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             1             SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING

 

             2

 

             3

 

             4

 

             5                         HELD:

 

             6

 

             7                  Tuesday, April 7, 2009

 

             8

 

             9                       LOCATION:

 

            10                   Council Chambers

 

            11                Scranton City Hall

 

            12             340 North Washington Avenue

 

            13               Scranton, Pennsylvania

 

            14

 

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            23

                    CATHENE S. NARDOZZI, RPR - OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER

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             1

 

             2  CITY OF SCRANTON COUNCIL:

 

             3

 

             4

                MR. ROBERT MCGOFF, PRESIDENT

             5

 

             6  MS. JUDY GATELLI, VICE-PRESIDENT

                (Not present.)

             7

                MS. JANET E. EVANS

             8

 

             9  MS. SHERRY FANUCCI

 

            10

                MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT

            11

 

            12  MS. KAY GARVEY, CITY CLERK

 

            13

                MR. NEIL COOLICAN, ASSISTANT CITY CLERK

            14

 

            15  MR. AMIL MINORA, SOLICITOR

 

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             1  (Pledge of Allegiance recited and moment of reflection

 

             2  observed.)

 

             3                     MR. MCGOFF:  Roll call, please?

 

             4                     MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.

 

             5                     MS. EVANS:  Here.

 

             6                     MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Gatelli.  Ms.

 

             7             Fanucci.

 

             8                     MS. FANUCCI:  Here.

 

             9                     MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.

 

            10                     MR. COURTRIGHT:  Here.

 

            11                     MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.

 

            12                     MR. MCGOFF:  Here.  Let the record

 

            13             reflect that Mrs. Gatelli is in New York

 

            14             with her husband for medical reasons.  She

 

            15             had asked that we move the meeting, but

 

            16             there was no other night that was convenient

 

            17             for other council members, so she will be

 

            18             unable to attend.  We have a proclamation to

 

            19             present.

 

            20                     MS. EVANS: Well, Brian, it's with

 

            21             great pleasure that I'm going to present

 

            22             this to you, tonight.  I'm so proud of you

 

            23             and I have been for several years, but you

 

            24             really embody what the Scranton School

 

            25             District is all about.  You are the best of


 

 

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             1             us.

 

             2                     "WHEREAS, the COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF

 

             3             SCRANTON is desirous of honoring "BRIAN

 

             4             SHOENER" for his many social and academic

 

             5             achievements; and.

 

             6                     WHEREAS, "BRIAN" is the Class

 

             7             Valedictorian of the Scranton High School

 

             8             Class of 20098 a member of the National

 

             9             Honor Society, Captain of the Scholastic

 

            10             Bowl Team, a National Merit Commended

 

            11             Student and Scranton High School's Scholar

 

            12             of the Year; and.

 

            13                     WHEREAS, "BRIAN" President of the

 

            14             School Orchestra has studied piano for 15

 

            15             years being a Paderewski medal recipient,

 

            16             performed in Carnegie Hall in addition to

 

            17             having an original composition performed at

 

            18             Yale University. "BRIAN" also studied the

 

            19             cello for 4 years; and.

 

            20                     WHEREAS, "BRIAN" is a member of the

 

            21             Hickory Street Presbyterian Youth Group, a

 

            22             member of the Board of Council and performed

 

            23             service time on the Lakota Indian

 

            24             Reservation in Montana assisting in

 

            25             rebuilding parts of the church; and.


 

 

                                                                       5

 

 

             1                     WHEREAS, "BRIAN" a Jack Kent Cooke

 

             2             Young Scholar is a recipient of the Jack

 

             3             Kent Cooke College Scholarship given to only

 

             4             30 students across the country which

 

             5             entitles him to a full scholarship to a

 

             6             college of his choice where he plans to

 

             7             study Civil Engineering; and.

 

             8                     WHEREAS, "BRIAN" has been accepted

 

             9             at Bucknell University, MIT, Carnegie Mellon

 

            10             University, Lehigh University and Cornell

 

            11             University; and.

 

            12                     WHEREAS, "BRIAN" is the son of Susan

 

            13             and Darwin Shoener, of Scranton;

 

            14                     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that

 

            15             on Tuesday, April 7, 2009, Scranton City

 

            16             Council wishes to congratulate "BRIAN

 

            17             SHOENER", and his parents, on his

 

            18             outstanding achievements and extend our best

 

            19             wishes for success in all his future

 

            20             endeavors.

 

            21                     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this

 

            22             Proclamation be made a permanent part of the

 

            23             Minutes of the Council, as lasting tribute

 

            24             to "BRIAN SHOENER".

 

            25                     MS. EVANS: It is truly wonderful to


 

 

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             1             present a proclamation to a young man for

 

             2             academic and humanitarian achievement

 

             3             outside of athletic achievement.  They, too,

 

             4             are noteworthy, but all too often I think

 

             5             the public disregards what is also very,

 

             6             very important and I'm sure he will be a

 

             7             leader of his community in the future.

 

             8             Brian, would you like to say something?

 

             9                     MR. SHOENER: No.

 

            10                     MR. MCGOFF:  Third order, Mrs.

 

            11             Garvey.

 

            12                     MS. GARVEY: 3-A.  CITY OF SCRANTON,

 

            13             ANNUAL FINANCIAL REPORT FOR THE YEAR ENDED

 

            14             DECEMBER 31, 2008.

 

            15                     MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?

 

            16             If not, received and filed.

 

            17                     MS. GARVEY: That's it for Third

 

            18             Order.

 

            19                     MR. MCGOFF: Prior to citizens'

 

            20             participation just a number of things that

 

            21             I'd like to announce that speakers have

 

            22             brought up in the past, so that if anyone

 

            23             would care to comment during civic

 

            24             participation they may.  The first had to do

 

            25             with the meeting with Judge Minora


 

 

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             1             concerning the Tripp Park development and

 

             2             his order on and the stopping of or the stay

 

             3             of permits, building permits in that area.

 

             4             At this meeting attended by the attorneys

 

             5             for both sides in the suit and also by

 

             6             members of the city, what was finally

 

             7             decided was that because there were some

 

             8             issues that Judge Minora had not considered

 

             9             and were announced or enunciated during that

 

            10             meeting he asked that a proposal be drawn up

 

            11             by the attorneys that they could agree to

 

            12             that would set some guidelines for areas of

 

            13             concern and that once this proposal was

 

            14             drawn up and agreed to by the attorneys it

 

            15             would then be signed by Attorney Minora --

 

            16             or by Judge Minora, excuse me, and this

 

            17             would be done hopefully the date set for it

 

            18             was May 8.

 

            19                     All of the parties were amenable to

 

            20             that and it seemed to -- and the meeting

 

            21             ended with that with the proposals being

 

            22             sent out by May 1 and then May 8 became the

 

            23             time when it would be his -- Judge Minora's

 

            24             decision would be then amended according to

 

            25             those proposals.


 

 

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             1                     The second thing, we did receive --

 

             2             some people had been asking about the North

 

             3             Scranton Junior High School and what was

 

             4             taking place there.  We did receive a letter

 

             5             from Mr. Langan that answered three things:

 

             6             It said, "Be advised that the gate in front

 

             7             of the building was damaged three different

 

             8             times by automobiles running into the gate.

 

             9             It was fixed once, we were in the process of

 

            10             fixing it a second time when it was hit

 

            11             again."

 

            12                     They are now in the process of

 

            13             securing bids to fix it and it will be fixed

 

            14             very shortly.  Until it is fixed, anyone

 

            15             interested in visiting the Veteran's

 

            16             memorial can access this from the Theodore

 

            17             Street entrance.  The second thing was the

 

            18             North Scranton project is being done in two

 

            19             stages, stage one is the completion of the

 

            20             auditorium which will also include

 

            21             replacement of windows on all sides of

 

            22             building.  Stage two will take place while

 

            23             stage one is being completed, and that will

 

            24             be the development of housing that is

 

            25             similar to the housing that exists now in


 

 

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             1             South Scranton.  This should take -- it says

 

             2             this should take one year from the start

 

             3             date to the completion, and also the last

 

             4             thing, "Please be advised that our building

 

             5             is checked twice a week to assure no

 

             6             homeless people have taken up residency.

 

             7             Also, residents living near the school call

 

             8             to report any problems and they are

 

             9             addressed immediately."

 

            10                     So, that for those people who had

 

            11             questions about the Goodwill building and

 

            12             dealing with Scranton Junior High those are

 

            13             the responses.

 

            14                     The last thing brought up last week

 

            15             about pipe lines being placed on Meadow

 

            16             Avenue.  Mrs. Gatelli did do some research

 

            17             into that and found that they are gas lines

 

            18             that are being placed that will connect from

 

            19             I'll get the -- whatever, was it the

 

            20             Alliance Landfill?

 

            21                     MS. FANUCCI: Yes.

 

            22                     MR. MCGOFF: From the Alliance

 

            23             Landfill to the Cogen plant in Archbald.

 

            24             They are designed to carry methane gas from

 

            25             the landfill to the Cogen plant where it is


 

 

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             1             then somehow transformed to electricity or

 

             2             use of energy.  The methane lines that will

 

             3             be -- although, they may be a little bit

 

             4             larger, they are -- it's the same type of

 

             5             line that is now in existence from the

 

             6             Keystone Landfill to the Cogen plant and

 

             7             that line has opinion in for 11 years and

 

             8             methane gas that will be carried is very

 

             9             similar to or natural -- to the natural gas

 

            10             lines that we have throughout the city are

 

            11             basically methane gas or much of it methane

 

            12             gas, and so they are very similar in nature.

 

            13                     The last thing that she asked was

 

            14             that she -- there is no -- she was unable to

 

            15             find out if there is any fee that can be

 

            16             assessed for these lines going through the

 

            17             city, that was going to be investigated and

 

            18             to see if that was something that could be

 

            19             done, and that is all I have, those three

 

            20             things.  Mrs. Evans?

 

            21                     MS. EVANS:  Thank you.  First, I

 

            22             would like to publically thank Mr. Langan

 

            23             for responding so promptly concerning

 

            24             Goodwill Industries project at North

 

            25             Scranton Junior High School.  I had asked


 

 

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             1             for that response and an update concerning

 

             2             the phases of the project at last week's

 

             3             meeting and he did, indeed, provide a timely

 

             4             response.  Also, please remember in your

 

             5             prayers this week all who have died,

 

             6             particularly, Paul Steppacher, father of

 

             7             Scranton police officer, Katie Steppacher.

 

             8             Alexa Hoffman, mother of council speaker

 

             9             Charles Newcomb.  Regina Pat, mother of Tony

 

            10             Pat, and wife Sue; Catherine Wexler, mother

 

            11             of Joe Wexlerand wife Cathy, and all their

 

            12             dear familiar members and friends they leave

 

            13             behind.

 

            14                     Also, St. Peter and Paul Russian

 

            15             Orthodox Church, 1720 Academy Street, will

 

            16             conduct a baked haddock dinner on April 10

 

            17             from 4 to 6 p.m.  Tickets are $8 and

 

            18             takeouts are available.

 

            19                     The friends of the Scranton Knights

 

            20             will conduct their annual night at the races

 

            21             he raises on Saturday, April 18, at Holy

 

            22             Rosary Center from 7 to 11 p.m. to benefit

 

            23             the Scranton Knights football team.  Tickets

 

            24             are $10.  Bring your friends and family to

 

            25             enjoy food, drinks, music and horse racing.


 

 

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             1                     Also, on April 18, a night at the

 

             2             races will be held at Keyser Valley

 

             3             Community Center to benefit the West

 

             4             Scranton High School baseball team.  Tickets

 

             5             are also $10 for this event which begins at

 

             6             7 p.m.

 

             7                     The PLCTA foundation Walk for

 

             8             Autism, will be held at Nay Aug Park on

 

             9             April 18 at 11:00.  The booths and

 

            10             registration area will be located near the

 

            11             gazebo and a forum discussion of autism will

 

            12             begin at 10:30 a.m. please try to attend

 

            13             this worthy event to benefit autistic

 

            14             children in our community.

 

            15                     And, finally, the Upper Hill

 

            16             Ecumenical Committee invites you to take

 

            17             part in Friendly's Family Fun Night on

 

            18             Wednesday, April 22, from 5 to 8 p.m.  a

 

            19             percentage of all food receipts will be

 

            20             donated to St. Francis of Assisi Food

 

            21             Kitchen.  Your support for this worth

 

            22             project is greatly appreciated.  And that's

 

            23             all.

 

            24                     MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else?  Fourth

 

            25             order, citizens' participation.  Les


 

 

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             1             Spindler.

 

             2                     MR. SPINDLER: Good evening, Council.

 

             3             Les Spindler, city resident.  First off, I'd

 

             4             like to thank everybody for their

 

             5             thoughtfulness and sympathy over the loss of

 

             6             my mother, especially some council people.

 

             7             Mrs. Evans, thank you for your kind words

 

             8             last week.  Mr. Courtright, thanks for

 

             9             coming to visit, and I'm sorry Mrs. Gatelli

 

            10             isn't here, we don't often see eye-to-eye,

 

            11             but I appreciate the sympathy card she sent

 

            12             so I hope she watches the replay.

 

            13                     Last week in the paper Mrs. Fanucci

 

            14             called for the resignation of Art Moran from

 

            15             the Democratic Committee because she wasn't

 

            16             endorsed and said she was discriminated

 

            17             against.  I think the reason she wasn't

 

            18             endorsed is maybe because the terrible job

 

            19             she has done as a council person the last

 

            20             three plus years, and the next thing is to

 

            21             get endorsed you have to go and ask the

 

            22             Democratic Committee for their endorsement,

 

            23             which you didn't do, Mrs. Fanucci, so it

 

            24             wasn't discrimination.  Mrs. Evans wasn't

 

            25             endorsed and she is not whining like a


 

 

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             1             two-year-old, so I think you should just

 

             2             grow up and act like a grownup.

 

             3                     MR. MCGOFF: That's out of order.

 

             4                     MS. FANUCCI: That's not city

 

             5             business.

 

             6                     MR. MCGOFF: That's out of order, Mr.

 

             7             Spindler.

 

             8                     MR. SPINDLER: I don't think -- no,

 

             9             that's a fact.

 

            10                     MS. FANUCCI: Come on, Les.

 

            11                     MR. MCGOFF: That's out of order.

 

            12             Thank you.

 

            13                     MR. SPINDLER: Moving on, about these

 

            14             stolen signs again, on March 30 the DiBileo

 

            15             campaign sent a letter to the mayor and Ray

 

            16             Hayes to have the state police investigate

 

            17             the sign stealing because they think the

 

            18             Scranton police might have a conflict of

 

            19             interest and they do have an idea of who is

 

            20             doing the stealing, to date the mayor has to

 

            21             the asked the state police for their help.

 

            22             I wonder why.  Maybe he doesn't want to know

 

            23             who is stealing the signs.

 

            24                     Next thing, Mr. McGoff, next time

 

            25             you have people coming in to speaking before


 

 

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             1             council could you make it in a caucus

 

             2             meeting before citizens' participation?

 

             3             When the tax collector and an attorney were

 

             4             here it was the most boring and

 

             5             uninformative 45 minutes I have ever been

 

             6             here before, and I have been coming here to

 

             7             seven years, and the tax collector didn't

 

             8             even did all of the talking.  The attorney

 

             9             did all of the talking and she stood in the

 

            10             back not saying a word.  I think it was a --

 

            11             we know nothing more now than we did before

 

            12             that caucus.

 

            13                     MR. MCGOFF: Just for the record,

 

            14             they --

 

            15                     MR. SPINDLER: Could you do it after

 

            16             I'm done so --

 

            17                     MR. MCGOFF: You can hold the time.

 

            18             I'm just saying for the record they were not

 

            19             here at my request, they came --

 

            20                     MS. FANUCCI:  We didn't ask them to

 

            21             come.

 

            22                     MR. SPINDLER: Well, then they should

 

            23             have waited in line just like everybody else

 

            24             does.

 

            25                     MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.


 

 

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             1                     MR. SPINDLER: They are not

 

             2             privileged people, they should sign in and

 

             3             talk like everyone else.  Saturday Chris

 

             4             Doherty was in the Tripp Park section,

 

             5             stopped at my house and handing out

 

             6             propaganda that he is not closing engine

 

             7             companies and that's an out and out lie

 

             8             because there is documentation that he said

 

             9             it last year he was going to close engine

 

            10             companies, Captain Schreiber had them when

 

            11             he was here two weeks ago, so why should we

 

            12             believe anything this mayor says.  He said

 

            13             he was going to be a sixth council person,

 

            14             that's a lie.  He was going to lower our

 

            15             wage tax, that was a lie.  He said he was

 

            16             going to work closely with the unions,

 

            17             another lie.  How can we trust anything this

 

            18             man says?

 

            19                     Finally, I sent a letter to the

 

            20             editor, to the Doherty newsletter, but they

 

            21             wouldn't put it in so I think I'll read it

 

            22             here at city council:  "On Monday, March 23,

 

            23             2009, a local television station aired a

 

            24             report about political signs being stolen

 

            25             from private properties.  They even showed


 

 

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             1             someone caught on tape stealing a sign on

 

             2             Harrison Avenue.  The report showed many of

 

             3             these signs thrown into the Lackawanna River

 

             4             under the Market Street bridge.  This is not

 

             5             only theft, but it is adding to the

 

             6             pollution of the river.

 

             7                     When the station contacted Mayor

 

             8             Doherty, he said it was just a political

 

             9             distraction.  Instead of the mayor saying he

 

            10             doesn't condone behavior like this and tell

 

            11             whoever is doing is to stop it he made it

 

            12             political.  The mayor's solicitor should

 

            13             educate him on the laws and tell him if

 

            14             someone trespasses on private property and

 

            15             steals that's a crime, it's not a political

 

            16             distraction.  I hope whoever is doing this

 

            17             is arrested and prosecuted."

 

            18                     Now, there were about 70 DiBileo

 

            19             signs stolen, there was one sign stolen of

 

            20             the sheriff's opponent and the sheriff made

 

            21             a comment:  "Vandalism or theft of any

 

            22             candidate's signs is something he neither

 

            23             advocates or condones, Mr. Syzmanski said."

 

            24                     That's because one sign was stolen.

 

            25             There were 70 DiBileo signs stolen and Chris


 

 

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             1             Doherty said it was a political distraction.

 

             2             It figures, he makes everything political.

 

             3             Thank you.

 

             4                     MR. MCGOFF: Margaret Miller.

 

             5                     MS. MILLER: I have some handouts.

 

             6             Good evening.  My name is Margaret Miller.

 

             7             I'm of Native American descent out of

 

             8             Georgia, the Cherokee tribe.  I run the

 

             9             Genesis Wildlife --

 

            10                     MS. FANUCCI: Is your mic on?

 

            11                     MR. COURTRIGHT: Is that mic on, we

 

            12             can't hear you?

 

            13                     MS. MILLER: I run the Genesis

 

            14             Wildlife in Nay Aug Park and there has been

 

            15             a lot of battering in the news about it and

 

            16             a lot of things said and I'm here to speak

 

            17             on our behalf.  First of all, we are not a

 

            18             zoo and a lot of people cannot get this into

 

            19             their head that we are not a zoo.  We are a

 

            20             wildlife sanctuary.  The animals that are in

 

            21             Nay Aug Park are animals that are unwanted,

 

            22             they have been confiscated by the game

 

            23             commission, animal rights groups, people

 

            24             that shouldn't have them, people that don't

 

            25             want them.  They come to me with medical


 

 

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             1             problems, with psychological problems and a

 

             2             lot of other things and I try to help those

 

             3             animals out.  I have been doing this for 30

 

             4             some years and I do feel like I know what

 

             5             I'm doing.  When I first came in --

 

             6                     MS. FANUCCI: Can you close that

 

             7             door.

 

             8                     MS. MILLER: When I first cam into --

 

             9                     MS. FANUCCI: Hold on.  Oh, you're

 

            10             bringing animals in.

 

            11                     MS. MILLER: What I have is some

 

            12             visuals here.  When I first came into Nay

 

            13             Aug Park in Scranton the mayor actually did

 

            14             come down to my center, I was in there and

 

            15             they did ask me to come here up here, and I

 

            16             no longer have my buildings from coming into

 

            17             Nay Aug Park in Scranton so, therefore, I

 

            18             have no place to take my animals now.  When

 

            19             I came in there in Nay Aug Park I was the

 

            20             first person, there was nothing there.  The

 

            21             building was -- some people think it's

 

            22             really bad now, but the building was really

 

            23             bad and if any of you visited at that time,

 

            24             it was really bad and it took a lot of

 

            25             people, a lot of money and time to get it to


 

 

                                                                      20

 

 

             1             a point that it would pass inspection and

 

             2             bring the animals into Nay Aug Park and

 

             3             everything came in around me, and everything

 

             4             I think was held except the wildlife, and I

 

             5             totally understand where the people are

 

             6             coming from that they would want a nice

 

             7             building and I want the same things that

 

             8             they want, but I don't think that my animals

 

             9             should suffer because, you know, what's

 

            10             going on here.

 

            11                     I have a really good working

 

            12             relationship with the state and federal and

 

            13             I have given you copies of my report

 

            14             reports, and they are there.  The vet care,

 

            15             there is one thing that was mentioned in the

 

            16             paper that -- about the vet care and what

 

            17             happened, the thing that they were

 

            18             complaining about was I had to -- if any you

 

            19             are still have it -- if any of you are

 

            20             family with the animals Sid is an old spider

 

            21             money that came from a zoo that retired him

 

            22             and at that time he was pretty sick and the

 

            23             veterinarian came up six consecutive times

 

            24             in a row and they had slipped the paper in

 

            25             the USDA federal report thing, and I though


 

 

                                                                      21

 

 

             1             I was doing them a favor by having a

 

             2             veterinarian and sign that paper each time

 

             3             they came when, in fact, it was mandatory to

 

             4             have him come every month.  When Sid was

 

             5             well I didn't have him come and you know

 

             6             yourself if you have pets you go yearly to

 

             7             the vet for your shots and that's how it is

 

             8             at the wildlife.  He comes yearly unless

 

             9             there was a problem.  I am a veterinary

 

            10             technician.  I do the work myself.  Robin is

 

            11             here, she is a nurse, and she vaccinates.

 

            12             We get the medicines, and the other thing

 

            13             that was said about outdated medicines, I

 

            14             had creams, eyedrops, some things that were

 

            15             outdated and I think probably all of you

 

            16             have some creams in your house that are

 

            17             probably outdated.  I have suntan lotion

 

            18             things like that.

 

            19                     We did have one thing where that was

 

            20             attached to the monkeys, it was Clavimox or

 

            21             something in the refrigerator, my fault, I

 

            22             didn't pull it out and throw it away.  The

 

            23             Chordata monkeys were put down, I didn't

 

            24             need it anymore and I didn't think about it.

 

            25             But they have made things into this major


 

 

                                                                      22

 

 

             1             battery of things that has really attacked

 

             2             the wildlife for no real reason.  Can I have

 

             3             a little more time to speak or --

 

             4                     MR. MCGOFF: Briefly.

 

             5                     MS. MILLER:  No one goes in the with

 

             6             a large cats, and no one goes in with the

 

             7             primates unless they are staffed with the

 

             8             wildlife and the bottom line is when I go

 

             9             out of Nay Aug Park, now, I did not receive

 

            10             a written thing, but I was asked to start

 

            11             finding places for the animals, even if I

 

            12             find places, if other people find places

 

            13             they can't go and you will find that in

 

            14             there the game commission laws have changed,

 

            15             they have to be euthanized.  They must be

 

            16             euthanized.  It's not my law.  I don't want

 

            17             it.

 

            18                     And the point of bringing Jerry is

 

            19             he gets euthanized.  Jerry came from an

 

            20             animal auction, they drugged him out with a

 

            21             chain around his neck like in the slave days

 

            22             with his arm shaved, and I made sure --

 

            23             Jerry has been with me a long time.  Pat,

 

            24             the bird, his owner was terminal and he

 

            25             place -- she placed Pep with me hoping that


 

 

                                                                      23

 

 

             1             Pep would the rest of his life have a safe

 

             2             place so she could die in peace knowing he

 

             3             would be save, and the stories go on and on

 

             4             with these animals, so they are not going

 

             5             anyplace, and so the day I go out of Nay Aug

 

             6             Park is the day the veterinarian comes and

 

             7             euthanasia is just a sweet word for killing

 

             8             them and it's not going to be easy on the

 

             9             vet tech.  They don't all go down.  Thank

 

            10             you very much.

 

            11                     MS. EVANS: Mrs. Williams, just

 

            12             before you go though, I just want to clear

 

            13             up two things so that there is no

 

            14             misunderstanding.

 

            15                     MS. WILLIAMS: Okay.

 

            16                     MS. EVANS: You are saying that just

 

            17             this primate would be euthanized or all of

 

            18             them.

 

            19                     MS. WILLIAMS: All of them.

 

            20                     MS. EVANS: All of your animals.

 

            21                     MS. WILLIAMS:  Everybody.  I'm going

 

            22             to try to find places to send some of the

 

            23             other animals that still can, but the

 

            24             primates absolutely won't.  They will all be

 

            25             put to sleep, from the lemur right down the


 

 

                                                                      24

 

 

             1             line.  Everybody.

 

             2                     MS. EVANS: Would this be a difficult

 

             3             task --

 

             4                     MS. WILLIAMS:  Yes.

 

             5                     MS. EVANS: -- for you to find other

 

             6             placements --

 

             7                     MS. WILLIAMS: Yes.

 

             8                     MS. EVANS: From what I'm hearing you

 

             9             say you received the animals --

 

            10                     MS. WILLIAMS: For the other animals,

 

            11             yes.

 

            12                     MS. EVANS -- because they had no

 

            13             place to go, had been abused or were ill,

 

            14             etcetera.

 

            15                     MS. WILLIAMS: Exactly.  And other

 

            16             places are full and these are not zoo

 

            17             quality animals because, you know, when you

 

            18             go to a zoo you are going to see topnotch

 

            19             animals because you are paying $25 to come

 

            20             in the door, so you are not going to see an

 

            21             animal with one eye or an animal that has

 

            22             psychological problems or health problems or

 

            23             whatever the case may.  They come to me

 

            24             without words and I have to figure out what

 

            25             happened to them.


 

 

                                                                      25

 

 

             1                     MS. EVANS: And were you told you are

 

             2             closing?

 

             3                     MS. WILLIAMS: I was told that.  I

 

             4             did not receive a letter saying that, but,

 

             5             yes, I was told to find places for the

 

             6             animals.

 

             7                     MR. COURTRIGHT: By who?  Who told

 

             8             you you had to go?

 

             9                     MS. WILLIAMS: Chris Doherty did call

 

            10             me on the phone and we talked a little bit

 

            11             and he did say because of the economics and

 

            12             different things and the way of the

 

            13             building, things like that, that they

 

            14             wouldn't be able to renovate it and that I

 

            15             should start looking for places for the

 

            16             animals.

 

            17                     MS. EVANS: Were you given a time

 

            18             line?

 

            19                     MS. MILLER: No, I was not, no.  I

 

            20             received nothing written, just a talk on the

 

            21             phone.  That was it.

 

            22                     MS. EVANS: I see.

 

            23                     MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.

 

            24                     MS. WILLIAMS: But it's not like a

 

            25             big zoo is going to come and scoop them up


 

 

                                                                      26

 

 

             1             or I'm going to have this miracle thing, and

 

             2             everybody can find places.  They can get on

 

             3             the phone or internet and places will say

 

             4             they will take them, but they can't because

 

             5             the law has changed.  They can't take them.

 

             6             The bottom line is they get euthanized.

 

             7                     MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.

 

             8                     MS. WILLIAMS: And that's their

 

             9             thanks for waking up Nay Aug Park, and that

 

            10             breaks my heart because those little guys

 

            11             woke up Nay Aug Park.  They have given -- I

 

            12             have veterinary students, kids from the

 

            13             college that are going onto veterinary

 

            14             school, in fact, I have one girl here that's

 

            15             going onto veterinary school and her letter

 

            16             is in there, Jess Smallwood.  I have one

 

            17             that's in the Caribbean now, Jet Corey, she

 

            18             is in veterinary school, they worked with

 

            19             these animals and learned the behavior and

 

            20             the husbandry of animals one on one and

 

            21             veterinary care and learned about these

 

            22             things which is so beneficial for them,

 

            23             because you can read about things in a book,

 

            24             but doing them firsthand makes all of the

 

            25             difference.


 

 

                                                                      27

 

 

             1                     MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mrs. Miller.

 

             2                     MS. MILLER: Thank you very much for

 

             3             listening.

 

             4                     MR. MCGOFF: Bob Bolus.

 

             5                     MR. BOLUS:  Good evening, Council.

 

             6             Bob Bolus, Scranton.  You know, what you

 

             7             just heard from Margaret is factual.  I went

 

             8             up to the Genises Wildlife Sunday, I wanted

 

             9             to see it myself.  As I grew up at a child,

 

            10             you know, we had the zoo.  When my children

 

            11             grew up, we went to the zoo.  And, of

 

            12             course, you know what's happened to the zoo

 

            13             over the years, so that -- beating a dead

 

            14             horse here tonight about it.  But what you

 

            15             saw if you went there Sunday, which I did,

 

            16             Girl Scouts coming in, being talked to,

 

            17             shown the animals, questions were being

 

            18             asked.  There had to be probably 75 people

 

            19             when I was up there Sunday.  This little guy

 

            20             -- and I asked them to bring the animals

 

            21             here today because I think it's important to

 

            22             see what's going to happen to these animals.

 

            23             Euthanization is a nice, kind word.  This is

 

            24             killing the animals.  This is wholesale

 

            25             murder if you really want to come down to.


 

 

                                                                      28

 

 

             1                     It's a premeditated murder, we are

 

             2             going to kill these animals.  We are going

 

             3             to deprive the kids and the families of the

 

             4             City of Scranton the right to be able to go

 

             5             there.

 

             6                     Margaret has given her heart there

 

             7             and then we have this woman, this Beatrice

 

             8             Heveran or whatever her name is, well, I got

 

             9             some research off the computer today and she

 

            10             was charged with having piles of manure on

 

            11             her property up in New England where she

 

            12             came from.  There is running discolored

 

            13             water in trenches at the base of the slope

 

            14             along the edge of the road, smelled, and she

 

            15             is in here criticizing what we are doing up

 

            16             there, what Margaret is doing, what her

 

            17             helpers are doing, yet this woman comes in

 

            18             here in here in a white veil, come on, let's

 

            19             get realistic.  This is Scranton.  We take

 

            20             care of our own.  I don't know who she is

 

            21             where she came from, but I want to know her

 

            22             qualifications.  I want to know what gives

 

            23             her the darned right to judge what's going

 

            24             on here.  I want to know her medical

 

            25             background in veterinary medicine.


 

 

                                                                      29

 

 

             1                     I want to know who, just somebody

 

             2             moves into the area and right away she is an

 

             3             authority.  I called up there and checked

 

             4             with the board where she worked.  Nobody

 

             5             even knew who she was today, so I don't know

 

             6             when she was on the board last.  Let her

 

             7             come forward.  Let her come here and tell us

 

             8             who she is that she can criticize of the

 

             9             heart of the people of this city that are

 

            10             taking care of these animals.

 

            11                     This mayor has played games with

 

            12             this city long enough, and you know last

 

            13             week I brought out his picture, showed a

 

            14             kid, that's what it shows in the paper, he

 

            15             is acting like a child, he is running the

 

            16             city like a child and the Scranton Times

 

            17             doesn't lie.  This is the gospel, he put it

 

            18             in there.  We know who he is, we know what

 

            19             he is about and this is an end result of it.

 

            20             Not the guy downstairs that should act like

 

            21             a man, not call up threatening people to

 

            22             throw things out when he spent millions and

 

            23             millions of dollars on Nay Aug Park, but he

 

            24             can't stand here like a man and come up

 

            25             here.  It's a child, and this isn't child's


 

 

                                                                      30

 

 

             1             play anymore.  This city is where it is

 

             2             because of what he is and I want to see him

 

             3             come in and say it, I want to see Gary

 

             4             DiBileo come here and tell us what he plans

 

             5             to do, I want to know what's going to happen

 

             6             to these animals because they are going to

 

             7             get killed.  That's the hard sense of this

 

             8             word.  We are going to murder these animals,

 

             9             and that's what we are doing and we all have

 

            10             to take a hard, hard look.  Look at those

 

            11             animals.  Look them in the eye.  We are

 

            12             going to execute them.  Are we going to

 

            13             permit that?  I want a motion here tonight

 

            14             that this council tells this child what's

 

            15             going to happen.

 

            16                     I spoke about the horses last week.

 

            17             I gave you the information, he breached that

 

            18             contract, what kid doesn't like horses?

 

            19             What kid doesn't like animals?  Apparently

 

            20             this kid does not, and that's the issue I

 

            21             have.

 

            22                     MS. EVANS: Mr. Bolus, I did notice

 

            23             though, I read over the information that you

 

            24             had provided and I did notice that that

 

            25             particular company wanted to take over


 

 

                                                                      31

 

 

             1             Genesis.

 

             2                     MR. BOLUS:  Well, that was between

 

             3             -- and if that worked together and it was

 

             4             hand-in-hand and they could do that, and

 

             5             these animals survived and they worked with

 

             6             Margaret you couldn't ask for anyone more

 

             7             than having that.

 

             8                     MS. EVANS: No, I think what they

 

             9             were suggesting they wanted to oust her and

 

            10             take over the zoo and return it to it's days

 

            11             of glory.

 

            12                     MR. BOLUS: That may have been there

 

            13             conversation what they were doing.  The

 

            14             contracts that I gave you spoke for

 

            15             themselves --

 

            16                     MS. EVANS: Yes.

 

            17                     MR. BOLUS: -- as what was happening

 

            18             with the horse rides and all.

 

            19                     MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.

 

            20                     MR. BOLUS: And just quickly, if I

 

            21             may, Mr. McGoff, on the gas line, there is

 

            22             no disaster readiness in place, there is no

 

            23             training or anything else.  When Keystone

 

            24             Landfill ran their lineup to the plant they

 

            25             ran it through the rural area of Dunmore and


 

 

                                                                      32

 

 

             1             Throop.  This is going through the City of

 

             2             Scranton, it's going down a railroad bed

 

             3             that's been abandoned.  It may not even be a

 

             4             conforming use for that railroad bed

 

             5             anymore.  That was for trains, not the gas

 

             6             line, and we need to look into this very

 

             7             strongly.  This line has to stop until you

 

             8             have assisted and notified of the public, an

 

             9             alarm, evacuation routes, shelters.  There

 

            10             is a disaster preparedness plan that must in

 

            11             place for this to happen, and it's going

 

            12             through Scranton, it's going through

 

            13             Dunmore, and God forbid this disaster

 

            14             happens in a mind subsidence and we have

 

            15             this problem and you need to look into it,

 

            16             so that's why I raised that issue.

 

            17                     MR. MCGOFF:  Thank you.

 

            18                     MR. BOLUS: And I gave you the

 

            19             information on what they are doing, it's

 

            20             going through DeNaple's land, you know, it

 

            21             seems they do what they want, when they want

 

            22             and no questions.

 

            23                     MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Bolus.

 

            24                     MR. BOLUS:  Okay, Mr. McGoff, if you

 

            25             would do that I would like to wish everybody


 

 

                                                                      33

 

 

             1             a happy Easter and hopefully the animals

 

             2             will survive.  Thank you.

 

             3                     MR. MCGOFF: Doug Miller.

 

             4                     MR. MILLER: Good evening, Council.

 

             5             Doug Miller, Scranton.  I'd just like to go

 

             6             back to last week I raised the issue of the

 

             7             mysterious $5.5 million that we all thought

 

             8             we are getting, you know, we went and

 

             9             plugged it in our budget because we knew we

 

            10             were going to have a hole, but obviously

 

            11             it's election season so we weren't going to

 

            12             raise taxes.  But, again, I am going to

 

            13             bring this up, I question council on this

 

            14             and I hope you are going to make a decision

 

            15             soon on how we are going to fill this hole.

 

            16             You know, you put us in this situation by

 

            17             passing a budget that you knew was

 

            18             questionable.

 

            19                     In recent days we have all been

 

            20             informed that the future of the Genesis

 

            21             Wildlife Center at Nay Aug Park remains

 

            22             uncertain.  Seven years ago, Mrs. Margaret

 

            23             Miller transferred her animals from the

 

            24             Poconos to Nay Aug Park because the city

 

            25             invited her to come here.  This agreement


 

 

                                                                      34

 

 

             1             was certainly a huge step forward in the

 

             2             revitalization at Nay Aug Park.  For the

 

             3             past seven years thousands of city residents

 

             4             as well as out of town tourists have visited

 

             5             the Wildlife Center.  Many college students

 

             6             have also served internships working one on

 

             7             one with the animals and the many volunteers

 

             8             that you see here tonight.  Many schools,

 

             9             Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops have gone on

 

            10             field trips to visit the animals.  These

 

            11             experiences have given visitors a better

 

            12             knowledge and understanding of our wildlife.

 

            13                     However, today, Genesis must deal

 

            14             with unfair criticism from a select few.

 

            15             One of the lead critics that we heard about

 

            16             tonight, Mrs. Beatrice Haveron, a former

 

            17             board member of the Zoo of New England, has

 

            18             made statements recently to the Scranton

 

            19             Times saying, and I quote, "What the mayor

 

            20             got he is pointing to as an attraction, she

 

            21             said, it is a cesspool.  It is an infested

 

            22             public disaster.  The citizens can get very

 

            23             hurt there.

 

            24                      Well, I, as well as many other

 

            25             people here tonight would like to know what


 

 

                                                                      35

 

 

             1             gave her the right to even open her mouth

 

             2             and make a statement like that.  I would

 

             3             also like to know her qualifications

 

             4             regarding animals care and while she is no

 

             5             longer a member of the board in New England.

 

             6             You know, it seems to me this is just

 

             7             another example of someone trying to bully

 

             8             other another person and, of course, in

 

             9             Scranton we know what that's all about.

 

            10                     Many other critics have tried to

 

            11             compare the Wildlife Center to the Bronx

 

            12             Zoo, the Philadelphia Zoo, the San Diego Zoo

 

            13             and so on.  Let me make it quite clear to

 

            14             you again tonight, and you already heard it,

 

            15             and this is something that the

 

            16             administration should have informed us all

 

            17             seven years ago.  Genesis is not a zoo, it

 

            18             never was.  Genesis acts as a sanctuary

 

            19             caring for animals that you have heard

 

            20             tonight have been abused and neglected by

 

            21             others.  Mrs. Miller, as well as her many

 

            22             volunteers, have developed a sincere passion

 

            23             and dedication to the animals that they care

 

            24             for but because of politics and egos that if

 

            25             the sanctuary is closed due to the change in


 

 

                                                                      36

 

 

             1             law, every animal in that building will be

 

             2             murdered for no reason.

 

             3                     Lee Morgan and I will circulating a

 

             4             petition across the entire area to help save

 

             5             the Genisis Wildlife Center and I am asking

 

             6             every Scrantonian that is here tonight as

 

             7             well as everyone watching at home to join us

 

             8             in our mission to help save the lives of

 

             9             these innocent animals.  Thank you.

 

            10                     MR. MCGOFF: Lee Morgan.

 

            11                     MR. MORGAN: Good evening, Council.

 

            12             I would just like to give my phone number.

 

            13             It's 558-1648 for anybody who would like to

 

            14             pick up a petition, and I would just like to

 

            15             add that, you know, I had a conversation

 

            16             with Mr. Lesh who running for school board

 

            17             and he thought the Genisis was one of the

 

            18             best things that everybody ever happened to

 

            19             this city.  He gave me this phone number and

 

            20             said he would really like to be involved to

 

            21             help to, you know, salvage Genesis and the

 

            22             only thing I have to ask is can council

 

            23             itself state where it stands on this issue,

 

            24             and I think it's important that Mr. DiBileo

 

            25             and Mr. Bolus and the mayor even though


 

 

                                                                      37

 

 

             1             there has been statements made that the

 

             2             mayor intends to close I think that these

 

             3             people should come forward because if we are

 

             4             going to elect a new mayor we should know

 

             5             where they stand on this issue, because in

 

             6             my own opinion when they asked this lady to

 

             7             bring her animals here they implied

 

             8             something to her and they must have

 

             9             understood that she was not going to keep

 

            10             the property she had originally kept these

 

            11             animals at and when somebody comes forward

 

            12             and decides they are going to close

 

            13             something I think they should know what the

 

            14             parameters of the decision they are making

 

            15             are, and I'm just wondering is the mayor

 

            16             informed that these animals will have to be

 

            17             euthanized?  And I think that somebody like

 

            18             the Scranton Times or someone, maybe the

 

            19             local TV stations or radio stations need to

 

            20             ask this mayor, does he know that?

 

            21                     And as we develop the park around

 

            22             the zoo I think Les Spindler went up there

 

            23             and helped the clean up of the zoo because I

 

            24             was talking to him in the back one day and I

 

            25             think he stated he went up there for the


 

 

                                                                      38

 

 

             1             clean up, and I would like to say the mayor

 

             2             has asked people to come forward and

 

             3             volunteer, but how much can you ask a person

 

             4             to volunteer when the people that work at

 

             5             Genises most of them are volunteers and they

 

             6             don't get paid and have done it probably for

 

             7             years and they have invested in this

 

             8             community and they have helped the rebirth

 

             9             of Nay Aug Park and now are we going to just

 

            10             dump these individuals and euthanize these

 

            11             animals for another -- I don't know -- for

 

            12             the life of me I can't really think what

 

            13             this structure can be used for other than

 

            14             what it's being used for now.  And, I mean,

 

            15             is this the city with the heart and have we

 

            16             decided that we wanted them there because we

 

            17             knew that he wouldn't afford a zoo?  I mean.

 

            18             This is the next best thing to a zoo.  Young

 

            19             children come through, they learn a lot

 

            20             about animals, they don't care about the age

 

            21             of the animals are whether they were

 

            22             neglect, because quite honestly they

 

            23             probably can't tell.  Probably the only

 

            24             people who can really tell they have been

 

            25             neglected, I know I can't tell when I look


 

 

                                                                      39

 

 

             1             at them because I don't know their

 

             2             behavioral patterns, but the people who work

 

             3             there know that, but to me I don't know,

 

             4             it's nice to watch them in the cage and know

 

             5             that they are save and that somebody is

 

             6             caring for them and they are the definitely

 

             7             an asset to this community.  And this is a

 

             8             mayor who put a lot of money in Nay Aug Park

 

             9             with the playgrounds and the lookout over

 

            10             the gorge and all of the trails and all of

 

            11             the landscaping, and I just don't

 

            12             understand.  I mean, if it comes down to a

 

            13             point of them funding themselves then I

 

            14             think we should give them an opportunity to

 

            15             accomplish that, and not only do I think we

 

            16             should give them that opportunity but we

 

            17             should help them to reach that goal, and

 

            18             that's I all I have.  Thank you.

 

            19                     MR. MCGOFF: John Judge.

 

            20                     MR. JUDGE:  Good evening, City

 

            21             Council, John Judge.  I'm secretary with

 

            22             Firefighters Local 60.  The reason I am here

 

            23             tonight is to talk about something that we

 

            24             brought to this council and brought to the

 

            25             administration probably close to seven years


 

 

                                                                      40

 

 

             1             ago when Mayor Doherty first came into

 

             2             office, but was met with resistance through

 

             3             the mayor and Director of Public Safety.

 

             4             There was a council, I think some of the

 

             5             council members that are seated up there did

 

             6             vote to have him reconsider, and it's the

 

             7             QRS system, and I'm sure all of the council

 

             8             members up there very familiar with it.

 

             9                     Mr. McGoff stated last week that we

 

            10             are trying to negotiate our contract with

 

            11             council.  Let me just clear something up, we

 

            12             have a contract.  We have a contract right

 

            13             now.  The firefighters have a contract.  The

 

            14             Commonwealth Court award put forth a

 

            15             contract that we are working under right

 

            16             now.  Mayor Doherty said that once that

 

            17             contract was in place he would begin to look

 

            18             at QRS.  For the last seven years my brother

 

            19             and sister firefighters have listened to

 

            20             ambulance dispatches for people that needed

 

            21             advanced life support, medical treatment, it

 

            22             was recently just one a block away from -- a

 

            23             couple of blacks away from engine seven I

 

            24             believe it was last week or the week before

 

            25             on Luzerne Street where there was somebody


 

 

                                                                      41

 

 

             1             that was in cardiac arrest.  Our hands are

 

             2             tied.  We cannot go on those until the mayor

 

             3             begins to implement that system.  If you

 

             4             look across the Commonwealth of

 

             5             Pennsylvania, the municipal fire departments

 

             6             are involved in EMS.  All of the fire

 

             7             departments that we have been compared to

 

             8             have some type of QRS system in place.  We

 

             9             have brought this to council before, stated

 

            10             it's a minimal cost, and what we also hear

 

            11             happening over the past six, seven years is

 

            12             we hear police being dispatched to these

 

            13             medical emergencies.

 

            14                     I'm sorry, I was a police officer in

 

            15             the City of Scranton before I was a

 

            16             firefighter so I feel like I can speak on

 

            17             this, after the cuts that have happened to

 

            18             the police department as far as their

 

            19             manning numbers and some of the -- they're

 

            20             still running 66 to 70,000 calls a year,

 

            21             that's not their job to be running on those

 

            22             type of calls, especially when their

 

            23             training is minimal compared to ours.

 

            24             They're required as a police officer to be

 

            25             trained in first aid and CPR.  It's I think


 

 

                                                                      42

 

 

             1             24 hours worth of training.  Almost every

 

             2             single member of the Scranton Fire

 

             3             Department is an emergency medical

 

             4             technician which requires 150 hours of

 

             5             training and we have to do 24 hours of

 

             6             continuing education credits during our

 

             7             certification over a three-year period plus

 

             8             retain our CPR.

 

             9                     We have -- I don't want to give an

 

            10             exact number, but it's probably close to a

 

            11             dozen of our members are certified as

 

            12             paramedics.  I believe we have one or two

 

            13             nurses.  For our manpower to not be used in

 

            14             that manner is a disservice to this

 

            15             community.  The mayor now has his contract

 

            16             in place through the Commonwealth Court

 

            17             award.  This is a minimal cost to better

 

            18             serve the citizens of the City of Scranton.

 

            19                     If you have looked across, I'll take

 

            20             I think it was Boston, for instance,

 

            21             Boston's survival rate when they started

 

            22             training their firefighters as EMT's and

 

            23             sending them on emergency advanced life

 

            24             support calls the cardiac emergency survival

 

            25             rate went up 50 percent since 1994.  I


 

 

                                                                      43

 

 

             1             believe that it's -- if you look at the

 

             2             American Heart Association 70 to 80 percent

 

             3             of all cardiac emergencies, severe cardiac

 

             4             emergencies will occur in a home.  Our fire

 

             5             departments are community based.  We are in

 

             6             the communities, the way that it's setup

 

             7             now.  We have, you know, outlying companies

 

             8             that are very close.  Our response times

 

             9             reflect, you know, between four minutes our

 

            10             average response times for our fire alarms.

 

            11                     The National Heart Association -- or

 

            12             the American Heart Association and Red Cross

 

            13             will tell you that you need to have external

 

            14             defibrillation to increase the survivability

 

            15             of somebody that experiences a cardiac

 

            16             emergency within four minutes.  Our

 

            17             department is able to do that at a minimal

 

            18             cost.  I can't stress it anymore than that.

 

            19             It's a very minimal cost.  We already have

 

            20             the apparatus, we have the training, we have

 

            21             the people in place.  I would be a very

 

            22             minimal cost as far as the equipment that's

 

            23             needed.

 

            24                     If you look at some of the things

 

            25             that have happened in this city over the


 

 

                                                                      44

 

 

             1             last couple of years, the ambulance

 

             2             companies are not starting -- I don't want

 

             3             to say they are cutting their staffing, but

 

             4             their staffing is become thinner because of

 

             5             maybe the call volume or --can I just finish

 

             6             my thoughts?

 

             7                     MR. MCGOFF: Please.

 

             8                     MR. JUDGE: Or it's possibly because

 

             9             they are doing more transports.  Whatever

 

            10             the reason is, we are seeing an increase in

 

            11             outside agencies such as Dickson City

 

            12             ambulance who is now gone to a paid service.

 

            13             We've had Chinchilla's volunteer ambulance

 

            14             company come in the city a number of times,

 

            15             Old Forge's ambulance company that's a paid

 

            16             service came in several times.  That

 

            17             continues to grow.  That number is now going

 

            18             to increase as far as their response time if

 

            19             they are coming from an outline place like

 

            20             that.  I ask council to urge the mayor to

 

            21             start to develop this QRS program.  If you

 

            22             look back from the Scranton Times' articles,

 

            23             2004, 2005, there has been three times where

 

            24             he said that once you had the contract in

 

            25             place this may be something that they look


 

 

                                                                      45

 

 

             1             at.  It's a minimal cost to the taxpayers

 

             2             and the city.  It's a nominal at best.  So,

 

             3             please, urge the mayor to start to look in

 

             4             this direction so we can serve the community

 

             5             lot better.  Thank you.

 

             6                     MR. MCGOFF: Andy Sbaraglia.

 

             7                     MR. SBARAGLIA: Andy Sbaraglia,

 

             8             citizen of Scranton.  Fellow Scrantonians,

 

             9             last week I asked why we are still covering

 

            10             the liability on the South Side Sports

 

            11             Complex and we were told that it was sold to

 

            12             the University.  Is it sold, not sold?  Can

 

            13             the children -- if we are paying the

 

            14             liability why can't our children use it?  Is

 

            15             it open for the children?  No answer.  Okay.

 

            16                     Let's go down to Providence Road.

 

            17             Why are we paying for Providence Road when

 

            18             lease the property out.  Surely somebody had

 

            19             brains enough to put into the lease that

 

            20             they were liable for the property that they

 

            21             are getting.  We gave them a KOZ and there

 

            22             it sites idle and we are paying the

 

            23             liability.  I don't know if -- I don't quite

 

            24             understand why.  I wish you people would

 

            25             inquire why, because this requires --


 

 

                                                                      46

 

 

             1                     MS. EVANS: Mr. Sbaraglia, we did.  I

 

             2             requested that all of the questions you

 

             3             posed at last week's meeting concerning the

 

             4             liability insurance issues would be sent to

 

             5             the insurance agent and we'll receive a full

 

             6             explanation of that.  As soon as we receive

 

             7             the response, we will give it to you.

 

             8                     MR. SBARAGLIA: You may get a

 

             9             response, but it's in the contract.  You

 

            10             signed the contract.  I don't know care what

 

            11             the response is.  You can't change it.  Once

 

            12             a contract is signed it's signed.  You'd to

 

            13             go to Court.  They are not going to Court

 

            14             over this.  The people of Scranton are going

 

            15             to be saddled doing this thing.  Year after

 

            16             year for another 99, probably not 99, maybe

 

            17             another 90 years because that lease down

 

            18             there is for 99 years.  It was ashame what

 

            19             that contract was written and I sat up there

 

            20             many, many times.  I brought that contract

 

            21             up.  It's immoral.  It's bad as a lot of the

 

            22             other stuff done by this council and the

 

            23             mayor.  It wasn't -- I don't blame all of

 

            24             yous.  Most of yous weren't there.

 

            25                     MS. EVANS: None of us were.


 

 

                                                                      47

 

 

             1                     MR. SBARAGLIA: When that was signed.

 

             2             I know that, but I was.  I fought it then

 

             3             and I continue to fight the injustice done

 

             4             to the citizens of this city.  It's

 

             5             ridiculous.

 

             6                     Now, the little engine, now I don't

 

             7             know what the story is on that either.  I

 

             8             don't know if that was donated to the city

 

             9             our how we acquired it, but we got the

 

            10             miniature train.  I am not a child, I don't

 

            11             get to ride it, I did ride it when I was

 

            12             small, but I don't, but we are covering the

 

            13             train.  Is it leased to somebody that we

 

            14             don't know about or did the city own it and

 

            15             the city is running it and any kid that

 

            16             wants to ride on can't just jump on it and

 

            17             take a ride when it's coming.  Them are I

 

            18             think so that should be answered.  I guess

 

            19             they won't be in my lifetime though.

 

            20                     Okay, I got the information, some of

 

            21             the information anyway on the zoo,

 

            22             especially the zoo.  Now, the zoo seems to

 

            23             be a hot topic.  The building is currently

 

            24             listed for 397,091, okay, $397,091.  The

 

            25             contents is insured at $170,522.  We all


 

 

                                                                      48

 

 

             1             know we give the zoo 50,000 a year.  We pay

 

             2             for their heat and I guess we are

 

             3             responsible for all of the maintenance in

 

             4             that zoo.  I would assume that's how it

 

             5             goes.  I don't know if we are responsible

 

             6             for liability and really that's the only

 

             7             question I would really ask, are we covering

 

             8             the liability for everybody that volunteers

 

             9             at that zoo or not or do they have a

 

            10             separate liability contract?  Thank God she

 

            11             is here and she can give you an answer on

 

            12             that then we don't have to worry about it.

 

            13             But if we are responsible for the liability

 

            14             that's people really ought to know that.

 

            15                     I'm not going to get into the merits

 

            16             of it.  I used to love that zoo.  I used to

 

            17             play with the elephant and the donkey up

 

            18             there, but them are long time ago, we can't

 

            19             bring all of them back.  I used to use the

 

            20             penny arcade and the theatre, too.  That's

 

            21             all gone.  You can't bring back the past.

 

            22             Our main concern is the safety of the

 

            23             animals that are in our care because

 

            24             actually they are in our city care as a

 

            25             whole.  There is not just the wild life.


 

 

                                                                      49

 

 

             1             It's all of us because we are paying for it.

 

             2             We are paying for it.  Our main concern is

 

             3             the safety of those animals and that should

 

             4             be the only concern we got and everything

 

             5             else we seem to be paying for.

 

             6                     Now, if the animals are being safely

 

             7             taken care of I would fight it.  If they are

 

             8             not being safely cared for I would seek to

 

             9             remedy that they can be safely taken care of

 

            10             in that facility.  I always liked the

 

            11             petting zoo.  I'm sorry they didn't go with

 

            12             a petting zoo instead of a wildlife center.

 

            13             I did enjoy.  Thank you.

 

            14                     MR. MCGOFF: Ozzie Quinn.

 

            15                     MR. QUINN:  Ozzie Quinn.  I'm

 

            16             president of the Scranton/Lackawanna County

 

            17             Taxpayers and Citizens' Association.  I,

 

            18             too, would like to speak on the park a

 

            19             little bit.  When I was the president of the

 

            20             city planning commission there was a

 

            21             drowning and everybody up in the city was up

 

            22             in the air about what happened.  Okay, there

 

            23             was 30 some drowning in the gorge.  Well, we

 

            24             had several meetings here, and without

 

            25             sounding arrogant, I pulled together a


 

 

                                                                      50

 

 

             1             geologist pro bono, Brian Redmond from

 

             2             Wilkes University, and an environmentalist,

 

             3             Roger Nare from South Scranton, and for two

 

             4             years we worked on an application and got

 

             5             approved the gorge as a national, natural

 

             6             landmark.  It took a lot of work, and the

 

             7             idea was for the people to enjoy -- to be

 

             8             able to go in the gorge with classes and see

 

             9             just the rock formations, to explain the

 

            10             rock formations, how that gorge was formed,

 

            11             okay?  You know, and those Indian legends

 

            12             that were around for thousands of years and

 

            13             also the proposal that the Steamtown Train

 

            14             would stop there and the people could enjoy

 

            15             the gorge and sometime come over and go over

 

            16             to Nay Aug Park, wrote letters to Mayor

 

            17             Doherty about it and never happened.

 

            18                     And you know what, we have a plaque

 

            19             that designates that and you know where that

 

            20             plaque is located?  The last time I heard it

 

            21             was in a closet in Weston Field and I asked

 

            22             the mayor he won't post it.  Okay?  Now,

 

            23             there was a drowning after that and most of

 

            24             you know the fellow's brother, Chris

 

            25             Phillips, who is on the school board,


 

 

                                                                      51

 

 

             1             brother drowned in Nay Aug gorge.  What a

 

             2             heart breaker because of the fact that

 

             3             nobody would listen.  Well, that's sad, you

 

             4             know.

 

             5                     It's the same with what happened up

 

             6             here at the wildlife center.  Now, he spent

 

             7             thousands, millions maybe on that bridge

 

             8             down below that is going no where, whatever

 

             9             it is for, and we have the tree hut and I

 

            10             don't know if they'll maintain it.  If it's

 

            11             true to what you do in Scranton in another

 

            12             ten years that bridge will fall down and

 

            13             that treehouse will fall down because there

 

            14             won't be any maintenance, just like there is

 

            15             never any maintenance on the curbs, the

 

            16             sidewalks or the roads in the City of

 

            17             Scranton.

 

            18                     Now, I want to say one thing about

 

            19             the taxation here, okay?  We finished 2007

 

            20             with a surplus of $664,345 okay?  What an

 

            21             oxymoron.  We owe $170 million.  How can you

 

            22             be in the black with a surplus when you owe

 

            23             $170 million?  That's a paradox if I ever

 

            24             saw one.  Now, let me tell you something.

 

            25             Now, what you want to do, what's going to


 

 

                                                                      52

 

 

             1             happen if the mayor doesn't get this

 

             2             5.5 million you know what his backup plan is

 

             3             going to be, he is going to sell delinquent

 

             4             land, just delinquent taxes just like he did

 

             5             in 2007 with a 25 percent tax increase.  If

 

             6             you recall you voted for it, Mr. McGoff,

 

             7             Mrs. Fanucci voted for it and Mrs. Gatelli

 

             8             voted for it.  Yes.  Can you imagine that,

 

             9             that we are going to be -- we don't know if

 

            10             we are going to be able to have operating

 

            11             expenses?

 

            12                     It's really a laugh.  I mean, when

 

            13             you look at it, you know, I feel sorry,

 

            14             25 percent of the city as we spoke about at

 

            15             the school district last night is none -- is

 

            16             made up of nonprofits.  You are not going to

 

            17             get shall you are not going to be able to

 

            18             pay off this debt with property taxes.  You

 

            19             know, and to say we have a surplus with such

 

            20             a debt of 170 million, principle only, if

 

            21             you extrapolate the interest into that, I'm

 

            22             not a -- you do the math, 300 some million

 

            23             dollars, I don't know, but, you know, let's

 

            24             face it, you know, and they want to figure

 

            25             out -- here is the backup plan, sell the


 

 

                                                                      53

 

 

             1             delinquent taxes and that will makeup for

 

             2             what is lacking from the Scranton Tax

 

             3             Office.  Is that a plan?  I don't know.

 

             4             It's a good thing that mayor isn't a

 

             5             quarterback.

 

             6                     MR. MCGOFF: Janet Fargo.

 

             7                     MS. FARGO:  Good evening.  My name

 

             8             is Janet Fargo and I volunteer at the

 

             9             Genesis Wildlife Sanctuary on Sundays doing

 

            10             animal enrichment.  Well, I can personally

 

            11             testify that the animals receive excellent

 

            12             care, the cages are all cleaned daily and

 

            13             the animals are well-fed.  They probably eat

 

            14             better than I do actually.  I would like

 

            15             tonight to ask a few questions and address

 

            16             some issues regarding funding and the unfair

 

            17             criticisms we have been receiving in the

 

            18             paper.

 

            19                     The newspaper states that we cannot

 

            20             afford a new building since it would cost

 

            21             about $10 million to build.  What I would

 

            22             like to know is there was money raised

 

            23             towards the building of this new building.

 

            24             I have heard all kinds of rumors how much

 

            25             was raised.  I have heard as high as


 

 

                                                                      54

 

 

             1             $3 million.  What I would like to know is I

 

             2             would like to have facts instead of rumors,

 

             3             can anyone come up with how much was raised

 

             4             for this new building, where is this money

 

             5             now, and if people donated money to build a

 

             6             nicer facility for the animals and that

 

             7             money is still here why can't that money be

 

             8             used to renovate the building that the

 

             9             animals are in now at Nay Aug Park?

 

            10                     We have been criticized unfairly.  I

 

            11             wasn't going to mention names, but I think

 

            12             her name has come up already a couple of

 

            13             times, this Beatrice woman, I mean she has

 

            14             gone down so far as to criticize the fact

 

            15             that the birds are in bird cages.  That is

 

            16             kind of the point of a bird cage.  What we

 

            17             could do though if there was this money and

 

            18             we did want to say takes the birds from the

 

            19             front room and not put them in cages,

 

            20             perhaps we could build an aviary there with

 

            21             plants and trees and, of course, we would

 

            22             have to figure out which birds could get

 

            23             along and cohabitate this.

 

            24                     We have been criticized because the

 

            25             facility isn't he educational.  Again this


 

 

                                                                      55

 

 

             1             criticizing comes from someone who has just

 

             2             moved here, probably has spent all of an

 

             3             hour in the facility, has never been there

 

             4             when Jess, who is out of the room, has done

 

             5             educational talks.  We have the Girl Scouts

 

             6             Troops come through, we've had Boy Scout's

 

             7             Troops come through, I personally have

 

             8             worked with teachers where we have had their

 

             9             students look at every animal on the

 

            10             Internet and come in and tell us a fun fact

 

            11             as they are went through this tour.  But,

 

            12             again, if this money is available maybe we

 

            13             could do something to start an outreach

 

            14             program.  I know Margaret would love to go

 

            15             to the schools with some animals.  You could

 

            16             see she was only too happy to bring them

 

            17             here and talk to the children about exotic

 

            18             wildlife.

 

            19                     The final criticism that I would

 

            20             like to address, because I know I'm l

 

            21             limited to five minutes, is the acquisition

 

            22             of the two tiger cubs.  We have been

 

            23             criticized because the facility we got them

 

            24             through from people are saying it's a bad

 

            25             place, they breed tigers indiscriminantly,


 

 

                                                                      56

 

 

             1             and I do not want to discuss their policies

 

             2             and procedures because I have never been

 

             3             there, but I just want to put point out

 

             4             something that should be obvious.  If you

 

             5             are rescuing an animal, you are going to

 

             6             rescue it from a bad situation.  Nobody

 

             7             needs to be rescued from the San Diego Zoo,

 

             8             nobody needs to be rescued from the Bronx

 

             9             Zoo, so Margaret is trying to rescue

 

            10             animals, of course, she is going to be

 

            11             taking them from places that are less than

 

            12             ideal.  At this place, these tigers came to

 

            13             us they had fleas, they had ear mites, they

 

            14             had a very persistent case of ringworm, all

 

            15             of which she was able to deal with.  Where

 

            16             they were at 10 or 11 weeks they were

 

            17             already considered obsolete.  They were

 

            18             throw-aways, at their present age they would

 

            19             not even exist.

 

            20                     Right now at the facility you can go

 

            21             down to Genesis and see they're happy,

 

            22             they're healthy, they're magnificent

 

            23             animals, we even got criticized because

 

            24             there is two in one cage.  If you go there

 

            25             and you watch them they play together all


 

 

                                                                      57

 

 

             1             day.  When the male tiger went to the vet it

 

             2             was unmerciful.  The female cried the entire

 

             3             day missing him.

 

             4                     So what I would like to see is

 

             5             rather than just criticizing something you

 

             6             don't like or don't know anything about it,

 

             7             people should make an effort to improve the

 

             8             situation.  You can get involved.  You can

 

             9             make a donation, you can volunteer for a

 

            10             day, you could organize a fundraiser,

 

            11             participate in a fundraiser.  The staff and

 

            12             volunteers at Genesis do something every

 

            13             single day to improve the lives of these

 

            14             animals and you are all welcome to join us

 

            15             in that effort.  Thank you very much.

 

            16                     MR. MCGOFF: Carl Kuchinas.

 

            17                     MR. KUCHINAS: Good evening.  My name

 

            18             is Carl Kuchinas and the reason I'm here

 

            19             this evening is I don't like being lied to

 

            20             by the current administration of the City of

 

            21             Scranton, mainly Mayor Doherty, especially

 

            22             in an election year.  I am a resident of the

 

            23             lower Greenridge section of Scranton and our

 

            24             neighborhood was flooded in 1996, 2004, and

 

            25             the most devastating flood was in 2006.


 

 

                                                                      58

 

 

             1                     Recently one of my neighbors told me

 

             2             that Mayor Doherty is taking credit for the

 

             3             current flood project currently underway in

 

             4             our area.  It is even listed on the city

 

             5             website under infrastructure improvements

 

             6             the Lackawanna River levy project, $055

 

             7             million.  The levy improvement was first

 

             8             proposed for the Lackawanna River by the

 

             9             Army Corp of Engineers after the first flood

 

            10             in 1996 which was during the Connors'

 

            11             administration.

 

            12                     After the most recent flood in 2006,

 

            13             the Army Corp of Engineers held a meeting at

 

            14             the new Scranton High School for the flooded

 

            15             residents.  The mayor was at that meeting

 

            16             along with city council members Mrs. Evans

 

            17             and Mrs. Gatelli.  The only one who tried to

 

            18             help the residents and get answers from the

 

            19             Army Corp was Mrs. Evans.  She was actually

 

            20             concerned about our neighbors.  The mayor

 

            21             just kept pacing back and forth looking at

 

            22             his watch, obviously not concerned about the

 

            23             people in that neighborhood one bit.

 

            24                     Last year there was a meeting with

 

            25             the Army Corp at Weston Field with an update


 

 

                                                                      59

 

 

             1             on the flood project for our neighborhood.

 

             2             Again, the mayor did nothing to show his

 

             3             concern for the residents.  Our neighborhood

 

             4             was promised a flood siren by the Doherty

 

             5             administration.  The funding and location

 

             6             for the siren were approved.  It is now

 

             7             April of 2009.  We still do not have a flood

 

             8             siren.  In the mean time, until the levy

 

             9             project which is completed, which according

 

            10             to the Army Corp of Engineers will be in the

 

            11             first quarter of 2010 our neighborhood is

 

            12             still very vulnerable to yet another flood.

 

            13                     Now, onto the firehouses.  First the

 

            14             mayor said he will be closing two fire

 

            15             companies, then all of a sudden he changes

 

            16             his tune, he is not closing the two

 

            17             companies.  What are we to believe?  Of

 

            18             course, an election year the mayor will say

 

            19             anything he thinks just to have the

 

            20             taxpayers hear what they want to hear so he

 

            21             will get elected.

 

            22                     Monday I read in the Scranton Times

 

            23             that the mayor is closing the Genesis Center

 

            24             up at Nay Aug Park.  I think that's

 

            25             terrible.  First of all, all of those


 

 

                                                                      60

 

 

             1             innocent animals are going to be put down.

 

             2             That's not fair to the animals, also not

 

             3             fair to the people who come to Nay Aug Park

 

             4             to see that.  Several of my friends bring

 

             5             their children up to Nay Aug Park just to

 

             6             visit the Wildlife Center.

 

             7                     They also comment that add Nay Aug

 

             8             Park they should be paying more attention to

 

             9             the dirty conditions of the bathrooms, they

 

            10             are actually concerned to have their

 

            11             children go into the bathrooms because they

 

            12             have such filthy conditions and also dog

 

            13             droppings at the park.

 

            14                     As a lifelong resident and taxpayer

 

            15             and homeowner of Scranton, I can assure you

 

            16             to me that good fire and police protection,

 

            17             clean and safe conditions for our families

 

            18             at Nay Aug Park and other city facilities

 

            19             and neighborhood flood control is much more

 

            20             important than some of the accomplishments

 

            21             of the Doherty administration.  Some Doherty

 

            22             administration accomplishments were the

 

            23             Electric City sign on Linden Street, the

 

            24             reconstruction of the 500 block of

 

            25             Lackawanna Avenue, which was four lanes and


 

 

                                                                      61

 

 

             1             is now narrowed down to two lanes on a very

 

             2             busy street, the dog park, the bridge to

 

             3             nowhere and, of course, the Nay Aug Park

 

             4             treehouse, number one.

 

             5                     If you are a tired of the lies and

 

             6             the misdirected properties, remember there

 

             7             is a mayor election on May 19.  All it takes

 

             8             is a stroke of the pen for change, then the

 

             9             taxpayers of the city will get the proper

 

            10             police, fire and flood protection that they

 

            11             paid for and deserve.  Thank you very much

 

            12             for your time.

 

            13                     MR. MCGOFF: Bernadette Royce.

 

            14                     MS. ROYCE: Hi.  Good evening,

 

            15             Bernadette Royce, West Scranton.  First I'd

 

            16             like to say I have several friends who

 

            17             volunteer at the wildlife center and you

 

            18             will never meet a group of people that are

 

            19             more dedicated to those animals and they are

 

            20             absolutely wonderful with the animals and I

 

            21             think you need to consider that.

 

            22                     Now, onto my normal topic.  In the

 

            23             past 10 days one of two things has

 

            24             apparently happened:  One, Mayor Doherty

 

            25             suffered an epiphany regarding Scranton's


 

 

                                                                      62

 

 

             1             need for adequate fire protection; or, two,

 

             2             the mayor believes the rest of us suffer

 

             3             massive amnesia regarding his years of

 

             4             previous pledges to lower the level of

 

             5             Scranton's fire protection.

 

             6                     Fortunately, for the forgetful, his

 

             7             pledges are well-documented.  On February 2,

 

             8             2009, the mayor planned to close fire

 

             9             stations and cut at least 30 firefighters.

 

            10             According to the Times, on August 31, 2008,

 

            11             Doherty wanted to reduce the department by

 

            12             32 to 38 firefighters and consolidate eight

 

            13             stations 2-4.

 

            14                     On July 8, 2008, the mayor was

 

            15             quoted:  "Make no mistake about it, I will

 

            16             reduce the fire department's staff."

 

            17                     I can go back years with more of the

 

            18             same.  It is time this council pins down the

 

            19             mayor's actual position on fire protection

 

            20             and hold him to it.  We all understand

 

            21             situations are dynamic and no position is

 

            22             static.  However, the economic realities

 

            23             facing Scranton are unlikely to change

 

            24             between now and the May election.  The only

 

            25             thing likely to change is the mayor's


 

 

                                                                      63

 

 

             1             political position.

 

             2                     Chris Doherty hopes we are not

 

             3             forgetful, not only forgetful but also

 

             4             ignorant to realize this.  The council needs

 

             5             to tell the mayor that his time to stop

 

             6             playing politics with people's lives.  This

 

             7             council needs to ensure that the decisions

 

             8             made guarantee the safety of Scranton

 

             9             citizens and the firefighters.  Thank you.

 

            10             Have a good night.

 

            11                     MR. MCGOFF: Brett McCloe.

 

            12                     MR. MCCLOE:  Good evening.  My name

 

            13             is Brett McCloe, Scranton homeowner and

 

            14             taxpayer.  First, I'd wanted to say

 

            15             something about the Genesis project or the

 

            16             Genesis out there, one of the -- it brings

 

            17             to mind something that I have heard one time

 

            18             that you can judge a society by how you

 

            19             judge the least of it's citizens and even

 

            20             though they are creatures of mother nature

 

            21             they are in the City of Scranton and this

 

            22             probably should not speak well for this

 

            23             current administration.

 

            24                     But a few weeks ago I said something

 

            25             about the nature of state and federal


 

 

                                                                      64

 

 

             1             government and that it's changing to be more

 

             2             results oriented and performance oriented in

 

             3             it's approach to handing out tax dollars

 

             4             through grants and loans to failing

 

             5             companies and distressed municipalities, how

 

             6             are we performing and what are the results?

 

             7                     Yes, our downtown is becoming more

 

             8             esthetically pleasing.  Yes, the medical

 

             9             school will be a great feather in a cap,

 

            10             and, yes, the distance train will get even

 

            11             closer, but while we are waiting for all of

 

            12             this to actually turn a buck the current

 

            13             administration and the power base at the

 

            14             Chamber of Commerce has the citizens of this

 

            15             city picking up nickles and dimes in front

 

            16             of a steamroller of low wages, inflated

 

            17             budgets and $150 million of debt.  Some call

 

            18             it the price of progress, at the same time

 

            19             telling us that Scranton is no different

 

            20             than any other cities.

 

            21                     I have a hard time believing that we

 

            22             are no different than any other city.  The

 

            23             proof that we are different can probably be

 

            24             found in the budgets and debts of those

 

            25             other cities.  Allentown has 26,000 more


 

 

                                                                      65

 

 

             1             people than Scranton and their metro area

 

             2             has 200,000 more than we do yet their budget

 

             3             for 2009 is $89 million and ours is

 

             4             $85 million.  I will admit I don't know much

 

             5             about the mechanics of a city's budget, but

 

             6             something doesn't add up.  Perhaps there is

 

             7             something in the material.

 

             8                     Perhaps it's time to take a closer

 

             9             look at the budgets of Erie, Bethlehem, and

 

            10             any other city close to our size and

 

            11             location just to see if we really are no

 

            12             different than any other city having

 

            13             financial difficulties.  Perhaps it's time

 

            14             for change.  Maybe we need to realize that

 

            15             becoming a service class city may not be in

 

            16             the best interest of the people especially

 

            17             when I believe that the Obama administration

 

            18             will get rid of tax breaks or even penalize

 

            19             American companies who ship manufacturing

 

            20             jobs and technical jobs overseas.  I'm not

 

            21             sure if that's the reason why Sally May came

 

            22             back to the US, but I'm quite sure it will

 

            23             be the reason some other companies do.

 

            24                     We need to identify these companies,

 

            25             find out what their needs are, enhance the


 

 

                                                                      66

 

 

             1             capabilities of our own adult population and

 

             2             through focused training specific to the

 

             3             needs of that company.  I say adult

 

             4             population not to exclude the young, but to

 

             5             include the whole population of Scranton and

 

             6             the northeast.

 

             7                     I'm quite sure we have what it takes

 

             8             to bring successful companies into Scranton,

 

             9             perhaps medical plastics or a producer of

 

            10             semi-conductors, these are all good high

 

            11             paying jobs that I believe the average

 

            12             citizen of Scranton can retrain and learn to

 

            13             do.  I believe the citizens of Scranton

 

            14             deserve more than to base their future on

 

            15             providing goods and services to those who

 

            16             believe after they have received their

 

            17             education.  After two or three graduations

 

            18             of the medical school there won't be enough

 

            19             jobs to keep any of them here.  They will be

 

            20             educated, heavily in debt, transient and

 

            21             should not be counted on to consume as much

 

            22             as conventional wisdom would have you

 

            23             believe.

 

            24                     I just want to everyone to keep

 

            25             their minds open on this election day and


 

 

                                                                      67

 

 

             1             engage vigorously in conversation with your

 

             2             neighbors and above all vote.

 

             3                     MR. MCGOFF: Robin Perry.

 

             4                     MS. PERRY: Hi.  Good evening.  My

 

             5             name is Robin Perry and I'm a volunteer at

 

             6             Genesis Wildlife and I assist Margaret

 

             7             Miller.  I have been there for six years.

 

             8             Margie has trained me during those six

 

             9             years.  I just wanted to emphasize that when

 

            10             the public is in our facility all glass

 

            11             doors leading to the monkey area, lemurs,

 

            12             are locked when the public is there.  They

 

            13             are not allowed anywhere near those cages.

 

            14             The tigers and the cougar, same thing.  You

 

            15             have a huge iron bar wall with a small

 

            16             walkway in-between for staff members only

 

            17             and then have you a huge wall of chain link

 

            18             fence plus two locked doors besides.  The

 

            19             public can get no where near them, so I

 

            20             don't understand where this Beatrice Heveran

 

            21             is saying that our place is unsafe to the

 

            22             public.

 

            23                     I mean, our birds there are caution

 

            24             boards across to keep people away.  We

 

            25             usually have a volunteer sitting there


 

 

                                                                      68

 

 

             1             stating, "Please do not stick your fingers

 

             2             into the cage."

 

             3                     I mean, any common sense adult would

 

             4             not stick your fingers into a cage because

 

             5             you are going to get bit.  Okay, these are

 

             6             not birds that are their birds at home.

 

             7             They are birds that have come from very bad

 

             8             situations and, you know, they are loud

 

             9             that's why we have them.

 

            10                     I feel that being at the Genesis

 

            11             Wildlife Center has enriched my life

 

            12             immensely.  It's a dream come true for me.

 

            13             My grandchildren adore being there, they

 

            14             come as often as they can.  They know the

 

            15             name and history of every animal that is

 

            16             there.  My granddaughter is going to be

 

            17             seven, my grandson is nine.  They go to

 

            18             school telling their classmates about these

 

            19             animals, the stories of them.  Their

 

            20             classmates have come down to the center all

 

            21             enthused, "I know what this animal is,

 

            22             Anthony told me about it."

 

            23                     To take away these animals,

 

            24             especially from those children, I think is

 

            25             horrific.  It's bad enough for us to have to


 

 

                                                                      69

 

 

             1             deal with it, but to have to tell these

 

             2             children that come to the center all of the

 

             3             time that these animals are no longer going

 

             4             to be here is going to be very devastating

 

             5             to them.  I would hope that you would please

 

             6             think of some way to help us, to help save

 

             7             these animals' lives because, believe me,

 

             8             Margie has done the most exceptional job

 

             9             with these animals that you could possibly

 

            10             imagine.  She has been doing it for over

 

            11             30 years.  She can incorporate animals that

 

            12             are usually not of the same species and put

 

            13             them together and it's miraculous to

 

            14             actually see them, to play together, to

 

            15             encounter each other.  She does wonders and

 

            16             I just wanted to make that point perfectly

 

            17             clear and also about the safety of the

 

            18             public because nobody has happened to

 

            19             mention that.  We are open to the public.

 

            20             Nobody gets near the animals.  Thank you

 

            21             very much.

 

            22                     MR. MCGOFF: Jessie Smallwood.

 

            23                     MS. SMALLWOOD: My name is Jessie

 

            24             Smallwood and I am a Marywood University

 

            25             student.  I would firstly like to address


 

 

                                                                      70

 

 

             1             the ladies and gentlemen of the council, my

 

             2             fellow audience members, and the people of

 

             3             Scranton and would like to thank them for

 

             4             their kind attention.

 

             5                     As we are all aware, the wildlife

 

             6             center of Nay Aug Park, known as Genesis

 

             7             Wildlife, has long been a target of intense

 

             8             scrutiny and objection now to the point of

 

             9             being shut down and it's inhabitants

 

            10             disposed of.  Despite the recent publicity

 

            11             and public slandering, Genesis Wildlife is

 

            12             an integral and priceless part of the

 

            13             community.  For the past seven years the

 

            14             wildlife center has not only been a home and

 

            15             safe haven for many abused, neglected and

 

            16             otherwise unwanted animals, but it is also

 

            17             has opened the eyes and brought in the minds

 

            18             of countless children and adults of all

 

            19             ages.

 

            20                     In the automated and electronic

 

            21             world we live in today, too much children a

 

            22             think that moves without batteries shows

 

            23             them a side of the world completely

 

            24             unreachable through a television screen.

 

            25             There are rules and facts of life that


 

 

                                                                      71

 

 

             1             cannot be found on-line, in a book or

 

             2             anywhere else other than being face-to-face

 

             3             with something truly wild.  At Genesis,

 

             4             anyone can have that unique experience

 

             5             whether they come from a penny to their name

 

             6             or not.  The rush for those who have never

 

             7             had such an experience awakens in all of us

 

             8             a deep and primal connection with the only

 

             9             thing that's real, nature.

 

            10                     We all have heroes or I have heard

 

            11             of those who do heroic things leaving many

 

            12             -- just, I'm sorry, as an aside, that sound

 

            13             is an animal screaming for it's life.  For

 

            14             all of those who have heard of those who do

 

            15             heroic things leaving many of us wishing for

 

            16             that one chance, that one opportunity to do

 

            17             something that matters, to all of those here

 

            18             tonight and to those watching at home, I

 

            19             appeal to your inner private selves, if you

 

            20             are one of those who want to make a

 

            21             difference this is your chance.  And for

 

            22             those who stay silent and do nothing

 

            23             thinking that someone else will step up to

 

            24             the plate I can tell you with extreme

 

            25             certainty they will not.  You are that


 

 

                                                                      72

 

 

             1             someone that your neighbor is thinking

 

             2             about.  If you are ready to do something the

 

             3             animals thank you.

 

             4                     For an example, we have had someone

 

             5             come up tonight who wishes to remain

 

             6             anonymous who has agreed to be the project

 

             7             manager of an effort to restore Genesis

 

             8             Wildlife to it's full splendor.  We need as

 

             9             many volunteers as humanly possible.  You

 

            10             can speak to me afterwards if so wish or you

 

            11             can come and find us at the zoo.  We can

 

            12             take your name, your number, the time you

 

            13             are available, even if it's only for an

 

            14             hour.  The date, the tentative date is

 

            15             April 18th and 19th, that's a Saturday and

 

            16             Sunday, and we are in desperate need of

 

            17             paint, rakes, shovels, brooms, any equipment

 

            18             that can be used to help us and with people

 

            19             behind us we will be able to accomplish our

 

            20             goals.  We are planning to bring in a

 

            21             veterinarian to check every animal and

 

            22             ensure they are capable of being there for

 

            23             as long as they are on this planet.  Thank

 

            24             for your kind attention.

 

            25                     MR. MCGOFF: David Dobson.


 

 

                                                                      73

 

 

             1                     MR. DOBSON: Good evening, Council,

 

             2             David Dobson, resident of Scranton and

 

             3             member of the Taxpayers' Association.  I

 

             4             have been reading in the paper about our tax

 

             5             debacle with the tax office and I'm very

 

             6             curious, I don't know who can answer it up

 

             7             there or possibly Mr. Minora, if an employer

 

             8             deducts money out of your paycheck and does

 

             9             not turn it over to the proper taxing

 

            10             authorities who is responsible that these

 

            11             taxes be paid?  I think in the instance of

 

            12             the IRS the taxpayer is responsible to see

 

            13             who the lawyer pays these taxes back?  I'm

 

            14             just wondering.

 

            15                     MR. MINORA:  If you asking me the

 

            16             question, I'm not sure.

 

            17                     MR. DOBSON: You're not sure.

 

            18                     MR MINORA:  I'd want to look at this

 

            19             and I suspect that it's different for the

 

            20             IRS, whether the State Department of Revenue

 

            21             and probably different for the $52 for the

 

            22             city.

 

            23                     MR. DOBSON: Yeah, because apparently

 

            24             taxes were being -- the wage tax was being

 

            25             deducted and not paid -- turned over to the


 

 

                                                                      74

 

 

             1             tax office and that's particularly

 

             2             egregious.  Shame on those employers.  Shame

 

             3             on them.

 

             4                     I'd also like to express a little

 

             5             support for these people from the wildlife

 

             6             center.  It's really ashame that something

 

             7             more can't be done.  Hopefully with some --

 

             8             we can find some of resources, but a list of

 

             9             different things that I have seen going on

 

            10             at Nay Aug over the years, for instance,

 

            11             Wednesday concerts I brought up, that

 

            12             concession stands no longer is open on

 

            13             Wednesday nights.  Last year my wife and I

 

            14             went over planning to probably spend 20

 

            15             bucks, the year before the line was from

 

            16             here to the wall, you had to wait 20 minutes

 

            17             to get waited on and last year we sat there

 

            18             hungry and thirsty we didn't even bother to

 

            19             have dinner.  If we wanted to go somewhere

 

            20             else the concert would have been over.

 

            21                     Also, the gypsy moth problem that

 

            22             exists up there and it's really killing off

 

            23             a lot of the beautiful old growth oaks and

 

            24             it really needs to be addressed.  Even the

 

            25             very -- Ozzie Quinn raised this tonight, the


 

 

                                                                      75

 

 

             1             very tree that supports the treehouse I took

 

             2             a picture of it, I still have it, I could

 

             3             bring it in if anybody is interested in

 

             4             seeing it, and it had gypsy moth damage on

 

             5             it and it looks like some of the branches

 

             6             are dead already.  So, you know, we spent

 

             7             how much on that and I don't always

 

             8             criticize spending money on green space, but

 

             9             I've never used the bridge to no where,

 

            10             other people can if they feel that way and

 

            11             so forth, but it should be maintained once

 

            12             it's there.

 

            13                     And I really didn't receive any kind

 

            14             of answer on the power lines from the paper

 

            15             that I was given and especially concerned

 

            16             about herbicides being dumped into Nay Aug

 

            17             Park.

 

            18                     Another issue is the swim free.  We

 

            19             never got anywhere with the swim free out of

 

            20             that authority except to pay the rate for

 

            21             the day.  Even though we are bringing in a

 

            22             lot of people and you think we could at

 

            23             least get a group rate it never happened.

 

            24             It never happened or it did after 250 people

 

            25             or something.  I pointed out the year before


 

 

                                                                      76

 

 

             1             last, I wasn't heavily involved in the Kids

 

             2             Free Swim last year, I had something doing

 

             3             in the earlier part of summer, but the

 

             4             lifeguards, one of the lifeguards didn't

 

             5             seem to like all of the kids there, I

 

             6             pointed out to them, well, if this was a

 

             7             private concern we couldn't justify the

 

             8             wages that are paid out to lifeguards,

 

             9             there's about 26 lifeguards present there at

 

            10             any given time on Sunday, and if you are

 

            11             look at the amount of people in the pool at

 

            12             three bucks a pop you couldn't even justify

 

            13             the wages if it were a private concern.

 

            14                     Now, one more second, I'd like to in

 

            15             the past I have mentioned trash removal and

 

            16             the fact that garbage is just being tossed

 

            17             out in bags and some people just don't seem

 

            18             to care, well, I talked to a man today that

 

            19             does care, I wrote down his phone number and

 

            20             his name and his address, if you are

 

            21             interested in a vote this fall you might

 

            22             want to give him a call.  Could I give this

 

            23             to Neil?

 

            24                     MR. MCGOFF: Please.  Thank you.

 

            25                     MR. DOBSON: All right, he is from


 

 

                                                                      77

 

 

             1             South Scranton and he has some points.

 

             2             There's a garbage can in back of his house

 

             3             that has not been dumped since last May.

 

             4             You know, and it's a head-butt with the guys

 

             5             from the DPW, it's too heavy for them to

 

             6             pick up, he says he has a bad heart, he will

 

             7             throw it on there if they need any help.

 

             8                     MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.

 

             9                     MR. DOBSON: Have a good night.

 

            10                     MR. MCGOFF: Other speakers?

 

            11                     MR. GERVASI:  Good evening, City

 

            12             Council.  My name is Dave Gervasi, I'm a

 

            13             city resident and firefighter.  I'm here

 

            14             tonight to straighten out what I think is

 

            15             water that's getting very muddy, especially

 

            16             your dissertation at the end of the meeting

 

            17             last week, Mr. McGoff.  We have been out,

 

            18             the firefighters, trying to educate the

 

            19             people on firehouse closures, engine company

 

            20             closures and possibility of things that

 

            21             could happen and the folie that we believe

 

            22             it is, but it seems like the mayor all of a

 

            23             sudden changed his mind and now he said he

 

            24             is not going to do any of that.  I want the

 

            25             people and I want the city council to think


 

 

                                                                      78

 

 

             1             about this what I have to say tonight.  This

 

             2             is what's been said in the past.

 

             3                     First off, the Recovery Plan states

 

             4             that the city wants to the right to decide

 

             5             what organization structure and operations

 

             6             of the fire department including, but not

 

             7             limited to, the number and location of

 

             8             firehouses, the temporary and permanent

 

             9             closing of fire stations and companies.  Why

 

            10             would that would be in there if it wasn't

 

            11             the mayor's intent?

 

            12                     November 24, 2003, Times' article:

 

            13             "Mr. Doherty, however, when asked did not

 

            14             specifically say that he would cut police

 

            15             and firefighter's staffs or close

 

            16             firehouses.  When we have the ability to

 

            17             take advantage of those options, we will

 

            18             look into that situation, he said."

 

            19                     November 11, 2004, Scranton Times'

 

            20             article:  "One question is how Mr. Doherty

 

            21             would use the Recovery Plan.  While

 

            22             Mr. Courtright said the mayor indicated to

 

            23             him it would involve staff cuts, the mayor

 

            24             would only say that the city would look at

 

            25             it once the union contracts are in place.


 

 

                                                                      79

 

 

             1             As for Mr. Courtright's statements, the

 

             2             mayor said, 'I don't comment on what other

 

             3             people say.'"

 

             4                     January 7, 2005, Times' article,

 

             5             "And while the administration has pledged

 

             6             not to reduce the police department from

 

             7             it's current 140 officers, the mayor would

 

             8             not make the same promise in the fire

 

             9             department.  We have to wait and see what

 

            10             our parameters are, Mr. Doherty said,

 

            11             referring to the arbitrator's decision and

 

            12             the contract."

 

            13                     June 12, 2005, Scranton Times'

 

            14             article, "He has not listed specific

 

            15             changes, but he has made broad statements

 

            16             that point to potential fire department

 

            17             reductions."

 

            18                     June 25, 2005, Times' article on an

 

            19             applying for grants for federally funded

 

            20             firefighters that the city refused to apply

 

            21             for Director Ray Hayes said, "In addition,"

 

            22             he said, "the city would be prohibited from

 

            23             reducing the department from it's current

 

            24             level during the length of that grant.  The

 

            25             administration has not said what it would do


 

 

                                                                      80

 

 

             1             if it achieves Recovery Plan language and

 

             2             firefighter contracts now in arbitration

 

             3             that would eliminate minimum manning

 

             4             clauses, but it has hinted in the fire

 

             5             department reductions."

 

             6                     October 28, 2005, Times' article,

 

             7             Mayor Doherty stated, "We are always worried

 

             8             about safety," Mr. Doherty said, but he

 

             9             added, "Decisions must be made based on how

 

            10             much the city needs," meaning the

 

            11             firefighters, "and the city can afford."

 

            12                     November 17, 2005, Times' article,

 

            13             "Details of the Recovery Plan would actually

 

            14             save money, but are sketchy.  Mr. Doherty

 

            15             says he plans to restructure the fired

 

            16             department to gain $2.4 million in savings.

 

            17             He has been silent on the details of the

 

            18             restructuring, although, he has not ruled

 

            19             out job cuts."

 

            20                     January 1, 2007, Scranton Times'

 

            21             article, "The city's appeal of the police

 

            22             and fire union arbitration awards also is

 

            23             expected to move forward in 2007,"

 

            24             Mr. Doherty said.  "I hope that is a victory

 

            25             in Court over unions would allow the


 

 

                                                                      81

 

 

             1             administration to reduce the firefighting

 

             2             staff of 150 to about 112."

 

             3                     January 12, 2008, Scranton Times

 

             4             article, "While he has vowed not to cut

 

             5             police officers, Mr. Doherty has made no

 

             6             secret of his desire to reduce the fire

 

             7             department's staff by as much as 32

 

             8             firefighters."

 

             9                     January 23, 2008, Times' article,

 

            10             "City officials have acknowledged the

 

            11             firefighter's contract will be more

 

            12             difficult of the two to settle only because

 

            13             of the administration's stated intent to

 

            14             eliminate 32 to 38 positions in the

 

            15             department."

 

            16                     July 18, 2008, Scranton Times'

 

            17             article:  "Mayor Doherty is quoted as

 

            18             saying, 'Make no mistake about it, I will

 

            19             reduce the fire department staff.'"

 

            20                     August 31, 2008, Times article, "In

 

            21             the city hall office of the public safety

 

            22             Director Ray Hayes, there is a manilla

 

            23             envelope marked "scenarios."  Inside are

 

            24             maps and charts, notes and research as the

 

            25             outline of what's in store if Mayor Doherty


 

 

                                                                      82

 

 

             1             wins the right to cut firefighters, a staff

 

             2             of 150 down to about 112, three platoon

 

             3             instead of four," and listen very carefully,

 

             4             "eight fire stations eventually consolidated

 

             5             to four or five."

 

             6                     January 23, 2009, an interview on

 

             7             WNEP TV Mayor Doherty stated, and I quote:

 

             8             "I want to build superstations throughout

 

             9             the city to make and provide better fire

 

            10             protection because the way the firehouses

 

            11             are laid out in the city really it's

 

            12             100 years old."

 

            13                     Mr. McGoff, can I have just a moment

 

            14             to finish up?

 

            15                     MR. MCGOFF: Please.

 

            16                     MR. GERVASI: February 2, 2009, the

 

            17             Scranton Times' article, "Also on the

 

            18             horizon is the prospect of closing the fire

 

            19             stations and cutting the ranks by more than

 

            20             30 firefighters, both of which Mr. Doherty

 

            21             has proposed as cost saving measures."

 

            22                     March 13, just a little while ago,

 

            23             my President Schreiber, who is a terrific

 

            24             firefighter, and one thing he is not is a

 

            25             liar, was at a meeting on March 13 with


 

 

                                                                      83

 

 

             1             business administrator Stu Renda and

 

             2             director of public safety, Ray Hayes, who

 

             3             told him they are closing Engine 9 On Main

 

             4             Avenue and they are closing Engine 4 at fire

 

             5             headquarters.

 

             6                     On May 16, Gary DeStefano, one of

 

             7             our firefighters, came here to this meeting

 

             8             to report to the public and the council on

 

             9             the mayor's intention on closing those

 

            10             companies.  The next day Ray Hayes -- I'm

 

            11             sorry, in the Times' article, "While reached

 

            12             by phone, Mr. Doherty denied that claim.

 

            13             While his desire to reduce the number of

 

            14             firefighters under the Recovery Plan is

 

            15             well-known, he refuted eminent plans to

 

            16             close companies."

 

            17                     The next day in the Times' article:

 

            18             "Scranton is seriously exploring plans to

 

            19             shut down two fire engine companies as part

 

            20             of the Recovery Plan initiative to

 

            21             restructure the fire department, Public

 

            22             Safety Director Ray Hayes said Tuesday."

 

            23                     March 23, 2009, during the interview

 

            24             on the WBRE TV the mayor said it, and I

 

            25             quote, "We are not closing firehouses at


 

 

                                                                      84

 

 

             1             all."

 

             2                     Now, the mayor on his website has

 

             3             published a letter that says, and he has had

 

             4             his campaign people drop literature at homes

 

             5             around the city that states, and I quote:

 

             6             "He is, the mayor, disappointed to see a

 

             7             stream of misinformation and political

 

             8             posturing surrounding firehouses.  Let me be

 

             9             perfectly clear, the City of Scranton has

 

            10             absolutely no plans to shut down firehouses

 

            11             or retire fire engine companies or trucks."

 

            12                     Now that he said he has absolutely

 

            13             no plans, before I leave the podium I just

 

            14             want to drop something off to the council

 

            15             members, this is something I received in

 

            16             2004 or '5, I'm not sure, from a Scranton

 

            17             Times' reporter.  He handed to me and asked

 

            18             me for a comment, and I asked him what it

 

            19             was.  They said the mayor -- "The public c

 

            20             safety director just gave this to me and I'd

 

            21             like your comments on it," and I'm going to

 

            22             hand it to you right now and I want you to

 

            23             look the first part, it's our department the

 

            24             way it is right now and you look at the

 

            25             second part and it shows Engine 4 and Engine


 

 

                                                                      85

 

 

             1             9 missing from the chart.  The closure of

 

             2             Engine 9 and Engine 4.  This has been the

 

             3             plan, and he just told everyone he doesn't

 

             4             have any plans.  Well, apparently he does

 

             5             because here is one of his plans.

 

             6                     Thank you, Mr. McGoff, for the extra

 

             7             time.  Ladies and gentlemen, we don't

 

             8             believe him what he is saying now and the

 

             9             firefighters of the City of Scranton who are

 

            10             sworn to protect our citizens will continue

 

            11             to go out and educate the people in the city

 

            12             about the dangers of firehouse closures.

 

            13             Thank you.

 

            14                     MS. SCHUMACHER: Well, I thought it

 

            15             would nice if you heard what I said that's

 

            16             why I'm here, so I thought you would wait

 

            17             until I finished your conversation, I'm

 

            18             sorry.

 

            19                     MS. FANUCCI: Wait one more second

 

            20             then.  Okay, go ahead.

 

            21                     MS. SCHUMACHER: Thank you.

 

            22                     MS. FANUCCI: We have work, too.  We

 

            23             have work, too.

 

            24                     MS. SCHUMACHER: Marie Schumacher --

 

            25                     MR. JACKOWITZ: Tell her it's out of


 

 

                                                                      86

 

 

             1             order.

 

             2                     MR. MCGOFF: That's out of order, Mr.

 

             3             Jackowitz.

 

             4                     MS. FANUCCI: He's never been in

 

             5             order.

 

             6                     MR. MCGOFF: Excuse me, it's out of

 

             7             order.

 

             8                     MS. FANUCCI:  We work, too.  Go

 

             9             ahead.

 

            10                     MS. SCHUMACHER: Marie Schumacher,

 

            11             resident and city taxpayer, member of the

 

            12             Taxpayers' Association.  Tonight

 

            13             Mrs. Gatelli is not here, but I would like

 

            14             to know how the rental registration is

 

            15             currently billed and when the RFP for

 

            16             improving that system will be issued.

 

            17             Mrs. Gatelli estimated one and half million

 

            18             dollars of revenue from this effort, but I

 

            19             believe there is about $18,000 in the 2009

 

            20             budget.  That's quite a discrepancy.

 

            21                     Now, Mr. McGoff, you made it to the

 

            22             Tripp park permit hearing yesterday and now

 

            23             I hope you will also be able to attend those

 

            24             authority meetings and garner support for

 

            25             earlier completion of their audits such that


 

 

                                                                      87

 

 

             1             we may receive our city audit well before

 

             2             the mayor's budget and tomorrow the

 

             3             Redevelopment Authority meets at 12:15 if

 

             4             you are interested right above Northern

 

             5             Lights.

 

             6                     Now another question, why does the

 

             7             recording for city hall telephones say the

 

             8             hours beginning at 8:30 months after the

 

             9             starting hour was changed to 8:00.

 

            10                     A question on council duties:  The

 

            11             audit report for 2007 says council approves

 

            12             sewer authority rate increases, but council

 

            13             did not approve the 50 plus percent

 

            14             increase, so it is the current audit report

 

            15             incorrect?  Question.

 

            16                     Also, late last year Mrs. Evans

 

            17             announced the NCC contract was automatically

 

            18             renewed if there wasn't action taken six

 

            19             months prior to the expiration.  This was

 

            20             not brought to council's attention, so is

 

            21             the NCC contract valid?  Question.

 

            22                     MS. FANUCCI: Yes.

 

            23                     MS. SCHUMACHER:  What is the city's

 

            24             policy on disposing florescent compact

 

            25             bulbs?  I understand that contain mercury


 

 

                                                                      88

 

 

             1             and should not go to landfills, but I have

 

             2             never received any word on how we are to

 

             3             dispose of those items.

 

             4                     Last week I asked whether the ad for

 

             5             a city engineer was in addition to or

 

             6             replacing Bruce Swanson and received no

 

             7             response.  I would like an answer to that

 

             8             because I believe there is only one engineer

 

             9             in the budget for 2009.

 

            10                     Also, has the health inspector

 

            11             position been filled?  I have seen no ads

 

            12             for this position and it's scary to think

 

            13             that all required health inspections may not

 

            14             be occurring.  Who, for instance, performed

 

            15             the required health inspection prior to the

 

            16             opening of Kildare's just around St.

 

            17             Patrick's Day -- or the parade, I should be

 

            18             more accurate.

 

            19                     To Mrs. Miller I would say a belated

 

            20             welcome to Scranton.  Our mayor makes

 

            21             promise after promise, but most are not

 

            22             fulfilled.  Ask the people of East Mountain

 

            23             what happened to the 200 plus thousand

 

            24             investment he was going to make at Robinson

 

            25             Park in 2002 or the Elm Street improvements


 

 

                                                                      89

 

 

             1             he promised in make in 2005 just a month

 

             2             before his second election.  The mayor is

 

             3             good at making promises, but not so good at

 

             4             keeping promises.

 

             5                     What he is threatening to do to Mrs.

 

             6             Miller and her animal family is cruel,

 

             7             inhuman and heartless.  What did our mayor

 

             8             use the $175,000 the state provided for the

 

             9             wildlife center to have Himler and Camard

 

            10             draw up plans for a new facility and

 

            11             refurbishment of the existing facility if he

 

            12             never intended to build a new facility?  Why

 

            13             didn't he use it for the betterment of the

 

            14             Genesis Wildlife Center to help the upkeep

 

            15             of the animals.

 

            16                     Incidentally, and then I'll finish

 

            17             and pick up again next week, I did call the

 

            18             Zoo New England and Bernice Heveran was

 

            19             never a member of the board.  She was a

 

            20             member of an advisory council.  Thank you

 

            21             and I'll see you next week the good Lord

 

            22             willing.  Happy Easter.

 

            23                     MS. GENTILE:  I'm not prepared with

 

            24             no notes, but have a passion for Nay Aug

 

            25             Park and the City of Scranton, born and


 

 

                                                                      90

 

 

             1             raised here.  Can you hear me?

 

             2                     MR. MCGOFF:  Just your name, please,

 

             3             for the record.

 

             4                     MS. GENTILE: Oh, I'm sorry, Johanna

 

             5             Gentile.  Johanna Androsky Gentile.  I'm a

 

             6             local ordinary housewife at this time,

 

             7             worked as a hairdresser twice in the city

 

             8             and managed the lines of Gertrude Hawk

 

             9             chocolate, married to my high school

 

            10             sweetheart Danny Gentile.

 

            11                     We love Nay Aug Park.  I love this

 

            12             town, I'm a promoter to everybody I meet.  I

 

            13             said we are 200 miles back from Manhattan

 

            14             and we are coming back.  It takes

 

            15             cooperation, it takes a passion and it takes

 

            16             working together.  All of these names are so

 

            17             familiar as a child to me and I call us the

 

            18             children that were left behind.  We swam at

 

            19             South Side pool at Nay Aug Park and the Red

 

            20             Cross taught us, we were great.  We spent

 

            21             all the days in the outdoors in those days

 

            22             and our dads were away in war, mine was,

 

            23             serving South Africa, and I said, "Danny --"

 

            24             we walked -- we moved away in 1963.  I was

 

            25             the first paid teacher in Morris County, New


 

 

                                                                      91

 

 

             1             Jersey, a deli cook first and we learned a

 

             2             finer way of life.  They had awful water

 

             3             though.  Couldn't wait to come home for a

 

             4             good drink of Scranton water and then after

 

             5             eight years we moved to Thousand Oaks,

 

             6             California, and eventually Knoeble Park.  My

 

             7             brother, Wally, went out with Capital

 

             8             Records with his high school sweetheart and

 

             9             did quite well and is Henderson right now,

 

            10             so Scranton has always meant something to

 

            11             us.  We moved back after the industry of the

 

            12             space industry crashed and Danny lost his

 

            13             job and we said, "Where do we go?"

 

            14                     He was a Brunswick mechanic, we will

 

            15             go to Colorado, we'll go to Morristown or

 

            16             we'll come home and we have been here ever

 

            17             since.  We lived in Nicholson across -- next

 

            18             door from Congressman Sherwood's mother and

 

            19             eventually in '79 came back to my mother's

 

            20             homestead, 1009 South Irving Avenue and he

 

            21             has been a sick man for 20 years and we lost

 

            22             our home to predatory lending, and that's

 

            23             okay, but we walk the park every, every day,

 

            24             especially in the summer, winter and we cry.

 

            25                     And, you know, at one time we parked


 

 

                                                                      92

 

 

             1             by the museum and we would go out with my

 

             2             grandchild Nicholas, who lives in Hazelton,

 

             3             and every squirrel would great us because no

 

             4             one was there.  We carried peanuts and they

 

             5             would just come down and converge upon us,

 

             6             and now it's so different.  You can't find a

 

             7             squirrel unless you have a peanut.

 

             8                     You know, and I'm horrified to think

 

             9             that this place is going to close down.  I

 

            10             have been there the last three weeks

 

            11             straight with a girl I met from New Jersey

 

            12             and a local resident who has lived her all

 

            13             her life.  She never saw it.  I explained

 

            14             everything, I think this is the greatest

 

            15             tourist attraction, and I was horrified.

 

            16             There was a wedding party there and I lost

 

            17             my sunglasses, finally they were returned

 

            18             and I was so happy.  And I said, Amy, there

 

            19             is Fern, she grew up with my husband Danny

 

            20             from Petersburg, I would do what I can and I

 

            21             think if this city pulls together and gets a

 

            22             grass root operation that we can convince

 

            23             people to work together.

 

            24                     I represent a national golf product,

 

            25             my brother invented it, I'm his


 

 

                                                                      93

 

 

             1             representative, I get nothing, and these men

 

             2             I know most of them, my dad was Walter

 

             3             Androsky, the cop, he shot somebody down

 

             4             town, he was quite famous, he dug down and

 

             5             got all of the benefits for the men.

 

             6                     My husband wanted to be the cop.

 

             7             His dad, Denali Gentile, was the first cop

 

             8             of Bunker Hill in Scranton and wore a six

 

             9             shooter and my son got a dream and he is a

 

            10             state police officer in Bloomsburg and the

 

            11             sergeant in command.  So, I just pray that

 

            12             there is someone somewhere that will work

 

            13             together.  I pray for the policemen.  I pray

 

            14             for my council, my president, everything and

 

            15             pray that we can solve.  We have brilliant

 

            16             minds in this town and we can't waste them.

 

            17                     We can't let a child, we can't let a

 

            18             dog or cat go down, those animals are in

 

            19             great shape.  They are beautiful.  They are

 

            20             beautiful.  And I talk to the director, she

 

            21             was horrified and so am I and I just beg

 

            22             that we mas a city somehow work together.

 

            23             Thank you so much and God bless you.

 

            24                     MR. JACKOWITZ: Good evening,

 

            25             council, Council president, Bill Jackowitz,


 

 

                                                                      94

 

 

             1             South Scranton resident and member of the

 

             2             Taxpayers' Association.  All taxes paid up

 

             3             to date in full, paid two parking tickets

 

             4             within 24 hours of issuance.

 

             5                     I would like to thank Councilwoman

 

             6             Evans for answering my question last week.

 

             7             I would also like to thank Councilwoman

 

             8             Gatelli, even though she is not here, for

 

             9             her vote last week.  My other two questions

 

            10             were answered by the Times-Tribune front

 

            11             page news stories.  $134,000 paid to

 

            12             Nihill-Riedley for no answers only more

 

            13             questions.  Price tags still going up.

 

            14             Backup plan for the shortfall of the

 

            15             5.5 million, selling delinquent taxes from

 

            16             recent years.  Did not work the first time

 

            17             in 2007, taxes were raised in 2007.  What is

 

            18             the definition of insanity?  Doing the same

 

            19             thing over even though it does not work.

 

            20                     Cheerleaders drunk during the ST.

 

            21             Patrick's Day parade.  Is public drunkenness

 

            22             not a crime?  Selective enforcement of the

 

            23             laws cannot be tolerated.  Eight-six

 

            24             underage drinkers cited in the Hill Section

 

            25             for the very same crime.  I ask why


 

 

                                                                      95

 

 

             1             selective enforcement of the law?  Somebody

 

             2             needs to look into this, why no citations

 

             3             were issued to the cheerleaders.  Chief

 

             4             Elliott, who provided the alcohol to the

 

             5             students?  Oh, I forgot, I am in Scranton

 

             6             and it was the St. Patrick's Day parade.

 

             7             Who pulled the strings on the puppets this

 

             8             time?

 

             9                     What is the difference between

 

            10             organized crime and politicians?  Crime

 

            11             figures carry guns.  The coverup that is

 

            12             occurring at the Single Tax Office cannot be

 

            13             tolerated.  Citizens and taxpayers of

 

            14             Scranton and Lackawanna County work hard for

 

            15             their money.  Scranton city controller for

 

            16             21 years has not.  Tax collector for seven

 

            17             years have not.  Mayor of Scranton for seven

 

            18             years has not.  County commissioners for

 

            19             seven years have not.  City council members

 

            20             for seven years have not, with the exception

 

            21             of Mr. Courtright and Mrs. Evans.  They at

 

            22             least listen to the speakers at city council

 

            23             for the last three years about the

 

            24             corruption and coverup that were happening

 

            25             at the city single tax office.


 

 

                                                                      96

 

 

             1                     Councilwoman Fanucci once asked

 

             2             Councilwoman Evans to provide proof.  Well,

 

             3             the proof has been provided and nothing is

 

             4             being done.  We, the citizens, should not

 

             5             have to wait until 2010 which, by the way,

 

             6             would be after the general election of 2009.

 

             7             Wow, what timing after the election.

 

             8                     We have been lied to, made to look

 

             9             foolish, that is those who trust their

 

            10             elected officials, I do not fall into that

 

            11             category.  I am more than capable of

 

            12             thinking for myself.  Twenty-eight years

 

            13             experience in criminal investigation and a

 

            14             licensed and private investigator.  My

 

            15             opinion, the perfect white collar crime was

 

            16             devised by someone to cause confusion to

 

            17             cover up their crime.  Comments such as:  I

 

            18             never realized how bad things were at the

 

            19             tax office.  It might be best to focus

 

            20             resources on moving ahead.  In other words,

 

            21             let the taxpayers pay the bill, no need to

 

            22             look into or investigate the

 

            23             misappropriation of taxpayers' money,

 

            24             comment from elected city council members

 

            25             Gatelli and McGoff.


 

 

                                                                      97

 

 

             1                     How much money has been wasted to

 

             2             fight the firefighters and police officers,

 

             3             Court costs, arbitration awards and PEL?  It

 

             4             took 30 seconds for the district attorney to

 

             5             file charges against the individual who

 

             6             brought the check into city council chambers

 

             7             and two tax office employees, again,

 

             8             selective enforcement of the law.

 

             9                     As at citizen of Scranton and the

 

            10             United States, I demand that a full-blown

 

            11             investigation be started by the City of

 

            12             Scranton, Lackawanna County, State of

 

            13             Pennsylvania, Scranton School District and

 

            14             the United States Justice Department.  The

 

            15             time has come for all citizens and taxpayers

 

            16             in Scranton and Lackawanna County.  Stand up

 

            17             for your right, but more importantly stand

 

            18             up against the dishonesty that is abundant

 

            19             in our local.  Fair, honest and open

 

            20             government, doesn't matter.

 

            21                     A request to the FBI, come on down

 

            22             81 North, take the River Street exit, you

 

            23             can start at the tax office and then city

 

            24             hall, county courthouse, school district,

 

            25             when you are finished make a call to the US


 

 

                                                                      98

 

 

             1             Marshalls Office.  They really are the

 

             2             people I would like to see because they are

 

             3             responsible for prisoner transport which

 

             4             means that arrests have been made.  Can you

 

             5             imagine that the FBI really believes that

 

             6             pay for teacher's job may have happened in

 

             7             Northeastern, Pennsylvania?  By the way, US

 

             8             Department, we have over 300 empty office

 

             9             spaces in Scranton, a great place to open up

 

            10             a training academy for new FBI agents,

 

            11             secret service agents, ATF agents and US

 

            12             deputy marshalls.  Come on down, the honest

 

            13             taxpayers of Scranton are waiting for your

 

            14             arrival.

 

            15                     No forensic audit, not even an

 

            16             audit.  May I finish?

 

            17                     MR. MCGOFF: Please.

 

            18                     MR. JACKOWITZ: Tax probe cost hits

 

            19             $134,000.  The taxpayers are paying $145 an

 

            20             hour up to $325 an hour to Nihill-Riedley

 

            21             for what?  Why?  Did the taxpayers create

 

            22             the mess?  Attorney McGovern states forensic

 

            23             audit was a catch phrase.  He must feel that

 

            24             the citizens taxpayers who pay your salary

 

            25             are not capable of handling the truth.


 

 

                                                                      99

 

 

             1             Where is the tax collector, Mrs. Flynn?

 

             2             Does she not have a voice?

 

             3                     Scranton Tea Party demonstration in

 

             4             front of the courthouse, Veteran's monument,

 

             5             15th of April 2009, noon to 2 p.m. come one

 

             6             come all.  Mr. McGoff, get ready to gavel me

 

             7             out of order because I am mad as hell and

 

             8             pissed off.

 

             9                     MR. MCGOFF: That is out of order,

 

            10             Mr. Jackowitz.  You should have more respect

 

            11             for the room if nothing else.

 

            12                     MR. GIAM: Good evening.  My name is

 

            13             John Giam, I have lived in the City of

 

            14             Scranton for about six years now.  I'm

 

            15             originally from Jersey, I know a lot of

 

            16             people have heard my name several times.  I

 

            17             don't think the city is ever going to come

 

            18             back and I don't know how all of you have

 

            19             known about the project up at the zoo, I

 

            20             have something a little bit serious more

 

            21             than that issue to come out right now.  I

 

            22             won't hold up your time, I know people have

 

            23             other things to do.

 

            24                     I have two issues that really

 

            25             concern me, number one is my wife and my


 

 

                                                                     100

 

 

             1             landlord are both with the City of Scranton

 

             2             crossing guards.  Whittier School is for

 

             3             children.  These people are supposed to

 

             4             watch over those children.  If you close

 

             5             down or you do anything to the fire company

 

             6             in the City of Scranton you are going to

 

             7             burn down children and you're going to lose

 

             8             a lot of people's lives.  Not just, you

 

             9             know, the majority of teachers, you know,

 

            10             people like that, you are going to lose a

 

            11             lot of people.

 

            12                     Another issue I wanted to come up

 

            13             was parking on Moosic Street.  There should

 

            14             be something done seriously there of signs,

 

            15             some kind of signs.  Maybe a sign that says

 

            16             "No parking" so these people could see,

 

            17             something they can do.  We are still hoping

 

            18             that maybe somewhere down in the future they

 

            19             will pull an alarm in the city so the fire

 

            20             company can come there, besides the people

 

            21             in the City of Scranton seeing what's going

 

            22             on with the school.  This is in Lackawanna

 

            23             County.  This is in Scranton, Pennsylvania,

 

            24             you know.  Maybe it's just me, but when you

 

            25             lose kids, my son is old enough right now, I


 

 

                                                                     101

 

 

             1             got to pay for a car, excuse my expression,

 

             2             I mean, we have all children, I have seen

 

             3             this man's child stand out on the corner

 

             4             with him and there is so many people that

 

             5             are coming in out of there, the work that

 

             6             these people do with two people, especially

 

             7             my wife.

 

             8                     I don't believe this is Scranton,

 

             9             Pennsylvania, I don't care what anybody

 

            10             says.  I don't care how long you people have

 

            11             been seeing this and going on, well, damn

 

            12             it, if you don't get nothing done there is

 

            13             going to be a lot of lives lost and I know

 

            14             that for a fact.  I mean, I'm not one for

 

            15             sitting down on my face not getting up and

 

            16             saying something, I don't want to bore

 

            17             anybody with what I want I have to say, but

 

            18             I believe I do have something to say as a

 

            19             human being and for one thing the United

 

            20             States of America, plus I'm still in it,

 

            21             even though they said I'm a little bit up

 

            22             here, but that's all right.  That happens to

 

            23             everybody.

 

            24                     Ladies and gentlemen, everybody

 

            25             here, please consider the lives of these


 

 

                                                                     102

 

 

             1             children and what's going to happen with

 

             2             these schools because once they get on the

 

             3             fire people ain't there I don't care who you

 

             4             are you are going to have to come out of the

 

             5             City of Scranton take these children out

 

             6             alive and if these people lose their lives

 

             7             because somebody else don't give a darn

 

             8             then I have wasted my time to talk to you

 

             9             people right here standing in front of me

 

            10             and sitting in front of me.  Thank you very

 

            11             much and have a good Easter.  God bless you

 

            12             all, I mean that.

 

            13                     MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else?

 

            14                     MR. ANCHERANI: Good evening.  Nelson

 

            15             Ancherani, First Amendment Rights.  What I'm

 

            16             about to say in no way reflects on the

 

            17             workers of the Single Tax Office or the tax

 

            18             collector.  Last week I asked 17 questions,

 

            19             this week I will be curious to see how many

 

            20             of them will be answered.  Question:  What

 

            21             is going to be done about the missing two

 

            22             million from the single tax office?  I don't

 

            23             ever, and I say ever, agree with the slimes,

 

            24             but for once I do.  I agree with their

 

            25             editorialist and Chris Kelly about an


 

 

                                                                     103

 

 

             1             investigation into that missing money.

 

             2             Forgive me, fellow city work employees, but

 

             3             I almost lost my supper thinking I agreed

 

             4             with the slimes.

 

             5                     Back to reality, two million is lot

 

             6             of money to be missing.  Myself, along with

 

             7             every other property owner, got a 25 percent

 

             8             tax hike in 2007 when the 12.2 million was

 

             9             found in that tax office account in 2008.

 

            10             Undispersed money, money in progress, in a

 

            11             collective account, lousy accounting and

 

            12             sloppy bookkeeping is blamed.  It may never

 

            13             be found or recovered.  What?  Never

 

            14             recovered, never found?  They say the cost

 

            15             of finding out where it went missing could

 

            16             be cost prohibitive.  That's another what?

 

            17                     Are we not curious as to where that

 

            18             $2 million went or is it just, oh, well,

 

            19             it's only taxpayers' money.  The taxpayers

 

            20             who paid the 25 percent tax increase and the

 

            21             homeowners who can't pay that increase and

 

            22             are losing their homes is of an answer.  The

 

            23             taxpayers will never forget that it was

 

            24             Mrs. Gatelli, Mr. McGoff and Mrs. Fanucci

 

            25             who voted for that 25 percent tax increase


 

 

                                                                     104

 

 

             1             and for the record budget last year when

 

             2             this 12.2 was hidden in that account.

 

             3                     One of the other questions is where

 

             4             was Mr. Pilchesky in 2007 when we were short

 

             5             money if wasn't being dispersed to the city

 

             6             from the tax office?  Who didn't pick up on

 

             7             the short fall?  It makes me believe that

 

             8             the money was being hidden to make it appear

 

             9             that we were distressed and to keep us in

 

            10             this status.  Therefore, we deserve an

 

            11             answer, but, no, we demand an answer.  Clear

 

            12             the air or try to.

 

            13                     According to what Chris Kelly of the

 

            14             slimes writes, get what little is left of

 

            15             public confidence in government back if that

 

            16             is at all possible.  Question:  Was the

 

            17             letter that Mrs. Evans requested to be sent

 

            18             to the different law enforcement agencies

 

            19             asking for an investigation ever sent by

 

            20             council?  Two million is a lot of money.  So

 

            21             let's slide through our fingers.  We paid

 

            22             millions for improvements at Nay Aug Park.

 

            23             Examples, millions for dirt and Davis trail

 

            24             that had raw sewage flowing it over from the

 

            25             Wildlife Center which was no fault of the


 

 

                                                                     105

 

 

             1             center.  Maintenance of the building, city's

 

             2             responsibility.  A bridge to no where, an

 

             3             undersized bat house, a black and green fish

 

             4             pond that cost the city 1.2 million and the

 

             5             city was too cheap to buy an aerator to keep

 

             6             the fish from freezing in the winner.  Also,

 

             7             a collapsed amphitheater roof without

 

             8             insurance coverage and a treehouse.  All of

 

             9             the while west side and north end got zilch.

 

            10                     That two million could have gone

 

            11             towards lowering the wage tax that was

 

            12             promised to be lowered seven years ago and

 

            13             hasn't been.  The Times is calling for an

 

            14             investigation into the missing two million.

 

            15             We must remember that the Lynettes are also

 

            16             property owners and were subjected to the

 

            17             25 percent tax increase and that 25 percent

 

            18             increase was probably not needed if that

 

            19             money was dispersed like it should have

 

            20             been.  The taxpayers are tired of being the

 

            21             scapegoats.

 

            22                     I also where the money was going to

 

            23             come from if the 5.5 million doesn't

 

            24             materialize.  Stuy says contingency fund.

 

            25             There should be a lot of money in that fund


 

 

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             1             since the city received revenues through the

 

             2             budgets and loans approximately 700 million.

 

             3             That's close to three-quarters of a billion

 

             4             dollars.  Thank you.

 

             5                     MR. ELLMAN:  Hello, Council.  Ronnie

 

             6             Ellman, homeowner and member of the

 

             7             Taxpayers' Association and new parent.

 

             8             Rosie and I had a little I guess what people

 

             9             would say a bundle of joy this week, last

 

            10             Tuesday at my age, we adopted a three year

 

            11             old.

 

            12                     MR. MCGOFF: Congratulations.

 

            13                     MR. ELLMAN: You haven't heard it all

 

            14             yet.  Yes, this is a real joy.  We adopted a

 

            15             little Bassett hound.  He is just -- I

 

            16             didn't want another dog after Lump died, but

 

            17             he is just such a joy and so good I just

 

            18             didn't, you know, I couldn't turn him down.

 

            19                     I didn't no notes tonight I just --

 

            20             you know, it's hot in here.  It's election

 

            21             here and someone has turned up the heat, and

 

            22             I'm burning up.  I took my coat off.  You

 

            23             know, I talked to some people this week and

 

            24             really I know the heart of the city that we

 

            25             were talking about what I said last week


 

 

                                                                     107

 

 

             1             about I want to live here and I want to stay

 

             2             in town.  I had a little piece of land in

 

             3             Tennessee that I gave up, it was what, three

 

             4             by six or whatever.  I had a $1,500 funeral

 

             5             or 750 cash and I took the cash years ago

 

             6             because I'm going to stay here, but a few

 

             7             minutes ago the lady was talking about all

 

             8             of these pictures on the wall.  This is the

 

             9             worst administration since Mr. Hill's

 

            10             picture was put up there 100 years ago, I

 

            11             guess, when this building was built and I

 

            12             think this is the first election year that I

 

            13             have seen so many people seem to take an

 

            14             interest in it.  I sure hope that there is a

 

            15             good vote instead of like it's always been

 

            16             like half the people vote.  I've had people

 

            17             tell me that they want accessibility to the

 

            18             mayor's office, you know, not going in there

 

            19             in person, they want someone that they could

 

            20             talk to and trust and that is part of them,

 

            21             not someone that takes his tie off and has a

 

            22             hot dog with Joe Snedeker in the morning and

 

            23             says, look, I'm one of you guys, you know.

 

            24             That's being phony.  The people, it's time

 

            25             for a change in the city.  If you weigh the


 

 

                                                                     108

 

 

             1             good and the bad, you know, because I am not

 

             2             totally anti-Doherty, there is lot of things

 

             3             that I have agreed with, but if you weigh

 

             4             the good and the bad, you know, you know how

 

             5             it comes out.  It just -- and people are

 

             6             starting to see that when I'm holding my

 

             7             little office at the Taurus Club and all.  I

 

             8             have never heard so much adversity like, you

 

             9             know, like I guess because it's election

 

            10             year and those people are more interested

 

            11             than most of the city, but I just hope

 

            12             people get out and vote and make this a fine

 

            13             election.

 

            14                     I have been talking to several

 

            15             candidates that come by the house and I wish

 

            16             everybody good luck.  All of them have good

 

            17             ideas.  But if you can't get these people to

 

            18             vote and register I don't know it's just

 

            19             going to be another poor election like we

 

            20             have had year after year after year where

 

            21             half the people vote and half don't and then

 

            22             they cry and whine and complain.  You know,

 

            23             it's getting to be like half the city seems

 

            24             to be supporting the other half, but they

 

            25             just don't do nothing about it.  I never


 

 

                                                                     109

 

 

             1             seen homeowners that don't vote, you know,

 

             2             lots of them.  Well, thank you for the --

 

             3             I'd just thought I'd throw that in about my

 

             4             dog.  I was 73 years old a couple of weeks

 

             5             ago I don't think I need no diapers or

 

             6             nothing.  Thank you, council.

 

             7                     MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else?

 

             8                     MS. KRAKE: Good evening, Council.

 

             9             My name is Nancy Krake.  I have several

 

            10             different things that I would like to speak

 

            11             about this evening, but they are all related

 

            12             under the headings of fiscal responsibility

 

            13             or irresponsibility in case of this

 

            14             administration and the lack of

 

            15             accountability by administration and council

 

            16             members.

 

            17                     Mrs. Fanucci is an employed by the

 

            18             state, and I have an article here from the

 

            19             Times Shamrock newspaper from April 28,

 

            20             2003, Wyoming County Commissioner is

 

            21             appointed to the regional director -- as

 

            22             regional director of Agriculture for the

 

            23             state.  He does not seek another term as

 

            24             Wyoming County Commissioner specifically

 

            25             because federal law, not state law, federal


 

 

                                                                     110

 

 

             1             law prohibits state employees from holding

 

             2             elected office.  Mrs. Fanucci sits at the

 

             3             pleasure of Governor Rendell who also holds

 

             4             the ax over our heads for Act 47.  It would

 

             5             behoove her to follow his instructions.

 

             6                     My secondary marks are concerning

 

             7             Mrs. Evans' request for a letter from the

 

             8             pension board about the double pension.

 

             9             What I'd like to read is dated February 2,

 

            10             2004, it's from then city solicitor Robert

 

            11             Farrell to Bernice Spracino, the mayor's

 

            12             then secretary.  "Bernice, please relay this

 

            13             message and attached letter to Chris," that

 

            14             would be the mayor, "Lynn, the business

 

            15             administration, told me that the pension

 

            16             board is doubling pensions."

 

            17                     I want to interject something here,

 

            18             that was negotiated by Ms. Moran, the

 

            19             receiver of nearly $100,000 in raises, by

 

            20             the way since she has been here, not with

 

            21             me.  She did not negotiate that with the

 

            22             union president, okay?  She did that behind

 

            23             my back.  "This will result in a larger hit

 

            24             to the city than we promised in the

 

            25             agreement with the clericals in the


 

 

                                                                     111

 

 

             1             ordinances on the pension wherein we

 

             2             committed 90,000 annually.  I told Lynn that

 

             3             this doubling was troubling."

 

             4                     Funny how we can make so light of

 

             5             something that is now costing the city over

 

             6             $800,000 a year in an MMO, which will

 

             7             continue for the next 20 years.  That was

 

             8             the big fat savings that we got when we got

 

             9             rid of 30 clerical people.  We not only took

 

            10             their salaries and applied it to

 

            11             administrative people, we also cost the

 

            12             taxpayers another $800,000 for the next

 

            13             20 years for nothing and these people

 

            14             received full benefits.

 

            15                     After he says the doubling was

 

            16             troubling, "In particular, given that names

 

            17             of qualifying pensioners keep surfacing."

 

            18                     They weren't quite sure who was

 

            19             getting it.  They had to make sure it was

 

            20             everybody they wanted.  "I drafted the

 

            21             attached letter to Tom Barrett to clarify

 

            22             the city's position.  I talked this over

 

            23             with Dick," that would be Dick Goldberg, the

 

            24             city's labor attorney, "regarding the

 

            25             potential for the clericals to say that the


 

 

                                                                     112

 

 

             1             deal they worked out should only apply to

 

             2             union members, i.e., the 90,000 could be

 

             3             split only among them and no nonunion or

 

             4             DPW's."

 

             5                     That's not what happened.  Everybody

 

             6             got it.  Then there was a lawsuit for people

 

             7             they left out and even more people got them

 

             8             which truly is fair.  You can't just get it

 

             9             to one as Lisa Moran pointed out in her

 

            10             maternity lawsuit and not to everyone.

 

            11             That's what Mayor Doherty likes to do.  He

 

            12             likes to do it for his friends, but

 

            13             ultimately through the Courts everyone gets

 

            14             it when they pass these very bad laws.

 

            15                     Dick Goldberg suggested that before

 

            16             the letter was sent "we should decide as a

 

            17             matter of policy whether we want to stir

 

            18             this pot."

 

            19                     Do you know how sickening that is?

 

            20             "If we do, it may result in the changing of

 

            21             benefits already being paid and in some

 

            22             cases it may change benefits to some like

 

            23             Paul McGoy to use an example."

 

            24                     Talk about pay to play and cronyism.

 

            25             "Please let me know you want to handle this.


 

 

                                                                     113

 

 

             1             Rob."  Well, we now how the story ended.  We

 

             2             are continuing to pay.  I'll finish next

 

             3             week.  Thank you.

 

             4                     MR. SLEDENZSKI: Hello, Bill.

 

             5                     MR. COURTRIGHT: Hi, Chris.

 

             6                     MR. SLEDENZSKI: Slide it up a little

 

             7             bit, Bill?

 

             8                     MR. COURTRIGHT: Yeah, pick it up,

 

             9             Chris.

 

            10                     MR. SLEDENZSKI: Billy, I'm going to

 

            11             say two people tonight from my church, is

 

            12             that all right, Bill?  Esther and Ann, they

 

            13             are friends of my, Bill.  They are good

 

            14             friends of mine, do you mind if say hi to

 

            15             them tonight?

 

            16                     MR. COURTRIGHT: No, go ahead.

 

            17                     MR. SLEDENSKI: Esther and Ann, hi.

 

            18             Billy.  We were' winning two games last

 

            19             week, Bill, going for number three tomorrow,

 

            20             baby.  They are coming back, Bill.  Thank

 

            21             you.

 

            22                     MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay, Chris.

 

            23                     MS. EVANS: Good evening.  Just to

 

            24             give you an update first on the independent

 

            25             audit of city council for financial year


 

 

                                                                     114

 

 

             1             2008.  We did receive a report dated April 6

 

             2             and this report comes to us from the BA's

 

             3             Office.  He has provided 13 items to Rossi

 

             4             and Sons as of April 6 and 11 additional

 

             5             items should be available on April 20.  I do

 

             6             hope the progress continues and produces an

 

             7             audit by the end of the second financial

 

             8             quarter of this year.

 

             9                     Also, in response to some remarks

 

            10             made earlier by a council speakers, in

 

            11             budgets I created in the last five years of

 

            12             service on city council, I included the

 

            13             implementation of a QRS city run ambulance

 

            14             company.  This revenue service, however, was

 

            15             never approved by the majority of city

 

            16             council.

 

            17                     Over the last week additional

 

            18             information regarding the Single Tax Office

 

            19             fiasco came to light.  First, no forensic

 

            20             audit was performed.  In fact, no audit was

 

            21             performed for the 134,000 and counting spent

 

            22             by the city, school district and county.

 

            23             Rather, taxpayers received a report that

 

            24             holds no one accountable and allows to

 

            25             $2 million in missing funds to go


 

 

                                                                     115

 

 

             1             unanswered.

 

             2                     Second, we were mislead by the

 

             3             officers of the tax office who stated in

 

             4             newspaper articles and correspondence that a

 

             5             forensic audit was being performed.

 

             6                     Third, city council allocated

 

             7             $40,000 to the controller's office in the

 

             8             2009 operating budget for an audit of the

 

             9             Scranton tax office in 2009.  These funds

 

            10             were given not to the controller's office

 

            11             however, but to the Scranton tax office.  I

 

            12             would like to know who authorized this

 

            13             transfer of funds without the knowledge and

 

            14             consent of city council.

 

            15                     Kay, I'd like a letter sent to

 

            16             Mr. Renda, BA, requesting a response to this

 

            17             question and also asking when this transfer

 

            18             occurred, and I'd like that letter on or

 

            19             before -- a response to the letter rather n

 

            20             on or before April 13, 2009.

 

            21                     Fourth, at the March 24 council

 

            22             meeting I asked for letters to be sent to

 

            23             the county commissioners, the superintendent

 

            24             of the board of directors of the Scranton

 

            25             School District and the mayor proposing that


 

 

                                                                     116

 

 

             1             the three taxing bodies jointly request a

 

             2             state and/or federal investigation into the

 

             3             lost or missing approximate $2 million and

 

             4             the lack of accountability for these lost

 

             5             tax monies.  I am currently awaiting

 

             6             responses to those letters.

 

             7                     Fifth, I would like Attorney Minora

 

             8             to research the possibility of an ordinance

 

             9             whereby the Scranton Tax Office could not

 

            10             use city taxes to supplement it's operating

 

            11             budget without the knowledge and consent of

 

            12             city council.  This admittedly occurred in

 

            13             2008 according to Attorney McGovern.

 

            14                     Sixth, the city seems currently to

 

            15             have about a $2 million budget pothole to

 

            16             fill.  I would like a letter sent to

 

            17             Mr. Renda and the mayor requesting to know

 

            18             what tax claim years they intend to sell in

 

            19             2009 since 2007 and 2008 tax claims were

 

            20             already sold to the Redevelopment Authority

 

            21             for purchase by Municipal Revenue Services

 

            22             on April 15, 2008.  I would like to know if

 

            23             they intend to sell future years

 

            24             delinquencies and if so what are those years

 

            25             and I would like a response on or before


 

 

                                                                     117

 

 

             1             April 13, 2009.

 

             2                     I may remind everyone, however, that

 

             3             the mayor is on record on October 18, 2002,

 

             4             saying, "Delinquent property taxes are

 

             5             one-time revenue.  The state has criticized

 

             6             the city in the past for using such revenues

 

             7             to balance it's budget.  One time hits like

 

             8             the delinquent taxes should be used for

 

             9             capital expenses such as infrastructure and

 

            10             parks."

 

            11                     Yet, the mayor seeks to use the sale

 

            12             of delinquent taxes for the second time in

 

            13             one year to fill his budget potholes even

 

            14             though the state frowns on it and he

 

            15             criticizes others for doing so, but as they

 

            16             say, desperate times make for desperate

 

            17             measures, yet, we will continue to be

 

            18             optimistic and hope that the administration

 

            19             will find better ways to balance it's

 

            20             bloated budget.

 

            21                     Next, Kay, I would like a letter

 

            22             sent to Mrs. Moran, human resources

 

            23             director, please list the number of errors

 

            24             contained on the active fire and police

 

            25             health care list including the number of


 

 

                                                                     118

 

 

             1             deceased participants for which the city has

 

             2             continued to pay.  Also, list the

 

             3             administrative fee and stop loss per error

 

             4             that the city has paid and please provide

 

             5             the minutes of the April 2, 2009, health

 

             6             care containment committee meeting.

 

             7                     It seems the city is wasting

 

             8             taxpayers' money by paying health care costs

 

             9             in error even for some deceased employees.

 

            10             They don't appear to understand that they

 

            11             are wasting your money.

 

            12                     Unfortunately, we are all very

 

            13             concerned about the status of the animals at

 

            14             the Genesis Wildlife Center, like our

 

            15             firehouse closings, the administration can't

 

            16             seem to makeup it's mind to close it or

 

            17             allow it to remain open to the public.  The

 

            18             mayoral election likely will play into this

 

            19             decision, but it is cruel to play with the

 

            20             lives of animals.

 

            21                     As we learned earlier this evening,

 

            22             the primates will be euthanized and the

 

            23             other animals will suffer the same fate if

 

            24             they can't be placed in an appropriate care

 

            25             and environment within I would imagine a set


 

 

                                                                     119

 

 

             1             period, so what was designed to be an animal

 

             2             refuge sadly and ironically may become a

 

             3             death sentence until the people of Scranton

 

             4             speak up.  Whether you support or oppose the

 

             5             wildlife center, I'm sure there is no one

 

             6             who would want these animals to be

 

             7             euthanized.

 

             8                     On a related note, it also appears

 

             9             that the Pocono Equestrian Center was hoping

 

            10             to replace Genisis and take over the zoo in

 

            11             2007 according to the information and

 

            12             contracts supplied by Mr. Bolus at last

 

            13             week's meeting.  The Recreation Authority

 

            14             was acting independently in negotiating a

 

            15             2007 contract with Pocono Equestrian Center

 

            16             for the land surrounding the wildlife

 

            17             center.  It appears less than prudent and

 

            18             fiscally irresponsible to place the

 

            19             operations and decisions of all of Nay Aug

 

            20             Park under this authority since they do not

 

            21             bay the bills for this park.  Since the

 

            22             operating budget provides for the

 

            23             employment, pool chemicals and maintenance

 

            24             issues of Nay Aug among other costs, the

 

            25             administration should take responsibility


 

 

                                                                     120

 

 

             1             for all of Nay Aug Park.  The mayor invited

 

             2             this animal refuge center to the zoo area

 

             3             and he must either properly take care of it

 

             4             or properly provide for the relocation of

 

             5             these animals.  Such hasty and poorly

 

             6             planned decisions must stop.

 

             7                     Therefore, I move that city council

 

             8             send a letter to Mr. Doherty and

 

             9             Mr. Dougher, Director of Parks and

 

            10             Recreation adamantly opposing the

 

            11             euthanization of any animal who is housed at

 

            12             the Genisis Wildlife Center.

 

            13                     MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.

 

            14                     MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?

 

            15             Again, I don't like voting on motions that

 

            16             are made at the table here.  I would like to

 

            17             have more information about whether there is

 

            18             any plan to have any animals euthanized.  I

 

            19             would like to know what the intent of the

 

            20             city is as far as the Wildlife Center is

 

            21             concerned.  I think there are is a number of

 

            22             questions that need to be answered before we

 

            23             go ahead and make decisions or make motions

 

            24             and vote on motions concerning this

 

            25             situation.


 

 

                                                                     121

 

 

             1                     MS. EVANS: Well, I can appreciate

 

             2             it, but I am only asking for a letter to be

 

             3             sent to the two city officials involved in

 

             4             this situation expressing our opposition to

 

             5             euthanization of any animal housed at the

 

             6             wildlife center.

 

             7                     MR. MCGOFF: Well --

 

             8                     MS. EVANS: It's not to make a

 

             9             decision regarding the wildlife center, it's

 

            10             simply stating that --

 

            11                     MR. MCGOFF:  I understand.

 

            12                     MS. EVANS: -- if this is an option

 

            13             or an action that will be taken as a result

 

            14             of the closing of the Genesis Wildlife

 

            15             Center, that we are opposed to the

 

            16             euthanization of animals.

 

            17                     MR. MCGOFF: But the implication in

 

            18             sending the letter is that you are -- you

 

            19             are implying that they are going to be

 

            20             euthanized.

 

            21                     MS. EVANS: No, what I'm -- I'm

 

            22             implying --

 

            23                     MR. MCGOFF: Well, that is the

 

            24             implication of the letter.

 

            25                     MS. EVANS: No.


 

 

                                                                     122

 

 

             1                     MR. MCGOFF: It absolutely is.

 

             2                     MS. EVANS: No, it's not an

 

             3             implication it's a statement I oppose the

 

             4             euthanization of animals.

 

             5                     MR. MCGOFF: I do as well.

 

             6                     MS. EVANS: Well, then I would think

 

             7             you should vote for this.

 

             8                     MR. MCGOFF: Then -- no, but what you

 

             9             are saying it's like saying, you know, let's

 

            10             send a letter to someone saying we oppose

 

            11             you killing someone when they have no intent

 

            12             of doing that.  You are implying that they

 

            13             are going to.

 

            14                     MS. EVANS: Well, that's a poor

 

            15             analogy.

 

            16                     MR. MCGOFF: No, it's not a poor

 

            17             analogy.

 

            18                     MS. EVANS: Well, I think it is in

 

            19             these circumstances because you are taking

 

            20             an illegal action and comparing it to, you

 

            21             know, a situation that is I think also

 

            22             prescribed by different laws, but it's just

 

            23             a simple --

 

            24                     MR. MCGOFF: It isn't simple --

 

            25                     MS. EVANS: It's just a simple


 

 

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             1             statement that we will either try to protect

 

             2             these animals from euthanasia or we don't

 

             3             wish to so I don't want to withdraw the

 

             4             motion.

 

             5                     MR. MCGOFF: See, you try and turn

 

             6             everything into a black and white issue and

 

             7             it's not.  You are trying to turn what I

 

             8             said into me implying that I want the

 

             9             animals euthanized.  All I'm saying is that

 

            10             I do not want to vote on motions that are

 

            11             made here without having adequate

 

            12             information as to whether or not, you know,

 

            13             these things are being planned.  I'm not

 

            14             going to vote on something based on

 

            15             supposition.  That simple.  Anyone else?

 

            16             All those in favor signify by saying aye.

 

            17                     MS. EVANS:  Aye.

 

            18                     MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.

 

            19                     MR. MCGOFF:  Opposed?  No.

 

            20                     MS. FANUCCI: No.

 

            21                     MS. EVANS: Well, unfortunately --

 

            22                     MR. MCGOFF: Motion defeated.

 

            23                     MS. EVANS: Unfortunately, that

 

            24             motion dies and --

 

            25                     MR. MCGOFF: Appropriately.


 

 

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             1                     MS. EVANS: As Mr. McGoff jokingly

 

             2             says appropriately it dies.

 

             3                     MR. MCGOFF: Appropriate the word.

 

             4                     MS. EVANS: Well, small difference

 

             5             that I think speaks for itself.  Finally, I

 

             6             have citizens' requests for the week.  A

 

             7             letter to Jeff Brazil, DPW, who is

 

             8             responsible for the removal of "No Parking"

 

             9             signs on Moosic Street?  Also, who is

 

            10             responsible for replacing these signs, the

 

            11             city or the state?  Residents of Moosic

 

            12             Street and Harrison Avenue have reported

 

            13             this hazardous problem and request and

 

            14             solution ASAP.

 

            15                     Also, I did receive a letter from a

 

            16             resident of Park Gardens or at least the

 

            17             letter appears to focus on Park Gardens, but

 

            18             I could not read the handwriting.  I think

 

            19             maybe Mr. Courtright had a similar problem

 

            20             awhile ago with a letter.  If the person who

 

            21             wrote the letter would call council's office

 

            22             at 348-4113, 348-4113 and leave your name,

 

            23             phone number and a brief message for me I'll

 

            24             return the call and then you can tell me

 

            25             specifically what the problem is that you


 

 

                                                                     125

 

 

             1             were trying to relate in the letter.

 

             2                     Also, I would just like to join in

 

             3             the previous wishes made tonight for a very

 

             4             happy and blessed Easter, and that's it.

 

             5                     MS. FANUCCI: I'm going to start off

 

             6             by making comments on Nancy Krake.  I guess

 

             7             she was asking me to resign or I don't know

 

             8             what she was insinuating, but my job at the

 

             9             Governor's Office does not entail money.

 

            10             Anything I do there is not -- has nothing to

 

            11             do with financial gain or monies that are

 

            12             dispersed.  That's what the federal

 

            13             government does.  That's what the law is

 

            14             about.  So, therefore, I have and will stay

 

            15             there because I can and I think you know

 

            16             that because I know that it was filed two

 

            17             weeks ago actually to try to remove me and I

 

            18             know that the verdict had come in saying

 

            19             that it does not apply to my position in the

 

            20             Governor's office.  I also knew that four

 

            21             years ago when I accepted the job.  I

 

            22             certainly do do my homework and make sure

 

            23             that these aren't the plans and the intent

 

            24             to get rid of someone just for your own

 

            25             personal benefit, but it was very good try


 

 

                                                                     126

 

 

             1             and I do want to commend you on that.

 

             2                     As always, and I'm going to say this

 

             3             again and again, you are stuck in the middle

 

             4             of election.  I hope you are enjoying the

 

             5             ride.  This is what it's like every four

 

             6             years, like it or not we get here and we are

 

             7             convinced that we are unsafe, we are told

 

             8             that no matter what we do you are not going

 

             9             to be okay.  You are not.  Run for your

 

            10             lives.  Run for your lives.  The last --

 

            11             four years ago it was -- I believe crime and

 

            12             gangs, that was the theory, but make no

 

            13             mistake our firemen and our policemen are

 

            14             good at what they do.  They are very good.

 

            15             They get the bad guys and they put out the

 

            16             fires.  That's not going to stop, so all of

 

            17             this talk week after week trying to make you

 

            18             afraid of certain things is nothing but

 

            19             that.  It's to make you afraid.

 

            20                     We talked about the -- we are going

 

            21             to talk about the firehouses because it's

 

            22             another recurring theme.  Yes, I do believe

 

            23             that that probably was spoken about the

 

            24             closing firehouses.  I believe that -- I

 

            25             know for a fact superhouses were discussed.


 

 

                                                                     127

 

 

             1             They talked about that for years.  It is in

 

             2             the recovery plan, but it's negotiation.

 

             3             That's what negotiation is.  It's not any

 

             4             different than the school board when the

 

             5             teachers go on strike.  It's too make a

 

             6             point.  It's to get what you want, posture

 

             7             so that the other side comes to some type of

 

             8             agreement.  It's what goes on in

 

             9             negotiations.  That's what I said for four

 

            10             years I have been sitting here and I said

 

            11             this is not going to do anything.  We could

 

            12             say we want contracts signed, but it's going

 

            13             to play itself out this Court.  That's the

 

            14             only way it's going to happen and there are

 

            15             many reasons for that.  Many reasons on both

 

            16             sides because this is about money and it's

 

            17             about how many money has been paid out and

 

            18             how much money will be paid out, not any

 

            19             different than what I do with my job or

 

            20             Mrs. Evans being in the school district,

 

            21             that's what it's about.

 

            22                     But, after the negotiations on

 

            23             March 4 we have a letter here that, you

 

            24             know, we all received after it was read last

 

            25             week saying that was not part of the plan.


 

 

                                                                     128

 

 

             1             It wasn't.  It was sent to the union saying

 

             2             we are going to state clearly that this is

 

             3             about shift changes and that letter does not

 

             4             say anything about firehouses being closed

 

             5             or firefighters being laid off or what else,

 

             6             engine companies closing, but then

 

             7             coincidentally, that was three weeks before

 

             8             all of the signs popped up.  Like it or not,

 

             9             this is how it goes.  I mean, this is how it

 

            10             is.

 

            11                     Rumors and fear need to stop.  None

 

            12             of us are going to let anyone or agree with

 

            13             the fact that anyone should not be safe.  I

 

            14             certainly am not going to sit here and say

 

            15             that I think it's okay to cut or to get rid

 

            16             of or to close.  We want the safety.  That's

 

            17             what it's about.  I mean, it is the basic,

 

            18             basic job for us as public safety, but this

 

            19             fight will be nasty and it has been nasty

 

            20             for four years and there are so many

 

            21             reasons.

 

            22                     Last week Mr. Ancherani got up and

 

            23             spoke about one of his people having

 

            24             200 percent health care increase.

 

            25             Absolutely true.  Absolutely true.  What was


 

 

                                                                     129

 

 

             1             it, 100?

 

             2                     MR. ANCHERANI: 1,100.

 

             3                     MS. FANUCCI: 1,100 percent increase,

 

             4             so I got some figures.  Before, this was

 

             5             before the settlement came down in the 2009

 

             6             awarding for the contracts, the health care

 

             7             that was paid per single person, the

 

             8             contribution level was, let me get this,

 

             9             from 2002 to 2008 if you were single and you

 

            10             were -- your contribution for health care

 

            11             was $3.89 a week.  Now after the ruling came

 

            12             down it's $11.70.  Yes, per week I'm saying,

 

            13             52 weeks a year, per week, so it did go up,

 

            14             it went up a lot.

 

            15                     If you were a family plan it was

 

            16             from 2002 to 2008, you are paying $16.87,

 

            17             $16.87, you are paying $876.98 a year on the

 

            18             family plan.  Now, you are paying $2,000.00

 

            19             a year.  You are paying $2,161.54, so now

 

            20             the contribution weekly is $41.56.

 

            21                     The active amount we are paying for

 

            22             active health care for the people -- this is

 

            23             just for -- I'm doing the firefighters right

 

            24             now, $1,753,551.64, that's for the active.

 

            25             The retired health care, now this is for the


 

 

                                                                     130

 

 

             1             retirees, we are paying health care for

 

             2             them, if you retire before and I don't have

 

             3             this -- before actually the new ruling, if

 

             4             you retire we are paying your health care

 

             5             for life, you and your spouse member, it

 

             6             doesn't have to be a spouse, it could be

 

             7             your child, whoever you put on we are paying

 

             8             your health care for life, and if you do

 

             9             pass away you are still paying for that

 

            10             other person to have health care for life,

 

            11             so the retirees are actually more money than

 

            12             the people who are active right now, so they

 

            13             are over $3 million we are paying for them.

 

            14             $3 million.

 

            15                     Those are the figures, so Mr.

 

            16             Ancherani correct after 2009 when the new

 

            17             ruling came down they are contributing more

 

            18             to their health care, but still I'm not sure

 

            19             if they are contributing as much as you are

 

            20             out there, that's for sure, to your health

 

            21             care.  Most of us are working daily for our

 

            22             health care.  That to me is a huge benefit.

 

            23                     So let's talk a little bit more

 

            24             about the fact that cost of living, cost of

 

            25             living increased, this was our big thing for


 

 

                                                                     131

 

 

             1             four years we are going to hear about it,

 

             2             cost of living.  They did not receive a cost

 

             3             of living increase, definitely did not

 

             4             until, let me get -- I'm sorry, I have a lot

 

             5             of stuff here so I just want to get this

 

             6             straight because I can't do this wrong,

 

             7             until 2009 in September -- 2008 in September

 

             8             they received 7 percent raise due to the

 

             9             settlement with the city, so they did

 

            10             receive 7 percent then.  After this new

 

            11             award came down which was in 2009 they

 

            12             increased their wages by only .5 percent

 

            13             because at that time they had a cap saying

 

            14             they could only take 2.5 -- or, I'm sorry,

 

            15             7.5 percent, so that is why they only

 

            16             received 5 percent at this time.  So, that

 

            17             was their first cost of living increase, but

 

            18             remember, their health care to me is almost

 

            19             like a raise.  Paying that health care all

 

            20             this time because the health care costs for

 

            21             the city for a single person in 2007 --

 

            22             let's go to 2008 because that was the number

 

            23             I used so I don't want to be inaccurate

 

            24             here, the health care for the city in 2008

 

            25             is $4,900 per person which is $94.40 per


 

 

                                                                     132

 

 

             1             pay.  Well, not even per pay, for weekly, so

 

             2             we need to do the same, the city's

 

             3             contribution and your contribution, what you

 

             4             are paying for their health care is $94.40.

 

             5             What the contribution was until this last

 

             6             award was $3.89.  That to me is probably the

 

             7             reason we are in this mess, part of the

 

             8             reason we are fighting, part of the reason

 

             9             that every week held here used as a forum of

 

            10             constant debates and madness and, you know,

 

            11             just spewing problems all of the time.

 

            12                     PEL, let's talk about PEL.  PEL

 

            13             didn't come here because they felt like

 

            14             dropping themselves off.  They came here

 

            15             because they were asked to come here, they

 

            16             were voted to come here.  Then the unions

 

            17             asked to put it on referendum.  We don't

 

            18             know if we want recovery, let's let the

 

            19             people decide.  The people decided they

 

            20             wanted the recovery.  Misinformation they

 

            21             are saying because misinformation was that

 

            22             they didn't understand the recovery plan.

 

            23             Whatever the reason we have them now and we

 

            24             are stuck with them.  Whether or not we

 

            25             agree with the way this is happening it


 

 

                                                                     133

 

 

             1             doesn't matter.  If we decide to give

 

             2             everything the unions want and, you know

 

             3             what, more power to them.  I would

 

             4             absolutely love to.  If we had all of the

 

             5             money in the world I would say just give

 

             6             them what they had.  It was a wonderful deal

 

             7             and let's keep it going.  The problem is we

 

             8             don't have the money.  Nobody has the money

 

             9             anymore.  Corporate America doesn't have the

 

            10             money, your small businesses don't have the

 

            11             money, and your municipalities have not had

 

            12             the money in years.  You don't have to like

 

            13             it, it's a fact.

 

            14                     PEL is not going anywhere until we

 

            15             clean our mess up.  Does it mean it's the

 

            16             union's fault?  Absolutely not.  Does it

 

            17             mean it's the administration's fault?

 

            18             Absolutely not.  This has been going on for

 

            19             years and years and years.  This mess is all

 

            20             over the country, it's in every household,

 

            21             it's in every business, so to sit here every

 

            22             week and say that it's one person's fault or

 

            23             one administration's fault is absolutely

 

            24             false.  We got here because we did exactly

 

            25             what the rest of America was doing.  We were


 

 

                                                                     134

 

 

             1             trying to do what we thought was right and

 

             2             actually ended up in a mess.  PEL is not

 

             3             leaving until we straighten out our house

 

             4             out, so I don't care who runs or what they

 

             5             say or what they are going to do if we

 

             6             decide to give them everything we'll get

 

             7             sanctioned.  They will red flag us and we

 

             8             won't get any money from the state or the

 

             9             federal government.  So, I mean, that could

 

            10             definitely happen.  That's an option.  It's

 

            11             in the Recovery Plan and who knows if they

 

            12             will do it or not, but it is something that

 

            13             they can do.

 

            14                     My theory is enough is enough.  This

 

            15             is ridiculous.  We are going to spend

 

            16             another ten years fighting over this.  Now

 

            17             there are contracts and was said tonight

 

            18             there is contract.  The sad thing is that

 

            19             because we went to Court and we kept going

 

            20             to Court some of these people who worked

 

            21             forever and believe that they were going to

 

            22             retired with full-blown health care for the

 

            23             rest of their lives and their spouse they

 

            24             actually lost it.  They retired without any

 

            25             now after all of their years of service the


 

 

                                                                     135

 

 

             1             health care is gone for them.  That to me is

 

             2             sad.  That's what can happen if we stay

 

             3             distressed and also if we don't try to use

 

             4             the parameters that are set.

 

             5                     None of us like it, it's time that

 

             6             we all just finally say enough is enough, we

 

             7             need to do what's best for everyone and it's

 

             8             not against the unions, it's not against the

 

             9             administration, it's not against the

 

            10             taxpayers, it doesn't matter.  It doesn't

 

            11             matter.  It's about how you're going to end

 

            12             up in the long run.  This is your money.

 

            13             You are paying everybody.  You are paying

 

            14             everybody.  So whether or not you agree with

 

            15             PEL it doesn't -- it has nothing to do with

 

            16             it.  They are here.  They are not going

 

            17             away.  I know you want to get rid of them,

 

            18             you should want to get rid of them.  Believe

 

            19             me, they want to take things away from you.

 

            20             I understand that.  I get it.  You know, I

 

            21             went through all of this paperwork and I get

 

            22             why, longevity pay.  Huge.  Huge.  Some

 

            23             people are getting over $3,000 in longevity

 

            24             pay.  It's amazing to me, you know, and

 

            25             that's a problem, too.


 

 

                                                                     136

 

 

             1                     Overtime, what'd we pay $700,000 in

 

             2             overtime?  That's a problem.  $700,000 in

 

             3             overtime.  That's a major problem.  We need

 

             4             to work something out because it is not

 

             5             getting any better and it's not better on

 

             6             it's own and coming in here every week and

 

             7             screaming and yelling is not changing a

 

             8             thing because guess what, we are still here,

 

             9             eight years later we are still here doing

 

            10             it.  Yeah.  Yeah.  I agree.

 

            11                     So that is all I have on that

 

            12             tonight.  I'm certainly going to give you

 

            13             more next week because I got some other

 

            14             figures on Mrs. Evans had asked for figures

 

            15             on DPW, I have those, I have figures on the

 

            16             police and also the administration that I

 

            17             will doing also in the next few weeks.

 

            18                     On another note, I just want to say

 

            19             my grandfather was sick and ask him -- and

 

            20             let him know that, you know, I love him very

 

            21             much.  He is wonderful man, Frank Scatino,

 

            22             anyone who knows him knows he is a wonderful

 

            23             guy and at 90 years old it is very difficult

 

            24             to see one of the best people in your life

 

            25             sick, and it's not any different than, I


 

 

                                                                     137

 

 

             1             mean, you all know that, and just to let him

 

             2             know that I would not be the person I was if

 

             3             it were not for him, and that is all.  Thank

 

             4             you.

 

             5                     MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Courtright?

 

             6                     MR. COURTRIGHT: Yeah.  I would like

 

             7             to make one -- Mrs. Fanucci put out a lot of

 

             8             information there, I believe the only people

 

             9             that got benefits for life were pre '93 if

 

            10             I'm not mistaken.

 

            11                     MS. FANUCCI: '97.  '97 I think it

 

            12             was.

 

            13                     MR. COURTRIGHT: All right.  Well,

 

            14             I'll check into that, I'll make sure.

 

            15             Anyway, the individual that stopped me on

 

            16             Faar Street we did send a letter out about

 

            17             your road and the whole thing will be taken

 

            18             care of.  Kay, I need one more letter, the

 

            19             DPW had gone out to Forest Glenn and the

 

            20             driving range and patched it the best they

 

            21             could but now the blacktop plants are open

 

            22             and it needs to be graded and paved.  It's

 

            23             just someone is going to get seriously

 

            24             injured right there.  If they need the exact

 

            25             location I believe they know it, but if they


 

 

                                                                     138

 

 

             1             need the exact location you can ask them to

 

             2             call me and I will personally drive them to

 

             3             the spot.  It's very bad.  Someone is going

 

             4             to get hurt, it's on a turn and the entire

 

             5             road is dug up.

 

             6                     The woman from Genesis Wildlife, I

 

             7             don't know what prompted this to happen all

 

             8             of a sudden, why all of a sudden is there a

 

             9             need to close that place and I would ask --

 

            10             I guess, I would ask the administration that

 

            11             if we could, Kay, why all of a sudden are we

 

            12             interested in closing the place because I'm

 

            13             looking at the reports you gave me and she

 

            14             passed everything that was given to her by I

 

            15             believe it was the Game Commission.  Yeah,

 

            16             by the PA Game Commission she passed

 

            17             everything on the inspection and it was a

 

            18             surprise inspection as far as I could see,

 

            19             so why all of a sudden do we need to close

 

            20             that place?  That I don't understand.

 

            21                     Mr. Judge spoke about the QRS and I

 

            22             spoke about this more than one time in the

 

            23             past we sat at this table on a couple of

 

            24             different occasions, myself, members from

 

            25             the administration, firefighters, we thought


 

 

                                                                     139

 

 

             1             we had a plan worked out for QRS and we

 

             2             thought it was a go and then the mayor

 

             3             refused to entertain that plan.

 

             4                     One of the reasons that I was

 

             5             pushing for it so hard was the fact that at

 

             6             the time, and I think it probably still

 

             7             exists, that the response time of the

 

             8             ambulances weren't what we had hoped that

 

             9             they would be.  Again, as he said, I don't

 

            10             know if it's because of the volume of calls

 

            11             that they are getting or if they are cutting

 

            12             back on staff or what, but I had gotten so

 

            13             many complaints that I spoke to the

 

            14             individual that to me is probably the most

 

            15             knowledgeable person in the ambulance

 

            16             business and he said if, you know, if we

 

            17             weren't go do the QRS then maybe the

 

            18             ambulances could do what they call posting

 

            19             because at any given time we would have no

 

            20             ambulances available in the City of

 

            21             Scranton, none.  So, to try to avoid any

 

            22             problem barring the QRS, which I'm still in

 

            23             favor of, I asked about posting which would

 

            24             mean, you know, the ambulance service if

 

            25             there was no ambulance in the City of


 

 

                                                                     140

 

 

             1             Scranton they would post them say the border

 

             2             of Taylor, Abington and Dunmore so we could

 

             3             get some quicker response times.

 

             4                     I still believe that the QRS will

 

             5             work because of the proximity to the

 

             6             problems is that all of these firehouses

 

             7             are.  They are all trained, not that they

 

             8             were going to take over the ambulance jobs,

 

             9             but if they can get to the person and

 

            10             stabilize them until what time, you know, a

 

            11             paramedic would get there why not do it?

 

            12             The union was good enough to agree at the

 

            13             time to not use any of those runs to bill up

 

            14             their numbers.  I think that was a concern

 

            15             to the administration that they would use it

 

            16             to bill up their numbers to justify more

 

            17             firefighters and they agreed, you know, they

 

            18             wouldn't do that so I would hope at this

 

            19             point in time we would consider it again, I

 

            20             think Mr. Judge made some very, very good

 

            21             points and I'm in favor of the QRS, I always

 

            22             have been and I think there is members of

 

            23             this council that have been, also.

 

            24                     The tax office, I have avoided

 

            25             talking about it for obvious reasons, but I


 

 

                                                                     141

 

 

             1             have to agree with Mrs. Evans that we have

 

             2             been mislead.  Like I said last week, we

 

             3             were mislead when we were told there was 12

 

             4             million, no 12 million.  We were mislead

 

             5             when we said there was a forensic audit and

 

             6             we find out the forensic audit is nothing

 

             7             more than some kind of a catch phrase.

 

             8                     I'll have to agree with

 

             9             Mr. Ancherani I don't agree with a lot

 

            10             that's in the newspaper, but I had this

 

            11             article brought to my attention that a man I

 

            12             only met one time, I believe his name is

 

            13             Chris Kelly?  Yeah, right here, Chris Kelly,

 

            14             he kind of hit the nail on the head for the

 

            15             people I have been talking to and there's a

 

            16             lot of good things in there, so if you are

 

            17             interested in what is going on over there it

 

            18             was in this Sunday's paper and I thought it

 

            19             was a pretty good article.  It more or less

 

            20             hit the nail on the head and what people

 

            21             have been talking into thinking what is

 

            22             going on over there now, and I don't want to

 

            23             read the entire article, I don't want to

 

            24             make it look like I'm bashing anybody, I

 

            25             would ask you go and read Chris Kelly's


 

 

                                                                     142

 

 

             1             article Sunday and decide for yourself.

 

             2             It's one time that I agree with him.

 

             3                     I think what the people of the City

 

             4             of Scranton now that I talked to just want

 

             5             to see is some honesty, all right?  They

 

             6             just want a little bit of honesty and I

 

             7             don't think that's too much to ask for.  So,

 

             8             again, I'm tiptoeing around this issue

 

             9             because of the circumstances, but I think

 

            10             this is an article worth reading and you

 

            11             make your own decision.  I don't want to

 

            12             make it for you, and I would just like to

 

            13             say Happy Easter to everybody and I am done.

 

            14             Thank you.

 

            15                     MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.  A number of

 

            16             quick things.  First, I don't know if I was

 

            17             being accused of muddying the waters or that

 

            18             the waters had somehow gotten muddied by

 

            19             someone else, but I didn't attempt to muddy

 

            20             the waters, I tried to not be misleading.

 

            21             The only point that I tried to make last

 

            22             week was that a memorandum was sent to the

 

            23             union on February 25, one that you can --

 

            24             one that was conveniently out of the

 

            25             timeline that we heard tonight which a draft


 

 

                                                                     143

 

 

             1             of the proposed new organizational structure

 

             2             of the fire department was given to the

 

             3             union.  Two weeks later we had someone come

 

             4             in and tell us that there was a proposal to

 

             5             close firehouses and a sign demonstration or

 

             6             whatever you want to call it, signs appeared

 

             7             around the city to keep the firehouses open

 

             8             when, in fact, at least the fire union knew

 

             9             that that was not the plan.

 

            10                     I think that is muddying the waters.

 

            11             That's muddying the waters.

 

            12                     MR. GERVASI:  It was a bid sheet.

 

            13                     MR. MCGOFF: Two -- excuse me.

 

            14                     MR. GERVASI: It was a bid sheet.

 

            15                     MR. MCGOFF: My turn.

 

            16                     MR. GERVASI: Not a structure, a bid

 

            17             sheet.  Be accurate.

 

            18                     MR. MCGOFF: I am accurate.  It's

 

            19             right here.

 

            20                     MR. GERVASI:  No, you are not.

 

            21                     MR. MCGOFF: Last week someone comes

 

            22             to council and says we don't have any idea

 

            23             what the plan is.  It's in a secret folder.

 

            24             The plan was in their hands.  That's

 

            25             misleading.  That is muddying the waters.  I


 

 

                                                                     144

 

 

             1             don't mind listening to information as long

 

             2             as it's accurate and not misleading and I

 

             3             think that in some cases we have been

 

             4             mislead, and that was all I was trying to

 

             5             say.

 

             6                     As far as the Wildlife Center is

 

             7             concerned, I didn't want to get into an

 

             8             argument or I didn't mean to get into an

 

             9             argument about whether or not euthanizing

 

            10             animals was a good or a bad thing, I would

 

            11             just like to get some more information.  I

 

            12             would like to get information from the

 

            13             administration as to what their intent is,

 

            14             if there is some type of plan, some

 

            15             structure to what they are going to do, as

 

            16             far as I knew there was no intent to

 

            17             euthanize any animals, the intent was to

 

            18             move them to new homes.  What I see on what

 

            19             was given to us by Ms. Miller and that there

 

            20             is a law, a recent change in the law, I

 

            21             would like to find out what that change was

 

            22             and, you know, the accuracy of that if, in

 

            23             fact, that maybe that was something that was

 

            24             not considered when the suggestion or when

 

            25             the mayor told them that they should seek


 

 

                                                                     145

 

 

             1             other places.  I just think at that there is

 

             2             more information that's needed.

 

             3                     I, too, have, you know, fond

 

             4             memories of being at the Nay Aug Zoo and I

 

             5             think it's a -- I had my granddaughters

 

             6             through there, through the Wildlife Center

 

             7             last year, they enjoyed it, I think it's a

 

             8             good thing, but I still think that we need

 

             9             some more information before we proceed to

 

            10             do anything concerning the Wildlife Center.

 

            11                     And the last thing, dealing with the

 

            12             tax office, this is probably the most

 

            13             perplexing thing that I have had to deal

 

            14             with since I have been on in council.  I

 

            15             just can't understand what's taking place

 

            16             and I don't want to blame anyone, I just

 

            17             think that the situation has become so

 

            18             complex that I don't know that there is

 

            19             anybody that has an adequate answer to

 

            20             what's going on.  Everybody seems to have

 

            21             different parts of a puzzle and it's parts

 

            22             don't seem to fit together, and one of the

 

            23             things that I think is causing the problem

 

            24             or that's a major part of the problem is

 

            25             that we haven't had an audit of the tax


 

 

                                                                     146

 

 

             1             office that we thought we were.  We had an

 

             2             investigation.  I think that the city paid

 

             3             for an audit.  I think that at this point in

 

             4             time we should demand that that audit be

 

             5             taken.  Not another investigation, not put

 

             6             off, if we paid for an audit that's what we

 

             7             thought we were getting then there should be

 

             8             an attempt at an audit of the Single Tax

 

             9             Office and let them come back -- let someone

 

            10             come back and report on what has taken place

 

            11             and maybe it's an impossibility to conduct

 

            12             an audit as Mr. McGovern seemed to indicate,

 

            13             but I think it should be attempted and get

 

            14             away from all of this investigation and, you

 

            15             know, whatever terminology wants to be used.

 

            16                     And I'm not, again, I'm not looking

 

            17             for an audit to place blame on anybody, I

 

            18             don't want an investigation, I don't want to

 

            19             place blame on any particular person persons

 

            20             or computer system, I think it is incumbent

 

            21             upon us to find out how that money got

 

            22             there, how much is there and what -- and how

 

            23             it can be accurately dispersed.  That is

 

            24             what we thought we are going to get and

 

            25             perhaps in conducting this office we can


 

 

                                                                     147

 

 

             1             ascertain what amounts of money were lost, I

 

             2             know it's been indicated it may be up to

 

             3             $2 million, it may be $2, who knows, but an

 

             4             audit should be able to determine more

 

             5             accurate figures than we have received and I

 

             6             don't know what process we need to go

 

             7             through in order to make that demand, but

 

             8             within the next week or so I think that we

 

             9             should -- I would pursue or attempt to find

 

            10             out how we can go about getting what we paid

 

            11             for, and that is accurate audit of the

 

            12             Single Tax Office for the years in which

 

            13             this 12 point whatever million had

 

            14             accumulated, and that's all.

 

            15                     MS. EVANS: Can I just say I agree

 

            16             with you.  I think that's a very good idea.

 

            17             I don't know, again, as you said, how that's

 

            18             going to occur since they evidently have

 

            19             performed work over an eight-month period

 

            20             for which they have billed and I'm sure have

 

            21             been paid or will be paid.  We may incur

 

            22             additional costs in pursuing a traditional

 

            23             forensic audit which I am not opposed to.  I

 

            24             believe there should be an audit and I agree

 

            25             with you.  We were lead to believe it was an


 

 

                                                                     148

 

 

             1             audit and now we find out after the fact it

 

             2             was not an audit.

 

             3                     But, I also want to say that I will

 

             4             not be satisfied until an investigation of

 

             5             that office is conducted either by the State

 

             6             Attorney General's Office or Federal Bureau

 

             7             of Investigation, whatever appropriate

 

             8             agency is necessary.  The FBI can certainly

 

             9             open up it's investigation once again

 

            10             because this type of situation wouldn't be

 

            11             permitted I'm sure in any private business

 

            12             or probably any government, but that's all I

 

            13             wanted to add to that.

 

            14                     MR. MCGOFF:  Attorney Minora.

 

            15                     MR. MINORA:  If I could just kick my

 

            16             two cents into this, which I think you

 

            17             already have, I spoke to Solicitor Patterson

 

            18             this week.  A forensic audit is going to be

 

            19             very expensive and there are other

 

            20             communities that have a stake in this who

 

            21             haven't really stepped forward to contribute

 

            22             to a forensic audit, although, they have

 

            23             money involved.  I thought that there might

 

            24             be a possibility or I suggested to her that

 

            25             she considered filing a declaratory judgment


 

 

                                                                     149

 

 

             1             action and putting the matter in Court.

 

             2             That would, of course, bring all of the

 

             3             other parties involved into a -- well, more

 

             4             than a discussion, but as far as the cost

 

             5             then I think a Court would be almost

 

             6             obligated to at least request some money

 

             7             from all of the other municipalities towards

 

             8             a forensic audit and perhaps there's some

 

             9             ability to the Court function itself of a

 

            10             declaratory judgment in coming to numbers

 

            11             that you could live with as a distribution

 

            12             perhaps based on some, you know, multiple

 

            13             population or taxes, but that would be a

 

            14             settlement, but my original thought was to

 

            15             try and get the other communities to

 

            16             contribute to part of this since they have a

 

            17             stake.  I suggested that to her, she thought

 

            18             it was an idea to consider and she is going

 

            19             to be looking into it.

 

            20                     MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.

 

            21                     MR. COURTRIGHT: May I just say one

 

            22             thing, Mr. McGoff, I think the Times

 

            23             reported 134,000 and counting, so we are

 

            24             still paying them.  I would suggest we stop,

 

            25             you know, paying them until we see what it


 

 

                                                                     150

 

 

             1             is we are paying for them.  I mean,

 

             2             $134,000, correct me if I'm wrong, but I

 

             3             don't think we know a whole lot more than we

 

             4             did before.

 

             5                     MS. EVANS: NO.

 

             6                     MR. COURTRIGHT: So, I would like to,

 

             7             you know, see them stop paying them until we

 

             8             know what we are paying them for, you know.

 

             9             I would want to know what I'm paying for.

 

            10                     MS. EVANS: Well, there is obviously,

 

            11             according to the newspaper we still have a

 

            12             CPA or perhaps a controller at work in that

 

            13             office who is overseeing I'm assuming the

 

            14             day-to-day operations until the city and the

 

            15             school district and the county hire a

 

            16             full-time controller.

 

            17                     MR. COURTRIGHT: I like Mr. Minora's

 

            18             idea of trying to get everybody else to

 

            19             share in paying them.

 

            20                     MR. MCGOFF: I will also talk to our

 

            21             solicitor and see if that's -- if we can

 

            22             move that forward.

 

            23                     MS. EVANS: Attorney Minora, I'm

 

            24             sorry.

 

            25                     MR. MCGOFF: Go ahead.


 

 

                                                                     151

 

 

             1                     MS. EVANS:  Do you know what costs

 

             2             would be incurred to the city, that is, by a

 

             3             possible state or federal investigation?

 

             4                     MR. MINORA:  Well, I'm not -- if you

 

             5             are talking about a criminal investigation

 

             6             then the entities that do that they don't

 

             7             surcharge the municipalities that they are

 

             8             investigating that I have ever seen, so it

 

             9             would be something that the FBI would

 

            10             undertake by themselves or the Attorney

 

            11             General's Office would undertake by

 

            12             themselves.  I'm not aware of them ever

 

            13             surcharging a municipality for investigating

 

            14             some wrongdoing in that municipality.

 

            15                     MS. EVANS: So that's a very

 

            16             cost-effective way in which to pursue this.

 

            17                     MR. MINORA:  Well --

 

            18                     MS. EVANS: In addition to an audit.

 

            19                     MR. MINORA: Well, I don't think it

 

            20             gives you any information on money, they are

 

            21             two separate things.

 

            22                     MS. EVANS: Exactly.

 

            23                     MR. MINORA: A criminal investigation

 

            24             and an audit are two completely different

 

            25             things.  One is looking for did somebody


 

 

                                                                     152

 

 

             1             involve themselves in some criminality,

 

             2             you're really looking at very narrow

 

             3             parameters for that, and a forensic audit

 

             4             you are looking for mistakes.  You are

 

             5             looking for errors.

 

             6                     MS. EVANS: An accounting.

 

             7                     MR. MINORA:  You are looking for --

 

             8                     MS. EVANS:  The accounting of

 

             9             missing monies.

 

            10                     MR. MINORA: Yeah.  Well, and that as

 

            11             well, but it's also to try and remedy

 

            12             whatever the inherent errors were in the

 

            13             first place, so they are really two

 

            14             completely different things and they

 

            15             don't -- well, they don't ordinarily cross

 

            16             over.  There may be some line to cross over

 

            17             in a criminal case, but the forensic audit

 

            18             is a different animal from a criminal

 

            19             investigation.

 

            20                     MS. EVANS: Thank you.

 

            21                     MR. MINORA:  I don't know if that

 

            22             answer the questions.

 

            23                     MS. EVANS: Yes, that helps me.

 

            24             Thank you.

 

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


 

 

                                                                     153

 

 

             1             your turn.

 

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

 

             3             AN ORDINANCE - CREATING AND ESTABLISHING

 

             4             SPECIAL CITY ACCOUNT NO. 02.229590 ENTITLED

 

             5             "A.R.T.S. ENGAGE!  GRANT" FOR THE RECEIPT

 

             6             AND DISBURSEMENT OF GRANT FUNDS FROM

 

             7             LACKAWANNA COUNTY CHILDREN AND YOUTH

 

             8             SERVICES AND DEPARTMENT OF ARTS AND CULTURE

 

             9             FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF PARKS AND RECREATION

 

            10             CITY OF SCRANTON POOL MURALS PROGRAM.

 

            11                     MR. MCGOFF:  At this time I'll

 

            12             entertain a motion that Item 5-B be

 

            13             introduced into it's proper committee.

 

            14                     MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.

 

            15                     MS. FANUCCI:  Second.

 

            16                     MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?

 

            17                     MS. EVANS: I was looking through the

 

            18             backup for this piece of legislation and I

 

            19             noticed mentioned in the language and even

 

            20             in the costs a title or a group called

 

            21             Heart-to-Art, and I'm wondering if we can

 

            22             find out, please, who that group or who owns

 

            23             it or who will be president or directors of

 

            24             that would be and where they are from.

 

            25                     MS. FANUCCI: I believe Donna Doherty


 

 

                                                                     154

 

 

             1             is in charge of part of that program, maybe

 

             2             that's why you are asking.  The mayor's wife

 

             3             is definitely a significant part of that

 

             4             group, but it's many, many people.  They

 

             5             have done work in Wilkes-Barre, also, but I

 

             6             can find out more on that for you.

 

             7                     MS. EVANS: That would be good.

 

             8                     MR. MCGOFF: All in favor signify by

 

             9             saying aye.

 

            10                     MS. EVANS:  Aye.

 

            11                     MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.

 

            12                     MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.

 

            13                     MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?  The

 

            14             ayes have it and so moved.

 

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

 

            16             AN ORDINANCE - AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND

 

            17             OTHER APPROPRIATE OFFICIALS OF THE CITY OF

 

            18             SCRANTON TO ACCEPT AND DISBURSE GRANT FUNDS

 

            19             FROM LACKAWANNA COUNTY CHILDREN AND YOUTH

 

            20             SERVICES AND DEPARTMENT OF ARTS AND CULTURE

 

            21             A.R.T.S. ENGAGE!  GRANT IN THE AMOUNT OF

 

            22             $34,100.00 FOR THE CITY OF SCRANTON

 

            23             DEPARTMENT OF PARKS AND RECREATION POOL

 

            24             MURALS PROGRAM.

 

            25                     MR. MCGOFF:  At this time I'll


 

 

                                                                     155

 

 

             1             entertain a motion that Item 5-C be

 

             2             introduced into it's proper committee.

 

             3                     MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.

 

             4                     MS. FANUCCI:  Second.

 

             5                     MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  All

 

             6             in favor signify by saying aye.

 

             7                     MS. EVANS:  Aye.

 

             8                     MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.

 

             9                     MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.

 

            10                     MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?  The

 

            11             ayes have it and so moved.

 

            12                     MS. GARVEY: SIXTH ORDER.  NO

 

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

 

            14             FOR CONSIDERATION BY THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC

 

            15             WORKS - FOR ADOPTION - RESOLUTION NO. 116,

 

            16             2009 - AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND OTHER

 

            17             APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS TO EXECUTE AND

 

            18             ENTER INTO MUNICIPAL SUPPLEMENTAL

 

            19             ENGINEERING AGREEMENT NUMBER 041761-D WITH

 

            20             BUCHART-HORN, INC. TO AMEND PART III OF THE

 

            21             AGREEMENT TO COVER UNANTICIPATED ADDITIONAL

 

            22             WORK NECESSARY TO CONTINUE SERVICES DURING

 

            23             CONSTRUCTION AND AN OVERALL EXTENSION OF THE

 

            24             LACKAWANNA AVENUE BRIDGE PROJECT FOR AN

 

            25             ADDITIONAL COST OF $22,906.67.


 

 

                                                                     156

 

 

             1                     MR. MCGOFF:  What is the

 

             2             recommendation of the Chairperson for the

 

             3             Committee on Public Works?

 

             4                     MS. EVANS: As Chair for the

 

             5             Committee on Public Works, I recommend final

 

             6             passage of Item 7-A.

 

             7                     MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.

 

             8                     MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  Roll

 

             9             call, please?

 

            10                     MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.

 

            11                     MS. EVANS:  Yes.

 

            12                     MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Gatelli.  Ms.

 

            13             Fanucci.

 

            14                     MS. FANUCCI:  Yes.

 

            15                     MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.

 

            16                     MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yes.

 

            17                     MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.

 

            18                     MR. MCGOFF:  Yes.  I hereby declare

 

            19             Item 7-A legally and lawfully adopted.

 

            20             Thank you and I'll entertain a motion to

 

            21             adjourn.

 

            22                     MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.

 

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                                                                     157

 

 

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             3                 C E R T I F I C A T E

 

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             5       I hereby certify that the proceedings and

 

             6  evidence are contained fully and accurately in the

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

            10  ability.

 

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                                    CATHENE S. NARDOZZI, RPR

            14                      OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER

 

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