1 SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING
7 Tuesday, March 3, 2009
10 Council Chambers
11 Scranton City Hall
12 340 North Washington Avenue
13 Scranton, Pennsylvania
CATHENE S. NARDOZZI, RPR - OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
2 CITY OF SCRANTON COUNCIL:
MR. ROBERT MCGOFF, PRESIDENT
6 MS. JUDY GATELLI, VICE-PRESIDENT
MS. JANET E. EVANS (Not present)
9 MS. SHERRY FANUCCI
MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT
12 MS. KAY GARVEY, CITY CLERK
MR. NEIL COOLICAN, ASSISTANT CITY CLERK
15 MR. AMIL MINORA, SOLICITOR
1 (Pledge of Allegiance and moment of reflection
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
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
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
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
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
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
25 . And just one more thing, I was
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.
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
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 --
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
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.
1 MR. SPINDLER: My facts are
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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.
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
20 MS. FANUCCI: Yeah, besides Kevin who
21 else was supporting this, who is behind
23 MR. QUINN: There is all kinds of
25 MS. FANUCCI: No, I know the bills,
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.
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
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'
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
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
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
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
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.
24 MR. MCGOFF: Mrs. Fanucci, please let
25 him finish.
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
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
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
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
1 yellow dumpsters all over the city.
2 MS. FANUCCI: I don't know that.
3 MS. SUETTA: Do they have permits to
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
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
25 MS. FANUCCI: Yeah.
1 MS. SUETTA: Don't speak up too
2 many, you know. What could be done about
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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?
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
24 MS. ROYCE: Hi. Good evening.
25 Bernie Royce, West Scranton. Over the
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
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
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
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
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
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'
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
23 MR. JACKOWITZ: So I'm asking you,
24 maybe Mr. Burton can answer that question.
25 MR. MCGOFF: Marie Schumacher.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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;
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
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,
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
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 --
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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?
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
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.
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
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
25 MS. FANUCCI: I think it costs too
1 much, is that what you said?
2 MS. HUBBARD: Wait, wait, wait.
3 Where did you get the name that you
5 MS. FANUCCI: I didn't publish
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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.
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
25 At that time we also had a
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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,
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",
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,
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
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.
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
14 MS. GARVEY: Now we are behind
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
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: Right. This is
25 that bar that's coming in down there;
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
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
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
23 MR. MINORA: No.
24 MS. GATELLI: Or above the bridge?
25 MR. MINORA: Above the bridge, above
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
7 MR. MINORA: No.
8 MS. GATELLI: Because above that is
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
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
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.
6 C E R T I F I C A T E
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
CATHENE S. NARDOZZI, RPR
17 OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER