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            1              SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING

 

            2

 

            3

 

            4

 

            5                          HELD:

 

            6

 

            7                 Tuesday, July 21, 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

 

            7

                MS. JANET E. EVANS

            8   (Not present)

 

            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. JOHN WILLIAMS, SOLICITOR

 

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            1                      (Pledge of Allegiance recited and

 

            2              moment of reflection observed.)

 

            3                      MR. MCGOFF:  Roll call, please.

 

            4                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.  Mrs.

 

            5              Gatelli.

 

            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?


 

 

                                                                       4

 

 

            1              .  If not, received and filed.

 

            2                      MS. GARVEY: That's it for Third

 

            3              Order.

 

            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

 

           16              observed.)

 

           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

 

           23              refreshments.

 

           24                      I mentioned last week about children

 

           25              in the Connell Park area going door-to-door


 

 

                                                                       5

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                       6

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                       7

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                       8

 

 

            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


 

 

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            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.


 

 

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            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


 

 

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            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 --


 

 

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            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


 

 

                                                                      13

 

 

            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

 

            7              park?

 

            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


 

 

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            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


 

 

                                                                      15

 

 

            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

 

           15              legislation.

 

           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 --


 

 

                                                                      16

 

 

            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

 

           12              podium.

 

           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


 

 

                                                                      17

 

 

            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

 

            5              speaking.

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      18

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      19

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      20

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      21

 

 

            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

 

           16              PROJECT.

 

           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


 

 

                                                                      22

 

 

            1              to read it all, I want to look in and see if

 

            2              -- I'm being told that possibly the loans is

 

            3              forgiven?

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      23

 

 

            1              LEASE WITH SCRANTON LIFE REALTY CO., INC. TO

 

            2              PROVIDE OFFICE SPACE FOR THE CITY OF

 

            3              SCRANTON OFFICE OF ECONOMIC AND COMMUNITY

 

            4              DEVELOPMENT.

 

            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;

 

           17              correct?

 

           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.


 

 

                                                                      24

 

 

            1                      MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else?  All those

 

            2              in favor of introduction signify by saying

 

            3              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: 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


 

 

                                                                      25

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      26

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      27

 

 

            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

 

           11              PROJECT.

 

           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

 

           17              qualification.

 

           18                      MS. FANUCCI:  Second.

 

           19                      MR. MCGOFF:  Multi-tasking.  On the

 

           20              question?

 

           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


 

 

                                                                      28

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      29

 

 

            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

 

           14              CITY.

 

           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.


 

 

                                                                      30

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      31

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      32

 

 

            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

 

           25              TRANSPORTATION.


 

 

                                                                      33

 

 

            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;


 

 

                                                                      34

 

 

            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.


 

 

                                                                      35

 

 

            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

 

           25              TRANSACTION.


 

 

                                                                      36

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      37

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      38

 

 

            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

 

           21              city.

 

           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


 

 

                                                                      39

 

 

            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

 

           20              works.

 

           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.


 

 

                                                                      40

 

 

            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

 

           19              motion?

 

           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.


 

 

                                                                      41

 

 

            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

 

           14              PROJECT.

 

           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.

 

           25              Gatelli.


 

 

                                                                      42

 

 

            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?


 

 

                                                                      43

 

 

            1                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.  Mrs.

 

            2              Gatelli.

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      44

 

 

            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.

 

           12              Gatelli.

 

           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


 

 

                                                                      45

 

 

            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.

 

           20              Gatelli.

 

           21                      MS. GATELLI:  Yes.

 

           22                      MR. COOLICAN:  Ms. Fanucci.

 

           23                      MS. FANUCCI:  Yes.

 

           24                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.

 

           25                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yes.


 

 

                                                                      46

 

 

            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

 

            6              Sbaraglia.

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      47

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      48

 

 

            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

 

           15              money."

 

           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


 

 

                                                                      49

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      50

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      51

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      52

 

 

            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

 

           16              identified.

 

           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.


 

 

                                                                      53

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      54

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      55

 

 

            1              to be filled.  Thank you.  I'll hold the

 

            2              rest for next week.  Thank you.

 

            3                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.  Larry

 

            4              Hewitt.

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      56

 

 

            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,

 

           10              Billy?

 

           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,

 

           19              right?

 

           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


 

 

                                                                      57

 

 

            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

 

           25              fireman.


 

 

                                                                      58

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      59

 

 

            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

 

           19              hand."

 

           20                      "Oh, well, call such and such a

 

           21              number."

 

           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


 

 

                                                                      60

 

 

            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

 

            8              it.

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      61

 

 

            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 --


 

 

                                                                      62

 

 

            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

 

            5              Neil?

 

            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

 

           10              straight.

 

           11                      MR. HEWITT:  Okay.  Thank you very

 

           12              much.

 

           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,


 

 

                                                                      63

 

 

            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

 

           22              morning.

 

           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


 

 

                                                                      64

 

 

            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

 

           22              rubber.

 

           23                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Exposed electrical

 

           24              wiring?

 

           25                      MR. LAPALLA: Yes.  I just noticed


 

 

                                                                      65

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      66

 

 

            1              little park.  It's a great location, but

 

            2              it's just not well-kempt.

 

            3                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I'll be there this

 

            4              afternoon.

 

            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

 

           16              coming.

 

           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


 

 

                                                                      67

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      68

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      69

 

 

            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

 

           25              structure.


 

 

                                                                      70

 

 

            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?


 

 

                                                                      71

 

 

            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

 

           25              you.


 

 

                                                                      72

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      73

 

 

            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,


 

 

                                                                      74

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      75

 

 

            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

 

            7              collections.

 

            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

 

           19              (unintelligible.)

 

           20                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Pardon? The Billy

 

           21              man?

 

           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


 

 

                                                                      76

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      77

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      78

 

 

            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

 

           11              matters.

 

           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


 

 

                                                                      79

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      80

 

 

            1              track.  If it works out at the end the track

 

            2              was right and that's what we need to work

 

            3              toward.

 

            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


 

 

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            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


 

 

                                                                      82

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      83

 

 

            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

 

           23              doing.

 

           24                      Finally, the DPW has fixed the road.

 

           25              They dug it up just liked I asked on Forest


 

 

                                                                      84

 

 

            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

 

            7              area.

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      85

 

 

            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

 

           11              side.

 

           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


 

 

                                                                      86

 

 

            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.


 

 

                                                                      87

 

 

            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,


 

 

                                                                      88

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      89

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      90

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      91

 

 

            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


 

 

                                                                      92

 

 

            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

 

           11              adjourn?

 

           12                      MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.

 

           13                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you for your

 

           14              participation and see you next week.

 

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            1

 

            2                     C E R T I F I C A T E

 

            3

 

            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

 

            9   ability.

 

           10

 

           11

 

           12

                                    CATHENE S. NARDOZZI, RPR

           13                       OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER

 

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