one
14 commercial vehicle under 6,000 pounds in a
15 residential zone to be parked. No trailers
16 to be parked in a residential zone. No
17 trailers within 500 feet of a residential
18 lot line. Outdoor storage, require paved
19 surfaces or a plan approved by the city
20 engineer. Tires, reduce the number from 250
21 to address service stations. Multi-family
22 homes change to all existing dwellings,
23 Section 402.1, and no parking in the front
24 setbacks. Site distances at intersections,
25 excessive restructures, reduce the maximum
1 height. If anyone has any other
2 recommendations before I send these to
3 Attorney Penetar to work on, please notify
4 Mrs. Garvey.
5 Also, I did send a letter to
6 Mr. Beasley at PPL, have not heard back from
7 him yet concerning the spraying of
8 herbicides in the Matthew Avenue section of
9 the City of Scranton and also in other areas
10 where they intend to spray with herbicides.
11 I will keep you posted when we hear that.
12 I just wanted to give you an update
13 on houses that have been rehabilitated. It
14 seems that we hear all negative things from
15 these chambers, and I'd like to bring to
16 your attention some of the positives things
17 that have been happening. Our HOME program,
18 our subrecipient for that is Neighborhood
19 Housing Services of Lackawanna County. They
20 have been the subrecipient since 2004.
21 There have been 66 homes have been
22 rehabilitated and that includes lead-based
23 paint abatement. The total amount of
24 funding that was spent for housing
25 rehabilitation was 1.242 million dollars.
1 The City of Scranton's emergency rehab
2 program is funded under CDBG in the amount
3 of $124,000 and has provided assistant to 22
5 Also, they have put out to bid
6 paving of city streets to include
7 handicapped curb cuts, and I would just like
8 to briefly read a list of the streets:
9 Twenty-two, 23 and 2,400 of Amelia
10 Avenue in the Plot Section; four, five and
11 600 of Grace Street in the Plot Section,
12 Shawnee over from Race to Bates; four and
13 five of Depot; 1,000 of Hemlock; eight and
14 nine of Adams; Vine Street between Penn and
15 Mulberry behind the Veteran's Hospital; 100
16 of Spruce; Eleven and 12 of Swetland;
17 Sixteen of Muncy; 300 of Filmore and the 500
18 of North Sumner, and there will be more when
19 the stimulus package is approved. One of
20 the areas where they are going to focus is
21 on paving of city streets, so we are
22 certainly looking forward to that.
23 Also, when the gentleman spoke about
24 taxi cabs, there is a service from the
25 county, and I don't have the phone number at
1 hand, but I will ask Kay to get it for us
2 for next week, the county provides a service
3 with their vans where they will pick up
4 people, especially in the elderly
5 high-rises, and take them to doctor's
6 appointments and places where they have to
7 go, so maybe they don't know about that
8 service and that's why they are waiting for
9 taxi cabs. It is a free service. It is
10 provided by the county, and I will have the
11 number for you next week. In the mean time,
12 you might want to call the county
13 commissioner's office and they will tell you
14 where you can call to get the van to take
15 you back and forth to the doctor.
16 As far as the Ethanol plant, I
17 attended a meeting this past week with the
18 Minooka Neighborhood Association and
19 previous to that we had some people from
20 Taylor attending our last South Side
21 neighborhood meeting, which was the end of
22 February, and we have since found out many
23 things about the Ethanol plant, and the fact
24 that it is not zoned for the City of
25 Scranton. I did check the zoning maps, it's
1 light industrial, and it is not permitted in
2 that particular area, however, it may be
3 permitted in the Taylor side, so we need to
4 all rally together and support this. It may
5 not effect everyone in the City of Scranton,
6 but it certainly will effect a great portion
7 of our community and we would not want it
8 anywhere else in our community either, so
9 please try to attend on Wednesday evening.
10 The owner, CEO of Northeast Ethanol,
11 will be there to make a presentation and
12 certainly to answer some of our questions
13 that we have. I have also contacted people
14 in Taylor to make them aware of the that
15 they are certainly welcome to come to our
16 informational meeting, and that's all I
17 have. Thank you.
18 MS. EVANS: Mr. McGoff, one thing
19 then I'll be quiet. Kay, could we find out
20 first thing tomorrow what engine companies
21 the mayor intends to close?
22 MS. GARVEY: Okay.
23 MS. EVANS: And on what study he is
24 basing his decision or on who is
25 recommendation he is basing his decision?
1 MS. GARVEY: Okay.
2 MS. EVANS: Thanks. And I just
3 wanted to very much thank my colleagues
4 tonight on council for their very kind
5 consideration of my situation tonight. I
6 really appreciate it very much. Thank each
7 and every one of you.
8 MR. MCGOFF: Mrs. Fanucci.
9 MS. FANUCCI: I have one request, we
10 have had this request probably about 50
11 times since I have been here, but it's for a
12 four-way stop sign on East Gibson and North
13 Webster, and every time we talk about this
14 we say, you know, that they don't want to do
15 four-way stop signs anymore, but there have
16 been so many accidents there lately that the
17 residents are actually really starting to be
18 afraid and because people are using this
19 route to go to the hospitals and they are
20 flying down the street and there is
21 millions, you know, besides the traffic, but
22 the children. There is tons of children
23 around there, so I think that maybe send a
24 letter to the mayor's office and ask him if
25 we can do something with the attorneys
1 because what they are saying now is that
2 four-way stop signs are actually not allowed
3 for some reason, I guess there is some new
4 law, but if there is something we could do
5 to try to get four-way stop signs if we can.
6 I also want to thank the fire -- or
7 the policemen and woman for all that they
8 did on Saturday. We had that many wonderful
9 people in our city and it was a pleasure to
10 be there and watch and everybody was safe
11 and had a good time and it was not, I'm sure
12 not an easy task to make it look as
13 wonderful as it ended to be. The event was
14 great and I'm just happy and want to thank
15 them for all that they do because without
16 them it would not have worked out.
17 I also want to send a letter because
18 of Mr. Ancherani's -- since this is a very
19 good idea to talk about the monies that will
20 be coming in and what we could do to plug
21 the hole in the budget that we talked about.
22 I'd like a letter to Stu Renda and also the
23 Single Tax Office. I did request this a few
24 weeks ago, but I'm going to go into a little
25 bit more in detail to provide an anticipated
1 of tax revenue that would be coming in from
2 the KOZ and the KOEZ in 2010 and 2012. That
3 way we can figure out what we are looking at
4 and what we are hoping for and maybe reap
5 some benefits of, you know, that we waited
6 long to see how much is going to come in so
7 I want to send that letter, and I was going
8 to do the housing rehab so I'm glad you did
9 that because that is something that every
10 week we hear that we do not do this, and we
11 do that to the city so that's wonderful, and
12 that is all I have. Thank you.
13 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you. I, too,
14 would like to commend the St. Patrick's Day
15 Parade Committee for a wonderful event.
16 Over 11,000 participants in the parade
17 itself, some people may have found it a
18 little lengthy. It ran for almost close to
19 four hours from beginning to end, but the
20 parade itself was a great event and the
21 streets are filled with families and
22 enjoying the parade and I realize that are
23 some after effects of the parade, but the
24 event itself I think is one of the best
25 things that we do in this city and so my
1 thanks to that parade committee for what
2 they have done and what they do ever year.
3 And last thing, I would just like to
4 apologize to Danielle and Company and the
5 owner for the statements that were made
6 concerning their business, concerning the
7 owner and that business. And, yes, I did
8 respond to the statements because they were
9 preposterous. The statements they were
10 simply try to demonize a reputable business
11 and its owner, and I don't think that that's
12 necessary. Statements of that type are
13 unwarranted, they are misleading, and they
14 have really no place in this chamber. It
15 was pure hyperbole and somehow we let it
16 influence us and maybe brought a, you know,
17 person's reputation into question and for
18 that I apologize.
19 And I have never -- I have never
20 insulted or been disrespectful to a person
21 in these chambers. I don't intend to be, I
22 don't think it's a place for that type of
23 behavior. I don't know that the same can be
24 said of all of the speakers that come to
25 that podium, but I will attempt at all times
1 to treat everyone with the respect that's
2 due to them as members of this community and
3 as people participating in government in
4 these chambers, and I take it personally
5 when that is brought into question. And
6 thank you and we have nothing else? Motion
7 to adjourn.
8 MS. GATELLI: Thank you.
9 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.
2 C E R T I F I C A T E
4 I hereby certify that the proceedings and
5 evidence are contained fully and accurately in the
6 notes of testimony taken by me at the hearing of the
7 above-captioned matter and that the foregoing is a true
8 and correct transcript of the same to the best of my
CATHENE S. NARDOZZI, RPR
13 OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER