1 SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING
7 Tuesday, July 21, 2009
10 Council Chambers
11 Scranton City Hall
12 340 North Washington Avenue
13 Scranton, Pennsylvania
CATHENE S. NARDOZZI, RPR - OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
2 CITY OF SCRANTON COUNCIL:
MR. ROBERT MCGOFF, PRESIDENT
6 MS. JUDY GATELLI, VICE-PRESIDENT
MS. JANET E. EVANS
8 (Not present)
9 MS. SHERRY FANUCCI
MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT
12 MS. KAY GARVEY, CITY CLERK
MR. NEIL COOLICAN, ASSISTANT CITY CLERK
15 MR. JOHN WILLIAMS, SOLICITOR
1 (Pledge of Allegiance recited and
2 moment of reflection observed.)
3 MR. MCGOFF: Roll call, please.
4 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans. Mrs.
6 MS. GATELLI: Here.
7 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. 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. Evans notified counsel
14 that she would not be attending today. She
15 is I believe either on her way or in New
16 York at the birth of her daughter's baby.
17 And also let the record reflect that
18 attorney John Williams is substituting for
19 Amil Minora as solicitor. Thank you.
20 Dispense with the reading of the minute.
21 Third Order.
22 MS. GARVEY: 3-A. MINUTES OF THE
23 COMPOSITE PENSION BOARD MEETING HELD ON JUNE
24 24, 2009.
25 MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?
1 . If not, received and filed.
2 MS. GARVEY: That's it for Third
4 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you. Any
5 announcements from council?
6 MS. GATELLI: I just have several.
7 The first thing, I would ask for you to have
8 a motion of reflection. As you know, we
9 have had a fire this morning in West
10 Scranton and at least one child has died.
11 Mr. Courtright told me that he thinks a
12 second child has died, so please let's bow
13 our heads and pray for those children and
14 for their families.
15 (A moment of reflection was
17 MS. GATELLI: Thank you. Also, there
18 will be a book signing this evening, Stacy
19 Brown was the coauthor of a book about
20 Michael Jackson and the Anthology Bookstore
21 is having a signing tonight from 6 to 8.
22 It's free and there will be some light
24 I mentioned last week about children
25 in the Connell Park area going door-to-door
1 collecting money for Connell Park. I
2 mentioned that that was not true and please
3 do not give to the children that are
4 claiming to collect money. On Saturday
5 evening on my way home, I saw the children
6 on a doorstep and I questioned them and I
7 called the police. Of course, they ran, but
8 nonetheless, I did observe them going
9 door-to-door, so I don't know if Jeremy can
10 get it in the paper. I did say it at the
11 meeting, but apparently a lot of people
12 don't watch 61 and didn't hear it, so if we
13 can get it in the paper that it is not true
14 and it is a scam in the Connell Park area
15 for people not to give. There is no drive
16 going on for Connell Park.
17 Also, neighborhood police patrols, I
18 would just like to get a list of the
19 neighborhoods that have police patrols. I
20 have been getting some complaints from my
21 neighborhood that they don't see a beat cop,
22 so I would like to know the status of the
23 beat cops by next week being that's it's our
24 last meeting.
25 And the last thing I have is I'm
1 saying some of this now, Mr. McGoff, because
2 you know I work and I can't stay until the
3 end, so if you will indulgence me for a few
4 moments. I would like to send a letter to
5 the district attorney, I have spoken to him
6 concerning the matter, but I'd like a letter
7 sent to him, the Liquor Control Enforcement
8 Office and Mr. Seitzinger and Mr. Wallace
9 concerning Tom and Jerry's. It is a
10 nightclub. There is activity only on
11 weekends. They have a sign in the window
12 that they have food from 4:30 and every time
13 I stop at 4:30 there is no one there and the
14 door is locked. It is a nightclub at night
15 causing some police disturbances. From what
16 I understand the police were there last
17 weekend twice, so I'd like everyone alerted
18 to that fact and for something to be done as
19 soon as possible concerning Tom and Jerry's,
20 and that's all I have. Thank you.
21 MR. COURTRIGHT: Mr. McGoff, just
22 one more thing about the tragedy on the Hyde
23 Park Avenue fire. I was told possibly a
24 second child died and there is two more
25 maybe injured, but I can't confirm it, but
1 they are telling me that possibly Patrolman
2 Gilman put a ladder up on the roof and saved
3 a woman, so that's a good thing, and if I
4 get further information I'll let you know
5 about it, but definitely a tragedy and
6 there's still people injured and as
7 Mrs. Gatelli said if you can just pray for
8 them, a tragedy from all of those people
9 from the same family, and that's all I have.
10 Thank you.
11 MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else? Once
12 again, we will are speaking on agenda items
13 first. Anyone wishing to speak on agenda
14 items at this time?
15 MR. SBARAGLIA: Andy Sbaraglia,
16 citizen of Scranton. Fellow Scrantonians, I
17 want to speak a little on this 6-E, the
18 tearing down of the beautiful church down
19 there on Broadway. It's no longer a church,
20 I know. The windows have been stripped out,
21 probably the pews, too, but the main thing
22 is this building now is going on the tax
23 rolls. Once a church is no longer a church
24 it becomes just a building like any other
25 building in the city, and it goes on the tax
1 rolls, so if you are talking about a minimum
2 sale of the city it's not a minimum sale to
3 the city, it's a tax revenue, too. The
4 church, as you know, is exempt on churches,
5 but once they leave the church they are no
6 longer a part of the church when they close
7 it down or decertify it or whatever
8 terminology they use.
9 The second thing is the mayor in his
10 wisdom, he does a lot of business with the
11 Catholic churches, his holdings does a lot
12 of business with the Catholic Church. I
13 remember the Boys Club closing. I didn't
14 see the mayor come forward and say we are
15 going to keep this open for the basketball
16 that was played at the West Side Boys Club.
17 No, he was mum. This to me is sort of a
18 conflict of interest. If his business
19 wasn't within the Catholic Church, a lot of
20 his business wasn't within the Catholic
21 Church, maybe I would lean toward it, but
22 what he did up there in west side shows you
23 there is lot of different things going on
24 than meets the eye.
25 I love a level playing field, and
1 this project does not consist of a level
2 playing field. There is too many ends that
3 are in it. It's just ashame that it's such
4 a beautiful building. It should have been
5 on the historic register. It's a beautiful,
6 beautiful building. No way is it
7 dilapidated or anything like it. But like I
8 said before, what's in the mayor's mind I
9 know not, but I know there is lot of
10 different aspects to it besides the kid's
11 basketball. Thank you.
12 MR. SHOKARE: Good morning council
13 President and member of the council. My
14 name is Carol Shokare regarding agenda item
15 6-E, and I have been requested by Mr. Bob
16 Bolus to read the following letters, he is
17 out of town and regrets that he cannot
18 present them himself.
19 The letter was dated July 17, 2009:
20 Dear Council President Robert McGoff and
21 honorable members of Scranton City Council,
22 enclosed you will find a copy of a letter
23 that I have hand-delivered to Mr. James
24 Early regarding the proposed transfer of
25 Holy Cross Church to the City of Scranton.
1 Please take note of my offer to purchase the
2 property for $25,000 as is from the Diocese
3 of Scranton, thereby generating transfer
4 taxes to the city and placing the property
5 on the city tax rolls in the future. I
6 believe that this offer by me is a
7 beneficial result for both the Diocese and
8 the City of Scranton. It is your duty to
9 increase whenever possible the tax base of
10 the City of Scranton, thereby decreasing the
11 tax rate for the city residents. My intent
12 is to enhance the quality of life and the
13 general neighborhood by removing this
14 magnificent structure from the blighted
15 list. Respectfully, Bob Bolus."
16 The attached letter was dated
17 July 17, 2009. It was addressed to James B.
18 Early, Chancellor. Dear Mr. Early, I read
19 in the Scranton Times that the Scranton
20 Diocese and St. Patrick's Church is
21 considering transferring Holy Cross Church
22 to the City of Scranton in the near future.
23 It is also my understanding that the Diocese
24 will not be receiving any monies for this
25 transfer and the property will be
1 perpetually taken off the tax rolls. The
2 city is planning to raze the building
3 utilizing taxpayers' monies and city
4 employees and to put in a paved city-owned
5 public parking lot.
6 Considering these factors as a city
7 resident, I am offering the Diocese $25,000
8 for the property as is putting it on the tax
9 rolls, therefore, increasing the tax base to
10 reduce the taxes for the residents of the
11 city of Scranton. Closing can take place
12 immediately. Respectfully, Bob Bolus.
13 Thank you.
14 MR. MILLER: Good morning, Council.
15 Doug Miller, Scranton. As you know, it's
16 been awhile since I have been here so I
17 wasn't aware of the procedure here, but I
18 found out earlier that you had allotted only
19 three minutes for agenda items. I kind of
20 found that a little odd being that this is
21 why we conduct these meetings to conduct
22 city business, therefore, you know, we need
23 to provide the residents of the city with
24 the adequate time to address the legislation
25 that we discuss --
1 MS. GATELLI: Mr. Miller, just for
2 the record, they now get eight minutes to
3 speak before council.
4 MS. FANUCCI: Right.
5 MS. GATELLI: They get three and
6 five, so we have actually increased the
7 amount of time, and it is being done because
8 I am working and my colleagues didn't want
9 to have the meetings at night. I was
10 willing to come at night and they wanted to
11 keep it in the day, so I can't stay here for
12 the full amount because I am working, so
13 they accommodated me, but in actuality you
14 are getting eight minutes to speak whereas
15 you only had five before.
16 MS. FANUCCI: The sad thing is you
17 just used one of the them talking about the
18 fact, so why don't you keep going.
19 MR. MILLER: Well, no, because it is
20 important and maybe the five minutes should
21 have went towards the agenda items because
22 that's more important, that's why we conduct
23 these meetings. I don't think it's a
24 laughing matter to be honest with you.
25 MS. FANUCCI: Well, you can talk
1 three minutes after.
2 MR. MILLER: I would just like to
3 respond to Agenda Item 6-D briefly regarding
4 spending $5,000 for bike racks. I just
5 wanted to know if anyone can clarify what
6 these bike racks would be for, is it a city
8 MS. GATELLI: For people that ride
9 bicycles we will have them placed to lock
10 their bikes. It was a request from the
11 Biker's Association, if that's the name of
12 it, that they take bikes to work now to save
13 gas, etcetera, and they don't have bike
14 racks for people to keep their bikes.
15 MR. MILLER: Thank you. And also
16 I'd like to respond to Agenda Item 6-E and
17 the previous speaker, a few statements were
18 made. We have two offers for the Holy Cross
19 Church. The city's, which is a dollar, MR.
20 Bolus', which is $24,999 more. I find it
21 truly ashame that this council would approve
22 a deal that has absolutely no business being
23 discussed or even considered. What's even
24 more of a shame is the fact that the Diocese
25 would want to turn down a $25,000 offer to
1 purchase the property and to put it back on
2 the tax rolls. You would rather tear down a
3 piece of architectural history and replace
4 it with a parking lot that would generate no
5 revenue to the city whatsoever, although you
6 were willing to put one heck of a burden on
7 the residents of this city. You know, I
8 find it -- I really find it odd that the
9 Diocese -- that a Diocese that has had to
10 close churches and had to consolidate
11 schools due to financial struggles would
12 turn down such an offer. You know,
13 apparently they must be doing much better
14 than we all thought. You know, I'd suggest
15 that maybe in the future we shouldn't put
16 another dime in the basket since they are
17 doing pretty good.
18 You know, to say that this church
19 has become blighted just because a few tiles
20 fell down, I mean, it's ridiculous. I mean,
21 if some tiles fell from the cathedral would
22 we deem that blight and tear that down?
23 I understand the parking problem,
24 however, they have survived over 50 years
25 with the current situation and I truly
1 believe that this council if you wanted to
2 you could look to alternative plans and I
3 think we need to. You have that right as
4 the legislative body to do that.
5 Now, we can't continue to use and
6 abuse the residents of this city, and as we
7 know the demolition is estimated to cost
8 over $70,000, and you are bleeding them for
9 every penny and it's got to stop. Everyone
10 should also note that in the Commonwealth of
11 Pennsylvania all real estate transactions
12 are not final until they are in writing, so
13 basically all we have here is a verbal
14 agreement until you were to approve this
16 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Miller.
17 MR. MILLER: So I'm asking counsel
18 today to do your duty as you were elected to
19 do and table this legislation. The Diocese
20 claims they have been trying to sell this
21 piece of property for over three years so
22 what's another month. You have a real
23 chance to get a developed piece of property
24 back on the tax rolls generating more
25 revenue for this city and we've heard --
1 MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Miller --
2 MR. MILLER: -- a lot about
3 developers recently --
4 MR. MCGOFF: Your time --
5 MR. MILLER: --well, here's a chance
6 since it's all about --
7 MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Miller, I'm asking
8 you to stop.
9 MR. MILLER: --taking chances -- I
10 have a few more thoughts, please?
11 MR. MCGOFF: You can come back to the
13 MR. MILLER: We've heard a lot about
14 development -- this about agenda items.
15 MR. MCGOFF: Excuse me, you are out
16 of order.
17 MR. MILLER: We've heard a lot about
18 developers recently, well, here's a chance
19 since it's all about taking chances in the
20 city, this is --
21 MR. MCGOFF: Apparently you have no
22 respect for the --
23 MR. MILLER: -- an issue about the
24 taxpayers generating revenue for the city,
25 so please table this and put the people
1 first. Thank you.
2 MR. QUINN: Ozzie Quinn, Scranton
3 Taxpayers' Association. Mr. McGoff, could
4 you just take my name off of the general
6 MR. MCGOFF: Sure.
7 MR. QUINN: I have a mistake with
8 that, I have to leave. I want to speak
9 about there is a lot of things on here in
10 regard to the Community Development Block
11 Grants and loans, and I want to talk about
12 the tax base, you know, and the fact is that
13 last year the Community Development Block
14 Grant, OECD approved and council approved
15 $625,000 under the Vacant Property Review
16 Committee to the SRA to fix up condemned
17 houses, and I haven't heard anything about
18 that, you know, and I don't know if those
19 funds are over there, if they ever completed
20 a house. And the fact is that under the
21 Right to Know graciously the Housing
22 Authority and the Lackawanna County Housing
23 Authority did not give me any problems with
24 the request I asked like the city does, you
25 know, and they immediately gave me under the
1 five-day notice the information.
2 The Housing Authority has 754
3 applications for housing. Now, this is for
4 the poor, you know. And here we have
5 $625,000 sitting over there, nothing being
6 done. I may be wrong. Also, the county has
7 1,019 applications totaling 1,773
8 applications for housing. Now, without any
9 housing rehab in the neighborhoods for leaky
10 roofs, heating units that are defunct,
11 electrical problems and whatnot, you know,
12 we got to do something about the tax base
13 and whatnot and the Taxpayers' Association
14 is going to have the -- have the Luzerne
15 County Taxpayers' Association president at
16 our meeting to discuss reassessment, and I
17 don't know what the county is going to be
18 doing, okay, in regards to reassessment.
19 But, you know, we have a long waiting list
20 for poor people that want to have housing
21 and with the recession I'm told people are
22 not leaving the units to find housing unless
23 there is new housing out there. Thank you.
24 MS. SCHUMACHER: Marie Schumacher.
25 I'd like to start with 7-A, again, the
1 timing changes should be part of the overall
2 city grant for the timing of traffic
3 signals. If the taxpaying residents of East
4 Mountain must wait for the timing project to
5 receive the long promised signal at Meadow
6 and River Street, the nontax paying
7 University of Scranton should also be put in
8 that same cue.
9 7-C, does anyone know yet whether we
10 are collecting rents for the -- at the
11 Sillman House, the former library where we
12 want to put in a new boiler? I brought that
13 up last week, maybe somebody could address
14 that in motions. On 5-C, the approval of
15 the OECD lease. Last year council passed a
16 motion to bring OECD back to city hall where
17 the city would benefit from the rent when
18 the current lease expires.
19 However, the city did not respond to
20 the RFP which I believe was defective in
21 that it was issued only seven days prior to
22 the close and prior to the Fourth of July
23 weekend. This lease should be for one year
24 only so the new majority will have the
25 option to both fill empty city hall space
1 and receive revenues.
2 5-D. Why is this coming to council
3 now at the end of July when the effective
4 date was 4-6-09? Was this position
5 advertised and is the candidate certified?
6 5-F. Excuse me, 5-E. The question
7 of public safety Holy Cross, I believe just
8 from Optics the spires on that building are
9 less of a public safety hazard than the
10 structure on top of city hall and I believe,
11 as I stated last week, there are a lot of
12 very dangerous buildings, one across from
13 Sibio's on Main Street, the one across from
14 Pennswood Manor, all around the city there
15 are dangerous properties waiting for
16 demolition, and I do not think Holy Cross
17 should be at the top of the list.
18 5-F. I question the scope of the
19 statement of work. I was told all Scranton
20 brownfields were originally given KOZ status
21 so why must we may again to have brownfields
22 identified which is one of the tasks under
23 this contract?
24 Another task is health monitoring.
25 In what manor can this be accomplished under
1 the federal HIPAA rules?
2 6-B. I don't believe it is fair to
3 the Mulberry Street businesses to not
4 continue providing on-street parking. If we
5 can put parking meetings at hospitals, why
6 not at the University? See you later.
7 MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else? 5-B.
8 MS. GARVEY: 5-B. FOR INTRODUCTION -
9 A RESOLUTION - AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND
10 OTHER APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS FOR THE
11 CITY OF SCRANTON TO ENTER INTO A LOAN
12 AGREEMENT AND MAKE A LOAN FROM THE COMMUNITY
13 DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT PROGRAM, PROJECT NO.
14 150.24 IN AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED $50,000.00
15 TO MARTINI GRILL, LLC TO ASSIST AN ELIGIBLE
17 MR. MCGOFF: At this time I'll
18 entertain a motion that 5-B be introduced
19 into it's proper committee.
20 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
21 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
22 MR. MCGOFF: On the question.
23 MR. COURTRIGHT: On the question,
24 Mr. McGoff, it might be in the backup, but
25 I've got to be honest with you, I didn't get
1 to read it all, I want to look in and see if
2 -- I'm being told that possibly the loans is
4 MS. GARVEY: Yes, it is.
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: After a certain
6 period of time.
7 MS. GARVEY: After three years.
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: What, if all of the
9 criteria is met?
10 MS. GARVEY: Yes, the job creation
11 has been met.
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay.
13 MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else? All those
14 in favor signify by saying aye.
15 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
16 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
17 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed?
18 MS. GATELLI: No.
19 MR. MCGOFF: The ayes have it --
20 MS. GATELLI: No.
21 MR. MCGOFF: -- and so moved.
22 MS. GARVEY: 5-C. FOR INTRODUCTION -
23 A RESOLUTION - AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND
24 OTHER APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS FOR THE
25 CITY OF SCRANTON TO EXECUTE AND ENTER INTO A
1 LEASE WITH SCRANTON LIFE REALTY CO., INC. TO
2 PROVIDE OFFICE SPACE FOR THE CITY OF
3 SCRANTON OFFICE OF ECONOMIC AND COMMUNITY
5 MR. MCGOFF: At this time I'll
6 entertain a motion that Item 5-C be
7 introduced into it's proper committee.
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
9 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
10 MR. MCGOFF: On the question?
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: On the question
12 once again, I'd like to see it here in city
13 hall, for whatever reason it's not here I
14 don't know, but as I looked into this I
15 don't know if there was an RFP or it was an
16 actual bid put out, but there was two;
18 MS. GARVEY: Yes.
19 MR. COURTRIGHT: And they happened
20 to be the lesser of the two. Was it a bid,
21 Kay, or RFP?
22 MS. GARVEY: RFP.
23 MR. COURTRIGHT: I'm not going to say
24 the name of the other company, but this
25 company is the lesser of the two.
1 MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else? All those
2 in favor of introduction signify by saying
4 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
5 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
6 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
7 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed? The
8 ayes have it and so moved.
9 MS. GARVEY: 5-D. FOR INTRODUCTION -
10 RESOLUTION - APPOINTMENT OF BRUCE MILLER,
11 609 RACE STREET, SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA,
12 18509, TO THE POSITION OF ASSISTANT ZONING
13 OFFICER OF THE CITY OF SCRANTON, EFFECTIVE
14 APRIL 6, 2009.
15 MR. MCGOFF: At this time I'll
16 entertain a motion that Item 5-D be
17 introduced into it's proper committee.
18 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
19 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
20 MR. MCGOFF: On the question?
21 MR. COURTRIGHT: On the question
22 again, sorry to bring this up, but just so
23 you know a lot of times I vote for
24 introduction just to move it ahead and that
25 doesn't mean I'm going to vote for it later
1 on, as I did, you know, I just voted "yes"
2 for these two here that doesn't mean I'm
3 going to vote next week, but maybe we can
4 ask, I know Mrs. Schumacher talked too fast
5 for me to write down everything, she asked
6 about this, but maybe we can get some of
7 those questions answered because I think we
8 actually ran the last guy through the
9 ringer, all right, that got appointed to
10 this position, so if we can get some of
11 those answers, you know, why it says April 6
12 and we are voting it on now and I believe
13 what the qualifications were. I don't know
14 this individual and I'm sure --
15 MR. MCGOFF: I received from Mark
16 Seitzinger a brief bio of Mr. Miller and
17 also the copy of the duties and powers of
18 the zoning officer, and I'll make it
19 available to members of council.
20 MR. COURTRIGHT: Fine. That's good
21 then, Kay, he has got it here already, so
22 one less thing for you to do.
23 MS. GATELLI: I believe, just for the
24 record maybe if Attorney Williams can find
25 out from Attorney Minora, but I don't
1 believe that if we say "no" to an
2 appointment they don't get hired. We do not
3 hire people in the City of Scranton, that is
4 the mayor's prerogative to hire who he sees
5 fit for a position. We are only concurring.
6 I don't believe that our vote has anything,
7 just as people that are appointed to boards
8 it's only a concurrence. He does not need
9 our approval to hire people, and I'd like
10 that investigated, please, Attorney
11 Williams. We are a legislative body. We do
12 not hire or fire. That's all I have.
13 MR. MCGOFF: All those in favor of
14 introduction signify by saying aye.
15 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
16 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
17 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
18 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed? The
19 ayes have it and so moved.
20 MS. GARVEY: 5-E. FOR INTRODUCTION -
21 A RESOLUTION - AUTHORIZING ANY AND ALL
22 APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS TO EXECUTE AND
23 ENTER INTO A PERMIT AGREEMENT WITH THE
24 COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF
25 TRANSPORTATION TO APPLY FOR THE HIGHWAY
1 OCCUPANCY PERMITS REQUIRED TO CONSTRUCT THE
2 MULBERRY STREET STREETSCAPE PROJECT AND
3 AUTHORIZING ANY AND ALL APPROPRIATE CITY
4 OFFICIALS TO EXECUTE AND ENTER INTO AN
5 INDEMNIFICATION AGREEMENT WITH THE
6 UNIVERSITY OF SCRANTON TO INDEMNIFY THE CITY
7 FROM ANY LIABILITY WITH RESPECT TO VEHICULAR
8 TIRE DAMAGE CAUSED BY THE USE OF GRANITE
9 CURBING WITH A ROUNDED LEADING EDGE IN THE
10 UNIVERSITY'S MULBERRY STREET STREETSCAPE
12 MR. MCGOFF: At this time I'll
13 entertain a motion that Item 5-E be
14 introduced into it's proper committee.
15 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second. So moved,
16 I'm sorry. I'm trying to read this
18 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
19 MR. MCGOFF: Multi-tasking. On the
21 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
22 MR. MCGOFF: On the question?
23 MR. COURTRIGHT: On the question
24 again, I think, and again, there is just so
25 much here, I think that the University is
1 paying for this on their own, for the study,
2 I believe that's the case. I will find out
3 for sure. Do we know that they are?
4 MR. WILLIAMS: Yes. They are paying
5 for it.
6 MR. COURTRIGHT: They are paying for
7 their own study that's why it's getting done
8 before some of the other ones, so I don't
9 know if that might answer your question
10 there, Mrs. Schumacher, about Meadow Avenue
11 and that. I'm all for the Meadow Avenue
12 one, too, it's --
13 MS. GATELLI: I was told by PennDOT
14 that that Meadow Avenue light is not coming
15 at all. They determined that it doesn't
16 need a lot there.
17 MR. COURTRIGHT: They put it at River
18 Street, I believe.
19 MS. GATELLI: So if they are going
20 to waiting for that light I think they are
21 going to be waiting a long time.
22 MR. COURTRIGHT: So once again the
23 University is paying for this, that's how
24 it's getting done so quickly.
25 MR. MCGOFF: All those in favor of
1 introduction signify by saying aye.
2 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
3 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
4 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
5 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed? The
6 ayes have it and so moved.
7 MS. GARVEY: 5-F. FOR INTRODUCTION -
8 A RESOLUTION - AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND
9 OTHER APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS TO EXECUTE
10 AND ENTER INTO ON BEHALF OF THE CITY OF
11 SCRANTON A PROFESSIONAL SERVICES AGREEMENT
12 WITH DUFFIELD ASSOCIATES, INC. TO UNDERTAKE
13 INVENTORY OF BROWNFIELD SITES WITHIN THE
15 MR. MCGOFF: At this time I'll
16 entertain a motion that Item 5-F be
17 introduced into it's proper committee.
18 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
19 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
20 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? All
21 those in favor of introduction signify by
22 saying aye.
23 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
24 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
25 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
1 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed? The
2 ayes have it and so moved.
3 MS. GARVEY: SIXTH ORDER. 6-A.
4 READING BY TITLE - FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 74,
5 2009 - AN ORDINANCE - TO LIMIT THE TURNING
6 MOVEMENT FOR TRAFFIC TRAVELING SOUTHWEST
7 TOWARD MULBERRY STREET FROM THE 400 BLOCK OF
8 HITCHCOCK COURT, COSTELLO COURT, AND MAHON
9 COURT TO RIGHT TURN MOVEMENT ONLY.
10 MR. MCGOFF: You have heard reading
11 by title of Item 6-A, what is your pleasure?
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: I move that Item 6-A
13 pass reading by title.
14 MS. GATELLI: Second.
15 MR. MCGOFF: On the question?
16 MR. COURTRIGHT: On the question,
17 through all of these things that are going
18 to be coming up from Mulberry Street as far
19 as the traffic is concerned, I know I myself
20 looked at a lot of -- on my own during the
21 week and then we just had the University in
22 here, there is a whole host of information
23 about the traffic patterns and what's going
24 to happen and what's not going to happen. I
25 think for me to go over everything that I
1 have learned on my own and that I learned
2 today would take a great deal of time, so if
3 anybody has any questions on them feel free
4 to call me or stop me afterwards. I'll go
5 over everything with you here, but I did
6 look into all of this and then the
7 University people were here today and I
8 asked some more questions, so I just think
9 it would take a great deal of time for me to
10 explain everything to you about all of the
11 traffic patterns here.
12 MS. GATELLI: I would just like to
13 add to that that everything that's been
14 brought before us has been approved by
15 PennDOT. They are the experts on traffic
16 and the way traffic should flow. That is an
17 emergency route for hospitals, all of that
18 has been taken in consideration when PennDOT
19 approved of these particular studies. These
20 courts going only one-way in my opinion
21 makes Mulberry Street much safer when you
22 have exiting from courts going in both
23 directions it's very dangerous on a busy
24 street and Mulberry Street is very busy, as
25 you all know, so that's all I have to add to
1 Mr. Courtright.
2 MR. MCGOFF: And I'll do it now
3 rather than later, just make note that I
4 believe there were seven representatives
5 from the University of Scranton that came to
6 caucus this morning to explain the project
7 and to answer any questions that we have may
8 have had. All those in favor signify by
9 saying aye.
10 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
11 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
13 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed? The
14 ayes have it and so moved.
15 MS. GARVEY: 6-B. READING BY TITLE -
16 FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 75, 2009 - AN ORDINANCE-
17 ESTABLISHING "NO PARKING" ZONES ALONG THE
18 SOUTHERLY AND NORTHERLY SIDES OF MULBERRY
19 STREET (S.R. 3027) FOR TURNING LANES AT
20 DESIGNATED INTERSECTIONS BETWEEN JEFFERSON
21 AVENUE AND NORTH WEBSTER AVENUE, AS MORE
22 PARTICULARLY DESCRIBED ON THE PLAN ATTACHED
23 HERETO, TO ALLOW FOR SAFE SITE DISTANCE AS
24 MANDATED BY THE PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF
1 MR. MCGOFF: You have heard reading
2 by title of Item 6-B, what is your pleasure?
3 MR. COURTRIGHT: I move that Item 6-B
4 pass reading by title.
5 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
6 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? All
7 those in favor signify by saying aye.
8 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
9 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
10 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
11 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed? The
12 ayes have it and so moved.
13 MS. GARVEY: 6-C. READING BY TITLE -
14 FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 76, 2009 - AN ORDINANCE-
15 AMENDING FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 129 OF 1995,
16 (AS AMENDED), ENTITLED "ESTABLISHING FINES
17 TO BE IMPOSED FOR THE ACTIVATION OF AN ALARM
18 DEVICE WHICH IS DETERMINED TO BE A FALSE
19 ALARM BY THE POLICE DEPARTMENT; AUTHORIZING
20 THE ADMINISTRATION AND ENFORCEMENT OF SAID
21 FINES; AND PRESCRIBING PENALTIES FOR
22 VIOLATIONS", BY CHANGING CERTAIN SECTIONS TO
23 ALLOW FOR THE IMPROVED ADMINISTRATION OF THE
24 ORDINANCE, SPECIFICALLY SECTIONS 1D. AND
25 1E.; SECTION 2; SECTION 3; SECTION 4;
1 SECTION 6 AND SECTION 7.
2 MR. MCGOFF: You have heard reading
3 by title of Item 6-C, what is your pleasure?
4 MR. COURTRIGHT: I move that Item 6-C
5 pass reading by title.
6 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
7 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? All
8 in favor signify by saying aye.
9 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
10 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
12 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed? The
13 ayes have it and so moved.
14 MS. GARVEY: 6-D. READING BY TITLE -
15 FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 77, 2009 - AN ORDINANCE-
16 AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND OTHER APPROPRIATE
17 CITY OFFICIALS TO DESIGNATE $4,999.52 FROM
18 PROJECT NO. 09- 400.41 REPAYMENTS OF URBAN
19 DEVELOPMENT ACTION GRANTS (UDAG), FOR THE
20 PURCHASE AND INSTALLATION OF TEN (10) BIKE
21 RACKS ON CITY OWNED PROPERTY.
22 MR. MCGOFF: You have heard reading
23 by title of Item 6-D, what is your pleasure?
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: I move that Item 6-D
25 pass reading by title.
1 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
2 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? All
3 those in favor signify by saying aye.
4 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
5 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
6 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
7 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed? The
8 ayes have it and so moved.
9 MS. GARVEY: 6-E. READING BY TITLE -
10 FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 78, 2009 - AN ORDINANCE-
11 AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND OTHER APPROPRIATE
12 CITY OFFICIALS TO ENTER INTO AN AGREEMENT
13 BETWEEN THE MOST REVEREND JOSEPH F. MARTINO,
14 D.D., BISHOP OF THE DIOCESE OF SCRANTON,
15 PENNSYLVANIA, TRUSTEE FOR THE FORMER HOLY
16 CROSS CONGREGATION, AND ITS PRESENT
17 SUCCESSOR CONGREGATION, ST. PATRICK'S PARISH
18 SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA AND THE CITY OF
19 SCRANTON, APPROVING AND AUTHORIZING THE
20 TRANSFER OF THE REAL ESTATE AND IMPROVEMENTS
21 LOCATED AT 5TH AVENUE AND BROADWAY STREET IN
22 THE CITY OF SCRANTON TO THE CITY OF SCRANTON
23 AND TO EXECUTE ANY AND ALL OTHER DOCUMENTS
24 NECESSARY FOR THE CLOSING OF THIS
1 MR. MCGOFF: You have heard reading
2 by title of Item 6-E, what is your pleasure?
3 MR. COURTRIGHT: I move that Item 6-E
4 pass reading by title.
5 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
6 MR. MCGOFF: On the question?
7 MR. COURTRIGHT: On the question, I
8 received a phone call from Mr. Bolus last
9 night and I discussed this with him and he
10 was hoping that we would table this, and I
11 told him I didn't know what the feelings
12 would be for the other members of council,
13 but my thought was this, if we are table it
14 then next week it would not be in the final
15 order. I know, you know, it would be
16 another month and some people say what's
17 another month.
18 I'm going to vote to pass it today
19 and, Kay, I would ask this, I'm being told
20 that the Diocese of Scranton will not sell
21 the property to Mr. Bolus. I'd like to hear
22 that firsthand from somebody, like if
23 they -- I'd really to see it in writing, if
24 the Diocese would give me that in writing.
25 If not, if someone from the Diocese would
1 call me and tell me that, that they are not
2 going to sell it to him because to me that's
3 important. If they are not going sell it to
4 him, then they are not going to sell it to
5 him. If they are interested in selling it
6 to them if the Diocese of Scranton says that
7 they will sell that property to Mr. Bolus
8 then I would will vote against this
9 legislation, but if they are saying they are
10 not going to sell it to them then I don't
11 have a whole lot of choice I don't think,
12 but I'd just like to know from mine other
13 than someone telling me. Either have
14 someone from the Diocese calling me, but I
15 would really prefer if someone from the
16 Diocese would give me something in writing.
17 MR. MCGOFF: I'd just like to add a
18 little bit of history. The sale of the
19 church has been -- or it's been on the
20 market for a number of years and there was
21 no action taken by anyone to purchase the
22 church. The Diocese was becoming
23 increasingly concerned with the condition of
24 the building and also with paying insurance
25 and other costs associated with the
1 building. While it was on the market,
2 discussions had been taking place between
3 the City and the Diocese waiting to see if,
4 in fact, somebody was willing to purchase
5 the building.
6 It came to a point in negotiations
7 apparently the pastor who was in charge of
8 Holy Cross wanted to finalize some things
9 before he was transferred, and so the
10 movement and the negotiations with the city
11 became more prominent and the city agreed to
12 what's before us now.
13 In speaking with when -- when
14 Mr. Bolus -- when I was made aware of
15 Mr. Bolus' intent, I contacted the Finance
16 Office at the Diocese, Mr. Jim Quinn who is
17 the chief finance officer for the Diocese,
18 told me that they were not entertaining
19 Mr. Bolus' offer, that they were committed
20 to the agreement that they had made with the
22 I further investigated and found out
23 that the Chancellor of the Diocese, James
24 Early, had spoken with the mayor and had
25 conveyed to him the same thing, that they
1 were not entertaining the offer from
2 Mr. Bolus and that they were wanted to move
3 forward with the agreement with the City,
4 and that is the information that I have been
5 able to receive.
6 And to -- I will again, Kay, I'll
7 save you the phone call or whatever, I will
8 again attempt to contact either Mr. Early or
9 Mr. Quinn and have them put that, you know,
10 just a brief note to council that that is
11 their intent. All those in favor signify by
12 saying aye.
13 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
14 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
15 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
16 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed? The
17 ayes have it and so moved. Prior to Seventh
18 Order, I'd like to make a motion to appoint
19 Mr. Courtright as temporary chair for public
21 MS. GATELLI: Second.
22 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? All
23 in favor signify by saying aye.
24 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
25 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
1 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
2 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed? The
3 ayes have it and so moved.
4 MS. GARVEY: I think we need a
5 clarification for 7-A as well from last week
6 when it was 5-D.
7 MR. MCGOFF: I'm sorry, I forgot
8 about that. We are going to -- I'd like to
9 make a motion to amend 7-A to a resolution
10 rather than an ordinance. It was written in
11 last week as -- that is the end of my motion
12 to change that.
13 MS. GATELLI: Second.
14 MR. MCGOFF: The reason for doing it
15 is that last week it was put in as an
16 ordinance, that was a mistake, and we are
17 just, you know, changing the word from
18 ordinance to resolution. Second to the
20 MS. GATELLI: I seconded it.
21 MR. MCGOFF: I'm sorry. On the
22 question? All those in favor signify by
23 saying aye.
24 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
25 MS. GATELLI: Aye.
1 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
2 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed? The
3 ayes have it and so moved.
4 MS. GARVEY: SEVENTH ORDER. 7-A.
5 FOR CONSIDERATION BY THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC
6 SAFETY FOR ADOPTION - RESOLUTION NO. 164,
7 2009 -AUTHORIZING REVISION OF THE EXISTING
8 TRAFFIC SIGNALS ALONG MULBERRY STREET (S.R.
9 3027) FROM THE INTERSECTION OF MULBERRY
10 STREET AND JEFFERSON AVENUE TO THE
11 INTERSECTION OF MULBERRY STREET AND NORTH
12 WEBSTER AVENUE FOR THE UNIVERSITY OF
13 SCRANTON MULBERRY STREET STREETSCAPE
15 MR. MCGOFF: What is the
16 recommendation of the Chair for the
17 Committee on Public Safety?
18 MR. COURTRIGHT: As Chairperson for
19 the Committee on Public Safety, I recommend
20 final passage of Item 7-A.
21 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
22 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? Roll
23 call, please?
24 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans. Mrs.
1 MS. GATELLI: Yes.
2 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. Fanucci.
3 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.
4 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
6 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff.
7 MR. MCGOFF: Yes. I hereby declare
8 Item 7-A legally and lawfully adopted.
9 MS. GARVEY: 7-B. FOR CONSIDERATION
10 BY THE COMMITTEE ON RULES - FOR ADOPTION -
11 RESOLUTION NO. 165, 2009 - AUTHORIZING THE
12 MAYOR AND OTHER APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS
13 TO EXECUTE AND ENTER INTO A COLLECTIVE
14 BARGAINING AGREEMENT WITH LOCAL LODGE 2305
15 OF THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF
16 MACHINISTS AND AEROSPACE WORKERS IN
17 ACCORDANCE WITH THE TERMS AND PROVISIONS OF
18 A MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING DATED JUNE 12,
19 2009 AND RATIFIED BY THE MEMBERSHIP.
20 MR. MCGOFF: As Chair for the
21 Committee on Rules, I recommend final
22 passage of Item 7-B.
23 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
24 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? Roll
25 call, please?
1 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans. Mrs.
3 MS. GATELLI: Yes.
4 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. Fanucci.
5 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.
6 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.
7 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
8 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff.
9 MR. MCGOFF: Yes. I hereby declare
10 Item 7-B legally and lawfully adopted.
11 MS. GARVEY: 7-C. FOR CONSIDERATION
12 BY THE COMMITTEE ON COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT -
13 FOR ADOPTION - RESOLUTION NO. 166, 2009 -
14 RATIFYING THE ACTIONS OF THE OFFICE OF
15 ECONOMIC AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AND OTHER
16 APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS APPLYING FOR AN
17 ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND CONSERVATION BLOCK
18 GRANT THROUGH THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT
19 OF ENERGY'S NATIONAL ENERGY TECHNOLOGY
20 LABORATORY IN THE AMOUNT OF $718,500.00, AND
21 IF THE GRANT APPLICATION IS SUCCESSFUL,
22 AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND OTHER APPROPRIATE
23 CITY OFFICIALS TO ACCEPT THE GRANT, AND TO
24 COORDINATE AND DISBURSE THE GRANT FUNDS TO
25 IMPLEMENT THE ENERGY EFFICIENCY PROJECTS
1 OUTLINED IN SAID GRANT APPLICATION.
2 MR. MCGOFF: What is the
3 recommendation of the Chair for the
4 Committee on Community Development?
5 MS. FANUCCI: As Chairperson for the
6 Committee on Community Development, I
7 recommend final passage of Item 7-C.
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
9 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? Roll
10 call, please?
11 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans. Mrs.
13 MS. GATELLI: Yes.
14 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. Fanucci.
15 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.
16 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.
17 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
18 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff.
19 MR. MCGOFF: Yes. I hereby declare
20 Item 7-C legally and lawfully adopted.
21 MS. GARVEY: 7-D. FOR CONSIDERATION
22 BY THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC WORKS - FOR
23 ADOPTION - RESOLUTION NO. 167, 2009 - TO
24 ACCEPT OWNERSHIP, MAINTENANCE OF, AND
25 RESPONSIBILITY FOR A RETAINING WALL TO BE
1 BUILT BY THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
2 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AS PART OF THE
3 KEYSER AVENUE PROJECT ADJACENT TO THE SOUTH
4 SIDE OF GLINKO STREET AND TO EXECUTE AND
5 ENTER INTO THE RETAINING WALL OWNERSHIP AND
6 MAINTENANCE AGREEMENT NO. 04M035 BETWEEN THE
7 COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF
8 TRANSPORTATION ("COMMONWEALTH") AND THE CITY
9 OF SCRANTON ("MUNICIPALITY").
10 MR. MCGOFF: What is the
11 recommendation of the temporary Chair on
12 Public Works?
13 MR. COURTRIGHT: As temporary chair
14 for the Committee on Public Works, I
15 recommend final passage of Item 7-D.
16 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
17 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? Roll
18 call, please?
19 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans. Mrs.
21 MS. GATELLI: Yes.
22 MR. COOLICAN: Ms. Fanucci.
23 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.
24 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.
25 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
1 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff.
2 MR. MCGOFF: Yes. I hereby declare
3 Item 7-D legally and lawfully adopted. At
4 this time, we will return to citizens'
5 participation on city matters. Andy
7 MR. SBARAGLIA: Andy Sbaraglia. Andy
8 Sbaraglia, citizen of Scranton. Fellow
9 Scrantonians, the next meeting we should
10 have one, two, three, four, five pieces of
11 legislation on the agenda for passage. They
12 are all ordinances. We had two readings on
13 it, now we are coming to the third, but that
14 second reading that you had you found out
15 new information, especially from Mr. Bolus.
16 Now, why the Diocese is dragging their heels
17 about selling a property, I know not, but I
18 do know there is a lot of rumors going about
19 that the University also has eyes on this
20 property for later and that sort of sets the
21 stage for what's going on.
22 When you vote on something, three
23 minutes is never going to be enough to even
24 get into this stuff or five minutes or
25 whatever have you, but even five minutes
1 wasn't enough, but three is ludicrous.
2 These ordinances that you are going to pass
3 has profound affects on the city and the
4 future of the city. I know not why the
5 curbs that they are using pose a danger to
6 tires, but I assume somewhere, somehow or
7 some way it came up. If these curbs are put
8 on city property, I don't know, maybe the
9 city does have some liability with it.
10 Anything put on -- actually, the sidewalks
11 are city property so it's all city property.
12 If you trip on their sidewalk, that's the
13 city's -- well it's actually the people that
14 own it plus the city if it's deteriorating
15 or something like that, but it's all city
16 property, that's why we are going through
17 all of this.
18 Now, I wasn't there for your caucus
19 with the University, but I can tell you from
20 what I seen in the backup legislation and
21 the things that I read it would take a heck
22 of a long time to comprehend everything that
23 was there and answer all the questions.
24 It's just too bad you didn't bring it on 61
25 or ask them to do it, put it on 61 and
1 explain every aspect of the project. That's
2 what 61 is for and you would eliminate a lot
3 of these questions.
4 Now, you mentioned, too, that you
5 were all elected. True, you were all
6 elected, I wasn't, but I was willing to
7 serve for free. Now, you don't have to, but
8 I was willing because I figured your
9 position up there is something you should do
10 for the city, okay? I funded my own
11 campaign, and the reason I funded my own
12 campaign is that I didn't want anybody to
13 come up to me and say, "You're voting on a
14 piece of legislation because they gave you
16 You brought this up, Mrs. Fanucci,
17 or I wouldn't have even mentioned it because
18 all of them years I didn't mention it, but
19 you said you brought it up again. I believe
20 the position you sit there is a position of
21 honor. I do believe in it. Just like going
22 in the service, to me that's a duty. It's a
23 duty of all Americans, all male Americans,
24 too, I'm a little on the female side, I
25 would say that, but I believe all males
1 should serve. It's just too bad the
2 government in Washington don't see it that
3 way, but it used to be sort of that, way but
4 no more. When I went to high school
5 everyone says, "Do your service for the
6 country and then go onto college."
7 Well, I did my service in the
8 country and when I came back I got a job in
9 the elevator industry and put all of my time
10 there, but I lived in Scranton all of that
11 time and I paid my taxes in Scranton all
12 that time and I didn't look for anything
13 other than what I earned.
14 I do believe that this council as it
15 works is not the best, okay? That's my
16 opinion, my personal opinion. I believe you
17 could have done a lot better, but I stick
18 with the voters. The voters put you in and
19 if we had a recall down there in Harrisburg
20 maybe things could have been changed, but
21 it's fine. As the law stands, you are going
22 to go all of the way to the end and there is
23 nothing we can do about it. I just hope
24 that you do the least amount of damage to
25 the city as you can because everything you
1 do lives long after you. The garages that
2 we have that you built all that they
3 improved so forth and so on are going to
4 collapse. We are not going to be able to
5 afford them. The parking meters that you so
6 moved around and removed and so forth and so
7 on are all hocked in order to use their bank
8 under another agreement. Thank you.
9 MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Quinn left. I don't
10 believe that the other people that signed
11 Carol Shakair is still here and Doug Miller.
12 No one here? Marie Schumacher.
13 MS. SCHUMACHER: Marie Schumacher. I
14 have a question on the new parking garage, I
15 distinctly remember this was to be an
16 L-shaped structure accessible from both
17 North Washington Avenue and Spruce Street.
18 However, it appears the Spruce Street access
19 portion is not being constructed. Has this
20 portion been cancelled or is it a -- if it's
21 a phase project what are the start and
22 completion dates for the next phase? And
23 also, is that project within it's budget?
24 Now, I have asked about this before,
25 the Tobyhanna Credit Union has staked out a
1 private parking lot, at least if you believe
2 the sign, in the 300-block of Franklin
3 Avenue. Now the county assessor records do
4 not show Tobyhanna Credit Union as owning
5 any property in this block. Shouldn't the
6 taxpayers be receiving revenue for this
7 parking lot if it's being used by Tobyhanna
8 Credit Union and they don't own it?
9 This is a personal issue, Seymour
10 Avenue has a sign that actually faces a
11 bunch of trees. If you go up or down I
12 guess south on 307, on the right-hand side
13 is Seymour Avenue which isn't exactly a
14 90-degree angle, but it's close, but sort of
15 across the way but up a little further south
16 is Leslie Drive which comes in at an angle,
17 but there is a sign that is posted square on
18 307 perpendicular that probably can be read
19 my chipmunks and squirrels and all kinds of
20 critters, but actually not by traffic coming
21 up 307 or down 307. What it says is that
22 access to Seymour Avenue is restricted to --
23 truck traffic is restricted to deliveries.
24 However, there has been a parade ever since
25 East Mountain Road has been redone, and I
1 don't think East Mountain Road was
2 constructed for heavy traffic and heavy
3 vehicles, but there has been a constant
4 parade of trucks, most of them or a majority
5 of them coming from Moscow excavating
6 companies and they come down and sometimes
7 when it's excessive I hop in the car and I
8 go down to see where they are making a
9 delivery or pickup and find they are merely
10 using that as a shortcut to get onto 81.
11 MR. MCGOFF: Can I just say, take
12 whatever time you need again, is that a
13 state sign, a PennDOT sign that's -- or is
14 it the city?
15 MS. SCHUMACHER: It's not
17 MR. MCGOFF: It's not identified.
18 MS. SCHUMACHER: I'll take look an
19 e-mail you with you.
20 MR. MCGOFF: I drive by there every
21 day, too, I just don't notice the sign.
22 MS. SCHUMACHER: Well, it's hard to
23 notice it because, as I say, it's not
24 tilted. They really need two, one for
25 coming up and one for coming down.
1 MR. MCGOFF: I'll take a look and
2 I'll try to find out whose responsibility
3 that sign is.
4 MS. SCHUMACHER: Okay. I mean, I
5 know the police aren't going to enforce it,
6 they are too short-handed as they are, but
7 it really is just totally being used as an
8 access road by all kinds of heavy vehicles
9 for access to 81 and it's getting just a
10 little annoying.
11 Also, oh, I left it back there, I do
12 have, and Mr. Minora is not here today, but
13 I did go to the Redevelopment Authority and
14 again back on the Ice Box and it does appear
15 from what I learned at the Redevelopment
16 Authority and what the resolution that never
17 made it to the agenda three years ago makes
18 clear is the ball to collect that $600,000
19 is definitely in city council's court. I
20 have no idea why that was never put on and
21 why that resolution was never put on the
22 agenda, but we are missing out.
23 That one did alter the agreement
24 such that the $600,000 wasn't given in a
25 lump sum. It was I think $30,000 over
1 20 years.
2 MS. FANUCCI: Right, and Mrs. Evans
3 went to open that, she didn't think it was
4 enough at the time, so that's why we tabled
5 it at the time. That was the whole -- she
6 didn't believe that that was enough money.
7 She wanted the $600,000 in one lump sum and
8 that's why they walked away and they had
9 every right to do so.
10 MS. SCHUMACHER: Well, the ball is in
11 your court obviously, and that is money and
12 that brings up the hole in the budget. I
13 have know that on many items we are ahead,
14 particularly on the wage tax of prior years,
15 however, the amount of wage taxes to be
16 collected this year was raised significantly
17 over the prior year, I believe some
18 20 percent, so I think that we still have a
19 hole in the budget even at most if the
20 trends hold you are going to be still -- you
21 are going to get maybe a one and a half
22 million dollars more out of the wage tax,
23 but not enough to fill that hole in the
24 budget from the single tax office, and so I
25 would really like to know how that is going
1 to be filled. Thank you. I'll hold the
2 rest for next week. Thank you.
3 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you. Larry
5 MR. HEWITT: Good morning, Council,
6 Larry Hewitt. First off, I'd like to give
7 my sympathies to the family of that
8 nine-year-old child and possibly a second
9 child who passed away in this fire early
10 this morning. Billy, maybe this is directed
11 towards you since you are acting in public
12 works and in terms of public safety,
13 yesterday about 10:00, 10:30, while garbage
14 was being picked up in front of my house
15 some of the garbage men, two of the garbage
16 men dumped some hedge clippings on the road
17 and I caught them and I said, "Hey," I said
18 "You know, you dropped some clippings," I
19 said, "How about picking that up?"
20 They said, "We don't have shovels."
21 I said, "Well, then pick it up with
22 your hands."
23 Their response? "No."
24 I said, "So you telling me you
25 dumped that and you are not going to pick
1 that up?"
2 "Call such and such a number. Call
3 a lawyer."
4 Now you know what? I live with my
5 mother and father, we pay our taxes, $178
6 for a garbage fee and you mean to tell me
7 that they couldn't pick up a small pile of
8 clippings? Now, I have a picture of it on
9 my phone. Can I approach to show you,
11 (Mr. Hewitt approaches council.)
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: All right. You want
13 to give me the date on the time and I'll
14 check into it?
15 MR. HEWITT: It was yesterday about
16 10, 10:30. I did not get the number of the
17 truck. I called DPW three times.
18 MR. COURTRIGHT: You live on Slater,
20 MR. HEWITT: Yes. The second time I
21 called I said to the man, "Where is the guys
22 that picked up this pile," I said, "because
23 I am not picking it up."
24 I said, like I said, $178 tax fee or
25 garbage fee and they couldn't simply pick up
1 a small -- now you just saw the picture of
2 it. They couldn't pick that up?
3 MS. FANUCCI: I think the problem
4 here, and I'm going to speak just on
5 ordinancewise, if it's not bagged and the
6 lid is not on by rights anything that falls
7 out on the way in doesn't have to be. I
8 mean, I'm just telling you, don't shoot the
9 messenger, but by rights they probably don't
10 have to if it's not -- if it's not in right
11 or if it's too, you know, and plus it's not
12 a -- it's biodegradable, also; correct?
13 But the thing is that I heard, and
14 I'm going to tell you that this story had
15 already come down the pike from two
16 neighbors on the block saying that the
17 approach was the problem, not the problem
18 itself, and I don't think what happened or
19 what transpired there, but my belief is that
20 it was not a good situation under any
21 circumstances, and when you get down to the
22 heart of the matter, let's -- I mean, this
23 is a DPW versus firemen or --
24 MR. HEWITT: No, no. I'm not a
1 MS. FANUCCI: I'm saying as far as
2 the community was concerned on the block as
3 far as people were calling in, but it was
4 witnessed not to be a very nice request or
5 exchange and I think that might be the
6 problem, and I'm not sure, I wasn't there
7 nor do I -- you know, there is three sides
8 to every story.
9 MR. HEWITT: Just for the record, I
10 am not a Scranton fireman.
11 MS. FANUCCI: Okay. Well, that's
12 what I got on the block. I don't know who
13 is or who isn't, I'm telling you what -- the
14 report I got was that it was between two
15 city employees.
16 MR. HEWITT: I am not a Scranton
17 firemen. Now, a neighbor had mentioned to
18 me, because I do have "Keep your firehouse
19 open" sign that may be why. Now, I'm
20 thinking, I'm hoping that's not the reason.
21 I'm hoping that's not the case.
22 MS. FANUCCI: My belief was the case
23 was the way it was approached to be asked to
24 be done was the problem.
25 MR. HEWITT: Are you speaking of
1 yesterday's --
2 MS. FANUCCI: I'm speaking of -- yes,
3 of the grass.
4 MR. HEWITT: So you know about this?
5 MS. FANUCCI: I had already heard
6 about this from two neighbors on the block.
7 MR. HEWITT: On my block?
8 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.
9 MR. HEWITT: Okay. Well --
10 MS. FANUCCI: I didn't know it was
11 you, I didn't know who it was. It was a --
12 you know, I had no idea who was the problem
13 or what had happened, but I knew something
14 had transpired that was not very nice.
15 MR. HEWITT: Now, like I said, I
16 asked them nicely to pick it up, they said,
17 "No, we don't have shovels."
18 I said, "Well, just pick it up by
20 "Oh, well, call such and such a
22 I said, "Don't worry about it, I
23 will call such and such a number," and then
24 I got, "Oh, well, call a lawyer."
25 MS. FANUCCI: When you called DPW
1 that's they said, "Call a lawyer."
2 MR. HEWITT: No, this discussion was
3 going on with the two guys on the back of
4 the truck.
5 MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Hewitt, just to
6 hopefully -- someone will look into it.
7 MS. FANUCCI: Yeah, we'll look into
9 MR. MCGOFF: No matter what the
10 circumstances were, obviously behavior was
11 unacceptable, you know, whatever the case
12 may have been, okay, I'm just saying we'll
13 look in it for you and try to make it more
14 amicable --
15 MS. FANUCCI: Yeah, I didn't know it
16 was you --
17 MR. MCGOFF: We'll try to make it a
18 more amicable situation.
19 MR. HEWITT: And like I said,
20 Mr. McGoff, $178 for a garbage fee and all
21 they had to do is just pick it up.
22 MR. MCGOFF: I understood, and
23 that's what I said, we'll try to take care
24 of the situation.
25 MR. HEWITT: And, like I said, I
1 called three times and they said -- the
2 second time I called they told me that they
3 were -- the guy was amazed, like, "Oh, they
4 didn't go out there?"
5 MS. FANUCCI: Did they send someone
6 out after that?
7 MR. HEWITT: No, they did not, and I
8 told them, I said, "You have until the end
9 of the day before I go to council."
10 MR. MCGOFF: Okay. Like I said, we
11 will look into it for you. Thank you.
12 MR. HEWITT: Well, I appreciate it
13 because you know what, it's going to stay
14 there because I feel --
15 MR. COURTRIGHT: It's still there?
16 MR. HEWITT: It's still there. It's
17 still there, Billy.
18 MR. MCGOFF: It will taken care of.
19 MR. COURTRIGHT: I'll make sure it's
20 picked up today if I have to pick it up
21 myself, all right?
22 MR. HEWITT: Like I had, I didn't
23 come here to cause any trouble between --
24 I'm not a Scranton firemen, I do have a sign
25 but --
1 MS. FANUCCI: Okay.
2 MR. MCGOFF: Okay.
3 MR. HEWITT: Just so you know.
4 Billy, should I leave my name and stuff with
6 MR. COURTRIGHT: I know where you
7 live. When the meeting is over I'll call,
8 I'll make sure somebody comes out there and
9 picks it up and try to get the story
11 MR. HEWITT: Okay. Thank you very
13 MR. COURTRIGHT: No problem.
14 MR. HEWITT: Thank you for your time.
15 MR. MCGOFF: Michael Lapalla.
16 MR. LAPALLA: Good morning, I guess
17 it's still morning. My name is Michael
18 Lapalla, and I'm a resident of Northwest
19 Scranton. I volunteered for the last couple
20 of years for the CEO lunch food program that
21 gives lunches to youth that get lunch during
22 the school year, but not during the summer.
23 This year I was stationed at Fellows Park
24 and I was talking to some of the parents
25 there about the park that's in dismal shape,
1 as you can see by the photos. All of the
2 other parks in the city are in pretty decent
3 shape, especially Collins Park with all of
4 the work they have done up there, it's
5 fabulous, my mother-in-law lives right down
6 the street, we go up there a lot, but at
7 Fellows Park it's pretty shoddy.
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: Excuse me, could you
9 just hold his time? Didn't they just fix
10 all of this? They didn't just go down there
11 and fix it?
12 MR. LAPALLA: As you can see, they
13 haven't done a thing except the sidewalks.
14 Some of the drops off the sidewalk are
15 anywhere from six inches to about 12 inches.
16 It's on Main Avenue, it drops probably about
17 a foot.
18 MR. COURTRIGHT: Again, hold his time
19 I don't know want to take his time. How
20 recent is this?
21 MR. LAPALLA: That's from this
23 MR. COURTRIGHT: I was under the
24 impressions -- I drive by it all the time.
25 I know we put a lot of money into this
1 because I was on council when we authorized
2 the money to go in there.
3 MR. LAPALLA: I mean, that's the
4 least of the concerns of the parents there.
5 As you can see that one abandoned home, that
6 lower level, and I think it's about eight
7 feet to that second window, the youth get in
8 there and I guess they have been taunting
9 the other youth in the area saying we are
10 going to haunt you, we're going to put you
11 in there and all that good stuff, that's not
12 a good thing, but, I mean, especially right
13 next to a park I believe that that's
14 something that should be taken care of, not
15 tomorrow, but definitely in the near future,
16 something that should be addressed.
17 As you can see on the right there is
18 the post, I believe it's the electrical work
19 to the lamp that shows off the flag pole and
20 that wiring that holds to the post has
21 exposed the wiring. It has brushed off the
23 MR. COURTRIGHT: Exposed electrical
25 MR. LAPALLA: Yes. I just noticed
1 that this morning, but I don't know if it's
2 live or not because the lamp is busted off
3 anyhow, so it doesn't stand up straight, and
4 it's not -- it's mostly from the youth that
5 are in that area that are damaging the park,
6 but it's still -- it's very nice park. It's
7 a great location for all of those families
8 and there is a lot of families in that area
9 especially -- now, if you look at the
10 playground area there is no mulch, there is
11 no safety fill around that area, it's all
12 dirt and rocks. When I would stop there
13 feeding the youth there was a girl -- well,
14 a little baby about a year old was on the
15 slide and she just fell flat, but there is
16 nothing to catch her. Of course, she was
17 crying and everything like that, but there
18 is definitely -- if you are scraping the
19 leaves off the trees the branches and stuff
20 like that's good enough mulch to put down to
21 get rid of the dirt and the rocks that are
22 down there.
23 If you look at the sidewalks down
24 there it's glass ridden, beer can ridden,
25 trash everywhere. It's not a very nice
1 little park. It's a great location, but
2 it's just not well-kempt.
3 MR. COURTRIGHT: I'll be there this
5 MR. LAPALLA: That's great.
6 MR. COURTRIGHT: I go by there all
7 of the time.
8 MR. LAPALLA: Because I talked to the
9 parents about it and they didn't know who to
10 go to and everything, they couldn't come
11 here, so I said I would come there on their
12 behalf and just bring it and see what
13 happens and so I will be coming back to just
14 keep up for them and the area.
15 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thanks. Thanks for
17 MR. LAPALLA: Absolutely. Oh, yeah,
18 one other thing. If you do sell -- if it
19 does go to the -- or the church sells it to
20 the city, the parking lot, at least make it
21 a meter. Why don't you put it a meter?
22 Make some type of money off it, if it's not
23 going go to Bob Bolus for the $25,000 so you
24 can't make some tax off -- why don't you put
25 meters in there and make some type of money
1 off of it at least because I know that
2 parking is a nuisance every time I go down
3 that avenue. When it's parking on
4 basketball night and they are coming --
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: Tough.
6 MR. LAPALLA: Yeah, they are coming
7 out of every angle to park somewhere, but at
8 least if you make it a meter parking you can
9 get some funding out of it somehow.
10 MR. COURTRIGHT: Thank you.
11 MR. LAPALLA: Thank you.
12 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Lapalla.
13 That was last of the sign-ins.
14 MS. O'MALLEY: Barbara O'Malley, city
15 resident. Before I start my prepared
16 remarks I can't help but notice the lack of
17 council people here. I understand
18 Mrs. Evans has a family issue, Mrs. Gatelli
19 had to leave because of work, is that my
20 understanding, and the format of the council
21 meetings has changed to accommodate working
22 schedules and I think that that holds true
23 for the public as well and I really think
24 that this format needs to be looked at in
25 the future because it's interesting, I
1 pulled out report to the community by
2 Scranton Tomorrow. This was "Forging the
3 Future", a process that we started 10 years
4 ago, and under efficient government and
5 taxes it lists as a primary outcome,
6 "Encourage citizen involvement in the
7 political and government process."
8 And again, I don't think scheduling
9 the meeting of Scranton city council at 10
10 a.m. in the morning encourages citizen's
11 involvement in the political and government
12 process of our city.
13 As also part of the forging the
14 future, I was involved in the homes housing
15 and neighborhoods KPA, and I'm actually
16 going to be speaking about homes,
17 neighborhoods and housing today.
18 The headline in the Scranton Times
19 on July 17 edition read: "Scranton to raze
20 church." It seemed like a foregone
21 conclusion. "According to the report Mayor
22 Doherty intends to step in and rid the
23 neighborhood of a blighted building."
24 A blighted building, Holy Cross
25 church. A noble act if the building was
1 actually blighted. As a city resident who
2 lived next to a blighted property for a
3 decade, I am only too familiar with blight,
4 and I'm not alone in this.
5 Unfortunately, Scrantonians all over
6 the city are familiar with the blight that
7 encroaches on their neighborhoods.
8 According to the United States
9 Department of Housing and Urban Development
10 Neighborhood Stabilization Program this is
11 the definition of blight: A structure is
12 blighted when it exhibits objectively
13 determinable signs of deterioration
14 sufficient to constitute a threat to human,
15 health, safety, and public welfare.
16 It doesn't mention parking lots or a
17 need for a parking lot. Say what you want
18 about the Diocese of Scranton, I was highly
19 skeptical that they would let a property
20 they owned deteriorate to the point of being
21 blighted. I drove over to Holy Cross
22 Church, one look at the building confirmed
23 that this is not a blighted property.
24 Architecturally it is a magnificent
1 The mayor states that federal block
2 money intended for removal of blighted
3 properties will be used for the project.
4 Clearly, Holy Cross Church is not blighted.
5 So I believe any attempt to use federal
6 blight removal funds for this project would
7 constitute fraud.
8 There are way too many blighted
9 properties in Scranton that legitimately
10 qualify for these funds. The $50,000 plus
11 the mayor intends to tap to create a parking
12 lot could help remove true neighborhood
13 eyesores that have languished on the city's
14 demo list for years. I urge council to take
15 the responsible step and not approve the
16 sale of Holy Cross Church and subsequent
17 OECD funding. I truly do not see how you
18 can justify spending this money to build a
19 parking lot.
20 Mrs. Fanucci, I don't know what the
21 note is you just wrote to Mr. Courtright,
22 but I found it a little distracting.
23 MS. FANUCCI: You can read your stuff
24 and I can do my job, it's okay.
25 MS. O'MALLEY: Pardon me?
1 MS. FANUCCI: You can read what you
2 are doing --
3 MS. O'MALLEY: I think your job is
4 listening to citizen input.
5 MS. FANUCCI: I was listening to you.
6 MS. O'MALLEY: And writing little
7 notes --
8 MS. FANUCCI: I can work, ask
9 questions and listen to you.
10 MS. O'MALLEY: That's fine.
11 MS. FANUCCI: It's called
12 multi-tasking, but go ahead.
13 MS. O'MALLEY: So my question is how
14 do the council members who are still left in
15 the meeting, Mr. McGoff, Mr. Courtright and
16 Mrs. Fanucci, justify that building as being
17 blighted? Do you really feel that that's a
18 blighted building, and it's been stated that
19 the reason it's coming down is to create a
20 parking lot. Is it a structure that is
21 blighted when it exhibits objectively
22 determinable signs of deterioration
23 sufficient to constitute a threat to human
24 health, safety and public welfare. Thank
1 MS. FANUCCI: I'll leave the answer
2 in a note for you.
3 MR. MCGOFF: Please. Mr. McCloe.
4 MR. MCCLOE: Good morning. My name
5 is Brett McCloe, Scranton taxpayer. I want
6 to kind of -- I watched the meetings last
7 week and I want to thank Mrs. Evans and/or
8 any of you who voted or wanted to look into
9 possibly drafting some type of resolution or
10 legislation, you know, to stop the wholesale
11 exploitation and giving away of every square
12 inch of our city's assets to nontaxable
13 organizations. I think if it followed
14 through that this will be a great first step
15 in establishing a foundation based on the
16 needs of the people not the needs of the
17 event or the prestige of an entity.
18 What I mean by that is when you read
19 news articles and hear from people or
20 officials how great it will be for the hall
21 to have additional parking by tearing down
22 what they call a blighted structure, I say
23 great, do it, but not at taxpayers' expense.
24 Taxpayers should not foot the bill for this
25 demolition, even those who would ask for and
1 expect taxpayers to pay for this when pulled
2 to the side as an individual I believe you
3 will find that most will speak as citizens
4 and demand some type of reciprocation for
5 the city. I'm quite sure we are all aware
6 of nontaxable institutions that have bought
7 land from private owners and took land off
8 the tax rolls only to be sold for profit to
9 another nontaxable entity. Although it's
10 probably legal, I think it's highly immoral
11 and highly unethical to deny the citizens of
12 this city taxable assets, especially when I
13 heard about Mr. Bolus possibly wanting to
14 buy it, he would be paying taxes on it.
15 So I took a drive up to that church,
16 also, and I parked the car on the street and
17 I parked in front of a white car and I got
18 out to take a look at the building. When I
19 went back to my car I noticed the bumper
20 sticker on the car in front of me, and it
21 was kind of weird because it was just hit me
22 and it says, "Well, what would Jesus do?"
23 But it blew my mind for a second,
24 but it got me thinking, and it hit me when I
25 was driving home and there is a passage,
1 it's called Matthew 22, Verse 21, where
2 Jesus says, "Render unto Caesar what is due
3 Caesar, render onto God what it due God."
4 As with so many verses in the Bible,
5 the Koran, the Tora or any other religious
6 text, this versus is open to so many
7 interpretations that it would be impossible
8 to discuss them all in five minutes, and I
9 don't think it's appropriate to discuss God,
10 but I will discuss Caesar and those who
11 should render. To me, Caesar is not Mayor
12 Doherty or our local state or federal
13 governments. If Caesar is not the
14 University of Scranton or the Lackawanna
15 College, whose aspirations of greatness
16 depend on how much property they can take
17 off the tax rolls.
18 True power of any democracy lies in
19 the hands of it's citizenry, so in a sense
20 we are Caesar. We have the power, we the
21 citizens deserve our due. We cannot allow
22 religious and academic institutions who bear
23 little, if any, resemblance to a nonprofit
24 organization, to position themselves as real
25 estate brokers of tax exempt properties in
1 this city. We cannot allow politicians to
2 pass around the collection plate to citizens
3 of this city who pay so much and profit so
4 little in order to fund the ambitions of
5 multi-million dollar institutions. In fact,
6 it is they who should render unto our
8 I'm not quite sure how I would ask
9 you to vote on this. I just think that, you
10 know, we are worth more than just giving
11 away everything, you know. Good times are
12 good times, but cash we all -- this city
13 needs it, and that's all I have to say.
14 Thank you.
15 MR. SLEDENZSKI: I'm the last one.
16 Hello, Bill.
17 MR. COURTRIGHT: Hi, Chris.
18 MR. SLEDENZSKI: Billy, how's that
20 MR. COURTRIGHT: Pardon? The Billy
22 MR. MCGOFF: Mrs. Fanucci.
23 MS. FANUCCI: I only have two things
24 to speak on. The sale of Holy Cross, I
25 understand the problems that are in front of
1 us. The fact is if they are not willing to
2 sell the building to anyone else and they
3 decided this that is their right.
4 Mr. Bolus' intent is probably a good one,
5 and I don't think any of us would want to
6 say that they wouldn't want anything to stay
7 on the tax rolls, we certainly would, but
8 the fact is that Holy Cross -- the Diocese
9 will do what's good -- what they believe is
10 good for them, which if they feel the
11 parking lot is needed then that's what they
12 want to see that used -- you know, being
13 adapted to what they feel they need.
14 I don't know what it is we can do.
15 I mean, do you block a sale of something and
16 still have it sit there for another two
17 years because they refuse to use it for, you
18 know, the other intent. I don't know. I
19 don't know, but I definitely am going to
20 look into it more to see what we can find
21 out. I feel the same way as Bill. If they
22 plan on not -- if that's their only choice
23 because that's all they want then that sort
24 of ties our hands, too, and it doesn't
25 matter what we think. They are the ones in
1 charge, they are the ones who are selling
2 it, it is their property, so, you know, you
3 have to think of it that I way also, but I
4 think we will probably look into that
5 further this week.
6 Also, I want to speak on the DPW and
7 what transpired there. I feel that the city
8 is beyond a battleground right now. You
9 know, regardless of what happens out there
10 people will make little mistakes in life,
11 and to make it into such a big mistake is
12 the problem. You know, I think the way that
13 we approach people constantly and get what
14 we deserve out of that approach or what we
15 setup for ourselves is exactly what happens.
16 When you approach somebody in a manner where
17 you are totally attacking and you are always
18 in the right and they are always in the
19 wrong you get exactly what transpires which
20 is, you know, a stalemate over grass
21 clippings which is so ridiculous to me.
22 Mrs. O'Malley, you probably
23 understand yourself, because you have
24 created this problem here with me in
25 council, you come up here, you have a
1 problem with me writing a note to Bill which
2 is funny, but a few months ago it was okay
3 to say you were going to push me down the
4 steps over an agenda item. You get what --
5 you know, you reap what you sow. As far as
6 I'm concerned, I believe that you act purely
7 on emotion and emotion takes over your
8 thinking and when that happens in life then,
9 you know, I need to tune out and actually
10 just do the job and not worry about personal
12 Personally, if I did not want to
13 listen to you I would have lots of reasons
14 not to, but I choose to actually listen to
15 what you have to do say even though evidence
16 proves otherwise that I probably should not.
17 So I was listening to what you had to say,
18 do I agree with it? Probably not, but I
19 still listen.
20 And I'm going to say the same thing
21 to Andy Sbaraglia who came up with his
22 wonderful speech today. Yes, he did serve
23 his country. Does that -- you know, I would
24 never take that away from anybody, I think
25 that's amazing, but for some reason when
1 people have difference in opinion they
2 believe their opinion is the only opinion,
3 so instead of understanding that everyone's
4 visions are different, everyone's views are
5 different and everyone has the same passion
6 and has the same ideas for their passion and
7 wants to see things go the way they want, it
8 ends up to be a line in the sand.
9 You know, we had speakers a few
10 weeks say, okay, yeah, you guys lost on
11 council so you are done. Yeah. How about
12 they accept that, but they don't accept that
13 the mayor won. Double-handed sword always,
14 you know, double-edged sword. Nobody wants
15 to realize that it has to be one entity
16 working together regardless of who, what or
17 where you are going to get no where and the
18 goal isn't the end to actually make this
19 place better regardless of how you believe
20 it should be at the end or how I feel it
21 should be at the end. The whole idea is to
22 make it a better place and just because my
23 ideas are different than yours and your
24 ideas are different than mine doesn't mean
25 that anyone's are -- nobody is on the wrong
1 track. If it works out at the end the track
2 was right and that's what we need to work
4 Quite frankly, I'm sick of rehashing
5 this election for four years and another
6 four years after that. I think it's
7 nonproductive. I believe that all it does
8 it spawn more hate definitely within this
9 room and just because you don't understand
10 why we need to have a meeting at 10:00 in
11 the morning or while it's not prudent for
12 you, there are a lot of people who actually
13 would rather come at 10:00 in the morning
14 than come at 7:00 at night because there is
15 a lot of people out there who actually can't
16 come at 7:00 at night, so stop looking at
17 views just in your way and in your world and
18 look at them in everyone else's. That would
19 probably be the best thing you can do for
20 the city.
21 Also, there are tons and tons of
22 places for everyone to volunteer, so instead
23 of spending months and months getting notes
24 ready to come to council to attack, spend
25 some time out there with the people and see
1 what it is to make Scranton better and do
2 something more productive than coming here
3 and looking for reasons to complain. Look
4 for reasons to move on and do more work and
5 better our city and that in itself will be
6 the biggest gift you can give to the city.
7 Thank you.
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: Kay, I'll give you
9 my copy of this picture when the meeting is
10 over, I think we need to do two things if we
11 could right after the meeting. This house,
12 the DPW has to get out there and board that
13 up I think immediately. It's right next to
14 Fellows Park there and so maybe we can --
15 when we get done with the meeting and talk
16 to Mr. Seitzinger and more importantly is I
17 can't tell real well from this picture, but
18 it does look like they got an exposed
19 electrical wire there, so I think they need
20 to get there today. I will go there myself
21 this afternoon after the meeting, and then
22 maybe we can make a call to Mr. Dougher for
23 the nonemergent things such as the mulch and
24 that. I think they can rectify that, but
25 those are the things that need to be done
1 today, especially this exposed wire we can't
2 have that when we got kids down there.
3 Several years ago we gave quite a
4 bit of money to there and I haven't gotten
5 down and walked through the park, I drive by
6 all the time and there are new sidewalks,
7 but I don't think that ate up all the money
8 we gave. We were supposed to get new
9 playground equipment and everything there,
10 so I will speak with Mr. Dougher about that,
11 but these two items, I'll give this picture
12 when I'm done, maybe we can call right after
13 the meeting.
14 I will call down to the foreman from
15 the DPW and make sure that the grass
16 clippings get picked up today. We don't
17 want that to fester any longer.
18 Last week there was a gentleman
19 here, again I had spoke to him about Nay Aug
20 Park on the Fourth of July and he was here
21 again about the 400 block of Pear Street. I
22 did talk to the people from the other
23 shifts, they said as best they could they
24 would continue to drive by the 400 block of
25 Pear Street and if they could help you out
1 they certainly would. I spoke to people
2 from all the three shifts now, officers.
3 There is a big, big problem, a huge
4 problem at the Novembrino Pool in West
5 Scranton, fights and drug arrests there
6 every single day, sometimes two and three
7 times a day, and I just want to thank
8 Officer Jill Foley, she is really doing the
9 best she could down there with what
10 resources she has. Mr. Munley, Patrolman
11 Munley is there with her sometimes and
12 Officer Ray Kelly. We've got a huge problem
13 there and they are doing the best they could
14 to keep a handle on it so I just want to
15 thank them for all they're doing there
16 because there are some children and family
17 members that need that pool and it's not
18 fair to them what's going on down there, and
19 it's got to be rectified, so I'm exploring
20 other avenues, but until we can get
21 something else done there I just want to
22 thank those officers for what they are
24 Finally, the DPW has fixed the road.
25 They dug it up just liked I asked on Forest
1 Glenn Drive, I have been asking for four
2 months, I come down the road one day and
3 there they were jackhammering it up, so I
4 want to thank them for finally fixing that
5 for me, I certainly appreciate it and not
6 just for myself, but for everybody in the
8 I'm going to take a little different
9 spin on the Holy Cross thing. I never
10 really spoke to Mary Theresa Patterson, the
11 solicitor for the city, on a lengthy basis.
12 I was up there the other day on a very
13 serious issue and a sidebar was Holy Cross
14 and while we were in a conversation with an
15 individual in her room, there was three of
16 us in there and another person on the other
17 end, and while they were talking it must
18 have jumped in her mind. She asked me about
19 what I had mentioned here about legislation
20 if the -- this was before Mr. Bolus made his
21 offer, I wasn't aware and nobody was aware
22 of it at the table, he hadn't made the offer
23 at the time, but she asked what type of
24 legislation I was interested so that if, in
25 fact, that parking lot which we thought was
1 going to be a parking lot, whether it is or
2 not now I don't know, but if it was a
3 parking lot if was sold that the city would
4 recoup at least the cost of the demolition
5 of the building and the cost of the paving
6 of the parking lot. So I don't know if she
7 is working on that, but she did ask what I
8 was interested in knowing about it, but we
9 were in a very serious discussion about
10 something else so it kind of got put to the
12 I do want to say this, this is my
13 first dealing with her and I believe she was
14 extremely professional and dedicated to her
15 job. Like I said, first dealing I had with
16 her, so I'll speak to her again about the
17 legislation if, in fact, it does get sold or
18 deeded over to the city. She indicated to
19 me that she thinks something like that could
20 be done, some type of legislation like that
21 could be created.
22 MR. MCGOFF: And just to -- I did
23 speak to her and she told me that if, in
24 fact -- as you said, if, in fact, the city
25 takes ownership of that property they
1 already have started to draw up legislation
2 that will put limitations or requirements on
3 the resale and then it would be presented to
4 us at the appropriate time.
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: So if, in fact, it
6 goes through, and whether it does or not I
7 don't know, but if it does I would like to
8 see that and I'm glad to that she is working
9 on that. Someone mentioned about, I forget
10 who it was, mentioned about if somebody gave
11 us a donation that, you know, we are more
12 apt to help them out. I don't know if it's
13 just me, but I have been here six years and
14 I've got to be honest with you, no one that
15 has donated to my campaign has ever asked me
16 to vote one way or another, and if they did
17 I would hurry up and walk away. You know, I
18 don't feel like being arrested for anybody,
19 so I have never been approached by anybody.
20 I don't get large donations, but no one has
21 ever approached me to do that and I don't
22 think anybody up here would jeopardize
23 themselves by being bought off by a
24 donation. I think that would be a stupid
25 thing to do.
1 And now the University of Scranton,
2 I had two children that went to the
3 University of Scranton, I have one that's
4 there now, and I don't agree with all that
5 they do, I do think that the University of
6 Scranton is a tremendous asset to this city.
7 I don't agree with the fact that they are
8 eating up all the tax base and we are not
9 getting anything in return and I would like
10 to see them give us more in lieu of taxes of
11 what they do, so I did ask a lot questions
12 about this project that's going on there and
13 I am in favor of it, and that will probably
14 make some people upset, but I think this
15 project is a good thing.
16 I asked about the turning lanes and
17 if you are coming out a port on Mulberry
18 Street and say, for instance, somebody on
19 Mulberry Street is heading east, if somebody
20 is coming out of a court on the right-hand
21 side of the road they are making them take a
22 right-hand turn so they can't cross a double
23 lane which in my opinion is better than what
24 we have now for safety. They are having a
25 turning lane, so if you are going east say,
1 for instance, on Mulberry Street and you
2 want to turn left onto Quincy, there will be
3 a turning lane, which we don't have now, you
4 know, we on our own go around the car, but
5 there will be a designated turning lane and
6 it will 100 feet before the intersection.
7 I asked about the parking meters
8 because I'm not a fan of the University of
9 Scranton taking any more money off of this
10 city than what they have, and the estimated
11 amount if every meter was occupied all the
12 time even when school is not in session
13 still assuming they would have been occupied
14 it was approximately $4,000 a year.
15 I believe they said there would be
16 three phases of the project for the
17 University of Scranton, the transfer fees
18 for those three phases on what I would say
19 would be a conservative side will be
20 approximately $300,000. Permit fees, I'm
21 sorry, permit fees, so that in that respect
22 kind of offsets it, and I know for certain
23 people no matter what if it was the
24 University of Scranton they are against it,
25 and I'm not just -- that's just not me, I'm
1 not for anything just because it's one
2 person or one entity or another, this
3 particular project I think is a good
4 project, I will be voting for it, but I did
5 ask a lot of questions and I got answers
6 that were sufficient.
7 There is a woman that was concerned
8 about lighting. They went to the woman's
9 house and all questions were answered for
10 her to her satisfaction, I believe she will
11 be receiving less lighting into her home
12 than she was prior to this project taking
13 place. They are just some of the things we
14 discussed back there and I did ask a lot of
15 questions and I think it's a good thing.
16 It's probably going to look gorgeous
17 because, let's face it, anything the
18 University of Scranton does they pretty much
19 do first class. They've got lots of money
20 over there, so all my questions were
21 answered and all of the questions that I
22 could think of that the public asked me to
23 ask I asked and were answered.
24 So I am in favor of that project,
25 and I will be voting "yes" for that, and I
1 believe that's all I have. Thank you.
2 MR. MCGOFF: Just very briefly, and I
3 can't believe that nobody else has used the
4 line, but I have waited two weeks, some
5 people want to make this appear that the
6 sale of -- or taking over of Holy Cross is,
7 and again, I'm paraphrasing, is tearing down
8 paradise and putting up a parking lot, but
9 is it a blighted building? Certainly the
10 Diocese thought it was or thinks that it is
11 in a condition such that they can't take
12 care of it. The city in some ways I'm sure
13 considers it blighted, it is abandoned.
14 There is no activities taking place there.
15 The building itself is gutted. There is no
16 intent to do anything to improve the
17 building on the part of the Diocese and the
18 only thing that can happen to that building
19 if it stays under Diocesan ownership is that
20 it will get worse.
21 With that said, as far as I know the
22 neighbors, people in that neighborhood are
23 not opposed to the building coming down.
24 Many of them look forward to the possibility
25 of relieving the parking situation in that
1 area. It will improve the neighborhood
2 going from a building that is becoming into
3 disrepair and putting something that's more
4 open, open up the neighborhood a little bit,
5 relieve some of the parking situations for
6 Holy Cross hall, and in total the intent is
7 to benefit the neighborhood.
8 You know, whether you agree that
9 that is happening, again, I guess it's open
10 to interpretation whether you feel that this
11 is going to be a benefit to the neighborhood
12 or not. Will it remove a property from the
13 tax rolls? Yes. But, again, there is a
14 balance that's needed. Does one offset the
15 other and I think in -- at least in my eyes
16 in voting it's not voting on something
17 that's immoral or a conspiracy or anything
18 else, it's just in balancing the assets that
19 could be gained from taking over this
20 property and the liabilities from, you know,
21 leaving it, I feel that it's something that
22 is if not needed at least beneficial,
23 overall beneficial to the neighborhood and
24 to the city.
25 And with that said, you know, it
1 will be in Seventh Order next week and we
2 may find out some more information during
3 the course of it between now and then, but
4 there is no one here that is involved in
5 this any type of conspiracy to, you know,
6 cheat the taxpayers in this way. I think we
7 all you know, vote for things you know,
8 depending upon how we feel it is a benefit
9 to the city and certainly this is no
10 different. And with that, motion to
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
13 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you for your
14 participation and see you next week.
2 C E R T I F I C A T E
4 I hereby certify that the proceedings and
5 evidence are contained fully and accurately in the
6 notes of testimony taken by me at the hearing of the
7 above-captioned matter and that the foregoing is a true
8 and correct transcript of the same to the best of my
CATHENE S. NARDOZZI, RPR
13 OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER