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            1              SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING

 

            2

 

            3

 

            4

 

            5                          HELD:

 

            6

 

            7                  Tuesday, March 3, 2009

 

            8

 

            9                        LOCATION:

 

           10                    Council Chambers

 

           11                 Scranton City Hall

 

           12              340 North Washington Avenue

 

           13                Scranton, Pennsylvania

 

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           23

                    CATHENE S. NARDOZZI, RPR - OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER

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            1

 

            2   CITY OF SCRANTON COUNCIL:

 

            3

 

            4

                MR. ROBERT MCGOFF, PRESIDENT

            5

 

            6   MS. JUDY GATELLI, VICE-PRESIDENT

 

            7

                MS. JANET E. EVANS (Not present)

            8

 

            9   MS. SHERRY FANUCCI

 

           10

                MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT

           11

 

           12   MS. KAY GARVEY, CITY CLERK

 

           13

                MR. NEIL COOLICAN, ASSISTANT CITY CLERK

           14

 

           15   MR. AMIL MINORA, SOLICITOR

 

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                                                                       3

 

 

            1   (Pledge of Allegiance and moment of reflection

 

            2   observed.)

 

            3                      MR. MCGOFF:  Roll call, please.

 

            4                      MS. MAGNOTTA:  Mrs. Evans.

 

            5                      (Mrs. Evans not present.)

 

            6                      MS. MAGNOTTA:  Mrs. Gatelli.

 

            7                      MS. GATELLI:  Here.

 

            8                      MS. MAGNOTTA:  Ms. Fanucci.

 

            9                      MS. FANUCCI:  Here.

 

           10                      MS. MAGNOTTA:  Mr. Courtright.

 

           11                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Here.

 

           12                      MS. MAGNOTTA:  Mr. McGoff.

 

           13                      MR. MCGOFF:  Here.  For the record,

 

           14              let it be known that Mrs. Evans notified

 

           15              council that she would not be able to attend

 

           16              this evening's meeting due to illness.

 

           17              Dispense with the reading of the minutes.

 

           18              Third order.

 

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

 

           20              COMPOSITE PENSION BOARD MEETING HELD ON

 

           21              JANUARY 28, 2009.

 

           22                      MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?

 

           23              If not, received and filed.

 

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

 

           25              NON-UNIFORM MUNICIPAL PENSION BOARD MEETING


 

 

                                                                       4

 

 

            1              HELD ON JANUARY 28, 2009.

 

            2                      MR. MCGOFF:  Are there any comments?

 

            3              If not, received and filed.

 

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

 

            5              FIREMEN'S PENSION COMMISSION MEETING HELD ON

 

            6              JANUARY 28, 2009.

 

            7                      MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?

 

            8              If not, received and filed.

 

            9                      MS. GARVEY:  3-D. MINUTES OF THE

 

           10              POLICE PENSION COMMISSION MEETING HELD ON

 

           11              JANUARY 28, 2009.

 

           12                      MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?

 

           13              If not, received and filed.

 

           14                      MS. GARVEY: 3-E. AGENDA FOR THE

 

           15              NON-MUNICIPAL PENSION BOARD MEETING HELD ON

 

           16              FEBRUARY 25, 2009.

 

           17                      MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?

 

           18              If not, received and filed.

 

           19                      MS. GARVEY: 3-F. AGENDA FOR THE

 

           20              ZONING HEARING BOARD MEETING TO BE HELD ON

 

           21              MARCH 11, 2009.

 

           22                      MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?

 

           23              If not, received and filed.

 

           24                      MS. GARVEY: 3-G. TAX COLLECTION

 

           25              REPORTS RECEIVED FROM THE SINGLE TAX OFFICE


 

 

                                                                       5

 

 

            1              ON FEBRUARY 24, 2009.

 

            2                      MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?

 

            3              If not, received and filed.

 

            4                      MS. GARVEY: That's it for Third

 

            5              Order.

 

            6                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.

 

            7              Announcements from anyone?

 

            8                      MS. GATELLI:  Yeah, I have a few.

 

            9              This Friday, March 6, Saturday the 7th, and

 

           10              Sunday the 8th, Scranton High School will be

 

           11              having their musical entitled "Honk".  On

 

           12              Friday and Saturday it's the 7:00 p.m., and

 

           13              at Sunday it's at 2 p.m.  Tickets are

 

           14              available at the door and it's $7.00 for

 

           15              adults and $5.00 for students.

 

           16                      The pasta and meatball dinner for

 

           17              Mr. Chapman, a cancer victim, will be this

 

           18              Saturday from 1 to 5 at the 20th Ward Club,

 

           19              2028 Pittston Avenue in South Scranton.  I

 

           20              do have tickets, and you can also get

 

           21              tickets by calling 347-5258.

 

           22                      I received an e-mail today from

 

           23              Assistant District Attorney Eugene Talerico

 

           24              and he asked me to tell you that the murder

 

           25              of Cavana Salvadore, a little girl from West


 

 

                                                                       6

 

 

            1              Scranton, will be profiled this week on

 

            2              America's Most Wanted.  The perpetrators,

 

            3              Derrick Williams and Kasheema Reddish, are

 

            4              fugitives from Scranton believed to be in

 

            5              the Brooklyn, New York, area.  Please watch

 

            6              the episode and pass it along to your

 

            7              friends.  The lead detective, Vince Uher, is

 

            8              one of Scranton's finest in the Special

 

            9              Victim's Unit of the Scranton Police

 

           10              Department.  It is the first anniversary of

 

           11              her death, so I would encourage all of you

 

           12              to try to watch America's Most Wanted this

 

           13              week.  And that's all I have.  Thank you.

 

           14                      MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Courtright.

 

           15                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.  This will be

 

           16              my final reading of this one last time, all

 

           17              right?  They asked me to read it three

 

           18              times.  We want to you for the new alumni

 

           19              directory.  West Scranton High School would

 

           20              like to introduce the West Scranton High

 

           21              School alumni directory, the most

 

           22              comprehensive directory of West Scranton

 

           23              High School ever published.  The contents of

 

           24              the directory will be divided into four

 

           25              sections, biographical, geographical, class


 

 

                                                                       7

 

 

            1              roster, and most importantly, the

 

            2              introductory section.

 

            3                      Showcasing the school's history and

 

            4              events, all efforts are being made to

 

            5              contact West Scranton High School alumni via

 

            6              phone, e-mail, and to verify biographical

 

            7              information.  West Scranton High School has

 

            8              contracted with Alumni Research,

 

            9              Incorporated, to collect and compile the

 

           10              information into a hardbound library quality

 

           11              volume in an on-line community.

 

           12                      This directory is being made

 

           13              available to West Scranton High School

 

           14              alumni only and it is a limited edition

 

           15              press run and offered only one time.  Alumni

 

           16              Research, Incorporated is in the process of

 

           17              contacting those who have provided current

 

           18              telephone number and addresses to verify

 

           19              biographical information.  Please help your

 

           20              alma mater to keep in touch with you.  If

 

           21              you interested in replying and you have not

 

           22              yet received any communication from the

 

           23              Alumni Research, Incorporated, you may call

 

           24              1-800-299-1230.

 

           25                      .  And just one more thing, I was


 

 

                                                                       8

 

 

            1              invited to John Marshal School today for

 

            2              Read Across America, so I would just like to

 

            3              thank -- we went to see Mrs. Washo's class,

 

            4              Ms. Frankel's class, and the fifth grade of

 

            5              John Marshal School and I would like to

 

            6              thank one little boy that helped me out,

 

            7              Matt Kokinval, I'll give him a special thank

 

            8              you, and thanks for having me.  And that's

 

            9              all I have.

 

           10                      MR. MCGOFF:  Citizens'

 

           11              participation.  Les Spindler.

 

           12                      MR. SPINDLER: Good evening, Council.

 

           13              Les Spindler, city resident, homeowner and

 

           14              taxpayer.  You know, I didn't want to be

 

           15              here tonight because I have a crime watch

 

           16              meeting to run to, but some of you say

 

           17              things that make it impossible to stay away.

 

           18                      First of all, Mr. McGoff, you said

 

           19              you are insulted last week.  What a shame.

 

           20                      MR. MCGOFF:  I said I was what?

 

           21                      MR. SPINDLER: You were insulted last

 

           22              week by what Mrs. Evans said.  You know

 

           23              what, Mr. McGoff, myself and thousands of

 

           24              taxpayers are insulted every time you vote

 

           25              the way Mr. Mayor Doherty wants you to vote.


 

 

                                                                       9

 

 

            1              We are insulted when you vote for a

 

            2              25 percent tax hike.  We are insulted when

 

            3              you volte to give the police chief and the

 

            4              fire chief a $13,000 raise.  We are insulted

 

            5              when you vote to give millions of dollars to

 

            6              useless projects instead of people that

 

            7              really deserve it, so next time you are

 

            8              insulted, Mr. McGoff, think of the

 

            9              taxpayers.

 

           10                      Also, Mr. McGoff, once again last

 

           11              week you denied a speaker his freedom of

 

           12              speech when you stopped him from talking

 

           13              about voting.  All he was saying was for

 

           14              people to get out to vote and you had no

 

           15              right to stop him from talking.

 

           16                      Next thing, Mr. Fanucci, in last

 

           17              Friday's Doherty newsletter you accused

 

           18              someone of not paying taxes and of they were

 

           19              being a hypocrite.  Talk about being a

 

           20              hypocrite, you had no right to say anything

 

           21              because you owe parking tickets.  Now who is

 

           22              the hypocrite.

 

           23                      MS. FANUCCI: Actually, my parking

 

           24              tickets are paid, but if you want to

 

           25              equivocate it to --


 

 

                                                                      10

 

 

            1                      MR. SPINDLER: They are paid?

 

            2                      MS. FANUCCI: -- not paying taxes for

 

            3              years and years, then that's up to you.

 

            4                      MR. SPINDLER:  Well, the gentleman

 

            5              has proof that they are paid up to 2007 and

 

            6              NCC has no proof proving otherwise.

 

            7                      MS. FANUCCI: Well, if the cancelled

 

            8              checks there we'll see.  We will see.

 

            9                      MR. SPINDLER: And I can attest to

 

           10              NCC not being reputable because I got

 

           11              letters from them and I have the receipts to

 

           12              prove that I did pay.

 

           13                      MS. FANUCCI: So you are defending

 

           14              nontaxpayers.  You are here to defend

 

           15              nontaxpayers.

 

           16                      MR. SPINDLER: No, I'm not.  I'm

 

           17              saying that NCC isn't reputable.  Boy, it's

 

           18              funny, you did pay those parking tickets

 

           19              early, it only took you nine years.

 

           20                      MS. FANUCCI:  There was two of them

 

           21              from two years ago.

 

           22                      MR. SPINDLER: Amazing.

 

           23                      MS. FANUCCI: Get your facts

 

           24              straight, Les, and we'll talk.  You get your

 

           25              facts straight and we will go.


 

 

                                                                      11

 

 

            1                      MR. SPINDLER:  My facts are

 

            2              wonderful.

 

            3                      MS. FANUCCI: Your facts are cockeyed

 

            4              and very skewed.

 

            5                      MR. SPINDLER: Mrs. Gatelli, Mr.

 

            6              McGoff and Mrs. Fanucci, last week once

 

            7              again you showed how you are not for the

 

            8              taxpayers when you voted against Mrs. Evans'

 

            9              motion.  It's ashame that you will throw

 

           10              millions of dollars out for worthless

 

           11              projects, but when Mrs. Evans tries to save

 

           12              the taxpayers' money you vote it down.

 

           13                      And talking about taxes again, and

 

           14              talk about taxes again, Chris Doherty wants

 

           15              to go after people not paying their taxes,

 

           16              he should go after people in his

 

           17              administration that aren't paying their

 

           18              parking tickets as there is one person that

 

           19              owes $1654 worth of parking tickets and you

 

           20              don't see those names printed in the Doherty

 

           21              newsletter.

 

           22                      Next thing, the mayor stated in the

 

           23              city address last week, again, he is touting

 

           24              all of his accomplishments, which I shot

 

           25              down last week, but you don't see the


 

 

                                                                      12

 

 

            1              Doherty newsletter printing what he hasn't

 

            2              done.  He hasn't brought any high paying

 

            3              jobs, he hasn't lowered the wage tax like he

 

            4              said he was going to do, he said he was

 

            5              going to work closely with the unions, we

 

            6              all know he hasn't done that, and he has

 

            7              also cost the taxpayers millions of dollars

 

            8              in fighting arbitration losses.  I could go

 

            9              on and on, but as I said, I only have five

 

           10              minutes and I have to be out of here soon.

 

           11                      Moving on, I couldn't resist talking

 

           12              about the story about the dead fish in the

 

           13              pond at Nay Aug.  For years Mr. Ancherani

 

           14              has been coming here talking about the green

 

           15              fish pond.  The thing is neglected, it

 

           16              hasn't been taken care of, it's just more

 

           17              wasted taxpayers money that Chris Doherty

 

           18              threw into that park and this waste has got

 

           19              to stop.  We don't even have the proper

 

           20              people to take care of the fish pond.

 

           21                      Next thing, at a recent fire maybe

 

           22              three or four weeks ago, the police called

 

           23              DPW to have them bring horses to block the

 

           24              streets, the police were told to bring them

 

           25              themselves.  Now, that's amazing considering


 

 

                                                                      13

 

 

            1              that the fire at Scanlon's a year or so ago

 

            2              Donna Doherty was there with Jeff Brazil

 

            3              taking pictures out of a store that wasn't

 

            4              even in danger.  So they will block the

 

            5              streets to help out Donna Doherty, but they

 

            6              won't help the fire department.  I guess

 

            7              that's all I have.  Thank you.

 

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

 

            9              Andy Sbaraglia.

 

           10                      MR. SBARAGLIA: Andy Sbaraglia,

 

           11              citizen of Scranton, fellow Scrantonian.  On

 

           12              your agenda, I guess it would be 3-G, tax

 

           13              collection reports, I gathered that you are

 

           14              getting a monthly report from the tax office

 

           15              now?

 

           16                      MS. GATELLI:  Yes.

 

           17                      MR. SBARAGLIA: Did anybody look at

 

           18              the report by any chance besides Janet.

 

           19                      MR. MCGOFF: We get them on a regular

 

           20              basis.

 

           21                      MR. SBARAGLIA: I think it's a

 

           22              monthly report and I assume you should look

 

           23              at it because there is a huge difference in

 

           24              the amount collected from '09, I guess it

 

           25              would be January of '09 -- I mean, January


 

 

                                                                      14

 

 

            1              of '08 and January of '09.  There is

 

            2              thousands.  There is like $4,000 more being

 

            3              collected by that office between the '08

 

            4              January and the '09 January, so somebody is

 

            5              doing the job town there or we wouldn't get

 

            6              money like that coming in or somebody is

 

            7              getting afraid, but we brought -- take a

 

            8              look at them figures and they are really

 

            9              impressive.

 

           10                      Okay, let's go to 5-B, my favorite,

 

           11              our Connell Building.  Now, we were lead to

 

           12              believe that one partner sold his interest

 

           13              in that building for $1, and that's what we

 

           14              are alleged to believe, and I find it very

 

           15              hard to believe, that they can sell -- what

 

           16              is the building worth, five, five dollars

 

           17              that we can sell it for a dollar?  Something

 

           18              should be checked into there.  That just

 

           19              doesn't go right.

 

           20                      Now, it looks good on paper, but we

 

           21              don't get any real estate transfer tax on

 

           22              that buck, so if anything went on besides

 

           23              that, that was transferred -- other things

 

           24              that were transferred along with that thing

 

           25              then we should be able to get a little more


 

 

                                                                      15

 

 

            1              out of it.  Nobody sells their interest in

 

            2              the building for a dollar, it just isn't

 

            3              done, not with a commercial building anyway,

 

            4              but that's a little thing there.

 

            5                      Now, our 5-D, this is another loan

 

            6              that's being subordinated.  Do we have any

 

            7              still first mortgage loans in the city or is

 

            8              everything being subordinated.  Eventually,

 

            9              you know, the crash is going to come and we

 

           10              are going to lose millions and millions of

 

           11              dollars like we did on our hotel.  They

 

           12              didn't listen then, I warned them about it,

 

           13              it didn't make sense to take fixtures as

 

           14              collateral, beds, fixtures, but the mayor in

 

           15              his wisdom figured that that was a good

 

           16              investment, but you know what, that was a

 

           17              sham.  If anybody ever looked into the

 

           18              sequence of events on that building they

 

           19              walked away with a $33 million building for

 

           20              13 million and what did the residents of

 

           21              Scranton got, nothing.  Besides that he gave

 

           22              them what, like 120 free parking spaces for

 

           23              the life of that building that the residents

 

           24              of Scranton are going to have to pay to make

 

           25              up when the parking facilities all go


 

 

                                                                      16

 

 

            1              bankrupt.  We are going to be stuck with it,

 

            2              but nobody cares.

 

            3                      You should really protect the

 

            4              taxpayers like you should.  The first

 

            5              concern you is the taxpayers of Scranton as

 

            6              a whole.  The second in the business where

 

            7              they don't really jeopardize the taxpayer

 

            8              because we are coming up it and most of the

 

            9              businessmen live outside of the city, so we

 

           10              are getting very little other than the

 

           11              mercantile tax and the business privilege

 

           12              tax from them.  Thank God for that -- people

 

           13              down there at the tax office that are really

 

           14              pushing in on them and forcing them to cough

 

           15              up or we would get very little out of them.

 

           16              The figures in there are ridiculous for all

 

           17              of them years up to the last year.  I mean,

 

           18              when the new office got in there they are

 

           19              really pushing, building down, they are

 

           20              really forcing people to pay, no question

 

           21              about it.

 

           22                      Well, there isn't much I'm going to

 

           23              say about anything else.  I could go on

 

           24              forever, but it's not worth it.  It falls on

 

           25              deaf ears, and I'm not running for office,


 

 

                                                                      17

 

 

            1              but I probably will get into a lot of

 

            2              stepping thing, but I'm not running for

 

            3              office, what I'm saying is from the heart

 

            4              and I mean it from the heart.  Thank you.

 

            5                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you,

 

            6              Mr. Sbaraglia.  Ozzie Quinn.

 

            7                      MR. QUINN:  Ozzie Quinn, president

 

            8              of the Scranton/Lackawanna County Taxpayers'

 

            9              Association.  I wasn't able to make the

 

           10              meeting last week, but I was pleased to see

 

           11              Representative -- State Representative Kevin

 

           12              Murphy here and Attorney Cullen.  I wasn't

 

           13              too pleased with the way the vote came 3-2,

 

           14              because of the fact that if you know what

 

           15              was going on in Harrisburg one of the top

 

           16              priorities is tax relief and tax reform.

 

           17              You had an opportunity to do something and

 

           18              you didn't have the gumption.  You could

 

           19              have banned together and got the mayor and

 

           20              walked over and talked to the county

 

           21              commissioners and tried to do something.

 

           22              You had --

 

           23                      MS. FANUCCI: We weren't --

 

           24                      MR. QUINN: I don't want to hear

 

           25              anything.  I'm talking.  48 percent tax.


 

 

                                                                      18

 

 

            1              You voted for a 25 percent tax and you voted

 

            2              for a 25 percent tax and Mr. McGoff voted

 

            3              for a 25 percent tax.  Here you had an

 

            4              opportunity to keep it at 5 percent and

 

            5              where other communities are going to keep

 

            6              ongoing.  Now, if you are low income you are

 

            7              paying 12.3 percent on every dollar from

 

            8              taxes.  If you are wealthy you are paying

 

            9              4.3, and if you don't -- if you go above 5

 

           10              percent you are just hurting the poor.

 

           11                      Now, the county is in debt --

 

           12                      MS. FANUCCI: Can I just you a

 

           13              question?  Hold his time for one second.

 

           14                      MR. QUINN: I want to finish --

 

           15                      MS. FANUCCI:  No, no, this is a good

 

           16              question, who in Harrisburg was supporting

 

           17              this initiative, do you know?

 

           18                      MR. QUINN:  Who is supporting the

 

           19              initiative?

 

           20                      MS. FANUCCI: Yeah, besides Kevin who

 

           21              else was supporting this, who is behind

 

           22              this?

 

           23                      MR. QUINN:  There is all kinds of

 

           24              bills.

 

           25                      MS. FANUCCI: No, I know the bills,


 

 

                                                                      19

 

 

            1              but, I mean, this certainly an initiative

 

            2              that was brought up here, do you know what

 

            3              the support in Harrisburg.

 

            4                      MR. QUINN:  I know he has been

 

            5              talking to Ken Smith about it.

 

            6                      MS. FANUCCI: Actually -- really?

 

            7              Because actually Mr. Smith didn't know

 

            8              anything about it, so that's -- I just

 

            9              wanted to make sure.

 

           10                      MR. QUINN:  I don't want it to be --

 

           11                      MS. FANUCCI: No, I'm asking you a

 

           12              question, and you ask me questions and I'm

 

           13              obviously going to ask you questions, so I

 

           14              just want to know --

 

           15                      MR. QUINN:  Am I off the clock, Bob?

 

           16              Bob, am I off the clock?

 

           17                      MR. MCGOFF: Go ahead.

 

           18                      MS. FANUCCI: Put your time back on.

 

           19              Yeah.

 

           20                      MR. MCGOFF: Go ahead.

 

           21                      MR. QUINN:  The fact is that many

 

           22              legislators, many in Harrisburg it's one of

 

           23              their top priorities to do something about

 

           24              taxes, and Representative Murphy felt this

 

           25              is the best way to do it.  Senator Roarke


 

 

                                                                      20

 

 

            1              roar figures Bill 1275 is the way to do it

 

            2              out of Reading.  They all have different

 

            3              bills, but you people, you know, as our --

 

            4              we are part of the county and the fact is

 

            5              the county has a deficit of 22.4 million

 

            6              dollars and, you know, how are they going to

 

            7              pay that?  You know how we are going to pay

 

            8              it, just like the city has a deficit of 159

 

            9              million dollars.  They are going to have pay

 

           10              it by raising taxes or else doing what you

 

           11              do the last time by refinancing, changing

 

           12              one credit card for another, so I think you

 

           13              had an opportunity and you let the taxpayers

 

           14              down in the City of Scranton, and also those

 

           15              in the county.

 

           16                      And the last word I want to say is

 

           17              the fact that, Mrs. Fanucci, I don't

 

           18              appreciate it and the Taxpayers' Association

 

           19              don't appreciate it when you bring a person

 

           20              out and identify them or identify her, even

 

           21              though you didn't mention their name --

 

           22                      MS. FANUCCI: Never mentioned a name.

 

           23                      MR. QUINN:  It's not right, it's

 

           24              immoral and you should never --

 

           25                      MS. FANUCCI: So the Taxpayers'


 

 

                                                                      21

 

 

            1              Association is okay with that?  The

 

            2              Taxpayers' Association is saying it's okay

 

            3              as long as we are with you?

 

            4                      MR. QUINN:  I'm saying -- don't

 

            5              bring a person --

 

            6                      MS. FANUCCI: You are saying "Good

 

            7              ole' boy club" just on the other side.

 

            8              That's okay.  Thank you, Quinn.

 

            9                      MR. QUINN:  Can you believe that?

 

           10              What about Kenny Smith?

 

           11                      MS. FANUCCI: That has nothing to do

 

           12              with it.  Kenny's stuff was in the paper.

 

           13              That had nothing to do with it and nobody

 

           14              said it wasn't.

 

           15                      MR. QUINN: Sherry, you --

 

           16                      MS. FANUCCI: His things were

 

           17              publicized in the paper.

 

           18                      MR. QUINN:  Sherry, the best thing

 

           19              to do for you is to get plastic surgery on

 

           20              your mouth.

 

           21                      MR. MCGOFF: Excuse me.  That's

 

           22              unnecessary.

 

           23                      MS. FANUCCI: God, Ozzie.  It's a

 

           24              good thing you don't know what you don't

 

           25              know.  Every time you do that I pick up


 

 

                                                                      22

 

 

            1              another vote.

 

            2                      (Whereupon some comments were made

 

            3              and Mr. McGoff bangs gavel.)

 

            4                      MR. MCGOFF: Excuse me -- please.

 

            5              Sam Patilla.  `

 

            6                      MR. PATILLA: Good evening,

 

            7              Mr. Courtright.  I am going to be kind of

 

            8              brief here.  I've got a figure from Andy,

 

            9              but do you have off the top of your head any

 

           10              idea how much money the city has spent on

 

           11              garages in the last three years?

 

           12                      MR. COURTRIGHT: No.  Off the top of

 

           13              my head.  No, I don't.

 

           14                      MR. PATILLA: Because Andy give me a

 

           15              $45 million figure, so that's a lot of

 

           16              money.

 

           17                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yes, it is.

 

           18                      MR. PATILLA: And secondly, it's in

 

           19              regard to the Hatchet Act.  Does Scranton

 

           20              have a version of that Act, the county and

 

           21              the federal government -- the state and

 

           22              federal government?  Do they all have

 

           23              different versions of that same act that you

 

           24              are aware of it?

 

           25                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I believe we go by


 

 

                                                                      23

 

 

            1              the state's.

 

            2                      MR. PATILLA:  Okay.  Because I can

 

            3              understand -- my understanding is that if a

 

            4              person is elected or appointed to a position

 

            5              prior to them obtaining a state job then

 

            6              everything is fine and dandy, and I'm just

 

            7              trying to find out what happens if that

 

            8              individual is already employed by the state

 

            9              or not.

 

           10                      MS. FANUCCI: I can answer that.

 

           11                      MS. PATILLA: No, I don't want

 

           12              anything from you.

 

           13                      MS. FANUCCI: Well, I still am siting

 

           14              on Council and you are addressin --

 

           15                      MR. PATILLA: I don't want anything

 

           16              -- don't waste my time.

 

           17                      MS. FANUCCI:  Hold his time.

 

           18                      MR. PATILLA: Don't waste my time --

 

           19                      (Mr. McGoff bangs gavel.)

 

           20                      MR. PATILLA: Don't waste me time.

 

           21                      MR. MCGOFF: Excuse me --

 

           22                      MR. PATILLA: I'm talking to Mr.

 

           23              Courtright.

 

           24                      MR. MCGOFF: Mrs. Fanucci, please let

 

           25              him finish.


 

 

                                                                      24

 

 

            1                      MR. PATILLA: Thank you.  Now,

 

            2              thirdly, I'd like to address the upcoming

 

            3              elections in regard to the school director

 

            4              positions, judges of elections and the

 

            5              inspector of elections for the minority and

 

            6              the youth out here, okay, there is no filing

 

            7              fee to run for those positions.  If you want

 

            8              to run for the judge of elections it's

 

            9              required that you get ten signatures on your

 

           10              petition.  If you chose to run for inspector

 

           11              of elections you are only required five

 

           12              signatures.  And if you chose to run for

 

           13              school director there is no fees, but you

 

           14              have to get 100 signatures, and the last

 

           15              date for filing your petition is March 10,

 

           16              so you've got to get a little fire

 

           17              underneath your rear ends here if you are

 

           18              interested in running for one of those

 

           19              positions.

 

           20                      You know, and for some of you, God

 

           21              forbid, who might run for Constable, ten

 

           22              signatures and a $10 fee, okay?  Now, for

 

           23              the Judge of Elections and the Inspector of

 

           24              Elections you have to get those signatures

 

           25              from different that your precinct so you


 

 

                                                                      25

 

 

            1              can't ask me to sign a petition by my living

 

            2              in one district and you living in another,

 

            3              okay, and that's it, Mr. Courtright.  Thank

 

            4              you.

 

            5                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you.

 

            6                      MR. MCGOFF: Jean Suetta.

 

            7                      MS. SUETTA: Good evening.  Jean

 

            8              Suetta.  How is everybody?

 

            9                      MR. MCGOFF: Good, Jean.

 

           10                      MS. SUETTA: All right, who paid for

 

           11              the paving of the Scranton Expressway?

 

           12                      MR. MCGOFF: The paving of what?

 

           13                      MS. SUETTA: The Scranton Expressway?

 

           14                      MS. GATELLI:  State.

 

           15                      MR. MCGOFF: I believe that's a state

 

           16              road.  I'm not sure.

 

           17                      MS. SUETTA: That' all right, but

 

           18              they should get their money back.  It's

 

           19              paved terrible, and those Planet Aids

 

           20              dumpsters that are all over the city, do

 

           21              they have permits for them?

 

           22                      MR. MCGOFF: The what?  I'm sorry, I

 

           23              couldn't hear you.

 

           24                      MS. SUETTA: The Planet Aid.  The

 

           25              ones you drop the clothes off in.  Those


 

 

                                                                      26

 

 

            1              yellow dumpsters all over the city.

 

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

 

            3                      MS. SUETTA: Do they have permits to

 

            4              them?

 

            5                      MS. FANUCCI: I don't know.

 

            6                      MS. SUETTA:  Because they are all

 

            7              over the city and they pay the people to put

 

            8              them on their premises, so I think they

 

            9              should have a permit for them because they

 

           10              are getting their clothes and they're

 

           11              sending them to the third world country or

 

           12              South Side, you know.  Sorry, Jude.

 

           13                      MR. MCGOFF: That was a good one.

 

           14                      MS. SUETTA: Thank you.  Hey, I

 

           15              practice.  The library, all right, we are

 

           16              getting a library.  Don't, laugh, Bill.  We

 

           17              are getting a library, we got a brand new

 

           18              school down here on Providence Road, paid 58

 

           19              million dollars, somewhere to that effect,

 

           20              why are we putting the library on the other

 

           21              side of town?  Speak.  Speak.  Why are we

 

           22              putting it over there.  We got a brand new

 

           23              school right you down here and the library

 

           24              should be by the school, don't you think?

 

           25                      MR. MCGOFF: The school has it's own


 

 

                                                                      27

 

 

            1              library.

 

            2                      MS. SUETTA: Well, why can't you put

 

            3              this one here instead of all the way over in

 

            4              South Side?  Get it closer to the students.

 

            5              You got West Side, they can come right down

 

            6              the hill.  There is lot of property right

 

            7              over there by the school.  All right, I'm

 

            8              getting a lot there, too.

 

            9                      All right, the memorial on North

 

           10              Scranton Junior High, the memorial for the

 

           11              veterans, you know where it is, Bob?

 

           12                      MR. MCGOFF: I'm not sure.

 

           13                      MS. SUETTA: It's right on the corner

 

           14              of Theodore and Main.

 

           15                      MR. MCGOFF: Okay.

 

           16                      MS. SUETTA:  It sits up in there.

 

           17              Now they took the steps out going in, so you

 

           18              can't -- you have to climb the fence to go

 

           19              look at it.  They took the steps out coming

 

           20              down so now you have to roll down the hill

 

           21              to come and read it.  What's the Goodwill

 

           22              going to do about that?  You can't get to

 

           23              see the memorial and it's in honor of our

 

           24              veterans.

 

           25                      MS. FANUCCI:  Yeah.


 

 

                                                                      28

 

 

            1                      MS. SUETTA:  Don't speak up too

 

            2              many, you know.  What could be done about

 

            3              that?

 

            4                      MR. COURTRIGHT: We'll have to ask

 

            5              them, Jean, I don't know.  I don't know.

 

            6                      MS. SUETTA: Well, Jerry Langan is

 

            7              the president of the Goodwill.  I mean, they

 

            8              took out all the entrances going to the

 

            9              memorial and they have an 82-year-old man

 

           10              that takes care of it by himself coming down

 

           11              the hill.

 

           12                      MR. COURTRIGHT: We'll send a letter

 

           13              and ask Mr. Langan how we can gain access to

 

           14              that.

 

           15                      MS. SUETTA: There is no way.  You

 

           16              roll down the hill or you climb the fence.

 

           17                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I can't picture you

 

           18              climbing the fence.

 

           19                      MS. SUETTA: Well, I did up there.  I

 

           20              go pick up the things.  Well, I'm not done

 

           21              harping tonight.  Save my minutes.  Next

 

           22              week I might need rollover.  All right?

 

           23              Have a good night.

 

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

 

           25              Joe Talamini.


 

 

                                                                      29

 

 

            1                      MR. TALIMINI: Joe Talamini, City of

 

            2              Scranton.  You know, I stand here in awe and

 

            3              utter amazement because every week that I

 

            4              come here I see the same thing, it's the

 

            5              same people here who are criticizing this

 

            6              council.  These people have the nerve to

 

            7              come here and ask questions pertaining to

 

            8              the city.  They've got the nerve to come

 

            9              here and ask what you are doing with their

 

           10              money.  They have got a lot of nerve because

 

           11              Barack Obama needs people like you.

 

           12              Somebody has got to be able to con the world

 

           13              into thinking that everything is wrong.

 

           14                      I mean, the world economy is on the

 

           15              balls of it's butt, and yet Scranton is the

 

           16              only one after 17 years of being a depressed

 

           17              city, is the only one who is making

 

           18              progress, and I can see why, because with

 

           19              the Connell building and all of these other

 

           20              developments we got going on here, let's not

 

           21              forget the Southern Union building, I mean,

 

           22              why are we depressed?  Somebody obviously

 

           23              outside of this area is doing something

 

           24              wrong, but for them to stand here and

 

           25              criticize you, I mean, it's just deplorable.


 

 

                                                                      30

 

 

            1              I listen to these people every week.  They

 

            2              bring up facts and figures you people don't

 

            3              know what those are, but they keep bringing

 

            4              them up.  It's disgusting and I would be

 

            5              offended if I was you, especially after we

 

            6              all know what a hard job you have up there.

 

            7                      And speaking of hard jobs, the thing

 

            8              that really amazes me is how we do so much

 

            9              in Chris Doherty's backyard, excuse me, in

 

           10              Nay Aug Park, but we can't take care of

 

           11              animals which are we are showing off.  It is

 

           12              sad.  My suggestion, why don't we release

 

           13              the animals and lock up the politicians.

 

           14              Let them spend a week up there and find out

 

           15              what the hell it's like.  I'm sure we could

 

           16              find a lot of people that would love to pay

 

           17              to watch you starve and live under the

 

           18              conditions those people are living in --

 

           19              excuse me, those animals I should say.

 

           20                      But, I'm just proud of this council,

 

           21              I want you to know something, in 77 years I

 

           22              have never seen anybody who can make such a

 

           23              rosy picture out of such a distressed

 

           24              situation I want to congratulate you, and

 

           25              let me applaud you. (Clapping.)  You are


 

 

                                                                      31

 

 

            1              definitely worth it.

 

            2                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Talamini.

 

            3              Carl Kuchunas.

 

            4                      MR. KUCHANAS: Good evening.  My name

 

            5              is a Carl Kuchunas, I'm a resident of the

 

            6              lower Greenridge section of Scranton.  I'm

 

            7              here this evening to give an update to the

 

            8              residents of lower Greenridge and Plot

 

            9              neighborhood who may have inadvertently been

 

           10              taken off the Homestead Act 72 exclusion on

 

           11              their property taxes for the 2009 season.

 

           12                      When I received my property tax bill

 

           13              this year, the amount of the tax was a full

 

           14              amount without any discounts for the

 

           15              Homestead exclusion.  I had found out that

 

           16              any resident in the lower Greenridge and the

 

           17              Plot who may have had their property taxes

 

           18              adjusted in the 2007 tax year because of the

 

           19              flood of 2006, would have been removed from

 

           20              Act 72, because that year the residents who

 

           21              got flooded were only taxed on the land, but

 

           22              not improvement.

 

           23                      For over the also two weeks I have

 

           24              been telephone tag with the county, the

 

           25              school district, and the Singles Tax Office.


 

 

                                                                      32

 

 

            1              Finally, this past Friday the issue had

 

            2              gotten resolved.  I received a saving of

 

            3              almost $325 for my property taxes due to the

 

            4              Homestead Exclusion.  I would like to

 

            5              especially thank Mr. Sheehan from the County

 

            6              Tax Assessment Office and Mr. Cox from the

 

            7              Single Tax Office who were especially

 

            8              helpful in getting this issue resolved.

 

            9                      Like I said two weeks ago to the

 

           10              residents of the lower Greenridge and the

 

           11              Plot, please review your property tax bills

 

           12              very carefully.  If you were approved for

 

           13              the Act 72 exclusion, you should have gotten

 

           14              a discount of approximately $325 on your

 

           15              school district portion of your tax bill.

 

           16              What you have to do is find your letter of

 

           17              approval that you would have received from

 

           18              the county, most likely back in 2005, and

 

           19              contact the County Tax Assessment Office at

 

           20              963-6728.  They will send a letter to the

 

           21              school district business office who has to

 

           22              approve the Act 72 discount on your

 

           23              property.  The whole process seems to take

 

           24              about two and a half weeks.

 

           25                      Also, when you contact the County


 

 

                                                                      33

 

 

            1              Assessment Office, I would highly recommend

 

            2              that they have you send a new application

 

            3              for the Homestead Act 72 Exclusion that way

 

            4              you will get we approved again and when your

 

            5              2010 tax bill comes out you will not have

 

            6              the problem again.

 

            7                      In other matters, I spoke to Daniel

 

            8              Hubbard from my neighborhood association who

 

            9              had informed me that the funding for the

 

           10              next section of the Albright Avenue Flood

 

           11              Control Project has been approved and the

 

           12              contracts are currently out for bid.  During

 

           13              the week I had sent an e-mail to Mrs. Evans

 

           14              and she had informed me that she was trying

 

           15              to get an updated timetable for the Army

 

           16              Corp of Engineers on the Albright Avenue

 

           17              project.  As the summer rainy season is not

 

           18              very far off, residents of the lower

 

           19              Greenridge get very nervous every time there

 

           20              is a heavy rain having been flooded three

 

           21              times since 1996.

 

           22                      Since Mrs. Evans isn't here this

 

           23              evening, does anybody on council have an

 

           24              updated timetable from the Army Corp of

 

           25              Engineers for the flood control project?


 

 

                                                                      34

 

 

            1                      MR. MCGOFF: Nothing was received

 

            2              back from the Army Corp.

 

            3                      MR. KUCHUNAS: Do you know when there

 

            4              will be?

 

            5                      MR. MCGOFF: I do not.  You know, the

 

            6              letter was sent, they have not responded.

 

            7                      MR. KUCHUNAS: I would appreciate as

 

            8              I'm sure most of the residents of lower

 

            9              Greenridge Albright area would appreciate,

 

           10              if council could let the people know either

 

           11              through announcements or e-mail or whatever

 

           12              method an updated timetable on that because,

 

           13              like I said, we get very nervous every time

 

           14              it rains.  I appreciate it and thank you

 

           15              very much for your time.

 

           16                      MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Kuchunas, as soon as

 

           17              it is received by us it will be communicated

 

           18              to you in some way.

 

           19                      MR. KUCHUNAS:  Thank you very much.

 

           20              Mrs. Evans does have my e-mail address.

 

           21              Thank you.

 

           22                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.  Bernadette

 

           23              Royce.

 

           24                      MS. ROYCE: Hi.  Good evening.

 

           25              Bernie Royce, West Scranton.  Over the


 

 

                                                                      35

 

 

            1              weekend Scranton fire department had yet

 

            2              another rescue from a structure fire.  Any

 

            3              firefighter will tell you that time is of

 

            4              the essence in these scenarios due to the

 

            5              rapidity of fire growth.  As firefighters we

 

            6              don't say these things to scare, we say

 

            7              these to educate.

 

            8                      Yet, Mayor Doherty insists on

 

            9              cutting fire services and closing stations.

 

           10              He could not pick a worse time to do so.

 

           11              The extreme economic pressures we face as a

 

           12              country actually increases the workload for

 

           13              fire departments.  In February's edition of

 

           14              Firehouse magazine, Chief Gary Ludwig wrote

 

           15              an article concerning the current economic

 

           16              times and fire trends.  To quote him:  "You

 

           17              should expect more fires.  Some unethical

 

           18              people who face foreclosure will take what

 

           19              they think is an easier route and try to

 

           20              collect the insurance money by burning their

 

           21              properties."

 

           22                      Furthermore, Chief Ludwig warns of

 

           23              the risks associated with vandalism on

 

           24              vacant properties:  Vandalism acts to weaken

 

           25              structural integrity which may lead to


 

 

                                                                      36

 

 

            1              firefighter injuries and deaths.  In

 

            2              economic downturns people also try to save

 

            3              money with increase use of space heaters and

 

            4              illegal heating sources.  All of these will

 

            5              lead to an increase in fires.

 

            6                      I think we all know that cutting

 

            7              firefighters and closing stations at this

 

            8              time is not an intelligent thing to do.  I

 

            9              am rather curious as to why our mayor does

 

           10              not also realize this.  Thank you.

 

           11                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Ms. Royce.

 

           12              Bill Jackowitz.

 

           13                      MR. JACKOWITZ: Good evening,

 

           14              Council, Mr. President, Bill Jackowitz,

 

           15              South Scranton resident, member of the

 

           16              Scranton/Lackawanna County Taxpayers'

 

           17              Association.  When Mayor Doherty took office

 

           18              in 2003, the city was distressed.  The

 

           19              police and fire no contracts, high

 

           20              unemployment, low wages, potholed roads,

 

           21              crumbling neighborhoods and a downtown

 

           22              Scranton that was losing business.

 

           23              Population is declining and $35 million

 

           24              deficit.  2009 nothing has changed except

 

           25              for the deficit and it has risen into the


 

 

                                                                      37

 

 

            1              hundreds of millions of dollars.  Also,

 

            2              property taxes were raised.

 

            3                      The mayor cited improvements to

 

            4              neighborhood parks and rising real estate

 

            5              value and construction projects that include

 

            6              the Connell building, a new medical college

 

            7              and the 500 block of Lackawanna Avenue.  He

 

            8              failed to mention the Southern Union

 

            9              building or any of the other business owners

 

           10              who have left of the City of Scranton.

 

           11                      Currently, we have over 30 vacant

 

           12              storefronts in downtown Scranton, hundreds

 

           13              of empty office space, but yet we want more

 

           14              at taxpayers' expense.  How about some

 

           15              office workers to fill these empty office

 

           16              spaces.

 

           17                      Real estate values have declined

 

           18              nationwide, including Scranton.  It just

 

           19              took awhile because real estate in Scranton

 

           20              never experienced a rise like other parts of

 

           21              the United States.  Some neighborhood parks

 

           22              have been improved including Nay Aug Park

 

           23              except for the fish pond they died.  The

 

           24              Wildlife Center, which is a disgrace.  The

 

           25              children of the Hill Section in East


 

 

                                                                      38

 

 

            1              Scranton must now pay $3 to use the pool and

 

            2              slide at Nay Aug Park while children in

 

            3              other neighborhoods can swim free thanks to

 

            4              the work of the Lackawanna County Taxpayers'

 

            5              Association.

 

            6                      We have a $600,000 treehouse, a

 

            7              million dollar bridge to nowhere except to

 

            8              Interstate 81.  A $350,000 dog park while

 

            9              most communities have $100,000 dog park.  We

 

           10              must remember this is Scranton and we are

 

           11              special.

 

           12                      Construction projects, medical

 

           13              college, the mayor has nothing to do with

 

           14              the medical college in Scranton, plus it

 

           15              will take years before the community sees

 

           16              any benefits from the medical college.

 

           17                      Construction of the parking garage

 

           18              and Connell building, public money,

 

           19              taxpayers, no private money.  500 Lackawanna

 

           20              Avenue over $30 million in taxpayers, again,

 

           21              no private money.  The project has been

 

           22              ongoing for over five years, still a mess.

 

           23              Spoke with a worker he stated if this

 

           24              project was not funded by government money

 

           25              they would have torn down all of the


 

 

                                                                      39

 

 

            1              buildings.

 

            2                      PennDOT put the island in for

 

            3              $900,000.  They also will be putting an

 

            4              island in at the other end of Lackawanna

 

            5              Avenue when the bridge project is completed.

 

            6                      Potholes, just ask the auto

 

            7              mechanics who are making a fortune on front

 

            8              end alignments and tire and rim

 

            9              replacements.  South Scranton still looks

 

           10              like a war zone.  Royal Pizza gone, Tom and

 

           11              Jerry's gone for the fourth time in three

 

           12              years, a t-shirt store, Pittston Avenue

 

           13              lasted eight months gone, although Yankee

 

           14              Lunch has reopened.

 

           15                      I would like to thank the taxpayers

 

           16              of Scranton and citizens of Pennsylvania and

 

           17              company for helping Mayor Chris Doherty take

 

           18              the credit to spend their money.  Remember,

 

           19              the government cannot help anyone until they

 

           20              take the money from somebody else.  Mayor

 

           21              Doherty, write a check from your personal

 

           22              bank account then take the credit.

 

           23                      Recession hits home, this is

 

           24              everywhere but Scranton, Pennsylvania.

 

           25              Scranton has been in recession since 1866.


 

 

                                                                      40

 

 

            1              The coal mining, railroads, silk mills and

 

            2              garment industries.  Currently bars,

 

            3              restaurants and novelty shops, vacant lots

 

            4              and empty store fronts and office space

 

            5              everywhere, just looked around, including

 

            6              the Steamtown Mall which has 14 percent

 

            7              vacancy rate compared to 7 percent national

 

            8              average.

 

            9                      The Scranton Times-Tribune once

 

           10              called the Legion of Doom the Legion of

 

           11              Dumb.  Did anyone read Mayor Doherty's state

 

           12              of the city comments in the funny paper 20,

 

           13              February, 2009?  For the newspaper to print

 

           14              these misleading statements leads me to

 

           15              believe that we have a newspaper of dumb.

 

           16                      A bustling city 24 hours a day.

 

           17              Where would I go for bacon and eggs at two

 

           18              in the morning in downtown Scranton?  Does

 

           19              anyone on council or the mayor or the

 

           20              newspaper reporter have a suggestion?  Does

 

           21              anybody have a suggestion where I could go

 

           22              for bacon and eggs in downtown Scranton at

 

           23              2:00 in the morning?

 

           24                      MR. MCGOFF: I'm in bed.

 

           25                      MR. JACKOWITZ: I don't care if you


 

 

                                                                      41

 

 

            1              are in bed or not, I'm asking you.  Can you

 

            2              have tell me where I can go for bacon and

 

            3              eggs, since we have a 24-hour city,

 

            4              according to the newspaper and according to

 

            5              our mayor, so if we have a 24-hour city I

 

            6              should be able to get bacon and eggs at 2:00

 

            7              in the morning, should I not?

 

            8                      MS. GATELLI:  Chick's.

 

            9                      MR. JACKOWITZ: Chick's is not in

 

           10              downtown.  Chick's is on Moosic Street

 

           11              unless they have moved Chick's to downtown

 

           12              Scranton.

 

           13                      MS. FANUCCI: I think the city is the

 

           14              whole city, don't we agree?

 

           15                      MR. JACKOWITZ: No, we are talking

 

           16              about downtown.  They are talking -- the

 

           17              article that I'm referring to --

 

           18                      MS. FANUCCI:  I'm asking you.

 

           19                      MR. JACKOWITZ: -- Mrs. Fanucci, was

 

           20              referring to downtown Scranton.

 

           21                      MS. FANUCCI: Well, then I have no

 

           22              idea.

 

           23                      MR. JACKOWITZ:  So I'm asking you,

 

           24              maybe Mr. Burton can answer that question.

 

           25                      MR. MCGOFF: Marie Schumacher.


 

 

                                                                      42

 

 

            1                      MS. SCHUMACHER: Good evening.  Marie

 

            2              Schumacher, resident and member of the

 

            3              Taxpayers' Association.  First, I would like

 

            4              to say how disappointed I am that several of

 

            5              you thwarted endorsement of the protection

 

            6              of the taxpayers offered by Representative

 

            7              Murphy.  The only disagreement I have with

 

            8              Mr. Murphy's legislation is setting a

 

            9              threshold of 5 percent over which residents

 

           10              would have to vote.  I believe a better

 

           11              threshold would be 150 percent of the cost

 

           12              of living.

 

           13                      Under the Taxpayers' Relief Act,

 

           14              school districts already must agree to vote

 

           15              either not to increase taxes above the state

 

           16              given threshold index, have residents vote

 

           17              on the increase or seek an exemption from

 

           18              the Department of Education, so there is a

 

           19              precedent for one of the three taxing bodies

 

           20              already and we strongly need protection from

 

           21              the other two of you.

 

           22                      During motions I would ask Mrs.

 

           23              Gatelli to explain why the State Treasury

 

           24              Department is involved in the forensic audit

 

           25              report and when that report will be made


 

 

                                                                      43

 

 

            1              public.

 

            2                      And now, I would like to do what I

 

            3              have been saying I'm going to do, but

 

            4              running out of time for almost the last

 

            5              month, and that is read a letter that I

 

            6              wrote to our secretary of Pennsylvania

 

            7              Department of Community and Economic

 

            8              development about a month ago.

 

            9                      "Dear Secretary Cornelius, I write

 

           10              as I am concerned about inactions and

 

           11              actions that are contrary to the City of

 

           12              Scranton's Recovery Plan, but more

 

           13              important, they are counterproductive to the

 

           14              city's long-term financial well-being,

 

           15              jeopardize the city's ability to achieve

 

           16              fiscal stability, and if not addressed pose

 

           17              a threat to the health, safety and welfare

 

           18              of city residents.

 

           19                      The foregoing is a slight

 

           20              restatement of the Pennsylvania Economy

 

           21              League's concern found on page 16 of the

 

           22              revised and updated Act 47 Recovery Plan for

 

           23              the City of Scranton, effective upon

 

           24              adoption as transmitted to the mayor, city

 

           25              council president on May 16, 2002:  While


 

 

                                                                      44

 

 

            1              PEL's concern regarding adherence to the

 

            2              appears to have waned, my concern has waxed.

 

            3              PEL invoices substantiate diminished

 

            4              involvement.  For the years through 2002

 

            5              when the updated recovery plan was enacted,

 

            6              the average billing was $142,308 a year.

 

            7              Despite a sharp uptake for 2008 to support

 

            8              labor related issues, the average annual

 

            9              billing has been $65,752, a drop of over

 

           10              50 percent.

 

           11                      The first 31 pages of the Recovery

 

           12              Plan referenced above documents close

 

           13              involvement which appears to have ended with

 

           14              the plan's adoption despite the following

 

           15              sampling of variances from the plan:

 

           16                      One, PEL was concerned about an

 

           17              action that would have eliminated the cash

 

           18              payments to the City for the Department of

 

           19              Public Works land.  This cash payment of

 

           20              $600,000 has yet to be received by the city.

 

           21                      Point 2:  In 1998 a formal

 

           22              certification was issued which called on the

 

           23              city to develop a balanced budget, identify

 

           24              and adopt a course of action to correct it's

 

           25              structural financial imbalance.  Ten years


 

 

                                                                      45

 

 

            1              later there has not been a budget balanced

 

            2              without incurring debt or utilizing a

 

            3              one-time revenue item.

 

            4                      Point three: The current

 

            5              administration incurred a $5.5 million

 

            6              termination fee when they chose not to renew

 

            7              their contract with the American Anglican

 

            8              Environmental Technologies.

 

            9                      Four:  DCED's fourth amendatory

 

           10              order directed the mayor and city council it

 

           11              achieve consensus on the principals of a

 

           12              revised Recovery Plan for 2001 and beyond.

 

           13              The adopted Recovery Plan ran through 2005,

 

           14              stands a similar order for 2006 and beyond

 

           15              and here we are in 2009.

 

           16                      Next point:  The figures outlined in

 

           17              Chapter 1-B of the Recovery Plan serve as

 

           18              the keystone leading to a reasonable,

 

           19              realistic and achievable course of action to

 

           20              address the continuing long-term issues.

 

           21              How close did the city come to meeting these

 

           22              projections?  Chapter 1-B assumed TAN-B

 

           23              would remain at about $3,200,000, but has

 

           24              been more in the neighborhood of

 

           25              $10 million.


 

 

                                                                      46

 

 

            1                      The 27 payroll issue is highlighted

 

            2              noting resolution should be reviewed with

 

            3              the auditor.  A scant two years later it

 

            4              became apparent the issue was not properly

 

            5              addressed resulted in wasted arbitration

 

            6              funds."

 

            7                      I'll pick up where I left off next

 

            8              week.  Thank you very much.

 

            9                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mrs.

 

           10              Schumacher.  Other speakers?

 

           11                      MR. HUBBARD: Good evening, Council,

 

           12              Danielle Hubbard, lower Greenridge.  The

 

           13              proposed schedule for the Army Corp project

 

           14              currently is the early fall -- early spring

 

           15              of 2010, lower Greenridge should be finished

 

           16              by the end of '09 and then they have some

 

           17              follow-up work to do in the Plot that they

 

           18              are doing at the end of the project, which

 

           19              is after us, so they are saying the Spring

 

           20              of 2010 it should be completed in full

 

           21              including the Plot repairs.

 

           22                      I wasn't going to come tonight,

 

           23              obviously, you guys don't see me very often

 

           24              in work clothes and a hat.  Something caught

 

           25              my eye tonight and, Mrs. Fanucci, you can


 

 

                                                                      47

 

 

            1              respond when I'm done, I in no way support

 

            2              somebody not paying their taxes.  Taxes is

 

            3              what fuels our city and keeps it running,

 

            4              but what I do have a problem is you made a

 

            5              comment that said if the cancelled checks

 

            6              show up then we'll see.  My question is who

 

            7              is we; and, secondly, is it a policy or a

 

            8              point of city council and/or it's members to

 

            9              selectively pick and review individual

 

           10              private citizens' tax information in this

 

           11              city because you don't believe in their

 

           12              politics or the way that they handle their

 

           13              politics?

 

           14                      Basically what I'm asking is, a lot

 

           15              of us don't necessarily agree with what goes

 

           16              on up here and a lot of us don't agree with

 

           17              your individual politics, so who else is on

 

           18              the list of being reviewed?  Who else's

 

           19              personal tax information is being reviewed

 

           20              by members of this council?  It leads the

 

           21              citizens to worry that people might be

 

           22              afraid to come up here and speak out because

 

           23              they might be targeted, and I'm not

 

           24              defending it.  If taxes are owed then they

 

           25              should be paid, penalties and all, but I


 

 

                                                                      48

 

 

            1              don't think it is a place for city council

 

            2              or members of city council to get involved

 

            3              with tax issues when we have a company like

 

            4              NCC in place and a tax office with a new tax

 

            5              collector.

 

            6                      So I think that this situation in

 

            7              particular should be left to the people that

 

            8              are being either elected or paid to handle

 

            9              this because it sets a precedent for

 

           10              speakers that come to this podium or people

 

           11              that are going to voice their opposition or

 

           12              their various opinions to individual

 

           13              politics here in these chambers that they

 

           14              have to worry about retaliation on the front

 

           15              page of the Scranton Times by members of

 

           16              this council.

 

           17                      It's inappropriate for a member of

 

           18              this council to get involved in a situation

 

           19              that has nothing to do with the duties of

 

           20              city council.  That is why we have a tax

 

           21              collector.  If members of this council are

 

           22              going to collectively pick and choose

 

           23              private citizens' tax information to review

 

           24              then they should be the tax collector and

 

           25              forfeit their seat on council.  Am I right


 

 

                                                                      49

 

 

            1              on wrong?  Do we have a tax collector and

 

            2              NCC is there to pick up the mess, they are

 

            3              there to clean up the delinquencies;

 

            4              correct?

 

            5                      MS. FANUCCI: Um-hum.

 

            6                      MR. HUBBARD: Then council has no

 

            7              place no place nor do individual members of

 

            8              this council have any place acting as

 

            9              members of this council publically releasing

 

           10              private citizens' tax information in the

 

           11              newspaper.

 

           12                      MS. FANUCCI: I didn't publically

 

           13              release it.

 

           14                      MR.  HUBBARD: If I'm correct --

 

           15                      MS. FANUCCI: I didn't publically -

 

           16                      MR. HUBBARD: When I'm finished.

 

           17                      MS. FANUCCI: Why don't --

 

           18                      MR. HUBBARD: Sherry, you have a

 

           19              problem of interrupting people.  When I'm

 

           20              done you can speak.  This is my time.

 

           21                      MS. FANUCCI: Okay.  Go ahead,

 

           22              Daniel.

 

           23                      MR. HUBBARD: It sets a precedent for

 

           24              the rest of the people in this city.  We all

 

           25              have disagreements, all of us.  Every single


 

 

                                                                      50

 

 

            1              one of us have all disagreed at one point or

 

            2              another.  We are cordial when we see each

 

            3              other outside of chambers, but this goes --

 

            4              Bob, I have been nothing but cordial to you

 

            5              outside of these chambers.  This goes beyond

 

            6              these chambers and in my mind a member of

 

            7              this council has no place getting involved

 

            8              in NCC's business or business in the tax

 

            9              office.  Period.

 

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

 

           11                      MS. FANUCCI: I might as well just

 

           12              address it now.  Actually, Daniel, the

 

           13              reason I got involved in the first place was

 

           14              on behalf of the speakers at council who

 

           15              came up requesting and constantly stating

 

           16              that NCC was going after elderly people in

 

           17              our city taking their homes.  That's how it

 

           18              all started.  Week after week -- in fact, I

 

           19              could probably name them, week after week

 

           20              people came up and said to me, "NCC is

 

           21              trying to tax the houses.  You people with

 

           22              these new fines and penalties imposing this

 

           23              and imposing that," that's how the quest

 

           24              started.  But, quite frankly --

 

           25                      MR. HUBBARD: He's the only one --


 

 

                                                                      51

 

 

            1                      MS. FANUCCI: Wait a minute --

 

            2                      MR. HUBBARD: Who is --

 

            3                      MR. MCGOFF: Please.

 

            4                      MS. FANUCCI:  Who is interrupting

 

            5              now.  Isn't is funny.

 

            6                      MR.  HUBBARD: Only the delinquent --

 

            7                      MS. FANUCCI: It's okay, but quite

 

            8              frankly it is not surprising to me or to

 

            9              anyone else who is watching this that some

 

           10              of the people in this forum would come up

 

           11              and defend this as being okay.

 

           12                      MR. HUBBARD:  No.

 

           13                      MS. FANUCCI: It's okay.

 

           14                      MR. HUBBARD: If taxes are an

 

           15              issue --

 

           16                      MS. FANUCCI: As far as I'm concerned

 

           17              this is easy -- an easy situation to fix,

 

           18              and all that has to be shown are the

 

           19              cancelled checks, and quite frankly, it was

 

           20              not me who revealed the amount.  It's

 

           21              actually, I believe Right-to-Know.  Anyone

 

           22              can find out taxpayers' money, anyone.  You

 

           23              can do it, I could do it, anybody on council

 

           24              can do it.  So, quite frankly, as a citizen

 

           25              of Scranton and a taxpayer of Scranton


 

 

                                                                      52

 

 

            1              myself I have the right.

 

            2                      Also, I can tell you that if you

 

            3              want to come here and defend people which I

 

            4              knew, I mean, if you think I'm shocked --

 

            5                      MR.  HUBBARD:  I'm not defending

 

            6              anybody.

 

            7                      MS. FANUCCI: With the outpour and

 

            8              support that, you know, the group has, I'm

 

            9              not, but I'm not also saying, and I will say

 

           10              this on the record, it is very easy to stop

 

           11              all of this.  If this is not true then it

 

           12              won't be true and we'll find out very fast,

 

           13              won't we?  But, quiet frankly, to come here

 

           14              and defend people --

 

           15                      MR. HUBBARD: I'm not defending

 

           16              people.

 

           17                      MR. MCGOFF: Please.

 

           18                      MS. FANUCCI:  I'm not just talking

 

           19              to you.  Daniel, there is more people in the

 

           20              world besides you.

 

           21                      MR. MCGOFF: Can we move on?

 

           22                      MS. FANUCCI: There is all citizens

 

           23              out there, so quite frankly, there is other

 

           24              people we are talking to, not just you.  I

 

           25              know it's hard to believe that people think


 

 

                                                                      53

 

 

            1              this room is just theirs --

 

            2                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.

 

            3                      MS. FANUCCI: But there are many

 

            4              taxpayers out there.

 

            5                      MR. MCGOFF:  All right.

 

            6                      MS. FANUCCI: This was not -- this

 

            7              was not a hard thing to find out and anyone

 

            8              could do it.  So, yes, I stand by the fact I

 

            9              did it.

 

           10                      MR. MCGOFF: Mrs. Fanucci, let's

 

           11              continue with -- thank you.  Other speakers.

 

           12                      MS. HUBBARD: I also didn't intend to

 

           13              speak.  Actually, I did that this -- I

 

           14              really wish the city could be as good at

 

           15              killing skunks as they are at killing fish,

 

           16              but --

 

           17                      MS. GATELLI:  That's a good one.

 

           18                      MS. FANUCCI: That was good.

 

           19                      MS. HUBBARD: If they killed as many

 

           20              skunks --

 

           21                      MS. GATELLI: Just for the record,

 

           22              they did hire that part-time person.

 

           23                      MS. HUBBARD: Yeah, but that's the

 

           24              only one they have because -- -

 

           25                      MS. GATELLI: No, they hired two.


 

 

                                                                      54

 

 

            1              Full-time and part-time.

 

            2                      MS. FANUCCI:  Now there is a two.

 

            3                      MS. HUBBARD: So what's the part-time

 

            4              going to be, in charge of skunks?

 

            5                      MS. GATELLI:  I hope so.  That was

 

            6              the intent so that's what we are hoping.

 

            7                      MS. HUBBARD: I have a question, and

 

            8              I really only know what I read in the paper

 

            9              about this tax delinquent thing.  Is that

 

           10              the only person in the city that's

 

           11              supposedly delinquent?

 

           12                      MS. FANUCCI: No.

 

           13                      MS. HUBBARD: Or allegedly

 

           14              delinquent?

 

           15                      MS. FANUCCI: No, but --

 

           16                      MS. HUBBARD: Then why -- wait.

 

           17              Excuse me, Sherry.

 

           18                      MS. FANUCCI: Well, you asked me a

 

           19              question then you stopped, so go ahead.  Go

 

           20              ahead.

 

           21                      MS. HUBBARD: I'm assuming that there

 

           22              are other people --

 

           23                      MS. FANUCCI: Many.

 

           24                      MS. HUBBARD: Why are they not on the

 

           25              front page of the paper?


 

 

                                                                      55

 

 

            1                      MS. FANUCCI: Well, because the

 

            2              people who get up here weekly and say go to

 

            3              this website, every week all -- we have

 

            4              union leaders coming up, we have people,

 

            5              citizens on a weekly basis coming --

 

            6                      MS. HUBBARD: But what does that --

 

            7                      MS. FANUCCI: Wait, you are asking me

 

            8              a question, you want the answer.

 

            9                      MS. HUBBARD: Hold my time then.

 

           10                      MS. FANUCCI: You have people coming

 

           11              up here on a weekly basis saying to go on to

 

           12              this website; am I correct?

 

           13                      MS. HUBBARD:  I guess.

 

           14                      MS. FANUCCI: Right.  So that was in

 

           15              response to one of the speakers who was a

 

           16              union leader coming up and saying to me,

 

           17              "NCC, and this is wrong and you are taking

 

           18              away people's houses," and when I went to

 

           19              find out I actually was working on behalf of

 

           20              them as so, you know, are you, and find out

 

           21              the information.

 

           22                      MS. HUBBARD: Right.  Okay.  And I

 

           23              was born last night.

 

           24                      MS. FANUCCI: Well, happy birthday.

 

           25                      MS. HUBBARD: I'm glad that are you


 

 

                                                                      56

 

 

            1              working on behalf the poor starved taxpayers

 

            2              in the City of Scranton.  NCC is raping the

 

            3              citizens of this town and Scranton is

 

            4              getting no benefit from it except a few

 

            5              hundreds dollars that these people might owe

 

            6              in taxes, but that's another discussion.

 

            7                      MS. FANUCCI: Well, you are asking me

 

            8              and I found out.

 

            9                      MS. HUBBARD:  If you and the

 

           10              Scranton Times-Tribune are going to get

 

           11              together to publish the name of a person who

 

           12              allegedly owes taxes who got a figure from

 

           13              NCC who said, well, that's the figure we

 

           14              were given, who gave them that figure?

 

           15                      MS. FANUCCI: Well, this --

 

           16                      MS. HUBBARD: I mean, this an

 

           17              election year and I understand it's going to

 

           18              be a bloody election, but that's wrong and

 

           19              if you are going to do that then you have to

 

           20              put the name of every delinquent taxpayer on

 

           21              the front page of the Times-Tribune.

 

           22                      MS. GATELLI: I agree with you.

 

           23                      MS. FANUCCI: I'd love that.

 

           24                      MS. GATELLI: I think that should all

 

           25              be in the paper.


 

 

                                                                      57

 

 

            1                      MS. FANUCCI: They used to.

 

            2                      MS. HUBBARD: Then Ken Smith should

 

            3              be, too.

 

            4                      MS. FANUCCI: I agree.

 

            5                      MS. GATELLI: It was in there.

 

            6                      MS. FANUCCI: He was in there, too.

 

            7                      MS. GATELLI:  Why is everybody

 

            8              picking on him?  He certainly got his dues

 

            9              in the paper.

 

           10                      MS. FANUCCI: He certainly did.

 

           11                      MS. HUBBARD: Well, he still got

 

           12              elected.

 

           13                      MS. GATELLI: Well, that's the voters

 

           14              decision, not ours.

 

           15                      MS. HUBBARD: Of course, he didn't

 

           16              have anybody running against him either.

 

           17                      MS. FANUCCI:  Right, but it was out

 

           18              there.  I mean, it wasn't hidden.

 

           19                      MS. GATELLI: Well, how many of them

 

           20              are hidden?

 

           21                      MS. FANUCCI: Oh, well, I would love

 

           22              to publish that list.

 

           23                      MS. HUBBARD: Well, then why don't

 

           24              you.

 

           25                      MS. FANUCCI: I think it costs too


 

 

                                                                      58

 

 

            1              much, is that what you said?

 

            2                      MS. HUBBARD: Wait, wait, wait.

 

            3              Where did you get the name that you

 

            4              published.

 

            5                      MS. FANUCCI: I didn't publish

 

            6              anything.

 

            7                      MS. HUBBARD: Where did you get the

 

            8              name that you gave Mr. Burton?

 

            9                      MS. GATELLI: Mrs. Krake told us a

 

           10              few weeks ago that all of the delinquencies

 

           11              are public record.

 

           12                      MS. HUBBARD: I'm not -- wait a

 

           13              minute, I understand that.

 

           14                      MS. GATELLI:  They are all public

 

           15              record.

 

           16                      MR. MCGOFF: Please.

 

           17                      MS HUBBARD: I'm understanding that,

 

           18              but where did you get that one name to say,

 

           19              because --

 

           20                      MS. FANUCCI:  It's public.

 

           21                      MS. HUBBARD: --  of a website.

 

           22                      MS. FANUCCI: No.

 

           23                      MS. HUBBARD:  Come on, Sherry.

 

           24              Let's get real here.

 

           25                      MS. FANUCCI:  You can get it in the


 

 

                                                                      59

 

 

            1              tax office, you can get it anywhere.  Go and

 

            2              find out.

 

            3                      MS. HUBBARD:  How do you know my

 

            4              taxes aren't delinquent?

 

            5                      MS. FANUCCI: I can check for you.

 

            6                      MS. GATELLI:  We can look them up.

 

            7                      MS. FANUCCI:  I certainly can look

 

            8              them up for you.

 

            9                      MS. HUBBARD:  I just found out

 

           10              tonight they owe me money and I'm going

 

           11              right down tomorrow.

 

           12                      MS. FANUCCI: Good for you.  Good for

 

           13              you.  Actually what occurred is I was

 

           14              looking for a certain amount.  Mrs. Evans

 

           15              had brought up a few weeks ago that there

 

           16              was a woman, I believe she said it was a

 

           17              woman, that was so behind that they were

 

           18              threatening to take her house and I believe

 

           19              she had it up to something like $30,000.

 

           20                      MS. GATELLI:  $30,000.

 

           21                      MS. FANUCCI: And so what I did is

 

           22              when I kept calling I said, "Listen, I want

 

           23              to know how many people are way beyond?"

 

           24                      This woman supposedly did not pay in

 

           25              years and was very worried and Mrs. Evans


 

 

                                                                      60

 

 

            1              was talking about them actually foreclosing

 

            2              on her house.  I said, "Are we foreclosing

 

            3              on anybody?  How many people are we talking

 

            4              about?"

 

            5                      That's how it started out.  You

 

            6              know, that and --

 

            7                      MS. HUBBARD: And out of all that

 

            8              only one name came up --

 

            9                      MS. FANUCCI: Oh, no --

 

           10                      MS. HUBBARD: -- on the front page of

 

           11              the paper.

 

           12                      MS. FANUCCI: Well, that's not --

 

           13                      MS. HUBBARD: Come on.  You know,

 

           14              like I said, I wasn't born last night.

 

           15                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mrs.

 

           16              Hubbard.  Anyone else?

 

           17                      MR. MCCLOE:  Good evening.  My name

 

           18              is Brett McCloe, homeowner, taxpayer.  I

 

           19              heard something a couple of weeks ago it was

 

           20              don't let the facts get in the way of a good

 

           21              story.  It was an interesting saying a

 

           22              council member used while defending herself

 

           23              against what she says was a bogus rumor, but

 

           24              I'm not here to talk about that.  I just

 

           25              want to flip that around.  Don't let a good


 

 

                                                                      61

 

 

            1              story get in the way of the facts.

 

            2                      The good story is that Scranton is

 

            3              very progressive in the physical structures

 

            4              that it builds thanks to leadership,

 

            5              unashamed, steadfast and proud to accept

 

            6              municipal welfare and publically funded

 

            7              privately profited investments to come in

 

            8              and set up expensive condos, shops that they

 

            9              say promise to restore downtown Scranton to

 

           10              it's former glory.  The facts are, as we

 

           11              build these structures for people to live

 

           12              and shop downtown, our population is

 

           13              dwindling or at the very best stagnate to be

 

           14              replaced on those and a distant train headed

 

           15              for Scranton.  I fear new unbeknownst will

 

           16              be caught on bear trap of economic

 

           17              instability because of premature

 

           18              overdevelopment.

 

           19                      The amount of the shops and services

 

           20              looks like it is designed for city and

 

           21              boroughs twice the size of our population

 

           22              and many times larger than our local economy

 

           23              can afford to support.  It will take a

 

           24              massive sales pitch to convince people to

 

           25              live even further outside of their means to


 

 

                                                                      62

 

 

            1              keep this city, this county, and this region

 

            2              strong and viable.  It's as if Scranton and

 

            3              it's boroughs are running a marathon with

 

            4              size eight feet wearing size 12 shoes

 

            5              tripping and stumbling all the way to the

 

            6              finish line.

 

            7                      I suspect in the coming years we

 

            8              will seat blight of the Shoppes at Montage

 

            9              Mountain.  At the same time "For Sale" signs

 

           10              popping up all over tax exempt cul-de-sacs

 

           11              because people thought of their homes and

 

           12              neighborhoods as an investment for monetary

 

           13              gain at taxpayers' expense.  Many wish to

 

           14              shield them from the fate other are forced

 

           15              to endure by creating legislation that puts

 

           16              NCC on a leash for the connected and the

 

           17              very few.  It's not unthinkable that the

 

           18              Connell building will lose it's character

 

           19              because of it's content.

 

           20                      I suppose it will be used as a

 

           21              reverse mortgage and KOZ scheme to bring

 

           22              upper middle class to wealthy elderly and in

 

           23              the end the bank take and resell the

 

           24              property, you own it or live tax and

 

           25              mortgage free until they die.  I'm quite


 

 

                                                                      63

 

 

            1              sure there is way to do it.

 

            2                      As local elections draw near, I want

 

            3              the public to watch politicians practice the

 

            4              art of talking louder and staring deeper

 

            5              into the cameras to convince the local

 

            6              masses that that volume and the intense

 

            7              glare are, indeed, a substitute for the

 

            8              truth.

 

            9                      Once again, content and character

 

           10              come into play.  To paraphrase and to add my

 

           11              own twist, we should not be judged by race,

 

           12              creed, family name, political connection,

 

           13              economic station in life, but by the content

 

           14              of our character, but if you are acting like

 

           15              a character how can you blame those who

 

           16              would judge your content?

 

           17                      I want people to pay attention to

 

           18              some of the words that come out of this

 

           19              election season.  Ask many questions and

 

           20              above all vote.  Thank you.

 

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

 

           22              Anyone else?

 

           23                      MS. WILLIAMS: Good evening.  Joanne

 

           24              Williams, homeowner of Scranton all my life

 

           25              and taxpayer and proud to be living in


 

 

                                                                      64

 

 

            1              Scranton.  I wasn't going to come down to

 

            2              speak this evening, but I heard a young lady

 

            3              step up here and say something about we are

 

            4              going to have more fire because of

 

            5              foreclosure.  What an incentive huh?  I mean

 

            6              anybody in their right mind would never do

 

            7              such a thing.

 

            8                      Also, I heard about another speaker

 

            9              speaking about where do I get ham and eggs

 

           10              at 2:00 in the morning.  You know what, they

 

           11              think that they took -- when I come here and

 

           12              speak they think they take it personally, I

 

           13              take it personally as a citizen who loves

 

           14              this city long before Chris Doherty ever sat

 

           15              down in the mayor's office.  I'm tired of

 

           16              the negativity, I'm tired of the put down.

 

           17              I can go this week and I can go all through

 

           18              the city and write down all of the

 

           19              businesses that are downtown here in

 

           20              Scranton, and I'm going to do that.  This

 

           21              city is not dying.  You know, I mean,

 

           22              economic times, what do you think Scranton

 

           23              is the only one on the map?  It's happening

 

           24              all over.

 

           25                      But what I have seen in the past


 

 

                                                                      65

 

 

            1              eight years is progress in the city.  I have

 

            2              seen parks getting better, I have seen a

 

            3              downtown structurally getting better.  I

 

            4              have seen my home that was up for sale

 

            5              increased in value, I couldn't believe what

 

            6              they told me it was worth, so those

 

            7              statements aren't true.

 

            8                      Also, about the firefighters, you

 

            9              know, it's gotten back to me where people

 

           10              are hearing firefighters in local bars

 

           11              talking about me, like asking like why is

 

           12              Joanne Williams down, you know, at city

 

           13              chambers commenting, because this belongs to

 

           14              me, too.  This belongs to me, too.  Do I

 

           15              like everything that's happening in this

 

           16              city and this country?  Absolutely not.  But

 

           17              I see the positive and the progress that's

 

           18              going on here.

 

           19                      Take Thursday night, Kenny Smith,

 

           20              our legislator, had a meeting in Dunmore.

 

           21              He spoke about a project the University of

 

           22              Scranton will be putting up, a science

 

           23              project.  Also, the Lace Works he spoke of

 

           24              what's going to be happening there with

 

           25              shops and apartments and other positive


 

 

                                                                      66

 

 

            1              things.

 

            2                      You know, I will stand for Chris

 

            3              Doherty because and I think he has been a

 

            4              good mayor and I think the majority most of

 

            5              you people have been a good council, you

 

            6              know, I'm tired -- yeah, I don't like to

 

            7              come into this room, it's all negative, most

 

            8              of it.  Remember what I said most of it,

 

            9              because I'm sure I'll get another letter or

 

           10              something, but you know what, people better

 

           11              look at the positive that's happening in

 

           12              this city and what they have here.  What

 

           13              they have in this community.  I mean, it's

 

           14              just disgraceful and I'm not -- I'm the

 

           15              speaker for a lot of other people who talk

 

           16              to me.  It's absolutely disgraceful how this

 

           17              city, how this administration is put down

 

           18              week after week.  I'm taking it personally,

 

           19              very personally.

 

           20                      They can smirk and they can laugh,

 

           21              and they can do all they want to do because

 

           22              I know it's a group club, get together every

 

           23              Tuesday night, let's put the city down,

 

           24              let's put the mayor down, let's put

 

           25              everything down.  The people -- the


 

 

                                                                      67

 

 

            1              taxpayers know what's going on.  They see

 

            2              what's going on.  Yes, we have fallen on

 

            3              hard times, you know.

 

            4                      And, I mean, the firefighters I like

 

            5              -- I don't know if a survey can be done,

 

            6              firefighters are heroes, but can a survey be

 

            7              done of how many fires we have in the city,

 

            8              how many times they are called out, like

 

            9              what the hourly thing is, like something

 

           10              like that.  Yes, we knew need firemen and

 

           11              policemen, but you know like, I mean,

 

           12              everybody has a job to do here.  Everybody

 

           13              in this city.  You know, a majority of us

 

           14              get up every day and go to work.  I'm tired

 

           15              of it.

 

           16                      And they can smirk and they can say

 

           17              all they want, but you know what, now I'm

 

           18              going to go back to doing my homework,

 

           19              coming to this podium and speaking positive

 

           20              because this city, because this is my city,

 

           21              I love this city and I'm tired week after

 

           22              week putting Channel 61 on, watching the

 

           23              people that were elected, you people by the

 

           24              people being harassed, the mayor being

 

           25              harassed, I'm being harassed, it's got to


 

 

                                                                      68

 

 

            1              stop, and if I'm not the one that's going to

 

            2              start it, so be it.  Thank you.

 

            3                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mrs.

 

            4              Williams.  Anyone else?  Any other speakers.

 

            5              Mr. Ellman.

 

            6                      MR. ELLMAN:  Thank you.  I don't

 

            7              have any notes, I wasn't going to come until

 

            8              the lady just now was telling me how well

 

            9              off we are.  I bet $100 bill I talked to

 

           10              more people at the flea market this weekend

 

           11              than she has in the last six months of her

 

           12              life about the taxpayers.  I know that the

 

           13              taxpayers are fed up with.  They are fed up

 

           14              with KOZ, they are fed up about hearing the

 

           15              park all the time.  I don't know, she lives

 

           16              in a different Scranton than I do.

 

           17                      I have lost another hubcap on my

 

           18              car.  I told you last year I almost ruptured

 

           19              myself trying to pull one off, but you drive

 

           20              down the street and they pop off.

 

           21              Unfortunately, I get them from Mr. DeNaples

 

           22              once any awhile, so -- you know, I'm trying

 

           23              to say something without getting Austin

 

           24              Burke all -- he is just an overpaid

 

           25              complacent dinosaur.  I didn't use no bad


 

 

                                                                      69

 

 

            1              words this time, and that's the kind of

 

            2              people that want KOZ's, wealthy people they

 

            3              aren't -- they're not like these people out

 

            4              here, most of these people out here are

 

            5              giving up something to pay taxes in this

 

            6              city.  I hear it left and right everywhere I

 

            7              go, and I talked to Mike Wallace a couple of

 

            8              weeks ago, like I said, my absentee landlord

 

            9              next door, the two brothers that own the

 

           10              house, first they tore -- they gutted the

 

           11              house and left it on the sidewalk like I

 

           12              mentioned.

 

           13                      MR. MCGOFF: One second -- would you

 

           14              please be quiet?  It's difficult to hear

 

           15              when people behind the speaker are talking.

 

           16              Thank you.  I'm sorry, Mr. Ellman.

 

           17                      MR. ELLMAN:  Then Mr. Wallace says

 

           18              he has to catch him advertising, he got

 

           19              three signs in the backyard advertising his

 

           20              business.  Yesterday when it snowed he put a

 

           21              snow plow on the truck and went out.  He

 

           22              doesn't have an office, you know, he is

 

           23              working from the house, now he has three

 

           24              people in there, one of them works on

 

           25              driving a garbage truck remodeling the


 

 

                                                                      70

 

 

            1              house, he doesn't have a license in the

 

            2              window, and nobody cares, you know.  That's

 

            3              why the city is going to pot because you try

 

            4              to phone somebody and you get an answering

 

            5              machine, like I did yesterday -- Monday

 

            6              morning again.

 

            7                      People just don't show up for work

 

            8              or you can't find them and they hide behind

 

            9              answering machines or their secretary's

 

           10              skirts, I don't know what goes on, but I'm

 

           11              telling you I was at the flea market like I

 

           12              said in Eynon and people they are just so

 

           13              tired of this going on all the time.  It

 

           14              just doesn't stop.

 

           15                      I asked you what happened to the

 

           16              street paving machine, whatever it was, it's

 

           17              laying outside rusting $60,000, $70,000 down

 

           18              the drain.  You know, instead of the county

 

           19              buying it and loaning it to us they wanted

 

           20              us to buy it and loan it to everybody.  All

 

           21              of that money is wasted.  It's just waste

 

           22              everywhere you look.

 

           23                      If you want to drive through the

 

           24              park at certain hours you will see utility

 

           25              trucks sitting there waiting for their time,


 

 

                                                                      71

 

 

            1              getting their time, you know, using it up

 

            2              because they can't go to doughnut shops

 

            3              without someone telling.  I used to take my

 

            4              dog once in awhile down to Nay Aug and I'd

 

            5              see them hiding in their trucks.  You know,

 

            6              just waste left and right.

 

            7                      Then we hired it left and right for

 

            8              the Sewer Authority where they don't need

 

            9              it, $30,000 salaries for laborers, it's

 

           10              senseless.  You know, right across the

 

           11              street where you come out the parking garage

 

           12              is a pothole.  You could kill yourself if

 

           13              you hit it good enough.  Right here, you

 

           14              know, within -- you can look at one of those

 

           15              windows if they opened and see it.  The city

 

           16              just needs money and here what do we do, we

 

           17              give it to Al Boscov who throws it in your

 

           18              face bragging.

 

           19                      That reminds of a man last year you

 

           20              gave him $75,000 to move Denise's Beauty

 

           21              Parlor, he is supposed to hire ten people.

 

           22              There are two still two people and him

 

           23              working there.  They didn't hire nobody.  I

 

           24              don't know how his payments are, you know, I

 

           25              guess he makes them.  My son and I when we


 

 

                                                                      72

 

 

            1              wanted some money we couldn't nothing to

 

            2              remodel our building downtown and finally,

 

            3              you know, the insurance wouldn't insurance

 

            4              is no more so they have torn it down, 7/11,

 

            5              when we had it, it was making like $100 a

 

            6              week taxes.  Now it's gone.  It's an empty

 

            7              lot.

 

            8                      You know, the money just goes to the

 

            9              money people, you know.  I keep mentioning

 

           10              that piece of property on Seventh and

 

           11              Lackawanna, I believe it belonged to -- I'm

 

           12              not sure at one time it belonged to 286

 

           13              Corporation.  That is the most senseless KOZ

 

           14              I have ever seen in my life, a prime piece

 

           15              of property like that and you people allow

 

           16              it to -- you know, I know you don't have

 

           17              nothing to do with it, what I'm up here for

 

           18              is because -- I don't even think there is

 

           19              anybody over KOZ anymore, but --

 

           20                      MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Ellman, thank you.

 

           21                      MR. ELLMAN: Let me just -- Mr. Burke

 

           22              is a representative of the city and he is

 

           23              advocating KOZ, that's why I'm up here

 

           24              against it.  Thank you.

 

           25                      MR. MCGOFF:  Thank you.  Chris.


 

 

                                                                      73

 

 

            1                      MR. SLEDENZSKI: Hello, Bill.

 

            2                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Hi, Chris.

 

            3                      MR. SLEDENZSKI: I'll pick it up a

 

            4              little bit, Bill.

 

            5                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Pick it up, Buddy,

 

            6              go ahead.

 

            7                      MS. SLEDENZSKI: Billy, next Saturday

 

            8              there's the parade down Scranton, next

 

            9              Saturday, not this Saturday, the 14th, so

 

           10              everybody come out and watch that bunch of

 

           11              kids.  Thank you.

 

           12                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Okay, Chris.

 

           13                      MS. KRAKE: Good evening, Council.

 

           14              My name is Nancy Krake, and some of the

 

           15              speakers had some things to say tonight and

 

           16              some of the council people and I guess I

 

           17              need to say the reason that I started coming

 

           18              here was the very beginning when Mayor

 

           19              Doherty, then Councilman Doherty, did his

 

           20              budget that eliminated a very large number

 

           21              of clerks and gave very large raises to

 

           22              people in his administration, $20,000

 

           23              raises, creations of $80,000 jobs and so

 

           24              forth.

 

           25                      At that time we also had a


 

 

                                                                      74

 

 

            1              referendum and the Scranton Times made it

 

            2              their business to do everything they could

 

            3              to put negative things about people in my

 

            4              union and all the unions and anyone that was

 

            5              opposed to the mayor's Recovery Plan in the

 

            6              newspaper, so this televised council

 

            7              meeting.  And the fact that it was televised

 

            8              in the beginning meant nothing to us anyway,

 

            9              we didn't know how many people were watching

 

           10              it, it was the only place we could get our

 

           11              side of the story out and we did, and we

 

           12              will continue to do that whether some people

 

           13              are happy with it or some people are not

 

           14              because the Scranton Times is continuing to

 

           15              do exactly what they have done for the mayor

 

           16              over the past nine years.  They have

 

           17              softened a little, but they are still doing

 

           18              the exact same thing.  A couple of different

 

           19              faces, but the same format.

 

           20                      I would also like to know, and I

 

           21              don't want an answer while I'm speaking, why

 

           22              we haven't gotten an answer from Stu Renda

 

           23              or Lisa Moran on the health care numbers in

 

           24              the budget.  It would have been nice to have

 

           25              had them since the budget was passed with


 

 

                                                                      75

 

 

            1              the same numbers as were used in the

 

            2              previous year, but apparently that was okay.

 

            3              I know in the past other council members

 

            4              have said they simply pick up the phone and

 

            5              the administration gives them answers, but I

 

            6              guess not in this case.

 

            7                      I would also like to know,

 

            8              apparently we have a contract with NCC, a

 

            9              current contract, and I was wondering if I

 

           10              missed the vote on that?  You can answer

 

           11              after I'm done, please.  I would also like

 

           12              to know since Mrs. Schumacher brought up

 

           13              some excellent points concerning Mrs.

 

           14              Schumacher and DCED, are we currently

 

           15              meeting with the Pennsylvania Economy League

 

           16              to format a new Recovery Plan.  If we are,

 

           17              who is representing council at those

 

           18              meetings, and I would like to have a copy of

 

           19              all of the minutes that's going on at those

 

           20              meetings.

 

           21                      And the Hatch Act, I would like to

 

           22              know after I speak if that affects anyone on

 

           23              council or their feelings as to why this

 

           24              shouldn't affect them.  I know we asked that

 

           25              before, but now this person is running for


 

 

                                                                      76

 

 

            1              council, previously they got the job after

 

            2              they were on council.

 

            3                      Also, 5-D, I would like to know

 

            4              exactly, Mr. McGoff, if you could answer

 

            5              when I'm finished, if you could please let

 

            6              me know what your understanding is of 5-D.

 

            7                      MR. MCGOFF: "D"?

 

            8                      MS. KRAKE: Yes, 5-D. I haven't -- I

 

            9              don't know how else to phrase that, I would

 

           10              like to know what your understanding is of

 

           11              this entire paragraph.  I thank you.

 

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

 

           13              Mr. Ancherani.

 

           14                      MR. ANCHERANI:  Good evening,

 

           15              Council.  Nelson Ancherani, First Amendment

 

           16              Rights.  Last week after audience

 

           17              participation and in motions, a motion was

 

           18              made and seconded to write a letter from

 

           19              council in support of State Representative

 

           20              Kevin Murphy's initiative limiting counties

 

           21              with Home Rule Charters to raising taxes

 

           22              above the 5 percent requiring a referendum.

 

           23              We all remember the 48 percent raise in

 

           24              taxes by the former county commissioners.

 

           25              Had there been a law in effect at that time,


 

 

                                                                      77

 

 

            1              the county taxpayers would not have been

 

            2              subjected to that 48 percent tax increase.

 

            3                      The writing of the letter of support

 

            4              of State Representative Kevin Murphy's

 

            5              initiative, was voted against by Mrs.

 

            6              Gatelli, Ms. Fanucci, and Mr. McGoff.

 

            7                      Those three, Ms. Gatelli, Ms.

 

            8              Fanucci and Mr. McGoff, voted against

 

            9              limiting taxes over 5 percent and requiring

 

           10              a referendum over the five.  You would think

 

           11              that they would have remembered getting hit

 

           12              with that 48 percent tax increase, but it

 

           13              really should not have surprised us.  Ms.

 

           14              Gatelli, Ms. Fanucci and Mr. McGoff are the

 

           15              same three that voted for the 25 percent tax

 

           16              increase in 2007 for city residents.  Why

 

           17              would they support limiting county taxes to

 

           18              increases 5 percent and requiring a

 

           19              referendum.  Voting -- vote over that 5

 

           20              percent when they face the possibility of

 

           21              raising the city taxes 25 percent for 2008

 

           22              and again in 2009.  Those three voted for

 

           23              the first 25 percent tax increase and had

 

           24              there not have been voiced opposition they

 

           25              probably would have been voting for the next


 

 

                                                                      78

 

 

            1              two 25 percent increases.

 

            2                      Don't forget, while we were hit with

 

            3              the 25 percent tax increase in 2007, money

 

            4              was accumulating in the secret account in

 

            5              the Single Tax Office and when found it was

 

            6              12.2 millions plus interest.  By the way,

 

            7              where is that audit report on that?

 

            8                      Last week I spoke about the

 

            9              long-term debt that is approximately

 

           10              $300 million.  The mayor is happy now

 

           11              because finally he has started to implement

 

           12              the Recovery Plan that he has said for years

 

           13              was needed to bring the city into fiscal

 

           14              responsibility.  He never mentions that the

 

           15              police and fire budgets have been static for

 

           16              the last seven years and the long-term debt

 

           17              went from 75 million in 2001 under the

 

           18              Connors' administration to $300 million in

 

           19              2009 and the present administration.

 

           20                      And again, the police and fire

 

           21              budgets remain static.  No extra money for

 

           22              the police and fire and for what I believe

 

           23              is punishment to the two departments because

 

           24              we won't get on our knees and beg.  Just

 

           25              think about it, by implementing the Recovery


 

 

                                                                      79

 

 

            1              Plan the city will save two million a year.

 

            2              Two million a year into the 300 million

 

            3              should take about 150 years to pay back.

 

            4              How many generations does that affect?

 

            5                      The mayor says health care is

 

            6              increased, yes, but it was him who fired the

 

            7              health care consultants who saved the city

 

            8              millions in the first year they are here.

 

            9              We have been told that health care costs

 

           10              have gone up.  Then why won't the city give

 

           11              out the figures to prove what they are

 

           12              saying?  I don't believe they have gone up

 

           13              what they say or they would show us those

 

           14              figures, that we have been asking for

 

           15              approximately the last five years.  It's

 

           16              like our own bills, we know what we pay for

 

           17              our bills.  How can the city say or deny

 

           18              giving those figures?  Come on, Stu, it is

 

           19              outrageous that you can't figure out how

 

           20              much we pay on health care.  Show us how you

 

           21              earned that $46,000 raise that equals

 

           22              $85,000 a year.

 

           23                      How about the green or black

 

           24              reflecting pond at Nay Aug where at least 56

 

           25              fish died, and the reason being that was no


 

 

                                                                      80

 

 

            1              equipment aerator or floater, I'm not sure

 

            2              what it was, to keep the water circulating

 

            3              to prevent freezing.  The cost for that pool

 

            4              was 1.2 million.  You mean to tell us that

 

            5              they could not afford the equipment to keep

 

            6              the fish from freezing?  Pennywise and

 

            7              dollar foolish.  A couple of hundreds for

 

            8              the equipment as opposed to $300 million

 

            9              long-term debt.  Thank you.

 

           10                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr.

 

           11              Ancherani.  Anyone else?  Mrs. Gatelli?

 

           12                      MS. GATELLI:  I just have a few

 

           13              things, it's interesting that Mr. Ancherani

 

           14              talks about health care costs because where

 

           15              I work we can't find out those numbers

 

           16              either.  It's ten years we are trying to

 

           17              find out and we are never given the numbers

 

           18              either, so it must be a big dark secret with

 

           19              everybody.  I know some retirees were at the

 

           20              last union meeting complaining that their

 

           21              out-of-pocket costs is $18,000 and no health

 

           22              care for the retirees, so it's an exorbitant

 

           23              amount, I'm sure, but we can't get those

 

           24              numbers either.

 

           25                      I felt badly about the pictures that


 

 

                                                                      81

 

 

            1              the woman sent about the fish dying.  I have

 

            2              a fondness for fish because I also have a

 

            3              pond and there must be something to that

 

            4              because my fish all died, too, and I have

 

            5              had them for 15 years and every one of them

 

            6              is dead, so I don't know if there is

 

            7              something that maybe went around or if we

 

            8              investigate it maybe there is some disease,

 

            9              but I never had a problem before and all 12

 

           10              of my fish are dead, too, in my pond, so I

 

           11              don't know if there is anything

 

           12              coincidental, but I was quite upset about

 

           13              it, too.

 

           14                      John McGovern, I spoke to him this

 

           15              afternoon, he is meeting with the Treasury

 

           16              Department tomorrow to go over the audit.

 

           17              They wanted to digest it for a week to see

 

           18              if there are any problems with the audit

 

           19              from the State's perspective and they are

 

           20              meeting tomorrow, and then he will let me

 

           21              know what the results of that meeting were.

 

           22                      As far as, you know, people talking

 

           23              about parking tickets, I looked up the

 

           24              parking tickets myself and there are other

 

           25              people that have been excused from parking


 

 

                                                                      82

 

 

            1              tickets, so if people want to look on it

 

            2              themselves, I'm sure you all know what the

 

            3              website is, they seem to be picking on

 

            4              Mr. Minora and Mrs. Fanucci, but I found

 

            5              several other council members that had

 

            6              parking tickets dismissed, so I wish that

 

            7              when you look up your facts you would look

 

            8              everyone so that we get the right report.

 

            9              It seems like there is only certain people

 

           10              that are reported about when it comes to

 

           11              things like that.

 

           12                      And also, criminal records, you can

 

           13              look up criminal records on that portal,

 

           14              also, and there are some candidates running

 

           15              for office that have criminal records and I

 

           16              think that it's incumbent upon the

 

           17              newspapers to bring those items forward to

 

           18              know exactly who you are voting for in the

 

           19              election.

 

           20                      The legislation from last week, I

 

           21              would have been happy to vote for it if I

 

           22              was presented with something written.  There

 

           23              was nothing written.  We were asked to vote

 

           24              on something that wasn't even written yet.

 

           25              There was no house bill.  As I stated last


 

 

                                                                      83

 

 

            1              week, there are many times when we support

 

            2              house bills that are brought forth in

 

            3              Harrisburg, but this wasn't even brought

 

            4              forth yet.  We were asked to be voting

 

            5              blindly for something.  Dunmore didn't vote

 

            6              on it either, and I know that the county was

 

            7              not in favor of it and they said that the

 

            8              Home Rule Charter communities would not be

 

            9              affected, but the attorney that I spoke to

 

           10              said there are 71 Home Rule Charters in

 

           11              Pennsylvania and, yes, they would be

 

           12              affected.

 

           13                      So I don't think that enough study

 

           14              was done on the issue and if it goes through

 

           15              with Mr. Murphy I certainly would look at it

 

           16              when it's presented as a house bill mand I

 

           17              would not be adverse to voting for it once

 

           18              it became a house bill, but that was my

 

           19              reason for voting, no.

 

           20                      As far as the name calling and the

 

           21              mean spiritedness, I don't think that's ever

 

           22              going to stop.  I think that lot of the

 

           23              animosity is because there are no contracts

 

           24              for the union workers, and I don't

 

           25              understand why they feel that way because


 

 

                                                                      84

 

 

            1              everyone up here would love to see them have

 

            2              a contract.

 

            3                      I know that you say, well, you know,

 

            4              stop the mayor or stop doing everything,

 

            5              well, there was a different majority sitting

 

            6              up here, there were three votes up here and

 

            7              they didn't stop business.  Go back and look

 

            8              at the record.  When they had the

 

            9              opportunity to stop the mayor they didn't

 

           10              stop him either because you can't.  You

 

           11              can't stop the city from moving.  We are for

 

           12              you, whatever we can do to expedite it, you

 

           13              know that we have talked to the mayor about

 

           14              it, and from what I understand it was DCED.

 

           15              I know he called me personally in December

 

           16              and said, "We have a contract."

 

           17                      He also talked to me about some of

 

           18              the amounts of the raises that were included

 

           19              in the police contracts because he wanted to

 

           20              know what we got in our contract in the

 

           21              school district, so I was involved in

 

           22              advising the mayor and encouraging the mayor

 

           23              to support the union contracts.  That was

 

           24              always my stance and it will remain my

 

           25              stance.


 

 

                                                                      85

 

 

            1                      So if you want to call me names

 

            2              that's fine, but it's not going to change my

 

            3              attitude.  I want my firehouse on Gibbons

 

            4              Street.  I fought for that firehouse with

 

            5              Jimmy Connors, so I don't want my firehouse

 

            6              to close and, yes, I will still fight for

 

            7              that firehouse because I believe it's needed

 

            8              there, and I'm sure everyone up here feels

 

            9              the same way, we all want contracts.  So if

 

           10              you know any other way for us to get them

 

           11              just let us know because we are in your

 

           12              corner even though you don't think we are.

 

           13              And that's all I have.  Thank you.

 

           14                      MR. MCGOFF:  Thank you.  Mrs.

 

           15              Fanucci.

 

           16                      MS. FANUCCI: I'd love to talk about

 

           17              city business, but I guess I'll just talk

 

           18              about all of the things that have been

 

           19              addressed towards me so far tonight which I

 

           20              have to say is not a shocker to anyone.  The

 

           21              Hatchet Act, I can say that before I took

 

           22              the job with the governor I had checked into

 

           23              that thoroughly on whether the Hatchet Act

 

           24              applied to me or not.  It did not.  So I did

 

           25              look into that before I accepted the


 

 

                                                                      86

 

 

            1              position.  I certainly will reinvestigate

 

            2              that for you and let you know what the

 

            3              outcome is, but from what I remember we had

 

            4              the same issue when someone else who was on

 

            5              the school board and it was overturned after

 

            6              even a lawsuit was filed and it ended up to

 

            7              be another frivolous lawsuit from what I

 

            8              recall, but I will look into it again.

 

            9                      I want to thank everyone for doing

 

           10              exactly what we knew you would do.  Friends

 

           11              do stick together and it is very apparent in

 

           12              this room.  Funny how open government and

 

           13              the right to do the right thing doesn't

 

           14              apply when it's turned.  You know, to have a

 

           15              president of the Taxpayers' Association

 

           16              actually get up and say it's okay, it's okay

 

           17              to not pay your taxes is I don't think a

 

           18              surprise to anyone out there watching.

 

           19                      The silent majority still deserves

 

           20              representation in this room.  We had someone

 

           21              come here again tonight, speak again, and on

 

           22              the way she was actually heckled by one of

 

           23              the regulars.  Yes.  Yes, it was you.

 

           24                      MS. HUBBARD: She only comes at

 

           25              election time.


 

 

                                                                      87

 

 

            1                      MS. FANUCCI:  It doesn't matter when

 

            2              she comes.  It's her forum, too.  It doesn't

 

            3              matter.  Just because the ten people come

 

            4              here all the time they think it's their

 

            5              room.  They believe they are representing

 

            6              you, and if you think like them that's okay,

 

            7              but for those who don't, don't let this be

 

            8              how it should be represented as your

 

            9              business, your city meetings.  You are

 

           10              letting this happen on a daily basis, on a

 

           11              weekly basis.  You want You Tube to

 

           12              represent your city?  This is is not what

 

           13              this forum is meant to be.  You believe it's

 

           14              your forum, and I believe it's your forum,

 

           15              too, but it is not only your voice.  It is

 

           16              not only your voice.

 

           17                      And it is my right at a city council

 

           18              person to represent the other people who are

 

           19              out there, who don't spend every Tuesday

 

           20              night sitting in this audience.  Who are

 

           21              working, who are making sure that they are

 

           22              living their live, who are working three

 

           23              jobs to try to make sure their kids have

 

           24              shoes on their feet.  They still need

 

           25              representation, and I'm going to do it and


 

 

                                                                      88

 

 

            1              whether or not you like how I do it or

 

            2              whether or not you agree, you are not going

 

            3              to agree because you have been not working

 

            4              with anyone except for one person since the

 

            5              day you walked in this room.  That's okay.

 

            6              That's what friends do, and you are very

 

            7              loyal friends and no one will ever question

 

            8              that.

 

            9                      But, on the other hand, there are

 

           10              still many people out there who deserve to

 

           11              be heard and represented and that's who I

 

           12              represent.  I represent them and I can't

 

           13              represent everyone at the same time.  I

 

           14              represent people who call me and tell me how

 

           15              they feel.  So, yes, I did out someone for

 

           16              not paying their taxes, someone who has held

 

           17              themselves in high regard and now I'm being

 

           18              sued, and I want to apologize to the

 

           19              taxpayers that they have to pay for another

 

           20              lawsuit by this person, but that seems to be

 

           21              what you are doing, you are incurring all

 

           22              these expenses constantly anyway, and I do

 

           23              want to apologize for you, but I feel I'm

 

           24              doing the right thing, and all you have to

 

           25              do and anyone has to do is, you know, take


 

 

                                                                      89

 

 

            1              care of your taxes if you can.  If not you

 

            2              call.  I said this before, a call can be

 

            3              made and you can actually setup payments.

 

            4              That is good thing to do.  If you are having

 

            5              problems, please try to call so that we can

 

            6              help you.  No one is looking to put anyone

 

            7              under, but don't ignore your problems

 

            8              because they will not go away.

 

            9                      I also want to speak on another

 

           10              thing about Mr. Murphy -- Representative

 

           11              Murphy's legislation and how I am being

 

           12              chastised for not voting on something that

 

           13              isn't even written.  Amazing.  Let's vote on

 

           14              it now, let them write it, then come back

 

           15              and see how it works out.  No.  That's

 

           16              putting the cart before the horse.  They are

 

           17              out there, that's their job.  Let them write

 

           18              the legislation then come back.  How can you

 

           19              expect someone to vote on something they

 

           20              have no clue about and support it when it's

 

           21              not even in black and white is amazing to

 

           22              me.  It is exactly what should not be done

 

           23              in these chambers.  So, no, I stand behind

 

           24              that.  I stand behind that.

 

           25                      Does that mean I don't believe that


 

 

                                                                      90

 

 

            1              we should not, you know, I'm against, you

 

            2              know, putting a cap on taxes?  No.  It means

 

            3              you do it the right way.  That's what we are

 

            4              here for to do things the right way, and

 

            5              it's not always popular, but I'm certainly

 

            6              not going to vote on something that I can't

 

            7              see and let them go write and come back and

 

            8              say, "Hey, this is what we voted on.  Isn't

 

            9              that great?"

 

           10                      Yeah.  No.  So I will stand behind

 

           11              that decision and that is all I have.  Thank

 

           12              you.

 

           13                      MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Courtright.

 

           14                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.  Kay, if you

 

           15              can send this to Licensing and Inspection

 

           16              for me, and I got a letter from someone that

 

           17              they had a concern about vehicles at the

 

           18              intersection of my Mylert Avenue and

 

           19              Electric Street, and they said they called

 

           20              the police on it, but the police told them

 

           21              that they couldn't do anything about it

 

           22              because it's on private property so maybe

 

           23              the inspection can go out there and take a

 

           24              look at what they are saying, the vehicles

 

           25              are aren't licensed and inspected.


 

 

                                                                      91

 

 

            1                      I can't believe I'm going to talk

 

            2              about this, but I'm going to talk about

 

            3              parking tickets because everybody keeps

 

            4              talking about parking tickets.  You know,

 

            5              when we first got on council they give me a

 

            6              thing that looks like a license plate that

 

            7              allowed me to park out front here when I had

 

            8              to come in and do my business, and things

 

            9              got heated during the election and the last

 

           10              mayor and they started ticketing me, right?

 

           11              So I stopped parking there and I paid the

 

           12              tickets, but then we were supposed to get a

 

           13              spot in the back so that if we wanted to run

 

           14              in here and do city business and that never

 

           15              materialized so they gave me a different

 

           16              thing and told me to park at a meter, but I

 

           17              still got ticketed.

 

           18                      And so when I went to the parking

 

           19              authority and said, you know, this was given

 

           20              to me by the Director of Public Safety they

 

           21              didn't care.  They wouldn't fix my ticket.

 

           22              So I haven't gotten any tickets fixed and if

 

           23              you could tell me to how to do that --

 

           24                      MS. FANUCCI:  I would love to know

 

           25              myself.


 

 

                                                                      92

 

 

            1                      MR. COURTRIGHT: -- I would be happy

 

            2              to get mine fixed because I have had to pay

 

            3              over $100 in parking.  Well over $100, Mrs

 

            4              Krake can tell you, I have to come in here

 

            5              with my ten bucks because they charge me

 

            6              more if I don't pay it soon enough, so I

 

            7              don't know how you get them fixed, but if

 

            8              somebody wants to enlighten me to that I'd

 

            9              like to get mine fixed, and that's all I

 

           10              have.  Thank you.

 

           11                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you,

 

           12              Mr. Courtright.  I just want to mention that

 

           13              I was present at I think it was, I'll say,

 

           14              the dedication of the announcement of

 

           15              renovations at Friendship House for the

 

           16              creation of a regional autism center.  They

 

           17              are making renovations to an existing

 

           18              building that will become a center for

 

           19              treating and educating children with autism.

 

           20              It was a wonderful event.  The people that

 

           21              spoke and were there were enthusiastic about

 

           22              hat was taking place at Friendship House as

 

           23              far as the autism center was concerned and

 

           24              it was really uplifting to be in the

 

           25              presence of some of the parents and actual


 

 

                                                                      93

 

 

            1              children that would benefit from this

 

            2              center.  So, you know, that a good thing is

 

            3              happening at Friendship House at this time.

 

            4                      As far as Mrs. Krake asked for an

 

            5              understanding of 5-D, perhaps I'll just wait

 

            6              to provide the information when we get to

 

            7              the legislation itself.  Thank you.

 

            8                      MS. GARVEY: 5-B. FOR INTRODUCTION -

 

            9              A RESOLUTION - AMENDING RESOLUTION NO. 55,

 

           10              2008 ENTITLED " A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE

 

           11              MAYOR AND OTHER APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS

 

           12              TO APPLY FOR AN EXECUTE A GRANT FOR HOUSING

 

           13              AND REDEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE (HRA) IN THE

 

           14              AMOUNT OF FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS

 

           15              $500,000.00 THROUGH THE COMMONWEALTH OF

 

           16              PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY AND

 

           17              ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (DCED); AND IF THE

 

           18              APPLICATION IS SUCCESSFUL TO COORDINATE THE

 

           19              USE OF THE GRANT FUNDS FOR THE PROJECT TO BE

 

           20              NAMED AS THE "CONNELL BUILDING" WITH

 

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

 

           22              ITS DESIGNEE TO REFLECT THE CHANGE OF THE

 

           23              DEVELOPER AND RECIPIENT OF THE GRANT FROM

 

           24              JEFFERSON-WERNER, LLC TO SCRANTON-CONNELL,

 

           25              LP.


 

 

                                                                      94

 

 

            1                      MR. MCGOFF:  At this time I'll

 

            2              entertain a motion that Item 5-B be

 

            3              introduced into it's proper committee.

 

            4                      MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.

 

            5                      MS. FANUCCI:  Second.

 

            6                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  All

 

            7              those in favor of introduction signify by

 

            8              saying aye.

 

            9                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.

 

           10                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.

 

           11                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.

 

           12                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?  The

 

           13              ayes have it and so moved.

 

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

 

           15              A RESOLUTION - AMENDING RESOLUTION NO. 56,

 

           16              2008 ENTITLED "A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE

 

           17              MAYOR AND OTHER APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS

 

           18              TO APPLY FOR AND EXECUTE A GRANT APPLICATION

 

           19              FOR MIXED USE FACILITY FINANCING INITIATIVE

 

           20              (MUFFI) IN THE AMOUNT OF ONE MILLION DOLLARS

 

           21              $1,000,000.00 THROUGH THE PENNSYLVANIA

 

           22              HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY (PHFA); ACCEPTING AND

 

           23              DISBURSING THE GRANT IF THE APPLICATION IS

 

           24              SUCCESSFUL; AND TO COORDINATE THE USE OF THE

 

           25              GRANT FUNDS WITH "JEFFERSON-WERNER, LLC",


 

 

                                                                      95

 

 

            1              THE DEVELOPER, OR ITS DESIGNEE FOR THE

 

            2              PROJECT NAMED AS "THE CONNELL BUILDING," TO

 

            3              REFLECT THE CHANGE OF THE DEVELOPER AND

 

            4              RECIPIENT OF THE GRANT FROM

 

            5              JEFFERSON-WERNER, LLC TO SCRANTON-CONNELL,

 

            6              LP.

 

            7                      MR. MCGOFF:  At this time I'll

 

            8              entertain a motion that Item 5-C be

 

            9              introduced into it's proper committee.

 

           10                      MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.

 

           11                      MS. FANUCCI:  Second.

 

           12                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  All

 

           13              those in favor of introduction signify by

 

           14              saying aye.

 

           15                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.

 

           16                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.

 

           17                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.

 

           18                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?  The

 

           19              ayes have it and so moved.

 

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

 

           21              A RESOLUTION - AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND

 

           22              OTHER APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS FOR THE

 

           23              CITY OF SCRANTON TO ENTER INTO A

 

           24              SUBORDINATION AGREEMENT TO SUBORDINATE ITS

 

           25              RECORDED MORTGAGE DATED MAY 27, 2004 IN THE


 

 

                                                                      96

 

 

            1              PRINCIPAL AMOUNT OF $250,000.00, SECURED

 

            2              UPON PROPERTIES LOCATED IN THE CITY OF

 

            3              SCRANTON MORE COMMONLY KNOWN AS 119

 

            4              JEFFERSON AVENUE AND 617-619 LACKAWANNA

 

            5              AVENUE, TO A MORTGAGE IN THE AMOUNT OF

 

            6              $1,850,000.00 THAT 119 JEFFERSON ASSOCIATES,

 

            7              LLC INTENDS TO GRANT ON SAID PROPERTY TO

 

            8              PENN SECURITY BANK AND TRUST COMPANY.

 

            9                      MR. MCGOFF: At this time I'll

 

           10              entertain a motion that Item 5-D be

 

           11              introduced into it's proper committee.

 

           12                      MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.

 

           13                      MS. FANUCCI: Second.

 

           14                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?

 

           15                      MR. COURTRIGHT: On the question,

 

           16              before you read that, Mr. McGoff, I'm going

 

           17              to vote to introduce it because it's just an

 

           18              introduction, but I see the Lori Reed is the

 

           19              one handling this and I have some questions

 

           20              for her, so I'll call her this week before

 

           21              we have the final vote on it.  I believe

 

           22              this is the old Bee Witching; correct?

 

           23                      MS. GATELLI: Yes, and it's the same

 

           24              amount as before.  What he is borrowing is

 

           25              $850,000 more on his own.


 

 

                                                                      97

 

 

            1                      MR. COURTRIGHT: 850; right?

 

            2                      MS. FANUCCI:  But on his own.

 

            3                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  But we are going to

 

            4              be second to that again.

 

            5                      MS. GATELLI:  We are always second.

 

            6                      MS. FANUCCI: We're always second.

 

            7                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I mean, an

 

            8              additional 850; right?

 

            9                      MS. GARVEY: Right.  Lori explained

 

           10              that you were second before -- behind his

 

           11              loan of $1 million.

 

           12                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Now we're behind

 

           13              850.

 

           14                      MS. GARVEY: Now we are behind

 

           15              $1,850,000.

 

           16                      MS. GATELLI:  But we are in the same

 

           17              position as before, and it's the same amount

 

           18              that was approved before.

 

           19                      MS. GARVEY:  Yes, nothing was

 

           20              changed with the city's loan, this is just

 

           21              he is taking out more money.

 

           22                      MS. GATELLI:  This was approved in

 

           23              2004.

 

           24                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Right.  This is

 

           25              that bar that's coming in down there;


 

 

                                                                      98

 

 

            1              correct?

 

            2                      MS. GATELLI: Kildaire's.

 

            3                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay.

 

            4                      MS. GATELLI: It doesn't change our

 

            5              commitment at all.  It's the same amount,

 

            6              same position.

 

            7                      MR. MCGOFF: So I guess they don't

 

            8              have to read this.

 

            9                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Sorry.

 

           10                      MR. MCGOFF: That's quite all right.

 

           11              Saved me some time.  Anyone else on the

 

           12              question?  All those in favor of

 

           13              introduction signify by saying aye.

 

           14                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.

 

           15                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.

 

           16                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.

 

           17                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?  The

 

           18              ayes have it and so moved.

 

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

 

           20              A RESOLUTION - AUTHORIZE THE CITY OF

 

           21              SCRANTON TO MAKE APPLICATION TO THE

 

           22              COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF

 

           23              TRANSPORTATION FOR A PERMIT TO INSTALL AND

 

           24              OPERATE A TRAFFIC SIGNAL AT THE INTERSECTION

 

           25              OF WEST LINDEN STREET (S.R. 3020) AND NORTH


 

 

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            1              EIGHTH AVENUE/MAIN ACCESS AT THE MOUNT

 

            2              PLEASANT CORPORATE CENTER.

 

            3                      MR. MCGOFF:  At this time I'll

 

            4              entertain a motion that Item 5-E be

 

            5              introduced into it's proper committee.

 

            6                      MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.

 

            7                      MS. FANUCCI:  Second.

 

            8                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  All

 

            9              those in favor of introduction signify by

 

           10              saying aye.

 

           11                      MS. GATELLI:  I have a question

 

           12              before you start, please.  I'm sorry, I

 

           13              didn't interrupt you quick enough.  Where is

 

           14              this light going to be?  There is light on

 

           15              Linden by the credit union, where would this

 

           16              be?

 

           17                      MR. MCGOFF: I think it would be up

 

           18              the block.  That's on 7th I believe.

 

           19                      MR. MINORA:  I was looking at the

 

           20              map.  The present light is on 7th.

 

           21                      MS. GATELLI: Before you get to the

 

           22              bridge?

 

           23                      MR. MINORA: No.

 

           24                      MS. GATELLI:  Or above the bridge?

 

           25                      MR. MINORA:  Above the bridge, above


 

 

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            1              where Scranton Cinderblock was.  That's

 

            2              Eight --

 

            3                      MS. GATELLI: Because when you go up

 

            4              Linden you go over that little bridge and

 

            5              then is that 8th right at the top of the

 

            6              bridge?

 

            7                      MR. MINORA:  No.

 

            8                      MS. GATELLI:  Because above that is

 

            9              Cabrini.

 

           10                      MR. MINORA: Eighth Avenue is the

 

           11              next block up and it's not -- it's before

 

           12              the bridge, there is really no road there, I

 

           13              mean, it's blocked off by the Lackawanna

 

           14              Avenue bridge complex going into west side.

 

           15              It's a block, but it's only a block or two

 

           16              long, so evidently this is going to extend

 

           17              that into the property, so Eighth Avenue

 

           18              then can go into that proposed property.

 

           19                      MS. GATELLI: So you will be able to

 

           20              go into the property from up higher?

 

           21                      MR. MCGOFF: Yes.

 

           22                      MR. MINORA:  A block up from the

 

           23              present light, yes.

 

           24                      MS. GATELLI: And my other question

 

           25              is why are we approving this when we didn't


 

 

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            1              approve the KOZ yet?

 

            2                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I think they are

 

            3              going to go through with it whether we

 

            4              approve the KOZ.  I think they are going to

 

            5              go through with the project.  That's just my

 

            6              thought anyway.

 

            7                      MS. GATELLI:  That's all the

 

            8              questions I have.

 

            9                      MR. MCGOFF:  All those in favor of

 

           10              introduction signify by saying aye.

 

           11                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.

 

           12                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.

 

           13                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?

 

           14                      MS. GATELLI: No.

 

           15                      MR. MCGOFF: The ayes have it and so

 

           16              moved.

 

           17                      MS. GARVEY: SIXTH ORDER.  NO

 

           18              BUSINESS AT THIS TIME.  SEVENTH ORDER.  NO

 

           19              BUSINESS AT THIS TIME.

 

           20                      MR. MCGOFF: I'll entertain a motion

 

           21              to adjourn.

 

           22                      MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.

 

           23                      MR. MCGOFF:  Thank you.

 

           24

 

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            6                     C E R T I F I C A T E

 

            7

 

            8        I hereby certify that the proceedings and

 

            9   evidence are contained fully and accurately in the

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

           13   ability.

 

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                                    CATHENE S. NARDOZZI, RPR

           17                       OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER

 

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